Sunday, November 13, 2016

Weekly Inspiration: To Persevere

I have had a really rough week, both physically and emotionally. I wrote a post about adding a new diagnosis, Erythromelalgia, to my stack of them earlier this week, I was thrilled to have some information and treatment possibilities to look into. But, by the end of the week, the constant pain and discomfort really wore me down. Wearing shoes - or even socks - is impossible, which makes going out very difficult. I wore flip-flips out twice this week when it was in the 40's and 50's out! Even with these precautions, my right foot has been throbbing in pain by the end of the day. I have a lot of respect for those of you who live with constant pain always - it is really wiping me out emotionally as well as physically.

So, as a result, I have been not only exhausted but a bit depressed the past few days. I was able to sleep in a bit this morning - first time since the time change! - and I think that helped a little. For this week's Weekly Inspiration post, I was actually looking for something to inspire myself.

I looked through my Quote Journals this morning (and the stack of books with Post-Its in them waiting to be entered into my Quote Journals!), searching for something to inspire me.

I finally realized that this very simple quote from Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson (a novel about the effects of Japanese-American internment during WWII - review at the link) is really what I need today:
"To persevere was always a reflection of the state of one's inner life, one's philosophy, and one's perspective. It was best to accept old age, death, injustice, hardship - all of these were part of living."
          - Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson

I recognized that this quote from the novel fit in perfectly with the short quote that I whispered to myself in bed last night before I fell asleep, one of my all-time favorites and a great comforter when I've had a bad day (or week):
"Courage doesn't always roar.
Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow.""
          - Mary Ann Radmacher

Sometimes, that's all we can do, right? Persevere and try again tomorrow.

I want to emphasize that by persevere, I don't mean doing nothing. That first quote says to accept hardships as a part of life, but for me, that doesn't mean you do nothing. Yes, there are times when our health and our physical condition are out of our control, and it is healthiest to accept that and try to live peacefully with it. But I don't think you should ever give up hope of a better tomorrow.

I am, at heart, an optimistic person, and I am also someone who does better - and feels better - with lots of information. Knowledge is power. So, although I must accept this new diagnosis and accept my limitations and pain with it for now, I have no intention of giving up. Because persevere also means to keep going, keep learning, keep fighting. All of my research and reading and meeting other people with EM last week has already paid off. I have the names of several doctors within driving distance that treat EM, and I plan to call the closest one first thing Monday morning. I read all of the treatments studies on EM (not much!) and have a list of treatments I want to try that I will discuss with the doctor.

As with ME/CFS and Lyme, I plan to do everything in my power to find ways to ease the EM and find treatments that will help me. I accept that this new condition is a part of my life now, but I will continue to persevere and try again tomorrow to help myself and find some relief.

I'm feeling a little better now - I hope you are, too.

What inspires you when things get bad? What are the comforting words or books or other things you turn to when you feel despair?


Linda said...

Your words ALWAYS inspire me. Beside my husband and daughter (who are always in my corner) I don't have friends or family nearby. So thank you for giving me strength.

hkd said...

oh sue…i'm so frustrated, saddened and empathetic to hear of this additional burden. I have said lately living in the body is like being a pin ball in a machine…sending you lots of love

Siobhan (Chronically Siobhan) said...

It's a tough one. I was sick of everything last night and didn't see the point in persevering through relapse after relapse, facing the thought of losing all my bodily strength, the power of speech and becoming housebound again. It's especially hard when there is no medical team cheering you on and you have to do everything for yourself. But that's the point, I guess, persevering has to be for me and no one else. I'm glad you've found some strength and hope you ride through this latest patch of despair.

Sue Jackson said...

Thank you so much for the kind words, Linda - that means a lot to me, especially when I've been feeling so down. I think it is so important that we all support & inspire each other.

Sue Jackson said...

Wow, that is an apt metaphor! Definitely what I have felt like this week. Thanks for the kindness and compassion - it means so much to me!

Sue Jackson said...

Oh, Siobhan - I am so sorry to hear how difficult things have been for you lately. You are right - we have to persevere and keep moving forward for ourselves. Thank you so much for your kind words and wishes - that means a lot to me. I wish the same kind of strength & hope for you.