This blog post is about ways to make life a bit easier when you are living with chronic illness. The goal is for these to be practical tips that can help all different kinds of “Spoonies,” or Chronic Illness Warriors. And for these tips to be free or at least affordable!
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Today is the last day of August. Which means tomorrow is September 1st. Which means the day after that is Friday, September 2nd. Which means I have two weeks until the art show.
This is where I start screaming.
But really. As exciting as everything is, it is also very stressful to get so much art work and planning and organization done for the show.
Plus, earlier today I shattered one of my sculptures. I mean SHATTERED. Glass and polyurethane everywhere. And I was barefoot.
Sometimes art does not go the way you want it to go. Sometimes you have to take a break and do something else for a little bit. Run an errand. Take a drive. Meditate. (I seriously had to stay calm. Not an easy thing to do.)
To top everything off, I've stopped sleeping. Well, not completely, but pretty much.
Not sleeping is exhausting. Seriously.
So I apologize for not writing as regularly this month as I should have. But know that you guys have been on my mind and heart and I've wanted to write, but just not really been able to put everything into words. And I don't mean to complain about everything. That's not what this blog post is about. I just wanted to be honest about where things are. And doing an event like this one is hard! But hopefully worth it.
Yes, there is still so much to do, but I am determined. Everything will get done. There is a schedule and I am adhering to it so far.
I am excited to meet some of you at the show in just two and a half weeks now. There will be so much to see and do and be apart of. I truly cannot wait for you guys to see everything. So many people have been so helpful.
I was just on the phone with a friend and I realized that it was in the middle of September a year ago that I came up with the idea for this show. I don't remember the exact day, but for all I know, the date of the show could be the exact one year anniversary of the idea. Regardless, it's pretty cool to have it happen in the span of one year. People told me that it could not be done, that I was aiming too high. But there is a God who had another plan. Planets practically aligned for some of these things to happen. If only I had the time to tell the whole story. But maybe I will : )
Thank you for journeying along with me and I cannot wait to see you at the show!
Today…let me tell you about today. Today is a day in which I didn’t want to get out of bed. Today is a day in which just breathing feels like a drain to my system. Every little thing people do I interpret as personal or a threat to me. In my paranoia, everyone is out to get me.
Do I sound ridiculous? I’m sure I do to most of you. But other people know this is one of the types of days that is just part of being creative and sensitive.
On top of today being what it is, my last post was erratic and crazy sounding. So now I seem like I’m going from mania to depression. In reality, the state I’m in now has been building for the past week and had a catalyst today so it just exploded into this feeling of instability. I am teetering on the edge of oblivion feeling like the fall is inevitable.
Have I really only written that much? I feel like I’ve sat at my typewriter (more like computer) and bled all that I have to bleed, as Ernest Hemingway might put it.
I want to hide, but I’m afraid to be alone. I guess I need an invisibility cloak. One that has good airflow and doesn’t overheat me. I’ll check craigslist but if you hear of anyone trying to get rid of one, let me know.
Don’t misunderstand me, I may actually post this, but I don’t want to. I don’t want people knowing that I am feeling this way and thinking these things. But I take commitments very seriously and since I agreed to the reality and truth of the creative life in this blog, I am not going to go back on my word easily. I’m not saying it’s impossible; I know I am fallible. But I’ve fought too hard to fall guilty to stigmas and trying to only write the “right” things, the easy things.
The other difficult truth that I’ll be honest about on here is about God. Part of feeling the way I do today is feeling like God has left me. And abandonment issues run deep inside me. I feel left out in the rain. Don’t get me wrong, I like the rain, but being left out in it has a certain sad imagery to it. (By the way, the word for a lover of grey and rainy days is pluviophile. So, I am a pluviophile. Just not one who wants to get abandoned in the rain.)
Yes, I realize that my thinking is a vicious cycle and believe me when I say that I am fighting against it. It just isn’t easy.
“Do not mistake the bad days for days in which I am not fighting;
those are the days I am fighting the hardest.”
I am not sure who said that, but it is very true. Bad days do not mean I have given up; they just mean the demons got a great night’s sleep and were ready to start a violent fight this morning. I, on the other hand, slept very little. Add some nightmares to that and you’ve got an equation for a difficult day.
I write all this to say, yes, these days are real and really hard and horrible. But don’t mistake them for the end. As much as it may feel like the end, it really isn’t. So don’t let those demons you are fighting tell you otherwise. (I say all of this to myself more than anyone.)
Thank you for attention. See you later.
This Thanksgiving, I want to tell you why I am grateful for my Spire.
Spire is a company and a product that works with its customers to get healthier. The tagline that got me interested was: the FitBit for mental health. The FitBit is already an intriguing idea of keeping track of all your activity and varying levels of health, but then Spire came in. They wanted a better calculation of health, one that included mental health. By tracking your breath, the Spire stone can keep you aware of what level your brain is working at before you even realize what’s going on.
The product intrigued me and as well as the responses people were having to it. So I decided to try it out. And after having mine for three months, I think it’s time to share my experience.
So here are my top 10 reasons that I am thankful for Spire:
1. Spire does the thinking for me.
I don’t have to be hyper-aware all the time, putting myself on edge, trying to avoid anxiety or tension. My Spire is set so that if I am tense for 5 minutes or more, my stone vibrates and I get an alert on my phone letting me know that I am tense. It even suggests a meditation to calm me down.
2. Built in meditations.
Spire has mediations on the app so that you always have an option, even if it’s just a two-minute window. I can put in my headphones and listen to the meditation and just breathe. Yes, the calming meditations actually do work. And they add more all the time.
3. Spire is discreet.
Even when the Spire stone does vibrate, it’s not enough for anyone to tell and you cannot hear it. It’s a secret message whispered just to you in order to make sure you can handle the situation you are in. Plus, it’s visually discreet. No one has to know you are wearing it.
4. Spire is customizable.
Each alert is decided by me and for me. I only have two alerts built in for myself: one for my level of tension, and another to let me know if I’ve been sedentary for 60 minutes or longer by telling me that it might be time to stretch my legs. The latter alert is very important for those of us who are writers and artists. We get in the zone and need a gentle reminder that says, “hey, don’t forget to take care of your body and your mind!” Creatives and non-creatives need those reminders.
5. Still want to count those steps, calories, and exercises? Done.
The Spire still continues to track your activity, on top of the work it’s already doing to help you with your mental health. No need for another gadget to wear. Plus, since it is keeping track of your breath it helps the step calculations to be very accurate.
6. The ability to look over time.
The app keeps all the data for every day logged so that you can see what happened on each specific day you’ve worn it. Over time, you can see how you’ve improved or what area you might want to work on.
7. No connection? No problem.
Even if you are not connected with your phone all the time, that’s ok. The Spire stone can hold 6 hours of data and fill your phone in when you get back to it. It’s nice that my technology does all the talking for me and I don’t have to translate any information.
8. This is a company that works hard.
Spire is a hard working company that wants to help its customers in every way possible. They continue to work on ways to perfect their awesome product and provide updates for what people have already purchased. They are a company of integrity and that means something to me.
9. Spire cares what I have to say.
Spire listens to their customers; they want to help them and do right by them. They respond to the people that ask them questions and write reviews, always looking for ways to help the people they believe they were put on this earth to help.
10. Finally, I am grateful for no more panic attacks.
I have had my Spire stone since September and even though I usually average at least one panic attack per month, I have yet to have one while using Spire. That’s 3 whole months that I have been panic free, my friend. And if that isn’t something to be thankful for, I don’t know what is.
Thank you, Spire for all that you do. You are greatly appreciated. Happy holidays!
In case you were wondering, I am writing this review of my own volition. I had never heard of Spire before I saw the ad on Facebook that got me interested and I am writing this review because I want people to know that there are answers to struggles with mental health. Developments in technology do happen for those of us with mental health issues, but we don’t always hear about them right away because they don’t get talked about as often. Please pass this information along to people so that someone can get the help they need this holiday season. Thank you.
For more information, go to www.spire.io