Wednesday, February 23, 2011

#36 - Thankful to be Thankful

Having Addison's means that there are some days when the body and mind won't jive. Today, I feel so sluggish and as if I am moving in slow motion. Each day is unpredictable. I'd love to have full energy every day, without much interference. Before Addison's, I did have that kind of life. Every day had been a go-getter day full of vibrance and seemingly unending energy. These days, I am careful about how I plan my day so that I can have the best success. And, I must have flexibility to change my plans according to how my body is cooperating on that day.

Like many with Addison's disease / Adrenal Insufficiency, the mornings can be a problem. The body can feel as if it is moving through mud and that it takes too long to get "warmed up" and in action, even with early-bird dosages of our meds. It would be so nice to say that our medication is an automatic "fix" to those issues, but for some of us with adrenal conditions, it is not enough, especially if you are combating other conditions that exacerbate the adrenal issue. If you have other medical conditions, then your body can stay in a "stressed" mode or can sway in and out of it, making the adrenal issue difficult to manage.

Having an attitude that constantly fights to live to the make the best with what you've got...that kind of positive attitude can be invaluable. Like others in my situation, I get down and worn out. Sometimes, I feel like crawling under the covers and hiding from the world so I can re-charge, but that rarely happens. My mother used to say that to combat a fierce medical condition and the depression that can come with it, you need to do the OPPOSITE of what you feel like doing. If you feel like hiding from the world, then you REALLY need to get out and socialize. It's not easy. It goes against all that feels natural to do the opposite of what we crave. Becoming too isolated is not a good thing; I have a tendency to lean toward isolation, so I constantly take active measures to fight against it. Sometimes, I must force myself to do something socially so that I do not withdraw too deeply within my shell. Compared to many people, I have an extremely active life, but that is because I have a rather large family that is very involved with each other. I also have awesome friends who are as close to me as any family member. Yes, I am blessed.

Still, through the bad days, I try to remember how blessed I am in this life. Even with limitations, my life is full and rewarding. Illness cannot zap my zest and passion for life. I still see beauty around me every day. There are always reasons to laugh and you can find joy in all things. If you give up the search for the joy in life, then you are giving up. Don't do that. Be good to yourself. Let yourself feel joy at the simple things. Even if you are bound to bed or to a chair and have an accessible keyboard, enjoy the world open to you at your fingertips. Try to develop a strong habit of being thankful for what you DO have. Being thankful is one of the keys to being content and to prevent a roaming soul. For sure, longing for what you do not have is a solid way to find discontent and misery. Don't waste you time with that angle.

HOWEVER, if you have a day here and there with a need to whine, go ahead and do it. Whine and get it out of your system! Don't beat yourself up for having a bad day because sometimes those days help us to re-adjust our attitude. If we walked around constantly declaring that we are without any problems, then we would be lying to others and to ourselves. Learning to talk yourself out of a bad mood is an art that needs practice. I've been around people who are in such a bad habit of complaining about every tiny issue that they cannot see the blissful life they are living. Do I complain? Absolutely! But, I've also learned to frequently let the little things go. However, there are days when crumbs on the counter can make my head spin in a complete circle and flames shoot from my mouth. Anyway, I do believe it is indeed a sad thing to have such a great life with good health, yet not have the emotional perspective to enjoy the good fortune. I want to be that person who might be knocked down, but who keeps doing her best to get back up. Yes, yes, yes...I've been known to throw myself a huge pity-party on rare occasions and I do NOT send out invitations, it is a party of self-indulgence. But, I usually emerge with a needed mental adjustment that reminds me to think more positively. Making peace with your situation is a constantly changing requirement that needs to be addressed. Don't run from it, but try to not sit in misery for too long. Misery DOES love company, but be aware that you are dropping by and will not be staying for an extended visit. Tell Misery "Adios" as soon as possible. Search for joyful, meaningful things in your life and hold firmly to them. In short, try to live most days with an attitude of gratitude.

Today, among so many things, I am grateful for my grown children; my awesome, handsome husband; my beautiful home; my funny dogs; for my laptop; for being able to sleep six hours straight last night; for a great view of my backyard from my bedroom window; for great neighbors and for peace of mind in spite of the medical report! I am grateful for having found so many awesome people on the Addison's Village Forum so that I can clearly see that my deepest, darkest thoughts are not so deep and dark --- most others share the same thoughts and feelings. I am grateful for people who do not judge others when they need to whine. I am thankful for the encouraging people out there who have a gift of blessing others with their truthful, difficult journeys. I am thankful that I know how to be thankful.

My Husband & I having our normal fun times together.
Lake Livingston, Texas.


  1. Lana,

    This sentence from your post really hit home for me...

    If you have other medical conditions, then your body can stay in a "stressed" mode or can sway in and out of it, making the adrenal issue difficult to manage.

    I never really thought of that. I have so much going on, no wonder my adrenals can't keep up!

    I've started a new blog (did I tell you already? I can't remember)

    my other one is

    I agree...the Gals at Addison's Village are great. They have so much knowledge and are so eager to help when you have a problem.

    talk to you

  2. I love your blog - again there are things you write that seem to hit home with me too. It is pretty neat that we can all be connected to other's with Addison's/Adrenal Insufficiency by a few taps on a keyboard. I'll be keeping in touch!

    Lana C.


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