Chronic Illness and New Years Resolutions

Happy New Year everyone, please excuse the fact that I’m saying that over 2 weeks late. I’m sorry I’ve been missing from blogging and Instagram lately but the truth is I’ve just not felt well enough to write anything/make anything – I know you’ll understand.

I’m really glad I started this little blog last year and I’d like to keep up with it throughout 2018. So I thought I’d kick it off by talking a bit about new years resolutions. I’ve never been majorly into making them, I might reflect a little bit on what I’d like to do but I don’t make it a formal thing – ie I don’t write them down or voice them to anyone else. I just don’t feel the need to, instead I have a casual little think about things, no pressure. However I understand that others take the whole thing a bit more seriously than I do, and personally I think that’s probably a bad idea if you suffer from a chronic health condition. Now hear me out here, I’m not saying if you’re chronically sick you shouldn’t have goals – I’m just saying putting a time limit on them is perhaps detrimental. Particularly in the way that people tend to go about their resolutions.

For most people, new years resolutions come with pressure. That’s why everyone jumps in full steam ahead and then ends up getting fed up with it by the end of January. I think generally people forget that a new years resolution means you have the whole year to make the change, you don’t have to be an entirely new person one week in. Personally I’m taking new year slowly, as in I’m taking the whole month of January to ease myself into it. Might even take February too, who knows. Why does January 1st have to entail this massive life shift? Who decided that was a good idea?

For someone with a chronic health condition, new years can be overwhelming. Everyone is busy planning out their year and deciding to make all these changes to their lifestyle. Well what if you’re not in a physically fit enough state to change your lifestyle? What if what you’re doing right now is all you can manage? What if a health condition dictates your current day to day life? That doesn’t just change with the new year coming in. Please don’t put extra pressure on yourself just because society dictates you should. Everyone is in major “health kick mode” right now – meanwhile I would love more than anything to be back in a gym. But the truth of the matter is right now I’m not well enough to, and that’s ok. It’s frustrating and annoying, but it’s still ok. Everyone is planning out goals they would like to hit by the end of the year – meanwhile I don’t know what state my health is going to be in. So by all means set goals, but maybe just make them a bit looser, take the pressure off of it. For example, I know I’d like to set up my range of spoonie gift goods, but I’m not telling myself I have to have it done by the end of the year. Because who knows how I’m going to feel tomorrow, never mind next week or next month etc. There’s no need to feel guilty about the fact you don’t know how your year is going to go.

Personally I don’t really like splitting my life up into chunks, for example years. It’s just the one big thing, you know? I’ll do stuff when I can do stuff, and I’ll rest when I can’t. You’ve got your whole life to make changes, you don’t need to make them at the same time as everyone else. Make a change in June if that’s when you feel you’re able. Or March, or September, or December… you catch my drift. When you have a chronic illness your life isn’t on the same path as those around you. You can get to the same place in the end, but the road’s a bit more twisty, and you might have to double back a few times. That’s ok too you know. Your day to day life is different to that of your peers – you know that already. Your January 1st is allowed to be different to theirs too.

Now I know I’m late in saying that to you, maybe you’ve already made your resolutions. But you can still ease off on them if you want to, or you feel you need to. That’s not failing. That’s being brave, actually. Just take the time stamp off of the thing, the “deadline”, and I think you’ll feel much better about it. That could be said for anyone really, I feel like someone with no health problems could still take something away from this post. But particularly for those of you like me – I’m here to tell you that you’re doing a great job. Even if your days are the exact same now as they were in December. There’s not a damn thing wrong with that. “New Year New Me” is just a load of bollocks really isn’t it? Make changes when you feel you can. And make them small. Just a small tweak of things here and there can make a big difference, and it’s nowhere near as scary.

I know you’d love to make Big Plans like everyone else, and I know it’s so frustrating. I know you’d love for this year to be a dramatic improvement on the last one. And trust me when I say I’ve got my fingers crossed for you. But just remember that you don’t have to put that sort of pressure on yourself. Your year doesn’t have to be a straight trajectory of solid improvement for it to be worth something. Twists and turns and ups and downs are just a part of life. They can be super scary at times, but they’re not all bad. You don’t have to see them that way, and that’s a lot easier to do if you’re not under some sort of 365 day time pressure. Don’t you think?

#chronicillness #chronicpain #chronicfatigue #myalgicencephalomyelitis #mecfs #invisibleillness #newyears #resolutions #lifestyle #spoonie #spoonielife #spoonieproblems