Pro tip from a veteran 😸 a lot of chronically ill people have to self isolate every year, sometimes for months, myself included. Especially in flu season or during a flare up in symptoms. So, my pro tip is to find something specific to concentrate on. For me it has been art and mahayana buddhist yoga. I am not exaggerating when I say it has saved me and given me so much out of life. Also, rest a lot. Don’t feel like you have to do something all the time. No one really cares what you do with your time and energy, so make yourself comfortable in the uncertainty. 🙏🏼🍀🤓
If someone asked you ‘why’ you love your SO, partner or a crush, you could probably list a bunch if their nice qualities and things about them that you appreciate. But that is not WHY you love someone, because you can list the same qualities in a bunch of other people you don’t love. In fact, someone you hate can be extremely talented or compassionate. Your feelings towards or for someone does not change them.
These qualities and traits is probably something you noticed *after* getting feelings of love and affection. Love is funny and amazing like that; it will open your eyes and heart, and is not something you can ever control with your will or thoughts. It will also make one go the extra mile.
As far as I can tell, love just happens based on factors I do not understand entirely. Also, I think love and compassion is our basic nature. Humans are complicated, relationships are usually difficult, not always compatible, but often worth it.
I realise being polyamorous and queer/bi is not the norm, but it is part of what makes me Monica, and I feel very fortunate to live in a time and decade with less judgement, but it’s still here. At the beginning of this year, a friend of mine told me that she had used me as a example while trying to come out to her parents. It flattered me in a sense that she used me, but it was quickly gone again after she told me her dad’s response, which was basically that I was not the type of person he ever wanted her to hang out with again for being polyam and queer. My “practice was sick”. In the end, she did not come out. Made me extremely sad, and I do not feel welcome in their home anymore.
Love is love. Not in a naïve way where everything goes, but in a very basic human way, and there are as many ways of expressing it as there are people.
So, I wanted to just write a bit about my chronic conditions/disabilities, just in the hopes of connecting with others in a similar situation.
I used to post quite a lot about it, but realised that maybe it came across as complaining. So I stopped. I never wanted it to come out as complaining or like ‘hey, my life and health is shit’, but just as me telling people in my life and others who might be interested what was happening, why I couldn’t work or study, why I am on disability benefit. And also as a way for me to raise awareness about these things, because it seems needed. Both in terms of judgement and in terms of getting adequate medical treatment.
Social media is such a big and important platform for chronically ill people. It connects us and we can use it as a way of still being in society, since we can’t always physically join things.
I have six conditions and it would be nice to connect with others in the same situation. So please leave a comment if you would like to share what everyday life is like for you!❤
(My conditions: myalgic encephalomyelitis, hypermobility syndrome, IBS, interstitial cystitis, migraine and I am on the spectrum. Being on the spectrum is absolutely not an illness, but it does affect how I function). 🤓
Reading: Nothing actually.. I loaned a bunch of book at the library, but I think maybe borrowing/buying books is an entirely different hobby than actually reading them!
Learning: Finally trying to learn Northern Sámi. I am what you could call a “plastic sámi”; someone who is indigenous sámi by blood and flesh, but never learned the language because of the Norwegianazation process. So I often feel not “real” sámi but not “real” Norwegian either, it’s a bit of an identity crisis thing, and kind of an emotional wound that I know a lot of sámis have.
Watching: Random nature documentaries mostly..:)
Listening to on Audible: A wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin (got it recommended by a friend on Facebook)
Drinking every day: Coffee. And more coffee 😀 (should drink more water..)
Happy about: Made new friends lately, and also understanding my own “language” better, how I think and relate to the world around me.
Not so happy about: Being in constant physical pain, so much that I cannot function properly. And I struggle expressing how bad it actually is, because it doesn’t show from the outside. My back, neck, face and head is so painful, that painkillers aren’t working anymore, and I am at a loss what to do.
Thankful for: People who love me. Cliché but true 🙂
What is authenticity, as in being authentic? I have been thinking about this lately, although I can barely spell the word. Is is being completely transparent and honest all the time? Is it being open about your struggles, hopes and dreams? Or is it to be so in touch with your true nature & your personality that you simply cannot be anything else?
I think it might be a combination of all these, as honesty, openness and personality all seem to shine forth automatically when one is resting in one’s natural state. My goal would at least be to try and live in such a way that I am not fooling myself or those around me. I find it difficult though. By fooling, I mean that I don’t always speak my mind when I should. Sometimes I choose holding onto resentment. Sometimes I even nod along to things I don’t agree with. Sometimes I dress differently than I would like to, just to fit in.
I have been trying lately to be more open about what my experience is, it feels a bit dishonest and lonely to not do so. From a relative point of view, I have lots of labels on myself, and I try to speak openly about these matters, both in conversations and on social media. I don’t feel like hiding these aspects of me. They are useful to relate to other people and for me to navigate myself in the world, and find meaningful relations. I am all of these things and that’s okay 🙂
- chronically ill
From an absolute point of view, I guess none of these labels matter. But I am still trying to understand the absolute, so I think maybe I should not write too much about what I still need to learn and live first hand.
Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and has a Happy new year! ❤
I am definitely not gonna write a “new year, new me” post, because I am really not trying to improve myself. If anything, I am trying to dissolve what is left of “me”-identity 😀 I am not going to say “2018 will be the best year” either because the last two times I did that, the year proved to be the absolute worst/hardest, haha. Not gonna jinx it this time!
The new year has started off with a very bad flu + migraines + something called laryngitis (constant couching and loss of voice). Luckily, people rarely call me, so good old texting is in order! I hope I get better fast, tho, because I have some couchsurfing hosting to attend to, and also there is the TIFF (Tromsø International Film Festival) coming up. Plus some concerts…and parties…ah, how will I find the energy to do all this 🙂
I do, however, want to say that I wish the new year will be even more creative and that I will find more motivation for my art. Doubt and low energy has been big for me these last months and it has affected me a lot. I also wish that I will develop and find meaningful connections and adventures this year. I don’t believe it is good for anyone to be too much alone or isolated, even if you have chronic illness or social anxiety or whatever reason. I have been in a place where being around people have been *impossible*. So I am so grateful that is not the case anymore, and lately Couchsurfing has been kind of a lifesaver in that regard. I don’t have a job or go to school, so meeting new people this way is really nice. I still love my own space, but balance is always key 🙂
Last year, in January, I started a crowdfunding for a medical treatment (rehabilitation) in the Dead Sea, next to Jordan and Israel.. I have not received enough funds to go there yet, but if I do within the next 8 months, it is very possible I will go. Other than that, the year is pretty much open to whatever happens. Not gonna plan too much.
Happy new year, folks 🙂
I got a question in my comment section if I could write a little bit about what effect tantric yoga has had on my health, and this made my head spin with ideas about what I should write because I think I have something to share and I am always happy to talk about my yogic and dharmic practice, it being a big part of my life. I wrote a post earlier this year about my health/illness, but I will just mention again what kind of health struggles I have to make a context.
So, in 2010 I came down with a serious viral infection (mononucleosis caused by Epstein-Barr virus) which left me very ill. I have had some health issues almost all my life (IBS, migraine, eczema), but this was a big blow to my immune system and gave me lots of symptoms: brain fog, muscles pain, headaches, worsening of IBS (more stomach problems), sleep problems, weight loss, hair loss, extreme fatigue, vision problems, terrible memory, numbness in certain areas of my body, dizziness, mood swings, adrenal exhaustion, thyroid imbalance, dry itchy skin, cold extremities….the list goes on, but lets just leave it at that 🙂 Losing my energy and health also made me lose most of my social life/relationships and this of course made me very isolated. So no doubt it affected my mental health/mood as well.
In 2011 I started doing physical yoga, more specifically hatha yoga. I signed up for a course in town and I remember feeling really good afterwards! It was like I found back to an old activity I had done many times before. I loved the asanas (poses/movements) and the pranayama (breathing exercises), and I came in touch with my body for the first time in….well, forever. What is also so great about physical yoga is that you work with the body and not pushing it too much like you would pumping iron in the gym. I adopted the exercises to my daily routine, even if I was bedbound I could do something simple like yoga nidra (systematically going through and relaxing the body in your mind) or just moving hands or feet to make the blood flow.
I did hatha yoga on and off for many years, until I stumbled upon awakening and tantric yoga in January 2016. It was quite different from the yoga I had been doing so far; mostly focusing on the body and not so much the mind. As I understand tantric yoga in my own experience, you work with mantras and vizualisations to transform the dualistic mind. You ‘invite’ energy into your body, mind and aura through specific practices so that karmic imprints, patterns and subconscious mindstates can be processed and thus cleared. This sounds strange at first, at least I thought so. But still, there was no doubt that it worked, and still does, as I do the practice every day.
After I started doing tantric yoga, the illness has been easier to handle; it’s like I see it from a very different perspective because doing these kinds of energetic practices transforms a lot of my feelings around the illness, but also deeper stuff. And as the lid of fear and feelings about being ill slowly has been lifted, the illness itself is easier to address. It is also my belief that chronic illness is not necessarily forever. “Chronic” means “long term”, and I don’t think or hope I will have these health issues for the rest of my life. I also think that the practices has a direct impact on transforming how the illness acts in the body, as I have felt lighter and not as fatigued after starting tantric practice.
When it comes to long term illness and dharmic/yogic practice, I’m going to very cliché and say that balance is key. If you feel too sick some days to practice for 2 hours then maybe 15 minutes is enough. But I feel it is very important to do at least a little bit every day, not lose practice completely (which I have in some periods) and to always keep in mind why you are doing it. I often think about my own motives for doing anything, perhaps sometimes also overthinking it, but I feel when it comes to this, it is becoming easier to find the discipline to practice as the years pass because I see the benefits and my motivation is simple and clear: I wish to get well so that I may benefit others. And I don’t wish to be ill anymore.