Saturday, January 20, 2018
Incredible Novena Results and an Overall Update
These past two weeks have been emotionally and physically draining but also very promising. My new doctor is quite certain that my chronic fatigue is a result of poor nutrition (which began with my old doctor restricting what I could eat), lack of exercise (my old doctors restricted that, too), and stress. Actually, the biggest factor seems to be stress. Two new doctors seem to both believe it's because I've been on an emotionally, mentally, and physically stressful cycle for several months (years, really) that have made my body keep up this constant "fight or flight" adrenaline rush that has caused me a lot of problems across the board.
The plans, for now, are to eat well (well, better quality foods when I can afford it), exercise more, and to reduce stress by eliminating or learning to cope with my biggest stressors. School is done so that is one massive stressful thing out of my life. Work, which is currently consisting of writing for Epic Pew, isn't causing any stress. However, I did have to tackle a big, life-long issue that was my biggest source of stress for several years.
Without going into too much detail, I was on a steady "diet" constant pressure and emotional manipulation for years. I got the courage to speak to the person who was causing it two weeks ago. They said that they didn't realize what they were doing (and I'm choosing to believe that based on what a number of psychologists and therapists have said about this person) and promised to make an effort to do their best to stop. It was an emotionally-charged two-hour conversation in which I got out all my grievances and all the hurt this person has caused throughout most of my life. While this person still occasionally slips (old habits die hard), they are making a conscious effort to make sure they're no longer contributing to what has made me sick for so long. I have already seen an improvement in both my relationship with this person as well as my chronic fatigue which has lessened a bit over the past week.
This big breakthrough came after doing both the 54-day Rosary novena (late last year) and the Immaculate Heart of Mary novena at the beginning of this year. I had this particular intention for both novenas because God showed me that this was one of the biggest things I needed to work on in order to get healthier on all levels. I mean, I didn't just do it for my benefit. Nonetheless, it's an incredible result from the novenas, one that I will forever be grateful to God for! Now that this is no longer a big issue, the next one to tackle is getting me physically and spiritually healthier in order to make the other personal goals more attainable.
I've been doing this "screens off" experiment for over a week now and it's the best decision I have made this year (so far). I turn off most screens (except Kindle) at 8 p.m. and they don't get turned on again until I'm ready to start the day. I set my alarm for 7:30 p.m. to give myself a half-hour warning to finish up whatever needs to be done before my laptop, iPod touch, and smartphone are shut off for the day. I put on orange-tinted goggles that cut the blue light that suppresses melatonin production until I'm ready to go to sleep. I turn on my Kindle and I read fiction books (fiction is the only genre which doesn't keep me up) until I'm ready to fall asleep... if I don't fall asleep before I can shut the Kindle off. Except for one day on which I had a terrible stomach ache, I've successfully managed to get to bed early. I've been waking up more refreshed, my energy lasts a bit longer, and my chronic fatigue symptoms have lessened. Sure, I still get very tired because CF is unforgiving some days, but the exhaustion is slightly more bearable these days.
As for what's going on in my spiritual life, a lot and not so much. I was lucky to get to pray in front of the tabernacle earlier this week... and it seemed to trigger something because it seems that I have been spiritually attacked every day since. I'm doing two new novenas at the moment -- one to St. Anne and another to St. Francis de Sales -- which seem to also be triggering some spiritual attacks... which means I'm on the right track when it comes to at least one of the novena intentions. I've yet to make it to Mass due to all my physical pains and weakness (which I've been told I'm excused from because I sometimes can't physically get out of bed without a little help) but I've kept up with the daily Mass readings, the Rosary, the Little Office, and the novenas. If my current physical pains and aches and fatigue will make it hard to attend Mass this weekend, I can always watch on EWTN and offer it up for whoever needs the prayers. As a highly respected priest told me, I can always try during the week if I can't make it on a weekend... the point is to try whenever I can.
That's pretty much what's going on with me -- a lot and yet not a whole lot. I'm taking things one day at a time to keep my stress levels down... and to not put more physical pressure on my body. My mom got me this really lovely jigsaw puzzle of a cottage next to a river in a forest which is my ideal place for a retreat or a vacation to help me escape from mental stress. I've cut back on my social media use, which is being helped by my "screens off" experiment. I've been spending more time in silence and learning to take better care of myself.
Basically, I'm allowing myself to take a break from everything so that I can recuperate. It's often hard because being inactive and not being on the constant "go go go" is a foreign concept to me but that's what got me here in the first place so I need to do this. I won't allow anyone to shame me into "being lazy" (as some people call it) because this seems to be what is best for me... and something that seems to be in God's plans for me. I've abandoned myself to doing His will, remember? I won't fight this.
Anyway, I'm having a bad chronic fatigue flare-up day (lots of aches and pain) so I'm going to end this blog here and try to stay relaxed in bed to see if that helps.
I hope y'all have a lovely weekend!
As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D