Chronic illness - Fooling myself

Am I fooling myself?

I am serious. What is the point in trying to develop my skills? I am disabled.

It is so easy to take the route of giving up on improving myself as a person. It would be much less painful to spend the whole day watching TV, and lamenting the fact that I cannot work in the way I was able 4 years ago.

Two years ago I started learning how to programme in Swift. I thought it would be something that I could do at home, at my own pace, and it would be a skill that I could use to get a job. Initially, it was relatively easy. I was building on some programming experience that I had in the past. The problems started when I had to learn a new concept that involved concentration. Thinking involved pain. My headache would get worse, and then all I could think about was my headache. Any hope of learning ‘swiftly’ flew out the window. (Playing with words again 😄 ). I had to abandon this, as the pressure of learning, and the pressure I was putting on myself was too much.

Did this make me angry?

Absolutely. This was something that I once was able to do comfortably. Now it was beyond me. I was playing the game of life and the rules, as far as I understood them, were against me. I was losing and had no hope of being able to play.

So, what happened?

Just over a year ago I found a job that I could do. Little stress, concentration is not essential, and the schedule suited my illness. Flexibility. Of course, I overworked myself. Doing 5 day weeks, and the impact was horrible, but I learned. I scaled back and now do 3 days a week. This is a game that I can play, and I enjoy. It helps me financially, but it is a minimum wage job, so I will never get rich. The realization that I arrived at was profound. I no longer wish to be rich. My definition of success has changed since I had that car accident. I now focus on what I can do. On the simple pleasures that are accessible. Emotional success is now my goal, not a financial success.

Don’t misunderstand me, there are times when I would like to have financial stability, and not to have to think about money. I also find that sometimes I slip back into this old model of measuring my worth in terms of things. When this happens I have to shake myself and think that this was the old me. The new me focuses on what I have. Then I return to my new default state of happiness. I re-centre.

This is not always easy, but practice and repetition have taught me how to do this. The motivation for doing this is simple, it makes me happy. This is something that was elusive for most of my life. It is ironic that is took a life-changing event that brought pain, loss of mobility, inability to concentrate and a financial crisis to teach me what is important. I crashed to the bottom. Now, the only way is up.

PS – Lunch today

Lunch today - Spinach, egg, feta and sun-dried tomato
Lunch today – Spinach, egg, feta and sun-dried tomato

I had to share my lunch today. It was so tasty. Spinach with garlic topped with feta cheese, and egg, and sun-dried tomato. It is such a simple dish to make and I enjoy it every time I eat it. As you can see, I was greedy today, I had 3 dishes instead of my usual 2. Yum

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