Recently, I’ve been thinking about New Year’s Goals. I used to LOVE to make goals! This last year, my goal was just trying to figure out how to get better. I have prayed and received so many tools and so many answers on how to get better, but now… I want to BE better. I want to put those answers better into action. I want to be Strong!
IS THIS GOAL REALISTIC?
#1 This is not how it has always been for me. Many people who have EDS say that this is normal to feel this way. BUT I have not ALWAYS been this way. I have NOT always had to watch what I eat so close or I may pass out. I have NOT always had joint pain in my entire body and had to take vitamins to be normal. I have NOT always felt weak physically. As a teen, I loved to exercise and thought I was Super-woman! Sure, I had weird quirks like when I would catch my toe on a chair and it would pop out of place or my skin would split open easy. That just goes with the EDS territory. But my day-to-day living wasn’t a fight. I had an amazing mother who made healthy meals, who was an example of exercising daily, and who understood that what was best for EVERYONE wasn’t necessarily true, who listened and changed if something didn’t work. We researched to find what was best and tried it out together. I have never liked to cook and for the last 15 years, I have taken plenty of short-cuts. I have seen the damage done, but this is NOT my new normal and I refuse to accept it.
#2 I have made progress. In one year, I have made plenty of progress just in adding supplements, going through physical therapy, a few diet changes, counseling, and learning about so many different EDS problems and treatments. I KNOW I can continue making progress.
#3 I have encouragement from those how have been there. I have been blessed by two doctors who have EDS that support me and encourage me to continue to get better. If they can do it, so can I.
HOW DO I ACCOMPLISH THIS GOAL?
#1 Ask for help. I am not alone. I have learned first and foremost this last year that I CAN ask for help. There were only a few people that did not support me when I reached out. Most of the time, I have had to ask for specifics. I have been so blessed to have the support of my doctors, family, friends, and most of all my God. I have prayed and been lead to these answers and I can ask for help when needed. I do not have to try to do this on my own.
#2 Love Myself In the past, I waited for someone else’s approval. If someone didn’t like me, I would punish myself or resort to addictions to make me feel better. It is not my job to die for everyone; that has already been done. It is my job to treat myself the way that God does. He loves me more that I could fathom. I want to continue to love myself. I want to be patient with myself as I’m adjusting to these changes and to continue to be my own caregiver. I want to rejoice in my own creations and be okay with making and keeping boundaries.
#3 Be Creative. I want to be excited to do things on my own again. I miss my hobbies including organizing, sewing, gardening etc. I have been afraid of being alone as I used to pass out easy and needed a significant amount of help. I have made great improvements and I want to have fun with many different things again. Maybe not dancing, yet, but definitely creative and different every day.
#4. Let Go. I want to continue letting go of things that no longer support me. In going through the Dressing Your Truth program, it has given me freedom to get rid of the things that I really don’t like. I have begun to go through my books, games, and baby clothes this year and have have gotten rid of the things that I never look at. I have enjoyed reading minimalist’s blogs. My kids have benefited from having a few toys out at a time. A friend of mine has been doing the KonMari method and has really enjoyed getting rid of things that don’t bring her joy.
#5 Fuel the Body. I don’t like being afraid of the kitchen. I would like to be proactive in finding new meals that I can currently eat. I don’t want to resort to old eating habits just because I don’t know anything else to make. I want to teach my kids how to eat before they are on their own. I would like to continue to get better with self-control, though, I am still grieving the loss of sugar because of how it hurts my body. We all need to learn to be self-sufficient with our food choices. I’ve already adjusted some of my old meals. I don’t want to look through my old cookbooks trying to adjust them for my current diet. I want to adopt new cookbooks and recipes. I don’t change fast, so I believe the best thing for me would be to find one meal that I would like to add to the list every month.
#6 Start Slow. When I was a teenager, I exercised everyday and felt like “Super Woman!” During my third pregnancy, I had stopped exercising because I didn’t know what the heart palpitations were from. My doctor at the time just told me to drink more water. (Now I know it’s from low Magnesium levels) After my fourth baby, in physical therapy for my knee, they said that I was stronger than most people that had EDS that they’ve met. What a compliment! 30 years ago, they told people with EDS NOT to exercise. Now, they know we need to exercise to keep our joints in place. So, I want to go back to that time in my life where I didn’t have to worry about my knee going out of place from stepping up stairs. I want to be strong again enough to run! In physical fitness, I need to begin again with some smaller exercises and slowly work myself back up. This is tough for me as I am the type of person to jump in and have fun with it, but that hasn’t gone so well for me. I don’t want to break myself while trying to get better. I would like to make small changes and work my way back up.
I know there is a lot of pessimism and frustration out there of those who have set goals and not accomplished them. We cannot be better if we passively accept what is. Let’s make some long-term goals and little goals every month to accomplish them. We can be better! This life is not easy, but you’re not alone! I hope this encourages you in your journey!
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