Some of you who know me are aware that I have lupus and have been living with this illness for 13 years. I've been through chemotherapy to help kidney disease which is now in remission (yay!). Early menopause from the chemo unfortunately took away my chance of having a second child a few years ago. I've had to quit my full-time teaching job as well, something I worked really hard on in college and in my graduate program. Often I'm in lots of pain and moving my hands, neck, feet, legs, etc. can be really really hard some days. I cannot handle being in the sun or heat. Let's just say, my life has changed drastically. Sometimes I give into a personal pity-party - it's hard not to some days. But through all this I am learning that I am a strong person. And, yes, I occasionally have to remind myself of that in my art journal. An affirmation, a reminder that I can handle this. I'm surviving everyday, sometimes even thriving I guess. Though I wish I were cured, I still do feel so much joy about life and the gifts I have been given. This is the only way for me to deal with struggles daily.
I'm hoping that even though you too may have some major or even minor obstacles or stressors, that you know you really are strong and can handle them. Sometimes I have to remind myself to breathe, maybe walk away, even whisper gently to myself "it's okay" and these things help put me back in a strong, capable and hopefully calm frame of mind.
When you are struggling and think you just can't handle one more thing, what do you do to help yourself? Are you good at reminding yourself how strong you are? Think of all the challenges you have faced in your life - you are strong.