Being proactive in life is no easy feat. It takes determination, strength, stubbornness, and communication to become a proactive person. When I first started fighting for my life with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Vasculitis Wegeners I didn’t realize all these adventures would lead to this moment where I feel secure in my own health and life. Is it easy? No, it isn’t. It’s a lot of mental, physical, and spiritual strength to be proactive. Even so, it is still worth it.
When I first made the decision to become proactive in my life. It started with realizing my own value. I was driving along I5 after my first lung function pulmonary test. While looking at the river along the freeway. I started thinking about what it would look like if I started fighting for myself. Was I capable? Am I worth it? I realize at this precise moment that no one else has ever or would fight for me like I would. I’m worth fighting for. My past experience has taught me to be the victim and I was tired of feeling that way. That is when it started changing for me. The first step in being proactive is to find that value inside of yourself that I am worth fighting for.
I quickly learned through the process of dealing with the medical community that determination and communication were going to be the biggest part of being proactive. Sometimes things don’t happen when I want them to. Let’s just face it. Things just happen and you have no control over them especially when it comes to technology. Computer glitches, phone turning off and on by themselves seem to be the new mind bending dilemma of many. How do you deal with the destruction of important information in your computer and your phone? For me, I learned to ask for copies of medical reports. Especially blood work, because though many of my doctors share the same program they still weren’t getting the important information that they needed to make the best decisions for me. So I had to quit getting angry and frustrated. I made a plan to ask for a simple paper copy every time I got work done. It has saved me a lot on getting angry with the doctors and office workers. It also has expedited the decisions that needed to be made about my wellbeing.
Don’t get me wrong, I have those emotional rollercoaster days where I just want to throw in the towel and say I quit. But something stops me from quitting. When those emotions hit and believe me they do hit. I often times do a few self-care things to get me back in the mind frame of loving myself. These are a few of the things I do:
- I allow myself a rest day. Where I don’t do anything medical at all. This clears my mind and soul of the I do’s of life. Thankfully I live alone, so that is easier for me than many. I acknowledge this. I also understand that probably isn’t practical for others to do.
- Another thing I do is watch a comedy or a movie that I have been wanting to see. This allows me to get drawn into someone else’s story. I am able to forget about my own problems and just focus on someone else’s. I have found that this helps me to problem solve.
- I use essential oils, especially lavender, wild orange, lemon balm, peppermint, and many others. They help me to relax and bring a sense of calm and peace to my environment.
- I read a devotional every day that helps me to focus on being positive in my life. Attitude is everything they say and they are correct about that. I know my attitude has allowed me to accomplish many things with my own illness and breathing with a 4.5 size traches instead of the size 20 that many people have. I also feel a connection to my relationship with God. That has helped me to keep fighting for myself too. Find what works for you.
Being proactive includes using self-care methods to help you accomplish the goals in your life. Even when dealing with an illness whether mental or physical or spiritual, you can still make and accomplish goals in your life. It might mean trying things out for a few weeks and keep trying until you find something that works for you. Not giving up is the best proactive thing you can do for your own health and life. It isn’t easy, but it is so worth it.
I encourage you to start with finding the value in yourself and work from there. After all we are all worthy of love and respect and kindness no matter what shape we are in.