A Lesson from My Pa in Orange

My Pa in Orange recently celebrated a birthday. So this week’s blog post is a tribute to him. One of the biggest things I am trying to learn, which my Pa seems to do effortlessly, is to never give up. His life has been coloured with hardship, heartache, loss and health issues a plenty. Each time he gets knocked down he manages to pick himself up, adapt and soldier on.

For me I tend to break first; floods of tears, feeling like I just can’t get back up again. I have to make the conscious choice to not give up and for the last couple of months in particular, I have had to make that choice to never give up every single day.

A few months back in Sunset and Sunrise I wrote:

Two weeks ago I went to the doctor and explained that even though I struggle with anxiety the feelings of deep sadness, hopelessness and suicidal thoughts were new and they worried me. After a lengthy discussion I was diagnosed with reactive depression.

When I have feelings of wanting to give up it goes further than just having a bad day. It brings the feelings of deep sadness and hopelessness to the surface with incredible force.

Psalm 94:18 -19 “When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.”

For the last couple of weeks I have really struggled with tiredness, due to Chronic Fatigue (see A Mountainous Journey), to the point of having afternoon naps (which I never usually do) just to get through the day. I forgot it happens every year as the weather changes from winter to spring. This year I coped better emotionally for the most part. I say the most part because I didn’t cry this year; but I did feel like a horrible person for needing to rest. Like I was one point down in the friendship or family stakes. Without realising it at the time, I was able to better meet the challenge of overwhelming tiredness by becoming more like my Pa.

Become a self – cheerleader rather than a self – critic: Pa has always had a positive outlook on life; me I sometimes allow the negative to have too much of a say. In the past I have yelled at myself to the point of tears for being tired and tearing shreds of myself as a person. But Chronic Fatigue is largely out of the person’s control who is experiencing it. I have no choice of when it affects me more severely than other times. So I am learning to tell myself it is not your fault you feel tired at the moment and being tired does not make you less of a person people want to be around, in fact people love you regardless of the fact you struggle with Chronic Fatigue.

Ride it out: Whenever my Pa has a crisis in his life, he has taken it one day at a time. I couldn’t change how I was feeling despite desperately wanting to. So I took each day as it came. Interestingly I felt a lot worse if I slept in, feels like a hangover; compared to taking afternoon naps though, I will admit it did mess with my night time sleeping as a result but I struggled to get through the day without it because the fatigue was so overwhelming.

Find ways to regain quality of life: My Pa is a champion at this. For me, going through a low in Chronic Fatigue I chose to exercise as this helps elevate the daily living with Chronic Fatigue. I would do some stretching or go for a walk (which is what I usually do) but I also listened to my body, if I didn’t feel up to exercising I didn’t push myself as I knew I would feel worse.

This is the fourth day I haven’t needed an afternoon nap to simply get through the day. I will take that as #winning.

Thanks Pa for your love, support and encouragement and showing me daily what it looks like to never give up, and to be happy in spite of my situation.

Love,

Cathryn

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s