Wednesday morning I woke up at 4am to a body that was inflamed from top to bottom and a mind that was instantly at odds with itself. Since I couldn't sleep and was uncomfortable in bed anyhow, I got out of bed and began writing. Writing helps release the tears, something I desperately needed to do. I wrote on my blog and then I wrote several emails to close friends and family asking for their healing thoughts and prayers. I felt a little silly asking for this, but as I published my blog post and sent my emails, I felt this instant weight being lifted from me. Within the hour I started receiving comments on my blog and emails in my inbox reminding me of the tremendous support that surrounds me. I felt wrapped in love, something that I needed that day. I received emails throughout the day with kind words of support, a quote, a picture, and a cartoon. These emails strengthened my mind and expanded my heart.
By simply asking for others to think of me, I removed the responsibility of taking on this pain and uncertainty alone. I felt comforted throughout the day knowing that one person was thinking about me each time she looked at the date on her chalkboard, that another friend added me to the well board at her church, that one of my sisters considered me her "hero" while another sister was thinking of my "beautiful smile", that my friends and family were sending me cyber hugs along with healing thoughts and prayers, and that my RA friends were encouraging me and understanding that with physical pain also comes a lot of emotional upset. Who knew asking for help could be so empowering? It doesn't mean I am weak. It means some days are difficult. It also means my friends and family want to be there to support me, but they can't do that if I don't share that I need the help. Since this was my first real attempt at asking a large number of people to send healing thoughts and prayers, I was surprised that many people even shared their appreciation in me asking for help. Pretty cool, huh?
Thank you so much for all your support the last few days. Yesterday morning I woke up feeling physically worse and again my mind started its debate. The difference yesterday was that I could remind myself of all the love that surrounds me. I could imagine all those cyber hugs wrapping around me and keeping me safe. Plus, I had suggestions from my med free RA/chronic fatigue friends to guide my mind yesterday on changes I need to make on this healing journey. I managed to make it to work and as the day went on I felt some relief. I listened to the advice that Robin left in her comment, "Go work on other areas of your life...career, spirituality, creativity, finance, etc. And let the energy you create pull you out of this flare! " While at work I poured myself into my students and honestly had one of the most productive, enjoyable days of teaching.
I know that although my mind may feel lost in what steps to take next, I am never alone. Like my sister Sherry said, "We found you, we love you and we all want to help you through this!" I will remember next time my body is flaring to go back and reread those emails and comments and let the healing feelings soak deep into my joints.