Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS). Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Food Intolerances.
1. Back left corner is a tiny black speaker- my husband and I watch movies in bed, stemming back in part to the days when I was bedridden, which gives is better surround sound.
2. One of my favorite mugs- with water for symptoms of dryness and thirst.
3. Gray topped bottle of water in case my cup runs out in the middle of the night.
4. Round black and grey glasses case- I'm torn between using my first ever reading glasses a lot and doing eye exercises to see what's possible and which elicited vertigo on my first push.
6. 2 small bottles of drops- a solution I use with a process for working with symptoms, from Perelandra.
7. My kindle- so much easier to read as I can prop it up and don't have to waste precious energy holding it. (and I can make the print bigger!)
9. A stack of boxes to the left, still waiting to be unpacked since our downsizing move.
10. A painting I did in a de-stressing art therapy evening drop in class. A lion with it's eyes closed (for now?).
Contents of Drawers
11. Journal for tracking symptoms, which allows me to celebrate the often very slow and subtle changes that take place over months or a year.
12. A journal for life events, dreams, and personal stuff.
13. A journal about ideas for my blog.
14. My golden round-bellied Buddha makes me smile and reminds me of how my experience of living with chronic illness is my practice for growing compassion, learning to stop judging, and to keep coming back to the present.
I've had ME/CFS for 20 years, which started very gradually and progressed slowly over 10 years until I became bedridden. I've been researching the role of trauma as a remarkably common risk factor for chronic illness since leaving medicine, when all my symptoms were starting and I thought it was just stress-related fatigue due to my soul needing to find work that felt more in line with my beliefs. I've been working with my own, mostly very subtle, history of trauma and have gradually re-emerged- happier, in a deeply meaningful relationship for the first time in my life, and with ever-increasing levels of energy and capacity. Conundrums with remaining symptoms continue to motivate me to explore, stay humble, and be patient as I learn the intricacies of how trauma influences symptoms. It's a fascinating journey, to say the least. I have a website called, The Tumbling Stone, you can read more about my story on my blog.
You can also follow me on Facebook where I share my research on trauma, articles, and blog posts.