Hey there, strangers. It's been quite a month. Have you missed me?
So, I'm just going to dub February, "the sick month", as it seems like that's all I was capable of doing for the last few weeks. First, I was down for a solid week with the flu, which was bad enough. Then I had what is called a "reactive lymph node", something that is common in people with autoimmune diseases. It's basically where a lymph node decides it wants to act like a spaz and swell up and become very painful. Mine was in my neck/jaw area. Think toothache x a million and you'll understand how uncomfortable it is. I ended up needing treatment for it, which is a ten-day course of super-powered antibiotics. All said and done, the pain is finally gone and I don't look like I've swallowed a golf ball anymore. March cannot get here soon enough!
This week, I'm grateful for:
- A relaxed weekend. I spent the weekend with my love, being a couch potato. We got pizza and watched movies and just enjoyed not doing anything. It was lovely and I've never been happier doing mundane things with someone.
- Hot tea, essential oils and Italian ice. These are just a couple things that got me through the last few weeks of ailing. I can't even tell you all the places I was putting essential oils, but I will say I probably smelled like a patchouli farm. The hot tea and Italian ice were both useful when swallowing anything that wasn't liquid brought tears to my eyes. I'm thankful for modern medicine like the antibiotics I am on, but good Lord almighty, I would be lost without these other items.
- ASMR or autonomous sensory meridian response. Although the term might be new to you, the actual theory is probably something you've seen in action, especially if you have Instagram (ie. all those slime and kinetic sand accounts - just search "oddly satisfying" and you'll see what I mean). What it refers to is the tingling sensation and relaxation brought on by certain acoustic or visual stimuli. For some, it might be the sound of tapping fingernails or running water or the sight of sand falling through an hourglass. There are all sorts of variations. I used this technique in therapy years ago when I was battling severe depression and anxiety as a means to quiet my mind and teach myself how to relax. Back then, ASMR resources were hard to find. Usually, you'd have to purchase white noise audio collections or record some yourself. I was thrilled when I recently stumbled on some folks who create this kind of content on Instagram and YouTube. I did a couple sessions when my pain was unbearable last week and they helped me reset my brain and manage my pain so I could sleep. I'd recommend looking into this if you struggle with an anxious mind.
- The appearance of Spring. I've been keeping an eye on mother nature since she's been so temperamental lately. The weather has been up and down between winter temps and summer ones but I am pleased to say that we have trees budding new leaves and blossoms and flowers are starting to sprout up from the cold ground. Spring is so close!
- The end of a painful time in my life. My divorce was finalized last week, nearly two years after leaving my old life and everything I knew, behind. I know many won't celebrate the end of a marriage, but mine was not a healthy one and I lost who I was in it. Here's to moving forward to better things and happier times in 2017.
What are you grateful for today?