Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wishcasting Wednesday - Awakening

Today, over at Jamie Ridler Studios, Jamie asks us

What do you wish to awaken?

I wish to awaken compassion for myself in dealing with my chronic conditions. I don't like to admit that I have these health challenges, so even sharing about them is difficult. (Those little voices in the back of my head are yelling about how I'm talking about this to get attention and pity, both of which I avoid like the plague, so I don't see why talking about this is seeking them. Of course, if someone else were to talk about their mental and physical health struggles, I would be encouraging them all the way. See why I need to be more compassionate with myself?)

I live with severe clinical depression, some Seasonal Affective Disorder, and a more unusual condition called Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH). This last condition means that, for a general description, my body produces too much Cerebro Spinal Fluid which squishes everything in my skull but most especially the optic nerve. It isn't deadly, which is how one of it's old names - Benign Intracranial Hypertension - came about, but the optic nerve is affected which could lead to blindness if not taken care of. Another old name for it is Pseudo Tumor Cerebri (fake brain tumor) since the symptoms often mimic a brain tumor but without the growth. On a more practical level it means that I am lucky in that I live with (generally mild and tolerable) light sensitivity and a general low-grade (to me) headache that sometimes spikes into oh-god-just-let-my-head-explode-and-get-it-over-with. Ironic that to help the SAD I need sunlight, isn't it? The other bright spot (I say this quite tongue in cheek) is that the headaches produced by IIH cannot be relieved with pain relievers, especially over the counter ones. Doesn't touch that kind of nerve pain. So you suck it up and live with it.

Unfortunately, since I do live with these conditions, I find that I can be quite hard on myself. "Other people live with far worse, what are you moping about for?" is a favorite. "You're just using that as an excuse to not do (fill in the blank)" is another. This one usually comes out of hiding when I'm having a bad headache day because one of the no-nos is doing anything that could raise the pressure in the skull any higher, which includes sneezing, coughing, crying, blowing your nose, lifting anything over 5 pounds, or generally anything requiring the use of your core muscles. And caffeine. That's a killer.

Since I am in the process of finding a new doctor (I've put it off for over a year after a really bad experience) because my conditions are progressing, all of my excuses and hardness on myself are coming out. So yes, I wish to awaken compassion for myself. I can make all kinds of excuses for someone else, make them go take extra good care of themselves if they are not feeling quite right, even do the taking care of them for them if they need it. But the minute it looks like I need that same compassion for myself I discover that I have all kinds of resistance to it. I need to be gentler on myself.

What are you wishing for today?


Anonymous said...

As Sulwyn wishes for herself, so I joyfully wish for her as well.

faerwillow said...

~my heart is with have quite a bit holding onto...wrap your arms around yourself and love indeed be more gentle to your Sulwyn wishes for herself so I wish for her wishes as you find a new doctor...may your road to health be much kinder and bless you with a deserve it...brightest blessings and much healing~

Giulietta said...

Hi Sulwyn,

I wish for you to show yourself compassion for your conditions and about your conditions. Maybe compassion for yourself will lead you down the road of recovery? Best wishes for finding a new doctor.


Suzie Ridler said...

As Sulwyn wishes for herself, I wish for her also.

Holy cow, that's a lot to deal with! Seriously, it is. Untreatable pain, I can't imagine. I think finding a new doctor is a great idea. Whenever I move to a new place, I go interview many, many doctors and then figure out who I am going to hire. That approach helps me very much and reminds me that I deserve the best treatment I can get. And you do too!

Anonymous said...

I can so relate to this post and wish. As you wish for yourself, I wish for you also. Be gentle with yourself. ~hugs~

alisha said...

you shouldn't feel like you can't share these things. (as someone who suffers from bi-polar/depression i completely understand.) by sharing your story, you may be helping another person cope with similar issues. so please share! yes, there may be others in far worse situations, but it doesn't make what you're going through any less real or valid.

i do hope that you are able to find a doctor who can help you ease the pain.

as sulwyn wishes for herself, so i wish for her also!

Wendy said...

As Sulwyn wishes for compassion for herself so I wish for her also. I think many of us our hard on ourselves and it's good to share your hardships so others can remember to be compassionate to themselves too.

Rochelle said...

As Sulwyn wishes for herself, so I wish for her also. Sending you *virtual hugs*!

Ginny said...

As Sulwyn wishes for herself, so I wish for her as well. As women we so often take care of everyone else but forget about ourselves. Be as kind and compassionate to yourself as you are to others. Finding the right doctor can be difficult but when you do find him or her it can make so much difference. My fingers are crossed that your search will be both short and successful.

Macrina said...


I am going to light a candle for you tonight and ask the Source of all Life to lead you to a wise doctor who will be able to support you and give you the assistance you need. I will also pray that you find the Wise One who lives within you. Repeat after me:

Sheila said...

Be easy on yourself, you are stronger than you think and with the support of well wishers feel the power lift you up. As you wish for yourself I wish for you.

Lucy Ladham-Dyment said...

As Sulwyn wishes for herself, so I wish for her also.

Lucy Ladham-Dyment said...

As Sulwyn wishes for herself, so I wish for her also.

Lis said...

As Sulwyn wishes for herself, so I wish for her also.

You remind me that Buddhist compassion exercises start with offering compassion to ourselves before anyone else.

May you be happy
May you know ease of well being
May you be free from suffering
May you know peace

I wish all of this, and more for you and for us all!

Beverley Baird said...

As Sulwyn wishes for herself, so I wish for her also.
May your comapssion for yourself be fully awakened. May you find that doctor who will provide excellent care.
Take care of yourself.

Sarah Lulu said...

As compassionate Sulwyn wishes for herself I so lovingly wish this for her also.

Be gentle with yourself sweet one.

Karen D said...

As Sulwyn wishes for herself so I wish for her also.
May you awaken the compassion you show others to yourself. You are dealing with alot, be gentle with yourself.

kimberly shaw said...

I'm Praying right now for God, the Creator of all things, to heal you, as you lean on Him for comfort today. For He loves you and cares for you immensely.
Big Hugs OOOx Kim