"You know this is the way it is. You were born, and so are subject to change, disease, and ultimately death. It happens differently for each person. This is one of the ways it's happening to you." - Toni Bernhard
"Our life is always all right. There's nothing wrong with it. Even if we have horrendous problems, it's just our life." - Charlotte Joko Beck
Day 23 – Friday, Nov. 23 What’s something your doctor taught you or you taught your doctor? OR Clean out your fridge or closet in written form. What’s in there? How does it reflect your personality?
What's in my closet? If I'm honest with myself, I know that most of my clothing, I'll never wear again. Most of the clothing falls into one or more of the following categories:
1. Too small. The combination of being mostly bedridden and taking medication that tends to increase the appetite has not been good for my weight. I'm bigger than I've ever been, and most of my clothes no longer fit.
2. Work clothes. I've still hung on to some of my business clothing. I know it's unlikely that I'll ever work again, and if I do, the chances are slim (haha) that I'll ever be the same size as that clothing. I keep thinking 'But I should keep at least one nice suit just in case...' In case what? In case I suddenly get summoned to a job interview for a job I couldn't hold? In case I want to look professional for a doctor visit where I might have to strip? What am I thinking?
3. Pretty but uncomfortable. Allodynia is the name for when sensations are interpreted as pain that should be neutral. It's common for fibromyalgia patients to experience pain from their clothing. Underwire bras, tight fitting waistbands, rough fabric - any of that can be painful. One night, my allodynia was so bad, the bed sheet against my foot felt like sandpaper. I've gotten rid of most of my uncomfortable clothing, but some of it is too pretty for me to let go of. I think of how much I'd like to look nice wearing that thing again.
I have hoarding instincts, inherited from my grandfather. He probably would have turned into one of those horror stories you hear about, of people dying trapped in a home full of clutter, but fortunately, he loved travel and nature enough to keep on the move. I've also spent a lot of my life on the move, and my hoarding instinct is somewhat offset by that. When you have to pack up your possessions and haul them somewhere, you value them less.
And yet. And yet. I look at my clothing (mentally, as I am too tired today to get out of bed and open the wardrobe doors to look) and wonder what I'm holding on to. Why I tell myself I've accepted my illness, but haven't accepted that I'm not going to wear most of that clothing again.
I don't really know the answer. But maybe soon I'll ask my husband to help me make some more space and send some more of that clothing to charity.