How’s everyone doing today? As the summer draws to a close things are feeling a little more normal right now and that feels pretty good! I say that because I’m hopeful that things will continue to get better and that we’ll be able to continue to get back to a more normal way of life. Originally I’d written that in just about a month’s time I’d be heading out to the coast to see my family who I haven’t seen in a really long time. All because of this stupid pandemic called Covid!!! Well two days I returned from that trip and what an emotional trip it was. To say that seeing my family for the first time in two years was emotional would be an understatement. Although a different trip for various reasons it put everything into perspective for me.

If there’s one thing this pandemic’s taught me its to appreciate the little things in life. A simple hug from a relative or being able to go out and have a coffee with a close friend. So simple yet so important to our basic human needs. I think we take them for granted because we don’t think twice about it until they’re gone. Spending all this time during Covid unable to see my family has been what its really about to me. Who cares if I can’t go out to a restaurant for dinner! So what if I can’t go to a mall to shop. Not that I’m much of a shopper but I think you understand the point I’m trying to make. Take them away for as long as they’ve been gone and we really see there worth.

This brings me to where I was trying to go with today’s post. I know its been a while since I posted anything new. I’ve had a lot of new issues going on with my health for almost a year and its been tough to focus on writing my blog. That being said I’ve always said that it means too much to me to ever give up writing. What I want you the reader to understand is that you are every bit as important to me even though you may not know it. In sharing aspects of my story, I know that some of you have sent me emails thanking me because you can either relate to what I am going through or that it helped you in some way or another. I want you the reader to know that you help me in ways as well. In sharing your thoughts and opinions on the things that I’m writing about you help me in all kinds of ways. You just don’t hear about it from me.

What do I appreciate the most? That I’m not alone on this journey! When many of you share those experiences with me there’s something strangely comforting about it. I know that might sound strange but its about being able to identify with one another and the different shared experiences that we go through together. The level of understanding is completely different because there’s a mutual understanding about the things we live with and have to deal with. I want to be really clear that it isn’t that family and friends don’t understand. If your living within a chronic illness then it gives you the authority to speak directly to those things that your affected by. Something a person unaffected by an illness just doesn’t have the ability to do. So again, I emphasize that it isn’t that those closest to us don’t understand but its that the level of understanding is different.

When all of this started I just needed those one or two people who could identify with everything I was going through. That ability to reach out to another person with lived experience is so valuable. All because your going to have those times when the only person able to understand will be someone who is living with those same experiences. So I guess I get a little bit excited every time I meet someone that adds to that special circle of friends. I say this because it means one more person that I can bounce ideas off of, in order to better manage pain or to deal with all the other issues that tend to come up. So when I talk about not being alone on this journey what I mean is having that person or community with CRPS or chronic pain beside me that I can walk through all of this with.

How do I find inspiration? All of you who reach out or find a way to connect that’s how! When you share your positive outlooks, and the ways in which you manage to navigate through all this craziness called CRPS/RSD it helps. In those times that I might be having a tough time you help me draw inspiration or to find the encouragement that I need. So I want to extend a big THANK YOU to those of you who help me take on chronic life. Creating a circle is so important. It allows us to take on these challenges we face together not feeling so isolated and alone as we continue along the road on this journey.

I think you get the point! Connecting with others has been a vital piece of me taking on chronic life as so many of you know. So I guess I just wanted all of you to know that without you to navigate the waters these past sixteen years I wouldn’t be where I am today. That’s why this blog isn’t going anywhere! I’m not a numbers person and I certainly don’t write the things I do because of the number of people I can get to follow along with my blog. I write because I care about people being able to connect with the things I’ve had to experience. Its about sharing my story and through that trying to help those around me who are going through much of the same.

My story continues to unfold and honestly I don’t know what that next chapter is going to look like. What I can say to each of you is this. Come along for the ride so that we can encourage, inspire, and empower one another along the way. If you feel so inclined please don’t hesitate to reach out to me through the contact page of this site.