Being calm doesn’t come naturally to me. With a mind that’s constantly racing, there’s rarely a moment when I’m not deep in thought about one thing or another. My life is chaotic. From a need to overfill my waking hours with the things I love most to the chronic illness that wreaks havoc on my insides, there’s very little about me that would be considered calm and simple.
The truth is I’m infatuated by the chaos — it’s fast-paced and everything that I’m about. But recently I’ve learned that every now and then it’s important to take a step outside of my hurricane of an existence, block everything out, and take a deep breath, just for me.
This past year and a half has taught me a lot about the importance of emotion and expression. I’ve never been so at ease with accepting and expressing my emotions. As a result, not only do I understand them more than ever, they’ve also never been more intense.
At present, everything in my life comes in extremes; I’m either feeling on top of the world or down and out, with very little existing in between. When I’m happy, I’m smiling from ear to ear, ecstatic. But when I’m angry or upset the feeling is temporally all-consuming and that much harder to work my way out of it.
If my current life were represented in color, it would be a canvas of vibrant, unavoidable, in-your-face paint. Wall-to-wall electric blues, hot pinks, rich purples, and a yellow so loud that you couldn’t dare ignore it. Truthfully, I love how bold this part of my life is; I love how it screams of confidence, demanding to be heard.
Yet among all those crazy tones I’m missing something. I’m missing the more subtle hues that would compliment all that colorful conflict and balance out the overall picture. I’m missing calm — and I need it more than ever.
When you live with something as unpredictable as lupus, you have to be able to find calm among all the pandemonium. It could be as simple as learning to meditate, starting a journal, or finding a calming presence within your life. When you figure out what works, hold on to it!
There have been so many moments in my journey with lupus when I felt like the whole world was just too much. Too often I found myself frustrated, feeling like I was misunderstood and suddenly fundamentally different from everyone else in a way few people could properly comprehend. Without a state of calm, I spent these moments exhaustingly emotional with no way of centering myself. The only way out of my turmoil was to slowly fizz out.
What I needed was a catalyst to a calm headspace. I needed something, anything that would help me block out the rest of the world, step back, and focus on what I needed at that moment. And in every intense moment, I’ve needed the same simple things.
I needed to be reminded that as big as the world might be, ultimately the only thing that controls how I think, feel, and react is me. I needed to stop and let everything around me blur into white noise, close my eyes and focus on the single most important sound in my life: my own breath. I needed to remind myself that as long as I can hear that one sound, this battle is not over and there is every reason to keep fighting.
Note: Lupus News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Lupus News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to lupus.