Explore how to create the relationships that best work for you

Create the relationships that work for you

Twenty years ago, my health declined. Skip ahead, and ten years later symptoms had worsened into a disability.

I don’t talk about this much because I live my life dealing with my symptoms every day—that’s enough. However, now it seems appropriate to talk a bit about some symptoms that have changed my relationship with words.

Pain is a constant companion. It walks with me and sleeps with me. It never leaves me be. You’d think I’d hate it, right? Well, I don’t love it, that’s for sure. My relationship with pain has changed over the years. I’ve grown to accept it. Sure, it restricts me significantly. I walk with a cane, and although I take walks in nature as often as health permits, I do so with breaks every few steps. I’m awake through most nights—pain nattering away. And with sleep frequently interrupted, my brain and my body cannot rest and renew.

So, what’s this got to do with my relationship with words?

My physical health has had a profound effect on my mental health. I’m not referring to emotions (although you can trust that I experience some truly taxing ones). I’m talking about focus and verbal word retrieval.

I lack both.

In verbal conversation, I frequently forget the subject, and sometimes, I forget my thoughts, mid-sentence, and more than once in a single conversation.

Words? Well, they become fading shapes in a fog. And sometimes, a completely different word than the one I intended tumbles out. Occasionally, the misspeak is funny. And it’s good to laugh. However, most of the time, these events are wearing on my brain—and my ego.

I’m much better on paper.

Thank goodness.

I love to write. I can set the pace.

My relationship with words may have changed, but it is still spectacular. Sure, my symptoms make writing a challenge—some days, impossible. But, most of the time, I’m able to write most satisfyingly—and create the stories I want to tell.

So, when you’re feeling overwhelmed about your restrictions, gain a wider perspective, and explore how to create the relationships that best work for you.

Here’s a link to an interesting blog post by Jenny at Tripping Through Treacle about chronic illness and word retrieval.


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