I’ve spent a long time trying to figure out how to put into words what this word means to someone with a chronic illness…or even to a caregiver…
Freedom can mean anything from taking some time alone to just breath, to checking items off a bucket list, to accepting the emotions we ALL go through.
We can all take a few moments to just breath…a few deep breaths before starting our day can do wonders to set the tone for the day. It also gives us an opportunity for mental freedom….to use that quiet space and time to clear the chatter and worry that can build up before it explodes.
Checking items off a list is a definite type of freedom, if healthy enough to travel (or even doing local things and making them “stay-cations if unable to leave the area). The important thing is to do things that will gives joy and a sense of physical freedom. This is super important when a person feels cooped up in the house and gets “cabin fever”. This can lead to depression, anxiety, and further stress.
Freedom of expressing ourselves…speaking our minds…saying how we REALLY feel…this is probably the biggest challenge for “spoonies” and caregivers. We do not want to feel like a burden, so when asked “How are you feeling?” The response is often “Fine”, “Hanging in there”, “Okay,”…This can create a huge wall between friends, family, and those who need the most care and love.
As someone living with chronic illness and incredible caregivers, I know how important it is to feel truly free to speak up…to not have to be strong all the time. It is an impossible task! Freedom to say, “today is not a good day…I really need some extra help.”…and not feel guilt…
Most days I feel like Athena…a strong warrior, ready for battle!