I can't stay long today (or write much) [EDIT: I ended up writing more than I thought I would, kinda my style--sorry but not really because that's the whole point of this, rediscovering me, which includes things like "my style"] but I wanted to let you all know about a project I'm starting, most likely on instagram due to the nature of the project and channeling the person I am behind these diseases, because even though most of my functioning abilities have temporarily (a term I use loosely because this journey is not a short one) been taken away BY this disease, this disease, along with all the others, mental and physical, do not define who I am. Thankfully, my personal Instagram links directly to my @Lymeislame Twitter account, so all of you who follow me on there will be able to see the posts as long as I remember to share them! :-) Hopefully I'll find a way to link at least some of them on here, but it's not necessarily an every day thing (more below).
The project is titled the same as the title for this post, and here's the gist of it:
There are so many parts of ourselves that we can lose sight of when battling a chronic illness, be it chronic Lyme and co-infections, cancer, or any other chronic, long-term illness, and when we lose sight of those parts of ourselves, it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking you ARE your illness. I'm here to tell you today that you are NOT your illness--your illness does NOT define you--and it's of the utmost importance to remind ourselves of the things that make up who we are behind the mask of chronic illness.
We all have our own special passions, gifts, experiences, likes/dislikes, personalities, and so much more that it'd be ridiculous to believe that this disease is all we have, even when it's hard to see otherwise while we fight in the trenches. I want to start this project before November, because you know as soon as November hits, everyone will be doing the ever-so-popular in the social media age "30 days of thankfulness," and I think that's a good idea, with good intentions behind it, but sometimes I get frustrated with it because acknowledging that for which we are thankful is a practice we should be engaging in every day, not on social media, per se, at least not necessarily, but just as we go throughout our every day lives, even in the not-so-good days.
Also, the 30 days of thankfulness seems, to me, like it puts undue pressure on whomever participates, making them feel like they HAVE to post a status or picture every day for 30 days, and feeling that obligation can lead to dreading the next day because an token of thankfulness must be posted, bottom line, no getting out of it, every single day for 30 days or else you're a failure at the complete 30 days of thankfulnessd oh my gosh what worse embarrassment is there in this day and age than proclaiming you're taking part in a social media daily challenge and forgetting just one day, therefore failing the challenge. (Sorry about that, I get a little revved up when I'm talking about how social media, specifically the Facebook Facade Ph(F)enomenon, makes us feel like we are less than, not enough, not [insert quality here] enough, and just generally screws with our mental state.)
The ways in which my challenge is different than a set-number-of-days challenge:
Guidelines for the "I'm still me" challenge
I initially thought I'd have more guidelines for the project, but that seems to be it for now. If I think of any additional stipulations later, I'll add them in an edit, but my goal is to not feel constrained by guidelines and stipulations (a challenge for someone who requires order, directions, careful attention to detail, and step-by-step planning to just maintain some semblance of mind-at-ease homeostasis, but that's another reason this is called a challenge--what's the challenge if I know exactly how, where, when, what I'll be able to include in my posts?).
The hashtag to follow on Twitter and Instagram will probably be #ImStillMe or #ImStillBecca, I haven't decided which yet, so I'll probably use both for a while until I make up my mind. My hope is that this may inspire others to do something similar, so #ImStillMe is a more open-ended tag anyone and everyone could use, which means that's likely the tag I'll choose, but for now it's still up in the air.
Happy Back to the Future Day, friends! You don't have to be running on all cylinders--errr, I mean, you don't have to have the flux capacitor and 1.21 gigawatts to rediscover your passions and what is unique and special about the person inside your body. Because you are not a body, however broken your body may feel...you HAVE a body, but you ARE a soul. Never forget that very important difference.
If you're able to enjoy and celebrate today in any way for any reason, please do so, and if you're not, know that you're not alone and one day you will once again be able to enjoy and celebrate the things that make you YOU.
Post-script: (I just like typing out "post-script")
Post-post-script: The starting date for this challenge is still TBD (um, that's "to be determined," not "tick-borne diseases"), but most likely will be kicking off in some fashion in the next few days, so keep an eye out. I did out my personal Instagram name on here because I use that account for more personal "normal" things (as well as Lyme-related things in the mix), but it's a protected account, so if we're not connected on there already, I apologize, but you can always check out the challenge on Twitter by following my account (should be a button on this page that makes it easy) or just searching the above hashtags.