Most of the time I write my Sunday Inspiration posts right when I first read a post. I read it and there’s just something I need to share based on what I’ve read. Sometimes, a post don’t quite inspire me right away but it lingers in the back of my mind, continually popping up until I realize I have to write about it. That’s what happened with this week’s post. I originally read this post from Sue Ingbretson a couple of weeks ago, and then shared it via social media. At the time it definitely spoke to me but I didn’t feel the need to really write about it. Then over the last week or so comments have been made or thoughts have just wandered through my brain that made me realize, there was more to this and I needed to write.
The thing that really struck me initially about Sue’s post was the idea of progress amnesia; how easy it is to forget how far we’ve come.
“When we learn new things and put them into practice, they become part of our everyday lives. That’s the whole idea, after all, but then something weird happens. We develop what I call, Progress Amnesia.” – The Flawed Fibromyalgia Success Map
She shares the story of a client she worked with who loved cereal. It was the hardest thing for her to give up (she even at it for dinner). Yet, years later when discussing her lifestyle changes with a friend she made a comment about how she didn’t even like cereal so it was no big deal to give up!
Now, that’s one example of progress amnesia. For me there are many foods that I’ve given up and I could see where I could easily forget just how attached I was to those foods before my diet/lifestyle change. But, the thought I have on progress amnesia isn’t about just some thing that we’ve changed and forget what a big change it is.
When talking with another Fibro friend over lunch recently she mentioned how about the time I got settled from making said lifestyle change and really started feeling better, something happened that messed it all up again. My response was “yes, but despite those issues that have cropped up, I’m still so far beyond what I was.”
It’s easy to forget how far we’ve come. It’s easy to focus on how bad today is. Most of the time these days the issues I’m dealing with aren’t even Fibro-related. Sure, those issues impact my Fibro and Fibro impacts those issues; but the main issue isn’t the Fibro like it was 3 or 4 years ago. I’ve come a long way and it’s so important that I don’t forget that. That I don’t let others forget that.
There will always be challenges in life, even if they aren’t health-related. We all have struggles, and we all overcome. When we look back we need to remember just how far we’ve come, and what we’ve given up to get where we are. We need to remember that it was hard to give up that food and make that diet change, but then we need to focus on just how worth it that change was. For some of you, you haven’t reached a point where you can look back and see that things have improved, all you see is a life sliding downhill. I’ve been there, I lived for years thinking that I’d seen my best days and even reached a point where I seriously considered suicide because I didn’t see any hope of life improving. But, I held on and eventually I found a way to make things a bit better, so see a light at the end of the tunnel (even if it wasn’t as bright as I would have liked). I still have rough days, and rough times. I still have pain, but when the bad days show up instead of getting bogged down in them I try to remember that it has been worse, and that I have come so far. It helps me push through and have hope that there is more progress to come.