Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Chronic Chiari, Appearance and Attitude

Our attitude is the biggest asset we have in combating the emotional struggles of having a chronic illness.  There are times when I feel like my Chiari symptoms are out of control; but, I refuse to let that equate to my life being out of control.  Last night for instance, with difficulty I managed to survive work and make it home.  As soon as I got in the door, I experienced a black out and any plans for my evening flew right out the window.  I managed to eat some dinner and then went to directly to bed early.  This morning I am sluggish and suffering from brain fog.  It's times like these that I must remember to keep my attitude in check.  It would be easy to play the woe is me game but I refuse to live my life on those terms.   So one of my favorite quotes is by Charles Swindoll and it's a great reminder to focus only on the things we can control.
"The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it."
IMG_9048_thumb[4]So what do we on those days when we wake up and just feel awful? For me, I get dressed, put on my makeup and do my hair.  Looking better helps me feel better.  Confession time, I have entirely too much makeup.  But I see it as ammunition for defending my happiness against a fearsome foe, Chiari Malformation.  I enjoy the act of sitting at my makeup table, taking care of my skin, applying my makeup and doing my hair.  Typically it takes me about 90 minutes to get ready. I know it's excessive but it's what I do.  Now, I will tell you that I have plenty of beauty problems, like my skin is too red, my hair is too thin and its frizzy.  But I don't let that stop me from enjoying the process. I find that it puts me in a better mood.

Now, this can bring forth another problem. Money! I know that medical bills can typically eat away at a chronic girl's budget. So, I really enjoy finding great products at affordable prices. IIMG_9476 don't care what label the product carries.  After all, who can tell what brand of black eyeliner you're wearing? I care about how the product performs. When I can find a great product at a great price I snatch it up.  Don't get me wrong, I love MAC, Urban Decay, Two Faced, Tarte and many other premier brands.  But I can't always afford them.  So finding drugstore alternatives that preform like high end products is like winning the lottery. I love sharing these gems so expect to see more products to help my chronic and healthy friends feel beautiful.  Now, I am by no means an expert. I’m just a sick woman that likes to use beauty products as a form of therapy.
Last night as I was making my usual internet rounds. I saw that my dear friend, Adrienne, had posted this video on Facebook. Several years ago Dove began their Real Beauty campaign designed to help every woman feel beautiful. This video from Dove tells the story of how women view themselves.  This video explains self image  so effectively and so beautifully.  I beg each of my readers to take a few moments and to watch this video.

My wish for everyone is that they find a way to feel beautiful and special regardless of what their body doing or what challenges they face in life.  Keeping a positive attitude and embracing the love that life has to offer is what makes life worthwhile.  It's not about what we can or can't do, it's about how we love each other and how we love ourselves.  I refuse to let my insanely long list of medical problems dictate the quality of my life.  I will embrace feeling good about myself and finding the beauty in others.  I pray that you are successful in doing so as well. <3