As I sit here, watching every inch of concrete slowly be covered once again with the thickness of white, I realize, I sit here alone.
Winter has come with a force this year, and tomorrow is technically the first day of the season. Although it does not feel like that. I can't even recall how many winter storms we have had up unto this point. I just know that Winter has been upon Spokane for a few weeks already. Countless events of wintery wonder. Left with unbearable temperatures. Locked indoors. Unless essential or demanding needs are asked.
So needless to say, I should be used to this by now. The monotony of winter. The isolation of the season. The replayed playlists. Endless reruns. To the boredom that leaves you taking a few too many naps. Winter brings upon its own challenges for someone living with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. Winter is a season for endless flus within the community. Germs spreading like wildfire. And that alone can be a fight having a weaken immune system. Then there are the cold temperatures, intensifying our pain levels. From the dry skin to the lack of movement. Winter bring a different kind of chronic pain to life.
I have lived in my current apartment, alone, for the past 2 1/2 years. Every winter, my loneliness intensifies. I find myself leaning on my family a lot more for reasons to get out of the house. And I can't imagine that I am the only CRPS patient that feels this way.
During the warmer seasons here in the Pacific Northwest, I find myself able to get out a lot easier. Finding excuses to explore when I can, let alone go on back road drives, just to battle the isolation of my four walls. But during the winter, everything changes. My energy quickly depletes. My pain level rises. My depression intensifies. My self worth struggles. I feel winter in every inch of my life.
So almost every year, around this time, December especially, I have to give myself a little break. I have to tell myself, its okay, to: take two baths a day, to take naps, to binge watch TV while snuggling my heating pad, to eating more accessible meal options. I have to tell myself, this is how I can help be my best friend in a season of unavoidable struggles. I give myself self talk dusted in sugar. I tell myself, this too shall pass, but until then, I am giving myself all the tools I need. Which sometimes, is giving ourselves grace, to just not do as much. And sometimes that is enough.