A while a go I was "normal" people sick. You who have chronic illness/pain know what I mean. Above and beyond YOUR typical yuk you have a virus/infection/one of those nasty bugs that everyone complains about at some point or another.
I have a picture my daughter took after my last surgery several years ago. I was on the couch resting and she'd brought me my teddy bear Theo. This bear is nearly as old as I am and I won't admit to the exact number, but it's over 40. It has been around the world with me, been with me through 2 births (without drugs), 3 marriages and divorces, every major life moment for most of my 40+ years, and because he's my oldest friend I keep somewhere near by at all times. At any rate she'd brought me my Theo to comfort me and I dozed off with him curled up in my arms and she took a picture. I now put this picture as my Facebook profile picture whenever I'm "normal" sick. Something like hanging a sock on your dorm room door to let your room mate know your "busy", but letting my friends and family know I'm not feeling up to being social and likely passed out like in the picture is my status.
Tonight I'm feeling a bit stressed out for no apparent reason and decided to take a bath. While in the bath I started thinking about the last time I had this picture posted. Someone who shouldn't have access to my profile had seen this picture and was publicly making fun of me because of this picture and how it's immature and attention seeking. Now I really could giving a flying shit about this person's opinion of me, but for some reason sitting in my bath this came to my head. Not because what this person had to say affected me, but because I wondered at what point do we lose a level of innocence in what soothes us.
I guess after almost 2 decades of dealing with Psoriatic Disease in it's varying degrees of severity, especially the last 4 of extreme decline, that I've learned to see the beauty in the simplicity of innocence and accepting the beauty of it. When nearly every part of your body hurts and someone rubbing your ear lobes is soothing (and also one of the few places that doesn't hurt) is this infantile because it's how I soothed my child when she was an infant or is it beautiful in it's simplicity that another human can look to find any small way to soothe you when you are in pain? When you miss your children and your arms ache from their absence is a pet or teddy bear childish or the act of filling a loss, even temporarily, with something that is familiar? Or in the case of my picture when my child is looking for a way to soothe me after surgery by giving me something that soothes her. All these innocent simple gestures are things I've learned to see as what they are. Beautiful, tactile, and comforting moments of calm in a world where life is chaotic beyond just the daily grind and typical life stresses. I for one will take those moments anywhere I can find it. Sometimes the most simple, innocent action is the action most needed to find that peaceful calm place above the pain, above the worry, above the anger.
I guess the point of my rant after my bath is to remind you all that no matter what anyone thinks of your soothing habits don't let anyone jade or tarnish them with their bile and ignorance. In truth people who are so wrapped up in their own opinions are truly miserable in themselves so there's no need to use them as a mirror. Grab your teddy bear(or whatever your totem is) and smile as you let the feeling of calm that the tactile memories of it's soothing you takes over and keep going to your place of peace if even for a few minutes.
As for Theo he has been put away for a few years. He's safely stored for later emergence once the threat of chewing puppies, attack cats, and children who try to smuggle him away for their own soothing rituals has passed. I will not disclose his location as my daughters occasionally read this lol.
For now the picture of him cuddled in my arms while I sleep is sometimes enough to bring a smile to my face because during many times of crisis he was my anchor and will always be special to me.