Mind versus Body

Hey strangers,

I know it’s been a long while.  Just thought I’d jump in where I am, rather than trying to catch up.

Came across this today, and it was just what I needed to hear.  Thought maybe some of you needed to hear it as well.  The anger I feel when my body isn’t functioning the way it is *supposed* to, is intense, it’s absolutely hateful and unfair.  I can only recognize this and gain a healthy perspective by asking myself how I would advise a friend that was suffering with chronic illness, because well… these things with me can be quite the double standard, as I tend to have a rather abusive relationship with myself, and would never treat anyone else that way.  I know (intellectually), that it makes things worse when I dish out negative self talk, self sabotage, etc, however, it is so deeply engrained as my “go to” response to feeling poorly, that changing this habit is like turning the Titanic.  One of my goals in 2015 is to treat myself with respect in this regard, and take better care of myself.  In order to do this, I will have to work on forgiving my body for not doing what it’s supposed to, acknowledge that it is suffering, and come to some sort of peaceful relationship.  Not going to be easy, but I will persist!  Hope this encourages you to do the same.

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I Try Not to Hate Her

I try not to hate her

But I do.  I really do very often hate her.

She’s just so awkward.  She can hardly put sentences together.  She repeats herself constantly, and can’t seem to remember that she’s told you that same thing over and over again.

She used to be sharp.  When she had something to say, she could find the words easily, quickly, without all of the frustration.  I really thought she was smart.  That she was going to do big things.  Now, she often spends so much time trying to find the word she was looking for that she forgets what it was that she was going to say in the first place.  It’s like she’s become… unintelligent, and scattered.

She used to be passionate about taking care of herself and she was really active.  She loved to exercise.  She would go running, go to yoga classes, do workout videos at home; she even loved playing basketball… she was super competitive.  I really thought she’d always do those things and even wind up trying new things as life went on.  But now… she hardly does anything honestly.  She looks tired all the time, she looks way older (even though it really hasn’t been that long)… and she’s completely out of shape.  She gets completely drained from the most basic activities and complains about stupid things like the heat outside on the way to the car, then winds up frustrated because the a/c bothers her once she’s inside again.  It’s kind of ridiculous.  If she sits down for like 30 minutes or so, she acts like she has trouble standing up and walking after that (you’d think she was in her 70s), and by the end of the day she seems like she really can’t walk well or stand at all without some kind of support.

Things were so different before.  She used to care about her appearance.  She would take time for herself, you know… she spend time doing the things that make a girl feel pretty.  It’s all so different now.  I mean, she was never the type whose favorite pastime was spending hours at the mall, but she at least used to care about looking nice.  At this point the only time she buys clothes or makeup, (or even just takes time to shave her legs) is when she absolutely has to.  It’s all just a chore now, and there’s just no room in her life anymore for that kind of thing.

I just get completely frustrated with her.  She knows that she should do certain things… like exercise, stop binging on junk or alcohol when she doesn’t feel well, or just go to the doctor for God’s sake, but she can’t even bring herself to pick up the phone to set the appointment.  She just sleeps, then works, then sleeps again, it’s like she doesn’t really connect to anything else anymore.  I don’t know… I guess she’s at least made some progress.  She’s been going to counseling for a little while now, and I know she’s at least trying to become more aware of doing basic things like drinking water, and stopping to eat during the day.

I wonder what her husband thinks though.  It has all got be pretty disappointing to him.  To think you are marrying one person, and years later wake up next to a completely different person.  They got married so young, so things went from this young woman who was ambitious and energetic, to *this*??  I honestly don’t even know how he can look at her sometimes.  It’s just sad.

Before all of this, she was way more involved with things around the house.  She did most of the cleaning, made grocery trips, cooked, and spent so much time with the kids.  Now she’s pretty much come to expect everyone else to handle the things around the house and really doesn’t even have the stamina to send the girls off to bed at night because if they have questions, need help with anything, or put up any kind of fight about bed time, she gets irritable and winds up not being able to handle it.

The sad part is, I kind of feel like things are just declining.  Lately it seems like it’s becoming harder and harder for her to do things for herself.  Her hands are curled up into an odd shape most of the time, like she has to force them to do their job, and she suddenly has to ask for help to do simple things, and I know that has got to be humiliating.  I’ve actually seen her give up and put things back away versus ask for help again with something that she *should* be able to do, and I don’t blame her.  I honestly wonder how much longer she’ll be able to drive, or to do her job.  It kind of seems like it won’t be long until she can’t handle these things either and winds up spending all of her time in bed.  What will happen to her marriage and relationships then?  Not that she really has many relationships anymore…

She’s got to be lonely.  She’s a completely different person than she used to be.  She doesn’t talk on the phone or go out with friends.  Well, she honestly doesn’t reach out to anyone or anything beyond work or family.  I think she’s embarrassed of how out of control her mind and body are… and it’s frustrating to try to have conversations with people who knew her then and be compared to who she used to be.  There’s no comparison.   I mean, people understand change to some degree, but this is not just the normal kind of change that comes with time and life… she’s a completely different person than who she used to be.  And if you can’t articulate things, if you can’t keep up… how can you really have friendships anyway?  Aren’t friendships built by spending time together, talking on the phone, going out, etc?  She can’t really handle those things at all, and when tries to, she’s winds up being so distracted because of being in pain that I’m not even sure she’s really connected to what’s going on.  I’m pretty sure she’s in her own world.  Like she’s watching and listening to life from another dimension.  It even seems like any little thing, even just a 10 minute phone conversation, or trying to go out to dinner,  is so draining to her that if she even actually gets herself to do these things, she winds up stuck in bed saying she’s exhausted all day the next day (or possibly several days).  I don’t know how she can live like that.

It’s like her life is just passing her by.  There are seasons these last few years to where she has actually spent weeks at a time in bed, never leaving the house, needing help with every little thing, and she doesn’t even get up to take a shower.  It’s like she’s just ok with missing out on her life, like she’s not even going to try anymore.  Her kids are growing.  They have grown, so much.  Kids can change so much in 7 years, and she’s missed so much of it just spending her time sleeping and working.  I don’t know how someone can live like that.  I don’t know how she stays motivated, or how she can really be happy like this.

I know I shouldn’t treat her so poorly.  I want to be proud of her… I want to love her for who she is now.

I try not to hate her.  But I do.  I really do very often hate her.

Superwoman

Superwoman arrived at my house today

Superwoman… according to my standards anyway

She swooped in this afternoon & took my sweet girl for a walk

She collected Roly-Polies, decorated sidewalks with chalk

After an excursion such as this, I personally would have been done

But not Superwoman, she felt great, and therefore errands were run

Balancing not one child’s demands, but two!!  And, doing it with ease!

Chauffeuring like no other, handling traffic was a breeze

As I watched her throughout the day, she was all I wanted to be

But, when I really looked more closely, she didn’t at all resemble me.

There have been so many times, that I wished she would be here

But upon her arrival, I am distracted with my fear

Fear that when I see her moving through MY world with grace

That at any given moment I will take her place

Having moved from grief to acceptance, I felt so solid yesterday

Then Superwoman stopped by & left my progress in disarray.

Perfection

Someday I’m gonna make some money

And when I do I’m gonna buy me some energy

Take things back to where they used to be

Back to the days where mornings began

With joy and zest and a refreshed plan

Or maybe I’ll buy a magic wand

And make my body young and strong

Lift this fog filling my head

Set a fire to this damn bed

Someday that’s what I’ll do

I promise I’ll buy what you want too

 

Someday I’m gonna find my stride

I’ll pick you up and we can go for a ride

I’ll bring along a little happiness

You can drink it up & then we’ll laugh at this

You’ll look back & you’ll forget

What it once felt like to have regret

Maybe I’ll bring a little freedom too

And I will pour it all over you

I’ll brand this day with my new tattoo

Someday that’s what I’ll do

But today I’ll just be sad with you

 

I would never have created this

This structure that I perceived to be the end of me

But now that I’m here I clearly see

The girl I wasshe was killing me

No one should have to hurt that way

The pain I feel now pales against that day

You can torture me with this make believe

But I’ll be fine after I grieve

I’ll shake that off and I’ll wear it well

And the ghosts from the past can stay in hell

Because that’s a place I no longer dwell

 

Yes, sometimes I read history

But I leave it where it’s supposed to be

And they are still there, it’s plain to see

Sad, it’s true, but it has to be

Some of us are satisfied

To live our lives with narrow minds

To close our eyes to the pain we’ve caused

Bound to our choices, bound to what was

But I’m not sorry to say that I’m moving on

I’ll miss them there, but they’ve withdrawn

I’m gonna go on… and on… and on

 

So here’s to the ones who have overcome

The pain, like a loss, will fade on its own

As long as we walk, as long as we’ve grown

The past gives us strength to make a new home

I think I’m going to paint the walls

Plant a garden, dance down the halls

And ya maybe I’ll make some money

But I don’t need it to make this place sunny

Maybe I’ll just open the doors

Give what I have to you and yours

Use this peace to subdue the wars

 

And friend I think I’ve found my stride

So ya, let’s go ahead and take that ride

I’ll leave behind the magic wand

It’s not perfect, but there’s more beyond

I’ll still give you that happiness

We’ll still throw our heads back and laugh at this

Please don’t forget…let’s just reminisce

Just steal a glance in the rearview

But know that it’s all a part of you

And without you, what would we do?

It’s not perfection but let’s see it through

The Whole Enchilada…

Today is my Monday.  Yesterday being a holiday weekend, I am starting my week today, and what a gorgeous morning!  Just days ago it was 111 degrees… no seriously… 111!  This morning it is a lovely 77 degrees.  Aaaah.  I feel refreshed and ready for fall!  I am just hoping this great weather sticks around!  I am getting in the mood for my favorite holidays, Halloween and Thanksgiving!  I love everything about fall.  I love the warm fragrances, the beautiful weather, back to school, the fun, lighthearted time that we have trick or treating, and taking time to give thanks for all that we have.  I even begin to be flooded with sweet memories of this time of year during my childhood, of raking leaves in the yard and filling pumpkin shaped bags to decorate our lawn, of writing my first poem for school titled “Halloween Night” – and realizing then that I loved to write, learning the definition of that big word CORNOCOPIA, and making friendship bracelets with the sweet little blonde girl across the street that I still consider my best friend, Charlene.  As a matter of fact, if we could just have September through November on “repeat mode”, I would love that, and maybe having that day that is set aside specifically to give thanks taking place a little more frequently would put a little reminder in our heart to do it a little more often?  Maybe it would change our perspective.

Though I know that I don’t hold the master controls for the seasons each year or the seasons in my life that I will face, I do hold the control of my attitude and outlook.  With this fresh wind, and new day, I give thanks today for where I am in my life.  It is never easy.  But I have appreciate it ALLEvery part.  Even the dark days.  They have changed me, and I sincerely believe that they have done so in a good way.   They have challenged and stretched me and created growth in a way that I am not sure that I would have been able to grow.  I am more intuitive and am able to relate to others in just about any circumstance or walk of life.  I am able to be confidently transparent.  I am openly who I am.  The old me wasted a lot of time and energy hiding behind the face of who I thought others wanted me to be, and I was genuinely terrified of possibly exposing the real me.

I am not saying for one second that I believe that God gave me this illness, or that I would ask for it again, or that I would wish it upon someone else.  When it comes to these questions I can only say that we are humans living life.  We are people.  And with that title comes ailments, hard times, and just plain ugliness.  But life is one whole unit.  A package deal.  And to get to the beautiful, heartwarming moments, the relationships that fill you up, and the connections we make as we serve and love others, we have to face and work through the other side as well.  Some people say that in order to appreciate the good you have to experience the bad.  Honestly, that’s not my personal thought.  You can bring on the good.  And I will appreciate it, damn it!  Every moment!  If God decides to give me the reigns some day, I may re-design it and no doubt leave out the heart wrenching, painful, dirty, real life tough stuff.  But for the time being it seems He has yet to consider me for this role, and so I suppose I will accept the whole enchilada… I am here, living this life, I cry, I hurt, I laugh, I love, and I am thankful for it.  All of it.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.