Some Thoughts on Hope

Felt like I could relate so much to these thoughts on hope that were shared by a fellow blogger and sufferer of Chronic Illness.  Thought you might be able to relate as well.

http://sickofmg.blogspot.com/

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My 5 minute Tantrum

Sometimes you just have to take a few minutes to pout.  I’m pouting publicly today.  Sorry about that… This is my 5 minute tantrum.

 

The ups and downs and complete unpredictability of living with this illness is so so frustrating.  Sometimes I lay in bed at night and just dread the next day because of feeling afraid of the very real possibility that I will have to cancel everything that I have planned, call in help with the kids, and stay in bed.  It is very tough to stay balanced, positive, and embrace momentum when you have this potential looming of everything changing so quickly.  I do know that we all have unpredictability in our lives, this is just so consistently inconsistent that it is hard not to live in fear.

I have not said this to anyone other than my husband but this lifestyle has triggered quite a few phobias for me.  I have to fight with them/against them every day throughout the day.  I have phobias of making commitments because of knowing that I may have to back out on a moment’s notice.  I have phobias of talking on the phone and scheduling meetings because they tend to take so much energy and I very often only make it through the beginning portion of this kind of communication before my fatigue kicks in so heavily that putting words together becomes very challenging.  I have phobias of any sort of conflict.  I’m sure some of those phobias were there before I got sick, but now things as simple as exchanging or returning something at the store can become something that I put off for months because I am afraid I won’t have the energy to get through the line and still deal with the situation at hand.  Of course this translates over to personal conflict as well…  Also any medical appointments for me or the kiddos has become something that I avoid and put off for the same reasons.  The drive there, the paperwork, the wait, and then possibly the experience of coaching the kids through the experience is so intimidating that I feel very afraid of having to back out before I even get there.   I push myself to face these things each day on some level.  I have not truly allowed them to take over, but it is as if I am constantly in very uncomfortable territory… which I guess is not necessarily a bad thing, but is pretty exhausting.

I get resentful of the fact that I have to spend a good part of the day resting.  I want a “normal” schedule!!  I often take personal responsibility for the limitations that I have and feel like I am failing a fight when I have to lay low.  Today I tried to get up early and just push through, instead of resting as I normally would, and wound up physically sick and throwing up because I was too tired.  So back to bed for a few hours…I know on an intellectual level that I cannot control these things and just “discipline” myself through them, but on an emotional level I struggle every day to keep a positive attitude and not feel angry with myself for “giving in” to these limitations.  I hurt from head to toe today.  On a scale of 1-10 my pain is about at 6 or 7.  I know it will pass.  I know better days will come or that it may even all disappear this afternoon, but I just needed to take a few minutes to say that it sucks, I hate dealing with this, and I want it to change!

Alrighty.  This was my 5 minute tantrum, and I am moving on with my day.  Gonna be a good day.

I think I can, I think I can… 😉

The Reality of Limitations

    We often preach on perseverance, attitude, and various methods of dealing with life’s problems & hardships almost flippantly… arrogantly…as if difficulties don’t really live up to their name.  We feel confident, solid, secure in the thought that we are “equipped”, and possibly even that if we were faced with someone else’s trial that we would be more capable and handle it with grace.  However, the nitty gritty part about limitations is that when you sincerely find yourself faced with one, you understand that they are a force to be reckoned with.   The pain, resistance and the emotional exhaustion that exists when a limitation is present is real, is uncomfortable, and is cause for pause, evaluation, grief, and acceptance.  The simplistic solutions and clichés that were previously touted, once in application begin to pale in comparison to the reality of the situation at hand.  The realization comes that I may not be able to pray them away, wish them away, or will them away. In spite of this, I still believe wholeheartedly that limitations & obstacles are meant to be defied (though I have learned not denied).  The friction that forms as a result of this defiance seems much like rubbing two sticks together to start a fire.  Out of continuous pursuit & steady endurance erupts creativity, innovation, and in turn becomes this incredible strength that extends your reach and tightens your grasp beyond what it ever could have been.  A life free of limitations, trials, and difficulties is not a formula for success, often times quite the opposite.  And though life is good, it is rich, it is fulfilling, it has not been issued to us under the guise of paradise.  The ugly parts exist.  They create pain beyond the boundary that we thought was our threshold, and entirely beyond our understanding or comprehension. USE THEM as a tool for growth.  Shape them into something that they were not originally intended to be.  Do not be defeated by them.  Fight them, and yes, never tire to search for solutions, but do not cower to them.  Don’t let the experience be wasted.  Where from a distance you may see a victim or someone who is weak…I might recommend taking a few steps back.  With these limitations, I’m gonna start a fire, & I have a feeling I’m not alone.

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.

Tears of Sadness, Tears of Joy

Tears of Joy because I have had two weeks of feeling well,  and am beginning to re-enter my life

Tears of sadness because I’ve missed a lot of the last 5 years.

Tears of joy because I am excited about what is ahead.

Tears of sadness because I am terrified of the possibility of it all being taken away again at some time.  And that is so painful.  Every time.

Tears of joy because I get to spend time with my children and enjoy them this weekend and truly be present in the moment without the usual fog of feeling poorly that is so hard to see through.

Tears of sadness because my children reject me right now, because they are afraid too. And these things take time.

As much as I have been trying lately to build my home in the center of being sick and being well because of the fear of moving back into one place or the other, the truth and reality more resembles the swinging from side to side of a pendulum, than it resembles me just sitting/settling on neutral ground.  For two weeks I have been resting on the side of being well, and I am thankful for that.  Physically, I have been resting there.  My emotions are still swinging back and forth with the remaining momentum, as are my actions, choices, and plans for the days to come.  This morning I am flooded with all of the emotion that I have been pushing inside.

Tears of sadness, tears of joy. 

Because the truth is, this is the hardest season I have ever been in.  And the truth is that somewhere along the road I lost the damn instruction manual.  So it is just me now making up the rules, taking next steps.  And it always feels that there is so much on the line if I make the wrong move.  But one foot in front of the other is the best I can do.  So here I go again.

Welcome!

Welcome to all of my new followers!  Thank you for stopping by and I am excited to have your support!  I hope that you find that you can relate to the content, and of course, please help me to get the word out by sharing with any friends that might also find a connection with what I share here.  Have a wonderful day, more blogging to come soon!

Aimee

Vitamin D Deficiency

Wellness, Health, Vitamin D, Auto-immune Disease, Vitamin Deficiency

  As I am building and learning more about health and nutrition, I would like to start sharing what I find.  This is a great article that gives detail about the importance of Vitamin D, and how simple it is to be tested and boosted if needed.  This was one vitamin that tests recently showed that I was low in, and research shows that the majority of Americans are actually deficient!  Don’t let that be you!  Get tested, and start adding some extra Vitamin D to your diet, supplementing, or catching 20 minutes of rays a day!  Hope you enjoy the article,

http://www.healthcentral.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/cf/slideshows/10-facts-about-vitamin-d-and-rheumatoid-arthritis/vitamin-d-deficiency-affects-genes-for-cancer-autoimmune-disorde/?ap=825

Health of a New Kind

I’ve been waiting for the blog fairy to pay me a visit and sprinkle a little inspirational dust my way, but it’s been a while and I am beginning to realize that she may just not show.  So with or without her, I shall proceed.

Today I find myself feeling hopeful as I look towards a new week and what I also believe is a new chapter in my life.  I realize that I have been in a very lengthy “waiting period” as I have been waiting to find solutions, waiting for recovery, waiting for healing, for answers.  And life, as it tends to do has continued to go on around me and has not waited for a moment by my side.

So that brings me back to today.  Today I recognize that I have been neglecting a number of areas in my life.  Areas that contribute to making a person feel like a person, a woman feel like a woman,  an individual feel like an individual, and I know that is not acceptable and nor is it helpful to me as I try to grow and go forward.  This realization didn’t actually start today.  I move way slower than that!  I have been processing and analyzing these feelings for a number of weeks and am just now beginning to give all of this a little shape and meaning.

I have been taking some new steps with my health, which I will write about in another blog, but the bottom line is that I am beginning to see little glimpses of hope in the possibility of becoming stronger physically.  As I began to let this hope slip in (which for the record, at this present time “hope” has to be very persistent to get through the walls I have created over the years in this area in order for me to even acknowledge it slightly), I simultaneously,  gradually began to feel more and more unsettled inside. In fact, I felt so absolutely conflicted and unhappy with my present circumstances and longing for newness that as I was walking out of a store with my daughter I suddenly and impulsively grabbed an application and applied for a job there!   Mind you – Intellectually I know that a new job is not the answer, and particularly one with such limited flexibility, but the need to feel qualified and capable, and the need to feel   human was becoming so strong that I just wanted to grab on to any change as if it were a string tied to a helium balloon and just float away with it.  I actually went on to apply and get offered several jobs over the course of the next few weeks, only to be reminded that the opportunity for income and the flexibility that I require is at best where I am, in my own company.  I am thankful for the gift of being able to do what I love to do and do it in an environment that is accommodating to my physical limitations, but if not a job… what was I looking for?

So here I am, after several weeks of this unsettled search for something, and I am recognizing that neglect is in fact the source of my deep agitation and dissatisfaction.  I have slowly learned to make my health and medical care a priority and though that requires our financial resources and time, I have a greater feeling of peace about this than I have in the past.  Not guilt free yet, but maybe a little less guilt than I previously inflicted on myself for watching these resources be used.  This is progress, and I am going to continue to try to invest in these areas and do so with more confidence and peace.   I have however, failed to notice that as this one area has developed, I have slowly decreased the value and investment into other areas in my life.  It’s as if I made a trade in order to ease my conscience.   So the remaining parts of me and the balance in my life have become quite depleted and off kilter.  Even in the very simplest of areas.  No wonder I have felt so unsettled.

I have recently resorted to merely existing and taking up space, but not actually putting value into that existence or treating myself with the respect tending to other areas in my life.  I am aware that I don’t have unlimited resources to make up for lost time and take care of everything in one fail swoop.  But I do have some resources.  And in the same way that my two beautiful girls have their hair cut, their clean & presentable clothes, are current on their dentist appointments, & have plenty of “extras”, and just as my husband feels confident in his clean, dependable car and his personal appearance as he goes about his day, I have a need within me to be respected in this way as well.  And the lack of respect has not come from those around me.  The lack of respect has begun within me, and will only begin to change with small adjustments, little investments and acknowledgements, until it becomes a new habit and perspective.

So today is a new day.  It is Monday, A start of a new week, a start of a new awareness, and another step towards health of a new kind.

Thursday – Reblog For Ya… :)

http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/personal-essays/im-still-me-just-slightly-modified/