I refuse to sugar coat it friends.
I haven’t been in a good place. I have wanted to give up, disappear, simply forget who I am.
I feel in my heart that my soul is meant for something different; like it is meant for so much more than me being sick. I accept my illness as part of my journey, but lately it has completely defined it.
Completely defined me.
And I just can’t figure out how to break away from that.
I want things to look up. If I can’t be well, I can at least take the small but integral step toward choosing happiness. And maybe, just maybe, that small step will help me break free.
This morning I sat outside in my backyard and closed my eyes. It continues to amaze me how healing the simplest things can be. Like sunshine. And birds. Flowers. Colors. Warmth.
Make it a beautiful day everyone.
Let’s always remember to slow down and notice the simple and unassuming.
With love always to you and yours.
“There is pleasure and there is bliss. Forgo the first to possess the second.”
At my last doctor’s appointment, I sat quietly as she, in her signature diligence, took notes and organized my ever growing file. It was much of the same ~ lab and biopsy results, seemingly endless chat about my worsening symptoms. I don’t know what possessed me to look down and see what she was writing, but my eyes fell to several lines at the top of a crisp white page.
Expected duration of condition:
She looked up at me, catching my defeated gaze and quivering lip. The pain seared through my hips and back, a steady burn trickling down to my knees. I shifted in the hard plastic chair and looked away from her empathetic smile.
“Don’t lose hope,” she said as she grasped my aching hand. “This doesn’t mean it will be this way. We can find a way to manage this. We just need to keep trying.”
I managed to smile back, nod and thank her as tears silently threatened. I prayed for the strength to make it to my car before I lost all control. Ten minutes later, with shaking hands and tears flowing freely, I was home. I went straight to my bedroom, drew the curtains closed, buried myself under the covers and, literally, shut out the world. No phone calls. No emails or texts. Nothing. No matter how urgent.
My dear husband arrived hours later, scared to find me in my cocoon, my shell, makeshift armor made of bedclothes.
“What can I do for you?” he whispered, leaning down to gently pull the covers away, stroking my hair with his calloused hand.
Words failed me. All I could do was shake my head and cry. I felt his lips against my forehead, and the sheet against my shoulders as he gently pulled it up around me. I felt his weight shift from the bed. I heard footsteps. The door closing.
I prayed for sleep. Anything to escape the pain, the shadow of illness, the uncertainty of all of it. Prayers were answered. I don’t know how long I was asleep, but when I awakened I turned to the bedside table and found something that wasn’t there before. A white envelope, with his handwriting on the outside.
For You My Love.
With shaking hands I reached over and grasped it, tearing the envelope carefully. I sobbed as I read the treasure that was tucked inside. I traced my fingertips over every loving word. And just like that, a wave of devotion and gratitude and every wonderful emotion imaginable washed over me.
Everything I felt before slipped away.
Then I realized it. I need to let go of this fear that I constantly carry around ~ the fear of disappointing the people I love.
I need to always remember that this journey isn’t mine alone. I am walking this path with an unbelievably compassionate and loving man, who, in the face of everything, loves me.
I need to stop wishing for something different. This is God’s plan for me. I need to keep the faith and trust it.
Whatever it is that challenges us, we simply can’t lose hope. I know I say it a lot, but it’s true. Love wins. Our love for others, their love for us, and our love for ourselves.
Our love for the world and our love for life.
Have a beautiful month everyone, and a beautiful week.
Friends, I’m not starting the week off in the way I really want to.
Today is a particularly bad pain day. It is a particularly bad energy day, too.
The sensations meander around my body. At best, it feels like my limbs are on fire. At worst, it feels like I have one of those brain freeze headaches, pounding in my head and over every inch of me. Instead of a merciful few seconds, the feeling lasts for a relentless hour or two. I won’t lie. It makes me have thoughts I am not proud of. I think about how I don’t want to live like this. I contemplate how much I have lost, and how much I stand to lose as this continues. I battle with how pointless my life feels sometimes.
In moments of extreme weakness I flirt with the idea of risky behaviors, like taking addictive painkillers or drinking alcohol, anything to make it stop.
But I won’t.
Because ultimately I love life, and I love myself too much to do those things.
Today I had every intention of writing something really inspiring and meaningful, to start what should be a beautiful week. Instead I have to embrace short, sweet, brutal honesty. My spirit is willing, but my mind and body are weak. My fingers can barely move as I type this. I am struggling to find my words.
Just as I love myself enough to not indulge in dangerous things, I also love myself enough to know when to stop and be kind. To me.
Today I choose self care, and I will choose this as long as I need. I also choose to know the beauty that is all around me. When I got out of the shower this morning, this is what I saw.
And when I was resting on the couch this afternoon, my little guy got right up next to me. His warm little body gave my heavy heart so much comfort.
Who think I’m the best mommy ever, no matter what.
Life really is beautiful after all.
Have a blessed week.
It has been that kind of week.
Something I like to call “sock monkey slipper time.”
Three precious souls lost their lives, and hundreds of people will never be the same again, after the bombing in Boston earlier this week. A fertilizer plant blew up in Texas, and dozens of people are unaccounted for. Mail laced with lethal poison was sent to our lawmakers here in the U.S.
And then there are the constant worries closer to home. Like how no matter what I do, I’m not getting better. No matter what I and my doctor throw at them, lupus and chronic pain are winning. It’s crazy. I can’t get out of bed in the mornings. I pour pineapple juice into my coffee. My skin actually hurts. My hair hurts.
Yes, that is actually a thing.
So, it’s sock monkey slipper time when it feels like the world is fifty shades of crazy.
It’s also sock monkey slipper time when I want a reason to look down at my feet and smile.
We can all use more smiles.
Yesterday I spied my cuddle bug son, snuggled up in his blanket. I smiled some more. Not long ago he was abandoned and unloved at our local shelter. But something, some greater power, told us to go and find him and bring him home.
I know that as long as there is love in my world, and I hold on to a belief in something so much greater than any of this, everything will be alright.
Because no matter what personally challenges us, or what tragedy and evil throw our way, people are good.
Faith his powerful.
The world is a beautiful place.
And love wins.
I wish you a weekend filled with the kind of things you dream of.
Be safe, have fun and surround yourself with the things that make you smile.
Friends, 2013 has been a bit rocky so far.
It was supposed to be all about growth and success, health and happiness, confidence and self-love. But it just hasn’t gone as planned. I realize it isn’t over. I still have time to turn things around. Lots of time.
But knowing that doesn’t change the fact that I have been so scared, lost and really self-conscious.
So, what is a girl to do when she’s feeling like she’s not all that?
This girl goes for a dose of unparalleled badassery.
This girl goes out and exercises her Second Amendment right.
I fully acknowledge and understand it; my activity of choice isn’t for everyone. It’s very serious. Controversial in the hearts and minds of some. It’s a little intimidating at first. Okay, a lot intimidating. It’s loud and dusty and dirty.
It requires a lot of trust; in the people around you, and ultimately in yourself.
And that, friends, is what makes it perfect in times like this.
I spent most of yesterday shooting several hundred rounds from three different guns: my new .22 handgun, a .45 and a 12 gauge shotgun that belonged to my grandfather. I quickly found my rhythm, and hit the bullseye again and again. My husband took his turn, hitting each distant target with startling accuracy. My eyes fell on the power in his arms and back, every muscle bulging under his crisp white shirt. In a word: delicious. My ponytailed hair was a mess. My skin smelled of gunpowder and lead. My ears buzzed, traumatized by all the sounds (even though I wore protection). My arms ached from the recoil. I was exhausted.
And it was fantastic.
“You were awesome today, sweetheart,” my husband said, squeezing my hand gently on our hour long drive home. ”Sexy, too.”
I closed my eyes and smiled, squeezing his hand right back, relishing the words I so needed to hear. Pain, fear, illness, all of it makes me question every little thing, and never in a good, constructive way. But when I choose to challenge myself, to trust myself when my heart and soul feel they are at their absolute lowest point, really amazing things can happen. It can be mastering firearms, or anything really. It can be so many things. Whatever you choose. This just happens to be what I choose sometimes.
Freedom sure is a beautiful thing.
And that, friends, is something we all can agree on.
Make it a great week.