Tuesday, March 24, 2015

failure

i look at my life and see it through glasses that are tinted (or tainted) with failure. i don't see myself as a success. my dreams are no longer dreams but distant memories. the youthful child who saw health, strength, wisdom, giving, children, family, husband, home, career, and so much more was wrong.

my mom has said that the day i can recall my mission without thoughts of failure will be a true success. i still see it as "only 1/3rd of a mission" and that i failed god.

i see my career as a failure. i don't take into account the years of college schooling i had - i only see a failed attempt at a career as a speech therapist assistant.

my dating life is laughable and non-existent - another failure. i was allowed to start dating at 16 - and in the soon to be 10 years i've been available for dates - i've had 7. i'm just not what anyone is looking for.

my body weight and the changes that have occurred with that in the last 4 years and 4 months is terrible. i look like the michelin man er woman. i'm pasty white and tubby. truly a failure to gain so much and look so terrible.

i was living on my own but had to come home when i broke down. epic fail. it's probably one of my saddest failures. i miss my apartment home so much.

i've had a glimpse of 'me' but she left when i fell on the hardwood floor for the first time. since then my life has been moment after moment of failure. 

'give god your best.' 

i don't even know what my best is anymore. i don't know what trying is like. i'm trapped in fear and there follows failure.

'what would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?'

write my book
drive my car
walk 1.5 miles in 30 minutes everyday
move out and into a new apartment
know my new passion in life
go to school if i needed it for my new career
start a career - again
talk to boys
join weight watchers
travel
make owl pillows for children in the hospital
invest money so i had more to shower people i love with prizes
be a voice in the community for anxiety/depression/mental health
stay for all three hours of church
go out and make new friends
paint in a painting studio

but instead i feel lost which points me to my failures where i put up walls of fear and so i don't move.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

another year

my dear, sweet mamaw,

another year has passed since your death. four years ago today you were received into heaven. words will never be able to express how much i miss you.

i feel your love for me all around me but i miss the physical touch of your gentle hands and the sound of your laughter ringing through the house.

every time i see a cardinal i think it's a sign from you - that you're near and watching over me. when i see the sun streaming through the clouds i know you are looking down on me from heaven (i call that particular light 'my angels'). when i hear an elvis song i think of you - topper told me you were crazy about him - i wish i could ask you if that is true or if you had another singer you liked more...

the first time you held me

21 years. i had 21 years with you and yet there are so many questions i would ask you now. i feel blessed for the extra time i got with you but it will never feel like enough. i wish you could've stayed here on earth forever. to wish that is selfish though because i know you had your heartaches and sadnesses that you were ready to feel relief from. i hope heaven has accommodated you in that way.

the last time you held me

i remember talking on the phone with you. hearing your voice brought comfort to my soul. i think i was always afraid of you dying and it has been one of the hardest things for me to go through to have you gone.

thank you for visiting me in dreams. those are my favorite nights. you are so funny! still so you! i'm usually in another dream when you come to visit and i chase you down so i can be with you. that's how much i love you - i run after you and we both know i don't run easily lol :)

you have left your mark on this world. your daughters carry on your legacy of kindness, compassion, and love. i know you are proud of them. your sons are good men. your grandchildren want to name their children after you. i don't know if you knew it then, but every moment you lived you impacted your world which in turn is impacting the world.

i know you see me from heaven and understand my trials and this time in my life, probably better than i do. i wish i could talk to you about how i'm feeling, why these trials are so hard, and ask for your advice on how you made it through hard times. i try to live my life by the motto i believe you lived your life with: "Quiet Dignity." you achieved that motto to perfection in my eyes. i try - and fall short - but try again.

ah, yes, a sadness has come over me and i feel the tears. i am so grateful i have no regrets when it comes to our relationship. i told you i loved you often and you told me the same. we spoke of life after death, your twins, and lighter topics like "Strawberry Sue" lol ... 

you and i had such a bond. i miss you. i feel an emptiness at times when i think that you won't be here to watch me get better and overcome these trials, return to work, find a love of my own, have children (who will carry your name), and so much more as i live my life.

there is nothing i wouldn't do for you.

i will always remember our last hug. you sat up, held me as tight as your frail body would allow, and whispered in a most loving voice, "I love you, forever." 

I love you, forever, too.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

spark

everything - yet nothing - has happened in the last four days since i wrote.

i feel a spark of inspiration to write and decided i better act on it before it goes away lol

1) my aunt l sent me a link to an AWESOME website - happify.com. it is the coolest thing! very dbt in the skills it teaches and fun. i do it 1 - 2 times a week and have passed it along to my therapists so that it can hopefully help others. check it out; you won't regret it.

2) one of the activities i did on happify focused on my strengths instead of my weaknesses. my top three strengths are humor, spirituality, honesty. i really liked those results! i always try to put a humorous spin on things. usually it's the way i say something or a play on words, but i always try to laugh. life is so much better with laughter. my favorite is when i'm with my mom and my sisters and something sets us off and we laugh until we have phlegm in our throats and tears in our eyes! power laughs is what mom calls them and they are my fav. the second one - spirituality - is spot on because i am a spiritual person. i love and live my religion and turn to god when i need strength. the last one - honesty - didn't surprise me as a strength but did in that it made the top three. i am an honest person. i am learning each day to not be judgmental of a person because there are always causes for reality. i take people at their word and expect they will take me at my word. honesty is a powerful asset.

3) i've mentioned chloe before - she is the first one who got me help as i began my journey to mental wellness 2 years ago this month. she ran the outpatient program at the hospital i went to and helped me find susan. i couldn't start susan right away because she was on vacation so chloe kept me in the outpatient program longer and looked after me until my care could be transferred. she was truly heaven sent. now she is working with susan to become a dbt therapist and because susan was gone this week i got to visit with chloe! for me it's like i have two therapists :) the session was really great. she is an amazing listener, great at pointing out what skills i'm  using, and gives really good advice. we worked on a dream i had where in essence i was the strong one protecting my family from threats and members of my family had different struggles that made it so they couldn't stand up for themselves. i was the fighter. i wanted to figure out what the dream meant because i remembered it in the morning. chloe said that the dbt way of looking at my dream would be "both/and" - i can be both sick and strong right now in my life. on the sick end of the line she had me list what is causing me to be sick right now: can't drive, lots of dr appts, lots of blood work, lots of unknowns, attacks where i can't move, being the most tired i've been in my life. on the strength side she had me look at the role i played in the dream. i came up with: in charge, in control, clear role, purpose, protector, fighter. she asked me how i could be both sick and strong - in essence bringing these two elements together to meet in the middle. i said that the goals i came up with a week ago help me feel in charge of my life and in control; one of my roles or purposes right now is to lift up others who feel discouraged and are going through trails; i can protect my family through sharing my experiences with them; and i can be a fighter by not willfully giving up but instead willingly searching for answers. we came up with a game plan of some things i can do to more fully radically accept where i am in my life when i go to dr appts. she even suggested i make a bag for myself of distress tolerance things (music, magazines, etc) that i only use at the dr's office to help my stay calm. i really enjoyed our time together.

in other news i have a sleep study coming up, a cardiologist appt coming up, and an appt with a new endocrinologist (since my other one is moving), and a gastroenterologist appt coming up. had blood work done today. seriously they've taken more blood from me in the past 4 months than i think i've had taken in my whole life put together! and all of this is with the usual two therapy visits a week. i'm a full time job lol.

i will list five things i'm grateful for to end this post:

1 - i am grateful for good medical care at ut southwestern.
2 - i am grateful for the prayers of friends, family, and strangers that get me through the day.
3 - i am grateful for the countless prizes and cards my aunts send me.
4 - i am grateful to have technology to spread information from my couch.
5 - i am grateful for a hardworking dad who provides for me when i cannot provide for myself.

life is rough - be an owl :)

Saturday, March 7, 2015

uninspired

i am uninspired to write.

sure, i have things to say, but thinking about sitting down and forming those thoughts into words with expression that will convey my message = exhausting. and it unmotivates me and i become once again, uninspired.


i'm asked often if i'm "depressed." i don't feel depressed - my life situation as it is right now makes me sad - but i have been in the grip of depression before and don't feel like this is it. i am "awake" and "alive" enough to experience other emotions - anger, envy, shame, joy. i don't just feel this mind-numbing, soul-sucking depression. and i have at different times in my life. this isn't one of them.

this is a time of exhaustion, trying, searching, waiting, and with it longing. my mom put my "disabled-ness" in the best sentence when she said, "the attacks (of paralysis) are the most extreme symptom but your fatigue is the most debilitating."


and it's true. never in my life have i ever been this tired for so long. to not have energy to shower or brush my teeth or wash my clothes or play a card game or walk in a store for 10 min or go on a car ride longer than 10 min or ..... and on it goes. 

i remember what it was like to work an 8-10 hour day and come home exhausted, but sleep helped. i felt ok and ready to go again when it was time to wake up. now, i haven't felt rested in months. it's like my energy is being zapped by an invisible being whose sole purpose is to keep me down - literally - down. 


i've gone down the "if only i had more faith" road. but THAT led to depression. i don't think it's a matter of my faith. i know god could heal me this second if it were his will. and i would feel a change in my body and i would be ok again.

i've gone down the "maybe i'm not worthy" road. but THAT led to depression. what makes me less worthy of a health miracle than another? i am god's child - that makes me pretty worthy right there.

i've gone down the "why me - why this" road. but THAT led to depression. why is such an unanswerable question in my case. why? because. that's the best answer i've been able to come up with.

i've gone down other roads, but the one that has led to PEACE is - "what am i to learn from this?" (and the unspoken "why the hell haven't i learned it yet?!" but alas that's another why so i try not to focus on it.... :) 


patience in the lord's timing - that's a hard one for me. i'm patient with others, have learned to be more patient with myself, but patient while waiting on the lord? that has been hard. empathy - i don't just "get" what other chronic sufferers are going through, i GET it. and now when someone says "i struggle with depression; i have anxiety; i'm tired all the time; i have pcos" my heart leaps in my chest - "what can i do for you because i KNOW what that's like...." i have always believed people who have struggled but now i KNOW a measure of their struggle. compassion - towards those who suffer, and to those who are alone, and to those who want their life to be over. i can look into a pair of eyes and see in one look what others may miss in a thousand looks. 

and, it hit me in the car tonight, why i may be feeling an added measure of sadness - march is a month of anniversaries for me. it is when my grandma passed 4 years ago and when i went to the hospital for the first time and when i quit my job. it is a sad month.

for now, i have said enough uninspiring things. 


ps - one point i want to make (but don't know how to fit it into the main post so i'm making it a ps) is money does not make a person happy!!! i could have 10 million dollars but if my attitude sucks, it doesn't matter how much money i have. i'd be buying things to fill a void which only attitude can fill!!! no person is exempt from hard things - even the guy with 10 million dollars. he too has his hardships. but if his attitude is one of understanding, love, compassion, grace, and dignity then he indeed has much. on the other hand if his attitude sucks and he wants to be mad at the world, god, universe or his neighbor then he is the poorest of all.

pps - though i am uninspired i am not blind to the INCREDIBLE amount of support i receive daily from friends, family, and strangers. my friends are always near to facetime, text, or call. they come visit me and take me out on "play dates." my aunts and cousins CONSTANTLY send me prizes in the mail which BRIGHTEN my days immensely. my family is always there for me to drive me places or get things for me. and last week my dad told me one of the girls he works with prays for me in her prayer group - they don't even know me but they pray that i will be healed. i was so touched by that. all of these people mentioned pray for me. yes, i would be a fool to not see how blessed i am. as i wade through this trial the lord has sent some of his mightiest angels to lift me up.

ppps - i put random pictures throughout here that make me laugh or smile just because :)