Keep your head up…

Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye.

It is not always easy to hold your head up in the middle of a storm For many reasons it’s easier to look down. The only reason I look down is because it is the path of least resistance. When you are in the center of a storm, the last thing you want to do is answer questions. To answer questions or cater to anyone else’s emotions, do they not see you are in need of your own TLC? So to me it has always been easier to keep trucking. Often times people take not holding one’s head up as a sign of an insecurity. I often wonder if these people ever stop to think, maybe we just don’t want to talk to you it has nothing to do with insecurities. I quite frankly am very secure in who I am. Keeping my head low has nothing to do with who I am or how I feel about myself.

SO, on with today’s lesson. I spoke to someone I haven’t seen since I was around 7 years old. He was a good friend of the family and he told me today that whatever I do to keep my head up. You would think I had never hear this before, for heaven sakes I give this advice all of the time. Today, it was a little different. Today it hit me differently. I was hearing this message from someone I had not seen in over 20 years but someone that I considered family regardless of the distance. He told me ” Life is going to throw you things and with each passing decade it will throw you more difficulties, but it is up to you to hold your head up through the storm”. It may not sound as profound as it was but it was one of those moments where I took stock of everything around me for fear of forgetting that moment. Maybe it was profound because it was advice not given to me by just anyone. Maybe it was profound because it wasn’t someone just shooting from the hip and giving me advice that didn’t know me from a hole in the wall. Either way it was profound.

In that moment I took stock. I realized I have been in serious self preservation mode for nearly 6 months and probably longer. My current woes are no more serious or important than the next person. Self preservation is not bad, but when you allow self preservation to be all you live well that is no longer healthy. So today I looked up for the first time. I realized I was not looking people in the eye’s any more, today I did. I realized that although I am in the middle of what is one of the toughest years of my life, that I need to look up and hold my head high. Realistically, how else would I see the beauty ahead?

Everyone remember:

Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light! 

Albus Dumbledore

XOXO

Undefeated Diva

Getting to know the new me…

Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination.

I have searched for the eject button on the recent path of my journey, to no avail. In the years since my diagnosis I have done what I always do, plow through, head held high, never looking back. As of late that methodology has not been as comforting. Life’s lemons are still sitting on my porch waiting to be made into it’s potent beverage. I have stared at them not quite understanding what to do with them, as my normal kick ass, straight forward approach has had me coming up drained and in the same place. Stagnant and drained are pretty substantial words to describe my current state of being. I have pondered and scoured for an answer to the “why” and it wasn’t until several days ago that I found the answer.

Let me be clear, my friendship with my chronic illnesses is nothing new. We are several years in and I thought that I had gotten a nice hold on them. What I wasn’t ready to admit to myself or the world around me was that, I no longer knew who I saw in the mirror. She looked familiar, she sounded familiar, but all in all not the same person. Really, it should have come as no surprise to me but it surly was. As I was in my beautiful world of deep cleaning and ridiculously loud music this week, the answer to the why was so very clear.

I no longer knew myself.

For someone that knew who she was and where she was going in life at a ridiculously young age this was a catastrophic blow. It all made sense though. The feeling of being lost and alone even when I was surrounded by the people that loved me most. The feeling of unease and uncertainty when I had the best support system someone could ask for. It all made perfect sense. When all you know is this semblance of a person that handles life with a vigorous fire that can never be snuffed, then you find yourself confused and depleted from life’s lemonade, you can’t help but feel shaken down. Right now, in my life I am getting a shake down. One day I woke up and I was in another body that had unimaginable pains, unclear thoughts from what could only be described as a foggy state, and a back bone that no longer stood straight. Who was this person? How did this happen?

Getting diagnosed wasn’t the hard part, reacquainting myself… well, with myself has been the most excruciating experience. Trying to do this while living life on life’s terms, well now your asking for too much. Having to work, be a wife, a daughter, and fuck it a productive member of society… All the while trying to understand what happened to you… Now that’s a damn epic mission. Nevertheless, I realized it and all of the missing pieces came together. I hadn’t realized that it was going to be a grieving process or even a process period. The vibrant woman was now a slower moving version of who she used to be. A more jaded and fatigued version of who she used to be. The woman that looks back at me in the mirror is tired, depleted, and honestly a little angry… Not the old me that was the fire spitting free spirit with endless energy. Can I place all of the blame on chronic illnesses? Well sure I can but that’s not who I am. I take responsibility for my actions and my part in the situation. I could have done more about my illnesses. I could have done some more soul searching. In the end, I won’t look back at what I could have done, to me thats a waste of perfectly good brain cells that I should preserve for days that the brain fog sets in.

So where do I go from here I asked myself. Well to the beach of course! So I find myself at the beach, searching for answers to questions I thought I already had the answers to. I am searching for answers and way to steer this new way of life for me. To figure out how to still be that firecracker powerhouse that is determined to teach the world all the while possessing a body that does not match the soul.

What I have come to realize in all of this is, this is normal guys. I am no different than anyone going through any struggle. It is real, it is normal, and it is going to be O.K. Now I just need to find sticky notes to help with the brain fog and some great heels!

Until Next Time.

 

XOXO,

Undefeated Diva!

I dare you say something!!!

“Not guilty by reason of Prednisone”
Gorgon

BOOM! You have a flare up, you stub your toe, you have chest pain, body aches. Just pick a complication, because 9 times out of 10 the treatment plan is still the same…Drum roll please….. STEROIDS… Most often Prednisone, but steroids come in several shapes and dosages.

You get sent home and reap the reprucussions of the side effects, of a medicine that is keeping you alive. The list of side effects to steroids is endless, but for me I cringe at the thought of the wrath. The silent hunger that creeps up on you and wakes you out of a dead sleep (when/if you can actually obtain it). A hunger that claws at your insides like you have not eaten in days… When honestly it has only been 2 hours! This of course is only one of many side effects. For me, a short fuse would not begin to describe the C4 loaded box in my chest. I know it’s there, I know why I am emotional, but hell if I can control the explosion once it is ignited; most often over nothing… *BOOM*

Then as the dust settles, if you are any type of human being you assess the casualties. Often times leaving in it’s wake it’s share of emotional hurt or pain. I am not saying this is right, but at least I am human enough to admit the truth. This is the problem ladies and gentlemen, often times people say they are being “real” when in all honesty it is the “real” they want to portray. Well, me, I am here to give it to you straight. If you don’t like it, well thats okay. I would be doing everyone an injustice if I sugarcoated even a word in my blogs. The down and dirty, good/bad/and sometimes ugly truth, SHIT HAPPENS and chronic illness SUCKS…

So to make me happy… Tonight as I wrote this up, I partook in a mini fiesta in my kitchen! I’ll give it to you guys, it did in fact look like I was hiding something; As I stood in the corner of my kitchen with only the light from my iPhone flashlight, going to TOWN on some amazing chips and dips… I laughed, because I sure as hell had NO SHAME! I had ignored the hunger for so long that the hunger pains actually ensued. My stomach started cramping up and the nausea kicked into hyperdrive… SO I had a choice… Eat the chocolates in my nightstand (resealable bag!) or get up and grab something more.

I will admit, I was craving the ultimate Philly Cheesesteak at that moment. In the end, I ended up with my small little fiesta and boy it was a party in my mouth! My fellow spoonies out there know what I am talking about. The first bite of whatever meal or snack you have when your on steroids is like nirvana. You could be eating a damn burnt hot dog and it tastes like the best meal in the world! My chips and dip did just that. The first bite of my chip, I threw my head back and “mmmm”. It sounds insane, because frankly it is. How could a medicine that is supposed to help you stay alive wreak so much havoc on you. Haven’t you been through enough? I mean for heaven sake you are on the medicine because you are not well.

 

NEVERTHELESS… Exhibit A below is a picture of my 12:17am fiesta! It hit the spot so well, I am thinking I may actually get some sleep tonight! SO, to my fellow spoonies out there suffering from midnight, midday, mid-second hunger/craving pains… I’VE GOT YO BACK! Ain’t No Shame In My Game! Eat, not to the point of being sick… but eat. I snack regularly, I eat fruits for snacks such as bananas (to keep the Potassium balances (Yet another problem from steroids)). I also get the 100 cal snack packs and although I may eat more than one, it is better then eating a damn Philly at 3 am!

In the end, I dare someone say something to me. I almost beg for someone to say something because I would use the opportunity to ask this…

What would you do if the medicine that was supposed to save your life, is also killing you slowly?

(YOU EAT CHIPS AND DIPS! BOOM)

🙂 Good Night and sweet dreams!

 

XOXO,

ME!

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Setbacks

I think whether you’re having setbacks or not, the role of a leader is to always display a winning attitude.
Colin Powell

2 weeks I tell you!
I never realized the severity of my pain, until it was longer present. The loving caress of modern medicine helped me achieve what I thought was impossible… a pain free life. Unfortunately today, just 2 weeks from the first blissful day I am suffering an epic setback.

Today is a 6 or 7 kind of day. In my house we go on a 0-10 scale for pain.
0-4- Is an amazing day. I can jump, run, and have energy that will carry me most of the day.
5-7- Rough… Swelling and pain accompanies most of my body. My body hurts to the touch and I have a bit of brain fog.
8-10- Debilitated. These are the days I drink my morning coffee out of a straw!

Today… Well I am a 6-7. Not truly terrible, but in enough pain to render me a bit useless this beautiful morning. This setback though, hurts more emotionally. Truthfully when you live with a chronic illness that is accompanied by chronic pain you learn to live with it. The pain and symptoms become a part of your daily life, so to be honest there comes a point that you forget what life was like prior to it all. The 13 days prior to today were amazing! I was able to climb a jungle gym, to stay awake for a 9pm show, and experience consecutive day’s of getting dressed with no pain or having to pick out an outfit that wasn’t difficult on my hands. On day one… I didn’t believe it, I walked around as if I was in pain just because I was fearful I may have been hallucinating! 🙂 Yes, quite a crazy concept but again I didn’t remember what life was like prior to all of the pain and hurt. By day 7 I was back to being the closest version of “me” I could remember. I was doing laundry, reorganizing my office, and banging out papers for school like if it were the easiest equation in a math book. I laughed a little harder and swore that I would live each day a little more now, which I thought was impossible since I am one to climb a tree if I feel compelled to.

What I hadn’t realized was that although I was “living my life to the fullest”, I was doing so in the realm of “pained Chris” not the real me. I always considered the repercussions of even a long shopping trip, or a longer drive to the pharmacy. So really was I living? or was I existing within the means I set forth for myself? Either way… I was alive again!!!! Today that feeling was setback, I won’t say crushed because it was real! I remember what it was like before the pain and anguish. I remembered what it was like to be able to be hugged and not cringe at the pain when someone was showing me love. I remembered what it was like to wake in the morning and not have to worry that I wouldn’t be able to do something as simple as brushing my teeth.

So setbacks… I love the quote above by Colin Powell, because in the end it’s my attitude that has gotten me this far. I was not delusional in my understanding that I would have bad day’s along the way, it’s part of the illness I live with. I won’t allow it to crush what I remember now, so thank you modern medicine for the reminder. I will be pushing to find that life again… to find the me before the pain.

Love, Peace, and Chicken Grease!
Undefeated Diva!

1 Week Left!!!

One week until the very first time Team Undefeated DIVA’S will be represented in person at the 2014 Lupus Walk of South West Florida… I can’t tell you how flipping excited I am. I have represented family and friends in many walks and have been on the planning crew of several works BUT I have never done a walk for myself! This is a first ladies and gents and I am both nervous and excited. I am raising awareness for something that has taken by body and life hostage… AND I get to do this with some of the most amazing people in the world… My freaking A TEAM!!!!

Below is a small passage from the event I created online. If you have a moment check out the link. If you aren’t doing anything next Saturday, WELL come on out and hang with us for 3 hours!!!

Hello Friends and Family,

At 28 I have been through a journey most would never see from looking at my face. I have seen the dark side of an illness that does not discriminate. I fight back daily, but I have decided to fight back in public now! Join me in walking for MY cause…. Join me in walking to find a cure for Lupus.

You can donate or join my team… or cheer from the sidelines… Your support in any way possible is appreciated! Thank you for supporting me in my journey and the Lupus Foundation of America – Southeast Florida Chapter. Your contribution is greatly appreciated.

https://www.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1084765&supId=394273168

With Love and Kisses,

The original Undefeated Diva!

Frustrated expectations….

Expectation is the mother of all frustration.
Antonio Banderas

There is nothing like getting let down by your own. What people would see as negativity, is really just realism but as they say ignorance is bliss. There is nothing like waking up and having to calculate your every move, for fear of the harsh repercussions. Repercussions the every day man couldn’t fathom.

The hardest part of the whole process… is that the biggest let down comes from you, yourself.

It’s not done intentionally, HELL you don’t even have control over it but the harsh realization is your own body betrays you daily, hourly, or momentarily. The harsh realization that even if you wanted to wish with all of your mite, you can only plan ahead so far because you can’t plan for your own to let you down.

I have missed many of celebrations, gatherings, and important moments. I pride myself on making the moments that matter most, but if I am real with myself I know I have let someone down along the way… Mainly myself. Not only does my body betray me but my body reeks havoc on even my iron clad emotions. I have built an armor of “hey it’s ok” or “don’t stress you have next time” mantras, but honestly there is nothing like being let down by your own.

Today for instance, I was supposed to get up and do things that have been needed for sometimes… (My poor car needed to get to the shop since December!) This morning I was debilitated. I mean, when I stood up my knees buckled out from under me. No big deal right? My legs must have just been asleep… WRONG, the pain that accompanied my legs buckling were like shards of glass. Buckled over the sink to do something as simple as brushing my teeth, if it weren’t for the sink I would have been sitting on the floor of the bathroom brushing…

See… most would say “you have no control” as an excuse to make the situation more tolerable. WELL, let me give you some insight. NOTHING and I mean NOTHING can protect you from yourself. Nothing was going to make it better this morning when I looked up in the mirror and was literally dangling from the bathroom sink because my legs betrayed my body and buckled.

So I ask, how do I protect myself from myself when I have no control over it? How do I protect myself from growing so much emotional scar tissue that it impedes on my compassion for life? How do I lesson the blow when all I wanted to do was get up and brush my teeth?

The simple answer is… I DON’T.

It’s harsh, and it hurts, and it breaks down my soul at the thought but I can’t plan against Lupus. I can’t plan against the destruction of my own body against itself. So I roll with it. I smile, I make light, and I pack a go bag! I revel in the moments that I do get and pray hard when in the moments that hurt most… But the question still remains. How do I protect myself from growing so much emotional scar tissue that it impedes on my compassion for life? How do I not allow the constant let downs take such a toll on my psyche?

How does one get over being let down by your own? You may ask what I mean when I reference “your own”? It’s different for everyone, but my very “own” is my body, my legs, my lungs when they do not function, my heart when it renders me to a hospital bed, my muscles that jump just because, my emotions when they run away from me because of the anger and hurt. My very OWN BODY… The one thing that I should have control over, and should learn to trust and depend on… I can’t! No matter how much I try, and TRUST ME I TRY… Vitamins, holistic remedies, namaste at the beach… Prayers, western medicines… It still betrays me!

So now what!?

Now, I do what I have learned to do best. Push RESET… and for the first time in months, I am going to TRY and nap! I am going to try and put a small piece of my dignity back in my emotions and nap for as long as my body will grant me.

Thank you for listening today… Today I just needed to be heard. I needed an ear and a tissue…

Thank you support system…
Thank you for having my back even when my own body won’t!

XOXO,
Undefeated Diva!

Fight for your life…

Victory is always possible for the person who refuses to stop fighting.
Napoleon Hill

Breath I say…
Breath damn it!

Heart is racing, sweat streaming, pain shattering through the chest, and all the while your staring life in it’s eyes.

Breath I say…
Breath damn it!

Crowded room, phones ringing, gasping for what little air you can, and all the while knowing that you are trying.

Breath I say…
Breath damn it!

Knowing your being watched, having no control over what is going on, seeking a quiet place in your head to process, all the while you know your fighting for your life!

Have you ever had a moment that you KNEW you were in the fight of your life? In that very moment things could change forever? I have had these moments by the handful, but they never cease to rattle me to the core. As I get older and the harsh realization that this is my life truly sets in, these moments shake me to the inner fibers of my being.

Hospitalization 3 Million was no different. After a bout of Bronchitis/Pneumonia I ended up laid up in a hospital bed for four days. On day two I was yet again in the fight for my life. It started with a simple cough, which spiraled in to a code calling kind of day. We are not talking a computer code here ladies and gents, we are talking a code blue/ respiratory distress call. In any hospital nationwide they have a code system, Code Blue is the universal call for Respiratory arrest/distress. This is not the first Code Blue I have been the victim of, but this is in fact the first one of my truly adult life and the first since my diagnosis. This is also the first episode that my significant other and a friend witnessed first hand.

Coughing… sitting up… coughing… standing… coughing… And then the harsh realization “oh shit something is very wrong”. I pride myself in knowing my body like no other. I can tell you like clock work how it will work 95% of the time. Lupus has made me, my very own Dr. House. With that said, the harsh realization that things were going to take a southern turn hit me and I gave him the look that my family say’s that I give when, they KNOW I need help. I only give this look when I realize the atomic bomb is about to go off in my system and I won’t be able to do it on my own. He went searching for the nurse, and by the time he came back (no nurse in tow) I was in full-blown distress. By the time the nurse strolled into the room, there was no turning back.

Breath I say…
Breath damn it!
Tears and sweat streaming down my face… Gasping for air as if the harshest tide had taken hold of me.

This was my mantra at this point… I am sassy by nature, but in moments like this I allow the anger and fire to ignite the survivor in me with fierce vengeance. I allow it to push me beyond my normal limits and fight in a way most would have to see to believe. On this day, two people saw this very fight. Just as I was going South a friend decided to pop in and say hello. He quickly realized that something was wrong and cleared the room, but was close enough to see the happenings. He in fact told me later “I watched you fight for your life”. (Hence the title). Two nurses, a respiratory therapist that had seen me intubated and knew this could go either way, and a Critical care Pulmonologist sat and tried to get me back to normal. I fought and dare I say I was FUCKING ANGRY… At a young 28 years old and a productive member of society, I take care of myself and everyone around me… WHY WAS I IN THE FIGHT OF MY LIFE?!?! Why, because I have Lupus and I ended up sick with Bronchitis/ Pneumonia!

Breath I say…
Breath damn it!
Gasping…. Gripping the bed… Trying not to pass out from lack of oxygen…

BREATH LUNGS… BREATH!
I fucking hate you body…. BUT BREATH… For the love of all that is holy in this world… I command you to BREATH…

One… Single… Fucking… Breath…

One full breath! BREATH BODY BREATH!

Just when I thought I had no more umph… I thought of my family, I thought about how far I have come, I thought of my future… This is where the fight really took a turn. I thought of all of the things I had yet to accomplish. I didn’t worry that I was going to gain 30 pounds from the amount of steroids, I didn’t worry that my iPhone5 was in the room, I didn’t worry that I was in sweats and a tank top and look like roadkill… I thought WHAT HAVEN’T I DONE! I am not ready for this to take me, even if it takes me for a day or two (being intubated was not an option for me!). I refused to let it take another day from me. So I got angrier… I found the little place in my head, my new happy place. A place I have found myself going to in my darkest hours. This place houses beautiful sand and small faces of my future. Then the medicine came, and the voices of the room flooded my thoughts, and I was back! 45 minutes I fought and gasped for air… The code was called off and I was coming back slowly. More steroids pumped through my veins, oxygen mask on, sweat streaming down my face, heart rate in the 150’s/160’s… BUT I was back. The people around me knew I was back when in response to a comment by the dr I said “come closer so I can kick you in the chest and see if you can breath”… Gasping and all, I was a firecracker and if I was going out, WELL I was going out with a BANG!

SO what did I learn… because I learn something every time I go through an episode like this. The episode can be exactly the same but I still learn something different every time. I renewed the fact that I am a fucking fighter… I renewed the fact that I can do this… BUT most of all I learned that I still have so much more to live till I am ready to go out in a blaze of glory… When I go out, it most definitely not be in a hospital bed with a dr telling me to “relax” while I am essentially drowning! 🙂

Moral of this story… learn from your moments… And if there is an ounce of life left in you… FIGHT!

Because when you can sit on your couch and look back at the situation, you can say.. I fought for my life and WON!

XOXO,

Undefeated Diva.

Loss- Pulled from the archives

Loss
Written Jun 17, 2011 5:57pm

Again, I have not written. Again, I have stared at a blank page and written amazing words and discarded them on multiple occasions. It’s been a month since my last entry and I shake my head because I have many unfinished entries in my head and in the recycling bin of my computer.

LOSS:  

–noun

1. Detriment, disadvantage, or deprivation from failure to keep, have, or get: to bear the loss of a robbery.

2. Something that is lost: The painting was the greatest loss from the robbery.

3. An amount or number lost: The loss of life increased each day.

How many of you out there have experienced loss? I know a number of you that are shaking their heads or saying yes. When one thinks of the definition of loss they mainly think of losing a loved one, or a possession, and for you crazies out there you may even possibly think about something like losing your virginity.

To me loss is not just about a possession or something that you can scientifically explain. To me loss is encompassed in loss of attitude or stature, loss of emotion or understanding, as well as loss of sensitivity. When considering loss, possessions or valued items are only small items on the long list of what I believe one is capable of losing.

Most of you who know me know the bright and shining Chris, but I have to admit that the dark and shadow filled places in my head have grown a little bigger lately. My glasses seem to have a slight film of gray over them. Many will have advice to give to what I just said and some may just say think that I am being negative, but let not fake shield you from reality. The world is amazing and many of times a beautiful place but was the world meant to be enjoyed “this” way?

A world filled with pain, loss, judgment, abuse, neglect, struggle, hunger, war, hatred, and anger all surrounded by pretty flowers and the hope for a better life. Way to go on the negativity Chris right!? Well to me, it’s facing reality! So suck it up ladies and gents because this is real.

I won’t apologize for the truth because I do not believe that the world was meant to be this way. I know a 50 year old man that died just under 3 months after he found out his “back” pain was full blown kidney cancer. I also slept just a floor above a neglected special needs woman that passed away “alone” because she was the ward of a home that was run by a nun that showed no compassion. Add to this combination a little sprinkle of white lies, omitted information, and Lupus and you can see why the small dark corners of my mind have been a thinking place for me the past month.

To update on my “Lupus Lite”, I have canceled all appointments with my previous doctor and have made an appointment for a second opinion. I have gotten off of most of my medications for the Lupus Lite so that my system is clean when I go to the new DR. The reason for this is because the medication they had me on suppressed the swelling in my body and the last thing I want is to go to the new doctor and have her tell me something about not having Lupus. I want my lab work to come back as wacked out as the first two times.

So I won’t finish this entry in a dark place…. The amazing experiences of this month are….

1. Ashley is officially a high schooler!!!

2. Ryan is down for 2 weeks and is spending time with me =)

3. I seem to be making a great career foundation for myself and am enjoying every minute of it

4. My family is healthy and still with me.

5. I got to spend an uninterrupted day with my Jelly

6. I got to see friends and family in Florida again

AND the best one is that…

7. I am alive, “healthy”, and not in the hospital!!!!

P.s. If you have read this… Thank you. I warned you that it wouldn’t always be a happy road and “typing” about it really gave me room in my head to breath.

Love always,

Undefeated Diva!!!

Incoherent Frustrated Ramblings

Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.
Kurt Vonnegut

The beating of my thoughts ring loudly in my ears.
The constant thoughts of living with all of these fears.
The thoughts have become overwhelming, the feelings undeniable.
Trying to gain control over something that is so indescribable…
Life still moves on, so the chaos grows.
Need to find a source of control, the knowledge that it may be an endless hole.
Seeking an an alternative to ease the need.
Second chances, but fear of failure or loss supersede.
Present circumstances, but ultimate happiness in the light.
The loss of control again, will the night never turn on the light?
The words of ill informed physicians.
Words of well wishers but advice out of unknowing mouths.
The need to run consumes me, the need for control keeps me still.
If only the world would still, for just a moment in time.
A moment to gain composure or pause the thoughts that fly by.
Medicines, appointments, good news and bad, breathing problems, and brain fog are all in my path.
The pain of the past, the pressure of the present…
Pushes me to limits I never thought I would see…

Sincerely,

Undefeated ME!

You call me a monster… I call it PASSION

A taste for truth at any cost is a passion which spares nothing.
Albert Camus

See, Albert Camus got it! There is always that nickname growing up that you JUST don’t connect with. My nickname was “monster” or “my little monster” as my mom calls me, although I am taller than her now. Anyone who knows my family knows we love each other to death and would beg, borrow, or kill for each other. Nevertheless the nickname was bestowed upon me at a young age. Unfortunately, some have picked up the nickname and used it in a derogatory manner, which was never my mothers intent.

My mother initially bestowed the nickname on me as a child because even as a curly blonde haired, blue eyed child I was brutally honest. Although I respected my elders, I only did so to the ones that deserved respect. Even then I was very secure in myself, 7 year old me would tell the truth no matter the cost… AND trust me there were costs! As the years went on, my honesty grew to pure blunt honesty. I would and still till this day, say the things people are too worried or too shy to say. I realize now, that I have most likely embarrassed my mom more times than I can count.

The nickname, although steamed from my honesty it also steamed from my gumption to protect and “fight back”. I am not talking literally fighting, although if needed to protect my family I am not opposed to taking someone out! I am talking about the fire that keeps me alive till this day. I have had my share of verbal lashings, but boy have I dished out many more verbal smack downs. Sometimes I look at the world and wonder, WHY… Why do people take the shit they are handed?!?! Heres an example, I went to establish with a new specialist recently and let me tell you, someone needed to let her know that customer service is on the rise again! So I let her go about her specialty but not with some kick back… I was very dry and very matter a fact. Towards the end I realized this Dr. needs to be told. So I let her know… I let her know that the way in which she conducted her evaluation lacked compassion and although she was a physician she lacked good bedside manner. I then proceeded to walk out of my appt.

See ladies and gents, I was given the nickname because I stood up for myself and spoke the truth. Ok, at times a bit harsh BUT never the less honest and sure of my actions. I was not put on this earth to cater to other’s insecurities and emotions, I was put here to be me. Again, although the nickname was given to me as an endearing and honest one, it has been used by others as a way to hurt me. So I have decided to throw a spin to it!

I am called a “monster” by other people outside of my mom because they can’t handle my honesty. This my friends is not my problem. In a world that gives participation awards for just trying, it’s about time someone sheds some fresh air on things. Honestly, call me any nickname under the sun because to me it just means I am PASSIONATE! Those that have met me know, when I speak I speak with conviction in my words and in my mannerisms. I am sure about what I am saying and how I am saying it. I don’t do anything I am not passionate about. I don’t see a point in living life without passion in everything you do!

SO, call me a monster… Call me a bitch… I call it PASSIONATE!

Mom thank you for the inspiration today! Thank you for seeing in me what others did not see. I know that you love me for the little but taller monster that I am. Above all, THANK YOU… for always having my back even when I get a little carried away! 😛

Love you Mom!

Toodles,

Always Passionate Undefeated Diva “AKA Little Monster”