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!

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The moments that keep me humble…

Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real.
Thomas Merton 

This quote strikes several cords in my psyche, but today I will stick to humility. Anyone who knows me knows I like sticking to the real and truly foundational side of who I am. I may have a beautiful home, a new car, and what looks like expensive taste. In the end those things are just that… THINGS. It is no secret I fight a daily struggle with my body that at times debilitates me in the most simplest forms. 

Take for instance, and the true inspiration behind my blog today. This morning I woke up with a serious case of FUCKING Lupus swelling. (The word Fucking before every time I say the word Lupus is necessary today) Needless to say my hands and joints were swollen. Mornings like this are normal for me and often they range in severity. Today was a moderately swollen day, so much so I could barely hold my toothbrush to clean my mouth. Regardless of my pain I got my ass moving and got dressed to go to work. I tried to do my hair which ended in a twist and clip, and I didn’t wear make up because to hold the brush to put my make up on was excruciating. Then came sneaker time… Well I looked at my feet and for just a moment wished I could wear flip flops to work. With a deep breath and a slightly deflated ego (more disappointed than deflated) I went and woke up my other half and I asked him for help tying my sneakers. Shooting open his eyes and looking dead at me with the understanding it was a rough one, he jumped up to help without hesitation. THEN made me coffee in my easy to use coffee cup. (I have a coffee cup for rough FUCKING Lupus swelling days such as today). 

Most people would look at me and NEVER in a million years think I was “sick”, well to me I am not “sick”… Sick is for the flu, upper respiratory infection, or questionable stomach bug you get once a year when you eat bad TURKEY (inside joke). Me, what I am dealing with is not an illness its a FUCKING war! It’s a war I fight daily, hourly, or some day’s by freaking minutes. It’s a war that I refuse to allow to take over… but on mornings like this morning… I told myself it was ok to ask for help. Those of you out there that know me personally, know that asking for help is NOT easy for me. Actually if I am being honest with myself, asking for help is the hardest thing for me to do. I used to feel as though asking for help showed a vulnerability or weakness that I rarely showed to ANYONE let alone someone outside of my immediate circle. I have learned though that it is OK to ask for help, that in fact it is not weakness… but STRENGTH. I have also learned that TRUE and REAL loved ones will never look at you in disgust or with distaste when asking for help. In the end if someone looks at you and thinks your weak for it or judges you for asking for help then the problem is them, not you.

In the moment where he looked at me with acknowledgement of my pain and disappointment he got on his knees and tied my shoes always making sure that he was not causing any added pain. In the very same moment I was struck with a humility that would have rivaled Buddha himself. I was struck with an overwhelming gratitude and humility that someone would not question the reasoning behind my need but would get down and do something as simple as tying my shoes. 

So often we take the very simplest of actions for granted. We don’t realize there is someone out there struggling to do something as simple as picking up a toothbrush or wiping their backside. It’s so easy to take for granted what you don’t realize is a true GIFT. So humble yourselves ladies and gents… Humble yourself that you just grabbed a drink and didn’t drop it because of extreme limb weakness. Humble yourself that you just stood up without feeling like your legs were being burned or stabbed… ABOVE ALL, humble yourself that you right now can breath without ANY medical intervention… 

If you decide not to humble yourself… trust me Karma will… 🙂

 

To another day and another moment

XOXO, 

Undefeated Diva