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Archive for November, 2013

The Thanksgiving List

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Last year I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, yesterday the Dr. told me I also have fibromyalgia — I’m loathe to believe it and hope maybe it is Diet Cokes of which – though I quit a while back I still drink two a day. They are really destructive to the system.  I never thought I would have to quit Diet cokes as well as alcohol. Ah, well, no pity party.

However, it is hard – I’m tired and pushed down enough. I did get breast cancer 3 years ago and had a lumpectomy, but I was totally fatigued for a year plus after the operation – I thought it was part of my “grieving” process from the other stuff (too long to get into for those that don’t know — but lots of ambiguous loss that pushed my body and mind to the limits) I was still drinking at the beginning of it and had been for 4 years after my relapse from almost 4 years of sobriety. Point is my immune system is done with me — it’s so used to working overtime to heal from alcohol, previous use of cigs (I quit), and massive, unrelenting Stress & Trauma that it can’t shut down.

Every time I’ve gone back to school in the last couple of years I’ve had to withdraw. I’ve learned to knit well, but in the last few months I haven’t been able to do that very much.

I’m walking at the Zoo, I’m taking supplements which have helped immensely and have changed my diet radically, but I started a medication for the RA a few days ago which is making me very sick.

It’s you know – hard! I want to give up, but I know I can’t –

I’ve tried going to the RA and Fibro forums but those are worst case scenario’s – I’m not sure where to go next.  I just wish my body wasn’t screwing with me right now. I’ve made where I live doable, I’ve been grateful for the small gifts and graces brought my way.

I make a Thanksgiving menu/list every year, well the last few years since the move; I added a grateful reminder in the margin – I started the second year and wrote [about me and my family]: “2nd year mobile home, we’re better   a little  in a good way” –

The third year: “Gram is gone. Family is good   the year has been Rocky But we feel good enough to complain about it. : ) I knit!”

This year I wrote so much I’ve decided to add an extra page next year.

Healing, growing, developing our personalities, trusting ourselves in life, through recovery is a process – it doesn’t happen in a couple months. Tragedies still strike, changes still happen that we are unprepared for, – maybe thats not true. Through the work of recovery we find tools to manage, to have courage – – our hearts – our souls are so resilient, we’ve just got to give them half a chance.  Sometimes we aren’t perfect,  but people either know us and our true hearts or they don’t – and then you just put it behind you.

I realize this is kind of a mixed message. I’m low, but not; in pain, but grateful; a little fearful, but hopeful.

Finding my gratitude, being mindful, doing breath work, reading the bible (or other inspirational material) — walking often in nature — these things fill the well, expand a heart that wants to contract and pull in.

Oh, and one bit of happy news as well – I’ve been accepted into the Caring Ministries at the Church and after some training I will be able to help in the grieving center, and hospice volunteer training is next.

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Renaissance Women

Simonetta-by-Boticelli-Renaissance-Woman-216x300It seems there are the dreams of old, the teenager ones of “who we want to be when we grow up” – then the college try at something that seems a little more doable shelving the “other” dream. Then the marriage and kids arrive and new priorities with them. But also, I’ve come to understand that though what I learned  may no longer hold my interest, there are new and exciting activities to pursue – and all that experience contributes – I can also see a common thread that help me choose my direction. And I can see through experience how to let go of what doesn’t work.

How many of you are Renaissance woman? We study and learn through our 20’s, 30’s and 40’s (and beyond). Some stuff sticks forever – others were year to two year learning experiences. But they counted! They’re part of who we are! Remembering who I am past being mother and recovered alcoholic is really important to me.

As long as we keep learning, keep giving, keeping smiling, keep investigating our purpose may not always be clear, but we are fully engaged in life.

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