Treading Choppy Waters

Posted: February 20th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Today's Blessing | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

Recognizing The Ocean

Survivor memeWe can all work towards embracing at least one of these components of being a survivor. Some spells of time can be tougher than others to endure.

Remembering to be a ‘gratitude gal’ is how I’m working on getting through an extended rough patch. I keep reminding myself this patch is just a span of time. Time passes, therefore, this patch shall pass too.

It’s easy to find one’s self lost while working through a physical, mental and/or an emotional depression. I’ve uncharacteristically found myself grappling with all three types of depression for several months now.

This rough patch started out as a physical depression — physical pain becoming so intense that my nervous system became over stimulated. To survive, my brain intuitively had me seeking solitude. To withdraw, cloak  my days with extended quite time so the nervous system could cope, heal.

Unfortunately, this winter proved to be even more challenging to my nervous system and psyche. Constant over-stimulation to my nervous system eventually took its toll on my mental well-being, and subsequently my emotional well-being too.

I find that dealing with Fibromyalgia is a daily mental toughness game. I’m going to hurt no matter what, so, do I tough it out through the physical pain today, or, do I heed the pain and take it easy? Often the answer is, “I’m going to hurt anyways, let’s make it count!” and I muscle onward.

But recent physical pain compiled with surviving breast cancer stress residue has proven to be too much of a load for this ‘gratitude gal’ to keep on smiling through. I acquiesced to the cleansing power of free-flowing tears, to depression. I won’t lie, it’s scary. But, it’s doable.

Many of the drugs prescribed to help with depression are used for treating Fibromyalgia. Over the years my doctor has had me try quite a few of them. I am so drug sensitive, they all came with serious adverse reactions. This avenue of temporary relief for depression was not a viable one for me to take.

Snoopy be fierceDepression can become an ocean in which to drown. I almost started to drown. When I realized this, I knew it was time for a different type of mental toughness game — figure out how to tread choppy waters. Working my way through this all-encompassing depression was going to require pulling out my trusty audacious fighter spirit.

It served well throughout the war with breast cancer, it will serve well again — just fine tuned for depression. Sharing my breast cancer via writing turned out to be of help and inspiration to others.

Right before this depression really set in, it was becoming clear that sharing how I wrangle Fibromyalgia might be of help to others. Thank you for all of the stories you privately shared with me about your experiences with Fibro. It’s an honor to be trusted with your stories, and humbling to be encouraged to keep writing about it.

Now it has become beyond evident that writing my way through depression might be of help too. The issues that we give the light of day, that we openly share, are the ones we can then shed the darkness of shame on.

There is no shame to carry on your shoulders for your body and spirit becoming tired, becoming depressed. Depression isn’t always about throwing one’s self a huge pity party. Sometimes it’s a chemical imbalance. Sometimes it’s a pain overload response. Sometimes it’s a call to retreat and do some serious introspection. And sometimes, it’s a perfect storm of everything.

So, I’ll do my very best to push  myself to share, to write about how I’m going to kick some depression and Fibromyalgia ass. It’s time to be fierce!

First step … Huge self-reminder, “walk your talk” — Find a blessing a day, it’s there!

TODAY’S BLESSING: Left Hook

Today I gave thanks for waking up, and for being able to send a bubble of love to every living thing on this plane of existence. That’s the best survivor left hook I can muster right now. I am at peace with that. Being at peace with that is my Today’s Blessing.

So, no matter the state of your patch today … there’s a bubble of love awaiting you.

Go ahead, pop it!

 

Memes shared from Sparks of Hope

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“I Breathed Today”

Posted: November 5th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, invisible illness | Tags: , , | Comments Off

Living with an invisible illness can sometimes give cause for some serious head trips.  On the outside you may look like a picture of vitality and health. But on the inside, your entire nervous system can be screaming, as if it was set ablaze with Napalm.

00 sometimes its okay if you must breathThe head trips aren’t just from other people assuming that you’re perfectly fine. That you’re making up lame excuses as to why you aren’t going to do XYZ. Or, that you’ve swiped your grandma’s handicapped parking placard, because you’re just a lazy louse.

Speaking as someone who has dealt with full-blown Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue for over 15 years now — I could share countless negative stories about how misunderstood and mistreated people with invisible illness are usually treated. Often by well-intended people who think they’re helping by pushing you to push yourself. But more often by strangers who make visual snap judgements and get downright mean towards you.

But actually, some of the biggest head trips are internal, from self-doubt … “Just push yourself a little harder. You’re going to hurt anyway, might as well make it count, right?” This is what I go through on a daily basis. But I’ve been actively having to push extra hard for the past four days now while experiencing a very serious Fibro flareup.

I’ve decided to start writing about my invisible illness experiences in an attempt to possibly inspire others who wrangle with one too. You’re not alone! And, an even loftier goal, is to possibly help bring awareness to those who don’t have to live with one. In other words, for sure I’m not writing this article for sympathy. Typically, I keep pretty quite about my daily invisible illness struggles, especially so during flareups. But if we don’t share information, how do we all learn?

Read the rest of this entry »

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What Women Do Best

Posted: October 30th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: breast cancer, mastectomy, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Comments Off

A dear friend of mine shared this news video with me today. She said, “I thought of all the people, you would appreciate this story.” You are so right, Snoopy Girl! I’m passing it forward.

Recently in, “Flipped Thank Yous,” I wrote, “… Yours and my experience as breast cancer patients was far different than what women just five, 10, 15 years ago was. It was rough, but those women did what women do best — they spoke up and started networking to make things better …”

The breast cancer survivors in this news video did exactly that. They reached out to make a difference in another woman’s life. They forwarded mindful kindness, via a chair.

 

… those women did what women do best — they spoke up and started networking to make things better …”

From simply sharing a chair, these women gained so much more than just physical comfort after mastectomy surgery. They gained the comfort of knowing someone else cared about them in their time of need. They went on to gain the comfort of new friendships. And, as they make arrangements to pass the chair along to yet another woman, they’ve each gained comfort from making a difference within their community … What women do best.

Be a friend in time of need.

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