Friday, May 30, 2014

A Leap Of Faith

Everything I've ever done that mattered in my life, at the time, was a stupid thing to do. Starting a romantic relationship with a college friend, a month before I graduated and moved away, wasn't the smartest maneuver I've ever made. Especially considering I spent the next six months in knots falling in long-distance love with said friend. When he impulsively gave away everything he owned and flew down on an airplane to move in with me, pretty much everyone we knew thought we were nuts. And we were! Never were it more obvious when we got engaged a month later, however. But the wildest decision came less than a year after our wedding, when we sold our car, took on rent proportionate to the GDP of a developing nation, and moved to San Francisco. Sadly the fun adventure stopped a few years later, when yours truly got sick. Suddenly, the world where anything was possible, with enough love, hard work and faith in the future, went dark. 

The last decade kicked the shit out of me so many times, I forgot how to live. Laughing, believing, taking risks, there was no room in my hallway of slamming doors for such frivolity. A severe and extended phase of fight or flight descended around us like a cloud of black smoke. Somehow, only by the grace of God, we endured. Now, I'm faced with another opportunity to do something stupid. And I'm terrified! In my unblemished 20's I didn't know how bad the world could hurt! I had no idea survival wasn't a guarantee, or how truly alone on the planet a person really is. Two months away from my  thirty-eighth birthday, I know all of that and so much more. But that girl, the one who KNOWS she can only achieve what she believes in enough to take risks for, she's still inside me. I guess after four years without any new health tragedies, she's starting to take over again. What dies harder than old habits?

I have no idea where to find the courage to take the massive leap of faith I must, if I wish to move my life forward. Trying to reconcile my fear against the success stemming from my impulsive youth is wearing this old woman out! Believing in a better tomorrow is a terrifying proposition. Never fighting for more than I have now, is worse. I'll admit it, I'm running around looking for divine signs every which way I turn my head. Something to tell me if I decide to take a flying leap off a sharp cliff, yet again, I'll somehow land on my feet.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Aggressively Pursuing Relaxation

This past weekend I had a rather enlightening experience. It really opened my eyes to what's been going on with me emotionally as of late. On Saturday evening my husband and I gathered our vices and went down to the hot tub. We were nothing more than two hardworking individuals anticipating a much-needed infusion of relaxation and rejuvenation. So he with his scotch and cigar, and me with my Dos Equis, settled in to watch the sunset and pretend we were on vacation, since it's usually the only time I imbibe with the sun still up. 

Unfortunately, when we got down there, things started going wrong right away. The jets were broken, which was annoying. The Spotify app wasn't working correctly, and we immediately started bickering over which phone to hook up to our portable speaker, playlist to listen to, and song to enjoy, even though none of it was functioning. Mind you, as we launched into a full-fledged attack of, "I'm right, you're wrong," the sun was rapidly descending in the sky. By the time we got a grip and stopped poking at each other, there were precious few minutes left to watch the flaming globe disappear into the horizon. So with precision I aggressively hurled all my expectations of relaxation into those fledgling last moments...

Do I really need to admit the night only went downhill from there? On Sunday morning we hashed it out, and realized two people who race around nonstop trying to accomplish life couldn't just relax on a dime. More to the point, I realized precisely what I've been doing that's making me that uptight, stressed-out freak-show I've been complaining about as of late. In my attempt to regain as much of my life as my new-found health will allow, I'm aggressively trying to reclaim everything I lost. Not what's important, realistic or necessary, but all of it. And it's making me crazy, ungrateful and negative. With a profound exhale I readjusted my mentality, and have spent the last few days really trying to slow down, smell the freakin' roses, and be grateful for what I have. Without aggressively needing more. 

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Goodbye Forward Progress

I'm on a quest to learn how to survive my life. The circumstances surrounding my reality are just plain odd. Fibromyalgia, as far as disease profiles go, is just plain odd. And learning how to coax the two, my reality and my Fibro, into a cohesive life where I can actually accomplish something, well, that seems to be the insurmountable challenge. I realized my first mistake was too much expectation. After so many years in the exhaustive push-crash cycle this illness knows so well, I found myself able to push and...keep on pushing. Juicing was my salvation! Whatever copious amounts of veggies I was drinking had a profound affect on my health. With amazement I spent a few solid months barreling down the road of forward progress. 

Then the train got derailed, as it frequently does, and for the life of me I can't get the damn train back on it's track! I'm determined, though. My biggest adversaries right now are expectation, anger and being uptight. And I really think the biggest one is being uptight. See, I have all these expectations for myself. Discipline is the only way I accomplish anything in life. However, discipline and expectation make me very uptight. Then I get all bent out of shape and angry, and start freaking out because so much of my life is out of my control. Well, I've had enough. I'm shoving Miss Uptight off the train and moving ahead without her!

When this flare started, a mere few days after my last one, I laughed. The only other option was to cry and freak out, so I decided to laugh. Whenever that angry, bent out of shape, victimized feeling rises up inside me, I take a deep breath and laugh. Sometimes it's masking tears, sometimes it sets me straight, but either way, I'm not crying and freaking out, so I consider laughing a success. I'm also augmenting my expectations, specifically where exercise is concerned. Getting up five days a week early enough to exercise in this hot weather is too much for this girl, and that's just the way it is. Est. So I'm taking Wednesdays off, and allowing myself to sleep in. I'm laughing, not crying, over the things I can't control. And I'm more determined than ever if I can't move my life forward right now, to hang on to the progress I got.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Another May 12th Passed

Monday was Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. For some reason this extremely important annual opportunity seems to habitually find me...not ready. Considering I spent the better part of the last two weeks falling apart and trying to put myself back together, May 12th once again flies past my woefully unprepared face with barely a blink of acknowledgement. It's horribly embarrassing and guilt-inducing, considering I've devoted so much of my life to advancing the cause. Or more precisely, at one time I devoted much of my life to advancing the cause. Right about now, at this point in the game, I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing.

My heart was in the right place when I started The Fibromyalgia Crusade. Sadly, my life is still trying to get organized enough to carry out oodles of un-actualized intention. Perhaps it's good today sits on the other side of one of the worst spells of self-annihilation I've ever put myself through. Today, right now, I am clearly convinced anger, self-flagellation, self-pity, and pretty much every other self-destructive impulse known to man, only screws up my life. More importantly, after indulging said upheaval 538 million times, I discovered I always survive. Then I have to spend epic amounts of effort and toil regaining my lost ground. Finding a way to ride out a flare without succumbing to such drastic, catastrophic emotional turmoil would be a better score than winning the lottery. Theoretically.

I don't understand my life. I know what made me a bitter, cynical, traumatized human being who is frequently rendered incapable of caring for myself. Knowing and understanding are drastically different levels of comprehension, however. The only thing I can lean on when faced with such gaping holes of purpose, clarity and direction, is my faith. Faith in God, the future, and not having to know all the answers. Faith that eventually my trials and tribulations can be used to make me a better, stronger, or more capable human being. And faith that Fibromyalgia Awareness Day will not always find me self-absorbed, unprepared and acutely overwrought. 

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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Greedy Me

I've spent the better part of the last week and a half trying to figure out what's going on with me. Today I finally got it. I don't know if my brain was too bogged up and convoluted with Fibro fog to see clearly, or if that big elephant called denial got in my way again. Perhaps it was a mixture of both, but whatever the culprit, now I can clearly see the spiral I'm barreling down is the result of my greed. See I've had tremendous progress over the last few months in stabilizing my symptoms, and improving both my functioning and quality of life. So much progress, Miss Type A stepped back into the drivers seat, and cracked her whip of expectation over every inch of my backside.

Now my ass hurts too bad to sit down. Everything hurts, quite frankly, and feels confusing, scary and too big to deal with. I'm on the verge of losing some real advantage I worked my booty off to obtain. All because I got a moderate taste of not being a woman too sick to enjoy life. Once that luscious fruit crossed my lips, all I wanted was more. I wanted it so bad reality, my limitations and good old fashioned common sense took a huge backseat again.

Then it got hot, which meant I had to get up earlier to walk my dogs. Getting up earlier means going to sleep earlier. Well, sleep is, like, one of my biggest issues in life. I just got myself to the point where I can keep a bedtime, as a concept. Before that it was a nightly coin toss to see if my brain would shut off or not. Eureka! A little stability with my sleep gave me the ability to stick to a schedule and actually make some progress in life. I'm now exercising five days a week, which is a huge accomplishment for me. But as its gotten hotter, I've had to get up earlier, but am not disciplined enough to go to bed earlier. I also refused to give up my daily exercise. After a few weeks of shorting my rest, I'm falling apart. That's what makes me greedy. Because all my hard work and success made me forget that I am still a sick woman. Not as sick as I was by a long shot, but also not the healthy girl my inner Type A keeps dragging to the surface and abusing.

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