Saturday, June 26, 2010

Facing Hurdles

I am not a runner, never have been very good at it. I am actually quite klutzy and the thought of doing hurdles scares me very much!

This metaphor of what I feel like has been happening, is perfect. I imagine each new situation as a hurdle that I must get over. Sometimes I run at full speed and sail over them, other times I slow down and climb over it with caution, and still other times I trip and fall and have to go back and try again.

I have had two surgeries in the past 3 months and am facing a third next week. I have had diagnoses that have scared me and I thought I couldn't handle. I have had personal issues come at me from every direction. I have 2 sons that have had medical problems this year. I have lost my job.

All of these hurdles have popped up on the race I call life.

I will keep running, I will keep leaping, I will keep stumbling, but I will keep getting back up and trying again.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Trying to Feel Better

I am currently unemployed, and dealing with some health issues. I can go for days without leaving my house. I have been known to stay in my PJs for 2 or more days. It gets gross.

This was sometimes fun to do on vacation, or the occasional weekend. It isn't so much fun when you suffer from depression and feel like your life is slipping away from you.

Many years ago I went to one of those home "make up" parties where they sell you products in cute little packages. The woman said that if we got up each day and washed our faces and put on a little make up we would feel much better. I thought to myself, how vain is that? To think that making our outsides pretty will make us feel better inside?

I have spent years trying to tell myself that my happiness is not tied to my outward appearance. That I don't need to worry about whether I am "pretty" to others or not, and that I can find the beauty within myself.

She was right though. To some extent. I could just stay in the same clothes for days on end and not wash my hair. My family loves me anyway. I could just through on the next set of stained sweatpants and it wouldn't hurt anyone. That doesn't make me feel any better though. I don't feel productive, or motivated to be productive.

If I get up in the morning, wash my face, change my clothes, and dab on a little lip gloss I am more likely to get things done than if I just rolled out of bed and onto the couch for the day.

I don't have to worry about how "pretty" I am, I just need to take care of myself!

Another way I am trying to feel better!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I See the Light

I have felt like my life was on a runaway train and every time I saw a light at the end of the tunnel, it was another oncoming train!

It seemed that every time I turned around I got another medical diagnosis, or disappointing news about my family or work. I have been handling it pretty well, and definitely better than I have in the past.

Last week I saw my Ophthalmologist and he diagnosed me with Diabetic Retinopathy and told me that I would need laser surgery to correct it. I was terrified! I knew that my past eating disorder behaviors had contributed to the decline in my eyes, my numbness in my feet and many other complications. I had hoped that it wouldn't come to this yet.

I then saw a Retina Specialist, and almost had a panic attack in his office while I waited. I was able to calm down and keep it at bay. A victory for me yet again!

When the doctor came in I held my breath, expecting the worst. He told me that he could definitely see damage, but that the damage did not warrant any treatment right now.

I am to keep taking care of myself, and keep the blood sugars under control. I can reverse some of the damage by tight control.


I see the light and this time it is blue skies and gorgeous scenery!


Sunday, June 13, 2010


It is summer!

That brings on a whole lot of scary images for someone with a distorted body image.

  • Heat
  • Bathing Suits
  • Parties
  • Comparing myself to others

This summer will be quite different though.

Since I am unable to walk right now without crutches, a walker or use of a wheelchair...these issues seem so insignificant.

I am so much more than a body and a tan. I am so much more than a flat stomach and a tiny waist. I am so much more than a mere collection of body parts.

I am a full grown, beautiful woman. Each part of me is designed to do its part to make up the whole. If I obsess about one thing or the other, and neglect the whole, I am doing myself and those around me a great disservice. I cannot be fully present while worrying about everything that I perceive is wrong with me.

This summer I am going to take time to heal, to grow emotionally and spiritually, and to enjoy one of the last summers that I have left with both of my boys home.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


In a year full of challenges, I keep thinking that nothing more will come our way.

Then it does.

I am pretty optimistic about things, but I take the old adage:

Expect the best, be prepared for the worst-then live in the present

I was hit with another health blow today. Although I was sort of expecting it, I was amazed at how involved it is. I will face it the same way I have faced everything this year, with strength, courage and a lot of prayer.

I know that I am protected in God's hands and that He has a plan and a purpose for my pain. I believe that God will not allow me to go through anything that He and I cannot handle together. I have lost faith in the past and walked away from a daily walk with Him, and have recently decided that it was time to walk back.

I am placing my hand in His and seeking His guidance and counsel in facing the challenges of my life.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

New Ways to Cope

I am still coping with my injury and moving about my home in a wheelchair and going to my doctors' offices with crutches or a walker. I hate it! I know there are many people that have to do this every day of their lives and my wonderful father-in-law is one of them. I hold them in great esteem and have great admiration with how they face each day.

I am getting better at getting around and am even accomplishing more than I thought I would be able to.

Tonight I vacuumed, a great achievement for me. I was able to make dinner as well. Things that I thought I would have to ask others to do for me.

For someone that struggles with self-esteem issues, this is huge. I am proud of myself for even trying, since that has not been my normal mode of operating.

I have a tendency to not even try things that scare me, or are going to be a challenge. I hate to fail.

I still have to ask for help for some things, and that is a struggle. I don't like it, but realize that it is a necessity. Another accomplishment!

I am proud of how far I have come, it may not seem like a lot, but it is.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Monday Morning

Mondays can be very hard for a lot of people.

I believe that from an early age we are conditioned to hate Mondays. People have many reasons.

Sometimes they have to go to jobs that they hate, or have to go to school when they don't want to. Sometimes it is because they enjoyed the weekend a bit too much! *wink wink nudge nudge*

Whatever the reason, it is sad that people put that much pressure into one day. As much dread as people have for Mondays, they put a lot of pressure on Fridays. "Thank God it's Friday!" There is even a restaurant dedicated to the sentiment.

I would like to put it out there that we should take each day as it comes. As the saying in every 12 step program goes, "One day at a time." I am at a stage in my recovery where I am excited with what each day brings, and all the promises a new dawn brings to me. That is not to say that each day turns out the way that I hope it will when it starts, but just being alive and able to do the things that I love to do, is a blessing.

Right now I am healing from surgery. I am unable to drive, put weight on my right foot or do a lot of the things for myself that I would like. I still find wonder in each new day. What an amazing gift each day is! I don't really like to say, there is always someone out there worse off than me, although there certainly are. I have seen people barely able to breathe and sit up in bed, that have such joy and grace in facing life. I want to be like that!

Go out and face the new day and all the promises it brings with it!

Friday, June 4, 2010


These past couple of weeks I have learned the lesson of true friendship. The people that stand by me when the going gets tough. People that offer help and encouragement without wanting anything in return except my company and friendship.

I am blessed.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I am healing after surgery last week. I am following my doctor's orders and am staying off of my injured foot. I am relying on others to do things I would like to do for myself. I am finding new ways to do some things, so that I still have my independence.

I am healing.

I am healing from old wounds. Wounds that were inflicted on my as a small child. I am re-applying the salve and bandages that I kept ripping off before. I am allowing those hurts to heal fully and although there will always be a scar to remind me, the wounds are finally healing.

To do this I must become more aware.

I think that my depression and my eating disorder are both things that I have never consciously chosen, however, I have made decisions that have led me down those roads. Strangely enough, I was watching a biography on Robert Downey, Jr. and I think that he said something so profound and it struck a chord with me.

He said, "Once a definitive decision is made, and I know that there's all this stuff about it's a disease, it's a moral dilemma, it's this, it's all this other stuff, but I think that at the end of the day it's the lack of making a solid personal decision. And sometimes the stakes have to be so high that it's clear."

In the past month I have made a definitive decision to be healthy. If that means I have to take pills and shots that I don't want to take, then I will take them. If it means that I need to eat a certain amount of food at certain times of the day, then I will. If it means that I go to regular therapy sessions, I will go.

I am making a definitive decision to be the best Rachel I can be.