Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas-time is Here

Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year. I love the music, decorations, cards, cookies, and of course presents. I love to get presents, but I really LOVE to give presents. I love to bake, I love to sing. I really love it. From the day after Thanksgiving and on past New Years I have my tree up.


I guess part of the reason is how my mom and step-dad went all out when we were kids. It was a time that was always magical. I could forget the rest of my cares and get lost in the majesty of it all.


This Christmas is going to be hard. We have had some challenges this year, and as much as I would like to think that life will change after the first of the year, I know that it won't happen that way. Things will eventually get better, but not just because the calendar changed over to 2012. 


I will be making my own "magic" in the coming year, and I will not be doing it by myself. I have my kids and my friends to help me along the way. I will no longer put all of my faith in one person, hoping they will "save" me. I am relying on the love of others to help me along the way, but I will be taking charge. 


I am determined to still love this holiday season, and although it won't be like in years past, it will still be magical!


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to one and all! Even YOU! ;D

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Affirmation


If I can endure for this minute whatever is happening to me, no matter how heavy my heart is or how dark the moment might be...
If I can but keep on believing what I know in my heart to be true...
That darkness will fade with morning and that this will pass away too...
Then nothing can ever disturb me or fill me with uncertain fear...
For as sure as night brings dawning, my morning is bound to appear...


Thank you "Something Fishy" for this affirmation, and many of the others.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Affirmation

I have decided to start posting affirmations again, this is  a good one to start with:

Though no one can go back and make a new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new end.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Comparing Myself

Comparing myself to other women has always been a downfall of mine.

"I'm not as pretty as her."
"I'm not as smart as her."
"I'm not as alluring as her."
"My body isn't as good as her."
"I will never be as good as her."
"She is blonder than me."
"She is taller than me."
"She is...than me."

It can become a never-ending loop. One that I can never win. There will ALWAYS be someone that is "more than." There will ALWAYS be someone that is "better than" me at something.

I can only be the best "me" there is. I do not compare to anyone else, because there is no one else like me. I am okay, just the way I am. Comparing myself to others will only bring me pain, and do me no good.

I am me, and that just has to be enough!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Biting my Nails

I have been biting my nails since I was a very little girl. I don't remember a time I didn't. I do it when I am nervous. I do it when I am bored. I do it while watching movies. I do it while reading a book. It is a terrible habit. I hate how my nails look when I bite them so low they bleed.

I quit biting my nails 3 weeks ago. They are not long and luxurious, but they are shaping up.

It is hard to break a habit that has been so ingrained in my life. I have overcome.

I have overcome so many things over the years. I have overcome some deep depression. I have overcome a debilitating eating disorder. I have overcome severe self loathing. I have overcome a desire to die.

Biting my nails is NOTHING compared to those things, but it has made me take stock of my life and be proud of all that I have overcome.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Turning 40

I turned 40 yesterday. I really wasn't too upset about it. After the year I have had, I felt blessed to be turning 40!

I know there are some that didn't think that was even going to be possible.

Although I am on dialysis, I am stronger and healthier than I have been in years. I have my spunk back and I believe that although there are some challenges ahead, this year will be great! I will prove to everyone that a tough diagnosis does not mean you have to give up on life, or live a dull one.

I have so many great friends and many of them joined me for a celebratory dinner last night and I want to thank them all. At this point in my life, living so far from my biological family, I need them more than ever. These friends are my family, one that I got to choose!

I am 40 and quite happy about it!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I am Tired

I am tired of trying to change other people's view of me. I am tired of trying to prove that I am worthy. I am tired of taking the blame for things that are not my fault. I am tired of having to explain myself to people. I am tired.

It's been a long couple of weeks, but I have learned a lot about myself in that time. I learned that sometimes I just can't control everything. Yeah, I know, I've made that statement before. I also know that I used to try to control the wrong things when my world seemed to be closing in on me. I'm not this time. I am just letting it go. I am letting others make their own choices and not forcing my will on them. I am controlling what I can and that is the way I react to situations I don't like.

I am tired.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Real Strength




I have recently been feeling GREAT about my body. I am getting stronger every day. If you haven't followed my blog, here is a run down:





  • In May 2010 I broke my foot
  • I had surgery on it and an external fixation device was put in
  • That didn't work, so another surgery in July was performed to fuse the bones of my foot together
  • In September I was FINALLY able to bear weight on my foot...I broke my ankle almost immediately
  • Another surgery on my ankle
  • I was in the hospital for over a month with severe anemia, congestive heart failure and kidney disease
  • In November, after 6 months, I began walking and driving again
  • In January it was determined my my kidneys had completely failed and that I would need to go on dialysis

And now I am feeling pretty good about my body! It may be a bit saggy in spots. It may have scars in others. But I am proud of them. They show that I am a survivor. That I can handle anything life throws at me and come out on top!

I don't have the body of a 20 something anymore, but I have the body of a 40 year old and I couldn't be more proud!

I have found a strength that I didn't know was there, and I will draw on that in the days/weeks/months and years to come!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Racing Thoughts

I get racing thoughts. Things go through my head so fast I can barely focus on any one thing. I go from something about my dogs, to something I need to get at the store, to something about my health, to something about my shoes. It can be exhausting.

Through some of my past therapies I learned a way to make them stop. I am to imagine a symbol that will stop the thoughts, I chose a stop sign. Original, huh? It works though. I just visualize a stop sign, I make a full stop in my brain and I can focus on what needs to be done. I can't say that I use this all the time, but when I do it is very helpful.

I thought I would start sharing some of the tools that I have found useful over the course of my journey. Let me know if you have any tips on making those thoughts "STOP."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sadness

Today I am sad. Really, really, really sad. My heart aches and I feel physically drained from crying.

Why? That doesn't matter really. I just really feel it down to my bones.

The difference between how I have reacted in the past and how I am reacting now is immeasurable. In the past I would have completely shut down, stopped eating and taking my meds the way I should. Now I push on. My life is too valuable to make the same choices I have before. My eating disorder seemed to be a good coping mechanism when I was in it, but it wasn't. I hate that it has taken me so long to realize this. I hate that I have hurt the people I love most. I hate that I have pushed some of the people that mean the world to me away. My choices in the past are having major consequences in my present, from my kidney failure to strains in some of my relationships. All of this used to be a trigger to lock myself away in my bedroom and shut the world out. Not this time, not ever again. I can weather any storm, for I am strong enough. That all being said...

I am sad. I am really, really, really sad.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Overwhelmed

I have been a bit overwhelmed lately. It is the start of a new school year and my oldest son is a Senior this year. I am very busy running my other son all over the place for all of his activities. Add to that the fact that I am running everywhere still trying to get on a transplant list.

Oh yeah, and I am turning 40, yeah, that's right...F-O-R-T-Y! Yikes!

Really though, that doesn't bother me at all. I just am surprised that I am that old. I often feel like 18 was just yesterday and I can't believe I am about to have both an 18 and 17 year old son!


I am ready for Fall and all that it brings, not that it brings cool temps and pretty leaves down here in Florida, but it is still my favorite season. It is still what I consider as my new year, forget January 1st!

Happy New Year everyone!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Happiness



"As I walk this land of broken dreams,
I have visions of many things.
Love's happiness is just an illusion,
Filled with sadness and confusion. 
What becomes of the broken-hearted
Who had love that's now departed?
I know I've got to find
Some kind of peace of mind."
~Jimmy Ruffin, "What Becomes of the Broken-Hearted"

This song gets stuck in my head sometimes. And I think it is because I used to believe it. "...happiness is just an illusion." I didn't really understand true happiness, because I was so used to pretending to be happy. That mask became such a part of me that I couldn't tell what was real and what was an act. 

These days, I have found true happiness, true JOY! It is really weird, at 39 years of age, and after 18 years of marriage, I finally get it. I have found joy inside of me and in the relationships that I have developed.  I am not reliant on any person for that happiness/joy, but they surely have helped me to experience it in abundance.






Friday, June 10, 2011

Playing Around!

Today my kids had some friends over for a pool party. There were a LOT of them, and they were messy and loud, and silly and funny. I had so much fun watching them play around, bouncing beach balls around and jumping into the pool with cannon balls, laughing in the hot tub and eating like a swarm of locusts!

It reminded me to live in the moment and to have fun, to attack life with abandon and to stick close with my friends.

I loved it! I am very happy to have their friends over. We may not have the largest or the most "perfectly" decorated home, but their friends know they are welcome here.

I love just "playing around" and enjoying life instead of always worrying about what others might think of me if I am silly.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Muddled Thinking

I have a lot of thoughts inside my head, but none seem to be fully formed. It is keeping me awake at night, and waking me up early in the morning.

I wish I could clear my head and be productive, but I just can't seem to do it.

Any suggestions?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Permission

Today I gave myself permission to be lazy! Not to say that I haven't been lazy before, I have, many times in fact. This time was different. There was no guilt or shame in it. I lazed by the pool, swam a bit, but basically just laid in the sun and enjoyed the peace and quiet.

I still have work that needs to be done, and it will, but I just wanted some time to enjoy the outdoors. I wanted to take advantage of the fact that I live in Florida, and we have a huge pool in our community that beckons.

Sometimes it is good, just to BE!

Happy summer everyone!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Yuck

This is what I felt like this morning.

Like I had been knocked down, face first in the mud and I was being run over by untold number of feet. I didn't want to get out of bed, I didn't want to do anything. I just wanted to hide away.

It's been a long time since I have felt this discouraged, this defeated. I didn't want to fight it, I wanted to curl up inside of it.

I didn't. I got up, I took my son to school. I washed dishes, and did some laundry. I did some prep work for dinner tonight and I sat outside soaking up the sun for a bit. I took a bath, did my hair and makeup and even put on a dress and sandals. I went to the doctor and Flory (the nurse) said, "you have a hot date or somethin'? You look GREAT!" I smiled and said, "nope, just felt like crap today and decided if I couldn't feel good inside, I would look good on the outside. Fake it 'til you make it!" She smiled as she left the room.

This of course made me stop and think. I did feel better. I thought I looked pretty darn good, and I got even more confirmation of that fact from Rosia (the receptionist) as I left.

Sometimes we do need to put on that smile and muscle through the "mud" in our lives. Get up, wipe it off and soldier on. No one ever said the road to recovery was easy, but I think it is much easier with a little bit of makeup and a nice smile.

Excuse me while I brush out the last bit of mud from my hair, I am feeling pretty darn good right about now!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dreamin'

I have many dreams for my future and for the future of those I love.
  • I would love to have enough money to pay for my kids to go to college and graduate with no debt.
  • I want my children to find a love to last a lifetime.
  • I want my family to enjoy these last few years we will be a unit.
  • I want good health for all of us.
  • I want a clean house, ALWAYS, not just the days I am having company.
  • I want to find a new, meaningful career.
  • I want a new kidney!

These are all good dreams, some are easily attained, whereas others, may take a bit of work. I can still dream them. It takes the dream/wish/desire to start the ball rolling on these things.

It is fun to be fully present in my life, and still be able to dream about the future. Edith is not consuming my every waking thought, and my dreams/nightmares in my sleep. I am no longer trapped in the "what ifs" or the "somedays." I can let the past go, live life today, and be excited about tomorrow.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Simple Pleasures

Today I am reminded of the simple pleasures in life once again.

I had my catheter in my chest removed. It was used to administer dialysis, now I have what is called a fistula in my arm. With the removal of the catheter I can do things I haven't been able to do since January. I can swim, bathe, and shower! I am so excited I can barely contain myself.

Each day is a blessing and a gift from God. I appreciate so much about my life and life in general.

I have said it before, but my sons are the light of my life. Even though they are teenagers, and it isn't always easy to navigate this difficult stage, I love them so much. I love to see the differences in them as they grow up and become their own men. I love to sit and have deep, intelligent conversations with them. Even when we argue, afterward I can appreciate that they have their own ideas and opinions.

I choose to find joy in every aspect of my life.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Affirmation



I do not need to be paranoid and have to think every event means something.



I have this problem regularly. My husband is a musician and he writes his own music. Every time I hear a new song of his, I try to figure out what he is saying about ME or US. He says, sometimes a song is just a song. That taught me a lesson that everything isn't about ME, and that every time something happens it isn't supposed to be something that I need to decipher. Sometimes things just happen.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Affirmation


I no longer need to spend large blocks of time obsessing.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Affirmation


I have the wisdom to know how I want to spend my time and energy today.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Perspective

You are at a yard sale. You see an old, ugly, worn out rocking chair. You think to yourself, "who would ever buy such a thing."

Let's change perspective.

The lady that put it out there, just lost her mother and is cleaning out her house. She didn't want to put the chair out, but she lived far away and didn't have room in her small apartment. The chair was her mother's favorite. She rocked her babies in it when they came home from the hospital. She held them there when they were sick. She sat in it each night by the fire, knitting blankets for the local homeless shelter. She held her grandchildren there the first time she met each of them. 

The arms are worn from her hands holding onto them over the years. There are stains on the seat from spilled milk or juice. There is a missing spindle on the back where that same daughter had thrown a baseball at it many years ago. The age, wear and tear on this chair are signs of love.

This chair is beautiful.

I have looked at my body over the years and have seen the wear and tear on it. I have seen ugliness and scars. I have hated everything about it. 

I have changed my perspective.

My body does bear scars, and stretch marks, these are from bearing my beautiful sons. My body stretched and changed with each of their pregnancies. I delivered each of them by Cesarean Section. What beautiful, amazing scars!

My body is amazing, what great things it has done for me. It took me to the great outdoors, hiking, camping, rappelling. It walked me down the aisle to marry the man of my dreams. It bore me children. It danced the night away with friends. 

This body is beautiful.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Contemplation

I am sitting in a Panera Bread typing this blog. It is actually one of my favorite restaurants in terms of "fast food." I like the cleanliness, the fresh food AND the free WiFi!

Wow, how life has changed since I became an adult. I came of age in a time where the internet was out there, but no one I knew had it. To be honest, I only had used computers at school and work, I didn't have any friends that had a personal computer. We all were excited to get electric typewriters for graduation to type our term papers on in college.

Now, there are very few homes that do not have at least ONE computer. At our house, we currently have 3, and Heath has one that he uses at his school (although, he is not overly impressed with it).

To think of all of the changes that technology has brought over the past 20 years is amazing! HDTV, WiFi, laptops, improved 3D, video games that are extremely realistic, including my family's new favorite, Nintendo 3DS! That thing is AMAZING! So many more that I can't even think of them all.

All of these changes are great, but what is even greater are the changes within myself. I am no longer that frightened girl that was afraid to not be "on" all of the time. The girl that couldn't let anyone all the way in for fear that she would be crushed if she did. I am no longer hiding a deep dark secret about my eating disorder, and my true hatred of myself.

I have grown into a strong, capable, proud, and dare I say it, beautiful woman. I am confident in who I am, what I want, and what I need to live a full life. I am willing to let love in completely, to open myself up to new people and possibilities.

Oh, I wish I had been this confident as a girl. I wish I knew then, what I know now. To be honest though, I would not be as confident and knowledgeable without all of my struggles.

Today I embrace my past as I look forward to my future. I go into the great unknown with so much anticipation and faith!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Strength

Not too long ago, someone very close to me, confronted me about my behavior. They said that I should stop complaining and playing the victim. I was outraged. I had struggled with that for many years and felt that I had really dealt with it and moved on to "survivor."

I argued the point quite vigorously and I was angry for quite some time.

Then I started to digest what they said. To take it in and process it. They were right, I had been playing the victim. Not in regards to my history of abuse and my eating disorder, but about current issues.

I frequently said, "I can't believe all of this is happening to me,"  "I can't help it that this or that happened." I felt sorry for myself, I lost all of my joy and felt terribly sad and lonely in my struggles. It wasn't that there weren't people willing to help me or spend time with me, I just shut them out and thought that I would just have to deal with all of these things alone.

In the past several weeks, since this confrontation, I have grown tremendously. I may be in the most dire situation with my health, kidney failure is not fun let me tell you, but I feel so strong and free. This is a new sensation for me.

I used to worry about that number on the scale, I used to obsess over it. I then overcame it to a certain degree. It wasn't an every day thought anymore. Then my kidneys started failing and the doctors wanted me to weigh myself every day. It was really tough to do, especially since I had over 50 pounds of water weight on me in a matter of weeks.

I now have lost all of the water weight and I am still 20-30 pounds over what I used to strive for. For the very first time in my life, I love my body fully. I love the curves that I have, I love the way I can move around, and I am truly happy with my weight.

Although, I must admit, there is ONE part of my body I am not happy with...those stinking kidneys!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Affirmation

My actions today will build good memories for tomorrow.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Affirmation

I like myself today. I am aware of possibilities for improvement, but I don't want to be anyone else. I am comfortable and accepting of who I am. I can forgive my mistakes and move on to try again.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Affirmation

Positive or negative... the choice is mine!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Affirmation


I will determine my priorities today to avoid confusion.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Affirmation

Today I can take a small risk in the interest of enriching my life.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Just Breathe

Pain is hard to handle, whether it be physical or emotional. I hurt my back recently and have been in excruciating pain.The kind of pain that catches my breath every time I move. The kind of pain that sent nausea racing through my stomach when I tried to stand up. The kind of pain that eclipsed everything else I encountered.

A friend gave me some advice, to just BREATHE. She has suffered with chronic pain and said that sometimes that is the only thing that works. Long, slow, deep breaths. Breathing out the bad air and taking in the good. Out with the bad, in with the good, out with the bad, etc., etc.

This is something I also learned in therapy. Deep breathing, connecting with my emotions and inner self. I would sprawl out on a chair or lie down on a couch with the rest of my group and we would listen to meditation CDs and be directed to breathe in through our noses, out through our mouths. Over and over until we felt at peace, I usually fell asleep and it was very restorative.

I have come back to that healthy coping mechanism and feel myself healing, I can feel the restorative benifits relieving the tension in my back. It hasn't completely gone away, but I can feel it working.

When you encounter a painful situation or memory, remember, JUST BREATHE.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Affirmation

How overwhelmed we feel when we anticipate the future, all that needs doing, all the tasks, the work, the potential problems, the responsibilities. I will stay in the present moment, and the past and future will fall naturally and easily into place.

Affirmation

I will embrace the changes taking place in me now. They are good.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Affirmation

I will not try to complicate things or try to figure it all out. The answer is simple. I will look into my heart.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Affirmation

I can sit down in a quiet place and get in touch with myself.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Affirmation


All the wonders I seek are within myself.

Affirmation

The beginning I make today is never insignificant or unimportant. It is the foundation of my future.

Affirmation

I am free to do and enjoy the good things that come my way, and I am equipped to deal with inevitable problems.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Affirmation



I cannot control or change others, but I can change myself.

Affirmation

Today, I will seek a renewed supply of serenity, courage and wisdom.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Affirmation



I can recognize the desire in my heart to recover.

Affirmation



No matter what I am going through, my soul can be at peace.