Like it Knew it Was Time To Start Things Over Again

So homework this week was to learn to love my body again.  I kinda hadn’t realized I had stopped, or that it was something I really needed to work on, but the truth is, I realize lately just how disconnected I am from myself physically.  Sometimes when I’m lying in bed, I have to move my legs because I can’t feel them anymore.  I literally forget they’re even there.  And when I start to feel, well, I just want it to go away.  And I think about how sometimes the best part about Ambien is the “out of body” feeling you get with it.   And that’s what I want… out of body.

I wasn’t sure how to write about this,because I realize it’s an issue, but not one I can connect with and process very well yet.  But I came across a song (of course, in a fanvid) and it just really fit.  So I’m going to post the lyrics first, then include a link to the fanvid, just cause.  But I love this song now.  The song is called “Daisy” by Brand New.

I’m a mountain that has been moved
I’m a river that is all dried up
I’m an ocean nothing floats on
I’m a sky that nothing wants to fly in

I’m a sun that doesn’t burn hot
I’m a moon that never shows its face
I’m a mouth that doesn’t smile
I’m a word that no one ever wants to say

I’m a mountain that has been moved
I’m a fugitive that has no legs to run
I’m a preacher with no pulpit
Spewing a sermon that goes on and on

Well, if we take all these things and we bury them fast
And we pray that they turn into seeds, to roots and then grass
It’d be all right, it’s all right, it’d be easier that way

Or if the sky opened up and started pouring rain
Like it knew it was time to start things over again
It’d be alright, it’s alright, it’d be easier that way

Well, if we take all these things and we bury them fast
And we pray that they turn into seeds, to roots and then grass
It’d be all right, it’s all right, it’d be easier that way

Or if the sky opened up and started pouring rain
Like it knew it was time to start things over again
It’d be alright, it’s alright, it’d be easier that way

I underlined the last bit,because i think for me anyway, that’s the real point of the song.  Definitely I feel the the river that has all dried up right now,but the idea that the grass can still grow, that things can start over again…. gives me hope.  And hope is a good thing to feel right now.

This video is a SPN video about the character Dean, edited by k9lover27

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Not Fade Away

So I’m going to take a little break from writing about IBD and write about some people in my life.   I was having this pain in my rib tonight and so, being a massage therapist, I started trying to work out the sore spot, but also being conscious of my thoughts because I have learned that pain in the body always has emotion attached to it, be it old or new.  As I worked, I had a sudden memory of my aunt T.  She was one of the kindest, most generous and sincere people I have ever known.  And strong.  Very strong.  She was born with Cystic Fibrosis.  Most people with CF don’t live beyond childhood.  CF affects the heart and lungs primarily.  My aunt was one of the lucky few who lived into adulthood.  She married, she even had a child that she was advised not to have.  And I NEVER heard her say a bitter word or saw her unhappy about her lot in life.  In fact, she’d probably tell you her life was pretty great.  When I was in high school, she was finally able to get a heart and lung transplant, essentially removing the CF.  Shortly after, she and my uncle adopted another child.  Things were good.  My aunt was the healthiest I’d ever seen her and I remember her saying once how it was the first time she’d been able to get through an entire hymn at church without having trouble breathing.  A few years later, she went for a routine checkup and found she had cancer.  And it was aggressive.  Because she’d had organ transplants, there was little they could do to treat it.  She had a compromised immune system.

Just weeks after her diagnosis, I was assaulted.  Because I was dealing with my own trauma, I avoided a lot of people in general.  I didn’t see my aunt again till nearly a month later.  I was about to go out of town with my mom and we stopped to see my aunt because we knew she hadn’t been doing well and probably didn’t have much time left with us.  I remember seeing her lying there, so thin and frail, propped up everywhere with pillows.  Before anything else was said, she looks at me, and says “I’m so sorry about what happened…”  and I’m thinking… “sorry for me?  YOU’RE DYING.  You will never see your kids grow up.  How can you be worried about MY loss?”

She died the next day.

I’ve always felt cheated that I couldn’t really grieve for her at the time.  Not like I feel I would have had I not been dealing with my own junk.  She’s often on my mind and I wish that I had been able to spend more time with her in those last couple of months.  There are so many things I would have liked to talk to her about.

I recently lost one of my best friends.  He was also one of the sweetest, kindest, giving people I knew.  I swear he’d give you the shirt off his back with a smile if you needed it.  I didn’t know it, but he struggled with mental illness after a car accident gave him a head injury.  His job kept him traveling a lot so most of our contact the last few years had been online, and it had been a while since we had talked.  One night I find out on facebook that he took his own life.  I’m still having trouble accepting that he is really gone.  He should be here.

I’ve lost other friends to suicide as well, and all of them, all of these people who have died and people who should have LIVED.  These are the people we need in the world today.  I miss them and I miss all the opportunities we will never have.  I don’t know why, but these 5 people in particular have really been on my mind a lot lately.  I hope I never lose the memories I have.  They should not fade away.

I was really torn between 2 videos to end this post with, so I’m using them both.  Love to my dear friends… I will not let you fade away.

The first video, “The Whedonverse: Emotion” is by MrMorda. It captures a lot of the feelings of grief and loss.

The second video is from the show Firefly and is “Calls Me Home” by BuffyProdz. It just makes me think about my friends returning home…

 

Sunshine and Unicorns at the Hospital (IBD part 2)

So I’d left my IBD story at my second surgery the day after Christmas.  Things were going really well, so well that my surgeon said I’d probably be able to go home in a couple of days.  So I was really excited about that.  But 2 days later I was feeling so sick I couldn’t move without wanting to throw up.  I felt terrible!  Even the smell of food made me sick.  My doc came in the and decided I needed an NG tube.  I had no idea what this was, but she promised it would make me feel better.  This was Sunday morning, after ordering the NG tube, she left and the nurse went to work.  She explained that the tube would run through my nose down into my stomach and that she would have me take a big drink and swallow as she did it to help get the tube in place.  I was nervous as hell, but tried to do exactly as she said.  But I immediately started gagging, and I remember flailing about trying to breath.  I remember the nurse just pushed me down and held me there as she shoved that tube in.  I know she was just doing her best to do her job but I am not kidding when I say it was one of the most traumatic things to ever happen to me and this is coming from a rape victim.  It was horrible.  I was in tears and throwing up for the next 5 minutes.  I kept trying to tell her I couldn’t breathe and asked if this was how it was supposed to feel and she literally DID NOT RESPOND.  She said NOTHING.  Just went about cleaning up and then left the room while I had a bucket full of vomit and tears running down my face.  I can’t even describe how awful this experience was for me.

I spent the next 2 days lying still trying not to move or talk or swallow because everything was really painful.  I threw up a couple more times and in over 48 hours that stupid NG tube did not collect any fluids from my belly.  In fact, the same nurse told me hours after the “terror” that I probably didn’t need the NG tube.  But because it was the weekend, I couldn’t get it removed till I saw my doctor again.  Not only that, it was New Years Eve… I spent it lying alone in misery in my room.  My surgeon, who, had said she would be in the next day I didn’t see again at all.  In fact the following Monday she sent her partner in.  I had never met her partner… she was the type to come in a room and just tell you how it was then leave.  The next morning when I saw her again I lost it.  I kept trying to ask a question that she would not answer, she just kept telling me I wasn’t healthy enough to leave (which btw, had NOTHING to do with my question!).

Before she left I was in tears AGAIN, but SHE was defensive (and still wouldn’t answer my question) and I finally just said “fine. I’m done.  Whatever…”  So she left.  And I BAWLED.  The nurse was very kind, though she probably thought she had a real troublemaker on her hands… (this was a new nurse).  I finally survived the stay and got to go home.  But it was definitely one of the hardest weeks I had in the hospital.

The next 3 months were tough too.  The loop illeostomy was so much harder to take care of and I had a lot of problems with leakage.  By the time I figured out what appliances to use for the best fit, it was time for takedown.  Takedown was supposed to be pretty quick surgery.  In and out to close up the stoma where my small intestine had poked through.  Lucky me, my surgery took hours because there was so much scar tissue she had to clean up just to close the wound up.  I wasn’t supposed to have any new incisions, but I left with an even bigger one that I had started with.  And the way it was stapled up, I thought it would never look normal again!

It was about another 10 days in the hospital again- my stomach likes to tease me with a couple of good days before shutting down completely.  Then it takes a few more days to wake up.  It finally did though and I went home, pooping in a whole new way!

To be continued….

Since I haven’t posted any bellydance videos yet and I’ve been writing exstensively about tummies, I thought this would be a good place to show a favorite video:

Grab a Spoon (IBD part 1)

If you’re not familiar with The Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino, I highly recommend reading it.  It gives a pretty picture of what it is like living with chronic illness.

I only recently heard of it myself, and the most obvious application for me would be the IBD diagnosis, but I really felt this way for so long before IBD.  I think I felt a shortage of “spoons” from the time I was raped onward.  PTSD will treat you just like any other chronic illness.  It exhausts you.  It makes you consider every outing or activity very carefully, because you know you only have so much energy to spend.

But the rape isn’t what I want to talk about right now.  I figured I ought to tell the story of my IBD journey.  As I mentioned before, I was diagnosed and started on the basic meds, Asacol, Flagyl, and Cipro.  The first couple of days I felt SO much better and I thought that would be it.  Manage the meds and end of story!  Wrong.  After about a week I started doing worse, still dropping weight and having a lot of nausea.  I woke up one day and knew I wouldn’t make it to work as I was already throwing up.  I saw my MD that day and she gave me some IV fluids and a shot for the nausea.  I left her office feeling much better.  I called the clients I’d had to cancel and rescheduled them all for later in the week, fully expecting to be back to work the next day.  At about 4 am that night I started throwing up again and this time it looked like there was blood.  Now, for those of you who are unfamiliar with IBD, let me say IT IS NOT PRETTY.  One of the downsides is when you start to lose bowel control.  Not fun.  And sorry, but I don’t plan to sugar coat too much on this blog.

So when I saw I was throwing up blood, I called the hospital.  I kid you not, while I was on the phone with her I started vomiting again and of course, shitting myself.  Not my brightest moment, really.  They wanted me to come into the hospital, so my husband came home from work and took me in.  The terrible part- and let me tell you- this sealed our marriage right then and there- was there was a mess at home I’d been too sick to clean up and when he went home later that night, he had to take care of it.  That’s love, let me tell you!

Anyway, over the next 10 days, we tried steroids, antibiotics, and finally Remicade.  It seemed the Remicade was working so I finally got to go home, but I couldn’t believe how weak I was.  I remember trying to fold some laundry and just getting out of breath.  And none of my clothes fit.  I had lost so much weight!  Oh, and one interesting thing I wanted to note about that first trip to the ER… it was exactly 14 years to the date that I was sitting in the ER after my assault.  Coincidence?  Can’t help but wonder….

So, at that point, I knew it would be a while before I went back to work.  I was just so exhausted and I knew I just didn’t have it in me.  And as much as I tried to take care of myself, about 6 weeks later I was in the hospital again for dehydration.  I was generally using the bathroom around 30 times a day and no matter what I ate or drank, I just couldn’t keep up.  The second stay was much shorter, they gave me my 3rd Remicade treatment, lots of prescription strength Imodium and sent me home.

By now, JM (husband) and I had had a few conversations about what this was doing to our financial situation.  The reality was that we just couldn’t make it without my income.  So over the next month, we packed our life up and moved in with my parents.  They were pretty great about trying to give us our own space, but it was tough, especially on my husband who now had to drive an hour each way to work.

When I went in for my 4th Remicade infusion- these are an IV infusion that usually take 3-4 hours depending on the person.  Within 15 minutes of my infusion, I couldn’t breathe.  So that was it.  No more Remicade.  I’d developed an allergy.

At this point, it had only been 3 months since diagnosis but my symptoms had gotten worse and worse.  When I talked to my GI, I asked him if surgery was likely inevitable at some point.  He said it probably was, so he sent me to consult with a colorectal surgeon out of state.  In meeting with her, she had looked over my records and the scope results from original diagnosis.  She felt I needed surgery ASAP.  In fact, she was ready to get me into surgery the following week, but promised that this would be “curative”- that’s what they all say about Ulcerative Colitis and having the colon removed.  It will be a cure for the UC.   I was completely overwhelmed, but felt like if I was going to have to have this done someday anyway, it was better to do it now before I got sicker.  And I didn’t see the point in exposing myself to harsher and harsher meds if it wasn’t likely to fix things in the end.  I was very nervous that I might end up with a permanent ostomy, and worried about what people would think.  I worried that people would make jokes or have silly names for me when I wasn’t around.  And I remember spending the next 2 weeks staring at my stomach a LOT.  I knew it never look the same.  I loved to bellydance and I didn’t know if I’d ever feel comfortable doing it again.

Most UC patients are candidates for what is called a “J-pouch.”  This is usually a 2 or 3 step process.  My surgeon felt that because I had been on so many steroids I would be better having this done in 3  steps.  The first surgery was scheduled 2 weeks out, in September (1 week was just too overwhelming to me!).  In the first surgery, my Large Intestine was completely removed.  I had a temporary “end ileostomy” created from the small intestine.  It was kinda fascinating.  The body really does live and breathe from the inside out.  I can’t even describe what it was like to watch.  I know-  it was kinda gross too, and most people didn’t share my fascination, but it helped for me to know that it would hopefully be temporary.  It took me about 9 days in the hospital.  The surgeon said I “had a sick, sick, sick colon,” and she didn’t know how I had lasted that long.  The pathology that came back showed signs of dysplasia (a pre-cursor to cancer) and the tissue was very watery and thin and could have ruptured at any time.  So most likely having surgery when I did saved my life.  (Sometimes I have to remind myself of this!)

My system was kinda slow to wake up and allow me to eat normally.  But finally I got to go home.  Healing took a while, in fact I had a major blockage the second night I was home and ended up in the ER.  Thankfully I had thrown up enough that things sorta fixed themselves.  No one at my local (small) hospital had much experience with ostomies- especially so fresh out of surgery.

We waited 4 month before having the 2nd surgery.  And I can definitely say they were the best 4 months I’d had through this whole experience.  It wasn’t perfect… there’s a bit of a learning curve with an ostomy.  I figured it out pretty much before the next surgery which I had the day after Christmas.  This surgery consisted of having the rectum removed and then they took the end of the small intestine and created the j-pouch.  They basically stitch it up into a J shape and create a reservoir to take over some of the function the large intestine used to perform.  The pouch needed time to heal, so I still had an ostomy, but this was a “loop ileostomy.”  TOTALLY DIFFERENT.  It’s higher up in the intestine so your body has less time to absorb water and it’d MUCH harder to get a good fit from your ostomy appliances.  I did not find this as fascinating 🙂

 

I think I’m going to break this up into two posts because the story is getting quite long!  And for the mandatory video (sorry not sorry)- I choose this because oddly enough this song is playing in the background while I am writing now and because I just wrote about being on the hospital for Christmas and I was so, so grateful for Supernatural reruns on TNT.   So yes, it’s a SPN video (spoilers through season 3 I think.)  Here’s “On Without End (Carol of the Supernatural)” by Loki:

If It Gives You Joy

So a few months ago, I decided I didn’t really care if I lived anymore.  I didn’t want to kill myself, and I didn’t really want to die, but I was just so exhausted and felt so hopeless about the future that I just thought “hey it’d be kind of ok to not wake up sometime,” or “next time I go into surgery, I’d be ok with not coming out of it…”  That sort of thing.  And I knew I needed help.  Because I wanted to want to live!  So I did some searching and found myself a new therapist.  We’d just moved into a new area and the old support group wasn’t really as accessible.  And I think I found a good one.  So far anyway 😉

The last couple weeks I have been REALLY struggling with anxiety.  Like RED ALERT anxiety.  I just visited with my doctor again a few days ago and we’ve adjusted some meds… so far so good.  But I was thinking tonight that I’d like to write about coping skills because sometimes I forget when I’m in the midst of that panicked hopeless feeling.  Obviously, different things are going to work for different people… but these are some of the things that have worked for me over the years:

1- Pull out the coloring book and some crayons.  There’s just something satisfying to me about coloring in the lines and maybe it’s partly about connecting with the kid inside, but I love to color.  And there’s all sorts of great coloring pages you can find online now.  Pinterest is a great source for coloring pages.  And markers, colored pencils… those are fun too, but good old crayons… they just smell right!

2-  The other night when I was freaking out, I decided to TRY taking a bath even though I wasn’t sure I could sit still.  But before I got in the tub, I grabbed a skin brush and dry brushed my whole body.  Dry brushing has a lot of great health and skin benefits, but something about the physical stimulation I think helped pull me out of my brain a little bit.  I was able to settle down and enjoy a bath (with some nice relaxing bath salts) and I really felt better afterwards.  Plus my skin was super soft- BONUS!

3- Sometimes I just need to wrap up in a nice warm blanket.  I think I can understand why babies love to be swaddled.

4- Music and Dance.  Sometimes you don’t need both, but for me, it’s nearly impossible to feel crappy when I’ve been dancing.  So if I have the energy- then this is a great soother for my heart.  I used to bellydance so sometimes that’s what I do, and sometimes I just put some good club type music on and dance around the house like I did in my single, clubbing days.  That was fun!

5- Aromatherapy.  If you can get your hands on it, I highly recommend the book The Blossoming Heart by Robbi Zeck.  She profiles 56 different oils and shows you how you can use these to heal emotional wounds.  At one point http://www.naturesgift.com used to sell the book with a kit that included 2ml bottles of each oil in a small case.  I take this case with me EVERYWHERE.

6- Make a phone call.  Calling my 3 year old niece makes my heart sing.

7- Laugh.  Have fun.  Find Joy.  This is where I post some obligatory links to some favorite videos… because… they make me happy!

Supernatural is full of funny videos- this one is just fun and one of the many reasons I love this fandom:

Dr. Horrible is a favorite, and here’s a clip of a favorite song:

 

Watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s musical episode, “Once More With Feeling” always makes me smile.  (Not too many great links for this, but here’s one anyway):

 

Pretty much anything The Piano Guys do makes me happy, but especially watching Steven Sharp Nelson play the cello because HE is just so darn happy!:

 

And one last video because it inspired the name of the post:

I’d Like to Live As if Only Love Mattered

So the other day in therapy, my therapist pointed out that I needed to focus more on what I CAN do, because more and more as I’ve gotten sick, it seems there are continuously new things I feel limited by.  Things I feel I can’t have or do anymore.  And even though those feelings of loss are valid, if I don’t acknowledge the good things, then how can I ever find my balance again?

So, I’d like to spend a few minutes writing about the good things in my life:

1- I have a husband who is so caring and giving and supportive.  His life has been turned upside down this last couple of years too, but he rarely has a complaint.  He makes sure I get to every doctors appointment, he’s spent numerous nights in the hospital with me so that I would be able to sleep better.  He even moved into my parents basement with me when I wasn’t able to work anymore so that we could save money we couldn’t afford to spend on rent.  He’s a rare guy and I am so blessed to have him in my life.

2- I have a great family.  We love to laugh when we get together and laughter is a good thing these days.  Every single one of them made visits to the hospital and I know they love me and care about me.  I have nieces and a nephew who are the lights of my life.  Every moment I get to spend with them is the best thing ever.

3- I’ve had great doctors and therapists through the years.  I really have had a good team of people on my side in trying to heal from all sides.  I’ve been really lucky to work with the people I have.

4- I’m one of those people who tends to have a small circle of close friends… some of those friends have done so much to help me through the tough stuff.  I’ve had financial help, I’ve had multiple visits, phone calls, care packages… I’m blessed to have so many people in my life who love and care for me, so many prayers have been said for me.  Sometimes when I feel a bit pessimistic about the world, I remember some of these wonderful souls who have shown me that the world is not all bad.

5- I’m a creative person.  I have a lot of abilities that allow me to put that creativity to use.  I just want to make stuff… and I can.  It’s something I would like to focus more time and energy on because it feels me with a sense of beauty and accomplishment.

6- I have stories to tell.  Living through some of what I have experienced has given me a depth and empathy that I’m so grateful for.

7- I like who I am.  I really do.  I struggle sometimes trying to figure out what my purpose is, but at the end of the day, I’m a good person and I like me.

8- I may not be as healthy as I wish, but I have the use of my hands and feet, I can see, hear, smell, taste, and feel.  I can communicate my needs and dreams.  When it comes down to it, I may not have everything I want, but I really do have the things I need… and more.

As I was driving back from that therapy appointment, I was listening to some music and an old song I loved came on.  And the lyrics were a really great reminder to me, that although I’m still struggling and working to heal, that I truly am doing the best I can.  And that it is enough.  It is ok to be where I am in this moment.  So I’m going to finish this post with the lyrics and a link to the song.

“At This Point In My Life”  (Tracy Chapman)

At this point in my life
I’ve done so many things wrong, I don’t know if I can do right
If you put your trust in me I hope I won’t let you down
If you give me a chance I’ll try

You see it’s been a hard road, the road I’m traveling on
And if I take your hand I might lead you down the path to ruin
I’ve had a hard life I’m just saying it so you’ll understand
That right now, right now, I’m doing the best I can
At this point in my life

You see I’ve been climbing stairs, but mostly stumbling down
I’ve been reaching high, always losing ground
You see I’ve conquered hills, but I still have mountains to climb
And right now, right now, I’m doing the best I can
At this point in my life

Before we take a step
Before we walk down that path
Before I make any promises
Before you have regrets
Before we talk commitment
Let me tell you of my past
All I’ve seen and all I’ve done
The things I’d like to forget
At this point in my life

At this point in my life
I’d like to live as if only love mattered
As if redemption was in sight
As if the search to live honestly
Is all that anyone needs
No matter if you find it

You see when I’ve touched the sky
The earth’s gravity has pulled me down
But now I’ve reconciled that in this world
Birds and angels get the wings to fly
If you can believe in this heart of mine
If you can give it a try
Then I’ll reach inside and find and give you
All the sweetness that I have
At this point in my life

the sky is paper

I had planned to write a second post much sooner as I was really excited about starting this blog, but sometimes the words get all stuck somewhere and it takes more time than I’d like for them to work their way out.  Kinda having one of those moments now, but all the thinky thoughts are keeping me awake.  Wide awake.  I think they are meant to distract me from this gaping hole I feel in my chest right now.  Don’t know where it came from.  It wasn’t there an hour ago when I went to bed… but it sure came along in full force shortly after.  I never sleep after that.

My therapist has been trying to convince me that I can feel safe.  That I can be “aware” without being hyper-vigilant.  I seem to strongly disagree.  My husband has been working overnight shifts this week, which left me home alone all night.  Of course, my plan to deal with this is to stay up all night till he gets home.  Or at least until daylight.  I usually feel much better when the sun is out.  For the most part, this works because I generally sleep like crap anyway so I do this when he is home sometimes as well.  He’s back to a regular schedule today so I was looking forward to a regular night.  I’m tired as hell, too, so I really expected to fall right asleep.

I think it started with a prayer.  I don’t pray regularly.  I’ve always been a little uncomfortable with it.  That’s a whole other bag, but the short of it- God and me have some issues.  I’m sure I’ll write about those sometime, but I’m pretty stubborn about confronting that so I won’t write much tonight.  BUT, early in the week as I was feeling exhausted and anxious about being home alone, I said a little prayer, asking that I be/feel safe while I’m home alone.   And as I was closing my eyes tonight, glad the week was over, I thought, “oh, bettter say thanks.”  So I did that real quick.  I felt awkward as usual.  This is partly because I was raised to say prayers a certain way, with a certain format, something like “… in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”

Years ago, when I decided I didn’t accept the religion I had grown up with, I realized I had to start from scratch to discover what I DID believe.  I haven’t really decided if Christ is part of that or not.  So saying a prayer in his name feels weird, because it’s not authentic.  Now I suppose it should be easy to find another way to pray.  And actually, I occasionally do.  But most of the time, I revert to the pattern I know.  Truth is, I don’t really have a lot of faith in prayer.  It’s kind of like crossing my fingers.  I do it just in case it helps because I WANT to believe it works.  But I really don’t.

So, back to me lying in bed tonight… I start thinking about all that, feeling guilty about not having more faith, about not being more grateful, about not saying a better prayer… and now I’m wide awake thinking that the world is not how it should be.  My therapist wants me to believe that odds are, I am not going to be hurt again.  That most of the people in the world are good people.  My parents want me to believe that God is watching, and listening, and somehow INVOLVED in our lives and the world.  20 years ago, I accepted all this as fact.  The world was basically good.  Bad things might still happen to good people, but at the end of the day, God is there.  We’re not alone.  AND THIS WILL SOMEHOW MAKE EVERYTHING OK.

Bullshit.  ok… now the anger is coming out, and I knew it would.  blechhh.  I told ya, me and God got some stuff to work out.  I don’t do well with expressing anger.  I don’t even do well with realizing I feel this way.  But I AM pissed.  I feel like the world is a SHITTY place.  People can’t be trusted.  God-that-I-thought-existed IS NOT REAL.  (Note: I am not saying God is not real.  I really don’t know.  I just know it’s not the God I thought was real.)  It’s like finding out that beautiful sky is made of paper and someone just punched a hole through it with their fist.  World destroyed.  It’s like finding out the glasses you’ve been wearing all your life had rose-colored lenses… and without them, the world is completely different.  And I just can’t reconcile…

I wish I could.  …  *deep breath*  Wow, I just read what i had typed so far.  I guess I knew damn good and well where that gaping hole came from.  I just didn’t want to admit it.  Like I said… STUBBORN.  I have to admit, the pain in my chest is a little smaller now.  So, um… yay?

Ummm… I can usually only handle personal revelation in small doses.  And I kinda use fandom as a coping strategy sometimes?  So… I’ll just finish this post with a favorite fanvid of mine that kinda captures my current feels.  If you’re into that, enjoy?  If not… that’s ok.  Thanks for hearing me out tonight!  This is a Supernatural fanvid, “No Bravery” by Ash.

Challenge Accepted…!

Wow.  So I’ve wanted to do this for a long time, but kept finding excuses not to get started.  But I’m finally doing it… so yay me!  No more putting it on the shelf of things I “should do”, “would like to do”, “will do”, etc.

So, a little about me and what I’m hoping to accomplish here.  I’m really stuck in life right now.  Emotionally, physically, mentally… just really, really stuck.  Afraid to move.  I can’t keep living like that.  I’ve literally made myself sick, and I’m just tired.  So- it’s time to get creative and try some new things.  This is one of ’em!

I was assaulted in my home nearly 16 years ago.  I say assaulted because that’s usually an easier word, but more specifically, I was raped at knife point by a man in a mask who threatened to kill me if I told anyone.  I will write more about this, but it’s more than I’m ready to get into right now.  Since then, I’ve struggled with anxiety, depression, insomnia, PTSD, and just fear in general.  I kind of thought this would be my big trial in life- the big thing I’d have to work through and overcome.  And it’s been a fairly up and down road for the most part.  I’ve had times where I didn’t function so well, but mostly, I pushed through it all and did what I had to do to get through life.  I figured I was managing it as well as could be expected, I guess. I was tired, pretty much all the time, but didn’t feel like there was much I could do about that.  As long as I made it to work each day, I called it a success!  It took ending up in the hospital to realize that maybe my idea of success was a little off.

I’d been having stomach pain for about 2 years.  It started sort of small, but kept getting worse and worse.  I didn’t exactly ignore it, but I was so sure it was just part of the emotional/physical fallout from the assault.  So I went back to therapy, and tried to address it from a more holistic angle.  I didn’t love my doctor at the time and just didn’t really believe she’d tell me it was anything other than stress anyway.  So I kept putting off seeing an MD.  At the time, I was working as a massage therapist and was surrounded by chiropracters, naturopaths, accupuncturists, etc.  I pursued all these things hoping that in conjunction with therapy my stomach would get better.  BUT that was not to be.  It was good most of my clients couldn’t see my face as I was working, because there were times I was nearly floored by sudden stomach pain and it was all I could do to keep massaging without doubling over.  I started dropping weight REALLY fast.  And pretty soon, I couldn’t get through a single appointment without having to excuse myself to use the restroom…. which was mortifying.  I felt terrible that these people were paying me to have a nice relaxing massage and I had to interrupt- sometimes even wake them up- to tell them I had to run out for a moment.  FORTUNATELY, the majority of my clients had been with me a very long time and knew I hadn’t been feeling well.  Everyone was very understanding and no one seemed to mind much, but I hated how unprofessional I felt.  As things kept getting worse, I finally found a great new doctor, and she immediately sent me to a GI specialist.  A couple of weeks and a colonoscopy later, I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis.

I remember leaving the GI’s office that day thinking, “Well, it doesn’t sound that bad.  Take these meds, sounds like things’ll get better and back to normal soon.”  HA.  I had no idea!  Less than a month later, I was in the hospital and thus began the long, long road of IBD.

…I think I’m going to stop the story there for now because if I keep going, this post is going to get rather lengthy, and frankly, the process of setting up this blog for the first time took a lot longer than I expected!  But hopefully I’ve given you an idea about where I’m coming from and what I’ll be writing about.  Trying to work through years of stored up trauma has always been a lot of work.  Trying to navigate a chronic illness on top of that has been exhausting.  So I’ll probably be writing about those things a lot, but you can probably expect to see some other things thrown in the mix.  In general, I’m pretty introverted so I have many things swirling around in my brain that I don’t share a lot in regular conversation.  I love art, science, music, books, tv and movies… I’m sort of a youtube fanvid addict.    I’m a big tv geek and find that TV can be REALLY therapeutic sometimes.  So I’ll probably post about that stuff from time to time.

Truly, this blog is for me.  Obviously, I hope people read it, but most of all, I need to give voice to all this crud I’ve held inside for so long.  And I’d like to think that some of what I have to say might help someone else who is dealing with some of these same things.  It’s always been a comfort to me to find I’m not alone.  So… yeah.  I hope this is the start of an excellent adventure!  Thanks for reading!

 

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I found this on pinterest.  It’s my current mantra…

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