Crazy how perspective works. Understanding that nothing is truth, nothing is reality but all is simply perspective. Depending on what you’re feeling, where you are in life, what you are fighting or what you have just overcome, what you’re thoughts are and where you stand in terms of fulfilling your dreams that depends on your reality, your what is, because your perspective changes. You and I can go through the exact same thing, every circumstance the same, all the people the same, but how we go through it, how we view it, depends on our perspective of ourselves at the time. The same is true just for yourself. You can go through one thing today and the exact same next month but depending on the circumstances, depending on your feelings, depending on how your day to day is going depends on how you view the situation and ultimately how you get through it. Reality only exits in your head. The only TRUE reality is your perspective.
Life and death are the same thread, viewed differently from opposite sides. When we are children we go through life learning. In awe of everything. Everything we feel or see or hear is inspiring. We keep testing the waters to see what life is really made of. We have no idea what death is. As a teenager, we think we are invisible and unable to die. We still don’t fully understand it or can comprehend it. We make decisions based on who we are trying to become. In our early 20s we are trying to establish ourselves. We are working hard and working on settling down. We are dreaming and working towards fulfilling those dreams. Death is not in our view. As me approach middle age we start to look back at life and wonder if we fulfilled the dreams we set forth. Looking back to see f we became the person we wanted to be. Death is on the radar, and typically scary. As we get older, we no longer look back but we start living our life preparing for death. Making sure we leave our legacy, making sure people we love know it. Death is what we are living towards. The reason: Life and death are the same thread, viewed differently from opposite sides.
If you look at what you’re going through today..if you change your perspective can you change your life?
Who ever said being weak isn’t a good thing, clearly never fought the fight of their life. However, it’s being tired that we must NEVER feel. When you’re battling, fighting, enduring and learning life’s lessons through adversity it is OK to be weak. I am not ashamed to say I have my weak moments. Moments when I cry in my husbands arms because I don’t want to be sick anymore. At least 3 times a week I cry myself to sleep because of the leg pain; weak. Moments where I need the strength of my family and friends to carry me. BUT it’s tired that we can’t feel. I am NOT tired of fighting. I am NOT tired of hugging my kids. I am NOT tired of loving my husband. I am NOT tired of smiling and laughing. I am NOT tired of living. The moment you get tired, you loose; your mind gives up. It’s OK to be weak but don’t ever get tired. Don’t get tired of fighting your fight. Don’t get tired of living your life. Be weak! Not tired!
Someone recently commented on a post and they talked about their friend and it got me to thinking. Typically I help people surround themselves with the “right” people and not the people who aren’t there for them, the ones who don’t encourage them to fight or live but this comment made me think of the other side; the friend to the sick person. I know I have friends who I thought had my back but didn’t. The times where my life had to change and when I turned around, the people I thought would be standing there, weren’t. I also have those great friends that were standing there and still are. But it’s not easy. Just as it’s not easy being sick, it’s not easy being a friend to someone who is sick. The first is that it’s very easy to go about your day. To get caught up in life’s events, twists and turns and it’s even easier to get tired and slack a little. To someone not battling the life altering adversity, this is ok and you understand but to someone who is sick and battling, they take it to heart. They may even take it personally. The thing is, as a person who is sick, needs their friends. We need them more than ever and it’s typically during those times where you are too tired and you’re living life through those twists and turns that we need you the most. But I am sure that isn’t easy. To be there. To here our complaints or fears or worries and doubts and weaknesses. I’m sure it’s not easy to hold us up when we simply can’t hold ourselves. I’m sure it’s taxing and frustrating and exhausting and hard to see. I’m sure it’s so much easier to ignore the text when you get it and say you’ll respond later or even more so, not answer the call and send a text saying you’ll call them later because you’re too busy when in reality you’re just sitting watching T.V. It’s easy to say things “Like I never got it…” or so and so never gave me the message, even when it isn’t true. SO…to the friend who doesn’t do this. To the friend who always takes the call, always responds to the text, sends messages out of the blue of love and positivity. To the friend who encourages us to fight and more importantly, to win because you truly care. To the friend who no matter what they are going through they are always trying to find ways to help. To the friend who doesn’t treat us like we are sick but treats us like a friend. To the friend who doesn’t stop caring after a few weeks. To the friend who understands that even if it’s been years, we still have to fight every day and it the fight didn’t stop right after the diagnosis…to the friend who understands that that’s when the fight started. To the friend who truly loves us, who reaches out, who lifts us and educates themselves….THANK YOU! It’s NOT easy being a friend to someone who is sick. It’s not always easy being a friend in the best of times. The fact that you are my friend even though I’m sick, makes it that much more incredible and you that much more special!
I recently read an article titled “How to love a woman who has been to hell and back.” Perhaps you’ve heard of it. While I read it, it spoke to me; like someone read my thoughts somehow and wrote them down for everyone to see. If you ask my husband, almost 20 years together now, he will tell you this is truth. He has endured a lot to get us to this point. The point of pure love and happiness…unconditional love. It took a lot for me to believe in it and to feel it. I have tested that love, pushed him away, and have ran as far as I could but he always stood there; strong and loving and most importantly accepting. When I got the courage to open up to my husband about my past, which was about 10 years in to our relationship I truly thought he’d leave. Instead, he stayed. He held me. He loved me more. His words have been etched in to my soul…”I now know how much you not only love me but trust me. Thank you. I will never betray it.” He realized that most things we did, experienced, just the ability to love him completely and more so allowing him to love me was a difficult feat and he appreciated it. Not the reaction I expected, but then again, he’s never been what I’ve expected. He defied all odds of us staying together and changed my entire perspective on what a husband is and how a father loves.
The article I read:
How do you love a woman who has been to hell and back? Few succeed, most fail.
If you’re not a strong person, you shouldn’t attempt to love this woman, you need to be patient and resilient. If you’re not determined, not resolved then don’t even try. You’ll make it worse.
The woman who has been to hell and back is a contradiction, she’s gentle at times and ferocious at others. She’ll push you away when you’re trying to get close. She’s unpredictable and you need to be ready for the pendulum swing.
Love her when she’s soft and gentle but love her more when she’s ferocious.
She wants her space, but she wants you close too. A woman who has been to hell and back doesn’t know how to find the balance. Help her. Hold her when she needs you and give her independence when she claims she doesn’t. Let her know that you’re there but don’t suffocate her. Remind her that she’s loved, stroke her hair and whisper in her ear.
She lays awake at night, struggling as you sleep beside her. Trying to overcome the demons in her mind and trying to find her peace to be with you. She wants to be in control but can’t quite get there.
A woman who has been to hell and back wants to be courageous, to face the world head on but isn’t always strong enough. She may need you to hold her hand, to be courageous with her, to be her partner. If she looks scared, hold her tight, if she pushes you away, hold her tighter.
She wonders if she’s not enough. She wonders if she’s too much. This woman who has been to hell and back doesn’t know how to find the balance. Help her, hold her, love her.
When she laughs, light radiates from deep within her but when she’s down it’s a dark cloud that descends. Love her always.
A woman who has been to hell and back is just waiting for you to leave, to walk away and never come back. That’s what she’s come to expect. Show her that is not the case. Show her what unconditional love is.
If you can love this woman, through the good and bad times, she will grow and find balance. She will be a strong, soft woman who will love you always. Just remember, when she doesn’t know how to show you love show her first and she’ll follow.
I have had several people ask me questions lately about what it is that I go through now. What are the symptoms I speak of? What is the illness really? Why do I speak more details about what I have gone through then what I currently go through? So, I decided to write this. This will give you insight to my illness and my fears, my every day life and how I get through.
Let’s start with the illness itself. The easy name is Addison’s Secondary Disease (not to be confused with Addison’s Primary Disease or Addison’s). This is when there is a tumor on or in one of the glands in the brain, mine is on the Hypothalamus. To make it easy, things start here…hormones and vitamins and things that control sleep, thirst, hunger, fatigue, and so on. Then they release and follow the system down to the Pituitary Gland where they turn into something else you need, then release and travel down to your Adrenal Glands where they turn into something else your body needs and releases it all into your body. Along this path is where you get your Vitamin B12, Iron, Cortisol (Which is the main thing you need in order to live), ACTH, DHEA, FSH, LH, Progesterone, Estrogen, etc…all hormones your body needs in order to function and survive. Unfortunately, because of the location of my tumor, it prevents any of these things forming in the first place and nothing can pass by and travel down this system so I need to replace all of these things and am being kept alive by taking Cortisol and replacing the other things on a daily basis. Because of this, the symptoms in which I experience are great and I’ve been told will simply continue to get worse (not that I believe always what others say, because I believe in my heart that some day I will be cured of this and it will be something no one will be able to explain 🙂 )
Symptoms…they started with a handful and have continued to multiply as time has gone by. It has been 3 years now living with this but I can probably tell you dates of when all of the symptoms started taking place. In any case, my symptoms started out as extreme fatigue (I slept more than a new born baby), issues going to the washroom, extreme headaches, salty cravings, memory retention of about 30 seconds to 3 minutes where my short term memory was gone, chocolate cravings, and incredible leg pain. Over the past 3 years they developed and progressed. They gave me medicine to help with my memory so it’s not near as bad anymore (but still not great…well not great for others because I simply don’t know what I forgot so life for me is great 🙂 ), the leg pain has worsened and somedays I have troubles walking and typically cry myself to sleep 3-4 times a week because of the pain. I get visions of people or kids dying, my kids, or others, in a horrific way…it’s like having a nightmare when you’re awake that leaves you paralyzed (and it all depends on how the tumor is laying.) Sometimes, I see things and believe things that aren’t true…things about family or my husband and I have to tell myself “I’m being crazy” and not listen to those thoughts. I often get very sad for no reason at all and I can’t tell you why I am even crying. I now have problems with weight gain and my thyroid bounces between each end of the scale regularly, my sugar levels drop and increase frequently, my tongue is constantly swollen, although my body is fatigued and I suffer from exhaustion I now have problems sleeping, and my headaches have gotten less frequent but more severe when I get them. More recently we discovered through a very rough time of not being able to breathe very well (and still currently although better so if you see me or you are speaking with me and you see me take “weird” like breaths it because I simply can’t get enough air.) and troubles eating that my esophagus is not working properly as the muscles are always flexed so food and air have problems passing and although the cause is the lack of proper vitamins and nutrients as my body doesn’t produce them, the medicine I need I can not take because of the illness. Because of the medicines, my stomach can not digest things very well and I have an issue with acid..to the point where even the back of my throat is burned. They also found a Hiatal Hernia due to all of the physical stress my body is under. These are the majority, although not all, of my symptoms. I try to take only natural “medicines” but it’s not always possible. So to keep me alive and keep me going on a daily basis I currently take a minimum of 6 things, a combination of natural and western medicine (depends on the day and the symptoms as sometimes it’s a lot more than 6) multiple times per day throughout the day, which is better than the 11 I was on only 2 months ago.
And now for the reason I don’t talk about it as much. Well, I never really thought about it but the truth, as I think about it and as I said I would expose myself, is the feeling of not having control. See when I had cancer, or the house fire, or the death of my best friend I simply made the decision to overcome. The decision to live. I believe that having that mindset and NEVER giving in or giving up or loosing hope but staying Mind Strong is when you can win and overcome. The thing I face today is, I’m not always in control of my thoughts anymore, sometimes the illness is. Those times when it makes me believe things that aren’t true or to see things that aren’t really happening (even though it typically only lasts a minute or two), I’m not in full control. It’s probably the first time in my life that I don’t feel like I have the power, the control, I need in order to overcome and be 100% sure I will. I won’t lie, it’s scary at times. I cry in my husbands arms because not only am I tired of being sick but I am afraid. BUT here’s what I do and what I have come to realize…the way I need to live. See I can be weak and afraid BUT I CAN NEVER GIVE UP! It’s ok to have those moments of weakness and cry, but it’s not ok to give up. It’s never ok to give in and allow this illness to control me or what I do or what I accomplish. It won’t control how good of a wife or mother I can be. I can’t let it determine how or when my life will end.
Because I have My Hero Within and she is strong, I KNOW with certainty that I will win. That when it’s my time, no matter when that is, I will have been the best I could have been in every aspect of my life and I will have simply lived and it will be on my terms and not the illness’s!
What does it mean to be ill? To be sick? Well, it truly depends on the person you ask. More than that, it depends on the person’s mindset. You could have 3 people all with the flu; same fever temperature, same aches and pains, same duration, exactly same everything, yet person A doesn’t get out of bed and tells you it’s the worse thing ever. Person B stays home and tells you they don’t feel very well but works from home. Person C goes to work and tells people not to get to close because they aren’t feeling great yet completes their day as normal. The only difference is the mindset in which the person takes when faced with the illness. To let things bother them and knock them down, or not!
The illness I have is called Addison’s Secondary Disease with an inoperative brain tumor. The illness is quite rare. There are more people who have Addison’s Primary Disease than Secondary. So as I do my research, or read blogs, and try to get some insight and inspiration I find exactly what I mentioned above. The few I find who are sharing their experiences are either talking about how difficult it is to live with it or how they’ve mastered living with it. I find encouragement in both. For the ones who are struggling and simply don’t know how to live, it is at least (for me anyway), good to know that the symptoms I go through are real and I’m not the only one. Living with a minimum of 14 symptoms per day is not an easy feat and sometimes you feel isolated. And for the ones who are weathering the storm quite well, I find comfort in their words. But more than that, I find comfort in knowing that being strong is ok. As I have not mastered this illness and am sure I never will, I have mastered the ability to live and cope with it. But many times, many people doubt if what I say I have is “real” because I never “look” sick or “act” sick.
So for all those people who doubt because of the way someone acts or looks; to all those people that think you must live a certain way if you are truly feeling something terrible…STOP judging! Because being sick or ill, is only defined by the person who is weathering the storm. I chose the mindset and went from Powerless to Powerful.
So many people ask when the first time was that I felt my Hero Within. And although that answer is easy, I didn’t know what is was called until much later. But, I was 16 years old. Being through the abuse I had been through for so many years I had turned to illegal street drugs by the time I was 13. At the age of 16 I was dating a dealer and decided to have a huge party. The guests were by invite only. One of the guests invited was a boy. A boy who had befriended us months before, he went to the french high school, was 16 and drugs were no stranger. However, soon into this party we quickly learned that his story was not true and what we were dealing with was a 12-year-old boy who had never done drugs in is life and after giving him what he paid for and then some as a welcome to the group, he almost died. From that moment, my boyfriend went to jail and I decided to stop doing drugs. A few days later, as I came down the stairs to head out the door to go to school I was cornered by my step-father. With one hand he ripped the ponytail out of my hair, as pony tails mean you are a slut (of course!!????) and the other he pointed to my forehead and told me that a used dirty cigaret butt on the ground had more value than me. After grabbing the kitchen knife and putting it in my backpack I walked outside. For the first time I didn’t cry; I wasn’t angry. For the first time in my life I was ok….I had agreed with everything he had ever said to me and believed that everything he had done to me was my fault. So, as I walked into the bathroom of my high school, I stood there. Peaceful. With blood flowing down my wrists I thought I would finally win. But in a moment, I was surrounded by so many people and ambulances and all of these people talking and asking questions and making appointments for me and I couldn’t really hear anyone. I couldn’t really see anyone. I heard my mom agreeing to so many people and trying to make heads or tails of it. And as I sat there with my wrists bandaged, staring into nowhere I finally heard a voice. It was a voice inside. A voice telling me that I didn’t deserve this. A voice reminding me I had dreams. A voice telling me that I was meant to do great things and would still. A voice who believed in me. A voice who showed me my self-worth was more than this. The next day, I smiled and meant it. I laughed a felt it. I didn’t know the name at the time but it was clearly the first time I had ever felt my Hero Within.
How many of you while getting ready for bed at night make mental lists of what you need to do tomorrow? Thinking of going here, doing this, calling this person, attending this appointment or that…… Sometimes those lists are so long that you’re not really looking forward to tomorrow and sometimes they are so stressful that it wakes you up during the night thinking of the things you forgot to add to the list and wondering if you can change a thing to another time or day and how will you actually find the time to do everything tomorrow? How many of you make these lists because you just trust that you have a tomorrow? I remember the days of making those lists, stressing out, not even really thinking about the possibility of not waking up tomorrow. But now, my tomorrow is not promised….well no one’s is really. Now when I go to bed I just pray I wake up. I pray I get my tomorrow. I will worry about tomorrow, tomorrow. Just give me a tomorrow.
Although I am cancer free now, I remember when the doctor’s gave me 2 months….60 more tomorrow’s. Suddenly, I never wanted tomorrow to come because that was one less tomorrow I had. But as the tomorrow’s came, I looked forward to them with a smile on my face, love in my heart and my hero within strong wanting to surpass those 60 tomorrow’s. And although I am over 5 years cancer free….1945 tomorrow’s…..with this new inoperable brain tumor I currently live with, I find myself still praying for my tomorrow. Fighting the fight, a smile on my face, love in my heart and my hero within strong so I have another tomorrow.
Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Stop wishing it away. Deal with tomorrow tomorrow and live each second of today.
I don’t think there is a single person in the world who can say they have never been stressed. Unfortunately it is becoming the number one killer in North America and living our lives on a daily basis, you simply can not avoid stress! Living in Costa Rica I see and feel a lot less stress as their modo is “Pura Vida” (meaning pure life) and most try to avoid situations that are stressful at all costs BUT everyone is still stressed. I tend to not hang on to stress quite like others. The simple fact is……if there is nothing you can do to change whatever it is that is stressing you out, then accept that and start living again. If there is something you can do to change it, then start focusing on that and start forgetting about the stress. When I am faced with a stressful situation I immediately take steps to solve the situation and start working on it…I also have people who feel that because they don’t live with what I live with and this illness that their stress is not as important or big as mine…..or others…they try to compare themselves….the thing is….if it affects you then it’s all the same. I recently read something about stress that I think sums up what I am trying to say perfectly.
If you hold a glass half filled with water out on your palm, how much do you think it weighs???? The answer is….It depends! If you hold that glass there for 10 seconds, it’s easy and the glass is light. If you hold it there for 1 hour, the glass feels heavier as your hand and arm start to feel weaker BUT the glass did not get heavier. If you hold that same glass for 10 hours, your arm and hand are aching and feel extremely week and that glass feels like a ton of bricks…yet it didn’t change. If you held that glass for more than 24 hours it would seem impossible to go on…yet the glass did not change. Think of the glass of water as stress. It doesn’t matter how big or heavy it is as the longer you hold on to it, the more it burdens you. Think of the effects it has on your body; something that could be so small and light becomes so heavy and painful….and we allow it to. So find your Hero Within and let go of that stress within the time frame of when it is still easy and manageable…not when it becomes detrimental to you and your body.
Over the next while you will see that I am going to start delving into “life topics.” Things that people deal with daily, issues like finances, love, marriage, illness, children, families, childhood traumas, etc….I will not only write about opinion but I will take you through my life experience and how I have triumphed over all and live today full-filled, happy and loved. If there is anything going on in your life that you would like me to write about and discuss, give some suggestions on how to overcome, and to learn how to truly live and love and find your hero within while going through it (whatever “it” is), then just send me a message. It would be my pleasure.