I am giddy with excitement and frankly a little shocked to learn that I have been nominated for The Awesome Blogger Award! This award was created by Maggie – Dreaming of Guatemala She created the award “For the absolutely wonderful writers all across the blogging world. They have beautiful blogs, are kind and lovely, and always find a way to add happiness and laughter to the lives of their readers. That is what truly defines an awesome blogger.”
- The Rules:
- Thank the person who nominated you.
- Include the reason behind the award.
- Include the banner in your post.
- Tag it under #awesomebloggeraward in the Reader.
- Answer the questions your nominator gave you.
- Nominate at least 5 awesome bloggers.
- Give your nominees 10 new questions to answer.
- Let your nominees know they’ve been nominated!”
Diary of Self thank you for the kind words and high opinion. I am honored!
- What language would you like to learn? Spanish. I have tried several times and while I learn a few new words each time, nothing has ever stuck.
- When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Oh man, everything! I wanted to be an actress, a writer, and a lawyer. Mostly though–and this is still true today–happy. I just wanted to be happy.
- What is something you now like that you didn’t like before? Carrot Cake. The idea of mixing vegetables and cake–not my style! Or wasn’t my style…I guess.
- What is currently your favorite song? I love music, all music…but lately I have been obsessed with, “Hold Back the River” – James Bay
- If you wrote a script for a movie, what would it be about? A feel-good, coming-of-age story about a girl with an auto-immune disease.
- Would you ever want any piercings? I want a nose piercing. Ironically enough though, needles terrify me. I have my ears pierced and for one beautiful summer I had my belly button pierced. The piercing rejected, which is just as well, since I have a scar from above my belly button all the way down.
- Did you ever have a crush on a cartoon character or anime character? My cool-girl persona would scoff and say no, but my brothers would laugh and tell you Roxas from Kingdom Hearts II. I was kind of (cough–still am–sorry, Jon) in love with the voice: aka Jesse McCartney.
- If you were given $100, what would you spend it on? I think it would depend on the circumstances surrounding the receiving. Bills, groceries, or maybe something special for the boys!
- What was the best birthday present you have ever received? For my 15th birthday I was given meet-and-greet passes to, you guessed it, Jesse McCartney. I totally met him. I have the Polaroid to prove it. Yes, Polaroid. (Message me if you want me to explain what that is!)
- What instrument do you want to learn to play? In my head I am this badass drummer chick. In all reality though, I attempted violin in my earlier years and I still cringe when I hear “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” Basically, I doubt my ability to master any musical instrument.
Question to my nominees:
If you could live anywhere in the world, where you live?
Who is your hero?
Is all really fair in love and war?
What is your favorite book?
Would you live in a different decade if you could?
Who is your favorite actor?
Do you believe in magic?
What is one terrifying thing you want to do?
Books or movies?
What would you tell younger you, if given the chance?
-Since 1949, May has been known as Mental Health Awareness month-
I have spent the last 16 years building a pretty high threshold for pain. I remember the night I got admitted to the hospital with an abscess, the doctor asked me to rate my pain. I must have said something low like 3 or maybe 4 because the doctor gave me this weird look of shock and disbelief. He said, “Most people in your situation would say 8.” It isn’t the pain that makes having a chronic illness so hard for me to bear, it is the emotional and mental exhaustion that comes with it.
After I got diagnosed, this dark cumulus nimbus shadowed my every thought, my every move. I sometimes think of my life in two stages: before diagnosis and after. I wouldn’t say the diagnosis changed me, it just gave me a different view on the world. I guess it is true what they say, ignorance is bliss.
I have had some pretty dark days.
Admittedly though, I consider myself lucky. No matter how bad things got or how lost I felt, I never wanted to give up. I’m not exactly sure why that is. I just had this undeniable will to keep going, a yearning to be the girl I was before I got labeled a Chronie. Maybe it was fate or divine intervention, who knows.
Now, do not misunderstand me. Some nights when the pain is off-the-charts unbearable, when the tears burn hotter than the sting of the cold bathroom tiles biting into my skin, and the anger inside my inflamed intestines grows, I want to throw in the towel. I beg, I plead, I even bargain with the devil to make it stop. I am not completely immune, but I have never wanted to give up in a permanent sense.
It has taken me years of self-hatred and shame to fall in love with myself, something I am still working on and learning how to do. Finding people, like the ones I have met through Team Challenge, has been instrumental in my healing process. I know, despite only having completed a season and a half with them, that I am a better person because of them. They have opened up a space inside of my soul that I thought was sealed. More than just love and support, they showed me how to be myself and share who I am without shame or guilt. (The samething I hope to do with my blog.)
All the darkness you hide in is the light someone is searching for.
So maybe you’re not ready to open up about your struggles. Maybe, like me, you need someone to help you, to show you how worthwhile and valuable you are. If that is the case, hear me now: You matter. Who you are matters. What you feel and think, it means something. You are beautiful. You are loved. You can be anything you want to be.
If, like me, you want to change the world, start by changing your world. Be a friend, lend a listening ear, engage the quiet person, compliment a stranger, flip over tails-up pennies, laugh often, live a life worth remembering. Live.
Not too long after that hospitalization I required surgery. I ended up having a temporary Ostomy and partial colon resection. Months later I went through a second and consequent third surgery for the re-anastomosis (attachment) surgery.
Today is day seven on the higher Remicade dose and day six on pills. It’s been a wave pool of emotions. First few days started great, life felt different. Then as the pills started to take effect, I could feel the adversary in them. We have a saying in the sick world — “Sometimes the symptoms are worse than the disease.” Now, I won’t go so far as to say that, but it seems the new dose of medication is triggering some of my other dormant symptoms; namely my Fibromyalgia. The joint pain is excruciating. I feel brittle and weak. Everyone is trying their best to tiptoe on eggshells around me, but I hate it. Love it. Appreciate it. Hate it. I am trying to pick up the pieces that have been fractured the last few months, establish a routine, and be alive in the moment. The challenging part is trying not to let everyone down, which is crazy because I know the person pushing me so hard, is me. I wake up, look in the mirror and I have to pep talk myself.
I have to decide who I want to be today.
I woke up with the wind fluttering through my open window and the sound of rain falling on the branches in the trees. I knew today could be anything I wanted. I decided to take the boys grocery shopping (a task I have been putting off), preferring peanut butter and banana sandwiches to actual cooked lunches. It was a family affair, and though it had its moments, it was everything I needed. Going to the store is not a difficult task, but sometimes even the easiest of things can seem hard. Trying to navigate around the store with a giant cart for kids, maintaining the kids and their prying hands while also searching the aisles for items on my list, yeah…it is enough to stress out anyone. But especially so when out of nowhere the pain comes. One of those quick, unexpected, right-in-the-gut, hold-onto-anything-and-pray-you-don’t-double-over, or let-out-a-yelp pains. Thankfully for me, Jon was there. I grabbed his jacket and he just knew, he turned to me and let me grip his hand with all my might.
Not sure when it started happening, but somewhere in our years together I just knew to take his hand. Steady comfort, like I can divert the pain, or maybe it’s just knowing that someone is there. That I am not alone. So there I am, standing in front of the cream cheese, gripping Jon’s hand with the strength of a mom pushing a car off her child, fighting back tears while trying to suck in deep breaths. I avoid eye contact with people around me, turn my back from the kids and hope they see it as mom and dad just embracing in the store. The thing with these unexpected attacks? Sometimes they go on endlessly like a Celine Dion song, and other times they are quick like lightning. For me, they always happen in slow motion. I can feel my heart rate speed up, I can feel the sting of tears and the pain stabbing like a dagger, but I can also feel the warmth of Jon’s hand, the pressure of his returned grip, the love emanating from him as he intertwines our limbs in a hug.
The attack fades and we go on about our day. I don’t like talking about these moments. They make me feel weak and betrayed. Jon says the pain will never go away, but he will always be there to help take away as much of the hurt as he can.