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There are so many times I deal with flare-ups for no reason at all.  This one is worth it.

Hello dear reader.

I got home yesterday from my visit with my daughter. It was incredible to get to spend time with her and my son-in-law. I’m extremely thankful that my pain levels stayed where I could push through them for the majority of the visit.

The pain started getting bad the day before I left. I don’t know about any of you, but I can usually tell if it’s just a bad day or settling in to stay for awhile. This was the settling in kind of pain. My daughter and husband both asked me about staying one more day to see if it would ease up, but I didn’t think it would help.  The drive home was not fun.  Wednesday was painful, but yesterday was much worse.

There are so many times I deal with flare-ups for no reason at all.  This one is worth it. I got to visit Louissa. We spent the weekend just hanging out around the house and talking.  We have many of the same interests, so that itself was worth the drive.  I got to go meet a couple of her kids on Monday, which was a lot of fun.  When we left the school she brought me up to the Holy City .  Here’s a link to pictures and the story of it in case you missed it:  The Holy City of the Wichitas .  Then Tuesday evening I got to go to the school’s 4th of July pageant.  It was great!

I’m planning to spend this weekend sitting around the house with Tim and the dogs and taking long naps.   I’m going to read (or listen to) a good book and relax.  I think that’s part of finding life too.

We’ll be checking in on the Escape Book Club the beginning of next week.  Check that out if you haven’t gotten involved with it yet.  We’re going to have a good time with it.  Here’s our first book:  Escape Book Club Book

Until next time…

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The Trip

This is finding life through pain.

Hello dear reader.

As I write this, I’m in a hotel room seven hours from home. Tomorrow I’ll do four more hours and be at my daughter’s house. Louissa said I are very close and I haven’t seen her in over a year.

I did better than I expected to today. My head started hurting about three hours in, but the meds helped and it hasn’t gotten insane. I’m exhausted, but laying in a bed relaxing. I’ll be going to sleep very soon, I’m sure.

I’m very thankful to have a wonderful husband who is completely supportive of me doing this. He worries because of my health issues, but is happy for me that I get to go spend time with my daughter.

This is finding life through pain. Right now, laying in this hotel room bed writing this post, I’m feeling thankful.

Until next time…

Book Escape

My daughter and I share a love of books and read some of them at the same time. We can (and do!) talk for hours about books we’ve read or want to read.

Hello dear reader.

One of the biggest surprises I’ve had since I started writing this blog was how many people are dealing with pain, physically, mentally, or both. The intent of my blog is to find ways to enjoy (or just live) life while dealing with pain. I wrote a post not long ago about things I use to distract me from pain. One of the things I listed was reading and/or listening to books. My daughter and I share a love of books and read some of them at the same time. We can (and do!) talk for hours about books we’ve read or want to read. I was thinking about that today and got an idea. It would be fun to have a book club of sorts. Here’s what I’m picturing…

We take turns choosing a book, so we’ll have variety in genre. Once a book is chosen we set an appropriate length of time to read it, understanding that we all have other things in our lives. I’m thinking a month. The book can be read or listened to (audiobooks). When the time is up, the person who chose the book comes up with ten questions and posts them. Everyone who has read the book answers the questions and we discuss it. We can do it in the form of a blog post or in comments. Those of us who do book reviews can do that as well. I know that many people who follow my blog don’t have one of their own, so I’ll gladly be the “voice” for those people. Simply email me and I’ll put it into a blog post.

This isn’t limited to people who deal with pain. Anyone who’s interested is welcome. I think we could have a lot of fun with this!

What do you think? Who’s in?

Until next time…

Background

I’ll be blunt about things. There isn’t enough sugar to coat this mess.

Background

Hello Dear Reader,
It’s been a long time. I’m starting my blog again with a new name and a different perspective. I live with constant pain. The myriad of things that cause my pain are explained in the “About Me” page.
A couple years ago, I had been told I was terminal, had about a year left (from the COPD). After going through the nightmare of telling the people in my life, I was told it had been a mistake. I do have COPD, but it’s not nearly as advanced as they originally thought.
Everyone was very glad to hear that news, of course. Everyone, that was, except me. The last post I wrote was in October of 2016. You can read the post for yourself if you’d like, just click here…Trying to Live The Reader’s Digest” version is that I had been relieved to have an end in sight to the pain and it had been taken from me.
Sometimes I’m so thankful to be here and to have the life I do. I have a truly incredible husband. He told me many years ago that it was his mission to make sure I laughed every day, and he does. I have children and grandchildren that I love dearly, and the best friends anyone could ever wish for. I have a couple of dogs that are a never-ending source of love and entertainment. I live up in the Rocky mountains and the beauty around me still takes my breath away. I have everything anyone could ever want.
I also have the nightmare of never-ending pain. Sometimes I can push through it and actually accomplish things. Sometimes I can’t lift my head for days at a time. Sometimes I can’t get out of bed for weeks at a time.
So I’m starting a new blog called Chronic Living. The chronic pain isn’t going anywhere, but I don’t have to let it define my life.
Why blog about it? There are millions of other people in the same situation I’m in or worse. Maybe putting it out there, the good and the bad, the beauty and ugliness about it, the constant struggle to live, I might be able to help someone through a day. I might open their eyes to something they hadn’t seen before. All the people struggling with this situation also have people who love them and want to help them. Maybe they can get a little bit closer to understanding, or maybe feel a little less helpless.
I can’t make any promises about what this blog will do. I can, and do promise that I will give you complete honesty. I’ll be blunt about things. There isn’t enough sugar to coat this mess. I promise I’ll respect and try my best to answer any questions you ask. I’ll be open-minded and try to learn from you. I tend to go off on tangents and might follow a post about depression with one bout how to crochet a baby blanket.
I hope you’ll come along on this journey with me. Don’t know for sure where we’re going or how we’ll get there, but we can figure it out together.
Until next time…

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State of mind

I have much to be thankful for. Sometimes I just have to look harder to see past the hard stuff.

Hello dear reader

People say that happiness is a choice. I agree with that only to a point. You can choose whether to focus on the positive things in your life rather than on the negative. That I agree with.

However, there are several reasons why someone can’t be “happy” no matter how hard they try to focus on the positive. Depression can be situational, but is often a chemical problem. When someone is suffering from depression, telling them that happiness is a choice can actually make things worse…much worse.

Depression is a deep dark hole that gets smaller and more confining every day. It robs you of energy and smothers any ray of hope and/or happiness. Guilt weighs on you because you’re depressed, which makes you feelmoredepressed.

Can you imagine feeling that way and then being told that it’s your choice? Or being told to “just cheer up?” Do you think that would help your state of mind? I can promise you that it would have the opposite effect.

So I wrote about depression yesterday. Why am I still going on about it? I don’t really know, it feels important.

Moving on…. tomorrow is my oldest daughter’s birthday. She’s almost to the end of her 20’s. I am constantly amazed at how quickly life goes by. I’m also amazed at how fortunate I feel to be her mother. I loved being “Mommy” when she was little, and I love being “Mom” now that she’s grown. Our relationship is very different now, of course. I’m no longer the person who knows everything, can see through walls AND the back of my head, and always knows when she’s having a bad day. I can no longer solve any problem from a skinned knee to a broken heart with a kiss and/or a cheesecake tart. But I can listen when she needs someone to. I can laugh and/or cry with her. I can give her tips on anything from a roast to a relationship. I can (and do) know that she may or may not follow my advice. She’s a grown woman who can think for herself and make her own decisions. I am so proud of that. I’m thrilled that she asks my advice, whether she takes it or not. In some ways it’s harder to be “Mom” than it was to be “Mommy” because I still want to protect her from the world. I still want to fix anything that hurts. But being “Mom” is wonderful too. I can be her friend now, and she’s a great friend to have. You can’t be a child’s friend and protect them. There are too many times the word “No” has to be said.

I know. I’m ranting again. But these are the things that keep depression from winning. These are the positive things that I try to focus on. I have a great life….a truly amazing husband, great friends, and some great kids (even the ones that aren’t really mine). I live in the most beautiful place there is. I have much to be thankful for. Sometimes I just have to look harder to see past the hard stuff. Sometimes the hard stuff is just too big to see past.

Until next time….

Unconditional love…what a concept!

Hello dear reader.

It’s been a bit, I know.  Between headaches, CASA, and wedding plans, I’m sure you’ll excuse my absence.  Soooo, the day after tomorrow I will be a married woman.  I’m SO excited.  The last few weeks have been insane trying to make sure everything is set up and ready for Saturday.  I have worked my butt off!  Finally, everything is in place and ready and I can relax and enjoy the fruits of my labors.  I try to be  unpredictable when I write, but today I’m going to (predictably) talk about this man I’m going to marry and how much I love him.  

How do I know marrying him is the right thing to do, that it will work?  The really simple answer to that is that Tim and I have been to hell and back…a FEW times…and we still like each other.  Yes, I said LIKE.  I think like is even more important than love.  I have loved people that I didn’t like at all, and it was miserable.  We are best friends.  I look forward to spending time with him.  I laugh with him.  I tell him things I won’t tell most people, things you can only tell a very close friend.  Quick story – Not long ago, when Tim was between jobs, we were SO broke!  We were getting food from the church, were behind on ALL the bills, the bank account was overdrawn, and we didn’t know when any of that would change.  We were sitting together holding hands while watching the dogs playing and looking at a spectacular sunrise.  Both of us said, “I love our life!”  How crazy is that?  Logically we probably should have been completely stressed out.  But we both felt happy and contented just being together.  THAT’s how I know.

I’ve learned with Tim what love is supposed to be like.  He loves me simply for who I am.  He supports and encourages my dreams and aspirations.  He makes me feel smart and pretty.  He considers it his mission to make me laugh at  least once a day.  Okay, some of you are probably saying, “Okay, and the big deal is….?”  If so, you’re a very fortunate person. The big deal is I have never in my life had anyone love me like that, unconditionally and completely.  All the way back to my childhood, any love I got from anyone  was conditional.  I was loved if I did this or that and did it this way or that way.  I was loved only if I was willing to give up what I wanted and felt to do and feel what someone else wanted me to.  My dreams were to be a good mother or wife or daughter, to make someone else happy so that they would love me.  My aspirations were to do things well enough to earn someone’s love.  You know, I think that’s actually the core of it….I don’t have to earn Tim’s love.  He gives it to me…a gift, not as payment for something.  That is the big deal.  It’s something which was extremely difficult for me to learn to accept and trust.

I honestly think I’ve always tried to love that way, unconditionally.   I can’t say I’ve always been able to.  I’m not making excuses for that, but I have learned why I failed at it.  When two people give to each other freely and gladly, both of their hearts stay full because they’re being given at least as much as they are giving.  When one person is giving and the other is taking, the giver’s heart grows cold and empty eventually because there’s nothing to fill it up.  As I said, nobody ever gave me unconditional love, so there was nothing to keep my heart full and I eventually gave up. 

Don’t get me wrong…I’m nowhere near perfect,  I came into every relationship I’ve ever been in (besides the one with my parents) with a lot of my own baggage and misconceptions.  I had a horrible view of myself.  I thought I could never do or give enough to really deserve love from someone else.  I was only partially right.  I could never do enough to earn someone’s love.  All I can do is give my love freely and accept Tim’s love in return.  But I do deserve love.  It’s ironic when I think about it.  Only after I took the time to learn to love myself simply for who I was (am) was I able to trust and accept that anyone else could.

Okay, I’m getting mushy here.  But in less than 48 hours I will marry a wonderful, loving, compassionate, funny, giving, and VERY good looking man.  I think a little mushy is allowed,  :-}

Until next time…