When You Finally Break Through

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I’ll be the first to admit it, 2015 started out awful, it had a great high with the writer’s conference. After that, my stability was chipped to pieces. It was the worst year of my chronic pain and illnesses, I was going from doctor to doctor, each one swearing they knew how to fix it. I was let down, multiple times, by people who I had loved and trusted, who were close to me and I was more vulnerable. My depression was at an all-time high and I was asking doctors to refer me to a psychologist because I realized that I needed some professional help.

Suicidal thoughts swarmed my brain and I came to the sad conclusion in my last post that I may never be well again. When I said so to my boyfriend, thankfully, he believed for me that I would be well when I couldn’t even believe it myself. I felt abandoned by people and couldn’t understand why God couldn’t just throw some healing my way from the sky. But it was all in good time if it hadn’t been for the journey, if it hadn’t been for all of the pain physically and mentally, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

I wouldn’t have met all the other wonderful people who are fighting their own battles and we do all have our own battles to fight. I wouldn’t have learned to depend on God, instead of doctors and medications.

My dermatologist told me up front that he didn’t care about my pain, it was the last time I went to see him.

The pain management doctor that I believed could truly make a difference ended up causing a chronic migraine that lasted for two and a half MONTHS. When that didn’t work, he told me to exercise an hour a day, 6 days a week. And not to come back until I could do that for three months.

My rheumatologist told me just keep on working at my job, I told her I had already lost it from not even being able to walk.

On top of my pain, the chronic migraine and nausea limited what I could eat and it was a struggle just to find things that wouldn’t make me feel sick.

Then, just when I had given up, just when I thought that pain was forever. I got a comment on my last post, telling me to look into a holistic doctor and I did some research and found one. He wasn’t anti-medication, but going over things we realized how many medications had caused issues which led to my depression which led to me feeling worse and having more trouble sleeping in an endless loop.

One night when I was still awake at 7 am after a night of struggling to sleep, I saw a friend posting about how well she had slept, how her chronic pain was going down. I inquired about it and looked into Plexus. It wasn’t some miracle drug that just cures all your diseases, but it does help regulate your body systems and at this point I felt like my body was falling apart. Instead of grasping at straws, this time, I sat down and prayed about it and asked God to provide the money for me to get it. I also talked about it with my holistic doctor.

Within 5 days of taking it, my sleep had improved and my migraine had gone away for the first time in two and half months. I felt better on the inside, more peaceful, not so depressed, almost happy. Truly happy for the first time in a long time, not because my situation had changed, but just because I felt better on the inside.

I realized just how badly my body had suffered on the inside from all of the medications that I had been on and yes, all of my poor food choices beforehand. I could really only blame so much on the medications themselves.

After seven years of chronic illnesses and pain, I finally had a break through.

I’ve been taking it for almost a month now and the changes inside my body have been phenomenal. I wish that more doctors would tell people about natural changes and supplements that can help our bodies to recover, but I also take responsibility for not looking into it sooner myself.

My chronic pain is not completely gone, I still have a mild bit of pain in my back. But it is nothing like it was before, I have much more energy every day, I’ve said goodbye to chronic fatigue! I sleep deeply at night again and don’t keep waking up. I’ve been losing tons of inches around my waist, suicidal thoughts no longer cloud my mind, everything is clear again and some days I feel like I’m in a dream compared to where I was last year.

Before I started Plexus, I had come off all of my medications for Fibromyalgia under the guidance of doctors, not on my own. I am now only taking Synthroid, for my hypothyroidism, and a medication for migraine prevention. Otherwise, I’m just taking my supplements and feeling happy and healthy. My body has almost fully recovered to the point where I feel I can exercise again.

Most importantly, I feel like I can live again.

I wanted to share this because I would not have known about this as an option if someone had not shared it with me. I thank God every day for helping to guide me, providing for me and for starting out 2016 with so much positivity and hope. I’m thankful for everyone who believed for me to be well when I couldn’t believe it myself.

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I know that Plexus is not a cure for diseases, but what it does for the inside of your body is truly amazing. I didn’t try out Plexus originally for the weight loss, I just knew my body was really messed up and could definitely use help with regulating everything. I take the Tri-Plex and Xfactor, along with 1000mg extra Vitamin D, as was suggested to me by my holistic doctor, and 1000mg calcium a day.

I have learned the importance of taking care of our bodies and every day I’m making smarter food choices, it’s like a load has been lifted off of my mind. All that time I was chasing after different medications to try, what I really should have been focusing on was giving my body the tools it needed to fight back and slowly heal the damage done.

I know this was a long post, but I haven’t updated for a while and had a lot to get off of my mind, thanks for reading through to the end!  God bless! ❤ Thank you to everyone who was still supporting my blog while I was away.

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Deeper Still

You are never alone

The past few weeks have been traumatic to say the least. I’ve still been recovering from the blow that this may be my reality for the rest of my life. I’ve always clung to the thought of being better one day, somehow. Once that slipped away from me, I wasn’t sure what to do and my depression came back in waves.

The gripping truth of the matter settled heavily on my mind, my pain went from bad to worse and I couldn’t even write for a while. I asked my physical therapist about it and she gave me a few things to help strengthen my hands, but with how rainy it’s been my pain has just gone into overdrive. They said it’s normal for pain like mine.

Some days I feel like I don’t understand, it seems like as soon as I conquer one part of living with chronic pain and illness something else comes that totally throws me for a spin.

Being unable to write for the short amount of time left me alone with my thoughts (when I wasn’t going vegetable mode watching Netflix) and I realized it is the way we grow. We struggle with the storm and as I talked about in a previous post, sometimes we may even learn to keep our eyes on Jesus and walk on water.

The trials of the world seemed like they were finally underneath me and I had a grip on a much larger reality than myself. But the storm got bigger and I felt God pulling me further and further out to sea, away from all my safety nets. Even writing was unavailable to me for a while, I had no way to vent my emotions and I fell. Drowning in the sea of troubles.

I couldn’t find myself.

All I saw was darkness and despair, all I felt was that my hope was ridiculous and I drowned. It was as though I had cracked but couldn’t repair myself this time, but slowly, surely over the past few weeks I felt Jesus reaching out his hand and I finally took it. Pulling me above my thoughts, above my pain, above my frustrations and now I take a tentative step forward.

I’m not used to being a water walker and I’m sure with the next big disappointment that comes my way, I may forget who I am and start to drown again. But I also know, when you feel like absolutely nobody else in the world feels precisely how you do at this moment, you are never alone. He’s always walking with us, guiding us and comforting us.

Taking us deeper still, to painful, yet beautiful, places we have never been before.

Here’s a song that resonated with me while I was going through:

Dance Like Everyone’s Watching

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Dancing is probably one of the most therapeutic things I’ve ever done, or singing, or both! The day after I got the news that my treatment wasn’t happening after all though I had looked forward to being pain and disease free, it all came crashing down. I felt the familiar depression and despair grabbing ahold of me, telling me all the lies that I’ve fought so long.

You’ll never be well. It’s hopeless. You’ll only get worse.

All lies.

It used to be that when I felt down I’d put on sad music and cry with it. Nowadays, I put on my happiest most encouraging worship songs. I fling embarrassment to the side and I dance, I sing at the top of my lungs and have an all-out good time.

Normally they say dance like no one’s watching, but my motto is dance like everyone’s watching. Because they are. Whether I’m at home or out and about dancing my way through the stores to keep myself in a positive frame of mind, occasionally I’m approached by people who tell me how positive I am, how good it is to see someone so happy. They also tell me they wish they could be so happy, no matter what.

Well, I’m here to tell you, I haven’t got it easy. No one does, I have to choose to try to look on the brightest side every day. I still cry, and if people could see into the darkness of my mind some days I’m sure they’d be more than a little concerned. But instead, I dance, I laugh and I think about all the positive things in my life.

When I found out once again that I wasn’t going to be all better, something shifted inside of me, what if I’m never better? It was a panicked thought at first, but as it started to settle I realized just as I tackled college without waiting to better, I shouldn’t be waiting to be “better” to be and do everything that I have in mind.

It’s just another chance to rebuild myself and one day it will just be added to the stories I can tell of how I managed to overcome. So, if you’re having a bad day, loosen up a bit. Put on your favorite song, stand up and dance around and sing at the top of your lungs. (If you get weird looks from anyone around you and they know the song, they should be singing too!)

Dance like everyone’s watching, because they are. And I bet they could use a little brightening up of their day too.

Need a bouncy song to get you started? I’ve got you covered:

What I Learned From Failure

Failure

I’m afraid of a lot of things, but I believe failure has always been my biggest fear. It’s funny because I could have nightmares of creepy little girls killing people gorily in mansions and chasing me without moving, but the scariest nightmares were of me failing an actual event in real life. And no, I don’t watch horror movies.

Failure has always loomed over me, as the thing that I wanted to avoid the most. So, I always played it safe. I focused on a few things that I knew with hard work I could just accomplish. I’m an overachiever and a perfectionist. I was the one carrying group projects to glory just so my grade would be perfect. But then, what happens when we actually experience failure?

The first thing to know is that, just because you might fail at something, it does not turn you into a failure.

That was mind blowing to me. That I could fail, but I was still myself, the world still kept on turning. I was traumatized over failure, I always have been. But this time it was different, this time I thought to myself, what could I accomplish, if I didn’t let the fear of failure hold me back?

My writing took a drastically different turn, I started writing with pure abandon and not questioning myself (which led to me entering a writing contest!) I started trying to learn animation with Autodesk Maya on my own again. But what if, I realized, what if the failure that I fear so badly has been the thing holding me back from my full potential? What if, all the self-criticism had me bound and wouldn’t let me progress where I need to go? What if fear, was my only true weakness?

Now it’s true, I’m not the greatest at everything. Especially not the things that I want to do with my life, but that just means I have to work harder. I have to want it more, I have to go after it with all the strength that I do have. This also requires me to learn to let go of what I have no control over, so I can put my effort towards what I can do.

Because at the end of the day, I’d rather have a long list of things that I failed at in trying to get better, instead of a long list of regrets for never even trying.

What are some things that fear has been holding you back from accomplishing? Let me know in the comments, if you’ve already overcome your fear, let me know about that too! We’re all in this together.

Faith and Works

faith and worksMy mind is ultimately the greatest battle that I face daily. It can shred me to pieces if I allow it. Or it can build me up and give me the strength that I need to keep on smiling and encouraging others. There are times when even with all that I have learned about focusing on taking care of myself and depending on God, that the thoughts of what can I do? Still flood my mind.

I’ve been doing physical therapy over a month now, sometimes it goes so slow it’s frustrating. At times I feel like I’m going backwards, my knees have improved but everything else still hurts and my back hurts even worse than it did before. But then there’s the topic of money, sometimes I spend so much time worrying about where it’s going to come from next or how I’m going to make it. I spent half a day worrying about something I had no control over when it resolved itself, without me doing anything.

Although at the time I was freaking out and looking at culinary jobs (knowing I would only make myself 100 times worse), all I really needed to do was be patient. That’s the hardest thing for me to do at this point of my life.

I keep putting things in God’s hands and then pulling it back out to see if I can do something with it in the meantime. I still try to reanalyze and figure out the balance of faith and works, but here’s what I have realized:

Work as hard as possible on what God has given you to do.

Don’t overstep into the things that God is already working on, just do what you can with the strength that you can. There are things that we can’t force to work, but we simply have to believe, have faith and pray continuously.

God is infinitely bigger than whatever we go through, although at times doubt may flood our minds even when we are following along doing the things that we are supposed to be doing, it is okay. It’s up to us to push it back down, to take control of our mind and thoughts and let them know that there is a plan. That we will overcome.

Praise Through the Storm

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I’m tired and weary. The thing about chronic pain is that you never get a break or a day off. It discourages me sometimes, even when I cling on to hope for a better future, I worry about how long it will take to come. On top of the pain, things seem to keep spiraling out of my control. I see prayers being answered left and right for other people I’m praying for, but when it comes to my own issues there’s a significant lack or slowness to the results.

What do I do when I feel like my world is falling apart and nothing is going my way? I read the book of Job.

Now I’m not the type of person who finds comfort that someone else “has it worse than me”. If anything it just makes me feel worse that other people are suffering too. But the curious thing about Job in the Bible, is that when literally everything was going wrong, just because the devil decided to see if he could make Job curse God, he still didn’t blame God for it. He still kept on trusting God.

Job was rich and had tons of children, he had a good life. And in one fell swoop, he lost all of it. His livestock and his children were all killed in one horrifying twist. Even then:

20 At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21 and said:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
    and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
    may the name of the Lord be praised.”

Job 1:20-21

But that still wasn’t enough for the devil to destroy his life, after that he went back and asked for permission from God to attack Job’s health next and said then Job would curse God, even with Job losing everything and his health in tatters, he still didn’t curse God. In time, God restored everything to Job and more. It always lets me know that even in the darkest of times, there is always hope for complete restoration.

I strive to hold on, even when I can’t understand what God is doing in my life right now. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I’m exactly where God wants me to be in my life. I’m blindly walking out on the water and trusting him to show me the way. I’m believing that the plan he has for my life, for all of our lives, is greater than any of us could ever comprehend.

If we continue to trust him through the storms, if we continue to pray and praise him when we hurt the strongest, when we have no way of knowing how things will work out, or when they will. Then we can all say “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”

Here’s a song I love from Joseph: King of Dreams (a retelling of the story of Joseph) that resonates with how I feel much of the time. It’s called You Know Better Than I:

Healing Emotional Wounds

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Emotional wounds are often more difficult to recover from than physical wounds or pain. The things that happen to us in our past can continue to stay with us and hurts will often linger until we deal with them. We have to acknowledge our pain clearly and forgive those who have wronged us in order to move on in our lives and find peace.

Some emotional pain can remain hidden and many times I have not realized when things have been there at all. For me, I have always been more comfortable bottling things up and pushing it down, I was never very good at talking about my emotions or being able to express myself when people or situations hurt me deeply. In time, I became so good at it that I didn’t even notice how deeply some things ran myself.

Recently, as I’ve been reading a wide variety of books about prayer, changing your life, or healing from the past, I’ve been digging up many things that I didn’t even know still bothered me. The first step to healing from old wounds is to actually take out some quiet time for yourself and discover what bothers you underneath the surface. A lot of times, we can be on the edge and emotional from past hurts from relationships, bullying, harmful situations or abuse. It doesn’t have to be deep in the past either, it could be something that happened recently.

The key to overcoming them is acknowledging what happened and talk about it with someone that you trust. Release the things that have hurt you, write it out if you need to, or release it through art. But most importantly you have to pull it from inside and take away the power that things hold over us when we keep silent.

If it’s various people in your past who have hurt you, then set about on the journey of forgiveness and do your best to let it go. Holding on to anger in our hearts will only damage us and not the other person, it’s really useless to hold on to. Focus instead on the person that you are today and how far you have come. Healing and forgiveness won’t happen overnight, it takes time and patience to slowly work through whatever has been bothering you. Eventually, you can find release and healing.