That nasty inner voice, going no where, finding myself elsewhere.

Two days late, but here I am. My planner said I had a writing appointment here for Monday. But, once again, as it has it has over and over, procrastination due to fear of failure and the inability of read worthy writings, had me skipping that arrangement. I’m proud to say I showed up here today without any decided subject matter to discuss. Something often used as an excuse not to show up. I have to confess, I caught myself opening up my last blog post to see if there was anything there that would spur on thoughts and ideas to write about. I quickly rerouted my brain to, “you are not there anymore. You are in a new place today. Write about that.”

This week I feel stronger. Not fixed, or have any nuances of mental or physical struggles removed, just stronger. It’s as if I am a toy car that takes 12 AA batteries to run, and although they are all dead, someone has kindly replaced one. That stored energy is there awaiting for the others to be replaced, but there is no way the full potential of movement, nor all my other fancy bells and whistles, be enjoyed. at least, not yet. There is something I don’t have that a toy car doesn’t. The mental capacity to understand that I am one battery closer to full operating capacity. I have potential energy. I have potential.

So far this week, I have done three continuous days of yoga. This may or not be due to a that before each yoga session, I spend some time using a heating pad to warm up the most problematic areas in terms of pain. These tend to be my hips, upper back between my shoulder blades, especially the left side that I injured, and my chest area near and below the clavicle, and my shoulders. I continue to use the 30 Days of Weight Loss videos that I mentioned in my last post, and am currently on Day 10. I am often finding the need to have more forgiving self talk, because, after each yoga session, I believe I should be able to do more that just 30 minutes. I often took 45 minute and hour long yoga classes, so the reminder that I have to stay with in my body’s current ability is essential. To move beyond the edge of my where my body is today, may ultimately decrease where that edge will be in the future if I don’t listen intently to its needs. It’s amazing how much current negative thoughts can set the probability of future self sabotaging thoughts. Without my ability for acceptance of where my body is today, I may never move beyond its current capability. That merely sets me up for possible physical issues going forward and, therefore, perpetuating negative self talk. I’m learning to tweak those thoughts in order to avoid self sabotage of my goals.

It’s amazing the things we have to relearn. Especially those we once thought we had mastered. Growing up, I didn’t let the opinions of others deter me from who I thought I was and what I wanted. Of course, there are times we must find different paths to our ultimate goals, but I was good at seeing ways around obstacles. Even if those obstacles could take the form of someone else’s opinion of me.

Point in case, when I was younger, I always thought I seen as a “bad kid”. If my mom felt we were especially “bad” on a given week, we were told we had to attend confession on Saturday morning. This mostly occured in my preteen and teen years. However, I never saw myself as what I thought she saw. I mean, yes, I did typical kid things like fighting with my siblings. To me, being sent to confession, was like being sent to the police station to admit to a crime. I didn’t see myself at all as overstepping or breaking a rule. Arguments with sibling were usually for some rational reason. I didn’t speak up against my parents opinions or rules, unless I felt they were not valid or their judgement of something that I was said to have done or said was out of context. I wasn’t “all that bad.” I merely wanted my opinions and needs to be respected, and felt I was deserving of that. I felt all persons are deserving of that. So, I didn’t allow others opinions of me dictate my opinion of me. But something has shifted me away from it.

Namely, it was my diagnosis of fibromyalgia. The symptoms and the affects of fibromyalgia became the means for my unhealthy transference. Fibro makes me angry. It has taken things from me. It has diminished what I had hoped my future would hold. I look back to the freedom I felt in my previous body, my fibro free body, and I want it back. I want to wake up feeling unencumbered from pain and the mental anguish that will keep me from accomplishing and enjoying everyday choices and chances. It has left me making choices time after time of what part of my life I delete in order to eek out those things I truly must do or desire. This week I am focusing only on needed exercise and decreasing all other physically taxing errands or situations, in order to spend time with my grandsons this weekend. I rest days on end, to have energy for a day or two. I give and give to fibro, and it keeps taking.

So, who or where do I redirect these emotions and feelings to? Anyone who takes from me. Anyone who reminds me of what I was and how I used to be. I don’t need these reminders. I know I cannot be counted on showing up if I am asked to participate in something. And if I do show up, I might not appear to fully be there mentally. I cannot be counted on if you need my help in a physical activity. I will try my best, but it is hard for me to be “on time”, especially in the morning, because my body fails me often. Yes, I “used to” be able to do all those things and I feel like a burden and useless because of my inability to do so now. Fibromyalgia is obstinate, controlling, selfish, relentlessly cruel, and hurts me to the core. So, when someone shows or tell me I am no longer the person I once was, in those moments I despise them as much as I do my archenemy, Fibro. They are tearing down any minuscule of self acceptance, self esteem, and self love I have left.

I find it strange that at the ages of 16, and 26 and 36, it was easier for me to deflect any outside influence to alter how I viewed myself. But, here I am, nearly 56, and I have allowed other’s choices in how they interact within my life, to knock me off my feet. I try to come out of this with an understanding that they truly don’t understand the scope of what I am dealing with, and how they may not see the depth their words and actions might dig into a raw part of my already deepened and embedded self hate. I know I must work on this. I must work to forgive myself for believing the hurt they inflicted was due to me not “being enough”. I’m still unsure how to explain the depth of personal loss I feel daily , so that others don’t feel the brunt of that transference. Or that I have to, once again, feel the pain and disappointment and immediately fall into a self protection mode. That mode of protection brings out a very angry, introverted person who falls further into self loathing.

I know this voice has to be silenced. I know I have been spinning in this circle for about 8 years now, and I am the only one who can pull herself out. The words of others, the actions of others, and the opinions of others is not going to bring me out of this painful despair and feeling of inadequacy. I have to believe in myself. If I cannot physically and mentally give what they are in need of, it cannot fully be my responsibility. Let them look elsewhere if they cannot accept where I am. If they must give up on me, because I am not enough, then so be it. Perhaps if I put it out there in a letter:

So, dear person/s who see me as “not enough” or “giving enough”,

I have to come back to being enough for me. I cannot give another inch of myself until I do. At least not without resentment. I am not selfish. I am not ignoring your needs. I am not lazy. I am trying to survive what fibromyalgia inflicts upon me. Please do not inflict more. I smile when I am in pain. I already show up, even when I truly don’t have the capacity to do so. You don’t have to remind me I am not who you thought I was. I am not who I thought I was becoming. Nor who I wanted to be. I am learning to adjust to that and accept it. I am not blind to seeing you expect more and that I continue to disappoint. I know my limits, and sometimes your are pushing beyond them. I have to stop when it is too much for me. I have to love myself enough to do this. On my terms. In my time.

Please be patient.

Please be accepting.

Please don’t expect me to live up to your expectations.

If you cannot. Please, move on.

Staying in the winners circle of life.

I really don’t know the why and how of my blog titles, I just throw out whatever seems to seep up from the back of my mind. But, I think this one wraps up what has bloomed from this week.

Last week was pretty good in terms of staying on task with workouts. I had my mat rolled out everyday. Then I took the weekend off, figuring it would give me a good break before starting off this week. Monday proved to be a pretty good day and I got a really good yoga practice in. Tuesday I was hoping for the same, but ended up with a more gentle yoga that only lasted about 10 minutes. My pain levels were soaring, so I rolled up the mat and opted for a long soak in Epsom salts. Yesterday was no better. In fact, I got dressed hoping to do some more gentle yoga, but that was not to be. When I can’t even get into one of my favorite poses, down dog, without feeling uncomfortable, I know it is time to back off. Instead, I grabbed the foam roller I just bought off Amazon, and hoped that would alleviate some of the deep pain I was dealing with in my back, shoulder, and legs.

Since trying to workout on a regular basis, I realized how the issues with myofasical pain has been plaguing me. So I decided to invest in a foam roller. I’m all about options and versatility, so I opted for this one by PowerPro. It is actually two rollers in one. That inner cylinder can be removed and is a smooth roller. I have used it twice and so far I am liking it and noticing a difference.

This has just been an off week all around for me. I felt exhausted on Tuesday and it was almost as if I hadn’t slept for days. Then yesterday and today, I slept in until 10:00 a.m.! But, I must admit, today I am feeling a bit more spry and am a mentally in a bit better place. I’m going to revel in that, but not overdo it. Even my appetite was off. Last night I couldn’t convince myself to have dinner, and opted to have popcorn and a Lean protein drink so I wouldn’t wake up hungry in the middle of the night.

My plan today is to get back on the mat and only go as far and as long as I my body tells me. I’m going to not stress about how much time I lost this week. I have decided to reboot my writing blogs and get back to showing up each week with posts on The Gregarious House. As far as this blog, I’m going to post once a week and not focus on what my readership looks like. I will not focus on the numbers of people it reaches, but remain hopeful it reaches those who are in need of it. Health goals with chronic issues are hard to obtain when the medical research still doesn’t have definitive answers. But, I am willing to put in the hard work to go it alone, with the hopes that others can follow along, find some use in it, and not feel isolated in their diagnosis.

This post, and many to follow, may not be filled with happy hiking and zen~filled yoga workouts. It won’t have definitive answers to the best way to work through pain, to lose weight, or the best remedies to fight through the mental struggles. Because I don’t have any of that. I only have my struggles and my experiences to share. My ways may or may not fit into what works for you and vice versa. But, I have learned and seen, time and time again, how differently most of us that have been diagnosed with chronic pain, have come to have it. There is no set course to it, and there is not one specific set course out of it. We just need to keep working toward a life where it does not define us or dictate our daily life. I can’t say I am very close to that at this point, but I am noticing small nuances of the person I was emerge. And I’m going to hold onto those priceless nuggets and build on them.

Whatever your struggles, I hope you find resilience, strength, and continued hope in every moment forward. We got this!

DeeDee’s Endorsement: If you have ever wanted to try yoga or are new to it, and have Amazon Prime, I found this great video series called 30 Day Yoga for Weight Loss with Julia Marie. The series is free with a Prime membership. Although I have had experience with yoga for quite a few years now, I am finding it beneficial for me to start out as if I am new to it. This has given me the opportunity to really focus on my alignment in various poses and to realign my past views of exercise having to remain in be a pain or no gain realm in order to be beneficial.

Coming back, dusting off the dirt, ain’t easy.

(Warning: This post was published without proof reading, because it often leads to excessive self censoring.)

Avoidance, procrastination, call it what you will, I’m in exactly that frame of mind. I’m doing my best to increase only good habits in my life. You know, things like eating healthy, finding balance, getting enough sleep and exercise. But that’s why I am struggling with coming here to write. I can so easily throw it into the box of bad habits of too much social media and not enough real life time. That’s part of the reason I haven’t written any posts, but it is only part of my struggle.

I’m trying to sort out so much in life right now, that I am unsure what the necessary parts of it are. Those who don’t know me personally, don’t know the current limbo my husband and I are living in. It has been an ongoing world of unknown since September of 2018. I hadn’t set out to even discuss this part of my life in the blog post, yet here it is, at the forefront of my thoughts as I type. I guess if I’m going to be authentic, this part should be discussed.

You see, we sold our house back then, but had no particular place to move to. I won’t go through the entire journey to where we are now, as it is lengthy. But here is the short of it: We lived in a hotel in VA for a year, while I continued to take care of my grandsons. But in October of last year, we moved to North Carolina and have been living with our third oldest son and his wife. The goal is to settle down here in NC. That, too, is a long back story. Where we are now in this journey is part of why I struggle. I don’t want this limbo to be a wasted frame of time. It is the perfect time to do a life reset. And I am still trying to sort out what that looks like.

At the onset, my goal since moving to North Carolina is to become healthier, stronger, and to decrease my pain levels in order to increase my quality of life level. Since January, I feel like I have made some key changes in moving toward that direction. I am definitely making more time to roll out my yoga mat, I’m sticking to the eating healthy regimen while allowing treats here and there, I’m allowing my body to rest on days it requires it without feeling (too) guilty, I’m putting in long walks when I’m capable, and I have continued using my Plexus products to get my gut issues in check. All these are essential in moving toward making this my healthiest decade ever, but there is something missing. Purpose.

It was easy when my kids were still at home. They were my purpose. Then I went into blogging mode when we became empty-nesters, until the first grandson came along. He, and then later his two brothers, became my purpose. Physically, it became difficult. Mentally I was in despair, because the person I knew and thought I had become was dwindling away. I’m fighting back, but I don’t know where this all leads. I had hoped that a return to blogging would help me return to that part of me that I left somewhere back there in that heap of chronic pain.

Admittedly, it’s hard. It’s hard to not recognize yourself and to fight each day against what limitations your body and your energy impose upon it. I thought, and hoped, that writing would help me see my own progress and encourage others to persevere as well. And that hope hasn’t completely waned. However, I find it hard to show up here and feel there is anything worthy of writing and reading. I find it hard to plug into social media, when I feel so disconnected from myself. I have yet to come to grips with the fact that my writings won’t be all unicorns and rainbows like my writings at my blogging infancy. I couldn’t get to my laptop and sign into my WordPress account fast enough back then. Now, I allow my laptop to remain buried in its bag collecting dust in the corner of the room.

I know there is a joy in writing for me. At least, I remember it once feeling that way. But I feel such a disconnect to it now. Perhaps it is because I am dealing with the reality of what I can’t control. That’s a raw thing to share. There is no certainty that I will succeed. With that comes the realization it might not be helpful to others. And there is also the judgement that comes with making myself vulnerable. Sometimes I think I am not at a place to endure that. A few years ago, perhaps I would have been.

I guess I just need to tap into that person. The one who, eight years ago or so, was not swayed by those who wanted to peg her as something she wasn’t. I liked her. She had confidence. She felt worthy of good things in her life. She found happiness in the smallest of things. I was proud to know her.

I guess, in order to put my best foot forward, I just need to meet her here more often. To let her talk it out. To feel that vulnerability and take it in stride if confidence and self love wane. Maybe I’ll come back to it, then. That person and skin I felt comfortable in.

Nothing to lose at this point. But there is a life and a future I need to regain.