from page to post…re-blog from October 2011: solo second shot…

…husband stuck at work late tonight…so I was on my own.

nothing happened.  other than I gave myself a shot.

the red welt appeared…man, it still stings.  but, I survived.  again.

huh.

that’s the latest.  pretty anti-climactic, wouldn’t you agree?

sometimes anti-climactic can be good.

found out yesterday that if a neurologist identifies twisted blood vessels in your neck and you have MS – an angioplasty might be the solution:  they have been found to alleviate MS symptoms.  and Parkinson’s symptoms.

(article from the BBC on the topic:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8510437.stm)

Canada is working on a study.  go figure, the FDA is not very supportive of liberation therapy.

misc:  I ran into a neighbor tonight while out walking the dog.  she saw us walk by her window the other day at  5AM.  we were being followed by a coyote.  nothing happened.  anti-climactic, again.  yeah!

off to our fave irish pub tonight.

so grateful for your support.

one of my girlfriends asked what she could do for me.  my reply, enjoy every day…and play as much as possible.

xox

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showing up.

I had an idea for a new post float into my thoughts while sitting on my couch this morning, dog on my lap.  enjoying my coffee.  meditating as I watched the sunlight dance across my favorite beach scene.  but it left me.  as quickly as it appeared!

so frustrating! (my husband laughs every time I emphasize the second syllable…just like my two sistas do.)

oh!  it just showed up again!  that didn’t take long.  good thing I sat down at my laptop and started typing.

yesterday at work I thanked my staff of 22 for showing up at work every day.  how much do I sincerely appreciate that!  side bar>>>selfishly, it sure makes my job easier!

I wasn’t talking about showing up in the sense that they are physically there.  but having the passion to show up mentally and with a desire every day to make a difference.  in order to do their best work every day.

not everyone is happy at work and that’s okay.  I get it.  I endured a rough two years of not being happy at work.  I provided evidence over and over again to justify my original thought – I’m not happy at work.  so I never was.  huh.  amazing how that happens.

that all started to change in 2011 as I was determined to improve my happy factor at work.  then…this summer after MS showed up, uninvited, I had no choice but to improve things.  so I did.  I stopped complaining about work, and the work stress just started to fade away.  and now, it literally doesn’t seem important anymore to worry about what I cannot control at work.  huge shift in perspective.  as a result work has become easier.  I show up, and give what I can. and just allow the rest roll off my back.  where it used to like to hang out 24/7.

but it’s not just at work.  it’s with everything.  I love writing.  so I’m writing again. do I have the energy to write every day?  no.  is everything I write brilliant?  not even close!  and that’s okay.  I still show up and subject you peeps repeatedly to the inner-workings of my mind.  I signed up for another creativity class next year, The Artist’s Way.  I also have stopped beating myself up for not going back to yoga yet.  I’ll get there.  for not keeping a spotless house.  for not having enough practice hours to pursue life coaching certification.  and for not traveling enough.  it’s all okay.  I still want to do those things, so I will.

sidebar>>>the travel showed up on its own!  we are off to maui next month!  beautiful things can happen when you let go of your story, fears, and accept what is.

there is too much dang beauty and inspiration in this world to be sidetracked by the yuck-o thoughts of not being good enough or doing enough!  side-tracking:  that’s just too easy!

I like to take the more difficult path – I don’t side-track anymore.  I show-up as much as possible.  which will, in fact…be the easier path.  in the long run.  it just requires a daily effort.  but it’s so worth it!

it is my choice to be happy.  or not happy.  it always has been my choice.  huh.  so I am using MS to my advantage.  and continue to reset daily.  it’s now become a habit.  a good one.  😉

final sidebar>>>unfortunately, we all come from generations of strife and conflict.  it’s how we are programmed.  it’s in our DNA to look for the negative.  b’ah….I don’t want that!

everyone has the opportunity to change that, by showing up in life a little differently and a little more every day.  where it matters.

what do you do to show up for your life?

weekend revisited.

not sure what to blog about tonight.

how about what I accomplished this weekend?

hmmm…not much.  not very interesting actually:  laundry.  dishes.  most of our Xmas cards are now prepped and ready for mailing.  ran out of cards.  stressed while figuring out how to use labels that were not the right size for the address label template.  ha!  (I can’t write clearly anymore. I never did. worse now.)  figured out a workaround.  the MS hug got me halfway through.

it’s not a loving hug.  unfortunately.

but yesterday, I saw my family.

my extended family.  and closer.  lots of loving, lots of hugs.  innocent kiddos.  it was good.

it was a last-minute decision to see my family:  my uncle old guy (UOG) was not hurt on Friday.

thank God.

he works for SCE.  and was in the building when the shots were fired.

he knew the peeps who were killed.  the entire company is shell-shocked.

you never know, do you?  never take anything for granted…never.

horrifying.

but, yesterday there was life all around us.  from babies to my 88-year-old grandma.

it was a good weekend.

xo

too much? maybe. maybe not.

the following question has been rolling around after I started blogging regularly…and it bubbled up to the surface yesterday…

am I being too open with my feelings on my blog?

yes? I think I so? maybe?

I thought about this long and hard. and then thought about it again.

and concluded: no.

my body doesn’t think so (no negative body compass readings…I only ran across a +8 on the positive side of the house). neither does my mind. (no negative thoughts there either…other than the expected fear emotion right before posting 😉

oh, and then there’s the minor detail that I find myself pressing PUBLISH over and over again.

something is pushing me to keep writing.

final conclusion: it’s definitely a no.

this question started to surface after one peep opted not to follow me any longer as a result of the content of my posts. even when I said, “ouch, that hurt.”

I wanted to say, “hey, I’m the one dealing with the new-ness of MS here. sorry not every day is puppy dogs and ice cream cones!”

it’s still quite new at this point. but, I’m getting used to it. and slowly figuring out what works for me

this peep only wanted positive musings. right out of the gate.

I get that! I want(ed) that too. everyone does, right?!

but, for me writing is how I reach that feel good. when I need it. why would I give that up just because it’s too hard for someone to read what I have to say?

though…if I’m going to be a ‘real’ writer some day, I will have to get used to rejection…but only if it comes with feedback that I can work with or discard. ha! 🙂

I’m cool with the fact that some peeps don’t always get my posts. seriously. I am. I have a quirky sense of humor. I can be too serious. often confusing. I genuinely like to make fun of myself. and I make unusual and random connections.

I figure…why shut things out…when they are right there? work through them. to move them out of your system. rather than holding them hostage. they will definitely show up somewhere else if you don’t let them move on as they are designed. inevitably, an un-dealt-with yuck-o feeling will show up a lot bigger than it is right in this moment. note to self. 😉

I have to do this. especially when we’re talking about MS. turns out writing is a new basic requirement for me.

MS has been a blessing for me. I think I have said that before. but it has helped me learn to be closer to the authentic me. and appreciate the real me. self-indulgence via the blogosphere. perhaps. but I want to assure anyone going through something similar…that it can get better if you allow it. slowly. turtle steps. it can take time. and that’s okay.

sidebar off topic>>>for you young peeps, pay attention to this! trust me on this one.

take care of you. listen to your inner voice as it wiggles and flexes its muscle. that is the real you. and she’s all yours. 🙂

and for my family of girls, you are all fascinating, smart, funny, riveting. and worthy.

perfect. just the way you are.

because you are you.

and there is only one you.

(just had to share the love for my seven girls… 🙂

I had a work peep tell me last week what an inspiration I have been.

I didn’t know what to say. I almost dropped my soup mug. whaaaat?? I don’t get it. was my immediate internal reaction. yup.

(insert eye roll here.)

that night I cried in my therapist’s chair when I shared that story. good grief, Charlie Brown!

personal feelings when faced with a chronic condition too heavy for a blog? I think definitely not. what do you think?

I have to repeat:

there is no try. there is only do. or not do. ~Yoda

I’m picking the doing part of this equation.

xo

ps. update on my health: saw my regular doc on Thursday. as he was wrapping up said, “wow, you’re handling this really well.”

wow, back.

huh. that felt so good.

what do you do?

I have found something that really works for me:  I write to my present self.

(no, I don’t have MPD!)

this happened Wednesday night after a rough few days.  I have written letters to myself before.  it is one of my ongoing therapy assignments.  not writing to the present me was the direction – but writing letters to the past me.  which works.  very well.

though, I changed the rules after getting the ok from the therapist.  (like I wouldn’t have done it anyway!)  I like focusing on the present.  I think it has more power than looking behind.  (though looking back sure does have healing properties.)

that, and feeling the left-over emotions.  seriously.  read up on the mind-body connection, and you’ll see.  it’s important to really feel, what you’re feeling.  let it in.  and out.

Wed. night third person scene:  Tim has just left to pick up dinner, and Erin retreats to the master bedroom.  she flops on the bed and stares at the ceiling.  she’s facing the wrong way.  a couple of tears wiggle their way loose as she laments over the last few days.  and what she’s done wrong.  she’s been holding the tears back for the past two days.  she hugs her dog and tries to avoid picking at a scab on her dog’s head.  Erin initiates a clear focus mediation breathing deeply and consciously; she gets to the point of focusing on a spot between her eyes.  (some of you know how powerful a meditation can be!)

and then she hears someone whispering in her ear:

“Erin, what are you supposed to do when you feel like this?  you know what to do.  so go do it.”

answer immediately comes to me, and I bounce off the bed.  shushing, the other voice that is telling me to wallow.  I wipe away the tears of the past three days, and head to the living room and my laptop.

by the time Tim returns home with a rotisserie chicken, I have pounded out a letter to the present me.  

I just re-read my letter.  I talk to myself like a friend:  observational, empathetic, and non-judgemental.  I repeat, like a friend.  it feels good.  that’s the adult me talking.  yeah!

note to self:  repeat, and repeat often.  I don’t normally talk to myself like I do my friends.  huh.

my husband said to me today, “if I only I could see what goes on inside that head of yours…”

I replied, “you don’t want to join the party…”

working on being a better friend to myself.  and keep working on it.  it’s already there.  it should be easy.

what do you do?  I would love to hear.

xo

hello lover?

today I realized that things have officially started to shift.

I love this development.

I’m still experiencing same and a few new symptoms. gotta love the bee-sting shocks. random and constant pain is my new normal. and I’m walking more slowly than ever.

but.

I feel better emotionally than I have in a long time. if ever.

it comes from a variety of reasons.

I have the most awesome therapist.

I have accepted my MS diagnosis.

it is a blessing. it has readjusted my thinking.

and my priorities.

things that used to be a catastrophe are starting to roll off me. more easily. as opposed to the hunger they used to have. desperate to hang on.

being nice to myself for the first time…in forever.

I have amazing friends. well, they were always there. 🙂

gluten-free(ish) ain’t so daunting.

and, finally. I have stopped smoking. again. for good, I add. nine days now.

still laughing about my MS doctor raising his eyebrow at me while reading my intake paperwork,

“wait, you smoke 1/20th of a pack of cigarettes a day?”

“yes, I thought I should provide full disclosure.” I reply. very sheepishly.

“should I not have put that on a medical record?” I ask, admonishing myself already for being so honest. I don’t have to be that honest. come on!

but I do. I just spent eight months learning about being transparent. authentic. and open. I thought I was being all three in stating what is.

I have smoked on and off since I was 22. full-time for a good five years. and more than 1/20th of a pack a day.

my friend calls me a closet smoker. I guess I am. everyone is always surprised when they find out I smoke. (note>>>now I can say I used to smoke.) and I loved to smoke. oh, did I! even when I didn’t. I always knew I was going to smoke. I used to love the smell of cigarette smoke. I remember being in a parking lot in FL with my parents walking behind an unknown peep who was smoking as we were on our way somewhere…and I couldn’t stop inhaling the remnants of smoke I had picked up on my skin from this random smoker. I was seven. yes, I’m a strange one.

I quit for my first official time in 2003. followed by two years full-time off the nico-demon.

but relapsed a few times since then. in times of stress.

or perceived stress.

when we got married. which was when I had my first big pre-diag. MS relapse. one of my left-eye-control-nerves de-myelinated. frozen eye. (that wasn’t nearly as scary as my relapse this year. though pretty freaky!) back then I was more concerned about my black eye-patch not matching my white wedding dress. huh? (note to my hub’s fam&friends>>> this was not a direct result of marrying him!!)

when we bought our condo. that time was only six weeks. quitting was easy. peasy.

and then I returned to the nicotine on and off quite a bit in 2010-2011. plus a very brief dabble in 2009. after a boatload of stress. work. and other things I could not control. but I was able to stop smoking without missing it. dropped it. just like that.

this time it wasn’t so easy. I’m using nicotine gum this time. for the second time. I used to crave it after I quit in 2003. didn’t need it all the other times I quit.

I feel good not smoking anymore. my lungs sure appreciate not smoking. do I miss it? heck yes. but as numerous people have told me: I have to quit. MS lesions do not like me smoking.

I get it. I finally get it.

learned recently while listening to a Stuff You Should Know (love Josh and Chuckers!) podcast on nicotine that some people’s brains are pre-disposed (among other things) to loving nicotine. smoking triggers a huge reward system in the brain. feel good neurotransmitters. huh.

I must be one of those peeps. blast!!

fighting that too. but, this is an easy one. quitting should be easy. I can control it. this is one thing I can control.

I got a congratulations last week from the first person. ever. who realized what a huge feat it is to quit smoking. (though I know that all my smoking buddies know how hard it is to quit.)

picking life. taking care of what I can. and breathing.

xo