Perceived Failure

May 24, 2016

Summer 09 100Today I am feeling anxious, as I wait for an appointment with a new supervisor.  I feel shame and inadequate and emotional as I plan out different dialogues in my mind.  It is hard to be different, and to feel less than, and to have a brain and body that don’t work how I wish them to be.  I have fibromyalgia and post concussion syndrome, these effect my memory, my emotions, my ability to process and hold a  lot of information in my head, my energy level, and I have chronic pain.

I often have felt like a failure in the workplace, as I have worked at many different places over the years.  In the earlier days, I believe part of it was because I was restless, and my goal was focused on navigating college and what would help me get there.  I also struggled at times with coworkers or bosses, and processing through the criticisms that could often arise in the work environment.  Without a real sense of my own value, it was easy to feel shattered or angry when others seemed to be against me.  After having children, and becoming effected by fibromyalgia, work took on additional challenges.  Having little energy seemed to aggravate my weaknesses for lack of detail, and focus, and sometimes had less tolerance for rude behaviors.  Adding a mild traumatic brain injury to the mix, increases these difficulties even more as my brain struggles with memory, processing, and focusing.  In many ways these has brought more tolerance for others, yet it can be more difficult to hide my emotions.

As I write about my perceived failures, it brings a sense of sadness to my suffering. Regardless of the circumstances, or my part in it, the pain of these experiences caused me to doubt myself as a person, and doubt my self worth.  Regardless of where my next job leads me, this part isn’t true.  My value and my success aren’t dependent upon outside circumstances, but of who I am as a person.

I pray that when I go into my meeting today, that I remember the strengths that have been brought to me through my processes.  I have a variety of skills in the jobs I have done, as well as some attributes that have come out of my illnesses.  I am more creative in finding what works, and much more present in my body and spirit.  My acceptance, understanding and kindness towards others grows, as I find a small level of this towards myself.  I know what it is like to feel overwhelmed, helpless and without hope, yet also know what it is like to see and feel love, to find support that empowers, and to believe in taking the next step towards my dreams.  We are all on a journey, and I am grateful that each day brings me the opportunity to grow and be more of the person I desire to be.

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My Traumatic Brain Injury

April 12, 2015

Two weeks ago I was playing racquetball and hit myself in the head with the racquet.  I must admit that one of my favorite things in racquetball is to put all my energy into my swing.  Probably not the best in form, but is such a great stress release for me.  Unfortunately, while trying to hit a ball off the back wall, the power of my swing went straight to the front of my head with the rim of the racquet.  I not only hit my head, but missed the ball.  Within minutes my head started to hurt, and I got a bump on my head.  I have had numerous concussion training for coaching soccer, but couldn’t believe I could actually give myself a concussion.  So I continued to play, can’t recall how long, but the adrenaline kept me going.  I felt a little off, but seemed related to my sore head.

Since then I have been diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injury/concussion.  I still feel pressure in my head, have a hard time with mental tasks and memory, my eyes hurt and are sensitive to light, and I feel nauseated.  I feel a degree of depression and anxiety, depending on the moment.  Some of this is my normal state, and some more extreme.  The swearing words that keep entering my fragmented mind shows my agitation.  Speaking can be challenging, as I substitute words, make up words, or feel like I am stuttering.  To the person on the outside, I probably sound normal, perhaps a little less intelligent.  To me, I feel like my brain is only partly accessible.

I am surprised by the lack of information about brain injuries and people suffering with concussions.  Perhaps I am just not finding it, as it takes more effort than I have energy.  I feel alone as I read how my symptoms either should have vanished by now, or there is no clear understanding of when they could end; days, weeks, months, years.  Not the encouraging words I hope to hear.  Hopefully this blog post will be a one time post, and my brain will heal itself shortly, and I can have one part of my body that feels protected from pain.  However, if this continues, just like in dealing with chronic pain, I must find a way to adapt to life with another limitation, and not give up hope on living life on life’s terms.


When I mess Up, Is there really forgiveness, love and grace?

February 10, 2015

Sharing about my mistakes doesn’t seem like the best thing to write about on a blog.  What is the point of expressing the insanity of my life.  I prefer to be a vessel of encouragement and rightful living, than disclose that life isn’t always easy for me, and sometimes this is do to the choices I make.

Being a chronic pain survivor is something that is often beyond myself.  Though I can impact my pain by eating right, exercising and reducing stress, I still have pain.  Even though at times I can blame myself, in essence I know when I wake up in the morning with pain, I didn’t create it.

I also struggle with an addiction.  My addiction, my past, and my chronic pain are all intertwined.  When I went to therapy to deal with things I struggled with in the past, I began to escape into addictive behavior as I couldn’t deal with it.  As these behaviors continued, I got sick with a cold, took antibiotics, and my pain and fatigue started to take hold.  I coped with more addictive behaviors to deal with the pain.  I both sought help in a higher power, and sought help in other powers.

Eventually, I found help for myself through a support community, and through the medical community.  Over the years, I was able to reduce my pain, and not live in addictive behaviors.  I took myself off of pain medication, and felt like my life was going well.  I was still limited, mainly because of the fatigue, but overall had a fairly active life.

So why did I relapse?  Pretty complicated – life, opportunity, desire, denial, pain, resentments, selfishness, etc.  Something I continue to explore.  Unfortunately, the pain it has caused is great.  I feel much shame.  Many people can’t separate my action from who I am, and do I blame them? Not really, it doesn’t make sense.  Addiction and clearly harmful actions generally don’t.

I titled this blog post, Is there forgiveness, love and grace? I really believe that the healing of my body, mind and soul and connecting to something spiritual lies in the forgiveness, love and grace.  As much as I have hurt people, and can see and feel the effect in my life and in my body, I also believe healing can come and effect my life and my body.  Forgiveness, love and grace come through my higher power, my spiritual source that I hold onto.  Each day, I feel this more.  I am blessed to have several people in my life and a community group, who have also shown me the power of grace.  As I continue to integrate this into my belief about myself, I change.  I become more loving and other centered, and give grace to others.

Unfortunately, it can be easy to not love the ones who have hurt us.  This makes sense, and I have compassion for those I have hurt.  I don’t expect them to love and forgive me.  When those moments happen, I do feel the gift of such grace.  I take responsibility for my actions, and continue to do so as I see more.  Healing is a process, and it takes time for all.  Layers and layers often continue to be pealed away.  Much pain – yet a deeper love can develop.  May I become more forgiving, loving and graceful, and be able to give these gifts to others.  Not because of something they have done but because it shows my gratitude for what has been given to me.


Book review: What I know for Sure by Oprah Winfrey

February 10, 2015

I have always admired Oprah Winfrey and the difference she has made in so many lives.  She shows honesty, vulnerability, spirituality and wisdom.  When I saw her book at the library, I thought it might be a good read, but wasn’t expecting the degree of insights this woman shared.  She also had a way of making me feel like I was sitting next to a good friend, who understood my journey.  Some of the topics she discusses are possibility, gratitude, connection, and power.

Though I have heard it before, her writings on gratitude, made me start looking at things in a different way, and I have started to pay more attention to what I am grateful for.  “Here’s the gift of gratitude:  In order to feel it, your ego has to take a backseat.  What shows up in its place is greater compassion and understanding.  Instead of being frustrated, you choose appreciation.  And the more grateful you become, the more you have to be grateful for” (page 79).

Lately, I have been experiencing more physical pain and fatigue. Much of this is do to some increased stress in my life as a result of some choices I made.  It can be hard to see the gratitude when I can feel so empty inside.  Yet, when I look around, every day brings something beautiful and a source of life.  I see this through calls and texts from friends, through looking outside at the trees blowing in the wind, and through reading books that make me go “aha”, I want to live this way.


Gratitude for silence

November 13, 2013

I love the sound of music, of children laughing, of cheers at a sporting event.  Hearing life is an amazing thing.  I also really appreciate the stillness of a quiet moment to reflect and hear my own thoughts.  To contemplate something greater – something spiritual around me and within me.  To hear the wisdom that brings clarity to a problem.  To look around at the beauty of creation, to see what surrounds me, to look at the details that I often overlook, to be aware of my feelings.  Being able to remain in the silence can be a way to let go and accept what is.

I am grateful for my walk yesterday, where I turned off the headphones, and took in the silence.  I felt refreshed, gained some new insights, and enjoyed the beautiful fall day.  May I remember to step away from life’s busyness periodically to take a moment to breathe in what is around me….


Gratitude – moments of solitude to rejuvenate

November 6, 2013

Yesterday was a busy day with lots of activity.  It is hard for me to mentally and physically keep up on these types of days.  My body feels worn out and my mind can barely process.  Fortunately in the middle of it, I was able to find some time to refresh myself.

One of my favorite parts of the day is the morning.  I drink a Raw Meal Powder shake with some yogurt and fruit and have a great cup of Starbucks coffee.  I hang at the computer and write, catch up on Facebook, play computer games, read and listen to inspirational music.  It gives me a chance to wake up (something that takes awhile with Fibromyalgia) and also prepare myself for the day.

I am grateful for these moments to rejuvenate and refresh my heart and mind.  I generally do best if I have some solitude in the morning, early afternoon and evening before bed.  If I have a busy day of activity, I tend to go in overload, and will need longer periods that day or the following day.  Though I wish to be less tired, I am grateful that my fatigue can lead me to more moments of reflection and solitude that enriches my soul.


Today’s Gratitude – The little moments

November 5, 2013

Often the best things in life happen in the everyday moments. My favorite of yesterday was my daughter, Lindsey, laying at my feet by the kitchen table talking about how nice it is to lay on the floor.  About five minutes later I decided to join her and we cuddled underneath our kitchen table for a while.  It reminded me of something we would do as children, the simplicity of life in hiding.  We tried to recruit my other daughter, who decided this was a little too much.

I find that a lot of the best times in life, are taking the time to capture a moment.  Fortunately this is something that can work with whatever challenges we have in life.  I find that having fibromyalgia has made me more aware of my surroundings as I am moving at a slower pace.  There is more time for the cuddles, the conversations, and to watch for clues that something might be off-balance.

May we take the time to grasp the moments.


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