A whole year has almost passed and I can barely remember anything. Because most of those months were spent at any given hospital in the Raleigh/Chapel Hill/Durham area.
As I mentioned, this last hospital stay which consisted of a month give or take a few days, knocked me down farther than I have ever been. I used to think that I was at the bottom before, but, this has taken the cake. Many times, you will have found me lying face first on the ground with my bible and just laying my head on the bible and asking for God to save me, to help me, to heal me. Because I want to live. Live for me, live for my family and friends. Because I completely believe that God has big plans for my life, and if He didn't have big plans, he had plenty of chances to take me. Many, many tears have been shed over the health situation. I try to hide things (although my husband is a MASTER at figuring out what is wrong with me...makes me so mad :) ) But, for most of the year, not many people knew about me being in the hospital or that I was as sick as I was. I would only come out of my house into public when I was well and could put on makeup and nice clothes. And no one would know.
I have really never learned how to ask for help. I just go on the assumption that no one wants to hear anything bad, only good stuff, people are too busy, I didn't want sympathy or I didn't want anyone looking at me different. But, mainly...I didn't want to bother anyone and I was unsure if anyone even really cared outside of my family.
Over the year, I have been able to ask for help on a few occasions and the amount of people that came to my aid was unreal. Completely humbling. But, after each hospital visit, I stopped asking for help. I truly believed that no one would want to hear about yet again another hospital stay. So, I stayed in the house a lot. Then, Facebook came along. And shockingly enough, that was one of the places where I finally said "No, I am not doing ok" and I could share my pain physically and emotionally. The support that I got from friends that I haven't been in touch with for 20 years was amazing. I started feeling like I was coming out of my shell.
I had someone close to me to tell me that my pity party was officially over and it was time to get the hell out. I realized that others needed me. Each day has been a blessing, because i get stronger and stronger. My faith is getting stronger, and all of this has made me look at life a little differently. I am figuring out what I do and do not want in my life. I have tried to surround myself with positive people. I watch movies that make me laugh or that lift me up. I read books that I can go into another world and for a moment, I am not reminded of illness.
The best thing is that I am getting back in touch with people. Neighbors that I barely have seen in a year. Going to Val's Halloween party. I smiled and laughed so hard that night. It was so much fun. Going to my husbands company picnic and riding down the slides with my kids and laughing and laughing. Visiting Pati in LA...it put such a fire back into my life to fulfill my dreams. Seeing friends that I haven't seen in a long time. Laughter and feeling alive is what has happened. I get so much pleasure in watching my kids dance and laugh and I can laugh now with my husband over the silliest things. I thank my husband for so much he has done for me. He has carried me through the hardest times of my life.
Note to self: When you are going through a storm, you will be amazed at the people that can stick with you through the tough times. Then, you will be equally as shocked when you find that others only want the good times. These are the times when you learn what people are made of.
There is so much more to write. But, I believe that when you get knocked down, you HAVE to get back up. Getting back up may take a long time or it may happen overnight. It could mean crawling through the trenches and in my case....crawling out of a gigantic hole on my belly with just my fingernails. But, I see the light and there is no stopping me now.
Is my life perfect? Goodness no.... We live in the messiest house in America, watch our pennies for everything, kids getting sick left and right, father in the hospital, and right now living in utter chaos. BUT, in the middle of this Hurricane...I can see the Hurricane slowly going back out to shore. It is amazing when you are tested beyond what you think you could ever handle...that you just do it. It can make you stronger if you let it. And for me, that is exactly what it does. I can see past all of this and see what lies ahead.
So...if you are in a middle of a Hurricane, don't give up on yourself and believe that others want to help you. Reach out to old and new friends. Talk to people about what is happening. Don't carry the burden by yourself. Keep a vision journal/and or book. That is something that I have done since I was young. It is where I have written down goals for my life, during each phase. And since 2003/2004, I keep a Vision Book. I cut out pictures of places where I want to visit, where I want to live, goals that I want to obtain. Also, realize too that if you do reach out...that sometimes, you have to get out of your own head and realize that the other person may not have the capacity to help you right now. Because they have a storm going on in their own life and you may never know that is happening. So, try not to take it personal if you open up and get a door shut on you. There are plenty of other doors that need to be opened.
When a tear drops, I look at it differently now....I see the rainbow inside of it.