Becomming A Liar ? 

Anyone who knows me knows I’m an absolutely terrible liar. I have an ‘outloud’ face and am usually unable to maintain eye contact. I’m horrble with surprises if someone asks me a direct question. I give the truth away no matter how hard I try.

However, over the past four years I’ve nearly perfected the art of lying. Not because that was my goal, mind you, but out of necessity and survival. I was diagnosed with CRPS about 4 years ago and my life literally got dumped upside down. The healthy, very active, I’ll sleep when I’m dead, OCD, clean freak, go go go person that I was quickly came to a halt. Denial was my first response. Ignore it and maybe it will go away. Yeah, not so much! Soon I was on one pain pill and then another and then this med and that med until at one point I was on 15 different pills at the same time. I had to quit my job. I’ve held a job since I was 14 years old…….not working was ……weird, and defeating. Nothing like not being able to provide for yourself and your children to make you feel worthless. I spent 90% of my time in bed. I had a sleep study done that showed the intense pain I was in would keep me from sleeping and reaching REM sleep. Let me just say it’s hard, no impossible, to recover any energy when you can’t rest. I missed out on hanging out with my friends and my kids and all the fun that goes along with all of that. Then, I spent all day and sleepless nights thinking how worthless and useless my life had become. How I was nothing but a burden to my family. As a stubborn ass woman who has dealt with more crap than I care to mention and yet refused to let any of it keep me down, that was a rough place to be in. Countless times I wished I would just go to sleep and not wake up. 

Relationships dwindled, except for those few that actually researched my disease and tried to understand that me missing or cancelling last minute wasn’t about them, it was my disease. At first I tried my best to educate myself, my family and my friends when they asked questions. I found that most of the time it went in one ear and out the other with most people. Hearing things like ‘well I hope you feel better soon’ or  ‘ you just have to suck it up and push forward’ was growing exhausting. REALLY?! No shit I would love to magically feel better one day! But it doesn’t work like that! And I can’t even begin to explain how much pain I suck up on a daily basis just to be able to get out of bed. Have you not met me? Do I not always suck it up?! 

Finally the anger was just too much. I was sick to death of trying to explain to those that didn’t have enough common decency or respect for me, to even bother to grasp the basics of what I was dealing with. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t and don’t expect people to know as much as I do. I live it and have to know, sometimes more than even the doctors I see. Basic knowledge would be nice though. Instead I’ve been alienated by some I never thought would do such a thing. Guess they didn’t get the memo that I’M the one dealing with 24/7 pain….NOT them. 

So, I stopped trying to get people to understand. I joined a support group online and relied on my couple very close friends/family to vent my frustrations to. For everyone else, I put on a smile and when asked how I was I said ‘fine.’ I’m quite the pro at it these days if I don’t say so myself! I can plaster a huge smile on my face and act like I am good to go. There are a couple people in my life that can take one look at me and know I’m lying….but for the most part I think I’m quite convincing. I’ve been working hard at it for a few years now. Now I’m fine, always late and unable to make solid commitments to plans….but hey, as long as everyone else is comfortable, right? 

I was literally one in a million and was lucky enough to go into remission in January of this year after a second hip surgery. Had I known that, I might have stayed on my pain pill cocktail for another year……..saving me a horrible withdrawl process and months of med free pain. Now remission for CRPS isn’t like remission for other things. Remission for me means that my normal daily pain is at a 4 instead of an 8 or 9. Not gone, just less…….until I have a flare…..which happens with any barometric changes, overstimulation of my left arm or leg or too loud of music or lights ……really just about anything. hahahha

CRPS Is an asshole. Plain and simple, it’s an asshole. People around you become assholes because they think your pain is an inconvenience to them. News flash……..NOPE! It’s all very exhausting. I’m not a fan of drama and theatrics and I wasn’t born with enough patience to deal with assholes. That is where the lying has come in. Instead of getting pissed or sad by the stink eye, hushed talking, or just straight blatant disrespect and talking crap behind my back ……I decided it’s not my job to keep setting people in my life straight with facts anymore. They can Google! I will just smile and say I’m fine and let you believe it. In turn, my stress is decreased and I feel much better because of it. 

I started a journey about 9 weeks ago that was just for me. That isn’t anything I’ve ever done before. Being a young, single mom for many years didn’t leave me much me time. I’m working out 6 days a week, Im eating the right foods 6 times a day (that took a bit to be able to do), cut out all alcohol, and have literally the most positive, supportive and encouraging bunch of people surrounding me. It couldn’t have come at a better time. Yet even here, I’m a liar. I show up everyday no mattter what, put a smile on my face, and give everything I have every single time! I lie to myself to keep me going. Crazy thing is….I do. I guess all lying isn’t bad. (Don’t tell my kids hahaha) Maybe it’s been more of a fake it until you make it situation than a lie. 

I’ve had plantar fasciitis in my left heel going on for 12 weeks now and my left side is what is affected most by CRPS. I’m afraid everytime I jump on that foot that I will throw myself right out of remission. I lie and tell myself that isn’t going to happen today. I fear that as the weather gets colder and colder that exposing my limbs to the severe weather will throw me out of remission. I bundle up and lie and tell myself to suck it up. Everytime I wake up in severe pain (again,thanks alot winter…you suck) I lie and tell myself it’s not that bad. For the most part these lies work…..so far. CRPS likes to sneak up and remind you that you are not in control. It is. However, in the midst of all these lies, I have gotten stronger and healthier and happier and have slowly taken some control back. Now, I could go on for days about Ferrells and how it’s changed my life in the last 9 weeks. How amazing every single person that attends Ferrells is. How my amazing cousins inspired me and continue to be my  accountabilibuddies. How having a truly non judgemental, totally accepting and encouraging environment is what has allowed me to keep pushing forward. That will definitely be an article for another day! Ferrells may have quite literally helped to save my life. 

So…..I’ve become a liar. What of it? I saved a whole lot of hurt feelings, my feelings. I save the frustration of repeating myself 9,000 times to people who aren’t really listening to me anyways. I save the anger I have for the heavy bag. I gained strength and determination and a phenomenal support system. I also gained 40lbs in 3 years thanks to this damn disease. I’m probably lying….it was probably more. I’m also working on that, quite successfully if I dont say so myself. Mostly, I’ve taken some of my life back. 

Turns out, if I’m going to be a liar, I guess becoming that kind of liar isn’t too bad. But please, don’t go asking me questions you aren’t prepared to hear the answer to! 

This One Got To Me 

I have voted my entire adult life….I believe that is 7 presidential elections now. Never missed an opportunity to use my voice. If my candidate lost I was disappointed but shook my head and hoped for the best. This country rides on a roller coater of crazy and always has. I would just cross my fingers in hopes the dips were shallow and the highs were out of this world. Watching the world change, for the most part, for the better year after year. Watching my country fighting for equality for all has been an amazing thing.

This year was exceptionally exciting for me. First year that all three of my children were old enough to vote! They are all registered and informed voters. This was the first election my two youngest were able to participate in. Serious proud mama moment. Not to mention for the first time in 240 years there was not one, but two women on the ballot for President. Talk about history in the making! Putting their views aside, that was a pretty amazing thing to witness as a woman. I think it was pretty amazing to witness as a human being. 

True, I am not a fan of Trump….for sooo many reasons. However, I really didn’t expect his win to affect me so much. For those of you that don’t really know me, I’m not an overly emotional kinda person. I’m passionate and fierce, but not a sappy cryer. However, this morning I found myself unable to hold back the tears. Memories of things I have shoved down for decades being brought to light by this mans words and actions crept up on me this morning. I believe him to be a racist, Islamaphobic, homophobic, temper tantrum throwing hot head. That being said, that’s my opinion and if it differs from yours I am ok with that. It’s differences that  ultimately catapult this country forward decade after decade. 

The reason I am so sad is because of his sexist views. Words out of his own mouth that prove over and over again he has no respect for women, pays his female employees at a lower rate than their male counterparts and his first defense against anything said against him by a woman is to attack her physical attributes and act like a neadrathal bully. Some might find his antics to be something they just brush off as crass behavior, but I emplore you to look at it in a different light. Just this one aspect…his treatment of women and how that might impact our society on a whole. How it might impact your daughter, sister, wife, mother and even our sons, brothers and men. 

This enrages and saddens me because I’m the mother of two amazing young women that I have fought tooth and nail to raise believing they can do anything and be anything without restrictions; to break through those glass ceilings and never accept less than they are worth. Having someone in charge of our country that doesn’t share that fundamental view is disappointing to say the least. 

However, the bigger horror is that he has shown utter disrescpect for women so publically. I fear that will breed more hate and intollerance thus creating a environment where my girls one day fear becomming the victim of something I once had to survive. I fear that  their bodies, their minds, their souls will be compromised and those deplorable actions will be tolerated by those who witness it. That instead of standing up to those being bullied, abused, raped and degraded….we are creating a culture of acceptance of that kind of atrocity. 

Being a victim of molestation and rape has made me into the stubborn, strong, fighter that I am today. Because of that, I have fought even harder for my girls to be aware and fight back and not accept anything less than what they are worth. To stand up to abuse, disrespect, and sufferage. To be confident that their fight is being backed by a country full of like minded people. Today, I’m no longer confident that they have that backing. 

Instead of empathy and acceptance I see nothing but hatred and intollerance. I am afraid that one day my girls will experience the trauma that I once went through. That it will forever change who they are. That their strength and independence I fought so hard for them to have will be taken. I worry for their safety. I worry they will experience what rape does to your soul. I worry that they will experience  how sufferage feels. That no matter how smart and strong and hard working they are, it can all be taken away because we have a future president that see’s these actions as acceptable. A future president that doesn’t respect, value or appreciate what women stand for in this country. 

I told my oldest daughter that I feel as if we should strap on the heels and pearls and grab the vacuum with that type of mentality at the very least. She said or possibly strap on the combat boots and gun and prepare for Civil War II. Or my fave…….in the words of my amazing cousin Kristina…pull on the high heeled boots, strap on the gun and prepare to keep fighting for what is right. 

For me and mine…..we choose option 3! 

All political differences aside……caring for each other because of human decency should never be something we disagree on. I truly hope for the sake of all of us, his tone changes dramatically. 

6 Steps To Make or Break A Relationship

Take the advice from someone who has had many failures…….some my own doing and quite a few from the lack of doing of others. I know what doesn’t work.  In no particular order….I have chosen the wrong men. I’ve made bad decisions about who to date. I’ve let bad relationships go on for far too long. I put up an emotional wall and let no one in. I sabotaged a great relationship. I let people take advantage of me. I worked hard to save a marriage that needed to end. I put everyone else first. I gave second chances, third, fourth and fifth chances to those who didn’t deserve it. I’ve spent way too much time waiting for the other person to do the right thing. Most importantly, I’ve learned from my mistakes and continue to learn more everyday.

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1. Communicate

Seems easy enough doesn’t it? After all we speak to people every single day, all day long. However, when it comes to communicating effectively, sometimes we run into a wall. Being honest with someone else means we have to be honest with ourselves; that can be scary. Fear is normal. Without it we would probably do more damage to ourselves than we could possibly imagine. Fear can also keep us from doing the things we need to do; saying the things we need to say.

 Once you’ve figured out what you really need to say, get their attention, and tell them what’s on your mind. Leave animosity, negative comments and judgments at the door. If you want someone to hear what you’re saying, pick a time when they can actually hear you. No distractions, put down the phone and shut off the tv. I think a lot of us fear that being honest will destroy what we have. I can tell you that not being honest is what will begin that destruction. So suck it up, take a deep breath and talk!

Don’t forget to listen. Hearing what our partner is saying is just as important as being heard. We have  a tendency to tell people exactly what we want or expect from them. Pay attention. It may be your last chance to salvage something before it’s broken beyond repair.

2. Respect Each Other

Respecting each other means so many things. We are all very different people. We grow up in different ways and have totally separate life experiences. We don’t fall in love with someone because they are exactly like us. We usually fall in love with people who are different from us, challenge us, share our same passions or a shared vision of a life you want to build together. Remembering to respect our differences and the fact we aren’t always going to agree on everything is crucial to a successful relationship. Respect means having each other to lean on in hard times.

This one also ties directly in with communication. Face it, no one is hearing anything the second shouting, name-calling, degrading, or any of that other foolishness starts. Even if the reason you have an issue to begin with is because they are not respecting you, getting out of control will do absolutely nothing. You can’t take back words you have already said or damage you have already done. Learn to be ok with taking a time out and coming back to it later.  Respect the person you love enough to not do or say something that can’t be undone. Treat respect for each other like it was fine china. You can only crack a dish so many times before it’s beyond repair.

3. Support Each Other

We all just want to be happy. We want to be happy and enjoy our lives. To do that we have to have separate dreams and goals that are just for us. Dreams and goals can also change and evolve as we mature and life circumstances change. Supporting your partner means having each others back through all of lifes twists and turns.

In sickness and in health, for richer or poorer……etc….etc…. You get the gist. Life changes, we change, we grow, we find new interests and hobbies; you never know what is around the corner. We age, we gain weight, lose weight, change jobs, lose jobs, have kids, and so on and so on. You will not be the exact same person at 20 that you are at 50 and neither will your partner. The promises you made to each other need to be the things that never change if you want your marriage to succeed.  Life will likely hand you things you have no control over. Man up! Woman up! Life is chaos. Things get crazy and sometimes curve balls are thrown at you left and right. You are in this marriage together. So put on your waders and walk hand in hand into the crap and clean it up together. Fail to do your part and your marriage will fail.

4. Seek Advice From The Right People

Everyone needs someone independent of their significant other to talk to about their significant other. We are different people and will not always see eye to eye on everything. These are just the facts. Sorting things out and trying to figure out what to do sometimes requires a fresh set of eyes. Do yourself, your marriage and your partner a solid and only talk to someone you trust implicitly and knows you both.

I know it’s so much easier to go to the person who you know will back you no matter what. However, that is not always the best idea. You don’t need a yes man in a situation like this. You need someone who not only supports you, but supports your partner and your marriage.

Your parents probably aren’t the best choice. Thing is, they usually have a one-sided bias and will most likely take your side even if 99% of what you said logically makes no sense. Of course there are exceptions to the rule, but for the most part, best to avoid this situation. Not to mention, if you bad mouth your partner to your family, they will hold it against them even well after you have cleared up the real issue. Nothing puts distance between a couple faster than shoving a bunch of people with negativity between the two of you.

Can’t unbreak that dish.

5. Be Present in Your Relationship

This means never take your partner for granted. Just because they are there everyday doesn’t mean that can’t change tomorrow. Pay positive attention to each other and compliment each other everyday. Want a healthy, growing, loving relationship? Then act like it. Every single day. Don’t ignore your spouse for days or weeks and then five minutes before you want a little something, suddenly notice their existence. It’s not cute. Figure out what each others’ love language is and act on that.

Most likely if you are no longer present in your relationship, then one or both of you has failed in any or all of the above steps. That is why this last step is crucial. Timing is everything…..wait too long for step six and you just might seal your fate with another failed relationship.

6. Right The Wrongs

I can’t think of a single person that hasn’t made a mistake or multiple mistakes in their lifetime. You don’t have to let the mistake define who you are. As a matter of fact, the best thing you can ever do is to let what you do about that mistake be what defines you. That is, of course, if you do the right thing. Maybe they won’t forgive you. Maybe they will. Most importantly you should want to make things right because if nothing else you know in the end you did your best and won’t make the same mistake twice.

Lies create distrust. Distrust leads to destruction. Period. Tell the truth, right the wrong, do your best, learn from your mistakes and be a better person because of them. Leave the wrongs hanging out in your relationship and I can promise you, that relationship will eventually end. These are the times to decide what is more of a priority for you, the lie or your marriage. Words are cheap my friends. If you plan to talk the talk, best to walk the walk…….or you may end up walking all alone.

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You’ve probably heard it a million times and possibly said it yourself…. It takes two people to make or break a marriage. Well, that’s half right. It takes two people to make a marriage succeed. You have to be a team and work together if you want to get through all the craziness life throws at you. However, it only takes one person to break it. If you stop being part of your team, then your relationship will most likely crash and burn. One person to shut down, check out, screw up and destroy what you were trying to build together. One person.

Better figure out what kind of person you want to be before you pledge to be all that and more to someone else.

Throat Punching Frustration

Anyone who has ever had or still has a medical issue can probably relate to the level of frustration that feels like DeathCon 10. We turn to our doctors and specialists because they went to school for like, what, twenty years? They are supposed to be the smart ones. We all want Dr House. That arrogant, but brilliant doc that figures out what no one else could. I can totally deal with an asshole from hell as long as he helps improve the quality of my life.

I’ve had my fair share of asses, bitches, ignorant jerks without a clue, know it all’s who don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground, nicey nicey, pacifying, and supportive docs. I’ve experienced nearly every single stereotype.  I’ve had breakthroughs and breakdowns. I had one doc tell me I’m depressed because after 8 months of non stop pain and no concrete answers as to what was going on, I cried. I’m not depressed!! I’m pissed off and throat punching people is frowned upon.

I’ve done more research and came up with most of the answers to my own health questions than all of my doctors combined. I think I need a huge refund if you ask me.  Part of that is called patient responsibility. Yes, it’s my job to keep track of what’s going right and wrong with my own body. After all, no one knows my body better than me. The frustrating part is when you tell your doc what is going on and either they brush it off or blatantly tell you that you are wrong. Seriously? Now I’m paying you to ignore me or call me a liar? I think this arrangement has run it course.

Problem with total doctor avoidance is…….you can’t get the meds you need when you need them. So what is a smart, self-aware, common sense expert supposed to do when they have reached Throat Punching Frustration levels?

Lie? Doctor hop? Give up?

I guess I shall just start with venting. Doesn’t solve my problems, but maybe getting it out will keep me from any assault charges.

In defense of most of my previous doctors, I am a bit of a medical mystery. Had a hysterectomy at 28. Thyroid failure at 29 that kept supposedly not showing up on lab work (a closer look showed it actually did) Gallbladder removed at 31, thin and fit. Rare nerve disease at 39. Inoperable inter-cranial cyst at 40 and gaining back all the weight I busted my ass to lose right now. I spent years and years hearing ‘you don’t match the profile for….’ I’m not kidding when I say that after awhile, I started most conversations with my physicians like this….. ‘I swear to you if you say anything along the lines of me not fitting in a typical profile I will snap! Look at the symptoms and try to ignore the fact I’m young and healthy looking.’ I’ve been lucky to come across a few docs that actually followed that advice. It was those physicians that got to the bottom of what was going on. Sadly, it usually took months and months of the great doctor shuffle and tons of wrong medications and horrible side effects to finally get to the one with the solution.

I listen to my doctors, quite intently. Do they ever really listen to us? Or do they walk into the room with what seems like a prepared lecture? Sometimes that one seemingly flippant comment is the straw that breaks the camels back. Telling the person struggling to lose weight to eat an apple or that weight loss is all about calories in vs calories out and absolutely nothing more is not only not helpful, it’s insulting. Did you listen to the part where they have been tracking every single possible morsel and the outtake is higher than the intake, but they somehow have either lost nothing or gained weight? Telling the chronic pain patient that opioid treatment is just a dead-end cycle. Trust me, we know!!! Until I see anyone offering an actual SOLUTION, we have to take what we can get. Having a receptionist call to cancel an appointment with the Neurosurgeon that took 3 months to get into the day before said appointment, because after reviewing the scans they decided operating wasn’t an option and therefore don’t want to even speak to you. nevermind the fact she already knew that and was waiting to get into to see the doc because the meds she was given aren’t working and her other doctor said if anyone could help, it was the Neurosurgeon he referred her to. We aren’t just a collection of data and lab results. We are human beings looking for a solution so we can have our lives back. Or at least have a better version of the lives we have right now.

Nothing is ever easy. Very few of us expect it to be. However, we do expect our physicians to not only listen to us, but to hear what we are saying. Help us get through our hurdles. Help us live better, healthier lives. Understand that most of us just want to get better, be better, feel better. Whatever happened to……

Do No Harm.

Why I’m Not Friends With My Ex And Never Will Be

I applaud anyone that says they are still friends with their ex, especially if children are involved. I only hope that they remained friends for healthy reasons and not because they are unable to figure out how to rid themselves of a toxic relationship. I personally have absolutely no interest in keeping people I don’t trust in my inner circle.

The end begins with a break in trust. That break can then lead to a loss of communication, lies, possible infidelity, game playing, emotional manipulation, financial manipulation and ultimately a complete destruction of what was once a healthy, thriving relationship. Did your divorce end because of any of these issues? If so, then why would you allow someone like that to continue to be in your life on the same level as those who you respect and respect you in return? Seems irresponsible to me to let the demon in and hand him a key. Holding on to that destructive relationship only further damages you. It doesn’t damage the toxic person. Their goal is to keep you swimming around in their pool full of sludge, distracting you from the ladder that is right next to you.

Lets say your bff Sally slept with your husband, stole money from you, treated your children like crap, tried to start fights with you for her own manipulative entertainment and then acted as if it was all your fault. Maybe she apologizes and you think you have worked through it all just to have her start the whole, sick system over again, more lies rearing their ugly head along the way. Watching as her utter denial nearly makes you feel like you are the only person who is dealing in reality. You going to keep her in your life? You going to let her wreak havoc on you and those you love? Sounds like a bad idea doesn’t it?

Divorce is not fun. I have witnessed some doozies, let me tell you. I’ve watched perfectly reasonable adults turn into crazed, back-stabbing lunatics. I’ve also seen perfectly amicable separations. Ultimately, it all ends and you have to find a way to move on. You can’t move forward dragging along baggage.

To receive forgiveness, a person must ask for it as well as be able to change the actions or behaviors that needed the forgiving in the first place. Otherwise, what’s the point? Doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome is the definition of insanity. I may be a little crazy, but I’m not a delusional nut job. I cannot and will not ever trust someone who continues to be untrustworthy. Period. It’s not holding a grudge. It’s called not allowing yourself to be taken advantage of. I cannot and will not be friends with someone who can’t come clean about their mistakes. Lies, left unresolved is just a lind mine waiting to be stepped on…..and you will eventually step on it.

Co-parenting hasn’t been the easiest. My ex moved an hour away and put his priorities toward his latest child. A mess I had to clean up more than a hundred times with my children. See, kids are smart. They know when they have been shoved down on the priority list. Sadly, I was the one dealing with the constant emotional fall-out. I would try to discuss the situation with him and offer possible solutions. Sometimes he would listen and I would see my kids relax a little…..until he would yet again, break promises or use emotional manipulation to get what HE wanted out of the relationship. Being in that situation is a very difficult place to be. I can clearly see the games being played yet my hands are tied because I can’t say anything that might be perceived as negativity toward their father. Talk about frustrating!! As they got older, the only thing I could do was give them advice about learning how to step back and try to see things as they really are and not as they want to see it. Having a parent constantly let you down does more damage than you can possibly imagine.

Then there is the game playing he has attempted with me throughout the years including not paying child support for 3 years, calling and yelling at me because the kids are busy (news flash…teenagers are busy!!), calling my kids and asking what me and my husband are doing (uhh, none of your business-try talking to your child about your child), missing out on important functions while pretending he never knew about them (we both operated off the same school calendar), name calling me when I refuse to argue with him, and the latest was when he hacked into my adult daughters Facebook account and blocked me and my husband. Hello!!! Like we wouldn’t figure out who the only person in the world who would do that is. Those are just some of the reasons I will never be friends with my ex. There are so many more but there is just not enough time for that detailed list, trust me.

I would never allow an individual into my life that pulled even a fraction of the crap my ex has. I would never be friends with someone I can’t trust. I would never be friends with someone who lies and manipulates those around them to get what they want out of the relationship. I would never be friends with someone who hurts the people I love and calls me names when they get caught. That is a toxic person and letting them into my life would then be MY mistake. I’m not about to make the same mistake twice.

I keep any communication to an email or text message if possible. My kids are old enough to contact him on their own and figure out when they want to see him (2 grown and on their own and my son is a senior) so there is no reason for us to interact on a frequent basis. I count down the days until I no longer have to even sporadically deal with his toxic chaos. If it weren’t for the kids I wouldn’t have contact with him in any way, shape or form. Yes, we do have to talk and see each other from time to time. It’s unavoidable. I do not have to participate in his game. I keep it short, simple and to the point as if he were a perfect stranger I have no desire in getting to know. Keep it cordial and not rude. Takes some practice, but it gets easier the more you realize the drama free zone is so much nicer.

The thing is, I’m not angry or bitter or scorned or any other lingering adjective. I’ve been at peace about our divorce for almost 10 years. It was a relief to be free of the drama. It is for that very reason that I have no desire to ever be friends with my ex. Why in the world would I invite toxicity into my life and then sit around wondering why the happiness is dying? I have real and true friends. People who love and accept me the way I love and accept them. People who don’t need constant forgiveness because they don’t put themselves or me in a position that would warrant such behavior.

Yes, everyone makes mistakes. Everyone! Turns out you don’t have to participate in the lives of those that keep making mistakes while they drag you through their trail of excrement. Forgiveness belongs to those that want it, are honest with you and themselves about what really happened and do everything in their power to not repeat their mistakes.  Even though I don’t participate in the games my ex plays, he is still the same toxic person that has never come clean about things that I know are facts and more importantly he continues to use and manipulate those around him with no regard for the consequences.  I have a much happier life without him in my circle. Toxic people can be a friend, an ex, a co-worker, or even a family member. Do yourself a favor and rid your circle of toxic people and watch how happy you can truly be.

Spring is Coming

I have the windows open and the fresh air pouring in!! Hurry up consistent warm weather. I’m in need of sunshine and 70! Woo hoo!

#thestruggleisreal

The struggle with chronic pain is far more real than most people will ever understand. I am ok with that. I wish that more and more people would never have to endure this living hell. Fact is, unless you are experiencing it yourself or something extremely similar, you can’t possibly understand what it is like to live with chronic pain with every single breath you take. Chronic pain sufferers are twice as likely to take their own life than those without pain. Don’t confuse this with depression, because if you add chronic pain patients who also have depression, that number skyrockets. I’m talking about those people who logically decide that they can no longer live in tormenting pain. That they don’t want to be a burden on those around them anymore. The person that can’t keep up, doesn’t have enough energy, can’t do enough, can’t work, can’t help out enough anymore, and no longer has a purpose.

Pain starts out as obnoxious. That loud toy your sister bought your child that never seems to run out of batteries. Sirens whaling, lights flashing, beep, beep, beeping non stop and just when it shuts up, you step on it! Unlike chronic pain, the toy will eventually run out of juice and give you some peace. Most people can handle obnoxious for a little while. We learn to block it out for short periods of time, like putting the toy in the bottom of the toy box. You can still hear it, but it’s muffled and manageable. Subconsciously thinking that one day those batteries will die and we will get some peace and quiet, we are nieve and almost positive. We think one day we will finally get a break from the never-ending pain. For chronic pain sufferers like myself, pain pills are like the toy box in the beginning. They dull the noise of the pain. It doesn’t take it away. It is still there beeping away and when you aren’t looking it’s inevitable that the toy box has been dumped over so you end up stepping on it when you least expected it. You see, pain likes to give big reminders that you are not in control.

You can deal with a whole lot more of obnoxious than you ever thought possible. It’s true…..at first. However, it doesn’t stay there. Chronic Pain learns quickly that it can be quieted from time to time and it doesn’t like that at all, so it starts to step up its game. It begins to adapt and adjust. It learns to push through strong pain medications. So you go back to your doctor and they give you more or something stronger or different in order to confuse the pain or attempt to slow it down. Sometimes that works……for a bit. You see, chronic pain is adaptive…constantly revising. It learns and moves and changes and intensifies,  becoming insufferable. You try everything and anything you can think of. I did. Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Meditation, Diet Changes, Cognitive Behavior Modification, Massage Therapy, Natural Remedies (legal and not), too many medications to list…seriously, you name it….I have tried it!!

Then you get to deal with all the politics of chronic pain and all that entails. I won’t bore you with all the details. But the gist of it is…..med regulation…..and not in a good way. I’m a tough case, I’m allergic to a ton of meds and the rest I have massive side effects. Needless to say, I don’t do well with modern medicine. Here’s the deal……I’m voluntarily coming off pain meds and yet at my last visit, after telling my doc I had enough pills left to wean me the rest of the way off my methadone and he didn’t need to write me another script……he said, “I will write it for 60 more and then I need to do a drug test on you to make sure you aren’t selling your pills.”

Go ahead……read it again……..yeah…..he said that!

I’m NOT a FRICKEN CRIMINAL!!!! If I were selling my prescription pills, I could afford to pay off my medical bills and I wouldn’t be in pain and wanting to just go to sleep and not wake up anymore!! Now would I?!! Who treats people like this? As if we don’t have enough to deal with. Being off pain meds is heinous. It’s worse than in the beginning with the obnoxious toy because the pain has already adapted and intensified and spread, but now there isn’t anything at all to help quiet the noise. Instead of being able to talk to my doctor about any other options that he might possibly know of that maybe I haven’t tried by chance. I didn’t get that option because of the drug seekers out there ruining proper medical care for chronic pain patients. I have a nerve disease called CRPS. It’s one of the most painful diseases on the McGill Pain Scale and yet I can’t seem to get any relief from this pain. The one person who was supposed to help has let me down. Pain meds have made me gain weight, lose friends , lose trust in those I used to depend on, changed some of the people around me into people I don’t recognize anymore, and left me feeling very alone most of the time and all because of something I have absolutely no control over. If I had one ounce of control, I guarantee you it would al look very different. I would get my life back!

Bit by bit you become a fragment of the person you used to be and you realize you will never be the person you wanted to be. Your dreams died the day Chronic Pain moved in. The most miniscule tasks take almost all of your daily energy. I have found it’s very difficult to explain to healthy people what it’s like to do something as simple as get out of bed when you have CRPS. All I can think of is imagine the most excruciating physical pain you have ever experienced in your life……now add on top of that the worst loss you have ever experienced in your life…..now imagine those two things at the height of their intensity happening at the same time……and then ……..it will NEVER end! No matter what you do, what you say, what you take, what you change, how hard you pray, how much you barter, beg, deny or try to use your stubbornness to will it away……IT NEVER STOPS……not even when you are sleeping.

Then there is the guilt. Have you done enough? Is there anything else? Can you handle one more thing? Are you putting too much stress on your family? When is enough enough?  When is the time to figure out how to make sure everyone is taken care of. Who will take care of your little fur-baby the way you have? Who will look out for your children the way you have even though they are almost all grown? All questions that need to be answered, and more if you decide you can’t live in this pain anymore. Wishing for a few good days so you can tie up loose ends, go through clutter, write a few letters, make arrangements. If you can do all of that and more, will it be enough? Will people understand? Or will they continue to see you in the same inconvenient light they see you in now?

Sound a little detached and methodical? I imagine that this might be the place that some people come to before deciding to check out. Depression is usually an emotionally based decision-making process. I think when it comes to chronic pain, the decision-making process becomes a different entity altogether. It becomes logical, thought out, and meant to keep future burden on loved ones to a minimum. I’ve considered it myself, probably more so recently than ever before. I’m not sad or depressed. I just can’t take much more of this unrelenting pain. There is NO cure. There is NO remission. There is NO hope for relief. Those are the facts. There is very little joy left in my life because it is constantly being tainted by the never-ending pain. Those smiles and laughs you see on those of us with chronic pain…….that’s the lie. It’s the lie we tell you all to try to make you feel better. Ironic isn’t it? We are living in a personal hell every second of our lives and yet we want you to be ok.

But you would miss out on so much of life!! Right? Yeah, I know. We all know. We know al too well because we are already siting on the sidelines, unable to participate in 90% of our own lives. What would I miss? ……. besides the obvious of my amazing family and friends and my sweet little fur babies and watching their futures unfold……I’m not going to talk about them. Not enough internet for that. Trust me. Keeping it light, I would miss laughing while watching The Ellen show everyday. Ahhh Ellen…..if only there was something she could do. She seems to make a lot of people’s dreams come true. But alas, mine isn’t possible. What will happen on The Walking Dead and American Horror Story Hotel. Yeah, I watch a lot of tv these days. It’s all I can do while I lie here in severe pain, crying, all alone with my sweet pups….they never judge me, they just lick away the tears and cuddle up as close as they can. I don’t believe in a heaven or a God really. Fairy Tales for adults if you ask me. But life is energy and energy doesn’t end, so I don’t know what happens to our energy after it leaves our bodies. Maybe I will still be able to catch up on my shows and keep an eye on my kids, family, friends and fur-babies.

I’m not making light of suicide, don’t misunderstand. Actually, I make light of most everything. You have to when you live every single second of your life in agonizing pain. I am merely explaining a point of view that maybe you didn’t consider before. There are always two sides to every story, right? Well, this is just a peek into a second side. Maybe it will make you think twice before judging someone before knowing their pain. Maybe it will make you think twice before withholding a med. Maybe it will make you think twice about selfish versus selflessness. Maybe, above all, it will just make you think.

Ultimately it becomes about what someone can’t handle anymore. It’s not about all the people and things they love. If it were that simple, no one would ever leave. Some things are just bigger than all the good. I wish it were different. I guess I just understand why those with chronic pain are twice as likely to choose to not burden the world anymore. I wish I didn’t, but I do.

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If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, substance abuse or mental heath issues please contact SAMHSA National Helpline 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

confidential, free, 24 hour a day, 365 day a year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental health and/or substance use disorders.

http://www.samhsa.gov

It Doesn’t Go Unnoticed

It is very easy to get lost in your disease. One minute you are living life, happy and healthy and having the time of your life. Even if you have stressful situations, it’s all a wash when you are healthy. You have the energy to get through it. You have the confidence that it will work out eventually. You have hope. When your life is struck by disease, you lose that hope very quickly. I can only think that maybe one day I will get that back.

In the meantime everything is so much harder than you can ever imagine. I hear people say they did ‘nothing’ today. Well, my nothing means I woke up and didn’t completely fall apart or die today. Some days that is all I can do. And sadly, sometimes those days turn into weeks.

Everything in my life has completely changed into some unrecognizable version of what once was. Relationships are different, or gone or forever changed. Some people don’t get it. I really think that’s because those people are too selfish and lazy to do the minimal basic research or….oh I don’t know….ASK ME A FRICKEN QUESTION OR TWO!! Instead they sit there and judge me, talking behind my back thinking that I don’t know what they have said. Well, I know. I know everything. The only reason I don’t waste my time confronting those people is because they aren’t worth me wasting that precious energy on them! I would rather save my spoons for the people who actually get it. The ones who give a shit. The ones who ask me about my day and listen. And most importantly, to my hubby, who has really gone above and beyond and I just want him to know it doesn’t go unnoticed.

Last week was probably one of the worst weeks I have had since last winter. I don’t exactly know why. No recent med adjustments, no crazy weather patterns (well anymore than usual for stupid Nebraska lol), no family stressors or life changes…..just a bad week. That happens when you are in pain 24/7. Sometimes you just run out of fake smiles and the ability to push through. I know I am in a full-blown depression and I’ m not a fan of it at all. I’m not a depressed person in general. I’m very much a ‘It Is What It Is’ kind of person who has her flip out moments and then moves forward. Lately I can’t seem to gain traction. Anti depressants are out of the question for me as I have either an allergic reaction or adverse reaction to every single one of them. That’s never good when you get to a point you might need them. Ah well, such is my life. Nothing has ever been easy.

My hubby goes to work everyday, comes home, makes dinner, does the yard work, the laundry, the grocery shopping, the pet care, etc…..you name it, he does it. He does it without a single word of complaint, ever! He doesn’t once ask me why I didn’t do something or couldn’t have gotten this done or that done, or why I haven’t been out of bed all day. Not once has he ever given me any bit of grief at all for any of that. It doesn’t go unnoticed. Thank you for never judging my limitations.

Now, some of you might be saying that he should be doing all that and he shouldn’t give me any grief because I can’t help this damn disease and I’m doing everything I can. We are married and that is in our vows after all. Yes, on some level that is right. But on another level, he is just a human too and just because he doesn’t suffer from CRPS, doesn’t mean that his fatigue or his problems or his ailments aren’t important.

He vents to me about work and I listen and give advice when I can. I appreciate that he still see’s me as his partner and shares his day with me and values my opinion. I’m thankful he doesn’t keep it all away from me in an attempt to shelter me from dealing with one more thing. Because quite honestly, not talking to me about his day, good or bad, would make me feel even more isolated than I already do. It doesn’t go unnoticed, and I want to say thank you for treating me like your friend.

Financially we are barely making it month by month, and not once does he make comments about how I am unable to work. He never makes me feel like I should be just ‘sucking it up’ and working to have a paycheck. He knows I have worked since I was 14 and not working and taking care of myself is a huge hit to my self-confidence. He knows that I am the furthest thing froma lazy person and if I could do somethig, anything, I would. It doesn’t go unnoticed that you support me in every way and never make me feel guilty about it.

I have the best intentions to be social. We used to literally be the party. Annual Halloween parties at the Smith house, birthday parties for everyone, random it’s Friday parties and Thank God Winter Might Be Over Parties, along with meeting up with friends and family at their houses or various outings at the drop of a hat. Taking the niece and nephew as often and for as long as possibly allowed by the sis and bro in law, lol. I was always a fly by the seat of my pants kind of person and the hubby complimented that well because he was up for whatever I would drag him to. Now, I think people forget to keep inviting us, or maybe just me because my intentions are good, but sometimes, very last-minute, I can’t go. My hubby never makes me feel bad about cancelling or not being able to do something we had planned even after we are both all dressed and ready to go. It doesn’t go unnoticed. Thank you for always standing by my side even when there was something more fun going on. Thank you for going to certain things when I tell you it’s ok. It doesn’t go unnoticed that you listen to what I am really saying to you.

We aren’t perfect. We used to be. Ask anyone, lol. But this disease really flipped our lives upside down. Not just mine, but his too. He didn’t deal with it the best and made a big mistake. It’s hard to work on building that small break in trust back up when one of you is sick all the time. No cheating or anything, cuz I don’t care if I’m on my death bed, that’s a deal breaker!! Something that normally would have been a simple miscommunication and quickly solved turned into a small circus because of this stupid disease and the impact it’s made on our lives.  It doesn’t go unnoticed that you are doing everything you can and then some. Thank you for being a true stand up man. There are very few of you left in the world.

It doesn’t go unnoticed how hard you work, how much you do for me and our family, and our furbabies too. It doesn’t go unnoticed that you can always pick me up when I’m at my lowest. It doesn’t go unnoticed that you are one of the strongest persons I know because you have to be in order to be with such a strong and normally outgoing and outspoken person like me. I love that you don’t act like some macho cave man. That isn’t attractive! The strenght you show is a thousand times better and far more appreciated in every way by me evryday of our lives.

I just wanted to let my hubby know that in all this mess and chaos that has become our lives because of CRPS and this long, seemingly endless journey to find relief, you and everything you do and evrything you are doesn’t go unnoticed.

Thank you for being strong when I am weak. Funny when I am sad. Confident when I am broken. My light when I’m lost in the dark. making me feel good when I feel horrible about myself. Most of all, for being my partner through it all. I love you and appreciate you more than you will ever know.

I’m Disabled Not Incompetent

Being diagnosed with CRPS has not been the highlight of my life, that’s for sure. Quite frankly I am more aggrivated by it than I am any other single thing in my life. Course, being treated as if I were a second class citizen is becoming a close tie in that race. Sad part is, it doesn’t matter if it is by strangers or people I know, either way, it is infuriating.

Some of the behaviors I experience from others I am still chalking off to the bullshit shenanigans of a past ……welll…….bunch of crap. You would think that over a year later people would have pulled their heads out of their proverbial asses by now and learned how to act like functional adults, but alas that would be asking too much. Some have, and that has been nice. However, the fake smiles while acting as if I am completely invisible while I am SITTING RIGHT THERE is still one of my faves. Yes, yes, that was sarcasm. Good lord…..is there a 5 year plan to grow up? News flash….I didn’t DO anything to ANY of YOU!!!! Soooooo…..do me a favor….. FUCK OFF! Oh, wait, I mean move on already. Shit, at this point maybe I mean a little of both.

That is the problem with people in your circle (family, friends, extended or close)…..you don’t want to give a rats ass…..and part of you doesn’t, but then part of you does. What gets me is that here you were one day with a perfectly good relationship and with a few damaging lies, it all becomes a mess. I guess at that point I ask if they ever really knew who I was to begin with. If an entire lifetime of a relationship can be undone by a few lies, then what was our relationship really about? Even for the shorter relationships, to never stop and say wait…..thats not the person I know. That just bothers me to no end. Probably because that is NOT how I treat the people I love and care about. I guess I have a loyalty to my friends and family. Everyone has their quirks or differences, but deep down, if you are in my circle, it’s because I believe you to be a good person. I like to surround myself with people of similar morals. We are all different in many ways, but ultimately, the core values are there.

For me it’s always the principal of the fact. If I did something wrong, I am perfectly able and willing to admit to my part and apologize and move forward. I own my shit. However, if I have literally done NOTHING……I have a big issue with you treating me like scum on the bottom of your shoe. Especially when you don’t have the balls to say anything to my face. You just sit there with your passive aggressive ‘lets pretend she doesn’t exist while she is in the same room as us’ shitty behaviour, or the ‘I’m better than you and have chosen to ignore that I am where I am because of you’ ……really?  Just…really? Look, I don’t want a parade or a pat on the back every time I see you. But is it too much to ask for you to act like a normal human being? Or ….. Oh I don’t know, apologize for the rude ass way you all have been acting? Guess so! Say you are sorry when you do something wrong? Make amends when you lie?! I guess I just didn’t think those things were so darn difficult.

I spend an astronomical amount of time sitting around thinking about all of these things. What else do I do? I can’t work. Most of the time I am barely able to move. My brain has tons of ideas of what I would like to do instead of sit around and think about how the people I have spent a lifetime doing things for or supporting can’t be bothered with righting their wrongs. Like I should just suck it up and deal with it. I think I suck enough up on a daily basis. I don’t think I should have to do the same with behavior and actions from others. Maybe it’s not fair, but that is just how I feel about it.

No one, and I mean NO ONE is more put out, aggrivated, disappointed, upset, angry, sad, hurt or pissed off more than I am because of the situation I am in. Literally having a lifetime of relying on myself to now not be able to do that nearly kills me. Imagine if the one thing that made you who you were was taken from you. How would you feel? Now add-on top of that people who you thought would always be there for you are also now making you feel bad about it being gone even though it was completely out of your control.

The only silver lining to any of this is that at least I got almost 38 years before this hit me. I see people who are younger with this disease and it breaks my heart. I’ve seen people who have taken their lives and although I am saddened, I completely understand their decision. I have an extremely high pain tolerance, so I can’t imagine how much worse this all would be if I couldn’t handle physical pain as well as I can already. Even so, it’s exhausting. But more so than that, is to feel alone. I don’t expect people to completely understand what it is I am going through. But I would expect the same respect I would give them. Compassion and an attempt at understanding with a lot of listening.

You don’t know? Ask. You don’t understand? Ask. You don’t get it? Try.

 

Don’t You See

Don’t you see my life is not my own

Don’t you see I am no longer the same

Don’t you see that I feel all alone

I have no desire to play this game

Don’t you see how much I struggle

Don’t you see the smile is the lie

I feel as though I am trappped in a bubble

Where no one can see or hear me cry

I thought I had just one fight to battle

That I wasn’t alone, this we could handle

I supported you and encouraged you daily

No matter what you dreamed I said it could be done

The support I needed came less than rarely

The encouragement I got in return was none

Don’t you see you have broken my trust

Don’t you see you have added to my plight

I can’t take much more, I’m losing this fight

Don’t you see how much you have made my life harder

You told lies because you were scared

I thought you were so much stronger

it feels to me as if you don’t care

It could have all been fixed had you just told the truth

Instead I now live with their judgemental stares

I feel all alone even though we are together

In sickness and health was too much for you to stand

Don’t you see I didn’t want sympathy

Don’t you see I just wanted you to understand

Don’t you see for once I needed you to be strong for me

Turns out it was more than you could handle

So many promises you cant keep

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