I recently shared with my therapist that I wished I had a photo of myself from my first session with her so that I could compare it with myself now. I know that I did not get here overnight and I certainly didn’t get here without a lot of help and support. I also don’t want to sell myself short… I’ve worked hard, really hard. I spent many a night pouring out my soul in blog posts. My mind alone raced more than a marathon runner.
I still have bad days. Sometimes, really bad days – days where I still feel an incredible emptiness inside. There are still sleepless nights and sometimes nightmares. At my last acupuncture appointment I said, “I’m really having a hard time right now, and I’m counting on you and everyone else to keep me together.” I’m not quite sure what I wanted him to do, but I relished in the fact that I could say out loud that I needed help; something that for so many years I held in confidence due to pride. You should know that both my acupuncturist and my massage therapist play jedi-mind tricks –they seem to know where and when I’m hurting, both physically and emotionally, and it always makes me laugh when they ask a question that I’m sure they already know the answer to.
After my most recent post people asked questions about what I had done or was doing. So much of it now is a part of who I am that it’s hard for me to remember all the subtle changes over time. Hence me wishing that I had that picture of the first day “on the couch.” After some searching I was able to find a photo of myself from August 2014. It was a staff photo, so it was one in which I made a conscience effort to do my makeup, hair, and wardrobe. And on my birthday, I had snapped a selfie of myself – August 2017. I was able to place them side by side and see just how much had changed in three years.
Putting the weight-loss aside, there is something different about my eyes, my skin-tone, my smile. In the former, I looked sickly and pale and if anyone cared to look in my eyes, they would have seen right to my soul. And when I looked at my birthday picture… of me… on my 47th (!) birthday, there is light in my eyes and color in my cheeks, and my smile seems brighter. Yes, bad days still happen, but man, there are so many more good days now.
It was just one simple thing – one choice that started it all. And over time, that one simple thing has changed and evolved. What once started as just remembering to exhale, to not concentrate on replaying the events with M, or trying to define what happened, is now choosing to make sure I have a healthful diet, choosing to be truly thankful and grateful for this life I have been given, and to unashamedly accept a face full of doggy kisses upon demand.
So I guess I would ask those of you that asked me what I am doing…. “what are YOU willing to do for you?” Just start with one choice– make it real, make it your own. Sometimes, it’s just enough to get out of bed and call that success. Or it might be remembering that what you eat in secret, you wear in public- so choose to make a better food choice. It might be embracing what my pastor’s wife taught me all those years ago, No Thank You is a complete sentence. It might be capturing that negative thought and choosing to give it to the Lord. And it might be just remembering to take your vitamins.
What do I do? I work at it and I remember that it didn’t happen overnight. I make a million little choices each day. I choose to remember what C reminded me, that I am worth it. But on the bigger scale, I choose to still faithfully take my Juice Plus, I choose to speak life to myself each morning, I choose to treat myself kindly with services that help my overall well-being, and I choose to remember that one day I just might wake up with only the things I thanked God for yesterday… and for that reason, I’m always thankful for those in my life that have carried me this far.
5 thoughts on “A Choice to Be…”
This post was so well written and beautiful! I just started my blog about 2 months ago and it has been such a great experience! I have been battling MS for 16 years now and it comes with a lot of pain! But I have been able to connect with so many amazing people that really understand. I look forward to more of your posts! Take Care!!
Thank you so much Alyssa. 16 years-wow! I am just at a year but hearing from others who have gone before me ignites the hope in me that I can do this. I definitely still get overwhelmed… best quote I read was on pinterest… “It never occured to me that one day I would wake up sick and never get better”… But I try to remember to be grateful that I woke up and just like you are clearly doing, I’m gonna just keep on keepin’ on. I’m looking forward to reading your blog. Z
It is definitely overwhelming in the beginning. There are so many decisions to make about medications to take to slow the progression down. But, please remember all decisions are yours and only yours. Always be sure you are comfortable with what you are taking. It is important to try to stay positive and stress free. Stress triggers symptoms. If there is anything at all I can do for you, please do not hesitate to reach out to me!! Take care and stay strong!
I’m thrilled that you mention Juice Plus as part of your routine. As you know, it’s been part of mine for over 23 years and I’ve heard countless stories similar to yours that give people hope. It truly makes a difference when you’re feeding your body what it needs and how quality of life can improve when you give it the proper fuel. I’m so glad that we crossed paths so many years ago – it makes my heart smile to know how hard you’ve worked and how much better your life is today because of the choices you’ve made and your dedication to consistency. Wishing you much prosperity and many blessings as your future unfolds….
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