Friday, October 05, 2012
I was so tired, but I was determined to make it to 11 pm to get to bed to sleep the night through, but my couch had a different plan (as it usually does).
I sat there for 30 minutes, I was going to get back up and finish my sparks stuff for the day and finish up some emails. I was severely lacking in energy but I wanted to make sure that my friends receiving the email wouldn't be able to detect this dip in my enthusiasm.
To my friends who find "therapy" a necessity in the middle of the night when THEY can't sleep all ended up getting a lack luster commentary about how I understood their absolute frustration with the fears the surface in the middle of the night when sleep doesn't come by sharing the fact that, all thought I love them dearly and would normally be there for them, that for the rest of the month I will be taking a vacation from phone calls after 11 pm. That I too had been having difficulty getting to sleep. i was sort of tongue and cheek about it. And I didn't want them to feel badly about keeping me awake, I also told them I will start taking donations for my "on call" status for any calls at any point during the day for the rest of the month. I then defined clearly what i would consider an emergency in great detail so they could go and check the list if they felt the need to reach out for support. I also provided a few links that would provide some soothing music and meditation if they found their sleep problems were becoming more of a problem than a frustration.
Life requires sleep. I am growing to hate my couch - as much as I love it it is becoming a thorn in my flesh of my need to sleep in my bed for 8 hours.
So it's 3:45 am, I am going to do some exercises and get my heart rate up and then I am going to sit and journal for a few hours and then it will be time for my workout. Then will have to make it through to the evening hours to join my friends at our normal First Friday outing, it is a big event every month and we have some friends who perform at a local restaurant ... so i will find some time to nap when I won't compromise the rest of the weekend with being awake at night and asleep during my "prime time"
My body is not liking this split shift sleeping ... it is not beneficial to optimum health.
Thursday, October 04, 2012
Dear SP friends...
I haven't blogged in a number days as I don't feel the words flow as freely as I would like. I am inspired by you all, by the blogs I read and the triumphs of a successful day shared. I am inspired by the ease in which we talk on the boards, as though we have known each other for years. And that gives me peace. It is safe here. I am thankful for the set up of this site so that we can make friends so easily. I realize that often we are talking about the most personal of feeling and helping each other through some of the most intimate problems we are working through. Perhaps that is the cause for closeness.
I was remembering a workshop I want to in San Diego many many years ago. It was actually held at one of the oldest (if not the oldest Franciscan Monasteries in the US)... we were guest there, we were not allowed to communicate with the monks as they went about their busy lives carrying for the grounds and such. It was a strange setting. The workshop proved to be even stranger at first. It was for caregivers (I was a nurse). It was to heal the wounds we accumulate year after year of doing such a heart taxing job and through living our lives.
The groups first encounter was in a small room, all 20 of us with 4 coaches. There were no chairs only pillows and as we began to fill up the room we were strangely and awkwardly sitting touching one another, as it could not be avoided.
We were given instruction to not speak to one another until after this meeting. So we weren't able to even introduce ourselves to the woman sitting practically in your lap. We all started to giggle and laugh a bit. When everyone was seated and comfortably attached to the people sitting around us. We were then told that there were more limitations. Throughout the next 10 days we would be working together in workshops and discussing deep and highly personal topics. SO, to help in bringing about that ease we were not to talk to each other about our selves, to comment on what someone else had talked about in a session, or to even disclose were we were from or our last names. The contradictions of the closeness of space and yet the distance of our new found boundaries struck us all as highly uncomfortable for the first several hours. As we broke apart and went to lunch, sitting at tables across from others - we were dumbfounded as to what to say. So we followed the lead of the monks and ate in silence. We moved in silence for days. We all shared a room with a room mate, so we also went to bed in silence. One day the silence was actually getting to me and instead of going to breakfast my heart was so heavy from the stories I had heard and the things I felt and experienced that I just sat outside my room and watched a monk trimming the roses. I lowered my head for a while and noticed a shadow approaching me. In silence the monk approached me and handed me the most perfect of all blooms I have ever seen, A with rose. I new the significance of the flower and truly appreciated his breaking his routine to bring me the rose. It brought a smile back to my face which brought a smile to his... WOW communication. True real and deeply spiritual communication. My heart was healed. I was released from my heartaches and they were lifted into the open California sky like wings of an angel had just taken them away.
I sat for a while longer, languishing in the this feeling of calm and quiet.
That morning we met in small groups and I had the rose sticking out of one my work books. I was asked about it and I simply said it was given to me by God. Everyone just looked at me awkwardly as two of the rules had been violated. Don't interfere with the monks and don't mess the plants on the property.
Well God doesn't put up those sort of rules and boundaries are sometimes meant to be crossed ... when important work needed to be done. My heart being healed by the gift of the rose was an act of God.
The rest of the workshop flew by and I rarely spoke unless spoken too.
We were released back into the city of San Diego for our last weekend as a form of reentrance into the world after such isolation. The first night I came walking down the hill in Old Town and nearly got hit by 3 cars... totally unaware of the world...
anyway, from that story, I want to say... you never know when you are going "SPARK" someone's day or how. If you feel the urge to reach out... reach out. There is an anonymity that allows us to share openly. And only we can decide when and if we are going to cross that line.
Find your peace. Find connections and settle in. AND together we can heal and grow stronger and thinner and help and support each other and we can help each other find PEACE.
Sunday, September 30, 2012
it's been a nice day, I slept in, but was up late, so no biggy with that.
I weigh the same I did yesterday which is another pound and a half down so a total of 7 pounds total, 4 in the last week. SLEEP it's a wonderful thing.
I feel less stress and more aware of what is happening. My appetite has not been great, but I when I am able to eat I have eaten wisely.
Don't have a lot to say tonight. It's been a sort of quiet day all around here, except for my downstairs neighbors, who I think will be more aware of their NOISE factor after I asked the father if he really was trying to make all the neighbor uncomfortable with the amount of noise they put out each day. At least it worked for today, tomorrow may be another story. And at least my head ache is not pounding away to his horrible bass as it normally does. This way I can ignore the headache and it will go away when I am actually very calm.
Tomorrow I have to figure out what I am going to do for my workout ... I am going to have to think about it for a while; it's the beginning of the month and I want to get it started out on the right foot :)
Happy week everyone!!!! keep moving and let those worries fall away behind you.
Friday, September 28, 2012
I just read my first entry on Sparks ... oh, how it took me back to this feeble woman who was terrified of hurting herself. I was just coming off of being on crutches on and off (more on than off) for 5 months. With a recovering broken ankle and a healed right tibia head fracture. I reminded myself to take it slow.
But what happened was I was let loose and I went full out. I have since then injured my back and reinjured my ankle. I have had a concussion, brain contusion, and bad muscle spasms. I became fearless and went full out. I was a trained athlete (25 years ago) and this body just isn't what I it used to be. I know muscles have memories... and mine have been all reminded of what they used to do all of. But they aren't really ready to do so much of that just now.
10 years ago I weighed 420 pounds.
I am a cancer survivor and the cancer (6 years now) devoured a great deal of my insides. It started with the uterus and moved out from there. I had to have a complete and total hysterectomy and then 8 more operations where various parts of my organs and tumors were removed. I have a short gut, which trust me, doesn't make loosing weight easier, it's harder in some regards as the types of food that are necessary to maintain health are higher in calories. But my body was fighting the cancer every time it changed it's course or "name" my body went after it. I had chemo for about 4 years and more radiation than I care to think of. My heart stopped 5 times, one time I was without a heart beat or respiration for more than 4 minutes. God blessed me and BY HIS GRACE I came out of it with little residual effects.
During this time I lost 200 pounds. I ended up terrified and anxious and still dealing with my life long depression. My family and friends fought with me to get me out of the house; I had learned that the outside was dangerous, I could get sick so easily. I was convinced that my body wasn't ready to be in the outside world again. Even though the doctors said everything was fine and my blood counts were improving in leaps and bounds. It was safe for me to be out in the outside world. I just had to get over being afraid of it. I still have a fear/phobia of large crowd I will go out and spend time with my friends in the world outside.
BUT for 5 years after I got better and was cancer free, the place you could find me most often was the corner of my couch wrapped up in blankets and eating just about anything I wanted. I ignored the fact that I needed special control in my diet to get the nutrients I needed. I was exhausted and my legs often felt like they weighed a ton each. I would walk with a cane just to move around my house. I dealt with constant bowel issues and often spent nights curled up with cramping and pain. Sleep wasn't very important to me, so I let it go by the way side. I wasn't really interested in much of anything. I regained 60 pounds of the 200 I had lost.
THEN last Christmas I was doing laundry (which is outside and downstairs) in the rain, I slid down the steps with my left ankle underneath me... hitting each step as I went. I was bruised all the way up my left side. Along with the worst sort of break to my ankle I had bruised my hip and broken 2 ribs. WAKE UP CALL!!!
The first week of 2012 I began taking my life back. After my consult with the ortho doctor and being put in a balloon boot for the next three months... with minimal weight bearing for the first month. I found my arms not even strong enough to support my weight. I had torn a tendon in my left wrist so crutch or a walker were sort of out of the question. My best friend gave me some crutches that grips onto your fore arm and they were a break through for me. I was able to move - first dragging my bad leg behind me. By the end of the month I was walking only on my right leg with no problems.
There was a gym/wellness center I had wanted to join but due to the joining fees it was outside my price range... then I read that they were having a special where they were waving the join up fees. I was there the next day ... on crutches and ready to go. I had to get doctors releases as to what I could do. What my limitations were. SO, for the first 3 months I was doing only upper body strength training and after a few weeks, I was able to get in the pool to walk and swim. GRADUALLY I worked my way up through Physical Training and my workouts were giving me more strength.
I fumbled up again and was hurt again in April and sick in May----
I started thinking about all the things I needed to change to become healthy. My diet was number one of the list. SO, I went to a polar opposite. I went holy and truly organic. With the help of the internet, knowledgeable people, and my family I was eating completely different in side a week. I had stocked up on foods I should have been eating for years and I actually was thinking clearer and feeling better.
My body was able to absorb the nutrients in these fresh, pure local foods. And I could feel not only my body getting stronger but my confidence also. I haven't had a craving for junk food or something outside of my meal plan all summer.
By July (not moving slowly) I was working out more than 2500 minutes a month. I was full force, no caution, full out going to beat this body back into shape. Well, I got a few injuries and then the injuries got worse, and I had to slow down. My confidence has taken a bit of a hit also, but not my willingness to succeed.
I am getting ready to move in to October with the rest of you. With new goals and a very new and vital goal and that is to sleep 8 hours a night. I am switching my diet up a bit (to winter veggies) and adding some other things to increase my mineral and nutrients. I am paying closer attention to my feelings and guarding against my allowing them to be hurt also. I have found some exercises that will strengthen my back and I will go slowly but diligently forward. Diligent and slowly, attentive to what my body is telling me. I know, by my blood work, that I am now in the healthy range with most of my nutrients and minerals that are required to maintain my body and working on improving them to be able to maintain with an extra strain of exercising.
So I am letting go of having been so sick and being so afraid of getting sick or hurt so terribly again. I am consciously aware of what I am entering into and I will go at a pace that this body can handle and remain healthy as I go. I am moving forward with a whole new outlook, a renewed spirit of well-being and a new understanding of what is necessary for my goals to come to life. The main reason for all of this was to get healthy. Getting hurt and hurting myself in the process is not a healthy way of getting healthy.
And I will remember to take it slowly with progressive increases as I know my body is stronger.
Lessons learned and sleep is an essential part of the new me. Thank you my dear friends for giving me the support to understand this and to work on getting used to the idea that I truly do need to sleep every night. Something so small for most people, but so big for me to accomplish, but I will be paying attention to that goal of 8 hours a night.
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