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Challenges of Life...

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Many of us have different types of challenges that tend to clog up our lives ~ emotions, physical, health related, mind-games, etc. How we cope with them can greatly change how we feel about ourselves.

Are you the type that meets these challenges head on? Do you succumb to the emotions and eat through it? Or do you listen to all the negativity and fill yourself full of self-doubt?

I have experienced all these and more!

I grew up in a 'controlling negative atmosphere' and when my parents died in Nov 2011, for the first time in 59 years ~ I was struggling to out-stretch my wings and soar skyward. Their legacy they left me was filled with self-doubt, low self-confidence and low self-worth.

For the first time in my life I was NOT totally surrounded by - "no you can't". The whole year of 2012 was filled with adventure, discovery and building up what had been broken down too many times. I made my own choices, began doing things for ME and the magic began to take place.

We all have that common bond ~ we are here to lose weight. To find that skinny person that lives within us. But for me, it goes WAY beyond that ~ it's much more than just re-learning to eat proper serving sizes and consume nutritionally sound foods.

One of my biggest discoveries was admitting that I am (was) an 'emotional over-eater'. Just saying it OUT LOUD helped to release years of crap from my life. Finding an alternative to "eating through my emotions" has been the challenge ~ but it CAN be accomplished. And now it doesn't seem so daunting anymore ~ all I did was reach out to others. I started to TALK through my emotions - instead of eating them.

Crutches kept me upright for 7 years and by Nov 2012 I was faced with "re-learning to walk or find an alternative". From Nov 2012 through January 2013, Occupational and Physical therapy took up a huge portion of my day. I was never able to consistently stand or walk.

Forty years of Osteo-arthritis had finally taken it's toll, my knee joints could no longer keep me upright. Every time I tried to stand, within 2 minutes - my knees would buckle.

Lymphedema is one of my health challenges ~ a protein based fluid gets into my legs but cannot be re-absorbed through the blood stream and lays stagnant in my legs. In March, I learned that due to the severity of my Lymphedema, I will NEVER have knee replacements.

To tell you the truth ~ when the Orthopaedic surgeon gave me this news ~ It was a RELIEF! I know that my body does not heal like a normal person! Accepting this news was easy, but finding a comfortable chair to fit me has proved more challenging.

In April, loosing Wayne really knocked the wind out of me. Whatever challenges I had, we were able to face together and now re-learning to 'go it alone' has turned too many emotions back on.

When I'm wearing my "big girl panties" I CAN handle anything - it just takes me a bit longer. I AM still the same person I was before all these challenges surrounded my life.

But when I'm experiencing a "pity party" ~ holy crap, all the negativity that continues to surround me today, gets blown out of proportion. I start believing all those people that tell me I can't do something because I'm in a wheelchair. Emotions have been running rampant - I have shut down, succumbed to the negativity, go with the flow and stopped caring.

Thoughts of moving out of this facility - that I HATE - I started thinking that maybe everyone is right? It really is easier to have someone else do everything for me.

When I stopped caring about ME....
* the 100# I lost during 2012 started reappearing.
* my smile quit showing up.
* my positive personality went into hiding.
* I cried more.
* I with-drew into my room.
* my sewing machine became covered in dust.
* I began sleeping all the time.
* exercise became a thing of the past.

Then one day, the 'organized person within' came to the surface. I was organizing my spending, when right there in black & white it hit me like a ton of bricks! I have spent over $20,000 for my surroundings and I continue to NOT request any assistance. I MUST BE STUPID!!

Slowly the transformation is taking place ~ Life and Living is replacing that negative list into positive thought and action.

The FEAR of moving and living on my own (again) is starting to break down. Admitting that I AM stronger than I think I am - is what I'm dealing with now.

Once I deal with those FEARS ~ I will once again be able to open those wings and soar skyward!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Keep up the good fight Annie! Your journey and your passion to keep trying to move forward are inspiring. Never stop looking for solutions...I'll be praying for you!
    1758 days ago
    Wow Annie, I'm so proud of you for facing all of this head on! You are so much braver than I am. I've been through a LOT just like you and can really relate to the negativity also. I was always told "You can't" my whole life. I, like you, have to learn to face my life and find a way to move forward without relying on food, without giving into the pity party (the easy but ineffective way) and doing what is best for me. I wish I knew how to be there for you, but I don't even know how to be there for myself. Life is hard, but we just have to keep on keep'n on. I want to try to be there for you. Let's check in with each other from time to time and help each other through the tough stuff ok?

    And let's agree to keep on quilting!!!

    1924 days ago
    You are a very brave lady, who is dealing with so much... It isn't surprising that loosing Wayne was a huge shock and that you needed time to adjust. You have, and you haven't regained all the weight lost, far from it: good for you!
    And I believe you will conquer your fears and open those wings! I love your background picture, this bird is just beautiful and makes me want to fly too!
    2011 days ago
  • CARO488
    You are amazing! I love this post, because the beautiful YOU shines through!
    hugs and prayers,
    2037 days ago
    I'm so proud of you for loving yourself enough to TRY. You WILL succeed because you are a survivor and a person of great worth. I'm cheering for you my friend. emoticon
    2058 days ago
    I am so, so sorry for what damage your parents have done to you.......such a shame!

    Kudos to you for your strong attitude despite it all.......so many of us just crawl under the nearest rock and stay there!

    I wish you the best with your health and life journey!
    2058 days ago
    You have come such a long way, Annie. Now is not the time to quit. Now is the time to take care of yourself. You can do it!!!
    You have written such a wonderful blog. It could apply to many of us, me included, at one time or another in our lives.
    You are a fighter and all you have to do is spread your wings and fly. Dust off your sewing machine and make something that makes you happy!!! Do it for yourself and no one else. I am behind you 300% of the way!!!
    Don't let anyone take your freedom to be you!!!
    Prayers, blessings, love and hugs,
    2059 days ago
  • _KATHY
    2059 days ago
    Annie, you hit the nail on the head....You are RIGHT ON GIRL! This was a good post, as most, if not all of us, have at one time or another done the same things. Rock on forward, I'll rock with you. And Yes you can learn to cut sitting down; it isn't the easy way but it can be done.
    2059 days ago
  • LADYBUG1943
    A mentor once told me how he conquered negative self talk, as in "That was a stupid thing to do." He replaced it with "That's not like you! You usually.... [fill in the dots with some positive evaluation.] This works for me.

    And I agree with Carlanne.... get that sewing machine going again!. Sometimes we "hold off" on the fun stuff because we feel like we don't deserve it. If not now.... when?

    2059 days ago
    What's that you say? Your sewing machine is covered in dust? Can't allow that! You know what you have to do. Dust it off. Figure out how to cut fabric up and sew it back together from your wheelchair, and make one gorgeous, beautiful "I Can Do This" quilt!!! And if you need help getting the fabric cut up, I'd be glad to cut it up for you if you send me the fabric and pattern. emoticon
    2059 days ago
    Thanks for sharing. Fear is the thing that cripples us, that's for sure.
    2059 days ago
    2059 days ago
    I called myself stupid earlier this week and a delightful Sparker gently smacked my hand... we are never stupid. We are intelligent, capable and caring people - who sometimes let everyone and everything tell us how to feel.

    You are awesome! Get the mud out from your wings and truly fly.
    2059 days ago
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