Oops

Obviously, my attempt at the A to Z Blogging Challenge was a complete failure. I solemnly promise to do better next year! I’m afraid my depression, fibromyalgia, and migraines (I’m in perimenopause–yay) got the better of me–that, and trying to keep up with my last required class for my master’s degree. As you can see, I like taking pictures of the books I am reading; it makes me feel brilliant and learned, somehow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A to Z Challenge: I is for Insecurity

This afternoon was going well, until I saw the email. Yesterday I cheered by an email from my professor, who said he wanted me to stay in his class despite my absence Tuesday night and that I was “intelligent and insightful”. Today, however, I check my email and discover an email from the Director of my program,saying that “I want to ask that you make your Tuesday evening class…your top priority (aside from self-care and your family). That is, so that you can finish this course, please do everything you can to be rested and ready for Tuesday evenings…For the next six weeks, please really try to focus in and finish the work for this course.”

Some background here: At the beginning of the semester I was getting terrible migraines (because I needed bifocals, as it turned out) and missed several classes, which is a huge deal in my program–classes only meet once a week, for three hours. I was asked to consider a medical leave, which is was, but then a couple of days later I discovered at my eye exam that my need for bifocals was causing my migraines. So I decided to stay in the class, and my prof and the Director agreed, as long as a gave him (the Director) a signed statement saying that I will make the class a top priority and not miss any more classes. Which I did. Then I get an email repeating almost verbatim what he said before. After I was so sick I had a fever of 101, hideous chills and sweats, etc., and I still showed up for class.

He did reiterate in his note that the faculty support me in finishing my degree, and that he knew I was a good student. But most of the letter seemed to imply that when I had problems finishing classes before–because of migraines, fibromyalgia, neck surgery, and a couple of nasty depression relapses–it was because I wasn’t focusing enough. Wasn’t trying hard enough. I have always really liked him, and I am feeling a bit…crushed, that he seems to think I’ve been slacking off in the past.

Sometimes, I wish people knew how much courage it takes to get up in the morning, knowing I’m going to be in pain all day. And I realize I may be projecting some of my insecurities on to this email. I do feel insecure a a good share of the time: if I just tried harder, couldn’t I beat this thing? (Well, things, in my case.)

I need more spoons.

However, one of my favorite authors did  come to my rescue:

One of the most beautiful ways for spiritual formation to take place is to let your insecurity lead you to the Lord. Natural hypersensitivity can become an asset; it makes you aware of your need to be with people as it allows you to be more willing to look at their needs (Henri Nouwen)

I could do with a little less hypersensitivity these days, though. It’s hard, as right at the moment I’m in the midst of a fibromyalgia flare and feeling very fragile thanks to my depression and PTSD. Now I have to figure out how to hand my insecurities and doubts about myself over to God. And my therapist.

Does anyone else out there feel fragile, like the least little thing will make you break? Or that if you just pulled yourself up by your bootstraps, as the saying goes, that you could be well?

Edit:I may have spoken too soon–at the end of the letter he tells me how glad he is I am in the Program. But this is still a good lesson on how deep my insecurities run.

A to Z Challenge and the tummy flu

I was struck down by a cruel stomach bug yesterday at school: vomiting, sweats, severe chills. I have vague memories of the grad program Director setting me up with a place to lie down. I managed to get myself home after a long nap but was not in much shape to post. So today I post letters G and H. After more sleep and some Gatorade, anyway!

 

A to Z Blogging Challenge: F is for Family

WHEN EVERYTHING GOES TO HELL, THE PEOPLE WHO STAND BY YOU WITHOUT FLINCHING–THEY ARE YOUR FAMILY (JIM BUTCHER)

So here they are…just some of the people who have always been there, no matter what:

 

 

A to Z Challenge: E is for EMDR

TRIGGER ALERT

I once, years ago, had a terrible experience with EMDR. It is powerful stuff. I had a therapist who was harsh and pushy and obviously not well-trained in the techniques for using EMDR in therapy.

I don’t remember much of the abuse, or the rape. I was so traumatized that my memories remain fragmented, unprocessed by my brain.

But they are still there.The guilt, the shame, the crummy self-esteem, the grief…

I’ve made huge strides in therapy over the last twenty years. But I cannot really get past the trauma stored in the little gray cells of my mind. Hey, I can’t even deal with losing my beloved mom and dad, and they’ve been gone for 7 and 21 years, respectively. So, I am trying EMDR this summer. My therapist recommended I wait until I am with class for the spring before starting; it can cause nasty PTSD flares, and I don’t want to deal with class and trauma simultaneously.

I am frightened, though. I don’t want to deal with those memories. I’d much rather my brain just pack them away and let me get on with my life. I keep repeating to myself the words of Eleanor Roosevelt: “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” So because I want to live my life fully, instead of cowering in the shadows waiting for the next trigger to spark a flare out of seemingly nowhere, I will face my fears, and do the thing I think I cannot do.

A to Z Challenge

 

 

I think my migraines have totally addled my brain. I’ve had them all week, just when the A to Blogging Challenge began. I couldn’t find my blog on their Linky list, so I think I might have been removed for not posting. I DID post briefly yesterday about the Challenge, then removed my post because I thought I’d been taken off of the list; I just happened to look at my stats today, however, and I had five visits to that post yesterday. So. I will do the Challenge, starting today. I have to post every day this month except Sundays. So I will post today, starting with “E” and my theme is Healing.

I plan to recount my journey, post about where I am now, and add photos, other images, and quotes (I love quotes, especially poetry) along with a heavy dose of spirituality, the occasional prayer, some tips and tricks I have found that help. I should note here that I am writing about healing in general but also specifically about my struggles with severe PTSD and major depression, along with back surgeries, cervical spine disease, infertility, chronic migraine, and last but not least, fibromyalgia.I also hope to begin a resource list.

I am going to go ahead and post the badge and links to the Challenge even though I might not be officially a part of it. I am looking forward to discovering new bloggy friends from the list (the one I don’t think I am on anymore, lol). I also hope to post a couple of times the first few days to add posts from letters A to D. And next year, hopefully I will be more together and start blogging with “A” on April 1st!

And hopefully, even if I’m not officially part of the Challenge, my posts might help some of my friends out there who are going through a rough stretch.

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