A lot has happened since my last posting in June. A whole lot. To start with, my sweet Grammy (dad's mom) went to heaven and my grandfather (mom's dad) followed a few hours later which made for a very sad day. It also meant 2 funerals in 1 day, if you can believe that. Although we may be sad, it's also such a blessing as both were suffering terribly from failing bodies. I managed to navigate through those few days on massive amounts of meds as I was actually very sick with this stupid Crohn's mess. The pictures from then portray my struggle vividly. Shannon and boys happened to be in Alaska on a fishing trip with his dad when all this went down but thankfully my sister and her 3 kiddos were here so I wasn't alone in my grief. The one nice thing about death in our family is that we all come together from all over to celebrate our loved one's life. There are tears but there is far more laughter and for that I am eternally grateful.
|I'm so faking it here, can you tell?|
I was also given something for anxiety, a direct hit to my pride if I'm being honest. The truth is, I am struggling to make sense of this place in my life. Depression threatens to overtake me at any given moment and almost won out this summer when the pain was so overwhelming. It's strange what you know is right in your mind but somehow you can't seem to process it in a healthy manner. All I could think of was how to stop this relentless physical pain that was controlling my every moment and thought. I will tell you, I went to a very dark place that I care not to ever visit again. It scared me. It scared Shannon too. It prompted me to get counseling which has been a huge help. Between the new meds and counseling, I am in a much healthier place.
|drinking endless amounts of barium|
Poor Shannon has really struggled too. He's dropped close to 40 pounds due to stress. He looks amazing so you would never know how hard this has been for him too. He carries so much responsibility and often takes on my pain as his own. I hate that he has to deal with all of this. He is the love of my life and I would do anything to make things different.
You might be asking, Monnie--where is the joy in all this??? This post is supposed to be about joy right???
Yes, well, I'm getting to that.
The last few months, ok more like the last 10 months, have been excruciatingly hard. Maybe some of the hardest I've faced yet. It's made me question everything and I do mean EVERYTHING. My attitude has been terrible. Negativity and jadedness have been my constant companions. It finally dawned on me that if anything is going to change it will have to start with me and my outlook. Easier said than done. I haven't cracked my Bible in very long time but yet, my mind kept hearing a particular verse over and over. It really pissed me off at first too but eventually I gave in and listened.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish it's work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
I still find this impossible most days but I'm trying. I'm working on my core. My emotional core, believe me, I'd rather do a few planks and call it good but it's not that simple. I'm going deep into the far corners of my soul and pushing through some of the ugliness that this constant struggle with Crohn's has brought to the surface. I'm dealing with crap I didn't even know I had! It's hideous and it's exhausting but it's worth it. In the end, I will still have Crohn's and I will still be a flawed human but I will have peace and even joy.
Funny thing about all this, I am starting to see rays of sunshine where darkness used to be. My appetite has come back and brought a very persuasive sweet tooth. I have to count this as joy because I'm not looking like a concentration camp survivor anymore. The boobs are coming back but unfortunately so are the hips and butt, oh well--it's healthy and that's the most important thing.
I've decided now that the kids are off doing their own thing that I want to do something I enjoy and might add a nice distraction to my current situation. I'm selling Premier Jewelry again. I sold it about 5 years or so ago and loved it so it was a natural fit to pick it back up again. It will give me something to focus on and loads of fun bling! Check it out, Premier has changed a lot since I was last in and I LOVE the new stuff! All bout the Icing is my website where you can view the catalog. I'm kicking off this Saturday with a party at my house from 2-4 if you are around, stop by for some treats and bling! Feel free to message me if you want to order and I will hook you up, remember, Christmas is right around the corner. I will even gift wrap it for you too.
It's really weird not having the kids around on a daily basis. We spent 15 years living by the school schedule and now I find myself very undisciplined with out it. I love it though I don't get a whole lot done. I have yet to find my groove but hopefully as my health improves that will too. It has been nice that while I try to get myself healthy I'm not forced to adhere to school commitments on top of everything else.
In 2 weeks I am headed to Oregon! I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am about this! I will be attending the 3rd annual Girls With Guts retreat. And get this---we will be staying in TREE HOUSES!!!!!! I mean really, does it get any better than that? I missed last year's due to Thomas' senior year of football so I am really stoked about this year. I'm looking forward to seeing my "sisters" from the 2013 retreat. We come from all over and from different walks of life but share a bond not many people understand. In many ways, these ladies inspire me on so many levels. I love my Girls with Guts!