D is for Determined

D is for Determined

Determined: Having made a firm decision and being resolved not to change it; processing or displaying resolve.

*Resolute * PURPOSEFUL * Purposive * Single-minded * Unswerving * Unwavering* 
*Undaunted * Intent * Insistent * Steadfast * Staunch * Stalwart * PERSEVERING * Persistent*
*Indefatigable * Tenacious * Strong-willed * UNSHAKABLE * Strong-minded * Steely*
*Dedicated * Committed*

 Determination is a quality I've had to develop over years of living with chronic illness. It's possibly one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. Well maybe it's in 2nd place to parenting...

Determination doesn't come naturally to me. There have been so many days where giving up looked really good and so much easier.

I mean REALLY good and SO MUCH easier.

So good that I made an exit strategy on a particularly bad pain day.

So easy that it's options are quite limitless.

I wrote it down with great detail in my journal and when I went back a read it, it scared the crap out of me.

I am at peace about dying. It doesn't scare me. I'm not afraid of what comes after, in fact, I think it's going to be absolutely amazing. When I reach those pearly gates and streets of gold, I am going to dance and sing all the way to the throne of God. I'm going to jump in His lap and hug His neck and tell Him how much I've longed for this very moment. I can only imagine what it will be like to be fully restored in His presence.

BUT, I can wait until He calls me to Him.

I cannot put suicide in my list of options. If for nothing else, the pain and grief it would cause my family. I feel like I must have some purpose to have survived some of the life threatening moments in my history.  I just need to figure out what that is exactly.

You'd think at 42 I would have some idea of what I want to do/be as a grown-up. I've been playing with the notion of a vision board, a tangible reminder of what I want to accomplish. Something that helps me focus when having a bad day. Something that says "YOU CAN DO IT!"

Now that the anger of the Crohn's diagnosis has dissipated some, I am working on what my "new normal" will entail. I refuse to let go of our dream of traveling all over the world when the last kid heads to college. We married young and then had a baby almost 2 years later while we were just poor college kids trying to survive. We are finally in a place financially to make those long ago dreams come true and I will not allow Crohn's to mess that up.

So what does this new chapter look like? Honestly, I haven't a clue. I'm just trying to make it one day at a time.

In my efforts to make the most of each day I have a little routine every morning:

  1. Rise and shine somewhere between 7 & 8 every morning regardless of how little sleep I had the night before. Sometimes I get a full 8 hours but mostly it's somewhere between 4 & 6 due to pain. My goal is that I will be ready for bed at a decent hour (before midnight) if I suck it up and get moving after a bad night. 
  2. Eat breakfast and drink coffee while having some personal quiet time. I use this time to read, journal, pray or just meditate. I find this gives me a chance to wake up and bring my mind to a healthy place before the insanity of a busy day hits. 
  3. I take my morning meds which consists of 1/2 hydrocodone 10-325 and a bentyl to help decrease the abdominal pain and cramping I have every morning. If I do this and get the pain managed, my day is 100x better. I've tried not taking 1 or both of these and it just makes for a rough day. So, for now, this is how it goes. 
  4. I run my essential oil diffuser with a blend of various oils depending on what I'm feeling at the moment. I'm a believer in aromatherapy and it's benefits. My oldest son told me it's just a mental game I'm playing but I don't care, it works for me. Besides, he's young and healthy what's he know? ;) (He's actually waaaaay smarter than me.)
I'm also working on being thankful. No matter what the day brings there is always something to be thankful for. When I point my mind in this direction I realize that ALL of my basic needs are fully and completely met. I am clothed, fed, and sheltered. Anything beyond those is icing on the cake.
  • I am loved by an amazing man--icing. 
  • I am the mother of 2 awesome boys--icing. 
  • I have a loving family and in-laws--icing.
  • I have too many friends to keep count of--icing. 
  • I have a working car that is far beyond my needs--icing.
  • I have a plethora of shoes--double layer of icing.
Do you see what I mean? When I am feeling sorry for myself, I just need to take a minute to realize that I have it pretty darn good. This gives me the strength, the will, the determination to make every moment count. To be my best self. And when I fail at that, I pick myself up and try again. I refuse to be my own worst enemy. 

I used to ask my kids "Is it true?" when they would be upset because of some derogatory comment someone said about them. They'd think about it for a minute and then answer "no, it's not true" to which I would reply "tell me, what is true then." They would go on to list positive attributes of themselves like "I am nice, considerate, fun, smart, etc..." I decided this is an exercise I must do with myself now. I can no longer allow Crohn's to tell me who I am. 
  • I cannot believe the lies it tells me. 
  • I cannot be bound by the ropes it tries to tie me up with. 
  • I will not allow Crohn's to crush my spirit.
  • Or dictate my future.
I will deal with this disease, I will take care of myself and I will persevere. I may have to take the occasional detour or sit out a game or two but I will live my life to it's fullest. I am determined.


Popular posts from this blog

A Call to Africa

There's an oil for that...

A Not So OK Day is OK