Friday, July 27, 2012

The Realist

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the way people view the world.  To me, there are three types of people:  optimists (that always see the UP side to any situation), pessimists (who, regardless of the situation, sees something VERY wrong with it), and realists (people who always see both sides of the coin and don’t complain about it – just accepts it as it is).  I’m a realist.. no two ways about it.  I have quite a few “bad” things going on in my life at any given time (health things, relationship – or lack of relationship – issues, financial stress, etc. etc).  People are continuously telling me how “upbeat” I am, now “strong” I am, or how “optimistic” I seem in face of such adversity. 

The truth of the matter is simple, I’m not an optimist; I’m a realist.  I accept the truths that are handed to me and make the best out of them.  For example, I’ve made a major decision recently regarding my health – the truth of the matter is; neither option was all that appealing.  However, the decision was mine to make and I had to make it – there was no getting out of it.  This decision has pretty much put me in the category of “kidney dialysis patient for life”.   I’ll admit, I’m not happy about the news, but I feel like it was the right decision.   This is a new reality for me, a fact of my existence.   It is NOT a reason for me to complain about the hand I’ve been dealt, bitch about how painful dialysis is, how it constantly makes.. blah blah blah.   No sense in doing that.  I’ll find the perks (cute technicians at the dialysis center!) where I can and make the most out of the situation.  I get to meet people that motivate and inspire me, I get the opportunity to inspire others, and at times I get the opportunity to counsel people who don’t have anyone else to talk to. 

This is what makes me a realist.  I realize the truths in my life, and while some of them can be changed (and those that I don’t like that can be changed get worked on regularly so I can improve my existence) and some cannot be changed.  I accept them and take each one as an opportunity to learn more about myself, inspire others, and hopefully (in some cases) help make the same journey for other people less painful. 
It’s not to say that the “realist” doesn’t have their moments of weakness.  Hell, we all do, right?  I have had more than my fair share recently; but the good thing about being a realist is easy to recognize.  Once you have enough “practice” at being a realist; life’s truths don’t hurt as much.  The main reason is doesn’t hurt as much is because when you find a truth in life, it doesn’t take the realist by surprise.  We are basically “expecting it”.   It’s not a negative way of looking at things, or living, it’s just these easy to identify truths are based on personal experience and patterns in your life.   We are most hurt by the truths that take us by surprise .. so the less the surprise, the less it hurts.   I have no idea if this concept makes any sense to you, lovely reader, but I hope it does; even a little bit. 

So, I think that’s about it for today – I could go on but I’m not sure elaborating will help either one of us. 
Much love to you … you’re the ones that make me smile  <3

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Stop Jumping, You'll Wear Yourself Out

It’s strange, my beloved reader, how my blog life works.  I have this list of things I need and want to write about.  Topics that range from The Sacrifice of Happiness, to Optimistic Branches on a Pessimistic Tree, even The Positive Influence in a Negative World (look for all of these …eventually).   However, it seems that almost every day something new is added to the mix, and it’s my duty as a writer to prioritize what to write about.  Then come my lunch hour I get the honor of writing for you. 

As a dear friend pointed out to me today, it seems there’s an uptrend of behavior that is, at the least, disturbing.  Lately (or mayhap I have only been noticing it lately) people have been jumping to conclusions or their own “personal truths” much faster than usual.  With all this jumping, you’d think we, as a society, would be in better shape!  You see, when someone hears something (a rumor, half a story of something that has happened, or even an outright lie) they immediately draw their own conclusions, and get PISSED OFF at whatever it is.  They are ready for a fight, they want to punch someone, kick someone’s ass, protest the government, whatever the case may be. 

While a part of me admires the fact that people are quick to defend their friends and what they may perceive as a ‘wronging’, it’s disheartening to know that people don’t care about the truth when doing so.  Moreover, it saddens me to witness the fact that they will immediately jump to violence to solve the situation.  This, kittens, is how people end up dying; when we start rationalizing the concept that violence is an acceptable answer to a problem.   

Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about.  Someone posts a new status on Facebook (let’s be honest, everything is on Ye Ol’ BookFace these days):

Poster: “OMG.. I just got chewed out by my boss at work, I’m crying and I’m so pissed off.” 

This, friends, is a valid Facebook post, and one we’ve all seen from time to time.  Everyone has had a boss that we don’t necessarily get along with.  And we love to post on Facebook in the heat of the moment; it’s therapeutic.  However, it’s the comments that follow that make my point. 

Friend A:  “What an asshole, I hope he finds himself in a dark alley tonight and gets the shit kicked out of him”

Friend B:  “Yea, tell me what alley – I’ll bring a crowbar with me and show him what it’s like to be hurt”

Friend C:  “ Seriously. What a jerk; hope he crosses the street in front of me, my “breaks may fail.”” 

Seriously people… why the violence?  Why not a supporting and understanding response?  Let’s continue, shall we?  

Friend D:  Holy Shit, I’m so sorry! What happened?  PS… are you free for ice cream therapy tonight after work?

Poster:  @Friend D:  Ice Cream therapy would be great; honestly, it was my fault and I deserved to be yelled at, I really screwed up a financial report that the Manager received and he was furious.  I’m so pissed off at myself for letting it happen, I can’t stop crying.”

AHHHH…there it is…the truth and most of the full story.   Notice that the only person the Poster responded to was the one that offered support and NOT violence (three and a half brownie points for the Poster for not giving into the violence).   Friends A, B, and C immediately jumped to the conclusion that the Boss was being unreasonable and assumed he should be hurt because of it.  Nowhere in the post did it say the Boss yelled, was verbally abusive, or unjustified in his discipline of his employee.  People just assumed it.   It wasn’t the case.  As you see, the Poster later detailed the situation a little better (probably after they calmed down a bit) and it turns out even the Poster themselves think the discipline was in order. 

This whole concept takes me back to something I learned in a workshop called The Energy Project.  It’s an excellent program, I highly suggest it if you ever get the chance to experience it.  The particular activity I’m referring to is “Fact versus Story”.  We LOVE to assume we know the whole story behind something when only a fact is provided to us. 

“Wow… some a&&h*le just cut me off in traffic, good to know he thinks he’s the only one who matters.  I should have forced him into the wall”   What’s the fact in this statement?  The person who wrote the statement was cut off in traffic.   The rest is a story made up to go behind the fact.  The other driver may not be an asshole, and I doubt he thinks he’s the only one that matters.  There are a variety of reasons he may have cut the person off:  maybe the person was in his blindspot, maybe he’s rushing to the hospital because his wife was in an accident and he’s not thinking straight, maybe he’s having a health issue.  Maybe the guy is a downright jerk and just cut someone off.  The point is, NOBODY but that driver knows the story behind the fact, so jumping to a conclusion doesn’t do anyone any good.  And resorting to violence (forcing what could be a multiple car accident) is NEVER the right response. 

So, kittens, here’s the bottom line:   rumors, half truths, down-right lies, and the like are NOT something to act negatively upon.  We are forever hearing something that we know may not be the entire story – so instead of immediately jumping to our own conclusion – why not try to find out more about the situation?  If that’s not possible, then offer support and help to in a positive and enlightened manner; it will be much more beneficial to everyone involved.   

Today’s personal challenge:  work on recognizing the difference between FACT and STORY.  Take a step back before you react to something, and react with compassion and understanding instead of anger and violence; you may be surprised the responses you get. 

Much Love

Be at peace with yourself and you’ll be at peace with the world

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Single Choice

The Single Choice

I met the most spectacular woman today, named Lula.   She was born in 1910 and is currently a dialysis patient with a heart of gold, the soul of a Warrior, and an outlook on life and love that I admire greatly.  We had an excellent chat about life in general while we were both being prepped for treatment today.  She’s lived a long life, full of family, friends and a husband of 83 years.  6 kids, 13 grandkids, 8 great-grand children, and 2 great-great grandbabies.   She laughs every day, cries sometimes, and always remembers to say THANK YOU for the life she has had. 

We didn’t chat very long, shortly after treatment started, her beloved husband walked in.  He carried with him a single plastic rose (because they last forever – just like their love) and eyes only for her.  The moment he walked into the treatment room she light up like a beacon in the dark.  Her smile was genuine as was the love and devotion in her eyes.  He walked gingerly towards her, handed her the flower and kissed her gently.  He then proceeded to sit down next to her, and while she held that little plastic rose, he read the daily newspaper to her.  She quickly nodded off to sleep, and he continued to read; realizing that it was his voice that helped her feel safe enough to nap during a time when you feel so vulnerable. 

As I was quietly observing and listening to my music he looked up at me and smiled, I instantly smiled back and he said to me “I read to her because her eyes have gone bad.  And because she tells me she likes the sound of my voice.”   I just nodded and went back to my music and book; giving them as much privacy as you can get in a room full of patients and doctors. 

After a while, I realized Mr. George (Lula’s husband) was sitting next to me.  I smiled at him and he simply said “I hate seeing anyone here alone.”  I smiled and thanked him for his company.  His compassion was nearly overwhelming and all he was doing was sitting there as his lovely wife snoozed nearby.   He softly asked me “do you have a Hand?” I was very confused suddenly.  I must have looked it because he immediately continued.  “You know a hand to hold when it’s your time to pass on?”  I just shook my head and tried to look less stunned than I felt.  

“Everyone should have that Hand; and it should be a hand that is not family and much more than friend.  Because as alone of a journey as death is, having someone there that loves you like only a mate can really makes a difference. Think about it, and give yourself that chance.” 

So, I’ve been thinking about it.   A lot.   The choices that I have made in my life to this point have put my relationship status as “single”.   I have made some choices to better myself, to better the life of my daughter, and to help us be happier than we’ve ever been.  I’ve made choices that are in my best interest from an emotional perspective, from a legal perspective, and from the perspective that being with the wrong person is worse than being alone.  The choices I have made have left me as a single woman, and although I don’t hate being single, there are times when I wonder if I prefer it to being with someone.  I enjoy spending time with someone I care deeply form  I enjoy the nurturing, caring for, supporting, and loving someone that means more to me than “just a friend”. 

However, I find myself in a place that many “sickies” find themselves in.  Most anyone that has been through a traumatic injury, a serious (or in my case terminal) illness, intense medical treatments, etc. can tell you one truth: it is difficult to keep a mate when something like this comes up.  It is even more difficult to FIND one when you’re in the throes of such medical drama.    I won’t get into all of the over emotional things that run through my mind when I think about the mate situation.  However, I will share this with you, my beloved reader:   I’d love to have that Hand .. and someone to “Walk me Home”. 

So, where does this leave us?  Inspired to open my heart to more possibilities than I’m comfortable with.  Wondering if I should try to allow myself to be loved again (that hasn’t go so well in my past).  And hoping that YOU have that Hand... because it’s a comfort to know someone cares that much. 

Today’s personal challenge:  Inspire someone else by sharing your story.  You never know which heart strings you will tug, and the difference it can make on someone. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Just Be Kind

Hello Kittens

As I sit here and stare at my blog topic list, I'm having a hard time deciding what to write about.  Part of it might be the fact that I'm incredibly sleepy.  Part of it might be because half my mind is here at work, half is on the road somewhere, and half of it is recreating scenes from the past week.  Yes, that's three halves; which is most likely more than part of my problem.

At the risk of jumping on the "bandwagon" and making even more out of the tragedy in Colorado .. I feel compelled to say a thing or two about the situation.  I will not by any stretch of the imagination get on a soap box about my feelings towards gun control, being able to stop these things, etc.  I will however say how I'm feeling about all of this and what we, as average people, can do going forward to try and stop the madness.

When I woke up this morning and turned on the news, I expected a whole lot of the 'same old stuff' to be playing in the background as I showered and got ready for work.  Political races, car chases, some guy winning the lottery, someone trying to save the spotted owls.  I never expected to hear of the horrific shootings that took place in Colorado last night.  My first thought was "oh my goodness, how scared those people must have been" followed very quickly by "HOLY S@#$!  My daughter was at a midnight showing in Pittsburgh, it very easily could have happened anywhere".  

Throughout the day I've read articles and watched videos on what happened.  It's in the comment section of various websites where I get most scared.  The reactions people have are all over the board, but I see one common denominator... everyone is SO MEAN and HOSTILE towards each other.  There is no one "magic pill" that will stop this senselessness from happening again.  It's happened in the past, and unfortunately, it will most likely happen in the future.  Stopping the sale of guns, not allowing people to wear costumes at premiers, having armed security guards in movie theaters, allowing civilian patrons to carry concealed in a theater .. none of these things alone - or potentially together -- is going to solve  the issue.

Because we, as a society, have it instilled in our brains that WE are right and everyone ELSE is wrong.  In some cases, we are raised to voice our opinion as loudly and violently as possible to get our point across.   Where we draw the line on what is acceptable social behavior and what is not is becoming more and more difficult to define.  Pissed off that someone got your drink order wrong? Scream at them until they cry; so many people will agree that they deserved it for making the mistake.  Someone made you mad by disagreeing with you?  Yell, swear, and throw a chair; totally acceptable, even if it does accidentally hit someone; they'll heal, and you can totally just blame it on your "anger" issues or the fact that you were "raised" like that.  Get bullied in school, at work, in society .. run into the nearest public place and start shooting everyone; after all it can't possibly be YOUR fault that you're not dealing with reality well.    Yes, there is a whole lot of smart-ass and sarcasm in those statements and NO I DO NOT CONDONE ANY SUCH BEHAVIOR.  

I have a much different mindset on the whole thing.  People are always going to have varying opinions about things... but that's not a reason to start screaming at someone, swearing (though I'll admit, I don't have the cleanest vocabulary), hitting walls, or throwing things.   Now before you start telling me "you don't know what it's like not to be able to control your anger", let me assure you -- I do.  I had a big anger issue in High School -- anyone that knows me from back then can attest to that.  I had many a bruised hand, knuckle, finger, and other parts due to my inability to control my anger and my mouth.  Eventually I learned how to deal with it and how to act more appropriately in situations; and it turned my life around completely.  I'm much more grounded, much happier, and a MUCH more pleasant person to be around now.  

All that being said -- here's my simplified "rainbows and kittens" solution.  Show compassion.  Try to understand.  Don't judge.  Don't jump to conclusions.  If you don't know the facts, keep your mouth shut and your mind open.  Just BE NICE to others.  If everyone tried this, the world would be a significantly better place.  I know what you're thinking, silly cynical reader.  "There's no way that would work... people are idiots and they just can't help themselves."   I disagree.  People CAN help themselves they CHOOSE not to.    Self control is a matter of mind .. people usually find it much simpler to go out of control than swallow the situation and be the bigger person .. the calmer person.  And if EVERYONE implemented this, we would have less tragedy in the world.  For whatever reasons he had, that man that snapped in Colorado yesterday snapped for a reason; we may or may not know what it is.  Granted, it could be an isolated case of "no reason I just did it because I could".  However, in the past, these types of things are usually linked to a specific "wronging" or "perceived wronging" by the offender.  "I was bullied."  "My boss fired me for no reason" "She didn't put mayo on my sandwich".   If these people were A: treated kinder by others (we could all use a little of that) and B: chose to control their tempers and their actions; just imagine what a better place it would be.

So, I offer this personal challenge to you:  Be kind to someone you don't know today.  Look someone in the eye when you say thank you when they hold open a door.  Pay for the guy behind you at Starbucks.  Genuinely compliment someone you see walking down the street.  Be a friend to someone in need.  You'll be surprised the difference it will make in their day -- and in yours.

Love you Kittens, please play nice

Be at peace with yourself and you're a peace with the world.  

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Art of Joy Through Happiness

The Art of Joy through Happiness
This week has already been a very difficult week for me.  One of my beloved cats, Buttons, had a stroke and passed away on Tuesday.  It was heartbreaking to witness, but I’m so happy that I was able to be with him and get him to the vet so he didn’t have to go through it alone.  Unfortunately my daughter attends school in Pittsburgh and I had to tell her what happened over the phone.  It was devastating not being able to hold and hug her through her grief; and I am SO thankful that her wonderful boyfriend was there with her at the time to help her.  We are both healing as well as we can, as are Buttons’ two surviving brothers, Fatboy and Carley. They seem sad, and continue to search for him in his old hiding places; however they are adjusting well.  They continue to eat, drink and use the box as they should, which was a huge concern for me.  When I’m a bit more clear headed, I’ll be writing about grieving the loss of a family pet – just not quite yet. 

I am so very blessed to have a wonderful family and the MOST amazing friends to help me through this.  I have been given hugs both virtually and physically and been comforted in ways I never thought possible.   It’s been a difficult experience, but I’m getting through it the best I can. 

With all that being said, I bring you my topic of the day.  The art of joy through happiness. Happiness is an elusive thing for me at times.. I know I don’t act like it is.  Most people who know me personally would say “but you’re always so upbeat and optimistic”.  I try to be both of those things, but there are many times that the feelings don’t reach down as far as they should.  There’s a great many reasons for it, and I won’t get into them; that’s not what this is about.   Some of my greatest joys in life come when I make other people happy; I gain my joy through their happiness.   It’s not the greatest recipe for personal happiness, but it’s the best I have at the moment and it seems to work well enough for me.  Someday I’ll figure out the rest, but for now, I focus on what I can. 

Today was an excellent example of this, as I met a wonderful little girl named Desiree at the hospital.  I was sitting in the dialysis center with my plug and play machine hooked up to my arm, going through a list of things I needed to get done today.   Finish writing a method for work, get team meeting notes published, dig out the recipe for dinner tonight, go shopping, etc.  I was engrossed in my own little world, distracted by the day-to-day BS that I go through (and a surprise blessing I’ve experienced recently) and I noticed this stunning little girl (found out during our talk that she is currently 7 – going on about 32) walk in all by herself, sit down and get ready for her treatment.   I knew right away she’s a Warrior... someone who has been through it all and prefers to do it herself.     I asked her about her glittery tennis shoes which started a WHOLE conversation about clothes and shoes and accessories.  Her mind was an endless encyclopedia of knowledge of fashion designers, color coordination, and accessorizing; it was rather enlightening. 

Of course, as a fellow Warrior, I saw what those beautiful brown eyes were hiding – a sadness that only comes with knowing your reality is different than everyone else’s.   Not many people recognize this; and those who do are usually Warriors themselves or know us all too well on a personal scale and can pull the truth out of us. I’ll be honest, there aren’t very many people I can’t fool with my dazzling smile and outgoing personality.  Only a few select have seen me without that Warrior Mask.   I couldn’t help wonder what she was going to miss with her friends today after her treatment, when she would most likely be laying in bed trying to recover.  Of course, I didn’t ask, but I did come up with a way I thought might help her feel better. 

Most kids, especially the “sick” ones (we talked about that term in the last blog, remember?) have a hard time connecting with adults … let’s face it, we can be intimidating, mean, demanding, and most of the ones the sick kids deal with are Doctors.  So, to be able to be a kid with an adult is a great treat.  I do my best to interact with the kids I see…we get to giggle together, watch movies, sing Disney songs, swap urine samples; whatever we can think of to be silly and pass the time in an awful place like Chemo rooms, Dialysis centers, and hospital waiting rooms.   As I was finishing up my dialysis and she was waiting for her needles and meds, I asked her a VERY important question.

“Alright Dissy” yes, that’s what I was calling her, made her giggle every time.  “I have a HUGE problem and you’re the ONLY one that can fix it “

“What’s wrong? “

“I don’t know which band aid to put over my port.  I usually use a gauze wrap, but there is NO way that’s gonna go with my zebra stripped shirt.  And I wouldn’t want to embarrass you by walking out of here looking like the next person to be arrested by the fashion police.” 

We started laughing so hard we nearly disturbed the other patients (old people can be “so” boring) and she asked how she could help.

“Well” of course I got all serious at this point; this was, after all, a very serious task.  “I need you to hit the Med Supply chest and pick out the perfect band-aid for my arm.” 
That did it -  that “sadness” that I saw before was just gone.  She light up like fireworks over the beach, thrilled that I’d ask her to pick out my band-aid.   Let’s face it, adults are always “boring” and never ask kids for such a thing.   Her response with that brilliant smile was a bit skeptical “What if I pick the wrong one?”

“The wrong one?  Not possible, if it makes you happy then it’s the perfect one.”  

She beamed and walked over to the Med Chest to go through the boxes.  It took quite a while, and she was humming and smiling the whole time.  Just to see her forget about herself and her ordeal for a few minutes was worth whatever she brought back.

She finally returned with the biggest smile on her face, and a giggle that made my soul sing.  “I couldn’t decide between the Avengers, The Transformers and the Monkey.  They had My Preppy Ponies (her term, not mine) but those are lame”. 

I laughed so hard as she crawled up in my lap and held onto my bandaid.  She refused to show it to me until I was done with dialysis and even told the tech they had to wait until I was done to start hers. “This is VERY important” she said, and they smiled, nodded and walked away.  Sometimes you gotta take control of a bad situation to make it better every way you can. 

My Doctor arrived shortly after that, asked us what trouble we were up to, and disconnected all my wires and needles, and such.  She started to reach into her pocket and Dissy immediately piped up.  “NO .. I have her bandage already”

She pulled out a Curious George band-aid and lovingly put it over my port, making sure it had a “good enough seal so you can shower and not get your port wet… the Doctor’s don’t like that”. 
Once she was done, she meandered back to her chair and waited for the techs to arrive.  She was getting prepped for her treatment when I was leaving, but I couldn’t get away without a huge hug and a kiss on the cheek.  “Thank you, Trinity.  You made me smile and made me forget I was sick for a while”.

THAT brought joy to me that I haven’t had in a while.  Knowing that I have the potential and ability to make other people happy – to be the driving force behind their Inspiration to live happier.   Not to mention,  the ability to make someone forget why they are sitting in a treatment room and give them something much more fun to focus on makes all the difference in the world to me.

So, I offer you this personal challenge today.  Although you may not be sick (I hope you are not, honestly) and might not be sitting in the same setting… find someone in your life that needs a shot of happiness.  Reach inside yourself and find that thing to make them smile and forget about their troubles for a moment.  Do it not for the satisfaction you’ll feel, but for the happiness you will bring them.  In that happiness, my dear reader, you will find your joy.  

Monday, July 16, 2012

It's Been Too Long - Finding My Way Out of the Dark

Hey Kittens!

I know, I know.. it's been forever since I've published anything here; and for that I can only offer my heart-filled apologies.  Things over here have been ... shall I say ... difficult.   Most of you know that I have a myriad of health issues that prevent me from living what I consider a "normal's" life.   Now, before you start saying "normal is boring", "normal is a setting on a dryer", etc; that's not exactly what I'm referring to.  You see, dear reader, in the few support groups that I run we classify ourselves as the "sick".  It is by no means a derogatory term; it's simply the truth.  We have terminal illnesses that we face on a daily basis.  Those in our lives that do not have such illnesses are considered "normals".  It's a way for us to differentiate ourselves and others during conversations.  For example "I took my son to the playground today and was reminded how much I miss being a "normal" and having the ability and energy to run around after my kid".   So anyways, it's a lame excuse for not being with you; but I was off feeling sorry for myself and fretting over the hand I've been dealt.

Here's a quick update you if you're interested.  If not, feel free to skip down to get to the good stuff.   After battling a severe kidney stone (took up 1/4 of my one working kidney) and passing a whole lot of stones, I had a rupture in my urinary tract.  So, a quick surgery later ... and boom ... mild heart attack.  It was determined to be directly related to the anesthesia so fortunately it wasn't a spontaneous incident.  Shortly after that it was determined that the only way to get me off dialysis was to stop all the medications; including the anti-rejection medication I'm taking for my bone marrow transplant. So it's continue the meds that may be keeping me alive and stay on dialysis forever .. or stop my meds and take my chances at being a "normal" .. having significantly more energy, the ability to do the things I've missed, etc.  And risk rejecting my bone marrow - again.  Long story short, I have a MAJOR decision to make on how I want to move forward.   This recent chain of events put me in a very dark place, and I've been struggling quite a bit trying to get back into the sunlight.

 I know I'm not the only one who has found themselves is a place so dark that the thoughts they  have keep them up at night; or how you dread going home to an empty house and an emptier bed.  I'm certainly not the first person to be here, and I won't be the last. I sincerely hope it's the last time I'm here; but I'm a realist and the fact of the matter is; I may find myself here again.  Fortunately, I think I've found a dimly lit, poorly paved, difficult way back to the sunlight.  This is actually good news, because if the path were easy or well lit, I wouldn't have the opportunity to learn more about and improve myself.  

So, you may be wondering how it is that I suddenly found this path out of the darkness (at least I hope you're wondering .. because it's something everyone needs to know).  I found someone to talk to.  I'm going to guess right about now you're saying to yourself "Duh .. that's the simplest solution ever".   I'll agree that the concept is simple enough but sometimes no matter who you talk to, it doesn't work.  I'm in several support groups (from a leadership and a participant perspective), have a therapist I see on a regular basis, an amazingly supportive and loving family, friends that would rival the BEST in the universe..and I was still alone and in the dark.  Some of this is my own fault.. I don't really open up easily to people and I rarely show my true emotions.  "You're so strong" is said to me for a reason :).   However, as cold and callous as this might sound, the reason I didn't talk to many people in my life about this is simple: I didn't have the emotional energy or willingness for me to counsel them through the issues.  The issue I have is when I need to talk about something, and I tell someone (not EVERYONE in my life, but once you see a pattern starting you learn quickly) and that someone freaks out .. you're stuck picking up the pieces and reassuring them that everything will be OK.  I wasn't in a place in my  mind where I could reassure others.   Sounds selfish when I put it like that, but it doesn't make it less true.

However, 40 minutes (not nearly long enough in my personal opinion) with someone yesterday and I finally have my mind and soul on the mend.  I was reminded that not only do I matter (I knew that part, but it's nice to be told), that I have a positive impact on the world around me, and that even if I died tomorrow (that is NOT in my plan by the way) that I'm leaving behind a legacy that will not be forgotten.   Without directly saying it, this friend reminded me that I'm here to inspire others to look for the good in life, and make changes in themselves that will better their existence.  I lost that somewhere in the last month or so. Though I was reminded last night that I'm more than my illness and more than I see in the mirror.   Dear Friend .. you've saved me.

I am here to Inspire .. and Inspire I shall.

Until next time, Kittens

Be at peace with yourself and you'll be at peace with the world.