Love

There are some things that are so relaxing!! For me today that was a pedicure! It was nice to have hot wax and hot stones on my legs and feet!

Sometimes life is soooo full of stress! And it is hard to stop and let stuff go. I know I struggle with letting go, hopefully you don’t! I’m off to study, if you can…let stuff go and relax!

Here is a picture of my cool nail design 🙂 had to do something to smile 🙂

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Memories

How many times do you let yourself think back to the past? I know there are MANY days I think back and try to find a day I was not suffering…that memory is getting harder and harder to find. Especially now that I have not been pain-free is so long, the ability to wake up with out pain …seems impossible. It could happen one day (hopefully) but that is not what caught my memories tonight.

I was driving home from my doctoral classes and I realized….the one thing I had always wanted to do….I am doing! Do you ever have one of those moments? I remember thinking back to when I was a junior in college….and the one thought I had was …I want to have a PHD/EDD. I remember going through the GRE testing and getting so frustrated because my scores were not what I wanted. I remember having SO many conversations about getting into a PHD program. I was young, somewhat naive (probably still am) and in those days….I could not wait to be a doctoral student. When I would meet a doctoral student I would hang onto every word. My hero’s were those who had what I wanted…a doctorate degree.

I remember the day last November when I got an email about interviewing for my program. I could not believe I had made the cut! Then I interviewed and AMAZINGLY enough, I got accepted!! My dream was coming true! The Spring seemed like a dream…I was sitting in doctoral classes. This summer I think reality started to sink in! The reality that I have to write a dissertation (for years saying that was unreal…now it is 100% real). I’m reading through some of the toughest books and writing some of the toughest papers of my life. My doctoral program is real to me in more ways. And then the questions comes….can I do this? Will my body hold up for this?

It has become “normal” to be up until 1-3a.m. or later depending on the day. It has become normal to “think” about so many things and to plan/research on my topic. This will be my “new” life for the next so many years until this program is done.  But the good thing is today I can still picture walking across the stage and finishing! I still have that pushing me to finish…and I hope I never lose that hope. I need a drive (any one completing a doctoral program needs a drive) and I need support. Not only support from people who understand my daily pain (and torture) but also people who care enough to keep me going.

Thankfully my memories are not only of wanting to get into a PHD program but I also have many memories of some great encouragers. I hope you all have people in your life that are encouraging you! Trust me I could not do it alone!

 Tonight (this am) I am off to bed but I am thankful that I have some awesome memories! I am thankful that I am living a dream. I am thankful I am not alone in my pain. I am thankful that people try to understand. And I am thankful that I can share living with my pain and living my life. I hope it encourages someone out there 🙂

Keep Going

There are things that keep us going, one of my things is my college class ring! I look at it and remember I did that, I can do this! My doctoral journey is far harder than I ever imagined it would or could be but I do love it! One day this ring will change from Class of 2007 to Class of 2016! Keep pushing forward!

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Amazing Weekend

The weekend was spent relaxing and having philosophical conversations. The one thing I have learned about studying at this level….you are always thinking! At least I am, I find myself sitting in a room fill of people and mind walks down soooo many paths. This weekend I wanted to spend every moment on home work but I realized I had the time to rest and just relax.

So I went with my amazing group of college kids and sat out in the sun on the lake. It was nice to watch such a group of young people. I envied their energy and the fun things you see between young guys and girls! Oh to be that age again! But I would only want to be that age of I had my knowledge that I have today.

Sitting at the lake, I could forget for just a few hours about my physical pain. I didn’t have to be in a cold room instead I listens to laughter and the sound of water. So that thankfully eased my pain, if only for a few hours! Now I’m sunburned, tired and in pain! But that is ok, the weekend was worth it!

I’m blessed because I have an awesome group of supporters, I have an awesome group of colleagues, I have a cohort with people who want to learn and I have my inner drive to succeed. The journey is not easy but God is good! I challenge you to find something you are thankful for today! It can bring a positive mindset that could change your world!

A Whole New World

Growth! Growth brings to it a whole new world! For those of us starting our own new worlds…it is scary. It is scary to wake up and have to write a paper on a new topic, it is scary to wake up and have to make friends in a new city or at a new job. When things are new it is scary, stressful, and sometimes frustrating. I do not know about you but I hate being the new kid on the block. When I was first diagnosed as having an invisible disease, I did not know who to turn to….after awhile everything on the internet just looks the same. One big word pops up PAIN! And that is scary …especially when you feel weird (as if you are all alone) and so frustrated/tired of hurting.

The new world of anything brings with it so many feelings of being overwhelmed. I am in a new world of learning what am I going to write on for the next 3-4 years? What am I going to research…what piece of research am I going to make my own? That may sound easy but it is so is not! It is even harder when your body is screaming in pain with every movement…or when your mind does not really start to kick in until about 11:00p.m.! That in itself is frustrating! I am not sure but I def. wonder if insomnia is part of the invisible disease thing!

No matter what new world you are in, I hope that you know you are not alone. Our journey is not an easy one especially with the pain we feel in life. Pain that is physical and emotional…and def draining. But remember that growth brings new challenges, new strength, and most importantly a new chapter in life!

Despite it all

Despite it all….keep pushing forward. Despite the pain you feel….wake up tomorrow ready to get out of bed and fight again! It is hard…many days so very hard to focus, to think, or to do the basic things! But the good news is that you are proving to yourself and to the world that you are not a victim…you are a survivor. You are a survivor of having an invisible disease and it makes you so strong!

Regardless of what tomorrow brings for you, I pray that we come together, get up and have an awesome day! I know my day tomorrow will be made up of finishing some homework, resting, writing and working but that is alright! Why? Because I am not ALONE!

Keep fighting!!!!!!!!!

Hope, Perfection and the Journey Ahead

Tonight I was again irritated at my pain! I have a strong desire to be perfect, to be good (and in my mind that means perfect!) and to excel at whatever I do! My first assignment of the semester was graded, a 96/100. Is that bad? Goodness no but is it the 100/100….no and that frustrated me! Why?

I can only say it must be my OCD to be perfect! Goodness there are sooo many more assignment due and honestly I learn best by mistakes. But still, when I know I didn’t get the perfect grade and other did…makes me get very annoyed at my painful life. I’m tired of the pain, the daily torture and the total lack of understanding by a great portion of people. The “you look great so you most feel great” gets so old, and frustrating.

The thing I have to do ( and I encourage you to do) is look for the positive! Have hope, I hope that soon ( maybe even the next assignment) will be good. Be thankful for what you do get….I got an A…with all I have going on…WOW!!! I should be ecstatic! And yes a part of me is, for sure!

It may be hard but focus not on this one exit in life but think about the journey ahead! That’s what I am telling myself tonight, one small grade plays a part but don’t let one small part derail the big part. For me the big part is learning! Learning to remember and learning to grow!

If you are fighting an invisible disease, I admire you for anything and everything you do! It is hard, I struggle every day to study and work. But like you, I will push through! I hope that you push through and fight for your dreams…despite the pain! Have hope, let go of the desire to be perfect and focus on the big journey ahead!

Just Keep Doing It!

Yesterday I was reminded the intensity of pain! I spent the whole day in bed feeling every joint and muscle (even my skin or so it seemed). When I would get out of bed I would almost scream in pain..from my feet to my head. Now that certainly isn’t the way to spend the weekend but for people like us invisible disease sufferers…it is practically a “normal” day. It is hard to dig into yourself to find the strength to smile (despite these type of days) and to get something done (even if it is from bed). I rested until about 2:00p.m and then I got my hubby to drag my computer and phone to the bed. I was able to read two chapters for class (SCORE) and edit a paper!! Wohoo!!!

It is hard to pull yourself through tough times, especially when you are in pain (any kind of pain). Pain makes your brain struggle understand anything, your emotions extremely sensitive and your heart heavy. BUT even with this pain, I challenge you today to do something for yourself! What gives me power and hope is knowledge, education and in my mind preparing for what comes next.

So today I hope we all have a good day despite our pain!