Sunday Morning Coffee Musing:RD/Fibro Blog: I Want to Play, Too

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You remember what it’s like to get sick as a child and friends are outside playing. You hear the laughter, you see them running around playing a game of hide and seek, or playing with their superheroes or dolls. You say to your mother, “Mom, I want to go outside and play, too.” She says, “I know honey. But, you can’t. You’re sick and you have to get well first.” So, there you go. Back to the window to watch your friends play. Until you feel well again.

This is exactly how I feel many times as I watch the events of family, friends, and other events that play before me live and in living color on social media. I sorely wish I were there, too. Creating memories. Laughing along. Right there in the moments captured forever. Especially, the very big moments and events. I and so many others who live with chronic pain also live with unpredictability of the symptoms. And there we are. Trapped in the house, until the symptoms subside enough for us to go out to play again with everyone else. You may be disappointed and you probably understand. But no one, and I mean no one, is more disappointed and upset or even as angry as we are. We are many times at the mercy of a body we cannot control. And, for the record, many of the other times you see us out living it up, selfies and all, we are smiling and playing through the pain. Tough guys and gals we are indeed!

It makes me happy to see others happy and enjoying life. I know I will be there in the moment soon again. When you realize it’s not about others or you and your pain all the time, but it is collectively about sharing in the joy and laughter of others lives that fills your heart whether you are there physically or through videos, listening to the stories behind each memorable moment and looking through photos. Energy is energy and sometimes you have to experience it at different frequencies. Accept and embrace. Sad that I can’t be there? Yes. But the happiness that you are there, friends and family are there, enjoying life is greater than my sad moment…that shall pass.

~Nikki

 

RA Blog: All Eyes on Me (Thee)

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It seems as if everyone else is whizzing right past you as you “mosey” along or perhaps you are not moving at all. Maybe, you are stuck. Well, I have goals because I set goals. I have dreams and new dreams, new visions, things I want to see happen in the face of Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia and all of that other noise that seems to slow me down and sometimes get the best of me.

In the effort to lose weight, to achieve my other goals as well, it seems as if the well abled bodied people are just flying right past me. Soaring to their goals, and I, I am left behind in their dust. Me? I’m struggling to stay motivated. I can’t walk that fast, like I use to. I can’t use my hands very well today, I can’t stand as long as I use to, the fatigue…it’s what some call excuses, but it’s a reality for many of us. We are not who we use to be and oh if we would have known this was coming, we may have did the 5K or went back to school sooner.

Q: Dear God, Universe, Creator, Self, Spirit, how do I deal with all the feels of being left behind?

A: Take your eyes off others and put your eyes on me. Keep your eyes on “your” prize. Stop the comparison. It’s unfair and foolish to compare yourself with well abled bodied people and it’s unfair to compare yourself to the old self. You can’t be in the past and present at the same time. This is why you are not progressing as fast or at all.

So, with that revelation, I invite you to meditation and prayer. Center yourself during the times when you are “feeling” so much despair and disappointment. If I keep watching others I will fall. If I keep comparing myself to others, I will fail. If I keep living in the past, I can’t work in the present to prepare for my future. All eyes on the Creator. All eyes on the scriptures, affirmations, practices, that center your heart and mind.

~Nikki

Life is In (A Life and RA Blog)

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Whatever or whomever you believe to be your higher power is what sustains you in times of despair. I live a life that is often filled with physical pain, continuous doctor appointments with specialists, an ongoing fight mentally and emotionally to stay grounded, steady, and balanced. Add in your regular and unpredictable life plans. I am sure you have your own battles. So, you know where I am coming from to some degree we can agree that things get hectic.

One scripture that comes to me when life seems to put pressure on me, when the thing I am dealing with at hand attempts to snuff out my life (my joy and happiness, my optimism, my faith), suggest I’d be better off dead, or just weighs me down is this one: “In God I live and move and have my being.” It empowers me. It says, whatever it is that is making you “feel” this way, has no power over you and it is not what sustains you or keeps you alive. It says, “Move in me, with me, within you there I am, giving you this energy and power to LIVE (AND NOT DIE), MOVE (KEEP GOING/PRESSING FORWARD), AND BE (EXIST).

The ability to tap INto your source, God, and connect to something higher than yourself or your higher self (I’m not big on defining God for people as I believe in freedom of choice), in difficult times keeps your feet grounded to the Earth and your head or thoughts aligned with your divine mission. The fact that you have to reconnect or reaffirm, only suggest that you got so caught up in what was going on around you that you had a brief disconnect from Source. You “almost” forgot that God, Source, Divine sustains you. Or perhaps, your connection was weak and had gotten loose by the yanking and moving around of the cares of this world. Your thoughts. It happens sometimes.

I went for a walk today and walks are suppose to be peaceful. Yet, as soon as I stepped out of the car I felt pain in my left hip which I’ve been having trouble with at this young age of 42. My walk was not as fast and then my hands swelled half way. I was agitated and frustrated and please don’t tell me not to be because I think it’s necessary to feel so you can address it. As I thought “I am so sick of this! Sick of it! Sick of it! Sick of it!!!!” I really wanted to yell that out at the park. I kept walking and speaking to walkers and runners, the few that were on the trail. “I just want to give up.” I was walking my normal pace. And by giving up I meant trying to improve my health. “Flush all the pills. And just let RA run it’s course. Why would I get this at 8 years old. Like…for what?” Then, the scripture that caught my attention from the first time I heard it, and that comes to me often “In him, God, I live and move and have my being.” Next thought was “Right. RA has no power over me. It does not determine my destiny or “run” my life. It is not the boss of me. It does not get to take me out without a fight. It is not my life sustainer. I am. God is. I do my part. God does God’s part. I finished my walk.

~Nikki

RA BLOG: Limiting Pity Parties

Pity has a pit that is hard to get out of once you fall into it. If you’re going to dance around it, do so from a distance and make it less than often.-Nicole Jackson

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I can tell you to stop feeling sorry for yourself, never feel sorry for yourself, or that it’s okay to feel sorry for yourself. Either you do or you don’t or you use to. Perhaps you have a different personality and you never felt sorry for yourself. If this is you, then I might suggest you have some compassion, some empathy, or try to understand those that do.

Feeling sorry for yourself can lead you into a pit. There is a difference when it comes to having a pity party…parties must come to an end and the sooner the pity party ends the better. You see, if a person falls into a pit of pity then that is a very dark place. Some never make it out and it turns into a debilitating way of living and approaching life. It’s all about what you use to could do and all about what you can’t do now. It focuses on what RA or an illness or disease has taken away from you and not what you still have left. Or what you can obtain now! It’s all about your problems, never about solutions. It’s about “I can’t before you try” or a “I tried once and I’ll never try again.”

I’ll be honest with you. I’ve had some pity parties way before Rheumatoid Arthritis exploded into my bones. I am sure it was the talking of wise people, encouraging people, that said a combination of “You’ve got to get over this, get over it, feel what you feel, don’t feel, etc.”that lead me to a method that has lessened my pity parties and the time spent in them. The method for me is, depending on what has happened and the depth of it, is: PUT A TIME LIMIT ON IT and start shutting the party down. I can’t tell you not to throw one in the first place, I don’t control how you feel no more than you can control how I feel. But, if you are going to go there, know that you can’t stay at this party too long and no one else wants to stay too long either!  Your party can turn into a PIT! I limit myself to 5 minutes to a few days and then I have to, I must start working my way out, regardless of how I feel. REGARDLESS OF HOW I FEEL.

You work your way out by moving, physically. You work your way out with prayer. You work your way out with telling yourself the TRUTH about yourself (who God says you are) and not who others say you are. You build yourself up and instead of tearing yourself down. This is how you get out of the pit or shut the pit party down. You see a therapist, you see a pastor, you use the skills, you get a self help book, or you surround yourself with a support group. Whatever you have to do, you do it!  (But, it’s hard Nikki…well, don’t let that stop you)

~Nikki

 

 

 

RA BLOG:Hoping to Look Back and Forget

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This is fresh off the press this Saturday evening as I am trying my best to wind down from disturbing news I received in my mailbox. Let’s start with this week has been pretty exhausting. A rollercoaster with more lows than highs and all that has been running through mind is “Please, God, let me off of this thing.” No such luck.

My daughter’s 16th birthday is coming up and I have been stressing over how to make it special for the past few weeks. I am going through the disability process in Tennessee and I have been for the last two years and two months. Before I was diagnosed with RA (diagnosed with JRA as a child), I was a working single parent. I promised my daughter to take her to California when she turned 16 as it’s somewhere she had always wanted to go. Well, we know that is not possible during this time. So, we planned to go somewhere closer and with the help of my brother to drive. I can’t tell you the amount of stress, struggle and strain it has been to gather finances from all over the place. To beg and borrow it seems to make this happen. I received terrible news from the school that my daughter had been placed in Algebra II instead of Algebra I and they are just now discovering this! She’s in a honors program. No wonder my poor child had been struggling! And I had been so hard on her. I was livid! Today, I opened up the mailbox to find she would not be allowed to continue in the program because of her GPA. I was outdone. She will have to take summer school class for Algebra I because she must have it. But, how unfair for them as Algebra II is the main cause of her GPA drop. I sent an email to the principal and hope they can see their error and what it has cost my daughter.

Today, I feel my depression in the shadows. I have done the best to keep it at bay. I cannot tell her this right now as she is so happy about taking a trip in a week or so for spring break to celebrate her 16th birthday. She will be crushed and I do not want her spirits crushed. My daughter is very smart and bright. And today…with RA, financial stress, and worried about my daughter’s future, checking the mailbox daily waiting on a word for a day in court about my case, it all just seems to be weighing on me. It’s a bit too much and I just hope someday I can look back and forget the last two years of this hell.

~Nikki

RA BLOG:YOGA, Shoulders and RA

Practice these poses on a regular basis and you will have very little problems zipping up your dress, washing your back, reaching your hind parts (lol) etc when you get older. Or if you are having those problems now the more you attempt to do these, or even simply grasping your hands behind your back, it will get better.

Someone is going to say “I can’t do that!” Well, yoga is not whether or not you can do a pose exactly like it’s done…it requires that you do the best you can and work your way to the pose or as close to it as you can. Over time, you can inch your way up to the middle of the back. It’s a slow process.I still can’t do either one of these if you are judging by the photos on the right. Yoga’s a no judgement, no competition zone. You may not even be able to close your hands all the way. And the other pose, where arms come around in opposite directions to the middle of the back, you can use a towel to gently pull up.

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~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: In It’s Time

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Maybe your situation and circumstances are not so beautiful at this time or maybe, like me, it hasn’t been for a very long time. Know that things will be beautiful in it’s time. When it’s time. I am sure a caterpillar may not fill pretty during this phase of its life (can’t say for sure since I don’t speak butterfly, but just taking a guess here), but in it’s time…when it’s time, it is made beautiful. If only it/we knew we are beautiful in many ways in each phase of life. You may not feel it or look like it, but you are to the Creator.

Even in the hard times, the incredibly painful times of my disease and illnesses, I have strength and hope. Even if I only have them in the back of my mind or an afterthought. When I pull through those things, I am made aware of my beauty. Strength is beauty. Hope is beauty. You may not have gotten to this point yet, but when you are made aware of your ability to live anyways, to press on anyways, to rest even (it says you care for your body, and that’s beautiful), you will realize many things can be made beautiful in it’s time. When you become aware…it’s time.

However, there are some situations that take more than awareness of beauty. I find this for me, the waiting or searching for one to connect with on a personal and intimate level. It’s an ugly process for some of us single people. Hoping, searching, waiting, discerning, disappointment….etc…and well…you can find beauty in the fact you don’t give up. Or you can know that in due time, all of that will be made beautiful. If by the one coming along or by you realizing life doesn’t have to be stained by you not finding one or one finding you. Overall, you’ve had plenty to be thankful and grateful for and life has been beautiful because it is life, not because he or she “found” you.

~Nikki

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