MS will Not Define Me

Feeling Defeated???

If you feel defeated or have ever felt like it, know you are not alone!

Since March when COVID became our way of life, I’ve seen many posts about people who feel like their whole life is falling apart.  I will admit, I had those fleeting moments too.  You know the feeling when it seems like no matter how hard you try, you aren’t able to do anything about it.  We want to fix, manage and control things.  The very people you thought would stand beside you forever turned and walked away.   Those days when the waves of hopelessness flooded your heart and clouded your mind, inching you closer and closer to simply giving up.   The mere thought of facing one more day filled your heart with pain, fear and too much uncertainty to manage.  Who has been there? Maybe not during COVID but at other times in your life….

As a recovering addict who battles with MS, I will admit those days still happen.  I want you to know you are not alone.  There are others who have already been there.

People who know me, know I’m not a quitter…I never have been.  I usual face things with the confidence I will overcome and things will get better.  Honestly, there have been times when I’ve felt like giving up and waving the white flag of defeat. I’m not immune to having the feelings of being overwhelmed, weak and uncertain.  I have tried to do things my way only to find out I created more of a mess.  Those days when MS kicks my butt with brain fog, confusion and aching throughout my body.  Or the days when I  feel as if I’m not “enough” – frustrated with my weight loss efforts and life in general.  I struggle with admitting I’m powerless.  I struggle with wanting things my way.  

Recently, I saw a post about Emperor Tamerlane who was badly defeated in battle. He ran from the battle and hid in a barn. Enemy troops searched the countryside for him. By this time he was depressed, his troops had been terribly defeated and scattered, and he didn’t know what he was going to do.

It was then he noticed an ant trying to push a giant kernel of corn up over a stone wall. As he watched this ant attempt to do the impossible, he counted its futile efforts to see how many times the ant would try until it gave up.

One, two, three… twenty… forty… sixty-nine times the ant tried and failed to push the kernel over the wall. But in one last push, on the seventieth try, the ant made it. Leaping to his feet, Tamerlane excitedly said to the ant, “If you can do it, then so can I.” That day he changed his outlook, reorganized his forces, went back and defeated the enemy.

This story reminded me of the “Little Engine that Could” book I was given my first time in recovery by a friend who was also my boss at the time.  It was this book which helped to remind me on a daily basis things would get better.  Life did get better and then I thought I had things under control.  BIG mistake…..I know I squirreled but I do when I am writing (or talking, LOL).

I know you have probably heard it a million times but you can do it too!  On the outside, people don’t understand every day living with MS is a struggle for me.  On the outside things look easy but on the inside I am attempting the impossible – searching for memories, struggling to find the right words, and trying to carry on conversations.  Add my character defects (yup, I have them) linked to being a recovering addict and you have a “hot mess”.  just like the ant I failed more than once…but I don’t quit.  

I push, get exhausted, try some more, fail, rest, but still get up and try again.  I admit I am powerless in trying to fix, manage and control things.  I push through weakness, dizziness, muscle spasms, and a lack of sleep.  I push through going to meetings because I need to know I am not alone.  I push through feelings of comparison when it comes to my business.  I push and keep on pushing at everything I do. There are days when even a simple trip to the mailbox is a struggle.  

Do I still craft?  YES!  Do I still do puzzles? YES!  Do I still plan meals?  YES (if I didn’t, I never know what we would eat, LOL).  Do I still work my business?  YES (most days)!  Why do I keep pushing….. I think of the little ant who reminds us we can do it. The fight is worth it.  We can make it. Even though things look as if they are impossible, there is still some possibility there. Today, let me be the ant for you.  Remember “impossible” is actually “I’m possible”.

Don’t let the fact a situation, a person, an addiction or a health issue cause you to feel defeated. You can’t stop trying. You can’t stop pushing. Don’t let it win…now PUSH!

I haven’t written in awhile, not sure what to say or what to write about.  This morning, this was heavy on my heart so I figured someone needed to hear it.  I was also surprised by the number of people who keep stopping by my blog to check it out even though I haven’t been writing.  I’m grateful for my readers.  I’m grateful for those who support my business.  It is because I can make a difference in the life of one person I keep on pushing….

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Relax, Reflect, Recharge

You’re More Than a Cleaned-Up Version of Your Old Self

Thank you Sharon Jaynes for today’s message:

Most Christians see their conversion as a cleaned-up version of their old self, rather than as a brand new creation who did not exist before. The Bible says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here” (2 Corinthians 5:17). The old is gone, not just spiffied up.

After high school I went to college where I met and married an awesome Christian man whom I met at a friend’s Bible study. I saw him sitting on the floor with his back against the wall and his red flannel shirt rolled up his masculine arms. He had a worn Bible in his lap and an easy smile on his face. Before the year was up, I became his wife. About four years later, I became a mom.

Life was good, except for this termite-like gnawing in my gut that I just didn’t quite measure up to all the other church moms with their smiling faces. I went to Bible studies and even taught a few. However, I walked around with the fear that one day I would be found out—that one day folks would figure out that I wasn’t all that I was cracked up to be. I lived under an undefined self-imposed standard of approval.

Childhood echoes of “you’re so ugly” and “what’s wrong with you?” and “you did a terrible job” left me feeling congenitally flawed. I sat in Bible study groups like someone in a hospital waiting room: hoping for the best but expecting the worst. My greatest fear was that I’d be no closer to being free of the insecurity than I was before the study began.

When I was in my mid-thirties, I sat under the teaching of an older woman in my church, Mary Marshal Young. She opened my eyes to the truths in Scripture about who I was, what I had, and where I was (my position) as a child of God. I had read those verses scattered throughout Scripture before, but when she encouraged me to cluster them altogether into one list, God began a new work in my heart.

  • You are a saint.
  • You are chosen and dearly loved.
  • You are holy.

These truths were right there on the pages of my Bible in black and white and a few in red. I knew it was the infallible Word of God, but I felt rather squeamish hearing them, reading them, believing them.

  • They didn’t feel right.
  • They didn’t sound right.
  • They made me downright uncomfortable.

At the same time I was studying about my true identity, the devil taunted me with lies. Who do you think you are? A saint? Are you kidding? This stuff might be true for some people, but it certainly is not true about you.

One day God asked me an important question—one that He is asking you right now. Who are you going to believe?

That’s what I’m asking you today. Who are you going to believe?

When I decided to believe God…that changed everything. I believe it will do the same for you.

 

Weigh to Goal

Become a Quick Change Artist

Have I caught your attention?  I wanted to share with you a few tips I have picked up over the last few weeks at Weight Watchers which could bring immediate results.  No, there is not a magic wand BUT they are some simple suggestions for better living.

Last week, I edged up on the scale .4 pounds. I know, not a major thing but it brought me to tears.  Silly, right?  The truth was, I felt like the ANT (Automatic Negative Thoughts) were flooding in and taking over.  With the help of Michelle, I took some deep breaths and we talked about simple changes I could make…

#1 – More Protein….. are you a “just coffee” in the morning kind of gal?  I’m not sure when the switch happened but it seems like for years, I have just had a cup of coffee or two in the morning then nothing until about 11 or 12 when we have lunch.  I am now learning, I need to eat more protein to jump start my body in the morning.  So, as I am writing this – I have already had a hard boiled egg with my coffee and I am getting ready to snack on some almonds. What I love about this, is it is quick and easy with no mess.

#2 An apple a day may or may not keep the doctor away BUT if you eat an apple about 3PM, it will help with the mid-afternoon slump. Have you ever known anyone to fall asleep eating an apple? Okay, Snow White but it doesn’t count.  

#3 Wear your favorite color.  It can be you lipstick, a scarf, a dress, shoes or even your favorite purse/tote.  Don’t you feel better when you have your favorite color on?  I know I do.

#4 Office Snack Stash, do you have one?  This one could be a bit tougher but why not leave it with a coworker.  Why?  You will need to take a walk to get to the snack plus you get a break and some conversation during the day.  Built-in portion control, right?#5 Swap words to keep things positive.  Do you suffer with ANTs (Automatic Negative Talk)?  Why not change your words like “difficult” to “challenging” or “failure” to “temporary setback” or my favorite “impossible” to “just you watch me”.

#6 Surprise your Body with a change in activity.  I don’t necessarily mean hours at the gym unless you enjoy it.  I mean, make your physical activity more interesting for your muscles without taking more time.  What if you walked sideways or backwards (as long as someone is guiding you) to change things up?  Always walk a flat surface, why not try walking steps multiple times or find a hill to walk up and down?  Take the stair whenever possible to get those “other” muscles working.

#7 Have kids?  Do you make them follow rules for screen time or social media?  Why not try it yourself?  I know scary, right?  Limit your at-home device time to 30 minutes a day during the week and see how you can fill your new found free time.

#8 Find you Happy thought.….We all have a happy place we go to when things are stressful.  Now, it may not be the actually place but in our minds we go there, right?  Next time you catch yourself stressing about something, STOP and go to your happy place.  You will be surprised in the change it makes when you interrupt negative thoughts with a more positive daydream.

#9 What’s something you love but never really have time for?  Sitting down for breakfast? Going to the movies?  A mani-pedi? Drawing?  Take the time TODAY! What can you do today to bring it back into your life?

Will all of these things be the magic wand to losing weight? No but it will help us to have a better quality of life.  It is the little things we do each day to make a positive change in our lives and others which improve our mood and change our lives.

What are some of your “quick change” ideas?  We would love to hear them..

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!