Whitney’s Wistful Wednesdays

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I mentioned in one of my header pages that I’ve been a very diligent record keeper since I was a little girl.  Every few years I’ll get in decluttering mode and in the process will come across my box of journals, take one out, read several entries, and put the box back exactly where it was.

One year ago, almost exactly, I stopped writing in a journal.  It was at a point where I had a million things on my mind but absolutely no motivation and writing just became a burden.

Last week as I was setting up my home work space for my new class, I realized that last year’s journal was still sitting in a pile of books on my desk.  I picked it up, wiped the dust off, and opened it to see what the last entry date was.

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Monday, January 14, 2013

I don’t know what to do.  I’m miserable and it feels like that’s my usual lately.  Subconsciously I think I write with the intention that if someone reads this after I’m gone they’ll finally realize why I was so crazy. 

All I know is I can’t go on this way.  I have basically no quality of life, its just survival.  And I’m barely doing that because now I’m getting sick and starting to have MS symptoms.  I don’t feel like I can talk to Aaron about it anymore.  I’ve exhausted all my excuses for my behavior and I feel like I’m just crying wolf.  Nothing I say carries any weight, its just a lot of whining that just makes my family unhappy and scared to be around me.

I’m scared to be around me.

I keep thinking about my grandpa’s first wife who ended up in a crazy hospital and he divorced her and she never saw her kids again.  I’m really terrified I’m heading in that direction and I have absolutely no control over it.  This is not my choice. 

If I could choose, I’d be a loving wife and mother who tries her best but doesn’t panic if the house isn’t clean or dinner isn’t ready because spending time with family is priority.  I can hardly even see the things my kids are doing right in front of me.  I’ve just got blinders on to my own destruction.  I pray with all my heart that tomorrow will be a better day and that I’ll feel stupid for even writing this.

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Well I do feel sort of stupid for writing that, but I don’t feel stupid for sharing it.  Obviously that is how I was feeling at the time and I’m not feeling that way anymore.  Which means something I’m doing is working, or my prayers were answered.  Or both.

I’ve decided to share entries from my journals regularly and I’m doing this for several reasons.  Most of all its because rereading these unabridged versions of my experiences gives me a sense of continuity in my life, rather than compartmentalizing life into “the good old days” and “survival mode.  Days like January 14th pushed me to make changes and shaped who I am becoming.  I also have many days (like May 6th, 2006) that were wonderful, perfect days and were reflected in the way I wrote that day.  Those, I want to remind myself of.

Let’s hope that I can learn something from the bad experiences and not repeat them, and remind myself of the great days to help me get through the not so great.

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P.O.W. in my own reality

I have been medically diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  I have been asked to visit a neurologist regularly, get annual MRI scans of my brain, and do a monthly infusion of an MS treatment to hopefully slow the progression.  “You have to do this,” they tell me, “or you will be in a wheelchair.”  So I do it.  This is me.  The sick girl who spends half her income on medical expenses.

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And then I come home, and I forget that I was ever there.  I think there has GOT to be more to life, more to me, than this.  This does not define me.  Maybe I can find a better way.  So I go to homeopathic docs seeking answers and I leave with this:

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Having to take a bazillion pills a day doesn’t make me see myself in a more positive light, free and unattached to medical necessity.  So I agree to join a fitness challenge group with my sister and a dozen other healthy people.  I exercise every single day and attempt to eat meticulously healthy.  But I don’t feel any better or worse and I think what is the point of all this?  What am I actually trying to achieve or change about “me”?

Now I ask myself, who am I really?  What is reality?  Is it what is tangible and provable?  Or is it what things appear to be in my own unconscious mind?  Am I a sick person because doctors say so or a healthy person because…well…look at what I’m doing!  And why does it even matter what is real?  Doesn’t it only matter what feels real to ME?

Almost a decade ago my dad gave me a book recommendation.  One of the things that stuck with me about this book was the following idea:

Nothing others do is because of you.  What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.  When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering (concept from Miguel Ruiz’s book The Four Agreements).

I thought this was so interesting.  And maybe also too much to wrap my mind around.  I don’t do well with subjectivity.  I like black and white, yes and no, I think within a verifiable frame of mind.  For this reason I have a major preoccupation with being right all the time.  I’d like for every doctor to be able to look at me and say, “Now here is a healthy person.  You just do what you’re doing.  You’re on the right track.”  Here’s another idea to try to wrap my mind around:

I lived in Heaven before I came to Earth.  My body and mind were perfectly healthy, my relationships had a purpose, my perspective was Eternal.  Then my Father in Heaven said, “I’m going to send you to Earth for a short time so you can learn some stuff and when you come back to me you’ll be even better than you are now!”  I’m sure that’s how he talks.  And then he said, “The only catch is that your body won’t be quite so perfectly healthy, you may struggle in your relationships, and you won’t be exactly sure who you are or why you’re doing anything that you’re doing.  And no one will be able to give you answers to these things because everyone will be in disagreement about why they’re there.  You up for that?”  For some reason I agreed.  And here we are.

This Earth life is so confusing!  There is a war going on, both inside me and in the world in general, about what matters and what doesn’t.  Do I want my quality of life while I’m here to be good?  Of course.  Do I want to go back to Heaven? Definitely!  Am I doing so many unnecessary things in my journey to achieve happiness and exaltation that I’m losing sight of what is really important?  Yes…maybe?…I guess that depends on what really matters.  So, in MY OWN REALITY, what matters and what doesn’t?  Let’s give it some objective thought.

Things that NEVER matter:

•Which Salvatore brother Elena chooses today, whether or not Mitch and Cam’s wedding turns out the way they want, How exactly Ted did meet their mother, or who is next on Emily’s list of people to take out.

•That I wasn’t invited to whatever girls night, play group, or exercise club was going on yesterday.

•How many people come to events that I plan (“Don’t take it personally” says Ruiz)

•If today I eat a non-organic salad vs. an organic one, and tonight I have a cookie containing gluten and sugar instead of gf oats and agave.

•Whether or not I post on this blog or Facebook or anywhere else on a daily basis, or what I say when I do post.

Things that ALWAYS matter:

•My family
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•My friends
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•My health
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And most importantly, that I’m doing my best where these things are concerned.  If I were to break down my reality to its most essential components, I would be removing most of the “stuff” I spend my time doing and worrying about daily.  Now take a breath.  Life really isn’t that complicated.

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Emotionally flat-lined

Remember this from only yesterday?

“If when I go to the doctor tomorrow he can give me some direction on how to get my energy back, THEN I can be a good mother.  THEN I can be nice to my husband.  THEN I’ll be able to do DO IT ALL and not have to wait til my kids are grown.”

Well I think I may have gotten my answer.  And this may be one of the only instances where saying “if only” is acceptable.  The results of a hair analysis test showed that I have off-the-charts-high levels of Calcium, Magnesium, and Copper living in my tissues.  Not my cells, where perhaps they could be useful.  But just floating around causing problems.  The ratio of these substances is such that its causing me extreme copper toxicity, lowered cell permeability, decreased adrenal effect, Estrogen dominance, poor digestion, protein catabolism, and a number of other bothersome conditions.

In other words, I’m super tired and cranky and no amount of healthy food, rest, or exercise is going to fix it.

What WILL fix it, he says, is for starters to get on a copper detoxification program.  Until I rid my body of all the toxins, there’s nothing I can take IN to my body that will change the way I feel physically.  My body isn’t absorbing anything that I’m ingesting; its pretty much just passing through.

I told the doc, “So I’ve heard a lot that I just need to choose to be happy no matter what, and I’m not looking for excuses, but at this point can we assume that this isn’t something that I just decide to do?”  He answered, “You’re wondering if you can feel validated in feeling that its difficult for you to decide to be happy?  Yes, you can.  Its not all in your head.  You physiologically do not process things the same way as a healthy person.  You have emotionally ‘flat-lined’.  It’s not an excuse, its a reason.  But we CAN cure this.  You will feel better one day.”

{sigh} This is good news.  Because it means I’m not crazy, and that I won’t feel crazy forever.  I think I’ve got a long road but hopefully one that’s paved, with very few hills and valleys, and maybe with some rest stops along the way.

To be continued…

Magic Eye

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I believe it started in middle school, about the time my mom re-wallpapered our bathroom with this crazy repetitive design.  As I’d use the bathroom I’d stare at the wall across from me and as my eyes would start to cross, the pattern would become 3-dimensional, much like the Magic Eye pictures from the 90’s.  I did that for years every single time I sat there.

Now I have a strange habit.  Ability maybe.  For example, when I’m feeding my infant, I stare at the carpet on the floor.  Every time I do this, my eyes sort of cross the way they would when I stared at my bathroom wallpaper.  But now when this happen, an image appears.  These are completely random images usually–like the way your mind conjures up things you’ve never seen before in a dream–and I don’t realize what I’m seeing until I’ve been staring at it for several minutes.  But as soon as I become aware of whats happening and refocus my eyes, I lose the image and I can’t find it again or even imagine how in the world I could have found that picture in what I was looking at.  I only see an image once.

A few weeks ago, as I sat on the floor helping the baby hold his bottle, my mind wandered off to I-don’t-know-where, and then all of a sudden I realized I was seeing Tom Selleck.  This was a strange instance because usually what I’m imagining are supernatural-type images.  Lately I’ve thought that maybe it would be a good idea to carry around a small notepad in my pocket so when this happens I can draw the images and create some sort of portfolio of my craziness.   I’ve considered consulting an eye doctor (or a therapist maybe) about these occurrences, but on the off chance that there’s something that can be done to ‘cure’ me, I’m not sure I want to be cured.  It’s kind of fun not knowing what or who I’m going to see next.

Gullible’s Travels

Today I’m putting away my OCD tendencies and just venting because I can’t possibly put any more stress on myself.

I consider myself a pretty smart girl.  I’ve got common sense and I know a lot of things.  But you may not ever meet someone who falls harder for peoples’ BS than I do.  And not just fall for it, but devour it.  It doesn’t matter how many times it happens, it never changes.  I feel like everybody I meet is just out to sell me something, even if its just an idea.

In the last few years on my path to find health I have bought into Melaleuca; Liv skinny; Doterra; Shakeology; the theories relating to leaky gut syndrome and Terry Wahl’s book “Minding My Mitrochondria”; the Alcat allergy test; the Paleo and MS Recovery Diets; and most recently, muscle testing, Arbonne, Protandim, homeopathic chiropractics, and the Sevenpoint2 system (which puts the blame of disease on the lack of alkalinity of your body).  I’m not saying there is no good in all these companies or ideas, I’m just saying that so far, I still feel as tired as ever.  And that is just my partial list of holistic approaches.  Of course there are also all the anti-this-and-thats (depression/anxiety/fatigue/etc) that medical doctors have pushed on me, the five MS treatments I’ve been on (Avonex, Betaseron, Copaxone, solumedrol, prednisone) and now my monthly infusion of Tysabri that, even after financial assistance and insurance, is still costing me several thousand dollars.  That one I am taking because a doc told me if I didn’t take it I would no doubt be in a wheelchair in the next 10 years.

So here’s the bottom line: There HAS to be a universal truth to all of these things.  This is my opinion of course.  But for me, there has got to be ONE path to physical well-being.  I know its out there, and I’m trying SO hard to find it.  But I just need all these “salespeople” to leave me alone and let me find it!  How can I have time to meditate and find my own answers when I constantly have a string of people promising me, guaranteeing me, that their product is the only option??  It is not worth the money you are trying to make, and as many stories as you all have about people you’ve saved, you have just as many stories about people you are totally stressing out.  Have a little faith in me.  I only have one life to get this right.

And for the record, I don’t believe I will have Multiple Sclerosis for the rest of my life.  I appreciate the support and education that I’m offered, its more about the way people go about it.  Whatever it takes I know I will beat this.  And just as I was writing this last sentence, my 5 year old daughter came up to me and made a very random but profound statement: “Mom, Heavenly Father is bigger than anything”.  So true, and thank goodness.