Some Insight

First and foremost I want to extend my gratitude. In the last few months things have been a bit rocky for me with my health, but what has helped more than anything is knowing that I am not alone. People in my life have shown me in numerous ways that they care and offered their support in any way they could. I am so incredibly thankful.

A number of you on my feed have expressed your concern about what has been going on with me lately and I haven't been very transparent, but I am ready to open up.

Since November I have been to the ER three times. I have missed several days of work, gone through many tests, and consulted with various doctors. The medical world agrees there is definitely something wrong, but they just can't figure out what...yet. I am hopeful they will at some point and then we can start a course of action to get me back on the road to wellness.

But I am scared of the unknown right now. There are so many questions floating around in my head with very few answers. What is wrong with me? Will anyone ever figure it out? Am I going to get better?

My level of stress has skyrocketed causing daily anxiety attacks. These anxiety attacks have increased in length and severity. Often I am brought to tears by just how intense they get. These attacks have woken me up in the middle of the night on several occasions.

Lately I have been on edge lashing out at people I care about. They are only trying to help me and have done nothing to deserve my behavior, for this I am deeply and truly sorry. I am not acting like myself and very unhappy about it. I started to lose hope, became depressed about what was going on as things continued to get worse. 

My job, my family, my friendships are all suffering because I can't get a handle on this. I take responsibility for my actions. I promise I am doing the best I can to get back to me; I am proactively seeking medically attention as well as starting a variety of medications.

I want my life back. I want to be me again. 

Thank you for the kindness, compassion, and patience of those who have stood by me when I recognize just how easy it would be to walk away. This is a lot to deal with, it isn't pretty, but I'm going to push through it.

Someone With Chronic Health Problems

It is hard to have someone in your life with chronic health problems. There's just no way around the cold hard truth. They can be emotionally, physically, and financially draining.
Someone with chronic health issues can be unreliable at best, you just never know when they will bail on you at the last minute without warning because of an episode. It could have been an event really important to you that had been all planned out and anticipated for weeks, but suddenly they are a no-go. Or how about everyday social restrictions? This person just simply cannot participate in certain activities you enjoy because of their chronic health issues. This can be crippling to what could have been a thriving social life.
Someone with chronic health problems is probably a bit needy. They most likely don't want to be this way, that's just how it is. There will be times the people in their life will have to drop what they are doing and rearrange entire schedules to accommodate the latest health crisis. Drive them to appointments. Be on call for emergencies. Play nurse in the least sexy and fun way possible. If you choose to be in their life then be prepared that at any given moment you may get that unpleasant phone call to come running to their rescue.
Someone with chronic health problems will most likely be an emotional roller coaster. Yes, things can always be worse. They may be lucky and have a condition that does have ample medical research, medicines, and treatments that can help stabilize them. Then again they may not. Either way in that moment when they are suffering they may lose the ability to look beyond the pain to all the great things in their life, including you the wonderful partner/friend/family member, who has stood by them. In that moment of suffering they may be hurt, angry, stressed, depressed, and probably a combination of all of them. They may lash out at you because you're healthy and they are not, let me emphasize they would never wish this upon you and that they are only frustrated at your inability to relate.
Someone with chronic health problems might not feel like a person at all but a factory recall defect. They live life in suspense unsure when the next flare up will happen or how bad it will be. They are at the mercy of medical professionals who may be guessing at the ways to help them. They may fear that they are broken and unlovable. These feelings may be based on painful past experiences.
Someone with chronic health problems may end up being dishonest. This isn't in a way to manipulate you or deceive you in some hurtful way, this is a safeguard. They may downplay just how bad things are because they don't want to worry others or feel like they have become someone's burden. Sometimes they are being dishonest with themselves and they push through harder than they should which will just end up causing more harm than good. Often they smile through the pain because it seems like the path of least resistance.
Someone with chronic health problems cannot live life spontaneously. Each day they must map out what they are capable of doing. Conscious choices must be made and more often than not things will not go as planned, things will not get accomplished even if they really needed to. There are days that getting out of bed, leaving the house, and facing the world are a giant victory.
Sometimes it's hard to recognize that you are a person with a disease and not the disease itself.
This is written for those who have chronic health problems to know that you are not alone. There are so many of us out there who face the battle every day whether we want to or not. This was also written for those who chose to be in the live's of those with chronic health issues. We need love, support, compassion, and advocates when we are unable to do those things for ourselves.
This is not about pity and this is not about those who have chosen to exit my life. This is a hard path to walk and I choose to walk it rather than give up. Thankfully I know that I am not walking this alone

Change your attitude, change your life

I used to play the victim and believe me when I say I did it quite well. Everything ugly in my life was always someone else's fault. In efforts to gain sympathy I would post on my blog, facebook, or just ramble my sob story to anyone who would listen.
Please hear all the overly dramatized details of my big bad life. Accepted responses can include: you don't deserve this, things will get better, you poor sweet baby. Pretty much any version of that will do. Bonus points if you supply ice cream to me as well.
Well here's the real deal, being the weeping girl in the dark corner got old. After a while people grew tired of my piss poor attitude and moved on, and honestly who can blame them? Who wants to be around a 24/7 giant ball of misery? Negativity breeds negativity and I was like the plague. Unfortunately I did not have the option to run away from myself which meant I could continue to have my own perpetual pity party or I could make some serious changes.
Self refection can be a pretty grueling process. Looking into yourself, saying these things are not okay, and they need to be addressed. Equally important is seeing the things that are pretty wonderful and finding a way to bring those more to the surface. I knew I was in for a long uphill battle, did I have it in me to go the distance? There's no way to half ass this, all or nothing.
In recent years I have been someone that has lived by mottos, one of my favorite being "Change your attitude, change your life." It works, trust me when I say I am living proof.
When I played the victim it meant I had no power over my circumstances because I gave all that power to outside influences. In taking responsibility for the things in my life I take back the power and give myself the ability to change things. Not everything bad is someone else's fault, but at the same time not everything is my fault either.
Two major things come to light where I saw dramatic changes once I adjusted my attitude, the first was my health. I was very overweight with various ailments because of it. It was easy to say this was just how I was meant to be, inhale a box of cookies, and stay slothy on my couch watching endless hours of television. There was no quality to my life.
A choice was made to play a more active role by rejoining Weight Watchers and getting back into physical activity. Oddly enough I discovered a love of cooking fresh and nutritious meals as opposed to my previous preference of take-out/microwavable dishes. Additionally I experienced a surge of energy when I engaged in exercise that made me feel a rush I hadn't thought possible. The weight melted off, I stopped needing certain medications, and my quality of life vastly improved. I made a vow to myself to take care of myself from that point forward.
The second and honestly harder change was when it came to the relationships in my life. For years it was so easy to say I had been taken advantage of, been used, neglected, betrayed by the various people I had let into my life. Now that may have been true, but I was the one who gave those people the ability to do that. If I didn't stand up for myself or gave trust away too easily before I allowed someone the proper chance to earn it, then that's on me and not them. I choose who to date and befriend, no one else does that for me. So if I choose to invest in people with questionable character then I need to accept responsibility when that particular choice burns me.
Additionally when a relationship falls apart it is never just ONE person's fault. Every player had a role in the break down of a romance or friendship. For me I need to step back and evaluate how things went down from the other person's perspective. What drove them to act or say certain things. What was my contribution? In the future what can I do differently? It's always a learning opportunity because if you don't learn from it you'll keep doing the same thing over and over again. I will never be able to control other people's behaviors, but I do have complete control over how I act and react towards them. That is in my power, that is my choice and no one can ever take that away from me.
It was really enlightening for me when I discovered certain patterns in my previous relationships. It's really difficult to place the blame entirely on someone else when the same things kept happening. I had to look at the one common denominator which was me. And although I still have relationships both platonic and romantic that don't always turn out the way I had hoped, I am glad to say that in the past two years they have all been vastly different which means I am learning, growing, and adapting. And believe me when I say that I am far from done in that process.
I would also like to give thanks to all the people past and present that have been a part of my journey so far. Each person has taught me something about myself. I am able to see with much more clarity my strengths, my weaknesses, and discover new and exciting parts of who I am.
My attitude now is that life is good, my life is good. It is not perfect nor will it ever be, but the things I am unhappy with I now understand I have the power to change. I have the power over my life and that feels pretty great.

The Past Isn't Really Just The Past

It is often said that by living in the past you are ignoring the present and therefore denying yourself a future. Well I have to respectfully disagree because it is the path of our past that brought us to our current circumstances and will ultimately pave the way for whatever future we may have. Our past triumphs and failures helped shape the person we are and therefore cannot be so easily dismissed.

Recently I have experienced some hurdles with people close in my life because something I said or did triggered something in them from a past hurt. In one said situation I am embarrassed to say I actually requested that the person sweep that past underneath the rug and just try to move forward with me. My reasoning, as faulty as it was, was that I just didn't want to deal with it because of what negativity it may bring me. For priding myself on being an incredibly empathetic person that was a very callous action. How can I ever expect to build a relationship with someone without really knowing where they came from and how it got them to the here and now? The answer is that I can't.

People with all their many woven layers fascinate me. There is always this strong desire to dig deeper, unlock the mysteries of what makes this person's wheels turn and how they turn. And most people in your life will have come into your life somewhere in the middle of a journey, your beginning with them is not their actual beginning. What was the prequel to their story? Everyone has an origin.

If I want to develop something deeper than a casual acquaintanceship with someone I need to allow them the opportunity to open themselves up to me in ways that will most likely make both of us very uncomfortable. There will be stories they will tell that are not suitable for the Disney crowd. I need to shut up and listen, then offer my compassion and support. To really establish something with someone I hope to have in my life long term I need to create a safe space where they can lower their guard to let me see past the superficialities they may present to the rest of the world. And in all fairness I need to do the same in return; share, open, let them in. Yes, this creates an opportunity for extreme vulnerability where either of us may very well get hurt again OR it may create a chance for both of us to bond on a mutual trust that was born in that moment of emotional intimacy. 

There is such negativity surrounding past "baggage", but why does it have to be that way? If someone is happy or successful or damaged or cruel it's for a reason. People aren't just they way they are just because; the universe made them that way through a series of events, circumstances, and experiences. There is really no such thing as a completely clean slate or fresh start short of entire amnesia and even then it won't erase the impact you have had on others.

It's important to me that the bonds I establish with the people in my life are as genuine as possible. That means we have to allow the ugly to shine through and we all have a bit of ugly in us. I have to recognize that this person in front of me didn't just materialize out of nowhere, they walked a certain path that got them to this point in time. Go back in time, travel that path with them, allow them to travel mine with me. Recognize that we all have scars as proof we survived something. Don't be afraid of it.

Honestly I can't decide if I am more afraid of me or them, but I do recognize the very reality of this fear and my need to face it head on. 

Looks Aren't Everything, but They Really Kind of Are

In sixth grade I had a good friend Robert Curti. A natural friendship developed based on the close proximity of our lockers. He was also half hobbit like myself which brought about a mutual appreciation for being so small in such a large world, after all we had giant eight graders lurking around every corner. One of my favorite things about this friendship was how much we made one another laugh. Laughter is kind of one of my things, I might even adore it more than cheese. (another story for another time)

So what did I do? What I always do…I began crushing on my friend. I couldn't have just left well enough alone, nope I had to develop this monster "doodling his name in hearts on my notebook while daydreaming about our storybook wedding" crush. I know I am not completely alone in this. You have that awesome friend that gets certain pop culture references others don't, the person that makes you smile after that killer Social Studies test, and they are kind of nice to look at too. We as a human race are incredibly shallow, a point I will get into more later, but it is completely true and we should just all drown in this puddle of shallowness from time to time….or maybe not, I don't know, I digress.

Now remember this is middle school, so things must get handled a certain way. I told a mutual friend, Michael Sarracino, to tell Robert that I liked him as more than a friend and to find out if he liked me too. I know you are all on the edge of your seats and although I understand the many benefits of delayed gratification I am one impatient bitch, so here we go:

Michael reports back to me, "Robert said you are so incredibly smart. He likes how down to earth you are and that you're not some stuck up snob like most of the girls around here. He loves your morning chats, you always make him laugh….but you're a complete dog and he would never date you."

Obviously I was crushed by my crush, I understand that's how things often play out. I mean if everybody I crushed on crushed on me too, well there just aren't enough hours in the day to be with that many people….woah mama! And even though Robert hurt my feelings, I really didn't want to lose the friendship, but he was completely done with me. He immediately started bullying me so harshly (words do hurt my friends) that I started carrying around all my books on me to avoid going to my locker or when I absolutely had to go I never went alone. Strength in numbers and all that. :-(

I felt an emoticon was appropriate there, so I added it.

Robert wasn't the first to do that to me and definitely not the last. Throughout the rest of middle school, high school, and college I was told multiple times how I was just not attractive enough or too fat, mostly it was that I was too fat, to be dateable. ::sigh:: Obviously this gave me a bit of a complex and even though there were some very wonderful people in my life that would tell me just how beautiful they found me, that was never what I saw looking back in me in the mirror. I would fixate on all the things supposedly wrong with me physically: bad hair, acne, overweight, scars, ect.

About two years ago I got my life on track because of some problems that arose from living a very very unhealthy life. I lost weight and with that gained the desire to put much more effort into my appearance (I didn't even see the point in trying before) by doing my hair, making certain fashion choices, occasionally wearing some make-up. The Robert Curti's of the world started treating me quite differently.

I started getting Facebook friend requests from people that wanted nothing to do with me back in school now insisting we catch up and get together. I got my very first cat call while walking to my car after work one day. Two men literally fought over who could hold the door for me at the bank a couple of weeks ago. And sometimes without asking retailers will give me stuff heavily discounted or for free. I just kept saying that people were being so nice to me all of a sudden and it was pointed out to me that people aren't THAT nice, they're shallow and think I am hot. The kindness is a ploy to get into my pants. Interesting side note, I mostly wear skirts and dresses. I just felt the need to point out a potential hole in the statement of getting into my pants.

While I can appreciate all the attention, I am still the same person just with a shinier spruced out exterior. And honestly a good deal of the time I do NOT see what others see when I see myself. I still have a tendency to fixate on what still needs to be worked on. I am still being judged for my looks. Before people didn't want to get to know me because I wasn't appealing to them and now fairly often people ONLY want to get to know me because I look appetizing to them. In the past year I have had "friends" that kept me around because they thought I was nice to look at, but didn't particularly care for me as a person. Those people have since been voted off the island.

I understand when we see something pretty we get excited, I am certainly no exception to this. But I do still believe a person is much more than the sum of their outward appearance. This is why I have and always will have people in my life of all shapes, sizes, and colors. There is a currently vacancy for a purple trapezoid friend if you know of any.

I am also very humbled by this experience because on some level deep down to me I will always be that ugly little girl no one wanted. I'm a work in progress, but then again who isn't?


About a Boy

At first I liked the idea of you and I can be honest enough with myself to admit that.
That night we were drawn to each other by some unknown force. And as cliché as this may sound your warmth pulled me in more than anything. You had the kind of smile that would make me have no choice but to smile back even on the shittiest of days. Trust me when I say that's saying a lot. Forget butterflies, I wanted to straight up vomit. Please take that as the highest of compliments because I despise vomiting. That probably didn't make any sense, so let's just say you rattled me in the best possible way.

It's unfair to say I had no expectations, I'll just leave it at I didn't necessarily have high expectations of where things would go. You were good looking and charismatic and really that's all that mattered to me at that particular point in time. I put on a pretty good show of this cool confident chick, but I'm not really her at all…at least not when it came to you. You made me all kinds of nervous. There was definitely a self pep talk before I asked you out. Oh and this would be the first of many to come.

You surprised me. You exceeded my expectations in every way. Maybe my expectations weren't so high to begin with, but a girl can hope can't she? It's hard for me to even remember the last time I had that good a time with someone. And each time was even better than the last. We laughed. We kissed. We began to open up a part of ourselves for the other one to get a sneak peak, a preview into what was yet to come.

And then the Mega Date happened. This was the day that would give insight into where this was all going. I walked away from it feeling this was a pretty great thing happening between us and things were definitely moving into a solid place. I liked you and I wasn't afraid to admit it and put it out there. I wanted more of you, more of us. Just more to see if there could be more. And there could have been more…

There were things that happened after that Mega Date. Things with you, things with me, just things. Not fantastically happy things either. I got spooked by how good and crappy things were all at the same time. We sat there afterwards on opposite ends of my living room couch. Both of us nervous. Both of us avoiding eye contact. I told you we were incompatible which wasn't completely truthful. We both know just how freakin compatible we are. I told you we should move forward as friends which wasn't 100% what I wanted either. You reluctantly agreed. How is it that in that moment I finally saw just how much you liked me? Just how much you were into this? All those doubts and insecurities that had been whispering in my ear since the beginning now silenced. I had once laughed when you told me you get "friend-zoned" all the time yet now I was doing that very thing.

Timing is everything and that is the honest truth. This was not our time, I completely get that, but it doesn't make it suck any less. What I should have told you was that we take a break and try again down the road…why completely close the door to the room I really want to be in? I still like you, take that for what you will. I'm still helplessly hopeful this will get another chance….but if it doesn't I would rather have you as a friend than as nothing at all.


Sometimes I wonder if she'll come to me when I least expect it. I'll fall asleep one night, then wake up the person I was supposed to be. For now the truth remains that I lay bundled up in my blanket of false security. Security laced with high doses of insecurity is the actuality of my reality. How can anyone really know me if I don't know myself? Filled deeply with a knowledge of wealth for all the things except the most important thing of all.

I know the facts. All the things you fill in on the top section of any application. Name, date of birth, place of residence are not the evidence of who you are. What am I? A girl wandering around lost looking for that cubby to crawl inside and stow away till the storm passes. Excuse me, can you tell me which way to go? Would you know the person underneath if I peeled all these labels away one by one leaving behind my naked self?




This road seems endless and my feet are sore. I don't want to be here anymore. Or there. Or there. Or really anywhere. Dizzying with confusion within this mass illusion. There is really no solution to my problem, not yet anyways. Maybe all these years I've been running away from the fears of if I find her I won't like her at all. She won't live up to the hype and hopes of all my highest dreams. It seems she wasn't worthy of the pursuit, never should have started at all. Keeping the incomplete me confined within these walls.

Of course I believed the chorus when they sang to me all my failures. In all honestly it became a siren song that pulled me along making me unable to pull away day after day after day. There was a symphony chillingly reminding me that I could never be anything other than what I already was and what I was wasn't much of anything at all. You can fall even lower when you're already down. Trust me I know. Stilted wilted flower stuck in the dark refusing to grow. It's safe here. It's quiet here. Maybe just maybe I even belong here.


Would I even recognize her if she walked right up to me and stared into me her deep brown eyes mirroring my own? Her touch my touch, her voice my voice, her thoughts the lighter shade of those that resonate in my own mind. Released from all the ugly that drowns me. Could it be? She would be free in an existence I always hoped I'd be. She would be enough, not enough for anyone else, enough for herself. Confidence infused with wisdom infused with clarity in complete mastery.

I am not her.

Not yet.

But maybe...