My mantra is normally, “It is what it is.” We cannot stop bad things from happening to us. Life “happens” all around us every day. All we can do is make the best possible decisions we can make with the knowledge and resources that we have, stand up for our beliefs, accept defeats with an attitude of good sportsmanship, and soldier on. “It is what it is.” How you choose to react to “what it is” is up to you.
I had the normal upbringing of a child raised in the 70s and 80s, with some exceptions. I excelled at school, was active in church and school activities, dated and planned for my future. You know, the future that generations of children grew up believing…the “Disney lie”…white house, picket fence, 2.1 children, dog, station wagon in the driveway (actually, I always planned on a Jaguar or Maseratti). I would go to college and work in an awesome high powered career. My equally talented and handsome husband would be my soul mate. We would travel the world, nanny in tow, until the kids were old enough to head off to boarding school. (OK, maybe I had a different take-away from the Disney movies than most kids.)
Life…and bad choices…put me on a different path. A single mom at the age of 21, I also had the misfortune of being a survivor of domestic violence and sexual abuse. I drifted through life living each day as it came, made some plans, and struggled to keep my head afloat. During all of this time, I hated myself and had very low self esteem. Being an extrovert, it apparently did not show. Friends and work acquaintences referred to me as strong, independent and brave. All the while, I felt insecure, hopeless and tired. My weight fluctuated up and down. I had explored alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, black beauties (speed), and an alternative sexual lifestyle in an effort to self-medicate. Nothing worked. (How I pulled myself out is a story for a different blog….or book).
Fast forward to 2013. By this time, my weight stayed in the range of an NFL line backer. I had given up any hope of the soul mate or the Jag in the driveway. While working at some good jobs, I was still living paycheck to paycheck. I wanted more but still hadn’t figured out what I want to be “when I grew up”. I had tried selling Amway, diet products, make-up….all to no avail. I didn’t truly love the products and I didn’t believe in myself. Things were about to get much worse.
I was scratched by one of our dogs and ended up in the hospital for 3 months with a staph infection. I was out of work for another month, and had ongoing medical treatment for 6 months. The majority of my time in the hospital was not because of the staph infection. It had had been cured in the first few weeks in the hospital. I was sidelined due to medical malpractice. Everything went wrong. It had gotten so dire, my daughter slept on a chair in the room in order to monitor my medications and treatment. From one extremely incompetent doctor, a few lesser incompetent docs, and a nurse who tried to inject someone else’s meds into my central line, it was not an enjoyable experience. I can joke about it now. I refer to it as “the year I wintered at Club Med..” Everyone is usually in awe until I explain “Club Med’ is not THE Club Med but “club medical center”. The one truly competent doctor informed my team of cracker jack box docs that they had caused all of my medical issues. That was the last time that I saw him. (My primary had him removed from my service). It had gotten so bad that the nurses told me I should write a book.
In the 5 years that have followed, my weight has continued to climb. I am bloated, can’t sleep, endure constant rashes, have lost mobility, am always tired, have developed chemical allergies (makes working in an office full of perfume such a great time each day), and the list goes on. Traditional allopathic medicine has caused all of this. Before being discharged, I was told by one of the doctors that they believe they had given me medically induced lupus. It would go away in a few weeks. It has not…..ever.
In life, we can choose to be defeated, or we can realize that there is always someone who is worse off than us. A single mom without money is not as bad as a single mom who doesn’t have money but who does have cancer. Lupus, weight, and immobility are not as bad as the young soldier returning with PTSD but without half of his face or either of his legs.
All of my experiences have made me who I am today. How I choose to react to all of it, what I have learned from it, and what I will do with it is a work in progress. There has to be something more….something better….something natural. This started me on a journey. I have been examining who I am, who I want to be, and how I can get there. I invite you to follow me on the journey as I go “chasing comfort.”