motivational

Please Don’t…

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I have been on the receiving end of the dirty looks knowing what they are thinking. I have heard the not so soft whispers of, “She doesn’t need a wheelchair. Look at her, she’s perfectly fine. She just doesn’t want to stand in line.” or “She’s totally faking it and just wants to board first. She looks perfectly fine.”

Yes, it’s true. I LOOK perfectly fine. I look like your typical healthy, vibrant, full of life 38 year old. And the truth is, I AM ALL OF THAT PLUS some…plus a brain tumor (and now possibly two) with a minimum of 14 symptoms I struggle with daily. From the outside I look “fine” but the inside is a very different story.

One of my symptoms is leg pain. Extreme leg pain. Somedays it’s difficult to walk. Standing for long periods of time most days is pretty much impossible without bursting into tears. So, unfortunately, with the long lines in customs, security, check in, boarding etc… during traveling, I often need a wheelchair. The days I don’t need one, I don’t take one. Walking is not a problem but the physical act of standing typically is. Not to mention that stress adds to it and I find traveling adds more stress so therefor, typically, my symptoms enhance and more medicine is needed.

Imagine being in my shoes. 38 and needing a wheelchair at times. It’s humiliating and hard to feel like an adequate wife and mom when it’s needed. It’s embarrassing enough without all of the looks and thoughts and words. Words that enter my ears and pierce my heart forever haunting my thoughts.

When you see someone who ‘needs’ a wheelchair, like a broken leg or foot, elderly, etc… those same thoughts and words are not expressed and many do what they can to assist. But when the person doesn’t ‘look’ like they need one I find people tend to go out of their way to NOT assist. I ask this: “PLEASE DON”T judge! The next time you see someone in a wheelchair and they don’t ‘look’ like they need one, understand that what they have going on is probably very severe. They probably are battling something you could never dream of and pray to never get. That the person who doesn’t ‘look’ like they need a wheelchair, probably needs it most.”

As a person who needs one from time to time, I assure you it’s not because of laziness. It eats a little at the core of my strength. It’s a sad reality and reminder of how strong I’m NOT anymore. It’s the wake-up that I am sick. It’s a reminder that many of dreams of growing old and healthy are going to be much harder to achieve and I pray for miracles daily.

The last thing I ask is: “PLEASE DON”T get mad at the person in the wheelchair when the porter decides to cut you in line. I assure you it’s not the person in the wheelchair who asks them to do so. Understand that they have a job and need to get back to another plane to help someone else who needs a little help.”

I, along with most others, would love to be able to stand in those tedious long lines with you. I would love to be able to hold my husbands hand, spending those few moments in time just being there with him and talking instead of holding the side of the wheelchair trying to mentally explain everyone’s doubts away. I would love to make casual conversation with the people in front of me or behind me instead of trying to avoid eye contact with everyone who thinks’I’m budding in line.’

The next time you see someone in a wheelchair and you don’t think they need one, try to be extra helpful. Smile at them. I assure you that most of the time, that person needs your smile. They need your prayers. They need your help. They need your assurance. They need your understanding. If you can’t see the reason, the reason is usually bigger and worse than you could possibly imagine.

That Rumor

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As I sit and think about everything that has been going on lately in my life it seems as though it has taken an awkward turn, that perhaps for most people would be difficult to move about through life in their same sense of happiness. Not only is it within my life, but friends and clients as well. And it all seems to be stemming from one thing. That not so great rumor that people like to spread.

But here’s the truth. Rumor’s are NOT truth. If someone is willing to believe it then they aren’t worth stressing over in the first place because they were never and could never be a friend. And have you ever noticed that the person who started the rumor and the people who believe the rumor, their lives are so turned upside down at the moment that stress is eating them alive? It’s typically at their breaking point that they find someone to point the finger at and blame and sometimes you find yourself at the end of that finger. For many times, for no reason at all.

BUT, if you are a person who knows you did right. It’s not about being right but doing right. If you know that you have truly done everything, you have done right, and the rumor is simply unfounded and not true, then don’t worry. Don’t get angry. Don’t get upset. Don’t loose sleep over it. Walk with your head held higher than ever before. Simply sit back, smile and let the universe take over.

The ones who know you know better than to believe. The ones who are worth building a relationship upon will know there are always two sides to every story and ask you. The ones who believe the rumor are the ones you don’t need in your life anyways. Rumor’s have a way of filtering out the negative in your life so you don’t have to.

Differences

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When I tell people I’m an Adversity Coach (AKA Life Coach), I often get the comment about how they don’t want to delve into the past and sometimes the past is worth leaving in the past. The thing is, I don’t delve into the past. A Coach is NOT a therapist or a counselor. There are some major differences between the two.

First and foremost, we are not doctors nor dd we go to school and get any type of training in order to help people overcome certain past issues. We may have to dip into a circumstance here or there in order to understand why you are where you are but we don’t help you overcome it. We focus on the positive. We focus on today moving forward. We focus on helping you make your life as best as you want it.

Second, a counselor or therapist, etc…, are typically the leaders. They lead the conversations and “meetings” with specific questions. Whereas coaches, are guides. We help you go the route you want to go and we don’t ever tell you which way to go. We help and guide, even if you’re stuck, but we never “tell” you.

Thirdly, we help you set goals and typically achieve them rather quickly. We help keep you on track and keep you accountable, even outside of our session together, we stay in contact via email, phone, etc… A counselor or therapist, etc…does not set out clear and concise goals and typically their sessions are over longer periods of time.

To be a counselor or therapist, you need to be certified and educated. As a coach, there are no requirements. A coach can be anyone who claims they are a coach and starts to advertise.

HOWEVER, I STRONGLY recommend to hire a coach who has some form of certification. I for one, considered myself to be quite knowledgeable on how to overcome adversities considering everything I’ve bene through in life, however, once I took a certification course, I realized how much I needed to learn before I could truly help someone and call myself a life coach.

 

Paths

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Life is all about Paths. Which path you choose determines which life you live. Sometimes we get on one path and veer on to another path quickly and sometimes we stay on that path for a long while. But we choose which path based on what we are going through and how we are feeling about it. But always keep in mind that you always have two paths to choose from no matter what it is you are going through. Take a Health Adversity, you truly only have 2 paths to choose from. The first is the EASY path. This path is the choice of giving in. IT’s feeling sick and allowing the doctors and outside factors determine not only your life’s worth but your lifespan. If you choose this path then you know what you will feel, you know what you will go through, there is no real fight as you have given in. You know the outcome and it’s usually not a good one. Relationships are not vital and the only thing you focus on, is the illness itself and the grief it’s causing in your life. This is a dark path and your life is filled with complete darkness and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. However, Path 2 can also be chosen, But it is the most difficult path you will ever go down. You do not know what you will feel. You do not know the outcome. Relationships are vital as they will carry you when you need to be carried and lifted when you are down. You have no idea when the outcome will be and it is hard to see the light at the end but you know it’s there. You will feel things you never thought possible. You will endure the biggest and hardest battle you ever could imagine; the fight for your life. BUT you will win. On this path you have hope, you still smile, you still laugh. You still live.

Think of all of the reasons why you have to fight; write them down! They will come in handy when you need them. When you think of giving up, ask yourself why you have fought so hard and for so long to start with?

Which ever path you choose, you can not waver. You can not decide to choose path 2 today, path 1 tomorrow and path 2 again next week. Once you waiver, you must start at the beginning of the path again so any progress you have made is now gone. Choose a path, stay on it and never lose sight of that glimmer of light at the end; it’s always there.

Just remember this: If you are headed down a path and that path is clear, you are probably on someone else’s path!

I’m That Woman!

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I recently read an article titled “How to love a woman who has been to hell and back.” Perhaps you’ve heard of it. While I read it, it spoke to me; like someone read my thoughts somehow and wrote them down for everyone to see. If you ask my husband, almost 20 years together now, he will tell you this is truth. He has endured a lot to get us to this point. The point of pure love and happiness…unconditional love. It took a lot for me to believe in it and to feel it. I have tested that love, pushed him away, and have ran as far as I could but he always stood there; strong and loving and most importantly accepting. When I got the courage to open up to my husband about my past, which was about 10 years in to our relationship I truly thought he’d leave. Instead, he stayed. He held me. He loved me more. His words have been etched in to my soul…”I now know how much you not only love me but trust me. Thank you. I will never betray it.” He realized that most things we did, experienced, just the ability to love him completely and more so allowing him to love me was a difficult feat and he appreciated it. Not the reaction I expected, but then again, he’s never been what I’ve expected. He defied all odds of us staying together and changed my entire perspective on what a husband is and how a father loves.

The article I read: 

How do you love a woman who has been to hell and back? Few succeed, most fail.

If you’re not a strong person, you shouldn’t attempt to love this woman, you need to be patient and resilient. If you’re not determined, not resolved then don’t even try. You’ll make it worse.

The woman who has been to hell and back is a contradiction, she’s gentle at times and ferocious at others. She’ll push you away when you’re trying to get close. She’s unpredictable and you need to be ready for the pendulum swing.

Love her when she’s soft and gentle but love her more when she’s ferocious.

She wants her space, but she wants you close too. A woman who has been to hell and back doesn’t know how to find the balance. Help her. Hold her when she needs you and give her independence when she claims she doesn’t. Let her know that you’re there but don’t suffocate her. Remind her that she’s loved, stroke her hair and whisper in her ear.

She lays awake at night, struggling as you sleep beside her. Trying to overcome the demons in her mind and trying to find her peace to be with you. She wants to be in control but can’t quite get there.

A woman who has been to hell and back wants to be courageous, to face the world head on but isn’t always strong enough. She may need you to hold her hand, to be courageous with her, to be her partner. If she looks scared, hold her tight, if she pushes you away, hold her tighter.

She wonders if she’s not enough. She wonders if she’s too much. This woman who has been to hell and back doesn’t know how to find the balance. Help her, hold her, love her.

When she laughs, light radiates from deep within her but when she’s down it’s a dark cloud that descends. Love her always.

A woman who has been to hell and back is just waiting for you to leave, to walk away and never come back. That’s what she’s come to expect. Show her that is not the case. Show her what unconditional love is.

If you can love this woman, through the good and bad times, she will grow and find balance. She will be a strong, soft woman who will love you always. Just remember, when she doesn’t know how to show you love show her first and she’ll follow.

Me…Exposed

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I have had several people ask me questions lately about what it is that I go through now. What are the symptoms I speak of? What is the illness really? Why do I speak more details about what I have gone through then what I currently go through? So, I decided to write this. This will give you insight to my illness and my fears, my every day life and how I get through.

Let’s start with the illness itself. The easy name is Addison’s Secondary Disease (not to be confused with Addison’s Primary Disease or Addison’s). This is when there is a tumor on or in one of the glands in the brain, mine is on the Hypothalamus. To make it easy, things start here…hormones and vitamins and things that control sleep, thirst, hunger, fatigue, and so on. Then they release and follow the system down to the Pituitary Gland where they turn into something else you need, then release and travel down to your Adrenal Glands where they turn into something else your body needs and releases it all into your body. Along this path is where you get your Vitamin B12, Iron, Cortisol (Which is the main thing you need in order to live), ACTH, DHEA, FSH, LH, Progesterone, Estrogen, etc…all hormones your body needs in order to function and survive. Unfortunately, because of the location of my tumor, it prevents any of these things forming in the first place and nothing can pass by and travel down this system so I need to replace all of these things and am being kept alive by taking Cortisol and replacing the other things on a daily basis. Because of this, the symptoms in which I experience are great and I’ve been told will simply continue to get worse (not that I believe always what others say, because I believe in my heart that some day I will be cured of this and it will be something no one will be able to explain 🙂 )

Symptoms…they started with a handful and have continued to multiply as time has gone by. It has been 3 years now living with this but I can probably tell you dates of when all of the symptoms started taking place. In any case, my symptoms started out as extreme fatigue (I slept more than a new born baby), issues going to the washroom, extreme headaches, salty cravings, memory retention of about 30 seconds to 3 minutes where my short term memory was gone, chocolate cravings, and incredible leg pain. Over the past 3 years they developed and progressed. They gave me medicine to help with my memory so it’s not near as bad anymore (but still not great…well not great for others because I simply don’t know what I forgot so life for me is great 🙂 ), the leg pain has worsened and somedays I have troubles walking and typically cry myself to sleep 3-4 times a week because of the pain. I get visions of people or kids dying, my kids, or others, in a horrific way…it’s like having a nightmare when you’re awake that leaves you paralyzed (and it all depends on how the tumor is laying.) Sometimes, I see things and believe things that aren’t true…things about family or my husband and I have to tell myself “I’m being crazy” and not listen to those thoughts. I often get very sad for no reason at all and I can’t tell you why I am even crying. I now have problems with weight gain and my thyroid bounces between each end of the scale regularly, my sugar levels drop and increase frequently, my tongue is constantly swollen, although my body is fatigued and I suffer from exhaustion I now have problems sleeping, and my headaches have gotten less frequent but more severe when I get them. More recently we discovered through a very rough time of not being able to breathe very well (and still currently although better so if you see me or you are speaking with me and you see me take “weird” like breaths it because I simply can’t get enough air.) and troubles eating that my esophagus is not working properly as the muscles are always flexed so food and air have problems passing and although the cause is the lack of proper vitamins and nutrients as my body doesn’t produce them, the medicine I need I can not take because of the illness. Because of the medicines, my stomach can not digest things very well and I have an issue with acid..to the point where even the back of my throat is burned. They also found a Hiatal Hernia due to all of the physical stress my body is under. These are the majority, although not all, of my symptoms. I try to take only natural “medicines” but it’s not always possible. So to keep me alive and keep me going on a daily basis I currently take a minimum of 6 things, a combination of natural and western medicine (depends on the day and the symptoms as sometimes it’s a lot more than 6) multiple times per day throughout the day, which is better than the 11 I was on only 2 months ago.

And now for the reason I don’t talk about it as much. Well, I never really thought about it but the truth, as I think about it and as I said I would expose myself, is the feeling of not having control. See when I had cancer, or the house fire, or the death of my best friend I simply made the decision to overcome. The decision to live. I believe that having that mindset and NEVER giving in or giving up or loosing hope but staying Mind Strong is when you can win and overcome. The thing I face today is, I’m not always in control of my thoughts anymore, sometimes the illness is. Those times when it makes me believe things that aren’t true or to see things that aren’t really happening (even though it typically only lasts a minute or two), I’m not in full control. It’s probably the first time in my life that I don’t feel like I have the power, the control, I need in order to overcome and be 100% sure I will. I won’t lie, it’s scary at times. I cry in my husbands arms because not only am I tired of being sick but I am afraid. BUT here’s what I do and what I have come to realize…the way I need to live. See I can be weak and afraid BUT I CAN NEVER GIVE UP! It’s ok to have those moments of weakness and cry, but it’s not ok to give up. It’s never ok to give in and allow this illness to control me or what I do or what I accomplish. It won’t control how good of a wife or mother I can be. I can’t let it determine how or when my life will end.

Because  I have My Hero Within and she is strong, I KNOW with certainty that I will win. That when it’s my time, no matter when that is, I will have been the best I could have been in every aspect of my life and I will have simply lived and it will be on my terms and not the illness’s!

The First Time

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So many people ask when the first time was that I felt my Hero Within. And although that answer is easy, I didn’t know what is was called until much later. But, I was 16 years old. Being through the abuse I had been through for so many years I had turned to illegal street drugs by the time I was 13. At the age of 16 I was dating a dealer and decided to have a huge party. The guests were by invite only. One of the guests invited was a boy. A boy who had befriended us months before, he went to the french high school, was 16 and drugs were no stranger. However, soon into this party we quickly learned that his story was not true and what we were dealing with was a 12-year-old boy who had never done drugs in is life and after giving him what he paid for and then some as a welcome to the group, he almost died. From that moment, my boyfriend went to jail and I decided to stop doing drugs. A few days later, as I came down the stairs to head out the door to go to school I was cornered by my step-father. With one hand he ripped the ponytail out of my hair, as pony tails mean you are a slut (of course!!????) and the other he pointed to my forehead and told me that a used dirty cigaret butt on the ground had more value than me. After grabbing the kitchen knife and putting it in my backpack I walked outside. For the first time I didn’t cry; I wasn’t angry. For the first time in my life I was ok….I had agreed with everything he had ever said to me and believed that everything he had done to me was my fault. So, as I walked into the bathroom of my high school, I stood there. Peaceful. With blood flowing down my wrists I thought I would finally win. But in a moment, I was surrounded by so many people and ambulances and all of these people talking and asking questions and making appointments for me and I couldn’t really hear anyone. I couldn’t really see anyone. I heard my mom agreeing to so many people and trying to make heads or tails of it. And as I sat there with my wrists bandaged, staring into nowhere I finally heard a voice. It was a voice inside. A voice telling me that I didn’t deserve this. A voice reminding me I had dreams. A voice telling me that I was meant to do great things and would still. A voice who believed in me. A voice who showed me my self-worth was more than this. The next day, I smiled and meant it. I laughed a felt it. I didn’t know the name at the time but it was clearly the first time I had ever felt my Hero Within.