Tag Archives: Strength

Just Sharing

15 Sep

Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless in facing them.

Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it.

Let me not look for allies in life’s battlefield but to my own strength.

Let me not crave in anxious fear to be saved but hope for the patience to win my freedom.

Grant me that I may not be a coward, feeling your mercy in my success alone; But let me find the grasp of your hand in my failure.

~Rabindranath Tagore~

 

I found this quote to be inspiring today. If anyone is dealing with any kind of challenge in life, know there is nothing that can not be overcome. Know that you are stronger than you think. God never gives people burdens they can not bare, and he puts people in your life to help carry the load. You are never truly alone. Have faith in God, yourself and the people who love you. Hold to hope and allow yourself to be vulnerable.

I love you all. Hope you have a wonderful day!

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Poker Face

25 Aug

People in my life have been emailing me after reading my posts and are expressing that they had no idea I was in so much pain (they all knew I had muscle issues but not always the full extent of the impact), or that I faced so many challenges or disappointments so early on. No one has told me this, but I am getting the impression that they are feeling as if they may not know me as well as they thought. Or that they now think our friendship/relationship wasn’t as deep as it should or could have been. Almost like they are just now getting to know the very core of me and why I am the woman they love.

I wanted to take time to validate your feelings and let you know that it is by no fault of own if you did not know the in’s and out’s of all that was “me”. I am completely at fault and so beyond guilty for you not knowing what you are reading of.

Years before Lady Gaga wrote the song, I had mastered the art of the “Poker Face”. From the moment I was dealt my first hand I utilized it fully. The Poker Face was essential to my overall happiness in life for two reasons. One, I was determined to not let my friends and family see my true level of pain, or any other emotion that would make them feel sympathy. Sympathy was not something I wanted from them. I wanted these teammates to be strong and not stricken with worry. Secondly, I needed this face to give me strength to get through whatever challenged me. I used the face as a distraction from the reality of my hand, making myself less able to dwell on whatever I was suffering from physically or mentally. My poker face was mostly made up of non-stop humor and the smiles brought to the faces of the people around me often supplied the driving force behind my perseverance.

When I wore the Poker Face I was able to fool people who knew me and even myself sometimes. After reading emails and talking personally with some friends about my posts, I can’t help but feel I lied my way through my hand and even to some of my key players. Maybe we will call it omission, yeah that sits better with me somehow…

I wish I could say I regret wearing the Poker Face so very often. That I wish I could go back and discard it, to be transparent with those around me but that would be a bigger lie than the Poker Face itself.

I (as a child) wouldn’t have been able to find the strength to persevere  if I could see worry and pain permanently etched on the faces of my players, my soul would have disintegrated.  From the perspective of the woman I am today, I can’t help but think I robbed my players of a chance to challenge themselves. Had I not worn the face so often, maybe others could have risen to the occasion and worn the Poker Face for me… For this I am regretful. I regret not having faith in my players to be strong enough for me to be weak and depriving them of an opportunity to lend me their strength. I wish I would have allowed myself to show weakness and vulnerability more often and to more people.

At 24-years-old I now understand the importance of showing weakness and being vulnerable with the people I love and trust (and even some strangers). I’d be lying if I said I retired the Poker Face completely as sometimes it’s necessary for the greater good of life in general. For the most part though, when faced with a challenge (physical, mental or emotional) I can not easily overcome by myself I do not hesitate to call upon my exquisite teammates for help.

God places people in our lives so we never have to be physically or emotionally alone. Have faith that God has purposefully chosen your teammates, who are all capable of aiding you in whatever hand you are dealt. In fact, God may have placed specific people on your team to give them the chance to show his love, his strength and for their own person growth. Please do not rob them of the blessing they could give you, and in turn, themselves.

No choice, All in.

17 Aug

I really didn’t have a choice at 8 years old. This is my life, the only one I have, and I’m gonna live it. At the time I didn’t really know what all that would entail. I knew I’d always felt weak, I knew my body had issues and that I was different from other kids. But where do I go from here? How am I going to live now, with this, like this?

I awake in bed around 6am to my alarm. I sat up groggy and sleepy-eyed, and swung my legs around the side of the bed… No, wait, they didn’t move. What the…? (Little fact: I wasn’t allowed to say “what the anything” but I sure thought it a lot!) I’m telling my legs to move, maybe they are still asleep. I rubbed them down a little, I can feel them. My brain is shouting for them to move. Why aren’t they moving?

“Momma! Daddy! Something is wrong, I can’t move my legs! L (my older sister currently age 12), go tell mom and dad I cant get out of bed!” Like I said, I really don’t remember crying. I wasn’t in pain, I just couldn’t move. A part of me was worried and scared because this had never happened but, I wasn’t actually surprised. I knew about disabilities, I was a very bright kid. The fact that I’d been so weak ever since I could remember coupled with the pain and muscle protein loss of recent, it almost seemed logical. I was more concerned about missing my test at school than being unable to move my legs.

My parents took me in to see Dr. B that morning. I really loved Dr. B. He was a doctor who genuinely cared for his patients no matter the insurance coverage they carried. I never felt like a “low-income child” when he tended to my needs. He did everything in his power to give me proper care, even if it was more paperwork or having to make extra phone calls. I remember how he looked at me when my dad wheeled me in. And come to think of it, it’s how my parents were looking at me too.  I’m honestly just now remember their faces. Strange how they didn’t translate when I was 8 but now, now I see it and I can’t help but feel a strong emotion. All of their faces read concern, deep concern. They were looking at a beautiful little girl, with a very bright mind and the sharpest wit who very well could be robbed of all her hopes, dreams and aspirations. Their hearts were breaking for me, the worry etched too clearly on their faces and in how they held their bodies and I was completely oblivious.

I’m so grateful I didn’t see their worry. Had I known what was facing me, had seen their worry, or known that I had a cause to be worried, I don’t know that I would have exercised as much strength as I did. I know this is silly, but I didn’t want to worry them. Hahaha, I was being strong FOR THEM. Lol. I’m sorry I am literally laughing  as I type this out. Really though, it’s amazing what children are capable of doing for another person. How they can be strong, how they can persevere and hold to hope blindly.

That day Dr. B recommended I see Dr. N.B. He was the doctor who diagnosed my Aunt P. with Mitochondrial Myopathy, and he might be helpful to us now that I was exhibiting so many symptoms. I’m sure this was no easy feat scoring an appointment with THE BEST DOCTOR IN THE WORLD for Mitochondrial Disorders (No really, google Dr. Neil Buist he’s a rock star). But I had 3 things working for me, 1) Dr. B would do anything for me to get the appointment 2) Dr. N.B. was very much intrigued by an 8-year-old with a possible Mito and last but definitely the most powerful 3) God.

We went home, it had been around 4 hours since I woke with paralyzed legs. And then I felt it. A strange sensation in my toes. Not really a tingling, more of an awareness. Life, I could feel life coming into them. I began focusing like a ninja to wiggle them. Got it! A wiggle! They were coming back it seemed. This made us all happy. Of course, there was still an issue to be addressed but we had the hope of seeing Dr. N.B. soon and now, they are returning! The feeling began to move from my toes up to my knees and then from there up through my legs and into my hips. But as the ability to move returned, pain replaced the paralysis. The most excruciating pain I had ever felt in my entire life. I really don’t know how to explain this pain to you. In my 24 years of life I have never felt anything like it. If someone offered to cut my legs off, I may have taken them up on it. The pain lasted for hours. My parents gave me as much Vicodin as I as they could but it didn’t cut it. I cried now.

This is when I wondered if I could play this hand. Is this pain going to last forever? Are my legs going to do this often? Can I live with this pain and still feel happiness? Why me God?  This is when I realized more would be expected from me in my life than I ever thought.