Welcome to my little piece of HTML heaven!
I started this blog in September 2010 when I made the decision to DEFINITELY pursue bariatric surgery (Roux-en-Y gastric bypass) so I could chronicle my journey and my feelings, thoughts and experiences as a patient, mom, daughter, friend, writer, student, etc.
I had my surgery on Tuesday, December 14, 2010 at 7:30am. Although I don't remember much of that day after 7:25am, it changed my life forever. It feels like someone hit a "reset" button in my brain when I was under general anesthesia (and I don't remember my surgeon discussing THAT in my pre-op visit!!). As of 38 months post-op, I have lost 100 pounds and my total loss since my highest recorded weight is nearly 160 pounds.
In mid-2012, my health started to decline as Psoriatic Arthritis started to kick up a few notches and make my life miserable. I am learning to cope with a debilitating auto-immune disease and the life adjustments that go with it. It's not easy, but we're getting there.
Thank you for stopping by, feel free to leave a comment or just say HI! I'm glad you've decided to join me in my journey!
Sunday, June 22, 2014
Being happy, finding happy, looking happy...these are all things that I've had to think about in some capacity in my adult life. When I was much younger, I thought if I had enough money, I would be happy. I was wrong. I thought if I kept certain company, I would be happy. Again, I was wrong. I was told if I would "just lose weight", I would attract a perfect man, I would be so happy...again, dead wrong. Obviously being with a man isn't my bag and that's been well established for 20 years now. Have a kid...will that bring happiness? Ah, no. If there's one thing I've really learned in the past 20 years, there's no outside force that can make me happy.
As I've stated in previous musings, it has taken many things in this life to lead me to this "happiness" thing. Having my guts rearranged and the subsequent weight loss itself did NOT cause my "happiness". Having children did not bring me "complete happiness". Making good money was nice, but it did not make me HAPPY....in fact, I was quite miserable because I was forcing myself to work very long hours and put up with things from others that I never should have...just for money that I believed would bring me happiness. Not so.
I think my path to MY happiness DID start with the weight loss, but it was more of a domino effect. The weight loss led to a spike in my anxiety and PTSD, which caused me to pursue intensive therapy treatment for the PTSD. Within weeks of that processing therapy, I wound up half-way across the world without my kids, the person I was in a "relationship" with (I use that term VERY loosely, it was more or less a glorified roommate situation) or the people I knew or saw often. I was halfway across the world and did not speak the language, did not have a phone, did not have the familiar things I was used to....things that would make so many people go into a tailspin, homesickness, etc. Not the case for me. I felt peace for the first time in my life. I did not expect this, but I did know that while I was busting my ass to make the money to GET there, I had...I mean HAD to go there. There was a reason for it. You know, my life has NOT been the same since I spent those four weeks in the Czech Republic. I wasn't quite expecting the massive changes I made when I returned, but they happened because they were supposed to happen. I am NOT the same person I was four or five years ago and many of those changes were made during that domino effect in the past four years.
I have always believed that people, places and things come into our lives....or leave our lives for a reason. Situations arise for a reason, even if they don't make sense at the time they are happening. It is up to us to do what we need to do when these things happen.
Being homeless sucked, but believe it or not, I was HAPPY. I knew what I was doing and where I was going and just three weeks into that, I started talking to someone online. I made every effort to throw out roadblocks....we were homeless, on public assistance and I am disabled. She was fine with all of that...which I was cautious about. Until Christmas 2012 when we met face to face, she and I formally became a couple. Less than two weeks after she returned to the East Coast, we were engaged. Five months later, she was here in Denver for good after finishing up student teaching. We have a HOME together and in 34 days, we will be MARRIED. She has brought a form of happiness into my life that I had not yet anticipated. When I packed up my kids in October 2012 and left that abusive situation, I was 100% ready to remain alone with my kids until things were more settled in our lives and I had promised myself and my kids that I would NEVER be in a position where I had to unsettle and uproot my children AGAIN. If it meant remaining completely alone to raise my girls, then so be it. I was okay with that. I was more than okay with it. I was ready to start over on my own....completely on my own. Then Steph came along...but nothing changed about my need to not uproot my kids or cause more trauma to them. She was completely on board and the very first part of our relationship WAS long distance. She moved here in June 2013 and has been here with us since then. It's been a year but it seems like she just arrived yesterday...yet it seems that we've been in this place...our place together (not just the physical home) for so much longer. That is happiness to me.
In just 34 days, we bring our families and friends together and become one family...both legally and before God. There was never any doubt in my mind. My children are now OUR children. My struggles become OURS. I have arrived in a place where someone is trusted enough in my life for me to allow her to help. To love. To live. She doesn't care about my disabilities or inability to work outside the home. She knows and understands the issues with the girls and embraces them without question. Even when AJ is pushing every button, both physically and emotionally, she reminds her that she is NOT going anywhere, no matter what she says or does. We are one.
I found my happiness in life when I let go of the past. When I took my future and the future of my children into my own hands and walked away from those that were holding me back.
My life is not perfect. I have debilitating medical conditions that will be life-long. My children have been scarred by people in their past and I have to help them work through that. There are days that I can hardly get out of bed, weeks where I spend more time seeking medical care, refilling medications or waiting on medical tests than I do with my family. But dammit, I am HAPPY. I am at peace.
I am exactly where I want to be, where I need to be. I now know what it truly means to be happy. Even without the "good money", the company of certain people or all those material things. I am happy.
What is YOUR happy?
Monday, February 17, 2014
Monday, September 16, 2013
Monday, April 15, 2013
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Monday, January 7, 2013
I had originally meant for this to be published on New Year's but it wound up being a few hours (okay, more like a week more) than I had anticipated. Looking back on 2012, it was one of the worst years I've had in a long time....but was also one of the BEST years I've had in a long time. Even after many short-comings, this was a year of growth and learning for me. The whole time I was raising money for the Prague trip, I was focused on getting myself there because I knew there was a reason for that trip. Although I did think it was something related to my genealogy (and that was one reason), I had no idea just what that lesson would be until my return back home. I hadn't realized how unhappy I had been in the relationship I had been in at the time. I hadn't realized just how much I was capable of doing on my own if given the opportunity and the right tools. I hadn't realized that it was okay to ask for help when needed. I had NO IDEA that so many changes were going to be dropped in my lap and so much was going to happen in the course of three short months. I didn't know that everything that my daughters and I knew and held as familiar would be turned upside down and we would be in constant transition. Good things that 2012 brought me aside from spending a month on the other side of the planet? Trauma processing, self-realization, spiritual growth, removing toxic relationships and people from our lives, starting over....and finding someone that isn't psycho, needy, controlling or co-dependent. Standing on my own two feet, even when it means being scared shitless and not knowing what was coming next. Standing up for my children and not second guessing my decision to leave Erin even though it meant being homeless and spending the holidays in a safe house...and walking away from what few material things I did possess. I also learned who my REAL friends are through all of this and what they mean to me. Many of which I have never even met face to face before. This new year, 2013 has already been a better year and we're only a week into it. I am getting help with the repairs to the van, my appeal to the Bursar's office at school was approved and will cover all of the money I owe back to the school and I go to fill out pre-leasing paperwork for our new apartment tomorrow morning. And let's not forget my awesome gal who is a neverending source of emotional support when its needed the most.
There is no other way to go...but up...