Facing Fear

Letting the Light In

For the past two and a half months, I’ve been looking back at the Facebook Live videos I did when I first went on bed rest.  Knowing they would start in early September, I was dreading seeing them because it was a reminder of how long I had been out of commission.

But when the Facebook Memories began to pop up, I ultimately had a different reaction.  Rather than lamenting how long I had been laid up, I saw how far I had come in my healing journey.

At first, looking at the videos was painful.  I had let myself go for so many years … decades, really.  I had allowed myself to get caught in such a huge spiral of shame over how unhealthy I was that I just continued to let myself go.  The memories of the shame and my behavior make me cringe:

  • I was dishonest about what I was eating and how much.
  • I looked in the mirror as little as possible.
  • When I had a physical, there was no scale in my doctor’s office that I could use, so I gave an approximation of my weight, knowing in my heart that I weighed more than I said I did.
  • It was horrible when I had to go up another clothes size.  I stayed in 10s for as long as I could until buttons and zippers popped.  Then I had to buy 12s.  When I was finally topping out at 14s and 16s, I could no longer stand to go clothes shopping with anyone else.  I went alone and did it as quickly as possible.  I even put off shopping until my clothes had noticeable holes in them and I had to go.  I let my clothes look as lousy as I felt about myself.

The ultimate shame was letting my health get so bad that it took an extra hole in my behind to wake me up and make the changes that would get me healthy.  Why did I let things get so bad?  That’s a question I am still working on answering.  I’m not there yet, but I’ll get there.  So you’ll probably see more blog posts on this topic and I hope my insights are helpful.  I hope all the entries in this blog are helping you, InspiraGang.

For now, here’s what’s changed following the switch to healthy habits and the subsequent weight loss:

  • After not wearing dresses for years, I was given a dress on my 51st birthday last June.  I couldn’t wait to try it on and now I can’t wait to get another one.  I am looking forward to clothes shopping again.
  • I am now getting weighed on a regular basis to make sure I stay on track.  I actually look forward to it.  True story:  It was a challenge to find a scale to get weighed on until my friend Lisa suggested Bernardsville Animal Hospital.  There is a scale for the animals right in the reception area and I all I have to do is wheel onto it and push a button.
  • I knew before the last time I got on the scale that I had gained a little something.  It turned out to be one pound.  I am amazed that I am so in tune with my body that I can feel the difference of just one pound.  Another switch:  I felt no shame in that.  I just realized that I have to stay disciplined so that a one-pound weight gain doesn’t turn into five, 10, 20, etc.

I am healthier than I have ever been, not in spite of my wound, but because of it.  Like the Rumi quote above, the wound let the light in and I saw it, accepted it and it helped heal me.  For that, I am eternally grateful.

Yours in Health,
InspiraGirl

I AM HEALING: Part Deux

At this past Monday’s wound healing check-up, the doctor declared my wound healed … again.  When he declared it healed a few weeks ago, he stopped the stem cell treatment after the seventh application with three more available treatments to go. I was uneasy about that decision—so much so that when I shared the news on social media, I called it a “cautious celebration.”  My mind-body-spirit connection kicked in and, even though I wanted to celebrate, I knew down deep that the wound was not yet healed.

The following week, the wound opened up slightly.  So, I insisted on following through with the last three applications.

The tenth treatment was applied this past Monday and, based on how well the treatments are working so far, the wound should look even better at next Monday’s check-up.  Then, the doctor will probably advise me to stay on bed rest for another three weeks after the treatments are complete to ensure the wound stays healed.

Always thinking ahead, I asked the rep from the company that provided the stem cell treatment if additional applications can be made available, just in case.  He said we can “re-evaluate”, if necessary.  It’s good to keep your options open.

I chose to heal as naturally as possible and I want this treatment to stick.  There is no reason to doubt that it will.  Yet, sometimes the doubts creep into my brain.

Even when it looks looks like we will experience a positive outcome, why do we often fixate on that one negative thought?  As Julia Roberts’ Vivian says in Pretty Woman, “The bad stuff is easier to believe.”  While that can feel true it doesn’t have to be true.

Whenever I feel myself going negative, I focus on the positive in many ways:

  • I journal, starting with daily prayers and affirmations.
  • I exercise, including weights, stretchy bands and yoga.
  • I meditate.
  • I knit and crochet, which is another form of meditation to me.  Anyone want a handmade item from InspiraWear? 😉
  • I engage with the people around me, often looking for who I can help and inspire.  You would be amazed how quickly negativity dissolves when you focus on helping others.
  • I connect with you, my InspiraGang, on social media. (I am about to do a Facebook Live after I post this latest blog entry.)

When I started writing this blog entry, I was feeling the fear and the non-healing negative thoughts permeate my brain. But I knew that confronting those feelings by blogging about them would dissolve the fear and chase the negativity away, AND IT DID!

I hope that this blog is helping you as much as it is helping me.  Please comment below to let me know.

Enjoy the gorgeous autumn weather!

Andrea
aka InspiraGirl

Start Before You’re Ready

This is my eighth InspiraBlog entry. When I re-launched the blog, I made the decision to post a new entry each Wednesday.  Sometimes, I don’t post until the afternoon or evening.  But, so far, I’ve kept to the scheduled day.

I have made attempts to start blogs before and, around the third week, I missed my deadline by a day. The following week, I let the deadline slip by two or three days. Then, I only posted once a month and not on a consistent day. Finally, I ended up feeling lousy about myself and stopped blogging altogether because I’d lost my steam and I figured I’d lost my audience.

So why resurrect the blog?  Because I enjoy writing and I want to use my blog to help people, especially since I have so much to share about the experiences, realizations and lessons from this past year of bed rest and healing.

I was scared to do it.  Will people read it? Will it resonate with with my audience? Will they stick with it from week to week?

I have a small audience, but I know growing an audience takes time, so I remain committed.

For now, having a small audience is a good thing.  It gives me time to work out the kinks  … if need be, change the day and time I post based on when the blog stats show I am reaching the widest audience, find out which topics are resonating with people and focus on those areas (and weed out the topics that don’t resonate) based on the readers’ comments.  It also gives me time to increase my confidence.  I keep my blog posts in the draft folder until the very last moment and it takes me and a lot of guts, and sometimes hours, to press the PUBLISH button.  It does get easier–that is, less nerve-wracking–with each blog entry I share with you.

Before I re-launched the blog, I kept telling myself I wasn’t ready.  But that was my fear talking and I can tell you that the fear has significantly decreased in the past month and a half.  So perhaps this blog should be titled Start While You’re Still Scared Because the Fear Will Disappear.

Do you have a fear you want to overcome or a start before you’re ready experience to share?  Also, what topics do you want to read about in future blog entries?  Please post in the comments below.

Thanks for reading, InspiraGang!  See you next week!

Andrea
aka InspiraGirl

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