The feeling in my gut

As a child I had no idea about health or well being. I had no concept of living with a chronic illness or what it even felt like to be unwell.  I ate what I ate when I wanted to eat it, lived my life the way I wanted to without many limitations or compromises. Until recently I had no idea just how many people suffer from a a variety of ailments impeding their everyday lives. Ignorance really is bliss. 

Almost as if suddenly, an imaginary door opened and a whole world was exposed to me where I realized there are so many people suffering daily, suffering without answers, suffering with answers and suffering none the less.   It’s hard to go through these health journeys; it’s hard to watch someone you love go through one as well, but I am a firm believer that everything is embedded with lessons. Teachable moments are peppered throughout life and sometimes it takes something big to get your attention.

How does my stomach feel?

It feels like pain. It feels like restriction. It feels like confusion. It feels like sadness. 

Roughly two years ago I went through a painful two month process trying to figure out why I couldn’t eat much, why my stomach was in so much pain and then I discovered I had h. Pylori.  This little bug is responsible for ulcers and all kinds of crappy pains and tortures and is really not well understood by everyone in the community. I went through a very rough round of powerful antiobiotics – 3 pills twice a day and it reeked havoc on my system.  When the first round didn’t feel very successful, we did it again with four pills – twice a day, and I was incredibly sick.  I recovered from that still feeling unwell and decided perhaps I needed to seek out some natural solutions. These natural solutions seemed to work better for me, but I still wasn’t myself.  I had many limitations on what I could and couldn’t eat. If I ate something on my “could not”eat list I was sent back into a world of pain and regret. It was incredibly irritating, I had lost a lot of weight and was so unhappy from the restrictions. 

Things did slowly improve and life went on. I did my best to avoid some acidic and some high fat foods (I do miss avocados a lot though) as well as  figure out what I could and couldn’t eat. Then I got pregnant. During my pregnancy and postpartum I was able to eat some things that I had avoided in the past. I felt pretty good and normal, I started to push the envelop more and more, feeling I was healed.   One thing I was supposed to avoid was caffeine.  I am not a coffee drinker, but I can drink a lot of tea; those caffeinated teas gave me the energy to tackle life with two small children.  After a month of new found energy, I rediscovered the pain. It could have been the caffeine, it could have been my new push the limit diet all adding up, but I will never know the why – and that bugs me.

 Accepting these things at face value is often hard for me; not knowing,  also bothers me.  Ultrasounds have checked out fine, I almost wish they had found something because I desperately search for a concrete problem with a concrete solution.  My doctor and I are approaching things one theory at a time. Perhaps it is an irritation that opened a sore in my stomach and it just needs to heal.  Perhaps it’s h. Pylori back again, and yes that can happen.  One theory at a time. There is no absolute solution that works for everyone all of the time, forever. A round of antiobiotics could cure you of this, but may never cure me; but it is like that for most things in life. There is no one stop solution that works for everyone, you have to navigate what works best for you and your body.  We are all different and require different needs. Figuring out individual solutions can take some time and effort but there is often something awesome hidden inside, a lesson, a motivation -something pushing you outside yourself and into your true self.  Hidden amongst the rubble is you, waiting to be the real you – daring to be great, daring to be you.

I have no idea where my stomach problems will take me physically, I have no idea of what will come from this but I can confidently tell you I’m not the same person who started this health journey and I will never be and that’s kind of awesome.

Vulnerability 

Since getting back into blogging, I have started to share my blog in social media. If you are reading this and wasn’t aware of my blogging then I would direct you to my first post and invite you to move forward with me.

For me, this type of sharing leaves me completely transparent to everyone, regardless of our relationship.  This type of transparency makes me a bit nervous, as for years I have struggled to fit into so many different versions of myself depending on the audience. I am a natural born people pleaser, as many of us are,  and as a recovering people pleasing addict, it can be incredibly hard to be yourself regardless of the audience.  Allowing the world to see the real me, is me being vulnerable and that can be scary, but it can also be awesome. 

Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path 

― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

I love Brene Brown, it may be my Sociology background but I really do relate to her material.  I think so many of us, myself included, are afraid to be vulnerable.  What if I put myself out there, no holding back for fear of what you think? What if I treated every person exactly the same and let them in my life instead of building up walls? What if I admitted I didn’t know the answer or that I do have limitations? What would happen if I acted from a place of deep love and connection for everyone?  Sure that all sounds good but what if they reject me?  What if they don’t respond with the same love, kindness and compassion?  But what if they did? How awesome would that be?!

Here’s the thing everyone is moving through life at various paces, you will get some grumpy people for sure, and I  have my grumpy moments just like everyone else; but instead of searching for the rejections, what if I  searched for the acceptance? What if I found it- how awesome would life be?!  In my life that’s all I’m looking for, to be surrounded by love, kindness and compassion.   

You know when you are having a great day, everything keeps getting awesome or when your having a bad day it just keeps going to crap because you’re stuck in that mode only. If you want to be in a happy spot, you probably won’t get there by being miserable.   It’s not always that simple, I get that, but it often is.  By allowing yourself to be vulnerable your opening yourself up to other people doing the exact same thing. By allowing yourself to be vulnerable you are welcoming connections that you may have never experienced before – they could totally suck, but what if they were awesome?!

So here I am. This is the literary equivalency of me standing naked in front a room to speak, but hey maybe I’ll make a new friend who likes my tattoo (Don’t worry mom, there is no tattoo).

❤️

The first post

This isn’t my first blog. Nope, this is blog number three.

The first one was a year long, rather successful attempt, at blogging regularly as I figured out a few key things in my life.

The second was a continuation of that, which eventually petered out and I lost interest and focus.

Now we are at number three. Third times a charm? I think so. People live life and go through a lot of crap to figure things out, and I am nothing if not people.  What have I figured out? I love to write.  I love being able to write whatever I want, whenever I want.  I would love if this were my full time career, but this works too.

The one thing that my other blogs did, that won’t be happening here, is be sort of a secret.  It was a secret in the sense that many of those close to me had no idea that I had a blog, but I would publish publicly letting the rest of the world know.   Why on earth would someone do that?  My best answer is that I was ready to tell my story but not not ready for it to be an open book to all. It’s a lot easier to write a piece about depression or something that could make someone uncomfortable knowing I had to look that person in the eye and potentially see their judgment. If I have learned anything from my past blogging experience it’s that I live solely for me and what brings me happiness, just as you should live solely for you and what brings you happiness.  I will never have access to your thoughts, emotions or brain, so I can never know what you are truly thinking or feeling, so I don’t have the full picture and never will. My days of living for other people, worrying about what they think or say, are long gone;  but I am not perfect, and occasionally revert – that’s  why I’m blogging again.

Well that’s not the only reason I’m blogging again – I’m writing again because I feel I need to, because I have nothing to hide and everything to gain. I am desperate to learn and grow in a way that works for me and I invite you along for the ride. Maybe you will relate to my posts about being a mom, or that I’m a stay at home mom right now that interests you; maybe you’ll be interested in my fight with h. Pylori and constant stomach woes; maybe you’ll be interested in my various stresses, lessons and learns; maybe you’ll like it and maybe you won’t. All that matters to me right now is that I write and so I shall.

Welcome.