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Jun 2, 2014

I am not my illness

It's hard.
those of you with chronic illness know it all too well. You get stuck inside your head, and your body takes over your mind. You start to feel like a "weak person" instead of a strong person with an illness. And you start to want to "give up the fight" and just let it all take over.

If you know this feeling all too well, please keep reading.

There are different psychological stages of illness. When I was first diagnosed, I was in denial. I thought that this was just a phase that I could reverse. I thought that diet and healthy lifestyle could make it all go away. I didn't listen when my doctor gave me a note to give to my boss, to take me out of work. Or when he gave me a prescription for some heavy-duty meds to help me. I threw it all away and barely told anyone about the illness for 2 months. 

Then I ended up in the hospital. Still, I refused to take the medications or stop working. It didn't occur to me that I was "sick" because I was STILL in denial.

I shouldn't have been doing certain things by myself but I refused to ask for help when I needed it. I would do house work and clean by myself, and then lay in bed for hours instead of cooking or eating. I sacrificed certain tasks for other tasks. If I wanted to do the dishes, I had to put off cleaning my car til the next day. I did this for a while until I lost the ability to do most things at all.

People became concerned because I was losing weight, getting confused, sores all over me, I was pale, my house and car were complete messes, and I was just not acting like myself. Rumors started that I had an eating disorder. And truth is, I was border-lining one. I wasn't anorexic, but I had sworn off all food that wasn't organic and gluten free, and sometimes I would even throw food away if it touched another food that wasn't "healthy" to me. I didn't realize how warped my mentality became until a friend put a piece of her chicken on my plate of fruit, and I freaked out, and threw the plate away because it was "contaminated." She got really upset and had a talk with me, and I started to realize something was wrong with me.

One person even asked me if I had been checked for breast cancer and things like that, because of how sick I was started to look. It was during this time that I started to be honest with others about my illness because I didn't want people thinking I had cancer or anorexia. 

I finally started to realize that I was ill, not only physically, but I was becoming mentally ill, but I still was not accepting any of it. I was convinced that if I was "really sick" that I must be responsible for for it, so I continued to eat a certain way and change my lifestyle to "reverse" the illness. I ended up in the hospital a handful more times, and then one of my doctors said, "if you don't listen to me, you're going to die."

Funny thing is, at that point, I wanted to. I never felt good anymore and my mental health was deteriorating because of my physical illness and my inability to accept it and do what I had to do. But I thought of my loved ones. My family, my boyfriend, my friends. I couldn't let myself just die and leave them to wonder why I didn't fight harder, why I didn't do it for them, if not for me. So, I did it for them. I took my meds and I let my doctor take me out of work. But I stayed in school and I got through it. 

I then entered the "sick role" and started to let people help me. I accepted the fact that I could no longer do certain things for myself. And it was one of the hardest transitions of my life! I am independent and love to help others.. I do not like being the patient. I felt inadequate and dependent, and weak.

But over the next 6 months I noticed myself transitioning, from a "sick" person, to a person who fought so hard to get better. The recovery phase. And that was the greatest transition I have ever experienced in my life. I listened to my doctors and I did what I had to do and eventually I was able to go back to work and I became more independent again. It is still a constant battle, because my medications have nasty side effects, and I am not in remission yet. I still wake up in pain and I still sometimes wish I didn't wake up at all. I still have trouble eating and maintaining my weight. I still have days where I want to flush all my meds down the toilet, or throw them out the car window when I have to pull over from the nausea. But in years to come, this may all just be a thing of the past.

Because I accepted the fact that I was sick, I was able to get better.

I see a lot of people go through these phases and get stuck in some of them. Whereas I was stuck in denial, others can get stuck in the "sick phase" and they hold themselves back from getting better. They get used to being dependent on others and their disease becomes a crutch. I never went through that myself but I know people who have, and it's not a way to live.

I understand that there are illnesses that make people dependent for the rest of their lives. It is important for people with these illnesses to maintain whatever independence they still have, but not feel guilty or inadequate for the things they can no longer to for themselves. 

Whatever phase you are in, whatever illness you have.. just remember.. YOU ARE NOT YOUR ILLNESS. You HAVE an illness. 

Sometimes I lose sight of the positive and courageous person I have become, when I focus on the fact that I physically feel weak, and sick, and tired a lot of times. My body is so exhausted right now, from the disease, and the meds I'm taking to fight it. This has been a battle for quite some time now. I am better but when I have my bad days, they are pretty horrid. But the trick is to keep my mind strong, and not lose sight of who I am. Because I am not my illness. 


Jan 16, 2014

HOW TO STOP CARING WHAT OTHERS THINK OF YOU!

RAISE YOUR HANDS IF YOU'VE EVER HAD SOMEONE SAY SOMETHING MEAN TO YOU, ABOUT YOU, BEHIND YOUR BACK, IN FRONT OF YOU, OR ON THE INTERNET! 

*RAISES HAND, along with, everyone else in the world...*

Every single person in this world has been judged ...Unless they are still in utero. (CAUSE NO ONE JUDGES A FETUS!)




I'll be honest here, it's been ingrained in me since I could remember, to seek approval of others.

I've always valued the opinions of others because I am very self aware, sometimes too self conscious, AND I'm a major people pleaser. I deeply consider how others think and feel and I truly want to meet their expectations. I've wasted a lot of time tryig to make people happy with who I am. I had to learn that it's okay to just be happy with myself.

After a lot of growing, self searching, and maturing, I have come to realize that we simply cannot please everyone. And, there will be people out there who are going to dislike me, and disrespect me, no matter how awesome I may be! No matter how many people DO like me!

I see a lot of people caring way too much about what others think and say about them - And since I used to feel so similar, I want to help.

I see it on the internet AND in real life. And it pains me to see people become so sensitive to the opinions of others, which are often not very valid.

A little tid bit about me: I am one of the most self critical people you will ever come to know. I spent my whole life as a child and adult, trying to be good enough for others and myself. Until a couple of years ago I wondered why I could never meet those standards. In a way, I am a perfectionist. There's a little voice in my head that often tells me that I am not good enough and that I need to be better. I've also had a lot of other people in my past make it clear that I'm not good enough for them. And I finally realized, I never will be good enough for certain people, so I'll try harder to be good enough for me.

This included years of therapy and work on myself, and I'm not ashamed to admit that.

I found it in myself eventually, to turn off those insecurity buttons that people knew how to push. I realized that I don't need to explain or defend myself all the time, because I KNOW IN MY HEART, that I have nothing to be ashamed of. END OF STORY. So ow a days, I really try to move on from other peoples' judgements, and opinions.

I want to help others overcome these insecurities and triggers as well, so I've made a list of guidelines to follow:

IF SOMEONE IS CRITICIZING YOU:

1) WHO is this person triggering you? Are they close to you? Someone who knows you well enough to make that call? No? Then let it go. If they are someone you really value and trust, then re-consider their intention, and what they are saying. 

2) WHAT are they saying? Is it mean? Constructive? Why is it triggering you? Is it something you need to work on, and is there any truth to it? Or is it simply just meant to hurt you? If it's constructive, work on yourself. Take it as a good thing, something to improve, and be positive about it. If it's disrespectful or meant to hurt you, let it go. It's not coming from a good place, so don't even entertain it.

3) HOW is it being said? Was it in a private, respectful manner, coming from a good place, from someone who wants to help you? Or was it said in public, to embarrass you? Was this person's intention to help you or to shame you?

4) WHY is it being said? Was it said to help you overcome something, or to stop a certain behavior of yours? Or was it said to make you feel bad about yourself? and WHY is it bothering you? Does it trigger some irrational insecurity YOU HAVE about yourself? Or can you use it to constructively work on yourself? 

5) SO.. HOW ARE YOU GOING TO REACT? Are you going to let it go? Or is this something that needs to be dealt with? You can use the previous guidelines to help you determine how you will handle this criticism. BUT I will say, for all reasons, all purposes, EVERYTHING is handled best in a private, calm, non-dramatic matter! Defending yourself in public or in an angry or dramatic nature, is ALWAYS going to be the wrong way to handle anything. The more you train yourself to maturely handle situations, the better you will feel about yourself.

I HAD to set these guidelines for myself to make progress. I had to STOP being so hard on myself and I HAD TO stop letting others get to me! Even people who I was close to! I had to wake up and realize that their words, their actions, their anger, had very little to actually do WITH ME!

There are a lot of people in mind when writing this. I really hope this can help you guys.

The videos below were made for not only myself, to stop caring about what others think, but also to help other people. The one about me being naked, is my ridiculous over-the-top way of saying, hey look, I'm going to give you the illusion that I am completely exposed and post it anyway. I don't care if you're judging me. ;)






And remember guys,
STAY POSITIVE!
KERRY LOVES YOU! :)






Jan 12, 2014

You know you have an anger problem when...

...

You like being alone because most people piss you off.

You have been called "butt hurt" by a younger sibling or your acquaintances, quite frequently.

Your social networking sites are full of personal dilemmas that annoy/anger/target other people.

If people are hiding your posts in their news feeds, which you wouldn't really know about because everyone would just deny it to avoid confrontation. Skip this one.

If you have gotten out of a car to confront a shitty driver who cut you off.

If you have followed people who cut you off.

If you frequently argue in the car with people.

If people jump out of moving cars to get away from you.

If people generally just avoid you in every single way possible.

If you have assaulted another human being.

If you have assaulted another human being at a children's birthday party.

If that person was a clown it doesn't count. I hate clowns.

If you spend most of your time yelling.

If you spend most of your time trolling the internet.

If you answered yes to most of these things...




If you can relate to majority of this you may have an anger problem. My advice is to remove the stick, which has been plugging up your ass. You may be a bit backed up. But don't worry, there is help out there for you! 

Just kidding, you're screwed.

...

Jan 11, 2014

To a power greater than myself

I wrote a letter today. I put it in the box that I keep letters to Aunt Sue. This one wasn't specifically for her, it was to any kind of power greater than myself...

"Please guide me, help me to overcome my weaknesses. Help me become better, greater, stronger, and wiser. Help me love and treat others the best that I can, and please help me show the same greatness, the same kindness, to myself."





Dec 31, 2013

2013 - 2014 / A New Path

So once upon a time,
it was January 1, 2013. 
^.^

I distinctly remember, sitting on my couch quietly, wondering, what will this year bring? I had just lost Aunt Sue, 3 months before this. But I had this feeling, that no matter what happened next, I'd survive it. 

I decided that day, as long as I'm alive, I'm going to live

I've accepted that I'm going to feel loss, and pain. Sometimes feeling pain is what makes us alive. Lets us know that our hearts are still beating, that we have things to lose, things to live for...

 Just another part of life, along with it's counterpart, happiness.

I decided that day, to make the most out of life 
because nothing is certain, 
but I'm certain I will live, as long as I'm alive.

I will make the most out of my life, and inspire others do the same.

Things that I've accomplished in 2013:

-Managed to maintain a 3.6 GPA through nursing school thus far, and I'm graduating January 24, 2014. An awesome way to start off the new year! 

Shout out to my amazing Dad for being there for me 100% while I'm in school full time! Couldn't have done this without his support!

-I made a lot of funnies this year, and a lot of people laughed.
 :D

-I help a lot of elderly people in my condo complex and this year I may have saved two of their lives (and their hips). I'm like always the one discovering elderly people in trouble. Maybe I have a calling to save all the adorable helpless wrinkly people in the world!

-I met, and grew close to many good people this year. My classmates are awesome! And my girl Christine, if you are reading this, you're a true blessing in my life and I'm so glad we met! Love you big sis <33


-I am bettering my lifestyle after being diagnosed with a chronic autoimmune disease. I overcame the mental, emotional, and physical obstacles that this disease has caused, and I'm only going to keep growing stronger from it! It's taught me a lot about staying positive!

-And, last but not least
I met this amazing guy, and not only gained another best friend this year, but a boyfriend. Two for one! I dig it.
And along with this new relationship I also gained a new perspective on life. You lose some people, but then you gain some. Or as my Aunt Judy put it, you lose one angel and God sends you another. 

The holidays made me realize a lot. I have lost people, I have been through a lot, but I have gained so much. There are so many people, there is so much love, and so much support. 
So much strength in myself. 
And so much to live for. <3

So, goodbye to 2013,
And hello to the rest of my beautiful life!

Happy New Year!!!




Dec 2, 2013

Racism

Choosing to be racist in this day and age is old news. It's like choosing to sh*t outside when you have indoor plumbing.

HEY! Why use a toilet when you can do it old school and sh*t in a hole in your backyard? By choice!?
Yeah, it's a way of the past, and so it makes no sense to do that now.

It's the same thing with a racist mindset. You are living in the past, for what reason? Choosing to view the world with closed eyes, a closed mind, and a cold heart.. how is that beneficial to anyone? Including yourself?

There's no intelligent reasoning behind racism. It's straight up ignorant.

The way I see it, being racist is being lazy. It's the lack of motivation and will power to open up your mind. I don't care if you grew up with racist parents. I don't care if your whole town is racist. Grow up, be stronger than that, and choose to think like an individual. If they all jumped off a bridge would you? If you say yes then you're probably better off.

Check out the video below for the latest shenanigan. I think it's safe to say that ignorance and racism is still very much a part of this world today, and it's quite disheartening. But at least more and more people are seeing it for what it really is, pathetic and wrong.

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/12/02/landry-thompson-dancer-arrested/

Anyway, that's just my two cents.



What did one racist say to the other?
I DON'T KNOW, 
CAUSE I DON'T F*CKING LISTEN TO NONSENSE.










Nov 26, 2013

Let's talk about sex (WARNING: TMI)

My inner pervert would like to tell you all about different types of people, and how they relate to sex.

So here goes...

"Innocent People" - Shy in large social situations.. They tend to be really loud and aggressive in bed. This is because their shy nature shelters them from being themselves around many people they aren't close with. All that bottled up angst comes out and it's like HOLY KUMQUATS WHERE DID YOU COME FROM? WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DID YOU DO WITH MY SOCIALLY AWKWARD GIRLFRIEND?! 

The "perfectionists" and "self critics" swing back and forth between complete submission to being the total aggressor. They make sure that their "safe words" are properly pronounced and politically correct. On one hand, they seek to be "punished" for their "mistakes" in life, by submitting themselves to their significant other. They secretly (or maybe not so secretly) love to be man-handled. On the other hand, in times that they want control, they like to be aggressive and sexually attack their significant other whilst pretending that he doesn't want it. BUT IT'S NOT REALLY RAPE IF HE IS WILLING!

And then there are the closet freaks - SO, you accidentally stumbled upon a page from a porno magazine on a playground when you were a little girl. It was a picture of a woman giving a man oral sex. You could not wrap your mind around it so you became terrified of it, and you were like OMG WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO DO THAT? I DON'T UNDERSTAND THIS!? WHAT IF SOMEONE DOES THAT TO ME? HOLY GOD I MUST AVOID EVERYONE WITH A PENIS FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE! ....And then you grew out of that fear and became a complete closet pervert thinking about sex all the time..... until you admitted it on your blog and now everyone knows about it.....

By the way this is all BS (or maybe it's not?)  Maybe it IS about you too?! Anyway OH MY GAWD I AM A SICK INDIVIDUAL.

...Ya think?



Dear self I accept you for who you are, you freaking weirdo.


Nov 22, 2013

The poem without a name...?


So uh, this one doesn't have a title. I don't think I should give it one until I think of a good one. It's one of those poems that has a lot of meaning, and that's why you'll probably read it and be all like, 
"I NO UNDERSTAND YOU KERRY!"
But I dig it, you know, cause I wrote it, so I get it, and stuff.


There and back,
Up and down
The radiance 
Is burning out


Don't let them down 
Stay with them now

But that glimmer I've got
It's fading out

Time takes me away
Every now and then
But I don't have to go
I don't have to go just yet

Try to hold
Onto this hope
It's everything
That's what I'm told

Don't let them down
Stay with them now
But that vibe I had
It's burning out

And it takes me away
Every now and then

And I never know 
When I'll be back again
But I cannot come home 
Not just yet


There and back
Up and down


-K. Lynne

Oct 25, 2013

The Bright Side of Life with Illness

This blog is dedicated to all my online friends who have Systemic Lupus, Sjogren's Syndrome, RA, chronic pain, and other life long illness.





Some of you I met through facebook, and some of you I met in a support group online.


I want you all to know how much I appreciate you, and how much you've helped me stay positive.


You've showed me - That living with autoimmune disease and chronic illness doesn't have to be the end of the world WITH DEADLY LIGHTENING BOLTS STRIKING THE GROUND WHILE ZOMBIES VICIOUSLY ATTACK LIKE A STAMPEDE OF WILD ANIMALS!


I've learned that living with chronic illness doesn't have to be so bad. We have the illness, but the illness is not who we are.


Positive things I've grown to learn:


-If I never got sick, I would have never changed my diet to organic, gluten free, and cut out refined sugars. I'm gonna be so healthy and full of energy once this bad flare up is over and treatment kicks in!


-If I was never sick or diagnosed, I would have never understood first-hand when patient's deal with chronic pain and fear of continuously complaining about it. After a little while, doctors stopped listening to me, and I stopped talking about my pain cause I started to think it was in my head.. That is, until I sustained about the 10th joint injury from work and also happened to change health insurance. New insurance meant new docs, and lucky for me that meant better docs. I mentioned frequent joint/muscles pains that often made it a struggle to get out of bed, that it was only getting worse, and being so injury prone at work, more so than ever. I was a new patient and it was just a routine visit. When I spoke up to the right people I finally got answers, which lead me to get treatment. It's tough because I am still stuck in the awful flare up and getting adjusted to my meds, and the only thing that will work fast is large doses of steroids, which I refuse, but it will be over soon enough. And, going through this will help me care for patients with chronic pain and encourage them to keep seeking answers.


-Living with chronic illness or any type of struggle, makes you a stronger person! That goes to everyone, no matter how "well" you think you deal with it! We all have our moments, but what matters is picking yourself up and realizing you are stronger than your disease!


Those are just a few things I have learned, which help me see the bright side.


I hope this can help some people as much as they've helped me. :)








Oct 10, 2013

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

I've been reading a lot on meditation and inner peace. And looking back over the past few years, I've made so many changes, without even realizing what I was doing at the time.

Educating myself on this stuff has brought all of this to the surface and I am able to see clearly now. It's obvious - all this time, I was simply searching for peace.

I grew up with a lot of chaos in my life, mostly things out of my control. And without even knowing it, I got used to it. I became so familiar with negative people and destructive behaviors, that I became comfortable with it, I hung around it, I let it in.
I welcomed it.

It's been different for a while now. Over the last several years I got to know myself better, recognized that changes needed to be made, and pulled away from most negative people and negative situations, and began my search for peace, and stability. 

I realized I had to turn a blind eye to the negativity and open up my eyes to the good things, and continue to grow.

              OH LOOK! A PICTURE!




I also learned that being kind to people in my life is a MUST - Whether they are or aren't kind to me. Sometimes an act of kindness to unkind people is to simply walk away from them, and not feed into their faults. And no matter who appreciates the things I do, or who doesn't, I realized a long time ago that I do not give to others to get things in return. I do it because giving is what I love doing.

Another life lesson:
Life is very fast paced. Sometimes it seems impossible to "take it one step at a time" because we are all, "on the go" so very often.

A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.


Success doesn't mean rushing. We live in a very fast paced culture, and it makes my head spin sometimes.

It's all good..

Take some deep breaths, and just remember to slow down sometimes.

The world is not gonna stop spinning for anyone, and that's why I have to create my own pace.

Just a little encouragement for others - No matter what you are trying to accomplish, or who you are trying to become, focus more on where you are, than where you have been, or where you are going. It all begins with one single step!