Posts Tagged ‘community’

For the better part of my life I’ve jumped into a nice hot shower, gone to bed and fallen fast asleep.  Who doesn’t, right?  For approximately 5 years now, the level of the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue that I live with has made these 2 things incredibly difficult, painful and troublesome. I’ve come up with several survival plans to manage these necessities of life. However – during my father’s illness and passing and the domino effect that still continues to follow – it’s been quite, shall we say, challenging.

For tonight, I will execute one of my little feeling better tricks: The Gratitude List. More often than not, writing it works a heck of a lot better than thinking it… And I am so grateful, that, somehow, I am still sober…

I am grateful for the Tucson clouds.

I am grateful for the Tucson clouds.


I am grateful for my favorite flowers.

I am grateful for my favorite flowers.


I am grateful for, Peaches, my father's cat.

I am grateful for, Peaches, my father’s cat.


I am grateful I live on a quiet cul-de-sac.

I am grateful I live on my father’s quiet cul-de-sac.


I am grateful for the times I remain hopeful that some day I will live pain free.

I am grateful for the times I remain hopeful that some day I will live pain free.


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I feel victorious when I find a Victory Garden

I feel victorious when I find a Victory Garden

I feel victorious when I see a piece of the ocean

I feel victorious when I see a piece of the ocean

I feel victorious when I am able to be still

I feel victorious when I am able to be still

When I have another day sober – I am victorious!

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1) I am grateful for taking 2 naps today.

2) I am grateful for the acupuncture I had today.

3) I am grateful that my definition of a true friend is even more clear in my soul today.

4) I am grateful for the people around me in my community.

5) I am grateful for caring neighbors in my condo complex.

6) I am grateful for every minute in every phone call from my son.

7) I am grateful  that I am learning how to manage living with Fibromyalgia.

8) I am grateful for many years of solid sobriety before I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.

9) I am grateful to be the grateful girl once more.

Wearing socks that match your cat is fun.

10) Wearing socks that match your cat is fun.

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“Fibromyalgia is a pain disorder that causes widely distributed pain throughout the body. Without defining medical tests, fibromyalgia is diagnosed by evaluating symptoms, such as multiple tender points in certain muscle areas, sleep disorders and even digestive problems.  The disorder can be debilitating and treatment often consists of finding the right combination of medications, physical therapy and coping skills…”  quote found in eHow health.

Time is passing me by. I’ve found myself in survival-mode-over-kill. Did I miss out on the entire month of February?  But I’ve been quite busy!   I must remember to be grateful for what I accomplish.  I mean, who says one errand a week is not good enough?  Pusing myself to the limit:  Doctor – bed rest.  Warm bath – bed rest.  One errand – bedrest.  Shampoo hair in kitchen sink – bed rest.  Nap.  Eat.  Sleep. Nightmares.  Bed rest . . .  I take responsibility for myself more than I ever have in my life.  What I am saying is – sick girl or grateful girl – my life is my fault.

I can ask the proper questions – I feel it is ok, safe.  What can a short conversation or a short dinner with an old friend hurt?  I am finding my way as I learn to cope with different physical challenges.  Another life lesson in my new life:  a short dinner with an old friend is still allowing someone back in my life.  Not ok for the new julie.  (Damn, I miss the old julie!)  But today?  Today, some old friends do not fit into my new life.  . .  I quickly work to regain my balance.  Just like a package stamped “fragile” as it is being sent out in the world,  I too must be mindful of what I have surrounding me.

Yes, as the quote from eHealth says, “medication, physical therapy, and coping skills. . . ” they are the delicate balance needed for survival with Fibromyalgia.  The new julie.  Yes, I do indeed experience debilitating aspects of the disorder.  I also experience beautiful endless heart-felt gratitude for every life lesson.  I may indeed be a fragile package. (for now!)  But if I surround myself with protective gentle people, I will arrive to my destination whole, complete and comfortable.  I am me living my life to the best of my ability.  Being alive is what brings the gifts of soul-changing life lessons.  Being in this world brings me opportunities to help others, no matter what. It doesn’t matter how small my act of kindness may seem to me – when I am authentic – in return I become the grateful girl once more.

frag box

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Once more while I was lightly sleeping, my dreams this morning turned to darkness.  With that – and the movement of a fresh tear on my cheek – my eyes opened.  With a silent whisper, I asked no one, “Am I awake now?  Was I crying in my sleep again?”   Crying continued on its own as I began to wake up in the gray morning light.  With tremendous tenacity, slowly I began to take my focus off of the unforgiving fibromyalgia pains.   My spirit was being crushed with enormous heaviness like a manhole cover that had been stolen from a dead end street.  Such agony – both dull and sharp full body pain.  Convincingly, I pretend that crying is good for my soul – it is a spiritual detox.  Slowly, my spirit forces the body to do one of the stretches my physical therapist instructed me to do while I am still in bed during such a morning as this.

Next, I start to say my prayers as I slowly remove myself from my bed and shuffle onto the loft connecting to my bedroom.  I sit at my desk. I drink the purified bottled water that I keep next to my beloved lap top.  I force myself to move my focus to the window on my left.  As I put on my glasses, I can see the water from the rain slowly gliding down the surface of the window.  I imagine a cold small puddle is forming directly below it, out of my sight.  As I continue to look out my window, my view to the tops of the bare winter trees outside are a bit blurry.  The soft sounds of the combination of rain and birds become quite soothing to my soul.  The steady soft voice of the water reassuring me that the outside world will be renewed, sparkling and clean.  The plants and trees in my community are happily receiving their coating of the freshness from the rain as their roots accept their favorite special delivery treat from the heavens.

Completely surrounded by the warm and cozy comfort and security of my home, here I sit, as my cup gradually runs over with gratitude and appreciation.  I’m feeling the magic from a gift of love as I appreciate my soft and cheerful red gingham pajamas.   They are the perfect Christmas gift from the perfect friend.  She seemed to have read my mind knowing this particular gift is something I needed – and I am grateful.  I know that the roof of my home does not leak.  It never has.  And also for this, I am grateful.  I feel another layer of gratitude as I remind myself that just two days ago I  swept the leaves from the gutters and drains outside.  While I was at it, I double checked and cleared the drains of the condo next door as well – hopefully my neighbor has never seen me do this. For it is my pleasure.  No worries for me if the rain decides to burst into a down pour.  Just like a Brownie before she is able to become a Girl Scout, I am equipped, prepared and ready.

Flashlight?  Check.

Food? (that includes cat food) Check. Check.

Broom and chair cushions cleared off the patio?  Check.

Front door mat put away because it gets soaked in the rain?  Nope.  Forgot.  But I don’t care about that right now.

I like the sound of that:  “I don’t care.”  My list of what I care deeply about is long.  It’s no secret, I’m sensitive, that’s for sure!  And while we’re at it, I confess that I’m quite passionate as well.  Heck yes.  Sensitive and Passionate.  I could make up one of those silly combination names like they do in Hollywood.  For example, Brad and Angelina? “Brangelina”.   So, for my being sensitive and passionate, that would be, “sensi-nate”?  Yup, that’s me, oh so very sensinate.  Perhaps these qualities of mine are an asset – or perhaps these qualities are a defect of character – at this moment as I speak – guess what?  I don’t care.  Because that’s who I am today.  My spirit is comfortable with that.  Gratitude of the small things make a big difference.  My body has a lot going on – Fibromyalgia is indeed a pain.  However, I am in gratitude, therefore my spirit is joyful this morning.  And I am my spirit – not my body.

Taking a picture of the fragrant lavender renews my grateful attitude and spirit.

Stopping to take pictures of  fragrant wild lavender renews my grateful spirit.

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What a blessing – the rain stopped and magnificent colors appeared in the evening sky just as I stepped outside.

parkinglot clouds

What a blessing – I get to admire the white holiday lights at the out door mall.

The Patios

What a blessing – I saw bunches of my favorite flower at the market.  The Iris is my flower of sobriety!


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There I was in the parking lot of Wholefoods Market on Halloween night and who do I end up parking next too?  Clever, I must say:

What Halloween really means to me, is that it’s officially time to focus endlessly on what I am truly thankful for.  My “Thankful” count down to Thanksgiving will begin tomorrow.

My heart goes out to everyone 0n the east coast who has been effected by the horrific storm.  Sending endless prayers. . .

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