This is a something I’ve been told as far back as I can remember. I was pretty or I am cute. This has changed due to my illness. I have gained a substantial amount of weight as well as developed rashes on my face and other parts of my body. I have bruising from medications and scars from multiple procedures and surgeries. For a man to find me beautiful is far fetched in my opinion. My sister tells me there is someone that will see past that and love me regardless. I’ve given up on this. But being beautiful or considering myself beautiful has nothing to do with a man or finding a man. It’s a confidence I once had just being me, I knew I was beautiful. It wasn’t about bring told it, it was simply having high self esteem. Where did this go? Will I ever get it back? When? I am 41 years old, a woman in her 40’s is coming into her own and going after what she wants with no apologies. Lupus has robbed me of so much, mainly myself, my being. I haven’t dated since before my ACL surgery in 2011. Prior to that my boyfriend passed away, so if I include that time I haven’t dated since 2010 when we met. Since then my life has changed dramatically. I lost my job, I lost my ability to walk for about 2 years while being in constant pain. These things changed my outlook on life. I felt as though God had forgotten about me, not that he didn’t love me but had other pressing issues and He felt as though I could handle what I was going through and you know, he was right. It was hard and I thought I’d never walk without a cane or needing a scooter to get around. How wrong I was. I’m not saying I’m painfree or can walk a flight of stairs but it’s manageable. I have come a long way. God knew and saw what I couldn’t even fathom. So back to my original question am I more than beautiful? I am intelligent, intriguing, insightful, delightful, humorous, compassionate, dependable, loving and the list goes on and on. Does being beautiful even matter in the big scheme of things afterall like they say looks fade but, the above mentioned will not. Continue reading
Church: to go or not to go? Is that a question? Or am I making a statement. As a child I went every Sunday with my parents and sister, it was expected and looking back I am so blessed that this was instilled as an important part of life. As an adult I have wavered on attending a building to praise Him. I do truly believe it isn’t necessary to go out to have church and that you can have it wherever you are able. (and no I don’t mean bedside baptist) IMO church is an experience that should enlighten you and make things more understandable as it is written but, not required to have a relationship with Him. I must admit my illness has played a huge part in my missing a lot of life activities. This is not an excuse it’s just my reality. If I were going “out” socializing with friends on weekends and not attending church I would be making excuses. This is not the case. I don’t know why I feel compelled to say this in such a public forum (I was originally going to post this on FB) but, I can count on one hand how many times I have left my home since I moved in last year that wasn’t medically related. Prior to that I’d lived with my parents since 2004 and during that time, except going to work, I remained inside, excluding myself from the world. My friends still invited me out and included me in activities but, my answer was always no and over time the invites stopped. I understood and knew that this didn’t mean my friends weren’t my friends anymore it just meant they were letting me get through what I needed to get through. I did lose some friends but that was ok because dealing with this disease is hard and if you aren’t able to understand it or want to understand it you are better off not in my life.
Living in a 4-5 BR home with 3 & 1/2 baths in an upper class neighborhood with my husband and 2 children. I would stay at home and have my own business run from there. It would be a lovely life and I prayed for it. That is all I thought I had to do to achieve something was to ask God for it and strive towards it and it would happen. Unfortunately for me, life happened. I dated a lot and was even given a ring by a beau but never even got close to marriage. Instead lupus happened and everything I thought was to be wasn’t to be. It didn’t phase me at first because I didn’t know the affect it was to have on my life long term. I was 20 years old and felt it was a temporary setback and it would pass. It did not and now at 41, it is worse than ever. I can barely move on some days and struggle to socialize because of the low self esteem that this disease has brought on me. You have to understand when I initially got lupus I ignored symptoms for as long as I could, so I still went out, I dated, drank, did everything they I should not have done to avoid the pain I was starting to feel all over. Until one day, at work, I realized my time was over. I was doing manual labor at the USPS and I loved my job and I was being vetted for a higher position to eventually rise through the ranks. My job consisted of moving mail to carriers and unloading semi trucks, I was constantly moving and I adored the mail men and their inappropriateness it was just fun but they never crossed the line. My supervisor actually propositioned me and now thinking back on it I should have been appalled but I was 21 years old and flattered and played with it to get different things. Little things, lunch at expensive restaurants, driving his sports car just dumb stuff. Anyway, in the morning, there were several businesses that came in for their mail before 7am and it was hectic for about an hour but I had a system that worked and it ran smoothly. This particular morning I was having an extremely difficult time and I remember i couldn’t even get my gloves on because my hands were so stiff. I tried to ignore it but I couldn’t. As the business reps came it I literally had to have them get their own mail and do my job for me, which was actually genius but my boss didn’t like it. I worked most of that day until I was in tears because of the pain. I told my supervisor I didn’t know what was wrong but I had to leave, she was shocked that I was walking out in the middle of a shift but I had to. I never returned. I type all of this to say that I thought my life would be so different and fulfilled in every way possible. It hurts when I think of what could have been but, I know that God has given me the life I was meant to live. I see friends with their families and it hurts me to my core but, to get upset is to have disdain in God and the life he has blessed me with. It is a hard life but I’m living it, not to the best of my ability, but I’m trying everyday to appreciate what I have and not to compare to others. So what I thought is in fact what I got, God has blessed me with what I’m meant to have when I’m meant to have it. He will also continue to bless me with what I am meant to have as I continue to live and grow on this earth.