Sometimes I struggle, sometimes I fall… but I always get up.

Tomorrow is my mom’s birthday.

She would have been 61, instead her life was cut short. We were not close, life came very hard to her and she couldn’t escape the stronghold of her family which ultimately led to her demise. I have no contact with her side of the family, nor do I want any. Her passing woke me up and for her birthday I want to celebrate what I learned from her (these might not be sunny, but they are real)

  1. My Lupus can be linked to the alcohol fetal syndrome, my mom drank and smoked while I was in the tummy – I forgive her for this burden that she has given me. Recently James and I have started discussing children, the drive I have to be the best/healthiest version of myself comes from her.
  2. Negativity is a pit and it will kill you. Life came hard to my mother – she couldn’t escape her family. She was drowning and none of them tried to save her, they enabled the bad behaviors that took her down. I try my best to keep negative entities out of my life, I have no time for being enabled by people who don’t have my best interests at heart. I have no time for people who help me get stuck in negative thinking, this leads to stress and stress leads to flares. I have no time being the negative pit I was before, it’s much easier being positive and smiling through it. I am not lying when I say I feel that negativity will kill you, it is a dark scary force and hard to overcome once it has you in its clutches.
  3. Pain. Tolerate it. My mom passed from sepsis and internal bleeding from ulcers caused by over the counter pain meds. She also had a failing liver from being an alcoholic. Pain sucks, I suffer from chronic pain and painsomnia, but I am a non-medicated Lupie. This means that I DO NOT medicate for the pain I experience in my daily life. I rarely take over the counter pain pills (it’s only when James makes me because I have hit a wall of nonfunctioning). This also means that I DO NOT medicate for the symptoms aside from pain, unless going through a flare.
  4. Getting help. I see a therapist. I used to think this was weak, and I would just hold the feelings in and digest them. My mom did that too, she was mentally sick and never medicated properly; leading to a painful childhood for me. Alcohol is not a drug to help. I medicate for my anxiety and OCD, and I focus on making sure to medicate – I know what I went through because she didn’t and I don’t want to cause anyone pain from my instabilities.
  5. Putting myself first. This is one that I struggle with, but I try to make myself a focus every day. My mom let many outside forces kill her, I have made the decision to cut those outside forces out, my health/my feelings/my stress come first!

As the eve of her birthday I spend time pushing out dark thoughts and insecurities, I struggle with being reminded of the mean things she used to say to me, or that side of the family. There is solace in knowing that she cannot hurt me ever again.

All of my strength to overcome, deal with chronic pain, be a person come from her – I am better than how I could have turned out.

I am in pain everyday – but I work out. I have a grade 2 torn hip flexor – but I work out. I have moments of insecurity – I overcome them. I’ve been turned down for jobs – I ask why and move on. I’ve been let go from a job – I overcame and grew. I go through flares (pretty often) – but I work through them.

I take vitamins (like so many vitamins), I work out (lifting, cardio and yoga), and I try to eat things that won’t target my GI issues.

You will emerge from this nightmare like the powerful, beautiful, resilient person that you are. It can be hard to remember this when you feel like a shell of the person you once were. But trust me: you are capable of overcoming so much more than you think.

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