Wednesday, November 20

I spill my guts in this one

Last weekend O and I celebrated our anniversary in New York. We took that trip to Portland in September kinda also to celebrate our anniversary (ten years baby!) But...I was super sick on that trip. One night when we were meeting with friends to have dinner I had to pace up and down the street trying my hardest not to puke/shit/faint/implode. Finally I took some charcoal and it made me better. Then I had a dinner that was painful. But what are you gonna do? I didn't sleep, I couldn't be touched. It was. Um. Not hot. At all. It was due to the zero stomach acid/leaky gut bullshit I have going on.

I swear I haven't been this happy, or had this much fun in ages.

You will (better be) be elated to hear that I felt great while we were in New York. I have strict diet to follow, so that was a slight bummer..who am I kidding. I can live life without crippling stomach pain and bloating so who gives a shit if I can't eat what I like. I can eat. At all. Thats pretty epic if you ask me. I am not drinking, as alcohol is inflammatory, and also fucks with my hormones. Lordy I don't need my hormones getting messed with any more than they already are. So basically I just drink grapefruit juice and pretend its a cocktail. In New York I splurged and drank a few dirty martinis. They. Were. Marvelous.

It was so great to have fun again! We kept looking at  each other and saying "this is so fun!" I never have fun anymore, did I mention that? I haven't been very social because I get sick so often (nausea, unexplained crippling stomach pains, ass-slapping fatigue, my throat closes up and I can't talk ((wha wha?)) blinding headaches. I basically have party pooper disease. Ha!

I really love me a dirty martini. We like hotel lounges, especially really posh ones in New York, especially off hours. Its like a whole other world in there. This was at Sirios in the Pierre after we had a little nap in the park.


Wanna know what is so great? I feel better. I have some witches stirring a cauldron and making magic for me. By witches I mean a few naturopaths. And its working. I am taking so many supplements, herbs, potions and lotions that I can't even begin to make a list. I still get tired easily so even in New York I quite literally just passed out early a night or two. I had so many extra things to pack for our trip that I had to take an extra large suitcase and check it. I don't even care. Its working! I almost can't believe it, I think I am having fantom pains because sometimes I can't actually believe that I am just sitting here and I feel...normal. Dare I say healthy?

I will skip ahead and not go on about all of the awfulness of the last year.

My favorite hotel! We love staying at The Bowery and I look forward to it every year. The bellhops know us now. Is there anything more fabulous than room service? I used to need a cappuccino ever morning but now I don't have any diary. I love my black coffee in the mornings now. I can't give up coffee.

As you can imagine there has been a lot of fallout in my life. I withdrew from social activities because, maybe you can relate, but I got tired of being uncomfortable and not at home. Maybe I got depressed for real. I also cried. Lets see, I cried every single day. Basically I cried every single day for a year, and then like all day long for several months. This, after a year of doing fertility treatments (newsflash, it was the fertility treatments that made my already weak system much worse. Thank you fertility industrial complex that I inexplicably got myself caught up with,  I paid out of pocket for poison.) I woke up crying. Like desperate sobbing fueled by anger and anxiety and images of my life slipping away like sand on a windy day. My dear sweet O is always so supportive. But can you image your partner in life acting like that all.the.time. No, me either. It would be hard for me.

Birthplace of Roosevelt. Can you even deal? Right down the street from Gramercy Tavern, one of my favorite restaurants ever. 

O has never been sick, not really sick. Ever. He does his best to understand but, and I promise you, no one else knows. No one else can imagine. Thats why people form support groups when they get the wind knocked out of them in life. Ohhhh. Thats why. So one night I was doing the usual and crying and muttering to myself and feeling really sorry for myself when I realized this: I have to get my shit together dude. I can't be a person who overcomes a terrible situation if I wallow in it. I have to have faith in my doctors, allow it to take its time, and I have to stop obsessing and spending every inch of energy on trying to control this situation. I was making a bad situation worse. Much worse.

Is this the coziest lobby you have ever seen? My happy place is sitting by that fire with my love and giggling madly and sipping a martini.

So. I started a gratitude journal. I also write down when I do something I am really ashamed of, or things that scare me or boys that are cute and teachers I hate. After I got an actual firm diagnosis it was like my anxiety faded away and I had a choice. I could grab it and hold it here with me and focus on the things still unkown, or I could embrace the future and let go of all the negative stuff and let it live in the past. It has no place in my future. (Diagnosis: High estrogen that along with low adrenal function since teen years caused endometriosis and infertility  Low thyroid function (thyroiditis) that caused low stomach acid that lead to leaky gut and some pretty bad food allergies and systemic inflammation and an immune system that is going bazerk trying to heal it and just making everything worse. Mal-absorption meaning not getting vitamins from food. Awesome)

I also stopped talking about it so much. Why? Because I was so focused on getting better, on understanding why I felt like I was dying from the inside out that I obsessed over it. I let it dominate me. I let it make me even more selfish that I already am. I was not a person who could support others, or be present or live in the moment. I couldn't be spontaneous, or fun or anything but miserable and did I mention that I cried a lot? I wasn't having fun because I was choosing to focus on not having fun.

I found this on pinterest and it was like it was written just for me. I feel so much peace when I read this.

So I have been letting go. Just letting it wash off of me. I feel like when I scrub my skin it is opening up my pores and smoke is coming off of me. Melting negativity is leaving my body. Sooo wishy washy but you know what. You gotta go deep when you need to. You gotta get spiritual and have faith and embrace the healing power of positivity. It is changing me permanently this letting go. It is changing how I paint. It is really changing how I paint. I crave subtle energy now, peace and calm. I am so moved by the expression in a single line. I crave simplicity and at the same time transparency. Its like before I was holding so much inside of myself that my painting was the only place I could escape from it. And now it is all open, all coming out and so much a part of me that it is reaching out and turning my head and whispering in my ear. Its my aha moment.

So wonderful to go to the Neue gallery and have brunch at Cafe Sabarsky as we always do when we visit. My favorite person in my favorite place. Pretty sweet.

I can't do anything about having a wonky body. I will never stop fixing myself, then falling apart again. I will never just reach a place where I don't have to work hard to make myself better, or deal with whatever there is to deal with. Why did it take me so freaking long to figure this out? But I choose to look at this as the beginning of something new. I won't write blog posts anymore about how I am almost better, just about to be perfect but not quiet. I didn't want to write a negative blog post either, but its good to get it out and maybe you can relate with this. Maybe you need a helping hand, like I did, do, always will. I feel like saying this all out loud and admitting how badly I have handled this shitty situation is healing in and of itself. I didn't reach some prize, I didn't pass the test but I did finally get that it doesn't matter.

24 comments:

  1. Wow--this is so beautiful and profound. Your words and the way you express yourself is so moving. Thanks for sharing such an intimate part of yourself. This is something I will come back to read again and again. Love th Pinterest quote too. XO, Carrie

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    1. Thanks for your encouragement deary. I appreciate that you know how I feel and we are kindred spirits.

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  2. You articulated everything so well. I appreciate your transparency and I can totally relate! You are not alone and you are a true beauty inside and out.

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  3. So, so happy you are feeling better!!! Awesome, that is! If I can just say one teeny, tiny thing... you were really , really sick... it's okay that you cried, even for months! Your hormones and neurotransmitters and probably other things were so out of whack you didn't know if you were coming or going. So my teeny tiny thing is... In the midst of such illness it seems entirely normal to obsess about it and constantly try to figure it out... this is just my opinion, but pls don't be too hard on yourself. You just came thru an incredibly tough time and to your credit, you persevered until you found doctors who could help you... not an easy task. I like how you say things are slipping off of you now and you are opening up and letting go... that's because you are getting better and your body is bouncing back.

    I am learning the letting go too. Past ghosts that affect or have affected my behavior in relationships. Time to go... bus leaving in 5 minute! See ya...

    I am also being gentle with myself right now... I've just come out of a prolonged 3 yr period of bam, bam, bam.... one huge mega life crisis after another. I am JUST now starting to feel somewhat back on track ... adrenal exhaustion, hormonal imbalances, hypothyroidism, vitamin deficiencies... check, check, check. But the good news is, I have an art show opening in a few weeks, I am the most energized I've been in a long time... I am creative and can't stop thinking about the new things I am working on.

    As a good friend of mine once said, ... forward thru the fog!

    ps... the Pema Chodron quote reminds me of the Greek myth of Persephone, goddess of the underworld, who descended into the depths each fall and emerged each spring with new life... the goddess of vegetation. I listened to a tape (I think by Shakti Gawain) that described this myth and said that we repeat these cycles as well, going into the depths and eventually to spring forth with new life... I have to remind myself of this because I often forget down cycles are just part of life! Here's to new life... whenever it comes.

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    1. Thanks for your support Carol, I appreciate it so much that you took the time to write me. I agree, I was sick, and I won't beat myself up about it anymore. I love how you say that you are being gentle with yourself, that is so well said. I love that idea, keeping it for myself :) Congrats on your art show! How marvelous! I love the visual of Persephone, so beautiful and so meaningful. I just love it, and have been thinking about it since I read your comment. Thank you!

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  4. Whenever you write a post like this, I feel like you're letting us into your diary and for as personal and specific as this post is, there is a lesson to be taken for every one who reads this. I have been battling unemployment for the better part of two years and I have thought every day the thoughts you shared here about your health. Not to mention the daily--sometimes hourly, crying. How will I get through this? What is this storm trying to teach me? Why am I burdening my husband with all this pain?

    I am so happy to hear that you are feeling better and that you have seemed to come out on the other side of these long, draining health issues. And if you should have a health relapse, it seems like you are stronger now than you were before.

    Thank you for sharing this. I feel like a little more equipped to deal with my struggles now too after reading your honesty here.

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    1. Oh sweet Ashley! I am so sorry to hear this. I hate to hear that you are crying too (its awful isn't it!) I learned that stressing out about how my husband was dealing with my issues was actually making me more stressed, and stressing him out that much more. I am so surprised that when I just let the situation be bad, and allow myself to be in a place where I can't solve it that my husband doesn't judge me for not being perfect (I guess thats where the stress came from). He is just happy that I am not freaking out. Big lesson learned. I am so happy that my post touched you. I think you should become a designer! You have a gift my dear.

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  5. I'm so glad you have reached your ah-ha moment (I wanna get there too). You seem very clear and centered. Looking forward to more blog posts and new art!!
    BTW - you look fabulous!!

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    1. Why thank you darling :) I am looking forward to seeing the art I make too!

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  6. Wow. Awesome honest authentic post. I love Pema, and I think that's from her book When Things Fall Apart. I read it years ago, but want to re-read it after seeing this. I have noticed the dramatic shift in your painting. So glad that it is an expression of your own shift. Thank you for bringing us along on your journey of healing. We all have places that need to be healed.

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    1. I am so going to order those books right this second. Thank you :)

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  7. SO glad to read this. yay for a great trip and great journey of well being. And for what's it's worth? Very inspiring. I was going to have wine with some girlfriends tonight. (not sposed too. No grain-no sugar) and now I'm not going too. I'll have bubbly water with lemon:) Me and feeling as good as I can is more important.

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    1. Jennifer! How great that you are sticking to your guns. After a few times, you will see that its easy to do. I like to order grapefruit soda, with a lime. It looks pretty, looks like a cocktail and the citric acid helps digestion and its fun and tasty!

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  8. I can highly, highly, highly recommend Pema Chodron if that little passage is singing to you. You can get ahold of talks she's given on Buddhist retreats (I started with Getting Unstuck and then moved up to True Happiness) and both are incredible. Wonderful to paint to.

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  9. Do you know, this is the perfectly timed post for me today. I saw your Pema quote on pinterest this week and pinned it myself anticipating that I might need it today. My son, who's 3yrs old, has multiple food allergies and we were at the hospital today doing a food challenge to see if he could deal with baked egg (which is a pretty key food for a 3yr old with birthday parties/cake and all) and although he dealt with a small amount just fine, when he got to 1/4 muffin, he had an acute reaction and we had to use the epi pen on him. All turned out fine, but it was distressing in the moment for sure. And who knows how these food allergies will progress for him. I used to think that I could solve this by being a manic allergy mum and trying to solve it all, but recently have come to accept that we do the best we can and accept and integrate the highs and lows of that journey along the way (or try to!). This was why I pinned the Pema quote, anticipating that if everything didn't go his way today, that I'd have something inspiring to read this evening. So thank you, for the pin, for being honest and for being so authentic - a rare thing indeed...

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    1. Lauran, I am so sorry that you are dealing with these issues with your child, how scary and frustrating. I like your attitude though, to do your best and not beat yourself up for not being able to make it perfect. Thank you for your comment. Sending you good vibes :)

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  10. My husband is constantly reminding me that "life is managed, not cured." Thank goodness for supportive spouses.

    Many prayers for healing and comfort. Love your authenticity....in your life and your work. Courage

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  11. Ok - you are probably going to think this is weird, but I think your problem is a wheat intolerance. Check out www.wheatbellyblog.com and www.marksdailyapple.com and really all you can from Gary Taubes. My SIL had infertility and PCOS issues until she went low carb. My best friend had debilitating GI issues and horrible migraines for years, until she eliminated wheat. Try it for a few weeks and you may be pleasantly surprised.

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    1. Thanks Kristin. You are right! Wheat is pretty much poison to me. I think its that its so genetically modified, personally. I believe it to be a hidden issue for a lot of people!

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  12. i just wanted to tell you that i think you are such an awesome lady. congrats on embracing life the way it is and living it fully (with such a handsome dude, i gotta say.) and congrats on your anniversary!!! i am always in awe of how honest you are here.

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    1. Hey! Thanks girl, I appreciate the positivity. I totally agree that my hubs is so easy on the eyes :)

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  13. Happy Thanksgiving Michelle!

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  14. long time lover of your art and popped over to your blog today. just wanted to say thank you for being so honest and reminding me that we've all got our personal struggles. cannot tell you how much your words helped me this morning! I've been meaning to read one of Pema's books and this sealed the deal. wishing you all the best and so happy to hear you're moving forward!

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    1. Leah, thank you for your support! Yes, we all have our things to deal with, and I can't tell you how happy it makes me feel that you find comfort in my post. I can't wait to really get into this book myself, I think maybe an audio version so I can have it fill the air!

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