Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New Beginnings

Things are good. I have had some incredible things happening in my life lately that I must share. Sorry for neglecting my blog all summer. BUSY!!! I have missed many of my blogging friends and have been thinking of you. With the kids back in school and somewhat of a fall schedule settling in, I turned to my blog roll one afternoon. I now have two kids in school, 1 in preschool and 1 baby who is still napping at that same time which equals 4 hours of me time a week!!! Slowly but surely a new world is opening up to me. Anyhow, I came across a comment from 'Mommy with Rheumatoid Arthritis' where she suggested a book to me. It is called When The Body Says No by Gabor Mate. I ordered it immediately. It arrived on September 20 and I can't put it down. It is changing the way I look at everything in my life!
One thing I have always noticed when I meet others with RA is that they are the people whom I would have least expected live with chronic pain. They are happy and bubbly and seem to have everything under control. They don't complain. I've often wondered if a certain personality is prone to getting RA. My doctors have always asked about my family history but never wanted to know much about me as a person. I don't have any relatives with RA anywhere. One aunt did just pass from Scleroderma but that is it. It has always left me feeling like there is more to this disease than just unlucky genetics but I've never been able to find anything supporting these feelings...until now.
This book addresses insights into how disease can be the body's way of saying no when we cannot or will not and teaches steps to start healing. It has forced me look closely at my life and the dominating personalities in it. Who can I not say no to? What feelings am I constantly repressing? I've lived a life full of pleasing others...which is funny that I mentioned that in my last post. Everything in my life lately has been leading up to me receiving this book. I was being carefully prepared for this time.
It is amazing as I look back at my RA history... When my RA has flared up, without fail, they are times full of unimaginable stresses that I put upon myself and strong repressed feelings, usually of anger. They are times where I have perceived myself as having no control over anything in my life. It's as if I'm a pawn in a game, totally at the mercy of others. When I went into remission for 5 years it was when I moved away from all family, friends and anything familiar. I knew nobody and I thrived in that environment. It was a new beginning where I was in charge and living my life according to what I felt was best for me and my family.
This has been a very hard discovery because I have always seen my family and extended family as being good support and full of good advice. However, it is so obvious now that I've read this book, that so many times the things I do in a day are for them and not me. We once again live close by both families. Including all of our brothers and sisters...6 kids in my family and 6 kids in my husbands family! We all live within 20 minutes of each other! Why do I feel so dependent on them? It is not a coincidence (nothing in this life is) that the day I received this book in the mail was the day my parents left for a religious service mission to Sweden. They are gone for 18 months. I have been very nervous about them leaving. My mom and dad have been a huge help with my health. They have helped with my kids on days I just could not face alone. What would I do without them if my health was to take a bad turn? Could I really survive without them? YES I can and I will! This time is a gift for me to discover myself. Everything in my life has been for others and its time to find me and connect with my voice and find the courage to follow that voice.
I have been on fire with energy and clarity since reading this book. At the same time I am scared to death. It is hard to look at the very foundation of your life and have to question "Is this good for me?" Things like religion, family relationships, hobbies, goals, etc. are being examined and I feel empowered. I feel strong. It is no coincidence I just received an email informing me of a National Campaign that launched today called Managing RA: The Strong Woman's Approach. www.HealthyWomen.org/RA I feel like inspiration and knowledge is flowing freely to me right now and every direction I look, my questions are being answered! It is a new beginning for me and I can't wait to share my journey with you! God Bless!

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