This is my tea...
I go out, see friends, run errands, enter the world, but I go home and immediately put on my ice pack. Around 4 pm the pain becomes too unbearable to go back out, to even FaceTime with friends. I smoke some lavender weed, make some peppermint tea and rotate ice packs until I can go to bed. This has unfortunately been my life for the past few years. Pain I ignored for so long that it literally grew more pain. But after seeing 13 specialists, trying 11 methods to healing, 3 mouth appliances, dozens of scans and x-rays and EVEN TONGUE SURGERY, I was left with only a list of doctors who told me I wouldn’t be able to eat or talk in the near future and there was nothing they could do to help me.
In 3 months I am GETTING FIXED. I have a real live surgeon ready to change my life. Someone who has actual patients on the other side of this hell. People who I met and who told me they were where I’m at and now they get to live a pain-free life.
As I’m typing this I’m tearing up. Thinking about waking up the day of my surgery knowing at the end of that day I will actually be healing. The thought of my head touching my pillow when I go to bed instead of an ice pack. The thought of being able to answer my friends’ calls past 4 pm without having to tell them I’m in too much pain to talk. Being able to stay out somewhere beautiful with my dog because I don’t have to get home to my freezer. Traveling without having to arrange if there will be ice in my hotel. Not having to lug my ginormous cooler with me wherever I go that will be more than a few hours. I can start dating again, taking trips with friends, making dinner plans! The life I truly want that has been just out of reach for too long is actually knocking on my door.
If you’ve read my blog or know me in real life, you’ll know this attitude hasn’t always been here. My life wasn’t something I looked forward to for over 15 years. The idea of going through double jaw surgery with 5 days in a hospital, a month in Dallas, Texas, 6 weeks liquid diet and 6 months of a swollen face would have literally been a joke to me. But now it’s the most incredible thing to think about. It’s all I have left to do before I can enter this next chapter in my life. The one where I did the work AND I fully get to enjoy the outcome!
The crazy thing is, even if you showed me proof, footage of me waking up to the Pacific Ocean crashing on my doorsteps and living a fit and healthy lifestyle with my perfect chocolate lab, I still wouldn’t have wanted it. That’s what depression is. A cloud over perception. It was an impossible concept to me at the time, loving life. It’s not that I didn’t want to, I just couldn’t grasp wanting anything.
So many people have asked me what my company does. My goals for my blog and what I want my brand to represent. Of course, I’m thrilled when I can nudge anyone on a more enlightened path. Whether something I say is heard by the right person at the right time, or my hike reviews inspire someone to get out and enjoy healthy choices. But my true calling, my personal connection to what I do and what I hope to achieve, is giving hope to those who feel hopeless. Telling anyone who may feel completely defeated with no imagination of a life turned around, that I too felt that way. But now look where I am. The clouds don’t hide the light anymore.
The incredible thing about living a life I’m so proud of now is understanding it can never be taken from me. Of course, shit happens. For heaven’s sake, literally, my brother died as soon as I got my life together. But I had the tools I needed to deal. To grow. To grasp what living a fulfilling life truly means. The choices I can make, I make logically. The rest, I deal with. I remember light needs time to rest. Darkness makes room for more appreciation. Nobody is given a life without hardships. All we can do is find a way to accept and nurture our soul. How to soak in and make the most of the good. I am optimistic for the future but focused on the now. Prepared for anything, because I can’t lose. If I always try my best to be the best me, that is living my best life. That is loving life unconditionally.
Whenever someone apologizes for what I went through, those 15 years surviving with no desire to live, I tell them, “don’t be!” Today, I get to be strong and I get to trust my strength. Prideful of the work I achieved to get to where I am. To be my own superhero. I live every day like I knew what it was like to have it taken away. A sense of pure serenity knowing nothing can defeat all I’ve become. A foundation so sturdy I have the ability to be knocked down and bounce back. To continue building. There are no limits on how high I can stand, and I will never crumble back to where I started.
I have thought a lot about what my life would be like without the misguidance of medicine. Maybe I would have fought less with my parents or my brother growing up. Maybe I went to my prom or felt accomplished at my high school graduation. Maybe I would have graduated college and started a career based on some interest I chose to pursue. Maybe I wouldn’t have been overweight growing up or have stretch marks today as a reminder. I could have been happy, interested, goal-oriented and confident. I won’t get to know what my life could have been like, but thinking about being anywhere else in my journey right now feels unsuitable and unworthy.
Today, I am where I dream of being. I see the world in this glow where anything is possible. I understand hardships, pain and darkness but I believe in the power of the universe. Something about exploring the earth and the mountains and the oceans, being reminded how big this puzzle of life is. Whatever feels overwhelming or too heavy to escape is only temporary. There is always new opportunity, new paths presented or reevaluated perspective to discover. My new beginning is more valuable than a re-do. I get to live this life, my improved life, knowing every day I created it for myself. I get to experience the kind of light that pierces through the darkness. The colors and the beauty that shimmer in the life I found through storms. To wish away the pieces of my past that led me to my magical present wouldn’t make sense. I didn’t know it at the time, but every ounce of doubt and darkness I once carried with me has allowed for a brighter, more hopeful future. Some might say I was dealt a crappy hand in life, but I found a way to win. There was a time when I wanted to fold, turn in my cards and quit. Now, I win every day. I’m all in and addicted to thriving, learning and growing. My happiness is unstoppable, and to me, my life is unbeatable.
The strength in the relationships I have today with my parents and my brother comes from a long road of loyal, supportive love. Now I can support myself, too. I am so proud of my progress. All the hard work I put into my weight-loss and inner-development. I carry this pride with me as I continue to feel good and take care of my body. Not only have I found passions in life that bring me pure happiness, but it’s become my calling and my mission to share and promote the kind of happiness I believe everyone can find. It is my slogan because it is simply most important to see sparkly. Whatever your life might look like, there is sparkle within you. Access that sparkle, and you have the potential to brighten your life with the most vibrant outlook and uplifting attitude. See sparkly, live sparkly!