A lot has happened just in the past few days!

I was doing some research on fibro a few days ago, and learned quite a bit. This site has been a huge help in understanding my situation in layman's terms, and kinda coming to grips with the fact that, hey, I'm not the only one who goes through this! I mean, I knew that before, but it was more of an intellectual assent, rather than a realization that my struggles are shared by others. Granted, each one of us struggles uniquely, buuuuuut... I'm not as alone as I sometimes feel. (It seems that whenever I hear of others who have fibro, or meet them--which is a bit rarer-- it's either discouraging because they're totally disabled now despite their best efforts, or it doesn't really affect them and they don't understand why I have such a problem with it. Either way, I come away feeling kinda... mer. Oddly enough, the person I identify with most and draw the most courage and inspiration from are my friends with cancer!)

While researching J's gift, I ended up coming across a book that deals with sex when you've got a chronic illness. I, of course, don't seem to need much help in that area lol, but I did the "Look Inside!" feature, out of curiosity, and what I read blew me away. The section that I read was not about sex, really, but about the different "myths" about people with chronic illnesses. I ended up ordering the book, because I feel that it will help me better come to grips with my condition and not get so down on myself for being "compromised" and not being "enough".

I tell you, the Should Monster has a heyday with my illnesses, because when it whispers in my ear that I should be functioning at a higher level than I am... I agree! I want to be better than I am, and I find myself in dangerous territory. It is a constant battle to maintain hope and courage without crossing the line into Should-fueled functioning. I did overdo it yesterday, and I'm paying for it today. (I'm actually sitting in my rheumatologist's waiting room as I type this, and I'm going to tell him how badly I'm doing, and how rapidly the decline is going. I'm going to tell him that I literally cannot function without painkillers anymore, and even when I take them, it's to keep the pain at a 3 or 4 so that I can function. It doesn't take away the pain. It just makes it bearable.)

While in yoga last week, we chose an affirmation/intention to repeat as a mantra while we went through our movements that day, and I chose to repeat, "I am perfect health." I've been trying to maintain that as a mantra throughout the week, but I honestly felt like a hypocrite when I say that, because I'm not perfect health, and that's pretty obvious. So am I to deny reality in favor of wishful thinking? Then I got to thinking about what "perfect health" means, and I wonder if "perfect health" doesn't mean something different for every person? Like honoring your practice, finding your own personal, optimal balance... I dunno. Still figuring it out. But one intention that really worked for me, and that I've found coming back to me quite frequently, is one that says, "I am enough."

That's especially important for me to believe right now as I'm down so low health-wise. I mean, a One Thing A Day Rule? I could so easily run with that and kick myself into a depressive, discouraged spiral... but I won't. Because no matter where my health is at, no matter what my abilities to achieve are, I am simply enough. My being enough does not hinge on what I can or cannot do, it is because I simply  am. Even if I were in a vegetative state, dependent upon machines for the very breath in my lungs, I would still be enough. And you know what? My beloved agrees! He has proven that he will not leave my side, no matter how much or how little I can do, no matter how ill I feel, no matter that I can't take care of him in all the ways that I would like to, that I can't fulfill my dream ideal of "wife" or "partner". Nope, I am enough for him, simply because I am. He loves me, not my chores :) And that is an amazing, amazing truth to hold on to.

The same with my family. They've seen me through so many ups an downs, twists and turns... so many changes in my life and lifestyle while trying to be a good person and live a good life... but they've always just loved me, because I am enough. Whether I'm a SuperChristian or a fornicating heathen, whether I can take the dogs for a jog or have to depend on the Bling Chariot to get around, whether I cook amazing food or cook amazing food (Hehe...), they just love me, because I am enough. Me, I, just myself, I am enough. It doesn't matter what I can and cannot do. And I feel the same about each and every one of them. They are enough. They really are. So that's something that I've been hanging onto lately.

So, back to the fibro research! That was a divergence, but an important one that I needed to get out.

I realized after reading an article about fibro and pregnancy that C and I will have to be very intentional about starting a family. We can't just show up pregnant one day, because I will have to get off of all my meds prior to becoming pregnant, else they might adversely affect the baby. And we saw how that kind of thing goes with the colonoscopy, (very, very badly, if done abruptly) so I'll have to spend a good period of time weaning myself off of them, particularly the painkillers... And that means that I'll have to be in a decent place with my fibro to begin with, so right now is clearly not a good time to be considering a family! (Also, I'm not allowed to be pregnant during the massage therapy program, so it's rather impossible at this point...) So basically, we should start planning our pregnancy about a year in advance, to give me time to wean off of the meds and rely more heavily on alternative therapies to manage the pain and symptoms. It could definitely be a good thing, as I might be able to simply stay off of the meds afterward, which is my goal for some point in the future anyway... and I'll have to be off of them as long as I'm breastfeeding, of course. I did read that, though fibro does not adversely affect a pregnancy in the physical sense, it does aggravate the pregnancy symptoms that women typically experience, and I guess pregnant ladies are more prone to fibro flares. So it really could be a miserable time for me, and afterward could be pretty bad (because one of my triggers is lack of sleep, and we all know that newborns don't exactly let you lounge around in bed all day...), but I just have to decide whether it's worth it and if it's something that I really want. (I do.) C will have to step in and help balance out the domestic load for me, or we'll have to have someone come in and help for a while, like a live-in nanny or something, because I don't think that I can just hit the ground running like some moms can. It'll definitely be a planning scenario, that's for sure! No spontaneity here, lol. And while I'm on birth control for other reasons, I am very grateful for the fact that they let us decide when we want to have children. It is a distinct advantage, in our case.

And the last thing that I wanted to touch on before I get to my One Thing for today (putting away laundry and unpacking my suitcase-- I haven't gotten to it yet, because other One Things seemed to be more pressing!) is the wedding.

I was definitely disappointed to find that so many of the people that I wanted to share my big day with weren't able to come. You hear that saying about how the wedding is about the bride and groom, right? Well, for me that's not entirely true. For me, the day is about us, yes, but also about the people that I care about. That is a very important part of the occasion for me, and I felt like that was being ripped away from me, leaving me helpless and sad. Another part of it is that I have so many people that I love scattered so far and wide, and they've all impacted my life in such a huge way-- these people have helped to make me who I am today! So how can I have a celebration that is essentially about two people without honoring those who helped contribute to the forming of those two? It doesn't make sense to me. Many of these people have never met each other, and I feel like they should, because they're all puzzle pieces that make up the whole that is my heart. So I had really set a lot of hopes upon all my loved ones being there, I guess, and to not be able to do anything about them not coming, well... it was a bit tragic.

You can imagine my overwhelmed joy, gratitude, and utter shock when C (adopted mom) called me yesterday to inform me that they've been working behind the scenes and have decided that if I can give the money I'd set aside to help J travel to the wedding (which she won't be needing anymore, obviously) to them, then they will put together the rest that's needed so that H (one of my besties and my day-of coordinator) can drive down with K and J, as a wedding gift to me.

Let me repeat that in less convoluted terms.

C and D are gifting me with the presence of H, J, and K at my wedding. Sure, they're my day-of coordinator and my musicians, but they're more than that-- they're my friends, my sisters, my companions in the journey of life! They've been there for some of the hardest parts of my healing journey, and now they get to see all that hard work come to fruition as we celebrate my happy, healthy relationship. It would have been amazing for them to come without any problems, but for this gift to come from C and D makes it super, super meaningful. It's like a part of C and D will be there, because they sent my friends. They are the ambassadors of love from C and D, and I am profoundly humbled to realize that they love me that much. (And why? Because I am enough. ^_^) It literally brings tears to my eyes, because I don't know what to do with that kind of love, or even how to absorb it, really. It makes me want to just throw myself at them in service and somehow show them how grateful I am for them and how much I love them, too!

I am going to work my tail off to get this internet idea to become a reality. I know it's a possibility, but I am going to make it work! I need to be able to share this with them. My gift to them, I guess....

See how happy I am? It's because of you, what you taught me... the hope you gave me... I wouldn't have believed in happy, healthy marriages if it weren't for you two. I had no hope, but you changed all that. So see how happy we are? It's because of you. Thank you.

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