If You Grow

I can’t remember exactly when it was…

One of my sisters was getting ready for her third or was it the fourth parade that summer as Queen of such and such. (It seemed as one or the other was always crowned ‘something!’) The other was helping her primp. I was just sitting at the table watching all the frenzied crowns, gowns, and sash adjustments. My mother turned to me and said, “Well, you didn’t get the looks, but you got the brains.”

I didn’t realize at the time that those words were a gift. Those words meant I could do anything! Be anything! I just couldn’t be ‘pretty.’ To a teenage girl, I admit those words stung at the time.

I have two sisters and three brothers. I guess they are all brilliant in their own way. I must have some sort of brilliance within me by default? I mean, I came from the same genetic pool they did.

So I grew into adulthood and knew I had to use my brains to get somewhere in this world! Obviously, I couldn’t rely on my looks or lack thereof. My mom burst that bubble while I was still young enough to do something about it. Funny how I now look back at that as a defining moment. I appreciate those words now.

So I learned to hustle! I learned how to learn. I was hungry for success and never stopped until I met my goal. I wrote many posts about my life before I became chronically ill. Most of you might remember reading the “Before I Tripped Over a Stone” series. Life was never dull for me.

When you are raised to be a ‘do’er’ and that gets taken away from you, your identity suffers in crisis. Who are you if you can’t do what you know how to do? What good are you to anyone? Do you have any worth now that you are broken? Devastation sets in…

We can approach this devastation in one of two ways. The first way is to fight back with everything you have inside you. The second way is just giving up. How does that look? How will you feel about yourself if you just give up? Certainly nothing ‘pretty’ about that! Let’s not give up. We will fight!

There is one crucial thing you must do while you are engaged in battle. Many of us have not or could not stop long enough to say goodbye to our previous selves. We are so busy fighting! We simply forgot to say goodbye and grieve for the part of our selves we lost to our illness. We need to say goodbye to the person we were, grieve that person for as long as it takes, then welcome the person that we are now, even in our broken state.

Why?

Anything can change the periphery of our lives in an instant! In one hot second, you can go from life to death, healthiness to illness, rich to poor. In a moment, life can change. In a moment, life usually does change.

Who is this new person staring at you every morning in the mirror? Are they kind? Are they a warrior? Are you caring for this new you? Are you kind to your new self? Do you realize you get to live two lifetimes in this one life…?

Have you grieved?

 

img_0456~Kim

Author: I tripped over a stone.

I am happily married to Jeff. We are full-time RVers. We have two Goldendoodles; Dora and Dezzie. I have had Fibromyalgia for over 20 years and have learned a few tricks to deal with it, but it is my stone in the road! I am a Fibromyalgia Advocate. I have co-authored a book, The Shadow Boxers, Fighting Fibromyalgia (your personal journal.) It is available on Amazon and on my blog. I enjoy making Tribe Bracelets, also available now on my blog. Stone in the Road is another blog of mine where I post a collection of stories by bloggers that I follow.

30 thoughts on “If You Grow”

    1. Awe! Well, totally honest… my sisters did get the looks! 😆 But I prefer my brains! There is so much work to do when you have a chronic illness! Wow. Then throw grief in there too! I appreciate you, my friend! Thank you!😊💜

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    1. Thank you. But this is about using our time to grieve, and then fight like hell! We have incredible strength to not only carry this disease but to fight for better medical treatment! Right Margie? You are one of the toughest Fibro Warriors I know!😊💜

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    1. Hello Viola! Well, you keep living. There is no way to grieve properly. That is a very individual journey we all must take. There are no rules, you’ll get done grieving when you are done! I do so like to hear nothing is stopping you from living anymore! Yay!😊💫💫💫

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  1. Happy New Year Kim!!!

    As for the grieving, I think I’m still working my way around that process. I’ve noticed in this last year more willingness to not accept certain limitations and the tendency to fight more. I’m ready to really change up some things and fight like hell this year – for my “new” self, for MY second life!
    Thanks for sharing this insight my BEAUTIFUL friend.

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  2. I have one sister and we both got brains and not the other stuff? But my sister had brains and knew exactly what she wanted to do ( unlike me! ) – be a doctor. The only big blip was that soon after graduating she discovered she had Lupus and later on had two other major medical dramas. So she has always had to curb how much she worked and becoming a surgeon was out, but being a GP was surely the best path. With her own medical experiences she has plenty of empathy with her patients and is unlikely to assume they ‘are imagining’ their symptoms!

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    1. Janet! Whoa… I bet your sis is a great GP. And I think you did just fine with your brains! All the other stuff is bunk! We have a lot of work to do in this life, many roads to explore and journeys to take. It’s best we do it without fear of breaking a nail! 😊💫

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  3. Kim, happy new year to you.

    This post is profound as ever.

    You are VERY BEAUTIFUL, bright and and full of life.

    Giving in isn’t an option, we may wallow for a bit, but then we get into gear. Whatever life hands us, we owe to ourself to live to smile, to bring joy to ourself and those around us.

    Do you realize you get to live two lifetimes in this one life…?… you know when I reflect on my life the last decade and back to when I was young, I think I have had so many chapters of life where I feel did I really live that life, was that really me and not in a negative way ! My life is so different now it seems it never stays still.

    Great post , enjoyed it. Made me think as your posts often do..

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    1. Bella! Yay! I’m happy you are able to reflect… did you really love that life? Indeed! Chapter by chapter we live our story… there is an ending shared by all. Oh my. What wonderful chapters you must have! Strength, weakness, joy, and sorrow. Triumph, tragedy, love, and anger. So much to fit in our journey called life! Once healthy then Not, a chronic illness makes you address those chapters a bit earlier than you wanted to… often, we must start an entire new book! I call that two lifetimes in one! Thank you, Bella!😊💜

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  4. Wise words as always, Kim. I think those tough times where we have to use our resources are also the times that make us, that show us we’re tougher and smarter than we may have appreciated. But come on. You “didn’t get the looks”? I call BS. You got the looks, the brains & the heart. You got it all, Kim – don’t ever feel you’re anything but the whole shebang! 🎉xx

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    1. I’m glad. I was not the same after I got sick. My ‘shoot the hostage’ attitude had to change. Where once I couldn’t stand looking at that sickly person staring back at me (I hated her for not getting better) I definitely had to learn to embrace her. I had to put the kick ass employee away and become quieter, softer and much more understanding. Maybe because it was so abrupt. I like the Steve that you are! 😊🎉

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