Song Of The Week: “i” by Kendrick Lamar

Dreams of realities peace
Blow steam in the face of the beast
The sky can fall down, the wind can cry now
The strong in me, I still smile

This song can be interpreted many different ways, I think. However, I hear it as an anthem to loving oneself as well as standing up and smiling in the face of adversity and hard times.

The song is about someone who feels so small and defeated, yet has faith in God and stills smiles through it all. It kind of asks in a way, when it comes down to it, are you going to give into the fear, frustration and anxiety? Or are you going to stand up against all of that, lift up your head and keep on moving?

I’ve faced times when I wanted to give into my pain, allowing it to take over not only my body but my mind as well. After a while though, I know the right and healthy thing to do for myself is to pick up head and keep moving. To keep trying to find answers and to keep fighting.

This life is too beautiful and miraculous to let the bad stuff suck you in. Lift up your head and keep moving through whatever hard time you are facing right now. You all have so much to love about yourselves. Your beauty, creativity, kindness, intelligence, compassion, empathy and so much more. Love yourselves so entirely that it makes you want to stand up and scream just like Kendrick does in this song, yelling “I LOVE MYSELF!”

Acupuncture–Take One

Today, I laid in a doctor’s office with 18 needles sticking out of my face, ears, hands and feet. I have been wanting to try acupuncture for a while, and today I finally did it. My whole apprehension to needles and fainting reputation held me back for a while, but it wasn’t that bad in the end.

My neurologist and past chiropractor had suggested just giving it a try. They warned me that since everyone’s bodies are different, not to base my decision to try it on other people’s success stories or lack of success from the method. They told me some people feel a difference right away, some it takes a few visits and some don’t ever feel relief to their pain or a change in their body.

I’ve reached the point though, where I am willing to try almost anything to see what may help my head. I’m on the path to some more drastic methods, but in the mean time I’m trying everything else I can think of before diving into the more intrusive type procedures.

I can assure you I looked nowhere as peaceful and relaxed as this person here does. Not sure how one ends up looking this way with needles sticking out of your face.

Anyways, I sat there with needles in my face, ears, hands and feet for about 10 minutes. While I didn’t notice much of a difference today, I’m going to go back and see if a repeated procedure helps at all.

One positive from this appointment was getting a different opinion and insight from a different type of doctor. A doctor who thinks mechanically and a little bit outside of the box. He gave me great insight and his thoughts as to possible causes for my pain and assured me he would look into everything I handed him in order to see if he can help at all.

It’s not a doctor I would have ever really thought to go to, but he really did point out some things about my body that other doctors have not been able to do.

So if you’ve been debating whether or not to try this method yet, I say it’s worth a shot! You never know what different things you may hear or if it will help until you try it! And if I didn’t faint with the needles in, then neither will any of you!

Where’s My Dawn?

As difficult as it has become, I try my damnedest to believe that it’s always darkest before the dawn.

For roughly the past month and a half, my headaches have not left my side for a single moment. They haven’t paused for interviews, social outings or even sleep. Something like this takes a toll on one’s emotional and mental state, not to mention physical as well.

I’m a very social young adult. I have a good group of friends that I really enjoy hanging out and going out with. I have amazing family who I cherish dearly and spend a lot of my time with as well. And I have a guy who has somehow learned to put up with me through thick and thin.

But I also have these headaches that don’t care if I see or spend time with any of these people.

Being cooped up on the weekends and not being able to go out and act like the 22 year old that I am has really started to create this grey, sad cloud around me. I know there are hundreds and thousands of other people who can relate to this in some way, and I feel for them.

I try to keep these posts uplifting and positive, but even I have my moments of weakness.

Anyone with chronic pain or illness has seen the darkest at some time, but the trick is to hold onto the hope that we will one day see the dawn.

FullSizeRender (4)

I’m in the darkest now, but praying that my dawn is trailing close behind.

Song Of The Week: “Shake It Out” by Florence + The Machine

and it’s hard to dance with the devil on your back, so shake him off. ooooh!”

This song captured me the moment I first heard it and will never get old for me. Not only is her voice moving and powerful, her the lyrics are as well. Her voice is so pure and strong, it’s hard not to be entranced by it. This song has such an uplifting feel about it.

I think it’s about letting the past be the past. About letting go of your demons so that you can move forward onto something better. About not letting something bad from the past hold you back.

However, I can relate it to my health as well. For people with chronic pain, it’s hard not to get angry because of the situation we’ve been handed. I, myself, have found myself multiple times being so angry and frustrated that my headaches have taken over my life and caused me to alter everything I do because of them.

However, constant anger just leads to your own demise. I try to get my anger out by writing, crafting, cooking, hanging with friends and listening to songs like this. If you focus on something better, something more positive, the anger can disappear. We need to make anger take a seat behind happiness and joy. This song really embodies that idea. That we need to shake off our inner demons, anger and frustrations. Shake it all off because it’s always darkest before the dawn. We go through the bad times to make way for more good times.

I listen to this song when I am sad & discouraged but also when I’m feeling proud and brave.

This song is definitely worth a listen (or a few)!

Song Of The Week: Grey Street by Dave Matthews Band

How she wishes it was different
She prays to God most every night
And though she swears it doesn’t listen
There’s still a hope in her it might

This song found me during a time years back when I was feeling just like the girl this song is about: empty, a little hopeless and just wanting to change so many things about my life. Dealing with a chronic disorder, or really any type of pain, physical or emotional, takes its toll on a person’s life at one time or another. No matter how strong someone may be, there is still a part of them wanting help and answers.

I know at times that my chronic pain has left me feeling like I’ll never find answers. Like I just want to escape from my body for a little bit and not have to deal with what I’ve been given. It sometimes feels like my prayers aren’t being heard, no matter how many times I speak them.

While this song isn’t one that necessarily uplifted me during a time of need, it is one that made me feel connected to something. It made me feel a little less alone. It made me feel heard, instead of feeling like no one could hear my silent screams. When I heard this song, at the time it felt like this song was made specifically for me. It’s about reaching out to those people who feel like they’re locked away from the world around them and they can’t seem to find an escape.

Songs like this are powerful because everyone wishes to be heard, even if they don’t want to speak their thoughts outloud. Everyone wants to feel like they can relate to something else, instead of feeling like they’re the only one feeling how they are.

Dave Matthews Band does a seriously awesome job at creating songs that do that for people. This song in particular. If you aren’t a big Dave fan (are you an alien??) or you haven’t really ever listened to his songs, give them a chance. You will probably find one you feel like was written specifically for you. If you do know this song, just hit play and click repeat a few times to find a few minutes to yourself, completely blocking out the world around you.

–side note, DMB concerts are worth a trip if he’s ever in town near you and you’re feeling up to a concert–

Stronger Than Superman

A pretty bold headline there, but I’m goin for it.

Earlier today I had to get another MRI, this time with and without the contrast dye so that meant another needle to the arm to deliver the contrast dye. I’m trying to target what’s causing my headaches (as I have been trying to do for the past 8 years.) But lately I’ve been making more momentum with my neurologist and really taking different paths and options to see if I stumble upon any answers. So that meant more testing.

Not only do I hate (and often faint after) being stuck with needles, I also am slightly claustrophobic so being inside an MRI machine isn’t my idea of a Sunday Funday.

However, I didn’t exactly have a choice.

One thing that fascinates me in a really great way, is seeing how strong some people are. Especially people going through a medical problem, people who have chronic pain or a chronic disorder/illness, people who time after time, haven’t been given any answers. These people are the strongest. (I like to think I’m included in this category, heh.)

At times, we break. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be human. But we have to stay strong through all the poking and prodding because if we didn’t, we wouldn’t be fighting. We have to remain physically strong during treatments, testing, hospital visits, surgeries and periods of time where the pain is unbearable. We have to remain emotionally strong in order to not give in to depression, anxiety and such but also to help support the people who support us. We have to stay emotionally strong for others, because it’s hard on them seeing us go through these things. We have to remain mentally strong during times when we simply want to stop trying, and let life be life and just live with what we’ve got.

People who go through cancer and life-threatening illnesses are superhuman in my eyes. I know that what I go through, while it’s painful, debilitating and frustrating, it still could be much much worse. The people who have it worse and fight through all of that, I give you an everlasting standing ovation.

The strongest people around us are not the ones with the bulging biceps or toned six pack. They’re the ones who fight a battle every day even when they lose, keep on fighting.

You may not be 6’3, sporting a strong jaw and a rockin suit with an S on your chest. You can’t leap buildings in a single bound. No that’s not you. Because you, my friend are stronger than that. You are stronger than Superman.

Patience Is A Virtue

Sometimes things aren’t clear right away. That’s where you need to be patient and persevere and see where things lead.

-Mary Pierce

One of the biggest things I struggle with in life is patience. Friends and family of mine are sure to agree with that. I try my best to work on it, but we all have our flaws and impatience is one of mine. 

Being impatient brings no good into your life, though. It only makes way for worry and anxiety (Both of which I’m a frequent victim of.)  

Living with chronic pain makes it harder for me to be patient. I don’t want to wait for answers. I don’t want to wait for relief. I don’t want to wait to see if the next day I’ll feel well enough to get off the couch. But that’s all we really can do, isn’t it? Wait. So we can either wait with patience, and try to get peace of mind or we can wait impatiently, only adding unnecessary stress to our stressful lives. 

This quote I put up above speaks to me because we can never be clear why something is happening in our lives. We don’t know why we are put through the struggles thrown our way, but instead of worrying about finding the answers we need to find patience and perseverance to see where we will end up after the storm ends. 

So each and every day I tell myself to practice patience. We will end up where we are meant to be, we just have to have faith and be patient until that time comes. 
what do you do in order to remain patient when you aren’t seeing results from suggested medicines, methods or suggestions provided by doctors?


Beautiful People Don’t Just Happen

  
I came across this quote recently and thought it was one of the most insightful and true things I’ve read recently. 

People have their own definitions of beauty, but I know that beautiful people don’t just happen. While some people say beautiful people can be described as someone with God given good looks, I say beautiful people are ones that have gone through struggle and experienced loss but have risen from the darkness of it. 

Everyone has their mountain to climb or obstacle to overcome. We can’t always see on the outside what someone may be going through. Some choose to hide their suffering and defeat, while others it’s a visible struggle. But no matter what, when people are able to overcome their defeat, they are molded into the beautiful people they were meant to be. They understand compassion more easily and are able to fully understand life in all its ups and downs.

Beautiful people do not just happen. Everyone has fought a battle of some sort. So if you stop to take a look around you, you’ll see that beautiful people are really everywhere. 

Limbo

Having one of those days where it feels like I’m stuck in limbo. Feeling foggy and unsure of how to use my time. Wanting to be productive, yet wanting to also just lay in bed with Netflix and my two favorite men (Ben & Jerry). The ability to find the happy medium between caring for and looking out for my health but not feeling like a couch potato and having a productive day without straining myself too much is getting tiring and too repetitive.

Feeling like I need a new outlook on this problem.

Feeling like I need a refresh button for the day
–wouldn’t that be awesome? Don’t feel like you’ve had a great day? No fear! Just click refresh and you can start right on over!

…But it just doesn’t work like that (get on that, Apple)

Need something to refresh my energy and motivation. Recommendations are welcome!

Song Of The Week–Joy Parade

The first song I’ve chosen to share with you all is called Joy Parade by Lennon and Maisy.

I fell in love with this song after I heard the first verse.

I will bend and I will sway
I will fight to stand up straight
When troubled winds blow my way,
I won’t break.

It’s about getting back up when we’ve fallen. About not letting things defeat us. It’s about being happy and loving every moment we’re given even when life is trying to knock us down.

It’s undeniably relateable to me and I’m sure to everyone else who listens to the message.

Stand tall against the wind. Don’t let this world push you around. Be joyful and happy, even when it’s tough to be.