The Plan, update #8

Here’s a random, completely unnecessary fact about me: I LOVE making playlists. Seriously, I can amuse myself for hours putting together a playlist for something. That being said, it should come as no surprise that I have at least 5 different workout themed playlists. It’s quite possible that making new running playlists is my favorite part about running. ūüôā I decided today that it was time to make a new playlist, geared towards running a nine minute mile. There’s an awesome website, www.jog.fm, that creates playlists based on your desired pace, which for me has made finding new music amazingly easy. New or at least fresh music is incredibly important for me, since it’s one of the ways I amuse myself while doing something that I have no natural desire to do.

While looking over the list of suggested songs, I came across several songs that aren’t actually “new”, they’re just new to me. My favorite so far is “Not Afraid” by Eminem. I know that a lot of people find his music offensive, but I love it. I can’t say that I love everything he’s ever written, but I do like most of his stuff, and “Not Afraid” is definitely at the top of that list. Why? Because the song rings true for me, here’s one of my favorite parts:

“And I just can’t keep living this way
So starting today, I’m breaking out of this cage
I’m standing up, I’ma face my demons
I’m manning up, I’ma hold my ground
I’ve had enough, now I’m so fed up
Time to put my life back together right now!”

Admittedly, the song is a bit fast for a 9 minute mile, but it gets my head in the right place, so I’m willing to over look that little fact.

Another song that made it in to my new playlist is “Remember the Name” by Fort Minor feat. Styles of Beyond. Like “Not Afraid”, this song is technically too fast, but it helps me focus and again, I can relate to it:

“This is ten percent luck, twenty percent skill
Fifteen percent concentrated power of will
Five percent pleasure, fifty percent pain
And a hundred percent reason to remember the name!”

If I were to use these lyrics to describe my own journey, it would read more like this:

This is five percent luck, five percent skill
Thirty-five percent concentrated power of will
Five percent pleasure, fifty percent pain

The lyrics don’t flow quite as well that way, but that’s ok, it’s not like I have any aspirations to be a song writer; I’m just an ordinary person, trying the best I can to describe the way I see things. For all the doubters out there, this song, (“Remember the Name”), is a reminder that yes, there is pain involved in this endeavor of mine, but the results are worth it. I am not ignoring the pain factor, nor am I suggesting that anyone who has a similar condition ignore theirs; you have to be able to look at the pain and ask yourself this question: “Is this a pain I can work through, or do I need to slow things down?”

When the answer is “yes, I can work through/around this pain”, that’s where the “thirty-five percent concentrated power of will” part¬†comes in. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t exactly LIKE exercising, (“five percent pleasure”), but I have learned that it is necessary. If I want to have something that even resembles a “normal” life, I am going to have to work for it, which in this case means working out, or at the very least staying active. I will not be a prisoner to my pain, even if it means getting up and doing things I am not particularly fond of. Of course, it also means paying close attention to what my body is trying to tell me.

Even when someone is as intimately familiar with pain as those of us who deal with it on a daily basis, it can be damn near impossible to tell the difference between “serious, something is wrong pain” and “normal, fibro pain”. Do I get it wrong sometimes? Yep. Being as stubborn as I am, I usually tend to push through when I really should take a break;¬†more often than not, it takes someone else pointing out that I need to rest to get me to actually do it.¬† No, I am not exaggerating, I am actually that hard-headed. Thankfully, I have someone in my life who loves me enough to say “hey, dummy, you need to take a break”.

I truly wish that I could sit here and say that all the hard work has totally paid off and that I am completely pain-free. I can’t.

Before I started “THE Plan”, I spent EVERY SINGLE DAY in near constant pain, often rating¬†8 or higher on a scale of 10. Some days, I dealt with an incessant¬†“hum” of pain at about a level of 5 or so, with crippling spikes of 8 to 10. Every day was a “bad” day and I nearly lost myself in the misery. Then, one day, I woke up. I realized that no one was going to “fix” me and that if *I* didn’t do something, I was going to end up wasting my entire life.

There is no cure or even any definite treatment for fibromyalgia. There isn’t even a common consensus on what causes it. From the looks of things, it will be a very long time before researchers even begin to understand the disease. The only thing that anyone seemed to agree on was that regular¬†exercise seems to help with the symptoms. I took that idea to heart and thus, “THE” Plan was born.

It’s been eight months, 35 pounds, and over 1000 miles.¬†¬†I am exercising a minimum of 4, usually 5 days a week, for at least 30 minutes a day.

I am not pain free, but now the “good days” out number the “bad” days by about 5 to 1. I am no longer in constant pain and while¬†I still experience some kind of pain on a daily basis,¬†my average pain level is 5 or under, with occasional spikes of 8 to 10.¬†Fatigue, insomnia and “fibro fog” are all still major problems, but most of those symptoms can be at least¬†partially managed by medication. I¬†am well aware that I¬†am not “cured” and I know that as soon as I stop working at it, things will go right¬†back to the way they were before. Nothing that is worth having comes without a fight and since as far as anyone knows, you only get one life, I’d say that’s definitely worth fighting for.

“I’m not afraid
To take a stand
Everybody
Come take my hand
We’ll walk this road together, through the storm
Whatever weather, cold or warm
Just letting you know that you’re not alone
Follow if you feel like you’ve been down the same road”

— Eminem, “Not Afraid”

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I hate clowns.

You would think that after dealing with something for nearly 13 years, you would be completely familiar with it. For instance, Fibromyalgia has been a part of my life for, you guessed it, nearly 13 years. Yet, just today, I discovered a new, or at least new to me, symptom: Raynaud’s Phenomenon. I have never been a fan of the cold, in my world, cold = pain. However, today, things got so much worse.

We had a huge snowstorm here last night, which left something like a foot of snow outside. Even with my aversion to the cold, I can’t resist that kind of potential for fun, so I got bundled up, (literally, two or three of everything), and went out. Within about 5 minutes, the tips of my fingers started to tingle. I wondered about it, but ignored it, figuring my body would eventually¬†adapt. Finally, after about 20 or so minutes outside, I couldn’t take it anymore. By the time I got inside, the pain in my fingers was so bad I had tears in my eyes; on a scale of 1 to 10, this was a 12. Thinking I had somehow managed to get some sort of mild frost bite, I de-gloved and noticed that my finger tips were white, with a hint of blue at the base of my nails. Ok, no need to freak out… Let’s just try to get warmed up. I ran cool water over my fingers. It felt HOT. Like, scalding, except that when it hit my palms, I could tell that it was, in fact nearly ice-cold. It took a while, but I was eventually able to (SLOWLY) turn up the temperature of the water enough to get my finger tips back to something resembling normal.

That was nearly three and a half hours ago, and my finger tips are still pale and tingly. Not quite numb, but definitely tingly.¬†*Side Note:¬†I know that Google is not necessarily the best place to go looking for answers, but #1, I am,¬†for all intents and purposes, (except serious emergencies),¬†snowed in and #2, I have previously come across several articles on Raynaud’s Phenomenon and it’s relationship to Fibromyalgia.* So, I did some research online and found that not only is¬†Raynaud’s very common in people with Fibromyalgia, Lupus, and other related diseases, it¬†can be “unmasked” as a symptom by weight loss…¬†Suddenly the pieces fit.

I’ve been “whining” for months that my weight loss has made my cold tolerance¬†even lower than it was to begin with.¬†During that time, I have noticed my fingers, toes and lips turning blue after being out in cooler weather, (basically anything below 60 degrees). I blamed it on the weight loss and continued on my merry little way. Upon closer inspection, it would seem that my inability to tolerate the cold was quite possibly part of Raynaud’s Phenomenon peeking through the veil of other symptoms. My weight loss, which is at a total of 80 pounds since 2006, has simply moved the curtain aside and allowed Raynaud’s to poke it’s ugly little head out.

Seriously, why is that every time I feel like I’ve got a handle on things, something else has to pop up? I know that things could be so much worse and I know that there are many, many other people out there who have been dealt an even more wretched hand than mine. I just find the whole thing so disheartening sometimes. It’s really hard to stay positive and upbeat when you feel like there are evil clowns waiting to jump out at you at every turn.

Ok. I am done whining about it. In all reality, this doesn’t change anything. The only thing that has changed is that I now know the name of another symptom. As appealing as hiding in a dark, (warm!), corner might sound, it’s not going to happen. I am going to focus instead on all of the wonderful, amazing and totally awesome things I have in my life, like: love, friendship, shoes¬†and chinchillas.

“Just keep swimming”. ¬†

100

 

A bad day, made awesome!

A few weeks ago, I had a horrible day. I mean a truly awful day. Not because I was in pain, but because I had a full blown, five alarm panic attack, which is not something I deal with very often. I’ve had them before, but they’re usually few and far between. This one blew all the rest of them completely out of the water.

Have I ever mentioned that I am absolutely terrified of car accidents? I can’t even watch crash scenes on TV, I cringe and hide my eyes every time. Seeing them in real life is incredibly stressful for me, and usually results in a serious pain spike, sometimes even an all out flare up.

You may be wondering why I’m so freaked out by car accidents, so let me explain…

My first major (and worst) accident happened when I was 17. Those of you who have been following my ramblings may remember me talking about it once or twice in other posts. This is the accident that supposedly triggered my Fibromyalgia. I don’t remember much of the accident itself; all I can recall is that I was going around a bend in the road, I took the turn too wide causing my front driver’s side tire to slip off the edge of the road. I over compensated and my last actual memory of the incident is me saying “Oh shit!”.

When I came to, several minutes later, I was in a field on the opposite side of the road from where my tire slipped, facing the road. I was later told that I had somehow managed to flip the car end over end no less than three times. In the process, I hit my head hard enough to black out and managed to break a vertebrae off the back of my neck. (Incidentally, if you’re going to break your neck, that is the “best” way to do it).

When I regained consciousness, I remember seeing myself in the vanity mirror, and seeing blood all over my face, which caused me to black out again. The second time I came to, I couldn’t tell how badly the car was damaged, but there was definitely smoke rising from the engine compartment. A good samaritan was trying to get me out of the car, but I was too afraid to move because of the excruciating pain in my neck/back. I told him that unless he could see flames, I wasn’t going to move. Let me just say that that was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make: get out of the car and risk being paralyzed/killed from moving a broken neck or dying in a car fire.

My little brother, who was also in the car, thankfully made it out completely unscathed, for which I am eternally grateful. The officer that arrived at the scene told my parents that neither of us should have made it out of that crash alive. He was actually so stunned that he decided not to charge me with any violations.

That is just one reason why I am petrified of car accidents. Since that accident, I have totaled two additional cars and narrowly avoided totaling a third.

The second accident occurred during a down pour and was caused by another driver’s stupidity (someone decided to make a left in front of me, and due to the slick road, I was unable to stop in time). I have no explanation for the third accident, all I can say is that it occurred right around the time that I had a bad reaction to a new combination of meds to treat the fibro; in case you’re curious, this particular combination of drugs literally caused me to start hearing voices in my head. Not cool.

A few years went by before I had my next accident, which was due to heavy traffic and more driver stupidity. I am happy to say my car survived, although she spent over a month in a repair shop.

Needless to say, I have some issues when it comes to cars. I have never actually been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, (PTSD), but it’s probably a safe bet to say that I do suffer from it. (Actually, while writing this post, I decided to a bit of research into PTSD, and I’m seriously thinking I should talk to my doctor about it.)

I digress, back to my “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day” (thanks to Judith Viorst for that phrase!).

Two Tuesdays ago, I had to run some errands. It started raining almost as soon as I left the house and continued to rain all day. On my way out, I think I must have passed at least two car accidents on the side of the highway and narrowly missed being in a third myself. Not a good start to the day. I made it through my errands and then, on my way home things got worse.

It was pouring rain and in typical Virginia fashion, everyone suddenly forgot how to drive. I was about 20 minutes from home, but it took me over an hour to get there. During that hour or so, I passed by one wreck involving an SUV with a flaming car stuck in it’s backseat followed by the remains of a second accident that left one car crunched accordion style, facing oncoming traffic.

My chest had tightened up and breathing had become much harder since I passed the flaming car, twenty minutes of stressful driving had not done me any favors. As I came up on the second accident, with it’s fire trucks and ambulances, my brain shut down. I literally have no idea how I made it home from there, it’s almost as thought I blacked out, without actually losing consciousness, (that’s a scary thought).

Almost immediately upon entering the house, I lost it. I barely made it to the bathroom before losing my lunch, breakfast and probably part of the previous night’s dinner as well. I ended up in a crumpled, tear streaked, hyperventilating heap on the bathroom floor. Not a pretty picture, as I’m sure you can imagine. I eventually managed to drag my sorry butt into bed, where I spent another good 30 minutes bawling my eyes out. It wasn’t until I ran out of tissues that my rational brain finally decided to wake up and force me to look at what I was doing.

Yes, I it had been a horrible day, but what good was it doing me to sit there and dwell on it? None. I’m not saying that it’s not ok to cry or even have a mini meltdown when you need to. As a matter of fact, I believe it’s good to cry. Cry your heart out if you need to, you’ll feel better for it, just don’t sit there and continue to upset yourself once the tears have run their course.

It took some serious will power, but I made myself get up, get dressed and go for a walk. Once I got outside, I made a decision: if my body wanted to throw a fit, I was going to give it something worth freaking out over, so I ran.

My “walk” turned into an impromptu 8k trial, which I am proud to say went amazingly well. I not only achieved my best time ever for the total 8k, (54:29), I even beat my best mile time, (10:29). I managed to take a totally rotten day and make it awesome, simply by refusing to give in to the pity party my mind was trying to throw.

For the record, I am not recommending that anyone else go out and try to just run 5 miles. This is something that I have been working up to and training for! Go out, enjoy some fresh air and just get yourself moving. You will be amazed by the impact that a little bit of physical activity can have on your mood. ūüôā

Race Day!

You guys have read about my goals for my first 5k for months now, and I am thrilled to announce that Sunday afternoon, I crossed the finish line over a minute under my goal time!

race results2

You may remember that back in June, I had managed to do the full 5k in just under 50 minutes, and set a new goal of 40 minutes for the actual race. As of¬†October 20,¬†I completed 5k in 38 minutes and 58 seconds! I wasn’t able to jog the whole thing, but I hadn’t expected to; my main goal was¬†simply to¬†cross the finish line with the best time I possibly could. Considering that about six months ago,¬†I was literally a couch potato and could barely walk a 20 minute¬†mile without feeling miserable, completing this challenge is an amazing feeling.

It wasn’t easy, especially with the road blocks put in my way by my own body. The fibro didn’t want me to do this and to be honest, there were many times that I doubted myself. I know that to a lot of people a 5k seems like a small thing, it is after all, only about 3 miles, and I imagine that most people in fair health could do it if they wanted to. Those of us with fibromyalgia know that even if we’re in otherwise perfect health (which we’re usually not), physical activity of any sort is an iffy venture, at best. We can never really gauge how we are going to feel on any given day, so setting up an actual training routine is nearly impossible. It took me six months to get myself ready for this race.

The first few weeks of training were incredibly difficult; I don’t think I can adequately describe what it was like to someone who doesn’t have a chronic pain condition. My body did not want to cooperate, it was perfectly happy to sit on the couch and do nothing. Not only did I have to fight against my own self doubt, I had to fight my body’s insistence that I was hurting myself. Getting past the “payback pain” was an arduous process, but I will tell you now, I would do it all over again. The results are worth it. It took about 6 weeks, but I did finally reach a point where I began to feel better after a workout, rather than worse.

The thing you have to keep in mind is that: I do not work out because I feel better, I work out to make myself feel better. I don’t¬†just¬†exercise on the days that I feel good;¬†even on my worst days, I will force myself to go do something, even if it’s just a short walk around the neighborhood, because I now know that afterwards, I will feel better. I cannot put enough emphasis on how important that realization was to me. Those days where all you want to do is curl up with a bowl of ice cream and cry are the days that where you need to find a way to be active, even if it’s only for 20 minutes. I promise you that you will feel better. Your mental state will improve almost immediately¬†because now you can be proud of yourself for not giving up, and eventually your body will realize that the activity actually does feel better than doing nothing.

Alright, enough of the “get active” propaganda :).

I would like to say how very, extremely proud I am of my best friend, Heather. Like me, she has been struggling to get and stay active. She has been a constant source of support and motivation for me, I can only hope that I have managed to do the same. I will tell you right now, that without her to kick me in the behind every now and then, I wouldn’t have done as well as I did in the race. She has been there for me from the get go and has stuck by me even when I was whining about not wanting to do anything. She’s also had a rough time over the last 6-8 months, but she still managed to be there with me at the starting line and even with a bum ankle, she crossed the finish line well under our original goal of 1 hour. We’re already looking forward to our next race. ūüôā

Another person that I’d like to mention is another very dear friend of mine, Aaron. Even though he had absolutely no reason to get up and go out to the race this last weekend, he was there to cheer both Heather and I on, and was even nice enough to hold on to our stuff for us. I can’t even tell you guys how much it meant to me to have two of my very favorite people there to support me on a day that a year ago I would’ve said would never happen. Even before the fibro, I would have never thought that I’d voluntarily participate in a race; after the fibro, I would have said it would be impossible for me to do at all. I’m so very glad that I was able to prove myself wrong.

After race

Struggling

Have you ever used a visualization to help you get through something difficult?

For instance, over the last few months, when I’ve found myself struggling with training for the 5k, I’ve been visualizing myself crossing the finish line as a way to motivate myself to keep going. When I felt like I simply couldn’t jog another step, that image of myself crossing the finish line with my loved ones there waiting for me kept me going. It’s helped me get myself out of the house and even helped me get out of bed some mornings. I’ve found this simple tactic to be amazingly helpful and have even been using other visualizations to help me with other goals.

There is, however a downside. The 5k I’ve been training for is next weekend and just yesterday, that image that I’ve had running through my head for the last 5 months got ripped apart. I’m still going to cross the finish line, but someone very important to me will not be there to see it, and not because they’re unable to.¬†I know that in the grand scheme of things this truly isn’t a big deal, but it’s just one more dream that’s been flushed down the toilet. To be perfectly honest, I don’t even want to do the 5k anymore. I’ve been holding on to my little vision for so long that I don’t even know how to continue without it. It doesn’t help that I’m absolutely exhausted; the fatigue issues I wrote about last week seem to have gotten worse.

Nothing that I have tried has helped. I’ve adjusted my sleep schedule, tried taking my night-time meds earlier, changed my diet, adjusted the vitamins I take, cut back on my workouts… I’m at a loss. Not only do I not have the energy to run this thing, I feel like my motivation is gone as well. The pain was a cake walk compared to this. I can work around pain, but how do you work around being completely exhausted all the time? It takes energy to work, to fight, and I’m running seriously low at this point. Caffeine/energy drinks don’t work, naps are no help at all and what little sleep I do manage to¬†get is ineffective.

I’m really not trying to have a pity party, I just feel so lost right now and I figure writing about it is better than hiding in bed. I’ve tried talking about it, but unless someone has actually dealt with this kind of problem before, they just can’t understand. I’m¬†sick of people telling me to “go take a nap” or to “drink some coffee”, so I just stopped talking about it altogether.

I usually try to end my posts on a positive note, but I’m having a hard time finding one right now. The best I can say is that despite my current feelings, I will be doing the 5k next Sunday, even if I have to walk the entire thing. I won’t let one person screw up all of my hard work and I’m betting that my bestie will kick my butt if I try to back out, (I love you, Heather! I really do!).

The Plan, update #7

So far, all of my updates about The Plan have been about positive things that I have noticed or goal I’ve achieved. This update is a bit different, because I have hit a wall. A big, fat, solid, wall.

I don’t know if this is just the fibromyalgia making things difficult or if something has changed, but the last few weeks have been a bit rough. Simply put, I am exhausted. Absolutely, utterly drained. In August, I was able to up my walks to 3-4 miles, 4 or 5 days a week. On top of that, for most of the month, I was able to do one of the Jillian Michaels’ workouts at least 4 days a week. Let me tell you, I was pretty impressed with myself!

I carried this pace all the way through to about mid September, when out of nowhere, my energy levels plummeted. I figured that maybe I was getting run down and took a few days off from the Jillian Michaels workouts, (but kept up with my walking routine), planning to get back into it the following week.

Epic fail. I made it about a third of the way through the workout before my body just refused to cooperate. After that, I began to pay a bit more attention to how I was feeling throughout the day. I noticed that not only has it been harder to wake up in the mornings, (it literally feels like I’m dredging my consciousness up through deep, dark water every morning), but I’ve reverted to feeling like I need a nap in the late afternoons. I haven’t actually gone so far as to take said naps, but I have thought long and hard about it more than a few times.

I don’t feel sick, my pain levels haven’t changed, I’m not having any extra trouble falling asleep and I haven’t made any changes to my diet… I’m kind of at a loss on this one. I’ve even talked to my doctor about it, but all I got was the typical shoulder shrug that comes with the fibro territory.

I absolutely refuse to give up my walking. I will zombie drag myself down the street if I have to, but I am not going to give up on this. If I was feeling otherwise run down or had any other symptoms of illness, I’d take a break for a few days, even I’m not that stubborn. ūüôā The thing is, I’m mostly convinced that this is just the fibro trying to trick me into giving up, and I know what happens if I do. I have been down that road and I know where it leads: misery.

I may not have the energy to cook dinner every night and its possible the laundry may sit around a little bit longer, but I am going to keep moving. Over the last five months, I have been happier, my mood has been lighter and I have simply felt better than I have in years. I knew that this was going to get harder at some point; I’ve already fought my way through several massive pain flare ups. The pain couldn’t stop me, neither will this.

The Plan, update #6

It’s taken four months and 316 miles (yes, I have walked 316 miles over the last four months!!), but I have officially reached the halfway point of my weight loss goal! A full 25 pounds, gone! YAY!!!

As part of my celebration, I decided to do a google search for things that weigh 25 pounds, so I could get a visual of what I am no longer carting around:

  • an average 2 yr old
  • a 25 lb barbell plate
  • 25 one lb¬† full butter boxes
  • a small dog
  • 10 ft metal chain
  • 5 bags sugar
  • 25 foot balls
  • a 19 inch flat screen T.V.
  • 3 one gallon jugs of water

I have to say, the image of carrying these things around with me is pretty strange… no wonder I’m always so tired!

It’s important to remember, however, that the weight loss is just a fabulous side effect of what I’m actually trying to accomplish. My original goal with all this dieting and exercise was to fight my fibro with fire. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, and after 12 years of just living with the disease, I decided to fight back. I decided to take my life back from this invisible menace and I DID. I stopped sitting around feeling sorry for myself, waiting for some miracle cure and started taking care of myself.

It was not easy. My biggest obstacle was myself, I had to fight not only against¬†my own feelings of doubt and¬†depression, but also against my own body. When my body was screaming at me to stop, I had to quite literally force myself to keep moving. It took a long time for me to get past the initial pain of making myself exercise, but I didn’t give up.

I’ll be honest, I was in a very dark place when I discovered the strength to fight this; I didn’t just wake up one happy morning and decide to do it. It wasn’t until I found myself considering suicide that I realized things had to change, that I had to change things. In truth, I am thankful for the events that led me to that dark place, because without them, I would still be wallowing in the misery that I had allowed the fibro to create.

I am not saying that I am cured. The fibromyalgia is something that I will have to battle every day for the rest of my life, I have accepted that, but I know now that it IS possible for me to live a fairly normal life. I know now that my struggles with this disease have made me a stronger person and I have discovered how to put that strength to good use. Yes, the fibro puts limitations on my life, but I have learned that there are ways to work around those limits.

Some days are harder than others, but in the end, I know that fighting through those days is what makes days like today so awesome. ūüôā

motivational_quotes_4

Laughter is awesome!

Here’s a question: aside from being pictures of cats, what do these two photos have in common?

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The answer: they make me laugh like a lunatic. Hopefully, most of you reading this find them at least mildly amusing as well, if not, well, I can’t help you. ūüôā

These pictures are part of a photo album on my phone that I call my “laugh arsenal”. I’m trying to start a new habit. The idea is that whenever I start feeling down or just bad in general, I pull up my funnies and get in a good laugh. We’ve all heard the saying, “laughter is the best medicine”, and I’m finding it to be totally true. In fact, I’m even forcing this new habit on my bestie;¬†if one of us is having a “sad moment” or just feeling down, the other texts over something hilarious. It’s amazing how much better you feel after a good laugh, and laughing burns calories! Hello, weight loss plan!

The best part about including someone else in the fun is picturing their reaction to whatever bizarre image you’ve sent them, assuming they aren’t sitting right next to, of course. I find that imaging my friend’s face when she next picks up her phone, (especially if it’s first thing in the morning…), often makes me laugh harder than whatever I sent her in the first place. Admittedly, I do have an odd sense of humor, so she does get a lot of very strange pictures… It’s amazing what you can find on the internet when you google “funny pictures”.

The only major problem I’ve encountered with this little idea is that sitting in a room by yourself and laughing aloud for no apparent reason can make people question your sanity. That’s ok, I just show them this:

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Viola! No more questions… Just kidding! Although, I’m betting that if I really needed a laugh, that would be a great way to get one! I’ll have to tuck that idea away for later. Maybe I can use it the next time I’m sitting in a doctor’s waiting room… ūüôā

Impossible things

I slept terribly last night. Once I finally fell asleep, (some time after 3 am), I had bizarre dreams and kept waking up to change positions. Bleh.

I’ve had a nagging headache for the last three days. Not a migraine, thankfully, but not the kind of headache I can just ignore either. It feels like there are evil little gnomes running metal rakes down the inside of my skull. I’ve tried just about everything in my arsenal, but nothing has helped. When I woke up this morning, the headache was there to greet me, and I immediately knew that I was missing more than a few spoons. (I’m not crazy, read The Spoon Theory and it will all make sense.)

As I lay there staring at my ceiling, looking for any excuse to delay getting out of bed,¬†a scene from Alice in Wonderland, (the Tim Burton movie version), popped into my head. It was the beginning of the battle scene at the end of the movie, where Alice tells the Mad Hatter “Sometimes I believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast”. That got me to thinking, if Alice can summon up the courage to fight the Jabberwocky by believing in impossible things, maybe I could use the same trick to face the day…

Here’s what I came up with:

1.) Cookies for breakfast can be good for you.

2.) I can jog for a solid half mile without dying.

3.) I just donated all of my size 12 jeans because they were too big.

4.) Funny cat pictures can make anything better.

5.) Happiness is a choice.

6.) Even with this headache, I can get up and have a good day.

By the time I got to number 6, I was feeling much better. If you had handed me this list even six months ago, I’d have marked everything off as completely¬†impossible.¬†Simply knowing that they are all not just possible,¬†but now¬†part of my reality gives me more than enough strength to make sure today is a good one. The headache is still with me, but I’m not going to let it ruin my entire day, just writing this post is proof that I can still be productive. Am I going to go out and get groceries or clean the whole house? No, I’m not; however, ¬†I’m not going to lay in bed all day and feel sorry for myself either. ūüôā

Have hope

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