Bittersweetness

Bittersweetness

Last week I had the amazing opportunity to attend a social media summit sponsored by Celgene. They so graciously invested in me, to help build up my medical knowledge around psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and even had one of the co-founders of blogHer give a presentation on increasing social media presence.

As many of you know, the year prior to going out on disability I was living in Manhattan. Or more so playing in Manhattan haha! After my lease was up I had decided to move back to Pittsburgh because of a variety of reasons. At the time I really questioned if I was doing the right thing, but the universe definitely was guiding me in the right direction. Very shortly after, my leg blew up, I was in surgery and out on disability aka relying on my family for everything.

One of my roommates in NYC, he was a great friend from high school, had an ACL surgery last year. If you’ve had the procedure done you know that it can be a challenging recovery. Add in the stress of crutching around NYC for everything into the mix!!! *whew* I give him so much respect for making it through that. And I have so much respect for the thousands of individuals who do it everyday in the big apple. While I was there, I loved loved loveeedddd the fact I didn’t need a car – that I could get everywhere and anywhere quickly and easily. That becomes an extreme disadvantage the moment you can’t walk.

Day-1-e1398278567835Where I stayed in SoHo was about 2 blocks away from where my favorite store is located. I was so excited to go and buy a few new things for my winter wardrobe. (I mean out of all of Manhattan what are the chances I’d be THAT close? How could I not go??) The social media summit was held one block over, the opposite direction, of the hotel at the New York Genome Center. It was very easy getting there in the morning and I had a great day. On my way down the elevator that morning I actually started talking with a man who ended up being one of the participants of the summit! (You can find him at Psoriasis Campaign for a Cure!)

The day was absolutely wonderful, definitely spurring off a few different blog posts from information covered during the sessions (stay tuned!). After we were done I knew I wanted to go and hit up the store before meeting up with a friend for dinner. I was loosing steam, but I knew if I powered through it I could make it.

Crutching down the city blocks was most definitely a different experience than walking. Usually I would get irritated stuck behind a slow moving person in the crowd, but during this walk I actually welcomed it! Luckily it was a Tuesday night and NOT the weekend, so it was busy, but not ‘Saturday afternoon’ crowded.

By the time I made it to the store I was pooped. As I looked around, my energy levels dropped so low that trying clothes on became a chore. Usually I wanted everything and anything in the store, but I only grabbed about 5 things to try on. As I stood in the dressing room, trying on an adorable top, I couldn’t help but think ‘this blows‘. I was used to getting up on a Saturday morning, walking miles and miles during the day shopping, exploring the city, trying new foods and then going out at night with friends. How could walking, or crutching rather, the few blocks over to Broadway tire me out so much that I didn’t even want to try on all the cute clothes at this store?

What was going on in my life? What had my life become?

Can any of you relate to this? After our immune system becomes overactive, our active lifestyles tend to decrease. Sure, after walking all those miles my knees would be sore, my feet would hurt, or I’d need a nap, but come on – when could I NOT try on clothes? (I’m always up for shopping haha)

After I checked out and began to crutch back to home base, I took a different way, walking down a street that I used to love to check out the little restaurants and cafes. I think SoHo is one of the cutest places in the city. On the weekends, the SoHo section of Broadway is crazy busy with tourists and locals shopping. But that evening, walking down Spring and Thompson, the weather was perfect, it wasn’t too crowded and everyone seemed to be in a great mood. I took a deep breath and soaked it all in. In THAT moment everything was perfect, maybe not so much a few moments before, but in that moment I was in the SoHo I loved. I was enjoying my time being there. I was loving life.

gabbytweet44Life is about being in the moment. Sure, comparing this trip to my routine walks through SoHo a few years back was like comparing apples and oranges, but in that moment there was nothing else I needed. There are so many times within chronic illness we become lost in our thoughts and our thoughts begin to poison our bodies. By focusing on what I DID do and not what I DID NOT do, it helped me to be happy and excited about my trip.

And of course, no big surprise, but I didn’t want to go home haha (do I ever?) I swear I could just travel the world for the rest of my life and be happy.

This wellness Wednesday, I want you to focus on the here and now.

NOT where you were last year this time.

NOT what you used to do before you were ‘sick’.

But, focus on what you’re doing now.

Focus on the small miracles that occur in your life everyday. (because they do happen! everyday!

“Throughout my journey of spiritual growth, one message from A Course In Miracles that always resonated with me deeply was ‘Only the mind decides on what it would receive and give.’ This point reminds me that in any given situation I have the choice to perceive love or to perceive fear. Through the daily practice of choosing love over fear, eventually love became an involuntary response. Of course, my fearful ego sneaks up on me often, but through perseverance, the loving voice now speaks louder.Gabrielle Bernstein #MiraclesNow

Today I’d like to ask that you repeat a mantra that Gabby gives in her book to help practice the principle of choosing peace and affirming your commitment to miracles: I choose to see peace instead of this.

Eager to see how this affirmation plays out in your life. Leave comments on how it goes 🙂

Wishing You A Pain Free Day!

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  • María

    I read your history but i want
    To know more about two things, how is your situation with god? How you is your spirituality? You feel better about depression? Your family is always tellling what to do? Does your boyfriend support you ALL The time?

    • Hi Maria! I’m extremely lucky to have amazing, supportive people in my life. Those who couldn’t handle my health problems or didn’t want to be apart of my life, are no longer by my side – BUT such is life. I truly believe every person that we encounter in our lives is put there for us to learn from. I learned a lot from past boyfriends and can tell you that if they don’t support you all the time, then priorities really need to be evaluated. I’m the type of person who will support those I love ALL the time. Currently, everyone in my life always gives me unwavering support. I also seek out support from others who are going through similar situations as I am as it makes the journey seem less daunting. I’m very spiritual and have a wonderful relationship with God. I’m currently in the best mindset I’ve ever had and no longer allow the little things to get me down. Everyday it’s a journey to stay positive and focus on the good, but that’s a part of EVERYONE’s journey as well 🙂

      What about yourself? Do you have great support in your life? Since your other questions spoke about boyfriends a lot – are you in a situation where you’re having problems getting support from a loved one? Sending you love and support! <3 ~ Juls

    • Hi Maria! I’m very lucky to have amazing, supportive people in my life. I have a great relationship with God and I consider myself a very spiritual person . . . especially after this year and all the work I’ve done with Gabrielle Bernstein’s literature. I’m in an extremely great place in my life right now and my mindset has never been better. The people around me may not be the exact same group of people that were with me when I started on my health journey, but the people who ARE with me are exactly who I need to be with me.

      What about you? Your questions seem based around relationships – are you having issues currently? I believe that every person we meet in our lives has a lesson to teach us. I’m so grateful for all the lessons I’ve received and learned and for all those that are still in the pipeline. This year I was taught a big lesson in support in relation to partners. You need to have someone in your life who gives the type of support that you like to receive. Have you heard of the 5 love languages? If you haven’t you should look into them.

      Sending you love and support<3 Juls

      • María

        Hi juls. Well.. Thank you for your answer. I really believe every person in life appears for a reason, and I don’t know why I entered to your blog and meet your life, I just know this world is so small and Maybe from you and how you handle your issues with a smile I receive a good lesson.
        Some times in the past I was like asking god why good people suffer? Then I realize is because of the suffering that we become a better people. Talking about my life, I’m so lucky I don’t need a lot to be happy, I just take the best of every moment. Talking about relationships, well yes, I agree we have to be with someone you support us, but I really want to tell you if is real love you will
        Always find the way.. I want to wish you a very very happy life, maybe someday we will meet and change experiences. I just want you to know I admire you and I know you will be happy, remember we receive of
        What you give.

  • María

    Today I read more about your history, I really think you are so strong and I really think you are great. It is glad to hear your parents are so supportive for you, that instead of all the pain and bad moments you always smile and learn about every situation. My question for you is are you afraid of something? What about the medicine sometimes it is addictive, I use to work with people that depends on pils to be fine. I read about your boyfriend that was so supportive but you told us then you star fighting and you prefer stay at bed, what happen with your relationship do you find the way to survive? I think you don’t speak about your boyfriend anymore, I really want to know what about that, just real love can be strong until the end or just dissapear in worst moments? I’m sorry about my English I’m not so good at it, thank you for all the experiences you share with us.