The Bright-ish Side

Good Evening, Friend People!

As usual on Mondays (or sometimes Tuesdays, and rarely Wednesdays), please check out the Song of the Week page for some uplifting and feel good tunes! You get a special two-for-one deal today!

I titled today’s post “The Bright-ish Side” because sometimes the other side, or what some people refer to as The Bright Side, is not always all that bright. Sometimes it’s a touch bright-er but that sounds a tad too optimistic and a little misleading. Often what I have found is that the side is more of a shade of bright-ish than bright. But nevertheless, it is the better option.

Today started rather happily for me and then quickly went from happy to not-so-happy. When I am feeling not-so-happy (or like today, various shades of angry/frustrated/sad) I try extra hard to find the bright-ish side. So, here it goes:

I cleaned the apartment, took my pup for a walk, chatted with a friend and had a wonderful few hours of relatively pain free (as pain free as chronic pain warriors get) enjoyment. When the pain decided to return full force I became frustrated. It is so maddening, having to pay for a few hours of happiness with unrelenting pain. I compared this situation to an overprotective father waiting up for his daughter who is past curfew. “What did you think you were doing going out and enjoying your life! You know better than to be happy! Enjoy being grounded for a week!”
On the bright-ish side, I got to leave the house and enjoy the sun on my face. Those hours of joy cannot be taken away, even if the pain tries to do just that. I have photographic proof that I enjoyed (at least parts of) today.

My husband sat down to do our taxes and realized a couple of things related to my disability and work forms are not accessible online so I will need to phone for them. I began panicking and my anxiety became overwhelming. I can not think of two phone calls I would like to make less.
On the bright-ish side, I have a husband to help with the taxes and friends to talk me down when I can feel a panic attack coming on.
There are times I am sure that I can not survive one more day in this much pain.
On the bright-ish side, I know tomorrow is coming and there is a chance it could be better than today.

Sometimes I feel utterly empty and like I am as useless as they come.
On the bright-ish side, I have about a hundred people who will tell me that is not true.

There are times I am scared that nothing will make sense ever again.
On the bright-ish side, does anything ever really make sense? 😉

On the absolute bright side, I have amazing supports in all of you. I am more grateful to you than I can express. You are the bright side.

And if you ever need help finding the bright-ish side, I’m your girl. Practice makes perfect.

Love,

Courtney

Enjoying the sunlight

Enjoying the sunlight.

 

Made From Gold

Good Afternoon 🙂

As per usual on Mondays, please check out Song of the Week for some upbeat tunes.

Today I was thinking about what I would say to past Courtney to help her along her way to where she is now. I had a whole letter written before I realized something; nothing could have prepared me for this. Yes, I know some things now that past me could have benefited from but I don’t think the answers to that grade 11 math test would have impacted the future in any great way. Who are we kidding, I still don’t know the answers.

If I had known this is where I would end up I might have lived a baby proofed life instead of the full one I had enjoyed up until this point. Or I might have taken riskier chances that could have had horrible consequences thinking “ah well, I’d be messed up later anyway.”  The truth is that everything I have ever done, no matter how embarrassing or painful, has led me to exactly where I am now. And while I am certainly struggling health wise, I am completely blessed personally with my friends and family.

As I was writing the letter to past me I was thinking a lot about what I was like on chemotherapy for the two and a half years I battled leukemia. I was bald, pale, sick and weak looking I thought. I hardly let anyone take photos of me during that time and hated how I looked like a cancer patient. But I was a cancer patient, and bald, and pale… but I was not weak.
Now, being sick again, albeit a different kind of sick, I am looking at the world completely differently. I have the ability to chat with people around the world with multitudes of illnesses and see their bravery. I am one of them. I am brave too. I am but one of millions and millions, but I can still make a difference.
This new view on life is thanks to my old, sick self. Past Courtney was not weak. She was a warrior. And I learned from her.

My husband sent me a photo he found about something called kintsukuroi, which is the art of filling the cracks in pottery with gold. This thinking is that the piece is more beautiful now, after having been broken.

I really fell in love with this idea, because if I had never been past Courtney, that cancer patient, that warrior, if I had never been broken, I would not be who I am today.
And we are all so much more beautiful, compassionate, brave, and strong because we have known pain and weakness. The break could have killed us emotionally, spiritually, or physically, but it has only made us better.

gold

Even if you’re not feeling it today, you are brave, beautiful, and amazingly strong.

Love,

Courtney

 

The Importance of Self Love

Good Morning Lovelies!

Check out the first Song of the Week of 2016 here! Have it playing while you read on about my journey towards self love!

I say journey towards self love because it really is just that, a journey. I do not see an end point where I am completely in love with myself, who I am and where I am in life. It is an ever evolving relationship that is as important to work on as any other relationship in life; possibly even more important. Read More

Sometimes My Sister Makes Me Cry

Good Evening (or morning, or afternoon, or whatever time it is when you’re reading this! I hope it’s a good one!),

Before I get in to why my sister is amazing and mean at the same time, be sure to check out my Song of the Week page and maybe open it in YouTube so you can have it playing while you’re reading this post 😉

My younger sister, Key, is a beautiful woman with an even more beautiful soul. Both of my sisters are such better people than I am and I try every day to take after them. Key, however, is an artist. She designed my spoon logo (I dragged her out of bed to sketch it and she had it sent to me within 20 minutes. She’s that good) and gave me this ridiculously thoughtful gift for Christmas. I’m not going to lie to you, when I first saw it I was awfully confused. Read More

Try Hard

Before I get started, I’m going to remind you that I’ve updated the Song of the Week page! Check it out.. it’s a good one!

I can’t even begin to keep track of all the abilities and things I lack.. but I try hard.

I can’t walk, can barely stand, and more than once need your hand.. but I try hard.

Cooking, cleaning and holding a job, it’s my fault I live like a slob.. but I try hard.

Sometimes I cry and beg, plead, and scream and you remind me we’re a team… I try hard.

For days I can’t get out of bed and the pain is throbbing in my head.. but I try hard.

I can’t remember thoughts or words and this is something that can’t be cured… but I try hard.

You tell me something but I can’t recall, and you hold me up when I trip and fall… I try hard.

If you’re scared or worried about me you hold it back and don’t let me see.. you try hard.

You live each day to make sure I’m safe, and it’s hard on you to give me space.. you try hard.

You fetch my pills and bring me food to make me smile and help my mood… you try hard.

One day we’ll just be able to live, but until then my love I’ll give.. we try hard.

 

An open letter to my loving husband and friend.

Love, Courtney.

 

Emotional Penguins

Sometimes there are no words available for what you’re feeling.

I have a hard time expressing myself occasionally, especially with the overwhelming emotions that come with chronic illnesses. I can be happy, sad, worried, anxious, excited, and full of despair all at the same time. As you can see, this gets rather complicated when someone asks “how are you feeling today?” There’s no straightforward answer to that. We all, I assume, just say “fine” and move on. But are we ever really fine?  Read More

Sing Spoonie Songs

Good Morning, Loves!

* Please check out the Spoonie Suggestions and Song of the Week sections to see some new, updated posts! *

On my Tumblr blog I began editing these Disney songs in a Spoonie way! People have responded pretty well to them so I wanted to share them on my own domain!

 

  1. I’ve got doctors and meds a-plenty
    I’ve got canes and braces galore
    You want mobility aids?
    I’ve got twenty!

But who cares?
No big deal
I seem fine

I wanna be where the people are
I wanna be, wanna be them dancing’
Walking around on those – what do you call ‘em?
Oh – feet

And ready to know what the doctors know

Ask ’em my questions and get some answers
What’s this pain and why does it – what’s the word?
Hurt?

When’s it my turn?
Wouldn’t I love, love to explore that life out these walls?
Out of the beds
Wish I could be
Part of that world….

                                                             My version of “Part of Your World” Read More

Pretty with Pain

I was lucky enough to find, by chance, a Fibromyalgia Support Group in my local city. I went to the last meeting this past Saturday and a member of the Canadian Pain Coalition, Lynn Cooper, was there to give a presentation on her experience with pain and what the role of the CPC is.

One thing that she said that struck me was that she identifies as a Person with Pain (PWP) as opposed to a patient. I’ve always been a proponent of person first language, stemming from my work with children with disabilities (autism, mainly), and have never thought of myself as anything other than Courtney. But now, I am not just referring to myself as a Person with Pain, but Pretty with Pain. Read More