Hope for the Hopeless

Good Morning Everyone!

I am back in blogging action!

Before we get started, check out today’s Song of the Week for an awesome Bon Jovi tune!

Now, where was I?
Right, blogging!

I have been having a hard time deciding what to write about. Do people really want to listen to my inner ramblings? Is my writing any good, really? Am I helping anyone at all?

Even if the answer to all of those questions is a resounding no, should I stop writing? Another giant NO!

Writing is so therapeutic, whether anybody reads it, understands it, likes it, or not.

I am not an expert at anything other than being myself, but I have stuff to stay, I have a voice to be heard, and I write words to be read. Even if I’m the only one reading them.

When I was younger I wrote poetry about loves I never experienced, heart break I never knew, and poured out feelings I could only imagine. As I grew I matured in my prose, spilling out angsty tales of my parent’s divorce and my overcoming cancer. It was real, raw, and maybe a touch pretentious. I put away my pen and paper for a decade when I became preoccupied with real romance, education, working three minimum wage jobs, and living my life slightly recklessly.
In the last couple of years, as my body has failed me yet again, I traded in my pen and doodle covered notebook for the ease of a laptop and click-clacked my feelings for hours. That is how my journey into blogging began.
I realized quickly that there was a place for me in the sea of chronically ill folk. My folk. Folks who get me.

Folk is an underrated word.

Every time I experienced a symptom or encountered an awkward situation, or felt the weight of my illnesses about to crash down on my fragile body, I just typed the letters until they became meaningful words that only my people would understand. And they did. They responded so strongly I felt, even if only for that minute, like I was less alone. And isn’t that the point of this anyway?

Isn’t the point of writing, reading, listening, being alive, to connect? To realize we’re not all walking this earth alone?
It would be a huge disservice to ourselves and each other if we seclude ourselves and muffle our voices. Because you might have a story somebody needs to hear.

You might be the answer to someone’s prayers. You might be the one who can write the words to someone else’s story. You might paint the canvas of someone else’s life. You might lend a listening ear to someone who needs to share their soul. You might be the hope for the hopeless. You might be the one to inspire the world.
And even if you’re not, isn’t it worth a try?

Love,

Courtney

 

 

The Seduction of Seclusion

Good Afternoon!!

Again, I have updated the Song of the Week page so feel free to check out the newest song that is giving me strength and making me smile.

We have a different sort of life, as Spoonies. Things are not really typical for our day to day existence, therefore we are given the opportunity to adopt a non-typical perspective on life.

With this new outlook we tend to be a bit calmer and day-to-day disturbances don’t bother us too much, as far worse thing have happened to us.

Because of this friends tend to shy away from calling us to complain about their flat tire, horrible cold, or work struggles. They assume we don’t want to hear about their problems simply because, as one friend so nicely put it “[our] lives suck worse”. While this may be true it does not mean that we can’t sympathize with them or that we don’t want to hear about it. We absolutely would love to share in the good and bad things that happen to our friends; we want to help solve your issues and chat about The Bachelor, and make fun of your coworkers! We’re still us.

Another issue that arises is that our friends don’t really know how to talk to us sometimes. Our lives are so drastically different than those of our healthy counterparts. Especially if these illnesses happened in our 20’s; we lived our lives as a healthy person before and this type of change is confusing for others (and for us, too). We have changed. Our lives have changed. And they don’t know where they fit in in our new lives. And it’s hard for them to feel like they’re rubbing their healthy, happy lives in our tired, sick faces. I get that.

With this in mind, some days the seduction of seclusion is so strong that it overpowers me.  I want nothing more than to curl up in bed and isolate myself for days on end. Knowing that the rest of the healthy world is out there, enjoying their lives, going to work and running marathons is depressing. Looking out the window on sunny days while I can’t get myself out of bed is depressing. Moving to an apartment and out of this house because I can’t walk up stairs is depressing. Seeing Snapchats of my beautiful friends enjoying their lives is depressing. And it’s nobody’s fault. But it gets to me. I will definitely admit that. And when it does, I am best friends with seclusion. A self imposed seclusion because I feel like no one understands what it’s like and I want to wallow in this.

But I thank YOU. Everyone who is reading this and wanting to connect. YOU are what brings me out of my seclusion.

Whenever seclusion tries to bring you down, think of me and crawl back out. Or send me an email and let me know how you’re feeling and I’ll crawl down there and be secluded with you 🙂 We’re all just walking each other home.

chronicallycourtney@gmail.com

 

me being selcuded
me being selcuded

 

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

Penguin Pain Control

Am I the only one who hates taking pain medication? Whether the pain relief comes in the form of a pill I take, a patch I wear, a cream I spread, or the various other methods that medication enters my body, sometimes it makes me feel like a failure. Like I should be tough enough to withstand this overwhelming distress, that most people would not believe is even possible. Read More

Why Guided Meditation Didn’t Work For Me

This article will be in the November issue of Vibrance Magazine, be sure to check it out!

I’ve never been a person who particularly likes being told what to do. I guess this should have been an indicator that Guided Meditation wouldn’t really work for me.

Amidst a major flare I decided to check out a Chronic Pain Workshop that was put on in The Arthritis Society in Canada. I sat in agony while they listed off what pain is and different strategies that could be used to manage it. I rolled my eyes like “yeah, whatever, I’ve tried that!”. Clearly I was a great listener and absolutely receptive to their ideas, not.

Read More

Practical Positivity

When I began writing about my Chronic Pain Problems I used the username On the Bright Side of Courtney because my goal was positivity. I wrote for a website called Positivity in Pain and I smiled and laughed my way through these illnesses… for one post. And then I could not move past the sadness I was feeling. I was having a really hard time faking happiness when I wasn’t feeling that way, but that only made me more upset. I am a writer! I can write joyfully! Right? Not at that time. Read More