the very best timing

Sup! This blog post is coming to you from a lady with a fever wavering between 101 and 102, after a lovely day of throwing up and crying.

Hopefully this week I’ll have some more answers after my cardiology appointment. On Thursday I’ll have a recommendation from my doctors about what I can do work-wise. I’ve come to some sort of weird acceptance of the worst case scenario.

I’m working half days at work until I get the verdict from my doctor on Thursday. I went to sleep last night thinking, “alright, this week I am going to give it my all. I am going to work hard each day and be fully present. I am going to listen to my body when I need a rest and I am going to be a total rockstar about that.”

I woke up this morning and immediately threw up. I thought, “okay, that was weird. Probably anxiety, I’m good.” I got ready for work, threw up a few more times, and then went to work. I lasted approximately 45 minutes at work before I decided to call it and go home.

Upon arriving home I spent the day thinking, “okay, this probably is more of a stomach bug than anxiety.” The day was pretty much, drink water -> throw up -> cry -> go to sleep -> wake up really thirsty, and on and on until Jonny got home with a thermometer and I learned that this is probably your typical 24-48 hour stomach bug.

As Jonny put it, this is comedically bad timing. And yet another thing that is completely out of my control. I’m 90% sure that this is completely unrelated to the unexplained fainting stuff. It’s just a random stomach bug that came at a really bad time.

When I did a 4th and 5th step about all of this sick/work stuff the other day, I found that I tend to overvalue myself at work. So I’ve been praying to be put to my right-size. And my Higher Power is like, okay dude, here you go.

I keep thinking, “okay HP, I get it, are we cool now?” And my HP is like, “eh, I don’t think you really get it, here’s the flu.”

There’s nothing I can do. I just have to let life keep going and I have to let work stuff unfold and I have to be cool with whatever happens. Or get cool with whatever happens. And that sucks and I don’t want to be cool with it, but I really don’t have much of another option.

I read a book about leadership recently that said sometimes the way to our goals is not a straight shot. Sometimes we think we know the way, and then that way doesn’t work out and we get to our goals another way. And sometimes along that new way, we find that our goals have changed and things are better than they ever would have been if they had worked out the way we thought they were supposed to.

I’m in that shitty spot right now where I’m resisting change, refusing to let a new path happen, convinced that I know what is best. I wrote this whole blog post and didn’t throw up once, so I’m pretty sure I’m cured and everything is cool now.

not figuring things out

Last week was a difficult week, and I didn’t write at all. I barely wrote in my journal. I couldn’t bring myself to it for some reason. Writer’s block by boredom, I guess.

Really, it wasn’t that boring because I was in so much distress the whole time. In an attempt to see whether or not I have epilepsy, we tried to induce a seizure. I did not like the process at all.

The wonderful thing that came out of all of it was how loved I really feel. So many people came to visit me. They went out of their way, paid for parking, went through the maze of the hospital, so that they could come sit in my room and be there for me as I expressed my discontent. I laughed and cried and felt truly grateful. I usually have a wonderful feeling of gratitude in my bones all the time. I didn’t have that last week, so my Higher Power brought it to me in the eyes of the people who care about me. (Thanks y’all, I would have bailed on day three if it weren’t for your love).

After 7 days in my hospital room, I was discharged. It was found that I probably do not have epilepsy. 7 days, and that’s all we know. I’m glad we ruled it out, but I’m discouraged that my time did not reveal any more results. Next up, cardiologist.

I’m trying to be okay right now. I’m trying to accept the present moment and the not-knowing. However, fear is running the show right now and I’m having a hard time getting out of this sinkhole.

My higher power, I keep telling myself, is going to teach me something through all of this. I keep thinking, “dude, what are you trying to teach me, and why are you trying to teach it to me like this?” Of course it is possible that I am so stubborn, my HP had to get me to stop moving to teach me something, and this was the only way it knew how. That’s the only rationale I can think of. Or else I don’t have a higher power, and AA isn’t real. I know that’s not true, so I have no option but to trust. Not a bad option to have. I’m trying.

I worked a 4th and 5th step with a friend yesterday and it was really revealing. It revealed that I have a lot of anger. Underneath that anger is my fear of not being good enough, my fear of how people will see me, and my fear that I will eventually go completely unacknowledged as time goes on and the world keeps spinning.

I resent myself for calling attention to all of this. I resent myself for making a simple statement one day – “hey, I keep fainting. Is that weird?”

I went to a meeting last night and shared about all of this. Honestly, there were a lot of newcomers in the room so I wasn’t completely candid. I definitely expressed my fear, but I made it all sound much more hopeful than I actually feel. So, I didn’t feel better. After the meeting, Jonny and I connected with a friend we hadn’t seen in a while and that was nice. That sort of made me feel better.

I read steps 6 through 8 in the twelve and twelve over and over again until I could fall asleep. I didn’t stay asleep long. It’s 2:15 am. I was super hungry, so I got cheesecake from UberEats. I am going to go back to bed until I need to wake up to go back to work.

figuring things out

Things have definitely been weird lately. I’ve been having this weird health stuff going on and I have no idea what the deal is. I don’t want to write about it much because it freaks me out, and I don’t know how much I should tell people. I don’t know what’s going on, so how I can explain to people what’s going on?

I hope to be writing a lot in the next week. I’ll be in an Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, having my brain looked at to see what is causing my fainting spells. It might be a tiny bit of epilepsy.

I’m grateful to be on the road to answers, but I’ve been asking so many questions over the last month, and none of them have been answered. I’m careful not to get my hopes up.

I’m just really frustrated with this. I don’t know what’s going on with me, and that makes me feel really disconnected from my body. Like I can’t control my brain. It’s frustrating. I got two concussions in ten days, I went to the ER twice in three days. I landed on my concrete floor and got a terrible black eye. I’m just fed up.

And I hate to sound complainy. I keep saying that it’s really not a big deal. All of the people I love are very worried, and that freaks me out. It’s a whole new level of accepting love from other people, and that feels uncomfortable. It also feels calming, to know I have so many people around me, praying for me. I can feel that love.

It sucks to not be able to work. I think that’s where most of this frustration comes from. It’s awesome that I love my job, it’s wonderful that I miss hard work. I never thought I would get to place where I felt capable and empowered by a work environment. Since I don’t have my work right now, I’m having to turn to other things to give me strength and purpose. Writing is one of those things. I’ve been reading a lot. I’ve been reading books about leadership, goals, and how to empower others. That makes me feel really good.

I haven’t driven a car in three weeks. Rock climbing became my “thing” outside of work that gave me a lot of strength and happiness. I can’t do that right now, and I can’t work out. I’m doing everything I can not to slip into depression. I stay seated most of the day, if I walk too much I might faint, and I can’t do another trip to the ER. So, we’re basically holding our breaths until Monday. Thank goodness I only need to go one more day without having a fall. And then I’ll be safe. That’s really nice to know. And it’s great for my family.

To know that I could fall at any moment and get any injury is scary. And it scares Jonny, and it scares my friends. It hasn’t really scared me until the last few days. I haven’t fallen in like five days, so I keep thinking, “oh no, if I stand up right now, is it going to happen again? I’m due for another one, what if the next fall down the stairs is worse than the first three?”

I haven’t wanted to write about this, because I don’t want my frustration to sound like self-pity. I am full of gratitude. I am full of fear. And I just don’t know how to express that. I’m trying to meditate a lot and accept where I am. Resisting the present moment only adds more frustration, and it doesn’t change the truth of what is going on.

So, I’m trying to accept the moment exactly as it is. The same way I do with people. I just want to love this moment unconditionally, and try to see my Higher Power in it. What will I learn from this? What will be revealed? I want to maintain this attitude of curiosity. I am surrounded by people I love. I am grateful for the support, the “don’t worry about anything, we will take care of it” encouragement, the visits from friends, and the most loving and patient husband.

Soon, we will have answers. We will be closer to understanding what is going on, and I will be back on my feet. I will come out of this having learned something amazing (I don’t know what that is yet). I have already learned a lot about really disliking a moment, and living in it anyway. Sitting in that uncomfortable space of not knowing, and letting my fear exist instead of shaming it.

This is definitely slowing down. The slowest I’ve ever been. And I just need to sit in that, be with it, and let the next right thing unfold. I will keep you posted, I’m sure.

I’m trying not to use the word “boring” as much, because that’s all I’ve been saying about this experience. Instead, I can flow with the slow, and explore the world going 5 miles per hour instead of 100. So, this next week won’t be boring, it will be revealing. It will be a different kind of adventure. I am so grateful.

staying slow

I feel so grateful. I have been practicing daily gratitude for almost five years, and I’ve never felt this grateful. I also feel really happy right now. It’s interesting to feel happiness and pain at the same time.

I’ve been struggling lately, and I have so many people reaching out to me, visiting me when I am stuck at home, and supporting me no matter where I am on any given day.

And at first, I was completely embarrassed. Right now I am having trouble living up to the expectations I have for myself, and others are carrying me through this wave of uncertainty. I was embarrassed because I truly cannot bring my A-game to my daily life.

I’m letting go of embarrassment now, and turning it into gratitude. (or at least, attempting to do so)

I have been living in self-reliance for so long. I think I was in denial of it at first. So stuck in denial that I didn’t even realize it until my therapist suggested it. I have this attitude of, “leave me alone, don’t carry me, I can take care of myself.”

But the truth is, right now, I need others. And that just feels odd to me. That others are offering to take some of the weight off my shoulders, and I am giving it to them.

When I teach self-compassion, I do the common, “what would you someone who loves you say to you in your time of shame and struggle.” Currently I’ve been asking myself, “what would your higher power want for you?” And the reality is, my higher power is within me. When I sit and get quiet, I know what I need, despite the fact that what I want is the opposite. And I’ve just been trusting in the spirit of the universe and staying true to what I know I need. Letting others know what I need is difficult, but I am trusting my truth and letting them take pieces of my burden.

Sometimes I feel like a badass warrior princess because I am showing up and doing what I can do, and not doing what I am not able to do right now. Sometimes I think that’s really badass. Other times, it makes me feel like I am weak to let others help me. On an intellectual level that that’s not true. However, I can’t help but feel it when I really want to do something and I have to let that something rest in someone else’s hands.

I’m working on all of this. I am just so full of gratitude that I have people who love me enough to watch me struggle and to do what they can to make that struggle hurt less because they love me.

fourth day of slow

I feel so free here. More free than I’ve ever felt. There is magic in this island. Every moment is a lesson. I see the Spirit of the Universe so clearly in every person I meet.

This place is special. And it comes at a time where I am opening up more than ever spiritually. I feel myself blooming in to my connection with my higher power. It is easy to believe in something beyond myself here.

Yesterday we went on an incredible hike to a beach called Colombier. It is only accessible by foot or boat, and the hike was amazing. We saw a beautiful white bird with this long, flowing tail. We saw a really cool rock wall and talked (like a bunch of granolas) about how cool it would be to bring a crash pad and boulder it. We saw the most incredible views of the ocean and the tiny islands surrounding our tiny island.

It was such a clear day. While I was swimming in the ocean, I felt totally connected to my existence.

Last night at dinner we talked about the Big Bang and what it means to us on a spiritual level. It was a very long conversation, and we came to some pretty cool conclusions about the idea that the Big Bang being the Oneness that we all come from. How the Big Bang was one singular purity, and everything that has come from it has that in every piece of its structure.

Right now I am sitting on the back patio of our place enjoying some music and watching the trees grow. I just ate some crepes. Jonny is smoking a cuban cigar. We’re about to go swimming.

The last time I felt this free was about five years ago, when I was discovering myself in outpatient treatment. I got to experience life in total awe because I had just chosen life. Here I am, five years later, in total awe of life. I forgot that I was missing this feeling. I forgot that this feeling existed.

Now that I remember, I think I can tap into this no matter where I am. I think that in meditation, I can create a bubble for myself where this freedom and lack of worry exists. I am so grateful for every breath. I feel like I am discovering the world for the first time. My curiosity and wonder have been re-ignited.

7 days of slow

I have not been taking good care of my body. Body image issues, little sleep, and long work hours have resulted in a malnourished Simone. Honestly, I am embarrassed.

I want to be put together all the time. I want to look healthy and energized everyday. I didn’t stop when I fell down my stairs. I didn’t stop when I fainted. I am on this quest to prove to my imagined audience that I am not disposable. And I tell myself that in order to do that, I must keep going.

I tell myself that when I miss a day (and a day off, to me, means I am missing a day of work — so I work on my days off), I am giving people the opportunity to realize, “oh yeah, we don’t need her, let’s get rid of her.” I know, I know, that is not at all what anyone is thinking.

It’s what I am thinking.

Really, this couldn’t have happened at a better time. I have been confined to the doctor’s office and my bed for the last two days. I am beginning to feel better, and I get to start eating solid foods today. I’ve decided to use this experience as my bottom. My realization that my mental health isn’t the only thing that comes first, my body is, too. Really, if my body isn’t doing well, if my brain is not nourished, my mental health can’t be 100%.

Tomorrow, we go on our honeymoon. I will rest. I will walk slowly through the market and I will take my time. We have no agenda, no strict itinerary. Just 7 days of slow.

I will not work. I will not check my email or call my coworkers to see how it’s going. I will rest. I give myself permission to let go, and trust. Everything is fine without me, that doesn’t mean I am disposable. That doesn’t mean that I am not valued in my work community.

I will spend today resting and preparing for a long travel day tomorrow. I can’t wait to write from the easiness of a beach.

guest appearance poem

Jonny wrote this song and I begged him to let me share it with all of you. It’s beautiful. The song is beautiful, and I can’t post that (yet?), but the words make a beautiful poem. So, here it is:

I was raised up,

Believing in,

Anything,

Greater than me,

But I didn’t believe,

What I couldn’t see,

So I chose me.

Then I saw the ocean,

I saw the trees,

I saw the sky up high,

And I saw me,

So I chose the ocean,

I chose the trees,

I chose the sky up high,

And it showed me.

That I’m just a man,

On a spinning ball of things,

I can walk any way,

But my troubles follow me,

So I take a breath,

I feel the leaves,

I taste the water,

And the water’s clean.

So I forget me,

I forget my troubles,

I forget my need to know,

And I remember curiosity,

Like I was a child,

Before I knew the world,

Might swallow me whole,

And spit out my bones.

So I grasp at air,

I hold it tight,

I put aside the things I know,

And I take flight.