I need to explain why I've vanished off the face off the blogging universe. (I'm not going to go back and reread. or I may not post... so hope it makes sense)
The last year was a rough one for me/my family (sister & mom's illnesses) & the who knew that doing the challenges with Rhonna Farrer for change & thankfulness would throw me for a loop. I love visiting all your blogs & so many other ones on the web seeing all the amazing creations. Taking time for my body to be down doing nothing make everything even worse. I like to keep busy even while watching TV I usually have knitting or scrapbook page going. I have so many ideas & things I want to do but my body was fighting me tooth and nail with extreme fatigue, pain & other symptoms. This really pooked me off. I felt extremely depressed. But even something simple was just too much. This was compounded by feeling guilty & that I was a failure for "allowing" myself to become depressed. This just made things worse since no one allows themselves to become depressed it just doesn't work that way.
I try to not share a lot of "life" things on the blog sticking mostly to crafting. I have always been torn by this since I love so many blogs that effortlessly do both in such a brutally honest way. Stephanie Howell is a shining example of this. But her life has so many funny moments with the escapades of her "chicks" to balance out the hard things in life. I'm at a different stage in life with family & my life just isn't that interesting lol.. The bad things in life seemed to be piling up on me with numerous health issues & I didn't want to turn it into a downer or pity party for me.
As a Christian I feel the pressure to be positive & "salt & light" during those trials. I'm always amazed by those people that can just shine during the worst things in life - I think that is God shining thru them with His strength. You know the people I'm talking about... at a funeral they can get up and talk about a loved one during the service so eloquently or go through cancer treatments never missing church until they are in hospice. I only felt my own weakness & not His strength in me and was questioning why. I'm naturally a person that pulls away when sick - I hate being a burden or showing I'm sick. So with so much of this year being sick and not able to do what I want it seems I was isolated more often than not.
October was a hard month health wise - pain & sickness can really wear you down. Simply accepting the challenge to choose 1 thing to change in my life & focusing on what I was thankful for in November mushroomed that lack of strength. I felt a tremendous pressure along with emotional issues being brought to the surface at a time when my body needed to heal. Then I just "ran away" hiding out from you. The days turned into weeks and every day I thought about what to do about the blog & those of you who are so sweet to encourage me in my hobby. Then getting back to the blog became a burden that I thought about often I wanted to come back but didn't know how to... It really hung over me & could bring me to tears.
After many tears, prayers & reassessing... I'm just going to be honest - not try to hide what's happening to me anymore. I think that is when I'm willing to share that is when God can give me that miraculous strength. This is still going to be a creative blog but I'm not going to hide things: in hopes of getting on a design team, not wanting seem a selfish "I" "ME" person, or a gloomy downer. Stephanie Howell was again a catalyst for tweaking my thoughts on this. I think her honest sharing is a way God can get thru my fat head and work on my heart.
So here goes
First I want to say how sorry I am for just leaving things. So many of you have been so sweet to encourage me by leaving sweet comments on my posts & even missing me while I've been gone sending emails. Thanks so much for your thoughts and concerns they were bright points in the darkness of depression.
I'm going to come clean about my illnesses... I've shared briefly that I've dealt with breast cancer & the treatment of that has been complicated by other disabling illnesses that I've had for years. I have rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, sjogren's syndrome, fibromyalgia & crohns disease - yep I'm an auto immune nightmare. The symptoms have a tendency to cycle and build. When I'm good I'm good & when I'm bad I'm bad not a lot of in between since I consider any good day as one that I can get up & do things. The medicines help but as the years have gone on & the costs of those meds gone up I am not always able to take them as prescribed so if you don't take them they don't help. Not taking them really makes the doctor office visit costs go up since I'm there more often & it takes more medicine to calm down the symptoms. It's a sad reality of so many people today who have insurance but still can't afford all the co-payments/out of pocket expenses when I'm forced to take 20+ different medicines a month just to maintain. I try to weigh the side effects before taking them because I was never an Rx person - I'd rather do herbal/holistic treatments but I had no choice. The breast cancer on top of that really was a lot to handle. Lupus has given me lots of kidney problems so even just simple anesthesia can cause my kidneys to "freak out" and stop working properly. I will never be able to be on the list for a transplant and have been close to dialysis several times (which I want to avoid of course) so that made treatment tricky to say the least. This is all out of my control but I can choose how to deal with it.
With all that I'm still so thankful for all that I CAN DO on those good days and for my family & friends. So much of life (with or without illness) is about choices. I choose to be thankful for what I have & make the most of each & every day that I am given. I am slowly recovering both physically and emotionally - feeling stronger every day. There is a lightness streaming into the darkness that I was closed in. I really pray for people who struggle with depression as it's such a misunderstood thing & so debilitating. I have had periods of it thru my life but am thankful for always being able to come out of it. Depression really sucks the life out out of a person robbing them of all joy, interests and more.
One of the ways I'm going to recover is taking is Brave Girls Soul Restoration online class. (now that I have gotten some help for the depression this class for change shouldn't throw me into a deeper depression as the challenge I was doing with Rhonna before the holidays)
My friend Lori gave me the tuition & I'm so thankful for her friendship, love, support, and encouragement. It starts today at 11:11 am pst & I'm so ready for a change/restoration. The women that come back from the Brave Girls Camp have that lightness, shine, and joy so since I will probably never be able to attend the physical camp I'm thankful to be a part of the next best thing. Melody Ross is incredible at combining art with life changes. I'm excited to incorporate creativity in an effort to get over the things in my past & be the best person I can be now even with all the things on my plate that I have no choice but deal with. I know when I create for me it can de-stress from the pressures of life and I just love it.
I'm still designing mini album kits & display pages for EMI Scrapbooking ( my local scrapbook store)& thank you Susan for being such a great friend & so patient with me. You're the best! The creativity has been a lifeline to me and really saved me from feeling so useless. It's such a blessing.
Thanks again to each of you & I hope this helps you understand why I left the blog unattended.