“We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.”
― William James
Hello all! We made it through our first month of I Say Yes!! It has been MORE than I ever imagined and I am sooo GRATEFUL FOR YOU! We are DONE living on Auto-Pilot. We are AWAKE and we are ready to FLY!
I am so excited about so many things today I don’t even know where to start. So I guess I will just start at the beginning…lol:)
What’s ahead in April
Our Theme for this month is CONNECTION.
Our quote for this month is…
“In everybody’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner fire.” -Albert Schweitzer
The very MINUTE I read this quote I KNEW it was meant for this class this month. It is perfect! What we are talking about for the next four weeks is CONNECTION. Connection with others and ourselves. So many exciting lessons to be learned. I can’t wait to share them all with you!!!
Here is what I am MOST thrilled about sharing with you today…we start our Guest Artist this month! Oh and instead of having ONE guest artist per month…we are having TWO!! Sooooo….that means I need MORE artists!! If YOU want to share YOUR Story please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Not only is Missy married to my cousin Dale…but she is my Soul Sister!! This girl right here has the BIGGEST most GIVING Heart!! She is HILARIOUS too and when we get together we LAUGH. And I don’t mean just laugh. I mean LAUGH UNTIL TEARS ARE ROLLING DOWN OUR CHEEKS AND WE CAN’T BREATHE LAUGH!!
Here is her Story…
I am an introvert, through and through. It’s a good thing, because my kids are grown and out of the house, and my husband works 2nd shift (2PM to 11PM). I am basically alone most of the time. I have 3 dogs, but no humans. I am not able to function enough to hold a job…
I have New Daily Persistent Headache and Chronic Migraine Disease. I have not had a headache free day in 5 years. With this disease, I cannot take medicine for pain everyday. I am only able to take up to 2 pills every 7 days. If I take more than that, I get rebound headaches, which are worse than the original pain that I was experiencing.
At first, it was just a weird headache I woke up with one morning. I could feel my whole brain, and I could feel my brain moving if I leaned my head in any direction. Eventually, the pain got worse and worse. That is when the migraines kicked in. The only thing that would not make the pain worse, was to keep my chin level with the floor. I started sleeping in a reclining chair with a travel pillow worn backwards, so the pillow would support my chin and keep my head level. If my head tilted, I would wake up in pain and try to sleep again. I took Aleve like it was going out of style (later to find out I was getting rebound headaches and making the pain worse).
After going to a teaching hospital / clinic, thinking that would be great because they want to learn and teach this stuff, and getting nowhere, I felt led to try Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.
Hear the angels singing in the background? I found what I needed! Not only did my doctor do a complete neurological exam, he listened to me, and BELIEVED me. The Nurse Practitioner that was assigned to me was so compassionate and got to know me and my headache history. Come to find out, she has migraines too. Bonus!
She even told me one day, “some people have really bad migraines, and some people have scary bad migraines. You have scary bad migraines.” Wow! It is not just me being wimpy. I knew how much pain I was going through, but to have someone confirm it was wonderful. Even my awesome, loving husband admitted he didn’t think I was experiencing real bad pain. I guess I have been dramatic about pain earlier in life. Lol
Well, for a long time, I tried to balance work and life, but that didn’t happen. I quit work. Then I tried to balance home life, you know, cooking and cleaning. Nope. Not working. I had to find a way to create. It is who I am. So, even if it was just moving stuff around on my desk in the craft room, I needed to create.
My wonderful husband noticed how hard it was just for me to go to the room and come back out and rest my body, and suggested I get a table to put in our living room. How great! Now I can take a few steps from the recliner to my craft table, and on a bad day, play for a minute or two, and go back to resting.
My happiest days are when I get to scrapbook with my other scrappy friends. I used to be able to scrap for over 12 hours or even to go to all weekend retreats. Now I am thankful if I can last 6 hours. It is really the only time I get out, besides grocery shopping every few weeks.
Bad days are just that,bad. Good days, are subjective. Do I want to try and do something? What if I start hurting more? I think that is the hardest to deal with, the indecision. Will it be worth it if I happen to over do it? Bending my head over a table, being creative is like a gamble. For my sanity, I do a little at a time.
I don’t want to say that my pain defines who I am, only how I live. But, sometimes it is hard to explain to people why I do such strange things, or can’t do some things without putting the “chronic pain” label on myself. I prefer “pain warrior” as a label for me. I fight pain every single day. Do I have it bad? Sometimes. Are there others worse than me? Heck YES! I am blessed to have what I have. It could be so much worse and it could be real scary. Some people have stroke-like symptoms, and some people even lose their vision during an attack. As much pain as I have, I am SO happy my side effects are minimal.
I have been a creative person for as long as I can remember. I would cut up old clothes, and make Barbie doll clothes and baby doll clothes. I learned crochet, and made scarfs and blankets for all my stuffed animals.
In High School, I learned cross stitch and did it for many years. I, maybe have 3 items that I made for myself, because I always made stuff with others in mind.
I then started scrapbooking. I love blaming Leslie for my obsession. I started with just a few supplies, and very basic. Then I went to a crop with Les, and it just blew my mind. I now have moved on to mini albums and making cards. I love constructing mini albums and boxes to put them in. I love to create things and give them away, hopefully making the recipient smile.
I have always been that way. I like making things with a person in mind. I usually get inspired by a design or paper line and immediately think of who it I think it needs to go to.
My favorite quote…right now…is
You can’t start the next chapter of your life is you keep re-reading the last one.
I made this page with stamps and ink, markers and a cutout.
The items I used
various inks from Stampin Up
Old rubber stamp
Distress Paint – picket fence
Gold paint pen
Various items from my stash
I have lost connection with my close friends because of my health. I also have lost connection with my church.
It is hard to go to lunch or go shopping with friends because my migraine triggers are so unpredictable and out of my hands.
Some of my triggers for my migraines are
- too much activity
- Bass in music (those boom booms really tear me up)
- If I get hot
- Some bright lights
- Not enough sleep
- Stressful situations
- Bending over repeatedly
- Traveling in a car more than an hour
It is a lot to work around, and frustrating when I have no control over the environment I am in. It, also, is embarrassing for me to ask someone to change their usual routine for my benefit. It is something I have learned to do, but it still makes me embarrassed or uncomfortable. I have had to walk out of restaurants because they don’t understand the reason for my request to change music or because of excessive noise.
I rarely make plans, because my pain can change at any moment. I hate to commit to something, and then cancel. I have a few scrapbooking friends who understand, but it is still frustrating to say I will go to an event, and then have to cancel.
I have pulled myself back from going to church, because of the singing and music and other noises.
I was going through a search for acceptance quotes, I wrote some down, but when I came across this one I knew it was mine.
I was going to post this art piece when I first made it, but it tells part of my story. I wanted to save it for this month.
I used stamps, inks and markers.
Heidi Swapp and Teresa Collins stamps, years old-from my stash
Memento Tuxedo Black ink, Stazon Timber Brown & Close To My Heart Whisper
Tim Holtz Distress Markers
- Mowed Lawn
- Blueprint Sketch
- Abandoned Coral
- Festive Berries
- Salty Ocean
“Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there’s got to be a way through it.” – Michael J Fox
I wanted the background to be busy, but not overpowering. I wanted to show acceptance has quieted all my fears and frustrations. Acceptance is now the forefront of my days. I listed things I have to do and accept, and they are also in the background because most days, they ARE in the background of my life.
I have a new normal, and it is accepting what the day or night brings. Do I still struggle with my limitations? Yes. Do I still grieve the old me? Yes. Do I wallow in self pity?
No, I choose to be grateful for what I can do.
I make it work. I have no choice.
Thank you so much Missy for sharing your Story with us!!
Our assignment this week is to create a page about YOU and YOUR CONNECTIONS. Do you struggle making Connections with others? Or does Connecting come easy for you? How has your past affected the way you Connect with others and yourself?
Here is MY Connection Page. Boy did this bring all kinds of unexpected things out!!!
You can see my step by step process and here more of my Story later in the week.
Thanks again Missy for being Brave and sharing your Story!!
I would LOVE for you to join our Brave Heart Sisterhood Community and I Say Yes!