Raising Awareness of Invisible Illness 

Invisble illness, invisible disability……. To those who don’t have one, most would assume that it’s in your head. Thus invisible. However, this so far from the truth An Invisible Ilness is an illness that cannot be seen outwardly.  So for instance; Migraines, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Kidney Disease, thyroid disease, Heart disease, arthritis, fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or Chronic Pain. This list goes on forever!!  Invisible illnesses could even include mental illnesses. You can’t and most of the time will never see mental illness outwardly. They are conditions that can not be seen by just looking at someone. They are conditions that may be wreaking havoc on a person internally but you would never know because they may or may not be showing any signs outwardly. The Invisble Disabilities Association has deemed October 15, 2017 – October 21,2017 to be Invisoble Disabilitoes Week Online. A week to celebrate if you will, or bring conditions like these to the forefront. So let’s do just that. 
When you see someone in their thirties get out of a car they just parked in a handicap spot. What’s your first thought? For most I would almost guarantee it’s not “Oh how sad, I wonder what condition has made them disabled!”  For most it is probably more along the lines of “Look at that fat lazy girl taking up a handicap spot. I bet that tag belongs to her grandma or somethings!”  Now, don’t get me wrong not everyone thinks that way. But I know a large amount of people do. I have even caught myself at times thinking things I shouldn’t. Sadly in this day in age it just seems like second nature.  People don’t automatically assume that their may be a reason that a 32 year old slightly overweight female has some big bad illness because on the outside other than maybe a limp or the look of exhaustion on her face you don’t see anything wrong.  

    According To Everyday Health,  “But for the millions of people who are living with arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and other forms of pain that are “invisible illnesses,” explaining what’s wrong is another side effect of their condition. Not only do you have to put up with challenging, often painful, and sometimes debilitating conditions every day, but on top of that, you may have to face skepticism from people — friends, family, and co-workers, as well as strangers — who don’t understand what’s wrong with you.”

    So what do you do to get past the skepticism and the non-believers? Do you put up bumper stickers with a list or your conditions? Or wear a T-shirt that says something along the lines of “Yes, I’m really sick? No!  Because you can’t change the way people think.  All we can do is pass on awareness to our friends and family. And even the people who follow us on social media. The only way we will ever get past the way people who view those of us with invisible illness is awareness. 

    Awareness can come in many forms. For me Blog. I can get my information out to larger volumes of people by blogging. I also use My social media accounts as platforms to spread awareness. Do people get tired of it? I’m sure! But we have to spread awareness for the Invisiblem Illnessea that are touching our families and friends. Should we shove it down peoples throats? Absolutely not, people aren’t going to change!  Some people will always think we are just lazy. And you know what we have to be okay with that bc we can’t change anyone else. 

    So help me help us this week by spreading awareness of Invisible Illness. One way we can do so this week is to change the frame on our face book profile picture to one that says I live with an Invisible Illness for the week. That just might open some eyes for people around you!!  The Huff Post posted this graphic and it feels like the perfect way to end this blog. But should you have any questions or anything please reach out!  

    Go out and spread awareness of your Invisible Illness/Disability!

    https://www.everydayhealth.com/pain-management/invisible-illness-when-others-cant-see-your-pain.aspx

    https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/8178886

    Book Review: The Truth We Bury

    I’ve read Barbara Taylor Sissel’s writing before, but this time she really outdid herself!  After reading the preview I was so excited. I haven’t read a murder mystery that has really held my attention in a LONG time. But this book did that and more!!! Barbara made the characters so relatable and you really felt like you were right there in the book with characters. Each chapter kept you drawn in and wanting More!  

    The way Barbara writes is truly amazing to me. She gives you just enough information that you think you know what is going on but in the end you really have no idea.  Her plot lines are amazing. And the character definition as I mentioned above left you feeling like you really knew the characters and could be friends with them!  Each character was well developed and had their qualities that you liked and even most had some qualities that you didn’t like. Barbara has a way of making her chatevyers likable and hateable all at the same time. 

    In the end I was shocked with the ending. I never saw that coming! But in my opinion that’s how a good mystery should read. I like being able to decide what I thought happened and then find out that I couldn’t have been more wrong!!!  Overall I would give this book 4 out of 4 stars.  This is by far one of my favorite books of this year. And I can’t wait for. The author to put out more great books!! 

    Dealing with Social Isolation

    When you read the words social isolation what is the first thing you think of?  Is it Tom Hanks being stuck on a deserted island and resorting to talking a volleyball to not go nuts?  Is it those poor old people who live by themselves and have no friends or family to ever come see them? According to free dictionary.com – social isolation is the process of separating, or the state of being alone.  So this could be taken in several different ways.  Anyone can suffer from social isolation. 

    When you are chronically ill you often suffer from many kinds of isolation. You are feeling isolated from the world because you don’t leave the house often due to not feeling well and for fear of getting sick. You may also feel religious isolation because you can no longer regularly attend church like you once did. And you feel like you are isolated from your church family. Probably the most common type or feeling of isolation is the feeling of isolation from your friends and family. Also known as social isolation. Due to the fact that you no longer feel like doing the things you used to and you often times end up cancelling plans. And once you start cancelling plans much of the time people will stop asking you to do things. Because they just assume you’ll say no. And possibly because they assume you just don’t want to spend time with them when that’s so very far from the truth. 

    “Belonging” is a complex social concept, relating to people, places, and things. It is fundamental to our emotional well-being, helps define us, and keeps us connected. Social isolation, on the other hand, is when you distance yourself, physically, psychologically, or both, from your network of needed relationships.When you have a chronic illness, isolation can have unforeseen consequences, including worsening symptoms, unexpected health crises, hospitalization, loss of interest in activities, and decreased levels of energy. Anyone living with a long-term health condition is at risk for social isolation.” Upwell.com

    I asked the members of Lupie Groupies (the Facebook support group I am administrator of) about their thoughts and feelings on isolation. Below are what they had to say. 
    This fellow spoonie said “The only time I feel the isolation is when I’m feeling better. Otherwise to be honest I’m just to sick to care. If I am lonely or bored it means I’m improving ( which hasn’t happened in awhile).”  Which made me think. She is so right. It’s when I feel better that I start noticing my feelings of isolation because I feel like getting out of the house and doing things. Whereas when I’m sick the last thing I’m thinking about is leaving the house to hang out with friends.”

    Kim had this to say “I too generally feel more isolated when I am feeling better. However, these past few weeks have been the High Holy Days for our Faith and I have not been able to participate either because I have been too weak or in the hospital. This is really hard on me as my faith is very important me. I have not been to services in a while because of my fatigue and pain. These issues just aren’t going away either. I also don’t see many people on a regular basis either due to illness except family. When I am doing better this can be upsetting at times. I am an outgoing person with a heart for people. The friends I have do which are few have been my friends for 30 years and we are more family now than anything. They have stuck but others have not because I cannot be there to go out to lunch or just hang out. I cannot say with any certainty that I will available for them. My body doesn’t allow that.”  She touched on many of the types of isolation I talked about up above. And I appreciate her openness and willingness to share. 

    Elizabeth had this to say,  “I’ve been fortunate to have a long stretch of time that I was doing very well and was able to do things with a lot of people. Now I’m falling apart again, Benlysta stopped working, I HURT all the time, etc. I’ve had to cancel so many plans that I’ve had for quite some time and any time I allow myself to think about it I start crying. The internet is good for kind of talking with people, but on the other hand it sometimes hurts to look at Facebook and see life going on without you. And they should live their lives, I get that, but when living my life equals sitting around in pain it’s rough. So yes, social isolation for me is the worst right after a feeling great period because I’m having to say no to so many things I enjoy and then watch others have fun without me.”  She makes a great point about the internet. It’s a great tool for finding support groups and friends suffering with similar conditions. And finding people to talk to who share your feelings. However, it can also be a negative experience when you see all the fun things and vacations and such that your friends are doing and you aren’t able to. 

    There are ways to combat feelings of social isolation. Upwell.com have five things that can be done to combat those feelings. They are listed below. 

    Five ways to keep social isolation from taking over your life

    1. Do your research. People often struggle with what they don’t know. Invest time in learning about your illness, symptoms, and treatment options so you do not fall prey to the emotional difficulties of illness, including the desire to be alone. By being proactive, you can understand triggers and keep isolation from taking over your life.

    2. Participate in e-social activities. We are blessed to live in an age where social networks make it easy to reach out to others. These are especially helpful when illness and pain prevent us from leaving our homes. Many different e-social activities, including email and instant messaging, give you an opportunity to stay connected daily. It does not matter whether you are reaching out to friends, family, or online acquaintances; the important thing is that you are connecting and not struggling alone. 

    3. Join a real life support group. Real life support groups are a great place for the chronically ill and isolated. They are a resource for information and emotional support, and they offer an opportunity to vent to people who understand. They are also an excuse to get out in the world. To find a local support group, Google a national organization for your condition, and then locate links on the page related to support groups or a local chapter. For example, the Arthritis Foundation has a local chapter search where you can find all the resources for your area, including real life support groups. Or, you can try the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ support group page.

    4. Take part in the real world. There will be times when you struggle to take part in the real world—whether it is spending time with loved ones or focusing on your career perspectives. Participating in the real world keeps you from becoming isolated. It also keeps you enjoying life, making memories, and feeling positive in a life that isn’t necessarily easy. Let others know you can participate, and join in all the activities you reasonably can handle. Volunteer, join a book club, or meet a friend for coffee or lunch at least once a week.

    5. Get comfortable with being alone. While it is important to have a network of people to relate to, there will be times when life requires you to be alone or when you simply want to be alone. Get comfortable being on your own. Learn to lead your own life and make your alone time productive and healthy. You can try meditating, writing, or reading to help you deal with isolation when chronic illness is dominating your life.   

    Social isolation can be something that anyone can deal with. But those with chronic illness are more common to deal with these feelings. One of the ways upwell.com gave to help deal with these feelings is to find a support group. Support groups can provide you with information but they can also be a place to find friends and confidants in those who are dealing with similar conditions. If you don’t have a support group but are interested in finding one let me know and I can help you find one. 

    Amber 

    Reference:

    https://www.upwell.com/articles/coping-and-support/manage-social-isolation-with-chronic-illness.html

    Content Direction— Please HELP!

    I’m working on developing my website and really turning it into what I want it to be. I somehow want to merge my health, which is a huge part of my life, along with some of the fun stuff. Like makeup, and tutorials and reviews and book reviews.  But I need to know what you the reader is interested in, so I know where to go from here. 
    Below I am going to give NUMBERED ideas for content. After you read this please leave me a note in the comments telling me what you would like to see more of. So I can reign in all these thoughts and know where to focus my energy!  I appreciate the help. If I don’t list something you would like to see, leave it in the comments as well. 

    Thanks for all your help!

    1. Medical content- my main focus has been and will continue to be on chronic illnesses. Treatment options, research etc 

    2. Makeup content- reviews, tutorials etc(might also include some clothes and bags)

    3. Books reviews/discussions (from all genera)

    4. Lighthearted, uplifting content – poetry, bible verses, prayers etc

    5. Life content. What’s going on with me and the family, maybe more about what’s happening with me weekly.!!?

    6. Self-help kind of content

    8. Anything you want to see here let me know!!!
    Thanks for taking time to respond to this I greatly appreciate it. 
                                                                        Content meme found using google search. 

    Living vs Surviving 

    You know the question….. We’ve all asked it, and all thought carefully about how to answer. The question is nothing life altering to most and seems simple enough. But to many the answer is FAR from simple. Now you are probably wondering what question I might be speaking of. Well….. the common probably the most common and generic question asked, “How are you?”     To most that’s not a big question and gets a simple answer of “Okay,” or “Fine.” But how many of us with a chronic illness ever answer this truthfully? When was the last time you answered and said “I had a really horrible night l, my pain is at a 9, my head is pounding and I think I’m going to lose my breakfast and I’m barely surviving?”  Probably never! No one is ever that truthful and no one ever expects that kind of answer. What would you honestly do if someone you hardly knew all laid that on you? This leads me to my topic for this blog. The difference in living and surviving. And how truly different those two things are!! 

    If you were to define living what would say? To me living is just that, being able to go about your “normal” life with little to no pain. Not really thinking about your illness because if is not effecting your daily life. You can come and go as you please and not have to think about your daily spoon use. You can go do the things you enjoy and the drop of a hat with no second thought. Or do nothing at all. But you have the decision because you feel GOOD!!

    On the flip side surviving is just that. You are just getting by. You may be working and doing all the things that are required of you but that’s all you are doing. There are no extra events or fun activities because there is no energy. Even the activities that should be simple like showering or doing makeup are to strenuous and must be skipped to save energy for things later in the day. And when you are in survival mode you are definitely thinking about your spoon use! 

    I asked some of the women in a support group that I help run about their definition of living vs surviving and this is what they had to say! 

    One fellow Survivor said this “Living is being able to enjoy and do what you love. It is exploring, traveling, dropping everything and with no plan getting in the car and driving for the weekend and exploring back roads and meeting people. Surviving is figuring out if you can drive to your doctors appointment without killing others and not caring if you die. It is living on yogurt and eggo waffles because cooking is to hard. It is knowing the house or apartment is trashed but you can’t do anything about it because the friends and family have given up because there is no “getting better.” “

    Another had this to say, “My husband always tells doctors that I am alive but is not living. I think you can substitute surviving for alive. What he means is I’m breathing, but I have no life beyond my bed. So to us, surviving is just getting through each day, while living is doing all this things I took for granted before I got sick…going out to eat, seeing a movie, going on vacation, watching my son play baseball. The list is endless.” 

    Both of those are so true. They both do an excellent job of explaining what it means to live versus survive. And how different those two ways of life can be. Living is enjoying life and doing what you want when you want. While surviving is truly finding a way to make it through each task with the end goal of getting back to bed or the couch as quickly as possible. 

    So what do you do to get through those times when you are just surviving? Those times when people ask how you are and you wish you could really be honest, but instead you just tell them you are doing fine! Here are a few simple tips to get through those times when you feel like you are just simply surviving. 

    1. Do only the things that are essential! The bathrooms, the vacuuming and dusting can be put off for a few days until you are feeling better. The things like showering, dressing and general activities of daily living are more essential and those tasks should be focused on first. 

    2. If you have someone available ask for help. If you have a spouse, kids or even coworkers (not always an option I know) who can take over some of the tasks that for you are too hard to do at this time. 

    3. Rest, Rest, Rest!  Take any and every chance you can to rest. Even if you can only take a 15 min power nap to close your eyes and recenter yourself, use that time to so so. If you can schedule in a 2 hour nap then do that. Just rest. Whenever and however you can. 

    4. Even during the good times make sure that you take time for you. Whether that’s something as simple as a nightly bath by yourself after the kids go to bed.  Or something a little more elaborate like a mani/pedi and a massage once a month. Whatever it is is FIND TIME FOR YOU!!  

    5. Last bit definitely not LEAST. Find someone you can confide in. Someone who understands the daily struggles and will be there for you to lean on emotionally. Whether this is your spouse, your bestie, a counselor or someone you’ve never met but have connected to in an online support group. Whoever it may be, having someone to talk to will really help when you are struggling. 

    So as you can see there is a definite difference in living versus surviving. This may not be something you’ve ever thought about if you don’t live with a chronic illness that causes you periods of poor health and exhaustion. But it’s a real thing. Yes, technically we are all living but you have to look at quality of life as well. That’s where the term surviving comes into play. At times when you are doing just that. Just simply making it through each day alive. Remember there are groups out there with others going through situations similar to yours and they will be not only great Resources but they can also be a place where great lifelong friendships can be made.  

    Change…. How Do You Deal With It? 

    Change is hard. That’s just all there is to it!  No change is easy. At least not for me. But lately it seems like there have been so many changes in my life that I’ve just had to pull myself up by my boot straps and go on. The accident caused most of those changes! It’s amazing how something that happened in probably less than 30 seconds can cause such great upheaval in a persons life. But it does. And there isn’t a darn thing that can be done about it. Change is inevitable not just in my life at this time, but in everyone’s life. 

    In the last five years, or more specifically even in the last month and a half, I could have dug my heels in and said no more. I have faced more change in a short time than most face in a lifetime. And don’t get me wrong many times I have wallowed and cried and said that I refused to deal with whatever was happening. But like we all know this doesn’t help!!! It may feel like in the moment that crying and wallowing helps but it doesn’t in the long run!!! I’ve learned the hard way that when we are faced with change and adversity we just have to face it head on.  Look it in the face and deal with what’s at hand. 

    However, it’s not just me that is going through or facing change. As I look at the lives of those around me many of them are dealing with big change as well. Whether it be a new spouse, a new baby, a new house, a new job etc. A lot of them are dealing with some change.  My sister is the best example of life altering change. She is finishing up her highschool career. And she has started to experience the “lasts.”  Like for instance she had her LAST home game on her highschool softball team. She will never play another home game there. And today was their LAST practice. Outwardly she is handling these things like a champ. While inwardly there has to be some emotion there surrounding these events.  Lasts are hard but we have to have the last of something before we can have the first of the next chapter in our lives. 

    Throughout life like I said before change is inevitable. It’s going to happen. Sometimes it’s for the best and sometimes it just has to happen. But it’s all in how we handle the change that really makes the difference. If we are able to walk through change with grace and our head held high things will generally turn out better for us in the long run. On the flip side if we wallow, and cry and drag our feet change is going to be hard. Not only for the person dealing with the change primarily but for all those around them.  And no one wants to be around that person who is stuck in the past refusing to let go of things that cannot be changed. 

    In the end it’s all about how we focus our energy. Do we focus on the future or continue to be stuck in the past?  Can we let go of the old and open the gates for whatever new might be on its way into our lives? Those are the essential issues with change. We as a society seem to have a problem letting go of the past and moving forward. We seem to want to focus on what has happened before rather than thinking about what we do now and how it will effect the future. Not just for us living now but also for those coming behind us!  Socrates said it best,  “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the the old, but on building the new.” 

    PRODUCT REVIEW: The Pink Hair Spring Crease Free French Hair Tie by Mini Mani Moo LLC.

    I’ve been wearing my hair in a pony tail for years!!! Since I was a toddler in fact!! It wasn’t until the last couple of years that I began having migraines, a LOT. And I’ve done everything under the sun I can think of to help ease those headaches!  From ice to peppermint oil to more drastic things like cutting my hair very short. Why you ask would I cut my hair to help my headaches?  Well, if you don’t have headaches and long hair you would understand. But there are times my scalp will hurt, even my hair will hurt. So I thought maybe by cutting my hair and no longer being able to pull it up and not having the weight of long hair would ease the eadaches. Sadly, that wasn’t always the case!!

    However, about a week ago someone suggested to me that I try the The Pink Hair Spring Crease Free French Hair Tie made by Mini Mani Moo LLC.  She said that not only could she wear her hair up all day and there would be no crease but she would also not have any headache from her top knot. I thought to myself I have to try these. So I went online and ordered myself s set of two boxes which was 6 hair ties. I wasn’t too hopeful but thought I would try anything. And then I waited for them to arrive.  At this pony I am willing to try anything that might ease my headaches even if just for a short time. 

    The product arrived within just a few short days after my order was placed!  As soon as they arrived the first thing I did was pull one out of the package and put my hair up in my signature top knot. I thought I’d give it 6-8 hours and surely by then I would have a headache. Boy was I WRONG!!!  I was able to wear my hair up in a bun/top knot for over 24 hours. When I took it down, not only did I have no headache. I had no scalp tenderness, hair tenderness or anything!!!  I also, just as they advertised, had no crease in my hair!!!!!  Since that time I’ve had my hair up for another 24+ hours and still have no tenderness or pain of any kind. And no HEADACHE!!  

    For me this is HUGE!  Being able to wear my hair up for this long is something that I haven’t been able to do in years. So I am thoroughly impressed with this product!! And I would highly recommend it to any lady with long hair. Especially to any lady with long hair who suffers from migraines. This product gives us the freedom to do our hair again how we like without having to suffer the pain of using a regular hair tie!!! I would definitely give this product 5stars!!!! 

    Growing a Business….. MY BUSINESS!!!! 

    Several months back around the first of 2017 I was invited to one of those annoying makeup 💄parties on Facebook. You know the ones I am talking about, the ones it seems like you are always getting an invite to!! I had ignored multiple invites over the previous months. But for some reason I decided to drop into this one. Probably because this one was only like an hour long. So it was quick and to the point. I really liked the host, and the longer that I spent watching her demonstrate the makeup the more enthralled I was. The idea behind this makeup was that the lipstick was kiss proof, smudge proof etc!! You could kiss your spouse or your babies and the lipstick wouldn’t come off on them. Sure I thought? They say that but there’s no way!!! But then she proceeded to show us that it was all those things and MORE.  The makeup is all also smudge proof, water proof and could be worn in the pool even. I was HOOKED!! 

    So shortly after I started wearing the product I learned about the awesome compensation plan that the company provides its distributors. So not only did they make awesome makeup, lipstick and skin care products they also provided also compensation plans. So I was falling more and more in love with Senegence weekly. One thing that I liked was that every customer has the ability to sign up “as a distributor,” to receive the wholesale discount, or become a distributor. So just for signing up a person can receive a minimum of 20%  off of all purchases (which is way more than any customer can receive from any distributor outside of 🎉 party). Even at this point I was hesitant I thought okay? I sign up and then they will sock me will HUGE distributor fees or requirements. But true to Senegence style that’s not the case. To join they just require a $55 fee ghat is required annually (much like a Costco membeeship!) All that is required to stay a distributor is to order $200 worth of product every SIX months. Which is so very easy to do!!  And the discount gets better with the more you spend. But you don’t have to and you can just continue to get the 20% off if you choose. If you chose that you want more than the discount this is also the point where you can decide to become an active distributor for the company! 

    So I started using Lipsense 👄 sometime around February or March 2017. I can’t remember exactly. By the end of April I had signed up to be a distributor. I had never planned on actually selling for Senegence but like usual God has different plans for my life. Over the course of May, June and July my health continued to go down hill, and I was less able to  keep up with my work schedule. So that’s when I decided after much prayer that it was time for me to try to overcome my battles with health, and my battle with my  inability to keep up my normal schedule at work! I decided that it was time for me to really start putting time into selling cosmetics. Not just any cosmetics,  Lipsense. 

    Lipsense, you ask, surley there’s more than just 💄 lipstick? You are right?!?  Lipsense is just a part of the Senegence line. Yes! That’s true. Senegence has a complete makeup line as well as a skin care line.  But the Lipsense is the most common, well heard-of and probably the most lucrative. It seems like most places you go now someone has heard of Lipsense. Which makes selling it much easier. Sometime In June of 2017 I became somewhat serious about selling lipsense. I was shocked at how easy it really was.  The product pretty much sold itself. The best way to sell Senegence products is Facebook!!!! And heaven knows I’ve been successfully using Facebook for many years. So selling on Facebook seemed like it wouldn’t be that hard. But doing Live chats on Facebook turned out to be much harder than I thought.  I can talk with the best of them.  But getting people on to interact is a whole different story. But like anything else the  more LIVE Facebook shows/chats I did, the more comfortable I become with them. And the more comfortable I became with running a Business Page on Facebook. And the bigger my business grew. 

    Then it happened. The car accident. In mid August I had a car accident due to a medical event. And due to that event I am no longer able to drive a car or work a typical 9-5 job. So my Lipsense Business became my ONLY source of income.  Now that I was no longer working my 9-5 I was able to really focus on my business. I have been able to grow team and give other women the opportunity to join Senegence and start their own businesses.  I have been so blessed to have Senegence in my life as an opportunity!! Senegence has helped me pay my bills and provide for myself in a time when I had no other means of income. And more importantly Senegence has helped me find my HAPPY!!! Because of this reason I can’t wait to share it with others.  It is the perfect job for stay at home moms, women who love makeup and just want to make a little more money. Or women who want to go full force and go for the big $$.  I am so inspired by the women in this company, they are awesome, God loving, mamas who work this business like a boss. There are women in this company who are making upwards of $20,000 a MONTH!!!!!  Who wouldn’t want that!! 

    In closing Senegence is an amazing company that makes long wear, smudge free makeup. But more than that they are a company that is owned by a women who wants to impower women!! Impower women to run their businesses like a boss! The owner Joni wants women to run their businesses however it suits them. Whether that’s just having extra spending money or suppporting their families!!!  Senegence is far more than a cosmetic company. And I am so lucky to be a part of it and would LOVE to share the opportunity with each and every one of you. So you can find Your happy!!!  👄💋👄

    Taking Constant HITS

    Do you ever feel like we live in a series of hits? Taking one after another after another?  Some may be like a thunderstorm that blows threw almost daily during some seasons leaving very little damage, maybe some downed tree limbs and minor stream flooding. While others feel like a category 5 disaster with live change disaster left behind.  While the hits we take are not really be like a category 1- 5 they sure feel like them. A category one might be something like getting bad lab results. And because of those results you now have to watch your diet intake and might not able to have the meal or sweets you wanted. Or the adult beverage you prefer on the weekend to wind down. Due to the fact they are watching your liver enzymes. Or perhaps you have a small flare and spend one day hurting due to a weather change!  Those things in the scheme of things are small hits. Where as a category 5 might be something like long term illness or hospitalization.  But to everyone the category of HITS will be different for each person. And how you handle these HITS will differ, we all have to find a way to handle things that are appropriate for all of us.  Continue reading “Taking Constant HITS”

    Finding Me…

    Disclaimer: This was very hard for me to write, it has made me feel very vulnerable! However, I   feel like it’s a story that needs to be shared and hope that in someway my story of finding love for myself again can help someone else do the same. 

    When you have a chronic illness it’s no secret that you often feel depressed or you start to question your self worth!  Or even totally lose who you are and  the love you feel for yourself.  Through being sick all the time you have probably lost a few friends over time because they don’t get it or they are tired of all the cancellations!  Your illness may have been a part of a failed relationship, a lost job or career. So then the question is, what do you do to boost your self confidence? To make your self feel worthy? To find you, and the love you have for yourself?  Do these things depend on the comments of others for you?  Or is more about how you see you when you look in the mirror or see a picture of yourself? Well, today I’m going to talk about my battle with low self-worth and depression. And the things I have done to improve those things. And mostly importantly how I found me! 
    After leaving a bad relationship and being diagnosed with Lupus (and all the other life changing illnesses lupus brings with it) within a few months time I was at a low point. I felt broken and that I would never be worthy of any ones love again. I know it sounds crazy. But I felt that since I was “broken physically” no one would ever view me the same. That was five years ago. I can’t tell you at that point what I did to improve the way I viewed myself other than a lot of talking with my friends and family who really cared about me. And slowly I gained my self confidence back. But it’s taken many years. And many breakdowns along the road. 

    Over the years there have been MANY times those bad thoughts have crept back into my mind. “You aren’t good enough.”  “You are broken who would want you!!?” “You are too fat, too ugly etc.” When you have so many illnessses and have been on bigger doses of prednisone which in turn bloated you up like a pig.  It’s hard not to feel those feelings sometimes.  Especially in a society and time where looks matter so much! (And just a side note, whoever said that the prednisone weight will just “fall off” once you come off of it is a BIG FAT LIAR!!!! Because I doesn’t. ) It wasn’t until recently that I found something that has really turned my thinking around and helped me to feel really good about myself for the first time in a LONG time. 

    About six months ago probably a friend from high school invited me on Facebook to a MLM makeup party. This party was selling lipsticks that lasted up to 18hrs. I’m not gonna lie I wasn’t really interested I’ve never been a huge makeup person. But I don’t watched the girl do her live schpeal and I was intrigued. Lipstick that stays put with out reapplication for up to 18hrs and it hydrates your lips at the same time???That would be handy to have rather than carrying around my Gloss orchapstick in my pocket. So I thought I’ll try it. What do I have to lose?

    I got my color and tried it for a couple days and fell in love. And the more I wore it the more apt I was to put makeup on too so my lips didn’t stand out. And as time went on my self worth started to grow. I was also losing weight during this time which helped me to like myself again because I have been at my heaviest weight for the last four plus years. And I couldn’t even stand to look in the mirror when I wasn’t wearing clothes. So I was overall feeling better about myself. Not that looks should in any way reflect about how you feel. But for me it wasn’t how others viewed me or thought of me. It was how I saw me.  I didn’t feel invisible anymore when I was wearing makeup. I felt like people were seeing me for me and not my conditions. And it’s not the makeup that did that. It was the way I felt and views myself that changed that for me.  I started putting real clothes on rather than just sloppy comfy clothes. And I really started to like myself again. Because there for awhile. I didn’t even like myself. 

    After a few months of using the makeup and lipstick. I started selling it. Just to make a little money on the side and to earn the discounts. I never thought that Senegence/Lipsense would become my primary source of income. But it has!  I have watch so many trainings and girls talking about why they got involved and I got inspired. I wanted to own my own business and make it successful. And No this is not a plug for you to come try the makeup or join my team. This is just another little piece of the puzzle to finding myself. Who knew that wearing and selling makeup could help me find the me that I lost several ayears ago! 

    I have a fellow lupus sufferer who has told me for a couple years that if I would get up even on the days I was home and not going anywhere I would feel a little better. At first I thought she was a little nuts. But then I tried it. And it’s true!! If I get up and put on a little makeup and my lipstick I do have a little more pep in my step. They have products that actually cover my butterfly rash so it’s not sticking out for all to see. Which I have never found with any other makeup line. But like I said before it’s got nothing to do with how others see me. It’s all about how I see me. If you can’t love yourself. You will never be able to find love in a partner!!  And through this MLM makeup company, of all things, I have found the love for myself again.  And that is something I have not had in close to 10 years. Due to a failed marriage, a horrible relationship and being so sick and overweight due to steroids. Now all these years later I can finally look at myself in the mirror and not see ugly, fat, and sick. I can once again get dressed in front of the mirror and not cringe. I found me and love the me I have become.  

    What will it take for you find you?  Or better yet what did you do to find yourself. Feel feee to leave your stories in the comments! And if I can help you in anyway on your journey please let me know!!!

    -Amber 💋💋

    (Now I will plug. If you are interested at all in the makeup I mentioned feel free to leave me a message and I’ll get back to you)