Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Blog Peep Questions: Round 5

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In keeping with the theme of answering questions about my illness that started in yesterday’s post, I’m going to answer two blog peep questions I’ve received that were very similar…

1. When you are going through a hard time, do we always know?

2. Are you struggling day-to-day when you write posts that aren’t about your illness/how much do we see of how you are day-to-day?

The answer is no, you don’t see a lot of the daily stuff on here. Other than the straight-forward details about the disease I explained to you yesterday and in an earlier entry, I’d say you probably see about 5% of my daily struggle in my posts.

But here’s the thing, I hate to even call it a struggle. I know that sounds weird because it’s difficult everyday… and everything I do requires thought and effort and energy. But the truth is that it’s just my version of a normal life right now. And that normal is changing all the time.

Not talking about it has absolutely nothing to do with being willing to talk about it, though. I think we’ve covered over the past year that I’m more or less an open book… and am not shy about telling you of my many ridiculous antics. I’m also not shy about talking about my disease or answering questions, so if you have specific questions you should feel free to ask and I’ll do my best to answer you.

The reason I don’t talk about my day-to-day life in the ‘struggling sense’ is simply because I don’t sit around and think about it all the time myself. I just live it. There are moments that are incredibly frustrating, tiring, maddening, sad and exhausting. Everyday. But that doesn’t make my day a frustrating, tiring, maddening one. I reduce them to the moments they are rather than letting them define my whole day. I find that lamenting over all of those things only produces more lamenting. And I don’t want to live in a space that is taken up by the negative. It’s just simply not a fun way to live.

You know by now that I consider all of you who show up everyday to be my friends, and I want you to know that I don’t often talk about my day-to-day struggles with my friends that call me on the phone or stop by to visit, either. I want to spend my time in the joyful things… in hearing about their kids and their outings and their lives. I want to talk though their normal troubles and get lost in real life with them. If they ask me how I am, I tell them… but often not in the little details. It doesn’t change my reality and it does nothing but worry them, so it seems like complaining without purpose.

And that’s kind of how I judge what I talk about here: does it have a purpose? I share with you the ways I’ve struggled, how I’ve worked through different situations or emotions, and being sick is obviously a big part of those discussions. But I don’t want to talk about being sick just for the sake of talking about it… I want to talk about my illness as a way to show you how I have dealt with different situations, and hopefully learned to embrace and accept things. How I’ve learned to trust God with my life and realize that my life isn’t about me and my wants, as much as Him and what He needs from me.

I also have a purpose in updating you on the big things… if I don’t share with you that I can’t leave the house or open a window, then you’re going to be pretty darn confused about why I stay inside all day. :) I want to tell you about the big things because they shape my stories, they alter how I view the world, they help make me who I am. And there have been a couple of times, as there are periodic times with my friends, when I absolutely have to tell you that I am sad or exhausted or just plain fed up. It doesn’t happen often, but there are moments when the only way I can make room for joy is to get rid of the sadness by speaking it out loud. And in those moments, I’m glad my friends or family are on the other end of the phone, and I’m very glad all of you are here.

But the little things… the day-to-day… they are constant and never-ending. If I told you about it every day then this wouldn’t be a real representation of my life. Many years ago, when I made my list of Life Goals, number five was: To spread the joy, not the fear. My physical world is made up of the day-to-day pain and sickness, but my LIFE… my life is made up of joy. And that’s the part of me I want you to take with you everyday. Even when I do talk about the emotions or the physical struggles, I want you to leave knowing that joy can come from the hardest times and the ugliest places. You just have to choose it.

But I’ll talk to you more about that tomorrow. :)

39 comments:

  1. You are lovely. Always lovely. But remember - you're allowed to lean on us too. That "does this have a purpose thing" could mean "does this have a purpose for me?" If you struggle, we want to hold you up, to pray for you, to encourage you. Don't think you have to hide all your frustrations from us. We love you. :)

    Okay, so this crazy dream I had...I apologize in advance for how strange it was. I think I must have eaten or smoked something weird before bed (except that smoking thing).

    All I really remember about the dream is that you and I lived in Washington DC and hung out all the time. Then, the next thing I knew, you had died (morbid, I know... sorry) There was this bizarre Egyptian tomb thing for you but it was a military burial. It had my name on the outside because I was supposed to take care of the tomb thing, I guess. But then news came out that it was a suicide (I know! It's terrible!) But THEN I found out that you were secretly still alive, and I was really happy. I was really really sad when you dream-died though.

    I don't know where that one came from. Glad you're alive, though! :)

    Recent blog post: All my Exes Live in Texas...Stadium

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  2. :-D Mandy, I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one to have weird dreams.

    Sara, you always make so much sense in your blog. I'm fighting post partum depression right now (a mild case of it if there is such a thing) and if I'm having a bad day, I have to remind myself to concentrate on the good things, even if its baby smiling at me, and not to worry that I'm not getting a stitch done around the house, or that it's 4 o'clock in the afternoon and I still haven't had a shower or brushed my teeth. As long as both my kids are fed and reasonably happy, then I've accomplished something. I thank god for my sisters because they cheer me up and lighten my load if I'm having a really shitty day, just by listening.

    So thank you for talking to us everyday and letting us know of how you cope with life, the good and the bad. May God bless you.

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  3. Sara, You are amazing and I'm so thankful that God led me to your blog. There are many days when I don't leave a comment, but I read your spot EVERY day. You are a blessing. You have taught me so much about living, coping, and being intentional. Thank you, dear friend. Blessings, SusanD

    Recent blog post: New Look, Award, Project 365, 30x5

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  4. You are so wonderful! You have an amazing, beautiful soul and spirit. I don't comment everyday either but you are on my feed reader and I jump right to you when I see an update. I look forward to them, I tell other people about them. Your words inspire me. Your faith inspires me. Thank you.

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  5. Once again...beautiful!
    Thank you so much for opening up and showing us TRUE joy.

    Recent blog post: Runny chips and cardboard popsicles.

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  6. I love "spread the joy--not the fear."

    Love your Spirit.

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  7. Sara ... I love how you live out "Be Intentional." And, the fact that happiness is a choice. Awesome! The legacy you are growing is immense and fruitful. I am blessed to have you as a friend.

    Recent blog post: Tadpoles and Budding Frogs

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  8. Sara- your words are so captivating and your joy is contagious! Thank you for taking the time each day to share with all of us these things! It's amazing how something as small as reading a blog post can make a not so good day- great! Thank you too for "spreading the joy- not the fear"!!
    Elizabeth

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  9. You truly are amazing. Love it!

    Recent blog post: Dave's Big Trip

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  10. I don't leave a comment every day either, but I read and soak it in! The joy and bravery with which you face life is incredible, and I thank you for sharing it! You have blessed so many in ways you'll never know.

    Every time I read your blog, the fact that joy can come from even difficult circumstances shines through. You are definitely fulfilling that goal!

    Recent blog post: My new club

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  11. Robynn's RavingsJune 9, 2009 at 12:09 PM

    You have so beautifully articulated the struggle with any ongoing illness among the group of people who don't want to be defined by it. It's a part - but it also becomes your own normal (except during serious flare-ups which change your life temporarily or into the "new" normal - and that takes adjustment). You are one of my heroes and should be in Reader's Digest, like the ones I posted about today. Living everyday with a giving and loving attitude in the face of pain and hardship is the ultimate test. Thank you for ALWAYS inspiring me. :)

    Recent blog post: Heroes

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  12. Sara,
    If your intention is to let your joy shine through, then I would say that you can put a big check mark next to Life Goal 5 : )
    Anyone with an illness can blog about living with an illness ... but what most people with an illness have a hard time doing is blogging about (or talking about) living through an illness. You're living THROUGH the confinement, the disability, the pain each and every day. And you're doing it with such a hopeful spirit and open heart that I think you're just one of the best people I've ever "met". Thanks for being you. And I hope that you do continue to lean on us readers whenever you need to let out a little of your sadness/frustration. That's the LEAST we can do for you!

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  13. I just love how you are sharing all of this! I had this big AHA moment when I was reading it too. I was thinking about focus and realizing how the very things we allow to take up time and space in our heads and hearts, are the very things that expand. And I get how that translates in your life. You really explained it well! And I have to remind myself at times that you are sick because so much of my image of you is seriously devoid of sickness. Yeah, pretty much my image of you is of Riley, but you know... we'll work on that :-P

    Hugs and prayers and much love!

    Recent blog post: Schools Out...

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  14. Oh my cow, that's one crazy dream. I sometimes put bloggers in my dreams, too, and it makes me realize how totally a part of my life you all are when you're in my subconscious!

    Recent blog post: Blog Peep Questions: Round 5

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  15. I'm sorry you're going through that, Ubah, but am so glad you know what's wrong and have help dealing with it. I can't imagine the toll pregnancy takes on a body, and am so glad we live in an age that recognizes that. Be patient with yourself [and know I get very little done before 4pm either] :)

    Recent blog post: Blog Peep Questions: Round 5

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  16. Thanks for showing up everyday. I'm glad you're here, too!

    Recent blog post: Blog Peep Questions: Round 5

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  17. Thanks, girlie... just a heads-up: I have your giveaway package ready to send with my errand-lady on Friday, so it should come sometime next week I would think...

    Recent blog post: Blog Peep Questions: Round 5

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  18. those life goals have been more helpful to me than I realized they would be when I wrote them. it's helpful when I lose my focus...

    Recent blog post: Blog Peep Questions: Round 5

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  19. I'm feeling pretty blessed that you all show up every day. Thanks for that.

    Recent blog post: Blog Peep Questions: Round 5

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  20. wow... that's a huge compliment. thanks for that.

    Recent blog post: Blog Peep Questions: Round 5

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  21. thanks, jessie... how are you feeling? that baby eased up on the exhaustion yet?!?! Hope you're feeling better each day...

    Recent blog post: Blog Peep Questions: Round 5

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  22. thanks for that, Amanda. i always want to be truthful, but also want to spread the happy around more than the hard stuff... sometimes that's a weird line to walk!

    Recent blog post: Blog Peep Questions: Round 5

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  23. i think that "new normal" is the key... when we stop wishing for what was and dealing with what is, a lot of things improve. especially our outlook!

    Recent blog post: Blog Peep Questions: Round 5

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  24. you all do a lot just by showing up, believe me. it gives me something to try for every day and that makes a world of difference.

    Recent blog post: Blog Peep Questions: Round 5

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  25. well, riley's not the worst image of me to have... he is the main attraction around here :)

    Recent blog post: Blog Peep Questions: Round 5

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  26. Oh, I know so many people, including myself, who would live life so much differently if choose life was our motto! Thank you for all you do to make us all aware that even though this life is not always easy or even comfortable....we CAN choose joy. I count it a privilege to pray for you and just to know you and read your words!

    Recent blog post: New Friends

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  27. thanks, Kaycee... i hope even on the days where it's just a silly picture of the pup, it at least brings a smile. :)

    Recent blog post: Blog Peep Questions: Round 5

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  28. thanks, nancy... that's so appreciated.

    Recent blog post: Blog Peep Questions: Round 5

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  29. Once again your courage, strength and amazingly positive outlook inspires me. As life challenges me, my prayer is that I'll approach any problem with the same positive thoughts.

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  30. Sara Anne,
    Thanks for your blogs. I read them all and when I'm out of town or away from my computer, I catch up upon my return. This weeks sharings have been powerful and YOU. I'm so proud of you and your ministry on the blog. Idea for next week when on the letter B. How is Baby Stellan? I keep him and his family in prayer, too. I love you, Gitzen Girl.

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  31. I have read you every day for some time now, as a fellow pain sufferer. I just learned how to comment! I tink that wen we are able to lose the fear that comes with pain, we are free to lead an intentional life, as you so aptly describe it. You are an inspiration! Keep up te good work of helping all of us.

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  32. Sorry - the "H" key on my computer does snot always work, hence the typos!

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  33. have i commented before that i usually just sit and shake my head after reading your posts like this one.

    you really are unlike anyone ive ever known. ever.

    "I find that lamenting over all of those things only produces more lamenting. And I don’t want to live in a space that is taken up by the negative. It’s just simply not a fun way to live."

    this is what makes you such a strong person and such a powerhouse to everyone you come in contact with. and i mean that in the most complimentary way. we all can, and should, be learning from you, gitz.

    i love you.

    Recent blog post: eight hundred

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  34. Good morning Sara. Thank you so much for emailing me.
    I love being pregnant. Its one of god's greatest miracles. But the depression that sometimes comes after it is hard. Man, can it wreck havic on your mind. And if you're not familiar with depression, which I wasn't back when I had my first child, then all these thoughts that race through your mind just drive you nuts because here you're thinking of hurting your children, which you love dearly, and then you think of hurting yourself because you want to hurt your kids and what kind of person are you for thinking that and you almost go nuts you know? Only through the grace of god did I get through that period reasonably sane and my child came through it alive and kicking and hurt one iota.
    I have to tell you that I also read your blog every day even though I may not comment. Except for the last 3 months approx I didn't even read it because I had another baby near the end of February and with everything that goes on with have 2 children under the age of 2, I didn't keep up with lots of blogs. My list got downsized a lot. And I felt bad reading your blog because to me, here I was bitching about my state of life when I'd read about yours and you are dealing with a lot more than I am. So, once I got my act together persay, I started reading your blog and halleluiah for that. Thank you for bringing a smile to my face and for the commen sense which you bless us with and the canvasses which you make. I copied a couple of the pictures and put them on my blog.
    And speaking of blogs, I do have one but its private. (I used to have a public one last year but I deleted it.) I will send you an invite (this means I have to find your email addy on your site) and if you wish to read it, you are more than welcome to. Then you can see my gorgeous rug rats.
    May god give you the strength and patience to deal with your disease every day and may he also bless you for your blog and for coming into our households every day.
    Hugs
    Ubah

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  35. Hi Sara. I'm not sure if my comment to your email went through as my computer was being fussy so here it is again. And it did go through, I apologize for the 2nd copy.
    Good morning Sara. Thank you so much for emailing me.
    I love being pregnant. Its one of god's greatest miracles. But the depression that sometimes comes after it is hard. Man, can it wreck havic on your mind. And if you're not familiar with depression, which I wasn't back when I had my first child, then all these thoughts that race through your mind just drive you nuts because here you're thinking of hurting your children, which you love dearly, and then you think of hurting yourself because you want to hurt your kids and what kind of person are you for thinking that and you almost go nuts you know? Only through the grace of god did I get through that period reasonably sane and my child came through it alive and kicking and hurt one iota.
    I have to tell you that I also read your blog every day even though I may not comment. Except for the last 3 months approx I didn't even read it because I had another baby near the end of February and with everything that goes on with have 2 children under the age of 2, I didn't keep up with lots of blogs. My list got downsized a lot. And I felt bad reading your blog because to me, here I was bitching about my state of life when I'd read about yours and you are dealing with a lot more than I am. So, once I got my act together persay, I started reading your blog and halleluiah for that. Thank you for bringing a smile to my face and for the commen sense which you bless us with and the canvasses which you make. I copied a couple of the pictures and put them on my blog.
    And speaking of blogs, I do have one but its private. (I used to have a public one last year but I deleted it.) I will send you an invite (this means I have to find your email addy on your site) and if you wish to read it, you are more than welcome to. Then you can see my gorgeous rug rats.
    May god give you the strength and patience to deal with your disease every day and may he also bless you for your blog and for coming into our households every day.
    Hugs
    Ubah

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  36. Thanks, auntie... that means a lot to me. So sorry I had to miss you last week, but it was a good decision to wait. Love you!

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  37. I think you're right about losing the fear... it makes a huge difference. [and I find it so funny that your 'h' is missing... made me laugh!]

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  38. thanks, friend. that really means a lot. [aside: me as a powerhouse made me laugh.]

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