Saturday Sharing: Trigeminal Neuralgia

If you have read anytime at all you know that my husband suffers from trigeminal neuralgia and maybe you followed us over @ Our TN Journey. His journey at this point has been a long one.

Today is Trigeminal Neuralgia Awareness Day and unlike breast cancer or alzheimer’s there is very little funding, awareness or even acknowledgement of TN. This awareness day is not just about spreading the word and telling the stories. It is about catching the attention of doctor’s, and organizations who can bring a broader awareness to this disease.

The short version of my husband’s story is he lived for years with what we thought was TMJ. He was diagnosed by a local neuro and hadn’t shared the news with me because he didn’t fully understand the diagnosis he received mostly because you don’t really know what TN fully is unless you can see the brain or the meds used to typically treat work for it.

4 days later I took him to the ER in the middle of a snow storm because he was in the fetal position on the floor. He couldn’t eat, he couldn’t talk and he could not function. I received the diagnosis in that ER room. It changed both of our lives forever. A little over a month later he was down in Indianapolis under going surgery to make his life more livable.

He now lives on a daily regiment of multiple epileptic meds and has flare ups. There is a big difference between then and now. He now lives his life in chronic pain that no pain med works for. He manages the disease with the meds he takes and lives daily with the terrible side effects of the meds. But that became his new normal after the surgery so it is our new normal.

This disease is called the suicide disease because people see no relief from the pain. If you don’t believe me go to youtube and look at videos of sufferers flare ups. They are the worst kind of pain.

Every year I post facts, but not this year. This year I will post a picture of how my guy and I looked before his TN was diagnosed.

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You can see how the three and a half years since all of this has happened we have aged a lifetime. This isn’t a feel sorry for me post. I don’t need any sympathy. This is the toll of trigeminal neuralgia physically on both of us.

But what I cannot take a picture of is the emotional toll it has taken on my family. It altered every single thing about my life. My guy and I have to work so hard for our girls and for each other because who we were when we met is so very different then who we were after TN.

So if you wonder how you can help. The best thing you can do is love and love hard even when it is not easy and probably especially even when it is not easy. Love will always win.

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How do you even decompress after that?

love-will-win-alwaysI haven’t written in almost two weeks. In two weeks time I have lived a lifetime. Most of that lifetime I cannot even utter mostly because I was a tiny part of someone else’s story. That means they are not my stories to tell. I will respectfully acknowledge the honor of being a player in someone’s story and move on.

But can we talk the emotions of the last two weeks? And how we can decompress from that? Sometimes I hate just how “feeling” I am. Being an empath is not always easy. I feel literally everything and it feels like waves. Waves of emotion coming to try and topple me over. Imagine you are walking on the beach and as you make your way deeper and deeper into the ocean the waves get harder and harder to sustain. This is what my heart feels like.

Sometimes I can hop on a raft and be okay and other times I am just trying to stand up straight and not get knocked over by the tide. As of late the tide is knocking me over, but the worst was on Sunday night. My chest became super heavy and my shoulders were bearing the weight of the world.

As I climbed into the bed I felt so sad. This incredible sadness that felt like my own sadness and left me baffled as to where it came from. I pulled the covers over me and assumed it was a little bit of the Sunday blues, but as I tossed and turned and moved around throughout the whole night the sadness grew.

Eventually, my watch vibrated on my wrist a few times. A feature of my watch I usually leave off at night, but I didn’t this night. One vibration after another and I eventually tapped the screen around 4AM to see what was going on and all I processed was “LAS VEGAS” and “SHOOTING”. I thought to myself another shooting and tried to cuddle up in my blankets and move on.

But that nagging sadness came at me strong like a punch in the face. I laid in the dark and I flipped on my television and again my heart was crushed by the waves as they came over me. My heart has a way to predict this. I don’t even know how to explain it.

Every time one of these terrible events happens my sadness looks the same, and feels like my own and then the news tells the sadness I feel is the ripple in the universe that is forever there because of another senseless tragedy. Two words (senseless tragedy) that have some how come to not carry the weight that they should sadly.

I wanted to blog Monday, and Tuesday. The screen was blank and the curser blinked over and over at me on Wednesday and Thursday. Nothing. No words. What can I possibly add to a world so full of noise? Sometimes it just needs to stop. The silence…it needs to take us over so we can concentrate on standing as the waves try and take us over. Those moments to look up and pray or to hold on tight to the things we love the most. Just anything to make us feel less alone as we fight against those things tugging at us so hard.

When I say love wins and think about days like Monday I am not sure I can see the love right now in that moment. Because nothing about that is love, bullets flying from windows I have seen and crowds running in streets I have walked on. Seeing images of blood strewn across grounds and surfaces of where you have been creates a disturbing sense of imagination. And who would I be to suggest there is any kind of love in those images.

Do I believe those kinds of photos actually exist in those tragic moments? Is there love somewhere there in those images we cannot avoid that are all around us? There is I suppose. I know that because my faith tells me that. Which is why I suppose it is called faith. My faith…my belief in something when and where you cannot necessarily find it. Eventually the stories will trickle out that demonstrate acts of love and slowly a different picture will be painted.

But for me, love comes from the smiles and giggles that happened in my home the last few days when the world seemed so bleak. Love comes from getting up every morning and fighting the waves as they try and take you down. Love comes from finding my passion in life outside of my family in my career and in my education. I suppose that is love winning right now for me. It is slowly deciding that love will win because we decide to live on when it feels wrong or impossible or even selfish.

Love will always win. We just have to let it.

 

Date Night # 13453

My guy and I usually have a date night about once a week. We always go to the same place and eat the same thing. We are such regulars that we don’t even have to order. IMG_7123They know. That is kinda how our marriage has worked. We just find what works and it becomes a natural part of the marriage. That is what works for us. Routine and simultaneous movements together.

But we changed it up this week. We changed it up only in a small way and it just felt so different. But yesterday as I sat in a tattoo shop for my fourth tattoo and my guy was sitting there with me I had a moment. One of those moments you are so grateful that you have this person with you for the mundane and for switches from the mundane.

My goodness I have been with him for almost 21 years in a few months. I have had four tattoos with him holding my hand and that isn’t so momentous or gushy as I appear to be writing it. It is more about just always having that person there and making the mundane into fun date nights.

As I was sitting in the chair my tattoo artist asked me about the meaning behind all myyear7 tattoos and this newest one. I grabbed my guy’s hand and realized that every single one is centered around this mundane life we have created together. The hills and the valley, the pain and the happiness.

The first I got three months after I stopped nursing my last daughter as a symbol of taking my body back from pregnancy and nursing. The second was a semi-colon to symbolize my years of battle with my contamination OCD and recurrent depression as a side effect of the OCD, the third to symbolize the terrible year and subsequent recovery from my guy’s trigeminal neuralgia and microvascular decompression surgery. The years of fear that lead up to and after his brain surgery. Five hearts surrounding my semi-colon each one representing our family’s struggle with one teal to represent the love for my guy. The circle of hearts never ends and never begins IMG_8487which takes me to the newest tattoo. A bracelet of love around my wrist. A line of love that never ends.

The tattoo artists love our story because that is what it is about. We always get the same reaction, “Wow, that is a lot stuff.” And they are right it is a lot. It is whole lot of love and a whole lotta living. That is marriage and that is why we appreciate the mundane. When life gets mundane it is our fresh breath of air. Our survival.

This post wasn’t really supposed to be about our love story. It was supposed to be about how the mundane with my guy can be so much fun. It was supposed to be about us laughing with our tat guy when he said, “YouIMG_0673 guys have a pretty fun marriage, huh?” Because is all of that stuff that much fun? It was supposed to be about the way he expected us to follow up the tattoo with some romantic dinner and night out, but instead we told him we were going to the hole in the wall Mexican restaurant that is in a bowling alley that we go to every Friday or Saturday of every weekend and have for two years. He thought that was pretty funny. And then it was supposed to be about how throughout our weekly dinner I decided to try all the various Mexican hot sauces to just see how hot I could take it because that is where life is at.

When really it is about my family and how each one of them is woven throughout my heart and soul in ways in which they will probably never truly understand. The tough stuff, the happy stuff and the way we pull together is what life is all about. A tattoo can never symbolize it’s end as some assume because most of the tough stuff never ends. TN doesn’t go away, I live with functional OCD every day, we live with the tough stuff everyday, the tough stuff I rarely talk bout on my blog. But one thing is consistently true and that is that love always heals and it always wins. I live my life with this belief and I believe it to my core. My family shows me this. I may lead the charge of love, but it is because they inspire me to. This is more than marriage, this is my family. My every mundane day that we all decide to get up, keep going and live a life full of love.

With love written on my heart and my body -MR 

Oh hi!

I know I should really come here more, but Spring 2017…is BUSY! Our play. A kiddo in high school softball, piano lessons, a comedy show at school, hubby assisting with golf. A round of E gang colds (maybe working on a second), a thumb sprang and pre-surgery appointments. There are two problems and they are that there just isn’t enough time or enough of me. Both of which I cannot solve…so my blog you have gotten quite dusty.

But yea I am the same. I am a vicious cycle of losing and gaining the same freaking 10lbs over and over and over. I honestly hate the way I look in the mirror. I feel very similarly to how I felt before I lost the weight. But I am trying to do the reverse thinking of I remember I time when I would have died to weigh what I do now. Instead, I keep lusting after my new goal weight and then I feel defeated and blah. So I gave myself a focus almost three weeks ago.

I realized that my major surgery was going to be in about 60 days. I also realized right before that I was going on our family vacation. So I gave myself a focus. A 60 day challenge of just plugging forward with taking care of myself and yet another campaign of self love and hopefully exploring why I have to keep doing it over and over. I am on day 20 today. And yet again I fall in love with the process. My eating is and isn’t the problem. I know how to eat well and clean. I do really well with it, but there is always a day that is tough. My emotions are high and boom! I overeat. Or eat something that is counterproductive to my exercise portion of this.

I am not into shame or the idea of cheating, so I am trying to get better at just moving on from those moments. That is how I dealt with them previously and I have to get better at doing it now. I just need to not REWARD or COMFORT with food. I love food and for me when I do those two things is when I find trouble.

I made it a full 16 days without a rest day. Finally, I took one. I had a tough day and a lot of hurt/stress and aggravation around me that was weighing me down. Instead of eating my way through it. I took care of myself via my diet and binged instead on amazon prime and watched four episodes of Homeland (current show of choice) in one evening. I was ready and pumped to get back to it the next day. This for me is a true definition of a rest day.

So yea want some proof of what I am up to? There are a couple of ways to do this. Follow me on my main instagram account @mommyrhetoric (You can follow that twitter too). I also have a fitness account for instagram that talks way more about my fitness @mommyrhetoric_fit . And as a unique accountability tool for me I vlog almost every single day at my Mommy Rhetoric facebook page. I usually have fitness tips there, but sometimes I am just real with you. So come see me….Like my page and see what I am up to.

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I just posted this as a reminder of where I started to where I am. I have to REMIND myself.

I was 210 lbs and now I am hoover in that 140-150 range. (My 10lb yo-yo) GRR! But I am not giving up. Here are snippets of my last 20 days.

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Accountability through FITBIT Challenges. Whether with friends, with myself and my goals. A lot goes down here including my calorie counts which are right around 1200 per day.

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My kiddos. They keep me accountable to as well by coming with me. Trying to keep up with them helps. Or just showing cool places I found. Like my hill….

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Yea I have walked up and down this hill quite a bit this spring. I doubted I could do running sprints on it. That was until I proved myself wrong. I did it. I did 10 of them. Yup I sure did. Sometimes you have to challenge yourself.

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But you gotta show up for yourself every single DAMN day!!! It doesn’t matter if  you have the cutest shirt, or your clothes don’t match. Sometimes it really sucks and sometimes you feel like Shaun T. But you show up. You don’t need all the space or your gym is out in the sun. But you do it! You do it over and over and over until you do it like you brush your teeth and brush your hair.

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Some days you eat super healthy and you love it. But some days you eat Qdoba and you even add a little gauc because it SHOULD NOT be a punishment. You aren’t bad. You are a beautiful human being who needs to take care of yourself inside and out.

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Just always remember your why because then love wins and even dandelions look like sunflowers.

-MR

This is why I write.

Sometimes you have moments so moving and intense that the thought of not sharing them seems impossible. It feels almost like you are not acknowledging their existence. That is my life lately.

Most of the intense moments aren’t mine to share. I am a witness to them. They are big. Some are scary. Most are heartfelt and some of the hardest and most defining moments in others lives. But all the same not my own to share.

But those moments are why I write to show the world. It isn’t that I think the world cares about my world. It is to capture what I feel in a single solitary moment as a human being willing to share her story.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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I walked into my house with my mind going its usual 500mph of what I have left to accomplish for the evening. I was happy and feeling light. It was show week which means somehow we made it through and the show is what it is. A load lifted off my shoulders and wishes to the world that it will turn out good.

I open the door to my kitchen and I walk in looking down and my house is quiet which causes a small alarm, so I give a quick glance up and my guy is standing up looking out the back window. I see his back and a profile of his face and if I could just bottle the feeling I had in that moment I would.

My heart wanted to burst. The last three months of each of us coming and going and quick kisses in the hall or before one of us falls asleep for the night. The boring, routine married life I dreamed of as a child. The mundane of my happiness in my heart swells my heart. I am grateful for him, for that moment because this is my life. I have dreamed of this life my whole life.

So many times we think love looks like the movies and the breathless meetings and protests of undying love that we would die for. I never wanted or needed that. I needed that stoic, strong man who showed up. The one who loves unconditionally, who stands watch over the world and me. Someone to protect me and my world and in that moment that is what I saw.

And go ahead and call me one of those ugh bloggers who blogs about her spouse and marriage. And you would be right, but it wouldn’t be for show because what I plan to tell you is that the last few months we have had to be a whole lot more parent/teacher/adult than a wife and her guy. Sometimes I even fall asleep for multiple days in a row without even an utterance of a good night.

No good night kiss? No grand gesture at bedtime of I am grateful I end each day with you. I imagine that is what good wives do. But if I am honest, some days I climb into bed and I hope he doesn’t even talk cause I am beat. I give a lot to everyone else and most days there is barely any left for me. So yea I wake up at 3AM and I wonder if he knows I still get warm fuzzies when I walk into a room and see him. I usually snuggle close and rub his almost bald head and I thank him for our life silently while he snores away. He is clueless that these thanks are given. But I love him and I love our boring, routine married life that I dreamed of.

That is why I write because of that feeling. That guy. That moment. That is the story that needs told.

To all the boring, routine marriages that still have those moments. Hang onto them. 

-MR

What is wrong with the mish mash of life?

Nothing I say. – MR 

So here it goes.

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A funny story here with my newspaper graduates from last year. They begged and begged for a doughnut machine. I finally obliged. Sadly, we did not use it. I think it seemed like too much work for all of us. SIDENOTE: My family had these in our mouth start to finish in 5 minutes. Not so hard I guess.

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On New Year’s Eve we didn’t just make doughnuts, but we taught them about cheap plastic champagne glasses filled to the brim with sherbert ice cream and punch. They are now in love.

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If you are wondering if I am blonder….Funny Story! My hair dresser had my touch ups all set up and I screwed them up by touching and trying to fix which meant she had to add more blonde to my face. Whoopsy. Oh well!

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I have no shame. It was so good.

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The one where we all really love each other, but we are sick of each other and the store is 1000 degrees so mom is going off, # 3 is whining and they are bargaining with one another. It was frustrating, but I love it.

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Cause that smile. Cause of their smiles. I got over it. I may have complained, but I moved on.

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Can other teachers who are so darn tired of Harambe raise their hands? Thankfully, my girls did not do this. But someone’s kids did this. My poor children can’t flip a bottle, saying the word “goals” or talk about anything Harambe without me making a snide remark. Whoops…Sorry! (Not really).

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Today I decided to let # 1 drive home from the big city. Something she has only done once and that was with her driver’s ed instructor. I was nervous and needed a small caffeine rush. I only had to grab the wheel once and scream twice. She only cried three times. But we made it home safe and yes she did amazing. She is just so hard on herself.

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See she is only a little nervous. Only a little especially at 70mph (gulp).

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And yes I was kinda irritated that this was my Christmas present from my guy. He was so proud of himself proclaiming, “It will make your life so much easier…” days before it was set to arrive. When it got here I called him a jerk and then I tried it out. Okay, I admit it. I guess he does know me. It can tell me at any given moment where my phone is or where my keys are. Now if I can’t find either we are in trouble, but I do think there is web based tracking. Let’s hope cause the likelihood that it will happen is high. He does know me.

Life is about these moments…more so than the ones that are pretty, scripted and filtered.

Enjoy life cause that is love winning.

MR

Why hello…{A year in review}

My blog writing has sporadic at best. I am focusing my writing time on working on my book which sounds way more than productive than  I actually have been. My writing time since break began has been used to decompress. This fall was tough. I really struggled and was angry. I was angry for various reasons, but at some point I just held out and it got softer. Anger was just the name of my game.

But that was just it….It knocked me off my game. A game that I think I am just recovering. I have gained some weight back. I am not going to lie. Honestly, most of it has been gained since Thanksgiving because I needed the mental break from where I was at with my Less of Me phase. Somewhere less of me became about the way I looked and less about the way I felt. I lost focus and withheld too much. If I had to guess that was probably about June/July. Then I became angry because I felt like the weight loss wasn’t fair. But this post isn’t about that.

Let’s go back to January of this year and see where I was at?

JANUARY 2016

My first fitaversary!  Is it sad that I don’t see myself like that anymore? I need to. But I am IMG_4850 (1)doing the program I was doing then and hoping the weight lifting will curve me out in the right places. I really only weigh a few more pounds now than I did then.

FEBRUARY 2016

To give a voice to the voiceless and be the ear they so desperately need. But I get lost in my own self, my own agenda. I wish  was better, but alas I am not. So I sit here and I think about it and what I can change for next time.

MARCH 2016

I try to not share too much information about my post tubal ligation syndrome. Something I have been battling since the moment I had the original surgery. In March, I had surgery to try and clean up the mess that was left from my tubal ligation. It worked till July. Things have been a mess since then. On December 22nd I signed consent papers for surgery this June to fix all of this finally once and for all. I signed it then to insure if I want it done before June that I can. But the goal is June because of the 6-8 weeks of recovery that would require me to not work.

That means I have 6 months to get to the weight I want and mentally, physically prepared to have this surgery and be done with this nightmare of a syndrome I have been left with. I am grateful for my supportive husband and my doctor who has had my back the whole time and always took me seriously. Thankfully, most of the side effects are things you can live with. They just make things not the way you want them.

APRIL 2016

All I know is I got to get back to this MR —> I don’t want to be your inspiration

MAY 2016

God, I love this man! I don’t love him for the romance of our relationship. I love him for IMG_0676the hardships that we endure. I love him because I know he is there for me and he can always make me laugh. I am one lucky lady.

Same Old Love Song (Grateful)..

JUNE 2016

We went on our 2nd family vacation to the beach! It was so fun. We are currently planning # 3.

JULY 2016

A post about what I was put here on this earth to do. Be a momma to my sweet baby girls.

August 2016

The one where I proclaimed we should live our lives as an act of criticism.

September 2016

Public schools and teachers are NOT the problem. The narrative is and hell ya I am defensive.

OCTOBER 2016

We have to stop saying, “It will be okay” because the reality is sometimes it is NOT.

IMG_1504NOVEMBER 2016

I still believe…..“We have to do better.” 

DECEMBER 2016

Our love story is my favorite.

This year wasn’t my favorite and it wasn’t my worst. It was a year of maintaining. It was a year of status quo. I don’t really do status quo. I hate to feel stalled out. I am working on that though. I am stalled out on more than one front. But my life is beautiful. This life is beautiful. My girls are my life. My guy is my life. I love this life.

Happy New Year Dear Readers, MR

Trigeminal Neuralgia – 3 years later 

Sometimes I get asked about the personal stories I share on my blog and there are a couple of reasons I do this. The first is I am a writer. I was born a writer and will always be a writer. Writing is woven into my heart and soul like my children are. An essence of my being that exists inside, outside and because of me. 

But when I share personal stories about my marriage it is because I have a story to tell. One that probably doesn’t look all that different than someone else’s, but maybe they haven’t uttered it. Or maybe they don’t even know if that is their story until they read mine. But more than anything I share it for me. I grew up thinking love looked a certain way and I tried so hard to push and shove and mold it into that vision and it never worked. I want my baby girls to know what true love looks like not the packaged version the media sells. 

Three years ago I found out my husband had not been telling me the whole truth. I sat in an emergency room with him as he hadn’t eaten for three days, barely had spoke and begged for the pain to end. He had been battling what I believed to be TMJ for four or so years and had in the previous week been to see a neurologist who placed him on loads of meds. But out of no relief and desperation I put him in a car and drove him to an emergency room in one of the worst snow storms our area had seen. 

I had to do all of the talking for him because he couldn’t speak. They immediately hooked him up to an IV drip of pain meds and I explained his years of treatment for TMJ. They all looked baffled and remarked never had they seen TMJ cause this amount of pain. After a few hours and no relief he looked up at me with tears in his eyes and whispered trigeminal Neuralgia and uttered I am sorry. He also gave into all the meds being pumped into his body and fell asleep, but not with out the wincing pains cause every few minutes he would move and scrunch up. The look of which still tears at my heart and informs me it is a bad TN day. Eventually the doctors came in after talking with his new neurologist and gave me the diagnosis.

Trigeminal Neuralgia and I began to hear what I have heard 100 times over, “There isn’t much we can do for that.” We were sent home with meds that didn’t work and the sad pity eyes that we have grown accustomed to. For the next 8 hours I pondered why he hadn’t told me, but a Dr. Google search told me. My guy has always tried to make life easier for me. He is my number one protector and he tried to protect me from this. He couldn’t. 

A restless night of no sleep as I watched the man I love and made a life with look weak, scared and in such pain that he couldn’t function in his life. The kind of pain that makes you retreat into your own mind to cope. The moment that was likely most devastating for me was what I woke up to when I accidentally fell asleep. What I can and will say is I immediately called his neurologist on his emergency line and demanded he be admitted into the hospital and an hour later he was admitted. 

He spent three days there that ended with, “He is going to have to find a way to live with this pain.” This is after three days of a morphine drip he controlled, and 6 different types of meds to control his TN and his pain. He was eating hospital protein shakes and had lost 15 pounds. When the doctor made that statement I didn’t even wait for him to leave. I excused myself and I called our family physician and demanded they get us into a more specialized neurologist immediately. I took him home and a week and a half later we were in that appointment which the doctor demanded a phone to call a specialist in Indy right in front of us  and then two days later we were in Indianapolis with one of the top TN doctors. And a week later his microvascular decompression surgery. 

My guy has atypical trigeminal neuralgia which means nothing works 100% usually. Things can make it manageable, but those things are different for every patient and sometimes they change once you figure them out.  He went into surgically induced remission for about 4 months after the surgery. He remained off his meds for about 6 months. He typically has seasonal remission during warmer months, but did have some flare ups during this spring and summer. He takes three meds daily for it and every winter his pain gets increasingly worse. 

This life isn’t always easy, but it is our life and dare I say our normal now. The surgery, the side effects and the trauma have fundamentally changed who he is. That takes a constant readjustment for my heart and brain. That is hard, but my God do I love this man. He is the strongest most steady thing I have ever had in my life and I love this life we have made. I know God had a plan for us and this. I got to see what I needed from a human in my life because of this and I also fell in love and got to take care of him in a way I never thought I had the ability to do. I thought I was strong before, but I know my heart has super human strength with the capability to love beyond self. 

So am I saying I am glad for TN…no not really…but I am grateful for my path and my love. 

Less of me and more of the other. 

When the world wakes you up tapping on your mind and heart repeatedly night after night I know there is a lot of unrest. I feel it. I interact with so many who are full of hate and spewing venom from all sides. I am worried, but not really for the same reasons as what it seems like the majority of my social feeds are. I don’t believe one man, or one election brought about all this hate. 

The hard part is it had to exist before this for it to be ignited and truthfully that scares me more. I don’t really care or ask who anyone voted for. I care and ask where is your real fear. That is where this starts. Fear is the underlying cause of a lot of evil. I don’t have solutions here, but I have ears and a heart that tells me healing needs to take place. 

I don’t know how we find it either. Listening is the most logical solution for me. We have to listen to one another with an open heart and mind. I don’t see much of that happening anywhere no matter your candidate.  This isn’t a move on post. This is a call to action post. My call to action though is rooted in love, a quest for compassion and kindness. What does all the yelling and unkindness do besides and breed and spawn more of it? 

The words are so hard though right now because there is so much hurt. It is so tender, raw and jaded. Most of what we say feels like salt in a wound despite the intention. So maybe we just sit back and listen or be quiet and be in the moment. Be with those that are hurting. 

All of my parenting life I have taught my girls a simple lesson about unkindness….that those that are unkind need the most love. Love the unlovable because they need it most. Sometimes the most love we can show to someone is to not respond to their hate with more hate, but with love. 

I teach this same sentiment in my classroom. Sometimes it is harder on this scale because they don’t have to listen to me ultimately the way my own children do. But I guarantee they think a little more about what they are saying and how they are saying it and honestly that is all we need. A little more thinking about what we are saying and who we are saying it to. 

This is not censoring or ignoring what is happening around us. It is the common courtesy of thinking before speaking. But I would be ignorant myself to not acknowledge that ignorance exists because it does. It is very real. I see it and hear it daily. My response is to talk about the hard stuff and listen and asking, “what are you really afraid of?” 

The hard part is accepting the answer and being prepared for the conversation that follows. Listening and not becoming defensive. A little less of me. A little more of the other. But this is hard. This forces us to be external and present with one another. But truthfully in my opinion that is what we need more of. 

In love and kindness, -MR 

A 3 year dip.

Have you ever heard of the three year dip theory? Don’t laugh at me, but yesterday I was watching Felicity (one of my favorite shows from the 90s and early 2000s) and one of the main characters talked about every three years your life takes a dip. I guess maybe that is where I am. This three year dip is way better than the last because my guy was having surgery and what followed was a year of depression and coping shortfalls. 

I think that is why I have struggled so hard admitting I am struggling because that was honestly the lowest I have ever been in my life and I definitely don’t feel like that. I think what happened is my work life balance is seriously displaced. I work too much and need to be more centered with my family. I let my general responsibilities take away my joy from the process and demand I placed on loving myself. I lost my footing on the balance and now I am just trying to regain it. 

What happened in that is I lost my way. I put all of my responsibilities ahead of myself. My REVOLUTION (less of me) fell by the way side and I know very well the consequences of putting myself aside means I can’t take care of those I love as good as I should. But the guilt is overwhelming on what I am pushing aside to take care of me. I just need a brain shift to the benefits of taking care of myself an how it allows me to take care of my people. 

What you saw in my vlog yesterday was that coming to a point. I recognized it and I spoke it. I am telling you right fitness and nutrition is so mental. Your head space has to be clear and I can tell you that I am addicted to caffeine in the worst way again. I have been struggling with digestive issues and stomach pain again. I hate taking the time to workout despite continuing to do it. All signs that I have placed myself on the back burner. 

I am not exactly sure how I got here again…but I am there. I am on a precipice of a health failure or success because of where I am at. I have got to trim down the caffeine, find my passion for exercise again so it doesn’t feel like such a chore and find a way to love the process instead of constantly looking for gains and losses. I am focused on the wrong parts and want to skip the process when I know damn well the process can’t be skipped. Loving the process is loving myself. 

If I don’t do these things, I run the risk of losing myself again. I can’t and won’t. I have worked too long and too hard. I just need to remember grace. Giving myself grace and finding grace and being patient gracefully. I may be busy with my family and my job, but that doesn’t mean I need to be last. Ever. I just need to keep reminding myself of this. 

Less of me or, MY REVOLUTION, never started as a race to see a number on a scale or looking perfect. I am afraid somewhere along the way I lost that. It was about love winning and loving the time I gave myself. I started it slow and with purpose and I didn’t weigh myself down with the particulars of the process. I just felt it and went through it and tried to love myself through it. One day I must have stopped and became tired, so I grabbed for another cup of coffee and another and then I convinced myself that my house chores or grading were more important than what I put in my mouth and I rushed through my workout. 

That is a damn dangerous game to play with my health. I know it is and I know where my addictions lie. They lie in calories, carbs, and caffeine. All of the things that in moderation are fine, but in stress and excuse run the risk of changing my best destination. So I am sitting here hoping that my revelation yesterday is a new starting point AGAIN. I don’t want to be setting lofty goals that I can’t reach. I want to show up for me AGAIN. I want to admit I am there AGAIN and in desperate need of loving myself AGAIN

Here AGAIN. -MR