Category Archives: Month of Positivity

Month of Positivity- Truthful Tuesday



Taking a page from my gal Dawnie, I’m sharing some truths today.

-I’m scared to read my books right now. My ability to focus has been severely off and I’m afraid I won’t retain the words I crave so badly. It’s hurting my heart more than I can say.

-Even though the cold weather hurts my body, I prefer the cold to the heat. You can always bundle up, but there’s only so much clothing you can remove to cool off.

-I love watching true crime TV shows, especially anything to do with the Mob or Mafia. I can watch it for hours on end.

-I prefer chapstick to any sort of lipstick or gloss. Blistex Medicated is my favorite.

-I once gained the nickname “Kitty” because someone thought I looked like the mother on “That 70’s Show.” In hindsight, I’m not sure that’s a compliment…

-I do not take compliments well. I am notorious for brushing them aside or deflecting. It’s something I’m working on.

-Marie Osmund bugs the hell out of me. I don’t really know why.


Month of Positivity- My Heart Is Overflowing


I’m back from my wonderful weekend away with my fiance and boy are my legs tired!

Friday I got to spend the afternoon with my dear friend Kristen. We got a head start on some Christmas shopping and while were snagging awesome deals, we got a chance to catch up a bit. She and I both battle with anxiety and depression and she’s the best sounding board when I just need to spill out all the swirling thoughts in my mind. When I expressed guilt for taking off for the weekend when there were other things that money could go to, she gave me her “Don’t argue with me, Tia” look and said:

“What’s the point in fighting so hard to live if you don’t take the opportunity to LIVE?”

Since she was looking at me like that AND it made pretty good sense, I didn’t argue with her. In fact, I used it as my mantra for the weekend.

Saturday morning my fiance and I dressed warm and comfy and headed out to the beach. We drove along the Oregon coastline stopping wherever our hearts took us. We took photos of the gorgeous ocean, wandered through eclectic antique shops, and smiled a lot. We talked about everything and nothing and held hands as we strolled along the waterfront.


On Sunday, we got up early and headed to brunch with my girls and one special little man. I should have been nervous about finally getting to meet Dawnie, but I was too excited. And wouldn’t you know it, she’s exactly the same in person. It was like she just walked out of my computer screen. Brunch was DELICIOUS and we all gabbed about everything. My fiance got to hold Shevaun’s baby and my heart did a little flutter. Our waiter took the blurriest photo ever and then my fiance took a better one. After brunch we wandered around a comic book store and a record store before Dawnie had to catch her flight home. We hugged hard and then we were off in our separate directions.

My Girls
If you think Shevaun looks annoyed, it’s cuz her lil man had just dealt her a blow to the chest. The joys of motherhood, eh?

Afterwards my fiance and I stopped into the world’s greatest book store. We still had a gift card from his birthday, so we looked around for some treasures to take home. He found a guitar calendar for our wall (how apropos!), I found an awesome crossword puzzle book for when I don’t want to be staring at my phone, and my fiance was able to get a book that’s been on his wishlist for a few years. We stopped in the cafe for something to drink and then headed home.

As I collapsed into bed last night, I knew I had pushed myself this weekend. I knew I would be sore and achy today, especially with my monthly shot being due tonight. I couldn’t have cared less. My heart was overflowing with love and joy.

I lived this weekend and it was the greatest thing I could have done. And I plan to do much more of it. The pain is going to be there no matter what I do. I deserve to enjoy life to the best of my abilities and I fully intend to.

What is something you’ve been putting off because of chronic illness?

**Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about my giveaway. Joules is our winner for following along all month long! Thanks to all who participated!

Month of Positivity- Getting Away



One of my favoritest people is coming to the PACNW this weekend.

Since she’s really coming for The Doctor, she’s not going to be be right in my neck of the woods. So my fiance says we will go to her. I will finally get to hug the woman who has inspired so very much change in my life. The person who has given me strength to keep fighting to live life on my terms. The person who makes me smile every time I hear her name.

I will also get to love on Joules and Shevaun and Shevaun’s not so little bundle of joy. I get to show off my awesome fiance and we get to have some good food. All in all, it’s gonna be a damn good Sunday. An added treat?

My fiance has proposed a day trip for tomorrow.

It’s been ages since schedules,chronic illness, finances, life has made it possible for us to get away. Yes, it means two days of travel time in the car. Yes, it means possibly burning my candle low. Yes, we could spend the money on a million other things instead.

But sometimes you just need to get away.

Sometimes you need to reconnect with your partner and yourself after a long few months. Sometimes you need to set your worries and responsibilities on the back burner for a day. Or two.

So I won’t be blogging this weekend. I will be out with people I love, who love me back. I will be taking too many pictures and smiling often. I will forget about all the stress for 48 hours and just allow myself to be. I will take care of myself and I will indulge.

Because sometimes you just need to live.

**Tonight is the deadline to enter to win these custom holiday ornaments! Don’t miss out!

Month of Positivity- Loving Myself



More than words can say, I appreciate all of your comments yesterday. There is nothing quite like knowing you’re not alone in your fight. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Liz over at Human Nature said something that hit me like a lightening bolt and stuck with me all day:

“Do not doubt the love of those you love so much. They choose to love you for who you are. Perhaps the reason you don’t see why is because you don’t love yourself.”

I’ve never thought about it before, I guess. I know I’ve always struggled with my self-esteem and self-worth, even as a teen. But I don’t think I’ve ever looked at it as not loving myself. I read her words yesterday and I was dumbstruck. Did I love myself?

At first, I looked at it quite literally. No, I don’t love myself. There’s a lot I’d like to change. I don’t love the chronic pain, the changes that RA has brought to my body, or this new life I lead. After acknowledging that I really don’t love being this “new me,” I asked myself if I’ve ever loved myself.

Just like that, all the curtains opened. Like a movie montage, I could see memories of my life flicker before me, each one depicting scenes where people told me they loved me and then when they told me they didn’t anymore. Each scene was a stab to my heart, so much of the hurt I had buried over the years came pouring forth. For every promise of love that was broken, my love for myself took a hit. And with the loss of friendship I thought would be with me until my dying days, I saw the truth:

If these people couldn’t love me anymore, I must not be worthy of love.

I sat in stunned belief. Is this why I wasn’t good to myself? Had I based my self-worth on the broken promises of others? Even as I asked these hard questions, I knew the answers. I had been treating myself the way I thought I deserved based on the opinions of those who had come and left.

It was a hard realization.

With the truth blazing in front of me, I was at a loss. Where do I go from here? How do I learn to love myself again? There’s still so much I’d like to change. Will the changes help or do I need to learn to love  me just as I am? I’m so unsure where to go, how to start.

I don’t have any answers yet, only some vague ideas. I do know this, I feel lighter today than I have in a while, and that’s got to be a good thing. I also know that I have friends with me no matter what, that much is evident from the love that was poured forth yesterday.

There’s a little voice that tells me this is an important step on my path of healing. Fancy that, hmm?

**Don’t forget to go comment here to enter to win a set of limited edition holiday ornaments!!

Month of Positivity- My Truth



I haven’t been honest with you, my dear readers.

I started this month with such high hopes for myself. I naively thought that just by blogging about the things in my life that bring me light, I would be able to stave off the darkness. If I told you all the people for which I’m grateful, I would be reminded of how great my life is in spite of all the pain. If I had this blog to hold me accountable for practicing self-care, I would be better about being kinder to myself.

I should have known that Depression doesn’t work that way. This isn’t a new battle for me, after all.

Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely grateful for all of the people and things in my life that I’ve told you about, and many more. Logically, I know that my life could be much worse, it has been much worse.

But Depression doesn’t rely on logic.

Depression feeds on all of your deepest insecurities and forces you to face all the ugliness.

So while I’ve been telling you how thankful I am to have awesome people in my life, how I’m grateful for all the pieces of my life that are bright, I’ve been hiding my darkness. I’ve hidden that each day while I write about my happiness, tears are streaming down my face. While I tell you how much I love my son, my fiance, my friends, I’m wondering how they can love me back. While I am thankful for all the good, I’m praying the bad will just go away…even while knowing I probably deserve the pain and hurt.

It took a seemingly benign text from Cindy Lou last night to bring down the veil I’d been hiding behind. I spent last night in tears on my couch, demanding to understand how my fiance can still love me. Insisting that he deserves someone much better than me. Someone less crazy, less of a burden.

All the hurt and anguish I’ve been battling all month long came spilling out last night. I cried until I was a snotty mess (I’m so not the glamorous one), until I was worn out from trying to explain the thoughts that were engulfing me. My fiance hugged me, assured me he didn’t think I was bat-shit bonkers, and promised he still loved me.

I’m telling you all of this because I promised one thing when I began writing again. I promised I would be honest. Because if you can’t be honest in your writing, what kind of person does that make you? I didn’t want to find out.

If I can share my battles with chronic pain, I should also be sharing about the struggles that make me want to pull the covers around me tight and bury myself in my bed. Because I know I’m not alone. And if the people I love and admire can be open about their fights against the darkness, I can too. Because it’s not right to portray my battles as anything else than they are.

I’m sorry if you came here today for something light, something that would make you smile. I just didn’t have it in me. I’m sorry if you feel cheated out of positivy, trust me when I tell you I often feel the same. I can’t promise you that tomorrow I will once again be light and smiles, in fact, I think I won’t be. Yes, I will share something for which I am grateful, but I will also share with honesty.

Today I’m grateful that there are people who love me even when I can’t love myself. Those people give me hope even when I’m bawling my eyes out and insisting that I’m undeserving of their love. Those people are my heroes.

Month of Positivity- Day 17


November 17, 2013

It feels like this flare might finally be easing. I was able to help out with chores yesterday and awoke this morning feeling rested instead of exhausted. I’m still a little swollen and hurty, but nowhere near where I have been these past few weeks. Self-care yesterday consisted of curling up with football and comfort food. I enjoyed a nice weekend with my fiance which was great for us and great for me.

I know it might sound materialistic, but today I’m thankful for the things in my life that make living easier. When I have flares, it’s often hard for me to do seemingly simple things. There are days when it’s impossible to pick up the laptop or open a can of soda. Fortunately, I have a few things that make the hard days a little less painful.

I’m thankful for my iPhone, which allows me to stay social, even when I’m confined to bed. I’m thankful for the little tool that helps me open soda cans and juice bottles, it saves me when my hands are too painful and swollen. I’m thankful for the gifts of fuzzy socks and comfy jammies that keep me warm and comforted when my body is chilled and hurting. I’m thankful for our space heater which allows me to stay toasty warm without spiking the electric bill. I’m thankful for my crafting supplies which keep me from going insane while I’m home alone during the days.

I’m thankful for my lovely friends who never fail to lift my spirits when they are low. Whether it’s funny texts or silly photos, video chats or emails about our favorite books, they cheer me up when I’m hurting and feeling vulnerable. I’m thankful for all of you, my lovely readers, who give me a purpose. I know that you are here waiting for me, my words. Knowing that there are others out there like me eases the feeling of loneliness that chronic illness has brought into my life.

This is another instance where I will be paying the love forward. I’ve listed these limited edition ornaments in my store.


They are only available for this holiday season. I will be giving a set of them away to one of my lucky readers. If you’d like to enter for a chance to win, please comment with something for which you’re thankful. If you’re blogging along with me this month, a link to your blog post will also count. All comments need to be posted by midnight Friday night, November 22, 2013 to be eligible. I will announce the winner Monday, November 25, 2013.

Don’t waste any time, post your grateful comment now!


Month of Positivity- Day 16



November 16, 2013

I’m still resting, though I was able to crank out a few errands yesterday. My self-care was curling up for a nap at 8pm so I could stay up to watch Saturday Night Live with my fiance. Sometimes it’s the littlest of things that can make the biggest impact on your day.

I’m thankful for my WonderTwin.

Teala is such a light in my life. Even if we go days without touching base, she’s always on my mind, her love is always here with me. She just has that kind of presence. She’s the sweetest person you’ll ever meet and has a heart of pure gold. But don’t think about crossing her, she’s never afraid to stand up for what she believes in and those she loves. She’s super-duper smart and can probably run circles around my mind but she never makes me feel dumb when we’re talking. She’s just wonderful.

I know that Teala and I fight some of the same battles within our own minds. Her strength gives me strength to keep fighting against the voices that tell me I’m not good enough. Her love and kindness wash over me on the days when I’m feeling whiny and hurting and remind me I’m never alone. Her determination inspires me to keep working towards my dreams, no matter what obstacles life throws my way.

I’ve got something special in mind for my twin to thank her for all the awesomeness she bestows on my life. I can’t share it here quite yet cuz she reads this now and again and I don’t want to spoil her surprise. I’m giddy with excitement over it, though!

Is there someone special in your life you want to thank? Write about it and share your story with us in the links!

Month of Positivity- Day 15



November 15, 2013

My self-care has been and continues to be resting and being kind to myself while I battle this flare. Apparently I pinched something in my left leg at some point Wednesday night because I was fighting nerve pain in my lower left leg all day yesterday. I panicked when it started to progress up my leg last night and called my doc. I’m on anti-inflammatory medication now and the pain has eased a bit. The flare is hanging on, but I’m hanging in. My fiance brought home Chinese take-out for dinner last night, so I’m also counting that as self-care. It was divine and nothing upset my tummy, which is a HUGE win these days!

I’m thankful for the online spoonie community.

Whether it’s my Spoons 4 Spoonies page, my gals from The Band, or any of the other online spoonie groups I’ve joined via Facebook and the Tweeter machine, I know someone will always understand me.

Something I’ve experienced myself as well as heard from any spoonie I’ve met is that we feel alone and misunderstood. When we look “normal” and well on the outside, it’s hard to find those in our lives who can see the pain and struggles we deal with on a daily basis. When our friends are off having fun and we’re home fighting a flare, we feel alone and left out.

The online spoonie community takes some of that away. We share inspirational quotes and funny photos to cheer each other up. When we have a new symptom, there’s someone to talk to while we wait to see the doctor again. They are the friends we may never meet, but they KNOW us. They understand all that we’re feeling, even when we don’t have the words to describe it. They are pioneers on the paths to better care for us all.

To show a bit of gratitude, I’m sharing their links here so that you may all go and check them out. You can tell them I sent you, or not, it’s your call. But please take the time to send some love to the people who’ve held me up while I’ve been battling with recent flares.

Pajama Daze

Kicking RA in the Face

Spoon Shortage

Living Chronically Fabulous

Chronic Illness Cat

But You Don’t Look Sick

Finding Strength Through Pain

Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy

RA Chicks

Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior

And of course, I can’t forget my friends in the Chronically Chatty group 🙂

These folks help me to keep swimming and give me hope on days when it’s lacking. Who or what has helped you through a rough time? Do you have a spoonie group that I should join? Please leave a link in the comments so I can check them out!



Month of Positivity- Day 14



November 14, 2013

Today I’m thankful for my primary doctor, Mr. E.

I’ve been flaring lately and that means needing my pain medication more regularly. I’m fortunate that I have access to pain medication when I need it…and that’s all due to my awesome doctor.

He’s actually not a doctor, but a nurse practitioner. I met him two years ago when I first started feeling poorly. He is my fiance’s doctor and agreed to take me on as a cash pay patient.

From day one, Mr. E has treated me with respect and understanding. Even when I’ve come in with seemingly inexplicable pain, he has never written me off. He was the doctor who took a chance and ordered the tests that led to my RA diagnosis. He never once doubted my pain, and has instead made sure that I have access to the appropriate medication to help me manage my condition.

I know I’m among the rare. Most spoonies struggle to get access to the medication they need. Doctors are hesitant to provide pain medication for pain they can’t see or calibrate. Many patients have to beg and plead with their doctors to get even the slightest relief.

I’m lucky, and I’m grateful for it. I recently had an opportunity to have a heart to heart with Mr. E and thank him for taking such great care of me. Because of his thoroughness and willingness to listen to my concerns, I’m able to manage my chronic illnesses in the best way that works for me.

My self-care continues to be resting and easing through this flare. I’m taking many naps and have my trusty stuffed doggy to keep me company. There’s a cold front here, so my fiance has brought out the space heater and I have my blanket to keep me nice and cozy.

In fact, I think I’ll go take another nap now. What are you thankful for today? Share in the comments!

Month of Positivity- Day 13



November 13, 2013

I missed another day, I’m sorry.

I woke up yesterday feeling absolutely miserable. I’ve known for about the last week that I’m in the throes of a flare, but yesterday was a flare times ten. I spent the day curled up on my couch with my blankie and the space heater on high. I watched true crime TV and America’s Sweethearts since it was on. I wanted to write but I was having a hard time seeing the good in my day.

Today I’m feeling slightly more human.

Today I’m thankful for my friend Dawnie.

Dawnie is has a great soul. Which isn’t something I say about just anyone. She truly is good down to her core. She wants to make the world a better place and she does that by enriching the lives of those around her. When I was having a hard time earlier this year, Dawnie spent a whole afternoon chatting with me. She shared tons of advice and listened to me whine. She told me:

Be realistic with yourself. It’s okay to have days when you’re not Ms. Positivity. It’s okay to accept where you are while knowing that you’re working toward where you want to be. It’s okay to put yourself first. You have to take care of yourself if you want to be able to do anything.

She let me know that days like yesterday are gonna happen, and it’s okay.

That conversation opened up something wonderful in me. It was like I was waiting for someone to give me some sort of permission I didn’t know I needed. All of a sudden, I was taking care of me, both physically and mentally. After over a year of battling RA, I suddenly had the tools I needed to really face this new life I’m living.

When I started having more health issues a few months ago, Dawnie was there again. When I got the diagnosis of Interstitial Cystitis, she spent another afternoon on the phone with me, sharing her wealth of knowledge. Days later a box arrived filled with info on IC, special tea to help soothe me, and tools to help me on my journey. She shared her journey with me and let me know that it will get better.

Dawnie is funny, witty, and adorable. Her laugh is infectious. She loves music even more than I do, which is saying something. She’s extremely giving. She is the kind of person, the kind of friend, I strive to be. With her love and support, I know I can live the kind of life I want, even with chronic illness.

Dawnie is all about paying it forward and spreading love. And so, for her I’ll be doing just that. There’s a spoonie I know who could use some love and encouragement. I’m working on a care basket full of happiness and a little bit of Dawnie to send to a friend in need.

Because Dawnie helped me, I can help others. And that is how we make the world a better place.

Has someone special helped you when you were down? Share your story in the comments!