Tuesday, December 25, 2012


The Holidays are a super-sized version of where you are at in your life sometimes.  And sometimes all it takes is four little words to make it all worth it..."I am proud of you..." okay, I guess that was five!  I have an amazing family and support group, and that has all expanded since I decided to get out from under the "shame" or "insecurities" of this illness and began to start living truthfully.  Living honestly rather than pretending I was my old self and masquerading my way throughout the day.  It's scary and hard to come to terms with this new life, but the energy it was taking to pretend it didn't exist I have now found was even more difficult.

I went to my Aunt and Uncle's for dinner this evening, and last year a complicated stressful situation of dodging foods I couldn't eat was a simple fix...I brought my own food...and you know what...no one cared!  That is the thing about our own lives, we tend to expand the impact of what we are dealing with in our mind, and when we step back and are honest about what our limitations are and what our fears or anxieties are you have begun to strip away a bit of the power those little voices of doubt have over you.

This year, I changed my flight at the last minute due to my health being in a poor place on Thursday and a blizzard that was impacting our airport.  I then preceded to get a treatment on both Friday and because my doctor is so dedicated and wanted to make sure I left as strong as possible on Saturday.  From the treatment I raced home, finished packing, made some food and got to the airport.  At the airport I found someone to help me carry some of my things and Sophie and I did the oh so fun security etc...I got in to Milwaukee at 12 am...and headed home.  And for the past three days since I have been home I hosted at my house twice and went to my parents and my aunt and uncle's .... I participated in Christmas.  While I was at my parent's house my 4 year old niece spontaneously came up to me while I was alone in our den, and she climbed on my lap, wrapped her arms around me and said, "Heather, I missed you when you were in Arizona." And it broke my heart a bit; yet made the sacrifice all the more worth it.  Because I was present in that moment, and my treatments though took away time give me quality.

While at our big family gathering one of my Uncles came up to me and said those four words..."I am proud of you..." "I am proud of you for being here..." and for all of you CFS'ers or anyone that sometimes feels like whatever they are going through no one is paying attention...there is no greater gift one can give than that of acknowledgement.

Somehow when we get older it seems that those words that we hear so much as a child...I am proud of you...begin to disappear.  You are expected to do things, behave a certain way and be an "adult."  However, maybe that is where a bit of our compassion gets lost without even knowing it and being told it tonight, I will remember once again...words can hurt and words can heal.

Happy Holidays. Photo courtesy of the 4 year old! 
December 24th 2012

I logged on to AOL and saw this clip and it was exactly what I was trying to say...but came from Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Weisel....Friendship is a Religion from his new book Open Heart

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