Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hope and Thanksgiving

It’s easy to become frustrated, overwhelmed, impatient and very simply, lose hope with our lives.

I know, because I constantly have to fight against the impending dark cloud that lurks at my feet, awaiting a moment of weakness to devour me completely.

I am not a naturally melancholy person always looking on the dark side of things, but I am human and I have a tendency to want things to happen when I think they should happen, not when they actually occur.

 I am 26 years old, and I live at home with my parents. I have reached lofty business and personal goals, and I’ve had lovingly tended dreams snatched away from me. I had a chronic illness for five years that reduced my life to a simple pattern of pain, meds, sleep and more pain. I get frustrated because I am not where my peers are today, and I still have a long way to go. Things that used to be simple for me can now stress me out to the point of becoming so flustered that I can hardly remember my own name. I get angry and upset that I am a possible burden to my parents and I feel like a failure for struggling with my school, when it used to be so easy.

But, On The Other Hand

But, on the other hand, if these painful, frustrating, awful things hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t be the person I am now. And I’ve rather grown to like her, this woman I have become. I wouldn’t be focusing my talents and energy on the things I am today and I know with a certainty that is rock solid, what I am doing now is what I was meant to do.

“What’s wrong?” my mums asked me softly as she drove me to yet another doctor’s appointment (To add insult to injury, when I’m not doing well I don’t drive.) this afternoon. “I feel like this cycle is never going to end, that I’ll never be able to take care of myself or get well enough to live on my own again.” I muttered, staring out the pickup window like an insolent teenager but really just fighting to hide the tears that were threatening to spill over. It was silent for a moment and then my mums sighed and placed her hand on mine. “I don’t know why these things were allowed to happen to you, but I do know that you are MUCH better today than you were this time last year, or even 6 months ago. And I can’t even imagine how incredibly frustrating it must be for you, but maybe you can look at this time like an addict looks at recovery: one day at a time. Otherwise, you’ll get bogged down in the day-to-day trials and it will seem like the road stretches on forever. Just take it one day at a time, Elizabeth.” She squeezed my hand and I was completely overwhelmed with love for my wise mums.

I have a tendency to always look far ahead to the future, making short and long-term goals. In many ways, this has proven to be very helpful to me personally and professionally. But on days like today, when the dark cloud of doubt and fear starts creeping ever nearer, it’s a hindrance. If you, like me, are struggling and the long road of your future seems to be clothed in uncertainty and doubt, stop looking so far ahead for now. Just take it one day at a time and be thankful for the changes you have made, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem.

One Day At A Time

So. Change. Tomorrow when I wake up, I will luxuriously stretch in my bed, relishing the feeling of not having a body that is constantly wracked with pain anymore.

I will not spend time wondering how I will manage 5, 10 years from now, but will tackle the day’s immediate challenges with as much grace and fortitude as possible.

Instead of worrying over possible terrible scenarios that haven’t yet come about, I will focus on the positive of NOW.

I will not be discouraged by “bad” or hard days. Instead, I will try to look at them as a mere bump in the road to bigger and grander things that have yet to come.

By taking one day at a time, I will appreciate those around me more, because one day this time will have past.

It is always easier to look forward to something and say, “I will deal with it this way,” than it is when it comes time to actually deal with “it.” I will remember that and not be too hard on myself when I become frustrated, frightened and overwhelmed, because those feelings will return.

By taking one day at a time, I will reserve that fire to live each day to the fullest, with as much joy and passion as possible (without being too obnoxious, of course!).

Join me in taking one day at a time, and together let’s see if we can’t overcome the fear of the unknown.

I Am Thankful

I am thankful for my deep and solid friendship with my mother. I used to worry when I was young that we would stop being friends the instant I “grew up,” but I’m pleased to find that our friendship has not waned, but only strengthened as I’ve gotten older.

I am thankful for my mother’s sweet and gentle wisdom. Not one to preach, she leads by example and without her I’m pretty sure I would be lost.

I am thankful for my mother’s complete and utter faith in me.

I am thankful for this road I have been given, no matter how rocky it may be, because without it I would not understand other people’s pain to the extent I am able to now.

I am thankful for this extended time I am allotted with my parents, because someday It will all be a dusty memory.

I am thankful for you, dear reader, and all that writing this blog has taught me. 

Thank you.

xo xo Elizabeth


  1. Thank you for posting this, I can relate so much to all of it. I've done so much in my life, but now that I have to be a grown-up and a parent and I don't have anything of my own or a "real" job or my own place, I don't FEEL like I'm closer to 30 than to 20...I don't FEEL like an adult or a functioning member of society (although, what says society gets to set the standards for what's right and normal??). Thank you for your honesty <3

    1. Thank you for YOUR honesty! And that reminds me of something my grandma told me yesterday, why does society get to set the standards for what's "normal?" Totally agree! Hang in there pretty lady, I'm rooting for you! :)

  2. Beautiful. My story and struggles are different, but my feelings are so, so similar. Thank you for sharing. It means something to know that these girls that you follow and look up to feel the same way you do.

    1. Oh AmyLou, that seriously means so much...and I think that's one of the great things in sharing the hardships, is that it helps us discover that we are not alone in our struggles. Hugs beautiful :)

  3. you are an inspiration to people everywhere, keep strong and the illness will fade but the strong woman you have become will remain. GOD BLESS

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  5. I suffer from Lupus and Rhematoid arthritis, and I so hear you on the fear part! glad you are feeling better and you have such an awesome attitude and support system

    1. I am so incredibly sorry to hear about your Lupus and RA, I hear those are both incredibly painful....I love that this blog has enabled all of us struggling though to realize that we're not alone! Stay strong my friend! <3

  6. Ohhh Liz, this was wonderful! It didn't pop up on my blog reading list so I wondered what post you were talking about yesterday. Your mums is right! Do live a day at a time because just since I've "known" you, you have come a long long ways! You're just an impressive lady! My health took a major dive 3 yrs ago. I dropped out of school and threw away my amazing internship with the BLM in CO. We didn't address my issues until finally I had a wreck on the freeway. It's ok to need the support of our parents, even if we are a little bit older. Every day is a new day, working towards our new futures :) xo

    1. Thank you so much friend, that means the world! I had no idea that you were in a wreck on the freeway, so terrifying!! Sooo glad you're healing up and I couldn't agree more, working towards our new futures! :)