My 2nd Blogiversary! The Mission Continues

(I am writing this on my husbands computer because mine is temporarily out of commission.  His plural/quotation key does not work, I do not have that bad of a grammar problem.  Okay, on with the show!)

I have to say that I am pleased and proud of myself for making it thus far and thank God that He has allowed me the health to continue to do so.

Here is my First Blogiversary post if you are so curious.

Like many chronically ill people, I wondered why it was ME who had to be so sick, why I had to hurt every day.  I have been chronically ill since 2003.  Also, like many, I wondered what I had done to deserve this life of pain and fatigue, when there were so many evil and nasty people who walked around on top of the world?  Was God punishing me?

The 5 Stages of Coping With a Chronic Illness was originally used by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in her book, On Death and Dying, but it works for the perpetually feeling like you are always dying very well.  For so many years I was caught up in a Denial-Anger-Bargaining-Depression cycle.  Acceptance my ass!  Acceptance to me meant giving up and I was never going to do that, I was never going to stop fighting, looking for answers, looking for the cures.  How could so many just lay down and Accept?

Yet, in a way, I was jealous of these people too, those who were so wise and so at peace with themselves.

Why, why, why??  What was the purpose of this pain and suffering??  Why me??

But little by little, I realized that my illnesses did have a purpose and there was a reason this was happening to me. Through my blogging, my writing, and using my actual voice in casual conversations with strangers, I slowly began to realize that I was making a difference.  That I was comforting those like me and that I was educating those who were not, and sometimes it was even both at the same time.  The comments, the emails, the vision of the lightbulb clicking on in someones head.  Thank you, Emily, thank you for helping me, for showing me that I am not alone, thank you for telling me about Lupus, I feel wiser for having met you.  Almost every day, the evidence was mounting.

And so I have come to believe that if someone was to have a chronic illness it should be…ME.

On Tuesday my computer crashed, it would turn on but show nothing but a blue screen.  I was crying as my husband sat on the phone with tech support.  My laptop is my life, as it is for so many chronically ill or disabled people.  The techie couldnt get my computer started so he suggested I make an appointment to take it in, which I did yesterday.

When the young man who came over to help me said hello, I jumped.  I told him that if my computer was dead and my data could not be recovered then I would probably start crying.

Dont worry, he said.  A lot of people cry.

I explained that my laptop was extremely important to me as I was disabled.  My laptop was my life, I was a blogger, a writer.  I told him that I had many physical illnesses such as Lupus and Chronic Fatigue, and Mental illnesses such as Anxiety, Depression and Mania.  That my physically tired and achy body was constantly at war with my go-go-go brain and that the only time I felt brain and body coming together was when I wrote.

I chatted and chatted, as my mania makes me do, all the while thinking This guy is probably thinking I am a freak.  I felt like he was humoring me.

The only time I got something back from him was something like, I think many of us all suffer from sort of depression at one time or another.

Oh, yes definitely, I said, as I was thinking This guy probably cant wait to get me out of here.  Whoa, slow down lady!

When I left the man said to me, What is your blog?  Ill take a look at it.

Yeah, right.  Youre just trying to be a good customer service rep.

What happened with my computer is not important to the story but here is what is.  Last night I got this from the CONTACT ME section of my blog:

Met you earlier this afternoon in the mall. Just wanted to say thank you. It’s always nice to meet somebody else who also suffers from severe depression. Although I can’t relate to your situation with your family, I can relate to struggling with bipolar disorder. It’s hard to admit to another human being the severity or even the existence of your disease. I wish you the best of luck with everything. You’ve got a friend…(ending left out for privacy sake)

I frantically thought and thought.  Who the Hell was this? Is my brain turning to so much mush that I dont remember meeting someone at the mall???  Who? Who?

And then, I got the clever way he ended his message to me (which I cannot print to protect his identity) and I knew.   It was the computer guy! The young man who just nodded and smiled and whom I thought was thinking that I was a freak…was a freak himself, just a quiet one!  And when I say freak, I mean that in the nicest way.

I asked him if I could include his message to me in my Blogiversary post:

Absolutely! I’d be honored and look forward to reading it.

It helps to know you’re not the only “crazy” one 🙂

Why yes, yes it does help to know that you are not the only crazy one, doesnt it?   Would it also help to know that one out of four American families has a relative who has a mental illness?

Why didnt you tell me, computer guy, that you too have mental illness?  Did you know that every time I tell someone I have a mental illness almost everyone tells me ME TOO! or I TAKE XANAX FOR… or MY HUSBAND… or MY MOTHER…?

Im not yelling at you, computer guy, it is perfectly alright that you did not offer this private information up about yourself.

I will do it for you.  I will speak about mental illness and I will speak about chronic illness and I will speak about people who dont look sick but are, and I will blog about it. I will try to touch thousands with my writing, and just one person with my voice, and I will do it every day I am able.

And I will join others.  Others like Christine Miserandino and Jenni Prokopy and those on the National Association of Mental Illness Blog.

Because this is my PURPOSE…and I ACCEPT it.

Two Candles for My Second Blogiversary and One For Good Luck

Two Candles for My Second Blogiversary and One For Good Luck

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About mamasick

Emily Cullen is a pen-name. I suffer from chronic illnesses and diseases which include Bipolar Disorder, Asthma, Diabetes and Fibromyalgia. I had battled Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis but there is no longer evidence of me having these diseases and my Rheumatologist has declared them to be "burnt out" of my system. I am separated from my husband, “Grant”. Our son, “Tyler” was born in September of 2006 and suffers from tics and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and is delayed in fine and gross motor skills. In my blog I seek to let sick moms know that they are not the only ones going through this, and to educate people about what can happens when one becomes catastrophically ill. I also strive to break down stereotypes of what a “Welfare Mom” is like. Anything that I have gone through due to being sick, is written on the pages of Mama Sick.
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30 Responses to My 2nd Blogiversary! The Mission Continues

  1. Francesca says:

    Glowing like your candles as I read this. Happy Blogiversary. More happy you have found your purpose and another use for that wonderful voice! Sometimes we hit rock bottom, sometimes we crash (or our computer’s), seldom do we get up courage to do what you’ve done!

  2. Cindy B says:

    Tears as I read this my friend. Sometimes my husband asks me why I’m not “pissed off” anymore….you just gave me my “lightbulb”, though I’ve read the Kubler-Ross theory many times. Thank you!

  3. Tendai says:

    Happy Anniversary! I am glad you are here!

    I was one of those who accepted and moved on. I was angry for a bit and sad but I couldn’t lie down and curl up in bed because I have a child who needs me. Otherwise, I might not be in the acceptance stage yet. Although, one can go through the stages of grief many times after reaching acceptance. It’s like an onion, layer after layer and then stinky ole anger pops up again. Like when I wish I could really dance like I used too.

    Anyway, congratulations again! Your cake looks way too delicious!

  4. admin says:

    For Tendai:

    Getting friends like you is an added bonus to blogging! I am so thankful you are in my life!

    Agreed and excellent point. The ways people look at being chronically ill depend drastically upon their lot in life, single, married, children, childless.

    I miss dancing with my son too. I can do it, I just know it’s a really bad idea!

    I grabbed that cake from Wikipedia Commons. No cakes were harmed in the writing of this post.

  5. Happy anniversary. I applaud your honesty and acceptance of your role as an educator. You are doing a really good job of it.

    I wish you courage, peace, and a really good pain killer.

  6. Mrs4444 says:

    That’s what we’re all here for; we each have a purpose. I’m glad you have been able to find meaning in your experience.

    Sounds like Computer Guy is a professional; revealing personal info like that while on the job wouldn’t really be appropriate. I’m impressed. I also like that he took the time to visit and leave a comment 🙂

  7. Mrs. Tuna says:

    Congrats on your one year anniversary AND………..thnaks for commening on my blog today!!!

  8. Amy Sullivan says:

    Thanks for stopping by my place so I could discover your blog!

    Two years? Good for you. I just celebrated my one year this past week.

    What an encouragement you must be to many.

  9. Andy Traub says:

    I love the part where you thought he was looking at you like you were crazy but he was crazy too “just quiet”. Classic. We all find so much in common when we talk about weaknesses. They are universal.

  10. Andy says:

    First, congratulations!!! You really are an inspiration.

    Second, it really does help to know we’re not alone.

    Third, the more we all talk about it – all of it – the better off we’ll be. Maybe one day the stigma will have gone away enough that the computer guy, along with everyone else, will be comfortable enough to speak out in public, in person and out loud, even at work. I yearn for that day! I still can’t be open at work. One day…

  11. Lisa says:

    What a heart warming post! I know some people who suffer from some form of mental illness and are in total denial. I’ve lost a family member, prob because he didn’t seek treatment. I’ve had some bouts

  12. Lisa says:

    (oops got cut-off!) of depression, anxiety & panic attacks.

  13. greymama says:

    Found your blog through a reference on But You Don’t Look Sick on FB. I have been on anti-depressants for 20+ years, and about the time I hit menopause, was dx with hypomanic bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, fibromyalgia-mostly foggy, poor concentration, forgetfulness, and the chronic pain, and narcolepsy. I’ve had osteoarthritis for years and can’t work due to all the above. Thank you for sharing your insights. We are all so frustrated….

  14. Visiting from SITS and boy does that cake look good! Congratulations on finding a purpose within your illnesses instead of just giving up. Great example for your son!
    Louise Ducote´s last blog post ..Mama Always Comes Back

  15. Adrienne says:

    I think this post just made my day. I love your attitude, the story about the computer guy, and everything about your take on accepting your purpose in life. It’s awesome! We struggle with mental illness in our home too. My son has severe OCD, and I struggle with anxiety. We just never know who we will encourage by sharing our stories. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing and I look forward to reading more.
    Adrienne´s last blog post ..mealtime #momfail

  16. Adrienne says:

    OH! I forgot. Congrats on your SITS day!!
    Adrienne´s last blog post ..mealtime #momfail

  17. sheri says:

    Found you throught SITS – congrats! I loved this post – when my 1st husband left me after 13 years of marriage I did not know how I would go on. My 2 young children and my fierce prided propelled me while my insides (brain and heart) slowly healed. I met and married a wonderful man and went through what was clearly a delayed reaction – in the form of a short but severe depression – about a year after I remarried. My husband hung in. We now have a 3-year-old who is the light of my life and I have my own blog where I’ve sometimes chronicled my own personal experiences. I love what you wrote – consider me your newest fan! 🙂

  18. It is truly through our struggles–and we all have them–that we become perfected, made whole, and Christlike. Without them, we cannot become like Him–full of love, patience, empathy, long-suffering, etc. It is great to see that in your own way, you HAVE accepted this challenge and are beautifully strengthening and sharing hope with the world. Best to you!
    ali satterwhite´s last blog post ..Believing the Prophet, Joseph Smith

  19. Barb says:

    There is always so much strength in community. I think that’s why loneliness is such a debilitating thing. It’s awful to feel alone. It’s wonderful that you write and blog and help so many others know they’re not alone. That’s so medicinal. Love this story.
    Barb´s last blog post ..Winter Help to Get You Out the Door

  20. Marie Cole says:

    Happy blogiversary! I know how it feels to have computer issues and wanting to cry.
    Glad you are out there teaching us all about chronic illnesses, I had no idea.
    Marie Cole´s last blog post ..Color Palette, All Aboard

  21. Betsy says:

    Truly wonderful. Not everyone has the courage to speak up about the things that go on in their lives, and even those who do sometimes have days they don’t want to either. Its people like you that make asking for help, or coming to terms with yourself that much easier. Thank you for your wonderful blog, and congrats on your SITS day!
    Betsy´s last blog post ..The lemon dilemma

  22. Joanne says:

    That is so nice! Sometimes we think people are just tolerating us but there are occasionally good people out there you get to connect with.
    Joanne´s last blog post ..Road Trip

  23. When I came over from SITS Girls, I didn’t know what to expect, but I didn’t expect to be so touched by this post. The fact that you made a connection with someone is amazing and I love it and love your writing.
    Kimberly Gauthier, Adventures in Blogging´s last blog post ..7 Things that Help Me Manage Multiple Blogs While Working Full Time

  24. Venus says:

    I also feel it’s our responsibility to speak about mental illness, and other forms of chronic illness, when we have experiences to share. I write about my drepression on my blog. I’m glad you, do, too! And I’m very glad indeed that the computer guy from the store ended up being able to share with you. What a great ending to the story!
    Venus´s last blog post ..Extraordinary Conversation

  25. maggie says:

    Happy anniversary…….back in May……you’re rounding the corner to number 3! Fun!

  26. Amy says:

    Emily, it is so wonderful to see your journey through the questioning as to why you were the one to be sick. So many of us out there struggle with that exact question and we fill in the blank with what our issue might be. This is a question that people have asked for all time and there is no cut and dry answer – but the one you came to is profound.

    “And so I have come to believe that if someone was to have a chronic illness it should be…ME.”

    and “Because this is my PURPOSE…and I ACCEPT it.”

    Wow. Thank you for this post. I believe I will be coming back to read it again and again the next time I start to wonder “why?”

    God Bless you, Emily!

  27. Wow! I cannot explain in one comment what I am going thru now but, thank you. You are a true inspiration! God bless you for your courage and love.

  28. I didn’t know what to expect when I came over from SITS, but I’m glad I chose this post to look at! This is a really great post! Happy Blogiversary!
    Rose’s Daughter´s last blog post ..As Seen In My Life: Let’s Play Ball

  29. Jamie H says:

    Great post! Glad you were able to see the bright side of things. Happy SITS day!
    And, yes, more people than you are aware of suffer from some kind of mental health or chronic health issue! I have depression, my sister–severe anxiety, my mom–a rare, chronic condition called spasmotic dysphonia which causes her to have trouble talking, become short of breath easily, and have respiratory issues, my dad–severe chronic pain due to an accident a few years ago (yes, we are one messed up family!). Just looking at us on the street, you’d never know!
    Jamie H´s last blog post ..Fun Stuff Fridays #6

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