Citizenship/Community always meant to be helping people succeed in their lives and to aide them in their own healing journey. Being someone who is ill, I have a chronic illness that makes my ability to help others more challenging than the average person, but I am doing my best because I believe that my purpose in life is to aide others. It may look different than what others believe it should be, but right now I am doing what I can. Being ill, not able to breathe correctly, getting tired easily, catching colds easily, and dealing with pain I have learned to do what I can and accept what I cannot do even when someone else thinks I should be doing more. I am thankful that I do have a small circle of friends who understand what it is I have faced, what I am facing, and that I am dealing with it as gracefully as I possibly can. Some days I fail and I am okay with that. I get grouchy, cranky, and to the point where I want to scream at the world to just leave me the alone. Even though I feel that way I still tread on and fight for myself and for others. To me being a good citizen and an active part of my community is making sure that I am taken care of and that my own house and needs are meet, because I feel that if I do not take care of my own needs and issues then I cannot be of any benefit to someone else. Until just recently I realize how far I have come from the winter of 2008 when this whole falling apart of my body started happening. I have gained and lost, but I mostly gained a lot of value in my own capabilities. I have seen that I am capable of walking the tightest and shakiest tight rope with help from my God and my support system. I have learned to trust, delegate, say no, defend, and put up my own boundaries and respect the boundaries of others on this journey. I now feel capable of truly aiding in helping others and not deplete my own energy. Even if I am grouchy and cranky some days I know that I am also happy and content with my life. Even though I am ill I do have an enriching life and it is getting better. Even if I have days when I just want to pull the rest of my hair out, have a headache, want to sleep all day long, or when I am in serious pain or going to doctor appointments that are three hours away, or my ankles swell up and it hurts to walk, or that I have to clean out my cannula so that I am not whistling while I am breathing out the trach or especially like this morning when taking the trach out to clean it and while I am reinserting it having it hurt so terrible that I am not able to stand it. Yes, I know I am supposed to be this super woman who can endure pain and stop a train from passing, but sometimes this super woman hurts and cannot stop anything from happening. Even with all of these things happening I am still happy, yes, I know I am a strange woman who walks to the different tune. Hey, I am okay with it. I am not going to meet anyone else’s expectations of what beauty is or what is socially acceptable behavior and I let all my insecurities, scars, and problems hang out because I am not ashamed that I have these problems. Why should I? If we are all going to be REAL with each other isn’t the first step saying hey I have scars too and I have problems too, let’s dance anyway. That is my dreams. There is no shame in having scars or feelings or insecurities. I think that is the biggest thing I have learned with my illness. Even though I a not able to run a mile yet, climb Mt. Everest, or travel and eat amazing pasta in Italy. I can still do a lot of things to make my life enjoyable and perhaps those things that I DREAM of doing will happen eventually. Heck after all, I am only 38 years old and I have a long life to live right?
Now onto my goals for this section of my values list:
1) I will be going to Longview Washington once a month for the Living Ministries meeting.
2) Have Summer show me what she would like me to write or do for the Living Ministries blog/website.
3) On May 22nd at 3PM I will be on the Boomer Plus Radio show talking about living with Vasculitis and making everyone aware of the disease and what they can do.
4) See if I can come up to help with the tables at the lake for living ministries for the 4th of July.