A Letter

A friend on Facebook messaged me last night and asked some questions. Here are my answers, I did send it to her, but I let out a lot of emotional stuff, so I thought it would make a good post for today.

Hi Valerie,
As Promised here are the self-evaluation questions for negative thoughts going on in your mind.
They suggest having a thought diary, but I just used my own journal I already had.
The first step is to identify your negative self-evaluation by answering these questions:
What is the situation I am in?
What am I saying to myself?
How am I evaluating myself?
How am I putting myself down?
How am I criticizing myself?
Then you take each thought and answer these questions:
What is the evidence for my evaluation?
What is the evidence against my evaluation?
Are these opinions I have of myself or facts?
How helpful is it for me to evaluate myself in this way?
How else could I view the situation?
What other perspectives might there be?
What advice would I give to a friend in this situation?
Are there any positives that I am ignoring?
What would be a more helpful behavior I could carry out?
These questions have helped me a lot in my own journey. I have a Vasculitis disease called Wegener’s and it plays a toll on a lot of my goals that I have for me. It is a challenge. I get discouraged and poorly judge myself a lot because of my appearance, the way I have to breathe, what I have to do, and the way that I fail a lot when it comes to eating better and not losing weight, or even exercising. You asked me how I stay positive. To be honest I have no idea where this is coming from. I really do not. I think it is a divine blessing that I have been blessed with from God himself. I work with tools, I have family and friends, but then I feel guilty for relying on them too much. I write on my blog, I listen to some great music. I have my fur baby that I love on and who doesn’t mind that I spit at him or hiss, because he knows that I cannot help it. He doesn’t run away. I love that. I also am learning to accept the fact that I am not going to what society or the media views as a perfect woman.
Today I made an art project, which I am not that creative and so it was a challenge, but I got a card in the mail a long time ago from one of my sisters and it says some amazing things that I wanted to be reminded of and I had some more things that I wanted to be reminded of and so I wrote those around it on a piece of scrapbook paper I had. Another great thing is forgiving yourself for not accomplishing these long lists of should’s or demanding requests from people. Because seriously we cannot be EVERYTHING to everyone all the time nor can we go full throttle and not expect to rest. I am still learning. I am still walking down a path that I am not one hundred percent sure of. I could at any given moment have to yank out my T-tube and go back into the hospital and have another surgery. Or I could have a fantastically relaxing day and just BREATHE in the air and just appreciate being alive and able to move a bit. Perhaps, since my first experience in 2010 where I nearly died and I had to relearn to walk, talk, breathe, eat, and swallow again my perspectives have changed. I had no control over my body; I had to rely on others to take care of me. I had to do something that is extremely difficult for me to do, TRUST. I had two of those experiences in 2010 and then again in 2011. Each time different, each time added more awareness, appreciation for God and how I am who I am. When I first started being aware, before I knew what illness I had and it took them 2 in half years to figure it out, I made a decision that ultimately changed my life. My decision was “I am worth fighting for”. My whole life I had no one who actually fought for me, you know those movies where this big hunky knight in shining armor runs to the damsels rescue and saves and fights off all her demons, monsters, and things that will harm her, or stand beside her hold her hand and kiss her and love on her while she is fighting for her life. That has never happened to me. The men I have chosen to be in my life ran away or wanted me to fight for them, but when it was my turn, they ran. That has brought up some emotional hurts for me, a deep reluctance to believe in men, to trust men, to rely on men. But what happened when I got sick and I made the choice that I am worth fighting for several men in my life started fighting for me. One is my brother Rob, in 2010 he came to my room and read to me and tried to comfort me. Men do not do well in hospitals and so this was a huge surprise to me and I was so out of it I didn’t realize that happened until someone told me. Then I had some amazing men doctors who have fought for me, held my hand, and was willing to go way beyond practical medicine to help me be where I am now.
I write a blog that I try to share my journey with others. I am sure I don’t write as clearly or effectively as I want to, because this journey I am on is long, windy, but it has changed me so deeply that it is hard to put into words sometimes the perspectives, the importance that I place on relationships and communication and collaboration. Those three things are the most important things in life, it isn’t having money, it isn’t getting married having a ton of kids. It isn’t hob knobbing off on some fantastic journey. It is interacting, showing love, appreciation, respective, honor to each other. Why do you think Jesus describes His church as a body. Our body is in a relationship with each other, every part, every heartbeat; air we take in, movement, thought, and blood flow is in a relationship with each other. Not one part can survive on its own; it needs all the other parts in order to work effectively. Yet, we forget that.
These are the thoughts and lessons I have learned. Wow I wrote a lot, perhaps I will make this my entry for my blog. I appreciate your questions and insight Valerie. I hope you got enough sleep for your day.
Take care,

After creating my collage, I taped it to the wall where I can see it daily.

One Response so far.

  1. Summer Clemenson says:

    Great job Jamie!

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