Healthy Haircut

At this point in this never ending health saga I am absolutely desperate for some sort of relief. Somewhere between the pain and fatigue my depression jumps in and makes everything much worse leaving me in what seems to be a chronic cycle of me just trying to function like a normal human.

Yesterday was ME/CFS & Fibromyalgia awareness day, while I have not been officially diagnosed with either of these or anything at this point ( besides mono…) I do take comfort in the community of people I have found online experiencing the same issues as I am. It’s nice to know you are not alone even though my depression tells me otherwise- I am not the only person in the world with random symptoms, the only one who has to nap after a shower, who’s skin feels like fire after the smallest touch, who can’t seem to be hugged anymore without severe pain, who’s blood results are great yet abnormal at the same time. I am not the only one who is desperate for some relief and knowing that brings the comfort that I cherish late at night and into the wee hours of the morning when I’m left alone with the pain and darkness.
Last night was one of the worsts I’ve had in a long time. I feel like it was trying new medications plus the disappointment of having no answers from the rheumatologist, mixed with a little bit of Mother’s day is tomorrow and the whole childless hysterectomy thing.
So I cut my hair.
I’ve been thinking about for a bit. In preparation for explaining and convincing those closest to me that I’m not being compulsive,  I came up with this list.
MY HAIR HURTS
Why not? It will grow back right?
What if it works? How silly would I feel if cutting my hair helped some of my symptoms where my head is concerned?
At this point my double chins don’t matter.
It’s exhausting to wash it hurts so bad to brush it
It is falling out. I’m so tired of seeing it in the shower, in the sink, pillow. I know cutting it won’t help the shedding but at least it won’t be as long right?
I am aware that I’ve always been on the masculine side and do worry about the short hair but desperation wins this battle. I’ll just have to learn makeup and jewelry to pretty things up Or because I rarely leave the house just deal with it. Looking like my dad should be a compliment 😉

Unnamed post about losing my baby maker here…..

 think I’ve been pretty stable for so long now I’d forgotten what it felt like to be in my “Pit” with my little black rain cloud. I am an anxious nervous wreck and feel like I have lost all ability to function… and you know what? I’m starting to think that’s okay all things considered.
This weekend was rough. I took a 14 Hour nap Thursday, could hardly function on Friday. I forced myself out of bed on Saturday and then didn’t even get dressed yesterday. I seem to be in a daze. I don’t want to watch TV, cook, clean, read, I pretty much just lay around and try not to think, praying passes the time too. I’ve had to force myself to eat which is so unusual. Then the tears and time it takes to even decide what to have is completely exhausting to the point of just giving up and not eating.
It has been so hot in the apartment I’m about to blow a gasket. My rage against the sweating has really been a welcome distraction. Not really a healthy one- a welcome one though. I’m tempted to ask my mom to put back up the AC- because opening the windows when its 36 outside is doing absolutely nothing for me. I need to get an indoor/outdoor thermometer so I can see if I’m just being crazy or if it really is above 70 in the apartment.
Yesterday I was reminded that I am about to go through a major surgery.  A very personal, life changing one. Its not like my gallbladder – this is my babymaker ( uterus, tubes, cervix all that sounds so official. I’ll be immature and stick with babymaker)
I guess I haven’t been letting myself grieve properly. I’ve been really trying to hold it together. I read an article from HysterSisters  (thank  goodness for this site) and it seemed to put some things into perspective for me so I figured I’d share it here.
It’s Major Surgery
No matter what type of hysterectomy you have, it’s still major surgery. You may have only tiny incisions or no visible incisions at all, but you still had an organ removed. Although hysterectomies are performed so frequently that society has come to think of them as no big deal, let your family know it is major surgery and you need to follow doctor’s orders and take care of yourself. Remember, you only have one chance to heal right!
Recovery Really Does take 6 Weeks
You’re dressed, you’re walking around the block… so you must be all better, right? Not necessarily! Because you are encouraged to walk during recovery and look quite well, your family may not realize you’re not fully recovered. Remind them that recovery cannot be rushed, and until you’re cleared by your doctor, you’ll be relying on their help around the house.
No, I Can’t Vacuum!
Most doctors will advise you of lifting limits (usually no more than 10lbs). Vacuuming falls under this same restriction. The pushing and pulling motion of vacuuming (as well as sweeping and mopping) puts strain on your abdominal region, and, thereby your stitches and healing tissues. Ignore the pet hair on the carpet and leave that vacuum in the closet.
There May be Tears
The trauma of surgery, medications, fatigue, and hormonal fluctuations can lead to weepiness post op. Some women are dealing with a cancer diagnosis, the onset of surgical menopause or the loss of fertility, and this can be overwhelming. The depth of the emotions can take you and your families by surprise. Let your family know there will be tears and you will need hugs, but it will get better soon!
You Need to put Yourself First
As a woman, you are used to being busy and “doing it all.” This is one of the few times in your life when you need to put yourself (emotionally and physically) first. Your family can take care of meals and housekeeping: this is your time to rest. It may be an eye-opener for them, but stand strong and leave that Super Woman cape in the closet. It will be there when you’re recovered!

I dreamed a dream


 

I’ve always wanted to be a mom. A stay at home mom actually, it was quite a foreign concept to me growing up. No one in my family was a “homemaker” and the majority of the extended members  were divorced and working so the idea of a stay at home mom was fascinating to me.

 

The hunger grew while I was at Hillsong. I was forced to go to Sisterhood and be around girly things and talk about families, children and everything it is to be a woman of God. I secretly loved it though if you knew me then you would be surprised. It was hard, while in Sydney I had two procedures on my female parts and faced some of the same thoughts and fears as I’m facing now… 

 

As the years went by and I got older I heard the biological clock tick louder. I celebrated with friends through weddings, engagements and birth their babies. Somewhere along the way I let my guard down and actually believed I would know this joy one day too. A few years ago I actually had a dr tell me the cysts in my ovaries were gone, that really allowed me to dream even bigger.

 

But now…..

 

I keep singing I dreamed a dream from Les Miserables. I was trying to explain to my mom that my tears weren’t all about not having children of my own. They are about not even getting to dream about them, their freckles, their births, surprise gender announcements, and fun ways to tell friends and family the happiest news ever. 

 

I’ve been through life, heartache and loss….

I’ve just never had my dreams taken away before.

 

“I had a dream my life would be So different from this life I’m living So different now from what it seemed Now life has killed the dream I dreamed”

Relax! It’s just the hormones

This morning I was standing in my kitchen crying about the lack of ice in the freezer and saying its just the hormones, its just the hormones, its just the hormones calm down just relax.  I realized maybe it was time to stop “working” on my blog and do some actually writing.
***Here is my there will be some girl talk in the post disclaimer***
I’ve basically been on my period for the past 2 months. Due to the lack of iron and severe anemia it has been increasingly hard to function this past month. I have gone through various forms of hormones and birth control drugs in high doses that have wreaked havoc on my body. My hair is thinning, hot flashes, irritability and have pretty much every other side effect possible. Humor and silly Instagram posts have been as warnings and jokes but the mood swings are pretty bad. According to my Psychiatrist it is actually very common for the amount of hormones that I’m on to basically render my anti depressants and anxiety medicine useless. I take comfort in knowing that this will pass and is some what “normal”.
Trying to stay in control of my emotions has really distracted me from the fact that I’ll be having a hysterectomy in January, a month after my 30th birthday. I fell apart once with my mom but I know there is a flood of emotions hiding in my heart.
I’ll be documenting this journey here on my blog. I’ve searched and read every blog post and article about going through this at my age. Since I’ve only come across a few articles on women going through this without ever having kids I felt a nudge in my heart to be real and honest. Maybe my experience with this could help someone else one day.
Since I’m terrified that once I start crying I won’t be able to stop, my current goal is to work and not be a hormonal b-word. I need to enjoy Christmas festivities, turn 30, visit my dad and family whom I haven’t seen in 2 years, and try to hold it together until January. I refuse to let this ruin my holidays.

Self Control at 3:30 AM

It was 3:18 when I woke up to the sound of my stomach growling this morning. Something I’ve gotten used to in the past few weeks of being on this diet….. or lifestyle change as people keep reminding me. I constantly eat but am never full and always craving something I cant have.  Its times like theses that I try find peace in the fact that this is hard and no one expects it to be easy. If it was easy obesity would be such a problem. Alcholohics cut out alcohol, druggies – their drug of choice. I’m not comparing my food issues with a serious illness or addiction but you get the point. They aren’t hit with the temptation everywhere they turn, in their own homes, grocery stores, entertainment etc… I so wish I could cut out food all together but that’s just not an option.
 I am currently
Dairy- we all know how much I love cheese
Eggs
Nuts, Seeds
Grains
Corn
Potatoes
Nightshades ( I bet half of you don’t even know what that is- I didn’t) – Tomatoes, peppers and anything with flavor it seems like
Sugar
Did I mention all meat should be grass fed (I’m currently not working so this just isn’t an option money wise)
and those are just the big ones
The diet ( I mean lifestyle change) I’m on is the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol which I high recommend to  anyone with arthritis, autoimmune, and other inflammatory diseases

There is a half gallon of my favorite chocolate mint chip ice cream in the freezer… Mom was given a glorious box of chocolate for her birthday and then did a crappy job of hiding them ( though she tried). These temptations are all around me. Hello Self Control. I’m so thankful that God provided some money to do this diet with, I haven’t gotten a refund check in years due to student loans but suddenly it shows up. That being said I’m hungry and sick and tired, it would be so much easier to buy some $1 bread and be full than $30 worth of veggies that need to be cooked. I hate to just be venting but its my blog so I’m allowed 🙂

I’ve been praying and have downloaded a few sermons on self control. Self Control is a fruit of the spirit I just don’t have.
Good news is though, its working. The majority of my gastrointestinal issues have stopped- which is a miracle after spending all summer basically in the bathroom. I haven’t actually eaten the ice cream that is in the freezer- I have my $6 a tiny thing of coconut, dairy, soy, gluten free crap right next to it. that most mean some of my prayers are working. Did I put a tiny bit of barbeque sauce on my discusting AIP pulled pork today- maybe. It was better than the alternative though.

I’m learning. This isn’t going to happen over night for me. I’m reversing years and years of bad eating habits. I’m trying though, that should count for something

I went to church yesterday…

I went to church yesterday.

A broken shell of someone who once resembled Sarah.
hadn’t showered
Hair was a greasy mess
Basically in sweats.
But I went to church yesterday.
I sobbed through out the service
Didn’t sit in my spot. 
I hugged people I felt safe with. 
I prayed 
I yelled at God
I cried
I smiled at little girls who’s hearts I pray God protects.
I even somehow worshiped despite not being able to let out a more than a gasp and sob half of the time.
I went to church yesterday. 
Broken and embarrassed.
I’m Sarah. 
I’ve been in ministry
I went to bible college
I live with excellence 
I went to church yesterday. 
Broken. Hurting. Angry. Confused. 
Sick and in pain.
But I went. 
I got out of the car (thanks mom) and climbed in to the lap of The Father.

Where did that girl go?

On Sunday I had a short conversation with my worship leader that ended in me sending him some recordings/videos of my voice. If you know me you know this came as a shocking surprise and instantly sent me into an anxiety spiral. I know that God gave me a voice and that I am to use it to honor Him. He has made that abundantly clear, what isn’t so clear is why I still dislike the sound of my voice, critique and rip every performance to shreds. Hello insecurity.

While digging through old Youtube videos and sound board mixes I stumbled across a class performance of ” You Said”
One of the girls singing was beautiful. You could tell she sparkled despite the bad video quality. Her voice was powerful and it was evident she believed every word she was singing. She didn’t seem to care her hair was a mess or that she was the largest person on stage. She was living her dreams and had everything going for her that day.

That girl was me.

I sobbed as I watched it over and over along with many others. I can’t find that girl. Where did she go? Did I leave her in Australia? Did depression and mental illness rob me of my sparkle? I haven’t sang like that in a while on stage. I do in my “Sheldon spot” 4th row end chair from the last section at church now, I’m so far back so that no one can hear me and so I don’t distract many with my semi extravagant worship (disclaimer, I love my church and if I were to stand front and center, no one would notice or care, hello insecurity again).  I miss her.

 The woman I’ve become is so so so much stronger than that girl was though. If I told her about the weeks she would stay in bed, how many jobs she’d lost or quit because life was too hard to handle at times, If I told her about her friends and church forcing and paying for her to seek help, or that she would gain 80lbs,  she would have laughed in my face.

I’ve been on this medicine for 5 months now and I’m starting to see glimpses of her again. God reminded me of that Monday as I was getting ready for bible study goofing off with my Mom pretending I had on parachute pants and it was hammer time. He’s reminding me as I try and come out of my shell, make friends and invite people places and into my life, that girl loved people and community. The last 5 years may have been dark, scary and hard but I’m still in there. I’m still me.

Love this from Hillsong Young and Free- This is living (I personally love the acoustic version. Real one is great but way to “peppy” for me)
See the sun now bursting through the clouds
Black and white turns to color all around
All is new, in the Savior I am found

New year!

I woke up this morning and couldn’t help but think about last year. I’m at my friend David’s house south of Seattle. I cooked, we shot off fireworks and showed his Australian friend how Americans do NYE.
Today we are putting our Hillsong College educations to use and busting out a youth formal today. I don’t know how but I’m I charge of the food. Luckily we have about 200 pizza rolls, bagel bites and other wonderful “finger foods”. How did I get here? When I met David 4 years ago I never would have dreamed we’d be here.

This week has been horribly hard. I made it through Christmas without a total melt down but not this week. I can’t shake the loneliness. The need to be with people who know me, knew my year and walked in and out of the hellish pit last year. People who understand why I cry for no reason, long to visit Sydney and want nothing more than to see the boys again. God has placed wonder new friends in my life at work and church but in my heart I wanted to be home. Though home is a place that doesn’t exist anymore…

Last year at this time my greatest fear was that the boys would get taken away. Then it happened. My heart broke in so many ways. I spent most of the later part of the year attempting to recover from that. After another few trips down the depression hole I didn’t think I’d make it to 2015, let alone be functioning and medicated enough to hold a stressful job, find a new church and attempt to find my way here in Washington.

2014 taught me that through Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit I’m much stronger than I thought.

Last year I
became a mom.
Fell back in love with Worship.
I went to concerts and musicals and tried to make myself remember what fun felt like.
In the end my heart was broke. But I experienced this insane overwhelming love for Ivan and Marcus.
Climbed of out my pit and into medication
I lost 37.8 lbs!

Met Bill ( best friends baby) and became aunt Sarah.
And moved to Seattle.

For once I’m looking forward to this year, closing a few chapters behind me and focusing on me and my health.
2015 should be the best yet!!!

Ps these pictures were not meant to reflect my weight loss but because they are in order they have…

Oops I forgot my meds ( sung to the tune of oops I did it again)

As much as the weather kills me here for a few days last week I forgot about my depression. It may have been raining but my little black rain cloud was the furthest from my mind. So much so I forgot my meds. I’m not sure how many days and I’m not sure I want to know. I was up up way up most of the night and sleep was just not happening. I knew. The meds. I moved to the living room so I didn’t bother my mom with my sobs because I knew the roller coaster that was coming. 
I fell asleep again for a few hours and when I awoke it was back. The sinking feeling in my head, the despair, and the rain. All before opening my eyes I knew today and a few following are going to be rough.

I should be celebrating the bible study I went to last night was great. I even felt comfortable, I’m thankful I’ve found a church here and can even get past the 60+ min sermons because I know God has called me there. Not to mention the wonderful co workers I’m around today. We had such a fun outing this weekend and I’m just so so thankful I work here.

But.
All I want is to be around my church family and friends who know me, know my illness, my moods and can hold me while I cry. It’s so so hard for me to meet people and be open. It’s exhausting pretending to have it together!

At the same time I see a light at the end of this tunnel because in all reality I’m thankful I had enough “good” days in a row I forgot the meds.

dreams, half marathons, and more

When I was little I wanted to be on broadway, be in the WNBA, a vet, and back on broadway. I loved to sing and dance and was surrounded by people (mostly family) telling me that I could actually do it. I could dream big and be whatever I wanted to be. Deep down I knew they didnt really believe that and I would never be on broadway. Same for the WNBA. I always thought I was too fat and not good enough to do any of those things. But my family still kept on the  you can be anything in the world mindset. A teacher put the nail in the broadway coffin once by saying ” there are enough fat actresses on Broadway, you should stick to ag where you belong” so I did. I gave up, and dropped out of drama. Much to my surprise I won state in that year (they didnt), in multiple FFA team events, and somehow was the best poultry judger in the state. If you know me now you most likely know that story, because I’m proud of it…….. because I did it. Me… miss too fat and not good enough won.
I am still so so proud.
Same goes with my finishing my 4 5ks… I finished. I’m proud. I did that. me. 100 lbs over weight, un healthy, depressed me. Finished 4 races. 

Sometimes I wish I could go back to that Sarah.

I’m reading a book called “Lets All Be Brave”, there is a chapter called just start, how God made you for a purpose and sometimes you just have to start, even if you think you’ll fail.

I decided it was time to go back to my half marathon training. I started looking online and realized that the Seattle Half Marathon is at the end of November. I jumped out of bed and ran in the other room to my mother to ask if she though I could do it.
She said no.

I then retreated back to my room and texted a friend to see if he thought I could do it… he didn’t say no, but he nicely said he didn’t think it was the best idea.

I got mad, then hurt, then cried a few moments and thought oh well. I proceeded to convince myself I couldn’t do it anyways.

Until today.
Today  I started reading “Lets All Be Brave” again. I finished the chapter and then walked 3.5 miles…. Day one of my 8 week half marathon training.
I talked to mom about it again at dinner and we agreed that I would start training and as it got closer go to the dr to make sure im healthy enough… turns out she wasnt really meaning to be a dream crusher, its just how it came out. I said “you think i can do this?” she said “no.” end of story… she left out the my heart health isnt the best at the moment part…. I just heard no.

 Ive learned alot in the past few years of spiraling depression ….. I’ve learned I just dont try anymore. I believe I cant do anything and have completely stopped trying.

I’ve given up on loosing 100 lbs…
given up on actually going back to australia, ( I should be there right now… I had a trip planned)
given up on being mentally stable,
and being the person I know God made me to be.

So if this turns into another one of my I can do it, failed attemps at something blog so be it.
At least I tried. and will hopefully keep trying……