Finding My Way Again by Jean Marie Keenan-Johnston

Tonight while trying to find my way into the website to post, my email account where I have my log-in information saved wouldn’t let me in.   Once I found it a different way (Thank goodness for my cell phone because I have a terrible time remembering certain passwords and such, and this is one of those times!) , I found myself staring at a completely different website than I posted on before…different colors, different layout, different everything it seems.  After realizing how long it’s been since I posted, my second thought to myself was, “Great, I finally find a way to post and everything else in the universe is working against me blogging!”  I don’t think so!  So here I am.

I feel badly that I haven’t posted more regularly.  On another note, I didn’t want to come on here and turn the post into a “Woe Is Me” session.  Robin’s encouraging words in the past rang through my head repeatedly these past weeks…”Just check in, let everyone know where you’ve been.”  But every time I tried, the words failed me.  I tried so many times to find something to write about other than where I’ve been, but nothing would come to mind.   I think I’ve had probably the longest case of writer’s block I’ve ever experienced in my life.  Tonight is my attempt to break through that even if this post is only about “where I’ve been” all this time.

I’m sure a lot of it has to do with the fact that my brain, whose activity is already restricted by the fibro fog that’s worsened these past few years, is taxed even more this year than any other year I’ve been a parent.  Hubby’s back problems are at an all-time high…work is pretty much the only thing he’s capable of handling the majority of the time.  He comes home in terrible pain, and yet somehow he is able to drag himself out of here at 6 a.m. the very next morning, ready to start all over again.  With my fibromyalgia symptoms as severe as they’ve been this winter, I really relate to his pain, and I have days when I’m in awe of his strength and endurance.  I can’t ask too much of him…I need him to do everything possible to avoid having his pain condition turn into an attendance issue at work.  And yet I’m not physically capable of being the “single parent” this makes me so often when it comes to our children and our house.  However if I overdo it, I can cancel commitments wherever possible and find ways to manage the day with my girls who are actually growing to be quite the little helpers when Mommy is flaring badly!  Going to work every day doesn’t offer him that luxury, so I do my best to give him as many opportunities to rest as I can when he’s home.

It’s been quite a school year of adjustments!  I’m sure that’s the other reason why my brain is so badly broken…my oldest has her first year of school and Girl Scouts right now (She’s a Daisy!) and her second year of dance classes.  She’s excited to be one of the new little ones in competition dance, and she’s very actively involved in practically all of the Daisy activities…including the Girl Scout cookie sale going on right now!  It’s a lot for any parent to manage, but when your brain has been broken enough that it can’t recall medical appointments on a good day, “overwhelming” is as UNDER an understatement as I can come up with.  And there have been emotional roller coasters to navigate as well.  Today would have been my father’s 78th birthday…it’s our second of his birthdays without him since he died.  And there is a part of me, how much of me I’m not sure, who feels like being without him these recent months is a lot tougher for some reason than when we first lost him.  It’s not getting any easier in the least.  I swear it’s getting tougher.

Last year when New Year’s rolled around, I made all these promises to myself that 2013 was going to be a year of greatness for me!  I was finally going to find some if not all of the answers kept from me the past six years about how to live a more full, balanced life with fibromyalgia.  I was finally going to manage a diet that would help me lose the baby weight despite the hurdles of not being able to be the gym rat I was before I married.  I was somehow going to find ways to be more active with my children, and I hoped to get back at least a few of the hobbies my body hasn’t been able to manage.  My house was going to be organized again…I was going to create a better routine for us to live by…and I was going to write…often.  I wanted my life back, and I was determined to find out how to achieve that!  When the anniversary of my father’s death came around, it was clear I had a long way to go before even beginning the work needed to meet just one or two of these goals.  I didn’t let myself get depressed or upset with myself, but I didn’t let myself get motivated either.  I just got caught up in everything I now had to manage…before I had to tread water to get through the day…my new life as the mother of a child in Kindergarten required a lot more rigorous treading…and paddling and paddling and paddling some more.

And so here we are, just a few weeks into the new year, 2014.  I didn’t write any promises, or resolutions, or goals for myself, whatever you’d like to call them.  I still had the same ones in my head from last year.  And I think when I really think hard about it, these have been with me since I was first told I had fibromyalgia after a year of dealing with the symptoms that did their best to take away my brain, leg, back and hand function. New Year’s Day of 2014 didn’t push me to act, but as my father’s birthday got closer, I felt more driven to return to my goals and try to accomplish a few of them.  So far, I’ve found a few different methods or devices that may help relieve some of my symptoms.  I’ve shared my plans with my rheumatologist, and I’ll share any progress I make with all of you.  And now tonight, I’ve taken another step…this is my first post back on this site and in the coming days I hope to go back to my own blog and start writing there again quite frequently.  I’ve had a second project in the works that for some reason I just haven’t launched it…I’m uncertain of the reasons why I held back…but I’m excited to get that moving too! 

Who knows…maybe in another few weeks I’ll have another project in the works to share with you too!  I’m starting to get a good feeling about 2014!

  1. 3 Responses to “Finding My Way Again by Jean Marie Keenan-Johnston”

  2. Glad to see you forging ahead! I love your voice and sharing. We all have challenges, and I’m sure yours resonate with readers. It’s great that your words can empower others. And, I hope 2014 is a inspiring/productive year for you!

    By Robin Gorman Newman on Jan 27, 2014

  3. I’m right with you, Jean Marie. I still have Lyme Disease and still have almost daily pain and exhaustion. My “Lyme Brain” takes over so often I have post-its and pens in every room. It is so difficult to live with an “invisible, ” debilitating illness. People only see you when you are having an okay day. They don’t see me when I’m at an all-time low. And everyone except the friends I’ve made on the Lyme posting boards are completely fed up of hearing me whine about how miserable I feel. I decided to write about my feelings in a journal (when my hands don’t feel “broken”). This frees up my brain so that I can pick out at least SOMETHING other than my illness to write about and feel productive. You can always vent to me! As long as I can vent back! We missed you!

    By Cara Meyers on Jan 31, 2014

  4. Hey guys! You’re probably the two top “things” (sorry to call you that but I can’t think of any other word right now!!! Ugh! Lol) other than being able to actually write that I love most about blogging here (and missed most!) Robin, your never-ending encouragement means the world to me! You never let me feel like my inability to blog lets you all down but at the same time it’s like you read me from afar, trying to keep me posting so I don’t in the end let myself down. Cara, I’ve wished often that we could meet just to give you a big hug that’s not confined to the virtual world. :) Yes you can definitely vent to me any time you want or need!

    By Jean Marie on Feb 1, 2014