Progress, Not Perfection

We all aim for perfection.  Some of us take action to reach for that perfection on a daily basis, some of us are paralyzed by the fear of never making it there and let it be our procrastination.  You can’t fail if you don’t try, right?  The only way TO fail is to NOT try.  This is the reality of life and it is incredibly difficult to face some days; but others, I’m seeing that life doesn’t look so gray and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

If you’ve been following my blog you know that I have had many struggles lately both physical and emotional; yet I’m trying to make the most of what’s happening in my life.  Let me be completely transparent with you in case you are just starting to follow me.  I went from being an athlete, competitive fitness, 2 hours a day in the gym to a promotion that took 70 hours a week and non-stop travel leading to chronic pain from my back problems and being totally out of shape physically and mentally.  I have been off work for ten weeks now, working on my body and mind.  Some see the problem and the value in my time off, some don’t get it at all…and that’s ok.  As long as my Doctors agree I need the time to get right, I will take it, I am up for the fight with the insurance company.  About 3 1/2 months ago, my work was out of control, I had multiple deaths in a very short period and my anxiety went off the charts, my pain increased and I started getting migraines which had only ever happened on rare occasion prior.  This is cyclical.  Depression comes from chronic pain which I’ve had for nearly 3 years, and stress increases chronic pain; they feed off of each other.  It’s so hard to get out of the cycle!  My disability consists of chronic pain, nerve damage, migraines, anxiety and now depression.  In spite of things happening, I am beyond hopeful that I will be better than my previous “normal” and better than I have been although still not perfect, I’ll never be perfect!  My goal is to improve day by day, week by week.  Last week is the first week that I have not been scared to leave home, the first week I have not had daily anxiety attacks, I was able to actually be a productive member of society besides a couple of hours of volunteer work!  (Although I love that work.)  I am improving.  I am feeling better!  I say that with caution, because here is my struggle…depression and anxiety is not like having a casted bone.  You don’t just immediately “recover”.  When you break a bone, your doctor reviews and removes the cast when it is strong enough to be walked on again.  My mind and my heart and my emotions…they aren’t ready for the cast to be removed yet.  A “cast” around me is the easiest way I can explain the treatment I am getting.  Do you think this is easy to share?  NO.  It’s not.  It’s actually incredibly embarrassing, humiliating and humbling.  I have been strong my whole life…I have taken care of myself since I was 8 essentially, but truly since I was 17.  I broke.  I was full…too much stuffing of emotions causes an overflow.  My doctor says if I don’t handle this properly and completely – the “next” time this happens, because it WILL happen again, it will be worse and it will be a much more difficult recovery.  I can’t handle more difficult.  I need to recover!  I NEED to feel better!!  I need to BE better.  Can I tell you what a scary experience this has been for someone that has always been accused of being a stone hearted person?   I never let things affect me.  I repeat – I WAS STRONG!!!  I still am strong, I am just a little defeated at the moment.  The great thing is, there is nowhere to go but UP from here.  I just want to be better than yesterday and the day before.  I want to be back to the place where I can help people and not be the one that needs so much help.  But gosh, can I tell you how much I appreciate all of the help that I HAVE received from friends, doctors and my therapists?  I am blessed beyond belief to have the people in my life that I do.  Even my shaky relationship – I am thankful for it.  I have made a lot of mistakes, as has he.  The bottom line is, there is something between us that hasn’t gone away no matter how we try for 5 1/2 years.  Someone recently said that they didn’t see a basis for our relationship.  That person is NOT part of our relationship and has no clue, nobody does but us.  There is a basis whether it works out or not.  That will be up to us and nobody else.

My relationship with this man plays a huge role in my recovery, make no mistake. Being loved and wanted is something beyond just affecting to me.  I have had a fear of abandonment my entire life.  I was given away at birth!  I was a “problem” before day 1.  I was a foster child.  My name was “Cynthia” in the hospital because I had no name until somebody took me home.  My adopted mom rejected me by 8 years old.  I have been rejected and hurt over and over again throughout my childhood, teen and adult life.  Losing love is the most painful thing on earth.  I will not lose this again.  I will fix things and make it right.  I wrote before about regrets…I have many.  Trust me, it’s not ALL  me, but I’ve done a lot lately that I’m not proud of and I am ashamed to admit it, but not too ashamed to own it.  Love is love.  Everybody just wants love, right?  My favorite love…my girl.  Alexandra Renee Hawkins.  The best thing that Keith Hawkins and I ever did in our relationship!!  The love of my daughter is the most pure, real love I’ve ever had in my life.  She is my world and I have not shown her that over the past few years because I didn’t know how.  That is the most important place for me to start with restoration.  I get hurt and I don’t know how to deal with it.  Anger is my defense mechanism, always has been.  I take things out on those closest to me and that is something I learned growing up.  So while I have a wonderful relationship with my biological mother and maternal family NOW, and I believe more in nature vs nurture, (because I am just like my blood that I didn’t know until I was 21!) there is still plenty to be said for nurture…or lack thereof.  No matter how much nature takes over, and so many things are inherent in us, nurture has a tendency to form us – whether  good or bad.  Don’t get me wrong, my life wasn’t all bad.  I have some amazing childhood memories.  But that is because that is what I choose to remember.  With therapy over the past 9 weeks, I have uncovered things I haven’t considered or remembered in many, many years.  This isn’t easy, but it is necessary.

I heard a talk today discussing how many tools we have to fight off things like depression and how to keep going, but not one way to go on truly “living”.  And, when it hurts so much you can’t breathe, that’s how you know you’re alive.  I hurt, with every breath.  I have pain from nearly every person I have ever loved because most of them left me, in one way or another.  But this isn’t the kind of life I want.  I want a life where I can take long, deep breaths and enjoy them.  I want to inhale, exhale.  I want to enjoy our beautiful mountain air, I want to live a life of happiness, peace and freedom; and I will achieve it!

I’ve learned that post traumatic stress is increased by not talking about it.  40 years ago, the trauma started and I have pushed it down, or “stuffed it” for all of these years.  What I have is just like PTSD.  It’s crazy to think of that, but it is!  You consider that in war survivors, accident victims, and trauma victims.  Most don’t know that I am a severe trauma survivor.  For 12 years at home I was abused.  Physically, mentally and sexually.  I survived trauma.  As my doctor said last week, the brain can only handle so much “stuffing” before you overflow.  I overflowed months ago and tried to keep going.  A series of events caused me to break.  I am not broken beyond repair…I’m just wearing an emotional cast for a while.  I pray to God that life continues to progress and I continue to recover.  I also pray that I will be able to take the time to become strong before being forced back into something I can’t handle.  When you get the cast off, there’s usually a walking boot for a while.  My emotional bone is broken, I pray that it improves daily, but I never expect that I’ll be perfect.  There was only one perfect person.

I am beyond grateful for this outlet.  I, as always, hope that my story brings hope and peace to somebody out there reading.  I know it is an amazing outlet for me and I plan to start VLOGs soon!  I am learning to not have so much pride…pride keeps us from getting where we need to be too many times.  I am ready.  I want to be better than I was yesterday, I want to be better than I was today.  And mark my words, I will be.

If you haven’t read my previous posts, please, please…start at the beginning and learn what I am about.  I love helping other people.  I am a giver, I love loving on people.  I love buying presents for those I love; I love making people I love feel good.  This gets me through my days and brings me much, much happiness.  I am ready to have the happiness reciprocated and feel some of the love I give.  I see light at the end of this long ass tunnel!!  I am not giving up on love, life or happiness and I pray to God you don’t either!

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