March 7, 2022

For years I avoided going out socially, like having coffee or walking with friends. The disease was seeping fast through our home, and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I could not stand trying to pretend that everything was ok, when in reality, things were crashing down. 

I did not know how to authentically show up for people. When a friend might talk about how well things were going with her husband professionally, I would just listen politely, all the while dying inside. 

Recently, a friend asked me to walk our dogs together for the first time in years. She had invited me often to her home for social gatherings such as teas or luncheons, but I could, or would, never go.

The reason was genuinely I had to work most of the time.There was also, however, a private sense of relief, as I could not handle being inauthentic.

There is the notion of putting on a brave smile and a happy face- to be socially polite in situations. At the same time, when you are living not just beside this disease, but actively in the pile of disarray- showing up can be one of the hardest things to do.

So after months of blogging and dialoguing with Voices InCourage, and consistently doing the everyday work to go from surviving to thriving, I finally took my first steps to reintegration.

My first step into reintegration meant being open and emotionally ready to expand my horizons

My mind, body, and soul had healed enough to allow other people outside of my close knit circle into my life. I was ready to show up as me- with no walls, polite smiles, or false pretenses.

I was ready to listen without jealousy or heartache. I was ready to converse without diving deeper into the depths of the hell of this disease. I was able to discuss aspects of it objectively, because the emotion behind it was gone. There was no anger, sadness, hurt, or betrayal. It was simply a truthful recount of what had happened matter of factly. 

It was like standing at a podium, speaking your truth, unemotional about it, and then stepping down. It was more- this is what happened, and here we are now.

The power of positive self-affirmations

The other piece of it, after I shared my story, was that I stopped and realized, “Wow. We have been through a lot. Look at all that we managed, and thankfully, came out the other side.” I was grateful.

Those positive affirmations from myself~ would never have come out of my mouth a few years ago. I had listened to the deflating aspects of the disease so often, I had begun to believe them- and they were commonplace in my mind and body.

No disease, person, or situation can determine your worth or value. 

It is your God given right to live a happy and satisfied life. So disease, take a seat. This is my life. And it’s time I start living it.