The Summer of Self Love Continues

I need to start this post by saying Happy Anniversary to the love of my life. He is by far the strongest person that I’ve yet to meet. It takes a certain kind of person to walk through what we have in the last six years without complaint. And, rarely, has he complained. What he has done is hold me while I cry, visit more doctors than I can count with both myself and our sweet boy, carry me up the stairs and to the shower when I couldn’t walk, and push me toward embracing true self-care. I can’t express how much I love you, my dear. I am blessed – and even better, I know it.

So, why am I stopping by on the night of our anniversary? Because tomorrow, July 11th, makes 4 years from the day that my body let me down in ways that I have not yet been able to describe. 4 years ago today, we were at a Keith Urban concert celebrating our 2nd anniversary. I remember my hair was long and thin, and I had dyed it dark. It was in a braid. I remember wearing the tiniest pair of leggings I’d seen in my adulthood. I remember the stress of leaving our baby – even though he was mostly stable after succumbing to such sickness months before. I remember laughing, but feeling anxious beyond words. I didn’t eat dinner that night because I had just gone gluten free. I didn’t really know what to eat, but that was okay. Maybe my hair would stop falling out… or my body would put on a few pounds with the switch. Maybe I wouldn’t be so tired anymore.

The maybe’s didn’t happen quickly enough. What did happen was 24 hours after that concert, I bent over to pick up a ball for our almost-one-year-old son, and I didn’t get back up. It was the night I met my now-teammate and then-EMT, Audrie. It was the night that I would first not be able to feel both legs, and then just my left. What I did feel was a searing, shredding, burning pain in my low back that even morphine didn’t touch. What I did feel was a fear that I’ve never experienced since, and a depression that lasted for years.

Postpartum was tough – yes! A sick baby… holding a limp child – our limp child – in my arms rocked me to my core. But it didn’t rock me enough to take care of myself. As I healed from my adrenal fatigue, an autoimmune disaster of “possibly” lupus or MS, and a mononeuropathy from a herniated disc and compressed nerves, the light turned on. I adventured through books, and meditations, and yoga, and doctors appointments. And all along the way, one man walked with me, and one man held me. Respectively, my husband and Jesus.

This is why I’m stopping by. You learn who really loves you in times like these. For self love to be truly true… and for you to ROCK LIFE… find a support system. My healing has been therapy, yoga, self-education (aka self-empowerment), gratitude, building my own support system through a business adventure (how crazy?!), and Jesus – but note, I am not fully healed. And I can’t embrace the new normal. Not yet. So for me, I’m always healing, never fighting, and constantly in a book or on my knees.

I still want to rock life. And some days, I really do. I pray the same over you.

Peace & Love,

Jennifer

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