Alternate Title: Why Can’t I Just Write all Day and be Pretty?
Sick of my personal life? Well, buckle up beauty babes – it’s about to get real deep here, but it’s relevant. I promise.
In case you hadn’t heard (insert eye roll emoji), I have an autoimmune disease. The specifics don’t matter. For everyone with a chronic illness, it simply becomes part and parcel of your entire being – for better and for worse. Your illness colors every decision, every interaction and practically every thought.
In my real life, I’m a wife, a mom and a step-mom to adolescents, complete with all the activities that come with parenting – sports, school events, competitions, performances and extremely busy kid social lives. As any parent knows, this alone is a massive juggling act – one where your intentions are always good but, despite best efforts, outcomes are not always.
In my professional life, I am a Registered Nurse, something that is a source of pride for me. I have always defined myself by my career – and being a nurse is a huge part of my sense of identity, probably an unhealthy degree. My specialty is surgery and from the first moment I was in an operating room, I was head-over-heels in love. Currently, I’m the director of a surgery center that treats about 600 patients a month. We employ 40 amazing human beings and financially support a great many more than that. Every morning, my first thoughts are around this responsibility and most nights, I send myself to sleep considering this responsibility again. It’s more important than doing good work every day. I think about how we can best care for our patients keeping them safe and happy, while providing an environment that makes employees feel valued, secure and confident in knowing that they do great work. Every. Single. Day.
Lately, though, my disease has decided to take center stage. It has become the award-winner for Best Drama, supplanting everything else in my life ensuring that of all the things I have to do, I’m not doing any of it very well at all. I’ve had to use words like “disability” in reference to myself, and the ambition that has always been palpable has given way to a mentality of “I can’t”.
I no longer recognize myself when I walk by a mirror and catch a glimpse of my reflection. The obscene weight gain certainly can’t be on ME (but it is). I’ve evicted two humans from my body with less body fat that I’m currently lugging around. I’ve cried to my doctor that we must have my diagnosis wrong since nothing seems to work. That little display bought be a prescription antidepressant. I haven’t started it yet only because I haven’t had the chance to read whether it will pack more pounds onto my creaking frame that screamed “uncle” 20 pounds ago.
I’m weepy, clingy and way too sensitive. I fear that pain will become the only constant in my life. I feel hopeless and helpless and THAT grosses me out. I’m exposing it all. I have hit rock bottom – and I’m sharing it publicly for accountability.
I have decided that it’s time to take control. There is one treatment that I haven’t tried. One. To give this treatment a fighting chance to win, I am taking off the month of April. I will eat well, exercise, rest and begin to heal myself from the inside out. This sabbatical is going to be hard work. But it’s work on me, and that simply must take priority right now. There isn’t any going back to the old me, however, I need to find a new version of me that is happy and healthy.
Tomorrow begins Project Fabulush. I will rise early, enjoy a healthy breakfast with my family and enjoy the amazing spring weather with a daily “constitutional” walk. Late mornings will be for social media, blogging and planning the rest of my day. Afternoons will be spent in exercise and mediation, guided by my friend Sophie, an online health and fitness coach (@mom.who.loves2lift on Instagram). Sophie isn’t just about exercising to the point of collapse. She uses social media to lead small groups through whole-body transformations that combine exercise, nutrition and meditation.
Bath and beauty comes next, before the kids get home, which will hopefully afford met he luxury of bathing without a constant barrage of questions screamed through the bathroom door. Family dinners are important in our household, but I will prepare dinners using organic ingredients, densely packed with nutrition and made with love (or at least not anger!). Finally, I’ll unwind with whatever floats my boat before heading off to bed for a good night’s sleep. There will be appointments galore – with doctors, physical therapists and massage therapists. There will be days that I don’t manage to accomplish my goals. Through it all, however, there will be a daily post. My typical beauty topics will be front and center, but The Fabulush may be peppered with progress notes or a poem (that’s a joke). I do hope that you will join me and follow along on my journey. I adore your comments and feedback. Share often and be loud.
Thank you for your support! ❤
PS – Don’t feel sorry for me! I have packages arriving at their normal pace, an Origins Launch Party that @Influenster invited me to and a Skinceuticals-sponsored training event on chemical peels and advanced skin correction. My expectations of myself are extremely high, and I cannot wait to discover how deep I can go in a month. I will never be the old me – the disease has changed me too much – but I hope to find a way to a new and improved me.