Thursday, January 24, 2013
This Too Shall Pass
The last couple of days have been a little emotionally rough. The combination of having to write a bio for an upcoming project, and receiving some 'not so nice' comments on my blog, left me feeling really bad about myself. Feelings of 'being a loser' because I haven't had many really big accomplishments in life (ie. I don't have a professional job, and don't have a University degree, had me calling my Mom in tears. What my Mom reminded me is that, while I don't have those kinds of accomplishments, I have accomplished a lot over the past few years. I have overcome a debilitating disease, and am slowly trying to build a new life for myself.
I'm not writing this post as a way to toot my own horn, but rather as a way to hopefully encourage at least one person to see that it is possible to take a horrible situation, and turn it into something positive.
Six years ago I was a sociology major living away from home and getting straight A's. I loved University, loved living on my own and couldn't wait to graduate and, hopefully, become a social worker. Having injured my back a couple of years before, I had a bit of pain every now and then, but it wasn't anything I couldn't handle. Unfortunately, as my second year of University went on, my pain progressed and I was soon diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, a chronic pain disorder. At first, I decided I would stay in school and only drop a couple of classes. Pretty soon, however, it was obvious I wasn't going to be able to live on my own or go to school anymore, and the decision was made that I would move home and live my parents.
The first year was horrible. The pain kept me in bed for weeks on end. I wasn't able to do a lot of the things I used to be able to, and had to rely on my parents to bathe me, dry my hair, help me get dressed, even feed me at times. Not being able to go out of the house, and not being able to properly explain what I was going through, left me without a lot of friends, and I became pretty depressed.
People kept telling me how much better it was going to get after the first year, but by the end of year two I wasn't feeling any better, and sometimes wondered whether or not life was worth living if I was going to be in this much pain.
I felt embarrassed every time I would see an old family friend and they would ask 'what are you up to these days?'. I didn't want to lie, but I also didn't want to explain that at the age of 26, I was still living with my Mom and Dad, wasn't in school and didn't see myself having a real career anytime soon. So, I withdrew, avoided people and thought about how much easier life would be on everyone if I wasn't around.
It was around this time that I discovered my first youtube beauty video. I instantly fell in love, and would spend all of the days I was forced to stay in bed watching product reviews, makeup tutorials, etc. I started to experiment with my own makeup on the days I managed to get out of the house, and slowly started adding more beauty products to my collection.
After watching beauty videos religiously for months, I noticed that a lot of the 'beauty gurus' who made videos, also had beauty blogs. It took a while to, not only clue in to the fact that my love for writing and my new passion (or obsession) with makeup were great reasons to start my own blog, but also to get up the nerve to actually share my opinions with others.
It has been two and a half years since I wrote my first post, and I can say with 100% certainty that beauty blogging has changed my life. As I have gotten more and more involved with blogging, my pain has started to get better. Yes, a lot of that has to do with the fact that I've learned how to live with the pain, have been put on certain medications that help control the pain, and often people with fibromyalgia start feeling better after a couple of years, I can't help but think that some of it has to do with the fact that I found a new purpose and dream, beauty blogging.
Do I sometimes still wish that I had graduated school and become a social worker? Definitely! Do I wish I still lived on my own without the help of my family? Yes! Do I wish I didn't have fibromyalgia, and didn't have to change my entire life around? All the time! But, those aren't options. I have fibromyalgia. I will always have fibromyalgia, and as much as I want to scream "this is not fair! I want my old life back!', I have to look forward and try to create a new life for myself.
I don't have big accomplishments like owning my own business, graduating University, and owning my own house in another city. My accomplishment is that I turned a really horrible life situation around, found something I absolutely love doing, and am working hard every day to be better and better at it.
If you are going through a situation that feels hopeless, try to remember my favourite quote, one I actually have tattooed on my wrist in Hebrew, 'This too shall pass'.
Thank you for all of your support over the past two and a half years.