Welcome! Glad you could join us here in my little corner of the internet where I share the random musings that evolve from my life as a tall blonde rock and roll fan who just happens to have experienced working in self-development, two marriages, motherhood, and the world of addiction recovery.

My wish is that the words written here will stir your thoughts, make you smile, offer hope and remind you that you are never alone. We're all in this together.

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With love,

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

No, I’m Not Ok. But That’s Ok with Me. Grieving My Way to Recovery

I originally created this post and shared it with members of The Portal, which is the membership club at Lee Harris Energy where I work at my day job.

I'm sharing it here as well in the hope that it might help those of you who may find yourselves in a similar situation, whatever form it may take.

Thanks to all of you who have sent messages of love and support during my illness, both here and on email.  It helps more than I could ever express properly to receive them from you.  :-)

It’s been a long road.

I’ll spare you the details but the basics are that in mid-March I had 2 emergency surgeries for an intestinal problem coupled with partial hysterectomy.  The intestinal issues have left me with a temporary (I hope!) ileostomy.  About 3 weeks post-op I began having complications and ended up back in the hospital ICU with critically low electrolyte levels.  That stay took 9 days to get things rebalanced to the point where I could go home. I continue to struggle with dehydration and keeping the electrolytes where they need to be, but I’m getting there.

I have done my very best to remain in a space of gratitude through this process.

Gratitude for my life - I actually had a near-death experience that first night in the ICU, now is not the time to share that here but I may down the road. I am EXTREMELY grateful to still be here!

Gratitude for my husband - who has tirelessly cared for me with nothing but love and support no matter how frustrating things have become. 

Gratitude for my daughter -  who has faithfully cleaned my house every week since I have been ill and been with me whenever my husband hasn’t been able, regardless of her own busy life and job.

Immense gratitude for Lee Harris and the amazing team at Lee Harris Energy – who have supported me unconditionally through this process and stepped in to cover all my work duties, moved deadlines and altered our production schedule to allow me the space to heal.

Gratitude for my nuclear family – who despite all of them living 2000 miles or more away have called me daily to offer love and encouragement.

Gratitude that I live in the internet age – which has allowed so many messages of support and healing to reach me via Facebook, email and of course, here in The Portal.

Yes. I am very grateful.  Beyond that I’ve reached a place of extreme frustration and I’m completely bullshit – if you’ll pardon the expression.

What begins to happen when you find yourself in a place of very slow recovery from an illness is everyone you encounter assumes you ‘should be better by now’.  They begin each phone call or message with, “Feeling better?” or “I bet you’re all recovered now, right?” 


You also think you ‘should be better by now’. But you’re not.  And that makes you crazy. 

Your spend hours agonizing over why you aren’t further along, what can you do differently to speed the recovery, questioning your choice of doctors and/or other healing practitioners, tweaking diet and nutrition and everything else you can think of that you might be able to adjust that will be the magic key to healing.

Except there isn’t a magic key.

There is only time. Time that you must allow to pass for your body to heal at its own pace.

I have found that looking at the small steps forward helps. Things like being able to brush my teeth standing up rather than having to sit, being able to wash my hair without help, the ability to walk the ten feet from the bed to the bathroom without having to use a walker for assistance.

But even recognizing those little victories fails to make me feel better.  Because I am not.  I am not better yet – and that’s ok. 

Yes, I am making slow and steady progress toward my body being better, but I, Marti the person, am not better.  And I have come to the place where I am ok with that.

What I realized as this all has been happening is I need to grieve.

My life has been altered in numerous ways and being in the midst of trying to heal myself, I forgot to allow myself to space to grieve what has been lost.

I was reminded of this when watching Lee’s new The A-Z of Energy video series entitled ‘Overthinking and Emotional Chaos’.  (Video below)

Overthinking and emotional chaos is exactly where I’ve been during this recovery process.

When I stopped and gave myself space to look at the things I feel I’ve lost and really grieve them, I found a great deal of relief, and emotional release, which really needed to happen.

So I am grieving – unconditionally.  We all tend to suppress our feelings of grief because we want to ‘be strong’ or not make others uncomfortable or whatever.  This has been me.  But not any longer.

I am allowing myself to grieve:
  • My loss of independence, I have a constant need for help from others.
  • My loss of mobility.
  • My loss of body image – it’s hard to feel like a vibrant, attractive woman when you’re wearing a bag of your own waste strapped to your stomach.
  • The loss of my job – no, I haven’t truly lost my job, but I am not able to fulfill my duties. They are being filled by others. Things change very quickly and who knows what my role will be if and when I am able to return full strength.
  • My loss of strength and body mass – I have lost nearly 40 pounds in 60 days and find myself not being able to twist the cap on my own water bottle.
  • My loss of spiritual connection – I just can’t get there right now.
  • My loss of ‘friends’ – people tend to wander off when you’re out of commission for a while (and yes, I get that those who disappear weren’t really my friends, but it doesn’t make it suck any less).
  • My loss of focus – scrambled electrolytes create a ‘brain-fog’ like none other.  It has taken me most of today to put this post together. Something that would take me a half hour to do in my right mind.
I am grieving these things and finding relief in letting them go. Relief that I didn’t think would ever come.

It’s not fun, it’s not easy, but it is very, very necessary. And I come back to my gratitude for Lee and the things he shares with the world.

I’m not better, but I know that I will be.

Thanks for hearing me and I hope that in some small way these words might help some of you on your own journeys.

SO much love to all of you!