Thursday, May 3, 2012

Things I'm afraid to tell you.

Last week, there was a blog post bouncing around the internet called "Things I'm afraid to tell you" from the Makeunder My Life blog by Jess Constable. There was a little discussion on Twitter about how bloggers in general only share the best and most shiny/glamorous parts of themselves and their lives on their blogs and how this could be cultivating a feeling of inadequacy among readers. I know I've read many blog posts and thought to myself, "her wardrobe is so much nicer than mine" or "my desk is never that tidy!". So the idea for this network of posts today is to share some "real" information about ourselves, to gain some authenticity and help make some human connections. Cause really, a fancy pair of shoes and a neat desk aren't really that important in the big scheme of things.


I know I've shared some of the history of my Etsy business and my start in screen printing. That I was in-between jobs and had a bit of time on my hands and it was something I always wanted to try. All of these things are true, but I never revealed the reason I was unemployed and had lots of time to myself. The truth is I was suffering from an autoimmune disorder that was pretty debilitating. It can be compared to multiple and continuous allergic reactions, only I wasn't allergic to anything. It initially popped up when I high school. It lasted a couple of months, then went away, for almost 10 years. This time, though, it was much worse. It wasn't life-threatening, just painful, exhausting, mentally taxing, and isolating. I tried to keep my job, but as my condition continued to worsen and I wasn't responding to medications, I decided to leave my position and my little apartment and move back home to focus on getting better. It was a long process and I was in pretty bad shape for about a year and a half. The medications made me very tired (and didn't help most of the time) and I didn't have much energy. But during that time, I had a chance to think about who I would be and what I would do when I got better. I finally realized that I shouldn't be denying or hiding my creativity like I had been for years. I also realized that I needed to try to live a life that was more true to myself, because no one was going to do it for me. My priorities changed and so did my perspective.

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Today I'm pretty much back to normal. I'm not taking any medications and haven't had any flare-ups in a few years. Even though this happened a while ago, it isn't something I like to talk about because it doesn't define me. It did change me, though, for the better I think. Right in the middle of all of that grief, I taught myself how to screen print, started my Etsy shop, and made my first sale within something like 4 days of posting my first items. Something about this battle with my health gave me courage to go after my goals with more energy that I think I would have had otherwise. For that I am forever grateful.

Even though this story has a somewhat happy ending, I'm still worried that this thing will come back, and it could at any time. I could be ok for 10 years (like I was before) or I could be sick again tomorrow. Of course this scares the bejesus out of me. I just have to take it one day at a time.

So, even if no one reads this, I hope it will be a good written reminder to myself: To get some perspective when the little things get to me. Because, when it comes down to it, a day you wake up healthy is a day when the world is at your feet (even when you're not wearing those super-cute shoes).

*If you'd like to read other honest, personal posts from many other lovely bloggers out there, click here to see a full list of other bloggers participating in this "Thing's I'm Afraid to Tell You" challenge. Thank you to Ez from Creature Comforts for organizing this challenge!



10 comments:

  1. hey, casey! i love your ending, "a day you wake up healthy is a day the world is at your feet" YES. so encouraging.
    proud of you for sharing. and you have a cute shop!

    xo

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    1. Thanks for the sweet comment, Hannah! Seriously - you don't realize how important your health is until you lose it.

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  2. I'm so sorry to hear you had these struggles and am very glad you're better now. You're right, good health is truly the thing that counts the most. Luckily there was a silver lining in that awful time... finding your creative self.

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    1. Thanks, Ann. I don't even like thinking about it, it was so awful. But on the other hand, it gave me the kick in the butt that I really needed!

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  3. i agree with hannah! and it's something that everyone can be inspired by. thank you for sharing your story. brave bloggers unite! :)

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  4. Maybe someday my autoimmune disease will ease up too. Then I can work on having an identity and goals that I feel are worth something to me. Right now, my husband tells me I do the laundry pretty well even when I have arm pain. I do not want to be defined by my household skills. I am half dead and feel like I haven't done anything useful/worthy/meaningful and I am afraid I never will. Blah.

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    1. I know how you feel. I got really good at playing fetch with my sister's dog. I hope things get better for you, soon.

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  5. casey,
    what a great example of how to figure out what you can do in a positive frame of light when all else is extremely difficult and taxing! loved this post, thanks for sharing! xo, t.

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  6. I'm glad to hear you're feeling better. I also appreciate you opening up like this. I too suffer from some health struggles and it's really refreshing to hear that others have struggles too.

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  7. Thanks, Haylee and Tiffany.

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