Changing your Mindset; Becoming More Mindful

Imagine, for weeks at a time, you are unable to sleep, eat, or even function. Your mind is so heavy and so clouded, that you are unable to see the wonderful things in your life. Some time has passed and now you are able to see the beauty in things that you weren’t able to before. Spiritually, you feel hopeful and that every challenge is just one step closer to becoming who God wants you to be. Well, this is definitely me! I struggle with depression, but instead of seeing the glass half empty, I embrace the knowledge that every glass is half full. All because of I am learning about managing my stress and mindfulness, which is, “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”

What is Depression? A lot of people have a misconception of what depression is and how it can develop a life of its own. There are two main types of depression that you may be experiencing; reactive depression and clinical depression.

Reactive Depression

  • Medications, such as steroids, are known to make you more emotional and prone to depression.
  • Common in people with Lupus
  • Since Lupus directly involves our nervous system, it causes such symptoms like memory issues, difficulty concentrating, confusion, and mood swings.
  • Overall, sickness can cause more sickness

Symptoms of Clinical Depression

  • Feeling like a failure and that nobody loves you
  • Feelings of hopeless, empty, or lost
  • Losing interest in things you once enjoyed to do
  • Feeling like life is worthless and that you can’t go on

If you have Lupus or any other auto-immune disorder, you may be experiencing one of these or both. Personally, I’ve struggled with depression way before I was diagnosed with Lupus. Depression is a lifelong struggle for me. It is something that I’ve had to come to grips with and accept. It’s like any other illness, such as Lupus, that I have to manage, most times on a daily basis. Giving up is not an option and money is extremely tight, so I’ve had to research free ways to become healthier; meditation, maintain a healthy diet (which is hard!), prayer, and mindfulness.

I am mindful of my condition in this present moment while acknowledging my feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. I have Lupus, there I said it. But, Lupus doesn’t have me! I have accepted that stress is apart of everyday life. It’s how I choose to deal with stress that determines how I feel overall. Chronic stress is like kryptonite to lupus warriors. It makes our flare up so much more difficult. So we have to reduce our stress.

Ways I’m Learning To Reduce Stress

  • Eliminate triggers- I’ve had to think long and hard about what and who stresses me out. Example, Facebook stresses me out. The only thing that I get when I walk away from scrolling down my timeliness is stress, worry, anger, and frustration. So, I deactivated my profile. Right now, I am unable to separate those feelings. When I close the app, I still have the world’s destruction and everyone’s opinion about it, on my mind. It is so unhealthy.  
  • Exercise
    • You don’t have to exercise, exactly. You can do yoga, walk around the block, or simply walk to the mailbox. There are days that we can’t or won’t move due to pain, but being proactive helps you feel better, more accomplished.
    • You can do this 2-3 times a week. Pace yourself and know your limits.
  • Eat Healthier Foods
    • For lupus warriors, it would be best if we ate more anti-inflammatory foods.
    • Foods That Fight Inflammation
    • Avoid foods that worsen inflammation, such as, soda, pastries, margarine, lard, white bread, and red meat.
  • Mindfulness Meditation
    • Mindfulness Meditation is all about directing your attention to the current moment and accepting that things are the way that they are. In regards to lupus warriors, we have to accept that this is what we are dealing with and calmly regain a sense of control over our lives and this disease.
    • Make time to meditate, even if for a few minutes, every day.
    • Find a quiet space
    • Sit up straight with your legs and upper body relaxed. Good posture helps you breath easier.
    • Be aware of each body part, and try to become completely relaxed.
    • Focus on your breathing. Breathe in through your nose (extending your belly outwards) and slowly out through your mouth.
    • Start in slow increments; meditate for 5 minutes and increase daily or weekly.
    • Personally, I like to have mediation music playing in the background to help me focus.
    • How to Guide to Mindful Meditation

Being a lupus warrior is exactly that, I am a warrior. I fight battles every day. Some caused by everyday life and some caused this illness. There are some circumstances that I am unable to change, but how I choose to deal with them is half the battle.

If you or anyone you know is suffering from any of the symptoms above, please talk to somebody about them and/or your doctor. Depression is life-altering and should be taken seriously. Be your own advocate. You simply may be dealing with receptive depression, but there is a fine line between that and clinical depression. Also, here is a Stress Test that helps you determine how stressed you are. There are others like it online.

   “In this moment, there is plenty of time. In this moment, you are precisely as you should be. In this moment, there is infinite possibility.” ~Victoria Moran

Resources
Dr. Therese Tryniecki, Phd
Lupus Foundation of America Heartland Chapter
Advertisements

Trust The Process: What Choosing Life Looks Like

9197-cloudy-sunset

Live for Today. Choose life. The mantra that I repeat to myself everyday, every hour, and sometimes every second. Chronic illness will try to trick you into thinking that your life is over after diagnosis. We aren’t the same people that we once were. We aren’t able to do the same things that we once did. It can be devastating, if you let it.

Two simple words with so much meaning. Choose Life. I feel as though God has given me sign after sign to stand still. I’m so used to moving and grooving. I was on a fast track to finally becoming financially stable. I had just finished school and after 10 long years, received a college degree. I was working at my dream job as a registered medical assistant at a prestigious hospital, and I loved the day-to-day interactions that I had with my patients. I really felt like I was making a difference. But then, I became ill. After going through the “woe is me”, “my life sucks” phase, I began to notice that God is trying to tell me to be still during this storm.

“Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weakness, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”  (NLT) (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

Now when I think about my battle with Lupus and Fibromyalgia , my perspective has completely changed. After reading His word, I was reminded that God will break you to position you, to put you in the right place, and to promote you. Lucky for us, He is a just God and a loving God, so when he breaks you, it will not hurt you or destroy you because He is also a graceful God. Trust the process that God has set before you. We may not always know why things are happening to us, but honestly, it’s not for us to know. When God wants it revealed, it will be revealed. Until then, trust the process.

Trusting His process is hard, at least it was for me. But then, after nine long days of going through a lupus flare I noticed something different about my husband. It’s not that he did anything different, it’s just God changed my perspective. When I’m in pain, everything that he does is annoying. Everything he says I take offensive and sometimes everything he does is wrong. Well, at least that’s how I felt when my mind is so engulfed in my own pain, that I am unable to see how blessed I really am. Until today. Today, my husband woke up, got our three children feed, clothed and ready for school and then went to school himself. Immediately afterwards, grabbed lunch for me, then went to his first day at his new job, only to come home, cook dinner, feed the kids, entertain them!, put them to bed, and still have the energy to give me a deep-muscle massage to relieve my body ache.

I immediately asked my husband to forgive me. He has been a ROCK throughout this entire process and I’ve taken him for granted. He effortlessly makes me laugh and smile everyday so I wont think about the pain. He tries so hard to make me happy, even when I’m working his last nerves. And most importantly, he is an amazing father to our kids; helping them understand and cope with what mommy is going through. Thank you Jesus for sending me this man! He is proof that You have not forsaken me, nor forgotten about me. You’ve sent the perfect person to stand with me and push me to beat this.

God has placed the tools that I need in my life to get through what I used to call a tragedy. I would be lying if I said wonderful things haven’t blossomed during my illness; I’ve grown closer to my husband, kids, and family members. I’m able to be more attentive to my families needs and wants. I’ve even been able to build a stronger relationship with Jesus Christ.

Remember, trust the process. Trust Him. Thank you to EVERYONE who has prayed for me, helped me, blessed me, and has been supportive of me. I love you more than I can express.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Rj’s First Fist Fight…And Im A Little Proud!

I received a very interesting phone call from the principal at my sons school today. She called to tell me that Rj has been in a fist fight. This is shocking for three reasons.

Shock #1: I was literally in a screaming match with his principal the day before about Rj having a bully, and the lack of regard that I felt they had for his safety. This bully has made Rj’s life miserable. He began to show signs of extreme stress. So, naturally being the mama bear that I am. I was pretty irate. So irate, that she got irate too. It got ugly, folks. I’m not proud of this, but it produced results. We quickly acknowledged that we’re both overly stressed moms and it was just one of those days for the both of us.  We were able to recognize that, tone it down, and move on. And really, was able to come up with a solution for my son’s bully that we felt was beneficial for everyone. So it turned out great. But you can imagine, how embarrassed I felt, when she called the next day telling me that Rj had started a fight with another kid. Whom in which, was completely innocent. That’s right! Rj admitted that he started the fight.

Shock #2: I know a lot of parent say this about their kids, but anyone who knows Rj knows that he is the least aggressive person that you may ever meet. I like to say that he wouldn’t be able to bust a grape in a fruit fight. His soul is so gentle. He loves everyone and just wants everyone to love him. So to hear that he started this altercation was….shocking. But it also shows signs that something is bothering him and it’s starting to seep its way out through aggression, but that’s for another post.

Shock #3: Rj story of events pretty much matched the principals story, which was, this kid “joey” tried to get into Rj’s group at recess. Rj told him he was in the wrong group and that his group was across the gym (which was true). But then “Joey” didn’t listen to Rj and that’s when Rj shoved him. “Joey” shoved Rj back, Rj then shoved “Joey”, then “Joey” punched Rj in the mouth. Rj then grabbed “Joey’s” shirt to try to pull him down. Once “Joey” got loose from Rj’s grip, he then ran hysterically to the nearest teacher. I was told by the principal that “Joey” was very upset and Rj was “cool as a cucumber”. Now, Rj’s personality is normally laid back, EXCEPT when he has been apart of an altercation, even with his siblings. So for him to be so relaxed says to me that he was proud of himself and that he thought he did the right thing, regardless of the consequence.  Also, Rj has never, I mean never, defended himself this way. And by defend I mean, he got back up after he was pushed down. He’s not a fighter. Well at least not before today.

I felt bad for “Joey” because it sounded like he was pretty shaken up. But….I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say that I’m a bit proud. My Rj got into his first fist fight. He showed aggression. He showed he was wasn’t going to back down. Although shoving was a bit extreme. I mean, the kid was in the wrong group. But he showed emotion and with children on the autism spectrum like Rj, it very common for them not to understand or have the ability to process their emotions during the appropriate time.

Rj did later confess that earlier in the day, “Joey” did something to really annoy him. So in his own way, he was tired of “Joeys” shit and shoved him. Most people have been there. So I told Rj that he had to write a letter apologizing to “Joey”. He was very hesitant and sluggish about it.

Me: “Rj, write a letter to “Joey” saying you’re sorry.”

Rj: “Well, what do I say?”

Me: “Say you’re sorry. You are sorry, right?”

Rj: “I mean, not really.”

Me: “I appreciate your honesty, but you still have to write a note. It’s the right thing to do.”

I explained that it is never ok to take your frustrations out on other people. But I also explained that when life throws you a punch, you get back up. He learned both today.

Below is the second note that he wrote to “Joey”. The first one, well, lets just say it was a bit disrespectful. I wish I would have saved it to show you guys because honestly it was hilarious.

image1

“When life knocks you down, try to land on your back. Because if you can look up, you can get up. Let your reason get you back up.” -Les Brown

 

A Hundred Weeds or A Hundred Wishes?

0af90b32ea2b5522c02aa686406bfd39-screen-saver-taraxacum

A few years ago, I was having lunch with my brother. We were catching up on the latest tea in each others lives. I can’t remember exactly what made him ask, but he proceeded to ask me a question that I would think about almost everyday since that conversation. He asked, “Ashley, why do you always expect the other shoe to drop?” In other words, why do I always expect the worst to happen? My response was very simple, “Because I know it will and I want to be prepared when it does.” Most people would say that my skeptical personality is lethal to my overall perception of humanity, but it all depends on one’s perception of skepticism. I would say that I am more of a realist.

heading_flourish

I believe that there are two different ways to perceive Karma; fear-based and love-based. Fear-based karma is the consequences, good and bad, that are brought to you based on your actions, good or bad. You are judged for your actions; basically, you reap what you sow. While love-based karma is a belief that every lesson is a gift that provides lessons for your soul’s personal growth and will continue to bring back these lessons until you have learned from them.

heading_flourish-e1505695641932.png

I’ve learned that how you perceive life’s challenges is half the battle. Love-based karma believers take the challenges of life and learn from them. They see each challenge as a lesson to get through and grow from the experience. Fear-based karma believers view life challenges as punishment for something they may have done to someone else in the past. I used to think that my condition, SLE ( systemic lupus erythematosus) and Fibromyalgia, is a punishment from God because of all of the awful things that I have done in my past. While now, I look at this illness as another one of life’s challenges that I need to work through and learn from. Now the only question left is, what am I supposed to learn from this? But I think that question should be answered in another blog post. Bad things happen. It’s life. The only things we can control is how we perceive the challenges and our reaction to the challenge. This is what separates us from the animals, right?

heading_flourish

“When you look at a field of dandelions, you can either see a hundred weeds, or a hundred wishes.” -Unknown

Benefits of Black Seed Oil

Have you ever thought to yourself, hmmm, I wish there was something that I can do to improve my overall health besides ton and tons of vitamin pills? Or are you dealing with an illness that requires expensive pharmaceuticals? Well, I may have an answer for you.

My mother in law told me about Black Seed Oil. She said that it works wonders for her and that I should try it. I initially had to go online to find it, and from what I saw, it was not cheap. But I was determined, and was finally able to order myself a bottle. All I can say is wow! I’ve only been taking it for 4 days and I already feel a difference in how I feel. I feel so much better physically and mentally.

So I would like to let you more what I have learned about Black Seed Oil, and maybe it will do for you, what it has been doing for others for thousands of years.

What is Black Seed Oil?

Black Seed Oil is oil that is extracted from black seeds, made from Nigella Stativa flower.

How Can You Consume Black Seed Oil?

  • Add a teaspoon of black seed oil to food or drinks
  • Mix teaspoon of black seeds with honey
  • Consume plain 
  • Boil seeds, and then consume
  • Add black seeds to bread, food, and/or pastries

Me personally, I love taking a teaspoon and putting it into orange juice or yogurt

What is Nigella Sativa (black seed plant) used for?

  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-oxidant
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-cancer
  • Antiasthmatic
  • Antihistamine
  • Anti-viral
  • Anticoagulant

What is Black Seed Oil Good For?

  1. Heart Health – Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women. Adding black seed oil to your meal, once a day, can prevent blood clot formation and arterial pressure. For centuries, black seed oil has been used for heart health, which is one of its most praised benefits.
  2. Fight Against Fungal Infections-Research is showing that fungus and mold cannot exist with the compounds founds in black seed oil. Fungus infections can occur when bacteria has grown on the top of your skin, causing rash and disease.
  3. Reduce allergies 

 

Heart Health

  • 100 and 200 milligrams of boiled extract has been taken by mouth twice daily for eight weeks. Based on traditional use, one teaspoon of Nigella sativa oil has been taken by mouth in any hot drink with two cloves of garlic before breakfast.
Helps Fight Against Fungal Infections

  • the affected area of skin is wiped with cider vinegar, followed by application of Nigella sativa oil. The process is repeated if necessary.
Reduces Allergies and Skin Infections

  • 40-80 milligrams per kilogram of black seed oil has been taken by mouth three times daily for up to eight weeks.
Good For Your Skin and Hair

  • 1/2-1 teaspoon of Nigella sativa oil has been applied to the scalp after the scalp has been stroked thoroughly with lemon, left for 15 minutes, then washed and dried.
Known Efficient Cancer Treatment Acne
Kills Infection/Reduces Fever and Flu Symptom

Mix a teaspoon of black seed oil, honey, and warm water. Drink once a day as long as your fever persist

Boost Fertility
Cures Boils and Carbuncles Treat Coughs and Asthma Symptoms

  • one teaspoon of Nigella sativa oil has been taken by mouth three times daily.
Get Rid of Diarrhea

Mix 1-2 teaspoons of black seed oil with yogurt for 2 days or until diarrhea is gone

Reduce High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
Helps Eliminate Insomnia Prevents Muscle Spasms and Cramps

  • one teaspoon of Nigella sativa oil with one teaspoon of olive oil has been taken by mouth three times daily.

Can be used orally or topically

Relieves Nausea and Upset Stomach Treats Toothaches and Oral Bacteria Infections
Cures Psoriasis/Treats Eczema Aids In Weight Loss
Prevent Diabetes

  • 2.5 milliliters of Nigella sativa oil has been taken by mouth twice daily for six weeks, in addition to existing metformin.
Epilepsy Treatment

  • an aqueous extract of Nigella sativa seed (40 milligrams per kilogram per hour) has been used together with standard treatment for four weeks.
MRSA Treatment Opiate Addiction Treatment

  • 500 milligrams of dried black seeds has been taken by mouth three times daily for up to 12 days.
Improves Beard Growth Relieves Insect Bites and Stings
Helps with Chest/Nasal Congestion

  • the back and chest have been rubbed with Nigella sativa oil.
Removes Gallstones/Suppress Liver Stones
Helps with Gas and Flatulence/Constipation Treats Hemorrhoids
Relieves Headaches and Migranes

  • 1/2 teaspoon of Nigella sativa oil has been taken by mouth after a meal three times daily.
Boost Immunity
Improves Memory Cures Rheumatic Pains

  • one teaspoon of Nigella sativa oil with one teaspoon of olive oil has been taken by mouth three times daily.
Helps with Stomach Pains/Disorders

  • mint tea with lemon has been taken by mouth with one teaspoon of Nigella sativa oil three times daily or until symptoms are relieved.
Improves Dry Mouth
Bladder Infections Treat Nose Bleeds
Dandruff/Dry Scalp Helps Relieve Joint Pain
Regulates Menstrual Cycles Relieves Arthritis

  • one teaspoon of Nigella sativa oil with one teaspoon of olive oil has been taken by mouth three times daily.
Lower Anxiety/Depression

  • 1/2 teaspoon of Nigella sativa oil has been taken by mouth with herbal tea.
Treats Heart Burn
Relieves Stress Treats Meningitis
Promote Healthy Kidney Health Improves Sperm Count
Aids Treatment of HIV/AIDS Remedy for Colic

  • Nigella sativa oil has been warmed and used to massage the abdomen.
Removes Chronic Fatigue Prevents Anemia
Cleanses Parasites Treats Obesity
Detoxifies Body Deep Cleans Pores
Treats Schizophrenia Protects Brain Damage from Parkinson’s Disease

 

Although, Black Seed Oil could be your cure-all, but like anything, it does have its side effects. Please make sure that you consult with your physician before discontinuing any medications that you may be currently taking. Even though it may work for me, does not guarantee that it may work for you. I’m just a regular shegular person, who wants to live a healthy life without addicting, expensive pharmaceuticals drugs. 

 

Sources:
http://www.naturallivingideas.com/black-seed-benefits/

 

 

How Tea Tree Oil Will Change Your Life

 

img_2808.jpg

Ok! Im really excited to tell you guys about something that I’ve been doing a lot of research on. I am always looking for ways to increase my chances of staying healthy; mind, body, and soul, without using man-made chemicals unless absolutely necessary. Although I am in the baby stages, I would like to share with you what I have learned thus far.

Tea Tree Oil! Derived from leaves of a tea tree,(not to be confused with tea-plant) is an essential oil that is widely used to treat infections and household problems. Although Tea Tree Oil is highly toxic if ingested, it is surprisingly a miracle cure for skin infections and scars. This is awesome for my any one living with an autoimmune disorder, like Lupus, because once we get an infection, that’s when my body completely shuts itself down.

Tea Tree Oil is safe and all natural ONLY TO BE USED TOPICALLY. If you have sensitive skin, I would recommend diluting it with a carrier oil, such as, olive and coconut oil or sweet almond oil.

Below are several reasons why you should have tea tree oil on hand at all times

Acne Treatment

Tea Tree Oil antimicrobial terpenes content makes it popular for fighting acne. Along with MRSA or staph infections, it is also known to kill Propionibacterium acne that lives inside hair follicles. Although it may take longer to heal acne bumps and scars, it is the best way to combat infections since it is all natural and it is proven to be less damaging to the skin.

Eliminate Ringworm 

Ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin that is highly contagious. I had about 2-3 when I was younger. The oil’s anti-fungal properties make it effective treating and preventing ringworm. Just apply 2-3 drops of pure tea tree oil diluted in carrier oil. Apply to infection 2-3 times a day. You could also clean personal items that have come in contact with the infection to prevent spreading it any further.

Oral Health

It is known to reduce gum bleeding and tooth decay, along with healing open sores, and any bacteria or fungal infections. Just add a drop on your toothpaste or you can make your own toothpaste. Just add 1/4 cup of coconut oil—2 TBSP baking soda—10 drops of tea tree oil. Use it like you would use any other toothpaste.

Insect Bites and Stings

Tea Tree Oil is great for bringing down the swelling of an insect bite or sting. When you add a carrier oil, the infected area will disinfect the wound, prevent itching, and lessens pain. Healing would take about 1-2 days. Also, it is great for keeping the bugs away, or even killing them. This is great because since I have 3 small kids, who are ridiculously afraid of bugs, it will allow my family to save so much money on bug spray, that smells weird and feels really oily.

Pest Repellent

The oil’s anti-parasitic properties destroys and/or suppress the growth of fleas, lice, and ticks. This is great for my outdoorsy folks! Also, you can keep away mosquitoes, ants, spiders, and fleas. Just douse a cotton balls with Tea Tree Oil and place it in the area needed, and those pesky critters will be gone. Garbage cans, outdoor adventures, you name it!

Household Cleaner

Tea tree oil is a disinfectant and a fragrance, all in one. There are so many, everyday household chores that you can use tea tree oil. You can make it an all-purpose a cleaner by placing 10 drops of tea tree oil, 2 cups of hot water, and 1/2 cup of vinager into a 1 quart spray bottle. It cleans counters, fixtures, mirrors, etc. You can even use it as an air fresher by adding a cup of water, 3 drops of tea tree oil, 2 drops of lemon essential oil, place into a spray bottle, shake, and wa la! Your very own homemade febreeze. Hmmm. That may be an interesting candle scent.

Scalp and Hair Health

If you have mild to extreme dandruff or just plain old itchy scalp, which is caused by an allergic reaction, bacteria, or fungus, this is the stuff for you. I’ve always suffered from dry scalp, and its super embarrassing when I see large flakes of skin on my shirt and pillow case. I was advised to place 2-3 drops in your shampoo per wash, and rinse. I will update you on how that works for me.

I dont know about you guys, but once I found out all of this information, I knew I had to grab a bottle. Find the reviews for this particular brand at Amazon ArtNaturals Tea Tree Oil

 

 

In Memory Of….

I remember being as young as 5 years old, observing that actions of others. I knew from a very young age, what I wanted my life to be like. Of course, back then, I did not know the specifics, but I knew what and who I did not want to be.  I wanted to be smart. I wanted to be successful, not with monetary possessions, but with love and respect. I wanted to be nice to everyone, no matter who they were or what they did. When I was old enough to have children, I wanted to be their best friend and their mother. I wanted to shower them with love and gifts, but at the same time teach them the true meaning of life.

As I grew, the more specific my life’s requirements became. This caused me to have a feeling of entitlement for the things I wanted in my life. Looking back, I noticed that I did not pay to much attention to other people or serious life issues. And then I turned 30 years old, with three children and a husband. It’s almost like I woke up, and this was my life. And all of those things that I thought I wanted, well let’s just say, life had other plans.

Not only did I turn 30, but I was diagnosed with an immune disorder. Unknowingly, these two events would turn my world completely upside down. I used to worry about gossip, lose or gain of friends, or even finding a babysitter so I can go out. But then, life threw the fastest curve ball at my head. It is like, life purposely aimed at my head cause that curve ball knocked me on my ass so hard, that I died.

The Ashley that I worked so hard to become, since I was a little girl, started to slowly slip away. At first, I thought, I’ll come back from this. But then, almost everything Ashley wanted to be was fading, eventually floating into the dark abyss. I then realized, that this diagnosis wasn’t just the run of the mill, life problem. This diagnosis is not something that I’ve ever thought about, nor prepared for. Thinking about it now, since I’m such a control freak, it’s probably why I’m grieving so much, because it was unexpected.

So, in memory of Ashley Tara. She was kind soul, and became what she thought she deserved. Which honestly, wasn’t much.

Now, I must find this new person. I’m not sure who she is, but she carries the same hustle mentality and drive that the old Ashley had. This new person has the strength of the old Ashley, plus more. I’m just not sure if I know it yet. They will sing songs about my old identity, about my triumphant win against chronic depression and lupus nephritis.

The best part about this diagnosis, is that this new person is able to enjoy the things that the new Ashley has once forgotten. She can now see the beauty and joy in people who the old Ashley no longer enjoyed; the glow from my kids smile, the wonder of a sunset, and the blessing in hearing a bird sing. My new heart has been opened and my mind has been released.

I used to mourn the loss of the old Ashley, but the more I think about, the more I think a part of her had to go, so that this new person has room to grow and flourish. I miss a lot of the qualities that the old Ashley possessed, and some of those qualities I would like to have back. But I think in order for me to fulfill my duty in life, I have to follow this new journey that has been given to me.

So I say farewell to the old Ashley. It was amazing having that part of myself for the last 30 years, but now there are goals that I need to accomplish. And this path will take me there. Although, things may seem detrimental, it is all for a reason. I have to make all this pain and confusion turn into something that will live on well after my physically body is deceased.

If you are reading this, and you are suffering from a chronic illness of any sort, just know, mourning you’re healthy lifestyle is normal. You will find that you can move forward by getting to know the new you. As you know, once you deal with an illness, your life changes dramatically, and you may find yourself doing or saying things you thought you would never have to. It’ll get better, you HAVE to believe that.

Peace.Love.Happiness