Turn around, you’re going the wrong way!

What happens when you realize you have chosen a wrong path in your life? Do you keep going or do you turn around?

The Creator tells us to repent, what does that mean exactly? It means turn around. It means stop that decision and turn around.

When we are doing things that are not in alignment with our values we feel shame and guilt.

If you continue to go down the path the wrong way you will continue to feel worse, owning our mistakes releases the burden of guilt and shame. Turning away and going back to the starting point is extremely liberating.

What if you don’t know how to go back? It’s never easy to examine our choices and see where we went wrong. It’s not easy to own our faults.

As I have examined my own faults there are areas I’m very sorry for. The hurt that those areas has caused is immense. Both to me and those I love. I am choosing to heal. I am choosing to turn around in those areas. I’m choosing to make better, more healthy choices for me. It is not an easy thing to do but it is the right thing.

I found a kind of calm in owning my part in how things dissolved in my marriage. Owning my mistakes and repenting. Turning around and being vulnerable is frightening. It shakes you to be vulnerable and open because the what ifs start to play in your mind. For me that’s when I pull on faith, what if the best possible imaginings could happen? What if healing takes place and the Divine Spirit brings all the best to you? What if through love, compassion and faithfulness to ourselves and Spirit our hearts desire is achieved?

When you faithfully listen to your body, & soul Spirit will speak to you. Are you brave enough to listen?

I am so thankful for my guides who bring me messages of love and hope for the future. I am thankful for helpers here who help me see the things I need to heal, and how to heal them. When I decided to become a life coach I knew that I needed to help me first, so reaching out to others in the same field and working with them to help me has been invaluable. Coaching is a great tool to help others discover their own healing abilities.

The problem with social media diagnosis memes

I have been fairly silent here because it has been a time of serious introspection.

I am taking courses on cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness. What I’m learning about myself in these courses is intense, healing, and scary all at once.

The thing that I have discovered is that in my own need to justify my reactions I played the victim and in that vilified the man I love. Instead of digging deeper and looking for reasons I started seeing memes that talked about narcassism and while he displays many of the symptoms he has symptoms of other things as well; post secondary traumatic brain injury resulting in anxiety, depression and PTSD symptoms.

Was his treatment of me unfair? Absolutely.

Was my reactions to him just as unfair? Absolutely!

I feel completely let down by a system that should have caught all of these things and helped us both cope. Instead they saw a few symptoms and offered drugs. He would try them and things would get better for a bit then stop and he would stop taking them. Instead of insisting they talk to us together they pushed new meds, they didn’t know about some symptoms because they don’t have the knowledge I do of every day life living with this man.

I have my own set of issues and while I always thought I was showing my love, and certainly other people saw my love in my actions, but perhaps he couldn’t because of his own internal dialogue.

So about two years ago I started seeing memes on Facebook talking about narcassist and what the symptoms were. Of course I started seeing symptoms in my husband. To be honest many of the symptoms listed on these memes are true of many mental health conditions and there in lies the problem. Without a true professional diagnosis you won’t know.

In the last several months I started looking at why the man I have loved for the entirety of my adult life suddenly became this person. I started looking back on our lives together. It suddenly dawned on me that changes happened after his concussions, 2 within a few months of each other almost a decade ago. Things that I had no idea could be related to these concussions were on the list.

In the last month I am also seeing my own failings. I certainly closed my heart to this man because his actions hurt me and I was afraid. Owning my own shit is hard. Owning my part in the life I loved falling apart is hard. Facing my own fears and my own hardness and being vulnerable enough to share them here is scary. I became hard and bitter. I didn’t respond with the love in my heart and I held resentment over each thing he did or didn’t do. I judged his actions without actually hearing his cries for help. No he didn’t hear mine either and in that we failed each other.

Truth be told, I still love my husband, even if we are separated and supposed to be getting divorced.

I am still learning and growing, but something I have learned is that I need to take responsibility for my reactions, actions and inaction.

My advice to those of you who feel like you are in an abusive situation, get help. Now. Stop the stigma that therapy is bad. Stop sharing memes on FB with symptoms of xyz, they don’t serve to connect us in love. Listen to one another. If you can’t hear one another clearly get help, individually and together. Coaches are a great tool that can be utilized in helping you narrow down your own desires.

I have no idea what my future is bringing me but the lessons I’m getting right now are hard one’s… Weather this is worth it I don’t know. I am finding gratitude in this as I am growing and without the separation, and devastation I likely would not be doing the work to heal myself or grow in me. I certainly wouldn’t be venturing down the life coaching path and I wouldn’t be growing.

…stay tuned for further enlightening processes.

It’s ok to Cry

After being with someone for a long time splitting up is hard to do.

The emotions run a wide range from anger to sadness.

Something people always want to do is give you platitudes. They tell you it will get better. Or give it time, know it won’t always hurt this bad. Knowing that doesn’t change the feelings. The hurt is still there.

Crying when you hurt is a way to allow the emotions to pass. To let them out without trapping them. Give yourself permission to cry. It’s ok to be sad and it’s ok to say the things you need to say, to allow the feelings to flow without stopping them is powerful and strong.

Just don’t dwell to long in the pain. Remember that healing happens when we release these emotions and step into our power. Crying is healthy, ok and even good. Sobbing, is cleansing, the healing comes when you take the steps to release that which is causing you the pain. We may not always be able to discern that for ourselves. Especially when we are in the thick of the emotional response. Reacting from a place of pain and hurt can give us regrets. I don’t like to have regrets for my actions and so I tend to try to stop and think before saying and doing something. When dealing with emotional pain and trauma of a sudden life event like divorce, that I truly didn’t see coming, I got stuck in this pain for several months. I decided to reach out to my friend who is an amazing coach in her own rights.

As an empath and lightworker I often go into my higher self to intercede for others but had ignored my own pain for so long that it’s almost as if it was damned up tighter than Fort Knox. I had this vision of myself standing at a castle with a mote around it and I was drowning in the mote because I forgot I could just stand up and use the key. Keys often come in many forms, for me it was reaching out to a fellow energy worker friend, Christina over at Radiant Living, The Art of Conscious Creation She has a wonderful gift of helping you get in touch with your inner self to heal these hurts. The first picture in this post was taken the day we worked together. I couldn’t stop the tears. The flow was unbelievable. Christina helped me find the old trauma’s from my past that we’re bringing up fears and effecting how I am processing the current trauma of a divorce after 24 years of marriage.

Some days the work of healing your soul is hard, but it’s always worth it. Knowing we all go through the same heavy shit helps us connect with each other in a very real way.

When I reached out to Christina she was more than happy to share her time with me helping me work through these fears. She gave me some new tools to use and helped me seek out the past as well as current issues so that I could heal and move forward. Working with Christina and her unique way with energy helped give me some much needed focus.

Shortly after working with Christina in a one on one session I decided to take steps to heal myself. One thing I have lacked was a good solid foundation in my physical body. I wasn’t ever sure how to do things and with my limitations of fibro I wanted help getting fit.

I no longer feel held hostage by my emotions. The sadness still comes from time to time but the overwhelming grief is easier. I still give myself permission to cry, and to feel sad. I also give myself permission to love. Love my ex for all he gave me, love myself for all I gave him. I am continuing to love us both through this. I refuse to stay stuck in ugly, hurt or sadness. I love me more now than I did 6 months ago. I can’t say I won’t ever undervalue myself again but I am learning to see my value in a different way.

It is healthy to move forward in life, grow and learn from your experiences. If you are struggling with something it’s always good to ask for help, even if you already have the tools and knowledge there is no shame in asking for help from someone outside of yourself. We need our community and our tribe to help us through these rough spots.

Self care through the grief

Self care is so hard when you are in the moment of grief. Today I have felt overwhelmed with sadness because in 4 short years my life went from this happy moment of getting the keys for our first home to being in the middle of a divorce I never dreamed would happen.

This moment always a top 10 happy moment in my life. Topped only by falling in love, getting married and having our children.

I spent the entire day today fighting back tears, unable to contain them even in public they randomly would fall. I still love this man who promised to love me forever and while we had problems and his mental health issues, I still miss those happy moments. They may have become fewer and further apart than when we got married but that happens when you are raising kids and life gets hectic.

I decided I needed to do some self care. I couldn’t stay stuck in this pain. The sadness. The grief. Only I can heal me and I opted to practice some self care in the form of moving my body. I touched on this in my article in the free e-zine Our soul Oasis.

So my self care was to head to the gym. Only to discover the gym was closed because some group rented out my gym for two days! Who does that? That could have been the end of it. But I really needed to feel something physical. So I came home and tackled an hour long work out minus weights,just using resistance bands.

For the first time today I don’t feel like weeping. I absolutely cried while working out. I put music on cried and kept pushing. Sobbing and working out is an interesting experience, releasing bullshit from emotional build up as well as endorphins from the exercise is an astonishing healing practice. Who cares if you have to stop and blow your nose because the tears make it run?

There is something empowering in allowing yourself to cry and keep pushing through to work muscles.

Don’t be afraid to cry, and keep going forward.

Taking control

As I wander through the painful steps of separating my life from the man I thought I would grow old with I am discovering all the little ways I didn’t take care of me.

My life revolved around him, our kids, keeping a roof over our heads and bills paid. My life revolved around taking care of everyone else to the exclusion of myself.

O sure I did things I enjoyed and I have loved being able to be home with my kids. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Mom is the best title I have ever held. It brings me joy and pride… But what happened to Crystal?

So I decided to do something crazy. I bought the whole family a gym membership. I got them all on board. Then I hired my own personal trainer!

I broke down all my health conditions and my myriad of concerns. I don’t give a flying leap what a scale says but I do care that I have no muscle tone and struggle to do things I once loved. I want to get out and hike more. I want to climb mountains and conquer my fears.

So my first step to doing just that is to keep moving forward. Some days are easier, some days still hurt. But I’m doing it! If I can do it anyone can!

Here’s me my first day at my new gym. One work out done.

I’ve already lost one full pants size and one full top size before hitting the gym. I believe my CoreAo (that I talked about in my blog post Here) was the first thing to help me with this.

I also started using my Balance spray at night. This spray has done a world of good helping me get to sleep. It helps balance serotonin levels. This helps regulate hormones, balance weight and helps you sleep, among a few other things.

I started with these things simply feel better. I physically hurt so bad that I was desperate to feel better. I wasn’t sleeping, I couldn’t eat, I hurt all the time. The pain was so bad that I just wanted anything to help. The core helped first. It minimized the constant ache and helped me be able to move. But the balance spray, that is what got me going. Able to focus and function on a whole new level. Sleep is restorative and when you aren’t able to sleep your body can’t heal. So balance helped me heal. Balance started making my life, despite the horrible upheaval, start to balance out.

This picture was taken right after the upheaval in my life happened. I just found out my husband of 24 years had been sneaking around. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen but I was definitely hurting. Trying to smile through it and planning this very blog. My wonderful friend helped me take these photos.

Then life moved forward I kept putting off this blog because to be honest I wasn’t sure I wanted to share the heartache, or if anyone wanted to read it.

Then summer came and I went camping with my brother. I was still trying to fix my marriage but things were in a weird spot and we knew he was taking a job away from us. I had just started taking my CoreAo and was seeing amazing results with my mobility. I actually hiked this with my family. It was so scary but I did it.

By October my world fell apart. Florence had come and done her damage to my town, I returned to find out that instead of fixing things we are now getting divorced. I am still taking Balance and CoreAo and smiling through it all because smiling feels better than frowning. When your body hurts less you feel better equipped to handle the emotional pain.

I took this picture Monday 12/10 my first day heading to my gym… (Ignore the open closet on the side of me, it’s a work in progress this house)

I’m not great at selfies in mirrors, but it’s a good gauge to see how far my body has come already.

Here is a side by side of those same pictures.

The only thing that changed in my diet in that period of time was adding CoreAo, Smart( I’ll post about that one soon) and Balance.

Slowly I’m taking control of my life. Slowly I am finding ways to be healthy and strong, both emotionally as well as physically.

I never dreamed I’d hire a personal trainer. And I never imagined I would be getting divorced. I never imagined life would turn out this way, and maybe someday it won’t hurt to admit I’m a divorced woman. I still love him, but sometimes love just isn’t enough. Sometimes we have to love ourselves more than we love anyone else.

I married a what?

Discovering that you are married to a narcissist is rather Earth shattering. Especially when you didn’t notice it for a long time.

That’s been my life…

The discovery still keeps rocking my world and I find myself bound in moments of grief so raw. Grief over what I thought we had vs the reality. Grief over the real love I felt and the dreams of the family we built.

Women are often the memory keepers. We build photo albums and capture the moments to be preserved. We tend to hold the memories in our hearts. But when you discover that your married to a narcissist you start to question all of these memories.

Was he always a narcissist, or did it happen gradually? When did you give over the control? When did you allow yourself to be so manipulated?

Some of these question’s wont ever be answered, and others don’t need to be. Finding peace in your heart to accept what is and move forward with healthy boundaries is a must. I still have some days where the tears fall randomly or out of the blue. I still question and I still wonder why. I am allowing myself the time and space to grieve but I am also moving forward.

As a caregiver my natural reaction is to take care of everyone else around me. I spent an entire marriage taking care of his needs above my own. I spent my days doing for everyone else and forgot that I should come first in my world and everyone else secondary. I can’t possibly take care of anyone else properly if I am not taking care of me. Getting divorced has shown me all the ways I failed to take care of me, and all the ways I allowed him to belittle me. All the little ways I wasn’t important in his world are huge red flag warnings for narcissistic behavior.

I chose to believe him and doubt my inner voice. I chose to believe every time he told me that the people he worked with didn’t like how he was affectionate with the women he worked with. How he was a hugger and he wouldn’t ever cheat on me. I chose to believe each time he came home and belittled me for not feeling well and then would go to his room and stay there for hours without having any interaction with his kids or I. I chose to believe that he just was having a hard day, or that it was stressful being a cop and he deserved time to decompress.

What I didn’t do was take stock of the facts and evaluate how these actions were all bad for me. How my health was declining because I wasn’t being supported, loved and cherished. How my stressful day at home with 4 kids several animals and the mounting weight of taking care of all household finances, running my own business, homeschooling 4 kids, planning field trips and trying to do it all on a miniscule budget was effecting every aspect of my life.  I will forever be grateful for the fact that I was able to raise my children. That they are the people they are because of all I did to raise them mostly alone because he never participated. I am now learning to balance my needs with theirs as we all go through this process. My kids have been an amazing support and I for them.

Together we are forging onward to new dreams.

Fighting The Fibro Beast and Finding My Health

Over the years I have found myself feeling so badly that I often struggled to complete daily tasks.  The pain of fibro is never easy, and often debilitating.  I found every day chores like doing dishes or folding laundry exhausting and painful. In the last few years the pain was so frequent that I would have several flare days in a row. Days where I would spend in bed unable to even get up to do anything significant beyond going to the bathroom.  If I did anything that I enjoyed such as a short hike or even working on remodeling projects or crafts I would wind up down for two days in flare mode.  For someone who doesn’t understand chronic illness or what a flare day is I find it easiest to describe as the feeling of having a bad flu combined with feeling like someone is constantly sticking hot pokers into your body or rubbing you in glass all day.

As a mom and a wife it was devastating to not be able to do all I was accustomed to doing with my life. I was limited in everyway. If I pushed through on good days and did something fun with the kids or created something for them out of love I often found myself having to make up for it the next day or two or three. This is often referred to in the chronic illness community as The Spoon Theory. Where you only have so many spoons a day and you struggle to decide what has to be done each day and what can wait until another day, and on really good days you borrow spoons from tomorrow so that you can accomplish more.

Looking back I think some of the pain was deferred from the emotional pain of living with someone who played mental games with me for decades. Things I never noticed like the manipulation of guilt when I felt bad, or the barrage of questions about why I couldn’t do xyz and how it must be nice to lay around.  In public or around his friends it was always “She’s so great” or “She did all this herself” But behind closed doors it was always a different story.

I spent my lifetime taking care of kids, being their teacher, cooking cleaning and doing all things domestic. I paid all the bills and took care of all the errands. I managed a household on whatever budget he made and did it as gladly as anyone who loves their family. I found a job I could make a few extra dollars at selling candles. Then we moved across country and I let that business go because I didn’t have a car and was stuck at home. A few years down the road A friend convinces me to try this product that went on your nails. Part of fibro is having multiple chemical sensitivity, so I had given up using nail products. Jamberry offered a non toxic product I could use. I loved getting to have pretty nails again. So I jumped in and started selling this product. 2 years later and Jamberry was bought by a company called M.network. Their products were health related. I of course was hesitant to try but after reading testimonials from so many people about how it was helping them with similar health concerns I decided to give the anti-inflammatory antioxidant product called CoreAo a try. This little stik is mixed into water and drank. I bought one box and figured for 44.95 it wouldn’t break the bank and if it helped ease even some of my pain it was worth it. One week later and I realized I hadn’t had even one flare despite doing a million little things that ordinarily would have put me into flare mode. A month later and I was feeling stronger and more flexible.  Then Hurricane Florence happened and I had to evacuate with my kids our animals and two cars. Still no flare! Then we returned to find damage and mold had spread throughout the house. The damage was caused by a broken pipe not by flooding but the results were much the same. Two weeks of clean up and still no flares!

Stress is a huge trigger for fibromyalgia and living in a stress filled life has caused me to be in a constant flare mode cycle for more than 2 years. Removing my ex from my life helped but didn’t eliminate flare days. I had gone gluten free 3 years ago and that helped but didn’t eliminate flare days. For the first time in my adult life I am accomplishing tasks, feeling stronger and healthier and being able to do more. I have been using CoreAo for just 3 months now and it’s been a game changer in my world. I may still get sore and achy but nothing that a massage doesn’t help. I don’t struggle the day after I complete a task and I am able to function on a daily level! I know that my health is improving and I am able to complete tasks without feeling like I wrestled a giant for two days after the fact.

I have since introduced CoreAo to other’s that I know suffer with pain and inflammation.  Here are two testimonials from some new found loyal customers;

” After seeing how much improvement Crystal had with the CoreAo drinks I sent her a message! I was desperate for relief from my chronic pain and brain fog. I placed my order and within a few days I noticed I was already doing more, and feeling better. This has been life changing!” – Rachel

” CoreAo has given me my energy level back! I have energy well after dark which is unheard of for me. I don’t feel jittery or have any toxin releases after using it. I have had zero Neuro issues and feel great!” – Wendy

“I wanted to try CoreAo as I have 2 knees that need to be replaced and have arthritis in my back. I sit for long periods of time but have had to be on my feet a lot fixing up our place. My knees have still been bothering me but it’s not been crippling pain. I noticed a big difference when I stopped taking it. I didn’t realize how much it was helping my back!” -Meridith

 

CoreAO stock photo