Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My Many Lives

Recently I finished reading Jewel by Brett Lott after attempting about four times to read it. I just couldn't get into it. But, I am glad I finally did. Jewel and her story have stuck with me since I finished the book.

Jewel didn't have an easy life. She was orphaned at age 11, sent to live with a grandmother that was wealthy but had no love to give and was soon shipped off to a girls home/school. She was fortunate to marry Lester who she loved and he loved her back. Together they had six children. The last one being born with Downs Syndrome and Jewel was told her daughter would live to be only two years old.

Jewel took all these difficulties in her life and used them to make herself stronger. She knew she wanted her children to have a momma that loved and supported them, she knew she would do whatever it took to save her baby and she also knew that she had to make sacrifices in order to make all this happen. Not only did Jewel have determination, but she knew where she wanted to be and was willing to do the work to get there.

Jewel often spoke about the different lives she had. A new life started for her when she was orphaned, another when she married Lester and then another when Brenda Kay, her Down's Syndrome baby was born. Later a new life started again when she moved from Mississippi to Los Angeles to find help for her daughter.

Lately I have been thinking about the different lives I have lead as an adult. My life has definitely been easy in comparison to Jewel's life. One of my lives started when I married Steve. Another life when I had children. A new life started for me when we moved away from Kansas and all my family/support to somewhere I knew nothing about. A more recent life has been the one with rheumatoid arthritis. Actually, I think I have had two lives with RA. The first one was when I was diagnosed and started on medications. The second life was in February 2008 when I went off all medications. I feel like this last life has allowed me to really focus on my life as a whole but in doing so has also separated my life. While trying to heal, I have been analyzing every aspect of my life which has created a tunnel in my life where I feel like I have needed to separate my life into categories rather than it all being interconnected. I have never felt that way before.

This morning I was thinking about how originally I made one blog which included everything about me. I felt like my life was so interconnected that it was impossible to separate it into blogs based on topic. I knew it would eliminate readers who were looking to read only on a specific topic, but that wasn't why I started blogging. It was more just to share my thoughts with myself and whoever else was interested. Then I started a blog on unschooling and kept my personal blog more about RA, almost like I needed to keep them separate - to focus on them separately.

That feeling is changing. I am beginning to see my life merging back into one. I feel this newness coming into my life. I don't know what it is but I sense it and I am excited by it. I feel like RA is going to be a part of it, but it isn't going to be my focus in this life. It is going to play a minor role. Maybe that is why I am excited. I am feeling strength and motivation to move into new areas of my life and not focus on just RA.


  1. Great post. Yeah, I can relate to what you talk about in terms of including RA as a part of our life but not making it a central focus. For me the balance is continually changing, sometimes is helps me to think about it less. At other times, it helps to think about it more. I don't think one option is better or worse, what is important it to give myself what I need.

    Best wishes as things merge back together!

  2. I understand what you mean and agree with RA guy too. Your newfound wellness is enabling you to emerge into a life which focuses less on you condition. This is wonderful. Don't question it, enjoy it for what it is.

    I'd love to hear more about the steps you took to get off your meds.

  3. It is great to see how you view your life today and how you did years prior. I know what you mean about having so many lives and then all of them coming together, I suppose, it's our meaning/purpose. I know that I am not the same person I was before my diagosis but it doesn't mean that person is not still in there. When I was first diagnosed with RA and fibromyalgia, i didn't realize how many people out there were just like me dealing with these conditions and struggling to manage their lives. I visit your blog often to get idea of how you are managing beyond medications and this is something I am considering, but because it has only been about year for me dealing with these new conditions, I am just not ready to take the non-medicine routine.

    Good luck to you.


  4. Oh my that is just how I have been feeling Cathy. I haven't been blogging much because my focus has shifted. So many new things on the horizon to enjoy each day. It is freeing to find what works and although at times it needs a little altering it is nice to be content and present for the time being. Love it.....