LINKUPWITHLISA #69 - Overcoming Anxiety and Accepting Myself



My daughter Nicole and her family spent last weekend at our house. They arrived Friday night and the plan was to go to the Big E Fair on Saturday night and to hang out at home on Sunday. I was so excited to have them visit, however I was dealing with a lot of anxiety. My fear and frustration was coming from the physical pain that I deal with every day. I knew that I couldn't walk long enough to go to the fair and I was feeling sad and defeated. Once again I was going to miss out on something fun and special because of my physical limitations. NOT!!!

I was hit in the back by a drunk driver while i was walking when I was fifteen years old. Since then I have had eleven surgeries and I deal with chronic pain. My most recent surgery was a full abdominal repair with mesh. This was the mother of all surgeries and has challenged me in every way possible for the past seven months. My surgeon told me the recovery time is two years and he wasn't kidding. My healing has been incredibly slow and painful, with setbacks including a five day re-hospitalization for a severe bowel blockage, and a postsurgical muscle tear in my abdomen that is taking forever to heal. I am also struggling with the fact that I don't recognize the way that my body looks, feels, or moves anymore.


I work so hard every day not to let my pain interfere with my life. I didn't survive a near death accident to let my pain win! I have always rejected the idea of a wheelchair (because in my mind) I would be labeling myself as broken and I would be giving up. I forgave the man who hit me with his car, but did I forgive myself for being disabled? Well today I am going to forgive myself and accept myself not as broken and full of scars, but as a strong, resilient, beautiful, loving woman who deals with physical challenges. Wow! It took me almost 48 years to be able to embrace every part of myself. Why is it so difficult to compliment myself and so easy to see the beauty in others? I will always be a work in progress and I will forever continue to learn, heal and grow. This is my amazing journey full of love, happiness, pain, mistakes, miracles and struggles. I believe this is the life that I was put on this earth to have so I can be my best self.

My experience of society judging me because they cannot see my injuries, has helped me to become a more compassionate and loving person to everyone. You never know what someone is going through (emotionally or physically) so always be kind and never judge. I can't even count how many times I have heard people say, "You don't look like anything is wrong with you." I usually just respond by saying, "Thank you". However I always think to myself how screwed up it is that disabled people are stereotyped as not being attractive. When I go out I enjoy dressing nice, styling my hair and putting on makeup. This helps me to feel better about myself and helps me to have more confidence. It feels good to be looked at as vibrant instead of injured. Not only by others, but when I look at myself in the mirror. It doesn't matter if I feel like I am going go burst into tears with pain and I can only stand for five minutes in my heels. This is how I have always been and just because I deal with pain does not mean that I have to look like the train wreck that I sometimes feel like.

Me and my daughter Nicole

Going out usually triggers some level of anxiety for me. My head immediately goes to the fear of increased physical pain and feeling embarrassed that someone may notice my impairments. I just want to feel normal and beautiful and agile. And I am finally realizing that I am! Who cares if I need to sit or stand, or if I move slow, or limp, or use a wheelchair? I am full of love and life and I will continue to push myself to get out of the house more and to focus on how grateful I am that I can walk at all! After what I have been through I am lucky to be alive and in one piece.

Find your strength and focus on all of the things that you are grateful for. Share your love with other people and get out of your own head! It can get dark and negative in there if you don't open your eyes wide. Block out the negative self-sabotaging voices that say you are not good enough. Because you are enough! Stop judging yourself and stop judging others. Being negative to others is a self-reflection of how you treat yourself. Be kind to yourself and that will give you fuel to lift the spirit of everyone around you. Live your life and stop overthinking everything you do. Stay in the moment and stop trying to control everything. Life is a gift and it's short, so live... Just live and love XO.


Getting Ready :-)

My daughter and I got ready together in my glam room.




I wore my Leonisa Compression Shaper under my clothes. Usually this gives me enough support if I am just going out to dinner, but for the fair I layered my post-surgical abdominal brace on the outside of my clothes. I also need to wear this every day at home.











I wanted to walk as much as I could and holding on to the wheelchair made it a lot less painful. We were all joking that I was pushing my invisible friend LOL. I only walked for about fifteen minutes before I had to sit, but I was happy that I made it that far! I am so glad that I fought through my anxiety and went to the fair. I can't believe that I almost let these beautiful moments pass me by. 











I had my Tarot Cards read and she was very accurate knowing that I have three children, work for myself and predicting no more hospitals for me! She said that I worry about my health and I do not need to. That made me feel so hopeful that I will continue to heal and have less pain. She also said that someone in my family is expecting a baby! I wonder if it's my daughter who already gave birth or someone else is pregnant :-)









 My daughter Nicole and my granddaughter Paityn XO





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47 comments :

  1. You are so young beautiful and positive and you're giving me hope with your words as I fight my journey with ovarian cancer. We must continue to do all the things we love and enjoy life to the fullest. I too have readings once a year with a spiritual reader. Two years ago she told me that I would be having a surgery, that it wouldn't be life threatening and when the time comes to have it and any follow up treatment that's necessary. So I'm in 6mos of chemotherapy, she also said I would live well into my 90's so that was positive. Stay strong and do what's necessary to get better and keep moving forward never looking back and no regrets!

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    1. Thank you so much Lily. I am so glad that you are doing well and staying strong. You are so kind and beautiful and positive!! Sending Love XO

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  2. What a story Lisa! I have a serious lung dissease and walking is very hard for me, so when we are on vacation or visit something we take the weelchair too. I have to say that the first times I thought it was awfull , but my body doesn t hurt and I am not out of breath so now I can enjoy the place were we are going. You wrote a very inspiring story Lisa!

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    1. Thank you so much for opening up Nancy. You are so right! We need to live and enjoy life any way we can. Sending Love XO

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  3. What a strong soul you are, Lisa. Honestly? I doubt I'd ever be able to forgive the driver, I doubt many people would be able to, so the sheer fact that you have, is in itself, proof that you are indeed a woman of substance. I couldn't agree with you more. When people think disabled, the first thought that comes to mind is what the eyes behold but there is such more than that. There is emotional. And mental. We can be crippled by fear or phobias or insecurities but look perfectly normal on the outside, whatever normal means. Likewise, be a little dented on the outside yet remain somewhat put together on the inside. You just can't tell.

    Like you, Lisa, I've been through some very challenging times myself including abuse (by others and by my own hand), thought of myself as being of less value than trash, and allowed the people who supposedly love me to treat me with zero worth. And while my husband has shown me that I may be broken, but I am still beautiful, there are days when old insecurities and doubts resurface. As you well know :) the point is you grabbed the bull by its horns and went for it!!! And now, you have one new beautiful memory to add to your heart :) be well, Lisa xo

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  4. Thank you so much Sheela. I had to forgive the driver of the car that hit me so I could be free. I went to his home over 20 years later with my son waiting in the car for moral support. He did not even apologize but I realized that didn't matter. What mattered was me letting go of the anger I was holding on to. I must tell you that your inspirational posts are helping me to open up again. I had lost my way since my last surgery and I am now, more than ever, focused on healing and helping others. Keep up the great work it touches many lives and your writing style is amazing! Sending Love XO

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    1. Thank you so much for this, Lisa. You've no idea how timely it is xoxo

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  5. Lisa, such a beautiful blog, and I send you love, light and continued strength. You already have courage for sharing your story. I always say "I can be bitter or better" I believe I am better as are you. much love

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    1. Oh I love that saying!!! "I can be bitter or better". It's perfect and I may need to re-share if you don't mind :-) Thank you so much! Sending Love XO

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  6. Wow, Lisa. You have been through so much and the fact you were able to forgive speaks volumes about you. Thank you for sharing your courageous story and the photos of your beautiful family. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

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  7. Lisa, you are so beautiful inside and out. And such an inspiration to many. I also struggle with the perception that "invisible" pain or illness means it is not real. I have had a life long battle with Bipolar Disorder and it used to frustrate me so much when people would tell me that it was all in my head (well, yeah, I guess it was all in my head...literally...but that doesn't mean it wasn't real). And I am all about sharing my story now in an effort to help other people. And I thank you for sharing your story. It is so important to talk about these things to help others realize that there is no shame at all in suffering and that if we support one another and treat one another with kindness, we can all thrive even in the midst of our wounds! Rock on, beautiful girl. You are a survivor!

    Shelbee
    www.shelbeeontheedge.com

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story Shelbee! I totally agree that being real and honest and sharing our struggles helps so many people! I feel so much love pouring out of me and coming back from all of you wonderful people! It is a beautiful connection that we all have as humans when we open our hearts and share truth and kindness. Sending Love XO

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  8. Thank you so much Lisa for sharing your beautiful and inspirational story and thoughts. They mean a lot to me.
    You are beautiful on the outside and your inner beauty shines through as well.
    Wishing you best of luck always.
    EmCi

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    1. You are very welcome :-) Thank you so much for taking the time to read and leave a comment.
      Sending Love XO

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  9. Oh goodness, you have been through a lot in your life. Drunk drivers are no joke. A drunk driver almost killed my mom a couple of years ago. She was just sitting at a red light coming home from work late at night and he plowed into her without even braking. She was in her car, but had to have a blood transfusion and was on bed rest for 2 months! Thankfully she's back to work, but she has scars that will never go away. I am glad you have such a positive attitude about it, but I am sure the anxiety is hard! This layered look is perfect, I just love it and you have such a beautiful family. It looks like you had a fun time at the fair!

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

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  10. Oh wow Carrie... I am so glad that your mom is doing better!! Thank you so much for sharing. Sending Love XO

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  11. More power to you Lisa!!

    I am doing the second installment of my collaboration with fashion-forward brand STAYING SUMMER this week at blog & I know you’ll like it – don’t forget to drop by & let me know what you think!

    Happy Monday!

    Rebecca
    http://www.redtagchiclosangeles.com

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  12. Thank you Rebecca! I just stopped by, love your look this week. Sending Love XO

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  13. What a wonderful post, full of hope and inspiration. All positive and healing thoughts are being sent to you! xo

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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  14. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. Obviousely you are a very strong woman and a beautiful one inside and out. I am sure you can conquer anything and you will do just fine with your great attitude. Love you look by the way.
    Nora
    www.jacketsociety.com

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  15. You are such an inspiration! I admire your courage for telling your story and not letting it get you down or stop you from doing things you want either.

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  16. I'm sorry to hear about your misfortune with a drunk driver. That's not fair but unfortunately there will still be irresponsible people in this world. Hopefully you are feeling better.

    http://the-wardrobe-stylist.com/2016/10/03/trending-celebrity-halloween-costumes/

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  17. You are very strong person Lisa. Not only because you have to handle the pain and anxiety all your adult life. I admire that you was able to forgive. Sometimes this is the most difficult part. Thank you for the inspiration. I'm on the beginning of this journey. Maybe I'll be able to forgive one day too. Stay strong. I wish you good luck.

    Anna xoxo
    www.glamadventure.com

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    1. Thank you so much Anna. Forgiving is absolutely one of the most difficult things we will ever do in our life. Probably because it is one of the most important things we need to do to heal and move forward. I realized this after I had experienced much abuse (physical and verbal) and there was so much pain and anger building up inside of me. I knew my only choice for finding happiness was to forgive everyone who had ever hurt me. Even the drunk man who ran me over with his car, but most important, to forgive myself. I needed to forgive myself for holding on to pain, sadness, and anger for so long, and for not being my best self. Our goal is to find love, comfort and acceptance within ourself so we can share that with the world. Wishing you the strength to forgive. Sending you love and healing XO.

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  18. Hi, Lisa! I just discovered your blog today and your story made me tear up--you are such an inspiration! I can only imagine how hard some days are for you, but the fact that you keep encouraging yourself to be strong and overcome your fears is amazing. I really loved reading your story and wish you all the very best on your road to recovery!

    Meagan
    www.meagansmoda.com

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    1. Thank you so much Meagan! I am so glad that we connected. Sending Love XO

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  19. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story!

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    1. You're welcome Kelsey. Thank you for stopping by. Sending Love XO

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  20. First of all you look beautiful! I love that blanket scarf! Second of all you are brave and an inspiration! To get up and go out and look at life the way you convey in your post takes courage! Wish you the best on your recovery!

    http://www.mylittlenest.org

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  21. Thanks for linking up to Top of the World Style. Anxiety can really impair your life.

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    1. Yes it can Nicole and I will continue to work through it :-) Thank you for stopping by! Sending Love XO

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  22. Stunning look and while I read about your past accident I never knew that there was still chronic pain. Thanks for sharing this and being real about the scars and pain. I love your layers here and that quote "A Broken Crayon and Still Color" and it's true. Color a picture of life, beauty, joy and faith with your life.
    Thank you for linking up to "Bloggers Who Have Inspired Me" link up
    Rachel xo
    http://garaytreasures.com

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    1. Thank you so much Rachel. Yes, chronic pain is part of my life but it doesn't define my life and I won't let it win! Thank you for stopping by. Sending Love XO

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  23. Hi Lisa
    I understand where you are coming from . With EDS, it is rare and I often look "normal" as so many with invisible illnesses do. I think you should be proud of yourself as you are courageous and try your best, that is all anyone can do. I do try and make the best out of each day too. You are a beautiful person just keep that positive outlook as I do think it helps. You look lovely! I love your poncho and boots.
    Take care of yourself.
    Jess xo
    thanks for linking up with turnng heads tuesday
    jess xx
    www.elegantlydressedandstylish.com

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  24. Thank you so much Jess!! It has touched my heart hearing so many of you open up about the challenges that you face. We are all human and all connected and that is such a beautiful thing :-) Be well. Sending Love XO

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  25. What an inspiring blog to read, you are stunning inside and out. Loving your scarf, I've recently bought one like this and look forward to wearing it. x

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  26. I came across your blog by the link it Ada's - I am glad I did. Very, very inspiring and its wonderful to see that souls cannot be broken because the spirit is what holds it together. Hugs.

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    1. Thank you so much Lorena! I am so glad that we connected. Sending Love XO

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  27. Lisa, thanks for letting us into your world for just a bit. It's amazing how hard we can be on ourselves. I just want to remind you that you were created to have great worth and value regardless of whether you walk or sit in a wheelchair. It is obvious that you are loved by your family. Thanks for adding your style flair to the My Refined Style Fashion Over 40 Linkup!

    Shellie
    www.thefabjourney.com

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    1. Thank you so much for your encouraging words Shellie. Sending Love XO

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