Power on

It takes an amazing amount of energy and work to get through the day. Speaking for myself, I know that it takes a lot to get out of bed, shower, work, clean, spend time with my girls, and then try not to collapse into bed too soon. Somewhere in there I have to find time to eat and write. It takes a lot to be me.

And I do it with a chronic illness.

Having a chronic illness makes everything you do seem like you are doing it with a large animal strapped to your back, holding you down on a good day and on a bad day, it is trying to drag you the opposite direction. You walk through what feels like jello, it takes an hour or two to wake up with your body hurting so much, and you fight to hold thoughts in your head through the brain fog. If you take medicine for this you are also judged, weighed, and told how it is just a crutch to make you feel better.

All this for me is made harder in that I am socially awkward. Being an introvert makes it socially draining on me to be around other people. Just talking and interacting with people takes a toll. I take my issue a step further by helping others and providing advise to those who ask. I stop and listen to see what is needed and just to let others talk. I take extra time to ask people about their day and to see what I can do for them.

Why do I do this despite the fact I deal with so much from my illness?

Because we have to be better and overcome our issues. Everyone has them. We all have things holding us back. Be it physical, mental, emotional, or otherwise, we have issues that cause us to not be the best we can be. Our problems are not the issue. It is our attitude. Sitting down and throwing a pity party will not fix things. Getting up, giving it a 100% even in the times we know that we might not win. Just because we don’t like it doesn’t change the fact that we have the power to change our viewpoint on it.

I know what I have been through in both this last year personally and over the past five years with my illness. I have seen the hardships it has caused and the problems to come. I have seen where it has gotten the best of me. However, I do see where I did not let it hold me back. I have seen the problems I have overcome by continuing on my path even when it got hard. I made the decisions that needed to be made and followed through on them. Just because life has gotten tougher does not mean you give up.

I have learned in the hardest ways that I am not perfect. It has not stopped me from trying. Some days are going to be rough and get the better of you. It will happen. You have to decide what to do with the days that does not happen.

What do you do when you have a good day?

Keep powering on and #hugaplushie my friends

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Failure

It is 3 am and I cannot sleep. Thoughts flowing through my head as I think back at what today was. I started today hopeful, yet it crashed.

Hard.

I had an amazing job opportunity. It was a contract run for a subsidiary for Google. It was parttime, work at home, with some amazing pay. I could stay with my girls, still watch the kid that I babysit, keep the house clean, and Gail would be still able to do her job.

Unfortunately it was not to be.

The application process was pretty straightforward. I had quite a few verification checks on my credentials as far as the position. It required tons of social media experience and website design experience which, while I did not have schooling, this blog is more than helped me be able to say I have experience running a website and knowing what to look for in one. And of course this blog is helping me with social media connections that I have made.

I then had a test that I was required to take with three parts. With this test came a large training manual that I was supposed to study. I was given a week to be able to go through the study materials and take the exams. Two of the major warnings about the test. First, once you begin the test you were not able to stop. Second, if you failed any single part of the test you could not move on to the next part of the test and you would be removed from the program and not able to reapply.

Ever.

But it seemed fate was not on my side this day.

I spent most of the day studying a good 8 hours or so. I did all the right things. I made sure to have Alpha brain wave study music going. I made sure to study when there were minimal distractions. And it’s been quite a while since college so I have not used to study as much as I used to be. Still, I did all I could to ensure a proper study regime.

As I was finishing this first day of study in the training material they had a “Here’s the website you’re going to be using for your work and to take the test button. Click on it to check it out.” When I clicked on it and inspected the website as they had instructed me to do so, everything decided to make a turn for the worse.

The website decided to go ahead and launch this test, with me only being less than a day prepared for a 7-Day examination. My heart raced as I realize that I just started a test I could not stop. I started working through the test and to my surprise, I felt I was doing well. I understood the material that been given to me. The questions were true/false questions, not my personal favorite but they still were not as difficult as any essay questions that I had taken.

At the end of the test I hit submit and thought I had done the best I possibly could have and felt pretty good about it.

I had a 15-minute wait for an email would be sent to me to inform me that I could start the next part of the exam which should have taken another day or two to prepare and go through it. As I was reviewing the material and going through my information for the next step I received the email.

I had failed.

For the life of me, I don’t understand what questions I had missed. It was an open book exam and the answers that I had given were taken straight from the textbook. Even thinking back on it now I still don’t know what questions I got wrong and unfortunately the test providers would not give me the answers I sought. I was informed that due to security reasons, I could not be told my result other than a pass/fail.

For someone with anxiety, failing a test I think is one of the worst possible things that you can experience. Especially one that you studied and think you’re going to do well. When you’ve studied and you have prepared yourself and you feel a little bit confident (a rare thing for me) that you know the material. It gives you a sense of pride because you’ve done the best you could possible. It is a rare feeling for someone with anxiety because so rarely do we experience pride or that feeling of preparation. For me to fail this test felt like someone had taken the rug that I was standing on and pulled it out from underneath me.

And then came the guilt.

This has been the best opportunity I’ve had in quite a while to be able to support my family in this fashion. I even had the great opportunity of it being in a field that I am currently in with blog writing and the like. This is also was to be a great boon as my family looks for a new place to live and having a nice consistent paycheck with a decent pay was going to be a particular godsend for us. As my mind slowly turned against me I thought about how much I failed my wife and my kids.

This horrific side effect of anxiety is the one that just deeply troubles me the most. It’s where your brain uses all its resources to convince you, you are your worst fear. Most people think that depression and anxiety can be the same thing at times. Depression is the absence of feelings inside you, emptiness. Anxiety is the feeling of everything wrong with you and it’s your fault.

Having both of them as hell.

I went through my regular progression of dealing with my anxiety. I grabbed one blanket I grabbed my pony and I curled up on my bed and just tried to block out everything. I did not have anyone to distract me because everyone had gone to church to leave me to study. Being alone was probably the best thing for me at that moment. Tears welled up in my eyes as I thought of how stupid of a person I was then I couldn’t pass an open book exam. My brain continued the mutiny against me.

My wife came home concerned because I had turned off my phone and she couldn’t reach me. She always does the best she can when I’m in anxiety fit. She got my daughter’s ready for bed made sure I was left alone and make sure that if I need anything just to ask. My roommate at this time came in and saw that I had failed the test on Facebook. He took a moment to pray over me and I really do thank him for taking the time to think of me.

It just takes a few small moments with loving people to break you out.

It’s been a hard day my friends. I hope you have better news soon. All I know is that I have to keep trying and I plan to continue to do so.

Hug a pony my friends.

#stuffedtherapy

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