This Winter season has been extra long for me this year. As many of you know I had a weird illness since September that caused me to be dizzy and to have to stay home and not able to do much of anything. On top of the illness our winter in Missouri, this year was brutally cold with lots of snow, ice, and long dreary gray days. Up until a couple of weeks ago, I was beginning to think I may never see warm sunny weather again!
To catch those up who don’t know about my life over the past year here is a quick run-down : In February 2017 my husband and I paid a large sum of money as a down payment to a roofing company to put a new roof on our home. The roof was supposed to be put on in March of that year. March came and went but there was no roof put on and the company was ignoring our calls and if they did answer they would put us off. In May I finally canceled the roof because I felt like they were scamming us and never going to put the roof on. June, July, and August were spent trying to get our money back from the company and then paying ANOTHER roofing company in August to put on the roof. The first company never gave us our money back and in August the new company installed our roof. Also in August – my husband filed in small claims court against the first roofing company to try to get our money back. September – my husband and I went to small claims court and were met at the judge by an attorney for the roofing company who asked to have the case moved to trial by jury and filed a third-party petition against me for slander against the roofing company because I had contacted the Better Business Bureau, the state Attorney General, and wrote review about them on Angie’s list in the attempt to get our money back. The roofing company took our money, never gave us a roof, but now they were suing me for $25,000.00! It was around that time that I one day while I was at work I was suddenly hit with dizziness that felt as if the whole room was spinning so bad I may fall off the Earth. From that day on I was dizzy almost every day of my life and spent several months going to doctor after doctor trying to figure out what was wrong with me. What had started as dizziness soon progressed to sound and light sensitivity, and I could not do anything with a screen such as computers or TV. I had memory issues, panic attacks, and soon even depression. If you can name it, I pretty much had it. I ended up having to quit my job because I was too sick to do it plus my husband had to drive me everywhere, I went because I couldn’t drive because I was dizzy. If I had a good day and did go anywhere then I would get carsick or if not carsick I’d be worrying that I might become dizzy. It got a point that I couldn’t even go to church on Sunday’s because the music and the stage lighting caused me to be dizzy. I will stop here because it just suddenly dawned on me that my ‘brief rundown’ has turned into a full-blown story in itself. If you’d like to read the much longer version, I did write a few blog posts about my illness this past winter which can be found here – Vertigo, Panic, and Feelings of Insanity, When the Struggle is Real Keep Going Even if You Have to Do it with Your Eyes Closed, My Plans Aren’t Your Plans But Are Your Plans Mine Even Though They Don’t Make Sense?
Between the illness, being sued, and all the dull grey days of Winter this was probably one of the coldest, darkest, and longest seasons in my life I remember ever having.
Before all of this craziness happened, I led a pretty busy life and I always considered myself a pretty happy person but now looking back I can see that I was probably not as happy as I led myself to believe I was. I was always rushing here and there and was always feeling overwhelmed with all the things I had to do but never doing much of the things I wanted to do. I now can see that the things I wanted to do were things that I had been putting on the back burner that those things were truly important for my own well-being. My job for instance – I was in the church building every day but I know now that I was actually pretty far away from the church on other aspects. Meaning my relationship with God. I know that sounds weird to say but now looking back I can see that needed to step back away from church in order to actually see just how far away from God I had moved.
Before I was ‘stuck’ at home I never had time to just calmly sit and read my Bible. My prayers were rushed more like a checklist and I barely journaled anymore because I just didn’t have the time. It was like my spiritual life only happened when I could fit it in. Ya I know you can read my blog post where I always mention that but oddly even though I figured it out several times I never actually followed through with what I had learned until I was ‘forced’ into having the time to follow through. Bad… I know but now I do follow through … most of the time.
This past Fall and Winter has probably been one of the longest, coldest, darkest seasons I’ve been through physically and mentally in a very long time but all seasons do come to an end and even though I had small glimpses of sunshine here and there throughout the winter it wasn’t until about February that I started seeing the large rays beginning to shine through and this time they actually began staying.
My time stuck at home had given me a whole lot of time to begin connecting with God on a deeper level and also I was feeling a little better physically. The dizzy spells were becoming less and less and I know my triggers that set off the dizziness now with stress being one of my big ones. Looking back, I can connect the whole roof scam and being sued by them as probably my breaking point and what set this whole illness off. I have always been a stuffer of my feelings most of my life. Never telling people when I’m sad or upset and I usually just go about my days clinging to the good stuff and not paying much attention to the bad. Now I can see that the bad I’d been stuffing finally caught up with me. A person can’t stuff those feelings down inside without finally running out of room inside to stuff them and I think maybe I just broke because I was too full. Through all of this, every doctor kept telling me I needed to get the stress out of my life but really how do you do that when it’s coming in from places you can’t stop??
I think it’s more in how you deal with stress is how you remove it from your life. Don’t stuff it inside where it can’t be dealt with or it will eventually end up eating you alive.
From where I sit now I can finally see that good stuff can be found even on a bad day but it is okay to acknowledge when things aren’t going so great. I realized now that it really is okay to be not okay.
During this season of my life, I have also learned to say no. I have learned that if someone gets upset with me for saying no then that’s their problem, not mine. Also, now that I have said no a couple of times, I have realized nobody was upset with me anyway. HA 😊
I can see now that quitting my job was a good thing too. I still love my church and of all the jobs I’ve had in my life being the church secretary was my all-time favorite. So, when I say that quitting the job was a good thing, I know it probably makes no sense to anyone else except for me. But the best thing I have noticed is that now when I am at church, I am there for one thing only and that is God 😊
Also, I’ve realized that I’d been neglecting the things God called me to do. Write my blog, finish the book I started and rekindle family and friend relationships that I’d let drift away because I didn’t have time.
Over the past month, my new neurologist has started weaning me off the medicine that another neurologist had given me for the brain stem migraine diagnosis. His plan was to start me on a different medication that has fewer side effects but as time has gone on, I’ve started feeling like my old self again so I haven’t had to take the new medication. I feel like I am finally waking up from this nightmare I’ve been stuck in and now that I am waking up when I look back and can see that October through January is one giant blur to me. I never realized when I was traveling through it all just how dark my winter season really was and to be honest, I was worried that it was never going to end but the best thing in all of this was Jesus. He was always with me the whole time and no matter how bad I’d feel he kept pushing me forward. Making me get up out of bed in the morning when I didn’t want to get up. Sending close friends to check on me at just the right moments. He kept nudging me to read my Bible and he was the one with me on the nights I couldn’t sleep. He pushed me forward toward springtime and on those days when I thought I couldn’t go on anymore he carried me.
Be still my heart… His love for his children is a love like nothing else. I was the one in one hundred and he came looking for me.
The roof stuff is still happening but, as far as my health goes I feel like I’m on the upside. I can feel the warmth of Springtime outside but most importantly I feel the warmth inside of me once again. I know that this long dark Winter season is finally coming to an end and like the rays of sunshine in Springtime make the flowers bloom, I can feel God’s love for me cracking away at the icy chill of this long winter season so that I to can now bloom once again.