9/19/2013 9:19 AM
By Stephie Goldfish
I wish this blog could be a continuation of my last blog, a follow-up story of where I was at just a month ago, where I wrote about getting to a new team of doctors and making progress in some of my personal goals. I wish I could say I was a little more stable than I was a month ago, that I finished the pastel portraiture I promised my poetess friend and her twin daughters.
It’s not like I’m telling these big fat lies, intentionally misleading everyone about what I’m doing, what I intend on doing. It’s not that I don’t know what I’m talking about. Honestly, I don’t want to come off as some protagonist BS artist confusing the truth, nor bringing about some perversion of the truth.
But as well as my intentions have been, every single month, it’s like I’m back at zero—starting over, sometimes in a completely new environment, new city and state, different hotel or apartment. It’s as if I’m running on emergency mode all the time.
And this month, I find myself having ripped and ran back to my hometown in my home state, trying to come to some sense of it all. I’ve gone into a “loss and recovery” effort, trying to gain perspective before any more damage is done.
My sister and I have these ongoing discussions, which begin innocent and respectful of one another’s thoughts, beliefs, and worlds. Before long, however, we are in a full-blown argument, reaching an impasse, and each of us clearly seeing matters in our own way, defending our positions, blaming each other for where we’re at today.
We agreed recently that we feel it’s more truthful to say that I don’t have all the answers and I don’t know where else to turn, what else to say, or what else to attempt that before long finds me feeling overwhelmed and detaching from my original intentions.
So, many promises are made and broken, and disappointment sets in.
I rarely say NO to people and their requests, and, in fact, I usually make a proposal first of promising something for someone. Sometimes decisions I make in a split second are what most people do, too, with no hesitation—they do what is needed at the time.
But I need to follow through on my YES replies, and when I do say NO, not feel guilt.
I’ve been told I have a rescuer archetype personality, but I need to accept my limitations, accepting my answer of NO, or even NOT NOW.
Already, over the spring and summer, I’ve had shingles, bronchitis, and severe shortness of breath, more swollen lymph nodes, a respiratory/lung infection, and itchiness all over. And I began a new medicine that continues to cause acid reflux. The new medical team also recommended the Mediterranean diet.
Anyone can see where I need to focus my attention.
I wish I could know where I’ll be next month, what I’ll be doing. I wish I could know if my current situation will get stable, where I can really concentrate on taking care of myself. But I don’t know. One of the steps to recovering, though, is to truly be honest with myself and accept things as they are now, and just be.
And as long as I am still trying to better my circumstances, there is hope.
Stephie Goldfish, aka Stephanie Hodgson, was born with a large ventricular septal defect, but it wasn't diagnosed until age 17. Since her defect went unrepaired, this resulted in Eisenmenger’s physiology, and she has developed severe secondary pulmonary hypertension. Stephie is an artist who graduated at the top of her class from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh; she is currently pursuing her love of writing, and writes short stories and poetry, as well as nonfiction. Learn more at her website and her personal blog.
Copyright ©2013 ACHA
1 comment(s) so far...
By dana on
9/20/2013 7:54 AM
Re: Promises Made, Promises Broken
I can relate to searching for answers. My symptoms have continued to get worse, and doctors are at a loss how to help. I've done a lot of research and have found some tools that do help. If you'd like to learn more, send me a pm on ACHA's forum (under the same screen name). I know it can be overwhelming searching for relief and wondering what is causing your symptoms. In my case, I know the cause, yet have no support in a surgical repair. So I'm doing everything I can to get my body as healthy as possible. It also includes healing, emotionally, spiritually, and physically from past surgeries/scars/health complications. Its been a journey. Some days are not easy, but you learn what you can do, even on the bad days, and how to help others.