I’m Still Here. I’m Still Standing.

Please be patient with me. This post may be jumbled and hard to follow, but, for the first time in a VERY long time, I’m reaching out to all of you. Usually, I write to help those who need it. Either by writing a topic one of you have requested, or something I feel might be what you need to hear.

This has hit me hard. It’s taken me this long to even begin talking about it, even with those I trust completely.

I recently found out my Grandma, who pretty much raised me, has 3-6 months left to live and they aren’t doing any treatments again. I know I’ve had her for way longer than most I know that have had cancer, but I’m not ready to lose her 😭

With everything going on these last few days, I feel like I’m losing my mind. BUT, I’m still standing. I’ve got an amazing support system of my boyfriend and his family; as well as support from those in my family, which I didn’t feel like I had before. I did. I know that. I guess I just didn’t feel like they’d want to ‘deal with me” and all my issues. Stupid, I know. They’ve told me they are always here for me and that I shouldn’t worry that they don’t support me, because they do.I’ve been through so much in my 25 years of life. Unimaginable, horrible things. I’ve also been through some things that, at first, shattered me emotionally, mentally, even physically. Some days I didn’t think I could go on. Didn’t want to. But I did. I managed to pick myself up, and keep moving forward.

Eventually, I even began sharing my story through blogging, with the hope that maybe what I had to say could help someone else, even just for a minute. The responses came slow at first, but now almost 8 years later, I’m still getting emails, messages, comments, about how my writing, my blog, has helped so many. That’s why I do it. NOT for fame. NOT for money. NOT to be ‘trending or popular’. Because all I’ve ever wanted is to help others.

#lunatunes #supportdog #family #emotionalsupport #familysupport #stillhere #emotionalbattles

Now is where I admit to all of you, I’m struggling badly with this and could use all the support and love I can get to help me through this.

A message, a comment, a silly image to make me laugh. Anything to help me deal with this.

I’m one of those people who always put others first, who hates asking for help; but I need your help. I need support to get me through this. So here I am. Saying please help me. Please.

30 Day Chronic Illness Blogging Challenge: Day 11

Day 11: Why do you believe you have this illness? Bad luck, a higher power, karma, or something else?

Personally, I believe that by getting sick and all that comes with it, is to strengthen me. To force me to reach out to others. To believe in myself again.

Ask my family and friends, and their answers are all the complete opposite. My family basically has the idea that ‘my choices’ made me sick. That because I moved back here the day of my 18th birthday, stopped going to church, married someone they didn’t approve of, and generally didn’t continue with the ‘right ways’ of life they believe in, that’s why I’m sick.

This is something I’ve struggled with for years, I still struggle with this every single day. When my Grandma got diagnosed with breast cancer 6 years ago, she was doing everything right, eating healthy, natural remedies etc. But she still got sick and she is still going to die. Recently my mom got diagnosed with Chrohns Disease. In both those instances, it was ‘just what happened.’ not that there choices and actions made them sick.

I struggle to be the bigger person, to be there for them if they need me without letting my feelings get in the way of our relationship.

It took a few years, but one day it hit me. All the time and energy I was spending just to try and get them to believe me, to see I’m not faking or just wanting attention, was doing no good. I was angry that they couldn’t or wouldn’t understand. But all the time I spent being angry and hurt damaged some of the time I have had with them. So now, I just try and be as ‘normal’ as possible with them and I avoid talking about my illnesses. I just try to keep in contact with them the best I can.

My sister recently moved here for college and I feel so blessed to have the chance to finally have the sister relationship I never had the chance to have before.

Long story short, when I was 5 my dad married my step mom. When I was 10 they sent me a state away with her parents to be raised until I graduated. At the time I couldn’t see how that was the best thing they could have done. All I could see is after 5 years they just didn’t want me anymore.

My little sister that is here for college, she was 3 when I moved away. And as much as I called and spent time talking with her and my other 3 siblings, it wasn’t the same.

I moved back with them right before my senior year of high school. I spent that year doing the best I could to form a relationship with my siblings.

The day I turned 18, they packed me up and drove me back here. Once again, trying to have a relationship just by occasional phone calls and texting whenever they actually got cell service in the mountains where they live, it wasn’t the same.

We now spend most of the day sending Snapchat back and forth, texting, and two sister outings so far. The first was a week ago. We went to the movies. Tonight, we attempted to go ice skating after eating at Pizza Pie Cafe.

Let me tell you, I trip and fall on flat ground, with nothing but air in my way 🤣. I only fell once and I’m very proud of that fact. She just made it look beyond easy, skating loop and after loop while I had to take continuous breaks to breathe and rest my aching feet.

But I loved every minute of it. I can’t wait to see what we do next 🥰😂

30 Day Chronic Illness Blogging Challenge: Day 10

Day 10: What little things makes your life easier?

There are so many little things that make my life easier with 3 incurable but non fatal chronic illnesses, but for now, I just want to share the two things that have helped above all else.

When I first began my ‘journey’ to find answers as to why I was suddenly so sick I couldn’t even get out of bed, I began blogging as a way to work through all the emotions I was feeling, as well as to maybe find others in my same situation. Best decision I made, although a uncomfortable one at first. I was and am a huge writer, and I have dozens of books filled with my words. But I had never up till that point shared the details of my personal life online.

I knew I had to do something to help me deal with everything that was happening. I couldn’t keep it bottled up inside and hope to come out unscarred emotionally.

So I started my blog, and the responses, while slow at first, rapidly became more and more. Others sharing their stories, stories of others they know or heard about, opinions and questions all for them, these strangers, to do what they could to help me find answers.

It still makes me emotional when I think about it. I never would have thought perfect strangers would actually try and help me. But I’m beyond glad they did. It helped me find answers, but most of all, it helped me deal with all I was feeling and having someone who’s there for you, even if they don’t have any sort of Chronic illness, is such a blessing. Someone to remind you that you are human. That your emotions and feelings are valid and natural.

Some of the best friends I have ever known I’ve never met face to face. Endless video chats and emails, yes.

I have a HUGE ‘unbiological family’ scattered all over the world, not just the US. Sharing my story was the best decision I have ever made. It forced me out of my comfort zone, to be vulnerable, to reach out to the nameless people online for support and answers.

Now, almost 7 years later, I’m still receiving emails from people asking how I’m doing and if there’s anything they can do to help. Even more shocking, at least from my perspective, I still receive countless emails, chats, phone calls from my followers and people who came across my blog one way or another telling me how much my writing has helped them. How they hope I never stop writing.

I have always loved to write, even as a young child. But it never occurred to me that my writing was actually going to help others. That by putting words on paper, (or in my case, online) I could inspire someone I don’t even know.

I always thought there was never going to be anything good about getting sick, getting on disability, unable to work, losing countless friends and family due to my illnesses and all that comes with it. But I’m so proud to say I was wrong.

You may have come across a page on my blog called Quotes By Me. After my ‘Journey’ began and I had to fill up every single day with anything just to prevent me from going crazy. I began making custom quotes, at first just ones I love. Then some for different situations (Dealing with life, loss, friendship, etc.) I began receiving requests for a specific quote someone wanted to see me make for them.

That has been an amazing idea that I wanted to see if I could push myself further. So I then began to make Spoonie Thoughts And Advice, Movie Quotes, and Song Lyric quotes. I am still in the process of adding more catagories, as well as adding them to my blog.

Keep checking back for new content in each category. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have something you’d like me to make, or even if you just need to rant and I listen without judgement. I only give advice if someone asks for it. Otherwise I just listen.

My contact information can be found on my ‘About Us‘ page under Karley Kay. My email and Facebook are usually the ones most people use to reach out to me.

If you reach out to me, I will always reach back to you. You’re not alone. You matter. Always. Don’t ever let someone tell you differently. You got this. I believe in you.

What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Grief

43719848_905136553020489_1028161071254339584_o_90513654968715634308611_810823532451792_3052487970855583744_o_810823525785126Today marks 1 year without my best friend Ty. We clicked right away upon meeting each other for the first time. Our mutual friend introduced us, knowing that having someone who understands the challenges that come with being diagnosed with a chronic or invisible illness can be a little easier to deal with if you have support.

In 2012 I was diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis (IC), Endometriosis and PFDShe had EDS and POTS

This list is some things I wish someone had told me, what I’ve learned as well as some things from a few other contributors.

  1. No matter how prepared you think you are for a death, you can never be fully prepared for the loss and the grief.
  2. You can plan for death, but death does not always comply with our wishes or plans.
  3. Dying is not like you see on TV or in the movies.  It is not peaceful or prepared.  You may not have a spiritual or meaningful moment . . . It’s too real
  4. There will be pressure from others to move on, even minutes or hours after a death, and this can lead to regrets or resentment.
  5. Death is not an emergency – there is always time to step back and take a moment to say goodbye
  6. Death and grief make people uncomfortable, so be prepared for awkward encounters.
  7. You will plan the funeral while in a haze.  If you aren’t happy with the funeral you had, have another memorial service later.
  8. When people offer support, take them up on it.
  9. People will bring you food because they don’t know what else to do. Don’t feel bad throwing it away.
  10. People will say stupid, hurtful things without even realizing it.
  11. People will tell you things that aren’t true about your grief.
  12. Death brings out the best and the worst in families, so be prepared.
  13. There is no such thing as closure.
  14. There is no timeline for grieving. You can’t rush it. You will grieve, in some form, forever.
  15. There will always be regrets. No matter how much time you had, you’ll always want more.
  16. Guilt is a normal part of grief.
  17. Anger is normal part of grief.
  18. The pain of a loss is a reflection of love, but you never regret loving as hard as you can.
  19. Grief can make you question your faith.
  20. Grief doesn’t come in 5 neat stages. Grief is messy and confusing
  21. Grief makes you feel like you are going crazy.
  22. Grief can make you question your life, your purpose, and your goals. And that isn’t always a bad thing.
  23. We all grieve differently, which can create strain and confusion between family members and friends.
  24. However badly you think it is going to hurt, it is going to be a million times worse.
  25. You may find comfort in very unexpected places.
  26. The last 24 hours of their lives will replay over and over in your mind.
  27. It’s sometimes necessary to seek out new ways to grieve on your own, find new guidance if the people who are supposed to be supportive simply haven’t learned how.
  28. You grieve your past, present, and future with that person.
  29. You dread each anniversary, birthday, occasion without that person.
  30. They say the first year is hardest; but in reality, its all hard. First anniversary, first birthday, first time going to a place you shared without them.

Is there something you would add to the list that isn’t already on the list? Let me know in the comments!