Tag Archives: Relationships

The Power of Thought

A couple of days ago I was dozing in my bed….and the thought crossed my mind about how my EX might have an inappropriate relationship with her counselor. Somehow, even though I was half asleep…I started to jerk which shook me fully awake. I then stumbled around and took some ativan…so in case any of those thoughts popped up again, I wouldn’t be shaken awake.

Isn’t it amazing how the thought of my ex and her counselor shook me awake? It was able to have that sort of impact on my body. I think about when I get really really angry and then lose full control over my body. It will do whatever it wants. Stiffen, seize, fall over. You name it. I have to be so so careful with my emotions and how I handle them, otherwise my brain will start to misfire (or not fire!) and I could be in serious danger with injuries.

Speaking of injuries, I just got better this week from a very mild concussion last week. My friend also has epilepsy and was very severely concussed at the same time. It was kinda crazy to think that we both got concussions-mine mild and hers severe-at the same time.

Anyhooo I am feeling like a night owl tonight. It must be all of those damn meds. Please tell me I am not the only one with sleeping problems and medications!

Love ya lots,
Sita & JoJo xox

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100 Days of Gratitude-Day 2

friends

Tonight I am pooped, but I just thought I would let you know that I am thankful for meaningful conversations and relationships. This was shared with me 4 years ago today, and still has just as much meaning.

There’s some people in this lifetime that make every day fuller, every blow softer, and every smile wider. Sita Gaia, I am so very, very lucky to have you as a best friend. On the days that I struggle, you grab the end of my rope and pull me up, even if you yourself are standing on the same platform as I am. As you head home to BC, (even though I know it’s for a good reason and that you’ll be back in a couple of months), I want you to know how much I will love and miss you while you’re gone. You’re my warm blanket in friend form, and I am so very, very proud of you for staying stron

Lots of love,
Sita Gaia & JoJo

The Effect of Poor Body Image on Relationships

cute photoHey friends! So I haven’t talked about body image in awhile, so I thought I would give it a whirl. About 5 years ago my body image was in the gutter. I was also in a relationship with a wonderful man, who cared about me like the Earth cares about the Sun. He loved me, just the way I was, but there was a problem with that: I didn’t love me just the way I was.

I would always marvel at his intelligence and would ask him to explain his homework and classes. He was funny, silly, and loved to make puns with me. You’re probably thinking, but what does this have to do with  body image? I’m getting there. Don’t worry.

My poor body image put a huge strain on our relationship. There were days when I couldn’t even cuddle with him because I felt shitty about the way I looked. He loved my curves, but some days I would just throw my arms up and say “I can’t! I’m feeling too ugly”

As I look back on this experience, I am purely awe stricken. Here was my boyfriend, who loved me unconditionally but I couldn’t reciprocate because I was so unhappy about my body image.

With a whole lot of courage from myself, as well as my boyfriend, I took up a running class. I even managed to find a running buddy, who is still my friend to this day. When I started to learn what my body was capable of, I began to think of how it functioned, and not how it looked. I saw my body as a vessel that could potentially improve race scores, and I was focused on improving my running technique.

I was elated. I consistently told my boyfriend about how I was improving, and he was so supportive all the way through.

happinessWhen I took up running, my body image issues weren’t magically cured. Poor body image is something that can take over your every waking moment of every day. During that period, there was not a period where I would wake up, swing my legs out of bed and say “Ew my thighs are gross.” I worked out 5 days a week, and did a lot of walking up and down the stairs of my university campus. (I will tell you that there are a lot of stairs!!)
I am about 25 now, and I finally feel good about the way I look., and most importantly- how I feel as a person.

I feel that it is very difficult to talk about poor body image.  without it leading to body shame. I find that talking about poor body image leads to a ripple effect: one girl says she feels fat, then the other says she is so ugly, and so on and so forth. Also one thing: one cannot FEEL fat!! It`s not an emotion!!

We need to build an alliance and stand strong together. Fat and skinny shaming is not the answer. Accepting each other, and our selves, as well as being able to talk about body image in a healthy way is key. I would know, I’ve been there ;).

Let me Tell You About Having a Seizure on a Second Date

adorable coupleThis past Sunday I was super excited for a second date. He had planned it all, and we were going to a Japanese Tapas bar. It was super loud inside the restaurant, but we managed to make conversation. We ordered about 5 dishes and he even paid for the whole thing! This surprised me, because I was totally happy to “Go Dutch” and split the bill 50/50.

Of course it was raining, so we decided to walk around downtown in the rain. We reached the waterfront, and it was almost pitch black with these tiny lights placed all in a row to help us guide our way. My eyes went blurry a couple of times, but I told them “No! You’re not going blurry!” and then they went back into focus again. I figured it was just mind over matter. Who was I kidding? I could control my blurred vision, if even for a few moments.

holding handsWe walked up a walk way, and while we were talking about something minute and nothing too important- BAM! I was unconscious and I had had a seizure. It wasn’t a gentle fall- I had face planted on to the pavement. I had told my date about my Epilepsy, and what to do in the event of a seizure, but neither of us had anticipated that I would actually have one during one of our dates. I honestly can’t remember how long I was out of it, but when I ‘came to’ (a phrase used to say basically coming out of a seizure) I remembered where I was and who I was with. Thank god. I have had seizures where I didn’t remember where I was or who I was with, so that was a relief.

I embarrassedly explained to my date that sometimes I just fall over during a seizure. It’s just something that happens! He was completely freaked out, but remembered the seizure first aid that I had previously taught him so he remembered to keep calm, which helped a lot. That makes no sense, but he was calm, while simultaneously being freaked out.

We walked towards the subway station and before I left to go home he said “I don’t see a third date happening. I don’t see this going anywhere.” NOW. That’s fine, because I hate wasting my time. However, it’s hard not to attribute his fear of my seizures to his interest in me. I keep telling myself “Sita, your seizure has nothing to do with this, and even if it does, you don’t want someone like that in your life”. Even though my rational mind knows this, my emotional mind doesn’t, so I need my wise mind to step in and mediate between all of these feelings.

When I got home I didn’t feel right. I felt seizure-y and nauseous so my mom took me to emergency to check that I didn’t have a concussion or any internal bleeding. Thank god I have neither. I must have one strong head because I smashed it on pavement, but there was no concussion or internal bleeding!  I was also wearing my protective helmet under my hat, so that must have helped to protect the fall. Unfortunately, my head still hurts, and  I spent all of Monday in bed due to head pains. Hopefully they will improve  during the week.

If you are going on a blind date and have seizures, I really recommend that you tell your date that you have seizures. If they aren’t cool with it, they you don’t need them in your life. If they are, then that’s great and then they will know what to do in the event of a seizure. Also! Teach them seizure first aid! It takes less than 5 minutes and it can be extremely helpful.

Dating with uncontrollled seizures is a bit of a nightmare, but if you are in this situation and you want a partner, don’t give up. The right person will come along. I promise.

Love you lots!! xox

We Really Need to Be Nicer to Ourselves

67299-Too+late+love+quotesHey guys! Sorry I’ve been a little MIA, I’ve just been busy with other things.Last week I had a very deep and meaningful conversation with a friend who I haven’t seen in a year. This is a friend who contemplates the world, has a thirst for adventure and connections with new people. Since I have known him for 5 years, it was easy to dive back into conversation, just like old times. We know how to speak to each other on a vulnerable level, and we trust that all emotions are seen as simply that: emotions.

Our conversation slowly came to the topic of “we need to be nicer to ourselves”. It is so easy to get into a mode of self- deprecation, and that everyone else around us is stronger, smarter, and more pretty or handsome. We also noted that people don’t take the time to tell one another how much they appreciate, care and love them. Why waste your whole life never telling your friends and family what you love about them? It seems so pointless to wait to state a person’s wonderful qualities once they are gone, because they can no longer hear about the impact that they have had on the people in their lives.

So, true to that way of thinking, I told my friend how I so admired his spontaneity, adventure, and thirst for learning new things and meeting new people, despite the potential challenges. He also gave me sentiments of how he admired my strength and caring for other people. His words truly touched my heart.

The take away message from all this is quite simple: we need to tell our friends and family the qualities that we appreciate in them. In turn, we need to see our own strengths and be sure to add them to our inner self-dialogue. It sounds easy, but pick one quality you really love about yourself, such as “I am a good listener”. In addition to having positive reinforcements from your friends and family, you will have them from yourself-which is the most important of all.

Hope all of you are well!! Love you lots! xox

Let Me Tell You My Story About Being Strong and Vulnerable

life is like a bicyclePeople have always told me how strong of a person I am. I remember when I was 20 years old, and I had my official serious break up. My ex-boyfriend’s mother approached me and said, “Don’t worry about this Sita, you are a very strong woman. .” I was baffled at such a comment for two reasons: first of all, why was she telling me that I would be fine? Secondly, what did she mean by strong? That I had the will to get through this, despite personal heart ache and frustration? The second time that people told me that I was strong was when my epilepsy started to get out of control. They would say to me “Sita, you are so strong.” I was confused. I asked friends and family what they meant by strong. It most definitely wasn’t my muscle strength; it was decaying due to my lack of ability to work out. My once toned arms and legs now were simply that: arms and legs with no defined muscle. “You just get through so much,” they would tell me. The answers I received never seemed to suffice. Well this was the time that I felt the need to pull out the good old Merriam Webster dictionary. Okay, I lied. I actually googled the definition. The word ‘Strong’ is defined as ” Having great physical power and ability: having a lot of strength”. Huh, so that’s what my friends, family, and even professors were telling me. It helped to put a definition to the adjective of my character. I didn’t know why I was being defined as strong. I was just trying to deal the hand I was dealt, and work through it to the best of my ability. I just figured that this was life. Everyone dealt with something, I just happen to deal with a chronic condition that was severely interfering with my ability to live my everyday life.

I-Believe-In-Being-Strong-Motivational-Love-QuotesThe other day I was mulling this over, and I thought about a Ted Talk by Brene Brown, “The Power of Vulnerability.” (See link below). Watch it. I’m not kidding. In my natural fashion, I re-watched the Ted Talk and it made me think about vulnerability and chronic illness, and my experiences with the two. Through experiencing extreme troubles with my epilepsy, I became a very vulnerable person. I started to live in an honest and true fashion, and I came to realize that hiding who I really was would put me at danger. When I say danger I mean physical and emotional danger. Brene Brown talks about how being vulnerable brings people closer together. I could not be more vulnerable that I have ever imagined. This way of living brought my friends, family and even complete strangers became closer to me, and they wanted to help as much as they could. By being vulnerable I gained connection, acceptance, and love. This shocked me. Not because I didn’t believe that my friends and family could be supportive, but I never thought that by becoming vulnerable through my chronic condition would bring even more acceptance from friends and from people who I considered to be acquaintances. I found that people liked that I was putting myself out there, and that I was not afraid to expose who I really am as a a person. People appeared to like that I was not afraid to tell them the truth of my reality, despite how shitty it is at times. People liked that when I talked to them, all of my cards were laid out on the table. (So many card references in this post, it’s an accident I promise!)

bullshit-mother-fucker-quotes-separate-with-comma-strong-truth-Favim.com-83751Okay so how does this idea of being strong tie into being vulnerable and this amazing Ted Talk? Ok,so you caught me. Being vulnerable takes strength. It’s hard to expose your true colours and share everything that you’re going through, good and bad. If anything, through this journey of living with Epilepsy I have learned that it is okay to share my journey with people. If people don’t jive with my journey, then I don’t have to have to have a connection with them. It’s that simple. It also takes strength to go through the times that I am going through. Oh my god! I think I just made the connection of what everyone has been telling me! You get to be a witness to it! Although I still see myself as an everyday woman, it takes strength to be vulnerable, and by being vulnerable it allows you to create stronger connections with those around you.

Love you lots! Keep fighting the good fight! xox

It Really Is The Little Things That Count

it-is-not-happy-people-who-are-thankful-it-is-thankful-people-who-are-happy-136314This afternoon I had a thought. It was a thought that many people have probably had before, but maybe never really dug too deeply into. This thought arose as I left a Starbucks with my green tea latte in hand, and I remembered when I had gone to the Starbucks in the library at my university a few months back. I was tired and worn out, but still determined to keep working away at an essay about women’s studies or some social work issue. As I joined the line up of other students who were getting their caffeine fix, I stood in auto pilot, just waiting for the next available barista. I ordered my usual: hot chocolate with whip, and spelled out my name so no one else could accidentally take my drink. When I got my cup I saw my name, along with a little smiley face. My heart warmed like a summer day and I couldn’t help but feel happy that someone took the time to draw a little smiley face on my cup. I believe that it was the smiley face got me through that day of essay writing even more than the hot chocolate.

So what the hell was the point of this story? I think it really is the little things in life that make a difference. It is so easy to be blind to it, and just see the overall big picture. Even when things feel like shit is hitting the fan, I try to look at my life and try to see at least a few great things that happened that day. It could be as simple as I didn’t miss my bus even though I was running late. Everyone knows how much it sucks to miss the bus! You’re standing there cursing at the bus stop, shaking your fist at the bus and how dare it be on time when you were running late! It’s usually raining and you have to text your friend to say you’ll be running late. In that moment, it is so easy to see all the crap that’s going on, and forget about the tiny things that make life amazing.

It is also so common to seek out this idea of happiness. It seems as though happiness is a beacon of light, that one day we will find. Once we get our dream job, find the perfect partner, and finally pay off all our debts we will be happy. Happiness seems to be this concept that seems to be hard to pin down. It really isn’t that hard though! Just look at the little things in life and you will realize that you have so much more going for you than you think. In my case, I know I have a chronic condition and I will most likely be on medication for the rest of my life. That is most likely my reality. Yet, there are things to be thankful for, despite my situation. I have parents who are working so hard to help me become more healthy, as well as friends who are caring and concerned. They are also just awesome people in general! I feel so blessed to have those positive connections, as so many people in the world live in isolation with no friends or family to support them. In no way am I saying that it’s easy to be accepting of chronic conditions (or any medical condition, for that matter). Acceptance of a medical condition can be difficult, and if you dwell deep enough into it, you may feel angry or that you were robbed of a ‘normal’ life. Recently I have found that surrendering to the uncertainty of my condition has been deeply liberating. I don’t mean I’m throwing my hands in the air and giving up. I just mean that I am working on living day to day, and seeing the positive things that do happen on a daily basis. For the record, I have not fully accepted my condition; some days I feel angry because I have to wait to start my career that I have worked so hard for. I am still working hard though! I reminded of this by my boyfriend and parents, which is highly validating. There is nothing better than feeling like you are doing something that can improve your situation.

So ultimately, what’s my take away message? See the teeny tiny triumphs in your day. Recognize small things that make you happy, whether having the time to watch your favourite tv show, or that you were able to talk with your best friend who you haven’t seen in ages. The little things in life are there- you just have to look for them.

Love you all! XOX