health · Lifestyle · Uncategorized

The sickness part 2

January 16, 2017

The feelings that are inside
Swirling
The pain is gone
But the scars still remain
Never far away
Let the peace wash over me
Into tranquility
The feelings that are inside
A renewal for the soul
Anguish is now gone
And hope remains~ Jennifer Steen

March 2017
For the previous three months things were better than they had been in a very long time. I was changing, planning for the future, while letting go of the past. I was writing like crazy and I felt truly free for the first time in years.
One phone call changed everything, I knew I should have stopped and paid more attention to my instincts. Stopped my business plans and just slowed down. Yet nothing could have prepared me for what I would face, it came so fast and I was not prepared. I had become content and did not continue my self care and I payed for it dearly. No ones fault but my own on that one. In a few short weeks, with the world crashing in from all sides. On March 22nd I went to the ER with severe chest pains and a panicky feeling I could not control. I felt sick and shaky, of course the doctor on call thought I was a drug addict and blew me off. A few days later, I woke up in the early hours of the morning, to the same attack that had happened 7 months prior. Only worse! It was so traumatic that I have a hard time remembering details but I will never forget the pain and the fear. Holding onto my daddy’s dog tags and begging for more time. I was hospitalized again, sedated, and test were run. Nothing. Nada. I was told to take my anxiety pills, one week of bed rest, and reduce my stress level Ha! As if!

For privacy purposes I will not talk about the specifics that were going on also at that time, but things were hard. I am not opposed to hardships but man this one tough. It was the most imperfect perfect storm that I never fully recovered from, turns out I was also experiencing what is known as adrenal crisis. I will not deny that my mind broke for awhile. I am still picking up the pieces today.
In May, one week after coming home from a cruise, I woke up in the middle of the night, passed out in the hallway. Anytime I drank alcohol I became violently sick. All these strange aches and pains were occurring more frequently. I would get dizzy often and disoriented. In July, I got up in the middle of the night to get a drink and take some meds because I had a slight headache. As I shut the fridge and turned around, my whole body went numb from head to toe, my vision went black, and the next thing I know I woke up slumped against the fridge. All I could hear were loud chirping sounds in my head, I did not even realize I had passed out. I crawled through the house, climbed in bed and went to sleep. Obviously I had a nasty concussion but still no answers as to why this was happening.

Thankfully the symptoms slowed down by August of 2017 and my stress level was more leveled out. I honestly knew in the back of my mind that something was seriously wrong but I just kept trucking on and doing my best to keep my family together and to recover from the trauma of the last few months. I had responsibilities and I was becoming tired of hearing doctors and peers tell me to get over it, like I was making this all up. Even as I relieve these memories, it still brings tears to my eyes but I am going to keep going. I will be back soon with part 3 of the story! Thank you for reading and ✌🏼❤

health · Uncategorized

The Sickness Part 1

Nov. 15, 2016

The prequel…….

I feel the heaviness creeping in, like suffocating while still breathing. I try and hold on to what makes me happy, yet I feel that it will all disappear. I can’t figure our where it comes from or how to even fix it. I am on the edge, teetering out of balance, afraid of the fall. Knowing it is inevitable, how will I survive this time? My mind sometimes is not my own, it wonders into the darkness. Lost in memories and confusion, lost in the moment. My heart yells for me to fight, beating uncontrollably. Sadness begins choking me from the inside, tears of frustration, born out of the loneliness of fighting within myself. Why is it never enough? Why do I feel this way? ~Jennifer Steen

3 months before I wrote this, is when I had my first “attack” as I call them. It came out of nowhere and was at the time one of the scariest things I had ever experienced.

The night before my first “attack” or “episode”

August 10, 2016

Two days before my family and I left for our cruise to the Bahamas, I woke up in the middle of the night in what I thought was a panic attack. My heart was racing, my head hurt so bad that I could not think clearly. I was shaking all over, struggling to breathe, and confused. I tried taking a bath, took some tylenol, and then tried to lay back down and stay calm. By dawn I was freaking out and crying because my symptoms had not gone away. The next 8 or so hours are a blur, I do remember violently throwing up and speaking all kinds of craziness. Like seriously, anyone who saw me would think I was seriously mental! My hands and arms were numb and my fingers were curling up into my palms on their own, I could not seem to control anything in my body. I was finally taken to my doctor and admitted into the hospital for tests. I told him that was fine, but I needed to be out the next day because I had a concert and a trip to take lol yeah I know, my priorities are unusual lol

What would be the constant case for the next year and a half, labs and tests showed nothing. I was given anxiety meds and sent on my way. For the next few days, I was still on edge and confused by what had happened. But I did not let it ruin my trip and we had an amazing time!

Over the next few months, I continued to struggle with lingering symptoms and crippling fatigue. I would struggle through my daily routine and be bed ridden after any major trip or stressful situation. I was jumpy and chronically confused. I could not remember the simplest of things and became sad and depressed, while smiling on the outside and pretending that everything was fine. I only shared my thoughts with my journal and my husband, here is one those entries….

The sickness within
Let the fight begin
I am already tired of battle
When will it end?
I tell you I am fine
But I am slowly dying inside
This is my life
It’s beautiful but broken
The sickness within~ Jennifer Steen

In December of 2016, I went through a major life changing process, I began to awaken, spiritually and emotionally. It was like the old me falling away and being replaced by a force that as I write this now, I recognize was a metaphysical change to help me cope with what was in store for my life. It would give me the strength and braveness to face my demons and finally step out from the shadows and give my thoughts a voice. Thank you for reading and joining me on the this journey! Part 2 is coming soon so stay tuned ✌🏼💙☮

health · Lifestyle · Uncategorized

My Darkest Insecurities and Truths

Hey everyone! So this is probably the most exposed I have ever been on a public forum for more than just friends and family to see. Scroll down to the bottom of this post and there are a set of 4 pictures that visually explain what I am about to explain in words. This idea came to me after a painful confrontation with someone I love immensely, it was sudden and unexpected. I did understand where this person was coming from but it brought up a avalanche of emotions and I felt it was a form of control. Shaming me for only thinking of myself and doing what ever I wanted, even though that is the far from the truth. I was told I was SELFISH for posting on facebook about my struggles, past and present, and not thinking about the effects it would have on my husband and kids. How I was jeopardizing their futures by them being linked to a former drug addict and someone currently dealing with depression. Would my kids friends parents still let their children come to my house and stay? Would a future employer not hire my husband because of the content of my facebook? Honestly I had never thought of these things and so I asked them and they told me they were proud of me and if anyone wanted to judge them based on me that they did not want those people in their lives. WOW I am a lucky woman and so humbled by their love and trust in me.

In the days after dealing with my feelings and thinking long and hard about how I was going to deal with it, this vision kept popping up in my head and would not go away! It felt important to visually tell my story and share a very personally part of myself. I am not the only one who deals with insecurities and I want to give a voice to all of us! All of these words have been used to describe me to my face in the last year or so, two of these are my reality! They are who I am……sensitive and sick. I am a highly sensitive person, an empath and I suffer from several different ailments, some unknown as of now since they are autoimmune disorders presumably. What I do know is I have adrenal insufficiency, adrenal fatigue, hyporeninemic hypoaldosteronism, and depression. I got my diagnosis in May of this year and I have been battling the effects for the last two years or so. It is extremely rare for someone to have HRHA with no known chronic kidney disease or cancer, I have neither. I will discuss more about that in another post so let’s get back to it.

I have already discussed my feelings of selfishness for finally stepping into who I was always supposed to be, my mission, and focusing solely on my wants and needs. So now I will talk about shame…..oh boy this one is a doozy folks! I still can not talk about all of the shame I hold deep inside but I have dealt with them on a personal basis and there are just some things that are better left between me and the powers that be, at least for now. I will however talk about the shame I feel for all the things I did under the influence of meth, for the people I deceived, the people I hurt, and the trust that was lost. Drug addiction is a terrible thing and changes who you are, the way you think, and your perception of the world around you. I have been clean for over 10 years now!

I have heard that you find your strengths in your weaknesses and I would have to agree! My chronic illness has made my body so weak yet my mind is stronger than ever now, it did not used to be that way. When my body was healthy I was admittedly weak minded in a sense. I never stood up for myself, I let people bully me, and did things the easy way. I mean I can be kinda lazy so easy is the way to go lol. I have learned a lot about myself through this journey and just because others see me as a pushover, I just know when its worth my time and energy and when it is not. There is no use trying to get people see the best things about you when they only want to see the worst.

My feelings of worthlessness were first born from the loss of my dad when I was 5 years old. Just months before his apparent suicide I begged him not to leave me and promise me that I would see him again. That never happened……I felt as though I was not enough for him to stick around, I was a child, a very lost and sad child. Growing up I was bullied and told I was a waste of space and I should just join my dad, when I was 21 I almost did. This feeling has followed me around most of my life but is diminishing rapidly with the love of my husband, my kids, and in facing my illness. When you find yourself fighting for your life, you suddenly realize just how worthy you are.

In closing I will leave you with a poem I wrote in September of 2017

You know those moments in time
Replayed over and over
In your mind
Like being frozen in time
A prisoner to your fate
Silence is the key
For they don’t hear me
All the voices inside
With so much at stake
There is just so much to take
Done with the fight
Because there is little left inside
Peace is my answer
And to live the best life
Be the Phoenix
Out of your own ashes
And let your voice take flight
Jennifer Steen