Blessings in Disguise Last year, instead of making a New Year’s resolution, I asked God what he wanted to accomplish in me over the year. I clearly felt like he was telling me my “theme” for the year would be “Let It Go.” I spent most of the first half of the year learning about limiting beliefs I had that were sabotaging my efforts toward being healthy both mentally and physically. I also learned that I spent most of my days trying to escape from my life. Instead of living in the moment, I lived hoping for a better future. Instead of taking care of myself, I focused on all of the things I wanted to change about myself and my life. The year was not a waste, however, because I learned how to change my negative thought patterns to positive ones. I learned how to be more understanding with myself and my shortcomings, how to take risks and challenge myself, how to embrace where I am in my life right now and how to enjoy it. Most importantly, I learned the importance of giving God my day. So, in June when D day happened, I had tools already set in place to help me cope with the array of feelings I experienced. It turns out my husband “outing” himself was not only the best thing for him and our family, but it was also one of the best things for me. His disclosure forced me to go even deeper into my own recovery. It also gave me the opportunity to work with my therapist right now who is not only helping me learn to love my body but also walking me through my difficulties with intimacy. I learned that I am a “stuffer.” I am non-confrontational and in order to avoid conflict I often won’t voice my feelings because I don’t want to be a bother. I will never forget going to EMS weekend and experiencing weird physical symptoms because of my stuffing. My body was so overwhelmed with the trauma and, because I wasn’t allowing myself to express it, my face started involuntarily twitching and my hands were shaking uncontrollably. Many of the other women were crying and my husband took notice of how they were all reacting. I remember my husband turning to me during one of the breaks and saying, “So, I am seeing all of these women and the terrible amount of pain they are in. On a scale from 1 to 10 how are you feeling?” That was the first time in our marriage he had ever asked me that. I told him I was at a 9 which shocked him. I realized then that I had done all of my crying on my own. My husband was asleep when I was awake at 3 a.m. crying and desperately seeking a word from God in the Bible. He was at work when I was locked away in my room crying while our kids watched television. I was in so much pain and shock I really felt like I couldn’t function, but I hid it from him. Now, instead of keeping things to myself, I let my husband know what is bothering me. He is also non-confrontational so when I feel him holding back something I urge him to tell me. Every time we have had these conversations, the “tension” that was there goes away. It is still something we are working on but it is getting better as time goes by. This year, the theme God has given me is “Time to Heal.” It sounds so cliché right now but I have all of this information about what I need to do and now it is time for me to put it into practice. The first course of action for me is to put into practice all of the self-care things I have learned over the past year. I know actions that are “life giving” to me and I also know actions that are “life sucking” for me. Some of the “life giving” actions that I want to incorporate in my life on a daily basis are: Waking up early enough to have a cup of coffee and talk with my husband. Read my Bible and Journal. Do some sort of movement. Dress in a way that makes me feel good about myself. Tidy up the house. Spend time with my kids. Take a hot bath. Read for fun. Some of the “life sucking” actions I want to take out of my life are: Checking my Facebook feed continuously and surfing the internet. Watching television before bed. Putting too many things on my “to do” list. Constantly criticizing my appearance. Being too hard on myself when I don’t live up to my expectations. Forcing myself to exercise when I need a nap instead. Instead of fighting myself, I am choosing to love myself where I am. I am choosing to do what kind of movement feels good for my body and choose foods that are nourishing for my body. I am choosing to say “no” to people when I am already spread too thin and to prioritize my own healing so I can be the wife, mother, friend, daughter, and leader I want to be.