Fibromyalgia

Turned a Corner: On the Road To Wellness

I have to apologize for not updating you sooner.  I so easily nowadays get lost in what in how much time has pasted. I can’t believe that February is over!

While this post is going to be very personal to me and is meant as an update for friends and family (I really forget who I told what), I am happy to say that I will be writing on Hilary’s Home more regularly starting in March. Ok ok, so how am I doing?

Good News: I’m Doing Awesome!

Yep! Now what does that mean? I back working full time. I’m back driving myself around. I’ve even put my bike together and plan on going riding once I get her lowered.  I’ve started going to many of the activities I used to love again.

I feel as if I have woken up from a coma to find some other person has taken over my body for the last 4-6 months and trashed my life. Now I’m back and rebuilding.

How did this happen? Since July 2015 I couldn’t work at all, I was in chronic pain, I wasn’t driving, and at the end of January I walked into a mental hospital because of my suicidal thoughts.

Sometimes we have to reach our lowest in order to bounce back up.
— Hilary St Jonn
Sometimes we have to reach our lowest in order to bounce back up. I also took steps that helped me along the way. Such as fighting for my health since July. Walking into the hospital when I noticed my mind was not thinking correctly. Researching areas myself, and getting professional help. Asking for help when I needed it, and standing on my own two feet when I didn’t.

I’m an analyzer. I want to know why things happened, what made them happen. How was I able to bounce back so quickly?

How I Turned a Corner

1. Reaching Rock Bottom & Reaching Out

When I walked into the mental hospital, I didn’t want to live anymore. As I was leaving, I was looking at homeless shelters and where to stay. It was only thanks to my mother that I was able to get a hotel for a few days. I had no home, no job, few friends, very little money and was suffering from depression. You can’t get much rock bottom than that.

During my time at my rock bottom, I reached out. I walked into the mental hospital. I received my mother’s help. I shared my story.

When I got out of the hospital and was given the task to get my life back in order. I reached out.

I wrote back to buyers who were interested in my 2nd car (and sold it 2 days later).  I asked my cousin who was ready to adopt my ferrets if she wanted to adopt me as well. Ended up moving in with her that weekend for an amazing price. We are having so much fun living together too!.

I also contacted my boss that has been holding my job since July, patiently waiting for me to get better.  I not only had to tell her, once again, that I was coming back, I had to prove it. (I’ve hit all my contracted hours for February and will get a full paycheck, the first time since July!)

We tend to go inward when we need help the most. That is the worse time to do it to! I’m glad I’ve learned that lesson. While reaching out and asking for help, does get easier, it is never easy to do! Thank you egos.

2. Off Old Medication, On New Medication, Increase In Medication

I was given an anti-anxiety medication (Paxil) that did not agree with me. I didn’t know it when I first got on it.  Getting off it was a nightmare and I do contribute that to the reason why I had to go to the mental hospital in the first place.

Then, the drug that was helping my fibromyalgia symptoms (Cymbalta) was increased to the max dosage.  I did lose feeling in my legs, then hands, then face for a couple of days (felt like I had a shot of Novocain), which soon passed.

On top of that, I started a new medication (Seroquil). It is a antipsychotic used to treat major depressive disorder in adults (that is what I had. Or have. Well, I don’t have it now that I’m on the right medication). This stuff I love. I can’t cry like I used to.  Things don’t upset me as much. How cool is that?

It is amazing how great someone feels when they are on the right medication at the right dosage!

3. My Whole Food, Plant Based Diet & Dr. Fry

restaurant plant based whole food dietMy body does not digest oils, fats, and protein well.  Following the diet recommended by Dr. Fry is helping me feel better and better.

Not only that, he found a bacteria in my blood that many of his chronic pain patient’s have. I’ve been taking an antibiotic which has been helping as well.  How do I know? Well, every time I increase the doage, I get a flare up, and then my symptoms lessen.  He warned me this would happen.

I’ll take it! Thank you, Dr. Fry.  I saw him today. We are upping the antibiotics and we will see what happens.

How I’m On The Road To Wellness

This journey I’m on is exciting.  Way less bleak then my last journey I was on of chronic pain and illness. This is what I’m putting in place in order to succeed at getting my health back.

1. My Environment & My Therapeutic Pets

I used to hate it when I heard that stress causes fibromyalgia. How do I not be stressed?!?

Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting the people next to you.
— Every Airline Ever
Now I see.  I loved where I was, who I was with and what I was doing.  As I got sick, I started to lose myself. I didn’t realize that I was so busy helping everybody else, I wasn’t helping myself. Not one bit. Which just made things worse.

Sometimes, we need to pull away from people we love to take care of ourselves first.

I found a new environment, I have my own space (my own room! I love it!), and I am with family. I feel super lucky I landed with my 2nd cousin, and I love getting to know her and her son.

Not only that, but my 3 ferret friends are with me (and I’m so glad I didn’t give them up as I originally planned.) I’m starting to realize how much I need animals in my environment, something I had given up 6 years ago.

At my new home, I can practice not taking on stress physically (it is hard, I’ve had slip ups and boy can I feel them!).  I’m also mindful about setting up my boundaries and saying no.

I have to say I’m surprised how much I notice myself wanting to say yes when I really want to say no. I thought I had good boundaries, however I obviously still need practice.

2. Continued Therapy

I love therapy, when I need it.  Something went afire in January, and right now I need therapy to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

I am more of a believer of therapy before medication than medication and no therapy. Because of this I am seeing my awesome therapist 2x a week. I love her, she is a rock star.

Therapy isn’t simply taking about problems.  We are taking a look at what happened, and what ideas, thoughts and actions do I need to change in order for me not to make the same mistakes twice.

I’m all about not making the same mistake twice!

3. Making a Difference in the World Through Storytelling

I want to have a purpose.  I’ve found my new one.

I have shut down my online marketing and web design business, Endless Range Marketing. I’m surprised how long that took me to do.  Clients just kept coming, which meant money kept coming. My passion, however, was never with Endless Range Marketing.

It has always been in my writing.  Therefore, I’m declaring myself an author and blogger.

I continue to have a large amount of traffic on my first blog, Swedish Freak, which started talking about my life in Northern Sweden with my (now ex) fiance, who is Swedish. It now just talks about how awesome Sweden is.

I’m also going to be building this blog in the same fashion as before I left it, so stay tuned 🙂

While I have my great part time gig for immediate income right now, my focus is going to be:

  1. Writing my book Fighting for Your Health, as I promised my donors.
  2. Blogging on Hilary’s Home.
  3. Blogging on Swedish Freak.

It has only taken me 4 years, many nights looking inward, chronic pain and illness and reaching rock bottom for me to do what I have wanted to do since moving to Arizona.  Which makes me grateful for every experience I have had to get here, even the ones that weren’t that great.

4. Getting Out Of Debt

Thanks to my amazing friends & family, I ended up raising almost $2,000 to help my $10,000 in medical bills. I sold my car, giving me $3,500 to throw towards my debt.  Leaving me only $4,500 behind in the medical debt department.

I’m lucky too! My mom covered my bill for my hospital visit, so I don’t have more debt from 2016.

Now It Is Just Getting Back to My Life

I started working. I’ve found my purpose and passion (finally!).  Now I’m getting back to what I love.

Showing people how they can live a life they love that they can design.  Creating stories, sharing them, in both writing and through public speaking by returning to Toastmaster’s International. Helping children of the world through Kiwanis.

I also am reaching out to friends and family I haven’t seen in awhile.  I’m traveling, working, playing and enjoying life all the while I’m walking this path to wellness.

Hilary Back at Life

But Wait, Hilary! Aren’t You Forgetting Something?

Yes!  There is a group of people I cannot forget.  I couldn’t have gotten here without them.

Who is that?

Why it is you!

I Truly Thank You

If you are reading this, you most likely know me. Which means you contributed to my journey in one way or another. It may be that you donated some money. Or you sent me a text when I needed it. I thank you.

I couldn’t have made it without my friends and my family.
— Hilary St Jonn
You may be someone who got beat up while I was hitting rock bottom.  I especially thank you. (You know who you are. If you are thinking “Is she talking about me?” then I am!)

Whether your influence was big or small, I couldn’t have made it without you, my friends, my family.

I realize that I alone am nothing. I am the sum of the people around me.

I thank you for your support, for reading my thoughts, for reaching out when I needed you the most. I am grateful for each and every one of you.

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2 Comments

  1. Lorri Conley
    March 2, 2016 at 7:35 pm — Reply

    HILLARY!!! OMG …. I am so blessed to be reading this post!!! I am sooooo happy to hear everything!!! And I’m so sad, mad and upset that I didn’t make it to see you – completely my fault and I feel like shit!!! I knew you were t doing good, but I just didn’t know it was this bad. I was just too damn busy for no good reason. I hate when ai allow that to happen!! Although I contributed as ur first donor for your Go Fnd Me account, I still didn’t do my part …. Please forgive me??? I love you, God Bless You al always!!! Please call me when you can if you forgive me. I Love You Hilary and I thank God for you and ur recovery!! 😘😇😀

    • March 3, 2016 at 9:34 pm — Reply

      Of course you are just perfect Lorri! xoxo!

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