Monday, September 6, 2010

pretty honest

Warning:  This post is disorganized, rambling, TMI, and discusses weird things like self-image, spirituality, and sex.  It's probably best to not read it...but I like honest blogging.

It's 4:35 am.  I can't sleep.  Husband is sleeping peacefully beside me...he fell asleep during some manly show about five hours ago.  To pass the time, I have showered, read 50 pages, written a bit, googled ideas for my niece's birthday cake which I will not make till December, and wandered Facebook.

I looked at every photo I'm tagged in on Facebook.  All 106 of them.  Probably not a good idea.  My favorite pictures are the ones from college.  I was really pretty.  I'm unsure as to what the hell happened.

A few weeks ago, after viewing some of my brother-in-law's photos of me, I came to two realizations-- One:  I got REALLY fat.  Two:  My eyeshadow that I switched to in 2008 doesn't photograph very well.  In reaction to these epiphanies I resolved to lose these pesky 12 pounds (Hopefully all in my breasts.) and I switched back to my trusty eyeshadow combo from college.  Husband says he likes my eyes better.  I remember I changed it because my sisters-in-law don't wear very dark eyeshadow and I didn't want to appear trampy.  Weird, yes?  My sisters-in-law are not ones to think like that.  Or the rest of my family for that matter.

Anyway, looking through the photos at my changes over the years, yes, I got fat, and yes, my boobs got grossly large and odd looking, but there's something else....something in my eyes.  They're not as bright as they were.  I look tired. My skin is paler.  Maybe because of the eyeshadow switch, maybe for lack of sleeping or tanning...I don't know.  But I think I lost my glow.  I think I got really worn out...and lost my glow.

High Glow
Low Glow
Husband and I were reflecting a couple hours ago on the first years of our marriage.  The immediate difficulty and heartache.  The mutually unspoken fear that I might die.  The night he sobbed in the parking lot when the paramedics took me away and then lied in the hospital when he told me he knew everything would be fine.  The seemingly unrealistic hope that my VNS might reduce my seizures to 2-3 per year.  The miracle that in six days I will have been seizure-free for one full year.  The Renaissance, as we're calling it, that we're in now.  We're losing weight, I'm not seizing, we're going to church, we're paying our tithing, we're trying to pray on our knees and read our scriptures, we're watching less TV, we're having more sex, we're trying to save money, we're trying to make more money.  All of this losing and gaining and more and less...and molding ourselves back into what we used to be...only wiser and stronger.  And now, I'll add one more thing to the list:  Get glow back.

Today in church I sat toying with the chain of my purse thinking about how far off track we'd gotten, yet how close the tracks appeared.  I would say we are a very spiritual family.  We pray a lot.  Sometimes I pray all day long.  We speak of God, Christ and His Gospel multiple times daily.  Christ is always a guest in our home.  We attend the temple.  Spencer utilizes his Priesthood often and is deemed worthy.  But, when I got sick, it became difficult to attend church as I was either having a seizure or recovering from one.  And just had a domino effect.  I couldn't go so Spencer didn't go.  Scripture study and Family Prayer haven't ever been a strong point in our marriage.  When we were single, they were part of our routines...but we've had difficulty fusing those routines together.  We focused on other things, like not dying.  Then I had surgery and stopped seizing, but we moved, and we tried to go to our ward, but I didn't sleep well, or Spencer's stomach hurt, and it just became a chain of endless excuses until we moved again and months later, realized we'd become a strange sort of religious inactive.  With firm resolve, we've been doing better...but I still don't have my glow.  That glow, I think, comes from being the best you that you can be.  All those little things that you're taught from childhood really do matter.  Prayer, scripture-study, church attendance, tithing.  And then when you get older you add things like good communication, a better sex life, maintaining a healthy weight, having a successful career, and keeping an orderly house.  All of these things add up to genuine happiness I think.  Glow.  One you can't get from a bronzer.


Lori said...

i love this chelsi. it's real and i think most all of us have gone through this cycle (possibly multiple times). isn't fascinating you can see it in pictures? you can almost go back and pinpoint when the 'glow' started fading and recognize those steps or hard life conditions that moved you away from the once happy going spiritually driven person you were.

kudos to you for recognizing it (i thought you were glowy and happy always) and making steps to change it. i'm SO happy for you that you are seizure-free. ONE YEAR? that's amazing. what a miracle.

you and spencer are a great couple. proud of you. go get that god given bronzer, girl. :)

Kari said...

I like this post. All the changes you're making are good ones. Many are the same changes I need to make as well. Way to make a change!

P.S. I think in those pictures, it's more of the lighting than you.

Anonymous said...

Let your light shine! Mwah!

mommy princess said...

This is officially my new favorite post. I'm so proud of both of you. Finding that glow is something we have to work at and maintain our whole lives. I was really worried about you for a few years there. Everytime I'd hear about another seisure my heart would sink. But I knew you had Spencer to help get you through it. I love you both to pieces. Glow Baby...GLOW!

Natalie | The Bobby Pin said...

I love you. Love this post. Been meaning to comment for a looong time! Sorry! I'm so excited you went a year without seizing.

Its weird, I can look through my college pictures and see when I was happy and when I wasn't. But at the time, I always thought I was happy. I hope I look happy now.

Pierce + Stacy Thiot said...

I know you don't know me (but probably kind of from Kari... from our comments on the same post, etc.), but I wanted to tell you that I loved this post. And I'm glad you shared it because i can be better too and helps me to realize that other people struggle with the same things I do. And the GLOW totally makes sense. I think I'm in the process of getting mine back as well. :) I just wanted to say thank you for your honesty and for your post. And also, that I'd like to be friends :) in the blogging world of course.

Anyway, thanks for sharing!