May 14, 2013


if you are a regular blog reader you may have noticed there are some changes happening on my blog. stay tuned & bear with me over the next several weeks as i work towards giving my blog a bit of a fresh new look. 

my daughter accuses me of being too "matchy-matchy" and it is true. i'm guilty of liking to have things orderly and coordinated - from house to wardrobe to closet to merchandised pantry to even wearing outfits that co-ordinate with my IV line

but that's me
that part of me has not been very present over the past 7 years.

when you are in survival mode, not a lot of energy, effort or thought goes into upkeep - either by way of your home, your person, and your relationships. life becomes merely about just existing - at times, even doing that minute by minute is a tall order. 

but i believe the tide is changing.

i believe the darkest of those days are behind behind me. there is still work to do. after all, recovery and healing is a process. but i feel as though i am stepping out of the shadows of the valley of death. aside from the barfing & weird veggie and fruit allergies, my health has been far more stable & manageable for roughly the past 18 months.  back in march 2013, i had to go back on IV treatment. after having been off IV since august 2011, this felt like a huge backward step. initially, i was incredibly disheartened by this however, the addition of IV, has made a significant difference. i have now been back on IV for 3 months. it is not a rigorous treatment schedule as i am only on IV one week per month. these short pulses of medication have made a huge difference! at long last we seem to have found the right combo of meds to keep my symptoms much more manageable.

as my physical symptoms stabilized over the past 18 months, i began to focus my energy on healing the neglected parts of me. as my physical body becomes healthier and not the primary focus, i have become increasingly aware of how battered my spirit is. my inner me has taken quite a beating - so for the past year or so, i have been on an odyssey to reclaim the parts of me that have lay dormant or have been wounded in battle.

much of this process has occurred in my therapists office and with the help of a PTSD therapy called OEI. over the last little while, there have been many hard fought battles for personal freedom and recovery from the emotional scars that my fight with Lyme has given me. 

"Healing takes courage and we all have courage, 
even if we have to dig a little to find it."

i'll get around to sharing that one day...for today, i'd rather keep this light! after all, this post started out about the overhaul i'm giving my blog. it's time for a fresh, new look. for some reason, it just looks so drab and dark to me now.

speaking of drab and my internal metamorphosis has unfolded, i began to feel the need to have those internal changes reflected externally. so last august, i embarked on an epic adventure to change my hair color from black to blonde.

i am not kidding when i say epic.

the initial metamorphosis took 8 hours

it has taken an additional 6 months and several rounds of bleach to complete the new look.

nothing like making up for 6 years of not being able to go to the hair salon in one sitting. how blessed i was to have had a hairdresser DONATE her time and services! i know, right! she deserves an award!

the color choice? blonde. 
yet, did it really matter whether i became blonde, brunette, red, purple, green,  or orange? after all, this was not a vanity thing. this was about reclaiming me. it was about shedding the dark and stepping into the light. this was about me standing up to a disease that has chewed me up, spit me out, and cast me into the pit of hell over and over again. 

of course, stripping 6+ years of home dyed black hair to a sunny shade of blonde didn't happen in a single process. change takes time. and, ok, let's keep it real here...i wasn't overly ecstatic with the day-glo orange hue that was the initial result. furthermore, i was mortified when i learned that we would be filmed for the Nature of Things Lyme documentary whilst i was in the midst of being 3 simultaneous shades of orange. 

i guess vanity isn't completely dead.

but, TV appearance aside, the color didn't matter so much as the act of doing it did. 
it was the ability to do it that was the big stinking deal.

i have had my haircut a total of 4 times in the past 6 years. initially, lack of follicle trimming was due to my bedridden state. i became more well and able as i moved through the years of treatment, but the unpredictability of symptom flares made it way too dicey to book appointments. i never knew if i would be well enough to remain upright in a chair for 15 minutes. and admittedly, i saw no reason for the upkeep - after all, i rarely left the house and when i did, it was often in a hat. and well, in all honesty, i lived under a hat for the first several months while my black to orange to blonde metamorphosis took place. that wasn't a vanity thing - that was a public safety thing. 

this new look is a big stinking deal because of what it represents.
i am shedding the dark and stepping into the light.
it takes work.
it's a process. 
it's not easy. 
it's not always pretty. 
at times, it has been downright terrifying
but i. am. healing.


Kathy T. said...

I <3 you, Shannon. And I'm am SO happy you are stepping into the light embracing your transformation. I get it: the blog thing, the hair thing, the reclaiming thing. I get every bit of it. Keep on trucking. XOXOOX

jessicarctica said...

aww, i think it looks cute :)