Facing your greatest fears…….

IMG_0595 Today May 1, 2015 is my one year hyster-versary! And this is about the most personable blog post I have ever shared. Social media to me is posting pictures of my kids, something fun for people to laugh about, or promoting my classes at {r}eleve one. I have a real hard time putting myself “out there”. Beyond teaching, I am a true introvert, you put me in a room full of people I don’t know and I clam up and become very shy. So sharing this part of me is truly out of my character.

Moving back in time, at the age of 26 I was diagnosed with endometriosis. It is a disease that creates lesions on other organs from your appendix to uterus, just some to name. It can grow anywhere. The only true way to diagnose the disease is through a biopsy during a laparoscopic surgery. These lesions cause chronic pain, inflammation, infertility, and other auto- immune diseases such as fibromyalgia, IBS and interstitial cystitis to name a few. Over the years besides being told I was most likely not going to have children, I have had 9 abdominal surgeries, 2 C-sections, many miscarriages, and to many trips to the OB and ER. My children are truly a miracle, and I cherish the fact and will never regret the infertility treatments I went through to have them. Have you ever had to give yourself oil progesterone shots in YOUR BUTT?! Ouch!!

After the birth of my second son, my endo came back and was very angry. I sought an amazing endometriosis specialist in Texas and in 2013 had 3 surgeries with him. However, I was still having chronic pain in my pelvis and abdomen. I cannot describe the low feeling you have when you have to call a doctor and request more, and more pain medication. I have tried every alternative option from acupuncture, essential oils, nutrition, you name it. I was desperate for help.

Moving to March 2014, the weekend I was certified to become a tap n’ pow{h}er instructor.  You see me promoting this method and I am going to tell you why. From the first class I ever took, I laid on my mat broken down in tears. The empowerment and encouragement pulled something from my soul that can only be experienced from taking the class. To this day, I have never left a tap n’ pow{h}er class not feeling amazing. I was so honored to be asked to attend the first instructor certification class. However when the weekend came upon me, I found myself scared to death. The room was full with experienced instructors, and studio owners and I had never even taught a fitness class. Do you know when they ask you in the doctors office or hospital to rate your pain on a scale of 1-10? I walked around daily at a 6 or 7. The fear I felt made that pain go off the charts for me. It was one of the hardest weekends physically but spiritually it brought something out that needed to come out. I had tried every treatment to help control my endometriosis available: birth control, chemical menopause, pain management. I really was at the end of my road, and searching in fear, alone about what I could do to be a better women, wife, and mother. I went to fitness classes everyday to try and feel better and pushed beyond pain I could not control. I was lost, frustrated, and hopeless. But you could never tell by my face, I hid every ache and pain and moved forward everyday as much as I could. On the last day of certification, the teacher trainers went around the room telling all the instructors what they could do to improve. I knew I needed  some major confidence and improvement in the way I taught. So when it was my turn, I broke down in tears. But not for the words spoken to me. For the first time, I removed this wall I had placed between me and the world. I felt vulnerable and for the first time I felt like it was okay to be vulnerable to be afraid, and to let go. And trust me it all came out. Not because I was being told what I could do to better myself as an instructor, but what I had to let go of. The thought of a hysterectomy was something I had been battling with. I never had my husband or a doctor push the idea on me, but I knew enough about my condition that this was something I was faced with. There was something about that weekend, that began pealing back the layers of the wall I had put up between my pain and the world. Each day it pealed it back even more, until I was completely exposed.

With myself completely exposed, I spent the next week sobbing, praying, soul-searching day and night. And at the end, I called my doctor and scheduled a radical hysterectomy. This meant I wanted everything taken out. On May 1, 2014 I walked into the hospital exposed from my soul. The huge wall of strength I tried to put on had been torn down. I was shaking in fear, but knew I had to have the surgery. It sealed anymore babies, put me in a surgical induced menopause, ensured I was going to need hormone therapy for many years, aged me by ten years. But I faced my greatest fear that day. I fought for myself, who I wanted to be and who I did not want to be anymore. I am not sure without that certification weekend, I would have realized what fear was right in front of me that I didn’t want to face. My hysterectomy was not a cure for my endometriosis, it can come back in time. But I remember the first few steps I took on the earth after my surgery and something that I knew so well was gone. I felt free, lighter, full of new life. My spirit was regenerated.

My friends that knew me before and after my surgery will tell you it made me a different person. For me it showed me it’s human to be weak, it’s more human to be strong and admit your weakness. It taught me it’s alright to be vulnerable and exposed. That is part of being human. Life doesn’t get harder we just keep getting stronger.

I have been teaching tap n’ pow{h}er for almost a year now. I can say that every time I am behind that microphone, I speak from my heart, I empower those women the same way I was empowered. Peeling away the layers of wall, sharing my story with other words to face those fears and vulnerabilities and digging into your soul to be stronger for who you are. I have no regrets for the decision I made. It could have been the wrong choice, but I was determined to own it. Isn’t that what life is about? Making your choices and owning them, even if they are right or wrong? Who are you? I AM STRENGTH PERSERVING THROUGH MY VULENERABILITY

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