The assignment today is about looking back, which I don’t normally practice. I much prefer the view through the windshield, rather than the rear view mirror. However, this particular task is rather timely because the homework was to pick a post of ours that had the most views/likes etc and then expand on it in some way.
Tonight, I’m going to share all the cool sh*t that’s happened to me since I wrote the post “Putting One Foot In Front of Another” in June 2013. I don’t actually have to click back through my blog to re-read the post because that story was published (my first published story – Woot Woot!). There’s me holding it in the photo, and I have it pasted to my wall in my Writing/Spirit room.
Being very new to writing and coming out about my invisible illnesses of Ankylosing Spondylitis and Crohn’s Disease, I was quite scared about putting it all out there….I’m so glad I did. When the Spondylitis Association’s Program Manager Elin Aslanyan and other staffers from the Spondylitis Association of America saw my tweet promoting this piece, they came and read it….and liked it! (I mean really – does this kind of thing happen in the real world???)
Elin contacted me, said they wanted to share my story in a future issue of Spondylitis Plus – that it was inspirational and could help others. Honestly, I thought I was getting spammed at first, until I double checked the SAA’s website to confirm she was who she said she was. After all – this seemed too good to be true!!
Once I verified that the fine folks at the SAA indeed read my post, I answered with a resounding YES!!! Wow, to get my story published??? It’s a good thing this conversation took place via computer messages otherwise she would have seen me doing my happy dance around the house while shouting “Holy Shit!!!!” interspersed with some sing-songy “oh yeas” …. several times, for probably an hour or more….at least.
Well, that is no longer a secret – good thing my husband was wise enough not to video tape that goofy episode of Katie!
When the Fall issue of Spondylitis Plus arrived in my mail box and I opened up to see my story, it literally took my breath away. It also added fuel to my fire for the book I’m writing about my story and my healing process through these diseases.
I’ve also become braver about sharing things about myself and my health I rarely shared with anyone but my closest friends and family. Discovering a new world of people with health concerns just like me is awful, but it is also comforting to know I’m not alone or a rarity (unfortunately).
My Reiki practice is finally getting well deserved attention from me, it is amazing what focused intention does. I’m so excited to share what I know in order to help people feel better, I think that it just oozes out of me right now and people are responding. I’ve also found a group of new friends via social media, all who live with the same diseases I do.
Finally, writing this blog has given me the confidence to share my story in order to help others. Perusing the SAA’s website one day, I noticed that WY and SD are lacking in volunteer-led support groups. I’m doing something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, I’m not going to wait for someone else to start one – I’m starting a support group here in NE Wyoming, under the umbrella of the Spondylitis Association of America. I filled out the application and took the test and I’m ready to rock-n-roll. I’m just finishing up the hard part – my bio for the SAA website! I suppose I still need to get more comfortable writing about myself, it becomes obvious in instances like this because I’m on day 4 of writing it….actually, writing one sentence a day and mostly procrastinating about it (sorry Elin!).
If anyone told me one year ago that I’d be writing; participating in a half-marathon; getting my story published; starting a SAA support group; and registering for my next half marathon, I would have thought them nuts. There are so many things in my life that I’m doing now that weren’t even dreams years ago because I never thought them to be possibilities. To say it all started from this one blog post….that’s a bit of a stretch. But it sure did play a big part.
So my challenge to you is – what have you been thinking about doing that you haven’t done yet? Here’s something I try to remember every day and practice it, I hope you do too!