Wednesday, August 27, 2014

100 Days of Miracles

Miracles, Momentum, Milestones, Movement.
Welp, today is the last of 100 days of my self prescribed challenge to focus on miracles. I don't know how my life would be right now if I hadn't taken on this challenge, but I am so glad that I did because I think I really needed it. When I started this I was unemployed, quite ill all the time, and very stuck. ME feels like the definition of loss of momentum on a sickly cellular level.

Since then I found the perfect job (even though on paper it isn't what I dreamed of, it meets absolutely every criteria I needed and wanted to move into a reintegration phase), I took a trip to Paris with my love and met my sister, brother in law, and adorable nephew there, I've greatly improved my physical endurance capacity, and I've managed to come back to a baseline both in my energy and emotional health through some interesting and pretty trying times that have also come up.
With the focus on miracles my overall basic level of contentment and peace has increased greatly over the last 100 days.  I really struggle with overwhelm and anxiety, and knowing that I had a very clear intention every day to focus on the miracle (a change in perspective towards alignment with joy), I knew I could always steer towards that to make me feel better.

The Fairy Godmother said to Cinderella, Even Miracles take Time. This is true, it sometimes takes more time than you think and sometimes less, either to just feel a little better or to accomplish a major goal that you have.  On a day to day level, if I hit a rough spot, my miracle focus was just on feeling a little better. It usually came down to realizing I was safe, and that I had plenty of time.  On a longer scale the miracle came down to things like saving for and planning my trip to Paris, and being fully focused on making sure I could do that because I knew with all my heart that I wanted it.

(Made it to the Palace of Versaille! Here with my sister!)
Focusing on Miracles has returned the momentum to my life. There is nothing worse than feeling stuck, and although focusing on Miracles has not made everything perfect or wonderful every day, it has kept things moving forward. I always knew in an uncomfortable moment that things would shift and evolve and move, and that gave me great stability in the moment.  Focusing on Miracles has allowed me to love the life unfolding before me.
As Martha Beck said, "New Age dabblers insist that if they can just focus their mind on a huge house and a career as a movie star, they’ll “manifest” what they want. These methods try to force reality to cooperate with the small imagination of our personalities. It doesn’t work. A wayfinder’s Imagination doesn’t dominate reality. It feels into Oneness, falls in love with “what wants to happen,” and gives itself to the vision created by that love." 

Some resources I used to inspire me on my 100 days of miracles:
-A Journal to write a few words or a few pages or a few novels of ideas you have each day focused on miracles. Goals, mantras, dreams, anything to keep your creative mind focused on a perspective of Love.
-Meditation. Right now I"m in the midst of 21 days with the Chopra Center (Free of course!) . This is not easy to do every day but I am so glad every time I do it. It's like going to the gym but relaxing... (Same with yoga, but I haven't been as good with that since I've been walking 20 miles a week!)
-These Books:

A Return to Love: Miracles 101, how to change your life by choosing a shift in perspective, and how to receive more eternal love.
Full Catastrophe Living: On audio book it's great for helping you fall asleep!!! Jon Kabat-Zinn has such wonderful examples on how to live in the moment in a real life way.

Finding your Way in a Wild New World: Martha Beck is my idol for life, and this book is hugely delicious and wonderful to me in every way, and I hope to live my life by it.
 Ask and it is Given: A bit on the far end of new-age out there thinking, but I take it with a grain of salt and take the parts that sound good and fun. Abraham Hicks on You Tube has entertained me for hours on end.
Light, Love, and healing always,

The power is YOURS!!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

100 days of Miracles: Mindfulness

Today I had the pleasure of reading a wonderful perspective piece on the 9-5 (actually often times more like 8:30-6)  lifestyle and the ways we consume because of it. Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed For You . This article I think pinpoints a huge issue for me on the fear of wasting my life being a cog in a machine and not completing the work my soul truly desires. Recognizing this fear in such clear terms is the key to my freedom from it.  The article gives a perspective on a man who returned to his conventional engineering job after a year of traveling and living on his own terms.  Because he is mindful of his actions, because he has lived a different perspective, his experience is valid and can help us to see where we are being mindless in our lives and where we can work to improve our meaning and satisfaction.

Hero :Elle Woods
Having been ill for 8 years now, I've had plenty of opportunity to be forced out of a 9-5 work experience. And I have fought it most of the time. My whole life I dreamed of being a cosmopolitan girl, important, informed, receiving income, and making waves in the world. My mom and sister were fabulous role models for me of a woman in the working world. However, I also carried with me a massive anxiety that I could not find some kind of work that would make me feel meaningful in the cosmopolitan world. I'm an artist and philosopher and a dreamer... and cannot, as much as I have tried to force myself to, be a salesman or someone who just follows orders to meet efficient work standards.  I have a tendency to question and test authority (for me it looks like two people working on puzzles together, for the person in authority it looks like insolence and disrespect.) I've had a few jobs that have crushed my soul, and I've had some jobs that I really looked forward going to.
This is what my fear looks like....

 I have some friends who have the job I think would be the dream job who still look at their lives as though they are just stuck in the machine. There are those who work that same job and feel like they are living their purpose in full, meaningful, satisfying bliss.  It's not about the machine, it's about your perspective.

When someone says "It's all about your perspective" though, I don't want that to look like an invitation to hate on yourself, bully yourself, or force yourself to suck it all up and put a smile on your face. My optimism and desire for a positive perspective have literally made strangers so mad at me they yell in my face. And I actually get it now. A shift in perspective is a Miracle. A Miracle is a shift from fear to love. If someone, or you, is stuck in the grind feeling gloomy and uninspired, it doesn't help to just say "buck up, buddy".

A change in perspective requires a shift in the whole mind brain body connection, which is why it is usually really good to go and try something different to get a change in perspective. Mindfulness to seek your joy comes from your personal willingness to find something that feels better.  Sometimes it means leaving that job. Sometimes it means creating a new definition or role for yourself at work. Sometimes you literally can just have a shift in perspective and the same damn thing looks and feels completely different. Don't force yourself to like something you don't like just because you think that makes you a good trooper, your soul will find a way to make that very painful. That's optimism out of fear. What I'm talking about is optimism and a shift of perspective from love. A new perspective will inspire you. "To Inspire" means to breathe life into... to bring to life your own life. Transform from a work zombie to a living, creating, master of your destiny.
 Martha Beck Perspective
Click Here to read Martha Beck's method to finding your Super Power
This can be really frustrating when you are in the thick of it. There are so many times I have just sat there and internally screamed "TELL ME WHAT TO DO!"... some tips for changing your perspective:
-again.. take a nap. sometimes we're tired. getting back for a second into no thinking space will help get you out of your current state of mind. Meditation is more meaningful because it is conscious, mindful perspective shifting, but it is sometimes really hard to do especially when things are really bleak.

me trying to open the door to all the answers....
- go somewhere you've never been before. Take a different route on your way home. Sit in a part of your work place you haven't before. Explore all the streets around your house. You don't need a ticket to Bali to shift your perspective, just the open mindedness to find something new.
- reconnect with something that inspires you. That movie you always go to, that book that takes you away, that game you love to play, right now I'm lost in an art book for world of warcraft, and it's getting the wheels turning!
- exercise. this goes a long with going somewhere new. runners, cyclists, walkers, constantly get new perspectives. if you go to the gym try a new class or a new way of working out. plus the endorphins will make you happy :D  (I can't do a lot of exercise but I walk, even if just around the block, and do yoga stretches every day. )

- be artistic... for me this is hard because I have pressure on me when I draw (from myself) to make it good. So sitting down with crayons or something out of your comfort zone, even legos or lincoln logs or jenga blocks, just to create something new just for the heck of it, can shift your perspective. I can sometimes be in a funk all day and then I cook dinner and chopping the veggies and finding new ways to make my chicken tasty gets me out of the funk.
- do whatever it takes to get some laughter going. Matt and I have found some joy lately in watching Vine compilations, mostly of animals and babies doing funny things.

-do something nice for someone else. Sometimes when we feel needy what cures that right up is to actually give. A little dose of good samaritanism or friendly generosity (no keeping tabs allowed) is an instant way to feel more worthy and more able to inspire change.

I have prayed so many times to be healthy enough to rejoin the work force. I have resisted so many times because I'm afraid to join the workforce. I turned instead to ask to be useful. Every day I ask, how can I be of use today? How can my efforts make things a little better today?  More than just getting a  job, I wish to be useful. To make someone's life better.  That for me feels better than asking for a job to help me pay off my student loans.

I especially love when the author talks about his coffees. The daily latte has been a topic of endless cultural, economical, physiological and psychological study. I think that's because it's a tiny example that is easy to look at in the context of our big, important lives.  I have sometimes spent £4 on a latte just for the purpose of getting me through 15 minutes of an unbearable work environment.  Last night I had a 15p cup of tea while watching the football match and I felt like I was living heaven on earth. It isn't about the price, it is about the mindset, the perspective, the miracle, the perception, the experience. This is where the power comes in. Knowing this, gives you the power to be mindful of your experience. As soon as you are a conscious witness of  your experience, that is where you can begin to see the change. I bring this back to the idea that "no problem can be solved on the level on which it was created.".

It's time for a miracle. A shift in perspective. A perceptual change from fear to love. Through all of this you might decide that you actually do have exactly the job you want. Or you may want a change. Or you may just pick up a new hobby that changes everything, or you may decide to slug it out at work and save up your pennies so you too can live on your own time in Australia for a year. But YOU are in charge, you have the power to make that choice.

(PS all stress comes from being in a mindset not in the present moment: either worried about some imagined future or lamenting a past choice. coming back to the present moment empowers you and eliminates stress.)

I hope today you feel useful, even if for a minute. I hope today you feel alive, I hope for today you can stop in your brain, literally say "slow down", quiet everything, and feel where your meaning wants to take you.

Hakuna Matata.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

100 Days of Miracles Part 2: The Contrast

Since my last post, both hemispheres of my brain have been on fire. I come from a family that has both very strong scientific and artistic thinking traits.  It is so easy, when you start out on a philosophical, psychological, or spiritual path, to dip your toe in and be immediately surrounded by genuine crazy.

 I am a storyteller by nature, and an artist, and a big big thinker. I LOVE SCIENCE and technology gets me viscerally excited, but I am also deeply emotional and spiritual, and moved in ways unexplained by science.
Nothing excites me more than when the two worlds merge, especially when conclusive evidence or information comes to light that really helps people.  In my focusing on 100 days of Miracles, sometimes the experience is spiritual, but mostly it is about psychologically healthy practices like practicing gratitude, choosing a positive response; understanding and recognizing feelings, giving them the space to pass, and focusing attention on things that are more beneficial to moving on.  When Abraham Hicks' lectures inspired me to start this it was more spiritual because there was a greater suspension of disbelief.  Suspension of Disbelief is where you feel comfortable enough in a situation to accept what is being said or presented to you. It's a bit of faith. There are some things in the spiritual world that don't make a whole lot of sense to me, and there are a lot of great big holes in science that leave me seeking elsewhere for answers.  That is one of the interesting things about ME/CFS, being inflicted with this condition/illness/syndrome/disease before anyone in the medical community can definitively say what it is on a biological, physiological scale.
This can make a person feel crazy.

So you turn to spirituality to help you cope, to find acceptance, to find a WAY to be happy when what your life actually is is different from what you want it to be.  I can't tell you how many times I have been in conversations with people and feel like I sound exactly like an AA member. Recovering from ME/CFS requires a lot of the same faith and personal responsibility and self discipline that it takes to get over an addiction.

When you rely on faith for an extended period of time to get you through your daily routine, you get a little lost in the clouds. Sometimes then reading your horoscope goes from being an entertaining way to start the day to making you panic whenever Mercury is in Retrograde.  That's when you need to get a little more grounded, come back to earth, maybe read up on some science or watch some BBC Earth .
I worry sometimes that my enthusiasm for some new age thinkers comes across as being a little out of my mind.

So here are some tips for staying sane when you are between the world of the magical and the world of your physical experience.
1. Humour is Key.  Whenever this stuff gets too serious it's like.. woah... step off. A real sign its getting to weird is if you feel defensive or feel like you have to press your beliefs onto someone. If it feels bad or yucky, then just say "this is bullshit" and find something that makes you feel good.
2. Healthy Skepticism. Don't ever be afraid to question something you hear. Again, you'll know if it rings true to you based on how it makes you feel. If you feel better hearing that your auntie Margie is an angel that watches over you then why not believe it!? It doesn't hurt anyone. If you hear auntie Margie is watching over you and you feel haunted, let it go! Forget about that idea!  Test every spiritual idea/practice and see what it does for you. Results will prove if it is worth keeping around in your life.
3. Find people like you that inspire you AND bring you back to earth.  There are tons of modern physicians who have had their own spiritual experiences that have shaped their practices. I'm enjoying Lissa Rankin MD's story at the moment, and if you haven't watched neuro scientist Jill Bolte Taylor's Stroke of Insight yet, get to it! These are rational, science minded individuals who have first hand experiences not explained by their education and practice.
4. Be Inspired. The Journey, and spiritual practice in general, should be inspiring. Great art comes from a desire to explain our human experience, and to answer our great big questions.   So put on an episode of The Cosmos or look at some moving art.
“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.”
— Vincent Van Gogh

5. Feel the love and share it. The whole point of everything is to help you feel better and share the love. There are people who just won't get it. Don't let them rain on your parade. Find people who do and revel in it with them.  Remember, "those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."

Alex Howard posted a real thought provoking link this week, an article written on genuine spirituality vs. pseudo materialistic spirituality. You can read it here. Is Your Spirituality Bullshit . This raised a lot of points for me, being a California yoga-mat carrying, casual meditator, seeker of the soul.  But the point is to find the genuine points in your beliefs that make the world a better place, versus trying to portray an idea of something that attracts materialism or superficial gains through your practice (one reason with The Secret seriously gets on my nerves!).
I also saw a science page post a quippy article on ideas Scientists are tired of people misusing, included in there was their understanding of quantum mechanics. (The idea as far as I understand it is that a quantum particle's movements/reactions change upon being simply observed). The Secret (grrr!) uses this "scientific evidence" to prove that our intention on things causes thought to manifest in physical form. This is a gross misuse of the science, but I also wonder if the article squashes the dreamers who do further research to see how these things affect the way we life and interact with the forces of the universe.

A lovely contrast observation to this is in the movie I Am by director (of Ace Ventura, Patch Adams, Bruce Almighty) Tom Shadyac who suffers from Post Concussion Syndrome. The exploration of HeartMath is really interesting to me! (How our body gives off  waves of emotional information/wavelengths/ impulses that effect organisms around us)
Intention is one of my absolutely favorite things. The Law of Attraction has me so bothered I want to run up a tree.  It is a very common psychological practice and even a creative practice to know that what we think about we see more of. You wake up in the morning thinking "Red", you're going to see a lot of red. You're writing a book on dragons, you're going to find a lot of material on dragons.  It's a very simple concept that makes use of our very selective, focused, organized information brain.  It's the same way we find our fav shampoo in a sea of hundreds of brands at Target (as described by Malcolm Gladwell).  So think of ways to be healthy, and you'll find more recipes, processes, methods, and people that support your wanting to be healthy. The brain doesn't think in negatives so if you just keep thinking I don't want to be fat the brain keeps thinking fat fat fat.   That's why the "law of attraction" claims that what you think about manifests, because to our observing brain, it does. So take this very common neuropsychological concept and simply intend your thoughts towards healthier, happier ideas.
One of the most helpful things I have learned over the last couple of weeks is this.
When you feel out of vibration, knocked out of whack, feeling crappy and moody and uninspired, here is how you get out of it.
You first acknowledge it. "I feel like crap."
Then you accept it instead of fighting it. "I feel like crap. And that's OK."
Then you just focus on the OK part. "I am OK."
Then you imagine you could possibly feel a little better. "I'm open to feeling a little better." If this feels false then spend more time being just OK.
Then you feel a little better. Then you feel a little more better. Then you feel good. Then you feel a lot better, then things are going well for you. Things go well for you for a while and you have so much energy you are ready to tackle more puzzles.
 So. Love the science. Love the spirituality. Love none of it or all of it. The point is find whatever it is that makes you happier. I have stopped focusing on the science of ME/CFS since the XMRV research/hype/dissolution.  Easing specific symptoms is a good idea if you have a good way to go about it. The OHC has the best program for me because it is about nutrition and stress reduction, coping and getting to OK so we can launch forward the way we know is best for ourselves.
If you get overwhelmed, ungrounded, or lost in existentialism, just let it all go and do something else for a while.

Feel better, find your bliss, and Namaste, in the most genuine, California yoga yuppie loving way I can.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

100 days of Miracles Part 1

For the last 23 days my life has been completely devoted to Miracles.  After the rough road of recovering after my last journey outside my boundaries I was feeling really down, really dark, really desperate. I just KNEW there was another way and I didn't know how to get to it.  If you're actively partaking in the clinic (or other readers, you are on your own journey of healing and self discovery), you have read most or all of the books on the suggested reading list like I have. I have completely loved and resonated with the work of Byron Katie, Eckhart Tolle, Wayne Dyer, etc , and have studied the work of the Dalai Lama for 10 years. I have seen glimpses of "The Way", the FLOW, where you feel like you're moving effortlessly down the stream of life, but through this illness everything has felt so WRONG I kept thinking I needed a miracle to knock me on my head before I actually GOT it.  So I get glimpses of this joy every time I emerge into a course (likeAwakening Joy or a psychology course), but not until devoting myself to this 100 days of Miracles have I been able to hold on to the flow in a consistent, more reliable way.
On a dark day a friend suggested I re-watch Finding Joe (I'm a huge fan of the work of Joseph Campbell and the Hero's Journey, which we are all on) (it's available in a bunch of places free online too) and instead I came across Abraham Hicks. I have watched an Abraham Hicks video before and thought it was neat but a little bit to out there for me. (it is not for everyone. but it is so fun to me right now.) This time though, which ever video I first clicked on really resonated with me and I went on an Abraham Hicks binge. That's where I came up with the idea to be extremely intent on finding joy and miracles in my life.
(Here is one that is concise and clear about most of the message, to follow your intuition and your joy)
My biggest worry at the time was to find a job. When I started my first day of Miracle watching I found online that the job I applied for last year that I really wanted was suddenly available again.  I got two interviews over the course of a week and really thought I would get it. I didn't get the job. Then Abraham Hicks video said to me "when you don't get what you think you want, you're getting ready to receive what you REALLY want." Two days later I got a freelance job that pays A LOT more, was work that was easy and enjoyable, part time, working in my pajamas, and I didn't even have to interview. It was a completely seamless process, the job pretty much just dropped in my lap.

That's just an example of what has manifested for me so far. Personal Miracles are sort of like dreams. They are so vivid and clear to you but when you try to explain them to other people they just sound weird.
So this is the process. I have a journal which I write in every day now writing down everything that feels like an aha moment, a synchronicity, or something that excites me and screams "YES" to me. Anything that says "HELL YES" to me, I write it down.
 I focus on a mantra or affirmation, and feel the feeling of it. Not just gritting my teeth and saying it.  Because watching the videos got me in a really good feeling state (the healing state), whenever I am out of the healing state I realize I just have to jump back into it. I used to think I had to FIX whatever was wrong before I got back into the healing state.

Now all I have to do is take a nap if I'm really overwhelmed, or do a meditation or visualization of how it would feel if I had everything I wanted.
For example, most people want to win the lottery. I imagine what I would get from winning the lottery.
I say to myself, here I am, lying in bed, with my eyes closed. I could be a billionare right now and I'd still be here in my head cause my eyes are closed. How does it feel knowing I have a billion dollars? I feel powerful, I feel like I can do anything, I feel respected and worthy, I feel like I can make a difference in the world, I feel happy and elated that I can share so much more with my friends and family, I feel like I'm a real creator, I can vote with my money and make a difference. I can do whatever I want tomorrow. I am secure, I am safe, all my needs are taken care of. Then going like that and visualising it I can FEEL all those feelings of happiness and security. That's how I know I'm in the flow. Then it is so much easier to see all the things going RIGHT in my life. The idea is to focus on feeling right. You are having a bad day with tiredness or symptoms, focus on the thing that is going right. "My kitty is so loving and playful, how fun to watch her. This is my favorite TV show I love these funny characters. My favorite blanket is always here right beside me.  Thank goodness for all these flavors of herbal tea to keep me satisfied."  OR remember a time in your life where a miracle happened. Where synchronicity flowed and everything worked. Keep telling that story. Stop telling stories about things you don't want. "It's not what you hate that makes you an interesting person, but what you love..."

It can be so frustrating when ill, feeling like you should be somewhere else doing something else. I want to tell you you are exactly where you are meant to be. That is what I
meant in the post about "Amore Fati", love thy fate. Once you stop thinking your life is wrong you can feel the rightness of it and follow the rightness to the other side.  For me, focusing on the story of how I met Matt and how I came to suddenly be on the other side of the world with the love of my life when 4 years ago I was pretty certain I would remain a celibate hermit for the rest of my life because I didn't think anyone would ever relate to me and be able to love me is proof that you don't have to personally craft the most amazing miracles in your life. You just have to be open to the idea that wonderful, beautiful things want to happen for you every day.
Expect Miracles.

I have certainly had times during these last 23 days where I can feel myself out of it. I'm feeling negative and overwhelmed and out of it.  But because I am so focused on having  a miraculous experience, I simply can remove myself from a situation (go to a different room, take a nap, go for a little walk), and not try to FIX anything, just look at anything to get me excited about life again. There is so much fun to be had. Focus on your fun!

(Here is another exercise I do. I imagine walking into the nicest hotel I can imagine and checking in at the counter. The consierge says "Oh we've been expecting you! Have a seat by the beach in your fully stocked luxury cabana. Have a nice rest. The Universe is currently organizing everything to work out for you and will be ready for you soon. Enjoy."  I love this exercise because it FEELS TRUE, and feels lux and fantastic.)

Simultaneously I've been reading,"Finding your Way in a Wild New World". If I could buy a copy for every single one of you I would.  I'm already making a list of people to send this to as soon as I can.  Martha Beck has always been a radiant beam of inspiration for me, and this book describes all of us on this journey together to a T! Her biggest point is that the way of the modern world is going to just shrivel up. Too many people are breaking their lives over working 9-5 jobs that do not fulfill their souls work. Through that people are getting lost as to why they are here. This book is so uplifting and amazing, and I hope you all get to read it. It speaks so much truth and helps you find the path that is lit up by your joy.  I mean, I have about ten million other book recommendations too if you want them, but for right now this one is so ON. And every lesson has just so happened to line up with whatever Abraham Hicks videos I've watched that day.
actually the first part was Ralph Waldo Emerson.. but.. ok Internet...
I hope over the next 76 days I have more miraculous stories that show you proof that focusing on joy and miracles works. It works because I feel SO MUCH BETTER, physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, but it works on larger, more material levels too. More to share as things unfold.
 Miracles. Miracles are a NATURAL part of life. They happen every day. Start noticing them :)

"Whether or not this is true, Believing in miracles, ESP, synchronicities, time travel, and the ghost of Julia Child have made my life infinitely more interesting." Martha Beck

PS 2... I have not lost my rational, scientific mind. I have just decided to believe in the stories that give me joy more than the stories that give me pain.

SLOW DOWN this jem from Eat Pray Love author Elizabeth Gilbert

Friday, May 23, 2014

Fairy Magic Healing!

My latest, inspired by Zelda's Fairy Fountains in Hyrule!

You can purchase this or my Loch Ness as a printed greeting card on my new space on Red Bubble!

Click Here to go to JennySRP's store

Friday, May 16, 2014

Epic Fail = Lesson Learned

So for the last couple of weeks I have been very excited about a 5 day job opportunity to work at a local event. The hours were going to be long but I knew it was temporary and that I could push through, show my strength, make a chunk of cash, and have a reference and know I was strong enough to get a real big girl job when it was all done.
Well, that didn't work.

I worked one day, it was a 12 hour day on my feet serving cake and coffee, and I felt mostly fine while doing it even though I only got a 20 minute break. I was so proud of myself, feeling like I could really do this!! Then quitting time came and I walked home, and the pain started. Every muscle fiber in my body caught on fire and I felt like my tendons were ripping from the bones. I sat down every few feet because I felt I might herniate.  I cried in the park knowing there was no way I would be going back to the job tomorrow.  My boyfriend had been so proud that I had taken this job on and now I knew I had to let him down, as well as the people I was working with.  I got home and couldn't move. I have never been in so much pain in my entire life.  I went to bed and slept for 20 hours.

My bladder burned, my head was so foggy I could not think, and I could not keep my eyes open.  I've had a fever since I left the show grounds. Two days later I am less sore, thank goodness, but dizzy, having stomach problems, a lower fever, and without any strength.  I'll manage to stay awake longer today and will see the doctor either today or Monday to get a sick note.
My employers were of course very unsupportive. When I told them I couldn't come back they shamed and guilted me in every way they knew how and I stuck to my guns and knew there was no way I could give them what they wanted.  They have threatened even to charge me, but they can't because I literally spent my last few pounds purchasing uniform for the job.
I was so proud and excited to work this job I had Matt take photos of me like a first day of school photo in my uniform.

I prepped for two weeks getting up early and staying awake all day.
It wasn't meant to be.  Even though I'm in the reintegration period, working 50 hours in 5 days was not bouncing the boundaries, it was signing up for failure and relapse.

Reintegration means getting back into things slowly.  (I've been in reintegration for a little more than a year now, having worked a part time job and being more physically active this year). My biggest blind spot was that I was (am) desperate for money and desperate to get back into the real world.  The company was extremely vague and not very communicative about the nature of the work so I literally did not know what I would be doing until I arrived. I also had to stand all day without any of my belongings, without my water, pills, almonds, nothing to support me at all.    I needed much more information about the job before I started, but I was going too much on blind faith. I have been praying for the right job for a couple months now and thought this would be perfect, being part of a community event and getting a good chunk of money for a short time.
Oh well, we live and we learn. Hopefully I'll recover from this set back soon and know how to move on. I've been reviewing the different kinds of financial support from the Secrets to Recovery site and might try to get a supplement while I find a part time job.  I just know I'll find the right thing eventually but this year has been exactly the opposite of how I envisioned it.  I thought I would find my perfect job quickly and suddenly everything would all fall into place. I guess it all has to break apart first.
In between sleeping I would wake up sobbing. I felt like such a failure. I felt like I'd let the entire universe down. I felt so worthless. I was certain Matt was envisioning our future crumble before his very eyes. None of this was true. I listened to some Secrets calls and remembered I am not insane and I am not crazy and I will find a way to wind through this wild and crazy world.  I just have to be patient. And I have to be realistic. And I have to ask questions and stick up for myself.

 People can be real ass holes. There will be people who don't have an ounce of compassion in them. Then there are beautiful souls who look at you and say "oh yes, hello there, fellow traveler." Don't waste any time on the assholes. I was surrounded by people who made my existence feel miserable and tried to convince myself I just had to buck up and get through it. NO. Surround yourself with the people who light up your life. If you interview for a job or sit in front of a doctor who makes you feel like a piece of crap, move on honey, there is a brilliant soul out there waiting to meet you. If you, my fellow warrior, ever come across an asshole who is trying to pressure you into being or doing something you can't or don't want to do, PLEASE say to yourself, well that Jenny girl who blogs loves me and would totally stick up for me right now!!! Because I would.  And you are loved.