A Beautiful Day in Tacoma.

11140333_10153269642290833_1399572956045708510_nSuch a beautiful day in Tacoma. Met up with a friend after work & we walked the Tacoma Narrows Bridge – I was in such a good mood today, I think it just radiated to the outside world. During work, a co-worker & I spent our breaks & lunch walking the Thea Foss Way bridge in Tacoma & we were saying hi to everyone that passed by. Then on my walk across the Narrows Bridge we were saying Hi to every one, we had a couple cars honk & wave at us. Then we went to Boathouse 19 for happy hour & idk man, in the parking lot a little boy waved at me while I drove past him. Then inside, another little toddler was staring at me & giggling. I like when I’m in the extroverted mood that just attracts happiness from everyone else. Sometimes the introvert inside of me tends to keep my eyes towards the ground or avoid eye contact with people. But it’s much more fun when you’re interacting with strangers in a positive way like that. Reminds me of how my soul sister Shrylle is ALL OF THE TIME, that is something I cherish about her & wish I was around more. And hanging out with BP is always a good time.

We ate on the waterfront & walked out on the pier afterwards. It was the perfect way to wrap up my big 1 year anniversary of moving here & starting my new job. It doesn’t even feel like a year, maybe that’s because it didn’t even snow this winter. (WOOH!) So my brain hasn’t fully comprehended that it’s been a full calendar year of all four seasons. I’m much excite for the summer. American Lake is only a mile away from where I live, so I’ll be back on the beach a lot like I was last year. And going on walks is much more pleasurable, especially now when it’s sunny & only 70 degrees ish. BP, Ashlee & I are going hiking this Sunday. I don’t think I’ll manage to keep up with hiking when it gets into the 80s because it’s like 10 degrees hotter in the forest but I’m so happy & so proud of myself for getting out there & exploring all this beautiful nature Washington has to offer. I’ve had so many people tell me that I’ve done more in the past year than they have in the numerous years that they’ve lived in Washington. I love that. I love that I have that kind of flexibility with my work schedule as far as not working weekends. And even though every pay-day I contemplate getting a 2nd part-time job so I’m not so fucking poor, it’s worth it.

May 2nd, 2014- I drove in to Tacoma for the first time. On May 5th, 2014- I started my new job at the corporate headquarters. And on May 7, 2015 … Just a couple of days ago, I took a huge step towards becoming an adult… I made my first payment towards my student loans!

I’m on the up & up from here.

It’s been an entire year since I’ve been home & with Mother’s Day & my mom’s birthday within 10 days of each other, I figured I should make the trip back home. So, next weekend I’ll be in Indiana for a couple days. I’m like all of the emotions packed in to one. I’m nervous to fly for the first time, I’m excited to see all of my friends, I’m sad because last week my best friend’s mom’s best friend passed away but I’m also grateful that I’ll be able to offer some comfort & hopefully some good laughs when I get home to those hurting the most. I’m going to miss my cats 😦 But I’ve very excited to see my familia both i immediate & extended, both biological & my God given family. And see all the things that have changed back home & I’m also nervous to see all of the things I left back home. UGH & I can not wait to see all of my friends, which were definitely the hardest to leave. I don’t understand why they haven’t just moved out here with me, I think I’ve done my job of proving it’s awesome. Ever since I booked my plane ticket I’ve been rolling through all of these emotions. But now, with only 7 more days to go, I’m pumped.

Every one here in Washington always ask me if I ever think I’ll want to move back to Indiana… My answer… Fuck no. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard to go home & see 25 years of comfort & friends & family right at your fingertips & have to leave them again. But I’m pretty much rocking this whole Washington thing, so they’ll just have to hide in my luggage or something.

I’m also super excited to go to my church, which is why I made sure I was flying back on a Monday. I think I’ll explode with happiness, no matter what the sermon is about. That’s another huge comfort that I am currently living without, not that I’m not going to church or worshiping God but I haven’t found MY church yet, my church is very much still in Indiana but I know God will show me the way. Maybe I should ask someone there if they have any recommendations for churches in Washington. I was reading a post on the church’s Instagram that our lead pastor had a mild stroke while leading a tour of the early days of the New Testament Church (he was in the Vatican in Italy, of all places). An update now states that all is clear & he’s doing fine, they are just waiting on another test since he is still having issues with seeing double.

In the update on their blog, the Executive Pastor wrote, “Dr. Tom Morton- a GCC founding member who is also with Mark in Italy, has 25 years of vision rehab exactly of this nature. God is good. He’s been watching over Mark every step of this unforeseen journey.”

I’m not the perfect Christian, I certainly haven’t always been this invested in my relationship with God, I honestly haven’t even read the whole bible. But now, when I read things like this, when I see tremendous amounts of hope in the face of tragedy, I get choked up & I know it is the Holy Spirit speaking to my heart. I can’t help but to feel an overwhelming happiness & relief to see the bigger picture in full effect. It’s beautiful & not a coincidence. It’s a great reminder that we are serving a higher purpose and that all of our suffering is pale in comparison to what God has waiting for us.

1 John 5:13: “These things I’ve written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God in order that you may know that you have eternal life.”

God put Dr. Morton on that trip with our pastor so that there would be no doubt, in anyone minds, that God is real, God is good. And being able to see his saving grace in the face of tragedy is true peace & confidence that he is amongst us at all times.

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You Can’t Heal a Body You Hate

I haven’t done a very good job of keeping up with this blog but with the realization that I am human, I’m not going to apologize to anyone but myself. And it’s funny because my last post was all about positivity & how a negative mind won’t get you anywhere. It’s as if, as soon as I wrote that -Poof- my ability to see the bright side of the story disappeared.

The week that I wrote my last post, I was sick. Little did I know I would be embarking on 4 months of cycling through bi weekly sicknesses. But November was the worst, I had strep. Since I have had my tonsils removed I didn’t even think it could be strep, so I self treated what I thought was the flu. My lymph nodes were the size of ping pong balls, I had a fever, sweating with the chills, no voice & I’m pretty sure I worked through most of it, sipping on green tea & choking on cough drops. Towards the end of my bought of strep, I finally went to the Care Clinic. Not for my strep though, instead I went for this rash that had broken out on my check & abdomen. I was given some basic steroid cream & made an appointment with a dermatologist.

I was diagnosed with Guttate Psoriasis.

Psoriasis is not contagious but it is genetic, it is incurable, there are several different types of psoriasis, all of them are considered disorders in the immune system & a detrimental blow to your self esteem. As in all cases, it could be worse. Guttate Psoriasis is specific to having strep throat, usually the break out only happens once & goes away within a few weeks or months of the out break – or so the pamphlets say because as of right now, that’s not the case.

The break out was the worst on my chest & probably what I’m the most self conscious about, not that many people are seeing my chest. It was also on my legs, mostly around my ankles, on my back, the trunk of my body, a little on my face & horrifyingly enough, even more embarrassing the the break out on my chest, it was on my scalp. Which of course caused the worst dandruff I’ve ever had in my life, which only got worse when I tried to use T-gel.

I’m currently using steroid cream- Clobestasol Propionate Cream, USP 0.05% on my chest, the doctor told me due to the severity of the psoriasis on my chest, it may not be guttate but instead the forever psoriasis that can only be managed, not cured. The cream does pretty well at managing but if I take the recommended 2 weeks off from the cream, it comes back with a vengeance. I also use a Clobestasol Propoinate solution on my scalp & God Bless, that shit works like a dream. Usually I can do about two or three treatments & won’t have to worry about it for a couple weeks.

For the rest of my body, I was going through UVB light treatments at but after some faulty customer service & a lack of change during the past 3 months of treatment, I’m exploring some new options. Although there has been some significant changes during that time. It’s no longer on my ankles or legs, the trunk of my body is manageable as long as I keep my skin moisturized, Epsom salt baths, sugar scrubs but it’s still there.

When I found out I had psoriasis, I let it get to me. Mentally, emotionally, physically I expressed to the universe that I hated my body, through the shame I felt towards my body. My thoughts were 100% negative, I said some really hateful things towards myself that I would never say to anyone else. I quit working out, I completely let my desire to learn yoga slip right out the door, I was consumed by my lack of energy & enthusiasm. I worked really hard to accept the fact that I’m plus size & suddenly, I found myself comparing not my weight but my skin to other people, like I traded one vice for another.

The thing about having strep throat & psoriasis is my immune system was weakened by the untreated strep throat- this gave the psoriasis an opportunity to attack my immune system. I used my weak immune system to slow down, to sleep in, to revert back to the negative thinking, low self esteem, angry person I’ve spent so much time healing. And I think that’s what I’m the most ashamed of. I’m not ashamed of my body, I’m not ashamed of my psoriasis. I am ashamed that I did exactly what I berate many other people for, I became the victim of my circumstance.

It’s comfortable to give in to your circumstances. It’s comforting to succumb to fear when uncontrollable circumstances are presented to you. It’s comforting to wallow, when the alternative is to recognize that you are an all time consuming project & positivity & your faith, your spirituality requires all your effort, your thoughts, your beliefs. It is the ultimate comfort to let depression wrap you in its warm embrace & hold you right before the line you cross when you decide to push past the unknown. The peaks & valleys of depression give me a chance to reflect on what made the peaks so great & it’s always the choice to love. So, again, I choose to love, to be mindful of my love, for my entire being.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. John 4:18