In the News with...PEARL by AlexaArt!!!
This is a story of struggle, a story of pain, courage and strength of character, of bravery, faith & love...this is M's journey...please send her prayers and love & light for a peaceful recovery. Dear God, Thank you for the surgeons, doctors and nurses that have cared for Mallory.. Bless the work of their hands and lead them as they give out to those in need.
I don't need a name attached to my story, even though this one is mine to tell. The one thing I have learned is that I am not alone and there are others who have walked in my shoes, or perhaps, mine in theirs. I am no stranger to fear, pain and shame. I have been to that place that I thought I couldn't dig myself out of. That place seemed to be so much more forgiving than the world I thought I knew. When I got to that point, that point that so few recover from, I knew I was ready... to live.
In 2004, I was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor called a Meningioma. The tumor was located at the base of the skull pushing on my right optic nerve, right auditory nerve, pituitary gland and brain stem. It changed my life. I had surgery. Afterwards, I had no movement in my right eye for about 6 months and was deaf in my right ear for 3. I would constantly lose my balance, I couldn't drive, my eyes weren't aligned so I couldn't read. My short term memory was completely shot. Still till this day I will get half way through a book and realize I read it. I have a hard time retaining the information I read. I could go on, but this is not what the story is about. In the end, I started self medicating.
Alcohol is where I found refuge from my anxiety, my fear and my pain. A decade later I went to rehab. In those 10 years I had gotten married, gotten divorced and lost a lot of my close friends. Believe me, I know how fortunate I am to have the people in my life that I do. Almost 9 years ago, I found a man who wanted to take on the world with me. He is my Savior, my Hero, my Husband.
4 weeks in rehab. I worked so hard to accept my life, health, my choices and my shame. I started to understand and confront myself. I went there; by there I went to places with in myself I didn't want to go. I knew I had to be brutally true and raw with myself. I learned and experienced a lot. I didn't make it 3 weeks before I was drunk again, and 8 weeks till I found myself in rehab again. I left and went straight into sober living. It was there that I found another tumor.
I had a benign Lipoma removed from my right knee, 6 months later another one from my right shoulder, then 7 months later another from my left arm. 3 surgeries. 3 rounds of narcotic pain meds. I felt it. It took everything in my to keep from hiding a pill or two for later. I didn't. Still Sober.
Almost 20 months sober, I started with the migraines. I wasn't able to find my words, it was hard to even put a sentence together. Completely lethargic, I couldn't make myself food even though I was starving. Between the pain, being disoriented and guilt from not pulling my weight, those creepy feelings started coming back.
Almost 22 months sober and another surgery. The residual tumor in my brain has grown. It is putting pressure on my brain stem. I'm tired. 2 trips to rehab, 4 surgeries and now on the eve of another, I find myself anxious. With what I have been through, I am starting to feel a bit brave. It's true that you don't know how strong you are or how capable, until you go there. When I refer "there", it's somewhere where you haven't been before.
I have accepted everything; who I am, who I was, and now I can see how strong and brave I really am without actually knowing. One does not simply become a bad ass overnight. One does not become a survivor with out giving more of yourself than when you have nothing left to give. I am sober. I am a bad ass. I am a survivor. All I ask is that you turn around, hold out your hand and help another survivor up.