My simple wish

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Over the years my blog has evolved from a place to share farm updates, to a place to share stories about my daily life, recipes, and, animals, into a place where I share more of me than I ever imagined I would. As much as sometimes I've wondered about that, I realize how connected I feel with some of my favorite bloggers because they do give their readership a much more open and personal view into their lives, and, struggles. It's good and bad, and always from the heart. I do however also adore a few favorite blogs that share only animal pictures or stories, or recipes, and are less about the bloggers personally. Either way however, It's their lives you are peaking into, but only one small piece of it. 

A lot of things make us up as individuals, so many things. And for a long time, until recently, my health has not been something I have spoken about in detail on the blog for many reasons. But of course over the past several months I have opened up and shared, and been in most ways quite honest about what I am dealing with. I haven't shared a lot of the more intimate details, but I have shared more than I expected to... As I've said before, I struggled with that decision, if it was right. I feel now that with my blogging, this is the type of blogger I want to be. The type who shares. Of course, not sharing everything but things that matter, and this really matters. And while I appreciate more than I can ever express the support I have received from all of you, and the love, and it's helped me through the past months a great deal, I also want people who are suffering from chronic pain and chronic illness to know, they are not alone. I have realized with this disease that so many people suffer with things that often times we cannot see by looking at them, and it requires a great deal of strength to live with these illnesses, with pain that never gets better... with Doctors who just can't seem to help, or multiple drug trials and surgeries and hopes that always seem to fade away... It takes a toll that I am very grateful not every person is required to pay in their lives. But for the people whom are required to pay it, while they might not realize it, they are a special kind of strong. 

My youth has been consumed by this disease, endometriosis. I spent my entire youth recovering from surgeries and struggling with pain. Sure I've had relief at brief times, be it from surgery or medications, but not the kind of relief of being pain free, healthy, well... And it's been hard. It's not only hard on me, but hard on my husband, hard on my dreams and goals, hard on my spirits ability to shine. There is no cure, and while I have great faith that this surgery is going to give me total or a huge amount of pain relief, this will always be a part of me. It's changed me in so many ways and there have been times when I have reflected and thought that I have only been changed in negative ways. But that's not true, it's just hard to see the positive ways when you are struggling in the dark, looking for stars through cloudy skies. But just as with the stars, even when it's cloudy outside and we can't see them - they are still there, shining brightly behind those clouds. They are never gone. They never go out.

So please, every single one of you, no matter what struggle you are facing in your lives right now, be it a physical one, an emotional one, a mental one...a long term one, or temporary,  don't give up. Remember that each new day is not a new day of struggle, it's a new day to be reminded that there is always hope, and you are stronger than you think in the end, no matter how weak you may feel.

That is my Birthday wish for each of you.

As Pooh said, "you are stronger than you think, and braver than you believe." How could a bear who loves honey not be right? Seriously, we all know he is in our hearts.


Anonymous said…
I hope that you have a happy birthday, even with recovering from your surgery.
Even though I don't know you very well this post strikes me as very you. As much pain and hardship as you have are worried about us.

Happy Birthday again and hope you get to bake that easy cake and eat all you want.
Nana-Bob said…
Happy, Happy Birthday to you! :) I struggle with Rheumatoid Arthritis every day but try to just look for the good things in life. I swim almost everyday and that helps. :)
Denise in PA said…
Happy Birthday, Donna! I hope that this year is one of complete recovery for you and next year this time you are pain free! Thank you for sharing - it allows us the chance to pray for you and send healing wishes your way. I was delighted to hear about your hay situation! No, go have cake - oh, and maybe some wine! o:)
I am glad that you chose to open up and share more about your story here on your blog. It is such a big part of who you are and it really is so inspirational to see all you have overcome and all you continue to do in spite of your pain. I think the real magic and healing happens when people are vulnerable and share their struggles with others because you never know how many people may be going through something similar and are encouraged by your bravery and optimism. Keep it up, friend!

And I wish you the happiest of birthdays! :)
Mary Ann said…
Donna, what a wonderful post for all of us. Thank you... and many, many HAPPY returns of the day!
jaz@octoberfarm said…
Happy Birthday!!! i hope you have a wonderful one! you sure deserve it!
Dee said…
Happy Birthday and may the next one be pain free and so much better!
Edgar said…
Brava - well put!!!! Happy Birthday!!
Lana88 said…
Happiest of birthdays to one of the sweetest blogger friends I know!! You are a real gem. :)
First, happy birthday. This year is going to be your best year yet.
Second, you are absolutely right. Some people overshare or treat their blog like a diary. Some things maybe should stay private, especially when they involve others. But sharing your struggles, with the farm and your health, can inspire others. I am so much a city girl it's not even funny. But I'm hoping for a little 20 acre farm in Georgia, partly inspired by you. If I do get goats, it will certainly be because of you.
And letting people know they aren't alone is very important. You are exactly right that there are so many diseases that don't have visible symptoms. People seem to think that if *they* can't see scars or hair loss from chemo, then your disease is less than. People who suffer from mental illnesses deal with this all the time.
Understanding that people are dealing with things that I can't see or don't get makes me more compassionate to others. We have no idea what others are going through. And we can't tell from looking at someone if they are sick.
As I recover slowly from depression, I try to remember that everyone around me might be going through something too. That makes me treat people with more compassion. I am more peaceful and happier and maybe someone else's day was made because of stranger's smile.

Again, happy birthday. Celebrate quietly for now, but know that someday soon, you'll be starting a brand new life.
Dreaming said…
Well said! What a wonderful post, straight from the heart, and so important for so many to read.
Happy healing...
Happy Birthday!
Happy Happy Birthday!! Beautiful post. :)
Jocelyn said…
Happy Birthday to you! The next one will be better, you wait and see. Take care of yourself!
Melissa said…
Happy birthday. I hope you are fully recovered soon. You know, I only follow three blogs regularly - my husband's blog, Octoberfarm, and yours. I find many times that I start reading a blog and subscribe to the feed, emails, etc, and then lose interest because there is no real connection to it. I've consumed all of the information I could glean from it, so there's no point in sticking around. Yours (like Octoberfarm) is different. I think I'll hang around a long while. Thanks for sharing your life with us.

Melissa Gilbert
Dewena Callis said…
Happy Birthday, dear friend! And thank you for your birthday wish for all of us. You can't begin to know how much it helped me. I have been away from the computer awhile just focusing on some health problems that rose up to get my attention and so I had to scroll down through your posts that I have missed to catch up not only on how you are doing but how all those sweet faces are doing.

You just keep on taking care of yourself. It will all come in due time. I'm telling myself that too, Donna.
Buttons said…
Oh I have just read every post from the one where Norman was recovering. I like your blog and I write a very personal blog too and have a chronic pain illness so we seem to have a lot in common. Thank you for commenting on my blog so I could find you. Happy Birthday I hope you and Norman both do well since I have read your lasted update I can see there is much progress. Take care. B

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