"Live life on purpose ~ not by accident" ~ Alicia

"When it hurts to look back, and you're scared to look ahead, you can look beside you and your best friend will be there."
-- Author Unknown

"A laugh is a smile that bursts.” ~ Mary H. Waldrip

"Set your goals high and don't be deterred by those who say it is impossible." ~ Steve Fossett

"Our Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless."
Jamie Paolinetti

"A day without laughter ~ is a day wasted"
Charlie Chaplin

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
— Martin Luther King Jr.

"Gratitude is an inner smile shared" ~ Alicia

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Prisoner in my own Body ©

How do you become a prisoner in your own body? I am not sure how it happened, but it did. Over time my life as I knew it was slipping away from me And was becoming smaller and smaller. My mind had so much on it ~ so many plans, dreams, goals But my body was struggling to keep up. Even when I was doing my old regular workouts, years ago... My sentence began ~ it was like I was on house arrest. I was so ambitious and took on great careers that were taxing Physically and mentally ~ but I could handle it, for a while ~ If I pushed. Loving my family and my career has always been a balance ~ Constantly striving to learn more and better myself ~ but this sentence was nagging at me, slowing me down. Sometimes stopping me. At first, I would just give up working out ~ then I realized I had to do that to stay well. Parts of my workout ended ~ riding my bike. New ones started. Yoga. Then I had to give up getting up to see my kids off in the morning. This is probrably The strongest sentence the judge has given me. I still can’t forgive myself for that. I enjoyed getting up and making my kids healthy breakfasts everyday ~ Walking or driving them to school. I haven’t been able to that for 7 years. I am embarrased about that. My kids say it’s ok Mom. I handled soccer ok ~ but sometimes I’d have to leave if it got too hot Or if I was too tired. I pushed the judge to go to every game...and there were a lot of them ;) A lot of JOY. Handling my careers ~ I just had to, I was a mom, a provider ~ a tough cookie. I started to not be able to lift my bags ~ my hand was breaking ~ The sentence was stiffening. Then my shoulder - oh my shoulder - I worked on that thing - I yoga’d, pt’d, taped it - To no avail. Took time off of work - and they forced me out - my sentence began. And my shoulder was torn open ~ revealed...but not to the right eyes. My sentence was stiff, tough and painful. Nearly solitary ~ but with visitors. I couldn’t move much. Aha ~ but my brain still works just fine...and NOTHING will stop it. I will re-train, re-Group, re-focus and start a business ~ become a Life Coach! I sure did. Through the pain, the tears, the sling, the tape ~ I became a Certified Life Coach and started my own business. I thought everything would be fine ~ but I couldn’t recover ~ my sentence extended. My mind kept racing, working ~ trying to support my family. Nine months before I could do a full yoga class, but then I could do plank again! I was back. There was opportunity. It was just my shoulder, I mean...that was it...right? Another great opportunity - working everyday ~ coaching hundreds of people, wonderful people - and also developing my Teens Coaching program. I felt great. Or did I. The sentence was lurking behind me...now I felt the handcuffs on each joint ~ It ravaged me. Everyday I worked - my sentence got worse. My career was harder ~ The sentence became solitary. Until one day ~ my Doctor said ~” if you keep working ~ you will do more damage to your body. You can’t work ~ it is not healthy for you.” Day One of Hell. My second career lost ~ but they will be understanding. I am sick. Nope. Replaced. During this time of my sentence ~ all I wanted was the truth ~ The old saying is the truth shall set you free. For me, I needed answers. I needed Doctors that knew, that cared, that searched for what was wrong. I found him. I found them ~ in Boston. Freedom! I am free of my sentence of indeciveness! I have Rheumatoid Arthritis. Whoa. Ok. That sucks. I mean, for real ~ read about it. It ain’t a nice disease. But, I am taking off the cuffs. Am I still a prisoner in my own body? Yes. I know why. Now I have to accept it.


Iris Arenson-Fuller said...

Alicia, this is a lovely blog, though I am saddened to hear of the new trials you have had to face. I can't imagine you giving up, though. Sometimes it feels as though we are prisoners in our own bodies but I think we are more likely held captive by our minds. Our bodies may not be able to do what we want them to but the sky's the limit for our minds and our creativity and nowadays there is adaptive equipment and technology to help with some of the things illness takes away. Are these perfect solutions? No! Is this a perfect world? No! Still, there is so much in it worth discovering that we have not yet uncovered.

I am so interested in what is the internal stuff of survivors. I like to think I am also one. I have a dear friend who became a therapist later in life, and, after many other losses, was also diagnosed with R.A. She is remarkable to me, though she doesn't want to be thought of that way.

I know someone else who has struggled with lupus, then cancer and who is now almost completely blind. Her courage and perseverance give me new hope when I think about her.

At down and defeated moments it might not feel this way ,but I know you have much yet to offer to the world and much to receive as well.

Lyn said...

This is a blog that speaks to so many of us. I always feel better to know the answers to a medical problem than have to remain in the dark--be an empowered and enlightened patient. Yes, it takes many adjustments, and re-inventing oneself with RA and its terrible effects on the body. I have had mine for 54 years, but have lived a rich, creative, fulfilling life despite it,--and you will, too.

Alicia said...


You are right ~ "A prisoner in my own body" does speak to many of us. It is my most popular and the most feedback I receive privately too. After 54 years, I bet you have a lot of lessons you can teach all of us! I'd love to get any tips you have that has helped you along this journey. It is my first year. I am not where I want or hoped to be, but it could be worse. :)
Let me know how I can get in touch with you and I'll look forward to getting some more tools for my "life's toolbox". Cheers, my friend. ~alicia

Lauretta said...

Hi Alicia, I really love your blog! I am 19 and was diagnosed with Systemic Onset of JRA/JIA at 12. I can also relate to where you say you can "feel trapped within my own body." For a long time I thought I could never walk properly again or ever live my life to the fullest...but all that has changed since getting two brand new spankin' hips! :) I am still grateful everyday, for what modern technology has given me.
I was wondering if you would be interested in having a piece of your work (a blog post perhaps) published in a zine? I'm doing it as a project for college and it's an attempt on my behalf to collaborate short stories from others who have RA/JRA. I hope to strengthen the community by developing this zine, but I need people to contribute, so that I have content to publish! :) If you are interested, please visit my blog and look under the post labelled "Attention all Arthritis bloggers..opportunity to have your words published in a zine."
Hope to hear from you soon,
Lauretta :)

Alicia said...


It would be a pleasure to work with you. Please email me at alicia@youempowered.com. You ideas are very well spelled out...very professionally presented on your blog. You may not know this, but I specialize in Coaching teens. You are an inspiration to all, especially to teens and young adults all over the world. Count me in! ~ alicia

Alicia said...

Hi Lauretta,
What a wonderful spirit you are! You have brand spankin' new hips...fantastic...I am so happy for you that it made so much of a difference!
What a blessing that you found me. You know, my passion is Coaching Teens and young adults ~ that is my profession...and here you are with this bold adventure you are taking on. I went ahead and read what you are doing - and girl...it looks, and sounds fabulous! Professional! Well considered and thought out! Count me in Lauretta, count.me.in. Please email me privately and we can talk. Perhaps you can use one of my blogs you prefer - "Prisoner"...or others. Reach out to me at alicia@youempowered.com ~ I know you have a deadline for school, but I see BIG things with your idea, and when we talk and you hear my background...well, there are no coincidences. Blessings and hugs ~ alicia