The Silver Lined Heart

It’s funny…I was already thinking about writing this blog as I was driving this morning…but then, on that drive, an even more poignant reason to do so occurred.

First, I feel like I should clarify something. I keep explaining my diagnosis of POTS as a heart condition. There are a few reasons for that:

  • POTS most affects the body with cardiac related symptoms.
  • My diagnosis came about because of those cardiac related symptoms.
  • I can’t pronounce what it really is…lol POTS is a form of dysautonomia β€” a disorder of the autonomic nervous system. This branch of the nervous system regulates functions we don’t consciously control, such as heart rate, blood pressure, sweating and body temperature. (Copy/pasted that shit! πŸ˜†)

Pointless to this post, but I felt like I should put that out there since I’ve been writing about it.

ANYWAYS…I honestly think I’ve stayed pretty positive about this. I’ve always been a Silver Linings kind of girl…I believe you can find the positive in just about anything if you try hard enough.

And…if you can find the positive…you WILL survive and thrive through it.

So…I’m struggling with this a lot more than I’ve let on. The medicine that treats the heart issue messes with my asthma and decreases my blood pressure. I’m CONSTANTLY dizzy. And it’s honestly pretty freaking scary when everything suddenly goes black.

BUT…As always, my silver lined heart is focusing on the good…it’s finding the positive…and it’s using those positives to fight.

The silver linings here…well…a diagnosis is a name and a plan. I can fight an enemy with a name and a plan. Plus, it explains symptoms I’ve dealt with for years..and gives me hope of them being treated. And…as much as people like to give me a hard time for working out too much…it’s nice to be able to stick my tongue out at them and tell them it’s my medicine. πŸ‘…

But the biggest silver lining is one I would never have expected.

I have PTSD. I came by it honestly and earned it. That’s for sure. You don’t find out on the side of the road at midnight at 10 years old that you were kidnapped and your whole life (even your name) was a lie without some trauma and some new coping mechanisms. But…I always thought my rather severe anxiety in the past 20 years or so was because of my PTSD. Until last week…I had my med check for my anxiety meds. My psychiatrist is AMAZING and HILARIOUS. LOVE HIM!! So, during this appointment he asked what had been going on the past couple of months and I filled him in. His response?

“Oh…wow…I’m going to miss you…”

I laughed, but nervously…and asked if he was trying to tell me I was going to die…

“No. I’m going to miss you because I believe we’re going to find that you don’t have anxiety.”

He laughed. He said I’m actually an appointment he really looks forward to because I’m so interesting. He knows I wish my life was LESS interesting and a little more boring, but I’m still very interesting and funny because of it. He said I DO have PTSD. BUT…

“Heart rate and anxiety are very closely linked. Most people get anxious and their heart rate increases. But you…I think we’re going to find that your erratic heart rate was making your body believe it was anxious. I think that now that your heart rate will be normal…you’re going to find that you’re not anxious anymore.”


I thought about it. Since the first dose of beta blockers, I haven’t felt anxious. I’m not freaking out…I’m not overthinking…I feel ZERO worries of how people are responding and if it means they’re mad at me…I don’t feel a neurotic urge to be seen solely so I won’t disappear. I seriously don’t feel anxious AT ALL for the first time in 20 years.

And…this morning that was truly tested by my biggest trigger…

I passed an Amber Alert on the highway.

I saw it. I caught my breath. I waited for the panic to hit.

But it never did.

I felt the usual sadness. I felt the anxiety of knowing, like others can’t, what that child is feeling and will deal with forever now. I felt the catch in my heart and breath…I felt the anxiety of rememberance…

But I did not feel the need to run and hide.

Do you know what it’s like to spend your life being scared? Do you know what it’s like to live that life knowing that the majority of people can’t understand your fear…and never will…and don’t understand why you can’t just let it go?

I hope you don’t, but it’s Hell.

I still have that. That is still a part of me. Like I said, I earned it. But I realized today that there’s a chance that it will no longer rule my life. There’s a chance that I can live a more peaceful existence.

All because Silver Linings Girl now has a Silver Lined Heart.

Eff You, Garmin

First World Runner Problem: I got REAL mad at my Garmin today. Like BIG MAD.

No, it wasn’t broken.

No, the battery didn’t die.

No, it didn’t track my miles wrong.

It was just flat out mean to me.

*stomp foot brattily* *shut up, WordPress, brattily is a word if I say it’s a word*

I have been freaking THRILLED to get back to a normal level of activity. 2.5 months out between a broken leg and a heart condition…


But I couldn’t…and I didn’t…because I was a good girl.

But now I’m running short distances again. Testing the waters. Seeing what I can do. Making progress.

Or so I thought!!!

But look at this nice little message Garmin sent me after this morning’s run.


Apparently my run was unproductive. Not because I’m overtraining…but just because my “fitness is decreasing”.

BITCH… I am 42 years old… With a VO2 Max of 44 (which YOU say is that of a 20 year old)…am just getting back to my workouts after a broken leg and a heart condition…and you want to get onto me because my fitness level is decreasing? OF COURSE IT DECREASED!!!!!!! And I’m still way ahead of where I could be at my age.

What the hell do you want me to do?!?!

Yes…I’m ranting at a watch. But, it’s like being mad at your boyfriend that you love and trust in every aspect of your life…because he betrayed you and called you fat.

And for that I say…

/ Runner Rant

The Final Momoir

So. This is how it ends. With a teenaged girl standing over my body…frantically mashing…

444. 44-2-8-33. 999-666-88.

Over and over and over.

While laughing maniacally and rocking back and forth like a lunatic rocking horse.

Or, you know…that’s how I imagine this playing out when I get home with her new prepaid flip phone tonight. That she will give up her iPhone for until she can stop being…such…a…teenager.


*save me*

Until I Trust Myself Again

You guys…let me tell you about the horribly awkward moment that happened to me yesterday. This random guy…asked me out to dinner…on a county facebook thread…with 1,000 comments…in front of all of those local people…

In case you were wondering, Facebook doesn’t have a good “deer in headlights” gif.

I tried to be polite and kind…But, my response (below) actually kept me thinking last night about how true it really is. Lol

I am my favorite butt of my own jokes. I *constantly* make jokes about my spinsterhood. But let’s be real. No one HAS to be single these days.

Being single is a choice we make.

Every time someone asks us out and we say no. Every time we swipe left for some ridiculous reason because our heart just really isn’t in it. Every time we choose to stay home instead of going somewhere where we might actually meet someone.

It’s a choice. And…I’m good with my choice.

I don’t want to be single forever.

I’m good at relationships. But, with a few exceptions, I’ve been very bad at choosing who to have them with. I’m realizing that the reason I keep saying “no” is because I still don’t trust myself. I don’t trust myself to choose someone who will choose me every day as I choose them every day.

So…I make that choice. I make Bella and work and school and working out and friends…and everything else under the sun…a priority.

Until I learn to trust myself again.

And until then…I will continue making jokes at my own expense (because they’re HIGHLARIOUS!!) and I will be happy.

Because I will always choose happiness. ❀

Don’t Even Know What To Name This…

I’ve heard it said that the hardest part of grief isn’t the beginning. At the beginning of the situation that you grieve you are surrounded with love and well wishes. You are in the forefront of everyone’s minds as they try to help you through. No…the hardest part of grief is when people have to turn their focus back to their own lives. You are left with your pain and grief…and only your own thoughts to keep you company.

It sucks. Without a doubt. But it is part of life. People are inherently self involved. And I don’t mean that in a bad way at all.

I still say the best way I was ever able to explain this theory was in a conversation I had with my dad after 9/11. We lived in NJ and had been witness to the devastation of families and volunteered to help however we could. So, one day I made the same comment that I made above. People are inherently self involved. He was aghast. “That’s so cynical!!” “Not at all…it’s just human nature. Let me put it this way…9/11. HORRIBLE tragedy, correct?” “Yes!!! Thousands of people died!!!” “I know. Now. Imagine I had died in a COMPLETELY UNRELATED car accident on that same day. What would you grieve more? My death or the death of thousands?” “Yours of course. You’re my daughter.” “Exactly…but don’t you think that’s a little self involved? One life being worth more grief than the loss of thousands? But…it’s human nature…we have to be most affected by what is closest to home. It’s how we survive. It doesn’t mean we don’t care. It just means we are surviving.”

Why am I writing about this today? Because we all come to a moment…a moment when we are dealing with a situation that is rocking our worlds…when we suddenly feel alone.

As a friend just told me, “I’m sick of talking about it and I know y’all are sick of hearing about it.” <~~~~~ No. I’m not. Ever.

The thing is this…maybe we stop asking if someone is ok everyday…maybe we don’t have the time to drop by unannounced and annoy the hell out of someone just to remind them they’re not alone…maybe we have to take care of other things…

But in those moments when we feel that others must be sick of our grief…I bet any one of those people would stop what they were doing in that moment to be there if we just reached out.

In the beginning…those people who won’t let you be alone…in the end will be the people who will still be there when you’re ready to talk.

And those people never ever EVER get sick of being there for those they love.

I write this to remind myself. I write this to remind my friend. I write this to remind every person who’s life has ever touched mine.

You are never alone.

<insert creepy stalker music here>


I hate the word Can’t. Seriously, I hate it SO MUCH. We (usually) use the word “can’t” as an excuse. I know I sure used to.

I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease at 23 years old. That’s when the can’ts *really* began.

“You can’t exercise.” <—–Oh no…I have to be sedentary? Shucks.

“You can’t have the energy to be social very often.” <insert introvert not actually sad face>

“You can’t have the memory you used to.” What? You told me who? When? Why? Sorry…I forget.

The can’ts were many. And I relished them because they excused things I didn’t really want to do anyway.

But…then one day I suddenly wanted to do something different. I wanted to LIVE instead of just existing.

I decided to start by getting in shape. The doctor said, “You can’t. Just be happy you’re cute for a fat girl.”


So I started eating right. “That’s great, you’ll lose a little, but you’ll never be able to exercise.”

I started walking. “Ok. Walking is good, but you’ll never be able to do strength training.”

I started lifting weights. “Just be careful, your body can’t do that.”

I started running obstacle course races. “Ok…we give up.”

Thank you very much. Please DO give up on telling me what I can’t do.

I became the girl that no one wanted to say “Can’t” to because that just made me want it more. I had, “I will because they said I can’t” tattooed on my ribs.

You tell me “CAN’T”…and I will say, “WATCH ME.”

So, yesterday, after I saw the cardiologist and he diagnosed me…I joined a couple of POTS groups on Facebook. I wanted to see what I was in for. I wanted to get information. If this is something I’m going to live with and fight…I want to know.

Or maybe I don’t…

Because…what I saw in these groups were tens of thousands of people who were still living gloriously in their “can’t”. I saw people who said, “Oh I know this is from my POTS…does this make you all miserable, too?” <insert hundreds of comments of people commiserating> “I know I can’t do this because of POTS.” <insert a thousand comments of people agreeing that it’s impossible>

What I didn’t see…was ideas on how to fight it. All I saw was people succumbing. What I saw was people who decided that their diagnosis was their identity.

MY DIAGNOSES (yes, that’s the plural, I checked…lol) ARE NOT MY IDENTITY.

Don’t get me wrong…I understand and have compassion for the fact that everyone has different levels of disability with their illnesses. There are some things that, maybe realistically, can’t be done.

But one thing that I can guarantee you no illness will EVER take away from you without your participation, is your hope.

So…I left those groups already.

Because, please…tell me I can’t.

And I will tell you, “I literally CAN even”.

A’ight, God. I Get It Now.

I have always been a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. It is a comfort to me to know that all of the deep valleys in life have also brought me to my highest peaks.

And yet…we always forget that in the moment as we are trapped in circumstances.

I was reminded LOUDLY of that today.

I’ve been…let’s be real…pissed off and a total bitch…lately because I couldn’t run. My leg had basically tried to shatter and I’ve been sidelined for 10 weeks so far.

I didn’t handle it well. I kept my faith…and I knew that there had to be a reason…

But I was still pretty pissed off about it.

And then…today…God very loudly told me why that had to happen.

Today I learned that I have a condition called POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome). Basically my heart beats too dang fast, with sudden dips, but my blood pressure stays low. Put the two together…and you get dizzy spells, palpations, tachycardia, headaches…all kinds of stuff. Lyme Disease…which I’ve had for 20 years…is a well known cause of POTS.

Here’s the kicker…

My running and exercising was masking it. Both are good for me and my condition and I need to keep them up because it keeps the condition in check…but…

Had I not been sidelined from running…I wouldn’t have known I have this condition. And that would have been very, very bad.

So…A’ight, God. I hear you. I understand the reason. (And you didn’t even make me wait as long as usual for it.)

Now…my leg will finish healing…my condition will be treated (it’s chronic, but manageable)…and I can go forward with life and the things I love, but better than I was before.

And hopefully I’ll stop being such a little bitch when I feel like my plans are being thwarted. (But…probably not…I’m human… πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ )

What Are You Afraid Of?

Yesterday I stopped being a bitch.

You think I’m joking, but I’m not. I’ve been a fairly raging bitch since the end of last year.

Why? Because it felt like everything was suddenly spiraling out of control. One thing after another after another after…well, you get it.

One of my greatest fears is the loss of control over my own life.

I know why I have this fear. I earned this fear. When your whole life, even your name, is ripped away from you at 10 years old…you either crumble or you become a person who finds ways to make sure no one can rip the rug out on them again. I did the latter.

But, yesterday…when I got a little more control back on one of the issues I’ve been facing…it was this weight off of me. I suddenly felt the ability to…well…stop being a bitch. Something so stupid as getting a walking boot off…

But it was a sign that I wasn’t losing control.

Which, got me thinking. You guys…

I have more issues than a magazine stand. We all do.

And, for many of us, our issues lead to fear…usually logical fear based on our lives…but fears that completely hold us back and control us.

My fears are loss of control, being abandoned by people I love and trust, and that I’m unlovable. I’m afraid I’ll disappear and no one will notice or care. Every single one of these fears is tied to my childhood. Every single one of these fears is logical based on my own experiences.

Every single one of these fears is holding me back.

By being afraid of losing everything, I lose the ability to enjoy what I have. By fearing abandonment, I hurt myself by waiting for it. By being afraid I can’t be loved, I sometimes don’t give people the chance to prove me wrong. By being afraid to disappear, I fight a constant battle between wanting to disappear and being too in your face so I’ll be seen.

But if life has taught me one thing besides what to fear, it has taught me…

I am stronger than my fears.

I don’t want to be held back by these fears anymore. I don’t want to cower before what might come to be. Could it all happen again? Yep. That’s life. But will I survive it? Yes. I only need to remember…

I know I can survive my fears coming to fruition because I already have.

So. What are you afraid of? How is it holding you back?

Are you ready to be stronger than your fears?

And, Just Like That, I’m The (Least Grown Up Ever) Adult…

Hi, my name is Sheri…and I’m “Way too excited about my new toilets” years old.

*sigh* When did this happen??

This morning, as I sat there excitedly looking at my beautiful brand new toilets that one of my best friends and her husband installed yesterday…as I sat there thinking, “None of them are broken or leaking!! They’re all so clean!! Look at those top buttons!! No more broken flushing handles for us!!”…it hit me. Holy shit. I’m an adult.

Don’t get me wrong. Like most of you I don’t FEEL like an adult.

I still don’t want to clean my room. I still make boob jokes like a 12 year old boy (*cough* I may actually be giggling before the 12 year old boy…). I still have days where I want ice cream for dinner. And…I have to admit this…

Sometimes I still relish people telling me how to do things better, because I have no flipping IDEA how to successfully navigate some of this grownup stuff.

And, yet…it snuck up on me.

I used to get excited about going to the bar with my friends. Now I get excited about eating nachos alone in bed to unwind from a long week.

I used to get excited about traveling everywhere I could! Now…hold on…let me check mine and Bella’s schedule. Maybe that Saturday…no…tax season…how about Sunday 4 weeks from now?

I used to think parents knew nothing…now I find myself yelling, “Because I’m the parent! That’s why!!” at my teenager way more than I’m comfortable with.

I’m “Yay!!! Someone else cleans my trash can!!” years old.

I’m “I wonder if I can just get the groceries delivered this time” years old.

I’m, “I need to be up at 3 am to get everything done” years old.

BUT…because I still fully believe that you are only as old as you let yourself be…

I’m also “Forget chores today! We’re going on an adventure!” years old.

I’m also “Let’s go get our pictures taken with Santa!” years old.

I’m “Oooh!! I wonder if I can talk my friends into an animal onesie party for my birthday!” years old. (Spoiler alert. I can. 😁)

I will always be “That’s what she said” years old.

But…I am also still “Way too excited about my new toilets” years old.

So…how old are you?

I love my friends ❀

Thank You For Breaking My Heart

I’ve been thinking about broken hearts.

First things first, let’s be real…we’ve all had our hearts broken and we’ve all probably broken someone’s heart. It’s just part of life.

And man does it hurt when it happens.

BUT, as I’m pondering this today, I have a new view on broken hearts and their pain. What if…hear me out…

The part that broke NEEDED to break?

I think back on my broken hearts. I’ve had a few. I’ve had my heart broken so badly I thought it would destroy me. And you know what?

It DID destroy me. It destroyed a part of me that needed to be destroyed.

When I look back on my broken hearts…it still hurts…but…it’s not the guy that makes my heart twinge and ache. It’s looking at who I was in that relationship and what I allowed.

In my marriage I was easily manipulated into feeling guilty and being quiet for being upset about valid issues. That relationship very much broke my heart…and it broke the part of me who was too afraid to speak up and would rather be hurt myself than risk someone being upset with me. Seriously? Thank God that part of me broke.

In another relationship I was SHATTERED after years of emotional abuse and then finding out I’d been cheated on the whole time. I had known the entire time that something was wrong…but I was consistently told I was crazy…and, when I wasn’t? Heart broken. I thought beyond repair. It also broke the part of me that was willing to ignore my own instincts and allow someone to emotionally abuse me. Again…that trait being broken? Bye, Felicia.

Another man I loved…he was different than those guys. He would never purposely hurt me. But he also didn’t know what he wanted, vacillated on his feelings for me, and…in all honesty…because of where he was in his own life…could not give me the relationship I deserved. But I settled for the scraps he gave me, because I loved him. And I spent every day feeling torn apart because I wasn’t being true to myself and what I needed. The ending of that one broke my heart, too…but it also broke my willingness to put aside my own needs and wants.

When I look back on these relationships…it hurts. But it doesn’t hurt because I’m dying to have them back. It doesn’t hurt because I still pine for them.

It hurts because it reminds me of those parts of me before they were broken. It reminds me of how much damage I did to myself while those parts were still intact.

So…that’s my new theory. A heartbreak is something to be grateful for. Not in the way that that means you should be with those people again! Lol But…

Those broken moments are what built me.

So…to my past relationships…thank you for breaking my heart.