Tag: hope (page 2 of 3)

Reminder: Hyperhidrosis & The Sketchbook Project 2012

My sketchbook featuring hyperhidrosis is now on tour. Please check for a city and date near you, go visit, and send me some pictures of you with my sketchbook!

 

Right now it’s in Brooklyn, NY until April 30th.

 

MyLifeAsAPuddle Sketchbook Project 2012

This is the cover of my sketchbook.

My Hyperhidrosis Theme Song

I’ve loved this song by India.Arie since the first time I heard it. She is definitely on my top 5 list of artists. I saw her in concert last summer and have been listening to her since about 2003. She is part of my pre-interview routine, and when I started my new job I was asked what song described me. I chose this one. I can relate more than just my hyperhidrosis to the lyrics.

I also appreciate the still photo in this video of India. I like the way her hands are posed, as if she’s holding her chin up no matter what happens, while her other palm is clearly visible and ready to support her.

Inside my head there lives a dream
That I wanna see in the sun
Behind my eyes, there is a me
That I’ve been hiding for much too long
‘Cause I’ve been too afraid to let it show
‘Cause I’m scared of the judgment
That may follow
Always puttin’ off my livin’ for tomorrow

It’s time to step out on faith
I gotta show my face
It’s been elusive for so long
Freedom is mine today

Gotta step out on faith
It’s time to show my face
Procrastination had me down
Look what I have found, I’ve found

Strength, courage and wisdom
It’s been inside of me all along
Strength, courage and wisdom
Inside of me

Behind my pride there lives a me
That knows humility
Inside my voice, there is a soul
And in my soul there is a voice

But I’ve been too afraid to make a choice
‘Cause I’m scared of the things
That I might be missin’
Runnin’ too fast to stop to listen

It’s time to step out on faith
I gotta show my face
It’s been elusive for so long
Freedom is mine today

Step out on faith
It’s time to show my face
Procrastination had me down
Look what I have found, I’ve found

Strength, courage and wisdom
It’s been inside of me all along
Strength, courage and wisdom
Inside of me

I close my eyes and I think
Of all the things that I wanna see
‘Cause I know now that I’ve opened up my heart
I know that anything I want can be

So let it be, so let it be
So let it be, so let it be
So let it be, so let it be
So let it be, so let it be

Strength, courage and wisdom
It’s been inside of me all along
Strength, courage and wisdom
It’s been inside of me all along

Now every day I pray for
Strength, courage and wisdom
Strength, courage and wisdom
Inside of me

I found it, I found it
I found it, I found it

Why I Write About Hyperhidrosis

(This post is part of the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge hosted by WEGO Health. I will be writing a post a day for all 30 days. You can learn more about it here: http://info.wegohealth.com/HAWMC2012.)

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Truth

I write about my life with hyperhidrosis because it allows me to live my truth and no longer be ashamed about the way my body is made.  Most people don’t understand what it’s like to literally be uncomfortable in your own skin. It’s something that’s difficult to ignore when it manifests physically and can leave evidence behind that it was there. Hyperhidrosis is not all that I am, but it is part of who I am. It’s part of my story. We all have a story, but how many of us are turning it into fiction rather than non-fiction? Writing about hyperhidrosis allows me the freedom to express myself while also spreading awareness and hope about a medical condition that is under recognized and under treated. If more people talked about it and released the secret and the shame, we might be closer to a cure. There is power in numbers.

Acceptance

I write about hyperhidrosis because it’s free therapy. I can unravel the goings on of my mind with regard to my sweat in an arena that I’ve always loved: the written word. Writing about my life as a puddle makes me more attune to my body and what I can handle vs not handle (at least, not yet ready to handle, although I’m constantly stretching myself). I’ve become more mindful of the things in my daily life that might make for a good blog post. Believe me, I’ve got a running list. It’s hard to blog as much as I’d like to with a full-time job and other things going on. I would love to see the day where I would be able to focus on my blog as my full-time job.

Purpose

I write about hyperhidrosis because it gives me a sense of purpose. As much as I hate having an excessive sweating problem, maybe I’m supposed to be exactly this way to create a platform to help others. I say this without any sense of ego. I am so humbled by everyone’s support of what I’m doing. I never thought my blog would get so much feedback. So, please keep commenting, following me on Twitter, posting on my Facebook page, and emailing me. I may not always respond, but I read every single one of your comments. Do you know what your purpose is? I never thought talking openly about my hyperhidrosis would be one of mine. I’ve talked about being open to experiences before. Had I never stepped out of my box in the first place to try Botox injections in my hands, I wouldn’t be doing this today.

So there you have it. Truth, Acceptance, and Purpose. What have you “TAPped” into lately?


Copyright © 2012 My Life as a Puddle


If I Had a Superpower

This post is part of the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge hosted by WEGO Health. I will be writing a post a day for all 30 days. You can learn more about it here: http://info.wegohealth.com/HAWMC2012.

 

I can already make my own raindrops, which is definitely NOT a superpower I’ve asked for. But if I could pick a superpower, it would have to be the healing factor. This is the ability to heal others quickly from any injury. I would use it for much more than physical healing, though. Think of the impact this could have! No more physical ailments, mental illness, emotional baggage, self loathing, low self-esteem, eating disorders, drug abuse, physical and mental pain, etc. I would heal everyone so that they could realize deeply how precious they are. If everyone were healed, we’d have a peaceful world. Sure, this is lofty and idealist, but this is a creative writing prompt, so let’s get creative.

 

Of course, I’d also use the healing factor to heal myself. Oh, what a life I could have if I were eternally dry. I could wear any type of clothing and shoes I want without regard to their absorption factor. I could have leather seats in my car and not need a steering wheel cover. I could carry things without having to position them awkwardly in my hands and arms to prevent them from slipping out of my grip. I could go to church and not absolutely dreadthe greeting part of the service. Heck, I could even be a greeter at the door and welcome every single person with a handshake. I could speak in public and not have it be a sweat fest. I could take notes at work and not sweat all over the paper which smears the ink, carry blue file folders like a normal person without having to worry about getting Smurfed, and not sweat all over my keyboard and mouse.  I could heal the racing thoughts in my mind that occur every time I am sweating.

 

I could finally, in every aspect of my life, say yes without first having to think about how I would accommodate my excessive sweating. Nothing could hold me back.


Copyright © 2012 My Life as a Puddle

Hyperhidrosis Quotation Inspiration

Life begins at the end of yourt comfort zone.

This card is available from http://quotablecards.com. Love this company!

This quote inspires me because it is exactly what has happened in my own life. If I look back to where I was one year ago, it’s crazy how far I’ve come with regard to how I view myself and my excessive sweating problem. Yes, I hate it on a daily basis, but I am getting better at dealing with it.

 

This blog started as a direct result of how I felt after leaving a symposium hosted by the International Hyperhidrosis Society. I was so inspired that I sent handwritten thank you cards to the executive director and one of the customer service people who was my first point of contact: post-Botox treatment and a bit of Botox gratitude.

 

I almost didn’t go through with the Botox injections. Note: if you ever consider having Botox injections in your hands or feet, do not watch the videos on YouTube. I had myself pretty psyched out by the time I was done watching them, and since I over-analyze everything in my life anyway this just gave me more ammunition. I still went to the symposium, though, and told myself I could still bail when it was my turn if I wanted.

 

But I didn’t bail. I try not to live my life with regrets, so I sucked it up, laid down on the table, and proceeded to let them poke me with 155 injections. Yes, I counted. For someone who has zero pain tolerance, I surprised myself that I was able to get through it. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Botox injections

This is me getting my Botox injections!

 

After my Botox experience, I had such a supreme sense of validation. It’s hard to put into words exactly how I felt as I left that day. I felt like I could conquer the world, like there was hope for me, like I could finally stop living behind a curtain of daily activities avoided or somehow altered in an attempt to mask my sweating. I dared to believe that something inside me was superior to circumstance.

 

It’s crazy that I picked this quote. Read this past post about my hyperhidrosis comfort zone. I’m talking about the same thing. Ha! At least I’m consistent. If I hadn’t stepped out of my comfort zone with regard to hyperhidrosis, this blog never would have happened. I had so many doubts. I didn’t know how to operate a blog platform, didn’t know if people would care about what I have to say, didn’t know a lot of things. Yet I did it anyway. And it was worth it.


Copyright © 2012 My Life as a Puddle

 

 

Hyperhidrosis and The Sketchbook Project 2012: Digitized

My sketchbook has now been digitized, so anyone in the world can view it and learn about my life as a puddle! Please note, it might take a while for the images to load.

Go to my profile and then click on the artwork tab. I’ve noticed it’s faster to scroll one by one to view each page rather than clicking view the entire sketchbook. An added bonus? You get to see what my handwriting looks like.

A special thank you to my husband for offering to pay for the cost of this project so that I can further spread my message about hyperhidrosis awareness and activism. 🙂 All of the deadlines for this project came during my layoff, so it means a lot that we were able to still splurge on something that means a lot to me.

I also posted the dates and cities for when the sketchbooks go on tour. If you live in or will be near one of these cities, I’d love for you to see my sketchbook in person. Hold it in your sweaty hands and take a picture with it. Post it on my Facebook page, Tweet it to me, or email it to me. My email address is listed on the last page of the sketchbook.

Happy sweaty viewing!

The cover of my sketchbook

 


Copyright © 2012 My Life as a Puddle

 

Hyperhidrosis Time Capsule

If I were to make a time capsule about my life with hyperhidrosis that wouldn’t be opened until 2112, I would include a series of items.

 

Video
My video would be a personal documentary about who I am and what it’s like to live with excessive sweating. I would chronicle a day in my life and detail the things that trigger me to sweat. Just the idea of recording myself-or having a camera crew around to do it for me-makes me sweat. I would charge ahead with it anyway for the greater good of enlightening other people about what it’s like to literally feel uncomfortable in your own skin. I’ve talked about how my sweaty day begins with getting ready before.

 

I would also use this video to explain that despite my physical problem of sweating, there has to be something good that will come out of it. We all face adversity. How we respond to it is a choice. I choose to have hope. Hope for a cure, hope that I can make a difference in the world by sharing my story, hope that others will no longer feel alone. Remember when I wrote about my favorite poet, Maya Angelou? She said, “We are more alike than unalike, my friends.” So, whether you have hyperhidrosis like me and travel through life as a puddle, you’re someone who has felt ashamed of who you are, you don’t like your body (or maybe you even loathe it), or you don’t yet know that you matter, that you are enough exactly as you are, you are no longer alone.

 

Paper
Also included in this time capsule would be paper copies of all of my blog posts as well as all of my reader comments that you have so kindly taken the time to leave on my blog. The beauty of paper–and the irony of how much I love real paper considering how awesome I am at ruining it with my palmar hyperhidrosis–is that it is everlasting. There’s no computer or software compatibility or latest version to download. It’s just there, unadulterated, true to form. I love hand writing cards to people, especially when they help me with my hyperhidrosis. Read about my post-Botox gratitude.

 

Photos
Since we’re talking about this time capsule being opened in 2112, I won’t be there physically to demonstrate my raindrop superpower.  These photos would be of my sweaty hands and feet and how I have an uncanny ability to ruin clothing and physically leave behind ringlets of salt from my excessive sweating. These photos would also explain my Botox adventure. I’d also love to include photos from my fellow sweaters as a physical representation of the power of community. We are designed for relationships and interactions.  C.S. Lewis said, “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” This is so true. Although I’ve never met most of you who read my blog, I feel like we already know each other through the commonality of our hyperhidrosis. Rock on!

 

Music
The following songs are just a snippet of how I’ve been able to reconcile my life as an excessive sweater.

Free Me by Joss Stone

This Is Your Life by Switchfoot

Strength Courage & Wisdom by India.Arie

 

Finally, I would cover my time capsule in some kind of fabric, probably jeans, as they seem to be the most sweat-friendly and absorbent fabric in my life. For those with palmar hyperhidrosis, fabric and texture is important. We have enough trouble keeping a firm grip on things, so I’d make my time capsule something that I myself would be able to hold without having to worry about it slipping from my hands.

 

If you’re new to my blog, I’m very excited that you’ve found me! Thank you for reading. To catch you up to speed, here’s a crash course on what I’m doing:
What is hyperhidrosis?
About my blog
To My Readers


Copyright © 2012 My Life as a Puddle

 

Hyperhidrosis and The Sketchbook Project 2012

Sweaty peeps! If any of you live in or will be near these cities on these dates, I’d love for you to check out this exhibit and find my sketchbook. The Sketchbook Project 2012 is sponsored by the Brooklyn Art Library and features an evolving collection of artists’ sketchbooks. These sketchbooks will be going on a world tour, which means hyperhidrosis will be featured worldwide! While I’m not much of an artist, I decided to use my sketchbook as a platform to create hope and awareness for those who have hyperhidrosis and for anyone else who has ever felt uncomfortable in their own skin. The theme of my sketchbook is hope. It’s cataloged as the same name as my blog, Hyperhidrosis–My Life as a Puddle (and other adventures). It will be digitized, so once I get the information on that I will post a link for you here. I also have an artist profile on the Sketchbook Project’s site.

 

So, if you are able to make it and can find my sketchbook, it would mean the world to me if you’d take a picture of yourself with it (or just the book itself if you’re camera shy) and either email it to me via the email address listed on my blog or post it on my facebook page. If you don’t want your picture re-posted here or don’t want it on facebook but still want to email it to me, that’s totally fine. Just tell me so when you email it to me privately. I will not post your photo or any identifiable information if you don’t want me to. I would simply appreciate any photos from this project that I can get as a personal visual of our sweaty little community here. 🙂

 

Here are the tour dates and locations:

 

The Sketchbook Project 2012

City/State Date & Time Location
Brooklyn, NY April 14-30
6pm-10pm (last checkout at 9:15pm)
Brooklyn Art Library
103A N. 3rd St
Brooklyn, NY 11249
Chicago, IL May 3-5 Hyde Park Art Center
5020 S. Cornell Avenue
Chicago, IL 60615
Portland, OR May 11-13 The Cleaners at the Ace Hotel
1022 SW Stark St
Portland, OR
Vancouver, Canada May 15-16 W2 Media Cafe
111 W Hastings St.
Vancouver, BC
Los Angeles, CA May 24-26 iam8bit
2147 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA
San Francisco Bay Area June Pop-Up Library
Greater Boston Area July 6-8 LynnArts
25 Exchange Street
Lynn, MA
Portland, ME July 12-14 SPACE Gallery
538 Congress Street
Portland, ME 04101
Toronto, Canada July 18-22 The Gladstone Hotel
1214 Queen St. W
Toronto, ON
Philadelphia, PA August 23-25 The Painted Bride
co-presented with InLiquid
230 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Atlanta, GA August 29-Sept 1 MASS Collective
364 Nelson St. SW
Atlanta, GA
Winter Park, FL September 4-5 Full Sail University
3300 University Blvd.
Winter Park, FL
Austin, TX September 8-16 Co-Lab Project Space
613 Allen St.
Austin, TX
London, England October 12-18 Canada Water Library
co-presented with The Albany
and Southwark Council
21 Surrey Quays Rd.
London, SE16
Melbourne, Australia November 10-21 NGV Studio
Federation Square
Russell & Flinders Sts
Melbourne

 

*As of now, the London and Melbourne exhibitions will be limited to books from their respective continents. All other tour dates will include every single book submitted to this year’s project.
Dates and locations subject to change.


Copyright © 2012 My Life as a Puddle

Getting the Job I Wanted

When I got back home from visiting my grandma, I met with my friend who had created the vision statement for me. She helped me create a quadrant of pros and cons for the two jobs that were now potentially on my plate. The four sections were Big Yes, Big No, Little Yes, and Little No. She asked me several questions about both jobs that helped me to fill in each section. Once we were done, she said I had my answer to which job I really wanted, which isn’t to say that the first job I had already accepted wasn’t what I wanted. They were both good positions that were a good fit for me.

 

Then my friend said something really profound. “Why don’t you just call the second employer, Maria?” Wait, WHAT? Me? Call THEM? It never even occurred to me that I could take charge with an employer and actually fight for what I wanted as their job candidate. By calling them, I could take my worrying out of the equation. I could do everything in my power to create the result I wanted. So, we walked through what I should say when I called, and I went straight home to get the phone call out of the way. So, with sweaty hands and a wobbly voice, I left a voice mail saying I certainly didn’t want to be presumptuous, but that I was wondering if an offer was forthcoming as I had been offered another position.

 

This pro-activeness on my part got the ball rolling a bit faster on their end. It also allowed me to relax and feel like I had done all I could. Oh! I forgot to mention the part that happened before this. The day after I got home, I was sitting in church and noticed a woman a few rows in front of me who looked very familiar. I basically stalked her for the rest of the service, and when she left a few minutes early I hightailed it out of the sanctuary to follow her. She had disappeared! I decided to walk to the front entrance of the church and wait for a few minutes. Next thing I know, she’s right next to me with her son. So I stopped her and said hello. I then told her that she had interviewed me several days ago and that they were doing a reference check on me for the position. She replied that they all really liked me and that she especially enjoyed the writing samples I had provided as part of the application process. Isn’t it crazy how God works?! I don’t usually talk to “strangers”, but I couldn’t stop thinking about making contact with her once I saw her in church that day. It was a good reminder for her to see my face again.

 

So, after seeing one of the people who interviewed me at church and then making the phone call asking for what I wanted, the next day my phone rang. On the other end was the woman who would be my supervisor. She said that when she was speaking with my references, her heart was breaking when they told her about my layoff. My former boss told her that I was on the verge of a promotion and that laying me off was one of the hardest things she’s ever had to do. Well, it was one of the hardest things I’ve had to go through as well. Another of my references spoke to how I deal with failure and adversity. She used the specific example of when I was lucky number 13 on the list of only 12 who would be accepted into the Aspen Summer Words Memoir Writing Program. (I still need to blog about that, by the way.)

 

After we got all that out of the way, she offered me the job! Hallelujah and hot damn! Shockingly, I held my sh** together during this phone call. I kind of felt like crying, but I was outside facing the mountains and it was like the sky just opened up and the sunlight poured over me. The outcome I wanted was unfolding right before my eyes. I really took charge of my life over the past few weeks and felt comfortable with how I had performed in my interviews. The amped up level of my hyperhidrosis in all of those interviews was something I dealt with in the moment, but on this awesome job offer day, I was outside in the cool breeze looking west and NOT sweating.

 

I hung up the phone with a huge grin on my face, and if I didn’t care what other people thought of me half as much as I usually do, I totally would have gone to my car while sporting a John Travolta Saturday Night Fever walk. Because that is seriously the song that popped into my head when I hung up.

 

I’d like to thank every one of you for being so supportive and encouraging, and for reminding me of what I have to offer the world when there were days when I truly thought I had nothing left. A special thanks to my parents and siblings, my Young Marrieds and tea committee peeps at church for praying for me, my closest friends (you all know who you are), and to my awesome husband. He has been amazing through these last few months, picking up the additional financial responsibilities with grace and love, and telling me numerous times not to freak out (because I NEVER do that).

 

If you’re facing adversity in your life, keep fighting the good fight. Nothing lasts forever. Well, except maybe hyperhidrosis, but even that shouldn’t stop you from creating the life you want. Never stop believing in yourself. I still struggle with this, but every day I make an effort to remind myself that I am enough. So are you.

 

Here’s to stayin’ alive!


Copyright © 2012 My Life as a Puddle

Clearing My Vision

We were at the hospital almost all day, so after my uncle left I decided to go for a walk to clear my head and get away from the heavy atmosphere of the chemotherapy unit. I took some pictures of the downtown area and the college and then walked back in the windy cold, my hands sweating in my pockets.

The-Cathedral-of-Learning                  Trees-Downtown                  A-shedding-tree

Remember those blessings I was talking about in my previous post that I said were gifted to me? As I was entering the lobby of the hospital to go back upstairs, my friend who is becoming a life coach called me. She had been working on a vision statement for me as part of her training and said she felt like she was supposed to call and read it to me that day because there was something I needed to hear. She wasn’t sure what part it was, but she knew I would know once I heard it.

 

I won’t share with you the entire vision statement (it’s pretty long), but the parts I needed to hear were so powerful! You are living the life you love! Among your greatest blessings is your knowing that you are a unique and precious child of God. Because you believe in the power of living a life greater than yourself, you are able to excel in grace and kindness to others. You take risks because you realize the outcomes will be for the greater good. You are constantly aware of your ability to empower others! Your life now makes a blessed difference in the world! You look outside of yourself for ways to serve others. When you complete your day, you have full confidence that today mattered!

 

I didn’t write that vision statement, but my friend was able to glean all of that from the conversations we’ve had. It was exactly what I needed to hear during a hard time of unemployment, family health issues, and my own health concern of hyperhidrosis. I’m taking a risk with this blog every time I write a post. I am opening myself up to judgment from others. But so what? Not only am I writing this blog for myself, to finally live my puddle-riffic truth, I am writing this blog for you. If I can inspire you through the story of my life and make you feel like you’re not alone, that is success to me. There have been many times these past few months where I’ve felt alone, and not necessarily due to my hyperhidrosis. There is power in community. So even if the closest you can get to openly sharing your hyperhidrosis with others is by reading what I might have to say, that’s a start. This blog started out as being just for me, but I feel like there is a greater purpose to it now. Perhaps I am supposed to be a puddle so that I can help someone else.

 

The last blessing I want to share with you was gifted to me by my aunt. The night before I flew home, we ordered takeout from this great Italian place. (Vivo Italiano! I am part Italian.) As we were finishing dinner, my aunt left the dining room and came back with a gift for me in celebration of my new job. We were in a stationery store earlier that week, which is one of my favorite places to go. Kelly Rae Roberts has a wonderful collection of cards, plaques, etc. that I really like, and I had specifically pointed one of them out to my aunt. She remembered and got it for me. The sentiment is very fitting. Here it is:

unleash-your-joy-kelly-rae-roberts

(Image: http://kellyraeroberts.com/)

 

After dinner, I checked my email and saw that the other position I had applied for would be conducting a reference check! All of the thoughts and feelings that had been swirling around in my head during the week with my family were starting to come together: forward thinking, the vision statement written by my friend, clearing my head, the sense of community I felt with my family, and how often I think about you, my readers.

 

So wait. Was the fighting for a job over?


Copyright © 2012 My Life as a Puddle

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