Four Years of Finding the True Me

On May 31, 2008 I wrote my first post for The Life and Adventures of Cateepoo.  At the time, I had no idea if anyone would ever read a word I wrote but I felt a strong need to put my thoughts into writing.  As I reread my first blog post, I felt tears swell as I remembered the woman I was and reflected on the woman I am today. The core of me is the same, but so much growth has occurred over the years. Here’s my first post:

There have been two things I have done in the last four and a half years that I put a lot of thought into and still made a decision I wasn’t completely comfortable with. I felt both decisions were going against who I really am. However, I thoughtfully made the decisions and now I am in the process of reversing those decisions.  

The first decision was made over four years ago when I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Everything in me told me that the medications they wanted me to start on were not in my best interest. However, I was new to the alternative health world and the fear in not taking the meds took over. Within six months of being diagnosed, I saw my body go from stiff fingers in the morning to barely being able to get out of bed by myself . This wasn’t the type of life I wanted for myself. It didn’t feel like “me”. So, I started on the meds even though they didn’t feel like me either. I have been on meds for over four years now. In February, I made the choice to go off all meds!

Two years ago, in the midst of trying to find a sexier me, I decided to start coloring my hair. I was fairly comfortable with the grays that have been coming in since I was 16, but all the sudden the grays seemed wiry and out of control. I decided to just go for it and pay the consequences later. Well, I have to admit, I do like the coloring job my hair stylist does. However, every eight weeks when it is time to go for a touch-up, I see those grays coming through and think, “Oh, there I am.” It feels like I keep covering up a part of who I am. A good friend of mine said, “You have earned those grays.” I do believe that and I am on the road to finding my grays again! I cancelled my appointment for today and I am letting the natural me come back.

It feels liberating to be off meds (even if the alternative stuff isn’t working yet) and to know that in the next year or so, I will be totally hair color free again!!! Please join me as I continue my quest for a healthy body that heals with natural herbs, vitamins and homeopathy and as I find peace with the hair I have earned.

The last four years have been all about discovering who I am and which decisions are right for me.  I have learned that although I share a similar disease with many wonderful people, the path I take is very individual.   Since I started this blog I have learned that the “right” decision for me will always change.What is right for me now may not be right for me in two years or even in two months. Letting go of the idea that the decisions I make today are permanent was life changing.  When I decided to return to medications along with a continued alternative health/diet approach to calming my rheumatoid arthritis in August of 2010, I made the decision knowing that at any time I can change the course of my path.  The choices are mine to make – not my rheumatologist’s, family’s, friends’s, or fellow blogger’s.  I am ultimately the expert when it comes to my body and as long as I listen to what my body is asking of me at the time, the choices will always be right.

You may wonder if I found the true me when I let my natural grays fill in.  Yes!  While I started coloring my hair in an attempt to “find a sexier me”, I have discovered that the grays are a good match for me.  They feel like they belong to who I am.  I have discovered that being my authentic self that feels comfortable in my own body is the sexiest thing I can do.  

When I started this blog, it was a way for me to organize my thoughts.  In my wildest dreams I never imagined all the wonderful things that would come from this simple act:

  • I have met and become friends with so many wonderful people. In fact, I have a super sweet friend who seems to read my mind.  She somehow knows just when I need to share with a friend and sends an email that lifts my spirits.    
  • I was invited to be a contributor for Health Central.
  • I get to work with RA Guy and Lene, two of the most awesome people one could ever meet, on  projects that promote a positive spin on inflammatory arthritis – something I desperately needed four years ago. 
  • On my worst days, I can share my thoughts here on my blog and within the hour I have comments that make me cry, laugh, and know that I am not alone.
  •  I started two other blogs: Natural Happy Being Me, a collection of simple daily events that bring happiness to my life and Born to Learn, Free to Learn, a blog that chronicles my philosophy and experiences about unschooling, an alternative form of homeschooling. 
Thank you to each of you who has read, commented, and shared my blog with others.  I have learned much from so many of you!  Good luck on your own adventures, enjoying the simple everyday beauty of life.  

8 thoughts on “Four Years of Finding the True Me

  1. Carla

    It is a real joy for you to share your voice, your experiences, your decisions and your wisdom in our community. Thank you for the last four years and I hope you continue for many more.


  2. I so agree with you about finding me 🙂 It is an ever changing road that we travel and we must adapt to what fits us best. I have enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to another (at least) ten years of reading 🙂


  3. Cathy, this is such a wonderful post. I too, have learned so much over the past few years about myself and my disease. Learning is one of the greatest joys in life for me. Having said that, I have to tell you that I have learned soooo much from your blog. Thank you for your insightful posts my friend 🙂


  4. It is always a challenge to be true to ourselves and the authentic person that we truly are. I admire your decision to come off your medications. It is an issue I struggle with all the time.

    I am also coloring my hair as those greys have really started popping up for me but I do have concerns over using hair dye, even though it is a temporary rinse. Hmm, will have to think about that!


  5. One of the best things that has happened in the last 6 months is to get to know you (and RA Guy, of course) better. Your wisdom and grace teaches me something every time I read your blog(s). And you make me laugh. A lot.


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