Archive for the ‘Unplugged’ Category

It Betta For You

June 12, 2009

If you had to guess, what do you think would happen if you put 15 women in a house together, locked the doors for the weekend, forced them all to share bathrooms, made sure that the most controversial topics are discussed, oh… and splashed a little alcohol on top for good measure? Most people would think this sounds like a disaster in the making, a volcano waiting to explode. But if you are one of the ladies in the Bowyer family, this is the best weekend of the entire year – Girls Rock Weekend at Rocky Top Rendeavous!!

Whether its listening to all the bears hybernating in the same cave, popping those VIVA pills,laughing at Ray Charles playing Apples-2-Apples, contemplating the irony between cellfish-cannibals that are canadian- psychics who do well in physics, or being sung to sleep by the lovely melody of Adel Weise (sp??), this weekend has become one of my most cherished memories year after year. And I believe in the bottom parts of my heart, that there is truly no better medicine for my heart or my soul than the sound of all my “sistas” laughing and giggling with me. Or sitting at the dining room table, hugging and crying with me.

The bond this family has forged is strong enough to move mountains – even “Rocky” ones that we all face in our lives. A smile here, a wink there… a laughter contagious enough to spread across the whole house (even if you are asleep..). The tears you see are all specs of joy leaving one soul and reaching out to grab another – to bond us tightly together like blood sisters. A bond that will never be broken. And I hope you ladies know, that each and every one of you are a few of my favorite things.

For anyone in the clan who couldn’t make it this year, you were deeply missed. We hope you will make it next year, cuz partying with the Rocky Top Girls it betta for you!! Now getcha boots made for walkin’ and I will see you again next year – somewhere over the rainbow!! I love you ladies!!


June 3, 2009

“You can’t be me, I’m a Rockstar. I’m riding on the top of a cop car.”  Well, actually I’m hooked up to an IV right now in the infusion center. I’m listening to N.E.R.D., but I do feel like a rockstar right now. I should be mad and frustrated because my MS has been going haywire. One day it’s my heart, next MS, then my heart again, then employment shit, then this or that. Naaahhhh…. this IV is a good thing. I think this is going to be a turning point.

Wait, what’s that sound…. “its my heart beat, it’s getting much louder, my heart beat… it’s stronger than ever. I’m feeling so alive…” (A Twist in My Story, Secondhand Serenade). Sorry, I can’t help it that I have some really good music on my ipod…..

The funny thing is my heart actually isn’t stronger than ever right now and that’s okay. That song goes on to say “it’s time I opened up & let your love flow thru me”. And that’s what I have done since unplugging. I was so mad at everything going on with my health and how it effected every aspect of my life that I wouldn’t open up and let anyone’s love flow thru me – not my parent’s, not my friends’, and worse of all, not even God’s. Sometimes you just have to let others fight the fight for you. As much as the martial artist in me wants to get on that mat and open up a big can of whoop ass on reality, I’m just not physically strong enough to do that right now. And that’s okay. ROCKSTAR!
And just in case you might be thinking along the wrong train of thought, HELL NO this doesn’t make me weak. Continuing to beat myself up, continuing to push my heart past exhaustion, continuing to try and fix MS on my own, continuing to think I have to carry the entire weight of the world on my shoulders – that makes me weak. (Besides, “technically” it’s Obama’s job to carry the weight of world on his shoulders…)

It has taken me 6 months to get to this point. A place my cardiologist has fought tooth and nail with me on. He will be ever so pleased when he gets back from China!! I finally just unplugged. Just pulled the cord out of the wall to stop the electric current of craziness to my brain. So, for anyone out there thinking I’ve given up – think again! I’m simply sitting on the bench and sending in my back-up players: my doctors, my medicine, my family & friends, GOD to do the fighting for me so I can sit still and rest. And when my body is strong enough then I’ll get back on the matt. Every quaterback has a back-up, every baseball team has multiple pitchers. The same goes for me. It’s time for me to sit a few games (or in my case, fights) out. Ironically, I had warned reality that when you mess with me, you mess with my whole family. Betcha didn’t think I’d actually pull out a whole army on ya, huh?? There is one of you, there’s a lot more on my side. We’ll see who taps out first now! Ha!! How’s that for strategy! ROCKSTAR!

One thing I would like you to understand is that with the addition of heart failure, my power had been compromised and I needed to feel strong again. Hence, I did what I knew how to do best, I fought. I fought like hell. Strength somes from more places than just your physical muscles. With MS I always used to say it didn’t matter if it took away my legs, it would never take my mind and your brain is the strongest muscle in your body. So as long as I could use that, I could fight. About damn time I started using it, huh???

So… to answer the question that I know is burning in your mind – No, you still can’t be me, I’m a ROCKSTAR!!

Bowyer Unplugged

May 24, 2009

Do you remember back in the day when MTV actually played music videos? They had this show called MTV Unplugged. Artists would come on and play acoutically their music. It was raw, it was open, it was vunerable, it was beautiful. There wasn’t any behind the scenes electronic sounding board that could cover up their vocals. You got to hear who they were, and more often than not, you got the chance to see and feel the artist in their music. Hence, why I think it was beautiful. I miss that show.

Here recently there is a commercial for the AJC advertising their new Sunday edition. It has a couple sitting on the couch and all of their cell phones start going off and you see emails coming in. The commercial says to unplug, turn off your phones, it’s Sunday so just relax (and enjoy the new Sunday edition of the AJC). But the point behind it is good – just unplug. Like the old MTV show – you have everything unplugged and its just you.

That is why I have been absent this last week. I’ve needed to just unplug and relax. As you guys know there has been a lot on my shoulders. And there still is. But what I found is that I was concentrating a lot of my energy in areas that I cannot control – wasted energy that turns into negative energy. And by unplugging, we’ve cut off the electric current to that. See, everyone kept telling me to just “let go”. And while I know everyone’s heart was in the right place, you have to understand that there are some things  I can’t just let go of — my heart. With MS, the reality of my disease getting worse meant me being in a wheelchair. Over time, I came to a serene peace with that because MS could never take away my mind, which is where my strength is, and MS could never kill me. With heart failure, the reality of the disease getting worse is something I don’t know if I am ready to face. (if I am truly being honest here…). But its something I am working on.

And in the past, if there was something I wanted to do, an activity, then I could train and in a month be prepared to do it. Some cases it took a little longer. (I’m sorry but you can’t train and be ready to ride the MS 150 in a month. It just doesn’t happen). However, now, if I wanted to do that same activity that used to take me a month to prepare for, now it could very well take me three years. And in my mind I took that as a sign of failure. It took me “unplugging” to realize that I have been looking at this all wrong. Yes this is a fight. Yes this is a daily battle against reality I aim to win. But the fact that I am still willing to tackle that activity (whatever it may be), and still give it a try even if it takes me 3 years is a sign of preserverance, not failure. Failure now is if I totally throw in the towel.

And it took me “unplugging” to realize that there are some things you can control, and the ones you can’t – you just let go. Those are the items I need to let go of. Alot of these items I can’t control were adding serious stress in my life. I can’t control the fact that my company laid me off. What I can control is what I am doing to find employment, insurance, etc. And there is some of this I just have to leave in God’s hands. I can’t control the fact there is a member of my family who doesn’t want to acknowledge my existance, doesn’t want me in their lives, doesn’t care whether or not I am even alive (and yes they know I have heart failure, they know I was back in the hospital again in March, they know that my heart continues to get worse). I can’t make somebody love me, even if they are a family member. What I can control is that no matter what, I love them. And if they decide one day they want a relationship, then I am here. The rest – I have to just let go.

Unplugging for me is an attempt to slow my mind down. I’m not perfect at it, but I’m slowly getting there. The reality for me is that my mind has always operated at 200mph and never stopped, I stay stressed out and get worked up about things/issues. All of this was/is sending poisonous darts directly to my heart. And after the last doc’s appointment, it became a top priority to unplug. Now the key is staying unplugged!! Ha!

You have to go thru the darkness to see the light. Over the last month I was in some serious darkness trying to deal with everything my doctor laid on me (its honestly not something I am ready to write about fully). To say I was freaked out honestly doesn’t do any justice to the word. By unplugging, I found something that had been missing in my life over the last month – my smile and my laugh! So watchout people – its back!! Could be a very dangerous thing for Atlanta!! 🙂

In all seriousness, I ask for you guys to be patient with me. This whole thing is a work in progress. There is some good and some bad. While lately there has been more bad, I am going to make it a point to remember to showcase the good as well. If for no other reason, because I need to remember its still there.

My Dad summed things up perfectly after my doctor’s appointment. He just simply said, “This not tournament Daniel-son.” And I have to keep remembering that. I am not training for this tournament to showcase my skills for a brief moment in time. I am in this for the long-haul, no matter how long that takes me. (and for anyone reading this that does not know what movie that line is from, shame on you! You need to make it a Blockbuster night!!)

So everyone, raise your glasses with me:
Cheers to unplugging
Cheers to smiling
And here’s to many, many more laughs!