Why Bother Anniversary

Telling us a story about a why bother time in your life in the comments below! I love reading them!

April 28th

May 4th

May 7th with Karen Salmansohn

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Laura Becker - May 3, 2021

I had to survive 35 years of dysthymia, generalized anxiety disorder, and major depressive disorder, including multiple hospitalizations, to get through to the other side – happiness. I finally found a treatment (transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS) that helps correct my brain chemistry, as well as a treatment that helps me understand why I react the way I do (dialectical behavior therapy, DBT). DBT also taught me a lot of skills I can use to choose to react differently, thus enhancing my life experiences. I honestly thought I would die alone and depressed in a dark basement apartment somewhere with a bottle of Jack Daniels in my hand. But my depression has been in remission for over a year, and no more Jack! I didn’t believe it was even within the realm of possibility for me to be happy, but look at me now! 🙂

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    Viv Kane - May 3, 2021

    I have had years of no confidence I was brought up in an era unfortunately where i was not given a lot of encouragement I know there will of been others who went through the same, went through life doing jobs I thought I could only do, not aim for things I really wanted to do as i wasn’t clever, or good enough i was worried about making mistakes, I was quite shy but had friends, met my husband, went on to have 4 children some of the time a lot actually I stayed at home to look after my children, but I did go on to work again when my youngest daughter was 3 in childcare, went on eventually to get qualified in level 2 and 3 , childcare, a lot of work with level 3 working part time running the house, children, there was so much work with the level 3 and I deep down knew I didn’t want this , but did it anyway, my mum and dad got ill during this time and that knocked me for six and then I got ill November 2015 with a chest infection, vitamin D deficiency I was just getting worse and ended up where the virus attacked my heart , I had a heart attack ,nearly died, I was so shocked, and have been traumatised by it and then procedures , 2 open heart surgeries, the last one a heart transplant in 2020, some people told me oh, your life will change and I expected to be instantly happy, but confused because I I wasent , physical recovery has been quicker than phscological- still , in between that my mum died, which was devastating, its made me realise I dont want to settle for being frightened of not doing what I really want , I’ve been writing down why bother prompts, maybe more writing because it’s easier following the norm of what I used to do for creativity( or lack of it) Jens book why bother I recently bought has blown me away, its like she knows me ,she makes me feel inspired by her life , her prompts , compassion, kindness, I do want to continue to write

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    jenniferlouden - May 8, 2021

    That is such great news! I’m so happy for you!

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    jenniferlouden - May 9, 2021

    Laura depression is so impossibly unfair and hard. I am amazed by your resiliency and inspired, thanks for sharing your story.

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Adrian - May 3, 2021

I recently had to go through and understand that almost every one of my friends, are all acting out of their Egos, and finally understand, that I have been taken off their list a long time ago. After a battle with my own Ego who wanted friendship, love, righteousness, compassion, kindness and felt being put down, forgotten, thrown out at the recycle bin of history, and being reduced from a talented aspiring writer and music producer to a mere stupid and idiot friend (which I’m really now), I now could see opening another door (as the friendship door in my life has finally closed). I can clearly see how I did so much and assigned so much of my time to cater to my old-time friends, just to ignore basically myself, my projects, my life, my work which granted me money and financial security. Now I can clearly see how I could again make time for myself, work as much as I can, so I can finally detach from all these toxic friendships (that had become over-time) that would soon grant me the freedom to roam the country and the world, so I can explore life and found real people with which I can form real friendships. Hard lesson, heartbreaking, but real truth. It seems that ever since I enrolled myself into the path of mindfulness and meditation, one by one, all my old friends forgot me or threw me out in the bin. Now I will gently and kindly continue my spiritual path, but this time I will only focus on real friendships and forget and forgive everyone that ever thought wrong about me. I cannot blame life, or anyone else, for these people that are, in the end, not the center of the world.

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    jenniferlouden - May 8, 2021

    Those are hard lessons but well seen!

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Leona - May 3, 2021

I had to go through many years of physical illness and relationship/emotional crisis so that eventually I could realize and admit the legacy of my childhood and begin a recovery journey, the journey that is leading me back to my own creative, personal and professional self and voice. And, along the way, I have to keep reminding myself that nothing is wasted and this labor will bear fruit, so I keep putting one foot in front of another.

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    jenniferlouden - May 9, 2021

    Leona nothing is wasted! I remind myself of that nearly every day. Hugs! Thanks for your story.

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Viv Kane - May 4, 2021

That sounds great, I don’t have Instagram but it’s good I will be able to watch the lives, thank you jen, sounds so good

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Jessica - May 7, 2021

During the last year of hardship and uncertainty, I have felt so many deep emotions about belonging, uncertainty, guilt, connection, and passion. I am a privileged middle-aged white woman with a loving partner and son who is healthy, stable, and safe. I have felt all sorts of anger, resentment, mistrust, confusion, and disappointment which is captured so well by the concept of languishing. Our lives have been uprooted and discombobulated, and the I realize one of the hardest parts is owning my feelings. I feel guilty for feeling. .When others are sick, struggling, fighting for their lives, and even dying, who am I to feel this way? So why bother to care? To create? To consider? To buy flowers for our pots, to make something new for dinner, to walk a new route in the neighbourhood, to pass on good books to others, to talk through a major setback with a friend, to bake pies for my family, to send out a newsletter? The list goes on – and at times I have not felt like doing them at all, but bother because I am a creative being and right now, this is how it shows up. Is it enough? Doesn’t feel that way for the high achiever in me, and I’m working on feeling “enough” right now. Trying to balance the waves of amazing creative output (new online business & clients, stronger family bonds, learning so many new things) with the tired, non-productive, unmotivated, languishing moments in between. Realizing that the discomfort in all of this is an opportunity to learn and grow is humbling, hard to understand, and even harder to be okay with. Writing about it sure helps so thank you Jennifer for the space to do so!

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    jenniferlouden - May 9, 2021

    Jessica so good to read your story. I so get how you are feeling. I hope winning a copy of Why Bother? might help a tiny bit. If you already have it, you can give me the address to send it on as a gift to someone else. Tell me if you like paper, digital or audio! Hugs and thank you for being in my world so very much!

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Susan - May 7, 2021

This is how I kept bothering during the last year of hardship and uncertainty: by throwing everything I could think of at the loneliness, isolation, and fear . That included, of course, Jen Louden’s two recenr books, meditation, multiple online summits, daily, journal writing, and lots of deep breathing. Poems helped, reading, and starting a daily practice of writing seventeen syllables and a season word (my condition of enoughness to get something on paper). And I started cooking again, crockpot recipes like refried beans and baked beans, and listening to Belleruth Naparstak’s guided imagery CDs for fibromyalgia and imagining a cushion of kindness surrounding me with all those who had ever shown me sweetness. Oh, and there was Zoom yoga, qigong too. I threw it all into the mix, and I survived. No one was in my apartment except maintenance people for over a year. But now, here I am, fully vaccinated, taking tentative steps toward re-entry, whatever that means, days away from another birthday, seventy-third, wanting to celebrate and dance (if the body will allow), and laugh until I can’t stop, because I have survived. Not pretty, but done! And the “why bother” ideas were part of my medicine.

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    jenniferlouden - May 9, 2021

    Susan what amazing self-care. Totally inspiring to me. Thanks for sharing your story.

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Elizabeth Sweeney - May 7, 2021

In January after working through the book more than once I finished what I believed would be the final draft of a story collection. I was cautioned not to send it out without more careful editing, but I knew
that I had a deadline of 1/30 for a contest for music based literature. I could not bypass the opportunity.
When I heard that my collection was a runner up for the publication prize I knew that I would find a home for the stories.

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    jenniferlouden - May 9, 2021

    Awesome! Love that you submitted and you are a runner-up! Double awesome!!! I’d love to send you a Why Bother book as a prize for sharing your story or I can gift to someone else if you already have a copy. Paper, digital, or audio? Hugs!!

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Viv Kane - May 7, 2021

#getmybotheron
I was never confident, and came from a place of if you were not clever/ have no qualifications you couldn’t get a good job, I did struggle at school with some subjects, never got top Mark’s, I’m relearning that everything I was taught and told about myself and how I should be is wrong, this came to me after the trauma of nearly dying after a heart attack .procedures, 2 open heart surgeries one being a transplant nearly a year ago, I’ve never felt good enough , dealing with the grief from my best friend passing away my mum nearly two years ago and having to deal with that and what went with that was to much to bear, the jobs I’ve had in the past as a cleaner, working in childcare, shop work, packing, burger factory were good jobs I liked some of the time but at the back of my mind I wanted something else but I didn’t know what, I’ve had 4 children, stayed at home, worked inbetween, after heart failure my confidence was at the lowest it ever was, but in 2019 I got the urge to write after figuring out how to get onto Amazon kindle, I’ve enjoyed reading for a long time and had got out of it but then back into it again, I’d really like to write a memoir, would love to talk about my mum in that, but I dont know why, i came across jen, watched her videos, and i thought do you know what time is passing me by, how much has gone on while I have been thinking about this, why should I be scared, why shouldn’t I do something I have an urge to do, the oasis is so supportive I love jens audios, videos, her book why bother is amazing and her why bother prompts, listening to her and what she says in the book has inspired me to write as jen suggests in her book about what got me started with my/ your why bother, and starting writing journal prompts is fairly new to me, so I want to move past this feeling of it’s to hard, procrastinating, and do it, which I am now making steps to, I feel I can get a lot out of the oasis

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    jenniferlouden - May 9, 2021

    Viv thanks for all your love!

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Deborah Guy - May 8, 2021

In December 2003, I endured my first kidney stone attack. A stent was inserted to allieviate my discomfort until a lithotripsy (the first of 7 such procedures between 2003 and 2013) could be performed. The kidney stone attack was merely the latest in a series of medical dramas that had plagued me for much of my adult life: hypertension, sleep apnea, IBS, microcytic anemia, and even a hemorrhagic stroke in 1995. I resolved that starting in January 2004, I would be more proactive about my physical wellbeing, diet, exercise, and rest.

While I was in that frame of mind, I saw a sign announcing an informational meeting for the Train to End Stroke marathon training team. After attending the meeting, I was inspired to sign up for the team. Signing up meant committing to do a series of training walks as well as to raise $3900 in order to travel to San Diego to run in that year’s Rock & Roll Marathon. Both were daunting tasks, let alone for a stroke survivor who still wore an orthotic in order to walk.

Despite the enormity of the commitment, I was convinced that this would be the best way forward. Not only would I be improving my own health, but I would also be supporting a cause I care deeply about. Increasing public awareness about the effects of stroke and raising funds for research to prevent strokes and treat stroke patients are worth the bother!

My family was at first totally dubious about my participation in the program. They showed little faith in my capacity to fulfill both the both the training and the fundraising requirements. Happily for me, I had a group of very supportive women friends from a book discussion group we were in who helped with the fundraising and words of support. My stroke support group was 100% behind me.

My prior life experience and training with visualization and guided mediation helped me to visualize both walking the marathon course and crossing the finish line in San Diego. It also helped me visualize holding successful fundraising events and letter-writing campaigns for donations to TTES.

The PR director at the local American Heart Association affiliate who sponsored the team was inspired by my story and my willingness to hare it. She tapped me to give interviews to local TV and radio stations to promote both the Train to End Stroke team and National Stroke Awreness Month in May. My teammates gave me the nickname of “The Strokesmodel” (Stroke + Spokesmodel).

As a result of the support of my community, the publicity I generated from “strokesmodeling,” the miles of training walks I completed and the hours of visualizations I did, I made it to San Diego, I walked a shortened version of the marathon course but still received a finisher’s medal. I even had a sychronous encounter with one of my personal growth mentors at the San Diego airport as I was about to leave town.

As I explain to whoever will listen, I had an epiphany the day following the race: My life is the marathon. San Diego was merely the victory lap. That is what my finisher’s medal represents to me–a reward for resilience, perseverance, self-trust and faith. #getyourbotheron

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    jenniferlouden - May 9, 2021

    Deborah that is so incredible. I will be thinking of you when I run today. My gosh, that’s so wonderful!!

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Lisa M Pizzale - May 8, 2021

I had to go through losing 60 lbs and getting into my healthy sized body to realize I’d been holding onto that weight all those years as a sort of “suit of armor.” I ate to keep my body nourished, yes. Like many others, I also ate when stress was high. I also ate when I needed comfort — and food was indeed my comfort and my friend. Yet, when I would begin to get thin and men would show me attention, it made me feel uncomfortable and anxious and so I ate too because of this — creating my suit of armor thick with inflammation made from sugary and floury crap. Being the victim of incest by three male relatives by fifteen years old made me not want any attention from men, and instead, want to be invisible. I could have eaten less or binged and purged and really been invisible. In all honesty, I did try that route in my teens too. It suppose my ever logical brain found that food was more comforting going down than coming up.
Now, at 53 years old, after journaling since I was eight years old and various therapists, a shaman doing soul retrieval work (which was amazing) I finally found myself able to let go of my suit of armor. Those clunky pieces of armor that were weighing my body and soul down have been released to the universe. I no longer have pain in my body and move more freely. More importantly, I feel secure and safe in my healthy body — most of the time. I can’t lie and say that this process has been easy. I have moments when I stumble, trip and stub my metaphorical toes. This is the nature of healing with this kind of trauma. Things hit you when you least expect it, sometimes upside the head as if with a hard, heavy metal chair. For example, take trying on clothes. Something seemingly simple and innocuous, right? In that moment, I can have mixed emotions of “Hey, that looks good and it fits, yay! I’m proud of the hard work I put into getting here.” While at the same moment I’ll realize “You have a figure now, a shape and look a little sexier than you used to.” That last thought will sometimes literally make my breath stop and catch for a moment and make me want to shove food in my mouth. I don’t do that anymore though. Instead, I close my eyes. I take a deep breath in and out. In. And. Out. If I can’t get rid of the anxiety with that exercise, I reach out to a friend with a text or a call. This has been a big lesson for me, reaching out. Learning I don’t have to heal and grow alone, that I can have support on this journey beyond the occasional appointment with a therapist. It has taken me to 53 years old to realize I don’t have to be Wonder Woman. I can take off my golden wrist bands, put down the golden lasso and say, “I need your help” to a friend and the world won’t come crashing down around me. It’s a hard, beautiful and humbling lesson to learn. I do wish I’d learned it earlier, but I am embracing it fully now that I have found out how much it enriches the experiences of my life and my healing.

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    jenniferlouden - May 10, 2021

    Lisa what story you have! “I need your help” such profound words. And staying with all those feelings instead of eating them… so enriched by reading your story.

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