Letting Go

I first learned of the concept of “a new kind of normal” at a Women of Faith conference several years ago. A speaker said something along of the lines of “Sometimes things happen in life – sometimes they are good and sometimes they aren’t. We can’t go back in change it instead we must move forward. In turn, we must find a new kind of normal.” It truly resonated with me and has been my life’s goal since my illness diagnosis which took place almost eight years ago.

But the thing is, I’m not there yet. This blog has wore the  name “A New Kind of Normal” for almost 4 years but honestly I don’t quite have a grip on it yet. I still catch myself looking over my shoulder longing for the old me. The healthy me. The me that still had hopes of running a marathon and sporting a cute baby belly. The me that no longer exists. The trained counselor in me recognizes my loss and realizes that I will still experience sudden temporary upsurges of grief (aka STUGS – take that Dr. D!) The perfectionist in me wants all of that to be behind me permanently. The realist in me knows that its just something I’ve got to come to terms with.

Honestly, I’m ok with the grief part of it. I know there will be days where I will mourn my loss of fertility. I know there will be days where I will mourn my loss of health.

What I’m not ok with is my longing to be the old me. The thought that if I can just get back to this or do that like I used to, I will be ok. I want to be rid of that. I want to be rid of the guilt of not being able to do everything I think I should be able to do. The guilt that somehow I am letting my family down by not being healthy like I once was. I want to be rid of the shame that I am sick and that sometimes I have to say no and that sometimes I have to cancel plans. I did nothing to cause my illness and honestly nothing short of a miracle cure is going to take it away so I know that I have no reason to feel guilty or ashamed. I know that but I just don’t feel that.

The new me is something I should still be proud of. I may have lost my ability to run a marathon but instead I’ve gained a heart of compassion. I may not have a rock hard body like I’ve always dreamed of but I have a body that hasn’t given up on me yet (and have managed to lose and keep off 35lbs!). I may not be a social butterfly and live it up on the town but instead I have gained meaningful and cherished relationships with others experiencing chronic illness through the magic of social media. I may not have gotten to experience pregnancy but now I have the opportunity to provide support and encouragement to those who are traveling a similar journey.

So this is me letting go of the old me and embracing the new me and my new normal:

It is not how I would have planned it but every day is a new gift and a new adventure and when I think of all of the good that God has created out of a desperate situation, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Women Online

This post was written as a part of the SITS Letting Go Series over the Women on the Move Channel! If you are looking for motivation or inspiration, definitely check it out and link up! You can follow the Letting Go discussion on twitter using the #SITSLettingGo hashtag!

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  • Reply Mamie

    I’m constantly longing for the old me. Good post.

    April 7, 2011 at 7:52 am
    • Reply mamie

      ps- your hair looks fab in those pictures 🙂

      April 7, 2011 at 12:01 pm
      • Reply Jamee

        Thanks Mamie! I tried one of those 30 day straightening treatments this weekend! It felt gross the first two days but so far so good! Still straight! Haven’t had to touch my flat iron!

        April 7, 2011 at 3:06 pm
  • Reply Jennifer

    I think everyone experiences this to some extent, whether they’ve had big loss (like a chronic illness) or just a small loss (like they aren’t 18 anymore). I think it is smart to focus on the future and all the opportunities that lie before us instead of focusing on what we don’t have any more. Smart, but hard. Good for you for letting go of the past! I bet it makes your future even better.

    April 7, 2011 at 9:34 am
    • Reply Jamee

      Thanks Jennifer! When you are told more times than you’d like, “I’m sorry there is nothing we can do. You can only expect it to get worse,” its hard to even remain hopeful for the future! But I am determined not to let illness take my hope away too!

      April 7, 2011 at 3:09 pm
  • Reply Rebecca Jo

    I LOVEE LOVVVEEEE LOOOOVVEEE this!!!!! Love the picture too… you dont know how much this encouraged me today!

    April 7, 2011 at 10:35 am
    • Reply Jamee

      I am so glad that you were able to be encouraged!!! That alone makes it worth it!

      April 7, 2011 at 3:08 pm
  • Reply Shell

    Oh, I love how you did your pics- very creative!

    An d I hope that this is an attitude that you keep!

    April 7, 2011 at 10:40 am
    • Reply Jamee

      Thanks Shell! Ever since I wrote this post I have been challenged to maintain this attitude! It has been a hard week illness-wise so having the encouragement of the SITS gals has helped so much!

      April 7, 2011 at 3:07 pm
  • Reply Heather H

    Beautiful post! Wishing you the best of luck in focusing on tomorrow and not thinking of yesterday anymore!

    April 7, 2011 at 11:19 am
    • Reply Jamee

      Thank you Heather!

      April 7, 2011 at 3:06 pm
  • Reply Living the Balanced Life

    Oh, Jamee, I can so relate! My issues are different than yours but still that longing for what was before is still there. And that is part of what I had to let go as well. I am sorry for the struggles you have had to go through but you have gone so far! Losing 35 pounds! I’d give my right thigh AND my left thigh to lose 35 pounds, (wait, that WOULD be 35 pounds or more!) And now you have your daughter, that is awesome. And so what if you won’t have things the way you thought they should be, you wouldn’t have turned into the person you have become who is caring and empathetic, and you wouldn’t have your daughter!
    HUGS to you!

    April 7, 2011 at 2:45 pm
    • Reply Jamee

      Thank you so much Bernice! I am thankful for the blessings I have been given, even in the midst of pain!

      April 7, 2011 at 3:05 pm
  • Reply Miranda H.

    I love this post, such a powerful thought… it’s got me thinking. Thank you.

    April 7, 2011 at 4:04 pm
  • Reply Jessica

    Well on your way to embracing the new you…now I need to take your advice!

    April 7, 2011 at 7:38 pm
  • Reply Dana Whitfield

    I COMPLETELY know how you feel. Even though I have been sick most of my life, I still hang on to “what could have been”. As my disease has progressed over the years, it has been an ongoing process learning to accept this “new kind of normal” and not just accept it but be joyful in it. Some days its hard to be joyful but its worth it. Love this post. Thanks for sharing


    April 8, 2011 at 12:17 am
  • Reply stephanie

    you are an amazing, inspirational and beautiful woman. Thank you for sharing your story!

    April 8, 2011 at 12:35 am
  • Reply Leslie

    Jamee, so nice to “meet” you, by way of your blog! I love your story – – you truly have offered a lot of yourself and it shows. I especially like the way you spoke of not being okay with longing to be the old you. But perhaps my favorite part was the gaining of a “heart of compassion.”

    I have dedicated my entire website to inspiring others to Let go, and Trust Life. I interview people and publish their stories on my website to encourage and inspire others. I would be honored to share your story with my readers. I believe the more we share our true selves with others, we more goodness we spread.

    Please feel free to contact me if you’re interested.


    April 9, 2011 at 1:42 pm
    • Reply Jamee

      Leslie, I would love to share my story! You can shoot me an email at anewkindofnormal (at) and let me know what details you need!

      April 9, 2011 at 8:05 pm
  • Reply CoffeeJitters

    What a wonderful contribution to the SITS Letting Go project! I still mourn the old pre-cancer me, too. I have to keep reminding myself that I’m missing out on what I do have when I mourn what I used to have.

    April 9, 2011 at 11:09 pm
  • Reply Melody@ Life's Twisted Stitches

    Oh Honey, You are so wonderful! Thank you for this absolutely transformative post. I want you to know that the title of your blog has often popped into my mind and resonates with me on days when I am feeling down and defeated, regarding the place I am in life and the struggles I face with my kids. Your blog is inspiring and so are you! Keep it up love!~

    April 10, 2011 at 8:54 pm
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  • Reply Stephanie Snyder

    I’m a little late, but due to travel, couldn’t read everyone’s Letting Go posts last week – this one is fantastic! And I love your pics 🙂 It’s interesting, how much we change as we get older – i’m grateful for all of the changes I’ve made in the past few years! Reaching the upper twenties has been an eye opener for me, as far as letting go of the old Stephanie and focusing on being fabulous and living in the present.

    Great post!

    April 13, 2011 at 12:38 pm
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  • Reply FeliciaFibro

    Life is always a work in progress, so your new kind of normal is ever evolving too, ya know? I’m glad you’re embracing the new you because she sure seems fab!

    April 14, 2011 at 7:27 pm
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  • Reply Peter

    Love this post and your attitude!

    April 21, 2011 at 7:00 pm
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  • Reply Staci Monroe

    Even though I have been sick most of my life, I still hang on to “what could have been”. I interview people and publish their stories on my website to encourage and inspire others. Some days its hard to be joyful but its worth it. Life is always a work in progress, so your new kind of normal is ever evolving too, ya know?

    December 13, 2011 at 7:14 pm
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