Friday, April 10, 2015

And then this happened.

I posted on Facebook the other day about hating when my negativity takes over. I haven't written much or posted much of substance because I got tired of constantly hearing "you can't really be as sick as you say you are" or "you just want attention" or "I just unfriended you because of this". I thought about never writing another word about living with Lyme disease, depression, anxiety. I realized, though, that I have to be going through this for a reason, and if I quit writing, if I quit everything, I'm short-changing myself and possibly the few people out there who read my words and get it.

I purchased new blog templates last week so I can start a separate blog that talks only about the nitty-gritty, not-always-pretty stuff. I don't plan on it being a negative space, although I'll guarantee there will be some unhappiness there. It's life. It's not always fair. No one said it would be.

I haven't had the energy to work with the designer this week, so you'll hopefully bear with me writing yet another post like this. But guess what? It doesn't end negatively.

So I post my thoughts on Facebook. I'm in a ton of pain, but I'm determined to pick up my son from school and give Rick a much-deserved break, although he swears he doesn't need it. I'm in agony, but I'm also exhausted and I'm trying to stay awake a few more hours. I scan the Facebook feed with half an eye.... and then this happened.

 It stopped me in my tracks.

Dove has had several campaigns meant to empower women and make them understand they are indeed worthy of being called beautiful, that society puts an unfair spin on what beauty is, and shames what it feels is not.

After I watched the video, I thought how I could view "beautiful" as "it's OK to be yourself, even if being yourself means a good cry, days in bed, and feeling stuck, and then writing about it when you want to".

There should be no shame in that.

I viewed "average" as "you can be safe and never write another sad word again, only post silliness and happiness, and no one will ever know how you really feel, but you at least didn't make them roll their eyes".

Average isn't bad. But I don't want to be average.

I have great hope that the upcoming new blog will be a place of reflection, healing, occasional screaming when necessary, and safety. I will be happy to bring THIS blog back to Pretty Things -- jewelry, beads, stories about Zack, books, and all things that make me smile.

Everyone has a story.

This is mine.

Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing.


  1. Oh, I love that campaign, it's popping up everywhere lately, and for good reason. Sure, it's advertisement (and while I love the campaign, I still wont buy Dove products, because I already found what works best for me skin care wise =P), but, watching it, I kept thinking: Whyyyyyyyy would she enter through the "average" door, she's gorgeous! But, just a little over a year ago, I totally would have entered through the "average" door as well. I was in a very dark and miserable place, and never, ever in my dreams would it have occurred to me to enter through the "beautiful" door. Today, I would march straight through there, head held high, and with a broad smile. And toss some glitter, if I had some on me. Note to self: Always carry a little ziploc bag of glitter around. (I am so going to do this, watch me. 8D)

    I am so proud of you, that you decided to keep going, despite the negativity. And while some may feel put off by this, because they came looking for pretty beads (and just can't keep their trap shut, instead of just walking silently away), there's others who may- scrap that, ARE being encouraged and inspired by what you share. I know too well what it is like to be accused of faking, when your problems are very, very real, and you just so manage somehow to drag yourself from day to day. Leaving with a little something I often see on German motivation boards: You stumble, you adjust your crown, and then you keep going. ;D

    xoxo to you and yours,

  2. It sometimes is hard to me to read/understand how bad someone can feel when they 'look good'. That's b/c I do not have a chronic or painful disease, but I am not going deny anyone's honesty about their feelings. People are just dumb sometimes. for the past year my blog was all about my breast cancer....that's what my life was. Writing/venting does help. Good luck on your new blog and on getting this one in the direction you want it to go.

  3. Don't doubt yourself Lori. There is value to writing about the pain and sickness and all the troubles that come with that. Don't let others make you feel wrong or alone. What you have to say has value; some people just can't see it or refuse to. Chin up and good luck to you!

  4. Lori, I'm looking forward to the new blog, too~

  5. Do what you love when you can. On your terms. Sending my best and lots of hugs your way!

  6. It's good to write. It's good to write about how you feel as I think the more we write our true feelings come out and we are able to share with others our true selves, how we feel and how things have effected us. Go girl, write your beautiful heart out!!! Wish you and your new blog well!!💞☺️💞

  7. Lori I am very thankful for your and your sharing of your journey. I shall be most interested in reading everything you and on your new blog. I admire you so very much my friend. Never let anyone else "tell" you what your life journey should or should not be. Love and Hugs...

  8. Hi Lori, This is a wonderful post. I look forward to whatever you write. You have a real gift for words and you make me think. I am not in pain but I do sympathize with you when you are having a bad day. I will read your new blog too. I hope you feel beautiful today.

  9. You go girl! Hugs to you my friend!

  10. Diane Valasek12:22 AM

    I loved the people who went through the beautiful door. I felt triumphant for them! I was thinking to myself, I hope my girls would choose the beautiful door. Did I give them enough self-confidence that they would choose it?!? That was always my goal as a mom. Give my girls enough self confidence so that no man would ever abuse them, no person would ever take advantage of them, and they would love themselves.

  11. Lori, I am so proud of you for refusing to put on a happy mask when you are dealing with serious issues. The world needs more people like you. People who are willing to be real and honest and to show others in similar situations that they are not alone.

    And here's where I get controversial, because the idea of anyone trying to guilt you out of legitimate feelings makes me hopping mad. What the world does NOT need more of is people who are stupid, shallow, and fake. Anyone who abandons or mistreats you is at least one of these, and at most, all three.

    It's been my experience, after dealing with serious problems of my own, that the people who are worth having in our lives are the ones who don't want us to pretend. Who are willing to meet all facets of us with open arms. The sooner the world stops thinking of people as positive or negative, and emotions as positive or negative, the sooner we'll find more of those people. And the sooner we'll be those people for ourselves and others.

    I don't even know if that made sense because it's 4:00 in the morning. But I <3 you very much, and I'm glad you're here.

  12. Good for you sweetie! You have beautiful strength and resilience!

  13. Hi Lori, please consider asking to join the 'Physically Challenged Artists Support Group' on facebook. The closed group accepts anyone that does any kind of art, i.e. writing, jewelry making, paint, draw, metal smiths, etc. for sale in a store or just gives to family and friends. And you have to have an illness, a disability, chronic pain, etc. I have been a part of this group for a few months. You can share your feelings and no one makes judgments. We share our art, offer suggestions or solutions if some needs help or simply a place to vent your frustrations. Its a great feeling being able to talk to people going through the same thing and knowing your not alone. Please share with your readers as it may help, even if its just one person. I've made some good friends and you will too.

  14. Lori, I know you are never going to let people of small spirit keep you down. I admire you for your courage and honesty. Always. Sending much love and best wishes.

  15. YeeHaw! You go girl!!!!! <3 <3

  16. You're amazing And beautiful and so many wonderful adjectives! I don't do normal or average, but when it comes down to it, would I walk through the other door? I don't know today.

  17. Oh goodness, people can be so annoying... Don't let them get you down. Your story is your story and you should tell it like it is, whenever it is... Sometimes we take our comfort in silly, happy and cheery and sometimes it comes from heartfelt words that are less so. They are your words though, so you choose.
    Lyme disease is a horrid thing, the scope of which is just beginning to be understood - I hope you find comfort soon...

  18. I admire your openness about your daily challenges.
    Your honesty is what makes you so lovable.
    Thank you~

  19. Janiece5:17 PM

    I have followed your blog for years. I have been making jewelry for over 20 years. I am self taught. I have degenerative disc disease of my spine. I have had 2 major surgeries and it looks like I am facing one more. I have found when I am in pain my creativity goes out the door. I can't create when all I am doing is living through the next 10 minutes, 30 minutes, hour, 2 hours. It dominates every corner of my life. I look forward to your new blog. I will be a avid follower.


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