Browsing Category

Survival

Survival

A Healing Journey

By 2008, John and I had experienced many losses that scarred our soul: my mother, John’s dad, Lora, Marcia and Cindy we’re gone.  We hated losing our parents but as One ages, it’s expected.  It was at this time, I began searching for a way to heal. My sorrow ran deep from these losses especially from watching three young women die a protracted death by the insidious Huntington’s disease.   http://www.hdsa.org

After many sessions with my therapist, I saw Pam for 12 years, writing therapy, a form of expressive therapy that uses the act of writing and processing the written word as therapy, appealed to me. Writing therapy posits that writing one’s feelings gradually eases feelings of emotional trauma.

Early in 2010, I composed an outline, I didn’t really know how or where to start, so I just began writing my story.  Not too long after that, I joined two writer’s club and shortly after thereafter, I joined a critique group.

I wrote and rewrote for four years, and the critique group proved to be invaluable.  A writer learns, as folks read your work, that you must be tough skinned and accept remarks as constructive criticism. I grew as a writer during this time, attending writing seminars and workshops.  In 2015, I found my editor, Pam, and spent a year rewriting again.

Therese’s memoir/nonfiction book, Watching Their Dance: Three Sisters, a Genetic Disease and Marrying into a Family At Risk for Huntington’s, is available on her author website  http://www.theresecrutchermarin.com   & on Amazon, B&N, & in Kindle, Kobo, Nook, iBooks format.

100% of the proceeds from Therese’s book sold in the U.S. will be donated to HDSA.  http://www.hdsa.org     Therese and John donated $9,015.00 to HDSA that is the profit from book sales since Therese published in April 2017.

 Subscribe to Therese’s Blog via Email

 Enter your email address to subscribe to Therese’s blog and receive notifications of new posts by email and receive the first chapter of her book, Watching Their Dance, via email.

Photo by robpurdie on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Survival, Watching Their Dance

How I Lived with the Uncertainty of Huntington’s Disease

Mr. Anthony Jay Robbins said, “The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably deal with.”  Tony is an American Multi-level marketing advocate, businessman, and author. He became well-known for his infomercials and self-help books: Unlimited Power, Unleash the Power Within and Awaken the Giant.  https://www.tonyrobbins.com/biography/

Certainty is almost always preferable to uncertainty because we humans like to know!  It was critical for me to know the who, what, where, when and why in my life because being in control calmed my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) symptoms. Being out of control threw me into a uncertainty-induced anxiety.

In 1978, the Huntington’s disease (HD) monster was introduced into my life.  John, the love of my life, had an unknown gene status for this fatal, genetic disorder that progressively destroyed the nerve cells in the brain. At that time, I was forced to decide if I could live with this huge unknown factor in my life (uncertainty), and if I did choose that path, could I live happily and not be a basket case.

When I decided to marry John, I realized I had to adapt to a life of uncertainty; change my way of thinking, learn to focus on the positive, find ways not to worry about the future.  So, I began searching for something reliable to grab ahold of.  I discovered four (4) strategies to embrace to make uncertainty bearable.

  1.  Know that you’re not seeing every option. This was hard because I only saw two options:  John had the mutated gene or he didn’t.  So, I slowed down and reminded myself that there are options that I couldn’t possible see immediately.  I told myself, just because I don’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there. And sure enough, with time, I found one way to cope through MINDFULNESS.   “Mindfulness is the aware, balanced acceptance of the present experience. It isn’t more complicated than that. It is opening to or receiving the present moment, pleasant or unpleasant, just as it is, without either clinging to it or rejecting it.” ~Sylvia Boorstein    https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/mindfulness  

In my next blog, I will continue to discuss the ways I dealt with unimaginable uncertainty for 38 years.

We can never lose HOPE…………………….Therese

Watching Their Dance: Three Sisters, a Genetic Disease and Marrying into a Family At Risk for Huntington’s, is a poignant remembrance of a love forged in crisis. To purchase the book, go to:   http://www.theresecrutchermarin.com  100% of the proceeds from the book are being donated to Huntington’s organizations around the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: One Way Stock via Foter.com / CC BY-ND & Photo credit: DES Daughter via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Love, Survival

The Storm

My perception of a storm is anything that challenges you: a chronic illness/disease, tough love, estrangement, grief, difficult relationships, abuse, religious persecution, money problems, mental health issues and the list goes on and on.  It’s how you handle these arduous conflicts, create space in your life to accept what can’t be fixed and forgive those who have created the storm, either by their choices, bad luck or genetics.

A storm I chose to live in 36 years ago, began by loving  a man with an unknown gene status for Huntington’s disease.  It began as a gentle breeze and I was comforted by its constant message for a while; none of the four siblings were exhibiting symptoms of HD.  That all changed in 1984 when the storm grew into a whirlwind that couldn’t be stopped.

395988_327239660636764_1328574510_nHuruki Murakami said, ” When you walk out of the storm you won’t be the same person that walked in.  That’s what the storm is all about.”

Have a good day!   Therese

 

Mr. Murakami picture is from his Facebook page.
Photo credit: miamism via Foter.com / CC BY

Love, Survival

Walking Through the Fire and Surviving

Survival definition: The state or fact of continuing to live or exist, typically in spite of an accident, ordeal, or difficult circumstances.

Once I found my way back to John, and acknowledged the unknown factor would be a constant in my life, my mind was set on our relationship surviving.  Looking at Huntington’s disease in the face every day began in 1986 with Marcia’s diagnosis, I saw symptoms much earlier, so I had to find ways to deal with it.  My arsenal to combat it was:  living in the day and trying not to sweat the small stuff, having as much control in the situation as possible which wasn’t much, saving as much money as possible, seeing a therapist, use of anti-depressants, having faith, loving deeply, tightly holding on to John, and working with the dying.

8706352806_3afbbd7f21_b

Have a good day.  Therese

Photo credit: macwagen via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND