Not only will there be no giving up, there will be no giving in.

The best part of a nightmare is the awakening moment that follows. Instant light on darkness. Instant clarity over confusion.

The best part about saying “no” to so many of my dreams over the last few years, is the expectation of a miracle dream I will eventually get to say “yes” to.

And the best part of the pain, illness and sadness are the bright, flickering moments of relief when I can breathe a little deeper and say, “YES… this is who I really am.”

And those are the only parts I can choose to concentrate on right now. The right side of up. The space where it’s easier to breathe.

Because there are other things I sometimes want to focus on, dwell upon, feel bad about:

… leaving behind massage school and the dream of opening up a holistic wellness center with my husband
… moving in with my parents after having had my own space for the past seven years
… struggling to help my husband find work in an economy so broken
… finding myself up against Multiple Sclerosis for the first time since the original diagnosis in 2009, and recounting where I went wrong in my self-treatment
… wondering how I will pay for any further treatment (or anything for that matter), now that I once again have no medical insurance, am unable to work, and see no opportunity for assistance on the horizon.

And I can’t help but wonder:
… how long is this relapse going to last and when will I again wake up free from vertigo, pain, numbness, nausea and weakness?
… will I ever cease to be a massive financial, emotional and spiritual burden on those who love, and somehow continue to support me?
… how long before I can rightfully hold a pen in my hand and let free all the words living inside?

"Language is another spectacular marvel. Millions of souls have cooperated for untold centuries to cultivate a system of communication that you understand very well. Your ability to speak and read and write makes you feel strong and dynamic. It intricately connects you to the world, and allows you to engage in one of your greatest pleasures: hearing and telling stories." ~Rob Brezsny
"Language is another spectacular marvel. Millions of souls have cooperated for untold centuries to cultivate a system of communication that you understand very well. Your ability to speak and read and write makes you feel strong and dynamic. It intricately connects you to the world, and allows you to engage in one of your greatest pleasures: hearing and telling stories." ~Rob Brezsny

There are more troubles – even more private than all of these things – that really try to take a hold of my head and my heart and make me believe that I am broken; that my situation is permanent; that my life is a Karmic repaying of great sins from long ago, and that I must suffer in this lifetime to make amends.

All the things I’ve had to turn down because of the Hirschprung’s Disease, the eating disorder, or the Multiple Sclerosis wear on me like a heavy coat, but I can not let them weigh me down, lest I sink.

I know how many people are out there questioning EVERYTHING, good and bad: their fortunes, their troubles, their achievements, their ruins and their calculated downfalls. People count everything up, keeping score against each other and themselves. And it is no wonder to me how people get so lost in the abyss, so dark.

It can be hard too, when you just want a moment to grieve for what is lost, only to have others, in their perceived abundance (and that’s all it ever is, anyway, our perceived notion of another persons’ gains or losses), instruct you to “move on” and “keep your chin up.” It is excellent advice; it’s even what I’m advocating, but we also need to let people feel their way through the pain for a moment, without a need to throw our rallying cry over their shoulder. Sometimes, if you aren’t yet strong enough, those words of encouragement can be a burden to bear. By not living up to the “rise and grind” standard, you can feel even weaker. I know.

For me, it is the continual decision (sometimes made dozens of time in one single hour), to not give up, not even give in. If you’ve struggled with the depths of depression you know that digging out is generally harder than holding on a little longer in the first place.

Bjork said, and I love this, “I have to re-create the universe every morning when I wake up, and kill it in the evening.” And I encourage you to do that as well, if it helps at all, to see each day as a completely new universe, full of new pains and new surprises. New beauties to behold, every day.

Don’t give up on the new day, not until it’s over. Then start all over again.

Not giving up today,

PS. This post was brought to you today through a combination of three things:
1. Thommy’s insistence (Thank You)
2. Jason Mraz for encouraging his readers to define (in photo form) what they wouldn’t give up on (Thank You), and
3. A Zofran that held the nausea at bay long enough for me to sit up and type this (Thank You).

(Yes, I believe in natural health, and yes, I believe that pharmaceuticals generally cause more harm than good, but after 4 weeks straight of unending nausea, peppermint and ginger wouldn’t cut it. You win a battle here, you lose it there. You try better tomorrow.)


I vow to treat myself with adroit respect and resourceful compassion and outrageous grace.

I pledge to see my problems as tremendous opportunities and my flaws as imperfect talents.

I promise to shower myself with rowdy blessings and surprising adventures and brave liberations.

As long as I love, I vow to die and be reborn, die and be reborn, die and be reborn, over and over again, forever reinventing myself.

I promise to be stronger than hate, wetter than water, deeper than the abyss, and wilder than the sun.

I vow to love and honor my highs and my lows, yeses and my noes, my give and my take, the life I wish I had and the life I actually have.

I promise to push hard to get better and smarter, grow my devotion to the truth, fuel my commitment to beauty, refine my emotions, hone my dreams, wrestle with my shadow, purge my ignorance, and soften my heart – even as I always accept myself for exactly who I am, with all of my so-called foibles and wobbles.

I pledge to wake myself up, never hold back, have nothing to lose, go all the way, kiss the stormy sky, be the hero of my own story, ask for everything I need and give up everything I have, take myself to the river when it’s time to go to the river, and take myself to the mountaintop when it’s time to go to the mountaintop.

~Rob Brezsny, Pronoia

(A Note: perhaps the intention and original message of this video adheres itself to the notion on not giving up on a romantic relationship, but for me it has taken on a completely new layer. I echo the sentiments, understanding that the most important relationship we will ever have is the one we have with our own self; the “me” in physical form and the “me” in spiritual form, in harmony and unity; the “US” that is the whole Universe. And so when heard that way, the call is for patience with yourself while you explore, grow, fall and get back up again. It’s about not ever giving up on yourself. God knows we’re worth it.)

One thought on “#IWONTGIVEUP

  1. Rhea, you’re so awesome! I want to be just like you when I grow up! I know the darkness will dispell soon and pain will subside. You have so many people flooding you with positive energy that it can’t be long now!

    So much light and love to you,


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