Vacations can be amazing. Whether you go on an adventure, go somewhere to relax or even have a staycation. I truly believe it does the mind good. I recently tagged along on my husband’s work trip to San Francisco. He was tied up with a seminar the majority of the time, but I had a blast on my own. I even got to see two friends on my visit who moved to the area. The sites were breathtaking. It was the first time I have left my kids in years, and although I missed them like crazy it was nice to “take a break”, not necessarily from them, but from my reality called life. I wandered around the city just taking in everything I saw. I had no responsibilities, no where to be, just all the time I wanted on my hands and all the thoughts I wanted to think.

When I planned on going with my husband I didn’t realize this was something I needed. To be honest, I just wanted to visit San Francisco since I had never been there. It took me to be completely alone, wandering a city that I am unfamiliar with to realize I really needed to clear my mind of my daily frustrations. Ankylosing Spondylitis seemed to be a top list item. I still haven’t found my “miracle medicine” yet, but hope daily that things will turn around. As I walked up the steep hills in that beautiful city, I pushed myself step by step through the pain to prove AS couldn’t stop me from reaching the top. You know what? I made it with energy to spare. It may sound silly that I felt so accomplished that I was able to make it up the hills without stopping, but when you live in a body that sometimes won’t even allow you out of bed, walking up a hill is amazing!

I found my “happy” again on this trip. I found me again! I realized I needed to allow myself breaks, not just from the frustrations of medical issues, but allowing myself to just catch my breath, think for a bit, and move on. When I say move on I don’t mean likeĀ  a wind up toy, but like a refreshed human being. I got away from writing for quite a while. I didn’t grasp how much I was missing it. It is so therapeutic to sit and write down experiences or thoughts because sometimes, in life, you can’t just scream them out loud. My hope for all of you is that you try to take a few minutes a day to find your “happy”, whatever that may be. It really does the mind good. I actually was a little angry that I let myself get away from what made me smile. It shouldn’t have had to be a trip across the country, it should just of been something I knew I needed and did. I’ve always been the person who has her guard up and thinks I can take on anything that comes my way. Let me tell you this, when you constantly have up walls, it eventually reaches so high that you can’t see past it. This seems to be where I went wrong. I was so tired of being sick and tired that my walls seemed like a permanent fixture. My trip made me see if I step away for a minute, take a breathe and allow myself a moment I can start anew. Ankylosing Spondylitis will always be a part of my life filled with frustrations, but if I don’t allow it to take away MY HAPPY I will continue to accomplish every goal I set for myself. Don’t let it try to steal your smile. Remember, you are unique, you are a force to be reckoned with. Don’t build a wall unless you know you can knock it down.

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