with growth comes loss

my dear readers,

there's no such thing as being completely ready- you're never going to feel like you've got everything sorted and figured out.

with growth comes loss.

my dear readers, i stood in front of my mirror last night staring at


a third spot is below my right ear.

a fourth spot is on the left side of my head. 

i stood in front of my mirror with my shocked and bloodshot eyes- it was a moment when i actually could FEEL the pain in my chest from seeing something that broke my heart.

that's the thing about pain- it demands to be felt.

the sheer panic i felt as i looked at myself in the mirror is almost indescribable- fear of the WHAT IF returned with a vengeance and made me doubt my hopeful mindset only hours prior. 

one of the HARDEST lessons in life is letting go- whether it's guilt, anger, love, betrayal, or your HAIR. change is NEVER easy. we fight to hold on & we fight to let go.

i stared at myself last night after noticing these new spots, clutched the edge of the sink, and just cried and cried and CRIED. i have been fighting, experimenting, CHASING answers to STOP the oncoming train of devastation. to add to all of this, i was just recently diagnosed with ANOTHER auto-immune disease, because, as my primary doctor told me:

"once one auto-immune triggers, all the others can kick in too. sorry, kid."

i stood there, poking at the two new quarter-sized spots with tears streaming down my face as i mumbled "no" over and over again. i got on my knees and felt the overwhelming roller-coaster of my life take a QUICK sharp turn downward. in this state of hopeless and dramatic despair, i spoke out in gasping sobs something like

"hello, God? it's Clarisse, what's up".

yep, that's right. i was speaking to the creator of the universe as though we were introduced at an after-work networking event- i half expected someone to jokingly respond to my "what's up" with "THE SKY". 

"i'm sorry to bother you, it's not a big deal, it really isn't, and i am so thankful for all the blessings you've given me in my life, but i am in bad shape, and i don't know what to do."

the prospect that i had NO answers after my  passionate and invigorated search for answers caused me to sob even harder.

"please help me, please tell me what to do, please help me," was all i could whisper as my tears slowly began to replicate a miniature Lake Erie on my bathroom floor- until, all of a sudden, it stopped. and then, i heard a voice. 

no- i didn't hear the voice of Morgan Freeman booming "I AM GOD" in my eardrums- it was my own voice, perfectly calm, speaking from within my own self- a compassionate and peaceful voice [so not EXACTLY my outward talking voice...it's tough to explain].

the voice said,

"Clarisse, you need to be strong, you can do this."

i exhaled.

it was almost abruptly clear that this is exactly what i needed to do- not only for myself, but for others as well. i honestly cannot accept any other answer than the one given to me last night.

in a way, this dramatic little episode all alone on my bathroom floor has every typical hallmark moment of a spiritual conversion experience- but i argue that this was simply the authentic gradual building blocks of a spiritual CONVERSATION, a dialogue, a powerful coping mechanism, and a reminder of my vocation & purpose: to tell my story, and help others in the process.

to the beautiful & inspiring women who've reached out to me, you know who you are, and i know that you are on a very similar ride that i am on- we will get coffee, burritos, whatever you want, and share our stories. 

that voice that exists inside all of us is stronger than these painful moments- mightier than depression and braver than loneliness, nothing will ever exhaust that voice inside of you.


keep going.