Recording artist, published author, songwriter, musician, painter (acrylics)– who would have thought the fun would begin after 40?
I think I was born laughing. Humor has played an integral role in how I view adversity, obstacles, and the general world. I have deep faith, and it is what has kept me persevering.
To be born with more than one rare connective tissue disorder has been a challenge. I’m guessing that the stress lead to the worsening of other chronic conditions, like dysautonomia. But I find each day so very special, so wonderful. I wake up happy and am so glad to be alive!
You see, no matter how ill I am on any given day, I still have my mind. I still have the ability to pray for others. I still have value. And so does anyone who suffers. I often think that, without suffering in the world, how would others ever learn compassion? Compassion is a beautiful aspect to a loving and caring spirit. I feel we are all connected by energy, so everyone’s life matters. It does. I feel led to help those that I can. If you ever need prayer, drop me a line. I’ll pray for you!
So here’s a little information about me: I grew up in Maryland, USA, with a love for horses and cats. I began writing poetry, which turned into songs. I was given a guitar, and quickly put my lyrics to music. I sang in a local choir, had the chance to sing up in New York in a group at Radio City Music Hall and at the Rockefeller Center, plus at home with the local symphony orchestra for one evening. I also took horseback riding lessons when I was younger, and then later acquired two Arabian horses to train.
I didn’t realize at the time that my intolerance to cold and hot temperatures, frequent headaches, inability to stretch my leg muscles or straighten my arms, was an indication of something wrong. I also didn’t know I had a mild crossover of vascular Ehlers Danlos, which caused my heart to beat irregularly and caused mitral valve prolapse.
At the age of 35, I experienced a strange two-day virus which would change my life. To this day, doctors don’t know what it was. But the after-effect was dysautonomia. I was unable to regulate my own body temperature, blood pressure, or other functions of my autonomic nervous system. I experienced frequent tremors, muscles seizing up. I soon realized I had to learn to remain emotionally neutral, so that I wouldn’t be sad, happy, or upset. Otherwise, it would set off neurocardiogenic syncope (fainting). Each day suddenly turned into an imaginary game show of How Not To React To Anything. The pain of muscles seizing up from doing simple tasks, like bending to put food in the oven, began to limit my actions. I had to give up my dream of training horses. I reluctantly found a new home for my last horse. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
But I’m an optimist. I knew God had a reason for putting me on earth. When it feels like you have to give up your dreams, it may just be a matter of changing the goals. Thus, I focused on artwork, music and writing a novel. My book, Velvet Hellion, is now published.
My cognitive abilities have declined with frequent migraines, so I no longer write. I’ve lost a lot of my vocabulary. I’m still working on art, though. In regards to music, since I don’t have the money to record in a studio, I record my music here in the house. I was able to release my first digital album on Amazon and iTunes this year, called “Purely Accidental” by The Rach Allen Band. For me, it was a major accomplishment. No one knows how difficult this was, except for my husband. There were days my abdominal muscles were too weak for me to sing or hold a guitar. I had to select the “good” days when I wanted to record, and even then I sometimes only managed to sing one verse. While critics will pick it apart, I freely admit I’m an amateur. I’m just happy to have finished the project since it’s been another dream of mine. A global online radio station has played my songs. I’m so grateful to them.
I’m writing all this to let you know, never give up! The road may be long, yes. It will be tough. But those who persevere, can find immense personal joy and reward when you’ve accomplished something. Our bodies may be ill, but our spirit is not broken. No one can pull you down unless you let them. Surround yourself with supportive people. Be true to yourself; only you know what is best for you. I have struggled without the emotional support of others for many years, but I could feel the hand of God with me every day. We always have value. And that, my friends, is the beauty of life.