Braver Than I Really Am

January 3, 2018

Less than an hour after I posted my last blog post we found out that our application for the new apartment had been accepted. So we went to the office to sign the lease and spent the rest of the afternoon and evening cleaning and moving. Well, I just sat and rested while Brett cleaned and moved.

I didn’t feel immediately better in the new apartment but I refused to dwell on that. Unfortunately, after going to bed it became impossible to deny. My insomnia was back. I tried doing breathing and relaxation exercises but it was useless. I could not sleep. I eventually got up and went to the bathroom to cry.

Does this mean this apartment isn’t any better than our old one? How am I gong to get through the rest of the winter feeling like this? I really believed this would do the trick. I don’t know if I can handle more sickness. I guess my blog makes me sound braver than I really am. I feel like a fraud.

I eventually fell asleep when Brett kindly offered to give me a foot massage.

It’s been almost two weeks since that night and we eventually came to the conclusion that this apartment is a little better than our old one but not nearly as good as we hoped that it would be. We’ve collected dust samples for an ERMI test and are still waiting to get the results. We thought it might be helpful to know what molds are present before we make any further decisions on how to handle my relapse.

Unfortunately, I’m still struggling a lot with my health. It seems pretty clear that the HVAC system is a problem for me. Both in this apartment and in the old one. So we decided to shut off the heat and buy space heaters instead. I’ve been sleeping better and waking up in less pain since we did that. Sadly, I’m still quite fatigued and Brett is doing pretty much all the work to keep both of us alive. He always serves cheerfully but it’s really painful for me to not be able to serve him in return.

On the bright side, we had a pretty good Christmas considering the circumstances. I was afraid it would be rather depressing but it ended up being really fun because we got to Skype family to open gifts and even play a game together.

Another positive is that I’ve been able to switch to weekly private Pilates lessons. In a private lesson, I can work at my own pace and avoid exercises that are far beyond my ability. Hopefully that will help me maintain some of the strength I worked so hard to gain. I usually feel pretty good at the Pilates studio so I’m considering switching to a twice per week schedule. We’ll see if my body allows.

Right now, it’s a daily battle just to keep pressing on. Sometimes when we’re suffering we just want to shut down. Staying alive to the joy and beauty in the world also means staying alive to the pain and sadness. That can be very difficult but I’m pretty sure it’s worth it. I may not be as brave as I wish I was, but I’m going to keep hoping.

By the way, Brett and I made a beautiful PDF of my favorite resources for suffering souls. I created the content and he made it look fancy with his superduper graphic design skills. It’s available for free to my email subscribers. Click here to sign up and receive 5 Resources for the Suffering Soul.

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  • Carolyn

    I’m very sorry to hear this, Ana. I know how frustrating this is, especially when there’s such uncertainty. Sending out a little prayer…

    January 3, 2018 at 2:50 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thank you so much Carolyn! I really appreciate it! 😊

      January 3, 2018 at 7:29 pm Reply
  • Chris Barratt

    Ana, it’s ok for you to feel bad about feeling bad. Who wouldn’t be? I know I would. I’m not brave at all when chronically sick. Give yourself grace. There is no one on earth that would sign up intentionally for illness or pain. So it’s ok to be discouraged and disappointed. You had a taste of health and, of course, you want that back. I’m sure it will return!! I know it will. It’s probably, as you said, the lack of fresh air and being cooped up inside during the winter. I’m sure previously you were out more. Turning off the heat was smart. What about those charcoal absorbent/air purifying bags? They absorb mold. Or a Hepa room air purifier? These might help. Another thing we have around are those Himalayan salt lamps. Which also help the air quality. Oh, I so wished we lived closer. I’d be bringing stuff over (all organic food etc. LOL). But instead I’m gonna make a plea to my Lord to remove, provide, give wisdom, and eliminate this nastiness!! <3

    January 3, 2018 at 5:19 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thank you so much Chris! You’ve been so kind throughout this whole journey. Thanks for the encouragement. We also got some HEPA filters that seem to be helping but we haven’t tried the charcoal or Himalayan salt yet. I’m feeling like we’re heading in the right direction though. All the detoxing seems to be helping too.

      January 3, 2018 at 7:31 pm Reply
  • Laura Davison


    January 3, 2018 at 5:27 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thanks Laura! ❤️❤️❤️

      January 3, 2018 at 7:31 pm Reply
  • Natalie Julson

    Praying for you Ana, sending hugs your way

    January 3, 2018 at 5:53 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thank you so much Natalie! It means a lot! 💕

      January 3, 2018 at 7:32 pm Reply
  • Courtney

    You are one of the bravest, strongest people I know, Ana, and I admire you so much.

    Don’t let this present setback steal from you the knowledge of all you have already been able to endure and overcome.

    We love you and we are cheering for you!

    January 3, 2018 at 6:46 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Aww… Thank you so much Courtney! This really is so encouraging. Thank you. I love you! 💕

      January 3, 2018 at 8:08 pm Reply
  • Bethany Rose

    It is so okay, Ana. You don’t always have to be brave or all put together.
    I pray that the days you can barely hang on are the ones God shows you His love.
    We were so hopeful for you and the new apartment. Praying for wisdom to know how to proceed.

    January 3, 2018 at 7:24 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thank you so much for your kindness and prayers Bethany! It means lot. 💕

      January 4, 2018 at 6:06 pm Reply
  • Jen

    I think winter is tough for a lot of people. Spring will be here soon. Meanwhile it’s okay to feel how you feel. Thank you for your honesty. Praying for you.

    January 3, 2018 at 7:35 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Yes, it definitely is. Thanks for the prayers Jen. 💕

      January 3, 2018 at 8:09 pm Reply
  • Ruth Meyer

    Hi, Ana. It’s okay to feel your words speak braver things than you really feel. I’m the same. I often find myself writing down something that sounds so wonderful and courageous and assured and confident… then, looking at myself in the mirror, and saying, what was all that about? That’s not how I actually feel right now? I think that’s the importance of writing things down. And, I think it’s okay. It shows me that you want to be braver, and that means you’re already braver than you know. Not everyone realizes it takes courage to want to be courageous. Because, that means you know what you’re afraid of, it still scares you, but you want to beat it anyway. You are brave, Ana, and more than that you are faithful. Thank you for writing, and know that you are prayed for.

    January 4, 2018 at 5:15 am Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thank you for the encouragement Ruth! I’m glad to know you can relate and I’m not the only one. I guess you’re right. 😊💕

      January 4, 2018 at 6:08 pm Reply
  • Martín Fernandez

    You are definitely braver than what you think. Praying

    January 4, 2018 at 5:39 am Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Aww… Thank you so much Martin!

      January 4, 2018 at 6:08 pm Reply
  • Jennifer

    Hi Ana,

    I’m so sorry to hear of your relapse. I’ve been fighting mold illness for the last 3 years and absolutely know what you’re feeling regarding your husband working to keep you both alive. I just wanted to mention Binders to you quickly because I know you recently started taking cholesteramine or welchol if I remember correctly. I started binders 2 months ago and honestly I felt great for one week and then I had a crash. I have basically been feeling horrible since then but I have been told that I will feel worse before I get better. I just wanted to suggest that in case your doctor hadn’t told you that pulling the toxins could cause a crash. My dr told me it will probably last 3 months. Good luck!

    January 4, 2018 at 4:19 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thank you for sharing this information Jen! I was suspecting it might be the cholestyramine but it’s really helpful to know it only lasts about 3 months! That’s so encouraging! Can I ask, how long does your doctor plan to keep you on the binders? Also, how many times per day do are you dosing?

      January 4, 2018 at 6:11 pm Reply
      • Jen

        I’m honestly so toxic that I’m only able to use 1/4 of the binders prescribed otherwise my liver gets overwhelmed and I feel very sick! I dose at night a couple of hours before bed. I’m only 6 weeks into Binders so I need to have patience. My dr wants me on them for 3 months minimum and we’ll check progress then. I have a feeling it’ll take much longer because I’d been sick with this “mystery” illness for years before discovering mold. I hope you get to feeling at least somewhat better soon!

        January 12, 2018 at 3:42 pm Reply
  • ashley nicole

    Though you may not be as strong as you would like, you have come so far from where you started and we are proud of you and want to support you in any way possible 🙂 Keep shining your light dear friend, and know it gets better <3

    January 4, 2018 at 5:59 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Aww! So sweet! Thank you Ashley! 💕

      January 4, 2018 at 6:11 pm Reply
  • Kimi Harris

    I love you friend! You are one of the bravest people I know!

    (Posting again, because my first comment didn’t go through.)

    January 9, 2018 at 12:28 pm Reply
  • Heather Winchell

    Thank you for your posts. I’m new to your site. However, I’m in the same boat. We’ve moved from a moldy house to an apartment that passed HERTSMI. I think I did better for awhile, but then there was a leak in one of the window frames in our bedroom. We saw the rain dripping in at the top of the frame, and I cried. We are in Maryland, and it was hot and humid. I went back downhill. So, I spent a month at my parents (house is young and they are in New Mexico). I did better, but I’m back in Maryland to help pack and move. We are looking for a new apartment again. We saw a newish house with a ductless system. I’d have to go back to online teaching to afford the rent which can be scary to commit to. On the other hand, I’m thinking a month to month rent at an apartment might be better. It is all so confusing, right? Sometimes it is nice to hear from some one going through the same ups and downs.

    January 16, 2018 at 10:56 am Reply
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