Look Out World… I’m Back In The Saddle Again!


A few years ago I got thrown from my horse. OK, who am I kidding? I am a Brooklyn girl at heart, no horses for me. But literally I felt like I had, if not been thrown from my horse, I was certainly thrown off my game. Life kept throwing me obstacles and I found it harder and harder to get around them, get through life and back in the blogging game . I know everyone has problems and in reality mine were no greater than anyone else’s, but I felt I couldn’t talk about mine. More importantly for me, I felt like I couldn’t even write about them either. First I struggled through a nasty divorce. Are they ever really amicable? Then I lost my dear grandmother and godmother, who had both always believed in me and supported me unconditionally. Medically I succumbed to not 1 but 2 strokes, which left me weakened on the left side and wearing leg braces for six months each time. To make matters worse, the strokes also left behind confusion at times and memory loss. I didn’t feel creative, of spunky or positive. I didn’t feel like talking, let alone writing. The stroke took my ability to speak clearly away, but I grew too comfortable in the silence. Not exactly helpful for a speaker and a writer. I was done. I was off my horse. Throughout the last few years I didn’t want to show a negative attitude because after all I was the girl behind Butyoudontlooksick.com. I was the smiling chick with a laptop and a sunny positive attitude. I was a mom and I was going to smile for my daughter even if it killed me! Underneath it all I felt like a fraud with nothing to offer. I wasn’t just off my horse, I had lost my horse. I wasn’t in the race, I was out of the race looking in at everyone else running as fast as they could. Those other horses (bloggers)and those other jockeys (moms) looked so put together, so talented and so positive. They were all finishing the race I had started on so long ago. Family, friends and beloved spoonies, would encourage me to try and give me a boost back onto my saddle. I would get a surge of energy, confidence and creativity, but it was always short lived and Lupus would either physically or emotionally rear its ugly head. I would fall off my horse over and over again. Thankfully, no one gave up on me. Last year something began to happen. Slowly things began to fall together without any major upset. My father encouraged and helped me to start a 501c3 not for profit, called The But You Don’t Look Sick Foundation. A dream of mine that I can now cross of my bucket list. My mother and friends helped organize my yearly fund raiser, The Purple Party, where I received a Proclamation from my local representative for my work in the community helping women and raising awareness of invisible chronic illness.  I attended last year’s IRETREAT Conference in Hershey and met bloggers from all over the U.S. Who encouraged me to jump right back in with both feet. This year I had the extreme honor to be chosen to speak on a panel of patient advocates at the Klick Health Muse conference in Philadelphia on the same roster as President Bill Clinton! Yes, the President! In his keynote address one of the lines that screamed out to me was that “the worst thing someone can steal from you is your voice, but that is only if you let them.” It was then that I put my foot down.  A divorce can hurt your feelings, or put you in debt, or worse take your child. Lupus can steal health and physicality. Death, depression, moving, etc all these things can rip me down to the bone, but I refuse for them to take my voice. No one should be silenced by fear.  I started writing more. I started to believe in myself again. So this year I attended this years IRETREAT Conference in New Orleans for bloggers. I looked forward to being further inspired, encouraged and motivated. I wasn’t disappointed. I learned tips and tricks to make this blog and my social media presence even stronger. Tomorrow I am attending Blogger Bash in NYC. I am excited to see old friends and make new ones. I’m going to walk right up to the brands, sponsors and companies I used to work with and with a smile and a hustle in my step, let them know that I am alive and I am back! I am ready to put the message out into the universe. I am back in the saddle again. look out world, I found my horse!!   – Christine Miserandino find me on http://www.Twitter.com/bydls

  • I can definitely relate. I’ve been thrown off that same horse more times than I can count. Great to hear you’re getting back on or at least re-mounting frequently. I’m trying to re-mount lately but finding it hard.

  • Catalyst Spark

    Hey, sometimes being sick sucks ass and life, sadly, doesn’t care if you’re sick, it’s going to keep on slamming you every chance it gets. But ya know what? Those of us with chronic illness are survivors, if any of us weren’t then we wouldn’t be here right now. Unlike the healthy averages we know what it is to fight, yes we’re battered down sometimes but the only choice we have is to stand back up or die and each time we stand back up it takes more effort and a stronger will than it would take a healthy person. We’re stronger than people realize because we face the same struggles and challenges healthy people do with an illness to fight against as well. We can’t always be happy, chipper and chatty because, well, honestly, we don’t always have enough energy for that crap, but that’s alright because sometimes we will have our good days and we’ll value them even more. I for one don’t blame you a bit for falling and needing time to get back on your feet because you didn’t give up. Even with all the struggling it took, you stood back up and that, my dear, is what’s really important and what really shows your strength.

  • Lisa Jones

    I’d like to know about it too.

  • Lisa Mary T

    Congratulations on all you have overcome! My sister has lupus and I am 52 and was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1995. I still have challenges and since menopause they have increased, but one of the many things that have helped me over the years are special diets including low oxalate, salicylate, amines, sulphur, sugars, etc. In case this can help you or anyone you know, I only drink water and currently eat 5 meals per day – local farm fresh grass fed beef, turkey and chicken that are not fed soy, lettuce juice (2 oz once daily), rutabaga, kabocha and chayote squash, sprouted green peas, goat butter, 1 (just ripe) banana daily, and salt. I use a Nutribullet often to make food more digestible. I keep track of food calories, protein content etc. here: http://nutritiondata.self.com/. I use Enzymedica digestive enzymes and do tolerate some other supplements. We are all different and I am really happy I had the $99 23andme test done and http://geneticgenie.org/. One of my problems is +/+ for all 3 BHMT – the short way around the methylation cycle. Please contact me for more info. Best of health to all of us!

  • Happy to see you back 🙂 You’re such an awesome inspiration!

  • Jade OConnor

    It’s good to see you back! When I first started dealing with my Fibro diagnosis, several years ago, I turned to this site again and again. You have provided a real inspiration here. We aren’t alone!

    When I first started visiting this site, you had a message board running. Whatever happened to that? It was such an amazing resource! Be kind to yourself!

  • Deb Bartl

    You are in PA?
    Do u have Sjogrens Syndrome?

  • Shavonne Atkins

    Welcome back!! You are an inspiration to so many. Life gave you a bucket of lemons in your cart…but you are making a great pitcher of lemonade! Just like you have been there for us…we are here for you. Never feel as if you have to be positive 24/7; we all know that is not possible. It’s OK for us to to fall down…as long as we don’t stay there. Lean on this wonderful community that you created, after all, who understands better than us. LOL

    Be Blessed!

  • Lisamarie f

    And you did! Well done Christine!

  • Shari Melton

    Such good news! You are, and always have been an inspiration to me and I’m so happy you’ve made it through to find your voice again! Welcome back hun! You were very missed.

  • Tina Daye

    I’m so glad, you were missed. I’m also so proud of you. I’ve learned although we may not want to air out our dirty laundry, sometimes it can help others in ways we never imagined. It shows just how human we are. Hope you’re feeling much better in your health. I pray that God will keep his hands on you and continues to keep you: healthy, happy, strong, encouraged and that he always gives you the words you need to help others. Keep up the good work, I admire your strength.

  • Samaira Khan
  • linda kaserman

    It’s about time you got back on that damn horse! Love you, linda

  • Michele Staples

    I’m so glad you’re back. What an awful few years. I can’t wait to hear more from you. Please don’t ever think you have to be positive all the time. Be yourself, be real.

  • amarcadia castillo

    Happy to hear from you again, you are my heroine and I admire the way you keep on helping others with your words and actions. You are a light in many people’s lives and I’m sure you are a stronger and more beautiful than ever.

  • Lora L Cotton

    So glad to here!!! You have inspired so many in the past two years (despite everything that’s happened to you!) You have to be able to take some comfort in the fact that despite loosing your horse, people still found inspiration from this site!!!

  • Kat

    So glad you are back and thanks for sharing a little of what has been happening in your life. Sorry things got so bad, but glad you are pulling through it all.

  • Sharon Zohar

    Welcome back!

  • FyreSprite

    I think you ran right past your horse ! I’m so happy for you, thank you from all of us that are so inspired by you.

  • Nickie Huennekens

    I am so happy to hear you’re back. I’ve missed you. 🙂 What a pleasure it was to see you in my email this morning. I’m still in the valley, still even figuring out the scope of it, never mind mapping a way out yet. Every time I think I’ve got a handle on it, it just keeps getting bigger and deeper and wider. My spoons today went to a shower and are going to a doctor’s appointment, and later tonight, a meeting. There will be a nap in there this afternoon. Tomorrow is therapy and another meeting in the evening. Hopefully the weekend will be restful instead of MORE shocks and bad news.

  • Nancy Banker

    Wow, u cant imagine how inspiring u r to me!!! Thank u sooo much. Xoxo

  • Julie

    Sounds like this girl’s “got her groove back”!

  • sherylsart

    Welcome back! Now that you are back in the saddle, I hope that the worst of your hurdles are behind you. I’ve been trying to think of a pun linking spoons and saddles, but no luck yet. So, keep plenty of spoons in your saddle bag, and “Happy trails to you…”

  • Deb

    The corral gates are open, the horse and rider are set free after a time of being held hostage and fenced in, but no more !!!!!!!! As I was reading this, that old adage was screaming in my head “silence is complicity”. I too was agreeing to being held hostage by my silence, by my pain, my depression, my everything. This week I found my voice again and feel like I am running naked thru the woods……So, gather around the campfire, there are many stories to be told. Congrats Christine!!!

  • Rosemary J. Wagley

    Thank you so much for sharing such a personal message Christine. You are always able to put just the right message out there! I’m glad you’re back!! My best to you and am looking forward to reading more from you.