Joyous Blog

Have a little faith, determination and love - you will get there!

Jul 11, 2011 BY Joy McCarthy

In 2007, my brother was diagnosed with a brain tumour and in early 2008 he had a surgery to remove it. Many times I have wanted to write about this on my blog, but I was not ready to share it. Now I am and I hope it brings you some inspiration.

2008 was one of the scariest times of my life and I wasn't even the one going in for the 12-hour surgery - he was! Interestingly, while he was having surgery and recovering, I was in the process of going through my own surgery, heart surgery -- of the emotional kind. This one particular break up was quite gut-wrenching and artery-clogging (haha!), hence the heart surgery. I felt like I had lost all my faith in anything good. I felt so incredibly emotionally depleted, exhausted and self-destructive. Little did I know the person to bring me into the light was the one who was laying in the bed about to have surgery, my brother Sean.

Every day I hear people tell me their struggles such as self-destructive eating patterns, low self-esteem, emotional eating, difficulty making a decision, finding the courage for positive change and so on. The common element that gives people courage and the ability to heal what needs to heal is simple: as my brother put it so well, it's faith.

If you have a little faith, determination and love (for yourself), you will get there.

What brought this post on was a letter I stumbled upon while doing some cleaning in my apartment. It was a rather magical letter, one that Sean wrote to me when he was recovering and amidst all his fears, he took the time to help me get through the pain I was going through. I am going to share a snippit of what he wrote to me, because I have a feeling somewhere, out there in cyberspace you might possibly benefit from this glimpse, a ray of sunshine and positivity to help you get through whatever you are going through right this minute. I share this with you because it helped me. It brought me into the light when I felt scared and hopeless. I felt this way not because of someone else, but because I had lost confidence in myself. It is important not to blame others for your current position, but instead, be grateful for the learning you received in going through the process.

So here goes:

"When my tumour diagnosis was given I could not see the top of the hill. I had to climb. When I was in constant pain after my surgery, I could not see the top of the hill. Last week I went on the cross trainer for 45 minutes and lifted weights. I can see the top of the hill now. What made the difference for me was that I always believed that there was a top of the hill and that my determination, faith, and love would get me there. When I do an adventure race with Christina cheering me on, I will be at the top of the hill. And let me tell you it has been one hard fucking climb, but I will get there. YOU WILL GET THERE JOY. DO NOT GIVE UP ON YOURSELF! Whether you believe it or not, your faith will get you there. Your family will get you there. YOU will get YOU there".

So there you have it, a letter from my brother Sean a couple of months post-surgery.

My brother ended his letter with this little quote that can be watched on You Tube - you will know it! Enjoy.

So no matter what you are going through, keep swimming! You will get there and YOU will get YOU there.

Be joyous and healthy!

Jul 11, 2011 BY Joy McCarthy
Jason   •   July 11, 2011

Thanks so much for having the courage to share this, Joy. I'm sure it will help a lot of people. I can totally relate as my partner went through pretty intense surgery followed by chemo when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer last year. Now in remission, she continues to be an inspiration for me and many others around her. What turned out to be the toughest time of my life (and undoubtedly, hers as well) has lead me to where I am now - working hard at getting into the best shape of my life when I turn 40 in October. Even though I've always been in decent shape I now realize we have to be bold in our choices to improve our health. This cancer thing finally got me researching health at a greater intensity than ever before. I started with cleaning up my already solid diet and now continue to fine tune it daily. Now I'm pushing the bike rides and strength training to a new level. Like you and others such as David Wolfe, I hope to one day be an inspiration to everyone around me. Jason.

Joy McCarthy   •   July 12, 2011

Thank you for sharing your story Jason!

Sarah Maughan   •   July 11, 2011

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming :) Love that movie! And I love this post - very inspirational and open.


Erin @ The Grass Skirt   •   July 11, 2011

This is such a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing it with us. In fact, it is just what I needed to read today. :)


Vivian   •   July 11, 2011

Aw, great post! Something I needed :)


Kate   •   July 11, 2011

Wow, this was a beautiful post. I have to admit Joy, you've always been a bit of an enigma to me since I feel like you share very little of your personal life (which you have every right not to of course) with your fans. More specifically, it seems like you have a rather charmed, perfect life. Its nice to see that you have not only a healthy body but a healthy way of processing pain and emotional anguish that are the hallmarks of the human journey known as life. I hope Sean has made a full recovery and is thriving now.

Joy McCarthy   •   July 12, 2011

I hear what you are saying. I really use my website blog as a tool to educate others on the power of living a whole balanced life, specifically with regards to food. However, from time to time I do share more personal stories. Thank you for writing and giving me encouragement to share more. I realize that the personal touch of my blogs can reach more people and hopefully inspire someone to make a positive change. Have a wonderful day!

peace   •   July 11, 2011

<3 Thank you for sharing.


Stephanie   •   July 12, 2011

Joy this is a lovely and wonderful post. Thank you for sharing - it is indeed an inspirational story as you are an inspirational person in your daily work. The more times this post is read the more people it will help, undoubtedly. Keep up the wonderful work pretty lady :)

Joy McCarthy   •   July 12, 2011

That is my hope. Thank you for your comment Stephanie!

VeggieGirl   •   July 12, 2011

Such an important reminder - thank you for this.


Samantha Angela   •   July 12, 2011

Having faith can be really really difficult. It involves a deep trust in yourself which is hard to develop because it involves accepting and exposing your vulnerabilities. Thank you so much for sharing this story. It's definitely something that I need to hear right now.

Joy McCarthy   •   July 12, 2011

Yes it sure can. When you are struggling with finding faith in yourself you can always turn to family, friends, books, music and nature for inspiration and support.

Tamara   •   July 12, 2011

Joy, what can I say, except to repeat the comments above. I appreciate receiving your posts so much. Always timely, always inspirational, always wonderful. Thank you to you and Sean for sharing this beautiful message, also happens to be just what I needed to 'receive' today! Thank you Joy, "swimming, swimming..." Continued Blessings to you & Sean :)


Sean   •   July 14, 2011

Joy, you are absolutely right. Faith is everything! Thank you so much for sharing the letter I sent you. You never really know what impact you are having on others and I truly believe it is important to conduct ourselves in a manner that we can be proud up tomorrow, a month from now, ten years from now. Love you and God bless you.


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