Interview: Say ‘”Hi!” to Darci Lopez!

Interview: Say “Hi!” to Darci Lopez!

We have a super cool name for the monthly interview series featuring other chronic illness bloggers talking about what it’s really like to walk a mile in their shoes.

It’s…wait for it…Say “Hi!” to [Insert Name]!

Yup, that’s right, the flippant yet quirky title that was used to introduce the series kick-off interview with Jay Armstrong has stuck. It just seems to fit, ya know?

Anyway, enough of the chitty chat about naming conventions. Time for the good stuff!

Please say “Hi!” to Darci Lopez of Life Unplanned

Say Hi to Darci Lopez

A bit about Darci

Darci Lopez wants to live in a world where her closets are organised, she is on time everywhere she goes, and love is abundant.

As a mommy blogger who writes about parenting, lifestyle, and chronic illness at Life Unplanned, she’s been honoured with the Liebster Award for Bloggers.

When she’s not running around chasing her kids or writing, you can find Darci behind her sewing machine creating beautiful pieces of clothing, household items, and accessories.

Darci’s first eBook, “How to be Less of a Hot Mess: Inspiration for Stay-at-Home-Moms,” hits the internet June 2016.

Welcome Darci!

At the inception of chronic illness there is a lot of fear and confusion. Can you describe the time you felt the most scared?

Seven years after my first symptoms, just after being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and learning that there is no cure, a pain specialist prescribed a strong medication cocktail which included mega doses of OxyContin.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this drug, it is a highly addictive narcotic pain medication. This drug, in the quantities prescribed along with the other meds the doctor had put me on, left me strung out and feeling like a zombie.

Every day I was going to work high as a kite and hiding my condition from others. I was confused, weak, and didn’t feel like I could live the rest of my life this way.

So I quit all my meds cold turkey. Granted it was a stupid, stupid thing to do, but I did it. I went through withdrawals from the OxyContin but luckily did not suffer any serious repercussions.

At this point, I felt lost, scared, and alone with my illness.

Have you experienced a major turning point with your illness? If so, what was it and how did your life change?

Because I’d resisted surrender to my illness for so long, the turning point in my journey was gradual.

Real change came when I reached acceptance and concluded that there would be no magic pill for me. I adopted a holistic health practice that includes lots of yoga and self-care. The emphasis has changed from combating my condition to working through it.

Anyone living with a chronic illness know it can be a roller coaster of a ride; oftentimes more heavily weighted towards the lows than the highs. What have you done to overcome the low points in your journey? 

The low points in my journey look a lot different now than they did 10-20 years ago.

It used to be that my illness took me to a very dark place and affected my mental health so negatively, but since developing a relationship of acceptance with my diagnosis, the lows are more manageable. I can see them for what they are, points in time. My symptoms are a part of me, and I try to roll with them.

Now I aim to manage my symptoms, to ease through them. I’ve adopted a yoga regimen, I only take a minimum of medication and I’m gentler with myself. I pace myself and know that it will get better.

The hardest part is knowing that it will get worse again.

How do you make the most of the high points?

I get as much done and am as productive as possible while still pacing myself.

My good days are very sporadic, so when I have one I run errands, see friends, participate in my hobbies.

You are a wife, mumma to two kiddies, blogger, chronic illness warrior and lover of life. How do you balance it all?

It’s less about balance than it is about being present in the moment.

Since I never know when I will have a bad day, week, month, I must take advantage of the now.

There’s a time to be super mommy, a time to be a domestic diva, and a time to be chronic illness warrior… even if at that moment it means being in bed recovering.

Pacing myself has been key in learning to juggle life.

On your blog, Life Unplanned, you talk about spending most of your free time devoted to the things that inspire you and make you happy. What does this look like for you?

Oh, how I love my hobbies!

Currently I am doing a lot of creating. I love to sew and craft beautiful clothes, bags, accessories.

Eventually I hope to open an Etsy shop or sell some items via my blog, which I’ve also been hard at work developing. It is a labor of love and a lot of work, but I love being able to help people through the sharing of my story or through the sharing of my knowledge and experiences.

What prompted you to write about your experiences and start to share your story with others in the online space?

Before I started blogging, I’d always kept my illness to myself, my cross to bear so to speak.

But having a platform on which to reach a number of people and possibly inspire them through my words is an awesome opportunity that I just can’t pass up. There is so much positivity in the online world surrounding chronic illness and I’m blessed to be a part of it!

Specifically, I saw a post in one of the Facebook groups that I belong to. It was another blogger requesting guest post submissions for her site that focused on chronic illness. I immediately felt I needed to share my experience with others to educate and build awareness.

If you could offer one piece of advice to someone who has recently had their world rocked by a chronic illness diagnosis, what would you say?

Don’t freak out. Really. Take your time to process.

Also, empower yourself with information and knowledge so that you can be your best advocate. The best thing I ever did for myself was to devour everything I could about my condition. I know more about it now than many doctors do. And because of my knowledge I feel comfortable advocating for myself and being assertive and proactive in regards to my care.

I encourage you to do the same.

Where can we find you?

Share ideas, lifestyle tips, and inspiration about all things parenting, frugal living, and more at Life Unplanned! While you’re there, sign up for post updates and awesome freebies!

Or connect with me on Facebook or Pinterest. Thanks!

And that’s a wrap! Thanks Darci!

Remember, if you would like to participate (be interviewed!) and have your voice heard and your blog featured, please drop me an email at bree[at]starbritewarrior.com and we’ll have a chat!

Shine brite,

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Photo Credit (Featured Image): Pixabay

Photo Credit (Bio Photo): Darci Lopez

All photos and content the property of Starbrite Warrior and Bree Hogan. Not to be reproduced without permission.

40 Replies to “Interview: Say ‘”Hi!” to Darci Lopez!”

  1. Thank you for sharing your story. And wow, can I relate to making the most of the ‘good’ days. I feel I must be super productive when my body and mind allows me to so I don’t get behind on my work during those times where my illness simply says no. How wonderful the internet is in the sense we can connect with others we never would have otherwise 🙂

    1. Hi Dylan! The internet can certainly be a lifesaver, helping to break down isolation barriers that are most definitely there when you are chronically ill. It allows us to foster that sense of community and connect with people who are going through similar challenges.

    1. LOL, I love the acknowledgement Dee! We all have stuff to complain about that is important in our world…it’s all relative…until the moment we read/hear of something that makes us go “Woah, yep, I’ve got nothing on that!”

  2. Hi Shann.

    I don’t know if it was courage or stupidity, but it got done.

    You know, I don’t really blog much about my illness on my own blog. I’m not sure why, but I have opened up and discussed it more when I quest post, like in this interview. I’d love to be an inspiration. If my words touch even one person, then I’m happy.

    Thank you for your support.

  3. Cori and Missy.

    Working through the challenges is part of life. I’m not perfect at it, but we must try, right? There are just some things that are going to be with us always, that we cannot escape, that are just parts of us, and that we must learn to live with.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment! 🙂

    1. Thank you for sharing some of your story with us Darci. Your insightful words have given us pause and serve as a timely reminder to be our best advocate and really live in the now. Thank you!

  4. I love your comment about being present in the moment because that is something we all need to do. Whether we have chronic illness or not. Thanks for the reminder.

    1. It’s a great reminder isn’t it, Evelyn? All we have is right now but all too often we forget that in our quest for the next thing.

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed this post Kristen. Darci had some really great stuff to share with us all. Make sure you come back for the interview in June!

  5. This inspired me to go with the low points and be productive when I can. I can’t imagine what Darci goes through but it is truly inspirational that she found way to work through it. I salute your strength!

    1. I agree Lynn, Darci’s words serve as a great reminder to live in the now and make the most of what we have.

    1. My pleasure Jennifer! There is some powerful stuff coming out of this interview series, first with Jay Armstrong and now Darci. And I’m super excited because there is even more goodness to come!

  6. I really love this interview, and it is such an honor to meet Darci. She (and you) inspire others with honesty, candidness, hope, and acceptance. I look forward to reading your e-book. Congrats!

    1. Hey, thank you Aarika!

      I am touched that you use the word inspire in referring to me. Really, it’s an honor to be able to share a part of my story.

      And yes, do read the ebook. It’s inspiration for stay-at-home moms, but anyone can apply the strategies. Hope you enjoy it.

  7. Self care really goes such a long way. In such a busy world, we’re all looking for an instant fix, and the human body just doesn’t work that way. I’m a massage therapist and I’m constantly telling my clients to give their bodies time.

    1. Exactly Jessica and great advice to your clients and everyone else. Too often we think “I’m too busy for self care!” but we are usually even more productive after taking time out for ourselves. It’s definitely something I prioritise everyday.

  8. So wonderful to meet you , Darci. It took a lot of courage to get off your meds and try a more holistic approach. I think it’s so great that you blog about it to inspire others too. Great series!

    1. Thanks Shann Eva! As someone else who has done the phase off meds to try a more holistic approach, I can attest that it is a bloody tough journey and can come with a lot of unfounded judgement. We all have our different reasons for choosing this path and you’re right, it takes a lot of courage to do what Darci did.

    1. It’s a great mindset to roll with isn’t it Missy – work through it instead of fighting it, which always sounds so much more painful!

    1. Great minds think alike Cori – you and Missy! I agree, working through it sounds so much better than fighting it. A great mindset shift.

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