Debbie Thibodeaux

@debbiet | contributor
Debbie considers herself a survivor. She is 49 years old, born and raised in Southern California. Her daughter is 25. She is the reason Debbie fights through her chronic pain. She was always very active: all kinds of exercise, friends, trips, working and the list goes on. She loves to laugh, and laughing is what gets her through the hardest of days. There are so many invisible disabilities. She is only an expert on her own, but she has so much empathy for all of you!
Community Voices

Who’s your biggest cheerleader?

<p>Who’s your biggest cheerleader?</p>
58 people are talking about this
Community Voices

I'm struggling


#Depression #BipolarDisorder #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder These last few days I have really been struggling. I feel so alone. As if I'm not like other people, not worthy...
My story is a classic one - diagnosed with Bipolar 2 when I was 6 maybe 7 years old. I had a fragile childhood and a reckless life after that.
Today, almost 47 years later, I have been declared permanently disabled. The trauma that brought me to this point haunts me.
I feel overwhelmed. Scared. Lonely. Alone. Is there anyone out there that could possibly know these feelings??

17 people are talking about this
Community Voices

My saviour ❤️

<p>My saviour ❤️</p>
29 people are talking about this
Debbie Thibodeaux

The Challenges of Living With Degenerative Disc Disease

First, I had a career. I had hobbies, one of which was exercising and taking all kinds of classes like kickboxing, yoga and Pilates. I also had a husband who could not handle my recovery, so he moved on. I am a mother of a beautiful 25-year-old daughter. I have a Pomeranian that needs to be fed, walked and cared for. I have family I love. I suffer from degenerative disc disease and have had a triple fusion in my cervical spine, as well as three back surgeries. My neck has never healed properly, and my left arm is almost always hurting on some level. I have had people say to me, “But you look fine,” and I have been asked if I am disabled as I parked my car in the handicapped spot. I would like people to know that to survive and try to get out in the world, I have learned to hide my pain, do my hair and get out every once in awhile. If I am smiling, it does not mean my pain isn’t there. I have limited energy, so if I go out for a few hours or to a family event the next day, I will be tired. I have lost friends because they were either acquaintances or didn’t want to be around a “sick person.” The isolation can at times be worse then the pain itself. I can’t even count how many family parties I have missed entirely or have had to lie down and ice my neck and take a nap so I could drive myself home. There are times I have to cancel plans at the last minute, which I used to feel guilty about, but I have learned to know my limits. I have depression due to all of this, wondering why this happened to my body. I miss the energy I used to have. People say, “At least it isn’t cancer,” and I do agree, but that does not mean I don’t have a hard life. I wish people had more empathy for anyone who has a chronic illness of any kind. I wish they knew how much I miss working and socializing and that I would give anything to have the “old me” back. I feel guilty that my daughter worries about me so much and that I can’t drive far or my neck will go into spasms. The list goes on, but this is my new way of life, and I am fighting and doing my best to survive. The Mighty is asking the following: Write a letter to anyone you wish had a better understanding of your experience with disability, disease or mental illness. If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to community@themighty.com. Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Debbie Thibodeaux

The Challenges of Living With Degenerative Disc Disease

First, I had a career. I had hobbies, one of which was exercising and taking all kinds of classes like kickboxing, yoga and Pilates. I also had a husband who could not handle my recovery, so he moved on. I am a mother of a beautiful 25-year-old daughter. I have a Pomeranian that needs to be fed, walked and cared for. I have family I love. I suffer from degenerative disc disease and have had a triple fusion in my cervical spine, as well as three back surgeries. My neck has never healed properly, and my left arm is almost always hurting on some level. I have had people say to me, “But you look fine,” and I have been asked if I am disabled as I parked my car in the handicapped spot. I would like people to know that to survive and try to get out in the world, I have learned to hide my pain, do my hair and get out every once in awhile. If I am smiling, it does not mean my pain isn’t there. I have limited energy, so if I go out for a few hours or to a family event the next day, I will be tired. I have lost friends because they were either acquaintances or didn’t want to be around a “sick person.” The isolation can at times be worse then the pain itself. I can’t even count how many family parties I have missed entirely or have had to lie down and ice my neck and take a nap so I could drive myself home. There are times I have to cancel plans at the last minute, which I used to feel guilty about, but I have learned to know my limits. I have depression due to all of this, wondering why this happened to my body. I miss the energy I used to have. People say, “At least it isn’t cancer,” and I do agree, but that does not mean I don’t have a hard life. I wish people had more empathy for anyone who has a chronic illness of any kind. I wish they knew how much I miss working and socializing and that I would give anything to have the “old me” back. I feel guilty that my daughter worries about me so much and that I can’t drive far or my neck will go into spasms. The list goes on, but this is my new way of life, and I am fighting and doing my best to survive. The Mighty is asking the following: Write a letter to anyone you wish had a better understanding of your experience with disability, disease or mental illness. If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to community@themighty.com. Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Debbie Thibodeaux

The Challenges of Living With Degenerative Disc Disease

First, I had a career. I had hobbies, one of which was exercising and taking all kinds of classes like kickboxing, yoga and Pilates. I also had a husband who could not handle my recovery, so he moved on. I am a mother of a beautiful 25-year-old daughter. I have a Pomeranian that needs to be fed, walked and cared for. I have family I love. I suffer from degenerative disc disease and have had a triple fusion in my cervical spine, as well as three back surgeries. My neck has never healed properly, and my left arm is almost always hurting on some level. I have had people say to me, “But you look fine,” and I have been asked if I am disabled as I parked my car in the handicapped spot. I would like people to know that to survive and try to get out in the world, I have learned to hide my pain, do my hair and get out every once in awhile. If I am smiling, it does not mean my pain isn’t there. I have limited energy, so if I go out for a few hours or to a family event the next day, I will be tired. I have lost friends because they were either acquaintances or didn’t want to be around a “sick person.” The isolation can at times be worse then the pain itself. I can’t even count how many family parties I have missed entirely or have had to lie down and ice my neck and take a nap so I could drive myself home. There are times I have to cancel plans at the last minute, which I used to feel guilty about, but I have learned to know my limits. I have depression due to all of this, wondering why this happened to my body. I miss the energy I used to have. People say, “At least it isn’t cancer,” and I do agree, but that does not mean I don’t have a hard life. I wish people had more empathy for anyone who has a chronic illness of any kind. I wish they knew how much I miss working and socializing and that I would give anything to have the “old me” back. I feel guilty that my daughter worries about me so much and that I can’t drive far or my neck will go into spasms. The list goes on, but this is my new way of life, and I am fighting and doing my best to survive. The Mighty is asking the following: Write a letter to anyone you wish had a better understanding of your experience with disability, disease or mental illness. If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to community@themighty.com. Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Debbie Thibodeaux

The Challenges of Living With Degenerative Disc Disease

First, I had a career. I had hobbies, one of which was exercising and taking all kinds of classes like kickboxing, yoga and Pilates. I also had a husband who could not handle my recovery, so he moved on. I am a mother of a beautiful 25-year-old daughter. I have a Pomeranian that needs to be fed, walked and cared for. I have family I love. I suffer from degenerative disc disease and have had a triple fusion in my cervical spine, as well as three back surgeries. My neck has never healed properly, and my left arm is almost always hurting on some level. I have had people say to me, “But you look fine,” and I have been asked if I am disabled as I parked my car in the handicapped spot. I would like people to know that to survive and try to get out in the world, I have learned to hide my pain, do my hair and get out every once in awhile. If I am smiling, it does not mean my pain isn’t there. I have limited energy, so if I go out for a few hours or to a family event the next day, I will be tired. I have lost friends because they were either acquaintances or didn’t want to be around a “sick person.” The isolation can at times be worse then the pain itself. I can’t even count how many family parties I have missed entirely or have had to lie down and ice my neck and take a nap so I could drive myself home. There are times I have to cancel plans at the last minute, which I used to feel guilty about, but I have learned to know my limits. I have depression due to all of this, wondering why this happened to my body. I miss the energy I used to have. People say, “At least it isn’t cancer,” and I do agree, but that does not mean I don’t have a hard life. I wish people had more empathy for anyone who has a chronic illness of any kind. I wish they knew how much I miss working and socializing and that I would give anything to have the “old me” back. I feel guilty that my daughter worries about me so much and that I can’t drive far or my neck will go into spasms. The list goes on, but this is my new way of life, and I am fighting and doing my best to survive. The Mighty is asking the following: Write a letter to anyone you wish had a better understanding of your experience with disability, disease or mental illness. If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to community@themighty.com. Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Community Voices

My Dog died

#Depression #Anxiety
I had to make the decision to put my dog down on Friday. I adopted him as a 2 yr old and had him for 9 years. He saw me through a number of difficult times and struggles and gave me the motivation to keep going. He was my unofficial ESA of sorts. I loved that dog so much.

My house and heart feel so empty. There is too much spare time to fill and I don't know what to do with it. I have plenty of things to do, but I don't want to.

Not sleeping great without a big furry critter sharing the bed.

#CheckInWithMe

33 people are talking about this
Debbie Thibodeaux

The Challenges of Living With Degenerative Disc Disease

First, I had a career. I had hobbies, one of which was exercising and taking all kinds of classes like kickboxing, yoga and Pilates. I also had a husband who could not handle my recovery, so he moved on. I am a mother of a beautiful 25-year-old daughter. I have a Pomeranian that needs to be fed, walked and cared for. I have family I love. I suffer from degenerative disc disease and have had a triple fusion in my cervical spine, as well as three back surgeries. My neck has never healed properly, and my left arm is almost always hurting on some level. I have had people say to me, “But you look fine,” and I have been asked if I am disabled as I parked my car in the handicapped spot. I would like people to know that to survive and try to get out in the world, I have learned to hide my pain, do my hair and get out every once in awhile. If I am smiling, it does not mean my pain isn’t there. I have limited energy, so if I go out for a few hours or to a family event the next day, I will be tired. I have lost friends because they were either acquaintances or didn’t want to be around a “sick person.” The isolation can at times be worse then the pain itself. I can’t even count how many family parties I have missed entirely or have had to lie down and ice my neck and take a nap so I could drive myself home. There are times I have to cancel plans at the last minute, which I used to feel guilty about, but I have learned to know my limits. I have depression due to all of this, wondering why this happened to my body. I miss the energy I used to have. People say, “At least it isn’t cancer,” and I do agree, but that does not mean I don’t have a hard life. I wish people had more empathy for anyone who has a chronic illness of any kind. I wish they knew how much I miss working and socializing and that I would give anything to have the “old me” back. I feel guilty that my daughter worries about me so much and that I can’t drive far or my neck will go into spasms. The list goes on, but this is my new way of life, and I am fighting and doing my best to survive. The Mighty is asking the following: Write a letter to anyone you wish had a better understanding of your experience with disability, disease or mental illness. If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to community@themighty.com. Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Debbie Thibodeaux

The Challenges of Living With Degenerative Disc Disease

First, I had a career. I had hobbies, one of which was exercising and taking all kinds of classes like kickboxing, yoga and Pilates. I also had a husband who could not handle my recovery, so he moved on. I am a mother of a beautiful 25-year-old daughter. I have a Pomeranian that needs to be fed, walked and cared for. I have family I love. I suffer from degenerative disc disease and have had a triple fusion in my cervical spine, as well as three back surgeries. My neck has never healed properly, and my left arm is almost always hurting on some level. I have had people say to me, “But you look fine,” and I have been asked if I am disabled as I parked my car in the handicapped spot. I would like people to know that to survive and try to get out in the world, I have learned to hide my pain, do my hair and get out every once in awhile. If I am smiling, it does not mean my pain isn’t there. I have limited energy, so if I go out for a few hours or to a family event the next day, I will be tired. I have lost friends because they were either acquaintances or didn’t want to be around a “sick person.” The isolation can at times be worse then the pain itself. I can’t even count how many family parties I have missed entirely or have had to lie down and ice my neck and take a nap so I could drive myself home. There are times I have to cancel plans at the last minute, which I used to feel guilty about, but I have learned to know my limits. I have depression due to all of this, wondering why this happened to my body. I miss the energy I used to have. People say, “At least it isn’t cancer,” and I do agree, but that does not mean I don’t have a hard life. I wish people had more empathy for anyone who has a chronic illness of any kind. I wish they knew how much I miss working and socializing and that I would give anything to have the “old me” back. I feel guilty that my daughter worries about me so much and that I can’t drive far or my neck will go into spasms. The list goes on, but this is my new way of life, and I am fighting and doing my best to survive. The Mighty is asking the following: Write a letter to anyone you wish had a better understanding of your experience with disability, disease or mental illness. If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to community@themighty.com. Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.