Fangirl Sunday – Onward and upward #AlexOLoughlin

2013 Feb 09 Jamie Ray_Sustainable Coastline Fundraiserjpg_29

All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you. –Β Walt Disney


With no new episode this week there were no new screencaps to make fun of. Boo. (Is it March 18th yet???) For a bit of a departure I decided to post something a little personal to me but in the end I hope will make everyone feel good.

For long time readers of H50BAMF and my online besties, you know I went through a fairly life changing event last year at this time. An urgent surgery left me with nerve damage and uncontrolled pain issues that kept me down for a large part of 2012. While thinking about those events in the last few days and talking with some friends here on the blog recently, I can’t help but think about someone else who was struggling at that time. Different circumstances yet not really so far apart…

It was just days after I got home from the hospital that Alex left for treatment for his own pain issues. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Some criticized, some jumped to conclusions and many just didn’t know what to think. For me, every day as I sat and watched the clock anxiously waiting for that next pill, I worried about the man whose life was also changed by unrelenting pain. Unlike Alex who had to work through his pain, time stood still for me. I can belittle my circumstances and say at least I got to stay home and deal with it…but truth is, I feel pretty safe saying it was HELL for both of us. It’s hard to describe how relentless pain eats at your soul until you’ve experienced it yourself. If you have, you understand….if you haven’t…pray you never do.

I realize now that worrying about him was just a way to distance myself from my own gloomy days and stark reality. I cried tears over the thought of him being in so much pain. Knowing the helplessness and the fears that he probably felt trying to hold it all together, putting his brave face on while worrying about the future and trying to cope with the present. I cried tears because I had the same feelings.

I promised myself when I sat down to write this that I wouldn’t focus on the past….because it is the past.

Yet as I sit here and type, it all comes crashing in on me again. The pain. The helplessness. The fear.

For better or worse, in some small way the past helps shape who we are and who we become. We should never be ashamed of our past but use it to help guide our future. Alex will never know how his struggle saddened me …. yet it helped me to cope with my own. His struggle, his bravery and resilience showed me no matter how bad it gets, we have control over our struggles.

We have the control.

Fight. Fight. Fight.

So while I cried tears in the past, I am now cheering.

Alex seems to be happier, healthier and in a better place than he’s ever been. Giving, kind and genuine as always, excited about his future.

Good for you, Alex…..and thank you.

Me? Good days and bad days….but I’m still fighting. fighting. fighting. As a result, I’ve taken time to branch out and learn new skills, some that may end up changing my entire career path. I dunno..we’ll see.

But it’s all good.

Onward and Upward.


pic credit to Jaime Ray

Alex with my friend Joyce’s nephew: Mike Taibleson @ Sustainable Coastlines Fundraiser


76 thoughts on “Fangirl Sunday – Onward and upward #AlexOLoughlin

  1. Thumbs up to you for your strenght I admire you.
    As much as I admire Alex for getting through a lot of things in his life and coming out a winner, and now I’m everso happy that he is a good place in his life and his career πŸ™‚

  2. No doubt this has been a different fangirl sunday, this time the tears were not of laughter, have been tears of emotion… I admire Alex for the way he faced what happened and how it has resurfaced. And I admire you now for the same reason.
    One of the main reasons why I am a fan of Alex, is because, even without knowing him, and even taking into account a million of circumstances, he’s the force that pushes me to keep going in many difficult days. And your fangirl sunday, confirms this.

    Always fight ❀

    • Nothing but *love* babe, nothing but *love*.

      It’s so easy to think that what we do means nothing to anyone but us. The truth is we have the ability to inspire anyone at any time. We may sometimes fall and we may not always win but to always *fight* for the better is inspirational.

  3. Moving words. I also did not know what to do or think when I heard Alex had gone into rehab. I thought no…. it can’t be him!! I don’t think I wandered far from my laptop that day for news to say it was a mistake. He has come out a better and stronger person and I love and admire him for that.
    Also yourself I’m glad he has kept you going. I know it’s tough. For 6 months I suffered with constant back pain. I didn’t know where to turn. It changed my life for the better in quite a few ways. Keep on fighting.

    • Rita, how wonderful to hear that your 6 month struggle ended up being a positive for you. Happy for you and for me, something to hope for. Thank you. πŸ™‚

  4. This is beautiful Ess, truly inspiring stuff – both stories. I have always tried to live my life with the “there is always someone worse off than you” principle – sometimes pain (physical or emotional) makes that almost impossible, but we must always hope that the light at the end of the tunnel is not a train heading right for us – posts like this, make that a wee bit easier., in fact I think that this beautiful, supportive, wondefully twisted band of McPervs that gather here daily make EVERYTHING a wee bit easier. Thank you xx

    • “I think that this beautiful, supportive, wondefully twisted band of McPervs that gather here daily make EVERYTHING a wee bit easier. Thank you” – AMEN sister!! During my recovery is when the blogging really took off. *I had plenty of time on my hands* but also the lovely people kept me company and gave me great laughs. πŸ™‚

      β€œthere is always someone worse off than you” principle” – Yes, I agree…but if I may add that I think it’s unfair to ourselves to downplay what we personally go through. So many times this past year I heard that phrase, “it’s nothing like what you’re going through” when someone spoke of a problem. My answer to them was always the same, “just because someone has it worse than you doesn’t negate your pain/problem/illness, etc”. That’s the reality that we each have to deal with on a daily basis…but it IS a great way to keep some perspective. *love*

      • Couldn’t agree more, I’ve had people say the same thing to me (I am part of the broken knee gang, that apparently reside here and I’m working through some other health issues), and I took a similar approach, everyone’s pain is so personal to them, it’s not a competition and we don’t always have to be brave – sometimes it’s just sucks! Your wise words, perspective and fun spirit make it suck less! Xx

  5. I wish you Ess all the best for the future, and that the pain will be a fading memory. And while on the mend, may Alex keep your mind off RL and keep inspiring you to fight for a better tomorrow.

  6. I had major surgery last year w/major pain. I thought of Alex frequently w/every pain pill I used, but was very thankful for that little pill to ease the pain and sped the healing. Today I’m more than 100% healed and the strongest drug I need is Tylenol! Kudos and cheers to you! Use your very inspiring words to keep fighting the good fight. Day by day the good will win. Both Alex and I are behind you!!

    • Thank you Karen! I really can’t hear enough success stories…it really does help. It’s one of those things where I’m sorry you know what I’m talking about lol, but I appreciate that you understand and have won your battle. Inspiring!

      • I lost many a friend and family to drugs (I’m a “child” of the 70’s when drug use was rampant). Any battle lost is sad. But the success stories are what keeps us (me, you, everyone) going. I’m always here for you – I offer a shoulder to cry on, ears to listen, arms to hug and kisses to make it all better. God rest my mother, she would always say “f you broke your arm, you’d fix it right??” So whether it’s emotional, physical or spiritual, fixing it is what counts. Keep up the great work! As you say, Onwards and Upwards!

  7. This one hits uncomfortably close to home, ESS. I got very seriously and shockingly sick shortly after Alex went down. So my concern for him soon turned into concern for me. I’m slowly recovering still, and finally able to do a few things with and for my children again, but one of my biggest hurdles now is getting off the criminal quantities of meds my doc saddled me with. Back at the height of my illness, I was too sick and ignorant to question the pharmaceutical load he had put upon me. For my size and body chemistry, it was truly criminal. I was a zombie for months. I finally found another doc who is helping me slowly withdraw and is getting me different therapies besides pills and more pills. It’s a trial. But I am getting there. I saw horrible comments after Alex’s PR announcement about his troubles, people accusing him of being a garden variety druggie and spoiled, pampered celeb. It made me both angry and sad to see his pain belittled in that way when I knew the fight he was dealing with. And I knew that, as with my own issues, he had not caused his. He was doing his thing and got hurt and then got sucked into a vortex he could neither foresee nor control. I am so pleased for him, and proud indeed, that he broke free. I am pleased for and proud of you, too, honey, and pulling for your continued improvement. And I am keeping my eyes on that prize for myself as well. Looking at his beautiful, HEALTHY self inspires me every day. The fact that his entire life also fell into place is icing on the cake. I enjoy his happiness, and I thank you and your homegirls for bringing a little snapshot of it it to us every single day. Sometimes twice! πŸ˜‰

    • Grace, I’m touched by everything you just said. About Alex, you are so right..”He was doing his thing and got hurt and then got sucked into a vortex he could neither foresee nor control.” <<–I love this statement. It is so easy to judge when you have no idea. 😦
      For you, oh hun….keep fighting! So happy that you are seeing improvement and are regaining your life for you as well as your family and children. YOU are an inspiration as well!

  8. I wish I could stretch my arms across the www and give you a hug. ((((HUG)))) Living with chronic pain can truly be a hopeless situation for some people. I battle with chronic knee pain and my job required me to stand for 9-10 hours a day. It has gotten better since I left my job, but I remember crying at work because of the pain. It affects everything in your life. I was such a b*tch because I was in so much pain. Now I have to deal with depression and weight gain, but I know there are many others much worse off than myself. It is difficult to be depressed when I get to visit this site everyday and see gorgeous pics of Alex and read all the hilarious McPerv comments on here. And thank goodness my Alex obsession is calorie free πŸ˜‰

    It seemed like last year Alex took less pics with fans and I think I remember a video of him getting a bit pissy with someone when he was loading up his truck. It was very unlike him. I could tell he was in a lot of pain then.

    Keep on, keeping on ESS! You are an inspiration to many of us here. I hope that by sharing your story with us, it has helped you heal a bit quicker. πŸ™‚ ❀

    • Lurxgirl, my heart goes with you on your journey as well. The chronic paid situation is such a complex issue. It isn’t simply getting rid of the pain. Like you said, you deal with depression, a change in physical abilities which often leads to weight gain which effects you physically AND mentally and it all just SUCKS!!! <<— and not in a good way! lol. I'm so very happy that visiting her daily gives you at least a few moments of happiness and relief. That's the best news I've heard all day. πŸ™‚

  9. Beautiful words, Ess. Your strength and courage are amazing and I’m so proud and glad to know you. Thank you for sharing ❀ ❀ ❀

  10. Heroes walk among us every day they may not always be famous, we may never know their names but to suffer and deal with pain issues and come out on the other side stronger and hopefully healthy makes you all heroes to me. May you all move forward pain free.

    • LUNA!! I *MUST* remember your comment…always!! Some days, usually a couple a week I do end up back in bed at some point….sad to say I’ve never just considered getting up as an accomplishment. I usually end up depressed that it took my day away from me again. But what great attitude. See?? you never know when you will inspire someone. Consider me inspired!

  11. Wonderful story you’ve shared. I have a bad knee that flares up with a vengeance but nothing like what you have dealt with.
    Last year when Alex announced he was going into rehab, it also hit me like a ton of bricks, he was the last person I expected to hear it about; at the same time a close friend was dying, as a matter of fact the day it was announced I saw my friend for the last time, it was goodbye. His struggle will be associated with her losing her own fight in my mind, whether thats good or bad. I know while grieving for her, I was grieving for him and what he was going through. Its great to see him get beyond the darkness and live life to the fullest.

    • Duff….thank you for sharing your story. My heart goes out to you and your friends family. I hope is that even though it can’t do anything for your friend, but maybe by seeing how wonderful Alex has bounced back that you can one day see that day as not just the loss of your friend but a day that someone else found ‘new’ life. <<–gosh I don't even know if that makes sense but I hope you understand. Just hope that you can one day see some little bit of positivity to associate with that day.

      Much *love* and support to you!! {{{Hugs}}} Also take care of that knee! πŸ˜‰

  12. There’s lot of pretty faces in Hollywood (and Hawaii). Not as much honesty, manners, hard work, kindness, humility, and caring. The surprising thing about Alex is not just that he’s relentlessly and ridiculously sexy, and not just that he’s a really great role model … but that he brings me friends with all those qualities too! πŸ˜‰

    • I *am* relentlessly and ridiculously sexy! How did you know?? πŸ˜‰

      Thank you soooo much! You know I love ya more than my luggage! Thanks for helping me get through this past year. I hope I never have to repay the favor…but I totally would!!

  13. Thank you for sharing this very moving, personal story. I can only wish you the very best in winning your own fight against pain – like Alex did. I was so worried about him last year and overjoyed when he was back looking healthy. I truly hope you’ll be equally successful in overcoming the pain. Take care and a big hug to make you feel better! πŸ™‚

  14. ESS! As a newbie, I had no idea. I can’t tell you how much I admire you and am grateful for your willingness to share. Thanks for the courage to fight, thanks for letting this pain lead you to new paths and new skills, and thanks, of course, for sharing your love for Alex with us along the way. Right on, warrior woman! Internet hugs to you. πŸ™‚

    • You can’t hear me but I just did my warrior woman war cry!! **love it**

      Thanks for being here and sharing the love with me. It really helps. ❀

  15. I totally appreciate these words,having had a life changing event that has left me with chronic pain,life goes on with good days and less good days,knowing you are not alone and having the love if those around you really helps.Im sure AOL would agree.

  16. Thanks so much for this post! Glad you are doing better!! You’re an inspiration to us all πŸ˜€

  17. I follow your blog but I keep quiet due to my bad English. After reading your post I need to thank you, you have touched me deeply. Love you Ess

    • Mariu, thank you so much for your kind words. Much ***love*** back to you!!
      Thank you for your support, for reading the blog and please feel free to join in any time. A number of followers struggle with their english but to me, that makes it even more special for all of you who fearlessly try. I can’t speak a word of another language…you all that do and that try, you are amazing people.

      Thank you again for speaking up and your kind words. ❀

  18. Life challenges us to fight for our health, love and happiness. Some fights are more difficult than others but it is only the brave who win. Never forget that you are a fighter and we are witnesses of you and Alex in this way. We will always here for you. Hugs.

  19. body{font-size:10pt;font-family:arial,sans-serif;background-color:#ffffff;color:black;}p{margin:0px;}

    Hey,  I am touched by your story and wish you all the best with your challenges.  You sound wise and strong so good luck with learning a new direction for yourself !   THANK YOU for all you do to share Alex with all of us.   Warm wishes  

  20. hey Ess babe πŸ™‚ knowing you just 2 or 3 month ago on FB & here too, means that i had no idea about you being in such a pain & had surgery last year 😦 but all im gonna say (sorry if my English was not that clear) is that we don’t just share your laughter & funny captures, we share everything you feel be it sad or happy honey coz we’re Ohana & always will be, i was so sad this time last year when i heard about Alex being into Rehab (well was sad earlier when i noticed him loosing so much weight) , i lost many of my friends on FB & Twitter, some for talking bad about him & calling him a drug addict & some for not understanding what i was struggling with coz of his condition, i wasnt myself i was broke & cried & prayed a lot for him, didnt even watch the episodes he missed, i just coulndt watch them coz i felt like he wasnt coming back or something, specially the crossover epi :((( & now remembering this & writing my tears are fulling again πŸ˜₯
    im just HAPPY that he came back, better, healthier & happier than ever, that really made me so relieved & breathing again πŸ™‚
    im really proud of you honey, you started your life again & you feel better than before (i hope), it was a black cloud on your & Alex’s sky & thank god its over now :))) <3<3<3
    thank you for sharing your pain with us & for being so honest & open πŸ˜€
    mahalo for the Awesome site, for your efforts & for making us laugh every time we watch your capts, YOUR AMAZING my friend xoxoxo
    sorry for the short comment lol πŸ™‚

    • Kari, I am reaching out and hugging you SO HARD!! Please don’t worry, your english is very good and perfectly understandable. πŸ™‚

      To people like us, it is hard to understand that some people could have taken the negative approach when Alex went to treatment. I still don’t understand it. I guess it doesn’t make them bad people…..but I definitely prefer and connect to people who have a much larger heart. A little more understanding and a whole lot more empathy for people, whether they are celebrities or not. It’s probably one of the things that makes us such a big fan of Alex who seems to have a really big heart too.

      • & i really felt that warm friendly hug Ess πŸ™‚ mahalo nui for your sweetness darling, its no new thing, you always been such a beautiful soul babe <3<3<3 & so wise coz your right about what you said & YES,Alex really has a big heart & a nie pure soul & its affecting (in a good way of course) big time on us, his true loyal fans, we all love each other the way we love him, so happy to meet such great Aloha 5Ohana πŸ™‚ thank you all fans & admins on this AWESOME BLOG PAGE xoxoxoxo

  21. Everyone, sorry if i slammed your inbox today full of replies but you all were so kind and sweet and uplifting and honest and brave in your own comments, I really wanted to respond to each of you personally. Thank you all so much for the wonderful words. I started out thinking I could write this kind of objectively and not emotionally…WRONG! lol. In the end, I found it very healing to write…so much so that I almost didn’t publish it. It had been written days ago and up until last night I doubted whether I should post it. You all have made me happy I did.

    I try to keep H50BAMF light and fun exactly because of things like this. We all have busy lives, personal struggles and outside influences that stress out out daily…I want H50BAMF to be a place you can all come to and just spend a few quick minutes and enjoy a magnificent handsome devil (hee), have a laugh or two, comment if you feel inclined and then get back to the important part of your day. If visiting us here brightens a moment of your day, then I consider this as one of the best things to come out of my own rehabilitation. πŸ™‚ It was therapy for me in the months that I sat at home not able to go anywhere or do anything physically. To know that it brightens someones day makes me happy beyond what I can express to you.

    Thank you for indulging me on this sidetrack of emotion and seriousness. Tomorrow, back to the pretty!! *woot woot*

  22. This was so courageous to share your personal story. I wish the best for you. Take care of yourself. Your hard work on H50 stuff brings us such joy.

    Brenda (Lexy)

  23. I just read this and was so moved! I had no idea! Wow sweetie! My thoughts are with you and I wish only the best for you! You are a strong woman to go through this! I am sending you hugs!

  24. Lovely post ESS. This time last year my heart broke upon hearing the struggles Alex was facing then burst with pride seeing him return better and happier than ever!
    My now healed heart goes out to you for the pain you have endured this past year. Your strength is admirable and I pray that you’ve already conqured the darkest days and only the brightest days are in front of you!

  25. To identify with somebody else’s pain, makes it easier to understand them!
    To see somebody else conquer their pain, makes it easier to fight our own!
    Thanks for sharing yours….

  26. I too struggle with pain but emotionally and physically. Right now I am having some gall bladder trouble and other issues and at the same time trying to help my husband make ends meet. I have told I will not work on Wednesdays right now when the museum opens and that is frustrating.g me. I feel like hiding.g I.but trying.g. I knew Alex’s situation was different than a lot of stars. He was in pain he wasn’t just abusive.g drugs. Now he is in good shape. Hope you are feeling.g better and thanks for sharing your story with us!

    • Leslie….keep fighting! So sorry to hear about your struggle. Sounds like you are getting hit on all fronts. 😦 Keep fighting and know it can’t last forever. You are brave!

      Thank you for your kinds words. ❀

  27. Well, this has been enlighting- not knowing so many people were in pain. I was shocked to hear about Alex going into rehab. I didn’t want him to end up like many other stars. However, I just had that feeling he wasn’t aa drug addict. Now look at that gorgeous man. So happy and healthy. I had my own problems that hit me like a ton of bricks. I was so lucky to still be alive – you see, I had a stroke. It hit me out of the clear, blue sky. I was completely paralyzed on my life side. I was being poked and prodded with all sorts of instruments. i couldn’t see a thing. I heard people’s voices, but couldn’t see them at all! Yet through all of it, I was calm and really not frightened. I know now God was with me. The doctors wanted to give me the TPA drug (known as the clot buster) but they had to give it to me within 3 hours. Well, they had to do so many tests and exams I
    was 15 minutes beyond the time limit! So they talked with me to tell me what could happen if I had bleeding in my brain and got the drug – I would bleed to death. Anyway, I gave them permission to go ahead. The paralysis began to leave my body about 10 minutes after I got the drug. I left the hospital in 3 days and was told I had to have open heart surgery to fix the hole they found between the two chambers of my heart. I didn’t want to have it. They gave me 30 days to regain my strength before open heart surgery. In the meantime, I was all ready in an exercise program for rehab. I had none of the risks that a person who is going to have a stroke would have. Everything changed for me. I do have some deficits left over from the stroke. Most people who meet say they would never know I had a stroke. But I know. They tell you if you are going to have a second stroke it wilo be within 6 months. So every day for 6 months, I would wake up wondering if that day would bring a second stroke. Thank God, I didn’t have one. Every day I work on the deficits – like my left side is very weak. If I am out walking for a long length of time, my left foot will drag. My eye color changed – nothing I can do to fix that! When I smile the left side of my mouth droops, etc. I knew I had to fight to survive. My warrior cry is – Never Ever give up. I’m still fighting because if I had given up I could be in an instiution somewhere sitting in a wheelchair staring out a window. I can walk, talk and breathe on my own. So, my friend, NEVER, EVER give up. There are bad days and good days, but we keep on fighting. I hope that maybe I have given you some hope to fight on. I will pray for you, and Alex to stay healthy and happy.

    • Anna….I read your comment and wasn’t sure I wanted to cry or stand up and cheer! What an amazing success story! Thank you so much for sharing it! You’re right. Never Ever Give Up!! Wow, what a story. I am humbled at your bravery and wish you continued healing and health. ❀ ❀ ❀

  28. Ess, I work with a lady who has chronic back pain and honestly I don’t know how either of you two do it. But what I do know is that you both have a much stronger fight instinct then I do. You are also more brave then I could hope to be. I count my lucky stars that on my bad days (which are pretty tame in comparison) I have you in my corner.


    • *love*, babe…nothing but *love*

      And hell yeah I have your six!! I know you are braver than you think you are…My wish is you just never have to find out.

  29. Darling ESS
    How strong and Beautiful you are in your person and in your words. !!!
    I cried when I read your post,for You, for Alex and for the strong marvelous women who shared their own stories here with you and all of us. Tears of sorrow, joy and awe. How fortunate I feel to have read this. You kinow how much I enjoy the love, laughter ,fun and naugtiness we share with our friends here but it is only when we are all so comfortable with each other that we can share our trials,sorrows and pain that we truly become “OHANA” You made that breaktrough ESS!!Now we are and always will be family.
    Three years ago I woke up unable to walk completely paralyzed with agonizing Sciatica and was rushed to hospital on a bodyboard being fed Morphine, which made me desperatly ill. The doctors never told me how it happened , {Perhaps they did not know. I told them that they HAD to take me off the Morphinr I was drifiting in and out of reality and throwing up horribly. The pain was bad but the medicine was worse!! I asked for lesser pain relief , therapy and counseling. I went from a hospital bed to a wheelchair, to a walker , a walking stick and then to water airobics and the gym. My left knee will never be the same. i have a liitle nerve damage in my left leg but today i am stronf and well. I have a beloved family Dear dear friends {YES THAT MEANS YOU LOVELY LOT LADIES} and ALEX who i have seen 3 times since my misfortune God is good. Life is beautiful. Never take it for granted and never give in or give up. ‘
    I only read this post today because I just got back from a marvrelous 4 day trip to Las Vegas with my son otherwise i would have responded much sooner, What a privilidge it was to read it. Thanks again

    • Vegas with the son and what a lovely gift that you’ve been able to enjoy that trip! Wow, another inspiring, wonderful story. So much strength and passion and drive among you wonderful people here! I am amazed and humbled.

      So inspiring! Thank you for sharing! LOVE LOVE LOVE back atcha!

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