Posts

The Greatest Pretender

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About this time last year something profound happened to me. While the event itself wasn't earth-shattering, my reaction to it pretty much defined how I related to the world at large for the next nine months. One afternoon I was standing in the kitchen when my husband, who after over a decade of our social life being ruled by my sickness, informed me he was sick and tired of flaking out at the last minute. He demanded, then and there, that I either commit to or cancel lunch plans with friends two weeks out. I stood there with my mouth agape clueless as to what to say. We both knew I was rapidly relapsing into an illness that didn't give me the consideration of two day's notice, let alone two weeks. But we also knew life wasn't only about me...

It didn't matter that his frustration was justified, or that I was spending half of the week too sick to function, or that two mature adults should've been able to resolve this rather superficial matter with a healthy dose…

Waiting On the World to Care

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This blog has sat silent for many moons. For eight full ones, more or less, I've been imprisoned in an exile of my own creation. Initially I was so angry about my health relapse I didn't know what to say, other than to hurl epic amounts of fury at my keyboard. I had no solutions, no answers, and nothing positive to contribute. So instead of spewing hate all over the permanent cloud of internet technology, I donned the hair shirt of self-flagellation and turned that anger inward. It's been a horrible, terrible, no good, very bad eight months.
As I got sicker and sicker, I got madder and madder. The angrier I became, the more I sequestered myself. I refused to talk about my problems or how I felt. It seemed pointless, like it didn't matter. Nobody could do anything about it or begin to comprehend my reality. There was just me, an isolated island of misery, who wanted to do anything but talk about being an isolated island of misery. But nobody understood that either. I'…

Fear of Forty

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Last week I officially crested the top of that middle-age hill and am now on the other side. The stress and anxiety I felt during the last weeks of my 30's had me tied up in knots. Turning 40 was such a daunting prospect, especially considering where my life's at, that all I wanted to do was cry. And a few times I did. Like the date on my birth certificate swirled up all the anger and frustration over how little control I have over my life. Then it happened. I turned 40.
Now I'm laughing, because turning 40 is so much worse than being 40! 40 is, actually, glorious. Like the date on my birth certificate allowed me to accept everything about my life, and stop being mad at it. It helps immensely that I'm now getting a string of days between flares, and the flare that just ended yesterday didn't present itself with its usual buckets of anger. Sure I zoned out on yet one more TV series as I distracted my awakening brain with epic amounts of Scorpion Solitaire. What else …

A Different Me

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This week the flare hit so hard I didn't know what was happening to me. All I could feel was more anguish and desolation than I could bear. The why's of life started swirling around my mind again, their utter uselessness distracting me with the unfairness of it all. I seethed hatred and anger at my life, the consequences of my existence, and mostly the prison my health has left me in. That was Monday and Tuesday. Miraculously on Tuesday night I slept, which was but a pipe dream the two nights before. On Wednesday I woke up and felt, dare I say it...human? Every inch of my body didn't hurt and I didn't want to hurl myself off the nearest bridge. Victory!
That's when I realized I'm getting better. See that flare state I just described above was my continuous reality for months...and months...and months. I've known for a few weeks now I was stabilizing, that all my juicing and resting and exercising was starting to right the broken-down vessel that is my ship. …

The Perspective of Hope

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I know a woman whose fourteen-year-old son is dying of cancer. He was diagnosed at age eleven and has fought an insane battle, but isn't winning the final round. Of course it goes without saying that the impact on the entire family has been utterly devastating. His mother is a gifted writer who provides incredible insight into the reality of their nightmare, and she recently wrote a post that utterly moved me. It was about the changing stages of hope. Four of them, to be precise, coinciding with the advancement of her son's cancer. It started with the natural hope that a person so young would beat the disease and sail into adulthood to live a full and rewarding life. But by the time she reached the fourth stage, it was all about hope for courage. More precisely, the courage to watch her child die.

Needless to say I was incredibly humbled. And ashamed. See the last six months have been living hell for me. I got really sick again and had to quit my job. I didn't realize how s…

The Luxury of Sick

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I've spent the last two week laying around doing nothing. I shouldn't consider it nothing, considering I'm desperately trying to rebuild my health. But instead of saying, "I've spent the last two weeks laying around healing," I fault myself for such a monumental lack of productivity. I feel guilty for not doing the laundry or putting on makeup or going to the grocery store-- things a normal woman my age should do as an afterthought in her thriving, busy life. Yet when I do venture into the land of normal, those simple activities comprise my entire day and usurp all my energy. As I watch my muscles turn to mush and tummy fat muffin-top over my jeans, I wonder if I'll ever be able to return to the gym. And for the love of all things holy, I pray I'll someday gain enough confidence to even glance at the book I bothered to write, let alone try and sell it.
Rebuilding from the splatter of hitting bottom is hard. It wasn't until I accepted, again, that t…

Do Cocoons Hurt?

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I always assumed the process of turning from a caterpillar into a butterfly wasn't a painful one. Sure, it seemed like a lot of work to spin that silken cocoon to wrap up in, and getting out seemed a bit tricky, but I never gave much thought to what actually happens inside there. I guess I thought it was a womb-like transformation-- where awareness doesn't exist and growth just happens. Turns out I was wrong. Inside the chrysalis the caterpillar digests itself by releasing enzymes to dissolve its own tissues. Then a group of surviving cells rearrange into a butterfly. Ouch. As a person whose own pancreas has tried to digest itself four times (pancreatitis), I only pray some opiates are mixed in with those enzymes to dull the poor caterpillar's agony.
Right now I'm picking myself up from my biggest fall in five years. It's been three months since I last blogged. In that amount of time I've been to hell and am hopefully halfway back again. Again. But every time I …