you’re neither fish nor fowl when you’re chronically ill

Aug 24, 2015 by

Chronic illness is such a weird animal. A couple times a year, you might find yourself having a day where you feel completely normal. Pain free, energetic, focused, able to move around easily. It’s euphoric. And you hardly ever realize it’s happening until after the fact, when the pain comes back. It’s pretty amazing when it happens.

And there are days — and nights, oh, the endless nights — where you just want to curl into the fetal position and pretend this isn’t your life, because you are so miserable with pain and nausea. It feels relentless and it strips you down to the animal inside you, the one that’s got its teeth bared and is willing to gnaw its own leg off if it means that it gets to live. You breathe through minute after minute, and that encompasses all the priorities you thought you had, like making sure that you eat a family meal together every night, getting that bank paperwork done, and finishing the laundry. Screw it, says your hind brain. Just breathe, and make it to the next moment and the next breath without breaking.

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Down. Discouraged. Disappointed.

Aug 19, 2015 by

After having my sons I started running with the sole intention of losing the baby weight.  Since then I’ve had a love/hate relationship with running. I ran a few 5Ks this spring and felt pretty good about myself, but then something inside of me changed and I started to question, “If I can run 3.1 miles, could I run 4?  5?  Maybe a 10K?”  Well, I wanted to find out.  So that’s how it started, and I began to push myself like I never have before.  I started running further and faster and when I was done, sweat pouring out of my body, hair drenched, I felt it – the ultimate reward: runner’s high.  Don’t get me wrong, while I was running I was cursing under my breath, questioning why I was doing it, feeling nauseous, swatting at bugs, hating every second.  But when I was done?  Wow.  It was worth every second of pain.

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Parenting an uncharted path

Jul 3, 2015 by

As parents, we all have checklists running in the backs of our minds pretty much all the time. Usually in the form of questions. Did everyone remember to pack their lunch? Did I turn the stove off? Are the Girl Scout forms all filled out? Who did I forget to call back? What day am I supposed to bring cupcakes in to school? (Please, please let it not be today.) Did I turn the stove off?

As the parent of a transgender child, that checklist is constantly growing in new and surprising ways. Questions I never would have had in my Life Before the Big Reveal. All the usual questions are still there. Kids are kids, no matter their gender or orientation. But they’ve been joined with:

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Don’t Be a Hero: Being OK with Being Average

Jun 5, 2015 by

40s exercise book

When my depression started to lift after starting a much-needed prescription, I came to the scary realization that certain aspects of my personality and outlook on life were driven by that altered state of mind.  Or rather, those aspects were a part of who I was until I started tinkering with my neurochemistry.

One of my most popular posts on here is about how much I hate cooking – not the act of meal preparation itself as a stand-alone chore, but the fact that it ate into my time and energy and involved more focus and coordination than I felt I could reasonably muster on a daily basis.  Do I still struggle with this?  Sure, somewhat.  But one night recently, I was pulling dinner together and realized that I felt … nothing.  Not gloriously blissful, certainly, but also not frustrated, exhausted, or overwhelmed.  Just … normal?  Is this what normal feels like?  I mean, if you love cooking, you may feel blissful while making dinner.  But if you think cooking is just ok or feel otherwise neutral about it, you will treat it as just another chore.  And you won’t usually be angry or depressed over it unless your brain is wired to trigger those emotions over the event.  That must have been what was happening to me before, because suddenly I am sort of ok with making dinner.

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This is Why I Run

Mar 4, 2015 by

I hate running.

 

I want to enjoy it.  I want to be one of those people who run to clear their mind and feel free.  But I’m not.  This is what’s going on in my head when I run:

  • Am I almost done?
  • This sucks.
  • I should be folding laundry now.
  • Am I almost done?
  • I think my elbow is sweating.  Is that even possible?  Can elbows sweat?  Because I’m pretty sure my elbow is sweating.
  • I should be unloading the dishwasher now.
  • Why am I always the one unloading the dishwasher?
  • Am I almost done?
  • This sucks.

 

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