The aim of the wise is not to secure pleasure, but to avoid pain. – Aristotle

I would be a damned liar if I came to you, dear reader, and said I wanted to be sitting here writing this entry tonight. In fact, given the choice, I’d sooner perform my own lobotomy than attempt to string together coherent words beyond a conscious stream of expletives. To say that it had been anything less than a 15 out of 10 this week as far as fed up, in pain, inane activities make me stabby and other such pleasantries go. Really and truly, life is currently a bitch, and not of the submissive variety.

So, what do I do when I’ve hit the end of my rope? Focus my attention elsewhere.

One of the few blessings that have come from dealing with chronic pain and illness is a slowly growing digital circle. For those that live the life, I don’t have to tell you how isolating it can be. Cutting yourself off from the real world because of the weight of the worry, the shame and guilt of not being able to maintain “normalcy” in relationships. For someone who had a minimal social circle to begin with, losing friendships seemed like nails in the coffin once upon a time. Let’s just leave it at the fact that I am delightfully awkward, and my brash sarcasm and Uh Huh vocabulary (if you get the reference, magical bonus points) are worse when I don’t have the luxury of a backspace key at my disposal. It’s pretty safe to say I’m not exactly everyone’s cup of tea.

The internet has long been my playground. Cyber realms are much easier to navigate without having to make excuses for the crippling anxiety that makes for tics and uncomfortable outbursts, physical symptoms of medical junk are hidden away in the ether. Essentially, the internet has given me a life that my illnesses otherwise interfere with. Reaching out to others with my conditions has opened doors to treatment possibilities and doctor referrals. Finding support groups has slowly added to my social circle, finding kindred spirits hiding there among the text that draw my heart out and build up new friendships based on understanding rather than assumptions. To find those rare gems is a kind of healing, I’m sure.

One of the most unique facets to these friendships are the stories behind the words on the screen. The multitude of roads being traveled by the people you grow to care for are astounding and often put some perspective into the fact that, as isolated as you feel, you are NOT alone in that feeling.

In the month of September alone there are an overwhelming number of causes assigning themselves timeslots for awareness…

Childhood Cancer Month (Gold): www.candlelighters.org/awareness/childhoodcancerawarenessmonth/tabid/406/default.aspx

Leukemia & Lymphoma Awareness Month (Green or Orange): www.lls.org

National Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month: www.stopafib.org

National Infant Mortality Awareness Month (Pink & Blue): www.healthystartassoc.org

National Sickle Cell Month (Burgundy): www.sicklecelldisease.org

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month (Teal): www.ovarian.org

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month (Light Blue): www.zerocancer.org

Reye’s Syndrome Awareness Month (Blue): www.reyessyndrome.org

National Suicide Prevention Week Sept 5-11 (Yellow): www.suicidology.org

National Celiac Disease Awareness Day Sept 13 (Light Green): www.csaceliacs.org

National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day Sept 18 (Red): www.theaidsinstitute.org

National Rehabilitation Awareness Celebration Sept 19-25: www.nraf-rehabnet.org

World Alzheimer’s Day Sept 21 (Purple): www.alz.co.uk/adi/wad/

National Mesothelioma Awareness Day Sept 26(Purple): www.curemeso.org

World Heart Day Sept 30 (Red or Red & Blue): www.worldheart.org

And there are more,
Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week Sept 20-26 (Green): http://www.mitoaction.org/mito-faq,
and Intracranial Hypertension Awareness Month (Blue and Green): http://ihrfoundation.org/
are both two that are near and dear to my heart, personally, and are rarely mentioned beyond the confines of the support groups for those that are dealing with these rare issues.

Please, if you have a moment, take some time to learn more about some of the causes this month and reach out to someone that may need a listening ear. You never know, you just might end up with a beautiful friend.

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