“I am not a snowflake. I am not a sweet infantilising symbol of the fragility of life. I am a strong, fierce, flawed adult woman. I plan to remain that way in life, and in death.” -Stella Young

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There seems to be a current trend in my life that involves spending much of my day stumbling around like a newborn giraffe trying to figure out how to walk. It’s not new. I’ve slowly been acknowledging that it’s there for near on 4 years now, but it’s finally gotten to the point that other people have taken notice of it being more than Bambi style clumsiness and using the rollator regularly isn’t something I can keep snubbing my nose at (all 30 year olds should rock a walker, right? No? Just me? Well, damn…) even though I’d really like to.

It’s taken a long time, and if I’m balls to the wall honest here…it’s still a work in progress, to come to terms with letting my body reign over my brain.

I know, it seems backwards, doesn’t it? All those “Hang in there” kitten posters tell you it’s all attitude…I’m willing to bet whoever tossed that crap together wasn’t dealing with their skull trying to birth their brain on a regular basis, or the sensation of an electrical fire throughout random expanses of body, tingling and searing with white hot pain at the same time, because I can be downright fucking chipper between episodes and it’s not going to make that sensation any more pleasant! Mind over SOME matter, maybe….sometimes….and plenty of expletives for the times in between.

Have you ever had one of those days that is just so inexplicably long and arduous that you are reduced to communicating in grunts, sighs, and eye rolls? Or found yourself staring into a vacuous void in the bathroom mirror at 3am trying to wrap your mind around just how you got to be here surrounded by tiny orange towers of prescriptions and black rimmed eyes that put raccoons to shame. Too exhausted to properly function, and too everything else to just finally give in to sleep. Those are the days the kitten poster pops into my head. It’s always at the most awkward time. Splayed on the floor between the bedroom and the bathroom trying to figure out just how you fell since your whole self feels fairly battered anyhow and you’re not sure how to assess new damage, and despite the tears of frustration you’re maniacally laughing at that damned cat in the damned tree thinking “I totally know how you feel, dude! I finally get it!”

Learning to function and accept the inevitable dysfunction at internal DEFCON 1 is probably the most difficult task I’ve taken on in my life, and I can’t even begin to put to words how what or why it’s so important to me to try to find that miniscule vein of clarity that will just let me simply exist when I need to, rather than participate. There just aren’t a conglomeration of letters I can throw together in the vocabulary alphabet soup of my mind to adequately cover the thousands of facets inability has chiseled into my psyche, but in another strange way….I’m okay with that.

When I have those rare moments to step outside the box and reassess myself, I still see the flaws and imperfections. I see all that my illnesses have taken from me and pushed out of my life, but I can also see the path winding its way through the wreckage. I haven’t stopped. I just keep going. The success rate for making it through my “worst day ever” is 100% so far, and damn it, that’s something! Sometimes my brain needs that little reminder and to be flipped the bird for thinking we’re weak, or useless, or stupid, or whatever other insult it chooses to hurl at itself when things aren’t going according to plan.

Plans are for building a house. I’m building a life….One newborn giraffe step at a time.


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