So I recently read a blog post by Maggie Steifvater, which said this:
“So I’ve realized that I have to make a conscious effort not to start every single blog post with “so.” No, seriously, if you look back through my blog archives, I suspect I have more so-ing than a farmer. Considering that I’m not exactly sure “so” used in that context even has a meaning, that’s impressive.
Clearly, I too share this weakness.
So. My blog has been rather sparse lately, and I’m here to tell you why. I’m going to try to keep this as not-TMI as possible, though it may come out a bit ramble-y, but I’m writing it for myself as much as anyone else who might read it. It will all be punctuated with Devil Wears Prada gifs, because yes, that’s my coping mechanism.
As you may or may not have gathered from previous posts (um, this one? and maybe this one?) I’m dealing with some sort of undiagnosed chronic illness (in all likelihood, some combination of autoimmune diseases), and while my many supporters both in my family, at school, and at the hospital have told me time and again that I don’t owe anyone an explanation, well, I kind of like explaining things.
I’m not going to go into detail, but the most important thing for right now is that recently my doctor decided that we needed to add some new medications to the grocery list. They are much heavier than any I’ve ever been on before.
So there’ve been side effects. And it’s been slowing me down a lot more than I would like, than I can stand, really. I used to be a really active person, and here I am, on a Friday morning when I should be in a class I can’t drive to because I’m too dizzy, writing a post on my blog. Explaining.
Really, writing and reading are two of the only pieces of myself I feel I’ve been able to hold onto throughout this rollercoaster, and while I’m angry I can’t go on a run when I want to, or spontaneous road trips, or go out with my friends, or whatever else may be normal for a person my age, I am so inherently grateful that I can still read and write. I’m grateful for this blog, for being able to explain these things to myself as much as to anyone else out there. Hello. *waves* Thank you for reading this far.
There are a lot of misconceptions about chronic illness, and like everything else, I think the most important thing to remember is that it’s a spectrum, and it’s subjective. No, I don’t have cancer, and no, I’m not dying. But, as I’m slowly beginning to accept, I’m also not completely able-bodied. I’m always in some degree of pain. People ask you, “How’re you?” and I say, “Just fine, thanks” and we continue on our merry ways. But the people who really know me, know that my “I’m okay,” or “I’m fine” mean different things than they do for most people.
Some days I get tired after having a shower, some days I can walk around a mall just fine, some days I might need a cane to do that, some days I don’t get out of bed. Some days I feel completely normal, and I wonder if I’m making it all up, if I deserve anyone’s empathy, but then I talk to the friends I’ve made who are going through the same thing, and after a good cry (on some days), we settle in on, no, the kids are not alright. But the best thing you can do when you’re down is remember to be thankful for the things you do have, rather than mourn the things you’ve lost. For me, it’s the life I was meant to be living. I’ve got this one instead, and it’s still pretty great.
But I realized I missed Litstyle this week, and I didn’t post a review on Sunday, and I’m kind of kicking myself over it. So now you know why.
In other news, my NaNoWriMo project has changed, but fear not, I’m still on track! (I think I’m above the track if I’m being honest, but that won’t last for long so we’ll just pretend I didn’t say anything.)
I’ve decided that instead of committing to writing my full novel, I’m going to use the month as an opportunity to commit to writing everyday. It’ll be misc. stories, and poetry, and probably 50% will be terrible and useless but I’m counting on the other 50% to be awesome.
Basically, I realized on day two that this year/next year is going to be my last year as an undergrad, and my school offers this creative writing program, which was one of the original reasons I applied to it in the first place. And now I know the prof that runs it, and I think that if I got my crap together, I might actually make the cut. But you need a portfolio of work. Due in seven months. So that’s what I’m working on. I’m still writing my novel, but I think that if I can get into this course, I’ll be able to write it better after I’ve learned some things.
Granted, I’m still suffering through it like everyone else. By the end of the month everyone will be like:
Also, I wanted to share this little playlist I made the other day, which I am in love with, and because I feel like those of you who’ve made it this far should be rewarded in some way (unless you hate my taste in music, in which case, I’M SO SORRY).
I’ve made it on available on Spotify and Youtube. (Spotify didn’t have one of the songs, so the Youtube playlist is longer)
So. Thanks for reading this. I hope you’re all having a lovely Friday, and have lovely weekends as well!
4 thoughts on “On Illness + NaNo + A Little Playlist”
I was an English lit student as well! Good for you for doing NaNo! I hope you get into the writing program at your school. Lastly, I’m sorry to hear that you are dealing with a chronic illness. One of my dearest friends in the world has lupis and she is in law school. It’s been hard watching her struggle, but she’s doing it. I hardly know you. (Okay I don’t know you at all.) But I truly admire your strength. I wish you the best of luck and fulfillment your writing journey.
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Always lovely to meet a fellow lit major 😄 Thank you! I hope I get in too (obviously, lol). And I really appreciate that. Lupus is actually one of the things I’m being treated for, so I definitely empathize with you (and her) there. Well, hi, I’m Emma, now you know me (ish). Thank you so much for your kind words 😊
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I’m sorry to read you are dealing with a chronic illness. I can only imagine the effort it takes on some day to do things everybody does without even thinking about it. My mental illness is keeping me away from simple regular activities I used to love, and I count the spoons I need to try and function daily, so I understand a little. I hope the medication helps and I’m sending lots of good vibes!
Good luck for NaNoWriMo! I don’t take part but plenty of my friends do and I admire it!
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Hey! 😊 I really really appreciate you saying that. I’m so sorry to hear that you’re struggling with mental illness. I think, based on what you’ve said (counting spoons included!) that we’re in similar boats. But yes, good vibes and optimism are the way to go! I’m sending lots of lovely thoughts your way 😄 And thanks for the luck on NaNo!