If We Were Having Coffee // A Follow-up and a Bit of Bad News

Hello, dear readers! Thank you for stopping by for a lot of coffee and a little catching up. I’ve already had a few cups, and that is about all I can handle, so I’ll be having some refreshing iced peppermint tea. You are welcome to either, or something else entirely.

“The first step on my journey of personal growth is getting a cup of coffee.”

Death Wish Coffee

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you the weather around here has been a bit crazy. We’ve been swinging wildly between cold and heat, snow, and rain, and the sun. That means that lately, my moods and energy levels are all over the place too.

But I am happy that thunderstorms are returning to Colorado. I love how they seem to roll in at the same time every afternoon to give us a break from the intense heat. The clouds cue us all to relax and settle in for the evening and the sounds of rain and thunder lull you to the best sleep you will have all year.

I’m not looking forward to the heat I know is only weeks away. Our old swamp cooler is out of commission, and we haven’t really come up with a plan for getting a new one. It’s hard when both parties in a relationship are chronic procrastinators.

***

If we were having coffee, I suppose I would tell you the bad news. I had another doctor’s appointment this week, a follow-up to the last follow-up that was all bad news too. For those who don’t know, earlier this year I got really sick, and after a round of tests, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. I was put on a steroid to stop my symptoms quickly but the steroid is awful for me so I can’t take it forever. So, I was put on another medication that takes some weeks to work but can be taken long-term.

So, when I went to check in with the doc, she tells me that she doesn’t think this other long-term medication is going to work at all—she never did!—but we have to let it fail before we can move on to something else. So, I am coming off of the steroid—which is awful because of withdrawal—and we are going to just wait and see if I get super sick again. If I get sick, we move on to some harsher and scarier medications. If the pills I’m on now do work my doctor said I should “thank God and choke down those pills every day.”

Even though I’m freaking out I’m glad I have a doctor that is thinking about the next steps before I start feeling shitty again and have to make decisions about what to try next.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it wasn’t a good writing week, not really. I didn’t post here as much as I wanted to here. On Monday I wrote about not being okay and posted my end of the month check in for April, that was it. I had hoped for a review of Orlando by Virginia Woolf and another poem on Thursday, but I felt really run down. I did work on my zine project, and a submission for Femsplain’s last prompt, and I got a newsletter out, so all wasn’t lost.

I did spend a lot of time reading. I’m just passed the halfway point in The Mind’s I which feels like quite an accomplishment considering its intimidating size and subject matter. This is the second time I have attempted to read this book, and I’m already further than the first time. I may need a third to fully understand it all though.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this weekend was a good one. Friday night I asked my girlfriend out for a date night. We had dinner at Noodles and Company and then walked over to our favorite theater for a few drinks and a late showing of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which we both slept through because we are getting old.

Saturday we took our very nervous dog out for a car ride and a trip to Petco, and she did so well guys! I am so proud of her. She was still very nervous, but she followed her commands and even let us try a new harness on her in the store without freaking out. We are working on socializing her and letting her know that we will keep her safe so she can relax but it is going to be a long process.

Then we went thrift store shopping where I picked up a couple of books, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey and Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. My girlfriend found a Polaroid camera on for just $3. Urban Outfitters sells the same one for $160! We got a few other knickknacks for the house and came home to pizza and hard cider and settled in to watch the new season of Sense8 on Netflix.

***I

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that as much as I am enjoying our visit, I have to cut it short here. There is so much to be done around the house and in preparation for tomorrow, just thinking about it is making me anxious! I better start now before it’s too late and I’m overwhelmed and upset and incapable of anything.

I hope you had a productive week and a relaxing weekend too, and I hope you’ll stop by the comments below and say hi. Let me know what you’ve been up to. I do love hearing from you all.

Until next time :)

My 3-year-old niece drew a picture of me and it's my new favorite thing 😂😂😂 #kids #drawing #art

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***

Check out my weekly-ish newsletter for interesting reads + some of my own existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering, or share a cup of coffee perhaps?

Written for the weekly Weekend Coffee Share link up hosted by Nerd in the Brain

Featured image via Clear Polka Dots

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Human, and Understanding

They’ve left me facing wall
To the left a landscape painting,
Under hard glass
reflects harsh lighting
There are no windows here

Doctors have lost their hearts
All surfaces are sterilized
No life forms allowed
No healing can happen here
The signs out front are wrong

Insides machines beep the time, and
Tubes drip cold fluid into my arms
But humiliation and fear
are what have frozen me
I have to get out!

Suddenly, the curtain pulls back
In this sterile maze
Life reaches out to life
A nurse, human, and understanding,
Has brought me warm blanket

***

Check out my weekly-ish newsletter for interesting reads + some of my own existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering, or help support what I do by sharing a cup of coffee.

Written in response to Daily Post Prompt: Blanket

Featured image via Steve Greer

If We Were Having Coffee // Happy Easter to You, If That’s Your Thing

“You’re invited to join me for a cup of coffee that I’ll be having whether you join me or not.”

— Mutiny Information Cafe

Hello, dear readers! Thank you for stopping by this Easter Sunday. I don’t actually celebrate the holiday, I’m an atheist with no children, so there isn’t much in it for me, but I hope those of you who do are having a wonderful celebration. I hope there are brightly colored eggs, delicious chocolates, good food, and lots of laughter. I hope this morning’s church services fills you with a sense of peace and belonging and hope.

As for me, I’m doing my usual Sunday thing. I was up early, but I fell back asleep and woke up later than I wanted to. Now I’m scrambling to catch up. I’m cleaning and writing, both at the same time and neither effectively. One of these days I will learn.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this past week was a good one. In case you didn’t know, it was my birthday week! People who know me know that my birthday is super important to me and I spend the majority of the month of April celebrating it.

I believe that everyone deserves to be a little self-absorbed around their birthday. I mean, for one, it took the universe a long time and a lot of work to get to you, and also, it took you a lot of time and work to get to where you are, all of that should be acknowledged with lots of good food, drink, and laughter!

I spent my week at dinner with family (it was also my mother’s birthday week), at the movies with my lovely lady seeing one of my old favorites, Starship Troopers, and out for an oyster brunch with my lady too. Today I will be out to dinner again, this time with the in-laws and later in the month, there will be a series of nights out with different groups of friends. There were some gifts, nothing big, but all very lovely but my favorite thing by far is the birthday card my girlfriend DIY-ed for me:

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that this past week was a crazy one, politically. Our newest president has my anxiety running high nearly nonstop to the point where i have to check out, from the news, from social media, from friends and family who want to talk about it.

I used to enjoy following and discussing politics but lately, all I can feel is either a vague but deep fear or a burning embarrassment.

Life in this country feels a lot less certain than it did just a few short months ago and the world as a whole feels on the verge of something big and bad. Tensions are high everywhere and as much as I want to get involved and fight back a big part of me wants to cling to the things that feel safe, the things that feel like home, for as long as I can.

Every week I tell myself that I will do more, say more, and find the courage to resist but every week I look out into the world and feel afraid again. Not this week either it seems….maybe next.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that while my body still isn’t feeling much better yet, my mood has improved dramatically. Part of it was all the well wishes, gifts, and spoiling I got, and part of it is the ever improving weather are having as we move further and further from winter, but mostly it’s because summer is right around the corner and with it comes an easier work schedule and a lot less stress.

Summertime is on the way and, since I work for a school district, that means summer break. I still work, but I have much more control over my schedule. I will be cleaning, filing, doing testing and training, and helping make sure that all of our school buses and all of our equipment is ready to go for the next year.

During that time I can choose to work only as many hours as I need to and spend the rest of my time working on some projects and reevaluating what it is I am doing here and with my writing in general. I have more concrete plans for a zine; I want to work on some real poetry and get back to creating some art, and I want to do as much of it outside, in the sunshine and fresh air, as I can.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that, slowly, a new routine and a new normal is beginning to sink in as I learn what it really means to live with a chronic illness. I feel more at ease, more accepting, and less tense or angry.

I am learning to let go of some things, like being able to sleep in. I have to be up by 6 every morning to eat and take my medication. I’m working on letting go of being able to eat whatever I want to eat. This week I discovered that anything with nuts or seeds is out, and I may have to cut out beef entirely, which is probably a good thing. I am letting go of wishing to have the energy I used to have and working on making the most of what I do. Naps are back in around here but in moderation!

I don’t want to be fighting myself every day. I don’t want to be disappointed in myself every day. I don’t want to give up. I want to adjust.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the time has passed too quickly, as it tends to do when you are having fun, or coffee, or good conversation. There is a lot for me to do before I head to dinner tonight. The house is in desperate need of mopping, dusting, and vacuuming and the dishes and laundry are piled high.

I hope your week was a good one and that your weekend was relaxing and warm. If you have a minute drop a note in the comments and let me know how you are. I worry about you, you know?

Until next time :)

New shirt to match my new mood :)

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***

Check out my weekly-ish newsletter for interesting reads + my own existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering, or buy me a cup of coffee perhaps? 

Written for to the Weekend Coffee Share link-up hosted by Nerd in the Brain

Featured image via Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // It’s My Birthday Month, and I’m Starting Again

“Even bad coffee is better than no coffee at all.”

— David Lynch

Hello, dear readers! Thank you for stopping by for a bit of coffee and catching up. I probably shouldn’t be having coffee, the caffeine and the acid are probably the last things my stomach needs, but I’m at home today, and coffee means a lot to me, so I will drink and deal with the consequences later. I know it will be worth every sip.

I know I haven’t  been around much lately, and we will get to why in a bit, but before we do I wanted to warn you that today’s post might contain some TMI subjects and descriptions and a bit of bad language. If you don’t want to hear that kind of thing maybe skip ahead a bit or skip away, I won’t mind I promise.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week was fucking awful.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I know you, and everyone else, me included are probably tired of hearing me talk about my health and my medication and my anxiety and my hope that any day now I will start to feel better. You are probably tired of hearing week after week that I am still sick, but here I am telling you once again that I am still sick. Not just still, I’m actually worse and getting more and more worried as each day goes by.

Since my ulcerative colitis diagnosis, my whole life feels upended. All I can think about now is my stomach, and bathrooms, and what foods I can and can’t eat, and whether or not I can work today, and when my next doctors appointment is, and if this new pain is due to the disease or my medication, and what medication I am on and what medication will come next if this one doesn’t work, and whether or not I should call my doctor, and whether or not this is serious, and if I’m sleeping enough or too much, and oh god I have to go to the bathroom, again, again, again, again…..This is my life now, and there has been no room for writing anymore.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I feel overwhelmed by all the things I haven’t been able to do or finish because of all of this. I haven’t written a new post here in days, and the comments are piling up. I failed the Blogging A to Z Challenge before I was able to really get going. I’ve missed submission deadlines, and I haven’t sent a newsletter in weeks. I’m so far behind I don’t know where to even begin to catch up, but I want to.

I want to find a way back to doing all the things that made me feel good. I want to find a way to get back to telling my story and spreading my message. I want to finish what I started, so I am starting again.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I think my first two Blogging A to Z posts turned out pretty good, and even though I couldn’t keep going I haven’t gotten over my need to talk about all the bad things in the world. So, I am picking up the project again and combining it with another project I can never seem to get my shit together enough to finish. I am going to make a zine/chapbook from the posts!

I have no idea when the thing will be done, now that I have given myself permission to work outside of the April deadline but I’d like to have a draft done by the middle of may. This will be my first physical thing I am making so please be patient, but I am promising that this thing will be a thing and I will keep you posted if you promise to keep me accountable.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that my birthday is coming up this week and despite everything, I am still excited. It’s not a big birthday, I’m just turning 32, but it’s my day and I take it very seriously. I like to think of the entire month of April as the time to celebrate me. I mean, your birthday is not just the day to mark when you came into the world but a time to celebrate another year that you got to be on this Earth. What could be more important?

I always think about how each birthday could be my last and it feels wrong not to make each one meaningful no matter how hard aging is or how depressing or bad the year has been. When you consider that there are so many people who won’t be getting a birthday this year your perspective changes. You realize that each one is a gift and worthy of celebration.

This year, like every year, I’ll be making time for dinners and drinks with family and friends and a bit of quiet reflection on the past year and planning for the next. I don’t ask for or expect gifts, I just want to see all the people who make my life meaningful but I know my girlfriend got me something good, she always buys the best gifts, and I’m anxious to find out what it is.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I have come to the end of my cup of coffee and, sadly, the caffeine has done nothing for my energy levels. I need a nap. Thank you for chatting with me, it’s been good for me to get up and get typing again. I hope to keep the momentum going.

I hope you had a good week, and that your weekend was a relaxing one. If you have a minute drop by the comments and let me know how you have been and what you have been up to.

Until next time :)

An early birthday present to myself, from myself 😊 #sagavol7

A post shared by Lisa Blair (@zenandpi) on

***

Check out my weekly-ish newsletter for interesting reads + my own existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering, or buy me a cup of coffee perhaps? 

Written for to the Weekend Coffee Share link-up hosted by Nerd in the Brain

Featured image via Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // I Slept a Whole Day Away, Again

“If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.”

― Abraham Lincoln

Hello, dear readers! Whew look at the time, I’m so sorry it’s late. Then again, coffee in the evening can be just as nice as coffee in the morning, you know? Coffee that you drink not because you have to but because you want to because coffee isn’t just for keeping you awake but actually tastes good too, when you take the time to make it right, serve it right, and sip it slowly.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I was actually up early this morning as I always am now because Of my stomach and my medication but I wasn’t feeling well and as, after I had eaten, I fell right back to sleep on the couch. I fell asleep for about hours, waking here and there and trying to will myself up and around the house and losing every time.

This isn’t the first time this has happened, but it is very unlike me. I like naps, don’t get me wrong but not that early in the day and not for that long.

My new medicine still isn’t working yet, and my body is just tired. I’m working on accepting that this is my new normal, at least for now. The doctor said I needed to be patient and wait five or six weeks to see if this medicine will help and it hasn’t even been three, yet so I have a long way to go still. In the meantime, I’m being taken off the steroid which is contributing to this yucky, sleeping feeling.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am so bummed to have to return to work tomorrow. This past week was our spring break, and while I did have to work a little, a very, very little, and there was some bad weather, we did manage to get out and have some fun.

Thursday we went to the Denver Art Museum for the Star Wars costume exhibit which turned out to be much more in depth and interesting than I thought it would. I was glad for that, I didn’t feel so guilty dragging my girlfriend to it.

It should have been called the Padmé Amidala exhibit, though, since she had the most costumes throughout the films and each was more elaborate and more beautiful than the last. If you have no idea what I am talking about you need to stop here and go start a Star Wars marathon.

Afterward, we tried out a new seafood restaurant, one we had never heard of but had received a Groupon gift for. It was in a hidden part of town I had never now about before, with a few blocks of shops, dining, and bars surrounded by housing. I’ve lived in this city nearly my whole life and never knew about this gem. The food was great, and I can’t wait to go back to the area for more exploring.

Friday we were supposed to head up to Boulder, CO but the weather went to shit, and neither of us wanted to visit an outdoor mall in the rain. We ended up at the movies instead, my favorite thing to do anytime, and saw Raw, an artsy coming of age horror film lots of cannibalism and gore. Then we went for sushi and shopping :)

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my first post for the Blogging A to Z Challenge, A is for the Arctic, Which is Melting, turned out pretty well I think, but I’m sitting here quietly panicking because I have nothing else written, at all! I’m the worst blogger ever I swear. Like, sometimes I don’t even know what I’m doing here, but I can’t stop?

Anyway, I have notes for tomorrow’s post, and some vague ideas for a few other days, but that’s it. I don’t know what I expect you to do about it, except throw me a few ideas if you have any? I’m looking for catastrophic failures of humanity here. News stories about our inability to save ourselves or any other life on this planet. I want to know about all the ways we are destroying whatever is right and good inside ourselves. You’d think I have plenty of ideas, and I do, but I need them narrowed down to specifics.

But, whether nor not I get help, I am determined to do the best I can all through April and during this challenge. It’s important to me to tell these stories.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that, sadly, I have to go. In the short time, we have been here I have switched from coffee to red wine, and my lovely girlfriend has finished making what looks like the best lasagna I have ever seen. Tonight is a bit of a special night, we are watching the finale of Big Little Lies, and I don’t want to miss a moment.

I hope you had a wonderful week and a very relaxing weekend. SLEave a note in the comments below and catch me up. I’d love to hear how you are and what you’ve been up to.

Until next time :)

***

Check out my weekly-ish newsletter for interesting reads + my own existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering, or buy me a cup of coffee perhaps? 

Written for to the Weekend Coffee Share link-up hosted by Nerd in the Brain

Featured image via Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // The Hardest Month of My Life

“As long as there was coffee in the world, how bad could things be?”

― Cassandra Clare, City of Ashes

Hello, dear readers. It’s been a long while since we’ve sat and had a chat and I should start by making my apologies for that. I wanted to be here, and I am sorry I couldn’t. I couldn’t write. I couldn’t do anything. BUT I am back now, or, I hope I am back. It may take me a while to get back on a schedule so let’s just say today I am back, and I hope to be back tomorrow too.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that since out last chat so much has happened, I am unsure where to begin. I believe that was just after my doctor’s appointment. I went in for joint pain and previous stomach issues. I explain to them that for my whole life I had experienced, off and on, bouts of extreme pain and other unpleasant and TMI symptoms that I’m sure you don’t want to hear about over your coffee.

He sent me away with a referral to the gastrointestinal department and assurances that it was probably irritable bowel syndrome.

Since that appointment, when I was experiencing very mild symptoms, I went down hill very quickly. I was worse than I had ever been. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I was a ball of anxiety and pain and frustration. I cannot begin to tell you how scary it was watching my body fall apart this way.

I set up an appointment with the GI department, but the soonest I could get in was February 14th. Yes, I spent Valentine’s day sedated while a doctor took pictures of my colon.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that despite that, and somehow because of that, it was the sweetest Valentine’s day my girlfriend and I had spent together in all of our nearly 15 years together.

I remember none of the procedure and very little about what happened immediately afterward. I know that my girlfriend waited for me in recovery. I know she helped me get dressed and helped me understand what the doctor and nurses were telling me afterward.

She helped me through the preparation and took care of me afterward. She had been so supportive, sympathetic, and understanding I was nearly brought to tears the way she took care of me. She brought me home afterward, fed me, and put me to bed, just what I needed. She went to work while I rested and when I woke she was on her way back home with pizza, chocolates, and strangely, new bed sheets with phases of the moon on them. Probably the weirdest gift and the cutest gift I’ve ever received. Here’s what I wrote for her on Facebook:

I wish this Valentine’s day could have been all flowers, and chocolates, and fancy dinners but when you’ve been in a relationship for a long time you know it can’t always be that way. Today I spent the morning in the doctor’s office and the love of my life stayed in the waiting room until I was out of sedation. She helped me get dressed, helped me understand the results of my tests, took me home, made me a little lunch, and put me to bed. That was the best Valentine’s Day I could’ve hoped for. Real love is being there for someone when they are sick and never making them feel like a burden or an annoyance. It’s letting them do what they can and helping them when they can’t. It’s worrying about them, comforting and supporting them. It’s making sure I take my meds, eat the right foods, and have plenty of fluids. It’s helping me figure out what’s wrong and then helping me get well again. Thank you [honey], for everything you do for me. I know the last few weeks have been tough and you are feeling stressed but just know I appreciate you being here so much. You are the the sweetest and kindest person I know and I’m so lucky to have you in my life. Happy Valentine’s Day baby! I promise when I’m feeling better we will celebrate it right.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the diagnoses wasn’t IBS, turns out, I have ulcerative colitis. Which means my immune system just doesn’t know when to stop. My body thinks that food and beneficial bacteria are foreign invaders plotting to do harm to me and so they have gone on the attack causing inflammation and ulcers. I’m grateful those little white blood cells are trying so hard for me, but I wish they’d learn what is meant to help me and what is meant to harm.

I still have to go back to the GI department for a chat about what this means and what treatment will look like, but from the research I have done, it seems this will be a lifelong problem. I hope the symptoms will come less often and go more quickly if I keep on top of whatever plan they have for me.

For now, I am on steroids to suppress my immune system and reduce the inflammation. It’s only day two, and I’ve already noticed a difference. I am hoping by the end of the week I might be feeling more like myself. Able to work, write, and do my part at home. I hope I can have the energy to get back to doing the things I love and taking care of the people I love too.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that while I was not doing so well physically, it was the psychological effects that took the biggest toll. My body was betraying me. My body wasn’t mine. My body was getting in the way of everything my mind knew it needed to do. I wasn’t myself, and I was afraid I would never be myself again. I have never spiraled into a depression so quickly before. I was in tears every morning and night from pure frustration and exhaustion. I stopped talking to anyone.

The worst was not being able to write. I have fallen so far behind and it feels impossible to start again. I’m going to try, though. Slowly at first sure, but I am going to try. I want to go back, as much as I can, to the way things were. Even when I had been sick in the past, I could push, though. I could hide. No one knew I had been suffering on and off the way I was. I wasn’t so bad. I was still me. Not anymore. Everything seems changed now.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that this has been some heavy conversation for what was supposed to be a light chat over coffee, I’m sorry. I felt you should have an explanation, and I needed to get it all out. I needed to say what has been happening to me and how I have been feeling. I hope to say more in the future but talking about chronic illness and particularly one that affects the bowels is hard. Part of the reason I never got help before was feeling so much shame. Shame, and our terrible healthcare system.

Don’t get me started on the healthcare system.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have to get going. I gotta eat, take me meds, and find the energy to do a little cleaning and visit with family. It was great to catch up with you all. I missed it more than I even knew. I promise next week will be more cheerful.

I hope you all had a good week, a good few weeks since I last spoke to you. Please, leave a note below and let me know how you are holding up.

Until next time :)

***

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Featured image via Unsplash

 

 

Back to Self-Love Basics

Hello, dear readers and happy Monday! I know, I know, Mondays aren’t happy. Mondays are for feeling tired, and grouchy, and remembering all the things you don’t like about your life. Mondays are for wanting to crawl back into bed.

But, let’s try something different. Let’s think of Mondays as a chance at a fresh start, every single week. Mondays are do-overs, each one is our own personal reset button. Let’s take this opportunity to do it differently. Let’s make the changes we want to see in ourselves and the world, okay?

This Monday is a stressful one. I woke up late, I was almost late to work, and I don’t feel well at all. I’m tired, my joints hurt, and something is going terribly wrong in my gut, as usual. The whole thing is stressing me out, and the smallest obligations are making me feel irritated, angry, and exhausted. I’m trying to stay positive, but I’ve also promised myself that I can be a grouchy, whining, ball of difficulty if I want to too. So there!

“Be you, love you. All ways, always.”

— Alexandra Elle

I haven’t been feeling well for a long time now. I’m ashamed to admit it, but it’s been many years that I have been quietly fighting whatever is going in wrong with my body, not to mention all the fear, shame, and anxiety that came along with it. Only just recently did I finally get some help and start seeking some answers to what’s been going on. It seems I am just in time too. These past few weeks have been the worse yet.

While waiting for appointments and tests I’ve noticed all the work I put into learning to love myself more is slowly slipping away. My body feels entirely against me. I feel dirty, disgusting, and untouchable. I feel angry with my body. I don’t understand it at all. I am frustrated by it and the limitations it puts on me. I wish I could be someone else.

I feel afraid to eat because I have no idea how my digestive system will react. I’m afraid to lift anything or move in any way because the sounds coming from my joints are so alarming. I’m afraid of migraines. I’m afraid there will be new symptoms and new fears any minute.

This past weekend I walked the dog, just a leisurely walk around the block. Nothing strenuous, nothing difficult. I got home, and my right knee swelled up. Now I can’t even walk the dog! I’m afraid this will be my life now.

So I hate my body for ruining everything. This broken and disgusting body. This body isn’t me. It doesn’t even feel human. It surely isn’t behaving the way human bodies should. I want out of it, now!

But of course I know, somewhere deep down, that this my body is me. My body will always be me, and it won’t get better unless I start loving it again. For now, there isn’t much I can do except love it, and once I have the answers, I will have to go one loving it, caring for it, babying and coddling it, and helping it get through the day and accomplish everything it needs to.

My body is flawed, but it’s the only one I have. There will be no new one, and no matter how hard I protest or wish it away it will still be here. I had better learn to love it. I had better stop blaming it for everything. I need to stop being ashamed of it. I need to stop resenting it. I need to stop thinking so much about what I can’t do. I need to stop letting it define me and depress me.

It’s easier said than done, but this week I am going to try.

If you have been feeling a little trapped by your body, if you are having a hard time looking in the mirror and recognizing the reflection as you, or if you, like me, are just frustrated by pain and limitation, get back to the basics and start loving your body again.

This week try mediation or a new beauty ritual. I’m thinking about making a new DIY body scrub or trying dry brushing. I will eat slowly and deliberately, enjoying my food and giving my system time to digest. Maybe I will try some new teas to sooth my stomach or buy some new essential oils to add to baths, lotions, or soaps. I’ll take it easy and pamper myself a little. I’ll try to say good things and remember how hard I am fighting. I will look to the light at the end of the tunnel and focus on feeling better instead of blaming and pulling myself down.

Self-love and self-care are not easy, and no matter how far you have come it doesn’t take much to fall back into old habits. This week, take some time to remember how amazing you are. Take some time to show yourself some love.

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Featured image via Unsplash