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Holy random acts of kindness, Batman.
After getting my flu vaccine, I went to look at the cane rack, because they have this beautiful blue and silver one that looks like dragon scales, and I have been waiting for discounts and coupons so I could get it. The price is under twenty dollars, but still.
A middle-aged man who looked so much like Idris Elba that I did a second take, also reached for the blue silver cane. Our eyes met, I smiled briefly. He said, "You know, I bet this would make an awesome magic staff for cosplay."
I grinned and said, "Good plan! I should at least join a game just so I can brag. Or just be my paganish elf self and cosplay every day." Which was blurted out because my filter is so thin.
The Idris Elba lookalike chuckled. "I adore that idea. I just pray to all mighty Atheismo that we aren't going too deep. Like that Tom Hanks movie."
My jaw dropped. "Duuude," I said. "Futurama reference plus obscure D&D rip-off movie nee book reference? Cripple high five!"
We high fived and missed on purpose, stumbling. "Mild cerebral palsy, spastic hemiplegia" I said. "Mild cerebral palsy, diplegia mixed," he said. "And knee arthritis."
"And sciatica," we said in union, surprising ourselves.
"Fibromyalgia and epilepsy and autism too," I added.
He said, "My twin nieces are autistics! Their world is so awesome. I think they prefer me to my brother when they're in meltdowns, they talk about what's going on in detail."
"Awesome!" I said.
At this point, we had been staring at the canes and I had been avoiding too much eye contact. I was about to ask the Idris Elba lookalike about advocacy. Then I saw a gleam in his eye and sensed a topic shift. "Hey, listen," he said. "I'm a proponent of the pay it forward thing. I know we're strangers, but I do know enough about you that you really want the dragon scale cane."
I tilted my head. "Yeeeaah?"
"So, okay." He pulled some pieces of paper from his pocket. "I've got a buy one get one half off for this brand of canes. I will buy you your cane. What do you think?"
I blinked a few times. I looked at him. He wasn't hitting on me. He wasn't being creepy. He was just a fellow cripple offering help.
"Okay," I said, "thank you! That's really kind."
"Hey, the community needs all the assistance we can get from each other. Cripples helping cripples, you know?"
I smiled. "Totally."
As we walked to a register, he said, "I want you to know that I had no intention of hitting on you. I see your rings, and for all I know they could mean something else. But while I think you're a gorgeous-looking person, I have no plans on being a That Guy. I punch Those Guys on a regular basis."
"Huh?"
"Physical trainer. Not so much punch as pinch in sensitive areas. Men can be scum."
I giggled. "Hashtag Not All Men!"
He laughed. "Anyway, let me pay for everything." He nodded at my basket, which had a few comfort items. I immediately said he shouldn't, since he was getting me the cane.
He then put my basket on the conveyor belt, looked at me until I noticed that his eyes had gold rings, and said, "Then pay it forward. Help another cripple." The corner of his mouth turned up. "Even if it's just donating to help someone get better access."
I nodded. I was going to cry any minute. He paid for everything, put his things in two totes and put my things in two more totes. He saved me almost forty dollars.
He said, "I would offer you a ride, but my friend's picking me up so we can go back to Philly. It's been a great road trip so far."
I nodded. "It's cool. I'm going to take the bus home anyway." I was feeling giddy. "Well, obviously we had this encounter for a reason. So. It was lovely meeting you, clone of Idris Elba."
He threw back his head and laughed. "I get that a lot. Same to you, clone of Mia Sara. Anyway, I'm Laurence."
"Joanna."
We fist-bumped and he helped adjust my cane for my height. We walked outside together, and he stood at the curb to wait for his friend while I walked across the parking lot. I turned and waved. He waved back and kept looking at me. I realized it was to make sure I was safe.
I got to the sidewalk crosswalk and peered back. I saw him get into a green SUV. I realized I would probably never see him again.
I am definitely going to Pay It Forward.

***

Also! Links! For future reference!
http://www.neurodiversity.com/main.html
http://cerebralpalsy.org/about-cerebral-palsy/associative-conditions/
http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2013/10/03/autism-common-cerebral-palsy/18775/

***

Also!
PMS is vicious. Although with oral contraceptives, it's technically withdrawal bleeding rather than menstruation. Besides, I haven't truly bled in over a year. Being on the highest dose of birth control for over fourteen years will do that to some women.
PMS is vicious. A veliciraptor chewing through my pelvis. There's a photo out there of a plastic female human skeleton, with a toy raptor stuck head-first through the pelvic bone.
And the bloating and bizarre fluctuations on the bathroom scale.
Having slid back to psychiatric anorexia after failing to control neurochemical anorexia, I know damn well I should not stand on that scale especially during this time. I know damn well that numbers don't mean as much as how my clothing fits. But paranoia bred from life-long anxiety over disordered eating patterns is paranoia. And then there was the entire food=growth=death connection when I was little. And then there was being under a hundred pounds until my mid-twenties. And then there was the anorexia voices insisting that I needed to get back to that, being under five feet tall. I was never overweight. I used to weigh something around the high "set point" - but I have no idea where I've constructed this memory of being convinced to lose twenty pounds. Unfortunately, my illness has burrowed deep enough into my subconscious that my thoughts have turned to the classic hallmarks of anorexia: "I absolutely must be below X number or I will never feel right". The unwillingness to stop. The belief that everything is wrong. I know where I am. I know what's happening. I've been able to compartmentalize and separate enough so that I smack myself when those thoughts occur, so that I at least eat an apple or two, or cheese, yogurt, celery, even cheesecake or dark chocolate. My friends are with me.
Sag Harbor will happen next week, with Thanksgiving. Part of me is in a total blind mute panic. That part doesn't want to eat anything. That part wants to Be Good, Be Perfect. It doesn't matter that I'm over thirty, says the panic. It only matters that I am extremely small and I must keep being extremely small.
To bring everything around again: PMS is not helping. PMS is several numbers upward on the scale because of fluid retention, bloating... losing that fight to not overeat. PMS is barely fitting into the purple dyed jeans yesterday and having them slightly loose today. It isn't helping anything.

But I look at that blue and silver dragon scale cane, bought for me by a total stranger with the same disability as me, and I think the best way I can Pay It Forward is to make sure someone I care for stays as mentally healthy as possible...
brightrosefox: (Default)
Magnolia plus Magnesium plus GABA: Good for sleep. Yes.

From a supplement website:

"Q: What is Magnolia Extract?
A: Magnolia Extract is a standardized herbal extract made from the bark of the Magnolia officinalis tree. It is a traditional Chinese medicine that has been used for thousands of years. Our Magnolia products are highly concentrated for magnolia's active ingredients, and contain 90% honokiol and magnolol.

Q: What does Magnolia Extract do?
A: Promotes relaxation, supports healthy adrenal function, supports emotional well-being, and aids in digestion. The bark contains two phytochemicals, honokiol which may reduce common anxiety, and magnolol which supports emotional wellness. Together they enable one to feel better mentally and emotionally.

Q: How safe is Magnolia Extract?
A: Studies show small doses of magnolol and honokiol are safe for normal emotional support. However, large doses may cause a sedative effect and interact with alcohol, increasing its effects. Therefore, driving or operating dangerous equipment should be avoided when taking larger doses of magnolia extract. Magnolia extract has a two thousand-year-old safety record for use as a Chinese medicine, and as an effective relaxant. Use it confidently and safely … but use it responsibly, according to directions.

Q: Who should use Magnolia Extract?
A: Anyone who wants a safe, natural way to relax and reduce anxiety should consider supplementing with Magnolia Extract.
Additional Information:

Magnolia Extract is a standardized herbal extract made from the bark of the Magnolia officinalis tree. It is a traditional Chinese medicine that has been used for thousands of years. Roex Magnolia Extract is highly concentrated for magnolia's active ingredients, and contains 90% honokiol and magnolol.

Magnolia Extract promotes relaxation, supports healthy adrenal function, supports emotional well-being, and aids in digestion. The bark contains two phytochemicals, honokiol which may reduce common anxiety and magnolol which supports emotional wellness. Together they enable one to feel better mentally and emotionally.

Studies show small doses of magnolol and honokiol are safe for normal emotional support. However, large doses may cause a sedative effect and interact with alcohol, increasing its effects. Therefore, driving or operating dangerous equipment should be avoided when taking larger doses of magnolia extract.

Magnolia extract has a two thousand-year-old safety record for use as a Chinese medicine, and as an effective relaxant. Use it confidently and safely … but use it responsibly, according to directions."
brightrosefox: (Default)
Because part of All The Therapy is blogging my feels. And this was short enough anyway.

'kay.

I'm having a Being Elsa day. My symptoms are awful and well beyond control, and the smallest thing triggers the fibromyalgia pain and the mild C-PTSD symptoms. I cannot even hear or read someone speak from the cult of positive thinking without internal screaming.

I've seen many other friends here having similar issues. I'm not dealing with a terminal disease, but said terminal friends keep reminding me that we are all "In This Together" (that's my current ringtone. It's from Apoptygma Berserk).

I admit, the Being Elsa days seem to counter the Being Alice days (Being Alice is my code for epilepsy, seizures, and postictal aka post seizure state. Being Elsa is a new code for mental illness and neurological disorders including all chronic anxiety, social phobia, chronic stress disorders aka complex post traumatic stress disorder, sensory processing disorders, and some co-existing conditions linked to spastic ataxic cerebral palsy).
That was much words but I was born full of words. I blow word raspberries.

I totally do have gleefully joyful fun talking about my medical history. Interested friends have told me that I tend to discuss it clinically and technically, as though describing a patient who is not myself. I've been told that my medical and scientific wordening as a curious patient has helped fellow chronic illness patients examine their own conditions closely to find ways to help treat specific symptoms. That is such an honor.

Anyway. Is anyone else having their own version of a Being Elsa day?

(Alice is from Alice in Wonderland and Elsa is from Frozen. Because of what happens to them. Etc. I actually still have not seen Frozen all the way through yet. I will, obviously, and it will be many times. But I relate desperately well to Elsa, her hidden aspects, her representing disability, autism, childhood abuse, chronic anxiety, PTSD, personal orientations, and her love for a sister beyond a potential unnecessary husband. I only have chosen sisters and I love them so hard like the stars.)
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"...Williams died by the claw of the ghastly inner monster that severe depression lodges in the human spirit, losing a long fight with the unholy ghost." -Brain Pickings (included is a link to a book referencing clinical depression to a holy ghost)

In my last session with my therapist, I kept calling depression The Hollow and a Dark Ghost and The Nothing and, naturally, true pure abyss. In such violent howling emptiness, there could be sound and fury, signifying nothing. And sometimes there is just nothing. Fury would be an emotion, after all.
(And I know why depressed people don't tell the tale, lest they be called an idiot. They'll be mocked today. And tomorrow. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. And they are heard no more, and as they are poor players, life is but a walking shadow. Out, brief candle. -And people wonder why we get angry when mental illness gets blamed for so many blameless things and things where mental illness is completely not ever the blame. This is why we can't have nice things.)

People always ask me why I cry when I say I am hollow, empty, ghostly, feeling nothing. Isn't crying an emotion? they say Doesn't it mean you feel something? they say. I think Allie Brosh, who wrote the greatest description of depression I have ever read in her blog Hyperbole and a Half, said it best: It is just something that is happening.
Because I don't feel like crying. I'm crying because my body is having a reaction. A symptom, if you will. Something needs to release. Some sort of physiological reaction must occur, lest I literally fade into ghosts.

I understand some of the reasons Robin did what he did. I don't know why he did what he did. No one knows why. No one can know why, because no one is Robin.
People have the same thoughts and feelings and illnesses as Robin had, and they see everything he saw. But none of them and nobody will ever fully purely viscerally know, truly know why he, Robin Williams, the funniest man of a thousand laughs, physically participated in his own death. Only Robin Williams knows.

Cool story, bro:
Someone who survied her own suicide attempt once told me that for her, there was only pain, agony, chaos, and the kind of despair that consumes utterly. Beneath it was a nearly robotic thought process. Any emotional thoughts came from a distance. As she began the process, she became enveloped in a still emotionless sedating transcendent serenity, and time slowed down, and she literally had no more thoughts. Since she was stopped by other people, she couldn't tell me much more. But she told me that during recovery, she experienced every single one of those sensations at once, from the pain and chaos to the calm transcendence. It took a lot of sedatives and intense biofeedback to help her out of that state and she was put on suicide watch again for a few days. They allowed her family to bring in her kitten, which helped so much that she now advocates for cat therapy when treating mental illness. I think of her when I talk to attempt survivors. I only remember her first name and some day I will forget some of her story. But she lives a different life. Not better nor worse, just different. She has learned lessons. She doesn't regret things. She still battles symptoms and switched to a new drug regimen and still does biofeedback. She hasn't had any suicidal ideations in over a year. She also treats her cat like the most important sentient being in the universe, since he helped save her life. Cats are awesome.
brightrosefox: (Default)
...the sudden thunderstorm is not helping this anxiety crap.
Somebody tell me stories?
brightrosefox: (Default)
This is especially for[livejournal.com profile] naamah_darling because it talks about how powerful and precious internet communication is especially for disabled people.

http://palsycorn.livejournal.com/2269.html

She is one of my dearest friends. We met on a Facebook support group for people with cerebral palsy. She is the creator and head moderator and she is amazing. She is studying Disabilities Studies in college, she adores SF/F and is writing several stories and at least one SF novel with disabled superheroes, and she is the reason I am so down with being a crip, cripple, "ceep", etc. I love her.

Quote:

"I am a multiply disabled person. Phone calls require a type of mental, physical, and emotional gymnastics for me, which I seldom, if ever, have the spoons for. I have severe phone anxiety which I smash down and stuff deep inside me when I absolutely have to make a phone call. The anxiety is managed somewhat with the help of scripts (particularly helpful if I have to call to make an appointment or something, I write down exactly what I'm going to say, and approximate what the other person is going to say), and has gotten slightly better since the advent of cell phones (that way, I know that no one other than the person I want to talk to will pick up). But it is still VERY there. On top of this, I have to smash a phone against my ear and fight not to drop it, something which I do with alarming frequency, because my hands do spazzy things. This phone, which is usually supremely uncomfortable, because no one considers how it's going to feel when it's held against an ear when they make a cell phone, will have to be nearly glued to my ear for however long the call takes, requiring my arm to be held in an awkward position for that long, which, like most things I do with my body these days, will result in pain. Finally, phone calls require communicating verbally, and like many people with CP, I find it exhausting to coordinate the muscles needed for speech and still make my words clear enough to be understood. Put that all together and you start to see why I feel like I've ran a marathon after a long phone call."

YUP.
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My modified Disablility Compensated Qi Gong exercises always help, mentally and spiritually and psychologically and physiologically. Like yoga, except Fake Yoga Cripple Style that is not actually yoga. (FYCS. FIX. Ha ha ha...) (Or hey, Fake Yoga Cripple Style Modified Exercise. FYCSME = FIX ME. Ha ha. Wow. Dude.)

But it isn't helping today. I'm too Hollow, which is my term for deep major depression. I'm too Postictal, after that unexpectedly awful seizure yesterday and its aftershock which were tiny seizures for hours. Emotional responses are foreign and results of emotion are mere symptoms, like crying and laughing. I will meditate again, do more qigong work, and breathe and much as possible.
FYI. I am having an episode of pure major Depression plus major Anxiety. This is accompanied by mild memory loss of the past two days. Everything is foggy. I know I should be upset about something, but I cannot feel upset. What is upset, anyway? I think I hurt myself emotionally yesterday. I wish I remembered what it was. I believe it started out with false happiness. Remember that weird assumption of some sort of hypomania? I think I was outside of my rational mind.

Back to special exercises.
People keep suggesting and recommending breathing exercises. I know all of that. I know people just want to share their personal remedies. I love it. Please don't think I am rejecting you. I love hearing your stories. Even the stories about yoga. I wish I could explain why just seeing or hearing the word yoga evokes a sad, upset reaction. It isn't that I am unable to do yoga. It is just that yoga extremists do not listen nor care about my need for compensation. My body was born crooked. I cannot form a proper straight line even if I held on to something. No amount of cajoling, insisting, or pushing different forms will change that. Please don't do that. Please just accept that I have to perform qi gong differently, and that qi gong included poses that are similar to yoga, and that yoga is not the greatest panacea of healing holistic practices. This is part of why I don't want to visit California, which makes absolutely no sense and makes me look prejudiced.

So. Please, please do talk about how much yoga is healing you, because that is beautiful and I am genuinely, honestly joyfully happy. But if you wish to suggest a yoga pose that can be modified for someone with a shaky, spastic, crippled body, please suggest an alternate form. That is all I ask. There is no such thing as a real panacea, even in the botanical world, even in the plant and herb world, and certainly not in the exercise world. It is entirely possible that I will find a set of yoga exercises that will really, truly help me, and I will join the ranks of yoga enthusiasts. Anything is possible. Nothing is off limits. Except evangelism. If I wanted something pushed down my throat, I will drink water mixed with special fruit and plant powders, like sea buckthorn and moringa.
This is coming from my years as a holistic enthusiast and pusher. I was bad. I was essentially an asshole. And then I learned that it was just wrong. I never want to do that again. Just because something works perfectly for me does not mean it will work at all for someone else.

Any form of good physical-spiritual combination exercise, be it yoga, qigong, taichi, strength training, cardio, dead lift weight, isometrics, plyometrics, dance, hardcore dance, etc, is wonderful and beautiful and strengthening, and will help everyone in some personal powerful way. That is the point of exercise.
I love you all. If you really want to help me, don't push me. Just guide me.
brightrosefox: (Default)
Well, hello, 2014. It's not your fault that I have been feeling like fresh hell since, oh, December 31st. It's just how it is.
We have snow, ice, and cold. I got legitimately and honestly mocked by someone from Minnesota who called me a *ahem* "pussy whiner* for mentioning that any temperature below 20 F damaged me severely physically. I wrote a scathing note back which shut her the hell up, and I invited her to come down during the height of summer, upon which she exclaimed "but I'll burn up!" and to which I replied, "Oh, sweetie... it's not even that hot!" aand the conversation was over. I posted my feelings on Facebook, to which I got several agreements.

*Dear people used to cold climates who are seriously, non-jokingly, honestly, deliberately laughing at, judging, and mocking people used to warm climates:

Okay, look. I know, we're whining and complaining because our freezing is your Tuesday. Okay, maybe we should just suck it up and wear more layers. But you know what? After living in this sort of climate for a very long time, something happens to our bodies and our blood. Just like you. That is why a hideous drop in temperature makes us rise up and scream, or, what you call whining, while for you it's just another snowy happy day across the killer ice. Because your biology has grown so accustomed to your climate and your weather, you may be literally unable to now understand how difficult and painful it can get when one minute it is just under forty degrees Fahrenheit and a few hours later it is just under ten. It is an actual, physiological, biological shock to our systems. And for those of us living with chronic illness, disabilities, and disorders that get worse when the cold comes, it can be viciously, horrifyingly painful in ways you may be unable to realize. I don't blame you for calling us whiners and pussies. In fact, I'm gonna pat you on the heads and smile and say, "Okay, sweetie..." in a soft voice. Because that is all I can do right now to keep my frozen fingers from smacking you. I'm sure you would do the same for me if you came over during a light heat wave, which we call Thursday, and start complaining that you were burning up possibly to death, and I laughed at you and said "Oh sweetie, it's not even that hot!". And then I would just smile and hand you a cup of ice water.
So. When I say my joints are exploding with fiery pain drawn from the most intense magma, that my muscles are locked in howling agony as a sensation of pure horrific icy cold runs through them, that my nerves and blood vessels actually begin to scream if I step foot outside in less than twenty degrees F no matter what I am wearing, then I really fucking mean it with no hyperbole. And so I will ask you in a quiet, raspy voice to not ever tease me again about how cold I think it is here in central Maryland. Because pain is pain is pain. And I can still stab you with an ice pick and that will still be pain.
Smiley face!*

I am still in that pain, sooo... mmhmm. I've put on plenty of sweaters, too. I mean, joking is fine. But seriously making fun of my pain issues in cold weather is never a good idea.

Also, I wonder how I can still have allergy issues when it is this cold. Wait. No, I don't. *bites lip, facepalms* Carry on.

Life is well enough. Adam made dough, and then made cinnamon rolls, and then made icing out of powdered sugar and labneh, which is a form of liquid kefir strained yogurt from the Middle East. Probiotics and whatnot. Adds a fantastic tart tang. H-Mart is a wonderful multi-country grocery store.

I have been sleeping too intensely, or rather dreaming too intensely. It's caused me to sleep too hard. But those dreams, oh, they are creative and inventive as hell. My brain really needs to stop playing fanfic with the TV series 'Lost Girl'. I've been reading detailed recaps of season four, via Canadian blogs, since that season only begins here this month, whereas Canada is around eight episodes in. I guess I do prefer spoilers, sweetie.
brightrosefox: (Default)

My medically knowledgeable best friend was right about that daily extra Klonopin. Hello, sudden sobbing breakdown and potential nightmare about my cat dying all over again.
I know she is still here. She's just not... here.
Oh, Rose-kitten. I miss your sleepy weight on my torso.
...
Oh, now this is fascinating.
I took that second Klonopin while crying wildly. Across the hall, in the other room, Calliope started meowing loudly. I went in despite wanting to just curl back up in bed. She immediately rubbed against my legs. When I sat on the couch, she nuzzled and kneaded me, then jumped down, rolled on the floor, and offered her belly. I immediately, instantly, powerfully, got a sense of "I am here to give you comfort. Here is my love, if you want it. Touch me. Love me. If you want. I am here." And as soon as I touched her face and she purred so loud my hand vibrated, I felt so calm and tranquil it was like a river becoming still after a rock had been tossed in. Mind, the Klonopin had not had a chance to work yet. But Calliope's purring did... something. I just breathed. I breathed and I stroked her and I ran my fingers through her unshaved belly fur, and she nibbled my fingers and rubbed her cheeks on them. She hadn't instantly jumped on me or rubbed my face, but she had quietly and simply offered comfort. And as I made sounds of pain and sadness, her soft mewing and loud purring grew stronger.
I know it is far too soon to tell, but I think this kitten will be a medicine cat. Not like Rose. Not in an instant touch way. In a quantum touch way. Give when it is needed. Push out serenity without nudging. Be there without being instant.
I think I can work with that...

 

She jumped onto my lap now, right as I write this, purring purring purring, and I swear it is quantum healing. Touch when touch seems okay, distance with comforting waves when needed. Yes. This is who Calliope will be. Offering. Asking. Culture of consent. Do you want me to help you? I am here if you need me. I will not disturb you unless you come to me. I understand you. I will care for you. Here is my energy. Here is my Serenity.
The way she touches me is like a healer hovering hands above a patient, drawing power from outside sources.

 

I believe her middle name should be Serenity.

 

I think she knows who Rose is...







brightrosefox: (Default)
Last night... I dreamed that we went to the shelter and adopted a young cat - a kitten, really, a domestic shorthair tabby - and the gender didn't matter, but the name meant "Life" or "World" or anything magical...
Emma. Zoe. Zoya. Gaia. Vita. Asha. Mira. Zena. Yuki. Saturn. Nova. Chronos. Rhea. Deus. Dragon. Elfin.

Why did it have to be so soon? My heart/mind already is desperate to fill that abyss. Rose was that kind of cat, after all. Everyone says their cat is incredibly unique. Rose was incredibly unique. I don't even know.

I know well enough that I need a cat whose personality and behavior involves pure love: holding, hugging, cuddling, nuzzling, trilling, adoration.

My heart needs time to heal. I know. But soon enough, that cat will be waiting for me.

I don't know what I will do. Emotionally dead one moment, sobbing wildly the next minute. I know this is normal.

Luna snuggles me and purrs louder than ever.

Yes. I want a third cat.

I don't know how I will feel or think tomorrow.

I am not used to thinking in the moment.
brightrosefox: (Default)
Since I am still in shock, I feel like I'm moving through the Kubler-Ross stages of grief completely out of order. I've accepted that Rose is dead and I am deeply depressed. While I held her waiting for Adam, I knew she was dying and I was already angry and bargaining. When the vet said she was critical, I accepted and realized she was probably going to die. When she coded and they couldn't revive her, I accepted and understood, then went right on to bargaining again, blaming myself and how I just kept waiting. It became anger, wondering how the fuck a five-year old cat with a clean bill of health could suddenly present with congestive heart failure and die so quickly. I became angry that we hadn't figured it might be genetic. I became depressed that I couldn't have known. I still blamed myself for not finding a way to take her to the clinic sooner.
When we held her body, I went through acceptance and depression again, followed by deep gratefulness that at least she waited until Adam came home, that Adam got to hold her, that she knew how much we loved her. Depression again. Acceptance.
No denial. Slight isolation.
I updated Facebook right there in the clinic's comfort room, since in this age of instant communication it was much faster than a sobbing phone chain. We finished holding Rose and signed the private cremation form. We walked to the car. My best friend Beca called and all I could hear was her screams, and I cried. She and her husband James came over with food: Whole rotisserie chickens that I ripped into because I hadn't eaten all day. Alcohol because it helped dull the pain. Being a doctor, she commanded that I keep taking Klonopin, as well as baclofen, two to three times a day just to keep my mind and body from shattering.
I realized how desperately I needed them there, and she knew it, and late that night she brought me to bed, fed me my drugs, and climbed into bed with me. Adam was downstairs on the couch with James.
I clung to my plushie ginger tabby Haiku all night. Beca and James left early this morning, and Adam came up to sleep with me. I woke up and instinctively reached behind my head to the soft pillow where Rose would be sprawled out, and I made a soft whimper of intense pain, because she wasn't there.
And Jupiter has been meowing, softly. Meowing and meowing. I don't know how much he understands yet. Luna has been so quiet, but always there, always ready for a hug. It's only been a day. I've only shed a few tears. The real grieving hasn't begun.
People are gently discussing taking me across the street to the new shelter on Solstice or after Christmas, to let me adopt a cat. Others have suggested waiting a few months. I cannot wait. Because I don't believe in waiting for too long. My heart cannot take it. I cannot spent months mourning and empty when a pet dies, otherwise I may lose my mind. See... After Tuesday died in November 2006, I spent four agonizing months with a growing, burning, echoing hole inside me, until I begged Adam to take me to the old shelter on Rothgeb just to look, just to see... and that was where Luna stole my heart and filled my soul. And one year later, my other best friend Charlotte begged us to come see her former coworker's new litter of five female gingers, and Adam picked up one, looked into those wide bright sunny eyes, and announced she was coming home. And Rose took our hearts and ran.
I never expected the baby of the family to be the first to die.
I think we will always be a three-cat house now.
I want and do not want isolation. I don't want platitudes. I am completely fine with "I'm so sorry for your loss" - as "sorry" is shorthand for "sorrowful" and it helps me to know that others feel the loss and mourn with me. But I am depressed. And I don't know what to say.
We have been getting so many phone calls and messages.
She was only five years old. I guess it was genetic. She was so young.

Now, her soul resides in the gold-cream clay sculpture Adam had made in her likeness months ago. Adam absorbed her energy, stored it, released it, and made sure she would stay with us.









The house of Rose's soul.
Oh sweet Bast, please love Rose and care for her. Give her sweet cuddles and nuzzles and kisses. And give her as many treats as she wants.
With Adam Paul, the sculptor.
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I'm too much in shock and too tired, so I am copying from Facebook.

Yesterday Part 1.
I don't think I'm having a nightmare. But if I am, I just want to do something to make Rose stop panting rapidly and lethargically with wide pupils and mild legarthy. It is four in the morning. I have no car. I could call a taxi service to take us to the Nebel Street emergency clinic but I can't think straight. Maybe she is having a cat anxiety attack. Maybe it's nothing. Maybe it's nothing. I will stay awake for her. I will offer her treats. I will remain calm because Klonopin is in me and I cannot panic. She is letting me cuddle her. Maybe it's nothing. I need it to be nothing. It's four in the morning and I can't drive and I can't find a carrier and vets don't make house calls. I need this to be nothing. Bast, please let Rose be fine. I will stay awake.

Yesterday Part 2.
Okay. Rose is okay. I mean... well, she did turn down Greenies, which never happens, which means she may not be hungry or is just very tired. When I pressed my ear to her side, I didn't hear anything unusual, just breathing and purring. But she also turned down water and food, which makes me concerned. Her nose is dark... is that a thing? I mean, it's not that 'normal' bright pink flush. She is also acting physically weak - when I picked her up she went limp, and when I put her on the dresser with the food and water bowls she looked almost depressed. She then jumped off and lay on the floor and mewed. I think it's allergies or maybe the start of a cold. She is absolutely lethargic. There isn't much I can do right now - I don't want to rush her to a vet right now just out of worry. She's breathing fine. Adam won't be home until tomorrow, though.

Today Part 1.
As soon as Adam gets home we are rushing Rose to the VCA emergency clinic on Perry Parkway. FYI. Her breathing troubles are much worse.

Today Part 2.
Rose Sunshine Paul.
Time of death: 2:20 PM December 14 2013. VCA Veterinary Referral Associates.
My cat died of heart failure caused by liquid around the heart and lungs.

Today Part 3.
Rose Sunshine Paul.
April 2008 to December 2013. Confirmed cause of death: fluid around the heart and lungs. Heart attack and shock.

At the Gaithersburg VCA Veterinary Referral Associates, the closest pet emergency hospital, the one we have been going to for years since its Darnestown location... they called in every single doctor and nurse into the ICU since Rose was already severely critical. They did everything possible to stabilize her even through the Code Blue. A dozen veterinary specialists for one little cat. They spent 15 minutes on resuscitation. Dr. Marc led us to the comfort room and said there was nothing else to ben done. Let me stress that every single doctor was in that room working to save our cat.
We opted for a private cremation. Just like Tuesday and Ralph and Puff, with polished wood boxes and name plates and clay discs with paw prints. These people were wonderful.
Rose died knowing she was dearly loved. She knew how intensely we cherished her. She loved us with every part of her soul. We were tribe.

Adam and I held her in the towels and hugged her body, and Adam absorbed her soul. At home, he transferred Rose to the sculpture he had made, with gold and cream paint. Rose as a soul will always be with us.





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brightrosefox: (Default)
BTW, I'm officially on MediCare Part B (retroactive as of November) and earlier my Part C Aetna Medicare ID Card arrived, which won't be active until January 2014. It is all good. It will still save over a hundred dollars a month between all insurance and drug coverage. All my doctors are covered, all my drugs will be cheaper, and I have carefully read, re-read, and examined all the paperwork with a magnifying glass (no, really). So December's SSDI check will be less two months' insurance payments, and then January's check will also be less the Part C payment, but it is all good, because it is still cheaper than what I am paying under MHIP Carefirst in general. I feel... well, I don't know if "lucky" is the best word. But it is not as bad as it could have been. I mean, I also ride Metro and local bus transit for free thanks to being disabled and a member of Metro Access paratransit system.

Some fully able-bodied people like to scold me for feeling grateful that I am disabled enough to qualify. It's not about that 'grateful' feeling or that whole "skip to the front of the line" thing. It's not about any of that. It's... I dunno. It's about taking whatever disordered damage you have and turning it into a personal individual advantage that works in your favor. It's about accepting and embracing the awful pained cracked parts of life and seeing that they have been opening all these shiny doors, after slamming closed other doors so furiously that the whole building shakes and walls crumble. You may never be able to walk through those slammed locked bolted doors that most able-bodied people get to glide through easily, but you have all these other doors opening just for you, ready to lead you to places where you, personally, will feel more comfortable, accepted, embraced, and understood on a level secure with your disordered damage. It's not your fault, and the places these doors lead you are fully aware and have already set up a spot for you. You are always safe in those spaces in between.

Like... having mild disabilities. For example: Having mild cerebral palsy is like being in interstitial places constantly - interstice being a small space that lies between things; a space that intervenes between things. Neither completely here nor there. A space in between. A crack in the continuity. Mild autism in that nobody believes me until they spend a few word-filled hours trying to decipher my brain languages. Mild ADD and mild OCD and mild/moderate but fierce migraines and headaches and mild/moderate but fierce epileptic complex partial seizures and mild/moderate but fierce chronic pains and mild inflammations and and this and that. Mild mild mild. Haunting and interstitial. Never bad enough to cause me to be rushed to a hospital, never simple enough to merely pass by with a handwave. I am those spaces in between, as are many, many, many people with certain neurologies. We are in those cracks. Oh, they say, it's all right, they're not too bad, they could be worse, they say. And then what?

Any fellow disabled folk and people who understand want to chime in? Am I making enough sense here? I feel like I am.
brightrosefox: (Default)
Words, and words. My life is all about words.

"Honestly, I kind of get the impression that for the first twenty-something, thirty-something years of your life, this wasn't a thing you were able/allowed to talk about, and what's happening now is a flood of FINALLY being able to talk about it, FINALLY getting in touch with people who have similar neurophysio profiles and can relate to you, FINALLY being able to put all of your thoughts and feelings on the table and figure out what this actually means for you. Of course you're focused on it: you've got mountains of stuff to sort through. I think it's hard for other people to get what this really IS because it's such an intensely personal process. So they make assumptions, instead."
-My friend Sarah, commenting on how/why I keep going on about medical issues affecting me.

I don't want to talk anymore. But I cannot stop writing. My Livejournal is being filled and filled. I need to have a record, after all. I just want to avoid pain-bragging. I just want to stay clinical and curious. I just want to be able to realize every single tiny thing about every part of everything that damages me without going overboard, without making people angry. I am learning. It took a cinderblock punch in the amygdala to make me realize, but I have realized.

To quote the Tenth Doctor: I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry.

Orange juice:
http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2013/05/depression-part-two.html
brightrosefox: (Default)
This is almost kind of ridiculous.
I still have a migraine... and I am fully full of bouncing energy, and vicious pain, and emotional thrill, and I have a smile on my face just because for no reason, and I am in terrible terrible pain, and I am still mildly postictal, and I am on the edge of a major depression episode, and I am making happy thrilled noises, and I cannot explain any of it. I could connect it to being smacked in the head twice yesterday, but I doubt it.
But I'm just going with it. Because why not.
I totally need, like, a plushie brain, with the amygdala specifically colored in a happy color.
brightrosefox: (Default)
Oh, hey, my long lost theme song.

http://www.youtube.com/embed/Wmd60Kk9Ljk

Gracefully she's circling higher
She has the wind beneath her wings
And looks down on us, she said

Robbed of my innocence
Had no more time to play
I sure got my feathers burned
But I'm stronger than the flames

Here she comes, here she comes
I've been waiting for so long
Here she comes, rose again from the flames
My little phoenix

Eternity is set in her eyes
Throwing sparks back at the world
That'll never die and I think

She was robbed of her innocence
Had no more time to play
She's only a little girl
But she's stronger than the flames

Here she comes, here she comes
I've been waiting for so long
Here she comes, rose again from the flames
My little phoenix

Here she comes, I've been waiting
For my little phoenix

You've got to get close to the flame
To see what it's made of
You've got to get close to the flame
To see what you are made of

Here she comes, here she comes
I've been waiting for so long
Here she comes, rose again from the flames
My little phoenix

***

This reminds me, fascinatingly, of chronic pain, invisible illness, mental illness, disability, and the struggles of marginalization for a bodymind that is full of monsters.

http://www.youtube.com/embed/yxPMc-XWOZ8

Phantom voices with no words to follow
At the mercy of the cold and hollow
I withdrew into my sanctuary of silence
My defense

In this moment I am just becoming
Liberated from my cell of nothing
No sensation there was only breathing
Overcome oblivion

Falling Awake
From a walking sleep
And all that remains
Is the dying memory
And now I can dive for
These dreams I make
Like I am Falling
I am falling awake

Waves of melodies once forgotten
Like a symphony across the ocean
Never knew that they could hear my calling
Deep within
Crashing in
Rushing in
Like falling

Falling Awake
From a walking sleep
And all that remains
Is the dying memory
And now I can dive for
These dreams I make
Like I am Falling
I am falling awake

There is no returning to that emptiness,
Loneliness
The dream that lives inside of me
Won't fade away, it's wide awake

Falling Awake
From a walking sleep
And all that remains
Is the dying memory
And now I can dive for
These dreams I make
Like I am Falling
I am falling awake

***

And this one, same thing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdG3ECUC-mE

Whenever I wake up
I'm lost and always afraid
It's never the same place
I close my eyes to escape
The walls around me

And I drift away
Inside the silence
Overtakes the Pain
In my dreams

I feel Immortal
I am not scared
No, I am not scared
I feel immortal
When I am there
When I am there

Whenever I wake up
The shards of us cut within
Always the same day
Frozen all in the fringe
I surrender to the sleep
And leave the hurt behind me
There's no death to fear
In my dreams

I feel Immortal
I am not scared
No, I am not scared
I feel immortal
When I am there
When I am there

So far or right beside me
So close but they can't find me
Slowly, time forgets me
I'm lonely, only dreaming

I feel Immortal
I am not scared
No, I am not scared
I feel immortal
When I am there
When I am there

***

And for my new friends in disability and invisible illness, I present my number one theme song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJnCHctOeJg

Smash glass against the wall
Curse the music on the radio that the neighbours play.
Door slams, she turns her head
Watches through the window as he pulls away
Funny how your racing brain drives you so mad
When all the while you feel so numb
Too old to be clean far too young to be broken
Like an army we come

Cut back, left behind
I watched you self-destructing oh so many times
Shot down, once again
Sitting in a chair crying what am I going to do with my life?
Just learn to hide the way that you really feel
Never let them know that you're scared
But understand that you're not the special only one
Watch us now, watch us real close

How we all dance with this fire 'cause it's all that we know
And as the spotlight turns toward us, we all try our best to show
We are lost we are freaks, we are crippled, we are weak
We are the heirs, we are the true heirs, to all the world

Let's go build a fire down on the empty beach when the waves are crashing high
White heat purify, as the sparks fly up into the great black sky
Sacrifice these crutches to the crackling flames
Stand as silhouettes against the dawn
It's far too late to try to sleep now, seems I'm never tired any more

I want to dance with this fire 'cause it's all that I know
We are lost we are freaks
And we try our best to show
I am lost
I'm a freak ha ha.

***

Depression Monster is still wrapped around me, steel claws and silver grin, but I am fighting and fighting, and I have many spears.

Husband returned from New Orleans around one-thirty this morning. Rose and Jupiter immediately climbed on him and we all fell asleep in a snuggling pile.
Later today, errands! Petco Unleashed with coupons for Blue food and litter. Trader Joe's for cookies, whole milk yogurt, chocolate hemp powder, trail mix, pumpkin cereal bars, fairytale pumpkins. Dollar Store for calendars. H-Mart for produce and foods from outside North America.
Had a lovely chat near the with from a guy who was from Jamaica, who extolled the virtues of awesome iron-rich burro bananas and said that his grandmother, who ate them every day on The Island, was 130. She probably did lots of things. The man himself looked barely 40 but he could have been 50. I asked him which bunches of burro bananas looked best. Yay, snacks.
And we got a pure honey nut spread, roasted seaweed snack packs, tamarind paste, demerara sugar (4 lbs for under 5 bucks), black plums, pomegranates, red leaf lettuce, and stuff I forget now.
I have taken more medication to ease this pain, I have meditated with cartoon comedy to beat back the Depression Monster, and I now will get back to writing.
brightrosefox: (Default)
So, stuff.
My body and brain have been up and down in normal chronic pain ways, and now that I'm medically on the autism spectrum with Nonverbal Learning Disability, my doctors and therapists can focus on more specific treatments for the sensory and communication issues, and I no longer feel I need to justify why I do so many weird and fucked up things that make people angry. I'm not gonna use any of my disabilities as an excuse, because I find that revolting, but I will merely say, "Look, I'm super neurodiverse and I have issues, so just hang on a minute while I get my brain in order, okay?" I don't think I have ever been neuro-typical.

I've been venting on Facebook more than LiveJournal, which i find backwards, but I have so many friends on Facebook who are immediate and who know exactly how it is. I refuse to leave Livejournal, since it has been my home since late 2001, so I plan on writing here more and more, copying between here and Facebook.

So, I have been in a major depression episode for several weeks now. It has been quiet and lurking, like a huge tar pit, and every so often a creature rises with flashing claws and strikes and I break down and my insides begin screaming. It happened last night, while Adam and I were eating the rabbit stew he had slow-cooked. I randomly, suddenly began sobbing in heaves into a napkin, and Adam placed his hand on the back of my head gently - it's a gesture he does to Mikey to let Mikey know he is there and to guide Mikey in his blindness, and he's been doing it with me ever since we met. Adam began massaging my neck and shoulders, and then I began gasping and rasping "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm so so sorry..." and Adam asked "Why?" and I gestured violently at my body and rasped, "THIS. I just... I just... I can't. I fucking can't. I can't even eat a whole meal with out..." and I sobbed again and he held me and held me, and I cried about how broken I was and that i was a horrible housewife and how I couldn't do the things he needed me to do sometimes, and he said, "Honey, it's okay. You are so important. You pay our bills, you make the appointments, you keep the house from exploding, you remind me to take of myself. I bring in the money. I may break my back doing it, but you're already broken and it isn't anything you did, and that's okay. It's all okay. Everything is okay. I love you."
We had moved to the couch, and I cried and cried while he held me, and Jupiter came over and sat like a sphinx on us and purred with his entire body and we pet him and scritched him, and the creature in my brain faded.

Adam needed to wake up around five in order to go to his IT/AV shop in Virginia and then to New York for a job overnight. We went upstairs and prepared his luggage and had sex that comforted me and made me happy with the afterglow jokes, and then later, Luna came over in one of her precious rare moments and settled between us on a small pillow to purr us to sleep.

I still have this weird lump in my throat from... so many things. I still need to print out that form that my new psychologist needs for insurance and such, and on Friday, our second appointment, we may try hypnotherapy. I'll tell her about the spectrum thing just so she keeps it in mind. I think we'll get along just find.

I sent back the forms to get Medicare Part B, and once I'm enrolled at the end of the year, I shall enroll in Part C with Aetna, and then things should be cheaper for me. Next week will be the dentist and then the pain physician.

I still need to eat more.

And then... and then, there is this. Found and shown to me by the magnificent [livejournal.com profile] naamah_darling, it is the absolute ultimate expression of what I've been calling The Spear Theory (as opposed to the spoon theory).

Always. Forever. I am my shield and these are my spears. Because spoons can only do so much. The spear theory leaves me scarred and shattered and covered in the blood of my pain monsters. And after I recover and refresh there is a new set of shiny spears waiting to be hurled, broken, stuck in the bodies of my pain monsters, and repeat.
And as I rest and recover, spoons are there to help feed and nourish. But there will always be more spears.
I am a pain warrior. A warrior in an old way.
http://internal-acceptance-movement.tumblr.com/post/61136577036

And Naamah's thoughts:
http://naamah-darling.livejournal.com/633319.html

It is too perfect.
brightrosefox: (Default)
And now something is happening in my brain, and I cannot pinpoint it well enough. It could be another wave of depression, or a wave of panic, or a wave of just... I don't know. I have two dozen medical issues; pick something. It feels as though my brain is physically spasming. My amygdala feels weird, as though it wants to say something and cannot remember.

Adam is off again, so he can take me to my pain specialist, and then maybe we can go to Barnes & Noble so he can get me the Twilight Sparkle plushie to go along with the Fluttershy vinyl doll that he brought home from New York City along with bagels.

We made chocolate chunk cookies, with cream cheese instead of butter. We practiced Reiki. Adam is what I like to call a raw magic mimic. All he has to do is watch someone perform an energy form and he can re-create it in raw form. Like when he was in New York, a random monk brushed past him and slipped a wood bead bracelet around his wrist, whispering, "peace to you, mage" - and with that touch, Adam absorbed that energy, and when he came home he touched me in concentration and I felt so much calm and serenity that it was almost like being high. I guess it's kind of like being Peter Petrelli, or Rogue as she can now control her powers. He can call the energy at will. I'm envious. I need to to that for myself. But maybe I can't. Maybe it wouldn't work if I tried it on myself. Maybe the energy would only move outwards. We shall have to discuss the physics and chemistry and neurobiology behind it.

We've replaced the coffee grinder. It is black. Black fridge-freezer, black big freezer, black oven with black microwave range, black dishwasher. All we need is a black Mr Coffee and a black can opener.

I love my Chobani Lime Greek Yogurt.

Yeah, it's a depression. With a slowly stalking panic attack. Regarding my previous post: I definitely would want a cure for that. It is strangling.
brightrosefox: (Default)
So, husband treated me to IHOP new Tiramisu pancakes. It is actually good. They put in real coffee. Adam's birthday was yesterday, July eighth, and it was spent with a beautiful husky malamute mix named Haruka, owned by our friend Adam M., who was passing through to hang out. Good times were had.

Also, I had a panic attack out of absolutely nowhere. Then again, that is why they are panic attacks.
Panic attacks are such wild ravenous monsters. I am helped immensely by caffeine and clonazepam and various Ayurvedic tonics and lots of slow careful breathing with slow careful stretching (except anything that lowers my head; I get too dizzy and panicky again). But hearing, feeling and sensing my heart about to explode is terrible.
I am becoming calm.
My cats are surrounding me with adoration.

I'm going to apply some of my favorite cosmetics...
(Buxom Full Bodied Lipstick in Provocateur, It Cosmetics Vitality Lip Colors in Pretty Woman, In Love, Ruby Slippers, Tarte La Lip Creme Lipstick in Stiletto Red;
Lauren Brooke Creme Concealer in Warm Light, Tarte Creasless Maracuja Concealer in Light, It Cosmetics Bye Bye Concealer, Erzulie Perfect Match Cream To Powder Mineral Foundation in Light, Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation in 2.0;
Too Faced Exotic Single Eyeshadow in Midnight Mist; Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Gravity; MAC Eyeshadow in Contrast; Buxom Eyeliner in Sapphire)

...and convince myself that nobody hates me and that I've done nothing wrong and that everything is all right.
There is this child inside me that firmly believes that no matter what she does, how she does it, or why she does it, someone will pull her aside and say in a low voice, "Honey, you shouldn't have done that, it's rude." And she won't understand why because parts of her brain just keep going and the parts of her brain dedicated to social cues and politeness are sleeping. And she is just afraid all the time that she has said something wrong and then she just waits and waits to be pulled aside as chastised. Even when it never happens. She waits, and she waits, shivering, because she is so completely convinced that everything she does and is will be scrutinized and scolded. I really must find a way to soothe her.
brightrosefox: (Default)
I must quote this, because it struck me deeply and knocked me over and stunned me and amazed me.

*****
From: [livejournal.com profile] naamah_darling.
I don't know if I can explain it, any more than I can explain why I find anyone amazing, but you're open about what you are and what you are going through. You don't expend energy trying to be normal, and you never seem to even want to. You aren't afraid of what you ARE, even when the things that HAPPEN, sometimes because of things that you are, are scary. You seem sometimes scared of things that happen or that you (body/chemistry) do to you, but not scared of yourself, really. You're fierce. You're . . . we don't have a word for it. The way in which children and animals are alike, that we *call* innocence, but isn't innocence, it's just a kind of transparency and guilelessness-without-cluelessness. You're contradictory, and this isn't a problem. You've imposed . . . not order . . . but some sort of reason and meaning and story on the chaos in your life, and you have made beautiful things out of it inside you. You persist. You change, you are not destroyed. You're mercurial, joyful in the sense of being flat-out at everything you feel and not in the sense of being always happy, you're generous, you're very kind, you're forgiving. You aren't afraid to spend a lot of time working with and understanding yourself, because you know that is important. You are more people than just-the-one-you you. You are comfortable working with shape and meaning and color, when words aren't good enough. Whole parts of you are indescribable. You're a *good person*, while still being strong and fierce, and that is overwhelmingly obvious to anyone with half a synapse. You belong in fairy tales, like so many of the rest of us, writing better endings. You're kind of amazing.

And tangentially, THAT is why when people are all like "disabled people are so inspirational!" I get kinda pissed on the grounds of "THESE PEOPLE THAT I KNOW, they are SO MUCH MORE than a stepping stone for your ego or a friendly reassurance that hey, if those people can manage to get themselves to a beach/a gym/on a horse, you have a good chance of not being an utter asshole failure your entire life, and accomplishing REALLY important things!" and at the same time am like "No, really, we ARE inspirational; you have no fucking idea how 'inspirational' the disabled folks I know are . . . and if you had one iota of their self-awareness you might not be saying such asinine crap."
You want to find disabled people "inspirational?" I'll accept that . . . if what you are finding "inspirational" is their honesty in speaking out and sharing their opinions, their desire to help others, their weapons-grade swearing vocabulary (so many disabled people I know HAVE THAT, it's glorious), their ability to incorporate something literally disabling into their self-image and life when our culture gives them limited scripts and limited opportunities, their persistence in navigating the obstacles placed in front of them not by what they are, but by how our culture and the many dickheads in it unwittingly and often VERY DELIBERATELY make it harder to do so, the fact that they are often poor as dirt but are the most generous people you will ever meet, that they have known pain and so they often know great compassion.

*THAT* SHIT IS INSPIRATIONAL.

So is persistence, yes, which is why I am always impressed when I see someone who has had to deal with major issues accomplish something that is made particularly difficult BY those issues SPECIFICALLY, but when that sort of thing is nearly always ONLY praised in the context of visible, physical disability, or when it's some completely unrelated shit, that pisses me off.

It's like . . . people are apparently impressed by when disabled people do anything *while smiling*, because that indicates the triumph of overcoming our miserable existence? Or that we have a good enough attitude to forget, for a moment, that we are fucked up and are supposed to be miserable constantly? I don't even KNOW. But these same people aren't finding me inspirational when I'm at my blackest and am hanging on by my last claw, which is arguably when I am being my MOST BADASS. That's when I need to be pulling up my bootstraps and thinking my way out of it with sunshine and baby kisses. But an ungroomed, exhausted, surrounded by laundry, not moving, fat, blotchy, cat-strewn DEPRESSED person staring at a computer screen or TV or at nothing in particular doesn't look good in a facebook picture. "This person: probably exercising more willpower not to give up hope and eat a bullet than you will exercise at any point in your whole life. Stop. Bitching. That. Your. Yoga. Is. Hard." <---- Nobody wants that. (And, while maybe sometimes true, it's also kinda dickly, because Suck Olympics are uncool. The things that have made me most miserable sometimes do not seem to be proportional or make sense. To wit, the hour-long crying jag I had when my last pet scorpion died, years ago. Dude, I cried less painfully when my GRANDMOTHER died. What even the HELL?)

All I know is that the shit people usually talk about as being inspirational is not really very inspirational to me. Like, *if* it's true that Chris Evans really does have anxiety/panic attacks (never read reliable info about how severe his "problems with anxiety" are, though he apparently went into therapy) and he still navigated two MONSTROUS blockbuster movies and associated press events, I find that totally fucking impressive, because I KNOW WHAT THAT IS LIKE, and I know I couldn't handle it. And that's the stuff people don't seem to understand. That's the stuff people latch on to and *make fun of.* Because people who don't Get It can be real dicks about that stuff.
*****
I truly believe that if Namaah and I lived closer, we would see each other several times a week and never get tired of each other's company.
My husband once told me that everyone has multiple soulmates, that a soul can be split into many different parts. I think Namaah may be one of my soulmates. It took me five years to realize that, and that's okay. I like to take things slowly.

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