Friday, November 21, 2014

I Am The Dragon

There's a picture I haven't been able to get out of my head.

That's a symptom of OCD, by the way, obsessive thoughts.  From the time I was tiny I remember getting an idea in my head - usually a picture or feeling, real or imagined - that would plague me day and night.  Doctors call these 'intrusive thoughts'.  Mine are often upsetting or disturbing.

The current 'intrusive thought' vision is from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, from The Chronicles of Narnia, which I've read somewhere in the neighbourhood of 15-20 times, and yes, that is another symptom of OCD.  In it Eustace, the sort of shitty cousin of the Pevensie children, transforms into a dragon for being especially shitty, and while he's a dragon he becomes less shitty but they can't figure out how to transform him back.  Then Aslan (Lion-Jesus) shows up.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Moment Before

We were swapping war stories.

A room full of people who had a parent die early, or become really sick.  We talked about the moment.

"I was in college", he said.  "I was working in a warehouse.  I got the phone call that my dad had died, and then I had a shift, and I thought, 'I better go to work'.  So I went to work.  Then I told the guys and they said, 'Go home, man'.  So I did."

She had made a comment trivializing the very disease he had been diagnosed with at the dinner table.  He came to her room after the meal to break the news.  "I felt like the world's biggest jerk", she said.  

"It's weird now, I always feel sad.  It used to be that my default was happy.  But now, when I'm not thinking about anything, it's just sad", he said.
"Yup, that's pretty much how it goes", I said.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Anorexia Unwrapped: II

Click here for Part 1!

Anorexia is hard to talk about, and it sounds so serious and weird.  It doesn't wrap up nicely in one blog post.  It doesn't have a beginning, a middle and an end.  And it CERTAINLY doesn't have a denouement.

In light of the discovery of thisishardtowriteabout-itis, I've started with a collection of stuff here.  I'm sorry it's not neat and clean and organized, but as it turns out, my life isn't always neat and clean and organized.  Unless my mother-in-law is coming over.  Then I have that shit under control.

So, for your reading pleasure; my heavily-giffed anorexia anecdotes:

  • For years (maybe ten years?  I'm not sure) I didn't eat bananas or peas.  I didn't eat bananas or peas because I thought they had too many calories for a 'healthy' food, and I instinctively avoided them until I met with a nutritionist and learned - get this - bananas and peas are good for you.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Worst Club Ever: Grief, and What Not to Say

I will always remember the spring of 2011 as the time when I began to grieve my mother's death.

Roller coaster doesn't even begin to describe the bizarre twists and turns of devastation and hope.  The story, as it is now, is happy.  She is alive and healthy-ish and I am astoundingly grateful.  But it involuntarily dropped me into this strange group that we like to call, The Worst Club Ever.

'We' is myself and my dear friend, Katia.  We met working together two and a half years ago, and discovered that we were both in the club of People Whose Parents Have Cancer. Katia is smart, passionate, honest, funny and kind.  I feel the better for having her as a friend.  And Katia's dear Dad died in November after a hard-fought battle with pancreatic cancer.

She's treading into new territory now that I can't understand.  But we bonded over grief and sarcasm, so I think our friendship will survive.  I originally asked her to sit down with me to come up with a 'What Not to Say" list to people who are grieving.  But she has so many important things to say that I wanted to share more with you.  If you want to skim, I've bolded the "What NOT to Say" and the green text is "What TO Say".  But if you have a few minutes, please take the time to read it in full.  I feel so privileged that she shared her heart with me.

I should add that Katia does NOT have a side ponytail.  It's a regular ponytail.  I just can't draw it.