Isn’t it crazy that you write the truth and then forget how it feels? You believe in looking at things as beautiful, but you simply don’t remember to. Because bad monsters clout everything, because you can’t remember what it’s like to feel like yourself, because sadness is so overwhelming while happiness is so fleeting.
But yes. For the first time in forever, you feel like you’re going to be okay. And for even just a few days, you felt good. You existed under a new sky, you rediscovered what it is to hope, you felt optimistic about new opportunities and you felt worthy of love. You also believed in it.
A new sky… (Taken in Baveno, Italy, this summer)
So relax. Take a deep breath. Tell your brain that everything is going to be okay. Sleep well. Dream happy.
Just live. Isn’t it beautiful seeing the magic?
I just want to be ok today. –Be OK, Ingrid Michaelson
(The third in an unintentional trilogy… Some Truths, Actual Truth, Remember the Truth.)
I was walking home and I saw this wall with graffiti all over it, and I suddenly thought, “Isn’t graffiti beautiful?”
Bear with me here.
A wall of graffiti is not the work of one person; it is the collective effort of a bunch of creative and unlawful artists. Sometimes they paint over another’s creation, but usually they simply continue it, improve it, or paint something else in response to it. That’s when it becomes beautiful: when it is a thoughtful conversation taking place without words ever being exchanged.
Now, the 2,000 followers milestone kind of passed by without me really noticing, as a result of this being a super intense test season (twelve down, three to go). So, I propose we celebrate the 2,500 mark instead. That gives us time to come up something good. Notice my use of ‘we’. It’s because this is what I’m thinking:
Why don’t you write about it instead of me? Or even not necessarily about it, but about something else that has been on your mind and you would like to share with what the rest of this lovely community? It can be anything you’d like!!! You can write about your own health struggles and triumphs, about your families and loved ones, share a funny anecdote, or absolutely anything you’d like. You could even send in pictures of your artwork if you’d like, or a photo montage, or… well, have I made it clear enough that it can be anything you’d like? Let your imagination take over. For 1,000, I put a spotlight on the words you leave for me in the comments section. Now, I’m putting a spotlight on the message/s you want others to hear.
Seeing as I can’t give you an accurate deadline, because I don’t know when I will reach 2,500 followers, how about we just agree that you’ll send in your final pieces by Monday, July 14th, in four weeks? That way I can have time to read through everything and pick my favorite one. Oh, have I made that clear enough? This is a competition. Because that just makes it more fun. There will be one featured piece on the day I reach 2,500 followers, here on this site. But, if I get a lot of really amazing entries, there may or may not be a new page going up around the same time with a bunch more. You didn’t hear it from me, though.
Terms for entering this amazingly awesome competition:
1. You must be a follower of Sick and Sick of It
2. You must be human and alive (because otherwise it would just be creepy)
3. You must be a follower of my twitter account (the link will be on the right side of your screen if you scroll down far enough)
How to enter:
Simply write something (/draw/create/fill-in-the-blank), and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject: 2,500 entry, and then your name (example: 2,500 entry, Ella Doe). I will reply to your email to confirm that I have received it. Take note, if I don’t respond within a week it probably means it wasn’t received! Shoot me another email to check, because it might have gotten lost or sent to spam by accident. If you are the chosen one (like I wouldn’t put a Harry Potter reference in here), I will send you an additional email closer to the time to let you know that your piece will be going up. You can include an “about the author” box if you’re so inclined, and include links to your various online endeavors.
How to help make this awesome-er:
1. Put a lot of thought into what you send me. My words have reached so many people in over 120 countries around the world, and it’s simply insane to try to wrap my mind around that. If your piece wins, your message will reach them too.
2. Tweet the image below along with a link to this page (#2500), post it on Facebook or mention it on your blog (because the more the merrier! And it’s in your best interest to tell everyone you know about this, friend or foe, because they will fall uncontrollably in love with this site (or not) and subscribe (or not), and that brings us closer to 2,500(or not)). Also, it’s twenty-five-hundred, not two-thousand-five-hundred. Because that’s how my brain works.
3. I cannot stress this enough: please get the word out there!
4. Send in your piece as soon as you have it ready (I have an urge to say “the early bird gets the worm” right now).
So maybe 2,500 isn’t a wall of graffiti. Maybe it’s better.
For the record, this sweet dog is saying “2,500. It’s awesome. Woof. I like it. You’ll like it too. Woof.”
Always yours truly,
It’s a mess, It’s a start, It’s a … work of art. -Take Back The City, Snow Patrol
This competition is now closed! If you’re still interested in sending me something you’ve created, feel free to do so but you won’t win this competition.
With warm summer air surrounding us and the sounds of the crickets drifting in through my open window, I curled into my mother’s body and she hugged me to her; though I may be bigger than I was on the day I was born, exactly seventeen years ago, I will forever be her little baby and she will always be my mother.
She told me last year that as she turned seventeen, she was sad to part with sixteen. Today, I understand the way she felt then. Though sixteen might not have been exactly glamorous or particularly spectacular, it will forever hold a special place in my heart.
A lot has changed this year. I gained freedom, in a way, because I started and completed the whole process of learning how to drive and getting my license. Finally, something that everyone my age is tackling and mastering, and I could participate just liked everyone else. I even mastered it quickly and well, if I do say so myself. I probably annoy people a lot at this point when I talk about driving, but it’s fun to be the expert and the sage around my friends (I’m one of the only ones who can drive so far) on a topic unrelated to medical things.
The way I think about things has changed, drastically. I just approach things in a better way now. I keep up my positive thinking and I’ve developed an inner sense of humor that I’ve always had into a shield and a mood booster. I see humor in a lot of places I didn’t use to see it, and I cherish that change. It’s a change for the better.
I’m also more cautious, in a way, but at the same time I dare myself to do things I never would have done a year ago. I’m cautious with what I say and how much I share, not for fear of hurting someone else’s feelings, but for fear of sharing thoughts and feelings that I’m not yet sure about. I used to just blurb out whatever I was thinking, but now I take the time to actually form my thoughts before speaking and weigh the weight of what I’m sharing and how frustrated I will get if I can’t explain myself properly.
But I also take myself out of my comfort zone: I go places alone, I call people and talk on the phone, I do the things I know I should do but always feel awkward doing. I’ve just developed this way of approaching things and talking myself through them, and it’s starting to feel like I can tackle the things that have always intimidated me. I’m starting from the smaller things, like those I mentioned earlier, and at some point I will have the courage to face the bigger ones.
I also made the switch from thinking of all of the things I would like to do to actually doing them. I do more than talk, nowadays. Take, for example, my horrendous lack in general knowledge. For a bunch of years now I’ve been saying that I don’t know how I’ve been in school for so many years and yet there are basic things that I don’t know. This year, I just started educating myself. I bought a book called “The Knowledge Book”, and I read it before bed.
I’m just very aware of how I’m changing and how I’m learning to accept myself more and more. That’s another major change this year, my self-confidence. It’s been hard learning to accept my body with all that it puts me through, and that affected my self-confidence for a long time. But I’ve somehow learned how to separate fibromyalgia from my body, and because of that I’m learning to accept and like the way I look.
It’s exhilarating to realize that I’m getting older and there’s a whole new world of opportunities opening ahead of me, and absolutely terrifying at the same time. I’m sad to lose the feeling of being a child, of being protected by these strong and kind parents who are nothing but my parents. It’s huge to realize and to process that parents are people too, and to think of them as people before parents, but important. You do lose something though with that realization, because you can never go back. On the on hand, I still want them to take care of me and be there all the time, but at the same time the independent woman in me is showing her true colors and I just can’t wait to get out there in the world.
I’m sure it won’t be easy, but with every passing day I feel more and more ready to do it. To live life.
I propose a toast, to growing up and staying young forever.
Time may change me, but I can’t trace time. –Changes, David Bowie
There were two days last week that came and went without my headache showing up, and I’m scared. It doesn’t make any sense to be scared, I should be happy that I might be getting better. Actually, I should be way more than happy, I should be ecstatic! But I’m not. And I’m trying to figure out why.
I’ve waited for this day for so long, for a day that’s headache-free. It’s been over two years since I’ve had one. Every single freakin’ day I have pain. There’s really no exception. But I’ve been on a new treatment plan, made up of three components: a concoction of herb extracts (nicknamed “potion”) taken twice a day, acupuncture, and a gluten-free, dairy-free, processed-free diet. I was told that if I follow the plan, I should be feeling much better after three months. To say I had full faith in it would be a gross exaggeration. I’ve been told that many times before. In fact, two and a half years ago I was told my recovery time frame will be two-three months.
But because I had two days without a headache, everyone around me asked me if I’m feeling better. Actually, I was told by other people that I’m feeling better, based on my behavior, apparently. So I started to really believe it. Excited, I happily shared the news with just about everyone that I might be getting better.
But now I know what I’m scared of. What if this is a fluke? What if this week is just a hiccup, and I go back to my sorry state and stay sick for many more years to come? And now everyone thinks I’m getting better, everyone is going to expect me to act healthy and be happy and yadda yadda yadda. I’m going to have to play the thankful survivor who made it out of the darkest time in her life. But I don’t want to! First of all I don’t want to do that even if I do keep getting better, and I especially don’t want to if I don’t keep getting better.
It’s like suddenly there’s all this pressure.
What if I don’t know how to be healthy? Oh great, I’m crying again. I hate when this happens. But seriously, what if I don’t? It’s been so long. Being healthy is something I dream about, not something realistic. I’m so used to being sick by now. It’s just my life, and it has been for a while. All this time I’ve viewed fibro as something that’s holding me back. But how much of it is ingrained in me already? How much of the sick person will disappear once I’m no longer sick? This isn’t just a blip in my medical history, it’s become (unfortunately) a part of who I am. So that’s it? If it even goes away, everyone will just expect it to disappear from me. They’ll think, why is that girl so ungrateful? It’s gone, why is she so caught up in the past?
But… But… I don’t know what to do with myself. I’m still working my hardest to get better, following the plan, exercising, not over-doing myself. And I’m training myself to see the positive in getting better (which is ridiculous, because it’s literally been my dream and goal for years and I’ve just been yearning for it, but now it feels like some impending doom, which probably means there’s something wrong with me and I’m ruined for life), but it’s scary.
It’s scary because I also don’t want to let myself believe it’s happening. What if it doesn’t? Then it’s just this tempting tasting of what I need and it’ll be taken away from me once I stop being scared of it.
Do I even make any sense? My tears are blocking the screen, I can barely follow what I’m writing.
Seems to me like I’m just scared of never feeling it again. –High Hopes, Kodaline
P.s. Cameron Von St. James sent me an email the other day, letting me know about a beautiful tradition his family has started since his wife got sick with cancer and needed to have a lung removed. They created a beautiful website (you only get the full experience if you view it on a desktop), and I’d like to share it with all of you:
(I suggest putting on Ed’s song, that I have so kindly placed on the right side of your screen if you scroll down up a bit, before starting to read. I was listening to it while I wrote this.)
It’s really early in the morning. I’m in a kind of dreamy state, and all I keep thinking is: I want a man to love me. It’s funny, and I’m smiling, because that is so random. It doesn’t have much to do with my life at the moment. I’m sixteen, I’ve never been asked out, never been liked by a guy (as far as I’m aware), and that’s fine. I’m okay with being single. I have my entire life to know what it feels like to be in love.
This might all be because I listened to some very sweet love songs last night, right before I went to bed. Ed Sheeran has a few new songs out, and one of them is called “New York”. It is so sweet, and loving, and I want a man to call me darling like that, and tell me he will be there for me at the end of the night in the back of the taxicab. Come to think of it, I want a man who can sing Ed’s songs to me.
It’s five in the morning, which may be contributing to the fact that I seem to have no inhibitions right now. I don’t think I would have the guts to write the previous paragraph if I were fully awake and the sun were up. Good to know: never make important decisions at this hour.
I have to have certain tests done today, and you need to be awake for three hours before they’re done. And fasting. I don’t know which I hate more. Basically, my alarm was set for 4:45, and apparently knowing you’re going to have to wake up that hour makes it very hard to fall asleep. Funny story, I didn’t. Fall asleep, that is. I am so tired. As soon as the tests are over and I’ve gotten some food in me, I have to rush to school because I’ll be late as it is, then have a full day until 4:30. Odds are, I will be feeling so sick after just a couple hours that I will need to come home. Not sleeping doesn’t do wonders for Fibromyalgia. Surprise.
Okay, but I don’t want to talk about Fibro anymore. I wrote about my school trip that I mentioned in my previous post, but it was a disaster (the trip, not the post) and my family was having a really bad week, so in the end it didn’t come out so great because I was sobbing while I was writing it. It seems to be an occupational hazard. Basically, the trip was awful, my sisters were in a car accident, our Internet broke for a few days (starting the day of the trip and the accident- wonderful timing), and everyone just had a pretty bad week. I’m not so sure that not sleeping well, having a biology test, a literature test, having to study for a math test, and having biology classes on my day off hold the promise of a much better week, I’m afraid.
But while we’re here, and my inhibitions are not, let me divulge more. I know I write well, and it’s my dream to write a novel (/finish one), but I don’t think I’m very good at writing fiction. Doesn’t that suck? I think it does. Right now I’m telling myself that is isn’t working because I don’t have a story to tell. You can’t force a plot, right? But I also have a hard time making characters believable, because I don’t believe them myself. Maybe I need to meet more people.
The sun is starting to come up, and I don’t have much else to say. I want to have a really great life, with a really great man, who loves me. Oh, maybe that’s why! I just read a book called The Shoemaker’s Wife, and it’s a really beautiful love story (I cried hysterically at the end. It was ridiculous, but I couldn’t stop. My sister was trying to comfort me, and I said this and she’ll never let me forget it now: “I’ve known them their whole lives!”). Maybe that’s why I’m thinking about love. Put that together with Ed’s voice, and you get a romantic like myself dreaming whilst awake at 5 in the morning.
It’s just reached the morning, You’re still in my arms, Now we stop driving, Down the boulevard, And I just kissed you, darling, I hope you weren’t alarmed, It’s just the start of everything you want. –New York, Ed Sheeran
At the end of last year, my classmates and I took certain country-wide tests that are a pretty big deal. I only took two, and therefore this year I have eleven. It’s going to be great fun. But the point is, we get our test results back only at the beginning of the following year.
Milling around the lobby of our school, the entire 11th and 12th grade (it’s not that many, don’t get excited, it comes out to 25 students or so) were chatting excitedly with each other. A senior was standing with all of the grade sheets (discreetly stapled so as only your name is visible), and handing them out. I walked up, took a deep breath as he searched for mine, and prepared myself.
Standing against the wall, my teacher happened to pass by (he taught one of the two subjects I was tested on), and I asked him if he wanted to be present for the historic moment. Yes, that’s how I worded it. He waited while I pried open the sheet of paper, shrieked, and passed it to him. 100! On both! On everything! He passed it to the principal who was passing by, who shrieked too (sort of) and congratulated me. All of that hard work last year, it served its purpose.
I joined the milling teenagers and pretty much everyone was satisfied with their grades (our school’s average on these tests is in the nineties). I was chatting with two girls about how despite being happy with the grade, it feels like there’s something missing…. Then I graced them with this beautiful dream scenario (the presenter is Ryan Seacrest, the result of watching the American Idol finale the other day):
I’m standing in a really fancy dress on a big stage, while a good-looking man in a suit (with pretty hair) walks up holding a gold envelope. The presenter (there will be a presenter) narrates to the audience, “The good-looking man is walking down stage to Ella, and is holding the gold results envelope in his right hand while his hair shines and swishes. He is presenting Ella with it. This is it, ladies and gentlemen, here- we- go. Ella is prying open the envelope, the results are in, she shoots, she…. She’s smiling, she scores!”
And the hall erupts into erroneous applause, everyone is on their feet, cheering and stamping! Confetti is falling from the heavens as my test scores flash on the screens behind me. A red carpet is being unrolled before me, and the good-looking man holds my hand as I navigate my way into the people. I’m laughing and crying, camera flashes are going off like I’m actually photogenic, and everyone is overjoyed on my behalf. The day is forever declared the “Ella did it” day, to be celebrated by no one, ever.
We were all talking about how this slip of paper doesn’t feel substantial enough, and we really just deserve the Nobel Prize. As my friend corrected though, we’ll settle for a simple Oscar or Emmy.
Instead, we just went on with our day. But that could have been nice. As it is, I’m very happy with my test scores and I’m glad all of my friends did well as well. This is exactly what I need to fill me with some sort of non-depressed feelings about starting school again. Now I’m a little bit buoyed. Mini yay!
P.s. This post is dedicated to my friends, with whom I spent whole days cramming for these tests. Our study dates have a special place in my heart, forever.
These are the days that bind you together, forever, and these little things will define you, forever. –Bad Blood, Bastille (alright, so the name of the song sounds negative, but this quote isn’t, so just go with it.)
Tomorrow, I am going to wake up, and everything will be different. Better.
When I wake up tomorrow, my first thought will not be about pain. My first emotions will not be anxiety, fear, apprehension and sadness. I will wake up warm, cocooned in my blanket, feeling refreshed. When I open my eyes, I will look forward to my day.
When I wake up tomorrow, I will not be upset with my family. I will not feel like they say the wrong things. I will not be annoyed with them.
When I wake up tomorrow, I will not have to forcefully remind myself to appreciate what I have. Everything will feel so right that appreciation will come naturally. I will look at my life, and be pleased.
When I wake up tomorrow, I will look in the mirror and be happy with what I see. I will not think about how that girl’s hair looks better, how that girl has a better profile, or how that girl’s figure is nicer. That girl will not haunt my mirror-gazing.
When I wake up tomorrow, my day will not scare me. I will not think of each day as an age, each hour as a mountain to climb. I’ll be excited, about the possibilities each hour poses.
When I wake up tomorrow, I will no longer have Fibromyalgia.
These are my tomorrows. I live in today.
When I woke up today, I told myself to think about the dream I had. When I saw my family, I accepted, dealt with, and loved my interactions with them. When I looked at where I live, what I have, and who I know, I willed the appreciation to feel natural. When I looked in the mirror, I smiled. This hour, right now, is full of possibilities.
I have Fibromyalgia.
If I don’t have today, I will never have tomorrow. I welcome you, today.
I awake to find no peace of mind. -Spies, Coldplay