Proportional Pain and My Guilty Genes

IMG_3094

Scrabble doesn’t come with a question mark, so we’ll have to make do without one

There once was a girl (A) who didn’t pass her cheerleader tryouts, and she was upset. There was also a girl (B) whose boyfriend dumped her, and she was upset. But then there was a girl (C) whose friend was dying of cancer, and she was upset.

Before us we have three (fictional) girls, and each is upset. Who, in your opinion, is most upset?

Please don’t answer that because it’s a trick question. I believe that it’s not fair to compare people’s pain because each is suffering in their own right. So yes, one situation seems way more serious than the others, but does that mean that the other two aren’t upset and don’t have a right to be? No. The fact that one person is worried about cancer and the other is worried about boys doesn’t mean that the one worrying about boys isn’t distraught and in pain, and you can’t discount that.

That said, I am human and sometimes I fail at upholding my own high standards. I look at this girl who is throwing a tantrum because she didn’t get the teacher she wanted for a certain subject and can’t stop thinking about girls in many parts of the world who have to fight to get an education, and often don’t win. I want to scream at her, “just appreciate what you have!”

But then those thoughts lead me to one of the most depressing inner conversations I regularly have. I know I’m suffering, and I know my pain is real, but at the same time look at the world, look at how many people live in terrible pain due to poor hygiene and distance from medical help, and see how many of them continue living completely normally. In comparison, I’m just acting like a baby. But those thoughts don’t make my pain go away and it still gets in the way of me doing everything people my age do.

So when I have these conversations, I force myself to the conclusion that it is important to keep things in proportion and not feel too sorry for myself, because compared to some my troubles are not that bad. I do think you need to keep going and try to pick yourself up, and that’s what I do. But there is also a real reason for sadness, and it’s okay to let yourself feel it.

When someone I know is suffering from a horrible headache, I bite my tongue and never let the “now you know how I feel all the time” escape. But I always think it. It’s not that I think their pain is lesser because it’s a one off thing, it’s just that it gets frustrating when people have no way to understand what I’m going through. I want him or her, for just a minute, to try to imagine what it’s like to feel what he or she is feeling every day and how hard it would be to manage.

Then I feel guilty. For not focusing solely on the person I’m with, but mostly for treating myself like I’m the top-sufferer, like I’m the most unfortunate. I promise you I do not forget how lucky I am to have everything that I have. But then after feeling guilty, I feel even guiltier because it’s almost like I just betrayed myself by my sort of accusation that I’m just exaggerating.

It’s exhausting.

So to girl A I say that there will be more opportunities in life and this way she’ll have more free time to hang out with her friends. To girl B I say that he’s a fool for breaking up with her and if she ever needs a wing-woman I’m her girl. To girl C I tell her how sorry I am and offer her my shoulder.

I allow myself only a minute to contemplate how it seems no one is ever that happy.

 

Yours truly,

Ella

 

Song Quote:

I find it hard to take, when people run in circles it’s a very, very mad world. -Mad World, Tears for Fears

 

Next Week:

My Relationship with Taylor Swift

Get ready to tweet along with me using #TaylorReadThis, because I need your help getting her to see it! So as of next Sunday when I put it up, we’re going to bombard twitter with this hash tag and the link to the post and try to get her attention. You with me?!

I Am Strong

quotes-about-being-strong-being-strong-quotes-41194

I’m done. I am done with being sick. I don’t care if my body agrees with me or not. I am ready to be healthy again. My fears will all go away. My worries will come to naught. My strength will come to light.

It’s time to get my life back. No, that’s wrong: it’s not time to get my life back, it’s time to get my life. A life in which I am able to achieve what I set my mind to, a life in which I am no longer held back by things that are not in my control, a life in which I am free.

Freedom is a simple word with a simple concept. The definition of freedom is:

1. The power or right to determine action (think, speak, act) as one wants without hindrance or restraint

2. Exemption from external control, interference, regulation etc.

3. The quality or state of being free

But the truth is, that freedom means something completely different for each and every one of us. There are the technical definitions of the word, and then there are the definitions we hear about in songs, read about in books, hear about from the people we look up to and figure out for ourselves.

I’ve been waiting for freedom for a long time. I haven’t been sitting around waiting for a phone call to tell me I’m free. I’ve been working hard. I don’t think that sheer will power is going to make my Fibro go away. If that were true, it would have happened already. I’m not sure I believe that the current treatment plan will help me. I don’t know if this will ever go away.

But I do believe that I am strong. Until now, I was hoping that my strength would help me through. Well, I’m done with that. Now, today, I know that my strength will help me through. I don’t know when, and I don’t know how, but I am strong and it will happen. I don’t care that this week was bad, that I was clearly not better this week. I don’t care that I don’t get to eat comfort food. I don’t care that I have to force myself to exercise even when my body is screaming with pain, trying to shut down because it doesn’t agree with me that I should be moving.

I care about the fact that I don’t get to participate in things with my friends. I care about the people who have been with me all this time. I care about getting better. It’s time.

Are you with me?

Yours truly,

Ella

 

Song Quote:

If the clouds don’t clear, then we’ll rise above it, we’ll rise above it. –Before the Worst, The Script

 

 

Quotes about freedom that I used in a speech I wrote last year:

Freedom is not worth having at all if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes. -Mahatma Gandhi

The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.  -Coco Chanel

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. -S.G, Tellntyre

You wanna fly, you have to give up the sh*t that weighs you down. -Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon

It was, he thought, the difference between being dragged into the arena to face a battle to the death and walking into the arena with your head held high. Some people, perhaps, would say that there was little to choose between the two ways, but Dumbledore knew — and so do I, thought Harry, with a fierce rush of pride, and so did my parents — that there was all the difference in the world.  – JK Rowling

I’m Scared

Okay world, here’s your chance: what are you trying to tell me? Us? What’s the idea behind all of this? Third car accident in two months. Is there a reason? A message? Because if there is, I’m not getting it. I’m just getting that my family is getting hurt, and scared.

We’re okay. I mean, we’re not, but none of us are in the hospital, or seriously hurt. I just feel my sister’s pain so much. She and my other sister were driving to school six weeks ago and were rammed into from behind. Both were mildly hurt (the middle one has fibromyalgia too), but mainly the oldest suffered a lot from whiplash. This was her first time driving to school since (the middle sister wasn’t with her this time). And again, rear-ended on the same stretch of road as last time.

I just spent the last hour with her and my mom. We were trying to calm her down. She couldn’t stop crying. I hope her neck won’t have any permanent damage at this point. She and my mom just left for the doctor’s.

We’ve been having a hard time as a family. The middle sister and I both have fibro, my dad is always travelling for work (he was abroad for the previous two accidents, and now this one too), and now with all of these accidents happening… Oh, and my mom has shingles right now, to top it all off. My oldest sister was only just starting to regain some sense of normalcy, of being able to move about. I’ve been under a lot of pressure. It’s test season at school, I have all of these tests on everything I am supposed to have learnt in the past two years, back to back, and I’m starting to buckle under the pressure.

So what’s the point, huh? Why is this happening? Because clearly, I must be missing something. If the world wants to say something, it can just frickin’ say it already. Stop hurting my family. I can’t deal with this anymore, it’s too much, I just can’t. My friends are stressed out about tests. That’s it. Why am I the one that has to have all of the bad things? Sick self, sick sister, sick mother, car accidents… When is it going to end? Is our luck going to run out?

I’ve been walking around for the past few weeks being afraid to say good-bye to parents. I’m always scared it will be the last time I see them. The night my dad flew abroad a week and a half ago, I didn’t sleep. At all. I was too scared. There was a storm a few days ago, with thunder shaking up the house. My mom left to go to the doctor, leaving me in charge of the kitchen where we happened to be cooking up our own storm. I was left alone in charge of everything that was cooking at the time, frying this, measuring that, checking on that, stirring whatever. The thunder was so loud, I was in such a frenzy multitasking, I just suddenly got this feeling that something really, really bad was happening, right at that second. As my mom was leaving, my sister was trying to get the other car to start so she could drive herself to the physical therapist’s office, a five-minute drive. The car alarm went off, and it wouldn’t stop. It was the siren, the thunder, the sizzling, and I felt like I was drowning. Drowning in worry, I guess.

I didn’t burn any of the food. My sisters complained that the chicken was a little underdone. My family made it home okay. My dad is safe, far away at work. I told myself to calm down. I wrote in my diary that I’m really scared something is going to happen to one of my loved ones, and told myself that now I could let it be and try to move on. But then I was talking to my friends, and they all said that even with school pressure and things, they still felt like it was going to be a really great week. I was the only one that did not agree. I couldn’t help it, I was upset and worried, still. I told them I had a bad feeling about the week.

Then today I woke up, and my mom pulled me aside as I headed to get some breakfast and whispered, “she was in another car accident”. She whispered because she could barely bare to say the words. Now I’m alone at home, sitting in my room and writing. I actually woke up today, with this feeling that maybe I could make this week be a little more fun. I decided to have a dance party, but who can dance on an empty stomach?

So I never had my dance party. All my energy went to my sister, I have none left right now. I still have to go to school, and I have art later. I’m exhausted.

I don’t know why this is happening. I’m not sure I ever will. Just please, please, whoever makes these decisions, take pity on us already. We’re good people. My parents, my sisters, myself – we’re all very good, decent people. We don’t deserve this. I know no one does, but still, we really don’t. We have enough troubles already.

We don’t need more.

If you’re religious, any kind of religion, pray for us. If you’re not, just hope in your hearts for my family and me that we’ll be okay. I’ll take any help I can get at this point.

I’m scared,

Ella

Song quote:

Alice, there’s no reflection in the looking glass, you wear your party dress but there’s no party to attend… She’s looking for a way to escape and wondering whether she can find a way out without being seen… There’s no one left in paradise, just a pack of cards without the hearts. –Alice, Mononoke

Let It All Rain Down

Ice cream, red, melting

It looks good doesn’t it? Well you’re about to be told you can’t eat it. Then it’s going to drip, and rain down on your brand new boots, and you’re going to slip in the puddle of your own misery. I’m in a good mood.

I want to quit. I’m sick of feeling this way, like I’m doomed, because of the pile of homework that is staring at me. I want to quit advanced math and advanced biology. They’re making me miserable. I’m just barely managing to go to school every day, and they’re making it impossible for me to ever feel okay.

I don’t think I can do school. I just don’t think I can do it. I know there are harder things in life, but I don’t see how it’s possible for me to survive this. Actually, let me rephrase that: I don’t see how I can survive this while not losing my mind and my health.

Guys, I’m so tired. It’s insane. My entire body feels like it needs to stop and wheeze every time I try to move because I just have no energy. Every day I wake up and something else is hurting me, and I just have to deal with it. I don’t have a choice. I don’t get to say, “well, it’s my fault, because I should be going to bed earlier”, then change my ways and see results. I get eight or nine hours of sleep every night, and it makes no difference. My pain and fatigue are the same.

The homework, the pressure, the stress: it’s all becoming a little much for me. I have a stiff neck right now on top of it all, and I literally can’t look down, so homework has become this hill I can’t climb over. Every teacher thinks they are teaching the only subject that matters, so they happily grant us the gift of hours of work, without thinking about the fact that maybe we have other stuff to do.

I don’t want to complain about it anymore. I don’t think it would help. I just want to officially put it out there: I am sick of this. My brain is tired, my body is tired, my neck is tense and my patience is gone.

 

_______________________________

 

My school is going on a trip next week. I don’t know how I’ll manage. It’s a three day trip, so for now the plan is for me to leave with the school in the morning (5:45 am), and in the afternoon let my mom know how I’m doing: if I’m fine, she’ll come the following afternoon to pick me up, and if I’m not, she’ll come that evening. The thing is though, that I can’t do any of the hikes, so I’m just going on the bus with them (the student body), dropping them off at the trail, and then going with a bunch of teachers and the secretary to do the food shopping. Then we go pick them up, and when we get back to camp, I’m on kitchen duty (every year, 11th grade is in charge of food). So I’m basically there to be the mom.

Last year I missed the trip entirely, which pretty much sucked. I don’t want that this year, so here I am. I just hope it’s worth it. I have a feeling that ten minutes into the bus ride I’m going to feel sick to my stomach, and half an hour later my head will explode. Then I’ll go do the shopping, and I’ll hurt my neck and knees. When I get on the bus and pick everyone else up, I’ll get a horrible migraine. When I’m working in the kitchen, I’ll hurt my hands. Not to mention I’ll be having cramps all day.

But I’m not pessimistic at all.

Dammit, I just want to have a good time and feel like a normal human being! Is that too much to ask for?!

Virtual hugs are welcome,

Ella

 

Song Quote:

Let it all rain down from the blood-stained clouds, come out, come out, to the sea my love, and just drown with me. –Shallows, Daughter

P.s. Yes, I know the song quote is dramatic and depressing. It matches my mood. It is what it is.

Excavations

Copyright sickandsickofit.wordpress.com

The excavation site

Hidden beneath a pile of other important things in my drawer, lies a folder that is full to the bursting with slips of paper. Every page has some words, written at some point in my life, and when I open that folder, I travel back in time.

It’s amazing really, how I’m instantly transported to how I was feeling, where I was, and what I was doing when I wrote something down. There have been many days in my young life, but the ones that I remember the most are the ones when I had a sudden urge to write- and I took myself up on it.

Sporadically in life, pretty much from age six, I would get bouts of motivation, generally in the direction of: “I’m gonna be a writer!!! I’m gonna get published! I’m going to be in The New York Times!” During one such bout, when I was around twelve years old, I sat cross legged on my bed, and wrote something on a piece of ripped notebook paper. It was my old bedspread, the highly colorful one, and I was staring at the mirror that was glued on the back of my door (before it fell, and broke).

This is what I wrote:

   I wish my mirror were my life. When I look in my mirror, I see what I am meant to be. I see myself with a fancy hair do, all dressed up at my very own book signing. I want to be famous for my writing.

  I look in the mirror, but I don’t look the way I really do. I look like a writer, posing for a picture while she writes her next bestseller.

  My mirror is the only one that knows; knows what my life should look like.

To be honest, there are pieces written in bouts of motivation from when I was much younger than 12, but they’re slightly embarrassing, so my drawer is their permanent residence.

Besides the motivated snippets, the folder is mostly full of products of hard times. It’s sad to think sometimes that most of my poems are ones of great depression, sadness, guilt and discontent. At the same time, that’s what I use my writing for: it’s a place I can turn to when it feels like nothing else is right. To quote the great Oscar Wilde,  “Words! Mere words!… what a subtle magic there was in them! They seemed to be able to give a plastic form to formless things, and to have a music of their own as sweet as that of viol or of flute. Mere words! Was there anything so real as words?”

Fast-forwarding a year, I sat after quite a horrible day and wrote this (and I’m making sure not to edit myself, even though I really want to):

Why is the world such a hard place to be?

Why can’t I just spread my wings and be free?

Be heard, be known, for the things I can do,

Let it be known, that I will make it through.

 

I don’t want to think that no one will hear it,

If I fail, I won’t admit it.

I just want a chance to be heard,

Help create a better world.

 

I don’t think that’s taking it too far,

If I just keep trying,

It can’t be too hard,

I will keep reaching for the stars.

 

But it all comes back too:

 

Why is the world such a hard place to be?

Why can’t I just spread my wings and be free?

Be heard, be known, for the things I can create,

If only there wasn’t so much at stake.

 

My hopes my dreams, my innocent will,

To help the world with the best of my skills.

I can write the poem, that comes to terms with the world,

With just that single world that will be heard:

 

Free.

 

But now a tear is tracing its track down my check,

For in writing, it certainly sounds absurd.

 

At least it  has a slightly positive edge to it. Some of these transport me to a really, really bad time. Like this one:

Let’s make the bed,

Fold the dirty clothing,

Pack up our bags,

And hang up the happy drawings.

 

Throw away the tissues,

Return the garbage to its place,

Comb through our hair,

And patch up our face.

 

Strangle all those sobs,

Dry up all those tears,

Leave not one trace of sadness

“I was never here”.

 

There was a lot going on. I had no choice: life kept moving, so I had to as well. I’m worried I might be depressing you all, but I know that I also worry too much (there’s a poem about it). I’ll only share one more with you. I wrote this just last year, when I was worrying about something:

Borders are

As borders go

Separating,

Existing.

 

Some borders are paper thin, hazy, fragile,

But hold within them

The power to destruct.

 

These borders are

Long

Thin

Lines.

 

Tread carefully.

 

But the border, the line, that

Scares me most,

Is the one I balance on when I act

By the sheer power of feeling

Empathy, love, worry.

 

Then I walk the border of

Making

Things

Worse.

A single toe out of line, and that power to destruct

Is free.

 

And on that supremely uplifting note, I will now stop the barrage of sadness, and share some facts of happiness:

  1. I now have a place to write regularly, and it’s full of positivity! I have self-discipline, and write regularly, and you are all lovely people, and leave me uplifting comments. I now can write of happiness, and not just sadness.
  2. I have a much better support system in place than I used to. My family is as great as they always have been, but I now also have a bunch of friends that really care about me.
  3. I have matured since I was 12, and though I still write poems of depression in epic proportions, I also hold on to some perspective. I have a good life, even with Fibromyalgia.
  4. My math test is over! I don’t know if you feel the same way I do, but in my book, this is definitely a fact of happiness. I was stressing out about it so much, but it went really well, so now I believe all my hard work was worth it and I am happy. Next one in three weeks.

 

I hope I have now lifted your spirits after having lowered them. Otherwise, I would feel guilty. There’s a poem about it.

Wishing you all a wonderful day and happy reading,

Yours truly,

Ella

 

Song Quote:

Welcome to the inner workings of my mind. –Hurricane, Ms Mr

 

IMG_2175

While giving my drawer a photo-shoot, I realized I was photographing one of my most prized possessions: my Song Quotes notebook. It is a beautiful little thing….

 

IMG_2174

A hundred points to anyone who can leave a comment below stating which books are on my shelf… (hint: there are fifteen in the picture). Let the games begin!

The Question Is Scars

Image

The question is scars, imprints, and things that last. Sure, life moves on, and our past is behind us, but there is no escape from what has happened to us. Experiences will live with us forever, because I believe e-v-e-r-y-thing makes an impact, no matter the size, on who we become. Which is why no one event is the sole cause of something. There were many things that led to it.

I’ve been thinking about this because of the possibility that I might get better. I’m sick, and as the title will tell you, sick of it. But I might get better, so I try to focus on that. Whenever I think of my future, when I imagine my grown-up self, when I dream up a family, I’m always healthy. I never let myself think about what life would be like if I don’t get better very soon. I don’t let myself think of when I finish high school, how I’ll never be able to date if I’m sick, or how I’ll dance at my wedding with this body of mine, or how I won’t be able to sit on the floor with my kids, or how I won’t be able to show them how to do cartwheels, or….

Whoops.

But really, even if I do get better (/when), will this disease ever really leave me? What scars have my life cut into my heart, that will debilitate me for eternity? Wow, dramatic sentence. Every phase of my life has left me with scars, and has helped shape who I am. But where is the balance, between the scars shaping us, and our personalities shaping us? And really, is there that much of a difference?

I don’t think so. I believe that our scars are what make us who we are. But the same event, happening to two different people, will cause different scars, and ultimately, a different outcome.

I was bullied, starting from age seven, and because of that (and many other things), I take special care to never hurt anyone’s feelings (because Anyone has an almighty power and if I insult him he’ll kill me). I look out for those who have trouble doing it themselves, and most importantly, I’ve learnt how to take care of myself so I don’t get hurt again. But others who have been in my position have turned to bullying others in return. What does that mean? I don’t know.

That’s why I’ve been wondering, and why I’m writing it down. I feel like I’ve thought this through about 90% of the way, and those ten percent are what is really important and what I haven’t gotten to yet. Writing things down usually helps me figure everything out, but not this time, I guess.

Maybe it just needs more time. It’s not like my scars are ever going to leave me. They stay.

From now on, don’t abandon your scars. The would never abandon you.

Yours truly,

Ella

Song quote:

You’re still written in the scars on my heart. -Just Give Me A Reason, Pink ft. Nate Ruess

Ready For a Zombie Apocalypse

You heard me. I’m ready. I have a bunch of vegan and vegetarian friends, there is food hidden all around my room, and my sisters recently counted how many bathtubs and sinks we have and came to the same conclusion I have: we’re ready.

 

Which is not to say we believe in such things. We’re just ready. Better safe than sorry.

 

Okay, obviously I’m kidding. Although everything I have said is true. The friends, the food, the bathtubs- all real. I’m writing this because I only just realized that zombie apocalypses have been a sub-theme of my past few days. Probably because I have been thinking about our worst fears.

 

Are they destined to come true? Because two major ones of mine have.

 

One thing I have been afraid of ever since my sister got sick has been getting Fibromyalgia. Check that off the list people. I was diagnosed with it this summer.

 

Another has been cancer. Put half a check on the list. The growth was around before I was diagnosed with Fibro, but the results of the second biopsy came after. Half a check because it seems like now everything is fine, after the surgery to remove it.

 

My point is, if two core fears of mine have come true in the past nine months, will all of them come true? I watched a documentary portraying a woman who lived her entire life in fear that a man with a knife would break into her house, and then one day it happened. So thinking beyond the fact that I have to stop watching weird documentaries (there are awesome ones about gypsies too), maybe our fears are meant to warn us about what’s going to happen?

If that’s true, I’m in for the long haul.

 

I try not to live my life in fear of anything. When I break that personal policy, it’s to contemplate how awful it would be to lose another family member. But night after night, this idea about fears keeps haunting me: are they going to come true?

 

I’ve had enough suffering in my life, and I’m nowhere near even being an adult. I like to think that maybe I’m getting my suffering over with now, so that when I’m older, I can be more free. If not that positive outlook, then maybe there is just so much suffering planned for my life, that I was done the favor of having it spread out over my entire existence so that it never becomes too much?

 

Deep thoughts such as these are what keeps me up at night. These, and worrying that my non-existent pink piggy bank will be broken into in sleep, worrying that the sun will fall (what would happen…), worrying that I will get a stain on the rug of the family I babysit for (that rug if freakin’ pristine), and worrying that my apple might get depressed. I’m versatile.

I’m going to end this late night rant with one thought- if fears aren’t meant to be foreshadowing our futures, do they do us more bad than good?

Dream happy dreams,

Ella

 

P.s. Starting to see the source of the ‘tired’ in my name?

Song quote:

But it’s harder than you think telling dreams from one another. – Daniel In The Den, Bastille

thinking by Luis Alves