the best revenge is living at all | writer & editor | ankylosing spondylitis | depression & anxiety | #sickgirlsclub | toronto
@ismathers really loved this birthday gift because it's a beautiful photo of me taken by @yulischeidt and also because he can tell people who are over "MY WIIIIIIIIFE" 😂
I'm going to get new glasses in the next few days and that is w-i-l-d to me after so many years with these bad boys. 👋🏻
"If I had a wish/I’d wish for more of this"
I'd wish not for time for the sake of time but for more of Gord's grace, more of his bravery, more of not accepting fate in the sense of lying down and taking it but seeing that even the shadows have a light and that you can live so much in such a short time. 💕
ready to party hard! (from a seat but still!)🤘🏻
(ahem) SEASONS CHANGE 🍂
cut it out my mother said/stop worrying about the future/it doesn't belong to us and we don't belong to it. --Meghan O'Rourke 🤞🏻
Happy Friday the 13th from Nugget on her (and all the other black kitties too) feast day! Black cats are beautiful, sweet, and if you're like me and you only wear black, you'll never have visible cat hair on you! Adopt a sweet kitty as black as your heart 🖤🐱🎃 #blackcatsofinstagram
A busy week for days eh? here's my shoutout for #mentalhealthawareness 👏🏻 I suffer from major depression, anxiety, & complex PTSD. Two of those little pills, bright orange & yellow, help my brain chemistry be closer to how it should. My therapists have helped me not only work on who I am but helped me save myself. But you can't post photos of your therapists so.
Looking back, I've been struggling with anxiety since I was a kid, depression since I was a teenager, and trauma for even longer than those. For a long time, I drowned in them, unable to socialize or make choices or reach out or live without being entirely crippled by the weight of depression & anxiety. It came to a head a few years ago when I was in a good stable place in my life and I found myself crying every morning and unable to leave the house to see friends. I had spent a long time on a bit of a high horse about my mental illness, thinking that they made me special and creative, afraid I wouldn't be able to write or paint or just be who I am. I decided to try another option when I realized that I wasn't living my life. I was lucky that the first antidepressant I tried was my one and only brain soulmate: Zoloft. I felt a sense of guilt about it. People I knew looked at me a bit askew as if I was about to transform into a different person. In some ways, I did; I turned into someone who didn't cry every day, someone who was able to focus at work & could do creative things I wanted to do. I turned into someone who didn't struggle to sleep at night or who slept for 15 hours and woke up feeling like a zombie. I turned into who I really am when not held back by my misfiring chemicals.
There's shame around taking medication for mental illness, that you should have been able to hack it or find some other way to fix it. In the words of Chris Gethard "To actually admit that you have a sickness, get help for it, and get to a point where you’re regularly taking medications involves a lot of soul-searching, shit-eating and fear. Not needing pills is strong, sure. Taking them is sometimes even scarier, so let's applaud that too." We might have to live with mental illness but we don't need to suffer.
Today I was lying in recovery after my colonoscopy and gastroscopy having my vital signs monitored, waiting for sedation to wear off. The O2 saturation (thank you Grey's Anatomy and House) monitor kept going off because sometimes I wasn't breathing very deeply apparently which of course worries nurses. I explained that because of AS i have costochondritis and it's a regular thing for me to not be able to breathe as deeply as most people. They hovered but left me to sleep for a bit, all of us ignoring the occasional alert from my monitor. The scopes were clean, they took biopsies and in a few weeks I should have more answers. I am so tired but also so relieved to be done with tests for a bit. It's all ebbs and flows with chronic illness and like this good reminder from about a year ago in Chicago, I'm just a woman breathing.
Today is World Arthritis Day and I'm here to show you that arthritis isn't just creaky joints in the elderly. It's in kids, teens, young adults, middle aged folks, and yes the elderly. Our joints suffer but so do our guts, eyes, brains, connective tissue, families, social lives, mobility, mental health, so so much. My new medication is helping many of my symptoms so far but I already have partially fused SI joints and that can't be undone. Early detection is key and awareness and education are so important to making people aware that perhaps the pain they're feeling isn't just random. I urge you to check out worldarthritisday.org or general info and spondylitis.ca for more info about the Canadian Spondylitis Association. 🤞🏻💕💪🏻 #worldarthritisday#arthritis#ankylosingspondylitis#aswarrior#autoimmunedisease#spoonie#chronicpain#chronicillness#arthritisawareness
feeling not terrible for the first time in a long time. 🤞🏻
"Despite all of this pain, if you told me a year ago i'd be about to inject myself myself with biologics and browsing canes online, I'd never have believed you but here I am. I am not in a rush anymore, I'm just hoping to slowly but surely be able to live my life the most I can. The world is uncertain and life is terrifying but it's also so fucking beautiful sometimes." New tinyletter about the past year (link in profile) and my first injection day. Yesterday I sewed this perfect @stayhomeclubofficial patch on my medicine travel bag because it seemed like the most appropriate motto for this experience with #chronicillness and really just life. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of my life during every step of this and so much more.
The first October harvest moon in a decade! Harvest moon, blood moon, hunter moon. It's big and beautiful and it's seeing us off into the darkness to look at ourselves and work and come back with all the things we've worked on. "Dear heart, it is time to tell your story: to bring forth, in ceremony, with awareness of where you came from, and how that background, in part, makes you who you are. If it is time to write your memoir, write it. No one else will. If it is time to learn the language of your ancestors, begin. If it is time to do research on your background, ask questions of the elders in your family or community, begin this process. Take a DNA test, research the traditions of your blood and bones. On this Blood Moon, start harvesting in a tangible way. One day it might be time to pass on this knowledge. For some of us, that one day is now." —Many Moons/ @gottesss#harvestmoon#bloodmoon#huntermoon#fullmoon