Game of Thrones Has Nothing on My Winter
Things have been a little rough for me lately. And by lately I mean the past four months. And by rough I mean GODAWFUL. Let's backup a little. Right before Thanksgiving I got kicked out of my apartment for an undisclosed reason. I don't mean undisclosed as in "I'm not going to share my beeswax with the internet," I mean undisclosed as in I, MYSELF, do not know exactly why this happened. There was a lot of lying, manipulating, and other fuckery that was not illegal, but was most definitely unethical. I don't want to go into the details, because they're not all that relevant and because I'm still working with some city officials to get #JusticeForSarah. Essentially, I found out around Thanksgiving that I had 30 days to vacate my apartment. Do you know what 30 days from Thanksgiving is? Christmas. Basically my holiday season was spent desperately searching for an apartment, battling panic attacks, and answering my door to my building manager asking, "Why aren't you packed up and gone yet?" That's a pretty stressful situation for anyone to be in, but I have the added bonus of being diseased. I've mentioned living with fibromyalgia and a host of other coexisting conditions before, so I won't go into too much detail here. But I will say that the number one trigger for a fibro flare up is stress. And boy howdy, was my holiday season stressful! During a flare I'm incapable of doing the most simple things. I can barely get myself to the bathroom, or get to the kitchen to grab a granola bar. During a bad flare, it's a huge accomplishment to take a shower and wash my hair, and if I can muster that, it takes all the energy I have for the entire day. So I'm exhausted, I'm in horrible pain, I can barely take care of myself, oh, and I have a month to find a new place to live and move in.
I did finally find an apartment, and it's fantastic. So much better than the old place, in a neighborhood I wanted to live in since first moving to LA. I have a post about moving in the works, so more on that later. Even though I'm thrilled to be in my new place (and AWAY from my old place), moving is always stressful, but I can't imagine a move more stressful, rushed, and painful than this one. I was completely moved in by January 1, thanks entirely to my mom, who flew out and helped me with every aspect of moving (and staying somewhat sane). She has earned the title of Best Mom Ever so many times, but this was especially impressive. My mom flew back home, I was finally feeling settled, and then this happened:
This morning while walking the dog I threw up in not one, not two, but THREE separate bushes. Hello, new neighbors!
— Sarah C. (@sarchrz) January 5, 2014
I got really, really sick. I could barely keep down water. It was bleak. And because of fibromyalgia, when I get sick, it's hardcore. Say a healthy person and I get the same virus. They're sick for two days? I'm sick for two weeks. Or months. What I thought was a stomach flu morphed into a respiratory thing, and that just didn't go away. I was sick from the beginning of January until just recently, when my doctor decided to pump me full of antibiotics because, at this point, there was no other option. The diagnosis was pneumonia that wouldn't show up on an x-ray. I believe the medical term is Secret Pneumonia? Does Covert Pneumonia sound better? Anyway, I have spent the past couple of months just being sick. This is typical for me, being a diseased person, but it never gets easier to deal with. You never get used to missing out on life, and I have yet to come up with a good response to people saying, "You're STILL sick?!"
I had a lot of plans, both short-term and long-term, that had to be cancelled. I'm always trying to figure out how to live as full a life as possible while still dealing with physical and mental issues. I didn't even get to the mental aspect! Oh man, that's a whole 'nother bag of nuts (GET IT?! NUTS!). I frequently take on too much because I'm determined to be "normal," and then I crash and burn, because I'm NOT normal. Not to say that I'm abnormal, but it's not fair for me to compare myself to healthy people. At least this is what my therapist tells me. Every week. But I still do it all the time.
I cannot explain how heartbreaking it is to be at the mercy of something you have no control over, especially when that thing is your own body. I try to hide how things really are. I don't like to be thought of as a victim or a weak person, and I devote an incredible amount of effort to appearing totally fine to everyone around me. This is probably one of the more honest things I've written about how hard it can be to live this life. And this is just Sickness 101!
This blog exists because I find joy in problem solving, recommending great things, and generally getting overexcited about little things like electric kettles and lipgloss. I don't review things that I don't like, because I want to focus on being enthusiastic and positive. That's also why I don't get into details about the hardships in my life - even if I'm talking about something that relates to my illness, I mention it casually, like it's no big deal. I'm trying to stop doing this, because it IS a big deal, and it's ok if I let people know that.
Lately I've been getting a much larger readership, and seeing the stats and reading comments on posts has been, as dorky as it sounds, hugely motivational. I love hearing that I've so much as helped someone discover the magic of slimline hangers, not to mention reading that I've helped so many people out there who are dealing with Accutane treatment know that they're not alone.
Thanks for reading. And thanks for asking me questions about pimples, because I loved reading/answering them so much they encouraged me to get my ass out of bed and get my fingers back on the ol' keyboard. Which is just the thing I need.
Featured image is by Gemma Correll, and it's been co-opted by Chronic Illness Internet as a sort of unofficial banner.