I always have so many thoughts in my head while I’m laying in bed. I think of at least five different possible blog posts.
But when I finally open my computer, they leave my brain. Of course. Ugh, writer’s angst.
I haven’t felt like writing in here lately. But I force myself to do it. I like training myself in different ways. Especially these days. I like to keep pushing myself in different ways. For the first time in ages, I had a pretty decent piece flow out of me late last night when I was about to fall asleep. Like good enough to submit somewhere - which is saying a lot since my writing in here has been terrible. I don’t think I could have done that if I hadn’t been vomiting up here. I remember reading that Stephan King still writes every day.
I get it. Writing is a muscle that must be stretched and strengthened.
I’m not exceptionally proud of the writing I’m doing here, though.
The fact that I’m willing to publicly share this says a lot about how much I’ve shifted in recent years. I used to be so hard on myself about my writing! I still am, now I’m also accepting that part of being a writer is writing absolute garbage in order to get to the shiny diamonds. Even publicly. Because if I don’t have SOME accountability, the daily writing won’t happen.
Plus, I have cognitive issues now. If I’m not transparent about that and how it affects my writing and ability to communicate, then I can’t be honest about a lot of things going on with me.
Sometimes my writing is crap! Oh well!
When I started my business in 2008, I would torture myself writing email newsletters. I’d spend DAYS writing and editing them. I’d send them to my sister and my mom to make sure they weren’t absolute shit.
Now!?!? I post so many grammatical mistakes on my Instagram posts and here too! Lord. The old me is mortified. But the new me is like whatever man. Whatever gets me through the day and keeps my mind from breaking.
The mental health piece is such a big one for me these days. I’ve gone through so much physically in my life. The mental health these days…wow. Mad respect for anyone that deals with this all of the time and has for their entire life. It’s fucking hard as fuck.
I just went upstairs and found my dad not sounding like himself. He doesn’t look right. His legs! Omg. So skinny now. It makes me keep doing my counter push-ups. Gotta stay strong on the outside to compensate for the broken insides… My mom think she is trying to pass a kidney stone right now. She’ll be fine but I told her: I don’t think me or dad are up for taking you to the ER if you need to go. I guess this when a big family comes in handy.
I was just walking upstairs to get my protein drink! One conversation can change my entire day / mood / worry list. The worry list is quite long these days!
We are all so fragile in this house.
I stupidly asked a political question on Facebook yesterday and got so agitated from it, I had to get off the platform. My bad. I have GOT to be more careful with my mental health. I’m still getting the hang of protecting it. I’m just in awe at the perspective of so many people that have so much. Calm down Julie! It’s not that bad. Checks and balances.
Meanwhile, my dad and I are basically dying. And so many others are locked up, being shot, or also medically fragile and not able to get the care they need. But don’t call senators out of state! say the privileged from their nice homes. Sex strike! Ewwwww.
We are down at the bottom of the hierarchy saying: JUST DO SOMETHING for crying out loud. Stop arguing about WHAT and just do it. Or we’re dead! Or homeless. Or mentally deranged.
One piece that’s been helping my mental health is having a solid team of doctors. How exciting is that? When my health stabilizes like it is now, it’s not easy for me to keep focusing hard on my medical case. But this is when I SHOULD, when I have the ability.
I got an email from my new concierge doctor yesterday. SHE WROTE TO ME ON A SUNDAY and was so polite about something that I essentially messed up. I’m not used to collaborating with amazing doctors who are willing to get shit done! I’ve been doing so much on my own for so long, being able to lean on them will take getting used to. So much goes into being dependent on others. No wonder I avoided it for so long. It can sometimes feel almost painful to receive, to be taken care of, to be openly loved.
How fucked up is that. But it makes sense. Whatever is different than what we are used to feels so awkward and uncomfortable. Yet it’s the only way to rewire the pathways in the brain. To sit with the discomfort of the new feelings, the new way of being treated.
I can’t do what I did before. So I endure the discomfort now, sometimes it feels like actual pain when I get too much adoration. It really does! When I evaluate my social media (which I’ve done in order to develop an equation for optimal engagement - it’s all math. Everything is math.
Patience. I must remain patient. I’m so close to getting to say everything I’ve been waiting so long to say. It’s like when you have to pee so bad, and you’re handling it. But as soon as you see the bathroom, it feels like you’re about to wet your pants.
That’s how I feel right now. Like I’m about to urinate all over the Internet. Hey, maybe I’m finally becoming a funny writer! Gee, that only took several DECADES. The sarcasm I got down PAT. Funny is the struggle.
Back to my social media - I’ve noticed that whenever I get too much attention, too many likes, I freak out and disappear or I post something I know will irritate people.
Sometimes I post something I know will make people uncomfortable and I’m not in the mood for it - but feel like it’s GOT to be said. Often my mental health can’t handle it - which is why I’ve been holding back on political posts for awhile.
Other times I’m not feeling comfortable from all the “likes,” and I LIKE posting something I know won’t be so popular. There is so much to holler about! In these cases, I make the decision to use my “popularity” to highlight an injustice. Many non-activists probably don’t realize how much I’ve sacrificed my own personal growth on social media (and delayed help with my medical case) in the name of justice. Or they are unaware that I’ve pissed off a lot of activists in Seattle calling out racism and other bullshit (Seattle has some serious issues, but man, people do NOT want to face them let alone discuss them).
Bottom line: I’m more comfortable with the irritation than I am with the adoration. How fucked up.
But it’s not uncommon. There’s that line in Pretty Woman where they’re lying in bed and she says “it’s easier to believe the bad stuff about yourself.”
That’s so much of the mental health process. Recording new thought processes over the old ones. It’s not easy - especially at mid-life. But it’s necessary.
It’s ok to receive. It’s ok to receive. It’s a sign of strength to receive. I deserve to be treated well. I deserve to be treated well. I deserve to be treated well.
These are my new thoughts.
I do all right, but then something hits me wrong. This is why I’m asking people to be so careful with my mental health these days. I try to keep my mind strong, but it doesn’t take much to send me into an anxiety spiral.
All I have to do is start worrying about my dad….
I can’t believe my dad is so sick with Stage 4 lung cancer that should have been GONE. I can’t wrap my head around it. I said to my mom yesterday: is dad dying, like legit dying right now?
And she said: I don’t know Julie. Possibly.
He did everything “right.” Paid his dues, started a business, bought a house, raised a family.
Doesn’t matter in this country anymore. You can do everything right, even as a white cis straight man like him. And STILL get fucked over.
Grrrrrrr…I told myself I would stop ranting on here! No such luck! Gotta get it out somehow.
I think it’s understandable given the news in my family and the news news.
What really agitates me about that FB thread yesterday was the arrogance. The complete and utter belief that people who have never lived as a truly marginalized person totally “get” what needs to be done.
The arrogance is getting to me. At first, I just cringed and felt embarrassed for them. But now? It’s really irritating me.
I can’t believe a guy I’ve known my whole life was writing such ridiculous shit. I hate how bad things are getting in this country, but there is some vindication now that guys like him keep trying to treat people like me as if I’m a weirdo, a “hysterical” woman who is exaggerating how bad things are.
Yeah um, I am not the one who looks like a weirdo anymore.
(Well i do. But not for this reason. I’m embracing my inner Weirdo! We all should! It feels GREAT! Fuck trying to be like everyone else.)
Well. That should play out in an interesting way. I hope they don’t do that! For their sake! And ours! And the human race!
All I can focus on is my own little orbit right now.
I’ve got a new chapter to plan. I’m going to assume that my health won’t get worse.
I’ve waited so long to become this version of myself.
I never cared about the house, the money, the husband, the status.
All I’ve ever wanted to do is CREATE. Content to educate! Content to help people be healthier! Content that wakes the world up! I never imagine that technology would allow me to film on my PHONE.
Now. I can interview the homeless, sex workers, people who have been trafficked, been unfairly incarcerated.
That’s all I ever wanted. I had to go through hell to arrive in this place. So much hell.
But I’m not afraid of being this version of me anymore. I feel excited about it. When I think of creating cool educational videos. Wow. It’s better than anything in the world, this feeling like I could create ANYTHING.
It hasn’t been easy losing so much of my former life. Or go through so much pain.
But there’s no way in hell I would have become brave enough to do this without the pain. Sucks to realize that. It’s just truth.
Maybe the videos will work. Maybe they won’t. Like I said, I’ll just keep creating content and throwing noodles against the wall until something sticks.
If nothing else, I have something to do when I’m trapped indoors all summer. I can finally master basic video editing.
I’ve spent MAYBE 15 hours outside of bed in the last few days. It blows.
But I’ve got my microphone! And computer! And phone!
I have to create. And be around people!
It’s my life’s BLOOD. Meeting interesting people and creating cool content, classes, programs. If staying alive means not having any of that, I don’t want to live.
I mean that.
It’s hard for people to hear. But it’s true. I MUST be with the People or I’ll go mad. That’s what Megan heard in my voice that night she offered to get the painters. I was breaking down, trapped yet again in that fucking basement room, walking on the treadmill and literally losing my mind.
I’d rather live only 2 more years and create the entire time and be with awesome people than live another 10 years without creating and people.
Sometimes I think of people like my ex. The people who climb the mountains. Or jump off of them (base jumpers - I’ve met a few - very interesting people). The ones who take so many physical risks.
It’s hard not to feel judgmental even though I really work on not being judgmental anymore. That him and others had so much to give the world. But chose a path that put their lives at risk.
I’m sure it can look that way when viewing my life.
But I’m not trying to feel alive. Or chasing demons. Or trying to find something I can’t find in myself. Or addicted to the adrenaline. And maybe that’s not the case for some of the extreme athletes.
My motivation is very different. It’s different when you’ve been chronically ill for so many years. I don’t have the same perspective as able-bodied. I lost some of my perspective, I admit, during my healthy years.
But it’s BACK.
Now my goal is simple: I want to leave behind a legacy of helping people. I want to make the world a better place. I want to be someone the kids can be proud of.
I’ve always been the sick, small girl. I did get a few healthy years and I’m very grateful for that.
But at my core, I’m still that little runt that wants to be a heroine.
Maybe I’m not so different than those athletes after all. Maybe that’s all any of us are looking for.
The hero’s journey.
It’s a universal storyline for a reason.
The privileged. Are going to have to choose a side soon. I mean really choose, not rant about shit and then do zero activist work. I mean choose an issue and get involved.
Disabled people make up 50 million in this country. Teens are over 40 million. There are 80 million millennials. Then there’s a lot of overlap with communities of color, queer peeps…
It adds up to a LOT of people.
It’s just math.
It always is.
If you or someone you know is chronically ill and struggling to get enough nutrients, Kate Farms is an excellent product. I’ll be sharing more of these products for people struggling to eat. Stay tuned!