Jan 23, 2017

This is a first for me. I’ve been writing poetry lately, but I have only once ever publicly shared a poem, and that was many years ago. But I wrote one today and decided to share. It’s not great, but it’ll do the trick.

**********

I speak up a lot

I know it’s wrong

I know I cause my own trouble

I torment myself with honesty

When I open up

I am too exposed

 
It’s painful

Being open

Nerve endings are exposed to the air

My stitches keep falling out

Because I keep scratching

Wounding myself

 
I’m bleeding everywhere on purpose

No one wants to clean it up

Everyone wants to applaud

Or look away

Confessional writer?

More like self-mutilating performance artist

 
But when I stay closed

I am enveloped in darkness

I am deafened by illness

When I am silent

It is loud

 
When I stay closed

I don’t metaphorically bleed

I just bleed

Or think of bleeding

Unbidden

 
When I stay closed

Toxins fester inside

Eating away my health

Until I cannot tell the difference

Between me and wrong

I want to rot

I want to bleed

But I don’t

I talk instead

Too much

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Value


Rarely do I feel oppressed. But as a woman, it happens sometimes. Our culture is set up for it to happen. It’s why we need the feminist movement. We have to fight for equality. But sometimes I think about the ways I’ve given in and oppressed myself as a woman. As a stay at home parent I feel undervalued, but staying home was my choice. I do it with my partner’s approval, but it was my desire not his. I wanted to have a lovely home and well behaved children. I wanted a garden and a house of my own. I wanted to be Donna Reed.

What the hell was I thinking? I’m terrible at housework, and I’m just passable as a mother. I’m negligent, selfish, solipsistic. Somedays I feel like I deserve more, but that’s not true. School may have debunked the protestant work ethic as an ideology, but it is still pretty necessary for survival. I feel so foolish. I feel so incapable.

I went to college to get my degree in English. I wanted to be a professor. I had a great gpa. I got into grad school and did well for a year. Then everything fell apart. I began having severe anxiety. I became paranoid. I was afraid to teach or go to class. I was afraid alone or with people. I basically dropped out after my second year. I stayed enrolled so that I could keep my much needed health insurance, but I could not do the work. At first, I took the time to meet with each of my professors to explain my condition. They were sympathetic. But then it all seemed so meaningless. I couldn’t even read a book. What was the point of trying to salvage my education or my future? I left school without a degree and without taking a medical leave. One year later I was well enough to recognize my mistake. I submitted an application for readmittance along with a letter from my psychiatrist saying I wasn’t so crazy anymore. I was graciously given another chance.

My first semester back in school, I witnessed a classmate have a breakdown/outburst related to mental strain. It was disturbing. All of the work I had done to fight back my anxiety seemed to fly out the window. I stayed cool and calm in the moment. But I did not return to campus for the rest of the week. I instantly became afraid again. I was triggered and lost control. I became depressed again and once again dropped out. This second drop out basically ended my education. I have a year’s worth of failing grades on my transcript and no medical documentation of my condition at the time.

I chose to be a stay at home parent because I could not handle anything after my 4th depressive episode. I was able to care for my daughter but no job or school. I’ve mentioned that I talked to an admissions counselor at a local school about a grad program, but I was going to need proof of my mental condition at the time of my failing grades. I guess cutting scars aren’t specific enough; they’re not dated or signed by a medical professional. Sorry, that’s a little bitter. Some days I think I could work; some days I know I couldn’t. What a burden I am!

Some days I feel stuck. I want to do or be more but I can’t. My mental illness makes me unbalanced and unreliable. My daughter’s condition makes me unavailable for standard hours. What the hell? I chose this but did I have any other choice? I can write, but that doesn’t feed my family or pay my bills. It doesn’t wash my dishes or clean my clothes. But it’s all I want to do. Just this.

This started out about patriarchy. It’s so deeply ingrained in our culture that we do it to ourselves sometimes. But that isn’t really what this is about. It’s about not feeling valuable. I don’t feel like my contributions are enough. I know that many of you will tell me I’m wrong, but systemically, what backs you up? Systemically I am getting exactly what I deserve. I don’t believe that you can always start over. Some burned bridges can’t be rebuilt.

This weekend is the Women’s Strike. I will be participating 75% of the time. Except I have nothing to strike from. I won’t do housework, but that’s typical. I can’t stop my work as a pancreas without a replacement. I’ll probably still write because it makes me feel good. I signed up but I just feel less than. I don’t know where I fit in.

Bleh. Don’t listen to me, ladies. Your value is not determined by men or by me. It doesn’t matter if you work or not. You deserve respect. You deserve it from men and you deserve it from yourself. On paper I’m just a lousy worker in every area. But I’m not worthless. I’m a person not a commodity. You’re valuable because you exist. Don’t let anyone tell you different.

Contemplation and Cigarettes


I’ve kind of fallen off the nonsmoking wagon. Not completely, but I’m not smoke free. I had some tough days last week, and I smoked to ease my stress. Then I started to feel better and smoked because I was happy. I wanted to indulge my happiness after feeling so bad for several days. Now I’ve felt good for a few days and I’m smoking habitually–about 50% of what I was smoking before I quit. This is a pretty big move in the wrong direction. But I keep thinking of something someone said to me: let 2017 be the year you quit. I like the idea that I have a year to do this. We’re only 3 weeks in and already I’m 50% down. This makes me feel better.

I feel better also hearing from former smokers. Smoking at 35 in 2017 is a lonely practice if it’s not a party. There’s not a ton of us still smoking. It’s because we know better. I hope and pray my daughter never smokes. It makes me happy to see less people smoke. But I do miss when lots of people smoked in our 20s. Chain-smoking through the night with beer. Laying in the grass looking at stars; staying up to see the sunrise. You can do all of this without smoking, but we didn’t growing up, so it seems inextricably linked.

I talked about Gold yesterday; one of my very favorite lyrics from that album is “Well, everybody wants to go forever/ I just want to burn up hard and bright.” This was kind of a mantra for me in the early 2000s. It’s generally why I started smoking. I wanted to enjoy life fully. Smoking seemed like a way to enjoy things more. It is enjoyable. But obviously it hinders life rather than making it full. But I’m not used to thinking about longevity.

I think I’m quitting for my daughter. I think I’m quitting for my friends. When I’ve quit hopefully the results will prove to me that I’ve done it for myself. When I feel free. Now I feel more trapped. I really don’t like being told what to do (just ask my husband), so quitting for others irks me a bit. I know it’s for me, I just care about them more. It’s silly. I feel like my daughter only needs me for 10 more years or so, so why not keep smoking? But I am 35 and still need my mom sometimes, so I know that this idea is silly. I feel like she’s the reason I keep going and thar she only needs me for a finite amount of time. Why? I’m not sure. A depression lie, probably. 

I have days where I wonder why God has only allowed me to have one child. Then somedays I anguish over why God gave me one at all given my failings as a person, not to mention as a mother. She motivates me to be better, but she also makes me question my purpose. Is she my purpose? Since her t1d diagnosis, it feels like my purpose it simply to be a pancreas. It feels empty. I feel guilty about that. Saving my daughter’s life ought to be fulfilling, right? It just makes me want to smoke. Robot-mom gives an insulin shot and Laura Grace has a cigarette after. I don’t want to go forever like this. I want to just go out hard and bright.

But I don’t. I don’t burn that hard. I don’t know how bright I burn. I’m certainly not a firecracker. As my parents age, and age very well, I think more about living longer. They tell me every decade is better than the last. That makes me feel hopeful. They do all kinds of cool stuff now that my sister and I are grown. I still don’t know if I like my 30s better than my 20s. I like myself better because I know better how to love myself, but do I like life better? 

I feel like I need some excitement. Something to motivate me to love life more. Until then I keep thinking about smoking because who cares? 

But I’m quitting for my daughter and my friends. They seem to want me to go forever rather than hard and bright. So I keep letting go of the things that make me feel falsely happy in search of true happiness. This is far more work. But it feels good when I find it. I’m trying to get back on the wagon. This is the year. It’s just a lot to untwist in my head. 

19 and Gold


I’ve been thinking a lot about age lately. After denying it for many years I feel like I’m ready to embrace that I may never feel more grown up than I do now at 35. And I really feel about 19. I kept thinking that if I reached certain benchmarks then I would feel older. Like graduating college, working, getting married, having a kid, etc. But I don’t feel older. Physically I feel different, but mentally I still feel like I’m in college basically. It’s just harder.

I’m reading this memoir and this line popped out to me: “My life had to mean something more than that, didn’t it?” I read it and laughed. It was the author’s teenage self saying this. And yet, I regularly think this thought at 35. I’m so worried about my life feeling meaningless. I still feel like there should be more; that there is more around the corner. I know I’ll get there eventually, but I want it now.

I denied what I heard from so many older, wiser people because I was desperate to be more than my 19 year old self. Once I got through my first depressive episode, I needed to be different. I needed to be separate. I did things like throw away relationships along with old letters and pictures. I saw 19 year old me as pathetic. I was searching for myself, and at a certain point I felt like I should have discovered myself already. I was afraid that feeling 19 meant that I was being immature by choice.

Lately I’ve been listening to some new-to-me music–obsessively devouring The Cure–in a way that I haven’t in years. My 19 year old self loves it. I’ve felt a little silly though enjoying it so much without stopping to critically analyze it the way my 25 year old self would. I just like it. It makes me feel good. It doesn’t make me think about politics or philosophy. It doesn’t make me want to take a class on it; I just want to listen and dance a bit.

But last night, I took a break from The Cure to listen to the Ryan Adams album Gold from 2001. In the summer of 2001 at 19 I went to see my then favorite band–Counting Crows–in concert at Sam Houston State University. It was a great show. I wore this off shoulder black sweater and a denim mini skirt. I was only a few months out from my suicide attempt. After the show I got to meet the band with other fans. It was a dream come true for me. I asked the lead singer what music he was into, and he told me about Gold. He sang some backing vocals on it.

That was it. I had to have the album. Coincidentally, my boyfriend wanted that album anyway, so I bought it not long after it came out. It was a gift for my boyfriend, but I opened and listened to it before I gave it to him. I remember that moment. I was pretty excited to hear it. It’s a good album but it gave me some great memories. Most of the songs either remind me of singing harmonies on my own or being with my boyfriend traveling in the US and UK. Together we listened to the shit out of this album. Ah, to be young and in love!

This album is from that age where I feel stuck. The way I was excited for this album is the way I still get excited for new music. The way I loved life and people then is how I love now. What I loved then I still love now; I’ve just spent 16 years trying to move on. Around age 25, I began to feel embarrassed for not being different from my 19 year old self. I was different–more educated more experienced, but the same books and music still felt just as moving. And new stuff I loved felt just like opening Gold at 19. But I tried to grow up anyway. I thought throwing away my “toys” was the way to do it. Listen to less Counting Crows and more Tom Waits. Less Ryan Adams more Radiohead. Less of what I loved and more of what I ought to love. It felt grown up to move on. But I didn’t really move on. I just compartmentalized.

So what has changed? I don’t know. I read this really poignant facebook post on age; maybe that’s it. It got me thinking about how it’s okay to still feel 19, and still like things I did then. But more importantly, I think that it’s okay to continue discovering myself and what I like. And that was what I really wanted when I was 19. To discover myself. And I still want that. Because even though I keep changing, I still want to know and love the person I am. And that takes effort, work, experience. It’s okay that my heart feels 19, my brain feels 25, and my body feels 35. It’s refreshing to think about actually. It’s a relief that I don’t have to fight myself. I can just embrace it. It means that new music can always remind me of Gold, and I like that. It means that I am allowed to reread my old, marked up books–the ones I’ve read to death–and enjoy them. It means that I can accept that I’m not that cool. I try hard sometimes, but I was too emotional at 19 to be cool. I was so raw I could only love what I actually loved. Now I can enjoy it without the heartache.

I’m not sure that this feeling-younger-than-you-are is universal for all adults. My husband says he feels 36. What I think, though, is that age is just a number. You are who you are. Some things change, others don’t. However you feel–whether your stuck at a previous age or not–love yourself for who you are. Accept yourself. Don’t waste time trying to be more grown up or cooler. When you find something you love, enjoy it. When you find something that makes you happy, hang on. You are good just the way you are, whatever age you are, and whatever age you feel.

Before I Put My Head Back in the Sand

I’ve been pretty politically quiet lately. I wrote a lot about politics in the aftermath of the election, but it felt like my political message was louder than my personal reflections. My sorrow at Hillary Clinton losing overshadowed my struggle to accept the election results. My depression drowned out my activism.

One of my non-depressed secrets is that I voted for GWB in 2000 and 2004. In 2000 I didn’t give a lick about politics. My mother took me to the courthouse in Tyler and I excitedly voted for who my parents had recommended after I asked for their help. I cared far more about boys and friends than about laws or elections. I was a pretty, young, middle-class, white Texan. Why should I have cared about laws? They all protect people like me anyway. I remember watching the results, too. I was in my dorm room. Two or three of my friends on my hall left in the evening on a whim to drive to Austin for the victory speech. Obviously things were a bit more complicated. I didn’t care. I was homesick and heartbroken. 

2004 was different. I still didn’t care that much. My demographic info was basically the same. I had this boyfriend though who was both liberal and in the know. He told me about all the problems with the GWB administration. He hated them. He didn’t understand how the people around us didn’t see it. 

All I could see and hear from him was that everything I thought I knew was wrong. My parents told me that GWB was trying to keep us safe. I didn’t believe that it was more complicated. I believed the fear. And to have the person I loved the most telling me I was believing lies was too much. We fought about it. We yelled. I cried because I felt so lied to by everyone. I didn’t know what to believe. I voted for GWB in 2004 simply because I was angry at my boyfriend for trying to tell me the truth.

But everything my boyfriend told me sunk in. I listened even though it was hard to hear. What it did was prove to me that I couldn’t trust other people to tell me how to act politically. I had to figure it out myself. Life wasn’t just about my heart and soul. I wasn’t just about finding happiness. It was also about pulling your head out of the sand and seeing that we’re in this together. I discovered that I had been hiding. I had been clinging to my shelter. I had been relying on my demographic information to get the kind of treatment we all deserve.

Grad school changed me. All of my grad school friends were more political than me and they were all liberal. The first thing I noticed was that I liked liberal people a lot. Way more than conservative people. Liberals have more fun, in my opinion, but that’s probably just because I am one. It was my break from Christianity that cemented my break with conservatism. When I thought about hell as something other than a real place; when I thought about what hell means in a larger context–how we use it in our culture and ideology–I realized how much of my life was lived in fear. I was afraid of hell, I was afraid of death, I was afraid of loneliness, I was afraid of evil. I was relying on Christianity to save me from all of those. But honestly, all I was really doing was using Christianity to fit my needs–the need to stay in the dark about how the world works.

That’s when I read Nietzsche. Things changed after that. I remember lying on my couch one evening in my apartment alone. I was reading Twilight of the Idols for a class. It was a dark epiphany, but it was good. I needed to pull away from everything I thought I knew and look at things for the first time with my own eyes.

All of this is to say that I chose love over fear. It’s why I’m a liberal and not a conservative. I’d rather crash this damn train than kick people off. it’s why I’m thinking of all this today. It’s MLK day. Martin Luther King, Jr is a political hero of mine. I love that he was a Christian, I love that he was an activist, I love that he was a brilliant speaker and writer, I love that he leaned toward socialism the longer he worked as an activist. 

The quote of his I chose for today’s post is: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that” (Strength to Love).

This quote makes me think about myself. I think about how I spent much of my teenage and young adult years with my head in darkness. I didn’t want to know what was going on. I only wanted to trust that God was in control–like divine right or some such nonsense. But sticking my head deeper in the dark was not the answer for our nation or for my personal life. I had to open my eyes and get informed; I had to listen to my boyfriend tell me the truth about WMDs in Iraq (or not, rather). I had to see that politics is a serious game but a game nonetheless. A game of people’s lives and large sums of money. 

My hate for the truth couldn’t fix things either. My hate for my boyfriend telling me the truth or my hate for the GWB administration for playing on our fears only made me depressed and more afraid. Only love and light can drive out darkness and hate. For me, living in light means being informed (but not saturated). I read the news–watching is too much. I form opinions. I talk to friends about it. Knowledge is important. Love is harder. How do I tell you to love each other? For me, loving each other means equal rights–housing and food for all, marriage for all adults, healthcare for all, etc. Before you tell me how stupid I am, let me reiterate: I’d rather crash the train than kick people off. I’d rather go down in flames than burn others alive just to save myself. I don’t care if you think it’s stupid. I’m not a politician. I’m a silly idealist. I’m not running for office. I’m trying to figure out how to stay alive. What I want is for everyone else to have the chance to stay alive too.

I could tearfully tell you how deep my love for my fellow man is but how shallow and afraid I am to help more. I could cry about how human life and money are so regularly considered equally important in politics. I could tell you that every vote that prioritized money over human life tells me that I ought to die because I am financially flawed. I just want to live, but living is putting us in stupid debt. I just want to take care of my daughter’s needs, but I know I cost more than a nurse would. 

I could tell you that Donald Trump makes me want to commit suicide. That it breaks my heart that people who say they love me could vote for him. It doesn’t make me question you; I know you believe just like I do that you’re doing the right thing. What it makes me question is love. Does it even exist or is it just a trick, a lie? You tell me that despite my inability to earn money, despite how much it costs just to keep me from killing myself, I am worth it. But I don’t believe it. If I am worth it then we are all worth it. If we aren’t all worth it then I am not worth it

I take things too personally. It’s my solipsistic world view. I hate myself for it. I feel dark. Love and light feels far away. 

I want to put my head back in the sand. I probably will. This isn’t my bag. Politics is for smarter people than me. So I’m going back into the dark for now. 

***********

When I feel like the train can just crash, when I feel that the communal desire for my survival is a lie, is when I need the words of MLK more than ever. Love and light. We may be doomed. We may be able to be saved. But everyday I can search out love and light. Everyday I can shed light and spread love. Everyday when we put love and light out into the ether we are fighting darkness and hate. And if I ever doubt the impact of love and light on a dark and hateful world, I just remember that MLK did make quite a difference despite harrowing opposition. Keep fighting the darkness; I still believe that there is light on the other side.

“A Thousand Hours”


I’ve been listening to The Cure a lot lately; you all know that I listen to a lot of music, especially when I write and I’ve been doing a lot of writing lately. Someone has recently given me a proper introduction to them. I wrote a post a few months ago about Kierkegaard and how I wished that I had been introduced to him earlier in my life. How I felt like I could have avoided some kind of heartache if I had read Kierkegaard. I kind of get this vibe from The Cure, too, though not as strongly. I did have Counting Crows like I mentioned the other day.

Obviously, Robert Smith’s lyrics are sometimes pretty depressing. As I’ve incessantly devoured their catalogue recently, I’ve found many songs that resonate with how depressed I’ve been feeling; just like Adam Duritz’s lyrics resonated me with at 18. I’m finding Robert Smith’s lyrics deeper, more poignant, and more gravitational at this point in my life though. There is this one song that I haven’t been able to shake lately. I’ve listened to the album it’s on like 5 times in the last 36 hours. And every time this song comes on I stop. Stop dead. It’s one of those songs where you’re like, “This is me. This song is just me.” It’s called “A Thousand Hours,” and it is seriously my life with chronic, severe, depression. I wanted to share it because I thought that any of you who are depressed might find it–like I did–a comforting yet raw reminder that we’re not alone in our feelings.

A Thousand Hours

“For how much longer can I howl into this wind?

For how much longer can I cry like this?

A thousand wasted hours a day

Just to feel my heart for a second

A thousand hours just thrown away

Just to feel my heart for a second

For how much longer can I howl into this wind?”

So, honestly, I don’t know what the “real” meaning of this song is. I am probably interpreting it wrong. Whatever.

But, dammit, constantly fighting depression, constant existential anxiety, constant mental pain feels like howling into strong, silencing wind. It feels like being so isolated that no one can hear you and even Mother Nature wants you to shut up, but you have to scream anyway because you’ll die if you don’t. You can’t fight without screaming. But how long can I keep going? How long can I do this? How long until I run out of breath? How long until I run out of energy? And all I do is try to find beauty or happiness for an instant. All I want is for something to break through the surface and to actually feel something other than sadness or guilt. I pine to feel my heart. I crave to feel an involuntary smile cross my lips. And without those moments, I am lost. I feel like I’m wasting my life–wasting other people’s time–to find those moments. But I don’t know how to live without them. And I spend my whole life searching, grasping, clinging, longing, and remembering those moments.

I guess the reason I wish I had discovered The Cure earlier in my life though–something that almost did happen–is that there’s also a lot of really happy stuff, too. There’s angry stuff, there’s dancey stuff, there’s romantic stuff all along with the depressing stuff. And it’s often not just about being happy, it’s about getting happy or being happy with someone. It’s active happiness rather than a passive state. Just like howling into the wind is fighting so is actively seeking out happiness. When you look to find and feel happiness even for just a second, you are fighting. All the time I put into making sure my head stays above water makes me feel selfish, but I can’t deny that it is at the same time courageous given how depression makes me want to drown. When I do something or receive something that makes a smile cross my face without effort, I feel capable to keep going. And I fight to find that feeling over and over. A thousand hours just to feel my heart for a second. They aren’t wasted. They aren’t thrown away. You matter. Your happiness matters no matter how elusive. Keep fighting, keep screaming, keep howling into the wind. Don’t worry about how much longer you can go. Just keep going.

Bittersweet

A diaversary is the anniversary of a person’s diagnosis with type 1 diabetes. Today is my daughter’s first diaversary.

At 6am my husband’s alarm went off. I felt sad. But not like a go-back-to-sleep-sad; I couldn’t go back to sleep. I laid awake until 6:30. Then I got up. And I cried a little.

I mentioned recently that I feel numb; I feel like parenting is a job rather than a joy because of diabetes. I feel so robotic about it because I’m trying to do the tasks without thinking about their significance. For the first half of this past year I was a train wreck. I was losing control of everything just to keep control over diabetes. I’m still a train wreck; on paper my life is a mess I think. But at some point you just have to stop thinking about it all. At some point you just have to move forward. At some point I stopped thinking about the fact that without the shots Ada would be in danger. I started just doing them like a job. And I’m getting paid by Ada’s life. When I’m not giving shots or checking glucose I am doing one of three things: housework, nothing, or worrying about Ada’s health. I say nothing, but nothing includes my writing. That’s a nice indication of how I’m feeling about myself lately. I consider the work I do that brings me the most pleasure as nothing. I don’t give myself credit for the time I spend doing this. I love to write. That’s why I write, but I am always thinking about how I could be doing dishes instead. That dishes is more important work. This is weird. I am realizing that I really do treat myself like housework is more valuable than my writing.

Since I began writing publicly on a regular basis, I have laughingly called myself a writer. I want to be a writer. I wish I was a writer. I guess I’m a writer. I write. Not for a living, but for living. I’m also a parent and a spouse. And a homemaker. And a pancreas. And I still feel the sting of being told in the past that I don’t have a “real job.”

The really weird thing is that I do things that I love, I just don’t feel better because I do them. Maybe I do. I just don’t feel best as a result of them. I sillily thought love would bring happiness. I am surrounded by love. Why doesn’t it make me happy? I think I would feel much worse if I had a “real job.” Can you see me in an office? I did that for a year once. I actually did ok although I pushed the dress code limits and was late a lot. I did it though. It felt rewarding to get paid to do a job. I was bored though. So I went back to college. I majored in English, which is laughably so me. I thought I wanted to be a professor. I just want to be a bohemian; someone who lives and breathes art. I wanted to look at art, read art, talk about art, listen to other people talk about art, create art, criticize art, theorize art, analyze art. I wanted to be free from everyday responsibilities like and 9-5, an eating schedule, a sleeping schedule, deadlines, bills. I just want live and do what I feel like doing. I just wanted to do what made me happy. I still do. Everyone should be able to do what makes them happy. I truly feel that way. I just bully people into letting me do what I can to try to be happy because I have an illness that makes me want to die otherwise. It really isn’t fair to everyone else who sacrifices so that I can live. It’s why I’m generally a very apologetic person. I feel very sorry about all of the accomodation or attention I require to survive. I feel very selfish.

I really ought to be asking why it is that God would give a severely depressed mother a child with t1d. I feel like the positive thing to do would be to do a spiritual search for what I can learn from this weird match up. At one point I felt that maybe my illness had prepared me to face t1d. The resilience I have developed does probably help, but mostly I’m baffled.

What the hell, God? What’s the plan here? Why do I feel like a sad robot? Why is everything bittersweet? Everything. Give me some clue, some sign that this makes sense.

But you know what? I won’t get a sign. I’m far too closed off right now to be open to seeing whatever sign God might send. I don’t want to see what this means. I dread what I will find if I once again try to find the significance in all of this. I dread finding nothing. Or finding that I’m being punished somehow. I’m afraid of what the real meaning for mine and Ada’s lives are given this weird combination. It has caused her anxiety, and it has caused me to just make a lot of mistakes over the year. Like I’m just a constant fuck up everywhere except here on the blog. No joke. The blog has been going great, but everything else is a mess.

Right now the diaversary shows me how much damage a year can do.

But it also shows me how much I can face and still keep putting one foot in front of the other. I feel numb but I’m still on my feet. That counts for something. And what it really really means is that my daughter has survived a whole year with this blasted disease. It’s a year that we’ve survived without a cure. It’s a year that Ada has stayed happy. It is a full year without medical complications. It’s getting to throw away the unused glucagon because we never had an emergency.

It’s good. We’re celebrating. Eating my daughter’s favorite meal tonight. Maybe even playing that stupid Pie in the Face game. She deserves all the credit. Without her I’d probably give up.

Hold your loved ones close. You don’t need an anniversary of diagnosis to recognize you’ve survived another year. Keep surviving. Keep fighting. Keep working for the happiness you deserve.

Happy diaversary, Ada Rose. You’re the brightest star in my constant darkness.