chronic pain/fibromyalgia · disabilities · speaking · writing

Cold Turkey

I know I keep saying I’m going on hiatus, I’m taking a break but something happens and I get sucked back in. I can’t seem to help myself. Literally, can’t seem to HELP myself. When I went on disability in 2006, I told myself I was going to work on my health. Instead, I became a cook-aholic. My body was a mess from doing a whole bunch of stuff (cooking up a storm, doing loads of laundry a day, etc) that to “other people” is a piece of cake but to me remains as difficult as climbing a mountain…in stilettos. Right. But I just kept comparing myself to “other people” and pushing myself until I could no longer push because I was immobilized by crescendos of pain.

When I got into this freelance writing thing, back into this blogging thing, and such, I thought it would help give me a purpose. And for a long time, it did. But again, before long, the purpose made my body a mess more often than it helped. I let things get out of hand. I’ve always put work first before anything else. Bad behavior when you’re healthy but worse, when you’re not.
Plus, when I told people I was freelance writing, blogging and such, no one took me anymore seriously than they had when I’d said I was on disability or a “household manager.” You know, because comparing yourself to “other people” sucks but also, sometimes, other people suck. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, people are more comfortable acknowledging and accepting that you’re lazy than that you’re a person coping with a challenging, debilitating chronic pain problem. The former makes them less uncomfortable. And this, of course, is where I note that I am NOT asking for your advice on how to cope with fibromyalgia because if I don’t, you’ll email me (or someone you know will) a whole bunch of things I should try that will make me “better” or “cure” it. In fact, I’ll go even further right now and add that even if you DO have fibromyaglia or you are a good friend, I have no interest in discussing the subject of my health with you.
I wish that I could just “cut back” and in a lot of ways, I have. Slowly but surely, I’ve tried to prioritize my family and my health but like I said, I keep getting sucked back in. A friend told me he recently got off Facebook for a bit and he did the most unbelievable writing when he did and then alas, he got sucked back in again. And don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Twitter, Facebook or blogging are the root of all evil. Twitter, Facebook and blogging have connected me to people, ideas and information in a way I’d never imagined and sure, in ways that were quite maddening. “Talking” about serious topics via these mediums can be incredibly frustrating. The people who come to learn, learn something, the people who come to criticize, pester and annoy, just uncover that they have a new medium to do it.
So, I am going cold turkey. I will still be available via email (my email is at the bottom of the blog) though I have to admit I am over a month behind on them. I’ll even still be around for carefully selected speaking engagements. But as of today, I will be closing down my fan page, my Twitter account and turning comments off the blog. Thanks for being great fans. Thanks for supporting me. Hopefully I’ll come back…except if I don’t. Now, I have to go. My hands are numb. I think that’s a sign.
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