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Hey, honey bees.

We have officially made it through the hellscape that was October and November – I’ve spent the first part of December recovering, passing out at odd hours with my tongue glued to the roof of my mouth. I wake up just as strangely, arms thrust upward, and I am consistently confused by my surroundings.

But now we’re here, you and me and a screen. That’s a lovely place to begin again.

A man once told me that I have a startling predisposition to share what’s bothering me, loudly, and I can’t argue with that. I can’t process pain unless I open the wounds, scoop out the infected tissue, and sew myself shut. That’s just biology. If I let it sit inside me, silent and raging, then I end up in the hospital. It’s the equivalent of emotional sepsis.

That doesn’t mean I’m good at processing emotions, nor does it entitle me to everyone’s time or attention or love or affection. It simply means that this blog is my surgery room. You are welcome to sit in the operating theater or leave the hospital. I can’t tell you which is best for you. I can only lay here, heart open, and make sense of my own mess. What you do with my findings has always been up to you.

When I sit down each week to write, I find myself circling two feelings: the feeling of trauma, which is heavy and dark, and the feeling of intense gratitude, which is heavy but bright. My life trickles out in these two extremes, or shades similar, until everything looks black and white. It is my sincere hope to be seen as more complex than that dichotomy, that slippery slope more divisive than healing. Most things are not solely Traumatic just as most stories of Gratitude have a bite of something more.

Writing my adventures lets me find gratitude in the aftermath of trauma, grief in the bodies of friends, and wholeness by way of misplaced hope. I write about my body, my illnesses, my friends, my successes, and my failures because I want to be seen and understood. I can’t do that without risk. I’ve had people hurl my words back at me, as if something carved from my own skin could be rendered into poison – but that is the price of discovery. I can’t understand or be understood if I am not willing to risk that pain, as unfortunate and jarring though it often is.

In short, I remember every single person who tells me they read this space. I also remember every single person who has abused my vulnerability for their own gain. And the former makes the latter seem so insignificant, so banal, that I can never believe their malice hurt me in the first place.

So, my friends, are we okay? Do let me know.

 

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