Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Hi there,

I decided I'm going to be lazy again, and just post the article I wrote for work up here, instead of writing a new post. Saves on coming up with extra inspiration!

When I saw the topic for this month’s Links* (clarity,) I was trying to think about what helps me to think clearly. I struggled to come up with an answer to that question, other than the obvious things – time, space, someone to talk things through with.

What I did keep coming back to me were the things that make me not think clearly, and the fact that when those things are influencing me – I just can’t see it.

My sister and I were talking recently about our teenage years. She was telling me about how when she was a teenager, our parents (and other adults) would say things like “I understand this is a very confusing time for you,” or “I understand you’re feeling very emotional right now.” Both of our reactions to these kinds of statements were pretty similar “I’m not confused! I’m not emotional!”
It’s only looking back that now, my sister and I could say:
“Wow, we were really confused and emotional!”

My point is, when I’m in the middle of a high stress time, it doesn’t matter how clear headed the people around me are: I know I’m just not going being able to see it myself until I come out of it.

At the end of last year, I was very physically sick. Looking back, I can see that my thinking and ability to make decisions was very influenced by how I was feeling. I can also see that if someone had told me that at the time, I wouldn’t have been able to hear it. Now, while I’m well, I know that even if I get sick again, it will be okay. It will be horrible, and uncomfortable and unpleasant while I’m sick, but that eventually the flare will end and I’ll be all right again.
Ask me if I know that in the middle of the flare and my answer will probably be: “I’m not confused! I’m not emotional!” (or words to that effect.)

That’s why I like to write letters to myself. The clear-headed me can remind the non-clear-headed me, that I’ve felt like this before and that it’s not going to last forever. A while ago when I came out of a bad episode of nausea I wrote a list of nausea Dos and Don’ts for myself. (see the list here )This really helped me the next time I felt sick, because I knew that they came from me. Not from someone outside, who just thought they knew how I was feeling.

I probably won’t ever feel the same way I did when I was a teenager again, but I wrote something for 15 year old me anyway – just because I wished I could.

Letter to my 15 year old self

I won’t tell you
that it will get better.
You won’t believe me

and that disbelief
will make you sad.

I won’t tell you
that you’re not as fat
as you imagine.
You will only hear
what you want to
and will believe I’m saying
“You are fat, just not as fat
as you imagine.”
Someday, you will learn
to hear what people
are really saying

I won’t tell you
to try and focus
on the good, to let
the bad stuff go.
That bad stuff
will shape you life
in ways you can’t
understand yet.
Some of it will
lead you down paths
you don’t like
but those paths are
just that.
They are not the destination.

I will tell you
that you’re doing okay.
You probably won’t believe
that either
but I still want
to say it.**

:-) Little Miss Autoimmune

* 'Links' is the name of our work newsletter
** I wrote this poem as part of a thirty day poetry challenge. You can check out the rest of the poems here

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