17 June 2013


In many ways, the past six years have been very difficult. First I almost died from lithium poisoning. Then I developed horrible migraines and high blood pressure, coupled with unexplainable weight loss, only to find out - nearly a year later - that these and other symptoms were caused by hyperparathyroidism...

I remember that day. It was hot, and I was struggling to get through work. My doctor told me she suspected hyperparathyroidism, based upon my symptoms and  PTH levels. My first thought was, "What they hell is that?"

I had become thin, so thin, thinner than I had been since I was a teenager. At the time, I didn't like being that thin. I thought, "I hope David doesn't expect me to diet in order to maintain this ridiculously low weight."

Why didn't I just hold onto that thought? What would the past six years have been like, if only?

I'm tired. Depressed. Aggravated. And did I mention tired?

I've been thinking what a soul-sucking activity it is to look for a job. That the past four years have been soul-sucking. I almost died of ______. Fill in the blank. Lithium poisoning. Hyperparathyroidism.

Anorexia nervosa.

I mean, come on! Who in the hell develops anorexia in her forties? I do.

I could dissect the past six years into tiny little pieces, and still not get it.

But for all my depression and struggles, for all my fears and anxieties, I still have it pretty good.

This was on my Facebook newsfeed this morning: A Syrian Refugee Wedding. An article about a 15-year-old girl in a Syrian refugee camp getting married. To avoid prostitution and rape. To make her life better.

Marriage at 15? Really? Is this the world we live in?

And she was considered old; the story states that many of the refugee girls are married off at the age of ten or younger.

I confess that my perspective has been somewhat narrow, and selfish. I want to work. Being unemployed sucks, especially for a Type-A personality such as myself. (The joke used to be that I didn't know how to vacation, or relax. I'm working on it.)

But I'm 47, and I'm free. I'm able to make my own choices, albeit some of them have been stupid. But they are mine.

My family did not have to marry me off at 15 or 10 or 8  in order to protect me from rape and a possible life of prostitution. I did not have to leave school at the age of 9. I am able to read and learn, and just be.

This is my vow: I dig myself out of this hole I'm in, and then do whatever is in my power to help others. It could be as simple as creating awareness, or as profound as writing pieces that shine the light on the atrocities of the world.

If I lose my ability to care, I've lost everything.

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