Letter To A Fifteen Year Old Me

Before I actually share this letter, let me put things into perspective, since let’s face it, few of you knew me as a fifteen year old (some of you only know me from reading this, after all). At fifteen, I had just moved from Nova Scotia to Prince Edward Island. I was, and always had been, visually impaired, but my vision had held steady at 20/80 in one eye. That was enough to read, ride a bicycle, etc, though it did make school harder as I couldn’t quite keep up as fast as everyone else. I was anxious, lacked confidence, and had been bullied quite badly up to that point. And I was just so very, very awkward.

So, here goes.

Dear Me,

Yes, it’s true, I’m almost thirty years older than you right now. Yes, yes, I know. You think I’m old. I’m older than your parents are right now. Trust me, your perspective is going to change by the time you’re me.

And you? You’re so full of uncertainty. You moved to a new province not all that long ago. New people, new school. New everything. You think everything has changed. And it has, but hold on buttercup, because you don’t even know what change is.

You’re on the verge of something. I’m not going to tell you what it is, but let me tell you this. It’s going to be scary, you’re going to think your life is over. But listen. It’s going to be okay. I promise. It really, really will. There’s so many good things after the scary things.

You’re going to learn some things about yourself. First and foremost, you’re going to learn that you’re so much stronger than you think you are. You’re going to learn that when push comes to shove, you can and will stand up for yourself. I’m not talking about those idiotic bullies in junior high that made you so miserable, because they don’t matter. I’m talking about adults. Dumb adults who don’t have your best interests at heart. People in power over you. They’re going to try to mess with your education and you? You, you brave, smart young woman, you’re going to stand up and say “No. This isn’t going to happen.”

Oh, and stop that. That thing you’re doing right now, where you’re reading this and thinking “But I’m not smart”. Yes. You. Are. I know you don’t believe me, I know the educational system has taught you to think that you’re stupid. You compare your grades to your sister’s, and think she’s the smart one. You are wrong. Well, you’re not wrong about her, she’s got smarts for miles and miles. But so do you. Given the right environment and the support you legitimately need, you can and will rock the sciences. You read that right. Sciences, not just English.

A few other things. You are loved. Your family loves you. Other people are going to love you, too. Again, I promise you that this is true. They’re going to find you attractive. You may not always know it at the time, though. I’m afraid that the ability to actually notice that someone is into us is still vastly underdeveloped in your forties. Actually, right now you think that no one finds you attractive and no one ever will, but if my calculations are right you’ve already met at least one person who does. Sadly, you’re going to miss those signs and only realize they were there about, oh, fifteen years later. Sorry about that, kid.

Friends will love you, too. The kind of friends that, once made, are going to be there for the rest of your life. Some may dip out of sight for awhile, but your paths will reconnect in time and it will be glorious.

And about your parents, treasure them. Yes, I know, you’re fifteen years old and you think you know more than they do about so many things, and that they don’t, and never can, understand you. Kiddo, I’m sorry, but you’re wrong on both scores. Turns out, they’re pretty smart. They love you. Tell them you love them. Tell them how much you appreciate them. See them for who they are. Treasure every moment you have with them.

You’re going to discover hidden talents that you haven’t even considered having. You are a gifted person, it’s just going to take you awhile to find out how. When you do, though, you’re going to love those gifts. They’re pretty cool ones.

And you know what, kiddo? You know who else loves you? I do. I love you. I see you. I understand you. I see your foibles and your faults and your potential and I god damned love you. One day, you’re going to love you, too.

Life’s not always going to be easy. No one’s is. Yours will resemble a roller coaster sometimes, but the thing to remember about roller coasters is that there’s a whole lot of ups as well as downs, and also that they’re a thrilling, exciting ride. Try to find the joy in that ride. You’re in for one crazy adventure, darling, and you’ll do things that right now, you can’t even imagine doing.

Oh. One last thing. Your hair? It’s purple now. I thought you’d love that.

Love,
Me

(So. If you could say something to your fifteen year old self, what would it be? That self deserves kindness, just like you do, so be kind to them. And to yourself, and those you encounter.)

Want to follow or interact with me on social media? Find me on Twitter by following @jennifermorash or head over to https://www.facebook.com/jennifermorashblog. I post blogs every Wednesday.

What It’s Like – Lockdown Edition

I haven’t done one of these in awhile, so I thought… why not talk a bit about what lockdown was like for me, as a blind person?

I think in a lot of ways it was probably very similar to the experiences of most people. The same stress, the same uncertainty, the same feeling that I should be doing something worthwhile with all that free time coupled by the lack of drive to do any of it.

But there were some differences. Some worse, some better. And, well, me being me we’ll address the downs first because that way, I can end on a more positive sort of note.

So, first off. Lack of going out at all. Period. Around here, and I think elsewhere, going out for walks was encouraged so long as social distance was maintained and mask-wearing encouraged. You just had to stick to your own household. And… my household is just me. Moreover, it is difficult for me to go anywhere without touching a whole lot more than the average person, so I just stayed inside for way too long, especially once we were told to stop going for drives (I was going for drives with my mother).

Which is actually the second point. We weren’t really supposed to have contact with anyone not living with us, and I just couldn’t do it. Oh, sure, I ordered online and did contactless delivery as much as possible, but I needed contact with one person. I tried to keep it to a minimum, and I tried not to make actual contact with her, but I did see her. And I felt a bit guilty about it every time I did. Or a lot guilty.

Initially, the things I’ve gotten used to using to make life easier as a blind person, such as InstaCart, got wildly more difficult to use. Gone were the days of same-day delivery. Instead, I had to order one to two weeks in advance and expect that many of the things I wanted or needed would be out of stock. And while yes, I know everyone else was in the same boat, for me it was an adjustment as I’d already been using it for awhile since grocery shopping blind is rather challenging.

But. There is a bright side to that one. It made such services more prominant in the public eye which, in turn, drastically increased availability. so it led to more choices, which is a good thing for me.

You know what else was awesome? There was suddenly a plethora of activities that I could actually participate in almost as fully and sometimes completely as fully as the sighted people. For the first time in two decades, I joined a virtual choir. We even recorded some performances* (recorded individually and then editted together). It was fantastic, and I miss it. I was able to join in a D&D group over Zoom with my best friend, an old friend and two wonderful new friends, and that one is still ongoing, we play every Saturday night.

There were also some services rendered free or less expensive, such as a screen reader that I used to use but had stopped, who generously made their license free for a few months for those suddenly working from home and needing the same ease of access they got from work. Audible started putting out more free content. Lots of things like that began to happen, which was great for me. I just wish more of them were ongoing, but I appreciate that I got to have them for awhile.

So. As you can see, Lockdown Life was kind of a mixed bag. Bad bits but also, yes, good bits. Very few things in life are unrelentingly bad, you just sometimes need to go purposefully looking for the good.

As always, please be kind to those you encounter, and be kind to yourself.

Want to follow or interact with me on social media? Find me on Twitter by following @jennifermorash or head over to https://www.facebook.com/jennifermorashblog. I post blogs every Wednesday.

*(Here is the performance in which I am actually in the video, the first one I was only in the audio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0ckk-s0Ur8 – I love the “Happy” segment of that medley)

Chilli

How on earth did it get to be mid-fall already? This is the fastest slow year I’ve ever experienced. Nonetheless, it is, in fact, fall.

And while this isn’t really a recipe blog, I think I’m going to share one of my very favourite recipes with you. It is slightly modified from the one I initially started with, and I love it. Now, I’m calling it “chilli”, as that is what it was called when I encountered it, but if I’m being honest it’s more of a chilli stew.

You’ll find notes on modifications under the recipe, and also some more thoughts below that.

Happy cooking!

Ingredients:

  • 6 green jalapeño peppers (less for a milder heat)
  • 6 cloves garlic or less to taste
  • 2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt (taste later and add a bit more to taste)
  • 2 tablespoon honey. (or sugar)
  • 3 sausages of smokey style or regular
  • 2 pounds of ground beef
  • 3 onions cut up
  • 1 cup or 1 can of beer
  • 2 cans of drained red kidney beans
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup of beef broth- more if needed
  • 1 half cup of coffee

METHOD:

  • Sauté onions and garlic until soft, stirring over medium heat. Remove from
    pan, set Into slow cooker
  • Fry sausages in same pan then remove and put with onions in
    slow cooker
  • Brown beef in same pan, drain fat, and add to slow cooker, deglaze
    the pan with a little beer or beef broth and add to slow cooker
  • Add all spices, all liquids, kidney beans and tomatoes to the slow
    cooker and stir well.
  • If there is not enough liquid, add more beef broth, then slow cook 8-10 hours.

Modifications and notes:

The original recipe called for six slices of bacon, and you certainly can add these, but I found that they do not really add anything to the taste.

The original recipe also called for stew beef rather than ground, and you can certainly revert to that for an even more stew-like result. Just use the same amount.

Less jalepenos make this less spicy, though I find it doesn’t tend to be tongue-searingly hot. If worried, try it with less and see what you think.

Yes, I know, coffee in the chilli sounds strange. You can’t taste coffee when you eat it, but it absolutely does something to the taste. I don’t suggest leaving this out.

Beer doesn’t have to be alcoholic to work. My best results were with dark ale.

I once tried a version of this made by someone I had shared it with who used venison sausage instead of regular and I declare it to be awesome.

Do not try this with a small slow cooker. If that’s all you have, cut the recipe in two. I don’t have a yield for this, but consider it “a lot”.

I believe you could also cook this in the oven for two to three hours, but I haven’t tried it.

Final thoughts:

I love this recipe. Anyone I’ve made it for loves this recipe. For you chilli purists out there… look, just think of it as chilli stew if it makes you feel better.

Be warned, the smell of this thing cooking may drive you mildly insane with its goodness.

If you try it, please let me know, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

As always, be kind. Feeding this to other people is absolutely kind.

Want to follow or interact with me on social media? Find me on Twitter by following @jennifermorash or head over to https://www.facebook.com/jennifermorashblog. I post blogs every Wednesday.

Frozen Moments

Those who know me, and have for awhile, know that my sight hasn’t always been this bad. As a child, I had 20/80 vision, as a teen and young adult, 20/200. And for those who have always wondered what that ratio means, it means that what someone with perfect vision sees at 200 feet, I saw at 20.

Anyway. I have visual memories, I understand visual references, I even dream visual dreams. And there’s some moments that are just frozen in my mind, visually.

Stars

I don’t know how old I was, I would say over eight and under twelve, and for some reason we were all outside at night at our cottage. So. No lights but what we turned on. There may have been a meteor shower that night, as we had binoculars with us. I assume because we didn’t have a telescope. I’d always seen stars, but even then at the height of my vision, only the brightest. At some point, someone handed me the binoculars, I looked up and… there they were, scattered across the night sky. So many points of light. I’d never really comprehended how many there were.

The Most Glorious Sunset

This one happened when I was nineteen. I was leaving for a year in England, and at the time “home” was in Charlottetown, PEI. Now, oh you younger people of the area, there was a time before the bridge. This was that time, though it was being built, and where the bridge now stands there was a ferry. We decided to drive/get the ferry to Halifax and I’d fly from there. It was evening, and I was on the ferry on the deck as the sun went down, and I’ve never seen such a sky. I can see it right now, but how to describe it? So many colours. Pinks, purples, magentas, dark golds, blues. It didn’t look real. But it was, and it was like that sunset was the Maritimes saying goodbye to me.

Cherry Blossoms

Back in 2000, when I was 24 years old, I had the opportunity to go down to Washington, DC for a six month internship at the Library of Congress. It was a fantastic experience that has spawned quite a few treasured memories. During that time, I stayed in a building for women under the age of… I want to say 28, and we were pretty much all interns from all over the world. It was in the heart of Capitol Hill, and had a walled in back area with a porch… and a cherry tree. It was beautiful when it went into bloom, and even more so when the petals began to fall. I remember sitting out there with friends as a breeze caused what looked like a pink snowstorm, the blossoms all dancing and spinning through the air. To this day, I love cherry trees, and it’s due to this.

I could go on, though those three are the ones that stand out the strongest, for one reason or another. Maybe it’s because one was a sudden understanding, one was one of those liminal moments, and one was from what seems now like a sort of golden season of my life, but I can still see each and every one of them if I just close my eyes.

And not to sound like a broken record, but please continue to be kind this week to those you meet and to yourself.

Want to follow or interact with me on social media? Find me on Twitter by following @jennifermorash or head over to https://www.facebook.com/jennifermorashblog. I post blogs every Wednesday.

Like What You Like

There’s an expression that I’ve heard a few times that I really like. “Don’t yuck someone’s yum.” Essentially, it means that just because you don’t like a thing that someone else loves, you shouldn’t mock or deride it.

While I would add the caveat “so long as it isn’t hurting anyone”, I wholeheartedly agree. It’s cool to have no interest in what someone else is into, but how about we all just go ahead and let them like it?

For instance, some people think it’s funny to mock those who like pumpkin spice everything at this time of year. It’s apparently so very basic or something. But I love pumpkin spice everything. Well. Almost, anyway. Maybe it is basic. It’s also delicious.

Then there’s a certain series of vampire books for young adults. I, personally, don’t care for this series. I’m also not the target audience as a woman in my mid-40’s, or one who was in her late 30’s when it came out. I may not agree with those who adore them, but I shouldn’t mock them for their taste in literature, just because their taste and mine don’t match.

Now, more than ever, there is a need to find things we love. We all can benefit from a bit of enjoyment. So perhaps it’s also a good idea not to destroy even the tiniest bit of enjoyment of those around us when they find something they like. Instead of laughing about it, why don’t we instead try enjoying their enjoyment?

Just be kind, as I keep on saying, to those around you. And to ourselves… don’t mock what you like, either. I did that just last week. I shouldn’t, and neither should you.

Want to follow or interact with me on social media? Find me on Twitter by following @jennifermorash or head over to https://www.facebook.com/jennifermorashblog. I post blogs every Wednesday.

Not Your Angel

This post has the potential to offend some people, so let me start with this: I am not calling out any one individual here. I have seen many, many good people say something along the lines of what I’m about to talk about, and I can tell you for a fact that I, too, have been similarly thoughtless in some way. I am only talking about things like this because the best way to push back against ignorance is to shine a light on it.

That out of the way, let me say this: I, as a disabled person, am not your very own, personal angel whose purpose in life is to teach you a lesson about hope, perseverance, kindness or any other virtue. Neither is anyone else with any kind of physical, mental or cognition based disability.

We were not put on this earth to teach the fully abled folks anything. I realize that you mean well when you try to say this sort of thing, but do you know how it sounds to us? It sounds like our only true value is how it makes people without our challenges feel.

It’s already hard enough for us. We already have to face obstacles that most people don’t even consider. Everything is already more difficult for us to do. Do people really need to come along and make us feel like we’re just vessels to further enrich the lives of those who don’t have the same sort of struggles?

The part about this sentiment that gets me the most irate, however, is that for some who post it, it’s virtue signalling. Not everyone, no, I know some of the people who have said this sort of thing and know that that never even crossed their minds, but for some? It is absolutely a case of “look at how kind I am to say these nice things about that special needs child or that veteran in a wheelchair or that deaf person”. Stop using me, and others like me, to make yourself look good.

I have value on my own. We all do. You do, too. No one needs to try to broadcast their own value by making mine be as a tool for their glorification.

Now, again, let me just say that I am not trying to point a finger at any one person, and if this post has made you uncomfortable I am sorry. Sort of. It’s good that it did, but the best course of action is to take that discomfort and use it to change. You don’t need to wallow in guilt, you don’t need to apologize to me, I only ask that you please try to change. Making people feel guilty about past actions is not why I write about these things, I’m not out to shame people for past deeds. I want to educate. So all I ask is that you think about what I’m saying and try to change if it has hit a nerve.

And that you be kind to everyone, yourself included, regardless of their abilities, ethnicity, sexual preference or gender presentation. Just be kind without qualifiers.

Our Inner Space Stations

Did you know that inside each and every one of us are super-cool structures that, in my mind, behave like a futuristic space station? Because there are.

Of course, I’m talking about the humble cell. Wait, what do you mean that wasn’t obvious? Maybe I should explain.

Picture a multi-structured station floating in space. Surrounding it is a protective forcefield. Now, this forcefield isn’t actually solid like a wall is solid, but instead is made up of a constantly shifting, interlocking series of tiny bits whose design will allow authorized ships to pass through it. That’s your plasma membrane, a selectively permeable membrane that resembles a “fluid mosaic” according to my text books. It only lets a few structures through easily.

But, hey, sometimes you need people that aren’t part of the space station to get in. So the station will send out a shuttle to pick up those passengers, so that they can travel through the forcefield in a safe environment and then get taken to their destination. And if it is discovered that they’re actually enemies of the station, there is an automated defense system that will blast them to bits. Those shuttles are called vessicles, and they do precisely what I just described.

There’s also a third way in for some very important people that the station has already vetted. They are known entities, already proven not to be dangerous, and they get a special wormhole that opens inside the station, tunnels out past the forcefield and lets those folks pass right on through before pinching shut again.

Now. Every station needs one central command center. That’s where decisions get made and in my mind, it’s also probably where specialized programmers who keep the whole station’s computer system going would work. That’s the nucleus.

What about a power station that keeps the lights and holodecks going? That’s the mitochondria. Okay, there’s actually no cellular holodeck, but these little darlings are what produce the energy the cell needs.

Your space station would also need some kind of superstructure that gives the thing its shape and holds it all together. In the cell, we call those microfillaments. Some of them are bigger and form tubes, which would be microtubules.

Heck, there’s even a system for altering things from one state to another. It’s the future, so it can do all sorts of neat stuff. You put raw materials in one end and they travel through a series of rooms and come out the other end altered, then sometimes get loaded into a shuttle and shipped out to other parts of the station. That’s your Golgi Complex.

I could go on. This whole metaphor is one I came up with back when studying to become a massage therapist to help myself learn the structure of the human cell. Or relearn it, I suppose, as high school biology class clearly made no lasting impression. I was reminded of it the other week while taking a review course. I thought it might be a bit of a peek into the honestly strange way my brain works. And, hey, if there’s anyone out there studying high school bio (or any first term massage therapy students), maybe it will help.

Be kind to yourself and others. And me. Though you can laugh at me a little for this one, I fully accept the absurdity of this post.

Want to follow or interact with me on social media? Find me on Twitter by following @jennifermorash or head over to https://www.facebook.com/jennifermorashblog. I post blogs every Wednesday.

Why D&D Is Fun

I’m sure you’ve all heard of D&D, and at least a few of you have played it. Mostly, I’m aiming this particular post at those of you who haven’t played and perhaps don’t even understand what it is and why on earth anyone would want to spend time doing this thing.

So, what is it?

D&D stands for “Dungeons & Dragons”. It is a game system involving multiple players with one of them taking on the task of running the game and the rest participating. The leader decides on the setting and the story or adventure and leads the other players through it, while they are each playing a character in that world and react to the situations described.

Each character has a set of traits and skills that decide how good (or how bad) they are at different things, and often dice are used to determine how well the character does at a chosen action. This naturally cuts down on instances of “I win because I said so!” “Nuh-uh!” “Uh-huh!”

Characters come in different classes. This is like saying they have different roles. Some are combat-heavy, like Fighter (does what it says on the tin) or Barbarian, some are magic heavy like a Wizard and some fall between the two. You can also play as different races. This is a magical fantasy world, after all, so you’ll see more than strictly humans. Think elves, dwarves, halflings (picture hobbits from Lord Of The Rings) and the like, plus some things you might not even think of like bird people.

The combination of race and class is great for winding up with a group of very different characters all working together.

Now, that is as basic a description as I could give without getting into stuff like the varying number of sides on a die, magic spells and the difference between a Dragonborn and a Half-orc. I’m pretty sure I’d lose those of you who don’t play if I went that far.

Okay. So that’s what it is. What’s the draw?

In short, it’s fun. But I know that isn’t a very satisfactory answer. D&D is like collaborative storytelling, where you’re all working together to tell a fun and fantastical tale. It’s also like improv theatre where everyone is responding to what everyone else is doing. It involves creativity, puzzle solving, strategizing and occasionally getting absurd.

It’s also about the community of hanging out with some friends and working together while having fun.

And, okay, sometimes it’s about having your Sorcerer just hurl a fireball spell at a problem. Look, it’s cathartic, okay? Don’t judge.

There is a bit of escapism involved, yes. That’s not a bad thing. Honestly, this year when I started playing again after a very long hiatus, escapism is kind of one of the features. My BFF decided to run a game over Zoom and I signed up to play along with one other person I knew from online and two people I didn’t know, but have since discovered how awesome they are.

We’ve been playing most Saturdays since May, and it’s been a godsend. For a few hours each week, I’m not in the midst of a pandemic. I’m Neera, a charismatic half-elven Sorcerer stranded in a world that isn’t her own along with some other folks, just trying to get home.

I get to do cool stuff like disguising myself with magic to look like a feudal lord dude instead of a pointy-eared young woman in order to steal a magical hunk of rock instead of having the group of us fight an entire castle full of guards. Last week, one of my new friends got to cast a spell that let her talk to a mama bear and her cubs so we didn’t have to fight them.

C’mon, doesn’t that sound like fun? It’s totally fun.

I think a lot of people would actually end up absolutely loving it if they just gave it a try.

As always, please do be kind to yourself and others. Talk to that mama bear first.

Want to follow or interact with me on social media? Find me on Twitter by following @jennifermorash or head over to https://www.facebook.com/jennifermorashblog. I post blogs every Wednesday.

Let’s Talk About You

The process of blog writing kind of means I talk about myself a lot. Pretty much all the time, really, barring a few posts where I’m talking about something like how to massage the face. Even if it’s just my opinion on something, it’s kind of written into how blogging works.

But this week, I want to talk about you. By you, I mean you, the one currently reading this. Whether you read this the day I post it or a few years down the road (in which case… hi, there, how’s the future?)

First of all, I want you to know that you are appreciated. This is a solid, incontrovertible fact. While I can say that I’m certain others appreciate you, I can absolutely tell you that I do. I appreciate every second that you spend reading my work. I appreciate every time you’ve ever clicked the “Like” button, whether you did that on the actual blog or on the Facebook post. I appreciate any time you’ve taken to comment on a post. All of that stuff genuinely helps me, and I appreciate it. Even if this is the first time you’ve read one of my blogs, thank you.

Secondly, you are important. You matter. Right now, our world is more than a bit crazy, and it can be all too easy to feel insignificant. You are not. You matter, the things you do matter, and you can make a difference. Even if it’s just improving one person’s day, you have the power to do that. That’s a pretty awesome power, use it responsibly, as this one goes both ways.

You are loved. Someone out there loves you. You probably know who most of the people who love and appreciate you are, but I’m willing to bet that there’s at least one person out there who thinks the world of you and you don’t know it. If you find yourself wishing that they would tell you, then maybe consider doing that yourself for someone you hold in high regard that you’ve never told. They may not know, they may also wish someone would just tell them that.

You have your own unique talent. If you’re lucky, you know what you’re good at already. Some of you may not. That’s why it’s good to try new things. But I believe that everyone has the potential to be quite amazing at something. I can’t promise that you’ll discover that you’re a violen virtuoso, but maybe you make the most amazing blueberry muffins. Maybe you have the knack of growing perfect carrots every time.

Finally, you are worthy of all of this. You deserve to be appreciated, you deserve to be loved, you deserve to not only be good at something but to have that talent recognized and celebrated. You may not always feel that worthy of these things, but you absolutely are.

As always, be kind to yourself and be kind to those around you. You deserve it and so do they.

Want to follow or interact with me on social media? Find me on Twitter by following @jennifermorash or head over to https://www.facebook.com/jennifermorashblog. I post blogs every Wednesday.

The Hiding Of Chronic Pain

I want to talk a bit about chronic pain this week.

I, personally, have chronic migraines. On top of this, as part of my career as a massage therapist, I have treated and gotten to know myriad people who suffer from some degree of chronic pain. And what I have learned is that, first and foremost, it’s really hard to tell that they’re in pain.

The thing is, when hurting is a regular part of your life, you wind up having to make a choice. Either you spend your life acting miserable, constantly complaining about how you feel and letting it show, or you learn to hide it.

And the problem with the first choice is that most people, no matter how good-natured, no matter how kind-hearted, tend to have only so much patience or listening capacity for that sort of thing. They mean well. They do actually care. But being there for someone does cost emotional energy, and people only have so much of that. I don’t blame them for this, even the deepest well can run dry.

Most of us know this. We know that we do really need to pick and choose how much of our pain we allow others to see and know about. We have to decide, even if the process is entirely subconscious, how much of our pain we are willing to just endure quietly. Is it fair? Perhaps not, but neither is burdening our loved ones to the point of exhaustion. Math isn’t fair. It just is.

Why am I telling you this? Because sometimes, we come up with excuses for why we’re not doing something. We say we’re tired. We say we have other plans. We say something gentle like “Oh, I just don’t feel like going out this weekend”. Because we think that it may be less burdensome then “look, I hurt a whole lot so I don’t want to go out, but I still want you to go out and have fun and not feel bad about me not being there”. Unfortunately, sometimes that means that whomever we’re making our excuses to will sometimes stop asking us to do things. Or they may even think that we’re avoiding them.

We’re not. So, if you know that your friend, family member or romantic partner has chronic pain, do try to keep that in mind. You don’t need to constantly shower them in sympathy, but it’s still important to remember that it really isn’t you, it’s them.

Furthermore, keep this in mind: they may look perfectly fine, they may sound perfectly fine, they may act perfectly fine. That doesn’t mean they’re not hurting. Personally, by the time my own pain has reached the point where you can notice it, it’s actually reached the point of agony, and I know from all those clients I’ve talked to that I’m not alone. If you know we’re in pain, we’re probably in a lot of it.

So just try to be patient, and try to be understanding. We’d rather be spending time with you, trust me.

And, of course, be kind. Always that.

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