Writing Versus Chronic Illness

Full disclosure: I have a chronic illness that causes me daily pain (yay) and tires me out easily (more yay). Latest diagnosis shows that it has to do with hypermobility in my joints. I also suffer from chronic migraines, which means I have anywhere from 10-20 severe migraines per month. Let that sink in. I’ve had them for 20+ years now, so I can manage around them, but they’re still a freakin’ PITA.

Because of this, I am too great a risk for employers. They feel I could explode in the workplace and that’s just bad manners. That’s why I started my own company copywriting, translating and editing about nine years ago. It’s going pretty well. Freelance work is uncertain, but I’m able to work from home and mostly set my own hours. Woke up with a migraine? No problem, I can take my meds, start work later and work until midnight. (Most of the time, although sometimes I have deadlines that just don’t allow any leeway.) Because of the uncertainty of the work, however, I have longer hours and work weeks than normal people. Alas, I can’t remember the last weekend I had off.

I don’t mind. It’s better than doing nothing, and I do fine.

When it comes to writing, that’s when it gets tricky. Like, super tricky.

After a long, 14 hour work day, everything hurts, I’m exhausted and I sit at my laptop and tear out my hair, going, “Bluuuuuh. Writing is soooo stupid. Uuuuugh.”

When I leave that phase in the rearview mirror and enter a more reasonable stage (for certain values of reasonable), I think, “I worked all freakin’ day. I’m in pain and I want to go to bed. I’m allowed a break. I don’t have to write. It’s a hobby, not a job.”

That’s where I go veering off the tracks. See, it IS a hobby, not a job. I worked all day, my body is killing me, maybe my head feels like a goddamn supernova on crack, so I deserve some time for myself, some time to spend on my hobby. Which is, you guessed it: writing.

When I don’t write for a while, I get cranky. I get depressed and restless. It’s interesting how easily I (and maybe some of you) dismiss that when it’s time to put pen to paper or keys to screen and actually do it. No time, too tired, too hurty, too much self-pity, too sad, too ugh.

When you’re chronically ill, it’s easy to feel like life owes you — or at least should ease up on those ridiculous demands — because you’ve been dealt a relatively shitty hand. It doesn’t. The only one who can make your life better is you (and possibly Chris Evans), and writing is good for you. So why not push through that pain and exhaustion and do it? It gives you an outlet, it keeps your mind busy and it’s just plain fun.

I promise, it does get easier the more you do it!


The Hypothetical Adventures of Hot Optician and Near-Sighted Girl.

As you may have guessed from this blog post title, somewhere, out there, a hypothetical optician exists. This hypothetical man is hypothetically super hot. He is also, hypothetically, my optician.

(I keep saying that word. I don’t think it means what I think it means.)

The hotness of said optician is unmistakable. But it’s not his major selling point. In fact, it may not even be in the top ten. Hypothetically, I managed to find a hypothetical man that:

1) Loves dogs. A lot, like myself.
2) Likes comics and impressed upon me the importance of purchasing his favorite comic.
3) Likes mythology and fantasy.
4) Is completely intrigued by my job and my wordsmithery and enjoys smithing words himself.
5) Is kind and thoughtful.
5) Is hilarious.
6) Is intelligent.
7) Is playful.
8) Is, for some reason, totally single.
9) Tells me he loves my style and that I have a classic Chanel look.
10) Miraculously isn’t gay.
11) Is SUPER hot.

Hypothetically, I should pursue the hypothetical crap out of this man. Things that inhibit me:

A) The epic case of shitty love karma I’ve been having ever since I was of dating age. Coming up on twenty dateless years now, peeperoonies. Twenty years without positive feedback from the Other Gender.

–wallowing in self-pity–

Okay, I’m back. Where was I?

B) The epic case of negative self-esteem that I built up thanks to said shitty love karma.

–wallowing in self-pity–

Okay, I’m back. Where was I?

C) The fact that hypothetically, this hypothetical man cannot in good conscience use his hypothetical client database without getting super fired if I decided to complain. Which I wouldn’t, but he doesn’t know that.
D) The fact that I have not yet planted money trees in my backyard, so I cannot keep going back for contacts and glasses and sunglasses and whatnot.
E) Have I mentioned my shitty karma yet? This causes a rejection to occur every time I take any kind of initiative toward dating and/or chatting with a nice dude.

Sadly, I am nothing if not perpetually positive.

Wait, is that hysterical laughter I hear?

So, I devised Plans. Hypothetical, but awesome Plans. These will take into account our shared interests, but hypothetically also have the backdoor I can slip through while crying out, “You’re a bit full of yourself, aren’t you?! You will never get to tap this! Tap YOURSELF! No, not right now! I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU, YOU PIG!” in case Hypothetical Hot Optician hypothetically feels he should nip my hypothetical budding feelings in the, well, bud.

I am also running out of numbering options. Sorry, Awesome Plans.

– Suggest a dog walk with his and my dogs, since one of my dogs is sick and the other is not getting enough exercise.
– Loan him some of my favorite comics and attach my card to one of the comic books. Presto! Phone number-o!
– Invite him to my hypothetical brother’s CD release party. Hypothetically, he knows my brother personally and is interested in his music.

Edited to add Extra Plan:

– Buy cool movies before dropping by the store and steer the conversation in the direction of watching them.

Unfortunately, only one of these can be applied during visits, to avoid being a creepy fangirl stalker. And that is why I turn to you, hypothetical internet. Help a near-sighted sister out.