It’s my birthday.

I’m 37 today. It’s a number that sounds grown up. I think I felt more grown up at 27, though.

Maybe I’m Benjamin Buttoning. (Making that reference dates me. The fact that I’m pretty sure I’m repeating a joke I think I’ve already made on this blog and don’t care is also proof of my age.)

It only just occurred to me that reverse Benjamin Buttoning is just normal aging.

I have neither read nor seen The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

I find myself craving inspiration in the form of people sharing their stories with humility. I’m over gurus and authorities.

I long for stories of vulnerability and authenticity.

I miss distant friends.

Yesterday I found out that my thyroid is out of whack again. I’m trying to remember everything I learned before, not just about how to heal, but also how to cope.

I feel despair often, but then there’s this:

My kid is giggling in the tub right now and there’s no better sound in the world.

Tonight I went to Goth night at a Tarot-themed bar/lounge. I ate delicious Indian food from the restaurant next door. I got a spot-on, meaningful Tarot reading, for only $5. I had a strong drink. I danced to dark alternative music with my dreamy spouse and lovely sister while my friend spun records. For a brief time, I let my stress fall away and felt like a well person living in the world.

It was beautiful and I hope to do it again.

I’ve forgotten how to feel better.

Most of my adult life has been impacted by chronic illness. I’ve got two: Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and polycystic ovary syndrome. (I also have depression and anxiety, but they seem to be symptoms of those two physical illnesses, because when those are well-managed, the mental illnesses are barely noticeable.) I spent many years learning to manage them, and they were fairly well-managed before I got pregnant and for the first two trimesters of my pregnancy. Most importantly, I developed several strategies to use when I feel like absolute garbage.

I can’t remember any of them.

Breastfeeding is a funny thing; it basically takes whatever you knew about your hormones – whether they were affected by PCOS or not – and makes all of that invalid. Now your estrogen is suppressed, you’re producing prolactin, and when it comes to menstruation, all bets are off. So you might, for example, find yourself having your period for 4 or 5 weeks in a row, then not for a week, then again for several more days.

Which might, purely hypothetically speaking, leave you feeling fatigued, lightheaded, and with a sensation of pins-and-needles in your feet.

Perhaps from anemia.

I have, in fact, found myself in this situation, and I have seen my doctor, and she has assured me that yes, this is probably related to breastfeeding, and we’re doing blood tests to figure out next steps in fixing my symptoms, even if the menstrual wonkiness persists. So I’m doing what I can, medically.

But let’s say she puts me on an iron supplement tomorrow. (Likely.)

It’s still going to take some time to feel better. And I don’t know what to do in the meantime, because I can’t just retreat from life.

 

I’ve been saying my kid is 22 months old for a few days but I’m just now realizing he’s only 21 months old. This is going to be so much easier when I can just say, “Two.” Right now,  “One” doesn’t seem to give him enough credit for all the growing he’s done in the past 9 months.
My makerspaces lit review is now at just over 15 pages. It’s mostly cutting and pasting from synthetic notes rather than new writing. That feels a little like cheating but it also feels really nice to know that all the writing I’ve done since January is actually useful. There are lots of wacky little comments to myself like “Do a better job paraphrasing instead of quoting here,” and a few places that need to be better synthesized or fleshed out. Goal 1 is just to get it done. Goal 2 is to go back and make it better.