• I was surprised how much (mostly private) feedback I got about a couple of my recent writings on friends and on health.

    Almost every email, comment, private message, etc. I got about these posts was some form of this (paraphrased): "Wow, thank you for writing about this, I have totally been struggling with this so much and it's a relief to know I am not alone and/or get some info or insight about it."

    IMG_3794

    The reason this surprised me is that even now, after having this sort of experience with previous posts, I still often feel like I really am pretty alone in dealing with these things. I feel like I'm really going out on a limb by writing about them publicly. But again and again, I get these responses from people... which begs the question: Why aren't we talking about this stuff? No, this isn't a rhetorical question, I really want to know why everyone's not talking about this, out in the open!

  • I found this book - "Are You Tired and Wired?" by Nurse Practitioner Marcelle Pick in a bookstore last winter, and little did I know how much it was going to mean to me. I'd been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, so when I saw it I thought it might help me understand further what it is and how it works, and what else I could do to help recover from it. It ended up reading like my life story in parts, and blowing my mind as far as how long this has probably been building up. It validated so much of what I'm going through, and helped me understand how important what I've been doing is.

    You may think this is irrelevant to you, but ask yourself if you or someone in your life is constantly exhausted and on edge. Can't get to sleep (or wakes up in the middle of the night or too early) despite being exhausted. Feels like total crap after exercising, even though exercise is "supposed to" make you feel more energized. Is completely reliant on caffeine or sugar to get through the day. Having extreme cravings for sugar, carbs, and/or salt. Runs like an energizer bunny until a certain point, then crashes and turns into a puddle. Feels anxious or depressed and like life is no longer manageable.

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  • How to be friends. This is something that I thought I knew how to do. The last year upon the last five years has got me seriously doubting this... It turns out I most likely know nothing.

    I recently got on the Lifeboat boat, they've been asking interesting questions and writing interesting stories about friendship. There's a lot packed into their Lifeboat Practices... there's some real gold in there. There are also some harsh truths they've unearthed, truths that make me realize at least I'm not alone in my struggles.

  • Bruno woke me out of a deep sleep last night around 1:30am saying, "Ariane... Ariane... What is that? What's that sound??" In my semi conscious state I started listening... to the sound of someone pacing back and forth upstairs! What?? What is going on?? We sat in bed frozen, listening... 

    But something wasn't quite right - the pacing was really only along the very front edge of the room... and then I heard the familiar sound of nails. Like a dog skidding on linoleum. And then jumping and skidding some more. Quickly it made sense that this pacing was not happening inside the room upstairs but along the balcony that sits right along the edge of it, right above our bedroom. And that the pacer was likely not human. 

    Of course, we were still pretty on edge, not being 100% sure what was going on up there... we tiptoed out of our room and up the stairs, inside it seemed safe. Outside, we couldn't see anything. But I could hear it. It sounded like a dog with long nails trying to get out. And of course, once we were able to get a good look...

    Why I was awake at 2am last night

  • Today was the final day of a six week self-portraiture course I was taking, called You Are Your Own Muse, taught by local photographer Vivienne McMaster. I found out about Vivienne's courses through a friend who had taken one of her previous courses, and decided to sign up. I've been finding having some daily prompts and extra motivation to do creative work very helpful in keeping my momentum after finally getting out of my creative paralysis last fall!

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  • Happy spring everyone!

    ps. Bruno is officially a Canadian permanent resident as of yesterday, hooray!

  • Back in September, I wrote about my plan for the fall. I was pretty jazzed about it. Yes, jazzed. But I never really told you about what happened, did I...

    <3 Baaad Anna's

  • This building is part of VGH, you wouldn't know how pretty it is from the outside. Sitting there, it was hard not to notice I was the youngest person for miles around who didn't actually work there. I was there to get a second opinion on my laryngeal granuloma.

    Waiting for an appointment at VGH

  • This is a hard post to write. It might be a hard post to read. It might offend, it might confuse. And honestly, if it does either, I'm not really sorry at all.

    I've had a couple brave friends confess to me lately that sometimes when I talk about my health (either in person or online), sometimes they don't know what to say. That they feel bad for what I'm going through and want to support me, but don't know how to do that, or what I need.

    It's hard to talk to people who are chronically ill if you haven't experienced it yourself. (I won't speak for anyone with a terminal illness, as I very thankfully haven't had to go down that road myself). But it's not impossible. All you need is an open mind, and the willingness to throw away your assumptions or beliefs about what they are experiencing.

    Before trying to explain what to say, I want to go through some basics on what not to say.

  • I wasn't going to write this post, but I feel like I need to. I originally didn't know how I could do it without a classic "flame out", but I think enough time has passed that at least I can write it from a fairly removed perspective. 

    As friends and regular readers will know, I'm taking a break from most everything to rest and try and get my health into a better place. I stepped down as co-lead of Drupal's documentation team over a year ago, and left my previous job as a project manager at a web development company last April. Since then, I've been on what I'm calling a "health sabbatical". I haven't been attending any tech conferences, networking events, or much of anything else since then either (aside from occasionally tagging along on trips as the partner of a Drupaller, aka. a "Drupalganger", but not attending the event itself), and I don't plan to anytime soon.

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