Stick in the Mud

Whenever I try to figure out how I became such a stick in the mud, I am mindful to stop trying to figure it all out. One thing I have always liked about myself is that I haven’t spent much time pondering, why this or that happened to me.

Last May, for whatever reason, I started getting severe migraines at an alarming rate. Sure, I’d had migraines as a teenager but they were sporadic. I could take to the bed for a day and then, move on with my life. Last spring, it became completely different and nearly constant.

Now, I know that I’m not the only one who suffers from chronic migraines, but in the past, I thought, “Meh, it’s just a headache, so no big whoop. Suck it up.” One of my dearest childhood friends began suffering with chronic migraines as a child and she still suffers. It wasn’t until last spring that I truly understood the challenges my girlfriend was up against.

Migraines have mostly ruined the last year of my life. They’ve battled with my relationships, my ability to be at my best at work, at home and absolutely anywhere I happen to be, and therefore, my sense of identity and self-esteem took a big hit.

I haven’t wanted to address the truth about this, even to myself. I mean, seriously… it’s just headaches. “Take some aspirin and move on. There’s a freakin’ pandemic going on and I have no right to complain about anything!”

Of course, I have been working with a neurologist who I believe is the bees knees. I trust him implicitly. We’ve tried a slew of medications and procedures, most of which I cannot pronounce. Last week, in partnership with my neurologist, we embarked on a totally new regimen. So, I’m writing this today because I feel better and I want anyone who’s reading this to know there’s hope for chronic pain sufferers. I’ve had time and space without my head hurting and it feels like a miracle. I’m sharp, funny and loving; all of which I desperately needed to be reminded of. It’s eerie as to how much my chronic pain seemed to alter my identity. In my own painful head, I became so completely miserable, I thought I would die. (And sometimes, the pain was so bad, I felt like I wanted to die.) Today, I feel more “me-ish” than I’ve felt in almost a year. I am very grateful for it.

So, if my clear, pain-free head continues, great. If not, I will keep trying new things to try and help myself.

For chronic pain sufferers, I see you and love you exactly as you are. You may be feeling 100% unlovable, but it’s just a lie your pain is telling you.

You are lovable, exactly as you are.

Me too.

A Fear of Peaks (and Valleys)

As I stand at the base of the highest mountain I have ever seen, I squint to view its highest peak. I try to appraise what it will take to reach its top. How can anyone possibly live through this painful and dangerous climb? I try to count all of its jagged edges above the timberline, but there are too many to track. I panic. I don’t know anything about the other side of the mountain. I acknowledge that my understanding of this risky venture can only be accurately evaluated by walking to the other side of the mountain along its base. Continue reading “A Fear of Peaks (and Valleys)”

The Doctor is in—–sane

Yesterday, was Mother’s Day. Naturally, I saw this as a perfect opportunity to relax. When I was done relaxing after a few minutes, I did what any non-relaxer would do… I took to the internet to diagnose my aches and pains. Fantastic idea.

Paging Dr. Klier-Weidner! Get off of the internet, stat!

I figured since I played a radiologist once, (not on TV), I could figure out my own health issues at 10 Megabits per second! Continue reading “The Doctor is in—–sane”

The Quiet in the Loud

Lately, I have had very vivid dreams. I’m not sure why, but my dreams have been detailed and memorable. I am enjoying recalling each of them without exception.

Last night, I remember two dreams. The first, featured Bradley Cooper, Hugh Jackman and Steve Buscemi. I know… that’s quite a trio and it was the type of dream you never want to wake up from. If you do happen to wake up during a dream like this, you shut your eyes as fast as you can to try and get back to where you left off. I won’t get into the details, but if I did, my blog would be shut down immediately. Suffice it to say, Steve Buscemi was BY FAR the most impressive of the three. I’ll let your enormous imagination size up my dream. Continue reading “The Quiet in the Loud”

The Concussion,the Head Trip & WHY?

My eldest daughter, Juliette, suffered a concussion yesterday. She tripped in the school locker room in total darkness. The power suddenly went out in the entire school, and in the locker room, there are no windows. Her head hit a bench. This is her second concussion in less than two years. She seems fine, so I’m going with that. Continue reading “The Concussion,the Head Trip & WHY?”

Amor Fati, Mi Amor

FUN FACT: Sometimes, I wear pants that on the inside, give me positive affirmations –

Hi Beautiful!

I have one pair of pants that in metallic silver writing, says,

You are Gorgeous!

Continue reading “Amor Fati, Mi Amor”

The Midlife NON-Crisis: Trumps Anger

This post is not going to focus 100% on what EVERYONE is talking about almost 100% of the time these days. Sure, I have my thoughts, opinions and feelings on the subject, but I have been and continue to be relatively quiet and very focused on what is right in front of me in the here and now.

For many years, I worked in Jewish social justice and I loved it. This was a life-changing experience where I learned the real strength that comes from praying with my feet.feet While I was there, I worked shoulder to shoulder with some of the most talented, passionate and effective community organizers in Chicago and beyond. I will forever consider these individuals role models and heroes of mine.

As I learned about community organizing, the most knowledgeable facilitators would often emphasize the power that comes from staying angry; leading with anger. Continue reading “The Midlife NON-Crisis: Trumps Anger”

Loving the Petty Moments, Truly.

DISCLAIMER: I have been on a writing strike. Bear with me. Thanks.

When I was a child, I couldn’t fathom the idea that anyone was a Tom Petty fan. I disliked his singing style so much, I balked at listening to the meaningful music. Of course, I felt the same way about Bob Dylan and Janis Joplin. Now that I’m older, (and CLEARLY wiser,) I’ve grown to fall in love with and appreciate extraordinary talents that transcend a “purdy” or lyrical vocal quality. All of these artists’ songs strike deep chords inside of me and are among my very favorites.

Beginning on April 4th of this year, I celebrated spring, by springing free from a job that resulted in deep pain and angst in me. Once I left that position, I couldn’t help but notice that I was hearing a ton of Tom Petty songs. Perhaps I was just listening for them. It seemed that almost daily, I’d hear, I Won’t Back Down The Waiting, Free Falling, and Learning to Fly.

I didn’t understand the meaning, or if there was any meaning for me. I just knew that feeling trapped and waiting to leave that job was the hardest part. I had to learn to fly again and while I was free falling, I was not going to back down or retreat.
Continue reading “Loving the Petty Moments, Truly.”

This Day and National Recovery Month.

I almost hate to put the anniversary of 9/11/01 beside National Recovery Month, but everything seems to connect somehow to that fateful day, getting real and honest about the impact of it, and getting real and honest about how we cope or can’t cope is what connects us to recovery.

Today, in the year 2001, everything changed. I can only speak for me, but as inherently fearful and geared toward sadness as I was before 9/11, the volume of my fear and sadness resounded at a higher decibel and with more frequency.

It still does, but I work very hard to locate a peaceful and serene volume and that happens almost solely by working with and helping others.

I am currently in my 19th year of sobriety, but up until this year, I had absolutely no idea there was a, National Recovery Month. Continue reading “This Day and National Recovery Month.”

A Bout of Doubt is not the Death of Breath

Every so often, I don’t want to post or go public with the truth about myself. Right now, I’d prefer to post a comparative analysis of my body measurements, weight and BMI from age 18 to present day, or even post a daily food intake journal that demonstrates my consumption of three pieces of cake, more than I want to publish a post that states that I had, over the past several days, been feeling pretty down.  I was stricken with fear, self-doubt and partial paralysis of my left brain, which in Pam-speak, translates to, “Quit now because you’ll never do or be anything you can actually feel good about. You’ve already failed, and when push comes to shove, you are wholly unlovable.”

Now, where’s the rest of that cake? Continue reading “A Bout of Doubt is not the Death of Breath”

Jake Lawler

Writer | Director | Motivational Speaker | Storyteller

john pavlovitz

Stuff That Needs To Be Said

ORT Chicago Funday Event Directory

A directory of event vendors in the Chicago Area!

Chrysanthemum Stories

Sensory Art Studio

Laura Bon

Inspiring the world

Damon Ashworth Psychology

Melbourne Clinical Psychologist

Shreya Vikram

Blurring the lines between poetry and prose

LUCID BEING

Astral Lucid Music - Philosophy On Life, The Universe And Everything...

Journey2Motivate

Inspirational Quotes To Motivate Your Life

Blue Fences

Depression of The Arts