Knocked Over By A Feather


Bag of Tricks

I’ve been trying lately to write more about my old life instead of what’s currently going on.

Back before my main job was my health, when my skin didn’t smell like cinnamon from the Tiger Balm and I didn’t spend large amounts of time researching alternative pain remedies. (Most of which leave me disappointed.)

I have 38 years worth of stories that don’t revolve around chronic pain.

I’ve been lucky enough to have traveled this world a little. I’ve gone to Las Vegas, Sanibel Island, on a Caribbean cruise where I ate fried plantains for the first time on a sidewalk in Puerto Rico and overpaid for my daughter to get braids in her hair on a beach in St.Thomas.

Well, the kid was thrilled and we were on vacation. I’m over it.

The people at the psych hospital teach something called Radical Acceptance, they practically drill it into you. I might have mentioned it before, my memory is fucking shady these days.

Accept what is, even though you may not like it.

Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it?

The Beatles have their own version of it. Let it be.


Can I scream it instead?


Great advice, yet not all that easy to master. Just when I think I’m finally there, I slide down a few notches.

I’m going on day 16 of extreme lower back/side level 10 yelling “fuck!” kind of pain. I have tried everything in my bag of tricks (the rabbit refuses to come out and help) to get rid of it but nothing seems to be working unless I take a high dose of narcotics. I have my TENS unit on as I type this, trying to zap it away instead.

I keep humming The Electric Slide.

You gotta know it!
It’s electric, boogie woogie, woogie!

I learned how to do that dance back in high school, although I doubt that I could do it now without swearing like a drunken sailor.

Can you imagine?

I can. It’s pretty damn hysterical.

I Feel the Earth Move

Lake Erie was beautiful that day, the sun bouncing off of the waves, the water a deep, dark blue.

Never underestimate the ability of a lake to captivate, even though it isn’t the ocean.


The old bench we sat on had been carved into by previous visitors. Ramsey (his first name was Dave but we all called him by his last) picked up a sharp rock from the ground and started his own markings.

Mer and Ramsey were here. 1994.

We weren’t a couple, just friends. He was a part of the little group of kids that my brother and I hung out with back then. He was a year younger than me.

One of my girlfriends liked him, so I took the matter upon myself to have a chit-chat with him about her interest, since she was shy and always lost the ability to talk when he was around.

“I like her, she’s a sweet girl.”

I nodded vigorously in agreement. “Yes, she really is. Maybe you both could go out on a date sometime.”

He looked out towards the water and didn’t say anything for a minute or two.

“Well,, I was thinking about asking you out.”

I was caught completely off-guard by the sudden atmospheric change. How did I not know that he was interested in me? Was I that oblivious?


“Do you want to go see a movie with me Saturday?”

Throwing pebbles at my bedroom window at 2 in the morning to wake me up. Laughing at everything that I said. Telling me that I was pretty and funny.

“Sure. Yeah, we could do that,” I replied, still completely dumbstruck by the turn of events. One minute I was playing matchmaker, the next I was being asked out.

He smiled brightly, obviously pleased with how our chit-chat had turned out.

“Do you want to take a walk on the beach?” he asked, reaching for my hand.

Nodding, I let him.


After our movie date and a quick bite to eat, he kissed me in the car. (My car, he didn’t have one.)

The earth did not move. I didn’t hear a symphony. In fact, I was surprisingly grossed out by our lip-lock.

It felt like I was kissing my brother. Ick.

That was our first and last official date. We still saw each other around the neighborhood sometimes but he stopped throwing pebbles to get me to come downstairs to bullshit with him on my front porch steps.

My friend never knew that he and I had gone out on a date, which was just as well. She ended up moving away anyway.

As for Ramsey, the last I heard, he had become a father and had a girlfriend.

His kiss must have made the earth move for her.

Not Under a Dark Rain Cloud

I wake up each day in a relatively good mood.


To the Perpetually Perky Person (or PPP’s), that sentence isn’t a big deal. But for someone like me, who has battled depression their entire life, it’s as foreign as opening my wallet and finding a thick wad of cash.

I’m happy to hoist my achy body out of my warm memory foam bed to join my husband downstairs for coffee before he starts getting ready for work. We sit at the kitchen table on our separate laptops. (Mine is ancient and begs to be replaced.) After a few sips and my first cigarette, I am awake enough to engage in conversation. Our dogs are either still sleeping or playing together. We comment on them, how sweet they are and laugh at their shenanigans. We’ll discuss whatever crazy thing is trending on Facebook or how cold it is outside. If he’s in the mood, he’ll play his guitar and I’ll listen.

And some mornings, we are both content enough to say nothing much at all.

I’ll check my email (spam mostly) and take a quick look at my blog to see if I have any comments that need responding to. I’ll go to Facebook and see what’s going on there. I’ll wait for my friends Alice and Cheryl to pop up, the only two people who I chat with on a daily basis.

How are you? What’s new? Oh, you know, same old, same old. (And do you both know how much I love you?)

If it’s a school day, my daughter will send me short updates.

Her English professor is a little off his rocker, which is why he’s her favorite.

My mom will call me. She never misses a morning phone call. We’ll discuss what her day looks like and vice versa. Will I be taking a nap today? I have no idea. Sometimes I fade away and sometimes I stay with the program. It’s a total crap shoot. You just never know what fibromyalgia has in store for you.

The majority of days, I’ll feel inclined to write something, usually just to be able to say that I did. It makes me feel useful. I might be able to make someone laugh (which is my favorite thing to accomplish) or to think to themselves, hey, me too! I feel that way sometimes myself.

My life is like the movie Groundhog Day, with slight variations.

I stay in a relatively good mood all day. I’m not farting rainbows but I’m not under a dark rain cloud, either.

I pray daily. Please God, may the antidepressant I’m currently on continue to work for a long time. May my anxiety stay at a low hum instead of a deafening roar.

I will take chronic pain over soul sucking depression.

That almost sounds like something a Perpetually Perky Person would say.

Fuck that noise. I have a rep to maintain.

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