Hard Truths, Chapter 4.19: When Your Body is One Giant Jerk

First, let’s look at this photo. It’s a furry water bottle cover with a heart on it atop sheets printed with “love”.

It’s suspect. It’s furry and suspect and I have no idea who thought this would be a good stock photo but when you’re looking for photos to go with your daily blog post and your topic today is how you haven’t felt “good” in nearly a month, you sometimes hit the fuck it button and go yeah — this is as good as it’s going to get. THEREFORE, THIS IS TODAY’S IMAGE.

I can’t remember the last time I’ve woken up in the morning without a headache.

I drink water, take vitamins. Don’t take vitamins. Clean up my diet and let it become a mess. Supplements/no supplements. There’s not point in between where I feel…well, WELL.

Before the deductible goes up in 11 days, it’s a race. Back to the doctor to see if there’s a way to find out what’s wrong.

Because we’ve tried everything else. Diet. Pills. Some specialists. Ignoring it to see if “it” goes away.

That’s hard to tell you. Because I’m invincible. I’m 45. I’m supposed to feel somewhere on the spectrum of copacetic to losing my goddamned mind each day and I’m way off to the left, hovering between shitty and “Is it time to go to bed?” I’m getting through my days with a brave face and a keyboard because it’s my birthday month and I write EVERY DAY and writing is the good thing. Y’ALL are the GOOD THING.

But whatever I’m feeling is the BAD bad shit. And it’s the first morning I’ve admitted that I’m writing to you propped-up in a bed I don’t want to get out of — but I have to in a few hours because I have to be downtown.

And maybe the headache will be gone by then. Or more realistically, subsided to a dull throb.

And it takes all my strength to push this all to the background and get done what needs getting done.

But that’s what we do, right?

Because life isn’t an episode of HOUSE. Merredith Grey isn’t here to come to a neat conclusion with a convenient cliffhanger in 44 minutes with six commercial breaks. I can’t go cook meth to save my family and laundering money in the Ozarks won’t fix what I’ve got broken. I’m not a bloody queen who’s managed to keep Great Britain together for 65 years despite a philandering husband and a patriarchal tornado following her every move.

I don’t have answers. AGAIN. The same episode plays and I don’t even bother to hit the pause button when I get up to pee because when I come back it’s more of the same.

My body has been one giant asshole for more than a month now and no matter how kind to it I am, it seems to have an ever-present middle finger waiting.

But I don’t wallow in it. I push through. And maybe all the pushing is biting me in the ass.

Over here, I’m hoping it’s menopause finally deciding to unpack the boxes it moved into my uterus a few years ago. Like, I’m HERE but I don’t know if this is really where I wanna unroll my 8×10 rug.

Over here, I’m hoping to get through a few more pages of writing before I want to take a nap.

Over here, I wonder if anyone else feels that their body’s a big-ass jerk and we’ve all got stuff to do today, so let’s get doing! Wait. Lemme just take a 10-minute nap first.

This above — it’s all a big reason I announced late last month that I’m taking my content back from Facebook. Reclaiming what I create so that it’s for OUR benefit — yours and mine — and not Facebook’s. Because being EVERYWHERE is exhausting.

And I’m already exhausted.

It’s a big reason that my personal shit has been put on lock-down. I left Twitter because UGH. Remember when it was amazing and how it’ll never be that again? I remember real conversations and now it’s just someplace where people yell.

It’s easy in this massively social world to lose focus on your YOU. Your worth. The importance of taking care of yourself. It’s easy to feel like you owe it to friends and Facebook friends and folks who “like” you to keep up with the burden of sharing.

When sometimes — you just want to sit down and have a chat with people like you who live a messy life, wonder what the fuck is going on with their bodies, and know how it feels to step on a LEGO (which I did yesterday, and we don’t really own LEGOS so this was a surprise).

You want to talk to people who LIVE the 37 selfies they DON’T post on Instagram (guilty — though it usually only takes me about 5 to find one I deem acceptable because I always use the Amaro filter).

You want to hang with people who are looking for better, have seen worse, and just do their level best each day to fuck-up one less thing than they did yesterday.

So today’s the day I tell you that the big announcement I had planned for my 45th birthday, December 10, is that Erika Napoletano is launching a Patreon page. That will launch January 1, 2018.

What does that mean? A lot of things. But we’ll get to that later. For you? It could mean nothing. But for me, it means…a lot.

So, to get you familiar with Patreon, I’m going to introduce YOU to MY favorite Patreon creators as a taste of what’s to come:

What But Why – GAH. They’re fantastic. They use stick figures to explain, basically, everything.

McSweeney’s Internet Tendency – The same folks who brought you, “It’s Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers”. Yes. Them.

Crash Course – I am a grown-ass woman who loves learning new shit and Crash Course creates these UH-mazing videos that you can find FOR FREE on YouTube. They were primarily used by educators and schools, but turns out folks like you and me liked their videos, too. Legit PhDs and leaders in their field break down complex topics into bit-sized, yummy fact nuggets.

What the Fuck Just Happened Today? – Matt is a badass and if you have not read his stuff, give it a few minutes. WOW. He makes sense (and offers real data) on what’s happening in American politics.

Ali Spagnola – She’s got moxie and verve and makes personalized thank you videos for people who support her. And she’s funny.  I found her scrolling through Patreon creators and I was like, I like the cut of her cloth. MORE YOU, PLEASE.

 

The biggest thing that launching a Patreon page means is that Erika, not Facebook, can earn a living from what she creates.

And I get to create it all — as I always have — for you.

So, I’m going to get in the shower. Get up. First, I’m going to get up and then get in the shower because getting this whole bed in the shower would be a problem and probably make me feel worse. Then I’m going to get on a train downtown, record a voiceover session, and come home, and possibly take another nap and get some writing done.

Because while my body is a jerk, I know I can keep moving. I might have a headache, but my heart is full. And whenever you stop by to read, consume, and share your story — that’s when my heart is fullest.

And here’s my invitation to you: If you have a story about your body being a jerk, drop me a message. I’ll listen. And frankly, it’d make me feel a whole lot better about MINE being a jerk for as long as it has.

PS: you look great in that shirt.

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