I’m not a very emotional person, but Sarah Manguso picked up my emotions like a plastic sack of eggs and threw them against a brick wall. Reading this wonderful memoir, “Two Kinds of Decay,” (5 stars, btw) was a decision that would result in me crying (not literally, but I would have if I had an ounce of emotions) because it reminded me why I love reading so damn much.
While keeping her distance from an obviously horrendous and traumatic experience, Manguso tells an honest, quick paced, truthful, and emotional story of her life and the disease that interrupted it. At a young age, Manguso was hospitalized with chronic idiopathic demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP), a persistent form of Guillain-Barré syndrome: an autoimmune disease that attacks the nervous system, causing spreading numbness and paralysis. If the disease wasn’t treated regularly with her blood being cycled, removing the bad blood (or plasma) with new, fresh, and clean blood, than it would have spread to her lungs and suffocated her. Instead, she was left with this half hearted, poor excuse for a ‘treatment,’ which really just left her in the hospital, often paralyzed, and unable to live a normal life.
My throat burns and my cheeks are wet. With blood? With sweat? With tears? I close my eyes and push my hands against my face, shaking my head quickly so the strands of dirty hair fly wildly. I want to scream again but I can’t take a breath and without air, there’s not much you can do. I want to run but without space, there’s not very many places you can go.
I want it all to end but with so much love, you can’t justify ending anything at all.
I feel like I’m fighting the air itself as it pushes out of my lungs, crushing my chest with the weight of the universe. I’m sweating, crying, yelling with frustration as I shove against a hundred year old tree, willing it to move an inch for me. I’m laying on the floor of the boxing ring. I’m bleeding. I can’t breath. I can’t fight anymore. I’ve lost.
I’ve never won a battle on my own. I’ve never defeated the invisible enemy that renders me immovable. I will never be victorious on my own. I’m not made for solitary victory. I’m destined for failure. Alone, without the gospel and the Lord, I am defeated. Continue reading →
Sometimes you need a vacation that isn’t even three days long and is filled with coffee. I call these “Pocket Vacations” because they’re so small they can fit in your poc- I take that back. I’m so sorry for this. I regret everything I’ve ever said.
ANYWAYS. I had one of these recently in Atlanta, Georgia. One of my good friends from high school (are you as surprised as I am that I had friends in high school?) moved to the big GA last year and so far she’s loving it. I thought “hey I could use this human to see a new city without having to pay for housing” and so I slid in her DMS.
With nowhere else to go, I drove to the base of a mountain and started climbing. My shoes weren’t made for the steep rocks and I slipped more times than I’d like to admit. There were no other people around; after all it’s the middle of a Tuesday on a hot summer’s day. No one in their right mind would be hiking right now.
I give it up to poetic justice when I reach up to grab hold of the rock and feel a sting in the tip of my fingers. I yank my hand back to see blood trickling down the palm and onto the hot stone below. Continue reading →
Magic much exist because I’ve seen it with my own eyes in the midst of the happiest place on earth.
Disney World. Despite it being so crowded I wanted to scream and so hot I wanted to cry, the three days I spent at Disney World were truly magical. This is partly due to the wonders of the parks, the details of each corner, the excitement of the rides, and the endless options of activities. But it is even more to do with the wonderful company of three Losers.
Remember Emily, the broadway-crazed wannabe from this post? She was, of course, the front-leader of our group. This was her trip to see the wonderful Savannah and in order, Randi, me, and Alissa all invited ourselves. It’s safe to say we somehow created a wonderful group with which to explore the magic of Disney World. Continue reading →
I think it’s finally time to break the silence about a big change in my life. About eight months ago I began working out regularly and eating really well. The result of this was weight loss and muscle gain.
This is the first time I’ve publicly talked about my health change. I’ve confided in a few close friends but for the most part I’ve stayed silent. Why? I’m not totally sure. I just don’t like to talk about it.
Maybe it’s because I have a past with body image issues. Maybe it’s because I’ve been surrounded the majority of my life by people I saw as workout obsessed and incredibly annoying and I didn’t want to be like them. Maybe it made me uncomfortable because I didn’t mind how I looked before, I just wanted to make a change for me and no one else. Continue reading →
I take a deep breath and push the air out, watching how my lips curl into a delicate ‘O’. I should have warn deep red lipstick, it’s more intimidating. Dad told me not to though. Apparently I need to ease the board into my leadership.
I shake my head and pull my fingers across my skin, from collar bone to collar bone before rolling my eyes and turning away from the mirror. Staring into my own eyes in the extravagant bathroom mirror doesn’t offer the courage I had been expecting.
I lean against the counter and mutter, “Screw Hollywood,” pushing two of my fingers up my nose and onto my forehead. My eyes close and I rub the bridge of my nose, pulling in deep, burning breaths. My phone dings and I flinch before grabbing it from the countertop and swiping it open. Continue reading →