Infirmity and Identity, part 1

I’m settling into a new place, a new routine, a new identity – and chronic pain is in the forefront again. I feel the limitations of my body constraining me near constantly. It is frustrating. So very frustrating.

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The difference a day can make

Last week was rough. My body was tired, my emotions frayed, my mind fuzzy; I was full of anxiety and very much on edge. But then everything changed. In a day I went from feeling the worst, to the best, I have since I arrived in Australia. It was almost instantaneous. It was weird. But lovely and most welcome. I’m happy to call it both a miracle and a result of being well loved – which are, really, almost the same thing.

Remembering chronic pain

It’s hard to convey just how much mental energy went into pain suppression, so that I could actually THINK in the remaining part of my mind. There was sadness over things I couldn’t share in with my friends, and fear that I was seen as lazy for not joining in.

Photos from my living room on days of varying AQI levels.

The consequences of smog

After ten years living in the thick air of Beijing, I still remember not only what smog looks like, but what it FEELS like. There are physical consequences to breathing smog (which I suspect has affected my health more than I care to know), but there is also an emotional impact to living in a darkened world.