I have been trying, with varying levels of success, to turn myself into a morning person.

I used to be a night owl. But as I’ve gotten older, I seem to have lost the ability (not to mention the will) to stay up late. Unfortunately, that has not meant a shift toward getting up earlier. I’ve felt for a while like I just sleep all the time. I like the idea of having quiet time to myself before I have to get ready for work in the morning, so sometime five months or so ago I started attempting to adjust my schedule.

It worked…for a while. And then it didn’t. I managed early mornings again in February while I was doing FAWM, but lost momentum toward the end of the month and haven’t really been able to get it back.

In talking with a friend a few months ago, we somehow ended up discussing the ubiquitousness of vitamin D deficiency, particularly in places where winter is a thing (and goddamn, has it been a thing in Chicago this year). I remembered a doctor in Minnesota telling me I was deficient years ago. I also remembered never doing anything about that.

But I had an appointment scheduled with my doctor to discuss some other questions I had and get other labs drawn, so I thought I’d bring it up there. I deal with chronic pain, and that often goes hand in hand with chronic fatigue (being in pain is exhausting), but this has been feeling…excessive, even allowing for that.

Long story short, I got my vitamin D levels tested, and the results came back this week. Turns out I am SUPER deficient. So now my doctor has put me on a highly concentrated dose of vitamin D that I’m taking weekly for a bit, after which point, I’ll be taking a normal, over-the-counter dose every day. I did the math, and it appears we’re basically carpet-bombing my system with the stuff for the next several weeks.

My hope is that, at some point in the near future, mornings will get easier. I hope I feel less like I’m constantly in need of a nap.

It might turn out that this doesn’t help those things. But at least it’s not going to make it worse. It’s worth a shot!


Have you ever hit a point in your life, particularly after a rough patch of some sort, where suddenly things were going really, really well, and you didn’t really know how to handle it?

Last year was, largely, a good one, but it definitely had its rough patches: I started the year in immense amounts of pain thanks to a badly spasmed back, I began a slow process of acknowledging that I experience chronic pain (and a slower process of actually doing something about it), I made the decision to cut off contact with my family of origin (which has been an overall positive for my mental health, but has still been hard), and I started dealing with body-related dysphoria in a way I hadn’t before.

The fact that I did NOT have to kick off this year with my back out was a major positive in itself, but really, the past month and change has been pretty wonderful. Even though I’ve been in more of a downswing in my bipolar cycle recently, I’ve had so much to be genuinely  happy about that the low moments in between have been quite tolerable. I’m excited about the creative work I’ve been doing. I have an incredibly supportive social network both at home in Chicago and elsewhere. I’m making plans more than a few weeks in advance, and have a feeling of certainty that these plans will actually happen.

And it’s all great, until I stop moving, and suddenly I wonder how on earth this happened and whether I’m actually allowed to be this happy.

But those moments of doubt keep growing fewer and farther between. I’m realizing there’s nothing wrong with being happy. If I’m coming from a good space, I’m better equipped to deal with the injustice of the world, which I really can’t handle when I’m all wrapped up in my own problems.

So here’s to happiness, and to gratitude, and to using that positive energy to do some good in the world.


I am going to be honest: I really want to write something happy this week, but I’m really not feeling it.

I have dealt with chronic pain for years, but have never brought it up to a medical professional (or much of anyone, really) before, for a variety of reasons. I went to the doctor on Saturday (luckily, my insurance card finally made it to me on Friday) with the intention of changing this, because it’s been getting steadily worse, and is starting to affect my quality of life in ways I’m not okay with.

Long story short, I spent three days waiting to hear back about lab results, wrestling with the fact that I’m probably looking at either rheumatoid arthritis or fibromyalgia – in other words, a thing with pretty straightforward treatment options that will probably be increasingly debilitating as time goes on, or a thing that is super nebulous and hard to treat that’s debilitating in different ways.

I finally got the call from the nurse on my way home from work yesterday – these initial lab results were nothing definitive, but they weren’t normal and indicated the possibility of RA, which means I now need to schedule some further tests with a rheumatologist. And whether it’s the weather this week or the fact that I’ve been actually acknowledging that pain is happening recently, I’ve been in more noticeable amounts of pain all week. So now I am grouchy, and anxious, and generally struggling to focus on much of anything else, even though I realize there’s nothing I can really do about it right now.

Hopefully next week I’ll have more of an action plan together and will be up for writing something more profound or happy or, at least, less “woe is me”. For now, though, I’m going to give myself time to adjust to the fact that pursuing a diagnosis for whatever-this-is might illuminate the best way to deal with it, but it also means it’s real, and this is a reality I’ve been ignoring for a while.