22 Years and Counting: Learning to Love a Body with RA

Back in January as I prepared for joint surgery number ten, I scheduled a fitness photoshoot with Jess McDougall Creative to memorialize the results of months spent training in an effort to go into my knee surgery as strong as physically possible. The gym also became my place to cope with the rage I felt going into yet another surgery just four months after having wrist surgery in October of last year.

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135 days and counting

It’s been 135 days since I last wrote a blog post. Some days I’ve had a lot to say, others nothing at all. And, for some reason, I didn’t feel like I could come back to writing without offering an explanation for my absence – even though I don’t owe that to anyone. I didn’t feel like I could just jump back in with a post about how RA has affected my body image, and, at times, disordered eating even though I’ve been working on it off and on since last July. This is my 5th attempt at writing since surgery, and I still don’t know what I want to say. So much has happened. Medically, personally, politically even.

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Tick Tick Boom

I tried writing three different versions of another blog post before finally abandoning the effort. This summer has really taken its toll on me, and I feel like I’ve lost my voice as a writer. I’ve struggled with this before when dealing with backlash and bullying from the patient community, but this time, it’s different – I’m in such a weird headspace with my arthritis that most days I don’t know what I want to say or how to say it.

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PTSD: Not Just for Soldiers

The longer I live with my RA, the further away, the more disconnected I become from my childhood with it – it’s like a murky dream I’m only 80% sure actually happened. It’s not that I’ve forgotten. Instead, I feel like my mind has gone to great lengths to protect me from the trauma I’ve experienced, suppressing the darkest moments.

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Enough.

In case you missed it yesterday, Jennifer Aniston wrote what can only be described as a BADASS essay in the Huffington Post taking on the tabloid “journalism” culture of the decade-long Aniston baby watch. Maybe you don’t like Aniston. Maybe you think that the paparazzi is a part of fame that she “signed up for.” Whatever your feelings towards celebrities sharing these sorts of essays, one thing is true: we live in a world that almost universally reduces a woman’s success and worth to her choice whether or not to marry and have children.

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