Monday, June 12, 2017

After Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
For Leah and Kyla and all the SDQTIBIPOC Community who are teaching me to survive

First of all, floundering is part of the process
There will be voracious googling to make sense of your new diagnosis,
Tumblr and Facebook groups will become your can't sleep middle of the night comfort places
Pain- a word everyone seems to think they understand, has a different meaning for you now
Exhausted too
If you're an extrovert, you may start to feel like you're dissappearing
Fewer and fewer invitations to join your friends come through
Not that you could go anyway
But you hold on to "maybe"
In the beginning, by the day, then by the week, soon you're wondering if certain months might be kind enough to unshackle you from your bed for a bit
One day, you'll discover another voice,
One that feels like it comes from your own heart
This might feel like joy that could burst out of your ribcage like broken glass through tissue paper
Little by little, through community, you'll begin to make sense of some things
Burbur and lemon water bring quicker relief from your migraines than Excedrin or any narcotic
Lavender tea for twitching muscles
Narcotics help some things too
Crystals and herbs and sleep are powerful medicine
Help will come from corners you didn't know were there
You'll attain new ancestors-
A "Crip Fairy Godmother" and a "Mama", both chronologically younger than you, both hundreds of years older in sickness wisdom
You'll learn that
Sometimes "medicine" isn't something you ingest, but space and time and compassion and the forgiveness you take for yourself.

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