Hello dearest friends, family, friends who are family, and to all who have come to read this new blog post!
It’s great to see y’all!
I was looking back, and it seems I haven’t posted anything on here since March of last year… WHAT?! I can’t in good conscience call myself a blogger or a writer if it’s been that long since I put my work out there. The fact that I have friends who didn’t even know I had a blog says everything. I’m slacking. No excuses, no nothing, I’m slacking.
Okay fine, I’ve got plenty of excuses. You caught me. But I’ll own up to to the fact that I hadn’t been in a proper writing headspace. Therefore, nothing has been written; and I’ve had a pretty solid case of writer’s block and imposter syndrome [nobody can say that I’m not transparent]. To lay all the cards out on the table, I’ve been stuck in this rut. This rut is more like a thousand foot deep pit of despair, where all my stresses go to thrive. I feel stuck in that dark, oppressive place. Primarily, it’s been by my faith in G-d and the skin of my teeth that I’ve been able to push forward and do what I love and what grounds me.
Life hasn’t been the easiest since I last posted. Some parts of my health, I am happy and blessed to say, are doing good! Of course per Newton’s third law, and sort of the concept of the sitra achra (a chassidic concept), “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.” So some things are well, but then some new stuff has come along, clearly to make sure I don’t get too comfortable or bored. I don’t exactly know what Hashem is up to, but I’m sure I’ll understand it all in due time. Or not. Because that’s not always how things work.
I’ve tried, probably 121 times to figure out where I want this entry to go. Do I want it to focus on pushing forward? What about that innate feeling of being lost and kind of lonely? Or, and this one is my personal favorite– My life has plateaued and I’m kind of feeling stuck where I am, while simultaneously watching people I love move forward and upward in their lives and feeling happy for them, but also slightly sad for myself.
Complex feelings and emotions, to put it lightly.
Ultimately, I aim to write my truth. My truth can sometimes be brutal, but it’s mine. I feel encouraged to push forward, but I’m also giving myself grace as I juggle the ins and outs of what I want my life to be and what I need to get there. There really is never a dull moment in the world of F&F.
The main thing I’ve been mentally working with for the past few months is the fact that I’ve just about met the “timeline” that I was given when I was diagnosed with PAH (pulmonary arterial hypertension) and CHF (congestive heart failure). From what they said, I had a year and a half to 5 years– 10 years max, if I was really lucky. Of course I had a million different thoughts at the time, but there was one lesson that I’d been taught that really stood out to me; “Doctors are meant to help heal, not condemn. They’re not G-d.” It took me a while to fully grasp that. I think it finally landed when my cardiologist looked at the results from some of the tests he’d run and then sat down in front of me to look me in the eyes and tell me that we’d managed to do something that could be considered the unthinkable; We’d lowered my pulmonary pressures! Seriously, I texted my best friend and asked if this was worthy of benching gomel (saying a blessing of immense gratitude to G-d, particularly when ones life is spared). While that move would have been a bit of an overkill, which would definitely be on brand for me, I settled for looking up at the sky while I was walking to my car, and laughing. I proceeded to get into my car and talk to Hashem, to thank Him, to question Him, but overall to know that this was nothing short of a massive blessing from Him.
I think this point is when the imposter syndrome and insecurity of being chronically ill came to be. Did I really have a leg to stand on if things were taking a positive turn and not the epic downfall we’d been bracing ourselves for? I had to remind myself that there were plenty of things that I was dealing with, and to remember that I still have PAH and CHF, but we can celebrate the fact that I’ve been gifted extra time. There is no contradiction to it. You see, that’s the thing about being chronically ill; your illness(es) end up being a very large part of who you are and how you identify within this world. If my Turner Syndrome and every other illness I have and have had were to be erased tomorrow, I’m not sure I would know who I was exactly. Ever since I was 2 months old I’ve held the title of being a Turners girl, I’ve spent more time at doctors offices and within hospital walls than I did at playdates or doing things that would be typical of someone my age. I’ve now spent the bulk of my twenties bouncing from doctor to doctor while my peers got to bounce from one good time to the next.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve certainly had good times, but that doesn’t change the fact I see certain doctors more often than I see my best friend. It’s just the reality of what it is.
While the thought is that we are more than and greater than our medical files and the labels that are put on us, that we have our condition(s) but our condition(s) don’t have us… I personally feel that they’re one in the same. I’m Alexandra, Alex, Ally, Dafna, Daf, etc. I’m a writer, I’m a coffee addict, I’m a friend, I’m a daughter, I am a woman with Turner Syndrome, I am a Jew, I am a niece and cousin, I am a Tante, I am a best friend, I am a knitter, I am a reader, I am a (former) athlete, I am a woman living with PAH and CHF, I am a wannabe balaboosta/influencer/fashion blogger, I am just as much of mess as anyone else. Every single one of those aforementioned things make up who I am and who I’m becoming. They’re integral pieces of the puzzle that is me.
So, I guess to sum it up; We are the product of the circumstances we’ve been given. We may not like it, but we don’t have to. We just have to appreciate that it made us who we are and got us to where we are today. Not only that but, even when life feels like it’s stagnant and you feel like you’re going nowhere, you are going somewhere. Just because you can’t feel Earth spinning and tilting on it’s axis doesn’t mean that it isn’t. We know that! And once more, in the spirit of being candid, that analogy just came to me as I was typing this portion up and I feel really proud of it. Not only that but the notion of that concept is something that feels almost comforting and reassuring.
Who knew, a blog post that turned into a therapy session. That’s what I’d call a two birds one stone win!
So, here it is! After lingering in my drafts and lots of bouncing around; the long anticipated blog post and update. Redundancy, reality, and inspiration all in one.
Welcome back y’all!