Tuesday, October 4, 2016

A Severely Cramped Life

So, very recently I finally found a doctor to perform a surgery that I have been waiting around 8 years for. Before we get into the whole complicated story, you should know exactly what I'm talking about.

Endometriosis is essentially the menstrual cycle growing upwards, starting on the upper part of the uterus, and constantly bleeding. It generally grows up and attaches, and begins growing on the bladder, colon, pretty much anything it can touch. It is CONSTANTLY bleeding. Hurts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There's no such a thing as a break from it. It feels like a combination of menstrual cramps, someone stabbing you in the uterus, and extremely hard pressure. Some medicines help to dull it, but it, but it ALWAYS hurts.

Backing up-- 8 years ago I was officially diagnosed with Endometriosis. I'd been symptomatic for a couple years prior to that, but a friend noticed I had pain when I did certain things, and said "hey, that's not normal, you should see a doctor".

The initial appointment was just the beginning of a very long list of appointments. Referral after referral, a list long enough to wallpaper a small room. First we did blood work, then ultrasounds. Little known fact, ultrasounds can be performed internally, and at least in my case, they DON'T warn you it will be. It leaves a burning sensation when you pee, for days afterwards. Another little known fact, again, in my opinion, ultrasounds are mostly a waste of time, except for pregnancy and gall bladders.

Then we did the scan I call the donut scan. Because I've had so many tests run that sometimes I have to label them in my head by what they look like. Worth mentioning is that far more people than I'm comfortable with have seen my private areas, because nothing is off limits. So, they make you strip down to one of those very fashionable gowns that cover next to nothing, then they injected me with a dye solution, which made me feel very weird. Again, this test showed nothing.

On to the bladder test. They make you pee until you've gotten your bladder as empty as you possibly can, which is not completely empty, because the human bladder is never totally empty. Next, they use an apparatus that looks like a very small shower head, with a camera on the end, and shove it way up into your bladder. That HURTS. Which comes with the warning, "this may be a bit uncomfortable". A bit uncomfortable, huh? Yeah right. It hurt to pee for DAYS after that one. The internal ultrasound hurt less.

There were 4 or 5 other tests, but in my head they all sort of swim together after so many years.

Next was the laporoscopy. I may have spelled that wrong. I'm never quite sure on that one. At least I got to sleep through that one. Then they FINALLY found the Endometriosis, at which point they burned off the diseased tissue, which the doctor said had been building for years. I even got printed photos of my ovaries, and the actual diseased tissue, which I still have somewhere.

My ob/gyn doctor recommended hormone therapy to try to manage it. So, we started a years' worth of various birth control options. At one point they put me on a combination of medicines that mimicked menopause. That was AWFUL. Not a single one of those options worked. Pain meds remained a constant necessity.

I spent that year bracing myself for the inevitable conclusion, that I was going to need a hysterectomy. I'd read everything I could find on the subject, and I knew that was the last resort. At this point I had still been hoping for the chance to have one more baby, so knowing that the decision to try for that was being made for me, was very painful. I knew I wasn't ready then, so it just wasn't going to happen. So I let that dream go.

After the year of Hormone Therapy Hell, I went in for the appointment that I assumed to be the one to set up the hysterectomy details. My doctor sits me down, and informs me that she's not comfortable doing the surgery. She's not convinced that the disease living and thriving on my uterus and ovaries and causing my pain, will be eradicated by removing all of those organs. She then tells me that some people just have to accept that they will have chronic pain for life, and referred me back to my primary doctor for pain medicine.

My doctor (whom has since retired, he was AMAZING), wrote the prescriptions for pain medicines. We tried everything. Percocet, Vicodin, OxyContin, Tramadol. I found that it was impossible to go to work and function on anything but Tramadol. Also, worthy of note- narcotics do not in any way make the pain "go away". They dull it some, but mostly you just don't care quite so much that it hurts, for 4-6 hours. Then it builds right back up again.

Tramadol ultimately left me fatigued at the end of the day, but it was the most successful at pain management. a couple years later my doctor retired, and I had to pick a new one. He said he would keep writing the prescriptions, but he'd like me to get a second opinion on the surgery. So, I go to see a new ob/gyn.  This doctor sent me for another test. I honestly cannot remember what test it even was. But they then found Adenomyosis. It's the same disease, it just grows inside instead of out. This doctor recommended a hysterectomy, but he was not a surgeon, and sent me back to the same doctor that had refused surgery in the first place. She again, flat out refused the surgery. She offered another years' worth of hormone therapy. Why the hell would I agree to that?!

So, my doctor sent me to a chronic pain management specialist. We kept me on the Tramadol, for about a year, I think, give or take. But, I am on mental health medicines, and we decided to switch to Gabapentin. I have now been on that for about 2 and a half years or so.

About 2 months ago I moved north of the cities, and finally have access to doctors that actually listen when you talk. About 2 weeks after I got here my fiancée's mother insisted one day that it was time to go to the emergency room, because I was in so much pain that I had given in and just burst into tears. She brought me in, and they did an internal ultrasound to rule out the really scary stuff. Although, looking back on it, had they found something, I may not have a uterus or ovaries right now. They gave me a referral to the best ob/gyn doctor I have ever seen. She's kind, efficient, and above all, ready, willing, and able to do my surgery. I have one scheduled for October 12th, which we've decided to keep scheduled until the last possible minute.

I'm working with the hospital referral specialist to get them the massive stack of papers that is my medical records, which my ob doctor will be taking back to the medical company to plead my case one more time with, but she warned me not to expect much. I'm calling the hospital to ask how much money they require as  a down payment, in order to do the surgery, and to also ask about a grant we heard about. Also, as a last grasp at hope, my fiancée has set up a Gofundme account.

Thank you, for taking the time to read my story. I know it was long, but 8 years' worth of history can't be summed up much shorter. I hope you'll take the time to share it. Not just because I need the help, but because I am one of so many countless girls suffering a disease, that far too few people know anything about.

I'm going back behind My Side of the Looking Glass now. Right now it's the best place for me.

Until next time-

Friday, July 29, 2016

Not A Pile of Bullshit

I was going to talk about babies today. I've had them on my mind a lot lately. Babies are so perfect, in every possible way. They smell like the heavens, they're soft like the most precious of silk, and the cuddles you get during their many naps are absolutely amazing.

But then a little bit ago, I made the mistake of asking someone who is supposed to be a trusted friend, his opinion on our upcoming election. Just a simple question, really. He is someone who has guided me through some very messy and unpleasant twists in my life journey. He is smart, thorough, and generally patient. He is also a fellow member of the mentally ill masses, as I am I. But that does not give anyone a free pass to just be a total jerk. Not even a tiny little bit.

Mental illness has been in the limelight a whole lot lately. Yes, it causes people to have minds they feel prisoned within, emotions they cannot control, and require medication and therapy, for life, sometimes. But it's also something that is FULLY manageable.

Mental illness is horrible. My list of diagnoses is daunting, to say the least. I go to therapy, take my medicines, and use every coping technique I've learned to utilize. I'm honest with my fiancé when I'm feeling out of sorts, I back away from situations I know are over my head, and I flat out avoid anything that I know could possibly trigger something that would be humiliating or demeaning.

There are many forms, types, and variations of mental illnesses. Mine are the result of different twists in my life journey. There are is a very different type, that some people are born with. It's called the Autistic spectrum, or at least the last I read about it, that's what it was being referred to. It's a variety of ways that the mind alters the way people think, react to social situations, and treat other people. Childhood can be extra rough, being that it is the most informative time, loaded with developmental stages. There is no medication for any of the types on that spectrum. Therapy is the only outlet for learning to manage it. The type I am most familiar with, and the one that has prompted my rant, is called Aspberger's. I have known several aspy (common abbreviation) people. It's also fairly common that aspy people that other mental illnesses, which can in fact be medicated, and they can choose to go to therapy. 

Even if you're on the Aspy spectrum, and managing other various mental illnesses, if you're able to maintain a marriage, hold down a well paying job, and buy a house, chances are you're able to choose to manage your illnesses without treating people like dirt. If you're not able to talk without being a meanface, you just say it, and whatever it is can wait. I do it all the time.. Sometimes you just tune out your phone altogether. I don't do it on purpose, but I definitely do it. I feel that's the mature, responsible way to handle it. That's almost funny, coming from me, "mature". But my Mother did teach me manners, and I'm a firm believer in using them. So, if I'm having a rough day, I use a bit of caution, and don't drag others into my dark and twisty place. THAT is what medication is for.

SO, a little while ago, I texted someone that I considered to be one of my most trusted friends. We can go months without speaking, but if he needs me, I'm there. I know I'm one of the few friends he has that can understand his dark place. But he also knows that he shouldn't engage if he's unable to be kind. I needed some advice about the election, because frankly, I don't understand most of what is going on. The more I read, the less I get. I know mainstream media is a pile of shit, so I do know enough not to buy into any of that. But what I don't know is how to absorb what I read from pretty much any source. I've been trying to understand, bit by bit, who stands for what, and why. This "friend" just not only shut me down, he hurt my feelings and demeaned my life in the process. He came right out and said I was "so caught up I my own bullshit" that I didn't take the time to do my own research.

NEWSFLASH-- I don't have any "bullshit" to be caught up in. My life is actually pretty goddamn groovy. I'm blessed with more love than any one person even really has a right to wish for. I have 2 grown children that have become loving, compassionate, intelligent people. We may not always see eye-to-eye, but I raised them to absolutely always think for themselves, and stand firmly for what they believe in.  I have a tiny family, but we stick together, no matter what. I can call my sisters with a flat tire and having run out of gas at 3 in the morning and they'll figure out a way to help me. At no point, on any given day, do I feel alone in this world. So, no, I don't have any bullshit to be wrapped up in.

I am absolutely absorbed in my own little world. I deserve to be! I think that everyone, at any point in their life that they have achieved inner peace, harmony, and love, should focus solely on nurturing that. I have goals, strive to better myself, even if in tiny increments, and maintain relationships with all the people that I love. I do not believe that in any way, that equals being wrapped up in my own bullshit.

So, I'll continue to ask people I trust for their advice. I'll try to figure out who is the least horrible choice to take their turn running this country. And, hopefully, in the process, I won't run into anyone else that feels the need to trash my life and make feel stupid. I think the sad/mads have just about run their course. Be kind to each other, be patient with the friends that are confused. Above all, as I've said before, remove toxic people. Nobody should have the power to give such horrible sad/mads.

Hopefully the next time you visit My Side of the Looking Glass we'll be talking about something wonderful like babies. Or warm chocolate chip cookies.


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Choosing Your Battles

Salutations. How've you been? I hope all is well out there in Lalaland. Things are okay on My Side of the Looking Glass. I've got a fiancé that treats me like I'm priceless, I'm more or less healthy, and sufficiently medicated. I've got my share of woes, but they will pass, they always do.

I was skimming my Facebook last night around this time. I got REALLY annoyed. First with some of the ridiculous things that I read, then with myself for not doing anything about it.  What makes people feel they need to overhaul their entire personality, for someone they themselves have admitted is "probably not the one"? Nevermind the borderline illegal, totally tacky, super low-class behavior. Yeah, I just said that. I'd say it to her face too. Unfortunately all 4 brain cells probably wouldn't understand.

Thus began the need to delete, delete, delete. No big, really. We all need to do it sometimes. It just made me sad to think about just drastically people can change, when it's so fucking superficial. Humans need to change, to evolve, to learn and better themselves. All the time. But, when you're closer to 40 than 30 and you're still doing it for the wrong reasons, grow up. And that's coming from maybe the single least mature, unbalanced, and clueless 39 year old on the planet. Okay, maybe not the planet. There's probably a crackhead somewhere less balanced than I am. But I am articulate, intelligent, and let's face it, pretty darn witty. Clever, even.

I am SO grateful for the friendships that endure the test of time, and life. I get all sappy all the time, lost in my head thinking about how fortunate I am to have the friends that I do. My circle is small, but it's unbelievably strong. When my Mom died they were present and accounted for. When I've had health scares they check on me. No matter how ludicrous my decisions appear to be, they've got my back. I recently had the second most painful thing in my life happen to me, and my friends were right there, doing their best to try to find words to comfort me.

So, if they see someone that deserves that type of friendship, I must be doing something right. It's especially comforting when you think about all the people that so willingly let you walk out of their life. Or in one particularly painful situation, tell you that you are dead to them. But that's a post for another day.

I think the point is, examine what you're allowing into your life. If you have friends that are willing to make the time, you must be doing something right. If you find yourself questioning why you feel let down, or flabbergasted, or just plain sad by the way someone has treated you- that's because YOU allowed them to do it. They're called toxic people, at least in how they relate to you. Why would you put up with that? You can't be open to allowing in new, positive things, if you're caught up dealing with negativity, which tends to stem from the influences you allow into your life. I'm just as guilty of it, as anyone else. I wouldn't have been skimming Facebook getting annoyed last night, if I'd taken personal responsibility for removing people.

One last thing; this political situation is making us all a little nutso. Try to remember not to allow the garbage that the media is spewing, to come between you and the people you love. I have a feeling this will get much worse before it gets better. Your friends will still be around after that inauguration, regardless of whom takes to the oath, if they are truly your friends. THAT, not the POLITICS, is worth fighting for. Educate yourself and vote how you feel is best for you. It's nobody's business but yours. Or, for that matter, don't vote at all. Who am I to tell you what to do? Either way, it's you living in your skin, screw the rest. Just remember the people in your life don't love you for your politics. If they do, they're the wrong people. Simple as that.

Now I must bid you farewell. It seems even my miraculous allergy pills cannot combat the damage that sleeping with my sister's cat all day has done to my eyes. I can barely see a damn thing.

Thank you for visiting My Side of the Looking Glass! Let's do this more often, shall we?

--Chandra :)

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Love, In All It's Beautiful Forms

So, my Mother taught me all about how to love. Unconditionally. No holding back, your whole heart or nothing at all. It should be no surprise that her imminent birthday is tearing me up, already. In about a week we would have been sitting around laughing, and talking shit, and probably having a few drinks.

My Mother is never far from my mind. Anyone that tells you that grief will pass has never lost anyone they truly loved. Yes, you find a way to live with that dull, horrible ache. However it never, ever goes away. It's been 5 years, and it feels like yesterday. I am still ridiculously jealous of anyone that still has their Mother. I am well aware of how that sounds, I also do not care. You can't get it unless you've felt it. For those of you in the Dead Mom's Club, I'm sincerely sorry that you do get it.

Okay, so enough of that. My whole point is that love is a huge, powerful thing. It is a life changing emotion. Gets you all up in your feels. Has you thinking things, and feeling things that you would never in a million years have thought possible. No matter how many times it hits you. It's always different, and always changes things up. Sometimes it makes you do things that in hindsight you see made you look like an absolute lunatic. Ramifications that you will no doubt spend a very long time dealing with. But for whatever reason, at that point in time, you decided it was right for you. I genuinely believe that absolutely everything happens for a reason. I really do. Don't ask me how there was any decent reason for my Mother to be taken away. I've still got nothing on that one.

But- never allow anyone to trample on your love. If you are lucky enough to fall in love, hold onto that with all that you've got. Every bit of your strength. In the past few days I've had conversations with people I love dearly, that are going to face some difficult adversity for choosing their happiness.

Fuck that. Fuck anyone that believes they have any right to judge you and your choices. If you have found someone that lights up that special part of your heart and soul, hold them close and protect it at all costs. Maybe it's your forever. Your happily ever after. Maybe not. But either way, if it feels right and true for you, then fight for it. Love doesn't just knock on your door every day- when it does and you are given the chance to embrace it, hold on tight and don't let go. If and when it's time to let go, only you can know. Don't allow anyone to make you feel pushed into doing or saying anything.

Love is what makes this world work. If every person out there would show just a bit of love and kindness every day, it would be a completely different society. I know, yeah, right. however, I'm not cynical, I prefer to think of myself as naive. I am absolutely the last person to see that another human is a shitty person. This is not a groovy quality to possess. It never fails to suck to figure out that I've been totally screwed over. However, I continue to always assume the best in people. Another facet of my personality that my Mom instilled in me. It bit me in the ass just a few days ago. I am so fucking gullible. But I'd do the same thing again, I quite simply wouldn't know any better in the same instance,

Another type of love is that of friendship. I have less than no clue how I got SO blessed to be surrounded by so many people that love my random weirdass self, but they are out there. It sounds super cliche and corny, but I have the VERY BEST FRIENDS. You all are the absolute best of the best, I was just mentioning to my sister that I don't see how anyone can possibly maintain a genuine friendship with 800+ Facebook friends. I think I have around 160 or so, and I honestly feel on a regular basis that I am dropping the ball in being a good friend. How in any reality do you live a worthwhile real life, and still be a good friend to that many people? Unless it's all for number count, in which case I'm sad for you. Your priorities may be a bit askew. But, I will leave that at that. It's not my place to judge how anyone is choosing to live their life.

I hope all of my friends feel my love, because the one and only singular reason I can be so badass and strong is because I know there's a small army of amazing people that believe in me. Your combined strength empowers me to feel like I can always bounce back. No matter how enormous the clusterfuck I create may be. I know I have this amazing support system of people that are there, if I just speak up, whenever I dig myself yet another hole to try to claw my way out of.

So, thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to all of you that find me to share your words of love, compassion, and encouragement. You are sincerely the very best. This world needs billions more exactly like the people in my bubble. If we could seriously spread just a fraction of each of your sense of compassion, and love, oh the miracles of change we could make. I shall continue to just feel grateful that I get to be someone you all love unconditionally.

So, I'm going to wrap this up now. The whole reason I was inspired to write was love. I suppose that's fairly obvious. I've got a Glee playlist going in the background. The song Need You Now just came on. It was very popular when my Mom died. I spent countless hours curled up in the tiniest ball I could be, sobbing my poofy eyes out to this song. I guess it's only appropriate that a post that was inspired by all the love she instilled in me gets finished up this way. I miss her so much that sometimes I wonder if that ache just might burn a hole clear through my chest :(

Thank you, for taking the time to visit My Side Of The Looking Glass. You all are always such a lovely audience, I sincerely appreciate you humoring me. I love you.


Friday, October 23, 2015

It Doesn't Always Feel Like It Will Actually Get Better- But It Will

Well, it's been yet another year since I wrote. I'm going to go ahead and blame it on lack of internet and technology access. But wow, what an eye-opening year.

I think it's entirely possible I'm the Grand Master of catastrophic, life altering decisions. Like aim the torpedo in the general direction of my life journey, and just fire away. Yikes. Just point me towards the worst possible idea, and just make some popcorn and wait for the show to begin.

On the bright side, I only have to make the fucked up choice once, and I learn my lesson. When I reflect on my last year- minus the most recent 6 months or so- (how crazy does just that bit sound??), I can't even believe how nuts it sounds. Literally. Nobody in their right mind would willingly sign up for those experiences. My Mother (RIP beautiful lady), raised me better than to slander or slam anyone outside of the privacy of a trusted circle, so I'm going to keep this clean, but trust me when I say, never legally bind yourself to a fucking legitimately crazy person. No matter how sincere they sound. The next thing you know your favorite shirt has been used to clean up dog shit, and your great grandma's wooden spoon has been chosen for the dogs chew toy. No bueno. It sucks.

However. I have to give solid props to my friends. You all know who you are. They showed up for this huge moment in my life. I fought for the right to have it for so many years. Such a long time. I picketed, stood around and held a sign, posted on social media, grabbed the nearest soapbox and gave my best speeches. I put my heart and soul into giving my very best into fighting for equal rights for my community. By some not in the least small miracle we won!! Marriage equality in Minnesota. Not long after that the whole country got on board, and now we are equal everywhere. That has zero to do with my point, it was just worth mentioning :) All the smiling faces of my small world showed up to celebrate, thank you, for that. It meant more than I could ever find words to articulate. It's unfortunate that in the end it didn't work out, but you amazing friends contributed to making that fight so absolutely worth it. However it all came down, I got to live a lifelong dream.

Now, by yet another miracle, I get to dream up, and live, yet another one. No clue how I got so lucky, but I'm not one to dwell on how the wonderful things come about. I prefer to just focus on the fact that they did.

Somehow, I met an angel. She is absolutely just something beyond words. I'll leave it at that. I don't know what dream brought her about, or how I was lucky enough to have her just float along into my bubble, but here she is.

I have been fairly open about how mental illness affects my life. It's pretty awful. Perhaps not often on my blog specifically, but that's for lack of available access. My social media absolutely shows and reflects this issue. Right about the time my personal life went all to hell, and blew up in my life, I had just begun to admit, deal with, and manage my mental illness. My diagnoses list is pretty daunting. Next thing I know I have no insurance, the medicines I've grown to depend are gone, and I am flying by the seat of my pants. Which got much bigger. Stupid stress eating. Usually stress causes complete lack of appetite. Instead I develop a sweet tooth. Whaaaa??? But I'm going to deal with that too. In the grand scheme of things, this is a very small complication.

I just want to take a brief moment to remind you all- if you feel lost or alone, please reach out. I personally am always here, and I am absolutely certain that there is someone in your life that is happy and willing to help. Although I encourage you to make a list on a day when you're in a good mood to make a list of dependable people you can count on. At a dark point earlier this year I was entertaining some very sad thoughts, I called a suicide line I found on Google. They put me on hold. Seriously. I was on hold for about 5 minutes before I just gave up. My next thought was "Really?" The irony of the fact that I was sitting on hold to wait for someone to talk me out of cutting deeply enough to just be done, was enough of a reality check to just go to sleep. But I hold no delusions that it would go that way for everyone. Please get your support plan in place.

Life gets better. I know that in today's society it gets really hard to just buy into that line. Which is exactly what it sounds like. As though you can buy a t-shirt, or put a sticker on your car and that fixes everything. Possibly not even just for yourself, but in general. Sometimes it still feels like bullshit. But it is true. Sometimes you just have to give it time that you don't even feel like you have to give. That's when you reach for that list. Which I hope I am on. I will always be here to talk.

I think we've just about covered everything that needed to be caught up on. It's always a mood brightener to see how many views have floated across my blog. Of course I promote it, who knows, maybe someday enough people will want to see my thoughts that I will be able to make a living giving you all a glimpse into my inner madness. Until then, I'll take advantage of the cathartic value of spilling it with the tap, tap, tap of keystrokes.

I just want to leave you with the closing thought of this- you are loved, valued, and needed. I promise. I swear from the bottom of my heart and soul, you are a wanted and needed human being. Please- reach out if you feel yourself lost. Just don't give up. Make your happy list. If this post finds you, reach out and and add me to it. You are never alone.

Thank you, for visiting My Side Of The Looking Glass- We can all always sort through the inner  madness together :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My Next Chapter

Salutations!! It has been what feels like forever, since I even thought about writing. Or even had the means to do so. I've taken several rides on the life-o-coaster, and I'm still finding my footing. So now it's time for a bit of this and that.

I chose to end my six year relationship. It was time. What an experience that was. I honestly didn't think it would go the way that it did. But I finally stuck to it and let go. I think the detail that stands out the most about that particular life event is that one of the last things my ex said to me was "please don't talk badly about me to other people". Regardless of the tumultuous nature of our time together, I deeply respect this individual. So, amidst tears and broken hearts I solemnly promised not to say anything unkind. What a fool I can be, and complete load of total bullshit that was. Turns out I am not deserving of that same kindness. Anyone that truly knows my heart knows just about how much I deserved to be talked about that way. However, no matter how you look at it, I've got my freedom and nobody making me feel small anymore. So, all around win for Chandra.

Next month is my favorite month of the year. Both of my beautiful children were born in June, and it's also Pride month. It's so packed full of goodness I spend the whole month feeling like I could just burst with happiness. And holy crap do I have such extraordinary news about my kids!! Chelsea is living her life. Having experiences, making choices, being her amazing self. Never a dull moment with her, and that's one of my favorite things about her. She's such a whirlwind of personality and snark. Which I mean in the nicest possible way ;)  Christian has been busy growing into a wonderful young man, right before my very eyes as well. He is without a doubt one of the most remarkable humans I know. I am in constant awe of his mind blowing intellect, deeply rooted sense of compassion, and inner drive to be the very best version of himself that he can be. Enrolled in college for the Fall term, getting ready to start his next chapter too! He's just spectacular. He told me just the other day that not only am I his Mother, I am also his best friend. I think my heart nearly exploded!! I am definitely blessed with the two most miraculous children anyone could ask for. They will be 18 and 20. I cannot believe it. My job is done. I don't feel but 17 most of the time myself. How I could possibly have grown children is a total mystery to me.
Then there's Pride!! Our community gets to be our flamboyant, colorful selves and celebrate all of our victories for a whole weekend. And this is a huge year for us. Last year the great state of Minnesota voted in favor granting same sex marriage equality.  So this year the mass commitment ceremony will actually result in legal unions! Yay :) So much over flowing goodness all over the place in June.

I think one of the bright sides in choosing to get on with my life was in discovering yet again, who my "real" friends are. I was so pleasantly surprised at some of the ones that chose to stay. People that I've grown to love quite dearly over the past 6 years. It's been really groovy, overall, connecting and having long conversations with my dearly loved friends. I can honestly say that I truly have the very best friends, and that I know beyond a doubt that I would not have gotten through the last 2 months without them holding me up. Nevermind the generosity of allowing me to take up space on their sofas and in their spare bedrooms. You all know who you are. My life is so completely filled with people that love me, exactly as I am, it blows my mind every day.

I lost 80 pounds!! A smallish humans size. Yowza. Partly due to my rockin self control where carbs are concerned, and partly due to loss of appetite from the enormous mountain of stress I have hovering over my head. Pretty much constantly. But however I did it, I am SO excited to rock this body all summer. Finally have my hair the way I wanted it for years, and now I can have a groovy ass in some low rise capris too. Again, WIN for Chandra.

I have lots more to say, but I think I'm going to call it for this round of gabbing. There should be one or two more posts before I get quiet again for a while. Thank you, dear readers, for taking the time to read all about my new chapter. It means a lot to me that so many people care what I have to say. You have all helped more than you could possibly know, in reinforcing my self love and acceptance.  It's totally acceptable to walk into walls and talk to yourself. But most of all, embrace yourself, as is.

I hope you're all enjoying a pleasant evening, and wake up to a tomorrow filled with hope and possibility. Thank you for stopping by My Side of the Looking Glass.

'til next time
Chandra :) 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Not Taking Pride For Granted

Ahhhh. The last time we met I was feeling very conflicted. I am feeling much more calm now, and far better able to manage my sailor's mouth. I have been sitting back and paying attention for about a month now, give or take. I think a huge part of being an informative voice, worth listening to, is being able to just absorb your surroundings. Also, however difficult it may be, one has to give an honest effort to trying to understand and comprehend where their opponent is coming from.

And however ugly that word may be, opponent is utterly accurate. I have truly gone to the websites and read what is being said about the GLBTQ community. However my completely awesome Mom raised me better than to repeat some of the filth that is being said about my queer family community. I will say this, I cannot fathom how anyone, anywhere, can begin to believe that allowing equal marriage rights would be on the same level as allowing brothers and sisters to marry. Or farm animals. Quite frankly, I'm rather insulted that the latter two are EVER in league with thoughts of the former two. But, people exist that entertain these thoughts.

After my last blog post I got some feedback that ran the full spectrum. Everything from totally positive, to close friends being concerned that my mood and temper might get in the way of me taking advantage of my life and my blessings. I am here to tell you that nothing that I get upset about will ever get between myself and the love in my life. Nothing ever could be worth allowing that negativity to touch or upset the love that I have been blessed with. I think when you have to fight so hard for something, you are just that much more appreciative of it. Exibit A: the breeder divorce rate. I am certain that feathers will be ruffled with that statement, and to the straight people that I love very much, that read this, I hope this never includes you. However, you all love me because I am a no-bullshit kind of person, so I am hoping that you will be able to see my point, and not become angry or upset with me for being honest.

GLBTQ Pride is upon us. Our beautiful diverse community will be shown tolerance, for one entire weekend. We will be able to sport our bumper stickers, flags, and rainbow pride clothes for 3 whole days. Minneapolis even puts up these awesome banners on all the light posts and street signs proclaiming that it's Pride time. This amazing facade could easily fool the uninformed into believing that all is uncorns and glitter in the queer world. I promise you a gorgeous Abercrombie-advertising young gay man will still get roughed up at some point. A close cropped lesbian will still be called a "dyke", by someone utterly unworthy of using that term. These things make me still, to this day, want to hang my head in shame. Because, somewhere deep down, I still wonder how or why we deserve this treatment.

And you cannot fathom being treated this way, until you have walked even just few steps, in our vastly differed footwear.

The song "True Colors", by the Divine Miss Cyndie Lauper makes me cry every single time I hear it. All I can think about is all the beautiful shades of the GLBTQ rainbow, and how we are so incredibly blessed to have every single person that helps to create that magnificence.


Imagine a place where we all are accepted and loved EXACTLY as we are. Gay. Lesbian. Bisexual. Transgendered. Queer. And every single facet in between. Loved for the very essence of the people we are, and NOT how we love. In my heart I believe that reality exists, but it will be a victory that we have to give every ounce of stength to win.

I hope that we all can carry our Rainbow Pride with us beyond this month. I hope that when Minneapolis is sweeping the glitter, and streamers and tossed away paper cups off the street they do not take the essence of our Pride with them. It's so much more than that!!!

It's holding your partner's hand when you're having a casual stroll down the street. It's standing up and being proud of who you are, all the time. It's not allowing anyone to make you feel as though you are unworthy of love, simply because of how you love. It's as simple as telling your co-workers that your best friend is gay, and you are not comfortable with the queer joke that someone just made. Or for that matter, you just happen to know someone is gay, and even though you barely know them, it's flat out unacceptable that the person might hear that joke. There are so many examples that I could be here all night naming them all off. Either way, I believe you get the point.

I hope that each and every person that reads this can honestly say that they would speak up. Or has. Or that they have had someone speak out and stand up in their behalf. I am not certain that that's the case though. The optimist in me won't entertain the negative for long however, and that brings me to my major point.

Bring Pride with you. Support absolutely any local GLBTQ cause or business that you can. They're not tough to spot. "Like" the Facebook pages. Pay attention to local politics. The local news is generally thrilled to report on how the queers are doing be it good or bad. Show up and be counted whenever you can.

I know these things seem trivial, but I assure you that someone is always paying attention. Someone always notices how many people are present on both sides of the line. And rest assured, the bigots have drawn the line. Where YOU reside when the vote comes is monumental, and I hope that your Pride keeps you on the diverse side. I also hope it helps you to encourage more minds to open and follow suit.

Thank you for taking a few minutes out of your day and visiting My Side Of The Looking Glass. I hope that you are blessed to be included in some beautiful diversity.