I Am The One Thing In Life I Can Control

We Keep Living Anyway

So, I entered Elise Kova‘s #ITookMyShot contest, right? It turns out, I did not throw away my shot. I won (SQUEEE!) and I got to see Hamilton on February 13 at the Richard Rogers Theater in New York City.

When I first received the news, I was completely stunned, immensely grateful to Elise. I think I cried. I never expected to go see Hamilton. Ever. I bought my train ticket and hotel room that night.

And then I had the anxiety attack. What if I got one of my terribad migraines and couldn’t go? What if my drug regimen made me doze off during the show? What if I got the flu? I have like 8 food restrictions for my migraines alone plus I can’t eat bread for my MTHFR, where the hell would I eat in NYC? What if I couldn’t get out of Penn Station and my desiccated corpse was found down in some hallway there weeks later?

But I did it. I traveled alone, way out of my comfort zone, and I got to my hotel room. I brought all my food from home so I didn’t have to have anxiety about going to restaurants. I got dressed up fancy, which always feels so good. I met Elise, who was totally relieved I wasn’t a serial killer (Sorry, just a total theater nerd and fangirl!). We thoroughly enjoyed the show and geeked out about theater and writing, which if you want to get me talking for a long while, those are two great subjects to start with. When it was all done, I thanked Elise profusely because hello? HAMILTON. (Elise, in addition to also not being a serial killer, is one of the kindest people I’ve met, please do buy her books.)

And then I was off to wander around Times Square at night; it’s an amazing place to be and not just because of the lights. The energy of so many people who are seeing a popular, exciting landmark, smiling, laughing and taking selfies. I loved the happy energy and absorbed it like a sponge.

The post-Exciting Thing migraine showed up that night. I expected it and took my meds. But, fellow Hobbitses, I went there and back again and found myself transformed. I took my stubborn ass body all by myself to New York City and back. I wanted to do something lovely and I did it anyway, neurological system! Suck it! Since then, I just feel a greater sense of…the ability to take control. I know I am not in control, but I now have more confidence that I can adapt to the situations which I find myself.

I am the one thing in life I can control.

* Featured image credit: Found on Nezumiko‘s tumblr, fellow spoonie, geek and Hamilton fan.


This is my entry for Elise Kova’s #ITookMyShotWhen contest and I do understand, should I win the lotto, I’d need to be at the Richard Rogers Theater on February 13, 2018 (incidentally my half-birthday) no later than 6:30 pm.


I sat in my reiki practitioners office devoid of hope. I’d been in pain from the time my kids were two-year-olds. Six years of being mostly disabled with pain from fibromyalgia, endometriosis, migraines, two surgeries…my body and mind had had it. I stared helplessly at her. She asked me “When do you not hurt?”

I thought for a minute. “When I do something creative,” I finally answered. But what could I do that had not been taken away from me? Irish dance was out of the question. Knitting hurt my hands. I drove home staring at the lines coming toward me on the highway and I thought back to when I was ten years old.

10-year old me was horse crazy and could not stop writing horse stories. She also loved fantasy so usually, the horses and the main characters ended up falling into a strange, magical world and having fantastic adventures. I had a lot of insomnia at the time, so notebooks, pens and later a blue WordStar screen became my best friends. High school homework and a teacher not so fond of horses falling into fantastical realms on creative writing assignments took their toll and I never really did write again.

Until. Until I needed to write my way out of chronic pain. I gripped the steering wheel that night and made a decision. You see, the writing stopped, but the ideas never did. There’d been a scene in my head for about ten years. I was going to write that scene*. And I was going to make myself write and write and I wasn’t going to stop until I had 50,000 words, the same as NaNoWriMo. It probably wouldn’t see the light of day, but this was for me. This was me telling the pain “this far and no further.”

So I wrote. And wrote. I didn’t hurt when I wrote, so I became addicted and wrote a lot. And I world built. I watched YouTube videos and read blog posts to learn about storytelling and novelcraft. And I wrote some more. At Chapter 13, I stopped and looked at what I had. And I liked it. And I thought, with some editing, other people might like it, too. Pain had already told me “no” enough times so I decided to self-publish.

Self-publishing was (and still is) a huge learning curve and there were a lot of walls in my way. Plus, life kept throwing things at me. Not just my chronic illnesses but all the normal things that get thrown at chronically ill mothers of twins who work a full-time job who decide to write and publish a novel. Who dare to defy their crazy neurological system and set deadlines. And I just kept getting up and trying to smash through the walls like the Kool-Aid man (so poetic!)

But my first book was born on January 26, 2018. Suck it, pain. I did not throw away my shot and I wrote my way out. Fuckin’ right I’m relentless.

Thank you for the chance to put words to my story, Elise.


* The scene did make it into the final published version of “Emerald’s Fracture”