Here goes

Wow, first blog post. You know, I’ve actually been thinking about what to write as my entry to the online world for months now. I have created a very long list of subjects for later posts, but I’ve struggled over this one rather a lot. Some may call that procrastination. I prefer to think of it as a delay due to potentially flimsy reasoning. But anyways, here we go. I guess I should start by explaining the name. A brownie is a stand alone dessert. It doesn’t call for anything extra. Now imagine. You’re mixing your batter, and go to put that dash of salt in. To your horror, the top of your salt shaker hadn’t been screwed on properly, and as you rush to righten the shaker you notice that far too much salt has made it's way in. Now at this point it would be tempting to give up on the batter as it’s clearly been ruined and will probably only serve as a solid representation of your tears of frustration. But you have no choice. You can’t show up to the bake sale empty handed and you don’t have enough eggs to start a fresh batch. As you begin to experiment with the dough it slowly dawns on you. With careful attention to the balance of flavours, making sure not to overdo anything, you can end up with something fantastic. An unexpectedly delicious treat with a twist.

That’s pretty much how I see life with chronic illness- a heavy dose of something that is not wanted, needed, or expected; a need to be extremely careful, playing a delicate balancing act at all times and the potential for something wonderful to come out of it. Something that couldn’t have happened without it. But here’s the thing. You don’t need to have a chronic illness to have experienced a dump of salt in your life. We all have some and there are so many different kinds, from table salt to kosher salt with each grain being unique. And in a way, that’s kind of great because we’re all special, but we are all together in that.

This blog will focus on the realities of life with a chronic illness because that’s a salt I know well and I believe it’s a salt that people are particularly afraid of talking about. But it is not just for people who have experienced chronic illness. It’s for everyone to learn about each other, to understand some of the things that can go on behind a smile and to get comfortable discussing them. We all have our salt, and it doesn’t help to tiptoe around it. But if we can acknowledge and work with it both within ourselves and each other - well, I don’t actually know what will happen, but hopefully something good. The plan is to find out.

That’s my not-so-well-hidden agenda. Now all that’s left is for you to find out how I’m going to accomplish it. Fasten your seat belts... it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

Oh, and for future reference, I go by ‘specially abled’. While I may currently be dealing with paperwork that says ‘disability’ at the top, I would like to clarify that I am not bereft of ability. I have lost a number of my previous skills, such as walking in a consistently straight line, but I am discovering and developing a unique skill set that comes from my experience and body itself. It’s special. I’m special. And now it’s on the internet so you should probably believe it.