Seeing Invisible Illness in Modern Storytelling

Illness is portrayed in many modern stories, and most often, the illness is invisible. This allows for the hero or heroine to remain beautiful – something our society values above all else. The one thing these ten stories have in common is that somewhere in the plot, there is sickness. Illness often appears as an antagonist inside the hero, and only rarely as something the hero must come to live with. Sometimes, the illness is not the hero’s, but it belongs to someone the hero loves. In this case, illness is the catalyst that drives the action. Sometimes it is the villain who is sick, and the illness drives the acts of evil in the story. In any case, the story is somehow about illness, life with illness, or overcoming illness. No matter how illness is used, there are positive and negative social implications.

The Pros

There are many pros to the ways illness is used in modern storytelling. Having illness figure prominently in the plots of films and TV shows has one over-arching positive impact, and that, of course, is awareness. The fact that people hear about these invisible conditions is a huge contribution to the world of someone with an illness. It is much easier to find support and acceptance when people can say “Oh, I’ve heard of that.” Storytelling shows us the trials and tribulations of living with illness. Some may rise to the occasion, like the heroes, and some may become corrupted by it, like the villains. Either way, storytelling offers insight into the world of someone struggling with illness.

The Cons

As great as awareness is, there is also a lot of bad coming from the way illness is currently portrayed in modern storytelling. Obviously, the fact that many villains are driven by some kind of illness does not really paint a pretty picture of those of us who carry the burden of illness. Generally, ill villains become evil by stopping at nothing to get their “cure.” But even the ill heroes and heroines have some cons to them. In these stories, is illness too glamorous? Too melodramatic? Usually it is, at best, unrealistic. At worst, it beautifies being sick until it ranks with hubris or some other trite trait. You know the saying “Some are born heroes. Others have heroism thrust upon them.” This is the way that heroic illness is often presented. What are the implications of equating fighting illness with heroism? Is this a realistic view? What are the problems here?

How To Be Sick

By including illness in the plot of these stories, the author does seem to imply some kind of advice on how one should be sick. In some cases, the author is sick, and in some cases not. Generally, though, an image is painted of how a sick person “should” be. The archetypes are not realistic, and perhaps even harmful to real people who are sick. There are basically three types of sick people in stories:

  • –  The Hospitalized Angel – usually a beautiful and innocent female character who is totally helpless.
  • –  The Tragically Ill Hero – the one who stands up to fight their illness, usually alone, and usually triumphant. Generally finds a cure.
  • –  The Desperate Villain – usually sympathetic and male. Will do anything to find a cure to his illness.

How to Be Well

Inversely, as these stories offer advice, both good and bad, on how to be sick, they also offer advice on how to be well. There is really only one person in a sick person’s life in movies, right? Their hero. Their champion. The person who rides out into the sunset, vowing to find a cure. Sure, when a Western hero does that for his little sister, we all cheer. But there is one thing about this that is very destructive. Say you are a healthy young man, and you have started dating this pretty girl. You like her a lot, and as the relationship gets more and more serious, you find out that she has an incurable, lifelong disease. Suddenly, you realize that the world will expect you to be her hero. Can you devote your life to that? Do you want to? How terrible must it feel to know that anyone you get involved with will have to take that place – the sick person’s champion? Wouldn’t you rather be a Tragically Ill Hero, and go off by yourself to find a cure?

What’s the main problem here? This entire scenario revolves around finding a cure. Rarely, if ever, does a couple in a story learn to live with illness.

Change It

I want people to look at these stories and, after weighing the pros and cons, and examining the stereotypes, decide what parts of the story are valuable, and think about what would need to change. Stories about illness should convey illness realistically, and offer help or comfort to those dealing with it. Some of these stories may not need changes. Others may only need a small tweak. Others still may need to be rewritten completely or altogether thrown out. I want to get people talking, get people writing, and get more stories out there about illness. I want stories that raise awareness and bring light and hope back into the lives of those who suffer.

The Stories

Repo! The Genetic Rock Opera

Synopsis: In a dystopian future, the human race almost died out from an epidemic of organ failure. After GeneCo., a company run by Rotti Largo and his three children, begins financing organ transplants, mankind is saved…but when the repossession of organs is legalized, Repo Men begin hunting their patrons down and brutally murdering them to re-attain the organs.

Nathan Wallace works for Rotti Largo as a Repo Man after the death of his wife, Marni. Rotti, who also loved her, has convinced Nathan that her death was his fault, and uses this to blackmail him into being a Repo Man. Nathan and Marni’s daughter, Shiloh, has the same grave illness her mother had, and has never left her own house. She lives a very sheltered life. She has no outward signs of illness except hair loss, which she hides by wearing a wig.

When Rotti finds out that he has a fatal disease, he decides it is time to collect and exact his ultimate revenge on Nathan for winning Marni. He lures Shiloh away from her home, promising a cure. Shiloh meets him at the Opera, where it is revealed to her that her father is a Repo Man and a murderer.

SPOILERS (skip to next title if you want to keep the ending a surprise)

Not only that, but he has also kept her sick when he could have cured her – he wanted to keep her locked away at home, sick, to protect her. Rotti hands Shiloh a gun and tells her to kill her treacherous father. She refuses, and Rotti kills him himself. As she holds her dying father in her arms, she assures him that all is forgiven, and leaves the theater with her head held high, vowing to find a cure and be the master of her own fate.

How To Train Your Dragon

In a Viking world where dragons fly, a village lives in constant fear of the onslaught of attacks from wild dragons. Children are raised to hunt and kill dragons to protect the village. As a rite of passage, each child must fight and kill a dragon to be considered an adult.

One outcast boy, Hiccup, finds a rare type of dragon sleeping in the woods. Seeing this as his only chance to kill a dragon, he attempts to kill it. He finds, however, that he does not want to. He observes the dragon from afar, and realizes after a few days that the reason it is stuck in the forest is that it’s tail is injured and it cannot properly fly.

Hiccup begins to befriend the dragon, gaining its trust. He starts trying to train him, and at the same time, he works on designing a kind of fan to attach to his tail so that he may fly again. When the Village decides to send a crew to the Dragon’s island, Hiccup shows the youth of the village how to train dragons, and together they help save the dragons’ home.

SPOILERS

In the climactic battle, Hiccup is grievously injured. He ends up losing part of his leg and must build himself a mechanism to walk again. He and his dragon are rehabilitated together, both of them learning to live with prosthetic help.

The Amazing Spider Man

Peter Parker begins snooping for clues about his parents’ mysterious disappearance when he was a child. His hunt leads him to a scientist who his parents worked with – Dr. Connors. Dr. Connors has only one arm, and is working on a serum to help humans heal themselves the way lizards do. He tests the formula on himself, and mutates into a giant lizard-man who terrorizes the city.

Meanwhile, Peter is experiencing new mutations of his own, as he develops spider powers from a spider bite he got at the lab. He rises to fight off the deranged lizard doctor, and bring peace to the city.

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

Cloud Strife, an ex-mercenary, has been living in isolation after he came down with the geostigma disease. The geostigma is an epidemic that has been raging all over the world. When all the children with geostigma in town start disappearing, he reconnects with his old friends and comes out of self-imposed isolation to try and find them.

SPOILERS

Three mysterious men have kidnapped them and begun to brainwash them. In a clash of swords, magic, and muscle, Cloud and his friends fight them off and save the children. A cure is found, and Cloud and the children bath in a magical pool and are cured.

“Peggy’s Turtle Song” (King of the Hill)

Bobby Hill is diagnosed with ADD and put on Ritalin. (you can read my detailed analysis here)

“Junkie Business” (King of the Hill)

Hank Hill hires a new part time employee at Strickland Propane. When he finds out the man is addicted to drugs, he tries to fire him. The man finds a loophole in the law and enrolls in a rehab. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Hank can no longer fire him and, in fact, must actually make ridiculous accommodations for him. In response, the other employees self-diagnose their own disabilities and demand accommodation.

“Hank’s Unmentionable Problem” (King of the Hill)

Hank Hill begins having problems with constipation, and is extremely embarrassed about it. Out of concern, his wife Peggy talks about it with everyone. Hank and his family must bond together to overcome the medical problem, no matter how embarrassing it might be. (check out my video review of this here)

The Secret Garden

After loosing her parents in a tragic epidemic in India, Mary Lennox comes to live with her uncle. She discovers a house full of secrets, a very sick cousin of hers, and a garden that’s been locked up forever. Through curiosity and bravery, Mary opens the garden, frees her Uncle from his depression, and helps her sick cousin Colin to get well and walk again.

The Secret of NIMH

When her son falls sick, Mrs. Brisby must venture forth from their small home and unlock the secrets of her husband’s life and death to save her son’s life.

The Directive

When Lynne, an introverted college student who loves books and reading, is diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, her whole life is turned upside down. As she navigates the turbulent new world of hospitals and doctors, she realizes that she must come out of her shell and change herself and her life if she is to now live with Crohn’s. (check out my review of this amazing book here and read my interview with the author here)

Summary

It was actually quite challenging to find illness portrayed in modern stories, and as you may have noticed, I did end up including one story that is not exactly modern – the Secret Garden. I felt, however, that its inclusion was valid, as this book is considered by most to be a “classic” and is still widely read today.

I had a really great time putting all this together. I keep a running list of movies and books I come across that pertain to life with illness, though I was only able to used a few from that list for this particular project. Many of the stories were allegories for illness, and those would simply not work in this setting. Perhaps one day it would be fun to put together a sister collection to this one that is mainly allegories. But for now, I focused on stories that actually featured illness as a big factor in the plot.

I would have liked it if illness was the main driving factor in each plot, but I feel that a collection like that would feature only one type of story – the Tragically Ill Hero story – and it was very important to me to show a variety of ways that illness can be used. Some of the examples are wonderful and realistic, and others are stereotyped and beautified. I am glad I was able to find a good mix, because I think that people in general have mixed up feelings about illness.

(NOTE: I wrote this as a part of my final for my storytelling class back in 2012. What are some good newer stories dealing with illness? Leave your ideas in the comments below!)

Advertisements

SPOONIE OR SENIOR CITIZEN?

Let’s play an exciting new game called:

SPOONIE. OR. SENIOR CITIZEN.

First up: the kitchen pantry!

supplement-cabinet-multivitamin

Whoa nelly, that’s a lot of vitamins! So? Spoonie? Or Senior Citizen?

Next: the bathroom cabinet!

miralax-samples-box

Miralax! So much miralax! What do you think? Spoonie? Or Senior Citizen?

Third: the shower!

moen-grab-dn7025-tub-lg

Interesting, a stool! That seems to suggest Senior, but it could still be a Spoonie. What do you think?

Next: do they own a SMTWTFS pill box?

canstock21971812

Oh man, this one is still up in the air folks!

Finally: the jewlery box.

il_fullxfull-463545268_cfjx

Oh man, this is a real doozy. A medical alert bracelet is very senior citizen BUT it’s kind of trendy and cute– a spoonie, perhaps?

Spoonie or Senior Citizen? The world may never know.

There are no winners in this game. Only losers.

Men’s Health: Advice from One Man At the End of His Life

A few years ago, my husband’s grandfather passed away. I’m blessed to have all my grandparents with me today, and for me, it was my first experience with Parkinsons, cancer, and nursing homes. I didn’t know Grandpa Melvin all that well or all that long because he lived out of state, but he made my wedding ring, and I got to spend a good amount of time with him towards the end of his days. 

It’s fascinating to speak with someone at the end of a long, full life. He asked all about his grandsons’ daily lives, school, and jobs, offering occasional encouragement or advice. He didn’t speak about himself as much. He and his grandsons aren’t terribly touchy-feely types. My husband is definitely the “sappiest” of the bunch. But Grandpa Melvin did offer a few moments of earnest heart to heart, with perhaps even a tear or two sneaking in there.

IMG_1140

Grandpa Melvin was very sick, not only with Parkinsons but also cancer. We asked how he was doing health wise each day and he always told us in the regular way folks talk to each other – how he felt, if eating and sleeping were going well or poorly, how well he was getting around, etc. That is to say, not in medical terms. So I can’t really tell you specifics on his medical condition. But I will tell you what he told us.

One of his final wishes to my husband was “get checked out.”  I’ll paraphrase, but here’s the gist of what he said. “Go to the doctor. Get checkups. Do the embarrassing stuff. It’s one of those things people know they should do but they don’t always. Staying healthy is important. I’m not worried about myself, but when you’re old, you’re sad for your kids and your grandkids. You should do it for them.”

That was one of the last pieces of advice this man left for his grandson, but I wanted to share it because it’s good advice for all men. I have endometriosis and PCOS – this blog talks a lot about women’s health. But statistically, women are 24% more likely to see a doctor regularly. We go to the “lady doctor,” there’s tons of press on screening for breast cancer and ovarian cancer, and women are constantly proven more likely to seek medical care for illness than men.

70357a1b903185009762cb08c17dddf3

Well, today I’m going to do my part and use my health blog to not only broadcast one man’s advice, but give you guys some idea of what kind of routine care you need.

1.) The “Embarrassing Stuff.”

Screening for prostate cancer and colon cancer – aka letting a doctor check out your butt. Look, it doesn’t sound fun I admit, but again, ladies’ regular visits to the “lady doctor” are way more invasive and way less stigmatized. What is up with that? I think a lot of it is due to those pink ribbons and awareness months dedicated to breast and cervical cancer. But guys are dying of cancer too! Lucky for them, they have just as much screening available. Go get checked. Survival rates are high when cancers like this are caught early. Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in the US today. And to anyone who says to skip it because of false positives – I say risking a false positive doesn’t outweigh missing the cancer.

-Men Everywhere

-Men Everywhere

Starting at age 40, prostate exams are recommended regularly (once a year, calm down). Colon cancer screenings are usually done starting at age 50. If you’re under 40, keeping up with yearly physical checkups and seeing a doctor for any illness or abnormality is the best thing you can do. Your primary care doctor will be able to recommend a cancer screening on a case by case basis if you need one.

2.) The “Boring Stuff.”

Blood pressure and cholesterol levels – aka a chore. Most men report that the reason they don’t get a yearly checkup is that “they don’t have time.” I can’t fault you there – going to the doctor, having them squeeze your arm, and hearing “your blood pressure’s good” is basically white noise. It is to me too. Even when I’m in the ER I pretty much never care what their puffy air sleeve has to say. And having blood drawn and receiving a postcard in the mail a few weeks later that says “normal” is less than thrilling. It doesn’t feel like you’re really doing anything for your health. There’s been once or twice that my cholesterol levels have been high. I got a postcard with a stamp on it that said “eat healthy” with a smiley face.

ls005_2_5_100x120

Oh boy, glad I took the time to get that gem of advice!

But in all seriousness, monitoring these things long term is invaluable data if anything ever goes wrong, and a great general measure of overall health. A general physical exam complete with hitting your knee with a tiny hammer may seem awfully quick and like there’s no way any useful info could come from it, but look at it with optimism. It’s quick and easy and  non-invasive- staying healthy is SO EASY GUYS! So a yearly checkup is kind of a chore? So what? It’s a ONCE A YEAR chore. It’s easier than cleaning the gutters. And you do it for your family. So just go.

Yearly checkups are reccomended for ages 2 – 200. So yeah, JUST GO.

3.) Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

This one is simultaneously the easiest and the hardest of all. The easy part is keeping an eye on yourself. Look at yourself in the mirror each day. Was that freckle always there? Did that mole get bigger? Here’s the hard part – GO TO THE DOCTOR WHEN SOMETHING’S UP. You know yourself better than anyone. Are you more tired than you should be? Are you moodier than usual? Yeah, if you’re having trouble keeping your temper or getting up in the morning, you might mention it to someone. If there’s a “weird thing” on your skin, go show a doctor. Don’t be the guy who gets asked “hey, what’s that spot on your arm?” and answers “yeah I dunno, I saw it last month and since then it’s gotten twice as big but I dunno.”

Sometimes, you may not be the best judge of yourself. If you’re not sure you should see a doctor, ask friends and family. Do I seem overtired lately? Have I been myself lately? If there’s a spot on your skin that you’re honestly not sure is new, ask your significant other. Don’t have one? Ask your parents. No, get out of here with your “gross that’s embarrassing,” your parents wiped your butt. I have a son now. He’s reached into his diaper and rubbed poop all over himself and me. I have gotten in the shower with him while we were both fully clothed and peeled poopy clothes off layer by layer until we were two slippery poopy naked people crying in the shower together. I’m not going to make fun of him if he has a weird spot on his lower back when he’s 27. Your parents have seen your lower back, they’ll know if something’s new.

Parents: They Already Know You're Gross

Parents: They Already Know You’re Gross

And here’s some good advice for all genders. Do you live with someone? I don’t care what their relationship is to you. Every now and then look at them while they’re reading or cooking or catching pokemon. Look at their shoulders and back – places they don’t see well. Glance over them every few days. If you see a new freckle pop up, let them know. Why not? If it’s kind of weird but saves their life, good on you!

This section’s getting long but it’s gonna get longer because I know two men who almost died and didn’t because they had a doctor look at the weird thing on their skin. One of my friends is a tennis player and photographer – he spends a lot of time outside. He got a new freckle on his back. He got it tested. It was skin cancer. Now there’s a chunk missing from his back and he’s cancer free – but if he saw it and thought “eh, people get freckles from the sun right?” and went on with life, he might not be here today. This boy is younger than me. I don’t like burying people younger than me.

kurtmelonoma

Exhibit B: my dad. He got a weird blood blister on his palm. We joked that he had a stigmata. He got a weird cold and fever that wouldn’t go away. He could have gone “oh, it’s a cold, who cares. I’d rather rest at home than spend a day at a clinic.” He could have thought “huh this blood blister’s weird” like I think most people would. But he went to the clinic. They weren’t helpful at all. He could have gone “I’m not wasting my time with doctors anymore, it’s just a cold. And a weird blister.” But he went to his primary care doctor. They never did figure out what was up. I guess it was just a bad cold. And a weird blood blister. But while they were running tests, they discovered his aorta was enlarged and ripping. The doctor preformed what he described as “a rare surgery” on him – because this is a condition that is usually discovered in a dead person. A few more days of thinking he’d “wait it out and see if this cold goes away” and he literally would have died.

Even if you don’t get answers or it turns out to be nothing, a trip to the doctor is not a waste of time.

So this is me saying to ALL of you, but men in particular because you seem to need to hear it: go to the doctor. Let it be a boring chore and be thankful each time you go home feeling like it was a boring chore. Families like saying “well thank god he went to a doctor!” a lot more than getting diagnoses from an autopsy.

Yup, it just got dramatic all up in here. But the title did promise deathbed wishes. Sometimes you’ve got to get serious about serious business. So send this to someone you love and who needs a loving smack upside the head.

To my sweet dear husband who as of yesterday I’ve been married to for six years: let’s call and schedule you a checkup.

xoxo

548845_4691237651653_1811432896_n

Works Cited and Further Reading:

Six Routine Screenings for Men’s Health – Everyday Health

Health Care Access and Utilization in Young Adults – The CDC

Check Ups and Screening Guidelines for Men – Men’s Health Network

Men: Stay Healthy at Any Age – Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Anxiety? OCD? Or is Everyone This Weird?

It’s time I told you I’m crazy.

When my gastroenterologist diagnosed me with IBS, he said it was anxiety-based and I was put on zoloft. That’s the closest I’ve come to a diagnosis on my mental health. A long time ago I was screened by a psychologist and diagnosed with some temporary teenage form of depression. We stopped going and I never heard much about it in the first place. And here I am, on zoloft (because one does not simply ‘quit’ zoloft) with no real diagnosis or idea if I have a mental illness or if I’m just a little uptight.

15svd8

Sometimes I read things online about depression, anxiety, OCD, or even autism, and think “hey that sounds like me, weird.”  There are some bizarre things I do all day every day. Why write about them? Well for one thing, I like doing them and people seem to find it interesting. Some people even seem interested in implementing my “systems” or rituals into their life in a much less obsessive/extreme way. Plus I’d like to know– do you do this too?

There are two major “systems” in my life. I’ll start with the smaller one: my clothes system. I started doing this as a child and refined it over time. It began as me organizing my clothes in a particular way. It’s hard to explain, but it has to do with randomization and color. I’d choose something like a book or poster with colors on it and order my clothes according to it… let’s say I was using an image of a rainbow (which I never did because randomization is a big part of this, but for the sake of example):

rainbow-with-clouds-clipart-jTxE6jrec

I’d hang up (or stack folded clothes) like this: A red shirt, then one with orange on it, then yellow, green, blue, dark blue, purple, and then white for the clouds. Then I’d choose another image and keep going (I do this to organize other things too, like movies or our toy displays…). But I had trouble keeping them in order because my mom would put away laundry for me sometimes or I’d forget where I was in the “line” or I’d need to wear something specific one day. Over time I refined my system. I’d put a penny inside the folded shirt I wanted to wear next, stacking newly washed clothes on top to await integration into the “system” until I reached the end of the stack. I also alternated between stacks in the drawers and the hanging clothes. I marked my spot in the closet by simply keeping my extra hangers between the new clothes and the “ordered” clothes. My pants are a separate, more flexible system not organized by anything really, just hung up in whatever order they’re washed and separated by not yet worn and worn once or twice before it’s time to wash them. I even have a very rudimentary organizational system for my underwear?

WHY? I’m sure you’re asking. I don’t actually know. It’s not like there was a day I decided to do this, it happened over time. My mom was bewildered to find pennies sprinkled throughout my drawers and she can’t believe I still do it as an adult in my own house. I remember that my mom encouraged me to lay out my clothes for the next day before I went to bed, and I remember that I hated doing that. It really stressed me out. I guess this is my elaborate response to that stress – now I just get up and put on whatever is next. If it’s inappropriate for the occasion or I need to wear something specific, I don’t mind breaking the system. For just one day I mean.

It has a lot of pros. For one thing, it has a similar effect to this cleaning tip:

76b07fc4d061b1bc3cc4dfda7286c442

When a shirt/dress comes up in the system that I don’t want to wear, I question why that is and usually decide it’s time to let that item go.

Cons? Well…mostly just that it’s a crazy thing that no one does.

But that was the tamer of my two systems.

Get ready folks.

alice-falling-down-rabbit-hole-2

We’re going down the rabbit hole.

Everything I ever do is governed by a system. I have a list that takes up about one page of a word document. On it are items like this:

  • Work on Writing Script A
  • Work on Writing Script B
  • Blog Post
  • Clean House
  • Laundry
  • Manage Billing/Freelance Work

and items like this:

  • Watch a Movie
  • Netflix
  • Read
  • Video Games

readImage

ect. ect. basically everything I ever want to do, work or hobby or laziness or practicality. Things like “eating” and “sleeping” are not on the list.

This is my time management tool. There are “fun” things and “lazy” things and “project” type things and “chore” things all mixed up. Using a random number method (I used to draw from a deck of playing cards – now I use a 12-sided dice) I count down from the last thing I spent time doing and do whatever is next, giving each day a (hopefully) fair mix of “fun” and “work.” I roll the dice for things like eating and sleeping too – whatever comes up on the list at bedtime I trade for “sleep,” same for mealtimes. I roll the dice and count down the list to what’s next – say, reading – and instead of reading I eat dinner. Yes, this does mean sometimes I miss meals in favor of doing something on the list, and sometimes I stay up late to do something on the list. Those are cons.

But the pros far outweigh them. For one thing, I’m always steadily making progress on my goals – writing stories, working on my blog, watching through TV shows on Netflix, and reading good books. I don’t feel bad when I take “me time” because it’s all structured. And I never feel “bored” or like I have nothing to do.

The biggest downside really is when I have to break the system for something like the holidays. Around Christmas, for instance, there’s too much to do to stay on the list system. So I have to go commando for a few days before I re-randomize the order of the list and start again. It’s usually fine. But having this ritual of looking at the list and counting throughout the day helps keep me calm and focused. Sometimes to my detriment – it can really annoy my husband when I get bent on doing something because “it’s on the list” when he wants me doing something else. I try to be flexible and “trade” tasks for whatever he wants to do or if I need to go in to work or something like that. But it can be annoying. I understand. BECAUSE IT’S FREAKING BIZARRE. But this is my life.

This one also started when I was a kid. Initially, I had four different colored balls. Yellow for “chore,” pink for “projects,” blue for “relaxing,” and green for “fun.” I mixed them up in different orders and made sure to do one thing for each category each day. But this spiraled into listmaking: I made a list of all the movies we owned so I could watch all of them before repeating viewings. Stuff like that. Then when I was a teenager I inexplicably became a morning person: I woke up at around 4 each day and I had a little box of tiny ripped up pieces of paper with my “morning routine” on them: this included writing my daily xanga blog post, enjoying a cup of tea, and even taking naps in between getting dressed, eating breakfast, and packing my things for school.

I DON’T KNOW WHY.

wakeupearlytoothpastefordinner

I definitely didn’t STAY a morning person.

Then, around the time I got a computer, I was taking an interest in filmmaking and screenwriting. I wanted to film stuff and write stuff, but when I wasn’t at school or at marching band practice, I felt overwhelmed. I needed to do homework and practice colorguard, but I wanted to study film and write scripts too. And having so much to do usually made me freeze up and not do anything.

overwhelmed-by-anemone-lost-ok-lets-break-omg-i-have-2765539

And so, The List in it’s current form was born.

So I guess now that I’ve written it all out, it does seem like there was some level of problem-solving going on here. But why am I such a spaz that I solve problems in the most random, round-about way possible? I don’t think I’ve properly explained either of my “systems” but even if I could, it’d probably still sound like mad ravings of a seriously anxious person.

Which I guess they are.

anxiety-humor2

I don’t need to flip the lights on and off to keep my family from dying or anything, but at least that sounds crazy enough that you’d feel sympathetic – clearly that person can’t help but be that way. But me? I can get off my systems, bend them, and change them. I seem perfectly capable of living like a normal human, but for some reason I chose this.

My sister is terrible at making choices. She’ll ask us all what she should do or wear or say, take votes, then ask if we’re really really sure. I think I have the same issue, but instead of finding someone to make my choices for me, I chose… randomizing.

Like a crazy person.

Anyway, I don’t feel bad staying on zoloft without a “real” diagnosis. I’m pretty sure I need it.

c47a4c60e6bf63e8a7458a54762830e2

Why?? The Most Graphic Probiotic Branding

I will sing the praises of probiotics all the day long. I gave myself IBS with antibiotics and probiotics are what makes me well again. If anyone mentions to me that some food didn’t agree with them, or they’ve lost their appetite, or that they haven’t been eating well, I’m never shy about recommending probiotics as if I get a commission for selling them.

That being said… probiotics are super gross if you let yourself think about it. “Live Cultures?” Yeah, that’s not exactly conjuring images of anything I’m ok with putting in my mouth.

8256266-gloved-hand-holding-petri-dish-with-bacteria-culture

PLS NO.

So whether I take a probiotic pill, snack on some healthful yogurt, or drinking kombucha like a hippie, I try very hard not to think about what probiotics actually are and just focus on that “mmmm, I’m doing something good for my body” feeling.

Unfortunately, sometimes misguided marketing just won’t let me do that.

13971847

You’re not making it sound any better.

gI_88011_300dpiRNLUFUltraPotent100Bcombo

The ULTIMATE in tiny germ bugs!

bottle-trio

As in my inner…ecosystem? EW.

Yakult

That’s the sound you make while you try to drink it.

31DqT0DkedL

Great, now the creatures in my gut are forming religious groups.

live-kombucha-soda-main

Could you make “LIVE” a little bigger?

IMG_1771

“L’il Critters?!” Are you kidding me??

What’s really scary is that a group of people went through different ideas and agreed THAT was the best name.

Have you seen any health product names that make you go “hmmmmmm?” Share in the comments!