Day 43: Over it.

Friday night, 9.16 pm, a half-drunk beer and a forgotten tray of snacks, television shows streaming on my desktop as I type. Friends, I may occasionally be stupid, but I am no longer wild and young. I sit to write to fulfill day 43 of my 45 day quest to get serious about writing my book and in doing so raise enough money to cover my top surgery. It is a heartsick dream on both counts but I believe.

Last night I returned home from a two-hour long local arts event. Nestled neatly inside of each other I kept track of my drinks to monitor my spending and my life before 8.30 pm. As it was my favorite beer, I went with the flow and went home a little tipsy. I woke up again at 10.45 pm. I write tonight about vice and coping.

I will be honest, I don’t have a great history of first-go coping mechanisms. When I was 13 I developed a terrible eating disorder in response to my lack of control over my life and a body developing into a gender that did not make sense to me. I grew older, out of it and straight into exercising so much I hurt myself nearly every time I set foot on a track. Music became my refuge and my ticket to college in which the stress of living on my own and lack of proper treatment drove me back into eating disordered habits and into the warm embrace of every college freshman’s new friend, alcohol.

College was college and once I moved to Kentucky I built a community of conscious young people around me to strengthen my resolve in tough times. My university had enough sense to provide free counseling to all students and I used it for every cent of student loans it was worth. I learned that I always had the power to make hard times better instead of infinitely worse. My struggles have made me into a strong and self-aware sonuvabitch. I couldn’t be more proud.

Now an adult I know my limits but I am still working to create productive coping mechanisms to deal with the stress of full-time non-profit GO GO GO life. Beers with friends are fine. Running is fine but requires a lot of vigilance. Writing is beautiful. Music is essential. My life’s journey has given me a wildly intimate understanding of my brain. I’m just starting to understand myself and the wacky things I do. But writing down these thoughts tonight I know that my history is no longer something to fear.

Now 11 pm, I turn my attentions back over to the viola to focus on the dream of performing again. I need no coping strategies for my life’s passion. But if I do, sleeping might be one worth looking into.



“Day 43 – Over it.” is part of a forty-five post series celebrating CHOP: a Top Surgery Campaign for Elias Gross. Like the writing? Give to CHOP today!


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