June 3 2017
The beginning of Intrestinal Fortitude
If I were to hear someone else telling my story, or animatedly reliving parts of my life, I would find it riveting. I would want to examine it under a microscope, view it from a far, and study it like a textbook. I am fascinated by one’s reality of going from zero-to-oh-shit (literally) in seconds; however, life is personal. It is raw, real, our connection to the world. Our experiences make up our foundation–our essence. I know the reality and intimacy of my chronic illness and rarely take the opportunity to step back and just soak in the absurdity–and oftentimes humor–in it all.
I met this co-worker a few years ago. I don’t know if she broke down my walls, climbed them, took a hammer to them, or slowly chipped them away, but befriending her has made all of the difference. You see, over a decade ago I used to write fan fiction. I loved reading and writing so I spent a good chunk of my spare time doing both activities. A book idea didn’t just come to me, it seeped into my soul and clung to me like a shadow. I HAD to write it down. So I did; well, I started to anyway.
My dad, who was living in a different country, wanted to read my work and that is something I rarely let anyone do. He said what all good parents should: that my work was good, great, whatever. I will never know if he truly felt that way or if he was just being supportive. He died shortly afterwards. Even though the book had nothing to do with him, I couldn’t write any more. I tried over the years but rereading my work just made me sad. In fact, I kind of stopped writing altogether. Until my friend.
I never stopped loving writing, I just think it stopped loving me. I thought it out grew me, or I it. I thought I needed to be a different person. Between the growing up, the losing a parent, and the living a life with an auto-immune disease, I became a wife and mother. My priorities shifted. I believed that I needed to be someone more; I needed to be someone worthy of their love. As I have grown and learned to love myself I realize these things are not mutually exclusive. Becoming a parent, having a disease, and being married doesn’t require me to become someone else, they just give me a different outlook on life.
With the encouragement and support of my friend and my husband, Intrestinal Fortitude was created. This is my way of taking back writing and taking back my life; and any luck, reaching someone who needs to hear the words I have to say.