“We draw our strength from the very despair in which we have been forced to live. We shall endure.”
Back in the day, people called me Lil Lis. I was born in the mid ’70s in Seattle, Washington and was raised in a bizarre and dysfunctional family, primarily by my father. As the firstborn in a family dominated by males, my father raised me as such and I am often told that I think like a man. I was brought up to be outspoken, tough, and career-oriented. For all of his transgressions, I will always be grateful to my father for making me the fiercely-strong female I am. I was dealt a difficult hand as a child and perseverance and survival are all I have ever known.
I always knew I would accomplish great things in life and I realized many of my dreams by my early 20s. However, when I was 27 and busy climbing the career ladder and attending graduate school full-time, I developed severe
fibromyalgia* (see update) and my life was turned upside-down. I quickly lost my ability to work, my financial independence, my social life, and I eventually ended up on disability and living in the desert, where my pain is somewhat better. My life went from being an ambitious workaholic to being an unproductive person in chronic pain, who divided my time between doctor appointments, picking up prescriptions, and watching TV all day. I was dealt an extraordinarily bad hand and simply folded.
Someone kept urging me to write a blog, but the computer makes my body hurt more and I did not know where to start or what to write about. Furthermore, I am a scholarly writer due to my educational background (and a horrible perfectionist) and creative writing is just not my specialty. Then, in 2011, my vision suddenly began to fail. The journey with my eyes, and the final diagnosis of the corneal disease keratoconus, ultimately gave me something to write about—now that I can hardly see the computer. Yet another bad hand was dealt to me, but who’s counting?
Many thanks to my brother for creating this blog—and putting up with my neurotic personality in the process—and for writing from afar when my eyes wouldn’t allow me. I love you with all my heart. I hope what I write will be useful to someone else who was dealt a bad hand in this game of life.
Time to play my hand…
*Update: I was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) by a geneticist in November, 2012. It is an inherited connective tissue disorder that is sometimes misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia and can cause keratoconus. I have written about this on my blog.