Saturday, December 5, 2020




5 December 2020

Written in response to the Tale Weaver prompt “Barriers.”

What barriers exist in your life?

Are they barriers that can be overcome?

I will probably use this prompt to create both a fiction and a non-fiction piece. It is inspiring thoughts for the latest chapter in my WIP, The Key Of Eidolon. However, I also have answers to the above questions.

I have both physical and psychological barriers to accomplishing my goals. They don’t stop me from trying, but they make things harder.

There are physical goals that I will never be able to accomplish because of my handicaps.

At this point, I can walk up to two miles a day using an upright walker. Without the upright walker, I can only manage between a quarter of a mile and a half mile, and a half mile is pushing it. I never thought I would be having to use a walker at 55 years old, and the promotional material for this item indicates that no-one else thinks that people my age are using such a device at my age either.

We need to stop with the assumption that only elderly people need assistive devices or that there is some sort of shame in needing an assistive device if you are not elderly. I have a lot of problems with my back. I am not ashamed to use this device, but I am very conscious of the fact that people are conscious of my use of it and some of them pity me for it.

I have diabetes. This is a disease that can be managed, but, conversely to the bill of goods that some overpriced snake oil sellers are trying to hand you, there is no cure for it. Type 2 diabetes does occasionally go into remission, but this happens so seldom that I do not expect it any more than I expect to grow several inches taller.

Diabetes does not really frighten me. I am aware that it makes me vulnerable to kidney failure, which also doesn’t particularly frighten me, although I would not want it. The one that scares me is the vulnerability to strokes and vascular dementia. Fuck a whole lot of that shit. Fortunately, I also take antihypertensive medication, so my blood pressure remains in the safe zone.

My thyroid destroyed itself when I was in my early teens, so I have been on and off thyroid medications since then. I can’t tolerate Synthroid. It gave me headaches and it almost put me in the E.R. because it was elevating my blood pressure and heart rate so much. Rather than consider that the Synthroid was the culprit, the doctor I was seeing at the time blamed my weight for causing my blood pressure to rise and put me on propranolol, which is a beta blocker. I have asthma. Beta blockers make me feel like I’m breathing underwater.

Because of the panic attacks I was experiencing when I became tachycardic (talk about your vicious feedback loops), he also put me on clonazepam. I tend to have paradoxical reactions to benzodiazepines, and I had the worst panic attack of my life. I went off ever single one of the medications. It took me three months to return to normally abnormal.

I have been on Armour thyroid for the past 14 years. My current P.A. has adjusted the dosage a couple of times to strike a balance between my TSH reading and my blood pressure and pulse. We seem to have found the sweet spot. I like my current P.A., who has been respectful and treats the patient rather than the chart.

Alas, although my TSH is now in the zone, I am still tired all the time. It is what it is.

I have been trying to get on disability this year. I have been working with a lawyer, and it is still taking forever. I lived in a state of constant anxiety for literal decades due to not being able to sleep properly because I was afraid that I would oversleep. I worked night shift because it worked out better for me than day shift. However, I can no longer do the punishing physical work that I used to do.

My son and I moved to a remote rural area in September of 2019, and we both love this house and this town very much. My son is high-functioning autistic. He has a lot of skills and he is physically able-bodied, but he has never been able to work a normal job.

Both of us would be happy enough to do certain types of remote work. However, even though it has been shown through the pandemic that certain jobs can be done remotely, nobody wants to hire the smelly poors or icky disabled people.

My physical appearance has also been a barrier to achieving certain of my goals, including, oddly enough, my writing goals. You’d think that it wouldn’t matter if a writer has a good face for radio, so to speak, but I’ve seen that, at least with female writers, people tend to want us to be pretty. Seriously, what the hell? Would looking like a beauty queen or a Playboy centerfold make me a better writer? I get so fed up with the bullshit and am disgusted that I’m still fighting the same battles at 55 that I was at 25.

So, what’s to be done? Well, I am nothing if not pig-headed, so I will keep hammering away at things until I make some headway.

I’ve been working to craft my Rough Writer monthly zine, which includes my WIP chapters, poems, and daily-ish nonfiction blather as well as anything else I may write in a month. Sometimes I think that this is a great idea and I’ll be sharing some wonderful wisdom. Other times I’m afraid it’s just another one of my crackpot ideas and that I’m not nearly as deep as I imagine myself to be. I suppose it remains to be seen, but at six bucks for some 50,000 words, you can’t beat the price!

And there you have my thoughts on the barriers in my life.


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  1. As you know I hear you on the barrier front. Unlike you I am often my own biggest barriers. It seems that I am accepted many of the labels that have been pinned on me. And how they weigh me down.

    1. In my heart of hearts, I fear that most of the labels that have been pinned on me are true. I'm just such an asshole that I keep pursuing my dreams anyway, because nothing would piss my detractors more than for a fat, ugly, white trash hambeast like me to succeed.


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