• family,  flawed but authentic,  friends,  Health & Wellness,  lupus,  mental health,  race,  religion,  that joe,  United States of Tara

    Hidden Gifts

    This past year or so I’ve been trying to find the gifts in whatever life hands me. When I’m stuck in traffic, maybe it’s that I got to hear something really great on NPR before I reached my destination. If I dropped and shattered a favorite heirloom glass serving bowl, maybe it’s that when I swept the floor I found the missing earring I’ve been looking for under the fridge. You get the idea. The game is thus: can I find the gift no matter how deeply it’s hidden, because I really and truly have to believe in a God that cares about me so much, He would only give…

  • health,  Health & Wellness,  lupus,  that joe,  true love

    Your Body Is Not Your Enemy

    Let me set the scene for you. We’re sitting on the couch, my husband and I, my nose buried in his shoulder. I’m weeping, beside myself with a ball of grief and failure burning through my chest like fire, wiping snot on his arm, making noises that are approximations of words, but no one can know for sure. I have auto-immune issues that after several years of being in remission have reared their ugly head starting sometime last December and have now flared with the vengeance of a fifteen-year-old girl who lost her cellphone privileges and is punishing her parents. I can’t sit very long without pain. I can’t stand…

  • book,  Heal Something Good,  health,  lupus,  mental health,  photos,  thyroid

    Pre-Order Heal Something Good

    You guys. I’m oh-so-close to being done with Heal Something Good, the book I’ve been working on for the past three years. This has been a labor of love. My last book, Not Otherwise Specified, was such a deep journey of mental discovery that I would never call it “Light” or “Nurturing.” I mean, the subject matter includes suicide attempts and graphic material. It’s an important book for what it is and I continue to get letters of appreciation from people who have found it helpful on their own journeys, which is why I leave it up and available. But. But! Heal Something Good is light and nurturing and full…

  • flawed but authentic,  health,  lupus,  mental health,  photos,  thyroid

    What I Am

    “But, what do you have? What are you?” Oh, right. This is the part where I’m supposed to list all the illnesses and diseases and disorders I’ve collected over my lifetime and use their proper medical terms. This is how we measure each other up, to find out where we fall in the Diagnosis Scale. Are we the same? Are we different? If I told you, would you have an immediate recognition of how I feel right now because you’ve got “IT,” too? Using this shorthand is not meant to be insulting or belittling. It’s meant to cut to the chase and find out where your battle scars are. It’s…

  • current smarts,  health,  lupus,  mental health

    Creatively, Mentally, Fabulous

    We’ve heard many times that it’s the crazy ones that are creative and there are studies that may seem to prove such findings. A post came up a few months ago by Scott Barry Kaufman about the link between creativity and Mental Illness. He has a book out called Ungifted, which may tell you without reading the post above what he thinks is true about said link. Here’s a main takeaway: “There are many eminent people without mental illness or harsh early life experiences, and there is very little evidence suggesting that clinical, debilitating mental illness is conducive to productivity and innovation.” And later: “…my colleague and friend Zorana Ivcevic…

  • health,  lupus,  mental health

    Speaking near Salt Lake City on Dec. 19, 2013

    I’ll be speaking on healing our bodies and minds holistically in Orem, Utah next week. I’m really excited to share what I’ve learned these past three years. When I started this journey, I had no idea how intricately our mind and bodies were connected and how healing our guts and changing our lifestyles could change how our minds worked and felt. Healing from a chronic illness is no joke and I know many of you struggle with it. If you can make it, I’d love to meet you face to face. Email me for details. xo Photo by Karen Walrond of Chookooloonks.com

  • lupus,  recipe

    Paleo Lunch – Tuna Salad

    Simple food is one of the great benefits, in my opinion, of Paleo eating. I have a few main go-to meals for breakfast and lunch and I stick to them. It makes my day go smoother. I don’t have to think about it. They are fast and easy to prepare. It’s everything I’m looking for in a meal. One of these is Tuna Salad. And it goes thusly: 1 sm can of organic chunk white tuna blob of homemade mayo fermented pickles crudites (or potato chips!) If I can’t find organic tuna, I get whatever is on sale. I don’t drain it very much. I make my own mayo when…

  • health,  lupus,  that joe,  true love

    Remission

    Take me to the beach, I whispered, silky soft in his ear. He wrapped me in his warmth beneath the covers. I need to see the waves in every shade of green and blue and frothy white, I told his mind without uttering a sound. He padded down the hall, got his sandals, keys. We drove five miles, wind whistling through the vent, the heater waking up. Ocean water swirled and raced, bubbled, then calmed and went away. Surfers danced on ten foot waves through the pilings, praying their religion under the pier. We watched. Grit between my toes, pulling my sweater close, I took a breath and then another.…

  • ask leahpeah,  lupus,  mental health,  store

    From the Mailbag

    Here is a precious letter from a reader I’ve been hanging on to for a bit, holding it close and letting it fester. It says so many things that I secretly think in my dark hours that it’s almost like this person just reached inside my deepest fears and pulled it out. I’m usually so disciplined about ignoring meanies (especially while United States of Tara airs. Man, my tribe of the Mentally Ill folks can be cruel.) but when my confidence is low, it’s hard to just move through it. “you know no one reads your blog anymore, right? god your writing is all over the place. You used to…

  • blessings,  family,  health,  lupus,  mental health,  that joe

    5/12/11

    Today was a low day. A very low day. In another life, today would have been the day I decided things were too hard to bear and so bleak I’d never see the blue skies again. I would have left my OBGYN results appointment (from the same woman who raked me internally) knowing she wants me to get my uterus biopsied because she thinks it’s precancerous and knowing she wants me to get on birth-control pills and remembering how she called me a liar just moments before when I showed her my daily food logs and exercise chart, because I’m fat, so I must not be telling her the truth.…

  • daily log,  health,  lupus,  photos

    5/9/11

    Monday, May 9 PS 7/10 Sluggish. Headache. Ache all over. Sad lower back. 7:20am 2 boiled eggs, hot drink I feel like you feel when your period is going to start in a few days. 10:30 App with Dr. K for official 2nd opinion from rheumatologist. I like her take on things the best so far. She confirms the diagnosis but tries to cheer me up. This will be more like you were in the room if you imagine her saying it in her great Indian accent: “So, yes, you have lupus and that is maybe hard news. But, because you are sub-acute, we can think of it like you…

  • daily log,  health,  lupus,  photos

    5/8/11

    Sunday, May 8th Happy Mother’s Day. PS 6/10 Lower back, arms ACHING bad, headache. Feel sluggish but mood is still good. 8am 2 boiled eggs, coffeechicorymilk 10am Meet M & M for breakfast at Mission Cafe. It’s Mother’s Day so Wheee I’ll have whatever I want. Blueberry pancakes, egg, potatoes, coffeemilk We decide to go to see Win Win but see Kill the Irishman instead. Gory. Great acting, what I saw of it through my fingers. I have a palmful of raw cashews during the film. We head to M&Ms for mellow hangout time. 3pm Beer, watermelon, dates 6pm whole wheat noodles, mozz cheese, basil, pine nuts YUMO 8pm half…