Trigger Warnings and Addiction

I probably had the best birthday I’ve ever had this year. My best friends took me out to the London Tea Room, we rode the train at the Saint Louis Zoo and saw the birds and the bears (my favorites) then went for beers. Then as a truly amazing surprise my Chicks in Bowls friends moved their planned meet-up in Saint Charles to the City YMCA so they could skate and have cake with me. I can’t even describe how incredible my friends are.  

Then I finished up the week with a really fun commission piece, a successful outdoor art show, and a trip to Paducah, KY for a Roller Derby bout with Rattleskate (Abby) and dinner with my good friend Steve Johnson where we talked about the artwork I’m doing for his current game project and generally caught up. It was a fun, busy week, and I was looking forward to telling you all about it.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this moment when Abby was about three. You know those big rubber balls with handles that kids sit and bounce around on? She’d gotten a Captain America one and just loved it. I was sitting at my desk, down in the studio and I hear her little voice say Hi, right before she comes tumbling down the stairs on that thing. The look of terror on her face… Luckily she wasn’t hurt, but that moment is frozen in my mind.

I  lost a wheel on a jump at the skate park the Monday after my birthday and came down hard on my ankle. Luckily I wasn’t  alone, and my best friend was there to help me out of the park. I don’t  know what I would have done without her (literal and moral) support.  I drove myself home and didn’t get it X-Rayed until the next day, refusing to believe it was broken. (Kids don’t do this. It was reckless and irresponsible. Go to the ER like your friend tells you.) Turns out my Fibula was broken into three pieces. I finished up my classes for the week, made arrangements to have friends and family come take care of me and the girls, and had surgery that Friday. 

 The last couple of weeks kind of slid by while I was on heavy pain medication, and it was really hard to focus on much besides resting and reading a little bit. Olive was excited to finally have me still enough for a nail painting  party, and the kids decorated my cast…It was kind of a personal vacation and reset that I needed. I just wish it wasn’t like this. 

Two other things I’ve gained from this experience. I’ve always understood and sympathized with both trigger warnings and addiction, but not really UNDERSTOOD them. There was an episode of the second season of GLOW where a character breaks their leg, and I had such a visceral reaction. My whole body froze and it was a moment before I realized I was holding my breath. I went to bed shaking and it took awhile to calm down. Then this week, I finished my doses of narcotic pain killers and spent a miserable two days adjusting to them not being in my system. It was scary how normal I’d started to feel with them and how terrible I felt without them.

While I consider myself lucky in that I’ve only gotten to peek at these things now with out having to experience them fully, I feel l can approach them with more compassion and understanding now. My heads a lot clearer this week, and as I continue to recover, I’m looking forward to making good on what I talked about at the beginning of July.

I appreciate you all. Until next week, take care and be good.
Your friend,

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