NAVIGATING LIFE WITH
Shame can't remain when it's proclaimed.
The Thought Process Behind Naming This Blog & How to Actually Say It
Hi! I'm Emilee, and my brain works in remarkable ways. Click to read my About Meee page. This is my 3rd or 4th day of adding content to this first, quintessential blog post. Mostly my ADD is to blame for that, as you might have guessed.
But I also had to stop writing mid-morning earlier today to make it to my therapy appointment on time. Still processing that ongoing childhood trauma on a weekly basis, so I guess we could blame my PTSD as well for the belabored click of the Publish-button.
I know it's definitely not PMDD's fault! I'm in a good week! And if you're a fellow lady of pre-menstrual dysphoria (or have a partner who is), you know exactly what I mean by that.
One remarkable thing that my brain does naturally is dissect everything to its simplest form; the origin...
the essence; the heart; the soul. I am a get-to-the-root-of-the-problem kind of person, and this mindset appears in many aspects of both my personal and professional lives.
Let me show you what I mean by analyzing the title of my blog for you. When I teach my students what it means to analyze something, I tell them that analyze means "to break into parts and explain each part."
Navigating Life With [dis]Order(s): there are two relevant parts of this title to analyze here: the first word and the last word(s).
Title Analysis Part 1: Navigating
'Navigating' is interesting word choice here, right? I'm all about the precise word choice! I could have chosen so many synonyms or alternatives instead of 'Navigating.' There are plenty of options: Living, Enjoying, Coping, Surviving, Managing, Doing...or nothing. Just like, remove 'Navigating' altogether and just be left with "Life with [dis]Order(s)." That was also a viable option.
But I chose 'Navigating' for a reason.
When I think of the word 'navigating,' my brain visualizes one of two scenes:
'Navigating' here was word choice perfection, and I'll tell you why.
That sea captain doesn't always have a grimacing face on as she shouts commands to her crew while gripping at the wheel, desperately exhausting everything she physically has to hold it steady.. She's not always fighting for her life throughout their entire journey while waves are crashing on deck and plates are breaking below. Some days she is but not always.
There are calm days at sea too. Where she can look out and see where the water touches the sky. Maybe even kick back and put her boots up while she sips her morning whiskey as the sun wakes up her slice of the Earth. Maybe, just maybe, she'll even have that annoying, eager Skipper take the reins of this sucker for a bit, at least while their path is clear and flat.
But just because there are days that aren't especially trying, with monstrous waves and sleepless nights, doesn't mean she isn't still navigating to their destination. Just because it isn't hard, doesn't mean she's not doing it. Some days there are just fewer turns-of-the-dials required at the helm; less energy needed for the challenge. Regardless of the weather, that captain is still navigating from the moment of disembarkation until they're tied off again.
But all the while, she has to have the wherewithal to know if it's time to call for back-up; she has to have her tools and tactics at the tips of her fingers at a moment's notice; she has to trust that she's trained her crew to perform daily like a well-lubed machine, because all of their lives and their mission depend on it.
And she does! She knows and does all of those things--even if sometimes she's a little late* with her request for back-up; or has an exaggerated startle response** to a horn blast that splays her tools all over the floor, delaying a solution; or she goes absolutely batshit, snapping*** at the crew for the smallest discrepancy that she totally would have overlooked any other day, and I'm sorry, but do you need me to retrieve your Diva Cup, Ma'am?
*symptom of ADD/ADHD (poor time management and planning)
**symptom of PTSD/C-PTSD (jumpy, easily startled, bursts of emotion)
***symptom of PMDD (increased irritability, sudden mood changes, aggressive/out of character behavior)
Free Symptom Checklists and Discussion Starters
Do any of these symptoms sound familiar? See how many other surprising symptoms you may also be experiencing.
'Navigating' here is word choice perfection.
Don't you think?
Title Analysis Part 2: Punctuation Decisions
The decisions to have brackets around 'dis' and parentheses around the 's,' on the other hand, have a far less interesting and shorter story behind them, but they are still perfection nonetheless.
If you can't already tell, I did minor in English during undergrad, and my favorite class was called Comparative Grammar*. (Oxford comma enthusiasts, unite)!
But I chose those particular punctation marks in those particular places because it allows the title to be read one of four ways (or should I say, all of four ways?):
*That being said, please direct all noticed blog errors to the comment section immediately for editing. Thank you. You will not offend me. But I really can't just allow errors to loiter on my blog--I'm totally for inclusion and equity, but there's no room for them here.**
**OK, on second thought: perfectionism is a usually unhealthy symptom that most people with ADD./ADHD experience. So, when I think about that perspective, maybe errors are OK sometimes? Because that makes me human? (I'M LIKE REALLY TRYING HERE TO BE OK WITH CONSENTING TO KNOWN ERRORS REMAINING IN MY POSTS).
Title Analysis Part 3: Can You Tell I Don't Like to be Put in a Box?
"But, Emilee, you said there were only two relevant parts of the title to analyze. So why are there three parts?" You're right. But I don't like to be put in a box.
Any/all of those four title options are the correct title. You can say it any of those ways! I like options. Having options feels liberating and allows enough space for everyone to express their individuality. While also providing a structure for doing so? Yeah. I'm a hedonist for achieving the win-win!
Titles 1, 2, and 3
1. Navigating Life with Order Sometimes, it does feel like there really is order in my life again despite it all; there are days when the seas are calm, and I can actually see where I’m going and also have time to stop and smell the salty air. And smile and just...be. I wish I could say there were weeks, not just days, like that, but we haven't gotten there just yet (as of 01-04-2020).
2. Navigating Life with Disorder Then, there are days when I’m just surviving through heaping piles of disorder, which I probably try my best to avoid and ignore to just keep moving forward (with frequent breaks on the couch). I'm convinced only single people know what it feels like to go to bed with clean, unfolded laundry taking the place of your would-be partner next to you and would-be dog at your feet. Correct me if I'm wrong.
3. Navigating Life with Orders And actually, some of my best days are when I’m following orders from someone else! I can be SO productive that way. But a captain can’t be a captain if she’s always taking orders, so those times are usually short-lived.
Because, no on else will be the captain of my life.
Navigating Life with Disorders
The title option that never wavers? Option 4. My disorders are, and always have been, with me and a part of who I am. I may not have been able to see them, but they were there.
And now that I’ve identified them with the help of my therapist, psychiatrist, and self, I can better manage them. And navigating life through treacherous waters seems a little more do-able, because I feel a little more capable each day.
Except the bad days—because there are still bad days. They’re just nowhere near the level of “bad” they were when I first began to feel like my ship was sinking.
And That's Why I'm Here Writing This
Because it felt like I was sinking, but I didn't.
From 2017 to the present, I have gone through an evolution that I never could have predicted would have happened. I experienced my lowest lows and have resurfaced like a phoenix rising from the ashes. The regeneration of my life is continuing its process currently, but the reason I'm writing this is because there were days that were so dark I'd never wish them upon my worst enemy.
And if you're there now, in the confusing dark, or ever have been, I'm writing this for you. You're not alone, and this is temporary. I repressed A LOT for 25 years in order to survive, and most times I did it subconsciously. But since 2017, all the things I'd been repressing for so long were then at the surface, and it felt like there were days that I was barely surviving.
Shame can't remain when it's proclaimed.
It took me 25 years to be vulnerable enough to accept and speak my truth. I've finally been healing ever since. And if this blog can inspire just one person to tell their story, prioritize themselves, and/or realize their worth, then I will have achieved the ultimate win-win with this blog-decision...no matter how many titles it has.
Are you ready to walk a [e]MILE[e] or 3 in my shoes?
The journey is the destination.
1/4/2020 05:47:33 pm
Oh, captain, my captain... 😊
1/4/2020 11:10:04 pm
wow, your writing really paints a beautiful picture of your past and how it's built up to the creation and future of this blog. I can't wait to see more😁
1/10/2020 12:32:36 am
Dear Second Sarah,
1/5/2020 12:31:33 pm
You’re amazing, excited to keep reading!!
4/25/2023 06:41:56 pm
Awesome blog you have herre
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Emilee with 3E's
I'm a 30-something single-ish lady who is enjoying city-life & a philanthropic career... most of the time.
A Note from Emilee:
Hey all! I hope if you've read this far that you've also read my About Mee page.
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