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What a difference a year makes... First photo was indeed a year ago today, on the first night after my hysterectomy for severe endometriosis. I was smiling but my eyes say it all: full of anxiety and grief that I couldn’t locate through the layers of pain meds and benzos. Severe undiagnosed PTSD, feelings that my worth and purpose were being taken from me, angry and self-pitying with no sense of how I’d emerge. Plus, my hair had fallen out in odd clumps and I’d taken it upon myself to dye what remained electric blue cuz if you’re gonna spiral why not SPIRAL (shout out to @joanaavillez for being a true friend and bringing Manic Panic when I demanded it at night in the hospital, though. I love you Jo.) The second pic was taken tonight, happy joyous and (substance) free. The last year hasn’t been all roses and Kenny G songs, but it’s been proof enough for me in the presence of the divine. The divine- it’s been there in the kindness of my family, friends, chronically ill folks online. It’s also been there in the moments where I cried myself to sleep, shocked by the sounds coming out of me. It’s in the light slanting on my comforter, the resilience of my best friend’s baby clonking her head then giggling, the new hairs sprouting at my temples. Mostly I’ve found it in my own strength, because who the fuck knew. And I don’t mean strength as in powering through. I mean strength as in vulnerability, feeling it all, taking it as it comes and dancing even with a hospital grade pad in my underwear. I surprised myself. I bet you can surprise yourself too.