My 2018 word is __________.

Every year since 2010 I’ve forgone new year’s resolutions – since they never stick anyway – and have instead chosen words to guide me.

From healthcare (2010), wellness (2013), and realignment (2014) to relationships (2012), growth (2015), and purpose (2016), each time I’ve set an intention for my year the universe answered.

By the end of each year I could clearly say, “yup, that word definitely guided me,” but – whether it is because I’m hardheaded or it’s just the way lessons are taught – these intentions also cracked me upside the head with hard-fought wisdom.

The year I set healthcare as my intention, I ended up being without healthcare (while living with type 1 diabetes) until October 1st. It made me deeply appreciate access to healthcare and become a lifelong advocate for healthcare as a human right. Continue reading “My 2018 word is __________.”

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Why I’m not talking about being sick anymore.

A few days before my first book published, I found myself suicidal for the first time in my life. I’ve had rough times before, but I never before knew what it felt like to truly want to give up until that moment. That moment terrified me.

In a few years, I know that I will look back on that early morning – standing in the shower with my hand on my heart, shuddering in sobs until my back muscles ached, trying to tell myself that I was okay – and see it as one of the times when I got knocked down but got back up again. Per my own book, it’s what I’m in the practice of doing – getting knocked down. Getting back up again.

But that morning, I was just knocked down. Exhausted. Feeling broken. Continue reading “Why I’m not talking about being sick anymore.”

Four ways to love a messed up body.

Here’s the backstory; the four ways – how is a bit below. My body is constantly killing pieces of itself off. When I was ten, my immune system attacked my pancreas and killed off the beta cells that create insulin, the hormone vital to breaking down the food you eat into fuel for your body.

In my twenties, it decided to start treating the food I ate as foreign invaders, everything I ingested setting off the immune system response squad and leaving me in joint pain and nausea spirals.

At thirty, it’s developed a weird need to constantly break down my muscle fibers like an Olympic weightlifter and, no matter how much I try to coax it that we are not, in fact, aiming for any gold medal, my body seems to think that it needs to act like it’s training for the podium in our sleep. My shoulders are in a cycle of freezing, draining the fluid that allows me to reach and bend to the point that my joints lock up, then – months later – magically deciding we’re done with that and granting me motion again.

The cycle is frustrating but throughout it, I have to give my body credit. For all it messes up, it is trying REALLY hard to protect me. Like the guard dog who has lost all semblance of cool at the mean, scary leaf that just drifted into its yard, my body seems to have no idea that it’s in major overkill mode. Its intentions are good; it’s just supremely bad at its job.

In my early twenties, all of this overzealousness led to almost 60 pounds of weight gain. Continue reading “Four ways to love a messed up body.”

Sick doesn’t equal weak.

 

It’s been really interesting to watch how some people react to the idea of being sick, particularly when it comes to mental and chronic health issues. Having a body that doesn’t quite work the way everyone else’s does isn’t weak. It’s the most normal damn thing there is.

No one’s body works the same as anyone else’s. Some of our quirks are a little more pronounced than other’s, sure. But the same way someone has freckles, my pancreas doesn’t produce insulin. The same way someone has a thumb that bends all weird (you know what I’m talking about), my brain doesn’t produce enough serotonin.

It doesn’t make me weak. It makes me human.

It doesn’t make YOU weak. It makes you strong as fuck. Continue reading “Sick doesn’t equal weak.”

Get to know me ❤

With the recent publication of my book – Beyond Powerful: Your Chronic Illness is Not Your Kryptonite – I recognize that a lot of you are new visitors to LalaJackson.com so I wanted to give you a little intro into who I am!

You can also learn more about what I write (and love to talk about) here. Drop me a note to lala@lalajackson.com if you’d like to say hello or have an idea for how we can collaborate on something together!

How to feel better today

I used to be that person who woke up at 5am, wrote morning pages, did yoga, drank 32 ounces of cold water, and was in my home office seat at 9am ready to go with gusto. I have not been that person in a while. Extensive morning routines can be exhausting and unsustainable, but there are a few key things I really try to stick to because they make such a massive difference.

In this video, I go into the two most fundamental things to make sure I stay in the mindset I want throughout the day.

 

How about you? How do you start your day so that it’s your best? What are the practices that keep you in the mindset you want to be?

$2,000 for 20 years with T1D

I’m fundraising for JDRF because I believe in their vision of a world without type 1 diabetes (T1D). Almost 20 years ago, after having lost 30 pounds in a month and almost going into a coma, I was diagnosed with T1D at 4am on Thanksgiving morning as I was carried into the emergency room.

Because of progress made possible by JDRF – the leading global organization for T1D research and advocacy – I have gone from 3 insulin shots per day to an insulin pump, which works kind of like a mini-IV, that more closely mimics a human pancreas to give me insulin 24/7.  Continue reading “$2,000 for 20 years with T1D”

It’s here! Beyond Powerful is published!

Today is the day – Beyond Powerful: Your Chronic Illness is Not Your Kryptonite is now officially PUBLISHED. Learn more at BeyondPowerfulBook.com and grab your copy. Once you read it, please be sure to leave your review – your reviews help a TON with marketing on Amazon.

AMERICANS! Grab it on Amazon (or Barnes & Noble, Books a Million, Powell’s Books, Indie Bound, Walmart (online only), Target (online only), etc.)

BRITS! Grab it on Amazon UK, Foyles, or Waterstones.

CANADIANS! Grab it on Amazon CA.

AUSSIES! Grab it on Angus & Roberston or Booktopia.

GERMANS! Grab it on Hudendubel or Thalia.

ERRRBODY ELSE: it’s available on Amazon Kindle WORLDWIDE ❤

And if you want to go grab it at your local bookstore in person please do! If they don’t already have it stocked, please ask them to stock Beyond Powerful by Lala Jackson – it is being distributed through Ingram, which is a really massive book distribution service

WANT IT IN YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY?
You can look up whether or not your local library has a copy here. Apparently only the Denver Public Library already has three copies at the moment (NO idea why but I appreciate you Denver). If your local or college library doesn’t already, please request that they do.

ALSO, if you’d like to share what I do and what I write about with your favorite blogger, podcaster, writer, show host, etc., please feel free.Obviously I’d love to spread the word about the book but I’m also more than happy to be a guest/resource to talk about wellness, chronic health, mental health, healthcare policy, etc. They can learn more about me at LalaJackson.com

I can’t thank you all enough. Truly.

With love,
Lala

P.S. Join me at the Beyond Powerful Book Launch Party on Saturday, September 23, 2017 in Brooklyn, New York! The party will start up at 7PM at Barra Brava. Details will be on Facebook and Instagram soon!

Quick update before launch day

My book comes out tomorrow and, while that’s huge and I’m grateful and focusing on that positive, I wanted to take a moment to be really transparent about why this has been a bit of a tough process.

Last week in particular my mental health took a really scary turn but I figured out why – self awareness for the win – and am feeling better now, but I think my fellow chronic health warriors may be able to relate so despite it being a kind of taboo topic, I wanted to share. 

And hey, go buy the book xo

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When my doctors don’t listen to my pain.

ONE
Before I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 10, I had been sick for months. Not eating, downing gallons of water and soda every day, lethargic, sleeping as much as possible, peeing every 30 minutes. In the last month before diagnosis, as I rapidly lost 30 pounds (on a 5’2″ frame), multiple doctors told my mom I was doing this on purpose – losing weight on purpose – to better fit in with my new classmates. I actually had an incurable autoimmune disease but, because I was a preteen girl, multiple doctors assumed I had an eating disorder. When I was finally diagnosed – by a nurse, as I was carried into the emergency room at 4am on Thanksgiving morning – I was likely less than hours from a permanent coma or death from severe diabetic ketoacidosis.

TWO
When I broke my ankle in 3 places while hiking when I was 26, I called 911 from the trail. I told them my ankle was broken (it was visibly broken – bone at odd angles and everything). They kept on insisting it was sprained. They took an hour to find me on the trail. When the EMTs walked up – and I mean SLOWLY walked up – as soon as they saw my ankle they sprang into action. “OH SHIT. Shit. We should’ve brought you pain meds. We didn’t bring the stretcher down with us. Can you hop?” Three places. My ankle was broken in three places. And I told them that. And they didn’t listen. Continue reading “When my doctors don’t listen to my pain.”