What’s your superpower? Join the Beyond Powerful book launch team ūüéČ

If you somehow missed it, on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 my first book Beyond Powerful: Your Chronic Illness is Not Your Kryptonite, will be available in print in all major bookstores in the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK. I’m still not used to writing that sentence.

As part of the launch, I am recruiting YOU (if you want to be recruited, that is) to join my launch team by sharing your superpower with the world.

What you get:

  • a snazzy social media image
  • bragging rights that you were on a book launch team because how cool #streetcred
  • super simple instructions from me on what to share and how to share it to help on launch day. I’m going to send you your picture, write you a post (which you’re free to edit) and tell you when and where to post it. You can effectively turn your brain off, I got you.

What’s really amazing to me about the images that have already been created for those who have jumped in to the launch team is the proof that we are all so damn powerful. Look at what we each carry. Look at how we each crush it. It’s truly amazing.

It reminds me that we’re all dealing with something. That we’re all so strong. And that not one of us is alone in this.

If YOU would like to be on the launch team for Beyond Powerful, here’s what to do:

  1. email lala@lalajackson.com
  2. send a photo of your gorgeous self (pictures with “white space”, i.e. pictures where your face doesn’t take up the whole frame, are best)
  3. include your first name, what you live with (can be anything from a chronic illness to stress to whatever it is you carry), and your superpower. I promise you have one.¬†‚̧

I’ll be sending you instructions on when and where to post, but your image will also be included on BeyondPowerfulBook.com and possibly on one of my social media channels. I appreciate you!

Sick doesn’t equal weak.

Sick Doesn't Equal WeakIt’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.”

I watched the bullshit documentary What the Health so you don’t have to.

TL:DR – this goddamn documentary kept me in a state of rage for about 30% of the thing, rolling my eyes for another 45%, and mumbling “fine, whatever, that’s valid” to myself for the other 25%.

I’ve yet to find a nutrition documentary that I think accurately represents the topic because Do-Your-Own-Research-Because-Every-Human-Body-Needs-Specific-Kinds-of-Fuel-and-You-Must-Learn-Whats-Best-For-Yours wouldn’t sell. These documentaries are designed to shock you because that’s how they get watched. That said, What The Health was particularly full of inaccuracies.

What set off my TOTAL bullshit alarm: 

Continue reading “I watched the bullshit documentary What the Health so you don’t have to.”

What my fibromyalgia feels like.

While not exhaustive, this post is meant for you – the person who is trying to figure out exactly what’s causing you so much pain, the person who is looking for answers after a fibromyalgia diagnosis, the person who is trying to find better ways to care for your body.

I’m going to try to be as thorough as possible and share what has helped me, but different things can help you. Do your research. Consult doctors and wellness professionals but know that you know your body best. Look into patterns. Keep food and activity journals.

Just like with my type 1 diabetes, my fibromyalgia is a game of data. I have specifically engineered my life – what I eat, my activity levels, my exercise, and more – to gain control of my health. You can too (and no, I didn’t just meant to sound like a motivational poster. I just legitimately know that you got this. It’s hard, but you do.)

On my worst days, noises cause me pain. I’ll hear a car horn blaring and it feels like every nerve ending in my body has been set off. I’ll try to tense and release my muscles – my calves, my thighs, my forearms – as a distraction, but it’s like the sound waves are reverberating through my body and there’s nothing I can do to stop them.

On my best days, it’s like I’ve never been sick. The human brain is a wonderful thing and tends not to hold on to pain if we train it to do so. People will ask me how often I have pain flares and I can cheerfully answer, “Oh! Not more than, I dunno, once every few months? It’s not awful.”

In reality, I have pain and inflammation flares once every few weeks. Some are worse than others. Sometimes I’ll just wake up with pain – a lulling ache in my muscles, sharp pains in my joints and the typical fibromyalgia pain points¬†(all of which flare for me) – feeling foggy and lethargic, my brain chemicals doing everything but helping my mood, but my symptoms will level out by midday and I’ll be back to feeling like myself. Sometimes the flare lasts a month or more and I’ll be working from bed most days, willing my joints to stop feeling like they’re on fire, avoiding eating for as long as possible because anything I consume seems like it sends me into further inflammation. Continue reading “What my fibromyalgia feels like.”

Let’s talk about birth control.

About three years ago, I chose to go off of hormonal birth control. I hadn’t had a long story with it – I never used it in college; I relied on condoms. After college, I went on the pill and then switched over to Depo Provera shots for two years. During that same period of time, I gained about thirty pounds, also went on depression medication, and experienced a massive autoimmune crash. I subsequently decided to remove anything from my system that I felt could be contributing to the steady decline of my health. In a relationship at the time, we switched over to condoms and carefully paying attention to where I was in my cycle to make sure we stayed #TeamNoBabies.

I’m 30 now. I’m not in a stable long-term relationship and the way my finances and life goals are set up, I don’t want to have a kid right now. But I do know that I’m in a much better mental state, far healthier, and stable *enough* that were I to get pregnant, I would choose to go ahead and have the kid, and that’s not a life-experience I want to accidentally put myself through right now.

I never really had the sex talk. When I was 16, I vaguely remember my mom asking me if I needed birth control and my response being something along the lines of “OH MY GOD, NO MOM.” As I talked about in a previous post, I didn’t have sex until after high school, but there was a very short period of time between starting to have sex and – what is the inevitable when someone hasn’t had sex education since 5th grade – getting pregnant. Continue reading “Let’s talk about birth control.”

I am never naked.

If you scroll down in this post, you’re going to see a topless/nearly naked picture of me, as well as a few others that show quite a bit of skin. They are¬†meant to challenge you to think about what I’m about to write. Please read first, then scroll if you want (but do not scroll if you think mostly nude photos of me will offend you).

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 10. It meant that, at the age of 10, my body was no longer my own. It became the property of diabetes, of medicine, of science, of the devices it takes to keep me alive.

When I was first diagnosed and still in the intensive care unit, every part of my body was poked and prodded. I ended up with an IV in one of my jugular veins because none of the rest of my veins were stable enough to support a line. My clothes had been ripped off my body to make it more accessible to save. My necklace had been cut from¬†throat so it didn’t get in the way. My body was just that – a body to save. Not a person. Not my own.¬† Continue reading “I am never naked.”

My justice is more important than yours.

Mitch McConnell, ol’ wax turtle lookin’ ass himself, is one of the major supporters of the Special Diabetes Program,¬†a critical program that provides $150 million annually for type 1 diabetes ¬†research at the National Institutes of Health. One great action. Check.

He also just struck down the call to get a special prosecutor or independent¬†commission to essentially investigate whether or not our country’s government has been infiltrated by Russia. An interesting action, to say the least. Check.

He also became a new level of infamous a few months ago by uttering the words, “nevertheless, she persisted” while trying to shut down the voice of Senator Elizabeth Warren on the senate floor as she was attempting to speak¬†out against the Attorney General nomination of Jeff Sessions, the Scar of the Keebler Elves (not my quote but I don’t remember where I saw this – let me know who to credit if you know),¬†on the grounds that he is racist as fuck (you can quote me on that, though). Additionally, he has consistently rejected any call to actually include WOMEN when making healthcare decisions for women. To McConnell, it’s absolutely fine to not have women included in decisions about women’s bodies. Mountain of fucked up actions. Check.

mitch

Continue reading “My justice is more important than yours.”

We create these broken families.

I’m not a parent, but I am the big sister of a kid whose dad walked out on him when he was a baby¬†so¬†I got¬†used to him accidentally calling me mom.

I was twelve and a half when he was born. It was a few weeks before Thanksgiving of 1999. He looked like an alien, all yellow and pallid and big-headed. I didn’t get why people called newborns cute¬†and it was weird to know that he was an attempt-to-save-the-marriage baby so I think I probably looked at him differently.

nanyo3As soon as he could start laughing though, he was mine. He was all belly laugh, all heart. All climb-in-your-lap-and-kiss-your-cheek-when-he-wanted-something smooth. He was rambunctious and brave, all adventure and love.¬† Continue reading “We create these broken families.”

Quit your bullshit around money.

I want to reframe this whole Obama-getting-paid-$400k-from-an-evil-bank thing. I’ll start with a story, and then I’ll tell you why I think people’s outrage is crap.

My mom’s family was very well-to-do. My great-grandfather started a coal company in Chicago when he emigrated from Germany; that company turned into an oil company. My grandfather, not wanting to go into the family business, became a renowned cardiovascular surgeon in NYC. My mom grew up on the upper east side; my grandparent’s apartment was on 5th avenue overlooking Central Park. My grandmother (my mom’s actual mom, not her step-mom I was named after) was very high-society – lots of dinner parties and posturing to impress the “right” people. She was also a raging alcoholic, manipulative, and mean. Continue reading “Quit your bullshit around money.”

One year in NYC: on getting kicked in the back in Times Square and the beautiful conundrum that is this city.

There’s not a whole lot that can¬†better describe my last year¬†in New York City than the following particular 24-hour stretch.

On Sunday, October 9, 2016, I ended up at a private Alicia Keys concert in Times Square with a handful – a several thousand person handful –¬†of my closest friends.

Alicia

Every screen was lit up Alicia – she had bought out the entire place to film a concert special for BET, promoting her new album.

To close out her set – which had included Q-Tip, Questlove, John Mayer and Nas, among others – on comes Jay-Z and they, in Times Square, every screen lit up with them switching out with classic, black and white photos of the New York City skyline, performed Empire State of Mind. Continue reading “One year in NYC: on getting kicked in the back in Times Square and the beautiful conundrum that is this city.”