Friday, June 10, 2011

How long are you gonna let the spaghetti slap you in the face?

For the first few months that the tremor started, I was so frustrated my head was moving all the time, that I didn't realize how I could adapt to all the shaking. So much of my time was spent just wanting it to stop, and very little of my time was spent on how to cope with it.  I fought with my cup of coffee each morning, chased my sandwich in the afternoon, and sent soup flying in the evening.  My days were spent in the cyclone of hating the constant movement, and dreading my next meal.  
It actually was my friend's mother who suggested I use a straw for my beverages, after seeing me struggle to aim the mug of coffee towards my mouth, and ending up ruining a perfectly nice shirt.  And it was so simple.  Why wouldn't I just put a straw in whatever I'm drinking and avoid this whole mess?  And that was the start.  It was the moment when I saw that there was another way, and it didn't end with me feeling frustrated, or depresssed, or angry.  
I started small, and then expanded.  Using a straw while drinking was triumphant, but then came the spaghetti.  While watching tv one night, I saw a commercial for some acid reliever.  This woman is about to put a forkful of spaghetti in her mouth, when suddenly the pasta smacks her across the face.  This was exactly my predicament, except I was the one moving, giving the spaghetti the upper hand, as it whipped my cheeks with sauce.  Another light bulb moment.  Why would I eat the spaghetti when I could have penne, or ziti, or any other short pasta for that matter? 
 This little formula of adaptation, I soon learned, could be applied to other aspects of my life.  If this makes me feel (insert undesired emotion), what can I do differently?  I didn't have to be held captive by the tremor unless I chose to be, and when I chose to, I felt miserable, which did nothing but keep me down.  But when I chose (and continue to choose) to adapt, to try something different, to change my feelings, I felt better.  "Feeling better" was my goal before all this shaking started,  It's why I checked myself into two psychiatric hospitals, and underwent extensive treatments to pull me out of a major depressive episode.  It took some time to learn, but sometimes life slaps you across the face with spaghetti, and you just need to wipe the sauce off your face, and choose a different noodle.


  1. KB is insightful, thoughtful, funny, and remarkable. Reading this blog makes me want to read more and more and more. From the deep pink collage-y background to her incisive perspective, I immerse into her world and learn more about mine. This girl tells it like it is with courage, compassion, charm, and lovely, lovely writing.

  2. Hi Kate, This was an awesome read! Can't wait to read the rest, inspiring and insightful. Keep laughing, living, loving and working! - Corrine