Like any art form, poetry is sincere when done for the sake of human connection and it is pointless to keep my poems in disorganized files and notebooks bound to be lost. As Susan Foley, Cofounder and Executive Director of HESA (@hesaonlineinfo ) said , “Even being sick, you can still find a reason to get up in the morning and feel good about yourself, if you find a purpose for your life.” I have no excuse to keep holding my breath; it’s simply time to exhale and take part in the world again through what brings me peace: writing.
My illness, Hashimoto’s Encephalopathy with Functional Network Disorder, does not define me but I must admit, it triggered the need and joy for poetry: an exercise in mindfulness that led to a more profound appreciation of existence. Hence, I thought it fitting that my first post is something I wrote in an effort to explain myself better to a beloved tita by sharing how I cope with dissociation, one of my strangest symptoms. As The Medical City’s Center for Behavioral Health's Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Group Therapy taught us, Mindfulness or “the cultivation of awareness by focusing on the present moment with openness and curiosity” (@tmc_cbh , 2020) is applicable anytime, anywhere so without me knowing at times, I was practicing it while writing. To my surprise, the exchange only made our bond stronger despite dissociation typically being alienating. Truly, whatever our circumstances, we can always thrive and use whatever cards we’re dealt to see unique sides of life: opportunities for gratefulness.
So thank you to the strong yet caring community behind HESA; my family, doctors and friends; our Wednesday Poetry group, a constant source of inspiration; my talented cousin @maoooleng who lent her art in this post; and to you, dear reader,
Let us admire the beauty of the present together.