Category Archives: Truth, goddness and beauty

“I don’t want my pain and struggle to make me a victim. I want my battle to make me someone else’s hero”

I’m on the one month Netflix trial and I’ve binge watched everything that caught my attention. One of the best things I saw it was the documentary about Lady Gaga called “Five Foot Two”. I can’t call myself a fan of this singer, I only like some of her songs and think she’s a charismatic performer. But I really loved this Netflix documentary and I want to thank Lady Gaga for shining spotlight on chronic pain, hoping that it will raise awareness about this problem. Invisible illness is not invisible to the sufferer and the only thing worse than pain is not being believed by family, friends or even doctors, who think it’s stress, or all in your head or that you’re faking it looking for attention.

Lady Gaga reveals that she’s fighting pain that stems from a broken hip suffered on the 2013 tour. There’s a part of the documentary that shows her on the couch in tears, because her right side of the body is in a spasms and that her face hurts.

She reveals that when she feel the adrenaline from her fans, she can go, even if it doesn’t mean she’s not in pain. She shows the drugs she takes to control pain , the treatments she gets to ease it, the doctors she visits to find a permanent solution and it’s an incredible discovery for those who, like me, are used to see her full of energy, singing and dancing on a stage.

Honestly, chronic pain and invisible illness can be as limiting as any other disability and the fact that others can’t see them, doesn’t make them disappear. They’re fucking real!

So if you have Netflix, I really recommend “Gaga: five foot two” even if you’re not a fan of Lady Gaga. It also shows many her aspects of celebrities’ life as if that sometimes being reach and popular means also being alone, because bringing along a relationship may be hard for the lack of privacy.

Due to her pain, Lady Gaga had to postpone her Johanne tour and I read online a lot of encouraging and supportive messages from other celebrities and from her fans. Good for her: these are things that help, along to the right meds. I loved how she pointed out that she’s lucky because she has the money to get the right and the best cures, unfortunately many of the treatments that help with chronic pain are meant to be paid by the patient.

I wish I had the financial possibility to cure myself, I wish I had more support and not only from my friends and above all I wish I had half of Lady Gaga’s spirit and energy to face chronic pain and what it brings.

If I continue to define myself by what I can’t do any more or by what others do, I will destroy my self.

TRACK OF THE DAY: The Cure- Lady Gaga

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“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation, and go to the grave with the song still in them” H.D.Thoureau

This post has been inspired by a thought of a friend of mine about children who are not encouraged in pursuing a career in the arts because arts don’t play the bills. She was fond of music, but she preferred following her parent’s advice, so she studied, had a brilliant career and now she works for a corporate that, according to her, pays her bills, but  doesn’t fulfill her heart.

Yes, parents must teach their kids to stay grounded, because not always dreams and hobbies are enough to pay our bills, but they also encourage them to find what passion stir their soul and pursue it. And they also have to pay attention not to project their failed dreams onto their kids, there’s nothing worse than a pushy parent.

On the other hand they shouldn’t force their children to do every sport, take music, lessons, attend art or theatre classes. That’s too much. You don’t know what your kid wants, let them choose, change their minds endless times, but always be there to support them and to help them to react to failure.

For us it’s the same, even if we are adult we don’t have to live our lives according to other people’s expectations or social conformance (“you’re a mum, you can do/act/dress like that” for example). I broke up with a group of good friends because they only saw me tied to my role, they found weird any passion and were supportive only about home/family related stuff.

Don’t be like that, never let your brain idle and learn more about anything you may like. Be passionate about something and don’t be tired to show it off even if “society” doesn’t approve. Life is too short to be anything but happy: we are all special in this world and nobody shouldn’t die with some music still in them.

TRACK OF THE DAY: Dreams – The Cranberries

 

“Anorexia isn’t about being fat, it’s about having fat” Caroline Kettlewell

Yesterday I saw “To the Bone” and it triggered so many thoughts, that in this post, I have to separate the review of the film from my personal life.

The film is about Ellen, a 20 years old girl who suffers anorexia and after failing several recovery programs, is forced to join the unconventional Dr Beckham’s inpatient program. She moves into the house where there are already five other female patients, each one with her story and secrets and Luke, a dancer who’s recovering both from a knee injury and anorexia. Ellen hardly manages to stick to the program and when some events destabilize her, she runs away. I don’t want to reveal anything more (I hate when I find huge spoilers in the plot resume), but I liked the ending.

Both the director Marti Noxon and the main actress Lily Collins have experienced anorexia (Collins has even written about her own experience with disordered eating in her novel “Unfliltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me” and that’s a good  feather in the cap. The film has been criticized because according to people, it glamourises eating disorders, but I didn’t have this impression, I found it honest. The character of Megan (a pregnant woman trying to gain weight for her child) was very effective: it shows that neither the love for an unborn child can save you from anorexia. No matter how much you’re loved, successful, talented you are: nothing is strong enough against eating disorders when they have deep roots in you; I’m not talking about the girl who doesn’t eat because she wants to me skinny, she can be saved, an eating disorder is more than this, it’s trying to kill yourself in an indirect way.

The film has been accused to show in details the tricks to avoid eating; I think that’s ridiculous. If you’re determined not to eat you don’t need a fictional story to tell you how to: there’s a lot of pro-ana websites and dedicated chats where girls shows their bones and support each other on this road to Hell, exchanging suggestion and products as laxatives. Looking up to my personal experience I didn’t need any person or film or anything else, I knew what to do. I drank vinegar to defeat hunger, I cut food in very small pieces and spread it all over the plate, I faked cleaning my mouth to spit food in the napkin. And I starved myself a lot.

If I have to find a negative thing about “To the Bone”, well, I didn’t appreciate that the viewer gets hugely distracted by a romantic sub-plot, I’d rather preferred to know better the personal history of Ellen’s inmates.

I’m not proud of my past and even if I seem over anorexia because I regularly eat, I still have that kind of mindset: I fat shame myself, I’m terrified of weight gain and I still suffer of body dysmorphic disorder. That is I perceive myself fat even if people see me skinny. Of course this is another battle I have to fight alone: my family trivializes it as if it was easy to resolve this distortion by simply “getting over it”.

Anorexia fucked up my stomach, my teeth and my heart (because when your body doesn’t have no more fat to burn, it attacks muscles and, as you know, heart is a muscle) and I wish I knew that what I was doing would have affected future me.

I’m still struggling with this problem, so I have no valid suggestion, the only thing that works for me is thinking “what if a person I love has this problem” or “may my mindset influence someone I care for?”. You probably don’t want your daughters or sisters grow up thinking that they’re physically inadequate, so do for them, try to love yourself or at least try not to body shame in front of them. Maybe this could be the right way, maybe.

TRACKF THE DAY: Ana’s Song- Silverchair

 

“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice” Nelson Mandela

As I already written I’m sponsoring a 8 years old Rwandan girl named Divine through Food for the Hungry. It takes about three/four months to get one letters because both mine and hers, need to be translated in English and it’s not easy to deliver mail to remote villages, that’s the only negative side of sponsorship.

This time the letter was a “get to know me better” kind, an update about Divine’s favourite activities written both in Kinyarwandan and English. My goal is to learn some basic sentences, so I will be able to wish her a happy birthday or cheer her in her language, but it’s very hard to learn.

The girl in the picture is 9 and asked me to take her a photo while she was drawing to reply to her faraway sister and asked me to share it on social media, so other families might be inspired and consider to become a child sponsor.

If you have kids or younger siblings, this could be a life changing experience also for them. They learn that the children in need aren’t just the numbers or the nameless people they heard about on tv. They realize that they are kids like them, who go to school and like to play as they do. They develop a bond with that sibling who live in a faraway country, get in touch with a new culture, different uses and ways to live.
Sponsoring a child is a chance of growing up in culture, love and compassion that involves the whole family.
Consider this, have a look at FH projects and choose to change the existence of a child, of their family and community… and of course your life!

Link here: https://www.fh.org/give/sponsor-a-child/

TRACK OF THE DAY: Diamonds on the soles of the shoes

“Our fingerprints don’t fade from the lives we touch”

There’s a part of the novel “About a Boy” by Nick Hornby where Ellie and Marcus see in the newspaper that Kurt Cobain committed suicide and Ellie gets so sad that she gets drunk, then jumps out of the train and throws a boot at a music shop that had a big Kurt Cobain’s cardboard in the window. She wanted to punish the shop owner who, according to her, was trying to exploit her idol’s death, to make money.

When a musician dies, it’s so sad to see that many greedy shops raise CDs prices and that there is an invasion of merch, without mentioning those who feel like to mourn their loss even if they had never listened to a single song. Was Chris Cornell right when he said that an artist’s work isn’t fully appreciated until their death? Or is it simply the mercenary or narcissistic desire to take advantage from the situation?

Luckily it’s not totally true, thanks to common people and fans and their sincere tributes (on socials I still see a lot of posts for Chester Bennington as I saw for David Bowie last year), sign that the death of a great musician can create a collective sense of loss and nostalgia. They may be gone, but their music and the feelings it gives, will remain forever.

I’m writing this because three days ago it was the 25th anniversary of Jeff Porcaro’s premature passing and the grief is as strong as if it had happened yesterday. As a huge Toto fan, music lover, drummers’ estimator, it’s still something hard to overcome.

In my opinion he’s one of the greatest drummers of all the time and this goes beyond his drumming skills (I know that plenty of drummers can play a Purdie shuffle): it’s about his personal groove, his consistency and also it’s something that goes beyond the notes. He took seriously his profession, he played with passion and dedication, not only with Toto, but also as a session musician. He was one of a kind artist and I totally agree with Steve Lukather that when Toto perform, it’s like Jeff is on stage with them.

(OT: I know that if someone posts something on Snapchat or Instagram story it’s to make it ephemeral and I’m not one of those disrespectful accounts that leak and share these things. But a friend sent me this video of JD playing the Rosanna half time shuffle: it’s something I’ve been craving for four years. So I hope Josh won’t mind… and neither you).

TRACK OF THE DAY: Josh Devine performing the famous Rosanna shuffle

“What doesn’t kill you makes you wish you were dead” BMTH

So, another negative thing happened to me, one of those I couldn’t predict or control and the first inevitable question has been: “Why do bad things keep happening to me?” and after venting with my irreplaceable friends, I tried to react. Nothing is working at the moment, here’s how I debunked every possible solution given to this question.

  • Even in the worst, there’s some good waiting for you. I tried to list down what’s good and what’s wrong in my life, I tried to ignore that the negative list is way longer and easier to be filled, but honestly, the glad game didn’t work. Because bad things are still there, unsolved, no matter how many things I’m grateful for are written in the other column.
  • Write down your history, analyse it, once you find the wrong patterns, you can begin to change your life. I could write an entire book, the problem still is: I have health problems who lead me to mental illness and don’t allow to have a proper job in order to earn the money I need to cure myself and get rid of an abusive relationship. The picture i very clear, how can I change the colour palette? Next.
  • Bad things happen to everyone. That’s the polite version of the sentence “others have it worse”. Given that it would be sadistic to feel better thinking about to those who are having a worse time, it doesn’t change the fact I’m in pain. Or doesn’t solve my problems, it may only help me to develop a positive attitude or to be more concerned about others.
  • You are responsible of everything that it’s showing up in your life, flip your way of thinking and it’s going to get better. This is bullshit, well, mostly. It could work when you’re griefing for the end of a relationship, or because what happens depends on your bad habits. You’re entitled to change your life and a positive mindset will be surely helpful. But this doesn’t work when you’re given to diseases, no way. I could face them better, but I won’t heal. I could be the best fighter and I can assure you I’m not sitting down here all day being a cry baby, but things only get worse.

There are things that can’t be changed, only faced, but I’m tired of fighting, really. Why me? And don’t tell me that life (or God, it depends on your belief) is giving me burdens I can bear, because I’m not that strong, really.

TRACK OF THE DAY: Nobody can save me – Linkin Park

” A friend who dies it’s something of you that dies” Gustave Flaubert

This day is never easy for me. Whoever said that time heals all wounds, was lying because each time I walk past the place where my best friend was involved in a car accident, I still close my eyes. And honestly I still wait for her to pop out from behind a tree how she used to do in our games or to hear her voice when the phone rings.

If the bond was strong, friendship never fade despite death, time and having new friends. We were 17 when it happened, we grew together, we had a special place where we used to play with dolls or Barbies, the same place that has witnessed our secrets and confidences about our first crushes. It hurts sitting there alone.

When a friend grows their wings it’s hard above all because it’s about someone like you, around your age and in the following years, at every milestone of yours, you ask yourself how your friend could be. Alessandra. Would she be a mom? Would she have a job? Would she be happy? Would us still be friends? I don’t know, I just miss her.

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This is a personal blog, so don’t look here for a way to cope with grief for a friend’s loss. Personally the only thing that works for me is music: artists can express what it means better than any so called “expert”, their words may caption perfectly how you feel. Look for your grief song, the one closest to your experience and play it on repeat, there also are dedicated playlists on Spotify. It helps a lot, above all on days like birthdays or anniversaries.

Mine is “Never Fade” by Josh Devine and Ollie Green: JD experienced the premature departure of one of his closest friends who was very young and put in music his feelings. Those above are the words I held in my heart, unable to express them until this song came out. I’m playing it since this morning: I’m sure Ale likes it, she loved music so much!

I love you my friend: you will be always missed and never forgotten.

TRACK OF THE DAY: Who knew – Pink