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Wednesday
Aug312016

Blog: Neglecting Lupus- The Brat You Never Asked For

There are times when I neglect my lupus so much that someone could call ACS on me. Lupus is a part of, and like a baby, I should nurture my health. But I go through these seasons where I pretend lupus isn't a part of me. I mean, I never asked for this cranky child that changes lives, expects me to plan around it, makes me go to bed early, stay up late, cancel dates, stop drinking, sit still, and pacify it with meds. I'm expected to keep my lupus close to my chest because at any point in time, it can wake and it will scream into my joints and bones.

I think anyone with a chronic illness has seasons where they want to pretend it doesn't exist. We watch our friends giggle and chat during a day at the mall, not wanting to be the one to say that your body is ready to go. We let the adrenaline take over as we ignore the late hour, keep dancing, and pretend that, coupled with the dehydration from your friend's birthday shots, we won't feel it the next day...and probably for the next two days. We forget pill boxes on the counter, reschedule doctor appointments when they conflict with work, and miss infusions. We wish our Lupus fog would help us forget we have Lupus instead of forgetting where we put our keys. This brat of a disease sometimes quiets down. But as with real children, quiet can feel like it's getting into something and trouble is a'coming.

Lupus is so unpredictable. But honestly, sometimes it isn't. We know our triggers and what we should do to keep it from acting up and showing out. But it seems easier to try to live life like the young parent whose mom is always down to babysit. Drop lupus off and keep the party (or just the regular life) going. Sadly, it doesn't work that way.

Our stints of disconnecting our lives from our illness, as if the two can't work hand in hand, can put us at risk for severe flares and hospitalizations. Sure, we can have a couple long nights and fun days. But pretending Lupus doesn't exist can cause it to bawl at your joints, keep you up at night, leave you drained during the day, and throw a tantrum so terrible, you'll only desire to be in fetal position for weeks.

I understand wanting to hold on to the life you had when you were single and not paired with a chronic illness. But learning how to have it, grow with it, hate it but still live with it will only benefit me in the long run. Neglecting lupus meant I was neglecting myself. It took a lot to be able to remember that Lupus is something that forces me to listen to my body's cries and nurture my body (something we all need to do with or without an illness). I don't feel guilty for needing to take breaks, power naps, and saying no. I realized the parties I missed were the same as the last ones, and being sober made everyone seem even more hilarious. Even though this brat called Lupus continuously tries to mess up my good time, I still truly believe I can still have a life filled with joy if I just paid it a little attention.
-Shanelle Gabriel

Friday
Aug192016

Upcoming Show: TRAPKARAOKE- The R&B Edition 9/23

The video of my feature at the R&B Edition of TrapKaraoke (sponsored by the 2016 BET Awards) is below this email and here: https://youtu.be/SmS-5l09C7c

Enjoyed it? Sad you missed it? Well, after a nationwide tour, TrapKaraoke is back in NYC and I'll be headlining again at SOB's. Get your tickets ASAP! They sold out a week before the show last time!
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/trap-karaoke-rb-only-tickets-27626564799

TrapKaraoke
(Friday, 9/23 @11pm)
S.O.B.'s (204 Varick Street, NYC) $25


Wednesday
Aug032016

Newness

This is new
Like
First breath
For sale sign removed from
Emerald grass
Awkward playground kiss
Leaning back in heated seats
Kicks wiped with licked fingertips
I'm treasuring this

This is fresh
Like
Blueberries handpicked
Or just picked out
Hand on hips
Neck rolls and bent wrists
Back spins and windmills
Dookie chains
Flat tops with the part
You too fly

This is love like
Bottomless mimosas
Wet noses and protection
A seat on the train after a long day
Broken windows turned to stained glass
Your favorite song sung on a stage
Or
Faucet mics
Finding a missing piece to a game you once played
A piece of you you didn't know you missed
This is life
Loving this fresh newness

Monday
Jul112016

How to heal our country

Timely paragraph in "Black Look- Race and Representation" by bell hooks. It's going to take White America to admit there's a problem, that they've partaken in, benefitted from, and ignored the colonization and destruction of an entire group of people in history and today for real change to happen. Liberation is not just for the oppressed. It frees the destructive mind of the oppressor and opens their hearts to the joy of loving humanity.

-Shanelle Gabriel

Friday
Apr292016

NaPoMo Day 29: Lifting

She's been stressed lately
Can't always run from her problems
So she barbell presses
the weight of the world off her shoulders
Deadlifts what's holding her down
Getting her life in full Kettlebell swing
Doesn't give a Squat who is in her way
Not looking for kick backs
She earned what's hers
Only lunging forward
Raises her hands to the sky
Her existence has never been a skip and a jump
Left to workout life solo
Support came and then dipped
Roped into dark places
Where most people would curl into a
Medicine ball
But with every fall she pushes up
Remembering that targeting weaknesses
Leads to greater gains
Rather to raise the bar
Than live as a dumb belle
Delicate
Worried over 5 pounds
Potential gathering dust on a shelf
She would rather lift the
Iron that sharpens iron
Never cared about
Being TOO strong for a man
This gym is life
Where who she is gets defined