A way to go

As I’m nearing the end of my Whole30, there have been a lot of other ‘things’ popping into my head that I want to change. To be more authentic, more like me, more real, a better version, all just like my food and exercise patterns. I love to make my meals, knowing that only nourishing goodness is going into them. I love going to barre, riding my bike, going on hikes with R and whatever else takes my fancy because I know I have the strength to do these things, to not be at the higher risk of injury I was before, and I can and do enjoy them and crave these bursts of exercise and adventure. These are great achievements – if I knew this is what I’d be doing and saying 12 months ago, I wouldn’t have believed you. At all. To know I have it in my power and control to do a Barrecode Challenge ( and not just do it, but win a prize!), to do hikes with R and be able to keep up with him, to change my eating and health in the way I have, its really mind-blowing.

But of course there is always more. I feel like my eating and moving is really ‘me’ now, but I’m still working on a few things. Starting this blog and writing about my difficulties and successes with my VWD is a huge step. Opening up about my condition, how it effects me and putting my own name and face to it is enormous, as anyone with a bleeding disorder, chronic or congenital condition knows. And like so many others with my type of condition, I’ve opened up to people in the past, friends, family and employers, and it hasn’t been understood, well received or treated with respect or empathy. So taking that step is big. It scared me when I started and it still does every time I reveal something new. I still have things to come to terms with. A big one for me at the moment is finding the best way to deal with my condition, medically speaking. Everything I’ve done and learned this year is telling me that prevention of problems and treating the root cause is so much better than treating symptoms, side effects, secondary issues. But of course this is how the western medical model operates. My current treatment plan is treating my symptoms, not the cause of my issues. It works pretty well, but its also the reason I’m on high blood pressure meds and have been since I was 26. And it only works for a time. This year has seen a complete overhaul of my treatment plan due to my body building up tolerance to all the doses. The new options are simply stronger than the previous meds, not a new way of approaching the problem, and with a single-minded focus on dealing with my symptoms, not looking at the causes or overall health, or (and this is a long term, looming issue in my mind) preservation of my fertility. I don’t really care what western doctors or drug companies say, taking drugs for around 15 years (where I’ll be at when I’m looking at having kids, I think) that are designed to prevent fertility and the normal fertile actions of a human female can’t just be shrugged off by the body in a few months. Especially when those normal fertile functions were wildly out of control to begin with. This is a big challenge for me, and wound up with a few fears. The big struggle is that there doesn’t seem to be western medical advice that agrees with me. So I just don’t quite know how to resolve this pickle.

Another big issue looming over me is that the way I spend most of my waking hours is not making me happy. It would be very pragmatic of me to be able to truly believe that its just a way to get money to live in this world, but I don’t believe that. If I’m spending the best of my waking hours 5 days a week doing something, I need to be getting something worthwhile out of it. Just doing it for the money when you don’t connect with the work, agree with your bosses, or feel like you’re doing that thing that you’re meant to do is soul destroying. I need more from most of my waking hours. But of course I also need to be able to put a roof over my head, pay for food, my medical treatment and all the other things living in the West demands of you. And it grates at me, answering that seeming innocuous question every day, “How are you”?”. I want to answer honestly, I want to say how I’m really feeling, present myself as I am on the inside. But when you still need the money, answering honestly, being who I am, isn’t the most effective option.

I struggle with this inside my head quite a bit, not just about work, but about lots of things. Who are you, big world, or specific person, to demand or imply I need to be who you want to make you more comfortable? There are people in my circles, people who I have to interact with on occasions, who simply wouldn’t cope with me expressing my thoughts as they are, my experiences as they’ve happened, or my perspective (and of course, accepting the reality of my medical condition…). Its too different for them, too outside their frame of reference, and sometimes too INTJ, too rational, too “bitchy”. This is an area I am trying to be firmer in. Its really everyone else problem if they find me blunt, or my use of needles is weird for them, or I live by different rules. To recognise that its outside my power to change their views, so I need to just be me and let them deal with the ‘them’ part of the conversation. To be outside of the arguing, stress and complaints.

Its a big theme for me this year. Having found my ‘me’ in some areas, I now need to work on the scarier ones. To find those things that I am now scared of, afraid to tackle, the things I’m putting blocks up around for no reason and push through. To find who I am in more areas. And if I do even half as well I have with my exercise and eating, I’m going to be someone pretty cool to be around.

* This post was inspired both by my Whole30, as well as the beautiful ‘MOVE’ from Lorna Jane. And my INTJ-ness and inability to shut my own brain off. Happy Monday.


About Jenna

Seeking a new way of working outside the standard 9-5. Writer for hire - blogs, internal procedures, social media posts, training manuals or anything else you an imagine.
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3 Responses to A way to go

  1. annesquared says:

    We have a tendency to set the bar very high for ourselves (as high-achieving women, as INTJ’s.) so if you need to make adjustments along the way – it’s okay to do that. I can tell you are spinning in so many directions right now … and that is fine. This is a good place to do that. Just know that if you need to readjust your goals, that is fine. The important thing is that you are doing something and moving in a positive direction.
    You are a true inspiration, Jenna! I am honored to know you and your missing factor 😉

    • Thanks Anne! And yes, lots of head spinning, but I think I’m beginning to make some sense from it.

      • annesquared says:

        One of the trainers for the leadership class is a prof I keep in contact with at school. She said the INTX need to verbalize their thoughts to help make sense of them, if only to put them in order, to work toward a solution. (I call it a brainstorming session of one at work because no one understands what I am saying.) And I would think writing can serve the same purpose. So we are introverted thinkers but need to express outwardly our ideas to move the process along.
        Oh, my poor advisor lol – I would go into her office and go on about some issues w/ a project and she would listen, then ask “How can I help?” And the answer was always the same – listen to the ideas, tell me if I am on the right track… because I was learning new skills and information. Because of my thoroughness, I usually found out I was in WAY to deep for the project and needed to back off a level or six. “No Anne, what you are proposing if for a doctorate dissertation, not a one credit internship.”
        All of the profs were trained in leadership skills w/ the MBTI and to recognize students’ type, and flex to help them. (Or with people that reported to them.) I found it very helpful, rewarding and a great learning experience.

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