Pleased To Meet You, Hope You Guess My Name

by Susan Pogorzelski on March 18, 2012 · 6 comments

Please allow me to introduce myself
I’m a man of wealth and taste.
I’ve been around for a long, long year
Stole many a man’s soul and faith.

Pleased to meet you,
Hope you guess my name.
But what’s troubling you
Is the nature of my game…
– The Rolling Stones, “Sympathy For The Devil”


I know this blog has been silent for a while now.

I know I’ve been silent for a while…

I haven’t meant for that to happen — one of the things I love about blogging, that I love about this community of readers and friends, is that I can be so open and honest with everything I’m going through and even more so with what I’m thinking and feeling, even when it isn’t so pretty and neatly packaged.

I wish I could be singing pretty songs and wrapping everything up with a bow. I wish I could tell you about all of the positive things I’ve had in my life in the past few months:

  • I put in an application to foster dogs in need from the local humane league — meeting Bailey made me realize how strongly I feel about being able to offer a temporary place of love to these animals who deserve a lifetime of love, and I couldn’t wait to meet with the director and make a dream (a very small dream, but a dream nonetheless) come true.

    (But that’s been put on hold.)

  • I have tentative plans to rent a house in the Caribbean with friends for a week at the end of the year. Drinks and late-night dinners and surf and sun — the company of best friends feels like the perfect way to refresh my spirit and rejuvenate the soul as well as cure the travel bug that’s infected me again.

    (But that’s still pending.)

  • I’ve picked up a pair of sneakers, hopped on my treadmill, and started a running program to train for a 5K this spring. Three to five times a week I’d spend a half hour walking and running my way to fitness. I once swore that I hated running, and now I love the adrenaline rush. My lungs burn, my heart races, my mind clears. I understand now first-hand how addictive it is — but what’s addicting is how incredible it made me feel.

    (I don’t feel so incredible right now.)

  • I’ve finished the first draft of my short fiction series. Remember Annie Summer? Turns out, I couldn’t give up on her. As it turns out, she wouldn’t let me. I’ve never felt closer to a character before, and her story was one that wasn’t finished — until now. Now, I’m working on edits and looking into my options for publishing (advice welcomed, believe me, but that’s for another post), ready to take a chance and finally make the leap into getting my writing out there, to publish my fiction, to making a life-long dream come true.

    (I’m not giving up on this one.)

Almost everything in my life seems to have moved to the back-burner as I spend my weekdays trying to get through the workday, as I spend my weekends resting and trying to save my energy for the next week. Despite the exercise, despite the healthy eating, despite the renewed love for and ambition in life, my health is kicking my ass again. Or, rather, instead of a friendly game of knock-out, it’s decided to go full MMA on me.

Now we’re fighting to find someone who can help us find answers to this illness that has been debilitating for far too long. I promised myself that I would never again give in to the darkness that gripped my life these past few years, when frustration and despair buried my optimism while we struggled to find a diagnosis once before — a possible misdiagnosis — and then again for what eventually ended up being gallbladder disease this past fall.

And I won’t. I refuse to.

I’m not that same person, and I won’t go back to that place mentally or emotionally, and I refuse to lose myself again spiritually — especially since I’ve so happily discovered the best parts of myself again.

But I’m back there physically.

I tried to ignore the whispers of the symptoms and concentrate instead on how great I’d been feeling. But eventually, my body decided it didn’t like being ignored, and while I could have shrugged away the old, familiar signs, it was the new ones that scared the hell out of us. Another round of ER, doctor visits, and tests. Only this time, we’re not looking to treat just the symptoms. This time, we’re narrowing down the cause.

This time, my body is screaming, and those who can help are listening.

We’re finding it’s all related — even the gallbladder disease — and that it stretches back farther than we realized. And while I’m not ready to go into specifics, I’m undergoing tests and meeting with specialists that will hopefully confirm our suspicions and finally put a name to what has had a grasp on my life for too long.

The relief I feel at finally finding answers is inexplicable, but believe me, there were tears. To know there is truly something affecting you while all this time you thought it was just you, just who you are — to think that you could change it if you just tried harder and now knowing that it was out of your control the whole time…Knowing that changes everything.

It’s a strange feeling, to have this unnamed enemy within yourself against whom you have to fight…It’s like you’re attacking and defending yourself all in the same breath.

I know the enemy that hides in the darkness — I know that depression all too-well — and I know how to fight it. But the physical stuff? That’s an enemy I can’t put a name to, and that’s what scares me the most. Because it’s using a different kind of strength — a strength I often wonder if I even have.

Maybe I needed to go through what I did last year to prepare me for now. Maybe I needed to trust in myself, trust in knowing myself and my body despite what the test results said; maybe I needed to find my voice then so I could speak up now.

I feel different now. Though my body is attacking itself, I still feel sure of who I am, and while at times I feel defeated, I know it won’t defeat me. Because I’ve remembered what it felt like to feel good — to have that energy and focus and ambition, to feel that optimism, the hope, a strong faith. It’s the essence of who I am and who I always have been, and while it was once buried underneath grief and fear, it’s been there and always will remain.

This is me. This is still Susan.

And I’m not going anywhere.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Becky March 18, 2012

I am glad you are you too!


Sam March 19, 2012

You have given the Universe enough tootsie rolls over the years that it should be treating you like a queen! Clearly, it’s confused, but in all seriousness, I’m glad you’re finally working towards finding out what is causing you so much discomfort. I hope that you can find a permanent solution, instead of temporary fixes. You deserve to be healthy and happy! Thinking of you always. xoxo


Raven March 21, 2012

I’m so excited to hear about the Annie Series. And, I’m happy to know you haven’t given up on this wonderful nook that is your blog. Welcome back!


Suburban Sweetheart March 30, 2012

Susan, all of this is so scary. I can’t believe it’s happening again/still happening – but I know you’re strong enough for this, perseverant enough for this, & brave enough for this. Focus on the good. <3


Susan Pogorzelski April 3, 2012

I love each of you, so much. Thanks for being here — for your words of confidence and strength in what has been a very difficult and discouraging time. I feel stronger, somehow, though there are still moments of emotional weakness. But knowing each of you are here keeps me stronger, and my gratitude is infinite.

Infinite. True story.


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