I have a very particular insecurity that being chronically ill has helped me become much more consciously aware of recently. Years of turning down invitations to get togethers, going out but leaving early, or asking for the tv to be less loud, less bright, in fact just turn everything off! … it has all convinced me that I am the Queen of No Fun. Zero fun, in fact. When everything I do is forged through the added barrier of pain and discomfort, it often feels as if I have no energy left to spare for much needed levity. Because of this frequent depletion of energy, my insecurity has told me I am boring and not fun to be around, whatsoever.
To be honest, I don’t know if I was ever that much fun to begin with. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve shown up to a place, where friends or family have already gathered, with a scowl on my face, even though I was excited to be there and to see everyone. Let me take a few minutes to be a fly on the wall, get the lay of the land, and get settled in and then Happy Me will maybe appear. If I don’t get that time it’s a lot harder to relax, enjoy myself, and not make everyone else around me cranky too. It’s only now that I’m actually putting words to this annoying no-fun emotion that’s been getting in my way for years! Hopefully I can work around it now that I’ve really identified it because it’s a negative experience that’s caused me to really be no fun.
Also, being in a larger body for years meant that I often subconsciously avoided being more boisterous in public so that no one would notice me. I was “fun” as a younger drunken slut, sure, but that was always tied up in how much I sought male attention during the first few years of non-monogamy (haha, ok now too, fine). I’ve convinced others, but worse myself, that I’ve not been interested in all sorts of probably fun activities over the years, simply because I didn’t want to be noticed doing them. If you said that society brought me up to think of my always fat body as a thing ne’er to be seen, I’d definitely agree. Never to be noticed. Not to demand attention of others. So I leaned heavily into being more invisible in certain situations. This insecurity – and admittedly Steph rarely wanting to try new things – has caused me to not participate in lots of stuff over the years. It’s why I completely failed at getting any when we hosted a sexy party for my birthday a few years ok. In some circumstances, I am absolutely terrible at being the center of attention and, well, ruin the fun.
Most of my time on the planet can be divided into my two main modes of existence. The first is where I want all of the attention at any given time; I love this mode! It’s not that I want all of the attention in that mode always, but instead that I am ready for all of it should the mood strike the person or people I’m with. It’s usually a one-person at a time thing though, which might be why I don’t seek it out with groups of people I know.
The second, and much more frequent mode is when I don’t even want to be perceived. This is actually crucial to my “no fun” persona and I wish I didn’t feel it. I can be doing something so completely innocuous; maybe I’m writing a post like this one, grabbing a snack, or searching for a book to read. Someone, usually Steph or Jory as they’re the people I see the most, will simply notice me. Maybe they’ll start talking or casually asking me what I’m up to. In those moments, I feel myself recoiling and I really don’t know why. It’s not that I don’t want to talk to them or that I’m embarrassed to be doing whatever I’m doing; I simply want to be in that moment without being noticed. I want to be invisible and just float around, doing my thing. That’s where I’ve trained myself to find the most comfort and safety.
So, instead of answering the questions or being a kind and responsive human being when noticed, I get snarky and unkind in my responses, almost angry, as if it’s so unbelievably offensive that a loved one would want to engage with me while I’m obviously not even there. I rarely catch myself before it happens and the end result is always the same. I’ve been an asshole and feel confusingly resentful that my invisibility cloak somehow stopped working while the other person is reminded that I am a no fun snake, poised to bite at any opportunity. In reality it has little to do with them. It’s all about me wishing to hide. Yes, this is something I definitely need to work on! Perhaps too I also need to explain it to my people, to help them understand what is happening in my weirdo brain in those moments. That I’m not actually a no-fun little weasel, who hisses at anyone who dares interact with her as she just wants to sneak past and not bother anyone. You see, she’s just so used to bothering people thanks to pain and all of the requirements she needs to exist comfortably and feels bad about it. “Can you turn the volume down? Can the lights be off? Can you get me a pill?”
Chronic pain has for sure made moments of fun harder for me to find or recognize. Additionally, and as you’re well aware of, the pandemic has done all it can to suck joy out of everything, though I’m still working at seeing the joy in as many places as possible to counter this. It’s unbelievably hard though, for all of us. My body’s stress response to the pandemic has been raising my starting pain point to a much higher level. It’s meant I’ve often had a headache and/ or body flare-up for weeks or months on end while having to deal with all of the expectations of the world on top of that. Capitalism demands productivity. Relationships demand nurturing and care. Pain demands the most of me, and the first thing to fall victim to it is often my happiness. Fun. Laughter. Joy.
This all sounds disastrous, I know, but there is a new light shining on me lately (not a blue light, thankfully; that would give me a headache). The past few months that I’ve spent working on disconnecting my identify from my illnesses has been a great help for me in terms of recognizing how little fun I was allowing myself. I use that word “allowing” on purpose. It might feel like it’s been out of my control and, to some degree, it has, but I’ve been really working hard to intentionally seek out fun on all levels big and small, since my revelation back in September that I am not my illness. Realizing that my illnesses are “a thing I suffer from” vs. “who I am” has reminded me that I am just as entitled to having and being fun as the next person. When you hurt all the time, it’s easy for your reality to become distorted. It’s easy to take it personally, like it must be my fault that I deal with this all the time. It used to be really easy to convince me that I don’t deserve fun. That I’m broken. Weighing everyone down. I should be suffering to make up for how annoying I am to take care of.
A few things have been helping me shed that very heavy cloak of self-loathing and insecurity and I’ll share them with you now. The first thing is the revelation I just mentioned. Since disconnecting my illness from my identity, I’ve felt an awareness of the vastness of … possibility! While the pandemic has kept many things on hold and especially uncertain in the recent weeks of Omicron, I am still feeling excited about all the good times that are to come in 2022 and beyond. I truly believe now, even when things are so dark, that there are years more of those good times to have with my husbands, my friends, and my lovers, old and new.
I suffer from a bunch of annoying illnesses, but they are not my entire being. They take a lot of my energy, yes, but they don’t have as much of a stronghold on my joy as I’ve let myself believe. I can both have and be fun. I am allowed. I am worthy.
The second thing that’s been helping, and feel free to laugh at me for this, is weed. Wait, sorry, my bad, I hear we’re calling it cannabis now.? I’ve hated weed forever and still do in most forms, and it’s not made any better by the millions of people who say to me, immediately upon hearing I get migraines, “Have you tried weed?” Yes, Brenda, I have. I wish I liked it; would’ve made me a lot cooler in school, according to Matthew McConaughey. To my chagrin, the smell of it makes me feel sick and nauseated. I absolutely hate smoke, and any of the edibles I’ve consumed in the past have given me such bad auditory hallucinations that I’ve ended up extremely uncomfortable, convinced it would always be a bad experience that wasn’t for me.
Plus, the taste of edibles is gross to me and I can always taste it, I promise. (Super senses and all that). Any time I’d try one of Jory’s weed gummies, I would never actually chew them. Instead I’d cut off the amount that I wanted to have and would swallow it whole. Since then, thanks to the Ontario Cannabis Store (which is honestly a sentence that I’m certain NO one has ever written), I’ve been experimenting with weed “capsules”. And, well, I’ve been high almost every single night since September. Should I be worried or concerned about that? Ehh, no? It’s a pandemic?
Besides, I have years to make up for, right?
The little indulgence of these wonderful pills has brought me so much laughter over the past few very hard months. They’ve helped me be sillier and also appreciate silliness in others, where in the past I’d have been so focused on being invisible that I couldn’t enjoy people being fun/ny. That guard that often goes up when I don’t wish to be perceived; it takes a break when I’m high. I enjoy entertainment more. I have great conversations with some wonderful friends. I laugh until I cry and have on multiple occasions since starting these pills in the fall. I couldn’t tell you the last time that happened before them. These moments of stoned fun also bleed over and help me when I’m sober too. I’m reminded that I can laugh and be goofy and find joy all the time, not only in those evening moments of relaxation. I finally get it, y’all. I just had to find “my thing”.
The third, and final, contributor helping me return to fun, well this one’s easy: sex! I’m having so more sex in the last few months than I had in all of 2021. I find myself initiating it so much more with both Steph and Jory, despite the times when I might feel physically miserable. Before I was always convinced of the fact that I had to say no to their advances because there was no way I could actually a) be a good lover anymore and b) enjoy myself, thanks to whatever head or body pain I was afflicted with. It would be too disappointing for them as they would sense how hard it was for me. For too long, sex at home felt like an obligation. There hasn’t been any pressure from the husbands, no this has been a self-induced pressure. It had nothing to do with how I felt romantically or sexually about them – which has always been great; it was all me. The longer my pain went on, the worse it got over the years, the more hopeless I felt, and the more it became my identity. I was far too often convinced before – and also very ashamed – that having sex with the pain I was suffering from would be too disappointing for them as my days of being a fun lover were obviously in my past. Oh how wrong I was!
The idea of having to be sexy when I constantly felt like a broken “annoying potato of burden” was almost impossible for me to wrap my brain around. It’s easy to blame a drop in sex drive on the pandemic, but that’s only been 2 out of many more potato years.
Thankfully, with a return to outside dating my submissive side is being reborn causing me to remember all of the different ways that sex, and more importantly Me having sex, is great. (Look, I didn’t write my Yelp reviews but I trust them). I didn’t think I would ever reconnect with that side of me; it felt lost forever. Now that I’ve discovered it’s still there, I get to finally enjoy my sexuality at home with my two wonderful anchors a lot more than I let myself before. I am a very sexual being and also very in love with and attracted to them both and am reminded of the individual sexy bonds I have with each of them. It’s so wonderful to not feel this overwhelming sense of dread about an activity I once loved because I felt like I would ruin it. We can choose fun together and experiencing that again is glorious!
Partially responsible for the reconnection with my sexuality and kink is the new (younger) men in my life. Whether in person or by text, they seem to be convinced that I’m awesome, telling me as we collapse in a heap, or when I give them a very suggestive smile, or as I slip slide into their DMs. According to them, I am not a boring baked potato. I am a vivacious, attractive, powerful woman who knows what she wants and goes after it. According to them, and I trust them as I have excellent taste in humans, I am, for lack of a less obvious word, fun! I know Steph and Jory think this too, but there really is something unique about hearing it from someone who doesn’t know you that well. To think that “fun” could be the version of myself that I’m finally putting out there, it’s remarkable.
I’ve had a lot of great sex in my life but I’m really feeling so much more confident in the bedroom now. It’s more than simply a return to self; it feels like a journey to finally meet my true self. I’m having great sex everywhere now and, I have to believe, that at least 50% of the reasoning behind that is because of me! I remember now how amazing sex and kink can be; how fun it is to get absolutely railed and to flirt. I remember how much I like shaking my butt, saying “Let’s do it!” in the absolute cutest voice I can do and how good it feels to reconnect with my husband loves or to discover new lovers.
I’m remembering how to be the fun person I thought was lost forever, a little older and a lot wiser.
I’m learning how to go after joyful experiences that I want for myself and others.
I’m finally seeing the fun offered to me by everything and everyone without layers of pain distorting the view.
It’s pretty great, y’all.
Thanks, as always, for reading. <3