The Classic Bagel Joint :

Every Jewish girl, boy, appreciator has normally one constant in their lives: a good bagel place that knows them since they were children. So naturally, I do as well. A place that stockpiles the good tofu cream cheese and nova. Although, if we are being honest they need to improve their sturgeon game (seriously, it is so dry).

Today, though, in a place where everyone knows everyone, I was embarrassed. With my family it is always the same conversation. My grandfather tells me all the natural remedies and the power of Tumeric and says that will solve everything. It goes on for twenty minutes, as I get lectured on my dependency on medication and how I shouldn’t do my Humera paperwork, because it has so many side effects. I eventually get frustrated with him, because let’s face my entire family ‘cares’ a lot about my illness and has down all the research. You inability to even name what I have, or generally know my health concerns is a great example.

Still, the embarrassment wasn’t coming from me having to tell my grandfather, “Enough. It’s an auto-immune disease, dad. I don’t get to just take Turmeric every night and I will be cured. Besides, I already do take Turmeric every night!”, it came from walking over to my grandmother afterwards. Her words,” Stop it. That’s all you ever talk about. You and your list of problems. I’m tired, or I hurt. We know. You sound like no vaccine people. Natural cures do work sometimes…” You know why you guys can’t name what I have or my symptoms, MAYBE IT IS BECAUSE SINCE I FIRST STARTED HAVING HEALTH PROBLEMS YOU NEVER LET ME FINISH THE LIST OF ISSUES THAT NEEDED TO BE ADDRESSED BECAUSE THAT WAS CALLED COMPLAINING AND DEPRESSION TO YOU. The immediate answer every time can’t be a cut off, positive story, and now let me inspire motivation. Just acknowledge that waking up feeling like your body is on fire, SUCKS ASS. Acknowledge that I try so hard to keep with your beliefs and not be my mother and avoid relying on medication. I avoid pain killers, nerve-blockers, I even try to maintain sleep without sleeping pills, so I am succeeding on my own strength. Why you got to constantly embarrass me like that?

The woman at the cash register even felt like she needed to say something. Her sister has Lupus, so she said she sort of understood what I was going through. I thanked her, said her sister was brave and lucky to have her, got a free coffee, and a good luck from her. You see. Normal way to engage in conversation. Normal actions. No embarrassment.

I really hate that I write about this stuff so much lately. It’s like all the time my writing is about this and all I want to do is be writing about other things…But this is a part of my life now…a big part…a part I’m struggling with, because it affects everything around me and can change me so much. I can’t predict how I’ll be the next day. I can only hope my pre-planning works out. Fevers out of nowhere, forgetting things a lot one day, not being able to concentrate because your brain can literally not follow a sentence, and the constant check ins to monitor your medication or general health is my new life. It’s uncharted rough waters. You don’t know how to stop you from waking up one day and not being able to lift your knee up more than a few inches, or it being a day where you can’t leave your bed for awhile because you are stuck in a position you don’t remember laying in.

You are just in everyone else’s eyes weak and depressed. Even if you know you aren’t depressed, because of how you can see yourself struggling. I mean, I struggle to try and live through this chaotic ups and downs and even try to be strong, to be happy, to recognize I can’t carry the luggage from my past, and that I have to accept things because my body has no other option at this point. Still, I can’t argue it does make me mentally tired. Explaining these things over and over and not getting the results I want, because I myself can’t decide what I want to hear…I can’t even be a good friend sometimes, because I can’t handle another person.

It weighs heavily on my mind how when this all started I didn’t listen to my gut feelings about this all and got to the point I was at. How I can’t lose the weight I gained in any quick manner, because I can’t do the cardio that would burn those calories, and even if I did I need to dedicate time to body weight training sessions to maintain mobility and regain atrophied muscles… It eats away at me SO MUCH.

There’s a reason I am at a bagel place for my cheat day. I need to be able to eat a proper bagel more then every three to four months. I am a Jewish girl. OKAY. We live on this stuff. It is part of our culture. There is even a Yiddish saying about lacking bagels, “Lign in drerd un bakn beygl!” It directly means, May you lie in the ground and bake bagels… In other words, you should burn in hell and be depraved of bagels you are being forced to create. Bagels are serious man….

So can you at least not embarrass me at our bagel joint? Our last name even means bagel…..It should be sacred ground.

I.L. Knight

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Tradition – Fiddler On The Roof

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