#498 Long, comfortable silences between really close friends

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“Mm, want the air conditioning on or anything?”

“No, no, I’m good…”

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AWESOME!

— Email message —

“Hi Neil,
I recently got a copy of The Book of Awesome on Mother’s Day from my 2 1/2 year old (obviously my husband was behind that one ;). I love it and it’s just taking me to a different happy place each time I read one of the stories. I do appreciate the little things although this wasn’t always the case.

I’ve had a difficult period in my life and I’m still not fully on two strong legs yet, literally. 2 1/2 years ago I got an outburst of mysterious symptoms, my speech went slurry, barely audible, I couldn’t chew, swallow food, within months I dropped down to less than 75 lbs. I got weakness in my arms and legs and could barely walk. For most of this time, I was diagnosed with Postpartum Depression and was on max doses of antidepressants – which were certainly necessary as I was going through depression with suicidal thoughts.

Eventually, I got more tests done, and 15 months later (of surviving on smoothies that took an hour to drink) (oh and did I mention I couldn’t smile – physically could NOT smile, I could not control any facial muscles) I got diagnosed with a rare disease called Myasthenia Gravis, (in short, it leads to muscle weakness due to antibodies blocking the signals from the brain to muscles). Since starting treatment I got my smile back, I can lift my daughter and go for a walk… but since there is no cure for this illness, the symptoms came back stronger so although my facial muscles are under some control, I’m generally weak and my eye muscles are affected with double vision.

This is still taking a toll but I’ve accepted things for what they are…. I think I’m HALF WAY (just like you). I may be weak, but I’m now a STRONG person inside. I now appreciate things for what they are, I look for awesome things in the everyday. ┬áThat’s why your book means so much to me. It helps me to look at life in a lighter way, it puts me in a happier place. For this, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.” – Ella (from http://www.lifeologia.com/)

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