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Saturday, April 2, 2011

HAWMC Prompt 2: Word of the Day

I'm participating in WEGO Health's Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge (HAWMC) in April.


Today's challenge was to look up the word of the day on dictionary.com, and then write a post inspired by the new word. There's an "Ambitious Activist Challenge Add-on," which is to pick 5 new words and work them all into your post (and try to link them to your condition). I've always been an over-achiever, and I love taking on new challenges... so, of course, I'm going for it. I chose my words by looking up previous words of the day for my birthday (March 31).
  • bivouac [biv-oo-ak, biv-wak] - a usually temporary encampment in the open; also, to encamp
  • contretemps [kon-truh-tahn] - an inopportune occurrence; an embarrassing mischance
  • xenophobia [zen-uh-foh-bee-uh] - fear or hatred of what is strange, foreign, or different
  • edacious [ih-dey-shuh s] - devouring; voracious; consuming
  • approbation [ap-ruh-bey-shuh n] - formal or official approval, sanction, or commendation; also, praise; an obsolete word for conclusive proof
When I first started getting migraines, I sheltered myself in a sort of bivouac - finding relief in random dark, quiet spaces. However, a bivouac can only stand so long before it gets tattered and can no longer provide protection from the enemy... in my case, migraine.

Then, the migraines became an edacious monster that disrupted every part of my life. It's hard to believe that a single contretemps could lead to so many changes. My relationships are different... many of my relationships have ended because of my chronic illness.

Dealing with so many changes in one's life (especially if they occur in a short time) can lead to xenophobia - not necessarily being afraid of or hating all strangers or foreigners, but having a fear or dislike for things that are strange or different. When you have chronic pain, you often try to surround yourself with things that make you comfortable... things that are familiar. It can be difficult to step beyond that comfort zone.

Living a life with chronic pain can be very lonely sometimes. I know that my emotions are often up and down like a roller coaster. Even though I don't need approbation, it's nice to be recognized and feel acceptance at least in an informal manner.