Long haired dachshund wearing a black harness runs excitedly across some grass. Black polygon has "Hi!" on it in the same golden colour as the dog.

Over the past few years (14 is a few, right?) I’ve dealt with a lot of challenges, including some life-restricting health problems.

I’ve made efforts to improve my situation, but not much has stuck, and over the last year I’ve been feeling worse than ever.

At 34, I’m ill, depressed, unsatisfied — and terrified of change.

Somehow, I need to transform my circumstances and get back out into the world despite the fact that many of the things other people think of as normal scare me to the point of tears.

Basically, I need to get a life, even though I don’t feel like I can.

If I didn’t find the term so cringey, I’d say this blog was about self-development, but with honesty and humour instead of inspirational quotes and pictures of dolphins leaping over rainbows.

I hate affirmations, facile encouragements to “think positive!”, and anything else that suggests you can change how you feel as easily as flicking a light switch.

But I’m open to complementary therapies, the idea that physical illness is sometimes triggered by stressful events, and the fact that feeling good can attract more positive things into your life.

I think people who give unsolicited advice are doing the devil’s work, so this blog won’t ever be about how to be more like me (because really, who wants that?)

It will be about my experiences, opinions, and insights (when I have some).

Life can be beautiful and painful and wonderful and horrible and the only way I’ve ever been able to cope is to write about it — not just for catharsis, but to give it shape and meaning, and to connect with other people who might understand where I’m coming from.

No Humiliation Wasted is all about turning difficult events into a more productive, enjoyable life, or at least some stories we can laugh at. I think Carrie Fisher said it best: “If my life wasn’t funny it would just be true, and that is unacceptable.”

Image: Soggydan on Flickr (+ Photoshop).