A Spoonful of Sugar
When Pasha Marlowe’s son, Jamie, was eleven, he went from being a happy, joy-filled kid to one who couldn’t walk or go to school from chronic pain. Pasha sought help from countless doctors. Eventually, she took Jamie to Boston Children’s Hospital, one of the country’s best child treatment centers. When the doctors told her that her son was “just stressed,” she felt helpless. She knew that what Jaime felt was more complicated and intense than “just stress.” He told her that his pain was so severe that he wanted to take his own life. Pasha knew she didn’t want to survive her son’s death, and she’d do anything to help him live. She remembers a profound moment when, lying on the hospital’s bathroom floor, she realized something. They’d tried almost everything—Except laughter.
Pasha never considered herself a funny person. In her own estimation, she took life too seriously and was constantly engulfed in a blanket of anxiety. She wanted to learn more about humor, so she hit the books. She found one called Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. He wrote that people who survived the Holocaust are esoteric in their ability to laugh together. If humor worked for Holocaust survivors, she thought, it could work for her.
Now, she and Jamie began to find the irony in their situation. They’d go to doctors’ appointments and hospital visits and laugh about horrible bedside manner and bad food. For Pasha, their new humor-oriented perspective was literally lifesaving.
Chronic Lyme Disease
Eventually, Pasha found a holistic health practitioner who diagnosed Jamie with chronic Lyme disease. Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria called Borrelia that’s spread by ticks. It’s usually treatable with antibiotics, but some people report persistent symptoms. The term “chronic Lyme disease” isn’t an official medical diagnosis because many doctors don’t think it exists. Their skepticism is largely because many people who experience persistent Lyme disease symptoms can’t produce laboratory proof that traces of the bacteria live in their bodies.
Pasha and Jamie’s situation is further complicated because, a few months after Jamie got sick, Pasha got Lyme disease, too. One morning after a particularly rough night managing Jamie’s symptoms, Pasha woke up with an insect bite shaped like a bullseye on her body, a telltale sign of Lyme disease. She managed to get a course of antibiotics, but some symptoms persisted for the next few months. She attributes this to the deep bond she shares with her son (We think she might get along with Katherine North). Ultimately she had to create emotional boundaries between herself and her son to heal herself.
Embodying Her Emotions
As she started to fully live in the face of death, Pasha let herself get angry for the first time in her life. Up until this point, Pasha was a temperate woman. She didn’t swear, drink, or go to parties. But when the Kavanaugh hearings started to unfold in 2018, a fire lit in her. “I felt so alone and pissed,” she says. “Because I started releasing rage, I was also able to release grief, and joy, and desire.” She started to embody her emotions through physical activity—First a yoga teacher, then through dance, laughter, writing, and even hula-hooping.
Pasha also came to realize she is bisexual during this time. The people Pasha grew up with are straight, and she never discussed sexuality with them. She didn’t even really think about it with herself. But her new commitment to embodying her emotions allowed her to realize that she likes women as well as men. She came out in a rather unconventional way: Through her book, titled My Next Husband Will Be a Lesbian. The work shares her coming-out stories, along with those of fifteen other LGBTQ women. Don’t be fooled by the tongue-in-cheek title: Coming out for Pasha wasn’t an easy decision. It’s shaken up her marriage and put some tension on her connections with family and friends.
Laughter and Pleasure
One of the ways she’s working through these hardships is with humor. She helps women help themselves through her Roar With Laughter workshop. Pasha’s a life coach who believes that a good sense of humor about yourself can change your life.
Pasha’s grounding rituals begin in the morning.
Watch the sunrise while she enjoys a cup of coffee.
Answer messages and comments online.
Go outside to ground herself.
She also swears by eating well, and she enjoys a good shower.
Pasha is very sex-positive. We find this refreshing and welcoming, if slightly disarming. Be warned, she might catch you off guard. She talks about sex all the time on her podcast, Let Pleasure be the Measure.
Connect with Pasha
Pasha Marlowe is a life and laughter coach, podcast host, and author. She strives to help others be courageous, vulnerable, and fierce as they move through the world. She also believes that a good sense of humor about yourself can change your life. You can work with Pasha one-on-one or enroll in her group program, Roar With Laughter. Her podcast, Let Pleasure be the Measure, is available wherever you get your podcasts (It’s also on YouTube!). Her book, My Next Husband Will Be a Lesbian, came out this past February. Be sure to follow Pasha on Instagram and Facebook. You may also want to join her Facebook group, “Midlife Mischief and Merriment.”