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Archive for the ‘Health and Illness’ Category

Hello, My Old Friend

Years ago, I set aside this blog. I started new blogs. I left those to lie dormant as well. But therapy is still expensive and blogging is still relatively free and so here I am. It doesn’t surprise me that I’m back. I am a bit surprised I returned to this domain, but I guess I shouldn’t be. It feels more like home that the other newer blogs i spent far less time at.

I’m struggling right now. Struggling like so many others. There’s nothing special about my struggle.  I’m struggling to see children separated from their families at the border but i’m struggling just as much if not more with the “families belong together” hashtags. I’m not the only one.

I’m struggling to get out of bed on a daily basis. So this week I didn’t. Monday through Thursday I stayed in bed. I didn’t shower. I didn’t get dressed. I didn’t do one single thing on my to do list. Last night i finally showered. I meant to go to the farmers market before it closed, but couldn’t so decided the shower was enough of a win. Today (friday) i woke at a few minutes past 6 and was surprisingly alert. So i decided i’d ride into the the city with TeacherMan. I had no concrete plan just to be out of bed. Out of the apartment.

And so here i sit. It took me about an hour to send an email, which immediately set me spinning after i hit send. Another hour to create a realistic to do list. I’m in my third hour and not sure anything *on* the to do list will get done. But: baby steps.

I’m on a new med that may or may not be working. More specifically, it seems to give me the energy to get out of bed but combats none of my anxiety. I’ll give it more time, but for now this might be worse. It might be worse to have the energy to accomplish things but debilitating anxiety.


Because Of Course

I once read (in a peer reviewed academic article) that moms who have relinquished experience secondary infertility at higher rates than the general population.

I have several hypotheses as to why this might be so, but I have no data to back any of them up and I’m not sure that right now my hypotheses matter.

What I do know is that right now I’m struggling with feelings and self hate. If I believed in God maybe I could foist the hate in his or her direction, but I don’t so instead I am the recipient of my own emotion.

Did you know you could have PCOS without having any actual ovarian cysts? Based on the tests I’ve had, the books I’ve read, the doctors I’ve seen, and yes some unwise google searches it’s not going to be easy for me to get pregnant now that I want to. Because of course it’s not. Either eating my feelings has made me fat and fucked up my hormones or my fucked up hormones have made me fat but either way I’m not in prime baby making shape. I was supposed to have a GYN follow up in January, but I chose to not attend. I’ll reschedule eventually. I will. I always do.

It’s quite possible I gave away my only shot at parenthood. It’s also quite possible that fear of repeat unplanned pregnancy led to me pumping myself full of hormones for the last 13 years which has me all out of whack now. Either way I did this to myself.

Mental Illness is Illness. Period.

I am mentally ill. Depending on who you ask the diagnoses change, but regardless I am mentally ill. That is nothing to be ashamed of and it shouldn’t be something I have to hide. And yet, I’ve learned over and over that people don’t see it as an illness and they do think it should be hidden.

In 2012 this happened:

Yesterday in passing I was told by my boss’s boss in front of my coworkers “don’t talk to my boss about being on drugs”

As someone who never drank before she was 21 (didn’t really start drinking til 23 when i met my good friend vodka). Never smoked a cigarette or any thing else ever I was completely taken aback by the statement.

I must have looked confused because boss lady clarified “you said you were waiting for the Ativan to kick in”

So I replied oh yeah after driving my hellish commute in the snow and ice where 4-wheel drive vehicles were spinning out and trying to kill me I was trying not to have a panic attack before going to work in the drop in center. Your boss came out of no where and started talking to me. So yeah I probably mentioned the Ativan in my babbling. But it’s a prescribed medication not a drug.

I also mentioned that we work in social services we’re supposed to be fighting the stigma and shame associated with mental illness/ mental health treatment.

Boss lady mentioned she did tell her boss that half the staff is probably medicated, but she also went on to tell me to just avoid her boss. And that her boss just doesn’t “get” me. Wtf what’s there to get? I was one of very few staff who came in that day. I drove from mother fucking Tacoma to Olympia in the ice and snow to serve the youth because I was scheduled in the drop in center. I do my job. The power went out and the rest of the staff went home but the three of us in the center we stayed with the youth.

But it’s fine me and my anxiety will stay on the second floor. All crazy and drugged up.not interacting with the big bosses.

I’m so glad I’m looking for a new job.

I eventually mentioned it to HR, but not until my exit interview. I have no idea what (if anything) came of it. I’m angry still 2.5 years later. If i’d said “I’m waiting for my imitrix to kick in” there would have been no follow up, no questions, no lecture. But i’m also angry at myself for not addressing it then and there. for being too worried about my job to advocate for myself and others.

Mental illness is an illness. Period. It’s about time we stop differentiating between them.

Real, Powerful, Deadly

When someone dies from a fatal disease we (as a society) tend to mention that disease when discussing the person’s death. We lament the unfairness. Pledge money toward research and awareness. Wear ribbons, run races, speak out.

That is unless that disease is a mental illness.

Today Robin Williams passed away. It appears he sucumb to complications from his illness. Most will focus on the apparent suicide, the last act of that illness.

But it isn’t really about the suicide any more than death from cancer is about the heart stopping or the kidneys shutting down those are just the last thing the illness does to a person.

Depression, bi-polar disorder, schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia… These aren’t fancy words for “you need to get over it” or “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” or “you’re a drama queen” or “you have mommy issues”. These are real diseases, with real symptoms and real consequences.  They also have real treatments.

Part of what sucks is not every treatment works for every person and so sometimes it feels like you’ll never find the one that works for you.

Keep looking it’s out there.

Sometimes the act of looking keeps you hanging on.

Sometimes you find something that works, but then it stops working and you have to start the search again.

It’s ok. You found it once, you’ll find it again.

Sometimes it’s a temporary treatment and you can stop once you’re in remission.

Sometimes it’s a treatment you need to continue indefinitely.

The point is these diseases are real and they’re powerful and sometimes they end in death. Not because the victim wasn’t strong enough. Not because they were selfish or stupid. But because sometimes diseases are fatal and it’s not fair and it doesn’t make sense.