Struggling

Struggling

IMG_4366I’ve been struggling lately. I won’t lie, I can’t lie, and I haven’t. I’ve been upfront and honest. My husband knows what’s going on, even if he isn’t completely capable of understanding it or being able to help me the way he wishes he could. I’m always going to struggle, in some way or form, and not because I’m a victim, or because I’m unable to handle things, but simply because that’s the way it is. Everyone has their own personal struggles and this happens to be one of mine.

Depression. It’s hard. People like to say things like “I’m cured!” but to me that doesn’t exist. If you have medical depression, in where your brain actually has legitimate issues and medicine is the only answer, then I guess you’re right–you can be cured. But I don’t believe you can ever be completely cured when it’s environmental or something you’ve developed over time. Medicine can help you, therapy can help you, but you’ll be forever battling that reprogramming that went on in your brain. The cognitive therapy, the awareness of the problem, all of that help you battle it effectively, but you’re still fighting.

I have moments, lapses, when I’m just not good. Life right now is hard for me. I have things going on with my family I’d rather not face down. There are things I don’t want to acknowledge, but they’re there, and they’re truths, and you cannot flee the truth. Even so, I’m left floundering because of it.

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I won’t say I do this for Evangeline or that she’s my strength, because that’s wrong. It’s not right to put that on her. It’s not right to burden her with something that she’ll feel later on in life. I never want her to feel like any of this is her fault. I’ll be honest with her, but I don’t want her to ever face the issues I have. I know that she will, though. It’s in our DNA. I’ll just make sure she has the tools she needs just in case…

My family is destructive–toxic. They are not good for me. They do not make me feel better or whole as a person. TheIMG_4346y tear me down and make me feel apart from the world. Leaving them behind, escaping the mindset they throttled into me… it was freeing in a way I didn’t realize until recently, until I really, truly started breaking away. I’ve wasted almost thirty years of my life and that’s heartbreaking.

I won’t waste anymore. I feel guilt, and I should. I should never be the type of person who doesn’t feel guilty. I’m capable of kindness, of empathy, and of all the things that makes me the perfect subject of manipulation. That doesn’t mean I should accept it or take it. Evangeline is not my strength, but her presence in my life has given me a boon–a clarity I did not possess to this extent previously.

I’m grateful and terrified. This is a whole new world–a new awakening. I thought I had been free, all this time, I thought I had done everything right… but I was still tethered, still stuck, and every time, I’d revert back to that person. Now, it’s different. Now, finally, I am becoming a whole, complete person. I am shedding the skin forced upon me. I am grasping and fighting to be free of the things that tied me down.

I will always have depression, I will always be a little moody… but I’m also intensely passionate. I value life, memories, people, and most things very deeply. Depression will whisper in my ear and for a moment, I may feel beaten… but I rebound quickly, because I know better. I know now where it comes from, what it’s been hiding beneath, and what’s caused it.

I have lost nearly thirty years and I refuse to lose another one. I am taking back my life, not from depression, because depression doesn’t have it and never has… but from the people who were mistaken in thinking that I was someone to be controlled.

I’m not. I’m a person capable of many, many things.

I have lost nearly thirty years but this year, I’m gaining.

I’m not losing anymore.

Death by Head Pain

Yesterday, when the husband came home he said I sounded like I was on lithium.  I hadn’t even noticed, but my voice was very even and there was no emotion or pitch change.  It kept up like this until it just stopped and I began to sound somewhat normal again.  That’s when it started, the headache from hell.

I’m not a headache person!  I rarely ever, ever get headaches and if I do, I can shrug them off.  I went without caffeine for months and months without a single headache.  It’s probably because I drink so much caffeine.  This is for the best, as I hate taking Tylenol and will refuse adamantly.  I don’t mind Advil, but Tylenol agitates my stomach something fierce.

Well, there was no way around it.  Dinner was waiting to be made and it was everything I could do to lie on the couch, covering my eyes.  My husband made me drink highly caffeinated tea and gave me some Tylenol capsules.  I hate swallowing capsules and the headache already had me crazy nauseous, so that was an experience.  I can’t say it completely worked, but I was able to move enough to get dinner on the table and eat it.

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After dinner, we put Loki out on the balcony and sat there with him awhile.  My headache wasn’t nearly as bad, despite the brightness, but it was still lingering in the shadows.  Once we came inside, it creeped back into the forefront of my mind and again disabled me.  The husband was annoyed because I didn’t want to do anything, but I didn’t want to do anything because everything made my head hurt, pills or no pills.

I was at the end of my rope.  I laid in bed and covered my eyes with my arm.  I began to wonder if this was a migraine, but I’ve known people that had them and they didn’t seem as able as I was to walk around.  Then again, I’ve walked around and acted fine when I was at death’s door sick, so maybe it’s just me.  I’m stubborn.  I could be dying and I’d still try to walk around and act normal, it’s just how I am.

Eventually, I came back out and was able to languish on the couch.  I was forced to take more Tylenol.  Now, I’m not sure if the husband was testing me or what, but he put Dr. Mario on the Wii and handed me the controller.  I did terribly.  I am a Dr. Maro pro and I crashed and burned.  My reflexes and everything were just off; my brain wasn’t talking to my hands and they weren’t talking to the brain.  It was horrible.

When we finally went to bed, I was relieved.  My head still hurt, but I somehow thought maybe all I needed was sleep and I’ve feel better. Wrong.  Last night I woke up in a haze so bad I could barely stand, much less navigate to the bathroom.  I think I ran into the door, but I don’t remember.

Then, I wake up this morning with the husband, in yet another haze.  Still, I feel okay, my head isn’t pounding or anything.  I go back to bed and wake up for real an hour or so later.  Oh my God, who called the pressure washer?  Because it’s currently BLASTING AROUND INSIDE MY BRAIN.  It’s like my brain is going to explode or something, there’s so much pressure.  I can feel it.  It’s not so much ache as… I don’t know, but I feel it and every now and again, I’ll get a sharp-type pain to remind me it’s still there and thinking about me.

Holy hell, this headache just will NOT quit.  I’m going to be curled up on the floor crying for death… wait, no, I already did that last night.  Ugh.  Here’s hoping this gets better before it gets work or I’m whipping out the GOOD pills I usually reserve for my period on work days.  That’ll knock it out and if it doesn’t, at least I won’t be coherent enough to care.

Possible Case of Spontaneous Combustion

Today is a weird sort of day… my head hurts with that sort of dull, aching pain that borders on headache but never quite fully makes the transition.  I’m not someone who suffers much from headaches and when I do get them, I usually avoid aspirin.  It makes my stomach hurt… so it really only remedies one issue to cause another.  My head pain is probably due to the fact that I never went back to sleep after the husband left for work.  I usually wake up every morning and make his breakfast and then his lunch for the day.  It’s something I’ve done since he started this job.  I usually just climb back into bed and sleep for two hours.

I am not an “early riser” nor am I someone who enjoys mornings.  It’s very rare that I wake up and stay up with the intent of just rising early.  In fact, sometimes, if I’m forced awake to early, I’m downright annoyed.  There are mornings I wake up for work and contemplate just doing horrible, horrible things to our alarm clock.  It was so bad when I was in college that I’d do everything I could to wake up at the last possible minute.  My college was about forty-five minutes away, so I got up before 6am every week day.  Yuck.

Lately, though, I’m requiring more sleep than I’m used to.  I can easily sleep until 11am, which is just ridiculous, especially when I’ve gone to bed at 11:30 or midnight the evening prior.  That’s nearly twelve hours of sleep!  What twenty-something needs that much freaking sleep?  Even if I do sleep that long, I still get the urge to take naps during the day.  It’s madness.  I’ve never been one to need much sleep at all and now I’m damn near hibernating!  Worse yet, I’m getting super, super hot at night.  It’s only started the past two months or so, I noticed it primarily while we were in Key West.  I didn’t sleep restfully once the entire damned time because my mother-in-law is hormone deficient (she was forced into menopause due to removal of lady parts) and thinks seventy-five degrees is cold.

Even now that we’re home, I’m still getting so hot I just can’t sleep.  I wake up sweating and feeling as if I’m near the point of spontaneous combustion.  Whether I really am that hot or not is unknown, but it sure as hell feels like it.  I have to sleep naked now, because anything on my skin while I’m sleeping seems to just trap the heat and roast me alive.  Even the husband just sidling up next to me is enough to set me aflame.  I can turn the AC down to sixty and I’m still waking up like I just waltzed through the Sahara!  I’ve always been a little more sensitive to the heat than the average person… but this is just skipping past ridiculous and traipsing straight into bizarre.

Of course, since my husband had cancer, his mother works for the ACS,  and I volunteer for the ACS… we started to panic after it didn’t subside.  Thankfully, I don’t have any other cancer-like symptoms that should accompany this, so we can breathe a sigh of relief on that front… or at least, stop freaking out about it.  It only seems to happen at night, too, never during the day just when I’m trying to sleep.  At least the naked thing is working out, I can sleep, even though sometimes I still get a little too hot.  Popping my foot out from under the covers or my arms, even, seems to stave it off.  We’re going to looking into buying a standing fan for the bedroom; we’re hoping the increased air flow will help.

It’s worth mentioning that I’ve never had this issue before.  When I lived at home, I went several hot summers without an AC in my room, just the windows and a fan.  I’ve had some suggest pregnancy.  Seriously?  You’d think when your body figures that out, it wouldn’t try to turn the poor fetus into a rotissery chicken!  Even so, I’m on birth control and I’m pretty sure that’s the issue right there.  My doctors are still uncertain, but everyone I’ve spoken to is leaning towards the whole “your body creates enough estrogen for a feminist army”, so it would make sense that the birth control finally catching its stride could be causing unknown crazy pants happenings within my lady bits.  Who knew that suppressing estrogen could be such a dirty business?

I had planned to post about other things, like finally mastering some new tricks in photoshop, budget crap, the weather, the fact that I’m supposed to be cleaning right now, or even the fact that the in-laws didn’t get us jack squat from Hawaii… but I got carried away.  So, another day, perhaps.  I guess I’d better go finish the kitchen before it gets too boiling hot.

Shit on a Shingle

I hate whining about my health issues, I seriously do.  There are people out there dying, bed-ridden, or otherwise so ill that their daily lives are truly quite sucky.  My little issues are nothing more than tiny pains in the ass.  Unfortunately, they affect my not-so-stable mental capacity, so it becomes an overblown issue that just leaks out all over the place, spreading chaos and mayhem.  For instance?  I am a huge, cranky bitch right now.  For real.  I will cut a bitch.  I’m five seconds from ripping my husband’s head off and eating it, praying mantis style.  He won’t even see it coming.

Not sure if I mentioned it here, but my husband thinks I was raised by crazy barbarians.  He doesn’t understand how we backwoods folk work.  With his family, if someone so much as sneezes, they run to the doctor.  My family?  You better be dying or already dead before you need a doctor.  I’ve fallen out a tree, through our deck, jumped out of a moving car, hell, I’ve fallen several feet and smacked my head off a manhole cover and tried to use my swing set at a gymnast bar only to end up landing on both my head and arm.  All of those times, do you think I went to the ER?  Hell no.  It took a few weeks before my parents buckled down and took me to the hospital for my wrist, where I got a cast, because I hadn’t broken it, but damn near.  Even when I gutted my wrist on a slate rock an hour or more away from the hospital, I bled through several kitchen towels and then got some butterfly band aids.  Stitches?  Pshaw, those are for pussies.  For those of you who haven’t seen the inside of your wrist, it’s pretty meaty, and the veins are nasty looking.  On the cool side, I did manage to turn a creek red with my own blood.

So, I’m a hard ass.  I can take it.  Unfortunately, despite my body’s rough exterior, the interior isn’t so beefy.  I have suffered from long-standing issues that go from my head down to my toes.  Lately, things haven’t been good.  I’ve been sickly, weak, and my mental state is in rapid decline.  I noticed, a week or so after we returned from Key West, I magically gained ten pounds in a matter of one or two weeks.  I’ve never had weight that fluctuated noticeably.  Maybe a pound or two between days or morning and evening, but that’s the birth control’s fault.  The birth control I’m on also caused a permanent weight gain of about ten pounds.  I weighed about 118 before all of this, which I’m told is extremely unhealthy for my height, but I looked awesome.  Now I’m tipping the scales at 138-140 lbs.  What.  The.  Fuck?  I can’t notice any actual fat anywhere.  I look the same.  But there’s that weight, it’s there, nagging me.  Where is it?  Where did it come from?  I’ve done everything conceivable to rid of it–everything that’s worked before, over a period of time, and nothing has worked.  Nothing.  I could starve myself into a coma and there it would remain, taunting me.

I am usually the calm and composed type, but this?  I’m about to go nuts.  My mind is formulating all kinds of worst-case scenarios.  I have some ridiculously huge tumor or I’m dying or something equally as dramatic and unconceivable.  Either way, I’m losing my damned mind and my health?  Is not getting any better, it’s getting worse.  Some days I can’t even eat, other days I can’t sleep because I have the overwhelming urge to vomit continuously. It could be my birth control, it’s been giving me problems for awhile now, but I can’t be certain.

Either way, this blows.  And if it doesn’t get better, I may need to step back from the internet and asses the situation.  My husband thinks it’s just “vacation” weight.  No, if it were, it would be gone.  My eating habits are not the kind that encourage weight gain in anyway.  I barely eat, for Christ’s sake.  My metabolism did also not magically change overnight.  The weight is not the only symptom.  I know my body, we’ve had to become friends over the years and learn to understand one another.  Something is up, I just don’t know what.  Argh.

I’m a What?

So, in an effort to somehow find something worth celebrating, I drug my mother-in-law out of the house yesterday for some shopping.  Of course, it took forever because my mother-in-law isn’t one of those women who preemptively plans.  She just sort of does.  And it takes forever.  The mall closes at six, so yeah.  When we finally got out of the door, fun was to be had.  We went to a few places, looked at some dresses, and then headed over to Victoria’s Secret, because she has a coupon and, well, I saw they had a silver bikini.  I had already purchased a blue bandeau top bikini from there, it was on sale, but had I seen the silver one?  I totally would have grabbed it instead.  So after some wheedling, the fiance fronted the money, and I was happily united with my silver bikini.  Complete with under-boob.  Because they don’t make swimsuits for people with actual boobs, apparently.

Anyway, we’re there and I’m trying to convince my mother-in-law that she needs to try their “perfect fit” bra–because it is truly, truly glorious.  I love mine.  A saleswoman greets us and she asks for my mother-in-law’s size.  She says, with a sigh, “I’m a 36B.”

I blink, a little startled.  I know we’ve had this conversation before, but I say what I always say anyway, “That’s the size I wear.

Both the saleswoman and my mother-in-law look at me, and then my boobs, as if I grew a third one.  The saleswoman then shakes her head, clucks her tongue, and comes at me with measuring tape.  She deduces that I am, “A 34 D.”

My face blanches, turning a pale beyond the pale that I already am, and I’m pretty sure I barely croaked out, “E-Excuse me?  That’s not possible.”

So, I’m drug to a dressing room and showered with bras.  After I finally convinced both the saleswoman and my mother-in-law (who ended up touching my bra shielded boobs) that the 34 is way, way too small, please give me back my 36 NOW and that the D is slightly too large, we settled on 36C.  Thirty-mfing-Six C.  Women go under the knife for that size.  When did this happen?  How did I remain oblivious to the melons hidden beneath my shirts?  I still don’t see it.  I look in the mirror and I do not see size C boobs.  I see the same, small boobs I’ve always had.  When did this happen?  How did I miss it?

My dad took me to get bras, mostly.  I vaguely remember my mother’s involvement, but that was on the cusp of her descent into full-blown alcoholism.  Mostly, it was my dad and myself, wandering the panty and bra aisles like we didn’t belong.  My dad scared young girls away many times.  It was hilarious.  We had fun.  But I remember, throughout adolesence, wishing for the rack that my other family members are graced with (sans my aunt and cousin).  And it’s there.  Apparently, it’s been there for a significant amount of time.  I have underboob on a string bikini, for God’s sakes.  I’m bigger than several Victoria Secret models and I have a better body type.  WTF?

The worst part of it all is that I own about $500-600 worth of bras that are now a size too small.  Fabulous.  When I told my fiance this big development, he sighed, shook his head and gave me that smug look of self-satisfaction, “I told you.”

The day didn’t end there, however.  My mother-in-law lost her keys in the one of the panty drawers at Victoria’s Secret and we spent ten minutes after closing trying to find them.  Sigh.