One Little Piece of Bone

This is a Really Real Widow Post.

Parker tripped off a step.

She was taking Siah out for a walk, something that fell on her shoulders far more often than mine, and Siah went the wrong way around the porch rail. Parker lost her footing and tripped off the edge of the porch.

She broke the tip of her bone, in a non weight bearing area that normally causes some pain but doesn’t even keep people off of their feet. Most people don’t even realize they broke it.

But hers never healed and 3 years ago today she went into surgery to have it removed and have some ligaments and tendons moved around so everything would heal properly.

I took some pictures and a video of her that day in the pre-surgery room.

She hated me taking her picture.

I’m kinda glad she did because it allowed me to get “the Parker look” on video.

She was still wearing the boot from surgery the day she died.

These next few weeks are a series of memories leading up to the day she died. These next few weeks are the final moments. The tension, the struggle. Things just weren’t right and I didn’t see it.

But it wasn’t my job to.

I can’t believe it’s been a full three years.

But I can’t believe it’s only been three years.

Time is a dichotomy.

I’ve felt this grief building in my gut since the beginning of the month, I knew it was coming.

But I’m not sad right now. I’m grieving for sure, but it’s not the gut punching sadness.

It’s hard to explain.

I miss her. I miss who she was and who she would be now.

I miss the Parker look when I would do something supremely unhelpful to the situation.

But I’m not sad. This isn’t that kind of grief.

I’m at peace with where life is right now.

But I also know that may change over the coming weeks as it gets closer to June 8th.

I hope she’s at peace where ever she is.

I don’t have a specific believe in an afterlife, but I don’t have a non-belief either. I know she’s somewhere even if it’s just the ashes in a box. She still exists either as matter or a soul, somewhere.

I hope she’s at peace, where ever that is.

She spent too much of her life not at peace.

One little piece of bone.

That’s all she broke.

 

 

Lonely, I’m So Lonely, I Have Anxiety, So I’m Not Alone.

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Today, I ended up being just like that kid sitting all alone in the corner of the party.

You see, I won’t skate anymore. I fell 8 months ago, or so, and got a bad concussion. It wasn’t my first concussion on skates. I’m not stable enough and my weight plays a large part in that.

I can’t risk knocking my head around again this soon. It takes the brain a really long time to fully heal.

Besides that, I just want to be smaller and stronger the next time I get up on 8 wheels.

Anyway, this made me just like that kid sitting all alone in the corner of the party.

There were other people at the party that didn’t skate, but they weren’t there from derby, and they seemed to know other people at the party.

The only people that I knew at the party were from derby, and all of the derby people, including Wonder Woman, were skating the whole time.

At least Wonder Woman skated up to the wall to say hi to me every once in awhile.

But I was still just like that kid sitting all alone in the corner of the party.

I couldn’t bring myself to walk up to one of the groups of people I didn’t know. And by the end, when derby people started taking breaks, I was so wrapped up in my own anxiety that I couldn’t even walk over to talk to them.

I had started to feel like I was back in grade school. Always on the outside of the crowd. Always left out. Always alone except for the thoughts in my head that wouldn’t shut up.

I convinced myself they didn’t want me around.

I decided I was just like that kid sitting all alone in the corner of the party.

Quiet Voice of Defeat

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post, but also a Really Real Health Post.

CW: Talk of weight and food.

The quiet voice is back. The one that tells me it would be so much easier to just end it all.

Wednesdays are hard and even with my sister in town yesterday it was a long hard day. I came home after she left and climbed in bed without saying goodnight to Wonder Woman and pulled the covers up over my head.

I was irrationally angry over things that we just haven’t had time for.

Or maybe we haven’t made the time.

But either way I wanted to lash out and I wasn’t in a place to have a rational conversation so I climbed into bed and pulled the covers over my head and didn’t even stir when Wonder Woman came to bed hours later.

But that’s not why the voice is back.

I had a doctors appointment today and realized I’m looking for a quick fix when there isn’t one. I’m not willing to do the work right now because I feel like I have to work extra hard for minimal results and it’s just not fair.

When I was riding the wave of mania for almost a year it was hard work but at the same time it was easy. And there was all this external validation because in the midst of the hardest thing I’d ever been through I was making all these strides towards self improvement on so many different fronts.

Including losing weight.

But now I’m not manic, and now it is just hard work without all of the positive feedback and without even having anything to show for it.

I’m back in another weight loss surgery program and this one knows the problems I had with the last surgeon so I doubt I’ll have the same problem. Except the last time I was all about working the program and losing weight leading up to it, and really into how successful I was going to be pre and post surgery.

I gave a fuck and it showed.

This time I don’t really give a fuck. I just know I can’t keep living like this, and this is one program that won’t give me the amount of shit the last program gave me. It’s why I chose this program, it has minimal requirements.

See, I know surgery isn’t a quick fix. I know surgery is just a tool and if I don’t do the work it won’t work. I know it isn’t the easy way out.

And I also know that right now my heart isn’t in it.

And my heart isn’t in it because even while I was working so fucking hard, I just started gaining the weight back because I’m fighting against PCOS and I’m fighting against medications.

I don’t even know where to start with my food intake. There are so many things that need to change and I’m so overwhelmed about how to change them. I keep saying I’m going to do this or that differently but there are so many different areas that I end up not following through with any of them.

I’ve quit doing cardio at the gym because what’s the point of working myself to the point of exhaustion on the machines when I’m not getting a single benefit. I still go for strength training a few days a week because I feel the difference with that when I stop, I still walk a mile or two a few nights a week because walking made a huge difference in my life when I started, but even that I’m not all that consistent with.

I worked my ass off . . . and gained 25 lbs due to a medication change. Once that stabilized I kept working my ass off and my weight didn’t change. Now I’ve slacked way off for the last month and my weight didn’t change.

It makes me feel like the effort is useless.

I’m supposed to go for 4 more monthly nutrition appointments and then I can schedule surgery, but if I can’t get my heart into this, there’s no point in scheduling a surgery date.

Depression and poor self image are playing into this big time.

I care about how difficult my weight makes my life, but I hate my body so doing loving and caring things for it is difficult.

Self sabotage via food.

I’ve been here before, for a lot of years. Mania and post traumatic growth made it easy to overcome this cycle but it’s possible to overcome it even without that.

I need to get my heart back in the game.

I need to make changes.

Shining light on all my dark splotches

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I just left therapy where we talked a lot about body image and why I am no longer able to be body positive like I once was.

I am pissed off at the body I inhabit.  I hate the skin that I am in.

At one point I worked out and I felt stronger, I lost weight, I felt I had control and was able to change the shape of this body of mine.

Now I have no control.

Medications have taken that control from me.

The same medication that reduced my suicidal thoughts has increased my weight and changed the distribution of my weight so that my abdomen is larger.

I am pissed off at the body I inhabit.  I hate the skin I am in.

I have an auto-inflammatory condition called hidradenitis suppurativa.

It causes painful abscesses, wounds, and tracts to develop in hair follicles and sweat glands in my underarms, breasts and groin.  When they heal they leave behind scar tissue.

My body is attacking itself.

I am pissed off at the body I inhabit. I hate the skin I am in.

Parker once asked me if I had to tell people I had HS. She was affirming that it was something to be ashamed of, something to hide.

I am afraid of sex, afraid of being seen naked because I’m fat and covered in sores and scar tissue. I can’t imagine that anyone, even Wonder Woman, would want to look at me. I hide my body. I have to fight against my own brain whenever I undress in front of her.

I am pissed off at the body I inhabit. I hate the skin I am in.

Even clothed I hate looking at myself in the mirror, my clothes no longer fit correctly, I’ve had to buy larger shirts. All I can see is my rolls and my fat. I see the parts of me that don’t fit in seats correctly.

“You’re pull up two chairs kinda big” is what my father once said.

I am pissed off at the body I inhabit. I hate the skin I am in.

I miss the days when I felt strong. I miss feeling beautiful.

I want to love the body I inhabit. Why can’t I love the skin I am in?

Maybe shining light on all of these dark thoughts is the beginning to loving myself again.

 

Can’t PLEASE me, I’m sick!

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I’m sick.

Like, fever hit 102, glands all swollen, ear hurts, hurts to swallow, body aches, sick.

Thanks plane germs.

Along with being sick, my emotions are right out the window.  I want my mommy, I want Wonder Woman, I want to be pampered, I don’t want to deal with this, it fucking hurts and I’m over it, I’ve cried multiple times because I just feel like I can’t take it.  Suicidal thoughts have even crept in.

Over a virus.

I feel like I should be handling this better.  It’s just a virus.

In DBT we learned the acronym PLEASE for emotion regulation.

Treat PhysicaL illness, balance Eating, avoid mood-Altering substances, balance Sleep, get Exercise.

Doing those things for your body will decrease your vulnerability and help control emotional reactivity.

Well . . . . I really have to look at this realistically.

I went to the doctor to treat my physical illness, it’s viral, I’m doing the best I can to treat it but in the meantime it still makes me more vulnerable because I’m sick.  I can’t just make myself better.

I can’t really eat a balanced diet right now, I’m eating when the pain lets up enough to let me swallow foods, mostly soup and soft stuff.  This looks and feels like strep (and the doc was surprised the test was negative) so food just hurts.  Lack of regular eating is fucking with my blood sugar and my emotions.

I’m avoiding mood-altering substances, so that’s a plus.

Balanced Sleep is almost impossible.  I’m sleeping for about an hour at a time, waking up and tossing and turning for awhile before I get back to sleep.

Exercise is also not happening.  I was back in the gym and back to walking and right now, even letting the dog out feels like too much work.

So it makes sense that I’m emotionally reactive right now, and in a lot of ways the vulnerability factors are out of my control so it’s more a matter of radical acceptance, which is just HARD STUFF.

I don’t want to be sick.

I have derby stuff planned this weekend while Wonder Woman is out of town.  I’m going to let a lot of people down if I don’t bounce back quickly and make it to these events.  It also means I’m spending a lot of time just laying around which is super bad for my mental health when I’m alone.

I know that taking care of me is the most important but this is hard hard stuff when I’m used to pushing through to do all of the things whenever possible.

So much to do, So little time.

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I still hurt today.  I woke up feeling like my hip had let up, but as the day has gone on, it has gotten worse and worse.

Now I’m back to not being able to get comfortable, and feeling like I’m going to cry.

I emailed my doctor and asked her if she’d send me for imaging without an office visit.  It seems dumb to go in just to have her say “We need Xrays and if that doesn’t show anything we need an MRI.”

But I said this was a mental health post.

I feel defeated.

I’ve been doing really well with going back to the gym and walking almost every night and today I went to the gym and I feel like I’m paying for it.

The gym is a necessary component of my self care.  It is a necessary component of my mental health care, right up there with meds and therapy.  And right now this hip pain is threatening my ability to access the gym.

I’m also catastrophizing a lot which isn’t helping me deal with the pain as it is right now.  I’m so used to being dismissed when I talk to doctors about my pain, that I’m already seeing a scenario where I have to learn to live around this intense pain.  I’m already imagining what life will be like if this has to become my new normal.

I mean, I just went through this with back pain.  They sent me to a few months of physical therapy, no imaging was done, and when that didn’t help I was told it was just back pain, it was normal, especially in someone my size, and I’d just have to learn to deal with it.  Keep going to the gym, keep doing what I’m doing.  It’s all that can be done, really.

I’m just a fat crazy woman who is exaggerating.

And even writing this I feel like I’m whining.

But I feel defeated.  I don’t even know what’s wrong and I’d almost rather lay down and die then go fight the doctors to get proper treatment that I know I won’t get anyway.

Pain definitely takes a toll on my mental health.  I’m tired of it.

I’m tired.

Ouch

This is a Really Real Chronic Pain Post.

I talk about my mental health openly and honestly and have no problem being real and raw and honest.

I feel like my words help me and help others.  I shine light into all the dark spaces, I speak my story and share my truth because it might save lives, including my own.

If nothing else, it helps ease the pain of living with my mental illnesses.

But for some reason, I don’t seem to feel the same way about my physical health.

Speaking up about my mental health has become easy, speaking up about my chronic pain is harder.  I feel like I’m whining.  I spend a lot of time hiding behind a mask of “okay.”  And honestly, I’ve learned how to make that mask my reality.

The daily pain is part of my normal.

All of my everythings hurt.  And that is normal.

Between my fibromyalgia and my inflammatory arthritis, I expect my joints to hurt.  I expect to feel all of the bones in my hands rubbing against each other every time I move my fingers.  I expect to feel each of the bones in my wrist shifting and turning and creaking together.  I expect to feel the sickening pull of nerves when I stretch my arms.

I expect to wake up in the morning and sometimes stumble for the first few steps as my feet become accustomed to the ground again.  I expect to hobble down the steps as I take the dog out for the first time, praying I don’t stumble and fall because my legs don’t yet feel like they’ll support me.

I expect the pain and drainage of the sores from my hidradenitis suppurativa.  I expect it to show up in uncomfortable places that rub when I walk or workout.  I expect it to flare at the most inopportune times.

Those, and so many other pains are part of my normal.

But sometimes new pain shows up and it’s hard to keep up the mask of “okay” when something new starts to hurt.

This past week or two my hip joint has been hurting.  It’s a pulling, sickening nerve pain accompanied by the feeling that something is just out of place, just not working quite right.  I’ve been able to workout around it at the gym, walk a few miles at night around it, and just generally keep acting like it wasn’t there even though it hurt.

Until today.

Today it’s enough to bring me to tears.  Sitting still hurts, every bump we hit in the car was agony.

It’s enough that I’ve considered an ER to see if the hip joint is somehow out of place.

I spend so much time in pain and I’m used to it.  When something new comes along there’s this fear that goes along with it.  Am I going to have to learn to assimilate this into my normal.

Right now my mask has slipped.

I’m not okay.

I’m in pain.  Real, physical, pain.  And it sucks.

And I know when I go to get it looked at I’ll just be a fat, crazy, woman who is overreacting.

But, that’s a whole different topic for another day.