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text 2018-10-15 15:47
I'm more than a fat person

Not book related, but sometimes life isn't all about books. I know, shocker!

 

When I talk about my mental health or chronic pain (etc) I am not whining, complaining or looking for pity. Hey, I know it can sound like whining, but if I don’t write about it, I wouldn’t have a healthy outlet. I’ve got to share this with people, because I know that there are people going through similar and we need to know we are not alone. Invisible conditions have such a stigma.

 

A stigma we should have never had. Why is it so shocking that a person can be ill or in pain, but look "normal" on the outside? What is normal anyway? Why is it just a weight problem when a heavyset person has to use mobile assistance, is in pain all the time and depressed? Believe it or not... fat people are allowed to be treated as more than a fat person. Not every condition is caused by excess weight. I’ve heard horror stories of fat people trying to get help, but sent away because “oh, honey, you just need to lose weight.”

 

I will fully admit that I know my weight doesn't help my problems, but my weight isn't the cause. It is a vicious cycle. Can't move because of pain, more pain because can't move. It is just...I wake up every day… day starts with a migraine. My joints need extra waking up time before I can move around. If you started every day with a migraine, or even a horrible headache, I’m sure that wouldn’t set the mood for a good day!

 

Sure, let me pop in a workout dvd… no, let me crawl under the bed away from sounds and light. Sounds like excuses, huh? It is really not. Then we got my lovely friend executive dysfunction, depression and body parts coming and going whenever they feel like it. Sudden sharp pains, hip, back, knee deciding to “pop” out for a little fun. (Spoiler: not really fun.)

 

Put yourself in my shoes and then ask why don’t I just workout… You try and be active when you are in pain everyday, depressed every day, and you are so much an empath that even hearing about a complete stranger having a bad day could set you off into an emotional mess.

 

I don't want you to feel sorry for me and I am sure a lot of people in similar boats feel the same way, though I can't speak for them. I'm happy if you offer to think about me or pray for me, but whatever you do...don't tell me to try yoga! I actually love yoga, but it isn’t a magical cure for anything. I’m sure it really helps when you can get to the point of actually being able to do it.

 

I’m not stupid. I know any activity is helpful. Tell that to my mind and body.

 

Pro Tip: Other things not to tell someone with invisible conditions

 

1. You don’t look sick [Sorry, I forgot to wear my "I am sick" shirt.]

 

2. You’re too young to be sick [What is the correct age for sickness, so I can tell my problems to hold off until then?]

 

3. Everyone gets tired [Of course, getting tired is normal, but not when it is 24/7]

 

4. You’re just having a bad day [I'm sure tomorrow all my issues will be cleared up! Thanks for your help.]

 

5. It must be nice not having to go to work/school [It is so nice to be in crippling pain... you're right! Lucky me.]

 

6. You need to get more exercise [And my chronic pain and depression will just "poof" away? Why didn't you tell me this sooner!?]

 

7. I wish I had time to take a nap [It isn't all it is cracked up to be when all you do is feel tired or sleep.. I wish I had "time" to do a lot of things, too.]

 

8. Think positive [And I will be fixed? Cool!]

 

9. Just push through it [I do that every day... because I am alive.]

 

10. It will get better, just be patient [How much more patient can a person be? When will it get better? Can you give me an exact date?]

 

11. Have you tried (insert your wacky ideas) [Oh, cool, and that will cure me?]

 

12. You should stop (insert things you judge me for) [So if I stop drinking loads of coffee, eating chocolate and reading children books, I will be fixed?]

 

13. It’s all in your head [WOW! You are SO smart!!]

 

14. You need to get out more [So...weekly trips to Wal-mart isn't enough?]

 

15. You take too many medications [You mean the medication that I need to be alive/gives me relief... okay, I will stop and see what happens!]

 

16. You should go to church [You mean...my cure has been there all along? The witch doctors lied to me! Ooo eee, ooo ah ah! Ting tang, walla walla, bing bang!]

 

Something you could say to a person instead of all these is a simple "I believe you. Is there anything I can do for you right now?"

 

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text 2018-09-29 07:12
Reading progress update: I've read 385 out of 385 pages.
A Quiet Kind of Thunder - Sara Barnard

Beautiful 

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review 2018-09-18 20:05
A year later...
Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things - Jenny Lawson

So according to BL, I started reading this December 16, 2017. That means it took me 9 months to finish this wonderful book. Since Jenny Lawson discusses her struggle with depression and anxiety disorders at length (in the best, funniest way possible) I had to take several long breaks when my anxiety and depression were not putting me in the right head space to enjoy reading it. But really, this book is hilarious and just what I needed during these past two weeks of total chaos in my life. 

 

I am not exaggerating when I say my "vacation" was surrounded with nothing but Murphy's law. Car accident, cancelled concerts, delayed flights, stomach flu, etc, etc. All unrelated to this review, but whatever, I'll do what I want. Furiously Happy does remind us to laugh at the absurdity of our lives and most of all, to remember that the lows eventually get better. 

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text 2018-08-06 11:57
I'm Not Okay
Not book related <.< sorry.
 
 
TW: Mental Health & Suicide
 
Disclaimer: **I am not diagnosed (as an adult) for my mental health disorder(s), but I don’t need a doctor to write on paper to tell me I have depression & social anxiety/general anxiety. I don't deny that it would be helpful to know my exact disorders so I could get treatment/therapy, however, we have no insurance yet.(soon! crossing fingers) As a child I was put on antidepressants, so I was diagnosed with something at one point. These are my thoughts and opinions on mental health, and my own personal experiences. Everyone’s mental health journeys are different. End the stigma! Talk about mental health disorders and invisible illnesses!**
 
---
 
The nitty gritty about having a mental health disorder is that it can be so up in the air. I never know if a day will be good or bad. I guess you get so used to the feeling of sadness, random outburst of crying and dark thoughts, that it feels normal, and you don’t notice it get gradually worse. When you are buried so deep, you don’t care about taking care of yourself, so you are in a vicious cycle that is hard to break out of. You stop taking care of your hygiene, stop caring about eating enough or sleeping enough. Or maybe you eat too much (binge) and sleep too much, or maybe you don't sleep enough! Executive dysfunction doesn’t help, of course.
 
I think my normal state of feeling is sort of a numbness or a nothingness. It is really scary, to be honest. My emotions, even love for people or passion for my interests can be turned off on a dime and I have no feelings. I can be in the worst meltdown and then stop on that dime and freeze up and think or say “never mind. I’m fine.” I believe that is one of the reasons as a kid when I would cry or “throw a fit” and just stop out of nowhere, my mom joked about me being good at crocodile tears and that I should be an actress.
 
I am not sure I fully know what true happiness feels like because it is always clouded with dark, depressing thoughts. I don’t think people understand how you can be depressed or have a mental health disorder, but also have days of “wellness” If you smile, laugh or act goofy, they think “oh, yay, you’re cured now.” Even worse, they believe nothing was ever wrong with you. Some people actually believe depression and anxiety is not a real thing. People with mental health disorders or neurological disorders have become very good at masking/faking in order to fit in. Thank about that.
 
Anyone can have an invisible illness. The number of people in the entertainment industry who have died from suicide is an indicator of this. They are rich, famous, usually well-loved, yet they are ill, sad, probably feel alone in a crowd of people. They get so much attention because they are famous and a lot of it is negative from people who can’t comprehend how someone rich and famous who has “everything” can end their life.
 
You can have everything and feel like you have nothing. It doesn’t matter who you are, mental health disorders and invisible illnesses do not discriminate. When someone who suffers from a mental health disorder dies by suicide, they did not commit anything, no crime. They lost a battle with their long-suffering illness. We shouldn’t judge anybody. We should be there for each other, even strangers.
 
If someone looks sad, ask if they are okay, or if they want to talk. Smile more, at friends and family, even at strangers. A smile or heartfelt compliment could change a person’s day for the better. These are things I know, but I don’t always practice them, because I am stuck in my own downward spiral. It is hard to dig out of that hole when nobody is around and your emotions come on strong and then sometimes shut off altogether.
 
I do nothing, at least that is how it would appear to people who don’t understand me. I don’t have a job. #1 Social anxiety & depression #2 Chronic pain makes it limited to what work I could actually do.
 
I sleep, eat, get on the computer and live vicariously through so many people on YouTube. It is like a coping mechanism, it makes me feel better, or sometimes emotionless, which is better than crippling despair, I guess? I go through phases of what type of videos I like. Sometimes about books, sometimes more “real talk” sort of videos where people just share their everyday lives. Lately, I’ve been into watching true crime and ghost hunting videos.
 
Sometimes I read books. Sometimes I play games on my phone. Sometimes I mess with my doll collection. Yes, so, to the outside world, I do nothing. But something very big that I am doing is LIVING. I might not have a paying job, but it is a JOB just to keep myself alive. I would be lying if I said I didn't have suicidal thoughts.
 
I’m sorry if you don’t understand or if that makes you sad. It’s just the truth. Thinking of death, wanting to die and believing the world would be better off without me are just some of the dark things in my brain. My mental health and chronic pain are huge factors to these feelings. I am more inclined to think about dark and morbid things. My mind tells me nobody cares about me, it nags at me that I am a burden to people. I do know this isn’t true, but sometimes I can’t understand why people would care about me, let alone love me.
 
I don’t hardly reach out to friends and family because of being depressed and social anxiety, but how many times do they reach out to me? (And I mean heartfelt reaching out, not tagging me in a spam post or liking a post, or something.) Everyone is dealing with their own stuff, I get it. Also, understand when you do reach out to someone with depression, they might not respond at first or they might not know how to respond. If you care about them or love them, don’t stop letting them know.
 
Just... I’m lonely. I miss the time when it was so simple to make friends and maintain them. I’m not okay, but I am trying to cope.
 
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review 2018-07-08 22:30
Your Turn FOR Care - very specialized, read for work
Your Turn for Care: Surviving the Aging and Death of the Adults Who Harmed You - Laura S. Brown

This is a book about relating to elders, caregiving, and death for people whose personal childhood story was a horror movie, not a Hallmark card.

 

For those adults who are pursuing relationships with and/or becoming caregivers to elders who were reasonably loving, decent, and honorable in their relationships with you, those complications are difficult in and of themselves...

 

There is a group of adults whose dilemmas in dealing with the aging, illness, and death of elders are complex beyond the norm. This book is for those folks—for adults raised in families that were frightening, confusing, dangerous, sometimes criminal in their treatment of their children. The elders in these families are...people who...behaved in vicious, venal, abusive, and/or neglectful ways to those children. You are those children, grown into adults confronted with cultural and social demands to relate to those elders, and sometimes to step into the caregiver role.

 

This is an almost one-of-a-kind resource, since nobody seems to have put together two clear facts: a huge number of children are abused in childhood, and [in the US] a full 60% of elderly people are being cared for solely by family. That number increases to 95% if we include family taking any role in caregiving for a family member. So it is clear that many people who were abused in childhood are now caring for that abusive parent/primary caregiver in their elderly years. 

 

Surprisingly, there was nothing in the self-help literature (and there seems to be little or no scholarly research finished or even in process) for those adult children who are now either feeling pressured to care for their former abusive caregiver or who are already doing so. 

 

Obviously this can be problematic on a number of levels.

 

I'm only writing this review so others will know of this resource. Written in a very open and non-prescriptive style, readers can take what they need and ignore the rest. For those who want much clearer "do this" and "don't do that" guidance, this may feel somewhat nebulous. The bottom line comes down to "you do not have to care for this person who harmed you when you were the vulnerable one." 

 

There is tremendous personal and societal pressure to take on the role of caregiver to an elderly person, but that may be a very bad idea for a number of reasons -- both to the adult child and to the formerly abusive older person. (And not every abusive person becomes lovely and kind in old age. They may continue some abusive patterns throughout life.)

 

Unfortunately, the US medical system doesn't much care if this person terrorized you, they will assume you either should or must take on this new project. Armed at least with one resource, hopefully we can avoid everyone feeling like they must be the primary caregiver to the person who failed so horribly in this role years before.

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