What IF?

I have so many what if’s. What if I never got fat? What if I decided to go to real college? What if I never chose drugs? What if I could have been real when it mattered?

Over the many years I’ve been ‘studied’ I have been diagnosed with depression, manic/depressive disorder, OCD and I’ve been scoped out for schizophrenia regularly…  Doctors test my blood because they think I have worse diseases.

I don’t.  With every problem I have? Nothing is but my own.

I don’t take big pharma meds for any of it. WHY? Because my digestive health issues make me unable. Those meds would kill other parts that are only barely functional.

I know this. So I try, when I am not couchbound, to get my exercise. I take vitamins and eat healthy. I try to find ways to laugh and smile every day. I try.

Today, while feeling couchbound, I watched a new series on Netflix. Atypical. GREAT show.  But is has me questioning.

I have struggled my entire life with my mental health issues. They were treated with meds to no end. I had surgery that made it I can’t take the meds. Now I just try to survive.

But what if the reason meds don’t help are because I have slight autism? NOT OCD. NOT manic/depressive. What if I am just old enough to miss the mark on being diagnosed and all those big pharma meds made me worse before I stopped taking them for other reasons?

I have other issues related to vaccines.  After I was born? I was taken to a reserve north of Churchill, MB. I got shot with ‘reserve’ vaccines with a dirty needle. Scars to prove it.

What if… just if? What if the fact I am so fucked in the head isn’t just my being born a mental defect? Maybe some is from the Agent Orange my father got in the Vietnam war? Maybe some of it is vaccines?

My mom went through German measles with me and was told I would be born without limbs. She was told to abort me. And to be truthful? I don’t think she ever wanted children. I’m glad she allowed me to survive.

I have never been wanted by this world.

Just what if? Because, I have survived all that. Started out not getting aborted. Survived bad vaxxing with battle scars. Made it through so much abuse. I LIVE with my ‘dis’abilities and make it every fucking day!

I’ve been accused of being so many things. Terrorist, Crazy. Slut.

But what IF I am just a survivor?

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Shopping

I’ve been doing more and more shopping online these days. I don’t like malls. I don’t like crowds. I don’t like shopping.

Unless it is for groceries. There is something about feeding people and being able to sustain my home with food that I find settling.  Psychiatrists may attribute that to my past issues with food. I choose to believe it is because I care that no person goes hungry on my watch.

So why did I go shopping yesterday? Not just shopping, I got on a bus and went to the city to a mall during ‘back to fucking school’ season. What was I thinking?

Once in a while? I want the experience. It’s like going to the theatre instead of watching Netflix. It’s the smell of the food court, the overhearing banter of store clerks who aren’t aware you are listening, trying on things you could never afford but feel so amazing on your skin and going home smelling like your favourite high end department store perfume because you walked past the counter and squirted it on yourself.

I love the experience. However anxiety can be cruel.

I maintained focus and an ability to be pleasant to everyone I encountered while I was getting what I went for. I was in my own head space and having fun. Smiling. Dare I say? Happy.

But, as soon as I was done getting what I wanted? I realized it was hours before the bus was coming and I began to panic. The mall filled with more people. Noise. Bumping n touching me. Kids screaming, parents yelling their chastisements. So much mental clutter.

I sat on a bench to get away from the bumping n touching. I plugged my ears for a moment to regain a sense of composure. And as I was breathing deeply I got a text.

He was done work and if I wanted he could pick me up at the mall.

Like a knight in not so shining, navy Volvo he was there in twenty minutes to get me. He listened patiently while I babbled about being anxious and grateful he came. He listened even more patiently as I detailed my excursions into various stores and what I saw, tried on, bought, left behind….  blah, blah fucking blah.

It was about six months since I was last at a mall. I lasted two and a half hours, got what I wanted but totally skipped Walmart (for things I could have shopped for but didn’t have the patience). I was almost in full blown panic when I got rescued.

I really think I’m gonna stick to shopping online.

But does that mean I am avoiding? Am I running from my issues instead of facing them?

I feel like I tried to do the outside thing and failed. Mentally anyway. I actually did go and get things I couldn’t get online and knew where I could get them. That isn’t a fail.

But I failed in the end. Not even able to wait for a bus. Sitting cross-legged on a mall bench with my ears covered and eyes closed? Doesn’t feel like a win to me.

 

 

Couchbound

Depression rears its ugly head so often in my life these days. I’ve managed to keep it mostly at bay with having bouts that goes for days instead of months.

But it’s been over a week now.

I have done as many things as I can to motivate myself and yet today I find myself watching war movies back to back. It’s my third day in a row on the couch. Yesterday I watched LGBTQ documentaries all day. The day before that was Season 12 of Grey’ Anatomy.

How have I tried to motivate myself?

By doing healthy things. I cleaned my bathroom. I planted some late harvest garden plants (I love bumper crops). I’ve tried to manage some self care like eating right, exercise and showering. Keep in mind these things have been spaced out over a couple of weeks and seem so insignificant to me that they are almost more depressing.

And it’s not entirely true. I went three days without a shower at one point because I was too lethargic to bother.

I’m on Day 4 without alcohol. Not because I quit but because double rent months mean my money is allocated towards living expenses and not wine.

So am I depressed because I don’t have wine? Or is depression one of the side effects of coming off the amount I drink? Perhaps it’s just my usual mental health issues acting up because I’ve been feeling stressed about other things?

I often struggle to figure out what brings this on. I’m not ‘sad’. Not lonely. Just lethargic and unmotivated. Hopeless. Feeling defeated and tired. Exhausted really.

Regardless of the reason? I’ve been couchbound for a few days and I am really struggling to get out of it. It’s why I haven’t ben writing. Or going on webcam. Or changing my PJs.

Ugh.

Alcoholic Shaunda

I blogged over a year ago about being an alcoholic.  (I’m An Alcoholic)

Over the year I have tried at time to cut back some of the time. My budget kinda helps with that. Bills first, booze later. Other times I have gone so far the other way. It’s hard.

Lately? I am contemplating WHY I am still drinking.

There are days I wake up fine but there is wine there. The moment any conflict hits me? The wine is down my throat. Alcohol is my nemesis. I love it. It hates me. I hate it, too. It’s a love/hate thing.

I was angry one day when I was still with my ex (so a few weeks ago) and I walked to the local liquor store (about 20 mins). On the way back? I decided to drink my wine by the ocean. Why drink IN the animosity when you can look at ocean?

I met Mike.

Mike is also an alcoholic. He shared my wine with me while telling me about every possible AA meeting in the area. Gave me his number and said we could go together if I want and even though it’s a bit of a walk there he could find me a ride home.

AA? Nope. I don’t have a higher power. But, I have heard of a thing called Smart Recovery. It’s like AA but no ‘higher power’ shit.

FYI I am drinking wine as I write this. BUT…   Smart Recovery is on my mind. I have a friend who can drive me if I want to try it.

I have cut back A LOT recently (even though it has been readily available). I want to feel better.

Alcoholic Shaunda wants a break from it!

Bi Polar Swings

I should have been able to tell I was amping up. Yesterday, I think, was the top of a manic phase. I felt so great. Lots of writing and I spent time focused on my spirituality. I felt so strong. I felt on top of the world.

Nothing happened between last night’s blog and this morning. I slept. I don’t even think I had a bad dream.

And when I woke up this morning it’s like all the happy disappeared. I’m a crumbling, jumbled up mass of emotion who is curled up on her couch. I feel like anything I thought was going good are just silly things to find happiness in. I feel ugly. I feel lonely. I feel weak. It’s just one of those days where I really do wish life would just figure out how to take me already.

I feel physically sick. Food won’t happen because I am so upset. Upset without cause so getting more upset about just being upset. I’m about to go full blown anxiety for no reason and I can’t stop it from happening.

Bi-polar swings make me scared about life. How can I be so okay one day and so not okay the next without anything to trigger it? And no way to understand it? I fucking hate this.

The Days You Want To Die

If you are dealing with depression or anxiety you get it. We all have them.

They are the days you wake up and think nothing is worth it anymore. Try or not? No one gets you. They think they understand…

“I get sad, too.” “We’ve all lost things in our life.” “If you just think more positive…” “I don’t like shopping on busy days either”

That one got to me.

You don’t like shopping on busy days so you think you understand me?

Until you have collapsed in the middle of the cracker isle, unable to move because you can’t afford your meds to deal with this kind of situation, you have no idea what I go through!

Anxiety is a bitch!

People who don’t have mental health issues seldom understand. You know. The ones who love us but don’t have our mental health issues.

They try so hard. But sometimes? In not understanding they do more harm than good. And when you feel so misunderstood you just feel like, “why go on?”

I going to end this by saying… I am not feeling suicidal. Please don’t panic.

But if anyone who reads my blog ever feels that way? Just know that someone out there understands. No one is ever alone. We all have days that death may seem like our best option.

You don’t need to feel that way. I struggle sometimes to find reasons to go on. I find them and you can, too.

If you ever need to know that someone in the world gives a shit about you? Send me a message with your address and I will send you a handwritten note so you know someone heard you and thinks of you and wishes you well.

Please, stay alive on the days you want to die. You’ve got this!

Less Drowning, More Air

So, I’m still an alcoholic. The idea of giving up wine to go sky-diving (I Need Air) seemed easier after some glasses of wine than it actually is or will be.

BUT? I decided to start the saving journey AFTER my payday. Payday was four day’s ago. I also decided it is okay to have wine, but when I forego it I should put money in the envelope!

Since then?

Usually I buy a box of wine on payday. This particular day? I chose to buy a small bottle and put the difference in my ‘air’ fund. I’ve drank on other days and no money went in.

But yesterday? Paul and I were on a walk. I had money on my pocket because we walked the direction of the wine store. He had his bike so he could show me some of his tricks, etc.

After a bit I told him I was too tired in the hot sun to keep going. He offered to ride up to the wine store and get some for us. I gave him the cash I had and he asked me if I wanted the big bottle or small one.

I really wanted the big one. Really!!

But I told him to get me a small one. And I came home and put another $5 in my air fund.

I guess I am not giving up wine. But I am willing to make choices to have less wine to slowly make sure my dreams come true.

Four days, $30 saved toward air.

 

 

I Need Air

In my spiritual journey I have explored so many assets of myself.

EARTH. I plant. I learn about the foliage around me for what is wild edibles and medibles.

FIRE. I have used fire in my cleansing and I have fires regularly while I meditate on how fire cleanses.

WATER: I’ve had spiritual experiences at the ocean. With fire. And not. More recently? I fell into the ocean on Beltane and  bricked my phone because it was in my pocket. LOL

But AIR? I haven’t done air yet.

Today, I was exposed to some sky-diving videos.

My very best friend in the entire universe from many years back gave up alcohol to pursue better things. He wanted family, better jobs and… air. He wanted to skydive.

So…  if my long time bestie can give up alcohol to pursue other things? I can give up my wine. At least long enough to pursue AIR.

If I was Wiccan and wanted to call the four corners? Air is a key.

I am pagan. I don’t ‘call’ anything. However I feel I want/need to bring all the components of the universe to me.

I have felt the earth. My gardens grow in the most inexplicable places. I have felt the fire. I spent months cooking over one to feed the family around me. I have used it to cleanse my soul. I have felt the water. I wash my feet in the ocean while I contemplate how I can keep creating life.

Air? I have not felt.

It’s the last of the quadrant. I think I have a way to get it. It’s a terrifying, kind of expensive on my budget, idea. Thus, the giving up of wine to pursue it.

I’m going to give up wine for a month and put that money toward sky-diving. There is a place that is local who does the skydiving thing. I watched a video of someone diving from that local place.

I won’t lie. The thought mortifies me. Giving up wine? LOL I’m more scared of that than the idea of jumping out a plane and that makes me want to crawl in a hole.

But I need AIR. And watching those falls? After the terrifying push out of the plane where I shit my pants on the instructor riding tandem? I think I could love a free fall through AIR. Pull that rip cord and let me float and meditate about it. I may even prepare something to say through my mind as I float.

AIR.

It’s worth a break on wine. We’ll see how long that actually takes.

 

 

 

Shots! Shots! Shots!

Shots!

LMFAO’s song “Shots” is the only drinking game I ever won. Take a shot (or a large part of your bevvie) every time they say shots. I challenge all my alcoholics!

But this isn’t about that!

Shots.

My mom tells me that as a child I went through a period of time I liked needles so much my doctor predicted I’d be either a nurse or a junkie. I’m not sure when my hankering for the needle changed to fear, however, I hate needles and could never put one in my arm (ie. not a junkie).

Throughout my medical journey? I have had every kind of shot. If you want to include IVs? HOLY HECK!

In one hospital stay? They found that all my veins or arteries (whichever they put IVs in) were depleted. I’ve had IVs in the bottom of my foot, back of my neck and every horrible painful place.

Pre and post surgery? I had Heprin shots. Multiple surgeries. And they hit you with that four or five times a day. Not given through an IV. Pinch the fat and shove in the needle. Quick and not painful except for the fear of the needle every time they come at you.

So why am I focused on this? I saw my doctor today. I had some bloodwork come back that means all the eating pushing me out of my jeans has done nothings for my vitamin ‘levels’.

I got one shot today. B12.

I have to go back for regular injections of B12, iron and whatever else comes up as we monitor it (which means regular needles for bloodwork, too).  This all happens once a week for 6 – 8 weeks.

Did I mention fear of shots? I know some of the things are painful. Iron shots are NOT pleasant. B12 leaves my arm numb and me hyperactive for two days.  Getting blood drawn leaves me so tired.

Why does bloodwork leave me tired? I live in constant anemia. My doctor asked me if my periods were really heavy and I told him they are practically non-existent. He was shocked. I think he attributed my anemia to heavy flow… nope.

Typical man…must be her rag! (that is VERY tongue n cheek and represents my humour, not his attitude)

He asked more questions and that’s when he gave the news I have to go back every week for injections until my bloodwork comes back better.

I guess that’s just the way things go. Shots! Shots! Shots!

Can someone at least get me some tequila for this?

Kinesiology

“Kinesiology is the scientific study of human or non-human body movement. Kinesiology addresses physiological, biomechanical, and psychological mechanisms of movement.”

On March 30 I met such an amazing man.

I broke my ankle several years ago. I spent 9 months in a fibreglass cast to no avail. I freaked out when they tried to re-cast me. There were all kinds of reasons I wanted out of that fibreglass prison.

I wanted a shower. I was engaged at the time and wanted to walk down the aisle without a cast. Winter was coming and my toes were getting cold (not to mention funky smelling). I couldn’t bear another moment.

The doctor decided to give me a strap on, therefore removable, cast that I continued to wear(off and on) for over a year.

My ankle has never healed. The Alberta government took my strap-on (cast) when I lived in the forest. I was then refused medical treatment because of paperwork.

I came to BC without my cast. I walked here over a period of three months with approx. 65 to 71lbs in my pack on any given day. Even though I have settled down? I don’t drive. I walk a lot. I’m grateful for rides I get but I depend on my ankles for my main mode of transportation.

After all this time without treatment or my cast to help? My leg pain has become back pain. I have used a tensor to help. Paul has always been good to rub my ankle and my lower back to help with the pain. I stretch to help my muscles and I push through other pain to walk, regardless of it maybe causing more damage. I won’t be immobile at 42.

I have talked to many doctors. I broke my ankle when living in Manitoba. Even though doctors tried? I left there with the plastic cast. In Alberta I was refused any medical treatment because the government took my ID and held it. I could not prove who I was so they would not transfer my medical. My doctor in BC? He’s only good for referrals it seems. He referred me to an orthopedic surgeon.

The outcome? The surgeon told me surgery won’t improve my mobility and may increase my pain. I already knew that and was grateful he said the same but asked what I could do. Did I need a cane? I explained it was affecting my balance which means potential of other injuries. Should I get a brace? Would stabilizing my ankle when I am walking any distance help?

He said a brace may help. He hemmed an hawed over it and didn’t know it would help with my balance issues but it MIGHT help my pain. He gave me a prescription for one that didn’t need to be fitted so I could look at options.

I checked out the brace place he recommended but given my financial circumstances? I wasn’t super keen to spend that kind of money by going to an orthopedic brace place.

On the way home I had my friend stop at Pharmasave in town to see what kind of things they had over the counter. A lovely lady told me they had a kinesiologist coming at the end of the month who may be able to help me pick the best brace. I said alright and made the appointment.

March 30 at 10am.

I told him the background of why I was seeing him. He had me take my socks and shoes off, roll up my jeans and step down. Then he told me he could see it immediately, my pain issue. He slipped his hand under my foot, pushed up and INSTANTLY my back relaxed. He showed me how I was stepping to ‘protect’ my ankle and how it was affecting my foot. He found a brace that would help with stability and recommended something to help correct my instep.

I asked if that would help with my balance issues. (OK, yes, I drink. And that doesn’t help with balance. But even stone cold sober? I have serious balance issues.)

He noticed when helping adjust the brace that I have ‘excess skin roll’ on my calf. He told me his brother had gone through a mass weight loss and asked if I had. I opened up and told him I had. He asked how much weight and how long it had been.

After telling him the information? He told me music to my ears.  He told me my balance issues are totally normal. His brother went through that and it’s part of why he (the kinesiologist)went from being a personal trainer to studying how muscles work.

My muscles had carried that weight for SO long.  After you lose that kind of weight it takes your muscles YEARS to adjust. I lost more than half my body weight at an age where my body was already going through all kinds of changes otherwise. Considering all the change that has happened in my life from then until now? He’s confident my balance issues are related to not re-training my muscles after the weight loss.

Small weight training and yoga! Ankle weights held in positions for as long as I can will train my leg muscles for where my body is at NOW. Yoga will help with balance but I should start small.

I’m overjoyed! After several years of trying to figure out how to deal with this pain issue? Seeing doctors, surgeons ,etc? The kinesiologist who does volunteer work at my local drugstore is the one who helped me understand the source of my pain. He found me a professional brace that was on sale half off and then gave me and extra 20% off.

And he explained the balance thing. It makes total sense. He gave me realistic goals to help address it.

And because of all that? I feel a tiny bit of sanity about something. My leg pain isn’t in my head. My balance isn’t some kind of neurological issue. Both are real, explainable and able to be worked on! That does so much to help with the anxiety I feel about my health  on a day to day basis.

I’m so grateful.