Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Oh, But the Difference a Day Can Make

Today.  Was much.  Less.  Crazy.  I felt almost completely under control the entire day.  When I woke up this morning, I felt wide awake, and when I looked at the clock, it was 2:38am.  I felt soooo nauseated, and I could not get comfortable in bed.  I turned on a movie and closed my eyes and listened to the entire thing, and still wasn't asleep.  So I just laid there in the dark and the quiet and tried to gain control of my thoughts.  I eventually drifted off to a light sleep, but I could still hear everything going on in my house - Meredi up and moving around, the dogs getting up and going outside.  By about 8am I was still nauseated and every time I moved I thought I was going to throw up.  I took my morning meds and then laid in bed gagging for a few minutes.  Totally gross.

So I texted my boss to let her know I wouldn't be able to make it into the office today.  And then I slept.  And slept.  And slept.  I didn't even get up to eat anything until like 6:00pm.  I did manage to finally wash all the stuff that had been lying on the basement floor from the last camping trip I took with The Ex back in July.  It had been sitting in the corner of the basement and I knew when I picked it up there would be at least one nasty spider that would crawl out of it, and I was right.  But I got it all washed, nonetheless, and some of it is ready to go back to The Ex and some of it is ready for camping this weekend.

Oh, and my professor from my on-campus class called me to discuss my options for how I want to handle finishing or not finishing out the semester.  We discussed getting me some disability status for the semester so that she can give me some leniency on deadlines and stuff, and she went over with me my options for dropping or withdrawing from the class should I decide to do one of those things.  I told her that right now I can only take things one day at a time, and also that I had appointments with a counselor and psychiatrist tomorrow so I would discuss those options with them as well.  I've never had a college teacher take such care and interest in me before, and it was really helpful.  She's super young and she's crazy smart (PhD from Harvard, for crying out loud), and she seems to really get how much I'm struggling and genuinely wants to help me.  Which is pretty freaking awesome.

That's the extent of what I accomplished today.  Braden came over at like 8:45 to go over some camping stuff, and that's that.

Mentally, I feel at least closer to how I felt before.  The only way I can really describe it is numb.  Like my head has been stuffed with lots of supersoft cotton, and it's gotten into all the nooks and crannies and I am not able to jump to conclusions and overthink and focus on things that I cannot control.

Here's my biggest problem right now.  Off the meds, my body can function as close to normally as possible.  And when I say "normal" I just mean that it is doing everything the body does all by itself without help from pharmaceuticals.  Obviously I'm going to have to be on thyroid medication the rest of my life, and the birth control that I take prevents my uterus from having a complete perpetual temper tantrum and causing me to bleed to death.  Aside from those things, I felt a lot less numb off the Effexor.  I can't say for sure whether or not it was a good thing, but I can tell you that my libido skyrocketed for like a week and a half.  That must be what it's like to have a normal brain, I guess.  Everyone that I've talked to cannot comprehend why I would go off my meds just because they've made me gain weight.  It seems like a really simple solution to a pretty simple problem.  But my underactive thyroid already puts me at high risk for weight gain and adding anything else with that side effect exacerbates the problem.  And I hate.  HATE.  My body right now.  I feel like I'm walking around in someone else's body.  It doesn't feel like it should belong to me.  I can hardly stand to look in the mirror most days.  I am obsessed with how other women look and wondering how I look to other women.  I look at how skinny their waists are, how wide their asses are, how they hold themselves, whether they have flat tummies or pudge like me, and I wonder how I look to everyone else.  When I bend certain ways, there are rolls of fat that I can feel overlapping onto themselves.  I see a double chin in the mirror.  My calves are nowhere near as defined as they were 10 years ago.  I hate it all.  I wonder if I would feel better about myself if I thought I looked better.  And so my perception on the whole thing is: if I can do something about how I look and how I feel about how I look, that will eliminate at least one of the reasons I have depression and anxiety.  If I could just be confident in my skin, with my body, maybe I wouldn't be so sad.  But on the other hand, if being off the medication makes me this miserable, but I like how I look, what's worse?  On the meds, I feel fat and miserable with how I look and feel, but at least I don't feel like I'm about to have a nervous breakdown just because I saw a paralyzed dog walking around in a cart.  Off the meds, I am totally batshit insane and riddled with anxiety but I have a shot at finally being able to look the way I want to look, which I think will make me happy.  It's really a difficult decision to make because one way or another, I'm going to be at least a little unhappy.  And I don't like the idea of complaining about something but not doing anything to change it.  So what do I do?

I think that my brain makes a link - between looking better physically and having more confidence about my body and therefore my mind - and being able to get into a relationship that will be long-term, and with a person that I will truly love and want to be with forever.  In order to have a healthy relationship with someone, I need to have a healthy relationship with myself, and one of the steps I have to take in having a healthy relationship with myself is to do something about what I hate about myself.  I'd like to think that this is something that many, many women struggle with, but I'm one of the very few women I know that isn't in a long-term relationship and so I don't know what it's like for the others, really.  I know that a relationship with a man will not solve all my problems - I'm actually fully aware that it will actually cause me a whole new set of problems - but because it is something that I want so far down in the deepest depths of my heart, it is always going to be something I strive for.  The ultimate end-point goal.  In the mean time, I have to find something for myself that I can set out to strive for and reach all by myself.  Completely alone.  And THAT is something that has really recently been quite shaken up.  I feel really lost in that regard.  But that's for another post another night.

Tomorrow's agenda is: 11am training appointment.  1pm counseling intake/appointment on campus.  3pm psychiatrist appointment on campus.  Then I am promptly going to stop worrying so much.  


  1. Latuda seems to have little weight-related side effects. Can you replace the Effexor with that?

  2. I also hear hiking our Colorado mountains can be an enormous help. =P

  3. Being comfortable in their skin is something I think the vast majority of women struggle a lot with. It hasn't been my experience (or of anyone I know) that being in a healthy long term relationship changes that struggle. Because you still have to lovingly accept who you are, whether or not someone else does.
    I feel like I got to a good place with my body image and then I had a baby and my life fairly spiraled out of control from there. He'll be 3 in the spring and I'm currently trying for the 16th time or so to focus on taking care of myself and being healthy. Even in the best of circumstances, it's hard.
    I'm truly not trying to discourage you, in fact I'm really cheering you on from my end! You're being so proactive, especially considering the "wall" that is in your way.
    I just want you to know you're in excellent company when it comes to learning to love yourself and your shape.