Posts Tagged ‘health’

This weekend sucked

Not all of it. We finally got the tax return (turns out it got delivered to a house around the corner with the same house number, and since both of our streets start with the same letter…*shrug* we get a lot of their stuff too). H sent me out shopping. And The Kid was off with her Grandma J (my MIL) for the weekend.

All of this, plus the great weather, should have added up to an awesome weekend. Not when you’re me it doesn’t.

Two of my closest friends were in a funk (and still are) all weekend. One friend, I’m trying to get her husband to remove his head from his ass so that he can finally see that she needs help. I’m getting close but he wanted to whine about how hard he’s having it. Well it’d be a damn sight easier if she wasn’t beating herself up, now wouldn’t it. sigh People can be so flippin short sighted.

Then there was MT. I know he doesn’t come up much but check the Cast of Characters page. MT is one of my best friends and closest confidants and I knew he wasn’t in a good place but I didn’t know how bad it was until I checked my email this morning and found a note from him talking about he’s been lying in his bed all day playing with his gun (he lives in the deep south out in the woods…he basically needs a gun). My heart sank. Partly because I’m something of the cause of MT’s bad mood. (long story, SO not going into it here).

I don’t know what to do anymore. I feel like I’m not helping anyone anymore. People come to me for help and I show them the path for them to be able to help themselves but no one seems to want that. They want me to do the work for them and I can’t. I would if I could, but that’s not my path to travel. But no one seems to care about that. They all just want the easy way out. Hell I want the easy way out. But there is no easy way out. There is just life and all that comes with it, and God knows life ain’t easy.

I think I’m going to tune out for a while. Focus inward and start some of the healing that needs to go on in there anyway. My spiritual life is a mess and my personal life will be headed down that road if I’m not careful.

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I’m growing resentful of my disease.

My mind is clearer now…at last, all to well, I can see where we all soon will be…

I’ve been on anti-deps since August, and with my meds and time there has come a lot of clarity and discovery. The one thing that I have recently begun to understand fully is that my depression has had an affect, not just on me, but on my whole family.

Four years. I lost four years of my life to my depression. Oh, I’ve lost more than just that on the whole, but those four years were the most important. Four years of a new marriage. Four years of new motherhood. Four years that I spent living in a fog, detached from the world around me while I drowned in this disease of mine. My husband, the sweet darling he is, stood by me patiently and helped me through those four years, rough as they were. In the mean time he sacrificed so much personally for me to get to where I am now.

My daughter suffered also she saw some of my worst behavior when I was in the depth of my depression. Imagine the earliest memories your child has of you is you screaming, crying and flying into irrational rages. I saw her face one day when one of these episodes happened and she looked at me as though I were a total stranger. And I was. I couldn’t even recognise myself when I was raging. That look was what convinced me to get on meds. I was slowly destroying my relationship with H and my daughter.

Now I look back and see what damage my depression has done. Some of it is totally irrepairable. There is damage to my marriage, damage to my relationship with my daughter, damage to friendships.

I hate that I have been given this disease. I hate that I allowed it to control me like that. I feel weak when I think about it. Like some stupid puppet; out of control of myself and my actions. I hate that I’m going to be on medication for the rest of my life. But I know it’s for the best. There is no cure for depression. You don’t grow out of it or get over it. You either handle it or let it consume you.

This is my life. The only one I get. I won’t live it ruled by this disease. I won’t let it decide how I feel everyday. I won’t let it destroy me, or my family any further. My goal is to repair and rebuild. My foundation will be the knowledge that I am not my disease. I am not the person it made me be on my worst days. I am better than that.

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I’m feeling a bit peevish today

Last night, around midnight, I got a text from H. “We need to have a meeting.”

Now take note, “meeting” can mean a few things between us.  On one hand there can be something major that’s about to come up and we need to discuss it. It could mean a change in our usual course of things. It could mean something is bothering him. It could also mean sex. So I replied, “What’s the meeting about?”

H: Everything.

Me: Well, that’s kind of vague. What about everything.

H: Just get your rest. We’ll talk tomorrow

Me: I don’t like these “meetings” where you say we need to talk but don’t tell me what about.

H: Ok, so let’s have the meeting now. Meet me in the kitchen. (this was a sarcastic reply, he was at work)

Me: That’s not what I’m saying. I just want to know what brought this on. Is it so damn bad that I want to know what’s on your mind?

H: Everything means anything that comes to mind BTW. Feel free to bring any questions or concerns to the table.

Now that was what I wanted to know. See, I’m horrible at talking (he knows this), so these surprise “meetings” feel like an ambush if I don’t know what he wants to talk about. I can’t just get my thoughts together in a timely manner like that. It sucks because I can do it in writing any time I want. My text and instant messages are full of thoughtful and insightful things. I can be poetic, philosophical, witty…but you sit me down face to face and I become mute. A friend once told me “We have great conversations on text message, but in person you never talk.” That sums it up pretty well.

My friend Ihsan found a wiki article that described me really well. Initially he found it for himself, but reading over it I kept thinking “That’s me.” It was nice to know that there was a name for how I felt, as opposed to feeling like a freak for being the anti-social one in a very social family

So now I’m waiting on H to wake up (he worked from 4pm to 8am) so we can have this “meeting”. Personally I don’t really have much to talk about that he doesn’t already know about. Well, there are one or two things, but I need to research them further before actually going into them with him.

The main points I think I’m going to bring up are 1) saving up some cash so I can get my bike fixed for the summer; 2) joining this health club that opened up nearby (that’s a lot cheaper than powerhouse/golds/bally’s/etc.); 3) possibly taking a week or so by myself and going somewhere during the summer, that’s something I really need to do. I’d probably go to the west side of the state and hang out in Holland by the beach; 4) my eternal struggle with getting a bloody job. Apparently being unemployed for four years, not having a college degree and being a mom are negative points in the business world. Not to mention all my “professional” references are people I knew back in college or while working in high school, so they’ve moved around quite a bit and even if I could remember their last names (which I can’t), finding their phone numbers would be nothing short of impossible.

I’m still sick too, btw. I can’t shake this cold for the life of me. I really hope it doesn’t get any worse.

Ok…In all fairness to God and His(Her?) sense of humor

Yesterday was a much better day for me, emotionally at least.

Doing something I loathed doing to ensure someone I cared deeply about had a chance at happiness was the trade off for an episode-free day.

Normally it’d be about here that I throw in some pseudo-philosophical about life and making hard decisions…but my throat is killing me, my right ear feels like there’s something in it (there isn’t) and I’m not in the mood to be insightful right now.

Sure, God is still fucking with me (“Dance, puppet. DANCE!“) for shits and giggles, but that’s nothing new.

Further proof that God has a twisted sense of humor, part 2

I have caught my daughter’s cold. The Kid started having sniffles on Monday and yesterday I found myself getting stuffy.

So, running along side my insomnia, I now can’t breath, which means even when I’m tired I can’t sleep.

*sigh*

Thoughts on body image

(Warning for those who are faint of heart: the links below are from two Dom/sub blogs; if the idea of Dominant/submissive relationships offends you then I suggest you go and read another post because I’ll be referencing them throughout this entry. I am not here to promote their -or anyone else’s [not even mine]- lifestyle, but I speak on wisdom where I find it. Either read without judgment or keep it moving.)

Surfing around through wordpress I came across a blog about body image. He referenced another blog about it, so naturally I scooted over there and read what she had to say. She was on point with everything and her suggestions for helping with one’s body image issues were insightful. Of course, I had to speak on this myself.

I’ve always been an advocate for the destruction of the false beauty model as set by Hollywood and mass media. Everything I learned growing up goes counter to what Elle and Cosmo says I should look like. Guys I knew and met growing up much preferred curvy women (“Girls with some meat on their bones,” as they so eloquently put it). And growing up in a family that is largely from the south (Alabama, and Mississippi) and was dominated by women who were big, I was taught early on that “only dogs like bones, men need meat” and then had another helping of ribs, macaroni and cheese (baked, not from the box), greens and who knows what else heaped onto my plate because I was “too skinny” (I was, and for the most part still am, the thinnest woman genetically related to my family, with only one or two exceptions in my age group).

As a kid and teenager, I was afraid of being too skinny. When I hit 5th grade and saw girls my age blooming while I maintained my rail thin, tomboy figure, I got nervous that I would never “have what it takes” to net one of the cute boys in my neighborhood. Especially not when placed in competition with girls who had long since passed their training bra stage and whose hips and butts were rounding out nicely. (If you read my boob post, you already know how that story ends)

Even in college, after finally having caught up with (and in some cases surpassed) my female peers in the figure department, I was still an advocate for a curvier female population. Jessica Alba was on tv in those skin tight outfits showing off her lovely figure (which she subsequently lost after drinking the Hollywood Kool-Aide and decided to abandon any aspect that would hint of her multi-ethnicity…I’d call her a sell out, but that would be oversimplifying it). Jennifer Lopez was shaking her badunkadunk across stages all over the world to her Diddy-ised Latino-hip hop beat. Maxim came out and was profiling women with lush hips (though, not too lush). Then there was the girl-next-door homegrown good looks of Rachel Ray (I can’t stand her, but she is cute). Jazzyfatnastees. Jill Scott. Tyra Banks (I can’t stand her ass either lol). Curves were everywhere. I was delighted.

However, I was also broke. When I saw a flier in one of the campus food courts looking for young women to model nude, I decided “what the hell, why not?” I checked his site and all of his shots were tasteful. Nothing pornographic or questionable. It was artistic nudity. And I had no problem with that. So I shot him an email expressing interest (oh don’t look so shocked…at least I would have been getting paid, unlike those morons who do girls gone wild tit shots for a fucking t-shirt) and he asked me to describe myself. At the time I was 5’4″, fluctuating between 127 and 130, 36DD and a size 8 in jeans. I thought I was pretty damn thin and I looked good in shorts. He said he wanted more of an athletic body. Less curve, more of a flat stomach, etc etc. And I was willing to diet to give it to him, until I stepped back and thought to myself “Um, wait a second. There is nothing wrong with my shape or my weight. Why in the hell am I trying to lose weight that I don’t need to lose?” I admit, I could have used to some toning, but weight loss? Nah. So I flipped that idea the bird and settled for a minimum wage campus job answering phones.

I walked a lot in high school and college, so keeping weight off was never really a problem, but when I got married and moved to a new city (that I wasn’t familiar with), walking went out the window. Not long after getting married I got pregnant, and that’s when all my problems started.

My first trimester I lost 11lbs, dropping me down to my college weight of 131. The doc said this was normal and was because my body was just burning off fat stores for energy while it was preparing to carry my baby. I was fine. My sex life was fine. Everything was fine. Until I hit month five. That’s when I really started to show and my baby started moving a bit. Sex became uncomfortable and I was unhappy with my distended belly, but I tried anyway. Around 7 months I simply couldn’t bear the idea of showing my body to my husband, who insisted that I was just as beautiful pregnant as I was before. Even with all of his heartfelt assurances, I couldn’t accept that the whale I had become could be considered beautiful.

My pregnancy weight topped out at 161, which meant I had only really added 20lbs to my pre-pregnancy weight (about 140), but I was very unhappy with my appearance. Even after having my daughter and losing most of the weight I was unhappy with my stretch marks, love handles and saddle bags (all of which were a result of pregnancy). I was a stay at home mom and often too exhausted to work out. Plus there was no where for me to work out. I have a lifetime membership to Fitness USA, but the closest one is over 20 minutes away and gas prices were rising. I hated my body, and slipped into a deeper depression over it. Sex was almost totally out of the question. I felt completely undesirable (though my husband felt differently, he loved my extra curves). And though I kept up my banner waving for women with curves, I kept thinking back to my thinner high school and college figure.

I often spoke with my friends about having pride in our curves. Taking pleasure in the stretch marks that came from us bearing children. I was all but singing “I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar”. But away from all those people, my inner-voice became especially nasty.

Let me break in here real quick to explain my “inner-voice”. I have had depression since I was 12, and my depression often came in the form of a “voice” that repeated over and over about what a failure I was, how unattractive I was, that I was a disappointment to my friends and family, I was worthless, useless, hopeless. Most of the time I could tune it out (without the aid of medication), but it was a steady drum beat that never wavered from its typically self-assured tone, and when it got bad, I would believe everything it said. After I had my daughter, the messages of this voice grew nastier as my self confidence began to falter. I became not only unattractive, but unlovable. My husband was, of course, cheating on me (so my voice said), who wouldn’t? I was fat, ugly, unemployed, useless, a drain on our finances, a horrible mother…and on and on. And I believed it. No matter what my husband said to the contrary. This left him frustrated on many levels.

I knew I needed to make a change when a doctors visit revealed that I had hit 170. Years after having my daughter, I had gained 15lbs. And as I said earlier, my family is full of big women. On both my mom and my dad’s side. I accept that there is some genetic propensity towards holding our weight, especially after we have babies. However I knew I could choose how much of that weight was genetic and how much was voluntary. I also knew that the older I got, the harder it’d be for me to lose. So if I was going to take control of my weight, my life and, most importantly, my self image, now was going to be the time. I started working out (not just to lose weight but to help alleviate my depression naturally) and asked my doc for anti-depressants.

It wasn’t until after this that I began to believe my own hype about the beauty of curves again. Yes, I’m curvy, and yes I’m good looking (I’m too humble to call myself beautiful). No, my breasts aren’t sitting right on top of my chest, but you show me a 36DDD woman whose breasts are and I’ll show you some fake boobs. I still have a pooch from my pregnancy and I’m fairly convinced that’s not going to go away completely without surgery. I’m still fluctuating between the mid to high 150’s and low 160’s, but I’m ok with that too. I don’t pay attention to BMI results because I saw first hand how very wrong it is to gage one’s health (I had lost 6lbs, gained muscle tone, but my BMI went up two points saying I was at risk for obesity…that was when I flipped BMI charts the bird). My sex life is back on track and I love my husband all the more for sticking with me when I was at my absolute lowest.

I haven’t given up my fight against false beauty standards either. I refuse to watch shows like America’s Next Top Model. I don’t buy fashion magazines. I expose my daughter to women of all shapes, sizes, heights, colors and tones so she understands that we’re all beautiful. I don’t watch music videos (I don’t have cable, but when I did, I didn’t watch them). And though I can’t stand her annoying ass, I applaud Raven Simone for not drinking the Hollywood Kool-Aide and loving her body and herself, curves and all. It’s a small effort, hardly a dent in the mass media image machine, but it’s my dent, and it’s a dent I pass on to every one of my girl-friends and my daughter so they can add on to it.

Single, sexually active women in Canada screwed (in more ways than one)

http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2008/02/06/abnormal-paps-pap-smears-doctors-refusing-canada

While attending a recent event honoring the twentieth anniversary of the all-important Morgentaler decision here in Canada, I came upon some disturbing news: doctors in Canada are denying pap smears to women citing religious objections. You read it right: doctors are using their personal morality to further restrict a women’s right to equal health care. I came across this fact in an essay written by Peggy Cooke, the recent winner of Canadians for Choice’s essay submission contest that answered the question “Why is a pro-choice Canada so important?”

In her essay detailing her experience as an abortion clinic patient escort, she writes, “I have two close friends whose doctors will not even give them pap tests because it goes against the doctor’s religious beliefs.” Peggy lives in New Brunswick, one of the most repressive provinces in terms of reproductive policy. The provincial government continues to violate the Canada Health Act, by requiring women to seek approval from a doctor and a gynecologist in order to access publicly funded abortions. Abortions done at the private Morgentaler clinic are not funded.

I contacted Peggy to learn more about what was going on with the doctors refusing to perform pap smears and she responded by saying that in one case it is actually the doctor’s receptionist who won’t allow her young unmarried friend to make an appointment for a pap smear saying that she is too young and doesn’t need one (she was 19 at the time of the incident). The second instance deals with a couple who are doctors, who run a practice together. Known for their religious and anti-choice beliefs, these doctors will not prescribe contraception. The doctor who refused to perform the pap smear works in the same practice.

So when did a test that is used to screen for disease and cancer suddenly become a procedure which doctors can “object” to do? Am I naïve in thinking that pap smears are a medically necessary part of a women’s yearly physical? I wonder if the same doctors refuse men prostate exams on religious grounds, or does morality only apply to women?

To look for answers, I turned to Patricia LaRue, Executive Director at Canadians for Choice, to see what she could tell me if doctors have the right to refuse ANY procedure that they see as going against their religion. She reminded me that doctors have a “conscience clause,” allowing them to refuse prescriptions for birth control, abortion, and now pap smears. The conscience clause is put in place by the Canadian Medical Association so that physicians are not forced to act in any way that goes against their personal beliefs.

However, doctors are also bound by a Code of Ethics to “inform your patient when your personal values would influence the recommendation or practice of any medical procedure that the patient needs or wants.” In New Brunswick, the doctor shortage means that young unmarried women simply cannot find a doctor who would give them the services that they request, because there are no other doctors to choose from.

Legally, doctors who use the conscience clause are required to give a referral to a doctor that will perform the procedure that they themselves refuse to do. In real life, however, this seldom transpires. Many doctors feel a “conscientious objection” not only to the procedure but to the referral, and do not refer, claiming they can not in good conscience refer a patient for a procedure that they object to. Many women never report these doctors because they are already in a vulnerable position and fear the stigma attached to reporting doctors for refusing sexual and reproductive health procedures.

So it seems that religious objections and morality policing have moved beyond the realm of abortion and contraception, and have moved into regulating the kind of tests that women can access that may in fact save her from cancer. In Canada we pride ourselves on “universal healthcare,” but to access that health care, it seems that you must fit into your doctor’s classification of the “normal.”

————————————————————————-

You want to object to doing an integral part of your job? QUIT! Don’t put ME and MY HEALTH at risk because you want to impose YOUR morals on me. I don’t go to a doctor to save my soul anymore than I go to an Priest/Reverend/Rabbi/Imam to check my blood pressure. What I do in my bedroom and with whom ain’t nobodies damn business but MINE.

*flips these docs the bird*

(Thanks to newcherrybomb.com for the heads up, and thanks to feministing.com for dropping a note on them)

Spanking Makes You Kinky

So maybe that explains it…

Doing my morning rounds of RSS feeds, I came across this link in Mistress Matisse‘s blog.

I dunno if I agree though. I can’t say I know anyone who doesn’t have some sort of kink or “perversion”. Also they don’t really explain their definition of “sexual deviancy”. I know folks who think talking dirty during sex would qualify you as a deviant. On the other hand, I know a girl who enjoys being spit on and humiliated during sex (no I mean really humiliated, the less of an actual person she feels like during sex, the better it is for her) and everyone that knows her pretty much agrees that she fits the definition of “sexual deviant” (and these are people who are pretty out in the open with their kinks).

I grew up being spanked (pretty often too, I was a little hellion), and I admit, I have some kinks (nope not gonna list em here), but I don’t think it has anything to do with being spanked as a kid. If anything, I would connect it to the fact that I was just plain rough as a kid. I was a tomboy from the age of 6. Being the only girl in my neighborhood pretty much made sure of that for me. I fought, wrestled, rode bikes, climbed trees and did all the things that most boys did…because that’s all I had to play with. Boys. When a girl my age finally moved into my neighborhood, we played a bit, but she was too girly for my tastes. She wore skirts and kept her hair nicely done. Me, you couldn’t pay me to wear a skirt (except when forced to by the nazis in catholic school…maybe that explains my kinks…). For all that, I was never sexually promiscuous. Yes, I did the normal high school experimentation, but didn’t have actual “sex” until I was 19. Even when I started having sex I was picky about my partners. I had a monogamous relationship for over a year and a half; after that ended I had a series of partners whose numbers remain in the single digits. Then I got married.

That was it for me.

It was the same for my (older) sister. She was spanked too. She was my complete opposite. She was the “golden child” of the family. Very girly. Dated often. But wasn’t promiscuous. I think she actually had fewer partners than I did before she got married (I got married about two years before she did).

On the other hand, we’ve had friends (and family members) who weren’t spanked, but instead were sheltered. Once they got an ounce of freedom, they became the village bike.

Maybe me and my experiences are the exception and not the rule. But, then again, maybe it’s time we stopped being afraid of actually enjoying sex. Hell, even the Catholics stopped promoting the idea that sex for enjoyment (as opposed to strictly for procreative reasons) was bad. Not every position outside of missionary is deviant.

You like being spanked? Fine. You like being tied up? Go for it. You like having clamps put on your nipples and being shocked with low doses of electricity? Erm…well…if that’s your kink and you can find someone to participate with you…why not.

Folks want to tackle the problem of promiscuity and risky sexual behavior in teens, how about we start with what these little brats are watching on TV?