Sunday Prompt: NonFiction – Bad Days Mean Good Days Ahead #amwriting #nonfiction 


Thanks to Oloriel of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this week’s Sunday Prompt. This week we are to share the happiest moment in our life, or the saddest moment and how we overcame it. 

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Credit: MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie
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I’m not going to share my saddest or my happiest moment. I think these moments  constantly shift. But I will tell you about yesterday, for me it was a day where I felt hopeless. I’m a goal-oriented person and when I’m not feeling well enough to complete even the tiniest goal on my to do list, I feel lost and useless.

The background to this is as some of you know, is that I deal with depression that has caused what my psychiatrist has diagnosed as Chronic of Severe Fatigue. I’ve had it for years, I’ve always known.

Most doctors don’t even recognize CFS or ME as a disorder although there is information about people suffering from it hundreds of years ago and presently everywhere. As well a good friend of mine also has CFS/ME but hers while sharing some similarities, is a bit different from mine — she is able to work.

I’ve been homebound lately feeling extra fatigued and also because my insurance company ended my disability in November –I’ve lost a great deal of my income for the moment. When I’m so fatigued there are days it’s too much to take a bus.

Sometimes I have no choice but to take a cabl. Some days I wake up greatly worn out even after sleeping all night. The kind of tiredness CFS or ME produces is beyond sleepy –it’s mental and physical exhaustion. So when you can’t afford a cab and only the bus, it makes a person feel trapped when the ride their is tiring. 

At times when I’m home too long, I feel lonely and bored. I enjoy being out with friends and family or being able to visit a coffee shop, the mall, the art gallery (etc.), to be around people. The CFS doesn’t allow me to work (go to an office etc). as I never know how I will feel each day. On the flip side, I also need to be home a great deal to recharge. When I go out it’s not for more than a few hours, it’s what my body can handle.

Some days I can’t concentrate well on reading. Some days I can’t concentrate on writing. Other days I can’t do anything but watch the TV or programs on Netflix and after a while, even the stimulation from that bothers me. One or two days a week I feel well and get quite a bit done, only to exhaust myself for the following day.

Yesterday I felt awful even though I had it in me to do a short yoga video and a few simple chores that needed done, then I was physically and mentally worn out and frustrated. I was bothered that I have to stretch a small income so far and that I couldn’t take the cab a short way to this local coffee and book shop or to the mall to look around and have some Edo for lunch. 

I’ve also been dealing with weight issues due to a medication. I can’t switch medications, these ones work the best, but as a person who was a chubby child it bothers me I can’t keep my promise to myself to always stay fit. Each diet I try doesn’t work. I need intense cardiovascular exercise but beyond a bit of walking when I’m well I don’t have the energy for it. So yesterday, that too felt overwhelming. 

As well I’ve been freelancing and realized starting out, even to only make a a few extra hundred dollars a month is difficult. It’s like any career, something you have to learn from and build upon overtime.

But today I woke up and my outlook on the world had changed. I prayed last night and I realized this morning, I’m doing fine. I have a warm place to live with nutritious food and for the most part, I can buy what I need each month and do a few things with friends. My friends are also extremely understanding of what I experience and that along with my family’s understanding is a blessing as well. 

I’m hoping on ‘good days’ I can learn to endure the bus, to get out of the house more often because being around people makes me happy, even if I’m only an observer on certain occasions. 

I don’t feel lost today. I stopped focusing on ‘me’ and ‘my problems’ and recognized even though I think I have it bad certain days, others are experiencing much worse problems around the world.

I also realized starting something such as a part-time freelance career (even a limited number of hours a week) after not being able to work after nine-years at all, will take time, more than a few months effort and additional learning.

Most vitally I realized God has me and my problems in the palm of His hand and He is taking care of me even when I feel stuck in life. He says even when I’m still and not doing much at all, it’s enough. Yesterday was a bad day but sometimes you need bad days so you know how to be thankful for good days. Do you agree? 

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” – Exodus 14:14

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

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Quitting Bad Health


Prompt: 

Tell us about something you’ve tried to quit. Did you go cold turkey, or for gradual change? Did it stick?——

  
Have you ever been at a point in your life where you know your body isn’t healthy and in shape; more often then not you are snacking and eating food not good for you; and you are not even remotely trying to be physically active? 

For those of you that dont know I suffer from a depression (mood) illness that has made be chronically fatigued. I don’t have chronic fatigue the syndrome, but I have it due to my mood disorder and many of my symptoms are the same. I also have a sleep disorder probably more of you can relate to, insomnia. 

I have been on many psychiatric drugs since I first became ill about eight-years-ago now. Most of the time I can feel if a drug is helping me within the first couple weeks. Most drugs I cannot tolerate or I am allergic to. I was on a large cocktail of drugs especially because of my insomnia. Drugs that made me sleepy would effect the amount of energy I had in the day which isn’t much. So, my Doctor had me come into the hospital voluntarily for three weeks to start on a new drug called Clozapine. 

I was scared about this as I tried it once before and felt horrible for a day or two. But my doctor told me that because Clozapine can cause your heart rate to increase, cause dizziness at first, and create problems with blood pressure, I needed to be in hospital to give it a proper try. I went off my sleeping pills Gabepentine which were interfering with my ability to think and concentrate. I split the amount of my antidepressant in half and came off some other pills. I started Clozapine and it wasn’t an easy drug to work my way up to the right dose. I am pretty sensitive with medication so it only took about 37.5 mg. But I felt awful the second day after we would increase the drug each time. And it took months, even when I was out of hospital to get used to Clozapine. It acts as an anti-psychotic medication, an antidepressant, and as sleeping pill. 

The problen is I became used to the dose I was on and require another medication to make me fall asleep right now. Despite the fact that 50 mg of Clozapine was too much for me when I first went on the drug; I am going to up the dose at the end of January so I can sleep without another medication aiding me. It will take some time getting used to the new dose. It’s particularly difficult getting up in the mornings. I mostly sleep to 11:00 am or noon some days. But I do find I don’t sleep until 11:00 pm to 12:00 am. 

Something that is great about Clozapine is that I’m actually feeling better a bit more every month I take it. It helped with my concentration and ability to read and memorize notes for my last class in Reseidential Interiors. I have more energy in a normal day at home. For the first time in two and a half years I have the energy to exercise for anywhere from ten to thirty minutes depending on the exercise. I have been doing 7 minute circuit-training with an application on my phone. It’s hard to do each exercise with only ten seconds rest inbetween but I’m doing it. Before, I never could have dreamed about doing a high intensity workout. I can do longer yoga workouts now, from twenty to thirty minutes and I don’t feel tired afterward; I feel relaxed. I did 10 minutes of intense cardio on the elliptical today and it was good. Maybe, not much for someone else but for me it’s great.

So, I guess you can say I was granted  more energy and the ability to concentrate this year, so I could take better care of my body. I have stopped over-eating and am slowly working the portion sizes of my meals down through weight watchers as I would like to lose some weight. 

The bad thing about psychiatric drugs is that you often gain about 10 lbs from starting a new drug. I had hoped it wouldn’t happen this time but it did. I’m trying to loose about 25 lbs to start. Weight watchers is great because they have an application you can manage everything from and plan your eating day. There are even extra points for treats and points for working out.I drank too much pop such as Pepsi before. When you only have thirty some points to work with in a day, rarely, do you waste ten points on a can of Pepsi that is worth ten points of other things you could be eating more of to fill you up. Veggies and fruit are encouraged as you can eat as many as you want. 

So, I’m trying to stop not being healthy and to make my body the best it can be both physically and mentally. I’m taking some courses in creative writing online at U of Toronto starting in February. So, I am excited for those too. Things are working out as time goes by and I’m able to stop being a person who can’t help herself take better care of her body. 

Thoughts on Aging


Prompt: What are your thoughts on aging? How will you stay young at heart as you get older?

When you are young as a child or teenager and even in your twenties, it is difficult to understand aging. As in, you see a picture of someone you know well when they were near your age and it is difficult to see how they came from being a fresh faced handsome young man to a gray-haired face wrinkles from the sun overweight sixty-year-old. It is interesting how a person looks a bit the same in their old pictures, yet completely different. 

The first big age milestone in my life was eighteen because I could drink and buy alcohol in Alberta. My next big birthday was twenty-one because I could legally  drink anywhere in the world, even in Las Vegas and in L.A. My next birthday I remember of being if some significance was age twenty-five. I was still quite sick and not able to do much of anything but I thought it was something to be a quarter of a century old. I was happy with how I looked, my weight wasn’t too bad, and if I had my health I would have chosen to stay twenty-five forever. 

Now I’m thirty-years-old and I suppose the meaningful birthdays come less often after this, nothing of much importance until I am forty. I spent my thirtieth birthday in the hospital. This summer, my Doctor had me come into the hospital to do some major medication changes. I was able to take less of a cocktail of medications and the medication I needed as an antipsychotic would also help me as an antidepressant and a sleeping pill. On my birthday I was still quite new to the medication they put me on but my Mom and my eldest younger brother took me out to lunch to Earls. It was a nice location but I couldn’t have alcohol. Instead I had chocolate Carmel pudding cake for dessert.

I don’t know what to think about aging from now on. I read somewhere that from the years of fifteen to thirty-two years old we should worry about having fun and seeing the world and don’t worry about settling down until after that thirty-second birthday hits. What happens when I am thirty-two and I still don’t have my life together. For me the factor which is always present for me every year I age is my disease. 

To think about a life-time of possibly being depressed and having to deal with constant low energy levels scares me. What happens if I have to take a different medication and I become fatter because each medication of psychiatric drugs I take for awhile seems to add ten pounds? When do other side effects of medication take effect if they ever do?

 Will I shake when I’m old because of them? How will my lack of being able to be physically active effect me? Will it cause me a heart attack? Will it age me quicker? When am I not young and beautiful anymore? 

Will I have a husband, even if I can’t handle kids? Will he love me for another fifty years? Will I ever be able to live on my own? Will I always have no energy? Will it get worse the older I get? What do I do to live when I no longer receive disability payments? Will my brother’s marry and have kids? Will I see them often? Will I drive again? Can I fulfill my dream of writing books if it takes me so long to write? Will my parents grow very old, older then their seventies or eightees? What about my Godparents? What about it all?

Growing old is hard and overwhelming to me. I see old friends and they are happy, in shape, have good careers, have pets, marriages, have kids, and travel. I feel so far away from that way of life. I feel like I’m thirty in my body, but twenty-five in my head and in my life. I don’t know what keeps you young. Maybe, trying to have a positive attitude. Maybe having a life that’s full whatever your situation. But I’m scared. Not of death. But of suffering in life. Of that I don’t want any more. 

But when I wear myself out thinking and worrying I remember the Bible verse written in Matthew 28:20 “… and surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Knowing I have God always with me makes growing old not as scary. 

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved. 

Writing 101: Day 8 – Dear ” I.”


Prompt: Write a letter. 

Dear I:

It is difficult for me to write this letter. I’m sure to you it doesn’t make sense why I’m writing it. But the reason is you are a piece of my history. You are apart of that point in my life when I was changing from an ignorant and carefree twenty-three-year-old, to a woman who experiences illness everyday. I wanted to apologize for how I acted back then and let myself move on. 

To start with, I did have a thing for you when I first came to work. I just thought you were the hottest guy I’d ever seen and that you were genuinely nice. I think you were aware I harboured a thing for you but I wish you would have just told me you didn’t like me that way, or that it wasn’t appropriate because we worked together. You should have said something. You were older and had more experience. You shouldn’t have led me on. And yes, I should have accepted your uninterested attitude sooner.

In 2008, when you went away on vacation, I finally got over you. And I felt fine in September, October, and most of November. But my situation went awry with my health in November. I didn’t understand it but I was beginning to have a psychotic episode. So, when a person said something, I would hear an echo after their voice, and the echoe was usually mean words about me. I didn’t know what was occurring. I knew something was off in those echoes but I didn’t even know what a psychotic episode was.

So, if at the end of November and December, I was acting abnormally, being inappropriate, and emotional it wasn’t my fault. Because I had liked you earlier, and because your office was right below reception, where I was working some of the time, I thought I was hearing you say mean words about me. I didn’t understand why you were treating me that way. I wasn’t myself.

As December went on, I would have good days where everything was normal and then a bad day. But I couldn’t stop crying or concentrate on work. On December twenty-third I left work for good. I went into hospital shortly after. I was in hospital three weeks and they gave me a medication that stopped my delusions completely. I remember how still and silent everything finally was, the first time I took a certain medication. 

My parents told me later, that our boss was trying to figure out what triggered my episode. You had showed L something I wrote you that was probably hard to understand. My parents said you told L you wanted nothing to do with me. I thought I must have been really sick for you to react so unkindly. I’m better from psychosis, and I have never had a psychotic episode since that time in 2008. If I did, I’d know what to look out for now to get help sooner. 

I do have depression that has caused chronic fatigue. And constant fatigue is the worse part of it. I’m out of shape and can barely work out due to fatigue. I can only concentrate so long and physically I’m always limited for other activities. But I have almost completed a Certificate in Residential Design. I am too sick to work so blogging and taking one class at a time are what I do. I’m applying for an MFA in Creative Writing for 2017. 

 I’m sorry for how I acted back when I was sick. I just wanted to apologize and explain what happened. I hope you don’t think badly of people who have mental illnesses. Often, we just need understanding and a bit of help to get going back in the right direction in life. When I was having psychosis, that was my first experience with mental illness. I wish I could have controlled my actions better, but I didn’t have that control. 

I hope your life is going well and I wish you only the best. Thanks for giving me a piece of your time.

Regards,

Amanda

On Mental Illness and the Latest


I feel like I am moving through life at the pace of a snail. I think of all the things everybody is accomplishing and all the events happening with the beginning of school and busier times at work and I feel frustrated that I am not a part of that world. Or, I am only part of that world to such a minute degree. I use to love that world it filled me with exhilaration and I crammed every minute of it full that I could with people and events to go to. I was at the cusp of life and beginning to accomplish things that I had always dreamed I could accomplish, when I fell ill. You all know ( or most of you know) that story and my battle with mental illness and chronic fatigue.

This battle has forced me to slow down to a great degree. I look and see everyone else so busy and aware of so much around them that I feel lost. I try to get out but it’s not the same having goals now as it is having a job. I’m constantly reminded of that by the “why are you so tired” when people arrive home after a challenging day. As if, I can help the fact that I don’t work and can’t be around people all day accomplishing something and giving back to society. It doesn’t make my time any less valid or useful. But I do try to stay involved with the world to pick up little facts here and there and be aware of what’s going on in the news and in people’s lives. I’m not always able to listen as long as I like but I try to be on the same page as other people. But it’s difficult because explaining how much rest I need or that I am worn out after a couple of hours is frustrating for me and my friends and family.

Sometimes, I just need to be alone. I crave that time when the only noise I hear is the TV or the music from my Ipad. I like the soothing atmosphere I feel when people aren’t up and about doing everything around you, and I can just read my book or write what I need to write. I have always needed this alone time even when I was well but these days I just find I need more of it.

But frustratingly, I hate this alone time as much as I need it. I want to be where things are happening, where people are talking, and I want to be involved in life, not merely an observer. And it drives me crazy how when I finally get to be around people how irritated I feel lately. Irritated because they talk and talk about themselves and although I’m glad to listen, I don’t feel I have place to talk about me or I get this feeling I shouldn’t be talking about me because then I’m just feeling sorry for myself and talking about this horrible illness we call mental illness that people shy away from and stop talking about it when it is brought up in conversation.

Some people try, I know they do, but it is difficult for someone to understand mental illness without some experience of their own whether from themselves or a loved one. I think it’s very important that people with mental illness understand that you or your life is no less important because you can’t do things that other people can do. You are not invalid because you cannot work or socialize the way you’d like to. Also, it is vital to note that an incredibly large number of people with mental illness are extremely smart and/or creative. Why this happens especially to people with those personality traits I don’t know but I think it is good to note that just because someone acts differently then you or has the challenge of mental illness does not make them dumb or talentless.

Doing things with mental illness is often like performing tasks through a veil. If you have a mental illness you always have that problem in front of your face to work around and through as you are dealing with others and going about your daily life. Everybody has this problem to some extent with their own difficulties but it is an excellent way to understand what people mental illness go through each minute of their lives. Mental illness is like carrying all the packs of mountain on a hike while everyone else gets to hike up pack free.

My own difficulties these days are because of a medication I am on called Clozapine. I was actually doing okay and the bad side effects were starting to go away when my body became use to the drug and now I can no longer go to sleep just on that drug. I need some immuvane to help me fall asleep, and I am becoming use to the immuvane really fast. The alternative is to up the Clozapine does and that is about all my alternatives. I was so frustrated at my doctor’s office the other day that I began to cry. I didn’t mean to but it’s horrible to now I will have to experience bad side effects again in order that I may sleep. For now I am not upping the dose but I will have to do it if I want to sleep. But I can’t handle the side effects and take a course in Fall and go downtown when I need to pick up stuff, drop stuff off, or schedule an exam for in the day. But it has become very important to me to get this Residential Design Certificate. It’s like then I can say, I’ve accomplished something these past seven years.

After that life is pretty much, well, whatever I want it to be. I want to get debts paid off. But I also really want to try for a creative writing masters at UBC. I was thinking about applying in the Spring when application time is. I can receive some funding as a disabilities student and I’ll get to write so that won’t be so bad. I am also deciding on whether or not I might like to try some drawing courses in the day somewhere. I am talented in art but I haven’t done it in a while. So who knows where I will go.

After, a four-year relationship the idea of dating is daunting. I always feel as if my illness is a big mark against me. Although, I know some guys won’t care, I know a lot will and it stops me from getting back into the whole dating thing especially when it comes to be able to go out at night and date. I started some online chatting but I am wondering if I just need to deal with my health and school now and if that would be a better thing, then trying to find someone I would like to date. But my friends almost all have husbands and boyfriends and I feel as if I spent to long with A. But sometime I will meet the right person I want to date again. For now, I’m just moving along trying to deal with everything else.

Thanks for reading!

To Fight or Stand and Wait: An Internal Struggle


www.uk.urbenest.com
http://www.uk.urbenest.com

Sometimes life can be a real struggle. And while we fight our own fights other people can be dealing with worse things in life. They can be fighting for their life while you are trying to climb over an obstacle in life. I always try to think about this when I am having troubles, that I am really blessed, I just have to remember to not take the things in my life for granted. After all, we only have so long in life to live, then we are no more.

Right now I think about all the people I know fighting cancer, especially one close friend and I’m in awe of how they can take the pressure and the all the treatments they have to take to get better. That’s a disease I am exceedingly grateful I don’t have and hope I or my loved one’s never have. I look at my life and think that life maybe difficult but I am not fighting to survive.

But sometimes it’s hard being me. I feel trapped, that I need to take this new medication even though it makes me feel out of it half the time, makes my stomach upset every day, and energy wise has made my standard of life worse — but I can sleep at night. That’s a really big deal. But somedays I wonder what I’m sleeping for if I go out and then come home feeling so sick I am snowed the next day. But I try to tell myself that everything is going to work out and be okay, that God does not let this happen in my life for no reason; even if I cannot see this reason. He has something bigger and better in mind for me, then everything I’ve lost due to mental illness and chronic fatigue.

I went to my Uncle Darvin’s funeral yesterday at church. I haven’t been there in awhile.

www.oxford.anglican.org
http://www.oxford.anglican.org

Ithink part of the reason I haven’t been there is because I’m angry with God that He won’t make me better. That my friends new and old, are moving on with their lives getting married and having kids. They are at a good place in their careers and I don’t even have one. I always thought things would be okay for me because I was an an adaptable person, that I could handle change and my personality fit in well with most anybody. But now I am not sure what my purpose is in life? I didn’t even know I was angry at God until I was talking to a psychologist and started crying when she asked me if I still think God is punishing me. I don’t think he is but it really made me think. I have no right to be angry at God —  it is the fact that their is sin in this world from Adam and Eve (original sin) that their is disease and a whole lot of awful diseases, events, and people that exist. We are born into sin, just as I am genetically predisposed to have a sensitivity to depression or affective disorders.

But I question why God allows these bad things to happen when he has the power to stop them? Maybe, we are being tested? Maybe, God is teaching us to be faithful to Him and to pay less attention to the world? Maybe, we are meant to bring others to faith through illness? Maybe, God is teaching us to love Him through our suffering? He tells us three-hundred and sixty-seven times in the Bible to not be afraid. But I’m afraid of living my life like this when I cannot fully take care of myself, cooking meals when I need to, going to places I need to go, affording to take care of myself, and having my own life which I can develope relationships with new people. I guess that is why you just take life one day at a time. Because if you looked at the whole picture it might terrify you.

Cima_da_Conegliano,_God_the_FatherBut I was glad to be in church yesterday. There was a lot of people I grew up with there that it was good to see. But it made me realize that a lot of these people are growing old and won’t be around forever. So, I need to make a better effort to visit them, even if I am not feeling up to it. It felt familiar to sing hymns and it was good to say goodbye to Uncle Darvin and hear about his life.

I have always thought God made me fighter. Gave me strength to get through the things I need to get through. But sometimes I wonder if he wants us to fight or if as the Bible says he will fight for us, “we need only be still.” One of my favorite songs is called “Be Still.” I have shared and talked about it on this blog several times, its by The Fray. The lead singer the in song maybe talking to his girlfriend or friend but I think, or like to believe, that He is singing the voice of God, telling us to ” remember hard the words [he] said, be still, be still, and know” that he is here for us.

https://youtu.be/Vtp-p7qFI2I (See my Blog For “Be Still” music video)

Another thought on the subject is the last line of the poem “On His Blindness” by John Milton a favourite poet. John Milton was a writer most famous for Paradise Lost and later in life became blind. He got his daughters to write for him at that point. But he questioned God (he was a Christian) and why God would let this happen. He writes ” [a]nd that one talent which is death to hide / [l]odg’d with me useless . . . (1-2)”. And I kind of feel like him sometimes. At home with my writing and english language skills, how I am serving God and humanity with my talents when I cannot not concentrate long and get a job where I can use these skills or do any volunteer work that uses my talents. But in his poem, Milton comes to an answer about our talents and what God needs of us. He writes in lines ten to fourteen: ”

‘God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts: who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.’ “

www.biography.com
http://www.biography.com

It’s something to think about that God does not require us to be useful as the world does. “They also serve who only stand and wait.” (14) Like servants waiting for a King those who simply wait to serve God, and never seem useful in life, they also serve God, they are useful to Him.

I think that clears my mind a bit and gives you some insight into my life lately. I know not everybody believes in God or my God but I hope you find it enlightening despite that. Or maybe you will find it helpful, I hope you do. Here is the full poem by John Milton:

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodg’d with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide,
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts: who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.”

Something New


Prompt: When was the last time you did something completely new and out of your element? How was it? Will you do it again?

I must admit I’m a pretty boring person now and because of my chronic fatigue need to be in control or trust the person in control of an event at all times. I live a pretty repetitive life and sometimes when I do something extraordinaire it’s not something unusual for others but it is a big step for me.

One thing I can think of is learning not to be so shy because I have to advocate for myself or no one else will. I make a point of looking people in the eye when they pass by and smiling if it’s safe. I use to have this bad habit of ignoring people I felt uncomfortable around but now I realize I was being rude and ignorant. So if a homeless man approached me and talks a little bit downtown I talk to them, sometimes all they need is for someone to talk to them. Pretty much anyone who wants to talk to me I make a point of saying something unless they are a creeper. I think we’re all human and just want to be acknowledged. If someone is talking about me behind my back I smile at them and ask them how there day is going. And if someone wants to know why I have to leave a place early or I don’t feel well I briefly explain about the depression and chronic fatigue. Very few people have given me a funny look or treated me badly because of it. Most people are sympathetic and I have had few experiences where people have thought I was weird. I think mostly, because I appear perfectly normal and act normal. Not all people who have mental illness have these gifts. 

So, not being shy and responding to people normally and explaining my illness like it’s nothing is a big step for me. So is talking to guys my age and making new friends and trying to keep working on some old friendships. 

When Things Get Busy


One way I have found I have had to function since I first became sick was to actually schedule in rest days into my week. Other people don’t understand this often. They think that if I did something the day before then logically, the next day, I should be restored. But that is not how Chronic Fatigue works. CF works so that you go to sleep but are be never mentally or physically restored. And even restoring yourself to the small levels of energy you have after an event out can take an extra day, even two.
But I have learned how to deal with this. Mostly, I just schedule something every second day and only the odd time do I schedule consecutive days with events.

Lately, I find myself having to squeeze a lot into my days and what I’m doing compared to the average person isn’t that much. Most people are pretty accepting of how I need to function. We can usually both find a day that suits us to meet. But lately, I feel like a crazy person trying to schedule in all the friends I missed seeing over Christmas, blog, start reading for my fiction course, read other books, keep my areas in the house clean, go to appointments, have time for self care, exercise, and schedule in A who is here everyday until the first year of his chef school is done in the next two months or so. Plus, I’m trying to find time to do wedding scrapbooks for a couple friends, not wear myself out, and do all the little things that come up. Maybe this isn’t much to you but for me I’m trying to fit everything I can into like 1/3 of a day because that’s what I can handle.

I use to thrive in a busy environment. And if I couldn’t find something to do I would find something such as the gym, walking the dog, or reading while working full time and going to the gym three days a week. But I loved it and I had boundless amounts of energy to do some things at night and on the weekend. But it’s important that I try not to compete with that person because I’m not her anymore. There has got to be some slowing down btw 23 and 30 anyways. But sometimes I wonder if cramming my days so full was healthy? Maybe it got me to where I am today — chronically fatigued. I’ll never know what truly caused my body to react with such fatigue mentally and physically but there are always little things I wonder if I could have done different. If I could have stopped my synapses on my neurones from misfiring. But I could wonder forever.

For now I just do the best I can and take delight over the little things like my new knee high leather boots that came in today finally. They fit perfectly. Or I value that I will see my friend on Thursday. We’re busy so there’s been time in-between but every time were apart when we see each other again it’s the same as it’s always been — giggles and laughter. Plus, I’m excited for a Writing 201 poetry course. Anyone else taking this? Sign up please it will be fun.

So as busy as I am for me, it’s important to take the time to relax and build up strength because that gets me through the day. Not to mention, having a plethora of things to look forward to. There is only 5 months to Las Vegas that is something in itself.

Depression Resulting in Chronic Fatigue


I have had some questions come up lately about the disease I suffer from. It’s an extremely difficult disease for people to understand and I have been trying not to write about it but I think I will do a post as a reminder and introduction to people who do not know me.

1. When did you first become ill and why? I was 23.5 years old when I had a full on psychotic episode. I was hearing things, had little control over my emotions, couldn’t concentrate at work, lost weight, felt weird sensations up my arms and legs, and my thoughts were just completely circling in my head in an unhealthy way. The psychotic episode lasted about a month until I came out of the hospital on an anti psychotic drug called Invega. I stopped hearing voices immediately and have never heard anything like that since. I recovered from my episode which we believe was caused by an inherit susceptibility to depression. What I did not recover from was a chronic fatigue caused by the depression.

2. What is chronic fatigue why do you have it? The most basic definition of chronic fatigue is going to sleep and never waking up with a restored amount of energy. This is both physical and mental. Mentally I can only concentrate about 2-2.5 hours in a day and physically I can go out and do an activity for about 3 hours at a time. Chronic fatigue also effects your ability to exercise as I have little energy to do that especially cardiovascular activity, I can maybe do 5 minutes on a low speed on the elliptical that’s it. Unlike the average person whose energy becomes restored the next day mine often isn’t. This is called malaise and it takes a day sometimes two for me not to feel worn out. Also, I must scatter my activities so that I have a day to rest in-between days I go out. Sometimes I can do two days in a row, mostly one day at a time.

3. What have you tried to deal with your illness? I have tried almost every psychiatric drug you can think of and am allergic or unable to take most because they make me ill. I also have insomnia so I see a sleep psychiatrist as well as a psychiatrist. I have seen a naturopath, a rheumatologist, my family doctor, an occupational therapist, and done mental testing. Nothing seems to work except a small number of psychiatric drugs and sleeping pills that only work to a point.

4. What are your limitations? Working because I cannot concentrate or physically work beyond 2-3 hrs, physical exercise to a large degree, sleeping without medication, living on my own, driving, some financial, and social limitations because I do not work with people or cannot do a lot of social activity, many domestic chores, some cooking, and often being around loud noises.

Thanks for reading!

An Irritable Symptom


I have always tried to be a kind and thoughtful person to my friends and relatives. My family, especially my parents and brothers, could tell you that growing up there were times when I was not nice at all. There were times I tantrumed as a small child and a teenager, times my brothers became blamed for things they hadn’t done, and times I was just grumpy.

When I worked at a University Bookstore for 5 years during and little bit after University, my boss and good friend, use to tell me that mostly I was nice and cheerful but she always knew when to stay away from me and leave me to myself. If I, being thought of as mostly a nice girl was like this, I’m scared to think how other women, particularly young women, I met became when they were in a bad mood. One thing I did find though at least for myself, being in the wrong mood as a teenager and young woman mostly got better, or at least I was generally able to tell when I would act this way and attempt to be nicer on those days.

Unfortunately for me some 8 years later I deal with two impediments to my being a kind person. I have found with constant illness and being stuck at home generally during my best time of day (during the middle of the day) one medication that I take called Dexedrine begins to wear off around 4 pm when everyone comes home during the week. The second impediment is simply that when I am worn out (fatigued as in chronically) and not able to have sum up enough energy to walk past my bed, I’m not a nice person. In both cases I would say I have the symptom of irritability.

It is such that I am very aware of it and much like a child who needs a nap, I’m stand offish, not able to handle drawn out conversation or activity, blunt, and unsociable. But sometimes you have to accept certain medical symptoms because they give better benefits at other times in the day. I don’t take Dexedrine because I enjoy the ‘crash’ I receive from it each day. This is not fun but Dexedrine allows me to have enough concentration during the day that I can do light chores, write, read, and go out for a few hours. Irritability when I come down off the Dexedrine is a price to be paid, a medical symptom. Not to mention the irritability I feel after losing all my energy and becoming fatigued. It is a symptom of my mood illness and the price I must pay to have energy at all on random days. It doesn’t happen every day but on days I haven’t slept well or have overdone it, I’m symptomatically irritable.

I’m not entirely sure why I wanted to share that. Maybe just to tell you that their are many symptoms of any illness and some of them are just as prevalent as any physical symptom such as the symptom of always feeling fatigued even after rest. Maybe, to also make you aware that irritability can be a symptom of any physical or mental illness and both from the flu to mood syndromes.

Also, to tell you that people who act a certain way when they are sick maybe extremely aware of how they are acting, they just don’t in all situations have much control over how they are acting. For instance, I hate when I’m talking to my Mom and I’m just saying ” yep, mmmhmmppp,” just to get the conversation to end because it is such a relief when it does because then I don’t have think and respond because I’m so fatigued. I want to say, ” Oh, that sounds good,” and “tell me more,” at least most of the time. But it doesn’t seem that I’m always able to get past my irritability to listen and be interested in the conversation, despite wanting to be involved.

I think sometimes we want to act a certain way, and be a certain way, but we don’t always have much control over the emotions and illnesses that can take control of our bodies. Then again, many times we do and I didn’t write this to be an excuse merely an example of situation or a symptom I experience.

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