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Archive for October, 2009

New Meds…

Depression_by_rocketmba

After a month off Prozac, the depression came back.  Prozac started to cause more problems than it was worth… like wanting to sleep constantly, while that sleep became lighter and lighter so that I couldn’t sleep if someone was breathing in the next room. 

The doc put me on Zoloft… my fifth med in five years.  I wish I could find something that I could stick with… ya know… that didn’t cause side-effects horrible enough that I’d actually WANT to try another med and go through the whole med change process that isn’t fun or pretty.  It’s not like changing from asprin to ibuprophen.  There is usually withdrawal for weeks and then weeks of sickness getting on a new med. 

I see so often these articles about how effective medication is for depression.  It makes me feel like a freak.  Sure, meds are effective… for a few months, before the really horrible side-effects start and I get so burned out I get off all meds until the depression is bad enough that I try meds again and the cycle continues…  Will I ever find a med that I can tolerate for more than six months????  This rollercoaster sucks. 

Many anti-depressants give me horrible throat cramps that can get so bad that it travels over my face so that my whole head feels like it’s in a vice.  I had some symptoms of that last night.  Let’s see how long I tolerate the face vice this time before no longer being able to force myself to swallow the pills.  Or, maybe I’ll be lucky and this med will have some staying power in my life… but my gut feeling is that I’m headed right into face vice land.  Sadly, my gut is usually right about these things. 

This time my depression manifested as a short-fuse and lots of irritability.  Normally my depression manifests as lots of crying and sadness, but I think the ritalin I take for my ADHD changed things up a bit.  It’s nice to know that my bitchiness is prolly on its way out the door, but I’m really really really really really hoping the side-effects will be tolerable this time…

My pdoc also wants me checked for anemia.  I’ve had it before and I didn’t realize how I have almost every single symptom of anemia, because it crept up so slowly on me this time… well, that is, if I really am anemic again.  It wouldn’t surprise me if I am.  I’m vegetarian and over the last few years I completely forgot to make sure I get enough iron.  Iron rich foods haven’t had much of a place in my diet of late.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to get the blood test for anemia soon (no insurance, so I’ll be calling around for prices) and get an answer.  Wish me luck.  I find myself actually hoping for anemia, because it would explain a lot and the last time I was treated for it, it really helped. 

Off to fold laundry…

–AngryGrayRainbows

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Open Threadiness 10.28.09

Happy_Halloween_by_Sukapon_ta

Whooo hooooo!  Open thread! 

R.I.P. our old XBox360.  It was a 12GB machine and just couldn’t take all our gaming, so it imploded or something.  Long live our new 120 GB Xbox360!  Maybe now I can play Fable II without hearing the machine grind as it struggles to process all the scenery…

–AngryGrayRainbows

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What_a_Work_Out_by_SkyShell

Okay.   I said it. 

The important bit isn’t even that this is posted on a blog that any one can read.  The important bit to me is that I finally accepted it myself – I hate exercise.  I fucking hate it.  And… that’s okay. 

I’ve always hated exercise.  Even when I was a compulsive over-exerciser, I hated exercise.  I was simply obsessed enough to thinness and trying  not to be fat that I could force myself to exercise anyway. 

When the topic of exercise has come up nowadays, I tend to think first that yeah I do hate exercise… but then I add this big “BUT.”  BUT, it’s prolly cuz I had years of eating disorders that included lots of overexercise on top of all the food restriction that made my skin turn gray and made my hair fall out.  That BUT is just denying the real truth that I have been ashamed of my whole life.  It’s just a cover to avoid the judgement of others.  I hate exercise. 

That’s right.  The fattie hates exercise.  And, I’m not going to be ashamed of it anymore.  It’s time to accept myself and be proud of myself as is. 

At the same time, I realize that exercise benefits me… non-compulsive exercise, of course.  I wonder if my denial of exercise hatred has been part of my difficulty in getting up and getting moving.  I wonder if at long last accepting my true feelings about exercise could actually help me bring more activity into my life.  Ironic.  😉  I dunno about you, but my brain tends to work in ironic ways just like this one.  Even accepting very negative feelings about something can help me to face it and bring all sorts of good things into my life that denial of the negative feelings kept me from. 

What is interesting is that once I allowed myself to own that I really hate exercise – without qualifiers… that suddenly exercise didn’t feel like such a big deal.  I could picture myself being active without clenching up inside.  It felt like a weight being taken off my shoulders.  We shall see…

Then I considered other things that I hate, but I don’t want to admit that I hate.  When I’m tired at work, I hate having to be nice to people.  I’d rather just yell at them to GO AWAY.  I hate walking the cats sometimes.  I hate cooking.  Sometimes I hate doing housework.  I hate picking up take-out.  And, more irony ensues.  The more I accept the way I really am, the less intimidated I feel by imagining doing the things I don’t want to do…. the less completely blocked I feel about actually doing these things.  Maybe it’s human nature to be so contrary or maybe it’s just my nature…

Owning one’s feelings doesn’t mean that one has to be owned by them.  Even my acceptance of these things doesn’t mean that I will start yelling at customers and sit on the couch for the rest of my life.  Right now I’m hopeful of what letting go of all this denial might mean for me.  At the same time, I am not one that thinks people MUST exercise to be morally correct or worthy of respect or anything.  We’re all human beings here and I don’t believe in the “good fattie” (that exercises and eats veggies) and the “bat fattie” (that doesn’t exercise and eats lots of candy) dichotomy. 

It’s time to love myself inside and out – even my hate of exercise. 

Thoughts?  Secrety hate exercise anyone?  😉

–AngryGrayRainbows

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mr o

Apparently a feral colony prolly isn’t going to happen.  What (I’m told) does work is finding a feral cat a spot as a barn cat, so now that’s what I’m trying for. 

So, I’m reaching out to my blog friends.  I am in the Chicago area and we would be willing to drive him a couple of states in whatever direction to get him to a good home.  If any of ya’all know someone who has room for a feral at their country home or farm, please contact AngryGrayRainbows@gmail.com.  Friends in the MidWestern states who live in the country – if you can ask your friends and neighbords if they have room for a barn cat that has been neutered and is up to date on all vaccinations, please ask around for the sake of Mr. Orange.  We would alsp be willing to help pay for his food long-term, if desired. 

–AngryGrayRainbows

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juxtaposedadsThese ads appeared in my Sunday newspaper.

Right next to each other.

I don’t know how the “lipo” center felt about being right next to the dance studio ad — maybe the person who determined the ad placement thought that it was a similar audience interested in both of these services.

But the contrast. Wow.

I’m thinking “no general anesthesia, immediate results, short recovery time” all also apply to the “Have Fun. Be Active.” motto of Debbie’s Dance Etc. “Have Fun. Be Active.” really is such a HAES statement. No “consult with Board Certified Surgeon” necessary.

The Debbie’s Dance ad worked. I had heard of the studio, and there are a surprisingly large number of dance studio in my relatively small tri-city area. In fact, the women I heard of the studio from are gorgeously not slender.* I’ve been wondering where I would like SuperHeroPrincess to take classes for dance (if that’s even something she would like — like me, free expression seems to be more her thing. But it’s nice to have a foundation). And Debbie’s Dance — your ad worked. You had me at “Have Fun.”

Sometimes, I feel like I’m just on top of this wave that is sweeping through most people’s consciousness about weight and fatness and the ridiculousness of the dominant paradigm, not only about weight but about health and what we can and can’t control.

Which reminds me of this piece of brilliance from Laura McKibbin, LICSW, creator (with input from with the amazing Jon Robison, PhD, MS): The Food for Thought Pyramid**. This satirical work highlights the overemphasis on “healthy eating and exercise as the primary determinants of good health” when in reality, genetics, luck and socioeconomic factors play a much larger role. Other determinants of health, such as relationships, social supports, a sense of meaning in life, and our ability to bounce back from hard circumstances play a huge role, in comparison to diet and exercise. And weight loss advice that tells us to ditch family and friends with “bad eating habits” or prioritize eating healthy or exercising over social interactions undermine and erode those things that have a much deeper impact on health. Sure, it’s nice to go walking and talking with friends. And the dance practice I do satisfies my needs for physical activity, but more importantly, expression, creativity, belonging, and self-exploration. But the “friends” part is the more important part, for me and for most (but not all) people.

Speaking of dance, and juxtapositions, I was at my practice on Tuesday, and our regular instructor/leader/guide/DJ (who I love) was expectedly out, and his sub was someone I also love but who I hadn’t had as an instructor/leader/guide/DJ before. And she did something amazing. She had us explore the concept of our “shadow side” and what that looks like, moves like, feels like. For some reason, this particular evening, my defenses dropped and I really allowed myself to explore that shadow side.

Interestingly, I found myself thinking of my shadow as bigger, fatter, heavier, hungrier, weaker, grouchy-er. It was weak where I feel the need to be strong these days, full where I feel the need to be empty these days, nice where I feel the need to be tough these days. It was just great to have a space to explore and expose all that I haven’t been able to allow myself to be. It felt so freeing to be able to feel bigger — to be inhabiting more rather than less space. There was something deeply integrating about that. Like it’s okay to actually be a bit smaller because I can visit feeling bigger anytime I like. I can carry all of that internally — accessing it when I need to — not having to feel guilty about my size, larger or smaller, as some sort of rejection of what I’ve been in the past. I have this worry that it will come across to those reading as a sort of “psychic fat suit” — and I didn’t experience it that way — having actually been quite a bit bigger (and smaller) as an adult than I am right now, this felt like an embrace more than a parody.

Because of a conversation I had been having right before, I went into dance practice with a thought about how loving myself is really important role modeling for SuperHeroPrincess. And exploring the idea of feeling loved, valued, appreciated from within, rather than from outside. And when this instrumental blues song came on (this was before the “shadow work”) I thought of slow dancing with myself as a partner, the way I always wanted to be danced with. I heard me saying to myself all kinds of good things — what a sensual dancer I am, how great it feels to dance with me, how adorable I am, how nice it feels to lean up against me, what beautiful eyes I have, how amazing I am overall — that’s what I remember. But it didn’t feel hokey, or silly, it felt authentic and true. And not like I was imagining someone else saying these things to me the way I did when I was younger, before I had the experience of someone actually saying those sorts of things, whether as a come-on or not. When I juxtapose how it felt to hear those things coming from me, next to the kinds of things I more frequently hear from myself about how unacceptable I must be to others, what I notice is the locus. The center. And with me at the center — how I feel about myself, to myself, the idea of unacceptability drops away. Or, what I find unacceptable shifts, and it’s not acceptable to carry an outdated, illogical, inaccurate vision of myself as some sort of protection.

Now, I know that old perception doesn’t just drop away. But the veneer has slipped just enough to allow a more accurate perception, at least some of the time. I think continuing to live with/in what I can see beneath the veneer and allow it to come to the forefront, that’s the trick.

Thanks for reading about this journey. It’s nice to feel it’s not happening in a vacuum.

Wishing you slipped veneers and joyously enlightening juxtapositions,

WRT2

* I am still not comfortable calling women who haven’t self-identified as fat, “fat.”

** I’m ordering one of the pyramid posters soon, I swear. To put up in my cube at work (as opposed to my cube at home?).

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Stray Cat News…

mr o

Mr. Orange (as posted about here) has finally been captured.  Sheesh he has been one hard character to catch! 

I suspect, given his behavior since we caught him (a few minutes ago) that he’s far too feral to go into anyone’s home.  Sigh.  However, I know that there are feral cat colonies in the Chicago area and maybe I can get him adopted into one of those.  At least if he lived in a feral colony, I know he would be getting regular food and emergency care.  So, tomorrow I will be calling around trying to get Mr. Orange into a feral colony.  I know a couple who takes care of a feral colony right by their home and maybe they’d take Mr. Orange if hubby and I committed to helping them pay for food for the colony.  It’s worth trying for anyway…  If they can’t take him, maybe they’ll know someone with a feral colony who can take Mr. O in.  The Chicago winter is a crappy place for a kitty to be out on the streets all by himself. 

Wish us luck in finding Mr. Orange a safe place to call home soon. 

–AngryGrayRainbows

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Halloween_wp_by_TwistEd_Ky0

Open threadiness activate!  😀

Ramblings from me…

I’ve prolly had swine flu, but it also seems that I am at least mostly over it now.  I think it was the actual swine flu, because I had the normal flu vaccination and my symptoms were more in line with the swine variety.  It’s been tons of fun.  My stomach has been a mess.  I’ve been feverish.  I’ve been ridiculously easily tired out to the point of dizziness or nausea.  I’m scheduled to work tomorrow, so hopefully I’ll be ready and able to take it on… wish me luck!

The leaves are turning where I live and OMG… gorgeous! 

Back to trying to wake up…

–AngryGrayRainbows

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