Life lately

It seems like when life is going well/things are going smoothly, I post on here a lot less. I feel like I don’t have much to write about at the moment — in reality, nothing could be further from the truth…but I’m just struggling to find the time to sit down and write quality posts on some fairly in-depth and detailed topics.

So what’s been keeping me so busy?
-Finishing my last semester with a full course load. I’ll begin student teaching in the fall (for an entire year!) and only have one course left to take during that time.
-Exercising. A lot more. I’m finally starting to run again, and making slow but steady progress in that area. I’ve also begun regular strength training – as with most things I get excited about, I’ve been overdoing it a bit and had to take today off to give my body a break. But that’s okay.
-Trying to be more mindful about what I’m eating. While I want to make ED recovery my top priority, I do want/need(?) to lose some weight for health reasons. I feel much more at peace with my body now than I have at any point in the past four years or so. But my doctor would like me to lose a little weight. I’m not so focused on what the scale says…but I want to feel fit/strong/healthy/badass again. I don’t care if I never get down to my lowest weight. I just want to be physically active consistently, because almost nothing makes me feel as good as regular exercise does. I could definitely make a very long post (or series of post) on the challenges of losing weight with a history of disordered eating. So to be continued for this one, I guess.
-Summer job search. While I won’t be broken-hearted if I stay in my current job for the summer, if possible, I would like to make more money and do something different the summer before my internship. I’m currently looking for a full-time nannying position and have a few leads so far. I feel kind of guilty about the possibility of leaving my current program…but ultimately I need to do what’s best for me, my finances, and my future.
-Taking care of myself. Getting enough sleep, taking time to relax, taking time to appreciate the small stuff. Not putting as much pressure on myself to achieve some ridiculous idea of perfection (which doesn’t even exist). My sinus infection seems like it may have returned, so making my own health & stress management a priority is all the more important.

Expect more regular posting sometime in mid-May, but for now I’m guessing my posts will continue to be few and far between! 😛

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Happy 2015

Hello readers (does anyone even read this blog anymore?)! I know I’ve taken a very, very long break from blogging. I’m hoping to slowly but surely begin blogging more in 2015.

So far, this year has been off to a great start for me. I turned 23 ten days ago, and I start grad school in less than a week! Instead of making New Year’s resolutions, I decided to try and complete a Happiness Project this year (a la Gretchen Rubin…here’s a link if you’re interested). This month’s theme is Simplicity, and so far so good. I’ll definitely post more about that at a later date.

Health-wise, I certainly feel better in the first month of 2015 than I did in the last five months of 2014. My headaches are very infrequent. My neck pain comes and goes (seems to be worse when I’m under the weather or not sleeping enough- no surprises there). I did have some digestive issues which required a colonoscopy (spoiler: it’s not as scary as it seems) but all of that checked out okay and is mostly resolved now. I’m finally starting to develop an exercise routine again. Nothing crazy, although I am trying yoga again.

Work is the same as always. I feel closer to my husband than ever, which is wonderful. Right before Christmas, we spent a weekend in New York City. His main Christmas gift to me was tickets to see The Marriage of Figaro at the Metropolitan Opera. It was amazing. We also ended up getting rush tickets to Chicago the next day. So I am starting 2015 completely obsessed with all things opera and musical theater again. And NYC. We’ll hopefully be spending most of our spring break there, too. In case I haven’t mentioned it on the blog before, when we’re done with school and ready to begin teaching, our plan is to move to NYC and teach there.

I guess that’s about it for now! I hope you all have been well and that your 2015 is off to a good start 🙂

Then the sunlight dims

It’s so hard for me to accurately explain to anyone how I’m feeling right now. Physically, I know a headache isn’t far away, so I’m trying to savor the last minutes (or, if I’m lucky, hours) without one. I’m exhausted. I haven’t slept properly since last Thursday. I still have heartburn- my husband has it, too, so it was definitely the result of something we ate for dinner. My eyes are watering. Overall, I just feel incredibly rundown.

But the way I’m feeling mentally/emotionally is worse. I simultaneously feel awful for letting people down and angry because I don’t get much in the way of sympathy/understanding from anyone. I know last night I wrote that I don’t want sympathy, but I’m not entirely sure if that’s true. I just want something more than an “Oh, okay” or “Sorry.” What I’m going through is bigger than those small words.

I really wanted to try and finish a paper by my afternoon class- it’s not technically due today, but it’s something I just want to get done and turn in. I’m having a lot of trouble focusing, and the annoying part is most of the paper is already written- I just need to go back and add some more analysis. I have a million other things to do, but that’s nothing new. I’m so torn between skipping my afternoon classes and meeting, and staying here and toughing it out (I’m on campus now).

I really should stay, as long as I’m feeling mostly okay/headache-free. I might try the whole 20 minutes of working/10 minute break deal. I can’t think of much else that will work right now. I just want to lay down and forget about everything for a while. It’s interesting that I am starting to feel depressed again- it’s not surprising, given everything that’s going on and my history of depression. But what is interesting is that I’m actually on an antidepressant right now- I’m taking it as a preventative medicine for my headaches.

I’ve been listening to the National a lot, which is not a good sign. Although they are probably my favorite band in the entire world, I tend to listen to a good majority of their songs when I’m feeling down. And these lyrics (“Demons” by the National) perfectly capture how I’ve been feeling for the past couple of days:

Do my crying underwater,
I can’t get down any farther.
All my drowning friends can see,
Now there is no running from it.
It’s become the crux of me,
I wish that I could rise above it.

The worried talk to god goes on,
I sincerely tried to love it,
wish that I could rise above it.

Can I stay here?
I can sleep on the floor.
Paint the blood and hang the palms
on the door.
Do not think I’m going places anymore,
Wanna see the sun come up above New York.
Oh, everyday I start so great,
then the sunlight dims.

What I wish people understood

-There is nothing I am doing (or not doing) to cause my migraines
-I cannot just take medicine to make everything better- at least not with my current medications. My preventative clearly isn’t working, and my abortive works about half the time. Alleve helps, but I’m not supposed to take it.
-Every time I make plans to do something, I always make a tentative plan. I should be more explicit about that, but it’s because I can’t predict how I’m going feel on any given day or at any given time.
-I never know how I’m going to feel when I wake up in the morning- and that sets the mood/expectations for the entire day.
-I have received a lot of contradictory advice from my doctors. I’m trying to educate myself so I can form my own opinions.
-I do not have episodic migraines/headaches. I have pain almost every day (12 out of the last 14 days). My pain is chronic, and I wouldn’t use that term lightly.
-I don’t want sympathy. I just want people to know that I understand my body and my pain better than they ever could.

Awake

I tried to go to bed early tonight. I slept for an hour and then was awoken by heartburn. I’ve maybe had heartburn twice in my life before tonight. This heartburn was initially so bad it felt like my throat was closing up.

I took two Tums but they are not helping so far. I’m not sure what the cause of the heartburn is- maybe what we had for dinner. Or maybe the preventative (headache) medicine I take. Speaking of which, I had an awful migraine today after making it through most of the weekend headache free.

I keep trying to tell myself, this is the hand you’ve been dealt. Accept it and learn to deal with it. I just don’t know how much longer I can learn to deal with not feeling at peace in my body. The uncertainty of waking up every morning and having no idea if it’ll be a good day or a bad day- based on how my head feels. The frustration that comes along with doing everything “right” but still getting headaches.

I bounce back and forth between two extreme attitudes. The first is “Fuck this, I can do anything, headaches won’t hold me back.” The second is “I can’t do this anymore. I give up.” On any given day, at any given moment, one of those attitudes will prevail. Right now it’s the latter.

What really isn’t helping is that for the past two nights, our neighbors have been either blasting TV or music way past 11pm. It keeps me awake. I just texted them about it and they haven’t turned it down or responded to my message. I’m so frustrated.

Right now all I want to do is sleep. But I can’t because this heartburn is making it impossible to lie down. And even if I could lie down, the aforementioned noise would keep me awake. So I’m sitting on the couch in my dark living room with my stuffed elephant perched on my lap.

I don’t want to cry or scream or continue to ask the question that has no answer: “Why?” I just want to sleep.

Breaking the rules

I’ve been headache-free for about five hours. I really can’t find the words to express how wonderful it feels- yet at the same time, I feel kind of anxious about when this pain-free period will end.

Against my neurologist’s advice, I took an Alleve today. Just one. It’s the fourth time I’ve taken Alleve in the past 27 days, which isn’t too bad. I know he just doesn’t want me taking it regularly, because it (along with Tylenol, ibuprofen, etc.) can cause rebound headaches. Hopefully I won’t pay for my decision in the morning.

Earlier today, I had pain that I would probably rate as a 7 out of 10 (before taking the Alleve). It was hard for me to do much of anything. I considered not going to a group meeting for a project / my ONE class today, but then decided I needed to just push through the pain. I’m glad I did, because once I was on campus, I started to feel better. Maybe the Diet Coke I drank had something to do with that, too. I’m not really sure.

Since I’ve been home, I’ve made dinner, taken laundry out of the dryer, swept the kitchen, responded to some emails, hung out with Doug, cleaned up from dinner, and worked on a big assignment I have due Monday. Not even that much stuff, but I feel ridiculously productive.

Keeping my fingers crossed for a low pain day tomorrow…but also reminding myself that even if it’s not low pain, I can get through it. I really need the pain to be manageable, though, because I’m working for five hours and then babysitting for 3.5 hours. Actually, 6 hours of work if you count the staff meeting tomorrow morning.

One day at a time…

I’d rather have a cold than a migraine

I definitely think I’m coming down with something– if not, I guess I’m still sleep deprived. After The Walking Dead premiere on Sunday, I could not fall asleep. That probably had something to do with all of the “research” I conducted on the most terrifying haunted houses in the U.S. I have absolutely no interest (anymore) in going to haunted houses, but something about them fascinates me. Anyway, I scared myself so badly I was awake until four in the morning freaking out about even the tiniest noise I couldn’t place. I got a decent amount of sleep last night, but I still feel tired and run down. My throat is kind of sore and my entire body is just…tired.

However, I have been HEADACHE FREE since yesterday morning, which is pretty amazing. I can only hope it continues. I had physical therapy for the second time today, and got to use a foam roller on my back/shoulders/neck. It made a significant difference in the tension and pain I tend to carry in those areas in just 15 minutes. I think I will definitely invest in a longer foam roller (I have a mini one right now) so I can use one every day at home.

I can’t believe the semester is about halfway over. It’s gone by quickly, I suppose, even though sometimes the days seem to drag on and on (like today). One more class, a field trip, and then home- and maybe to an orchestra concert tonight with Doug if I’m feeling up to it. I’m going to try and get some more work done now so I can head to bed early again tonight- hopefully before 10pm.