I had to take a break.

cT copy 2.png

Anyone living with depression and anxiety knows that they can play with you, your motivation, your mind, in tricky ways.

Brain: No. Don't do that thing you feel like it's important to do. It will be fine. The world won't stop spinning.

Also brain: You should feel horrible about not doing that thing! Now everyone is going to be disappointed in you and they'll never want to read your blog again!

The dichotomy of the Upper Limit Problem and Imposter Syndrome doesn't help, either.

Brain: Yahoo! You just met this awesome goal that you've been pursuing for months! Well done, you! And you thought it couldn't be done. Well, look at you now. You're ready to tackle the next one.

Also Brain: It's obvious that you only got lucky with this one, don't even think about trying for the next goal. Fear. Fear everywhere. Everything is fear. Run! Hide!

So, two weeks ago, I was kind of dealing with all of that dumb shit. And I told myself that I'd miss one week of blogging and it would totally be ok because, after all, I was extra exhausted from the PMS and the hardcore workouts and sometimes I just need to sleep. A lot.

Last Monday I got up and felt ready to conquer the world after giving myself three full days in a row of rest and recuperation. I really did have one Hell of a menstrual cycle and it kicked my ass. And I really did bust my ass in workouts that prior week. But this was a new week!

So, I went into my bedroom and I changed into some being-seen-in-public attire, and put my hair in a ponytail.

At least I tried to.

While my hands were up bundling my hair into a ponytail to prepare for heading to the pool for water aerobics, my entire mid-and-upper back went into spasm.

I felt it happening and knew I was fucked but I tried to hold my breath and not move even a little bit for a moment just to see if I could trick my body into not getting stuck that way.

To approximately no one's surprise... that didn't work.

I was laid out the entire week. I couldn't sit up, couldn't extend my arms far enough to reach the keyboard to type on my laptop... I couldn't even look down. And I have no idea why.

But I bet I now what exacerbated it...

A story about last week.

So, last week while I was laid up on the couch and unable to do any of my routine or workouts, I got a really infuriating letter.

It was from a group of jerkoffs that have never met me, never seen me, and made a whole lot of judgments about my physical and mental medical conditions.

It was from UNUM, the private insurance company with which I had a Long Term Disability policy through my last employer.

They held against me my social media, my blog, my book, and my skin care business.

"If she can do all of these things, she can work her job." 

"If she doesn't take narcotic pain medication, the pain must not be that bad."

Those fuckers.

For a brief moment, I let them get into my head. "Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I shouldn't have done any of these things or talked about them publicly."

"Did I do something wrong? I thought I was doing a lot of things right! I'm trying so hard!"

My anxiety shot through the roof and I started questioning every.single.thing. about my life.

Then I caught myself, and was like,

"What in the actual fuck am I saying?! THEY are the ones who should be questioning their lives!

How the Hell do these bastards sleep at night?!"

Talking to my lawyer and friend, Guy, a few days later helped a lot too. Then my psychiatrist gave me a pep talk. The bottom line is, I'm NOT doing anything wrong by trying to create purpose and meaning for my life in spite of the horrendous pain and physical limitations I'm currently navigating within.

I'm ALLOWED to live my life and find ways to keep the depression and anxiety at bay. I'm NOT supposed to just lay around and wallow in self-pity and bankrupt myself by bringing in zero income while I sit around and wait for someone to send me money -- because guess what? It's been 13 months since I've been unable to work outside the home and these assholes STILL haven't paid out any of my benefits. I'm supposed to do what, then? Just grow money on my magic money tree? Make groceries fall from the sky?

And their judgments on my decision not to take narcotics doesn't change what I KNOW to be true, which is that my pain was often so mind-bendingly horrible that I was wishing for death for months.

I chose not to take narcotics, and continue to make that choice, because I don't want to create additional problems for myself and become a drug addict. I don't want to lose myself and my personality to drugs.

So, fuck them. Now, we sue.

And I'm still exactly the same person I was before I got that letter. Because no one else gets to tell me who I am. No one else gets to tell me how to live my life. You want to stalk my social media to use it against me? Stalk this, assholes.

I am the hero of my own story and so are you. No one else gets to write that for us or tell us who we are. Fuck them. Do you.

Maybe it's Piriformis Syndrome, maybe it's not. Ugh.

Yesterday I went to see a hip specialist at Vanderbilt in Nashville. They think I have a piriformis component but that it’s not piriformis syndrome bc the pain is going all the way down to my toes.

They did several X-ray images of my hip and said the good news is that it’s in super great shape with no arthritis and appropriate spacing.

He was moving the hip around and remarked on the great movement and he also said I’m literally doing all of the right things and being a great advocate for myself. I told him I’m trying super hard! He was so sweet and impressed about my weight loss considering I was still couch bound in March. It was really nice to have another doctor validate my feelings and symptoms.

He thinks I need to go back to a spine specialist, maybe at Vanderbilt, to make sure they’re not blowing off my pain, to see what’s going on down there. Since all the specialists in Maury County we saw treated me so poorly, I’m sticking to Vanderbilt.

He doesn’t feel like there’s a hip/piriformis surgery that will solve my problems or be worth it. He also said he thinks I’ve got a neurology component in all of this and many things happening at once, so the jerk doctors don’t know what to do, and instead of saying that, they blow me off.

I will go back to Dr. Unicorn on August 8 (my birthday, woohoo! I like tattoos, unicorns, robots, and stars) and discuss this and ask for referrals to spine/neuro specialists.

Also, fuck UNUM  😂  I  just want to say that as much as possible because burning hatred 😬