Well, well, well, look what the cat dragged in!
You don’t actually have to look. It’s me. I’m what the cat dragged in.
Okay, here’s what I don’t understand: when I worked at EQAL, I worked crazy hours and I still managed to keep a daily blog. Nowadays, I have the world’s best job with the world’s most flexible boss and I still can’t manage to eke out a damn “here’s what happened this month” post, so I don’t know what my problem is. (Granted, that blog was just about being a fat kid and the trials of wanting to stuff my face with food 25 hours a day 8 days a week, but still.)
But I figure today is a good a day as any to start back up. After all, this week has been a fresh start in its own way: I had my first colonoscopy in over a decade, finally went 24 hours without wanting to die of hunger and/or gastrointestinal distress, ate a real meal for the first time in a week, AND I scheduled an appointment with my psychiatrist to get off my current meds and find something that wreaks a little less havoc on my body.
So, times are a-changin’ for me. As they have been these past five months. 2013 has been a whirlwind so far. A new job (one could even argue “a dream job”) plus a promotion already, way too many medical issues for me and my family, not to mention the fact that I go to bed at 10pm these days which generally means I have no social life whatsoever (not that I want one, but still). So, if I’ve been off the radar lately, that’s why. These past two months have been especially stressful and I spread myself waaay too thin with making plans and committing to too much. So now it’s time to reel that shit in and give my mind and body some time to recuperate.
One thing I’m not going to reel in? I HAVE to start writing again. It’s good for my brain, it’s good for my sanity, and I feel all pent up because I haven’t been getting things off my chest in a good and productive way. Although, I can’t just blame my writer’s block for my weird pentuppedness. My depression is back with a vengeance, and it’s a vicious cycle. I can’t write, so I get despondent. And because I’m despondent, I can’t write. With that plus my deteriorating health, I just want to pull a Sylvia Plath and make best friends with my oven.
Here’s how I know my depression is the real deal and not just me feeling sorry for myself: other than my health problems, my life is great right now. My friends are amazing and supportive, I got a promotion at work doing things I love with the best boss and coworker ever, Donnie and I are doing really well…and I still feel empty and kind of dead inside. I’m on an antidepressant, but it does nothing for me. I still feel worthless and obsessed with the existential question of “why even bother, what am I but a tiny speck on a tiny rock floating in the middle of space?”
But better out than in, so even though I’m used to hiding away when I get overwhelmed with The Nothing, it’s time to flaunt my emotional muffintop.
Speaking of muffintop: I can’t eat anything. For the past week and a half I’ve been on a no-residue diet, which means I can only eat things that by definition have NO NUTRITIONAL VALUE AT ALL. Cue the constant and exhausting fatigue. The bags under my eyes have bags under their eyes. It’s not a good look for me. Doesn’t help that my weight has ballooned because of this stupid disease: I’ve gained 18 pounds just in the last month alone. None of my clothes fit (cue the YOU CAN’T SIT WITH US! moment), even though all I eat is rice and broth and maybe a banana if I’m feeling really adventurous.
And it’s hard because this is a relapse of an incurable disease that I’ve had for thirteen years and will have the rest of my life. And it’ll only get worse as I get older. Colorectal cancer runs in my family, so there’s that to look forward to. I kind of play it off for laughs, because it is kind of a funny disease. I mean, it’s poop. Poop’s funny, so if I have to deal with sudden and desperate squirts, I’m gonna crack a joke or two (HAHA NUMBER TWO IS POOP AND NICOLE ALMOST POOPED HER PANTS AT THE IRON MAN 3 PREMIERE AND HAD TO GO HOME TEN MINUTES INTO THE MOVIE LULZZZZ<–or something like that). But the truth is that sometimes I get really overwhelmed with the reality of this godforsaken disease. How it’ll affect my future, my family, my children someday. I mean, I haven’t been able to leave the house for almost two weeks. How am I going to manage when I have kids to take care of? What if I don’t always have a boss who’s understanding and flexible with my condition?
And the cruelest twist of fate, the one thing that makes me feel better (walking and hiking and generally being active) is out of the question. Not only do I not have any energy for it, but my joint pain is out of control. Crohn’s is an inflammatory disease, and that means a shit ton (ahem) of swollen knees and fat sausage fingers. I’m bloated up like Violet Beauregarde right now. I can barely bend my legs to sit and stand, let alone hop on the elliptical. I literally sat in an Epsom salt bath last night and cried because I’m just exhausted. The pain, the cramps, the fatigue…it’s overwhelming.
It’s just one thing after another, and I’m drowning in it. I’m gasping for air…like, literally. My therapist has me doing “bellybreathing” exercises to help me quell my anxiety and reduce my stress levels. Okay, gasping is a little dramatic, but it never fails to get weird looks from whomever I’m with when I start hee-hooing like a Lamaze coach.
Truth is, I don’t even want to blog anymore. I don’t feel like there’s a point. Who would care what I have to say when I don’t even care? All I do is babble and wax ridiculous about my life. It’s weird and exhibitionist of me. I’m just sitting here typing away, wearing the virtual face I keep in the jar by the door. WHO IS IT FOOOOOR?
I have all these drafts saved, all these stupid stories and inane anecdotes, but I don’t even want to share them. I don’t even want to post this, but people keep encouraging me to blog and share my feels and let it out, so fine.
Honestly, I do feel a little better today. I feel like I’ve turned the corner on this flareup and I might be on the road to remission again. I’m changing my meds soon, so I may be able to get the Big D under control soon. And, gasp, I’m even going back to work like a normal person instead of tweeting from the bathroom in between uncontrollable GI explosions.
Sorry, that was gross. HAHA POOP FUNNY.
Anyway, back to an earlier point. I have to start writing again. I’ve been reading a lot on my downtime (Neil Gaiman has kept me so much company during excruciating bathroom episodes, I owe him such a debt), and my brain is overflowing with ideas…now I just have to get them down. And the best way to do that? Start writing. So I’m going to try to make it a weekly thing. I know, I’m terrible at sticking to deadlines and extended plans, but I’m really going to try. I’m thinking about doing Fiction Fridays. I’ll post something I’ve written during the week, and you guys help me tear it to shreds and make something glorious out of the ashes of what was. Deal?
I’m in if you’re in.
Anyway, enough about me. The worst part of this period of being incommunicado is that I’ve been a terrible friend, to both my online and IRL people. So if you’ve stuck around this long, bless your heart. Please, get me up to speed on how things are going. Tell me the best news you’ve gotten this year and the scariest nightmare you’ve had.