The Plague of Being Undiagnosed

Hey guys. I come to you at a very weak moment. I am in my bed, curled in a ball, hoping my pain meds kick in soon. Though they have worked so many times before, there is always a part of me that worries “this” will be the time it doesn’t. The worry pops in everytime my pain is so high. Pain in itself is scary; no one likes to go through it. However, when pain is so intense that you can’t focus on anything else and you’re trying to hand on to sanity because it grounds you. Because if your physical body is breaking down and throwing all its best men against you, you at least need your mind to be okay and feel like a human. However, when pain is so intense, it’s hard to keep a sane mind. It’s hard to not fall into a pit of anxiety because you are terrified it won’t end and this will be it. This is how you will die. I can’t say my pain gets to that level all the time, but even the 2-3 times a month it happens is hard to deal with.

In the beginning of this medical nightmare, the pain was every day. The best way I could describe it is first it starts out as a bloating feeling, like someone is blowing a balloon in my stomach, but won’t stop, even at the point of pain. Then, it changes into a complete demonic beast that feels like a Charlie horse in my stomach, that same rolling waves of pain that people usually get in their legs during cramps. It was so scary the first time that I even went to the ER the first time I had it, but guess what? They had no answer. I had blood work and an abdominal CT scan both come back normal. They thought maybe kidney stones, so they gave me some pain meds and told me to drink a lot of water. Turns out it wasn’t that. I then went to a gastroenterologist, and he told me it was all from my weight, but I also did have gastritis. From that moment on I went on a bland diet, only chicken with no seasoning, white rice, oatmeal, and broth for weeks. The one time I tried broccoli, boom the pain was there. It two two months, and I finally felt comfortable enough to try vegetables and seasoning, very small introductions. I didn’t die. Soon my food palette opened wider, while I couldn’t eat terrible like I used to, literally living on fast food and takeout, I had more options than my four item menu.

The pain went away for all of August and I got cocky. I thought, “Hey look, my normal life is back!” I started to go on trips, not vacations I mean like to the grocery store. Everything was okay, and I thought I was getting better until 9/11. My family decided to drive to see the Tribute of Lights of the Twin Towers, a 45 minute drive from our house. About 20 minutes in, I got the pain. I was crying in my passenger seat, yet I didn’t want to spoil the night. However, the pain kept intensifying until I had to say something. I took my pills, but they take an hour to kick in and because I was away from home, I was scared. We ended up having to leave early, only to have the pills take effect on the way home.

The pain appeared a few times since then, and tonight is a night it hit. My parents are convinced I bring it on myself, so tonight they persuade me to wait and see how much pain I can withstand. It resulted in tears and hell. No one understands. Everyone thinks I’m overreacting, I have a weak pain tolerance, or I’m faking it. I wish people understood how terrible it is. I would challenge them to an hour in my body, I wouldn’t wish them a day of it, no one deserves that. I just wish they could spend time in my body and see how difficult it is to do anything.

There is the physical aspect of pain and the mental. Not only do I have to experience the pain, but I have to worry about when I will get it, where I am if I get it, who I am with, do I have my pain pills, will I cry in public, will I be able to handle it, will I have a place to lay down if I have to, will I be able to move myself to get into a car to go home, will I be able to go home? The list goes on and on.

People see me never going on, spending all my time on the couch, not looking for a job, and it’s easy for them to say I’m lazy and milking the situation, but they don’t understand how it is to be me and how much pain I get in. Even if I was able to get a job, imagine if I had the pain at work. My pills take an hour to kick in. When I get the pain, I am rendered to being in a crying ball. I can’t be at a job and do that and I can’t just leave and go home. My parents tell me I have to push through the pain, but I don’t see how it’s possible.

The worst part of this all is how I have no answer. The only reason I have pain pills is that I had to cry, pleading with my primary care doctor to give me something for the pain until I can get an answer. I have no refills, so I have to ration the medicine and ask myself I’d I really need it at times. I’m so afraid I will need it one day and not have it.

Having a diagnosis is tough, but at least you have a path on what to do. Even if the path is scary, long, and painful, there is something there. Being undiagnosed, I am stumbling through a crowded wood blindfolded with no end in sight. I have no idea what I’m doing, and no one can seem to help me. To have friends and family, not only doubt me, but also leave me in this time is so unreal. I feel like I am living a nightmare. I just graduated college. I want to be out in the world, working, finding myself, and instead I’m in bed or my house day after day. For anyone to think I am actively choosing this, my heart is broken. I feel so alone. I want people to understand, but I would never want them to have to go through what I do.

I’m in a Bad Place

This is raw. I really laid it all on the table. I promised you honesty, and here it is. It’s not sugarcoated or funny. It’s real life hitting me so hard that I can barely breathe. Pushing the “Publish” button will be the hardest thing I will do today, but my story needs to be told. I can’t keep this poison contained in me anymore.

Hello. I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a while, I’ve been in a very bad head space. I’ve spent a few nights crying myself to sleep, I’ve spent a few car rides bawling my eyes out, and I’ve spent a lot of time just self-loathing and doubting myself. Why may you ask do I feel this way? Basically, I feel like a huge nothing. Since I got sick, my life’s been falling apart. You see, people are nice when you first get sick, and I assume they can even stick it out for more than 4 months (since being sick has halted my life), if you have a definitive answer to what is wrong. However, when you’re a college graduate with loans to pay, sitting jobless on your parents couch with undiagnosed reasons for pain and every doctor tells you the only thing wrong is that you have to lose weight, friends, family, even parents, no one understands.

I’ve had people leave me high and dry, not care for even a check in. I’ve had people judge me about the choices I’m making on a daily basis. I’ve had people tell me to suck it up and work through the pain. And today, I was informed that my parents are cutting off my cellphone. I get it. I contribute nothing to the household, I’m not entitled to have a cellphone. I can rationally think these things. However, it kind of just broke me.

Don’t my parents understand that I hate being here day after day, seeming like a lowlife moocher? Don’t they get how depressing it is to never leave the house because I’m so worried I’ll get my pain and not be able to cry in public, or God forbid, if I make a scene, how embarrassing that will be? Don’t they think I want to get better? Doesn’t anyone understand that I want to get better and continue to get pushed down further and further with every critical comment?

And now that we’re on the topic, or at least we were in my head (the screwed up, dark place that it is), when the doctors tell me it’s “it’s just my weight,” I have two issues. One, I’ve been this weight a long time. I get it it’s unhealthy. I’m not dumb. I know I need to make changes and I have since this all started. What I don’t get is how this problem can just spring up, and yet nothing can be told to explain it to me. My weight has been the same, while it’s unhealthy, it hasn’t changed. Two, I get in crazy pain at times where I can’t move and I just cry. Losing weight takes time and effort. Isn’t there anything that can be done to help me in the mean time? I’m not pompous enough to say, “Screw you, I like being fat. I’m not changing. Burger King is my life, and no one can take it away from me.” I get I have to lose the weight, but I’m trapped.

I’m trapped in a body that is fighting me. I’m trapped in an environment where everyone around me expects me to just overcome it all. I’m trapped in a mind that continues to tell me how stupid I am, how the pain will never end, and I will be like this forever, a shell of a person, never myself again, always stuck here, miserable.

I don’t know what to do. I want to try new doctors for second opinions, but who knows? They may come back with the same result. Furthermore, should I even be thinking about spending more of my parents’ money? I don’t know.

I know that I wish I could go out, get a job, and not have to worry if my health will prevent me from keeping it. I wish I didn’t have to disappoint my parents and use their money for my things when I am a 23 year old college graduate. Above all, I wish I could be happy. It has been so, so long since I’ve been happy, and I’m worried I might never get there again.

Afraid

First of all, HELLO NEW READERS (aka friends)! WELCOME TO THE MESS THAT IS MY LIFE ❤ I’m trying to figure this blogging thing out, just as I’m figuring out my life. I can’t decide which is more difficult 😉 Thank you all for following my blog; I hope you learn to enjoy it in time as I hope to get better and better!

Now that we have the PR out of the way (I’M KIDDING lol my people tell me I’m really grateful XD Alright, my bad humor will stop for a bit), I wanted to write about how I’m afraid to go for a job. Yeah, friends, health issues aside, I’m scared to even look for a job, much less worry about not getting one! I know, I sound crazy, but let me explain! Since I was a kid, I have ALWAYS been a perfectionist. In elementary school, if my practice sentences went on another line, I would erase the whole sentence and write it again. For some reason, I felt like it needed to be on one line. What’s funny is a lot of times, the things I worry about aren’t really rational. Just as per the course of being me I guess. Anyway, because I’m so obsessed with being great at everything I do (I know I know, me scatterbrained I have no idea WTF I’m doing Holly, I promise you, I’m a complete like control freak when it comes to my professional life like work and school) I put crazy pressure on myself to do things “right” the first time.

Well, you see, when you don’t know where you’re going in life there isn’t a clear “right” and “wrong,” and that TERRIFIES me. How can I do what is right if I don’t have a path?! WHERE IS THE ASSIGNMENT SHEET FOR LIFE?! Literally, I’m so used to following professors’ guidelines to get the best grade possible, and now there is no guidance. It’s just me. With my degree, I thought I’d feel super confident and like know the way, but I don’t.

I’m so so afraid of failure, like extreme, that I’m kinda stuck. . .like what if I pick the wrong job? Yeah, I could quit and try something new, but AHHH I wish I could explain it! It’s like I’m frozen by my own fear of making a mistake. The worst part is I know the only way I can get past this fear is just doing it. Most things aren’t so scary once you do them, but getting to that level just kills me!

Then, my bad self-esteem comes in and I’m like, I’m not even good enough to get a job. I am just one big ol’ mess of anxiety! I know when I do muster up the courage, you all will be there with me. You need to fall to fly, and I need to believe that!

I’m super sorry if I sound like a whiny, complaining, lazy millennial. I’m sorry if I’m just annoying in general. It’s been like two weeks guys, I’m still learning! Thanks for sticking along 🙂 Until next time, keep being you!

I Have a Mental Illness

There, I said it. I am too afraid to tell people in my real life, except for very close friends. However, like I said, we’re friends, so there we go. When I was a sophomore in college, I got diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Today, I had a bad anxiety attack that I couldn’t calm down with distraction or guided breathing, my usual techniques. Instead of hiding my struggle, I decided to share it today.

This was after a long battle of chronic stress and anxiety attacks. After I cried for days on end, woke up in the middle of the night not being able to breathe from anxiety attacks, and having this insane weight of sadness and worry that followed me, I mustered the courage to get help. I went to my school’s counseling services and ended up getting diagnosed and put on medication for it too. I went from having no control to feeling like a person again. This mental battle almost made me dropout of college all together. It was all too much, and I couldn’t handle it.

That made graduating, especially at the top percentage of my class, so satisfying. When my brain was fighting me tooth and nail, but I came out as a victor. I was so proud that I even put “WARR;OR” on my cap. That isn’t a typo, the ; is meant to represent that something was meant to be ended, but kept going, such as when a writer uses a semicolon to connect two sentences. During those times, I’ll admit it, before I got help, I wanted my life to end, but I didn’t. I kept going.

My school ended up cancelling the program, so I haven’t had counseling or medication for the past two years. I could have went through my insurance, but talking to my parents, who provide my insurance, about mental health is tough.

Why does mental health have to have such a stigma? I don’t understand why the same brain that makes physical pain, pain comes from nerves in the brain not the flesh, can be understood, but when the same brain has a lower serotonin level or any other chemical imbalance, it’s too taboo to speak about. Even I am too afraid to talk to my parents or friends about it openly. I shouldn’t be though. If we keep making mental health a hush hush secret to be embarrassed of, proper information and resources that people need will kept in the dark too. The more people who open up, like I am here no matter how scared I am, the more people that will get helped. I have to believe that.

If you are ever going through a rough time, don’t be ashamed, just ask for help. As they say in the movie “Life As We Know It,” “Asking for help doesn’t mean you failed, it just means you’re not in it alone.” A first step to get help is to talk to a loved one or friend. If that’s too much, as opening up about mental health is very difficult, try a texting line.

My favorite service is Crisis Textline. I am not sponsored, I just have used it before and it helped me. According to their website, “Crisis Text Line is free, 24/7 support for those in crisis. Text 741741 from anywhere in the USA to text with a trained Crisis Counselor.” For more information, visit http://www.crisistextline.org/

Hang in there guys. We can all make it through this crazy ride that is life. I hope you have a reason to smile everyday or you get help to get to a point where you can have more good days than bad. I’ll never have a great day everyday, and I’m learning to be okay with that. Until next time, keep on being you!

If I Could Redo It All

Hey guys! Holly here 🙂 I hope life is treating you well, but it’s life so it’s probably not. I’m sorry <\3 If I could make it better, I would. I’m sending you all good vibes though because despite what anyone else says, you deserve to have a good day!

Onto the topic!

People always say, “If I could do it all over, I’d do it all exactly the same.” Not me, if I could go back and redo things, best believe I would! I would definitely spend more time having fun in high school. I was always so obsessed with friends and grades that I didn’t have fun for me. I was too busy worrying about other people or studying. I don’t hate who I was in high school, I never wanted to be the one doing drugs or getting drunk, I just wish I did more. I hope this all makes sense.

High school was the last time you can really have fun with little responsibility, and I never took advantage of it. I never went through a  rebellious stage or did something crazy. I’ve always just been the same. If I could do it over, I would just enjoy it all more. I spent too much time miserably. If only I could know what I know now and do high school over. That would be the best! Ahhhh!

In college, I really came into the person I was meant to be, but I can’t help but mourn the teenager I never really was.

That all being said, college is something I wouldn’t redo. I spent little to no time on friends, never went to a party, or even went on a date. Those five years were so stressful, I just can’t imagine doing it again. I’m proud of my accomplishments, but it was really tough. I understand that if I do high school over, I would have to do college over, but ugggggh. Can’t I just have my fantasy?! Get out of my dreams! Lol

By the way, I decided I’m not gonna force topics so if that means less posts, let it be. I hope it means better posts. If not, we will go back. Remember what I told you guys, we’re all new here, so we need to figure it out together. Thanks for sticking with me guys :)!

Until next time! Keep being you, unless you’re a jerk :)! Then, be nice instead!

Let’s Talk About Jobs

Hello readers! How has your Monday been? Did you have a rough day? Google cute baby animals to help you smile 🙂

Okay, so now that you feel better, let’s talk about work (Muhahaha! Emotional roller coasters FTW). So I was a late to job person because I always put everything into school. I was 19 when I had my first job, as a summer middle school custodian. It was really humbling and made me want to work even harder at school! Then, I went into the work of retail, aka Soul Crushing Slave Labor. My saving grace was when I was a senior in college and got to be a tutor at my school’s Writing Center. I loved it so much. Helping students work on their papers and see them improve was AWESOME! Unfortunately, when I graduated I couldn’t work there anymore as it was a student position. I had a short academic specialist position for 5 weeks, but it was only seasonal.

Since then, I’ve been unemployed. I know what you’re thinking. Holly, what are you? Too good for a job because you have a fancy paper with your name on it? What are you? A mooching, lazy millennial? Believe it or not, it’s not that. I actually was hit with severe anemia and gastritis at the same time and was in the hospital, needed a blood transfusion, and was to every doctor you can imagine. I’ve been getting better slowly, very slowly. I had weeks where I couldn’t leave the house and days where I couldn’t even shower; it was too much. I now have more good days than bad, but it’s better a rough road.

In October, I plan to really job hunt, but I’ve been looking around now. What a struggle! How can jobs expect you to have so much experience? I know they expect internships, but when you worked all through school like I did, there just wasn’t time. I don’t know if I’m looking in the wrong places, but so many jobs want so much experience, but if I can’t get a job in the field, how do I get experience?! It’s a crazy cycle! I’m not sure what I will do. I know I don’t want to go back to retail, but I will if I have to. I just hope my health stays up because retail is surprisingly physical. I want to try to get into office work, but I have never worked in an office, so I don’t know how it will be. I’m going to need go try. I need income and mental sanity, being in the house all the time messes with you. I hope I can get something.

To be honest, I’m afraid to apply for any jobs because I’m afraid I’ll get sick again. I know it’s mostly anxiety, but there is a possibility since these conditions don’t really get better, it’s more managing it. I’m doing the best I can, but I just don’t know. I hope this doesn’t sound too jumbled. My brain feels jumbled. I’m gonna stop here.

Sorry if this got a little sad, I hope you all have a great night! Keep being you!

Sleeping is the Enemy

And apparently so is blogging, read on to find out.

Hello readers! How is your day? If you had a good one, was it from a good night’s sleep? I’m not great at those so I wouldn’t know.

While I do not, I repeat and will probably forever say it, do NOT miss college, I miss having a routine to follow. After not having school or work to keep me on a set schedule and give me reasons to be awake at a certain time, my sleeping schedule has been a mess. I stay up until wee hours of the morning and sleep until 10 am.  I guess it’s a good sign I want structure, maybe I’m not failing as bad at adulthood as I think? (Still lives with parents, has no job, and crumbling student debt, Nope I’m still failing lol) I will save the topic of jobs for its own post because it’s a different beast all its own.

Back to sleep (*Spongebob narrator voice* Three hours later…) ((By the way, if you follow my blog, you must be able to deal with bad jokes, they are just a part of me, I am on like Dad Level 17, despite being an extremely single 23 year old woman with no children lol.)) Basically, I fall asleep during the day because I crash at like the 5 o’clock mark. It’s usually thirty minutes to an hour, but it throws off everything. Pro-Tip: I read somewhere you shouldn’t nap after 4 pm because it messes with your nighttime sleep directly. Ahhh, this topic isn’t working! I wouldn’t read me. I need a change. That’s right, I’m changing topics right in the middle of my typing!

Readers, you and I have to have a talk. I apologize for how often I go off on tangents or don’t make sense. I babble on for a while because I still don’t have a direction for this blog. I’m basically just going off what my little brain comes up with day by day. I want it to come off as natural feedback is a recent college graduate with no direction in life, but it might just seem sporadic and annoying. I’ll try to work on that. I want us to be friends here. I want people to read my words, hell, that’s the whole reason I majored in Writing. All I can say is hey, I’m new to the blogging thing, away from the assignments I was given in the classroom.

I’m in the process of making the difficult transition from the classroom to the real world and it’s chaotic and insane, but I’m still happy you’re taking it with me readers. Please hang in there; we will make it through together. If you won’t give up on me, I won’t give up on you.

Remember to keep on being you, unless you’re a jerk. Until next time 🙂