Everywhere I turn around, something reminds me of my weight. Getting to and from work involves a pass by a vending machine full of junk food that I “shouldn’t” be eating. I stopped carrying cash so I couldn’t get things out of it but sometimes I find a buck and so there it goes, bag of chips.
I wish I’d never heard that number from the neurologist’s office two weeks ago.
Now the ads being served up at me are diet ads. “Lose weight FAST!” “Drop inches NOW!” And every time I see one, there’s a voice in my head that says “You know, you should look, I mean you wouldn’t be seeing it if you don’t need it.” And then I get back into the cycle of looking at the stove and fridge and wondering if I’m allowed to eat, looking at my calories in chart obsessively.
I KNOW it’s not normal and I can’t stop it.
I just wish I knew what to do about it.
For the past few days—probably because it’s been close to the anniversary of the dumpage—my ex has been on my mind.
Don’t worry, I’m OK, nothing drastic is about to happen nor is it in any way shape or form risky. What’s been on my mind are the things about me that probably would have gotten me out of the “relationship” even without the circumstances that there were.
Until now I have refrained from commenting on the state of American politics. It isn’t because I don’t have a position (I do).
It’s because I’m completely terrified of where it’s going.
The nation managed to elect a wholly inexperienced, morally and multiply financially self-proclaimed billionaire to the highest office in the land, a man who bragged on national television about the enormity of his sexual member and bragged (on a hot mic) about how his fame and fortune lets him do anything that he wants to women, up to “grab[ing] them by the pussy” if the notion struck him. There have been incidents of this happening around the nation now, with the only excuse given that “this is Trump’s America now, we can do that.”
As someone who is equipped at present with the aforementioned anatomy, that’s terrifying.
Further, all of his picks for cabinet positions all are unqualified for the positions he’s put them in—it’s like he’s playing a matching game and the only matching he’s doing is to match the least qualified to the office position. But that’s not even the scariest thing about it. There’s a pattern and until recently, it went unnoticed.
Enter Jeff Sessions, a Dominionist Christian who doesn’t believe in the separation of church and state and wants to bring the church’s system into every decision that is brought down. Suddenly, everything is on the table. The governnent is in the bedrooms again, the operating room, the OB-GYN clinic…and this man is even worse than the usual of this sort because he’s been on the side of racists before, having been caught saying he was ok with the KKK until he found out they smoked weed. I don’t care if he said it as a joke…that isn’t a joke that you make in today’s America, when half of America is looking over its shoulder for someone wanting them dead for the color of their skin or the god they pray to.
The next four years will be truly terrifying for me and other People of Color, gender minorities, the disabled, the infirm—and those like me who lie on the border of all of these axes.
All we can do is raise our voices and march, give this new government the “hell no” it needs to hear while we still can.
Today, I read an article on the pain of fibromyalgia that I could have written myself. I knew the back pains, the jaw pains. I knew the truly bizarre things the muscles do. I knew the feeling of having had my body’s muscles go through a meat grinder, get salted, and then shoved back in as if they were supposed to be useful again.
I recognized the tales of budgeting against the next day if a work day was horrid. I saw myself in the stories of struggling to get a position that wasn’t approximately “wail like hit dog.”
I muttered, “This is a thing” on reading about fatigue attacks. It was both validation and horror.
I saw way too much of me in the stories about the head fog. I was actually coming out one when I began this entry. What did I fog on, you ask? WHERE I WAS. I didn’t know where I was.
Reading about budgeting leisure time, the feeling that friends may think one is dodging them, really hit. But how do you socialize when you cannot even roll over without making a noise that makes a cat’s mothering instincts go off? (It’s really sad when you know which meow is the “are you ok” meow for more than one cat…)
I tried to find the article again and couldn’t. I’m putting it off to fog, but I have concerns about it. I know it existed—there was an illustration that very vividly described my pain in it that stuck with me. I was going to use the article to show my doctor we need to rethink my pain treatment, that this most likely the Big F—Fibromyalgia. But he’s not the best listener, and the only response I got from my message was a (probably needed) doubling of a medicine usually prescribed for it. But he stops short of a diagnosis.
Right now I just want to rest. I’m not even interested in food. Only rest.
This is my Confession 2: Comforts.
There are things I will compromise on, but in the winter there is one thing I will not compromise on, and that is the chance to have at least one nog on the rocks.
No rum. There is only one kind of rum I liked and all I can remember is that it was kind of weak.
I’m not supposed to be consuming alcoholic things right now, anyway.
This is my brand. I’m going to enjoy it while I can.
A nog on the rocks a night. A nice thing I can have at night… With a digestive aid of course. This isn’t lactose free.
I don’t know what this brain symbol means but boy howdy is this setting doing wonders on my pain.
Today, I tried doing research on TENS machines and chronic pain. I could barely find anything newer than ten years ago, and a lot of it was speculation. It’s like they haven’t been doing any research at all. Maybe they haven’t.
I can believe that.
But what I know is that during physical therapy for my crap knee, I was connected to one of those giant versions of these for a different purpose — trying to get the muscles to get active and stop this silly wasting nonsense they’ve developed (they have not; I’m on a specific diet to help that now). Instead I got intense pain relief. So I got my own secondhand device. And now, this one.
I’ve heard things like “the jury is still out,” or “we don’t know,” and even “that’s dangerous outside of the hospital.” It was actually the hospital that recommended this, when they saw this worked better than the NSAID that I was on a stomach-melting dose of.
Today, instead of a recalcitrant leg, I’ve got electrodes glued to my face, fighting a cluster headache. It comes back on a schedule, but this keeps it back from rendering me nonfunctional — ridiculous though I may look. The machine is small but mighty. I would love to see more science, because I like knowing how cool things like this work.
Right now though, I gotta reset my timer and intensity. I like not having a headache.
I’m self taught.
Yet, I have the audacity to call myself a photographer.
I started from the bottom. Mom’s old film camera and B&W film and things in the backyard. When things went digital I experimented with the things she taught me using an entry level digital camera. It was like going back to class—which is a funny story. The primer she gave me over the years was so thorough that I was summarily booted from one intro class. I already knew the material inside and out. Unfortunately, the class I needed was two hundred dollars above my pay grade.
So I turned to books, articles, and the good old street beat. From instant Polaroid, to Kodak point and shoot, to now, I’ve gone from simply trying to catch what is in front of me to actively trying to blur the line between record and art.
But it didn’t happen overnight. I had to start somewhere.