And all that leads to not such great thinking. I give talks and I'm very open about my life, and a lot of times I get the response "you're so brave" or "you handle everything so well", or something along those lines. I would never say anything in that kind of situation, but those comments make me laugh. 95% of the time, I am great with the lot I've been dealt and I'm pretty upbeat about everything, especially when I think about Owen and what my new future looks like. But once in a while, the chronic pain and chronic exhaustion and the ticcing gets to me. The pain is too much to deal with without medication (motrin - I don't touch anything stronger, unless we're talking about migraines) and excessive ice. The exhaustion makes it hard to go do anything except hang out in my apartment. And the ticcing becomes a bigger nuisance than normal. And I get frustrated. Upset and angry because "why can't my brain just work the way it's supposed to". And I throw tantrums; not throw-myself-on-the-ground-tantrums, but throw things, scream and stomp my feet tantrums. I cry.
These "pity-parties" can last a little while, a week or so, and then I get my head screwed back on straight and I figure it out, and I move on. I couldn't tell you the last time I got in one of these funks, but I can tell you that I'm in one now.
And it's because of something I haven't talked about on this blog. I started another blog a little while ago, but it's a "secret" blog because I haven't been promoting it (if you can find it, you can read it). I'm sure I'll promote it once I'm not in my "funk" anymore, but right now I want it to stay just mine. It's about my fight with my weight. Which is something I'm not good talking about. It makes me angry and defensive. It makes me want to cry and stomp my feet. For six years they [the doctors] had me on heavy-duty prescription pills. Anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, anti-hypertensives, migraine medications, and anti-convulsants. For six years I was on at least one medication that caused weight gain, sometimes more than one. And these medications do permanent damage, mentally and physically.
Mentally, because each time I would resolve to eat healthy and work out and lose weight, it wouldn't matter. I could do whatever I wanted to and the most that would happen would be that I would gain muscle mass and tone up. I never lost weight. Not in six years. When that happens, and you're coping with school and work and a disability and it doesn't matter what you eat (I realize it does - but this is the thought process) because you are going to stay heavy no matter what, you eat what is easy. Which isn't always healthy. And you stop working out because it saves time not to. And you pick up bad habits that are hard to change when it could matter that you're working out and eating healthy.
Physically, because your metabolism isn't a yo-yo. It doesn't snap back as soon as you get off the medications. It stays suppressed (or whatever you call it when your metabolism doesn't do what it should). And then you take more pills, which screw up your metabolism more. And then you go on starvation-diets (less than 1200 calories a day) for a while which trick your body into thinking you're starving, so it permanently messes up your metabolism. And even when you're eating an appropriate amount and off all the pills, it doesn't matter to your metabolism because it's been permanently affected.
And as much as I try to stay away from the "it's not fair" thoughts, this is where I falter. Because it isn't fair. They put me on pills to try and stop the Tourette's. And it didn't work. No pill I took affected my tics at all. Zip. Zulch. Zero. But the pills caused permanent damage to my body and my thoughts surrounding my weight. (Now, let's be truthful for a second - I in no way shape or form had a healthy body image before all this, but I wasn't overweight before the meds.) And it's not fair. That I now have to fight for my body and my health, when had the doctors left well enough alone, this wouldn't even have to be a topic of conversation. And I'm beyond angry that they put me on migraine medication that they said was the only option that caused weight gain and now I learn that there was a side-effect free homeopathic remedy all along that, would you believe it, works!
I know that there was no way of knowing that none of those medications would work, but still. In my pity-party world, it's not fair.
A long time ago I stopped saying "it's not fair" in regards to my Tourette's. I'd rather have Tourette's than be an asshole, and while I think there are a lot of (read: almost all other) disabilities that are more readily acceptable in public, I am thankful I can walk and see and teach and do all the things I can do that another disability might have taken away from me. But this weight thing, I don't know if I will ever stop thinking it wasn't fair. Even after I've lost the weight - which I will, because I can do whatever I set my mind to - I will still be angry about the process, the years I've lost of horse-back riding and feeling fat for so many years. I have over 100 pounds to lose to reach a "healthy" weight (based on BMI calculations) - though I'd be over the moon to lose 100 pounds, anything else would be ... icing on the cake. :)
I have a long way to go. And I will be talking with my doctor (ugh) when I have my physical over winter break about suggestions and options for helping, but I'm not hopeful that they'll suggest anything over eating healthy and exercising. I know I need to change the way I think about this, but it can't happen overnight. It's a process, one which I'm only beginning now, and one which will take a long time to accomplish.