Vacations: A Harsh Reality of Chronic Illness

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Over the weekend my husband and I took a short vacation to Louisville, KY to celebrate our 15th anniversary and spend some quality time together. I did have a good time, but I must admit that I dread and sometimes even regret vacations just as much as I look forward to them.

Why? Simple. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Vacationing when you have CFS sucks. Big time. Planning the vacation wears you out. Packing wears you out. The travel wears you out. Even though I don’t do the driving, I am still exhausted by the time we even get to our destination. Often, as soon as we get to our hotel I immediately have to lay down for at least a couple hours to recuperate, even if it is only a 2 or 3 hour drive as this one was.

The main excursion we planned was to the Louisville zoo. We had never been there before and both my husband and I love animals. Luckily, it wasn’t a huge zoo, but by the time we had toured about half of it, I was in really poor shape. I had to sit on each bench we came by and rest. I even had to make do with the floor a few times and just collapsed. I was nauseated, felt like passing out, developed a migraine-like headache, and felt extremely overheated, even though it wasn’t that hot out and I stayed hydrated. Heck, most of the buildings were even air conditioned. THIS is what living with CFS is like.

I didn’t get to see much of the rest of the zoo. I was too busy looking for places to rest and recuperate for the trek back to the car. My legs ached so badly and felt so weak that I feared they would give out on me multiple times. My entire body felt like I had been run over or slammed into by something big and heavy. Somehow I did make it back to the car (after resting many, many times on the way there), and then we went directly to our hotel so I could recuperate for the rest of the day. I didn’t even have the stamina to go out for dinner a few hours later, so we ate at the hotel.

I went to bed early, hoping I would feel better in the morning, which didn’t really happen. The next day we visited a cool indie bookstore I had wanted to go to, but I was almost too tired to even enjoy that. We went and found a place by the Ohio River to sit and watch barges pass by, which was peaceful and relaxing. During the drive times to our locations, I curled up with a pillow and laid my seat back to doze.

By the time we headed back for home, I was too exhausted to care about much of anything. When we arrived home, I went almost straight to bed, even though it was only 5pm. The next day (Labor Day), my hip and back were so sore (with a pinched nerve thrown in), that I spent most of the day laying in bed watching a Lake Placid marathon on the Syfy Channel. Any form of movement was excruciating.

All of this makes me wonder if vacations are really worth the trouble. It also makes me wonder if maybe sometime soon I will need to get a motorized chair to even survive simple outings like this. I hate to give in and do that, but my worsening symptoms make it an almost certain possibility eventually.

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Life Update: Weekend Trip, Nerdy Interests, Depression Lifting

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This weekend I am going out of town with my husband to celebrate our 15th anniversary, but I wanted to write a short post first just to let you all know how I’m doing. Fortunately, my depression has let up a little bit, and I think having this weekend to look forward to has helped. Everyone just needs to get away now and then and do something different.

I have been highly into toy collecting and comic books again lately, which I’m sure you have noticed if you follow my Instagram or watch my nerdy YouTube channel. Whenever I am able to lose myself in special interests like these, it also greatly helps my depression and anxiety. I suppose that is the Aspie side of me kicking in. I can always tell when my depression is hitting its worst because one of the first things that happens is that I lose all interest in the things I normally love…which is especially hard to deal with when you have Asperger’s and your obsessive interests are so much a part of your life and coping skills.

As far as art goes, I’ve still been into doing mostly sticker collages (like the one pictured above) and other kid-inspired art. I know many people think art is “bad” if it looks “childish”, but I have always aspired to be as creative as children naturally are. Saying that my art looks like something a child did is actually a roundabout compliment to me lol. If interested, you can see my recent art on my above mentioned Instagram account.

Tonight I am hopefully going to visit the comic book store and then play some trivia at a local Italian restaurant with some other nerdy types from a local meetup group. Then it is off on our trip!

Depression: Complete and Utter Apathy

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Today I woke up feeling like utter dog-shit. Depressed to the point of feeling nothing and not caring about anything. I honestly don’t even care about this blog post lol, but I’m writing it anyway. I often think of this mood as the “don’t give a fuck” mood. The house is dirty? Don’t give a fuck. The cats are whining and tearing the bathroom apart? Don’t give a fuck. I’m hungry and my stomach is growling? Don’t give a fuck. I forgot to take my medicine? Don’t give a fuck. There are aliens invading earth? Don’t give a fuck.

In a sense, it is almost an enjoyable, freeing feeling. As someone who is usually extremely anxious and overthinks everything, feeling like I honestly don’t give a shit about anything is kind of relaxing and oddly calming. Of course, the downside is that if I let it, this feeling will paralyze me and I won’t do anything I need to do or live up to the responsibilities I have (even as few as they are).

Hopefully people won’t be offended by the harsh language of this post, but if they are, you can probably guess what my reaction would be today.

PTSD and After Effects of Abusive Relationships

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A couple nights ago I was feeling so confused and conflicted inside that I started to feel a little bit claustrophobic. Some of you may not understand that feeling if you’ve never had it yourself, but it is something I have experienced more than once when the emotional and rational parts of my brain just can’t seem to find common ground. It is even worse when the emotional parts of your brain are telling you different things at the same time too.

Part of my brain might be telling me that someone does care about me because they buy me stuff (they are so generous!) and make such a fuss over me whenever I see them. While another part of my brain is reminding me of the times they fucked me over and left me to cry alone. From what I understand, this is a common thing experienced by those who have been victims of abuse. There is a real trauma bond that is created between abuser and abused, which makes it so very hard to see the abuser for what they really are and to be able to keep your wits about you when they suddenly do something nice or swear yet again that they’ve “changed”.

I know I have complex PTSD and a buttload of cognitive dissonance going on in this weary head of mine. I know that the healing process is long, and realistically, never-ending in some ways. I know that none of it was my fault, even though I still struggle with feelings of guilt, insecurity, and inadequacy. I know that I have made wide and sweeping relationship changes I had to make for my own welfare, but I still find myself feeling sorrow for what could or should have been.

I am often confused and desperate to understand what is beyond understanding. And I guess I have to make peace with that. I really have no other choice.

Mother’s Day Drama and Us “Entitled” Millenials

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Sorry I haven’t written much lately. I’ve been focusing on other things, like trying to get back into vlogging on YouTube and starting up my Instagram. By the way, if you aren’t already following me on both of those, feel free to check them out!

Today I’m feeling pretty bad. I’ve had a high amount of anxiety, which seems to be partly left over from the weekend. Mother’s Day is always a little stressful because of the complicated relationship I have with my mother. I did go visit her in Indiana Sunday, which was a good time, but the trip and socialization really wore me out, not to mention all the mixed feelings I have whenever I spend time with my mom.

I experienced a variety of emotions, including sadness, regret, and sorrow. And as always, I feel a deep need for love from my mother, even though I’m not sure if she can always fill that need the way I desire. The last few times I have seen her, I have also been rather saddened to see her aging. I don’t know what it is, but seeing your parents visibly aging is so depressing.

I saw my psychiatrist today and it went ok, but left me feeling really down. Perhaps because we talked about my relationship with my mom, or maybe because he seemed hurried today and didn’t have a lot of time, which is easy to convert into feeling rebuffed when you are insecure like me. I often feel guilt about taking up people’s time anyhow, so when they seem in a hurry, it makes me feel even worse. I guess that is just my lousy self-esteem. It is funny that millenials are often described as so “entitled”, but I am completely the opposite! I don’t feel entitled to much of anything, including people’s time and attention….even when I’m paying for it!

Meet My New Reborn Doll, Anya!

I got a new reborn doll that I absolutely love! I thought I would share the video of her in case anyone is interested in that type of thing! I feel like I really bonded with her immediately. Getting into reborn dolls has really kind of been a comforting, distracting hobby for me to get into. I think it has even helped my depression a little bit. Now, if only something would help the anxiety….

Some Good and Bad Things…

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(The Pixabay image above doesn’t have anything to do with the subject of the blog post, but I thought it was cool-looking!)

Things have been busy lately. A few good things have happened and a few not-so-good things have happened. Here is a short summary:

  • My husband was sick over the weekend with a fever, chills, and body aches and yesterday I started running a fever. Still not feeling well today, but I have a doctor’s visit already scheduled for this evening, so I guess that is good timing.
  • I finally heard from my mom the other day after a month of hearing nothing. I guess she wasn’t upset or mad or anything after all, she just had neglected to call me back like she had said she would. At least she did apologize. I think she genuinely meant it too.
  • I have become kind of obsessed with reborn dolls! I ordered my third doll from Paradise Galleries the other day and am excited to receive her! I’m not sure if this is just my latent maternal instincts coming out to play since I never had a child of my own or what, but it is a comforting and fun hobby. Having an excuse to shop for adorable baby stuff is awesome lol.
  • The weather is finally stabilizing somewhat and becoming nice most days! So happy about that! I don’t like the cold!
  • After a few weeks of being uninspired entirely with my art, I have gotten a bit of interest back in it lately and am enjoying making fun little collages.
  • Even though my last therapy session made me feel pretty crappy the day I had it, a couple things the therapist said have stuck with me and might help in the long run. One thing I keep thinking about is how the therapist said it was “interesting and not weird” how I have such an interest in toys and other “child-like” things. I have always felt kind of ashamed for liking “kids stuff” as an adult, whether it be toys, books, movies, or whatnot, but maybe I have been judging myself too harshly for just having unusual interests. I can be extremely obsessive about those interests, but when you have Asperger’s, that kind of comes with the territory.
  • Anxiety and depression have been high (as always) but I’m still here! I’m still fighting for the kind of life I want, even if I do make missteps here and there.