The Sun Does Shine Again

Smile When the Shadows Fall for the Sun Will Soon Shine Again

The thing they don’t tell you about mental illness is how it sometimes lulls you into a fake sense of security before pulling the rug out from under you. This new medication (Wellbutrin) has been working wonders but then my period came and suddenly I was back in tears every five seconds, lashing out and just being irrational. Now, should I be surprised? Hormones are a crazy thing after all, and I did all the research to see if this antidepressant would actually affect my menstrual cycle (they say no). But it completely turned my whole house upside down. Mark and I were at each others’ throats, and anything he said to me was met with mistrust and aggression.

As bad as my periods have been, and they are bad, I’d never experienced such a Dr. Jeckyll/Ms. Hyde scenario before. Mark was caught like a deer in headlights and the house became a warzone. It was such a big blow to us because I’ve been making so much progress and it just spiraled me into a deeper depression.

I guess what I had to learn firsthand (which has been told to me many times) that when you’re in recovery, setbacks can and will happen.

I’m happy to report that things have more or less returned to “normal” or whatever is passing for that these days. This family has been through a lot, and yes I say this family because although most things happened directly to me, they affected everyone. As I write this, Frenchie and Mark argue about whether or not “Daddy can sit down” (that girl is so strong-willed!) and I’m sitting here, content, in front of my laptop and being able to write again as the smell of brewing coffee fills the air.

Life is good. Enjoy the little moments.

photo 3-7

In which Kat learns about Patience … AGAIN.

So I write that previous post and the following day I wake up feeling much better.

Love will make everything better

Love will make everything better

Didn’t cry once. I guess Wellbutrin is finally working?

I feel more upbeat, can concentrate more during my morning meditation, have creative thoughts coming out my ears and I just feel more like, well, me. I’m writing nonstop and have ideas for articles and maybe even short stories again! I wish I slept more, though. Gonna try and buy Melatonin this week. Anyone try it and can give me your perspective on it?

The anxiety and nightmares are still there, of course, but I like my new therapist and we’ve chosen to do CPT therapy especially because of my PTSD so hopefully that can get better soon.

What’s that saying I’m always repeating? “Smile When the Shadows Fall for the Sun Will Soon Shine Again” yet I always seem to forget it when I’m down. I need to tattoo it. No kidding.

As for The Ovarian Cyst That Will Not Die. Still There. Seeing GYN on Monday. Will demand she remove this sumbitch NOW. I can’t TAKE IT ANYMORE! It keeps GROWING! Ugh. I wish I was a man sometimes. A fabulous gay man with a magnificent sense of style and 9 inch penis. I mean, seriously, I’d be glorious.

Back From The Dead?

Well, kind of. I’ve neglected writing for so wrong that it’s like rising back from the dead. A LOT has gone on in my life. I updated what I could to keep you guys semi-updated

(not that I’m sure anyone really read this…) My main thing was getting sexually assaulted last year and slowly dealing with that.

I’m still not over it. I still have nightmares. I was going to therapy for a while but my therapist sort of broke up with me because I wouldn’t show up since getting out of bed was impossible. Jeez this post is a downer. It’s gonna get cheerier, I promise. Ish. My neurologist took away my ability to drive until I can be at least three months seizure-free. Hasn’t happened yet.

Cautiously Optimistic

Cautiously Optimistic

The actual diagnosis for the seizures (or “events” like theneuros call them) is Non Epileptic Attack Disorder (NEAD). Other names; which I FUCKING HATE because it makes them sound like it’s just something you’re making up are: Psychogenic Seizures and Pseudo Seizures. It’s like they imply they aren’t happening. I’ve had paramedics arguing me that I’m faking. How is our medical staff so uninformed?? The only treatment is psychiatry and therapy and medication.  I’m seeing a new therapist today and I’m nervous because it’s always nerve wracking to have to go through all my story with someone new. But maybe she can offer a different perspective on things. I need a different kind of therapy because so far all I’ve done is talk about my childhood and take too many benzodiazepines to cope with anxiety. I can’t go on like this.

Mostly, I’m pissed off that the guys who assaulted me didn’t just rape my body but it’s also like they raped my brain as well. And they got away with it because I felt pressured t drop the charges because it all such a horror movie. I  used to be such a happy go lucky type of girl an these days I’m mostly bitter. It isn’t fair. I’m hoping Cognitive Therapy can change these behaviors. I’m hoping I can find solace in weigh lifting and yoga and just being active again. I’m hoping I can forgive ad forget these people I called my “friends” for so long and embrace new friendships.

At least some good news have been coming my way, I found a wonderful community at exJayners and they actually write my writing and want me to start writing for TheFlounce.com which is this awesome website they are starting out. So far it’ll be some TV Recaps (What? I get to watch TV and write about it!? Whoo!!!) but they mentioned I may get other assignments as well and as you can tell this is the first time I have felt truly happy in MONTHS. So, thank you guys!

Fighting The Stigma

We’ve all seen the articles, the news stories “She lost over xxx-lbs! No surgery! No gimmicks!”

 

How hard could this all be , Fatty? You must just be lazy!

How hard could this all be to follow, Fatty? You must just be lazy!

Well, fuck you.

 Weight Loss Surgery is not a gimmick, it is not the “easy way” out, it isn’t “cheating.” By the way, if it was a “magic fix” then post-op regain would never happen! I am sick and tired of the stigma that people like me (who had any kind of WLS) have to go through all the time.

 I have heard all of the following statements at one time or another since having surgery:

“Have you seen The Biggest Loser? Those people lose hundreds of pounds the ‘old fashioned’ way.” (Yeah, the old fashioned way where you are stuck at a ranch and workout 8 hours a day and are barely allowed to eat or drink water before getting on a scale, ok.)

“I think you could have done it by yourself if you just exercised and ate right.” (Oh, my God! Exercise and Eating Right? Why didn’t you SAY SO? If I would have known it was so easy I would have TRIED THAT before REMOVING PART OF MY SMALL INTESTINE! You have blown my mind!)

“But people who get that surgery have to be like, really super duper fat right? You must have been really, really fat.” (Yeah. Thanks?)

“My cousin had a neighbor who had his stomach stapled and a staple came off and he died.” (OK???)

“You don’t look like you had surgery. Aren’t you supposed to get like, skinny?”(No shit. Someone said to me to my face. At my old job.)

“Well, you must be happy that you could eat anything and just turn skinny.” (LOL. See above.)

“Can you even eat?? I heard you can’t eat. OMG, what do you eat??” (Food.)

“You know that people can gain all their weight back and more? Like that singer lady?” (Sigh. Yes, Mom. I am aware of Carnie Wilson.)

“Yeah but I rather lose weight on my own, you know? Like, work for it instead of just cheating.” (Yep. To my face.)

So, let me just say again, for the record: THIS SHIT IS NOT EASY!

 My weightloss or my story isn’t any LESS than yours because I had surgery. I still wake up six times a day and work my ASS off to keep losing weight. I fight cravings. I struggle to make the right food choices. I log my calories. I work just as hard as anyone to get in shape and I think some WLS patients work even harder because they feel people constantly looking at them and judging them. I feel it all the time. At family functions, at my old job after surgery: people watch you like a hawk. They watch what you eat, when you eat it, how much you’re eating and they feel free to make comments. Why? Because somehow they think that because you had WLS your body is something they can freely talk about. As if we didn’t have enough to deal with when we were fat (Basically the same things, think about it. Everyone is a doctor when talking to a fat person.) now we have to deal with more shit after we decided to do something about it.

 Weight Loss Surgery isn’t a magic potion that will make you skinny and happy. It is a life-changing decision that is never come to lightly. And my weightloss matters as much as Whoever, who lost it the “old fashioned” way. Where is my story on ABC? My People Magazine cover? Did you know that 95% of people who diet and lose a significant amount of weight fail? Sorry I took three years to decide to increase my 5% chance of success. That doesn’t make me less than you, it just makes what I did different than what people usually do.

 I think more WLS patients need to get their positive stories out there and fight this ridiculous bias against us. We are constantly bombarded with all these stories about how people lost weight “all natural, “without gimmicks” and it’s almost like they want us to feel shame.

 Well, fuck that, I’m done feeling like a failure.

 

Having Gastric Bypass Surgery changed AND saved my life; I’d do it all over again.

2009-2013

2009-2013

 

I’m proud of my weightloss and you’ll never take that from me.


Any of you had WLS out there and been shamed for it? Fight back! Fuck the Haters!

Postcards From The Edge (Or “The Day I Saw The Devil”)

When I started this blog, it was such a completely different animal. I didn’t really mean to get personal, just have this nice “online persona” who was going to kick her own ass back into shape; but the past fifteen months have changed me so much in not only a hormonal and emotional way that it feels like my own self has changed in a molecular level. I’ve gone past the whole “weight loss blog” or “parenting blog” thing so long ago that if you asked me what I really blog about I would have no idea what to tell you. I feel like this is a safe place to just let it all out sometimes, which is strange because when you put things in the Internet really there’s no way to take them back. Maybe that’s what I find so freeing about it, who knows?

Anyway, yesterday I had one of the scariest experiences of my life.

Concussed Kat and my cousin Diana

As you may know, I’ve been struggling with Postpartum Depression since my daughter was born and have been medicated for over a year. Also, since then I’ve had kind of a bad luck streak. I have suffered from a crazy allergic reaction to the copper IUD which made me bleed for over 31 days and has resulted in me still being anemic; after that there was the crazy Tamiflu episode  in which that horrible medication was erroneously prescribed to me and mixed so strangely with my antidepressants that I basically had a psychotic episode; I’ve been so sick on and off with all kinds of ailments (flu, stomach flu, h1n3 flu); had a horrible car accident last December which resulted in a NASTY concussion. During a scan at the hospital they found a crazy lump on my left Thyroid that has been growing and the biopsy was inconclusive so I have to re-do that and the labs in two months. Two months of limbo, basically. Then last Thursday (after waiting MONTHS to get my car back because my car insurance is a piece of shit) I got into another car accident. Yep. This asshole causes me to hit him, sees me lose consciousness and just leaves the scene of the accident. Mark was close by and so he drove me to the hospital. I was diagnosed with yet another concussion (second one in less than 3 months!) and an acute cervical sprain -I got a neat neck brace as a souvenir. Yay.

I was advised to avoid all kinds of stress and rest my brain. The fun thing with concussion is that basically your brain is swollen and you’re all fucked for weeks, sometimes months. Post-Concussion Syndrome makes you super irritable, super sensitive to light and noise and BEYOND oversensitive.

That brings me to Yesterday. Hereto known as “The Day I Saw The Devil.”

My brain had been all funky all week (I fainted on Monday, had been suffering from dizziness and tunnel-vision and crying jags) but I managed to have a full 24 hours of rest on Tuesday because Mark is the most amazing human being on earth. I was feeling a little anxious Monday because of having gone outside with my father in law to see why my car keeps overheating (it’s either some leak in a tube or a hole in my radiator -yet another thing to pile on all my worries) and the sunlight gave me the worst migraine I have ever experienced. I was alone with the baby and you can imagine that taking care of a 15-month-old while feeling like your head is going to explode is not pleasant, to put it mildly. Then the stupidity began. Facebook drama is something I try to avoid but alas, it finds all of us. I have two friends, R. and G., who were once also friends until they were roommates and things ended BADLY. So R. now absolutely hates G. and makes no qualms about announcing it to the world. I don’t want to get too into the actual Facebook drama because it’s really insignificant but what did happen is that R. absolutely out of left field started attacking me about first still being friends with G. and then other things that he thinks I’ve done in the past and how I’m no longer a good friend, blah blah blah. Usually this kind of exchange would end with me telling someone to go fuck themselves and be mildly upset that a friendship that had lasted over 10 years had ended. But, my brain not able to process stress like “Normal Kat,” this triggered an extreme stress response that just kept escalating, and escalating, and escalating. I started seeing huge black spots and suddenly I couldn’t breathe because I was crying so hard and started feeling like I was dying. I called 911 and remember talking to a paramedic who was trying to talk me down and told me to unlock my door for them.

Then nothing.

Next thing I know I wake up screaming and kicking as paramedics are literally punching my sternum to wake me up (whatever happened to smelling salts?). And that’s when it happened. Right there, in the right corner of my ceiling I saw it. The Devil, a Demon, whatever. I have never been so scared in my life. I couldn’t stop screaming.

Not Exactly What I Saw But Close Enough

Not Exactly What I Saw But Close Enough

They had to restrain me to get me in the ambulance. I don’t remember how it all went down but apparently I kept telling everyone that no matter what they did they couldn’t fix it because I was cursed. Jinxed. Hexed. Doomed. They shot me full of Valium and nothing could calm me down. I was also convinced my eyes were popping out of my head like I was in Scanners. Needless to say they called the shrink. I was super scared and kept crying that no one believed me and that I wasn’t crazy. I remember Mark almost yelling at me that there are no such things as curses and that I was just concussed. The doctors, the nurses, everyone was very nice and managed to finally calm me down with Risperdal and ease my headache with Tramadol. A couple of hours later I spoke to the shrink. I felt like myself again. No longer cursed, but still just an all-around feeling of “being unlucky.” The Psychiatrist was actually very nice and made me feel better. He told me that I needed to see my own shrink again and consider adding talk-therapy besides just medication. Then after seeing my history at the hospital (I swear, I should totally have VIP status there, I visit so damn much) he told me I need to see an endocrinologist that specializes in Thyroid issues because all my symptoms could actually stem from that. He assured me I wasn’t cursed but I should try to meditate and practice positive thinking. He held my hand and smiled when he told me that no, I’m not crazy.

I still haven’t exactly processed all of this but find that writing about it makes me feel better. I’ve always been somewhat of a sardonic pessimist since young adulthood but never really serious about it. I would say things like “Of course that would happen to me, I have the worst luck” but never really fully meant it. In fact, I’d always really considered myself lucky underneath it all and was always able to crawl out of any emotional funk. Then something shifted. It got harder and harder to crawl out. Then I gave birth and I couldn’t even deal with just living. I felt like a shell of a person. Did I have untreated depression that I self-medicated before and just got worse after the hormonal shift of giving birth? Or has this been a Thyroid disorder (which actually runs in my family) that has been lying dormant and suddenly hit me now? Or is there really a curse on me? I don’t know. The questions and what-ifs are an endless stream on repeat inside my head and sometimes I feel like I’m slipping further and further away down a rabbit hole of insecurities.

All I can say is that I feel better today. Functional. Like myself. I imagine the Risperdal is helping with that (it stops paranoid, negative thoughts after all) but I can say that today I’ve had an actual good day. A whole good day. That’s a lot more than I’ve been able to say for a while now and it sure feels nice.



Are you superstitious? Do you believe in curses? Or do you think we create our own positive/negative energy?

 

Why Do Clothing Stores Hate My Boobs? (Yes, I’m taking it personally)

It’s ridiculous, really.  We are bombarded with commercial’s for Victoria’s Secret super duper push-up bras, and it almost seems like everyone on TV/Movies has large breasts (with tiny frames!) yet I go to an H&M or Urban Outfitters or hell, even Macy’s and for the life of me, my 38D’s don’t fit in shit! Dresses are the worst. I get the size I’m supposed to be and it’s all honky dory with the zipper until BOOM! BOOBS! Damn thing won’t close. It is so frustrating. I feel like I have lost all this weight and should be enjoying all these cute dresses but nooo, my boobs won’t fit anywhere! I have to get like a XL-XXL and then the rest of the dress looks ridiculous. I always leave stores feeling so unhappy and like that fat girl I used to be. But then I can’t shop in the Plus Size section because everything is huge and, let’s face it, hideous (at least the places I’ve seen). Yeah, what’s up with designers and ridiculous loud patterns for Plus Sizes? Do they want to shame fat people by only making ugly clothes?

H%M "Plus Size" Dress

H%M “Plus Size” Dress

How in the living fuck is this woman plus sized?? Where are my boobs supposed to fit in there??
I swear, the whole fashion industry is so fucked. THEY ARE LOSING MONEY BY ALIENATING THOUSANDS OF CUSTOMERS!!!!!

Did you guys hear about these “real women” mannequins in Sweden? They come in a size 6 and a size 10 (mind you, the “average woman” is a size 12-14) and everyone is oohing and aahhing over how progressive this is and how these look like “real women.” First of all, they just look like slightly bigger mannequins; second of all, I am tired of all this “real women” crap. We are ALL REAL WOMEN, made of FLESH & BLOOD. We need to stop making this line between thin and not thin women and saying that one is better than the other. Also, I think we should have all kinds of mannequins with all types of bodies. I bet you I won’t look like that mannequin at a size 10 (that tall Swedish bitch -JK … kinda.) and neither do a lot of women who wear that size. Designers are missing out on customers by ignoring people beyond a size 6. It’s ridiculous! We are all fucking different, why can’t fashion reflect that? I guess I just don’t understand it. I’ve always heard the adage of “dress the body you have, not the one you wish you had” but do you know how difficult it is to dress my body? And I know I’m not the only one, either. My friend  and I once got into this long conversation about how we love all these adorable dresses on ModCloth.com but there’s no way we fit in them, even their “plus sizes.” And you know what it comes down to? That’s right: BOOBS. Why is it so difficult to find a dress that fits ALL OF ME?!

OK. Rant Over.

I just want some pretty dresses, dammit.

 

 

 

Do you guys have issues finding clothing that fit a specific part of your body?

“This Sucks” And Other Thoughts That Go Through Your Head While Staying Home with a One Year Old

They call them “terrible twos” but I don’t know who they’re kidding with that bullshit. They started the minute Francesca turned 12 months. I’m talking full tantrums, “talking” back, hitting, even biting! I feel like I’m getting bullied by this tiny little person and there is nothing I can really do about it. This coupled with such a stressful time in my life (thyroid-related issues, finding new work, finding a new daycare) is making coping with the simplest tasks extremely difficult. My emotions have been on this crazy rollercoaster, not unlike when I first gave birth, and it’s making me have not the best of thoughts on a daily basis. I wonder if all mothers go through this when they stay home with their children and start dealing with their “little angel” turning into a “little devil.” I’m fine most of the day but by the time 4-5PM rolls around and Francesca is at her rowdiest, moodiest, and just trying to do ANYTHING to get my attention (negative or positive), I feel about ready to throw in the towel.

 

My Adorable Little Tyrant

My Adorable Little Tyrant

That’s when the doubts start.

“Oh My God, what was I thinking having a child?” 

“Is she purposely trying to kill herself by climbing on/jumping off that table?” 

“I was crazy not doing Day Care earlier”

“Kat, women have been doing this for centuries, what the fuck is wrong with you? Get it together!” 

“What if I can’t do this?”

“Oh crap, I’m the worst mom ever.”

I think the stress of my upcoming thyroid biopsy has a lot to do with the crazy moodiness, plus I feel tired and run down all the time so that all I wanna do is sleep. It could be that my symptoms of PPD were related to my thyroid the whole time. Funny how life works sometimes.

I’ve decided that what I’m really not cut out for is being a SAHM. Man, I have gained some appreciation for the ladies who can do this full-time and just love it but this shit just isn’t for me. My best friend Leslie confessed to me that she suspected this all along, knowing my personality. I’m trying not to feel too guilty about this decision but it’s hard, you know? There’s this crazy Mommy Culture out there that always makes you feel like you’re not measuring up. It’s like as women there is always some unattainable goal we’re all supposed to be fighting to get to; be it perfect motherhood, size, sexuality (just enough that we’re sexy but not too much cuz then we’re sluts). Ugh.  We just can’t win, amirite, Ladies?

Anyway, we’ve narrowed it down to 3 different Day Care Centers that we like   and should be making the decision in the next two days. It’s weird. Part of me is like “Day Care can’t come soon enough!” and the other is like “No! Frenchie! I’ll miss you! You stay here!!!” The good thing about her going off to Day Care is her getting to socialize with other kids (I think she gets in so much trouble here because she’s just bored) and I’ll get time to focus on finding a good job full-time. And have more time for creative outlets (like this blog).

 YAY FOR DAY CARE! EVERYONE WINS!

How about you? Has there ever been a time in your life where you were just ready to give up?