Confessions of a GAD Girl

welcome to my anxious brain

2016 Is Almost Over. Bye, Felicia!

Congratulations to us! We survived 2016. Phew!! It was a close one at times. I have conflicting feelings about this year coming to an end. On the one hand, these past twelve months have been very trying in both my personal life and across the United States in general, so the beginning of a new year is a welcome sight. On the other hand, our concept of time is really just a construct of man, thus years and months really mean nothing in the overall picture of the Universe, so whatever.

I’m going to start with the bad crap in my life and then end on a high note with the good.

Ready?

The biggest piece of life poop for me this year was the realization that my lady parts were trying to slowly kill me. On February 11th, I had an IUD implanted in hopes that it would tame my menstrual cycle into something not so painful and hemorrhage-y. It pretty much did the exact opposite, and then some. Almost immediately I had daily cramping, put on like 10 pounds, and bled almost every day. I called my Dr., who was not concerned and told me it takes time to adjust since it’s hormonal and all that. I went in for my one month follow up and she told me that all was fine, and that my symptoms would go away. All was NOT fine, and the symptoms DID NOT go away. They did not even get better or fade in the slightest. Every day I felt like it was the worst day of my period.

I was working at a bank during all of this, standing on my feet for over five hours straight most days. On more than one occasion, I almost passed out from the pain. I really should have gone back to the Dr. during those months, but I was taking her word for it; I figured I was being silly and over dramatic, that my GAD was playing tricks on me. July 2nd was my last day at the bank. I just couldn’t take it anymore. Between feeling like crap every day and hating at least a half dozen things about the job itself, I knew my sanity rested on me getting out. The money I brought home was more than nothing, but certainly not enough to be more important than my health.

Because I was anxious and overwhelmed by all the horrible things that could be wrong with me, I shut down and did nothing about it. Thanks, GAD! The health insurance I had through work ran out, and still I did nothing. I kept hoping I would wake up and everything would be all better; that I would stop bleeding on a daily basis, and that my hormones would realign. And that the cramping would stop. Oh god, the cramping!! It was like labor pains 24 hours a day for months on end. I was cranky all the time, felt gross and unattractive, and basically wanted nothing to do with my boyfriend in a sexual way. Thankfully, he’s the best guy I could ask for, and has hung in there with me at every turn.

My birthday in August came and went, and still I did nothing. Finally, it all clicked and my brain was ready to accept that the IUD was the cause of my health problems. Having no insurance, I went to my local Planned Parenthood (so many yays for them!) and had the damn thing removed on October 7th. When I woke up the next day, I felt better than I had in months. I was able to complete a whole grocery shopping trip without feeling like I needed a nap halfway through. Those feelings of euphoria only lasted a couple of days, sadly.

While my pain did in fact decrease dramatically, I was still bleeding, although not as heavily. The clots, however, were as big and as prominent as ever; I hate those damn things. So, I had more energy, but there was still something coming out of my vagina every day. Every single day. And I’m not talking about normal discharge, I’m talking about blood. Enough to require more than a pantiliner on most days. I decided to give my body a couple months to readjust; hormones are complicated creatures, after all. But I was starting to feel defeated. In the beginning of December I went back to Planned Parenthood, this time with a Medi-Cal card. During the exam it was determined that I had Bacterial Vaginosis, which is no big deal, but certainly not something I wanted to deal with. I was dealing with enough down there for crying out loud! I did a week of antibiotics, and moved on. The RN I saw gave me a referral to see a gynecologist of my choice to address the continued bleeding and abdominal pain (the cramping got better, but never fully went away). Given my personal gynecological history, and my family history, I’m pretty sure I’ve got some fibroids happening. A friend of mine who had surgery for uterine fibroids this year gave me the name of her Dr., with whom I will try to make an appointment to see in the coming weeks.

Here’s hoping 2017 is kind to my uterus!

On top of that whole bloody mess, this year gave me the deaths of several people in my life. Oh, joy! A couple I could see coming (fuck cancer!), but a couple were total shocks. Those really sucked. And of course, there was the Presidential race and election. A total shit show, indeed! I was a Berner until he told me to support Hillary, then I was all about her. Sadly, not everyone agreed with me and the horrible, evil anti-Christ that is the Cheeto Devil is now the President-Elect. I don’t think I need to go into that further, as it should be clear how I feel.

And now for the good things!

Over Valentine’s Day weekend, my boyfriend and I moved into an apartment together. This is the first time I have ever lived with a significant other. With the exception of a couple roommates here and there, I have lived alone since my early 20s. It has been a huge adjustment for me, but a welcome one, with way more good times than bad. The only down side has been the weight I’ve packed on because of his delicious cooking. We have his daughter with us half the time, which is the perfect amount for me. I am not what one would call, “cutout for motherhood.” Another big adjustment for me, it’s driving me a bit bonkers, but I know that it will get easier as time goes on. Until she’s a teenager, that is, and then I’ll probably go crazy again.

Being in a financial position that allows me not to have to work has been a huge blessing this year. I am so grateful for my boyfriend’s well-paying job. We have both noticed how much happier I am not working. I think getting on top of my health has something to do with my improved moods, too, but I digress. I spend my days puttering around the house and going on errands. Some days I don’t get out of my pajamas, but that’s okay. I am allowing myself to embrace the harder days, and then I try to really kick ass on the easier ones. GAD is no joke, folks. I am a strong, intelligent, independent person, but GAD got its hooks in me decades ago and it’s a daily struggle to beat it at its own game.

I also cut my hair really short again this year. With all the health problems making me feel frumpy and gross, I decided I needed to grasp at something that I know makes me feel good. When I shaved my head back in 2012, it was the prettiest I have ever felt in my life. It gave me a sense of strength and empowerment I had never felt before. I wanted that feeling again. And now I have it. Yay, me!!

I’m looking forward to what 2017 has in store for me. Hopefully my health will continue to improve, my energy level will increase, and I’ll have the drive in me again to exercise and be active. I’m nearing the intersection where my 30s will meet my 40s, and I really want to be in a mental, emotional, spiritual, and physically healthy place to enjoy the maturity and wisdom I’ve collected.

One more thing before I wrap this up. You HAVE to watch the video I posted below. You won’t regret it, I promise!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

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