All posts by JD

I am an author, artist, journalist, activist, and most importantly, I am an Individual, with my own voice, my own will and my own ideas.

Plainly Pathetic Platitudes

By: JD Author, Reporter-Journalist

The same boiling water that softens a potato, hardens the egg.

It’s about what you’re made of, not the circumstance.

There are not enough fingers and toes in my neighborhood to count the number of times I have heard someone tell me “you’re strong, you will get through this”.

For the most part, I like to think that I am a strong person.  I may not always have everything in my life looking “peachy”, but I try my best to look like I have my crap together.  I strive to have the appearance of emotional stability and well being both physically and mentally. Many of my friends and acquaintances consider me to be the rock that they can lean on when they need help.  If only they could see how many times this “rock” starts to crumble, and has to be plastered back together repeatedly.

Life happens.  When things do not go as we planned or hoped, your shortcomings can hit you pretty hard. It can knock the wind clean out of you and you’re left with the feeling of being in a vacuum tunnel and someone is sucking all the oxygen out.  You feel like you can barely breathe or move. You’re left sitting or laying there and the feeling of helplessness sets in.

When that happens, it’s a horrible feeling.  Even “strong” people need help getting back up. Unfortunately, instead of help, we’re often met with a series of skeptics, only to be followed with the platitudes:

“Give it some time”

“You know you’ll get through this.”

“You look okay, so suck it up.”

“You’re so strong.”

I truly think that a few of my friends who say these things really believe they are helping me in some way (good thing I do have some friends that know better and keep their mouths shut because they are in the same situations).  Maybe they see it as a compliment. They offer their few words of encouragement, that almost feel as painful as a throat-punch and call it good. In reality, what they are really doing is absolving themselves of actually helping.  Sure I may seem a bit unappreciative, but I am not.  I do cherish the occasional words of understanding, caring and concern that come my way.  But to repeatedly and shallowly “admire” me for the “strength”, they think I have, they could replace it with a more meaningful phrase.

Replace the “You’ll be fine”(because I will NEVER be “fine”) with; “I will keep you in my thoughts” because that actually sounds a bit more caring. Don’t ask me if I want to talk about it, because usually when the conversation starts, I will get to hear all your comparisons to my plight, and you are clueless.

Instead of telling me “You know you’ll get through this” try “I can see your pain is really raw right now. I’m sorry you’re going through this. What can I do to help you hurt a little less today?” And then do it, without coaxing with a crowbar.

Please don’t remind me EVER day that you see me as a strong person.  It’s true that you may see me that way, but what they can’t see is that in all reality, I am not. I’m “strong” because I have to be. No one is there to pick me up when I shatter, and I have learned this the hard way. I have to do it myself, but I don’t want to.

The many idle hours when my body does not cooperate but my mind still works has made me a great problem solver. Because of this, I’ve spent my entire life helping others and picking up the pieces for other people. It would be absolutely amazing to have someone do that for me more often. Someone who can anticipate what I need and meet that need without having to be asked.

Being a strong woman, or appearing to be, is hard enough. Being a strong HSD/ACM/EDS/Aspie woman is even harder. I already live in a neurotypical world that is pretty judgmental and mean to anyone who appears different. In order to be successful in this world, I have to emulate neurotypical people with life-altering medical conditions and follow their social rules. Sometimes, it is just exhausting. The small talk. The constant fake smiling because everyone is ohh so happy and expect you to be as you grit your teeth and spew the lie “I am fine”, when asked. It can be overwhelming at times.  But it must be done.  It beats listening to comparisons, contrasts and likenesses to Aunt Bertha’s issues or cousin Ralph’s medical history, which is similar.

So please try real hard to remember when your friends tell you they are hurting or if they share something they are truly struggling with, try not to dismiss their pain with a cliché – even if they are “strong.”

©Copyright protected 2017: NWU Local 1981

©IAPP Author/Journalist Press ID # 1007490467

Pill Pansy Day

By: JD Author, Reporter-Journalist

If Confusion is the first step to knowledge,

I must be a genius!

~L.Leissner

I am beginning to feel like perhaps I should invest in CVS pharmacy stock.  It seems my insurance company has invested thousands of dollars a month on my behalf.   At the behest of the glorious prescription pad for which my doctor has inscribed his name and passed to me, the whirlwind of change has begun.

medication-overdose-cartoon-patient-gets-too-many-tablets-pills-isolated-vector-illustration-white-background-32590827

Yes, it is happening once again!  This has been a 17-year long quest for answers and treatments based on months of needles, x-rays, MRI’s and evaluations.  Now it has led to changing meds.  AS modern medical testing leads to more accurate diagnosis’s, pharmaceutical companies and supplemental alternative producers throw their two cents into the mix.

In this process, I, the human being, become the guinea pig in search of what is in my best interest medically.  I have tried to sum up into words what it feels like when all these changes happen and I found I can consolidate it into a short sentence.  IT SUCKS!!

I woke up yesterday and spent the morning dizzy and in a haze.  I felt like I was trapped in a body twice my size and difficult to move, knowing I still must work and complete what the day expected of me, yet hard to do with the cloud that circled my brain.  It almost felt as if I were in London on a brisk morning trying to navigate an unknown city amidst the heavy fog.cartoon-pills-24114860

Today was not much better, but instead of the sluggish weight I had the day before, I was like a hyperactive child needing Ritalin ®.  I have anxiety that is making me so shaky, I frequently keep hitting the wrong keys on my keyboard.  I did try to start this journal entry via Voice app. But my words are not dictating correctly.  My heart rate is elevated.  It is the transition week where I must “detox” from my ASD anxiety meds for the flushing of my liver.  This is necessary to secure no damages to my liver from the toxins in meds, despite the herbal detoxification remedy that was added by my nutritionist last month.  I am more nervous than that old saying “cat in a room full of rocking chairs”, I probably am as antsy as a sack of Mexican jumping beans about to be roasted on a bonfire.  Good time to write though, because when I am not having moments of crying over absolutely nothing, I have a sense of humor I can put to print.

It is so easy to be full of humor and entertain others with my antics via the internet, social media.  In person, it is hard, because without time to think between comments and communication with others, my “scenario” filter is not there to determine all the time what is a joke, or factual.  I take everything literal, and shouldn’t.  Sometimes I feel like a criminal trying to decide what my answers or replies should be when in an interrogation.  My usual reply is to just stick with simple replies, such as; “ok, yes, interesting and nice”.  I also pause to gauge the facial expressions of people I am with to see how I should react, and hope they never notice.  I am darn good at it too!  I have had decades of practice.

Here I sit on my nice back deck, enjoying the sunshine, feeling half-high from a new med temporarily replacing an old med, and scanning my yard, obsessing on everything out of place or not aligned, heart racing, regretting not being on my OCD med, yet too dysfunctional to do anything physically to remedy the disaster I see.  Damn them leaves for being on my lawn, scattered in disarray and not neatly stashed in lawn bags!  Screw you, you ugly weeds for peering up between the half dead grass and muck, that replaced the beautiful grass at the hands of winter!  I need to go inside and not look at this…

Just another day in paradise.  Those of you with medical conditions requiring medicine that has an effect or affects your mental thought process and must withdraw from them for medical reasons can understand.  Between the last paragraph, I typed and this one, I have had a mini adventure.  As I came in the back door with my laptop I tripped, God knows this is nothing new since I have the coordination of a drunken monkey walking backwards.  My laptop, which luckily, I closed the lid, became an electronic UFO (unique flying obstacle), that soared with such great speed through the air and bounced off the counter in the kitchen and landed on the floor with a thud that my three furry kids went running for cover.  The only time I have ever seen them move that fast was when they heard cheese wrappers being opened by my grandson.  Whoever says dogs cannot travel at the speed of light have never seen my dogs when cheese is involved.

I picked up my laptop, that smartly has an impact tough-case for construction workers.  Not that I do construction, I am more the destructive natured person by circumstance.  It’s called clumsy!  Yes, that’s me, but I am okay with that.  They make great braces and casts for people like me.  I even have a new fancy brace on my left hand that will remain part of my wardrobe until surgery for torn ligaments can be done in March.

So, I will say bye for today, and let you know tomorrow more on how my medication roller-coaster ride proceeds.  Until then Cheerio people and remember that whatever life hands us, we must try to find the good among the bad and ugly, or we are not living, were just existing.

©Copyright protected 2017: NWU Local 1981

©IAPP Author/Journalist Press ID # 1007490467