The Good Times

I have actually had a good few days in a row. After that miserable day that I wrote about on my last post (read it here) I was feeling pretty down but I woke up the next day feeling great. I had energy and actually walked a LOT that day without any issues.

Unfortunately, once I got over the honeymoon phase of the hair color I got (read about that here) I discovered that it was actually done really badly. It washed out after three washes and I was left with peach hair with dark purple streaks in the roots. Luckily the stylist at the salon I should have went to in the first place was able to get me in pretty quickly to fix it. She did a great job and it only took a couple of hours. I am for sure happy with it now.

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New Hair! (Again)

I have had a lot more confidence since I got my hair done. She gave me a blow out too which means that my unruly curly hair has been tamed for hopefully the next week or so. It took a while to get used to the straight hair but waking up this morning and being able to just comb it and it’s done was the best feeling ever. Usually it’s an entire process which is why it is usually up in a pony. So over the last few days I have been wearing makeup, rocking the hair, have had enough energy to get me through the days and have just been feeling better. I actually kind of feel like a girl now instead of a potato.

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My usual form

I was supposed to go to a therapy appointment today but was unable to because I felt sick. She wants to charge me for it which is fair because I cancelled with short notice but that means I might not be able to go back because I cannot afford to pay for a session I didn’t get anything from (I realize it’s of my own doing) so that might mean hunting for a new therapist. I have only seen this one like three times..oh well. I feel like therapists should have more leeway in terms of cancellations because people with mental illness like anxiety and depression sometimes find it hard to keep appointments..and it can be at the last second. We have every intention of going and then at the last second our brain says no.

The only thing I am a bit worried about is Daisy. She seems to be moving slower and kind of trembles more than usual. She usually only trembles with fireworks or thunder but lately she has been shaking more. She does have seizures but these aren’t seizures. It’s more like something has spooked her but nothing has happened. I am planning to take her to the vet soon. I hope she isn’t in pain. I don’t want her to have arthritis or something. She is only 6 years old!

Anyways, not much to write about lately because things have actually been going well. Boring I know, but I’m enjoying it while it lasts because I know the good days can disappear just as fast as they appear.

Until next time.

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When Your Body Gives Up

I don’t know where to start with this one. Am I the only one that feels like their body is working against them? My mind wants to exercise like they do on TV, I want to jog and hike and do all the things that “happy” people do. I used to do those things (well I never ran because, seriously…). I used to climb mountains. I was in an outdoor school that required non-stop hiking and camping in the woods for a week a month. I had no issues physically then. I could do pretty much anything you asked me to.

Now it’s a different story. I can barely walk 45 minutes without every cell in my body wanting to collapse. It isn’t the regular out of shape feeling. At least I don’t think it is. This feels like death. Every step feels like I’m dragging a 1300 pound weight behind me. I get dizzy and lightheaded. My legs want to give out from under me and my ankles cramp up. Every step feels like it will be my last but I keep pushing. I push through the dizziness, even when everything starts to go blurry and I feel like I’m about to die, I keep pushing. Maybe I push too hard, maybe I don’t push hard enough. I used to do so many things and I don’t understand why my body has decided to give up on me. What do I have left if I don’t have a body that is supporting me? I have no access to a car, so I have to walk everywhere. My brain already limits me so much in what I can do, what do I have left if I can’t walk to the stores and parks that I can actually go to without freaking out?

I have kind of come to terms with the fact that my brain is fucked up and it probably will be for the rest of my life but I am having a harder time accepting the fact that I am 30 years old and my body feels 90. I keep pushing, waiting for it to get easier but it doesn’t. It just gets harder. I am so done with this.

I have gone through many tests, blood tests every three months and even a CT scan. All they can find is that I’m anemic and I have inflammation in my body. My doctor doesn’t seem to think it’s worth trying to track down where the inflammation is coming from. She told me to take iron for the anemia but didn’t tell me a dosage. She just said take one a day. I used to take iron daily but I have a hard time swallowing pills so I stopped. I did have energy when I took iron, almost too much. My body would have energy and want to go to do all sorts of stuff but my mind couldn’t back it up. The anxiety stopped me from doing things my body wanted to do. Now my body is stopping me from doing things my mind wants to do. I see my doctor every three months and sometimes every week. I keep going back because I feel like I’m not getting an answer. I keep telling people that I am not okay and no one seems to be listening. Maybe I don’t know how to say it right to make doctors realize that something is going on. I feel like I keep getting brushed off. I hate going back so often because I don’t want to bug them and I feel like I’m being needy.

I just want to feel healthy again.

The Music That Changed Everything

Since everyone is probably going to be talking about what happened in Brussels today, I thought this might be a good time to step away from the violence and death that has been plaguing humanity lately and instead talk about something that brought me back to life. Let’s talk about Twenty Øne Pilots.

Last year, I was sitting on my couch listening to Spotify. The top hits playlist was full of the usual crap that sounds like I’m in a nightclub. You know what I mean, the techno/EDM/whatever else the kids call it these days. Because I don’t have a premium account, I was forced to suffer through a few songs without the option of skipping. After some horrible song finished, on came Stressed Out. This was my introduction to TØP. That song sucked me in. Something finally sounded different from all the cookie cutter music that I was hearing. I googled them and found out they are gorgeous. That led me to look up more of their songs (yes, I am that shallow).

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I mean, how can you not love those faces?

I immediately went to YouTube on a hunt for more TØP songs. I was kind of thrilled that they had so much out there already and also kind of pissed that I had never heard of them before. How could a band like this go on for so long without me being aware of it? What if there are other equally awesome bands out there that I don’t know about?!  I was falling in love with song after song after song. Just when I thought I found a favorite, I would listen to one more and it would start all over again. I felt like finally someone understood. They understood the stress, the loneliness and everything else that comes along with mental illness. Every song sounded like it was written just for me.  From Ms Believer to March to The Sea to Addict With a Pen, every word of every song resonated with me. Tyler Joseph was able to put into words what I  have been feeling for what seems like a lifetime. That sounds so emo but it’s true.

I quickly gained an obsession with these guys. I Tumblr’d the shit out of both of them, followed them on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and everything else possible. If it didn’t have anything to do with TØP then I wasn’t interested. They gave me the strength to take risks with my anxiety and to push myself farther than I ever had. They convinced me to keep trying. If I felt like I couldn’t keep going for me, then I was going to keep going for them.  The song Friend, Please helped pull me out of self loathing and look at things from someone else’s point of view. Yes, life can suck, but don’t make it worse for everyone else by leaving.

I’ll be honest, I am having a hard time writing this because it is pretty hard to put into words the way this band makes me feel. It is almost indescribable. The way they pulled me from my bottomless pit and helped me feel inspired again. They make every day brighter. I don’t know how, but they do. I have transformed my room into a TØP shrine. I have two TØP shirts and one more on the way. I have their albums on vinyl (the ones that are available). I even managed to track down the ever elusive album, Regional at Best.

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I’m just gunna leave this here.

I feel like this post has gone on forever and I still haven’t managed to get my point across. I guess what I’m trying to say is, these two people saved my soul (yes, I realize that I sound like a dramatic teenager).  Maybe I will be able to explain it better another time. I just wanted to throw some hope and positivity out there with all this doom and gloom.

 

The Weight Issue

When I was in my early 20s, I weighed 155 pounds. I fit into everything I wanted to fit into and had no body image issues. Now I’m 30 and I’m 216. What happened?  Well, I have a few things I like to blame it on. Before we go any further, I should mention I’m 5’11.

The main culprit in my mind is the meds I’m on. Zoloft in particular. Because of my severe anxiety I need it to function. When I was 155 I was on paxil but I was also barely eating because the anxiety was so out of control. I would eat very rarely and mostly drank juice to keep me alive. Unhealthy I know, but at least I looked good. I have used Dr Google and according to him it can cause weight gain but it can also cause weight loss. Everything gives me a different answer. Some say it alters the way your body handles carbs and can make you crave them like crazy. Others say it can cause appetite loss and weight loss. After talking with my doctor today, she said it can cause weight gain. I guess I believe the person that went to med school right? One of the problems is that I can’t even really remember when I started the Zoloft so it’s hard to pin down the start of the problem.

Also between 155 me and 216 me, lies a terrible relationship.  One that stressed me out so much I started eating three chocolate bars a night. Living across from a 24 hour convenience store didn’t help. Don’t even get me started on the 24 hour coffee shop that made frapps to die for. I would go there at 1 am to get a decaf frapp. I know what you’re thinking, “well fuck Shannon, there’s your problem”! You may be right, but after that behavior I only gained about 10 or so pounds. After that relationship we left the area and I was no longer across the street from a 24 hour store and a 24 hour coffee shop.  That didn’t stop the weight gain though. When I moved on from that relationship, I was what I thought was “fat”. My skin tight clothes started to show things that weren’t there before. My stomach grew and my thigh circumference doubled. I had no idea what I was in for.

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What I thought “fat” looked like

Now in the new place, the eating continued. There was a store but it was down the street. That didn’t stop me from going to get chips, chocolate, pop, etc. I ate all the time. All night. I couldn’t stay out of the kitchen. I was bored, depressed, anxious and eating was all I had.  As mentioned above, I like to think that Zoloft spurred the appetite increase but I am also trying to avoid excuses. But what if it’s the truth? SSRIs can cause weight gain, that’s a real thing. Right? Right?!

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216 pound Shannon

Fast forward to now. The 216 pound version of Shannon. Clothes don’t fit right even when they are in my size.  I feel heavy and sluggish. I have low iron which doesn’t help. I have tried counting calories. I even signed up for Weight Watchers. All to no avail. The weight will not come off. Maybe I’m not being strict enough with myself, maybe I am still finding excuses. I will be honest, I’m scared of over correcting. I don’t want to become so fixated on food and calories that it turns into anorexia or something worse. I feel like I keep trying and I lose maybe two pounds and then it comes back.

I see a lot out there now about body positivity. Feeling good in your own skin and being proud of every roll and every chin. There are more and more body positive role models out there that are supposed to make girls like me feel better. They don’t. I feel like I am doing something bad by being this weight. It makes everything harder. And if it is my Zoloft, does that mean I have to choose between mental health and physical health? Would I rather be a nervous, depressed wreck that is skinny or a kind of calm, kind of happy fat girl. I don’t know why I let it get to me so much, but it does. Until next time.

The Transformation

So a while back I bought tickets to Twenty One Pilots (more on that in another post) and pretty much around that time I decided I wanted cool hair to go with my tickets to that concert.  I have never spent money on a salon dye job because I tend to have a hard time spending money on my hair. I used to only get haircuts at the 12 dollar places (which is not a good idea with curly hair).  Finally about a month ago I went to get a haircut at a fancy salon down the street from me. It cost a fortune but I thought it was worth it if I want to start wearing my hair down more.  I feel like I’m getting a bald spot on the back of my head from wearing pony tails so much!

Fast forward through a month of googling pictures of girls with purple and pink hair and I made the decision. I was going to get my hair done professionally. Before I would just get my mom to attempt to bleach it and I would use some drug store brand and hope for the best. It has worked well in the past so long as I chose dark colors. I did try to go blonde once…that didn’t turn out so well.  Anyway, the other day I finally booked a date to get it done. Today was that day.

I had an idea of what I wanted but because of my roots and my lighter ends I wasn’t sure if it would be doable. After talking with the stylist and showing her my pictures she came up with a plan of attack and the process started.

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Before

Above you can see the mess she had to work with. Having really curly hair means having really frizzy hair. My roots are my natural color and the lighter used to be a sort of burgundy red color. What once was a very pretty color had faded into copper. The stylist was quick to tell me that I had pretty eyes and eyebrows (the eyes thing I have heard before, not the eyebrows one though!) I decided I liked her because, let’s be honest, who notices eyebrows? So after she slathered some highlights and I sat under a dryer for 15 minutes (which is hell if you run hot on a regular day, like me) it was time for the actual color.

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I feel like I should be spewing some conspiracy theory or something

I’ll admit, once the color went on I was a little skeptical. It looked darker than I wanted. I was aiming for a sort of pastel purple pink mix but I trusted her abilities. She slathered on the purple dye like she was painting drywall, all the while telling me stories about her recent trip to Maui (which sounds like a dump to be honest). Then I sat again, for another 15 minutes, swiping my way through Tinder while the woman next to me talked about her perfect child. By the way, is it bad when you run out of people in your area that are on Tinder…I feel like that’s a bad thing and I maybe need to lay off it for a bit. Anyways, once she rinsed the dye out I finally got a look at what I was working with. It looked good wet and I knew it would be lighter when it was dry. Back under the dryer I went.

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Is this what it feels like to be a Kardashian?

Another overheated 10 minutes later, I was out of the dryer and looking at my kind of dry hair. I liked it. Because she just did highlights with the bleach and didn’t cover my whole head I have a nice spectrum of color going on. Some light, some dark, some pink and some purple. It is lighter on the ends because my hair was originally lighter on the ends, accidental ombre if you will. I walked out feeling like a bad ass that was also kind of pretty like a fairy that can kill you. I also felt like I should be going to Coachella or something. I still kind of do. Anyways, here’s the end result. Let me know what you think.

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It’s lighter in real life

So yes, it took a bite out of my credit card balance but I feel better with it. It has given me confidence and I can’t wait to go to the concert next month which is what the whole purpose of this was anyways. I say mission accomplished. Until next time.

The Beginning

I guess I will have to ease into this.

I have never been much of a blogger but lately my mind has been reeling with thoughts and I see this as a good way to get them out of my head. Yes I have a paper journal but my wrist gets tired and let’s face it, I can type faster than I can print. Sometimes the thoughts flow so fast that I lose track of them before I can get them on paper.

I am excited to go on this new e-journey and finally spill my thoughts into something a little more concrete and who knows, maybe it will help clear things up a little for me.  Please bear with me as I try to get the hang of this. Until next time.