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Catching you up (14)

by JustEliza on 14 May 2010

(Selections from July, 2009)

My interjected memories are the most benign memories I have. I don't know how or why they became affiliated with such a rush of adrenaline and anxiety.

I don't remember the good moments.

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I am not 'mentally ill', because I don't believe in that sort of label for myself. Everyone is, to some degree, mentally different. Some differences are more healthy, more consistently healthy anyways, than others. For much of my childhood, I suffered extreme, prolonged stress and depression. This will have certainly had a lasting, physical effect on me: my body, my brain, my personality, my everything.

I possibly disagree with the theories that disorders like PTSD can be cured. It's shown that the body can recover and so certainly the brain can as well, but most illnesses are incredibly complex things: more than just the sum of their symptoms. A diagnosis is rarely more than a best guess to guide best practice. Medicine, as a science, has a very long way to go, especially when it comes to neurochemistry.

I am no longer me without those interjected memories, those 20 unforgettable years. So it really becomes inconsequential whether I am, right now, mentally ill. The path forward doesn't need that diagnosis. Whereas, having an abscess really does require some sort of clear description. I still have the abscess, but I am no longer physically ill. Now it is a part of me, and I cannot pretend I should be any different.

I have a small lump that wanes and waxes with the day. I have breathless, vivid reminders of people and places of my past, dancing with today in my brain. I am perfectly fertile but have no children. I struggle to remember satisfaction. Feelings, good and bad, don't have a great shelf life in Chez Eliza.

And these are imprecise pieces of me.

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The solicitor who triggered my PTSD and anxiety several years ago with the multitude of ways he and his staff royally messed up our conveyancing and then verbally attacked me for writing a letter of complaint.... is still, several years later, writing us letters revealing yet another way they've messed up our conveyancing.

It's taken me, well, four years to get over that particular trauma, and I still can't handle explaining to people what happened as it makes me so stressed. I'll be damned if I get pulled into another abusive situation over a bill they forgot to pay. YEARS, not months. And they didn't even post some proof of invoice with the letter, just a letter begging for money. Right. Like I trust them over the random African businessman begging for money in my SPAM folder. Never.

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I've been keeping detailed journals of my nutrition and my health for nearly two months now, and even knowing as much biology as I do (which is a lot) I am shocked how much of my moods and well-being is affected by hormones. I can see now, how some of the natural cycles of the body feed into cycles of mental health.

For example, increasing progesterone post ovulation raises the core body temperature and results in hot flashes. Between the two of them, I start having broken, inadequate sleep, resulting in headaches and increased stress. I concentrate less and get less housework done, which further increases my stress. The temperature rises to a point where the broken sleep causes dissociation and feelings of 'death/detachment' in addition to delirium. I suffer anxiety about feeling so sick/low, which to be honest is right on time as the increase in estrogen causes marked anxiety and strong cravings for fullness, ironic because my cells are so bloated. Menstruation almost seems like a relief, when you really look at it.

I merely point out to my male audience that they don't even have the luxury of that break, so there's no opportunity for gloating.

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