I’m not old yet. I just wish my body would stop trying to say otherwise. I’m going to be 52 this month. That’s really not that old. But I laugh as I remember a time when I thought it was.
Ever feel as though your body has turned into that rebellious teenager you can’t control, and it’s doing everything you don’t want it to, just to spite you? You don’t want to feel old, so it’s going to do everything it can to make you feel like your aging mother or grandmother you remember from childhood. :: sigh ::
I shouldn’t sound so pessimistic. It’s not always like that. It’s just that, sometimes you have those days that you want to trade your body in for a new one, y’know? Oh, and seeing your own kid with that lack of fear of mortality…. Gods above, I miss that.
I suppose today is just one of those days. I’m writing to show that menopause, and getting older is no picnic. I don’t want to be grandma. As I get older, I want to be like this chick:
I’m a lucky mother. My son is 20 years old. When he went through those teenage years, he wasn’t a “rebellious teenager”. We have a good relationship and it’s always been that way. We’ve always been able to talk to each other. Now, as with any relationship, there are days you can do better on your communication…
I’m sure that’s what goes on with your body as you age. Everything is changing and you have to learn how to communicate with each other all over again.
Just over a week ago, I was diagnosed with an abscess in my sinuses. This one was hard – I haven’t been that sick in a long time. This infection hit me sudden, hard, and it was painful.
Despite being on two different antibiotics at the same time, it seemed this thing was only getting worse. I had no energy (of course), so I killed my time on Facebook. After a couple of days of that, it just felt like I was being bombarded by nothing but negativity. I didn’t want to communicate over Messenger or Facebook. I just wanted to hide under the bed. No special treatment for anyone. I just wanted to get better.
Sure enough, as soon as I went offline, I started to feel better. It was a gradual process, and it took just over a week, but I feel better. I’m not saying this is what cured me; the antibiotics did a world of good, too, I’m sure. But depriving myself from the negativity probably helped.
I told people that they’d probably see me back on Facebook sometime this week (thinking, after Monday), but, honestly, if I wasn’t running someone’s business page, I’d probably delete my account after this. I still don’t want to go back online there.
There’s enough negativity in this world already. Do we really need to bombard ourselves with more of it every day by using a social media platform that sells our private information to the highest bidder, anyway?
If you aren’t familiar with Spoon Theory, go get a copy of Furiously Happy, by Jenny Lawson, right now. Also, start reading her blog. Gods…. if you haven’t been reading The Bloggess, what rock have you been hiding under all these years?
In Furiously Happy, Jenny Lawson explains “Spoon Theory” in detail. I’m giving her full credit for it here because it makes so much sense and explains the whole “I just can’t…” part of Depression. Let me explain.
First, let’s take a young, perfectly healthy person. This person wakes up in the morning with a full set of spoons. All the things they have to do that day require energy. You have a spoon for everything you need to do. You already got out of bed. That’s a spoon. Eating, caring for people, going places, cleaning house, working…. you get the idea. And at the end of the day, this young healthy person has spoons leftover as he or she goes to bed. When they wake up, the Spoon Fairy has arrived with this fresh supply of spoons for the day. Voila! Infinite spoons!
But if you’re sick, that affects the number of spoons you get that day. If you’re battling mental illness, you start to see those spoons dwindle. There will be days you wake up and the fairy only left you 3 or 4 spoons. That’s all you get for the day and you have to make them last. You have to be selective with your spoons.
You haven’t seen a post from me since … oh …. June of last year, because I haven’t had the spoons to write. Today, I sit and write about Spoon Theory. I’m still in my pajamas. I haven’t had a shower or brushed my teeth. I haven’t eaten. I haven’t brushed my hair. If my husband hadn’t called me to ask me a question, I probably wouldn’t have said one word to anyone. By the time this post is complete, I may be out of spoons; I’m not sure yet. I may have a couple more. I hope I do.
You always seem to get 1 spoon. You woke up. You aren’t dead today. But, yes, that requires a spoon, because the energy that comes pouring in when you wake up…. all the mind chatter and the self-talk you have to fight.
“OMG, can’t I just lay here?”
“No. you have to get out of bed. How can you tell your kid he can’t stay in bed all day if you just stay in bed all day?”
So by the time you guilt trip yourself, you’ve spent a spoon just waking up.
If you only have 3-4 spoons that day, you decide how to spend them. Personal hygiene may have to be put off until the next day. Or the next. Or the next. Some day when you have enough spoons or until you just can’t take it anymore.
You start valuing relationships on a whole new level. Friendships change. Long-term depression will do that to people. But it comes down to talking about what’s wrong and why you don’t feel like this person doesn’t have your back. You tell yourself that this person just has too much going on right now and it isn’t the right time to talk, but in reality, you just don’t have enough spoons to have a conversation.
There are days when I wake up with one spoon and I just want to cry. I know I have to get out of bed anyway and I don’t have the spoons to do it. Those are the days I have to fake it. I have to put up a façade. I become Duch.
Duch is smart, confident, outgoing. She’s anything but depressed. She can damn sure get out of bed in the morning. I put the face on. Oh, and Duch would want to dress up pretty. But, damn… does she have to wear those uncomfortable shoes? So what if they’re pretty? Ok, but she does tell me I look good.
She drags me outside & we go somewhere. Anywhere. Even if it’s to a freakin’ coffee shop. Although, recently, she made the mistake of dragging me to the grocery store (trying to accomplish getting something done while getting me out of the house), but that only resulted in me having a panic attack. Too many people, too crowded. So Duch and I went home with just a few items, got back into the pajamas and drank beer. I was now at negative spoons.
Negative spoons is not a good thing. This doesn’t go away the next day. There is no magickal reset to zero. When the fairy brings your spoons the next day, she subtracts the spoons you “borrowed” against… you know, those spoons that took you into the negative? If you don’t have enough, she leaves you one. She carries the balance over to the following day.
If there is a way to earn spoons, I’d like to know.
But that is Spoon Theory, in a nutshell. Now go read Jenny Lawson’s book. But if you haven’t read her first book, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, go read that first. And, for chrissakes! Get out from under that damned rock!
I’ve been saying for a while that I need to get more exercise. Running isn’t my thing, although I know it’s good for more than just the body. My friends who do run continue to tell me how they experience a release from their stress and anxiety when they run. They experience that sense of *freedom*, and sometimes everything that’s eating at you finally just shuts the fuck up.
I used to bike a lot when I was younger for those same reasons. Not necessarily for the exercise, but just to get out of the house and see how far I could go that day. Anything bothering me was gone. For that moment, I was free. I kinda’ got away from that over the years…
It’s time I got back to it. I got a bike last night and started riding today (yes, in the rain). I love it! Going riding again tomorrow! 🙂
Gah… Seriously, people, I don’t feel that old. Well, except for right now, but that’s another story completely. I hear, “At your age,” and I think of my Gran when she was in her 80’s. I’m not even close.
But I am post-menopausal and there are things I need to do that I don’t; for example, bone density tests. And right now I’m dealing with that little issue.
A little back history (ahahahaha!! Unintended pun!!!).
A little over a month ago I decided to get a new pair of sneakers. This lovely pair of Chuck Taylors caught my eye. I haven’t worn that brand in a long time. These weren’t your standard canvas CTs, noooo…. They were black leather and canvas.
I had to have them.
About a day or two later we had a very foggy morning, leaving our concrete porch extremely wet. I’d just made a run to … somewhere… honestly, I don’t remember and that part of the story is irrelevant anyway. On my way in my feet, in these new Chuck Taylors, decided it would be a good time to remind me that this particular brand of shoes have crap for traction on slick surfaces. My feet went right out from under me and I landed flat on my tuchus.
I felt everything in my spine compress and I knew I’d broken my tailbone. Eh, what can be done about a broken tailbone? I figured I’d just jammed everything else together and I’d be sore for a couple of weeks.
A month later, not only had things not improved, they were actually getting worse. I had to go to an orthopedist. He did x-rays and an MRI, and I found out I had compression fractures in 3 of my vertebrae.
WHAT??? But all I did was fall on my a**! This didn’t used to happen!!
Oh, and if this wasn’t alarming, evidently, this wasn’t the first time I’d done something like this. I also have older compression fractures that have healed.
So why am I telling you all this?
Get your bone density tests. It doesn’t matter how old you are. If you went into early menopause, get your bone density tests done anyway. You don’t want to end up in a back brace looking that’s more like a medical corset because of your fashion choice on a foggy morning.
There are many articles on Body Dysmorphic Disorder; from what can cause it, to the lengths people go to in order to obtain that “perfect body”, to how our media contributes to this condition. In this post, I write about the thought process behind BDD.
I spent my day off yesterday wondering how I would go back to work today. I was dreading it. I was wavering back and forth between panic and tears. Mr. Magick Man had his own list of things he wanted me to follow-up on for an upcoming trip he’s taking, too. I decided that was it. I can’t start my business, be someone’s personal assistant, cook dinner, and stand on my feet all day. But I wasn’t going to quit on Friday. I’d at least talk to the manager so they could find coverage for Saturday.
I went in and started my shift. I wasn’t happy to be there. All I could think about was how slow I was compared to everyone else. The store was opening and people started coming in. The Friday hoard invaded.
No one understands that you’re new on Friday. Everyone is in a hurry.
This one older guy walked in. He was probably no more than 10 years older than me, but his face really showed his age, y’know? He had a smile on his face and said he’d been looking for a bakery all morning. Considering it was only about 8:15am, he couldn’t have been looking very long… He seemed like a nice guy. He ordered a mixture of pastries and a few cinnamon rolls. These needed a larger box. The box I pulled would have fit, but I’d need to stack some of the pastries. Suddenly, Dr. Nice Customer turns into Mr. Hyde and says in this snippy voice, “Don’t stack them all in one box! Put them all in one layer. I don’t want them messed up!” So I get the longest box we have, which won’t hold all of them in one layer, btw, and start to box the pastries. I have 4 left over, and I start to get another box. Mr. Hyde then says, “Don’t you know anything?! Do I have to come back there and do it myself? Put them all in that box!” I then replied, “You said not to stack them. If I put them all in one layer, they won’t fit.” And he says, “Just put them all in that box. Do I have to come back there myself?”
That was the last straw. I asked one of the other employees to help him, because I was about to tell him I would love to see him behind that counter all day, on his feet, doing my job. I’d pay good money to see him working just one of my shifts while I bitched at him.