Saturday, October 15, 2016

Demons in the Internet: my article for The Mary Sue

I wrote an article for The Mary Sue about an episode of Buffy. It lives here. Warnings for me talking frankly about the Ex of Doom.

I don't want to repost it, honestly because I want to give my original post web traffic and justify the shiny $20 they paid me for writing it, but I'll talk about it a little here.

Writing this was easy; having it out in the world was hard. I had a panic attack the day it went up, actually. The Ex would find it, he would find me. He would try to talk to me. It's horrible enough that LinkedIn keeps trying to tell me that I should friend him; the idea that he might have any inclination to turn my way fills me with a cold, sweating dread. I don't want it in the same way I don't want to be stung to death by bees.

I'm lucky to currently have a kind, warm boy who understands all of this, and understands me. But it's still hard, to be so afraid. It used to be that I thought about the Ex every day, that my thoughts would be a constant undercurrent of anger and heartbreak. These days, I can go days without thinking about him, but he creeps in in unexpected ways. I get a song he wrote stuck in my head. I remember a thing he does. My good, sweet boy innocuously asks why I have a random string of numbers in my e-mail address (it's my birth year and the Ex's birth year, a thing he insisted on). It's weird how I can delete all the pictures of him from my collection, and move on, mostly, and he can still linger in my life. I wish this wasn't how it was, but I think I'm dealing with it pretty well, considering.

Overall, I'm not the girl who was with him, anymore. That's what's worth remembering.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

I Might Have A Chronic Illness And I Feel Fine [Updated]

I've been tired recently.

Actually, I'm always tired, and have been for as long as I can remember. I need at least 10 hours of sleep, I say, in order to function properly. I never wake up well, and go to sleep and stay asleep like the dead. Whenever anyone asks me how I'm feeling and they're talking to me before noon, I smile a little and say, "tired." It's been a part of my life since I stopped taking Adderall and Concerta (AKA barely legal amphetamines) for my ADD.

I listen to a podcast called Interrobang, which is an excellent podcast where two people talk honestly about what's making them frustrated. It's more therapeutic than you'd think. Anyway, last week I listened to their episode "From Being Super Tired to Successful Communication."  One host, Travis, is having a baby any day now, and he was talking about the idea of "overtired," which is when a baby is tired, but doesn't have the mental capacity to understand that they can solve their problem by going to sleep. They then become so tired they're uncomfortable, and then they can't sleep, which causes the baby to melt down because they're miserable and nothing is fixing it, and the parent has to step in and try to force the baby to be comfortable and thus asleep. The other host, Tybee, replied, "I feel like that sometimes, too, with my thyroid issues," and talked about becoming so tired she became extremely emotional.

I felt like I needed to pull my car over to the side of the road. Holy fucking shit, they were talking about me.

It felt like my past had reorganized itself in front of my eyes. I'm not crying in the Publix on a regular basis just because I'm a wimp. I don't feel terrible all the damn time because I drink Diet Coke or I don't exercise enough. Well, maybe I do feel terrible because of all those things, but here it is, this concept that this could be something that was not simply how I was, but something going wrong. And I don't have to keep living like this.

The doctor says it's probably either a thyroid issue or pregnancy. Pregnancy is unlikely, since I just had my period, and also this has been going on for at least a year and I don't think I'm magic like that. I'm worried in a very dark part of my mind that it's thyroid cancer; my very best friend has had thyroid cancer and I think the universe would love that horrible irony. More likely, though, is that my thyroid is probably just broken in some way. That makes ironic sense, too, since I've had a lot of people assume or discover that I am broken, over the years.

Unlike when I was twelve, when the ADD diagnosis made me feel like a freak for not being able to fix myself, for being broken, I'm glad for the idea that I might be broken. I don't have to keep trying to fix myself on my own.

UPDATE [Nov 2, 2016]: I have a vitamin D deficiency. I feel gypped.

Talk to the author on Twitter @yipp33kiyay.