Mental Health

I Have ADHD Now. I Feel Broken.

I went to the doctor yesterday for a physical and tetanus booster. I won’t find out the blood test results for another few days.

For a few years now, I’ve been having trouble focusing. For a few years now, I’ve been having short-term memory issues. Last week, my issues started affecting my job so I decided to see a doctor about it. I was given a self-assessment for ADHD and my doctor reviewed it. I have a very mild case of ADHD, and right now, I’m not going to be put on medication unless it gets worse.

So now I have another thing cognitively wrong with me (ADHD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, undiagnosed depression, possible undiagnosed autism). I’m considered disabled now since ADHD is a disability. I can’t get treated for my ADHD because it’s so mild and the medication could cause issues with my heart. I have a naturally high heart rate and ADHD medications are stimulants. My doctor is just going to monitor my ADHD for now. I know mindfulness won’t work; that’s hippie bullshit that hasn’t been proven effective and is just a fad.

Ever since my diagnosis yesterday, I’ve been having constant suicidal thoughts. I can’t talk to anyone about it and I can’t call the suicide hotline. Even doing kickboxing today couldn’t stop the suicidal thoughts, and it always does.

I should check myself into the hospital, but I can’t. I’m meeting up with my Godfather this evening for dinner and I promised my co-worker that I’d pick him up from the train station tomorrow. He’s returning from Florida after visiting his dad from the hospital.

I want my brain fixed. I want to be normal. I want to live to see my 25th birthday, even though I keep feeling that I’ll die before then.

Self-Reflection

Self-Reflection: Goals for June 2017

I know it’s weird to mention goals this late in the month, but I’m doing it anyway! You can’t stop me! I haven’t set goals for myself since January, and although I don’t set goals each month, I feel like setting goals will help me become closer to who I want to be.

  1. Learn a new life skill. I’m very far behind in regards to independent life. If I learn life skills, I can finally move out of my parents’ house. I’ll probably learn how to properly cook first because my cooking skills are limited to using the microwave and boiling water to make food. Gosh darnit, I want some chicken orzo soup sometimes!
  2. Start learning and using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques. Seeing as how my mental health has been getting worse since last year and therapy didn’t help me at all with my issues, I’m going to do things myself. I mainly did cognitive behavioral therapy with my second therapist, and I felt like this was the most effective thing for me. I even stopped picking at my skin for awhile! I found a site that has cognitive behavioral therapy techniques that I can do on my own. In a later blog post, I will talk about techniques I have learned in therapy and techniques that I learned online.
  3. Get my yellow belt in kickboxing. Typically, kickboxing classes don’t have belts. I think this is a way to track progress and see what there is to learn next. We don’t have official tests until black belt, but the coach decides when we have earned our belt. My kickboxing coach is a godan (5th degree black belt) in karate and a former professional kickboxer. I hope I get my yellow belt this month because he said it takes 3 to 6 months to be able to get a yellow belt for the kickboxing class and I’ve been doing this for more than 4 months.
  4. Finally start reading the book “Harmony” by Karis Walsh. I’ve had that book since Christmas and haven’t read it yet. That was because I wanted to save the book so I could read it during jury duty selection back in January. They didn’t need me to come in, though. Even if I only read a chapter or two this month, at least I finally read it.
  5. Start doing some exercises outside of kickboxing class. I have a set of 3-pound weights and 8-pound weights at home (they were my dad’s. The 3-pound weights were for his physical therapy after his shoulder surgery 3 years ago), I have a treadmill, and I have enough space to do ab work and work on my splits (I can almost go all the way down when my right leg is forward and I’m so happy about that!). Exercising outside of class could help me become a better kickboxer in regards to strength and stamina. Maybe my co-worker would want to spar or something.

Wow, that’s more goals than I originally thought of (goals one and three were my original goals for this month)! I should be able to do it though, although the yellow belt in kickboxing will be the hardest goal to achieve this month because although it’s up to me to work hard, the coach has the final say in when I get my belt. So tell me, readers, what goals do you have for this month or the next few months?

Awareness

June 2nd: Gun Violence Awareness Day

Warning: Mentions of homicide, gun violence, and death. Please don’t read this blog if any of the aforementioned is your trigger.

So I’m late on this, mainly because I didn’t get home that night until after 9:30 PM. June 2nd is Gun Violence Awareness Day. On this day, people wore orange and there were events. I don’t have an orange shirt, so I couldn’t wear an orange shirt. There was a rally in this nearby big city which included sharing stories of those who died from gun violence and a fun parade. I wish I was there too, since I want to become a better advocate by attending actual events.

Why do I care about decreasing the number of gun violence incidents? My friend from middle school died from gun violence in July 2016.

I’ll tell you about my friend. Her name was Jenna and she moved into the house next door to me during the summer of 2003. We started middle school together and we were on the same team (at my middle school, everyone was in a team, and each team had a set of teachers. Your team started with a number, which is the grade you are in. My friend and I were on team 6-south). She played soccer and I played tennis. In the middle of seventh grade, she moved away and she lived with her grandmother. We would e-mail and write letters to each other, but that stopped when she gave birth to her son during high school.

I only found out about her being killed because I looked her up in January and the first results on Google were about her death. She was sitting in her car when she was shot, and she drove herself to the hospital. She was 24, and what made her death sadder was that she had given birth to her third child a few weeks before she was killed. She was not being targeted for any reason, but she was definitely in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I’m not the only one with a story like this, where someone you once knew was killed due to gun violence. Let’s work together to decrease gun violence.

Books · lgbt

“I Can’t Think Straight” Book Review

So this review was originally going to be on YouTube, but now that YouTube restricts LGBT content for not being “family-friendly”, I can’t do the video anymore. So my review will be here!

I found out about this book online via the Gay and Lesbian section of Powell’s Books when I was looking for LGBT books. I read the synopsis and liked what I read, so I got the book for my 24th birthday.

Meet Tala, a Jordanian living in London. She is engaged for the fourth time to Hani. Meet Leyla, the girlfriend of Tala’s best friend. Despite only being weeks away from getting married, Tala struggles to make the choice between doing what is expected of her and following her heart.

I liked this book and would read a chapter each night. I liked how I could easily identify with characters in the book. I liked how I could feel like I was a character in the book instead of being a reader.

There were some things that surprised me about the book. I was surprised that it was in chapter four when one’s romantic feelings for the other were hinted. I kind of expected it to take longer, to be honest. I was also surprised at how early the kiss occurred. Maybe it just seems a little fast? Then again, I’m kind of used to fanfiction where there is slower progression of romance (but not so slow that I lose interest).

Was there anything that I didn’t like in the book? The book was too short.

Unlike other books I have read (either for pleasure or for school) I actually identified with a character. In this case, I really identified with the character Tala. I have to either keep things about me to myself or follow what is expected of me because society tells me so, I don’t want to be the odd one out in my family, or because it’s just not something that people want to acknowledge in your culture.

So tell me, people who read this blog, have you read any LGBT books? Do you have a favorite LGBT book? What is your favorite book (LGBT-themed or not)?

Mental Health

Why I Gave Up on Therapy

I’m sorry this isn’t one of my fun posts, but I’ve been having a lot of mental health issues this month. I feel the need to talk about it because while mental illness is being talked about more, we only hear about mental illness and mental health issues from white people. It’s time for people of color to speak up about mental health.

I have seen three therapists throughout my life. I’m still not better. That’s why I gave up on therapy. I may need medications to help with my mental health issues since therapy didn’t work.

It’s unheard of to see more two therapists for mental health issues. By this point, mental illnesses will be either manageable or seemingly fixed. I’ve gotten worse. I’m tired of people telling me to seek therapy again. I can’t do that. I can’t even see a psychiatrist. I will lose my clearance over seeking treatment. Besides, I have not heard of a mentally ill person seeing four therapists through their life. Even in the mental health community, I am an outlier.

For some reason, I have not been diagnosed with depression, but only generalized anxiety disorder. I don’t know why. I am 100% sure that I have it. Medication is something I don’t want to do because I will see it as me succumbing to my mental illness. Electroconvulsive therapy is what I want, even though I will lose memories.

I wish I wasn’t mentally ill. I wish I wasn’t the only one in my family with this issue. I wish my family wasn’t in denial about it. I wish the suicidal thoughts would go away.

Uncategorized

Awesome Blogger Award Nomination

Catherine, whom I feel would be my best friend if we lived near each other, nominated me for the Awesome Blogger Award. She’s awesome. I gave her a shout out in a previous blog, but here’s her blog again.

What is the Awesome Blogger Award?

This award was created by Miss Maggie over at Dreaming of Guatemala! And she says: “This is an award for the absolutely wonderful writers all across the blogging world. They have beautiful blogs, are kind and lovely, and always find a way to add happiness and laughter to the lives of their readers. That is what truly defines an awesome blogger.”

Rules of This Award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you & include the reason behind the award.
  • Tag it under #awesomebloggeraward in the Reader.
  • Answer the questions your nominator gave you.
  • Nominate at least 5 awesome bloggers.
  • Give your nominees 10 new questions to answer.
  • Let your nominees know that they’ve been nominated!

So here are the questions Catherine asked me.

1. What motivates/inspires you?

I know everyone is tired of me mentioning this motivation, but it would have to be my workout buddy Gary. He’s been through a lot of negative things, including nearly dying in November. He uses his second chance at life to take up boxing.

2. What kind of music do you like?

Rock (no preference over the style of rock), 90s Eurodance, Electronic Dance Music (EDM), and alternative music.

3. Do you read? What is your favorite book?

I have recently started reading physical books again. My favorite book is a tie between Nineteen Minutes (warning: the book contains a school shooting, relationship abuse, bullying, and suicide. Don’t read the book if you are triggered by anything I just listed) and I Can’t Think Straight (review will come later).

4. Do you like sport? Which is your favorite?

I never played many sports, but tennis is my favorite.

5. What’s your weirdest pet-peeve?

Hmmm, if I have to pick one, it’s people telling me to stop talking about a guy I like. I’ve experienced this since middle school and two people in university wrote a collaborative letter to me telling me to either talk to the guy in microbiology class I thought was cute or stop talking to them. I no longer talk to them.

6. What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you?

There are so many things that happened to me, so I’m just going to pick one. A few months ago in kickboxing, my coach teased me about wanting Gary’s phone number (to check on my workout buddy whenever he’s not in the boxing gym). When Gary came back, I had him ask Coach about what he teased me about. Coach tried to pretend that he couldn’t remember and tried to make me say that I wanted Gary’s phone number. I got Gary’s number, so yay! It was funny because I thought I was blushing so hard when trying to get Coach to say it so I wouldn’t have to.

7. What actor would play you in a movie about your life?

I was actually thinking about this recently, and I had no idea. I still don’t know, to be honest. I want to say Sarah Barrable-Tishauer (Liberty van Zandt from Degrassi), but she no longer acts. She’s a DJ now.

8. What is your perfect pizza?

Barbecue chicken pizza, but without onions. I have yet to find a pizza place that doesn’t put onions in barbecue chicken pizza. It’s barbecue chicken pizza, not barbecue chicken and onion pizza!

9. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

Probably Seattle or Portland. Portland because of the show Portlandia and their giant book store Powell’s Books, and Seattle because there was a girl who liked me and she lives in Seattle.

10. How do you spend your free time?

When I’m not at work or at kickboxing class, I sit on my butt in front of the computer.

It looks like I’m supposed to nominate some people now. I nominate the following people.

omydaisy

DirtySciFiBuddha

J. A. Allen

Kate Louise

Rasheed Clarke

My questions I want you to answer:

  1. What language would you like to learn?
  2. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  3. What is something you now like that you didn’t like before?
  4. What is currently your favorite song?
  5. If you wrote a script for a movie, what would it be about?
  6. Would you ever want any piercings?
  7. Did you ever have a crush on a cartoon character or anime character?
  8. If you were given $100, what would you spend it on?
  9. What was the best birthday present you have ever received?
  10. What instrument do you want to learn to play?
Awareness

World IBD Day: My Workout Buddy Has Ulcerative Colitis

Disclaimer: Diaryofself will mention medical symptoms and medical stuff in this post. This post is not a substitute for a trained medical professional. Diaryofself is not a medical professional, but a software developer. I don’t even play a medical professional on TV. If you are having symptoms of Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis, see a doctor. Also, if you see that I mentioned something incorrect about IBD on this post, please tell me! I don’t want to contribute to the spread of misinformation.

Hello, my lovely readers! It’s another awareness blog! Today on May 19th, we celebrate World IBD Day. This is the day where people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (shortened to IBD), their caregivers, friends, significant others, and families come together to raise awareness and fight IBD. The most common Inflammatory Bowel diseases include Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (though people have heard of Crohn’s and not ulcerative colitis). You’ll often hear about someone’s experience with IBD, but we don’t often enough hear about the people who are a part of their support system. Families and friends are affected by someone’s chronic illness as well. However, remember that we should not speak over top of the people who live it. We will never fully understand what they’re going through, even if we hear their stories. Why do I care about World IBD Day? While I do not have IBD, my workout buddy (mentioned in an earlier blog post) has ulcerative colitis. We should also care about this day of spreading awareness for the reasons Colitis Ninja mentioned in one of her blog posts from 2015.

To start off, I shall link you to a few blogs that I recommend. I used these blogs to raise my personal awareness of ulcerative colitis when my workout buddy (the same awesome one I mention in this blog post) told me of his diagnosis within the past few years.

Fierce and Flared. This blog is written by a woman named Brooke. She was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2012, had her colectomy and temporary ileostomy in 2013, and now has a jpouch. She also has done advocacy work to raise awareness and is the founder and editor-in-chief of Companion Magazine for IBD.

Colitis Ninja. Colitis Ninja was started by Amber as her personal form of therapy. The ninja represents a fighter, since people with invisible illnesses fight every day and despite their outward appearance, their bodies are declaring war on the inside. The goal of the site is to provide support to patients and caregivers living with ulcerative colitis, crohn’s disease, indeterminate colitis, jpouches, and ostomies. She also creates restroom access cards to give people with IBD access to bathrooms that aren’t often granted to the public. Note: As of this post, she is only selling the access cards in the United States, Canada, Ireland, and the UK.

I feel like this blog post will get long, so many apologies for that. Awareness can’t exactly be done in 140 characters like a tweet. Inflammatory Bowel Disease is commonly diagnosed before the age of 35, but diagnoses have been made later in life (my workout buddy was in his mid-40s when he was diagnosed). It used to be thought that diet and stress were causes of IBD, but there is no known cause. However, it is suggested that genetics, environment, and immune system causes may be a possibility. There is no cure for Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

Ulcerative colitis symptoms can include abdominal pain/discomfort, blood or pus in stool, fever, weight loss, frequent diarrhea, fatigue, reduced appetite, and a sudden urge to have a bowel movement. Source

Crohn’s disease symptoms include frequent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, weight loss, fever, abdominal pain/cramping, fatigue, and reduced appetite. Note: Crohn’s disease can affect the entire gastrointestinal tract, so partial or total removal of the colon will not “cure” Crohn’s. Source

Note: People with IBD can also experience joint pain and other symptoms that are not GI-related. Both of these diseases have many symptoms in common, and there have been cases of misdiagnoses between the two common Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. Honest conversations must be held between you and your healthcare provider. I know, people get all shy when talking about poop and people are embarrassed to say that they sometimes don’t make it to the bathroom in time before having incontinence.

As I stated earlier, my workout buddy has ulcerative colitis. Since I only see him during the boxing and kickboxing classes, it doesn’t affect me too much. Sometimes, I don’t see him that day if his symptoms are present or if he’s tired. When people ask me where he is, I sometimes don’t know. Now that I have his number, I often know ahead of time if he’s going to have to skip working out. He’s a very funny guy, but I sometimes question if he’s legitimately funny or if it’s just a mask that he’s wearing (people with chronic illnesses can develop anxiety and/or depression). Because his medication lowers his immune system, I sometimes worry if he’s going to once again catch and infection and lose the battle. Back in November, months before I met him, he got MRSA and it went into his bloodstream. After many antibiotics, doctors didn’t know what else was going to help get rid of the MRSA. My workout buddy had to face the reality that he was likely going to die. But he’s still alive. I don’t know how, but something worked. What if something like that happened again? Would he make it this time? It’s something I don’t like thinking about, but I know it’s a real possibility.

So what are some things you can you do if someone you love and/or know has Irritable Bowel Disease? It can all be summed up by one thing: treat them as if they were a healthy individual.

  1. Still invite them out to places, even though they may have to decline at the last minute due to feeling very unwell.
  2. Increase your own awareness of their specific disease to better understand what’s going on (but remember that you will not truly understand what they’re going through if you have a healthy colon).
  3. Know what things to not say to someone with IBD. Gutsy Ginger does a good job in the linked blog post with telling you what not to say, and unlike many other people with IBD, she tells you what things to say instead.
  4. Ask them how they’re doing. It shows that you care about them.
  5. Believe them. This is very important for people with IBD or any other invisible illness. Sadly, people with invisible illnesses aren’t taken as seriously as those with a visible illness because they look fine on the outside.

This is not an inclusive list. I hope you all learned a little more about Irritable Bowel Disease. Here’s my video about it. If you make it to the end of this blog and saw that I mentioned something incorrect about IBD, please tell me! I don’t want to contribute to the spread of misinformation.