December 9, 2015

simple pleasures: home edition

rolling the trash cans down the driveway on trash day

hearing the thwack of the ice machine dropping ice in the freezer

(anecdote: the day we moved in, I opened the freezer and saw we had an ice maker, but we weren't sure if it was connected to the water line so I flipped it on. then we went downstairs, and a few minutes later we heard a noise. we both stopped and looked at each other in bewilderment and then I yelled HELL YEAH WE HAVE ICE!)

opening the gate to our fence when I get home

having a utility sink. I don't know why.

I have been battling a relentless bout of depression for months. long enough that I often believe that I will never not feel this way. I have sunbreaks from time to time, for no obvious reason, and then just as arbitrarily, I stumble back down. I often feel like a mostly-empty balloon. I might start to feel a little bit better -- buoyed up -- but the smallest thing can deflate me again. it's frustrating and exhausting.

I started seeing a therapist. in our first session I started talking all about what was going on, how I felt stuck, how I couldn't seem to get out of my own way, how there are all these things I'm doing badly and if I could just figure out how to start doing them, and doing them better, it would go a long way. after maybe half an hour, she asked, "do you think you might be kind of hard on yourself?" and I started sobbing.

some days I feel okay. other days I cry quietly at my desk. I struggle to force myself to go out, to do anything social, to do anything at all. depression has made me a bad friend, a poor correspondent, distant, uncommunicative. I wish there were any way to verbalize how hard it can be just to write a text message sometimes. I'm trying.

day 0
I quit the streak. I quit on October 12. It was deliberate. at the time, it felt like it was time. I dreaded going out the door every single day. I was only running to check off the days, and I had been for months. I was running less, and slower, than I had in a long time. so one day I made the decision. I aimed to quit on the day of a race, in order to be with friends and go out with style, but that day happened to be day 649 of the streak and I just couldn't let that stand. so I ran one more day, alone, around my neighborhood, and it felt fitting and right. I cried a little. I thought the following day would be a challenge -- don't run!! -- but I had a beer, climbed into my big fluffy chair, and watched movies. it felt decadent. it continued to feel decadent for at least a week afterward, when I would have the daily moment of "oh gosh, still gotta run" which was then accompanied by the elation of realizing that I didn't.

but ask me now and I will tell you that I'm sorry I let it go. all my worst fears about quitting have come to pass: I stopped running, I stopped doing anything. I've run 5 times since then. it all feels like it was a waste. this week I've realized I have to start running right away or risk feeling that it was all for nothing. I am trying hard to live this bit moment to moment, forgetting about 650 days, forgetting about race goals, forgetting about what my body once could do, because remembering makes me so frustrated that I just want to throw my shoes across the room and give up.

hasimoto's, or something
I've mentioned it off and on (maybe? I don't know, I haven't reread the blog), but I have been having mysterious and kind of amorphous health problems this entire year. mostly in relation to my energy level (low with bouts of 'turning into a noodle,' as it's colloquially called in my house), but there have been a host of other small, unshakeable things. persistent headaches (if I get a hangover now my headaches sometimes don't go away until three days later), bouts of lightheadedness, total lack of appetite coupled with the bodily feeling that I'm somehow starving, weird skin problems, weird inability to stay hydrated, random muscle aches, heart palpitations. also I have a stomach ulcer.


my doctor is super nice but my feeling has kind of been that she thinks it's just dietary and isn't really concerned. I had relatively low iron and B12 levels earlier in the year, so I take a robust hilarious amount of supplements, which have done little to nothing in terms of making me feel better. but up until yesterday I had still been blaming my diet, which has been not as great as I would like. and then suddenly it occurred to me, from who knows where, that I shouldn't have to have a picture perfect diet in order to feel like a working human being.

("are you maybe being too hard on yourself?")

I have long wondered if all these symptoms weren't indicative of some sort of endocrine problem, but my doctor has seemed so unconcerned that I've never pursued it. I don't like going to the doctor because I err on the side of wanting to fix my problems -- any problems -- myself, and I always feel like whatever I'm in for is not actually important enough to warrant an office visit. (but also when I had the flu as a sophomore in high school, my temperature spiked to 105 and my mom still didn't take me to the doctor, so I come by my doctor anxiety honestly.) this means that I usually feel kind of cowed when I'm there. but I finally made an appointment with a totally different doctor in order to get another opinion. I strongly suspect a thyroid problem, and at least if I have to belligerently insist on thyroid tests (doctors notoriously discount thyroid issues), I'll be doing it to a total stranger.

also I have a torn rotator cuff. (or at least I'm 98% sure I do.) I sustained it in the paddle portion of the ride-row-run back in september, but it remained kind of a dull annoyance -- after the initial HORRIBLE KNOT I had in my shoulder for over a week -- until just the other day when presumably I reinjured it. at work, I can't find a single way to hold my arm that doesn't hurt. I can't roll down my car window, I can't put on a coat, I can't lift it in most ways without weird clicking. FUN. TIMES. so I go to the doctor for that on friday.

umm, something fun to end on

boyfriend is coming home with me for christmas, and except for the horrible terror I have over how overpowering the smell of dog pee will be in my mom's house (the family dog is on death's doorstep and it has ruined the carpets), I'm looking forward to it.