Clarity

I did something bad, and I feel really guilty about it.  Not guilty about what I actually did, per se, but guilty over lying.  Or, at least omitting the truth and being otherwise deceitful…

Because of severe exhaustion, both physically and mentally, I have been really struggling lately to be an active participant in my life.  And, whether due to injury from 9+ concussions, lack of blood flow to the brain, medication side effects, not sleeping, migraine pain and cloudiness or simply a bad cold or a long night of vomiting, my brain fog has been absolutely debilitating.  Unsurprisingly, this has significantly impacted my academic standing.  I love my major and will study for hours on end, but I cannot seem to retain information no matter how hard I try. My short term memory is laughable, and I just feel totally “out of it” overall.

So…I took some Adderall.

One of my physicians prescribed me Adderall in 2014 to trial for hypotension and chronic fatigue and it worked beautifully.

However, the Adderall I took this time was not my prescription. I bought it.

Yes, I BOUGHT IT from a guy in our apartment complex who I knew dealt drugs. I’ve never done anything like that before. 10 little blue pills for $50.

It was almost as if a weighted, fuzzy blanket had been lifted and someone cracked a window to allow in some fresh air. My thoughts didn’t feel as loud and chaotic. I felt peaceful and calm, yet alert and capable.

$50 allowed me to catch up and succeed academically despite my broken body, saving my semester.

I didn’t experience any negative side effects. No nausea, no noticeable increase in tachycardia, no shakiness, no anxiety.

Those pills pulled me from the deepest pits of depression – both with happiness and relief over finally succeeding and getting caught up with school and the fact that I actually had some energy for once.

Sitting up wasn’t a chore. Writing an email or replying to a text message was no longer a daunting task. I looked forward to reading once again. Homework and studying didn’t feel impossible.

I experienced mental clarity for the first time since I can remember (ha ha, accidental brain fog/poor memory joke). That in itself gave me hope.

I was honestly starting to believe that I’d never be able to think again and that I was somehow past the point of fixing…but this experience has shown me that the person I used to know and love (or at least like, haha) is still in there somewhere. While I may live in a broken body, I am not broken.

I’m not sure if my moral compass was bruised along with my brain, but my feelings of relief and excitement are overshadowing my guilt and shame, at least for the time being.

I still have one left…

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Lock Box

A few months ago, I bought a lock box to use on days I’m feeling especially defeated. You set it for a certain amount of time, and the box will not open until that time has passed. There are no loopholes or ways around this: trust me, I have tried. When the urges are screaming in my head and drowning out all logic, I lock away my medicines, razor blades and anything else I might use to hurt myself.

Doing this takes an indescribable amount of self-control, especially in those moments when all hope seems lost.

I don’t know whether to be ashamed or proud of myself.

Happy 23 to Me!

Happy birthday to me; I’m officially 23! 🎉🎈

I got birthday hugs & the sweetest gifts from the amazing College Inn crew!  Tifani gave me this fancy mug & a beautiful candle that smells sooooo good & says “Hello, Sunshine” ☀️ She said I am the most sunshine-y person she knows & I always brighten her day! I teared up & honestly still do thinking about it. And Austin gave me the bright, gorgeous flowers you see in the pictures below! I was so surprised & so happy I was literally shaking. I still can’t believe they did that!

Then I got to spend my birthday evening with my parents & Clyde 🙂 They showed up to my apartment door wearing giant party hats & big, cheesy smiles…which totally caught the maintenance workers off guard when they answered the door, lol. We went to Mellow Mushroom & had some delicious gluten free pizza with onions (my favorite)! After dinner, we went to McDonalds & sat at a booth for hours drinking hot chocolate, just talking & laughing about everything & nothing at all. I am so incredibly blessed to have a family who truly enjoys one another’s company & who can have fun doing just about anything. My parents are my best friends & I don’t know what I would do without them. We are a dysfunctional bunch, but I wouldn’t change a thing.. ❤

And Peter wants to take me to a birthday dinner tomorrow night! We were supposed to see each other tonight, but I was feeling a bit low after some things happened & so I asked if we could reschedule. I am actually excited we’re going tomorrow instead, because, as dumb as this may sound, that means the celebration isn’t over  🎉

I received some really, really sweet text messages & voicemails today that reminded how many people out there truly care & love me, today & every day, even though we may not get to see one another often. I really needed that, especially lately.. ❤

I truly appreciate everyone who helped make my special day so special, both in person & from a distance! I feel the love 😘

Here’s to year 23!!

 

 

 

 

4 Years Ago

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I cannot believe I graduated high school 4 years ago.  Wow.  Feels like lifetimes ago & yet just yesterday in so many ways. Looking back on pictures always fills me with an almost-suffocating sense of nostalgia and…well…emotion, I guess. Not happiness or even sadness, per se, but an overwhelming feeling that I cannot quite seem to name.  Looking at this picture, I am taken right back to that day– I experience the memories with all of my senses– & I am left feeling hollow yet full to the brim, tears streaming down my cheeks & smiling all at the same time…

The Reality of Chronic Illness: Prom Edition

Just realized I never shared this! Check out my amazing spoonie sister Em’s blog post about our experience attending Duke Children’s Hospital Prom…and all that went on ‘behind the scenes’ to prepare and recuperate… 🙂

Through the Peaks and Valleys

Last Saturday (April 22nd) Duke Children’s Hospital held their very first PROM! I had the amazing opportunity to not only attend but I got to attend with 3 fantastic ladies that I have gotten to know over the last year online! We share quite the list of medical diagnosis’ and life experiences.

Pre-Prom Prep!

Prom prep started about a week before the actual prom. Cancelling doctors appointments, scheduling doctors appointments, ER visits, lots of medicine, and rest rest rest!

Pre-prom prep (IV fluids, Nutrition, pain meds, steroids and prayer!)

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While we got ready for prom before getting our dresses on and doing our make-up we pre-medicated and talked about how much we get it. There was no need to explain anything or feel ashamed because they live it too! (Though I so wish none of us had to, it’s nice to not feel so alone).

We all meet online in…

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“You’re So Brave!”

There are many instances of my life that haunt me. Rhetoric that plays over and over in my head like some sick tape I cannot escape. Actions that color my dreams, jolting me from nightly slumber. However nothing makes me quite as sick as the innocent words of my then 13-year-old sister, remarking on my self-harm:

“…I tried [to cut myself] but I couldn’t do it.  I wanted to but it hurt too much.  You’re so brave!”

Hearing those words took my breath away.  I was 14 when I started- not much older than she.  It was my heavy, shameful, long sleeves in July secret for 3 miserable years.

Cutting was not brave, and that self-destructive path was certainly not what I wished to model for my little sisters. It’s been more than 4 years since she uttered those words, and while they still shake me to my core, they also push me to keep fighting, to not give in to temptation, and to show her what bravery truly is.