Being a Hypochondriac

I’ve known for a while that I have bouts of hypochondria. I think it traces back to when I was younger, maybe 11 or 12, when my primary care doctor sent me to a dermatologist because he didn’t like the look of one of my moles, and he just wanted me to get it checked out by a specialist, just in case.

I don’t remember the whole time between the two appointments, but I do remember one specific day. I was at the fair, I think, with my mom and sister. There may have been someone else with us, but I can’t remember now. I just remember that I couldn’t stop worrying about that mole.

I could see where my doctor had a small amount of concern. It wasn’t circular. Instead, it was shaped almost like a lumpy cross. I prayed and prayed that it was nothing. That I’d be OK. And I found it so ironic that my “Jesus mole,” as I had deemed it, was the one that caused me such worry.

That mole turned out to be fine. But I never forgot how worried I was. And I never forgot how the doctor told me I was at a higher risk for melanoma because of all my moles. And I never forgot that the doctor told me I had a large mole on my back that I should watch: As long as it didn’t change, it should be OK.

Fast forward to two years ago, when my hypochondria hit an all-time low. (High? It was intense, is all I know.)

I looked at that mole every day. But not just once a day. I looked at it almost incessantly. I would look at it again just one minute after I looked at it, telling myself I hadn’t looked well enough and needed a second look. I cried. I got to the point where I had a breakdown at least once a day, because “I didn’t know if it was changing.” I found a second mole to worry about.

I finally got put on an antidepressant to control my anxiety. The hypochondria was bad, but I also struggled with anxiety and panic attacks due to other causes.

That helped, but it’s not completely gone. Here are a few examples of what being a hypochondriac is, in my experience, over the last 12 years.

Being a hypochondriac is: Worrying that you’re pregnant when your period is late, even when you’ve never had sex, which would make it impossible.

Being a hypochondriac is: Learning someone you know once had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and determining that bump on your shoulder — which you thought was a cystic acne bump — is the same thing.

Being a hypochondriac is: Determining a spot on your leg is definitely squamous cell carcinoma or basal cell carcinoma.

Being a hypochondriac is: Learning you have a mouse in your apartment and immediately researching the bubonic plague, its symptoms for humans and dogs, and how many cases in the US are reported per year to learn your chances…just in case.

Being a hypochondriac is: Worrying that a bump you feel in your shin is bone cancer before remembering you ran your shin into a car earlier that day when helping a friend pack.

Being a hypochondriac is: Having digestion issues and determining it’s colon cancer.

Anyone else living with hypochondriac struggles?

(Just to update, mostly so no one comments and freaks me out about how I may actually have something wrong with me: I’m seeing a derm for the back mole (which has not changed), leg spot and shoulder bump later this month. My primary doctor wasn’t concerned about any of them, but I want to get the mole removed anyone just because of its location, and I figure it wouldn’t hurt to ask about everything else. Oh, and my digestion issues only lasted a few weeks.)

Does a Daith Piercing Really Work for Migraines?

If you’re a chronic migraine sufferer, I’m sure you’ve heard of this by now: The daith piercing.

It’s rumored to work similarly to acupuncture. Supposedly, the spot on your ear where you get the daith piercing is a pressure point for headaches/migraines.

Keep in mind, this is all word-of-mouth. There haven’t really been studies on the daith piercing as of yet that determines whether or not it actually works.

From what I can tell, there seems to be a pretty even split: Doctors saying it doesn’t have a scientific basis for working, and migraine sufferers saying it has helped them.

I get migraines anywhere from once a week to once a month. The pain is excruciating, and you really can’t do anything sometimes. I spent my last Friday night falling asleep at 5:30 p.m., as soon as I got home from work, because I couldn’t do anything else. My usual cure for a migraine is medicine and a nap. Just one or the other usually won’t work. Something about the medicine+sleep formula seems magic. Unfortunately, you lose the hours that you sleep and likely the hours leading up to the sleep when the migraine was starting.

So when I heard about the daith piercing, I was intrigued. Could something as simple as a piercing help me suffer from fewer migraines?

I’m still considering whether or not to get a daith piercing, but right now my mentality is this: Why not? The only real downfall is some people say it can take up to a year to heal. But Body Piercing magazine‘s website puts that number at only 3 to 6 months. If it doesn’t work, at least you haven’t spent a bunch of money. Body Piercing Magazine also states most reputable piercers will only charge $40 to $50, though I’m sure the cost varies based on the cost of living in your city.

So now I speak to those of you who have had a daith piercing. Does it work? Or is it just another myth? Comment below and let me know!

November, the Month of Change

It’s time to turn my life around in more ways than one. There are some things about my life I absolute love and would not change. For example, in regards to my love life, I’ve never been happier. I don’t believe in people being perfect, but I do believe in people being perfect for each other, and that’s just what my boyfriend is to me. So I’m incredibly happy in that regard.

But there are some things I could be happier about. So starting now, I am making some changes.

In my professional life

I love writing. I love writing so much. And I don’t really get to do it anymore. But anyone who knows me well knows I want to write a novel. (Or a bunch of novels.) So it’s time to do that. It’s time to buckle down and get that novel written. Luckily for me, November is the time of NaNoWriMo. If you don’t know what that is, it’s where you write 50,000 words in a month. It’s tough. I’ve “participated” for several years, and I’ve never won. I fizzle out after a few thousand words. But I’m sick of having a non-answer for when people ask me when I’m going to write my novel. So this year, I’m buckling down. (If you’re a fellow NaNo-er, add me as a writing buddy and make sure I hit my word count!)

50 by 25

Today is November 1, meaning it’s my half birthday. I am 6 months away from turning 25. I’ve been telling myself for a while I need to turn my fitness around. But I’ve done nothing to it. So I’m giving myself a new challenge. 50 by 25. I’m going to lose 50 pounds by the time I’m 25.

It’s a big number. But I’m a big girl. So really, it shouldn’t be that unattainable for me. I just need to make some serious diet and exercise changes. But I need to do it. Not for anyone else. But for me.

Why I Became a Jamberry Consultant

I did it. I drank the Kool-aid.

I got sucked right in to becoming a Jamberry consultant.

When mulling over the decision — and trust me, I did a lot of that — I had to eventually decide if it was worth it. I mean, putting aside money for a starter kit? Yuck. And then there was the risk of becoming THAT PERSON. You know, the person who starts selling something and then starts talking about nothing but what they are selling? No one likes that. No matter HOW cool your products are.

But I do LOVE Jamberry. I’ve always hated painting my nails because 1) I’m bad at it — seriously, we’re talking nail polish all over the fingers and 2) it chips in approximately five seconds. With Jamberry, I get a manicure that lasts a week — supposedly they can last up to two, but I always get way too excited about all the new patterns and peel them off early — and in way cooler patterns than I could ever do. I’m not kidding. I can’t even paint on a French manicure without it looking like a 2-year-old did it.

So, I love the product, and as a consultant, I get a discount! Which is pretty dang spiffy if you ask me, because I love saving money.

And that’s pretty much why I did it. The idea of making money off of it? Well, that’s awesome. But I don’t really anticipate making much money off of it. While I love my nails and I would love for more people to know about them, trying to push it down people’s throats just isn’t quite my style.

But what better way to spread the word than free samples?! YAY.

So it’s easy. Pick a number below, then email me with the number, your name and your address using the “Contact Me” page, and I’ll send you your sample. Easy peasy, right?

*USA only, please

sample

Have questions on being a consultant? Go ahead and leave them in the comments below.

And to check out Jamberry’s 300+ designs, click here.

The Fight to Love Yourself

“You can’t stop my happiness because I like the way I am … So if you don’t like the way I look, well I just don’t give a damn.”

I’ve spent a lot of time fighting to be happy with myself.

It’s hard, when you’re overweight, to find that happiness. To come to a point where you accept yourself and love yourself just how you are.

It took me many, many months to get to that point. And it’s a big deal, finally accepting and loving yourself. But you know that is going to be a battle. So you put on your fighting gear and jump into the ring. And, if you’re lucky, you come out victorious.

But no one tells you about the battle that follows.

Sure, strangers are going to give you strange looks, disgusted looks, when they see your overweight body. You’ve also prepared yourself for that battle.

But what about when the person who tells you not to be happy with yourself is a member of your family? Your blood?

When someone in your family thinks you’re not good enough…

What do you do then?

A war between families never ends peacefully. Hard feelings always exist. When you tell someone who takes medication for depression, who is finally happy with herself, basically that she shouldn’t be happy with herself or that she still needs to make changes…

It’s over.

Sabotage

I’m a sabotager.

I don’t know why I do it. But sometimes, when things are going really well, it’s like I wait for the other shoe to drop.

 

As if, for some reason, I think I don’t deserve to be as happy as I feel…

So I read way too far into the tiniest of things. And I make myself miserable. And I start doubting myself. And I start doubting other people can actually care about me.

Because apparently I don’t think I deserve happiness, and I don’t deserve to be loved.

So instead I apparently get overly sensitive and accusatory and just turn into a really ugly person.

I’m working on it. I’m better than I used to be. But I still have some way to go.

Letting go

For some reason, I feel like I get more insightful at night.

Today, I was cleaning. And during said major cleaning overhaul, I found two letters from an ex. Both were from quite long ago. One was from when I was a freshman in college, and the other was definitely from a few years ago but I couldn’t give you an exact timestamp on it.  I’m gonna guess about 3 years… maybe 4.

As I sat and read these letters, just because I was curious as to what was in them, I was amazed at how things can completely change.

 

The I-want-to-be-with-you-forevers. The I’ll-always-love-yous (Sing it, Whitney). The I-can’t-wait-to-spend-the-rest-of-my-life-with-yous.

Looking back on it now, I just feel like these things are weird to say. Promises you’re not sure that you can keep.

I mean, I want to believe you can say these things and mean them. I want to think that in my next relationship, whenever that may be, I’ll get to the point where I feel in love and will make these promises. I want to believe in them. And I do believe that at one point, we all get to that place. Maybe I shouldn’t think too heavily about a letter someone wrote when he was 18. We’re all a little goofy at that age.

Oh, and in case anyone was wondering, I threw these letters away. I’m in a really good place emotionally now, and I don’t need them anymore.

With this post as the final thought, I am letting the rest of the past go.