As much as I am ready to be done with the last century of this year, I don’t even know how to start processing everything that’s happened. It’s been intense and every time I think about it, I immediately go think about something else because there is too much and building a railway in Minecraft is more relaxing than writing a recap of 2020.
That said, I’ve been in an introspective mood lately. The one thing the almost year-long-with-no-end-in-sight-stay-at-home time has given me is time to work on myself and heal new pieces of trauma that have been coming out of the shadows in my brain and body. These are the things that keep coming back to me when I think about writing.
But first some housekeeping for future me:
- Started Gabapentin for Fibromyalgia (and got the dx!) in Aug, started upping dose 3rd week of Dec
- GOT GLASSES in Aug, have the tiniest astigmatism
- Straterra killed libido (rip me) in Sept, switching to Ritalin end of Dec
- Doubled amlodipine for Raynaud’s 2nd week of Dec
- Started Androgel in Aug (2pumps), titrated up (3pumps) in Oct, full dose (4pumps) 1st week of Dec
- Bupropion + Buspar combo came back in July after cutting bupropion for Strattera in Feb
- GCS intake on Dec 29 (top and meta!!!!! and apparently consults first week of Jan?!)
I worked with my therapist to heal the root of a lot of the financial traumas I had as a kid. I was finally able to reach that part of myself that was told so many times that having a job would ruin important relationships. I found a way to believe in myself and the skills I’ve been honing over my lifetime and proved to myself that I am extremely adept and great at what I do. Importantly, I deserve to have my labor recognized (in capitalism: with money, but post capitalism: gluten free bread).
I don’t really know how to explain exactly how huge a shift that is and has been for my psyche and entire being. When you’re told your entire life that “Because you are a woman, you will never need to get a job because you will have a husband (in his death, familial support); but if you do get a job (inside or outside marriage) it will cause you to become selfish (independent), and will destroy your relationships (marriage, Christianity)” and experience the reinforcement of those ideas by being actively denied recognition for doing work for 18 years… it’s a lot to unbury enough to start healing.
But I got there. It took a lot of intention and effort – constantly working to reframe a lifetime of conditioning that no longer serves me, correcting my assumptions and learned-helplessness, and proving my trustworthiness to myself. I found that desperate child who hid money in multiple places, who had to return babysitting pay, who had to call a $600 payment for a month of interning “a gift,” who was volunteered for hours of labor to the neighborhood when chores were done for “practice for being a helpmeet” and cried at the wrongness of it with her, then showed her our present.
I don’t feel like I’m inherently undeserving anymore, because that scared part now knows (and is starting to believe) that the beliefs my parents held and reinforced weren’t actually true. I know that this particular trauma is something that I’ll constantly revisit because we live in a capitalist hellscape, but I have the tools to set myself free again whenever I start feeling trapped.
It feels good.
Getting the Fibromyalgia Diagnosis is a blessing and a curse. On one hand, I’m not making it up, it is a real thing, it has a name and there’s data about it, there are treatments that can help. On the other hand, it is a real thing, I’m not making it up, and I will be living with this (+ all the other things and whatever else) for the rest of my life and it impacts my day to day existence in huge ways. Once you know you can’t go back to not-knowing, and once you know… it’s harder to ignore.
There’s no getting back to 100% from here, there’s no getting cured from Fibromyalgia (yet), all I can hope is for it to be better managed. It’s a sucky situation but on good days, I’m not upset about it, I can handle it. Everything in my life has to adjust and I will always need to find ways to take better care of myself and this meatcage I inhabit (that’s been through so fucking much already). Sometimes it’s overwhelming and sad; and sometimes when I step back a moment and see everything I’ve gone through over the last almost 30 years, I get it, and I find compassion.
There’s also grief. I’ve lost the ability to do some things I loved being able to do, and other things I can still do but not the same way. I miss bike camping, I miss being able to ride my bike. I’d like to paint or play games for extended periods without my joints becoming angry. I miss being able to do the dishes, cook, and take a shower instead of needing to do all three but only being able to choose one. It’s easy to internalize that grief into anger instead of being patient with myself. It’s frustrating to know that I totally have the knowledge and skill to do A Thing but no ability to Actually Do That because I don’t have the energy for it.
This last year has been an excruciating exercise in limiting what is on my plate, saying no more often, and learning how to be patient with myself. On good days, I can also manage to hold that I still matter and have value and deserve good things.
It has not been easy, but I feel a smidge less ~WAYS~ about it now.
I want to end on a little bit more of a hopefulish note than “Chronic Illnesses: 0/10 Do not Recommend butI’mOkReallyItsFineExceptWhenItIsntButLikeThisIsFine🐶🔥🏠” and talk about the most recent breakthrough I’ve had.
I’m running for office this time?!
When I ran for ASLC Senate I had to work through a lot of the feelings and trauma associated with me, personally, running for an elected position thanks an awful lot to TeenPact and my biofam’s obsession with gender roles. Even though I didn’t get to stay on the entire semester, doing that and all the other organizing work on campus, taught me that it is okay to see myself as a leader (even though the word still squicks me out), and also that this work is something I like doing. But after helping my partner run twice this year, working on 4 other campaigns as a website admin, and then getting asked by multiple people if I knew anyone running in my district….something clicked? and I decided no, I did not have enough campaigns in 2020 (but I did learn a lot about the CA Dems as an institution) and decided to run to be one of the Assembly District Delegates to the CA Democratic Party. The homepage has been turned into a whole info dump on the subject and will be updated with more things after the weekend. If you click here, you’ll be dropped to the important stuff like how to register to vote in the race.
But the best part about this is:
I’m running with a slate. We are all nerds.
Happy fucking new year! May the lids close on your dumpsters and your 30-50 hogs become docile.