Anxious, uneasy and frustrated.

I’m anxious.

My mind won’t calm down, no matter what I do. I start by asking myself questions about what arrangement is correct for my cover-letter and my thoughts quickly spiral into asking what happens if my mom’s treatments don’t take. To say it’s out of control would be an understatement and there’s really nothing that I can do about it.

I’m uneasy.

It’s difficult trying to play-the-game in a world that seems anything but fair or realistic. What’s really easy for me these days is feeling like I am the problem. Feeling like there is something wrong with me, that is something that I can’t shake.

I’m frustrated.

This situation that I’m presently in is weighing on my heart. I want my own space. I want to know that the future is going to be positive. I want a sign of when this is all going to be over and when I can breathe easy again. There’s this weight that’s permanently hanging over me, the weight of depression, slowly eating away at my happy moments each and every day. I don’t want to continue like this because I don’t know how long it’s going to be before my happiness disappears all together.

I realize this sounds exceptionally dramatic. I’m not even trying to be that way, it’s just how today is happening for me. Nothing seems like a small deal and everything feels as though I need to conquer the world to make it through.

Maybe I am the problem. Maybe I am not supposed to be happy. Maybe this is as good as it gets. It sucks that I’m really starting to believe myself when I say that.

Sick and struggling, what is wrong with me?

In 2018 I was in the hospital more times than I can count on my hands. I saw more doctors than I’d like to admit too and I took more medication than I probably ever needed. I say that last part meaning that I believe I was absolutely prescribed the wrong medications at least a half-dozen times.

I’ve been fighting a sinus infection since November of 2017. Since that time I’ve also had an eye infection several times and recurrent ear infections.

I’ve tried everything. Crazy diets, obscene amounts of vitamins and minerals, exercise and subsequent weight loss, different therapies, essential oils, basically anything I could think to try, I’ve done.

And yet the infection persists.

During this time in which I have been dealing with pressure in my head (from the infection) and struggling to function, six doctors have prematurely diagnosed me with diabetes, one with Lupus and one just wouldn’t even look at me and told me I have IBS. All of them prescribed me antibiotics.

I’m not diabetic. I’ve taken that test several times now, and yet they still won’t let that concept go.

I do not have Lupus. I’ve also been tested for that.

I’ve also had my thyroid tested, my liver functionality tested, had an allergy test done, had my blood drawn – at least 20 times and been given nasal spray and told that it’ll go away in a few days. I also had a sleep apnea test done last year as well.

Every time I get tests done the doctors tell me that I’m fine. That on paper everything looks great so antibiotics should have me good and better in 3-5 days.

My eyes are always red. I look like a stoner, and have been asked on several occasions if I am a stoner because of the fact that my eyes are so frequently red and splotchy.

‘No Doc, I do not smoke pot,’ I’d say. ‘Nor do I do drugs, and the amount of times I drink alcohol in a year can be counted on one hand. I do not believe this is drug or alcohol related.’

I saw an Ear/Nose/Throat specialist on February 7. It took 9 months to get an appointment with him because, apparently, ENT doctors are in that high of demand. The ENT told me that my nasal cavities were swollen to an alarming rate. He said that normally when he inspects patients he’s able to use a laparoscopic camera to view their ear, nose and throat cavities and see what’s wrong. He said that mine were so swollen it was alarming to him. Thank you, Mr. ENT, THIS IS WHAT I HAVE BEEN SAYING FOR OVER A YEAR.

Excuse my yelling. It was just nice to have someone finally admit that the problem was the problem.

I was prescribed steroids to stop the swelling in my face and told to come back in one month so that he could get a better viewing of the extent of the damage. He also sent me for a CT scan so that he can have a view of my head.

I find out the results from that on March 4.

Right now, though, right now I am struggling. This steroid that is stopping the swelling my face is also giving me mega headaches. I’ve also got small things doing on that I’m noticing that I believe are appearing because of the infection.

My nails are cracking and breaking like crazy, down to the skin, right in the middle of the nail. It’s actually quite painful. There’s a weird rash on my right foot that seems to come and go as it pleases – I have yet to figure out what is causing it and why it’s only appearing on my foot, and only one foot at that. My hair, in spite of the fact that I take really good care of it, use minimal products and don’t use heat tools, has horrid split ends. I can cut them off and they reappear in days. My eyes are still red… so I still look like a stoner. And I’m tired. I’m tired a lot of the time. Being awake for 12 hours in a day seems like an arduous task.

I’m frustrated that I can’t figure out what’s wrong with me and therefore cannot figure out how to fix it. I’m frustrated with the amount of doctors who just wrote me off and said “You’re just diabetic”, or just prescribed me antibiotics and told me to be on my way.

I’m angry that it’s been over a year. I’m angry that I’m still suffering with these issues. I’m angry that it’s so hard to sleep. I’m angry that because I don’t know what is wrong, I cannot fix it.

On days when my anxiety gets bad, I have a hard time dealing with this. What if it’s an issue with my brain? How should I know? My brain spirals off into crazy places and there’s no way of coming back.

In spite of eating healthily, exercising, taking all of the right vitamins and minerals, and so on and so forth, I can’t get over this. Why can’t my body fight this?

Desperately waiting for March 4, hoping for some sort of an answer on that day, and if not then, hoping for a sign from the universe of how to help myself.

Okay, I’m done whining now.

Whew.

Day 34: You are what you eat.

Photo Credit: Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education at University of Toronto

Shy of the basics (eat 5-10 servings of fruit and vegetables per day, drink lots of water, etc…) I knew next to nothing about nutrition. Honestly, I just was someone who tended to eat what I wanted, even when I knew it wasn’t good for me.

I’ve always been a firm believer that you food should make you happy. Believing that food that was good for the body and food that was good for the soul were mutually exclusive, I avoided learning more about nutrition telling myself that I was feeding my soul instead.

The past six months I’ve learned a lot about nutrition. Despite what I previously believed, you can feed your body in a means that will allow it to run at max capacity without totally hating what you’re eating.

There’s no secret formula for this. There’s no ‘quick fix’ and there’s definitely no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution when it comes to nutrition. It’s all about you, what you need to fuel your body and what you can eat to make yourself feel good.

Sure, the basics still apply: drink lots of water, eat a ton of vegetables, protein is good. But there’s much more too it than that.

Some basic suggestions when it comes to nutrition:

**Please be advised these are entirely my own opinions. If you disagree with them that is completely okay. As mentioned above, one size fits all is not realistic when it comes to nutrition and it’s perfectly normal for people to have differing opinions. I welcome any suggestions anyone wants to share.

  • Know what your purpose is with food. Are you eating for performance? Are you eating for survival? Are you eating for weight loss? What are your goals as far as your diet?
  • No one is going to know your body better than you are so ensure you’re properly educating yourself on what you need to achieve your own goals.
  • Make informed decisions. Don’t think that because your friend is having success on their diet plan that it’s going to work for you.
  • Protein is VERY IMPORTANT. Protein is a component of every cell in the body. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissue. It’s an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood. And remember that not all proteins are created equal. Do your research when it comes to what protein will best suit your body and diet plan.
  • The less processed, the better. Whole foods will always bring more value to your body than processed food. That being said, be your own chef. For example: instead of buying the pre-packaged oatmeal with sweeteners and artificial flavours already in it – buy plain oats and sweeten them yourself. If you know what goes into your food you know what you’ll get out of your food.
  • Educate yourself on what the benefits are of the food you’re eating. Kale is a superfood, but why? Learn what the benefits are of the food you’re choosing to eat.
  • Try to skip the caffeine at night. Your sleep will thank you.
  • Learn where you have a food intolerance. Pay attention to your body and how it reacts to what you’re eating. This is something that I’ve been avoiding for the better majority of my life, but when I stopped to take a look at how my body reacted to different foods, it made a world of difference to cut certain things out. There’s more than just lactose intolerance out there. People can have an intolerance to all sorts of different foods and if you don’t pay attention you may never realize it.
  • Keep a food journal! This helps in big ways if you’re really trying to make a difference in your health and what you’re eating. Listing the foods you eat on each day and how your body reacted to it will help you better plan your meals for future.

Anyways, I’m not an expert by any means. Just a girl trying to get more out of life and feel more energized day-to-day. Being more informed about my food choices has opened up a world that I didn’t quite know existed up until last year.

Food plays a massive role in who you are and how you function. I’ve been learning that in a big way the past six months. Here’s to a healthier me in 2019.

Late night thoughts: My mind won’t shut off.

It’s easier to do math with a calculator than it is to try and do it in your head. It’s easier to listen to audiobooks on your electronic device than it is to actually sit and read a book. It’s easier to drive to the store than it is to walk. It’s easier to assume the worst than to put your trust in someone, even if that someone is someone that you love. It’s easier to judge someone for who they ‘appear’ to be rather than who they actually are. It’s easier to go along with everything then it is to stand up for something you believe, even if it isn’t something most people do. 

Society chooses to do a lot of things the easier way. Why? Laziness? Or convenience, I guess. It’s convenient to bust out the calculator rather than trying to multiple 70×70 for most people on their own. So, if you don’t have to then why would you?

I’ll tell you what though, this restless mind of mine cant ever accept anything as is. I can’t help but believe there’s a time when convenience crosses into an inability to do anything for ourselves. Sure, technology is great. GPS relieves a lot of headaches. But there are people in this world who are driving that still can’t read road signs. Calculators are great; they’ve given us the assistance to solve many of the universe’s greatest questions, but the amount of people in this world who can’t do simple math in their head is alarming. Just about a week ago now I had a cashier whose register was broken and she needed to pull out a calculator to do $3.00 – .32 cents. 68 cents lady. It’s $2.68.

There’s a lot of talk. Everybody’s got words. But the lack of actions, that’s something that bothers me. So many are so quick to judge the homeless man as a ‘dirty rotten scoundrel’ who is clearly unintelligent and brought his situation on himself. Because believing that what is expected, what is believed of him to be, that is far easier than actually getting to know that he’s a war veteran with a masters degree who, thanks to situations beyond his control, lost a whole lot more than his belief that people will see the better in him. Believing the dirty rotten scoundrel of it all is so much easier than actually having to care… to take notice, and to be forced to think about what actually happens in this world.

All I’m saying is that sometimes a little math is good for the mind, and, a little truth is good for the soul. Reading books is not for punishment, but rather for expanding your horizons of what you ever believed possible. Questioning is never a negative, and getting to know someone is always a positive. Even if it’s just to learn who you don’t want as a part of your life, everyone’s got a story to tell. Convenience is great but sometimes it’s nice to take the road less traveled. 

You don’t always have to take the easy way out.

Day 28: That inexplicable lump in your throat right before you’re about to cry.

I’ve been crying a lot lately. I can’t even tell you why.

That’s a lie. I can tell you why. I’m overwhelmed. Everything seems to be overwhelming me these days.

Being unemployed is weighing on my heart. I don’t know what to do. On the one hand I find myself feeling as though I am the problem. Am I the problem? Am I unqualified? With a university degree and nearly a decade of work experience under my belt, am I the problem? On the flip side, I can’t help but feel as though companies are going about the hiring process in all the wrong ways in 2019.

Needing to fill out a questionnaire that takes 40 minutes, simply to apply for a job at your organization, seems like overkill. Maybe I’m wrong but can you not save the questionnaires for the actual job interview? What do you actually ask candidates in your interviews if they’ve already told you everything about themselves during the application process?

So, after 28 days, as I get ready to walk into the unknown of being jobless and homeless, and to an extent, hopeless, I’m crying a lot. A lot more than I want to be. I hate crying. I want to have my life figured out. I want to know where I am going next. I want to have a plan. I feel like Phoebe Buffay in that episode of Friends when Monica asks “Phoebe, do you have a plan?” to which Phoebe responds “I don’t even have a PL…”

That’s about how I am feeling today.

I don’t even have a “PL”.

I really need to stop complaining on the internet.

Day 26: Money can’t buy happiness.

Actually, money can’t buy a lot of things. But, as I sat in the salon listening to the woman next to me complain about her husband, her children, her home, her life and her motivation, I couldn’t help but think that she was the perfect example of that statement.

Wearing a diamond ring larger than any I’ve seen before, fumbling through her $5,000 purse to find her car keys to shut the car alarm of her $150,000 Mercedes, she continued on about how her husband doesn’t listen to her. About how he doesn’t care. About how when she gets upset with him his response is to buy her something new. Be it diamonds or electronics or vehicles, he’s bought it all for her and he still hasn’t learned that what she wants most is for him to listen.

As she continued on talking about how her children were spoiled brats who didn’t understand the values of anything in life, I couldn’t help but wonder if she played a hand in making them that way. I don’t think it was intentional, but I do think that when they’re not looking, parents play a larger role in passing on bad behaviours to their kids then they believe.

Here’s the thing: the woman was clearly very depressed with her life. Something that seemed quite ‘beautiful’ from the outside, at a personal level was tearing her up. She was not happy. And maybe too afraid to do anything about it. (That last part is absolutely speculation) And, as I watched what seemed like a perfect exterior fall apart in a salon chair, I couldn’t help but think about the fact that material possessions are nothing more than that. Possessions can’t give peace of mind. Possessions can’t make you happy. Sure, they can make things easier, if you use them properly. But they won’t buy your happiness.

I’ve never been someone to be wowed by fancy things. With a whole world out there to explore, I have no desire for diamonds, I desire experience. I want to walk with penguins in Antarctica and go cave diving in Madagascar. I want to see the whole world. And yes, money is needed to travel. There is a bit of a catch-twenty-two there. But watching her, clearly deeply unhappy with her life and how it’s turned out, I was reminded that experiences are far more important than things.

She, for me, will serve as a reminder that things are not necessary. Money can’t buy happiness. Money cannot buy peace of mind. Actually, money cannot buy a lot of things. Money can’t buy:

  • Respect
  • Truth
  • Work-life balance
  • Natural Beauty
  • Manner
  • Common Sense
  • A clear conscience
  • Purpose in life
  • Integrity
  • Good Friends
  • A long life
  • Close-knit family
  • An open mind
  • A worry-free day
  • Trust
  • A new beginning
  • A great idea
  • An honest politician
  • Peace of mind
  • A good hair day
  • Patience
  • Luck
  • Happy Memories
  • Time to relax
  • A strong work ethic
  • A positive attitude
  • A happy home
  • Good Karma
  • Blessings
  • Appreciation and love of the simple things
  • True Love
  • A new shot at a missed opportunity
  • Peace in the World
  • A golden anniversary
  • Talent
  • A second chance
  • Quality time with the ones you love
  • Wisdom
  • Happiness
  • Intelligence
  • Humility
  • A good reputation
  • A 25 hour day
  • Youth
  • Experience
  • Class
  • Justice
  • Perspective
  • Selflessness