He’s the only friend who ever peed in a cup for me

Nick was my friend. I was an idiot for letting petty disagreements get in the way of our friendship, and completely lost contact with him – even being childish and deleting him from my Facebook friends. Which, in retrospect, was stupid and pathetic, considering that he was one of the people who was there for me in one of my darkest phases, when I just needed a friend the most. He’d stay up with me when I was sick. He once skipped Streetlight to watch A Little Princess with me after taking all my sharp objects from me, so that I not only couldn’t cut myself but so that I would have a friend. He helped me lobby for the back surgery I so badly needed and he was there (along with other friends, but this post is about Nick :P) when I was having medical drama. He helped me process some things, and showed me God in a way I hadn’t seen him until that point. We enjoyed watching Scrubs on random nights for no reason other than, well, we felt like it! Thanks, buddy, for introducing me to the awesomeness that is Scrubs.

I’m bitter and angry about myself for the way things played out, and  I suppose I need to let that go. I’m sorry, Nick, for being a stubborn idiot. I don’t think that you were right in that series of three slightly heated convos, but Lord knows I wasn’t fully right either. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry for being such a buttmuffin.

But all and all – Nick was the only friend who ever peed in a cup for me. Out of context, that’s a really awkward quote. It was June of 2010, and I was living in the hotel-turned-dorm at Northwestern. It was previous to my gluten intolerance being diagnosed, and I was incredibly sick. Nick gave me a ride to the University of Minnesota Medical Center ER and stayed with me (well, on my computer. I later hijacked his Facebook status *grin*. Buddy, you never did learn to log out on my computer :P) during it. Problem: they demanded a urine sample and wouldn’t leave until I gave them one. Problem 2: I don’t pee on demand. Solution: Nick takes the cup out my hand, goes into the bathroom, and PEES IN THE FRICK-FRAKING CUP FOR ME. Me: “O.O NICK YOU CAN’T DO THAT!” Nick: “I just did.” He then goes and hands the cup to the nurse. “Here, she went.” Me: “NICOLAS!” After the nurse left, he turns to me and asked me if they could tell he was a boy from his urine and if they’d find me. Me: “Um, not sure?” We were very relieved, let me tell you, when the nurse came back and announced I wasn’t with child. Naw, really?

The funny part? The next day I got a phone call from the hospital, telling me that my urine sample showed a kidney infection and to see my primary doctor. Me: “Um…”. That was an awkward text to Nick, let me tell you.

I don’t think that Nick peeing in the cup was the right thing, and I do feel kind of bad about it. But, how many people can say someone would pee in a cup for them?

I’m sorry I was an idiot, Nick. I’m sorry that I let our friendship fall due to my stubbornness and slightly idiotic streak. I’m sorry that I wasn’t there for you the way you were there for me. You were one of the few people who truly understand my medical stuff as while not all our disorders were the same, we had many similar ones. I wish I could have shared with you stories of my surgery recovery. I wish you could have seen my morphine-ridden poetry that I wrote post op. I wish we could have traded spinal fusion/back rod stories. I’m sure we will one day in Heaven. I’m sure it’ll happen one day – on that glorious day when we ALL are without our bodily pain and we can celebrate in that freedom together at last.

I love you.

Every lament is a love song,
yesterday, yesterday,
I still can’t believe you’re gone
Every lament is a love song,
yesterday, yesterday,
So long, my friend, so long. 
-Switchfoot

And she fools all of her friends into thinking she’s so strong but she still sleeps with the light on

My bed is soaked with sadness
My sadness has no end has no end
A downward of  spiral of dispair
That I keep falling in 
I need you how, how I need you 
(…)
Your silence is like death to me,
so won’t you hear my desperate plea?
-I Need You, The Swift

It’s hard some days to get myself out of bed. My alarm goes off, a few swear words slip past my lips, a stuffed animal may fly across the room. I’m not a morning person by nature, never have been. But when you’re trapped in depression, when your greatest enemy is that reflection in the mirror, sometimes hauling yourself out of bed is one of the most difficult things of the day.

I suppose I make it sound like I’m drowning in depression. Some days I am. Some days I wonder why I get out of bed when I’ve barely slept the night before and daytime is the only time I’m able to actually sleep. When I’m running on two to three hours a sleep a night, and a couple hour nap during the day. Why I bother even trying to hope, trying to dream, when it seems like my hopes and dreams and wishes will just be crushed. It’s hard.

Living with depression is like fighting a monster every morning. My days and nights are reversed. I just want solace – just some relief from all the pain I’m trapped in. It feels like just doing simple things – hanging out with friends, eating, hauling my butt out of bed, doing the laundry, drain all the effort and energy out of me and I’m left alone with my thoughts.

All I want to do is be free from this demon I battle. I want to be truly happy again, and not a person that I want to hide from. But I don’t know how. I don’t know how to open up about the past and allow people – friends, therapists, pastors, et al, help me. I don’t know how to let people understand and even begin to give me a chance to have hope again.

For as much as I want to hope, dream, laugh, love, and carry on with my life, it scares the everliving shit out of me. All I’ve known for over a decade is depression. All I’ve known is bleakness. All I’ve known is living in fear and terror. And as exhilarating and thrilling the other side might be – it’s completely unknown. It’s something I’ve never felt before. What if it’s too much? What if I don’t like it? What if I taste the other side, and I don’t like it at all? What if it hurts? What if I get a sampling of it, and I wind up falling back into depression? Would the relapse be that much worse because I’ve tasted the other side? Or would it be better once I pull out of the funk again, because I know what the other side is like? 

I get sick of trying various antidepressants. I get sick of feeling like this – I don’t WANT to be like this! But how do I attempt something I’ve never tried, how do I try something I just don’t know? How do I even attempt to spread my wings and fly, when every time I’ve tried to fly I’ve fallen?

Depression sucks. I’ll leave you with Adventures in Depression because that sums it up better than I ever could.

You’re beautiful, like a rainbow

One of my favourite commercials (more like a PSA)  has been the Dove – True Colors ad. I don’t think it’s been on television for a few years now. I remember it coming out my senior year of high school. That year sucked beyond measure, but that’s a moot point.

Thing is? We all have things we don’t like about ourselves. I struggle with my body image on a daily basis. It’s a battle I constantly fight against myself.

The thing is? It doesn’t matter that I walk with a limp or my knee snaps out of joint. It doesn’t matter that my posture is awkward or I’m not a perfect weight. It doesn’t matter because really, it’s not much in the grand scheme of things. I doubt when my friends think of me they are thinking the same things I think when I look in the mirror (Gah, another blemish. Shit, my hair is a mess. Dammit, I look fat today. God, why don’t my shoulders lie straight!). Instead, they think about the good things (and okay, maybe some of the annoying things like the fact they have to debate with me to get me to do things like, oh, eat) about my character.

It’s hard to come to terms with the fact that while I belittle myself over my appearance, it’s not what others do. And really, the things I hate so much are likely what others like. And I need to learn that it’s not a big deal what’s on the outside – that it’s what’s inside that really matters. And not fully inside, like my heart and my lungs (although I reckon those things are good as well) but the person I am deep within.

But I see your true colours shining through,
I see your true colours, and that’s why I love you

(Wow, my nearly 3 am postings when I should be asleep are interesting. Curse you, insomnia!)

I’m walking impaired

Being disabled is really such a strange thing. This is a horribly bad picture of me, but you get the gist:

I feel that when people see the crutches, they cast a judgement. They they think I’m weak, that I’m not smart, that I’m deaf, that I’m dumb, that I’m mute (HA! I bet my friend wish at times), that something isn’t right with me. I feel because I have a bad back, off-kilter balance, weak knee, and more that I’m somehow incomplete. That something isn’t right with me.

And it’s a horrible, horrible feeling. I wonder if I’m broken. I wonder if I can be fixed. I wonder what people think when they see me. And I wonder if I will ever live a day without pain. There is literally nothing they can do for my knee at this point in time. My back has been fused.My balance disorder has an unknown origin. As I get older, my NF will continue to progress and I will become more and more disabled. I may be able to achieve my two dreams: get a license and go overseas, but that will take more time and energy and effort than most people.

It’s a hallowing feeling, knowing that I’m only 24, yet already destined to live a life of pain. I will likely never know what it’s  like to be fully pain free, only how to better manage and control the pain. I will never know what it’s like to do so many things that so many people take for granted. I don’t know what it’s like to not have a laundry list of disorders, or to make sure every place I go is somehow handicap accessible. I will likely never know what it’s like to have a child, as the disorder would not only harm me, it would harm the baby. I get so angry. I get so frustrated. And I wonder why God chose me to walk this path. I get frustrated that over the course of a year I see more doctors and specialists than most people see in their entire lives.

I’m told that God must have a special plan for me, that He must know something. Perhaps he does. But it doesn’t change how angry I am that I was made this way. That my life is consumed with appointments to just try and give me a normal life, something others take for granted. That in addition to the physical ailments, I was cursed with PTSD and ED-NOS (coming soon in a blog entry near you about those).

I wonder if it would be easier if I had a family support structure, that when I’m up in pain at 5:30 in the morning, crying because I can’t sleep because my back kills and I can’t move my leg, if that would make it better. Or if it’s better that I often suffer silently, so that others don’t know, don’t worry, don’t have the chance to care.

It’s funny the thoughts that run through my head – even though I know most of them are purely irrational. I wonder how much the pain fogs them.

Sometimes you just gotta buckle down

People have often told me they don’t understand how I do it.
How I went gluten free on a tight budget.
How I stay in school with all my health problems.
How I function on my own.
How I make ends meet each month.

The thing is I haven’t done anything special. I’m not anyone special, I’m just your average 24 year old who loves Sims and Pokemon, anime and manga, the colour orange, monkeys and elephants, you get the picture. And the thing is before I had to do it, I thought I couldn’t do it.

The truth is when you find yourself in difficult circumstances, you somehow find the strength to carry on. When you see others in dire places and think “Wow, I could never do that” the truth is when push comes to shove and it’s your only option, you just buckle down and do it. It’s not easy. It’s painful. It sucks. It’s difficult.

But I’m not a superhuman because I am where I am now. Because I stay in school with mostly decent grades (adol psych will come up!), because I live on a small budget, because I do so much myself.

Truth is I don’t know how I do it, and some days I doubt that I can keep doing it.