I can't actually remember the last time I posted something here. Then again, memory, mostly bad, was kind of the theme of the year. I swear if a red panda with a ponytail showed up at my door calling himself my Master Shifu and claiming he could "make me not me", i'd follow his ass 100%. I can't quantify the amount of time I spent this year feeling awful for being me. I suppose a lot of people turn to blogs or vlogs at this time of year, especially those of us with mental illnesses on top of everything else, because the holidays force us to face certain facts, and to look back at the the past year (decade, etc) gone by. But where to begin....?
Reckon i'll start with what triggered this post today. It was going to come out anyway, but today is the day because of a dress. Not just any dress, but a beautiful dark red chiffon dress I had bought in the hope of NOT being the dumpy little sister/daughter/stranger in the corner trying to fade into the furnishings at Christmas. Did I mention i'll be in Sydney this Christmas? With family and their family and etcs? I have no illusions given all the side effects my medicines have had this year (more on this in a second) of looking or feeling pretty or attractive or anything, but for once, I wanted to be wearing something festive that made me feel just that little bit more confident. I thought that if I could find something that'd do that, i'd be able to converse more easily, and relax a little, and ...yeah. Anyway it came in the mail just now.
Ever pictured what an "i" cup breast looks like? It's not cute, or sexy, or attractive in any way. In fact it's awful. If Frodo had to carry one (let alone two) of these to Mordor Sauron would be sitting here blogging right now. Bras are expensive and tough to find, and they pretty much only come in grandma styles. You can't sleep properly because they interfere with your breathing when you're lying down, good luck finding a sports bra (let alone exercising with them), your back both upper and lower are in constant, chronic pain. And you can forget just about 90% of all clothing. It is not going to fit over them until you go up like 4 sizes, and then most things drape wrong so it looks (if you shove yourself in there) like you're about to give birth to octuplets. So my very pretty Christmas dress... yeah. Got it on, and everything else fit fine. Of course the breasts didn't and it fell like a tent. I got my Ma to try it, and she loved it so it's now her Christmas dress (which i'm happy about, but..you know? I waited like 2-3 weeks for the delivery and then to just be so disappointed...
I did say i'd touch on side effects, that was one. I went from a G cup to and i this year. Other side effects: My hair started to fall out in a ridiculous way, handfuls and handfuls. I have very little left. I cut it down short, and had a Keratin treatment to keep it soft and plump, but there are some very bald areas. I developed acne, of the lovely cystic variety, and of the bumps all over the forehead variety. A medical interaction caused my Thyroid hormones to go nuts, so i'm on extra medication for that. A doctor in Melbourne prescribed me a medication that threw me and my system even further for a loop, and being on it, and the subsequent process of getting off of it again was awful. The one i am concerned with right now is that my resting pulse rate is literally DOUBLE most people's. At rest yesterday it was 120. So, shortness of breath, lack of energy...it's just not a good feeling. As of a week ago i'm trialing another new medication that's supposed to induce nausea and sometimes all-day vomiting in the "getting your system used to it" phase. Joy. So far I've been on a 1/2 dose, but i'm supposed to start the full when i'm in Sydney, so fingers crossed I don't go full-on Exorcist. The biggest side effect, of course was the weight gain and that was despite being on Jenny Craig for half the year, and typically walking about 5km everyday. I honestly had to stop the Jenny Craig at that point because each weekly weigh in was so disheartening. I ate the food, I did the recommended exercise, why am putting on weight every week?! Like I said, disheartening.
Naturally all of this blew back to Uni and studies and making friends and enjoying myself. As usual it was another year of being alone 99% of the time. Waaaay too much time to think. My lows were very very low this year and the one place all of that kept taking me back to was Queensland and the farm (see previous Optometry post on 2009 if you have no idea what i'm talking about). That's just where the majority of my post traumatic stress comes from, and for some reason every bad patch triggered back there. The one thing I was absolutely grateful for were the RMIT counselling and photography staff. Pauline, Jeremy, Jerry, Rebecca- absolute standouts. They were beyond supportive, beyond helpful, and just amazing. I had to withdraw from half my semester papers in the 2nd half of the year and Pauline and Jerry made that so seamless and easy for me. One of my Uncle's friends helped out a lot with location scouting and even posed as my model once, thankful thankful thankful. Also my Ma flew down to Melbourne and stayed with me for 3 weeks at my lowest point, which I am beyond thankful for. I hate that she always has to deal with all my shit. You know? Like I said before, if someone could make me not me, that would be great, thanks.
Oh god my room...and roommate...and roommate's boyfriend. My living situation at the RMIT Village just made matters worse. I was "sharing" a "room". It was one room with a partial partition in the middle and a bathroom, all of which could probably have fit into our pantry here at home. Asleep in our beds we were maybe 2 meters away from each other, if that. The bathroom flooded with every shower, and when aforementioned roommate and boyfriend had one, I would often open the room door and platsch ankle deep into the flooded kitchenette area. The internet was right around dialup quality, and only usable on a single device at once (no phone wifi and laptop emailing for you, nein!), and the only place you could "air" the room was via the glass door at the opposite end of the rooms, so anything you heated up or cooked- the smell remained for days. However, the worst point came when the boyfriend pretty much moved in. And blasting Rage Against the Machine, via noise-cancelling headphones, while playing a game on the computer, and having the microwave going, I learnt really quickly that even all of that, was not enough to drown out the two of them having sex. I could pretty much accurately call when they switched positions, and even if I was on the phone trying to talk at my max volume? didn't stop them. Even my Ma heard them getting off when we were on the phone at one point. I left when I could, but where was I gonna go at 3am? I could not move out of there quickly enough and get back home. My friend Rob, from high school, helped me pack and stored all my shit for me over the summer- couldn't have done it without him.
In and amongst all of that, my baby passed away. Buffy was 17, and it was her time, but i still hurt to think I wasn't there for/with her. I was at Melbourne Central and decided to just call my Ma, and she told me that they were waiting for the vet to come. I could not have run into the cinema fast enough. I was watching Bridget Jones's Baby when Buffs was put to sleep. You can cry in cinemas, especially empty ones. I knew if I wanted to cry in my room i'd have to wait to be alone, and once I started that i'd be hard pressed to stop if someone came home, so... quiet cry in Hoyts. Then lots and lots of quiet cries in the room in the weeks and months following. Since I've been back I forget at least once a day and go and check the patio where her mat was to see what she's up to. I have a few little recordings of her from the past few years, and a few pictures, but it's only afterwards that you realize how much you missed out on. Puppy pictures, longer and better quality videos...everything. I just miss her, and the 101 things she did that made all of us laugh and be happy on a daily basis.
I think that's y'all caught up on a lot of what went on so far this year. The dress just kind of summarized the rest of 2016 perfectly.
As I always say in my inevitable end-of-year posts, i'm here for you. If you're reading and you want to vent? go for it. If you're feeling down and want to talk about it? go for it. Whether you're alone, or in a crowd this holiday season, if you're suffering, mental illness or not, feel free to share your own yearly roundup if you want to. I'm here to listen, and I love to talk to you guys. It helps me too.
Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to you all, and I hope everyone (myself included) has a better 2017.