Going Through Caffeine Withdrawal

Having pop with friends

Having pop with friends is fun but should be a treat, not a daily routine numerous times.

Head pounding, dizziness kisses my face. All I want to do is lay down and rest. However, work goes on with the rest of life continuing. Thus, I push forward through each moment although I feel like I cannot stand.

Evidently this is what happens when you combine stopping caffeine suddenly after relaying on it and lack of sleep, too much heat, and an overly busy schedule.

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Top Ten Quotes on Compulsive Over-Eating

Mario eating food

Mario eating a S’More

Even for people aware of eating disorders, compulsive over-eating tends to be forgotten. After all, the danger appears to be less if someone is eating and keeping the down the food. However, the agony of this mental illness is just as real as are the medical consequences. Heightened blood pressure, diabetes, loss of mobility, and depression are just a few of the conditions that can accompany compulsive over-eating.

Instead of seeing this type of eating disorder as less important, we should try to support and understand those who struggle with it. For years, this plagued me. The result was deep self-hatred, poor body image, and longing to starve myself. Obviously this disorder is a serious problem and not something to belittle or criticize.

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My Whole Being Aches: Body, Mind, and Spirit

My friend Kelsey with a coin in her eye

Whether it is with joy, fear, or depression, our whole selves react to our feelings.

Each morning for the past few days, I have awoken wondering how I am going to make it through the next few days. School, work, medical appointments,  honor society commitments, and friendships are all weighing down on me. Although these are all good things, the amount of everything in my life is so much that I feel like I am going to break.

Our bodies, minds, emotions, and spirits are more attached than we realize. When in pain, every bit of ourselves aches. Joy radiates throughout our beings when we hear good news and makes us think good thoughts and feel well. Thus, it would make sense to see our whole self as connected.

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The Truth about Fad Dieting

pastry

Do fad diets really work?

“Lose weight in 10 days without trying!” “Eliminate these five simple foods for a better shape in a week!” “Make dieting easy by trying our new supplement!”

We are surrounded by headlines such as these every day. Magazines at the grocery store, ads on television and even comments from friends repeat such phrases. The words and instructions might be different, but the message remains the same; you need to lose weight quickly.

However, do such diets as advertised really work? No, not for the most part. There are certainly exceptions, but fad diets tend to be backed by poor scientific research and have no lasting results. In fact, these programs designed to make us healthy often backfire and cause discomfort, further medical issues or eating disorders.

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My Mom is Not a Therapist

Family upon couch
Family upon couch

My family

My mother is an amazing person. She cares for and loves me to the best of her abilities. However she is not perfect. In fact, she is not even my therapist.

Often times, I interact with my family as if they were my medical caregivers. When I self-harm, their confused and angry response terrifies me. Times when I need consoling, they might be warn out and unable to listen. The way my Aspergian brain works still bewilders and annoys them. Thus, I am left longing for therapy from people who (despite their love) do not have the training or energy to give me that.

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Top Ten Ways to Adjust to New Medication

Many people who have struggled with health know the roller coaster ride of finding the right medication. Sleepiness, not knowing what dose is right for you, weight gain, decreased attention span, having to wait several weeks to see if your new prescription works – these are just a few of the challenges faced when trying a new medication or altering an old one. Sometimes, it does not even seem worth the effort, but finding the right one can be life-saving.

Flower heart

A flower heart that I left on the grave of J.R.R. Tolkien

Last night, I forgot to take my evening medication. At 1:30 AM, my brain was still racing which altered me to the fact that something was wrong. Seroquel, one of my pills, makes you extremely sleepy and helps me to make it through the night restfully along with calming my intrusive thoughts. Taking it late was not a big issue – until this morning. At 8:30, I awakened with my head throbbing as if someone had hit me with a sledgehammer. Maybe this is what it feels like to be hungover, thought my naive brain once it adjusted to the pain. All morning was a struggle to simply function. Walking, talking, and typing seemed like laborious tasks.

The reason that I bring this up is because it reminded me of adjusting to new medication. That process can be simple or painful and aggravating. Often, I wish that someone would have given coping skills and helpful tips to me. Sure, doctors explain all of the potential side effects or dangers. However, that is not the same as someone sitting down and comforting you through the uncomfortable journey.

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When the Panic Rises

White water lilly

I want peace like this water lilly.

When I begin to panic, nothing seems to control me or make sense. I begin to hyperventilate as my brain spins and tears run down my cheeks. My heart races and stomach churns. All that I want to do is curl up in a ball, sob, and be safe.

Safety – that is all I want sometimes. Silly, you might think, for a girl who restricts food until she is deathly ill or hurts herself to deal with pain. One might argue that my personal safety is the last thing that I consider.

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Why is it Strong to Endure Physical Pain?

Rainbow over St. Paul

Here is the sky that I arrived home to on Saturday

At my medical checkup today, the physician instructed me to schedule a bone scan to make sure that I will not have osteoporosis. Numerous people have mentioned this condition to me, hoping to frighten me into eating more. The idea of my bones deteriorating is anxiety-producing, I will admit.

Yet, the sick part of my brain proclaims this a victory. After all, physical pain is good. The more that you endure, the stronger you are as a person. We respect and affirm those who battle each day through agonizing pain.

That is, we applaud them unless they are causing that pain to themselves.

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Ten Things Not to Say to Someone with PTSD

Me with wax figure of Moriarty

Ten Things Not to Say to Someone with PTSD

Think of the most awful event in your whole life. Then imagine reliving that time and time again while feeling powerless to stop. Your heart rate quickens, thoughts race, and breathing begins to race as your body begins the fight or flight response.

This is an example of how someone with PTSD might feel when triggered. Every person responds differently, but there are some common factors for all who suffer from this disorder. Although logically in a safe place, this person feels the panic and vulnerability from a past experience. Physical sensations accompany mental terror which makes this type of anxiety difficult to face alone.

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Why Do We Believe Visible Pain More?

Me at Goodwill

Sometimes the pain inside cannot be seen.

A phrase I often utter flippantly is “I will die falling down a flight of stairs.” This is not a morbid prediction as much as a slight jab at my lack of grace. During my preteen years, a doctor once said that I had “clumsy-kid syndrome.” Just what every adolescent girl wants to hear.

Anyway, this saying of mine once again was proven today. As I attempted to walk up a flight of outdoor stairs, I tripped and fell on the concrete. Although my hands were remarkably unmarked, blood began to gush from my knee. Wandering back into my school where I was helping with the graduation ceremony, I found one of the women who worked in the registrar’s office and requested a bandage.

“Oh my goodness, will you be okay?” She wondered as she attempted to stop the bleeding. However, the red substance continued to flow and even leak out of the BandAid. While she bustled about trying to find a way to help me, I felt oddly relieved about the blood. After all, it proved that I had really been injured and needed some attention. I was not just some wimp who begged for help over a tiny bump. My body’s physical reaction proved that something was wrong and needed healing.

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