The Plot Thickens

A couple days ago a wrote a post about the title of my blog that revealed my physical illnesses. You probably came to the conclusion that I’ a seriously messed up human being- and you are right, but in the best way possible. However, i have a plot twist for you… I was wrong about my diagnoses. Except technically the doctors were. When I came back home for thanksgiving break I went to see my doctor to get muscle relaxers for my fibromyalgia. My doctor prescribe them to me but also asked if she could run some more tests. Sure, I thought nonchalantly, why not? Whats one more test going to do? Little did I know the answer to that question was: change my life forever. I went back to school with my pain meds and continued on with my education. My birthday rolled around. I was fortunate enough to have my birthday during dead week (super sarcasm) and then finals week proceeded. Now I am home once again. Today my mom revealed to me that on my birthday my doctor called my mom and told her that I am now diagnosed with Lupus. What they thought was fibromyalgia and just weird cases of illnesses scattered in was actually a chronic autoimmune disease.

In other words? My body is destroying itself.

if it wasn’t so depressing, it would kind of be comical… of course its worse than we thought, I mean I am Lacey after all. Nothing is ever as simple as it seems. Apparently Lupus gets mistaken for fibromyalgia all the time because it feels the same. It really does fit better with whats been happening to me lately though… I get pouring headaches every day, I have aches all of my body and joint pain, and I am constantly sick. Yes, it does make sense. I should feel a sense of relief like I did when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia right? Wrong. I feel the exact opposite this time.

When my mom first told me my heart sank and I didn’t even know why- I had no idea what lupus was, but somehow I knew it wasn’t going to be any better than I currently had it. I immediately did some research and didn’t like what I found. Lupus can majorly fuck you up. We’re talking kidney damage, bone tissue death, increased risk of cancer, lung disease and heart disease, the list is endless. To be honest I can handle all of that. I don’t mean to be smug when I say I have become a pretty strong person over the years with everything I’ve gone through. This is just another food item of the Lacey dinner plate. But there is one thing I cannot deal with for the life of me- problems with my future pregnancy. You see, ever since I was a young girl I knew I was going to be a mom. Kids were always in the cards for me and there was never any doubt that I was going to have that someday. Its not that I just wanted to be a trophy wife and stay home while my “man” makes the money (which makes me sick just to type), I wanted to grow a living human inside of me and create a miracle. Pregnancy is such a beautiful thing. I can’t imagine anything being more rewarding than being a mother. Its the only thing I have known was going to be in my future since I was old enough to think about my future. Lupus comes with a lot of pregnancy issues such as increased chance of miscarriage and preterm birth. Meaning that my body is going to think my baby is some sort of disease and try to destroy it. My body is going to try to kill my baby. There are no words to describe the deep pain I felt when I discovered that having a baby won’t be as easy as I think it will be. I don’t know what I would do if I lost a child before I could even give birth to it. I can handle most things, but I don’t know how I would be able to handle losing a child.

I have been diagnosed with a lot of things in my life and have been sad, frustrated and even angry… but with this diagnosis I have felt something that I have never felt after a diagnosis before- fear. I’m so intensely scared for the future living with this disease. I just have such a bad feeling about this that i can’t shake. Everyone keeps telling me that its manageable and not life threatening… but they’re wrong, it is a life threatening disease because it could give me any other sort of illness, and i will never know what I will have to deal with next, including the birth of my child whenever that will be. “It will all be ok” seems to be the line of the day, but I don’t want ok. I want outstanding. But its hard to be outstanding when you have a disease that has no cure. For now I wait patiently for my next doctors appointment to run more tests so I will know where I am on the spectrum of pain. Who knows, maybe they’ll tell me that this is as bad as its going to get. Wouldn’t that be something. I’m never that lucky though.

The Explanation Part 2

I explained my reasoning for starting this incredibly depressing yet hopeful blog, i thought I’d explain the name of it as well considering I would be the only one to fully understand it without an explanation. I am going to go through each word and that way the whole title will make sense (Family Systems Theory- a person cannot be understood as an individual rather than a part of a system).

ABNORMALLY- If you know me it goes without saying that I am abnormal person in any way you can imagine. I drink my drinks weird (drives my mom crazy), I talk louder than most, I think in a different perspective than anyone i know, one foot is bigger than the other and my eyes are only sometime 20/20. I was born with an insane amount of hair during a snow storm in Anchorage, Alaska and have had more grandpas than I can count on one hand. I still sleep with a blanket that I received from my grandma when I was 2. I never wear matching socks (we waste too much of the little amount of time we have on this planet matching socks when they aren’t even seen). The list is endless. One would think that the word abnormal comes with negative connotation but when I hear the word all I think of are the endless possibilities. Abnormal people change the world- they force people to move towards a better way of thinking and a more progressive future. It isn’t the normal people who make a difference in this world, its the abnormal people. The people who sit in the back of the class drawing anime cartoons, the people who go home and work on robots, the people who take as many art credits as they can because thats where they feel the most at home… those people have something that no one else has- individuality. I am proud of my abnormalness, and I think everyone else who is abnormal should hold onto what makes them abnormal and never let go, because thats whats going to make them thrive in todays world.

DELICATE- Of course, it wouldn’t be a Lacey post without mentioning something thats wrong with me. Like I have mentioned i previous posts, I live with depression and anxiety. I am not secretive about this in fact I am quite the opposite. I wish I could share it with the world really. Why? Thats a story for another post. The fact of the matter is living with these disorders makes me incredibly emotionally unstable at certain times. And even when I’m not going through my so called “rough patches” I still am emotionally delicate. Delicate. Its such a graceful word. It has a connotation of being a lady-like word. In this case it means exactly what the more was meant to describe… easily broken or damaged; fragile. I cry very easily and I’m not ashamed to admit that. I have a abnormally (theres that word again) strong sense of empathy that I think is unique to me as an individual which I like about myself, but it also gets out of control sometimes. My mom and grandma are the same way; I don’t have any doubt that theres a genetic component there. Aside from being emotionally delicate however, I am also physically delicate as well. For as long as I can remember doctors have been trying to figure out what my problem is. Its been sickness after sickness after sickness, with random pain thrown in here and there. I bruise easily. So much as a poke in the arm can hurt me. Of course this hasn’t always been this extreme, its progressively gotten worse. Around the time I was diagnosed with depression my physical illness got worse than it ever had before, but it was brushed off by doctors as a stress symptom from everything I had been going through. I found out years later that I have arthritis and fibromyalgia. Two problems in which someone as young as me shouldn’t have to be dealing with- but still, it was nice to put a name on the problem. For a while before I was diagnosed I thought I was going crazy because all the tests turned back negative for everything else. In case you didn’t know, you can’t diagnose fibromyalgia because it cannot be detected on any scans they do or any tests they take. So everything came back to them clean yet I was still having problems when I shouldn’t have been in any pain… yeah, try telling me you wouldn’t go crazy too and think it was all in your head. So with my diagnosis came a sense of relief. My arthritis wasn’t going to be a major problem until I was older, it was just going to be harder for me to bend down than other people my age. The fibromyalgia was another story. It was going to get worse with every passing year and there was nothing I could do but take pain meds to stifle the pain as much as possible. I held out on the medication for as long as I could (I didn’t want to spend my whole life depending on medication to make me feel better so I thought I would deal with it as long as I could) but there came a point where it hurt so bad all I could do was lay in bed and cry for hours. I couldn’t continue feeling this way while I was attending a university, it was interrupting my learning as well as my social life. So I gave in. The muscle relaxers are a softer medication so I don’t have to take the hard stuff until I’m older. They help a little, at least they keep the tears down. But it hurts every day now. If delicate doesn’t describe me at this point, I don’t know what will.

CELEBRATOR- Needless to say I have quite the issues. Mentally and physically. We have come to the conclusion that I am both abnormal and delicate. Both words seem to fit together. But celebrator? It is definitely the outlier of the three words. Well heres a curveball- I am also unpredictable. Just when you thought all I had to say was depressing shit and more depressing shit, I hit you with a happy word. There are no tricks here- I mean for this word to be happy. See, with everything that has happened to me in the 19 years of living on this planet I have learned one great important lesson: You must celebrate what you take for granted so you don’t lose sight of whats really important and what really means the most to you. I have a wonderful like full of people who love me, I like to think they would miss me if I left this word unexpectedly. The fact that I even woke up this morning is a blessing in itself. Some people never do- like my friend and exboyfriend Elliott Bell. He was always a troubled kid. Since the day I met him i knew exactly what we had in common- we both had that darkness in the core of our being., Except his was much larger and darker than mine. One day he decided enough was enough and that was that. He was gone. I realized then that I was tired of seeing darkness surrounding my world. I want to help others like others have helped me. I want to be the support system for people that don’t have one. I want to celebrate success in conquering depression, not mourning another friend that has been conquered by it. I want to spend the rest my life rejoicing about the fact that I have a life by saving others lives. I want to celebrate delicious coffee and warm fires and TV shows that make me laugh and peppermint patties and my baby cousins giggles and soft cats… I want to be a celebrator.

The Explanation

It started when I was 10. But it didn’t get bad enough to make heads turn until 4 years later.

I was an emotional teenager my freshman year of high school. I didn’t realize it at the time but I was in my only little world and even though my world wasn’t perfect, it was hard for me to understand anything other than what was happening right in front of me. Granted, I had a lot going on at the time. Although I was intelligent. Hopeful. Observant… I was really, really sad. Undoubtedly so. I was unlike the majority of kids my age but just like all the teenagers who i didn’t know existed at the time. I was a part of a select number of people my age who lived with something incredibly dark in the core of their being. We were few but we were always magnificent. We were strong. We were lonely. We were beings with major depressive disorder.

I spent a lot of my free time writing. Sometimes poetry, other times work of fiction. It came very easy to me, letting my emotions that were not tangible flow like a stream through something that was tangible. Somehow it made things make sense to me. Things weren’t so bad when I had a pencil or pen in my hand. Everything I knew about myself, the people around me, the world in general… it only made sense when it was put on paper. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying I was any good at it. It didn’t really matter to me. My goal wasn’t to become a writer, to share what I felt with the world… I wasn’t even intending on letting anyone see what I had done. Most days after school I would run to my room, scribble down whatever came to mind, even if whatever was on my mind didn’t come out in complete sentences, and walk out into my back yard with the papers in my hand and a lighter in the other. Behind the barn I would watch the flames envelop my creations. As the paper would get smaller, so did my anxiety. The ashes would float into the sky and drift away. I would never see what I wrote ever again. It was liberating. It was a secret. It was all I had.

No one knew about this life. I didn’t want anyone to know. Lacey was always in control. There was never a time when she didn’t have a smile on her face, and when there wasn’t it was because someone she cared about was hurting. Any problem she had was no more of a problem than what she should wear the next day. Thats who my friends saw me as. The Lacey that didn’t have to be worried about. And thats who I was originally. But I had changed and know one knew who I was anymore… not even  myself. There was no point in having people accept who I had evolved into when I didn’t know who that person was. So i put on a show every day of my life. I went to school, I laughed, I did math, I ate at lunch and I gossiped with my friends. To this day I don’t know how an empty shell of a teenager such as myself could have done all of this without being caught red handed. i guess my friends were so caught up in themselves that they didn’t notice their friend was dying on the inside. At the age, everyone is selfish. People only do things when it benefits them. Seeing me for who I really was didn’t benefit anyone. I was able to continue my life of solitude in my spare time and write my nights away.

As you may have guessed, that way of life didn’t last very long. Not because I didn’t want it to, but because I got caught in my own lie of a life. One day I was told by my parents that they had read my diary. The diary I had written in every night for two years. The diary I knew they knew I had but had trusted them enough to not hide it. I felt as though they knew how important it was for me to have the outlet I had in writing. But that didn’t matter because they were afraid. They were afraid at the fact that they no longer saw their daughter in me. They were afraid cause I stopped talking to them, stopped spending time downstairs and more time in my room, and my laughter had become a rarity. They and read my diary and seen all the thoughts I had written down and i could no longer hide behind my paper shield. It was over.

Freshman year I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder, anxiety disorder and bulimia eating disorder. It was the day that my illness was called what it was, an illness… and it changed my life forever. Most of it for the better. However the day my parents betrayed my trust in them was the day I vowed to them and myself that I would never write again. At least not in the way that I had before. I stayed true to my promise and never wrote in a journal again…

Until this week.

Welcome to Lacey’s freshman year of COLLEGE (secret) journal. I live in kind of a messed up world, don’t say I didn’t warn ya.

Look Up

thetealtales

look up from the cellphone
what do you see?
a world full of people
like you and me.
bent down from their necks
not at their knees,
its a new addiction
a new disease.

look up from your keyboard
stare right ahead,
it might be a window
or a person instead.
you might see the rain clouds
or an azure sky,
maybe someone laughing
or unhappy eyes.

Look up from your laptop
turn around,
has the path been walked
or yet to be found?
its not hidden away
in likes and tweets,
its woven in the rhythm
of a living heart beat.

look up from your space
look up and see,
a world full of emotions
and opportunities.
reach out to someone
just hold their hand,
feel their heart beat
you’ll understand.

we need to look up
to find ourselves,
its not buried in screens
or megapixels.
a reflection here

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Modern Day Slaves

I strongly dislike the fact that I live in a generation where people care more about how many likes you get on an instragram photo than how many compliments you gave that day. Kids are judged by how many followers they have, how many favorites on their last tweet they got, or how many shares on Facebook. And I can’t say I haven’t been there. I’ve been that person who debates whether or not they should remove a photo from social networking because I was worried that since it didn’t have very many likes that it wasn’t good enough to be shared. Since when do I care about what other people think is good enough or not? I spent most of my adult life fighting to be the type of person who doesn’t give a shit when people don’t accept what I do or who I am. When I start giving a shit is the day that i go back to being the Lacey who shoved her finger down her throat to please other people because her happiness stemmed from them. I know that sounds like a far fetched connection. For someone to go from caring about how many likes they have on their picture to becoming bulimic. But I can tell you its not. It starts that way… and then it grows into something uncontrollable. We live in a world where you can share anything about yourself with as many people as you want in a blink of an eye, but we choose to use that power to make ourselves value our own worth based off of other peoples opinions. To quote one of my favorite songs, we live in a world “so hateful someone would rather die than be who they are.” I was there. Thousands of other people are currently there. Yet we let this simple tool called social networking control our lives and we don’t even notice that its happening. We could be sitting right behind a person that we call a “friend” on Facebook, a person who likes our pictures and statuses and shares our videos, and not say a single word to that person. That person contributed to how you are valued online and you couldn’t even make eye contact with the person. Whats worse is that even though I’m not the only one noticing this phenomenon, i am of the minority. People who resent social media at my age are one of few. I say all of this yet I am going to continue my use of Facebook and my favorite, Instagram, and I’m going to continually count how many likes I get and secretly wish the number would go up… because we, my friends, are modern day slaves to our iPhones. “Likes” are our high and social networking is our pipe, and we are far too gone for rehab to save us now.