Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Work in progress...

Transferring this blog over to a domain. I'll keep you posted on when its up!

Monday, October 1, 2012


Something that I haven't really consciously thought about in awhile is my self-esteem, inner and outer. Considering that I've never had any confidence in myself in terms of appearance, intelligence, etc., I clearly have problems with my self-esteem and how I view myself.

Having an eating disorder from 12-15 didn't help either. Anorexia is horrendous when it comes to self-image, you always see yourself +20 pounds whenever you look in a mirror.

Luckily, having gastroparesis is an excellent way to kill any inclination of an eating disorder, and is probably the only silver lining of having this condition. Once you physically lose the ability to eat, not by choice of mind but by choice of stomach, all you want to do is eat. It's absolutely insane what a mental change I have made in terms of food.

Through college I still followed habits from my anorexic past-coffee in the morning, eating only once a day, refusing just about everything. Until I started puking every day. After the idea that daily vomiting was a definite possibility for the rest of my life sank in, every iota of my anorexia disappeared. All I want to do for the majority of every single day of my life is stuff my face. With things besides gerber graduates entrees.

However, the loss of anorexic tendencies did not lead to an increase in my self-esteem. If anything, GP has worsened my self-esteem by a great deal. For one thing, it's hard to feel good about yourself when you feel nauseated, or after puking. (Hunger pangs mixed with nausea, I've deduced, are the worst possible combination of feelings you can have. I don't wish it upon anyone. ANYONE.)

In addition, GP is an unfavorable condition because people tend to think you have bulimia when you first discover you have the condition. Running to the bathroom every meal? Of course the gossip mills are going to run with that.

Being labeled with another eating disorder after conquering anorexia is one of the driving reasons as to why I kept at my diagnostic progress. I was tired of being labeled as 'that girl with the eating disorder.' No one wants to be that girl.

GP also reduces self-esteem in more ways than I can list--including lack of personal care (NOT hygiene, I shower daily. I mean going outside the house not looking like you just rolled out of bed) and consistent bloating due to my metabolism, which has decided to stop working completely just so I can keep down and use as many calories as possible.

Altogether, gastroparesis is not an illness that aids in increasing confidence about yourself. I think one of the hardest parts of having a chronic condition, besides the ability to recognize that in order to thrive, you have to beat the disease, and not let it beat you, is the complete lack of self-confidence I have for myself.

As the boyfriend once said, "You walked around like you didn't give a fuck what anybody thought about you."

I walk like that because I don't want to be noticed. I don't want to KNOW what other people are thinking about me, especially on bad days where I feel and look awful. I walk like that because of an absence of self-confidence, not an overload of it.

I will continue crossing my fingers until my GI doctor visit next Monday. I keep hoping everything will fall into place once I can eat somewhat normally and don't spend the majority of my evenings wrapped around my toilet.

I'm honestly riding on this stomach medication. I can't think of what will happen if it doesn't help--and I don't want to think about tubes through my intestines yet.

But I do know that my self-esteem has been steadily deteriorating. And that as is, right now, I don't like myself.

I'm crossing my fingers for change. Because I need to regain the ability to like myself.

I will say though, as a complete sidenote--I've become obsessed with doing my nails. After all, it's not like I have much to do during the day besides continually avoid my calculus textbook. For the record, anti-anxiety pills kill any desire to bite your nails, so I am now the quite the manicurist. I've already mastered the basic french, so now I'm on to glitter, because I do enjoy sparkly things. So, after two hours of serious, frustrating effort, voila!

Like I said before, I really need to start studying calculus. This is the epitome of too much free time. But with GP comes boredom, and thus my newly marketable nail design talent.

Sunday, September 30, 2012


Distractions are your best friends, in terms of gastroparesis. Distractions, good ones, keep you from focusing on feeling so nauseated, depressed, and energy-deprived. Distractions numb you from the world, keep your entire mind occupied, and is simply a state of bliss for those of us that suffer from 24/7 flu-like symptoms.

My biggest distraction of late has been this blog, in all honesty. I have put in a good amount of man power messing around with the layout, the posts, etc. I can tell I've been spending too much time distracted by it and its associated programs (I use GIMP, a photoshop knockoff that works pretty fabulously)because I've reverted to wearing my glasses every night. Clearly, I've spent far too many hours in front of a computer screen.

And in personal terms, the hours of distraction that this blog has given me has motivated me, given me something to progress towards. It's a nice change from tiring, monotonous days of watching Jersey Shore/Kardashian reruns.

However, the problem with distractions is sometimes, they are too good. They keep you out of touch with the daily happenings of life, and aid in procrastination of necessary chores.

For example, I've blown off the pet store today to change the bunny's cage because I was too busy trying to add something to the blog. I should also be relearning calculus, as I will be in a differential equations class soon and I absolutely suck at math. Not kidding, I literally failed and retook both previous parts of the calculus series at UCSB. And I lived in Math Lab, my personal math aid mecca.

The point is, I've become a little too distracted and let myself fall out of place with reality. I need to begin focusing on future goals, and learn to focus more on the present. I've definitely tuned the boyfriend out accidentally a few times today, just because I was so busy working on the blog, which in retrospect, I feel terrible for doing so. He's my now, and I'm ignoring him for a computer. I've vowed to change that.

It's hard to give up such a good distraction though. It really is. Boredom tends to lead to a focus on all the things going on with me that are wrong, and focusing on your illness always makes you feel worse, symptom-wise. It's such a thrill to sit for hours and feel absolutely nothing. That, compared to a constant state of nausea throughout the day, is the best feeling in the world.

However, I need to learn to balance my distractions with my life. In all honesty, I feel guilty for slipping out of real life this weekend and focusing on nothing but the website. I need to learn that I can exist with the nausea, and can do other things, like chat with the boyfriend, clean, or take a small walk, that will both distract me and keep me in touch with my non-virtual life.

I feel optimistic that I can make these changes, considering my appointment with my GI doctor is next week. Knowing that I'm this close to my life hopefully changing for the better is both terrifying and exhilarating.

So, to hell with obsessive distractions. I will learn to balance, and deal with my GP.

Or I'll try my damnedest to become obsessed with Calculus. Either or, it's a win.