Tuesday, October 30, 2007

i don't normally do this, but...

my last post, which now is sitting in limbo in drafts, just wasn't sitting well with me. i chose to take it off the viewable page, and if anyone still wants to read it, please just let me know and i'll be glad to email it to you. it was bothering me, and i don't think it accurately represented what i wanted to say. i was asking for advice re: dating a trans person as a cisgendered lesbian. so if anyone has advice, i'll just keep it simple ~ lemme know in comments or via email, and we can go from there :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Blog for the MOTHERS act day!

today is the official blogHers day of action re: postpartum depression and the

depression in general has a reputation of being an invented or maudlin, self-serving disease. i cannot reiterate enough that DEPRESSION IS VERY REAL. the 'pull yourself up by your bootstraps and just get over it' mentality that so many people adopt is not applicable. that is not to say that individuals can't do anything at all to help themselves; of course they can. but when you have a child, all of those overwhelming thoughts feelings, the anxiety, pressure, and alienated feeling that surface can be symptomatic of a DISEASE, and help is available. when
one out of every 10 new mothers experience this, it's serious, and can be deadly.

katie corcoran has been missing since september 5th as a result of post-partum psychosis. she was seeking help when somehow she was sent away from the hospital in a cab. her family hasn't seen her since.

take action and inform your representatives on the MOTHERS Act
here. the act would help by expanding research on PPD to better diagnose, treat and uproot causes of the disease, which is currently unknown. it would also increase education and provide two grants to healthcare professionals in order to help them recognize and treat PPD. if you're a new mother, or know a new mother that seems to be/are feeling any or all of these symptoms:
  • Sluggishness
  • Fatigue
  • Exhaustion
  • Feelings of hopelessness or depression
  • Disturbances with appetite and sleep
  • Confusion
  • Uncontrollable crying
  • Lack of interest in the baby
  • Fear of harming the baby or oneself
  • Mood swings – highs and lows
please get help! PSI has an 800 number to call for confidential advice and assistance. these symptoms can occur immediately after your baby's birth or even a year later, and vary greatly in spectrum. we have to do something to remove the embarrassing stigma attached to post-partum mood disorders. therapy, medicine, or a combination of both can be used to help keep you and your loves safe, happy, and healthy.

Monday, October 22, 2007

so NOW who's joining dumbledore's army?

this story has me so excited today i can barely concentrate on my work (geekdom, thou hast won!) jk dropped this knowledge on a stunned audience at carnegie hall on sunday: albus dumbledore is gay.


can you believe it? dumbledore's gay?!? no wonder his grindelwald disdain was so tainted with hurt and emotion. he threw his genius heart to the only person with the potential to match him, only to realize that the object of his affection had such an evil side. how bittersweet and tortuous to have to fight and defeat his love. could there have ever been a more suitable match for albus? suddenly, his self-ostracism, sacrifice, and the way in which he threw himself into his work makes so much more sense. holing himself up in hogwart's, turning down the ministry of magic position, delving exclusively into his work: confusion and eventually acceptance of his sexuality would've been preying on his mind throughout everything he did.

so i can't WAIT for the evangelical christian backlash on this one. they already condemn potter and the entire series for the wicked, wicked use of witchcraft, potions, spells and the like. i mean, i wasn't allowed to watch the smurfs as a child because the church said the spell casting was evil! so can you imagine adding the evils of HOMOSEXUALITY to their profuse hatred of all things rowling? i can't wait... and i tip my pink hat to albus dumbledore.

Friday, October 19, 2007

pop quiz: what do anorexia and ecstasy have in common?

apparently, a protein called 5-HT4R. this is really great news for scientists, as it solidifies the claim that anorexia is a disease, and gives them a substantial way to look for a cure. basically, research has found that people become addicted to not eating, and get a sort of seratonin high or rewarded feeling from refraining from food, in the same way as ecstasy users. as an anorexia survivor, i relate very solidly to this information. further information is discussed here, from reuters, and earlier in the year from the telegraph.

what does this mean to those suffering from the disease? well, if scientists can find ways to block the 5-HT4R receptors in the brain, then theoretically, anorexics would no longer get that addictive high from not eating (and conversely, the punishment and depressive feelings that result from ingesting food.)

this is most certainly not to say that if a suitable pill is manufactured that those afflicted would be miraculously cured. therapy is an essential aspect to successful treatment. i can't emphasize that enough. without being able to get to the root of your problems, you can never escape them. i truly believe that we are a society of quick-fixes and cure-all elixirs, obsessed with harder, bigger, faster, more. recovery takes time. that's why, almost ten years cured from my disease, i still fight it everyday. each bite of food that goes into my mouth, i have to work not to calculate calories, fat grams, look at what's on my plate. when i dress in the morning, i have to repeat mantras over and over again that i'm not fat, that the dress WASN'T looser on me the last time i wore it, etc. i'm at a healthy weight, even if i look in the mirror and don't see it. i enjoy food now, instead of obsessing over it. and i owe so much of that to the doctors that helped me what seems like a lifetime ago.

but just like alcoholism, you have to take things one day at a time. eating disorders are more serious, imho, though, because you can remove alcohol from your diet and place yourself in situations where it's not present. no one can just remove food from their diet ~ that's the basis of the problem! without it, you die. with it, you obsess. not to minimize the seriousness of alcoholism, but that's my stance. so hopefully, 5-HT4 will become a positive supplement to anorexia, and many more people can get help.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

file this under wtf

okay. so any relief, regardless of how small, that may have been expressed at the final release of mychal bell from jail is now stricken. AP published this article after bell was brought in to court for what should've been a routine hearing on an unrelated case. this case shouldn't've had anything to do with the jena 6 proceedings, and it is true that it was never mentioned, but judge jp mauffrey was obviously sending a very clear, and very hate-mongering message when doling out an unwarranted 18 months incarceration for a probation violation. mauffrey is awe-inspiring in his steadfast pursuit of punishment to young black men that dare to challenge his skewed view of justice. i realize he's gotta be pissed that he was called out by the nation for his hatred, and he's apparently obsessed with sticking to his guns. keep punishing these boys, judge, and hopefully, you'll keep getting shot down. as for bell, let's hope this trumped-up scapegoat bullshit can FINALLY come to an end... sigh.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

panic, mania, depression, etc.

depression and anxiety have had me locked away from here for the past few weeks. blogging should not induce panic attacks, but then again, panic attacks aren't about reality and rational fears. most of the time, i'm basically regurgitating news clips anyway, nothing too personal or putting my reputation at stake, and yet...

i've tried to post about 50 times since my last quick blurb, only to either run from my keyboard, avoiding my computer altogether, or begin entries that would freeze me mid-sentence and cause a heart-pounding, head-lightening freakout. ideas would be bursting out of me and then suddenly crash. i'm sure if i looked at my drafts right now, i'd cry.
anyone out there had panic attacks or manic seizes? anxiety attacks tend to begin without warning (known 'triggers' excluded.)

simultaneously trapped within and disconnected from your corporal body, it's surreal and extremely frightening to have to fight for breaths and control of your limbs. hyperventilating is common, but so is that heavy 'i'm gonna pass out or fall asleep right here' feeling. the need to hold on to something arises. you're a helium balloon tentatively tied to a toddler's wrist. beating the air, pulling away, torn back down. at the mercy of the environment, you sway and bounce. the ebb and flow isn't the calm, rhythmic motion of the sea, but an errant toss and jerk, sans direction or purpose. you can't forget to breathe, but it becomes harder to remember as your head grows heavier and the ground seems to tilt. why is one side of your body suddenly a paperweight, while the other half is lighter than air? being vertical seems an impossible feat! how do people do it? as these thoughts burn the edges of your brain, other thoughts are battling for the forefront of your mind, racing at dragstrip speed through your head. everything that could go wrong is currently occurring and you have no way to stop anything. you get over the strangely euphoric, terrible and seductive sensations and are abruptly torn back to reality... a reality in which you're shaking, sweating, tight-chested and nauseated. the tympani of your heart's pound is orchestral in your ears, and that memory of breath suddenly becomes all you want, but cannot have. you'd do anything just to get some air into your lungs, but it suddenly can't go. you try to focus, but all you can manage are shallow gasps for air ~ the rest of you is just too preoccupied with the plethora of problems it's having. you've shattered, and sweeping up the remains is a seemingly endless and daunting task. you don't seem to have a center. there's nothing there to hold you in; you're a million autonomous units that have no operator. you're screaming inside to grab that broom, to reach out, to rally the troops and focus as a whole again. you reach and reach and after an eternity of stretching: you manage. a mantra begins to repeat in your mind: you're gonna be okay, just breathe, just breathe, breathe, breathe.... tentatively, your body responds. your head straightens slowly where it had been tilting more and more to the side. (it no longer seems to weigh SO much.) you're sweating less, your eyes switch into focus. you're still shaking, but you can actually see your hands enough to realize what they've been doing. control of your legs and the sensation of them touching the ground reinstates. blinking a couple of times, you take that one slow deep breath that actually seems to somewhat fill your body. and it's over.

manic moments are different. ideas flow like lava, the world is suddenly within your grasp, ridiculously easy to wield and weld to your command. how do people not get it? you want to share your secret with everyone everywhere ~ they all must know! you rush to tell the universe, or maybe just the person next to you. you're warm, your face is flush, eyes bright and wide with intensity. you begin to speak, but speech is too slow for the fire in your brain. or perhaps you're typing. fingers can't work fast enough for all that's pouring forth. you skip entire words, sentences, paragraphs and ideas, convinced that you're waxing poetic and doing the world a great service. people tell you to slow down as you excitedly meander through ideas on every conceivable subject, topic or issue. vaguely, you notice their raised eyebrow and condescending smile. you stumble on the outpour and are jerked back down from your excitement. why can't people understand you? why doesn't what you just typed make sense? only moments ago you held the skeleton key to life's secrets and it was all too simple! paranoia strikes. you delete sentences, paragraphs, eventually the whole of what you've created out of the knowledge that it's worthless. and not only that, but YOU'RE worthless! how could you possibly have believed you know anything at all? that your creative outpour is anything but garbage? you have no ability or capacity to finish anything, achieve anything. you're a loser. why try. turn off the computer and shut the fuck up. retreat.

this has been my MO for the past couple of weeks. sorry to toss it all out like some tacky salad, but i think it's made me feel a little better. erin, you yelled at me to just 'do it,' and so i did. hurray to a doctor's visit next week.