Posts Tagged ‘stress’

I watched a special on HBO while stuck in my house due to an ice storm this weekend. It was called “Every Brilliant Thing”, and it’s definitely worth checking out. But, it inspired me. I want to start making a list of every brilliant thing to me in life. Everything that makes life worth living.

It’s no secret that I struggle with depression. I have for over half of my life, now. Usually, I manage just fine. But some days, it gets to me. It’s like a poison spreading through my system, leaving me weak. I can’t find the light, and that’s my biggest problem in that state of mind: I’m lost in the darkness, and cannot find the good to pull me out of it.

So, I’m giving myself a list of things. Things to read and remember what makes me even slightly happy. I’m giving myself a way out of the darkness.

Let’s start by cheating a bit with my list of things I was thankful for a few posts ago:

1.) Movie nights with someone you love.

2.) My Batman collection. 

3.) My nieces. 

4.) Fur babies. 

5.) Feeling inspired. 

6.) Productive nights of insomnia. 

7.) Feeling accomplished. 

8.) Qdoba nacho dates with my  best friend. 

9.) The hunt for collection things.

10.) Long calls with your favorite person.

11.) Clear nights with the moon and stars shining bright.

12.) Hoodie weather.

13.) Nature walks / Hikes.

14.) Road trips with good company and good music.

15.) The exhilaration on your favorite rides.

16.) Doing something kind for someone else, and knowing they appreciated it. 

17.) Knowing this was the first December in a few years I didn’t have a surgery scheduled.

18.) The catalyst of meeting Kevin Smith a little over one year ago. 

19.) Filling up a box of comics.

20.) The excitement of somewhere new.

21.) Being so happy that I can’t stop the big, dorky grins. 

22.) Painting with music blaring days. 

23.) Adventure. 

24.) Chinese food. 

25.) Supporting the dreams and projects of others.

26.) The Bat Force / Bat Force Radio while working on my collection. 

27.) Naps.

28.) My fandoms.

29. ) People equally passionate about the same things I am.

30.) Good memories.

31.) Cards Against Humanity nights. 

32.) My closest friends.

33.) My BEST friend.

34.) Everything about a certain someone. 

Now, let’s add a few more on, to make it a proper new post:

35.) Meeting your heroes.

36.) Comic Cons

 37.) Finding new movies you absolutely love.

38.) The song that becomes Our Song

39.) Comfy socks.

40.) The first day of feeling better after being sick.

41.) Peanut Butter M&Ms 

42.) Art days after school in high school, working on projects with people that meant the world to me.

43.) Hot apple cider in my Ouija mug when I’m sick.

44.) Good, long conversations.

45.) Dressing up as Harley Quinn

46.) Poetry

47.) The work of Charles Bukowski

48.) Unexpected gifts of things you want, but didn’t ask for.

49.) When the person you fall in love with, falls in love with you.

50.) Happy dances.

There we have it. My first 50 things. I hope to read through them when I’m down, and then add to them, and hopefully use this tool to pull myself back out of the grips of depression.

~Angel

keepgoing

It’s always a curious thing, letting go of some aspects of your life in order to embrace other things that feel more important. The seed is planted, and you’re ready to watch it bloom. You’ve been watering it and giving it all of your love. Sometimes, something amazing blooms. Other times, nothing happens. You’re left alone in the dirt, waiting for something to come from nothing, and having no idea whether it will become everything you hoped for, or leave you as you are – alone in the dirt.

I started down a path a few months ago, terrified and unsure of myself, with hopes of pushing myself toward something better. I’ve been hard at work on Wandering NerdGirl. I’ve been working on my health. Trying to spend more time with friends. I’ve been working on things I’ve never done before. Spending time with my nieces and going to Six Flags. And all of these things can bring me some temporary comfort, and the occasional feeling of accomplishment.

But you know what I haven’t been doing lately? Writing – working on new stuff, or editing, or finishing Work-in-Progress stuff. I haven’t been taking any pictures. I haven’t been drawing or painting. And not doing these particular things is really waging war on my brain.

I just came home a week ago from a last minute trip, mostly just an adventure, with a bit of excitement. I was on top of the world when I was coming home. I felt decent for the first time in a while emotionally. But no sooner than I returned to normal life, did Life decide to step in and remind me that I was coming back to normal, and needed to lose that happy, euphoric feeling. Don’t forget who you really are, it seemed to say this week.

However, I am fighting back. I have full intention to get some writing and hopefully some drawing done this weekend. I will not allow myself to keep feeling like a failure.

More soon.

~Angel

“Are you searching for purpose?
Then write something, yeah it might be worthless
Then paint something then, it might be wordless
Pointless curses, nonsense verses
You’ll see purpose start to surface
No one else is dealing with your demons
Meaning maybe defeating them
Could be the beginning of your meaning, friend.”

I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to figure myself out. I know what I want. I know that if I can work myself hard enough, I can have it.

But it’s been a little easier said than done when your body decides to be twice as tired as it typically is, and hurting in nice fun new ways that make doing pretty much anything impossible. Plus, I got hooked on Marvel’s Jessica Jones on Netflix, and had to get the first season binge watched in less than a week.

 Next week I’m supposed to see my Rheumatologist and it’s stressing me out quite a bit more than I’d like. I’ve had so much happen, so much disease manifestation and progression, that I don’t want to go hear whatever she will say about it all.

Plus there have been loads of other stressful things going on, and all around I sort of feel like I’m unraveling.

comeonkid

But, I’m still going forward with the things I want. I’m still trying to learn new things so I can make new things. I’m trying to get my body to a point it isn’t having a meltdown. I’m trying to keep up with Wandering NerdGirl and make it into everything I wanted it to be.

Mainly, I’ve been needing to write, which comes easier to me on some days than others. I was a writing machine, cranking out posts and chapters and everything for a little while. Then BOOM – I slow waaaay down. I’m trying to get myself back into the swing of things, but it’s been a struggle. I used to, before sickness and stress and life drained me of everything, be able to write write write until the only thing slowing me down was hand cramps. I’d fill notebooks and print hundreds and hundreds of pages. I wrote during and between classes in High School, and when I’d get home from school. When I was in college, I wrote before classes and between them, and even tried to sneak in some writing during classes. I used to write on work lunch breaks. I spent summers at my desk, writing for hours on end.

But then stress took over. And from stress sprung illness, a mighty beast even for me to deal with.

I’m trying, though. I’m trying as hard as I can to find a way to get everything I want from life. I’m trying to get the words to come even when I can’t form a coherent thought because the brain fog is so heavy. I’m trying to give myself things that help put me back into my head correctly. It just takes time.

I finished a chapter of my current WIP the other day, and I’m hoping to finish a chapter or two this weekend if I can push myself enough. We will see.

~Angel

deadbeforethedayisgone

I know it’s been a while since I have posted anything, and there’s a variety of reasons. I’ve been dealing with a lot lately. Changes, for better or worse. A torrent of good news and bad news leaving me overwhelmed. Luckily, I’ve been doing the opposite of what I typically do (which is wallowing in my own self pity while accomplishing nothing in the process.) I’ve been trying to focus on what’s best for me – for my health, for my happiness, for my future. I’ve been keeping a decent writing schedule and working on a new rough draft. I’m trying to nurture my body back into a state that I can properly function and not be quite so frequently sick. I’ve been trying to make sure that I do things to make Angel happy, instead of everyone else coming first 100% of the time.

But you know what sucks about this? I’m not used to it. And since I’m not used to treating myself a little better, it’s resulted in a mental assault on myself. Because I feel like I’m being selfish, and I don’t deserve to want what is best for me. I keep trying to push through, because I know I’m getting close to having my old self back – the version of myself that’s less broken, less corrupted. The Self I need right now. But it’s breaking through that barrier that’s tearing me apart. I know I’m almost there, but I know I’m fighting myself on it. I want to give up. Today was especially rough.

I started to doubt myself. How will I ever make it? In life? Against illness? How will I ever publish a novel? Why should I think I’ll ever sell another piece of art or get paid for another photo shoot? I’m not strong enough for this. It kept pounding in my head with each heart beat: I can’t do this.

Suddenly, I didn’t know if I could go on, period. Or if I did, if I could keep going with my life. Maybe it was time to give up on my childish dreams and finally grow up and join reality.

Until, I read this quote earlier:

 “Like a dandelion up through the pavement, I persist.” – Wentworth Miller (please see his Facebook post here)

That post, by a man I already admire, really struck me. But that quote? Oh, that quote. That fueled the fires inside me.

So my goal? Stick to my writing schedule. Crank out chapter after chapter. Continue to work hard at the things I want. Because I persist, despite all the things that want to stop me.

This is the year I get to take control back. It hasn’t been easy, and I’m sure it won’t get easier any time soon. But I will persist.

Expect more soon.

~Angel

bowie

“I know I’ll wither, so peel away the bark
Because nothing grows when it is dark
In spite of all my fears, I can see it all so clear”

So within a week, I’ve had some health ups and downs.

Last Monday, I had my follow up for my biopsy. Good news! It showed no cancer! I have other issues to tackle with why I had to have the biopsy, but at least cancer is currently off the table.

This Monday, I found out I have Trigeminal Neuralgia.

I had a very BAD end of last week, and then HORRIBLE weekend, and by Monday I knew I needed to see my doctor. I wasn’t sleeping (and am still not sleeping) because of how intense the pain is. To give you an idea of the pain levels: this disease is nicknamed the Suicide Disease, because people would kill themselves from the pain before anyone figured out what to do to treat this pain. It was hard to describe, but I read where someone described it as a combination of the worst migraine of your life and the worst toothache. I can agree and elaborate on this: The misery of the worst migraine, the insanity you feel with the worst toothache, and the feeling of someone using a hammer to break your jaw. That. That sounds like an adequate description.

I’ve built up a decent pain tolerance over the years, somehow. And this shatters that tolerance and leaves me curled up and miserable.

And, you guessed it – this is a manifestation of my disease. Sjogren’s decided to welcome more unpleasantness into my life.

But here’s the thing… Obviously, it hurts and it sucks. Yet, what seems to be bothering me even more, is that this is disease progression. This is me still not having anything under control. And it’s just a reminder of what my doctors have said:

There is nothing we can do to stop the progression.

You’re a ticking time bomb just waiting to go off.

I’ve had to explain to everyone in my life time and time again that I’ve been wanting to travel and do so much these past few years, because I want to do it while I can. There may come a day that I can’t handle my go-go-go travel style. What’s worse now, though, is that this day may be coming a lot sooner than I anticipated. My last three trips, I’ve had something come up health wise. Obviously, Reno was the worst. This all scares me.

I know my disease is still young and still evolving, but it’s so strong so early on. I can’t imagine what full-force will be like.

It’ll be a fun follow-up with my Rheumatologist, I’m sure.

But, I won’t let this stop me. I have plans, and goals, and dreams. Despite the brain fog, I will write. Despite the pain, I will progress. Despite exhaustion, I will travel. Until it is absolutely impossible, I will continue. Even though it feels like I am withering, I won’t give up. It isn’t in my nature.

Hopefully soon I’ll have more updates that don’t involve my body being stupid.

Hopefully.

~Angel

I have been very, very cautious when it comes to thinking about what I want out of 2016, because last year as soon as I set my goals for the coming year, it all came crashing down around me: I was losing my job, my aunt was very sick, and then to top it all off, the stress triggered a bad flare in my body and I literally spent New Years in the bathroom vomiting and running a fever. The beginning of 2015 was a hard one. I didn’t feel like I achieved anything. I was uninspired and stuck most of the time, and I hated it. And considering how rough the last month or so has been health wise, 2016 could go either way.

Here we are, the end of a very chaotic year, and I have found something: I want to draw again. And by “I want to draw again” – I mean that I AM drawing again. Instead of just whining that I feel the need to work on some art, I AM. I’m sketching and prepping for some new paintings and practicing to get myself back into the swing of things. And for once, I feel good about it. They’re good drawings, considering how out of practice I am. And people LIKE them. They want the sketches to keep coming. It’s bizarre, to me at least. Mostly, so far, it’s been a lot of character sketches from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

No: This is NOT my art.

No: This is NOT my art.

So, bring on 2016.

I will write as much as I possibly can.

I will work on my art purely for the happiness it brings to my own heart.

I will work on my collection and appreciate everything I have so far.

I will try to keep this train wreck body from completely derailing.

I will help the world be a better place.

I will not, most of all, let 2016 be the year I am defeated. Not by myself or anyone else. I will keep going. I will gain new ground.

So, let’s do this. Bring on 2016.

~Angel

RAGEAGAINSTDEATH

Typically, I make some sort of Thanksgiving related “Thankful” post. Today, I show how thankful I am for what turned around a very bad weekend.

There is a giant reason that this blog is called “Misadventures of a Misfit” – Frequently, my best laid plans fall apart. Hope for the best, expect the worst, settle for something in between. More often than not lately, these plans are damaged by my wonderful body deciding to do something terrible to me at an extremely inopportune time. I was hoping to come back from Reno with fantastic tales of comic con, and loads of pictures of me super excited and looking like a major dork. But instead I come back still battling my body from what can best be described as the worst flare I’ve had since the initial, horrible flare that put me in Barnes hospital for 3 days and started this autoimmune (mis)adventure.

For a few weeks now, I have been very scared that I’ll have to have a hysterectomy after my procedure. I’ve been very scared to find out I have a cancer I wasn’t bracing for.

This weekend, I was very scared I was going to die.

And as weird as this statement sounds, the weekend was saved by Jay and Silent Bob.

I had just gotten into the con, and my first thing I needed to do was get in line for my picture with Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith. Jason was going to be there for the con itself, but Kevin however was literally there that one day for that one dual photo op with Mewes. I have a lot of admiration for Kevin Smith as a writer and as a creator and person in general and knew this may well be the most I’ll ever get to do in terms of meeting him.

Now, I will say this – I had not felt particularly well this day. But I also hadn’t felt well for a while, hence why I had gone to an ASAP appointment with my surgeon and tests and now the procedure in two weeks. So I wasn’t phased really. It was what it was and had been. I had things to do.

Unfortunately, just before I went up for my photo op, when I had just a few people in line before me, something went wrong in my body. Suddenly I was dizzy, and realized I was going to be ill. Apparently, my blood pressure dropped, my O2 dropped, and ultimately I dropped. To top off this horribleness, I vomited as I went down. Hello, hundreds or so people around me. I am Chronically Ill Girl, and you are not used to my horrible body.

To make this portion of the story as short as possible: I was not well, the Wizard World staff took very good care of me, until the EMT came, checked me out, and had me wheeled away to the first aid station, where I was urged to go to the hospital considering everything going on with my past medical history as well as my current concerns. In reality, I should have agreed for them to call the ambulance. But I was already heartbroken that I’d missed my one shot to see Kevin Smith, and I wasn’t about to miss seeing Adam West and Burt Ward on top of everything else. I got cleaned up and changed and went on with my day.

When I was walking away from my photo op with Adam West and Burt Ward, I was weaving through the booths, and saw that Jason Mewes was at his table doing autographs. I figured I could salvage some of that photo op mishap by at least meeting Mewes. One half was better than not at all, right? And at least I had hopes he didn’t know I was the girl that went down in the line outside.

And he didn’t know… Until my mother told him.

MEWES

So at this point, I’m feeling embarrassed all over again, and I’m ready to shuffle off with my autograph and hide in the corner, especially since I still felt horrible. But that’s when Mewes told me he felt terrible for what happened with me, and that I didn’t get to meet Kevin.

Then he took my number and gave it to his assistant at the table. And told me he’d help me meet Kevin before he left for his flight. Hugs and selfies and many “Thank you”s. I cried when I walked away. I couldn’t believe this was happening to ME.

Now, I’ve been very nervous about actually talking about this, because what was done for me was something I didn’t ask for or expect, and I don’t want someone to ever take advantage of the kindness of others. But still, this kindness meant more to me than I think either of them realized.

So, I went back to my hotel room to shower and rest and in general gear myself up for a few more minutes at con and to prepare myself to somehow meet Kevin Smith.

When 5pm rolled around, my mom and I were waiting in the hotel lobby, as instructed, with promise that Kevin knew I was there waiting for him. I was weak and dizzy and severely anemic, but absolutely determined not to miss this opportunity.

And then I saw him heading my way, iconic jersey and all, and I completely lost focus of how bad I felt as my brain took over.

kevinsmith

I got to meet Kevin Smith. I got to hug him, and take selfies, and he asked how I was feeling. And I GOT TO MEET KEVIN SMITH.

The admiration I have for him already on top of how absolutely freaking AMAZING it was that he and Mewes did this for me made my entire trip. Unfortunately, not long after this, I went downhill again. But for this amount of time, I was on top of the world.

Rage against death by making some art today.

It really sparked a fire in me. I want to create things while I still can. And if ever, for some insane reason, someone looks to me like I do to him, I will do all I can to help make their day too. Someday, even, I’d like to repay Jason and Kevin both. Because something so small and simple to one person, can mean the whole world to another. This was the highlight of my trip, and has turned around the doom and gloom attitude I’ve had toward my health. I can accomplish anything I want, and I don’t have to let anything get in my way. It doesn’t matter if I live ten more years or 60 more.

I will rage against death.

Time to make the best of what time I have. Time to make my mark.

~Angel

Edited to add: Based off of symptoms and blood work, it looks like this was all brought on by a very, very bad disease flare to rival that of the initial one in 2012 that sparked the whole Mysterious Sickness of Doom thing. So I’m still not 100%, but I’m recovering, slowly but surely. Two weeks until my biopsy!