Tag Archives: my story

Storm Clouds

There is this misleading concept about mental health that people who have issues do it to themselves. That they see the negative in every little situation and then just focus on it until they’re in a “bad mood”, and the way people react to problems is “wrong”. That the solution is to just think positive and all the problems will magically go away.


When people ask me what it’s like to be in my head, I try my very best to explain it as simply as I can- and try to make it clear that more than one thing is happening at a time.

Most days, it’s like having 20 people whispering in my ear and saying all kinds of things to me, but, I can never quite understand what they are saying. Strange right? Try to think of listening to a podcast but with broken headphones, everything is just sort of mumbling along and you can’t interact with it, and the people just keep on talking. Differentiating between what’s in going on in my head and the buzz of people around me- it’s hard to describe that properly- is maddening.

Trying to be productive, play with my dogs, go to work- plain and normal things, is so exhausting to think about, let alone do. While I try to do these normal things it feels like I’m going in slow motion or walking through sand. Struggling to move, breath, walk and sometimes even talking is hard. Hell even trying to type this is stupidly hard.

These things I’ve learned to deal with- not well I might add- but good enough for now. Something else that happens is when anything makes me nervous or stressed or anxious- everything in my head turns off. I can’t function, everything goes grey in my head and I’m basically a walking zombie. I lose hours of time where I can’t remember what happened or what I did. Honestly it scares me. Sometimes I think that because of some of the illnesses I have that affect the connective tissues in my body that it also affects my memory, no proof to that of course, but it’s my theory.


Imagine living like that- never being able to be in the moment and happy; always either off or over processing the information around you to try and make it make sense. Being so mentally tired that you can sleep for 12, 14, 16 hours in a row and wake up and want nothing more than to go back to bed.

It’s like reliving a storm everyday. Calm and cloudy, then storm clouds roll in and turn everything grey, downpours of water and wind 100mph blowing everything around and messing everything up, bits of your life smashing into other things, all while having to stand there and knowing there is nothing you can do to stop it, then watching it calm some for the night and… just starting over the next day.


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it until the day I die- You cannot think yourself into being healthy and happy when it comes to mental health, as much as we wish we can. At this time in my life, I feel like all I do is rearrange the flowers on a table in a burning house while saying ‘everything is better now, I’ve fixed it’.



Until next time,

With love,



Being broken on the inside

Apparently I’m feeling chatty today, so I think, I’ll chat about something I very rarely talk about even with people that I love and care about; how sick I am. Now unfortunately I’m not talking about a sick sense of humor, I quite honestly mean sick, the kind of sick with no treatment, no magic pill, just figuring out how to live on a day to day basis without it interfering.

So, here are a few of the things I’ll talk about today; HHT, EDS, Fibromyalgia and the whole subcategories that are the accompanying symptoms. Now as we go on here, please keep in mind that these are just My symptoms, there are others of course, as with anything in the world, but if I don’t know about something I’m not going to pretend that I do.

First let us start with HHT ( hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia) or Osler Weber Rendu syndrome, if that name is easier to say. The main thing about HHT is that it causes vascular dysplasia, meaning the blood vessels in my body have this fun tendency to break, usually causing me to have wonderful nose bleeds. Why you ask? Because the blood vessels sit very close to the surface in our noses and are very tender. Super gross, I know, but here is a few examples of how annoying it can be: Imagine happily eating and watching a movie, everything feels normal until you realize that your nose started bleeding into your noodles because you bent over the bowl. …. Yup, that’s a thing that happens. Or being asleep and having dreams that you’re drowning- and then waking up in a state with dried blood down your face (sometimes if you’re having a really good night it’s down your chest), on the pillow and blanks and… in your hair. Yup, that’s a thing also.

But sometimes, when the vessels break up higher in your nose, it doesn’t bleed out…. it bleeds down… Think about that for a minute… Figure it out? Well, when this situation happens, and believe me it happens a lot, that means you’re bleeding down the back of your throat and into your stomach. If you have ever opened a biology book and read a page or two, you’ll know that your body can’t process blood like food or water. When this happens, most often than not, you’ll puke black. With no oxygen in the blood, and having it be sitting for days at a time, it basically “dies” causing it to turn into the scene from Jennifer’s Body, and that is not a lot of fun. Having that fun image in your head now, let’s move on to something else.


The topic of EDS. Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is a connective tissue disorder, it effects skin, joints, collagen, and -oh hey look- blood vessels! Let’s start with some easy, not scary things; I’m double jointed in my knees, shoulders, right elbow and most of my phalanges. I’m ridiculously flexible which I do need to be careful about in all honesty. A lot of my skin is very tender and stretchy, very cool and slightly yucky. Now seeing as I have two different syndromes that effect the same thing, it gets interesting with the blood vessels here. I bruise very easily, and I do mean Very easily. We’re not talking little baby bruises, we’re talking bruises that are the size of softballs some days.

I’m going to dig into a few of what I consider “side effects” of EDS. Mostly things that are also very much go hand in hand with it.

~While I am very bendy, it also causes me a decent amount of pain because of the joint deterioration, sucks right?

~Skin that is so tender but extremely soft! Most people refer to it as ‘velvet skin’, and I don’t even have to try! So I guess that’s a happy thing.

~ The foggy brain, the fatigue, and don’t even get me started on the G.I. problems.

~Scratching and leaving huge welts where your nails were.

~Scoliosis! Talk about being bendy but having it hurt.

~Autonomic Dysfunction. That should be a topic all of its own.

Unless someone has a burning question about AD, I’m just gonna leave it at that for the EDS right now and move on to…



Unless you’ve been living under a rock, most people have a general idea of what that is. Wide spread pain, deep pain, shooting pain, stabbing pain, pain you didn’t even know you could feel. Restless legs, muscle spasms, back pain, balance problems. Good lord, the tinnitus- which is ringing in your ears, and the headaches. I’m sure there are other things that I’m forgetting- memory issues to!- but for now that’ll do.

The thing about having these problems, is that a ton of my symptoms over lap, in case you didn’t pick up on that. So trying to get an answer out of anyone about what was wrong with me was really difficult for many years.


There is no cure, for any of it. I know people who have died because of all of these things, my moms friend Jim being one of them. It’s not something to joke around with, even though I do a lot. Joking is my way of coping with this. These are real problems that no one can fix. If you’re wondering how a person can live with it, it’s simple; You get use to it.  But again I’ll say, please remember that these are My symptoms, the things I live with everyday and nothing more.


Having people stare and yell at me for being in public with my headphones and music, because it’s the only thing that can dull the ringing in my head and make me feel sane. Having friendships and a relationship or two be ruined because people don’t understand that no matter how hard I try, I can’t fake away the pain I feel everyday. Telling me to “Think positive, drink more water, get more vitamins, do yoga, carry around this rock” or whatever fad is suppose to make everything better, is Not going to make it go away. I wish it could though, I really do.  There’s another whole sub-thought category to go along here, but I think I’ve covered enough for now.


Having said my peace,


With love,





Mental, Physical and Life Tolls…. Of Emotions

Sweaty palms, racing heart, feeling like there’s a whole zoo of animals racing through your stomach, visibly shaking from head to toe, ice running in your veins… Why is this the effect of emotions on us?

We can go from being happy and laughing, to wanting nothing more than to curl up in a ball on the floor and cry until there’s nothing left to cry about.

But there are some people, like me for example, who are very bad at expressing any emotions that isn’t anger. Anger and I, we’ve had a long, stupid, complicated relationship. Most people I meet don’t know anything different from me, and as much as I try and try, I can’t help that.I vaguely remember a quote- “The first thing we think is taught, the second is who we want to be.” Something along those lines.

The way my brain is, the first thing I think when I want to cry or be sad, grateful or elated is “Bad”. Any emotion is bad. But, the second thing I think to myself is- “No, it’s okay, you can do that.”

Sometimes I forget that though. For a very long time; I forget that. I bottle everything up until it all just explodes out of me at the most unexpected moments. All the sorrow, grief, happiness, sentiment, fear, pity, envy, love… Shame. I scream, cry, break things. I put my fist through a window a few years ago… I tried boxing… That lasted a week until I busted all the seems on the bag. But mostly, I cry. Which as one can sort of expect, leaves a persons so drained, so exhausted, that you may as well be a zombie. After everything is done, I don’t want to talk to anyone, I ignore my friends, I turn into a horrible dog parent, and I want nothing more than to sleep.

This is a very destructive behavior. It’s ruined relationships for me- I’ve had break downs so bad that my doctor suggested I see a therapist and a behaviorist, basically everything sort of sending me to the nut house. As a result, that’s why I’m writing these blogs, to try and work through this. So, to the guy who put up with this for a very long time, and then gave up because I couldn’t explain what was happening- Thank you, I really do mean it. I just wish I could find the courage to tell you why I’m like this. Am I angry that it ended the way it did? You bet your god damned ass I am, I am so mad at you.. that you left me. I understand why you did though. I’m mad at myself also, so don’t worry about that.  Mind you, this was a lifetime ago, this wound still feels new to me.

When you are the way I am, people will think you’re an awful person, dark humor, sarcasm in almost every sentence you say, to the point where people can’t tell if I’m joking or not. Sometimes I can’t even tell. However…. Despite all this negativity, there is an upside, believe it or not. For as horribly strong as the negative is, the positive is just as strong. It’s definitely not as often as the anger, but it happens. I’m so happy, so bubbly, that my co-works freak out a little bit, asking what happened to me, are you okay? Why are you so happy? It make’s me feel bad, that this is what they say, “Why am I happy?” That they only know me as being the “angry smurf” nickname I live up to.

I try so hard to be happy. People don’t know how hard it is, to fake something like that all the time. To have all this built up inside, have it eating away at me, knowing I’m burning the candle at both ends- trying to contain it while trying to be positive for the benefit of others. The weight of it all mentally, knowing that I’m better then this. Remembering a time in my life where I wasn’t like this.

People will tell you to “just get over it”, “just don’t think like that”, my personal favorite “It’s all in your head, just stop”. Yes, it is in my head… That’s how mental illness works… I can’t just… “Stop”.

To everyone who knows me now and sticks by me.. Thank you so much. You have no idea what it’s like to have friends like that. To have lost so many of the friends I grew up with because they got sick of my crap, it’s disheartening. I try so hard to be a good person, and friend but I know I suck most of the time.

To everyone who has yet to met me- please… just be patient. I’m a tough nut to crack, but… I think I’m worth it…


So, if you’ve skimmed the story to this point, read this if nothing else. If you know a person who sounds like me, please don’t give up on them. Don’t. Even when things are really bad, even when they push you away. Even when the scream and yell at you. Even if they say they hate you and don’t need you… They do. More than they know, they need someone. But… Don’t be pushy about it. Tell them that you’ll always be there no matter what happens, or how long it’s been since you’ve talked or seen them. Tell them that, and give them space. Not an hour, not a day, maybe a week, maybe a month. When they feel that everything is under control again, they’ll reach out if they feel safe around you.

I promise.


With love,