This piece is presented as part of The Frisky’s How To Deal Week, in which we’re focusing on mental health issues.
I have five fingers on each hand. I use them like this: I hold up my thumb and whisper, “Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.” Then my pointer finger. “Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.” Then my middle finger, my ring finger, and my pinky. I give small kisses in between each “Thank You.” I do this five times for a total of 125 “Thank Yous.” Then I say “Thank You” for specific things, like how bright the sun is today or how soothing it is to feel my wet hair on my back. These I repeat just once for each finger. Then I thank G-d for his infinite wisdom, infinite grace, infinite compassion, forgiveness, and honesty—one accolade for each finger.
This is the prayer I say when I get on the subway in the morning. I have to say it.
“Or else…?” asks my therapist. Keep reading »
When I was 32, I started feeling something heavy in my stomach when I lay in bed at night. Something, I wasn’t sure what, pressing on my bladder. I knew I couldn’t be pregnant, since none of my recent dates had led anywhere special. I reasoned with myself. It was probably a urinary tract infection. I’d never had one and I figured it would be simple to fix.
I waited a few days to see if I was imagining the discomfort – and sometimes I thought I was. There were days when the pressure went away. Then it would return, and I would constantly feel like I had to urinate, throughout the day and night. I knew I had to see my gynecologist right away. Keep reading »
When I first started taking Adderall, it wasn’t prescribed to me — it was my boyfriend’s. It was 2006, and I had a fun but creatively unfulfilling job at a men’s magazine. On the weekends, I was determined to grow a freelance career that, god willing, would allow me to quit. Freelance writing, especially when you’re starting out, involves a lot of pitching, in particular pitching editors who don’t know you. It’s a lot of coming up with ideas, proposing those ideas, and waiting, hoping and praying, that someone, anyone bites and is willing to pay you a decent sum to write it. To be a successful freelancer writer, you have to be extremely motivated and focused.
I had the motivation. But focus was out of my grasp. I felt stuck literally and mentally. And being stuck make me anxious. Keep reading »
Kate is just like you or me: She is 29, lives in Ohio with her husband, holds down a job, and is the mother of a 3-year-old son. But for the past few years Kate has been living with the knowledge she is HIV+.
Kate blogs about HIV+ life at A Girl Like Me, a group blog written by women who are living with HIV. The blog is a program by The Well Project, a non-profit started by a woman living with HIV/AIDS which focuses on the needs of women living with the virus.
On the occasion of World AIDS Day 2010, Kate has generously opened up to The Frisky about how she contracted HIV, what her day-to-day symptoms are like, and how others treat her when they learn she is positive. — Jessica Wakeman Keep reading »
When I was a kid, I never chewed gum. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to see who could blow the biggest bubble with my friends. I loved all the fruity flavors gum had to offer; it was a tropical fruit world that I longed to be a part of. No, I didn’t chew gum for the same reason I didn’t eat whole apples—mine were always sliced. For as long as I can remember, eating simple things like this hurt my jaw. It clicked and cracked and was painful to the point where I didn’t want to eat. To this day, the idea of opening my mouth wide and wrapping my mouth around a big, red, juicy apple gives me pain. Keep reading »
Don’t even bother trying to pronounce what I have, because I can barely get it right and I’ve had it for 11 years. It’s called Wegener’s Granulomatosis, a rare autoimmune vascular disease that primarily eats up your sinuses, lungs and kidneys. It can also chew through your joints, ears, eyes, skin and internal organs as it pleases. It’s in the same autoimmune family as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, except invitees at this family reunion might seem kind of bummed when you and your unpronounceable German disease show up at the door. When I was first diagnosed, I said, “Weg-huh-nuh-what? That sounds like a Nazi disease or something!” Turns out, Friedrich Wegener was a Nazi doctor who named my form of vasculitis back in the 1930s. He wasn’t even a Nazi by force. He was a Nazi for fun. Wanted for war crimes and everything. No wonder there’s a movement afoot to change the name to something zippy like “ANCA-associated granulomatous vasculitis.” But let’s just go with WG for now. Keep reading »