I am aware that I am less than some people prefer me to be,
but most people are unaware that I am so much more than what they see.
— Douglas Pagels

Saturday, December 23, 2017

My Name Is Perseverance

This is what my Facebook looks like now.

Because of this app: FB Purity

No home page. No news feed. No left or right sidebars. No friend request tab, although I will still receive friend request notifications by email. No public photos except my cover photo. No game invites. No questions or suggestions. NO ADS!

I will visit my reduced friends list individually on their own pages. They are, of course, still welcome on mine. My rules are simple: no inappropriateness, no religious debates, no chain letters (for the LOVE of GOD, PEOPLE!), and no politics please.

I'm going to the doctor in a few days to follow up on my systemic disease. I will also be asking for advice or a referral for pain management and stress relief. I am not coping well, and I think that has been pretty obvious. I believe I have low-functioning anxiety. It hasn't been labeled low-functioning by a doctor, but it will be discussed because that is what I'm displaying. Whereas I have loved ones who have high-functioning anxiety and manage to get through each day looking like they have their life together, I have gotten to the point where I go from "zero" to "the room is on fire" over statements on social media. A couple of weeks ago, a man told me my illness was invalid, that I had no argument in regards to my own healthcare or anyone else's, and demanded I shut-up and go to bed. I cursed him, and I spent the rest of the night and next morning in the bathroom sick and wishing for death. One cruel, abusive asshole threw me right back into married life circa 2002 (except I didn't curse at all back then). "I want out" cycled through my head for hours.

What this middle-aged military man said was disgusting, misogynist, and borderline fascist. It was unacceptable. Make no mistake of that. It was not ok. But obviously, neither was my reaction. I have a right to defend my own life or someone else's, and by God I will. Venting is normal, stress is normal, maybe even yelling or wanting to punch somebody in the face over the internet is normal to some extent. I know many of my readers have done or felt the same way. This, however, was a meltdown that hurt me physically, and it's not the first one. So, I will bring up my anxiety attacks to my doctor until either he or another professional acknowledges it.

Muscular Dystrophy, as always, complicates things like this. Stress is a paralytic trigger, which fully explains my low function when episodes like this occur. To add insult to injury, medications designed for people with anxiety and/or depression, and even pain meds, greatly affect my condition. I don't mean annoying side effects, I mean a swift decline in muscle function to the point of detriment. It's serious. I've been there and done that already. So, in summary: pain is bad, stress is bad, yet medication for pain and stress are bad. This is not an easy fix. Nothing I have ever is.

I told you all of that to explain the changes I've made. I take frequent breaks from Twitter (deactivating the account often), and I've reduced my Facebook dramatically. The last time I talked to a social worker, I told them I couldn't cope with the news. Not surprisingly, I was instructed to stop reading the news (thank you, Captain Obvious). The same is about to be said to me concerning social media, without a doubt. I've simply taken the initiative to beat them to the punch.

I cannot disconnect from the world completely, because even an introvert knows it's not wise to be without human contact 100% of the time, nor would I want to be. I care about my friends. I also can't completely avoid the news if I intend to continue voting, which I do. I refuse to be someone who ignorantly worships a political party, so I'll remain aware enough to be an informed voter. My Instagram is up and running again, and I have connected it to the Facebook account. I will also still post on my timeline regularly. You're not going to notice a difference on my page, but perhaps on yours. I'd suggest friends and family not take it personally, but some already have. Do what you like with the friend button, but I would appreciate your respect in this regardless.

Thoughts and prayers are very kind, and I sincerely thank you. But remember that this is my reality, so don't be too surprised if you don't get what you pray for or think about. Above all, don't blame me. I've been as honest and straightforward as I can be, and I am a chronic trier. My name is Perseverance. But the truth is if you have expectations of me at all, fueled by spirituality or not, the chances are high that you will, at some point, be disappointed. That's life. And all any of us can do in life is the best we can with what we're given, until our body or mind give out, and we simply can't anymore.