Friendsgiving 2016
Three Hermanos

Onward, Upward & a Little Bit Sideward

 

Onward! To the next holiday!

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After missing out on much of the Christmas season last year due to Zombie Pinkeye (shudders) (phantom eye twitch) (emergency eyeball check), I decided we were wasting no time this year. Time to chop a tree and deck some motherfucking halls. 

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We went SLIGHTLY less ridiculous with the tree size this time around, and as a momentous first, not only did my children not break a single ornament, they actually helped decorate the tree. 

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As opposed to "helping" "decorate" by "hanging 40 ornaments on the same two branches." 

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We also found all the outdoor decorations we bought on sale last January, so we're no longer that One Sad House with no lights or wreaths or other holiday whimsy. 

(Although we technically still have no wreaths, because although I am 110% sure I bought some red ribbon for both bows and hanging-purposes, it has yet to resurface. And Amazon is all, "oh, you want some outdoor ribbon? at this time of year? that'll be over a hundred damn bucks, you slacker." So our wreaths are still stacked up in a corner until I can go buy some non-price-gouged ribbon at an actual store, which: Christ. That is the dumbest sentence I've had to write in awhile.)

(Although not nearly as dumb as the one decorating thing we did last year, which was to hang this lighted JOY marquee thing on our front window, only to realize two days later that we'd strung the letters up backwards -- so from the outside it looked like we were celebrating the festive season of YOJ.)

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ALL HAIL YOJ.

***

Bit of a topic jump, but I've been meaning to post a brief Mental Health Update. It's been about six weeks since I Officially Big-Time Cratered, during which time I got my birth control implant yanked out, I procured a SAD lamp, and our nation elected a lying narcissistic Twitter egg as leader of the free world. Let's review!

So removing the implant was like, 1,000% the right thing to do. The removal itself was a lot more difficult and painful than I expected, as my arm was bruised and swollen for almost a full month afterwards, and I had strange nerve pain shooting down to my forearm for awhile that was kind of freaking me out. That seems to have passed, thank goodness. I feel like my moods are stabilizing -- less temper and general for-no-reason bitchiness -- or I'm at least even-keeled enough most days to catch myself, like "whoa, where is this coming from, and would it possible to just get a damn grip on yourself instead?" So this is good. 

Not so good: I've gained weight. I'm well out of my comfy give-or-take five-pound flex range and into aw crap, my jeans don't fit. Some of that I'm sure is just old-fashioned depression stress-snacking and making a million excuses not to exercise, but I think some of it can be attributed to the hormonal changes. Either way, though, I'm working out after I publish this and getting rid of the leftover Halloween candy. 

After dragging my own feet on buying a SAD lamp (and my credit card...when my anxiety spikes I get very weird about money and refuse to buy anything for myself, even if it's something essential or super inexpensive. I'll buy the kids anything and everything they need but then completely freeze up over the idea of replacing my lost sunglasses or buying name-brand Chapstick)...a dear friend and fellow SAD sufferer took it upon herself to get one delivered to me with orders to FUCKING USE IT, HO. 

And I do! And it works! It works so, so well and if you've been thinking of trying one out lemme recommend this particular model, which is nicely compact and affordable and yes, IT WORKS. I keep it on my nightstand and turn it on for 30 minutes right after I wake up. It actually works the way I hoped the wake-up light alarm clock would (but didn't, for me) -- I immediately feel much more awake/alert and ready to get up and stay up and all that. (And that's no small thang for a depressed person, as I'm sure many of you understand all too well.) On very gloomy days or whenever I'm feeling out of sorts, I turn it on again in the afternoon. This is also good. 

But the best best BEST thing: My essential tremor has improved SO MUCH. Like WOW HOLY SHIT levels of improvement. It's still there if I hold my hands still and like, stare at them really hard, but it is nowhere even near the debilitating levels I was struggling with before. I can put on eye makeup! I can hold a pen! I can talk on the phone without it messing with my vocal cords! My whole body doesn't shake when I need to change lanes in the car! I feel like I can trace it back to the implant removal, but since general anxiety levels always play a big part in my symptoms, it's probably a combination of things. Do not care. Will take it. Very much good. 

As for...the other thing: In a way, the election made my anxiety struggles this year seem...well, almost deserved and rational. I WAS anxious that he would win. I was freaking  terrified he would win. I was consumed by election news and political commentary and developed an OCD-like need to read EVERYTHING being written about him and his campaign, just to feed my growing horror at every offensive, hypocritical thing he was getting away with and lying about. Jason (and other people) got so sick of listening to me rant and rave and fret about him -- not because he disagreed with my opinions, but because there was no fucking way he was going to actually WIN, so why are you letting it get to you? WTF are you even worrying about? Calm down.

Everybody around me (like mannnnnny of my fellow liberals, turns out), was so entirely convinced that we had the presidency in the bag that my Debbie-Downer-on-the-verge-of-an-anxiety-attack mental state seemed downright irrational. Even a bit crazy. I was Chicken Little, running around in panicked circles because the sky might be racist. 

Welp. Okay then. That happened. Time to fully kick anxiety's ass so it won't keep me cowering in the corner for the next four years. I've got some shit to do. 

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(Said ass-kicking; expectations vs. reality, lol.)

Comments

Paula

Great to hear you are taking care of yourself! Thank you for the recommendation for the SAD light, will check it out. I definitely feel it now that it is staying darker longer in the morning I am starting to get down in the doldrums. Plus all this Thanksgiving pie is making it so my clothes don't fit and that ain't helping. We had my mother in-law staying with us for the Thanksgiving weekend and I was being such a b***. Then feeling terrible about being such a b***. ARGH!!! Need to break the pattern of negativity. Thank you for addressing this timely topic on your blog. Oh and about the soon-to-be-turkey-in-chief ... wow. In a way it is a relief that it is all over and all of our worst fears came true. Including the fact that all sources of reliable information turned out to be completely unreliable. So what is the point of obsessively reading the NY Times and the WaPo?? They don't have any more of a clue than anybody else and make me laugh when they try to forecast what the new administration is going to be like. So, yeah, let's just get on the trampoline and go nuts with our holiday decor ... the smiles on our children's faces are all the truth we need right now.

Beth

I am really glad you got the implant removed. I work in the field of medical research and let me tell you that most docs ignore or just aren't aware of what little research exists regarding side effects of hormonal birth control. It's great for a lot of people, but pretending that it is not terrible for some women is an epic disservice to patients. Give your body a break.
And the morning after the election, after being poo-poohed for months about my rabid terror regarding that poorly raised orange toddler leading our country, I was SO (irrationally) ANGRY at all the poo-poohers. "Goddamnit! If only you had worried more, like me! I can't prevent every catastrophe with just my own worrying! I needed back up!"

Amalah

@Beth "I can't prevent every catastrophe with just my own worrying! I needed back up!"

THIS THIS THIS THIS

Cara

Hormones are such crazy things. Your post about the Nexplanon was an "oh, that" moment for me. One of my big clues, when I clued in, that this might not be good for me? Inexplicable, fast weight gain. A little chat with my (awesome) doctor later, and that thing came out three weeks ago. Not only has my mood stabilized, but the weight gain immediately stopped and now has started to drop. Of course, now the clothes I just bought no longer fit, but I'll brave shopping again not to walk around with anxiety palpitations for no obvious reason.

Sarah

If you do want to buy some ribbon I recommend paper mart - good, cheap, and fast - all three!
http://www.papermart.com/Elegance-Velvet-Flocked-Ribbon/id=85450#85450

Dawn

I was really hoping your blog wasn't going to turn into a bash Trump fest.

Lindsay

I love you and this blog and your bash Trump fest. We need it.

KImtoo

You know, I'm just going to go out on a limb and guess that the majority of special needs moms are not Trump supporters. And while I would never suggest that that is Amy's primary identity as a blogger or as a person, I don't think it's stretching to say it's a crucial piece of it. All of which is to say, bash away, Amy, I'm good with it.
Hormonal birth control messed me up something fierce, too. I'm so glad you're feeling better. Me, I just finished my second week in CPAPville, and holy moly, I am so much more awake! And less hungry! Hurray!

Dawn

Lindsay- had Hillary won, would you agree we need a blog that speaks disrespectfully of her?

Susan

Amy, I appreciate you sharing your honest feelings about Trump's election. It helps me to hear how someone who is also anxious and despairing about his election is coping. Just wanted to offer some gentle encouragement not to stifle yourself on your own blog because some readers think they have a right not to have to hear your feelings on the matter.

Laura

Here's what I think: It's Amy's fucking blog, and she's more than entitled to write whatever she goddamn well pleases. Jesus, if you're offended, there's a whole big, wide Internet out there. Also, you're seriously asking if people would be offended by a blog that "disrespects" Hillary? Lady, Trump built his whole campaign on bashing her and, for that matter, pretty much anyone else who isn't white, male, straight, abled, and Christian. Anyway, didn't many Trump supporters praise their guy for his uncanny ability to say whatever's on his mind? Is that only a good quality when it's promoting bigotry?

Anyway, Amy, I'm so very glad that you're feeling better, and I wish you lots of continuing improvement.

mary

Hillary got what she deserved. Im all for a woman president, but one that deserves to be president. And Hillary
did not.

Chi

You piqued my interest when you mentioned not always being able to spend money on yourself. I struggle with that a lot and never considered it might be due to anxiety. Would love to read more of your thoughts if it's a topic you choose to blog about in the future.

liz

I was so anxious he would win, I knocked on over a thousand doors in my county to prevent it (I live in what is still a swing county in what is no longer a swing state)...and Clinton won my county and my state. But it made no difference whatsoever.

Lynn

Where is this magical place that allows adults to jump on bouncy things? Please don't say Ellicott City, because that is far.

rebecca

"It's Amy's fucking blog." A thousand times yes.

Bertine Kersten

It might give all the anxious peeps a little perspective to know that, had Hillary won, there would still be people with anxiety problems. I, for one, am not necessarily happy that Trump won, but I am elated that Hillary DIDN'T win. In an earlier blog, Amy said something about racist slogans on cube vans of Trump supporters. What about the dead in Benghazi? What about the private email server? What about the sexual abuse victims threatened and bullied by Clinton? And, I know I'm really stirring the pot now, but what about partial birth or late term abortion (any abortion really, but partial birth abortion is especially horrific) Let's acknowledge that all this happened, too, and then let's move forward with the knowledge that the pendulum will swing to the left again, as it always does. So relax, and remember you don't live in Aleppo. First world problems, people. You're not going to be executed because your views don't align with those of Donald Trump.

Mona

So glad you are feeling better! We are also combating some of the post election blerghhhh with extra holiday decorating and twinkle lights. I know many of us who are. :)

And to anyone who wants to whine about Amy expressing her personal opinion on her personal blog about something she is personally upset about, she's is allowed (as we all are) to feel her feelings. She's also allowed to say her feelings- in case you need a reference point, it's in the First Amendment. Which would be the one that precedes that other Amendment so many of you are super fond of.

Ryah

To Bertine:
The dead in Benghazi that the Republican controlled Congress wouldn't increase funding for like Secretary Clinton asked? The private email server that she's been cleared for TWICE? The sexual abuse victims I've never seen any credible evidence to support she threatened? As for partial birth abortion? It's been illegal since the early 2000s. And those late-term abortions? They are almost exclusively done when the fetus has a condition that is incompatible with life. And they never happen "in the 9th month" like Trump ranted about during the debate. That was one more time he was ranting about something he knows nothing about. Those are just called deliveries. And it's not first world problems to the people who are increasingly becoming victims of hate crimes; or the people who are afraid for the safety of themselves and their children just for being a person of color, or Muslim, or homosexual. It may not be bombings in Aleppo, but people's fears are very real and very understandable, so you shouldn't trivialize them.

Summer

I've never commented before, but I wanted to offer my "lurker" support to you in expressing your anxiety about a Trump world. This isn't like any other election, where we just disagree with one another but politely move on. It is a whole new ball game of fear, bigotry and absolute idiocy. I, for one, cannot just "get over it" and I agree with the John Oliver- we cannot normalize this man and his actions. So keep bringing it up. Keep telling us when you are feeling anxious about it. Most of us are and we can sometimes find solace in knowing that we are not alone in that feeling.

reenie

Amy, thank you for sharing this. I just clicked on that lamp and ordered one for myself. For the last six weeks or so, I have been waking up feeling like I haven's slept in days...and that's just not cool. I'm crossing my fingers.

Regarding the Trump bashing: 1. This is Amy's fucking blog. 2. He is in NO way qualified to run the country. 3. He brings it all on himself. 4. Twitter 5. Pussy-grabbing 6. There are literally hundreds of things that are left unsaid when I start to enumerate the problems I (and everyone should) have with him.

Also - his being a monster has nothing to do with Hillary or politics or America or anything other than that in a vacuum, he is a monster.

Dawn, If you don't like to hear Trump bashing...you MIGHT need to move to another planet...or find a way to (it is to be hoped, painlessly) deafen yourself. I KNOW not everyone who even voted for him refrains from bashing him. He's eminently bashable.

Imma have my lamp by Friday night!

liz

To all of the Trump supporters who have commented - keep in mind that you are in the minority in this country - by two million and counting. He will never be my choice, and I pray that the country will survive his presidency.

And this is Amy's blog. If you don't like her well-expressed opinions, leave. I enjoy what she has to say and think that she is wonderful.

Mtbakergirl

Joining the it's your blog- tell your story team and reminding people about foster Campbell's ongoing race. You can virtually phone bank from the comfort of your couch and help keep the senate a bit more balanced- link here: http://www.fostercampbell2016.com/volunteer/

Leslie

So glad you are felling better! As for ribbon....Michaels at Long Gate, big rolls of it for 50% off. I just got some this afternoon.

Leslie

Arrrggghhhh.....I'm also glad you are "feeling" better ! ; )

Judith

Thanks for posting and making me not feel so alone, you wrote what I feel, my doctor today said "oh a lot of people are coming in here with anxiety problems since this election." That help and this helps too.

Fraulein N

Maybe that's one good thing that came out of this dumpster fire of an election: people realizing that "oh shit, my anxiety is real" and getting help for it. I dunno, I'm desperate for silver linings over here. It's so funny that people don't realize that we are still allowed freedom of speech, and that no one is forcing them to listen to all this "bashing" (which, ha ha, BTW, was one of the hallmarks of that spoiled orange menace's campaign). Fearing for your safety and basic rights -- which people have every right to do right now -- is not "overreacting" or "first world problems." Also, "But what about abortion?!?!?!?!111" is not a good response to people's very real, justified concerns about that man's lack of qualifications. Yes, what about abortion? Not everyone thinks it's wrong or terrible or that people are selling baby parts or murdering newborns or whatever other nonsense that man's supporters have worked themselves up about.

BW

I am shocked that your blog has attracted any Trump voters whatsoever. What about you ever seemed supportive of racism, sexual assault, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, etc etc etc? This election has brought out the WORST in Americans, and the fact that those who support him would show up here seems....odd. Since you are a mom to a kid with special needs, it seems particularly insulting that they'd come here to defend him. I will never for the life of me understand how his mocking of that disabled reporter wasn't the end of it. never. People coming HERE to defend him?? Please.

Dawn

Hmmm. My last comment doesn't show up now. I said I have read your blog, Amy, since before Noah was born. Now some of your commenters make me feel unwelcome.

reenie

Dawn,

I'm sorry you feel unwelcome. I really am. Because that’s a horrible feeling. But please don't pretend you're a victim here. You posted a comment about "Trump bashing" on the personal blog of a woman whose entire existence probably instinctively shivers with revulsion and fear when "Trump" is mentioned. That’s another horrible feeling.

He has made himself the poster boy for what not to do, and yet still people are defending him. How? How is his behavior in any way acceptable for a human adult? I have told my young children not to do things that this man has repeatedly done. Just. Because. He. Can.

Stop it. Stop blindly thinking that because Hillary is not perfect, Trump can be forgiven for his actions. Stop defending a racist, sexist, elitist, hate crime of a man. Stop thinking that you’re not okay with racism, sexism, elitism, and hate crimes. If you voted for him, you registered your “approval” for him. This is who he is, and you cannot say otherwise. Stop thinking that everything is going to be ok. All that is needed for Hitler 2.0 is for enough idiots to be emboldened by Chester Cheetah to create a volatile environment and before you know it, we'll be loading ourselves onto trains headed for the "showers". Be vigilant! Be proud of your rights. But remember that there are people in our country who have been systemically denied theirs. And if you disagree with someone’s blog post...that’s unfortunate. But it’s also going to happen, as we all have different viewpoints. No one can see from your eyes, they're yours. Only with respect can opposition move forward into resolution.

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