"I know someone who..."
Now that the hair's growing back, it seems to be giving a lot of people license to finally comment on it. I was quite clearly hiding behind my wig for all that time, and then under hats, and now I've emerged and I can't tell you how many people love to talk about so and so they know's sister whose hair came in so curly! It was wild? Do you think your hair will come in curly? I think I see a wave! What do you think? Isn't that wild?
It's not even the question, or the topic, that bothers me. It's the oooh, finally I can relate to this, and oooooh, she must be happy to have her hair growing back at all, she must just be happy with that! Like I finally got thrown a bone or something. Actually, as I write this, I don't know why the hell this topic (curly regrowth? What even is the topic?) bothers me so much, why this talking point makes me want to run far, far away from the person talking to me.
Maybe it's the type of people who suddenly say it? Coworkers who averted their eyes for so long, and only now smile widely at me? Maybe it's that I don't feel completely past it: suddenly looking at age 30 like a creature who desperately needed sun, watching night after night, morning after morning, for any sign of dark stub growing back, millimeter by millimeter, rubbing my palms over the surface of it, stuffing the godawful wigs back into their godawful boxes after waiting for months and months and months to feel presentable, until I'm brave enough to let it loose without a head covering of some sort....................................................finally reaching a semblance of comfort with it all, finally getting past it, finally feeling like an almost normal person....
"You know so my sister's cousins' aunt's hair came back all dry and curly and gray! Isn't that a laugh riot? She was mortified! And yours looks like it's getting curly, too!!"
There's nothing even wrong with these statements. Nothing. I feel awful rehashing it. But it's cutting at something deep inside of me, and it's bothering the shit out of me. I already feel bad if someone reads this and has said something along these lines to me. I almost want to delete everything. Sorry, sorry, sorry.
But um, with that said - my hair's going to be straight, like it was before. I'm going to look like I did before. Someday. Got it?
I'm extremely flattered to respond to requests for the paperback version of THE HOLLOW and my response is, hang tight! I feel your pain and prefer real books over Kindle, except when traveling. The cover is being designed and formatted by the graphic designer, and I'm working out the formatting for the interior pages, many of which picked up weirdness after going from Microsoft Word, to Mobi (Kindle) and then back to Pressbooks, which I used to get my bearings (great for importing chapters and organizing that way). You'd think I didn't go to grad school for digital publishing. But it's in the designer's hands at this point and I'm hoping for next week.
Anyway, I am up to 19 reviews on Amazon and I'm appreciative of every single one! They help immensely. Tell your friends, tell your postman, tell your dog, your turtles, everyone!
I uploaded a sample/preview to Goodreads if you want to check it out.
So, yeah. I bit the bullet and I’m on an absurdly low dose antidepressant. I don't plan on being on it forever, but thank God, it's working! Everyone kept telling me “it will take the edge off,” and I had no idea what that meant. Now I do. I don’t cry at the drop of the hat. And now the pit in my stomach is gone, or if it comes, it visits a for a short while. I’m still faced with flare ups of worry, but I’m able to move on. Shit. Is that what normal people do??
I don’t think I’ve ever heard my mother utter the word “anxiety” so maybe it was just something I dismissed . But what tipped me over the edge was seeing how my ever-present sadness and terror was not only affecting me, but it was scaring the daylights out of my husband, who has been through enough as it is. Enough was enough.
Another update is that I’ve been going twice a week to the Livestrong program at the Y. While I’m so happy to have met a couple ladies around my age (youngest still being 10 years older, but she’s awesome), with whom I can talk frankly about everything from tears to fears, the program is a bit of a letdown in the exercise department. I think my fitness level is above what they’d expect, and being the youngest and having stayed active throughout treatment, I’m impatient with the sanctioned “10 minutes of light cardio” and then a dinky Nautilus circuit doing where we are ordered to only do 1 set. (not a fan of nautilus machines, I’m a free weight gal). But I’m glad I’m doing it. I tried something new and put myself out there and it’s therapeutic without being too preachy. Our conversations come naturally, side by side on the eliptical or the treadmill, “My new boobs look phenomenal. But they feel terrible.”
Hair is growing, and yes I'm happy, but I'm dreading what is already turning from chic pixie to sprouting weirdness, despite only 2 weeks ago getting my first hair cut (thanks again to my angel Maura).
I still look at the certain drawer in the bathroom and get sad. It has my blow dryer, hair straightener, hair ties, hair brush, clips, Bobby pins...you get the idea. All if it I had to stuff in a drawer for 11 months, and likely won't be able to use for another several months. It's still freaking sad. It's still catch my reflection and think GOD, What happened?
i wonder if that will ever go away.
im on week....16 or so since last treatment? So...it's coming. My lovely friend Maura cut my locks yesterday, because believe it or not it was getting long and super weird! Like wolverine neck and stray cowlick s jutting out the side of my head and straggly sideburns and I looked like a freak and anyway it's cleaned up and that lettuce is pruned.
My mood has improved and although I'm a little tired, I'm just thankful not to be in a place I was a couple weeks ago. I'm thankful for each lift in mood and every hair on my head!
I'd written a post a few weeks ago that was so worrisome to some family members that I took it down. I was talking about how I needed help, that I was constantly feeling like I was going to die, terrified. I thought about death - my death - constantly. If I had a pain in my toe, a mark on my fingernail - and yes, that back pain - my thoughts would spiral and I'd find myself doing one of two things: crying, weeping uncontrollably, in the shower, in the car, on the couch, anywhere. And it wasn't a relief to be crying, a welcome dump of pain that had been trapped. It was a constant cry, something I've never experienced before. The other constancy related to that feeling of terror. A pit would remain in my stomach almost to the point I was used to it being there. Maybe I've always been a little anxious. So maybe that seemed normal. But no crazy thought went ignored or dismissed. It sat, it festered, it putrified. Long story short, I hit my worst point in all of this. And I know, I know, I keep noting this. But really. This was the bottom. I hope.
And why I felt so outraged, or rather--so indignant about how I was feeling--was that it made no sense to be feeling this out of control at this stage. Hadn't I been dealing with this like a healthy, cognizant, self-aware person? Didn't I have a leg up on this? I took yoga, I got massages, I did Reiki, I talked to my social worker, I visited my other therapist, I swam, I sat in the hot tub before work, I stretched, I had alone time, I read, I walked with Mike, I ran with Mike, I laid with Lily, I distracted myself with work, I published a book on Amazon. And to varying degrees these things worked, they allayed my fears for a time, but what really pissed me off was it kept coming back. I was fucking depressed. And some people suffer from bouts of depression and this I do not envy. But this is new to me. And I experienced it for about 5 weeks, and I'm still kind of climbing out of it, or I think I am, because my back isn't hurting as much and I am no longer crying all the time.
I don't want to talk about this much more, but felt I needed to throw it out there, for someone, anyone, to understand. And what I didn't understand--and those on the outside may say, um, DUH - was that I can't control or even at times mitigate one iota of this experience. It's here to screw me it's here to teach me and it's here to stay, to some degree, until time and hopefully health salves the real shitty parts of it, and until I can look back with some detachedness and distance and say, holy shit. I'm so much happier now.
And compared to 5 weeks ago, I am. And hopefully, with what I now anticipate as not being an even curve upwards, but rather a jagged line pushing me down and then up, I'll continue to get better.