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Found this little story in my email tonight and though I cut it way down, because it went on and on belaboring the obvious, I think I left the heart of it and all you need to know.
A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.
Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.
In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what you see."
"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.
Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.
The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"
Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity - boiling water. Each reacted differently.
The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.
The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.
The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.
Which one should we, recovering from schizophrenia, emulate? The carrot that went in strong and firm and came out softened and weak, without any backbone? The egg, which was thin shelled and delicate, and through trial by boiling water came out hard, no longer vulnerable? Or the coffee, which yielded to the boiling water, embraced it, and changed that which was causing pain into something wonderful? Take your pick, but choose wisely as we all can come out of recovery differently and not necessarily better off.
VILLANELLE FOR JOE
Bereft of nerve, muscles grow thinner.
(Your heart is quick, your spirits light.)
You’re just a garden variety sinner.
The meaning of illness is always inner,
offering comfort, inflicting blight.
Bereft of nerve, muscles grow thinner.
The one at the top, the medal winner
feels most the stark encroaching night,
though he’s just a garden variety sinner.
As you grow weak, as hopes get slimmer,
your mind takes off in airless flight.
Bereft of nerve, muscles grow thinner.
You never curse as life grows dimmer,
no god or fate do you indict.
You’re not even a garden variety sinner.
Misfortune’s friend, you’re no beginner:
Many’s the time you’ve felt contrite.
Bereft of nerve, muscles grow thinner;
you're not even a garden variety sinner.
Yesterday, Wednesday, I went to my adult ed class again. At first things were okay. One woman came who had wanted to buy a book from me and gave me $12 (I was only charging rock bottom prices -- what I myself must pay the company for books) and another gave me cash. Then Balam, the teacher, who was sitting next to me at the beginner's table gave us the night's task -- a little metal flower made of wire. It took a while to even learn the steps of doing it at all, let alone correctly and I was so enrapt in trying to do it right that my leg started beating a rhythm, crossed over the other leg, my foot occasionally hitting the table leg in the process. For some reason, I looked down after a while to check this out and realized my foot was actually tapping against Balam's boot. Oops, sorry, and I shifted immediately so that my foot was no longer contacting his or in the position to have to. Soon, Balam got up to check on the others at the intermediate table, who were doing a much harder assignment...In fact, I think they were advanced not intermediate, but that's beside the point.
At any rate, at that instant, my paranoia wholly unbeknownst to me as such, kicked in full force. I felt completely stricken, and in agony and terror, thinking he wanted to get rid of me somehow, by any means necessary, that I was evil and disgusting to him (and by extension to everyone) and that I should be X'd out of the world because I'd already destroyed one other person I would probably do it to others. My heart beat in my ears and the blood pounded in my brain. What is he going to do? How do I escape? Why in god's name did I ever come?! Consciousness was a diamond laser focused on me, as if the whole world’s headlights were focused into a single beam on me, the deer...It is so hard to describe, this awful feeling, like you’re inside a bell that has just been struck and you are vibrating with it and the sound is going through you and is inside you and around you and you can’t tell the difference between you and the bell, it’s that scary. I can't emphasize enough how intense these feelings were, how awful, how devastating -- I'd just come to learn jewelry making and now I'd have to leave because it had turned into this!
But I couldn't get up. I simply couldn't get up and leave, because that would make me too conspicuous and that was against the Rules. No, I had to stay mum and inconspicuous and give NO sign of knowing what I knew and get through class in silence again, no talking, nothing. No hurting No One! So I was still there when to my surprise Balam returned and sat down again next to me. Okay...this time I would be good. No more foot tapping, I would do nothing that could even in a year be construed as wrong. I'd get through the night and then not return again.
But then he started talking about things, jewelry making and other casual things and he didn't seem still upset or destroyed or say anything overtly threatening, and he was still sitting next to me when he could so easily have sat down elsewhere...so maybe I hadn't destroyed him or or mortally offended him after all, or maybe he had decided not to go after me despite it all. But even that didn't hold up, for after I was the only one to want to work with the little bits of sterling silver eyepins he had brought with him, he gave me a little project to do on my own...a silly little thing, just a way to make dangly earrings out of bits of abalone shells cut in 1/8th by inch-long sections and drilled at the top. But he wouldn't show me how to do it, only said to copy the example he gave me. I did. But in the end I did it another way, which didn't work out but which I wanted to try, because I knew the other way would work but would leave the wire all crumbled-looking and I thought my way might be neater. Alas, not so, it just wasn't workable...
THe point being that I went from totally paranoid-scared to paranoid-but-relieved within the space of a 2-hour class but only began to have insight into the interactions, and my reactions as paranoid, some five hours later when I started thinking about it in my journal. Only then was I not paranoid any longer because I realized that I did not have that much power - over Balam, over the class, over anyone, ever. Well, actually, I won't go that far, but yesterday, in class, yes, I think I probably didn't cause a huge upset, not the way I thought I did. No, certainly not the way I thought I did. For the rest of the class there was NO UPSET AT ALL; for me, all hell broke loose.
Actually, I think I do have that much power over Balam. I think I have WAY too much power over the whole class. I think I have to restrain myself in that class or all hell will indeed break loose before it ends the first week of April. I think I'm way too much for that class to handle, frankly. And I doubt that they could. So while I told them about my book -- I had mentioned that I was a writer and of course they asked, What do you write? and what could I say to that but: a book...and the response as usual was "What's the title?" Uh oh...You see what I mean? So they already know something about me, though probably most of them didn't hear what I said, or weren'[t listening, or don't even know what a memoir is or that I am one of the twins I wrote about. Anyhow, while I told them about the book, and I think a couple got the point,ie that I have schizophrenia, mostly there was little reaction. Few seemed particularly interested in learning more, except for the two who bought books and one who had at least read the review; though she didn't buy the book, I think she wanted to get it from the library.
So what do I do with all this? Just tuck it away I guess. Since it doesn't seem to teach me not to FEEL this way, all I can hope for is to NOT over-react in any permanent way (like quitting a class or job, or burning myself) until I can figure out a situation's verity later on. Ditto for voices' commands, should there be any. If I'd known how to wait, that I could wait, before I set my leg on fire or burned my forehead and then maybe not have to do it because I'd reason my way out of a felt urgency, just think of all the disfiguring scars that could have been avoided. It's not so much that I can reason my way out of paranoia either, I think, since in some sense the paranoia has to drop off a lot before I can begin to reinterpret it, so much as that...Hmmm, what then? Well, I was still paranoid in class when Balam stopped hating me and wanting to rid the class of me; I just was in a better place paranoia-wise (better to be a happy paranoid than a miserable wretched one). It was only at home, alone, away from people and noise and tension and stimulation, without any interference from anyone else, that I could begin to think more clearly and less frantically, less purely reactively to understand that he'd never hated me or threatened me from the beginning. I didn't do anything so terrible. It had never happened, and yet paranoia had been literally and instantaeously triggered by his leaving the beginners table just as surely as the paranoia I described during my hospital stay with the tech who I accused of reading Hustler (which turned out to be nothing but People magazine) started with his responding to me Hello with an unfriendly grunt. So Balam's getting up and leaving the table right after I kicked his boot, and was horrified to find myself doing, triggered an immediate paranoid reaction on my part of "I'm evil, I'm disgusting, he hates me and wants to get rid of me!" I may not be able to tell you anyone's name or what anyone looks like, but nevertheless I was monitoring everything that was important to me. My eyes and ears were open to the cues that I needed to be on the lookout for, the signs I was senstive to: changes in tone of voice, in position, of posture, of place.
But does that really mean he can't leave our table without threatening me? No, not at all. He left several other times without a problem, and always has during the other classes. I dunno what happened last night, what it was about yesterday that made that one particular episode different from all the many others. Perhaps I can't because it was all in my head, literally, in my brain and nothing real to point to. When he left the table the second and third times I felt no threat, perhaps because he had reassured me by his calm talking and no anger, that I was not the OTAM (the ogre that ate Manhattan) again. So I even trusted enough that I wasn't the one CAUSING people to leave when they did, early, or not to come at all, when they didn't. At least yesterday night I believed that...We'll see how long that much lasts.
Sorry for the absence but I am working hard on the poetry manuscript. I hope to have it done by the end of next week if I am lucky. I do NOT want to be Fed-Exing it in on the 2nd to last day! BD
I have to warn you all that my poetry manuscript has to be reworked and finished now in order to get it in the mail before March 31 and so once I have it in my hot little hands again, tomorrow I believe, I may have to spend most of my free time working on it instead of writing here. Rest assured that if I don't write much in March, that I will be back in force by April.
Lynnie and I spoke at Yale on Wednesday, at an Abnormal Psychology class. First we did a Powerpoint presentation, mostly slides of past and present psychiatric treatments in the US, from the 1700s up to 2007, then basically we opened the floor for Q and A, as we'd been asked to do. The students were a little shy, but by the time it was the end of the class hour, they were warmed up and ready for more...and we had to quit as another class was lining up at the door. What a pity. I suppose we should have cut short the slide show, which went on way too long, but we didn't know that at the time. I hope there will be a next time as I enjoy speaking. Who'da thunk that, a year and a half ago?
One thing happened during the talk that I did not like at all, and it is difficult to explain as I am not sure I understand exactly what was going on, or what was meant. The very first question asked was directed at me and it had to do with my motivations for getting so thin in high school, weighing maybe 82 pounds and dropping once as low as 74 in college.
"You wrote that this was not for appearance' sake but because you wanted to disappear, because you felt you took up too much space in the world," the student, a young woman, said. I nodded, wondering where she was heading. "Would you connect this to your schizophrenia, or would you say the two were entirely separate things?"
I thought a bit. "I think I'd have to say that this was part of my schizophrenia, because the feelings of being evil and of taking up too much space persisted and grew in importance. It was a major theme in my psychosis, in fact." I don't recall what else I said. Or what Lynnie said then in its entirety. She admitted that she had lost all the weight due to "Twiggy being all the rage" though I doubt anyone in that room besides us and perhaps the teacher, knew who Twiggy was. Perhaps her name was enough to evoke the image, who knows.
But then, Lynnie segued into an aside about me, saying that she thought, and "Pammy will hate me for saying this, but I think her weight concerns were delusional back when she was 60lbs overweight and to this day." I was stunned. What on earth did she mean, that my weight issues were delusional? I have no weight issues; I simply...Oh forget it. She was angry with me as usual.
I did mention this to Dr O this morning when I talked with her and she said that Lynnie might not be angry so much as worried, and that she agreed that my concerns with weight were the same as they'd ever been, a continuation of the "I am evil, I deserve to die" feeling I have always had, which is, as she pointed out, a delusion. Furthermore, because I am afraid to gain weight, I will always tend to lose, just in order to make sure I don't gain.
But I do NOT want to die! I don't. And I don't know at what point it becomes actually life-threatening. I mean, I survived being at 85lbs for many years when young (through age 33), and even going to 75 for a while, with no ill effects. Why is 93 or a little less so terrible? I know, I know, I shouldn't even think that way, but I dunno how else to think! I don't know what to do...I keep forgetting to eat and I have no cues or signals to eat, but when I do eat too often, I worry I am going to gain weight which would be the worst thing that could happen, and I don't know why. I look terrible and don't feel very well physically, so what is keeping me stuck like this?...unless it is what Dr O and Lynnie said it is, that delusion underneath it all.
I haven't the time or energy to write more right now. Only had 4 hours sleep last night and I keep nodding off while writing this. My apologies, but I've got to sign off and go to bed. Remember, if I don't write a lot for the next 2-3 weeks I will be back in April! (But who knows, maybe I will write. I'm just warning you in case...)
One thing I do have to take back from last night's claims of normality is my BP. It is low, at least tonight it was, though normally it isn't so far as I know. But tonight it was 82/60, when Ana measured it, a little low but not by a great deal, since 90/60 is low but "normal" for me.
I was up all last night and now I'm exhausted, ready to go to bed early tonight so I can get up early tomorrow in order to be ready to speak to a Yale abnormal psychology class tomorrow. We are doing so for free this time because we are so pleased that this large class all bought and read the book. That's what we are hoping for, and want to try for, to get in touch with as many abnormal psych teachers or psychology dept heads as possible in the colleges and universities across the country and send them a copy of the book, with a letter from us and a picture (maybe), hoping he or she would read it and then assign it to the class they teach. That would not only sell books, but much more important it would start a discussion about schizophrenia in the colleges and hopefully educate young people about the illness, facts and fiction.
Speaking of facts, and of fiction for that matter, I just came across the website of a girl from Australia who wrote rather floridly about an alter ego languishing in a mental hospital for 6 years, living in a world of vampires and sunny perfect happy creatures, a world where she was happy and content and wanted to live. But the big bad doctors and her family forced her to return to the horrible reality of people who loved her, taking her away from her beloved schizophrenia forever. Truly, that was the gist of it. And her commentary afterwards said as much. If this "creative writing" blog hadn't been terminated, apparently in 2004, I'd have written a comment disabusing her of such notions. But as it is, that post will have to go unanswered and one young person remain uneducated about what schizophrenia really is all about.
But if our book were assigned in classrooms, maybe she would eventually come across it and learn something useful from it. Boy, that would be great, because the classroom is the perfect venue for a discussion to arise and for the subject of schizophrenia to actually be talked about, not simply read about in secret. I would be proud to have my name on a book that students actually read and used to jump off to a broader discussion of issues having to do with serious psychiatric disorders and the treatment of the sufferers. But I'm just musing now...I frankly would speak for travel and lodging expenses then...but I'm not a wage earner. Lynnie and her fiance, Sal, our manager, must earn their daily bread, and neither have anything saved for retirement, because of the kids' college bills and messy divorces so alas they cannot afford to do so. Too bad -- I really enjoy speaking, at least the Q and A part; and the multi-media part of the program. The actual talk I cannot yet give without reading it, so it still sounds like a written speech, not a talk, and certainly not like I'm "just talking."
I dunno how college professors do it, give the same lecture year after year and memorize them all, so that they don't have to read anything and know their material cold. I suppose I could have done that years ago. But lyme has ruined my memory and I don't think I could maintain a speech in my head for long now, even if I managed to commit it to memory.
This week is not quite as busy as the last one, largely because it was so cold today that no one could go outside - Joe because of his breathing and immune system, Karen because of her handicaps making her fearful of falling on the ice, and me, frankly, because the wind was blowing at 35 mph and the temp was 4°F even without the wind, and I was afraid the two together might give me frostbite. So we all stayed in and I was happy to do so. There has been some recrudescence of the singing recently, I dunno why, but no nagging or hateful voices, just singing and the world seems very loud to me these days: I just wanted some peace and quiet. Unfortunately I got more of that all last night than I did today, what with Josephine coming to help me clean the apartment, and then Joe coming up to talk and then Karen coming up to learn how to transfer photos from a memory card reader onto her computer, then Ana coming to give me my pm meds, then the Xyrem people calling me to schedule a refill, then Karen calling me again! The noise never did stop, and neither did the singing on top of it all!
That's the sort of thing I mean, what drives me to distraction and so fatigues me. I need some time off, and I don't get it.
I write this entries with all due respect especially to Kate and Paula, who have gone to so much trouble to help me and plead the case for my having an eating disorder. I really appreciate your loving encouragement and your loyalty and your inestimable kindness and continued concern, you two. But I must beg to differ: I may be damned if I do and damned if I don't (see last in first list of symptoms) but I do not, emphatically do not, believe I have anorexia.
Say what you will, just because I deny I have the disorder does not per se indicate that I suffer from it. People have been told they have plenty of diseases they don't actually have and have been wise enough to contradict their doctors! Schizophrenia is a case in point: how many times especially in the past was it diagnosed in those whom we now know had syphilis or some other condition entirely? Even today Bipolar and Schizophrenia can be confused and as writer Debbie S Finn describes in the her article, The Lumber Room: Mental Illness in the House of Medicine, the shorter version of which is in the Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine: http://www.med.yale.edu/intmed/hummed/yjhm/essays/dfinn20070225.htm
many medical diseases were first thought to be so-called mental or nervous disorders until some intrepid or insightful researcher/clinician looked into it a little further. Check out the article, by the way. It's all about the DSM and its beginnings and is really fascinating. If you are interested, she might be willing to send you the unabridged version.
But back to my subject: I have culled some information about what I'll call "true anorexia" and "anorexia nervosa" for now, though it is the latter, anorexia nervosa, that most think of when they hear the word anorexia. It was not always the case. Time was when an attending physician said a person, be it man or woman had anorexia and the residents standing around understood him to mean -- but wait, I'll let the information speak for itself.
Anorexia: Greek roots: [Greek anorexiā, an-, without; + orexis, appetite (from oregein, to reach out [presumably for food])
So the word "anorexia" means without appetite, loss of appetite.
Now, "nervosa" means just what it looks like it means: nervous, or pertaining to the nerves, ie the mind. So anorexia nervosa is nervous loss of appetite or a loss of appetite because of something going on in the mind. In fact, the name is not in fact very accurate; as a misnomer it misstates something essential: anorexics have an appetite, they ARE hungry, they just hide the fact because if they admit they are hungry, someone might ask them to eat something, which they steadfastly refuse to do. So those with anorexia nervosa don't have true anorexia at all, which is very confusing I'm sure. Note that I am NOT hungry but that I do eat when I am hungry. I am actually happy when I feel hungry, because it means something is working right. Unlike "anorexics" I do not enjoy the feeling of emptiness or the sensation of hunger pangs, nor do I feel it is purer and more ethereal, ie better to starve.
But here are some more data. This is what we've established:
Anorexia is a noun meaning:
1. Loss of appetite, especially as a result of disease.
2. Anorexia nervosa.
Anorexia nervosa is defined as:
Refusal to maintain body weight at or above a minimally normal weight for age and height (e.g., weight loss leading to maintenance of body weight less than 85% of that expected)
Now I looked up the proper weight for someone 5'3" with a small frame (I measured mine according to their instructions) and the range was 103-127, with the advice being that those with a small frame stay towards the lower end of their range, the middle framers stay near the middle and the large framed people stay near the high end of their range. So I should weigh at least 103 to not be underweight. According to this website at any rate. So I am 10 pounds underweight, or 91% of normal body weight below where I should be, which is nowhere near the UNDER 85% that is the point where anorexia is thought of. And I do not refuse to maintain my weight, I just keep forgetting to eat because I don't have the proper signals and because I don't want to eat when I don't feel hungry. It is simply too difficult.
However, I can be scared into eating: when I read that the heart muscle can be affected, atrophying just like any other muscle, and fail if weight loss continues, I thought about what I had eaten today and at 7pm realized I hadn't eaten a thing. I hadn't felt hungry, I'd awakened late and I simply got busy and never even drank the coffee with cream that I made for myself. But then Ana, the pm nurse, came and said something about "You don't want to have any cardiac events, do you?" and that really scared me (though I think now that I probably once asked her to say that to me if ever I didn't eat all day and was losing weight). So I made myself a large bowl of soynuts cereal, the kind Paula recommended as being so full of protein, mixed with Fiber One, one of my favorite whole grain cereals, and raisins and a handful of gorp, which is a mix of all sorts of nuts and seeds and chopped dried fruits. On top of all this I poured yogurt and stirred it together - and ate it all. So there all of you!
* Weight loss of 15% or greater below the expected weight
* Inappropriate use of laxatives, enemas, or diuretics (water pills) in an effort to lose weight - NEVER! Ex-Lax makes me puke.
* Self-imposed food intake restrictions, often hidden - I eat anything, just small amounts because I am not very hungry.
* Absence of menstruation - Sorry but I'm 54, that's allowed 8D
* Skeletal muscle atrophy - dunno, but my butt went flat when I was fat
* Loss of fatty tissue - duh
* Low blood pressure - it has always been low, 100/70 or so. Sometimes 90/60 even when I weighed 115.
* Dental cavities may be present with self-induced vomiting - only because I don't brush. But my last check-up was perfect (I use that rubber tipped tool). The hygienist said she wouldn't see cleaner teeth, less tartar that day.
* Blotchy or yellow skin - Not that I know of
* Depression may be present in addition to the eating disorder - no
depression at all
* Most individuals with anorexia nervosa refuse to recognize that they have an eating disorder (denial) - As I wrote in the beginning, I'm damned whatever I say. This is a ridiculous "symptom"
Here's an even longer list, which "fits" me even less.
1. Dramatic weight loss in a relatively short period of time. - No, it took a long time 2 years in fact. But in fact the weight gain was more rapid, maybe 40 pounds in a couple of months. Then when the dose was increased another thirty pounds in about 3 weeks.
2. Wearing big or baggy clothes or dressing in layers to hide body shape and/or weight loss. - actually I dress quite nicely these days, fitted jeans and cords and wool pants, three quarter length sleeves my preference due to scars but I will wear longer short-sleeves. I even wear a skirt occasionally! Layers are only for the winter, when going outside or to keep warm in.
3. Obsession with weight and complaining of weight problems (even if "average" weight or thin). - actually I don't feel fat or feel I look fat at all. I feel I look too thin, and am embarrassed by it, ashamed of it, self-conscious of it.
4. Obsession with calories and fat content of foods.- I don't count them
5. Obsession with continuous exercise. - haven't exercised at all in too many years. That's a bigger problem.
6. Frequent trips to the bathroom immediately following meals (sometimes accompanied with water running in the bathroom for a long period of time to hide the sound of vomiting). - No
7. Visible food restriction and self-starvation.- what do you mean visible? I eat when I'm hungry!
8. Visible bingeing and/or purging. - Nope
9. Use or hiding use of diet pills, laxatives, ipecac syrup (can cause immediate death!) or enemas.- Nope
10. Isolation. Fear of eating around and with others. - I don't care to eat with others, but I never did, even when I took Zyprexa and overate. I've always been an alone eater...mostly because I like to eat when hungry, not wait for strict mealtimes
11. Unusual Food rituals such as shifting the food around on the plate to look eaten; cutting food into tiny pieces; making sure the fork avoids contact with the lips (using teeth to scrap food off the fork or spoon); chewing food and spitting it out, but not swallowing; dropping food into napkin on lap to later throw away. - None
12. Hiding food in strange places (closets, cabinets, suitcases, under the bed) to avoid eating (Anorexia) or to eat at a later time (Bulimia). - nope
13. Flushing uneaten food down the toilet (can cause sewage problems). Nope
14. Vague or secretive eating patterns.- Huh? Nope
15. Keeping a "food diary" or lists that consists of food and/or behaviors (ie., purging, restricting, calories consumed, exercise, etc.) - Dr O had me keep a log, but I stopped doing it, once it put too much emphasis on what I was eating...
16. Pre-occupied thoughts of food, weight and cooking. - don't even think about it, except when worrying about Joe's ability to eat.
17. Visiting websites that promote unhealthy ways to lose weight.- Never
18. Reading books about weight loss and eating disorders. - why do that?!
19. Self-defeating statements after food consumption. - No. I don't feel guilty for eating or bad afterwards...
20. Hair loss. Pale or "grey" appearance to the skin. Not that I know of.
21. Dizziness and headaches. - I suffer from migraines, a lot fewer now than ever (menopause did it I think)
22. Frequent soar throats and/or swollen glands. - Never
23. Low self-esteem. Feeling worthless. Often putting themself down and complaining of being "too stupid" or "too fat" and saying they don't matter. Need for acceptance and approval from others. - I do have low self-esteem and feel evil and worthless, yes, though NOT too fat, no, that I am not guilty of.
24. Complaints of often feeling cold.- Sorry, I'm as often too hot as too cold.
25. Low blood pressure. - as mentioned above
26. Loss of menstrual cycle.
27. Constipation or incontinence. - not at all
28. Bruised or calluses knuckles; bloodshot or bleeding in the eyes; light bruising under the eyes and on the cheeks. - Nope
29. Perfectionistic personality. - I dunno, but I think I settle for less than perfect ALL the time. If I were perfectionistic I would not let these entries go unproofread the way I often do, for instance.
30. Loss of sexual desire or promiscuous relations. - never had either 8D
31. Mood swings. Depression. Fatigue.- yes, I am tired, and I know I would be less so if I ate more, that I'll grant and did so in the last entry.
32. Insomnia. Poor sleeping habits - I sleep like a LOG...I mean, I could roll out of bed and stay asleep! (that's the Xyrem for you.)
So I put it to you once again, is this the picture of someone who conforms to the criteria for the diagnosis you guys have given me? I think not. I KNOW not. I rest my case. (And I refuse to proofread this...)