Pudgy Middle Fingers Up

I have curves in all the 'wrong' places.

Sometimes I eat two or three donuts in one sitting.

My back rolls and tummy rolls don't magically disappear when I stand up.

My upper arms are thicker than some people's thighs.

My wrists aren't delicate, my fingers aren't slender, my ankles aren't shapely.

My clothing is rarely what stylists would call 'flattering'. I refuse to minimize my size.

I use a cane. I have multiple chronic illnesses. I'm not healthy.

The truth is, I'm not a 'good fatty'. And I don't care.

Dear Doctor: No Means No

"I have a new sebaceous cyst on my neck, so I can't get any injections in my neck today," I said, hopping up on the examining table. These nerve block injections had become routine; I had been getting between eight and ten of them in my neck and shoulders every week for over a year.

"What does a sebaceous cyst have to do with injections?" asked Dr. S.

I assumed he hadn't heard the part about the cyst being on my neck, or maybe he figured the cyst affected my chest or pelvic area, like many PCOS-induced symptoms do. So I repeated myself. "It's on my neck, so I can't have injections in my neck. Just my back today".

Dr. S. walked to the back of the table, brandishing a needle. I braced for pain in my upper back, but it didn't come.

"That's my neck!" I squeaked, tears in my eyes. Neck injections always sting, but the shock is what really startled me.

"That didn't hurt so bad, did it?" he laughed.

I gripped my cane and gritted my teeth, waiting for him to finish. 4 injections in my neck, now aching worse that it already had been. Some shots in my shoulders. 

I wordlessly got up from the table and left the clinic. Then the tears came.

This is the second time this doctor has given me injections in an area I did not consent to. This is the second doctor who has performed a procedure without my consent. 

All three times have given me flashbacks of being raped.

When I was raped, my ex did not accept no for an answer. He did what he wanted, for as long as he wanted, and laughed when it was over. The only way these nonconsensual medical experiences differ is they weren't in a bedroom, but a doctor's office. 

I've said this before on this blog and I'll say it again: I won't be the last survivor of rape who's triggered by an idiotic man taking "no" as an invitation. And I sure as hell won't be the last person to speak up for patients' rights, either.

Why I Waited Until 25 To Get Diagnosed With OCD

I knew talking about my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder would be difficult. But I didn't know just how difficult. I guess that's why I put it off for 20 years.

I was afraid of having "something else wrong with" me. In early childhood, I had Selective Mutism. In sixth grade I developed Panic Disorder. In my teens, I developed multiple chronic physical illnesses, plus clinical depression, phobias and Borderline Personality Disorder. It felt like there was no right time to have the "I think I have OCD" Talk, because it felt like I was constantly developing new and increasingly terrifying illnesses. Is there a "right time" for the Talk?!

Besides, I wasn't even sure I had OCD. All the symptoms you hear about in pop culture tended to be very different from what I was experiencing:

I collected plush seals and kept every notebook I filled with poems and doodles, but that's far from Hoarding: Buried Alive. And I was definitely not organized. I constantly drew all over my math homework, stacked my books haphazardly and couldn't have cared less when I noticed something was crooked. I didn't count stuff. I didn't even wash my hands, other than after using the bathroom.

But I knew something was off. I was terrified of germs, terrified of getting sick. Being in a doctor's office made me queasy. I couldn't sit next to someone who had a cold without being convinced I'd catch their cold. I was tormented by vivid violent images. Me stabbing someone in the eye with a fork, someone raping me, me jumping in front of a moving train, someone I love being murdered. The only way I could fend the thoughts off was repeating phrases in my head until it felt 'just right'.

These thoughts have been in my head for as long as I can remember. Even as a child, I'd think, "If I can't do (task) within (this fast), I have to kill myself". I don't think I even knew what suicide was! But the thoughts persisted, and became more and more frequent.

Finally, when I was 24, physically sicker than I had ever been in my entire life, living well below the poverty line and feeling battered by my relatively recent job loss, rape and estrangement of my abusive father, I decided to get help. 

I'm 25 and in a group treatment program now. I won't mince words: Exposure Response Prevention Therapy is fucking torture. Baring my soul to a group of strangers, forcing myself to experience the very situations that provoke my anxiety, coping with the exhaustion fighting this disorder brings... I knew it would be hard, but I didn't know it would be this hard.

All I know, is that asking for help was the right choice. I just wish I hadn't waited so long.

Things To Do In 2017 -- That DON'T Include Dieting!

The beginning of a new year is a wonderful time to try new things. Here are some suggestions:

♥ Try a restaurant in your neighbourhood that you've never been to before.

♥ Follow more fat positive and body positive people on Instagram. I'd recommend Natalie Means Nice, The Militant Baker and Chubsterette. (I'm on Instagram too!).

♥ Try a new to you kind of exercise (for fun-- not because you feel like you have to). 

♥ Bake something from scratch. (Soft pretzels? Chocolate cheesecake?) And then eat some, without guilt.

♥ Figure out what you want to do more of & what you want to do less of.

♥ Read a book you've been meaning to, but haven't yet been able to finish.

♥ Message someone you haven't heard from in ages.

♥ Let go of a relationship that's no longer serving you.

♥ Have you been avoiding a medical appointment, like an ultrasound or a pap smear? Or have you just not gotten around to booking it? Get that shit done.

♥ Try practicing mindfulness.

♥ Pick up a magazine you've never read before. Maybe you'll find a new hobby or interest.

♥ Try a new hairstyle. Even if you hate it, it'll be good for a laugh.

♥ Get a new piercing or tattoo.

♥ Try a lip colour you've never worn before. Bright red? Lilac? Green?

Whatever you do, don't let the insidious "new year, new me" and "gotta lose weight!" bullshit get to you. This is your year. Do with it what you will. And have fun!

Image source: ElleBelleDesignShop on Etsy.
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