Posts Tagged ‘confessions’

Opening Up

Monday, February 13th, 2012

I finally scheduled a doctor’s appointment to get referrals – one for the scary mole on the back of my arm and one for the scary shouting I can’t seem to control. The appointment was at 9 am on a Thursday at the military healthcare building. On Wednesday, I realized my car didn’t have updated stickers and I couldn’t get on base without stickers.

I went to get new stickers.

I couldn’t get stickers because my ID had just expired, so the guy gave me a temporary pass to get to the ID office.

I went to get my ID.

I couldn’t get a new ID because my sponsor – my husband – has to be with me OR I needed a power of attorney OR he needed to come in and fill out a form.

I called my husband.

No, he couldn’t come. No, he had to be at work. No, he couldn’t do it on his lunch break. No, he couldn’t do it tonight. No, there is no way it could be done before my appointment tomorrow.

I started to cry.

“FINE!” I screamed into the phone, “I hope your job is REAL HAPPY when your wife goes FUCKING CRAZY because you couldn’t take TWO MINUTES to come sign a piece of paper. GOOD LUCK WITH THAT.” I hung up.

No stickers, no ID, no form, no appointment. No no no no no no no no no.

I watched the kids run back and forth in the grass outside the building and wondered if I was just imagining going crazy or if it was something that was actually happening. It was 55 degrees in January, after all. Maybe this wasn’t real life.

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 The next day I was really embarrassed about my temper tantrum, just like I always am. I calmly rescheduled my appointment and couldn’t figure out why it had felt SO URGENT only a few hours before. I should just stop overreacting and calm down. There’s no reason to be so angry. Good mothers don’t shout so much. I told myself I just suck at everything and need to get over it. Just like I said the time before, and the time before that, and the time before that, and the time before that… I kept my appointment.

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I talked to my doctor for a long time on Tuesday and filled out her questionnaires as honestly as possible. She said it sounded like anxiety – which I was just calling OVERREACTING TO ALL THE THINGS – with mild depression. I don’t know if it’s technically postpartum anything but when the doctor said “It’s OK, you’re not imagining things, I can help” I felt better than I have in months.

I took my first tiny Zoloft pill last Tuesday. I am still not sure how I feel about it. I am still not sure that it’s working. But I AM sure talking to my doctor was the right thing to do. I can’t believe I waited so long. I can’t believe I still feel so reluctant to share this. In my online life I know so many women who have dealt with or are fighting  or have overcome postpartum depression or anxiety or OCD or some other form of baby-related hormonal brain disease. Some days I wondered if I was crazy for NOT having postpartum depression. And then when things started to feel out of control I wondered if I was just exaggerating so I could fit in. Oh look, another mommy blogger on medication. What a cliche. Doesn’t she know Dooce already did that? It’s so 2009. Besides, my “baby” is 13 months old – didn’t my ticket to postpartum mental disorder town expire in December?

Although I know the internet is FULL of support, in my real life things like this are Not Talked About. The only person I’ve ever heard mention PPD was the sad, weepy, exhausted mom at breastfeeding support group who was so obviously depressed I wanted to bundle her into my car and drive her to a therapist myself. I’ve never felt like that. No one has ever said “You look like you’re struggling.” My husband has never taken the baby away from me and suggested I talk to someone.  I think my family is going to be really surprised to read this. I’m worried what they’re going to think. But hopefully soon, I won’t have to worry so much about what I think.

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Don’t Sweat It

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Every couple of months, some morning show or women’s magazine or blog does a poll where they ask women if they would be willing to give up a year of their life if they could lose twenty pounds or if they’d take a 10% salary cut if it meant they could eat whatever they wanted and still be a size 6 forever. Invariably, more than 50% of women choose being thin. We are a vain society.

Personally, I would give up a year of my life, keep my 20 lbs and PAY 10% of my (imaginary) salary in exchange for dry armpits.

I am extremely sweaty person. I sweat when I’m hot. I sweat when I’m cold. I sweat when I’m sitting perfectly still. I sweat when I’m nervous. I sweat when I work out. I sweat when I eat. I sweat when I wear extra-super-duper-clinical strength antiperspirant. I sweat ALL. THE. TIME. It’s mostly my underarms but my hands have been known to literally drip. It’s disgusting and humiliating and worrying about it consumes at least 10% of my brain at any given moment.

The technical name is hyperhydrosis, but for me it’s just the suckiest, most embarrassing condition ever.

I distinctly remember the day in 7th grade that my friend Elizabeth sat down next to me at lunch, took one look at the giant wet marks on my gray baby doll tee and said “Whoa, looks like someone forgot to put on deodorant!” I had not forgotten. But I did die of shame right there in the lunchroom. I ended up wearing my winter coat the rest of the day and pretending I was just really cold. I never wore a baby doll tee again.

In high school, I cried at least once a week about my stupid armpits. I actually stopped going to church just to avoid the part where we were supposed to greet one another with handshakes because no matter how many tissues I balled up in my pockets my palms were always damp. The look on people’s faces when they feel your wet hand is about equal to the look they would have if you handed them a dead fish. I tried putting prescription antiperspirant onto my freshly shaved armpits (something that is strongly warned against on the bottle because of the HORRIBLE stinging) and it helped. A little. For a few minutes. My mom searched the internet and ordered these evil little machines that you strapped to your armpits and basically sent electric shocks into your sweat glands to dry them up. It helped. A little. For a few minutes. I’ve heard Botox shots in your armpits can help. A little. For a few months. But I can’t afford $400 an armpit just for a few weeks of dryness.

Have you ever tried shopping for clothes you can sweat in? Yeah, good luck. Here are the rules:

No tight fitting t-shirts. No cap sleeves. No sleeves at all. No small armholes. No lightweight fabrics. Nothing made of cotton. Nothing made of silk. No bright colors – black is much safer. Strapless was usually OK, until I had two babies and my boobs hit the floor. No fabrics I can’t touch in person to check for stain-ability. Sometimes when I’m not sure if something is “safe”, I actually lick the hem line to see if the fabric shows dampness. Shopping online is almost impossible. Bridesmaids dresses are a nightmare. When I was in college it actually wasn’t so bad – cheap, artificial, plasticy fabrics were popular and easy to find. But I am long past shopping at Wet Seal or Contempo Casuals and Ann Taylor doesn’t do a lot of rayon. Now that I’m nursing as well buying clothes is a NIGHTMARE. Almost all button down shirts are out of the running because they’re cotton or a cotton blend. Shirts meant for nursing are always solid colored and “breathable”, which definitely means it will show my sweaty armpits. And forget vintage ANYTHING. All the dresses have sleeves and all the sweaters are too close-fitting.  In college I almost never borrowed clothes because I didn’t want to ruin someone else’s stuff with pit stains and have them tell everyone. I haven’t bought an article of clothing bases solely on how flattering it is ever. EVER.

I realize in the scheme of things having sweaty armpits is not the worst thing in the world. It is not life threatening. It has not prevented me from getting married or having children or finding happiness. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it. It’s made me – someone who’s naturally a little socially awkward – SUPER socially awkward.

So if you meet me, and I’m wearing something really ugly and don’t want to shake your hand you’ll know why.

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