Why Lying is So Easy Sometimes….Even When You Hate It

I truly detest lying. Not only am I really lousy at it (I have the opposite of a poker face), I am just a person who believes so strongly in integrity and honesty.

However, I lie a LOT lately.  When you suffer from a mental illness of any kind lying becomes habit. “I’m fine” comes out of your mouth constantly. Someone asks how you are and you smile and just say, “I’m fine, thanks”! You smile constantly when inside your mind you are screaming.

Why do we lie? Many reasons really. 

We don’t want to worry you. We don’t want people to think we are “crazy”. We don’t want to sound like we are just complaining or seeking attention. We don’t want you to stand there not knowing what to say. 

The worse part of sharing your mental illness with someone who is NOT mentally ill are when they reply with things like, “I know how you feel”, or worse, say things like, “Just think positive”, “You dwell too much on negative stuff”. 

Trying to explain “why” I feel the way I do when I am depressed, anxious or lately tortured by my ED is impossible.

I don’t even truly know why my eating disorder has recurred. That’s what the professionals are for…I want to know as much as anyone else why I am doing this to myself when for once in my life all feels right in my world.

This is the reason so many people with eating disorders hide it. It makes no sense to us or to anyone else and hearing the platitudes (even when said with good intentions), just makes us want to hide our disease even more. No one understands. So, I lie. 

I was talking to my SO about it last night because I have been trying so hard to figure out why now. I did come up with some fairly reasonable thoughts. Maybe with things going so well in my life I am just scared of being happy. Eh, maybe.

What really made sense to me was pointed out by one of my friends who also suffers from an ED.

Right now, even though my life is going well, it is all out of my control really.

My housing is based on my being in therapy, and following all the rules of housing. I never know when they might decide I have been here “too long” and need to leave, or if I slip up and then what? They are in charge of me having a place to live.

I am still waiting for approval for my SSI, so I have no income. The decision of whether I will have an income at some point is in THEIR hands. They need to decide if I am “sick enough”.  That’s another topic all together…Trying to prove how bad an invisible illness is.

Then there is my sweet, caring man who helps me with everything that Food stamps don’t pay for; Car insurance, cable, internet, toilet paper, shampoo, etc. etc. I was having to panhandle for all these things before. What if he decides that all of my “issues” are too much for him and just breaks it off with me? Where will I be then??

Broke and brokenhearted.

Anyway, when I was pointing all of this out to him last night on the phone he made the comment that “everyone” worries about those things. “Losing an income” etc. I told him “Yes, but most of them don’t suffer from a mental illness” My anxiety disorder, depression, OCD, ED, makes all of these worries a million times “bigger” than they are for the person who is not ill. His comment made me feel like he was minimizing my illness…comparing it to himself and others. So not cool. 

So, now I don’t want to talk to him or anyone about these things going on in my head.

So, I’ll just lie and say….”I’m fine”.

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A Little Bit of Catching Up…Procrastinating Done

Since I have been MIA for so long I am going to try to catch ya’ll up a bit.

I mentioned that I am in a loving relationship with an amazing man.

I could probably write a hundred ways that this relationship is different from any other I have had, but I won’t bore ya’ll that way. I will share one recent experience that will show the level of care and understanding I receive from this sweet guy.

Since Darrell and I met two years ago we have dated on and off. Off only because I was not really ready to begin anything serious, but we remained friends all along. Our feelings for each other continue to grow and we are closer than ever.

Anyway, I have been honest with him about my mental health issues since day one, my anxiety disorder, my depression and PTSD, OCD…you name it. (It’s like alphabet soup, right?)

About a month my eating disorder reared its ugly head for the first time in years. Being in recovery from anorexia is like a hibernating bear….asleep, but not dead. Well, someone poked it with a stick and it has come back mean as ever.

I was terrified to tell Darrell about it. For one, he knows enough about my mental health, and two, eating disorders are a very secret thing. Telling is not something that is easy to do, not even in therapy.

We were on the phone the other night when I started to tell him…then, well, I just couldn’t stop. I shared all the scary, nasty, nonsensical, crazy, illogical reality I have dealt with for the past few weeks.

I told him how it started with just wanting to lose some weight before Summer. I explained how it is with eating disorders, how it is so easy to cross the line from dieting to starving.

I thought for sure that this would be the last straw. That NOW he would go running. He didn’t.

Instead he called me from work later and told me how he was going online to find out more about anorexia. He said he didn’t understand it, but wanted to help me.

Even later that night, while he was still at work, he called again. He suggested I try to get back into some of the things I used to love…like my photography.

I was so touched and in awe of this man for thinking of me so much in the middle of his busy shift at work. I know that might sound strange, but any of you that know me know that I have never experienced what it’s like to be truly cared for…not like this. I couldn’t fathom that he had me on his mind that much and while at work, trying to figure out what to do for me.

The next day he took me to Walmart and let me pick out a really fantastic new camera!

Even though this gesture did not silence ED (eating disorder), it did give me something else to focus on (no pun intended) for the past few days. This camera is so intricate and has so many functions that I have actually only studied the manual, and some lessons online so far lol.

I am hoping to actually start taking photos with it today or tomorrow. I have not had much sleep, so probably tomorrow.

Thanks for listening to all of this rambling. I am so incredibly blessed by him…he warms my soul.

Beautiful live oak

Beautiful live oak

Excited to check the mail! That’s new!

If you read my last post you know that I asked if folks could send me either a birthday or holiday card.

I get so lonely this time of year and needed to feel some Christmas spirit and not be forgotten on my birthday. Yesterday was kinda sad, it’s was the anniversary of my mother’s passing…so yeah.

So far I have received one Christmas card and one birthday card!! This is so cool. I was like a little kid when I opened the mail today and there was a card from someone I have never met…thank you stranger. Hugs.

This is my tree, and the wall behind it is for the cards I receive…There is only one because I took the photo before today’s card arrived. I will post follow ups as the wall fills up!

Again, thank you so much for caring and for being here for me….Love ya’ll…Kim

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There is no Christmas spirit here…

This time of year is always a bit rough for me.

I lost both my mother and my father in December.

My birthday is coming up and I haven’t had a birthday celebration of any kind since I was ten years old. No one has bothered.

On top of all the facts, my depression has kicked into full gear. The “I feel invisible” kind of depression. The kind of depression that makes it hard to breathe, to speak…to do anything…Am I even here?

I miss my parents, my kids and my grandchildren so badly.

I want lights and decorations and a tree…I want to be able to shop for my grands..to send presents. Better yet, I want us all to be together. I want it to matter to them that I can’t be there…I’m not sure that it does.

I want to put up my little tree, put on some Christmas music and force the feeling to come…but I don’t think that it will.

So, I am going to make a rather odd request. A request that will sound strange maybe…but, I don’t care. I’m wondering if ya’ll would be willing to send me a Christmas card?

I know that I sound so pathetic right now..but, I just want SOMEONE to wish me a Merry Christmas (Happy Holidays)…I need encouragement so much right now. I am even going to post my address on here…because honestly? What does it matter if half the world knows where I live???

Kim Hood

3901 Darien Hwy Apt D31

Brunswick, Ga. 31525

Empty Anniversary…Empty Refrigerator…Empty Hope

Today I have been married for 13 years. My husband “ran away” two years ago. So much for love, honor and cherish till death huh?

I don’t get my food stamps until Monday…This is my fridge right now.

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I have been having a lot of issues since the doctor raised my medication level. The worst of which has been my radical sleep schedule. I fell asleep at 4pm yesterday and slept until 1am this morning.

I had intended on leaving the house soon to go panhandle, but after walking Penny for five minutes and coming in sweating…there is just no way I can go stand out there.

Thank goodness I see my therapist at 1 today. I best set my alarm in case I fall to sleep again so I don’t miss it. Sigh

I can’t see the med doctor until Monday to see what can be done about my side-affects. I am beyond discouraged right now.

When will I ever get some relief?

Don’t Know How to Title My Blog Post….

Okay, so, another night of no sleep.

This past week has been amazingly stressful. I almost lost my youngest daughter. I won’t get into details here because it is her life and private, but I can not get beyond the fear of almost losing her again, and the fact that I can do NOTHING to help her through this.

I have no appetite and that is good because I just spent the last of my food stamps and have 2 weeks before they come again. I have no cash of course.

The title of this post is because I couldn’t title another post, “Too hot to panhandle.” After being up all night I actually considered grabbing my sign and going out, but I am way too tired, and yes, it is too hot out there.

I don’t know….I go to the mail box every day just praying I will receive the letter stating I got approved for SSI, but all that I get are bills.

I honestly want to post here all the positives; I have a roof, AC, food, clean clothes, my dog Penny….Being grateful, (which I am), is supposed to lift one up, but it’s not really working today. I am going to wash my dishes, make my bed with clean sheets, and maybe just sleep the day away….again.

Sorry for being such a gloomy Gus…..it is what it is.

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Net Worth, Self-Worth, Society Judges One by the Other…

Last night I put Penny in the car to run to the local convenience store to get a couple of snacks. I didn’t plan on begging, even though the night cashier there knows me, and has only warned me to avoid the cameras the few times I’ve been there for that reason.

As I walked in the store I held the door open for a cab driver with one leg. He smiled and said “thank you”. I finished getting my things, using what little food stamps I have left.(less than $20 until the 15th). As I walked out the cab driver was getting into his car, and for some reason, I ignored all the “rules” of begging and went and asked if he had a few dollars for me to get some smokes. I didn’t realize that his passenger was an employee of the store…She stepped right out of the cab, giving me a look like I was something she had just stepped in…”You can’t DO that here”…I just turned and walked away, my face red, the shame whelming up inside of me.

I came home and cried.

I don’t want to be like this.

I don’t want to have to ask others to keep helping me. My friend “D”…he pays my interned/cable every month, pays my car insurance, buys my shampoo, toilet paper and everything else that comes with everyday living. I hate asking him for money for smokes, he works hard for it and he doesn’t smoke. He also tells me every time I ask, that I have to quit. I love him for who he is and how he helps me, but I hate the lecture every time. So, I try to beg and panhandle for my cigs, and for whatever else I can get money for.

I hate the way people look at me when I am standing outside with my sign…I know what they are thinking. They don’t know that I have a mental illness. They don’t know that I have tried SO hard to be able to hold a job. They don’t know that I don’t want to be out there like that.

Then there are the ones who just look away, doing everything they can to not see me. I don’t blame them. I make them uncomfortable, angry, sad…whatever it is they feel/think.

I thought I would get up early today and head out with my sign. Maybe even make a new sign. But, I just can’t do it. My mind can’t do it. My body can’t do it. My pride can’t do it.

I am so sad. Everyone is celebrating with family or friends. Everyone is happy and grilling out, going to fireworks.

But, I know the truth. There are many people just like me who are just trying to survive. People who feel like shit every day…People who smile through it all…trying to hide the shame they feel. The shame they know their families feel about them…

We all know that society today is so materialistic, so driven by “what you have is what you are worth”.

Today, I feel like I am worth nothing. Nothing. Nothing.

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Medical tests, Psych eval, and Too Hot to Panhandle….

This past month has been a very busy one.

I have had multiple tests to try to find the source of my abdominal pain. So far, all the tests have come back negative, which is good, but still provides no answer.

I got turned down on my second review for SS, so I insisted on a new psychiatric evaluation. I know that it should help my case, but going through psychoanalysis is so incredibly hard. After it, I slept for almost two days. Having to tell all of my traumas from childhood on was completely exhausting. My lawyer is optimistic that I will either get approved on this third review, or we will go in front of the judge.

In the meantime, as it is in many places of the country right now, the weather here is torture for me. I have never done very well in the heat, but it is so bad out there, trying to panhandle is almost impossible. Just walking Penny for 5 minutes makes me feel ill.

The psychiatrist that did my eval also raised my medication dose, so I am trying to adjust to that. It just makes me feel tired.

I went out at 10:30 last night to stand in front of the convenience store just to get $4 for a pack of smokes. Luckily it didn’t take too long as it was still 90 degrees at that hour.

I didn’t wake until 2pm today, and was happy to see it was cloudy, thinking it will be easier to stand out there with my sign and get some cash for gas and more smokes, but of course, the sun has come out again..and it is steamy. I have to go either way, but I won’t be able to take Penny with me. I do so much better panhandling when she is with me, but I won’t make her suffer out there. I will wait another hour or two, hoping it won’t be as hot. Either way…I have to do it.

It is shameful, demeaning, and thoroughly exhausting….but, I will do it again, and again…until I don’t have to anymore.

Beauty

Beauty

Broke, In Pain, and Trying Not to Give in to Giving up….

I am so discouraged today.

I have been having some abdominal pain for like 4 months now. The doctor found blood in my urine with no UTI, so he thought it might be cancer. I went back to the doc on Wed. No blood in urine, but a bacterial infection in my vagina. I am now on antibiotics for that, and I still need to bring in a stool sample to check out my colon health.

Of course, a colonoscopy is what the doc says I really need, but as I am seeing him at the “free” clinic, there is only so much he can do for me with the available resources.

In the meantime, I am broke as always. My food stamps are gone until the 15th. I have food in the house, but am out of some things…Pepsi, bread, cigs etc. Now, the med the doc put me on is causing severe diarrhea and I don’t even have feminine pads to help protect my undergarments, so I just got done cutting up the dog’s wee wee pads to use.

I can’t go panhandling. It has been either deathly hot out or storming. Plus I physically feel like shit.

There is no way to even tell you how exhausted I am of this life. This struggle. This waiting for things to get better. I want to sleep forever. Thank goodness I have tranquilizers…at least I can sleep and dream, and not deal with this shit.

So tired.

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How Penny Lane Came to Live with Me…

As I explained in my post titled Homeless to Helpless to feeling Hopeless…Survival is Exhausting.  Back in October I rescued a dog that I named, Penny Lane.

I had been deep in the throes of a very bad depression to the point of sitting one night and wondering if the railing on my balcony would hold my weight. I made it through…THAT night. I knew I was in a seriously dangerous episode of my disease, so I made the necessary visits to my therapists, used what coping tools and meds I could, but I still struggled to come up out of the pit.

Even though the housing program that I am in is wonderful, it does not allow pets. However, after doing some research online I found that I could apply through my therapist for an Emotional Service Animal. I jumped on it as fast as I could. My therapist knew that the loss of my dogs, and my being alone constantly was really making my life horrible, so she wrote a “prescription” for a therapy dog for me.

I was so excited that night! I poured over the Humane Society site, choosing which dogs I would go visit the following day. When I got to the humane society I asked to see the first dog I had chosen. He was cute, but had as many issues as I, and I was afraid I was not up to the challenge of helping him. I walked through the kennels again, passing by Penny’s cage for the second time, she stood and reached her paw out to me between the bars and kissed my finger.

I asked if I could take her to the social room to see if she and I were compatible. Well, I never made it to the room with her. As soon as I held her I knew…I just KNEW that she was MY dog, and I was her “Mama”.

She had been brought in as an abuse/neglect case, and had spent most of her young life in a cage, but that didn’t stop me from loving her at first snuggle. I signed the papers and brought her home. It has taken a lot of work to get her to where she is now. At first she was understandably afraid of everything and everyone..except me lol. I took her out to crowded places, and had strangers hand her treats. I spoiled her with treats and a soft bed, and toys, and a ton of hugs and kisses. I taught her that humans can be good, and that love is possible, that life is amazing. And she taught me the same.

She is a totally different dog now. She still doesn’t really like men, and she has an aversion to baseball caps, but otherwise, you would never know she had such a rough start in life. She has also made my life so much better. She gave me company. She gave me a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Most importantly she made me feel loved and needed. I’m not sure who save who…but, we are both blessed indeed.

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