A Temporary Goodbye

182 days late, I am popping in to say [a temporary] goodbye.

You'll still see me on Facebook (where I share things/post occasionally), Twitter (where I mostly favorite or retweet), or Tumblr (where I exclusively hit the "love" icon).  You'll see me in comment threads here and there.

Thank you for reading, for commenting, for emailing.  The words of encouragement and commiseration, the jokes and the stories, have meant and still mean more than I can adequately say.

A summer and fall break is/was the thing.  More soon...


Helpful Holiday Eating Disorder Support Ideas

The other week, I sent [redacted] an email asking her, in all caps, WHY, WHYYYY I ever go to Blisstree?  So often that site is a miasma of body-negative, food-freaked-out bleh that I just can't even go there.  (And yet, I do.)

However, here's a piece there that really, for me at least, gets it right:

How To Cope With Holiday Weight and Eating Stress... Without Triggering An Eating Disorder Relapse

Non-AP capitalization style aside, this is finally a Blisstree piece to which I am happy to direct some traffic.  Doubtless that fact is buoyed by the author's being in recover herself.  Regardless, it's short, sweet, and written in accessible yet not dumbed-down language.

Something else about it that specifically stands out: the piece outright discusses purging, which so much ED-related media doesn't.  Anorexia being the daintier disease (in popular culture, at least), bulimia and the other disorders that typically involve purging are sort of the ugly stepchildren (despite the fact that their sufferers are much more numerous).

And I definitely second the suggestion to audit the media you consume over the holidays, though frankly, even at this experienced stage, that hadn't really occurred to me.

Anyway, give it a read, if you like.  It's stamped Cynical Nymph Approved.


Mental Illness, "Overmedication," Us

I'd like to say a word about psychopharmacology.  This word's been percolating for a couple of busy weeks and today presents my first opportunity to express it here.

Obviously I haven't been blogging predictably for a while.  Part of this is generic busy-ness.  Part of it's apathy and self-defeat.  But part of it's crippling, numbing depression.  (Okay, I admit, that and the apathy and self-defeat might be related.  Just a bit.)

Look, it's been a helluva Fall.  The past several weeks in particular have been difficult.

And for whatever reason, in the midst of all the difficulty, I made the patently farcical decision to titrate off of my SSRI.

Uh, yeah.  Awesome idea.  That went about as well as you might expect, particularly given my absence in these parts as of late.  (Which usually implies a not-so-hot spell.)

So, I titrated off of my meds.  Some vagueblogging-worthy stuff occurred.  I ended up in my therapist's office this Tuesday, sobbing.

I started stepping back up to my normal SSRI dose Tuesday night.  I already feel better.  Everything isn't roses and rainbows and kitten farts, but I feel better.

In a certain slice of our culture, it's correct to conclude that we're an "overmedicated" society.  There's this assumption that we're "overmedicated," that we as a greater entity are happy to pop a pill rather than… whatever other option we might have.  Even when we're the ones directly benefiting from psychopharma meds, as in the link there, some of us (including me sometimes) are dedicated to the belief that our culture is overmedicated, pill-happy.

But what does that really mean?  This month I've been percolating the idea that maybe it's just an extension of our Puritanism to insist, even if we are individual evidence against the theory, that we are An Overmedicated Society and that medication is Usually Not The Answer.

Well, what do we mean, "overmedicated"?  What do we mean when we say that?

Do we mean to support the stigma against psychiatric treatment?  Because the trope that Americans are ready to pop a pill rather than deal with a "real" problem supports exactly that.

Do we mean that medication should be reserved for "real" problems rather than depression, which we should white-knuckle through? Or rather than personality disorders, which aren't directly impacted by medication according to current evidence?  Because medication can mean the difference between having and not having the extra psychic energy to mount a fierce battle against, say, borderline personality disorder, or bulimia.

But, you know, I don't care what we mean.  The implication of "overmedicated" is, eventually, "over-treated."  The implication is hierarchies, is real struggles and ersatz ones.  Is a continued stigma in reaching out for support for mental illness.  Is, at the end of the day, continued bullshit.

We're not "overmedicated."  We're under-treated.

Please take a second to imagine a U.S. in which psycho-social counseling and other treatments were readily accessible and universally unstigmatized.  Really, really take a moment and imagine what that might look like.

Now tell me with a straight face that you sincerely think we'd still be "overmedicated."

I know I don't think so.  I don't know - I might be in denial.  I might be exactly identical, psychopharmacological speaking, in this alternate reality as I am here and now.  But maybe not.

Look at me, write to me, with a straight face and in good faith, and tell me that more accessibility from day one might mean less need for psychopharma medication at day seventy-three hundred (or day two thousand, or day whenever).  (I'm at day eleven thousand two hundred eighty-something.)


Bloomberg's Food Hangups Officially Cross Line Into Evil

I'm about to use a curse*, so you'll have to excuse me.

What in the fucking fuck is this fucked-up fuck?

New York City, under the aegis of Mayor Bloomberg and his health department, banned food donations to homeless shelters.

Because, you know, he can't assess the nutritional content of said food.

I, just, I.... WHAT?  What.  Wow.  Apparently this occurred in March - MARCH! - and no one noticed until now?

*Does that count as a curse, or four curses, if it's all fuck-based?


They'll Probably Write a DSM-V Entry About Me

I just realized, you guys:  I have become a Bizarro Toddler.

By which I mean that during this weight gain kick I am going to have to hold over my own head, as culinary rewards, fresh fruits and vegetables.

I was just* sitting here with some shrimp, zucchini, and wagon wheel pasta (yes, wagon wheel, a.k.a. best pasta ever), and I am literally thinking to myself, "You eat your pasta, missy!  Yes, all of it!  Nooo, you can't have any zucchini until after you eat that pasta!"

At breakfast it's, "No you may not have peanut butter on an apple.  You will have it on toast.  Then you can have some fruit."

I guess this means I should now hate cookies?  Yeah, no.

*last night (sched'd this post due to out of town trip)