Welcome to the first installment of Monthly Manic Mondays with Marisa! This is a work in progress since I’ve never attempted anything like this before. So, hopefully this format keeps things easy to read and interesting. Marisa and I chatted over the weekend and checked in briefly today, to get the foundation laid. If anyone has anything they would like to ask Marisa, please feel free to leave a comment and we’ll either address it in our next installment or we’ll get in touch via facebook or email.
First question, as you know this blog is primarily about the process of healing and recovery, whatever that may look like for those on their own journeys of personal growth. Obviously, I want to highlight and feature the varied and inspiring things that you do, but I also want readers to understand how your own journey through the difficulties, challenges, and struggles in your life have informed the woman you are now and how you express yourself in all your creative ways. I also know you don’t like putting your woes on display or have it seem like you are seeking pity or sympathy, so, I’ll respect your boundaries in these areas. Will you let our readers know some of the kinds of things you have had to work through or still face daily as you move forward toward achieving your dreams?
Sure! I don’t mind being open about my struggles, I just don’t want to sound like a whiner.
I don’t think anyone would ever accuse you of being a whiner. That was my nickname, Wendy Whiner
. So, we’ll avoid whiny tones. So, let’s get the “whoa” list out of the way and then we’ll focus on how you work through them and get to the fun stuff.
- Physical ailments: fibromyalgia (diagnosed a year ago but suffering for 10+)
- PCOS (polycycstic ovarian syndrome) in addition to uterine fibroids, had a grapefruit sized one removed summer of 2011
- Depression and
- MAJOR anxiety
I remember that [PCOS], lots of pain
You have mentioned ADD to me, is that self-diagnosed or something else you have been diagnosed with as well?
Hard to say, it was diagnosed by a counselor, he was a psychologist… does that count? but not totally diagnosed, we didn’t do any testing, but it fit and made a lot of sense for how my anxiety gets spiraled out of control. I think it was official but I didn’t want to take anything for it because it didn’t want it to stifle my creativity.
I have heard that a lot about medications for ADD as well as for medications for depression and anxiety as well. Having gone through a period of over-medication for a variety of things, I can identify with this one. Now that we have the list out of the way, I’m wondering what you think was the one thing that kept you fighting through all the symptoms and reasons that those things present which could have taken over your life?
You’re asking someone with ADD to narrow down to ONE thing? Hahaha!
Just answer to the best of your ability.
I think my attitude that I can do anything, eventually. I believe that anything is possible if you work hard enough, regardless of your abilities and resources (or lack of either). I see life and its obstacles as a series of projects to coordinate and puzzles to solve.
That’s a wonderful attitude and viewpoint. Is that something that has always been part of you or was it reinforced or taught by others as you were growing up?
I’m not sure. I don’t think I thought that as a child, but I honestly don’t know when I started to live it, either. I think I believed it as early as elementary school; I wanted to be an astronaut. I believed that I could, but I decided it wasn’t worth all the school I would have to do to get there. Not because I thought I couldn’t DO all that education, but because I hated school so much at the time.
LOL. That makes sense. Even then you were able to prioritize and weigh your options and opportunity costs, it seems.
I started living it after a long-term relationship ended. There was zero reasons for me to NOT do anything! It was very freeing. Oh yes. I’ve always been extremely logical.
Ah, I don’t know much about that relationship, but I understand he was going through some troubles of his own. How long did you know each other and how long did you date?
We met my senior year in high school, and were involved on some level from fall of 1995 to summer of 2004. He has medical issues of his own. We officially dating starting in 1998 and were engaged briefly that year. We broke up too many times to count, once was in spring of 2000. I married someone else that December, which lasted a few months and then I got back together with my ex in spring 2001.
Well, that is a significant period of time. It is incredibly challenging being in relationships in our late teens and early 20’s, from a purely developmental perspective, then add into the mix one person dealing with medical issues of their own, it had to have been full of peaks and valleys. Were you experiencing the Depression and Anxiety during that period?
Yes, although for awhile they were kept at bay because I was completely wrapped up in HIS dramatic emotions! Toward to end of the relationship the anxiety really kicked in hard. After a dear friend in our circle died, I tried to hold that group of friends together and mother them all emotionally and finally just broke. My anxiety attacks aren’t just hyperventilating and chest pain, it’s vomiting AND diarrhea. Not pretty.
I can certainly identify with that. It really describes my relationship with Keith. When he was functional, I wasn’t and vice verse. The kids were really affected when we were both at barely functional points at the same time.
That friend’s loss was deeply felt by so many. I sometimes think the ripples from that event are still moving through us all in one way or another.
That would make sense. I started having anxiety attacks every weekend, and then Monday, at work, I would be ok. This lasted a month. The last weekend it didn’t stop for four days and I couldn’t even keep water in me. Had to go to the ER and have iv fluids and a Phenergan shot. I went to the counselor. Started taking Lexapro. Started taking care of ME first. Learned about my anxiety and my body and what the perfect storm to set it off looks like. I have to eat healthy, get enough sleep, stay hydrated. If any two of those are lacking and I have stress, I’m toast! I am taking Welbutrin now.I tried to go without an antidepressant/anti-anxiety med and can’t do it. The depression/fibro combo made me totally nonfunctional. Last year at this time it was miserable. Then we got Bento, I was diagnosed with fibro, and I started the Welbutrin. Thank God for all three!
Bento is your Boxer? He’s the brunette, right?
Yes. Officially called reverse brindle. Which I’d never heard of until we got him.
I have heard that pets can be very therapeutic. Reverse brindle? what exactly does that mean?
Good question. Brindle is the coloring that can look almost tiger stripey?
Reverse is what they call it when there is so much dark color you can’t see the stripes. They’re not common. He looks black most o the time but he’s a deep brown with a little lighter shading on his shoulders and the white accents (called “flashing”).
So, you have Bento. Who is Bento’s white companion?
Rousey. She’s named for a female MMA fighter.
Rousey. That’s cute. Oh, okay. Is she a sib or just a companion of the same breed?
Not siblings. Both rescues from two different places. Got him feb 3, got her in June. Also might need to quit for the night, my shoulder is spasming up.
No problem. I will let you rest. I’m distracted and awed by Mumford and Sons at the moment. I’m late to this party but Thistle & Weeds is AMAZING!
I’m sorry I’ve left you hanging all day. The day got away from me, Mondays you know?
No problem, I was out all day running errands. Two friends and I might rent a booth space in a local antique/consignment/boutique shop to sell my crafts. We went to check it out.
That sounds like an excellent idea. It will be interesting to see the various creations showcased in one shop all together.
And that, dear friends, is all we have for today. Tune in next month. Maybe we’ll find out what the title to her new Christmas album is going to be. Feel free to offer suggestions. We are in the brainstorming phase.