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Time Sucks, Surgical Procedures, and Brain Pains:

I always intend on sitting down and writing, but then I get sidetracked. Usually by my own brain, telling me to not try and do anything, because I'll fail. If any of you are familiar with Cognitive Processing Therapy, this is my top entry on my Stuck Point Log. I want to write, but it's easier to just sit down and binge watch everything on Netflix, or flip through social media endlessly.

I know social media is not helping my mental state most days. Our news cycle involves a new story nearly every day that involves sexual abuse. A lot of them are in graphic detail. And then there's the comments sections, where everyone is an expert in their field, and nobody wants to be wrong. It's exhausting. And I'm sensitive. So I tend to take a lot of things that I shouldn't to heart.

Social media is a time suck. It's also a great marketing device. Malls are dead, so we're all buying the cute shit that pops up in our Instagram feeds (mine personally is littered with pin companies, quirky shirts, and all of the oversized maxi dresses that I will own once don't have gigantic boobs). Facebook has forced us to believe we all need Instant Pots and Tide Pods (to eat and to wash with).

I still love Twitter, because it's mostly just a place where everyone screams into the void. That will never change. But man, I can do without Facebook. I just have to make the jump and delete it from my phone. I can use the time more wisely. I'd like to start researching and writing more about malls.

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I'm having surgery next week. My gallbladder went bad during my time at my last job, and I couldn't afford the high co-pays and deductibles on my insurance in order to have it removed. I got used to the occasional stabbing pain. During an ultrasound a few weeks ago for something else, my doctor found a ton of gallstones, to which I replied, "yeah, i've had them for a couple years now." But now, it's time. It's a quick procedure, and I'll be able to go home the same day. So, next Wednesday, Doctor Monster (nicknamed affectionately by me after he came in to see me after an EGD, drinking a can of Orange Monster) will be taking out my gallbladder. I'm also going to try and keep up with my group therapy appointment that week, but we'll see how I feel when that rolls around.

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I started group therapy last week. It's Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, which is based in mindfulness. It's that whole "all beings suffer" thing, only they teach you coping skills, and how to look at things differently. I'm into it. I've dabbled in Buddhism on and off for around 10 years, so it appeals to me.

I also like the idea of not looking at mental illness as something that is wrong with me. Sure, it's an illness. But it's something that came about because of my environment, not purely because of genetics. I didn't choose to be in a lot of the situations that have lead me to the diagnoses that I have (currently major recurrent chronic depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and PTSD). And it's not as easy as throwing pills at it and forgetting that it exists. I can't do that anymore.

I've spent years trying to appear to be ok. Trying to do jobs that leave me broke and tired and uninspired. I've taken pills and done therapy, but the work has stopped after that hour in the office ends. Now, I'm working constantly. I go to therapy, and I work on myself, every day. I take medication, even though there's always some shitty side effect (currently dry mouth, nausea, and fatigue. But I feel more clear headed somehow). But I also know that I'm always going to be mentally ill to some degree.

But maybe, i'm at that point where saying that sentence, I'm mentally ill, doesn't have that sting or stigma to it. I don't really care what other people think about it, or if they're going to treat me differently because I'm open with my issues. I'm mentally chill and mentally ill. It feels better than just keeping it all a secret.


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