365 Days of Hypochondria

And other personal happenings.


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Home/s (Day 288)

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This week I traveled to my hometown for a 24 hour visit. During that short timespan I felt a lot of “nostalgia”. There’s something about summer in the country that makes you miss growing up in the middle of nowhere. Sometimes I really miss being a kid. Well, not being a kid, but the scenes that stand out from my childhood. In retrospect, memories from my youth seem photoshopped and perfect, a problematic but enjoyable way of remembering my childhood. Everything seems easier but surely, it was not. I miss my old home, but I’ll make a new one. I’ll make it myself, just for me.

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Lilac bush before bloom.

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Back in the city. Disheveled.

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New Diet (Days 285-287)

These past couple of days I’ve been realizing that I have a few health problems I need to get under control. Well, one health problem: my acid reflux. I’m still boggled as to how on earth I even ended up with such an ailment but as I’ve previously written, I blame it on my past overconsumption of hot sauce. I miss that stuff so bad.

My awareness of my acid reflux has nothing to do with my hypochondria. Rather, the reflux is really starting to take a toll on me, especially on my breathing. One of the main symptoms I have is asthma and it has affected me in other ways as well.

I’m not overweight so this new diet has nothing to do with me counting calories. On the flip side, I am being careful to make sure that I get enough calories in a day. The diet involves extremely healthy, bland food, and on a low-acid diet, you are supposed to eat small meals frequently, rather than consume larger meals three times a day. It definitely takes some getting used to.

So far, I’ve figured out that some of the foods that are great for people with acid reflux are: oatmeal, bananas, lettuce, green beans, sweet potatoes, broccoli, rice, and cous-cous. Aside from eating these foods, I’ve also been drinking ginger tea (I simply boil ginger in water) and hot water with honey. As well, I’ve been taking an apple-cider vinegar capsule before I go to bed and a probiotic when I wake up in the morning.

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In order to make my food less bland, I mix different ingredients together. For example, today I combined kale salad with sweet potato! This diet is hard for those who aren’t used to unseasoned food but it’s definitely do-able.

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I’m sorry I’ve been so awful with posting lately. I have been taking photos and thinking of ideas; my mind is always on this blog, even when I’m absent. More to come tomorrow!


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New Chapter (Day 281)

Change is underrated. Recently my life has taken an unpredicted turn for the better. If someone approached me about the concept of change five months ago, I would have told them that I liked my life how it was. But really, I was idling at an incredible low, and although I didn’t realize it, I had stopped growing.

I recently cut my hair off. That small (big?) change kind of set me free. I feel like myself again. Now that my mentality has changed, my everyday mood, my thoughts, and my lifestyle have changed for the better as well. I can think clearly and I feel more confident in what I can accomplish for myself.

Too often, low self-esteem can curl us up and cage us. I couldn’t change when I thought that I deserved less than what I do. Unfortunately, it takes time and a few regrets (or simply learning experiences) to incite the change we need in our lives. But eventually, it does come. And that’s something to always look forward to. I am looking forward.


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Coping Tips for Hypochondriacs (Day 280)

1. Write. (You will understand yourself- and your head- so much better.)

2. Talk. Talk to other hypochondriacs. (Meeting another hypochondriac this year was so affirming for me, as she totally understands me.) Also talk to mental health professionals.

3. Gradually try doing things you are scared of, even if you start out small. For example, if your hypochondria makes you fearful of chemicals, try cleaning things more often, but start out with (or only purchase) all natural cleaners. Put yourself in situations where your hypochondria is challenged. In other words, challenge yourself.

4. Tell your close friends and family what triggers you and tell them why it’s important that they be cautious of triggering you.

5. If you are scared of the doctor- visit the doctor!

6. Don’t have immediate support? Try a hotline or app for anxiety such as calm.com.

7. Practice meditation. If you feel like you don’t have the time for it, try meditating when you’re in bed, right before you go to sleep.

These are things that have helped me :). But coping with your coping mechanism is different for everyone!


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What I’ve Been Up To! (Days 267-272)

A lot has happened since I posted last. Hypochondria-wise, I’ve been nervous that I’m a)anemic or b)diabetic and I’ve been having a few episodes on and off. For the first time in years, I found myself searching symptoms on the internet. Never again!

With all the health related-worries, I started to eat more healthily than usual. Tomorrow is my first doctor’s appointment in ages so I’m a little nervous about that. We’ll see how it goes.

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ALSO- I have rekindled my love for thrift shopping. I used to be a sort of anti-consumer in high school but somehow, since then, I’ve become this person who loves to purchase items brand new. A few days ago, I hit up Goodwill and found six great items for 24 dollars and let’s just say the old Kira is back. I’ve also changed the way I grocery shop. I’ve found that when I grocery shop without a list or any specific food in mind, and only buy produce that’s on sale that day, I spend way less money on vegetables and fruits.

As I get older, I realize that there is a strong possibility that I won’t be making a lot of money with my university degree. Therefore I need to stop idealizing lifestyles that aren’t practical. When I was young I always pictured myself living happily in an apartment surrounded by simple, creative things. I need to get back to that.

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Two of my Goodwill buys. Gotta love those button ups!

 


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How To Love The Doctor’s Office (Day 266)

Please note that I realize how lucky I am to have healthcare. I am not complaining; my hypochondria makes me quite critical. But maybe that’s not a bad thing.

I sometimes (usually) have an irrational aversion to the doctor’s office. However, a lot of the time I think that my disdain for the doctor’s is quite normal.

After all the doctor’s office usually:

-smells like disinfectant

-simultaneously smells like sorrow

-has a waiting room that induces “lead-up” anxiety and

a television tuned in to a popular news station (broadcasting the latest in biased & melodramatic journalism)

What normal person would enjoy that atmosphere? However, I do have to admit that a lot of my aversion to the doctor’s office is derived from my hypochondria. Lately though, I’ve had a change in mindset. I’ve begun to realize that knowledge isn’t something to be feared. Rather, knowledge can empower you and give you control over your body. I came home to see my family doctor this week but I wasn’t able to make an appointment. So I’ve decided to set an appointment up for myself when I get back to the city. I’m going to take one for the team and write about my doctor’s appointment. Can you tell it’s been a while since I’ve gone?

It should be noted that not all people with hypochondria have an aversion to the doctor’s and I certainly didn’t used to be this way. (I used to supplement my health anxiety by visiting the doctor TOO often.)

If you have hypochondria or any other mental health issue, how do you feel about the doctor’s office?


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Letters & Queer Nights (Days 258-262)

Some letters are better left unsent. I’ve started packing my things for my move at the end of the month and I have encountered so many receipts, bits of paper, and letters I hesitated to send. Into the trash they all went. I’m a sentimental person, so I like to keep everything. But a friend recently told me that sometimes it’s good to get rid of things; why hold on to memories that you no longer need? I would never discard a letter I’ve received from someone else. But these were the letters I never sent.

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Exams have finally ended. Back to normal blog posting! To celebrate the end of the school year, a few friends and I went to a queer night at a bar downtown. Here are some photos of the pre-drink. It was lovely.

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I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend.