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 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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Why I Haven’t Posted Lately (Days 276-279)

I’ve been trying to understand the concept of longevity and the way that it relates to my mental illness. I am incredibly aware of the constructed-ness of time and the fact that “365 days” essentially, means nothing.

I’ve been thinking of ending this blog early because I feel as if I’ve discovered all that I can about myself for the time-being. I am parched for words and my mental health has been fairly consistent lately. When I have episodes I now know how to deal with them because this blog has taught me so much about myself.

So I’ve been thinking- why continue “365 days” when continuity (neither a beginning nor an end) is really what coping with mental illness is about? I remember the very first day that my hypochondria was triggered but I know that in that moment, I may have already been destined for it. My subconscious chose hypochondria in order to protect itself from a situation, and I didn’t have a say in that. You can’t change a brain (at least I don’t think you can) but you can always deal. Dealing and healing exist for lifetime.

But of course “365 days” means something, even when it means nothing (nothing is always something). And one thing I dislike about my character is my impulsiveness and my sometimes erratic behaviour. I will not quit this project that I set out to complete. I’ll finish it for myself. But after it’s over, one major lesson I’ll take with me is the knowledge that healing is a forward moving process that never really ends.


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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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Pastel Day (Day 263)

Yesterday I took the train to my grandmother’s house for Easter. As usual, I was inspired to take some photos.

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Above, are the eggs I decorated for her. I think they look like shit because instead of using a wax crayon, I had to decorate them with marker. At least it was fun. :)

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My favourite picture at my grandmother’s house resides in the basement laundry room. A portal into another universe whilst one is laundering, perhaps?

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