When I found out I had myelofibrosis in 2016 I grieved the loss of normalcy. No biological children for my husband and recurrent thoughts of dying earlier than I envisioned. It has consumed me and lead to severe bouts of depression.

When I first heard that I had a rare blood disorder called essential thrombocythemia in 2010 I knew that it might develop into the more aggressive form of cancer called myelofibrosis, that at the time had a 2–5 year prognosis. Not knowing which type I had in the beginning caused a ton of stress and tears. Fortunately, it led to me breaking up with my unsupportive jag-off boyfriend of five years at the time so that was my silver lining. …


According the NAMI.org one in five Americans live with a mental health condition. One in five! That’s insane, pardon my humor. They also say that 2.6% (6.1 million) of American adults live with bipolar disorder.

I grew up knowing that five of my immediate family members were bipolar (definition here). Now that number is six out of seven. The only reasons it’s not 100% is because my biological father killed himself last year. If you ever suspect someone is suicidal of if you feel suicidal please use existing resources. You can even text a crisis support line these days. …


Anxiety is like navigating a wave in the ocean without a boogie board. Sometimes I float and I’m fine and then the next moment a giant wave comes crashing down on my head and I get sucked underwater and I can’t breathe. Sometimes I can even make it past the breakers and float on my back — not concerned enough to look at what is coming because I feel confident that I’ll keep floating even if I capsize.

I was recently talking to a neighbor about her anxiety and hers began out of nowhere in the past few months and it started with her stopping smoking cigarettes. She teared up just trying to explain what it felt like. I jumped in and used my experiences with anxiety to help her explain hers and she just nodded along as I rambled. In my rambling I found a pretty good analogy that I want to share. When anxiety starts manifesting as a severe disorder (or even just a constant worry if you don’t have an official diagnosis) it’s like a newborn and you are a first time parent. It cries and you don’t know why. It screams and you want to hide from it. Sometimes you feel as hopeless as if you had post-partum depression. As you learn how to cope and understand the cries of your baby, you can regain your sanity. Sometimes your baby will just cry day and night and you can’t figure out why at all and you have to just wait out the storm. …


My husband, Fisher, Bowie, and I are moving to Pittsburgh, PA next month from Portland, OR and I can’t be more excited. The three years spent here have been the worst of my life. The blame game isn’t important but we have realized more and more how important family (chosen family even if they happen to be genetically linked as well) can be in mental stability and happiness. I will be less than 1.5 hours away from my mom, sister, nephews, and two of my elementary school besties (then and current). My bestie from fourth grade is in the neighborhood over from our new house. My sister and her partner will be four miles away. My in-laws (brother and sister) and my nieces will be eight miles away. …


I am a failure. I can acknowledge I am being very melodraumatic when I say this AND because my sense of humor is always on to a degree my saying those words makes me laugh a little bit even though I 100% agree with that statement right now. The only things I’m good at right now is failure and hating myself. Those exact words escaped my lips tonight as I was choking back sobs and trying to avoid using my t-shirt (clean for the first time in a few days) as a kleneex to my infinitely patient husband, who has to get up for his job in less than six hours. …


I can’t believe that it is 2016 and someone like Donald Trump is a serious contender to lead our country, at least leading in theory. He has publicly stated that if elected he will defer to others to make the big decisions. He would have to if Samantha Bee’s theory is correct, that Trump can’t read. [Good to give people the link, so they can get more info, bad to make them click just to find out what you mean.]

I thought that by now we’d have more tolerance, teleportation, and flying cars — you know, as demonstrated in “The Jetsons,”, not a reversal of the slow progress we’ve made toward civil rights. Instead we have a man who has proven countless times that he is a horrid man. He is currently accused of raping teenagers, and he was caught on tape bragging about his ability to sexually assault women due to his wealth and status. He has publicly sexualized his own daughter, and his ex-wife accused him of marital rape and of reading Hilter’s speeches by his bedside. …


In 2010, I found out that I had one of three types of a rare blood cancers. I was told that two of the types of cancer could be easily managed without much impact to my day-to-day life OR it could be the really scary one that would lead to an average prognosis of five years. There was a two-week period where I didn’t know which type I had, and that was a very dark two weeks for me. …


I recently read “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates because I consistently feel powerless to help those around me that are likely to be denied the American Dream (the ideals of freedom, equality, and opportunity traditionally held to be available to every American according to dictionary.com).

It’s a lie.

It’s not available to all Americans and that has been demonstrated time and time again by the inequitable incarcerations based on socioeconomic status and skin color, murder of people of cover at the hands of “civil servants” of the government, the forgiveness of said murder by the court system, and all of the other atrocities that happen in this country day after day. …

About

Proud Pollyanna

I am deal with cancer and mental illness, and Having been in foster care as a child. I like to use my shit sandwich experiences to spread awareness and empathy.

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