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I haven't understood the purpose of a journal recently when every little thought can be tweeted, with larger thoughts making up facebook status posts.

And then today I found myself needing to write about myself... and realizing I didn't want all of my facebook friends to read it. I didn't really know what to do, and then I remembered my old journal. An old journal with no followers left except spam bots. And so spam bots, I treat you to my thoughts.

I was writing myself an email with the physical symptoms I am currently dealing with for a follow-up appointment tomorrow. 6 weeks ago I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and put on a minimal dosage of levothyroxine. Tomorrow I guess they will take more blood and see if the thyroid levels have evened out yet. Unfortunately, I have felt the symptoms getting worse these past few weeks. My hands twitch sometimes, I often have heat flashes and sweat profusely, or am freezing to the bone, I've lost about 25 pounds, have a very limited appetite, and possibly the hardest thing has been my ankles, wrists, toes, and fingers all cramping up and making it hard to walk or pick things up.

This is on top of the back issues which were already fairly debilitating.

With the appointment looming tomorrow, I am afraid of the oh-so-common, "everything looks fine" result.

I've approached the past few years of medical issues with a divide and conquer approach. I have lost a lot of that will to fight lately. I don't know if it is a side effect of the painkillers, various other pills, the thyroid acting up, or something else.... but for the first time in my life I think I know what depression feels like.

I found myself happily telling a friend this past weekend that I was so glad we had kids. It gave me a reason to keep fighting. I think I really meant to say, It gave me a reason not to give up. That may sound like the same thing, but it doesn't feel like the same thing.

I've been thinking about this statement a bit... and the day after I was in a better place I think. I was proud to have found something to keep myself going. Now I'm starting to wonder why I had to find something in the first place. Of course my kids are important.... of course I want to be there for them... but what about me? At what point did my own existence and happiness become so non-important that I needed something else to give me purpose?

If something where to happen in my life that I lost my kids, or wife, or any combination of the above.... would I have the strength to keep going? If I begin to hate the person I am by getting tired of feeling useless and in pain, then is there a point that my love for my kids begins to push be away from them simply because I don't want them to see me like this? My three year old already does things like ask if she can ride on my shoulders, and before I can even answer she says, "you're not feeling good. when you feel better I can ride." How far gone will I be by the time she is 10? Or Asher is 10? Will I be able to play with them outside? Take them hiking? Or will I be sitting in the tent shivering, with my eyes sunken in, surrounded by pill bottles and patches?

I'll be 34 in about a month and I feel as though my body is past it's prime already. I feel as though every year will be more painful than the last. And considering how painful my days can be sometimes, I begin to worry that I could develop a very real fear of aging.

Up until now the battle has been between my brain and my body. It feels as though aspects of my brain are being woo'd to the other side. If I don't get some sort of good news soon, I think I will have to seek out help. I can't afford to fall into my own world. I have a home, a family, pets, and jobs that rely on me.

I've just rescanned this whole page and realized that I managed to avoid writing the whole reason I started this post. I did the thing I do when faced with irrational thoughts, and clinically went through and described symptoms and causes, effects and responsibilities without ever actually just facing the thought(s) that provoked me to write this in the first place.

The other day, I was having trouble walking due to the pain in my ankles. I was freezing (no matter how many clothes I put on). Grabbing things stung my fingers. The never ending dull pain that lives behind my right shoulder (the part that even the morphine patch and gabapentin can't mask) was swirling down my arm and into my forearm. I was so tired. After dragging myself through the motions I climbed into my cold car (which set me shivering even more) and began the drive to work. I found myself constantly feeling as though I was going to fall asleep. Every slight swerve is a close call in my head that I answer with either blasting the air, making my seat straighter, or sometimes by even slapping my face.

At work I feel as though I am crawling to my office even though I'm on two feet. Once in I close my door and lay a tissue box on the floor behind my desk. I then lower myself down, lay my head on the box, drape my jacket over me like a blanket, and stare at the ceiling. I'm finally at work. It was painful and hard to get here. And now all I can do to try and get my strength back is to lay down. The thought crosses my mind, "Is it worth it?"

Is 'it' (me) worth 'it' (life)

I'm not sure for a second, and then I see Eve's smiling face and suddenly I have the resolve to drag myself across the floor with my arms if I have to to be with her. I'm caught off guard by this thought though. I've never had one like it before. Even when I was young and going through the oh so dramatic breakups of a dying lover, where I felt I could never live or love again... even in those moments, letting go never felt like a real option. More like a poetic option.

A day or 2 later the thought crossed my mind again as I sat back with pain wracking through my shoulder while simultaneously sweating through my shirt. This time, some part of my brain answered back, "You can't. You have a responsibility to your family"

In no way am I saying that I have contemplated suicide. But I am very humbled to admit that simply giving up mentally has reared it's ugly head as an option twice now. I would suspect that a physical death is not far behind a mental one. I saw the look in my dad's eyes the evening he decided the pain was too much for him. He groaned in a way I had never heard before. The next day he grappled with mortality, just long enough to talk to some friends and wait until his mother had left. He then asked the caretaker to help him stand and walk to the window.

He stood. He took a step. He collapsed. He was gone.

He was in a daze that day. I stayed home from school and watched him from the hallway. I don't remember talking to him that morning. The last thing I had done was say goodnight the evening before. He gave up that night, and it took his body a little longer to catch on.

I don't want to give up. But I can't help these thoughts that come along... acting like they are some sort of solution. If I can't be there for my family physically as well as I would like to be, I at least owe it to them to be positive. I need to find a way to do that again. And since I don't now how to be positive when dark thoughts of giving up linger in my mind, I have to find a way to abolish those. I've used hope in the past, but from a medical perspective there is very little of that these days. So maybe it is time to see if a professional can help me. Whats a few more pills :(

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