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“Ow my boobs really hurt” is another thought that tends to cross my mind as I’m running to catch the bus.

I got my Mirena IUD over a year ago now and it was a very simple process: go to doctor, pee in cup, confirm you are not pregnant, and then stick a plastic Barbie arm into your uterus. I experienced little pain without any Advil and went back to work right after, but as my doctor once said while freezing a wart off my leg and me not even knowing she did it, I’m “one of those.”

Fast forward three months, my period disappeared before my eyes, I deleted the reminder on my phone to take my pill every day for the last ten years, and I was liberated. Like “white pants every day because fuck you tampons” liberated.

With all short-term side effects in my rear view mirror, I didn’t pay much attention to my breast pain. “What the hell is going on? Ah bodies as usual” I’d converse to myself until one day my maroon blouse’s second button popped off right in front of my eyes and my tits were framed like the eye of sauron.

Over the next nine months I gained 25 pounds. Mentally healthy would not be a way I’d describe myself during this time unless that means measuring my thighs every night and spending 20 minutes staring at myself naked in the mirror because I caught my reflection on the way to shower. I went to the doctor who blamed it on lifestyle, told me I was vitamin D deficient, and then sent me on my way.

The last few months have been a journey of seeing what foods trigger my body to spiral into an “I feel icky” (that’s the scientific term) state of affairs until last week when I got a physical and then had a revelation.

This doctor I saw wasn’t anything but jaded at what medicine had become. She was verbally rolling her eyes and saying things like “sometimes it’s more of an art not a science.” This is in relation to recent blood work I got where my vitamin D levels reported at 15.4 – you would have had to be prescribed something if it was 15. I was recommended an OTC vitamin.

I loved her jadedness. It was calming to see someone who’d seen way more in her field so I asked her about why I’m fat. Simple enough…

“If you were 168 pounds before your IUD, nothing changed, and then now you’re 190 than, by using middle school logic, I can probably say that’s what it is. Just because it’s not a ‘common side effect’ doesn’t mean you’re not common.”

My head exploded.

She also mentioned that I had a choice and can take it out whenever I want and then go back on the pill.

What was left of my exploded head then exploded again.

Why is that we like to suffer and not see the bigger picture with these things? Maybe it’s because People Magazine has named it sexiest birth control method of 2016 (not a real list) or your friends talk about it like they talk about the best acai bowl in San Francisco. Even sometimes I have a hard time admitting that I don’t want an acai bowl because I’m overcome with the need to be current.

So here I am writing a pro/con list between the Barbie arm in my uterus and taking estrogen candy every day until I go through menopause. On my list are things like convenience, no periods, prescriptions…but the one thing they have in common is also the number one thing for both – they’re not permanent…unlike my ability to ask and do what I want.

Mental health should be just as convenient as not taking the pill every day so call me old-fashioned, but I can’t keep up with this hype.

 

*This is only my personal experience and not at all medical advice because lol

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My maternal grandma passed away last month. Isn’t it funny how you learn so much about someone after they are gone? I wish she was able to tell me her stories herself, but aside from raising five children, immigrating to America, working her way up in a Chinese restaurant to save and buy a home in the Bay Area, she was creative and very thoughtful.

My mom and my aunt have been working on clearing out her house and cleaning out some things. Not only are there years and years family pictures, but there are these beautifully constructed blouse and culotte matching sets. The construction of these are impeccable and thoughtful with absolutely no seams frayed. Take a look at these amazing articles of clothing that are now mine thanks to my grandma (and a bonus crochet rug that my mom made 51 years ago that I’ve now added to my home!). Also ask your parents or grandparents their story. No matter what, it’s going to be breathtaking.

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Like any normal human being, every day is a challenge to not think about my body, my confidence, my hair, my presence, my everyyything. This has recently been top of mind. I’ve recently switched jobs to the something that is the more nightmare inducing face to face, but as much as I enjoy my new job, it has unveiled a few undercover means of self-consciousness that kind of ruin a day. I’ve been trying to find ways to not only push these feelings deep down into repression but actually overcome them. So here are some things that I do when I have a down day.

1) Lay down on your floor and wallow/mindlessly check social media

Sometimes what you need to do is confront it. Accept the fact that you feel down and the day got to you a little bit. There’s something in knowing that tomorrow is another day and when I just sit down and accept that today was a little rough, I can start winding down to go to bed and start again when I wake up the next morning.

2) Mentally pick out an outfit for the next day 

Think about what you’re going to wear tomorrow. You’ll most likely think of one of your favorite outfits that you feel most confident in. Next, think about one accessory you haven’t worn in a while and use it to update your classic look a bit. Comfort, confidence, and update.

3) Go get ice cream

You know how I feel about ice cream. 

4) Walk around somewhere busy, like a grocery store, while you’re listening to a podcast

There’s something cathartic about things being organized neatly. I like to put some earbuds in, listen to my favorite podcast, and look for things I didn’t know I needed. For me, there is something about escaping my own thoughts (thanks, podcast) and walking around while the world is bustling around me. It gives me a sense of control – like the world around me can’t penetrate my thoughts right now. I have the ability to decide what I want to do.

These are by no means a way to fight major depression or a teary-eyed day, but these are some things I’ve found to help me be okay with being me. Of course you can do things like go to the gym, but that’s awfully cliche and no one wants to read that.

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I never have feelings, or feelings feelings. Not even a few consecutive dates about thinking about what MIGHT happen kind of feelings. This post is dedicated, of course, to the biproduct of the latter.

Classic storyline: meet on a dating app, go on a few dates, hook up, then get told they don’t like you so you shouldn’t continue seeing each other, but don’t worry, they were really impressed by you.

I can move past it. Trust me. I’ve gotten through worse. But as a self-acclaimed Thinker, I felt myself getting frustrated with my feelings. I was frustrated that I even had some vision of emotion about this guy so quickly, and then I was frustrated that I had these feelings about a guy I’ve only know for a few weeks. And then I was annoyed with myself altogether.

Where does this come from? Why are we not okay with what we feel? Your thoughts and your feelings are your thoughts and your feelings. They come naturally and therefore should be akin to the privilege of being alive.

Apparently this is something we’ll need to get used to.

I’ve recently seen that I’m becoming more self aware, and I want to use this to help others feel okay with their feelings as well. Lead by example. Talk about how you feel today – seem vulnerable.

Challenge accepted, Gen. I will admit that this newly found pressure I’m putting on myself is making me uncomfortable. But hey, that’s just a feeling.

How do you feel?

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