I joined a group on Facebook a while back about living with Hashimoto’s disease and I would read all of the comments from these people. Many of them would have these awful stories about going undiagnosed, and all of the awful symptoms they would have. And I always thought – man I have it easy. I never had an symptoms when I was diagnosed – except for being tired. However, in October I stopped taking my medication because it was keeping me up at night and it didn’t make sense to keep taking a pill that’s supposed to help me stay awake if I couldn’t fall asleep. And I literally felt perfect. From time to time I would take the pills – but I got blood work done in May and my levels were a little high. I told my doctor about my laissez-faire style of taking my pills and he wasn’t too impressed. So since the middle of May I’ve been taking my pills regularly and am about to go get blood work done.
Since doing these past 8 weeks of medication I can finally see what all of these stories were about in that support group. I am having one hell of a time. The good news is, is that I’m quite sure I’m being over medicated which means my diet is actually playing a beneficial role in healing my body. I will hopefully find out soon that I can lower my dosage and not have to rely on medication as much. But the side effects have been awful. I’m on the verge of having insomnia. I don’t sleep much at night, and when I do, I wake up every 45-60 min. Then during the day I’m so tired. I heard someone in my work kitchen one day making a joke about not sleeping at night and being like “ooh and you wonder why I’m so cranky”. It’s a well known thought that if someone doesn’t sleep much they tend to be cranky. So can you imagine how I would be after weeks straight of not sleeping. I legitimately felt like I was going crazy. I can’t focus at work, I can’t think straight. My mind is always racing with everything that is happening to me and going on around me. I can’t let anything go. But all of this is because of my medication. And I am aware of it – and I am doing it all for the sake of blood results that can show something. It might be dumb – maybe I should have just gone to my doctor and said – look, I’m having all these side effects.. can we do something about it now? But I guess hindsight is 20/20.
I’m going to get blood work done on Monday so there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Two more days. And I literally can’t wait to get back to normal. Yesterday was the first day I felt like myself again. I’m not sure why – maybe it was the giant cup of coffee I made. Who knows. But I just want this crazy over-medicated side effect part of my life over.
I made a new friend at work while I was going through this. I definitely didn’t go looking for a friend who could see all my craziness and try and help me through it. I didn’t reach out to him because I knew I was about to go through all kinds of side effects. For all of the things that happen to people in life, there are certain moments were we could all use a friend, or a distraction. And at that moment I wanted to be that person to him. I’ve gone through so much in the past year and I know what it feels like to have support and to feel alone. When I lost my grandma I knew I had the support of my family – but at the same time I felt really alone. And then after losing Tom 4 months later – my whole world fell apart. So I know what it’s like to go through a tough time in life and I want to be able to be there to help people – even if all I’m doing is distracting someone.
One of the issues with hypothyroidism is that it can lead to depression. It doesn’t have to be the most deep, intense depression out there – but it can definitely bring you down. And with the year I had last year, I definitely don’t brush off the idea that quickly. One day I googled the difference between grief and depression just to see if perhaps I am still grieving the loss of my family. The articles I read mentioned that grief is the sadness of losing someone, while depression after losing someone is the idea that it’s your fault. With my grandma I definitely know it’s not my fault she died. She was 92 and was ready to go meet my grandpa and aunt and be by their side. But with Tom, I definitely have so much guilt. To this day I still run through my head all of the things that I did wrong that lead up to him leaving me. I have no idea if he always had this disease dormant, or if he caught it being let outside (by me) or if it was my fault. I’ll never know. But what I do know is every. single. thing. I did wrong that led to the stress that exacerbated his disease. I think about it every single day. He was the first pet I ever owned and I killed him. He was my best friend. And I was so thankful to have him with me after my grandma died. And then to lose him to.. by my own doing…
I reached out to my coworker because I wanted to let him know he had someone to talk to who understands. Because I still go through the pain every single day. But somehow it switched around and he ended up listening to all of my problems. I feel so selfish for this. I was trying to be a helpful, selfless person, and in the end I learned less about him and did all the talking. We all spend so much time talking about ourselves and never take the time to listen to others. I’ve been working hard to change this but in the end I fell right back into old habits. As strange as it sounds, we had a whirlwind friendship. As my selfishness continued, he was exactly what I needed these past few weeks. He was a great distraction for me as I went through my crazy insomnia, mind racing, lightheadedness days. Literally, I don’t think I would have had as good of a (bad) experience as I did without him.
The issue with being selfish is that you forget to take into consideration the other persons circumstances. I started all of this with someone else in mind and it all came back to me. And I took advantage of this new friendship. I used all of the time to talk about my issues, or when I was having a bad day I was being rude and insensitive. I honestly feel like I abused the friendship that I had made, and that through my selfishness I missed the times to ask if everything was okay with him. Our friendship started at such a high, we were laughing and joking and learning things about each other. I hope that in those moments, I was as good of a distraction to him as he was to me. But as is the nature of taking things for granted, our friendship quickly deteriorated. We seem to argue all the time now over nothing. And I was willing to do whatever to not lose the friendship – but it was the friendship we had in the beginning that I didn’t want to lose. Having the emotional support from someone who has been where you are is such a powerful thing. I loved having that. But something changed – and I can’t pinpoint exactly what it was. But I do feel like I abused that emotional support. I’d like to think it was the side effects of my meds that made me that way but I can’t say for certain. I think it was my selfishness, and humanity’s propensity to just care about themselves. I stopped thinking about the other side of this friendship and just started to think about myself. What works best for me, in that moment. And then our friendship started to break apart. This is what selfishness, and only taking care of yourself does.
Since all of the bullshit I had to deal with last year from people around me, I’m working so hard to not be like that. Humanity doesn’t give a shit about other people. It’s all for oneself. If I step on you and hurt you in order to get to where I’m going, I don’t give a shit. You’re just a tiny rock in my way and I will kick you to clear my own path.
I can’t live like that. The repercussions of your actions can go a lot further than you think. These people who treated me like shit last year – do you think they are looking back right now going, “hm, maybe I shouldn’t have been so rude”. No! Of course they aren’t. They are continuing to live their own lives without any regard. Meanwhile I’m sitting here, over a year later, thinking about the crap they threw on me. You don’t realize just how much of an impact your actions can play on someone else. You think it’s no big deal saying some quick remark to someone, but you don’t know what they are going through in life right now. Which is why I want to stop being such an asshole to people. If I am fully aware of how people’s actions affect me, then I need to start working on my actions as well.
At work we have these personality tests which define you by a colour. My colour is red. Which is a strong, aggressive colour. And it brought to my attention that I definitely do come off as strong, aggressive and even rude to many people. I’ve been working hard this year that when I say something to someone and I can see it in their face or response that it was rude or insensitive, I’ve been making an effort to go back later and apologize. It isn’t easy to admit your mistakes or apologize for something you thought was okay to say at the time. But it also doesn’t hurt to go back and say “look, I’m sorry for what I said. It definitely came off worse than I meant it. I hope it didn’t hurt your feelings, and if it did, I apologize and meant no harm”. If people did that to me, I think that I wouldn’t be sitting here in the position that I am right now.
I wanted to leave with this quote my friend had shared with me because it hits home with me. It is exactly how I feel and want to learn to live my life.