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WHAT'S ON YOUR MIND?

#bodiesEating Disorder

7 comments | May 26th, 2012

cloudy talk burst

(story submitted Anonymously, by a Chestist, on rewind)

I was never the fat girl, but I was never the thin girl either. I wasn't the ugliest girl, but I was far from attracting the attention and admiration of anyone either. I had flaws, but I wasn't a flaw. And this is how I felt during my years as a teenager.

I went through puberty at a very early age. Nine years old to be exact. I always felt special-- being the tallest, being the biggest. But those feelings changed once I entered middle school and learned thin was in.

I continued to gain weight a grow, and by seventh grade I was 5'3" and 150 lbs. No one ever said to my face that I was fat. I only felt that I was because I was surrounded by prepubescent girls and t.v. shows like America's Next Top Model, that praised and glamorized size 0 bodies. And growing up in a home with a constantly dieting mother and Barbie Dolls to play with, I knew I should have been thinner.

And to be honest, I could have eaten healthier and ...

Happy HatingCan I Take A Nap. Please.

4 comments | May 24th, 2012

Chestist Sun, red and black

(story submitted by Exhausted, a Chestist)

How's my day start?  My day starts with my wondering when I can go back to bed, if I can sneak a nap at work, if I can pretend I'm going to a meeting and go to a movie theater to sleep for half-an-hour.  I sleep fine during the night.  No tossing or turning, no teeth grinding (at least not since I got a mouth guard).  I just want to go back to bed.

Most days I don't sneak to a movie and don't get to close my door and drift off for 15 minutes, and that's fine and I keep functioning, some even think at a high level.  I do think about it though and wish I could close my eyes for just a bit even as I write this.  I do plan my Saturday mornings around my Saturday naps so that nothing can take it away from me.

Some of my friends think I'm depressed.  I'm not depressed, I'm just so tired.  Maybe I have that Yuppy-disease from the 90s.  {end story}

What about you, ...

Happy HatingAn Irrational Fear of Death

4 comments | April 27th, 2012

chestist black scratch

(story submiited by A.G., a chestist)

I think I have an irrational fear of death.  I absolutely have an irrational fear of death.

My father died when I was 16, my mother 3 years later, and my best friend died when we were 28.  I'm 33 now and every time I cough or feel a twinge or get a headache or pretty much anything, I think I'm going to die.  It's not being a hypochondriac as much as really thinking I'm going to die.

I wouldn't mind the fear as much if I lived a really robust life because of them.  You know, the whole live fast, die young, leave a good looking corpse idea.  I'm not though.  It's got me afaid to do anything, to build relationships, to even consider the long term.  Being afraid of dying soon is keeping me from living now.\

You have any "irrational fears" that hate on your happy?

 

#lifestagesI Struggle Everyday

8 comments | March 20th, 2012

fist

(story submitted anonymously, by a 20 yo Chestist)

Sometimes we're held back by things within our individual control, and sometimes by things outside our control.  And then sometimes the things that might hold us back actually push us forward.  Here's her story: My disability feels like a lead weight around my ankle.

Thanks to my ADD, it takes me so much longer to do anything than it does my friends. It takes more effort to pay attention to everything, even just a conversation. I'm in college, at a public university with classes commonly as large as 500 students. I want to go to vet school, one of the hardest professional programs to get into. I struggle every day. I never get a break. And sometimes? I feel like I'm just lazy. Or that I don't work hard enough. That I'm using it as a crutch. It doesn't help when people say that it isn't a real disability or even anything other than looking for an excuse to fail.

But the thing is, as much as it breaks me down, beats at my confidence, makes me completely ...

Happy MakingWant to Live Longer?

5 comments | March 15th, 2012

happiness

(story by OOC, via CBSNews, on OOC repeat)

The key to your life's longevity just may be your happiness according to research from the U.K.  Talk about a marriage of qaulity and quantity, according to the study published here (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences),  "those who reported feeling happiest had a 35 percent reduced risk of death compared with those who reported feeling least happy."

And 35% ain't nothing.

The researchers came to their conclusions, which they shared with CBS This Morning, by tracking participants 52 to 79 years old for 5 years, finding that those who'd been the most positive on the first day of the study also were the least likely to die over the five year period, and those who were most "negative" were more likely to die.

If not for nothing, the lead researcher shared her conviction that "happiness makes a profound difference on overall health...(and that) literally, being happy saved their lives."

Well, the happy story has a hiccup we explore a lot here @OOC...what exactly are the keys to happiness?  While no easy answers come from this research, they did point to things like ...

#lifestagesIt’s Just Really Complicated.

13 comments | January 21st, 2012

chestist sad

(submitted by Alia, a Chestist.  Oringinally posted in May, and again today)

Ok, this is us @OOC being serious.  This story was submitted by a young girl who's clearly, really and deeply struggling.  And we're printing it because we want her to know we're all listening, and maybe some of us have something to say or share based on our own experiences and the roads we've traveled that can help her, or others like.  Here's what she says:

"Anorexic, hated, quiet, shy, Cancerian, in love, awkward, easily embarrassed, cut myself, hit myself, choke myself, make myself cry, cry every night, proper loner although i have a boyfriend who I love ...

#lifestagesFriends, a Love/Hate Relationship

1 response | December 16th, 2011

Chestist grunge

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

One of you wrote us with this:

I hate and love my friends. I love them because they are always there for me. I hate them because they don't quite understand why I need them so much, and sometimes they think that maybe I'm just being a bit dramatic.

I have an anxiety disorder, ADD and a bunch of health issues. They all compound each other. When I'm stressed, everything is worse. My friends are so good at making sure I eat with them before an exam, knowing I won't eat otherwise. But they don't get that when I'm left alone with my anxieties, they shake me too much to consider eating. My stomach is in my throat and I feel ill.

My friends are always willing to put something on hold to take me to a counselor for the first time or something like that, but they don't get that I'm terrified of going because I'm terrified of being dismissed. Or that the reason I need someone to convince me that my dreams aren't over because of one bad exam is ...

#bodiesNipple Envy

9 comments | December 7th, 2011

chestist swirl

(story submitted by Wendy Colbert, a Chestist)

I miss my nipples.  Sure, there are benefits to being a 44-year-old nipple-free woman.  I can wear skimpy tops now without a bra.  No matter how cold the breeze is, my chest remains smooth and unstimulated.  And of course, those pesky cancer cells that had nested just behind my right nipple are gone, along with all the tissue that made up my breasts.

I miss my breast tissue, and the sensation of my chest skin.  I'm mostly numb now.  But I miss my nipples the most.  I wish I heard more women value and grieve their loss of sexual sensation after mastectomy and breast reconstruction, so that I would have had a better understanding before diving into the process myself.

Before breast cancer, I never thought much about my nipples.  You could say I took them for granted.

Now, I wonder, where did my nipples end up?  Were they chucked into some hospital waste dumpster, along with other spare parts - tumors, cysts, and cellulite?   My nipples were special.  Shouldn't they have been properly grieved for and more ceremoniously disposed of?

My nipples represented ...

Happy HatingIn A Hospital Room

5 comments | November 30th, 2011

chestist black scratch

(story submitted Anonymously, by a 25 yo Chestist) I am sitting in a hospital room with my husband right now. This is day 10. He fell two stories, through the glass pool house roof at his step-mother's house. He wound up with a burst vertebrae. Yesterday was the last of two surgeries he had to have to prevent paralyzation(a miracle it didn't happen btw)and rebuild that part of his spine.

I have barely cried this whole time and have not let him see me do it once so as not to stress him out.

Tonight I wound up sitting on the bathroom floor in his room balling my eyes out for over an hour while he was knocked out from pain killers. The thing that set me off was the nurse telling me there were not any blankets left when I am literally shaking here. {end story}.

The tragedy of falling through a glass pool-house makes this story unusual.  The experience of watching a loved-one struggle is far less unusual, and there are few things that can hate on your happy like it.  Have you ever ...

#lifestagesBecoming A Highly Educated Housewife

3 comments | November 30th, 2011

chestist sad

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

When we first got this story from one of you, we were so struck by her understanding and insight into herself. We've no clue if she's being unfair to her, as so many of us are to ourselves, but here are her words and her story:

I'm clinically depressed and have been since I was a child. Treatments don't really seem to work. I am unreliable. I can't really control myself. Sometimes I'm nice and generous and productive, but it inevitably lapses into flakiness and sadness and paralysis. Somehow I've gotten into a good doctoral program, but I'm not doing well in it.

I'm graduating this year, and starting to apply for jobs. I don't mention my mental problems, which feels like a great deception. For the jobs I am looking at, no one would hire me if they knew how erratic I am. I literally shouldn't get these jobs. I feel like the only work I am perform reliably is some sort of migrant shift work, or perhaps just NOT work.

I'm increasingly considering becoming a highly educated housewife, except that I can't ...

#lifestagesHer Diagnosis: Bipolar Disorder

5 comments | November 16th, 2011

chestist threads

(story submitted by Euna, A Chestist)

This is one of those stories that reminds us all that no matter how dark today, tomorrow's always around the corner.  Let's get right into this,  sent us some months back by Euna, a chestist and one of you:

When I was 11, I started cutting. Stupid, I know.

When people think of a cutter they see an emo kid listening to The Cure slicing into their wrists saying, "No one understands me!" For me, I was just a normal kid. I realized, with a pair of scissors, how amazing the blood looked as it trailed down my finger. It was an accident at first, but I continued to do it. I became obsessed with the pain, because it filled some infinitesimal hole I felt had burrowed it's way deep into my heart.

By the time I was 13, I had multiple scars on my arms and legs. I fell into rapid depressions that would last for days at a time, and I hardly ever went to school. My teenage years were filled with these depressions, as well as periods of ...

#bodiesIs Fat a Disease?

7 comments | November 12th, 2011

dude, wtf

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

I'm so frustrated!

I hate that there are so many people, who like me, are overweight. And so many people, not like me but just like me, who are underweight. Obese. Fat. Underweight. Skinny. A disease. Imagine defining the way someone looks as a disease.

Imagine your respected doctor or health professional telling you your appearance is a disease. How is that legal? Why do we allow that?

My diet might be a problem. My activity might be a problem. Maybe I'm not doing healthy things, maybe I have an eating disorder, but the way I look is not the actual issue. The issue is that my body image is terrible because airbrushed magazines give other people and myself unreasonable goals and doctors like you validate them by telling me I look like a disease and that's the problem.  {end story.}

You ever had a doctor - or some professional - say something to you where you were all WTF?!  When?  What'd you do or say back? 

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