Random Ramblings


Today marks day 21 of me waking up with a blinding headache. My head hurts from the base of my skull to my eyebrows. I’m not complaining and I’m not seeking sympathy. I’m simply stating fact. I know why I have a headache. It’s a side effect of the anti-depressants I’m on. I understand that taking another medication may counteract the headaches, but at what cost? New side effects? Damage to my liver?

The doctor and I chose to lower the dose of the anti-depressant (see Catching Up) to see if it would help decrease the intensity of the headaches. So far it has not. What has happened is the anxiety has crept back. Not as severe as before, but it is inhibiting my sleep and I am experiencing social anxiety again. Meaning I don’t want to go out in public. Ever.

There are several well-meaning individuals who like to point out to me “Well, you know, Holly, there are lots of people worse off than you.” As if that information is new to me.  As if it’s supposed to make me feel better. As though once I’ve been given this nugget of wisdom I will immediately jump up, the headaches will disappear. I will no longer experience anxiety and I will be all better.

Newsflash – it doesn’t make me feel better. As a matter of fact, it makes me feel worse. Let me tell you why.

When advised there are others in worse shape than me I am left with great feelings of guilt. You, Giver-of-Unsolicited-Advice, you don’t think I know there are others who are suffering more than I am?

I know a woman, we went to high school together, who’s mother died of cancer last year, and now she herself is battling the Big C. My blogging buddy, Kate, her brother is hospital. Her family has been told numerous times over the last week that he might not make it (thank God he has). My friend, R., has had to ask her teenage son to move out of her house because his anger has reached a point where her safety is at jeopardy. Another blogging friend, Kasey, her 9-year-old daughter is suffering with Childhood Anxiety. Kasey is on her own trying to deal with the day-to-day of being a single-working mother and learning to help her daughter learn to cope with anxiety. My pastor and dear friend just suffered 3 minor strokes (he’s recovering well, thank God), but they can’t figure out why. My mom has spent every day of the the last 40+ years of her life in excruciating pain.The woman has had 8 joint replacements. She’s on the highest pain killer they can give her. She gets Tylenol 3 by the bucketful.

200px-CaptainobviousChooseOptionSo, yeah, thanks, I know there are people worse off than me. Thanks for the update, Captain Obvious.

By saying “there are people worse off than you”, it implies that I am not only ignorant of other people’s suffering, but also selfish and arrogant enough to believe that I am the only in the world who is suffering. That is so not the case.

This statement also infers that I don’t care about the suffering of others. Well that’s not true at all. I ache for these people. I feel terrible because I can’t make all their pain go away. I feel guilty because I can’t make the world a better place, not just for the people I love, but for everyone. (Hello, my name is Holly and I have an over-developed sense of responsibility for other people.)

Let’s recap. Here I am, head pounding, anxiety rising (again simply fact, not seeking sympathy) and now a ton of guilt. I’ve been insulted (it was inferred that I am uncaring), reminded of all the suffering in the world and how I can do very little to change it.

Wow, I feel so much better, GUA, thanks for coming out. Next time please share your wisdom with someone else.

Not Welcome! Doormat

photo courtesy of Google


About Holly

I hope you're able to glean something from this blog, a nugget of wisdom, a new perspective, a smile or even a laugh. I enjoy getting feedback so please comment, share your story with me too. After all, we're here to help each other.
This entry was posted in anxiety, children's mental health, comics, coping strategies, GAD, Mental health, parenting, single parenting and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Random Ramblings

  1. barnyarn says:

    You tell ’em Holly. People who remind you that others are worse off than you don’t do so out of concern for those other people. They do it to minimize YOUR pain.

  2. I downloaded a period tracker app so that I could track my headaches. It just seemed the easiest way to log my headaches (as a side benefit, I now know when my period is going to show up!) and I’ve been pretty good about documenting them. I have between 17-25 headaches each month, and those are just the ones that I’ve felt the need to take Advil for. I’m feeling very blessed that I have breaks between mine. I can’t imagine having one day after day after day. for 21 days straight?!? Poor girl! But, if lowering the dosage of the other didn’t effect the headaches, I think you should increase it back to the original dosage to deal with the anxiety. And then throw on some drugs for the headaches. Better living thru chemistry! But, Yeah, I have NO CLUE! Don’t listen to me – all I really want to tell you and that I hope you get better and that there are people out there that have it worse. heheheheeheheh. I’m sorry!! I couldn’t resist! I tried the entire time I was writing it to resist, but in the end, I couldn’t! I had to be a GUA. I had to give advice on stuff I know nothing about and then throw that little gem in!! Apparently I’m a crappy friend – I don’t know why any of you keep me around!!

    • Holly says:

      A period tracker?? I need to find that one for me and Rian!! lol
      I’ve been taking Tylenol 3s at night just so I can sleep. Nothing else touches them so I don’t bother taking anything during the day. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ve been very good company. Good thing my family loves me. 🙂
      I keep you around because everyone needs at least one crazy, Texan friend ;p

      • Yes! Crazy Texans are awesome! I recently discover that Tylenol3 was good for those bad headaches. They don’t knock me out, in fact, I had to be told not to drive on them cause, uh, I was. Lol. But it means I can take them during the day. Anyway… Have you tried mandarin essential oil? Lavender is always said to be good for them, but I’ve found mandarin to be so much better. (I do lots of holistic healing meds. And Advil. I do tons of Advil)
        And yes, the period tracker is so cool for tracking all sorts of things, but, uh, you have to join the 21st century to download the app!
        It does suck when you aren’t good company tho, so I really hope that you and your doc find the right balance! Sending good energy your way!!

      • Holly says:

        Mmmm, I don’t know if the 21st century is ready for me. lol
        I haven’t tried the mandarin oil. I used to lavender to help me sleep, but not for headaches. I’ll have to look into that.
        Thanks, I hope we get something figured out too.

  3. I never understood why people thought phrase that would bring comfort.
    Anyway, I am sorry to hear that the headaches persist. It must be really hard for you. I hope you will figure out a more effective way to handle the depression that doesn’t cause this terrible side affect.

  4. Ah, dear Holly, so sorry about the headaches! I’ve had headaches that last several days, but never 21 days, so I can only imagine you want to pull your hair out on top of everything else! I’ve had people (and people close to me, for that matter) remind me, albeit gently, that things could always be worse. In fact, maybe about 2 or 3 weeks ago I was complaining about it being the weekend and how I wished I could actually just stay at work instead of going home, lol, because of the hardships going on with my kiddo and the stress of it all. She reminded me of how far we had come and to not go straight to the negative, but to remember the positive aspects. It actually helped me and gave me a little kick in the pants I needed to stop being down as my first reaction. BUT, that said, she did it tactfully and with love, not as a brash judgement that came across as if she’d said, “Geez, Kasey, just get over it already!” I’ve had that kind of “reminder”, and like you said, it only breeds guilt, which is even worse when coping with anxiety (something I’ve learned from helping Maycee). So, I hope you can let the comments go and don’t take them to heart. What matters is finding a solution to these side effects and continuing to seek help. I’m praying for you, friend! XOXO-Kasey

    • Holly says:

      I welcome the reminders to look for the silver lining, like the lady gave you. It’s too easy to lose sight of the positive so I’m grateful for those comments. It’s the brash judgement no one needs.
      Thanks, as always, for your support. I’m praying for you and Maycee all the time. Big hugs.

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