Dear High School,

2016 is coming to a close, so I thought I would write a letter to “high school” as some sort of closure to my high school experience . I wrote about why I dropped out of school here.

 

Dear High School,

I wanted so much more from you. I wanted to learn, and make friends, and have picture perfect memories. I thought junior year would be “my year.” I thought I would finally get the high school experience I always dreamed of, but now I know that will never happen.

I will never wear a prom dress, or a graduation cap. I will never walk across a stage to accept a diploma, and I will never have a year book to look back on. I’m not angry, just incredibly disappointed. I never thought I would drop out – I never thought I would have to.

It’s painful to watch the people I once knew getting everything I ever wanted. I try not to envy them, but who am I kidding, I want their lives more than I could ever voice. This life I’m living isn’t ideal, but it’s mine. I didn’t want these chapters in my story, and I wish I could omit them so bad.

They tell me “college is better than high school anyway,” but I’m not so sure my life will be different when I make it to college. I may very well have the same issues a year or two years from now that I have today. How can things change if I never get better?

I don’t cry. I pinch my leg to hold back tears and pretend everything is fine, but every time someone asks “what grade are you in?” or “how’s high school going?” it stings even deeper. I’m sad far more often than I ever let people know, but I’m tired of being a downer. I’m tired of saying I’m in pain, and I’m tired of complaining. Although most of the time all I can do is complain, because nothing else helps.

I feel cheated. Cheated from a quality education and cheated of a positive high school experience. Teachers and administrators could have tried harder; they could have helped more. I pushed myself through four and half years of hell, only to walk way in November. I feel like it was all for nothing, and a huge waste of my time. I did it all by myself, and wish I could have gotten help when I begged my school to give me more.

I have hope through God, and through that hope I believe there are better days ahead. The only thing I can do now is move on and move forward. Being bitter, or sad isn’t going to help my situation, but at times it’s all I can do. I want to let go, and be happy, but it’s complicated.

Hopes for a Bigger & Brighter Future,

Alyssa

Alternative Medicine & Chronic Illness

I have tried quiet a few “alternative medicine routes.” So far none have worked for me, but I still continue to try new ones. In early January I’m going to start acupuncture to see if it helps as well as counseling, but I’m not holding my breath.

I’m a skeptic. When I’m told something as a fact, I want to know why it’s true, and where the evidence is. The problem with being a skeptic and trying alternative medicine is that, alternative medicine is most likely to work if you truly believe it will. In the end it is often more about mindfulness, than it is about the actual alternative medicine you’re receiving.

The first alternative medicine I tried was going to a chiropractor. I’ve been to two, and honestly I’m not impressed. The first one put me on a ton of supplements that messed up my stomach – and more than usual. They also did what they called a “deep adjustment” on my neck, and gave me the worst migraine I’ve ever had that latest for two weeks. When I say the pain was bad, I mean I thought I was going to die I was in so much pain. The second one I saw took x-rays of my spine, told me a had scoliosis, and needed daily “adjustments” to fix it. I went to an orthopedist after that to get clarification and had more x-rays that showed I have a slight spinal asymmetry, and it was nothing to worry about. I honestly think the second guy was a huge scam.

I have also tried massage therapy from a couple different massage therapist. It didn’t do anything for me, and often made me sore. I got one specific “migraine massage” where they put freezing cold stones on my face, and the only thing it did was make me cold.

I did physical therapy for a while, and it didn’t seem to help. We were working on building my core muscles, and the muscles around my neck. She would often push me harder than my body could handle, and I would have to rest of the remainder of the day.  Plus I was SO sore from doing the exercises she had me do that it caused me more pain, than it helped.

The last thing I’ve tried is essential oils. Now this was more to appease my mom than anything else. We have a family friend who is an infectious disease doctor and now works with essential oils. My mom trusts her and really thought they would help – but they didn’t. Surprised, right? I think just like all these others things, they work for some people are not others.

This post is not meant to make fun of anyone who uses alternative medicine in their treatment plan – if it works for you, thats great! I wish they had worked for me, but I’m not surprised they didn’t . Do you use any holistic approaches, and if so have they worked for you?

Lots of Love,

Alyssa

 

Isolated

Chronic illness is isolating.

I have spent the majority of the past five years alone, in a dark room. I no longer attend high school, and I don’t talk to any of my old friends. I’m not saying these things for pity, or sympathy; they are just simple facts.

Chronic pain keeps me from doing or enjoying pretty much everything I used to. I got sick during the transitional time from elementary school to middle school, so making new friends became really hard. Now that I’ve started online school, I don’t see anyone from my old high school or talk to them. The only “new places” I’ve been going are doctors offices – so I don’t think I’m gonna find any new friends there, but hey ya never know.

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After a few months/years friends and family get tired of asking me how I am feeling. They assume I’m gonna better, and forget I’m sick. But I don’t forget; I don’t have that luxury. They get tired of hearing me say “I’m in pain” or feel fatigued. They no longer want to know about my doctors visits or hospital stays. I don’t blame them, the never ending cycle of chronic illness is tiring and generally negative. Friends were the first thing I lost. A few close ones stuck around a couple of years, but now they’re gone too. My immediate family is still here for me, but my extended family never asks how I am anymore. I don’t need/want them to make a big deal about it – but it would be nice if they’d ask about me every once in a while.

Being alone almost all the time makes going out in public hard. I’m sensitive to noise, and the world is one big ball of sound. I never had social anxiety before, but now it’s exhausting being around other people. I feel emotionally drained even being around family. I know I’m gonna have to get over this, because I can’t stay in my room at my parents house for the rest of my life. I want to go to college and get a good job. Both of those things are gonna have to involve being around other people on a daily basis. I can have a negative outlook on life, and when a lot of negative things are going on it makes it 10x more difficult to act cheery and positive. .

If you find chronic illness isolating – you’re not alone. I’m here and probably in my pajamas.

Lots of Love,

Alyssa

A is for Ally?

The acronym for the Queer community, is forever changing. Some people like to use LGBT, because that’s what it’s been for a long time, while others use LGBTQ+, since queer encompasses the whole community, and the plus sign makes up for any letters left out. The longest one that I’ve seen (that is widely used) is LGBTQIAP, standing for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and pan/polysexual.

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That’s a mouthful! I typically use LGBTQ+ since it encompasses everyone without being ridiculously long. One issue I’ve seen queer people argue over is what the “a” stands for. Some argue it should be for ally, others chime in with, “don’t forget about asexuals,” and then there are people who think it should stand for both words.

I don’t consider the “a” to stand for ally at all, because they aren’t queer. Allies are great, and incredibly helpful at helping Queer people get their voices heard, but they already have straight/cis privilege, so why should they be considered LGBT? If allies who are straight and cis are considered LGBT, then you’re saying everyone but homophobes are part of the community, and I don’t think that’s true.

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Being asexual carries a lot of stigm, but since I am not asexual I do not feel comfortable speaking for the community. Asexuals receive hate, and prodding questions, just like everyone else in the queer community, so why shouldn’t they be included? I’m not trying to be the “identity police,” but I think that members of the  queer community  should be just that, queer. I’d like to live in a society where we don’t erase others identities, and instead accept every gender identity and sexuality.

I’m thankful for allies, but I think they have their places as friends, family members, and acquaintances, but don’t need to be considered part of the community. The LGBTQ+ community bans together because we are all “different” from the majority in regards to sexuality and gender. Including people are straight and cis, in my opinion only discredits the whole point of establishing ourselves as a community. Being queer doesn’t make you any better/worse than a straight/cis person, but it does put a target on your back, and being in community with those who have similar experiences is important. If you’re straight and cis, use the space you take up in society to help those who’s voices aren’t as heard.  Let me know your thoughts on the acronym conundrum.

Lot of Love,

Alyssa

Killing the Killers? : Death Penalty

Imagine this scenario.

You’re a child and get in argument with your sibling. They do something that you don’t like, and you hit them. One of your parents are in the next room and see this all take place. They come over say, “we don’t hit each other,” and then they hit you as a punishment. What a hypocrite, right?

I feel like the issue of the death penalty should be just as black and white. Why do we murder, murders? I don’t believe in killing anyone, regardless of the crimes they commit. Killing someone is not an adequate punishment for any heinous crime.

Rotting in a prison cell is much more of a consequence than the death penalty.  Plus there are criminals who want to be martyrs for their crimes, and I don’t think we should give them that luxury.  You never know others circumstances in life. While there isn’t a good excuse to hurt others, there are situations in life that can completely mess with ones psyche, and cause them to do things they would never do if their mental health was under control. Being in prison gives people a chance to change and get the help they need. The prison system in America may be corrupt, but I honestly think that a life sentence is a better penalty than death.

The Death Penalty is legal, because it is not considered “cruel or unusual punishment,” which Americans are protected from under the eighth amendment. This is without a doubt in my mind both cruel, and unusual. Once a life is taken, you cannot bring it back; what part of that isn’t cruel? I also find it “unusual” to kill someone in response to them killing/ torturing someone else. Where’s the logic in that?

I think our justice system should spend more time helping people rebuild their lives, and less time playing God. We shouldn’t decide when others die, that’s God’s decision. Living in a society that builds each other up, and helps one another pick of the pieces of life when we make mistakes, is something that I think would change lives. Let me know your thoughts on this topic, and your argument one way or the other.

Lots of Love,

Alyssa

 

Cycling Back

Well, it was fun while it lasted.

I had been feeling exceptionally well for the past three weeks, but starting on Christmas Eve, I began to feel my usual pain, nausea, and just general fatigue hit me. I laid in bed almost all day on the 24th, because I couldn’t keep my eyes open and my heart was pounding like crazy. I have an appointment Wednesday with a Cardiologist to pick up a heart monitor that I’m going to wear for three days, and then I have an appointment on the 3rd to have an echo and talk about the results.

It’s disappointing to cycle back into having daily pain, but it’s not surprising – it happens all the time. I truly believe one day I won’t be living in daily pain, although that’s starting to look like more of a far off dream, than something that could end up being reality. I am incredibly thankful for the times I do feel good, and try to thoroughly enjoy them. If you don’t have chronic illnesses, I urge you to take advantage of every opportunity you get, and be thankful for the little things like being pain free.

On a brighter note, one of gifts from my parents this Christmas was a Hulu subscription, so at least I’ll have something to watch while I feel bad. I’ve been watching far too much Rupaul’s Drag Race; it’s seriously my guilty pleasure.

I hope you’re all doing well!

Lots of Love,

Alyssa

 

That’s Christmas to Me

Merry Christmas!

Christmas is upon us, and in full swing. I hope you’re having a great holiday, and spending time with someone you love. Here are some little things I love about Christmas – and try to remember in order to make stressful holidays more enjoyable.

 

1.The Smell of Fresh Pine

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Every year my family gets a real tree, and the aroma of the fresh pine fills our house – both with holiday joy and lots of sneezing! Plus how cute is Sophie?

 

2. Hot Tea

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I am a tea person, as coffee gives me a migraine. There is nothing better than drinking a cup of warm tea when it’s cold outside. My favorites are green, chai, and citrus.

 

3. Pentatonix

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If loving Pentatonix Christmas albums makes me basic – then so be it 🙂 I have seen them in concert, and they are such talented individuals. My favorite songs are White Winter Hymnal, That’s Christmas to Me, and Hallelujah.  Listening to them always puts me in a cheery and festive mood!

 

4. Dessert Galore

My mom is an amazing baker and cook. The rest of my extended family – not so much. Since that’s the case, my mom makes all the desserts for the holidays. Everything from pie to cookies, and fudge has been made over the years, and it’s always delicious. Calories don’t count at the holidays, right?

 

5. Christmas Movies

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It doesn’t matter how cringey it is, if it’s Christmas related, I’ll probably watch it. We watch “A Christmas Story” every Christmas Eve, which is my favorite holiday themed movie. I also really enjoy Elf, Christmas with the Kranks, and the animated version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

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6. Family Time

It doesn’t matter how crazy they drive me – I will always love my family. At the end of day I am grateful for everyone of my family members and the time I get to spend with them. Not everyone has a great family support system behind them, and while I can’t imagine how that must feel, I know those people will meet others who will love and appreciate them forever.  I don’t think blood makes family; unconditional love does.

 

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Chuanakah. Let me know how your holiday has been/ is going!

Lots of Love,

Alyssa