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[personal profile] staranise posting in [community profile] no_pity
Hi, everybody.  I thought I'd do an intro post too.

I'm Lis; I'm a 22-year-old Canadian university student.  My goal is to be a psychotherapist; that comes pretty directly from having had depression since forever (it became undeniable when I was 11, but I probably had it years before that) and hanging out with a lot of non-neurotypical friends.

There are a lot of niggly things wrong with me.  I think the official list of physical symptoms is eight, but I can only name off about six at any given time, so we'll see how many I get in this post.

Physically: I was born with congenital limb deformities--my left hand has two fingers and a thumb (I used to say "I have three fingers" which everyone thought meant "three fingers and a thumb" and I officially think classifying the thumb as "not a finger" is really stupid but what can you do).  My left foot has four toes--there was a fifth toe in skin, but without metatarsal bones at all, so it was amputated when I was a baby.  All of my limbs have perfectly-formed wrists/ankles and they tend to work like normal appendages would, though my feet, annoyingly, are not adult-sized.  It's a pretty minor deformity, really, which meant my parents declared there was Nothing Wrong With Me and paid as little attention to my physical disabilities as they could.

Ha ha!  Funny story!  Know what happens to a girl who has a two-inch length discrepancy in her legs and never wears orthotics?  Scoliosis!  Back pain!  Crippling joint pain!  Neurological issues!  She will walk into a podiatrist's office at the age of twenty and explain that she's never worn a lift, and he will give her the "Are you stupid?" look to end all "Are you stupid?" looks.

(Sorry, I'm a bit bitter)

So basically, the joints on my left leg (the short one) have all gone "wtf is this shit we quit" which has left me mobility-impaired; orthotics and physiotherapy help some, but not reliably enough, and between that and unexpected motor tics that cause much of my body to spasm and go tense, I live with a fair bit of pain if I want an active life.  I use a cane, and I really started thinking of myself as 'disabled' when I was fired from a toystore for asking to sit on a stool while I cashed.

I also have Tourette Syndrome, which causes involuntary tics (repeated or stereotyped movements or actions).  My motor tics tend to discomfit people--large portions of my upper back or entire torso will spasm unexpectedly (I am sure there are some very confused people in my social circle who think I'm epileptic).  My verbal tics consist of words or phrases that I repeat during moments of stress, and yes, I have coprolalia (repeating swearwords).  My verbal tics are easier to suppress than my motor tics, so it really just sounds like I swear when I'm alone, or talk to my cats.  Given that I swear and talk to my cats a lot as non-tic behaviour, most people don't notice anything odd.

Psychologically: I have "something that looks like depression/dysthymia", "something that looks like an anxiety disorder, possibly OCD", and "something that looks like mixed avoidant/compulsive personality disorder".  It means that my default state involves low self-esteem, negative self-talk, social anxiety, and a pervasive sense that I'm doing something wrong.  I ameliorate it as best as I can with therapy and self-help.

It's nice to meet everyone here, and I look forward to this community being awesome.

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