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Neglect

| 12 Comments
I’ve been neglecting a number of things lately, this blog among them.

Weeds are rampant both in my garden and in my personal life. PMs and emails go unanswered. I’ve needed new glasses for about a year now; not only am I unfashionable, but I can’t see more than about ten yards in front of my face. I keep my kitchen and bathroom scrupulously clean, but yet the living room carpet needs attention and my desk is an unruly pile of papers, unpaid bills and books.

Why the neglect? Well, fuck do I know. I’ve neglected to look too deeply into the matter. Or rather I have, but I’ve neglected to acknowledge or act on what I’ve found. Since the beginning of November I’ve gone from the pits of despair, to the height of happiness and back down into the pits. I feel both stupid and silly. Stupid because I knew in my heart of hearts that Charlie would end up being a source of pain, and silly because I know I’ve got it comparatively good.

I also feel frustrated because a combination of Champix and Mirena have caused me to slide into a chemically induced depression – as if Charlie’s antics weren’t enough. If I wanted chemically induced depression, I would have used drugs that I could have had fun with in the meantime. Ah well, shit happens.

Tim Horn and I have recently discussed the inactivity of my blog and what possible directions I might take it in from now on. He suggested I be less autobiographical and focus more on current events - and I like that idea. The problem so far has been that I’ve found I couldn’t move forward into this new direction until I achieved a sense of closure regarding what this blog has been up to now. That’s what I’m doing with this entry in my own cryptic way.

Hey, it’s my blog and I’ll be cryptic if I want to. Cryptic if I want to, cryptic if I want to... oops, singing in my head again. Such is life.

I’ve got an example of the type of “current affairs" I hope to be writing about at a store near you...

On (the UK) C4 this week they’ve had “Embarrassing Bodies week" and one of the case histories involved a woman who presented with large labia minora.

No biggie, if you’ll pardon the pun – but she seemed to think it was a very big deal indeed and thought she was abnormal. She wasn’t. Her labia were completely normal and quite sexy. However, this woman was immediately recommended to a cosmetic surgeon. What??? Why wasn’t she first recommended to a therapist to see if she couldn’t become reconciled with what nature gave her, instead of encouraged to be surgically mutilated? I mean, there are webpages dedicated to ways and means of actively enlarging one’s labia minora - for example through the application of weights. Some men and women regard large labia minora as positively sexy. I do. And why not?

Fair enough, if this woman had a few sessions with a therapist and still didn’t like her large lips, then maybe it was time to go for surgery. But to offer mutilation as a front-line therapy is, to my mind, totally unjustified. Next thing you know, they’ll be recommending African-style clittorectomies just because the darn things tend to stick out a bit when women are sexually excited.

It does my head in. It really does. Why do so many women feel compelled to mutilate their bodies in the name of fashion? I don’t get it. Do you?

12 Comments

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Comments on Ann Smith's blog entry "Neglect"

Ann--

Good to see you blogging again. Sorry about the depression, it sucks when something they give you to help with one thing causes another. Such is the way with most drugs. About the big lips, well, let's just say I have been complimented on something big on me and it's not my lips..*LOL* Keep on Blogging, GF.

Labial preferences would seem to be a matter of personal taste. I don't see what the flap is all about.

Hi Michelle,

Yes, medication-induced depression is literally the pits. I'm just glad I realised fairly early on into it what was going on and stopped taking the Champix.

The Mirena coil is another matter. I can't just yank it out myself and furthermore, I don't really want to. It's doing the job it was put in place to do and I'm very happy with it from that point of view. I was told it could take between three and six months before I noticed any benefit, but after only two cycles, my periods have nearly stopped. Considering the fact that three months ago I was incapacitated for a week with the heavy bleeding, pain and fatigue, well, I'm pleased with the result.

But the depression and anxiety I could do without. Things improved noticeably after I quit the Champix but after a week, I still wasn't really back to normal. I started to wonder if the Champix had damaged me in some way, but then I started researching the Mirena more deeply. I was told I wouldn't have to worry about any psychological effects from it, but that's a load of hooey. I found a forum full of women who have had problems with it, some quite severe.

Now that I know the Mirena is causing the depression and anxiety, I am having an easier time dealing with it. I'm going to see how it goes over the next few months because if I can leave it in, I really want to. Otherwise, my only other real option for dealing with the terrible monthlies I was having is hysterectomy and I don't want to go down that road if I can help it.

heheheh... Michelle's got a big booty... ;)

Ann

Hey Tongue... thanks for the giggle!

Great to see you back Ann! I'm probably going to start blogging soon, and agree with you that covering current affairs, and not just our own lives, is one way to make the process easier and more rewarding.

Sorry about the depression. Are you on an SSRI? I've used them in the past when I've needed them, and they helped immensely (regardless of what Tom Cruise says).

Hi Peter, I've been wondering when you were going to start blogging!

I'm not on any antidepressants - I've always avoided them. I planned on talking to my doctor about it this past tuesday when I had my clinic appointment, but he wasn't in and I ended up seeing a registrar I've never met before. I didn't really want to discuss it with someone who doesn't know my background. Poor guy, I was having a weepy day and burst into tears when I found out I had to see him instead of the Wiz. Not my usual way of dealing with things!

Anyway, I decided to talk to my GP about the possibility of antidepressants to help me deal with the Mirena - which reminds me, I need to ring for an appointment. (I've neglected to so far... hehehe) I'll let you know what happens.

Hey Ann-
Sorry you have been feeling more down than up lately. Hopefully, your doc can help you get things figured out soon.
People worry about some strange ass things. Now, if there was a problem with everytime she peed her lips fell in the toilet water,(there's a vision) I can see worrying about it and getting surgery, but really, how many people are ever going to see them? Who wants to look like everyone else anyway?
Nice to see you back!
Take care!


On September 21, 2005 I joined Aidsmeds and my lessons on things I did not know began. Here, months short of 3 years, I still manage to pick up very useful info.

You mean to tell me women lift weights with their lips? Shit learning so much in such little time makes my head hurt.

Wondered what happend to you because you had not been blogging. I know you had mentioned in another blog about you personal life and I was hoping that was going good. Sorry that was not the case.

I had HIV drs pushing ADs on me for years. I was not depressed and knew it,so I didnt take them. Several years ago I realized I was depressed and started taking Lexapro. Recently I mixed my med bottles up and by mistake did not take my lex for 4 weeks. I discovered this yesterday. The depression and overall mental pain I experienced the past two weeks was much worse than anything I had experienced prior to lexapro. There is no way I could ever stop taking Lexapro,there is no way I would ever go through what I went through the past two weeks. I was unable to function at my job, I was thinking about suicide(something I had never thought of before)all day long,every action by myself or someone else was immediately a negative,everything was dark. I could never go there again and now know I have to take this shit till the day I die. I really worry because one of my 23 yr old daughters is taking lex.
Now, I must add, Lexapro does work and when on it I am never depressed no matter what happens. I am always positive and upbeat. I guess my point is, these drugs really work, but just like everything else that makes you feel good or different there is a hangover when you stop. I did not have this reaction when I stopped prozac,of course comparing prozac to lexapro, is like comparing weed to heroin.

Hey Ann

I love your blog, please don't stop writing, and not only on current affairs.

I'm glad cosmetic surgery exists, because asides from all the superficiality it promotes, it does do a lot of extermely beneficial things, also for us pozzies if we get serious damage from our meds and we are not able to deal with it. I wouldn't like to be forced to correct this damage - but then again I wouldn't like not to have the option to do that either.

But I guess that woman didn't feel she had an option. Maybe there was just no way she could see herself as acceptable. We are coming to the point where for some people, cosmetic procedures are an obligation rather than a possibility.
For example, there is a program here called Extreme Makover, where people get quarantined for months to do all kinds of painful unnecessary stuff because they have a low self esteem (and some floppy bits, but mostly low self esteem). It's just a more extreme reflection of a general state of mind really: we live in a society that demands quick fixes, and surly chopping things off or tucking them in is easier than making small painstaking internal changes. We are brainwashed by a constant need to be perfect - not just physical perfection imposed by Vogue & Elle, that's only the tip of the iceberg, but on every platform we are told to appear young (or "age gracefully"), sexy, sexual, vibrant, succesful, wise, cheeful and above all happy. Simply being OK just doesn't cut it anymore. In a sense even Poz magazine tells us to be successful and beautiful and proactive and sexual and social and adventerous, cheerful and above all Think Positively even with HIV. One is not able to use a chronic disease as an "excuse" for imperfection anymore, it simply must be that you are not trying hard enough, you are not "positive" or motivated enough, to overcome it and be as glamorous as your negative peer - who is in turn doing his/her best to keep up with celebrity/advertisment glamour on all fronts. But then again this also has a good side - would not like to be told to be sick and tired simply because I am in fact somewhat sick and tired, but also fed up with the constant tirade of positive affirmations and self improvement messages.

Like your signature "it just is OK?" - why the hell can't we just bloody accept it? Maybe cos we're never quite sure of being loved for who we really are and not for an image we work hard to maintain.

~PS. Really hope things work out for you & C.

thats ridiculous! in our culture big labia are almost a prerequisite for marrige. we're encouraged to pull them at puberty so tht they grow nice and big for our husbands to play with when we get married!

Hi Anne

I've been reading your advice and comments and your blog for a few years now - having tested positive about 4 years ago myself(one of the 1st things I did was google positive forums and this one was the most ..well..human I guess)Im in Western Australia - and I just wanted to say a big Thank you!!! - you put a smile on my face with your insights and your unapologetically frank and honest approach is like a cool breeze on a hot day!!! I suppose your very busy with answering other fan mail so I won't take up too much of your time - just thought I would say how much I appreciate all the good work you do for everyone - you have a really good attitude and it does rub off on people - just know that! thanks - kindest regards - Tyler - Perth - Western Aust (please don't hold that against me - It's not my fault I was born here!!! - Im really English on the inside!!) xxx

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This page contains a single entry by Ann published on May 1, 2008 12:06 AM.

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