Life Update: Goals, a diagnosis, and motivation.

The first step is usually the same, “set a goal”, so it’s no wonder I don’t move forward.
For years I’ve just been flailing without anything to work toward, without a real reason to get out of bed. Y’all know I have all sorts of issues that cause me to be tired as hell all the time, so when I don’t have something that I “have to” get out of bed for, I don’t.

So why don’t I just set a goal? Well, because that is fucking terrifying. You see, my inner monologue is kind of an ass-hole and I don’t just doubt myself when it comes to most things I’m SURE I’ll fuck up. I can hold the mask of an accomplished, decorated Marine all day long, but that’s not how I see myself. Everywhere I look around my life and every time I get lost in thought of how I should contributing, I see myself as one thing – a failure. So I have myself convinced that that’s what I am, why try toward a goal if I’m only going to waste my time and embarrass myself? So I don’t set goals and I don’t have anything to work toward and I lay around and do nothing and that makes me feel like more of a failure. One of many vicious cycles I feel trapped in.

I realize that all of that is absurd, but that’s the thing about anxiety – realizing that a feeling is completely illogical doesn’t stop you from feeling it and no amount of people telling me that I’m not a failure is going to make me stop feeling it.
I don’t even care all that much that I feel like a failure, like…how I feel about myself isn’t that important to me, what I hate is that feeling that way is keeping me from doing things that I want to do, is keeping me from being part of so much.

To make matters worse, it’s not just my thought process that’s failing me, it’s my body. Volunteering is something that helped me immensely, but I’ve stopped because of pain and exhaustion. I also feel like I’m close to losing the biggest source of joy in my life (not counting my niece of course).


This picture of me and Tim was a pretty emotional moment for me. Earp-a-Palooza was the second Con in a row where I pretty much felt like shit the whole time. My pain was up, my energy was nonexistent, and I was light-headed more often than not. It made a day that I’ve been dreading seem a lot closer, the day when I can’t travel and attend Cons anymore. That’s what I told Tim before this was taken. I know everyone loves Cons, but I really feel like I need them (my shrink agrees). I don’t have a job or a partner or other hobbies, aside from Cons I basically only leave my house for medical appointments. I don’t say any of that for pity, just to illustrate that traveling to see Earpers and be in that environment is one of the only things I have to look forward to.

Shortly before Earp-a-Palooza I was FINALLY, officially diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). POTS is a shitty thing to deal with, but finally knowing what has been wrong with me for so long it a huge weight off my shoulders. Now that I know what’s wrong (as far as my heart stuff goes) I’ve been able to do research and find things that might help me manage my symptoms better (yay, no more fainting on cast members…hopefully). I’ve also been referred to Physical Therapy (again) and to Occupational Therapy and for the first time in a long time I feel like there is a chance that I may be able get a little better.

I even have a goal in the form of tickets to several Cons in 2019, including two in Europe. When these Cons were announced I was sure that I wouldn’t be healthy enough to attend them all. I’m still not sure I will, but it gives me something to work toward. I say a lot that “Earpers are my happy place” and now they are my motivation to commit to therapy and to doing the things on a daily basis to make myself feel better.

It’s a pretty small, seemingly trivial goal for now, but it’s something. Maybe before too long I’ll actually admit that I kind of want to make something of my writing or that I find myself dreaming of using my life experience and skills to work on a tv set.

*I didn’t even proof-read this shit, it’s just rambling, please don’t judge me.

3 thoughts on “Life Update: Goals, a diagnosis, and motivation.

  1. Hon,’ YOU are the only one judging you. I haven’t been able to stop my inner Jolene voice, but I have learned to catch those thoughts and reject them. I believe our minds are like computers, in that they hear everything we say to them, and believes it! That’s why we have to be so damn careful what we input into it. Anyway, those are just My beliefs. I’m very much a work in progress. So many people care about you; won’t you join us?🙂

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  2. Hey Heather, After reading your Earper blog I thought I would come here to see if you had been diagnosed, I recognised the symptoms you described on your Journeys for POTS. I too was diagnosed with this condition in my mid twenties after dealing with it from an early teen. It took many years to actually find out what was wrong with me. I believe they still don’t know what causes it. I still get very puzzled looks and always have to explain the condition to Doctors when I mention what I have as if they have never heard of it. It’s very frustrating. It’s an extremely frightening and debilitating condition that leaves you completely fatigued ALL of the time and worse still frightened to leave the house in case
    “IT happens again”
    After many years and many, many occasions of fear, anxiety extreme embarrassment (from passing out in front of people) I learned to recognise the signs and triggers which I’m sure you are recognising too. All of which made the condition much more manageable. I was told by specialists after excessive tests and prodding and poking that the condition would either get progressively worse with age or completely disappear. It did in fact get worse as the years went on and by early 30s I thought that’s it! I have this for life I’m probably going to be bed ridden.
    I’ve never met anyone else who has this and to read about someone else’s experience and how it makes them feel is a comfort. Nobody understands how truly awful and utterly shitty it makes you feel all day every day. Even without an attack we look normal like there’s nothing wrong but the complete exhaustion just standing up tells otherwise. Im pleased to tell you that there is hope. I am now In my late 30s and very rarely get an attack. My palpitations have eased considerably the hot/cold sweats happen very rarely, my energy levels are better ( not great by any means) but better and I don’t have the fear of leaving the house everyday. In fact I followed my (very fast) heart and dream to be a musician and now do it for a living. Passing out on stage would be a complete nightmare!! I don’t fear that anymore thank goodness. I’m not saying this happens to everyone who has POTS I may be a very lucky exception but there is hope! And it’s worth holding on too. If you want to talk more give me a shout! 😊


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