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So I have been lurking on Groupthink for awhile, I completely fell in love with the concept. I have been toying with the idea of starting my own blog for awhile, and I thought this would be a great place to start. I thought about all of the great posts I would write about mental health in marginalized communities, intersectional feminism, brown people on television, etc. But I kept on being intimidated by the asking for privileges part and just never got around to it.

Then, this Thursday I woke up feeling really strangely. I had been dealing with some inner ear weirdness for a couple of days and on Wednesday I had a lot of trouble keeping my contact in my right eye. I brushed it all up to allergies and continued on my merry way. And then, on Thursday I realized I was having a lot of facial weakness in the right side of my face.

I didn't think too much of it at first, but eventually I decided to start making calls to figure out what might be going on. An hour and a half of calls later, I was on my way to the ER. After being sped through because there was a mild chance I was having a stroke, the doctor told me that it looked like I had Bell's Palsy. In other words, for apparently no reason, my facial nerve had swelled up, leading me to have little control over my facial muscles.

At first, I took the news rather well. It could have been worse. I wasn't having a stroke, my case didn't look as extreme as some of the others I had seen online. I was able to hold it together enough to fill my prescriptions, go to a night class, and gather some things I had left at my office.

And that's when I completely broke down. After a long, stressful day, I began crying. And I felt terrible crying because only half of my face showed the emotions I was feeling. As I looked at myself crying, I started crying even harder. I felt hideous, I felt like I looked like a monster.

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I suppose I never realized how vain I really am as a person. I mean, I kind of knew, but this really made it hit home. Even though there is only a very small chance that I won't fully recover, the thought that I might never see my former face scares the crap out of me. I went to do errands today and tried smiling at a cashier and felt ridiculous. I feel like hiding my face and never leaving my house, which is not a viable option. I feel ridiculously vain and superficial, which then makes me feel worse. I could have died, I could have a major medical issue, things could be so much worse. And here I am feeling anxious and depressed because I can't smile as big as I would like to.

After being diagnosed on Thursday, I immediately asked for posting privileges. I don't know what I'm looking for, but I needed to get some of this out. So sorry for the incredibly personal, ranty first post, but I suppose I'm starting my Groupthink career with a bang!