Archive for May, 2010

I’m really questioning my own self-worth tonight.

We went to my husbands manager’s house for a BBQ. It was a work thing, everyone there either works there or is the family of someone who works there. I was feeling very left out in the beginning. For some reason my husband would not talk to me and everytime I tried to be near him he would go off some where else. And then the two women there, well they’ve known each other for a while. So they can totally have a good time with each other without even thinking of me. So I just kind of stood off to the side and watched. The only ones really talking to me were the kids.

It eventually got better. But then when my husband asked if I had a good time I said yeah. He said that wasn’t very convincing. So then I told him how things started out. He said I was being over-sensitive. Because I tend to be super sensitive about things. So I guess I’m always going to be doomed to be overly sensitive so my opinion or feelings don’t matter.

You know, I often complain I don’t know who I am. Who the hell cares anyway?

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My Oh My

Posted: May 26, 2010 in ADD, bad day, family, GERD, headache, medication, pms, tiredness

What a day.

Today was one of those days where it was a bad simply because how I was feeling. A little bit of tiredness from my endeavor yesterday (more on that later). Grumpy because this time I am definitely pmsing. And then my acid reflux decided to flare up. It started with I wasn’t feeling very hungry. But 1:00 rolled around and I knew I needed to eat something so I went to the potluck my department was having. Well, by the time I got there there was slim pickings. And the things I got — I took one bite and it felt like the food was burning a hole in my throat. Needless to say I didn’t eat anymore (oh and I forgot to mention that I went to work with a sore throat. I thought maybe I was getting sick but now I think it was GERD). So I come home and I have a bag of popcorn. I was able to eat that okay. I was sitting around and had a really bad headache and was beginning to feel like it was turning into a migraine. I thought it was because I only had one cup of caffiene today so I went to McDonald’s to get a Caramel Frappe (which are AMAZING by the way). That went down okay but I still have the headache. And about an hour ago my acid reflux majorly flared up. So now my dinner is going to be soy milk, maybe some bread and butter. When it gets this bad, bland and boring is the way to go.

So my endeavor yesterday. I did Habitat for Humanity yesterday. If you haven’t heard of it google it. It’s an amazing organization. I helped put up the frame for the roof. I learned important things yesterday. One, I have no arm strength. I made Barbie look butch with the trouble I was having hammering. Two, sweat in your eyes can blind you. Three, I can work with a jackass as long as I know and he knows he’s a jackass. Four, I missed my calling in construction. I felt so fulfilled after working for four hours. And it’s a way more interesting workout than hitting the gym. And it’s the kind of job when you can see immediate results. Four hours later and a house frame with a flat top suddenly begins to look like a real house. My day job doesn’t allow for such immediate, concrete results. They’re much more subtle and take longer to achieve. I could totally see myself in construction, after some major bench pressing of course. I plan to do this weekly this summer, though I am bummed that I have to miss next week. But the week after, I’ll be back.

I did find out this evening that that family member is back in the hospital. But this is actually okay because they’ll keep them longer so hopefully things will get stabilized. I’m not too worried about this particular incident, but the overall picture scares me. The health is failing, and this person has been a major part of my life. I’ve been dreading this moment for years, and it’s hard to think that it might actually come to it. That this person really can’t live forever.

So all in all an interesting day. I think the blessing of not feeling well is that I feel so bad physically that I don’t have any room in my brain or body for a major emotional reaction. The tears are there somewhere, but I don’t think they’ll fall.

And yes, I still haven’t gotten to reading your blogs. I don’t know what’s going on with me but I am absolutely useless lately. My meds have changed again. I’m now up to 250mg on the Seroquel XR. The Strattera has leveled out at 80mg but the time I take it keeps changing. I was taking it in the AM but it made me drowsy. Then when I took it at night I couldn’t get to sleep and had really distressing dreams (beyond the typical odd dreams I usually have). So now I’m taking it in the afternoon. I’m supposed to take it at 1:00m, but I keep forgetting to take it to work, so I take it when I come home. Until I get the Strattera on a routine for several weeks, I’m not going to see the effects. And that’s frustrating.

I did look up a place that does alternative healing in my area. I sent an email to see if I could schedule a consultation. I know I need some spiritual and energy healing, I just don’t know the best methods for what I need. I do know I need to get to church. I just need to force myself to get up and go.

So, this was kind of long. Kudos if you made it this far. Please take this virtual cookie of your desired flavor (I have all kinds). Let me know what kind you got!

I feel like I’ve been MIA for a bit.

My ability to focus had been shot. Well, I can do short stints of chores, but I can’t do things like read, or write, or watch TV even. Kind of a pain really. It may be some kind of hypomanic thing. I’ve had trouble sleeping the past couple days but was fine when I woke up (on a few hours of sleep). But then again I did take naps today and yesterday. Has anyone else experienced hypomania but still sometimes need to take naps?

Thursday and Friday I stayed home sick from work. I was feeling feverish. I think two things were happening. I think my meds are messing with my body temperature. I’m getting night sweats (which apparently can be caused by antidepressants) and hot flashes during the day. These were even before the 90 degree weather hit. Although I think part of the night sweats is this: I sleep under the comforter, sweat, and then I’m freezing so I snuggle deeper and the cycle starts over. It may also have to do with the fact that the dog sleeps at my feet. Thank goodness my husband doesn’t mind, cuz if we had to change the sheets every morning, we’d need a set for every day of the week. The other thing about being sick was I had a lot of anxiety from the training. I was really anxious on Monday. Was okay Tuesday but ended up leaving pissed off. And then Wednesday I brought up examples of elitism in our department and that almost gave me a panic attack. I had a feeling the higher ups wouldn’t like it, but those who were not so high up seem to be very glad that I said it. Apparently everyone else felt the same way, but I was the only one with the balls to say something. I think I’ve gotten so disenheartened by the school that I’ll go ahead and put my ass on the line. The training, I have mixed feelings. On one hand I think it was good and I really got to know the other side of certain people. On the other hand, a) I doubt anything is going to come of this, and b) I hate it when people sit in a room and talk about social justice but then don’t actually live it. Drives me crazy (pardon me for the word use). I’m not saying I’m perfect all the time. I have my moments, but at least it’s a guiding principal in my life.

I have a psychiatry appointment tomorrow. I’m looking forward to it because I think we might settle on prescriptions. Although we might not since I haven’t had any real consistency in my reaction to the meds. I’m too the point now that the seroquel doesn’t put me to sleep really. That could be the Strattera since it causes insomnia, but that would be weird since it made me drowsy before. I may actually be hypomanic and that’s complicating things. Or my body may just be completely confused and is refusing to react consistently to medications. Tomorrow morning I think I’ll go through this blog and look at how things have been since the med changes.

I think my sister might be bipolar. I’ve been thinking for a while everything stems from her borderline asberger’s syndrome. However, she really does get incredibly irate for no reason, or she’ll be super excited and talk really loud. And when she was younger she tried to jump off the balcony on numerous occassions and even tried to jump out of the car while it was moving. I’m no psychiatrist, but I wish she would see someone who can seriously analyze her behavior. She was seeing a therapist but that person was an idiot. They just took everything my sister said at face value, without digging deeper. Basically my sister remembers things that just didn’t happen. Some of it is legit, but some of it I think is an unconscious attempt to make sense of all her psychological issues. Me, my brother, and my sister all have them. I just don’t know if they’re all diagnosable. But it does run in both sides of our family (mental illness I mean).

You know this was supposed to just be a check in as I didn’t think I felt like blogging, but look what happened! I guess I had more to say than I realized. For those of you whose blogs I follow, I apologize for not reading them lately. I will follow again when my mind is a little unsettled. But until then, do know that I hope all is well with you.

Well, I should attempt to go to bed. So, good night all.

Oh one more thing. It’s been a while since I started the zine, and I have heard some interest but have gotten no emails. If you have a poem, essay, blog post, song, video, art, etc. about mental illness and/or identity that you would like featured in a zine (online magazine) send them to me at arifaery@gmail.com.

Nightmare on ? Street

Posted: May 18, 2010 in dreams

I used have nightmares all the time as a kid. I realize now that I still do, but adult nightmares are different from kid nightmares.

I was at this psych clinic. It reminded me of the building of my first real therapy, and the facility I go to now. I go in and I’m really confused. I don’t know about what. I go up to the window telling them I’m there for the group session. They give me a stack of books. Then they said the group had already started and they’d have to call. But the counselor in charge of the group came up, and it was a woman from the pagan group I was going to. As I’m walking through the door I see my first real therapist. I don’t know whether he recognizes me, so I duck my head to avoid an awkward reunion. I go through the door and am totally overwhelmed. The place looks like a library and all the groups are in there. Some areas are sectioned off while other groups are differentiated by putting chairs in a circle. I get totally lost. I return to the front desk and the nurse takes me to my group. I sit down. Several things occurred during the group. One was that the group was disorganized and not run well at all. I eventually noticed a coworker (one I don’t like) was in the group as well. At that point I made the decision to change groups when this session was over. We ended up watching tv and i was super unfocused. Then the therapist asked me a question but I didn’t know what she said. She repeated it and it had something to do with what do we do with animals we don’t like. The group next to us suddenly had these two girls get into a fight, and this group was run by an intern. I later found out the group was for people trying to quit smoking–there were 4 people. My group therapist jumped up to help the intern get the situation under control. Her method was not unlike what my father would have to do if one of the autistic students he was working with got violent. Then she came back. That group left and came back and the girl that started the fight made a snappy comment about how we had taken their room. And then we all as a group got up together and started taunting the other group. It stayed verbal, and we one. Then some of the board of directors came down to chastise my therapist. She said it was handled well. And one of the BoD guys said except you were _____ (I don’t remember exactly what, some kind of hand motions). Well group was over and I got to the front desk to return the books and cancel any further services. First I get cut in line by at least two people. So I decide to make a very important phone call. I don’t know to whom or for what. But just when the person picked up the phone I was able to catch the attention of one of the receptionists, so I put the guy on hold. I told them I was returning the books. Another nurse said the only way to get those is to check them out from there. And I said well I also want to cancel any further appointments. They were surprised and one of the nurses said oh you probably can’t handle it. And I said yeah because of the way the building was set up, and it was loud and chaotic. I told her I was overstimulated. I meant to say it was an ADHD thing but it never got out. So finally I’m dismissed after I tell them that I am seeing another therapist and I’m going to stick with her (at this point I was talking about my current therapist in real life). As I was walking out I look down at my phone it realize the guy hung up on me, AND my battery was dying. So instead of calling back I called and left a message with my husband that I was on my way home. I was rather surprised he hadn’t called to see where I was. I get in my car to drive home. At one point I was squeezing between a van double parked in the wrong direction and the curb (or another car). Then suddenly my car turned into a large grocery cart and I was going from front to back inside a family’s van and was finally able to get out through the trunk. (The area in which this occurred was exactly like this area near my current psychiatrist and the hospital my insurance covers). The last part of my dream I remember is walking my dog in the park. Except that instead of my small dog, this was a big dog. And the park was full of people–either from the therapy library building or people I know in real life. The dog was dragging me along the park. We finally made it home but I don’t remember anything after that.

I woke up 10 minutes before my alarm, dripping in sweat. I felt like I had once again had to drag myself out of a dream. I got up immediately because I felt sweaty and disgusting, and because I didn’t want to spend a moment longer in that bed. Now I’m a bit disoriented and disturbed. I feel like I’m having an out of body experience and I’m tired.

Not how I wanted to start my first day of training from hell.

Lately it is not very often that I feel like a crazy person. However, today I feel like a crazy person.

I gave a good effort. I’ve been grumpy all weekend. And this morning it was pouring and I kept putting off taking the dog out to see if there would be a break in the rain. I eventually gave up because he was waiting patiently and I had to get to work. Oh yeah, and guess who was singing at 3 in the morning again? Those damn birds.

I get into work and I attempt to be productive. I gave a valiant effort. I had a pile of readings for training this week. I got through all but one–with highlights even. And I worked on this questionaire we were supposed to do. That’s about all I got done. It was the first day my coworker and I were at work on the same day in a week. Plus the boss was out, which usually means a good mood for us. However the upcoming training has made us rather grumpy and stressed out. But more on that later. Anyway, we went to lunch and ever since I came back I’ve been really blah. Part of it has to do with my being sick from lunch. I’ve gotten this sandwich before and I don;t remember it bothering me. But apparently the sauce had vinegar in it, and vinegar is a no-no for GERD. So my mouth feels like I’m getting multiple ulcers. And then on top of that I had a brownie sundae cuz I was craving chocolate. Yeah, my stomach didn’t like that. It was doing too great yesterday, and I guess it revolted against the crap I was putting in it. So it’s going to be a rather bland dinner tonight.

I also feel very anxious. I think that’s how to describe this feeling. I feel like I’m floating just above my actual body. I’m shaky and I was having hot flashes. I couldn’t focus and I must have looked quite “special” with my attempts to box my packages at the post office. I was also hypersensitive to the radio in my car. I had to lower it way down because the bass was bother me. And I feel like there’s this electric current running through my body and I want to scare my skin off. And my asthma’s a little sensitive. I’ve gone through this before, and I’m pretty damn sure it’s an anxiety attack. Which is not the same as a panic attack. My panic attacks result in me becoming a sobbing mess, hyperventilation, tilting walls, and after it passes I’m absolutely useless. This is general anxiety. I’ve been thinking I probably need some kind of anti-anxiety something, but I already take so many pills.

So why so anxious? It could be as simple as pms, though it’s hitting a little early. The other thing: this training. It starts tomorrow and it goes all day. Then it’s half days on Wednesday and Thursday. It’s a social justice training, which i’ve been through a million times. For gods’ sakes I’ve facilitated them. And then on top of that I’m a group leader on Thursday. Thanks for volunteering me without asking planning committee. Part of me is nervous because I know I’m going to be bored. And when I get bored I get anxious. And for some reason the effectiveness of the Straterra only lasted those two days last week. The other thing is, I don’t really see my department as a safe place. I don’t want to “come out” so to speak about various issues. But I’m afraid that I’m going to out myself because of the issues I care about. That we’ll talk about race and culture is a given. That’s we’ll talk about gender, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic statues is obvious. That we’ll talk about religion and physical ability is a strong possibility. However, there is no guarantee that we’ll talk about the oft ignored population to which I am a recent member – invisible disabilities. I want to bring it up because I think it is important, especially working with students. But I do not want to discuss my own issues. Don’t get me wrong, I love to talk about myself. But I don’t trust most of these people. And I know at least one member of the leadership team does not believe in psychological disorders. The people who are facilitating have been here before, and there’s one exercise I’m concerned about. We’re supposed to go around and identify our place in each of the “big 8” identities: race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, class, ability, age, and language I think. If I admit that I have a disability (ha! I have several) there are going to be certain assumptions as I do not use a wheel chair, I am not severely visually impaired, and if anything my hearing is too sensitive. But if I don’t identify as such than I risk that perspective not being represented. It’s quite a dilemma and it’s stressing me out. That and sitting in a room while people talk at me for 8 hours. I’m going to have to try to sit by the door so I can sneak out if I get an anxiety attack.

On top of all that my Raynaud’s is acting up again, even though I’ve been taking the medication regularly. My hands are hurting again and today my fingers got extremely numb, to the point that they were turning purple. I think it’s the stress. I know the blood vessels constrict even more when I’m stressed out. That and I’m getting bumps on my arms and back that my coworker is also experiencing. She says they’re a type of hives that you can get when your stressed out. She’s been getting them for about a month. Talk about the power of suggestion! Part of the stress is also that I have no idea where I’m going to be in two months. I try not to think about it, but it’s hard when part of your job is to plan the next year.

I think I’m going to text my coworker/friend and try to talk out this anxiety thing about tomorrow. Though do already feel better from blogging.

I think my cat has finally calmed down. He tends to get a little erratic in the morning, and sometimes at night. He chases things I can’t see, makes chirping noises, and dashes around the apartment like the hare in The Tortoise and the Hare. The dog is sleeping on the bed with my husband, who–come to think of it–should probably get up soon. The other cat has finally stopped crying. I think his issue was that he refused to use the litter box in the condition it was in. Actually, I’m pretty damn sure that was the problem. He hasn’t cried since I cleaned the box. And when I found him he was behind the bathroom door looking at the box and crying. To be fair it was in a sad condition. And I totally blame myself for having to throw out our bathroom rug because the cats turned it into a litter box. My husband is not going to be happy.

But such is the case with most of my chores. The difference is when I come home I see the dirty dishes and the laundry and the messy apartment. If I have the energy and drive I’ll do something about it. But the cat box is in the bathroom we hardly ever use. Out of sight, out of mind. This isn’t the first time I let the litter box go too long without a cleaning,  but by far the worst. Sometimes I feel like a slob when I look around the apartment. And then I get frustrated with myself because I can see the apartment needs to be cleaned, but I can’t bring myself to do it. Or I’ll start a chore but not finish it (usually laundry).

I was hoping with the Strattera this wouldn’t be a problem. And early this week it wasn’t. I was drowsy during the day, but I was productive. Now I am taking the Strattera at night. I’m no longer drowsy during the day, but I’ve lost that focus. The funny thing is that Strattera is more likely to cause insomnia than drowsiness, and it was because of this my brand new psychiatrist didn’t want me to use it at night. But other than recognizing I need to use it earlier in the evening, it hasn’t been an issue. But my body has always been weird. I need to call tomorrow though because I am out of the Seroquel XR and he didn’t make a decision about the next step. So I will be taking 200mg of the regular Seroquel, because that is a much better alternative to not taking anything at all. I’ve learned that Seroquel is not a drug I can skip a dose with.

My medication shifts may not be the culprit for losing my focus. Wednesday was a little chaotic schedule-wise, which always throws me for the entire day. And then Thursday I had vertigo and had to call in sick. Friday was my one year anniversary, so I took a vacation day so me and the hubby could take a day trip. That was nice. What wasn’t nice was that we left at 7am and got back into town at 10:15pm. Then we had to pick up our dog from the friends that were watching him. So yesterday I was exhausted all day and had to cancel a trip to the Farmer’s Market with a friend. Then I didn’t get to bed until after 3am this morning. We were at a friend’s place and when we came home the birds kept me awake. I don’t know why they were singing at 3am, but they’re quiet now. Maybe their circadian rhythm is off? But then the crying pee-monster woke me up at 8am.

Well, the cat is crying again, so I need to go see what’s going on, and find out what the other cat knocked down during his morning ritual. Enjoy your Sunday!

Woot!

Posted: May 12, 2010 in Zine

Okay, I’ve been talking about it, and I’ve finally done it! I’ve created a zine! Take a look, and if you would like to contribute or have your blog added to the blog list, let me know! This first edition is a little feminine, I’ll admit, but I will playing around with images and colors that sometimes might seem masculine, and sometimes might be feminine. After all, it’s all about fighting labels.