Tag Archives: symptoms

Hello, September.

You vile, vile month with no redeeming qualities.

Seasonal downswing ahoy!

Though I am hoping my recent increase in Lamictal (up to 300 from 250) after my manic spell when I got back from TFCon will negate the effects a bit.  It’s starting to show on campus; folks are getting squirrely as they always do when the seasons change.  And the holidays are always THE. WORST.  My residents generally have poor or nonexistant relationships with their family, so the family holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas are particularly painful.  I try to keep them busy as hell with other things as a distraction, but I can’t occupy all of their time.  Those feelings will be there, in the background, just like they are for me.

At least Halloween comes first, and someone thought it was a good idea to give me an Oriental Trading catalogue.  BWAHAHAHA ALL THE HALLOWEEN STUFF WILL BE MIIIIINE!  I will have the most kick-ass party!

I love Halloween.  And I really do love fall, once it’s actually, y’know, fall.  It’s the transition period (read: GODAWFUL SEPTEMBER I HATE YOU) that is awful.

In other news, some of my hair is purple.  I dyed a section green for my Rhinox costume at TFcon, transitioned to cyan as a middle color, and have finally made it to my target color of purple.  It took two bleachings and three dye sessions to get the blue down to a manageable amount and the purple to the shade I wanted, but damn, it’s worth it!

And now there will be a VIP on campus tomorrow so of course I will be in hiding.  Unnatural hair coloring is such a faux pas in the more srs bsns portions of the mental health world, so while my boss is cool with it, I don’t want to make us look bad.  Though my clothing for dress-up purposes take advantage of the purple to match my outfit. ^_^

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Checklists

So in case you couldn’t tell, last Thursday was pretty damn bad.  I was a disaster most of the day.  Thankfully, Chihiro was right there with me the whole time, sitting on me and purring constantly.  Around five, I finally started to feel it lifting.  I was in one of those places where I didn’t really even have words- I couldn’t talk without sobbing.  I wanted to call people for support but I am pretty sure someone would’ve called the police to have a wellness check done on me, as I don’t think I could’ve held up a conversation if my life depended on it.  I had my Chihiro, though, and things were… ok.

After managing to drag myself out of my chair and do a few things, I posted this to facebook:

Self-care I have managed in the last 48 hours:
-I took off work FMLA today in order to take care of myself since I was in a very dark place and didn’t feel like being certed involuntarily by a coworker
-I have taken all of my medication
-This was aboout 72 hours ago, but I have changed pharmacies to the Walgreen’s right up the road- as much as it hurts to not support a small independent pharmacy, the shipping costs plus the repeated late packages due to they putting on a signature order (despite my repeated pleas not to) have led to me missing doses of medication at least 6 times in the last couple months, along with stretching my already thin budget. As someone who prides herself on her medication compliance, as I know it makes a HUGE difference, which I’ve felt lately. Now I know if I forget to order a refill, I can go get it with very little hassle.
-I have eaten several meals with fruits and vegetables in them that were not soup (since I’m out) and have been meals I cooked by hand (and I am contemplating a potato with broccoli right now, that sounds good)
-I have stayed hydrated and avoided caffeine all day
-I have showered, and plan to brush my teeth before bed, after eating another meal
-I got 4-5 hours of sleep last night/this morning, and have stayed up the rest of the day so I can go to bed at a normal time to make sure my sleep rhythm is ok
-I have fed and watered the cat, cleaned her litterbox, watered plants on my porch, and fed and watered the sparrow horde (plus one cardinal and my darling woodpecker that visits me a lot)
-I have packed up and mailed a jewelry order
-I have reached out to friends even though the brainweasels didn’t want me to, to let them know I am hurting but I am ok, and tell them what is going on in my head and asked for support.
-I have stalwartly ignored the urge to check my gmail, which my work email forwards to, to prevent triggers. Work can wait until I get there tomorrow, and I *will* get there tomorrow
-And if I don’t get there tomorrow, I will call my psychiatrist first thing and park myself in his office until I can be seen, so he can assess whether or not I should go to the hospital. I feel like I’ll be ok now, though
-I have written a blog post to get the worst of this out of my head
-I have cried and not felt ashamed

All of this was made possible by the amazing Chihiro, who hasn’t left my side since I got home from work yesterday in the throes of this cycle. She backed off when I got up and engaged in a lot of these self-care activities, but she has been following me around the apartment and stayed within about ten feet at all times.

Listing these accomplishments makes me feel stronger than I’ve felt all day. I hope to achieve tackling my dishes later and packing breakfast and lunch for tomorrow, but if I don’t achieve those goals, I plan to be kind to myself about them.

It helped tremendously.  I’m going to start doing that when things are dark in my headspace, because having a list of small accomplishments helps.  One of my friends responded:

I’m so proud of you! Wasn’t long ago that it’d be a good day to do just 1 thing on that list, and look at what all you accomplished! You truly are an inspiration 🙂

It is a pretty long list, considering how dark things had been earlier in the day and over the previous night.  I still feel good about it.

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Oh, for the love of…

*Insert lots and lots of curse words here*

I can’t even really figure out how to articulate my frustration at how I feel right now.

I have been getting my meds mailed to me by a small independent pharmacy back in the small town my parents live. However, they changed their policies about mailing things to require a signature, and my postal carrier seems to enjoy not leaving those little “I tried to deliver to you but you weren’t home” slips in my mailbox until the third attempt, so I have to take time away from work to go to the post office that is of course in the opposite direction of work to pick it up myself, because now it’s three days past when I was supposed to have my meds and it’d be another two if I signed the slip and put it back in the box. Not to mention when I did that the first time, it languished, ignored, in my mailbox for two days before I went to give someone an earful at the post office.

I demanded that my pharmacy stop doing that, and after a few tries they managed to get the hint, until my last shipment of meds. Even though I want to support it, because small town businesses are important, my mental health has been seriously suffering due to multiple missed doses of various meds over the last couple of months. This time, I missed out on some of my recently increased Lamictal. I finally went to the Walgreen’s that is around the corner, because I know that even if I forget to fill my prescription until the last second, I can get it filled and pick it up right away.

I am pretty sure I missed 200 mg of my 300 mg Lamictal prescription on Tuesday. I had been waiting for a refill of the 200s, so I had been substituting in two of the 100s until it arrived, but I can’t remember if I’d added them that night, and based on the hell in my head right now? I’m pretty damn sure I missed it.

Wednesday was increasingly a nightmare as the day dragged on, and I spiraled farther into a dark, dark cycle of thinking. I called in around 5 am Thursday morning, and finally managed to go to sleep somewhere between 8-9 am. I was up again at 1 pm for a return to the emotional abuse of the day before. As I write this, I’m waiting for it to be a reasonable bedtime before I go let myself sleep so I don’t get my circadian rhythm completely borked. I am really struggling. (Italicized statements are the words echoing in my head that I am trying desperately to not believe.)

I am barely letting myself eat, barely letting myself sleep, and hating myself the whole while, and the tiny rational part of me is trying to encourage some healthier behaviors even as it’s shoved further into a corner by the darkness. All of the usual arguments aren’t working- I know I wouldn’t treat a kid or my best friend this way, but I’m neither of those things so who cares.  My family would miss me, I’m sure of it, but the part of my brain that insists on telling me I’m a pathetic burden is louder right now. I bought a toy for my nephew to hold over myself as leverage; I need to stick around to give it to him.

I’m sitting here sobbing and the voices are still telling me you’re pathetic and being ridiculous. Who cares? Even the people that do care wouldn’t if they really knew you, if they really knew how much of a disappointment you are. If they knew what you’ve done and how many ways you’ve failed.

I’m a sham, trying so hard to pretend I’m normal when I’m so damaged and broken. I keep reaching out to people and hoping I can hold on to them before my weakness disgusts them, I’m too weak and needy, I’m going to scare them away. After all, I can’t even keep a boyfriend because my mental illness makes their boners sad. Primus help me, but I hope I can survive this with my psyche intact.

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I swear I’m not dead.

I have just been alternately really busy, and really apathetic.

For a while, posting to my blog felt just… wrong, because I felt so much better. I still feel much better than I did back when this blog began. My downswings are not quite as bad, and don’t last quite as long. I haven’t found myself in an ER in more than a year, now. I can recover from a bad couple of days, within a couple of days, and a mental health day from work usually does the trick.

I have a job I really, really love, which helps. I’m transitioning into being just the Community Integration Coordinator (we have too many case management clients for me to manage both jobs any more by myself) and this basically means I will get paid to plan fun things and go DO said fun things with my residents. For example, today I bought 17 tickets to a 4th of July basketball game, and a fishing license. I can get a special license to cover all the residents of the facility once I had my own, so mine has now been submitted to the DNR to get the special one. I bought supplies for the resident store, and started planning and purchasing items for a sensory room for one of our autistic residents. I rented a movie for movie night on campus- the new Robocop, since residents wanted Jurassic Park until I can afford to send them to Jurassic World but the Family Video people were like “HAHAHAHA yeah right we can’t keep our one copy here to save our lives right now.” I ran an Independent Living Skills group about food and kitchen safety, I talked to residents as they wandered in and out of the rec center about a whole range of things… and I enjoyed all of it. I’m tired, because I’m pulling 10s all week to make up for Monday, and I didn’t get quite enough sleep last night.

May was a little rough and I had some of my usual seasonal downswing nonsense, plus something very triggering happening at work, so I have finally had The Talk with HR and my boss about my illness, and FMLA has been applied for. (My boss evidently thinks I can schedule my episodes, but enh.) My wellbutrin was upped and that seems to have made the difference. I don’t know if we want to bring it back down or not, I’m not feeling overmedicated or anything, and it might’ve helped me bounce back from this weekend as quickly as I was able to. (Two days to come back to baseline from a night of very serious suicidal thoughts, for me, is DAMN fast.)

I am struggling a bit with eating. I know I need to, but money is tight, and most nights I just don’t care anymore. I eat very little now and a full meal makes me feel queasy. I have more or less gone vegetarian because I simply cannot afford meat, so red meat and my insides really dislike one another. I eat a lot of other kinds of protein- eggs, dairy, peanut butter, refried beans- but I just don’t think I’m eating enough. I’m writing this at 9:45 at night and I have yet to make myself dinner. I’ve been vaguely hungry, but I keep coming up with excuses to get up and make it (current excuse: I’m writing a blog post! Two in a row! I can’t stop now!) I am also sometimes not letting myself sleep, because I feel like I don’t deserve it. This is usually when I’m already feeling down and then the more tired I get, the more self-abusive my thoughts get. I also tend to have a panic attack once I do lie down when I’m in that state, making falling asleep even harder.

I wish I understood why I do this stuff to myself. I know I deserve to eat and rest and take care of myself, but I just… I dunno. I’m not sure why I’m punishing myself or what I did to ‘deserve’ it. I guess it’s still self-harm, just a less immediate form, like cutting or swallowing. It doesn’t make me feel better, though; it just makes me more susceptible to the insidious whispers of the illness. Stupid illness. :/

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Rough night

So on Monday and Tuesday, which are presently my weekend, I was all kinds of productive. I got my entire to-do list tackled, and I started working on my costume design for TFCon. I got very excited, to the point of getting hypomanic about it…. which led to a panic attack and no sleep spiral. I called in to work around 5 am as I still had not managed to sleep (or stop panicking) and said I had a stomach bug. I slept most of the day and feel better now, though I want to cry, and possibly panic some more over things. I am worried about money, about getting debt paid off as fast as my parents want me to… So much worry. And it’s been over a year that I’ve had any kind of medical oversight. I have an appointment next week to meet with a guy about getting health insurance in place, so while that is MORE money going out, at least I might be able to start seeing the doctors I need to see again.

There is a possibility that I might get a promotion at work. I’m excited and nervous and mostly just feeling scared, because things are happening so fast.

I am basically one big ball of anxiety today and I am not terribly happy about it. :/

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When running jokes become reality

So this coming Saturday is my birthday. Most of the managers will get cupcakes or cake for people on their birthday, so I was joking with the general manager about whether or not I was more likely to get cake at home or at work on Saturday. The manager who never does stuff like that was running the shift on my birthday, so I asked for it off, figuring maybe my family will do something for my birthday.

So then I had a conversation with mom, and she told me that she’s going to my nephew’s eye appointment Friday morning, and then meeting my sister across the state as my sister has a job interview over there, and they were going to check out some places that my sister and her husband might rent, etc, in the event that she moves there. Mom said she’ll be staying there overnight and she should be home Saturday night.

I started crying. I’d already made the request and the schedule had been done, and I work all day on Friday and Sunday, so trading someone would be very difficult. I couldn’t even believe it. The joke about me not getting anything at home either was coming true.

The conversation led to my job search and frustration with that, and frustration with how my stepdad is treating me. We had this conversation two days in a row, actually, as I was so depressed after the first rendition that I spent the day hiding in my room. The second version of the conversation was really, really bad.

Basically, my parents are tired of constantly having to help someone out. Mom’s taking care of her parents, and my brother and I, and my nephew, and things are stressful with my stepdad. My brother and I don’t pay rent or buy food, and we don’t do enough around the house, and what we do isn’t good enough most of the time, and my parents see me as fat, lazy, and selfish. Mom brought up how she doesn’t feel I’m healthy and she doesn’t agree with my health beliefs (health at every size) because clearly being fat isn’t fixing anything for me (?) and I need to try something different. I need to find a job, and I’m never doing enough to get it, there is always something to criticize, and when I pointed that out I was told that I need to stop with the “poor me bullshit” and get out there and find something. It was suggested that I sell my car (I have five months left) so I can get an apartment and move out. I just wish I understood why my stepdad hates me so much.

I’m genuinely afraid I’m going to be kicked out. I have no idea what to do. I’ll be calling on a job lead Monday morning, as well as calling about the job interview, as I haven’t heard anything yet and I really, really want to do SOMETHING. I’m looking in Cincinnati again, and Columbus, and contemplating just responding to the next ad for a trucker that offers CDL training. That seems to be the only thing available up here, and I’m quickly running out of time. I have been here nine months and I feel like I wore out my welcome about nine months ago.

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The Ides of March is upon us

Saturday is the ninth anniversary of being hospitalized in college.

It’s a pretty big milestone, same as how the following Saturday marks my 30th birthday.

I feel trapped right now. I think my parents are wanting to kick me out, because I’m not getting any results in my job search and thus cannot contribute to the household finances. I clean and try to be useful, but I don’t think it’s enough. I try not to eat here so I don’t use up too much food. I try to just stay out of the way in my room so I don’t have to bother them with existing, but they still find things to complain about. They have this all or nothing view on my illness; either I’m completely disabled and need to go on disability, or I’m 100% ok and need to just suck it up and get a job. Not that I’m not trying as hard as I can. My stepdad’s mad that I don’t get job interviews. My parents want me to start my master’s so I have a chance at finding a job here, but it’s a 3-4 year road, and it starts with the GRE, which I am not sure I’ll be able to pass.

I’m going to restart my job search in the Cincinnati area. I have relatives and friends down there, maybe places I could crash for a month or two until I get my finances in order. I’m just not having any luck and it’s making things really, really tense around here.

I don’t think I got the job. I haven’t gotten a call, but I haven’t gotten a letter either. But the more time goes by, the more I just want to curl into a ball and cry.

Would it be awful to spend my ninth anniversary in the hospital? I’m starting to feel like I might, and I haven’t been that depressed lately. I just… want to escape. I’m trapped and I’m scared and I can’t win no matter what I do.

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