Thursday, June 23, 2016

Crashing

I'm not sure if this is going to be a coherent post. I was clearly in hypomania for at least six weeks or so; I was sped up and felt like I had caffeine in me all the time. But now I feel slow and depressed. It's hard for me to think of things when people ask me questions and my thought processes are all around slowed down. I have a heavy heart and I feel like shit. Like a shit. I feel like a piece of shit.

Good and bad things have happened, that's not what this is about. I can clearly feel that this is my chemistry cycling into depression just as it has many times before. I was happy earlier, then irritated, angry, now sad. I just don't want to be this sad. I guess I have to pay the price for the high I felt earlier.

I told my meds doctor that I had stopped taking my Lithium because I thought I didn't need it. I thought that perhaps I was misdiagnosed and maybe my illness should be classified as Major Depressive Disorder as it has been for like 10 years...

And the lithium didn't seem to be doing anything for me, I don't even get side effects from it, it felt like a sugar pill. So, I just didn't worry about taking it every day.

Once I started to feel some negative effects of the hypomania like the irritation and the anger, and I was super rude to this guy at work and starting to get written up again for being a jerk, I started taking my lithium again.

AND I've asked my meds doctor to add something for anxiety because I have been on the edge of my seat nearly every moment of the day. It takes so much for me to relax at night. Sometimes I do ok and then other times I need to listen to guided sleep meditations and it might take multiple ones before I can relax my muscles and breathe easy.

My illness has been nuts lately. The hypomania and depression and anxiety would be enough but I've also been possibly experiencing such social anxiety as to border on paranoia. On wikipedia (great source, I know, I know...) it says that "Social anxiety is at the bottom of this hierarchy as the most frequently exhibited level of paranoia."

And " A paranoid person may view someone else's accidental behavior as though it is with intent or threatening."

I feel that these quotes totally describe me. Recently, I've had to turn my music up in the office so that I can't hear others' conversations because otherwise I start to think they are talking about me; gossiping and saying negative things. A couple times I've felt so intense about it I've had to go down and try to get a drink of water or something near them so I could hear what they were saying and see if they were talking about me. They weren't of course.

Or, once, a couple of my coworkers left around lunchtime and I thought they had gone out to lunch without inviting me. I had to listen to some breathing exercises on my phone to calm down. It turned out they had just gone to the post office and as soon as they got back they invited me to lunch.

Another time, I noticed my boss had left the office with our HR director and I was sure they were talking about how I was 5 minutes late that morning and how HR didn't like me and wanted me gone. But it turned out they had gone to buy food for our annual picnic. I mean, they could have still been talking about me.

I've had this problem since middle school, where I'll be certain that a nearby group of people is saying bad things about me and I'll be really angry and embarrassed and not be able to think about anything else.

Last week I accused my therapist of not listening to me, being condescending, and saying a few things with a nasty/mocking tone. She assured me that was not her intention, and told me that it made her uncomfortable that I said those things and that she felt she had to be careful with every facial expression, gesture, and word she said. She said she would still work with me but did not understand why I wanted to still work with her.

If I have intense social anxiety, every therapist is going to make me feel uncomfortable, but should I keep silent when I feel hurt? Or is she maybe a jerk and not owning up to it? Who would?

The problem is dizzying.

Does my therapist have good intentions?

Well, it didn't feel like it to me.

But, I know that I often have symptoms of paranoia.

And yet, shitty people still exist and have done shitty things to me.

She seems to know her stuff, knows CBT and does more than just ask, 'so how was your week?'

Doesn't mean she didn't have a bad day, and is now trying to cover her ass.

Well, everyone has bad days, they shouldn't be hated forever for it.

That is true, and she does seem like a good therapist. But, I'm not sure she wants to work with me anymore. And, maybe her bedside manner just sucks. And, if social interactions are my problem shouldn't she be trying to help me instead of kicking me to the curb?

Well, she said she would continue to work with you. So she didn't completely kick you to the curb. There is some uncertainty about whether she will end up cancelling. A good therapist should definitely help no matter how uncomfortable they are, as long as it's not in a sexual way. It's what I would do. Haven't I earned that in Karma, yet?

I don't know, maybe you need to wipe some more butts and wash some more feet first. Or maybe Karma doesn't work that way - or doesn't exist. 

 I don't know where to go from here. This was supposed to be the basic argument - I didn't feel like she had good intentions but I'm crazy so maybe she did, but I'm crazy so how am I ever supposed to know the difference?

Yea, it kinda got off track.

It's ok, no one's going to read this far. 

 I can't afford my therapist anymore anyway.

I kinda think you should do one more session with her - just to see what happens. Will she cancel? Will she freak out? Will it be awful? Will it be ok? Will she insist you see someone else afterwards? It could confirm or deny your fears.

Some fears are better left unconfirmed...

For science?

I was going to say let's talk again but now you're getting on my nerves.

Sorry.  

Damn, I can't even be nice to myself. Well, I knew that. My nightmares are too disturbing to talk about. 




 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Recovery: So What Now?

You know what's weird about recovery?

Every fucking thing.

If I'm not binging, or picking, or obsessing....

What the hell am I doing? It's like there's a great big hole in my life tonight. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't there yesterday and it probably won't be there tomorrow. But, tonight feels very weird.

I haven't binged in a month. I've rarely even felt the urge during that time and it's pretty unclear why. I got sick twice last month; the first time with a nasty stomach bug where I threw up bile (yay fun times...) and then a week later with the flu which included a lovely 101.7 F fever. That one took me about three weeks to fully recover from. And for two of those I was not regular at all.

So during these sick weeks I had zero appetite. The thought of food made me ill and all I ate was crackers, jello, applesauce, and maybe soup - near the end of it. The first time I was sick I was pretty much done with eating that stuff and SO ready to eat real food again. As soon as my appetite was back and pretty much right on the line of thinking I could handle it: I went out and bought myself a half dozen donuts.

My appetite still hasn't really come back after the second time of being sick. Well, I shouldn't say that exactly. I want to eat food but my appetite has changed and the way I go about making food choices has changed. Before I eat I check in with myself  to see if I'm really hungry, what I'm hungry for, and what will best actually satisfy that hunger.

LISTEN TO ME.

Before I eat I check in with myself  to see if I'm really hungry, what I'm hungry for, and what will best actually satisfy that hunger.

Not as a diet plan, not because my therapist suggested it that week, I'm doing it AUTOMATICALLY.

WITHOUT THINKING.

 Well fucking shit.

Do you know what I'm having right now? A smoothie. I have access to snacks, but right now my body wants something cold, refreshing, a little sweet - something like juice (but I don't have any juice) and I chose to make this smoothie. Although, I'm realizing now that I'm still hungry and I could use something more filling - maybe one of my veggie corn dogs or just a hot dog.

I usually would have consumed a package of something chocolate by now.

I'm sorry this post contains so many paragraphs - it's just how I'm feeling right now. Each thing I'm doing is a fucking Eureka - breakthrough - moment and shit.

I'm also sorry about all the cursing. Well, not really.

Anyway, let's return to the original thesis; recovery is seriously weird but I didn't really notice it until tonight. I talked with my therapist today and he asked me if I missed the binging and what I did instead as my evening ritual. I told him I didn't miss it and the truth is I barely even noticed. The transition from listening to what my body needed when I was sick to listening to it when I was well was so gradual it was absolutely seamless. I'm sure it also had a lot to do with all the things I've been learning in therapy about HOW to listen to my body. I'm definitely going to keep reading the book I started about mindful eating since I think it has had a direct correlation to this event and I only completed one of the exercises.

So what did I do instead of binging?

Honestly, some nights I picked. I have dermatillomania and I have often picked the skin off my feet before or after binging so I just went straight to it when stressed this past month. I also still watched a LOT of tv, and played on my phone - Sudoku is my thing.

But tonight I got bored of that. I mean, it IS pretty dull doing that in your free time all the time. I'm not saying I'm to the point where I'm really going to start doing anything else... simply because I'm too stubborn to say that. I don't know why - some sort of mental block. Like - I'm not wasting time, I'm gonna do whatever I WANT, bitch!

But... maybe what I want to do is changing a little?

I hope someone out there gets what I am trying to say here. Recovery is uncomfortable. Sure, I'm not binging tonight but what AM I doing? Who am I underneath all my disorders? Now I'm restless and I've got to deal with everything that the binging 'treated.'

Blech.

























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Monday, January 25, 2016

Republican Gamers, Homophobes, and Staying Home

     I can't believe it's been three months since I last talked to those Republican Gamers. The DM did text me and asked me back over for a game night a month later but I turned it down. They have not asked again. I guess I just didn't feel like I could go back over there.

I haven't been gaming anywhere else either, there's this guy who is a giant homophobic bigot (who reeks of cigarette smoke - sorry, guys, I hate that smell) who declared in the middle of Machi Koru that he thought he and I liked each other and that he wanted to make sure that we played the next game together. I laughed way too loud and awkwardly and really did not know what to say. If I had been suave and cool and perhaps a normal person I might have said,

"I'm sorry, I was really just enjoying your company as a friend and I'm not really interested in anything more."

But in front of everyone? I'm just not that coherent. I mean, he was fun to play with and I was friendly toward him but not that friendly. At least I didn't think so.

And, if you're wondering if I have any reason to call him a homophobic bigot, I do. He got up on his soap box in front of everyone about how he had to stop watching certain shows because they have gay men on them now, but he's OK with lesbians as long as they aren't 'the butch dyke ones.' Right...

The sad thing is when I was there I was talking to the Republican Gamers, and lamenting how people can actually still hold these opinions and the DM drops the bomb on me that he really feels the same way about gay people but he 'knows better than to spout off about it in mixed company.'

Shit.
So, I haven't been back to that gaming circle either. Two down.

I HAD been trying a new place downtown. That's the one I had been thinking about cancelling in my last post. It went SO WELL. We played Fate which is an RPG where there is no DM and you basically take turns telling parts of the story. It was really fun and there was a couple of really cool guys who showed up to play.

 But guess who suddenly started showing up downtown for their next games?... um, yes, Homophobic Dude. I guess I could have gone anyway but honestly he's a big guy and it's scary enough trying to go to new places where you don't know anyone and you're not really sure of your surroundings, then suddenly you think this big, crazy guy who may or may not have been a gunner in the military seems to be stalking you? Easier to stay home.

It's really a shame because I was getting into gaming and RPG's. Mostly the people there are into the same things I'm into plus the games were the right amount of complicated so that I could sink my brain into them and not think about anything else. It's kind of like what I was doing with TV before, but healthier. Instead of using a hobby to shut off my brain, I was trying to think through all these rules so that I could ruthlessly destroy my opponent (and drop some nerdy jokes while doing so). It really was a lot of fun, I miss those Republican Gamers. But, I am really not sure what I would do at this point.

I don't know if the problem was me or them, you know? Should I really expect myself to be able to get along with people whose views are so fundamentally different from mine? And, weren't they pretty big jerks about it?

OR, is it me? Is my view skewed? I saw them as attacking me but is that my personal neuroses? Were they really acting like normal people and I was the one acting like a fucking nutcase?

I'm really a broken toy right now when it comes to personal relationships. 'You hurt me, or scare me, or weird me out at all and you're gone' has been my rule for a while now. It's not a fantastic rule.










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Sunday, October 25, 2015

I Am a Hermit, Don't Ask Me Questions

So, lately I've been doing pretty well and going about my business like a normal person.

Then tonight, I'm at my friends' house playing board games and they start talking politics. It's late, and they have moved seamlessly from one topic to this one and there was no chance to excuse myself.

Three Republicans in a room with me, the only little Democrat, trying as hard as I can to defend our president and other various 'liberal' atrocities. Even though, I'm interested in full discussions of things and examinations of issues and I don't necessarily have views that run exactly down the party lines, it feels to me like everyone is staring at me in anger. They get that angry tone everyone gets when discussing heated topics and it all seems directed at me. They move from one topic to the next, before I've even begun to analyze and ask questions about the first topic. It's not a tennis match - it's a battlefield with cannonballs whizzing past my head.

I DON'T KNOW!!! I DON'T EVEN WATCH THE NEWS BECAUSE IT UPSETS ME!! WHY DO YOU PEOPLE WANT TO TALK ABOUT THIS STUFF AND BE UPSET ALL THE TIME!!!

It just makes me feel like I can't socialize like normal people do, because I can't handle this - very normal thing. People discuss politics. Mostly they don't go home and cry afterwards because they feel like their friends were angry at them.

I don't know how to not take it personally. If someone is looking at me angrily and using an angry tone, it's upsetting!!! And, when I get tripped up and have no idea what anyone is talking about because I avoid all this stupid news crap because when I read it, it puts me in a negative frame of mind which can continue all day and is frankly quite dangerous for me.

I had another game day scheduled with a different group of people, people whom I have never met before on Sunday but I'm not sure if I'm going to be up for going. It was going to be stressful anyway because of the newness, but if I'm already hurt and not feeling great emotionally, it's going to be very difficult to socialize at the level of the 'normals.' I may end up being withdrawn and shy and it's an RPG and that is very bad for RPG's.

I will wait until tomorrow and see how I feel before cancelling. In the meantime, I really wish I had some chocolate.











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Monday, October 19, 2015

That Serial Killer I Dated, Part II



             A while ago I wrote a post about a man who assaulted me on a date. I had a hard time finishing Part Two, but here it is;

Part Two:

             Obviously I have some things I need to work on personally and looking back it’s easy to see the red flags and the many opportunities I had to cut this guy loose before it got to any kind of threatening situation. Maybe it’s a symptom of the depression, but I think that deep down I just don’t see myself as a person who has value. It’s not like I’m thinking in the moment, “I deserved that,” it’s just a general feeling and a habitual way of responding to the world. And day to day, there are times when I think, “Hey, I’m awesome! I’m kick-ass! I’m a strong, independent woman who will never be taken advantage of by a man!” But those are surface thoughts.





 




                It tells me that other people can do whatever they want but I am always to remain polite, calm, courteous and agreeable. 

                And yes, apparently it means whatever they want.

                I could say if it ever happens again I’ll punch that loser right in the nose! But I know I wouldn’t. I’ll make up a polite excuse and leave. I’ll freeze up and do nothing and wait for it to be over. 

                But maybe I shouldn’t be too hard on myself. This is a legitimate survival instinct, isn’t it? If I can’t fight him and he’s got me trapped, then it’s best to pretend nothing weird is happening so that it’s more likely I’ll get an opportunity to get away. If I fought, he might have just held me down harder or even hurt me. 

                It just made me feel a little bit like I was contributing to the problem, making him think I condoned his actions. But in the moment, I shouldn’t feel bad about being only concerned about my safety and getting out of there without further incident. I did whatever it took and that happened to be being compliant and courteous. 

                But it’s true that in general, I have a problem using this defense mechanism ALL the time. I think it’s because when growing up, my dad was angry a lot. It’s not like he beat us, but he would rant and rave and I would have to walk on eggshells. He would get very mad at me if I got the A not the A+, and would force me to ask the teacher what I could do to ‘make up for it.’ I learned that if I was quiet and just sat there until the raging was over and I could run up to my room then that was the best and quickest way out of the situation. 

                In summary; knowing all this about myself makes me want to pay more attention to those red flags in the beginning. Because they were there, and I ignored them because sometimes I don’t feel like I deserve to be treated like a person. And, I think I started this post feeling a bit sorry for myself because I freeze-up and I am polite and courteous to people who are trying to hurt me but I am going to tell myself to refuse to feel that way (hopefully this will work) because I am just trying to protect myself the best way that I know how.  














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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Filling Time

Sometimes things will really hit me. Like tonight, maybe it's the super-red-moon or the fact that there's someone outside my window looking at the moon and I kinda wanted to go out and look at it too, but I saw myself in the mirror and I look like an insane homeless person right now. So I can't go outside.

Then I think: this is why I'm not married, it's because I'm fat and ugly and I never really mastered the use of clothing and makeup. Then I feel angry-sad and frustrated and I think of the people in my life who have what I want and how picking out bridesmaids dresses with my sister is super frustrating and awkward because I'm so hideous. Then I think about other frustrating things like my job and how this one coworker is always interrupting me and talking over me to tell me how 'precious' and 'adorable' it is that I have a backbone over some issue or another, and then I start to see red. I get the tunnel vision and I tense up and wander angrily around my apartment, looking for things to eat.

My body image issues have been pushed up-front with the bridesmaid dress thing. Trying on dresses with my sister's other, thinner bridesmaids made me feel very on-display. Plus, my sister dancing around my size issue is like an old white man trying to pander to a minority crowd. She will never really get it and she makes these terrible, cringe-worthy comments. I had to come up and tell the sales-lady that the corset they gave me was two sizes too small, and I made a joke about it that I thought was fairly funny - the saleslady chuckled. But, I look over at my sister and she makes that 'tsss - oh' face and I think: what the hell?

Sometimes I hate my family. I know I can be rude sometimes, but I don't treat them the way they treat me. My rudeness is just repressed rage that comes out in little bursts so I don't literally explode.

So I decided I needed a break from family for a little while. Except, my sister keeps texting me about wedding stuff and I keep thinking about it because I'm not good at letting things go.

AND work has become 100% more stressful. Having staff is the worst. I'm getting frustrated with a few people who are not treating me with respect and taking me seriously.

My work environment is very informal, so some of rage-y Jane is starting to show herself. I'm getting a little too comfortable and a little too stressed, I think. I'm a quiet person and I don't have a lot to say most of the time but when I do want to talk, I expect people to listen. Because it's my turn, I listened to them and they should listen to me; that's what's fair. But certain people at work like to interrupt me or talk over me and not let me speak. And that is one of my biggest pet peeves ever. So... last week I just kept talking, and cut them off when they cut me off and did what I had to do to say my piece. But it did not feel good at all. I felt angry and disrespected and dirty. Polite conversation is my thing, I don't like what I have to do to talk them. I mean, it's not like I yelled or anything but it would be nice to find a different solution to this.

Anyway, I'm not sure if this post really has any cohesive point. Maybe just that I would like to begin separating my personal and professional lives a little more, now that I'm beginning to have distinct differences there. And, focus on work during work time only, so that I can try to cut down on some of this extra thinking about work that is not productive and just angers me. If I can make my personal time more fulfilling then I'll be more refreshed to deal with work stress.

I went on two dates with a guy, but that didn't go anywhere and wasn't very eventful. I've been going to play board games at this couple's house who I met though meetup.com. I was going to a game night at a church but recently have just been gaming with this smaller group at their house. It's been pretty fun. Kinda stressful at times, because I'm not used to having friends and socializing in a non-work setting. Especially awkward was when they were talking politics, partly because they all seem to be republicans and I'm a democrat. But, they seem to like me so far so I'm trying to keep that going.

I met up with an old friend from high school who I had a falling-out with in college. We caught up and I'll probably meet with her again. (The falling-out was partly over religion. Hooray, religion and politics - worst topics to discuss with people, ever)

I started counting my steps when I work on Saturdays since I do a TON of walking, and I'll count it as an exercise day as long as I reach 10,000 steps. I did 23,000 last Saturday and at least 15,000 yesterday (I forgot to check again at the end).

So, I guess that's it. Miscellaneous update about stuff.








Jane                























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Monday, August 10, 2015

My TV addiction

Let's talk about how boring writing is and how much I've needed noise in my life since college.

So, lately my obsession has been watching vlogbrothers videos on youtube. John Green is a novelist who writes YA books like Paper Towns, which I just read on vacation. I discovered John's videos before reading his books and I think the main reason for my obsession is just that he is very mature while also being very silly. He is smart but humble and the one picture that caused me to look him up from the start was this;

 








As a person who has been struggling with questions of the dating realm for a few years now (and probably should have struggled a bit more with those questions earlier in life) this really struck home for me. Suddenly I thought, well... this guy exists and has this awesome opinion so maybe men aren't all bad. I know, I don't ever want to come across as the 'Feminazi' but if you read my previous blog posts you have to admit I've had it pretty rough lately and I've only written about a fraction of it, you guys.

Hopefully he's not a unicorn.

Dating sucks ass, you guys, but I'm not really wanting to talk about that right now.

The point is that John Green and his brother are awesome, smart, and compassionate, and they are just the sort of people that I am looking to try and surround myself with. AND it turns out they actually have a whole community of fans called nerdfighters that maybe I can get involved with. I haven't seen anything IRL as of yet, but I will be keeping an eye out.

ANYWAY, the thing I actually wanted to talk a bit about was how I was watching one of John Green's video's today and he was talking about how boring writing is and how reading is not really conducive to our multi-tasking, immediate-update culture. That made me think about how since college, I have needed noise in my life. I've just needed to have some kind of TV show running basically at all times because when I don't, I start to think too much and get into depressive thought cycles. College was one of the more difficult times of my life because of how depressed I was and how early on I was into my diagnosis and treatment. I have done so much work since then on my thought processes;

Meta-cognition; thinking about thinking, and then changing how you think, is incredibly difficult.

Anyway, when I was so sick with depression, TV was a fantastic balm. Books didn't work because my anxiety level was so high for a year I physically could not read any more. But I could lose myself in television. My boyfriend (this is the Jack from my earliest posts) thought it was pretty sick: a Fahrenheit 451 level of distasteful. But, when you have cancer, don't they shoot poison into your veins? Most people don't understand just how bad my illness got.

I'm not at that level of depression anymore but I still watch TV like it's my job. I feel a little uncomfortable without it being on. Maybe it was my methadone? But now I'm still addicted to it. And, it impairs my ability to be quiet and to do things that require quiet such as writing. I even do my yoga while watching a TV show (one that isn't yoga). When I was living with my parents I think I sought out quiet more because it was so loud there with my sister and my dad. And, of course, going to high school there was so much noise there.

Maybe I don't really like the quiet as much as I used to think I did and when I moved out on my own  I ended up being a lot more lonely than I have cared to admit. And so, I just like to hear the people talking on the TV even if I'm not really paying attention to the show. Maybe if I balance my life out a little more and have more people in it then I will seek out the quiet again and write and read and play music and do yoga without needing TV.

I am working on my life balance and most of the time I feel so unsatisfied because I am 29 and things are not where I want them to be. But it has been good today to remember where I used to be. I'm glad I'm not there anymore and I have come a long way, I have made progress. But, I probably will continue to watch John Green videos while I finish my laundry because he inspires me. He inspired me to write today. Thanks, John.













Jane               


















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