Sunday, October 31, 2010

All Hallow's Eve

Anorexia nervosa is a serious, occasionally chronic, and potentially life-threatening eating disorder defined by a refusal to maintain minimal body weight within 15 percent of an individual's normal weight. Other essential features of this disorder include an intense fear of gaining weight, a distorted body image, denial of the seriousness of the illness, and amenorrhea (absence of at least three consecutive menstrual cycles when they are otherwise expected to occur).

There are two subtypes of anorexia nervosa. In the restricting subtype, people maintain their low body weight purely by restricting their food intake and, possibly, by excessive exercise. Individuals with the binge eating/purging subtype also restrict their food intake, but also regularly engage in binge eating and/or purging behaviors such as self-induced vomiting or the misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas. Many people move back and forth between subtypes during the course of their illness. Starvation, weight loss, and related medical complications are quite serious and can result in death. People who have an ongoing preoccupation with food and weight even when they are thin would benefit from exploring their thoughts and relationships with a therapist. The term anorexia literally means loss of appetite, but this is a misnomer. In fact, people with anorexia nervosa often ignore hunger signals and thus control their desire to eat. Often they may cook for others and be preoccupied with food and recipes, yet they will not eat themselves. Obsessive exercise that may accompany the starving behavior can cause others to assume falsely that the person must be healthy.
*

Yeowza, I'm tired and I'm not even done with today yet.  Right now I'm hanging out in the basement with Phoenix whilst my parents hand out candy to trick-or-treaters.  In a little while I'm going to the local haunted house (and touted to me the best one in Colorado), Frightmare.  I haven't been to this one in a long time, so I'm excited to go.  I don't think I've ever gone ON Halloween night to a haunted house before, either, so that's cool too!

We had a soccer game at freaking 9am this morning and good heavens it was cold!  It didn't look that cold outside, and I locked my bedroom door before I left, only to remember that the key had broken off in the lock when I unlocked it on Friday after the movie, so I left in a t-shirt and soccer shorts, no sweatshirt or pants, to go hang out outside in like 40 degree weather.  My hands were numb most of the first half.  Anyway, the game was really fun, most of our regular players showed up today and we killed the other team.  One of the things I like about our team is that after we've scored around 4 goals or so, the guys sort of drop back and push all the girls up on offense so we have a chance to score.  I had a couple opportunities today, but Jen was the only girl to score.  We won at least 7-1.  They scored the last goal after Pancho (the league and field director) came out and played with the other team for the last 10 minutes of the second half.  It was a fun last game of the season!  I thought today about how I'd like to be in shape for the beginning of the spring season next year, so that's something I would like to strive for.  We'll see.  

After the game, I went and bought a couple pumpkins and then took Phoenix to the dog park.  Today was another disgustingly gorgeous day in October in Colorado.  I don't like winter, but I'm getting a little sick of seeing the sun every single day!  Which is really stupid to say.  Phoenix got attacked at the park, by a yellow lab.  The lab and a great dane came running up to us on the trail, and almost right after the initial sniff, the dog just went at Phoenix!  That is the first real fight Phoenix has been in since I got him.  I would like to think that he's just a pacifist and not submissive, but he almost always just lies right down when a dog becomes aggressive with him.  He's so much like me!  Although it's taken me a long, LONG time to be able to stand up and fight for myself; I used to just let people yell at me and insult me.  Hopefully he'll get a little more defensive as he gets older.  I told him I'd have to start knocking him around at home so he'd know how to fight back.

After the dog park, we carved pumpkins, and here they are: 

 This one is supposed to be Jack Skellington from the Nightmare Before Christmas.  It got a little messed up but it was way harder to do than I thought it would be!
 Here are the barfing pumpkin and it's brother, I did the top one and my dad did the bottom one.  I submitted it to 9News and they said they'd try to get it on the 10pm news tonight!
This is the one my mom did (freehand), and I added the witch hat.  I think it's perfect for the expression!

On a slightly more serious note, it has been made apparent to me that Former Bestie has been in contact with at least one of my friends to express her concern for some of the things I write about here.  She's not concerned with the writing, she's concerned about me.  My initial reaction is to be mad at Former Bestie.  I don't like that she won't come to me with her concerns, although I have to blame myself a bit because the last we spoke (via email, because that's how our relationship works), I told her I didn't really want her to be proud of me and the progress I'm making at the moment.  I think that I don't want her to feel anything for me right now because I'm so unbelievably hurt - stung is a good word to describe it - about how things are turning out between she and I.  It's as though I don't want her to be supportive of me if she can't do it AS my very best friend in the whole world, the person I depend on the most, the person who knows me better than anyone else.  That makes no sense.  In fact, it's very immature, to react that way.  But I can't help it.  In some aspects of my life, I'm entirely capable of being "the bigger person," keeping my mouth shut and walking away until I can come back and do things sensibly and logically.  However, I was so involved in her life, and she in mine, we were seemingly inextricably hooked to one another, and for one or both of us to walk away without so much as another word to each other, I want to react so as to elicit some kind of reaction out of her.  I even began to pick a fight with her via text today.  I don't know what I expected to happen, but I received no response.  I was thinking about it a little, and her usual excuse (at least since The Boy entered her life) is that she didn't have her phone with her, or her kid was playing with it and lost it, or basically she somehow just lost track of her phone altogether.  As sad as it is, I am pretty attached to my phone.  It is the lifeline to which I cling because I have so many different friendships with so many different people.  I'm getting random texts and phone calls from people all over the place at any given time, and I love it.  It makes me feel loved.  And I began to think - how sad for her that she is so absorbed in her life with her Boy and her kid, that she has no one else in her life with which she wishes to communicate on a regular basis.  And how sad for me that I wasn't important enough for her to keep track of her phone in case I needed her.

I have such a confusion of feelings over the ostensible end of this long and interesting friendship, and confusion is a good word to describe both the jumble of feelings and the trouble I'm having sorting through them.  A very tiny part of me feels relieved because if the friendship really is over, I don't have to worry about the decisions she makes and the effects those decisions will have on me, on her child, and her family.  I'm also so unbelievably angry about the causes and disagreements that were able to seemingly end a strong friendship, but I also feel like the things we have said to one another were a long time coming.  Mayhap I just required a trigger and her rapidly blossomed relationship with The Boy may have been it for me to finally voice things that have been in my head for awhile.  

Of all the different crap things that are going on in my life - the situation with my older sister and the inadvertent dragging of the entire family into said situation, the feelings I have for a certain guy in my life and the lack of reciprocation of those feelings, and the apparent end of my longest and closest relationship with my friend, I'm the most upset over the loss of the friendship.  While I'm angry (and angry is good because it means that I care enough about myself to be mad when someone hurts me instead of just lying down and taking it), I'm also extraordinarily sad.  It's almost as though someone has died.  It's not fair that someone I was so close to and so much dependent upon is suddenly not there, and I feel so very lost without her.  She and I have told one another that it's probably a good thing that we not be so dependent upon one another, but I feel like I have no one to depend on at all, for anything.  I'm mad because I feel like The Boy in her life has suddenly shoved me out of the coveted place I had as The Important One, and she can't see that I'm really hurt by it.  I agree that perhaps we should not depend on each other as much as we did, but now she's fully (and when I say fully, I mean fully - financially, emotionally, physically) dependent on him and I'm dependent on no one but myself.  How did that happen?  

People used to joke with us that it's like we were married, and we even joked with each other that we were (we said we were common-law married since we'd been so close for so long).  I felt like no matter what man passed in or out of my life, that I'd always have a best friend to sort of love me unconditionally.  I was never in love or infatuated with her (and I'm shocked that anyone would suggest that, but it has been suggested), but I did love her like she was a sister I wasn't born with but was meant to have.  And yet the fights I have with my actual sisters never end with the possibility that I'll never see or hear from them again, I know that we'll come back together by force because we are family.  I really truly thought that about she and I, but it looks as though that is not the case, and it's beyond disappointing.

That's a lot of in-depth analysis and detail for a post that started out so lighthearted.  I'm trying to fill the time I might have spent talking to her or joking with her or long-distance-TV-watching with her by doing other things, and I've said before that I'm really putting a lot of work into nurturing the other friendships I have, but nothing can replace the closeness we had without ever actually being close to each other.  I feel that sadness and loss 24 hours a day.


*Berkman ND, Bulik CM, Brownley KA, Lohr KN, Sedway JA, Rooks A, Gartlehner G. "NAMI | Anorexia Nervosa." NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness - Mental Health Support, Education and Advocacy. Web. 31 Oct. 2010. <http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=By_Illness&template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=102975>.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Advantageous and Truthful

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), previously referred to as multiple personality disorder (MPD), is a dissociative disorder involving a disturbance of identity in which two or more separate and distinct personality states (or identities) control the individual's behavior at different times. When under the control of one identity, the person is usually unable to remember some of the events that occurred while other personalities were in control. The different identities, referred to as alters, may exhibit differences in speech, mannerisms, attitudes, thoughts, and gender orientation. The alters may even differ in "physical" properties such as allergies, right-or-left handedness, or the need for eyeglass prescriptions. These differences between alters are often quite striking.

The person with DID may have as few as two alters, or as many as 100. The average number is about 10. Often alters are stable over time, continuing to play specific roles in the person's life for years. Some alters may harbor aggressive tendencies, directed toward individuals in the person's environment, or toward other alters within the person.

At the time that a person with DID first seeks professional help, he or she is usually not aware of the condition. A very common complaint in people with DID is episodes of amnesia, or time loss. These individuals may be unable to remember events in all or part of a proceeding time period. They may repeatedly encounter unfamiliar people who claim to know them, find themselves somewhere without knowing how they got there, or find items that they don't remember purchasing among their possessions.*

I haven't really got much to write about today.  Today was lovely and relaxing.  Never changed out of my sweats or put my contacts in.  Slept and read all day, had a delicious steak dinner with the 'rents and here we are.

Last night, I tried to take advantage of knowing that "Kale" was going to be drinking and I know of his likeliness to be more truthful when he drinks, so I asked him why he wasn't attracted to me.  His answer was that it's not that he's not, it's just that the didn't feel the "out of control breathlessness" that he wants to feel with someone.  I did not find that to be helpful, and told him so, and also told him I thought he was an idiot.  Apparently this hurt his feelings and he told me that maybe I was right, that maybe we shouldn't be friends.  I truly do not know whether or not it is healthy for me to try to be friends with him, but I do know that I would like to be the one who actually makes the decision, so I apologized for calling him an idiot and told him I needed some time and space from him for awhile to think.  And I really do.

I've been trying to get Jonas to set me up with someone for awhile now, because I know that if I were to be dating someone, it would take my mind off of Kale.  I also know that I probably should not attempt to date anyone again for a long, long time, until I can be confident enough in myself to be able to handle being dumped without losing my shit altogether.  So whomever it is that Jonas eventually sets me up with will more than likely be someone I use for my own personal benefits and little else.  However, I have to be a little selfish as I am attempting to heal my heart and soul right now and not feel badly for wanting to be selfish, I think. 

Things would just be so much easier if Prince Charming came into my life, fell madly in love with me and swept me off my feet, happily ever after.  I don't see that happening, but I'm still hopeful!  I'd really like to be able to find some satisfaction within myself so that I'm not looking for personal value to come from others validating me, no matter who they are.  This is going to be a very long journey, which is terrifying and already exhausting just to think about.  I often wonder if it would be better for me to just up and leave, to go somewhere and start over, but that is also exhausting and terrifying to think about, not to mention a bit unrealistic because doing that would come with it's own challenges.  Although I like the idea of new challenges instead of the same old ones that seem to go away and resurface every few months.  I like the idea of change in general, because change is new and exciting even if it is scary because it forces new actions and reactions and adaptation to situations one may not normally be forced to adapt to.  However, at the same time, change is just a way to run away from the same problems each of us face in our everyday lives.  Bills still must be paid, chores must still be done, work must still be attended to, regardless of time or location.  

Anyway, I'm in a very tranquil mood and I'm going to take advantage of it by lying on my bed and watching goofy Halloween movies that are on just about every cable channel.  That is what will make me happy, tonight.

*"NAMI | Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly Multiple Personality Disorder)." NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness - Mental Health Support, Education and Advocacy. 2000. Web. 30 Oct. 2010. <http://www.nami.org/Content/ContentGroups/Helpline1/ Dissociative_Identity_Disorder_(formerly_Multiple_Personality_Disorder).htm>.

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Little More Than Necessary

 Body dysmorphic disorder is a type of chronic mental illness in which you can't stop thinking about a flaw with your appearance — a flaw either that is minor or that you imagine. But to you, your appearance seems so shameful and distressing that you don't want to be seen by anyone. Body dysmorphic disorder has sometimes been called "imagined ugliness."

When you have body dysmorphic disorder, you intensely obsess over your appearance and body image, often for many hours a day. You may seek out numerous cosmetic procedures to try to "fix" your perceived flaws but never are satisfied. Body dysmorphic disorder is also known as dysmorphophobia, or the fear of having a deformity.*

Today caused me to do more thinking than I've been doing in the last week, and I don't particularly like it.  As a female, I am innately inclined to read into things more than they require, causing me to question myself and my situation unnecessarily.  I feel that my performance at work has been right in line with where it should be, and for that I give myself a pat on the back.  I also noticed that my job is taking up more of my life-space than it has up until now, and I don't particularly mind that.  It gives me a small sense of purpose, but not to the point of overwhelming, which it could easily become for me.

This is going to sound so ridiculous.  Last night I had trouble falling asleep (and no, it's not because of all the sleep I had already gotten!), so I hopped onto facebook and just screwed around on there for a little while.  A message popped up from the girls that Jen and I play soccer with, saying that they were talking about us and about how much fun they had with us on Tuesday night, and they wanted to invite us out to a Halloween thing for tonight.  I was floored, as I usually am because I'm terribly naive about the probability that other people talk about me behind my back, good or bad.  I was really excited because I like these girls too, and I had a lot of fun with them, and I felt very flattered that they would invite us.  I immediately said yes without getting the details, and as the details sort of trickled in about what the night's events would be, I began to second-guess myself.  Everyone going was wearing costumes and I have a super easy go-to costume that I can wear if I ever need one last minute - it's a toga, but I do my hair in a curly-messy updo and wear lots of gold jewelry and makeup and throw a couple ivy leaves in my hair.  But I haven't used that costume since I was with Brian, so I'd have had to go buy some of the accessories.  Then I found out that part of the evening was to include a haunted house (the only one I've gone to in Colorado three times already, of course) which would have cost $30, and then this morning I found out that the restaurant we were going to go to for dinner was a Benihana-type restaurant where it's around $30 a plate, plus drinks, so all in all I'd have been looking at spending somewhere around $75 for the night.  I'm trying really hard to be responsible about paying my bills, and I just can't justify spending that much for a sort of spur-of-the-moment night.  Anyway, I think I couldn't fall asleep because I was stressing out about going quite a bit!  I did really want to go, because I did have so much fun with that group earlier this week, but when it boils down to it, I just couldn't do it.  So here I sit in my sweatpants, drinking ice water and listening to whatever's on the Travel channel about ghosts or haunted places or something.  

I do not mind being at home on a Friday night.  I've never minded being at home on a Friday night.  I'm such a homebody that I don't feel weird or left out if I don't have plans on a Friday or Saturday night.  I've spent enough crazy nights hitting the bars and partying and enjoying myself that staying at home and relaxing in my jammies and reading or watching TV or movies is just fine with me.  

Anyway, today ended up being a pretty good day.  I didn't work any extra hours, and right as I was on my way home, "Kale" called me and asked if I wanted to go see a movie, and I said I would go with him.  He came over, and we took Phoenix for a walk and then went to grab drinks before our movie started.  We saw Inception, which I have to say was pretty interesting!  It made me think a lot because of how it's centered on the idea of dreams and because of how important a part my dreams play in my life.  The effects were amazing and fantastic, and the idea was pretty original.  I just love movies so much, every single aspect of movies and movie-making.  I wish my life had gone in a different direction, at least geographically, so that I could have made a bigger effort to have a career in movies, and not just acting.

The more time I spend with Kale, the more things I discover I don't particularly love about him.  He's a little too flippant about drug use for me.  We briefly discussed the principle of "to each his own," and mostly I agree with that, and I try not to be overly judgmental of people I don't know and the decisions they make.  It's a different story when it's people I do know, though, because I've chosen to make different decisions in my life and for the most part (at least when it comes to drinking and drugs), I'm totally satisfied with the experiences I've had and the experiences I've expressly chosen not to have.  There are probably more people on this earth who have experimented with drugs than haven't, and I'm very proud to be one of the people who haven't, and it's as simple as that.  I think it bothers Kale that I'm so anti-drugs.

However, I was discussing with Jonas yesterday why it is that I think I like Kale so much in general, and I discovered that I like that he makes me feel important.  I know that we're just friends at this point, and I'm coming to accept that, but regardless, when we hang out together, I rarely feel like there are other people that he'd rather be spending time with, and that's a feeling I don't think I've had much of in my life, whether or not it's accurate.  Even with Former Bestie, I almost always felt like there was SOMEONE I was competing with for her attention.  With Aaron, there was never ever any time at all in the three and a half years that I felt that I was important to him.  With Brian, it started out okay, but as time passed, it became clear that I was not as important to him as others.  Back in high school, my best friend senior year was more popular than I was, and I never really felt important to her, or even when I was with her, and I can go back and back into the past with each of the friends I've been closest to and name the ones with whom I felt less than important.  I guess this feeling I have of worthlessness ties in very closely to the issues I've got with being abandoned by those I've placed in a position of trust and reverence (with the exception of my family).  It also explains why I find it so surprising when I find out that someone has asked about me or talked about me when I'm not around.  Somewhere in my life I went from feeling proud and confident to feeling insignificant and unimportant (which is kind of redundant but also kind of not).  I don't know if it would do any good for me to try to pick apart when the change occurred or why at this point.  But I wonder that if I don't, maybe it will be harder for me to go back to being proud and confident in myself.

I suppose at this point in my life, it's going to take a whole hell of a lot for someone to enter my life and earn my trust.  Yet I'm so ready and willing to meet someone and immediately only see the good in them and expect to be treated with the respect and kindness with which I treat them (male or female, it doesn't matter).  I'm a terrible judge of character, as I've already demonstrated so many times in my life, especially feeling sympathy for those who I know don't deserve it.  But I'd really rather be treated badly or be disrespected so that I can make my own judgment about a person than have someone else try and make me see them in a negative light.  Another issue with this is that I'm a terribly forgiving person.  I want nothing more in this life than to be treated exactly how I treat others, whether it be bad or good.  People can do me wrong time and time again, and more than likely I will be able to forgive and I will try to forget how I was wronged.  I think this too, ties into my feelings of insignificance and unimportance.  Would someone who felt very important let someone else be mean to them, or treat them badly, and then turn around and forgive them?  Absolutely not.  But at the same time, I have to argue in the light of Christianity and say that it's truly a Christian thing to be able to forgive others for the wrong they do you.  Despite my apparent heathenism and agnosticism (according to my parents), I think that to go to heaven, you have to be able to accept and forgive the things that happen in this lifetime.  I've been very badly hurt by the men in my life, and yet I'm totally fine with forgiving them.  Everyone makes mistakes, some of which hurt others, but to err is human, no?  I want others to be forgiving of me and the things that I do wrong in this lifetime, too, even if that's not how it goes down.

Okay, that's enough analysis for tonight.  I feel like I've emptied a little of the weight from inside my head and can go forward with the weekend and do the best I can to climb out of the hole I've dug for myself these last few months.

*Mayo Clinic Staff. "Body Dysmorphic Disorder - MayoClinic.com." Mayo Clinic Medical Information and Tools for Healthy Living - MayoClinic.com. 5 Nov. 2008. Web. 29 Oct. 2010. <http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/body-dysmorphic-disorder/DS00559>.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thursdays Used To Be My Favorite Day Of The Week

Symptoms of winter SAD usually begin in October or November and subside in March or April. Some patients begin to slump as early as August, while others remain well until January. Regardless of the time of onset, most patients don’t feel fully back to normal until early May. Depressions are usually mild to moderate, but they can be severe. Very few patients with SAD have required hospitalization, and even fewer have been treated with electroconvulsive therapy.

The usual characteristics of recurrent winter depression include oversleeping, daytime fatigue, carbohydrate craving and weight gain, although a patient does not necessarily show these symptoms. Additionally, there are the usual features of depression, especially decreased sexual interest, lethargy, hopelessness, suicidal thoughts, lack of interest in normal activities, and social withdrawal.*

I have a good 45 minutes to write before 30 Rock comes on.  I haven't really written anything of substance the last two nights because I've been so freaking tired, but after about 12 hours of sleep plus a 2 hour nap today, I'm good to go!

Let's start with Tuesday night.  It was great!  There are a couple of girls on the coed soccer team Jen and Rob and I play for that work as promo girls for MKTG, and the company did an event for Jose Cuervo (El Dia de los Muertos [Day of the Dead for those of you who don't speak a lick of Espanol]).  I felt like I was at a sort of underground party, there were scantily clad girls with skull-painted faces dancing on blocks near the stage, on which a few full-body (head and face included) clad beings (I was ultimately unable to determine their sex) laid around on furniture, posing and weirdly caressing one another.  At one point, the body-suited beings got up and danced, and it was at this point we were able to see that they were painted as skeletons with paint that glowed under black light only.  The drinks were free - all tequila-based, there was free food, and Jen and Jamie and Jonas and I all got our faces painted.  We danced and talked for awhile, and then our soccer buddies showed up (they all had an indoor game that night), and we danced and danced and danced with them.  It was great to see everyone out of soccer gear and letting loose and having a great time.  I had such a blast!  I think it's sort of too bad that I'd never had so much fun dancing and drinking until I was 26 years old.

We left after 1, and I was driving and had offered to drive Rob home so he didn't have to take the bus.  In the car, Jen and Rob talked to me about my depression, how I live at home, we talked about my "love life" (or lack thereof) and about Former Bestie.  I guess Rob had mentioned to Jen that he wondered if I'd still be struggling with my depression so much if I didn't live at home, and while I'm still not sure what those two discussed, when Rob said something to me about it, I told him that I have lived on my own before and still struggled with my depression just as much as I am now.  

I moved into Boulder after Brian and I broke up back in 2006, and very shortly thereafter I met Aaron, and his presence in my life made my life infinitely more complicated and upsetting.  I moved around Boulder, lived with multiple different roommates, and all the while, still suffered from depression.   My first attempted suicide was when I was living with three great girls in a house, and they were so frightened by my behavior that they asked me to move out.  I went back home for a few months, then moved back to Boulder, where I had my second suicide attempt and was asked to leave by that roommate.  I moved to the next place, and didn't really make friends with my roommates, in fact, I rarely saw them, but I drank quite a bit by myself most nights, and while still going to school, I was fired from my job at a financial planning firm because I pretty much stopped showing up.  I blame a lot of my depression between 2006 and early 2010 on Aaron and how he made me feel about myself, but I can't really blame him now.  So, as sort of an answer to Jen and Rob, I don't really think that my life would be a whole lot different if I moved out of my parents house now.  Where I am, a lot of my stress is based on the situation with my family and my older sister.  If I moved out, I wouldn't be nearly as involved in that aspect of my life, but I'd find something else to stress about that would take that place - probably money.  That's the thing with this illness.  If it's not one thing, it's another.  Even if I were to finish school, get engaged and be working in a job I really enjoyed, I could probably still find something to be depressed about.  And it's not that I'm not trying to be positive and upbeat about life in general, it's just the nature of the illness.

I heard from a friend today whom I hadn't heard from in awhile.  I think I scared him by talking about how I wondered if depression would eventually be the thing that killed me - which I do really wonder about.  He asked me how I was doing, and I told him truthfully that I am doing a lot better than I was the last time we spoke.  And I really feel like I am.  However, I know that somewhere down the road I will experience another episode where I become deeply depressed, and I wonder when and am terrified of it happening.  I've learned to deal with these episodes, but that's the best I can do, is deal with them.  I can't beat them, and I don't even think I can really try.  But when I start to feel better, it's like emerging from a deep hibernation and all I want to do is go out and experience the world in all it's glory, and so that's what I have to look forward to.  I'm going to have to use that image to motivate myself to keep on trudging through the crap that seems to pile up when I'm in the middle of an episode.  It's so much easier to think that way right now when I'm finally feeling better.

I think have reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder.  First of all, I have to acknowledge that I love everything about summer - the long days, the sometimes stifling heat, the crickets that sing at night, being able to leave your window open while you sleep, walking into an air-conditioned store after being outside in a hot car - you name anything about summer and I'll tell you what I like about it.  When I have time off when it's hot outside, all I want to do is go lay in the sun, preferably next to or in close proximity of a pool, and read books and listen to music.  I spend a shit ton of time outside when it's hot.  I like that I can go running outside, although I like to try to wait until evening so it's a bit cooler.  Aside from not being next to an ocean, Colorado is one of the most perfect places to be in the summertime.  So I cannot, for the LIFE OF ME, figure out why I start to feel so shitty right about mid-March.  I go from mid-March to right about now every year feeling yucky.  Then the end of October comes and it's like my body suddenly wakes up.  I function pretty well between March and October, but I do even better from November to March.  And I am NOT a winter person.  I'd rather be hot than cold any given day.  I feel like it takes a lot more work to warm up from being cold than it does to cool down from being hot.  I've never been a skier or snowboarder (although I am attempting to become one now) because the idea of being covered in snow from head to toe while it's 30 degrees or less outside is less than appealing to me.  And even though we don't live in the mountains, it snows a lot here!  Last year was my first winter with Phoenix and I can't tell you how much time I spent shoveling snow off the deck so that it wouldn't melt down and turn to ice and cause him to go flying off the stairs and breaking his neck, and I hated every moment of it!  Snow is HORRIBLE.  Sure, it's beautiful if you're safe and warm inside and don't have to venture out in it!  But that's about the only redeeming quality it has!  Anyway, that's why I'm so confused about why my mood seems to improve so much in the winter months.  So I'm trying to accept and nurture it by making a valid attempt at loving the holiday season, which I mostly dread.  This year, I'm embracing Halloween-time, Thanksgiving is my all-time favorite holiday because you don't have to buy anything for anyone or do anything stupid like dress like a slut and go out in public, all you have to do is eat, and I've already started a list of presents that I'm getting people so that I don't have to be all rushed about it come December 20th.  Hopefully I'll make enough money to buy a pair of used skis and go up more than once to use them!

I've fully lost any train of thought I had about where today's post was going.  I guess it boils down to me feeling better for the most part, despite my family situation.  "Kale" came by today with a tiny present for me!  He bought me a purple knife to replace the one that was stolen when my purse was taken last week!  I'm thrilled and excited that he thought of me, but at the same time, I'm mad because his generosity and thoughtfulness do not make me like him any less.  Even worse, Jen likes him (not in a romantic way) and she thinks he's a good guy!  I told her to cease this immediately but I don't think she's going to listen to me.  She's only ever thought the guys I dated were dirt bags and idiots (which they were), so the fact that she likes him is amazing, but it's horrible because I'M NOT EVEN DATING HIM and he doesn't like me that way!!!  My mom told me that this is good, this attempting to be friends with him even though I still like him, because it will build character.  I think I will tell her she's full of crap and that I think I have enough character already from the disaster that is my life.  I mean, come on - 30 Rock isn't actually even on tonight!!  Could it get much worse??

See, I have perspective.  I know my life isn't actually a disaster.  It just hasn't turned out the way I thought it would, and it will be a challenge for me to turn it around, but I love a good challenge.  If I can stay positive, keep doing my best at living in the moment and not worrying about the future, I will be okay.  That's where so much of my unhappiness comes from - projecting my past failures into the future. 

P.S.  My baked potato soup and apple pie were absolutely to die for delicious.  I had many a mouthgasm ingesting them both yesterday and today.

Also, here are pictures from Tuesday night, and a short video of the skeleton-dancer people:

                                         This is Jamie!  It was her idea to get our faces painted!
                                                                  Jen with her face paint.
                                                            Jonas with his manly face paint.
                       My face paint, I'm also also wearing false eyelashes and black lipstick.
                                                           The Church before it got too packed.
                                                            The weirdo body-suits on stage.
                                                                   See?  It really is a church!
                                                  El Dias de los Muertos skull ice-sculpture.
                                                                   Me in the light of the club.

video
And the video!  It's not great because it was so dark, buy you can see a little.  The theme of the party really makes me want to research Day of the Dead in Mexico and Spain to find out more.  I love Anthropology!


*"NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness | Mental Illnesses." NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness - Mental Health Support, Education and Advocacy. Web. 28 Oct. 2010. <http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=By_Illness&Template=/TaggedPage/TaggedPageDisplay.cfm&TPLID=54&ContentID=23051>.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What Happens When I'm Tired

What medications are used to treat depression?

Depression is commonly treated with antidepressant medications. 

Antidepressants work to balance some of the natural chemicals in our brains. These chemicals are called neurotransmitters, and they affect our mood and emotional responses. Antidepressants work on neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine.

The most popular types of antidepressants are called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These include:
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Citalopram (Celexa)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil)
  • Escitalopram (Lexapro).
Other types of antidepressants are serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). SNRIs are similar to SSRIs and include venlafaxine (Effexor) and duloxetine (Cymbalta). Another antidepressant that is commonly used is bupropion (Wellbutrin). Bupropion, which works on the neurotransmitter dopamine, is unique in that it does not fit into any specific drug type.

SSRIs and SNRIs are popular because they do not cause as many side effects as older classes of antidepressants. Older antidepressant medications include tricyclics, tetracyclics, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). For some people, tricyclics, tetracyclics, or MAOIs may be the best medications.*

Do not feel like posting today.  Exhausted.  Didn't go to bed til 3am, worked two hours late, came home and made baked potato soup and apple pie.  Going to bed.  More tomorrow.

*"NIMH · Mental Health Medications." NIMH · Home. Web. 26 Oct. 2010. <http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/mental-health-medications/complete-index.shtml#pub5>.

Oh What a Night!

 The symptoms of schizophrenia are generally divided into three categories -- Positive, Negative, and Cognitive:
  • Positive Symptoms, or "psychotic" symptoms, include delusions and hallucinations because the patient has lost touch with reality in certain important ways. "Positive" refers to having overt symptoms that should not be there. Delusions cause individuals to believe that people are reading their thoughts or plotting against them, that others are secretly monitoring and threatening them, or that they can control other people's minds. Hallucinations cause people to hear or see things that are not present.
  • Negative Symptoms include emotional flatness or lack of expression, an inability to start and follow through with activities, speech that is brief and devoid of content, and a lack of pleasure or interest in life. "Negative" does not refer to a person's attitude but to a lack of certain characteristics that should be there.
  • Cognitive Symptoms pertain to thinking processes. For example, people may have difficulty with prioritizing tasks, certain kinds of memory functions, and organizing their thoughts. A common problem associated with schizophrenia is the lack of insight into the condition itself. This is not a willful denial but rather a part of the mental illness itself. Such a lack of understanding, of course, poses many challenges for loved ones seeking better care for the person with schizophrenia.*

Boy, I'll tell you what! It's nights like these that make me dislike what little self-control I have that makes me want to stick to blogging every single day.  I just got out of the shower and it's 2:30am.  I had a pretty decent day, then went to a special promo event in Denver where I drank a lot of tequila and danced my ass off.  My feet hurt like a bitch because my awesome shoes are apparently just too awesome, and I'm beyond exhausted.  I had SO MUCH FUN.  I wish I knew what sets this night apart from any other night I've gone out dancing and drinking (it might be the free cover, free drinks and free food) (but it might also be the great people), but I had a blast.  Normally I'm very self-conscious about dancing, but tonight I just let that go.  Sometimes, you just have to move to the music, you know?  Most of my outdoor coed soccer team was there, and it was just so great to get to see them all outside of the seriousness and sobriety of Sunday morning (and occasional afternoon) soccer.  On the ride home, Jen and I just decided that they're all a group of plain ol' good people.  I was able to get Jonas and Jamie in, too, and it was so good to see them again.  Jonas even got his face painted (pictures to follow)!  

I'm tired and euphoric, so I'm going to hit the sack right away.  Work is in 7.5 hours, and then the plan is to cook and bake some comfort food and commence vegging.

Oh, and before I forget.  I took Jen and Rob home, and we had some semi-serious discussions about the state of affairs of my life.  They both read my blog, which is freaking awesome, and I really like to get feedback from them, and so that's part of what we talked about in the car on the way home.  I'm always pleasantly surprised when I find out that people care about me, or when I find out that they care more than I thought they did.  It looks like Jen and Rob care about me a lot, and that feels really good.  They are two people that I really love very much, they're not without their flaws, but they accept me and love me despite mine and I really can't ask for more. <3

*"NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness | Mental Illnesses." NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness - Mental Health Support, Education and Advocacy. Web. 27 Oct. 2010. <http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=By_Illness&Template=/TaggedPage/TaggedPageDisplay.cfm&TPLID=54&ContentID=23036>.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Weighing the Facts

Without treatment the consequences of mental illness for the individual and society are staggering: unnecessary disability, unemployment, substance abuse, homelessness, inappropriate incarceration, suicide and wasted lives; The economic cost of untreated mental illness is more than 100 billion dollars each year in the United States.*

Weather like we had this morning makes me want to cook and bake.  I was going to come home from work and make baked potato soup (my very own recipe!) and apple pie.  But then the sun came out.  Also, I had therapy at 4 and didn't get home til 2 and wouldn't have had enough time to make both.  So I'll be doing it either tomorrow or Wednesday.  

It's funny - no matter how depressed or upset I get, food never seems to lose it's flavor or infatuating quality.  Some people dramatically lose weight when they are faced with an unusually large amount of stress, but not me!  Nope, I stay the same weight, plus or minus a few pounds.  Interestingly, back in like 2004, I read that there is something about depression that causes a craving for carbohydrates.  I have not read anything about that since, but from my own experience, it makes sense.  I love fluffy foods like breads and potatoes.  Can't seem to get enough of them.  Although I do love a good salad, too.

And thus begets the issue I have with my weight.  For a long time, I didn't really seem to care about my weight too much.  It was the first time I tried to squeeze into a pair of dress-pants that suddenly didn't fit in around 2005 that it started to become apparent that I was gaining weight.  I've always been a pretty skinny girl, although never the stringbean that both my sisters are/were.  It also became apparent that my semi-sedentary lifestyle is partly to blame for my weight gain as well.  When I'm at home, I'm generally sitting or lying down.  And I'm at home a lot.

There are a few people I've met that have much worse issues with their weight than I have, and I sort of count myself lucky that I don't have the issues with my weight that they have, but at the same time, I wish I did so that I would be more vigilant about keeping my weight down.  For my height, I am at a healthy weight and body size.  I am by no means fat or obese or overweight, but I can't help but feel that way.  For a long time, my best friend and I were exactly the same size, to the point where someone looking at us walking next to each other at a distance couldn't tell us apart.  But then something happened in her life (and I'm not exactly sure what because I never noticed her having a weight issue before) that made her suddenly drop like 25lbs, and I think that when she discovered that she liked how she looked and felt, she continued to attempt to lose even more weight.  When I didn't follow suit, I felt like a whale sitting or standing next to her (which wasn't that often considering our geographic separation).  The other girl I spend enough time with to notice my own weight is Jen, and she's always been the tall, skinny stringbean type.  But when I put on weight and she didn't, it became even more obvious to me that something wasn't right. 

I wondered at one point if it might be a thyroid disorder, because symptoms of hypothyroid (underactive thyroid) are depression and weight gain.  So I got tested, and sure enough, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism.  I'm on medication for that (the Levothyroxine), and will be on it for the rest of my life.  There is no cure, and if I stop taking the medication, I could potentially develop peripheral neuropathy, go into a coma or die of heart-failure.

Even sitting here now, I'm having the urge to go to the gym and run myself ragged just so I can feel like I made some kind of attempt at fixing something about myself that I'm unhappy with.  Women have it hard in this technologically advanced age where pictures of singers and actresses and supermodels are literally ALL OVER the place.  I think it's just a genetically inherited trait for us to compare ourselves to one another, regardless of whether or not we know each other personally; and when someone who is at a pretty healthy weight for her age and height, like me, looks at someone like Former Bestie, who is the same height (she thinks she's an inch taller than me) but weighs around 35-40lbs less than me, it is an automatic hit to the self-esteem.  So then I wonder, would I be less depressed if I were more satisfied with my weight?  And if so, why?  Why shouldn't I just like myself as I am?  I can probably prevent myself from gaining more weight, if I weren't so unhappy about the size I am now.

When I voice my discomfort with my weight, I am met with reactions along the lines of "You're not fat," or "You're not overweight," and they're right.  But my stock reply is "I'm deceptively heavy."  Which is true.  If I were to disclose the actual number of my weight, I think it would surprise a lot of people.  I like the argument that muscle weighs more than fat, but I have a lot of fat under, in between and on top of my muscle.  If I were pure muscle, I'd probably weigh about the same, maybe 10lbs less.  I'd be happy just to lose 10lbs of fat.  My goal weight is to be around 20lbs lighter than I am right now, regardless of what my BMI actually is, I don't care if it's muscle or fat.  I'd just like to not feel as though my tummy fat splooges over the top my jeans and feel as though they are painted on.  I am mostly flat-out refusing to buy bigger clothes, because when I have to fit into clothes that don't fit quite right, that are just a bit too small, I want it to be incentive to lose the weight that I'm unhappy with.  What actually happens is that I become extremely aware of the fact that the clothes don't fit right and end up being very uncomfortable wearing the clothes.

Except that I love food.  I love to eat!  I could not be anorexic, ever, because I have a love affair with food that I am not prepared to change.  It's not an unhealthy love of food, either, I find it to be quite balanced.  I love fruits and veggies just as much as I love junk food.  I might have Wendy's for dinner one night and then have nothing but baked asparagus the next night.

The other part of this is that deep down, I don't really like to exercise.  I love to go out and play soccer, because while it can be hard and tiring, I don't ever feel like it's work.  I have a much harder time going running or going to the gym because while I'm there, I mostly think about how much I wish I were sitting around, not panting like a dog and sweating myself drenched.  And given the option, I'd rather go out and run outside than run on a treadmill, because it's much more interesting.  When it gets cold outside I have a much harder time hitting the gym.  Gyms are already horrible places - everything they have there is very heavy! - but the people there are pretty judgmental, too.  Mostly I don't care too much about people looking at me (I'm looking at them, too, surprise!), but I turn very red when I work out and according to my sister, I make weird faces.  Maybe that's why I've never been picked up at the gym.  The other part of why I don't like to work out is because it hurts!  It's not just being sore the next day, my joints are genetically crap, and so I can't run long distances, which is endlessly annoying to me.  I've had surgery on both ankles, and require surgery on both of them again.  I've also got low arches and require custom orthodics, and without them, my legs hurt like a bitch.  I discovered this while running almost every day last summer.  When I go to the gym, I use the treadmill and the stair machine to get a full cardio workout, but I really hate the treadmill.  I also feel like the elliptical is a cop-out exercise machine; it's too easy.

So I guess I'm just stumped.  I think I might be one of the bajillions of people in the world who wish that there were an easier way to lose weight without having to work out, but there's not without taking food out of the equation.  And so until I'm strong enough and mentally healthy enough to work up the motivation to get myself on a work-out routine that I can stick to, I have to just sit here hating myself because I think I look like a fatty slob, and be okay with it because I know that I'll only further disappoint myself if I try something that I can't stick to.

Ugh, that ended up being much yuckier than I thought it would be.  I'll probably be thinking about it for the rest of the night.  "Dane" has a free three-month membership to the same gym I go to, and I think it's much more fun going to the gym with a buddy than alone.  It's just that I'm worried that if he wants to go, I won't want to go, even though I'll want to see him.   Then I'll feel guilty for saying no.  Like I did last night - he invited me to a show where his very favorite band in the whole world was playing, but I was just not feeling physically great, so I passed.  I was excited that he thought to ask me to go with him, though.  We talked about going to the gym tonight, too, but I definitely don't want to go and I haven't heard from him so I'm guessing he might not be feeling like it, either.  And then I tell myself, I'll go tomorrow!  But then I think, oh I want to cook and bake tomorrow!  And then there's the event we're going to in Denver tomorrow night.  And the next night I want to go to trivia.  So then it's Thursday before I get to go to the gym and I just spent three days thinking about it and making myself feel guilty about it!  Blerg.

I think Phoenix ate some cat food yesterday, because he was sick again today.  Luckily for me, I left the door open for him because if I hadn't, I'd have been cleaning up liquid dog shit all afternoon.  I came home from work, and was changing my clothes and I heard a noise come from him but it sounded like a tummy growl, so I thought maybe it was me.  But then I sat down with him and his digestive system sounded like it had a tiny cat stuck inside it.  It was so noisy!!  I was really worried that his intestines might explode or something.  I went to my therapy appointment and he was still alive when I came home (I was picturing him lying dead on the floor with his stomach having exploded) and much less vocal.  He's not terribly hungry, but I think he'll be okay.  I was worried there for a little while.  Also, I was stressed last night because Jonas and Jamie lost Alvin, their beagle.  They went to run errands and came home and he was gone.  Jamie had taken his collar off earlier in the day (which I do with Phoenix all the time), and he got out.  I was so stressed about it that I actually dreamed about it!  But they put up fliers all over the place and a lady had picked him up and kept him over night.  Thank GOD.  I don't know what I would have done, but I was praying for them.

I think that's enough in-depth thought for today.  I have felt very tired all day and I'm going to try really really hard to just go straight to bed once I post this.  There's a comic that I saw in the Sunday paper that I thought was perfect: 


That pretty much explains how I feel most days.  And why!

*"NAMI | About Mental Illness." NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness - Mental Health Support, Education and Advocacy. Web. 25 Oct. 2010. <http://www.nami.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Inform_Yourself/About_Mental_Illness/About_Mental_Illness.htm>.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Delving Into the Past a Bit

Dysthymic disorder, also called dysthymia, is characterized by long–term (two years or longer) but less severe symptoms that may not disable a person but can prevent one from functioning normally or feeling well. People with dysthymia may also experience one or more episodes of major depression during their lifetimes.*

I am so freaking exhausted.  I probably couldn't even tell you the last time I played in a soccer game with a hangover.  My whole body aches, and I'm still getting over the cold - I never thought the body capable of producing so much phlegm.  Which is one of my very favorite words.

Last night was fun.  Jen invited me to the last regular season Rapids game, and I dyed my hair blue in support, while Jen and Rachel dressed entirely in Rapids gear and Rachel had written I <3 Rapids on her face.  It was a good game, but the Rapids lost what had appeared to be a clinched win in stoppage time with a bullshit call by the ref.  He pulled a yellow card in the Rapids box on a Rapids player and Real Salt Lake tied the game.  I never saw the reason for the yellow card. 

Jen and Rachel and I went to downtown Denver to hit the bars and meet up with a friend of Jen's after.  I had a couple of Long Islands, a Jack & Coke and a shot of Jack, on top of the beer from the game.  It's been awhile since I had that much to drink, and a long time since I've been careless about mixing drinks.  Jen's friend had brought a friend of his from the Navy, and he ended up being pretty cool, too.  The boys were both nice.  However, I cannot help but feel, when I am out with Jen and Rachel, that I am a toad out with a couple of peacocks.  I think that's a great analogy for how I feel - frumpy and disorganized.  I get hot and sweaty when I am in social situations with people I don't know, and I always feel like my hair is less-than-perfect.  I'm also hyper-aware of my weight, because I've never been this heavy in my life.  However, I'm not as shy and quiet as I was when I was younger, and I don't usually have too much trouble making conversation with strangers.  Anyway, I felt so self-conscious last night, but I have no idea why.  My best guess is because of how uncomfortable I am about my weight right now.  This is an enormous issue for me.

Towards the end of the night, Jen left with her friend to go to a pizza place, while Rachel and I and Navy guy stayed at the bar we were at for awhile longer.  We eventually left to go meet up with Jen, and it was at this point that Rachel sort of paired off with Navy guy and I became solo.  I was behind them walking, but they stopped, and Rachel waved me ahead, so I went ahead.  I went into the pizza place to look for Jen, but I couldn't find her in there, so I waited outside, not really knowing what to do, when I noticed Rachel and Navy guy walk right past me, absorbed in one another.  It's when I am in situations like this that I feel as though I am completely invisible and unimportant.  I called my older sister, whom I knew was out and about herself, and told her I thought I may have been abandoned, although I wasn't really thinking because I had Jen's keys and phone, so she had to find me to leave.  While I was standing there on the phone, Jen and her friend came across the street, and we decided to head home.  In the car, I cried a little bit. 

I can't tell you how many times growing up, that a friend of mine paired off with a boy and I was left by myself.  I've always pretended that it doesn't bother me when it happens, but it always leaves me wondering what is wrong with me that I was not the one to do the pairing off.  I remember once, when I was in 4th grade, I went to my best friend at the time's birthday party, and we went to the pool at the rec center, and boys were invited, which was sort of new for us at that age.  My best friend ended up playing with the boy I'd had a crush on since kindergarten the whole day, and even made plans to go back to the rec center the next day with him and I again.  Because I was the best friend, I was allowed to spend the night that night, but I worked myself up in the middle of the night because I was afraid I'd be left out the next day.  I woke her mom up with my crying and I explained to her my fears and she talked to her daughter and told her to be sure to include me the next day, which she did.  The feeling I had last night was very familiar because it was so similar to how I felt every time I ended up being the third wheel when I was growing up.  I had no expectations whatsoever last night about meeting any guys or anything like that because of how I know I'm not ready to be romantically involved with anyone.  I guess that when I go out, I just hope that I'll have fun with my friends, I really rarely go with the expectation of meeting a potential boyfriend, but when the people I'm with end up doing that, it takes me by surprise.

When I got home, I walked in the house, and I stopped in my tracks, because sitting on the coffee table was my purple purse.  I briefly looked through it, and woke my dad up asking where in the hell it came from.  He explained that a lady called while I was out, saying that her kids had been playing out by Centaurus high school and found my purse in a drainage ditch.  She went through it and found my parents phone number in the phone book and called.  My older sister went with my dad to go get it from her and agreed not to call and tell me because they wanted me to be surprised.  And surprised I was!!  My sister wanted to set up a camera so that she could capture my reaction when I saw it.  My little sister came home shortly thereafter (drunk, which I find pretty funny), and I pointed out to her that my purse was sitting there and she gave me all the details I didn't get out of my sleeping father.  I took out my wallet and went through it, and the only things missing were my cash and my change.

When I got up this morning (having gone to bed around 3, I woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 9am which is stupid), I went through the rest of my purse, and the only things gone were my camera and my Swiss Army knife. I'm not too terribly upset.  Most of my pictures are on my computer, but I really loved that knife.  I emailed the information to the officer who wrote my police report, and I'll be calling the insurance company to finish giving them info for my claim tomorrow.  

I'm mentally exhausted.  After fighting with my sister this week and getting my purse stolen, I just want to be able to take a little vacation.  A mental break.  At the same time, I have to feel proud of myself for handling it all with such patience and strength.  I could have fallen apart many different times, but I've held it together and I will continue to hold it together.

Then there's the whole "Dane" issue.  We talk every day, which I love, and I so totally enjoy hanging out with him, and I'm again really proud of myself for actually going and doing stuff with him when he asks.  I'm working really hard at going out when I'm invited, and I mostly end up having a good time.  Anyway, with regards to Dane, I'm trying not to allow him to take up too much of my thought-space.  Being who I am, I tend to focus a lot of time and energy thinking about guys that I have feelings for, unnecessarily.  I want to just be friends with him and enjoy the time we spend together.  It bugs me a bit to know that he's still very interested in looking for girls to go out with, but there's nothing I can do about it, so I'm trying to let that go.  Keyword there is "trying."

I'm also trying to work out the issues I'm having with Former Bestie.  Part of me wants to try to work things out with her since I'm so sad, but the other part of me feels like it will probably just be a waste of time because what's happened now has happened before and will happen again.  Her behavior is really not helping my abandonment issues, and I need to get those worked out, and if I attempt to remain friends with her, I know that she will probably do something to make me feel it all over again.  It's sort of the definition of insanity, isn't it?  Doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different outcome?  She's not going to change, and so I should walk away instead of trying to fix things.  The whole thing just makes me so sad, and my feelings are so hurt.  It just solidifies the fear that I will never have a person in my life to whom I am not already related that will abandon me at some point, for another person.

I am seeing my therapist tomorrow, and an hour with her will not be nearly enough to work anything of any consequence out, but hopefully we will be able to start somewhere.  But guess what?!?!  I put away my laundry today!!  I definitely didn't have the energy to do it, but I finally felt like I could not stand another day of it sitting there, so it has been successfully put away!  Mini-wave in honor of Beth!

It was brought to my attention that not everyone understands the purpose of this blog, nor the facts and statistics I always put at the beginning.  For the record, I do not suffer from all of the mental illnesses I've supplied information about.  My diagnoses are Major Clinical Depression, recurrent, and Borderline Personality Disorder, as well as a previous diagnosis of Social Anxiety.  The reason I put information about different mental illnesses at the beginning is to educate my readers about the wide variety of mental illnesses, as well as their symptoms and treatments.  The entire purpose of my blog is to attempt to increase awareness about the prevalence of mental illness.  There are many, many people in the world who suffer from some form of mental illness, and experience symptoms of an illness, but have no idea that there's an actual disease that they may be suffering from and that there are ways to treat it.  Also, it's important to me that others know that suffering from a mental illness is not something that should be judged negatively, and it's not something to be ashamed of; having a mental illness does not mean that anyone is less of a person or should be treated entirely differently.  I accept that my life is irreversibly changed because I suffer from Depression, and I want others to know that just because I have it doesn't mean that I'm less of a person or that I should be treated differently.  In fact, it's nice to know that people support me and are there for me if I need some extra support simply because I know what my illness does to me and so do they.

*"NIMH · What Are the Different Forms of Depression?" NIMH · Home. Web. 23 Oct. 2010. <http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression/what-are-the-different-forms-of-depression.shtml>.

What a 24 Hours

Mental illnesses are medical conditions that disrupt a person's thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.

Serious mental illnesses include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and borderline personality disorder.  The good news about mental illness is that recovery is possible.

Mental illnesses can affect persons of any age, race, religion, or income. Mental illnesses are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing. Mental illnesses are treatable. Most people diagnosed with a serious mental illness can experience relief from their symptoms by actively participating in an individual treatment plan.

In addition to medication treatment, psychosocial treatment such as cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, peer support groups and other community services can also be components of a treatment plan and that assist with recovery. The availability of transportation, diet, exercise, sleep, friends and meaningful paid or volunteer activities contribute to overall health and wellness, including mental illness recovery.*


I had quite a bit to drink tonight, but in my defense, I also had kind of a shitty week so that's what I'm using for justification.  I came home to find my PURPLE PURSE sitting on our coffee table, and there's a story behind it which I would like to share with my audience, so I'll save it for tomorrow as I am in no shape to share it now.

I went out with a couple great ladies tonight, and had a very good time.  Blowing off steam via drinking at several clubs is underrated.  Plus, single friends are great.  I definitely had some self-esteem issues tonight which I will most definitely be writing about soon, but all in all, I have to count myself lucky.

*"NAMI | About Mental Illness." NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness - Mental Health Support, Education and Advocacy. Web. 23 Oct. 2010. <http://www.nami.org/template.cfm?section=About_Mental_Illness>.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Yup, I'm Going to Bed Early on a Friday Night, Alone.

Social Phobia, or Social Anxiety Disorder, is an anxiety disorder characterized by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations. Social phobia can be limited to only one type of situation — such as a fear of speaking in formal or informal situations, or eating or drinking in front of others — or, in its most severe form, may be so broad that a person experiences symptoms almost anytime they are around other people.  People with social phobia have a persistent, intense, and chronic fear of being watched and judged by others and being embarrassed or humiliated by their own actions. Their fear may be so severe that it interferes with work or school, and other ordinary activities. Physical symptoms often accompany the intense anxiety of social phobia and include blushing, profuse sweating, trembling, nausea, and difficulty talking.*

I don't feel like writing much tonight.  I'm tired, and it's been a long week.  I haven't been sleeping well, either.  Things at my house are, for lack of a better word, fine at the moment.  My dad came home from Austin where he's been on business all week, and my little sister is down for the weekend.  My older sister has decided to claim my little sister's room as her own from now on, since my little sister lives in Greeley for school, even though she still comes home most weekends.  I have a feeling this may blow up irreversibly this weekend.  Apparently my older sister threw a fit earlier today when she learned my little sister would be coming home today.  

I'm feeling physically much, much better, although I fell asleep last night with a sore throat and woke up with a worse sore throat.  I hope it doesn't get any worse, I can't afford to go to the doctor again.  And I'm prone to throat-type illnesses.  On the plus side, I feel very good about my performance at work the last few days.  That helps my mood in general.

I want to write more about "Dane," because I've got lots to say, but again, I don't feel like it tonight.  I also want to write about former Bestie because I'm only finding myself further disappointed in her lack of effort to preserve our friendship.  Granted, I'm not trying either, but I'm done and she knows it, I've left it in her hands and I'm pretty sure she doesn't care.  I'll go into more detail another day.

*"NIMH · Social Phobia (Social Anxiety Disorder)." NIMH · Home. Web. 22 Oct. 2010. <http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/social-phobia-social-anxiety-disorder/index.shtml>.