Thursday, October 31, 2013

Once Upon a Time, Thursdays Were My Favorite Day Of The Week

Right now, this very minute, I feel awful.  Like something is really wrong.  Like I'm missing something, or forgetting something, or not doing something I should be doing.  It's a feeling in the pit of my stomach, like a heavy rock.  I'll try and go through the things that it could be....

It's Halloween.  I've never liked Halloween.  It's cold out there tonight, and it's windy.  We're not giving out candy, which I feel super guilty about.

I worked until 6pm to try and get some stuff out of the way today so that I don't have to worry about it tomorrow.  I had considered going over to my parents house to hang out with the kiddos and watch them get ready and stuff.  I went ahead and agreed to go along with my friend tomorrow to see the Book of Mormon, and the plan is to go to a fancy dinner beforehand, so I have to dress up.  I wanted to figure out what to wear ahead of time, so instead of going to my parents house, I came home and had Meredi help me pick out what to wear.  But in doing that, I missed Halloween with the kids.  I think that I feel the most guilty about that.  I'm not their parent, I don't need to be there for it, and I hadn't promised them I'd be there or anything, so I don't know why I feel so guilty.  I feel like I purposely miss spending time with the kids because I so dislike having to spend time with my sister.  I feel really guilty about that because the kids really love me a lot and love to have me around.  I guess I feel like no amount of time with them is enough, and when given the choice to spend time with them, or spend time doing something for myself, I more often choose to do my own thing, and I feel like that's really terrible.  But they're not my kids.  They're not my responsibility and I have no obligation to be around for them.  I don't want to feel like I have such responsibility or obligation, but I do, for whatever reason.  I suspect that it's that I don't trust my sister to be their mom.

I have payroll to process tomorrow which could take a really long time, and in order to get ready and everything I need to leave work by 2:30pm so I probably have to get there at like 7:30 or 8am in order to get my hours in and have enough time to do everything that I need to do.  I tried to get as much done today that I could do today (I can't begin payroll until the stores submit their files to me on the 1st of the month), but I don't really feel like I did enough.  I wanted to leave enough work for myself to have something to do in case the stores don't submit their files until like noon - which is their deadline, though they almost always submit earlier than that - but I feel like I should have done more, I guess.

I'm super anxious about going to dinner and the show tomorrow.  I won't know anyone and in my current state, trying to make conversation with people I don't know well is downright painful.  I'd much rather just spend time by myself than attempt to be social with new people.  That's not to say that that's the case all the time.  If I were feeling fine, I'd be really looking forward to seeing my friend, meeting his girlfriend and meeting some new people.  At my age, any chance to get to make new friends is welcomed.  In your late 20's, it's not as easy to make friends as it is in high school, when you see all the same people every day of the week.  I generally enjoy going out and being social and meeting new people, as long as things are within my realm of comfort (no dancing, no karaoke, nothing really out of the ordinary), and I feel like I at least owe my friend the effort of going to an event that he's sort of put together since he came to our Christmas party on Christmas Eve last year.  I wish I knew why I feel so anxious about a social event.  I haven't felt anxious like this about a social event in years.  I'm a really likeable person.  I know how to ask good questions and make conversation with people I don't know.  I don't mind being the center of attention.  I don't mind talking and telling stories and getting to know people.  I know it's going to be okay, and that I'm going to have a great time, and I get to have really good food that I've been wanting to try (we're going to Oceanaire, so it's good quality seafood, which is surprisingly, a different thing than sushi), and Book of Mormon is supposed to be really good and funny...and I get to sleep in on Saturday and I only have one mountain of homework to slog through this weekend instead of two....

So I don't know why I feel like this.  I was really hoping that writing it all out would make me feel better, but no such luck.  I'm really trying to avoid taking any more Ativan because my mom has me really freaked out about getting addicted to it, plus I think that because I took some before bed last night, that's why I had such a hard time getting up today.  I didn't make it into work until 11 because I was just soooooo sleepy and had a really hard time waking up when my alarm went off.  I NEED to get in there early tomorrow so I can't afford another morning of hitting the snooze button a bajillion times and I worry that taking the Ativan will cause that.  Though I don't really know, and I'm getting to the point of feeling sick of feeling anxious like this, so I may just take a couple anyway.

Also, I haven't eaten anything today.  I am not hungry and I don't really want to go to the effort of trying to eat something and then not liking it or not wanting to eat it.  And of course, there's a little voice in the back of my mind telling me that if I don't eat, maybe I'll lose weight.  Which is a really wrong thing to think.

And I need to take a shower and shave my legs but I really don't feel like doing that right now.  But I'm going to feel even less like doing it tomorrow morning.

Damn this feeling.  Damn it.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

Today I felt pretty good.  I had appointments to get to today, and although I didn't want to get out of bed this morning at all, I did anyway.  First thing was the laser hair-removal appointment that I bought with a Groupon for my "underarms" (I just call them armpits but that sounds so unladylike).  I had just enough time to come home in between that appointment and my two on campus to get a chicken out of the freezer to start defrosting it on the off chance I wanted to actually make myself dinner tonight.

Then I had to go to Denver to see my new counselor and psychiatrist.  I cried A LOT during my session today.  We talked about how I've been feeling and why I have such hatred of school right now.  We talked about why I feel such guilt over the smallest things and why I have such high expectations of myself.  I told her about my experience with my mom yesterday and eventually all of it came back to how I was raised and how I have rarely felt like I have choices in the things that I've done, like playing soccer and taking piano lessons.  It's really a lot to get into and I am actually feeling kind of sleepy already so I kind of just want to take the evening and watch movies without being on the computer and get to sleep before midnight.  Maybe I can really write about it more another time.  I'd definitely like to be able to work it out in writing just to have for myself so I can look back on it and have some clarity later on.

After my session with my counselor, I had about an hour until I was supposed to see my psychiatrist, so I decided to sit in the student center and get some more of my book read.  I found a nice comfy purple armchair on the third floor and read for just a few minutes when someone walked out of an office and asked if there was anyone out in the hallway that wanted to participate in a granola taste-test.  I said sure, why not, and so did a few other people so that took about 15 minutes.  It was being performed by a student newspaper for CU called The Advocate (of which I had not heard).  After that, I sat back down and read some more of my book.  I actually was able to concentrate on it for the first time in weeks, and that felt really refreshing.  Before I knew it, it was time to walk across the sidewalk to the health center to see the doc.

I really like this doctor.  I think I already wrote that she reminds me of my mom, but I think she's really thorough and I feel like she genuinely cares about what is going on with me and wants to help.  She takes great notes and has a great memory and is just plain super nice.  Best psychiatrist I think I've ever had.  I feel like I can be totally candid with her for some reason.  She asked how I was feeling (obviously) and I said that I think the Pristiq is starting to kick in because I am feeling just an iota of relief sometimes.  We talked about some of the positive things that I'm doing to keep my spirits up, and she was really concerned about how I'm going to be able to handle the holidays coming up and I realized that I had really not given it much thought.  I definitely dread the holidays.  Not because I don't like my family or because I have to travel, but I really stress out about gift-giving.  I always want to find the PERFECT gifts for people, and I always end up spending WAY too much money on gifts and then have to struggle to catch up financially for a couple months afterward.  We talked about what I could do to prepare for the holidays ahead of time and avoid the stress of trying to find the perfect gifts for everyone and avoid spending too much money at the same time.  So that's something that I'm going to be working on starting exactly now.  Before November even starts.

I hate that tomorrow is Halloween.  While I love Halloween-time, and all that goes with it, and the beginning of fall (despite that I cannot stand winter), I have always hated Halloween night.  Even as a little kid.  Especially as a little kid.  Halloween scared me, and when we moved to Colorado from Florida I hated that my costume got ruined because I had to wear a coat since it was always cold on Halloween.  I didn't like trick-or-treating because there were always too many kids out and there was always some house that was too scary or had some dad outside waiting to scare kids, and I didn't like being scared as a kid because I was always scared.  I was a very anxious child.  I used to have panic attacks if we left a minute too late for school in the mornings.  I once had a panic attack because my 6th grade class was kept after the bell for each minute we wouldn't stop talking when the teacher asked us to because it was my job to pick up my little sister from kindergarten.  Anyway, a lot of that comes rushing back when Halloween actually hits.  I find it to be an enormous pain in the ass to answer the door and hand out candy, especially having two dogs that bark at the movement of the leaves falling off the trees much less the doorbell ringing off the wall.  The first year I lived here, I just left the porch light off and didn't buy candy.  Last year, we handed out candy but I don't think we got that many trick-or-treaters.  This year I'd like to avoid it altogether, but I'm not sure that's an option.  Especially because we just had our block party and met all the neighbors.  Luckily there aren't a slew of kids in this particular neighborhood, though there are some.

And then the phone call I just got.  Over the summer, when I was still dating The Ex, I had a friend call and ask if we wanted to accompany he and his girlfriend to Book of Mormon when it came to town, and I said SURE!  Not thinking at the time that by the time the show actually rolled around, I wouldn't have a boyfriend.  Well my friend just called me to tell me that the show is actually this Friday, and wanted to see if I still want to go.  Here's what complicates things.  This is my oldest friend in the world.  We actually knew each other in the womb.  Our parents were friends before we were even born; our moms were pregnant at the same time.  His dad was the pastor of our church in Florida, and then we moved here in 1990, and they moved out here several years later so he could be the pastor of our old church (we had split off to be part of a mission church).  Our families stayed in touch, and we used to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners together, until about 10 years ago when we sort of lost touch.  I don't know what brought it on, but I started talking to this guy again around Christmastime of last year, and we hung out for awhile, and it became sort of obvious to both of us that we were attracted to one another and could date each other, but then he revealed that he was actually attached to a girl that lived in Alabama that was planning to move here to Colorado early this year to be with him.  That really stung.  Once he moved out of his parents house and down to south of Denver, and his girlfriend moved out here, we pretty much stopped talking except for his invite to the show during the summer.  That said, I would feel kind of awkward going to this show without a boyfriend, with a potential love interest that had been essentially taken right out from underneath me by someone I don't even know, and having to meet this person AND attempt to enjoy myself all at the same time.

Just one more thing to stress about.

OH!  And I found out today that a girl that I used to play soccer with has just been diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, and that REALLY SUCKS.  Even though that kind of cancer is really treatable, the fact that it's happened to her and now she has to go through all the pain and agony of the treatment itself, is shit.  All I can do is shake my head and wonder how such shitty things can happen to such good people.  Luckily for her she has a really great support system and is staying really positive and optimistic and she will probably be okay.  It still sucks and it's not fair that she has to go through any of it in the first place, though.

This news really makes me feel even worse about all the complaining I do and what feels like suffering to me, when it's just in my head.  It's just a chemical imbalance.  I'm pretty much perfectly healthy - in the sense that I don't have any physical ailments that prevent me from doing anything substantial - and I feel like absolute shit most of the time, when nothing is really wrong with me, and there are people out there who are experiencing very real, very scary diseases and illnesses.   I just can't get out of bed because I can't get my head on straight.

Anyway, I think that's it for tonight.  I don't feel like writing anymore and I would like to lie with my face in a pillow and cry for a few minutes for the sorrow I feel for myself and my friend.  I know I ended my post yesterday on a positive note, but I already went through my positive stuff of the day with my psychiatrist.  I don't have to do it here, too.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

It All Comes Back to Our Parents

Today was almost easy.  I woke up, got up, showered, actually blow dried my hair, and made it to work.  I thought I would be there by myself today, but my boss came in with her lovely baby and made my day a little more interesting.  It was really nice to have someone there to talk to, and it was really fun to have a little baby around, and I felt sooooo close to normal again.  I had to leave by 3:30 to pick up my mom from work since my dad had their car today, and that's where things took a turn.

My mom used to be my closest ally in surviving Depression.  She asked me if I had begun my outpatient treatment yet, which obviously I haven't, and we talked about why I don't want to do it.  I think what pissed me off the most was when I said that I feel like I should get a medal for getting up and doing normal things like going to work and running errands, and she said that no, I shouldn't because everyone has to get up and do things like go to work and stuff.  I said that I meant that when I'm feeling my absolute, very worst, it's miraculous to have been able to get up and get to work and get to appointments with doctors and everything.  She told me that I have to figure out a way to get out of my head because as things are right now, I'm really my own worst enemy.  We talked, at length, about what my thoughts are for a future with law enforcement, why I'm in school in the first place, what happens if I "drop out" of school (which I put in quotation marks because that's how she and my dad put it), why I feel so hopeless about grad school and working in law enforcement, and what my thoughts are for what I might do to make myself feel any fulfillment later on, if at all.  The whole conversation really brought my mood down.  This is all stuff that I've thought about, and written about, and maybe even talked with my therapist and/or psychiatrist about, but I haven't been judged, or felt judged about these thoughts yet.  To hear her opinions about all of it, and to hear her tell me that some of what's wrong with me is in my head was hard to hear.  She's my mom.  She's always been the most sympathetic, and the most understanding because I thought she'd been in my position at least a couple of times in her life.  But it was a real eye-opener to hear that maybe she doesn't believe that things are as bad for me as they are...or have been.  She asked me what I'm doing that gives me any enjoyment, and I told her that I've started writing again, which I sometimes enjoy, and that I don't enjoy anything else, at all.  That I've lost all interest in anything, which is the honest truth.

We got back to my parents house and continued taking a little bit, and I told her that my aunt had emailed me and how I felt about that.  She showed me the costume she's made for my nephew - it's Eye Man from Power Rangers - it's a costume covered in eyeballs, and she's done a really spectacular job of it - and I decided to stay for dinner since I had Phoenix with me and if I had gone home I'd just lay in bed and watch TV.  I wanted to see the kids, too.   It was good to have a home-cooked meal and spend some time with the little monsters.

I have purposely avoided talking to my mom this time around, I think, expressly because I didn't want to hear what she has to say about where I am emotionally and how I'm feeling.  Which is weird to actually acknowledge.  I really like my parents, as people.  As parents, I don't necessarily agree with all of their choices, but since they're adults, and I'm an adult now, I am allowed to disagree with them.  As people, they're really the nicest people out there, and they treat me really fantastically as an adult child.  They're pretty good about not being too judgmental of some of the decisions I make, and they do care about my well-being.  They're awfully generous and kind-hearted and I love them dearly.

I get so much mail at my parents house, too, and I make a point of making sure I grab everything each time I go over there.  This time I had a $275 bill for the MRIs I had done which I was kind of shocked about.  When I had my MRI's done in the summer, I paid $550 out of pocket for them, and after they were done, they called me back and said that the MRI doc wanted to see another angle so I needed to sit in the machine for like 15-30 more minutes.  I was frustrated at the time because the first set of images took about an hour and a half which was longer than anticipated, and I didn't want to have to go back and sit in the tube for another 30 minutes, but when they didn't mention anything to me about having to pay for more images, I figured they already felt bad about inconveniencing me enough by having me come back to the place that there wouldn't be additional charges for the additional images.  Not the case, I guess.  I'm definitely going to have to make a phone call for this one and I'm NOT looking forward to that.  I'll have to save it for a day when I'm feeling particularly strong, which is going to have to be spur of the moment since I never know when that's going to happen.  It doesn't help me to have shit like this hanging over my head.  I'd really like to stop spending money all the freaking time, and it doesn't help me to have big-ass bills like that just popping up from something I thought was over and done with.

When I got home tonight, I was overwhelmed by the stench of something burned, or burning.  New Roommate was messing around with the programmable thermostat and there was a tray of pumpkin seeds on the stove, so I just assumed she either burned a batch of those, or really doesn't know how to cook them.  I tried to hole up in my bedroom, open a window despite the 40 degree temperature outside, turn my fan on and light some candles.  Coming home to a smell like that certainly doesn't help my mood at all.

So, to sum up, I want to come up with some positives for the day so that it doesn't end on the sour stinky note it's currently on.

-I got to see my boss and her baby today.  Despite the fact that she's my boss, I think the world of her, I respect the crap out of her, and I just plain like her.
-I woke up feeling pretty good for a change.
- My hair looked good all day long.
-I got to see my sister's kids, and got kisses from all of them, and got to talk to them about their Halloween Costumes.
-I got to see my parents and help them out on a day when they needed my help.
-I got to spend the entire day with Phoenix - every waking moment.  I took him to work with me because we were having people come to blow out the sprinkler system today and didn't want him flipping shit or biting anyone.
-I didn't have to cook myself dinner or spend money on it.

There.  Now I can go do bed and not be in a crabby mood.

Monday, October 28, 2013

And So It Was a Monday

Today.  Didn't suck.  Not that it was great, but it was a vast improvement on most of the days I've been having.  I had a really hard time falling asleep last night (obviously, based on last night's post), so I took a couple of Ativan and then drank way too much wine so when my alarm went off at 8 this morning, I felt like crap so I just turned it off and went back to sleep.  When I finally did decide to get up, the first thing I felt the need to take care of was getting my car registered and plated so that when I go to campus on Wednesday for therapy and stuff I don't get another m-f-ing ticket from those bastards.  I got the Adopt a Shelter Pet license plates because I totally advocate getting animals out of shelters instead of from breeders.  I want other people to do it that way, too.  The greatest thing in my life came out of a shelter.

Right now.  At this point.  I feel like I can actually handle all that's going on in my life this week - which isn't really much.  I don't feel like I'm necessarily drowning anymore, though I feel like my head is barely above water.  Looking forward, I don't feel like anything will happen that I can't wrap my head around.  Which is how I've felt a lot lately.  Like I can't comprehend what is going on around me.

I hope that I keep feeling okay like this.  I can settle for feeling okay.

I definitely feel nowhere near where my normal baseline might be, where I'm functioning regularly and actually making it through the day without staccatoed naps throughout.  I feel like I can actually go to work tomorrow, and accomplish everything that I need to accomplish and maybe make it through the day without crying from sorrow or loneliness or frustration.  I have some hope.

I got a really nice email from my aunt today.  I was very touched that she took time out of her day to write to me.  She told me that I am loved and that there are a lot of people out there who are worried about me and who care about me and only want good things for me.  I already know these things, but it definitely helps to hear them from people from time to time.  It really meant a lot to me that she wrote to me today.

So here's to tomorrow being an even better day than today.  Maybe tomorrow I'll feel less underwater.

Existential Questions Late at Night

So the only reason I'm writing now is because I can't sleep.  Perhaps it is because I slept a good portion of the day away, after waking up right about noon.  I'm well aware that my sleep schedule is something that direly needs regulation, and so that's something I'm hoping to get on top of this coming week.

I mostly felt pretty good today, with moments of sadness, for which I took some Ativan, and all that did was make me sleepy.  So I slept.  Didn't really get much else of anything done.  I did get some stuff done for work that I should have done on Friday, but as long as I got it done before tomorrow, I'm in good shape.

What is keeping me up right now, I suppose, is that I hadn't thought of the possibility of applying for a morgue internship with the Coroner's Office, though I have already been turned down for an investigative internship.  With my EMT certification, I should have a leg up on some of the other applicants (how many people actually want to work in a morgue, I wonder?!), and the fact that I've already observed some autopsies without any trouble.  But that's something I'd like to get done this week.  It might help me to feel SOME kind of direction, and it is entirely and honestly something I'm interested in.  If I can't do the investigative part of it (which I know I would have been fantastic at!), I will attempt to do the autopsy tech part of it.  I at least have a better chance than if I apply for the investigative part again (which I plan to do anyway just to annoy them).

Via Facebook, I found out that one of my very oldest friends from way back in kindergarten is now pregnant.  I went to her wedding a couple of years ago, and I'm beyond happy for her, but every time that someone gets engaged or married or pregnant, it just reminds me that I'm not.  That I'm not even close.  I'm not even close to close.  And I'm edging up on 30 here.  Which gets me thinking that I may not even have time to either freeze my eggs, or find a sperm donor and have IVF.  With whatever tiny bit of savings I have left by then.

Literally, these are the thoughts that go through my head, day in and day out.  I do so want to have at least one child of my own someday, and though I'm nowhere near ready right now, I know that I want to have the option SOMEDAY.  And the steps I have to take in order to at least have that option are right now beginning to dwindle.  It's one thing to get knocked up at 23 or 25 and be done with it, but without even so much as a boyfriend, I have to start thinking that if I want my own little family, I have to depend on no one but myself for it.  Part of me is happy being the dog lady, but part of me realizes that dogs have a lifespan WAY shorter than that of a human and that's a lot of heartbreak.  And look at me.  The last heartbreak I experienced sent me into this tailspin.

When I think of my friends that are married or are already parents, I inevitably begin to wonder why, and what it is about me, that has precluded me from that grouping.  What is it about me that has made me unable to maintain a romantic relationship with a man, or even get to the point of engagement?  My deepest, most desperate desire is to be able to get married and have a kid someday, and each and every day that seems to be further and further unreachable.  Jesus, I have done the three biggest things that I wanted to do before I died this year: get a gun, get my motorcycle license, and learn how to scuba dive.  How hard can it possibly be to find a man that I want to be with for the rest of my life; one that I want to procreate with?!   Even stupid people manage to do it!  What is it!?!  About me!?!?  That makes me incapable of this one thing - the one thing that I want above all other things!?!?  I know that my own emotional problems are indeed part of the big problem, but when it comes down to it, I really know myself.  I know myself well, and I have learned to not just accept my flaws, but sometimes I can even love myself in spite of them.  And isn't that part of the key to finding someone to love you?  So what, then?  What else can I do, besides try to just live the best way I know how?

I feel so alone.  It's really easy for other people to tell you they know what you're going through, or to tell me what they think that I should do, but when it comes down to it, I really feel quite clueless.  I just want to make a difference in this world and I don't have any idea where to start.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Just Another Saturday (that didn't totally suck major watermelons)

Nighttime is the worst.  I feel the loneliest of lonely at night.  Everyone that I might normally have to talk to are settled down with their significant others, or in bed themselves, and here I am left with my stupid brain.  You'd think I'd be happy as a clam tonight because AMC is playing good scary movies one right after another and one of my personal faves is on right now - Last House on the Left - but I'm not.

Tonight, we had a block party.  Braden and another neighbor really did all the work putting it together, and it was wildly successful.  Lots of people showed up and I finally met a bunch of our neighbors, which was great.  I did the best I could to plaster a smile on my face and talk to a bunch of people.  I only stayed a couple of hours but I feel pretty proud of myself for even doing that much.  I did everyone a favor and showered beforehand, too.

My day was not entirely a waste.  I did some maintenance work on my beloved Dyson vacuum and she's in full working order, and I cleaned my bathroom and vacuumed my bedroom.  If I did about 3 loads of laundry tomorrow my bedroom would be damn close to clean and organized.  I already feel quite a bit better having put away all that laundry last weekend and vacuuming today makes it feel pretty nice in here.

I wish I were one of those people who lights candles.  I have like a zillion of them, but I never, ever use them, and they'd really add some relaxing ambiance to the room on a night like this, when the room is all clean.

I so wish that I had any sort of direction right now.   My biggest stressor is not knowing where my life is going to go once I actually have the energy and wherewithal to actually do anything.  That's the scariest thing in the whole world to me right now.  And I don't really want to write about it because that will require actually facing it and trying to break it down and I really, REALLY am not ready to do that yet.

I just wish that I had one thing.  One thing.  That I could depend on or feel control over right now.  I feel as though I cannot control any of the things that are going on in my life.  I'd love for one of two things to happen.  Either I spontaneously combust, or I get discovered and can spend the rest of my life acting in really cool shows and movies.  Both of those options have about the same chances of happening at this point, totally independent of my wants or needs.

MAN the commercials this time of night SUCK.  Apparently they don't think that young people can't sleep or stay up late to watch good movies on purpose.  I've seen like 8 commercials for testosterone drugs - oh! make that 9 -  AARP life insurance, lawsuits for bad hip replacements, and the expected commercials for the AMC Day of the Undead promotional crap they're playing all day tomorrow.

I do feel ever-so-slightly-normal these last couple of hours though.  Drinking a few glasses of nice chardonnay in a way that doesn't feel like binge drinking.  That's a really nice change.

I gotta say, I love this movie.  Have you ever seen Raising Hope?  Garrett Dillahunt, the guy who plays Burt, is the really bad guy in this movie and he's just terrific.  He plays the scary-ass rapist-killer so well, only to turn around and play the goofy-ass Burt Chance with what could almost be called silly glee.  And he has the best line in this movie.  "You guys did a bang-up job on my brother down there.  He is really fucking dead."

Well the movie's about over and I'm not sleepy, but lucky for me, Scream is on next, and 28 Weeks Later is on another channel so I have options, at least.

Look at that.  I found some joy in something today.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

How Much More?

I'm heartbroken.  I think that's part of my problem.  I feel like everything I had hoped for myself is just not meant to be.  I'm not in a relationship.  I'm not married.  I have no kids.  I don't have a career, much less one in federal law enforcement.  I work a part-time job that a 20 year old could do.  Doesn't require much know-how on my part.  I have no specialized training or skills that make me any kind of commodity, aside from a wicked affinity for sleep, and the ability to sleep 20 out of any given 24 hours.

My self-esteem has almost certainly reached kaput status.  I don't care what I look like when I leave the house most days.  I haven't showered since....Sunday?  Maybe?  I know I washed my hair on like, Tuesday, but that's about it.  I've essentially stopped taking care of myself.  I don't eat much, and if I do eat, it's junk.  Yesterday, it was a bag of powdered donuts and triscuits with spreadable brie on them.

I don't know what rock bottom really looks like, but every time I think I've reached it, I realize that there's at least one more level to go, and I keep hitting levels further and further down there.

I don't know how to get better.  And I mostly don't care.  Which is a really, really bad thing.  I don't know what else to do.  I have nothing driving me.  No force.  No one person that I get up every day for.  No real legitimate reason for getting out of bed.  This is spectacularly awful.

I know that I have this option of specialized outpatient treatment, which everyone says is a great idea (but yeah, they don't have to be the ones to go), but it's going to take work to get out there and do it, and I don't know if I have the energy to get out there and make it happen.

Depression makes you hopeless.  I am about as hopeless as hopeless gets.  Depression makes you feel worthless.  I feel about as worthless as humanly possible.  I feel unlovable, unhappy, misunderstood, and overall just plain shitty.  I couldn't summon up care or joy or an iota of happiness if my life depended on it at this point, I think.  Today, I learned that my own "best friend" thinks that I just don't try hard enough to be happy.  And this is after I have explained to her, as many ways as I know how, that trying to be happy is simply not an option.

"Hey, there!  Yeah, you, in the wheelchair!!  Have you tried harder to just get up and start walking?!  Come on!  I know you can do it.  See?  Watch me do it.  It's not that hard.  I just don't think you're trying hard enough.  You just must not want to be able to walk.  I bet you like sitting in that wheelchair..."

If I could come up with any other possible ways of explaining that just because someone else can get through a tough emotional time just with some good ol' drive and confidence, doesn't mean that everyone else can do it the same way, I would.

At this point all I have left in my arsenal is sadness and anxiety and those aren't exactly tools so much as self-destructive devices that seem to only increase in depth the longer they're all that's left.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Just Blah

I haven't got much to write about today.  I got up.  I went to work.  I worked.  I went home.  End of story.

Started Pristiq last night.  Realized that I might not be using the Ativan as much as I could be and so I'm trying to use enough of it to find a baseline feeling of normalcy.  No sadness, no anxiety.  I think I'm finally getting there.  Maybe.  We'll see how I feel when I wake up in the morning.

What I'd really like to spend most of my time doing is watching scary movie after scary movie.  In my bed.  Where I don't really have to talk to anyone but Phoenix.

I thought some more about suicide today, but not as a viable option or anything.  I just thought that I still believe that someday, this depression might actually kill me because I won't be able to take another day of feeling a certain way - the ways I've been feeling most days.  I don't think it will happen anytime soon.  I'm talking way into my 60's or 70's, and especially if I'm still alone and never have a family of my own - which, with every passing day becomes more and more of a probability.

I hate this so much.  I feel exactly the same as I felt my freshman year of college.  Totally lost.  Totally alone.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Just Another Day in the Life of Crazy

$75 dollars is what it is going to cost me to pay the parking ticket I got today while I was legally parked at a meter on campus, but because I haven't registered my car yet.  Those sons of bitches.  $75!  Like it's not already going to cost me an arm and a damn leg to register the thing anyway.

I don't feel like writing much tonight.  So the short version is that I saw the therapist and she seems fine; I go back next week.  The psychiatrist was great, she made me eat crackers and drink juice, and she has officially put me on Pristiq.  I'm super optimistic that I will find some relief on this medication, but we will see.  I'm also very hesitant to be changing medications but I guess I have already felt as bad as I've felt, so what can be worse?

The psychiatrist told me that I should think very carefully about a more intensive outpatient therapy, so she suggested a couple that meet three times a week.  I don't know if they'll be helpful, and I don't know if I'll have the motivation to go as directed.  They're CBT-based, and I'm not a big fan of CBT OR group stuff, but maybe I will be willing to try it.

I woke up at like 3am last night with an intense feeling of agitation.  I kept having numbers run through my head, so I wonder if I was dreaming about work, or school or something, but I felt incredibly anxious so I popped a couple of Ativan and turned on a movie and did my best to just lie there and concentrate on the movie.  I was eventually able to fall back asleep, but when I finally did wake up, I really didn't want to get up.  Same as most mornings.  I'm hoping to go to bed by 10:30 tonight and get up around 7am tomorrow and start myself on a routine so that I stop sleeping as much.  I don't know if I'll be able to do it, but it's (again) worth a shot.

That's it for tonight.  I have wanted to do nothing today besides crawl back into my bed and I'm finally able to.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

When The Heart Despairs....

I had a really, really rough day today.  I literally hit snooze for three hours.  I set my alarm for 6:15am and didn't actually turn it off all the way until after 9:15am.  I reeeeeeeeeally didn't want to get out of bed today.  I took as long as I could to get ready for work and I didn't even shower.  I just washed my hair in the tub.

I noticed a difference in my feelings today.  I didn't feel anxious.  I didn't feel like my mind was revolving around and around the same problems, or spontaneously moving from one issue to another, or going back and forth to some problem I was trying to come up with a solution to...I was just.  Plain.  Sad.  Really, thoroughly, sad.  From my toes to the tips of my hair.  My heart was heavy and simply being alive felt painful.  That's not a great way to wake up.  Doesn't make for an easy day.

By the time I got to work, I was drained.  I didn't feel like actually doing any work at all.  The only highlight of my day was taking a little break in the middle to go see an old friend from The Registry, who will remain nameless.  I sat in his office and let him talk to me about why I was feeling so sad today, and I cried.  A lot.  I don't think I've even cried that much talking to Meredi over the last couple of years.  And I wasn't even there for a whole hour.  I just couldn't stop crying.

When I went back to work, I felt a very little bit better and was actually able to get all the work done that needed to get done.

I told Meredi during the day that I was feeling absolutely miserable (which I was), and we made plans to take the dogs on a walk around Waneka after work.  So we did that when we both got home from work.  I didn't feel a ton better, but it was nice to talk to her about stuff that isn't ruining my brain and to get out of the house, and out of my bed and stuff.  Being anywhere but my bed is nice these days.

I also had wine tonight.  About 1.5 glasses, which on an empty stomach has made me kind of loopy.  I don't really want to go into all the stuff my old office friend and I talked about because I really don't feel like crying any more, but hopefully it's something I will get into one day in the near future.  I know I shouldn't have had any wine, but all I wanted after the day I had - emotional, and entirely my fault - was a glass of wine.

I generally hate Tuesdays.  Tuesdays are the worst day of the week, but New Girl is on on Tuesdays, and it literally has the power to turn my mood around.  Love that show.

Today, I was able to get the ball rolling on dropping the one class.  I submitted the one form I needed to submit, so now I am just waiting to hear back, I guess.

I thought a lot about going to nursing school today.  I am coming closer to a solid decision on it and I am really liking that choice.  It will have a lot of time which will suck, and I think it will be a really tough two years, but assuming I don't have to go through this crap again (it seems to show up in its most severe form only every couple of years or so), I think it could make me a pretty happy person.  I'll feel like I'm actually making a difference, it will help me avoid the 8-5 Monday through Friday routine, it will give me the kinds of excitement that I think I need in a job, and it will pay me well enough to perhaps live on my own someday.  Anyone in their right mind will tell me right now that I'm in no position to be making serious life decisions, and that's true.  But this is a decision I'm going to be working on for quite some time.

Tomorrow I have appointments on campus to see my new assigned counselor/therapist and the psychiatrist.  I'm not really sure what to expect since I didn't really go out of my way to figure out exactly how much Pristiq would cost me out of pocket.  I just found a 75% off coupon online and looked into their little discount program which isn't really much of a discount after all.  It's just $15 off each prescription.  Which isn't much when there's a decent chance a bottle of 30 pills could be as much as $300.  Which once, is what I paid for a month's worth of Effexor.

Lastly, I LOVE The Mindy Project and Mindy Kaling.  I shouldn't be allowed to drink wine and watch these shows and then write.  All my profundity goes straight out the window.  

Monday, October 21, 2013

I need to be knocked out of this cycle

Well, today didn't go exactly as planned.  I didn't really wake up until about noon today, which is a bad thing.  Poor Phoenix was up a good part of the late night/early morning with tummy upset.  I always feel so badly for him when he has to get up and go outside a bunch.  He gets such strange stomach upset every once in awhile, and it gets all gurgly and noisy and it even sounds like there's even a kitten in there sometimes.  And I feel so bad for him because I know how uncomfortable that must be.  But upon waking up, I didn't just pop out of bed and go downstairs with my computer and begin working on homework.  I sort of ambled down there, taking my time, screwing around.  I finally got around to sitting down to work by about 1:30, and worked until about 2:30, but my mind wasn't really in it.  The work I was supposed to be working on was an outline for a research(ish) paper for my Wrongful Convictions class.  The topic my paper is supposed to be on is the fallibility of eyewitness identifications, and how often they are incorrect and lead to wrongful conviction.  This particular assignment requires the notation of 5-6 scholarly sources, so I spent most of my time looking for scholarly sources that would support the idea that eyewitness testimony isn't nearly as reliable as it is deemed to be in court.   There's a TON of scholarly research based on this topic, so I had quite a bit of crap to slog through to find my 5-6 scholarly articles, so I basically just picked some blindly based on the abstracts and the closest I could find to what I'm going to be attempting to write about.  All I have left is to do the annotations (about 150 word descriptions of the articles), and hopefully I can get through that in the next couple of evenings and get this crap turned in.

I didn't hear at all from the people in my department about dropping my class, so I'm pretty sure that on Wednesday when I'm down on campus for counseling, I'll have to go into the office and actually see and talk to people.  Hopefully that will be the last thing I have to do.

Can I please just reiterate how much I hate being in school right now.  This class is interesting.  This class would be intensely interesting to me if I were in my right mind.  How do I make myself care about this stuff so that I can get through it?

After last night's post, my pal Tiffany sent me a message on Facebook telling me that she's concerned with my drinking, because if I hope to gain anything from being back on medication, all that drinking will do is make the medication less effective and I will feel worse.  So I have to try really hard to stop with the drinking.  I'm not going to put a timeline on it, but she's right.  If I want to feel better at all, no more alcohol.  So I guess I'm down to benzos.  Which I don't like any more than being on anything at all, but if there's something that can give me some relief at all, I shouldn't complain about it.

Something that I have some trouble with on a pretty regular basis - and I fully notice a difference when it happens - is that I feel a lot better when I'm having several different conversations with several different people all at once.  When I'm texting with a few different friends at the same time, and IMming with one friend on Gmail, and messaging a couple different people on Facebook, I just FEEL BETTER.  However, most of the time, I am conversing with no one - like right now - and I feel kind of yucky,  Just alone.  And reminded of my alone-ness.  There's a big huge world out there, and I feel better when I'm out in it.  Except my job right now requires me to work in a small office, all by myself all day long, with very minimal human interaction, and it's not helping me much at all.  But I don't know what to do about it, aside from push to have us move our office back to The Registry sooner than later.  And "later" could be as late as March.  Which seems like an awfully long ways away from here.  I think I might feel better if I had a chance for more human contact.  Plus we really need to have more room so that I can stay organized.

If I could have one wish, right now, I would wish that I would immediately feel better, and that my Depression would be entirely cured, and that I would never have to feel like this ever again.  When I feel like this, I feel like something is slowly ripping my soul into tinier and tinier pieces and that it will take forever for me to find all the pieces and put them back together again and feel whole.  If ever.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Surprisingly, The Walking Dead Cures All Ills!

Meredi asked me how I was doing tonight, and I answered her honestly, "I don't know.  I've been all over the place today."  Which is the straight truth.  When I woke up this morning, I didn't really want to do anything at all, so I didn't.  I keep waiting for this feeling of dread to lift, because it does occasionally, and for me to feel ready and motivated to get through the homework I need to get through.  It never lifted today, but I forced myself to make a decision about the one class I've been considering dropping - the one where the amazing professor has been incredibly helpful and supportive - and sent the necessary emails to the necessary people to begin the process of petitioning to drop the class.  I'm really hoping that the process will be easier than I anticipate it to be.  I doubt it will be though.

Here's an issue I'm struggling with that I haven't really discussed until now: getting out of my head, with benzo's and alcohol.  Alcohol is a depressant.  I hear that over and over and over from God and everyone.  I know it's a depressant.  I've felt the effects of it the next day or days later.  I think I've even written about how yucky drinking sometimes makes me feel.  But in the moment, it allows me to shut my brain off and function as a normal human being.  Or so I think.  Today, I drank vodka.  I had a couple of rather large screwdrivers, because all we had for me mix with it was orange juice.  I so badly just want to be able to shut my brain off.  I want to stop thinking ALL the FUCKING TIME, and drinking allows me to do that.  I know that that's what the Ativan is for, but benzodiazapines are terribly addictive and I sincerely don't want to risk that kind of an addiction.  I have been taking it at night before bed or when I wake up in the middle of the night, but I worry that I will get both tolerant of it and addicted to it and that's one more problem I really don't need.  It's really easy to joke about benzo's and taking them and drinking too, but it's a very serious problem and I would not be able to tolerate that kind of problem.  I would probably have to kill myself if I had to deal with that too.

Bottom line is that for me, right now, a quiet mind is worth the risk of possible addiction or damage to my liver from drinking and also being on antidepressants.  I simply cannot stand all of the thinking about my homework.  Because right now, that is all that occupies my mind when I'm not actively doing something.  I dread.  DREAD.  With annoyance you cannot imagine.  Having to get this crap done for school.  I absolutely hate it above all other things.  For crying out loud, I put my laundry away yesterday before I started working on homework!  And with my decision to drop the class I really didn't like, this is homework for a class that's actually sort of interesting!  Wrongful Convictions!  Stuff that is interesting to read about!  Research that is actually within the realm of my interest!  My tentative plan is to really get going on it tomorrow.  To get up, move my laptop downstairs to the kitchen table, and actually do the work.  Because I won't get it done sitting on my bed.  I still have half an entire novel to read, a 3-5 page summary to write, an outline and annotated bibliography to come up with.  I don't anticipate being able to finish that book or write the summary, but I can at least write the outline and bibliography and spend some more time reading the book.  I'd just like to get it finished sometime in the near future.  If I could just read about 50-100 pages a day, I'd be done by the end of the week.  It's just that when I am reading, my mind is working and I am so sick of it working.  I just want it to stop.  The only times I have been able to get it to stop is when I am watching TV or a movie or drinking or on Ativan.  All the rest of the time it is processing, trying to come up with possible solutions to real or imaginary problems, coming up with arbitrary reasons to feel guilty about things I don't need to feel guilty about, looking for solutions to problems I haven't even encountered yet and on and on.  For once I'd like to just be bored, not having to worry about things that don't need my worries.

Oh, and I think I have an eye infection.  Like there's not enough wrong with my body that I have to take care of on a damn daily basis.  What the actual fuck.  I hate having to wear my glasses because I feel like it makes my eyes feel more tired.  And the Broncos are losing to the Colts and my fantasy team may not break 100 points for the first time ever.  Honestly, universe!?!?

I really like to think that each day is a new opportunity to make new (right) choices and do things a little differently.  I wake up each morning and try to adjust my day to how I feel, instead of just making myself do the things I need to do.  I would give anything.  ANYTHING.  I would sell my soul to the devil.  In order to be able to function like a normal human being most days instead of just wanting to stay in bed and sleep because I can't bear to be conscious and deal with all the life stuff that being conscious requires.  Choices and decision making and taking care of stuff that needs to be taken care of.  Sometimes it's just easier in the moment to ignore that stuff, but in the long run, it's much easier to just do the things I need to do, in the time I've been given to do them.   Yet I can't.

I have a friend that is in the exact same place emotionally as I am right now.  She just started seeing a psychiatrist, just started on medication, and is just as affected as I am by her moods, emotions and anxiety.  I often compare my experience with Depression with people that have Diabetes.  It's a chemical imbalance in my body that I have no control over.  The medication I take is able to help correct that imbalance so that I don't die.  But she was able to come up with an even better comparison, and it's mostly for people that want people like her and I to just "suck it up," or "be more positive," or "change your outlook."  Her comparison is to people that are paralyzed.  People that are paralyzed can't just think themselves out of paralysis.  They can't change their attitude and suddenly be able to walk.  They can't suck it up.  There is a literal disconnect between part of their brains and part of their bodies.  In the same way, there's a disconnect between the part of my brain that says, "Beth, get up and do your homework!" and the part of my brain that says, "Okay!"  The Depression and Anxiety that I deal with on a daily basis is paralyzing.  It makes me unable to get up, out of my bed, and take a shower and brush my teeth and get dressed.  And this is what a lot of people don't understand.  While you can't see it, it's a very real thing.  And something I've been wanting to address for awhile.  And now I have.

I can't stand to watch the Broncos lose like this anymore.  Time to watch Walking Dead.  That ought to help turn my mind off for awhile.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Endless Frustration - For Nothing

I do not feel like writing at all tonight.  All I want to do at this point is isolate.  I don't know why.  I don't know where this is coming from since I've been doing a little better the last couple of days.

The worst part of this crap is that when I get to beginning to feel better, I feel like there's a light at the end of the tunnel, and I can finally take a deep breath without feeling like I've got the weight of the world on top of me.  Then all of a sudden, I get sad or anxious and it comes out of nowhere and I don't know how to deal with it.

I was doing fine today.  I finally got all my clean laundry put away today, that's been sitting in laundry baskets for who knows how long.  I rewarded myself with a nap.  Then I went to my parents house for their little spooky pre-Halloween night of monster food - Jack-O-Lantern quesadillas, "Monster Toes" (pigs in a blanket), buzzard legs (chicken legs), and eyeball salad (green jello with grapes and other fruit in it).  Then we decided to watch Casper, and that's when it went downhill for me.  Nothing happened.  We were just sitting there watching the movie when the anxiety of my schoolwork washed over me again.  I dread it so unbelievably much, and when I dread it so much, I put it off, and the longer I put it off, the worse it gets.  It's a vicious cycle.

And even worse is that my life doesn't suck!  I don't have three kids to juggle.  I don't have to live with my daughter and her three small children.  I don't have the responsibility of a mortgage and several other mouths to feed.  I'm a twenty-something single person with no kids and virtually no responsibilities besides taking care of myself and I can't even fucking do that much!  

So I don't know what my problem is.  I had a lovely night with my family, and three wonderful little kiddos that love me to death, and all I can think about is how unhappy I am.  There's something really wrong with that.

Friday, October 18, 2013

More Hope; Less Hopelessness

Thank the Universe that it is Friday.  Part of me feels like this week flew by, the other part feels like it really dragged.

Like I mentioned yesterday, some of my functioning is starting to return.  This morning, when I got up, I actually took a shower and blow-dried my hair!  I feel like I haven't done that for weeks.

I think what helped my mood tremendously is that I stepped on the scale this morning and I have now lost roughly 16lbs in about a month!  That's enough to make anyone want to get up a do a little dance, I think.  I'm not doing anything special, either.  I only eat when I'm hungry, but that's not very often at all, so I have to force myself to eat at least once a day.  I assume that is just normal for where I'm at emotionally and that my appetite will come back, but I finally feel like maybe my body is responding normally to the amount of food I'm taking in instead of storing it all for a rainy day or whatever it was doing before.

I'm pretty thrilled not to have anything going on this weekend.  I'm really hoping that I will be able to get caught up on laundry and homework, though I think it's going to take some killer motivation to actually get either of those things even started.  But I need to try to take some advantage of my free time.  My dad has this idea of doing a scary movie night with the kiddos tomorrow night so I think I definitely want to be there for that.  I've been thinking of them a lot lately and I miss them.

I've been waking up about 4 hours after I fall asleep every night.  I wonder if it will happen again tonight.  I usually just pop an Ativan and throw on a movie and try to fall back to sleep.

By the time I actually get around to writing each night, I don't really feel like doing it.  I kind of miss the days of sitting at the front desk and just free-flow writing about whatever is in my head - every arbitrary consideration about my future, and analysis of past events with at least some sense of objectivity.  I don't do that much when I'm writing at night, right before bed.  Maybe I need to start making a habit of sitting down to write earlier in the evenings.

That's all I've got tonight.  Let's hope for productivity tomorrow.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Some Days are Heavier Than Others

I don't really have anything to write about today.  Today didn't totally and completely suck.  I didn't spend every waking second of it wishing it were over.  I spent ALMOST every waking second of it wishing that, but not every single one.  I did get some joy out of today: My boss came in again with her new baby and he fell asleep in my arms.  Then when I got home from work, Phoenix was super bouncy and I played with him and got him so wound up that he was scoot-running and bounding around the backyard for at least a few minutes.  I love this dog so unbelievably much.

A thought I'm entertaining, just for a change of venue for my brain: nursing school.  I'd have to somehow pass anatomy and physiology, and take a few other prerequisite classes, then possibly be on a waiting list and then be in school for two more years, but at least it's a viable plan, since Federal Law Enforcement is not exactly a for sure thing, even if I do end up getting my Master's in it.  And the longer I'm in school, the later I have to start paying back my student loans.

I really need to get my ass in gear looking for an internship for school.  I think if I at least was moving in SOME direction instead of just treading water where I am, I might feel better about my future.  I really need to make a list of things that I have to begin to get on top of now that I have some of my normal functioning starting to return.

I am looking forward to this weekend, though.  I have no plans at all, whatsoever, and I can finish my laundry and maybe even finish the book I'm supposed to read for school.

Something I really wish I could stop thinking about is the possibility that my very first ex-boyfriend (who I don't know if I mentioned during my year of writing or not, though I probably did because he punctuates my dreams every now and then), who is now married to the girl with whom he cheated on me, is probably getting ready to have a kid.  That's entirely an assumption on my part, because I don't talk to any of the friends we have that were mutual, and I am not about to go out of my way to Facebook stalk him because that would just set me back, but I figure I'm going to hear about it eventually, one way or another, and I guess I am trying to start preparing myself for that news.  I think THAT news, over hearing of any other person I've ever known getting married or having babies, would hurt me the most.

I just want, so badly, to accomplish that one thing, someday, and I am nowhere near it.  I'm not saying that if I were given a relationship, giftwrapped and everything right now, I would take it.  I'm saying that if I could just get a sneak peek into the future to see if I will eventually get married and have a kid of my own, I would have some peace of mind.  Just knowing it will happen for me would help.  But I don't know, and the idea of it not happening just destroys me.  My twenties are all but behind me and I don't want to waste my thirties doing the same nothing that I've been doing the last ten years.

How do I change my life so that I feel like I'm accomplishing something?!  How do I stop being so afraid of the future?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Are The Clouds Lifting?

So, I almost forgot to write anything tonight.

Today was supposed to be my day off but payroll needed to at least be started today, so I drove my happy ass in to the office to print off the necessary materials, and brought them home and worked on getting payroll done.  It's not entirely ready to be submitted, but I will only have to work on it for about an hour tomorrow.

I needed a day like today, where I could sleep in, and do a little work from home, and just kind of relax a little.  I actually picked up my room.  All I need to do is get two baskets of laundry put away and get my dirty clothes washed and dried.  Which means I did a lot of organizing today, and felt better for it.

Mostly, I felt okay today.  Aside from the usual sadness, loneliness and uncertainty.  I'm really banking on the next few days feeling less absolutely horrible.  In fact, I am hoping to be able to get up tomorrow morning, actually take a shower and physically get ready for work before I go in.

I think that as I begin to feel better (mentally and emotionally), I will be more willing to write about the things that my brain gets stuck on.  If you've ever been white-water rafting, it's a lot like that.  When you go white-water rafting, the current does push you further and further downstream, but without the right maneuvers, you can very easily get stuck in a rapid, which can be really dangerous.  People get thrown out of the raft in rapids.  Rapids often straight sandwich raft, dumping everyone overboard, and catching them in the very strong current.  The way my brain is working right now is very similar to a river with lots of class 4 and 5 rapids.  If I don't try hard enough, I get stuck thinking about things for way longer than I need to be thinking about them.  Something I really need to figure out is where I'm going to attempt to go with a career in Federal Law Enforcement.  I really need to try and get an internship figured out.  I think that would be my back-paddle out of a really nasty rapid that could smush and drown me very easily.

That said, I guess I need another 10 hours of sleep in order to semi-function tomorrow.  I could win an award for sleeping.  I feel like that's the only thing I'm any good at these days.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I'm Sick of Coming Up With Titles Already

Nothing really happened today.  I got up and went to work.  My boss was actually in the office today so I wasn't as lonely.  And she brought her baby in and who doesn't like to sit and look at babies?

Last night I took two Effexor instead of just one.  I don't know if it is fast-acting enough to have that quick of an affect, but I didn't feel as completely terrible today.

I went to bed at about 9pm last night and then woke up again at 12:45 feeling pretty wide awake, and my brain was straight ON.  So I took an Ativan and actually finally removed my fingernail and toenail polish.  I don't know if I've ever waited so long to take care of my fingernails and toenails after a manicure or pedicure.  That's super indicative to me that I'm losing the ability to actually take care of myself hygienically.  Which is really, really bad.

There are a lot of things I could write about tonight.  I could write about where I stand on relationships - and how hard it's been for me to revive an old friendship with someone who has romantic interest in me.  I could write more about the duality of being a sick/healthy person.  I could write more about feeling lost, and why I feel like I've lost direction in my life.  I could write about my goals and dreams.  I could write about why I feel like I will never attain my goals and dreams.  I could write about why I miss The Ex so much, and why I can never be with him again.  I could write about the guy that I might have had something with, but he turned out to be a total whackadoo.  I could write about how hard it is to have one of my closest friends not understand or be able to handle what I'm going through.

But I don't feel like writing about any of that tonight.  I feel like watching the rest of New Girl and The Mindy Project and letting my brain have a break.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Just When I Thought It Couldn't Get Worse

We are back from camping.  If I had been in my right mind, feeling good and normal (for me), I think I'd have had a blast.  But the entire time I was stuck thinking about homework and school and money, and thinking about how cold I'd be at night, and how much I missed my boyfriend who kept me nice and warm on cold nights camping over the summer.  I kept thinking about how uncomfortable I was, how uncomfortable it is to be so cold for so long, and how I wish I could just be back at home in my own bed and not having to pretend that nothing was wrong when I felt so incredibly wrong inside.  I woke up on Sunday morning with incredible anxiety, so I took an Ativan and cried a little bit and tried really, really hard to just breathe and stay in the moment and quit worrying about what might happen in the near future.  Once I was able to let go of that, I felt a little better.  That and we were trying to drain down the keg a bit so I had several cups of beer, which I'm sure don't react well with the Ativan and could be the cause of why I feel so terrible today.

While we were there, we went fishing at Lost Lake.  The trail down there is 4x4 and not super easy to get through, but my car really did just fine. It was the downed trees that made it more difficult.  As I was trying to maneuver in and out of a spot off of the trail, I hit two different trees (one on the way in and one on the way out).  I dented both of the front quarter panels on my car, the one on the passenger side so badly that the passenger door gets stuck opening.  Just like on my old car.  And I've had my car just over 2 months now.  This just makes me think about how right my dad has always been about me - that I'm irresponsible and careless and that I don't deserve to have something nice, like a new car.  I'm just like my older sister.  It also didn't help that apparently someone was angry that I wasn't able to get all the way off the trail with my car, and went to the trouble of taking a chainsaw to another downed tree and throwing the pieces on the trail behind my car.  Luckily we were with boys and they were able to move the logs for me.

Then, while we were fishing, I tried to hop from one rock to another at the lake, and I landed on my right foot, which totally buckled underneath me and sprained.  I also landed in the water, but that wasn't the shitty part.  The shitty part is that I paid to have my ankle fixed in January, lots of money, and I just ruined it in a millisecond of carelessness.  As we were unloading the car when we got home, I then rolled the same ankle, not in a misstep, not stepping on a stone, not stepping down off a curb, nothing.  I was just walking normally, and rolled it.  Which makes it even worse.  It's still really sore to step on, but I can put weight on it which is good.  Anytime I'm not walking around, I'm icing it.

So now I have to get my car fixed, which is more money straight down the tubes.  I'm also probably going to drop the class I have that actually requires me to show up because I can't even do that much, once a week, which is a waste of a couple thousand dollars of tuition.  I feel like I'm hemorrhaging money and not working enough to make up for it.

Today, I feel downright horrible.  I thought I had hit my rock bottom a few weeks ago, but I think that I was only close and am just now hitting it.  Or beginning to hit it.

Something that's been going around in my mind is that I don't have much of a future.  I can't make it through grad school.  I can hardly function on any kind of a normal level.  How can I possibly make it into a career in Federal Law Enforcement when I have so much going against me?  I really hit the nail on the head tonight, talking to Tiffany, briefly, when I told her that I thought that if I couldn't have a relationship or marriage and be a mom, that at least I'd have a career, and that's what kept me going.  Now I feel entirely lost.  I feel as though I have lost all direction.  All.  Direction.  I don't even know what to do now.  I feel like I have nothing left to keep me going at all.

I don't feel like writing anymore.  It's just making me even more sad, and I don't know if I can deal with feeling any more despair.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Just a Regular Antsy Thursday

I'm gonna guess that 5oz of red wine in my system = further agitation of the nerves.  Because I felt very nervy today.  Not on edge, per se, but like I was expecting something that I should have been dreading.  All day long.  I kept going back to our camping trip and how much more planning needed to get done:  Would I have enough time tonight to pack and go shopping and go over and get my dad's inverter?  Do I have all my camping stuff?  Does The Ex have more stuff than I thought?  What will I need to replace?  How are we going to find my friend that is going up before us?  What if the weather is much worse than anticipated?  What if my car slips off the road?  What if it's icy?  What if the tent is much harder to put up than I remember?  What if it's much colder than we anticipated?  What if it's snowing really hard when we get there?  I'm missing a lot of the camping stuff I feel comfortable with, will I have time to go get it?  Am I going to buy way more food than necessary, as usual (I'd like to save some money this trip)?  What if the road is actually closed?  What if we can't find my friend?  Is everyone going to want to just go to bed when we get there or will they be willing to stay up and chat and drink and enjoy the night out in the wilderness?  Is Phoenix going to be too cold?  What if it's awkward with my friend not knowing anyone?  Will the sleeping arrangements be okay?  Is Jason bringing his dog too?  When will we finally get on the road?  I have to lead the caravan, but what if I get us lost?  What if I drive too slow?  What if I drive too fast?

And that's only about a fourth of the hurricane going on in there.  I literally could have written an entire entry just with the bajillions of questions in there.

I didn't wake up to go to the gym this morning because I had so much trouble falling asleep that it was 3am before I really fell asleep.  I was tossing and turning and dozing and waking up wide awake and then drifting off again and then I'd turn over and be wide awake again....The last time I looked at the clock it said 3:00.  My alarm went off at 5:30 and as any other logical and rational person on this earth, said, "Nope.  Not gonna happen."  And reset it for 7:30.  I was finally able to wake up at about 8:30 and make it out of the house by 9.

Work was fine, I had no big emergencies to take care of, nothing that needed urgent attention, no constant interruptions.  It was just regular old day at work.

I picked up my prescription for Ativan on the way home, and took two immediately because I could feel the nerves and agitation creeping up again because I was now home and I didn't know where to start.  It was like, there was so much to do, I didn't know what to do first.  So I talked to Meredi a little, got out my camping box and started going through it to see what I had and what I didn't have.  Turns out The Ex kept much more of the "communal" stuff that I'd bought for us to have together.  Bastard.  He even had my camp chair, but he left it at his old house.  So now I have to buy a new one.  Oh well, it's just money, right? Grrrr.

There were a couple of important things that I wanted to go over, but on the Ativan I feel pretty inarticulate and I'm not really willing to spend that much time trying to remember what those things were, so I'm hoping I will be able to remember them tomorrow and write about them then.  I'm bringing my iPad with me to at least write some entries while I'm out there, even if I don't post them until I get home.

I'm going to have to try really hard to actually relax while I'm gone.  Not think about school work, and my problems at school, or my money problems, or anything, if I can.  I just want to enjoy being freezing cold, and warming up by the fire, and spending time with my friends.  I plan to do a little fishing, and really blow out my last weekend of drinking for a couple of months once I start the diet that my trainer wants me on.

I am excited though.  It's really nice to have something to look forward to.  I think we will have a nice time.  And camping is always some kind of adventure.  If nothing else, it's an experience.  And the weather will make it even more interesting.

I need to get to bed because tomorrow is going to be a looooooooong day, and I'm going to get to the gym if I can actually get to sleep tonight.  So here goes!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Two Steps Forward.....

Today did not hurt as much as many of the days of the past few weeks.  That's for damn sure.

Waking up this morning was pure misery.  Since going back on the Effexor, my body has eschewed sleep.  Even napping yesterday took some actual effort.  I just feel more awake when I lay down to go to sleep - more aware of what's going on in the room around me.  I sleep much more lightly, too.  The very slightest disturbance wakes me up.  I must not be sleeping very deeply anymore.  I will miss that part about being off the Effexor, I guess.

So the first thing I had to do after literally DRAGGING my own ass out of bed, was go in for my first training session with the trainer Tiffany had referred me to.  To my surprise, he had not written our appointment down and had seemed to have forgotten talking to me at all.  Luckily he agreed to go ahead and work with me for an hour, and he did work me hard.  Without even doing any actual cardio, he got my heart rate up around 190 a couple different times (I wore my heart rate monitor because I'm starting to get concerned with how high the rate gets when I work out, and I like to have an idea of how many calories I'm burning during a workout to be able to adjust my food intake accordingly).  My legs felt like limp noodles for awhile afterwards.  He seems like a good enough guy, and he sounds - and LOOKS - like he knows what he's talking about, so I'm going to warily trust him and hope for the best.  The idea of working out that much is a little overwhelming, but if I take it one day at a time, I will be able to do it.  I think.  I hope.  The plan right now is to see him once a week, hit the gym for cardio 5 times a week on my own, and do one day of heavy lifting on my own.  He's got a diet plan for me to follow too, but I won't be able to start that until I a.) get it from him and 2.) get back from camping because I'm not going to attempt to follow a meal plan while I'm out there trying to relax.  But I'm excited and motivated, we'll just see if I'm driven enough to accomplish what I'm setting out to do.  I don't make a habit of weighing myself, but I did this morning and I was down under 180 finally.  I didn't look too closely at the actual number because I was relieved to just see that much.  Maybe the Metformin is working.

After that, I headed down to campus to get to my intake appointment with the counseling center.  I was miraculously right on time - twenty minutes early.  I didn't have to wait to get called back, and it was a pretty painless interaction.  Just answering a lot of questions about my symptoms and history.  The whole point was to orient me with the protocol there and try to match me with a clinician that would be a good fit for my therapy goals and mental health needs.  It only took about 30 minutes or so, so I was way early for my 3:00pm appointment with the psychiatrist.  I strolled around the Student Union for a few minutes, instantly reminded of how much I loved undergrad, as awful as it was, and as long as it took.  I might have been in the Student Union at CU Boulder, it looked so similar.  Kids in every corner, laptops and tablets out on every surface, the smell of food being prepared, flyers covering every wall...It brought be back in time.  Then I went outside and sat in the sunshine for almost an hour, just people-watching.  I just sat there, letting my mind wander, not thinking about school or work, trying to stay in the moment as much as I could.  The autumn sun was warm but not hot on my skin, and there was a cool breeze from the east that kept me just slightly chilled because I was only wearing a t-shirt and gym shorts.  It was just gorgeous outside and I enjoyed every second of lying in the grass, soaking it in.

Then it was time for my appointment with the psychiatrist, and so after filling out a ton of paperwork asking the same questions as the paperwork in the counseling center, I got called back.  The psychiatrist was actually a nurse practitioner with a PhD in psychology, and she reminded me of my mom.  She asked me tons of questions about my symptoms and my history, which I was getting pretty great at talking about at this point.  She asked me to go into some depth about my breakup with The Ex back in August, which I thought wasn't terribly useful but she must have gotten something out of it.  I talked about how the anxiety I've been feeling has been much worse this time around, and how it is paralyzing and overwhelming.  I talked about my withdrawal symptoms from the Effexor, and how different I felt when I started it back up a few days ago.  I talked about my fear of gaining weight and what I'm attempting to do to control the situation.  I talked about how much trouble I'm having with school, and how I'm considering dropping a class.  She gave me a letter and faxed a copy of it to the Disability Center.  As much as it sucks to think about, it will be helpful for me to do it this way and try to finish out the semester as best I can.

By the time I was finished, the sun had begun to go down and it felt like the beginning of the evening already.  By the time I got home it was about 5pm and I was starting to get hungry - which I hadn't been all day - and so I made myself a pizza and watched the news.  I had my allotted 5oz of red wine and had to purposely stop myself from pouring more, though I don't know why I wanted more.  After as bad as I felt last Friday, you'd think I'd hate the idea of feeling that way again.

Now here I am, writing.  I'm also watching the premiere of the new season of American Horror Story, and MAN this show is twisted.  I didn't see the entire second season but each season is a different story so I didn't really miss anything.  Kind of makes me feel a little better about myself....

I've got to get to bed, because I have a date with the treadmill in the morning.  Nothing too strenuous, just exercise to get my body used to it, so I'm not dreading it too terribly much.  I'll let you know how it works out.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Oh, But the Difference a Day Can Make

Today.  Was much.  Less.  Crazy.  I felt almost completely under control the entire day.  When I woke up this morning, I felt wide awake, and when I looked at the clock, it was 2:38am.  I felt soooo nauseated, and I could not get comfortable in bed.  I turned on a movie and closed my eyes and listened to the entire thing, and still wasn't asleep.  So I just laid there in the dark and the quiet and tried to gain control of my thoughts.  I eventually drifted off to a light sleep, but I could still hear everything going on in my house - Meredi up and moving around, the dogs getting up and going outside.  By about 8am I was still nauseated and every time I moved I thought I was going to throw up.  I took my morning meds and then laid in bed gagging for a few minutes.  Totally gross.

So I texted my boss to let her know I wouldn't be able to make it into the office today.  And then I slept.  And slept.  And slept.  I didn't even get up to eat anything until like 6:00pm.  I did manage to finally wash all the stuff that had been lying on the basement floor from the last camping trip I took with The Ex back in July.  It had been sitting in the corner of the basement and I knew when I picked it up there would be at least one nasty spider that would crawl out of it, and I was right.  But I got it all washed, nonetheless, and some of it is ready to go back to The Ex and some of it is ready for camping this weekend.

Oh, and my professor from my on-campus class called me to discuss my options for how I want to handle finishing or not finishing out the semester.  We discussed getting me some disability status for the semester so that she can give me some leniency on deadlines and stuff, and she went over with me my options for dropping or withdrawing from the class should I decide to do one of those things.  I told her that right now I can only take things one day at a time, and also that I had appointments with a counselor and psychiatrist tomorrow so I would discuss those options with them as well.  I've never had a college teacher take such care and interest in me before, and it was really helpful.  She's super young and she's crazy smart (PhD from Harvard, for crying out loud), and she seems to really get how much I'm struggling and genuinely wants to help me.  Which is pretty freaking awesome.

That's the extent of what I accomplished today.  Braden came over at like 8:45 to go over some camping stuff, and that's that.

Mentally, I feel at least closer to how I felt before.  The only way I can really describe it is numb.  Like my head has been stuffed with lots of supersoft cotton, and it's gotten into all the nooks and crannies and I am not able to jump to conclusions and overthink and focus on things that I cannot control.

Here's my biggest problem right now.  Off the meds, my body can function as close to normally as possible.  And when I say "normal" I just mean that it is doing everything the body does all by itself without help from pharmaceuticals.  Obviously I'm going to have to be on thyroid medication the rest of my life, and the birth control that I take prevents my uterus from having a complete perpetual temper tantrum and causing me to bleed to death.  Aside from those things, I felt a lot less numb off the Effexor.  I can't say for sure whether or not it was a good thing, but I can tell you that my libido skyrocketed for like a week and a half.  That must be what it's like to have a normal brain, I guess.  Everyone that I've talked to cannot comprehend why I would go off my meds just because they've made me gain weight.  It seems like a really simple solution to a pretty simple problem.  But my underactive thyroid already puts me at high risk for weight gain and adding anything else with that side effect exacerbates the problem.  And I hate.  HATE.  My body right now.  I feel like I'm walking around in someone else's body.  It doesn't feel like it should belong to me.  I can hardly stand to look in the mirror most days.  I am obsessed with how other women look and wondering how I look to other women.  I look at how skinny their waists are, how wide their asses are, how they hold themselves, whether they have flat tummies or pudge like me, and I wonder how I look to everyone else.  When I bend certain ways, there are rolls of fat that I can feel overlapping onto themselves.  I see a double chin in the mirror.  My calves are nowhere near as defined as they were 10 years ago.  I hate it all.  I wonder if I would feel better about myself if I thought I looked better.  And so my perception on the whole thing is: if I can do something about how I look and how I feel about how I look, that will eliminate at least one of the reasons I have depression and anxiety.  If I could just be confident in my skin, with my body, maybe I wouldn't be so sad.  But on the other hand, if being off the medication makes me this miserable, but I like how I look, what's worse?  On the meds, I feel fat and miserable with how I look and feel, but at least I don't feel like I'm about to have a nervous breakdown just because I saw a paralyzed dog walking around in a cart.  Off the meds, I am totally batshit insane and riddled with anxiety but I have a shot at finally being able to look the way I want to look, which I think will make me happy.  It's really a difficult decision to make because one way or another, I'm going to be at least a little unhappy.  And I don't like the idea of complaining about something but not doing anything to change it.  So what do I do?

I think that my brain makes a link - between looking better physically and having more confidence about my body and therefore my mind - and being able to get into a relationship that will be long-term, and with a person that I will truly love and want to be with forever.  In order to have a healthy relationship with someone, I need to have a healthy relationship with myself, and one of the steps I have to take in having a healthy relationship with myself is to do something about what I hate about myself.  I'd like to think that this is something that many, many women struggle with, but I'm one of the very few women I know that isn't in a long-term relationship and so I don't know what it's like for the others, really.  I know that a relationship with a man will not solve all my problems - I'm actually fully aware that it will actually cause me a whole new set of problems - but because it is something that I want so far down in the deepest depths of my heart, it is always going to be something I strive for.  The ultimate end-point goal.  In the mean time, I have to find something for myself that I can set out to strive for and reach all by myself.  Completely alone.  And THAT is something that has really recently been quite shaken up.  I feel really lost in that regard.  But that's for another post another night.

Tomorrow's agenda is: 11am training appointment.  1pm counseling intake/appointment on campus.  3pm psychiatrist appointment on campus.  Then I am promptly going to stop worrying so much.  

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Weight

*UPDATE* I added The Weight to the beginning of the post because it's a song I absolutely LOVE and although I don't entirely know what it's about, I think it means that everyone has a weight to bear and that mine is (right now) both metaphorical AND physical.  I also added the little comic because I think that it is the best representation of the struggle I go through trying to make people understand what it's like to not be able to actually get out of bed to function on even the simplest levels some days.  So, if you're reading this, go ahead and play the song while you read.  Maybe it will give you some more insight to where my mind is...

Today may have been the worst day yet, since I've gone off the Effexor.  I went to the appointment with the psychiatrist I had set up, even managed to get there a little early.  I was made to sit and wait for a good 20 minutes past my appointment time, while I assume the doctor looked at my paperwork.  She requires her new patients to fill out a rather lengthy packet with information about medical history, family history, history of mental illness, everything.  I willingly filled it out, did it in detail and to the best of my ability.  Boy did that come back to bite me in the ass.

My mom warned me about this doctor - she's someone she worked with years ago at one of the many mental health centers my mom has worked.  She didn't bias me, per se, but she said she didn't want me to go in with any preconceived notions about this lady, either, so she didn't really tell me much.  The doctor had highlighted some of the stuff I'd put in my history, and she asked me very few questions about it, and didn't really ask me to give her any detail except on my past suicide attempts.  She really locked onto the parts about my parents, which I don't really understand.  They may have their own illnesses, but they're THEIR illnesses.

I was really upset by her lack of care about what my problem is currently.  She didn't ask me much about why I'd chosen to discontinue the Effexor, or why I was worried about weight gain, or what symptoms I was feeling after stopping the Effexor, or what symptoms I was experiencing with regard to my current episode.  She only cared about my history.  Then she prescribed me a medication that she told me was a mood-stabilizer (my mom says it's an anti-psychotic that can be used as a mood stabilizer with limited success), and gave me two weeks worth of samples.  Basically, I'm pretty sure that she prescribed that to me based on my past history of mental illness and my disdain for antidepressants with the side effect of weight gain.  I felt like her care level was about 10% and it was just to cover her ass.  She also told me that I might have Bipolar II, which I argued because I don't have any mania, but she says that Bipolar II doesn't present with mania.  I'm going to need to do some research into that and see how closely I fit that profile.  I'd be more apt to believe that I have dysthymia which is a way more persistent form of Depression, if I'm correct.  I was really upset that she didn't address my massive anxiety AT ALL, because that is what I'm struggling with the most right now.

So I got home (I managed to run a couple errands before that - buying more dog food and getting cash out of the ATM for my rent), and ate something and took one and laid down to watch TV to try and turn my brain off.  I drifted off to sleep, and when I woke up I immediately realized that I still hadn't gotten the air mattress for the camping trip this weekend so I popped right out of bed and went to the store to get it.  While I was there, anxiety washed over me.  When I talk about anxiety, I don't mean nervousness.  I mean that all of a sudden, I am aware of all of the things I should be doing but aren't, the things I need to do but haven't, and the things I want to do but can't.  What really began to stir itself up in my brain was that I am overwhelmingly frustrated with the process of finding a psychiatrist, much less a good one, and how I am going to need to work even harder to find one that actually listens to me, and will help me with what I'm dealing with NOW, and how long it takes to feel any relief at all after that.

I began to think of how long the process is going to be to figure out how to drop my on-campus class because I can't seem to make myself go anymore, and how many signatures I'll have to get and how I'll end up with a W on my transcript, and even though it doesn't effect my GPA, it still shows up.  I thought about how I have two totally separate identities when I feel really good: there's my sick me, the yucky one that has debilitating depression and anxiety and can't finish her classes and took 8.5 years to finish undergrad with a 2.6 GPA because she couldn't finish so many of her classes back then and the one that revels in having some accepted excuse for not being able to follow through with things when she needs it (hint, it starts with a "D" and rhymes with repression).  The second identity is healthy me, who sort of thinks of the really mentally ill me as the quirky, weird cousin that no one really talks about, and I pretend she doesn't or never did exist, because she might tarnish the shine on the healthy me.  I have a real issue between these two identities because when I feel great, I almost forget that the sick me exists.  But when I feel terrible, all I want is to go back to feeling great, and hating that I feel so awful when I know that the great version of me is out there, but just out of my reach.

Anyway, when I got home from getting the air mattress (and some fishing lures because I have never had any of my own and I want to go fishing while camping this weekend if it's not too cold), I broke down.  I didn't want to get back into bed because I was already all worked up and that wouldn't help, but I didn't know what would help.  So I called the counseling center that's on campus at school in Denver.  They referred me to a clinician to talk to for a few minutes and then scheduled me for an intake appointment on Wednesday.  I'm pretty sure this is just for counseling, which I already have begun with someone else (see: last week), but this counseling center is free and it could get me on campus so that I can actually get to class on Mondays if I can figure out how to navigate this class without dropping it.   So I'll go and see how it compares to the one in Westminster, and then make my decision about what I'm going to do.  Maybe I'll keep seeing both.  They then referred me to the health center on campus where I will be seeing a new psychiatrist on Wednesday, who will hopefully either want to just monitor me and my weight on Effexor or will have me try Pristiq which is a modified form of the same drug that's in Effexor (venlafaxine) and give me some Xanex or some Klonopin or some benzo I can take as-needed.  That, I'm super optimistic about.

After I got off the phone, the first thing I did was take one pill of Effexor.  After that I tried my hardest to sort of do something constructive with my brain that would also allow me to be in the moment and not entirely fight how intensely horrible I was feeling.  So I read another chapter of a book I have to write a paper on by next Sunday, which took awhile because I kept drifting off into la-la-land in my brain and thinking of all the other things I could or should do.  After reading for about an hour, Meredi came home and listened to me for a few minutes and let me cry, and after that I started feeling better.  I don't think it was talking to Meredi, I think the Effexor started to kick in, but I guess I could be wrong.

Now that it's closing in on 10pm, I feel quite a bit better.  I feel calmer, and quieter, and more able to handle the things that often cause me to feel as though my brain is in a tailspin.  I'm starting to be able to plan out small details of the upcoming camping trip.

The Ex called me to tell me that his phone had officially kicked the bucket so that if I needed to get a hold of him (I had texted him last week to see if he knew if the camping area I'm taking us to is open or closed since that's his main spot, and never heard back from him), I would have to call his work phone.  We chatted for a few minutes about the camping area and how his hunting trip went, and how his dog is doing, and I reminded him that I still have some of his stuff.  He said that the tent caved in on him from the snow they got up there this past weekend and so I should probably make some phone calls to figure out how things are looking up there.  And now just thinking about having to plan all this out is making me feel anxious again.  This is a large undertaking for a person that can hardly get out of bed to brush her teeth some days recently.  I am definitely going to need help.

I just Googled "Effexor withdrawal" and I'm quite astonished at what it says.  There are "serious withdrawal symptoms" that include "stokelike symptoms."  There's a case where a woman ran out of medication, and she had flu-like symptoms, dizziness and nausea.  I would get all of those things - and I'd be unable to control my body temperature - I'd be sweating throughout my core, but freezing through my extremities which would make me shiver.  I noticed recently a "popping" noise in my head, only when I was lying down to go to sleep, and it didn't bother me at all - in fact I found it kind of calming.  But what struck me most was that she could not stop crying, because that was perhaps my worst symptom for at least the first week after I stopped taking it.  I felt like a puddle walking around in human form.  I was crying for no apparent reason at all up through week two.  It was like PMS on steroids.  This site also says that there are massive differences from patient to patient, with some people having no withdrawal symptoms after two weeks and tapering down, and some people taper off and still have withdrawal symptoms for upwards of three months after ending.  That's really comforting.  First, it's nice to know that I'm not the only one that has experienced symptoms like these, but it's sort of disturbing that something I'm willingly putting in my body could cause me to feel so terribly.  It's indicative of how nasty the chemicals are that withdrawal symptoms are so awful, and it is upsetting to think that I may never be able to stop taking them not just because the withdrawal symptoms are so bad, but because my illness is so severe too.

I'm not sure why, but I've felt quite nauseated the whole last half of the day, and so I am going to lie down and hope it goes away before I have to work tomorrow.  I don't want to spend another day in my bed.

Campagne, D.M. (2005) Venlafaxine and Serious Withdrawal Symptoms: Warning to Drivers. US National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine.  National Center for Biomedical Technology. 7(3):22.  Retrieved from: