Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Oops I did it again...

Went gaming with bf last night and had fun. Ran into some trouble when I noticed our host James (who is just awesomely nice and always has good things to eat and or drink) had a bottle of Rye on his liquor table.

Rye has always seemed pretty romantic and detective novel-y to me, so I had to try some.
He had two varieties, one of which was more expensive one of which was less so.

They were both really tasty! I used to be a big bourbon fan, but there is a woody thing about bourbon which I can't stomach. I like Irish Whiskey fine, but I think I could develop a taste for Rye, which seems to rest between my beloved bourbon and a lighter Irish.

That bit of booze put me out of the mind to study when I finally made it home, and I've been working on computer problems most of the morning. I need to stop procrastinating and get some studying done, posthaste.

In other news, this has been an oddly stressful week already. Going out trick or treating with my kid is TOTALLY stressful. Maybe I need to pick up a bottle of rye and bring my travel mug with? Oh man, I'm a bad mamma. :) Here's a preview of what I *might* be wearing tonight (not sure if the hat will stand up to the forecast windy weather...).


In other news, I've successfully resisted my desperate urges to smoke for nearly a week! Go me!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pumpkin Seeds and Paycheck

Delicious.

Friday night the 8 year old and I had our friends Arch and his son M over to carve pumpkins and hang out. It was the first time the boys had met, and they seemed to get along really well. I saved the pumpkin seeds and finally got around to roasting them this evening.

YUM. They were delicious.

I took them, got as much pumpkin goop as I could off of them, spread them on a large baking sheet and doused them with some oil ( about 2t. olive) and kosher-style salt. Roasted at 300 for a half an hour and my are they tasty!

Watching a film I think is in my top 25, Paycheck. I've loved it for it's unintentional funniness and for the unfortunate nature of Uma Thurman's hair styles. But this time I just am plain enjoying the film.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Dear Blogosphere, I quit

UGH. I have to stop reading blogs today.

Just left a shrill comment on a blog without mentioning that I *GOT* what the person was saying, just thought she was being a prat.

One of the reasons I do not (yet) have a college degree is, believe it or not, having parents with advanced degrees and growing up in a college town, around many people who had (or when I was older, were striving for) master's degrees.

I am sick to death of academic liberals, and I can't imagine being one of them, or around hordes of them, for very long. I've been thinking this way since I was a kid, for a variety of reasons I won't go into.

The sadly funny other reason I have never finished is that I am not good at finding my own place in a crowd - that isn't true, I am good at finding SOME place in a crowd, but I just don't do "type" well. I'm not normal or average, I suck at straight consumer capitalist, I'm not crunchy, I'm not coloured enough for some, too coloured for others, I'm fat (again), I'm crazy, AND, I think "too much". I'm not a democrat nor will I ever belong to it or the socialist or green parties, I don't like sports, I can't watch TV (I can watch SHOWS, but the commercials kill me), plus I hate the idea of sororities and other clubs. I'm not a people person, and a big part of college is other people (hell, I hate group projects even when I adore the other people in my group).

Wow, that was a tangent. And now I'm running late to go do Halloween themed consumerism. I need some STUFF, and I aim to get it. The eight year old and I have a play date with a friend of bf's (and mine) and his son. Pumpkin carving may ensue.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Squish, right in the brain pan

MEMO
TO: BRAIN
FROM: ME
CC: NERVOUS SYSTEM WORKING GROUP, PSYCHE SUB-COMMITTEE
RE: SLEEP

I am writing to express my extreme displeasure at the lack of sleep I received last night and the utter exhaustion which has followed this morning. This sort of thing is absolutely unacceptable and must be rectified IMMEDIATELY.

My suggestions include the immediate halt of rumination, and the mitigation of anxiety. Also, a look into the "resetting" of the circadian rhythm is likely warranted.

Thank you for your work in addressing this matter promptly.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Take Care

So... I've been feeling really introspective, which on one hand is a good thing.

A very good thing, actually. I feel as though I've turned a corner with some things.

And I am feeling very compelled to take good care of myself and my life.

To wit, I:

Finally took my car in to be looked at. It *should* run fine and I feel good about giving my money to a car repair shop that supports my community sponsored radio station (and listens to the Jazz show in the afternoons).

Successfully resisted a lot of crazy urges during the past couple of crazy days.

Accepted love and help from my boyfriend, and returned it the best I could.

I stopped taking the medicine which was making me feel poorly, mentally as well as physically (although that glimmer of she-who-could-read-for-hours was good, the raging psycho part was hard).

Sometime in the next month I'm going to start group therapy, which to me is terrifying, but should be great for my memoirs.

Next week I'm going to start a twice weekly Yoga experiment. It costs, but less than fixing my car. In fact, it was this desire to try yoga class which prompted me to fix my car.

I also plan to go through my spare room and make sense of my work space, and work there.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

F*CK!

Dagnabbit. I just want to stay home and rail at the heavens. I don't want to go to school. I don't want to take the shagging bus or sit in class or pretend that I don't hate myself and want to die.

Also, I want more pats on the back. I want to be praised. There, I said it.

I'm in a wicked bad mood, I'm having a side effect from my new meds which usually means they are discontinued, but I haven't yet heard back from the nurse.

And I'm crushingly lonely.

THIS IS WHY THEY ARE CALLED MOOD SWINGS!

It's difficult to remember that.
But that is what is so tricky lately. I feel so bad sometimes, and it's coming from inside my own head. It's like a constant hallucination, in a way. Seeing things 'wrong' all of the time.

Wow. I feel totally nuts right now.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Take *that*, optimism


Optimism 'no bearing on cancer'


The power of the mind has been overestimated when it comes to fighting cancer, US scientists say.

They said they found that a patient's positive or negative emotional state had no direct bearing on cancer survival or disease progression.

The University of Pennsylvania team followed more than 1,000 patients with head and neck cancer.

But experts said the Cancer journal study should not deter people from adopting a "fighting spirit".


Cancer Research UK

Indeed, a positive outlook can help patients cope with gruelling cancer therapies and resume a "normal" life, a spokeswoman for Macmillan Cancer Support said.

Seeking emotional support may be beneficial to cancer patients, said the researchers.


I know it's important to have a good outlook for most things in life, and I don't think this study can allows us to conclude that we shouldn't care or be invested in positive outcomes, but as a life long pessimist (pessimism has actually been helpful at times, believe it or not), I feel a bit better about things, now that I have "scientific proof" of the overestimation of the power of optimism.

Jeez, I'm a bit of a curmudgeon on this point, aren't I?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Cooking as therapy

The apartment is filled with the scent of apple crisp, and I can tell you it is absolutely intoxicating.

The smell of the apple sauce bubbling away in the slow cooker is pretty nice as well, but there is something special about a crisp.

Sometime tomorrow I'm going to whip up another batch of meatloaf, maybe with apples in it. And later in the week I was thinking of some sort of old fashioned-y apple desert from one of my old cookbooks.

The apple orchard was perfect today, warm and breezy and dry. The apples were cheap and delicious and I picked some for the first time.




For the potluck party last night I made two things and took one. The first was a bean salad. Really easy and flexible and fun to make. One can Goya pink beans, one can Goya Cannelli (or is that Cannellini?) beans, half cup diced red onion, a carrot diced small, a bit of garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste. Let it sit in the fridge, covered, for at least a couple of hours. Mix well before serving. It's good with fresh corn or a bell pepper diced in it.

The second thing I made was a date cake. I've had a can of date filling for a while and decided to use it. When I opened it up and had a taste, I was disappointed. It was more corn syrup than date in flavour, so I decided to make it into a cake.

I have a basic recipe for both pancakes and muffins/quick breads which I modified from Bakin' without Eggs, which is a good cookbook. I substituted some of the milk with the date mix, and didn't add any sugar. The batter was not quite sweet enough and didn't have much fat, so I mixed melted butter with honey and drizzled it over the top. That gave it a nice buttery taste and sweetened it up as well. That ended up being noshed on by bf and the 8 year old and myself, so we left it home.

The oven timer has just gone off, time to check on my crisp.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Sometimes I just don't know

Sometimes I just don't know what to do.

Right now I'm sitting in front of an open window, feeling the breeze against my skin and listening to the sounds of the wind, and a far off chainsaw. A few birds are chirping, and branches from the tree across the street are brushing against the building next to them, making a sort of skittery noise.

Yesterday they took down the dead tree which I knew would happen, eventually. The dead tree was nice even though it didn't have any leaves, it was intact and full of texture. Luckily the tree with the skittery- sound is health looking and leaves me with one tree to to look at from my window.

I'm extremely sad again today. That crying because I can't do anything else kind of sad, and I wish so much at these times that I had someone to care for me. Bf has been good about checking in with me and making sure I'm doing okay, but I realized last night that the side effects from the meds are really disturbing and not having to be responsible for things for a week would help me get acclimated without letting everything fall apart. I've tried to pay all my bills and be caught up with school week so this next week will go better.

I still think about killing myself a lot. Every day. I'm not convinced it's a bad idea. I'll leave it at that for now.

So one of the things I do when I just don't know what to do is try and take care of myself. I made myself a tuna fish sandwich and cut up a couple of carrots and had that for lunch with a big glass of water. That is in direct opposition to the burning desire I had to drink a bottle of wine and crawl into bed to pass out for a few hours. See, I'm not a total loss!

It's just that I've lived without a strong sense of meaning or self-worth for such a long time, I don't feel that I can even begin to imagine how life can be good: how I can get a job I like (one which likes me back), how I can enjoy being a parent, how I can finish school, deal with conflict in my family. DO ANYTHING.

Today is a day, is the kind of day, in which I have no reserves. It's driving across the desert on Empty and with no water.

Also, it's the kind of day during which I bake something because we have a potluck to go to and need to bring a tasty treat.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Side Effects, possible

So I don't know what to think.
My new meds coincided with a new ability to concentrate on reading for closer to 10 minutes up from 5. That seems to be a direct correlation, but I have to admit my *general* ability to concentrate hasn't risen across the board.

My new meds were started at the same time as my menstrual period too, so perhaps my increased energy and bounciness are related not to the medication but to hormonal changes.

My new meds have seemed (that is, I cannot find another cause, so I am seeing this as a causal relationship) to precipitate my becoming VERY CHATTY with strangers. I mean striking up wacky conversations on the bus. WTF is that about? I am not usually a chatter in that manner. It's almost a compulsive feeling.

Weird.

And lastly, I am having some worry that I am getting increased energy but still feeling pretty down, and also impulsive. I want to spend lots of money. This could well be attributed to the Capitalist/Consumer culture value of shopping as therapy. It's not as though that is way out of hand. I always think of out of hand spending as something an old coworker told me when describing her mania shopping: "a gross of ball point pens" or a "case of paper towels" just because she NEEDED those things.

Because I am still unemployed, I can agonize over every purchase (food and good beer are easier to deal with). But when I *want* something, I usually find the will power to not get it, if I don't need it.

It's hard to tell with me, what's related to my personality, my bipolar, my meds, or normal changes in mood. Since I've basically stopped therapy I am not being checked in with on the same level, but as it had not really been good (except when she told me something I was doing in one of my relationships was passive agressive, that was really helpful). So I feel that stopping therapy was self-care (as my therapist encouraged me to recognize such things and take action on them when I could).

Isn't it ironic?

Anyhow, I am feeling as though my lack of people to talk about certain things with is difficult, but I don't feel as sad as I did before. Maybe I'm meant to be floating around, directionless, with few to talk to. Maybe this is my life.

zomg, porcupine eating a banana

Seriously, there isn't much to say today, but this:

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

More anger from the bi polar nation

Ugh.

This has been a frustrating week (damn, it's only Tuesday). Yesterday I had a "hangover" from my meds and couldn't concentrate - words were hard to come by when my professor was speaking to me in Spanish, and I finally had to say "sorry, not today" - luckily it was only a side conversation, not during the test! But I have NO idea how I did on the exam either.

Last night I was supposed to up the meds, and because of the hangover effect I felt, I decided to take them a few hours before bedtime. Which resulted in me not being able to get out of bed to tuck the little one in, not being able to get into my pyjamas and generally being very disoriented. It was not so bad that the 8 year old was scared, but I was pretty confused for still being lucid.

I emailed bf in the midst of this and reading it this morning see it was not even a full sentence and had a couple of misspellings. He seemed to be amused by that, and I was angry at his apparent amusement at my genuine disorientation, so now that's a snarly situation. Sigh.

And people wonder why folks don't take their meds?

So I'm a bit worn out this morning and sad, but at least I can stand up and think fairly clearly. I'm going back down to 1/4 dose for now. Calling my clinician is useless because all they ever say are things like "the side effects will get better after a week or so", and "Call me if your kneecaps fall off". So I will soldier on for the rest of the week and see if I can't make it through this initial period of confusion, tired and disorientation, kneecaps intact.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Clarity

Okay. I would like to tell you something about bipolar disorder.

IT TOTALLY SUCKS.

I guess I say that tonight because I am at this point of no longer trusting an energetic period or a good mood. I see them as threats, because maybe it means I'm gonna go all hypomanic and not be able to sleep properly for a week.

Maybe I'll get tons of energy to start 4 new projects but run out of steam before finishing any of them. Maybe I'll get really enthusiatic about a new friend, or group, or about bf or the boys, and I'll get really disappointed when nothing happens the way I've imagined it to happen.

And then, maybe, after a week or two of this high energy, I will suddenly realize that I am a horrible person who should not ever talk to another human being again.

The SWINGS of mood are really tough. Not only on me, but on my kids and my guy.
But they are devastating on friendships and socializing, which leads to more isolation, which allows the down periods to feel even worse.

The other thing which is tough is the medication part. I cant get an anti-depressant until I've tried the mood stabilizer (there is a small amount of evidence that they are not very effective for treating bipolar disorder anyhow). It's hard because I cannot seem to find relief from depression when I take mood stabilizers, so I am staying depressed even while medicated. It's hard because "depression" is a temporary state for most people, but seems to be different for me. And since drug companies and public health campaigns repeat that depression is temporary (which it is for most people), I look like a malingerer.

Bipolar disorder is also sucking more because for whatever reason (I happen to think it's a pretty even combination of life experience and growing older) my moods are less stable these days. A higher percentage of people with bipolar disorder kill themselves, and I think I get why. Right now the seeming inevitability of the swings is very discouraging to me. Losing trust in good feelings and high energy moments makes me feel as though I'm watching myself for a "wrong move" all of the time. No rest for the weary.

I can't sleep tonight and can't concentrate on anything for very long and I need something but I don't know what and food seems good but I'm not hungry. Too bad I don't smoke, right? I'm glad I don't, I'm really glad my building is non-smoking, or I would probably take it up again to keep busy.

How much more rambling can I do? That remains to be seen, because I'm signing off for the time being.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I'm very very sorry

The other night I fell apart. I couldn't stop apologizing (okay, I could, but I did it a lot before I did) to Bf for being so depressed, being a burden, not being okay. I told the bf a lot of stuff I didn't want to, about how much I hurt and what kind of thoughts were going through my head. IT WAS SCARY, for both of us. And although I can only speak for myself, I have to say that I feel better after letting that guard down and being brutally honest with him.

I've been thinking about suicide A LOT. I mean, 50% of my day had thoughts of suicide, from how and where to do it, to what I needed to do before hand, to who would get a suicide note. Scary scary stuff, because this stage is a place I've been before, right before my only real suicide attempt about 20 years ago.

One thing that has been happening over the past several months is my inability to see things outside of my own pain. I have a difficult time looking at other people (especially people who are happy), talking to other people, imagining that other people want anything to do with me.

My brain has been looking inward instead of outward - I don't see much going on outside of my little world inside my head. The past couple of days have been different though. I can see a bit more of the outside world, enjoy a bit more the interactions (but just a bit).

This happened before I began taking a new medication, but I have hope that the medication will make this transition easier.

I want to tell my story because I want people (especially the people whom I care about) to understand. But the story in the middle, the story of the struggle before the outcome, that story is sometimes terribly ugly. The books about this kind of struggle are not by people who still find it hard to get out of bed, but rather they are by the people who have discovered how to live again. Some still have struggles, but they are much better. I'm not that person. I'm not better yet.

So, I know that my writing has gone from semi-interesting to very self-involved and unhappy, and I'm sorry.

There is every reason in the world to expect positive change in this blog. Not immediately, maybe not even this year, but someday.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Correlations

I've been thinking about correlations, in the past day or so, between my depressions and other aspects of my life.

I've been thinking about causation too. Like, is my weight gain caused by my depression? I know the depression has correlated with both my being thinner and my being increasingly fat. But it seems that being overly fat (as I think I'm supposed to be curvy) is directly related to being depressed, as I consume more sugars and complex carbs when I'm sad. It does lift my mood a bit.

And something in a different direction: I hate being depressed. I hate that people treat me as though I have a choice in it. "Go make friends" they exhort, as if that were a commodity I could locate easily and then obtain. "Love yourself", as if my self esteem were the key to ridding myself of unrelenting bad thoughts, anxiety and suicidality. Cuz that works to shrink tumors and repair heart tissue without any other intervention.

I know I have choices, but the choice of how my brain works (or doesn't in this case) isn't available. I can influence my own thinking and feelings, but I cannot make this depression lift. I cannot change my biology at will.

It was unseasonably hot this weekend, like late July. But autumn wouldn't leave us alone for long. It's overcast and wet out (okay, maybe not wet, I haven't been out yet, it just *seems* wet through the closed shades). I'm leaving the shades down until I psych myself up for no sun. Somedays I don't care at all, and some days all I want to see is a bit of sunshine. Today is one of the latter.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Whew

Okay, so my intensity of last week and this weekend has abated, to some extent.
But MAN.

The secret seems to be travel, food, beer, sleep, coffee, exercise, sex, and... TV.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

I am not Kurt Cobain and Slyvia Plath

To state the obvious, I'm not famous nor particularly talented.

But I was thinking about it today, this nagging feeling I have when I am really fucking depressed, that I WILL kill myself one day, and I thought (man, my therapist has gotten to me) that while it's understandable that I would identify with these artists and their struggle (lost) with depression and despair, that I don't have to follow them down.

And there are other people (also artists) who have struggled with similar things who are not dead. But seriously, I am gravitating toward the dead ones right now.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Gee, your despair smells terrific!

I'm at my wit's end.

Paralysis

Hmmm, it could be anything, but today I will call it paralysis.

It's like being enveloped in jelly, or custard, or glue. I just feel stuck in place.

This morning I broke out long enough to wash dishes, make coffee and mop the kitchen floor.

But I seem to be stuck in place again.

This crazy lack of motivation is...well, crazy.

For some reason I'm 15 years old, unable to get out of bed day after day, roused only to watch tv and shower. Then, as now, I have responsibilities (but oh, then they were really not that bad, and I knew it), which I feel are poorly handled.

Now, however, I have more tools to unstick myself, more freedom with which to move and make choices.

But inside, I am the same lost and aimless creature as I was then.

It's so strange to be her. But with the internet. And children.

I've been up since 6:30 and have yet to eat breakfast. I've been hungry since 8. Yes, if these were my only troubles, I'd be blessed. And to some extent (in the immediate sense) they are my only troubles. So maybe I'm blessed, to some extent.

Wow, this is moving around in a circle. What I want is a place, outside of this inertia and quiet, which feels as safe as this place does. It's not necessarily a nice place to be, but it feels safe as houses and I want to stay here.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Seriously

Wow, I don't know where to begin.

Nowhere seems good. A HAHAHA HAHAH AAHAHAAHAHAH ha ha. Surely I jest. I'm gonna post no matter what.

Highlights of the past few days, got a new tattoo (small one) because I just wanted to. It's kind of a secret so I'm not posting a picture.

My table finally arrived from Sears.com. If I could tell you anything about Sears.com, it is this: STAY FAR AWAY. Stick with JCPenney.com if you need the big department store experience. The latter doesn't have appliances, the former doesn't totally suck.

I've been hitting a wall of tired right around this time of day. I dunno why. Need dinner. Fortunately for me, (highlight alert) there is a meatloaf in the oven. Today's meatloaf includes onion (both red and white sweet), carrot, garlic and red wine. It should be interesting.

And we get to eat at a real table, which is lovely.

I got a bad grade on my Spanish Exam (the one I thought I had done WELL on, which is a kick in the teeth, I hate bad grades), and I'm trying to keep it in perspective but I feel so stupid it hurts.

Wait, highlights, remember Lavalady? You've promised highlights!!!

Okay...

Um, I bought chocolate marshmallows yesterday, with a coupon (which was at the store). They were $0.44! And they taste good. Not like marshmallows, exactly, but they are chocolately and sweet, so that is nice.

The eight year old is playing at a neighbor's house. That's pretty awesome. I'm feeling extremely anti-social so I hope he comes home without me having to go meet his mom. I know, I'm bad at this job.

Lastly, after setting up the table I need to decide if I'm making potatoes or pasta as our starchy side. I've got some squash for veg, and some shelled edamame as well. I think I'll make red pepper pasta.

Ooh, just checked on the 'loaf and it looks lovely, but I think I put too much liquid in it... It's practically self-basting. Smells divine though.

Highlights: food, furniture, friends for family members.

So lucky

I'm lucky I'm not the Carpenters.

It's Rainy AND Monday.