Don’t Put a Box on Me

Today has been both lovely and a struggle.  I woke up in the morning a bit hungover, after deciding to chase my regular sleeping pill with some Seroquel last night.  I was desperate for some sleep, and, as that usually does, it backfired.  I get that super-sleepy feeling but don’t get more sleep, and I pay hell for it in the morning.

After managing coffee and Tylenol, I managed to get the new DBT diary card that I created printed out with the help of DSB.  I had therapy today and we talked about me coming to group and she gave me the revised manual.  I haven’t looked at it yet, but I will.  We also talked about trying not to be stressed out in the face of extreme stress.  Of course the answer is to just live in the moment, but anyone who understands the concept and has also undergone major stress knows that it isn’t an easy task.

I really didn’t want to leave my therapy appointment today.  I wanted to either be there, making sense of things, or to be by myself.  My dad had driven me to therapy and we went out for Chinese afterward.  He is very pleasant to be around, anymore.  We have had tough years but it seems like we are working through it.  He caught me up on local politics and news and I soaked all that information in.  Feeling slightly bad that I’m not registered to vote and therefore won’t be voting on mayor, school board, or city council.  Ah well.

A few minutes after I arrived home, QoB came by for a visit.  It would have been nice to chat with herr, but DSB and I got into quite an argument when, when my mom had left the room, I told him I was tired of him putting a negative label anytime I expressed an emotion.

A worry is just a worry, not anxiety.  Irritability is not an indicator of great distress…I’m tired and stressed out.  So on and so forth.  It didn’t go well, I didn’t handle it well, and now he’s up in the garage.  I don’t know how these things get so out of hand when I am just trying to make one little point.

I was even accused of giving up.  How fucking far am I away from that anyhow?

Off-Key, Out of Tune

I have been sick now, in some form or another, since early September.  Now that I’ve been through staph, removal of huge pilonidal cyst, bronchitis twice, my doctor tells me this week that I have pneumonia.  Seriously?

All of this sickness is making me depressed.  It is throwing my world off-kilter and I can’t seem to get it to straighten out.  I am not interested in anything, feel like sleeping all of the time, and am not enjoying being around people.  I am annoyed and irritable.  I can’t see a way out.  My brain is telling me that all of these physical illnessess will never go away.

I thought blogging might help, but my heart isn’t in it.  I just came home from QoB’s and, while I almost always enjoy my time there, it wasn’t doing it for me.  Trying to keep up a conversation took such energy and I just didn’t have it.  I found myself being annoyed with myself that I couldn’t just be happy and enjoy her company.  So I left.

Now I’m at home.  I like being at home.  My dogs are here, I have nice places to sit and relax, it is comforting.  But sometimes I feel lonesome.  At the same time, however, I can’t stand the thought of being around anyone.  It all takes too much effort, and that seems to be effort that I don’t have right now.

Part of me thinks that I am talking myself into being depressed, that this is all my fault.  These feelings are not true and I am giving up and giving in.  Because that is what I do.  I have been trying to do things to ward off these feelings — meditating, sacred self, sitting in front of my sun lamp, staying in a routine.  But I feel like my whole heart isn’t in it.

I keep hearing this voice inside my head, “You’re depressed.  You’re letting yourself go down that road.  You are so lazy.  Why can’t you just be happy?”  That last one…”why can’t you just be happy…” bothers me the most.  I don’t understand why I can’t just be happy.  I am pretty sure that I was enjoying being happy before all of this illness came upon me.  Now everything feels wrong.

What happened to all of that energy, all of those good feelings?  Why didn’t I enjoy it more when I had it and what can I do to get it back?  When will I start feeling less sick all of the time?  Am I still sick or am I just depressed and my mind is telling me I’m sick?

I can’t find anything truly good to say.  I have cases at work that are stressing me out, and I feel like there isn’t anything I can do to make some of these situations better.  There is a lot of in-fighting in my office area and it is becoming just so very clear to me that my supervisor likes to stir the pot.  I am almost dreading going to work every day because I am being faced with these impossible cases and all of the tension and back-stabbing that is going on in my office area.  I just don’t know how to move forward, tell myself that I am doing all I can.  I really feel off my game.

At work, a lot of times I feel like I give and give and give and help and help and help and no one gives a shit.  I guess if, at this age, I am still expecting to be patted on the back and given an “atta girl” that I am out of my damn mind.  It used to be different, though.  At least I thought it did.

I want to be a good person, a better person.  I want to be happy and live my life free.  I want to have the energy that it takes to do these things.  I want to not have to take all of these pills and inhalers and pills and inhalers and pills and still feel sick.

I am annoying myself, so I must end.

When You’re Gone, The Cranberries

Ooey-Gooey Delicious Vacationess

That’s right, I am off work for the next FIVE days.  I would say that I hardly know what to do with all of that time, but you’d better believe, I’ve got big plans.  Today it’s the dentist, grooming for the Kizz, and haircut for me.  Add a trip to Sam’s for the shop and it’s a day.  Saturday is my nephew’s birthday party, and I’m gonna have to get out and buy that huge, super-powered water gun so I can follow the tradition of the marshmallow gun that I gave him for Christmas.  Bet his parents just LOVE me.

Things in RosieSmrtiePants-land have been getting steadily better.  It seems that my headaches are getting figured out.  Tooth pain = massive headaches.  I also think that all of the work stress makes it even worse, hence the vacation.  I need to recoup and relax for awhile.  I haven’t taken any time off for over a year, where I wasn’t either sick or going to the doctor.  It’s gonna be NICE.  Too bad the weather doesn’t look like it’s going to cooperate very well, but I have plenty of “inside” things to do.

I’m still taking Cymbalta regularly and I really think that makes a lot of the difference.  I have been able to steadily decrease my Klonopin dose and am now only taking 1mg at night.  There for awhile, I was having to take a little bit PRN, and I so HATE doing that.  Yes, it makes me feel better, but I don’t want to end up addicted.  Which is really altogether ridiculous, considering how little I take and how infrequently I take a PRN.  Sometimes it’s just the thought of…aghhh, one more pill to take.  Anyone who takes meds reguarly can relate to that, I do believe.

This past weekend was lovely, minus the severe weather.  We had QoB and Big Dog’s 25th anniversary party and it was a smashing success.  I think everyone had a great time and the best couple I have ever had the pleasure of knowing enjoyed themselves, as well.  It was really great to see people that we haven’t seen in quite some time, but was not so fun to drive 70mph trying to out-run a storm.  Let’s just say that I had such a hard time doing so, because I was taught to drive sloooowwwly out at the lake, that someone had to hop in my car at a stop sign and tell me to “put yer foot on it, girl!!”  Good times…I am probably going to be teased about that for the rest of my natural life.  Someone might even bring it up at my funeral 70 years from now…that’s how hilarious everyone thought it was, after the danger had passed, of course!

I went back to church last Sunday for the first time since the week before Easter.  I have been avoiding it like the plague, mostly due to headaches, social phobia, and my stalker.  I am really glad I went back, and realized that I had sooo missed it.  I just feel so clean and hopeful and fresh after I go.  Like maybe all my sins have been washed away (at least temporarily).  Hmmm…I think that is why a lot of people go to church…for the minty fresh feeling.  🙂

After church, I went and visited my Grandma for the first time since Christmas.  That is a relationship that I have historically had a really hard time with.  When Grandpa died, I spent a lot of time being angry that it wasn’t Grandma that died and my Grandpa was still here.  I held onto that idea, taking every misstep and bit of obnoxiousness from my Grandma as adding fuel to that particular fire.  I have really been praying for patience and forgiveness and understanding, and am hoping that I am getting over that hump.  Realizing that Grandma is in her last few months of life made me wake up.  We had a really good visit and it was like being around the Grandma that baked cookies with us, although I remember her more as related to Grandpa, as it seems like my sister was always with my Grandma and I was always with Grandpa.  But, she was like the old Grandma.  No, not down on her knees scrubbing the kitchen floor three times a day, but the Grandma that cared and wasn’t hateful.  Not like the Grandma that always said, “Your grandpa loves you,” without telling me that she loved me, too.  I am really coming to a point that I realized that she did the best she could with the emotional intelligence that she had gained (and lost) over her years.  I am grateful to God for giving me a good visit with Grandma, because she does have many bad days and I could have very easily come to her on one of those days where she wasn’t talking.  She has pretty much stopped eating and drinking, and hospice has been called in.  At least now I can say that I am making an effort to have her in my life, instead of really blocking her out.

On a more uplifting note, please do enjoy  Three Little Birds by Bob Marley.  This is my theme song for my vacation.  🙂

When Things End

I do not even know how to start this post, I have been doing it so infrequently.  It doesn’t help that my mind is racing and I am doing my oh.so.very.best to ignore, block, avoid.  Ignore, block, avoid, repeat.  And so on and so on.  It just seems like there has been so much going on, and I haven’t been able to handle it all at once.

Two things can be true:  1) You can have an ended relationship and know it is for the best, while at the same time, 2) not be able to get your shit together, your new routine going, your scattered life to come back to one piece again.  That is how I feel, I think.  I feel like I have been broken into a million pieces and I am trying to put them all together again, and it is too painful/hard/irritating/overwhelming, so I just sit around, still functional, but in pieces.

I don’t think it helped that I went through another rough spot this winter right before Dr. Love and I broke up.  I hadn’t exactly recovered when we did break up, and, while sometimes things seem much brighter, there is this lingering and poisonous fog that hover.  And the mind can play tricks on you.  I am up and down, up and down — life is great/life is shit, I can’t deal/I can do anything, I want to quit smoking/I’ll never quit, feels great to be healthy/feels like home to throw self-control out the window.

I have been doing better about taking my Cymbalta, but nowhere near perfect.  I have this huge mental block around it, and try as I do to go through it, over it, under it, around it, I just keep getting stuck.  Sometimes I have this thought:

If I feel good, I might start doing more, and I might meet someone, and then they will break me in two.

Ok, so it’s not sometimes I have this thought, it’s all the time.  I absolutely do not want another relationship and the thought that someday I might feel up to it again terrifies me.  Yet, I sometime seek out these situations where I might meet someone.

I am lonely/I am terrified

QoB keeps on telling me that I’ve spent a lot of time alone in my life, so she knows I can do it again.  I don’t remember many alone times.  I was thinking about it, and I don’t think I have been without a boyfriend for longer than five months since early in high school.  It’s hard and it’s scary and lonely as hell.  The thought of being with someone though, makes me feel sick to my stomach and I whisper t0 myself over and over again that I don’t need love, and I don’t need kindness.  All I need is myself.

And you know, that’s just not true.  It’s a nice thought, that humans can be totally an island unto themselves, never needing, never seeking.  People can practice their lives that way, but true happiness does not shine through.  There is always a special friendship, caring family, someone that brings light into the life of that person.

I have my people and they know who they are.  Sometimes it is hard for me to reach out, but when I do, I feel relief.  And I continue to reach out to God, and sometimes I feel like He hears me and sees me.  Other times, I feel an oppressive weight upon myself and I feel that there is no hope for any change, so depressed that there are no gifts to be happy for, so agitated that all I can do is curl up in bed and hope I can fall asleep so the world will become silent to me.

I saw Goddess of Mindfulness yesterday.  I have goals for the week, although I am not sure I was able to process this therapy session appropriately because my mind was wrapped so tight.  I have not embraced these goals, but I know that I will try, because I said I would, and because I feel like I must constantly try and pry myself open and let new ideas and thoughts in.  But it hurts, so I am not getting too excited about it.

Sometimes I sit out in my backyard and repeat prayers and loving-kindness meditations, mixing them, and whispering them to myself in some attempt to connect with God, to connect with my own soul, to remember people I love who are no longer here, and try to forgive, forgive, accept, accept.  Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn’t.  I do this sometimes when I am driving from place to place, as well.  One might think that driving a car down the highway, or the boulevard, or wherever, would really limit one’s ability to connect to anything other than the highway, but I know that I have found myself over and over again, wandering out there on that road.

Dashboard Confessional, Vindicated

You’ll have to just click the link.  Apparently YouTube hates my blog and has decided that, because of me, they must ban embedding.  Either that or I have fallen behind the technology.

Searching for Renewal

January was a real bitch.  I quit smoking on the 10th and am now smoking 1-2 cigs per day, down from three packs per day.  I still beat myself up that it’s not a “perfect quit” but I am just going to consider it a small miracle that I’m doing that well.  I think here within the next week or so I will be able to kick it altogether.  That’s the hope anyway.

I also quit caffeine right around the time I stopped smoking.  I also quit any sort of morning routine.  I quit blogging, quit sitting in front of my sunlamp, quit drinking coffee, and, more recently, quit thinking that my life is so great.  Funny how that happens when you inadvertently go off your antidepressant and stop doing all of the things that were making you feel good.

I think when I first quit smoking, that I thought I had to stop doing all of the things that I associated with smoking.  I stopped taking breaks at work, started sleeping in and not doing a morning routine, and stopped spending time at home.

Over the weekend, I decided that I was probably going to lose my job.  Everyone was starting to talk about people being fired.  I had taken several sick days, and my supervisor told me:  “watch your time.”  I became convinced that I would be fired at any minute.

On Monday, I had a huge panic attack on my way to work.  I thought about taking the day off.  After talking to Dr. Love and my dad (and my supervisor), I cooled off for about 15 minutes and went into work.  I felt bad about being late, but I figure that it was better than the alternative — not going in at all.

Work has been really stressful lately and I have not felt like being there.  A lot of that is all of the negativity going on.  Morale is in the crapper and it’s not getting any better.  The co-workers in my specific office are on edge, as is everybody else, about budget cuts and what the new government members will do.  Instead of working harder, more fingers are being pointed, blame is being laid, and people are stabbing each other in the back.

I don’t like it.  It is to the point, especially within my office, that is almost a hostile work environment.  I can’t stand all the talking behind each other’s backs.  Sometimes I think about getting a different job.  I just don’t know what else I would rather do.

Goddess of Mindfulness has suggested practicing the Loving-Kindness meditation more routinely.  I have attempted to a few times, but sometimes I have a hard time shaking myself out of it and being mindful at work.  I wish my office had walls and a ceiling.  maybe I could do some primal scream therapy or get some dolls and stick pins in them.  Honestly, I do need to do the meditation more often because I know it would help me feel better.

We have had two snow-days back to back and it has been nice to spend time with Dr. Love and just kind of hang out.  We have done a few productive things, but the majority has been spent reading, watching movies, and playing on the computer.  I spent a lot of time yesterday laying in my warm bed and reading.  The main level of the house was only 63 degrees and it wasn’t until later in the day that QoB told Dr. Love to check the vents in the lowest level and turn them on.  It quickly warmed up to 68 degrees, but when I woke up in the morning, it was 61 on the main level and 68 upstairs.

I really felt like just going back to bed, but I couldn’t stand the thought of spending another day in bed, even if I was reading and just relaxing.  We ended up shoveling out the driveway and putting down ice melt.  It was nice to be outside, the sun was shining.   But it was bitterly cold.  I still haven’t totally warmed up.

We ended up going to Walgreens top pick up a few prescriptions, then decided to go to Dillons because we were sooooo tired of being in the house.  I had made some crab salad earlier in the day and Dr. Love decided I hadn’t made enough so we bought the stuff to make another batch and some cheese for the lasagna because I didn’t have enough.

Since we’ve been home, I’ve been trying to relax and not think about work and all of the time that I’ve sat around the last two days.  I made up another batch of crab salad and have been working on making lasagna.  The kitchen is nice and clean, and Dr. Love did several loads of laundry and cleaned the house the other day so there isn’t much more to do.  Just need to get this lasagna in the oven.

I’ve decided it is time to pull out of the January funk, now that we’re into February.  I bought some coffee creamer and will start drinking coffee in the mornings again, pulling back together my morning routine of sitting in front of my sun lamp, blogging, and getting up early enough that I can have a few moments peace before I make that mad dash to work.  I am always calmest in the morning, and I think I really need to be able to enjoy that time as much as I can.

Chris Young, Voices

ABC 123

Life has been quite the struggle later.  Between crippling anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, negative tapes, and insecurity, it’s been miserable.  I think I had a real wake-up call when I realized I was spending five to six nights per week at QoB’s house, calling Goddess of Mindfulness frequently, and being told to get a grip by my med doc.  Sometimes you don’t realize how bad it is getting until you’re already there.

So, I made a conscious decision to do things to make myself feel better.  I have started taking my Cymbalta regularly.  I am doing my sunlamp every morning.  I have tried to decrease my dependence on QoB and Big Dog by not going over every night, and instead, getting things done around my house.  Staying busy has been the key.

I know that both Dr. Love and QoB say it is ok to just “hang” but there are so many things that I want to do that I haven’t been doing due to the lack of motivation that depression and anxiety brings, that it is feeling good to get caught up.

I have cleaned the top two levels of my house, and it’s just a matter of time before I get the basement finished.  I’ve tackled some small projects that have been bugging me, and have been working at building mastery by cooking.  I have also really been working on mindfulness, especially in regards to my eating habits.  I find that if I pay attention, I am not really hungry during the times when I was usually eating.

It doesn’t take as much as I think it does to feel satisfied, and the integration of some new-found foods has much helped.  I was really in a rut with eating junk food and am now eating a lot of vegetables and some fruit.  I have also been concentrating on eating whole grains, and limiting sugar and salt.  No more empty carbs!

For example, I have been eating a lot of spinach salads, squash, sweet potatoes, brown rice, chicken breast, and the like.  I am making a meatloaf for dinner tonight that isn’t particularly healthy (covered in bacon), but it’s for Dr. Love and he deserves some good comfort food, taking a break from eating work food.  I fully believe that I can be rational about the meatloaf and just eat a normal portion.  YES I CAN!

Sacred self has also been a big part in feeling better.  I took Kizz for a walk last night and am trying to get into that routine.  I bought myself some new shower stuff and am spending time doing things that I enjoy.  Some of the skills mix together, but it never ceases to amaze me how much they work.  I am not keeping a diary card, but maybe I should be.

Back to basics, baby.  Goddess of Mindfulness and the IOP program gave me the greatest gift — my DBT skills — and they are something I can always bring more focus onto when the going gets rough.  It’s just getting around the willfulness that depression and anxiety create.

Keane, Somewhere Only We Know

Spreading the Plague

I’m on day five of feeling like crap.  I feel okay when I wake up, but once I start moving around, I get throbbing headaches and feel nauseous all day.  It’s really getting on my nerves and making me feel grumpy.  Dr. Love has been sick, as well, but seems to be feeling better other than a constantly running nose.  Now I just can’t wait to catch the cold that he’s had, and maybe if he’s lucky, he can avoid this stomach bug.

I got up early this morning and cleaned up the house, did some laundry.  I like getting up early, getting some things done, but I generally pay for it later with the lack of sleep.  I think all the sleep I’ve had this week has my tank on at least half-full.  I am sleeping when I get home from work, then going to bed again around 9:00 p.m.  I did, however, stay up a little bit later last night because I was watching the train wreck that is this new show on TLC.  I don’t even remember what it is called, but it’s about “strange obsessessions.”  One of the girls ate chalk, the other was addicted to tanning.  Um, yeah.  Strange.

All is well at work, although I don’t feel like I have really been in the groove this week, due to not feeling well.  It seems like there is a tension in the air in my office, but that’s probably in my head because I don’t feel like really interacting with anyone.  I think my office-mates are leaving me alone because they know I don’t feel well.  At least I am getting my work done and will hopefully be back to my chipper and friendly self here soon.  I think a little bit of my perception of tension at the office has to do with missing work on Monday and leaving early on Tuesday.  Don’t wanna get in trouble, don’t think I am in trouble, but I worry about it all the same.  I have a pretty supportive supervisor and no one really wants me there if I’m sick.

I have an appointment with the pdoc this a.m.  I don’t have much to report to her, other than my new diet and getting on the CPAP.  Likely will just get some refills and get out of there quick, that’s what I’m hoping.  Also hope I don’t get a lecture about quitting DBT, but it’s something I am willing to discuss, just not something I am willing to do again at this point.

Poor Kizzer has really been feeling the effects of Dr. Love and I sleeping our lives away and being sick.  Dr. Love was convinced yesterday that she was sick, too, because she was really lethargic and wimpy.  I told him that he needed to treat her like a dog and she was fine, she just needed some love and attention.  I took her with me when I went to pick up my step-mom from her haircut and then stayed awake all evening, which seemed to help rejuvenate her little doggie spirits.  Other than the ridiculous thunder and lightning, I think she had a pretty good night.

So the diet continues to go well, especially with this whole nausea thing…hahah.  I am finding that I can tolerate my shakes and some soup for dinner, but that’s about it.  Dr. Love keeps saying that he can tell that I am losing, and that support makes me feel even more motivated.  I do think I’m going to have quite a bit of droopy skin, however, and need to start exercising.  I have been parking further and further away from the entrance to my office and have been trying to walk back and forth between compounds when I need to get somewhere, but have not been able to really do that this week, as I feel I am getting ready to die when I even move.

The Ramones, I Wanna Be Sedated