Much Ado About Everything (AKA Damned if You Do(n’t))

I…

…don’t know what to write.

I have yet to read a book this year. I keep trying, but nothing holds my focus or interest. I keep trying to read blogs. Articles. Even the rare thought-provoking Facebook post. I can’t. Fucking. Do it. Same with writing. I can’t think of anything to write about. Part of me wants to write. (The part of me that’s here writing this.) The other part of me couldn’t care less. (The part of me that cannot come up with anything to talk about right now.) It’s maddening. On slow days at work – I shit you not – so many times I’m just staring at the monitor or wall. Just fucking staring. I want to read. I want to write. It’s like I can’t.

Is it the medication?

Maybe.

Possibly.

Probably.

Speaking of (psychiatric) drugs, I’m only on Lexapro and Seroquel now. I’ve been through three anti-psychotics so far…Geodon and two others I’ve already forgotten. All three fucked me up in a major way. I’m not having major negative (discernible) side-effects from Seroquel, but…but I feel even more numb than I did before I was on it. I smile and laugh and crack the occasional snarky remark. But, for the most part, it doesn’t reach beyond the surface.

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At one point, I was on at least 12 scrips at once (that I can recall) and felt worse than I ever have. Against doctors’ orders, I’m down to five plus an OTC antacid. And I still think I can do without Seroquel.
I am still taking the sleepytime drug (Clonidine), but I’ve ceased the anti-anxiety drugs (Vistaril and Klonopin). First, I was just too fucking tired and sleepy all the time. I’m already tired all the time – I certainly didn’t need drugs that exacerbate that. Second, and most importantly, at least one of them was causing panic attacks. I’m the girl that has maybe three or four full-blown panic attacks a year. Maybe. The rest of them are milder anxiety attacks. Like can’t get out of the car to go into the grocery store. While I was taking the anti-anxiety drugs (at 50 mg Vistaril 3x daily and 1 mg Klonopin 3x daily), I began having them daily. Daily. Sometimes more than once per day. If I was at work, I had to scurry off to the bathroom to hide in a stall until it passed. If I was at home, I exercised less control but would eventually tuck myself in the closet. The closeness and darkness helped soothe and calm me down.

I knew something was fucked. And it had to be the drugs, because nothing else had changed. Granted, I’m going through some life changes right now – and they aren’t minor. But I’ve been easing my way into those for several months now. There was no brand new catalyst aside from the steady increase in anti-anxiety drugs and doses.

All that to say, I’ve ceased those – though the psychiatrist doesn’t know. When I tried to share my observations, she insisted I was better off with the meds than without – to the point where she brought up hospitalization again, as though holding that over my head if I didn’t take the pills. So I lie and tell her I’m still on everything except the ones where I have pictorial evidence of bad side-effects (like the big, burny rashes). I even asked her at one point if she wanted pics of vomit. (While I am a smartass, I don’t often use it with willfully mean intent. But she was basically accusing me of lying to her and being treatment resistant – hence my offer.) So now I really am lying to her, and I fucking hate it. It pains me so to admit it, because I hate lying. I hate liars. I used to say liars and thieves, but really they’re the same thing. A lie is theft of truth. So to tell a lie is to become both a liar and a thief. Next time I see her, I’m going to tell her. Just flat out tell her, and by then I will be able to tell her that I’ve been off of them long enough to know for damn sure they were doing more harm than good. Hell, they were doing no good and only harm.

But what about publife?

Once I took myself off of the anti-anxieties, I was strangely able to appreciate my anxiety. I’d gone weeks with severe daily panic attacks. So now that things had calmed back down to being too nervous to go into the grocery store, rather than pulling my hair and rage-screaming, I was less concerned.

So much so that I was finally able to push myself far outside my comfort zone and go to a pub – not once, but three times. And one of them was alone! I even took myself to the movies and to a concert – solo!

But here’s the thing…the Saturday and Sunday immediately subsequent to two of those pubnights?

In bed. Crying. Sleeping. Contemplating. Crying. Sleeping.

You get the idea.

It’s important to me that I share this here, because for anyone else going through what I’m going through, I don’t want to give the impression that this depressed introvert was “healed” after a few nights of bravery. I wasn’t. I’m not. Though I am proud of myself for pushing outside my comfort zone and even doing something I’d never done before, I also realize that wellness is an ongoing process. That goes for mental and physical health and wellness.

Last time, I only talked about the good shit. But it’s important to show the other side. What happened after the Happy Hour High.

The extreme highs of forced extroversion (that was honestly quite fun and liberating – errr aside from pubnight #3 which was an epic fucking disaster), followed by quiet solitude…well, let’s say that combination resulted in major emotional backlash for me. So. On this journey of mental wellness, I have to eventually discover a way to at least minimize the extroversion hangover caused by going from being ON to being alone and exhausted.

I haven’t been back out since the failed third Happy Hellish Hour, and I’ve had a negative urge to. Until Friday. I could have done Happy Hour after work. But..I kinda didn’t wanna. Because while I now know that I can do it, I also found it far more fun when I was with people than when I went alone. Frankly, it’s depressing. It was awesome in a lot of ways, and I was so fucking proud of myself. But. It’s also me. Sitting alone. At a bar. Alone. On a Friday night. Out. In public. Did I mention alone? Yeah. So while I kinda wanted to go, I didn’t. 

Then again, maybe that’s the drugs, too. Fucked if I know. What I do know is that my slowass pace doesn’t mean I’ve stopped progressing.

I’m trending upward. That’s right. Slowly but surely, I’m trending upward. Speaking of which…

Inching along the Oregonton Trail

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I continue to make progress (albeit slow) toward getting myself up to Oregon or Washington.

The yard is landscaped just along the front of the house. Azaleas, some fast growing lantanas, and some gorgeous annuals in window boxes. The house looks adorable. Fucking adorable. It went from ghetto to adorable in a flash. It’s amazing the effect flowers have on a house’s appeal.

As far as the house goes, there are still some hurdles before it can be put on the market. The driveway has to be re-graveled. The laundry room floor has to be painted (the previous owner painted it, and it looks ridiculous). The kitchen floor needs some tiles replaced. Other than that, it’s down to scrubbing and little things like window blinds and light bulbs here and there.

Strongly considering figuring out how to do it For Sale by Owner. It’s the legal shit that concerns me, not the showing. My boss is flexible, so I could show it on evenings, weekends and the occasional midday during the week. I’ve learned that hiring a realtor will take all of the little equity I’ve got in the house. I can’t afford to lose that, so I have to find another way. Enter FSBO.

I’ll do my research and give it a go. 

On the job front, I’ve stopped applying for now. I’ve had several interviews, but I have a solid lead thanks to a VIP at work. When he found out about my plans, he asked for my resume and sent it to another VIP in Vancouver, Washington. He tells me it’s solid and to bide my time while I sell my house. So I’m gonna let that simmer for a while and pour all my focus into the sale. 

~

This post took three days to write. That’s how bad my “block” is. I know this is an abrupt conclusion, but I don’t really know what else to say.

Until next time, y’all are the best. I’m not neglecting you on purpose.  This “block” is maddening! Hope everyone is well and happy!

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(Don’t) Forget to Remember Me

Do you remember how dependent I was upon you?
Do you remember how I couldn’t sleep unless I was in your bed, being your Big Spoon?

Every night.

Do you remember sweeping my hair back and drying my tears?
Do you remember reassuring me that it wasn’t my fault, the things he did?

To all of us.

Do you remember telling me you’d always be here?
Do you remember saying you’d never abandon me, because you loved me?

For a time.

Do you remember helping me learn how to read before kindergarten?
Do you remember telling me how proud you were that I could read at your level by second grade?

And that you were jealous.

Do you remember brushing my long hair?
Do you remember telling me how beautiful the curls were?

Then ripping through them.

Do you remember laughing when I tried to playfully coax you from your depression?
Do you remember telling me I would make a great comedian someday?

But not today.

Do you remember when I had a nightmare you died, so I called you sobbing in the middle of the night?
Do you remember telling me that you loved my big heart of gold, and you’d never?

Go away.

Do you remember when I screamed at him, to get off of you?
Do you remember how hard I tried to take care of you?

Of all of us.

Do you remember telling me to get over it?
Do you remember telling me I should forgive him and be by his side?

No matter what.

Do you remember promising me a special gift like you’d given the others?
Do you remember crocheting half of it and bringing it to me in a garbage bag?

Forever unfinished.

Do you remember the big green plastic cup?
Do you remember drinking until your eyes were glassy and your speech slurred?

Only water.

Do you remember all the sleepless nights?
Do you remember all the men from the Internet?

Unraveled.

Do you remember the intervention?
Do you remember saying nothing was wrong, but you’d never speak to us again?

How dare we care.

Do you remember being the only one at the wedding?
Do you remember having a tantrum and making it all about you?

Cried all night.

Do you remember telling me I wasn’t praying hard enough?
Do you remember telling me I was being punished for something?

Barren.

Do you remember telling me my vocabulary was too high?
Do you remember saying it was disrespectful to ever ask why?

Sheep.

Do you remember when I cried and begged you to respect me?
Do you remember when I cried and begged for you to come to me to talk?

Instead of gossiping.

Do you remember how I begged for you to love me?
Do you remember how much it hurt when I always had to be the one?

To call first.

Do you remember going away?
Do you remember where I am?

Lost.

Do you remember who you are?
Do you remember who I am?

Mother Daughter.

Did you forget to remember?
Did you remember to forget?

Me.

Do you know how much I hate it?
Do you know how long I spend sobbing in bed, every year?

Mother’s Day.

I hope I remember to forget.

You.

As easily as you’ve forgotten to remember.

Me.

Parks & Recreaction ft. Stephanie and the Spiky Caterpillar of Doom (AKA Parks and Masturdation: Buddha and Books)

So. About that four-day weekend. I kinda went crazy, y’all. I did a lot of masturdation. And you know something? I’m a damn good date.

Mkay. Let’s see. (I’m putting dates on these, because this was actually the weekend before last. And I did more shit this past weekend!)

Thursday, April 14: Sassy and Pensive

I’ve already told you about the sassy new haircut I got last Thursday. That was on the 14th. So last last Thursday. And then later, I went to the bookstore, too! And bought books!


Friday, April 15: Date with Deadpool

I’ve also already told you about the Deadpool masturdate  last last Friday, so let’s move right along.

The end credits had such cute (and vulgar) graphics. This was one of the only clear snaps I could get.

Saturday, April 16: Please sir, may I have some more…books?

I found myself lying in bed. All. Fucking. Day. Around 7 P.M., I had had enough. I was angry and disappointed with myself. So I got up, took a shower, and went to the bookstore. I didn’t know what else to do or where else to go, but I knew I needed to get my pathetic ass out of the bed and move. Also. It’s always fun checking out the cute geeks in the sci-fi/fantasy/comics section. Sometimes they’re so deliciously yummy, I want to kidnap them (don’t worry; they’re adults) and do things to them. So uhm. I bought more books. Quelle surprise!

Added three more to the TBR stack!

Looking forward to reading this when time allows. Speaking of time, that’s a “pocket watch” on a chain. I wear it around my neck to remind me that time our time on this earth is finite; it is precious and I must Carpe the fucking Diem. “There’s only lifetime. GO!”

Yes, I spent too much money. This is rare for me. But when I do decide to spend on myself, it usually happens in a splurgy burst. But I at least had coupons for books! So I didn’t do so bad at the bookstore.

I also justified it by using “spending money” I had set aside for the trip that wasn’t. I wanted to treat myself after some personal shit went down. And y’all, I ain’t even done. I’m tired of being in the backseat of my life (unless, of course, someone is back there with me) (even then, maybe I want to drive for a while, damnit).

No, I didn’t buy this. But seriously? Trigger Warning? Sex Inside? There’s sex ON THE COVER. But “trigger warning”? Good fucking grief. Overuse of “trigger” shit drives me nuts. And sex? This is Cosmo, people. It’s gonna be like, “10 things to make your husband less likely to fall asleep after cumming in 3 seconds flat.” or “5 tips on how to bedazzle your vajazzle.”

Anyway. Let’s get to the park, shall we?

Sunday, April 17: Parks & Masturdation, or One if by Land, Buddha if by Trees

This dude has been driving me batshit about getting the fuck outside. I make excuses. He tells me to piss off. I make more excuses. He says so the fuck what. I say, but I hate it here. I want to be in the Pacific Northwest! He says, but you’re not in the fucking Northwest. Get out and live now. I say my foot is broken; he says piss off and go hobble.

So you know what? I fucking hobbled my ass to the park last last Sunday. And unfortunately, I have to admit that the smug fucker was right. I couldn’t do much walking. My foot is legit still broken (had new x-rays and it’s finally and slowly healing, though – NO SURGERY! NO PINS!)

Anyhoodles. Park. I got my ass up. At oh…1 in the afternoon or some shit. But I did good. I went straight to the shower then straight to the park (with an intermission for getting dressed – it’s not that kinda park).

I grabbed my book, Buddha in a Teacup (which is bullshit so far – more later), and did a little wandering. Not much, mind you. My foot wouldn’t let me forget it’s broken. I went first through the greenhouse. It was always my favorite part of the park, though they’ve let it go to shit.

Lemme share some lovelies from that day:

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One of the few pretties in the greenhouse.
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Went down here to read first. Until hornets ran me off.
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Somebody wanted to fuck with Buddha. How dare.

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Hornets drove me to this spot. Much lovelier anyway, once I got away from the noisy geese-feeding hordes.
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Met this little fella, too. Don’t worry. I didn’t let that venomous fucker touch me. But we chatted for a while. He’s converting to Buddhism and came to warn me that this book would likely be shite.

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More lovelies.

That was park day numberus oneicus.

Monday, April 18: Parks & Masturdation, or Making Friends and Influencing People, or A Writing Assignment

Because some little shit couldn’t be satisfied, I went to the park two days in a row. (He also says go listen to High Pass Filter right now!) And I mentioned it to someone else…all like I know I should, but I don’t wanna and he was all but you must go! And you must write something while there! No reading! Must write! These demanding asshats, I’m telling you. I did go, and I did write. But I can’t share the writing yet, as it’s to be part of a collaborative something.

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Lemme share a gratuitous amount of flower piccies, and then I’ll tell you about someone I met. It was one of those moments in life when you just know. You just fucking know. You’re exactly where you’re meant to be.

But first. Flower porn. GASP! New word! FLORN!

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Ahhhh isn’t spring glorious? I fucking love flowers. Can you tell? No? Lemme show you some more.

KIDDING. Just kidding.

Lemme tell you about Anthony now. I had been watching him, you see, crafting the beginnings of a short story based on him. He had no idea, of course. I just saw him and was inspired. I caught a glimpse of him from my table. He was down fishing off this little covered pier thingy. It showed up in the picture up there with my notepad.

I actually snuck an excellent shot of him re-baiting his hook. It was the perfect shot of him in his element, but I won’t even show my face on the blog. Not my place to show his.

Anyway, the more I wrote, the more I felt compelled to meet the real man. Not the one I was making up.

This. What I’m about to tell you about is well and truly outside of even the remotest of my comfort zones. But I felt compelled, in the truest sense. I had to meet this man.

So, for what seemed ages, I gathered my courage.
And then I gathered my things.
And then I walked down that pier.
And then, heart pounding, I spoke,

Hi! Mind if I keep you company for a bit?

It’s a public pier in a public park, but he was alone. Serene. And compared to the weekend chaos at that peer, with all the kids and geese, I figured he was probably enjoying his solitude. His communion with nature.

But he turned to me and grinned, telling me “Sure!”

So I put my things down, and he said he’d seen me writing. Asked if I was in school. Hehe. I said no; I was just writing a story. So he told me about his granddaughter. She writes children’s books, but is having fits getting published.

We chatted for a while. He asked questions about me; I answered. He told me about himself. Turns out we work for the same company. He had been retired, but grew bored after a long relationship busted up and went back to work. In his sixties now, he expressed that sometimes he grows weary of having been in the same place all his life.

Only so many times you can see the same ole thing and not wonder what else is out there that you’re missin’ out on. Ain’t much time left, and I’m past retirement age. Got a brother in Minnesota, though. Sure do love it up there. Why not, right? But it’s a scary thing, so I don’t know if I have it in me.

Why not, indeed.

So I shared a bit of my story with him, and my desire to move to the Pacific Northwest. He asked why there, and I told him how I’d been in love with Oregon ever since watching The Goonies as a kid. And then once I visited the region, I fell even harder and knew a life change was in order.

He told me I’m young and should go for it.

So I pointed at the “pocket” watch on the chain around my neck. Held it up for him to see.

Do you know what this is?

He shook his head, “Naw. Reckon you gon’ tell me, though.”

I popped it open and showed him the watch. “And do you know why I wear it?,” I asked. He just looked at me, expectantly waiting.

I wear it to remind me that life is short. I wear it to remind me that our time on this earth is finite. I wear it to remind me that there’s no time like the present time. I wear it to remind me that there’s never a right time. There’s only right now. I wear it to remind me that as long as I continue ticking along with it, it’s not too late. So I’m moving to Oregon. And you’re moving to Minnesota. And we’re going to make it count.

He smiled a winsome smile, tilted his head and cast his line back into the water.

You know somethin’, young lady? I’m gon’ call my brother tonight. See what we can see.

He looked hopeful now, wistful. I smiled and gathered my things.

Then I shook his grimy bait hand, told him it was a pleasure to meet him and to have good luck with his fishing.

And hey, Anthony? Make it count. Let’s make it count.

He grinned back at me and said, “Never too late.”

~

This post brought to you by:

Serendipity.

Synchronicity.

~

Tomàs, for encouraging me to write even when, especially when, I doubt my ability to write anything worth anything at all. For making me feel worthy, writing aside.

~

Stupidityhole for relentlessly pushing me to get the fuck out of bed and the fuck out of the house. Many. Many. Many times now. I am eternally grateful.

~

Dedicated to Anthony and everyone else who thinks it’s too fucking late. Grab life. Pluck it when it’s ripe; carpe the fucking diem.

~

Coming SoonMasturdating at Happy Hour last Friday, complete with photos of old men flexing in their tighty-whities. Perhaps a recap of tomorrow night’s concert – yes, another masturdate, and then my group Happy Hour this coming Friday night!  Oh. Oh yes. And allergic reactions and moronic recruiters and the relocation conundrum. Stay tuned! You know me. I’ll fill you in in a month or so. (Winky Face, bitches.)

Achieving You

We weren’t supposed to connect in person.
It wasn’t supposed to be the same in the corporeal.

I was supposed to be a troll.
You were supposed to be superficial.

We were both supposed to be inarticulate and uninteresting.

Your touch shouldn’t have been so electric.
Your body shouldn’t have shuddered at my caress.

Your kiss shouldn’t have transported me to another realm.
My eyes shouldn’t have drawn you into another universe.

I was supposed to be too afraid to let you touch me.
You were supposed to be too repulsed to try.

But Darling.
My Darling.

It’s you.

You are my love.
You are my soul.
You are my heart.
You are my completion.

And the pain is something we must endure in order to experience such depth of beauty.

I hiked 12 miles and broke my foot
To experience some of the richest, most fulfilling beauty of my lifetime.
And I would do so again.

I ached for it.
Fought for it.
Cried for it.

I had to achieve it.

You, my Love; you, my Darling.
I hope I’m achieving you.
I want to achieve you.
I need to achieve you.

Achieve me.

This.

This incredible thing.
This reality of realities.
This is real.
And should be.

But we must endure.
We must achieve.

Stay with me.
Stay with me,
And I will wait for you.

Masturdation Take 2: Date Night with Deadpool

First, for my writing and your reading pleasure:

Friday the 15th, I took myself out for a date. A masturdate, that is. Since I was already scheduled to be off work that day, I decided to make the best of it. There was an afternoon showing of Deadpool, which was good…because my anxiety levels are nowhere near low enough to masturdate on a Friday night when the place is packed with touchy-feely couples.

Unlike my Date Night with Bill Murray, my Date Night with Deadpool had a few people in the theater aside from myself. So. Let’s see. There was me – the only solo chick there to watch Deadpool. Then there were about eight or so solo dudes there. And there were two couples: one young teenage couple, and one couple with what looked to be a seven or eight year old little boy. Y’all. This is Deadpool we’re talking about, not TMNT. It took them until halfway through to realize they’d made a mistake…in spite of the fact that it was obvious on the opening credits.

Anyway.

Deadpool.

Deadpool

I’ve never really gotten the appeal of Ryan Reynolds, as either an actor or as a hot piece of ass. But uhm. Yeah. Deadpool changed my mind. I’m not into Ryan Reynolds, but I definitely would fuck Deadpool to death. TO DEATH. That filthy mouth, the irreverence, the silliness, and yes the ass.

This isn’t going to be a review, because I’d rather talk to y’all about parks and shit. Not shit. I mean parks and shit. Not parks and poop. You know? Yeah, you know.

I laughed my ass off during the flick. It was interesting, because no one was laughing. So I felt self-conscious and tried to will myself not to laugh. Then I said fuck it. This shit is funny.

And you know what happened?

When I started laughing at funny shit, so did others. It’s as though we all had the same anxiety. The same reservation.

So me and this one dude in particular laughed at pretty much the exact same shit all throughout the movie.

The flick was filthy, vulgar, bloody, laden with sexual innuendo and overt sexual references. In other words, I wanted to marry it. Deadpool was so fucking funny I wanted to marry it.

I needed the humor. The filth. The irreverence. It made it worth striking out on my own. I didn’t even wear my hoodie, y’all. I laughed and had a blast and realized that when someone tries to tear you down, it’s best to realize it’s not about you. It really isn’t. So go out, masturdate and be like Deadpool.

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P.S. Guess what?! I totally wrote this from work. So if the site is working up here tomorrow, I’ll get to the one about my little park visits and share some piccies!

MANGRY. That’s Mad + Angry. And Now I’m Mangry for having to Explain MANGRY.

I was going to write a post.

I was going to tell you all about the awesome four day weekend I had this weekend just past.

I was going to tell you about bookstores and masturdating and parks and recreation and old fucks and Buddha by the rhododendron and fishing and fiction.

But no.

No.

I can’t do that right now.

Because fuck me, that’s why.

I let the doc put me on geodon. It’s an antipsychotic. Hear me out. I had it on good authority that it could, in fact, help with the mixed episodes I’ve been experiencing a lot lately.

Problem is…turns out I’m allergic to the shit. Severely.

I’ve been throwing up for 2-3 days straight, no chaser. Seriously. I chased it with anti-vomityourgutsup juice, and I vomited the anti-vomityourgutsup juice out.

Big ass rash spreading across the back of my neck.

Bubbles on my arm (blister).

Dizziness and worsening headache.

Confusion. Randomly stopping myself mid-thought or even mid-sentence.

Itching.

Massive edema.

Fucking. (Yeah right. No such luck.)

Torn up guts.

Itching. Did I mention this COOKIEMONSTERFORSAKEN ITCHING?! MOTHERFUCK, I ITCH.I’d pay somebody to scratch my itch, but I think that’s called solicitation.

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Anyway. The one thing it geodon DIDN’T fuck with, clearly, is my ragingly filthy mind. So there’s that. And also my cookiediction. Me want cookies. Now. (Also. May I borrow someone’s kids so I can “not” teach them this lesson by what is obviously The Real Cookie Monster, please stand up?)

The one thing I DIDN’T get as a side effect was the heart-racing arrhythmia. It’s a damn good thing, because if that box had gotten ticked, he was going to have to admit me. My heart was not only NOT racing, it was lower than he’s ever recorded it. 42. I think? OH MY GOD, MY HEART IS THE MEANING OF LIFE?! I KNEW IT!

Anyturtles. My GP said I met every single other criterion for the Rare and Severe reactions. Yay me!

A man once told me I was rare. Now I know what he meant. RARE AND SEVERE AND FUCKED UP.

I kid.

Mostly.

Except I don’t kid. You kid. Keep the kids over there. Because I’m MANGRY.

Because.

Because.

On top of forvomigen, the nausea med he gave me that doesn’t work, he also gave steroids. Lots and lots of steroids that I have to take for six fucking days.

He asked if I had any issue taking short-term steroids to stop my allergic responses and wipe out the rash. I said no, except Hulk. He was mildly puzzled, then laughed when I said YOU know….then I made rage face and said Hulk Angry! Only some of that actually happened. I’ll let you work it out.

So I’m on steroids for a week. And I’m sweating and angry and itching and sore. AND NOT FOR ANY OF THE FUN REASONS.

And I can’t make my brainhole focus on the things I WANTED to write about.

Fucking fuckstick douchecanoe handledick. Oooo handledick. New one. That works a myriad of ways, that one.

Anyway. I’m gonna fuck off outta here.

Just wanted to say Hi.

Just wanted to say I’m Pissed Off.

Just wanted to say I Miss You.

Just wanted to say Bye Fuckers, Because ME MANGRY.

Oh. And for what it’s worth? Either I was on one of my upswings already, or geodon was actually helping me. Because starting the drug coincided with the start of a major uptick in my moods and mindset. So. Let’s hope it wasn’t the geodon. Because now I’m pissed that I can’t take it anymore. WAAAAAAH. Look at me. Crying like a bitch. MANGRY.

P.S. If that mangry music isn’t your thing, mute it and watch. Because Sully Erna is in Fine Fucking Form here. Shirtless. Shoeless. Perfect jeans. Yum. You know what? I’ll take my steroids with a side of Sully. (Unfortunately, that’s the only good part of the video. The rest of it is wrestling or boxing or nascar or some other lame shit where grownass boys beat each other up for money.) (Hey, don’t start in on me! I told you I’m mangry! It’s in the title! FUCKING STEROIDS. GRAWR.) (But now I’m sleepy and itchy and mangry and hungry and sweaty and ARRGGGHHHHHHH I SAID GOOD DAY!)

P.S. Numberonius Twovicus. How about a preview of last weekend, hm?

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Another Day, Another Panic Attack (Beware Rantphanie)

Here goes. This one should be fun.

These Panic Attacks are increasing in regularity. I thought…I thought they were Anxiety Attacks. And I think that’s all they used to be. But something is wrong, because I know the difference well. And I’m having full-on panic attacks now. Is it a med? I’ve reduced how many I’m on. It is circumstantial? That’s no doubt a contributing factor. Is it something age-triggered? Perhaps. I rule nothing out at this point. Nothing except the fucking anti-psychotics the bitch keeps trying to push.

They’re getting worse. Picture me lying dead still in bed until it explodes. And then I experience everything I described before plus a lot of hair pulling, gnashing of teeth, rage screaming. Lately these “episodes” have landed me in the closet. It’s like a safe, cozy spot of dark. It’s a small closet, and the walls are close. I drag my pretty paisley lap blanket in, along with a pillow and my phone (just in case).

I curl up into the corner, zip my hoodie all the way up, pull the hood down as low as it will go, cover myself in the soft, indulgent blanket. Then I close my eyes, lean my head into the corner, and pet the blanket.

lg_clean20out20your20closet
Only darker and far less clutter.

I’ve been asked by more than one person why I do this.

What’s wrong with you?

Why didn’t you reach out to me?

Why didn’t you think to ask for help before you vomited the contents of your broken soul into the wastebasket?

What did I do to deserve you feeling suicidal?

Am I not enough for you?

Why are you doing this to me?

Are you doing this for attention?

Why don’t you just fucking stop it?

Just be happy, for fucks sake.

You were fine five fucking minutes ago!

You must just not trust me. That’s what this is about. Admit it. So how can I trust you?

Let’s just get this said for the record: This isn’t about you, you raging fucking narcissist.

If you could get your head out of your ass for five fucking seconds, you’d understand that something this severe isn’t simply snapped out of. And it’s been part of my life for years. So fuck off trying to make this about you. Not everything is about you. Do you get that? No. Because you’re blinded by the dark interior of your ASSHOLE.

If you think I wouldn’t snap out of it if I could, you’re a fucking idiot to boot. No, you’re right. You know what? You’re right. I LOVE feeling a panic attack coming on, trying to brace myself and ride it out AT WORK, only to have to make a calm but anxious dash to the bathroom so I can shake and sweat and silently rage until I vomit. Yes. Yes. I love it so much. I want to fuck it six ways to Sunday.

If you think I use this as some twisted form of manipulation, then you know absolutely nothing about me at all. And seriously, manipulating you into piling on the guilt? Oh yes, yes, please sir. I’ll have another HEAPING FUCKING HELPING OF GUILT, YOU PRICKWHISTLE.

If  you think I’m doing this for attention, you should know…attention is the last thing I want right in the middle of a panic attack. I’d love to have someone around. To just be present. Maybe even sit in the closet with me. Quietly. Maybe be there to hold my hand when I finally calm down enough to make eye contact. Maybe someone to tell me to stop apologizing for all the tears and snot.

Yeah, that would be nice.

That would be  bliss.

Your guilt trips? You know what they do? They make them worse. So take them and shove them back up your crusty pisshole.

Second point I’d like to make is that I’m trying. I’m fighting. I am intellectually well aware that my psychological responses are off.

I’m well and truly aware that it is an understatement to say it’s abnormal to get home from work, check the mail, find a notice that I’m receiving my last issue of “Backpacker,” so you’d better renew your subscription now so you don’t miss out!, get inside, put my things down, and have a complete and utter meltdown.

Do I even need Backpacker anymore?

They’re gonna put rods and pins in my feet. Can I hike like that?

I can’t afford the 20 fucking dollars a year for a stupid fucking magazine.

You have bills to pay that are more important than articles on shit you can’t even do without breaking your bones, fatass.

Look at all this waste you accumulate.

Final notice for Backpacker! Final notice for The Sun! Final notice for Mother Jones!

Final fucking notice for you, motherfucker! FINAL FUCKING NOTICE FOR ME!

Why do I bother?

I wouldn’t even need to live vicariously through Backpacker, if I could at least start getting some fucking interviews in PNW. But noooooo. I have a piece of shit, cracked out recruiter who can barely remember my name and not enough endorsements on my LinkedIn.

LinkedIn. Facebook. Ladders. Glassdoor. Indeed.

OVERFUCKINGWHELMED DOT COM

And I still write shit cover letters.

JUST. FUCKING. DIE. ALREADY.

Where. Where. WHERE’S MY BLANKET!

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

It happens. Sometimes I can later identify a trigger; sometimes there’s no logical one to be found. Does that help, huh? Does that help you see? No, it doesn’t, because you still think I’m exaggerating. And if only I got a fucking hobby, I could quit all the meds cold turkey and be right as rain. Lemme just take one of the Oracle’s cookies while I’m at it. Bend some fucking spoons.

I don’t even give a shit if it does help you. I give a shit if it helps someone see. If it helps someone identify and better communicate with his or her suffering partner, family member or friend. I hope it helps shed light for those like me on just how intense this shit is. Look at it. Right there in black and white. And see how much it hurts not only ourselves, but our loved ones if we’re lucky enough to have any. Don’t push them away, not the ones who are genuine. There are way too many pricks out there to fill in the gaps. Cling to the keepers.

This kinda shit needs love. Patience. Endurance. Faith. Unconditional togetherness. Unity.

I am always open with my emotional and psychological struggles. If I begin a relationship, I make it plain that I am highly emotional, an empath and struggle with psychological abnormalities. I find people incredibly dismissive of it until they see it “in action,” so to speak. And then they flip and inevitably make it about themselves. Can we please, please stop this vicious cycle?

There’s more I wanted to say.

But I’m sleepy now.

And I have to pee.

For those of you suffering with me – fist bump. “Hang in there” and all that trite shit. Seriously. You aren’t alone. Even when you feel more alone than anyone else in the whole godforsaken world.

For those of you struggling to understand us – fist bump. Please don’t give up on those you love. And if you don’t really love them? Let them down easily. Gently. We break easily.

Goodnight

 

P.S. As a full disclaimer: This rant wasn’t directed at any one person. If you see yourself in it, I suggest taking a good hard look at yourself and working on some of your own struggles.

Peace out, homeslices and homeslicettes.

Not even editing. Just gonna let this bitch fly.

Rantphanie Out.

 

The Fountain

I wrote this a few weeks ago, at the behest of my longest, dearest friend. The one who has stuck by me through good times and terrible. I was having a bad night, and he told me to write. Begged me to write, for release. Just for me.

You see, I was sitting in my car, in a store parking lot, and we were talking on the phone. And the dam burst. I had had a bad day, a bad week, and the deepest cries of my soul burst forth into him as they have so many times over the years.

I’m sharing it now.

For me.
For you.

For Tomás.

~

Watching the clouds roll in, she could feel the mood shifting. It shifted in the way a wounded animal’s mood shifts. It shifted in the way a broken heart shifts. It shifted in the way a distraught soul shifts.

The mood of the Universe was shifting.

She observed the rich but deepening blue of the night sky grow increasingly dark.

Ominously dark.

It was the clouds. But calling it a cloudy night is spurious, a red herring to throw one off from the event unfolding. It wasn’t a cloudy night. The mountainous wall of thick cloud laid waste to the sky, laid waste to the light, as it marched forward, assaulting the beauty of the night and robbing her of the glory of the Cosmos.

She was one with Cosmos. It had always been so.

She could feel the pulse of the earth.
She could feel the wind’s breath.
She could feel the raw power of storms thundering through her body.
She could smell the salt sea and sense unexplored depths.
She could smell the crisp clean air of untamed mountains and wildernesses.
She could feel the humid, damp earth of the forest floor and spot the slick and shiny slime trails of banana slugs and wonder upon their journey and purpose.
She could feel the shuddering earth as herds and hordes raced across the land, to greener grasses, to better mates, away from danger.

She feels the moods of the Cosmos. They are connected in some ways deeper than the connection of lovers.

She weeps when the Earth weeps, when the sky weeps.
She aches when animals are in pain, and she shatters when humans tear each other apart.

And she yearns. She aches. She needs.

Always looking up. Attuned to both the Earth and the Heavens. In awe of the unique and nightly paintings splashed across a shifting atmospheric canvas. In awe of the sea of stars carpeting the night sky. In awe of powerful light sources that looked so dainty to the naked eye, but were in truth powerful enough to burn one alive should one approach too closely, their beauty too much to behold in full.

She is not empathetic. She is empathy. And only the vast and mighty Cosmos understand her, and she it.

empath-challenges

And tonight, she wonders, and not for the first time…

Am I feeling the pain of the Universe?
Or is the Universe feeling mine?

Is the mountain of clouds drowning my light?
Or is my own darkness shrouding the universe in a cowl?

She tilted her head up, unruly curls whipping wildly about her head, and gazed up at the terror unfolding. The Others seemed oblivious. Doing their shopping, scolding their children, honking their horns to hurry, hurry, hurry. But not her.

She was attuned to things others ignored or had never been aware of at all. She could see that which was real and dismissed that which was not. She could see into the eternal. Searching in earnest for a sign. Any little sign that it would all be okay. And just as she was about to hang her head and weep, she spotted it.

A single rogue star, peeking out from the shroud.
Her breath caught, her pulse quickened, and she emitted the tiniest little squeak of joy.

And then.
And then it was gone.
The star was overtaken.

She gulped back tears, and the pain in her chest intensified with every advance of the mountain. It was overhead now, and as she gazed upon it, she could see in its darkness a swirling, seething mass of heartache, loss, lack, loneliness, pain, hate. It overwhelmed her gentle soul and seemed impenetrable. She collapsed to her knees on the pavement, one hand gripping loose asphalt, the other gripping her chest.

The Cosmos were dying, and she was dying with it.

Her heart pounded and hammered and raged against the dying of the light, until slowly, slowly it became the tiniest flicker of the tiniest ember. With the last bit of strength she had, she forced her head up through the viscous mass of cloud. She could see nothing. This was no mere darkness. This was a complete and utter lack of light. She slowly, uneasily and with growing frailty rocked back on her heels, thrust her hands up into the mass and up toward where she knew the heavens hid.

She opened her eyes to the darkness. She allowed it into her. She became one with the darkness and felt all of the pain. All of the anguish. All of the love and loss and heartache and death and betrayal and war and famine. All of the poison. All of the lack. She felt it all. Overwhelmed by the vastness of it all, she gasped for breath and clutched her chest once more.

Please, she whispered.
Please, she pleaded.
If I’m causing you pain, I’ll do better.
If I’m feeling your pain, please help me.
I’m dying under the weight of your pain
.
Share it with me.
I’m taking your pain into me; take mine.
Be one with me as I am one with you.
Let us heal each other
.

When the first fat raindrop plopped onto her cheek, she brushed it aside as yet another tear. But then another and another and another raindrop followed, until she understood and looked up, bathing her face in it.

These aren’t my tears at all.
They’re yours.
Let us bathe in each other’s tears and cleanse each other of this palpable darkness.
Let me love you.
Let me love you, and others will follow.

And the tiny ember of her heart kindled once more into a crackling warmth. And she knew, she knew all would be right with the Universe. With herself. And so she did the only thing there was left to do. She stripped down to her naked skin and gleefully bathed in the fountain of the Universe.

Because no matter how thick the clouds.
No matter how dark the void grows.
The fountain always appears; the font never dry.

They simply have to hold fast through the storms, through the darkness, through the pain.

Together.

And the fountain will rejuvenate.
Restore.
Cleanse.
Heal.

~

Thank you, Tomás.

For the words.
For the listening.
For the kindred.
For the soul.

For the unconditional.
Love.

For the fountain.

Splish
Splash

 

 

Recipe for a Panic Attack: Recognizing the Signs and Admitting My Role in Sinking Down (A Very Long Post)

I had a full-blown panic attack yesterday. I had been in a slow downward spiral for days and didn’t recognize the signs and symptoms. Some of them are typical; some of them are my own that I’ve identified in myself. There was a progression of “events,”, which culminated in purging my thoughts in yesterday’s post (thoughts which are honest and real and truly how I feel), then being slammed with an acute panic attack shortly thereafter. And I did not see it coming. But I should have.

Yes, there’s a lot of shit going on in my life right now. Some good. Some bad. Some great. Some awful. But it’s not all circumstantial. I am somewhat culpable in what happened with me yesterday.

I am writing about this today for three specific reasons:

  1. I need to hold myself accountable, but also remember to treat myself gently and kindly. And it feels really fucking good to be able to identify and recognize what’s wrong and how I got to this point.
  2. I hope that sharing this helps someone, or someone you know, to recognize the signs, to take the steps necessary to care for your physical and mental health, and to be kind to yourself.
  3. I want to thank you all for your support and love – because let’s face it, it’s a form of familial love when you gather around someone and (virtually) wrap your arms around that someone, and I fucking felt it. And I love you for it. I’ve been more positive lately, and I want to explain what (I think) happened to me yesterday.

Here goes.

Circumstantial “Triggers” (i.e. Personal Shit)

I’m gonna tackle this part bullet point style, because some of it you already know and the rest I’m not prepared to talk (in depth) about yet.

  • I am being bullied at work. My character, my work ethic, everything. Full on assault. My supervisor is aware of it. And he knows that the problem is Queen Bitch. He refuses to do anything about it and, in fact, is about to move me to another area instead of addressing the problem with her. This means I will be away from the other coworkers whom I’ve grown quite close to. And they will still have to deal with her, because the super doesn’t want to set her off by moving her for what would be the fourth or fifth time.
  • I have problems that I can’t afford to deal with right now. Arthritis, connective tissue disease (unspecified), fibromyalgia, periodontitis, chronic headaches and migraines. And that’s not to mention the mental health issues I have, which you already know about. I do not spend frivolously (aside from a book here or there or a smoothie, but it’s not egregious). I am responsible and (mostly) frugal. I’ve worn the same clothes for years, and my car is sixteen years old and in need of repairs. I am not complaining about this. I am thankful that I have clothes. I am thankful that I have personal transportation. I am thankful that I am able to be employed and am. However, I make just enough to keep my bills paid (let’s not talk about student loans) and have just enough cushion to buy a book or smoothie now and then. If I were to lose my job today, I could make it two months. I have enough to do that. That’s both wonderful and terrible at the same time. I am 35 years old. I am educated. I am smart. I am competent and capable. And I am fed up with doing the same job that the two men in my department do, and they both make over ten grand more than I do. (Whew. My bad. I did not intend for this bullet to turn into a rant. Ahem.)
  • I am planning a big move this year, on a shoestring budget. I realize some of you don’t agree with this choice. And I get it. But, as previously mentioned, I am 35 years old. And you know what? I’m sick of living someone else’s life. I’m sick of riding in the backseat. I’m sick of following everyone’s rules, rules, rules. There is no tomorrow. There is today. And I need to finally fucking seize the day. I’ve wanted to live in the Pacific Northwest all my life. I do not want to die before I’ve lived the life I want to live. But it’s a costly choice. (Anything worth having is worth fighting for, yeah?) I will have to keep my stuff in storage indefinitely. But with the help of a good blogger friend, I’ve discovered that you can find tiny little apartments outside of Seattle proper, for just a little more than what I’m currently paying as a mortgage. So now it’s getting there that is a bit tricky on my budget.
  • I am trying to prepare my house to sell and then sell it. It’s in need of repairs, but I’m close. Closer than I was, at least.
  • I’m dealing with a personal issue that has been festering for going on five years now. And it’s all coming to a head. Finally. Finally. But it’s intensely stressful.
  • I’ve begun my job hunt in Seattle, and that’s always stressful. Part of the stress here is that I know what the most responsible and safest bet is, but it’s not what I want. I want to finally do something with writing or copy-editing. If I’m not going out to save the world, at least I can do something I actually enjoy doing. We live at least half our lives at work. And that can ruin half of your life if you fucking hate your job.
  • Emotional Upheaval. And that’s all I’m going to say about that. For now.

That’s enough personal bullshit. Most of it you already know. But now I’m spilling it again for the purpose of putting my current mindset into perspective and how that, coupled with other factors, resulted in a major panic attack.

Musical Indications

Over the last few weeks, my choices in music have gotten progressively darker and angrier. Now. Here’s the thing. I have an “angry” playlist, but I typically only listen to it when I’m already angry. But sometimes…sometimes it’s a major sign that I’m heading down into deep depression. A steady stream of angry music is dangerous for me. It always has been. It almost always starts out as anger with me. I didn’t recognize it. I wasn’t alert to it. I’ve been feeling so good lately that I simply didn’t see it coming.

It started out fairly tame. I listen to a lot of 90s music, and man was 90s rock depressing. But I listen to a lot of it and am usually okay. I get into it. I jam out. I get “in my feels” (I hate that phrase.). And I’m cool. I’m good.

It started out with some Pearl Jam. “Black.” (My favorite for deeply personal reasons which would be fairly obvious if you pay attention to lyrics.) “Daughter.” (Which makes me absolutely livid, again for obvious reasons.) “Alive.” (Which makes me angrily happy that I’ve made it through what I’ve been through. Because Fuck You for stomping me into the ground and trying to keep me there.)

It then progressed to Evanescence and Linkin Park. The angry ones. I listened to them for days and days. Repeatedly. At work. At home.

That progressed to Eminem. Oh I listened to Eminem even longer than the others. I was getting angrier and angrier. More and more Fuck. You. Fuck. You.

Which then led to days of things like Rob Zombie and Godsmack. Especially Godsmack. A Whole Fucking Bunch of Godsmack. Particularly:

Yeah. I listened to those four in particular Over and Over and Over again. Then I listened to them some more. Over and Over and Over. At work. At home. And Over again. (Also watched the vids because Sully Erna.) This obviously had a negative impact on me. As I’ve said, I listen to angry music now and then. But not for lengthy periods of time. I have fully immersed myself in anger and rage over the last few weeks. Bad. Fucking. News. I was fucking asking for it. And I was also seething beneath the surface and didn’t realize it. And this shit. This shit was gasoline on an ember. How did I not see what was happening?

As you know from yesterday, this anger (as it usually does with me) suddenly shifted to darkness. Depression. Hopelessness. Alice in Chains.

And the final nail in the coffin? My own doing of my own undoing?

I Broke the Cardinal Rule of Psychiatric Medicine

Yep. I’m prepared for this confession to tick some people off. I was read the riot act over this confession yesterday and rightfully so.

I know the rules about not stopping your meds. Never ever ever stop your meds and especially not “cold turkey” as it were. I’ve been through this with arthritis meds. There were some that were doing more harm than good and some that I simply couldn’t afford. So I very slowly and carefully weaned myself off of them. Like a smart, conscientious girl would do.

I also know it’s dangerous to stop meds cold turkey. Long-term physical or psychiatric meds that your body comes to rely upon on a chemical level. I’m wise to the fact that doing so could cause any number of physical withdrawal symptoms, suicidal ideation, self-harm, you name it.

And do you know what I did? I semi-stopped one of my meds. Straight up. No weaning. No consulting my doctor. Just stopped.

It wasn’t why you think. It wasn’t one of those situations where the person starts to feel better and then thinks, “I don’t need to take this shit anymore. I feel better.” As though you’ve taken an antibiotic and your infection is gone for good now. That’s not why I did it.

Why I Did ItEvery. Single. Day. Since I started taking this cocktail of psychiatric meds, I’ve been fucking tired. I mean wiped out. No. You don’t understand. That’s not good enough to explain it. When I’m at work, I feel as though at any moment my head is going to slam onto my desk and I’m going to pass right the fuck out. I’ve nodded off in traffic, y’all. That does not happen to me. That could kill me AND you. I’ll be in mid-conversation with the geek squad and totally zone out. I can’t focus on my work. I can’t focus on you. I can’t read. My vision blurs. And all I want to do is sleep. Only I can’t. And even when I do, the feeling never goes away.

So a few days ago, I was picking up a scrip and the pharmacist wanted to ask some questions of me. Since I’d been on the meds for a while, he asked if he could do a little assessment. He asked me how I’d been feeling, whether I thought they were working. I was at the drive-thru so I could barely hear him (yes, a drive-thru pharmacy). At first, I said, “Fine! Everything’s fine.” But I heard myself and shook my head.

I have sleep disturbances. I wake up in the night.

“Okay. You’re taking the Lexapro at night, aren’t you? Stop it. Take it in the morning.”

Done. The disturbances have mostly stopped.

“Anything else?”

I can’t go to the bathroom.

“Hmm. Nothing should be causing that. Anything else?”

Yeah. No resolution on that TMI issue.

I’m tired all the time.

“How tired?”

It’s difficult for me to be awake talking to you right now. I perpetually feel like I haven’t slept in days and will pass out at any given moment.

“That’s not right. That has to be one of the meds.”

So I start asking him: Clonidine? No, not if you’re taking it at night. Klonopin? Not to the extent you’re describing. And not at the dose you’re on. Lamictal? Not if you’re taking it at night. At this point I’m getting frustrated. He should be telling me instead of me asking one at a time. Vistaril? How are you taking it? Two capsules, three times daily. (His eyes bug out of his head at this.) THAT is the problem. THAT is why you’re feeling this way. Sweet! So I’ll just stop taking it. I’ve never thought that one was helping anyway, because I’m still quite anxious. Do. Not. Stop. Taking it! However, it would be safe to go to one pill in the morning, one at lunch, and two at night. Then talk with your doctor. Okay! Thank you!

I didn’t mention the sexual issues I’m having. Mostly because too shy. But also because I’m not in a physical relationship with anyone but myself at the moment, so it’s not an urgent matter.

So what do I do? Fuck Vistaril. Fuck it. I started skipping both the morning and lunchtime doses altogether, then taking my two at night. I didn’t consider it as being like the others – Lexapro and Lamictal. This went on for days, and I thought nothing of it. I just changed my dosage and thought nothing else of it.

All of these factors combined and merged into one viscous, throbbing mass of creeping doom.

The Result (Payback is a Bitch)

  • I started feeling a general sadness.
  • I started feeling lazier.
  • Anger became a more dominant emotion than usual.
  • I became frustrated.
  • I became restless.
  • My legs started bouncing again.
  • My speech got faster.
  • I started doing more nervous twitching and hand wringing again.
  • I started dwelling on emotional pain: what a bitch my mother is for abandoning me, what a sick fuck my father is for abusing me, what unloving assholes my siblings are for shunning me because I cannot forgive my abusive father, what a self-righteous prick Queen Bitch is, how emotionally cruel my ex could be, how hurtful it was when The Aussie threw me away, how sad I am that I’m not where I want to be right now. I hadn’t dwelt in several weeks. And still. Still I wasn’t alarmed. Still I didn’t see it.
  • And then the Big Bad Scary: Suicidal Ideation reared its ugly head for the first time in quite a while since I began medication therapy. Now. NOW I was scared. But I blamed it on the meds. They’ve suddenly stopped working for some reason, I told myself. It’s NOT the meds helping you afterall, if you feel this way. God, I really wish I would die in my sleep. Yeah. Now I was scared. But I didn’t understand it.

Yesterday I woke up in a strange mood. I felt simultaneously hyper and subdued. Weird, right? That’s totally contradictory, but it’s the only way I know how to describe it. I felt emotionally subdued and as though I really didn’t want to be around anyone or talk to anyone or leave the house or bother with anything at all. But I felt physically hyper. My legs would not stop bouncing. My speech alternated between rapid and sluggish. My heart was racing. I couldn’t sit still. All the while…subdued. I had zero appetite, and my appetite has been low for days. But now, even the thought of food kind of made me strangely mad. And I was listening to Layne Staley sing some of the most depressing music there is, but I was in no state to handle it or appreciate it for its haunting beauty. My mind, my thoughts, turned into severe emotional turmoil. And I needed to get it out. I needed to purge.

Afterward? The Panic Attack that I didn’t realize was already brewing hit me. Hard. Forcefully. Punishingly. Terrifyingly.

The Panic Attack

It had already begun, and I didn’t even know it. I had no awareness of what was happening except that I felt like shit and wanted to go home. This is hard. This has all been hard to get out. But I’m going to keep going, no matter how ashamed I feel – because I know that I Should NOT feel ashamed. And maybe this will help someone to identify their own signs and symptoms, or those of someone they love. And it’s good for me. It reinforces these things for me. So. Here’s what my panic attack looked like.

  1. Heightened frustration.
  2. Serious stomach distress.
  3. Heart racing.
  4. Restless.
  5. Bouncing my legs.
  6. Rocking back and forth in my chair.
  7. Eyes darting to and fro, nervously, anxiously.
  8. Breathing rapidly, suffocatingly.
  9. Hot. Had to shed layers hot, despite it being cold in here.
  10. A strange out of body feeling, as though I was watching this happen but was helpless to stop it. As though I was detached and other from myself.
  11. Mind racing, racing, racing, making less and less sense, getting more and more frantic, growing more and more irrational.
  12. Feeling crazy, insane, like I was seriously going out of my fucking mind.
  13. Feeling like this was never going to end. Ever. And this state would now be permanent.
  14. Gritting my teeth, rocking, rocking, leaning forward and holding my head in my hands.
  15. Squeezing my head.
  16. Shaking. Violently shaking.
  17. Pulling my hair.
  18. Wanting to hit myself. But I was in the room with others. They couldn’t see me, but it’s the only reason I wasn’t screaming in rage.
  19. And finally I had to run to the bathroom to throw up.

panic'

At some point in the midst of all of this, I thought about the Vistaril and had a brief question in my mind. Is that why this is happening?

And no, I don’t think that’s all that was wrong. I know it wasn’t. Because I’d already had that anger and rage building, building, building. But I do believe that I made a mistake in doing what I did with the medication. I do believe it was a factor in what happened to me yesterday. And I do regret not listening to the pharmacist.

When it was over, I felt exhausted and spent. I took my Vistaril (I had it with me). Talked with a WordPress friend about what was going on (actually during the panic attack, too) – and I’m more grateful than you know.

This morning I took my single Vistaril. And now I’m about to take my lunchtime one. And I’m tired. I’m tired as fuck. I could go to sleep on my desk. Right. Fucking. Now. But I’m going to take it. And when I meet Dr. Feelgood for my next appointment, I’m going to request we try something different for anxiety. Because this is not working for me.

Lessons Learned

  • Be more aware of your behaviors and reactions.
  • Pay attention to your patterns and routines. When you break them, reach out. If it’s fixable, fix it. If you haven’t changed anything, fucking reach out. For me, I could have told people here. People who may have recognized that I was spiraling out of emotional control.
  • Do. Not. DO NOT significantly alter your meds without consulting your doctor or pharmacist. And fucking LISTEN to what they tell you. HEED it.
  • Do not settle for meds that make you feel poorly. Be your own advocate and be ballsier. Ask for better meds. Do it. FUCKING DO IT. Your life may literally depend upon it.

In the aftermath, I still feel subdued. I’m still shaky and bouncy. My appetite is good. I just had a full lunch. I don’t think I ate at all yesterday, which isn’t normal for me. I’m tired as fuck. I’m still down.

But it is better than yesterday. By a long shot. Maybe I am sliding down into a depressive state. And if I am, that’s okay. It’s part of who I am. How I am. But I must take better care of myself and pay better attention to my mind, body and spirit.

And never ever forget to breathe.

And please, if you’re suffering, reach out. If you think you have no one to reach out to, reach out to me. We’re all in this thing called life together.

So I thank you. I thank you for being here for me. For encouraging me. For commiserating with me. For telling me to chin up. For telling me to stop fucking listening to that bullshit while I’m in the throes of a depressive cycle. For telling me you get it. For telling me you’ve been there. For simply being here. I thank you.

An Alice in Chains Kind of Day

Do you ever feel alone?

So. Fucking. Alone.
So. Fucking. Hopeless.

I shouldn’t be listening to Alice in Chains. I shouldn’t have Layne Staley’s beautifully haunting voice in my head this morning, mirroring my mood. Feeding it. Fueling it. Strengthening it. But it’s an Alice in Chains kind of morning.

I was up too late last night. I took my meds too late. So, though I was quite exhausted, I had a hell of a time getting to sleep. Then one of my cats, the Orange One, decided to go dumpster diving at various times throughout the night. You see, I thoughtlessly left the giant sack of cat food accessible to the cats. I had no idea that the Orange One would bypass his food bowl in favor of climbing up onto the bag and eating out of it instead. That loud crackling, crinkling racket coupled with his munching woke me up no fewer than three times in the night. (Yes, I moved that bag first thing this morning.)

All of this led me to oversleep this morning. Of course. Which fucking sucked, because I had to skip my shower. I like to take one every morning. Helps me feel clean (First World water consumer right here) and is equally important to help me feel awake.

So. I’m “hoping” that those factors combined are why I feel so…subdued…today.

The alternative is far more upsetting.

The alternative is that in spite of the meds and positive changes in my life.
I’m beginning the downward spiral back into a depressive state.

It’s been a while since the slow creeping venomous vine of depression bound me in its grip. Where it cuts and burns and squeezes and binds. Until it enters every orifice and spreads within you like a slow, painful death.

It has hold of you now. You hack and hack and hack away at the vines, but they’re stronger than you are right now. Because the venom of the vine seeps into your body, into your bloodstream, into your very consciousness, into your soul. And the venom?

Lies. Cruelty. Darkness. Hopelessness. Suicide. Worthlessness. Fatigue. Loss. Pain. Malaise. Apathy. Despair. Anger. Hatred. Loathing.

The venom is insidious. But you’re in no state to fight it.

Depression is what we call it.

We want to fight it. We want to break through. We want to break free. But it’s not always so simple, is it? Sometimes it’s simply time. To be depressed.

I hate being a Depressive Person.
I hate having Major Depressive Disorder, Clinical Depression, Bipolar II, PTSD, GAD.
What. The. Fuck. Ever.
Whatever it is. Whatever the labels.
I hate it. I don’t wish to feel this way. I do not choose to feel this way. I do not enjoy it.

But in a strange way, I can at least be thankful.

Thankful?
Thankful.

Because it’s only for the darkness that I’m able to see the light.
If all of my life is spent in sunshine,
Do I recognize it as sunshine?
Can I appreciate it if I don’t know that darkness exists? What it looks like? What it feels like?

If all of my life is spent in darkness,
Can I appreciate the sunshine?
If I don’t know that the sunshine exists,
What gives me hope? What reason have I to persevere? To keep hacking away at those vines?

Perhaps I need the depression.
Perhaps it tempers me.
Perhaps it reminds me what is real.
Even as it tells me lies about myself.

~

Sometimes it’s the very things I hope for. The very things I cling to. That shift my sunshine into the darkest of nights. Perhaps I want too much. Need to much. Ask too much. Expect too much. Perhaps I am my own undoing.

~

I want to live a life apart.
I want to escape civilization.
I want to damn expectations.

I don’t give a fuck about elections.
I don’t give a fuck about money.
I don’t give a fuck about fearmongering.

I have zero fucks for celebrity.
I have no interest in things.
I am sick to death of working for the man.

I don’t wish to spend my life rotting in front of television.
I have no desire to tour the den of lies that is Washington, D.C.
I have a big, fat fuck you to societal rules and norms.

Fuck your McMansions.
Fuck your things.
Fuck your self-righteousness.

Fuck your racism.
Fuck your xenophobia.
Fuck your nationalism.

Fuck your ownership.
Fuck your entitlement.
Fuck your judgment.

~

John Muir is My Hero

I want a companion.
I want to explore the wild.
I want to take the road less traveled by.

I want to learn.
I want to question.
I want to observe and absorb.

I want to immerse myself in different cultures.
I want to meet and embrace the other.
I want to see life through your eyes.

I want to hear your perspective.
I want to feel your soul.
I want to reach into you and bathe in your essence.

I want to get lost on purpose.
I want to relish the adventure of finding my way again.
I want to discover the untamed beauties off the beaten path.

I want to make love on a blanket of grass under a sea of stars.
I want to run naked through a meadow of wildflowers.
I want to cleanse myself in unpolluted waters.

I want to giggle for no reason.
I want to belly laugh until it hurts to breathe.
I want to spend hours simply making faces at each other.

I want to have deep, tangential conversations until three A.M.
I want to make a pillow fort and sit in our underwear and tell ghost stories.
I want you to see me and let me see you.

I want to smoke a joint and tell stories in the middle of a rainforest.
I want to wash my face in snow melt and move on.
I want to walk the cobblestones of an ancient city, then get fucked in a dirty old stairwell.

I want to be loved unconditionally.
I want to be allowed to love unconditionally.
I want my quirks to be appreciated.

I want you to see my tears as beautiful.
I want you to let me kiss yours.
I want to live inside your soul.

I want to live.
I want to love.
I want to be free.

~

The problem is: I don’t think this is too much to ask.
I think: This is the reality that people have been brainwashed to not see.
I want: That which is truly real and meaningful.

And when I don’t have it.
When I can’t have it.
When I am denied it.

I sink.
Down.
Down.
Down.

Into the depths…
Of my mind.
Of my desires.
Of my aching lack.

Want me.
Need me.
Love me.

Adventure with me.
Learn with me.
Challenge me.

Show me something I’ve never seen before.
Let me show you things you’ve never seen.
Let us carve our own reality.

I’m waiting.
I’m wanting.
I’m ready.

~

Is this too much to ask?
I think not.

And you know something?
I feel better already.