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.

pills
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

OregonTrail

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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Stephellany Update: The Good, the Bad, the Terrible, the Fucking Lame, and the Motherfucking Awesome (A Post of Random Catching-Up Pigshit)

Good Evening dearest Peopleaneous. Let me start with the most important point to be made in this post: Pigshit. Yes, that’s right. Pigshit. I’ve recently replaced “bullshit” with “pigshit.” I find it good and pleasing and shall henceforth deem bullshit pigshit. Until I replace it with doveshit (isn’t that like the ultimate dichotomy? OH MY GOSH THAT WOULD BE A PEACE OF SHIT! GET IT? GET IT?) or dungbeetleballs. Ooooo. DungBeetleBalls! New word! New word!

Okay dudes. This post is going to be the epitome of “stephellaneous,” a veritable smorgasbord (damn it’s been too long since I used that word) of random updates. I know I have been MIA for 14 years, 3 months, 2 days, 11 hours and 28 seconds. And I also know I have 18 billion comments to reply to. I haven’t forgotten y’all or this space. It’s just. Well. Let’s take this Stephanie Style, shall we? (No, that’s not a new sexual position. Although…aaaaand she’s off!)

TOP UNKNOWN NUMBER OF REASONS THAT I’VE BEEN MISSING IN ACTION. OR MISSING IN INACTION. OR SOMETHING. I’LL LEAVE THAT TO YOU,PEOPLEANEOUS. FUCKIN’ HELL, WHAT IS MY PROBLEM WITH HEADINGS. BETTER YET, WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM WITH HEADERS? LONG HEADINGS ARE MY JAM, MAN. OR MEN, WOMEN AND KAITLYN. SHUT UP, YOU KNOW I’M NOT PC. SO KISS IT. PEACE OUT, HEADER.

Where-the-fuck--Have-you-been-meme-13097

Number 1: Ha. You think I’m gonna use a normal numbering system. That’s cute. Anyway. As I mentioned in some weird, typo-laden pone-post, I can no longer post from work. They’ve done some security update that renders WP’s security certificate obsolete. Whatever hardcore security they have does not apply to my laptop. But I do my writing at work, when I’m slow (which is often). By the time I get home after work and tutoring, I don’t have much time to write after food, chores, packing, applications, conversing, etc. Wait, ohmygosh, those were spoiler alerts. Fuck me, man. (Seriously.) So. Number 1 could be condensed as such: Because my work computers suck dungbeetleballs.

Numéro deux: Doesn’t the Bible say something about there not being another flood of biblical magnitude? That book lied. I got lucky, not even gonna pretend I didn’t. Most of the houses in my neighborhood flooded. Well, at least half. The water came within roughly an inch of coming into the house. But it didn’t, since my house is far enough off of the ground. The car flooded up well over the seats. But mold and stinkies pale in comparison to the people who were stranded for days. It pales in comparison to the lives lost. It pales in comparison to the hundreds of people now displaced and homeless. So. Yeah that’s kinda put a damper on trying to blog.

Idadi ya Tatu: My health is being a fucking dick. (As an aside, why is it okay for us to use “dick” as a curseword, but we balk at using “pussy” as such? At least I do. Whatever.) Seriously. Y’all know I broke my left foot last summer, and the cause of the pain (the two breaks) weren’t discovered until the MRI in January. I was only supposed to wear the frankenboot for three weeks. But that bitch still hurt like a motherfucker, so I kept wearing it. And wearing it. And wearing it. And then my right foot started hurting. I mean, big time. I did some digging, and it turns out I wore it far too long. Apparently, it’s common to sustain injuries on the opposite side if one wears frankenboot for too long. (I also think the damn thing was too big for me to begin with.) I can’t prove my right foot is broken yet. But I seem my rheumatologist Friday. Something tells me he’s going to order another MRI as the right foot is now bruised and swollen and incredibly painful. This in addition to daily headaches returning in spite of following some awesome advice (thanks Ms. Fever!). And my tiny little finger/toe bones hurting. And the massive chest pain that started as soon as my Lamictal was updosed. I see that bitch on April 2. I’m going to request that I be incremented down and then off of EVERYTHING except the drug that helps me sleep. And then I’m going to start the long hunt for someone who knows what they’re doing. (Trust me, this is the right move. She most recently tried to prescribe an anti-psychotic that was only just approved in fucking October. Also. PSYCHOSIS. WHAT? And she also diagnosed me as in the throes of a full-blown panic attack………….because my leg was bouncing and I was restless. Yeah. Can we say Quack Attack?) Enough of that bullshit. Next!

A bit angry – posting it for one reason: the line, “What the fuck is wrong with me?!”

Nommer Vier:Uhm. What’s next? Ah. Job hunting for the Greater Seattle Area. I started out on my own, but I felt incredibly overwhelmed (anxiety for the win!). So I reached out to multiple recruiters up there. The first one was an utter quack. Fo’ real yo. So I moved on. The next one to contact me was super eager, so I’ve been working with her. She’s covering the southern part of the Greater Seattle Area and has now put me in touch with another recruiter to cover the northern part. We were going to have a team of three, but she thinks we’ll be good. So far, we have about a dozen applications outstanding. All are still open and haven’t hit their deadlines yet. So between the three of us, hopefully I’ll at least start landing interviews soon. Been tweaking my resume, cover letters and prepping for interview questions in the meantime. Also. That woman has me applying to stuff at twice the salary range I thought I could land. She told me I was way underselling myself. So yay. But that’s yet another reason I’ve been busy and MIA.

Номер пять:I’ve had to put off listing the house. First, I’m having trouble with some repairs that need to be done. The ex was supposed to do them (as his name is still on the deed, even though I pay all bills). But he’s stalling. Big time. But with all the flooding, even the most basic repairmen are price gouging. I’m doing what I can on my own, but there are things I’m just not able to do. Also. Speaking of the flood yet again, the houses in my neighborhood that did flood still have all of the detritus of their lives lining the roads: furniture, walls, carpet, did I mention walls?, keepsakes, etc. So it would not behoove me to shove a for-sale sign in the front yard until the city takes care of the debris. But once it does, at least I’ll have the advantage of saying this house didn’t flood.

Numero kuusi: (That one sounds so sexual. Is it just me? It’s just me. My bad.) Met an online friend that I’ve known for a decade. He says six years. Whatever. It was our first time meeting up in person, so that was pretty fucking awesome. I’ve never done anything like that, so I can’t say enough how superfuckingawesome it was. (I know you’re reading this. So. I’ll just say: Hi!) Also, he’s gonna do a guest post for me soon. Kickass writer, so y’all will dig it. Trust.

Rhif Saith: I’ve been playing around with fiction, which doesn’t really come easily to me. I’ve been told it’s because I haven’t freed myself to do it. My self-perception hinders my progress. Or clouds my view of what I’m capable of or what I’ve already done. But I’ve been playing around. Even wrote something for a friend the other day at his prompting. Perhaps I’ll throw it up here after some tweaking. We shall see.

Númer Átta: I have a trip in April that I’ve been planning, slowly but surely. Mid-April, I’m heading up to Seattle for a visit. No interviews yet, just gonna have a look around. And a lot of you know the main reason I’m going for a visit. So that’s been overwhelming for me and has taken my head out of the blogging game for a bit. I already have tickets and hotel room booked. Got a little carry-on travel bag – that’s gonna be a serious challenge for a woman. Fuck worrying about stereotypes; it’s fucking true. How am I gonna pack three pairs of shoes, more clothes than I’ll wear in six days, a book or four, my 18,000 meds, ahhhhhh. Yeah, that’s gonna be a huge challenge. But I want that bitch to be a carry-on. Fuck paying to check a bag. Plus wheels get broken and shit. Fuck that noise.

Nummer neun: Perhaps the most important of all, I’ve been trying to figure out who the fuck I am. What makes me tick. What I want. Where I’m headed. How I matter. What my purpose is. Why I’m here. What my future looks like. City life is NOT what I want. I hope to live as cheaply as possible and bank mad savings so I can live a peripatetic life in the forests, woods, beaches, cultures of the world, and a cozy little shack to return to now and then to recharge my batteries. But the shit I wanna do takes money. The experiences I wanna have takes money. Fucking money. I fucking hate money. I hate the constructs of this false existence. I don’t want to exist. I want to live. I want reality. The real reality. And the bitch of it is, the fact that I see things for what they are is a huge source of my anxiety and depression. Cool how that works, huh?

paripatetic
This applies to my soul, my dreams, my desires, my all. Give me a peripatetic lifestyle and a soul-lover to share it with, and I’ll be content.
Số Mười: I’ve been in another depressive phase, basically since I wrote that post about having a major panic attack and spiraling downward. So I have zero faith in the current med cocktail I’m on. I’m not saying I’m averse to trying something else. But this shit is not working. Not kidding. I’m damn near back to where I was before I started this mental health journey. I wish I had the blinders on that so many others seem to. In the meantime, I’ll just keep trudging along. Treading water is surely better than drowning in it, yes? Most days that’s what I tell myself.
Disclaimer: I don’t have time to edit this right now. Forgive egregious errors. Meds kicked in, and I’m out. Also, the douchenozzle that is WordPress is fucking with my spacing between words and lines. Looks fine in my editor. Fucked to hell and back on the actual site. Fuck it. I’m out! Night my friends!