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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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.

cookiemonster

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?

image

The One Where I Feel Like Crap on a Cracker and Don’t Know What to Write so I Ramble about Sad-Sack Shit

I wanna write something here. I really do. I have a real craving to sit down and blog. But nothing is coming to me. Nothing. I’m also having trouble reading, focusing on words and keeping them in memory long enough to properly process what I’ve read. And that’s upsetting, because I deeply value what I’ve found here: the solace and camaraderie of this community are pretty fucking epic. I can only hope that this shithouse feeling will pass.

sad sack
Look at the little sack. Just fucking sitting there. Being sad. What a sad sack.

In the meantime, I’m gonna update you on mental health mumbo jumbo. (Dudes, I’m totally gonna belittle it and use words like “crazy.” Trust me when I say I know how deeply important it is to monitor and treat mental health issues. But I tend toward self-deprecation. Hell everything-deprecation. So yeah.) (I’m also in a kind of grrrr mood. Should I have led with that? I should have led with that.) (Wait, I kinda did with the title, huh?) (I mean, that whole “sad-sack” thing was kind of a dead giveaway.) (Please disregard these parentheticals.) (Someone come here and make me stop it.)

I grow weary of talking about depressing shit (I mean, depression is pretty fucking depressing, don’t ya think?) (And who wants to talk about that shit all the time? I sure as fuck don’t.). But right now, it’s what I’ve got: a big fat steaming pile of depressing shit. So I’m gonna update you and maybe (hopefully) get some of this worked outta my system. Where to begin, though? I guess there’s only one place to begin.

She’s the One They Call Dr. Feelgood

I followed through on the psychiatry appointment on December 21. And then she made me see her again on December 28. And now I have to see her again this Saturday, January 9.

The first appointment went a little something like this:

I show up fifteen minutes early, because that’s how I do.

Dr. Feelgood shows up forty-five minutes later (a half hour late to her own fucking practice hours).

Meanwhile, I suffer and ponder murder and pyromania, my rage significantly exacerbated by the concert-volume country music pumping through the speakers. “It has to be that loud sugar. How else’s people gon’ not hear each other’s sessions? This here’s a small office,” explained Rodeo Rhonda, chain-smoking, Wrangler-clad secretary extraordinaire. (It was clear whose turn it was to select the radio station that afternoon.)

I shared the waiting room with a fellow crazy person, who made me wonder what the fuck I was doing there. That crazy motherfucker changed seats at least once every five minutes, all the while yammering on ninety to nothin’ about how this bitch better not dare take him off his drugs. “I will turn that bitch’s desk over! I will throw a fit until she agrees that I know more about panic disorder than she does! She won’t take away my disability!” (This was his first session (with Dr. Feelgood), too, by the way. I don’t know much about panic disorder, but I’m pretty sure the dude was at least verging on panic – except he was super smiley and laughy. He was also pretty fucking nosy – he kept sticking his head to the wall and shushing me while he eavesdropped on Rodeo Rhonda and her conversations with the other patients trickling in. Also. He diagnosed me as Bipolar 1, since I was nervous and couldn’t stop bouncing my leg and fidgeting. He declared me manic and told me what drugs to ask for. (Don’t worry. I didn’t lend that any credence.))

After two other patients had been called into see Dr. Feelgood before either of us, Panicky Pete had a moment of clarity. “Hey! What time was your appointment for?!” “Mine was supposed to be 4:00,” I returned. He started laughing and (literally) smacked himself in the forehead. “Lemme guess, yours was for 4:00 as well?” Yep. Turns out, not only were both of us scheduled for 4:00, but so were the two people who ended up being seen ahead of us. They were established patients – and they get seen first, no matter who shows up first or what your appointment time was. Nice, right?

She was pretty quick with them, and then spent a good half hour with a drug rep. I was pretty fucking wound up by this point. And none too keen on the woman in whose hands I was about to place my mental health. (I will add here, about Panicky Pete, that I’m thankful for him. I would not have waited an hour and a half had he not kept me occupied and chatted-up. My anxiety was fierce enough to propel me right out the front door, that is until he started talking to me.)

After a solid hour and a half wait, it was my turn.

I didn’t get to say a lot – well, that’s not exactly true. Uhm. I didn’t get to do much free-talking. She had her forms and checklists, and she asked lots of questions. In my replies to her, I was essentially able to share everything I’d hoped to be able to share with a counselor (except the self-harm – I just reread that post, and that’s the one thing I see that didn’t get mention).

I had to fight her a lot harder than the counselor, to keep from being hospitalized. But I prevailed. And she finished a forty-five minute session with diagnoses. And drugs. I’m not sure how I feel about any of it.

The Diagnoses: Bipolar II, Major Depressive Disorder, Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

The Drugs: Lamictal, Lexapro, Lithium, Vistaril and Clonidine. Oh and over-the-counter Vitamin D3 5000 IU.

Yeah. That’s a fuckton of drugs, yo. A fuckton. And, as I said, I’m not sure how I feel about any of it. But to keep my ass from being admitted to a psych ward, I had to agree to take the drugs.

I took the drugs.

anxiety

The second appointment went a little something like this:

Dr. Feelgood asked whether I was feeling better. I informed her that I was not. And that I was actually even more tired than before, and still depressed and crying and magnetized to my bed.

Dr. Feelgood says, “hmmmm.”

I informed her as well that I was having major sleep disturbances, same as I had when I was on Cymbalta. I wake up all throughout the night, sometimes hourly, sometimes with difficulty falling back asleep.

Dr. Feelgood says, “hmmmm” and ups the Clonidine and writes new prescriptions for two more weeks of the drugs.

No mentions are made of hospitalization this time, and she says she can wait two weeks to see me this time, instead of one. But y’all, I can’t fucking afford to keep this up. Not only the cost of Dr. Feelgood’s appointments, but also the fucking lab work that she says I’ll have to regularly submit to for monitoring Lithium levels.

The third appointment is this Saturday. In the meantime, I still feel like shit. In some ways, I feel a lot fucking worse.

Drugged-Up Stephanie Feels Drugged-Up (Surprise Surfuckingprise.)

drugged up pikachu

Bitchplaint #1 (I couldn’t decide between bitching and complaining. Hence bitchplaint.) Anyway, Bitchplaint #1: Lithium. I didn’t wanna take Lithium. I still don’t wanna take Lithium. I don’t think I need Lithium. I’ve never. EVER. Had full-blown mania. Seriously. NEVER. And I told her that. Now I realize that Lithium can be used to treat more than Bipolar I, but I still don’t think I need it.

Bitchplaint #2: My hand is shaking. A lot. Like, I dropped a glass of water in the kitchenette at work yesterday, because my hand jerked.

Bitchplaint #3: I haven’t had a full night of sleep since December 21. And I’m sick to death of waking up multiple times a night.

Bitchplaint #4: I’m fucking tired. And not just tired from lack of sleep, but lethargic. I could pass out at my desk. Right. Now. And in the rare moments when I feel well-rested (snort…that’s funny), I just feel this general lethargy and malaise. Kinda goes hand in hand with giving even less of a fuck about anything now than before I was drugged.

Bitchplaint #5: I’m dazed and confused (sing it!), and sometimes dizzy. Y’all would not believe how long this is taking me to write.

Bitchplaint #6: I finafuckingly got the edema from arthritis under control. And guess the fuck what – I’m swelling like a motherfucker from something I’m taking. And who knows what, since she threw five drugs at me at once!

Bitchplaint #7: I know you’re supposed to give these things time. But fucking fuck fuck! It’s been like three weeks now. And I still feel like hot buttered shit. Worse, in a lot of ways. When do I get to start feeling better? Or, hell, at least back where I was!

Bitchplaint #8: This probably goes back in with #4. But fuck it, we’re here now. I’m committed to #8. Hi #8. This one is that I’ve cracked maybe half a dozen real smiles or laughter since December 21. Some things have amused me, intellectually. Like, “Hey, this is hilarious. I love this kinda shit.” “P.S. Why the fuck aren’t you laughing? Laugh! LAUGH!” Nope. Not happening. And that is perhaps the most unbearable one of all.

Between now and Saturday morning, I’ll come up with some eloquent way of expressing my concerns to Dr. Feelgood. Crossing my fingers she listens.

~

To top it all off, last Thursday (as in: seven days ago, AKA NYE) I was hit with one of the more severe migraines I’ve had in a while. I’ve had daily (not kidding) headaches since I was little. Sometimes they turn into migraines. My father said, “a head like that’s supposed to hurt.” My mother filled me with Tylenol and, when that stopped working, Excedrin Extra-Strength. Daily. Multiple times a day. Fast-forward to now, and I still live like that. Managing headaches. Trying my best not to take BC powders (which I graduated to a few years ago), because I know they’re bad for me. Then ending up in tears at work, so I buckle and take one.

Well, last Thursday I was waylaid with the migraine from hell. And I spent the next four days in bed. The rest of Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday. I took nothing for my head in all that time. I just lay in the dark, crying and thinking decapitation would be an improvement. I had to call in to work on Monday, which I simply do not do. Since it hadn’t abated at all, I went to my doctor. He had his nurse administer two shots (one of which nearly made me faint, for realsies), then prescribed some pills. I don’t even really know what they are, just that they don’t work. Which, I suppose, is all that matters.

So, here I am seven days later, with a headache from hell. It still hasn’t gone away, though it has (somewhat) lessened in severity.

This shit is not improving my mood.

~

So Dr. Feelgood better not give me any lip on Saturday! Because I’ll! I’ll! Crumble.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll tell y’all about the MRI. But only if you behave. Which remains to be seen.

~

This post brought to you by:

Lithium. Say it with me, boys and girls. Lithium! Hooray!

And thecheekyhousewife, who prompted me to dig into my draft and get this bitch done. Because it’s been like a week since I posted! Y’all go check her out. Anyone with a tagline that reads, “Bend Over And Grab Your Ankles, 2016. You’re About To Get Spanked.” is a worthy read indeed!