Summary

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I havent been here. I dont know why I havent, exactly, but I think its because this episode was filled with agitation more than depression, and it was too hard to concentrate to write. ive been in this state for 3 months now, so no writing came.  I cant promise what will come from here, but the agitation has mostly simmered.  For now, this is my mental illness oriented summary of June, for my future self


June was the third month of my mixed episode with psychotic features. It started in April, just before visiting Joe. April was filled mainly with anxiety attacks, panic, inability to function, and severe agoraphobia, with some low low periods. I worsened considerably throughout May, experiencing extreme heightened sensory experiences (like sounds being too loud and jumbled together, inability to parse sound, and very bright visual colors), as well as one brief psychotic-like episode where I felt like the universe was comforting me through the radio in a grocery store. I was severely agitated throughout May and into the first half of June. May was the height of my mixed episode features. I started a symptom tracker book in a bit of a frenzy, trying to find a pattern in my symptoms so I could somehow stop them. This was a grandiose idea, but I do find it very beneficial right now.

Near the beginning of June I started anti psychotic medication which helped significantly to calm things down. Things began to improve from there, but I was still having down days and occasionally being completely out of it (molasses or extreme agitation). Recently I was given sleep meds which seem to be getting me a solid 8 hours for now.

I have been living with Mom and Dad since May and will likely remain here for a few weeks (if not more) of July. Having the constant social contact helped a lot, and Mom and Dad are always a good support system. I am comfortable here and afraid to leave. My friends havent really been in the picture except for Brandon, who was really the only one who noticed something was wrong when I disappeared.

I started the stats class I need to complete in order to start grad school in the fall, and I’m managing most days, though the timeline is extremely tight now, given the late start. Its stressful, but also nice to be focusing on my brain function in a positive way again.

Jeff and Brandy had a Eleanor (Nori) on June 29th, and she is healthy and very very cute. Im still figuring out how to transition home, be helpful for J&B and the kids, but also not set myself back. There have been days where I couldn’t be near people- even them- and had to hide in the dark. I don’t want Wes and Lucy to see that or feel that from me, so managing that is my main concern about moving home. I’m super close with Wes right now, mostly because he seems to enjoy being around me more than Lucy, but I’m trying to be there for them both, and now nori too.

In short, June was still having the sawtooth up and downs, but the ups lasted a bit longer and the downs didn’t go so far down, and slowly I think I’m getting better. I also became an aunt again, which Im sure will feel more real in a few days. There’s been progress, but not perfection, which is my new motto to strive for.

I’ve gone through the worst and I’m climbing my way out, one bit at a time.

Dear Joe

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I’ve always wondered who you imagine me to be, in your head. Because much like I know you mostly through mom and dads recaps, reading abstracts of your scientific papers and vague childhood memories combined with yearly visits with screaming children at the forefront, I know it cant be very accurate. I know from the last visit that you don’t really understand much of what’s wrong with me, or how that impacts my life, and really, I don’t either. But what has become clear is that your mental version of me has little to do with the reality of my life right now. I wonder if the same is true for me with you?

I was put on thorazine recently, because sounds became louder than they were, louder than they could be, louder than any single thing and instead a chorus of many. Colors got brighter, brighter, brighter, until the ceiling started to look pink and it got a bit unnerving.

Thorazine is an anti psychotic medication, with the benefit of being an extreme tranquilizer as a side effect. Its always hard to say how much of these things is caused by my seemingly incessant state of extreme sleep deprivation, and how much is part of a bipolar symptom. I think the general conclusion is a little bit of column a, little bit of column b.

Thorazine is the brand name. My psychiatrist only refers to it by its generic name, and im unsure if this is because its simpler or if he was hoping I wouldn’t look into a seemingly innocuous name of yet another drug I shove in my body – which, to be fair, its rather surprising I did, given my current state. But I did. Apparently it’s the first, like the literal first, anti psychotic medication ever produced. There’s whole songs written about ‘thorazine dreams’ and ‘the thorazine shuffle’ and all those good dead and drooling side effects that characterize all patients who took it for decades. This is oddly not much of a deal to me. I think, at my stage, you don’t get to think about quality of life in the same way as the average person. Yes, taking this may cause all sorts of things, but are those sorts of things worse than seeing in technicolor acid trip swirls or thinking a song played through a grocery store speaker was the universe trying to send you a message? Because I feel like there’s a tipping point that comes after that that I don’t want to see.

I’m very clearly losing my grip on interpreting my reality correctly. I am not, however, actively psychotic, because I catch myself, to an extent. Like I know the ceiling should not be pink, as I know it is not painted pink, and I can usually make that logical connection. Therefore I am in, as my doctor says, “the funky stuff”.

Possibly the most frightening realization Im having is that I can understand how delusions work now. Its not something that sort of… appears and you suddenly believe you’re Christ and think you can save the world, or whatever the fuck the stereotypical thing of delusional people is. It’s the little things.

I was at the grocery store with mom, because I live with them now, because I cant function as a human. Not sure if anyone told you that yet. My apartment remains but I don’t exist in it and the idea of it makes me a bit uneasy. But I digress. The grocery store. Mom wondered away to get lemon and left me with the cart and the task of getting yogurt. I was very… alarmed inside. My doctor calls it heightened sensory perception, which is how he explains the Technicolor and such, but I wasn’t seeing things. I was just very alarmed, and suddenly very, very frightened. And I tried to reason with myself as I pushed the cart the 10 feet to the yogurt section, my fingers gripped around the cart handle, but people were in the way and I couldn’t get there and the fear just escalated so quickly. And I know you think I mean anxiety, but I don’t. I mean pure fear. Like falling out of a ten-story window accidentally.

Then suddenly I hear the store radio start playing a Billy Joel song. One of the ones mom used to play in the kitchen while we (well, I) was little. It was like a tidal wave of comfort. I felt for sure the universe was trying to provide me comfort. To take the fear away from me, personally, that this event was someone meaningful beyond mere coincidence. Part way through the song mom showed up and I was following along behind her sort of half mumbling the words to the song, catching my breath, basking in the sweet relief. She had no idea any of this happened. The song changed to something I didn’t know, and I swear to god I felt like the universe had abandoned me. Hit like a ton of bricks. Mom asks if I need to go outside but I tell her I just need to stay by her now, and she continues about her shopping while I snap back into reality enough to realize what the fuck was happening and how my brain was rebelling against logic without me. She doesn’t know any of that happened. I took an abnormally long time trying to pick a breakfast cereal. My eyes were probably really wide and I probably talked sporadically, but I don’t think shed have noticed much at all.

And isn’t that scary? That you don’t notice?

But the scary part for me is that I can see the logical connection to those feelings and normal rational feelings I would have had in that situation if I were just, say, anxious. Music is one of my calming tools it is what I do to distract myself from my other senses or to cheer myself up. That song making me feel better wasn’t illogical. But it didn’t make sense.

That’s now a thing I haven’t to consider more than I really know how. Over or under pathologizing behaviour isn’t very helpful but believing the universe is speaking to you isn’t exactly a symptom you can let slide, when you’re able to recognize it as a symptom.

So I take thorazine. It makes me sleep, so the sleep deprivation is gone, but the “funky stuff” still lingers so the dose is being increased. Although this stuff would usually be considered part of a manic episode, the fact that I’m also horribly depressed for large swaths of time indicate it’s a mixed episode. In other words, we have barely scratched the surface of the emotional well of crazy that is your sister.

I wonder how much that mental image of me has changed now. Do we know each other well enough that this is just a thing about me, or is it starting to define me, more than you want it to?

 

mental illness, society, guilt & holidays

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so i have a strange feeling. its going to take awhile to get to, but hear me out.

i am a mentally ill person. i read a lot of mental illness blogs. i have a lot of mentally ill friends. i have even more mentally ill advocate “friends” on facebook.

and i recognize that this is a shitty shitty time of year for the vast majority of them. i wish there was something to be done about that, but for the most part there isnt. i cant replace family, or be the accepting parent, or give them a day off from the blinding depression so they dont feel guilty about not feeling happy, or whatever, that is the cause of the shitty shitty feelings. society has built this time of year into something it isnt: joyous, perfect, shiny and bright, filled with only happiness and love. and thats shitty, for everyone. because you always feel like you arent living up to a standard that doesnt exist. and it makes your strained relationships with people feel soul crushing and awkward, it makes your depression stand out that much more by comparison, it causes you to evaluate your situation not just against everyones perfect instagramed selves but also against like every possible media posting, church preaching and news outlet depiction. and theres no life, no matter how seemingly perfect, that lives up to that standard. and the more you feel like you have to, the further away from it you get. its fucked up and it fucks things up.

for years growing up i kind of hated christmas. i mean, i was still a kid who got gifts, because i come from a privileged background of sorts, so i cant say it was entirely bad or that i hated every part of it. but my memories are EXTREME STRESS FOR AN ENTIRE MONTH. i remember bawling, multiple times a day, every christmas, for multiple reasons: for years before some very intensive therapy i really resented my family and a lot of my childhood and especially my brother, and my parents for not saving me. i felt robbed of something, like there was a harsh disconnect between me and them despite all this togetherness and seemingly tv family activity. and i felt guilty. when i was little i felt left out by my family and siblings because they were all older and never wanted me around while they did teenage to adult age things so i was alone when i felt like i was supposed to be taking part. and i felt lonely and like i was doing something wrong. there were crowds and crowds of people that i didnt really know and or there were so many people i couldnt breathe, or move, and id have huge panic attacks locked in a washroom somewhere. my family also has a very strange insular dynamic where for the entire week between christmas and new years, and even a few days before christmas, we were expected to be with family, and only family, and not have outside lives so it was this constant constricting force (this is still true when any family member visits). then there were other factors, like my father having an extremely high stress level and very short fuse when he was working at his high level job, that made him angry and awful a lot and christmas added to that stress level to the point where hed be flipping out all the time and he just hated it. he hated it a lot and you could tell; and he made you hate it a little too, because you felt like the cause of his anger. and then my brother didnt live in the country anymore, so it simultaneously became an even more hyped up occasion if he was coming home and also this awkward, disappointing, land of confusion and abandonment the years he didnt. and then we were all awkward ages and three of us kids were dealing with mental health issues of varying severity, and my mother’s severe social anxiety would go into overdrive and her bordering on eating disorder tendencies would come out, and my dad and whatever shit he was going through that never came up. and then there were those years were my brother had a severe eating disorder no one talked about, which made christmas especially difficult for him, and by extension, my sister and i, as we would look at my parents to fix it, to do something, and they didnt. and we didnt.

and theres a lot of things i could say or delve into that would better explain how christmas can be sort of horrible, and how it was sort of horrible. and i think that almost everyone has those stories, for whatever reason.

but this year, i dont have those feelings. and i feel really, really guilty about it, somehow, when i read all these blogs and facebook posts and talk to my friends who i know are in the middle of all this shit.

because christmas is shit. if we are honest, the average experience of christmas is stress, obligation, dread and anxiety. and i feel like im now somehow perpetuating the joyful stereotype of the day, because my life this year has been very… on point for societal views of the season. and i feel like im betraying my people.

i feel like that a lot when i talk about good things as wholly good. and thats really kind of a strange fucked up thing. like i feel guilty when my mental illness isnt at the forefront ruining everything for me because i know it is for so many people and i dont want to be that thing. and everyone with a mental illness knows what that thing is. the thing people without a mental illness (or sometimes we as people with mental illnesses) point to, sometimes meaning it in a positive ‘you can do it too!’ manner, sometimes meaning it as a ‘she can do it, you fucking loser’ manner, as a person who has suffered through your thing and is not “ruining” or causing “discomfort” or being “abnormal” or otherwise breaking social norms by being themfuckingselves. because we, as mentally ill people, cause discomfort. it is somehow our job to reduce ourselves, to placate other people, with our pretending. with our moulding to societal expectations. being unabashedly mentally ill is a political act. and thats fucking so hard to explain. that being mentally ill is a thing, its ok, to be yourself. to feel your feelings, to have your symptoms. to not be okay. and we dont need all these things glowing and pointing all around us to remind us that we arent being enough by being ourselves. be yourself. your whole fucking messy, uncomfortable, societal ideal failing self.

so i dont know what to do. and maybe this is part of why ive never written much when ive been doing well. i feel guilty for being that thing, sometimes.

part of it comes from all the public speaking i used to do. being mentally ill in a spotlight is very strange, because you’re only really in the spotlight for that stuff when youre doing well. so then no matter what you are saying, youre sort of normalizing mental illness as something removed from the symptoms. because people arent seeing symptoms, they are hearing that they happened and then starring at this person they dont equate with those things, because they are functional seemingly normal people, and thinking “wow, shes come a long way” or “im so glad thats over for her” (both of those things have been said directly to me after more generalized mental illness speeches) and they treat you like youve magically become better. like you have a secret and like other mentally ill people could find it if they too tried as hard as you did.

this is partially because some people go through one serious bout of depression, usually brought on by a very specific set of circumstances, from which they are able, through the help of temporary medication and some serious help, to get out of, and they do overcome that depression and they dont fall back into it. and then these people talking about being mentally ill. and maybe this is a jackass thing to say, but they arent. they are people who have suffered from depression, but they are not chronically mentally ill. and somehow, people think this is the norm for mental illness. it is not.

so. im sorry if you are going through shit. i am sorry if i am presenting a view of life right now like its gotten better! ta da! im sorry if this has been a thing for you to compare things to, that makes you feel worse. and im sorry that i feel sorry for not being sick enough. that is a weird, unhelpful feeling to put out into the mentally ill universe.

so let me say this, to ease my conscious, to normalize, to give perspective, or context, or whatever it is, to my last few posts.

-ive have had an extremely relaxed, low key, family oriented christmas. i am happy. it has been joyous and full of love and happy things. i didnt feel stressed, or cry, or feel crushed by the weight of something that wasnt there. i do miss my grandma, but it is ok. i feel ok. there was a noticeable lack of stress. it has been exceptional. i am very lucky. this is true.

-my family, every single member except my oldest brother, have gone through therapy. my sister and i have gone through a lot of therapy, myself going on 8 years with the same psychologist, and several misc attempts before that. we did family therapy. my brother did ocd specific therapy. we have recognized that there is a problem (or many, layered interacting problems) and worked on ourselves and also our family dynamic, from many different angles, for a decade and a half. we are a family that puts family above everything else, for whatever reason, and we have worked through some pretty serious trauma and family shit to get to where we are at. many people have said i have a “tv family” in recent years, and there is some truth to that, now, but i cant underscore enough that this was not always the case.

-i am still very conscious of my mental illness. it is a fibre of my being. it dictates many of my life choices, even when im well. i  plan around it like it is a child that i must take care of. when im sick its an infant and when im well its a grown up that you never stopped worrying about. it is always present to some degree. it will come back full force, sometime. i am not fixed.

-my family does not completely do stereotypical christmas. particularly around gift giving. my father strongly believes that we should help each other when we need help, year round, not on a misc day of the year where we buy each other shit because we are obligated to do so. he also hates shopping, malls, and generally the public in the month of december. so he has opted out. my parents dont exchange gifts. my siblings and i dont exchange gifts. occasionally my brother will send something up if he finds something he thinks one of us would really enjoy, because we dont see each other, and he is very wealthy. my sister loves the idea of giving people things at christmas, so sometimes she will give things, usually to me or my parents, and usually not expensive but very thoughtful (see: the christmas miracle tape). she also makes food based christmas stockings for everyone with my parents money. i usually help her. if we all happen to have spare cash and my parents actually need something, we will buy it for them, because they do a lot for us and are not at a point in their lives where they need much from us during the year (this year my brothers were the only ones with money, and they bought my parents a set of glasses because they needed them. in previous years we all had a lot of money and bought them a washing machine when theres broke a week before christmas. most years they get nothing.). my mom usually buys my sister and i a few items because she knows we are struggling financially and she wants us to have something to enjoy. but basically there is absolutely no pressure to get anyone anything, to spend money we dont have, or to brave overcrowded shopping malls. we feel zero guilt about this. moreover, the members of my family with children can afford gifts for their children. this combination is a luxury few people have.

at the end of the day, my point is writing about feeling normal is hard for me, for strange reasons. and i feel guilty sometimes when things work out for me, and i dont know why. its almost the same feeling i had when i was very depressed and someone i knew got cancer, and all i could think was ‘why couldnt i take the burden instead?’. i just. i feel like an outsider sometimes. like im looking in on the lives of people and i know what they are going through and i feel helpless. probably like my parents feel about me.

why am i the one that gets the good period?

fucked up question right?

maybe only other seriously suicidal people will understand. maybe no one will. maybe this is all crazy gibberish. i know it will come back, but it feels unfair that i get to be this ok, for this long, and so many people dont.

im sorry.

 

it’s a reindeer round up, at the north pole corral

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i had this tape when i was little called like “christmas is for children” or something. it was white with blue lettering that i can picture perfectly but im unsure i was ever actually able to read before the writing got all half worn off, so i cant be 100% sure thats actually what it was called. this tape included such classics as “reindeer round up” (its a reindeer round up, and the north pole corral, theyll be hitchin up that sleigh any day now dun dun dun dun) and something i thought was called “i think that i like christmas” (in which an angry old man is taught to love christmas by a group of carolling kids). that is basically the entirety of my memory of this tape, but i LOVED it. thoughts of it make my insides smile.

my sister and i had all kinds of christmas traditions; she is very big on traditions and has been since we were little, so these traditions lasted well past when they should have (see: us reading each other old childrens christmas books [barbapoppas christmas!] on christmas eve when i was a teenager. see also: going to mcdonalds every christmas eve for the first 20+ years of my life because when my siblings were little and lived in the boonies they would stop at mcdonalds on the drive in to see my grandparents), and we used to listen to this tape all through december. im sure it was a welcome break, at first, from the fred penner i blared at full volume to sleep when i was 2 and/or the backstreet boys first album (which, in case you were wondering, came out a few years earlier and is a completely different album than the first one released in the states. im sure you were wondering.) i blared to go to sleep by the time i was 8 or so. and then there was that hanson obsession… basically ive been blaring music to go to sleep since before headphones were really a thing. but i digress. we listened to it every christmas until way past when it was acceptable to own a tape player, until somehow the tape just disappeared and no one really noticed because we dont have any way to play them anyway. so now amy and i just sing random lines of a country themed christmas song at each other while sounding slightly deranged.

this tape, for obvious reasons, is not located on itunes or google play music. because it is literally the weirdest thing and i cant imagine it was ever popular. and, as amy found out, because it was a give away tape produced by the ontario lotto commission in 1984, and was all songs by local ontario singers with zero budget, hence why there were literally no actual christmas carols on the tape. (how a tape from the ontario lotto commission, produced two years before my birth, made it into my tiny little nova scotian hands remains a mystery).

but my sister. my sister is really good at interneting. the best, really. id wager money on it. so she found a site that used to have the tape on it, run by a guy who would go to thrift stores and digitize/upload random vintage tapes. the site was no longer functional because the government doesnt want us to have nice things  copyright infringement. so she found the guy who ran it on facebook, and he gave her some log in to the site to download the tape, only the files didnt work, so she harassed him again, and her re did the files for her.

so when we were doing adult christmas this year (normally just stockings, but this year my parents bought both amy and i gifts because we arent working), my sister brings out her ipad and the grumpy old man starts huffing at the carolling children.

and that my friends, is a little christmas miracle.

christmas was good this year. super relaxed. we did adult christmas (mom, dad, amy, sean, sean’s mom, and me), which was extra fun this year because we got gifts! i sound like im 5, but like, we dont normally really do gifts to begin with, and i am extremely poor, so it was extra exciting. my parents gave me three pairs of pj pants that i desperately needed (a) the ones i wear all the time now have like 4 holes in them and b) i end up wearing pj pants a lot because my niece and nephew come down all the time so when i would previously just wander around pantless, i now wear pj pants), a nice night cream and day time moisturizer, some lip balm, foot cream, a pair of leggings because the ones i own are wearing out, some canvases and a few paint brushes since ive been painting more/selling some art lately, some grocery money, and a board game ive really wanted called “pandemic legacy” (something completely frivolous so i really wasnt expecting it). my sister gave me some planted herbs too, which was really nice an unexpected.

seans mom was much better today, had normal conversations and somewhat participated in activities! so that was a nice change. she is still a little… odd to be around. she is extremely smart but also very… slow? somehow? its a very weird combination. but she is nice and has been making an effort to talk about things at least somewhat related to the persons interest and allowing people to respond.  i think shes really lonely normally, because she lives alone an hour out of the city, and she has a strained relationship with her kids and very low mobility so i doubt she gets out much. so im glad she was here and not alone for christmas. i think thats why she talks so much, shes never got anyone to talk to except when shes here. all the things shes been thinking for the past month just spew out sometimes.

to cover the basics, we had dinner super early (2pm?) to accommodate jeff and brandy’s schedule. kids came over and opened their gifts and were typical little kids and just tore everything open. unless they could tell it was clothing, at which point they angrily threw it without opening it. darling children. dad made a delicious turkey dinner, as par usual, jeff and i did the dishes. jeff and all left, i accidentally took nighttime sinus medicine and took almost a 2 hour nap. played cards and the african strategy game seans mom got them (its fun! i cant for the life of me remember what its called! very simple to learn, but lots of strategy involved.) ate a bunch of chocolate. now its 230 in the morning and im writing a blog, because me.

that was basically the day!

im happy. its so nice to be happy and not stressed and not really… any negative thing at the holidays. i know thats rare for most people, and its been rare for me even though i clearly have a great and close family, so i appreciate it more. my heart still goes out to all the people hating everything right now though, because this time of year can definitely be a double edged sword, even for those without fucked up pasts and mental disorders.

hope you all coped well, talked to someone you loved, and had something delicious to eat (even if it was chinese food and movie theatre popcorn, eddie :P)

merry christmas/happy chanukah!

in which i overanalyze banal interactions

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its christmas eve!

… yeah thats all i got on that topic. im at my parents house with my sister and her husband and soon to be her husbands mother. its gonna be awkward. i actually actively dislike being around her (as does sean. and hes vocal about it. so thats odd and awkward in its own right) but i feel bad about it because like.. shes nice enough. she just does. not. stop. talking. and its never about anything the person she is talking to would be interested in, its like about a bird in her backyard she saw once. for like two hours. without acknowledging you have responded. she also just sits in one chair without moving (and while still talking) and doesnt actually participate in anything, so we end up just doing things in front of her? which makes me feel super awkward. she doesnt seem to mind though so i suppose i should not associate the fact that it makes me awkward with anything to do with her, really.

BUT. its christmas, and no one should be stuck alone in a house with no family on christmas. so here we are.

my mother made butterscotch chip and jubejube (how is that actually spelled? anyone?) cookies and they are life right now.

and now for something completely off topic.

remember how i said i was trying to date? and also that i was fucking terrible at it?

im getting annoyed. with myself. (and also with everyone who thinks i want to see their penis as an introduction. but thats another story.)

so, story time. this is mostly just an example of why i suck.

i met a guy named jarrad on one of those dating apps, and we spent like 8 hours or so talking the first night and it went well, i think. i know. he hits on me a lot. he was actually pretty cool, which is incredibly rare on dating apps, for those of you happily married people out there. we swapped phone numbers because the app was being a jackass, but then he doesnt text me back (despite literally just giving me his number). assume he passed out because its like 4 am. nbd.

get drunk next night, send him a random hey! text on the app as to not be weird since he never responded to the text. does not respond.

assume it was a one night thing and write it off. lets not be desperate here.

7 days pass. randomly messages me, at which point he apologizes because he was ‘at sea’. he isnt in the navy so i did not realize his job actually made him go to sea, so thats cool. nbd. happy to talk to him. talk for another 8 or so hours, but still on the stupid app that barely works. passing suggestion of getting together over the holidays. he passes out mid convo again, because i am basically a vampire and  hide from the sun and he is a normal person with a job. messages me in the morning apologizing for passing out. couple hours later i send a text making fun of myself for sleeping at stupid times, or something. no response. assume he is at work, wasnt really expecting one. message him later that night, no response.

4 days pass. assume hes not really that interested. like how ill message people after a week or two just because i cant sleep (im a bad person).

messages me out of the blue. was sent out on a ship for a couple days again. cool, nbd, i still like talking to him. get into a convo for a couple hours, at which point he says he “doesnt feel like im into him like hes into me”. because he hits on me a lot, but like also never talks to me two days in a row, ever, and im me so i have defence mechanisms and dislike being vulnerable so i probably havent been giving off ‘i wanna fuck you’ vibes. so we talk about that for a minute, and cover the whole i am totally interested, just youve been throwing me off with the random communication schedules. (to be clear: we have both already communicated we arent going for casual sex. if it was casual sex, this would be a different story). he apologizes, which wasnt really what i was going for, he doesnt know me and doesnt owe me an explanation, i was just being honest. anyway. he wants me to open up more, or whatever, this eventually leads to talking about sex as it literally always does, only it was a little.. odd. but not bad, just odd. he passes out in the middle of that convo too, which was awkward and has never happened to me before. but meh, whatever. he was pretty clear about the liking me and the wanting to get together next week. send him a “well that didnt go as expected lol” text and call it a night.

no response the next day, meh whatever. send him a text that night that just said ‘hi?’. he doesnt respond. next day (today). send him a text that says ‘so, just so we are clear, this is why i didnt think you were interested lol but have a good christmas’. no response.

end scene.

so heres the ways in which i suck:

  1. i should not have sent that last text, probs.
  2. feel like i freaked him out in the sex convo.
  3. he legit could not tell that i liked him.
  4. i care that he hasnt responded. even though its a dating app, and theres literally no grounds for me to care at this point.
  5. this interaction makes me sad inside every time he disappears and i think hes over it. i dont know why, i literally talk to like 10 different people a day and dont really like any of them.
  6. i have no idea if he likes me or not. none at all. even though we’ve had conversations about it.

so. yeah. im talking to a few other people who are decent though so theres still hope. not a lot of hope, but hope.

im terrible.

daily

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while on this whole “trying to write” thing, i decided i should also try to occasionally write things not at 2am. the most frequent time my site is visited is at 2am. i feel this says something about me.

in other news, brandon bailed on our plans tonight, as he does, so a) booooo and b) we’ve made plans to wander around the mall and lament that we do not own things (we own so many things) on december 30th while we are both too poor to actually purchase anything because he needs to take his laptop to the mac store. ill probably wear boots with heels and whine about it a lot and he’ll forget his earmuffs and whine about it a lot and we will both hate the outdoors, because winter, and i will probably end up drinking starbucks because for some reason my phone company likes to give out gift certificates to starbucks? i think that about sums us up. itll be great!

speaking of great, jon got here safe and sound last night and is showing up sometime “around 9” which in jon speak probably means 10 and we are going to do a bunch of nothing but i put beer in the fridge. thats pretty close to being a good host, right? i dont know if hes crashing or not. could be weird cuz i live in a studio apartment now so he could sleep on one of my couches but hed have to listen to me mumble in my sleep. and also id have to go to sleep at a normal person time, which would be good for me, but my body probably will not cooperate.

i stand corrected, he will be here in half an hour, supposedly, so thats only like 920. that would be impressively on time.

i went shopping for my sisters christmas gifts with my mom today; we were only mildly successful. i know i said my family doesnt do gifts, because we dont, but my parents paid to renovate this apartment for me/jeff, and then spent a few thousand dollars on kids toys for my both my brothers’ children, so they feel like they should buy amy things too. which is fair. and also generous.

i managed to get lucy her christmas gift (her birthday is also christmas eve, so we gave her gifts for that last weekend, but my parents paid for the gift i gave her because  i cant afford to buy non basics anymore, really, but i still sort of am… its a bit weird, financially, right now… anyway) i bought her a book called susie the sapphire fairy, which seems up her alley, and it was on sale for $10, aka my price range. and she likes being read to. i am lucky that my niece and nephew arent brats about gifts/how nice things are/how expensive things are (my other nieces and nephews, bless them, are very rich and a little…erm, picky?). like they pretty much like everything in their stocking from the dollarstore as much as anything else, so it makes me feel better about being broke, since i think they will still like the stuff. i bought wes a set of wooden dominos because hes super tactile and likes building things and also knocking them over so i figure, what better sums up that combination? and i also got them the game operation (to share) because it is great (and cheap) and i need more things to do with them while theyre down here. especially because theyre getting pulled out of their after school program in january, and brandy is pregnant so shes going to need a lot of help with them. and we can only play “hide and find the nickels” and “daytime/night time” (legit just turning off the lights and pretending to be asleep) so many times.

i know its weird im buying them gifts even though i literally have zero income in two weeks, but i figure their parents give me a place to live for free, and we do genuinely need something to do when i babysit, and i do love them and such. so im writing it off as a justifiable expense.

anyway, i was going to ramble more but jon is almost here and if i wait to finish this up and or edit it so it was less babbley id be posting this a 2 am again.

 

“writing” something

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i have a friend named eddie. i talk about him randomly. he writes a blog, like a real blog, like a real writer who thinks about what hes going to say and presents things with emotion and makes you feel stuff intentionally. i should be more like eddie. but im not. and im probably never going to be. but for me the purpose of writing was never to be a writer, or to express things to other people or make them feel things. its always just been about getting something off my chest, which is why ive always called this a journal not a blog. i think sometimes my honesty resonates with people, mostly when im honestly crazy, and mostly with other crazy people, but i think i like that. i think thats ok with me.

so really, there are two types of good bloggers: ones who have something to say, and ones who say something often.

sometimes i have a lot to say. you can read all about those times here, even though most of what i had to say was just something that needed to be said but not necessarily read. but the thing is a lot of times i dont. im so used to living in a world of extremes, of bipolar messes, that when something isnt pushing the limits of my emotional capabilities i usually keep my mouth shut. because the quiet is nice. the calm is nice. the calm is something i never experienced much of for years… decades actually, but especially since my breakdown in 2013. so when it comes i back away and i live life like a person. and i forget about writing, and it falls out of my routine.

the thing is, these windows used to be so small. days or sometimes weeks. they were blips in an otherwise chaotic time. and look, if this were to be considered a blog, its a blog with a theme. its a blog about mental illness and its a blog about what its like when shit actually hits the fan. i kind of veered from that over the summer, because i was doing something weird and somewhat regrettable that i needed to work through and i do that here, but i think the driving force of my writing has always been incapacitating emotions.

the thing is, im not really having those right now. or for months now.

and thats weird.

and i dont really know how to make sense of things now, or really know what to talk about because things arent forcefully spewing their way out of me like they always have.

part of me doesnt want to write here now because i like that this is a mental illness blog. i like that this is my place to be unabashedly ill. but i also feel like this is as much of my journey as a mentally ill person as anything else has been. and i know i have a chronic illness and i know the bad parts are going to come back, sometime, so wouldnt it be good to also have something to look back on to prove it wasnt always like that? and if people are going to read this, which they do since i made it public (though admittedly, fewer than read it when i was full blown crazy and writing regularly), dont i kind of also have the responsibility of representing mental illness not just as the harrowing struggles, but also as a full person with other characteristics besides the fact im sometimes suicidal and occasionally very energetically make poor life choices?

thats all little pretentious and over thought, which frankly, i sort of am as a person. to be honest.

but the point is, i could still be someone who says something often.

im going to try to write here even though im relatively healthy and good. i cant promise it will be anything interesting or even really worth reading, and i cant promise it wont still be emotional rehashing about nothing since well, its christmas and my grandmothers dead and really thats going to come out eventually isnt it? lets just accept that now.

i wrote this in two sittings because my niece and nephew came down to play and color, and then my brother came down for a minute, and then i decided to do ALL THE THINGS! (shower! wash hair! do dishes! do laundry! hang up laundry! bake cookies! take out trash! scrub kitchen floors! clean up markers kids left all over floor! fold laundry! so much laundry!) which basically means this has been a relatively productive day for me, by recent standards. recent standards being watching tv in bed all day and drinking too much diet pop as a norm. i mean, i didnt say the bar was high here, folks.

jon gets home tomorrow and is here till after new years, which is exciting. and also my family really has nothing going on over the holidays so hopefully ill actually get to see him a fair bit… though i suppose he has one of those “social life” things ive been hearing about so perhaps we shall see. going christmas shopping with my mother tomorrow for the kids, mostly to help not to actually purchase things because i am poor. so poor. brandons coming over tomorrow night before he heads to cape breton on thursday, because we are still basically family and therefore he must see me before he abandons me for his admittedly delightful mother.

anyway, now that ive been productive all day i clearly need to go watch copious amounts of television to balance it out.

remember when productive meant i like wrote a thesis and worked full time?

yeah.

life is still a bit of a work in progress.

Guess whos back? (the recap)

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(back again, shady’s back, tell a friend…)

so I’ve been gone a long ass time. like three and a half months. despite the last entry here, and the depressing ones leading up to it, this is actually because my life has been going pretty well, and well… i dont come here to process my feelings when my feelings are good. i guess.  eddie was bugging me to update for awhile, because things were good and i was (am?) good, and i do think its important to present some normal times here (if id done that over the years that whole christian thing probably would never have happened. just saying.), but i didnt. and then i meant to, and then i didnt. and so on and so forth.

then i got an email from the contact form i forgot i even had on here (?!?)  asking if i was ok because i fell off the planet and i have this slight history of almost killing myself.

so. here we are.

because its been so long i guess i’ll just try to highlight some of the major things that happened this fall and then ill go back to over analyzing my current life, as i do haha.  Im not really writing this as if someone other than me is going to read it (i never do, though its cool that people do? it’s also really weird. but in a good way? but here we are.) so this is literally just a recap for when i come back and look at my life as opposed to a witty edited version of events that youd find on normal blogs because i still just treat this as a diary (sorry.)  basically what im saying is this is gonna be dry as fuck. but here we go!

I moved!

I had been living in an old character ridden flat with bright colored walls and beautiful though gappy hardwood floors. it was a huge one bedroom with a sunroom, tons of closet space and some of my bffs lived in the flat upstairs. it also had the worst oven possible for something that was still technically functional, and cost a bazillion dollars a month.  it was in the “artsy” (read: hipsters and poor people) end of town.

So when i went on EI because I went crazy, I got a roommate in order to stay living there. she lived in the sunroom because it was big enough to be a bedroom (mostly). as I think I documented on here over the summer, she turned out to be less than ideal and bailed on me on august 1. since aforementioned apartment cost a billion dollars a month, this was not sustainable on ei. I was freaking out, a lot, about what i was going to do because i was in a lease, and I was broke, and much, much, much stress ensued (as im sure was documented but i didnt go back and look). then gma died and christian happened and blahdy blah so it was a bit of a shit show at the end of august. but anyway, i broke my lease and left at the end of October.

the new place

Because I am very poor and my life was a complete mess at the time, and I have the most excellent of families, my brother offered to let me come live in his house for free. So I ended up moving into a studio apartment in Jeff’s house. It is his house but the place is set up as three apartments, so the top floor is where Brandy’s sister lives, middle floor is where Jeff’s family lives, and live on the lower level. Its a 15 minute walk away from my old place, but in a nicer area. SO basically I have my own apartment in a nicer place for $0 a month at the moment. I am a spoiled bitch, and my stress has been reduced greatly.  also I see my niece and nephew all the time, which is nice.

construction

So if youve been following timelines, which you havent because i was not at all clear, this means I had two months living at my old place for  a bazillion dollars a month by myself. this took all of my ei money for those two months and i could barely afford my pills and food, but thats neither here nor there. anyway, so during these two months my father and i renovated the apartment I now live in, in Jeff’s house. We ripped out the walls between the kitchen and the washroom and rebuilt them in new places, moved the entrance to the washroom, built shelves for the washroom, made inset shelves in the kitchen, bought new kitchen appliances because the ones here didnt actually function, etc. it was actually a super nice father daughter bonding experience overall. plus it gave me a schedule and routine everyday (we literally came and worked here for 6-10 hours a day, every day, for about 6 weeks), which combined with coping better with my gma stuff and getting over christian and knowing i could stop stressing about money in november, drastically improved my mental health. i was a happy as i remember being in years through most of October. and I think my dad respects me more now because even though I am the least handy person on earth, i did show up everyday and i did learn how to like drywall and remove flooring and shit. so it was good times.

I applied to grad school!

As Im sure has come across over the past three years, going to grad school has been a major goal of mine. it has gotten completely fucked up numerous times by my very severe mental illness. whoops.

my therapist is not overly supportive of my going to grad school in general, but although I have carefully considered his opinion on this matter, fuck him. I have made major concessions in this arena to hopefully be able to complete it while also dealing with my severe mental illness, and I think thats a decent compromise for the both of us.  For one, I didn’t try to go ivy league, despite having the marks and the experience to have given me a decent shot (and because this had been my goal since high school).  that sounded pretentious, I accept that, moving on.  second, i decided to only apply to grad schools where I live. which means I only applied to one school, because its the only one with good science based grad programs (luckily, its a pretty good school in its own right). this means i wont leave my support system or my doctors. third, i made sure the program i applied to allowed people to switch to part time status for health reasons if necessary.

So. all that being said, i finally fucking applied to do my Masters in Community Health and Epidemiology. this is a massive jump from my psych background. massive. so there is still a decent chance I wont get in. but ive got the grades and really good recommendation letters, so fingers crossed.  and hey i did jump from fine art to psychology with ease, so maybe itll all work out. ill talk more about this at some point probably.

After applying I was invited to apply for a scholarship, and I also applied for the canadian graduate scholarship, which were both extremely in depth applications that required you basically summarize your proposed research for your masters degree. that was super fucking stressful because unlike other masters degrees where you get a supervisor to get into the program, so you generally have you field of research narrowed down, in this program you get matched up with someone in second year. and again, this field is a massive departure from my previous educational background. so basically i kind of had a meltdown trying to write these wondering if i picked the completely wrong program blahdy blah because i was having trouble fitting what i wanted to do into the application. but in the end i basically proposed that i wanted to look at how socioeconomic status influences hospital admission rates for youth presenting at the er with mental health concerns. so. fingers crossed on those as well.

my other brother, joe, helped me a shit ton with those applications.  obviously, he runs a research lab and teaches at an ivy league university, so hes kinda given me an edge (hopefully). and once again, my family is most excellent.

My meds are fucking working (for the most part)

So i started my current med regime quite awhile ago, but ive finally got proper levels on everything, and everything is working together really well. also, my life situation has calmed the fuck down, and being on medical leave from life for a year has really really helped. basically, this is the most stable my mood has been in probably 15 years. that being said im still going through ups and downs.  probably the hardest thing to explain to people who arent bipolar is that when i say my mood is stable i dont mean that it isnt shifting. i just mean when i feel an emotion if feels… solid? like before it was all a jumbled mess that flew around in every direction and i felt so many millions of things at once it was overwhelming and confusing. even when i felt like i felt nothing. now when im depressed, i feel depressed and awful and thats that. theres no rapid shifting all the time? no mixture of extremely energetic but horribly suicidal, really. i guess part of it is i havent had any mixed episodes since starting, but thats not really what im trying to say.  i dont know, its really fucking difficult to put into words that someone outside myself would understand.  i will work on this in future entries.  but for the  most part no mania, very little hypomania, and still some depression but like… normal depression. well i mean still clinical but i think at the level of the majority of people with major depression, as opposed to kind of tipping the scale at the craziest of crazy, and no psychotic depression episodes.

i believe i am currently a functional managing human. huzzah.

dating

i dated a guy named mark for like two months. super nice guy, timing was bad, basically. and our sexual preferences werent really a match (without spilling my sexual preferences or his on a blog haha). we’re good friends now (guys: i made a friend. that doesnt happen).

other than that, ive been actually meeting people and dating more than i have before. its been kinda good, i think im learning some general dating skills that i severely lack. im very weird about dating and relationships, as eddie frequently points out. i find it very difficult and i generally strongly dislike it. to the point where id almost rather just stay single. but now that im emotionally kind of balanced out, not being alone forever would kind of be a nice thing. so im giving it a shot. ive met some super cool people, but really online dating apps are the fucking worst. ill rant about that later too.

most of my previous dating has been done entirely while, or started while, i was very manic or hypomanic (see: christian) and making choices i probably wouldnt normally make.  sometimes thats a huge glaring problem (see: coke guy) and sometimes its just kind of a push in one direction that will play out how it will. anyway. now whenever i date brandon gets worried im manic, which is fair. but im not.

i also have been trying just to meet people even if i dont want to date them just to meet cool people.  the other day a met a guy on bumble who was just here for the weekend and he ended up checking out of his hotel to come stay here for the night and we stayed up literally all night having life chats and drinking. no hooking up or anything, just… friends. it was nice. im not sure we will ever really speak again, though we did the facebook and phone numbers thing, but i think that was it and im fine with that, and also had a very positive experience. so like, baby steps right?

work (or lack there of)

I am still on ei. it runs out in 2.5 weeks. im freaking out about that now, and getting very stressed, as i’ve only really got enough saved to be able to feed myself and still have a life for about 2, maybe 3 months after my ei runs out. and no one hires in dec/jan. but, on a positive note, im not  paying rent, so i can ease back into the workforce with a part time job of sorts. on the downside, two of the part time jobs ive applied for so far explicitly stated i was “over qualified” for the position in that negative way. also i have no like retail experience or anything that most part time jobs are. so thats going to be tricky. wish me luck.

upcoming

christmas is a couple weeks away. it will be my first without my gma, so itll bring a whole new set of traditions since we always rented a room in her apartment building for christmas day so she could come. her birthday was also in november, so ive spent a lot of time thinking about stuff like that. otherwise, joe and his family arent coming to visit this year,  and my cousins just confirmed they cant make in from quebec, so it will be a very low key christmas. but amy will be down, so that will be good. and my parents are actually buying me gifts this year because im so poor haha so that will be fun too. im trying to come up with something to give jeff and brandy, which ive never done because we dont do gifts ,and it is extremely difficult, but i feel like i should do something nice for them.  unfortunately it cant be food as they are vegetarian, gluten free, sugar free, no garlic no onions blah blah blah and girl just cant do that.

things are very boring right now, without working but with a functioning brain. its kind of bad for the depression, but i mean its not real depression its just boredom and the desolate feeling that comes from doing nothing and not having immediate goals.

its been snowing a lot and really cold, which is making me hide inside too much. going to try to work on that. going to try and work on a lot of things.

anyway, very long story short. things have been good, things will be good. im good. hopefully more in the moment, less long blathering dry entries in the future.