Sunday, August 7, 2016

August Already?

Sheesh, this summer has flown by. Can't believe classes start up again in just a few weeks. I just got back into town after a few days in Big East Coast City for a conference. The actual conference was pretty boring, but I ditched early and went sight-seeing. Today I'm back in my office sending the obligatory awkward follow-up e-mails to all the people I got business cards from.

So...I did my first online dating escapade/relationship/breakup (all within about two weeks!). I had seen Online Guy three or four times, but decided by then that I wasn't really feeling it. Unfortunately he WAS really feeling it....showed up to our last date in a suit and bowtie (because I had told him I thought they were cute), with a bottle of wine (because I'd told him I liked wine), with play tickets (because I told him I liked plays). ARGH. So obviously I couldn't break it off then.....we had an awkward conversation about how "maybe we should slow things down" or whatever, then today I finally did the deed for real. Ugh. That's never fun.

I have two more tentative dates coming up this week - STAY TUNED. Hey who here watches The Bachelorette? Because that is literally my life right now.

So I had a weird experience this morning. I decided to go running in a new/old place—a.k.a. it was a place I used to run in college, but haven't been back to in several years. So I was huffing and puffing along Memory Lane when I started crunching some numbers in my head:

—It had been 6 years since I last ran there.

—I now weigh 32 pounds more.

—My runs are now 2-3 miles shorter (and I'm no slouch now, mind you)

—Take the number of calories I used to eat per day back then, quadruple it, and add 200. That's how much I eat now.

Crazy, no?

Monday, July 25, 2016

Adventures in Online Dating (and other updates)

This online dating thing moves quickly, it seems... After I first met my ex (the old-fashioned way) last August, it took him six weeks to actually follow up. I've only been on this dating site for like eight days or something, and I've already met someone, hung out with him twice, and have another date lined up with Guy #2 on Wednesday.

I used to swear up and down I would never ever ever do online dating, but turns out every (as in, EVERY) one of my single friends is on Tinder or Bumble or OCCupid or Match or whatever else the kids are doing these days. Anyway, my date with Guy #1 went great - he is super adorable and sweet and nerdy in the best way possible. We actually hung out again the next day, totally spontaneous but felt so easy and fun. So, consider me crushing :) Date with Guy #2 is later this week; we've been texting a lot but I haven't actually met him in person yet. He has promised he "has never seen Dexter" so he won't "stalk or murder" me. And who says romance is dead??? It feels really weird and kind of icky to be going out with two guys at once....any experience/opinions/judgements about this???

So overall it was a busy week/weekend - Thursday was Taco Night at a friend's apartment, Friday was drinks and dinner with an old college friend, Saturday was date #1 (dinner and gelato), and Sunday was date #2 (exploring a neighborhood downtown).

I just saw my psychiatrist for a three-month follow-up. I adore her. We agreed things are going A-Okay in the anxiety department—perhaps due to a lighter schedule or the new drug cocktail (on 20mg Prozac and 1mg Klonopin as needed). Anyway, it's always a nice feeling to run out of things to say with the shrink, no? That being said, I actually did pop a Klonopin today for the first time in several weeks. I was feeling super antsy and nervous and approaching freak-out mode....not sure why, perhaps too many new people, too much being out and about, too many new feelings etc. etc. etc.

Oh, and another weird thing - I've been feeling really fat lately. Not sure how else to describe it, just that visceral sense that you are jiggly and too much. I had thought it was PMS-related bloating, but it didn't go away after my period ended, and I was feeling SO ICKY and self conscious; I convinced myself that the Prozac was indeed, despite my psychiatrist's assurance, causing me to gain weight. I've been afraid to step on the scale but this morning I finally did (first time in MONTHS) and whaddya know, weight is rock solid. Still within the same 2-3 pound range I have been for at least two years.

As a result of too much play and not enough work, I am swamped today finishing up work for my advisor, and grading final papers for the class I TAed earlier this month. Happy Monday, everyone!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Stormy Musings

Things have slowed wayyyy down after a crazy few weeks. I was traveling quite a bit at the beginning of the summer (home, conferences, visiting friends) then my mom was in town for a week for the 4th, I taught a class for a month (five hours a day, four days a week....BRUTAL) which just ended. Now I'm just finishing up grading final papers, and my advisor is out of town for the next two weeks which means FREEDOM.

The weather in College City abso-fucking-lutely sucks and I'm so over it. Weeks and weeks of brutal heat, plus almost daily rain/thunderstorms, plus out-of-this-world humidity = cranky Kaylee. Is it too much to ask for a moderately temperate climate, Midwest? Is it?!? Holy Jesus literally as I've been sitting here writing this, another thunderstorm just rolled in. GET ME OUT.

Otherwise, I suppose the biggest news from the past week is that I got a haircut (I LEAD A VERY EXCITING LIFE). My hair was sooooo long, like almost to my waist. I got four inches cut off, but of course my hair was so long to begin with that it's almost not even noticeable. I've been growing my hair out for about three years now with only periodic trims, so this was a semi milestone. Even though it doesn't really look all that different.

Each of these could probably be its own post, but as you can tell from my recent blogging habits, it would probably be overly ambitious of me to attempt that. So here are a few developments:

- I'm in a fight with my best friend. But...she doesn't know we're in a fight. In other words, I'm super annoyed with her for reasons that are too specific and complicated and longstanding to explain here, but haven't talked with her about it. So I'm stewing silently and being passive aggressive and distant. #maturity

- I'm having lots of insecurities about academic/professional/career stuff. This summer has been hard because I'm working on lots of random stuff for my advisor without any sense of compelling purpose. I'm not loving any of the projects I'm on right now, which has me feeling very ambivalent and half-hearted about my work. Plus I've gotten TWO manuscripts rejected by journals in the past month, and my self-confidence has taken a serious hit. I've been thinking about what it means to be in this field, fighting for publication and funding and tenure for the next decade at least, and questioning whether my present career/life plans are right for me.

- I joined OKCupid. God help us all.

Friday, June 17, 2016

TGIF: Anxiety Edition

Things were going just swimmingly for several weeks, but my anxiety has spiked again over the past few days and I can't quite pinpoint what triggered it. My schedule is pretty laid back - I'm doing research with my advisor, but nothing insanely strenuous or time-consuming. I've had plenty of time with friends the past couple of weeks, I love my new office and officemates, things are going generally I DON'T KNOW. I'm just having a lot of those old freaky-outy feelings again, like a nervous pit in my stomach, the same thoughts churning over and over in my mind, ruminating over what is that small red dot on my finger, was that twinge in my foot another stress fracture, what if I get another eye infection, what if the nerve pain comes back etc. etc. etc. all day long. After not touching the stuff for at least a month, I've taken Klonopin three days in a row. It definitely helps, but I hate taking it every day because (1) I worry about getting dependent/it losing effectiveness, and (2) It means my current SSRI dose is probably not sufficient, and I don't want to have to increase because WHAT IF I DON'T KNOW.

But objectively things are going well, which I try to focus on. I made a new friend who has turned into a major support for me, and I recently reconnected with an old friend from my masters program, so I'm feeling a little less lonely than I was before when a bunch of my friends moved away over the past year. I've submitted three manuscripts to journals, and have another couple in progress with my advisor so hopefully at least SOMETHING won't get rejected. I might have a sweet teaching gig set up in the fall for which I will get paid serious $$$$$ (serious $$$$$ for a poor graduate student, I's all relative....).

Fun stuff: Spent the night at my cousin's on Tuesday to drink wine and watch the Bachelorette (yo wtf is up with Chad), and went to happy hour with the aforementioned old friend on Wednesday, then yesterday tagged along on an impulsive trip to the zoo. Way too hot so we didn't last long, but it was a nice outing anyway.

A few book recommendations because in the summer, I READ:
- One of Us: The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre in Norway (nonfiction)
- Behind the Beautiful Forevers (nonfiction)
- The Narrow Road to the Deep North (fiction)
The Turner House (fiction)

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Recap and Obsessions

Hiya folks, long time no blog. DEEPEST APOLOGIES. I've just been...I don't know, not in the mood? Out of the habit? Out of practice? Anyway, life continues.

I just finished Year 1 of my PhD program (HALLELUJAH), which means several thing:
(1) I am halfway done with coursework (we have to take classes the first two years)
(2) If all goes according to plan, I am 25% done with the whole degree (I am trying to finish in four years)
(3) Last week I got to move out of the communal "first year office" (shared among all ten of us...) into my brand new beautiful QUIET office, which I only share with two others. Sometimes I just sit and listen to the silence in wonder.

It's been a crazy few weeks. The first weekend in May, I drove up to Northern State to see my best friend for a few days, went home to see my parents/celebrate my dad's birthday on the East Coast for 10 days in late May, stopped back in College City (Midwest) for one day, then flew out to a conference on the West Coast for three days. Then I got back and promptly got sick. Still super congested and hacking away, but at least it seems like this virus is finally on its way out. I HATE PLANES. I had fun (and LOVE LOVE LOVED SUNNY WEST COAST CITY) but I do need a break from traveling for a while. My next trip will be another conference back on the East Coast in August.

Anxiety has been better (other than a small spike this morning...which I'm hoping was an isolated incident). I've been on 20mg of Prozac for several weeks now and either it's really working, or my life has just gotten a lot less stressful since the end of the semester. In fact, this morning was the first time I've taken a Klonopin in weeks, which is a huge improvement from where I was for most of the spring. Anyway, good weather helps, getting back into running helps, having a social life helps, visiting Mama and Popsicle helped, so maybe things are stabilizing after all.

Big improvements on the ED front - while I was at my parents' house, my mom had cornbread. I haven't eaten cornbread in FOREVER, even though I love it. A while back I gave up all unnecessary bread products, and definitely all non-whole wheat bread products. But that cornbread was so gosh darn good, I actually got some for myself once I got back to College City and have eaten a piece with dinner every single night for the past week. And I've discovered I love Subway's flatbread sandwiches (used to only get whole wheat), so now I order those even though they are—gasp—white.

Haven't done this in a while but a random list of things I am obsessed with:
- The Bachelorette (HI CHAD)
- Stephen Colbert. I still preferred him on The Colbert Report to The Late Show, but damn is he funny either way.
- The Stanford rape victim's letter. If you haven't read it yet, DO IT. THE WHOLE THING.
- Chrissy Teigen. Follow her on Twitter, she's hilarious.
- The podcast "2 Dope Queens." Proceed with caution if you are easily offended, prude, or racist.
- Cornbread (just reiterating)
- Gnarly Head Pinot Grigio #bwg (basic white girl) (don't even curr)

Monday, May 2, 2016

Hello, Set Point Theory

**************TRIGGER WARNING**************

This article discusses weight, pounds, calories, dieting, etc. etc. etc. but is really fascinating from a biological standpoint.

After the "Biggest Loser"

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Med Updates

I know that I barely post at all these days, and when I do it tends to be ANXIETYANXIETYANXIETY and not much else. Sorry. I have truly never been hit so hard by anxiety as I have in the past year. It's really hard to describe feeling so unsafe in your own head. It has waxed and waned a bit, but since about July or so, I have pretty much been consumed by anxiety. It's not that it always so terrible, but sometimes it is and I am constantly calibrating how my brain it going to be a good day? A terrible day? Do I need to call Mama Bear? Do I need to call Dr. P? Do I need to call Dr. New Psychiatrist? Do I need to suck it up and get a grip? Do I need to pop a Klonopin?

I'm doing better lately, mostly because the meds have been a game changer. I started on Celexa back in November and things improved dramatically with a few weeks, but that also coincided with me going on winter break and my stress level dropping to approximately zero. The spring semester has definitely been better than the fall, but over the past couple months my anxiety started rising again to pretty intolerable levels again. I doubled my dose of Celexa, but was still relying pretty heavily on the Klonopin. I have the Klonopin to take "as needed," but "as needed" was pretty much daily. So, my psychiatrist (I started seeing her last fall and I ADORE HER) just switched me to Prozac. For a week, I was tapering down the Celexa, then tapering up the Prozac, and I am supposed to take Klonopin daily to keep things under control in the transition - particularly since she warned me that Prozac can be "activating" in the beginning. Anyway, I've been on the Prozac for about a week or so with no real news to report, other than a little nausea and general tummy unhappiness. I was taking 1mg Klonopin daily last week, then decided to try going without and so far so good. So, cautious fist pump.

Anyway, I have about one week left of this insane semester and then things should settle down for a bit. Much love to all, hope this BRIEF update is enough to sustain you for a little.

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