Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Clawing Back, Planning Ahead

Still keeping on keeping on. I hesitate to type this and jinx it, but I think I may have a slightly better handle on things than I did a week ago. Actually, I'm positive I have a better handle on things because I am no longer crying every other minute, but the real question is whether it will last. At least my period's over (and it was relatively normal, despite being over a week late) so maybe any hormonally-induced mood swings will subside for a bit.

And I need to stop thinking like that. I need to stop thinking that the thoughts and feelings are entirely out of my control, because they aren't. Somewhat, but not entirely.

So here's what I'm doing:

(1) Thanks to those smart wonderful ladies who commented on my last post, I am definitely upping my Celexa dose again. The tapering just occurred to me as an afterthought as I was typing that post, but your responses made me rethink how critical a factor it may have been. So I'm back up to 20mg (just three days so far) and will e-mail my psychiatrist sometime soon.

(2) This week I am starting a mindfulness class. I know, you're all like EWW LAME SHUT UP YOU HIPPIE but seriously! It is not something I would normally ever do, but a) it's being offered for free to the staff at the clinic where I work, b) my supervisor is letting me count the hours as "work," and c) seriously, what else do I have to do on Thursdays 4-6pm? We had to buy a workbook and read the first few chapters before the first class this week, and I'm already kind of intrigued by the approach. I know "mindfulness" is kind of a buzzword these days, so I suppose it can't hurt to see what all the fuss is about.

(3) I am still abstaining from any formal exercise, but I am finding small non-strenuous ways to fit some activity into my days so that I at least don't feel like a complete loser. Because regimented, intense daily exercise doesn't seem to be in the cards for me anytime soon, I am working to make exercise a more natural and fluid part of my routines. Like instead of driving to campus, I'll bike or walk. And instead of sitting around after dinner feeling sorry for myself, I'll take a stroll around the block. So this way I'm not sitting on my butt all day, and there's not this black-and-white divide between "exercise days" and "non-exercise days."

(4) I haven't called Dr. A yet about the nerve pain, but I will if it doesn't get better in the next couple weeks. Maybe by the time I see my College City doc on June 13. I don't want to cry wolf if this is just a flare that needs time to settle, but I also refuse to sit around in misery if there is a solution out there.

I just feel like I need to have a plan. I cannot sit back and let myself sink down to where I was at my lowest. I am still in a better place than I was back then, both physically and emotionally, and I need to leverage that before things get truly out of my hands.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Pitch Black

I have been trying to post but really have nothing to say other than that I am seriously and profoundly depressed. This isn't even anxiety, which is more commonly an issue for me; this is pure depression. Like sitting in a pitch-black room with no way out. I don't know what happened, exactly, although it seems like there are a lot of potential triggers that have converged to plunge me headfirst in dark and horrible place. Most of the time I have no appetite, feel sick to my stomach, and am totally exhausted. I pretty much hold back tears all day long, and then once I get home I cry and cry. I am crying right now, in fact, and couldn't even exactly tell you why.

The nerve pain is definitely a factor, to a certain extent. I think it may have been the trigger that shifted my mindset from I am comfortable and safe and okay to Nothing is okay, something is seriously wrong with me, and I can never get away from it. And that morphed into fears of being alone forever, because I am a terrible cranky mean person when I am in pain, and who wants to be around someone like that? Plus I cannot exercise, so I feel fat and antsy and irritable. PLUS my schedule has changed dramatically so that I have much less contact with friends and much more time alone in an office. So I am lonely and frustrated and bored and terribly terribly sad.

Something else to consider is that I tapered down my Celexa dose from 20mg to 10mg about a month ago, which I didn't think would have such a huge effect but maybe that is contributing. I was really looking forward to not needing meds, and really thought I could do it, but maybe I just can't. It scares me how fast I've fallen, and how hard it is to remember what happiness felt like. Haven't decided yet, but I may bump my dose back up soon. This spell has come on so quickly and so overwhelmingly that it almost feels chemical, like something in my brain has shifted causing changes above and beyond the effects of any external factors.

I made an appointment with my College City gyn last week, but cancelled because I had my period. Now I have to wait another three weeks to see him. He isn't a pain expert, but he is a good doctor and I want to discuss what's happening to me hormonally and what the fuck I can do about it. I truly believe that my hormones are still out of whack and are causing many of the problems I'm having, from the uptick in pain to the acne to the depression and exhaustion. I am trying so hard to make myself understand this, and to believe it, and to convince myself that this will take TIME and patience and cannot be fixed overnight, but can be fixed. I so desperately need to believe this, because things cannot stay the way they are.

So I am not doing well, but I am here and trying and still have enough insight to know that things have been bad before and gotten better, so maybe they will again.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


I promised a better update, but today I just can't. I am having a really hard time. I am not myself.

Things will get better. But right now I am really not okay.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Hormonal Yuckiness

Hey all, long time no blog. My mom has been in town and we had a pretty busy weekend. My cousin graduated from college on Friday so we had a bunch of family stuff going on, but we also got a lot of solo mom-daughter time, which I loved and sorely needed. She left yesterday and now I'm totally bumming about going back to work and school. My summer class starts this afternoon, and between research and clinic I'm working over 40 hours this week. Ugh boo shoot me now.

Clinic is fine, I'm just bored there. This is not the type of work I want to do. I'm not very good at it, and it doesn't feel like a good use of my time or talents. Lately it's been sucking all the energy and inspiration out of me, and I still have another three months to go. I'm still working at the university research center, but the one guy I really enjoyed hanging out with there just quit. Plus, due to weird funding issues this summer, I'm not doing as much research with my advisor, which has been my main source of intellectual stimulation and inspiration. So I'm bored and irritable and entirely underwhelmed.

Sorry for this, I think I'm just hormonal and cranky. My period is over a week late and I'm in full-on PMS mode. Something is definitely up with my system; my period hasn't been this late in almost two years, the pelvic pain is still flaring, my face is breaking out, and I've been sad and teary for two days. I was supposed to see my College City gyn this week, but I will probably reschedule because I don't want to have my period when I see him (eww sorry tmi).

Yuck. What is wrong with me? Now I'm crying at work and I don't know why. Maybe a better update tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Blue Teeth and Friend Issues

YOU GUYS. I'm bored. I'm at work for another hour, then I'm going to my other job, and it's raining, and I'm hungry but I left my lunch at home (oh calm yourselves, I'll pick it up on my way), and I have to do HIPAA training at clinic this afternoon between patients (shouldn't this have happened, like, when I first started working there?) and DID I MENTION IT'S RAINING? Also I just ate a blue raspberry Airhead, so I suspect my teeth are blue. I would go check in the bathroom mirror, but I've already gone to the bathroom approximately 6 times this morning, and I don't want my boss to think I have bladder issues. In conclusion, I am self-conscious about going to check in the mirror, but I'm also self-conscious about possibly having blue teeth, so it looks like I'm going to have to sit here with my lips glued for another hour. Make sense?


Random friend issues:

Exhibit A: One of my friends is getting SUPER DUPER needy and intense, and I'm not sure how to handle it. She's been having issues with her roommates and wants to get away from them, but I'm sorry. I cannot hang out with her three nights in a row. No offense to her; I'm just not that social. I can't hang out with anyone three nights in a row. So I feel bad about declining, and am trying to be really honest with myself about: am I declining because I'm lame and sad and have a tendency to get irrationally nervous about socializing? Or is it because I'm being kind to myself, accepting that I'm not in a fantastic place right now, and maybe need some alone time?

Exhibit B: Remember this guy who was a little too persistent for his own good? Well, it looks like I've successfully repelled him because he hasn't really been texting me that much anymore. But now, you guessed it, I feel like a mean, awful, horrible, heartless person. The one time I agreed to hang out with him in the past month, he showed up bearing a gift: a pen that he'd gotten CUSTOM ENGRAVED WITH MY NAME ON IT. And naturally, my reaction was to never contact him again.

UGH. Why  is it that having friends who care about me and want to spend time with me makes me unbelievably stressed out and irritated? Am I human?? And how can I possibly reconcile this with the fact that I sometimes feel super isolated and lonely?

Anyway. My mom gets here tomorrow for a long weekend. My cousin is graduating from college (different university than me, but in the same city) so we have a bunch of family festivities planned. I'm a little nervous about how things will go with the pain, but am going to keep an open mind and try to have a good time.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Weekend Update

I just finished a Mother's Day FaceTime sesh with my parents. The usual: my mom had to be dragged inside from weeding her garden and my dad fell asleep halfway through. My mom was super confused about the difference between FaceTime and Snapchat, so we spent some time reviewing that. (And I mandated that she is NEVER EVER allowed to get Snapchat.) My mom just got her first iPhone this past Christmas, and still can't figure out how to change the default weather forecast from Cupertino. So, baby steps.

I was pretty worried about having a completely open weekend to fret about my health and stuff, so I tried to fill it up with activities. Yesterday I went for a long, leisurely walk in the morning (no pain yesterday, but I had some with walking today, unfortunately) then drove downtown to work in the food bank for a few hours. It was a pretty slow day, probably because the weather was so nice, but I got the chance to chat with several people from the city who were either picking up food or volunteering, which is always very cool. I'm totally my mother's daughter when it comes to chatting with strangers; I literally cannot not make conversation with people, whether it's in a cab, an elevator, a doctor's waiting room, a coffee shop, etc. It leads to a lot of interesting conversations with a lot of interesting characters. Yesterday I met the nicest guy—a vet who spent several years at Fort Hood; he wasn't there for either of the shootings in the past couple years, but had many friends who were. He had LOTS to say about the state of the VA, mental health care, the military, etc. Very cool guy to meet!


After that I got a late lunch with my cousin, who lives over by the food bank. We scarfed down some Panera and soaked up the sunshine (My nose got a little pink) for a couple hours, then I dropped her off and came home. I had about an hour to myself before heading out for drinks with some friends. Overall a long and lovely day, and I was mostly able to keep my nagging worries shoved to the very back of my mind.

This morning I tried going for a walk again, but the pain was really bothering me so I called it quits early. Then I came home a did a Pilates video on youtube, which made my abs BURN LIKE THE SUN. Then I showered, ate breakfast, got weepy and sad and stressed out for about five minutes, pulled it together, stress-cleaned my apartment, felt better, went to the mall to exchange a shirt I bought a couple weeks ago for a different color  (I am suddenly obsessed with shopping! What is wrong with me? I can't afford this!), stopped at a coffee shop to research PhD programs/drink coffee, debated buying a scone for my afternoon snack, bought the scone, ATE the scone, felt okay about it, started to drive home, realized it was too sunny and beautiful to be inside, stopped off at campus, strolled around for a while (with much less pain than the morning, oddly), then came home and did the FaceTime thing. Not sure why I felt the need to fit that all into one sentence.


More random updates from my first weeks of summer: My new thing for dinner is to stir fry some veggies and mix them into a frozen pasta dinner. Pasta is a HUGE HUGE fear food for me, mostly because the portions in restaurants are usually enormous and I have no concept of what is a reasonable amount to eat. And non-whole wheat carbs have always seemed off-limits to me. It had been so long since I'd actually eaten pasta that I just convinced myself (and everyone else) that I didn't like it. Well, turns out, in a calorie-controlled setting in the safety of my own kitchen, I actually like pasta quite a bit. This week I've had tortellini and ravioli, believe it or not. I guess the next step would be to actually make it myself, like from a package rather than an individualized frozen dinner, and then even order it in a restaurant, but I'm not there yet.

dinner tonight

So, all in all an okay/busy weekend. Still working on staying positive, still working on kicking this damn ED.


Friday, May 9, 2014

Lazy Friday

Evenin', folks. I am looking forward to a big fat lazy Friday night at home doing absolutely NOTHING but bingeing on Netflix and reading my glorious, juicy, real-life political thriller.

total page-turner

In other news, I had a hilarious patient at clinic today. He was upset about the, erm, side effects of his Cymbalta. Specifically that his "little soldier don't salute no more, if you know what I mean." When he blurted out that gem, I absolutely DIED. It was relatively unprofessional. Sorry. I don't handle penis references well.

Regarding other stuff, I am okay. Not good, just okay. More okay than I was earlier this week, but definitely not as happy as I've been for the past several months. And that is kind of tough to swallow. Happiness rocks, you know? And I was finally there after being so miserable for so long. I'm not miserable right now, not really, but I'm not happy either. I'm antsy and anxious and scared. I am back to white-knuckling it: refusing to let myself get bogged down in what if's, working long days to avoid too much alone time, and telling myself five thousand times a day that it will be okay, this isn't forever, you've gotten better before and you can get better again


The nerve pain is still bothering me, although it has definitely eased off a tad. And it's still nothing like where it used to be, which is good. Dr. P helped a lot when I saw her on Wednesday by assuring me that she believes this is temporary, that I've just aggravated things with the overexercise, and that there will likely be a time in my life when this is all over. She used the metaphor of an old leg injury I have from years ago. It started bugging me back when I was a wee thing running cross country in high school, and it took several months of cross training and physical therapy to heal. But even to this day, if I overdo it or forget to stretch, that damn leg still bothers me. So maybe the pelvic pain will be something like that: something that needs to be managed and may flare from time to time, but will be largely absent from my daily experience. I really needed to hear that and really needed to believe it.

Because sometimes I just need some optimism, you know? I'm not the best at staying positive myself, especially about this, and sometimes I just really need someone else to channel some positivity on my behalf. My mom really sucks at this, which is unfortunate because she's usually the first one I call when I'm in a panic about it. Her response is usually sometime like "Oh no, I hope it isn't starting up again." Not. Helpful.

So, I'm hanging in there. Happy Friday, everyone.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Feeling Sorry for Myself

Sorry for the dumb post yesterday that said absolutely nothing. Writing about what is actually going on feels too overwhelming and depressing and real. I've been having pain for about a week now, and it it freaking me the fuck out. Yesterday was just about the worst day I've had in a long time; not even painwise, but emotionally. I was literally crying nonstop - in the shower, brushing my teeth, at my desk at work, in the car, everywhere.

I've been much, much worse. The pain is maybe a 3 or 4 where it used to be an 8. So, it's not the end of the world. And I think things felt a tad better today as I was walking to work, so that's definitely a good sign. I haven't exercised in several days, which has been insanely hard and frustrating, but I'm doing it because I know that I don't have a choice. Looks like there's not going to be much working out for the foreseeable future, which pisses me off because it's finally beautiful outside and I'm finally back in shape after a tough winter, but this is the way it has to be right now.

I am a different person when I am in pain. I am grouchy and lonely and mad at the world. I don't want to be around people; I don't even want to think about other people. I didn't realize how well things were going until they started to get bad again. I consider myself a pretty tough person, but I know this: I know that I can't go through this again. There is only so much I can take, and I've already taken it. I've used up all the reserves I have, you know? I'm spent.

It scares me how easily this tipped me back over the edge. I was an absolute wreck yesterday. My eyes were swollen and my skin burning from all the crying. After about 6 months of being really really happy, it took about 6 days to plunge me right back into that old, dark place. If I was going to be in pain, I didn't want to be alive.

Things are better today. I'm remembering that I had 6 really good months, and that there are some logical explanations for the recent uptick. That if I'm really honest with myself, I can see that it wasn't completely out of nowhere. That the exercise was getting out of control, that I saw the warning signs and ignored them, and that my body is still extremely fragile after so many years of starving.

I am not good at being patient with myself, or with anything. I'm feeling really pissed off at the world, wallowing in self-pity over the fact that I have to put up with this shit after everything I've already been through. It's not fair and it sucks and why does everything have to be so hard? I am sick of having to constantly reevaluate things: my weight, my exercise routine, by intake, what is okay and what isn't, what is healthy and what is sick. I am so fucking tired of having to restructure my understanding of myself and the world around me, and what is fair and what isn't.

Sorry to dump this on you. I'll get through it, I have before and things were much worse then, but I'm tired and pissed and needed to get this out.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Observations and Happenings

Happy Cinco de Mayo, all. Unfortunately because I am now a grown-up and no longer in elementary school, I will not be attending any ridiculous/sombrero-filled/culturally-inept fiestas. Instead I am at work being bored/blogging/obsessively checking to see if grades have been posted yet.

Some random Things of Note in my life:

- College City got warm FAST this year. What happened to the polar vortex? I need more shorts.

- Speaking of, for some reason I've been obsessed with shopping lately, which is totally unlike me. New clothes don't get me super excited, especially now that I am now size X instead of X-2. But this past week it's like I'm a woman on a mission, and the mission entails new tank tops, a dress, the aforementioned shorts, sandals, and nice-ish flats with moderate arch support that can dress up jeans. Note that I haven't actually bought any of the above because I'm indecisive and weird, but they all feel like really urgent needs

you guys like?

- I had a few doozies at clinic last week. One girl walked in still bloody after getting beaten up by her boyfriend. One guy was addicted to crack, dope, and painkillers. (AND he was an alcoholic.) One girl had been trafficked from Mexico. One guy had just been diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. Did I mention they don't even PAY me for this job?

- For several months I've been in an anti-nail polish phase, which ended last night. Now my nails are this bright pinkish orange color that seems a tad tween-ish, but I'm feeling it. Toes are the same color too, but you're not getting a picture of my feet. Sorry.

- Oatmeal has been a go-to snack for me for a while, but I'm thinking I may need to rethink that in the summer. Ice cream? Smoothies? Lately I've been so apathetic about food I can't really get excited about any of it. Maybe I could actually start drinking things with calories? Juice? Soda? UGH I DON'T WANT TO THINK ABOUT THIS.

Books of the week:
- Coming of Age on Zoloft: How Antidepressants Cheered Us Up, Let Us Down, and Changed Who We Are by Katherine Sharpe - Well-written and provocative. Overall I found it interesting, but I do have a bit of a problem with a non-mental health professional making sweeping generalizations about the state of diagnoses and care. She's a great writer and certainly did her homework, but something about this book rubbed me the wrong way.
- Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Tribe in American History by S.C. Gwynne - Beautifully written and unexpectedly riveting, considering I had very little interest in the subject matter prior to reading. I just happened to read the back of this book at a Barnes & Noble one day and decided to give it a try. SO glad I did.


- Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin - I'm only about 100  pages into this one, but it's a total page-turner. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Hard Day

Having a hard day. I've been in some pain this week. I know we went through this last month, and I know there are a couple of logical reasons this shouldn't freak me out as much as it does. But I'm scared and frustrated and pleasedon'tletmestartcryinginStarbucksplease. I know I need to cut down on the exercise. I am trying so hard to do this right. Please just let me be okay until I get there.