Posts Tagged ‘bad days’

My wellbeing is plaid.

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

It amuses me a little that strawberry picking has become such a common family activity.  Why is it that manual labour becomes fun once you’re charged to do it?  Is this along the lines of Build-A-Bear stores, or the self-serve check-out that was always so packed when they first came out?  And I fall prey myself.  I would pick strawberries.  I will admit that there was some perverse sort of novel enjoyment in scanning my own groceries. …And I was a cashier for more than six years while I was in school!   Part of me wants to stuff things in a bear and choose its clothes.  I can’t help but feel like I should capitalize on this and have somebody come bring their kids to weed my garden for an hour.  I will gladly give them a basket of strawberries once they’re done.   Better yet, for a small extra fee they can rent a mop and enjoy the Family Cleaning Experience.  It builds character, I hear.

Things have been mostly good around these parts.  My negative moods really do seem to be concentrated now into pervasive sweeping unhappiness on certain days.  I’m trying to discern some sort of pattern.  There’s been huge progress in my overall state of being, which is fantastic (there are far more good days than bad now).  But I do feel occasionally a little like I’ve made it almost to the end of some unbearably long video game, and am sure that I’m just about to save the princess/world/marmot, except that I’ve talked to everyone I’m supposed to talk to, and collected everything I’m supposed to collect, and explored every scrap of terrain I can get to, and cannot f$@$ing figure out what I’m supposed to do next.  And everyone else seems to have completed it so easily they can’t remember how.  And there are no walkthroughs.  And my computer is really a hammer-head shark.

Currently my top bets are on some combination of blood sugar levels, general fatigue, social contact, and alcohol consumption.  Except that aside from the blood sugar (which generally balances out my mood as soon as it’s corrected anyway), these things seem to connect to my state of being indirectly as best.  Sometimes I’m tired on the days that are bad.  Sometimes I’m more tired, but I’m fine.  I feel perfectly normal (okay…maybe a little more flashy than normal) when I have a glass of wine with friends.  Sometimes the next day I’m a train wreck.  Sometimes not?  I’ll have to continue my research.  It sounds like getting smashed and staying up all night eating cupcakes would be a good start.

I’ll inform my husband.

Speaking of the husband, my Sappy Syrupy Warm Fuzziness Quotient requires that I mention that we apparently blew my therapist’s mind a little at my last session.  She had asked me as homework to have my husband and I come up with some 1 year and 5 year goals, separate of one another, and then compare, and discuss, and create some joint goals we could both work towards.  We’re already pretty good communicators and pretty aware of what we want from our lives and the changes we want to make to get there, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to get some things down on paper, and was curious to see where we might diverge.  So I made up my list during the day.  He did his at work and e-mailed it to me to print off so we could talk about it later.  We each came up with around 10-15 items.

…The same freaking 10-15 items.

Seriously.

We’re both very willful, independent people in our ways, so in joint ventures we will compromise with each other of course, but neither of us would bend our own individual goals just to be more like the other.  We just also happen to be willful people who are pretty perfectly matched.

His List – “lose more weight”

My List – “lose some weight”

His List – “exercise more”

My List – “more regular exercise”

His List – “continue to meditate”

My List – “continue with regular meditation”

His List – “reduce overall workload”

My List – “obtain a better balance of work and home life”

His List – “launch my own business / work independently”

My List – “start own business if I decide I’d like to try that”

His List – “don’t waste time”

My List – “find a way to keep our natural inclinations from interfering with our ability to do things that are fun, rich, and rewarding”  (which, upon discussion, means exactly the same thing)

Some of them (like paying off the debts) were even more identical, but also more obvious choices.  The only exceptions were that he placed exercise at the one year mark while I put it in the five (though he already exercises very regularly, so that’s probably an easier goal for him to get to), and that I also included getting myself back into some form of employment (which would be irrelevant to him) and deciding whether or not we want kids.

So my therapist reads over our lists, and looks at me with the most obscure expression on her face.

“Do you know how often this happens??” she asks me.  I am not 100% sure what she is referring to, and so am hesitant to comment.

“Never.  That’s how often.”

Apparently couples often have very contradictory goals (spend more time with my husband, spend more time out with the guys, etc.).  I think we broke her a little.  Really.  She sputtered for a while before collecting herself.   Perhaps she didn’t entirely believe what I had told her in the weeks before?  Are so many couples so different in what they want to accomplish in life?

There are many areas of my life in which I feel like I could have made better choices along the way.  My relationship is not one of them.  We have our challenges like everyone else does, but we’re exactly where we’re supposed to be.

Plus, it’s a rare guy who will recognize one of the Bad Days and encouragingly walk his wife back and forth between two restaurants with no trace of impatience until she comes to a comfortable decision about what she wants to eat.  Because he knows that’s exactly what I needed right then.

Reaching

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

In research news, if you ever happen to meet me in person and I am determinedly reaching up and to the right, this is why.

Sometimes I cheat in writing here.  What comes out here is mostly the product of my best hours.  If I am feeling inspired and energized a little, I can write here easily.  If I know that it’s been a rougher stretch, I will most often try to find the best little window I can and force myself to write then.  I’m trying to get to it at least a few times a week. …But there are days, like today, when the self-imposed deadline is steamrollering towards me and I would like to politely decline its invitation to run me over.

Today was not a particularly happy day.  The last few haven’t been.  I have come to accept this as my current normal, but truth be told, I don’t think it’s even really coming from me.  I think it may have a lot more to do with the roller coaster of Luvox dosage I’ve been on recently.  I know the medication changes affect me like crazy.  So things are going to be a little rocky for a while.

It’s tough to write in these moments, though, because all I want to do is curl up somewhere protected and sit there until I feel better.  I want to lie on the couch, and pull a blanket over me, and hug my cat (who is very good at hugging).  Either that or hug my blanket and pull a cat over me.  That sounds good too.

The most comfortable place he could find right then, apparently.

I do not like my psychiatrist.  His solution to my super-sensitivity to the Luvox, by the way, is to just keep taking it forever.  This medication that makes me sleepy, and sometimes queasy, and makes my emotions volatile, and does not help things at all.  I told him I will be trying again to wean off.  Then we proceeded to his complete lack of understanding that sometimes it takes me a while to work myself up to taking care of stressful things (like the aforementioned paperwork), or that when I’ve extended myself to do them anyway, I sometimes need some stress-free time to recover.

The psychologist I used to work with was totally different.  I really felt like she understood where I was coming from, and had compassion for the challenges I was facing.  I had to write her this year to ask for a tax receipt.  I felt really bad about it because it would be extra work she wasn’t paid for, and had I known better I could have kept the original receipts she gave me.  I was nervous that she would be put out by my asking.  This is the first paragraph of what she wrote back to me:

You see, Mister Psychiatrist?  This makes me feel better.  Take notes.

My psychiatrist is…not like that.  We ended the session with him telling me that he will not agree to help me get the disability reimbursement I was hoping for, and making me feel (unintentionally, I’m sure) like a complete idiot for asking.  I was hesitant to ask, but apparently lots of people with extended depression are able to claim it.  The criteria do mention some crazy low-functioning examples, but also things like taking a really long time compared to regular people to make decisions, or follow through on goals.  It took me a freaking hour a few months ago just to change my cats’ water.  That sounds like a long time to me.  So I figured I was silly to be worrying that he would make me feel dumb for asking.  I figured it was one of those times like the e-mail to my psychologist.  Nope.  He sort of laughed at me.  I left the office in tears.

So no, today has not been a good day.  And I am not always great these days at shaking off the bad stuff to focus on the good.  It sort of clings to me like negative emotion plastic wrap.  But not the regular cling wrap stuff that only forms little negative emotion balls with itself.  The press and seal stuff, where you can turn dishes upside-down and all the sadness won’t fall out.  Like that.

I once read a quote from a book by Margaret Attwood that went

“’Good egg,’ he says. Small things like good eggs delight him, small things like bad eggs depress him. He’s easy to please, but difficult to protect.”

I feel like this sums me up pretty well.  I get really and truly pleased by small fortunes, and in a stress and judgment-free world, I would be the sunniest person you’d ever meet.  …But it is a very delicate, innocent, vulnerable happiness.  In a sensitive moment, it doesn’t take much for me to be totally derailed.  I am derailed at the moment.

Derailed to the left.

I’m down with OPP (Assuming, of course, that he was singing about overly pensive ponderings. Yeah. You know me.)

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

I always seem to feel fifty times worse about things when I have to have a conversation with some official person about it.  And there are a lot more of those than I would have imagined.  I now have a case worker from work, and a disability management person from work, and a rehabilitation worker for the profession in my broader region, and a rehabilitation worker for the profession in my local area, and a union representative in charge of disabilities, and three people from different sides of the Mental Health Association, and a family doctor, and a mindfulness instructor, and a mindfulness consultant, and a psychologist, and a psychotherapist I am in theory on a wait list for, and a psychiatrist who I haven’t yet met and may get back to us in a month or two to say that they’re not actually accepting my referral.  Of my not-insignificant possy, only the psychologist really knows much about what’s going on, and even she is clueless to most of what happens involving the others.   Most of the others just ask about symptoms and send me paperwork.  With surprising frequency.

I don’t know if it’s just having to detail over and over all the ways in which I am not currently or was not previously “normal,” or having to focus for an hour on what’s still wrong and/or really difficult in my life, but it’s really draining returning these phone calls.  Tough to keep my equilibrium and feel like I’m still doing well.  Maybe on some level I feel like I need to be doing worse because if I seem to have it too together I’m worried that they’ll withdraw support.  I’m still in need of that support.  It’s the reason I’ve been able to improve.   Sometimes I feel like I’m going to sound too happy on the phone one of these days and men in uniform are going to come crashing through my door and drag me kicking and screaming back to work.  The Happy Police.

I had planned to make a very positive post today.  I even wrote part of it before my stomach decided that it was lunch time NOW (that’s an interesting side effect of having both appetite suppression and increased appetite going on at once.  Full, full, full, RAVENOUS.  It’s kind of like duck, duck, goose, except with extra snarling and somewhat more crumbs).   But, I’m at the computer at this moment, beside the phone, which recently rang with someone on the other end who needed to discuss in detail all the things that have been difficult and put me on a waiting list.  It’s like having someone call every other day to get a vivid account of what I look like in a bathing suit under florescent lighting.  Oh, just great, I assure you.  Thanks.

I’m doing well, though.  Very well, really.  I’ll give my happy yay me post when I’m feeling a little more yay.  …And a little less….me?

Okay, maybe not the world, but definitely at least my neighbourhood

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Feeling a little bit down this morning (that seems to be a pattern for me on Mondays since I’ve been off).  I guess it’s a rainbow striped bra and yellow underwear kind of day.

Maybe I’ll force myself to take a walk in the World’s Tackiest HatTM.

Actually, I suppose it can’t be a bad pun if I’m no longer allowed to label it

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Sad days seem harder now that some days are going well.  That seems twisted.  My lows now are nowhere near where they would have been a few months ago.  There’s pressure now though, and a glimmer of hope.  Now when something sends me into a tailspin I wonder if maybe I’ve misjudged my improvement and I really can’t handle these things any better at all.  Maybe I’ve just been lucky.  Maybe in trying to remove stress from my life, I’ve simply managed to avoid what would normally set me off.  Returning to my “normal” existence becomes dread-worthy again.  Terribly unproductive as a line of thinking.  I will freely acknowledge this.  I also may curl up under the blankets for a while.

It’s similar with the meditation.  The whole point, they say, is to aim to be fully accepting of anything that happens, and to gradually learn to give up labels like “good” and “bad.”  I’m not so good at that yet.  I mean…I’m not so….um…. Shit.  Some days things in that area seem to be going well, and some days they don’t.  It’s funny, though.  I read a chapter in the meditation book yesterday about how wonderfully effective this can be for various conditions.  They gave a whole pile of experimental research data that shows marked improvements after meditations, and stories of various individual people and how meditation worked wonders for them.  …And then they cap off the section (seriously) with how generally people who really believe that meditation will work for them tend to have a harder time of things than people who are open to it but skeptical and unconvinced.  Thanks for the unproductivity chapter, then.

They also talk a lot about how the best way to get results with mindfulness is to stop trying.  This might be a stumbling block for me.  I’m a very trying person.  …Okay, so maybe I’m just a person who can’t always resist a bad pun.  I suppose perhaps that makes them both true.  I do sincerely wonder about my ability to dedicate myself to doing this, holding onto my glimmer of hope that my life can be different, but stop actively wanting it to work.  Maybe I’ll open an even more effective meditation program, in which people pay me large sums of money, and I promise them absolutely no results.

(I take Paypal…)