Posts Tagged ‘sensitivity’


Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

My body is freaking weird.  So this weekend I was doing fine.  Arrived home.  Feeling great.  Yesterday morning all is well.  Yesterday afternoon feeling really hard on myself for no definable reason.  Yesterday evening, I’m tearing up at a “sentimental” scene on a T.V. program that is TOTALLY IN NO WAY actually sentimental enough for tears.  Not even the premenstrual kind of tears that like to pop up during scenes with animals, or family reunions, or long distance phone commercials.  I was tearing up watching Bones, when she comes out to appear on a kids science program wearing what pretty much amounted to this:

Except with pigtails and giant white Mickey Mouse hands.  Why was I crying?  I don’t know.  It was not designed to be a particularly sentimental moment.

My body chemicals are bizarre and unpredictable to the point that I just shake my head and laugh now.  I’m just super glad that didn’t hit me a day or two earlier.  It could have made for an interesting trip if even the mundane stuff was super touching (“Oh my gosh – look at the salt!  It’s sitting with the pepper like that!  They must be friends!  That’s so beautiful!! *sniff sniff tear*”).

The return home has been okay, aside from the fact that it really does feel totally strange not to be surrounded by a posse of twelve women (and one pink-daiquiri-toting man) at all times (clearly I need to start a girl band or try out for Canada’s Next Top Model), and that I’m desperately trying to figure out how we can still be bestest friends when some of them are so darn far away.  My cats, who are SUPER snuggly at normal times, now require something stronger than all caps to describe their level of snuggliness upon my arrival home.  They are **SUPER** snuggly.  My boy just firmly refuses to be out of physical contact unless I am actively in the process of walking somewhere (in which case, he just trots along side me until I slow down enough that he can re-glom himself onto me again).  This is actually kind of normal for him, but now rather than lying along side me, he wants to be all over my face, or chest, or spread eagle over my entire body.  And it’s awesome.

It’s nice to be missed.

Whoa Nellie

Friday, June 11th, 2010

So…yes.  It is definitely the withdrawal.

I wasn’t entirely sure at first.  It’s a tough thing to decide whether a particular period of increased emotion is the result of external circumstances, or chemical changes, or just a normal passing mood.  At least, it’s tough until it runs you over like a weepy freight train and then starts gleefully juggling your remains.  At that point, it’s pretty much easy to tell.

The day before yesterday I was so physically sensitive to sensations I was getting aroused by the feel of the keyboard under my fingers.  I couldn’t keep my hands off my husband.  I spend the better part of yesterday sobbing on the floor over a mixture of reactions to an e-mail from my boss, the ignorance of my psychiatrist, the frustration of dealing with these side effects, and any number of other things.  Truly, sincerely, heart-breakingly sobbing.  My eyes were so swollen last night that I could barely see.  Today, I have been touched so deeply I’ve been brought to tears roughly every ten minutes or so.  I have cried over people hugging, people winning prizes, animals requiring rehabilitation, television commercials,… You name it, I’ve cried about it.  Because it’s… *sniff*…just so… *sniff sniff*…sweet…that… *ugly snort*…the animals …they…got help… *reaching for yet another Kleenex*

I’m like an entire pregnancy condensed into a three day period.

I think I’m going to have a party when I finally get clear of these meds.  A big old extravagant “I Can Have Normal Reactions Again” party.  You’re all invited.  And wouldn’t that be a blast?  If I was independently wealthy, I would totally fly all of you out here if you’d come and we could hold the first annual Umbrellafest.  We could drink, and talk, and do interesting things, and totally not cry over t.v. spots.

…Except for those animal ones.  Because really, the people took them in and rehabilitated them.  And they’re animals.  Dude.


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.


Sunday, March 7th, 2010
How Things Look In My Head

How Things Look In My Head

I am not always very good at bouncing back from things.  It isn’t easy to get things done at the moment.  The combination of feeling overwhelmed and burnt out makes it difficult for me to be inspired, and throwing the extra intense depression from the medication withdrawal on top of that means I’m pretty much useless these days.  There are still things to be done, though, and because I am an idiot, I keep adding them to my mental list and expecting at some point that I will do them.

You see how I am using angry language with myself there?  That is called “labeling.”  It is one of those things that I am supposed to avoid.  And you see how right now I don’t give a shit?  That is called “not bouncing back.”

I had it in my mind that I would get some of my paperwork done today.  In particular, I need to send in a bunch of receipts to me insurance company so that we can get reimbursed for the cost.  If it’s more than one calendar year since the purchase, we can no longer claim them.  And since I’ve been at this whole “treatment for depression” thing for almost exactly one year now, the time is drawing near.  I have been avoiding it for pretty much the entire 365 days so far.  It always seemed like a windfall of positive feelings must be just around the corner.  And that I could use those feelings to do good things.  Like paperwork

At any rate, to give me a chance at accomplishing this, I have spent the past several days building up to it.  I need to let the concept rattle around in there for a while, to give me time to get comfortable with it.  I need to plan, and prepare, and learn where the insurance papers go to get water so that I can sneak up behind them for the attack.  I was ready today, when the designated time came.  I laid out everything nicely before me.  I fetched a good pen.  I brought envelopes.

Problem is, I am currently terrible about holding things together when one tiny something goes emotionally wrong.  Something minor happened with my husband while doing this paperwork.  Something that made me feel momentarily like I should be having an easier time getting it done, and that the difficulties I’ve been having clearly make me defective (note that he did not make me feel this way.  I did.  His comment was perfectly innocent in any reasonable context).

And that’s it.  No paperwork, no activities, no nice evening, no tasty dinner.  I am trapped in a bubble of sadness and frustration and the occasional violent thought about putting my head through the front window (which is a new one for me…kind of scary).  I no longer feel like I am capable of completing any of that insurance stuff.  Intellectually I recognize that the situation is really the same as it was half an hour ago, and I feel like I should just be able to do it anyway, but the concept seems laughable.  I’m just not up to it right now.  Maybe tomorrow.

I just wish that I knew how to bounce back.  When I’m feeling well, I bounce just fine.  Tonight I make more of an emotional plopping sound, and then slowly start to drip on other things.

And yes, I know that there are some cognitive techniques that can help me right now.  I could be grounding, or disputing my thoughts, or any number of other things.  Some of this I actually have done.  Some I have not.

And I don’t give a shit.  Not right now.  I guess that’s the complication, isn’t it?