Anxiety High

Hello folks! It’s been a long time. My anxiety level has been through the roof. I couldn’t breathe recently, and I was trying to decide whether to attribute it to allergies or anxiety. My kiddo was diagnosed with bipolar disorder (in addition to the ADHD) in mid-December. More on that here. It looks like rapid cycling bipolar and may, in fact, be rapid cycling bipolar, despite the med manager’s assertion that such a thing is rare. But even on medication, my son has extreme highs and lows throughout the day. And we’ve suddenly stopped one medication and added one more, then added an old one to the mix.

As a result, my kiddo has been sleeping since 8:30 last night. Good thing we didn’t give him the sleeping pill on top of the other because who knows what would have happened then. He can’t seem to wake up fully enough to give me a full response as to how he’s doing. Which is not a good sign. We are going into urgent care just to check on his vitals and get a note for missing the last five days of work/school. I may lose my job, and am fully prepared to do so. Well, not fully prepared. But as prepared as anyone can be. It’s going to be stressful until I find something new if they don’t want me back.

So. Four trips to the ER/psychiatric hospital since December, four safety plans, one lockbox for pills, and a partridge in a pear tree. Endless med changes. Just trying to keep kiddo stable has been challenging. He is alright for a few hours but will get manic, and then around the time the sun shifts, his mood also shifts. The werewolf that is depression comes out at night, ready to feed. In addition, he has not been physically well, as the medications affect his stomach. I was told to decrease the dose of the one but add the other, and now we have a very knocked out child.

So. Urgent care and perhaps Health and Welfare to see if any special types of Medicaid apply in this situation. I wish they would get back to me on my job status as I need to apply for programs based on their decision.

And the people at work like to talk. I know they do. And if I come back, they will be talking about me. And it bothers me, but in light of all these other stressors, I’m going to have to let it slide off my back.

When my ex came to stay with us in December (trust me, folks, it was as fun as it sounds), he was very concerned about our kid going to college. Right now, we are focusing on just getting this poor kid through junior high. He’s had so many absences and is so very far behind. But we will start working on homework today as soon as he wakes up. We’ve had a lot of fish to fry lately, and frankly, it stinks. But I love my kid and wouldn’t have him any other way. Thanks for reading.

Getting Wiggy With It

Gah. I made the mistake of drinking Pepsi late yesterday evening and the caffeine has woken me up in the middle of the night. My left knee is aching terribly. Despite this, I am mentally running a marathon. I have cut back considerably on coffee consumption during the day to avoid causing myself more than the usual amount of anxiety. Now I am cursing my own stupidity.

I am also extremely restless on this new medication. My fight or flight has always been set to flight. As of late, it is constantly a cameo and sometimes decides to usurp the starring role in the little film called my life. This is not helpful in a call center position where I am essentially tethered to a computer for 8 hours a day.  I take anti-anxiety meds, they are not helping. I need to start exercising outside of work, which I agree would ease the anxiety a tad. But it’s certainly not a cure-all.

So instead I write diatribes in the middle of the night and think about how much work is still to be done in the garage. I’ve been here a month tomorrow and the amount of stuff I need to purge is still overwhelming. Anyone want a snowglobe? Or perhaps a snowman, I seem to have an army of the things.

I also love the bipolar disorder and the associated lack of sleep. It exacerbates the anxiety a great deal. Because when you have more time awake, you have more time to worry about things. Like migrant children in detention centers and all those implications. Like Medicaid expansion in Idaho. Like whether I’ll make it working full-time long term or if I will lose it one day. Those sorts of things.

I need EAP. Desperately, desperately. I have become desensitized to many types of calls but some of them still get to me. I also have these lovely pre-existing mental conditions which make stress hard to cope with. So my hopes of working in any other type of call center are essentially dashed. I would really excel at a job concerning documentation but am having a hard time finding one that I am qualified for.

So I sit in limbo. I would love to have a writing career but since I mainly write weird stuff in the middle of the night, I don’t think that will happen. I need structure. I need to come home from work and actually work on my side pursuits instead of becoming a potato. I need to write about the things I watch as well, that film blog is really just sitting there like a dud. I also need to READ A BOOK. Like the kind that I checked out from the library that is sitting unopened by my bed. Maybe it will inspire me to, I don’t know, write my own book or something.

I start writing books, get 25 pages or so in, and then stop. It seems to be a metaphor for my life. Now I’m going to go look at jobs I don’t have the guts to apply for and maybe try to figure out how to exercise without waking the entire household. I guess I could take an Ativan and sleep. Instead, I will likely make more coffee and continue to wig out.HPXAKL%jT2yLMc6RhxN+TQ

 

Insomniaaaaaaahhhhhh

Hello Interwebz,

Here I am again. The cat woke me up at 2 AM for food, which is when my body also decided that we were up for the day. I haven’t written a blog specifically for this site in a while. Which is funny, because I vacillate between bliss and a state of anxiety. The bliss is for when I decide to be ignorant that I am operating my life at a $500 per month deficit. The anxiety encapsulates that financial fact and everything else that’s going wrong in my life.

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Who could say no to this face?

So what has happened to make me attempt to get by on -$500 a month? I am glad you asked. There was the snafu with my ex regarding his retirement–to summarize, he read the divorce decree wrong and was giving me more retirement money than I was actually entitled to per month. So there went approximately $250. Because I trusted that he would not possibly make such a mistake, I took on an extra $90 worth of cell phone bill–before, he was generously paying for it but I thought eh. May as well consolidate, you know. And then there was the issue of paying him back for what he had erroneously given me.

Which brings me to MEDICAL COSTS. To pay the ex back I took on all of my daughter’s medical bills for a period of time. She had a tonsillectomy in that period of time after recurrent strep throat, lucky us. I also spend $350 every three months on psychiatric medication. Which is clearly more than I can reasonably afford.

I have a call center job that doesn’t pay as much as I need it to, though I enjoy my work in helping the deaf and hard-of-hearing. I could drop benefits I suppose and make up some of the difference that way, but with having OCD and bipolar I, that is perhaps not the best solution. I would try to get a different job but this one suits my disability well. As for actual disability, I am (according to the government) not disabled enough to merit it despite the comorbidity of my disorders.

Though I don’t pay pet rent for my two lovely cats, one of them has had unforeseen health complications. Mona Lisa will eventually need surgery before her stomatitis makes her unable to eat. They need special food, and they seem to poop a lot. This has made my pet care bill enormous (though pet insurance helps a great deal).

Also, RENT AIN’T JUST A MUSICAL. I am currently paying over a thousand a month for my apartment. Basically, that plus utilities make up most of what I make at my present job per month. I would have a roommate but well, a roommate situation has not served us well in the recent past. Before this, my daughter and I were living with my mom, grandmother, and my mom’s best friend, which essentially four moms for my daughter and TOO MANY HENS A CLUCKIN’.

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My small, cluttered living room and my cosplayer daughter

And then there are taxes, on which I managed to underreport my income because I forgot about the spousal support I was receiving for a few months. Egregious error but also entirely innocent, it came through an allotment and I just forgot about it. My amended tax bill, with preparation: $900, most of which is being sent back to the government. Ouch.

Oh, and to make matters worse, the student loan has reared its ugly head again. ACK.

TAH-DAH. the reasons for my present situation. The reason I am up. Am I going to renew my lease for another year? Nope. I cannot. Am I going to move back in with mom? Well, I would but I have trouble establishing boundaries. And I like having my STUFF (that I lived without for nearly two years post-separation from the now-ex).

So my daughter and I are going to be moving in with my boyfriend across town. I just moved a year ago with my friend Michele’s generous help (she had her whole fam help me move, for reals. She is the best). Do I feel like moving again? Well, no. I just got everything arranged the way I would like it. And I feel like this whole “on my own” experiment has come to a premature end. So the OCD part of me is guilting myself and telling me that I am BAD AND A FAILURE.

Would moving be financially and emotionally beneficial? Uh-huh. My boyfriend is the nicest person I know. And Violet would have a yard to help with and play in. And we would have the scratch to actually afford to say, go out and eat or buy groceries without using a pesky credit card.

I am very stressed out right now, but I am unbelievably lucky that we have a great place to move into.

And with that, I am going to make some coffee and plan out the move in my head. Anxiety. It’s a trip.

Anxiety, Ho!

It’s been a while, ye landlubbers.

Anxiety has hijacked my life as of late. For me and many others, the Kavanaugh confirmation process has been a waking nightmare.

As I discussed with a friend the other day, women are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Deny a man sex? Then you’re labeled a whore. Give in to his advances or, God forbid, willingly have sex? You are also considered a whore.

Smooth sailing for us is not to be found anywhere. Take my old sex life, for example. Before my divorce, I was very picky and conservative about who I chose to sleep with. I ended up with a cancer-causing form of HPV anyway. Yay me! The doctor was in disbelief that with my limited sexual experience that I should end up with such a malady. But as luck would have it, I did. And you know what? I was ashamed and anxious for a long time to admit that even I, the impenetrable ice princess, could have an STD.

And then comes along this Kavanaugh thing. And it brings back the painful memories, and I have to wonder, how would men enjoy being treated as us women are as far as sex is concerned?

For a man, a conquest is exactly that–some sort of badge of honor, he’s slept with another one, bully for him. Another notch in the belt. When a woman does it, she is considered a slut for her poor choices.

Let’s apply this logic to the dudes for a minute. If I said all the men who chose not to sleep with me or weren’t attracted to me were dickheads, there would be an awful lot of dickheads around. If I add the ones that I’ve actually had sex with, ho, those are the REAL dickheads. It sounds so silly when applied to men. Why is that?

I used to be all closed up and anxious about sex, mostly due to a bad introduction to it in college. When I was a high schooler I used to think that having sex, especially at a younger age, made you a slut/and or a whore.

How naive I was. And what a stuck up judgemental beeyatch.

The tide came in–I divorced. And in the digital age sex seems something expected, even if you don’t know the other person very well. Not the best situation to be in when you’re a timid girl who has been conditioned to give in to men’s sexual advances. I’m just a girl who can’t say no–in a bad way. Or at least in my early digital dating days, I was. Now I am quite a bit stronger and intolerant of men who seem to only have one thing on their minds. They annoy the crap out of me and I tell them not only no, but hell no. Especially when they refuse to value me for the slightly deranged unicorn that I am.

Look at my sex life for the last two years, and a lot of people would consider me to be a slut. And you know what? I could care less. I have reverted back to my old, closed-off, serial monogamist ways. If people want to judge me for my poor judgment, lack of boundaries, and somewhat manic tendencies then they can stuff it.

ESPECIALLY since, if I were a man, I would be considered a hero among men. A real ladykiller, if you know what I mean. Click click boom. Wham bam, thank you ma’am. I would be revered for my prowess instead of degraded. It says a lot about how we view lady parts versus the all seeing, all knowing male genitalia. It makes no sense.

And how does this tie into anxiety? It is because anxiety and society’s cruel double standard has made me scared to admit that God forbid, I was ever sexually active. I love my grandmother to pieces but I know she judges me for it. She may be 84 but she knows what a booty call is (if you know what I mean).

This whole double-standard has turned me into a bit of a salty dog. So I leave you with a song that is supposed to be empowering to women. Until next time dear readers. Thank you for letting this scurvy wench confess her horrible sins.

Hearts a Flutter

I recently updated my personal blog regarding a recent health scare. You mean 1/2 a pot of coffee a day when you have anxiety is bad for you? 😉

I have had little to no anxiety lately except for this heart stuff. Or at least I thought I didn’t. But it likes to creep in around the periphery. I hate how it looms, like a predator, ready to assault you at any moment. I know that even though I have been handling things well lately, it will come back.

And, since it’s three in the morning and I think my kid has strep, I am going back to bed until urgent care opens. May have to cancel that orthodontist appointment because man, we don’t want her spreading that stuff around.

Have a great Monday!

Michele: Lists and how my feelings about them have maybe changed.

In the past, I basically existed on one of two speeds:  Manic, when I could do all the things ever, better than everyone else and probably even save the world if I thought hard enough about it, and depressed, when I sat up only when I got uncomfortable lying down.  When I was depressed, I did NOTHING or next to nothing.  I picked up my kids from school.  If I ran the dishes or washed a load of laundry, that was a gold star day.  When I was manic, I made elaborate plans and then did many things while usually accomplishing nothing.

Those elaborate plans almost always involved long lists.  I LOVED lists.  I would make lists of things to do, I would make lists of routines, I would make lists of things to buy, I would make lists of my lists.  I used fancy pens, special paper and always highlighted done items (crossing them off just seemed too negative for something I DID).  I got pleasure in making the lists and dreaming of grandiose results.

I am now running at a new, normal-for-me-I-hope, speed.  I don’t feel like I can conquer the world every day but I also am able to get dressed, put on makeup, visit friends–even ANSWER THE PHONE.   Every day involves dishes washed and put away, at least one load of laundry, basic cleaning, and playing taxi driver.  While my house is still not up to par, it is getting there, slowly but surely.

IMG_2417This morning, I set about making some to-do lists, which I have not done since reaching stable.  I made a general to-do list.  I made a bedroom makeover project to-do list.  I made a playroom rearrangement to-do list.  I used special to-do paper and a sparkly gel pen.

It was harder than usual to make the lists, but I figured that it was because I had full mind that needed to be dumped onto the paper.  I got the lists done and dialed the DMV so I could renew my car registration.  After hearing the expected hold time (25-31 minutes), I grabbed a load of laundry and put it away while I sat with the phone.

50 minutes later, I huffed at the phone when I got disconnected from the man helping me after I waited for almost 40 minutes on hold.  I did get a complete load of laundry put away, I consoled myself.  I picked up my list and highlighted the “7” after “P/A laundry 1 2 3 4 5 6.”  (I have a lot of clean laundry waiting to be put away.)

I smiled as I capped the highlighter and turned back to the list, waiting for the swoosh offullsizeoutput_1509 satisfaction and anticipation (for what I had just accomplished and for the rest of my plans). Instead, I felt. . .frustration.  Overwhelmed.  Weary.

This is the first time in memory that I have made project lists without the rush of manic energy.  I had never realized how much of my excitement and enjoyment was coming from a manic reaction.  I am staring at these lists, knowing that there is actually a chance that the things on them will all get done and that I will be able to finish the projects and chores that I have before me.  But instead of excitement and thrill, these lists now represent work.  Do-able work, but work nevertheless.

I don’t know that I love lists like I used to.