Forgets The Blood

History remembers the battle, but forgets the blood.

-Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

My favorite quote from a book. Is it a ridiculous book? Yes, obviously, but… it’s a good quote. It’s a true quote.

Let’s extrapolate.
I can tell you what I know about WWII… but I cannot relate to you the buckets of blood spilled during it on all sides (something like 80 million lives). I can tell you that around 40 million people died in World War I, but you and I cannot really fathom such a number. I can say that 45,000 people in the US committed suicide in 2016, but that number doesn’t reflect the weight of what happened. Just last year 58 people died in the Las Vegas shooting by Mandalay Bay, and 851 were injured, but while that event rocked the whole US and gave us all pause, I fly out to Vegas on Thursday evening for my 30th birthday.

You see, as soon as something isn’t happening, it’s not real anymore.

This is true in your own life. At least… I know it’s true in mine. I’m finally at a place where everything with me, emotionally, is kind of okay. I’m not depressed. I’m learning to do things I used to love doing. I’m able to invest time in a relationship I’m happy with. I don’t want to sleep until I die… Things are better than they’ve been in a really long time. While it was only a few months ago that I was so incredibly low I didn’t even know what to do with myself, I’ve already forgotten how that felt. Yes, I can tell you I was depressed, that I felt tired all the time, that nothing brought me joy, that I binge-ate all the time just to feel a satisfied fullness, that I thought I might be better off dead, that I gave up things I loved because nothing mattered, that I neglected myself in exchange for taking care of my animals, and that I was barely living (more like surviving). When I think about that, though, I don’t feel the agony I know I felt then. I can’t put myself back there.

I’ve fought really hard to get where I am, and I know that. Still, when I think about it, I’m like “that wasn’t so hard.” It was. It was the hardest shit I’ve gone through in my whole life. I know that, but I can’t FEEL that. You know? I remember the battle, but I’ve forgotten the blood. So much blood.

My point is… if your meds seem off, it’s worth getting them adjusted. You’ve forgotten the blood.

Started Cymbalta today. Shrink is trying to get me off Effexor. It’s making me reflective… also sleepy.

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My Cervix Hurts

I had to go get a pap smear today. I haven’t had one since 2015. Why? Because I fail them. I’ve been getting them since I was 12 and I’ve failed all but 1. It gets annoying. It gets frustrating and depressing… so I just stopped. But, you can’t dodge that forever, especially when your family runs RAMPANT with cancer.

So I went, and it was a surreal kind of experience.

When I previous went to my doctor, several things were standard at the well woman physical. The nurse would try to pry information on my entire sexual history out of me. (Which I still don’t get. Who I was fucking before my 2.5 year celibacy break does NOT effect my current sexual health.) I’d take a pregnancy test. My birth control would be held hostage until I came in for the pap smear. My doctor would remind me that this was all for my well being.

A Kaiser well woman is a lot…. less. Just less. I went in. They took vitals, as usual, and then we did a quick breast exam and a pelvic exam, followed by a Gardasil shot. THAT’S IT. Now… I don’t say a lot of good things about Kaiser, because I hate them and I’d like to set their corporation on fire from the inside out, but this was great. No interrogation. No suspicion of pregnancy. In and out. Easy peasy.

But… as always… my cervix hurts and I’m probably going to fail the pap… so that’s no good, but whatever.

Chris was a real sweetheart about this, cuz I was complaining and then had a panic attack in the doctor’s office… and he was his usual suspiciously supportive self. He assured me that if anything was wrong “WE” would get through it and get it fixed, and then he told me about his Magic Tournament this weekend to distract me. He’s great. I love how great he is. I love him. It’s gross.


In other news.

Someone asked me to describe what living with mental illness is like. Here’s my metaphor.

It’s like… you’re the paste eating kid in grade school.

Everyone knows something is up with you, but can’t always figure out what it is until an incident. Then they know, and they treat you different for it. Sometimes it’s mockery, sometimes it’s avoidance, sometimes it’s lectures and repercussions, sometimes it’s someone telling you to just stop… but even if you get better and you move on with life, there will always be the people who know what happened, and they’ll tell other people, and you’re the kid that ate paste for the rest of your life…

The longer you go without eating paste, the more you can laugh at it, the less other people will know, and the less people who know will talk about it. But you always know you’re the kid that ate paste… and you always live with that shame, even though it wasn’t something you meant to do.

If you don’t get better… you’re always the weirdo that eats paste, no matter what else you do. You could cure cancer, and you’ll still be remembered for paste… it’s always going to be a footnote in a textbook about you… “They cured cancer! But also they ate paste… so… think about that.”

Mi Novio

I had a lovely week last week. Chris’ daughter was out of town, so I got extra Chris time.

Saturday we went to the dog park. He brought Koopa, his boxer, and I brought Kyrie. I wasn’t sure how she’d do, but after she settled the fuck down she had a great time. Wore her out, though.

After that we went back to my place and watched IT, because he hadn’t seen it yet. Turns out he hasn’t seen the old one with Tim Curry, either. That’s really okay, since Tim Curry is the only good part of the old one, but he was like, “I wish they’d do a sequel where the kids come back as adults to fight it again.” And I was like OMG THEY DO! It’s gonna be great! Lol.

After that we went to Chili’s for dinner, and then to 2nd & Charles, where I bought way too many books. I have a book problem. But it was nice. I love 2nd & Charles. We ran into Bren and Michael, too. That was weird and fun. Lol. Michael is adorable. He kept making me go look at Mario shit with him.

Then we went back to my place and tried to figure out how to play my Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game. We were not entirely successful. I am going to look at the rule book this week and see if I can make any better sense of it so we can play. Lol. Half the problem was that Frankie wouldn’t leave Chris alone, though… she’s such a menace, but he takes it well.

I know it’s stupid to be excited about, but I asked him if he was my boyfriend and he said yes. Lol. At 29 it feels stupid to be excited about that, but I like the solidarity of titles. I don’t have to guess if we’re doing a thing here. We are.

My moods have been better. They were real whacked out at the end of last week for some reason. I’ve been better since the last entry, but I’m still going to tell my shrink about it tomorrow to see if she thinks I need a med adjustment… I’m betting I do… I’m still impulsively doing weird shit… like buying books… and declaring people mi novio.

In general, I’m happy. Things are pretty good, all things considered. I have some things I’d like to change, but I can do it gradually. I just… I dunno. I feel like I’m missing something and I haven’t figured out what it is yet… It’s odd.

Recurrence

So I had a panic attack last night, and I was like, “I’ll read to relax.” And I have this stack of books to read that are now movies (Rosemary’s Baby, Alien, The Godfather, etc), and I panicked because my copy of Jaws was missing… and my brain is like

“Why would someone break into the house just to steal your copy of Jaws?!”

And it was really unsettling because I couldn’t find it anywhere. I almost tore the bookcase apart trying to find it. It wasn’t till this morning I remembered I didn’t own a copy of Jaws… it was just on a wishlist for Thrift Books… so I bought a copy of Jaws, but from eBay, because it was cheaper. (I also have the whole Logan’s run trilogy coming!)

So… there’s that, coupled with random crying fits I keep having, and inexplicable mood swings, and random, unprovoked bouts of irritation… My symptoms are coming back.

When Keagan died I was devastated. I felt sad, but also empty. I know, however, that being sad when a loved one dies is normal, so I didn’t contact my shrink about it. I assumed that as time went on and I recovered from the trauma of losing my soul mate, my moods would get better. They kind of leveled out, but I never got back to normal.

I got Frankie on impulse… which should have been a red flag, but I was so overjoyed to have her, and I don’t regret getting her… but she was a $600 puppy that I didn’t need and couldn’t really afford. She makes me really happy, but also the stress of raising a really real tiny baby puppy is getting to me. I can’t always play with her like I should, and I let her training go to the wayside already. I can recognize it, but I’m unsure how I’ll manage to change it.

I’ve let myself get wrapped up in the idea of Chris… I like him and all, but I’m being weird obsessive about it. He’s a dude with a kid who works retail and lives with his parents… oh and he’s still married. Like.. I need to calm down. It’s fine to like him, but I have been obsessed with him for days… it’s been irrational.

These are all things I’ll have to address with my shrink. I don’t want to. I don’t like the idea of messing with my meds, but I can’t keep going home and crying, or impulse buying book series, animals, and whatnot. My eating is weird. My sleep is weird. I’m back to not wanting to get out of bed, but feeling bad about myself if I don’t. I can’t focus enough to do anything… I’m always one stray thought away from bawling…

I’m angry, frustrated, disappointed… I was doing so much better. I felt better. I was happy. And here I am feeling like I’m spiraling toward a drain right back to where I was before I got on meds. It’s just… devastating.

The good news is that I have a plan of action… the bad news is I have to survive until we get it worked out… and that’s harder than you might think.

Purple Spots

Kaiser is so fucking weird. Last time I wanted to see a shrink it took THREE MONTHS before I could get in… and I was really worried I wasn’t gonna make it that long. Today I called to get in and they’re like, “we could get you in with the shrink you saw last time early next week, but if you wanna see a new shrink we can get you in first week of April.” Really? Just two weeks? And it’s only that long because I didn’t want to see the same shrink I saw last time (as she is dead to me after her blatant disregard of my disdain for sedative medication).

Anyways… I get to see a new shrink! So… that’s fine. I mean, life’s been bad, and getting worse, but I’m having a weirdly good day for someone who didn’t sleep last night. I tried really hard, but yesterday was super hella blue.

Let’s backup.

Monday.
I made it into work, but on the way home I was just… defeated as fuck. We’re still down a biller, I’m training three new people, and the title gal went on vacation this week because she’s moving. I cried all the way home, and my mom encouraged me to go to my book club even though I was super blue. So, I bought some cigarettes, chain-smoked the whole way there, and actually had a really good time. I really enjoyed the book this month: Annihilation. It was really Lovecraftian, and I flew through it. I started book two when I got home from book club, and it’s really different, but I think I’ll finish the series anyways.

Tuesday.
For the first time in my life I found getting out of bed almost impossible. I’ve had low days, but Tuesday is one of the lowest days I’ve had since all this mood swinging like a wrecking ball started in eighth grade. I managed to get out of bed, and even shower, but then I couldn’t imagine leaving the house. It was 100% outside of the realm of things I was physically capable of doing. So, I called bosslady and told her I had a cough and issues breathing, and asked if I could work from home. I wasn’t opposed to working, but I just… couldn’t leave the house. I actually got a lot done from home, and it was fortunate I’d brought stuff home anyways. #YayRemoteAccess

Wednesday.
Hump Day was hard. I woke up, and I was determined to get into work, but I ended up about an hour late. I informed bosslady, obviously, and she knows I’m having problems, so she said that was fine, and that I could leave early. I did not leave early. I had some kind of mixed episode where I was pretty much hysterical but channeled it into trying to do EVERYTHING at once… and it literally startled bosslady. She tried to get me to go home at four, and I ended up staying a full eight hours “because there’s too much to get done.” But like… I was breaking…

So I went home. Mom had me try on some clothes she got me for Easter, to be sure they were the right size. I went home and refused to eat dinner… meditated on the idea that maybe I just wouldn’t eat again… and how last time I lost a lot of weight in a short period of time no one was concerned, because when you’re a fat girl that stops eating, or exercises herself to death, or binges and purges, people think the weight loss is great and no one asks how you lose 30 lbs in a few weeks. With my head spinning and my stomach feeling familiarly vacuous, I couldn’t focus on TV, so I played a few rounds of Star Realms before heading to bed with a book. Figured I’d wind down for an hour and be asleep by ten.

I was not asleep by ten. I was very awake. I put on white noise and laid in the dark for an hour. When the white noise shut off, I was still awake. So I turned on all the lights, got up, did a few things, turned on a fan and the humidifier, and then laid back down with some soft lo-fi hip hop to relax to. An hour later I was still awake and I had this pop song called RIIICH stuck in my head. It was annoying.

I tried thinking STOP STOP STOP or SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP, I counted sheep, I tried sleeping on the floor, I tried sleeping sitting up, I tried meditation, I took a 30 mg temazepam, I opened the window, I turned everything off…¬†I got up and went downstairs, and in the dark biked on the hardest setting until my legs ached in an attempt to wear myself out. I was still awake… and all I wanted to do was sleep… and it broke me.

I’m not new to self harm or various creative ways to do it, but this¬†was the first time I got so angry that I pretty much beat myself into submission. I slapped myself in the face, hit myself upside the head, punched and smacked my thighs till they burned, screamed, cried, and when it was all said and done I took to this weird game I’d played as a kid. I don’t remember why, but when we were kids there was some game where the punishment was someone hitting you with two or three fingers on your wrist or forearm. Every time my brain tried to think, after I laid back down, I’d hit myself on the arm. By the time I had calmed down, my arm ached like I’d slammed it in a door. This morning I woke up and thought it would be all kinds of colors, cuz it still hurt. Fortunately for me, it was just splotched purple. Still hurts like a bitch, though. There’s a definite swollen spot, but it’s not noticeable to anyone except me.

I never did sleep, I don’t think. I just managed a general nothingness till the alarm went off this morning. The dogs were concerned, but they are regrettably used to this kind of behavioral outburst. I hate that they’re used to it…

Thursday.
For someone that went totally batshit crazy and didn’t sleep, I’ve had a weirdly good day. I put on a nice purple sweater and cute boots. I’ve been very pleasant at work. I had a breakfast burrito and then meatloaf for lunch, in case you’re worried I didn’t eat today. I’m planning on Schlotsky’s for dinner, and I’d really like to maybe finish one of my books I’m reading tonight, but also get in some Star Realms time. I bought a ticket to a concert for tomorrow night, too.

Am I manic? I dunno. I’m terribly unfocused, but I’m not hyper, optimistic, or particularly chatty. I’ve just been enjoying my new playlist (and I took RIIICH off all but one playlist) and having a moderately pleasant day. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t fine a little bit of happiness in every time my arm taps something and I get a small shock of new pain amidst the constant ache. I’m sure that’s some secret to my good mood… some messed up bipolar thing.

I’m not even tired… I’m just disinterested in work today. It’s super weird, and all of this isn’t LOST on me. I can only hope that I sleep tonight and the mood continues.

Anyways….

I’m gonna go see this pdoc and see what she says in a couple weeks. I don’t wanna take anymore antipsychotics, though… and I have always said I didn’t want to take Lithium… so I don’t know what they might give me. I’m willing to negotiate, but I really want a shrink to listen to me. There are side effects I can’t tolerate (like falling asleep at work), and I need to be respected when it comes to that.

So. We’ll see.

D2, D1, and D&D

D2 is out of the hospital.

I guess it was a productive visit, but he’s totally ruined his friendships with his little group from work. I wanna say I feel bad for him, but this is exactly where he was last year. The only difference is that he’d ruined his friendship with his roommate instead. They upgraded his diagnosis to BP1 and put him on Lithium. I hope it helps, but I still don’t feel any sympathy for it.

I don’t give myself permission to be sick. I don’t have the ability to spend three days in a psych ward and then take extended time off work to get myself together. I have to spread my crazy out over having mini breakdowns at home after work on my own god damn time. I just don’t understand people who can allow themselves to lose it… I can’t do that. I can’t live on disability. I can’t embarrass my family by going into a care facility. Maybe that’s a problem with me and how I’ve been trained to treat my mental illness, in the sense that I don’t allow myself to treat it like a real illness. It’s a thing, I deal with it, and I don’t let it effect my professional life even if it tears my personal life apart. (To be clear we don’t treat actual illness like illness either…. unless physically unable to, we still get up, go to work, and get through the flu or pneumonia or whatever on our own time.)

My foul mood doesn’t really end there. Yesterday I found out D1 is dating a rabbi, and that’s super cool, but it reminded me that I haven’t found anyone to even pretend I wanna go on a date with. So… I deleted my dating profile. As much as I love filling My Tumblr Blog with the stupid shit men like to send to me, it’s kind of depressing that I can’t even find a nice boy to go to dinner with. I’d pay for myself, btw… ain’t no freeloader looking for a free meal.

In my absence of a love life, or even a social life, I’m learning to play D&D, and even how to DM… because I have the time. I’m actually really excited. Cat, from work, said she’ll play with me, and we have some other people who might join later, too! I am looking forward to it… It’s definitely not easy to learn, though. There’s a lot of information to synthesize before creating a module, or even just a character.

So… that’s what’s going on in my life right now… not a lot, but I’m staying busy.