New Shrink & New Drugs

Whelp, Monday I saw a new shrink. I didn’t WANT a new shrink, but… Kaiser…

If you don’t know, I’d like to form a terrorist cell just to take down Kaiser…

So, I made the appointment in March. Waiting four months to see someone isn’t something I’m happy about… but I made it. She’s a weird little mousy white woman that could be 26 or 50. I’m honestly not sure how old she is, but she’s extremely proficient with a computer. All she did, really, was ask me questions and type the answers into the computer at lightning speed. I feel like my awe is how other people feel when they see me type without looking and whatnot.

I’m never really happy about rehashing my whole mental health history. It was a long, unpleasant journey from my mother thinking I was just a a moody teenager to being a diagnosed bipolar that fought really hard to get off medication… Not to mention in the middle of all that was my mom not really accepting the idea that I was bipolar, and all the meds I tried, and how all the meds I tried effected my life and relationships…. It’s was a whole thing, and every time I get a new shrink we have to go over all of it. The records should really just be digital and able to transfer in 2017… I feel like that’s not an unrealistic expectation.



She did ask me what my diagnosis was with my other doctors, in particular if they were classifying me as BP 1 or BP 2. I was honest… it varies. She laughed a little and explained that it’s because I’m right on the cusp… So you could either call me a very sever BP2, or a pretty mild BP1. Based on the fact I have managed to avoid arrest and hospitalization, she decided to classify me as a BP 2, but also said that it’s really just semantics since they treat it the same way.

Anyways, after my interrogation, she decided we should try Abilify. It was a decision based on a couple of things: 1, I told her that I refuse to take Lithium, and 2, the other stuff she considered was shit I’ve already taken that didn’t work. I just have to say…. I FUCKING KNEW SHE WAS GONNA TRY TO PUT ME ON LITHIUM. When I looked at Kaiser’s formulary, I noticed that the drugs they have for psychiatric use are old drugs. There aren’t a lot of them, and a lot of them have been around for a long long time. Apparently they only get new stuff when the patent runs out, and until then they don’t support you trying it for any reason.

If you download this formulary, this is at the top:

Kaiser Permanente will generally cover brand-name (when no generic is available), generic and specialty tier drugs listed on our formulary as long as the drug is medically necessary, the prescription is filled at a Kaiser Permanente or a participating network pharmacy, and other plan rules are followed.

BUT IT’S A MOTHERFUCKING LIE! THEY COVER NOTHING UNLESS A GENERIC IS AVAILABLE. FUCKING LIARS!

Anyways… When I looked at their formulary I knew… But I refuse.
Lithium is sedating. It primarily treats mania… I like my fucking mania. I don’t really care to get rid of my mania. Lithium is dangerous. The thereputic level for Lithium is like a hair away from overdose levels, which will wreck your kidneys and liver. Fuck that noise… I’m not doing blood draws for the rest of my life because they wanna use an old drug. Lithium tends to make you not care after a while. It’s sedating, as I said, and seems to work in people with bipolar the same was prozac works in people with depression. It’s not that you feel better, it’s that over time you kind of feel nothing. That’s just what it normally does. The list of side effects is concerning as all get out.

So no, I was not interested in taking a drug first used in 1871 and “perfected” to Lithium Carbonate in 1886, when there are so many new drugs with less severe repercussions.

(BTW, this shit is so dangerous that the FDA didn’t approve it for us to treat mania until 1970, and only under very specific conditions, i.e. lots of blood draws to monitor toxicity. That’s 84 years between “perfected” date and “sure, let’s use this on crazy people,” and it’s been 47 years since then… we have better shit…)

Anyways, I’m done ranting about the dangers of Lithium.

I’ve taken lots of meds before now… Lamictal, Trileptal, Topamax, Risperdal… So between what I’d already tried and my objections, to my surprise Miss Shrinky-Dink actually put some thought into it and told me why she picked Abilify (Aripiprazole).

A, It’s the closest thing to Latuda that they have. Since I’d previously saw another shrink and tried to get Latuda, she took that into consideration. I think it’s a little bit of a cop-out, to try and piggie back off another doctor, but I appreciated that she was trying to stay in the same vein.

2, Abilify should not be sedative. I was very clear that I didn’t want to be sedated and that I do not tolerate unwanted side effects very well. While Abilify has a list as long as any other antipsychotic of side effects, it’s not reported to be sedative. It was also less likely to cause me to gain weight (since I’m already a whale) and she hadn’t had any other patients that had experienced a side effect that caused them to stop taking it.

D, It should STABILIZE my moods, and it’s often used to treat persistent depression. The idea right now is to level me out and see how I feel when I’m not up and down and up and down again all the time. Once I’m kinda stable, if I’m still having depressive moods she said that she could add an antidepressant later. She doesn’t like to use antidepressants alone, or in high doses, because they have a tendency to de-stabilize bipolar people. I get that. When I was on Effexor I was real manic. I liked it, but people around me were less of a fan.

So, overall it felt like maybe she actually listened to my concerns and took them into consideration. I also immediately did some research on Abilify myself… and I actually think I took it for a while toward the end of my last jaunt with meds. At the end I was just mad that we kept changing meds and they all sucked, so I’m not actually sure that I gave it any kind of chance. I was also real manic at the time… for like a month. So, while I’m pretty sure I’ve taken it before, I’ll give it a chance.

So Mousy Head Shrink ordered blood work, because there IS a risk of increased chance for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes on Abilify, and I’m a big fat person. So yesterday morning I went to the facility by work that has a lab and the pharmacy where she put in my meds. All my labs were totally fine, as they tend to be. My old primary used to test me for all the fat diseases every single year, so I was pretty sure that wouldn’t be a problem.

I was going to wait until the weekend to start my meds, but 4 days on the starting dose and then bumping up to twice as much… no matter how I tried to play that it was gonna fall on a week day… So I started last night. This morning, I am tired, nauseous, achy, kind of out of it, and really thirsty. I was expecting all of that. Everything but the thirst should subside the longer I’m on it. Apparently drinking a lot of water is just what I do now. It’s not the worst side effect, though. The body aches should go away, or people said that some magnesium pills will make it subside. So…

That’s where I’m at today… and I’m at work… so… all of that is BLARGH feeling… but hopefully I start feeling less depressed.

Also, I’ve read a few reports where Abilify made people loose a crazy amount of weight… If there was ever a side effect I craved, that would be the one… I’d like to lose like half my body weight… is that a side effect I could have? Please?

LET PEOPLE ENJOY THINGS (a rant)

So, I’m addicted to Pokemon GO.
That’s a thing in my life.

I’m level 20. I have a pretty Vaporeon for my heavy hitter. I’ve taken some gyms, though I can never hold them. I’ve caught lots of Pokemon, but I’m still missing prolly half the Pokedex. I’m currently planning trips with people to places within an hour’s drive to go hunt OTHER Pokemon that I have yet to find close to where I live.

Here’s why that’s important:
Shortly before the Pokemon GO release, I was totally withdrawing from anything that required me to leave my house. I stopped going to find my friends at karaoke, because I don’t really like karaoke and that’s literally all they ever do. I stopped going to as many local concerts, because I hate going to shows alone. I was just sitting at home watching YouTube videos and failing at Assassin’s Creed (because I’m still a shitty, shitty gamer… lol).

When Pokemon GO released, I spent the first week going out EVERY SINGLE NIGHT to walk around and see what’s lurking in my neighborhood. I leashed up different dogs every night, and we walked until we were both fairly cripple. Then I found some other places to go where there were Pokestops on hand. At these kinds of places I found lots of other players! So I’d walk around with like 70 other people, and we’d all jaunt toward the Dratini, or curse the Rattata that had the unmitigated gall to escape from our Pokeballs.

Over the course of the next couple of weeks I joined the Facebook groups for my team (Mystic) and local Denver area players. We shared good farming spots for different Pokemon, and planned gym raids. We shared memes and articles on how best to level, and tricks for evolving Eevees into what you WANTED them to be. We speculated on the Legendary Birds, the Mew Twins, and the ever elusive Ditto. We shared pain when the servers were down, and joy as the server outages got more sparse.

I planned a whole little gathering of geeks for my friends that play P-GO and people ACTUALLY SHOWED UP TO PLAY WITH ME.

All along the way, of course, are naysayers.
People that don’t like Pokemon.
People that think it’s a waste of time.
People that think it’s for children.

Look… I’m out walking around at 11 at night quite frequently these days (bought a taser flashlight for the occassion) and I do see a lot of kids… with their parents. I see whole families coming out into the night air to try and capture the elusive Golduck; and teens of all kinds… and adults of all ages… I ran into two 80+ year old women catching Pokemon at a park at night. They weren’t moving fast, but they were laughing and having a blast, and it was a joy to see them out doing something.

This article popped up in my Facebook feed today.

It irritated me…
In short, it’s a guy from the Netherlands telling people to delete the app because it’s a time suck and a money pit that requires no skill to level up in, and how there will always be someone better than you with more time or money.

Yeah, P-GO is a time suck. That’s the point.
People waste time. We waste time on Facebook. We waste time watching TV. We waste time relaxing. I, personally, find working out to be a terrible waste of time that doesn’t even stimulate your brain. But nothing is  a waste of time if you’re enjoying the time.

P-GO is a time suck that gets you out of the house, that lets you be social, and that’s especially important to losers like me that tend to play video games alone in the dark ALL THE TIME. At least I’m up and out and seeing other people, and maybe making a conversation with someone. At least I’m leashing up a dog and taking them to a park to meander around. At least I’m not eating Cheetos and drinking soda in front of a TV every night, right now. Could I be being more productive? Yes.

I could be learning a language***, relandscaping my yard, renovating my bathroom, or even just cleaning house. I could be volunteering at a homeless shelter, or building homes for the Habitat for Humanity. But… I didn’t do any of that before. P-GO isn’t taking me away from those things. So if I wasn’t going to do them before… I probably wouldn’t do them after deleting and app I actually enjoy.
***I actually try to at least keep moderately up to date on German and Spanish, so I technically AM learning languages, just not at a quick pace…

The money thing…  I mean, you don’t have to spend a dime. If you wanna dump money into it, that’s cool. Hobbies sometimes require money. Most of them do, really. If it makes you happy, whatever.What else are you gonna spend it on? For me, that money would go to video games, pizza, music, booze… still just shit that makes me happy. I’m not gonna save up for it and buy a new house with my entertainment money. If I was going to do that, I’D ALREADY BE DOING IT, and on top of that I’d still be able to budget in P-GO stuff… because I would be better at finances.

Why can’t people just let other people ENJOY things? It’s not about comparing yourself to the people with more time and a higher level than you. This guy in New York that caught everything already, for instance…. I don’t care about myself compared to him, because I’m just out having fun. It’s not about me hitting level 30 and being the top trainer in America. Who really cares what level you’re at? Once you’re past 5 and you pick a team, you’re a trainer, man. The fun is to be out and doing stuff, and being like, “FUCK YEAH! ANOTHER EEVEE!” And laughing with your friends when they can’t catch the CP 10 Pidgey. And being able to show off random lucky catches you make.

I just don’t know why people can’t just let other people ENJOY THINGS.

Pokemon Go is the realization of the dreams I had as a kid. I get to venture out and catch stuff and beat gyms, and new releases will let me trade and battle with friends. They’re going to release the other generations, and Niantic is going to have tournaments for the Legendaries and Mythics… This whole thing means so much to me, because it’s not about anything other than me being able to TOUCH a dream that I thought would never happen, because…

I wanna be the very best… like no one ever was….

Why Women Aren’t Equal To Men Yet

I try to stay out of politics… but I have thoughts.

I like feminism.
I like equality.
I like women’s rights.
I like destruction of the long-standing patriarchy as a way to free men AND women from the stigmas placed on us by society, thus allowing everyone to express all aspects of their personality instead of burying pieces so as to live up to your genital standard.

That being said, there will always be downsides to any movement.

First, there are the women that don’t think they want or need feminism.
Reasons include: “Everything is fine.” “I don’t want to live up to the standards of a man.” “I really like being a housewife.” “Men SHOULD be in charge.” “I have never been discriminated against for being a woman.”
Rebuttal: No it’s not. You already have to. There are feminist housewives. Historically, no they should not. Yes you have.

Look, I get it. I wanted to be a housewife as a kid, too. My mom still wants me to find someone with money and a good career, marry them, and not have to worry about being a woman in the workforce. Do you know WHY she wants that for me, though? Because it is so motherfucking hard to be a single woman in the world, trying to get ahead in the workforce, especially when you don’t come from money to start with.

I’ve been at the same place for 10 years. I love where I work. My boss is great. The person over me at corporate… not as great. My current general manager… not as great, but getting better. It’s only recently that I’ve realized a few of the problems I’ve had getting things done around here is because some people would rather speak to a man. Even if I know more than that man. It’s infuriating as shit, but I just keep overachieving. They can try to ignore me, but when push comes to shove… I’m going to out-perform most anyone… so they can’t ignore me forever.

Also irritating about branches of feminism is the sect of women that want to simultaneously be treated like a princess and an equal.

I know that when you find a man that loves you, the ideal is for them to make you feel like a princess… but if you’re not coming with a dowry and a kingdom, you ain’t no princess. I can get behind liking a guy that treats you well. Opening doors, giving up seats, insisting you go first, pulling out chairs for you, maybe catching the bill once in a while, buying you little gifts to remind you they’re thinking of you: it’s nice shit for ANYONE to do FOR ANYONE. I do all of that all kinds of people…. because I am a decent human being trying to be a nice person in the world.
Don’t tell anyone. I have a reputation to maintain.Also, none of that shit is chivalry. That’s a word people throw around, and treating women well was not the main focus of that movement. Chivalry is predominantly about fighting etiquette… like a paragraph mentions to treat women nice, and the rest is fighting etiquette. So unless you’re challenging your man to a fucking duel, don’t take to me about chivalry.

This ties into the women that think they are SUPERIOR to men. Now, don’t get me wrong… I think I’m better than EVERYONE… but women aren’t better than men. Equal, sure. Better? Not really.

Do you know why we aren’t better than men? This map.

Now… the blue countries have a higher male birth rate. The greens are equal. Gray has no data. You know what pinks are? Countries where females out populate males.

So what does this map tell me?
That even though women outnumber men in a LOT of countries, they don’t rise up and take what they want. That’s why we can’t be superior to men, ladies. Even with the population advantage, we can’t rally enough women to overthrow the patriarchy.

Between women that have been broken by men, women that don’t think they need to break the patriarchy, and women that are just lazy… our numbers literally mean nothing.

If women outnumber men in the United States, WHY ARE WE FIGHTING FOR OUR OWN HEALTH RIGHTS?! Because not enough of us care. It would just take some organization… and we could fix all this equality shit. With enough motivation a female rebel leader could come to rule the First World… but NOOOOOO… there’s too many women wanting to be princesses instead of warriors, and women that don’t even know their own worth. We are LITERALLY being held down by brainwash.

I’m not saying women should overthrow the patriarchy and replace it with a system that makes men subservient to women for a few thousand years… But I’m saying we couldn’t even if we wanted to because not enough of us can get behind the idea.

For men it’s a naturally ingrained thing they’re raised with. Even the lowliest of nerds has a Slave Leia fantasy…
For women, we struggle with how we can be, versus how we want to be, versus how we want to be, versus how society will accept us… We don’t even have time to think about things like men being the inferior gender.

Anyways… this whole post was because I found that map… and I’m like REALLY WOMEN?! REALLY?! WE CAN’T PULL THIS OFF?!

So yeah… let’s try to get this shit together, women. I’d like to be the rebel leader that becomes a female dictator, god damn it.

Rant: Binge Eating & Addictions

If you have never had an addiction, I don’t want your god damned advice.

Seriously. Not to be rude, I’m sure your advice is great and magical, but with no frame of reference for what it’s like to have an addiction problem, you have no idea what I’m going through. Also, on the same vein, if you’ve never had a FOOD addiction, I still don’t want your god damned advice. Smoking and binge eating… totes not the same, bro.

People without these kinds of problems just don’t get it. It’s not their fault they don’t get it, either. It’s like trying to imagine a new color… you can’t do it, because your world has never given you the kind of stimuli to do so. You’ve never been a heroin addict, so you can’t imagine what it’s like to crave heroin, in spite of it “ruining your entire life.” You’ve never been addicted to cigarettes, so you can’t imagine why it’s so hard to “just not buy them.” You’ve never had a food addiction, so you can’t understand what it’s like to not be able to “just eat less.” You don’t know, and no one can fault you for that. At the same time, though, you are not the person that needs to be advising people with these problems on how to overcome them, and you should know that people, like me, take offense when you try… because… YOU DON’T FUCKING KNOW.

I happen to have a food problem… and, if we’re being totally honest a cigarette problem, a mild alcohol problem, and an addictive personality coupled with an impulse control problem. I already know this; I get it from my dad, along with all the crazy that festers inside me like an infected bullet wound.

Now, if you happen to have an impulsive friend in your life, you know we can get REALLY IRRITATING. I know we can. We end up in trouble a lot and we can very easily drag you into trouble with us. That gets old pretty quick when you’re not an impulsive person yourself. If you have a person with an addictive personality in your life, you know we can be REALLY IRRITATING, as well, because there’s nothing you can do to keep us from getting weird obsessive about things… God help you if you show a person with an addictive personality a party drug, because that is going to be their new thing for-fucking-ever, and they’re going to get baffled when you don’t think you need to do it all the time. That’s just facts. It’s life.

Being impulsive with an addictive personality means that I have to practice a certain level of control. It also means that I don’t always have that control, and that things are gonna spiral and get weird real fast. It’s just the nature of the beast. It’s my nature. Over the years I’ve managed to reign in the smoking. I smoke on weekends… maybe a couple at night if I am drinking or I ate too much. I’ve also learned to more or less curb the drinking habit. I drink Fridays and Saturdays… and sometimes I go dry just to keep an eye on it. The eating, however, I’ve never quite gotten a grasp of… because it’s different.

You can quit smoking and never touch another cigarette again. You can quit drinking and you can never touch another alcoholic drink, or step foot in a bar, again. You cannot quit eating. You can fast, sure. I’ve gone a good month without solid food (lots of juicing and smoothies), but sooner or later, you have to eat… or you die. Even the most dedicated anorexics have to eat a little something sometime… even if it’s just for the appearance of NOT being anorexic.

Okay, you have to eat, but you don’t have to eat until you’re sick. Just stop eating so much. It’s not that hard.

Yeah, I can hear that thought pulsating in your brain. What you’re not understand is that… I can’t.
What can I equate this to that is universally recognized?

It’s like breathing. You can hold your breath. Some people can hold their breath for a really, really long time, even… but sooner or later you have to breathe, and people that have a problem with breathing cannot hold their breath very well. In this example, people with a food problem are equivalent to people with emphysema.

I go to some extreme lengths to try and not binge eat. I don’t keep much food in the house, I avoid places with a drive thru, and I try to eat in public a lot, because I am self-conscious about people watching me eat. Still, there’s no precaution I can take for when I’m struck by impulse. All those things are great for bored-binging. If there’s nothing on hand to munch on, I can let it go. If I’m under a lot of stress, though… or I’m sad… or it just hits me, it triggers the impulse part of my brain, and I go buy too much food, and I eat all of it.

This happened last night. I went to Chipotle, bought two burrito bowls, ate them both. Made myself actually nauseous, because I haven’t been binging, so my stomach shrank a bit. I, as usual, immediately regretted it, but I gave up purging when my body started trying to do it after every single meal. So, instead, I smoked a lot and took two of my PM diet pills. I was still up 2 lbs this morning… it was discouraging, but not unexpected.

So what am I trying to say?

I dunno. My doctor wanted to talk about my binging on Friday when I saw her… oh btw, if you’ve been following all the posts, I DON’T HAVE CANCER!!! I didn’t want to hear it. There’s nothing my doctor can say that I haven’t heard from shrinks, teachers, parents, and friends 100 times over the years. I’m 25 and I’ve been fat since I was born… I got it.

Eat below 1500 cals, exercise for at least 20 minutes a day, and avoid trigger foods.

I know, but saying that and doing it are two totally different things. I can tell you how to do a lot of things… I can read an article on how birds fly and tell you exactly how to do it, but you will never be able to fly. I try every single day to eat less and try to be more active, but the thing in my life that I associate with happiness the most in this world is eating.

Given the choice, I’d rather binge eat than have sex. I don’t have to be pretty to eat. I don’t have to be funny, smart, interesting… I just have to get my hands on some food… Food doesn’t cheat. Food doesn’t leave. Food doesn’t ask when you’re going to lose weight. Food doesn’t ask you for money. Food doesn’t give you an STD. Food is great. All around. It does make you fat… but since food doesn’t care if you’re fat, it doesn’t matter.

Food does make me cry. It makes me cry because I can’t control myself with it. It makes me cry when I decide it’s okay to binge for a day, and it’s not as good as I wanted it to be. It makes me cry because I know that I’m never going to 100% overcome my problems with it. It makes me cry because my love of food might be the thing that kills me one day. It makes me cry for a lot of reasons.

I want to lose over 100 lbs. It’s been my only goal that was actually mine in my entire life. This weekend I thought I was closer to death than I ever have been in my life. And I didn’t binge eat. Yesterday I found out that I’m fine. And I binged like hell last night. Why?

I can’t tell you. I can’t even tell anyone that it happened, for fear of being bombarded with advice that is completely useless.

Oh my life.