Secret Vacation

So. I got some vacation time this week.

I was talking to Bosslady about how I was going to lose my vacation this year. You see, at my place of work if you don’t USE the vacation, you LOSE it, because the company doesn’t pay it out. So, I was telling Bosslady how I lost my vacation and she was like NO YOU DID NOT!!! TAKE THE VACATION! NOW!

So, I was on vacation this week. I didn’t tell anyone, because… they might wanna do stuff… and I had things I wanted to get done.

I cleaned mom’s house Monday. I didn’t CLEAN IT clean it, but I vacuumed like four times for dog hair, cleaned the bathrooms, and mowed the lawn.
Tuesday I had problems doing things… Kinda wore myself out Monday, I guess. Still, I managed to mow my front and backyard.
Wednesday I went to Lowes for some garden stuff, including some Lois flowers. They’re called Lantana, and my grandma, Lois, grew them in giant bushes in Florida.

Wednesday evening I called to be sure Mothership had left work and she was NOT good. She was dizzy and nauseous, so I went and got her from work. When we got home she threw up… and I panicked. It was too much like that day I had to take her to Urgent Care… I don’t know if I can survive her in the hospital again. Fortunately, I set her up in bed and she woke up much better. That meant that I had to take her back to work Thursday, though.

So this morning I took her to work. It was a pleasant enough ride. Afterward, since I had a blood pressure check on that side of town at 1030 anyways, I went to Village Inn for breakfast. It wasn’t my best idea to eat before a blood pressure check. The omelet upset my stomach, which I think raised my blood pressure some; also: salt content. So I went in for the check and it was 138/90. That’s good, but it’s not quite where they wanted it to be. As a result, my doctor increased my Procardia. Doubled it, actually.

Here is the baffling thing about this experience.

My shrink reduced my Effexor because she thought it was raising my blood pressure. Last week, after I saw Joe and had better blood pressure, I got her to agree to increase it again and let me keep the Wellbutrin. That was major. Because it’s not as low as they wanted it, my Effexor might be in danger again.

I can’t go back to how I was before the Effexor. I woke every morning wishing I hadn’t. It’s no way to live. While I’m not 100% great right now, I’m better. That little bit of better is so important to me. I’ll do anything to keep the Effexor. That’s an important determination to make, because the Procardia is causing some tiredness and joint pain… and this flushing thing where I’m just super hecking hot a lot of the time. Procardia is not pleasant when you tend to get every single side effect known to occur… but I can’t go back. I need the Effexor because I like wanting to live.

Admittedly, the tiredness and joint pain is hindering my former burst of energy that I got with the Effexor, but I’m still better on the Effexor than off of it.

We’ll just have to see how this plays out. Tomorrow I wanna do more yard work, and I’m getting the dogs groomed. It would be great to have a nice backyard to read in…

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Fucked Up Dream Time

So, at 3am I posted another entry about how my meds are going and how this med is definitely doing weird stuff to my dreams. Then I went back to sleep… and now I want to tell you about my disturbing ass dreams, and why I hate taking antipsychotics.

Last time I took antipsychotics, Risperdol gave me horrifying nightmares that I can’t even remember. I would just wake up screaming. This time, I don’t know if these are nightmares, but they are… unsettling at best.

I’m in a school, but it’s built like a lodge in the mountains. We are surrounded by trees and a cable car runs from a platform on our second floor. There are other, similar buildings in the area, and we are all part of the same school I know this, but it’s not said. There are people there. Some are teen aged, some are college aged, and there is a smattering of actual adults. I am one of these adults, and we seem to be in charge.



There is a siren, and I rush everyone inside. “The hole is coming,” I say. It’s not as catchy as “The Nothing” or “The Darkness” or even “The Mist / Fog” but I get everyone inside and I’m aware that I’m scared. There are more people in our building than seem to lodge there, and so I clear a space to setup sleeping bags and start dismantling furniture into firewood. I seem to know that it’s going to be a long time before things will ever be normal again.



Enter, the random apparition of my exboyfriend invading my dreamscape. This particular ex is the one that I can never forgive. The one that I blame for many of my personality changes from “sweet, nice girl” to… whatever you call this cynical, sarcastic shell of a human being. I don’t know why he’s there, not even in the dream, and I still hate him when he gives me that smile that I remember adoring. I’m stuck with him, though. That much is clear.



So, I make the best of having someone I know around. He’s still himself, though, and while I’m trying to put all the sharp objects in the house where no one can get to them, he’s hoarding them by his sleeping bag. I have to explain to him what’s going on… which is handy since I don’t actually know until dream-me says it.



“What’s coming is the hole, and when it gets here everyone is going to lose themselves.” I’m gathering up a number of knives with my bare hands, managing to cut myself on an obsidian blade that he has for some reason. “The hole takes away feeling. There’s nothing. People don’t become depressed, they just feel nothing. They’ll kill themselves, and god knows what else they might do.” He’s rolling his eyes, and dream-me thinks he must assume that what’s coming is just a storm. I look him in the eyes and say, “What would you do to feel something, Mike?” He stops rolling his eyes, and he looks almost concerned. Almost. He lets me take the knives anyways, and I hide them in a wall, in a closet, somewhere in the bowels of the lodge.



Time goes on. It’s like a montage. I’m aware of the passage of time and glimpses into things that happened. It began to snow, and never stopped, though it’s not snowing particularly heavily. We ran out of food and had to start sending parties out into the snow to try and find animals or vegetation; they would come back a little less of themselves every time. For whatever reason I cannot begin to understand, I start sleeping next to my ex. I might hate him, but I guess in this weird time he makes me feel safe. Then one day he goes out on a foraging mission, and never comes back. Slowly less and less people come back from foraging, until it’s just me and a handful of students left. We never find the bodies.



We are out on a mission, having followed the cables from the inactive cable car up to a station. We are cresting a tall climb to the platform when we hear people. Some of the party get excited and run toward the noise, while I try to hold people back. The hole has come and it will have its sacrifices. Those at the top of the hill stop suddenly… some backup, some don’t move at all. When I reach the summit I can see why. There are people: people I know: people from our party; and they are laughing. Their laughter is hollow, like the laughter one produces when they are expected to laugh, but nothing is funny. Then the laughter turns to sobs, but those, too, sound wrong in every way. There’s no heart in it. They are stripping the skin off of one of my students, who’s hanging from the overhead cable.



I backup slowly, shock filling me with cold, and I slip. I tumble down the platform, the sound of my body hitting the rocky terrain alerting those skinning the student. They come after me. There’s a small chase before I lose them. I am alone. I don’t know where everyone else went, so I return to the lodge. No one is there. It’s empty and cold, and I’m terrified. I go to sleep in the middle of the sleeping bags. I cry.



I jump awake at the sudden feeling of someone breathing on my feet. It’s a man. I recognize his face, but it’s been painted black and I cannot place him. Only his white eyes and teeth are visible to me in the darkness. He’s grinning at me, but it’s not a real grin, for there is no mirth in it, not even the cruel joy of a killer. It’s just been stuck there on his face, like someone taped it there. I inch away from his dead, wide eyes, and to my surprise he does not follow me. He just stays, staring at me with his teeth bared, almost into a snarl. His eyes follow me, but he does not move, and I manage to escape the room.



I can hear people in the house. I am scared. I don’t know what to do.



I end up in the closet where I’ve hidden the knives, but there’s only one there and I grab it by the blade. It’s a black knife… it’s an obsidian hunting knife. I cut myself pretty bad, and stifle a yelp of pain. I have to get out of the closet, I know that, but there’s nowhere to go. I end up leaving the closet and having to hide myself in a window box that someone has been using for a bed. I jam the knife into the wood at an angle that I don’t think would work in real life, but manages to keep the lid closed in the dream. No one finds me, but I also don’t have a way out. Day after day I listen to frightened screams, false laughter, and faux tears. I try to leave my hiding place, but I can’t get the lid open, even after I pull the knife out. I don’t get any omniscient insight as to why. I just get a montage of days, as I lie awake in the box, crying, scared, and slowly dying of thirst and hunger.

The dream ends with my shriveled up corpse laying in the box. My face is contorted into an unnatural scream, but I know that’s probably just because of the way I was laying when I died. All I thought was, “wow, I look so thin.”



Antipsychotic dreams are… well… psychotic. I hate antipsychotic dreams because while they are often outlandish and unrealistic, they always hint at things you’re actually thinking about. It’s like the subroutine your brain runs all the time never shuts off like it used to, and those thoughts you don’t really remember thinking just invade your dreams like it’s Normandy. This one hits especially close to home, since whatever was happening stripped everyone of emotions. Obviously they retained something, though, since they continuously tried to feel something. Longing… is longing an emotion?

I have been struggling with my new and ever shrinking emotional range. While I was used to feeling all of three emotions, I felt those emotions much strong than I feel any of these new, wider ranging ones. I felt Euphoria, Rage, and Despair with all the bitter, painful fire of passion. I felt them to my core. Now I feel… less. I’m not despairing, but sometimes I’m sad, or just not happy. I don’t rage, but sometimes I’m mad or a little irritated. I don’t get lost in the intense feelings of euphoria, but sometimes I smile… so I guess that’s happiness? It’s a hard transition that only people with a mood disorder really “get.” How do you explain to yourself that feeling less is how you’re supposed to feel? While the emotions might be more complex, like ambivalence is a new one I’ve been feeling a lot, the feelings are so much less. There’s no passion behind them… it’s so muted… like a Giorgio Morandi still life…

the other things that REALLY bothered me, was that exboyfriend. Why, of all the exes I have, did it have to be that one? And then he goes off and gets killed or something and I’m all alone and I MISS HIM. That’s fucked up, brain…. I know we’re lonely, but we aren’t THAT lonely.

Anyways, I’ve been dealing with the psychological aftermath of THAT all morning… It’s not a great way to wake up… but I definitely didn’t want to continue sleeping…

Side Effects

It’s 3am and I’m awake for two reasons… 1, I had to Pee but 2, Abilify fucks with your dreams.

The weekend was weird for me and side effects. 

Friday night I went to karaoke. Does Abilify interact with alcohol? Absolutely, but not like I thought it would. Usually you end up being a lightweight and acting a fool when you try to drink on new drugs. This was not the case, I was just very social. Literally, I didn’t feel drunk at all….  until I was driving home and became aware VERY QUICKLYt that my reaction time was WAY slow… I made it home okay, since the bar was close to home, but in the future if I plan on drinking, it’s worth taking a Lyft. 
Also, as an aside, David2, Bird, and I got invited to an orgy before we left the bar. That’s fun. We all fled… stranger orgies are bad.

Saturday I thought I was dying. In retrospect, a few things probably contributed to this. A, I drank the night before. I didn’t have a hangover the next day, but I’m definitely considering that drinking might elicit more side effects than I previously thought it would. 2, I didn’t take my pill at night. I missed it because I was too busy trying to go out, so I took it in the morning. There is something to be said for what you sleep through when you take meds at night. D, I panicked. Panic always just makes shit worse.

So I go to see War for the Planet of the Apes with Mothership, and I can barely eat. I’ve developed this thing where I am full most of the time, but I get hungry more often. That’s not a listed side effect but it’s a new thing. Then, I get a heart palpitations. That’s a listed side effect, but it’s a terrifying one. I hate that feeling, and when it got coupled with a hot flash and intestinal distress, it’s a spooky side effect that made me think I was potentially having a heart attack. I got dizzy, and upset, and mom ended up having to drive us home.

Mom baffles me. As long as I can remember, if I’m feeling bad, she is meh about it. When I had a kidney stone that sent me to the ER, she took her time getting ready to take me to the ER. She was more concerned about whether I smelled like Jager than the crippling pain I was in. Likewise, when I told her I thought I might be having a heart attack because my heart was racing so bad, she just asked why. To which I quiteangrily said, BECAUSE MY HEART IS RACING AND EVERYTHING IS BAD. I love my mother, and sometimes her eerie calm is handy, like when I had gallstones and was so panicked and pained that all I could do was walk clockwise in a circle and writhe, but in general, her tendency to act unfeeling is unsettling, at best. I’ve begun to wonder if she’s really JUST depressed, or if she, like dad and I, has a mood or personality disorder. She could be histrionic… 

Anyways, she got me home and I spent the rest of the day trying to cool off and recover. That meant I was up late, though, so I filled the time with FFXV again. I also started War of the Worlds before bed. Being able to read again is nice.

Sunday was better. I was up early and got in some gaming time. Mostly I just hung out, but I’m real task oriented. I like to DO things that I was previously unable to do. I got some drawing in, and only suffered one hot flash. I went to mom’s and we watched two episodes of Twin Peaks, and ordered pizza. Before bed I also finished the 15th Oz book. There are 25 of them, but I am stopping here, because that’s how far my collection goes. It was an ok day.

But the dreams. I had been really concerned about the dreams, anyways, because when I was on Risperdol I had awful nightmares, but I’m not having nightmares. My dreams are just real involved. It’s like my cognitive processes don’t shut down at all when I sleep now, so it just runs scenarios over and over, trying to determine the best outcome. I’ve quit my job seven times tonight in my dreams. None end well.

Well, it’s 4am now, and I wanna catch my last hour of sleep. But yeah, I’m not sure what to make of Abilify. I contacted my doc to see what she thinks, but again, she’s a Kaiser doc! And I really don’t think she cares if I die or get better.