Monday, February 25, 2008

My New Mission

During my quest toward self-actualization and journey to find happiness again, I've decided to make it my mission to start blogging regularly. It might be serious. It might be Jack Handey-type "Deep Thoughts." Maybe something that I found that made me laugh or something that I'm thankful for. Today, I have decided to present you with my Positive Thought for the Day.

I was sitting here at work, opening the first massive stack of mail that we get every Monday, and it suddenly dawned on me.


You might think this is not something to be overly-excited about. You might think I forgot to take my meds this morning, but you'd be wrong. I JUST LOVE MY STAPLER!!! (:-D) It is a Swingline, rechargeable, battery operated, electric stapler that handles up to 20 sheets of paper at a time! ...and it only took me 5 years to convince my boss that I was worth the $40 it would cost to get me one.

You see, I go through about 500 staples a day, and using the big heavy manual stapler was just not hacking it. Now that I think about it, I think the only reason that my boss agreed to buy me the electric stapler was that I was beginning to show the early symptoms of carpal tunal syndrome, and he just didn't want to have to do my job if I had to be out for another surgery. But hey! Whatever works, right?

So today, I salute you, Mr. Swingline, rechargeable, battery-operated, electric stapler! You are truly a blessing in my life.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I Survived...

Well, I survived my first visit with the loony doctor. I was fine all morning, and did really well for the first 10 minutes or so. No anxiety attacks, no hysterical crying...

We talk about my hysterectomy. We talk about my family history. We talk about my issues with food. We talk about things that I've done during my "manic" periods. I did REALLY well until he asked me, "How do you see your life in the future?" Not a hard question... But I LOST IT! I know how I want my life to be, but I basically see myself alone and miserable for the rest of my life. I started bawling like a baby.

Then he asks me, "Do you feel like life is worth living?" (DO YOU NOT SEE ME BAWLING HERE?!?) I take his question to mean, "Are you suicidal?" and my answer was, "Well, I'm not suicidal or anything." But he says, "That's not what I asked." I'd never thought about that before. I sat there for a minute and realized that it really just depended on whether I was on an high or not. When I'm on a high, I think I change the world with my smile and scathing wit. I can do anything I want. But most days, I kind of feel like "what's the point?" I eat, I sleep, I pay bills. Whoop-dee-do!

After going over a rundown of all of my history, he said I definitely sound like I have bipolar tendencies. Definitely severe depression and anxiety issues. He's changing my medications all up. He wants to get me on a broader range of medications to try to help with the depression, anxiety, mood swings, and my manic episodes. He wants to concentrate on the depression and anxiety first because that seems to be giving me the most problems right now. And lucky me! I get to start seeing him once a week until we get the medications regulated.

He also said that he's changing things up from what I'm already on quite a bit, so there's really no telling how I'm going to react until I've been on them for a couple of weeks. If I'm more loony than usual, just tell me so I can tell him. And THEN (lucky me again!), he's going to see about getting me on a mood stabilizer if I keep having the manic episodes. Hopefully I won't need it. But heck, I'll take ANYTHING if I start feeling like a real person again!

So... I braved the unknown. I bawled in front of someone and the world didn't come to an end. Then I came back to work and made Delma cry because I was still weepy. I'm sure they all appreciated that. But at least now I know that I can talk to a shrink and it won't kill me.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Pardon Me While I Freak Out a Bit...


Thank you. I feel better now.

I did it. After 10 months of putting it off (well, more like 15 years), I just got up the nerve and called the shrink. It took about 30 minutes of pacing and three or four attempts at dialing the number, but I actually did it! Those people don't give you a chance to back out either! They picked up BEFORE the first ring, and scheduled my appointment for first thing tomorrow morning. YIKES! I was thinking I'd have a week or so to psych myself up for it! Now I'm having a freaking panic attack!!!

I almost didn't call because I've been on a pretty good high the past few days. I'm feeling GOOD! I want to go back to school! I want to get more tats, dress like a hoochie-mama and dance on bars (just ask Michele and Sasha... I expressed my desire to do just that on Saturday!). Just this morning I had a sudden urge to ask Jake to take me to the shooting range and teach me how to shoot! Where the heck did THAT come from?!? Sure, I'd been watching Law & Order: SVU, but why would that give me the sudden urge to want to shoot at things?!?

Then I got an email from my mom this afternoon telling me all about a relative's latest "freak out" (we don't get this mental stuff from any stranger, that's for sure), and I realized that I was going a little loony myself. Table-dancing and dressing like a streetwalker are NOT "normal, sane" things for me to want to do. So I got up the nerve, and called. And NOW, I actually have to go!

So yes. I am FREAKING OUT!!! But hopefully the psychiatrist can figure out once and for all why I'm having these ridiculous mood swings and doing some seriously stupid things. Let's hope I don't back out of my appointment. Wish me luck. ...and wish the shrink luck. ...and I wish all of you luck! You're gonna need it having to deal with me.

Thank you for all of the support and encouragement. I definitely appreciate it!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Fearing the Journey

I found a quote when I was going through my journal that really hit home with me. It was something that I'd read in a book called "The Locket" by Richard Paul Evans.

"The most difficult of decisions are often not the ones
in which we cannot determine the correct course,
rather the ones in which we are certain of the path,
but fear the journey."

As I've been struggling with whatever this craziness is that's going on in my head, I've known that I need to talk to someone. I know that I need to see a professional who can actually diagnose me and help me work through this. In the past 10 months I've gone as far as getting pre-approved through my insurance, and then something stops me dead in my tracks. ...the fear of the journey... the fear of what might happen if I'm diagnosed with something that would actually label me as "crazy"... the fear of actually having to answer questions that I've never answered before... the fear of breaking down in front of someone (for the most part, that's something that I've pretty much managed to keep to myself until now)...

So I put off making the appointment in the hopes that this will all go away on its own. I've had manic-depressive tendencies since college (maybe before). I'll suddenly freak out and make major life-altering decisions without thinking about it and then suffer the consequences. (Like having an anxiety attack and packing up and moving an hour and a half away from work because "I JUST NEED SOME QUIET DAMMIT!!!") Then I'll sink into a depression so low that I use every ounce of strength that I have to function for the eight hours a day at work that I sleep for 20 hours a day on the weekends.

Up until this past year, the ups and downs of the roller coaster had been fairly far apart, so I didn't really notice it as much. But now, my mood can change from one minute to the next without warning. I'll be on a total high thinking that I can change the world with my smile alone, then someone will look at me funny and I'll want to tear their limbs off. After that, I'll realize that I'm being irrational and I'll start to cry. Then I think, "Screw it! Let's go to Happy Hour, girls!" It's gotten so bad that I don't even recognize myself anymore. Which brings me back to the "fearing the journey" thing...

I know it's completely ridiculous. I know I'll feel better when I'm diagnosed and can get on the right kind of medication and treatment. Rationally, I know I'll have a better chance of being able to adopt a child once I've gone through treatment and gotten everything under control. But my biggest irrational fear is that the social worker doing the adoption homestudy will read my medical history and fail me on the spot because I've been diagnosed as "crazy." So I sit paralyzed in fear of the journey and of what might come of it.

I am trying. I do realize that I need to get help. I know I'm not going to get better on my own. "The most difficult of decisions are often not the ones in which we cannot determine the correct course, rather the ones in which we are certain of the path, but fear the journey."
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