It’s been over a year since my last confession…

Listening to Grimes, trying to block out the circus upstairs. Caught up on some blog reading, and remembered, hey I have this marypoppinz thing I haven’t thought about in a while. Every time I do this, I expect to not be able to log in. Like my absence will trigger ostracism for absenteeism.

But here I am. All logged in and ready to type.

The seasons are in transition again. We had a brief interlude with fall, and now it seems to be winter already, snow and all. Every year I think I can’t take another winter here. And yet every year, I am here. Trying to mentally prepare for the bitter ass cold.

It’s been so long, where do I begin? Long narrative gaps leave me feeling lost on here. Last time I wrote about being in some research for Trintellix. That research is over, as of four months ago. While I was on it, I couldn’t really feel much of a difference, and I came to the conclusion that I would not continue taking it after the research. A couple of weeks after I stopped, I realized my mood had plummeted and the ADD was very strong. I can’t be sure of the cause. Does it mean that the Trintellix was working for me and I didn’t even realize it until I stopped? Does it mean my brain kind of backfired from the change? Or was it just part of the ebb and flow of my moods?

Maybe I will try taking it again. When I told my regular physician, he just up and gave me a huge box of samples to take home just in case. I guess that’s good, considering the psychiatrist that invited me to the research has not followed up with me at all despite his promises to do just that.

I’m still with S.O., Musician Guy. Most of our relationship has been long distance, and he only just moved back to the city two months ago, like four blocks from where I live. It’s quite a change having him here, so close, all of the time. Still processing how it feels. I’m afraid I’ve become so accustomed to my reclusive lifestyle that I won’t be able to handle having a “normal” relationship. Time will tell I guess?

I’m still “working” on my novel I started another lifetime ago. I feel stuck. I sometimes wonder if it’s because I feel stuck in life.

That’s all I can muster in this update for now. Stay tuned for more updates on the trivial pursuits of marypoppinz!

 

 

The Parent, the Child and the Monster: inner conflict and making choices

My therapist has helped me to see that there’s a little kid inside me desperately trying to tell me what it needs, and that I should respect her voice. This has led me to the thought that at any given time, I am made up up three “people”: the child, the parent and My Monster D. And they are always fighting.

I had a pretty good day yesterday. I went to work, I went to yoga and a night market with a friend, and then we went to see Mad Max (great movie btw). But now my friend is trying to persuade me to go to a swing dance club tonight, and I don’t really want to.

But it’s never as simple as that. The “parent” inside is saying It doesn’t matter if you want to go, you should go. You need the social interaction and you need the exercise, and you need to be a good friend.” The child inside is going But I don’t wanna! and the Monster is threatening with You better not, or else.

So…majority rules? Or does parent know best??

Just Be.

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In February of this year I found a therapist. The last time I went to therapy was with a counsellor at the university (and I don’t even want to think about how many years ago that was). I’m not sure yet if the therapy is making a real difference, and I’ve had to downgrade the frequency of our appointments due to using up my insurance coverage.

But, since starting therapy I have been trying to be more active again by getting outside for walks, and buying a yoga pass. I even bought a bike which is something I’ve been putting off for years, (in part because it all felt so pointless and in part because my anxiety makes shopping for a bike a nightmare). But I did it, and it’s locked up outside my door, just waiting to be used.

If nothing else, meeting with my therapist has given me a reason to get out of the house on the weekends, when I’d really rather play hermit and watch Netflix. Once I’m out of the house, I try to take advantage of it. I usually end up at a coffee shop with a book or my work-in-progress. I’m trying to be okay with just being there, among the humans, without getting too frustrated that I can’t concentrate in public. My therapist has pointed out that I tend to think and do in extremes: it’s all or nothing. And most of the time I choose nothing because I’m somewhat of a “perfectionist”.

So I’m trying to just be –outside, in public, visible.

My therapist also pointed out to me that I might have ADD. I never really thought of my symptoms as ADD but she’s right. She asked me to set up an appointment with a psychiatrist to get an official diagnosis. Two months later, the appointment is over. Yes I do have ADD but “let’s treat the depression”.

Because I’m not too keen on starting antidepressants again (last time I took them was in 2005), my psychologist thought treating the ADD would help me get back on track, give me the focus and energy to make positive changes in my life which would then help my depression. I made peace with taking something like Adderall. However, I got to the psychiatrist and he agreed that I have ADD but wasn’t at all interested in focusing on that.

He’s quite convinced that I need meds for depression, and wants me to start with a newer drug called Trintellix because it might also help with the cognitive symptoms I experience, like problems with memory, focus, attention-span, executive functioning of the brain. I remember the long list of side effects of antidepressants and the severe discontinuation symptoms that lasted two weeks or more when I very responsibly weaned myself off of them. I remember the vertigo if I forgot to take one pill. I remember feeling that the minimal improvement to my mood wasn’t worth it.

I left his office feeling defeated. I didn’t agree to anything. I can still call him back and say no, I want ADD meds only, or I can go the Trintellix route. I can also be a part of his research for this drug which would at least mean more follow-up. He also told me about ECT treatment, which I was interested in, but apparently it means two months in a hospital, so that’s probably out.

I don’t know what to do. And I need to decide soon.

My therapist suggested I start a chronology of childhood memories, because mine seem to be so scattered and hard to reach. This seemed a daunting task. But I’ve been working on it. I’m going to post some of them here in hopes that it will motivate me to continue with it.

In the meantime, just trying not to spiral too fast so I can get my footing again.

A Random, Jumbled Mess

Right now I’m sipping on herbal tea, trying to soothe my raw throat. I’ve been quite sick since Thursday and it seems to now have developed into a dry, painful cough.

My throat feels so restricted I’ve seriously thought about what I could use in my place if I have to keep it open to breath. (I settled on the empty shell of a pen if you were wondering. Or maybe….the exercise tubing I got from my physiotherapist, at least it’s flexible).

Am I overreacting? Maybe. Here’s hoping.

I haven’t been on here in quite a long time, once again. I don’t know why that happens. Everything’s going swimmingly and I’m writing on a regular if not sporadic basis, and then bam, I’m all like “forget this shit, it’s pointless”. But I’m here to try, try again, cause isn’t that what it’s all about? Try and try and try again until you’re dead?

I was told once that the narrative suffers when posts are spread out so far apart. Kinda like life. There are these slightly higher, lighter moments but they’re just so fucking spread apart that my life story becomes a random, jumbled mess with no real point.

Maybe I should get some sleep. Sigh. (raspy, painful sigh)

Update on this whole life thing.

Dear Internet, 

Since I last posted a lot has happened. I had my last day at the Hellmouth and it was awful. It’s been extremely hot and humid here, and the air quality has sucked even more because of forest fires with far-reaching smoke. I had a tiny little office in the back of the building with no proper air circulation or air conditioning, so I was literally drenched in sweat at my office job for the last week.

One last story of the ridiculous nature of my workplace: It’s a tradition to provide a farewell lunch for people who leave the Hellmouth. So my boss, who I fondly nick-named The Beast, came to my office and said “What would you like us to have for lunch? You can pick anything you want.” To which I replied, “Hmm, let me think on it and I will get back to you shortly.” So I asked a few people on my side of the office and came to the conclusion, that instead of the traditional Chinese food, I would like to have Indian food. She predictably turned her nose up at this and said that “no one would eat it.” No one. Apparently that’s just crazy talk. Anyways, she guilted me into saying “It’s okay, I just want everyone to be able to eat. Let’s go with Chinese food.” So she tells me to check out their menu and make a list of my favourites. So I do. And the motherfuckers didn’t order a single one of them.

Don’t get me wrong, a free lunch is a free lunch, but why the Hell would you bother asking if you have no intention whatsoever of being accommodating? Typical. I was about 80% certain that it would go down that way anyway, but there was just this tiny part of me that was like, maybe….

So my last week there was stupid busy and hot and humid and sweaty and I still bloody cried on my last day. I should have been jumping up and down with joy while thumbing my nose at them and screaming “see ya later suckers”, but instead I got all stupid and teary-eyed. Have I mentioned that change is very hard for me?

My Musician Guy

My Musician Guy

Anywho, the plan was to go visit my family for a bit, come back to the city in time to go to Epic Concert, and then have a week to enjoy the fact that The People Upstairs are gone for a week, before starting my new job.

So I went home. And as soon as I got there, I got really, really sick. Had to go to the doctor, was told I have strep throat, was given antibiotics, and was sick almost the entire time I was home. It was smoky as all Hell for a few days there too, and I’m guessing the poor air quality didn’t help my sickness.

So I finally felt better on the last day, and then we leave, driving the 10 hours back to the City. The next day I found out my dad had a “minor” heart attack. What the shit? I’m freaking out about it as he’s still in the hospital and they are flying him to a bigger city for an angiogram and possible angioplasty.

I don’t know what to do. I was just there (it’s ten hours away) and I’m starting a new job very soon. They’re moving him for the out-of-town-test possibly tomorrow, but it’s not for sure, and if I went, I think I would have to fly but don’t think I have the money.

I’ve been pretty emotional. There’s a lot going on, and I can’t stand the thought of my dad in a hospital bed, emotional and frustrated that what he thought was a healthy lifestyle hasn’t made a lick of difference to his heart health. I’m scared. And I’m angry and frustrated that people can let themselves get to a point where making changes and trying new things seems absolutely out of the question. Like, I know yoga would help him in so many ways, but do you think he would ever consider trying it, even if his life was at stake? I don’t think so.

It also makes me worry about the rest of us since heart problems run pretty strongly in the family and it just feels like a destiny I don’t want for any of us, but what the shit does it matter because it’s out of our control anyway, right?

Sincerely,

Stressed the Fuck Out