Monday, May 06, 2013

More Better Living Through Chemistry

Seriously, I am counting my blessings and one of them is my prescription for Zoloft and that for Klonopin, only the Zoloft takes a while to start working.  So thankfully the Klonopin is there in the meantime to help me through this period of time.  Seeing a psychiatrist was good, and she said something about me having extreme stress, is that my diagnosis?  I guess there was the implication that this is temporary, or something.  Though come to think of it, what isn't temporary.  It's nice to look down the road in my life, to think that maybe I will stop feeling this anxiety so often.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Anxiety Abounds

Wow, haven't been blogging much lately, have I?  Honestly this last month was kind of a blur of stress and crap and I'd prefer to not have to deal with the like again.  I think I'm only starting to calm down a little bit because a friend of mine gave me some of her klonopin.  And I have an appointment next week to talk to a psychiatrist, and probably get some chemicals of my own.  After years of depression followed by years of remission, I seem to have developed an anxiety disorder.  Though as a friend of mine said, well you have a reason to be anxious.  Yes, and no.  At this point, I have a lot of irrational fears and it's affecting how I am interacting with the world, and I'm just done with that.  I don't want to be afraid in my house.  I don't want to be afraid to leave my house.  I don't want to be inside my brain which is constantly catastrophizing everything and spinning and spinning in a bad way.  Anyway, I am moving towards finding help, finding a way to cope and move forward with my life.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Drinking and Waking Up

I'm feeling a wee bit hungover this morning.  My friend Kim's husband was in town, and we all went to have dinner at this newish restaurant which has amazing cocktails, and then we had wine, and then I had an aperitif, and then we went back to my house to watch Game of Thrones and had more wine.  To paraphrase something my friend Susannah said to me this week, I drink just enough so that I don't have a problem with it.  I don't think I'm venturing into alchy territory but I think that amongst last weekend's drinking, and now this weekend so far...  Eh.  Not the worst thing ever.  I am drinking coffee now and contemplating actually eating some food, and then eventually a shower will help.  Thankfully I didn't have to wake up super early or anything, unlike Kim whose husband had a 7 am flight.

It's weird to have a weekend where I have no house guests, I'm not going out of town, and not really much going on.  It's probably good to have that because I feel a need to clean my house and catch up on my DVR and all of that sort of thing.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Weekend Trip

Had a fabulous weekend in Paso Robles.  I won a free trip last year and finally got around to going this past weekend.  I guess it was a good time to go, nice weather, and it wasn't too crowded.  Apparently the big season to go is in summer, though it sounds like it would be more fun to go in fall with the grapes all coming in then.  Because my trip was free, I ended up buying a bunch of wine at just about every winery we wine-tasted at, and coming home, I feel like I barely have enough storage for it all.  Must drink faster.  It was seriously wonderful having a luxurious free weekend where I got free food, free hotel, free wine tasting.  One of the really fun things we got to do was a private shuttle bus to several wineries, and the tour guide picked a lot of the smaller places that I never would have found on my own.

The weekend was a bit nerve-wracking in a way, going away and leaving my house, and all of the anxiety of just doing a road trip and all of that, but it ended up being fine.  The navigation system in my car turns out to be great for road trips, makes it very easy to find places.  And the storage space was enough for bags and wine.  Just don't get as great mileage as I do in the city driving I normally do, which I guess is a result of the hybrid motor.  And when I came home, I was pleased to see my house was still standing, my alarm system was still working, and my cats had survived in my absence.  I do feel some of the large-scale anxiety I've had for the last few weeks begin to ebb away, little by little.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Nerves of Spaghetti

I had a decent visit with my mom last weekend.  It was funny in a way because I was quite nervous we would have problems after her horrid visit to me last year, and then, well when you undergo other major traumatic events, it's not as big of a deal when your mom starts on about one of her ongoing issues.  Things have certainly settled down in my life since last year, despite the recent problems.  I definitely see room for improvement but I'm making progress.

I still feel enough anxious enough of the time, but I am feeling a bit less paralyzed by it, and a bit more rational about it.  I definitely am not at or anywhere near 100% or where I'd like to be but I am also just coping with stuff better.

Last week didn't help with being super busy at work, plus I picked up a UTI that was resistant to the first antibiotic that I took.  The good thing about that is I have Kaiser which makes it easy to get someone on the phone, get prescribed meds, and be on my way.  I picked Kaiser randomly at work years ago, with the other health plan costing more money and Kaiser seeming like the cheaper choice.  I am nothing but happy and grateful for their services.  Not perfect by any means, but they make it easy to deal with routine stuff and even get treatment at all hours.  And their call-in nurses are fantastic.

One day at a time, one thing at a time.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Stress Less

I'm trying actively to stress less.  It doesn't help that this week I've been kind of under the gun at work due to my ever absent coworker being out, and my boss is also on vacation, so I'm a bit more of a worker bee than usual.  It also doesn't help that I developed a UTI on Monday, and that has been somewhat unpleasant.  Though you know, these problems would seem minor, but sometimes it seems like problems compound themselves, like a snowball rolling downhill in a cartoon.

I have been thinking a lot about just wanting to reduce my overall stress levels and increase my capacity for coping.  In the midst of my recent problems, I feel very overwhelmed, and I also know on another level, things could be much worse.  Not that I've overblowing my problems, not that I'm doubting my reactions, but I just feel like I'd like to handle things a little bit better, bounce back to normal a little bit faster.  Maybe I foolishly believed that no one would ever break into my house, and now, I'm overly sensitive to the idea, to a point where sometimes I'm nervous if I'm out of the house all day.  I guess it has been less than two weeks, and maybe I'm pushing myself to "fix" things too quickly, but I'm also tired of feeling stressed and depressed about this.  My brain goes haywire to thoughts of maybe I should just sell my house, maybe I should put bars on the windows, maybe I can take a leave of absence from work to guard my house day and night...  And I know that's all a little bit over the top, an overreaction to a bad situation.

There is probably a whole continuum of people, of how we react to things, react to trauma.  I'm wanting to react in a better way than I have been, to stop with this "why me" and also this paranoia I've had about it.  I always used to hate that saying, "it is what it is," because people would just say it blithely and it seemed meaningless.  But lately, I've been trying to come from a place of acceptance, and I realize that statement is about acceptance.  I could wish that things didn't happen the way they did, I could ruminate on what I could have done better, and I could be paranoid of other bad things that might happen.  Or I could just accept and then move on, and remind myself that I'm doing the best that I can and that sometimes bad things happen, and sometimes good things happen, and often, things that are good and bad at the same time happen.  And being anxious about things doesn't make things any better, and I don't like the way it feels.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Busy Day

I'm sitting in my office, working on my new computer.  I upgraded to something that was more expensive than I'll probably get paid for by insurance, but oh well.  I had wanted to get a new computer at some point, some day.  Not now, I wasn't ready.  Ditto with the TV.  I'm enjoying my new TV a lot (because, it's newer, faster, bigger, and cost about the same as the old one I got two years ago).  But it's a weird feeling that I have, that I can't get so attached to these things because who knows when they also might be taken from me.  It's also a little weird sitting in my office, because that's where they broke in.  I don't think it's related exactly but I do still remember exactly how things looked when I came in, with papers strewn everywhere, and the window wide open, and I would like to drop that mental image from my head.

Today I've been as busy as heck, some of which started with my new gardeners coming at 7:30 am to start doing work on putting down a new lawn for my front yard.  Honestly, it's hard to tell what the exact noise was from, but it was noisy as hell.  My bedroom faces the front yard, no way to sleep if I wanted to.  And then I've done one thing after another, like getting the police report together, paying bills, making calls.  I also got a safety deposit box and put my passport and birth certificate in that.  It was more complicated than I thought it would be, in terms of how long it took, but I'm glad I have that.  (Just need to figure out where to put the keys, but that's another story.)  Anyway, I did go in afterwards and volunteer for a few, and now I'm typing this while doing laundry and getting ready to go out to dinner with a friend.  So, a busy day.  And tomorrow is going to be more of the same because I need to prepare for my mom's upcoming visit by cleaning my house.  It is overdue.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Who I'd Rather Be

I'm still coping, hanging in here.  I wouldn't even say I'm doing a particularly great job.  Today my cell phone rang at work and it was my new alarm company, calling to touch base with me, and I start freaking out that they are calling because someone broke into my house again.  And I don't think that my adrenaline rush from that has died down yet, if you want to know the truth.  When I got home, I googled PTSD because that is a phrase that people use to describe something like this sometimes, this trauma after an event, and once again, I don't think I have the DSM definition of it.  I think years (and years and years) of often catastrophizing and then minimizing my feelings have left me without a good sense of scale for these things.  I spend enough time wondering and worrying about how I'm reacting, and not enough time just allowing myself to react in the moment.  Because I worry about my emotions spiraling out of control, losing control... yeah this is anxiety talking.

Rationally I know that the odds of my house being broken into again are pretty small, particularly since I have the alarm system, locks on the gates, etc.  But still that fear remains of what I experienced last week, coming home and my place was in total disarray.  They turned drawers inside out, looking for good jewelry, I assume, something I don't have much of.  And then seeing not just my computer gone but my backup drive.  And the window, wide open, and thankfully the cats hadn't jumped out of it.  And some of it all reminding me so much of the day that I came to have lunch with my dad, only he was dead.  That same feeling of disorienting loss, of things that I thought were secure and certain, would continue to always be so.

Anyway, I'm dealing, working my way through it.  Today was a bad day for it because I still don't feel like myself yet.  I feel like someone else, someone I once was, maybe, living in fear, and not someone that I want to be now.  But I know this is all a process, and I'm working my way through it, one day at a time.  I just hope tomorrow is better.

Monday, March 18, 2013

What Can I Do Without?

I came home last Thursday from work to find out that my house had been broken into and my TV, computer, iPad, and backup drive had all been stolen.  Oh and some other stuff, like some euros I had been saving for my next trip, and a really nice ring my grandmother gave me.  Thankfully the cats did not go out the window the burglars left open, though the poor babies were just cowering under the bed when I got home.  It was good that it was a weekend when I had out of town visitors, a welcome distraction from focusing on the frustration of this horrible situation.

The annoying thing is that as traumatic and annoying as losing some personal items was, not to mention the sense of violation and having crooks poking into my drawers (both meanings), that it was nowhere near some of the worse situations I've had in my life recently.  I think that coming home to a house burglarized is minuscule on the scale of crap compared to going over to my dad's place and finding he had died.  And really, it was a one time event, not like sitting on that horribly sad jury trial I was on last year.  Not to mention the day to day work stress we had in the last few months.

But you know, I'm coping.  I remember a time when I was having huge problems with my old computer, and I didn't get cable and I just remember sitting in my house being super panicky and anxious and feeling alone and scared.  And I just don't feel that way anymore.  I had so many friends who offered support or helped me out recently, including a friend who came right over, and another one who spent the night the first night so I would be able to sleep a little.  And my mind now is not the distorted thing it once was, and that helps the coping when I'm not spiraling into depressive scenarios.

Of course, it helped going out and buying a kickass new TV that is bigger and better (and almost the same price) as the old one I got two years ago.  I am hoping that my homeowner's insurance will foot the bill for this but I think that it's definitely worth it.  Also, I think this one is too big to steal!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Some Griping

Dunno why I've felt a little bit cranky this weekend.  Oh could be starting off Friday night meeting my therapy friends for dinner.  I swear to god, why can a group of women not get together and eat dinner without talking about fucking diets all the time?  Or about how this food is "bad" and this food is "good" and we are all just going to hell in a handbasket for a fucking meal.  I think I've just hit my lifetime limit for diet talk or something, but I was just noticing how banal and boring it was.  The measure of a life, of a woman's life, is not in her waistline.  Yet it seemed to be all that these people could talk about, and it just seemed so very shallow and boring.  And you know, if you want to diet, exercise, whatever, more power to you, but it seems like it should fall more into the "politics and religion" in shared social experiences, where you talk about it on a limited basis because you might offend someone else, or maybe someone doesn't agree with you.  I don't know, maybe I'm an outlier and this is just some weird paradigm.

Also I was with a friend yesterday and she was repeating one of those "white people are like this, black people are like that" jokes and I just said nothing.  I'm certainly not going to pretend that racist stuff was funny and I didn't really think fast enough to say something about it.  I think that it's easy for white people, or people who pass for white, to go around repeating stuff like that and not really examine their own privilege or thing about what they are saying, or how it might be offensive to others.  I probably spend way too much time reading stuff on the internet about racism, but I also feel like it makes me a less ignorant person, and a person who is far less likely to spout off some stuff of that nature.

Let's see, what else annoys me?  I guess not much.  A lot of good stuff coming down the pike, including DMA and other friend as houseguests and got a bid to get my crazy yard under some semblance of order, so that is going to occur soon.  Seriously the yard was in bad shape when I moved in, and a winter of healthy rains made all kinds of weeds come up, some a foot high.  Sometimes I have this feeling of that I "should" be doing this all myself, and I should be responsible, but I actually think that getting someone else to do it instead of me procrastinating and cursing at my laziness is probably the more responsible thing to do.  Not to mention that I have little gardening skill and more importantly, not a lot of desire to start doing that stuff.  It's not cheap, but cheaper than I thought, and with some outlay of funds, I can end up with a nicer looking yard.