Silent outreach

Hey

I’m here

I wanted to say hi

And I kinda want to talk

But I don’t have anything to say

There’s nothing new with me

No news

No excitement

Just plain old boring old me

But I kinda want to talk

I want to ask what’s up with you

But I don’t want to bother you

You’ve probably got stuff going on

News

Excitement

You know… stuff

I wish I had something to say

Some reason to talk

But there’s nothing new

Just plain me

Boring me

Just me

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Help! Help! I’m being suppressed!

*insert Monty Python gif here*

Well, good ol’ Arthur has gotten me again. Arthur-itis, that is. Yep, my rheumatologist started me on a biologic immunosuppressant today. I get to give myself a shot every two weeks. Yay. Not.

It’s not that I mind getting shots, or even giving them to myself. Whatever. A second of burning, a couple minutes of discomfort, and it’s done for the next two weeks. What annoys me is that it’s yet another medicine in a long list of meds. An expensive one. Sheesh. Couldn’t she at least take away one of the other ones while she was at it?

Can’t deny that it’s more than a little depressing. I’m not even 40 for crying out loud! There are 90-something-year-old patients at work who take fewer meds than I do.

Here’s hoping it helps at least.

Kinda want something to do, kinda don’t want to be around people…or do I?

So here’s something about social anxiety that you might not realize: sometimes, we actually want to hang out. We just don’t know how to make ourselves approach people in order to hang out.

One prime example is me today. I had nothing to do, but I wanted to do…. something. I didn’t know what; all the things there were to do involved peopling. Go hang with my husband who was standing guard for the Queen? People. Going to an art class? People. Wandering through the vendor tents? You guessed it: people. So what’s a girl to do?

Well, this girl slept. I took a depression nap because I had nothing to do that didn’t involve being around people who were mostly strangers to me. Not exactly fun.

It’s hard to articulate. I mean, for people who don’t have social anxiety it might seem stupid. But it’s a thing. A real thing. And sometimes it pisses me off. I want to have something to do. I want to hang out. But I don’t. I don’t want to. Fucking frustrating.

It’s like wanting a cookie. But you’re allergic to the nuts in the cookie. Or rather, your brain tells you you’re allergic to the nuts in the cookie. Your brain tells you that if you eat that cookie you’ll fucking die. But hot damn, that cookie looks good.

Right now I’m among close friends, so I’m cool just sitting around. I can handle this. I’ve got to learn how to let myself relax around semi-strangers, though.

I can only take so many naps.

Beatdown

I’m done. Done. Totally, completely, 1000% done.

Except I’m not. I have more to do, farther to go, deeper to dig. In other words, I’m shit out of luck.

Ok, let me back up a bit.

I’ve been covering for a co-worker who had surgery a week ago, and even though I learned how to do that position a little over a year ago, my training was quick and dirty. Basically, the only backup person for that position quit and I had to step up and dive in. Speed training.

Incomplete speed training.

Yeah. There are huge chunks of aspects of the position that are missing from my knowledge/experience base. Some of the things never came up during that speed training, and despite me pointing this out multiple times it has never been rectified. I literally am the only other person “trained” in this position, and as the past week has demonstrated I am not truly prepared.

I didn’t realize how much stress I was under this past week until this morning. My worsening insomnia, which I had been attributing to just me being me, has most likely been due to this sudden change in work duties. This afternoon, the buildup of stress and strain and pressure came to a head in the form of a massive anxiety attack. During the work day. Full-blown crying-my-eyes-out find-a-place-to-hide-from-reality anxiety attack.

It has been a long, long time since I’ve had an attack that bad while at work. I have to admit, I’m more than a bit ashamed of it. I thought I was past this kind of thing.

Guess not.

Now, work life isn’t my only stressor right now. I have other things going on that are probably not helping matters. Could I cut back on one or more of the non-work activities? Sure. I could. Will I? Probably not too much. Some of my private life things demand a certain degree of responsibility, and some of them involve dear friends who I do not want to disappoint or let down. So I’m going to plow through my off hours just like I’m plowing through the work stress. Will that mean more breakdowns? Probably… but hopefully I can keep any impending meltdowns to times when I can get away and hide my shame.
I’m not sure what I’ll do to destress aside from the date night that my wonderful husband has planned for tomorrow. Work will calm down eventually. I’ll get my personal life sorted to the point where I can function.

I just wish I could fast forward to this stress leveling off.

Soon, though, right? Please?

Mixed blessings

So, like, is it a good sign or a bad sign when your insomnia leaves you conveniently awake at the right time to clean up the cat puke while it’s still fresh? I mean, on the one hand I was able to wipe it up right away and, since I heard him hacking, I was able to avoid stepping in it (because stepping in cat puke–fresh or not–is gross). On the other hand, I got maybe an hour of sleep before my brain woke the fuck up and refused to go back to sleep. This makes three out of the past four nights where my body wakes up after less than three hours, and nothing I do seems to fix it.

I’d say I’m sick and tired of it, but I’m not tired. At all. (As for the sick part, I might still be a bit queasy after cleaning up the cat puke.)

Today–or I guess I should say “last night” since it was before midnight that I woke back up–I was able to identify at least part of the problem: My damn train of thought. See, I went to bed a little … disappointed, I guess? Or maybe a bit hurt. It’s one of those things that happens to normal people and it’s not even a thing, but because I’m me it became a thing. Enough of a thing that my brain decided to blow it out of proportion and make it a huge thing that probably really isn’t even a microscopic thing. My feelings get hurt so damn easy, and often for no good fucking reason. I’m starting to annoy the snot out of myself with it. This thing-that-isn’t-a-thing shouldn’t have me up late at night crying and stewing and moping and pouting. I should be sleeping like a baby. But no, not me. I apparently decided I was going to get upset and worked up over this not-thing. So yeah. That’s why I’m here, writing this ramble of a blog post. I’m kinda hoping I bore myself back to sleep with it. (So far it’s not working.)

I guess I’ll lie here in the dark and try to not think or something. I don’t even know what else to do at this point. Definitely no thinking though. Thinking leads to things-that-aren’t-things. Things-that-aren’t-things lead to butthurt. Butthurt leads to insomnia.

Let Sleeping Demons Lie

It’s World Mental Health Day, and I thought I’d take a little bit of time to discuss mental health–largely because it is most definitely directly relevant to my life. Sometimes I joke about it, because the humor helps relieve the pressure. Other times, though, like right now, I want to be more serious about the subject of mental health. It’s a very serious thing, and one that needs more awareness.

It has been a while since I’ve mentioned this here (because, well, it shouldn’t be something worth mentioning): I’m bipolar. I don’t have it as bad as some people, and the medications keep my emotional state mostly under control, but it’s there all the same. I don’t get to take a vacation from it. I don’t get to say, “Y’know, I think I’m not going to be bipolar today.” It’s there. It’s a daily thing, regardless of whether or not it’s at the forefront of my mind.

The fates have been kind to me lately in that I have been able to almost forget that I’m bipolar–almost. My moods have been running fairly stable, and aside from the daily pill regimen to keep those moods in check I really don’t have any constant reminders these days of the horror that I used to endure. I can’t really describe it adequately in prose; poetry sometimes better conveys the roller coaster of bipolar life. I’m going to add a poem here that the narcissist in me is quite proud of: “Hostage in My Head,” a poem written during a more difficult mental state.

 

“Hostage in My Head” (from Kamikaze Butterflies by AJ Mullican)

Trapped alone

Awash in a sea of terror

No escape from my own deranged thoughts

Impossible futures scroll through my mind

Over and over on a continuous loop

My mental movie screen glows

As the macabre fantasy plays unbidden

Death and disaster overtake reality

Can’t focus on the here and now

When the “might be” looms on the horizon

Against my will my death plays out again

For the hundredth time this hour

I watch my lifeless form slide to the ground

Shot in the convenience store

Pulled from the mangled wreck

Coded mysteriously at work

At the sight of my imagined death

My heart rate soars and pounds

There’s nothing beautiful and delicate

About the kamikaze butterflies in my chest

Every single nerve

Teeters on the edge of a precipitous drop

With a nightmare at the bottom

Just one nudge

One little push

And everything will come crashing down

I tiptoe on the inside

Walking the fine line between sanity and oblivion

Pacing the padded room within my skull

Inside I scream for a reprieve, for escape

Even for sweet, sweet nothingness

But my calls go unheeded

The nightmare begins anew

I am my own personal terrorist

And I am the hostage

 

So yeah. Sometimes it’s like that. Sometimes it’s easy going. Sometimes it scares the fuck out of me. You can never tell what the next day–or minute, or second–will bring. And you know what else you sometimes can’t tell? If someone even has mental illness. That’s right, it’s sneaky shit. The stereotype is always the scruffy guy standing in the corner at the bus station, muttering to himself. That. Is. NOT. Typical of mental illness. Yes, it happens, but mental illness could be as innocuous as a slight slump to the shoulders, an unusual amount of energy, a sigh. There are infinite signs, and they can be infinitesimal.

To anyone reading this who suffers from mental illness, no matter what that illness is, I’m here. I may not be able to fully understand your personal illness, or even your own form of bipolar disorder, but I can talk. I can listen. To anyone reading this who is fortunate enough to be fairly mentally “sound,” if you know someone who is mentally ill, be that person who talks. Who listens. Sometimes just a little show of support and understanding is enough to keep the demons at bay.

For now the demons are quiet, and I think I’ll let them sleep a little longer.

So much to do, so little time for nothing

Eight to twelve hours at work five days a week. Either game or events on Saturdays, then Sundays are either visiting with family/doing laundry/rapier practice or more event stuff. Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings after work are for exercising, and Friday is more rapier practice. I occasionally get scheduled for a half day here and there, but inevitably someone calls out and I end up working the whole day.

That bugs the ever-living snot out of me. I feel like people see that I’m scheduled off-unless-needed and decide to suddenly be “sick” when they really just want a free day.

Why don’t I get free days? I don’t blame my bosses; they have to staff the clinic as is necessary. I kind of blame my coworkers sometimes though. Okay, most of the time. I mean, do they realize the kind of life I lead? If it wasn’t for my early-morning insomnia I’d never get anything done outside of work. No writing. No sewing. No artwork. Nothing. Just because I’m not out partying every night or don’t have kids to take care of doesn’t mean I don’t have things to do.

I’m tempted to request off more often just to get a break here and there, despite the need for PTO when I actually need the off days. I just can’t seem to catch a break.

Maybe this afternoon I’ll get the half day I was hoping for.

Maybe. But I doubt it.