Archive for the ‘Mental Health’ Category

Well that was unexpected.

There I was, filling out a form at the rheumatologist’s office, when all of a sudden it hit me: I’ve been mild to moderately depressed for a good two or three weeks and I didn’t even notice.

I should have noticed, but I guess I’ve been so busy it just snuck up on me. I haven’t been super interested in the usual stuff, and that should have been a big sign. Combine that with the fact that I ran out of my meds, and it’s hard to believe I didn’t put two and two together. (Not to worry; all the meds are in the process of being refilled.) It just wasn’t until I checked the box stating that I have been experiencing depression that I even gave it a thought.

I guess that’s kind of a good thing, if you look at it a certain way. I was doing well enough for long enough that I almost–almost–forgot I am bipolar. Almost. So much else was going on that “bipolar” and “depression” kind of simmered on the back burner while I dealt with the now.

(Hubby just asked me what I’m writing about. I told him, and he has properly scolded me for not taking my meds.)

To prevent further issues, I have had the pharmacy put my meds on auto fill. Clearly I can’t trust myself to keep track of that kind of thing right now.

One thing that hasn’t surprised me is the increase in arthritis pain and stiffness lately. I’ve gotten out of the habit of exercising a couple of times a week and it’s taking a toll. Work schedules don’t allow for much exercise though, at least with my friends’ current regimen. Their best days and times happen to occur on the longest work days of the week for me, so I don’t get the opportunity to join them often. When the opportunity does arise, I’m usually so exhausted–both physically and mentally–that I just don’t have the drive to go. My joints have noticed the lack of exercise. Oh, how they have noticed. I can’t sit in one position too long or my knees get really stiff and uncooperative. Just this afternoon, on the way to the doctor, I got out of the car at a gas station and almost couldn’t walk inside. My left knee was so stiff and painful that I had to limp most of the way into the store and a little bit inside before I regained adequate range of motion. Not quite to “handicap parking”-level loss of mobility, but definitely not my norm.

I think I have a psychiatrist appointment next week. Better brace myself for the inevitable lecture on keeping up with my drug regimen. At least I am aware of the problem before I go in. I can try to remember not to automatically tell the doctor that everything is “fine.”

You’d be surprised how easy it is to slip into that automatic response no matter how bad things actually are. It’s become customary to say that you’re “fine” when someone inquires how you are doing. We don’t want to burden friends and family with our problems, we don’t want to sound like we’re whining, or whatever the reason happens to be. I have to get over that enough to let my doctor know what he needs to know. He can’t help if I don’t let him know there’s something going on, after all.

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I’ll be the first to admit: I don’t go over to my parents’ house as often as I should. Once a week for laundry and watching Project Runway and maybe dinner if we can swing it. I mean, we’re moving in right next door, so we’ll theoretically be there more often soon, right?

Well, maybe not. Apparently, visiting Mom whenever I get the chance and trying to get her to go to the doctor when she’s been sick for over a week and not going along to the dog training classes for her new service puppy qualifies as being “disrespectful” according to my little sister’s out-of-the-blue texts this afternoon. No warning, no prior complaints of lack of respect from her, but now it appears I’ve been treating Mom so poorly that sis “can’t watch” much longer. What. The. Actual. Fuck.

Never mind that our brother is in a constant state of getting himself arrested, lying to Moms face, bringing unsavory individuals into Mom’s home…I could go on, but that’s a blog for another day. Suffice it to say, I’ve suddenly been blacklisted in my parents’ house and I have no idea where this is coming from.

My sister has made her…distaste, let’s say…for my husband known for quite some time. She doesn’t like him yelling at the dog who jumps up on him and chews on his arm, and rather than be rational about it, she blows up. He doesn’t hit the dog, doesn’t make sudden angry movements. He yelled. And when he was instructed not to yell anymore, he stopped. But I guess not praising the dog when he didn’t know that praising was part of the training is “disrespectful.” We’re supposed to know the rules even though we didn’t even know the new training was going on until last Friday. And the few rules we were taught on Friday, we followed. But no, we are apparently not treating Mom right by not knowing how to train the dog.

There’s gotta be something else going on, something underlying. The dog training thing can’t seriously be the straw that broke the camel’s back unless there was a fucking crapton of straw piled up. If our brother can be the Grand Poo-bah of Fuckups that he is without repercussions or consequences, there has to be something that I’m missing.

I’m just too pissed to ask what it is without making things worse right now. I can’t be trusted to use my words in a productive manner until I’ve had a chance to calm down.

I haven’t broken the law. I haven’t brought a criminal to have dinner with Mom and the family, lied about still associating with said criminal, then gotten Mom involved in the legal ramifications of hanging out with said criminal. But I’ve been “disrespectful.”

Why the double standard? Why does our brother get away with his bullshit when I am living a responsible life and not getting Mom caught up in drama that only serves to further stress her out?

Okay, I guess I’ll go over it in this blog today. Why not? I’m venting familial frustrations, might as well go all out.

So if I were to list his transgressions here, the Web would run out of memory for it. He has been the playing the victim in his self-destructive actions for years, and he’s been pulling Mom into his insanity–both figurative and literal–for years as well. Don’t get me wrong; I love my brother, but I can’t condone or enable his actions any longer. He. Doesn’t. Learn. He just doesn’t. I don’t think he really wants to. Why bother learning from your “mistakes” when they’re 100% forgiven and forgotten? Clean slate #72. Time to fuck up again.

Me? I try to learn from my errors. I take my meds for the most part. I take responsibility when I forget or run out and I get a little “off.” I don’t go playing the blame game, sidestepping any true accountability. I have never been in trouble with the law, never gotten arrested, and the few times I ended up in the wrong crowd, I’ve extracted myself from the situation without getting my family involved in my mistakes. But no, I’m the disrespectful one.

I’ve got a stable, successful career. My first book is in the process of being published. I’m in the process of getting my own house built so I can get out of apartment life and have even more stability. I try not to impose on my parents unless I absolutely have to. If I didn’t need to do laundry there, I wouldn’t even use their house for that. I’d come over to visit and watch Project Runway and have dinner and then go back to my home and do laundry in my own washer and dryer.

Is that her issue? Does my sister think my weekly visits are 100% about the laundry? If so, she is woefully mistaken. I could easily DVR the show on my own and watch it from the comfort of my own home. I don’t have to go shopping with Mom on occasion to have some “us” time. I do these things to keep from losing all connection with the family that is growing into strangers, especially my mom. How is that disrespectful?

Maybe if I ever get over being so angry I’ll calm down enough to respectfully ask why my sister is so angry with me. She doesn’t seem to have a problem with our brother, so I don’t understand why this dog training thing suddenly resulted in a bunch of texts detailing what a horrible person I am.

I don’t want to become alienated from my family, but it’s looking like that’s the way the cards are falling. I typed up a post a few days ago about my brother and the fact that he was hospitalized last month after getting the shit beat out of him and no one in the household told me. No one. My own brother. In the hospital. With a broken orbit among other things. Not a freakin’ word. Combine that with today’s drama, and it makes the jabs about “disrespect” sting all the more. Perhaps that’s why I sound so hung up on my brother’s screw-ups. He gets himself beat to shit (likely because of associating with the criminal element I mentioned earlier), and not only does no one “respect” me enough to tell me, but they take him in and coddle him while I’m being cast out.

I am feeling great. Got my first Arts and Sciences project done (except for the research/documentation), work this week hasn’t been too bad… so why am I not feeling so great?

Oh yeah: mixed episode. It seems that I’ve entered one of those recently. Not quite sure when exactly, but I’m noticing that even though I think I feel fine, I’m not taking as much interest in the things I’m usually interested in. I have a research paper for A&S that I’ve been dying to jump into, but I can’t seem to make myself read more than a couple of paragraphs at a time. I was all excited to finish the physical work on the first project, but instead of feeling accomplished I feel… empty. I’m not writing, I’m not tweeting, I’m not doing much of anything that I usually do with my free time.

I think the art project was providing enough momentum to keep me going, but although I don’t feel like I’m depressed, I’m not acting like I’m not. Makes no sense? Well, it doesn’t make sense to me either.

I’m hoping that my mental state picks up soon. Well, not too up. Mid-level. Hell, just plain level would be nice.

Some day. I can’t be down all the time.

Burnout. It happens. So what do you do when your options are limited?

Here’s the situation: that drama I talked about? Well, the “resolution” that was agreed upon didn’t really resolve all that much, and it leaves me stuck. The person who was causing the drama is still around and, though they’re not supposed to directly interact with my husband, they’re still present–a proverbial thorn in the side, if you will.

This wouldn’t be too bad, save for one thing…I am beyond the point of burnout with the volunteer officer position I hold in our local group, but the only other person I can see willing to step up to the plate if I step down is–you guessed it–the drama factory. And since my position interacts closely with my husband’s position (yeah, he’s an officer too), I can’t risk this person taking over if I leave the position. I’ve been told by a kingdom officer that they will never again hold that position, but the risk is too great. It would open doors for them to passive-aggressively harass my husband, which I do not want to be responsible for.

I meant to talk to the kingdom officer in question during the war, but I just didn’t have the opportunity. She was busy, or I was busy, or I didn’t know where to find her in the ginormous site. Regardless of the why, I didn’t talk to her yet, though I feel the need to, and soon.

At this point, try as I might, I’m just paying lip service to the position. I didn’t even do anything with it throughout the war, which I know is bad, but I wanted to be able to enjoy my first Estrella War. I wanted to be able to experience as much as possible, and stopping to do X-Y-Z for this position would have hindered that.

Things are hairy in the barony as it is. Sides have been taken in this drama dispute, and it was clear by the hush that fell over the room when we walked into baronial court where most of the barony–at least those who attended baronial court at war–stand…and it’s not with us. Sure, we have our close friends who stick by us, but there are others who, for whatever reason, hold resentment towards us that is blatantly obvious. Sideways glances, or sometimes avoidance of glances, were all the indication we needed that we are no longer “welcome” in the barony we have called home. It’s a little disheartening, especially when the creator of the main drama has a known history of causing problems. Now, I’m not saying that this person is responsible for all the ill will…but they certainly exacerbated whatever issues may have been underlying.

That makes my wish to leave my officer position that much more difficult of a decision to make. If the majority of the barony, or at least the active members, are against us, then who would take over the position if I left and this other person was not allowed to come back to the position? I can barely think of a couple of people who might take on the position, let alone enough to have a pool of candidates. No, I think that for the time being I’m stuck.

I guess until I come up with a solution I’ll just have to keep trudging along, dragging myself through the muck and mire. I’m trying to hold up hope that things will work out, but I fear I’m going to be where I’m at for a long, long time to come.

Well, I’m getting closer…the end is in sight! Except this one little problem: someone got a little scissor-happy when she was cutting the neckline for her husband’s tunic and now must figure out a way to add on fabric without making it look weird.

I’m sure I can do it, but not right now–not at 0100. Maybe in a few hours I will have the functional capacity to design, cut, stamp, and sew a new collar/neckline/whatever. As it is, I’m quite irritated with my body for waking me up an hour ago for no good reason. I’ve been sleeping pretty well the past several nights, but tonight it’s back to waking up around midnight wide awake and unable to drift back off.

The sad thing is, between the bipolar disorder (panic attacks or racing thoughts at bedtime if I don’t take my Klonopin) and the rheumatoid arthritis (back/shoulder aches if I don’t take my Flexeril) I take enough crap to knock out a rhino. Ok, maybe not that much…but it’s a lot for the average Joe. I also have temazepam that I can take as needed for sleep, but I’ve found that it doesn’t help me stay asleep so much as helping me fall asleep–which I generally don’t need help with. I can fall asleep just fine most nights. It’s that tricky staying asleep thing that gets me. I’ll sleep four to five hours and then wake up all energized and crap. So not fair.

Once my husband gets up and tries on the tunic (with his gorget, so I can see how much collar I need to drum up), I can get to work on it. Right now? Now I have to find something to do to alleviate the boredom until he wakes up.

Good thing I still have a couple projects pending. On to sewing trim onto a different tunic!

I know I’ve been quiet lately, but all I can say is that I’ve been busy. Life keeps plowing forward and I have to try to keep up.

Stress is building exponentially, and good ol’ Arthur isn’t letting me forget it. I’m dealing with more arthritis pain than I think I can attribute to “just the weather,” and I truly believe this added pain is due to the spike in stress. It’s quite frustrating because I have Things to Do (yes, these Things are important enough to capitalize) and the pain interferes with my ability to do those Things.

I’ve got to just grit my teeth and bear it, though, because life, as I mentioned, is not stopping to give me a break. I keep hoping that stuff settles down in the next few weeks. That the Things get done despite the pain. That I can return to some semblance of normalcy…or at least as normal as I get 😉

It’s starting to happen…gradually, but it’s happening. I am starting to get burned out from all the SCA and crafting and writing and work and life in general. I’m hoping the few days off for Estrella War will help, but only time will tell.

I’ve kinda lost interest in a lot of activities. I have to force myself to get my sewing work done. I drag myself through the work day. I avoid exercise when I have the slightest ache or pain whereas before I’d look forward to the chance to work out those aches. I don’t want to go to SCA baronial meetings or do my officer job. I just don’t wanna.

Part of it, I think, is that things have become so stale and routine. Yeah, some of the meetings and events may change, but for the most part it’s work/SCA/sleep. Lather, rinse, repeat. Day in, day out. All. The. Time.

I’m trying to motivate myself. I’m trying to tell myself, Hey, if you get this tunic done you can knock out those pants and then it’s just some embroidery and a couple sleeves to go. I’m trying to tell myself, but I guess I’m not listening.

I hope this is just a brief funk and not a true depressive episode. I have too much on my plate to wallow in self-pity or whatever.

Speaking of that tunic, I guess I’ll get back to work.