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flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
Thor: The Dark World Sunday, November 10th, 2013

Grand Budapest Hotel Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Avengers: Age of Ultron Saturday June 6th, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Monday December 28th, 2015

Keanu Sunday, May 1st, 2016

Captain America: Civil War Saturday May 14th, 2016




These were all the movies I saw in the theater from the first one where I drugged myself three different ways on headache meds and anti-nausea/anti-motion sickness meds and still couldn't make it through the movie without getting overwhelmed and headachey. And now I am finally on meds that work right and can see films without anything more than a normal person level of having to look away if there's shaky camera work in a scene. At least, I am pretty sure that's normal and you are hereby instructed to let me keep this harmless illusion.

So next time my health does something awful and I'm getting cozy with despair, I will remind myself of this; that things get better too. My life does not always move from bad to worse, sometimes it swings back up into gladness and melts my field full of sorrow.

May it happen for you, too.
flamingsword: Tiny!Steve captioned Bad Body Day (Bad Body Day)
My period is five days late and I have no idea why. Yesterday was a bad body day, but I still went in to work on one client, because my bad days are now a 3-3.5 on the functionality scale and not a 4. I have been having more depressive thoughts last week and the beginning of this week, but strangely that looks to be getting better despite the pain day.

I may go find a shady spot to sit in outside and knit for a while.
flamingsword: Heidi's face with the agender color bar (Agender)
I took my first Gabapentin last night, and due to my chemical sensitivity it apparently started working within hours. And during the sudden release from worry and awfulness that the last few days have been I had the thought: "Is this what being neurotypical is like?"

Normally I feel like I have to have make things a very specific way to be able to relax. All of the necessities have to be taken care of and all of the difficult-to-deal-with things that could happen have to be planned ahead for before I can let myself stop overthinking and just enjoy stuff. Not having to be on guard like that last night was awesome. Not having a sparking cattle prod in my head every time I didn’t know something, although I was still curious, was so much less irritating, and I had never realized how irritating that was until it was gone. Not having that “everything is hard” feeling for every action you even think about was so much less fraught that I may have cried a small amount in relief and gratitude. I was overwhelmed at how much this could potentially change my experience of my life.

Last night I felt like everything was going to be okay, and I'd never had that feeling without working incredibly hard for it. This morning I still feel like things aren't as perilous, and I am still more relaxed than the last few days. I slept well, and I am hopeful about what it's going to be like when I am fully adjusted to the meds. Gabapentin has a low side effect profile, so I'll probably be able to stay on it. I think I can maybe handle my life if I don't always have to feel the crushing weight.

I kind of want to start distributing this stuff to everyone I know? If it worked like this for even one of my friends I would be overjoyed. I want to share this with everyone whose lives are shaped like mine. I thought my anxiety had gotten better, but really I guess the answer was partly that it had gotten better and partly that my ability to manage it had gotten better. Because you don't realize what the water you're in is like until you're in the air. There's nothing to contrast it to.
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
I have some friends who think that since I'm really stable and don't get depressed often, that I must not get depressive thoughts often, which ... would be nice, if it were true? So now you guys get to look inside my head at what happens on a bad day. Superbetter has a Quest challenge to name five negative thoughts that occurred to you recently, and to dispute them using three specific tools. So this is stuff that happened during yesterdays' low patch.

I. Ghost should just leave me because I'm a resource drain.
II. I am going to get progressively worse, and then die.
III. I should give away my art supplies because I will never have the energy to use half of it.
IV. I should break up with [profile] otatma. It's not fair to expect him to wait around for me to have time for him where I feel like having a boyfriend.
V. Maybe I should just get rid of all my friends and possessions and go live in my mother's guestroom*.


Look at all likely causes for an event that's challenging you.
I. and IV. are caused by me taking other people's decisions away from them so that I can feel secure in being forever alone and not have to worry about losing other people's love by being unhealthy/unworthy. It's my need for certainty winning out over my need for happiness, because when I hurt, happiness is a foreign concept from some other continent where they speak funny sounding languages and wear bones in their hair.

Write down your thoughts, citing evidence both for and against your thought or reaction being accurate.
II. could happen, but since medical science tends to get better and not worse and my disease hits rich people as well as poor, it is getting well funded research. I could suddenly start progressing faster, but that is unlikely, and I am already taking steps to slow down the decline in my health.

Are the results all that bad? Am I blowing this out of proportion? How can I get what I want in a different way?
III. and V. Every time I'm about to move house I start thinking about giving things away. It makes people think I'm suicidal maybe, but there's nothing wrong with giving things away as long as I'm happy to do so. I am making too big a deal out of the move and out of the amount of possessions I own, since several people have offered to help move us, and were quite sincere. And I am being fatalistic about moving in with my mother because I am in pain and I automatically start disaster planning for worst case scenarios, and that is currently it.


(*and be miserable forever.)
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Aeon sad)
It's bad for your brain to be sad all the time. The neural pathways get used to being used that way and it affects your moods even if you aren't prone to depression. I can't remember when I started limiting the times my brain was allowed to think about depressing subjects, but it must have been a long time ago since I'm so good at it now that I don't notice.

Hacking your brain only takes discipline at first; once you get used to doing it the brain handles that functionality on its own. Really quite useful. The problem with limiting yourself that way is being careful that you don't stifle all expression of that part of yourself. You need access to mourning to stay human and I needed to be human. So a balance was reached: I could react to specific sad things as events occurred, but reminiscing was consigned to the anniversary of Larry's death.

TLDR on the meta of introspective moping. )
flamingsword: None can take the stars who do not reach. (Take The Stars)
When Xenoix left me his trial pack of 10 Lexapro (10 mg each) it was in case I got into an irredeemable funk. Some time before Thanksgiving I decided that since no combination of OTC meds was working for me without accidental glutening, I was going to swallow my pride and formulate a plan to try to get out of the funk as swiftly and safely as possible.

I consulted Crazy Meds (which is a great site BTW) and decided to split the pills into 5mg doses per their recommendation. I decided to not tell most of my friends because it makes y'all worry unnecessarily. (I am a hyper-rational control freak about my brain. Seriously, I'm not letting anything happen to it.)

Halfway through the trial period I set a time to make a decision about going to a doctor and asking for a prescription. I decided to wean off instead, and it took me about 28 days to take those 10 pills. I'm going to go back to the 5HTP and SAM-e as upkeep hoping that, with my brain kicked out of the funk, maintenance doses will be sufficient. And this time I'm staying on them indefinitely. No more thinking, "I'm *better* now, my life will surely never be so stressful that my brain derails like it's riding AMTRAK!" That's what got me into this mess.

PROS: I didn't miss a day of work while I was on it for any reason other than being actually sick. I do feel better, and was even occasionally joyous the last few weeks. I got a lot done and all presents pretty much sorted except one. I had really good mental and emotional clarity by the end of the second week. If that's what feeling normal is like then I am considering enviousness. No weight gain or freaky side effects.

CONS: Headaches from clenching my teeth at night, multiple. Soreness and muscle tension on waking, infrequent. ACNE! Mild insomnia the first few days, and vicious insomnia on withdrawal - hopefully over now.

My brain, you guys: It's not always sharp, but it's never dull.

meds

Nov. 11th, 2010 10:45 pm
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Life is Goofy.)
I haven't been having migraines since I went gluten-free, and I check things. I check like crazy. But not crazy enough, because I just had a migraine after having eaten only "safe" things the last several days. I just got done re-checking my vitamins, and there were a few that I had missed before I found out about cellulose/cellulose gum. The roomie now has them.

I started having visual distortions at work, so I thought I should do everything I could to keep visual distortions from becoming a migraine, because I had one more client and I do need monies. It sort of backfired when a co-worker decided to help in a way that in her defense probably would have worked on a regular headache, but does not work so well on a migraine. In hindsight I don't think that she gets migraines, so she probably didn't know that; I don't make the best-thought-out decisions when I'm getting one, either. Either way, I had to get [livejournal.com profile] numb3r_5ev3n to come get me, because the light-and-dark visual distortions were pretty bad. I went from normal to prodrome to weird body disconnection in what may have been only 15 minutes. None of that is normal, but last week I may have been doing stupid things with my brain chemistry to make sure I would be ready to see people for the party, since I spent half of Clover's Halloween party upstairs hiding out on her computer.

I've felt better since I increased the 5-HTP to everyday and added St. John's Wort on the off-days since I only take the SAM-e every other day (if I take it every day my sleep schedule gets messed up and I get restless and nervous). But you're really not supposed to mix antidepressants, and the St. John's Wort I'd been taking listed cellulose gum in the ingredients. No more of that for me. :(
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Life is Goofy.)
If I apologize for being away, for thinking that the upswing meant that I would be out of the woods soon and got both our hopes up, that means there's an expectation that I'm trying to hold myself to and then I will be tongue-tied. So I'll just ramble and see what my brain says, and you can like it or not.

Eating habits and the brain. )
That's a lot of baggage to put on a relationship with something as simple as food. But it's also how I remember to savor the parts of my life that are not lived in monochrome, and to enjoy my senses when they're sharper. Days like today I just cling to the balance.
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Dr. Reid)
I like the new autumn colors navigation bar. I love color, which is maybe odd for someone who intermittently wears black and gray for weeks. I'm not sure why that is - habit, I guess.

I have some other odd habits that I've been noticing. When I watch a show or a movie, I always identify with the person with the crappiest social skills. Even when they're not my favorite character they're always the one I see the most of myself in, even though I have social skills now, even though I'm not that girl anymore. I over-identify with awkward and dorky because that's where I came from. Maybe it's time to take a look back at other things that have changed since I was 15 and update my self-image.

So:
  • I have social skills now. People generally understand what I am trying to communicate.

  • I am not in unrequited love with anybody. All of the people I love love me back, even if we can't get our lives to match up in romantic ways. I am okay with all parts of that.

  • Not only do I have a circle of friends, I have multiple circles. I have more than one social role, and I manage to fulfill different emotional needs to different people. I have RANGE.

  • I am not the dorkiest person that I know, and in some circles I am ~the normal one~ and while that may never stop being strange I had better learn to accept and identify with it for accuracy.

  • My quirks are harmless and I have a right to them. I can stop justifying my necessary habits: writing on my hands, making lots of notes about context, and laughing at things that aren't funny to other people.


    Those are the things I've noticed since I started thinking about the recurrence of my identification with Sheldon Cooper, Parker, Dr. Reid, Rodney McKay, Samantha Carter, and Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood. Which admittedly I should not have been thinking about while giving a massage yesterday, but sometimes my brain is attacked by ideas and it's easiest to just give them space and then re-focus. I'm glad I seem to be pulling slowly out of depression. If the trend of more thoughts and interconnections continues, I may be past this in a month. Not being depressed for the housewarming? That would be awesome.

    You know what else would be awesome? Telling me if you spot anything else I say or do that doesn't fit with how I present myself. I realize there's going to be variation, and that I don't have consistency so much as texture but being aware of the variation would still be good for me.
  • flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
    I have been busy with moving and not checking my flist, so once again missed Invisible Illness Week, which is funny considering that I am taking flak in my personal life for not being very upbeat right now.
    So:

    Dear Flist,
    I have major depression. (awkward clinical term, much?) Meaning yes, somewhere in the box of files I keep with all my medical and banking and insurance paperwork is a a note signed by a medical doctor listing my diagnosis as "depression + anxiety". I like to complain a lot, I know, and I talk a lot of hyperbole and exaggeration. But I really do have depression. I did not take an online quiz, I am not haphazardly self-diagnosed.

    I'm in a depressive episode right now. I feel bad. I have less motivation to do every single thing. I feel like I fuck everything up, and I can't concentrate, so I DO fuck things up, and then I feel like everything is my fault. I feel broken and helpless, and I try to be more regimented and stern with myself and it spills over onto my interactions with you and you tell me to cheer up.

    I can't cheer up. I can pretend, but I tell you that I'm pretending because while I don't want you to be uncomfortable with my expressionless face I also don't want you to be mislead by a well-faked smile. That would be lying. I would rather you not try to be my friend if you need to be lied to. If you need to believe that all I need to be happy is your presence and your words of wisdom, then I'm just going to feel worse because there's no fundamental truth to our interactions. It feels hollow, scraped out and raw, to have to act like nothing's wrong. And I know it looks, from the outside, like nothing IS. And I wish that what's in here matched what's out there. It doesn't. Telling me to focus on the positive so that I can be more productive ... is not helpful. And after the first few hundred times, it starts to feel demeaning, like a running gag that you're the butt of and everyone thinks that because you don't laugh you don't get it yet, so they keep telling it when really you didn't think it was funny the first time.

    If I could be happy, I would. I LIKE being happy. I like sharing happiness and spreading it around. So please take some time, if you have not yet, to consider that I am doing what I can to enjoy my life. And please stop treating me like my mood disorder is insulting to you.

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