“Life’s just hard” is not the problem

I’m feeling kind of stressed.  I tried to do some work today and I couldn’t really concentrate. I just really couldn’t focus, there’s no other way to put it. Tomorrow is the memorial service for my friend who died, and I’m meeting a mutual friend  before for coffee, so we can go together.  So that’s pretty much going to take up the day, then Tuesday is ketamine and the psychiatrist appointment.  So now we’re into Wednesday before I really get a chance to take a crack at some work, and I’m feeling worried about it. Knowing that I don’t have any time off, that there’s only EI, it’s making me really really stressed about my ability to keep working just because I know that safety net isn’t there.

I tried talking to Beth,  about how I didn’t feel like there been anything worth living for since January, and it seems stupid to live three more months for a concert, and if Chester Bennington killed himself then what hope is there for me? Somehow Beth turned it into “life is hard! Life’s just hard for everyone!” and didn’t seem to hear what I was saying at all. Which shouldn’t surprise me, because I know that’s the kind of thing she says, but she’s also somebody who will lend a listening ear on short notice, so it’s kind of a beggars can’t be choosers thing.

Yes, I know everybody has to get up and go to work every day and pay our bills and do our chores and then a lot of life is a grind. And that everybody else has also done this since January. But not everybody else is in the headspace where they feel like nothing at all has been enjoyable, and it’s all been a waste of time, and they would’ve been better off dying in January. My depression isn’t just the result of some kind of fucked up expectation that I have that life is easy peasy.

I sent her a couple snippets from brochures about depression and ketamine, emphasizing how it’s pretty much reserved for severe depression that’s treatment resistant but I don’t think it will do any good. It’s so frustrating. How can I have failed to get anything across about being depressed for fucksakes?

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To-do list

I put “put bra and shirt on” as a Thing I Have Accomplished Today. Yep, I’m reaching. I had bought some baskets of mushrooms because they were the cheapest, which turned out to be a mistake as when I sat down to clean them they had become moldy  from being in the damp plastic. Great.

Promise to the boss.

So after  deciding to go forward with some music last night I was really excited.  Then today came, and I don’t know what it was. For one thing, I thought that I had sickleave but I don’t.  So I can use my vacation time, or make up the time, or go unpaid.  Both of which obviously increase the stress of what I thought was coming up to be a good week off where I could catch up on some stuff and rest and re-gather myself to make it through the end of August.

The secretary called into the office when I was all worked up about this, and I started like crying and doing the sobbing gasps practically right away.  Awesome. It took a LOT of concealer and Visine to make me look normal again.  Then I had a meeting at the end of the day with my boss and some other project members, so I let him know I’d like to meet with him afterward briefly.

He offered to meet with me before, because he probably just read my request as my wanting a couple minutes of his time, and I said I preferred to wait till after the meeting. And then as usual, I teared up and choked up and was on the verge of crying and told him that I could either talk to him or I could stop myself from crying but I couldn’t do both.  So I started to cry and explain the problem with the sick time to him. He was really great about it, and flexible, and willing to just work it out so that I could do whatever I needed to do. He said actually that maybe I should just go home now and not even bother coming in the next day if I didn’t feel up to it. He asked me if I was going to be all right and I was like “yeah, in the immediate future, i’ll be fine.”

Then he asked me if he could establish a safety contract with me.  As in, can I promise him that I wouldn’t kill myself in whatever period of time. I exclaimed, “I have a shrink for that!” He responded, “you have a concerned boss, too.”  And seemed pretty serious about it and so I said fine how long do you want to have it for and he suggested the end of the year and I totally let out a big hee haw guffaw, like let’s not get carried away here. So he asked what I would be comfortable with and I said I could guarantee until a week from Monday, when I was scheduled to reappear at work.  And now I am super tired, so this will need a sequel.

 

To play or not to play.

i’ve been  neglecting my music for a long time. Mostly I’ve been feeling sad that I haven’t had the energy to give to it on top of working full-time. The last time I played with the group, I felt like I was half-assing it for the whole year because I missed rehearsals and didn’t get to practice as much as I would like because of the fucking migraines.

Now I’ve been kind of scared to pick it up again, because I know that I’ll be rusty and need to practice just to get back up to, well, my level.  I was afraid that I would start to play and then cry because my skills were so crappy from disuse.  I pretty clearly can’t just keep going with work and migraines and nothing else, because it’s killing me emotionally, so I figured I had nothing to lose.  So I picked it up tonight, and tuned it, and realize that I needed to get a nut to hold the pieces of my Kun shoulder rest together because my other Wolff shoulder rest sucks and pisses me off.

It was more like riding a bike than I expected.  So I signed up for this master class type thing happening in the fall, thinking that I have a couple of months ahead of me that I can practice, and that would be a good way to get back into music and meet some people in the music community here and so forth.

Now it’s about four hours later, and I don’t know if I’m going to be able to go through with it. I can get a full refund until a couple of weeks before it starts, and I don’t even think I’m worried about being able to play  with the time I have between here and there. I’m worried that I’ll be shy to go somewhere where I don’t know who is going to be there. And that I’ll get a migraine.

The only question is, is the stress of going somewhere new and having to play through a migraine better, or less stressful, than the stress of not doing hobbies I love and having in my life only work and migraines and depression?

The Food Bank is awesome.

I called the food bank because the lady at the nonprofit credit counselling services agency gave me a sheet of resources after I told her my grocery budget was $100 a month. She was like “that’s totally not realistic” and I said  OK, fair enough, $150. I was thinking of the giant tub of protein powder that I just bought for $100, and then I would just need milk to go with it, right?  Well apparently a grocery budget supposed to be at least 3 times that.  She asked what about eating out? And I was like ha ha Ha! That’s funny! Well, I do have the $1.50 hotdog every time I go to Costco.

So she said even if they could just start coming up with some of the basics, I’d be in a better place, and I thought OK. So I called them on Friday. They still had a file on me from my old address, so it must be at least three years ago, but I didn’t have to answer any questions or anything. They directed me to the crisis centre which is actually near my house, so I went there this morning.

I drank all the milk last night,  so my fridge contains a bag of apples, the eggs from Costco that I still haven’t cooked, peanut butter and jam and syrup and salad dressing. The freezer has frozen peas, frozen bananas, a couple of pieces of frozen meat, and a few little bags of frozen vegetables. Then rice and lentils in the pantry, and that’s it.

When I’ve been going grocery shopping, I usually get a bag of frozen fruit from Costco for $10 or $15 to make smoothies with, some bread, milk, and maybe some frozen veggies.  So my nails are pretty much a coffee or a pop in the morning, the smoothie throughout the day, and then some toast or a bowl of frozen peas when I get home.

I wasn’t expecting much,  because when you pass the food bank donation bags to buy  at the store it’s all dry pasta, spaghetti sauce, mac-and-cheese, and cans of beans.

So there I was waiting in the waiting room, trying not to cry, thinking I would probably get a couple of regular grocery bags of stuff.  And feeling really pissed off about the rental laws. Five years ago I was living in a place that was like $550 less, but that was the place that I had to take the landlord to court because he couldn’t bolt the toilet to the floor and wouldn’t pay someone to do it. Let’s say that place was $800. So then I moved into the main floor suite, for $950. Then after living there for two years, he raised the rent to $1100.  Then the place was absolutely infested with mice, to the point where I couldn’t even leave silverware in the cupboards because the mice ran all over the house at night. So I had all of my dish cloths and silverware in Ziploc bags, and had these cartons of nitro gloves from Costco and Lysol wipes,  and the mice had shit all inside the stove so it was totally unusable, and the landlord wasn’t willing to do anything about it. So I moved again. To a place that was $1300. Because it’s only $200 more, but that was the best that I could find. Then it was $50 more. So now I’m paying $1350 a month, plus power, which is more than one of my two week paychecks.

I guess it’s like being house poor, because I don’t have a mortgage or any fucking equity, there’s no point to it. So I’m sitting here thinking about how I’ve worked harder and harder and I’m just getting further and further behind, and I’m literally tearing up sitting in the food bank waiting room. Finally they called my name, and there’s little tables where you can unload their boxes into your bags. Holy shit. I don’t know when I have bought a grocery haul like that.  I’m absolutely sure that’s the kind of stuff that my parents and my sister got when they’re grocery shopping, but this is totally news to my fridge.

Fucking fresh cauliflower, fresh broccoli, radishes, an eggplant, a brick of cheese, a brick of cream cheese, a carton of milk, a bag of some sort of frizzly fancy salad leaves, a huge tub of potato salad, two loaves of bread and a bag of buns. A bag of sugar and one of brown sugar,  A couple of bottles of Gatorade that will be handy for when I get a migraine, a bag of cereal, a couple of boxes of mac & cheese, a can of salmon,  A bunch of snacky type stuff like granola bars and fruit roll ups,  and a tray of eight plain individual chocolate cakes. I mean, holy shit.  I kind of expected gruel and bruised fruit or something.

So I’ll be cooking today, to make sure none of this goes to waste.  And when I’m in a better place, I’m going to pay it back.

When You Are Old

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

W. B. Yeats

Chester Bennington hung himself.

God damn depression. Fucking hell.

That’s the lead singer from Linkin Park, if you didn’t recognize the name.

I just listened to “Leave out all the rest” today:

I dreamed I was missing
You were so scared
But no one would listen
Cause no one else cared
After my dreaming
I woke with this fear
What am I leaving
When I’m done here?
So, if you’re asking me, I want you to know

When my time comes
Forget the wrong that I’ve done
Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed
And don’t resent me
And when you’re feeling empty
Keep me in your memory
Leave out all the rest
Leave out all the rest

Don’t be afraid
I’ve taken my beating
I’ve shared what I’ve made
I’m strong on the surface
Not all the way through
I’ve never been perfect
But neither have you
So, if you’re asking me, I want you to know

When my time comes
Forget the wrong that I’ve done
Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed
And don’t resent me
And when you’re feeling empty
Keep me in your memory
Leave out all the rest
Leave out all the rest

Forgetting
All the hurt inside you’ve learned to hide so well
Pretending
Someone else can come and save me from myself
I can’t be who you are

What time off plans will be most vacation-ey.

My shrink has been on holiday, so I haven’t seen him for three weeks. Or rather, Tuesday was the first time I have seen him in three weeks. In the meantime I’ve started crying at my boss, and I’m just sort of feeling worn out with the stupid summer weather and attendant migraines.

When I cried at my boss, I had said that I hadn’t really been on a good vacation since 2009, and that I didn’t actually have many vacation days accrued yet, and he said he was happy for me to do whatever I needed, that he didn’t want to lose me, etc. So I had said to him, I think this was last week, that I had thought about taking some time off around the Labour Day long weekend and the beginning of September.

By the time I got to my psychiatrist this week, five weeks  away was just seeming like way too far, and that there was no way I could go to work five days a week for five more weeks until I got time off. It ended up being a pretty long appointment because he was trying to figure out what would be the best for me to take a little bit of time  I have to hopefully nip this in the bud so I can be rejuvenated and not wait until I totally hit the wall.

I didn’t just want to start days off immediately, because I’d be stressed out about work that wasn’t getting done and whether I can remember what I was doing and what I was supposed to do when I got back, and I couldn’t imagine whether it would be better to just work shorter weeks and take a long weekend for a few weeks in a row, or take off a big chunk of time, or what.

So  it ended up being a pretty long appointment before we figured it out, but my psychiatrist made what I thought was a great suggestion and then he wrote me a note for it. So I’m working a four day week this week and next week, then taking a week off which will really be like 10 days with the statutory holiday.  So I’m trying to decide what to do. I haven’t gone camping in ages, and although the weekends are mostly booked up there are quite a few walk-in tent sites available for Sunday through Friday.

I would have to pick up a tent,  which is one of the few things that I won’t be getting at Costco because I don’t need a tent for 8 people, but really I don’t even need a camp stove as I’m happy to pack some sandwiches and hotdogs to roast over the fire and marshmallows and maybe some cans of boost. I can travel light.

My frugal self thought that I should look on Kijiji first, but I’m a bit leery of buying a used tent because who knows how the last person packed it up, and I don’t really want to assemble a tent in somebody’s living room before I decide to buy it, and then I wouldn’t find out if it had a leak or small tear until I was getting rained on anyway.

My big dilemma is really if I should concentrate on all of the million projects that I have at home, including chores and more fun ones like finishing off some jewellery on making, repainting my little antique cupboard, or just try to get away..

I know is it going away is the most vacation-ey thing,  but I’m always kind of behind the gun with grocery shopping and laundry and cleaning because of the migraines, and it seems to me almost even Stephen: I could go away and then come back to a messy house which is stressful, or I could stay home but then not have any actual getaway which is stressful in a different way..

I’d like to think that I could just go to a nearby park for an hour or two, but I never seem to actually make that happen.

I woke up with a migraine, and have been taking medications for about 2 1/2 hours, and now I am mostly pain-free and about half drowsy. Which I think is a fairly doable level.  I’m in the headspace where I’m not tracking with my migraine app right now because I know that I have migraines literally all the freaking time in the summer, and it’s just depressing to see how much it actually is.  I want to go into work today so that I actually have a long weekend instead of a migraine day and then a workday and then a regular weekend because that kind of defeats the point of having the time off.

Really the problem with having a migraine is having to move. I think if I could do everything by dictation, the way that I do blogging, without having to look at anything bright or get  out of bed, I could work. It’s mostly that my head hurts more when I move, and they’re so much movement involved with getting from my bed to make sure at work; into the bathroom to get ready, out of my apartment, out of my building, into the car,  Drive to work, into the Parkade elevator, down the hall, into my department, into my office. Then I finally get to sit down and not move my fucking head until the end of the day. Here goes nothing.