“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?

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?

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.

How much drugs does it take?

I’ve had a migraine all day. I had one yesterday and forced myself to go out and take care of a few errands. Today I just stayed in bed.

So an hour ago I took a steroid, 2 mg of hydromorphone, a tiny bit of mushrooms, and some pot. Nothing really seems to be happening. I mean, my head hurts less, but I don’t want to be awake right now. I don’t want to deal with being awake, just want to pass out. So I took two more Hydromorphone. And another little bit of pot. And a sleeping pill. I’m gonna take a Benadryl now and hope it is the icing on the cake.

I just ordered some chocolate brownie flavoured protein powder online hoping that will help with the whole using food as a self soothing thing, because pure carbs are pretty much all I actually feel like eating. Buttered toast, chocolate bars, cereal and milk. So since I’ve been trying to have one healthy shake a day maybe the chocolate will cover up the greens powder and complement all the fruit.

Cry

I got a migraine after lunch and took 1/4 of the new opioid, which knocked me for a loop. So I went down and slept in the back of my car in the Parkade; I’d put a pillow down there for times just like this. It’s gone now, the migraine, but I didn’t really put a full day of work in.

I got to see my psychologist today…

I cried pretty hard at him because I felt like for a month or so after I got out of the hospital, I still wished I was dead and then for a few weeks or so I was reconciled with being here and started checking out things that I wanted to do, like go back to a fitness class and practice music and take a course or a workshop or something, but then when May came around the migraines came around too so it’s really been nothing but work and migraines (“just survival”, my psychologist said) for the last seven weeks.

I think the question of how much we can choose to form our thoughts a certain way and how much our thoughts are formed by our condition is a chicken and egg question…

I totally wept at my psychiatrist on Tuesday, and explained that I had done the basic household stuff of laundry etc. on Saturday, and I had thought that if I felt OK on Sunday I could do some of the nice to do things, like wash my make up brushes. Then Sunday I had a migraine, and so I didn’t – couldn’t – wash the make up brushes. And not being able to go on holidays was one thing, I cried at him, but not being able to wash my make up brushes was another.

And I know that if I just wash the make up brushes, instead of crying for half an hour about how I couldn’t I wash them sooner, that would seem to make sense, but it’s just a a deep deep sorrow and heartbroken grief and loss; and then I’m crying not just because my make up brushes are dirty but because if I can’t even look forward to such a small thing what is there, and the future and the idea of having years like this ahead feels so despairing and hopeless that it’s overwhelming.

it’s a lot easier for me to get behind the idea and the experience that we live in a world with some kind of universal God or Goddess energy, and that can manifest in crystals and herbs, and that you can get attuned and grounded to your own energy from a Reiki session, than that I’m supposed to pray to an all-powerful God who loves me and cares for me, even though I don’t feel it and I don’t see it and it doesn’t make any difference to me, and praying makes me feel worse, when holding crystals makes me feel better. Maybe that means that I just have terrible faith. I don’t know.

Also, my fucking cutting scars.

Now that it’s short sleeve season I’m really feeling self-conscious about these fuckers. I don’t know if I can pass it off like I was trying to cut my cats claws and I got a swipe from his paw?

I’ve also spent considerable time and energy over the last couple of weeks investigating ways to cover this up. Cosmetically, I mean. Trying the entire gamut of concealers. Nothing is working. My arm is so pale that the vast majority of products make it look like I have a pink or peach or orange-ish patch on my arm, and then the few that I find a little more neutral just don’t stay on there. I guess I should buy a makeup setting spray.

Part of it is that it’s not just the color, it’s the texture, because I was just using shit on the ward and not like an actual blade, so it’s like I dug a little trenches into my arm that are sunken. I feel like I am going to need to get a tattoo to cover this up, because it makes me upset every time I look at them. Although I’m hard-pressed to think of a tattoo design that I’d want on the inside of my arm where the cuts are. I mean, I barely even scratched them. Honestly, like only enough for one drop of blood to fall off. Nowhere near even needing stitches. If I had known that like four months down the line I still have fucking scars, I might as well of gone to town. IMG_4760

Summer is coming

And I don’t know if I can stand another one like last year. Today’s pretty much the first day I’ve been migraine free in about a week and a half. I was flat out on the weekend, and I remember thinking on Sunday that I should get up and do some laundry or something because I didn’t exactly have a headache anymore, but I sure as hell had a headache hangover. I was trying to remember what I did last night, and of course I worked on my taxes all evening. How fucked up that I couldn’t even remember what I did 24 hours ago. Anyway, today I went to work, went to see my psychiatrist and cried talking to him the whole time, and he gave me a new drug to try, I don’t remember the name of it but it’s an antipsychotic that’s also approved as an add on for major depression and adults.

Then I went back to work, and started feeling overwhelmed and having difficulty concentrating. And so I basically was just sitting there looking at the screen for about an hour, and then I had my appointment with the counsellor and I cried really hard at him. I was talking about how I don’t get the point of being all anal about opioid addiction’s, because I don’t give a shit if I might get addicted to opioids in a couple of years, if I’m gonna fucking kill myself right now because I can’t stand the thought of being in pain for more than 15 days in the month.

Great quotes.

It is so comforting to read something that makes you feel understood:

https://www.psych2go.net/depression-dark-truth-quotes-depression-best-thing-since-sliced-bread/

especially:

“Everything seems to be exhausting me, not matter how much sleep or how much coffee I drink or how long I lie down, something inside me seems to have given up. My soul is tired.” ~Unknown

And

“Depression is being colorblind and constantly told how colorful the world is.” ~Atticus

Ugh, I made Monday worse.

I was having a hard time getting up and out this morning (with no group in the afternoon to serve as a deadline) and ended up rolling in to work at 11, standing in the coffeeshop buying a scone because I hadn’t even managed a protein shake. I should have showered before I went to work and was in jeans that were too big and a top that was WAY too big and polyester to boot. Anyway my boss came in to the coffeeshop as I was in line; that was fun.

I felt just blechy and sticky and gross the whole day, and wished that I’d had a fucking shower and looked harder for something to wear. You know when you just feel… ugh?

So when I came home I showered and then threw in some laundry so I’d have something to wear tomorrow (I still have no pants that aren’t too big, or too small, but at least they’ll be clean and baggy) and changed the sheets on the bed.

That was fucking gross as I hadn’t changed them since being discharged from the hospital in mid-February. Like beyond college bachelor gross. I just thought, what the fuck difference does it make? And then I couldn’t muster up the effort to do it, so whatever.  Now I have clean sheets AND clean laundry, which I guess is an advantage of having a shorter day (minus group).  So yay me, I guess.

I’m going to buy some greens powder to dump into my shakes because eating is just not going to happen, at least it hasn’t in the past 6 weeks so it’s no use imagining that I’ll suddenly start. I might as well plan as if I am not going to be able to cook a bunch of stuff, and my skin is horrible at the moment – I have forgotten to take my antibiotics, cheated with a face wipe before bed, and basically had protein powder, coffee, and milk exclusively – so maybe eating a more well-rounded smoothie will help.

I feel immensely sad and lonely in a way that I don’t know if I can get anyone who isn’t a professional, or who hasn’t had their own struggle with mental health, to understand. I actually looked up the professional cuddler that I had seen last summer (yes, I know, it sounds super sketch) because I thought the hell if it does cost $90 an hour; I’m going to go insane if I can’t feel close to someone.  And the guy has stopped doing it; he is not on the website anymore. So I can’t get a cuddle for love or money?  Dammit.

I’m resolved not to share as deeply with Beth anymore, and I know I’ve said this before, but I’ve felt resolved for a solid week now. I talked to her last week and she had an instant answer for everything – I shouldn’t focus on myself, I’ll have to let such-and-so go, I should pray harder, there was nothing where she was able to say “I hear that you feel really sad about this. Could I suggest…?”  Which makes me value my training, because I damn well know how to sit with someone in their pain and validate their feelings and help them to feel heard and apparently that does NOT come naturally.

But again, as I don’t have a ton of “outlets”, deciding to cut Beth off means that again I’m largely leaving myself to the realm of professionals and I wonder wtf is wrong with me that I can’t find a partner in real life to walk beside me with this shit? Doesn’t matter. Whatever it is, I can’t change it.  I’m going to suggest at my psychiatrist appointment tomorrow that I just stop taking the antidepressants and we plan to try out MAOIs because I’m crying all the time anyway, how much worse can it get?