Monday, October 31, 2011


I'm using up time. On purpose. There was a time when I thought time was practically worth money. Now I spend money to get through the time. Because I'm not worried about the time or the money (false: I'm worried about too little money and too much time). My main goal is not to give in to the latest, greatest (more than a year old) depression thought. Sometimes I wish I could pull out the thought and put it on the floor and stomp on it, or something like that. Wish I could. But, as I told someone yesterday, this is my life [right now]. And, as I agreed with someone else, I'm hangin' in there.

I don't like Halloween. Because my depression is particularly intrusive on this day. And because I'm scared of some costumed teenagers "trick"ing me. The darkness at "trickortreat" time doesn't help. Probably the fact that my family hid from the trickortreaters doesn't help either.

We used to celebrate Reformation Day on this day, in honor of Martin Luther's 95 Theses (or whatever the plural of thesis is). I'm very grateful for Martin Luther's work and respect those 95 Theses, but I'm not celebrating that today and pretending it's not Halloween.

Oooh, poor scrupulosity OCD. I might as well have pulled it out and stomped on it.

I carved a pumpkin for the first time in my (remembered, at least) life. (We see that the scrupulosity OCD maintains the excessive concern about truthfulness, even as it quietly endures "sinful" Halloween behavior.)

And I wore a costume. A princess costume. Because I didn't get to dress up as a princess for Halloween when I was a girl (for Reformation Day, I think we once did imitation clothing from that time in history - but wait; I might not have dressed up - too much like Halloween). Anyway, I'm a pink princess. So there.

(Maybe I'm being rebellious.)

Oh, hello there, OCD. What a surprise (NOT).

(Ah, yes, good to see you, too, but I'd rather you shut up and be miserable.)

Really? How interesting. Duly noted. Now I have a blog post to continue writing.

(You ARE writing. Maybe we could frame that as a lie somehow... do be sure to add enough maybes.)

"Maybe"... you should be quiet.

(I know. Ha ha. Which is like a witches cackle, which relates to sin, which relates to you failing miserably in your holiness by celebrating such a dark holiday as Halloween. By the way, Depression has a good idea, there. You should take him up on the idea.)

Shut up.

And so I see that both "ocd" and "me" like to use the phrase, shut up. It isn't particularly effective, though. But "be quiet" just doesn't sound as good.

And time passes. Ahhh, lovely.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

medicated, educated, but still with OCD

The academic honesty policy was sent to all the students at my college. No big deal, right? I'm a diligent, honest student.

With OCD. So then the what if-ing starts. What if I accidentally plagiarise and am kicked out of college! (Worst case scenario following the "what-if.")

The associated ritual is very detailed and precise, but still won't guarantee that I haven't accidentally copied words that exist somewhere in the world. I know this might seem silly to some people, but it's OCD, so why be surprised at it's unlikeliness?

First, I can worry. As if worrying about it will change anything. Then, I ponder sentences and wonder, did I hear this before? Over and over. One time (different college) I used one of those internet plagiarism catchers. It passed over the sentences I thought sounded "suspicious" and questioned phrases I was pretty sure were mine. I ended up crying in the writing lab, with a poor English teacher who had explained the "simple" issue of plagiarism. She referred me to my own English teacher. When in doubt, refer to someone else. (Now, shall I erase the "when in doubt," since I know I've heard it before? No... English is made of phrases! Somebody might have written that about English before, too. Like me. I've said it before.)

Somehow, I made it through English 102, and all the other classes I've taken so far, because at some point, I have accepted the risk and turned in the papers (except for the two or three I was able to skip and still get a good grade). Yet still, today, the Academic Honesty policy sets off anxiety in my medicated and educated (regarding OCD) brain.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

I now know why I shouldn't sleep thirteen and a half hours and then eat an inferior breakfast to my normal breakfast (the granola was gone and I didn't want oatmeal, so I came up with something else): the end result is me feeling exhausted. Of course, I'm not really repentful; that's thirteen and a half hours when I didn't have to think! The day is successfully shortened. The only problem is that now I feel like taking a nap (two hours after waking up).

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Today I saw my counselor. It was nice. But I left wanting to cry. Which is a risk when I let myself express feelings and thoughts I usually try to push away.

I had two good days in a row, and then came a grumpy morning. Work didn't change that. I even went to an exercise class. Afterwards, a nice older lady mentioned how it was so fun, didn't I think so? And I didn't really agree. But I explained, I'm just having a grumpy day. She responded, didn't the exercise class take away my grumpiness? And I answered, no. The poor lady looked a bit concerned and said, God's blessings on you. And I thanked her. If I'd been in her shoes, I might have said that. And also, I could really use some more of God's blessings.

Back to today. I learned that comparing myself to others in depression recovery is as unhelpful as comparing myself to others who share my spiritual beliefs. Other people seem to be doing better than me. And I'm not extremely sick, well, not in my own view. So why can't I be working full time like so-and-so. Why can't I be smiling like that? Why can't I be doing such a great job of following directions - so much of a great job that I eat healthy foods? And it's okay for someone to be struggling when they are just out of the hospital. Duh. But I've been out more than a year. Why can't I pull it together? Why won't my (insert derogatory term here) brain stop tormenting me! Why can't I find medications that really work like they are supposed to? (The jury still hasn't decided on my current medication; it's still a bit early for that.) Why can other people find them? It just isn't fair!

And then, what am I left with? I can grump and cry, but I still have the same wonderful (sarcastically spoken) task of making it through, one day at a time. It doesn't seem very noble. Maybe I should change my view and call it noble. Each day, I choose to get out of bed, I choose to eat, I choose to participate in activities that will help me or at least keep me in a safer place.

And I am looking forward to one thing that is more than two weeks away; I'm going to visit my sister in December!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

OCD gains strength and old mascara is doomed to the garbage.

Knowing some friends who keep their mascara until it is gone... I used it last week after letting it sit unused for possibly up to a year, probably a little under that. Now I have an itchy eye. Add OCD. "My eye itches. Maybe it is serious. Maybe it's not. Maybe I shouldn't work. Maybe I should work. It doesn't look that pink. But it does look a little pink. And it itches, since I'm thinking about it. Let's try to think about something else... it still itches.... and still itches.... it doesn't feel right..." And on and on and on. I'm thinking the fluvoxamine that I've been tapering off of is loosing its control on my OCD.

There is another reason I think this. I have a particular OCD issue that really bothered me at work. I couldn't figure out how to get around it, because it just seemed to wrong not to follow my compulsions. (This is my reigning OCD symptom.) Then, after taking the fluvoxamine and getting more depressed... suddenly this obsession became less of an issue. I could forget it and move on. Now, it's gaining strength. And just like I keep thinking my eye feels funny and so it keeps feeling funny because I keep thinking about it, my OCD issue just keeps going.

Fluvoxamine let me forget OCD issues. Ah, the ability to forget. It is very important.

But the fluvoxamine wasn't helping my depression enough and might have made it worse, so now I'm on to venlafaxine, or however it's spelled. This weekend, I was convinced that this med also increased my depression, but yesterday I had a good day, so my hypothesis has some disagreeing evidence.

A good day; not perfect. Calling it a good day brought in stress. "Oh, no, it's a good day so far, and I'm going to mess it up, maybe even by thinking about it being a good day..." But I told myself, it's a good day, not a perfect day. That gave me more freedom to enjoy the good without insisting perfection. I feel so successful when I can talk to myself and get a worry to go away or at least loose strength.

The research paper I worried so much about came through at 100%, without revision! I needn't have worried so much. I forget that what I consider a B can be seen as and A by someone else.

Happy Tuesday.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Even Mr. Psychiatrist thought that working on Saturdays, too, would be too much for me right now. I thought so. My counselor agreed. And so did Mr. Psychiatrist. So I don't feel so lazy.

Well, in that particular circumstance.

Last night I slept about 11 hours. I went to bed early because I didn't want to deal with my brain any longer. (I wasn't able to sleep early; I got some coloring done in a kids coloring book among other things.) Today it was nasty trying to get up. Basicly, I'm afraid that the short term results of doubling my antidepressant is greater depression. :( Is that just because it makes me more tired? Is it really because it's the weekend and has nothing to do with the antidepressant? Is it because my cold is still hanging on a bit? It isn't because of an antibiotic, because I'm not on one.

Anyway, I've got some schoolwork to do. That should help me for a few minutes.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Second posting for today

I realize that I have already written today. But this time I'm experimenting with the whole "think positive thoughts" advice. I will try to write a positive entry and see if it helps my mood.

I like:
Toddler art, especially finger painting with multiple colors.
Sarcastic humor (but not just any sarcastic humor)
Talking to my guinnea pig
Watching movies at home
Studying phonetics and transcribing into IPA font - i.e. specific symbols for each sound, not necessarily the same as how we would write in English.
The book, "We're Going on a Bear Hunt" by Michael Rosen
Trying to think of art activities for my toddlers to do based on this new "bear" theme
Singing with the "big" (3 to 5 year old) kids
A toddler's smile when their face lights up
Music (well, many kinds of music)
Being able to drive and having a car that works
Computers that I can use at the library
Eating supper with friends
Dancing (again, certain kinds)
Ummmmm, I like the word "um," even if it isn't a word
I really like that our group final paper is turned in now!
I went to the doctor. I don't feel good. But so far, it is probably just a virus, a head cold. Yuck. We wont call it a bacteria until Friday, if it is still this bad. What? Feel this bad through the whole week? How am I gonna work? I'm just so tired. But maybe that is depression after all. Yuck. Let me just say that adding to sleep-twelve-hours-a-day depression some school stress and feeling sick with no immediate cure, and, well, the depression isn't very happy (or it is very happy? Does it like it when I'm depressed? No, I prefer the medical view of depression, remember? Depression, you are a medical problem. Oh, won't you please please please respond to medication???).

Now I am chatty and depressed. Oh, great.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Saturday has arrived. My sore throat got worse. What shall we blame it on? Or shall I leave it a symptom with unknown cause? That sounds good. No, I want to blame it on allergies that I may or maynot have. That way I'm neither a walking germ machine nor having a dangerous reaction to something.

Today my wish was to sleep most of the day. But I had schoolwork, so I only slept part of the day. I did make it to the exercise class I was planning to attend. But I thought I wanted to sleep after that. To me, the sleepy thing is a slightly less annoying symptom of depression than what I could be having. Of course, schoolwork brought out the worse parts. Why? Why, why, why?

I suspect I should be writing part of a paper. I really don't want to. My throat hurts and I want to sleep. Maybe it is a virus, letting me justify 16 hours of sleep in one day. Why not? (Other than my counselor telling me not to. I guess that's a compelling reason not to.)

Okay, let's go look at researching that part of the paper.... :(

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

When I learned about numbers of words, I started counting the number of words or meaningful word parts (morphemes) that "my" kids said. "I jumping" would be three morphemes. And "ing" has grammatical meaning (I think it belongs in a category with a special name which I don't remember right now).

Now, with the grammar class, my evaluation changes. So-and-so used "but" to connect two sentences; great conjunction usage! That child used a preposition. Oh, what fun. Aren't you jealous.

Here is my short complaint about my college education (it comes up every once and awhile). Sometimes questions give away other questions' answers. When I get those right, it may not mean that I understand the material. It might only mean that I'm good with test-taking logic.

Here is my second short complaint. Why do I get such high scores without working so hard for them (except for the defeat-the-depression-enough-to-do-a-little-schoolwork work, which can be hard)? I get told good job, etc. But I didn't do much. I'm not sure why this bothers me, but it does.

Back to uncomplaining, ... okay, I'm a bit grumpy for no complaints.

I get to learn to transcribe a sound that I don't use but other English speakers do. Makes me want to rent a tv show that had a lady that really pronounced that sound. Maybe I'll talk with that accent for a while, too.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

other people knowing my problems

Earlier this week (last week, technically), I was having a pretty hard time, so I called some people from my church. Today, I felt a little awkward knowing these people had seen me at my worst, or at least not at my best. But nothing too unnerving actually happened.

In Sunday school, I decided to actually claim depression instead of "a health issue" when asking for prayer. That was scary, too. But I'm glad I did it. How will people be open about mental illness if no-one speaks first or earlier on? Maybe I have more to do with the perceived stigma than the people around me. Maybe being a little more open will let other people be a little more open, too. And, of course, there is the other factors involved for me, like really wanting prayer and having been with this group of people for a while and trusting them.

Last weekend was hard, so I, with my great cognitive reasoning, am afraid of this weekend and Monday. But this week isn't last week. I'm sleeping more now. I can do this...