Sunday, April 28, 2013

mistakes, observations, and my garden growing

I got my car back. And here is something annoying: If I had gone ahead and let my friend put in the new battery we bought, I probably wouldn't have needed to get my car towed. See, we did this experiment where we tried to jump my car directly from his battery, not going through a battery in my own car, (i.e., the jumper cables connected from his car battery to the cables that would have connected to my car battery). The result? Nothing. So, not wanting to waste my $105-plus-tax dollars I had spent on my battery, we didn't put the new one in, just in case we wouldn't want it, because once you put it in, you can't return it.

My choice didn't really make sense; we'd already gotten rid of the old battery (which I am still pretty confident was thoroughly dead). So I would need a new one. I was just afraid that if it was the wrong battery or something? Anyway, my friend talked to someone they knew who suggested putting the battery in, but by then I had already scheduled the towing, not to mention a busy day in between time, so I left the battery in the trunk.

The towing was covered by my insurance. At least, I'm pretty sure it was. But I'm still annoyed that that money got "wasted."

So I keep telling myself, "it takes experience to get experience." I know better for next time. So this is my most thorough exposition on the matter since it came up Thursday, when I learned what did need done with my car. It just became one of those thoughts in my head tormenting me even while I tried to ignore it. "You wasted money." "That isn't smart." "You might not be able to get a towing that you need to be covered since you wasted your coverage on this."

And then I reply, "It takes experience to get experience." Like a mantra. But perhaps it was really a compulsion?

So ERP? Yup, Abigail, you wasted money, maybe around $100. So terrible. Maybe your insurance will charge you for it since you made the mistake on how to deal with your battery. Maybe, maybe, maybe, I'm not coming up with anything that bad. Nasty anxiety, growing out of proportion behind my back. Hasn't it learned not to do that to me yet?

And now to completely change the subject. My doctor and I are trying something where I take one dosage of my SSRI for half the month and a higher dosage for the other half. I think it is worth a try, but I have some reservations on how well I think it will work. Take two weeks ago when I dropped back to the lower dose: a few days later, my mood got worse. Sweet thing. And then Friday I upped my dose again. Only to get the extremely tired feeling Saturday that I associate as a side affect to this SSRI (even though this one doesn't usually cause tiredness or weight gain; it just decided to do the unexpected with me, but still work pretty well). I don't like the idea of getting so extremely tired once a month when the dosage ups and side effects visit for a moment. But we'll see. I guess I'd even put up with that if it really solved my roller-coaster (slow motion roller-coaster) moods.

And to completely change the subject again, my peas have sprouted!

And to change the subject again, Thursday night, I got a text from my boss regarding something that happened at work, without my knowledge. So Thurs night, despite trying to reason with myself that it wasn't more likely to be my mistake than any one else's, I was anxious and had a bit of trouble getting to sleep. But then Friday, when I talked with her, I learned that her best guess was that the mistake occurred when I wasn't even there! She just asked me on the off chance that I knew something. So my "mind-reading" cognitive error was definitely wrong! I was so relieved. I'll have to work on my "assuming the worst" habit. How, I'm not sure. Except maybe by working on positive self-talk. That might help. I could try to assume the best about myself for a change (forget what other people are thinking; deal with myself for starters!). And remember that relief again. That felt so good.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

People-pleasing or a healthy need for people?

Today, my time limit isn't a library computer timer; it is the light outside.

Because my car decided it needed a rest. An expensive rest, but cheap and fast enough that I wont ditch the car (as if I could afford a new-to-me one now, let alone repairs).

So I've been accepting rides and asking for help and such things that are hard for me to do, but easier when I don't have so much choice in the matter. (Oh, and biking 5 miles one way to work is an option, but I'd rather accept a ride from a friend.)

Seeing my counselor again yesterday, I was relieved that I was the one bringing up EMDR, not her. She suggested it, but I don't think she'll push for it much (unless I really go down hill).

One interesting thing that came up in our session was this; the issue of people pleasing with a surprising other perspective (i.e., something other than how it is idolatry).

Someone in my life was careful to pass on that people-pleasing was a trap. True, when carried to an unhealthy conclusion

But on the other hand, my counselor brought up, there is Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. And Love and Belonging are in there as pretty important (she said most important, but Wikipedia's picture has it in the middle. I'll put it back in my mind as close to most important, because I think it is pretty important. With depression, for example, it just might be essential for life).

I think that this person in my life sees people-pleasing as a trap and a sin because 1) in its extreme, it is a trap and unhealthy, 2) according to this person's strict religious perspective, it is idolatry because it puts people as more important than God, and 3) because if you don't need people, maybe it wont hurt so much when they let you down or back stab you.

But when my counselor was talking, I started seeing another perspective. Pardon my religious terminology (or skip my post; that is really okay, too). But I thought of it like this; God made us people to need each other. Like my counselor says, we try for that belonging and love by trying to be "as good a person as we can be." You can jump all over that and call it legalism and conditional love and on and on. Or we can set that aside and remove extreme thinking from it (ha!) and think, our living pleasantly with people makes it easier for them to live pleasantly with us. It facilitates the process of all of us belonging and loving and being loved. I don't mean door-mat pleasant - that doesn't work out so well. But not calling people names, being polite, being real, and so on and so forth, is it wrong to do that, hoping to fit better in the community? Okay, trying to get this too detailed isn't working.

But basically, I don't have to judge myself for wanting friends, for even feeling like I need them. Just because someone important to me had a worldview that made them something of an island (depending
"ultimately" on God to meet these people-met needs - which is technically correct, if you see it as God meeting our needs through people but don't use it to separate yourself from needing people), anyway, just because that is someone else's view whose view means a lot to me, doesn't mean I have to see it that way.

So, friends, who have extended love to me and helped me feel like I belonged in this OCD blog community, I'm gonna try and embrace needing people and depending on people. Hopefully not to an unhealthy extreme. But just maybe I need to risk that extreme so that I can quit falling off my current side of the bridge and come back onto the bridge where the people who I need to be with are.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Time to add a therapist?

It was great to see my counselor today. I thought I was having a pretty good day, but still ended up crying during my appointment. "And this is me on a good day," I told her. But she said, "No, I've seen you on a good day, and this is not it." I guess she was right. Especially since I often don't cry during appointments.

Anyway, I also talked with my psychiatrist on the phone on Tuesday, and we have it settled so that I'll take a higher dose for part of the month and then go back to my regular SSRI dose for the rest of the month and see if that helps even out my rollercoaster.

I did show my blogged "letter" to my doctor to my therapist, and she told me to mail it to my doctor. Except that she said I should clarify the ending. Apparently when I wrote that I was running out of time (meaning my allotted time on the library computer was just about up and the computer would soon shut me off), it sounded too much like I was running out of time here on earth. Which wasn't the case. At least, no more than it is the case for every living creature on the planet. So I'll mail that, even though the one time I brought in writing to show him, he turned it down, saying he wanted to hear how I was doing directly from me. The problem is, I'm not communicating it well enough in spoken words. So hopefully he will read my writing.

I also feel like a charity case now that he has reduced his rate so much for me. I'm afraid to suggest an appointment earlier than he does, because I don't want to take advantage of his offer. But that is getting in the way of my getting my needs met - and I don't mean to sound selfish; I just mean that for my sake and the sake of people around me (perhaps with the exception of my psychiatrist, who might "loose money" on me if I see him more or take more of his time), I want to recover as much health as possible.

Anyway, my blog title is really to try and have a catchy title, too see if more people will read it (truly, that is an interesting phenomenon that I try to observe; the better titles seem to get read more), but it is also because of this; my therapist suggested that EMDR might help me, only she isn't trained in it. I've only turned down two therapists who are trained in EMDR so far. And I don't intend to go back to them. But I'm reluctantly planning to investigate the matter again.

Because I'm really frustrated. I'm nearing the third year mark with therapy, and I want to have gotten further. I'm a little afraid that I've gotten stuck in a rut with my current therapist, who I trust lots, who understands me pretty well, and who is pretty good with OCD and exposure response prevention.

Anyway, she said I could think of it as adding a therapist instead of switching therapists. I don't have to stop seeing her. I could see her in the middle, or call, or go back to seeing her afterwards.

Anyway, once again I'm running out of time (on this computer reservation at the library before the computer shuts down on me), so I need to wrap up: Do any of you have experience with EMDR, either positive or negative or neutral? Anything? Or any other type of therapy other than cognitive and behavioral? Thanks in advance for any input.

Movie ratings for mental health

I added a tab to my blog, "Movie ratings for mental health." I might change the name to something better worded. But here is the idea:

A friend and I were talking about how there should be warnings for movies that have suicide and mental hospitalizations and stuff like that in them. These can be triggers some of us want to avoid.

Well, if you know of something like that; please share! I have no need to reinvent the wheel. But if there is no wheel yet, then this "Movie ratings for mental health" is my small attempt. There is probably a more efficient way to make such a thing, even just randomly on the internet, but oh, well, this is what I know how to do, and it is a start.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

My therapist did call me back yesterday. She got permission for me to raise the dose on one medication, and she said that my psychiatrist would call me Monday. She said it would be helpful for him if I can tell him the exact days that I tend to go downhill and back uphill (since I think there is a pattern going on).

Talk about a nerve-wracking proposal. I mean, a marriage proposal would qualify as more nerve-wracking, so maybe mine is a little petty. But to think of my doctor calling me, and my trying again to communicate over the phone what I apparently failed to communicate in person... And exact days? It is one thing when I am frustrated and tired and crying to inform my counselor that I'll probably start feeling better soon for about two weeks and then get worse again for another two weeks. But exactly? Oh, wait, she said "exact" in the normal interpretation, not the OCD version.

What can I say? I've gone over it, but here it is again.

Doctor, I've had a taste of what I hear mental health feels like. I've actually been glad to be alive. I've been able to handle washing the dishes in my sink and cleaning my bathroom. It felt like the sun came out. And now I know the sun is out there, and I don't want to settle for less.

So, even though work, school, and church are going well on the surface - and indeed going pretty well - and even though my original worst obsession has pretty much left me, I get frustrated with missing the sun, with having this feeling of abstract sadness that I had begun to hope could actually go away. I get anxious about little things, and it makes me mad. Because I know it is a stupid issue, with the part of my brain that isn't overreacting. Because I know it doesn't have to be this way.

And not every day, but still too many days a month, it takes work to exist, too much effort to wash those dishes stacking up on my counters. And cleaning the bathroom? What a joke. Not near high enough on my priority list.

I can look on my mood chart, and I see my mood getting worse and better and worse and better, and actually, when we increased the Lexapro dose from 15mg to 20mg, I continued in my better and worse flow without any particular change in my pattern, though two weeks into it I felt better again for a few days.

And this up-and-down mood, I get frustrated, because one moment, I can't believe how happy I am, and a couple hours later, I am down to considering whether or not I want to be here on earth. And then in a few hours or days or weeks, I'm back to being oh, so happy, only to drop back down in another hour or day or week or two. I'm frustrated because I can't keep the figurative sunshine in my life.

Maybe I'll even cry, but chances are, I wont cry until after he hangs up. Yay. My counselor says, "You don't have to act in front of him."

I'm not usually trying to. But I guess I do follow the ingrained "don't cry in front of people" message in my head. Let's not forget how "terrible" it would be to cry with the purpose of influencing a person. That's probably a sin. Therefore, crying in front of my psychiatrist must be wrong. Not. Really, how do you share what you feel with a psychiatrist in 3 minutes or less? Make that 5 minutes or less?

I doubt myself. I wonder if I really feel bad. I wonder if this is all there is. I wonder... I'm afraid I'll accidently mislead you, doctor. I'm afraid I'll say the wrong thing. I'm afraid I'll cry when I shouldn't or not cry when I should. I'm afraid I'll do it wrong, even though I don't know what right is. I want something better, and I've heard that there is something better. But then I live up to that annoying word, "functional." So I can go to work, take college classes, go to church. But if my stress increases much at all, I'm wishing for death again. I want to be further from that cliff.

I want a miracle. But I know that maybe I can't have it. Only, I need to keep hoping for one, even if it is a slow-moving miracle.

And I'm going to keep seeing my counselor. And I'll keep working on improving my mental health. But if medication can't fix it, how can therapy? How long are we going to blame my "issues" from growing up. I look young. And I am young, but I'm not a teenager any more.

Peter Kramer talks about fighting depression until it is gone. That's what I want. That's what I wish from both you and my counselor and myself.

And I'm running out of time, so goodbye for now.

Friday, April 12, 2013

I'm glad I called my therapist. She talked with me about it (see previous post), and she offered to call my psychiatrist the next day (today). Some of my thoughts were not substantiated since I hadn't asked him particular questions. But I think I still present better than I might feel when I see the psychiatrist - actually, I tend to feel pretty good when I see him and only want to cry afterwards. Anyway, my hope was given a boost when I talked to her.

And my anxiety was given another thing to bug me about. Did I say the right things, am I making too big a deal out of this, etc.

But no problem; my anxiety mostly switched topics to my current virus. Saw my regular doctor again today. I wanted to know how contagious I am and what precautions I should be taking. So somewhat OCDish. But after talking to him, I have somewhat solved that issue (not OCDish, since OCD likes to keep bothering you after you get clarity on an issue). So I feel better about that.

I plan to plant my garden today. I have to stop by the store to get some seeds and some violets. Possibly, the frost will return and kill my violets, but I think it is worth the risk. I want to see flowers blooming in my garden, now! :)

And I don't have to freak out about sharing my germs. I just need to avoid kids and not shake hands until Monday. Other than that, I can be around people. What a relief. Grounding myself to my little apartment wasn't helping my mood, especially since this virus is more annoying me that making me feel flat out sick. Sore throat, bit of a rash. Doesn't stop me from wanting to be out and about.

And my therapist said she'd call me after trying to contact my psychiatrist. So things are looking up for the moment. And next week, work will start back up to distract me until my next counseling appointment Wednesday.

Oh, and school is looking up, too. I really should be able to graduate next spring without taking more than 7 credits each semester. Hurray!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Depression - treated "good enough"?

I was just over reading Tina's blog post relating to the seriousness of depression. Fits right in with my current thinking and reading. My current reading is Against Depression by Peter Kramer.

And then my appointment with my psychiatrist. I showed him my pretty graphs of my mood. He noticed how my sleep was pretty steady. I'll agree on that. My sleep has improved to a pretty nice spot and held. Other than that?

Guess what; I'm functional.

Do you know what that means? It means that the doctor can say things like what he said, "Sometimes we use medication to keep you steady so that you can do the work in therapy."

Uh-huh. Since, obviously, my mood is getting better from my therapy while the medication keeps me steadily in the never-never land between health and severe depression. My mood ratings are the same, whether I show the paper to my therapist or my psychiatrist. Face it! My mood has plateaued for the winter (i.e., since December), with ups and downs, and it is a little worse than last summer.

But I should be okay with that. And if I'm not, I should just thank Freud for all his hard work providing a therapy that doctors can send me to when they are done messing with my meds. Because my psychiatrist thinks I'm still dealing with "issues" from my childhood and my family and upbringing.

Uh-huh. So year after year, the story remains the same. "You are growing up. Learning to be your own person. When you get settled, you will get better. Probably eventually wont even need medication."

What a pity that the people who actually talk about mental illness with me happen to be in it long term. (P.S., if you are reading this, and you talk about mental illness, and you're in for the short term, that is fine, too; I'm glad you are here, too.)

So is it that I just want to be in long term care?

Uh-huh. You want to be in long term care. That, Abigail, is why you want to be all the way recovered instead of just "held stable enough." Because you just love this experience.

Well, so I'm kind of angry. I don't necessarily mean that the Dr. should change my medication. Or maybe I do. Now that I'm not in danger of killing myself, the medication is working well enough.

Haven't we gone through this already? "This feeling you have isn't normal; you can feel better."

"You are feeling better. Now we just hold things steady."

Yeah. Steady. So what do you mean? That this is it? This is my mangled piece of pie for my life?

Oh, no. Psychotherapy should help. I mean, forget that its track record isn't so much better than medication (if better at all). Forget that combined therapy and medication have left me on this beautiful plateau. Something will make me better soon. Since obviously, near on three years of weekly therapy isn't enough, but in a few more months, I'll be better.

I guess I'm unfair to my psychiatrist.

I wish I could have an appointment split over two days so that I could think on his words and then come back intelligently with my issues.

Hah! My issues are no longer enough. No longer worthy of the psychiatrist's time (catastrophizing, anybody? Abigail?). Now I'm "healthy" enough. Suck it up, wont you, Abigail? Like really, what were you expecting, joy and happiness and sunny days in your mind every day? Hah, wanting to really live? What a joke. That was a myth. We tell that to people in the hospital. No, wait, we don't tell it then, either. The "suck it up" line works so much better.

Forget the health risk. Forget my increased risk of heart problems. Forget the holes that might be developing in my brain. I'm just too "sensitive," wishing for something that isn't. See? It is a "God-sized hole" after all, and if you'd just love Him enough...

Oh, good, what is this, day three of crying? Keep this up and you might qualify as being a bit depressed, enough that you should go talk to your counselor and get over your childhood and move on with your stupid life.

How is this, nasty commentator, defender of stigma against depression, encourager of doctors leaving depression on hold once it is "stable" enough. My new assumption that I actually wanted to live was based on the fairy tales that things get better, that lots of people actually want to live, that my feelings were depression, that they weren't a character defect. If you want drama, I suppose I could give it... But really? You told me I didn't need drama to qualify for help.

Okay, I'll try to believe you again. I'll call my counselor. The one I didn't get to see yesterday because I canceled because I'm sick with a virus or something.

And, just to be clear, I'm quite safely within the choosing to live range. I'm just annoyed. Well, the stronger version of annoyed.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

My merry-go-round

I've been keeping a mood log since sometime last May, or maybe June. I've done it on the OpenOffice software similar to Excel. This means I can do cool stuff like make charts and graphs to see how my mood has swooped around over the last year. This last week, I found that you can also put in a trend line over your chart. This was neat, but disturbing. I used it over charts made from week averages for the last 10 or 11 months. I learned that:
  • My depression at its best (each day, then averaged per week) is getting better.
  • My depression at its worst (each day, then averaged per week) is getting worse.
  • My anxiety is getting worse.
  • My sleep time is increasing.
  • My exercise time is decreasing.
Or, in short, my worst is getting worse. So then I wonder if I'm using the same standards to judge my mood as I was using in May last year. After all, the mood ratings are subjective, done each day, or occasionally every few days. But what if anxiety that I called a 5 in May would be called a 6 in my current rating system? And guess what, I don't think I can answer that question.

So then I'm left with feeling low about how my mood is getting worse over all instead of better. That isn't right! I should be feeling better. I don't have as much suicidal ideation as I did prior to my current medication selection (which started over a year ago, though with some dosage change). But stress keeps coming up. I wonder if I just always push myself to my stress limit (and when I don't, circumstances come in to help me stress more). For example, this winter. Stress at work, stress starting a new semester. Stress about one group project part A. Stress about the other group project. Stress about the first group project part B. Stress about needing a new job. Stress about... Well, I've tabled the new job issue. I'm scheduled for 4 days a week right now, and really, three day weekends are helpful (except for the lack of income). So that issue is off. So why am I blue now? Oh, the clouds and my sad charting discovery. And my messy house. And the fact that it feels like work to exist again. No, now I'm talking about depression, not outside stressors. Change, change, change. Oh, family time. That can be a stressor, even when things go well.

Now, I'm actually hungry, because I didn't eat enough for lunch. So my thinking is a little extra clouded. And the sky is cloudy, so I need to go home and sit by my therapy light. Maybe that will help.

Anyway, I see my psychiatrist Wednesday, so I get extra introspective leading up to that because I want to be able to give him an accurate picture of how I'm doing (and yes, I know OCD may see that as an open invitation to apply perfectionistic doubts to my brain).

I feel frustrated, too, because my mood is all over the place. I get some good news and I'm SO, SO, SO relieved. A little later, something bothers me, and the worse depressed thinking pops in for a quick moment. But I might be happy a little later and sad a little later, and blah a little later, and confused a little later. Welcome to my merry-go-round.

Oh, and my charting mentioned up above? My mood also does this scalloped thing where it rises to a peak, swoops down and then rises again, like a sketch of the ocean. That is one reason that I don't feel like I'm that depressed. The worst stuff doesn't last forever. None-the-less, according to my charts, the ocean is crooked, with an over-all trend going up for my worse depression and anxiety, down for my better depression, and I already told you that information.

Well, happy Sunday. Really. I think mine will be okay, too, because I plan to go home and sit on my couch and watch dvds. I think I can handle that and even enjoy it.

Friday, April 5, 2013

this, that, and photos

Do you ever start clicking back and forth from one window to another to another and back again in your internet browser? I do sometimes. It is irritating because it slows the computer down on top of being inefficient and basically a way for me to spin my wheels and get nowhere. Indecision? Absentmindedness? Forgetfulness? Who knows. Maybe it is visible evidence of my brain's decline as I try to multitask. Pardon me as I go check out the square foot gardening page again.

Back again, while I wait for a new page to load.

Anyway, I worked a 5 day work week, which is very good for my paycheck. And okay for me. Thursday, I thought it was my last day, so I had that encouragement through the (rough) morning. Then I got home and felt sad about what I was going to do with all my time with the long weekend, and then I got asked to work Friday. So that is just about perfect, especially since today was a pretty smooth day.

Mood-wise, I feel all mixed up this week. Relieved one minute when something scarey is resolved, happy the next (resulting from relief?), but then a little later, something will bother me, and I'll be thinking depressed thoughts. Perhaps a little like the weather... rain, clouds, sun, wind, dry, wet, cold, warm. Yup, sounds like me and the weather both.

I finished collecting my Playmobil family for my dollhouse. Which reminds me: when in doubt of what to say, upload pictures!

I think I mentioned my new furniture made from one of those kits with wood pieces you put together into models, or in this case, doll house furniture. "Staining" the wood with watered down paint was fun, but seems to have lightened after it dried - probably wasn't fully dry when I took the photo. The wood sink and high cupboard in the background are the original wood color.
More of my wood furniture - I've only painted the piano and stool in this picture, and I haven't finished the keys on the piano yet.
And the daffodils are just a bonus picture unrelated to my dollhouse except my their aesthetic quality.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Spring Cleaning

I, who put off washing dishes like the plague, have been bitten by some sort of cleaning bug. Incidentally, it hasn't helped the dishes. What a pity.

It has helped me throw out stacks and stacks of paper. Like tax papers from 5 plus years ago, that had disturbing OCD strings attached. I suppose it was a hidden compulsion. Save your papers so that if you ever need to go back and redo the tax papers you must have gotten wrong, you can. Year after year. Self torture. Well, them papers are in the garbage, with guinea pig cage-cleaning leftovers on top.

And my papers from my time in Puerto Rico? Well, it only took me almost 6 years to face that closed door in my life. (I spent three trying to reopen it, before it was shut finally, and the next 3 years amusing myself - I mean working on dealing with OCD and depression, which is amusing, but is not always pleasant, though there are nice moments). So, I got my PR papers into ONE GIANT NOTEBOOK! Plus the paintings reproduced on cards, which sit politely in their box - they didn't fit in the two inch, bulging notebook.

And my papers from high school, hence, my last post. But I didn't tell you the second act to that drama - the one that let it end happy. The second act went further back, into my stuffed "Special Saves" files. These had cards and lots of pieces of paper that triggered pleasant memories.

Like when I was little, and our back yard was "Elkton," and we made deeds. Printed out on the old printing paper with the tear-off edges that have holes in them to help feed the paper through or something like that. There were properties for the older five of us marked out in pen. And a note in red with multiple exclamation points stating that these deeds weren't FOREVER but were subject to change. The important, in obvious things that must be written on a child's deed. I ended up aborting my sort through of these happy files; I had already combined my two file boxes into one, so I just kept the rest of my happy files.

But am I content yet? No. I started to defrost my freezer, which is not separated from my dorm-sized fridge, so I only defrosted as long as I could bring myself to keep my milk sitting out, which still leaves lots of ice for next time. And I bribed myself to wash a few more dishes in the "wash the dishes so that you can go clean out that tub of miscellaneous stuff you want to sort through" way.

But, the plastic tub did not contain the birthday present I purchased for the sibling who's birthday is very, very, very near. So I don't know where I put it, which is frustrating. It might be in my car, which has not yet benefited much from my cleaning/sorting streak. Well, I want to publish this before my computer starts alarming about low battery, so that will be enough for now.

Oh, post script. I've been thinking recently about how long I'm going to lie low and fight the mental illness monsters as my main goal or one of my main goals. I think I might want to push it down to third or fourth place (still really important, but not the driving force). I think I might want to dare dream again and pursue the sort of job I dreamed of instead of settling for less. I mean, I might not find the dream job, and I might stay here, but the attitude is different. Not living in fear of the mental illness monster (though sticking to locations with mental health resources available).