Avoidance

I haven’t been myself lately, so I haven’t been writing… but I think that’s part of exactly when I should be writing. When everything’s a mess but still fine but not. That’s a part of our lives too.

I started my new medication last night. I also think I’m getting sick. I also think my lithium level is off because the medication I just came off and the one I’m going on both affect it. Please don’t worry, I know the toxic symptoms and I’m not, I promise. The reality is that it’s just not effective right now at its current level.

My throat is sore and I spent over an hour with tears falling from my eyes for no discernible reason. My hands, my arms, my legs fall asleep for no reason. I have been so irritable that I have picked fights with friends online, but my loneliness from the depression seeping back in keeps me from avoiding my friends, so more fights.

I whine constantly. I bitch about tiny things that don’t matter and I have no ability to focus. As it stands, I’m smoking a cigarette, drinking tea, binge watching charmed, checking my phone games and writing this… so if it’s a little disjointed, it simply wasn’t written all at once and I keep losing my train of thought.

I didn’t write… because I didn’t want to complain… so I avoided this, but if I don’t tell you about the bad days, what can you possibly understand about me?

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

So scared it hurts.

Sometimes people use the term ‘panic attack’ when they experience any type of anxiety, even mild anxiety. As someone that gets painful panic attacks, like physically painful, chest hurts, nauseous, having trouble breathing, not sure what to do, feel like hiding under a blanket and never coming out panic attacks… like the one I’m experiencing right now… I just want to say, this is extremely annoying. It’s frustrating. It minimizes what some of us go through.

If you suffer from anxiety but it’s not as severe, even if it is intrusive, please know “anxiety attacks” are a thing and they’re not the same thing. I am writing this to distract myself from the things I believe are causing it because I can’t do anything about them right now. I started all those phone calls last week but I’m a third of the way done, and I can’t do any of them on a Sunday.

The pain makes it hard to write, it makes it hard to remember to take deep breaths because the breaths have to be forced… If not, they’re fast and shallow and could lead to hyperventilation. However, for me, distraction is still my best coping skill, or rather most effective. I took my medication, and now I am sitting here trying to breathe and let my fingers go rather than think, so I’ll apologize now for any grammar and spelling issues. They’re not my main concern today.

Most people that don’t have anxiety don’t even realize how physical it can be. They think fidgeting is the end of it. With all the boxes and spinners in the world, my chest would still hurt. I usually fidget with my bracelet and necklace.

I forgot where I was going with that. Honestly, I’m having a hard time remembering my initial point which, looking back, was simply the difference between ‘anxiety’ and ‘panic’ but no matter which of these cards you’re dealt, remember it sucks, but it passes. My chest hurts a little less than when I started this. My breathing isn’t necessary to force to keep from hyperventilating but I am still focusing on deep breaths.

This too shall pass. Like a kidney stone. But it’ll pass.

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

To Do List:

We all have our days where it’s one foot in front of the other… simple tasks are hard, harder tasks are unthinkable and even enjoyable (usually enjoyable) things feel like work. I hate lists… I get overwhelmed by them, but I figure for today, why not. This is what my “list” usually entails (in literally no order at all):

  1. Coffee … or tea … caffeine.
  2. Make cigarettes
  3. Take Meds
  4. Check social media
  5. Play Clash Royale
  6. Play fishy game (like Candy Crush but I like it more)
  7. Play search and find game
  8. Eat
  9. Shower
  10. Clean anything
  11. Drink enough water (near a gallon)
  12. Check the cat has food and water
  13. Take nap
  14. Go to bed

What my day really looks like lately:

2, 13, 1, 12, 2, 5, 4, 3, 5, 11, 3, 8, 3, 14.

I have no interest in half my games, not even Ingress right now because it’s been so hard for me to get together with my friends. Eating happens because C is a chef so, food happens. I’m just kinda blowing off most of everything still. It’s not intentional, it’s just that my motivation level drops significantly under stress or during depressive episodes. I want to do all the other stuff, or rather, I want to want to do the rest of it.  I’m out of spoons, I’m out of sporks, I’m just out.

So there’s me for the moment… how’s your list looking?

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

Worse than I think I am…

It’s strange when my actions don’t really match what I think my emotions are. I have been off lately and I’ve been trying to figure it out. I haven’t been up for talking to most people, especially not one on one. Conversations about myself are still down to “How are you doing?” “Oh, I’m okay.” We all know I’m not but I’m okay enough to get away with it.

I can’t get away with it at therapy though. I don’t remember if I gave him a “name” or not, but for today, we shall call him Jim. Jim doesn’t let me get away with “I’m okay.” It’s pretty much his job to call me out on that. So, I started going through the fact that hygiene is getting more difficult to handle again and I’m losing interest in most of my games and my shows that I usually love. It hits me. These are signs of depression.

Some of this stems from being so sick as a side effect of my body getting used to a medication again. A lot, actually, because besides ‘feeling sick’ – I’m also isolated right now because leaving the house for more than an hour or two makes me even more sick the following day. I can’t change this. I need the medication for now until we can at least discuss other options. I need tests done for that. I am working on it all the best I can…

However, I’m still more depressed than I thought I was. This doesn’t usually happen to me. I’m usually much more self aware, much more able to gauge my own emotions. Being sick for a month will screw with your perception of everything though, I think, including yourself.  I am safe, I am not in danger of any type of harm to self or others, I’m just not quite emotionally available to people right now. Not as much as usual.

I will drink my peppermint tea (which I am so tired of but it helps), and I will snuggle with the cat. I will find new games to play for now for distraction and new shows to hold my attention until I’m more myself again. There’s just a lot of stress and sadness and grief in my life recently and I need to take time to process it.

I hope if you find yourself in a similar position, see signs of depression in yourself before you really “feel” them, that you give yourself permission for self care. Don’t just wait for it to get worse, do whatever you can to stay even or move forward, so when it passes, you’re ready to keep going in life.

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

Glowy screens are my friends

(aka Distraction isn’t the start of the apocalypse)

I have started to write repeatedly in the last couple days and gotten nowhere beyond two sentences. It’s hard to stop and focus. My fiance asked me last night if I’d written anything and I just stared at him shaking my head. He asked if I was taking weekends off. No, no that’s not it. I just had no way to get myself to stop the hamster running in the wheel inside my head long enough to get words out.

I held my phone up and started listing non-Ingress games I’m playing – Clash Royale with its three minute rounds, my fishy game which is one of those ‘match three gem’ kind of games with rounds that are even shorter, my search and find game with two minute or less rounds… I’m like “I couldn’t even finish my crown chest yet!” It means getting ten towers down in that first game, usually takes me under half an hour. It’d been over three hours and I was still at 9, with the phone sitting dark next to me.

“That’s my level of focus, three minutes and, really, not even that.” I’ve been using phone games as distraction from my physical issues lately. There are many coping skills but over the years I have learned that when things are weighing heavily on my mind, it’s distraction that helps most. It lets my subconscious mind work on the issues without invading my conscious mind to the point of obsessing and panic attacks.

While we are becoming a generation of screen junkies, there are benefits sometimes. Yesterday’s distractions, beyond the games, were: watching Empire Records, talking to a person online I’d never talked to before, contemplating meeting friends from online and running through a list a friend gave me of topics he’d like to see me tackle. I must have read the list twenty times. It’s a short list, but I like it – some hows and whens and a little entertainment.

Distraction is my warm comfy blanket as far as coping with racing thoughts is concerned, as well as anxiety and sometimes depression but most often the racing thoughts. I do have an actual warm comfy blankey for the others, and a bear (Mr. Bear… I’ve had him about ten years, he’s sitting next to me now), and a cat when she’s awake. Some people say you need to work through your issues or you need to ‘figure things out.’ While they are correct, sometimes taking some time away from those issues and those things is exactly what can help you figure out how to handle them.

This morning, I am in a much better place emotionally. I’m more able to accept the high brain pressure thing, more able to handle needing to retest my blood in a couple of weeks to see if I truly have an issue with my kidneys, more able to think about my future. By the way, the kidney thing – that test that was off when I wrote last – my general physician just wants a retest – the level is not far out of range so I’m not as terrified as I was. I will still keep you updated.

Mainly, if distraction is being detrimental to your life – if you’re binging netflix instead of eating dinner – that’s not really good. However, sometimes a little distraction can make you feel capable enough to make dinner or to take a shower, or to actually have that conversation with your boss to request a vacation. Our little glowing screens may have the power to diminish our quality of life if we’re not careful, but sometimes… sometimes they can vastly improve it.

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~