I have now made two batches of dill pickles and one batch of sweet pickles. I don't know that I have found a recipe that I like. The sweet ones I think I just processed too long so they got a little bit curly, but they taste fine. Batch one of the dill pickles is kinda salty. Haven't yet tried batch two.
Yesterday cleaned up in the children's room (but not for the whole day). Also, checked out things in the garden (but not obsessively).
It is kind of nice not to have any exciting things to say about mental health for this day. I felt the kind of normal that makes me think, "I don't need medication anymore. I'm better." It is the danger of good meds. All I need to do is look a few posts back for a reminder that I don't feel this kind of normal without some assistance.
Need to do some stuff. Don't know what.
Last night had a neighbor over for Mojitos and pico de gallo. It was nice. Except that I left out the sugar bowl where I had muddled some mint from the garden and the ants found it overnight and went into a sugar-crazed drunken frenzy. Unfortunately/fortunately I was not the one who found the boozy ants. Spouse had to deal with them.
Talked to my boss yesterday about more solid plans for the fall. Super excited about all the new things that I will be doing. I really like piloting new projects. The challenge is really good for me and my brain.
I am looking forward to not working in the evenings. Lately I feel like I don't see Spouse at all. That could partly be the fact that he is no longer sick and forced to stay home from work anymore... but partly not. I'm glad my regular schedule doesn't involve us being tag-team parenting partners all the time.
Grateful Crap: touch-typing without a bandaid on my left index finger.
finally scheduled appointments for me and 11yo; refilled my prescription for bupropion.
So I started the day all headachey and whiny and just lay around in bed reading about the Epstein-Barr virus, which may or may not be what had Spouse laid out for almost a month.
Did manage to rouse myself and kick the children outside to go to the library where we checked out 38 books. This may last us for three to four days.
I STILL have not made appointments or reordered my bupropion. I'm not sure why. Could be that the lethargy early in the day is not conducive to getting things done. I need to get off my ass. Plan things. Go places. Do things.
I feel bad that my happiness seems to stem from the feeling that things are just... right. I have a family I love and a job I love and colleagues and friends and family that I love. And I am kind of blissed out on that for the moment.
I'm not sure why I feel bad about feeling good about that. I just made my own head spin.
Have taken up singing at the top of my lungs once again. I think I need to break out my camera and drag the children out to some nature-y area. It would be good for everyone (provided sufficient quantities of bugspray and sunscreen. we are pale and tasty).
I will take pictures of the garden.
My students are not happy that I will not be teaching their class in the fall. That is always gratifying.
I am meeting with my co-teacher on Friday.
And I have a meeting with my boss tomorrow.
And I have someone to room with for summer institute. (Thanks, friend.)
So my work stuff feels nicely settled and no longer in limbo-land.
Grateful Crap: out of limbo
walked to library
talked to friend
checked my voicemail and sort of checked email
After waiting and waiting and then deciding (before I heard the news) that I did not get the job it was a relief to hear that I did not, in fact, get the job. As spouse pointed out prior to this news, however, I have a job that I love and that does not go away as a result of this interview process.
(Also, the new job went to a dear friend of mine so I don't feel angry with the hiring committee. We both kick ass.)
The waiting, however, was not fun. It may have contributed to lethargy and headacheyness of the past two days. I did very little. Lay around and did nothing. Waited and waited and waited. For the phone to ring. When it did ring, I answered it without realizing it and then threw the phone on the floor of the car.
Don't like limbo. Much happier now that I have the answer. I don't know anyone who does like limbo. I guess that is what makes the idea of purgatory kind of ominous.
So tomorrow I have an unambiguous start to fall planning, a desire to get my things in order at home and really honest I will hop on the whole scheduling of things. I found myself in a holding pattern until I had more information on the outcome of job interview.
Which I fully realize is ridiculous. But there you have it.
Eventually I am confident that I will get a contract-- hopefully by the time my 3yo enters kindergarten. Until then I appreciate the freedom that my limited schedule offers.
Rooted for Brazil. They lost. Rooted for Argentina. They lost. Irrational part of me draws conclusion that in rooting for me to get job I "auditioned" for on Friday I will also lose.
However, spouse pointed out that it is not really a losing situation.
I have a job I love now. If I am not chosen in interview, I will still have job I love. So I should just not worry.
Slice open finger with bread knife so typing is less fun.
Accidentally did not increase my venlafaxine when I decreased the sertraline. Missed only 2 days of that. Back almost on schedule. Still no bupropion. Honest I will get on that.
Tired and dizzy/hot/sick in the afternoons. Nerves? Medication change? Nothing? Who knows.
Won'y type much now. Index finger of left hand still kinda bleeding. Crap. Dripped on keys.
Grateful: band aids
meds (most of them, anyway)
a little outside.
gonna go rest
A while ago I listened to AJ Jacob's TED talk on "My year or living biblically." I also read the book in which he talked about the experience of starting by just following the rules because that was what the rules said... but then he found that following the rules made him feel different.
Acting "pure" made him feel more pure.
I have been pampering myself in preparation for a job interview on Friday. Got a spiffy outfit. Did my nails. (Finally cleaned the garden out from under my fingernails) Even did my toenails, which are unlikely to be seen at said interview. Got a haircut. In general spent more time on girly crap than usual.
And I feel... better.
Not just that I feel like I look better. The act of taking care of all these details of my appearance has made me feel better in general. Worth pampering? I don't know.
I think the recent bouts of Sad have caused a recurrence of low self esteem. Also a lapse in my resolution to marry my outward and inner selves.
Parts of me believe that paying attention to my appearance makes me vain or will contribute to me being all judgy of other people's appearances.
Anyway, I am glad that prepping for my "audition" as my 11yo calls it has helped me snap out of some of my funk. Because auditioning when you are in a slump is just not good form.
For some reason this just reminded me of purchasing cars and homes.
In other countries people bargain on the price of many different things. Everyday items. Groceries. Handbags. Jewelry. In the U.S. the prices are usually fixed except for the two most expensive purchases we make. Cars and homes.
We go into the negotiating process with very little day-to-day practice. Novices. It is uncomfortable.
And it is not appropriate here in Scandinavian America to acknowledge ones strengths. Better to be humble. Not toot one's own horn. People will think you are arrogant, obnoxious, full of yourself. Somehow Better Than Everyone Else. (It's why I understood Japanese culture so well; and the saying "The nail that sticks up gets hammered down.")
Then at job interview we are supposed to speak of ourselves in glowing terms. You should hire me because I am awesome and amazing. Which I am. It's just hard to say out loud without cringing. Or expecting some junior high girl to come running up to me and say, "What makes you so special?"
In general things are trending the way I would like them to go. Feeling less down and more up. Less frenetic. Less fatigued. More like me. I may even voluntarily contact friends again. (hanging head in anti-social shame)
On the medication front: Went up to the next level of venlafaxine today. I have not noticed any negative side effects. I feel much less fuzzy. More like an actual human being. All good things. Still need to refill the bupropion. And I haven't yet scheduled the appointments. Will get on all of that right now.
Grateful Crap: All the bettering of things going on.
hmmm... no time outside today really
Wish me luck at my audition tomorrow... (hold me in the light!)
More than one friend has asked if I think I might have bipolar rather than unipolar Depression. Because sometimes I am frantically and furiously in motion, engaged in one project after another. And sometimes I fall asleep at 4:30 and can't seem to do anything.
Admittedly on paper this does sound kind of multi-polar. But I don't have manic episodes. Not really.
I didn't know there was something called "soft bipolar disorder" or Bipolar type II that behaves differently from classic Bipolar Disorder (type I) and is ticklishly difficult to diagnose.
Instead of periods of mania, BPD II has what they call "hypomania." It's like mania-lite. Mania without the psychosis. Lack of psychosis sounds good, but in general I would prefer to stay on the unipolar side of things.
However, good to keep this idea in my back pocket if changes in medication prove insufficient.
Here is a list of hypomanic symptoms taken from the DSM-IV-TR
I don't think these are a good fit for me mostly. But apparently Bipolar II is more commonly in the depressed phase. I like the idea better that some are floating that bipolar disorder and Depression are on a continuum. Isn't everything on a continuum? Or a spectrum?
Today I made strawberry rhubarb jam. Tomorrow: pickles
Grateful Crap: unipolarity
tea with a friend
used watch to time 15 minute cleaning segments (not that I did much cleaning today)
My strawberry jam turned out pretty well. So I am going to make another batch or two. Also I am going to also try strawberry rhubarb jam. And I got a bunch of pickling cucumbers at the farmers market. I'm going to start with sweet pickles and then (maybe when my dill comes in?) I am going to try dill pickles.
Today I dragged middle son to farmer's market. Just a little one. We got a few more plants for chaos garden. (Lettuce to replace the plants I dug up before realizing they were a "cut and come again" crop, more asparagus, more mint, which I hope will be very invasive on the North-facing side of my house. We'll see.
Watched the first half of a very depressing World Cup match. Did not mind having to leave in the middle. Demoralizing. I wasn't particularly rooting for Brazil, but it is not fun to watch a slaughter. Ugh.
Today I felt a bit normal for many parts of the day. And happy-- real happy-- with a flexible face and everything. I don't care if it is the placebo effect from switching to a new medication. That is part of why I wanted to try something new-- for the psychological impact. Even if it is all in my head. Ha.
House is still a disaster. I may turn to a friend to come keep me company while I tackle things. I got a watch and as soon as I figure out how to set the alarm I will be a happy camper. I have no sense of time when I am in thrall to a project. I will be pretty sure that I have only been spending five minutes on something and two hours will pass.
Also, I don't notice when people are speaking to me or when they enter the room. So spouse is often greeted by my shouting in surprise even though he did not sneak up on me.
Spouse is "on the mend" which is good. Only I am allowed to be sub-functional. Which I fully realize is Not Fair. Part of the reason I need to get my act together.
Grateful Crap: eating salad at the table with my 11yo crunching on mustard flowers
time in garden
I don't know.
Engaged in several useful activities. Like doing laundry and putting it out on the line.
Swimming... eldest boy refused to swim because he was "sick" but I made him come with us and sit on the bleachers. It ended up being a good lack of power struggle over the issue. But I wish he had decided to swim.
Need to do the following things:
order bupropion refill
schedule allergy appt.
schedule appt for elderboy
still on this week's concoction: 150mg sertraline, 450mg bupropion, 35mg venlafaxine
some time in garden
ran necessary errands
Small moments of feeling like my face is more flexible.
3yo watching So You Think You Can Dance: How do they do that? That would definitely hurt me.
July 4th... I don't remember what I did. Felt blah. Did go to Goodwill with my mom. I have decided that Goodwill is my manic-light phase. It is my version of gambling excessively or buying a new convertible or a lake home. I need to stop going there. For a while. When I leave the house it draws me in. Not because I really need anything. Because I want to wander the aisles in air conditioned splendor and perhaps find a really good deal on something. Mostly things to make birdhouses or baskets for my garden.
Spouse went to have blood drawn for whatever irritating illness is lingering. The staff on call at urgent care on 4th of July weekend was unable to draw blood. He returned a different day so they could take 11 vials.
July 5... I picked strawberries in the sun. Very bright sun. Spouse was unfortunately burned when he had to retrieve me from the fields. I sent my children back to sit with him in the shade and continued to pick until my row was finished and I could stick a flag in it. Thirsty work.
Watched football (World Cup). Rooted for Argentina (yeah!) and Costa Rica (dang.)
Oh.. I got fruit pectin and some plants. French sorrel, rosemary, mint, and creeping thyme. It turns out that what I thought was creeping thyme was actually lettuce. I didn't label the seeds. So I decided to transplant the edibles to the garden instead of trying buttercrunch as a ground cover.
Made jam. I didn't notice that the recipe called for 4 cups of crushed strawberries and put in 4 cups of whole strawberries. It makes a big difference. Instead of jam I had sickly sweet strawberry syrup. I uncanned the syrup, added a number of cups of crushed strawberries and reprocessed the batch. Much better
July 6... I had a headache and was very very thirsty. I think.
Also, decided to completely rearrange the children's bedroom. Could not stop working on it. Even though I was exhausted. Even though other things needed to be done. I kept thinking of all the times that I stop a project in mid-thought and never get back to it. I at least needed to make the room useable. Clear a path to the beds. Uncover dressers to make clothing available. Plug in lights.
Started new meds today. I am tapering off sertraline and tapering on (that's not a thing, is it) venlafaxine. It will take five full weeks before I am completely switched over.
So far I have not noticed any difference, but I am only on 35mg of the venlafaxine and I have not changed the dose on my usual meds (still 150mg sertraline and 450mg bupropion)
Friend stopped by today. It was nice. I showed off my crazy garden.
Today I built a trellis out of giant tinker-toys for the pumpkins. And added height to the wire shelving trellis I use for the peas. I also planted personal sized watermelons and added a trellis for them.
Moved some cabbages because they were too crowded. I hope they survive.
Spouse is still ill.
This means that all the things I typically rely on him to do when I am down are just not getting done. My solution thusfar has been to stay outside as much as possible. And ignore the precarious pile of dishes and laundry that will soon envelop us all.
I don't have a picture of the new trellis tower for the pumpkins. I quite like it. I also suspect that wire shelving might make an okay modular fence to keep out the bunnies. Maybe?
The only animal problem we have had so far: someone has been nipping off the head of the dwarf sunflower planted in the middle of the berry garden.
Watching the World Cup is not relaxing and therapeutic for me. I think my blood pressure must skyrocket. And I yell. I enjoy it, mind you, but I can tell it gets me all hopped up on adrenaline for hours afterwards.
I'm not kidding. And it isn't that i am so super jazzed about football that I can't calm down. The chemicals are just left over making me jittery. I try to breathe them out. I take deep breaths. I exhale through pursed lips.
Talked to boss today and let her know the plan. In addition to her being supportive of me, she is interested in knowing more about clinical Depression. So it is enjoyable to talk to her in many ways.
And I feel like I am doing a good job both in my professionalism and my evangelism. Two isms in one blow.
Still my face is clay. And everything is irritating to me. I snap-- particularly at eldest son. Most often it is probably uncalled for.
This post is scattered but I am not going to go back and fix it.
I need more lettuce to plant in the garden.
Grateful Crap: not sure. something new.
150mg sertraline; 450mg bupropion; 35mg venlafaxine
talked to friend (if briefly)
plans to be social
returned phone call within same day
listened to voicemail
did not get lost on way to work. only took one wrong turn, but i knew where I was.
Quaker, teacher, parent,