So, you know how it is when you are going to go see someone that you haven't seen for 20 years and you suddenly think...
Oh crap. What if they don't remember me. What if they do remember me and they don't like me. What if I don't like them. What if they aren't who I thought they were and turn out to be someone horrible that I can't stand. What if they have changed through some odd connection with a fundamentalist sect of AOL users who insist upon distributing old CDs door to door... What if this whole things was a terrible mistake.
And on top of that the last time you saw this person you were 100 pounds lighter? And of course 20 years younger. (I don't get so much hung up on the age crap, though. Time is fake, after all.)
After really looking forward to meeting with the Once and Future Psychologist, I sort of freaked out.
Beginning with last night in my sleep.
While not really awake, I somehow decided that Spouse was attempting to push me out of bed with his sharp elbows and intermittant snores. Like it was deliberate and malicious. (He was sound asleep... and not in a malicious way.)
So I slept on the floor.
It seemed logical at the time. But I must say, that if you are side-sleeper I cannot recommend a hardwood floor. At least I brought my pillow with me. And I happened to have a coughing fit when Spouse was about to step on me in the morning, so bonus that I didn't get squashed.
It is likely that I did not have a lot of quality sleep last night.
Then I spent the 3 hours of 3yo preschool class wandering aimlessly around a thrift store with a clay-faced resolve. Feeling anxious and unfeeling at the same time. No smiles. Nameless creeping dread.
The actual meeting with her was good. Once and Future Psychologist (OFP) did not instantly remember or recognize me, but with very little prompting she did recall Spouse's name and made mention of details of my college entrance essay. So I think she probably did have some recollection of me.
She suggested that I should maybe schedule with her more often than once every twenty years.
Now I am back to feeling a little overswhelmed/anxious/tired and flat. I do NOT feel like a failed anorexic, which was one of my fears in going back to the person who was once my eating disorders group leader.
I told her what I have repeatedly told other people (including myself): I would much rather be heavier than recommended and have a personality than be anorexic again. And I think that with the new mental health initiative I may just naturally fall into healthier habits. We'll see.
I accidentally forgot the names of my medicaitons while talking to the OFP I mislabled my mood stabilizer as sertraline. This is not true. She was trying to figure out what quack would proscribe 3 different anti-depressants-- two of which were SSRIs!!!
I am scheduled to see the OFP in a month. She okayed my plan to get one bag of stuff out of the house each day. (But that there was no reason that my friend had to have the same goal. Which is a good point. And I'm not sure I was thinking about that.)
Today I want to repaird the dryer. I will do this when Spouse is home.
I suppose my recent viral illness could have some bearing on this wiggly mood. Wiggly bad. Wiggly down. But not plummetting. Not permanent. Not long term. Just a bit wigglier on the way down than I would like.
Grateful Crap: transience (not to be confused with transients)
150mg venlafaxine 450mg bupropion 50mg LAMOTRIGINE (the mood stabilizer)
briefly saw a friend
blah. blah. blah.
Oh yes, I forgot to continue with the cliffhanger of yesterday's post. Who bit who. (I'm sorry, it just sounds better than who bit whom. When we are talking about borderline canibalism, proper grammar seems inappropriate.)
Right. So 3yo bit 8yo last night. I was asleep. Spouse was at a meeting. Both children screaming and crying with phrases like "He's not being very nice to me!" and "I will NEVER have a chance to read on the ipad. Never, Never, NEVER!!!!"
So I thought it was just a bad case of histrionics and would pass if I ignored it.
Nope. She bit and broke skin.
Had I NOT been super tired and had they NOT just run my patience to zero with the constant and very loud screaming, I might have had the wherewithal to figure out what to do about the bite on my own.
Instead, called nurse care line and they insisted that 8yo go to urgent care to be seen. Spouse took him. They spent 3 hours waiting and were asked, "Why did you bring him in? Did the nurse-line know it was his sister who bit him? Does she have rabies?"
So all is well.
Friend and I have committed to going to the YMCA to exercise every Tuesday and Thursday in the morning. We drive together. This puts good peer pressure on both of us to follow through with these plans.
Walking side by side on the elliptical trainers has given us a lot of time to talk-- time that is usually taken up by preventing children from putting an eye out with a sharp stick.
And it is eerie how much we have in common. I have these things in common with other folks as well, but if feels different. Or rather, it feels more the same.
We both struggle with the routine parts of daily life. About having a routine. Figuring out what that routine might be. Sticking with that.
Time. Tracking time on every level. What hour, what day, what month are things happening?
Also cleaning the house. Clean the disaster first, or the less-disastrous-but-more-crucial spot? Can't decide? Make green slime out of cornstarch for the kids to play with instead. Wash the cat. Build a fort out of old garden-lattices and
Mail. How it accumulates in frightening unopened piles that will eventually collapse under their own weight and form sedimentary rock.
Meals. What to make, when to start it. Whether we should make something we know the kids will eat or what we would like them to eat. Then it's too late to think about what to make. Just have noodles. Crap.
Self Care. Exercise. Eating well. Getting enough sleep.
Here is the beautiful thing. Because we are both needing to work on the same things, we can use our time together to make Reasonable, Sane, Achievable goals for the week. Or even just for the day.
Right now I am this stage: "Ohmigosh I have to do a ton of stuff every day if I want to get anywhere. I know. I will throw away or give away one grocery bag full of stuff every day."
She is at this stage: "There is so much to do and there will always be so much stuff to do I don't even know how to start."
Mind you, the effect is the same. I talk a good game, but I don't actually follow through because the goals I set are not reasonable or attainable. I forget to factor in the time it takes to do things. So I accomplish little or nothing that i set out to do and become disheartened and give up.
She doesn't do anything because she has started out disheartened.
I am providing the push and she is providing the pull. I push her into taking some action. She pulls me back from trying to do too much.
(I still secretly feel like I can get a grocery-bag of stuff out of the house every day and it would not be too hard. There is so much junk. I may do this anyway, at least for a while.)
Grateful Crap: pushmi-pullyu partnerships
Made use of mood tracker
Made use of food tracker (hey, that rhymes)
Took meds (150mg venlafaxine, 450mg bupropion, 50mg lamotrigine)
Took other stuff (omega-3, magnesium, multi-vitamin)'
30 minutes (SUPER slow-- still on the mend) on elliptical trainer
time with friend
tea with friend
took it easy
Spent Tuesday mostly sleeping. Spent Wednesday mostly wishing I was asleep. Sore throat. Mild fever. Sinus crap. Went in sauna. Much netipot and warm compresses.
More later when I am not tapping on tiny screen.
Excitement for Wednesday dealing with human bite that broke skin. Who bit who? Stay tuned next post and find out...
I am being good with food and meds and rest.
Grateful crap: I not the one heading to urgent care.
It has occurred to me, that having changed the name of the blog away from "Convexity" (which was my opposite-of-Depression word) I need a different name for my daily stuff I am doing.
I figured that the Equator is a good place to shoot for as evenly spaced between a few poles.
No longer am I searching for the convex life. Instead I am trying to balance between the two poles. Not swinging too far in one direction or the other. Striving for moderation. My favorite. My natural state. How all people describe me.
"Ah yes, she is the soul of moderation. I have rarely met someone so balanced in her moods, actions, passions and activiites. It seems to come naturally. Would that I too could be the embodiment of such great moderation."
Watched a documentary on bipolar people. It was interesting becuase
Super low energy today. Very Stuffy. Slightly Feverish.
Grateful Crap: 11yo created a character for English class who is a brilliant 12-year old with a doctorate who happens to have bipolar2. And is a super-hero. Rock On.
took meds am and pm (150mg venlafaxine, 450 mg bupropion, 50mg lamotrigine)
(also took pseudephedrine and Nyquil cold medicine)
20 minutes tap dancing in am (while preparing egg-in-a-hole for the breakfast hoard)
gave myself a break
I was very glad to be back at Quaker meeting with the start of First Day School. (This is quaker-speak for Sunday School.) Worship was quite a relief. But when not in the "silent" meeting, I was a bit at loose ends.
I vaciliated between feeling very talkative and connecty and being very hide in the corner and not interact with ANYONE.
Later in the day I went grocery shopping. Before realizing that I had not had lunch. I was disorganized and kinda floaty. Which in retrospect (this being backdated) may have been the start of the Miserable Portion of This Current Viral Infection. And also Lack of Food.
There was a certain aspect of the flat affect. But not Depressed feeling. Just not anything. Again, physical or mental illness? Probably.
Still tap dancing. Not during silent worship. When I do that, it will be a clear that my hypomia is not well controlled.
Grateful Crap: back @ meeting
took meds am and pm (150mg venlafaxine, 450mg bupropion, 50mg lamotrigine)
30 minutes tap
One of the principal reasons I caved in and finally got a smart phone is that I want to have an easier and more ready-to-hand way of tracking my daily moods. The tracker I was using before was pencil and paper. And paper does not like me.
Paper will not stay with me. It will accumulate in vast, wrinkled quantities all over the floor and under the seats of the car and overflow in the bags of recycling... but it will not be where I want it to be.
So I am trying out an app called "optimism" which kinda pisses me off because it brings to mind my horribly failed optimist club speech in which I burst into tears and fled the room. However, the app seems easy to use, does not use a smiley face as the symbol for the app and was free. So I will give it a shot.
Looking forward to meeting with my psychologist this coming Friday and with my psychiatrist following that.
Today had a good day at work. The crabby janitor apologized for freaking me out. I claimed that I was just rattled because it was my first day of class so I was rattled anyway. Which is true. I have had non-creepy interactions with this particular custodian in the past. He is a plain-speaking, gruff kind of a guy.
Took much too long of a nap this afternoon. Trying not to let it derail my sleep. And the more I read the more sleep seems like the wonder drug for people with bipolar. Sleep and exercise.
I did 30 minutes of tap practice in the kitchen this afternoon. My paradiddles are coming along, but there isn't quite enough room to work on the buffalo or the shim sham. Those are the only names of things I learned that I can remember. Still loving tap.
Here is what I love about tap: it is an exercise that I can do by myself, without going anywhere, without changing clothes, and it's fun.
Grateful Crap: elderboy took both younger siblings to the park this afternoon
took meds (150mg venlafaxine, 450mg bupropion, 50mg lamotrigine)
30 minutes tap
snuggled with daughter (she is VERY tired. both she and I have some coughy virus)
So, if you are waiting for a bus to arrive and it is cold and your children are in the car and you arrive 10 minutes early and the bus is 15 minutes late, you should perhaps not follow these steps:
A. Turn the engine off, but allow the CD player to keep running so children stay calm (music is the opiate of the people)
B. Wait until the bus pulls away to start the car.
C. Discover that the battery has been completely drained.
D. Arrange for a jumpstart.
Got really angry with some parents at the daughter's preschool this day. A small group of parents was talking about the fascination that kids have with building sites and construction vehicles.
Then I realiized they were only talking about boys.
And one person who had only daughters was super upset that his daughters showed no interest in trucks and just wanted to see ponies. And another parent said, "Girls are soooo stooopid."
So I intervened with, "My daughter wants to be a construction worker when she grows up." And on our way into the preschool she carefully examined a truck parked in the parking lot and announced that when she was a construction worker she would use a truck just like that.
I know, a whole bunch of people are going to read this and say, "But you know, there really is a difference and little boys are just way more interested in trucks than little girls are."
Maybe. But I don't think you can separate the nature from the nurture on this one. And I don't think there is any value in generalizing anything so broadly as All Girls are like this and All Boys are like that. It is stooopid.
Grateful Crap: When my 3yo becomes a construction worker, I can become one too. We will build buildings and houses together.
took meds (but forgot morning meds until the evening.)
time with a friend
went to bed at reasonable hour and slept pretty well
(I am finding that I don't watch very much in the way of Netflix etc. now that I am
I practiced tap dancing for 30 minutes in the morning. I slept with the 3yo. I went to the gym with the neighbor and did 30 minutes on elliptical and weight training. When all children were home, I asked for help with house stuff, things imploded, I hid in my bedroom and much loud screaming ensued.
I did not reappear until Spouse came home. He requested same help with house stuff, things imploded, I hid in the kitchen and ate dinner while much screaming ensued. Then ran off to band practice.
Afternoon Not So Much.
Part of the reason I hid in my room is that I was pretty sure that if I stayed in the kitchen I would have angrily taken over the job that I asked for help with. And then shifted into ANGRY AGRESSIVE CLEANING MODE (which can then trigger a whole hypomanic thing-- but not always) and the kids would have done nothing to help and there would be no dinner preparations and I would likely get very little sleep.
So, what do you do to fend off impending hypomanic episodes? I hide in my bedroom with the lights off. Nice.
This is a backdated post so I can tell you that I did get very little sleep. But I think it had to do with a cold. Tis the season, once again. My plan is to not be as ridiculously sick for as ridiculously long this school year.
Grateful Crap: neighbor. who is awesome.
1 hour exercise (dance and elliptical)
meds am - 150mg venlafaxine, 450mg bupropion
meds pm - omega-3, magnesium, multivitamin, 50mg lamotrigine
Okay, I am totally hooked on tap dancing. Not that I am some kind of forty-something tap-savant. I am heavy on my feet. I have the rhythm in my head, but I don't yet have the balance to get the rhythm to the floor. Doesn't matter.
I had my first adult beginning tap class at Ballare Teatro. Together with 11yo elderboy. During class he looked expressionless and a bit uncomfortable. Really he was just focusing Afterward he was highly animated and talked about how awesome it is. We will definitely be returning.
He and I plan to practice together between classes so we can talk through the steps we learned. We have similar rhythm and feet problems. When things are going slow, we are fine. But our clunkishness interferes when things speed up.
P.S. don't look for me to have a dance recital anytime soon. This is strictly for enjoyment.
My energy levels seemed quite even, as did my mood. Very few (if any) peaks and valleys. I was sleepy before 10:30 and probably asleep by 11:00. (This is a back-dated post.)
It was my first night on the new dosage of 50mg of lamotrigine. Still no unpleasant side-effects. Which is nice.
I gave a talk yesterday to my college students on how NOT to do a powerpoint presentation. The five biggest mistakes most people make (according to someone)
1. Too much information on each slide
2. Not enough visuals
3. Poor quality
4 . Too dense (not enough white space)
5. Lack of preparation
At some point in the day my brain drifted to the problem I have with my life/life balance. It's not really work that is the problem, it is the amount of stuff that I think it is humanly possible to accomplish (and then when I fail to accomplish it I feel like a failure.)
So here was my lovely Lit Crit analysis of the Metaphor of the Powerpoint
1. Too much information on each slide: trying to do too many different things. A lack of focus. Moving from one thing to the next without completing what was started.
2. Not enough visuals: The need to spend more time seeking out beauty. Walking in nature. Going to museums. Taking photographs.
3. Poor quality: Rushing through things. Doing a half-assed job. Sleeping a vast amount but not sleeping well. Or the opposite problem.
4. Too dense (not enough white space): overscheduling the day. Assuming that if there are 10 minutes that are not already claimed, that something can be slotted for that time. Allowing for unprogrammed parts of the day.
5. Lack of preparation: scheduling on the long-term... having 3 different calendars with 3 different sets of information. Not ever being sure what is going on when (other than my teaching schedule)
I would make a great MFA student or a fortune teller.
Grateful Crap: OMG I sat 10 yards away from Carrie Newcomer during the taping of On Being in Minneapolis and there were fewer than 100 people in the audience and I got to talk to her after the show and I didn't make a fool of myself or giggle uncontrollably or ask her to sign my arm so I could have her signature permanently tattooed there or anything like that. Which I think showed remarkable self-restraint.
talked with a friend
listened to live music
meds in am: 450mg bupropion, 150mg venlafaxine
meds in pm: 50mg lamotrigine, omega-3, magnesium, multivitamin
TAP DANCE for 1 hour
time with 11yo one on one
Quaker, teacher, parent,