It's been a big week here... Sometimes I would prefer to have nothing to write. Nothing disastrous, just eventful.
Part I: The Flood of Tears
I met with my supervisor for a pre-observation conference. This is not a stressful thing. Even the observation is not technically supposed to be stressful. However, I was not as prepared as I wanted to be and in the middle of the conversation with her I unexpectedly burst into tears.
Not burst exactly, more like just trickled. But then I couldn't stop. It was like the reverse of having a case of the giggles.
She felt terrible and asked if there was anything she could do... Like to stop me from crying? Because that, I said, was the main problem. The crying. I wasn't upset about any particular thing. There was no problem with the class she was coming to observe. No issues with my co-teacher. Nothing I was inordinately concerned about. In fact, I couldn't think of why I might be crying.
Straight-up stress and nameless anxiety. That was it.
I managed to say (with my typical sense of humor) "Hey, on a related note, I'd like to talk about asking for an accommodation related to a disability."
She said I'd need to run that past the director. So while I was feeling all brave I sent an email to director requesting a meeting. That will happen next week. It should be a short meeting.
I don't anticipate a problem getting the accommodation I am requesting (4 scheduled observations instead of 2 scheduled and 2 SURPRISE! observations per year). I realized that for the two week window in which the observations could take place I would be essentially incapacitated by stress and anxiety. And probably the week prior as well.
So for a cost of $0 they can make me a functional teacher for the whole year OR commit to having a crap teacher for six weeks out of the school year.
The only real question I have is if they will want to have a doctor's note on file, which is probably more up to whatever policies HR has. Or maybe it is up to the discretion of the director. I don't know.
Regardless, I am a little nervous about the meeting and the uncomfortableness of disclosing a mental illness to an employer... but I am not worried for my job. And I am not worried that my request will be denied.
They like me. They want to keep me. My request is reasonable and appropriate and free of cost.
Part II: The Peaks of Anxiety
Younger boy (who has a diagnosed anxiety disorder) had an underlying worry about being called on when he hadn't raised his hand. Which just kind of sat with him in class all day every day.
So spouse and I decided to email the school nurse so she could communicate this to the teachers. Which was a good plan, I think.
Unfortunately, spouse and I didn't communicate about the particulars in which youngest son told me that he didn't want me to talk to his teachers... which was the reason I wanted to go through the school nurse. Also, once it occurred to me, it seemed like a better plan. I know, sneaky underhanded loophole since his teachers would find out anyway.
Unfortunately, for this to help him decrease his anxiety, he needs to be aware that something has changed... so he doesn't have to worry so much about having focus on him that he hasn't sought out. Keep in mind, this is a kid who knows the material and raises his hand pretty much all the time.
So we needed to let him know that nurse/teachers would be aware of how it made him feel to be in class. But telling him about this (especially since it involved letting him know that his teachers had been told-- even if it was through the technical sneaky crappy parent trick of going through the nurse) made him have a panic attack.
Not really. But kind of. SUPER STRESS.
This of course happened the morning before I was to be observed.
I talked him out of his episode thusly:
Do you think a teacher should know if someone in their class has a peanut allergy?
Do you think a teacher should know if someone in their class has asthma?
This is kind of the same thing. Your teachers want everyone in their class to be safe and be able to learn.
I am dealing with my own anxiety at school. I started crying during a meeting with my supervisor. And I realized that it wasn't fair that I hadn't told anyone at work that I might have very different reactions to stress than other people.
So I made an appointment to talk to my director so we can make a plan that will work for me so that I can be an effective teacher without getting so stressed out that it makes me sick.
What I am doing is called self-advocacy. At school, the nurse is acting as an advocate for you.
Do you know the nurse?
Do you trust the nurse?
Do you trust that she will be able to communicate with your teachers in a way that won't cause problems for you in the classroom?
I want you to know that we did not talk to your teachers after you asked us not to. But the nurse had touched base with us before and wanted to be aware of anything that might be causing stress for you at school.
It's her job to make sure that all of the kids at school are healthy and safe. You aren't the only kid at school that she is helping. There are a lot of kids who have worries and she is working with all of the teachers on these kinds of issues.
Then he just freaked out because he noticed that his meltdown had taken up quite a bit of time and he was ten minutes off his usual morning routine.
ob·ser·va·tion / äbzərˈvāSH(ə)n/ noun
1. the action or process of observing something or someone carefully or in order to gain information.
"she was brought into the hospital for observation"
synonyms:monitoring, watching, scrutiny, examination, inspection, survey,surveillance, consideration, study
Of course I spent the morning just before going to school trying to calm a hysterical child. And then I went to school WITHOUT WEARING A BEADED CUFF.
This is only a big deal if you know that I beaded my first cuff as an anti-anxiety measure and that I wear one EVERY DAY and it is a way to keep myself grounded. A talisman I guess.
So instead of taking my time preparing the lesson materials and checking in with my co-teacher and I don't know... meditating? I was figuring out a workaround for not having a cuff on me.
Solution? I went to my beading website, printed a black and white image of the first cuff I ever made, and made myself a little paper bracelet with some clear packing tape. It was hidden under my professional blazer so I didn't need to worry about looking terribly unprofessional.
I removed it after the observation since it was not necessary as a coping mechanism for the rest of the day.
The observation seems to have gone just fine. I didn't burst into tears or vomit. I'm not looking forward to picking apart all the things that I think I did wrong... or things that could have gone better. It's not such a great way for me to operate.
Maybe they should just assume that I think EVERYTHING could have gone better and just ask me to identify the few things that I thought I did well. Of course the problem with that is they are supposed to then go through how I could have improved on the things that I thought could have gone better so I don't think that will work...
Part IV: Mr. Watson... come here... I want to see you
I managed to finally make a phone call to my Psych NP. She called me back after 5pm today. Verified that I should continue to take the lurasidone and will send in a regular prescription for me.
During business hours i will call and try to get in to see her soon. If I can't schedule a meeting in person we may be able to have a phone appointment. But I would much rather go in.
Part V: To be continued
Grateful Crap: being certain that I will not lose my job or my reputation for requesting accommodation at work
meds 20mg lurasidone, 200mg lamotrigine
talked to Psych NP
requested a meeting to request accommodations
made plans to do something with family
got mostly good enough sleep
Was NOT so good at actually having meals with people in the evening. Was quite tired/kinda sick most nights. Once again, I think stress related to observation etc. And this was for a SCHEDULED observation. Sheesh.
I went on a walk with some 3,000 people to raise public awareness of Mental Illness at NAMI walks MN. And even though the last thing on earth that I really wanted to do was to spend time with people... and I sabotaged myself right and left in an attempt not to successfully make it to the event... I had a really good time.
This is NOT proof that I should be an extrovert or attend large functions in general.
Here is what made it good: I found the three people (among the 3,000) that I already knew and we sat at a picnic table and ignored everyone else. And we sat far away from the entertainment. And we ate cookies from Costco.
It was nice to have a normal conversation about Mental Health Crap with other people who go through similar (but not the same) Mental Health Crap. None of us have the same diagnosis and we all have very different experiences with health care professionals and medications and dealing with the law.
But to talk about how it SHOULD be... that we could just discuss Mental Health Crap with anyone the way we would talk about heart disease or diabetes or cancer. Not in a happy fun-loving gee golly gosh isn't this a fun topic... but in a way that is not TABOO.
I got a T-shirt at the walk and I said, "Great. Now I can wear this on Casual Fridays if I want to be provocative." And it's sad because it would be provocative and I would feel self conscious. It also doesn't really meet my personal style requirements for casual Friday, but that is neither here nor there.
I quit the band. Not the French horn one, but the one where I was singing with the fiddle and the bass. My heart was in the music but it wasn't in the band. I felt more and more stressed as I thought about the time I was devoting to practice and my aversion to our performance model.
The guys in the band did NOT say hateful things about me and instituted a policy of having me shunned by the meeting (note: this is NOT a thing in liberal Quaker tradition).
I have decided that I am going to learn the songs anyway and practice singing them, but I'm just gonna do it for fun and as part of my "spiritual practice."
This makes good sense to learn and study new (old) songs when most often the messages that I have in meetings are songs, so it behooves me to practice. Otherwise I might get a message and have to stand and sing La La La La La.
This is a very high-context post and doesn't make a lot of sense to the non-Quakers or even maybe people who aren't at my meeting. But I am too lazy to go back and fix it and the words are all out there now.
I stink right now, but I came by my stench honestly. Walked a 5K yesterday and then some. And today I went to the YMCA to try to start working out again. Hammy no longer sore, but running was not a thing. I need to strengthen it I think. So I biked instead. And now I stink.
I am working on Romance Novel #1 and will soon need readers I think. I am incorporating editorial suggestions made by someone on the Harlequin Historicals rejection-letter-writing staff. I got a lovely personalized rejection some time ago and now I am putting some of their recommendations in play.
They liked my characters and the way I evoked the period (they said it much better) but wanted to see more of the minor characters to flesh out the work a bit more. And now that the work has sat for some time I am able to go back to it.
Gonna try to learn to sing harmony by ear too. Not in long rehearsals but in little snips here and there. And I'm gonna learn how to record them.
Meds: 200mg lamotrigine
When can I call psych NP? I might ask coworkers for pointers.
As the post title may clue you in, I am having sort of a case of the Downs. I am going to list the things that contribute to this. No I'm not. That's a terrible plan. Whatever. It's all I can think about anyway. And nothing that big or terrible. I am aware that this is mood crap.
The awareness is only slightly helpful. Like when someone tells you (when you have some phobia) that it (whatever "it" is) is nothing to be afraid of. That your fear is irrational. Great. You still feel scared. That is what a phobia is. And that is what the mood crap is.
So one of my students mocked a kid with CP today and I did not have the wherewithal to flick him in the head like I wanted to. Because I like my job and I would like to keep it. I did yell at him in a polite and professional tone and followed up with another staff member and there will be consequences and a plan going forward with said student. But I still really wish I had been able to flick him in the head. Hard. Because that is an appropriate response.
Then my children's bus did not let them off at the correct bus stop. Because of some clerical error in which the bus assignments were pulled from a three-year-old database and instead of getting off at the second stop (it was a substitute driver today) they went to the end of the line with the driver trying to figure out where they were supposed to be.
As a bonus, there was a second grade boy on there with my kids whose name wasn't even ON the list. I was waiting with his grandpa. Who only speaks Mongolian. Happily Google Translate enabled me to tell him "Bus skipped stop. Coming back in 20 minutes." After we had already been waiting for half an hour.
Then I went home and checked my email and had an existential crisis dealing with my complicated relationship with the group I am singing with. I am coming to the gradual realization that there are irreconcilable differences in the direction we all want to take. I hate to disappoint people. But I think the writing might be on the wall. And that makes me sad and more than a little bit agitated.
And my registration for NAMI walks was not done properly so I was not on the IOOV team. But now I am so that's not really a thing.
And I am still freaked out about the woman who I made a cuff for. It's finished except for the snaps and I am terrified of contacting her and arranging a time and place to meet. I think I'll just email her a picture and send it to her if she pays me through paypal. Or some other enabling behavior like that.
Generalized Anxiety child mentioned trouble at school when the teacher calls on him when he has not raised his hand. And also worrying about whether or not she will call on him when he has not raised his hand. And worried about me calling attention to this by talking to his teachers.
So instead I am going through the school nurse because as a teacher if I had a child with an anxiety disorder who would have major issues if I called on them I would want to know. And I might still call on them sometimes but I would be very mindful about the student's nonverbal cues.
So see, being a wreck at least makes me a useful parent for a child who is also a wreck. I am being sarcastic. Neither of us are wrecks. We are both just anxious about things that other people might not freak out about.
Like dealing with people. And attention. And people paying us too much attention. When we didn't raise our hand. And we didn't sign up to be in such close quarters with them. And we don't really want them to know our name.
So I made myself leave the house tonight anyway (even though I really super didn't want to) and play French horn with Grand Symphonic Winds. Which was good. I know when my meds were off and my mood tanked in the past I couldn't get myself out of the house for that. So there is that.
The bird (my cockatiel) is whistling an eerily tuneless melody. He sounds terrified. Like he is whistling to himself in a dark and spooky cave to try and convince himself that he isn't scared. Well, he's not fooling anyone.
By the way... I'm going back to Romance Novel #1 and doing another set of revisions after receiving a lovely rejection letter (not being sarcastic) from Harlequin Historicals.
Okay, now I am going to eat dinner. At 10:00. Which may also contribute to tanked mood. All will look different in the morning. It will be brighter.
Grateful Crap: knit clothing that doesn't require ironing
emailed band-mate about my reservations
texted a friend about my general panic
talked with Spouse about general panic and made a plan
slept 8 hours last night (disappointed to say I may actually require 8 hours of sleep)
Still have not called Psych NP. I think I can do that tomorrow from work.
Here is one of the ways my introversion manifests... I have no trouble performing in front of a large group of people. No problem at all. But the group that I am singing with... just me and a fiddle and a bass... somehow has it in its head (the collective head) that we will be doing "house parties."
Like as in we will go over to someone's house and they will invite one or two dozen friends and then we will do a teaching sing-along with them.
My idea of a good time? Take 2 or more dozen people, put them in a PUBLIC building and sing. And if people want to sing along that is great. I don't actually want to interact with them in a cozy setting. I don't want to know their names. Unless I already do.
If I know their names I don't need to forget them. That would be entirely optional. (I am terrible with names. Unless they are the names of my students. Hmong and Karen names of the under-18 set and I'm golden.)
So either the collective head of my oddball gospel bluegrass singalong group will have to bow to my extreme introversion, or the introversion will have to bow to the group. Which I probably will do, but I will have trouble making a joyful noise.
We heard Lucy Wainwright Roche perform recently and when she was asked what her least and most favorite places to perform... they were the same kind of "house party." Because of the intimacy involved and not entirely knowing what to expect.
A stage is a stage is a stage. Even if it isn't a stage. So long as it isn't in someone's actual living place!
I don't go to regular parties at people's houses. Ask my friends. Ask my close friends. Ask my family. Okay, I will make it to things like Thanksgiving and Christmas and some birthdays. But if it is a get-together "for fun..."
Well, I am not fun.
So please do not invite us to your house to sing. You are welcome to invite us to your place of worship for a potluck or post-service get-together. Or heck, throw a party on public property and let me pretend that its a bunch of strangers who are just there for the music.
Grateful crap: plumbing
not so sick anymore. Energy to stay up past 7pm (I've been first-month-of-school sick)
taking my meds 200mg lamotrigine, 20mg lurasidone
So far as I can tell, having a 504 plan is something specifically relegated to the world of education. I am working in the world of education, but I don't think it applies to me. Ah... and I'm right because
"504 plans are for K–12 public school students with disabilities. "
One of my coworkers has a 504 plan due to her dyslexia and because of that is required (or approved) to administer standardized tests that would require her to read directions word for word. However, I am pretty sure that her 504 plan is a legacy of her time in high school. Probably having that paperwork was an opener to making workplace accommodations.
I don't have any such legacy. If I had it might have included something about being forgiven for losing track of time (something that is definitely part and parcel of my disability).
Aside from general scattered losing track of assignment deadlines in high school, most large problems that leap to mind were in college. Of course, with the exception of the time I missed orchestra rehearsal and was thrown out of the ensemble, I WAS forgiven.
I accidentally missed a guest lecturer in creative writing. My professor added 10 pages to my final project as a way to make up for that.
I accidentally missed all my finals my final year in college because I lost track of the days. My professors (who failed to believe I could make up such a stupid lie) allowed me to take the finals rather than ruining my chance to graduate on time.
Mostly my "accommodations" involved simply having a very organized friend who didn't track my schedule per se, but I had a similar schedule to hers so I just coordinated my day based on what she had going on. It was like accidentally stumbling upon a covert PCA for myself. Except that it was a close friend.
This worked short-term, but having one particular person as an accommodation is never a good plan, especially when they end up transferring to a different school after two years. It was not practical to coordinate schedules between Ohio and Texas.
The accommodations that I think would help me in my current job:
Okay the second one is jokey. Just because I can't focus at all (AT ALL) when there is music with words (Or music that I know. Or music that I've played. Or music that I like. Or music that I don't like.), doesn't mean that it's a problem. It just means that while the students are working, I'm distracted by the music. But typically it is during their independent work time and I can just put up with it.
When I am working in a room with other teachers who want to listen to music though, I'm kind of an ass about it. Because I would rather be upfront about my need to NOT listen to music than to wait until it drives me completely flipping bonkers and then blow up at them.
In my hiring paperwork I disclosed that I am a person with a disability, partly because if I wanted to ask for accommodations it doesn't seem like a scam. Or a con. Or whatever.
Last year I verbally told my supervisor that I had issues with anxiety and was hoping to have a scheduled observation instead of surprise. I couched it in part as a first-time-observation-jitters situation, though, rather than a disability issue.
Supervisor and boss were both very understanding and said that of course it would be no problem.
The only difference between what I did last year and asking for accommodations relating to disability would be mentioning that I was asking for the changes due to a disability.
It wouldn't even need to be in writing. I might not even be asked to disclose what the disability is, apparently. I think, since the first round of observations is coming up, that I might talk to my supervisor whether it makes sense to ask for official accommodations and if it needs to be in writing.
Why was this not such an issue in my last job? I think for several reasons:
I'm not kidding about that last one. That administrator was later found to be abusive to her employees and politely escorted out of the profession. It wasn't just me.
So I think I have a plan. Brief conversation in my pre-conference meeting about disability issues without disclosing a lot of information. Followed by whatever makes sense.
Grateful Crap: the Americans with Disabilities Act and its inclusion of mental illness
thinking about work stuff
meds: 20mg lurasidone, 200mg lamotrigine
I have most recently been in the Downs. Kinda Sad. But with the anxiety thrown in for good measure. More than one afternoon I came home from school, ignored the children and read for several hours.
Meals at night were half-hazard given that I didn't plan them and then everyone had to leave. I didn't get the ingredients I needed for the One True Lunch. Every day I make myself a lovely salad with greens, a protein of my choosing, nuts, dried fruit and a lovely home-made vinaigrette.
Out of greens. But unwilling to mention this or do anything about it. So one morning I just decided I wouldn't bring a lunch to school.
Except that seemed dumb and I don't skip meals as a general self-preservation rule because I would rather be overweight than anorexic ever ever again.
Nasty people (including the midwife who caught my second son) will point out that I am no longer anorexic. With smug judgy looks at my overweight self. Screw you (nasty people). You cannot tell if someone has an eating disorder by looking at their body.
Now more documenting the Sad crap. Oh, right... so instead of bringing nothing to school for lunch, I brought a dried fruit and nut bar and an apple. And a friend of mine called me out on it saying, "I hope that's not all you're going to eat." In a friendly and not judgy way. Friendly concern.
I don't remember specifically what it was that made me ask Spouse if I should start taking the lurasidone (recall that this was the plan I came up with in consultation with Psych NP... if Depression settled in, take lurasidone and call her to schedule). He said yes. That the Depression had been around and pervasive for long enough that it seemed like a good plan.
Several days at school (prior to meds question) when I just felt like all the joy had been sucked out of my body and I was kind of an empty husk walking around.
This was probably NOT the best time to obsessively reread a series in which one of the main characters is struggling with the Depressive side of his bipolar. Of course that may very well be why I chose to read that particular series. (Richelle Meade's Bloodline series. Don't judge me.)
Oh, and hey, the other main character has an eating disorder. Neat.
Right. So in the Downs. Not terribly functiony. Not terribly anything really. A bit quick to cry, but not weepy. Just stuck in Reading Land. In which I read every possible moment (that I was not at work or asleep). Thus: could not be bothered to post.
I managed not to read while at school. I take my job very seriously. And with very few exceptions (over several decades) I am able to hold it together through the course of the day.
Here is the BIG NEWS...
I "came out" to a few more of my friends at school. Not in a secret whispering way, but in a casual conversation in the lunchroom kind of way. And I'm hoping that people were eavesdropping. It was a good conversation.
One friend asked if she could talk to me about it later because she is dating someone with bipolar.
One friend said he thought that mental illness right now is where homosexuality was in the 1950s. The stigma attached and the fear and the need to stay closeted.
I don't want that fear. I don't want that need. It felt very good to talk to them about this.
I wasn't ready to talk to them last year because I just met everyone and I didn't want the first thing I told them to be, "Hi, nice to meet you, I have bipolar disorder and will be your new coworker. Good luck."
Day something on the lurasidone. I have not called Psych NP (see previous post regarding the fact that I do not have time to be mentally ill). This will need to change. I will have to call her from school next week.
The idea of talking to health care professionals of any kind while I am at work makes me quite uncomfortable. There is nowhere terribly private.
I certainly am not comfortable talking to my Psych NP from the teachers' lounge! When else can I talk to her? While driving to pick up the children? In between classes? I suppose maybe I can call while one of my friends is at lunch and her classroom is open for 20 minutes...
Seriously, I have no idea. Maybe I need to drive home during my prep so I can talk to her. Except that I am not guaranteed to reach her because she had clients and a life too.
Texting would be much easier.
Singing with a bluegrass/gospel kind of group now. Me and a fiddle player and a string bass. I don't know why people say string bass. Maybe to differentiate it from the fish of the same name but different pronunciation.
Fish will not be performing with us.
Grateful Crap: that I only need to deal with "first world problems" like being whiny when the internet goes down during peak teaching hours. And also the copy machines.
meds 200mg lamotrigine, 20mg lurasidone
kind of eating okay... okay amount and okay times of day, but not as healthy as I'd like
changing meds as needed and directed
coming out to more people at work
One friend urged me to get a 504 plan so I can have accommodations at work for things like surprise formal observations of the kind that might very well cause me to go into cardiac arrest. Will investigate whether this is a good plan.
Spent a bunch of time this week fending off tears and doing a lot of spiraling. Negative thoughts around and around and around.
Messed up some things with which bus stop the kids were at. There was a mix-up with the bus as well, which involved me wandering around in circles (without my phone) in full sunlight and heels. For an hour. While my children rode the bus all the way to the end of the line.
The anxiety of that blended neatly into righteous indignation and rage.
And I had a really hard time bouncing back.
I had an issue at work where I had a FANTASTIC idea that pretty much everyone agreed was a fantastic idea... but then one person... didn't.
I felt like I had been kicked in the teeth. Like the wind was knocked from my lungs. And I focused entirely on this one person's negative reaction to the exclusion of all others. Also, I got really really angry.
I am super glad that later on, the coworker came to apologize to me for the knee-jerk negative reaction. This went a long way into make me not continue spiraling out.
I feel like this whole thing is being written backwards on a piece of tracing paper and I can't quite say anything outright.
Today I felt suddenly Sad. Just blah. The weepy kind. But I did not weep. There was no reason.
My bird is sad. I need to go sit by him and keep him company...
I still have not called Psych NP this week about the Sad. Tomorrow? It's busy. I am too busy to deal with my mental health.
I have not worked out in a very long time. Not since hammy pull '16 (roundabout July 24). The hamstring is tight now, but no longer hurts so I think I need to get off my ass.
I am reading. A Lot. I mean like a lot. Not terribly trashy stuff, but it does involve vampires, so there can be no redeeming social value. I am reading with the fervor previously relegated to beading. Which I am not doing so regularly.
I still need to get in touch with people that I have beadwork for. And I need to fill out forms to have my stuff in shows. I'm afraid that I won't be in any shows this winter and so I am sad about that. And I don't want to find out that it is too late. So I won't look. And then when I do it will be too late.
Grateful Crap: went to see Over the Rhine on Saturday. Going to see Carrie Newcomer next Saturday. All my saints are coming to town.
meds 200mg lamotrigine
After a year of carefully balancing on loose bricks to get from our house to the driveway... we now have a brick walk. Which my kids saw (after two SOLID days of work) and said, "hm, looks the same."
I let the weekend get away from me and there were many many things that I wanted/planned to do, but I did not. This is roughly okay. Now my fingers are tired from picking up bricks and it is hard to type. Ugh.
Mood seems to not be tanking still. So either I wasn't having a Depressed state, or it has improved after altering medication. Or I am Depressed and just don't know it.
Right. Tomorrow school starts for me for real. With students and everything. Once I get into the swing of that, everything should be copacetic. THAT is how you spell that word? Thank goodness for spell check, but I mean REALLY? English, you make no sense. And quit borrowing so many words from other languages. It cheapens you.
I will ache in every bone of my body tomorrow. Now I just ache in 103 of them.
I got little else to say, so that is all I will.
Oh, elderboy and I want to make a tandoor out of terracotta pots.
Grateful Crap: Son who goes in for crazy crap like the above project (even though it makes spouse shake his head slowly in disbelief)
Did not go running around doing things after spending all day on the sidewalk project
Am not currently making dinner either
Generally trying to take it easy (to the extent possible) between now and tomorrow
sleep schedule was shifted this weekend (so not that great... got enough sleep but went late and woke late)
ate kind of okay (but way more sugar than strictly necessary)
meds: 200mg lamotrigine
Will remember to call Psych NP this week.
I have an ambitious project that has been sitting in my back yard for nearly one year. It is important to age projects sufficiently before tackling them. They're like wine.
So now that the bricks are a lovely mature vintage with a fine bouquet of earthworms and pill bugs... it's time to make a sidewalk.
I am setting this goal: sidewalk done before snow flies. What I would really like to set is: sidewalk done before I go to bed. But I am not sure that is a reasonable goal. If it gets done this weekend (which it very well may) I will be quite happy. But I don't want to rush through it and injure myself or others.
Feeling less hollow and odd today. Motivated to tackle small bits of long-term projects and work toward completing them. So I will take advantage of that and behave accordingly.
Heard back from Psych NP that she thinks it is a brilliant plan to increase lamotrigine from 150 to 200mg and then follow up with her by phone next week. It is of course much to soon to attribute any uptick in mood state to medication change. Medication is not magic. :(
So far this morning I have piled up the bricks beside the place that will become the sidewalk. Now I am going to research proper method of laying them. (For the past year they were just kind of plopped down on top of the mud in our back yard and you had to balance precariously on them.)
I'm trying to learn to play Mahjong. I know how to play... but I have no idea how to score it. The problem is, the scoring of the game seems to be a lot like "cups"
Super excited about starting my teaching year. Super excited about working with other teachers in co-teaching situation. Super excited about my kids being back at a school that I love...
And on day 3 of nameless creeping dread.
I feel kind of hollowed out inside and my heart is beating harder, but not faster than it usually does. I am just aware of it in a way that I am usually not.
Stupid things make me weepy. Songs I like. Songs I don't like. Fictional characters in movies and books. News stories.
Problem is, there are too many changes happening at once for me to figure out what is or is not a factor. Or if it is just the whole package.
Possible contributing factors include (but are not limited to)
I find myself actively LOOKING for things to worry about. When I am worried about something else already, I just cast about for other things that are also potentially worrying. It is a fun hobby. You should try. So is sarcasm.
In fact, that is one of the classes that I will be teaching this fall: sarcasm as a second language. Although the politically correct term is Sarcasm Language Learners (SLL) since many of my students already speak more than one language.
Feel shaky and blah. And the blah is noticeable enough to other people that Spouse asked if I were taking my meds. Which I am.
I wish that today were not Friday. Here is my plan. I am going to scrupulously track the mood thing for the next week and if things still suck I will call Psych NP.
Scratch that. I will call Psych NP today and ask her to leave a message with what she thinks I should do.
A) Track my moods for a while first and then evaluate if I should up dosage of lamictal
B) Track my moods for a while first and then evaluate if I should add lurasidone (less popular with me)
C) Take a higher dosage of lamictal (from 150mg to 200mg) as a profilactic and also track moods (my favorite)
Yesterday I was weepy in the car on my way to meet someone. And had to work not to be weepy or super anxious while working. And then despondent when I went shopping for school crap for children and had to go to three different stores... still not finding the particular shade of shirt that elder son needs.
So after I picked up children I dropped them at home
My theory is that some kind-of-helpful person (much taller than I) placed it on a flat surface in the hopes that I would come back and find it there.
Very grateful to have found it, but it was super stressful especially while I was already in the Depressed/anxious zone.
My negative thoughts went thusly: I am a horrible person because I have misplaced my phone. I should not be allowed to have such expensive items. When I have to replace it I should just use a leftover flip-phone from the 90s. The loss of my phone is proof that i am an untrustworthy person.
Here was something totally awesome BTW... when I came home all despondent without my phone, elder boy had taken it upon himself to make dinner already! Which was a great surprise.
Have my phone now. Still no idea how I managed to drop it from my purse.
Anyway, gonna try and post so I can see how long this physically manifesting mood lasts. Also going to call Psych NP directly.
Grateful Crap: Realization that losing something does not ACTUALLY prove I am a worthless person
(subtract points for eating a lot of sugar recently)
meeting F/friend for coffee
got to know a coworker better
called Psych NP... will report later
Quaker, teacher, parent,