Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Taking Stock

So apparently I have paths on the brain this week. Apropos I suppose, since I'm always looking ahead. Yes, yes, I know I should try living in the present just once.....ain't gonna happen this week though.
Thank the gods it's Wednesday.

My mood ebbs and flows, much like the weather here. One thing I dig about Florida is the mercurial weather. I left for work wearing my sunglasses, and the rain had started by the time I got to work. I only live 7 miles from the office. Pretty sure nothing will surprise me about the weather now, wherever I move. Whenever the thunder hits in the midafternoon in summer here and everyone jumps, I'm like, yea, whatever...

The blogs are starting to sprout these lush pictures of people's gardens. It makes me ache, almost as much as when my coworkers talk babies. Time to make some things happen around here.

Outside: finicky...sunshine and high 80s with rain expected again later. Beryl brought the summer humidity with her...I need to cull the wardrobe again; I'm wearing dark colors that will cause me to burst into flame when I step outside later.

Inside: meh.

Wearing: the aforementioned dark colors (navy blues), jeans, comfy oxfords

Creating: lists about S'burg/Greenville, an early midlife crisis, new high score in Mah Jong...

Reading: Encyclopedia of Country Living, The Spectrum, the latest Mother Earth News.....

Going: 2 weeks.....

Hoping...Too many things to list's a big week for wanting more. Damn growing season. Gonna throw myself into organizing for the move.

Image from here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pondering, pensive, perturbed

I know I should be glad for all that I have, career-wise. I'm reminded of it every time we get hit up by panhandlers in the local parking lots these days.

My company isn't making it easy though.

On the outside, everything's fine, terrific in fact. We have more business than we know what to do with. The merger last year has simply exploded the level of new business here, and they're hiring people as fast as they can interview them (and determine they can at least write a clear sentence). Unfortunately, the clear sentence thing doesn't seem to be a requirement for the copywriting positions here of late, but I'm an editor, so it's my job to be snotty about their shortcomings. Well, more of a bonus, but you get the idea...

Seriously, guys, it really so fucking hard?

Sorry, quick digression there.....however, the down side to working at the Henry Ford model for website design is that every damn shortcoming that the copywriters and designers have, gets fielded by us editors instead ( that the proper use of "us" or should it be "we"? that's one of those grammar evils that always snagged me), and since the current atmosphere here is "push it through, get it out the door," we are stuck making changes that, in the old days, would have gone back to the copywriters and designers for them to fix. This can be a simple image adjustment on a key visual or a complete GD rewrite because the copy lacks coherence.

It means we have much more freedom to make changes now (LOVE the Photoshop experience I'm getting!!). It also means that sites take twice as long, and we're still getting paid on a production basis. Which sucks. Hard. It means I'm killing myself on OT that may result in a check that looks a lot like my regular pay.

It definitely has me thinking about what kinds of jobs I'll look for when we are closer to the move. But in the meantime, it has me tired and biting back anger/resentment/annoyance/blind hatred. In other words, I'm not in the most zen place right now.

I had a terrific weekend, completely relaxed. Husby and I went shooting for the first time. We got the grocery shopping done. Turtled most of Monday while Beryl poured on us. I played game after game of Mah Jong and caught all my usual TV marathons. It was great!

Then I get to work on Tuesday, tuck into the tasks of the day, and as the current atmosphere reopens itself to me, I can feel my mood start a slow burn....which bursts into flame when the VP of Ops travels from desk to desk, quietly telling us about incentive that wouldn't normally be offered because of the holiday, if we can just put in some OT between now and end of month...

I was looking forward to a no-OT week, had pushed 14 hours last week so that I could take it easy this week. The holiday normally wouldn't allow us to work OT, without putting in 8 hours first to make up that day, so lots of people begged off. We're all getting pretty tired of the extra hours, decent checks or no. Not saying I want to go back to regular checks...those suckers barely make ends meet; but a break occasionally would be nice. Not this week apparently.

I get how business operates...I totally understand about posting profits on a month-to-month basis, and how all the work I put in could help our/my stock later. But goddamnit, would it have killed them to look ahead to this week and broach the subject last week, rather than drop it on us with 3 days left to the month and all the higher-ups losing their shit?

So determined to put together this move, this year...liquidated a small chunk of stock, which I'm using to pay off debts that may be making the ole credit look less than optimal. Signed both Husby and I up for secured Amex cards...some say that even those can help the credit, though I'm skeptical. And I'm going to research the area again, so that when we go up next month to scout around, I'll know what I'm looking for.

Image from here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Taking Stock

Those two spoke to me as I trolled the Tumblr this morning.....because I've been working hard, seeing fruit, and also making time to rest. Life is good.

Apparently my Lil Sis also exists in tiny form, on one of my shoulders, as a nagging little...not conscience, maybe motivational speaker. Because she made a crack yesterday about how if I really wanted to plant stuff, I'd figure out a way.....and while most of me was like, yea, this from a person who has no plants or animals.....and I don't want to end up neglecting it, wasting money by the cat or ducks getting into it, planting only to have the damn western exposure incinerate everything in the evenings once summer really kicks in here.....excuses, excuses...I also have a new paycheck coming this week, and find myself thinking once again, about buying a garden rack with a cover for the porch. Fuck those ducks, I want fresh veggies and herbs! hmmmm...

Side note: our apartment complex is fairly inundated with feral Muscovys and Mallards...was heading up the driveway this morning and there was a female Mallard quacking up a storm by herself in one of the parking spaces....wanted to get out of the car and ask her if she was lost, needed help finding her friends. So I don't hate them completely...just the ones who don't understand porch boundaries. We let two nest up there coupla years back, and I swear, they told ALL their friends.

Outside: still pleasant, which is fairly remarkable for May. It's cranking up to high 80s/low 90s, but the rains are starting, which is keeping the worst of the hot at bay. Nice.

Inside: Stress cloud has dissipated a bit...and boss is on vacation. Coincidence?

Wearing: my shirt matches my new deck sneaks....that field moss color, kind of a sea green. I'm quite pleased with this development.

Creating: a new lifestyle.

Reading: Bob Greene's The Best Life Guide for Managing Diabetes & Pre-Diabetes and The Spectrum by Dr. Dean Ornish.

Going: Working OT Saturday, chilling Sunday and Monday...

Went to the cardiologist this week and my primary, as I mentioned. Apparently I'm ready (we'll skip over the AGAIN) to change. Having your cardiologist tell you that you need to drop 100 pounds is apparently a deciding factor in my desire to get healthy. Also, I got copies of my latest bloodwork, and it's rather interesting to see, in black and white, just how "on the cusp" I am in the key areas (cholesterol, blood sugar, HDL/LDL/Triglycerides, etc.). I looked at those numbers and asked myself, "do I really want those numbers to get any worse? do I really want to feel any worse than this?"

I'm already suffering from decreased muscle mass, low stamina/endurance, arthritis, and several other delightful symptoms of that 100 pounds...and I do NOT want to stay this way or get any larger. I'm recognizing that I'm as close to pre-diabetic as you can get without actually calling it's evident in the hypoglycemia I'm enjoying as I find my way in this more structured, healthier lifestyle. So I'm doing it right, checking portions, counting calories, and eliminating ALL crap. So much of my eating is emotional, so I'm listening carefully to myself too. So far, so good.

Images from here.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Wake-up call

Yes, we're still obsessing about coffee.....because I think I really do need to give it up, and that's kinda tragic. I mean, I practically have the Starbucks siren tattooed on my arse. And let's be realistic, I won't give it up completely, but switching from a venti latte with half and half for a treat to a tall decaf with soy is gonna be an interesting adjustment.

Of course I won't go cold turkey...I know enough not to shoot myself in the head. But if I can't stand the flavor of sweeteners (or am allergic to them), then I gotta get off the coffee, cuz the amount of sugar I put in that alone is shudderworthy. I'm using almond milk these days, which is a decent calorie decrease, but it's not enough. Besides, Ornish's program says to get off the caffeine. Thank goodness I'm on B12 or there'd be serious keyboard faceplant issues during the weaning process.

Went to the cardiologist this morning for the follow-up for my annual echo. Very nice guy, soft-spoken. But we're chatting about my echo results (clean!) and my general health and he asks if I've ever considered Lapband...

One of the reasons I dropped my last primary doc was because she suggested gastric bypass surgery. Honestly, I was ready for a change and wanted a doc closer to where we live (Jacksonville's frickin' huge), but I admit to resenting the hell out of the suggestion at the time. I look at those surgical options as last resorts, my first reaction is "oh c'mon, I'm not that big, that's for the 500-pounders..." And to a point, I don't trust how the medical community has pushed forward on those procedures on people my size, because it just seems like a cop-out.

But then I remind myself that it was several years ago that my primary made that suggestion, and the only thing that's changed is my age.....and I am considered morbidly obese.

See, the thing is, though, I don't fail at diets. How can I? I never really start the frickin' things. I go along for a couple of days, eating healthy-ish, and then I cave completely. I don't seesaw; I've been this weight for years now. It's screwing up my joints, I can tell I've lost muscle mass from not exercising, and I'm asking for angina if I don't get my health under control.

Even with the amount of weight I have to lose, even with my overeating compulsions and body dysmorphic issues, I am determined to lose this weight the old-fashioned way. Even with my OT commitments this week, I'm getting my arse back to the Y. I'm making salads for lunch with fruit and nuts added, and getting off all fast food, soda, and extra junk. I'm reading Dr. Ornish's Spectrum and Bob Greene's Best Life for Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes, because I'm pretty sure it's only by the grace of the gods that I'm not pre-diabetic. I will not have doctors telling me down the road that I NEED surgery to get healthy. Right now, it's still just an option. Fuck that. This stops now.

Image from here.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Quite a bit rolling through the brainpan this morning...

Had another dream with Ashley in it last night. Relax, I'm not going stalker on her; wasn't even a real dream, just rough cuts like from a film. But I woke up and immediately realized why I was dreaming about her...because she's living the life I want. Nice piece of land, sizeable garden, chicken coop, raising a small person. I woke up determined to re-examine our credit, because I don't want to be sitting here 4 months from now, wondering why I'm getting turned down right and left for housing up in SC.

Then I got to work, started trolling my blogs, and Jenna's big announcement was published. She thinks she's able to quit her job and live off the farm. I'm not doubting her; I just hope that if she does find herself bagging groceries in the winter to make ends meet, that she'll be kind to herself. The task she has set before her is huge, even with 3 books producing what have to be modest royalty checks. But it's an idyllic notion that so many of us have, the ability to live without dragging your arse to an office everyday. I turned my chair after reading that post, looked out the window at the forced-planted trees that border the hospital driveway across the retention pond from my office. I hate it here so much. The job is good, but I want different, so much different from how I live now.

I'm glad I'm knocking out my OT during the week. I need the weekend, 2 days off, to not think about websites, to think about our goals and how we're going to achieve them. It's going to take more than the nest egg; there needs to be credit repair performed for institutions to take a chance on us. I will not let us get to the end of this year with no chance still of getting up there. I'm getting too old to just sit and continue to let my dreams pass us by.

Image from here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Taking Stock

Not normally a fan of hydrangeas, but that color knocks me out.

Outside: overcast, rainy...really hope it sticks around, we need it.

Inside: noisy, people training...kicking myself for not charging the iPod last night. Working with earplugs in.

Wearing: jeans, fave blouse, frankenstein shoes...

Creating: simple meals, not much else

Reading: The Spectrum by Dr. Ornish

Going: Shooters on Saturday for Husby's b'day :)

Hoping...Les's grandma had surgery Monday. 92 years young and they gave the green light to perform a moderately invasive procedure to remove areas of stenosis from her spine, to increase her mobility and decrease her pain. I'm blown away that they're operating on folks that old...statistically, it can't be the most successful arena. She's in ICU for another day or so, but all initial signs are good. Prayers welcome.

I went to the Y on Monday. Took it easy my first time back (it's been 4 months), and I'm glad I did because while the muscle aches were few the next day, my right knee was PISSED. I know it'll only get better the more I go though, so I'm making myself go tonight too, after OT. I've been experiencing some fresh nerve pain too, which I self-diagnosed as post-herpatic neuralgia (based on its location and how it feels, but I'll ask my regular doc when I go at the end of the month). It's annoying and about medium on the pain scale, so it has me pissed and wanting to exercise more. Nerve pain kind of yawns when it sees Advil, but I know it'll be hard to get anything stronger prescribed. If I have residual nerve damage from the shingles, then I'm gonna grow those suckers back with diligent health practices.

Image from here.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Random ramble

The downside to watching too many fictional medical dramas on TV is the advanced vocabulary that results. Doesn't help that I worked in the medical field for 2 years too, and retain that information like a sponge, for some reason. Was talking to a friend last night whose mother is in the throes of early Alzheimer's and who had plenty of "issues" already before that diagnosis, and I found myself saying:

"so have the doctors given her a diagnosis of munchausen's or is it just her hypochondria advancing with her illness?"
"is it anorexia or is she forgetting to eat?"
"so, they can't really tell if her symptoms are psychosomatic or physical manifestations of stress, but it doesn't matter, because it's obvious that therapy is desperately needed there that neither of them are getting.....and I watch too much TV...."

It makes me sad, because her father isn't the type to seek out therapy, and it's obviously becoming a necessary thing. Occupational/vocational therapy in the medical field has nothing to do with careers/jobs; it's about learning or relearning day-to-day tasks, maintaining the ability to do for yourself. It's also obvious that they're not treating her stress well enough; she should be medicated more and be in talk therapy to deal with the effects of her diagnosis, to learn to deal with the symptoms best she can, instead of being frustrated every time it dawns on her that she's mentally impaired. I can suggest these things, but it's up to them...and that brings me to the perspective point of this post.

Lil Sis and Mom are in Ireland. Sounds like it's been an amazing trip. Mom's 70, Lil Sis is 28. Lil Sis and Mom are both properly medicated (this is true, but tongue still planted in cheek as I write that)...but Lil Sis is exceptionally bright and Mom, well, Mom's sharp, but she's flaky around the edges, and she doesn't always listen well. She's also hearing impaired, wears aids, but doesn't like them. So Lil Sis loses patience with her, and I have to remind her that allowances are necessary, that's it's not necessarily Mom's fault when she misses things, but we have to work with her. Mom's lucky that we are available to act as support for her, and she doesn't lean on us too much; these 5 years without Dad, she's certainly gained independence.

I won't ramble any more about's just after talking to my bestie and hearing her recount her folks visiting, all I could think was "there but for the grace of God." I guess I understand why her folks choose to go through life with blinders on certain situations; the mother's home life as a child was fairly Sybil-esque (and that's not me being witty). But I thank the gods for the perspective between the two, and I pray I can continue to provide the level of support to Mom that will always ensure she's safe, healthy, cared for.

Monday, May 14, 2012


Could be worse, could be better...

Still obsessing about coffee apparently (see above photo)...still planning to wean, both because of the caffeine and because of the amount of sugar I end up putting in it. Tried using Stevia this morning and couldn't swing just tastes like ass IMO. So we have some work to do in that area, because where sweeteners are concerned, there's just no substitute in my book. Thank the gods I'm not diabetic. And at least I've switched to organic sugar.

But that is a concern, becoming the big D, decaf really isn't a solution, it's a stop-gap, because there's still plenty of caffeine in it. So the eventual goal needs to be green tea, and coffee needs to be a treat. Dear gods, help the people around me as I pursue this new goal.

Been actually reading the new Ornish book, not just skipping to the parts that interest me...that's certainly a good thing. Bought my new sneakers FINALLY!!!!! Very comfortable, and I'm getting my arse back to the Y this evening. Would've dragged myself out this morning, but was saved by Husby needing the car. First visit is going to be reassessment anyway, seeing if any more machines were changed out in my absence, and taking a notebook along with me to assess where I need to restart on the machines I work on. Lord, I've missed it though; looking forward to some treadmill time too!

This weekend was pretty decent. Relaxed big most of Husby's birthday pressie squirreled away, did laundry and groceries. I think the damn shingles is flaring up again, as I've got nerve pain in my right upper back that's attached to my neck. Trying to ignore it while simultaneously listening to my body more carefully, working on lowering my stress level. Asked for OT this week, but I ain't killing myself over it.

Image from here.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Warning: serious verbal diarrhea today...

Reasons why it may be time to go off caffeine (again)....

  1. I feel like a poster child for female heart attack these I'm wearing a sandwich board that says "DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU!" Plus the seesaw it puts me on might be a reason I've been so bitchy this week...much as I'd like to blame it all on what douche canoes my company suits are being...
  2. Been reading Dr. Dean Ornish again, and he says it's bad. And I'm ready for a fresh guru, so he must be right...
  3. The espresso machines were down at Starbucks this morning. First thought, they are SO lucky I was only going to treat myself...if I didn't have spare coffee in my possession, I'd be ready to cut a bitch. Second thought, wow, this never happens....probably because of the danger of homicide and flash mob (and not the cheesy kind where people dance randomly in Grand Central, more like the kind with villagers with torches and pitchforks...).
  4. I then drove to my parking lot and thought I had a plum space, but it turned out to be populated by a Mini Cooper, and I had to resist the urge to drive into the damn thing like Kathy Bates did to the VW in the Winn-Dixie parking lot in Fried Green Tomatoes.
Yea, I could use a little less stimulant in my life.

Well, starting tomorrow, because now that I've been deprived of my latte, I'll crave the sucker until I get one at lunchtime.

Sweet Christ, what a week! I finished my mandatory minimum OT yesterday, went home, and literally did a brown stare into my Kindle or the tube the rest of the night, because my brain couldn't fire up to work in straight lines. I'd have started drooling if I'd had the energy.

My boss was asking for more OT yesterday, when they haven't given us a straight answer yet about whether or not we're going to be required to work on Saturday, and whatever we'd work extra wouldn't count toward Saturday, and I had to resist the urge to email him back, "are you fucking kidding me?!" It's still a little tempting (to say the aforementioned, not to work the OT), because while the new boss is certainly sharp and drinks the company Kool-Aid, he also has a slight accent, droopy eyes, and wears his hair longish, so he has this outward appearance of being perpetually stoned...combined with a personality that suggests that he should be walking around with a game controller in one hand and a skateboard in the other. Pretty sure he's not a skater, though, so I'm stereotyping just a tad. Still, wouldn't be the first one probably to question if he's high at work.

Ironically (well, maybe, since that's one of those overused words and I should really look up if I'm using it correctly...), I'm not as concerned about the caffeine as I am about the amount of sugar I put in it. Much as I've been balking about the Clean Food books being too far afield from my normal eating habits to warrant fair attention in my dietary decisions, the fact is that when I go to the cardiologist next week with Ornish's latest book in hand, Dr. A. is gonna be like, "good, start YESTERDAY, because didn't we talk last year about you being 20 pounds lighter next time we met? You're OK now, your heart hasn't changed too dramatically from the last echo, but do you really want to die when you're 60? How 'bout 50? 45?"

Yea, OK, he won't say it like that....his bedside manner's pretty mellow. But maybe he should, because this hedonistic lifestyle is killing me and I don't wanna spend my life always looking for the one magic answer that's gonna "fix" my food/body image/health issues.

Speaking of social anxiety (yes, I changed topics, keep up), had a dream last night where I was visiting with Ashley English and her husband. I'd brought the cat for some reason. Really gotta stop reading the Bloggess' book before bedtime; it sends my brain to surreal places. So we finish visiting and I'm getting ready to leave, because I don't want to overstay my welcome, plus they say they're going down for naps with the Hux man (their son...seriously beautiful kid), which doesn't make sense because he'd just gotten up from one, but I didn't say anything. Then M and L show up (local pagan friends of mine), and it's obvious Ash is having a party, but I'm not invited, which is fine, because this was our first time meeting, but then I can't find the cat and have to keep busting back into their house to look for Fig, while their house fills with people, and I feel quite out of place.

Thing is, I'm pretty sure this dream isn't really about social's about me not making my dreams into reality quickly enough. Was talking with B on Monday night and I mention the move to SC and he interjects, "but sweetheart, you've been talking about moving for years now." And while my immediate response in my head is "well, fuck you very much," I admit he's right and chatter away about how this time will be different (please gods!!!)...and I remember how real friends are allowed to say shit like that, and we've been apart for so long, it just surprised me...

But he brings up a good point, and it's always a bit of a fear, that my dreams won't measure up nearly well enough to the reality I'm able to create. Mixed in with this are the memories of Dad, the guy who was firmly grounded in reality, but still had dreams of his own that went unfulfilled. He once joked about opening up a popcorn store, one that sold all kinds of flavors. He was just mentally raveling a thread probably, but I walked past an empty retail space the other day and thought to myself, "damn, that would make a kick-ass popcorn store."

Lord, I'm wordy those last 3 paragraphs are my way of saying I'm feeling like a poser and am going to invest myself back in the Encyclopedia of Country Living and my gardening books, so I can get back to learning about the nitty gritty of homesteading. I'm tired of talking about making my own cheese and canning my own jelly as things I'll do in the vague future. Also, gonna get some solid work done about the move, while the stock is up and we're planning the trip up there in June to look around.

Image from here.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Foamy the Squirrel

Never tried embedding before...but too fantastic not to share.

Re: yesterday's media storm, not sure I've ever been more proud of a President.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Taking Stock

In. Da. ZONE.

It's OT land here at Chez Johnson. I'd work a double today if I thought I could manage it, but I'm pretty sure my eyes will rebel around hour 12. The walking sphincters who run my office are still threatening mandatory work on Saturday. My adamant attitude against this unfairness in the face of what Saturday represents for me, is fading as we get closer to it, simply because I'm not in enough of a position to squawk about it. It's not like they'd can me probably, if I simply refused to work on Saturday, but when you see panhandlers every week while commuting to the office, it certainly puts things into perspective too. I have a move to save for, sneakers to say nothing of keeping the crappy roof over our heads.

So, when I finish a Starbucks latte, I cock an eye and peer down the little sippy hole, just to make sure I got it all.....I'm not the only one who does that, am I?

Outside: Heat ramping up...

Inside: noisier than normal this week...everyone's overworked, makes 'em chattier.

Creating: an attitude in need of adjustment...

Reading: Let's Pretend This Never Happened

Going: Hopefully to New Balance, the Arboretum, and the beach on Saturday...

Woke up throughout the night with what I'm guessing is a pinched nerve in my shoulder. I'm guessing nerve because of the location of the pain and the fact that Advil only takes the edge off. Don't think it's a shingles relapse or anything, but can't figure out what caused it, since all I've been doing is sitting on my arse working a mouse.....quite annoying.

The Bloggess is going to Charlotte! Gonna suck up to Lil Sis so she'll get me a signed book...

Mom and Meara leave for Ireland tomorrow...prayers for a safe and fun journey.

Image from here.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Stream of consciousness

That moment when you watched Ally McBeal and she had one of her fantasy sequences and you thought, "ha! I'm not the only one!"

That moment when you watched a JD fantasy sequence on Scrubs and thought, "ha! I'm not the only one!"

That moment in Broadcast News when Albert Brooks says to Holly Hunter, "OK, I'll meet you at that place by the thing where we went that time..." and you totally got what he was saying.....

I'm in the middle of Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson (aka The Bloggess). Good stuff, quite funny, in that delightful I-can't-read-this-at-work-cuz-I'll-attract-attention-with-my-laughter funny...but as she's delving into what makes her, her special brand of crazy, I'm reading it and thinking, sonofaBITCH, why didn't anyone ever give me this diagnosis?

We'll skip right over the fact that I probably shouldn't be borrowing diagnoses from someone who's a pinch crazier than myself....

Generalized anxiety disorder, or social anxiety disorder, that is. Cuz I'm reading parts of this book and thinking, "ohmygod, this lady must be my mom's 2nd lovechild after Jeff Dunham, she has to be, because I like, totally get EVERYTHING she's discussing because I've so been there!"

Now granted, maybe they did diagnose me with that stuff, simply by prescribing me Paxil (and allowing me to stay on it for 14 frickin' years), which is supposed to assist with social anxiety. Interesting how docs are fine with prescribing and not getting on your case about talk therapy...if I wasn't on generics, I'd wonder about kickbacks. I guess once I stopped being a danger to myself, they could care less how my addled brain dealt with stuff.

I'm betting too, that docs shy away from using terms like generalized because well, it's just too, y'know...generalized.....but it's striking a chord because it falls away from the diagnoses I was used to hearing back in the day. Counselors, social workers, psychologists, ARNPs, and psychiatrists would come away from my sessions with notes that read "marked to moderate depression" and not much else, and I was too low on their pretty scales and charts to be categorized as bipolar. The first 3 types of folks didn't have the skills to diagnose thoroughly enough, and the latter 2 were there to write scripts and send me to the other three. Gotta love the revolving door philosophy...or I would if there weren't so many memories of panic attacks, banging my head with my hands, curling up in the fetal position, enjoying the after-effects of whip-its while watching MTV's AMP...but I digress....

So I latched onto the lithium deficiency diagnosis once we started drawing and testing my red cells, because I've always been a cause-and-effect gal—brain's goofy, brain doesn't make lithium, brain has a reason for being goofy. But that doesn't always help explain why I am what I am, especially now, when I'm back on the lithium and while it's taking the edge off, I'm already wondering if I need more because there's still plenty going on upstairs to distract me from things that I need to focus on, but of course, then there's the question of taking so much of it that you're basically poisoning yourself (which really doesn't make sense when you consider your brain doesn't make the stuff and metabolizes what you do take so quickly, that you wonder how the frick it's possible to take too much...), AND also if you take too much lithium, it flattens out your personality, you lose the ability to react properly to everyday stuff, and life becomes ho-hum, which is why so many bipolars go off it once their symptoms start to abate, because it totally takes away that "god, I'm so ALIVE" feeling...which, since I can totally relate to, makes me start wondering if I've always been a little bipolar and just wasn't diagnosed accurately.....

And now I'm talking myself out of it yet again, the idea of having social anxiety disorder, because while I can be a bit of a recluse, I don't stress over it...and I can still get up in front of crowds and speak without worry of my head spinning off its axis and flying around the room. Thank you, Dale Carnegie. I don't stress over much of anything. When something doesn't go my way, I'm all, well, must've happened for a reason, no point in crying over spilt milk, where's the towel?

Yea, Melanie, that's the Paxil doing its job, ya dink!

Yea, but if it was really doing its job, wouldn't my brain be less like THIS?!

And the hilarious thing is that while I'm debating this and "not" stressing over how nutty I still am, I've been spending my 40s saying how I really don't mind how I am anymore, that it's shaped my personality, it is what it is, so why keep trying to change what you can't? But if that's totally true, what was the point of this hysterically long post, right?

Melanie's world is special. Stop in sometime...we have cookies.


Had to look that one up to see if I was using it correctly.....

From adj. - marked by the intense, irrational reality of a dream.

Yea, pretty close.

My best friend in college was B. Nice guy, fun, friendly, with height that makes him kinda larger than life. It started as a crush, timing wasn't right for anything else, and I was screwed up enough to fixate on the poor guy anyway for 8. frickin'. years. But something miraculous happened in the midst of my lithium-deprived, unrequited lust...we created a solid friendship. In the weird gender politics of college life, our 20s, burgeoning adulthood, whatever, we were each other's life raft in the good and bad times. It's a precious thing.

I've let a LOT of my college memories fade to seriously fuzzy, because I was in so much existential pain at that time. College for me was skipping classes, barely making Cs, intermittent attempts at counseling, sneaking off to the $2.75 movies when I should've been in history class, climbing trees, biking at all hours to escape my thoughts, an occasional bout of self-abuse, a mild interest in conservative politics because that's where my friends were, and enough booze and parties to almost make it feel like a normal college experience.

Post-college we have stayed in touch, and communication has drifted naturally as our lives with spouses progresses. Hadn't seen him since his wedding, a year after Les and I jumped the broom. I called B. when Dad passed, because it was natural; distance, my memory, and time notwithstanding, I still consider him one of my best friends.

I sent him the annual "ha-ha, you're a year older" birthday email last week and it turned out he was going to be in town for work. He suggested we three meet for dinner and I eagerly accepted. And then went into a headspin, because I'm still insane and how weird/awkward/gah! was it gonna be and couldn't I get back on 2 lithium a day and drop 100 pounds first?

But I'd forgotten his warm, self-effacing personality, how he puts people at ease, likely without realizing he's doing it. Within moments of spotting him at the bar, we were hugging and chatting like old friends. I was wound a little tight, and probably chattery as a magpie, but a couple of beers and a good meal eased my stress and we three had a very nice time, talking and laughing, fetching up names from our past, catching up.

The catch of blocking bad memories is the danger of blocking the good ones too. That part of my life is what it is, and I can't throw it away, no matter how much I want to. That would be like wanting to block out Fort Myers, because it was my worst year medicinally in my search for meds that would treat my illness, when Fort Myers also gave me Les, my greatest gift in life. Life ain't supposed to be separated like that; and to try to, is to do a disservice to your personal growth.

Image from here.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Just another manic...

yea, there's no meaning behind this image other than that it's puuuuuurty...

I'm tired today. We went to the Shrimp Festival yesterday, which should be renamed the Art Festival with Shrimp and Pirates on the Side. The heat was pretty intense, which is funny when you consider it wasn't as bad as it would've been if they held the thing in July. We took it slow, which I'm grateful for now, because while I had amazing energy while we were there, once we were heading home, the effects of being outdoors sunk in. I'm actually surprised Husby's awake today, kind of figured he'd sleep through today to recuperate. Yet another wake-up call about how we need to get in shape. I know the heat affects everyone this way, a bit, but it knocks you flat when you're big, and that's just lame. Husby's not overweight, but his endurance needs some work.

It's ridiculous OT land this week. They're threatening mandatory OT on Saturday, which I am pretty much refusing to participate in. I have a date with the woods, the beach, my Husby, and a bottle of something...and I'll be damned if they can dictate forced work on Saturday, when they've been defining OT periods from Saturday to Sunday for the last 6 months. Gotta love the work/money, but I ain't working on a day when my mind is scheduled to be permanently elsewhere.

Dinner with my best friend from college tonight...should be surreal. Haven't seen him in 12 years, I think. Came together pretty fast, no time to drop 100 pounds and brush up on my conservative politics...ah well.

My mind is on loss this week, but also on the gifts that are left behind. Several bloggers and friends have lost pets recently, and the beauty of those relationships isn't lost on me. We have just the one cat, and she's kind of bipolar, but we adore her, and we look forward to owning more cats and dogs once we have a house. Those relationships are so important.

Mind wandering...better get back to work...

Image from here.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Taking Stock

Wednesday again already? What the frick?

Outside: Florida

Inside: annoying, but better than yesterday

Wearing: mock turtle for prob last time this season...too frickin' warm out for 'em...sniff...

Creating: yea, OK, next...not counting the spinach, white bean, and sweet potato soup that I made Monday, that's so far afield from what we're used to, that neither of us wants to eat it.....

Reading: Let's Pretend This Never Happened ... pretty delightful so far...still ain't bringing it to work; as it's also hysterical.

Going: Home, work, home, work, home, work, work, work.....

I can't pretend I'm enjoying the OT this week. But the system went down last night and afforded me an early evening, which helped. Recognizing when I need to focus inward. Tonight I pick up my orthotics, so hopefully the arthritis in my right foot will calm the fuck down now; it's been a bitch on wheels this week. So's the diet motivation, but we're getting low on dough, so that should make for better choices.

Image from here.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012


Can't ya just like, hear the rain falling in that picture?

I've enjoyed it in the past, Beltane, May Day. It's a celebration of fertility, a high holy day for pagans. The veil between the worlds is thin, the earth breathes deeply as new life comes up, and beings are most alive during this time. Never actually danced around a may pole, but they sure are purty.

However this month in particular, my moon cycle is also late for no reason, and I'm feeling heavily the lack of fertility going on around here. I can't plant, there's absolutely no point in trying. The chances of my getting pregnant right now run in the 5% range. I'm 42½. The ache is quite present today.

Coworker lent me the Bloggess' new book, Let's Pretend This Never Happened. It's so laugh-out-loud funny, I didn't bring it to work because I didn't want to draw attention to myself. Pretty sure I should've brought it anyway, cuz my mood could definitely use a boost today.

Dad would be so flummoxed about us still hurting 5 years later. Guy had lousy self-esteem, but it wasn't just that. I totally get his thinking, because I've definitely inherited the "stop crying, clean up the milk, move on" mindset about like, every situation in my life otherwise.

Les ranted long and hard yesterday about the asshat pharmacies turning him away because they don't have his meds in their stock, and because they are Sched II narcotics, they have no way of knowing when they'll come in (which sounds like a load, but probably is true, because to give those suckers a normal delivery schedule is to put a bullseye on any pharmacy that carries them.....never mind that Husby's pharmacy is right next to a new primary care place that I'm pretty sure doubles as a script-happy pain clinic...). And I listened and tried hard not to say, "well, nothing you can do but call around to the other pharmacies..." because he knows this, but ranting helps him feel better, not so persecuted. He can't stand feeling like he's being treated like a drug seeker, and I totally get that...he watches his sis run out of meds every 2 weeks (on a month's supply), while he barely uses what he gets, and he's the one who gets shit on.

It's there on the calendar, May 12th, glaring at me, and I'll be glad to get past it. I think we're definitely ready for a vacation too...I'll be glad to travel soon, even just to visit family.

Image from here.