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Awake again (after 17 hours asleep) and not sure how I'm feeling.

The exhaustion might be a stealthy form of depression. I'm one of those people who experiences hypersomnia rather than insomnia, and when I tried to take my emotional temperature just now I came up with the equivalent of the Magic 8-Ball's "Reply hazy, try again".

The emotional disconnect could also be a flare up of my borderline personality disorder. If it is, then another dish has been added to the smorgasbord of dysfunction the last several weeks have served up. Oh, joy.

I'll see how I feel -- if I feel anything -- after I've had some coffee and woken up a bit. All I really want to do is crawl right back into bed. That, however, is not an option.
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I just tried to exercise (low impact aerobics) and failed. I got through the warm up and about five minutes into the workout, and then suddenly felt as if all the strength had drained from the right side of my body. I literally couldn't continue.

But I did get in the sit ups, push ups, and free weights. Not much, but at least it's something.

Looking back over my diabetes and mood logs I realize what a shithole the last few days have been -- ever since April 8th, when I was hit with almost crippling fatigue, and then progressing through various flavors of mental and emotional suffering. Today I still feel quite weak and vulnerable.

But soon there will be fresh coffee and that will make things just a tiny bit better. Ye Gods, I am such a caffeine whore. Or is that "john"?
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Well, I'm not doing anything outside the house today. Depression is lying in the marrow of my bones like leaded sand. I'm having a hard time thinking straight. Even my eyes ache.

I suppose I'll tackle the MM beast again. Dammit, I'm so far behind on my deadline. These last several weeks have definitely not been my finest.

To make this post worthwhile, here's a link to the cat litter cake I was talking about a couple of days ago:

http://www.boingboing.net/2008/03/31/cat-litter-cake-is-b.html

And a guide on how to make one, with pictures:

http://picasaweb.google.com/jokestress/CatLitterCake

I'm afraid folks will have to supply their own witty commentary. My wit well is dry.
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I just got up twenty minutes ago. The alarm kept ringing, and I kept setting it for half an hour more and rolling back over.

Hello, depression, my old friend.

And what's sadder, it looks like today's a bad day for most of the people on my Friends list as well. What is it, something in the air?

*sigh*

Here's a big virtual (((hug))) to everyone reading this who needs one, and that time-worn statement, "Hang in there!". I'll try to get around to commenting on your individual posts after I've had some coffee.

But hey, look! I has made an online painting:


Click here to create your own painting.


Sometimes little distractions help. Especially when they result in something pretty.
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I was just transferring the cooked baron of beef roast to a serving plate when depression hit me in a slow wave. It felt as if something inside me had suddenly lain down and died.

Sometimes it hits that fast. And I'm not sure how long it will last, which is the real bitch of the matter.

Ah, well. *digs in and battens down the hatches* I'll just have to take it hour to hour and minute to minute if necessary, getting through the small steps of the day. That I'm able to think in those terms tells me that I'm still in the upper reaches of depression, not truly into the numbing, incapacitating depths.

More coffee is on. And the roast turned out pretty well. Here's hoping that tomorrow I won't be deeper in, since I have the second Wen-Do class to attend.

Back to work.
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At 8 am I was up to phone MTS, and got through on the first try. There was no problem with my making the payment arrangements this morning, and I can pay my bill at a third-party agent in Osborne Village instead of having to go aaaaallllll the way down to the MTS main office in the industrial park hinterland. Whew.

I crawled back into bed, but couldn't get back to sleep. This morning the Ritalin seems to be working just fine. I lay there for about an hour before finally getting up again at 9 am, at which point I called the Winnipeg Humane Society and found out that the total donations they'd received toward my mother's memorial plaque came to $200. With the money that I've also collected from various people, we can afford the brass plaque. I'll have to go down to meet with someone in the next week or two to finalize the details.

The depression is still here. I'm skating on thin ice mentally and emotionally, and I'm having a hard time keeping my balance. But at least I'm on the surface of the depression, not crashed through into the freezing waters below.

Today I have to start exercising again, and I have to keep it up. I have no idea why it's so damned hard to get back on that horse and stay on it, but it is. And with depression moving in like a storm front it's vitally important that I do everything I can to hold it at bay.
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I had forgotten what Seroquel does to me. Within twenty minutes after taking it I felt like I had a fever, mentally speaking: I felt one step removed from my own body and the entire world seemed to be slowly pulsing. When I got up from the computer I actually stumbled and could barely walk. I was so messed up that George had to get me a glass of water for the bedside table because the task of getting the glass, filling it, and taking it back to bed was beyond my capability.

My head hit the pillow and I was gone.

Eight hours later, George tried to wake me up. It took him several tries to even get me out of bed, and then I fell almost fell asleep again sitting up on the couch drinking coffee. I managed to take my morning dose of Ritalin and after about forty minutes that and the coffee woke me up somewhat, but it was a pretty miserable forty minutes, let me tell you. The world was still pulsing and I could barely move.

It's pulsing less now. I've managed to get a couple of pages of HB done. But I can tell that the drug is still in my system and the urge to go back to bed is very hard to resist. At least I don't feel like killing myself anymore, which has got to be a plus.

It looks like I'll be doing the bank run tomorrow...
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For my own reference, but also very informative in general:

Practical Management of Treatment-Resistant Depression

Cut for unpleasant thoughts )

All I can seem to do lately is crawl out of bed (very late), spend a bit of time on the internet, do my 30 minutes of exercise (or less), then crawl back into bed.

Everything feels very black, painful, and hopeless right now -- except for brief spasms of hope, which only make the darkness worse when it returns. I'm trying to remember times when I've felt better and trying to keep in mind that I'll feel that way again, but it's almost impossible.

Tonight I'll try the extra dose of Risperdal again and see what happens.

ETA: Another link: Mutant Gene Linked to Treatment-Resistant Depression

ETA II: Another link: Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
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Oh, and today -- my period started, at the 25 day mark. Suprisingly few emotional or physical precursors this time.

Full Moon ritual and confessions to friends )

Lunch, herbs, ants, and frogs )

Psychiatrists, pottery, peas and fish )

Whatever Powers may be, thank you. To all my friends who have posted here with support and affection and words of comfort, *hugs* and so many things that even I, who am so very verbose, can't put into words. I'm enjoying this feeling of health, and placing no expectation upon it. I'm just going to enjoy it while it lasts.
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I finally dragged myself out of bed about 20 minutes ago. Nighmares last night, and it's immensely hot today, so I've holed up in the studio (home of the portable air conditioner) to see if I can make sense out of living another day.

Two new books, rage, and despair )

Last night I also threw my first bowl on the potters wheel, but that scarcely seems to matter. I'm trying so hard to hold onto what's positive in my life, to build a "life worth living" and keep going, but it feels like a losing battle.
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George and I did not go out to Selkirk for Canada Day: I was feeling too distraught to take being with so many people, and George didn't feel right leaving me alone when I was in that condition. So -- no trip out of town, no barbecue, etc., though we did find one of his nieces to swing by our place and take the cole slaw we'd bought. So at least they weren't short on salad.

I spent the day on the couch watching videos, including Oh! My Goddess (given to me by [livejournal.com profile] eastpath before she left for the coast), some exercise videos lent to me by [livejournal.com profile] chimera452, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which our local TV service had on pay-per-view. This managed to keep me sufficiently distracted that I didn't hurt myself, though in order to sleep I had to take a tranquillizer. [livejournal.com profile] chimera452's husband stopped by in the afternoon, bringing with him a fine green bicycle that's just my size; we had him in to tea for a bit, though by the time he left I was feeling very stressed and drained. I'm just sorry we couldn't give him better hospitality, but I simply wasn't up to it.

Today was a harder row to hoe. More watching videos; a lot of staring at the walls watching the shadows gather as evening closed in; a few conversations with George to try and ease the pain, though right now nothing seems to be working. Tomorrow I'll phone my psych doc and ask him if I should discontinue the increased dosage of Cytomel, which seems to coincide with the depression/anxiety becoming a lot closer to unbearable.

Oh, and in the last couple of days we've had a virtual plague of flies, both fruitflies and houseflies. We can't figure out where they're getting in and can find nothing in the house that could be the source of the little bastards. They're immensely annoying and no matter how many we kill, there always seem to be more. Gah. There's a sizable gap under our door to the front hallway, and the garbage bin outside the building is teeming with flies, so perhaps they're coming into the building and entering our suite that way. In any case, it makes me feel just that much crappier having them around.

I managed to exercise for 20 minutes yesterday and hope to do at least that much tonight before I go to bed. Gods... this is dreadful, feeling like all I'm doing is waiting to die. The depression is like a constant fever that makes everything seem warped and surreal. Perhaps adjusting my medication will improve matters.
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Read more... )
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the realm of my pain is
a place apart from
the rest of the world where
lush-leaved branches sway in warm winds
and women in bright
summer dresses walk the avenues
confident as Cleopatra

the body, microcosm
and macrocosm
places barriers around invaders
foreign to the system
nothing can touch me here
where I crouch, starving and raw
in spirit, naked
and alone

I want to give all the money in my purse
to a beggar on the street corner
knowing that soon I will not need it
anymore
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Today I went to see my psychiatrist and reported that the combination of medication and exercise seems to be working in the long term: I still have crashes, but my overall mood has improved markedly. Based on that, he gave me a note permitting me to return to work at Ipsos-Reid on Saturday, April 1st, starting with four-hour shifts and increasing the length if I seem to be able to handle it.

Watching him write that note, I felt a surge of pleasure so intense that it caught me by surprise. I wasn't sure how I'd feel when we reached this point (after I've been off work for over a year), but I expected there to be more fear than this. Instead I feel that it's the right time to go back, and that I'm up to taking on the challenge. Surprising AND amazing.

He also informed me that the Risperdol (antipsychotic) I've been taking as part of my daily medication mix might have something to do with the difficulty I've been having controlling by blood sugars. I'm seeing my GP tomorrow, and the psychiatrist suggested that I tell him to hold off putting me on diabetes medication for at least a couple of more months, until the psychiatrist can step me down off the Risperdol (assuming I remain stable). This was a great relief.

On the way down to I-R to drop off that note as well as the one letting me off work until the end of the month (which I'd gotten three weeks ago but just hadn't taken in yet), I stopped at Coles, the bookstore in CityPlace, and ended up picking up a hardcover gilt-edged copy of Jane Austen: The Complete Novels for the excellent price of $30 -- including some marvelous Victorian illustrations by Hugh Thompson. A victory present for both myself and George, since I've been meaning to read more of her works for quite some time.

At I-R, I presented the notes to an HR person who informed me that the head of HR wanted to meet with me on Thursday at 10 am to discuss my reintroduction to I-R and how best to run my core retraining, since I've been off work for so long. This was not unexpected, but still has me a little nervous.

And today in step training, I did a full 30 minutes of workout (including abs and upper body with weights) for the very first time.

More about the Full Moon ritual later today, or perhaps tomorrow. Right now, Hardy Boys is calling my name.
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Got a call at 2 pm today (just before I was about to head out to my DBT session) from a complete stranger who'd found my name via the net as Winnipeg's "PR Witch" and wanted me to minister at a Pagan friend's funeral this coming Saturday. Being a complete masochist, I accepted the challenge.

This will be the first funeral I've ever officiated as a Priestess. *sweatdrop* Fortunately I've got a pretty good grip on exactly what I'm going to do and have run it by the family, who approves of my plans. I'll be meeting with them on Friday afternoon to go over the final script for the service -- along with Robin, who has kindly agreed to be my assistant for the event. Her job will consist of lighting candles on the altar at the appropriate times, carrying some of my stuff, and generally acting as moral support for me in a room full of very sorrowful strangers. THANK YOU, Robin, for agreeing to help out at such short notice!

Hopefully Holly will be able to loan me her lovely grey robe with two free-flowing front panels, which would be perfect for this occasion. Otherwise I'll have to go emergency robe/dress hunting on Friday afternoon, thus running myself to an even bigger frazzle.

Which brings us to... Hardy Boys. As previously mentioned, Daniel turned in the last 6 pages just in time to run me right up against the Full Moon ritual last night (which went extremely well, given that we only had four people total in attendance). And now Jim wants the entire book -- including 25 or so pages of corrections because Daniel couldn't be arsed to draw the figures properly in the first place -- finished this week. I'm going to see how much work I can get done tonight and tomorrow during the day, and figure out from there whether Jim is going to get a "sorry, no can do" letter or not.

Yesterday afternoon's appointment with Dr. Enn (and an attending resident) at the Health Sciences Centre was nerve-wracking, a two hour dig into every aspect of my depression and my personality. At the end of it they put me back in the waiting room, somewhat shaken, while they conferred, then called me back about 15 minutes later to share their diagnosis: Borderline Personality Disorder, chronic atypical depression, and yep, treatment-resistant as all get-out. Dr. Enn is going to recommend rejigging my medication load in a few different ways to try to get it under control; he says there IS hope, since he's seen people who've suffered for decades find that magic combinatio and stabilize in the long term, which I was beginning to despair of ever finding. Electroshock therapy is a possibility, but it's a fair ways down the list of options right now.

Bah. Off to paint Hardy Boys and consider exactly what words I'll be using in Saturday's service. I love having a brain that can multitask visual and verbal problems simultaneously.
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What... I actually have to pry myself out of the apartment and go get groceries? >.< Bugger.

I'm at a point where my energy levels are up and I feel a bit more hopeful about life, but I still cringe at the thought of leaving the safety of these walls and walking a couple of blocks to the grocery store. I suppose it's a mild form of agoraphobia. I know the walk will be good for me physically as well as psychologically, but I remain afraid of actually doing it.

On the other hand, I could look at the background image at [livejournal.com profile] neo_ex_machina forever.

Mmmmm, Keanu and Hugo... :-)~~~~

*sigh* Guess I'll go get cleaned up and put some clothes on. Sometimes the only way I can get things done is to take it one very simple step at a time. First, get the water running in the bathroom sink...

ETA: On a very positive note, the Site Guru over on GAFF actually moved my "Hi! I'm New!" thread from the broken-and-locked Gabbery forum to the Gabbery II forum. This is amazing to me, in part because s/he took the time to do so, and in part because s/he specifically said that s/he would NOT be moving any threads for fear of crashing the entire site. It appears to be the only thread moved from Gabbery to Gabbery II... wow. I'm honored that s/he thought it important enough to take the risk.

Color me both pleased and impressed.
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My little wave of feeling good crested and crashed after oscillating for a while.

Daniel is pulling the "let's make nonsense shapes to make it look like I'm actually working" trick again -- including a stack of boxes floating in mid-air against the wall of a house behind two characters. And I have to make it look good. Oh, fuck me sideways. >.<

I am tired, sore, and know that if I go to bed I'll just toss and turn because of the Ritalin and Cytomel's effect of ramping my metabolism. Damned if I do, damned if I don't.

I'm trying to focus on the positive, but right now that is very very hard.
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Well, not so okay, but at least partway back.

I'm in such internal turmoil that it's hard to put words to what I'm feeling. Suffice to say that on the first work-free day I've had in quite a while, I want to write but cannot; want to RP but cannot; want to do research, but cannot; want to put together notes for the class I'm teaching on the 20th, but cannot. Not because of anything external preventing me, but because my mind just won't sit still.

Spent the entire day in bed. Got up because the distress was too acute. Just took a tranquillizer, and we'll see what that does.

I hate, hate, HATE this feeling of having a little bit of energy and being able to do nothing constructive with it except suffer.

Thank you to all my online friends who offered words of encouragement (and phone numbers that I almost took advantage of). It's just so disheartening to get a taste of what "normal" life and energy levels must be like, only to have it come crashing down. Your support means everything to me at a time like this.

The rancid cherry on the sundae is the lockdown of the Gabbery over on GAFF. According to the Site Guru, a database error has rendered it unreadable -- however, folks can still access posts and read entries. I did make a web archive of the "Hi! I'm New!" thread and the Avatar Adoption Society thread, just in case the SG decides to wipe the forum's contents and start over again.

Right now I'm wondering if I'll be able to host the Full Moon ritual next Tuesday. Unless I'm feeling much better by then, I might have to cancel.
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cut for distress )

ETA: Fuck. >.<

The phone was in the living room, and set on low ring. Therefore, I did not hear it when George called from downtown to see if I was okay. After trying several times and not getting an answer, he rushed back home. He's missed the only bus that would have gotten him out to Selkirk to be with his family for Thanksgiving.

I feel like complete and utter shit right now.
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I've eaten far too much pizza, blowing my carb load straight to hell, and taken half a Seroquel tablet. Hopefully that will stop this emotional palsy dead in its tracks, but still leave me able to work.

*goes back to shaking*

ETA about three and a half hours later: Six pages of Hardy Boys done, in spite of what's going on in my head. I'm gonna crawl into bed and hope that tomorrow is a better day.
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