I’m not dead, I promise!

But I am just coming out of an extended, serious depression.  It started in April.  I didn’t get online for three months except to read fanfic.  (BBC Sherlock is my imaginary boyfriend.)  Hell, I didn’t even talk to my mother for two months, and she’s one of my two favorite people in the whole world (the other being the Valkyrie).  I was a wreck.  I started feeling a bit better a couple of weeks ago, but yesterday my doctor had me add Ritalin to my daily medication cocktail and I’ve actually gotten out of bed.  Better living through modern medicine!

So this post is going to be a rather long life update…

Medications: current cocktail is Lamictal, Luvox, Geodon, Brintillex, Ritalin, and Klonopin as needed.  The Geodon is doing great things for the schizophrenia part of my illness, plus I’ve dropped 40 pounds.

School: Depression cost me my grade.  So I failed my class and was unable to walk for this year’s graduation ceremony.  I need to retake the course this fall.  It’s only 8 weeks long.  Surely I can get through it a second time.  Because of the depression and the F, I also lost my Vocational Rehab support, which means they won’t help pay for the class.  So that’s coming out of pocket.  Lovely.

Family: my sister’s daughter and husband have both been in a psychiatric facility (same one) in the last month (at different times; niece last month, for a week, and Bro-in-law went in this last Thursday).  Mental illness runs strong in our family, both by blood and marriage.  I feel for my sister.  I had lunch with her, Niece, Nephew, and Mom on Friday and it was wonderful to be with them.  I offered to come up to my hometown (where they live) for moral support, but right now Sis seems to be handling things okay.  We’re meeting up one day this week, as she was nice enough to buy goat’s milk fudge (a childhood favorite of mine) at the farmer’s market today.

Relationships:  The Valkyrie and the Naiad split up two weeks ago.  I am very happy to have my house and my spouse back.  I don’t mind V dating other people, but never again will I let the third person live with us.  It’s a big part of why I was depressed, because I was unhappy about her being here once the two of them started having difficulties.  I feel bad for V that she got hurt, because I love her terribly, but I had already told her I was becoming uncomfortable so I don’t feel guilty about being glad.

Friends: I haven’t seen BF in months, because of the depression, but things are okay now and I hope to get together with her soon.  I think she’s out of town right now, so hopefully soon after she gets back.  All my other friends are just online (except for one local one who’s out of town a lot) and they’re all okay, more or less.

Cats: The babbies are doing well.  We have two new additions to the household, Boo and Jack.  Their story, as shared with friends…

A feral cat had a litter of 7 in our backyard. We caught 3 in hopes of finding them homes, and the neighbor caught the rest and the mother. (The kittens were to be put up for adoption. We were hoping to TNR the mom because she liked us, but the neighbor’s a dick. Sorry for posting a sad bit here.) Of the 3 we caught, one was this little wild orange boy who was adventurous and sweet and we decided to keep him. That was Jack, although it took us forever to name him.

After the rest of the family had been taken away by the neighbor, a lone black kitten turned up begging in the spot where we’d been feeding the mother. Turns out the 7th kitten had been left behind, without his mom. For a week he was sitting at the window crying, because he was hungry (although we were feeding him KMR and wet kitten food) and very lonely. It was the saddest damn thing I’d ever seen. Over the course of a few days I slowly lured him towards the French doors where we’d been feeding him. One day I sat down at the doors and talked very sweetly to him until he finally came inside. He was terrified until MIL brought Jack over. Boo was freaked out, but after he and Jack had their (joyous) reunion Jack started showing Boo around the house. Seriously. You could practically hear him saying “Here’s the litter box, and here’s where the food goes, and this cat tree over here is great for watching the birds outside…”

Boo was skittish for the first two weeks, but now it’s been almost a month and he’s turned into a total cuddlebug. He sleeps on us, climbs us (ouch) and is a very happy little boy. I’m so glad we rescued both of them!

Today Boo slept on my piles of clean laundry.  THANKS, BOO.  At least they’re black clothes so they match him!  The rest of the household cats have accepted the littles to varying degrees.  Eris plays with them constantly, because Eris is high-energy and loves playing with anyone who’ll engage her.  Loki is annoyed but tolerant.  Bengal kinda likes them but doesn’t want to play.  And Dixie is a bit depressed.  We’ve been giving her extra attention, and it seems to be helping.  As I’m writing this, in bed on my laptop, she’s laying against my right calf and purring…

Productivity: Okay, depression confession time. I didn’t do laundry for two months. Most of that time I was rotating out the same four pairs of dirty underwear so the most recently worn would have time to air out. Yeah, that bad.

Between yesterday and today I’ve done 7 loads of wash. This evening I worked on cleaning up the den, because it was impossible to walk in there without tripping over random shit. I had such an exertion headache afterwards that I threw up. I still have to clean my desk, but I can now see the floor. And get to my desk, which I haven’t been able to do since March. Yeah, that’s sad. At least I’m doing a bit better so I can fix the damage.

Now that all the dirty clothes are off the bedroom floor it needs to have the trash picked up and be vacuumed. Almost a year ago the light in the bedroom closet went out and I never bothered replacing it, and instead have had all the clean clothes (and the dirty ones) scattered all over the bedroom and den. So I’m going to replace the light bulb and put all the freshly cleaned clothes in the closet where they belong. I also need to clean all the empty soda cartons out of the upstairs kitchen (not a real kitchen, just a small room with a fridge, microwave, and small table). At that point I’ll feel like my living space is actually habitable again. It’s been a massive disaster for so long that it’ll be weird to have things look okay. Cluttered, still, because we went from living in a 2-bedroom house to the upper floor of my MIL’s house and we own a lot of stuff still, but we’ll be able to see all the floors and not have empty Amazon boxes piled everywhere and… you get the idea.

Hobbies!

Spinning/knitting/weaving:  I’ve been doing a little spinning the past couple of weeks.  I need to take photos of my stuff.  Knitting has been limited, and I haven’t used my loom in months.  I’m hoping to fix that soon, though.

Reading: Until Friday I hadn’t been reading anything for months except Sherlock slashfic. (I don’t think Benedict Cumberbatch is attractive, but his Sherlock is fucking hot. I don’t know how that works, exactly. Maybe because the character’s personality and style is so wonderful?) I tolerate Watson’s part of the slash, because short guys are a turn-off and he’s a motherfucking hobbit. Literally. Ao3 lets readers sort by popularity, which usually is a good indicator of quality. I’ve found some wonderful writers that way. (Although I really don’t get the appeal of the stories with the “alpha/beta/omega dynamics.” I’ll let you Google that one.)

One thing that happens sometimes in slashfic is that the writers (almost always cisgender women) have no experience with gay sex positions. Like, there is no way a six-foot-tall man can be on his hands and knees and have the 5’7″ guy penetrate him without some gymnastics. I am six feet tall and have had anal sex with short men, and it’s simply a matter of my thighs being longer (taller) than the short guy’s. Even tucking my knees under me to shorten the distance didn’t work very well. And anal sex standing up, or with the taller guy bent over a table where he can’t bend his knees significantly? No fucking way. And then turning one’s head to kiss one’s shorter partner during all this? Yeah, right. Slashfic writers need to watch a few porn videos before writing their sex scenes, seriously. Or read a technical manual. Maybe I should write something and post it on Ao3. Could be useful to somebody.

Oh, also? I HATE FAN ART. Hate it. Even good fan art. Although, to be fair, a lot of that is because it reminds me of what Watson looks like and the height difference between him and Sherlock. But mostly it’s because a lot of fan art is terrible. I can forget bad writing easily, but I can’t unsee the art. Ugh.

Anyway, yesterday I started a book on the history of classic music, which I am supplementing with YouTube videos of the pieces mentioned in the text. Yay for YouTube! Before it existed I would have had to buy random CD’s and hope I liked them. Now I can just buy the ones I really like.

Games: haven’t played any since the Naiad moved out.  The Valkyrie’s been too depressed.  My poor sweetheart.  Before that we played the latest Witcher game a whole bunch, but haven’t finished it yet..  Still haven’t finished the newest Dragon Age, either.  I want to do that soon, because I fucking love that game but have been too depressed to play.

Cello: It ships to me on Monday.  I saved up for it over several months.  It’s this one from StringWorks.  I did a bunch of research first; while I could get a cheaper cello, it would be most likely be plywood, and plywood ones sound awful and are actually harder to play.  I’ve already arranged for lessons.  I’ve wanted to play since I was ten.  I was in the 5th grade orchestra (not in Florida, my school district here only had band) and agreed to play violin at the beginning of the year.  After I heard the cellists doing their thing I fell in love, but it was too late to switch.   I have owned scads of cello cassettes, then CDs, then MP3s over the years.  I’m almost 40.  Better late than never.  I’ll never be Ofra Harnoy or Yo-Yo Ma, but if I can manage the largo movements of some of Vivaldi’s cello concertos then I’ll be happy.  (Although I’d also like to be able to play like Cello Fury, my favorite non-classical cellists.)

Random shit!

Laptop: I had to get a new one because my old one was in bad shape. It’s a Dell Latitude 3540. A friend found it for me based on the specs I wanted, and it’s… okay. It’s had some problems. Like, until a few moments ago I couldn’t connect to the network — again. Sometimes it’s fine for three weeks, sometimes (like today) it goes out more than once. No idea why. I had to contact tech support the other day because it wouldn’t take power from the AC adapter. Turns out that happens when the battery isn’t seated properly. I just got off the phone with tech support about the network problem, and they’re sending me a new network adapter. Sigh.

Concerts: we were supposed to see The Protomen last night and tonight (two shows in two different cities) but the Valkyrie’s back pain didn’t allow it.  One slight bit of good news, though: when I looked at the Orlando venue’s site I saw that Electric Six will be there in October and the tickets are $14.  Yes please!

TV/movies: The only TV I’ve watched is BBC Sherlock, which I downloaded after reading a week’s worth of fanfic and decided that maybe I should see the show.  OMG SO GOOD.  The only movie I’ve seen is the first half of Jurassic World.  I had to leave after an hour because I couldn’t handle the audio, despite two Klonopin and a set of earplugs.  I have ordered some shooting earmuffs.  Maybe I can handle a movie with those on.  I’d like to see a couple of upcoming films, but my sensory processing issues mean I can’t handle movie theater audio.  It sucks.

Oh, and I still need to see Sharknado 2 and 3.  And The Avengers, Captain America 2, and Thor 2.  And I missed Mad Max Fury Road, so I’m glad the Blu-Ray comes out September 1st.  I’m not very good at keeping up with movies.

Vaping: when I get depressed I get tempted to smoke.  It can be excruciating.  Since I quit over seven years ago and don’t actually want to start again, this would be a bad thing.  So I found a vaping company, VaporFi, that makes a flavor that tastes approximately like a Camel (or so I’ve read) but I can get it without nicotine.  I’ve ordered a starter kit from them, which is fully refundable if I try it and hate it.  I don’t want to use it regularly, but if it scratches that occasional itch then it’ll be great to have when I get depressed again.  I miss the taste of Camels, but not the part where my health is at risk, I smell like an ashtray, and I’m a drug addict.  Hopefully this will work for me.  If it doesn’t, I’ll send it back.

Um… I think that’s everything.  Only took me… over an hour.. to write this post.  But hey, I’m caught up now.  I’ll post pictures of the kittens later.  If you’re still reading, I am amazed.  Thanks!

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