Category Archives: random updates

Definitely feeling better.

Since I went off the Geodon, I’ve signed up for a math class at the community college (for fun; I’ve always wanted to learn calculus and never got the chance) and submitted my resume to a local temp agency in hopes of finding a part-time job.  If I wind up having to withdraw from the class, or I get fired, it’s okay.  It’s trying that’s the important part.

Admittedly, the main reason for job-hunting is my teeth.  I need $2400 in dental work, and am still paying off $2700 from earlier this year.  Why Medicare doesn’t cover dental is beyond me…  It’ll still take a while to get the money saved up.  I’m only allowed to make $700 a month, and Social Security takes half of that because I’m on disability. But it’ll still be a little extra every month towards dental stuff.  And it’ll be a job, because working will make me feel useful.

Ideally I’d like to work at the library, but their part-time jobs are 20 hours a week and that’s too much for me to handle.  So I’m looking for back-office clerical work: data entry, filing, etc.  Wish me luck!

I’m lump, I’m lump, I might be dead

My evil ex used to say that the Presidents of the USA song “Lump” was written about me. I hate that band so much as a result. And then my ex-wife used to make me listen to them, because she was a fan and said I needed to get over it. Ugh. 

But anyway. 

I have a confession to make. I have done pretty much nothing today. Sleeping lots, mostly. I just attempted to go Out and realized that if I did I’d stop for cigarettes. Because I can’t go to the coffee shop alone and not smoke. So I turned my car back around. At least I took out the trash while I was leaving the house. So I can say I accomplished something today. 

I do have plans in a bit — my psychiatrist, and then a knitting group I’ve been trying to talk myself into going to for like a year now. Even though it’s people I used to knit with all the time. I’m making myself go today, though. Even if I can only stay 20 minutes at least I’ll have tried. 

(I feel bad for my sweetheart, who is very social and can’t take me anywhere because groups of people make me so uncomfortable. The only friend of hers I’ve gotten to spend quiet time talking with, just the three of us, is awesome.  I warmed up to him pretty quickly and now count him as a friend. But if I’d met him at a party I would have never struck up a conversation. Social anxiety sucks donkey balls.)

Did I mention I’m depressed today, too? Not the kind where I want to hurt myself. Just the kind where I wanna disappear into Fantasyland or else sleep for the next year. Much healthier. It occurs to me that my psychiatrist might be pissed at me for quitting smoking during a med change. If she tells me not to quit for another few weeks, I’m going to do as she says. Even though I cringe at the thought of spending more money on smokes. 

Ugh. Going back to bed until it’s time to leave for the doctor. Can’t function…

Bad blogger. No cookie.

I keep swearing I’ll do a better job of updating, but I never do…  Mostly I’m keeping a private journal these days, but some people actually read this blog, so here’s an update.

I’m still with my sweetheart, the woman I mentioned in this post.  It’s been 2.5 months now.  I’m in love with her, and have been for a while.  Weird, huh?  Here I was planning to never get involved with anyone for the rest of my life, and suddenly — love.  She makes me very happy.  I’m lucky she cares for me as much as I do her.

I still haven’t had the money to go back to school, so I’ve enrolled in a couple of Coursera classes.  Python Fundamentals (or something like that) and Mathematical Thinking.  I’m really just auditing the classes, because that’s free, but I’m committing to myself to do the work.  I’ve also started using online language software through the public library to work on my Spanish. My love is taking Spanish II this fall, but needs to brush up on Spanish I first.  So we’re doing it together.  Which is really nice.  She and I do all sorts of fun things together — art, hiking, traveling — and I’m excited to add “learning” to that list.

I’ve been iffy on my volunteer work lately.  I love it, and I want to be there every single week.  But.  I’ve been dealing with medication changes, and those never bode well for my mental stability.

It started with my Geodon addiction.  It’s not supposed to be addictive, but I was taking it three times a day and getting withdrawal symptoms from hell if I was even an hour late.  So I told my doctor I wanted off it.  I went into her office one day while in withdrawal.  It was unplanned, but she was horrified to see me like that and agreed to help me get off it.  So we started Abilify.  I’m going up on it every two weeks until I’m off the Geodon and am stable.  It’s… not easy.  Currently I’m at 5mg of Abilify in the mornings, and no longer take a morning Geodon.  Thursday we’ll go up a little more on Abilify and lose the second Geodon dose.  Which will make me weird for a couple of days.  It’s not an easy transition.  I’ve had stray hallucinations (minor ones, thankfully) and other little symptoms here and there.

And I quit smoking yesterday, so my poor brain is confused about that too.  Smoking is helpful for the schizophrenic brain, although it can cause the same lung damage as it would on a neurotypical.  The current theory is that it helps regulate dopamine in such a way as to help with focus.  Almost all schizophrenics smoke, for that reason.  (Although most people don’t know why it helps them feel better.  They just know it works.)  I wouldn’t quit, except I can’t afford to spend a couple hundred dollars a month on cigarettes…

I haven’t been exercising.  Or playing my cello.  Or drawing.  There’s only so many things I can do at once!  I am, however, knitting a lot.  I made my love a short-sleeved summer sweater, which she likes enough that she wore it to work the other day.  That made me feel really good, that I made something that wasn’t embarrassing to wear.  I mean, yes, I know I’m a good knitter, but it’s rare I make sweaters and it’s nice that they turn out that well.

I’ve also been weaving a lot.  I learned to do overshot on on my rigid heddle and started making weird wall hangings — overshot mixed with rows of leno lace, brooks bouquets, random designs… A friend has actually commissioned me to do one.  I started on it yesterday.  I should be finished within a couple of days.  Later today I need to go buy a few more dowels.  I’m painting them and using them to weigh down the hangings, because they’re made of fingering weight wool.  I’m thinking that for future ones I’m going to move up to DK weight.  10dpi instead of the 12 I’m doing now.  Then I can use my handspun, which is almost all sport/DK.  I have some cool ideas for future hangings.  They’re faster than tapestry, and I can grid out the overshot designs instead of having to freehand tapestry cartoons.  I’d like to sell some more.

I can’t believe I’m getting paid for my art.  And the hangings are art — I’m designing images for them.  It’s not like spinning that’s all about hand movements.  Yes, I’m a good fiber artist, but the textile art I’m doing feels like legit art.  It’s very satisfying.  I do want to get back to tapestry some, too.  I have one in progress that I haven’t touched in like a month.  I’m going to pick it back up when I get my commission done, while I wait until I can buy the DK warp yarns I need.

Speaking of money — I wish I could work.  Or magically win $3,000.  I need it.  Medical bills, mostly.  Still paying off my fucking root canals.  I hate being broke and not really being able to do anything about it…

(In)visibility

Bisexual/pansexual erasure is weird.  I was married to someone with a penis for 11 years, a man when I met them and a woman when I left.  When my spouse was a man, people were constantly surprised that I was in a “straight” marriage.  Regardless of what gender I’ve identified as over the course of my life, I’ve always looked like what many cishet people think a lesbian looks like.

Oddly, when I identified as female and was dating mostly men, I had a number of gay people get mad at me because they assumed I was a lesbian.  Like I was co-opting the look of queer women.  Um… wasn’t trying to look gay, just went with what I felt comfortable with.  Also, I dated women as well.  But, you know, bisexuals don’t exist.  (I called myself bisexual until a few years ago, when the word pansexual started to be better known.  As someone frequently attracted to those outside the gender binary, it seems more fitting.)

A few weeks ago I started sleeping with a cis woman.  She is also pansexual, but we get perceived as a lesbian couple when we’re out and about.  I started thinking about this last night, when we were at a birthday party for a friend of hers.  Her friends know she’s pan, so it’s not that they were jumping to conclusions.  But we were being physically affectionate, and it occurred to me that most people would assume things.  I don’t particularly care about being perceived as a lesbian, although I find it hilarious because I’m not even a woman, but the fact that bi/pansexual erasure exists does bother me.  Most people see two female-presenting people being affectionate and assume “lesbian”.  That’s irritating.

But, then, I sort of did it too.  There were two women at the party who were obviously infatuated with each other, and seemed like a perfect couple.  And I was surprised later to find out neither had dated women before they got together.  One of them came across as pretty butch, you see, and I jumped to a conclusion about her myself.  And then had to laugh, because I’d done the same thing I get annoyed at other people for doing to me.

Life is a constant learning experience, isn’t it?  Or at least it should be.  I got a gentle lesson in making my own assumptions, so it makes it a little easier to understand why others assume things and how much I need to work on myself.  So thank you, universe.  I needed that.

What do I want?

I have a problem.  I find the universe way, way too interesting.  Which means I get very scattered with my desires to learn and do things.  I’ve never been the sort of person who could commit to one field or one avocation at a time.  But the list of things I want to learn is getting too out of hand.  I need to choose just one or two things and focus on them for a bit.

List of things I’ve been trying to learn:

  • More cello (i.e., resume my lessons)
  • Drawing
  • Catch up on new web development technologies (I was a webdev back in the late 90s)
  • Spanish and Arabic

Do I want to go to grad school for library science, or try for a PhD in statistics?  Or should I just get a part-time job and wait to go back to school?  I need to make more time for my tapestry weaving, and for reading things other than fanfic.  And I want to take calculus, chemistry and physics classes at the community college, just because I never got the chance in high school.  But I need to leave time for cycling and hiking, and I want to travel, and and and…

You see why I get so scattered.  I get to spend some time thinking about what I really want, what my true Will is.  And it doesn’t help that the mental illness shows up to the party and renders me useless on a regular basis.  Argh.

Life update, Halloween edition

Lots of stuff has been going on, mostly good things!

Social: I’ve been leaving the house and hanging out with people!  Which means I need to give a few people some nicknames. (Pause…)  Done.  I even made a page for my cast of characters.  Yesterday I hung out with Zelda for like 6 hours.  Her friend Domino joined us for lunch, and we hit it off too, and then the three of us spent like an hour in Joanns gleefully shopping for 70% off Halloween decorations.  Last Sunday I had coffee in the morning with Rose for two hours, and then spend the afternoon with Zelda.  I am such a social butterfly.

Hellooooooo nurse: I’ve been contemplating having a sex life again.  I don’t want love, but friendship with benefits would be awesome.  I’ve even been flirting with people.  Shocking.

Brain Fun: doing fairly well on most days. There was a four-day depressive streak last week during which I only left the house once.  And the week before that I struggled with occasional bursts of impulsive recklessness.  Like, “if I ride my bike down this 65mph highway, it’s not like I’m actually attempting suicide, right?  I mean, it has a bike lane…”  But mostly I’m okay.

Thursday I started decreasing my Lamictal dosage.  I’ve been on 200mg twice a day for years, and I’m fed up with the severe memory loss it causes.  I’ve forgotten almost everything I learned in college.  I don’t remember most of my childhood.  The memories are still there, I just can’t access them.  (Thanks to my psych degree and a stint volunteering in a neuropsych lab, I know a bit about memory testing and have done some.  I store memories just fine; it’s retrieval that’s the problem.)  I consider this to be the best way to lose memories, as it means I have a chance of regaining access.  If I wasn’t storing them when they happened, I’d be completely SOL.

Lamictal is what prevents my mania.  If I start getting manic I’ll just sedate myself and then resume my former dose.  Easy.  I hope this works.

Therapy: haven’t had an appointment since my last update.  I’ll have one tomorrow, though.

Cycling: still doing it, although not as much as I’d like.  That whole reckless thing has made me a little scared to ride much.  I’ll talk to my therapist about it.

I’ve resumed my daily walks, though.  Because outdoor exercise of any kind helps my mental health.

Crafting: two inches left of Nephew’s pillow.  I’ve been spinning a lot.  Nothing else, though.  I’ve been too busy reading.

Reading: alllll the books.  So many books.  Mostly paper ones.  All non-fiction.  Which reminds me, I should update my Goodreads account.

Cello: I’ve stopped lessons until January, so that I can afford school and Christmas presents.  I’m sad, but I’ll be back to it in the new year.

Follow-up from last update: I had to reschedule the dentist, because I’ve been having some trouble with nausea.  The craft fair this last Saturday was fun, although it was just me and Mom.  I got a new journal.  Now I just need to keep up with it.

Upcoming plans: Hiking November 11th!  So excite!

Energy is back!

Since my last post, I went back up on my Trintellix.  (Which used to be called Brintellix, but it sounded too much like some other drug — Brillenta, I think? — so they recently changed it.)  I am happy to report more energy and more Getting Shit Done.  In the last two days, anyway.  It’s a start.

I have a skirt.  It’s ankle-length and black.  My sister got it for me yesterday at Target, as I’ve had the weird urge to wear one lately.  I put it on with a black T-shirt and my purple Docs, and I didn’t feel even slightly feminine.  Gender-bendy as fuck, instead, which is exactly what I wanted.  I look transmasculine/androgynous even with the skirt on.  It’s lovely.  It really brings home my personal definition of genderqueer: my brain leans more towards female even though I feel gender dysphoria about my body and want it to be a cis male’s.  “Gender dysphoria” is a misnomer, really.  My gender is fine.  I am very happy with it.  It’s my body that’s wrong.  So shouldn’t it be called “sex dysphoria” instead?  At any rate, I want to paint my fingernails and toenails black sometime soon.  And buy some boxer briefs to wear under the skirt.  Thigh chafing hurts.

Hurricane Hermine: why didn’t they call it Hermione?  It would have been so much cooler that way.  Anyway, we lost power several times during the night, but it always came back on within ten minutes or so.  My mom’s room is in the back of the apartment, and mine at the front; our rooms are the same size, as are our windows, but the placement of the rooms meant she couldn’t hear anything but rain.  I, on the other hand, spent all night listening to howling winds try to break my window.  It wasn’t scary, just annoying because I was trying to sleep.  If it had been daytime I would have enjoyed the sounds, but by two in the morning I was ready to get out my isolation headphones.  (I wasn’t the only one listening to the storm.  Several of my local friends were also awake and posting on Facebook at that hour.)  We weren’t damaged, our cars weren’t damaged (despite being under a giant tree), and we didn’t even lose internet for very long.  A lot of locals got it worse; when I went to get my hair cut Saturday, there were women there talking about not having their power back until that morning.

And now, for some goth shopping: Joanns has these cool 16″ vulture skeletons and I want one so bad.  Or the owl ones, the owl ones are badass, but more expensive.  I don’t want them enough to pay $30-40 for one, but damn they’re cool.

Boneyard Vulture at Joanns

Oh fuck, just looked at their site, to get a pic to share, and their Halloween stuff is 40% off.  It can go next to the head-on-a-silver-platter, which still resides on my bedroom dresser.  That really was a good idea, I think.  Which reminds me, I still need wall art for my room.  I should probably get that instead of the vulture, but I can buy art posters all year round.  Ooh, they have a small tombstone for $4.  My dresser is going to look awesome.  My wallet always hates me in the fall, because ALL THE HALLOWEEN STUFF!!!

One other little DIY project I want to do is get a bendy black Halloween spider and make it a tiny bit of knitting-in-progress and bend the front legs so it looks like the spider’s knitting.  I’ll give it teeny needles and everything.  Maybe stick it on a black wreath for the front door.  Spiders spin, and mine will knit as well.  Maybe the knitting will be from that fake cobweb stuff?  Oooooh.

Oh oh oh — I can buy fake black roses this time of year, too.  Neeeeeed.  Okay, shutting up about Halloween goodies now.  But when Eris (my kleptomaniacal black kitty) starts walking around the house with a black rose in his teeth, I will totally be taking photos.  (And, if they’re any good, using them as profile pictures in my online haunts.)

Knitting: the green and black shirt continues, in off moments.  My main project is place mats for the dining table.  They are bright yellow, in a basic basketweave pattern.  When Mom and I moved into this apartment, most of her decorating stuff was blue and yellow so we stuck with it.  Happily, the paintings on the walls look like Tim Burton took drugs (happy ones) and painted them.  So at least a little of the living room is to my taste.

Spinning, weaving, and sewing: haven’t done any of it since the last post.

Cello: not since Monday or so.  As I said, I’ve only been feeling better for two days.  Mom just left for a party, though, so I’ll play while she’s gone.  I feel weird about playing with her here, because I feel like it has to be annoying to hear me play the same thing over and over.  Especially when it’s the same three or four notes over and over…

Okay, enough babbling.  I think I need to go buy a vulture skeleton now…

Last week sucked.

Sometimes, usually when I’m depressed, I go through periods when I don’t want to talk to anyone.  I’ve been having one of those.  So hello to my online friends, I’m not dead or anything.  Actually, yesterday was fantastic — I woke up with a ton of energy, and set about cleaning my bedroom and bathroom.  Did two loads of laundry, swept and mopped the tile areas of the house, even washed a dozen skeins of handspun yarn.  And went for two walks. And started knitting the pillows for the living room futon.

Today I woke up a little slower but still did a 5 mile walk, then babysat, then ran errands, then got a bunch of online crap done.  So I’m doing pretty well on the productivity front today, too.  Still have to go to the grocery…

I did my July budgeting.  Ugh.  Spent too much this month (purple Docs, I’m looking at you, you beautiful things).  Something I’ve figured out in my budget spreadsheet (which probably everybody else knows, but I haven’t had credit cards in ages) is to calculate the amount of interest I’ll owe if I don’t make a decent credit card payment, and wow does that work as motivation to keep my balance low.  Because losing $50 to interest payments will piss me off.  So I’m not doing that, and July will be tight.

I am, however, spending the $70 to get my current bicycle tuned up.  The woman at the bike shop said they might be able to fix my setup so that riding is more comfortable for me, because, after thinking about it some more, a new bike is definitely not a need, and I’d be better off spending that money (basically the same amount) on a college class, because learning things is more fun than riding bicycles.  If I still want a new bike by Christmas, I’ll consider getting one then.  In the meanwhile, I’ll see if I even enjoy riding once my current bike is set up/tuned up.  Because, while walking is awesome, and I’m still doing a lot of it, Florida is fucking hot in the summer and it would be nice to feel a little breeze on my face during my daily workouts.

Speaking of walking, I mapped a new route this afternoon.  Took a drive down the opposite way I normally go, and it’s quite beautiful.  And shady.  Yay trees!  It’s 3.5 miles round-trip, which means it’ll be good for days I want to do a short walk.  (My long route is just under 5 miles.)  And I have to take my camera one day, because it’s beautiful down that way.

I’ve been able to read again lately.  I’m almost finished with a book on the history of the American highway system.  It’s fascinating, although I’m sure it sounds dull to most of you.  Next up is a book on how Dante’s Inferno permanently changed Western society’s mental picture of Hell.

While I’m on the subject of media: As previously reported, Mom and I were binge-watching The Blacklist through Netflix.  We quit on Friday, because the stupid burned so much that it’s not even worth watching for James Spader.  It just… it was never that good to begin with, except for him, and it just kept getting increasingly dumber throughout the season.  We finished it (season one), but fuck that show, seriously.  Last night we started Luther.  So much better.  (Mom has a thing for crime dramas.  She reads crime novels, too.)

And now, for something completely different: I started seeing the new therapist last week, and I like her bunches.  Hopefully she can help me get over my PTSD shit.

I’ll leave you with a picture of Loki showing his belly.  Because he’s cute.

Upside-down Loki