Category Archives: School

Thanksgiving and after

I didn’t blog about Thanksgiving.  It was amazing.  The Valkyrie, the Naiad, my MIL, my mom, my sis, her husband and two kids,my BFF, BFF’s niece, MIL’s German friend, and the German friend’s son.  The son was an ass, but kept to himself.  The rest of us had a blast.  MIL cooked a bunch, and my mom, sis,and BFF all brought homemade food.  We had a dozen dishes plus five pies.  TONS of food.  We did it buffet style.  The only problem was that the dining room table wasn’t big enough for all of us, and the Valkyrie and the Naiad wound up alone at the kitchen table.  It made me sad, but then Awesome Niece went to join them, and other people started wandering over there once they were done eating.  At one point we were all in the living room carrying on, and then Mom, Sis, and I played a couple of hands of gin rummy (the game we used to play when Sis and I was children).  Nephew wanted to play a hand of Go Fish, so we did that too.  Can you believe I’d forgotten the rules?  But, then, I think I was nine the last time I played Go Fish.  So I think I can be forgiven.

The Naiad is here every weekend, now.  I enjoy going to pick her up.  I’ve been going alone because the cheapest (no tolls) way to get to her house is a bumpy road that would kill the Valkyrie’s back.  I don’t mind, though, because she and I get to chat for more than an hour each trip.  We’re becoming quite good friends, I think.  We have shared interests in psychology and writing instruments, and of course we have the Valkyrie in common.  Mostly we talk about trans stuff and books and psychology.  It’s awesome.  I picked her up last night and we talked mostly about HRT on the way home.  And neuroscience versus philosophy on the concept of mind.  And office supplies.  And how if I get my libido back on T we’re going to bang.  She’s awfully cute, and apparently likes oversized girly men.  Oh, myyyyy.

Because of the depression and accompanying apathy I’m 6 days late turning in my paper.  I’m trying really hard to give a fuck.  I’m hoping to finish it today so it’s not a whole week late.  Ever since I finished my last blog post I’ve been staring at my OpenOffice window, trying to figure out where to go next given what I’ve written so far.  It shouldn’t be hard.  I’m good at writing papers.  I once wrote an 8-page paper using dictation software while holding a sleeping cat, and I got an A on that.  Churning out a simple 3-6 page paper should be nothing.

My prof wants me to take my final class in person with her during the second spring semester, instead of taking it online in January.  I’m thinking about it.  Plus that would give me time to get on T and have my hysto.  I like the prof, and I really miss the classroom environment.  Online-only classes fucking suck.  I think my education has suffered because most of my 3rd and 4th year classes have been online.  I’ve learned a lot, but I prefer being in a classroom.

Okay, time to get back to my paper!

Future outlook and a busy day

I am very concerned about fulfilling my desire to become a clinical social worker.  For years I’ve kept hoping my mental states will get more stable as time goes on.  They haven’t.  The problems have gotten much less extreme, but on a day to day basis I cannot maintain a balanced state with any consistency. I’m assuming that this will not change.  It’s been 14 fucking years.  It gotten much better in intensity, but not in the variability.  If I can’t be stable enough to focus on clients for a set period of hours every day, I can’t get a job as a therapist.  Hell, I can’t get through grad school that way because of all the clinic hours required.

It could be that there are things I can do to mitigate the problem.  That’s why I want to talk to my therapist.  The Valkyrie also suggested I talk to her about how utterly weary I am of being mentally ill, about how I’m giving up on myself more easily lately.  Maybe this way of thinking about my career is part of the giving up.  I don’t know.  So I have an appointment Tuesday afternoon.  I hope it helps.

Today I was exhausted in general.  At night I can’t fall asleep until two or so, and I’ve had to be up by 8:00 every day this week.  Yeah, plenty of functional adults do way more than I do on way less sleep.  But I am not functional, as much as I wish I was.  So I’m worn out from going to Orlando to have lunch with the Naiad, seeing my psychiatrist, and running errands.  I left the house at 9:30 and got home at 6:00… maybe I do deserve to be tired.  I don’t know.

The Valkyrie met my psychiatrist today.  V was seeing her for anxiety, so it was a double session.  Which was awesome, I love my doc and was happy to hang out for a bit.  They got along really well too.  Before that we had lunch at Sonny’s with the Naiad and went to Sci Fi City (awesome gaming/comics shop).  Not a bad day.  Just a long one.

I’m hoping I can get to sleep early tonight, or sleep in tomorrow.  Thankfully I don’t have to be anywhere until after noon…

Medication Roulette, part #72648392

Talked to my psychiatrist yesterday.  She said stop taking the Latuda.  So I didn’t take one this morning.  Now I’m depressed and hallucinating.  Fucking hell.

Tomorrow morning I have my first meeting with my professor.  Hope I can keep it together for that.  She knows I’m mentally ill, but I don’t want her to kick me out of the class because I appear too crazy…

Not doing so well…

Last Thursday morning I added Latuda to my medication regime, as prescribed the previous day by my doctor.  Since then I’ve been sinking back into depression, and it’s unpleasant.  With a lot of psych meds the side effects go away after a couple of weeks, so I’m staying on it a little while longer to see if things improve.  Obviously I’m going to quit if I get suicidal!  But hopefully that won’t be an issue.

In addition, I seem to be developing a UTI, so tomorrow I’ll be going to the doctor.

I feel like shit and I’m avoiding my friends and it really blows.  I just want to feel normal again, or at least my version of normal.

In other news:

— Saturday I took my niece to our hometown’s Pride celebration.  Middle school lesbian drama is hilarious, I am sad to say.  Awesome Niece hugged a friend we ran into, and the friend’s girlfriend got jealous, and I did a really good job of not cracking up.  We had a good time, though.  I got the Valkyrie a trans pride bracelet a friend was selling at her booth.  After the celebration we stopped at a popsicle restaurant nearby.  They have dozens of flavors, many of which are pureed fruit bars.  I had a strawberry basil and it was amazing.  Then we met up with my mom for lunch at a little bistro.  Tempeh sandwich with granny apples, goat cheese, and spinach.  My hometown has the best food!

— I’m enrolled in school and will be meeting up with my professor on Friday to make plans.  I’m happy about this.

— I’ve started knitting a sweater for myself.  I deserve one.  Not sure if I’ll stick with the pattern I’m using, though.  It’s kind of annoying me.  Maybe I’ll make one to match the one I made a friend last winter.  I liked that pattern.

I hurt and I’m said and I’m going back to bed.  Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Pure energy!

(Sorry, flashbacks to Information Society…)

I woke up about nine this morning, and somehow was in the mood to do ALL THE THINGS.  I had a to-do list that was 21 items long. (I use Toodledo for my task management, by the way, and it is Fucking Awesome.)  A lot of it was serious, like making doctors appointments, but a few things were fun, like buying a couple of albums I wanted.  I got all but two things done!  Plus I did a shitload of cleaning.  I found the floor in the den.  And the couch.  And my desk. And some other horizontal surfaces that I’d buried in crap.  Go me!  Tomorrow I want to clean up the place between the couch and the wall, where I keep my crafty stuff that needs to be handy when I work on a project.  I’m going to get a set of plastic drawers to put it all in; then I have everything within arm’s reach, but it’s not in a pile on the floor.  Speaking of which… there, now that errand is on my task list, and Joanns has a “30% off one item” coupon this week.  Perfect.

Unsurprisingly, all this resulted in no crafting today.  I’m going to finish up a plying job on my wheel after I finish writing this, and then there will be weaving until bedtime.  I’m going to try to go to bed by midnight and get up by nine.  I downloaded the Sleep Cycle app for my iPhone, and I’m going to use it tonight.  It would be nice to be up at a decent hour every day.

Tomorrow I have therapy, two errands to run (I have to mail out my old loom, and go to Joanns as mentioned), and cleaning to do.  Plus I want to exercise in the morning, and finally start the paperwork for my legal name change.  I really, really hope I have at least half as much energy as I did today.  It felt really good to get stuff done.

Oh, there’s a school update worth mentioning.  The dean of my college is letting me retake the class I failed as a Directed Study course, because it’s not available this year at a location near me.  This is awesome.  It’ll be October before I can start, but better late than never!

I also did spend an hour relaxing in bed with a book, covered in sleeping babbies.  It was lovely.  I finished Charles Stross’ The Atrocity Archives and immediately hunted down the second Laundry Files book.  So good.  I normally don’t read fiction, but I’m addicted now.

Busy couple of days

Taking a break from finishing a paper for school that’s due tomorrow.  I’m going to finish it tonight.  Then I can relax for a couple of days: finish weaving my rainbow scarf, play with the kittens lots, and hang out with my BFF and her house guest who is awesome.

Kitten update: they are so sweet, and so cute, and so loving.  They like to lay on the Valkyrie, especially, and wrestle on her.  Every time I stand up in the bedroom Loki (yes Boycat has a name now) hugs my feet and tries to groom them.  I’ve given up on walking fast in there.  :D  Girlcat (who doesn’t have a name yet) comes up and nuzzles my feet when I stand still.  Loki loves bellyrubs and being held.  Girlcat likes snuggling against us, and is very chatty.

We are very happy cat parents.

Exercise: Yesterday I did a 1.28 mile walk, and gave myself today off from working out.  Between homework and sore muscles, I thought this the prudent thing to do.  Tomorrow I’ll do another bodyweight workout.

Therapy today: figured out that my reluctance to get homework done and finish my degree is related to the fact that I’ve realized I’ll probably never have a normal career because of my mental illness.  It’s depressing.  It’s furthered by the fact that I can’t go to grad school this fall because of said illness.  Made me want to give up.  I’m going to get this damn paper done, though.  As long as I pass, even with C’s, I’ll be happy.  Wish me luck.

Fuck off, depression

Most of the people reading this (as of the time of this writing, anyway) are friends of mine, but for anyone who isn’t: lately I’ve been dealing with some pretty serious depression recently.  I had to take Incomplete grades in both my classes (and I have to have the last of the work due by next Wednesday; or at least that’s the goal I’m setting myself so I’m not trying to cram everything just before midnight on Saturday the 28th).  I’ve been dealing with suicidal ideation on and off for months.  There was even a small amount of self-harm earlier in the week.  I’m safe — not going to kill myself or anything — but I’m sick of feeling this way.

Because of the depression I’m having to put off grad school for a year.  (Instead of getting my BA this month as planned, I won’t graduate until August, and I can’t exactly start grad school before the “grad” part happens.)  I honestly don’t even know if I’ll reapply.  I’ve been struggling with mental illness for over 15 years now, and while it’s much better than it was even eight years ago I’m still not as functional as I’d hoped I’d be by now.  Maybe I’m better off just getting my BA finished up, and then trying to get a part-time job as a peer counselor in the local mental health system.  I’ve done that job before, several years ago in my hometown, and doing it part-time might not push me too hard.  I have to push myself some — I have to swim at least a little or else I’ll sink — but I don’t want to reach the point where I break my brain even more.  I could also spend time on my fiber/textile stuff as well, that way.

I’m under tremendous pressure from the Valkyrie and her mom to get my master’s and help support the three of us.  (Valkyrie is physically disabled, and her mom’s in her 70’s.)  I want that MSW degree, but I’m trying to be honest with myself about my limits.  I always was on board with me as breadwinner.  I thought I would be able to work full-time, eventually.  But again, after 15 years I’m still not even capable of even a part-time job.  It’s just setback after setback, one step forward and two steps back, over and over.

I don’t feel like I’m failing at life.  I do the best I can, and as much as I can, given my illnesses.  I could just sit on my ass and watch TV all day, but I don’t; I want to work outside the home if at all possible and I want to help make the world a teeny bit better if possible.  I’m not content to be an apathetic couch potato.  But I am limited.  I hate it, but there it is.

My psychiatrist tells me I expect too much from myself and hold myself up to impossible standards.  Maybe it’s time to be realistic about the future.  What do you think?