Tuesday, February 26, 2008

forced interactions...

Have you ever been in a situation where you really want to interact with someone, but they're not responsive?

There's this guy who was one of my best friends for several years in high school. For some reason I'm dying to connect with him again. So, facebook came into play and now we email occasionally.

He lives in North Bay, so I can't very well say 'hey, lets go for a pint', which is, of course, the easiest way of doing things.

The challenge here is that he's never been very good at the whole written communication thing, and I think actually that it kind of annoys him, although he hasn't said so. So, it's possible that the non-responsive is just, well, the hating email. But of course, for some reason, the more he doesn't respond the more I want to email him. The more I want to tell him all sorts of stuff that he may very well not give a shit about.

I was talking to Paddy about why I am so desperate to connect with him again. I'm really not sure what it is. But if I were to take a guess, I would have to say that it's probably that when he was one of my best friends I was pretty brutally depressed, and talking to him and stuff offered me some respite from it. It brought some much longed-for joy in my life. So, if I were to guess, I would guess that the sudden need to reconnect has something to do with the whole depressed thing - you know, seeking out the familiar.

Anyway, I'm sure by the time I'm no longer depressed anymore he'll think I'm a very crazy woman who is stalking him from a-far. I'm not. I have no idea what's in his garbage. Nor do I know what time he leaves the house. ;) (or, you know, his address, his phone number, what he looks like these days, wow. I make for a bad stalker...)

And of course we all know he's *crazy* to not leap at the chance of being friends with me again, because, well, really, who's a better friend than me?!? I get depressed, I cry on the phone, I write long mournful emails. Who wouldn't want that in their life? ;)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Kissy kissy...

Paddy and I were having an IM conversation yesterday about first kisses. First ever kisses, not first kisses in a relationship.

We were talking about what we were thinking when we had our first kiss.

I was in grade 8.

I remember thinking:
- wow, I can't believe that someone's tongue can make my knees feel so much like jelly;
- gee I hope his mum doesn't find us here in the laundry room; and
- I wonder if he can tell I've never kissed anyone before.

Do you guys remember what you were thinking during your first kiss?

And now for something completely different...

I love Nicole Stamp. I spent the afternoon with her today and she rocks, seriously rocks, yay Nicole!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

nope, me neither...

For the record, I don't know what John is doing to make me make this face either...

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Did someone say chocolate cake?!?!!?

If you're like me you like freshly baked chocolate cake, but find all that pesky measuring of milk and counting of eggs when making a cake mix tedious and ire evoking*...

Well, I have the answer for you!

Cake mix made with silken tofu.

I know, sounds strange, but it's delicious, moist, and means that it has the added bonus of having some protein too.

So, here's how it works. Buy a cake mix (the kind that says it has pudding if possible, that makes it better). Buy some silken tofu.

Completely ignore the directions on the box of the cake mix. Mix the tofu and cake mix together (it gets a bit pasty) and put it into a cake pan of some sort.

Bake according to the box directions (so, I guess don't completely ignore the directions...).

It's yummy. Mmmmmm, chocolate cake.

*This statement may be a slight exaggeration of actual responses to this activity

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Hypothetical Awkward Situations

Okay, so imagine for a moment that you are naked in a public place. Naked in a place where you're expected to be naked, like, say, the change room at the gym, or a big water spa, you know, that kind of thing.

Now, lets imagine that someone you know, a dear friend, walks in. This is someone you always hug and often kiss hello and good-bye.

But now you're both naked.

What do you do?

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Psychiatric Day Hospital in Review...

So, I guess it’s time for an update on the hospital stuff, and the depression stuff.

Hard to pin down how I’m feeling and what’s been going on. I guess first I’ll tell you what it’s like.

I show up at 9, then we have group sessions, kind of seminars, but honestly, not that educational, mostly I think they’re just to pass the time. During the sessions people are pulled out to see their nurse and doctor and discuss progress and status of meds and so on. Two sessions in the morning, an hour of lunch, one more session, then head home at 2pm.

It doesn’t sound like much, but god, does it ever wipe me out. And it’s bloody hard for me to make myself go. And, well, it’s just bloody hard.

Hard to explain what is so hard about it. It’s a variety of things. The first thing that’s hard is the getting up and leaving the house, going out in public thing. Then there is the being in a room full of people thing. Then there is the having to interact with said people. And there is the fact that there’s no quick escape, I’m at least half an hour from home, from what feels like safety, when I’m in that room.

The end result is complete exhaustion by 2 pm. So exhausted I can’t do anything, not even email – when I can’t do email you know I’m tired.

The good side is, well, all the scary things – the fact that it gets me out of the house, the fact that it gives me practice being around and interacting with people, the fact that it pushes my boundaries so that I can see that I will in fact live through being outside of my safe zone.

The other really good side, in a very practical way, is that there are medical professionals to monitor my progress and my meds. It means that I don’t have to try and determine those things on my own in my inability to make decisions and inability to trust my own judgement. I have someone else, someone who’s not depressed, to watch that for me.

Also, I think that things are improving. I don’t know that for sure, because it seems that when I’m feeling a bit better I end up slamming back down and crying my way through the rest of the day. Friday was a particularly bad day. But I do seem to, I don’t know, seem to have a bit more hope or something.

All that said, I am of course, terrified of going in tomorrow morning, of going in for the rest of the week, and for the week after that, and the week after that…

Friday, February 15, 2008

Toronto-centric post... Dancing Queen

Okay. So, where does one go in this bloody city if they want to dance.

Just dance. Writhe around with other sweaty bodies, loose yourself in the music and dancing. I'm talking about a place where you go in your jeans and a pair of runners so that you can dance your ass off. A place that isn't about cruising or being cruised. That isn't about finding a tasty piece of ass to bring home and fuck 'til the cows come home. A place where you can be anonymous and just dance, but still be dancing in a room with other folks.

In an ideal world this would be a place that played music with good real beats and not just thumpa thumpa music, but honestly, I'd be okay with thumpa thumpa if I could just dance in peace.

I want to writhe and wriggle in the company of others without having to interact with them. Weird, I know, but, well, I'm a weird chick...

So, where do I do that in this city? Surely there should be a place. Suggestions? And does anyone want to go dancing (in jeans and runners...)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

blog blog blog blog, blog blog blog blog, blog! blog! blog!

Not sure what to write, can you tell from the title? For the record I sung that out loud to get the commas and periods in the right place.

See, here's the thing. I have depression updates, but they're not positive, and I have to admit, I'm kind of starting to feel like I'm whining here. So, I don't really want to write about the depression stuff. But then, the depression stuff is the all encompassing thing in my life right now. Everything I do is somehow intrinsically linked to my depression. For example, yesterday for whatever reason I couldn't go downstairs. I literally couldn't bring myself to go downstairs. I didn't eat until John came home at 6pm and brought me downstairs, then I had breakfast. So, you know, where's the interesting in that? It's just blah blah blah blah.

So, uh, well, that leaves us with, well, not much. Because the next thing I want to say is I start at the hospital tomorrow and I'm scared shitless. Again, depression.

I have no non-depression news to impart.

In fact, these days I avoid the news news, so I can't even comment on that...

So, uh, yeah, I guess I'll just go back to doing nothing interesting at all.

Enjoy your day...

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Problem With Euphemisms

Last night before bed John looked at me and said “You have your friend?”

I looked around me, assuming that he meant that one of the cats. Seeing no cats I turned my head towards him and articulately stated “huh?”

“Your Aunt Flow is here to visit?”


“Your period. Do you have your period?”

“Ohhhhhh. Yeah. Yeah. I do.”

He had noticed that I was wearing underwear to bed, and through his mighty powers of deductive reasoning he realized I must have my period. And through our excellent relationship-building communications I had no clue what he was saying…

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Depression Update 800 Million and 1

Some of you may have already recieved this in email form...

My GP had put me in for an 'urgent care' referral for an assessment by a specialist. I finally had the appointment today (I wonder how long not 'urgent care' takes).

The upshot of the appointment is that there has been some, but not much, progress on the new meds, but that it is good that it is working, even if it's not doing the full job. So, he's changed some more stuff and ordered some more tests and we'll see what happens from there.

The major development of today's appointment though is that the specialist feels that I should be in the hospital. He said that I can do it through a day program, so that I still have evenings at home and I can still sleep at home, which is a bit of a relief. I'm still not entirely sure how it works or what it means, basically it's 10-3 every day at the hospital. Beyond that, I'm not really sure.

I'm also not sure when it will happen, as they have to put in a requisition and find a space, but he suspects I'll be able to get in somewhere next week or the week after.

I asked him if he thought I was ever going to get through this, he said that given my history, given how long I managed to stay functional between depressive episodes, and even long into this one, that he was quite confident that I would get through this at some point. He did say that I have to recognize that this is a really severe episode, and although we might magically hit on something, like my thyroid meds haven't been working or something, that will turn things around, he did seem to indicate that I need to realize that this will take time, perhaps far more time than it ever has in the past, just given the nature of the severity.

I guess the bottom line is, I'm still here, I'm still surviving, I'm still full of unknowns, but it was good to hear from someone who specializes in depression that he really does feel like I'll be able to get out of this one.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Depression update 800 million...

Okay, so, on the depression front (because I know you're all dying to hear about my trials and tribulations) things are not great but there is progress.

The thing I'm currently struggling with the most is that my therapist today said she thinks I need to take an extended leave from work. She was saying that I should think about going onto long term disability for a while.

We didn't talk about timing specifically.

I am very torn on the subject. I have an over-inflated sense of responsiblity. Not going to work makes me feel weak and irresponsible and, well, if I were being honest, a bit worthless. Basically it makes me feel like a disappointment.

On the other hand, I recognize that I am no where near better, and I need time to heal, and that's not going to happen while I'm working, or it's going to be a much longer and more painful process. The truth is, this may be exactly what I need.

John pointed out that my workplace is willing to make an investment in people, be it in healing or training, so that they can benefit from a stronger person in the future. And I think I've come to the decision that this is probably something I need to do.

The truth is I can't go to work until I've been 100% for a while, I'm figuring at least two weeks. Because no matter when I go back to work it's going to knock me back. So, if I go back to work when I'm at 70%, and it knocks me back by 30% I'll end up at 40% - not a managable percentage in terms of functioning. On the other hand, if I go back at a solid 100% and it knocks me back 30% it leaves me at 70%, which is a managable level for life and work.

When I explained this to John, with percentages and all, he said to me "yeah, 'cause you're not an analyst at all..." which will only be funny for the analysts in the crowd, but it made me giggle.

I figure right now I'm at 40%. It might not sound like much, but it's a vast improvement on the 0% can't function can't get out of bed, can't feed myself stage.

It's been an interesting progression. First, anxious and in hell at all times. Then anxious and in hell only mostly when I was out of the house, or thinking about leaving the house. Now anxious and in hell mostly only when I'm out alone - if John is with me I'm mostly okay.

It still sounds pretty pathetic, but it's a huge improvement, and a huge accomplishment.

So, John and I have talked this thing backwards and forwards tonight. We seem to have come to the conclusion that probably 6 months is what I need. Not 6 more months, 6 months in total. I'm already through 1 month. I have an appointment with a psychiatrist on Wednesday, so I'll discuss it with them.

I feel like it's really hard having things open ended. So, we were talking about 6 months as a time period that gets me to the point of being okay enough to actually do some work, on me, and on my dyslexia and all that stuff. The idea is that I talk to my doctor and get documentation that says something to the effect of "This patient is on medical leave until further notice (which is what my current note says) and will be reassessed on a regular basis, with an anticpated tentative return to work on April 28, 2008"

That way I have a target date, I have something to work towards, and most of all I know that I'm not leaving my work with not knowing what to expect. They will know an approximate return date and be able to plan accordingly. Plus, if I'm ready and able before that there is no reason why I can't return to work earlier with my doctor's permission.

I can't tell you how hard it is for me to come to that decision. It goes against every fiber of my being to not go to work, it feels irresponsible and weak, and it feels like I'm a quitter.

My therapist pointed out (completely correctly) that she thinks probably I'm worried that people will think I'm a slacker and taking advantage of the system and stuff like that, that I'm cheating the system, you know, like getting EI and working under the table somewhere instead of actually looking for a job. She then said "Megan, the truth is, people know you, they know who you are and what your values are and they know that you would never do that".

It's nice that she has so much faith, but I'm not sure if that's really the case. Who knows.

Anyway, I should stop now before writing a full novel, but that's where I'm at right now. It's kind of wrenching my guts in all kinds of directions, which isn't very fun, but also kind of par for the course.

Update: When I wrote this (an hour ago?) I felt relatively sure of this decision. Now the above mentioned gut wrenching has stirred things up enough that I'm just not sure. What I do know is that I'm not well now, and that it's going to take more than a month to make things right, but maybe I should talk about being reassessed in 2 months. If I make the optimistic assumption of a 10% increase in well-being then I need 6 more weeks to get to my 100%, and then two weeks to make sure I'm still holding at 100% and it's not a fluke. Then the two weeks after that offer a bit of wiggle room.

Of course this all hinges on a linear improvement of 10% per week, who knows if that will happen. Or, you know, 0% one week, 20% another, that kind of thing. Don't worry, it all makes sense in my head.

I guess the key is that I need to find a way to give myself permission to be away for as long as I need to be away, maybe I don't set a time for it right now, maybe I set time intervals. Maybe 6 week intervals are good. Oh who the hell knows. I feel pretty incapable of knowing anything right now, or making any decisions...

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Sooo much Buffy

I' ve watched so much Buffy in the last week or two that it's coming out my ears.

It's a bit like an addiction. I want to stop. To do something other than watch the television. But I can't. I just have to watch the next episode. And the next. And the next. And the next...

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Cold feet...

Apparently my fully waterproof boots aren't so fully waterproof anymore. In fact, perhaps I could just go out wearing towels on my feet and achieve the same effect...

Oh well, bygones.

I'm now at home sipping tea and listening to Tom Waits while John naps.

Also, since I would be remiss if I didn't do a depression update - As I said before, I think I'm feeling a bit better, but I'm wary, not sure how much I trust it. That said, John and I were out today for over three hours and I wasn't anxious for a minute of it. That's HUGE improvement.

So, we'll see if I go to the Weakerthans tonight or not, it's going to depend on what kind of fluid level I think my feet can take, since the concert is outside in the slush/puddles.

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