Wulf-monath

Dear Internet,
Last night when I crawled into bed, way past the witching hour, TheHusband was up watching The Nazi Gospels. Apparently if I need something akin to a sleep aid, docudramas about Third Reich mysticism is it.
The Concerta is doing my head in, I think. My new sleeping pattern has become going to bed between 2AM – 4AM and waking up between 10AM – Noon. Since I’m taking the Concerta when I first wake in the morning, logic would dictate that the late start is causing the shifting of time cycles. When I woke up today, I decided to skip this days dose of Concerta and only take my lithium. It is nearing 9PM, on New Years Eve no less, and I’m yawning like a maniac.  Thankfully, TheHusband and I have no plans for this evening, as it would require the putting on of pants. Bed and a book are forthcoming.
One of my projects during our staycation (I do not head back to work until the ninth of January, TheHusband goes back on the second), was to get my office sorted out. It had become a cesspool of everything in the last year and again, the things I could not find or didn’t know I own was becoming really apparent. I’ve seen some postulating across the Internets in the last few days it was bad luck to have a dirty house on the first of the New Year. I’d rather throw salt over my shoulder then get crushed by a falling safe, and since the rest of the house was more or less clean enough, the office got a good unfucking.

  • I pulled out all the books I had purchased either for research or pleasure and had yet to read  and hauled those downstairs and added them to the giant to be read pile in the living room bookcases. So now all of my books, with the exception fo the Kindle ones, are  in one spot.
  • Pulled out all my comics and graphic novels, bags/boards, and took those downstairs as well.
  • Storage containers of various things from ye olden days were reorganized and put into the office closet.
  • Random hardware/software was also sorted and put away.
  • I put my writing desk on the other side of the room and completely cleaned off/put away everything that was once on it. You couldn’t see it under all the books, papers, random bits stockpiled everywhere!  The only thing it will house is my my Macbook Air, iPad, and my paper/calligraphy/writing supplies.
  • The three bookcases were resorted and moved to various places around the room as space allowed.

You can see the final outcome here, here, and here. (Yeah, not so great without the befores, I get you on that, but you have to understand even the dog couldn’t make way to her pillowed bed before the great unfucking.)
I also sorted through mail, got rid of a lot of junk, and finally have space again, which is the whole point of this shenanigans. It also got a good vacuuming, which the dog was nonplussed about when I ran the vacuum up to her pillow bed, with her on it, and she didn’t bat an eye. (But her hair filled up the vacuum canister.)
I’ll need to get TheHusband to put up my diplomas that I had framed earlier in the year this weekend, and I need to replace the magnetic board to go over my writing desk, but I’m pretty pleased how this turned out. With it being a L shaped room, where the foot of the L is not very deep, I’ve been mixing variations since we moved in. A very down the road project is to turn one of the unused basement rooms into my workspace so I can move all the supplies for Excessively Diverting downstairs and have the ability to make giant messes. This would free up even more space in here (right now a lot of the supplies for ED is tidily hiding in the closet.). I’d love to get a reading chair in here but with the current configuration, that would be impossible, but may another configuration later down the road may work.
During the unfucking, when sorting out a few of the older boxes of things, I unleashed some great smell we can’t find the source to. It’s living in the closet, that we know for sure, and it smells like rotten tuna fish. There is no food, mold, or water leaks, so no bloody idea what the hell it is. What I do know is that I’m not opening up that closet door for a very long time.
Compared to NYEs of the past, this one is pretty quiet. 2012 was a big giant year of reflection and making the slow path back towards wholeness. It was painful in a lot of ways, and also a gift in many others. Here’s to making 2013 more powerful than ever.
x0x0,
Lisa

Kalendae Januariae : 2013 will be the year of creativity (even if it kills me)

Dear Internet,
To continue kicking of 2013’s ass, next up is:

2013 will be the year of creativity, even if it kills me.

I have a lot of hobbies. Well, let me rephrase that, I start a lot of hobbies and never finish them. I also have lot of projects on the burner that I start and never complete. A pattern develops! A big push for the “Buy Nothing in 2013” was realising I spent a lot of time researching / buying supplies for a project, not a lot of time working on the actual project to get it to completion. Something I have said numerous time to people is an example of this is I learn how to play Chopsticks, I think I can then play Wagner.  My brain cannot fathom why it does not know how to play complicated when it learned the base, for it thinks that single base is all it needs. I don’t have the skillset on what it takes to learn how to practice. Which sounds grammatically wrong, but is so true. Throw in the ADHD (impulsivity, unable to focus), and you can see where this is becoming a mess. The idea here is to take one of my many hobbies/projects, pick a month, and start working on that said hobby. When the next month rolls around, continue with hobby/project A and then add in hobby B. Continue until all hobbies/projects are exhausted. Some are one-offs, others will be life-long learning.  Here is that list:

  • Start up the podcast, AUDIOMUSICBIOGRAPHICALLY.
    • I own 100G of music, which comprises of about 1000 CDs and hundreds of artists.  Due to my ADHD fueled depression, I actively stopped listening to music several years ago. The idea is to go through my list of artists, alphabetically from 0 to Z, listen to the band, write out how I got introduced to them and my connection to their music, and then podcast about it. Goal is a new podcast every week, 20-30 minutes each episode. Length of project is going to be over years. For holidays, TheHusband got me a mic and I did a test run reading the first chapter of Pride and Prejudice
  • Learn a language, namely Anglo-Saxon and/or French/Italian
    • Awhile ago, Alice and I decided to learn AS together, but life sort of got in the way. I think I may have to poke her on starting up with me again, but I will be going at it for sure since I have all the books / mp3s and online resources. Why AS? The better question is: Why not?
    • As for French/Italian, I have the Rosetta stone in French for levels 1-5, so that would be the easiest to start with Italian, another Romance language,  is more desirable since TheHusband and I plan on one day retiring to Italy. Or maybe Scotland. Maybe I should pick up Scottish Gaelic?
  • Learn to cook
    • If you’ve been following me for a bit, I’ve posted recipes on/off for various things, but the truth of the matter is, I’m a terrible cook. I’m a most excellent baker, but a terrible cook.  This morning, I nearly destroyed the pancakes I was making. So, I sourced the interents for suggestions on how to learn to cook and they were to get Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything The Basics and Jacques Pépin’s Complete Techniques, which were purchased before my self-imposed buying ban. Here’s hoping I don’t burn the house down.
  • Finish all my knitting/cross-stich projects.
    • Pretty self-explanatory. I bought a lot of supplies for these two hobbies, got really into them and petered out. I want to move beyond making hats/scarves and finish the gifts I promised with the stashes, that would be delightful.
  • Learn to sew.
    • TheHusband planned on buying me a machine for my 40th birthday this year, but since I was having foot surgery shortly after, throw in a long recovery, the machine in question is still on hold. Because I have zero supplies for this on hand right now, this will probably get pushed out towards the end of the year as the other projects take precedence.

While it’s awesome to keep my hands busy, what about my brain? With that, 2013 is also going to be all about the year of the written word.
x0x0,
lisa

Kalendae Januariae: Buy Nothing in 2013

Dear Internet,
When I was flip-flopping on figuring out how to celebrate the holidays with TheHusband (for if we are to truly to create our own traditions, then, we must create these traditions rather than sidestepping the old simply because we didn’t feel like making them work), I had come across an article which discussed the giving of gifts on the 1st of January that begin during the reign of King Stephen of England. For some reason which I cannot remember, when attempting to retrace my steps to get back to the article to pass on to TheHusband, I could not find the originating article I had read (and my Chrome history across all my devices was also of no help), instead I stumbled upon lots of references to an old Roman festival (of sorts), Kalendae Januariae. The Kalends, the first of each month, was the day when payment of interest was due in Rome, which then started to expand to include festivals surrounding those days. While the first of the new Roman year was in March, at some point near the end of BCE, the Kalends of January (Kalendae Januariae) became associated with the dawn of the near year along with its various rituals and festivals,  which were nothing short of Bacchanal delights (apparently after everyone paid their taxes and gave loyalty to the emperor).
Since most of my cursory research on this festival has been mainly academic (and in Latin), I really liked this summary of the Kalends of January, which sums it up pretty succinctly:

This single day contains the whole year in it, so that what you do during those spare twenty four hours will determine the character of the remaining three hundred and sixty four.

For the last several months, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to make the changes I needed to make to live the life I want. The ankle surgery and starting to see my therapist were two of the major steps, but now it was time to start working on the smaller ones.
Kristin, who is going to be my support crutch as I am to hers, has written up her list of how she’s going to make 2013 more powerful than ever.  First up:

Buy nothing in 2013, unless it’s necessary (food, gas, or related),
to genuinely replace, or renews an existing service (i.e. Spotify, Netflix, etc)

 No new books, music, comics, movies, DVDs, clothes, shoes, bags, gadgets, houses, LEGOS, pens, notebooks, domains, and so on. I had over 100 orders on Amazon alone this year (not items, total orders), I own over 150 t-shirt (close to 50 were probably bought in 2012 alone), my To Be Read pile has crawled from the downstairs and worked up to my office and our bedroom, and my Kindle is bursting. I own a lot of stuff. I never use that stuff, I want to use my stuff. Since I’m the queen of side-stepping, I have to continue to clarify such that if a blue cardigan dies, I do not replace it with another cardigan in its stead as I already  own 11 cardigans in a variety of colors and patterns. The end result is to save cash, make better buying choices, and ultimately, but most importantly, use my stuff.
There are exceptions to this rule:

  • I can buy supplies to make presents for other people or buy gifts if I can’t make the present
  • Supplies for my Etsy store are allowed
  • Work related expenses are allowed (except not subtly justifying a new blue cardigan as for “work”)
  • I can’t con TheHusband to buy it for me unless it’s a present for an occasion (birthday, anniversary, etc)

Items that I desire will more than likely get thrown up on my Amazon Wish List and Pinterest for TheHusband (or anyone really) to bestow me with gifts or for ideas for later use.
x0xo,
Lisa

Thanks Awfully, You Old Thing

Dear Internet,
I’ve been getting a lot of emails / Facebook messages/ Tweets about all of the writings on my struggles, and this leads me to feel sort of awkward  because I don’t know how to respond to the kind words, the support, or those who are telling me  they are, thanks to me, looking to change up their own mental health routine to get themselves on track. I write to give voice to myself, to voice those who cannot, and to make clear that being a bit touched isn’t something you can just get over. If I don’t respond to your message, for whatever reason, at least know that your words are inspiring to me and  and  Wednesday and I (and TheHusband) thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all of the support.

The Pug Gets It.

I know for some of you it’s been kind of a pain as when something is posted on the blog, it auto-cross posts to LiveJournal, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. Well, it’s a pain if you follow me everywhere or in a few places. I know the argument for this cross-posting from SEO experts is I’m doing it wrong, and you know what? Fuck ’em. A lot of my traffic comes from those cross-posts, not everyone utilizes the web in the same way, and not everyone uses the same community driven sites in the same manner. This has all be very deliberate, specifically with LiveJournal acting as my archive for all the content posted on all of my blogs since the dawn of time (or 2001). Anyone battling any kind of illness knows that the biggest support is finding others out there like you and if there are people / community that can be touched or created from my own experiences, then it’s worth thumbing my nose at SEO peeps.
I’ve started curating themed days around here, which I started with Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes (which will post every Saturday). I’ve got a few more themed days lined up, which I hope to get sorted by the end of the next week or two into the rotation. This does not mean that the baring of the soul will stop, rather the point for curation is to keep posting content in a regular manner even when the soul baring is not as productive. Stuff like Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes can be done over the course of a week or in another themed content that I’m currently entertaining, it can be stacked weeks ahead of time.
I’ve got a post that is set to publish on Monday that will cover my goals, hopes, and dreams for 2013 so there I will explain all of this a bit more.
x0x0,
Lisa

Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes: December 29, 2012

Johann Georg Hainz's Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Johann Georg Hainz’s Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

During the Renaissance, cabinet of curiosities came into fashion as a collection of objects that would often defy classification. As a precursor to the modern museum, the cabinet referred to room(s), not actual furniture, of things that piqued the owners interest and would be collected and displayed in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes is my 21st century interpretation of that idea.
Dear Internet,
Not everything is doom and gloom around here. Below is the following articles, blogs, and websites I found engaging, interesting, funny, or insightful during the past week.

x0x0,
Lisa

Lithos

Dear Internet,

I’m so happy ’cause today
I found my friends,
They’re in my head
Lithium by Nirvana

Friday I had my follow up with Dr. H., my medicating doc, and I was hoping he’d say, “Yep, Concerta isn’t working, let’s put you on X and try that instead” and let me go on my merry little way. Didn’t happen. Of course, because that would be far too easy. So, now, then what do we do?
I spent the better part of an hour going over every drug that has entered my system or that I had left in the last couple of months (OTC or prescribed), and went through my entire 1.5 weeks on Ritalin + Concerta experience. Noting to him every little new “thing” triggered by either drug or was put to rest by either drug. I’m thankful that I wrote as much as I did while tracking my mania/The Sads, but I didn’t write enough because he asked me a lot of questions I could not easily answer nor were there any hints in my blog when I checked while at his office. I think it’s important to be a public voice for this drug experience, but sometimes it’s hard to keep track of what I’m doing and how I’m doing or do it in a matter that is more coherent. Maybe it doesn’t have to be?
TheHusband pointed out maybe if I wrote more stream of consciousness (which I did a lot of when I was in my ’20s), it would be easier. I think he has a point. While I plan on keeping up with writing about this publicly, I need to be more diligent on my note taking privately. I bought DayOne for my Mac, iPad, and iPhone ages ago and used it pretty heavily after for the first month or so and then tapered off. It was interesting how much came out when I was writing only for me – though to be fair, when I write here, I also am writing just for me. But writing in a matter that is more private, I suppose, frees up a lot of internal censorship that I unconsciously use on myself. The only glitch I had using DayOne was when I was on computer (like work) that is not MacOS variant based. My solution to that was either bring in my Air (which I’ve been doing more of) or use Evernote and create a folder tag for DayOne writings to transpose later.
So, more writing about this experience. Duly noted.
As I said a few weeks ago, the accepted diagnosis is ADHD with Bipolar with bits of Borderline Personality Disorder thrown in for good measure, which coincides with the diagnosis back in 2005. When I was living in Northern Virginia (NoVa) from 1999-2002, I was seeing a therapist there who cycled me through a lot of drugs: anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, anti-psychotics (alternative for the anti-anxiety) for Bipolar and definitely anxiety. I was on, then off, then on, and then off so many drugs that I felt like my brain would just explode. I swore then no matter what the fuck happened, I was NOT putting myself on any of that medicinal merry-go-round again. I’d learn to live, cope, and exist with my current brain chemistry as it is because I could not take that kind of mental anguish again.
So when Dr. H. said he was putting me on lithium today, I burst into tears in his office.
With the exception of Klonopin in the last ten years, I’ve been mainly drug free. I was hell bent on going holistic on the vapors of my brain, but that apparently hasn’t been working and so, where we are.
This where the helplessness started to become so overwhelming that I nearly bolted from his office. I came to him, as a recommendation from Dr. P. to get the drugs for ADHD and monitor them, and now he’s putting me on this medicinal go around for the bipolar, which is apparently triggered by the ADHD? The way Dr. H explains it is that if Ritalin AND Concerta are triggering mania, depression, and other traits of the bipolar, those need to be addressed first before Concerta (or any related drug) can really be effective for me. I’m unlucky in that not only do I tend to metabolize drugs more quickly than other humans, and I also tend to pick up the rare side effects from the drugs. They can’t plaster me with a catch-all drug to cure X because that triggers these other things that have now sprung up.
Dr. H. gets my hesitancy about this, but he feels pretty confident we can find that sweet spot where everything plays nicely and I can feel some sense of normalcy. But it will be tricky, which means I have to be more diligent on keeping track of my moods and everything else in between.
This isn’t the first time I was on lithium, as I was on it during the first chemical-go-around when I was living on NoVa and I remember that sweet spot for like 3 days when I was on lithium and something else where everything was fucking awesome. The world seemed brighter, the colors were deeper, food tasted sublime, and I did not feel like a scatterbrained idiot. Here’s to hoping that we can get there again.
ProTip: Don’t ever read forums, regardless of the reliability of the website, about drugs, drug interactions, or their side effects. Because you’re going to end up self-diagnosing yourself with consumption or the vapors, and never want to leave your house again.
TheHusband, who rejects “white man medicine”1 for most everything gets that in order to make his Pookie Bear better, she’s got to swallow the poison. We’ve been big supporters of whole foods lifestyle for a long time, and while we tend to fall off the wagon here or there, for the most part, for fat people, we are pretty fucking healthy fat people. But we know we can do a lot better, so before this drug shenanigans came into play, we planned to kickstart our healthy eating and exercise again. To be more whole, mentally AND physically just reinforces the idea that we really need to get behind this and stick with it. The goal is that with a better balanced diet, more exercise (as I am more mobile now), and seeing Dr. P. every week and Dr. H. monthly, things will (hopefully) start to get better.
Kale smoothies, here we come. Rah. Rah. Rah.
But darkly, in the shadows lurking, I also know, as it is with any kind of drug that is taken for the brain, there is almost always a dark side before the dawn. That is the risk you have to take.
My regime is 600mg of Lithium (1 300mg tablet taken twice daily), 36mg of Concerta, and my usual assortment of multivitamins and supplements. Because of the Concerta, I’m off caffeine (and have been for 11 days as of this writing). because of Lithium, I cannot take NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc) and I should watch my salt intake. Dr. H. also wants me to refrain from alcohol while I’m on lithium, which means I can’t dip into the Absinthe my brother got me for Christmas.
I’m also allergic to dairy, so there is also that to add into the do not haves.
It’s a good thing I like water.
x0x0,
Lisa

1. He’s Native American.

The Mysterious Case of the Attack of the Sads

Dear Internet,
Morning, December 25th.
Everywhere on the Internet, everyone  is filled with holiday cheer, about presents that were given, love that was received, and cheer for the entire world. My initial instinct was to respond to all those cheer filled posts with messages of hate and meanness. Instead, I closed out of Twitter/Facebook and started sobbing.
I feel like my world is crashing around me and I know this isn’t me, this is the Concerta speaking. If the trade off of focus and getting shit done is this mess of helplessness, crying, and thoughts that are beginning to border on the extreme, then I need to get off the drug.
TheHusband attempted to console me as my lower lip quivered and tears were streaming down my face. He wants me to vocalize, what we’ve come to call “The Sads,” but sometimes there is no reason for being sad, it just is. This past Saturday, I woke up with a plan to get shit done ™ and spent the day in my jim jams, in our dining room, cleaning out my multitude of an  inbox (And for the record, I’m not even finished). The idea of seeing, talking, and interacting with anyone, even my husband, filled me with dread. By late afternoon, he coaxed me to play video games and eat a mediocre take-out we had delivered from a local Chinese restaurant.  On Sunday, I did a 180 degree turn and felt mostly fine, as I did on Monday. On those days, showers were taken and long movies were seen. Now The Sads are back and there is nothing I can do but let it ride this out this time.
I never made it a secret that the holidays are terrible time of year for me, but since TheHusband and I got together four years ago, we’ve been trying hard to start new traditions by making ourselves happy and fuck convention. This year, beginning long before I started the drug experiment for my ADHD, I was giving no fucks about the holidays. I did not do a poll to solicit cards / send cards as I do every year, I did not bake cookies until the very last minute, and we didn’t get the tree up until the 23rd.  Presents were bought at the very lasts of minutes and shipped as expensively as possible. Whether or not we celebrated seemed immaterial to me – it was just another goddamned day.
The three days of Ritalin, I was manic, but I was focused and I got shit done. As the mania started to subside, I felt something I had not felt in a very long time and that was hope. On the week I’ve been on Concerta, I’ve been up and down like a yo-yo, I don’t feel as laser in focus as I did on Ritalin (but there is much better focus), and I’ve broken down into uncontrollable sobs more than once. I found myself being way more surly than even remotely necessary to people, and everyone is a goddamned asshole – even the dog. When I sleep, I sleep for 8-10 hours (with or without Klonopin, doesn’t seem to matter).
The headaches have been a near constant all week, and they travel around my face. Sometimes I feel like my face is a mask about to be ripped off from the pressure behind it and other times, it’s concentrated in a temple or above the bridge of my nose. I’m cold all the time, even when sitting in the warmest room of the house, thermostat at 70, my hands are like ice and I am shivering. My appetite has diminished. I haven’t had caffeine for a week.
Concerta seems to amplify all the worst of what I was feeling without giving me a trade off in return.
Afternoon, December 25th.
TheHusband and I winged it on presents for the holidays this year. It’s hard to shop for someone when that person either doesn’t wants small things (TheHusband) or buys it themselves (me).  As time was running short, I kept flip-flopping on how to celebrate. We want for nothing, and then, we want everything. My brother was slightly easier, he wanted gifts from the heart. So the cookies were made and a hat was knitted. A bottle of Hennessy  and a few choice gift cards to round out his gift. He presented us with gift cards to a DIY place for TheHusband and a Coach bag for me. I feel like everyone wins in this scenario.
We flipped off tradition and TheHusband made Mexican, all from scratch. The only thing he didn’t do was take the cow, kill it, and process it. The cooking took all day, and we were finally able to eat in the early evening hours. My brother joined us, as did his girlfriend. Margaritas made the rounds (2 ounces Triple Sec, 6 ounces Tequila, can of limeade, and a few fistfuls of  frozen ice. Blend until frothy), and we got good and tipsy. Or in TheHusband’s case, his teeth got tingly.
My mood stabilized a lot by the evening when presents were exchanged and alcohol had been drunk, but I was still feeling emotionally overwrought.  Once the kitchen got a first pass through on cleaning, the dog had been walked, we were in bed early and I was asleep before midnight.
Morning, December 26th.
I was up early to take Jeeves in for his yearly oil change and detail, and home by 7:45AM.  I’ve switched to decaf coffee because I can only apparently take so much herbal tea, and  discovering I craved the coffee taste, not necessarily the buzz. I met up with Karen who was home for holidays at Wolfgang’s before heading back to the house. I was yawning through our mid-morning breakfast date, but I haven’t been feeling tired, just drained emotionally.
The rest of the day became a blur.
Early evening, December 26th.
The rest of our presents to the other showed up today and we were both most pleased. I have not left the house since coming home from breakfast this morning, TheHusband has not left at all. The impossible task of sorting out my digital life over took most of my day, as I continue to unsubscribe and delete accounts no longer used across the Internets. I feel like I’m always doing this housekeeping and it never seems to get any easier or lighter. It becomes one of those tasks that needs to be done, but I choose to do this instead of something else that has pressing value.
TheHusband commented I seemed more stable today, and I agreed, except for the lingering headache that I try to forget and find I cannot. No crying jags, no yo-yo, but whatever focus this drug is supposed to give me is not here. I find myself all over the place today as I sort and clean and sort some more. Zero focus. Zero concentration. I have been known to metabolize drugs too fast for the effect to take over, so this is what may be happening, but I really do not know. Against TheHusband’s request, I’ll continue taking the drug until I see the medicating doctor on Friday so that I can come off the drug safely or ramp up to another dose or switch to something else.  I do not see my therapist for another few weeks (holidays), and that seems so far and yet I know it’s not.
When I made the decision to document this experience, it was to provide an outlet for my own voice that often feels strangled, to give voice to those who cannot speak, and to have some tangible proof of what goes on inside my brain (drugged or not). I have very clear goals of things I want to do in the upcoming months, years, and I keep looking at crazed brain syndrome as hindering me in obtaining those goals. I honestly do not know how I made it this far without having some sort of breakdown. The prescribing doc talks about Concerta, Ritalin and like drugs like their snake oil, and I am still desperate to believe him. I need to believe him.
This is where the frustration comes in, knowing that I can have the ability to do certain things, find that that ability to be stunted in some way, and then as I reach out for relief, find that it is almost always out of grasp.
And that, perhaps, is what breaks my heart most of all.
x0x0,
Lisa

Lisa reads Pride and Prejudice: Chapter 1

Dear Internet,
I’m currently fleshing out details for a new project which will be a oft-talked about (well in my head, at least) podcast, which hopefully will be kicking off in January. I received, from TheHusband, a new mic with some peripherals for the holidays and I’ve been testing out controls this afternoon.
As a test, below is me reading the first chapter of Pride and Prejudice.

Enjoy.
x0x0,
Lisa

Stars formed out of its sparks

Dear Internet,
Our plan to go up to the cabin on December 18 and come back on December 23 was curtailed by Draco. The area where the cabin is located was expected to get over a foot of snow within a 24 hour time frame starting on Saturday, but the storm warnings were moved back to Friday morning, then late Thrusday afternoon, to early (3AM) Thursday morning. We left to head back home Wednesday afternoon.
The plan was to go up, hauling items for the cabin, start doing the renovations that we could do, come back down to Grand Rapids before Christmas, and lastly, have a local to the cabin company come out and winterize it after December 25th. We got so far as getting up there, dumping items bought for the cabin, getting water, heat, electric, and Internet running, with TheHusband able to put in a new lock and then it was time to come home. I don’t know who was more upset about this prospect, him or I, but having just read that nearly a foot of snow has landed up there in two short days, I’m glad we came home.
The cabin has heat, Internet, stove, running water, and even a dishwasher, but there is no fridge nor do we have any home furnishings like dishware, pots, pans, or even silverware that would have gotten us through the storm. We did toy with the idea of gutting it out, but several days stuck 10 miles from nowhere, without a lot of supplies, would not have been the smartest idea we’ve had.
So we’re home and milling about kind of aimlessly. Draco’s effect in GR has been underwhelming as we planned for 3-6″ of the white stuff to land on us before late Friday night only to see that none of that appeared. We’ve organized our time off (two weeks for him, three weeks for me) on things we want to do, but with the threat of Draco and potentiality of more bad weather, we’ve been sitting tight until the weather stabilize.
I’ve had one cup of tea on Thursday, Barry’s Tea to be exact, since I went caffeine free on Monday afternoon. As perdicted by the prescribing doc, I would get massive headaches. The headaches have been low and steady and sometimes there is a break, other times not so much. I’ve loaded up on caffeine free tea at the house, thinking about making hot chocolate my new jam, and trying to navigate the world of drinks without doing my head in. I’ve been drinking lots of water, but everything feels like a light hum in my brain right now.
I believe the Concerta is working, but I’m not sure by how much. The insomnia that Ritalin gave me is not as severe on the Concerta, so I’ve been opting to not take Klonopin at night. But on the flip side, I’m now waking either in the middle of the night for no reason, or earlier in the morning than usual. In either case, I’m unable to get back to bed. Around all of this going on, TheHusband and I started ramping up some vitamin supplements which I may stop because right now I’m feeling like I’m trying to do too many things at once.
I feel like everything is going grey right now.
x0x0,
Lisa

The Best of Days

Dear Internet,
Happy Saturnalia.
I did not get to sleep last night until way after 2AM. Woke up, however, within minutes of the alarm going off at 6:45AM and did not feel like I could burrow under my covers for days. I actually felt alert for the first time in months (probably years). The first dose of the day went in at 7:55AM as I was heading out to see my therapist, the second dose at 8:25AM during my session and the final dose at 8:55AM as I was leaving.
I noticed the ramp up, which was affected by how concentrated my talking became during the session. I felt manic as I made my way towards work, and I was so focusedly intent by the time I got to work, my director wondered what the hell was going on. Of course, I told her because I can only see the positive side of these benefits as I go through it.
But the focus is not as crystaline as I want it to be. It’s like taking a picture in Instagram, and applying some g-d awful filter on it to make it distorted. You know that there is a sharp image under there, somewhere, but the fuzziness  makes it hard to decipher. I know some people crave that fuzziness, for sometimes the world is ugly and the sharpness often hurts, but when I’ve been living in the fuzz for so long, and I know NOW that clarity can be reached, I am desperate to grab onto it.
I called my medicating doctor and walk him through my weekend. He opts to swap me off the Ritalin and to put me on Concerta, which is a time release instead of dosing up several times a day. He’s also suggested I get off caffeine.
(I mean, first they take my cheese, now my coffee — how is this to be BORN??)
I spent most of my day doing mindless tasks that were things that were not important but had to be done. There was a rhythm as I moved through these tasks and I found that once I just started, I could finish each small item and move on to the next.
There was no panic today, but mania came hard at around 3PM. I found myself all over the place, both in my head and on my work space. I was able to pull it back enough to finish what I had to finish before I left for winter break. The last thing sent, at 5:02PM, was the network topography map that was due today. What I found different is that I was not panicked, “THIS NEEDS TO BE DONE NOW,” but more of a “Okay, this needs to be done. I’m almost finished. A few more steps and then it will be complete.”
On my way to meet up with a girlfriend for dinner, I stopped by the medicating doctor’s office for my new script and found msyelf in heavy 5PM traffic. I opted to take a road I was pretty sure would put me in the right path rather than attempt to backtrack through my previous path. It was a struggle to keep driving, for even though I knew logically that road intersected with a known road that would take me to my final destination, slight panic kept bubbling under the surface. Do I keep going and be a few minutes late or do I turn around and be even later? Why was this so hard?
Dinner was lovely, as always, and I recounted to her a tl;dr version of the last few days. I felt my concentration and focus was still on par with the earlier ebbs, but I found myself flowing as well. Time was running out. The Concerta will hopefully stabilize this.
Dinner, then picked up my new script, then on the phone with a very interesting conversation in that I gave sex advice on various topics from how to choose a condom, to what type of protection was best for when the moment was right, and dispelling a few myths often perpetuated amongst the masses.
TheHusband, who has been on his vacation starting late last week, was resting when I arrived. And that’s when the panic flared in full force. For apparently there is a heavy blizzard conditions coming our way, which may not hit us for a few more days. We’re leaving to go up north tomorrow and that area will be hit worse then here in GR. And that’s when my brain started to fall apart. I could not make TheHusband understand my concern for my own brain was all over the place. I was not thinking, “Okay, we’ll go up and see how bad it is and come home before it hits.” I was thinking, “WE ARE GOING TO STARVE AND BE TRAPPED FOR DAYS IN A CABIN WITH NO FURNITURE.” I  felt like the more I tried to bring myself down, mentally from that stat of flight, the more agitated I verbally got with TheHusband. Finally, things started to come together and we agreed on a reasonable plan: Check weather in the morning, adjust our time as needed.
The insomnia from the last few days, due to the Ritalin despite being taken early in the morning, found me asleep  far afte 2AM  (which used to be my favorite witching hour, and in many ways, it still is) and I woke up each day with only four – five hours of sleep. I started yawning during dinner and I find that I am tired, but my mind is back to being fixated on the possibly but not quite snowpocalypse of 2012. That no one is predicting except in my own head.
Caffeine is now gone from my diet since it competes with the same receptors as the drugs, which I’m fine with really. This morning I was up and at ’em and didn’t need coffee to clear the fuzz from my brain as I usually do. I”m moving the Klonopin dose from morning to night to help with the sleeping. When my  damn ankle is finally healed (and that is another story), I am hoping exercise will be drug for the anxiety and the sleep. I want to be better and depending on drugs to keep me whole. (Except for the ADHD drugs. A++. Will use again.)
We have Internet up at the cabin and I hope to continue writing while I’m up there, but do not be alarmed if no posts are forthcoming until I get back, but I will be taking plenty of pictures.
(That is, if Abominable doesn’t get us first.)
x0x0,
Lisa