la princesa de los Ingenios

Dear Internet,

It’s the 272nd day of the year or the end of September, whichever is easier to remember. As I quipped to TheHusband today, my favorite time of year for it’s one of the few months we’re not running our boiler or the central air, ergo the electric and gas bills are down.

And here I bet you thought I was all seriousness and no fun.

I’ve been purposely withdrawing from a semblance of social life as I meter down on the Lithium. I’m currently taking 900mg a day (I started out at 1500mg), and have found that this particular dose is working well for me. At the advice of Dr. H., who suggested if I found a level that worked for me to stay there so I’m heeding his request.

Most of the problematic side-effects from the higher doses have gone, which has been a tremendous amount of relief. As I don’t know how I am going to respond on the lower doses, I thought it best to curtail anything I don’t need to be actively involved in. This includes but was not limited to withdrawing my volunteer work with a few local comic cons happening this fall, my application for a part-time job at a new local comic book store, a few classes I was going to take, sponsored by Grand Rapids recreational department, and a few more things.

If my absence around town before was due to mobility, before that to some sort of depression, this time for a fairly sensible reason: my mental health. Some of the scariest moments this year was going on a new ADHD drug and having it take over my life. When I sampled Adderall and Focalin, I was living in emotional hell and the strain of being “normal” for everyday things took its toll.

I became a sketch of a person who only seemed to exist in novels or on a television show.

This is always the part that never seems to get discussed: the ramifications of going on/off controlled substances and how if done wrong, can fuck with your life in many serious ways. This is the reason why I write about because I want others to know they are not the only ones going through this particular hell. I also noted to my small support circle of those who also were gifted with being Bipolar my tactics and plan and they also agreed what I was doing was sensible.

This entire year has been exhausting. And I feel incredibly vulnerable, tender, and weary of the world at large.

My session with my talking therapist, Dr. P., have been ramping up pretty well. A year into our therapy and I’m finally revealing more about the inner core of me than before. I’m realising more so than ever talk therapy may be one of the few drugs I have left in my arsenal and I don’t want to waste it on discussing stupid things. I need to get rid of the burned husks and lay it bare.

I’m still solidly working on my archives, bouncing through different back-ups to add back in here at EPbaB. TheHusband often reminds me the back-ups I pulled from former SQL tables, still chock full of injected code, can easily be cleaned up by him. I then explained there is something Zen in the grabbing the data I need and cleaning it up myself. It can be so automatic but at the same time, soothing. There is sense of accomplishment to the act his fancy scripts cannot give me.

I’ve been spending a lot of time in 2003, mainly working through the entries where I found my high school sweetheart when I moved back to GR and what happened after. In 2008, he would track me down to my place of work to try to rekindle something, and follow up with the same move in 2011.

Reliving that extremely short period of 2003 has been much more painful than I would have imagined even a decade removed. I was so absolute and sure about our relationship even though he failed me over and over again. I was smart enough in 2008 and again in 2011 to recognize the bridge he was trying to sell me was never, ever going to materialize. It also didn’t help matters after 2011 connection, I found out he was still living with his girlfriend of many years and has a long rap sheet for various offenses. Politically, we’re so far apart it’s laughable and his various social media streams indicate he’s one step away from writing a manifesto while solitary living on the mountain.

In 1989 we were not an ocean apart. By 2003, no matter how much our hearts begged to be joined, our differences outweighed us. By 2008, I had no idea who this man calling on me was for he was not the man I had fallen in love with 20 years prior. By 2011, I was just tired of the ping ponging and the lies.

It is like a bullet has been dodged multiple times. The 17 year old me weeps for the death of someone she had loved, who had died many, many years ago and instead now sees just the shell of a person she used to know.

But it is finding those lost moments of time, which are ripe in their honesty and candor, so appealing as I go through my archives. They remind me I would not be here today without these events happening, the decisions and sometimes the regrets I have chosen. My personal history may not have world changing moments, but there is a richness to the layers of my struggles, pain, and happiness that helped define me as a person and charted the course of my life.

And it helps to remind me, as I come off the drugs, all of that is inside of me. That life, no matter how monochrome it may feel, can always randomly burst into technicolor.

x0x0,
Lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe in:

The Drugs Don’t Work

Now the drugs don’t work
They just make you worse
But I know I’ll see your face again
The Verve, The Drugs Don’t Work

Dear Internet,

Ritalin, Concerta (32mg and 54mg), Adderall, and Focalin.

To give you a brief idea of the foray into my brain has been like, in the last five months, I’ve cycled through the above and received well documented and undocumented side effects for my efforts. Focalin, the latest drug, pushed me to the edges of paranoia, anti-socialism, and rapid/cyclic impulse thoughts.

I would not classify myself as being an introvert or extrovert, I seem to be fluid between the two, but on Focalin in social situations, I was always scamming to get a way out. I would wall myself up internally so that even the most banal small talk would be difficult. I would come off as standoffish, an asshole, or just plain weird.

People in my space made me nervous. People taking up time I had allocated for another task, irritated me. Music, I realized today, was not listened to because of depression, but because it moved the focus to something I didn’t deem as being important instead of allowing me to work on the task at hand.

I was sharp around the edges.

We could have the most innocent of conversations and I would take great umbrage at any perceived slight I felt thrown in my direction. Then I became hyper-sensitive to this behavior and had to monitor all written and verbal conversations to make sure I didn’t fuck shit up.

All of this defense and protection is exhausting.

Being crazy is exhausting.

Tonight I told my medicating therapist I took myself off of Focalin, and as of the Tuesday, I’ve been free of legal meth for 5 days. I’m still on lithium and will remain on lithium for as long as I live, but for now I need a break from the ADHD drugs. At least not take them on a regular basis.

He agreed.

The medicating doctor thinks this is all rapid signs of over stimulation. I am not going crazy, well not at least yet. The doses I was on for all of the drugs were of the lowest dose available. Ritalin works, but on occasion and for a few hours, and any attempt to prolong the drug doesn’t work. Good when I need to work at home or want to sit down and write, but I don’t think, at this time, I want to be on an ADHD drug permanently.

Since I’ve built my own coping skills on managing ADHD all these years, although haphazardly, I’m going to research for resources of tried techniques to help compensate so that the Ritalin will be last case use, not first in hand. I’ve also started my meditation in the morning to calm my mind.

In the last five days, the amplified symptoms have calmed and started to leave. Now I hope to find only peace.

x0x0,
Lisa

Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes: April 6, 2013

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,

I’m going to stop saying this week was, $insertdramaticadjective here, every week and just accept the farce of my life. But at some point, I think I would settle for just a week where everything is stable in some capacity or form.

This week, I am trying a new ADHD drug called Focalin, which isn’t too bad actually. It’s way more potent than Concerta, which is awesome, and it’s not filled with crazy producing side effects like Adderall, which is even better. My mood has been pretty stable so emotionally I’m feeling pretty good.

Outside of that scope, however, things have been slightly, “Jesus fucking christ!” producing. My Macbook Air, Bawdy Wench, died last weekend and after two trips to the Genius Bar, hours spent attempting to fix it by TheHusband and myself, a host of unicorn blood spilled – nothing worked. I specifically name what type of laptop not because I’m being a pretentious douche (well – you got me.) but for those who are tech centric will know that the diagnosis is either the hard drive (which is a SSD) or the logic board. But it is not clear if it is one or the other. If you buy a replacement logic board for $300 or so bucks — which are only available used or refurbed — and that doesn’t fix it, then you spend another $300 or so bucks getting a new drive and hope that fixes if it. If you’ve bought both and it’s not fixed, not only are you out of about $750, but you have a dead Mac still and by  that point, you might as well have sucked it up and bought a new Mac.

All of this happens a month after the warranty had expired and as such, I could not buy AppleCare to get it covered. So we had two choices: We can spend a flat rate $280 and send it to the Apple Depot where they would fix whatever was broken (so if it’s the logic board AND the drive, both would get fixed for $280) OR I can buy a new Mac. We went with the $280 fix.

TheHusband and I talked about selling the dead Air and the held together by string Macbook Pro that I use for my desktop to Gazelle and using the cash to fund a new, better machine but we opted against it. Medical bills from all my surgeries hit us harder than anticipated and I’m just thankful we had the $280 to fix my laptop.

Since the discussion of Macs brings out STRONG FEELINGS in people, you can at least acknowledge TimeMachine is a most glorious invention. My drive was backed up to the minute before it died and everything is safe.

The lack of laptop hit harder than anticipated – namely that in the early evenings, I usually start needing to elevate my foot and the only way to do that in some form comfortably is in bed, with my laptop on my lap. No laptop means that a lot of the work I was planning on doing this week didn’t get done. I have an iPad, with a Bluetooth keyboard, but that does not have the same power or options as my Air.  Less browsing and working on writing projects, more TV watching. I’ve been spending the nights mainlining Veronica Mars and attempting to keep a Zen attitude about everything (it mostly working).

You may notice I’ve started appending “This day in Lisa-Universe in:” at the end of posts with dates (sometimes) after it – as I start adding the back content, I’m now linking to that content in current posts. That has been entertaining to read.

Writing

The Lisa Chronicles

Watching

  • Doctor Who
    Second half of season 7 has started. Fantastic!
  • Game of Thrones
    Season 3 has begun.
  • Veronica Mars
    Recently I mentioned there was a Veronica Mars movie Kickstarter in progress that I think I may have hyperventilated when the goal was reached in a scant 11 hours after launch. Since that day, I’ve been humming the theme song in my head almost non-stop, which moved me to discover Netflix no longer had the show available on streaming, NOR was it available on Hulu or Amazon streaming services. So I did what anyone else in their right mind would do: I bought the DVDs. Now you may say to yourself, “But Lisa! You said you were not going to spend extra money this year!” I’ve been 86% keeping that promise – except for red lipsticks and Veronica Mars.

Weekly watching: Formula 1Vikings, The Vampire Diaries, House of LiesElementarySpartacusThe AmericansArcher, and Project Runway.

Links

What have you read/watched/listened to this week?

x0x0,
Lisa

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