Adventures in Mental Health Care

You may have noticed from the fact I’ve flaked recently, but Wellbutrin stopped working in a big way. It did a great job removing depression at first – which unmasked an underlying anxiety that increased and increased and increased. Then it stopped working on the depression. Sigh.

My day job has spent the past several months jabbing the rage, depression, and anxiety buttons nearly constantly. It’s got to the point where I have nightmares about it, which added insomnia to the list. Double sigh.

And my doctor is on sabbatical so she can spend time with her kids. Triple sigh.

Image is a cat collapsed face-down on the back of a sofa. Caption says, "I love you, couch. You understand me."

It’s really hard to cope with change when you’re super-depressed and anxious, so it took me a while to work up the courage to go through the process of getting a new doctor. Luckily, a friend at work went from all storm clouds all the time to near-blissful happiness, and her doctor was accepting new patients. I saw her Tuesday. I bloody love both her and the new clinic. She was a lot more prompt and thorough than my previous doctor. She found me something that will, with any luck, destroy both the anxiety and the depression in one go. We’re phasing out Wellbutrin. I’ve got some Xanax to fill in the gaps while the new stuff gears up to full effect. She listened to me when I told her my tiny little body burns through ordinary doses of drugs in a flash, and dosed accordingly. And she also sent me down the hall to the lab to get my thyroid tested, which I’d meant to ask for and completely forgotten. I love docs who actually look for other underlying causes rather than just assuming you’re mental. [Read more…]

Spring Break

Lessee… Behind in research, writing, communication, housecleaning, and catching B up on Doctor Who. I’m afraid that means it’s time for

Image shows an alligator  leaping from a river. Caption says, "Spring break!"

I hate to do it, but I’ve gotta take the week off to catch up. I may pop in with a bit here and there, because I’ll miss you. But expect light fare, until I return bearing the meatiest posts I can muster.

See you soon, my darlings!

 

My Imminent Return

Halloween is over, costume deadlines no longer loom, and it’s about time for me to get back to you lot. Only I got hit by a virus. It’s sort of like getting hit by a bus, only slightly less gory. I can’t dictate posts because talking hurts, and I can’t type much because all of my joints ache. It’s a bad sign when your skin rejects clothing, right? But it doesn’t appear to be super-serious, so I should be back in writing trim within the week.

In the meantime, with the government no longer shut down and the USGS photo library back online, we should be able to resume our Mount St. Helens series. I’ve also got lots of stuff to show you that I learned while making costumes: public domain audio books are a thing, so I got lots of reading done. I was on an abolition kick. It amazes me how much gets glossed over in school. My adult life has been one long series of illusions being shattered.

There are also some book reviews, and of course plenty of photos from the debut of B’s wonderful wizard costume, and some lovely fall scenery. There are huge, meaty posts full of savory rocks. And I’m sure I can manage a rant or two.

For now, though, it’s back under the covers for me. Should hair hurt? Argh.

These Posts Are So Last Year. I Mean, They’re Classics!

Hey, look, Rosetta Stones is now just over a year old! Outstanding! I think that means I can start filching from it now, and reposting stuff here for those who missed it, or would like to relive the adventure again. Don’t worry, I’ll be subjecting Rosetta Stones to the same treatment, so if you have a few favorite posts from ETEV’s past, you’ll probably see those come round again.

Right, then. Onward, ho. Our first selection will be a reprise of my very first written piece for Scientific American, which appeared on the guest blog over a year ago. From there, the stars! No, wait, those aren’t particularly outcrop-rich and a little too hot for field work. Right. From there, the planets! And the moons! Geronimo!*

 

*+10 Geek Points to those who know where “Geronimo!” comes from.

If Things Go Rather Silent…

…it’s because it’s another winter when my mother declines just that much more. She’s back in the hospital, and they’re talking about electroconvulsive therapy this time. Severe mental illness is a merry go round you can never quite step off of.

Please don’t worry about me. It’s sad and chaotic, yes, but not unexpected, and also something of a relief, as when I saw a call from my aunt on my cell phone, I had a horrid moment when I believed the message I’d hear was that my mother was dead, so to hear she’s safely tucked up in a hospital bed is quite an enormous relief, actually. And she asked for a flu shot, they say. Sign of forward-thinking, that. She’s planning for a future without the flu. This is good news. Or so I choose to look at it, anyway.

I’ll keep you posted, my darlings. Thanks for your understanding.

 

I Have Gone Very Slightly Mad…

It’s that madness that happens when you planned to do something simple, but kept enlarging upon the idea, and then expanding upon those enlargements, and embroidering the details, and so on. A sort of positive feedback loop takes effect, and your life becomes dominated by something that started out very simply indeed.

I really only meant to make one simple cloak. That’s it. When I told my coworker I’d help him dress up as Captain TMI for Halloween, I meant I’d make him a cloak and design a logo. I didn’t mean to make the mask and the boots and a shield and all the accessories. And I didn’t mean to dress up with him. I have to sew this shit by hand, forfuckssake. But here we are, it’s the weekend, I’ve spent the entire weekend working on these costumes (with a brief aside for cooking and cleaning the kitchen), when what I’d meant to do was spend the weekend doing research.

I haven’t even welcomed Avicenna and NonStampCollector to FreethoughtBlogs. Although I have, now, watched nearly every video NonStampCollector ever put out. Whilst my hands and eyes are busy with stitching and painting, my ears have been busy with various videos on science, atheism and reason. Without those, I think I might have gone completely mental.

Those of you with sewing machines, please tell them how much they are loved. All of you pause for a moment to remember the inventors of the sewing machine with fondness. I’m amazed people ever wore more than a piece of cloth wrapped round their sensitive bits: this hand-sewing stuff takes forever.

And now I’m back to it. Just popping in to say why some things are going to be quite late, and why it’s a damned good thing I had some substantial posts pre-written. I just hope my coworker lets me put photos of him up here. This costume, my friends, is bloody epic.

New at Rosetta Stones: Questions About Comments

I’m wanting to know what readers think about commenting at Rosetta Stones. There’s even a survey! Whee! You needed to waste a few minutes, right? Go have fun and give me an earful.

Commenting here appears to have become more difficult for some folk, so if you want to vent your woes in the survey, there’s a bit at the end for additional comments. You can let ‘er rip there, but please be sure to mention you’re talking about ETEV when you do. I’ll pass along your choice words to our webmaster.

The S Has Hit the F

So, you know that feeling you get when your rage button has been pressed so hard for so long that you hit that nice plateau where you’re furious, but happy? It’s that one you get to because you’ve been pushed beyond hoping the finger will stop jabbing. It’s the place you arrive at when you realize you have nothing to lose, and you have donned your warpaint, chosen your warpath, and embarked upon it with your best warhorse.

I am there. It took five years and quitting smoking, but I’m so there.

That’s why I haven’t been around the past couple of days: my company, after five years of spectacular fuckups, decided no cool-down period was needed between sessions with the rage button. And I realized: there are many jobs I’m qualified for open right now. Sure, they don’t have cushy union benefits, and I’ll lose that scrumptious extra week of vacation, and I’ll have to move, and I won’t be close enough to come home to the elderly cat on lunch breaks. But still, jobs. Other jobs. Elsewhere. With good pay. And if I get fired for rocking the boat, even if I can’t land another job immediately, I have been with the company so long they have no choice but to pay unemployment. Tee-hee. Freedom! Freedom to yell repeatedly and loudly at people rather high up, freedom to stand on principle, freedom to tell them to shape up or watch it come down to a question of will I find a job I like elsewhere before they find a bullshit excuse to dismiss me? All the while, being cheered on by those who have too much to lose to fight. And I’m staying not just for the cushy union benefits etc., but to fight that last good battle for those who can’t.

This, mind, is the kind of freedom Republicans don’t want peons to have, but I’m in a Blue state working a union job, so they’re out of luck.

And if the higher-ups listen, it will be good for the company anyway. Happy employees, happy customers, etc. They want that. They keep telling us that’s exactly what they want. It just seems that the jab-employee-rage-buttons reflex is so strong it overrides their stated desire to improve. And that’s fine. If they can’t get past that, I can certainly get past them.

Things may become chaotic for a bit, but I have my battle plans, and they include divesting myself of extraneous responsibilities at the workplace in order to concentrate on what should have been most important all along: you and my cat. With winter on its way and duties cut down to only those included in my job title, I should be able to devote plenty of attention to you both.

The last adventures of the summer season will soon be over: we have my boys tomorrow, and then maybe a small local bit o’ fun Sunday if the weather entices, and that October trip to wherever-it’s-best with Lockwood, then done. And do I ever have a collection of things to present to you this winter. Oh, my darlings, you don’t think I run around outside merely for fun, do you? Okay, well, admittedly, bringing you treasures is fun, but it’s also my job.

So look forward to that. And do be sure to lay in a supply of popcorn. You’ll be needing it.