Saturday, December 27, 2014

Not-so-happy Holidays

I really wish I could enjoy the holiday season. I really do. But I feel like I'm walking blind in a minefield of anxiety triggers. I just want to hibernate until sometime in mid-January.

In the past I have survived the holiday season by giving to charities and giving charity gifts to others. The high I would get from giving to someone less fortunate than me and spreading the word about causes and charities would help overcome the anxiety and bad triggers. But thanks to the still-pending Disability claim I have absolutely no money this year - I have $1.85 in my wallet and a frozen bank account - so my charity giving didn't happen. I wasn't able to give anything. I sent e-mail cards and was able to hand-make 2 things and that's it. So on top of the usual anxiety triggers I also have the overwhelming feeling of being useless and ungrateful because I haven't given any gifts at all.

Yes, I know all this guilt and all is self-imposed. And until this year I hadn't realized how much I had based my self-worth on how much I could give to others. If I'm not giving, I'm not worth anything. The voices in my head have basically been chanting that in my head.

And without the high of giving to drown it out, I have been a giant target for anxiety targets I didn't even know were there. I get outraged over the rampant consumerism and the buy, buy, buy, give me the biggest present ever mentality of most of America. It's all about getting the biggest and coolest thing for the cheapest price ever. I can hardly watch TV because of all the commercials about getting cars, big-screen TVs and expensive gaming systems. My parents, especially my mom, feed into that. They talk a good line about keeping it simple and saving money and only giving meaningful gifts. Then they insist on having at least 3 presents for each grandchild and there was a pile of stuff for each other and for me. Yes, I appreciate the new clothes, but I would have been happy with just one book or a pair of fuzzy socks.

But as much as I hate the consumerism of the season, I hate the die-hard Christians even more. I feel like they're jamming Christianity down my throat and I hate it. I have had to bite my tongue several times to stop myself from going on a rant about the Pagan roots of Christmas. My parents have had 3 different groups over from the LDS Church giving a message about the true reason for Christmas. I just want to scream that most of it is bullshit. Most of the Christmas symbols, the timing of the celebration, even the mythology of a virgin birth and a baby laid in a manger existed long before Christians started celebrating the Mass of Christ. But none of them want to hear that and since most of my family - especially my mother - is very devout, it would just piss them off.

And then there is the family get-togethers. I barely survived Thanksgiving with Tammy and her 4 girls visiting. I was too overwhelmed by having so many people in the house I could barely leave my room, and when I did no-one would talk to me. Now we have James coming with his 5 boys. I've been stressed about that for weeks because he kept changing the dates of when he was coming, which in my mind is rude as hell. When you're visiting anyone with a crew of 7, including 5 boys ages 9 months to 11 years, it is thoughtless and rude to not give the people you're visiting time to prepare. Hell, just making sure there's enough room in the living room for them to sleep is hard enough, let alone making sure there is enough food in the house. And they are LOUD, so I need extra meds to get through their visits. Sad, but true. And I am trying my hardest not to freak out over them visiting.

And through all of this I'm expected to be happy and cheerful, because that is how people are supposed to be over the holidays. I am so drugged right now I can barely put a sentence together speaking and I'm trying to blank out the horror that is The Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Album, but I'm still supposed to have a smile on my face. Fuck that. Maybe I should just have my Dad pick up a bunch of energy bars and some jugs of water and I'll just hide in my room for 2 days. No one will want to talk to me anyway, so I might as well.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Where am I?

Yes, it has been far too long since I've written in this. I didn't want to sound whiny. Note to self: That's kind of the idea of this blog. I'm supposed to be able to say what I want without worrying about whether it sounds whiny, pathetic, crazy, deranged or whatever.

I absolutely have no idea how I am doing or where I am. OK, I literally know where I am, but mentally I am wandering lost. I've tried to move on and take steps, but I am standing in a mental wasteland and I have no idea which direction I should, can or will go. Instead I stand and turn in a circle and wonder what the fuck I'm supposed to do.

I finally tried to come to grips with the fact that I will never be independent again. That almost landed me in the hospital again. I have ALWAYS been independent, even as a child, and it is killing me that I will have to depend on someone else for the rest of my life. I was finally able to get to the point of getting rid of a lot of my stuff in the garage, all that stuff that I would need if I were to get an apartment or house on my own. The washer and dryer went to my brother, James. The couch went to my sister Kristin. Two side tables, my big mirror and a bunch of other household stuff went to the Re-Store. My dad found a way to fit two of my bookcases in my bedroom and I spent a lot of time going through all my books. It was hard because not all of them would fit and I had to get rid of a lot of them.

All of this has added stress and we all know I don't handle stress well. I started hallucinating badly at one point despite the meds. I was constantly nauseated and had diarrhea (I know; gross) and I was bleeding and had constant cramps. Dr. Nielson, my psychiatrist, increased my meds for a couple of weeks and sent me to the clinic's OB-GYN, Dr. Johnson. She was great and agreed that I had a severe hormone imbalance because the stress had set of my PCOS. She said the best bet was to get rid of my cycle altogether and she put me on Depo shots. Things have leveled out a bit - I'm back down to my regular dosage on my anti-psychotics - but my body is still adjusting to the Depo so I'm still having some fluctuations. Dr. Johnson had said it would take at least 3 months for my body to adjust to the Depo so I'm not worried too much yet, but I wish the hormone fluxes would just GO AWAY!

And now it's the holidays. Welcome extra stress. Fortunately Dr. Nielson is having me be proactive and increase my meds before and during the visits from family. I just can't handle the chaos of having all those kids running around and the extra people in the house.

I really want to think I'm doing better, but I'm really not. Today is a good example of how imbalanced I still am. I woke up from an unsettling dream, which always takes a while to shake off. My parents were gone holiday shopping again and I looked at the calendar and the housekeeper was scheduled to arrive in 30 minutes. I completely freaked. I know Jennifer - hell, I'm the one who gave her name to my mom - but the idea of being alone in the house with some other person made me panic. As always, I knew logically that it was ridiculous to be worried about it and that just made it worse. I HATE having my emotions or instincts override logic, although you'd think I'd be used to it by now. It is now 3 hours later and I'm still trying to get myself to calm down.

It scares me that the meds I'm on might not be good enough or be doing what I need them to. There is nothing more terrifying than going off of meds and then trying another new one that may or may not work. I have had so many that made things worse and the time in between the meds is absolute hell. I'm terrified that we might need to change, though. Because right now I'm really not where I need to be. I am lost.