Friday, December 01, 2017

AN ADDENDUM

OK, I Have been considering something that I wrote earlier and feel like I need to clarify my statement. I was being irresponsible and I want to explain myself in case someone who doesn’t know me stumbles upon my tiny little blog and takes what I said the wrong way.

I have been telling you guys about the medicine I’m on for my panic attacks, and how I don’t like it.  I don’t like it, but the thing is, I need it. I need it and it works.

A very large part of my problem with taking the medication is that it takes control of my feelings out of my hands. I have said for years that I don’t like to feel feelings and that is only partly true. What I actually want to be able to do is have control over my feelings so that I don’t cry in public, or get my feelings hurt so easily, or any of the other millions of unpleasant things that happen because we have human emotions. The issue is that when left to my own devices, I feel too many things and it’s hard to control. I’m an emotional person and I always have been. I’m prone to going into some pretty deep depressions, just like a lot of other people do. My feelings are easily hurt, I get disappointed because sometimes I expect too much and things don’t turn out the way I hoped, and I sometimes get crushing, achingly lonely. Thing is, I think most people feel like I do, only instead of taking it in stride as part of the human condition, it can feel to me like a weakness. I know I don’t have control over much in this life, so my desire to control my feelings is one of those things I reach for and unfortunately, it isn’t a skill I’m good at.  I mostly try to hide that part of me by dealing with my shit outside of the public eye, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel things. I’m a big, squishy marshmallow of a person when I wish I was more of a rock, ya know?

So, enter the panic attacks. If you want to know what it’s like not to have control over anything in your own brain, please have a panic attack. It’s literally as if every fear, every emotion, every bad thing that might happen piles up on top of you and tries to smother you. You can’t breathe, you can’t think, you can’t control your body’s reactions...it sucks. A lot of people see them as being the product of a weak person, but in reality, chronic anxiety attacks are a weird brain chemical thing. My grandmother had them, and unfortunately that was one of the prizes I got in the family genetic lottery.  Personally, I’d have rather gotten blue eyes, but I had no say in the matter. She was on primitive medication to control her anxiety for longer than I’ve been alive, and she handled it.

I have to be on my own medication so that I can function. Do I like it, absolutely not. There are side effects that I hate. Instead of having too many emotions, I currently have this fairly level baseline that can occasionally be disrupted either in good ways or bad ways. Instead of having a whole palette of colorful, vivid emotions, I now have a few muted colors that I can mix and match to paint my life with and for a person like me, that isn’t what I prefer. I want the colors and textures and all of that, but I want to be in complete control of the picture that I paint. The physical effects the medicine has on me sucks. The inability to focus sucks. Gaining weight sucks. Feeling like things and people that I know are very, very, very important to me are fading or faraway SUCKS. Not having a normal brain sucks the worst.

All that being said, here is why I’m writing this...(finally, heh.)

Sometimes we need a little help. Chances are, I won’t be on this medication for the rest of my life.  There are a million things that can effect your brain chemicals, and maybe mine are just temporarily out of whack. These meds aren’t ruining my life. They are a small inconvenience. I don’t want anyone to read the things I write about being on medication for my issues and think that it’s too scary to get help if they need it. I don’t want someone who might be depressed, or who has anxiety, or any number of other things not to get help because the idea of being on medication for a mental illness, or a temporary (or not so temporary) depression isn’t worth it. If you need help, please go and get it. Side effects are unpleasant, but so are violent anxiety attacks and deep, deep depressions.  Sure, you can diet and exercise and distract yourself in lots of ways, and if that works for you, trust me, I’m thrilled for you. But sometimes a person needs more than that, and if you find that all of the other stuff doesn’t work and you are miserable, please bite the bullet and go see a doctor. You may only need to talk to someone impartial to your life and medication won’t be necessary, but if you do need to take something, it isn’t a weakness.

Now, does this mean I’m going to stop bitching about the side effects of my medicine? Absolutely not! Haha! Talking about what it is doing to me helps me to deal with it. However, it might not effect you or anyone else in the same way, so don’t take my bitching about it as a sign that you shouldn’t take your own meds if you really need them.

If you need help, please go and get it. Live your best life, even if that means you have to take a detour now and again with therapy or medication to reach it.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

RANDOM ACTS OF BLOGGING

1) Y'all, I can't focus on anything these days.  I'm sure it's the medication that I'm on, or at least it isn't helping things.  I started writing something three weeks ago and never finished it, so I'm starting all over on something new.  I don't like having the attention span on a chipmunk, but here we are.

2) Earlier this month, Steve and I went to Nerd Con, which is a small sci-fi/pop culture convention held at our local library.  Our friend Anthony works there and he's on the board for the event, so we like to go and support him.  We didn't stay long, but it was fun.  

There was a woman there who is amazing at cosplay.  She has very elaborate costumes that she makes herself, and she's been to several similar events in town before.  It's all very impressive.  She also had a booth where she sold things that she makes.  In particular, she had some sci-fi themed fascinators (which are fancy hair pins with big flowers and such.)  The lady in question happened to be dressed as a female Loki (from the Thor movies) and her costume was heavily corseted and, um.... very revealing in her upper mountainous region, if you get my drift.  Like, she had some "huge tracts if land" and a great deal of that land was on display.  I didn't realize any of this until I stopped at her booth and asked about her hair pins, so she took one off of the display and started showing me how to wear it.  She held it up to her hair and then said "Or you could pin it on your dress" and began showing me all of the different places on her neckline where a flower pin might go.  Now, I can appreciate huge tracts of land as much as anyone, but I don't need an in depth tour of all of it.  She spent so much time pinning that thing on different parts of her chest that I was stuck between being uncomfortable for staring, and not wanting to be rude and look away while she was talking to me.  There was one moment where I almost wanted to say "Your eyes are up there! Your eyes are up there!"

It didn't occur to me until much later that perhaps the lingering tour of her neckline was done for my benefit, and while I appreciate the thought, that kind of thing doesn't sway me one way or the other about buying things. Boobs hold no power over me!  I have my own considerable weapons in that battle!  And no, in the end I didn't buy a fascinator.  I'd never have been able to put it in my hair without wondering if it had been in her cleavage.

3) We had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year!  As usual, we traveled to Georgia to spend time with Steve's family.  There was a lot of cooking, a lot of laughing, and more napping than I probably should have done, but it was nice.  I managed to stay off of my phone/iPad/computer more than I have in a really long time, so that was weird.  All in all, it was a good trip and I hope we have a lot more of them still left to go.  I'm incredibly lucky that the family I married into loves me so much, and that they are the kind of people I can love in return.

Steve had a business trip immediately following our visit over there, so Mr. Lee and I dropped him off at the airport in Atlanta (I hate that airport. I HATE IT!) and then we drove home together.  We listed to Fox News (oy) part of the way home, and then we found a station on satellite radio that played old 1940's radio shows, so we listened to that the rest of the way.  We didn't talk much, but that's OK!  Comfortable silences are sometimes a blessing.

4)  I had something called Bulletproof Coffee this morning.  I've heard about it before, but I'd never seen it in ready made bottles, so I bought a couple of them to see what it was like.  I'm not certain what the deal with bulletproof coffee is, except that instead of milk or cream, it has butter and coconut oil in it and it's supposed to be very smooth and make you less jittery than regular coffee, while still giving you an energy boost from the caffeine.  According to their website it's supposed to give you energy from high quality fats instead of sugar.  I don't know, it just sounded cool, so I got some.  It didn't taste bad at all, but y'all...it was thick and very creamy, but not exactly in the most pleasant way.  It was a little like drinking some kind of coffee flavored gravy, and although that sounds gross, it wasn't gross.  However it was oily and it made me very sick to my stomach.  Out of the 11 oz. that the container held, I was only able to drink about 5 oz before my body refused to take any more of it.  I do have energy somewhat akin of a caffeine high, but I'm not shaking, so that's good.  I have another bottle at home.  I think I'll portion it out and see if that helps.  It was expensive, so I'm going to finish it no matter what.  Right now, though, I'm not looking forward to it.  Bleck.

5) OK, and update of my medicine, since I mentioned it above.  I'm doing ok, although I can defiantly tell a difference in how I feel and think.  I will say this first: the panic attacks haven't been as bad, although I'm still having them almost every morning.  Well, let me rephrase, I still have the physical symptoms of the panic attacks (some days worse than others) but my brain hasn't been latching on to that feeling and sending me full throttle into mental panic mode as often.  Instead of thinking of the worst possible thing and worrying it to death, I manage to reroute those kind of thoughts into a different direction.  I appreciate that.  However, along with the inability to focus on anything longer than 45 minutes or so, I can tell my Give-A-Damn is broken.  There are things and people I am very invested in, and I find myself forgetting about all of that stuff from time to time.  I really, really don't want to forget about any of them, but sometimes my brain goes into white-noise mode and I find myself not thinking of anything for stretches of time.  I think that's why I like being on my iPad so much, because it gives me something to engage with. I also have zero motivation to do anything, which is bad.  I still don't want to get out of bed, or go many places, or do anything most of the time, so I have to force myself to do all of these things.  I don't like that, but it's like the part of my brain that contained my "get up and go" has gotten up and left without me.  This doesn't help the gaining weight part, either. I'm still doing that, which sucks.  Mostly I feel ok, but I'm so tired all of the time and  if I sit still too long I'll go to sleep.  It's all very strange, but I go back to the doctor in a couple of weeks and hopefully she will adjust what needs to be adjusted and I can go back to being a real girl again.  Stupid anxiety disorder.  Stupid medicine.  Stupid brain.  Just keep your fingers crossed for me! 

6) Ooh!  I finished a whole blog post in one sitting!  Maybe there is something to this bulletproof coffee after all! :)

Monday, October 30, 2017

RANDOM ACTS OF BLOGGING

1) Saturday evening, Steve and I attended a wedding out in Big Spring Park.  We didn't really know the couple, but Steve was hired to play his trumpet as an accompaniment to the pianist (who is the pianist at our church and stepmother to the bride.)  It was a lovely ceremony and Steve sounded great.

Y'all...it was cold.  

It was, at most, 49 degrees.  We were sitting right on the edge of the water and the wind was blowing.  I felt sorry for the bridesmaids, because none of them were wearing sleeves!  I was wearing a long sleeved dress, boots, a thick coat and a scarf and I was still cold.  Steve had it even worse because he had to keep his horn warm and wasn't wearing gloves or a coat.  Granted, I know October in the South is usually still warm, but this was not a usual warm October day. There were maw maws out there that had to be wrapped in blankets! How will that couple feel if someone's grandmother dies because they got pneumonia sitting outside at their wedding?

Couples take everyone's life in their hands when they get married outside in Alabama. If you're reading this and are considering having an outdoor wedding, just...no.  Please.  You'll either get everyone killed in a tornado, choke them on pollen, they will fry to death, or they'll freeze.  Alabama is not a place where being outdoors is pleasant except for just a few days a season. You can't possibly know which days they will be!  We live in the Bible Belt.  You can find a church on every corner, some of which are air conditioned!  If you aren't particularly religious, there are many interesting and beautiful historical locations, or even places of local interest that host weddings - ALL INDOORS! Take pity on the people you have invited to your nuptials.  Think of the maw maws.

2) We had our annual church picnic yesterday and I got to run the cotton candy booth again!  I like doing that.  It's fun.  Not only do I get to run a machine that melts sugar, I get to hand over a wad of colored candy to smiling little kids.  In fact, everyone I gave cotton candy to smiled.  It was nice.  You can't be mad or sad while eating cotton candy.  I enjoyed myself. I also don't want to eat cotton candy again for a very long time.

What I didn't enjoy was the wind.  It was cold outside and the wind was blowing, and even though the machine had a hood over it, the wind would get inside of it and blow the candy all over me.  I was plated with it.  It was in my hair and on my clothes and stuck to my face!  Even my eyelashes were sticky with it.  I tried combing my hair when I got home and I couldn't get the comb to go through my hair at all.  It was gross.  Silver lining, though, I smelled heavenly and if you licked my face, you'd get a sugar high!

3) here's a mini update on my brother: He's actually doing a bit better than he was.  He's able to drink a little bit, and he seems to feel a little bit better.  He does still get sick every few days, but not as badly as he was before.  Thanks for all of the positive vibes, and keep them coming.
  

Thursday, October 19, 2017

A QUICKY

Heehee.  The other day I was taking some pictures of pictures that we have hanging in our hallway (the official photo gallery of every American suburban family.) Steve and I have exactly one picture from our wedding on display in the house, and not many people have ever seen it, so I thought I'd post it to Facebook.  We've been married a long time, so I don't usually post wedding pictures, but I thought this one was cute.  Steve had hair, we looked happy, yadda yadda yadda...

Lots of people liked it, because of course they did.  Who doesn't like a good wedding picture?  But people have been telling us "Happy Anniversary!" all week.  Our anniversary is in November!  Of course they don't know that, because why should they, but now I wonder if I should post anything in November about our actual anniversary. I don't want embarrass anyone who has told us happy anniversary already.  They are so sincere about it that I hate to tell them they're wrong. 

Eh, I'll just tell Steve happy anniversary in private.  Like some kind of psychopath.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

WELL THAT WAS WEIRD

Yesterday was the first day of the work week for us, since Monday was Columbus Day and our offices were closed.

One of the first things I always do is to open the church's email to see if there is anything important that came in over the weekend. So I opened Outlook and the emails began to load.  One of the first ones I noticed was from last Friday, and it stuck out because it was from a real person and not an organization. It was an inquiry from a local mom about our yearly Fall Festival, which, modest as it is, it is kind of a big deal for some of the kids in the neighborhood.

I was just about to answer the message when I saw a second message from the same sender, which had arrived on Monday when the offices were closed, and in the preview line for the message, it said "Are you sure?"

I opened the second message and read it, and it said "Are you sure? The website said it would be on the 29th." I looked down a little further, and saw that I had written something along the lines of "Hi! It will be on November 1st."  I was completely confused, because A) I had not received or sent a message to/from this woman at any point last week, B) clearly I had written this woman back, because the evidence was right there, and C) That isn't the right date at all.

You know how sometimes a thing will happen, and you start questioning your own sanity?  Well, I sat there reading my own words and began to wonder if I actually had been at work on Monday and just didn't remember.  I remembered sleeping in, I remembered Steve making breakfast, and I remembered going to Best Buy on Monday, but maybe that was all a weird hallucination! I got that weird feeling in my stomach like I was about to find out the world was fake and I was nothing more than a brain in a jar hooked up to a battery or something.

I finally decided to re-read the entire message and saw that, yes, the woman had written the original email last Friday, October 5th. My reply was written on October 9th...but in 2015.  I have no idea what happened, but the lady had apparently written me the same question and message two years before, and had actually replied to a 2 year old response.  I don't know if I was more confused at that, or that she apparently still had my 2015 message in her inbox to reply to.

Anyway, I thought that was weird.  I deleted her messages and didn't write back, just in case there was some type of time warp thing and by sending her another email, I'd tear a hole in the space-time continuum.  Safety first!

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

HAPPY CHEESE

I found a new YouTube channel that I love to watch.  I don't even know why I like it, but it's very soothing for some reason.

I have no idea how I came across these videos, but then, sometimes on YouTube you go to watch a scene from Ferris Beuller, fall down a rabbit hole of videos, and wind up watching a how-to video on home circumcision.  (Right?  That's happened to more than just me?)

Anyway, these videos are by an outfit called "James Townsend and Sons" and, according to their website they are "a manufacturer and retailer of quality reproduction 18th and early 19th Century clothing and personal accessories."  They are located in Pierceton, IN, and from what I understand, sell their merchandise to historical reenactors and the like.

The main guy, James, does 18th and early 19th century cooking, using actual recipes from those times, and usually he tries to do them using the tools and techniques that would have been used back then.  He sometimes stirs things with sticks.  I don't know why I like it so much, but it's very interesting.  He's gone to other historical places, kind of like Constitution Hall Village or Colonial Williamsburg type places, and he gets workers from there to show him how to make things from their particular area.  He also seems to have a thing for nutmeg. 

Also, the guy is so freaking EARNEST and excited about what he's doing that I can't help but enjoy watching him.  I don't know if any of you like watching people cook, much less historical cooking stuff, but this man is fun to watch just because he seems to be so in love with what he's doing.  He reminds me of Bob Ross a little, only less soft spoken. 

Why am I telling you about this?  I dunno.  I like it, so I'm telling you in case you might like it, too.  It's call sharing, CAROL!

In case you're bored one day, or develop a need to know how to make boiled puddings, you should go and watch a couple of videos. 

Enjoy!







Sunday, October 01, 2017

QUICKY - WHERE AM I?

I've been almost sick most of the weekend. Nothing terrible, but whatever I have made me feel yucky enough to miss church today.

After making sure someone would be able to cover the sound booth for services, and letting the others who'd be calling to track me down know what was going on - because that's what happens when you work for a church, I went back to bed and have been dozing off and on all morning.

Every time I doze off, I have a dream I wake up in a bed someplace else. When I wake up, I am back in my own bed. At least, I think that's what is going on. Maybe I'm in one of those other beds and am dreaming I'm waking up in this bed. I'm so confused.

I also dreamed I went to a football game with the wife of a friend of mine, but I'm pretty sure that actually was a dream.

Maybe I'm in the matrix. Someone send me Keanu Reeves.