Adjustment

At my most recent shrink appointment, he prescribed Paxil and Lamictal. He spooked me with the Lamictal though, so I haven’t started taking it yet. Serious talk about the possibility of a rash that could mean something very bad. 😳 So it’s a difficult medication to “sell” when someone already has high anxiety. But the Paxil, the first week (which is now done) I was to take only one in the morning. Now, I’m supposed to take one in the morning and one at night. I’m hoping that will help the problem that I’ve noticed all this week.

I’m also going to start the Lamictal tonight as well. I just never like starting two new meds at the exact same time, because then whether I experience a benefit or a side effect, you can’t know which one was the cause… although I suppose sometimes you don’t get the benefit or side effect unless you’re taking both of them. 🧐

This past week, even though I usually slept well, every time that I’d wake up the next day I would have instant severe anxiety already happening. 😣πŸ˜₯ Now, it’s not like this is the first time that this has happened… and I know it sounds bad to describe it this way, but sometimes when anxiety is so bad, it’s just the disappointment of waking up that triggers it. 😐 Oof, yeah, that sounds way worse than I intend it to. But yeah, it was random before, but it’s been a constant since I’ve started taking the Paxil in the morning. So hopefully now that I’ll be taking an evening dose as well, maybe that’ll change how I wake up.

That’s the one positive though… as long as I take it immediately upon waking up in a near panic attack, the feeling actually goes away relatively quickly. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚ So I’m still hoping this will be something good, and it’s just a matter of getting on the right dosage. And yeah, it’s probably a little weird that I’m just putting this all out here for anyone to read – but it’s not like I’ve tried to keep the “twitchy” side of me a secret. 😏 And I really do know the majority of the things that have triggered it (and keep triggering it) so it’s not like I’m staggering around in the dark, unable to see the boogeyman.

It’s not a permanent solution, because it’s not a good solution, but part of me getting my head straight is by cutting myself off from people for a while. 😞 As I’ve described it before, my empathy is like a horrible super power that I’ve got… and when I know so many people that are going through so many awful things, I absorb the feelings that they’re experiencing regarding many of those things. 😣 Add that on top of my medical stuff, my workers comp stuff, my disability, etc… and unfortunately the easiest way to reduce anxiety is by avoiding the sources (and even potential sources) other than my own. πŸ₯Ί Then (I’m hoping) once I’m in a better place, I’ll be better able to function like a “normal” human and bring myself back into the fold. I don’t know if it’s a good plan, but it’s a plan…

EDIT:Β  Jesus… maybe I’m not quite ready to risk this Lamictal. 😯 I shouldn’t have googled.Β 

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A Tale of Two Mother’s Days

It’s been a rough week, with today being a lot harder than I expected. Talk about different groups of people having vastly different experiences on a holiday. 😟 I haven’t been on Facebook much anyway, but today, the contrast of the posts from the people who were spending the day with their moms, to the posts of those of us who no longer can… ugh… I should have known better than to even open the app.

But by the end of the evening, I had kinda changed my mind about that. Just as everyone wants to share their happy events from today, I realized that there are a whole lot of people who need to share their memories… to not let their moms be forgotten among all of the ongoing activities of the day, just because their moms don’t happen to be around any longer. πŸ˜ͺ And I ended up being one of those people. How could I not post something about Mom? And how could I not be there to click off an emotion or offer some words to friends of mine who are feeling the same way about the day as I was?

So I posted one of the recently scanned slides of Mom from when she was young, playing with “baby me” on a swing in the park. 😊 And I can’t even remember how I worded it, but basically I just tried to show that I wanted to recognize everyone else who has lost their mom (especially since last Mother’s Day) and saying something about how I know that everyone thinks that their mom was the best, and that everyone was absolutely right about that. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I dunno… trying to be a little lighthearted I guess, but honestly – what can you say? So many happy memories, but such a sucky feeling…

And I thought I was feeling basically useless over the past few days? Today, the only thing I was able to do was pick up Brianna as planned, so we could go to the nursery and get some flowers to plant in Mom and Christina’s memory. πŸ˜• I’m glad that Genesee got me that little tin planter box for Easter and suggested the flower idea… but man was it hard to get up and actually do that today. Normally Bri and I function as a distraction from each others “bleh” but there was no avoiding it today. But she picked the same type of flowers that Brantley got her for Mother’s Day last year, we got them planted in the tin, and they’re now decorating the doorstep to her new apartment. πŸ™‚ So many positive things have happened for her in the past few months, stuff that she desperately wishes her mom was still around to see… meh… I don’t think I need to explain further. You either know how it feels, or you’re gonna eventually.

MomFlowers

But I came back home and turned into a physical, mental, and social potato… and I think Bri took a page out of my playbook and just called it a night in the early evening, trying to just go to sleep and make the day go away. πŸ˜” I feel shitty because I haven’t e-mailed Dad in about a week now, and I thought today might be the day… but then, yeah… 😣 I’ve just gotta focus on all the good things about Mom that I can remember tonight as I try to fall asleep, and hope that tomorrow I can wake up and somehow turn this shitty state of mind around and start functioning like a semi-normal person again. 😐 Being twitchy like this in itself isn’t what really bothers me… what bothers me is when it affects the people I care about and the people that care about me. And it’s definitely doing that right now.

*repeating to myself until I get it*“Mom wouldn’t want me sitting here feeling shitty that she’s gone.”

(What is it with me, and not being able to process the type of shit that millions of people process every day? πŸ˜”)

Your Warranty Has Expired

I wish that I felt more capable of adjusting to whatever illness or injury that might be affecting me at any given time. πŸ˜’ I don’t usually complain directly to anyone about such things, instead saving it for shouting into the void here, so I dunno… maybe everyone else has just as hard of a time adjusting to certain things like I do. But for example, the better part of the last couple of weeks have been really good – and then out of nowhere my knee just decides that it’s going to hurt. Hurt hurt. 😣 And my past couple of days have been mentally, physically, and socially fucked up because of it.

It makes sense that physical pain, along with losing some ability and motion, would also trigger my twitchy… I just hate that I don’t have any more control over it than what I do. 😠 But after a few days of hobbling around, and a few nights of long but often-interrupted sleep due to feeling the pain throughout the night, I wish I could just say “Well, I guess I’ll just take it easy and stay off my feet today.” but instead I let it fuck up my day, being irritated about being so irritated about it.

One problem, almost all of my friends (for a long time now) tend to be younger than me. It keeps my mind young, but my body doesn’t get that memo. So I’m not surrounded by similarly aged people with similar aches and pains. 😏 Another problem, with my work injury happening to me as young as I was, I’ve been dealing with that pain / disability for over a decade now… and it is pain that I feel like I didn’t really earn. πŸ˜•

I’ve joked with my cousin Matt and Dad about how “At least I was never in great shape when I was young…” compared to Matt, who loves / loved playing basketball, and Dad who is a Marine and served during Vietnam. In a way it’s a joke, but you’d also like to think it would be true… if you were never in great shape when you were young, it should be less of a deal when parts start to get defective when you get older. That’s turning out not to be the case. Now it’s more like “Dammit, I didn’t use myself up when I was young, so I shouldn’t be breaking down like this already.” πŸ™„

And I’m not making this entry to complain… it’s actually something I’ve thought about as I’ve faced various things, and it has also made me wonder how I’m gonna handle things when it inevitably gets worse as I get older. πŸ€” Like my Aunt Carol, she was in all kinds of awful shape, but she didn’t bitch about it or let it slow her down – let alone stop her. πŸ™‚ I just hope I can eventually become more like that. Everybody gets old, everybody sooner or later starts feeling worse and worse, and I just don’t want to end up a grouchy old recluse because I’m still struggling to handle the changes that every other human just seems to handle.

One thing I’ve noticed though, even my younger friends don’t give me shit about it – when either my neck and shoulder are extra screwed, or when my back or knee just randomly decides to go to shit for a while. I think it’s that insecurity of (in most ways)Β being on the same page as someone regardless of our ages, and worrying that if I have to hobble around or use a cane for a few days that they’re gonna look at me like “Oh my gosh… I forgot how old he is.” Heh… but so far that’s not been an issue, and if anything it just ends up being something that we joke about rather than it being some eye-opening revelation… heh… as if they don’t know my age until a physical sign appears. πŸ™„πŸ˜„

Meh… it’s just a gimpy knee, it’s not gonna be permanent, I’m gonna be fine, and I’ll surely have plenty of otherΒ “fun” new things like this to deal with in the future. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Gotta figure out how to just start sucking it up.

Ready For The Weekend Again

I’m hoping to do a whole lot of nothin‘ on Saturday. πŸ₯΄ It’s not that I’ve personally been busting much ass, but there’s just been various stuff going on, stuff I’ve been trying to help with, or at least stuff IΒ helped to get help with… heh… and I know that doesn’t make immediate sense. 😏 But yeah, after signing her lease on Wednesday (I think?) Bri was determined to get most of her stuff moved into her new apartment on Thursday – so it was just a matter of getting this person or that person, at various points during the day, with the proper muscles and vehicles for the task, to not only move all of her stuff from Chelsea’s, but to also grab the furniture from here that I had donated to the cause. 😧 Then I was able to follow in my car with all the smaller stuffs.

By the end of the day almost everything had been moved, minus the mattresses which are on hold at a friend’s house until the landlord can inspect them before she moves them in. But you know how it is when you move without any guaranteed labor, guaranteed vehicles, or guaranteed weather… heh… so even just helping with the planning and “figuring out” can make a person tired after a while. I’m glad that all of the things that she’s been dealing with have really been positives, because that’s kept her mood, motivation, and energy always headed in the right direction.

Then, as planned, today she had to be up at Grant for a surgery that had been on hold until she was no longer pregnant. 😬 I had to be up in Columbus a little later in the afternoon as well, so I just left early and took her with me and got her checked in. That way Chelsea didn’t have to sit at the hospital with a newborn Bryson (and possibly her own kids) for several hours, waiting for Bri’s surgery to get done – and instead was just able to go up once the nurse called to let her know the procedure was done and that Bri was in recovery and would soon be able to go back home. πŸ™‚ So despite feeling a little shitty about just leaving her there at the hospital, at least I was able to help out in that way as I moved on to the other stuff I had to do. (But she’s not kiddin’ when she remarks about how many “big moments” in her life that I’ve been involved with in one way or another. 😊 )

Then I spent a good part of the rest of the day with Cassi. πŸ™‚ She’s been working a lot, so she hasn’t been able to come down here much – nor have I been up there to really just visit either. But today was all about multi-tasking, so we went out for a bit, hit a couple thrift stores, then chilled as the sketchy evening clouds threatened to pour down on the city. 😯 It actually did get bad at times, but it was really hit or miss, and luckily it was mostly “miss” wherever I happened to be at any given moment. Columbus drivers do seem to instantly lose about 40 IQ points whenever it rains though… cripes… πŸ™„πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

So yeah, it’s been an off-and-on busy week, including a couple-hour visit with Dad the other day that I might have forgotten to mention, along with all the other stuff that I have mentioned, and plenty that I’veΒ neglected to- topped off with today’s 10am to 10pm “out and about” schedule… so yeah, as much as I’ve been happy to do all the stuff I’ve done this week, I’m sure looking forward to a day of nothing tomorrow. 😁

The Other Stuff

TRIGGER WARNING: This entry is gonna cover some of the other depressing shit that has also been filling my thoughts and influencing my mood recently. But I think it’ll help to explain why when it did hit me, about Mom being gone gone… why it was so easy for it to knock me down and keep me there.

About a year ago my best friend Jim lost his mom to cancer. At the end of last year, Brianna, another of my closest friends, lost her mom to cancer. And Christina was more than just “Bri’s mom” to me… she treated me like family. Rick, a classmate of mine, has been fighting cancer for two years now, and rarely posts to Facebook anymore, which seems like a bad sign. Then on the first of this month, anotherΒ school friend, Stephanie, died in her sleep from unknown and absolutely unexpected causes. Her oldest son turned 18 just two days later. And then today, my “cousin-in-law” Gloria lost her sister Wanda to cancer as well.

Jim’s mom was in her early 70s, but Christina was only in her early 40s, Rick is my age, Stephanie was only two years older than me, and I think Wanda may have been barely into her 50s. And Mom’s best friend through the entirety of her adulthood, Cecil… she passed away within the year as well. I’m actually sitting here afraid that I’ve neglected to mention someone, because it seems like every direction that I turn – sickness and death is what I see, and in many cases – in people far, far too young for most to even think it’s a possibility.

(Oof… this is gonna be a downer of an entry, that’s for sure…)

And of course, having cancer myself… or at least having had cancer (fingers crossed)… all of the stuff mentioned above doesn’t exactly do a lot to put my mind at ease. A long life before passing… that is something that hurts, but we understand it. People dying at my age or younger, from things like lung cancer when they were very vocal non-smokers… those are the ones where it starts to make less sense. And then ones like Stephanie that are there one day, making posts about her dog and her son’s upcoming birthday, then *poof* … simply gone the next. No rhyme or reason, and I’m not good when it comes to shit like that.

But for my stuff, I did get another appointment with my family doctor at the beginning of this week, tried to sum up all of the things I’ve been talking about here, and told her that I’m not really comfortable with what (to me) feels like a lack of concern or urgency once my thyroid removal and radiation treatment was completed. I’m not being neglected or anything… but after the surgery, radiation, and scan – other than the thyroid guy getting my levels right via medication, nothing else has happened or was scheduled to happen until July. I realized that I’m not okay with that. “You have cancer. We cut the cancer thing out. We think we got all the cancer. See you in half-a-year.”Β Christina also got the “we think we got it all” speech after her first surgery as well (I was there) so… umm… no. Not good enough.

It would be another thing if I honestly just felt great, and all these other things were just spooking me, but that’s not the case. Without going into details, there are things that just feel “wrong” for lack of a better term, and since I’ve gone with the “flashy” insurance this year I would be dumb to not metaphorically pound my fist on the table and ask for a little more. So that’s where I’m at now… the start of “a little more” phase. Tomorrow I’m seeing someone regarding my come-and-go, sometimes excruciatingly painful back problem… and, thankfully, with the lab being in the same building, my primary care provider has ordered an assload of blood and urine tests to not only hit on the regular “physical” type stuff, but cancer indicators as well… so I’ll do those right after the back guy.

So yeah… I’ll admit that with all of this stuff on my mind, I’ve essentially disappeared as far as my friends would describe it. At least in person, I mean. One, it’s hard to want to go out and do anything fun or visit with anyone when my brain is so full of this shit… and two, more than half of the time I just physically feel too crappy to even consider it. Now that it’s going to be looked into with a little more detail, I’m hoping that with good or at least encouraging results I’ll be more likely to spend at least a few days trying to act like everything is fine, and hopefully trying to start living my life again.

I’ve been out to see Dad a few times in the past month and a half, but when it’s hard to make myself get up and do anything even on good days – I know that I’ve not been visiting as much as I should or as much as I want. It’s hard to explain “I just can’t.” to someone, when it’s hard for you to even understand yourself. I can’t remember the last time I’ve opened my e-mail app, but I’m gonna try to at least start doing that again. My biggest problem is that I’m not exactly some cheery ray of sunshine right now, and I’ll probably struggle to come up with e-mails to Dad that are any less depressing than this particular blog entry. I guess that’ll force me to really think about each day, or couple of days, to find the little good (or at least “okay”) moments that I’m sure are there. But yeah, that’s the plan for now…

(And I’ll try to limit the depressing topics here in the blog for a while after today’s posts. Wish me luck.)

Delayed Reaction

It’s been an up and down week. I had those two or three pretty good days right after being sick for a day and a half… but like I said, probably not so much that I felt any better than normal – but the relief of not puking every few hours for an entire day and night just makes you appreciate a normal “bleh” mood a bit more. 😏 But then right after that, it was the strangest thing…

Mom has been gone for more than a month… and of course the first week or two after she passed was filled with well-wishes, company, and general “fuss” (I don’t mean that in a bad way at all) that one expects after such a thing. Then I took some time to really isolate myself so I could just feel it… adjust to it… I dunno… I just wanted nobody around so I could react however I needed to. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈΒ And my dumb ass assumed that after all of the above, my brain had processed and handled it. Heh… nope. 😟

I don’t even know what triggered it, but man… a couple of days ago – it finally really hit me. 😒 Or finally hit me for the first time, because Genesee said that she completely understood what I was trying to explain to her, and she says it was by no means a one-time deal for her after her daddy passed away several years ago. I think what happened was I crossed the line where I was just happy and relieved for Mom, that she was no longer struggling with a mind and body that were fighting against her… and I hit the point where it really sank in that she was gone gone – and then I was worthless for the better part of three days, feeling indescribably sad about everything that her being gone made me think and feel. πŸ˜” Gawd this is such a difficult thing to explain…

It’s probably all selfish, but understandable emotion… but the thing that wouldn’t leave my mind is that from this point on, any “new” person that I meet or that comes into my life… they won’t get to know her, and I can’t explain how unfair that is for all of those people. 😠 For those few days I just lost the ability to be happy about all of the happy memories and experiences, and it was all sad, mad, bitter, etc. Then I finally decided to talk out loud to her… the first time that I had done that since she passed.

I’m sure some people might think it’s strange, but with all of my grandparents gone, a couple uncles, an aunt, some friends… at one point or another, I’ve spoken out loud to them as I sat in the recliner, did my laundry, walked around outside, fed the cat… whatever the case may have been that made me want to say something to them. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚ But I hadn’t been able to do that with Mom until just the other day, and I was actually feeling guilty about it. That I had so easily done it with the others, but for some reason wasn’t able yet to do that with her. But I’m glad that I finally did, because that’s what started pulling me out of that awful mood.

I reminded myself that she’s now up there with her mom and dad, among so many other relatives and friends that I may not even remember myself – but who were all waiting to greet her when she got there. 😊 And then I told her that I knew she wouldn’t want me to just sit in the house and feel how I was feeling, and I told her that I was going to try as hard as I could to get out of that funk and focus on the happy rather than the negative feelings. I don’t want her checking in on me, only to find that I’m a useless, crying, angry mess. I can’t let it mess me up like it was messing me up for those few days.

I talked for probably fifteen minutes or so… heh… and again, I know, it does sound a little weird… but with every thing that I’d say, I could feel the weight being lifted off of me… at least to when it comes how I was feeling about Mom being gone. (More of the “other stuff” in the next entry, coming fairly soon.) It’s weird though… not only did I feel guilty for not talking to her sooner, but also a little bit guilty for that horrible feeling not hitting me this hard way before this point. 😟 But again, Genesee helped… saying it was roughly a month for her as well, before she got the real “gut punch” feeling that you almost expect to feel the day of, or day after it happens. Of course I missΒ Mom… but I really do think I was just getting past my feelings of relief and happiness for her, and on to feeling sorry for myselfΒ – and everyone else that no longer gets to have her as an ongoing part of their life.

I’m sorry if this comes off as gloomy… but what I’m actually trying to say is that yeah, it hurt… then it really really hurt… but then you find a way back from it. 😌 I’m not looking forward to this becoming a recurring “surprise” thing, but I do know now that that’s just the way it works. πŸ₯Ί But I think each time that it happens, it’s gonna be easier for me to talk to her, remember all of the good – and there was a lot of good – and not let that awful feeling consume me like it was during these past few days.

Exhausting

Nobody really knows what to say or do for someone when one of their loved ones passes, much the same as nobody knows how their brain is going to react to it. Most of my friends and family are doing exactly what I need – checking in on me now and then with a call or text, but basically leaving me alone so I can work it all out. But I’ve also got a couple people who are constantly wanting me to get out of the house and do something, or who are constantly wanting to come over to visit, etc… and even after explaining how much that’s not what I want or need right now, I dunno, I guess they don’t believe me.

They’re trying to make me feel better, when actually they are making me feel like shit – when nearly every day I have to tell someone no… that I don’t want to go out to spend time with them, or no, I don’t want them here spending time with me. It’s simply a matter of needing time, but I know that in at least some way I’m hurting those people’s feelings, making them feel unneeded or unwanted. So I haven’t even really had a chance to reset and regain my bearings since Genesee left, because almost every day I’m reminded how much I’m not okay yet – by wanting to just be away from people and “stuff” for a while – and knowing that each time I do it, I seem ungrateful or whatever.

And again, I know that I’m probably not reacting like most people do, but when I give an explanation you’d hope that would help, you know? But no, so each day that I’m hoping to feel a little bit better – I actually end up feeling worse. It’s that “being a disappointment” trigger that I’ve developed. People want me to be better already, or do the things that they think will make me better, so I feel shitty when I can’t’ be that person that they’re expecting.

And yeah, that’s definitely more their problem than it is mine, but of course I don’t want anyone I care about to misunderstand and feel like it’s personally about them. I don’t want to have to straight up ignore people’s messages, but if I have to I have to… because right now I’m just spinning my wheels, waiting for the first day where I feel like I get some traction, and some people’s “help” definitely isn’t helping.

I’m gonna try to do tomorrow what I was hoping to do today. It’s Saturday, so it’s a weekend day… which technically shouldn’t mean shit to me, as I don’t really have a schedule I have to keep right now… but when I finally fell asleep at 4a this morning (ugh…) it was with the mindset that I wasn’t going to put any pressure on myself, it was the day after I told a friend how much I needed to just be left alone, so I was hoping to put together just one somewhat-normal day that was unaffected by anything or anyone else. But nope… woke up to a message wanting me to go “do something” today, which meant I started my day disappointing someone.

I think that tomorrow I’ve earned the right to just ignore anyone that isn’t respecting what I need, so hopefully I won’t let it weigh on me too much. It’s like fuck… leave me alone, let me start to feel better, let me get back on track, and everything can be fine. Hell, just starting to make a mental list of things that I’ve put on hold, not to mention spring coming up here around the house… yeah, I need to get my shit together.