So…

Hello dear internet (yes, the internet itself, not people on the internet), it’s been a while, hasn’t it.

Periodically since the last time I posted here (over three years ago), I’ve thought about returning, wondering what my internet friends have been doing (though most of them disappeared before the migration to wordpress) and thinking about sharing my marvelous thoughts on life. There sure is enough going on to talk about, and I always have the best insights.

But I never actually did anything about it. Until…today! My internet friend DoryPanda posted an update to her blog for the first time in years, and I’m going to do the same, now that I’ve reset my password and can once again access the site. Then, well, I don’t know what comes next.

Summary: Psych much better, sleep disorders are a thing, 3 car accidents in less than 18 months=bad, currently unemployed and unschooled but working on it a bit, had some cool jobs, people are still annoying when they stop being kids, Pokemon is still awesome

Previously on this blog:
My last post was as I was finishing my first year at a new college, getting a second degree (1st was art therapy, 2nd would be art education). I was struggling with depression and anxiety and stuff. My psychiatrist was closing his practice to recover from a car accident. I was about to start working at summer camp for the fourth summer (and was planning on continuing until I finished my 2nd degree). I was volunteering with an adult day center doing art with their clients because they couldn’t afford an actual art therapist. I was volunteering at my church, teaching preschool. I was babysitting sporadically (for a family I’d worked for almost 10 years–the kids were growing out of babysitting age). I wrote about social justice issues, things that annoyed me, and frustrations with school/people/life.

A brief overview of the time between then and now:
The center I volunteered at merged with another and no longer needed me, though I could have kept doing art with them if not for some of the things to follow.

I worked at camp that summer, had a few more issues than the past (actually missing one of my arts & crafts sessions completely), but was still good enough that they were going to hire me to work during the school year (mostly housekeeping and leading small groups), providing me housing much closer to school. I was going to continue doing arts & crafts there for at least another summer. But I didn’t.

My psychiatrist actually died, from brain and spinal cord tumors discovered after his accident. I found a nurse practitioner to do my meds and therapy, she changed my meds with varying results and she suggested a sleep study. Turns out, I have a lot of sleep disorders (before the test, I was sleeping 20/24 hours for a bit). Getting them under control really helped the psych symptoms, which was good considering that, after spending time in an outpatient program because my new meds caused a manic episode (note no prior history or subsequent issues) and kept me from working at camp during the off season, continuing much of my volunteering, and continuing at school (which was also worsened by poor school organization), and doing a test that was not supposed to be sent for analysis without insurance approval (which she ignored and almost cost me thousands of dollars), she stopped responding to my calls for an appointment. She also ignored the pharmacy’s requests about my meds, so good thing completely stopping them didn’t make things worse. I now am treated for sleep disorders, pain (explained below), and dermatological issues, but not the psych. It’s not too bad, actually, and I lost weight/got healthier (amazing what stopping meds that cause weight gain and actually being awake/moving around can do). My psych issues, though still icky, are much better now. Actually, reading through some of my older posts, the feelings they mention, though I remember them well, seem a bit foreign. I suppose that’s good.

I spent several months getting the sleep worked out, though still have some issues to work on. I started volunteering at a new place, an afterschool art program for middle schoolers. It was great, though they definitely lacked some of the experience and knowledge needed to run it well (I filled in some of that, like doing head counts to make sure kids weren’t left behind). One of the other volunteers gave me a photo enlarger & other darkroom equipment, which is super great though I haven’t been able to use it yet. After a year of volunteering, they hired me. Then, after a few months, they fired me. Turns out, they didn’t have the money for two paid positions, and the other woman being paid, though no where near qualified and actually detrimental to some of their work (acknowledged by the director), was a single mother who they felt sorry for even though her circumstances were actually pretty decent. I haven’t been back, other than a short visit while dropping my dog off at grooming, mostly because I can’t drive right now…

Shortly before being hired there, I was rear-ended while turning into my driveway. It could have been much worse, but I had a concussion that went untreated for a while (apparently asymmetrically dilated pupils and saying “banana” instead of “wallpaper” is a neurologist’s idea of stress at work, even if the patient is currently unemployed) and lots of other symptoms that weren’t completely resolved by the time I was in another accident while turning into my driveway 11 months later. More treatment…and another accident seven months after that (just a few weeks ago, but not while turning into my driveway), though recovery to “normal” was less than a day instead of over a year (still not back to actual normal). I’m not driving because of physical and vision issues from the accidents, plus the three totaled cars means I have nothing to drive (I was a passenger with family for the 2nd and 3rd accidents, so can’t share those cars). I’m thinking about going back to therapy because being so restricted in life (job choices, socializing, living alone, etc.) is hard, but am reluctant because I’ve had many not good experiences with treatment providers and still do have anxiety that makes starting things hard. I did have one therapist I liked who I might try to set up an appointment with, but this isn’t her specialty and getting to her office would be hard with limited transportation.

So, this is my third summer not at camp, and I’ve not gone back to school yet, because of health issues over and over. I also can’t take many jobs I’m qualified for because there’s no way I can play with toddlers for six hours a day right now.

After losing that job, I got a pretty awesome job, thanks to staying in touch with one of my middle/high school teachers. The school was being stupid and mean to her, but she got them to hire a paraprofessional (basically an assistant teacher in my case) to help with her fashion/interior design class (which should be two classes, especially considering the id was a complete semester-long college class for early college credit if high schoolers filled out paperwork, and most students were only freshmen or sophomores). It was fabulous and I was wonderful and the students were great and the content and the lesson planning and even the cleaning and organizing were fun. The contract was for only that year, and the class does not exist this year, and that teacher retired, so I have no job for the fall. But, it was great. It was also the first time ever that I have had perfect attendance for anything. I guess I would have done better with school attendance if I only did 10, 20, or 28 hours per week (started working 10, then got more ’cause I’m good at what I do and the teacher really needed help) and they paid me.

I’m still volunteering at church, teaching preschool, helping with older kids/teens, and running a story time without enough volunteers. Mostly, I do it because it gives me something to do, I think kids are way cooler than adults (they actually understand that part of the Good Samaritan story is that the “hero” was unexpected by the listeners because he was part of an oppressed group and that might transfer to contemporary issues, plus they think the donkey can teach us something), and a dozen years of consistent work is nice for a resume, especially considering my somewhat spotty paid work.

Camp has an opening for a job this fall/winter, maybe longer. I’m thinking about applying to it, as well as some jobs similar to what I did this past year. I also need to get back into school, but the admissions/checking transcripts/everything else that’s part of that isn’t fun or easy. Neither is applying to jobs. Playing Pokemon Go is fun, though it would be better if I lived in a bigger/busier area and could actually go places or do things more.

 

Sorry, that was much more tl;dr than I was expecting, and much less organized or concise than I would have planned. I guess that’s what trying to write three years in one post can lead to. I probably should have added bullet points, numbered lists, more helpful formatting…but…meh

Well, that’s over

NOT!  It should be, but it’s not.  I am taking three incompletes.  I only had five classes.  And the fourth class should be an incomplete, but the teacher doesn’t care and is just giving me a grade.  So that’s nice at least.

I did finish my drawing class.  I haven’t checked yet to see what my grade is, but it should at least be a B (that’s what my midterm grade was).

As for those incompletes, I have at least 30 pages to write for various assignments.  Then, I’ll be done!  Now if only I could work on it and make progress…

In less than a week, I’ll be starting staff training at camp.  That should be fun.  I’m excited about it.  But I’m also kind of worried that I won’t feel better and won’t be able to do stuff.  But I’m already feeling better now that school stuff is figured out, so I guess that’s a good sign.

Today is the next day after I started writing this.  This morning, my grandma called.  Grandpa is in the hospital, something with his heart.  I think he will be okay, but it is a reminder that they’re getting older and won’t be around forever.

My brother has a new summer job working at a park, doing maintenance stuff.  He’s happy to be making money, but not excited that warmer weather is coming.

Also, there was devastating weather in Oklahoma yesterday.  I’m sure you’ve already heard about it, at least if you’re in the U.S.

I had a good day yesterday.  I started collaging a small box with drawers that my parents got me for Christmas.  Two sides are done.  It was fun.  I’ll probably work on it more tomorrow.

Tonight, I’m babysitting.  That should be fun.  And give me a bit of money for preparing for camp.

The ceiling fan is on.  It is shaking.  It always does that, so I guess it’s probably not going to fall down.

I’ve started playing Lost in Blue on DS again.  And some other games.  It gives me something to do.  Not that I don’t have anything to do, but it’s easy and doesn’t require a lot of effort or movement.  I just wish I knew where my DS and Pokemon game are; then, I’d play that, ’cause Pokemon is fun.

Guess I don’t really have anything else to tell you right now.  I think I’ll play some games and maybe work on my box before I go babysitting.

Not one semester

I haven’t gone one semester without issues.  Those four years for my first degree were full of problems.  Last semester, I had to drop art metals.  This semester, I’m taking an incomplete for contemporary art.  I’m tired of this.

Hopefully, I can finish all the work for the rest of my classes before Thursday.  I just have so much to do.  And I’m so bad at doing it.

At least my professors have been nice and accommodating.

Let’s see…what do I have to do?  Well, I have to finish my giant drawing (mostly just erasing and fixing stuff) and assemble my portfolio for this afternoon.  Then, for tomorrow, I have to write a reflection and email it with another reflection to my teacher.  I also have a short paper for that class due tomorrow (really, due last week).  Then, for Thursday, I have to finish making a video, take a test in which I have to explain every answer, write a paper, write another paper, and assemble a portfolio.  Should be super fun!

I don’t really even have anything to write.

Things I learned in School Today

School is, basically, a game.  At least, that’s what I got out of the presentation.  I think the point was that games are better than school, but, based on my experiences, school matched his definition of a game.  So….yeah…..

Also, overmedication for ADHD is a huge problem.  Now, I’m not going to say it isn’t, but what I will say is that there are a lot of kids who do benefit from medication.  Yes, there are cases of improper use, but making broad generalizations stating that it shouldn’t be used ever and is really not for the kids, is, frankly, stupid.

Also, debate club in high school must be really easy.  ‘Cause these kids in my class who claim to be champions aren’t very great.  Well, I guess the one was good at reading quotes quickly…but that was about it.

We had presentations in two of my three education classes today.  It was, overall, not very exciting or purposeful.  I could have stayed home and slept.  But that would have been bad.  And I need to talk to my professor about my late papers.  So…guess it’s good that I’m here.

Going back to the ADHD med guy, one of his main reasons for not medicating kids was that then they can’t “be themselves.”  This brings up an interesting discussion that I don’t think he was meaning to get at.  Should anyone be medicated?  Does being on medication mean you’re not yourself?  Am I not myself because I take medication?  Who am I?  Am I supposed to be depressed and anxious and unable to function?  Or maybe the medication gets other things out of the way so that I can be myself.  Or maybe something in between.

Personally, I’m depressed and anxious enough on meds; I don’t think I would “be myself” if I were more depressed.  Then again, how do we define who we are?  Maybe being myself isn’t desirable.  Maybe the meds help me be myself, or maybe they make me “someone else.”  Or, maybe I’m myself whether or not I’m on meds.  After all, they become a part of me.

Really, saying no one can benefit from ADHD meds, or any meds, bothers me.  A lot.  I couldn’t sit through his presentation very easily, because I was upset by the implications of his generalizations and his lack of understanding.  But whatever.  There was no time for me to ask a question or anything (not that I would have), so it’s over now.  I’m probably the only person who will think about that presentation.

In an hour and a half, classes will be over, and it will be time for me to talk to my teacher.  I don’t know…I don’t know what to do or ask her or say.  I just know I haven’t been able to do the assignments and don’t know when I’ll be able to.

I have a drawing due tomorrow.  I haven’t started it yet.  Guess that’s what I’ll be doing tonight.  Even though I’d rather not.  There’s just so much to do and it’s so unnecessary.

Can’t I just give up now?

I have so much work to do.  I do not like it.

Yesterday, my friend messaged me on Facebook, saying she was depressed and had a bunch of work to do.  So we talked and encouraged each other and we actually got some work done.  Well, I wrote two pages in an hour, which was good, but that’s pretty much where my productivity stopped.  I still have to write at least three pages for that paper, plus a bunch of others.  I also have to make a video.  I did recording for that last night, since I couldn’t get any writing done.  That was good, I guess, but there’s so much to do.  Today, in my six hours between classes, I will try to write some papers and work on the video.  I’m already feeling super anxious, so I doubt that’s going to go well.  More likely, I’ll just sit here and not get anything done.

Right now, I am going to get something done.  I’m going to write the voiceovers for my video.  Basically, my video has two parts:  a breathing exercise to kind of give viewers a sense of what anxiety can feel like, and the video of me doing nothing while Matchbox 20’s Unwell plays.  That part, I think, will also flash statistics of mental illness, especially anxiety in kids (it’s for my education class), and have some voiceovers of me saying things that kind of give a glimpse of what I think about sometimes.  It’s sort of a performance art/public service announcement, ideally.  I’m really nervous about it because I don’t know how my classmates will receive it, but I think it will be okay and I don’t have to deal with them after this semester if I don’t choose to, probably, so that makes it a little better.

Anyway, I’m thinking of doing snippets of voice during the song, layering the audio and visual components to sort of reflect how there’s always so much going on in my mind.  I guess I’m trying to give them the feeling of being overwhelmed while not detracting from the message.  What’s the message?  I guess I’m just trying to bring awareness to mental health issues so that they can be sympathetic to students who are suffering and not make it worse.

So I’m going to type snippets now…yeah…I was also looking back through some blog entries for quotes, but I didn’t like doing that too much and it takes a while, so I think I’ll stick to this process.

I don’t know.  I just don’t know anything.  Except I do.  I know a lot.  I just feel like I don’t.

I’m stuck.  I can’t do anything.  I want to, but I can’t.  I can’t decide what to do or how to do it.  There are just too many options, too many possibilities.  I’m stuck, even when I know what to do and how to do it.  I know exactly what I want to get done, I just can’t.

I sit here for hours, doing nothing.  This is not fun.  This is not relaxing.  This is horrible.  This is painful.  This is not productive or comfortable or desirable.  This is pathetic.  I am pathetic.

I am hopelessly depressed, inexplicably anxious, and painfully aware of the ridiculousness of it all.

When I see you, my first thought is not to say hi.  It’s to hide.  To get away so that I don’t have to interact, so that I’m not expected to talk to you or look at you or have you look at me.  It’s not that I don’t like you, ’cause I do.  It’s just that it hurts me to say hello.  It’s just that I feel like I don’t know what to do and I’m afraid of doing something not right.  I’m afraid of hurting you and of you hurting me, so I avoid you.  It’s just better that way.

Well, with what I already had, that’s a page of typing.  Should be enough for snippets in my less than four minute song.

I emailed one of my professors, the one who teaches the class the video’s for, about not presenting it tomorrow, but on Thursday instead.  She said we can push it back however much I need.  So at least that’s good and I don’t have to worry about it too much.  Now, I just get to worry about it because that’s what I do.  And I can worry about everything else, because it is due (or overdue)…yay.

I’m so lucky

I just don’t feel it.  I know I am.  I just don’t express it.  Even if I do express it, I don’t feel it.  I feel horrible.  I feel like my life is crashing around me, even though I know it’s not.  And I can’t make it feel better.

It’s a difficult thing, having feelings and thoughts not match.  I often wonder how other people think and feel.  I know I’m not the only one to experience this, but what about those people whose thoughts and feelings match?  How do they function?  Much better than me, I suppose.  Not having to constantly remind themselves that the world is not, in fact, coming to an end.  That everyone doesn’t hate them.  To just wake up not even having to think about whether you’ll be able to make it through the day without wanting to cry for no reason.  To just wake up and not have to think about things you don’t want to think about.  It must be nice.

I had two papers due for two classes taught by the same professor yesterday.  I have a poorly written paragraph done for one.  That’s all.  I was able to write my teacher an email explaining the circumstances, and she’s agreed to accept the papers late.  Not everyone who doesn’t finish their papers get to turn them in late.  I’m lucky.  I suppose I’m happy that I have another chance, but I still feel bad.  I don’t feel relieved.

I have so much to do before the end of the semester in two weeks.  I have papers and projects and lots of stuff, plus my house is a mess and I really should clean up my stuff.  I would feel better if I did.  Maybe.  And I’d be able to work better.  Maybe.  But it’s just so hard.

I think I’m going to go to my volunteer position now.  I’ll be early, but I guess that’s better than sitting here complaining.  I don’t know what art project we’ll do today.  I have lots of ideas, so I guess I’ll see if they got any new supplies and then decide.

After volunteering, I’ll Skype with my cousins for their art lesson.  That will be good.  I like them.  Then, I’ll have to do homework, because there’s so much of it to do.  It will never be done, it seems.  I should probably just give up.  But apparently I’m not allowed to do that, according to my mother.  Giving up is not an option.  Fine.  Be that way.  See if I care.  I do care.  I care too much.  It hurts.

I guess I’ll go now.  Hopefully, I feel better later.  But probably not.  That’s just how it is.

I didn’t go to class this morning

I was far too tired for driving to be safe, so I stayed home.  I will go to my afternoon class in about 40 minutes.

I am also feeling very anxious for no apparent reason.  Yesterday, I was feeling very depressed, almost to the point of having tears streaming down my face, which hasn’t happened in a while.  I try to do everything I’ve been taught, all the healthy coping skills and breathing exercises and what not, but it doesn’t help.  It doesn’t get better.  And I don’t like it.

My psychiatrist was in a car accident and is closing his practice so he can recover.  I have about a month of meds left, but I need to find a new doctor.  I also need a doctor to write a note or something for school so that I can substitute another class for art metals, because I am certainly not taking it again, even though it’s required for my degree.

The semester will be over soon.  Then, I will be at camp.  That should be fun.  At least, parts of it will be.  I’m not in a very hopeful mood right now, so I’m not even close to thinking that everything will be better over the summer, though I’ve certainly had those thoughts at other points in time.

Last week, I started a post, but I didn’t get very far or really say anything.  I just couldn’t decide where to start.  Some of the stuff I was going to write about was going to maybe be happyish.  Well, not today.  Oh well.

The worst part is, I don’t know why.  If I knew why, maybe I could fix it.  I do everything I’m told to do to make it feel better, but it just doesn’t work.  Sure, there are moments that are fun or happy, like when I was coloring and gardening with little kids yesterday, but it’s still there.  Always.  If I stop, just for a moment, it gets worse, and then it’s hard to restart whatever I was doing.

I’m so indecisive.  I can’t choose what clothes to wear or what to do, so sometimes I just sit on the couch half-clothed and stare and think and worry.  But, of course, I resist any suggestions anyone gives me to try to help.  Oh, you’re bored?  Why don’t you play with the dog?  Or make a Mother’s Day card?  Nope…there’s something wrong with every idea.

I am kind of hungry.  I would like some ice cream, but I don’t think there is any in the freezer.  I guess I could stop at McDonald’s or something on the way to school.  But that’s maybe too much social activity right now.  I don’t know.  I don’t know anything.

I still have 20 minutes before I need to leave, and I do have much more I could write, but I feel like nobody would want to read it anyway, so why bother.  I guess I’ll try to find something to do, like work on homework or something.  But, probably, I won’t.  And I’ll just sit here, idly clicking and refreshing tabs, hoping for something to happen or someone to talk to me.