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