February 26, 2003
Drugs and sleep
Hooray for sleepy pills (i.e., Desyrel). I've gotten better sleep in the past few days than I have in months. That alone has resulted in a major mood improvement, for the most part. I still can't concentrate for shit, and I'm still struggling a lot, but at least now I'm not exhausted all the time. (Golly, could that have been why I was falling asleep during the day so much? We'll see.)
The drawback is that I'd forgotten about the Zoloft adjustment period. Generally, I have side effects for the first week or so, then they go away. For right now, though, I'm dealing with a constant minor headache, dry mouth, and occasional weird bouts of drowsiness, not to mention a few minor digestive issues. It's not horrid though. Unfortunately, something I neglected to mention about my new therapist (it got lost in the body image rant) is that he wants me to see the nurse practitioner at their clinic to evaluate my medication. He says he's not sure that Zoloft is the right medication for me. Of course, that reminded me of the last time someone told me that. We'll see. It would kinda suck if I got through this adjustment period only to switch to something new and start it all over again.
This is kinda turning into a depression journal, I know, but that's the biggest thing I'm dealing with right now.
February 25, 2003
It's 6 degrees outside, and I have no heat because maintenance is doing something to the drywall in my furnace room. It's a planned thing that they're doing all over the complex. Who the hell decides to mess with drywall in February? Especially when it means turning off heat? Jeez. The cats are going to freeze today.
I started with my new therapist today. He's an older man with an MSW named Ralph. He seems nice enough, but I left my session feeling very raw and vulnerable. I suppose telling bits and pieces of your life story to a total stranger will do that.
I think part of what made me so uncomfortable was that he kept coming back to my size and my body image. Part of me feels defensive and angry, not wanting him to start harping that I should lose weight (and make no mistake, if I'd shown the slightest interest, he would have), but it scares me too. I KNOW I have enormous self-esteem issues and that they're connected to my weight. I know a lot of my issues come from there. And I know I should stop avoiding those issues. I just want to be able to trust him, and not feel like his first solution to my self-image issues is "lose weight", because that's not what I want to concentrate on.
I know some people wonder about that. A couple of people asked me, after my doctor's appointment, if they'd put me on a food plan or diet. No, and for one important reason: it would exacerbate all the crap that's going on. I don't diet (or do "food plans" or "lifestyle changes" or whatever jargon Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers and the rest are selling this year) because I spent my entire childhood dieting, thinking about dieting, or cheating on a diet. (I am not exaggerating. Name a plan, I'll bet I tried it.) More than anything, endless dieting is what fucked up my perceptions of food and how I relate to it. Just the thought of dieting is loaded with emotional baggage, like fear of failure and guilt and uncertainty. I finally realized (after a final disastrous attempt at NutriSystem, which I was pressured into my ex-husband's family) that what I need to do is stop focusing so damn much on what's going into my mouth and focus more on what's going on inside my head.
So that's why I don't diet. And I always feel defensive about it, because clearly, I haven't successfully dealt with what's inside my head yet.
I want this therapy to work, but right now I'm scared shitless. In my less rational moments, it feels like my life and all my plans are falling down around my ears like a flimsy house of cards.
For now, I'm crawling into bed. My new sleepy pills are kicking in.
February 24, 2003
I had a very good weekend, despite being snowed in for a good part of Sunday (not as bad as my mom though, there were snowdrifts higher than her waist in their driveway). I went over to Dawn and Jason's on Friday night, and due to my lack of sleep Thursday night, ended up staying there until Saturday morning. I would've stayed there longer, but the snowstorm was starting, and, since I hadn't fed the cats, couldn't afford to get stranded there. I love Dawn and Jason. They feed me things like paczki (a Detroit area tradition, for you uninitiated) and let me
harrass play with Justin, who's almost two (!). I adore that boy. We're still teaching him to say "Aunt Lisa". I think he can say it, but isn't. Sample conversation this weekend:
Dawn: Justin, can you say "Lisa"?He grinned the whole time. Definitely a sense of humor, that kid.
Dawn: No, "Lisa".
When we weren't eating, we watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which all three of us loved (unanimous movie opinions are rare). And then after Justin went to bed, Dawn and Jason continued their program to hook me on to Dark Age of Camelot the same way they hooked me on EverQuest.
Well, it worked, because I bought it on Sunday and spent most of yesterday futzing around with my computer as a result. Initial impression: DaoC is lightyears ahead of EQ. Everything I hated about EQ seems to be fixed in DaoC. And I'd been jonesing for a computer game to get into, so it's all good.
But now it's a Monday, and life goes back to normal. Feh.
February 21, 2003
So... I finally fell asleep at 5:30 this morning, giving me a grand total of an hour and a half of sleep. Therefore, a stop at Starbucks was not a luxury, it was a necessity. As I walked in and placed my order (the first time I've ever ordered anything with a double shot of espresso, god help me), the music changed to something I couldn't quite make out. There were two guys behind the counter, and the following conversation ensued:
Guy 1: Oh man, I always think that song is House of Pain when it starts cause of the intro. *starts singing "Jump Around"*
Me: If you get that stuck in my head this morning, I'm not going to be a happy camper.
Guy 2: What about Criss Cross?* *starts "singing"* Criss Cross'll make you, jump, jump!
Guy 1: Dude, you can't get anything stuck in somebody's head. You can't sing the tune, and you always forget the lyrics.
I walked out the door giggling. Yay for goofy Starbucks employees!
* - Anybody remember them? Has there been a Behind the Music on them yet?
February 20, 2003
This somehow seems incredibly wrong: Pooka spent all week avoiding me (out of a desire to avoid her medication and to punish me for taking her to the vet), and finally tonight climbed into my lap and was all snuggly and purring.
Her follow up appointment, complete with shots, is tomorrow. Damn it.
Speaking of doctor's appointments, mine went okay yesterday. I'm going back on Zoloft, which at this point I can only think of as a good thing. I've also got an appointment to go meet with a new therapist on Monday. Cautiously optimistic about this. I'd like very much to feel as if I'm actually in control of my life again.
February 19, 2003
This is why I adore
This is why I adore Jon Stewart and "The Daily Show": "You know you're in trouble when thousands of South Americans take time out of protesting their government to protest ours."
February 17, 2003
Watching the news, I get appalled and amused...
Cinderella says "Local restaurants are refusing to serve French and German wines and beers because 'until they remember what we did to help them in World War II and start supporting us, we're not going to sell their products.'"
Mo Jave says "Why will duct tape save you from a terrorist attack?"
Cinderella says "Probably the same way dumping Dom Perignon down the sink shows patriotism. Dude, I dunno. I just live here. People are getting crazy. :P"
Mo Jave says "Dumping Dom Perignon down the sink shows patriotism?"
Cinderella points above about local restaurants around here. "The lady I quoted was shown dumping a $125 bottle down the sink."
Mo Jave says "Dumping Dom Perignon down the sink shows abject stupidity."
Haylon puts his hand over his face.
Cinderella says "Yeah, and saying you're doing it because the French, who have the audacity to question the war in Iraq, don't appreciate what we did for them in WWII is even dumber."
Mo Jave says "Hell, if you want to put down the French, why not tear down the Statue of Liberty?"
Haylon says "Well, I'm sure they didn't help us in the American Revolution either!"
Haylon says "Oh... wait...."
Mo Jave says "Wait, yeah they did."
Mo Jave says "Damn it."
Cinderella was seriously ashamed of her state, and was intensely glad it was just the local news.
Cinderella says "Oy, Mo, don't give people ideas. I'm surprised there hasn't been a committee formed to -- oh shit. Yes, there has been. I saw a link the other day. Some ultra-Christian group wants to send back the statue of Liberty."
Haylon laughs, "Now that says everything there is to be said."
Mo Jave cackles!
Mo Jave says "That's hysterical!"
Haylon says "WE DON'T NEED NO STINKING LIBERTY!"
Mo Jave says "KEEP YOUR FUCKING POOR AND HUDDLED MASSES!"
Cinderella says "They're probably terrorists, anyway!"
Alison Krauss has one of the sweetest voices I've ever heard. It's one of the those voices that makes you enjoy music you wouldn't ordinarily enjoy, just because of her. In my opinion, she's the main reason the O, Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack did so well.
In other news, I felt sick to my stomach and not at all hungry all morning, right up until the time I sat down at my desk. Then all of a sudden I was ravenous. Grar.
February 15, 2003
Watching "Trading Spaces" always makes
Watching "Trading Spaces" always makes me think I want to at least paint something in my apartment. I'm so lazy though, I can't imagine that I ever will.
It is a very cold night here. It's so cold, Rumpus has spent the last two hours squarely in my arms curled in a warm little ball and will not budge. When I get up and move, he waits until I get back, then climbs back up. It's cold enough I'm surprised Pooka isn't here as well, but she's still avoiding me since her trip to the vet. Fortunately, she seems to be feeling a lot better.
Today was another lost day. I had plans to go shopping, go to the movies, do some homework... and ended up falling asleep on the couch all afternoon. Doctor on Wednesday. Maybe they'll have some ideas about this.
Spring break in two weeks. Jeez. Midterms before that. Yikes. Where'd the semester go?
February 14, 2003
I'm seriously digging on my
I'm seriously digging on my Launchcast station. I'm starting to weed out the crap they're 'recommending' for me and adding fun stuff. If you decide to go listen to it, be ready for a weird mix of music though. The front page right now shows Patsy Cline next to Faith No More. It amuses me.
February 13, 2003
Crazy insane day around here. As I was getting ready for school this morning, I noticed Pooka was acting strangely. She's been hiding since last night, woke me up snarling at Rumpus (well, sort of waking me up--I remember stirring briefly in the middle of the night to remind her that she was a cat and not a dog, so quit the growling).
Then I got a good look at her this morning, and she looked terrible. Eyes puffy, crouching, couldn't stop shaking her head or twitching her left ear. When she finally came to see me, I saw that her ear was really inflamed. Bright red, hot to the touch. When she jumped off the bed and fell over, I knew I had to take her to the vet. I was pretty sure she had an ear infection.
Her vet, by the way, is marvelous. If anybody reading this is in Ann Arbor and has cats, I can't recommend the Ann Arbor Cat Clinic highly enough. After taking a good look at Pooka's ear and skin (this is acne cat, remember), the vet says she's probably got allergies and recommended changing her food. Then sent Pooka home after giving her a steroid shot, some ear drops, and what essentially looks like amoxicillin.
As soon as we got home, Pooka ran and hid. I hear her growl every so often, but I haven't seen her since. This could prove a problem when medication time comes. I may have to camp the food bowl. (Whoa, where'd that EQ-ism come from?)
So, day of little school and much worry. I hate having a sick animal. Pooka's skittish enough as it is, but when I have to do something like this (or give her medicine or cut her claws) she just acts like I've committed an act of betrayal. It's unfair that we can't explain to our cats that we're really tormenting them because we love them. Seriously.
February 12, 2003
Some songs seem to crystallize a single moment or era, have you noticed? You hear the song, and boom, you're back in a part of your life. "Winter" by Tori Amos is one of the saddest, loveliest songs I've ever heard. The instant I hear the piano hook at the beginning, it's suddenly 1994, I'm twenty-two again, and I'm on the verge of discovering EVERYTHING.
When you gonna make up your mind?
When you gonna love you as much as I do?
When you gonna make up your mind?
Cause things are gonna change so fast...
There is so much wind and so much snow that I absolutely rediscovered tonight what "white out conditions" really mean. I half wondered if I would need to tie a rope from my car to my front door lest I get lost between the two and end up lost on the prairie where I'd freeze to death. Oh wait. I'm getting confused with the Little House books.
February 11, 2003
Study: Subconscious bias against fat
Honestly, does this really surprise anybody? I'm just surprised the bias is that subconscious. :P
February 10, 2003
Who knew doing taxes could be fun?
I did my taxes tonight online. If you go here, you can use TurboTax to fill out and file your returns online for free. It's insanely cool. I'm never ever doing paper forms again. It asked me a bunch of questions, I fed it numbers, and boom. Tax return done. And I had a fairly complicated return this year--at least, complicated for me. I didn't have to worry about tax law or how to count things, it just asked about my 1099s and 1098s and Schedule C and blah blah blah. I just gave it my numbers and it did everything else. It was marvelous. I'm getting a kick ass refund, plus I got to support my ex-employer's biggest rival to boot. Life is good.
"Who's a liddle fear demon?"
This was one of the first Buffy episodes I ever saw back when it originally aired, and I about fell out of my chair laughing.
Edited to also add: I just came back from a run to the corner convenience store, and came back with two items:
1. A jumbo economy overnight Mother-Nature-Really-Hates-Your-Ass sized package of Always With Wings
2. A pint of Ben & Jerry's Super Fudge Chunk.
I think nothing more needs be said about my physical and emotional states right at this moment.
At the top of my list...
...of things to smile about on a cold and snowy Monday morning: Watching Rumpus stretch his full length up the bedroom window (which has gotten substantial--my kitten's getting huge!) to bat frantically at snowflakes falling past the window, while Pooka stays warm on the bed and watches him mockingly.
February 07, 2003
This has been a pretty crappy week all around. I started out the week tired, and it just kept getting worse. There's a definite correlation between getting enough sleep and feeling good emotionally. The less sleep I get, the more I wind up feeling incapable, unloved, scattered, etc. In other words, when I'm sleep deprived, I have some pretty depressed feelings. This should not be a surprise to me by this point. What is a surprise is how I continue to NOT make good sleep a priority.
The funny thing is, the less sleep I get, the harder it is to go to bed at a decent hour. You wouldn't think that would be the case. It's almost as if I get so tired that I'm too tired to crawl off the couch and go to bed. Surely that's not it; that's far too pitiful sounding.
Damn it, this week I'm going to focus on getting more sleep. Bedtime will be between 10:30 and 11 on weeknights. Maybe even weekends. Who says I have to stay up late on weekends anyway? I am also not going to be the earthly embodiment of sloth this weekend, either.
February 06, 2003
February 05, 2003
I think this psychology prof works down the hall from me. At the very least, she's definitely in the same building. Clearly, she's been studying me, because she's sure got my number. I am definitely an "overthinker", always have been. Maybe I should check out her book.
On a ranty note, Dannon yogurt changed their packaging lately, which included changing the logo on the cup and such. Also, they dropped the amount of yogurt in the cup from 8 ounces to 6--without making the cup any smaller. On the side of the cup, it reads: "Room in every cup for your favorite mix-ins... create your own yogurt experience!" Did I mention that it cost the same as it did when it was 8 ounces? Yeah, my yogurt experience is now going to include switching to a brand that isn't trying to rip me off.
On another ranty note, academics clearly are not cash-handlers, or else why was I faced with seeing quarters mixed with dimes mixed with nickels while I tried to do the bookkeeping for our study this morning? Here's a hint: change is sorted for a reason. Just because it all looks silver does not mean it all goes together. The me who used to be a bank teller and the me who used to work with accountants spent my first hour at work screeching in outrage.
Following the herd and taking the quiz...
February 03, 2003
Editors have a sense of humor too!
Normally I limit posts and updates about my writing to my writing journal, but I got a rejection letter today from an editor that made me laugh out loud. It's a spec fic story about a writer and his muse, and the writer, explaining his career so far, describes his only heartening response as a form letter with a little handwritten note scribbled on it that says, "Good luck, Wiliam!", with his name misspelled.
The rejection I got, while not precisely a form letter, had, handwritten at the bottom of the letter: "Good luck, Lissa!"
Who says editors don't have a sense of humor?
February 02, 2003
Well, I certainly spent far too much time watching CNN this weekend, as I imagine a lot of people did. I finally hit the saturation point around noon today, when I fell asleep in front of the television and started dreaming about Columbia. I just couldn't take getting choked up anymore.
So I turned off the tv and spent the afternoon doing some homework. Emphasis on "some", as in, not all. Tomorrow night's going to be busy. Generally, I wasn't nearly as active or productive this weekend as I'd hoped to be. At least I got some quality nap time in with the cats.
February 01, 2003
Every January 28th I think about Challenger. This year was no different. That was three days ago.
I feel thirteen again, hearing about Challenger from my dad when he picked me up from school. But then sometimes suddenly I'm eight, remembering all the excitement surrounding Columbia's first mission. A reusable space craft! It was a marvel of an idea to us then, and it still is today.
None of the coverage has upset me to the point of crying, until I saw this.