Independence Day

One day is pretty much like the others for me now but I thought I would wish everyone else (American at least) a Happy Independence Day! And since it’s Independence Day, I should declare myself independent of some guilt. My (new) therapist has asked me how long I intend to keep punishing myself for losing my job and she said I just need to declare that I am done. Put it in writing, she said. So here, I am publicly announcing it:

I, Manic Monday, hereby do declare that I shall not feel guilty over losing my job.
-Thursday, July 4, 2013

Things didn’t go exactly as I planned there, some of it was my fault, some of it wasn’t, but I can’t keep blaming myself for losing the job. It’s gone and done. I just have to try to find a new one. (Easier said than done, sadly.)  It was a really bad place for my mental health and my mind is better off not there.  I might have to work three jobs instead of one, but everyone goes through phases in their life.  Hopefully, this is just a phase.

Wow, my therapist was right.  It is liberating to write something like that.  She also told me to draw with my left hand using crayons.  That’s kind of liberating too.  I did it one day when my anxiety was really high and discovered what anxiety “looks” like to my inner self.  It was really interesting.  I’m going to take it with me to my next therapy session.

Anyway, that’s all I have to share for today.  🙂

 

 

TV

I’ve been watching Castle reruns for nearly five hours now. I saw all the episodes when they came out but apparently I’ve forgotten who done it because most of them I am surprised at the end. The real question is: why have I been watching television all day?

Well, it’s been a crappy day. Not super crappy, just crappy. And tonight is the night my husband works so I am alone. I don’t feel like reading and I can’t sit still at the computer. So I am watching TV.

A lot has happened over the past couple of weeks, from dropping my bitchy therapist to a job interview, the latter of which isn’t looking so good. I have a long to-do list and not much I am doing on it. The car didn’t want to start this morning, so I didn’t feel safe taking it on a grocery run. Yeah, lots of little crap happened today.

I know I’ve been pretty quiet on my blog lately, both this one and my fanfic one. I’ve been feeling lonely on the bipolar front. Would someone email me? Not that it matters, I don’t have anything to say. I am so lucky to have a wonderful husband, but he can’t be my only support. I don’t know what I’m doing anymore. Wasting time and wasting money.

I guess I’m just feeling a little down tonight. Thanks for reading.

Tired

I’m really tired today. In fact, if not for autocorrect I wouldn’t have gotten through that last sentence. How sad is that?

I’m on plan period while subbing today. Basically I get (nearly) an hour to myself. I wish it wasn’t 2nd hr though. It’s going to be a LONG day. 😦

It’s tough being a sub sometimes. These kids are not great. And my 3G doesn’t work in the class so I am bored. All I get is $50. I need the money though.

I’m not just physically tired. I am emotionally tired too. I realized that things are just draining me. Even the thought of doing things drain me. This unemployment has gone on for too long. We are nearly out of money and neither of us has a full time job. Bills, medicine, you name it. Having to sell this house that I love. I just retreat into the Xbox and hide. I was doing pretty good on my writing until 2 days ago now that’s gone stagnant too. (I’m ahead of my goal so I still have postings on my fanfic blog. )

I wonder what’s wrong with me but I think I figured it out – subconscious stress. I also think I’m wading through a bit of depression. I don’t know what else could be wrong.

I think that sums things up for now. I’ll try to write more when I’m not hiding.

I feel like I should be writing

There’s that evil word again: should. I should be doing this or that, I shouldn’t have done something else… it goes on and on. What does the word should get me other than guilt? Someone should take the word ‘should’ out of the English language. OK, that time it was a pun. 😉

I am constantly full of regret. I am scared as our savings is getting quite low. Neither DH nor I have full time jobs and COBRA is eating away our savings like you wouldn’t believe ($800+ /mo). I don’t know how much longer I can afford it. I would hate to go without insurance but what else can I do? If I had known about this state insurance program while I was still on unemployment then I could have gotten that but I didn’t so oh well. How do people live in this country???

There are lots of things I ‘should’ have done… like look for private insurance (it’s cheaper than I thought) and I didn’t know I could qualify for a deferment on my student loans. (I think my deferment time is spent though, so it would be forbearance time.) I waited on my student loan because you need to pay interest on it or the principle goes up and I didn’t want to do that while I could still afford it. (Afford being a relative term, of course.) But our money is dwindling fast and I’ve got to start with the desperate measures. Some programs are only available while you are collecting unemployment so I should have applied for them last year. (There’s that ‘should’ word again. Really, it ought to be banned.)

Anyway, I feel like I should be writing on here more but there still isn’t anything to talk about. I am working on insurance options and stuff like that today, wishing I had done it a long time ago. But I can’t change the past and I so I need to work towards the future. That’s all I can do.

Feeling Worthless

I’m feeling pretty worthless and full of regret. Regret does no one any good but still it seems instilled in me – when you feel like crap make sure to make it worse because it can always be worse. That sounds like a rambling bit of bullshit, doesn’t it?

The job search thing is going poorly. I am trying to apply to places but I don’t have what it takes to get a job, it seems. No callbacks, nothing. How can I be so smart and yet so useless? I emailed a friend of mine last week for help but she has been busy and hasn’t been able to get back to me. I talked to her tonight but she is swamped trying to get a proposal uploaded before the deadline. She didn’t hear me but I was near to tears when we got off the phone. Oh, it’s nothing she did, it’s just knowing that these are the things that she and I used to do together when I worked there. Things that I should be doing, had I not gotten kicked out of academia for being female.

I feel like crying and yet not crying. I want my old teaching job back. I even want the hell of a job I had here back. I wouldn’t let them make me crazy this time. It would be different, I swear. That’s probably just a lie I am telling myself. I’m still crazy, it’s just a matter of which level.

I’m having a hard time being a scientist, or thinking of myself as a scientist. I need a better research proposal for my job applications so DH suggested I research carbon nanotubes. There are thousands of papers on carbon nanotubes. Probably hundreds published every month. How am I supposed to come up with a novel idea centered around carbon nanotubes when there is so much out there and no foreseeable path? If this were a dream, I would be trapped, wading through a forest of carbon nanotubes finding no end and no beginning. No water, no light, naught but an endless forest. That’s how it feels right now. I feel hopeless.

They say there is light at the end of the tunnel, but I don’t see any light. It’s dark as pitch and I can’t feel my way. My mind is blank – devoid of anything useful. All my senses are gone – defunct in this quest for survival. All I want is to teach, to be a university professor, but apparently so does everyone else. The competition is fierce and overwhelming. My four years of experience teaching seem to be a waste of time as I don’t even get callbacks for phone interviews. Why has my life gone awry?

I no longer recommend going to college. I especially don’t recommend going into science. And whatever you do, don’t waste your time on a PhD. It’s fun while it lasts, but eventually it will mean nothing more than you aren’t employable.

Bored & Eaten

I’ll address the eaten part first. WordPress ate this post. Probably because I didn’t finish writing it yesterday when I started it. I think WP gets the munchies if it has to stare at a half-written post for too long. (Maybe that’s why it eats them upon the Save Draft command.) In any case, I have defeated the WP blog monster this time by copying and pasting the draft into a text program. While this has preserved said post, it has not added anything to it in terms of quality. Regardless, let me rewind to yesterday…

I’ve been bored and down lately. We were supposed to go visit a friend of mine for Christmas, but they got ice and snow down there so it wasn’t safe to drive. This left us at home with no Christmas dinner only what we could scrounge around the house. And cookies. I was giving them cookies for Christmas so we got to eat those. (I know, bad for the diabetes.) DH was also sick the day after Christmas so it’s been quiet here. I haven’t felt like leaving the house although I have mustered up the energy to do a couple of quick errands. But grocery shopping? That takes way too much energy – more than I have. We’ve just been playing video games for the past three days.

Bah Humbug! I’ve felt no holiday spirit this year. 😦 Last year was great because my niece visited, even though my arm was still healing and DH and I were separated for the holiday. (He went home to visit his family.) It would have been a wonderful Christmas if he had stayed, but it was good even without him. I’ll never be able to afford to have my niece visit again, but she has a family now so wouldn’t happen anyway.

I hate New Year’s Eve. It will be 25 years ago this year that I survived a near fatal car crash but when I hear sirens it feels like yesterday. I wrote about it last year in New Year’s Eve and some of the medical I went through in my gallbladder post.

Back to today… I know that last thought was sort of left hanging there, but I didn’t want to go back to that frame of mind again. Yes, I’m still bored and slightly down, but my car accident is not something I want to revisit again. I just don’t. I’ve gone down that road so many times… and it’s still not paved. Probably each time it’s traveled I level it a little bit more, but I really need a break from it. Let’s just not turn down the path this time. (I may change my mind by Monday, but that’s how I feel right now.)

Going out with friends last night really helped me, even if it was a long battle to get ready. I spent all day yesterday procrastinating on taking a shower until the last minute. Then I just threw some clothes on and we went. Saw Les Miserables, the movie. It’s quite good. Very sad, but then the story is very sad. I recommend the book (find the abbreviated version if you aren’t a European history fan) and the musical. I keep wondering if I will find myself out on the street in a few months time as well… more depressing thoughts I don’t wish to indulge. Sigh.

We had dinner, saw friends and went to a movie. If we leave it at that, then this post ends on a happy note. Remember friends, the difference between comedy and tragedy is where the scene ends.

 

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

So long to Snoballs

As you may have heard on the news, Hostess is closing it’s factory doors. No more Twinkies, HoHos, donettes, cupcakes, or most importantly (to me) Snoballs. I love Snoballs. They are my feel good food. When life really gets me down, I can always have a Snoball and it feels a little bit better for a few minutes.

Snoballs are probably not the most popular of the Hostess line, so there is no guarantee that they will be picked up by another manufacturer. Besides, who else could create such a concoction? Cream-filled chocolate cake wrapped in a layer of marshmallow and sprinkled with coconut. It’s hard to stay depressed when faced with a Snoball. Especially a pink one.

Look at the layers of yummy goodness!

So when I found out last week that Hostess was going out of business, I went out a picked up a few supplies. I’m not a connoisseur of Hostess products, but I like them. You know what you are getting when you eat one, and most importantly, you know where you can get them and that they will always be there. Well, they won’t always be there anymore. I had to stock up.

My husband picked up a couple of boxes of Twinkies (which I hate personally) and we got a couple of boxes of cupcakes between us, but I had to get my Snoballs. I raided the Walmart. I got 8 packages of Snoballs, sixteen cakes in all, and only stopped there because the price was getting steep. But you can freeze your favorite Hostess treat if you take it out of the package. (Did you know that? I didn’t or I would have bought more!)

So I am sad to say goodbye to this tasty treat that is part cake and part candy.  This cake that lifts me up just a little bit when I want to cry.  Snoballs are a treat, not an everyday food.  Once my stash of 7 packages (as of this writing) are gone, they are gone forever.  I think I want to cry now.

To all the bakery companies out there… please pick up the Snoball recipe!  I need my depression treat!

 

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Why am I not writing?

Even just now, I wrote the title and then left the computer. Why? Why am I so subconsciously opposed to writing? We talked about this in therapy. My therapist wanted me to start a journal. I wrote the first three days, missed a day, wrote, and now it’s been two or three days since I picked it up. Why?

After exploring it in therapy, I know why. I probably didn’t need therapy to tell me this, but I did need to think about it for myself. You see, any time I tried to keep a journal, my mother would read it. I remember one time, I was in junior high at the time, I wrote out on a couple of sheets of paper how I felt about my home life. I wrote that we (my mother, father and I) were three strangers living under the same roof. My mother found it, read it, and beat me for it. It was the last time she ever used the leather belt on me.

I kept a journal for a while when I was recovering from my car accident. I had to stay with my mom because I had no where else to go during my recovery. I kept my journal buried in the nightstand next to my bed. It didn’t matter because she found it and read it. I can’t remember how I found out, but I did.

Since then, I have intermittently kept a journal. I will buy all these cool journals but then never write in them because I feel that they are too good for whatever I have to say. Or I will start a journal and not finish it. I have one, it’s a pretty pink color, that I have intermittently written in since 2008. I’ve gone through about a third of the pages. I would write for a few days, then nothing for six months. When my cat Luna died, I wrote simply Luna died today. The way I wrote it, with such emphasis on the phrase with underlines, I can recall the pain I felt then.

When my therapist assigned journal writing as my “homework”, I went out and got a new journal. I found this composition notebook at the dollar store that has a funky colored cover. I also got some butterfly stickers at the dollar store and decorated it. I could have used my old journal but I wasn’t sure where it was and I wanted to start “fresh”. It sort of worked. I write in it some days. I’ve got no excuse for the most part except that I don’t make time for it. Or I don’t find anything to say. I mean, my life is boring and all I do is worry about being unemployed or money, so what else is there to write. I wrote at first about my therapist, maybe that’s why I wrote so much for a couple of days. Now that that well has run dry (I had no appointment last week) and I’m out of stuff to bitch about. 😉

I haven’t been writing here either. I did have a busy week last week, since I substituted four days. (One full day, two half days, and a 3/4 day.) It definitely kept me busy and I was tired by the end of Friday. I’ll post more on this separately.

It’s all just an excuse, isn’t it? Writing is supposed to be therapeutic, and it is when I have something on my mind, otherwise it’s just a chore. Most of my blog posts take me an hour to write. I spent about three hours yesterday on my next Canvas post on The Compassionate Brain webinar series. I wish I hadn’t committed myself to it. My summaries are two weeks past the air date and they take so much time to write. It all feels like so much effort for me right now. I don’t think I’m really depressed, although I am doing a bit of cycling, but still it feels like so much effort. I can’t imagine if I did this for a living. It takes me so long to write anything! (And it’s not my typing speed slowing me down.)

Well there. I wrote about not writing. Does anyone else have this problem? If so, how do you get around it? Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks.


© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Fight Stigma!

In 1990, the U.S. Congress established the first full week of October as National Mental Illness Awareness Week.  Here we are 22 years later and it’s still not acceptable to call into work as a sick day due to depression or other mental illness.  What happens if you tell your employer that you suffer from mental illness?  If you’re like me, you will lose your job.  Wait, that’s illegal!  Not if you work for a small company.  Check the fine print before you accept a job offer.

Some statistics for you to chew on…

Anxiety: 18% of the adult U.S. population, 23% of these cases are considered severe.  Women are 60% more likely to suffer from anxiety than men during their lifetime. (This includes Agoraphobia, GAD, OCD, Panic Disorder, PTSD, Social and other phobias)

Bipolar:  2.6% of the adult U.S. population, nearly 83% of them are considered severe cases.

Major Depressive Disorder: At any given time, this affects about 7% of the population, but when looking at lifetime prevalence, this increases to 16.5%.  Women are 70% more likely to suffer depression than men, and when looking at age groups, young and middle aged adults are most likely to be sufferers as compared to those over the age of 60.

Borderline Personality Disorder: 1.6% of the U.S. adult population.

Schizophrenia: 1.1% of the U.S. adult population.

I have selected to give you statistics for only a few of the major mental health issues.  Many more statistics can be found on the NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) website: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/statistics/index.shtml

While these numbers may seem small, these illnesses affect millions of people.  Millions of individuals with families, jobs, and responsibilities that can be difficult, if not impossible, to keep up with while suffering from an illness.  For some people, illnesses are comorbid (occurring together) but this doesn’t make the numbers less formidable.  For example, anxiety and depression often go together, which makes coping extremely difficult.

Although Mental Illness Awareness week is at a close, I hope you will keep in mind some of these statistics.  For those of you who are sufferers, you are not alone.  For those of you who are friends or family of someone with a mental health disorder, we appreciate you more than you’ll ever know.  For those of you who are neither… please join us in the battle against stigma.  Together we can make the world a kinder place.

 

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

World Mental Health Day 2012

 

Today is World Mental Health Day.  The focus this year is Depression.  As a sufferer of depression, more specifically bipolar depression, I can attest that depression is not a simple illness.  It affects you mentally, physically, socially and professionally.  It can be hard to get out of bed in the morning.  The day drags by and you don’t really care if that report gets done on time or how well it gets done.  Everything feels grey and pointless.  You want to go home and go to bed.  Just get the day over with.  You think, “I’ll start fresh tomorrow.”

But tomorrow is just like today. Another cloudy day in your dreary life.

Approximately 5-8% of the American population suffers from Major Depression Disorder (MDD) and women are twice as likely to be affected when compared to men (NAMI 2009).  MDD is often a recurring illness, as half of all sufferers will have repeated episodes.  There are also genetic risk factors for MDD.

Depression is thought to be the result of an imbalance of the neurotransmitters seratonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, which are chemical messengers in the brain.  Most antidepressants work by changing the balance of these neurotransmitters, usually by changing the sensitivity or affecting their receptor sites.  For example, SSRIs or Selective Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitors, work by blocking the reuptake receptors in the brain.  This means that the brain does not reabsorb as much seratonin as it normally would, leaving extra to float around and combat depression.

Depression is more accepted than other mental illnesses, although there is still plenty of stigma to go around.  You may have heard, “snap out of it”, “cheer up”, or “it’s not that bad”.  Yes, even trivial things are “that bad” when you are suffering from depression.  As well meaning as your family, friends or coworkers might be, if they have never suffered from depression, then they don’t understand how you can feel so down.

Depression is a serious illness and should be treated seriously.  So join me today in the battle against stigma and spread the word about World Mental Health Day.

 
© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.