I’ve always had sleep issues, I just didn’t understand that they weren’t normal. It would regularly take me hours to fall asleep even long before homework kept me up till the small hours of the morning. It wasn’t rare to “pass” my dad getting up for work - in my defense, the man got up at 4:30 AM for YEARS - when I was finally sacking out for the night. But no teenager sleeps well, right?
- (cw: discussion of suicide) I’ve been thinking lately about chronic illnesses and the “Spoon Theory”. Basically, the idea is that activities that healthy people factor into their days automatically - getting dressed, showering, going about their normal daily routines - can be costly enough to people with chronic illnesses that they may not have enough energy to do them all, or have very little left over - they have a much tighter “energy-budget” to work within.
- I’m feeling really upbeat and thankful right now which is strange, because the end of this week was really a struggle. I can’t yet decide if there is comfort or horror in the knowledge that the bad days will end, and that if I can keep everything well balanced they pass in days and not weeks or months. The thing is, if bad times always end, and they do, then so do the good times.
- Sometimes I really hate my brain. Today, as a totally random example, has been utterly awful. I woke up out of a nightmare half an hour before my alarm, spent the next 20 minutes fishing around for someone to distract me so I would make sure I didn’t fall back asleep (and resume being pursued by a creepy monster while stringing multiple men along romantically and trying not to miss a ferry) and the next hour trying to persuade myself to start my day.
- I started therapy with a therapist whose primary approach is Cognitive Behavior Therapy, rather than “just” check-ins with my prescribing doctor about my moods & how the meds are going, in early February. That shit is HARD. I’ve heard “lets look at it a different way” and “But what if it wasn’t?” a LOT, recently. Lots about self-care, and ways to basically hack my life and manage expectations so that I feel better about where I am now, rather than frustrated about where I could be.
- We’re finally wrapping up 2015, and a lot of people seem to like doing some kind of end of year wrap-up. That’s not usually me, but since I’m at the edge of someplace good, and it’s the edge of the year, just this once I’m going to make an exception. Ladies and gentlemen, the State of the Rachael - is strong. No, really. I think me and my doctor are done adjusting meds for awhile, and while life isn’t perfect, it’s so much better than it was a year or even six months ago, that there really isn’t any comparison.
- Being treated for mental illness with medicines is not as easy as, say, being treated for an infection with an antibiotic. There’s an amazing and somewhat horrifying amount of guesswork involved. There’s no blood test for depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or the slew of other things that effect a broad swath of humanity (yet). There’s no way to measure what exactly is lacking, or overdone, or exactly what needs adjusted, to bring someone back towards the mean.
- (note: none of these are currently true, to my knowledge) If I fall asleep on a plane, they won’t wake me up when we get where we’re going, and will just fly off again with me on-board, specifically, to Denver, Colorado. Soreness in my arm means that I am having a severe allergic reaction to my tetanus/whooping cough booster shot, and my arm is about to fall off. A co-worker will never speak to me again, because my husband annoyed him.
- I’ve always been pretty down on holidays. Buying things for people and hoping they’ll like them because you see them once every year or two and have no idea what the hell they’re into these days. Travel, plus winter weather. That weird conversation with your family where you tell them you don’t want any wine, or beer, or spiked egg nog, but no, you’re not pregnant, and please will they just leave you and you god damn Coke Zero alone?
- Well, comfortably is probably a stretch. It is surprisingly hard to get involved with things these days, though. I am struggling to keep engaged with things that I used to enjoy, finding myself just not able to find the energy to get emotionally engaged in the sports I have loved, the hobbies I enjoyed, even playing games with my husband. I find myself retreating into reading a lot, mostly familiar stories by familiar authors I don’t have to put much effort into.