Update

Oct. 20th, 2011 05:40 pm
miss_invisible: (gws: Jamie listening)
The parents going to a session with Dee seems to have gone well– I'll know more when I see her again on Monday. Thanks to those of who had reassurances on that front, I really appreciate it.

I've been a bit under the weather with a mild cold, and the literal weather here has been awful and dreary, which is a bummer. Also it's getting dark early and I do not like it. HOWEVER, significant cheering up in that I had a phone interview for a job! I should know soon if they want me for an in-person one. Fingers crossed! JUST KIDDING. :[

In other news my focal seizures gave me auditory hallucinations the other night. That was, uh, worrying. I hope it doesn't become a regular thing, it's never happened before. No me gusta.
miss_invisible: (hh: sad alot)
So, obviously that whole updating while I was in Europe thing didn't happen, life was fairly busy. That said, the course went well and I am now certified, and as a bonus my classmates were all awesome. I hope you have all been well while I've been gone.

I'm now on the mildly frantic hunt for a job, which so far is not going great and has been stressing me out far more than the class did. There's been a fair amount of unprompted crying fits and afternoons of total depressive shutdown– it's kiiiiind of a problem. I've managed to get three apps in, but so far no luck. European employers are particularly obnoxious, because they all want EU residents rather than mess with visa paperwork– this is not very helpful when the goal is to move to the EU permanently.

Tdoc Dee thinks I am handling all the pressure and life upheaval very well. I think that is sweet of her, but only true when you compare me to me, not when you compare me to people who can function like normal humans. (I may be a bit frustrated. Just a bit.)
miss_invisible: (gws: pals)
Sorry about the lack of posting. Good news: I am going to France for a month to do that English-teaching certification I mentioned. Bad news: this means I have been SO BUSY getting ready. I leave at the end of the week. EGADS. That said, I have been handling the attendant stress reasonably well, primarily by having so much to accomplish I don't have time to think about it too much.

That said, I am concerned about being a student again, because that worked out sooooo well last time. /sarcasm. I suppose even if I stress myself into insanity, at least it's only a month. I consider this a pretty important test of the coping strategies and skills I've been working on with tdoc Dee for the last year– if I can't handle this, it's a serious red flag for any subsequent plans of moving there to work on a long-term basis.

So far mostly I've just felt lazy about doing my prep reading, though– I think a year away from academia has spoiled me!

I'll probably be too busy to update for a little while, but I'll try to post once I've settled in. Ta!
miss_invisible: (gws: Jamie listening)
I've had a nasty spate of migraines lately– needless to say, I am not happy about it. Mine are usually quite spaced out, but these have all been within a few days of each other and even more brutal than usual. They keep slamming into me right before bedtime, and I can't figure out what might be triggering them– none of my usual migraine triggers seem applicable. Sigh. I'm not on any migraine medication because the risks associated with it terrify me and I've gotten sort of used to them– I had my first migraine at age 5. However, I also usually don't have more than one every month or two to tough out (OTC painkillers pretty much do nothing), instead of one every two or three days. Gah.

In brighter news, however, I've been very carefully saving my money for some time now to pay for a certification course in teaching English as a foreign language. It's not on the order of paying for graduate studies, but it's not cheap either, and the limited hours I work mean I don't make very much right now. Today, though, I was checking my finances and it looks like I have enough for tuition. Exciting! I need to hold off a bit longer so I can pay for other incidental expenses, plane flights, ect, but it's really nice to actually have my goal within sight.

Update

May. 28th, 2011 03:33 am
miss_invisible: (garfield: hating the world)
I've been full of writing fail lately because I've been caught in something of a slump, and hence haven't had much to talk about or the energy to talk about it. I'm doing okay, it's not one of the really bad lows, but I've been feeling very blah and unmotivated and drained in recent weeks. Somewhere in there I also got into a big fight with The Ex, but that's resolved now. (He and I have a tricky relationship because we were and remain friends, and it can be a thin line).

I really need to get a job, but I don't even feel like I have the energy reserves to deal with applying, never mind the actual working part. It's stressing me out, but I don't know what I want to do about it. Blegh.
miss_invisible: (hh: sad alot)
Kind of a slim month for the carnival, but here it is!

Over at A Multitude of Musings, Astrid writes A Self Care Plan for Triggers, listing her known triggers and ways to cope.

CBTish writes about the varied and potentially misleading ways of defining depression and finding individual solutions for self-care in The Net.

Finally, here at Miss Invisible, I discussed the role my pets play in my self-care in my post Pets and Depression.
miss_invisible: (garfield: love)
One of the best things I've done for my mental health seems, on the surface, wildly counter-intuitive: taking care of something else. For much of my life there have been pets in my house, but that stopped when I was in high school (except for the fish tank), and I didn't keep any in college either. The summer after I graduated, though, I found myself pining for a pet, and a local guinea pig rescue was having an adoption event in my area. I hemmed and hawed about it– I was in a pretty bad place at the time, still, and I was afraid the responsibility of keeping a pet would be too much for me to handle. I decided to go to the adoption event and see if there were even any guinea pigs I liked before making any final decision.

My mind kind of got made up for me; once I was there, I fell absolutely in love with a little smooth brown piggy with a delicate little face and silky fur. She took to me as soon as I picked her up, snuggling right in against my chest and licking my fingers, and I knew I had to have her. I got her a friend a little later, too, since they're social animals. Well, that was the goal, at any rate– they have a love/hate sort of frenemy relationship, so we'll call them Blair and Serena. Serena is a large albino abyssinian/peruvian cross, so she has fluffy, crazy hair. She sheds everywhere, but she's also the most trusting, cuddly piggy I've ever had, and she falls asleep in my lap on a regular basis.

They were the best decision I've made in a while. On my bad days, knowing I have innocent and essentially helpless creatures depending on me helps drag me out of bed and get me going when I might otherwise be tempted not to move. No matter how low I might feel, they're always happy to see me. Watching them play when I let them run around the floor for their daily exercise always makes me smile. When I'm lonely or depressed, they'll cuddle on my lap and purr. They're always a bright spot in the day, even if nothing else is going right. As I type this, Blair is rooting around for hay, and Serena is watching me from the front of the cage. Caring for them is caring for myself.
miss_invisible: (gws: pals)
I'm very pleased to be hosting the Blog Carnival of Mental Health for the month of April! This month's theme will be self care. I think all of us have a wide range of different opinions, experiences, and strategies surrounding this topic, so let's hear your thoughts!

To submit a post for the carnival, you can either:
1) comment to this post with a link
2) DW message me with a link
3) email me a link at nyx [dot] invisible [at] gmail [dot] com

If at all possible, I'd like to have submissions in by the 27th of the month so I'll have time to get the post together even if I'm low on spoons and/or time. However, I'll accept entries up until the post goes up on the 30th. I'm looking forward to seeing what you have to say!

Brb.

Mar. 13th, 2011 01:59 am
miss_invisible: (gws: pals)
I'm off to Europe for a week to visit a friend, so I won't be posting. Catch you when I'm back!
miss_invisible: (garfield: hating the world)
I have been an anxious wreck most of this week. I thought it was the stress/excitement combo of my upcoming trip, since while I like being other places I find travel itself rather nerve-wracking.

Today, however, I got my hair cut and now feel way better. If I was really making myself sick over nerves that my hair wouldn't look good, that is a kind of woeful commentary. (It does, incidentally, look good). Sometimes I feel like the less significant the issue, the more I stress about it. My reactions to my life are wildly disproportionate.

Of course, I could wake up tomorrow and have a total meltdown about what to pack, so who knows. I wish there were an easy way to pinpoint what is making me anxious at any given time.

Libya

Feb. 22nd, 2011 01:22 am
miss_invisible: (c&h: unfair)
I don't have much to say on the protests and violence there that hasn't already been said, but I thought I'd signal boost this link: What's Happening in Libya Explained. It also includes updates on what's happening as they're available.

World events seems to be moving at a breakneck pace currently. Please try to spread the word on your social networks of choice if you can– this stuff is important.
miss_invisible: (c&h: unfair)
If you follow the feminist blogosphere at all, you've probably heard about the US House of Representatives' various and sundry attempts to make womens' lives more difficult. Most recently, they passed a motion to cut funding for Planned Parenthood, in a move that made my blood boil. Other recent legislative misogyny includes South Dakota trying to establish fetal personhood and thus set precedent to make murder of abortion providers "self defense," the so-called "Protect Life Act" which will allow doctors to refuse to save the lives of pregnant women, and the HR3 bill redefining rape, among other things.

Most of the time, I'm too busy dealing with the faulty wiring in my brain to have much energy for advocacy. This blog is my way of participating, though mainly on the front of mental illness, because I firmly believe that the personal is political and vice versa.

This is personal. This is my country telling me that I have no right to bodily autonomy. This is my country telling me that my health does not matter. This is my country telling me that I am nothing but an incubator, and my life means nothing. This is my country trying to make it legal to let me die while surrounded by medical personnel. This is my country saying that being drugged, coerced, or unconscious means anyone has the right to my body. This is my country saying I am a disposable object. This is my country telling me that because I have a uterus, I am hated. And this, too, is my country saying all those things about family and friends and lovers, and it is not acceptable.

I refuse. I refuse to be told that I don't deserve the right to health care, to my own decisions, to protection under the law. I deserve those things, because I am a person.

Please, if you can, take action. Call or write to your Congresspeople. Sign Planned Parenthood's petition. Spread the word.
miss_invisible: (gws: pals)
Sorry for the temporary disappearance. I'm doing better now, and my moods have leveled out once again. I seem to be doing better in terms on energy levels as well, though I still have definite limits– I've been out and about running a variety of errands lately, which has left me very exhausted at the end of the day.

I'm now on an every-other week schedule with my tdoc Dee! Don't get me wrong, I like my tdoc, she's great, but it's a really great feeling of tangible progress to be able to step back the number of visits. She and I seem to be in agreement that I've hit a breakthrough point where I'm now able to, y'know, function like a normal person a good percentage of the time. I'm working part time, I'm doing various projects of my own, I'm not feeling like hell. It's a refreshing change. Hopefully the upward trend continues, though my progress seems to move in steps rather than a continuous curve.

My therapy homework for next time is to give some thought to when my anxiety started. What do you think, should I just print out that entry? Today she posited that, in the chicken-or-egg question of anxiety & depression, in my case the anxiety is the root of the rest of my problems. I found this interesting, since I generally consider them and their co-morbidity in more of a physiological light; anyone know of any research out there that suggests this kind of causal relation? I'm curious, and I know there's a lot of conflicting views and a lot we don't know about mental illness.
miss_invisible: (garfield: hating the world)
A slight hiatus here is likely, I've not been feeling too hot lately. Just a heads-up.
miss_invisible: (c&h: unfair)
I'm taking time out from my usual introspective dealings with mental illness to instead flip out over a different social issue. Today it's the TSA. I had followed the controversy over the new scanners and pat-down procedures at the time, but I didn't engage on the level that perhaps I should have, for a variety of reasons- first among them being my total lack of mental energy when all this was happening.

I'll be flying overseas in about a month and a half. While the trip itself is technically optional (for certain values of that term, anyway), taking another mode of transportation is not. I've heard some express the opinion that people who have a problem with the new security procedures just shouldn't fly, which I frankly think is a specious argument at best. It's not always a matter of just boycotting airplanes in a fit of righteous indignation. For those who can, it's all well and good to choose to do so, but a lot of us simply can't for various logistical or financial reasons. We can't just not take that business trip, can't just not go see our loved ones in other places, can't just let an opportunity go, whatever it may be.* That, then, leaves us with the issue of the screening.

A huge array of problems with it have already been pointed out by better bloggers than I (though I cannot for the life of me find the links I want). It's an invasion of privacy, a violation of the 4th Amendment. The radiation of the machines is potentially unsafe. It's ableist, singling out those who cannot hold the position required for the scanners and those with medical equipment such as prostheses. It's cissexist, putting individuals who don't conform to binary gender in a risky and potentially traumatic situation. Actually, the whole thing is potentially traumatic, when you come right down to it, and rife with opportunities for abuse of an already highly questionable system.

Personally, I'm torn as to what to do when it comes time for me to fly (besides praying to whatever deities may be listening that the government pulls its head out of its ass and changes these rules before then). I'm at a high risk for cancer, so I'm very leery of the radiation dose, especially since I may have to go through it multiple times due to layover locations. On the other hand, my alternative is to essentially molested. What the hell do I do? What do any of us do, besides (as is already happening) making a fuss over the various media at our disposal?

I honestly don't have an answer. I'm just angry and creeped out.


*I know my class privilege is showing here; being able to afford a flight or having a job that requires travel are inherently indicators of it. I'm not really in a position to speak for anyone without that privilege, though, so I'm just acknowledging the gap and leaving it there for now.

Ugh.

Jan. 26th, 2011 05:22 am
miss_invisible: (garfield: hating the world)
I am not someone who gets garden-variety virus-type sick much. When I do, though, my body seems to pull out all the stops. This fucking cold, seriously. NyQuil can't even touch it; here it is 5:30 AM and I'm still 1) awake and 2) miserable. Fuuuuuuck.
miss_invisible: (gws: Erin sadface)
As the savvy among you may have surmised from my absence, I've had a rough patch recently that's gotten in the way of me updating here. I seem to have developed an unexpected nasty side of social anxiety to go with the garden-variety stuff, as well as serious issues with going anywhere outside my 'known territory.' Needless to say, it's inconvenient at best.

However, that's not actually what I want to talk about right now. Read more... )
miss_invisible: (gws: aaaaaaah!)
Pro tip: telling someone that "you do this to yourself" when that person is barely past a panic attack is not a good idea.

Not really feeling stable enough to write right now. Hopefully I'll be back soon.
miss_invisible: (garfield: love)
For all those who celebrate it, merry Christmas! I'll be spending it with my parents and good food– my ramblings will return some time after the festivities (such as they are in my house) are over. Take care, everyone, and may your nearest & dearest not drive you completely up a wall.
miss_invisible: (gws: coffee sulk)
Dear Ativan,

You were first prescribed to me on an as-needed basis for panic attacks, and you were so good to me. Other meds often do awful things to my system, but the worst you ever did was knock me out, which was nice when I was, y'know, too panicked for rest. So it made sense for the pdoc to put me on you when I needed a day-to-day med. Just a tiny bit, just a quarter of a .5 mg tablet. Barely a dose at all.

So why you gotta play me like this, Ativan? I thought we were going to have fun together! I thought we were bros! Instead you make me feel blah and tired all the time as if I'm not taking my antidepressants at all. You crash me hard into twitchy nerves when my dose wears off, reinforcing my insomnia issues in the process. You make me incredibly temperamental so I get angry for no reason. You fuck with my appetite/metabolism. You make me bump into things and drop stuff all the time.

Get your act together, Ativan, or I will drop you so fast you won't know what happened. I didn't even want to add more drugs in the first place.

-Nyx
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