Keeping up

I’m trying to become more prolific with this blog. My small cult of readers seem to somewhat enjoy it and it gives me a medium with which I can observe my life and thoughts as if I were an outsider. I’m hoping to eventually start doing some creative writing as well.  I’m something of a poet at times but the inspiration rarely strikes me. I like words. They put thoughts into practice and ascribe meaning to the seemingly mundane. 

I plan to do a post one day strictly about all the concerts I’ve been to and the related awesome memories. Perhaps I could do a post about things I enjoy cooking. I’m just trying to think of ways in which I could diversify my content a bit. 

I’m trying to avoid the usual stream of consciousness stuff that I so frequently resort to.  I’m not trying to play to an audience as much as I’m simply growing bored with same old rundown and generalized updates. I’m well aware that my life really is not THAT fascinating. 

As unfocused as this particular post is, I feel it’s important to have a brainstorming session of sorts with myself. I’m not certain what my strong points as a writer really are. I’d like to think I have a few, but honestly I’m far too critical of my own work most of the time.  I’m not above taking some feedback from my readers as long as it’s understood that I’m not really doing this for you. 

I have a few upcoming events which should give me some fresh subject matter to ruminate upon. Next Sunday I’m going to see the Summer Slaughter tour with Cannibal Corpse,  Nile,  Suffocation and many other bands. If nothing else I’ll have lots of fun to gush about.  I’m going to Alaska in a month and am quite excited about it as well.  It’ll be farther than I’ve ever been from home and I plan on taking lots of pictures and being outdoorsy as all hell. I’m a bit nervous about traveling that far but it’s an adventure not to be missed.

Some of my posting will still consist of Mental and Physical health updates. Some of my friends read this blog and it’s an easy way to keep my dear ones in the loop. I’m dealing with two chronic illnesses and WordPress is a wonderfully supportive environment for those like myself. Admittedly,  I need to start using the reader feature more and be more interactive with other bloggers. I’m slacking with keeping up with the blogs I like reading and for that you all have my profuse apologies.  I’m trying to branch out a little without getting sidetracked from the original purpose of this blog. Above all it’s a place where I can be myself.  

For those who read and get something out of it I extend my thanks. Thanks for making this more than just a space for me to bitch. As I said,  I do this mostly for myself but it blows my mind how many subscribers I have now.  Not bad for what was originally intended to be a ‘Hide out from my family and complain about my issues’ blog. I’m glad I relaxed and went public with it. My family doesn’t always understand me and I don’t always get them, but I love them dearly and I’m glad they more or less accept me and my various  quirks.

So yeah,  that’s about where I’m at with the ol’ Planet Berserk.  Thanks for reading and being a part of this strange exercise in documenting my thoughts. 

Regards-

Berserker 

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My Best Friend 

I don’t throw such words around carelessly.  I’ve had many friends and many people that I thought were friends until their true colors shone through.  It really isn’t until adversity gazes upon you that you know who can rightly be referred to as such. For all the genuine allies I have I’m positively floored by how many pretenders and outright fakes have passed through my life. 

The first time I was hospitalized for mental illness was not the first time I had lost people who I thought were friends.  I had just never been abandoned by so many at one time.  My real friends talked to me on the phone, visited me in the hospital and helped me find a job when I got out. A lot of people cast me aside like a piece of trash and I’m forever grateful for the people in my life who stood by me in those dark times. 

My Best friend has been on my side for about ten years. Her name is Roxy and she’s a Cat. She used to be my older Sister’s kitty. When my Sister got a teaching job at FSU one of the conditions of her faculty housing arrangement was no pets allowed. She had to find a new home for Roxy who was about two at the time.

I was about one year out of the Psych hospital after a severe nervous breakdown.  I was getting back on my feet and had just moved out of my Mom’s house into a place of my own. Truth be told I was still in pretty bad shape with depression,  albeit functionally so. 

My Sister knew exactly what She was doing for me when she asked me to take her in. It’s still unclear to me who really did a favor for who. I was living alone and pretty much just going to work and being sad and mopey. 

It had an immediately positive effect on my life. Suddenly not only was I not alone,  but someone depended on me. I had something to occupy my time besides being miserable.  Roxy is a very intuitive Cat. She grew up feral on the streets of Baltimore and still has a bit of a wild streak. That said, she always knows when I’m upset or not feeling right. She can be a total bitch sometimes,  and even occasionally hostile for the sake of trolling. In spite of this, she’s my favorite person in the whole damn world.  

She has me pretty well trained at this point.  She can be downright bossy and flat-out weird.  This, I presume is a Cat thing. Every place she has lived with other animals she becomes the Alpha female.  Where I live now there’s another Cat and a Dog. She pretty much rules the roost, like always.  

For all of this cranky bitchy hostility,  she is an unbelievably sweet Cat. Such a talker too. The most vocally active Cat I’ve ever known. I think it’s actually been really good getting her into my Boyfriend’s house with the younger Cat Marci and the Dog Browski.  They keep her entertained and occupied. She is about eleven years old now and I feel it’s important for her to stay active. 

Every day I come home from work she excitedly greets me. She and the other animals are such a joy to come home to.  They keep my spirit light and free. Everyone should know this kind of joy. 

As I  post this She and Shannon’s Dog are chilling on the couch with me like always.  It’s been a wonderful ten years with my Best Friend and I look forward to many more.  Love you Kitty O’Puss, my sweet dignified young Lady.

Special Thanks to my Big Sister Meg. You’re the best.  This freaking Cat saved my life many times over 🙂

Clarification 

I’m not THAT depressed.  I’ve been kind of moody and mopey lately, but that comes with being a Bipolar person. I AM feeling significantly better since the Wellbutrin was upped, I just lost sight of this when I wrote my last post. I have a way of magnifying things when I’m upset and was pretty bent out of shape that particular day. 

I’m actually having a pretty excellent week. People are still getting on my nerves but I’m dealing with it to the best of my ability. I can’t just hide out from the general public forever and I don’t intend to try to.  I’m actually pretty good at hosting,  to be perfectly honest.  It’s just the fact that for all my bravado I have a pretty fragile ego. This is something I’ve been trying to work on lately because pretty much any kind of job I’ll do involves some degree of human interaction.  

I am making what I consider a positive change, though. I talked to one of my managers about picking up some maintenance shifts. It bugs me that I have a bunch of tools that I never use. I’m already an early riser and I thought it would be good to have some stable income without much of the aforementioned dealing with the public. If I have to continue hosting it’ll only be two days out of my week. I’m hoping I can squeeze some bussing in there too as making tips is where it’s at. 

So yeah, I guess what I’m trying to say is that I was being ridiculous and things are actually pretty good right now.  I see the Rheumatologist next Friday and I’ll deal with the new meds when I get them started. It may take some getting used to and may hit me pretty hard but I’m not going to bury myself before I’m dead if you’ll excuse the expression.

Seeing the Psychiatrist next week and aside from asking for something to help with sleep I’ve got mostly good news for him. 

The Birthday  (which I DO care about ) presents have started rolling in. Got a couple Anti-inflammatory Cookbooks and two awesome albums. The  Key by Nocturnus and Mortal Throne of Nazarene by Incantation.  The Metal Demon within is highly pleased 🙂

Aside from that,  just doing my best like always.  Each day is a gift. May it be so for you too.

-Thom

Clarification 

I’m not THAT depressed.  I’ve been kind of moody and mopey lately, but that comes with being a Bipolar person. I AM feeling significantly better since the Wellbutrin was upped, I just lost sight of this when I wrote my last post. I have a way of magnifying things when I’m upset and was pretty bent out of shape that particular day. 

I’m actually having a pretty excellent week. People are still getting on my nerves but I’m dealing with it to the best of my ability. I can’t just hide out from the general public forever and I don’t intend to try to.  I’m actually pretty good at hosting,  to be perfectly honest.  It’s just the fact that for all my bravado I have a pretty fragile ego. This is something I’ve been trying to work on lately because pretty much any kind of job I’ll do involves some degree of human interaction.  

I am making what I consider a positive change, though. I talked to one of my managers about picking up some maintenance shifts. It bugs me that I have a bunch of tools that I never use. I’m already an early riser and I thought it would be good to have some stable income without much of the aforementioned dealing with the public. If I have to continue hosting it’ll only be two days out of my week. I’m hoping I can squeeze some bussing in there too as making tips is where it’s at. 

So yeah, I guess what I’m trying to say is that I was being ridiculous and things are actually pretty good right now.  I see the Rheumatologist next Friday and I’ll deal with the new meds when I get them started. It may take some getting used to and may hit me pretty hard but I’m not going to bury myself before I’m dead if you’ll excuse the expression.  

Aside from that,  just doing my best like always.  Each day is a gift. May it be so for you too.

-Thom

Variable existence

Lately I have been fighting a potent combination of despair and fatigue.  I’ll have a good day or two and go right back to feeling gut punched and worthless.  I’m really not sure what to do about it.  I try to avoid bitching about it on the Internet but by the same token this blog is one of my very few mechanisms of catharsis.  When I get fatigued no amount of sleeping or coffee gets me right.

I already doubled my dose of Wellbutrin and don’t see the doctor until nearly two weeks from now.  Day to day I feel pretty much vile and lifeless.  Not all the time, mind you. There are periods of relative calm interspersed therein. I’m just thinking my ego might be too fragile to be a customer service person. I just can’t seem to let it go when people are nasty to me. I take a lot of pride in what I do and it just crushes me when people walk on me. There was a time long ago when I was a halfway decent actor so that works somewhat in my favor but all I’m doing is barely containing my seething resentment towards the general public.

I’m just feeling like I have no future lately. No marketable skills or education and a body and mind falling to pieces before my eyes. I try to put on a brave face for those around me in the interest of not being a selfish jerk but honestly I’m dying inside daily.

I miss theatre sometimes but I can’t go back. That part of my life is over. I miss my friends and I miss spending time outdoors.  Everyone is just too caught up in their grind and that’s just how it is.

Between depression and fatigue and anxiety I’m just slowly but surely losing my will to be.  I’m not suicidal or anything,  just adrift and hopeless feeling. I have a birthday coming up and I couldn’t give two shits. I’m terrified that the combination of quitting my prednisone and starting a DMARD is going to wipe out what’s left of my strength.

I’m sorry if this seems like a bitchfest. I just had to admit that I’m feeling like garbage lately. Here’s hoping for a better day.

So it begins….

I’ve never really had many issues with fatigue until now. Of course,  I’ve always been a fairly heavy coffee drinker. Also, up until a month ago I was prescribed pharmaceutical stimulants for ADHD. I had to stop taking Ritalin recently due to recurring hypertension. For a long time the meds kept it in check but one day while on Ritalin I checked my pressure and was absolutely terrified by how high it was even with b/p meds. At that point I decided to just give it up and deal with the fog to the best of my ability.

I didn’t really notice much of a difference at first. My endurance was still pretty good and I kept pretty active. My job is pretty physically intense and has generally helped keep me relatively fit. I still find it difficult sometimes but can usually power through alright.  I still drink coffee but have cut down to two or three cups a day.

Lately though I’m noticing fatigue creeping in. Not dramatic but definitely there. For instance,  I get winded more easily and get lightheaded when I reach the top of a flight of stairs.  I hadn’t really thought a whole lot about it until the last week or so.

As a matter of self interest I try to get lots of sleep because it helps keep me sane. Lately though I sleep but wake up feeling more exhausted than when I went to bed. I’m usually getting seven or eight hours so I don’t think that I’m oversleeping.

A few days ago I had to be at work at eleven AM. I woke up stiff as hell and basically dead to the world.  I had my usual two cups of coffee and could still barely open my eyes.  I felt like a freaking zombie for lack of a better word.  I had an energy drink on the way to work and was still on the verge of nodding off for the first two hours I was at work.

Most of the time the first cup of coffee is all it takes.  That day was the most tired I can recall feeling in my adult life.  Even ten milligrams of prednisone didn’t perk me up any, which it almost always does. That was the first day it really sunk in that I have an autoimmune disease.  The swelling joints hurt but this is the first time it’s really slowed me down or messed up my game.

Two things are looming on the horizon in the next month :

1. The steroid is helping the swelling and the pain as well as helping me push through the fatigue but I’m going to have to stop taking it soon.

2. I’m going to start on some kind of DMARD (Disease Modifying Anti Rheumatic Drug) soon. These generally are some sort of immune suppressant type of drug. This has the possibility of making me more susceptible to illness and infection. 

I don’t know how my body is going to react to these changes and things have the potential to get really rough soon. Of course I’ll keep being a good little soldier,  but I have no idea what this is going to mean for my working life.

All I can do is hope for the best. I already have bone erosion in my hands so I’m not going to be an idiot and not treat it. I just hope it works and doesn’t ruin my quality of life.

Here’s hoping and praying.

-T