Depression Part Deux

I’m changing my approach as my ‘soul of iron’ is no longer cutting it. I’ve been in a funk since before Thanksgiving. I kept telling myself it would get better after the holidays. But it hasn’t. I still have the same hair trigger agitation and  fairly regular spells of explosive weeping.

As I mentioned in previous posts regarding this particular subject there’s… an issue of sorts. I’m Bipolar. More specifically the Manic variety. As such, giving me antidepressants, particularly the SSRI kind is a dangerous proposition. It can induce the worst kind of batshit mania known to man. A lexapro induced mania led to my first hospitalization and I was a bucket of wacky. When I would finally crash I was so depressed I was nearly catatonic.

But yeah, after the last few months, I’m
warming up to giving it another try. My shrink tells me the mania potential is less with multiple reuptake inhibitors as opposed to strictly serotonin inducing meds. I’m already (more or less) stable on risperdal so that works in my favor too.

I have to try something. I’m tired of feeling like putting a grenade in my mouth.

It’s been frustrating. It took a lot of nerve on my part to actually talk to my doctor about this. The first med he prescribed I tried to fill today on the way home from my appointment. Not covered by my insurance.  I walked home in the rain crying and pretty much cursing life.

I feel relatively alright right now, at least alright enough to try to articulate some of this stuff. It’s like walking across a booby trapped floor. Not sure if the depression I keep falling into is worse than the anticipation thereof.

As gloomy a post as this is, it’s the best I’ve got right now aside from one bright spot: I met with the people at the Vincent House today and am getting the vocational rehabilitation ball rolling.  That compels me to get this depression under control more than any tea or sympathy in the world. I keep telling myself my current job isn’t forever.

Also, (and this is a huge one) I have the most kind, witty and devastatingly handsome Boyfriend in the universe.

I’ll survive, I just have to keep these things in sight.

Onward.

Edging Forward

It’s taken a long time,  but I may just now have found a way.  I’ve known for years about a place in my county that does vocational rehabilitation for the mentally ill.  I never thought I needed it until now.

Actually,  that’s not entirely accurate.  I already did vo rehab through the state of Florida in my old trade  (HVAC). After two serious collapses I no longer found myself capable of that kind of work. I still sort of have the physical strength but my wiring and general technical knowledge got pretty much wiped out by losing my mind twice.

I’ve been winging it since then which equals about the last ten years of my life. I’ve done odd, Shitty and mostly food related jobs for terrible pay and a pathetic amount of time on the clock. All the while being abundantly aware of how hard I’m getting screwed. At least in comparison to what I used to make in my early twenties before I went cuckoo.

I’ve been immensely depressed and morose for some time about the state of my working life. Sometimes the fact I’m working at all amazes me. I was on Social security benefits for nearly five years for acute impairment due to  bipolar disorder which was diagnosed just before my twenty-fourth birthday.

I try to cut myself some slack for how far I’ve come and give myself a little credit for still being alive. I just recently fully came out of the closet with my family which has been a major load on my mind as long as I can remember. They were all pretty cool about that and everything actually went much better than I expected.

But yeah, I want to do more than work in a kitchen.  This place has a wide variety of skill training and I feel like they could really help me succeed which in turn would make me more self actualized and most likely a bit happier day to day.

I actually have to give most of the credit to my boyfriend.  He gives me loads of encouragement and told me that it sounded like something that I should pursue.  I’m not used to being with someone who builds me up.  It’s really incredible and beautiful.

The interview process begins in two weeks.  That gives me time to download forms and have them ready when I go there.  I’m really excited about this.

That’s all for now, but if I think of anything else you’ll be the first to hear it.

Decay

It’s everywhere around us. We like to distract ourselves with insipid dumbfuckery like television or internet because it takes us out of our own heads for a bit. Make no mistake though, you are going to die. Me too. The circumstances of how are variable, but the ultimate truth remains. Nothing is permanent.

Some like to think we live on in the legacy we leave behind. But all that too shall cease to be. Some entertain the idea of reincarnation. This is actually a more logical view if one thinks of the laws of conservation of energy and mass. The universe is a holistic system of systems on astronomical and microscopic levels.

All speculation aside, I believe that life has a purpose. At least I badly want to. I think of these things often, frequently to the point of madness. As I get older and more weathered a single thought flashes through my head and it is ‘What do you have to show for all this time?’. It eats at my sanity like a steady but determined trickle of water slowly creating caverns of isolation.

I’m thirty-three. It’s much farther than I ever thought I would make it to. In those years I’ve had many an opportunity to make something worthwhile out of my life. All squandered. Now I work at a brain dead burrito joint with people half my age for a hair above minimum wage. The fact that I’m sane enough for the working world is a matter up for debate.

That aside, I thought I’d be doing at least somewhat better by now. I was on disability for bipolar disorder for nearly five years. I feel like I really regressed during that time. Now I’m supposedly ‘better’ given that social security cut me off. But I’m not better. My plastic face is just a bit more polished.

The thing that hurts the most is being told  I’m way too functional to need help. I’m not talking about money. I mean that I’ve been committed three times and every time my brain became a bit more fuzzy and scrambled. Staying out of institutions is not the end goal in itself. What I need help with are life and organization skills for one.

What else?

I need to see a doctor or therapist more than every three or four months for fifteen minutes. That’d be super.

Most of all I need a vacation. I can’t remember my last one after the last sixteen years of killing myself to ‘make it’.  I still don’t know what’s wrong with my arm but I went back to kitchen work because no one else will even consider hiring me and two months unemployed has damn near ruined me.

I’m just goddamned tired. At least one day I’ll finally be old and battered and useless enough that the state will let me have some peace. Yeah, right.

On a lighter note…

It’s been rough but things are looking up. After running out of cigs last night I decided to give the patch another try. It seems much more doable now and my heart rate is calming down from the steady stream versus spiking with a cigarette every hour or so.

I responded to a Craigslist ad regarding a kitchen job that’s a block from my place. Not wanting to risk waiting for a reply caused me to go in this morning and apply. I got an interview on the spot and I think it went fairly well. I’ll know for sure in a couple days.

I keep reminding myself how crucial patience is when dealing with the capricious nature of life. My boyfriend gets back tomorrow and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Working out has been my ace up my sleeve. It’s nice to know that some things are always what they are.

If I can’t continue with Adderall I may have to give Ritalin or Provigil another go. Whatever. I’ll cross that bridge when I reach it. In the meantime I’m just trying to stay positive and productive.

So Ja, I’m feeling pretty good about things. Let’s hope the forces of nature keep favoring me. That’s all for now 🙂

Blah

Is how I feel lately. I’m in an extended state of limbo and am feeling like I’m trapped in a slow-motion panic attack. Some of it is simply going stir-crazy. Some is being worried about money. Suffice to say I picked a terrible time to try to quit smoking cigarettes.

I thought the business with my arm was winding down. Wrong. I eased off the Neurontin only to have the irritation in my elbow come back. I’ve only been unemployed for three weeks and I’ve never felt this worthless in my life.

My mental health is reasonably adequate but highly variable. I’ve been randomly bursting into tears more than I care to admit and have more time than I know what to do with. I’m trying not to bother my friends who have jobs and lives to live. My boyfriend works overnight and sleeps during the day so we’re pretty much ships passing in the night. To his credit, he’s been amazing. Still, things are what they are and I’m feeling pretty icky most of the time.

Not manic, but highly moody. Not full blown depressed, but feeling intense and rather morose. I try to keep busy with housework but I am somewhat handicapped and not having an easy time keeping myself occupied.

I don’t know what the next step is. Maybe physical therapy, or injections of steroids perhaps. I’m extremely leery of any surgical procedures due to the anatomical complexity of the wrist and what seems like a lousy track record.

So I have empty space and time. Lots of it. That, and the erosion of mental peace that comes with not having any steady income.

The not smoking thing? I cracked this morning after five days. Trying to stay strong but losing the battle. I signed up with quitnow.net today but it’ll be a week or so until my nicotine patches come in the mail. Trying to smoke as little as possible until then.

I want to do theatre but I can’t. Not when things are this unstable. It pulled me out of a few past slumps and ruts but simply isn’t a viable option right now.

So I stare at the wall, read until my eyes glaze and let the clock run. I don’t know what else to do. I’ve already made everyone thoroughly sick of me. 

Annnnnd my arm is numb. Enough blogging for now *sigh*.

Wearily yours-
Thom

Moving On Part Two

I’m nicely settled into my new locale. That aside my arm is starting to heal up nicely too. I see my doctor in a few days and have a feeling he’ll tell me I’m ok to go back to work. I’m excited but I’m also a little intimidated. I haven’t really sunk my teeth into the local job market yet. In spite of this I’m confident I’ll find something with the quickness.

In the course of trying to finish my two weeks at my previous job I aggravated what was a relatively minor injury. From what I can tell, I seem to have backed off just as I was starting to damage the nerves going down the arm. As I said the injury was relatively minor but I’ve been hesitant to start looking for work until I know I’m back up to par. Better safe than sorry.

Anyhow, things are looking pretty good on the home front. I just need to get my ass back among the living and functional. I’ve been thinking about a CNA class or something else other than what I’ve been doing. I’ve got a prescribed ADHD med, it’s time to put it to work.

The time to grow is NOW!

Handicapped and bummed out

Well,  the business with my arm finally came to a head. I had already put in two weeks notice at my job but 5 days is as far as I could push through the pain. I was really upset the day I quit I made it through one last really super busy day and I was like I’m sorry I can not continue. I really tried to do the right thing but the job just got to be way too much for me in my current state. The inflammation has gotten really intense and my right hand is for all intents and purposes useless.

I’m not doing anything until I see the rheumatologist Monday morning. Arthritis and tendonitis have already been diagnosed but I think there may be some nerve pinching or something else going on secondary to that. Only reason I can blog right now is that I have discovered the wonder of the voice recognition features of my phone.  I’ve been using ice, my brace and a decent amount of naproxen to try to control the swelling.

I’m not that bad off but I’m going a bit stir crazy. Signing off for now.

-Thom

A fine romance…

Is what I find myself currently enjoying. Life has been pretty good, despite a few hiccups. I have a week and a half to go at my current job. Acute tendonitis is forcing me out of being a prep guy. I’m still going to be a cook for a while, but as a line guy strictly. Less knife work is good. I still have to go easy, but I’ll at least have some income. My doctor basically told me that my arm won’t get any better until I stop aggravating it. So, um… Yeah. I’m simply unable to keep up with the demands of the job I’m doing. Le sigh.

But my home and love life is fucking spectacular. For this I am grateful. I’m moved in with Shannon as of ten days ago. Our Cats are still being a little pissy but it’s not that big of a deal. My Man works overnight while I do mornings so at times we’re like ships passing in the night. But we take turns cooking and get our respective fixes of one another on the weekend.

I’ve never lived in a city before. It’s pretty neat. More to come 🙂

The next chapter…

I am moved in and enjoying myself. Just finished up yesterday and I’m feeling pretty good about things. Of course, I’ve felt moved in since my kilt and sword were placed in the closet. To each their subjective sense of measurement I suppose.

When we were standing in the kitchen after my final trip with my Cat and my bicycle he said “Welcome home, baby.”. It was a lovely little moment we shared.

Aside from moving things have been relatively chill but a tad frantic. I need to find a new job soon. I like my current job well enough but there’s a problem. Arthritis/Tendonitis in my knife forearm. My Doctor told me to keep using the brace and taking ibuprofen. He also advised me to find a new line of work. He said it’s definitely an occupational injury and treating it is pointless if I just keep aggravating the shit out of it every day.

I can’t argue. I just don’t know what to do. Being a prep cook is one of the few jobs I’ve ever been any good at. But I’m not a kid anymore. Le sigh.

I know some kind of schooling is in order. I just hope what I have to settle for in the meantime isn’t too terribly nauseating.

Whatever. This is the new chapter. A chapter not yet written and full of possibility. Ad astra per aspara.

Go ahead, say it…

So I’ve determined that I need theatre in my life. However, my body is pretty banged up and I’m thinking my boyfriend has the right idea. He tells me that I should focus on being an actor for a good while and audition frequently.

I love being a backstage guy and Stage Managing but the last show i stage managed ran me into the ground. I was rehearsing another show at the same time and working full time. I was exhausted, trippy and looking back I realized something:

I could have done so much more as a SM if my attention wasn’t split. I think I’m a one show at a time person. I have to be realistic about my mental boundaries.

That said, the next audition is in three weeks. Diary of Anne Frank. I am going to prepare myself and step outside of myself a bit. All I’ve done is comedy. I badly want to do some Drama. if I get a part, great. If not I keep fucking going. Ad astra.

-Thom