Tangible Proof

I can feel myself pulling out of the depression and anxiety.  Last night, I went on an hour long walk with Bug. Having the energy to even think about doing that is pretty big.  I also interviewed a new roommate on Monday.  She seems awesome and Bug took to her right away which is a good sign.  I have counseling tonight.  The combination of the meds and the counseling seems to be doing the trick.  I still have a long way to go but seeing the tiny speck of light at the end of the tunnel is so refreshing.  The anti-anxiety med for flare-ups is not really working for me.  It knocks me out for about 18 hours.  I took one after the Fremont Fair.  Being around so many people for so long had me on edge.  I was still tired the next day.  Thank goodness that was a Sunday so it was OK to be drowsy but I still lost that day.

I am moving forward and pushing myself to do more than just work and sleep.  I have been reading while sitting in the grass with Bug in the evenings.  I am reading the Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.  It's interesting but not the best book I've ever read.  Anyway, the point is....progress!



As the title would indicate, two weeks have gone by since my first appointment with Dr. Kenning about depression.  I have also met with my counselor, Michael twice.  The new meds are starting to work but I have realized that my depression was so deep that my anxiety was unnoticeable.  I didn't have any energy to be nervous.  Unfortunately, I am regaining a bit of energy which is now being used to worry about everything and nothing.  I had forgotten how normal that level of anxiety had been for me.  I had a phone appointment with Dr. Kenning yesterday and he wants me to stay at my current levels for another two weeks to give it enough time to go into full effect.

It's strange to know what is rationally going on in my mind but still have the same irrational worries.  I don't even really worry about specific things.  It's just a constant general anxiety.  I can't really remember a time when I wasn't worried.  Even when I was little, I was always worried.  I could distract myself and push it to the back of my mind but it stuck with me.  I'm not sure if I even know how to live a life without depression and anxiety.  I'm willing to try though.



I haven't written in a while.  That's for a lot of reasons but not the reasons I've told most people.  While I do love my job, that takes up 40 hours of my week plus another 10 for commute.  Most of my life lately has been stolen by depression.  I have been so tired that I go to bed as soon as I take Bug out for a walk.  It is now worse than I have ever experienced.

Last Thursday, I finally went to the doctor to try to get my life back.  It's ironic that while working for an agency that deals primarily with mental health, I don't look at the exact same things in my own life.  I have a counseling appointment on Thursday.  I found a counselor that does evening appointments so I don't need to flex my hours just to be human.  I have also started back on Wellbutrin.  I forgot my dose yesterday so I took 2 this morning.  My body isn't used to it so I'm feeling like I had too much caffeine or something.

I have put on about 30 pounds in the last six months.  The clothes I bought for when I first got this job don't fit well any more.  I haven't gone to the gym in months.  Part of it is needing to go home to take care of Bug before I can do anything after work....actually, no, it's not.  That's one of many excuses I have been making for not doing anything.  My life is all about surviving right now.  I do what I have to.  I go to work.  I spend time with Bug.  I sleep.  That is my life.  I hate it.  I'm glad I have decided to do something about it but I'm frankly pissed off at myself that I took so long to do that.  I have probably given the last 6 months away.  I am at an age where I should be making great stories.  Instead, I lay in bed, only going outside to let Bug pee.

Work has actually been going really well in terms of my own performance.  I think that's part of why I was in denial.  I don't have any energy because all of it is going to my clients.  I was told that I am "amazing" and "talented" on the same day by separate people.  All of the people that I work with: other people in SE, mental health case managers, clients; have given positive feedback about my work.  I think it's funny that now I'm sick enough to qualify for my own services.  People trust me to do my best.  I like that feeling.  I just wish it wasn't the only feeling I have to like.


If Anyone Asks About Me, Don't Tell 'Em Nothing

This has certainly been an interesting night. I was sitting on the couch, with the Bugadog, watching How I Met Your Mother. I hear a knock at the window. This morning, Justin had gone out on a walk and forgotten his keys and had to knock on the window for me to let him in. I had assumed that this was him making the same mistake twice. I was wrong. I looked out to the patio and didn't see anything. Then I look out to the grass and see a girl (later I was to learn that her name is Kristy and she is in fact 19). She was out of breath and looked really spooked. She asked if she could come in and use my phone because someone was chasing her. I didn't give it a second thought. I invited her in and handed her my cell phone. She made a few calls and cursed the recipients for not picking up. Eventually, she was able to reach her mother. Kristy took the phone to the bathroom to talk to her mom. Now, let me tell you a few things that I learned about Kristy. She is a young looking, casually dressed African American female. She was well spoken but as soon as she got on the phone, she dropped into slang and calling everyone "bro". Her voice also projects very clearly and the apartment is not large enough for a voice like that to dissipate. Back to Kristy in the bathroom, I distinctly heard "Mom, are you high or something?". The events that eventually came to light as follows. Kristy was with friends at the mall when they went to Hollister. She tried on some jeans and apparently the manager had assumed that she had removed the tag or some such thing. Upon accusing her of shoplifting, the manager called the mall rent-a-cops. Rather than stand by and explain to security that she had done nothing wrong, Kristy ran. She blew through California Pizza Kitchen, past Super Buffet and Target, and somehow ended up knocking on my window. She tried to reach several friends and asked one of them to come pick her up. As she was on her way out, she said "look, you been real nice to me. If anyone asks about this, don't tell them nothing. I don't want you to have to answer a bunch of questions about this." She left to wait for them and I thought it would be an amusing anecdote. Then, she showed up again. Her friends had not taken her seriously or had no idea where they were going or some such thing. Anyway, she had several long conversations with her friends (she had calmed down and was back to what I can only assume is her usual self). After talking on my phone for a cumulative 25 minutes, she looks at me and says "you got free minutes right?" I assured her that it was alright but really wishing she had thought to ask that question before. We chatted between phone calls and she seems like she could be nice if she fought the urge to "punch that bitch out". All told, she came into the apartment 4 times and made 26 phone calls. It was bizarre but as it has been half an hour since she left, I assume she was able to find her friends. I just had to share this odd occurrence in my life this evening. Tomorrow, I have the day off for a doctor's appointment and the rest of the day will be spent doing some chores and possibly taking Bug to a dog park.


Requiem for a Weekend

I'm getting sick. This is not cool. Having a three day training this week was really quite nice but now I have a thre day weekend and I have a feeling it will be spent drinking a crap ton of tea and running through a box of tissues. It's not like I had significant plans but I would still like options. Also, there might be snow. This means buses may be shut down and I could be stranded. At least Bug is going to get a lot of snuggle time. I was able to get home early almost every day this week because of the training being 20 minutes away from my house. She has been very happy to go outside while there was some sun left. I have been taking her to Petco and the mall to get more used to strangers. It's wonderful to see her get more social and confident. We still have a long way to go but she is such a success story for rehabilitating strays. I doubt she was straight up feral but she has not had an easy life. She still cowers and doesn't know how to play but at least she wants to play. She will go into a play bow and run around me. If I try to play with her, she will drop and submit. This is a lot of progress when you consider where she started. She will fetch sometime in the next few months. When I throw a toy, she will chase after it and sniff at it but she doesn't pick them up. It will be a triumphant day when she picks it up.


Panic at the Disco!

There has been an uptick in crime around my work.  I can handle the muggings.  I know how to handle myself in a confident manner that makes me an unlikely target for that kind of crime.  Last night it went to a whole new level.  There was a murder across the street from ACRS.  It happened right before I left with a group of work friends.  We saw the ambulance and the paramedics were working on a person.  There were nine police cars, a fire truck and an unmarked police vehicle.  They were putting up the crime scene tape as we walked past.  It turns out the person they were working on, a black man wearing tan pants with no shirt because the EMT's cut it off, was already dead.  I didn't know that when I saw it. He wasn't tubed and they weren't performing compressions so I assumed he was OK and the real victim was elsewhere.  His arm fell to the side as they loaded him into the ambulance.  There was also a fire in downtown Seattle.  That fire made them shut off the power in the transit tunnel so we couldn't take the train to my normal stop.  The tunnel was so empty.  It was eerie.  I was really shaken last night.  It threw me off in a big way.  I'm so glad that I have a training for the next 2 days so I don't have to go back right away.


Pitter Patter of Little Feet

Bug had blood in her poo on the night of Thanksgiving.  Oddly enough, I am thankful for that.  It was dark so I thought it was just runny until we came inside and I saw the red dripping down her bum.  I was freaking out.  My first action was to get her in the tub so the blood didn't get anywhere.  The next thing was to call my mom.  It was a holiday so I couldn't go to the vet's office.  She talked me through and got me calmed down enough to get to work on taking care of my Bugadog.  Bug was also quite chilled so I was afraid it could be some sort of hemorrhage and she was going into shock.

I ran a hot bath for her to clean her up and bring up her body temperature.  As I was bathing and petting my dog, I realized how lucky I was to have something that I cared about so deeply.  I was crying and thinking over again "please, don't die".  I know that was probably a bit extreme but seeing blood dripping from someone you care about pushes you toward the extreme side of things.  Bug got all bundled up in a towel while I went to work researching treatment protocols and possible causes.  She was treated to white rice and boiled chicken for the whole weekend.

Bug is just fine now and glad to be pooing poo.  Owning a dog is expensive and time consuming.  I have to schedule around coming home to let her out.  There's lots of stuff that I would like to do that I can't because I have a dog.  The thing is, none of that stuff really matters.  I love having Bug in my life.  I know she likes having me as her mom.  My day is better because I have that adorable face looking up at me and a little warm presence at my thigh while I sit in bed and write this.  When Bug sprints down the hallway and then back to me and down the hallway again, the little pitter patter of her squirrel feet makes me giggle.  Having a dog is a huge commitment.  I'm saying that I will accept the additional burden for the next decade.  I can't wait for every minute of it.