Wednesday, October 26, 2016

I am feeling an "out with the old" impulse. One the one hand, it's good. On the other, it means I want to replace old things and have newer, nicer things, albeit fewer things, but I feel a need to just purge and sort of start over.

Perhaps this has to do with the move and getting rid of a bunch of things and enjoying having space and room to move. Perhaps this has to do with the pretty much permanent move of my parents to my sister's--all the other "moves" home have been intended to be permanent, but have always only been semi-permanent as they cannot stand to be away from the Magpie for any length of time. I really, honestly though, do not know how the Magpie is going to handle this move of my parents away from her as they have lived with us for the last three years. We've already had a complete potty training regression. I am worried about sleep and language regressions now, too, which probably aren't likely. Rather tantrums and anxiety and its as of yet unknown manifestations may be more likely. I am looking forward though to getting into some sort of regular routine. My mom can be so manic. So can my dad in that they cannot let the child just sit. If she's quiet they have to go talk to her or disturb her and they cater to her every whim which makes things difficult when it's just me because she expects an immediate response. But I need routine, too, and my parents make it difficult for me to have one because I don't have to, or we get into one and they disrupt it, and it's like starting from scratch every time.

Anyway, back to the shedding of the old...

I have cut off all of my hair. It's about an inch or two all the way around. I wish it were just a bit longer because now, once it's dry, it stands straight up and looks like an 8 year old boy's growing out buzz cut. It has progressively gotten shorter over the last 8 weeks, and I just wanted to be done with it. I like it. I think I'll love it in about two or three weeks. But maybe it's the CF, maybe it's body building, maybe it's the weight loss, maybe it's finally being comfortable with being 40 and having gained a little bit of confidence in myself and I just don't give a fuck, but for the first time having short hair in about 20 years, I actually really love it. I haven't cried over it yet. This is huge for me.

I think part of this too is the depression and the anxiety. I'm trying to settle into a concept of myself who I'm comfortable with. Part of the hair cut, the purging of stuff, the body building (which man, valium makes that hard to sustain right now), is about trying to get to a confident me, a happy me who can set a good example for my kid. Admittedly right now I do feel like crap because of the sluggishness of the valium--it has depressed my appetite and my work outs, when I make them, are like in slow motion, 100% and impossible to get through if I even get through them. I haven't really finished one yet since this whole mouth thing started.

It's odd though. The new meds are helping, if in no other way than I feel good and confident about myself (most of the time, which is a newer sensation for me). I actually give a shit about this book chapter that is going to be a hot mess, but that I know will eventually come together at some point in time.

As I am still on a quest to try to figure out what works best for me and my family in terms of work and my health (working out, make sure I actually cook dinner and go to the grocery), I'm going to go back to teaching five days a week. I wonder if having the work spread out more will be less of an energy drain if it means earlier days every day than if I work three long days and one half day and have a day off. Right now I really need that extra day off, but I think it's because I'm just so exhausted with life that I just need that day right now. While it is affecting my work out schedule, because I do prefer to work out in the morning before everything else, right now it makes more sense for me to work early in the morning. I can get more reading done during that 90 minutes than 90 minutes at night before bed. It makes it harder for me to work out in the afternoon, but right now, work is more important than some future body building competition. I would like to start doing yoga again, too. I would like a life that I love.

It helps having a house that is our home. True, we do not own it yet, but we will, and that makes all the difference right now. There's a lot to be said for having a place of one's own, for feeling rooted and committed to a life (as imperfect and difficult as my job and this part of the country can be, and even though I long for a life for my daughter that extends far beyond this region). It makes me thoughtful and hopeful. It makes me want to care about life.

I'm sure I have more to say on this, but this is it for now.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

I feel as though the storm clouds have lifted a little bit today.

First, I have TMJ, which really sucks. My face really hurts. I can't wait to see my massage therapist on Thursday and have him work my upper back, neck, head, and face. He'll get in there, too, and straighten all that mess out. I went to the doctor (not just for the depression) in part because I thought I had a double ear infection. Nope. TMJ. The physical pain, however, is almost a welcome distraction from the psychological pain right now. My doctor and I both feel that this is a symptom of the depression and anxiety from which I am currently suffering. He gave me steroids and valium, so that should be interesting. The valium certainly helped me sleep last night and helped me to relax my face and my jaw. And it took the edge off the anxiety a bit, so I'm feeling better this morning than yesterday. Yesterday actually quite frightened me.

We also changed my antidepressants. Though I know they cannot work as fast as one morning, by the time I got home last night from the doctor, I felt infinitely better because I knew that there was at least a new plan in place that was going to help me, and for the first time I felt a bit motivated to do things, and I was more pleasant around the kid and was able to be more present around her. Plus, I also think this morning the valium still in my system has taken some of the edge off of my anxiety, and I can focus a  bit more today and just feel like there is some hope, like I might be able to get back to a point where I can thrive rather than just function? We'll see. Hopefully I can get some more work done the rest of the morning in my office and that should help my mood, too.

Having a prescription for valium though makes me feel like a bored bourgeois housewife from the 80s.

Monday, October 10, 2016

I had a bad weekend. I am headed to the doctor this afternoon.

My depression, which seemed to have been under control last spring, and the beginning of the summer, has resurfaced (as I mentioned I think in my last post). I am overwhelmed with uncontrollable sadness. I am also overwhelmed with apathy, and this is the thing which concerns me the most. I am functioning in as much as I shower and go to work. I am not doing my job particularly well. It is a struggle for me to be in any way prepared for the 400 level class. My energy in my survey classes has tanked. I am not even making the slow progress I was 4 weeks ago on the giant project due in three weeks. 

I cannot focus. I cooked for the first time this weekend in like six weeks? Mostly my mom cooks, but I at least go to the grocery and give her the menu, and this has not been the case in the last month. We've been eating out a lot, or she's been eating tuna salads and stuff. The kid eats hot dogs and sweet potato fries and broccoli. So I am not even doing a very good job in taking care of her. Fortunately, others are around to pick up the slack. I go to functions without make up (which is a sign of apathy for me--I just don't have the energy to take the extra five minutes). I cannot work at night because every single ounce of energy I have goes toward holding myself together for the day.

I am concerned because I don't care if I flake out on this chapter, even though it would be like the biggest betrayal of friendship and mentorship and professional decorum I could think of, and a huge slap in the face, stab in the back, and whatever awful cliche of betrayal you can come up with toward the editor. Generally, wanting to not disappoint this person is motivation enough to get my ass in gear, but I cannot even bring myself to deal with what I need to. I cannot care about anything, let alone myself. 

I cannot deal with stress, major or minor. This morning, I was not going to make it to work as early as I wanted to. I had a complete fucking meltdown in front of the kid who understood the heaviness of my sigh and the immediate headache that formed between my eyes, and she started crying a cry of fright and insecurity and fear of the unknown and I had to hold her all throughout her breakfast to reassure her. I am hurting her with my depression and anxiety, and I cannot have that. I cannot do that to her and the J. He feels the weight of it, too, but is too aware that telling me that I am hurting him will do me more harm than good. Hopefully there is some relief on the horizon this afternoon. 

Wish me luck.

Friday, October 7, 2016

I have a super annoying student, and I have to vent somewhere about it.

The gist of the issue is that said student is an English major and therefore thinks ze is entitled to an A simply because ze is an English major, and that the roadblock in hir writing is not that hir writing needs improvement, but that it's my fault because "every other professor says X is acceptable and I'm the only one asking for Y instead of X, and I'm unreasonable for not accepting X for Y."

If you're an English major, and as good as you think you are, you should a) know the difference between an arguable thesis statement and just a plain statement about the text, and b) know the difference between plot summary and analysis, c) and understand that to simply write your opinion about the text and state it as a claim and not back it up with either appropriate support and analysis of that claim is not analysis at all. If you believe the problem with your writing is because I haven't told you exactly what to think, therefore the grade is my fault because I should have told you exactly what to write, then we are going to have some problems.

Try spending less time writing what you think I want to hear and spend more time actually constructing some sort of argument and supporting it appropriately.

Also, this assignment is 2-3 pages long. If you're as good an English major as you say you are, and as great a writer as you think, you should be able to knock out two pages in your sleep.
Ugh. Today is just one of those days, I think?

I'm depressed. Like super depressed. Like the level of depression I felt this time last year. I do not feel like the anti-depressants are working anymore. It's affecting my ability to get through this project that I must do. I'm not taking very good care of myself at all, either. I'm functioning enough that I show up at my job, I bathe, I do the work I need to to teach, but aside from cuddling with the kid, my mom is pretty much doing everything right now--bathing, school, lunches, etc. I just do not feel like doing anything. I've been sleeping through alarms. Ugh. In short, I do not want to face reality. At all.

I think my poor diet right now is contributing a little bit to this. I cannot seem to gain control here of anything.

I'm frustrated. I hate feeling like this.

Now that a lot of the stress has been eliminated regarding the house (except hopefully a few minor things), there's still this large financial stress looming at the moment, but the stress either triggered a massive downturn in my depression, or it masked it, or both because now I just feel so meh. The energy I have goes toward basic functioning, and that's it.

I have everything to be happy about right now. But I cannot find any joy at all.