94/365

Apr. 4th, 2019 11:10 pm
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
I did the job interview (I wore my hair down painted my nails and put on perfume and jewelry and everything!). I was told I'd hear by the end of the day but I didn't so I guess that means No. No surprise there: the interview wasn't bad but it was very quick and felt kind of odd. I think my answers were too vague and they were happy to leave me hanging.

I spent almost three hours this evening waiting for another member of my multilingualism group and then walking around in the icy rain. Asking strangers awkward questions is not a lot of fun but we got great answers from people working in two different restaurants. So I think we finally have enough data, we just need to write it up. The rest of my group are away for the Easter break so I don't expect much of them then but the report is due soon after we get back so that should be interesting.

The rest of the day has just been spent stressing about the spreadsheet-y project. The more work I do, the further I feel from having something I can hand in. I've been struggling so much with managing the data in Excel that I don't know how to analyze it. This already is my extended disability deadline or I'd be asking for one. It has to be done tomorrow morning. I don't know how much sleep I'll get tonight; I got about five hours last night worrying about all the stress of today so I would've gone to bed hours ago if not for this.

At least I finally got some birth control pills today, so that's something!
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
For the second time in three days, either my alarm didn't go off or I turned it off in my sleep.

On Monday I woke up only ten minutes later than I should've, and with a lot of rushing, the start of a two-day headache, and a hectic tone set for the whole day, I made it on time.

Today I woke up two hours later than I should've, just as my class was starting. It's the one with all the small-group work too, so I really hate to miss it.

But the adrenaline rush of seeing the time and then realizing what'd happened and panicking left me feeling really ill, to the point of throwing up, so I wasn't fibbing when I messaged the group apologizing and saying I was ill. It was frustrating because I could easily miss the lecture part of the class and turn up for the second half, the group work, but I've been bursting into tears and laughing at things that aren't funny and my stomach still doesn't feel good. I think I'm more disturbed at sleeping in twice this week already and it's only Wednesday.

I hate that little things can throw me this much. Objectively I know it's not the end of the world to miss a class, even if we've got a group project that needs to progress every week (I think I'm more disturbed at sleeping in twice this week already and it's only Wednesday). But my body just overreacts and then I have to spend an amount of time ranging from Annoying to Insurmountable trying to get it back on an even keel again.

I told myself I'd spend the morning catching up on work for another class, where I have absolutely tons, and I've been sitting at the computer for half an hour but I can't even concentrate on that. I thought if I wrote it out I might feel a little better for telling someone. Here's hoping.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
Here's what I wrote about it on Facebook this morning:


I had the most horrific anxiety attack last night.

The weird thing about it is I never felt anxious. I was livid with anger.

I was angry because a bus drove past me without stopping, my bus to a nice night out with friends to see a favorite comedian. There wasn't another that'd get me there in time.

I've shared many times my frustration and despair about bus drivers disabling me by not stopping for me, but this time I was so angry my body interpreted the overwhelming emotion the same way that it does anxiety.

This happens to me sometimes with non-anxiety triggers causing anxiety reactions. Even with positive things: I never used to be one of those people who cried if I was happy or relieved but now sometimes I am (most recently when that amendment I proposed at ldconf paased; people were trying to hug me and congratulate me afterward and I just cried at them).

Any sufficiiently intense emotion sends my body into overdrive and wipes me out. I feel nauseous, I can't trust my legs to hold me up, I can't process information at all.

I could still have gotten a taxi to the gig, Emily offered to drive me, but I was in no fit state to go at that point.

I'd been idly tweeting about how bad other buses were while I waited for mine. So I wrote a bunch more angry tweets, though I knew they'd be futile as ever, at Stagecoach (some of which are what I've screenshotted here). Friends, bless them, quoted and RTed them, tagging in Andy Burnham and Manchester Labour because they run the city and Transport for Greater Manchester. And I think Stagecoach's social media person is going to have a few tweets about this to read when their shift starts this morning.

After I calmed down enough to get home, I sat down, not even able to countenance a cup of tea Andrew offered me.

I did want my pajamas but didn't trust myself on the stairs to our bedroom. He had to get them and bring them down to me.

It was an hour before the nausea had calmed down enough to drink that tea.

I went to bed very early. Crashed out for a couple hours but woke up still feeling terrible. Cried until I woke Andrew up.

One of the triggers of the midnight-relapse was also positive. Susan Calman, the person I'd been on my way to see, had gotten tagged into the thread by some stranger. I'd carefully avoided doing that but of course she was kind and offered me a book. Again I was overwhelmed. And embarrassed.

So I've had about six hours' sleep, in two chunks. My eyes are sore, probably both from the crying (there's a reason I never used to cry! it always fucks up my eyes forever after) and the tiredness.

I feel worse than I would expect to, though. I've had a lot of anxiety attacks and they're never this bad for this long. And they're not usually so unrelated to anxiety!

Yes the frustration/despair of being disabled by buses is cumulative, yes I have no hope will ever change because nothing has happened all the other times I've complained. Yes I'd had a long and draining day before that. But this still seems out of nowhere and that's scary.

And inconvenient! I have to go to work! I have a reading quiz to do for my typology class! I have to be able to enjoy Doctor Who by this evening!

I think the most important thing I have to say about this is in one of those tweets from last night: a lot of visually impaired people have anxiety. I wasn't diagnosed until my 20s but once I knew that was the name for it I realized I'd had anxiety from the time I started kindergarten at the very latest. The world is confusing and draining and forever holding you to standards you can't meet and telling you it's your fault when you fail to. Though it may not seem this way to some people it's all connected, from that bus driver zooming past me to how terrible I still feel now.

The vast majority of the time it's not my sight that disables me, it's society, and that's exactly what's happened here. I wish people understood that better.

Not okay

May. 14th, 2018 11:49 am
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
Me: I'm having hideous, violent, graphic nightmares and I don't know why! My mental health seems okay otherwise...

Also me: screaming and crying because of fucking laundry.

Okay, perhaps time to reconsider.

The problem is, I am miserable at the prospect of my parents visiting in a few weeks and my house being no better (thanks to entropy, actually worse) than when they were here before.

I need new furniture and lots of cleaning. But that involves decisions, dealing with logistics and also spending money, all of which are making me extremely emotionally labileand my only method for coping with this is procrastination (and ignoring it, and you can see how well "telling myself I'm fine" is going). Putting it off is not improving matters.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
I'm awake early so have an update.

Hamilton was pretty good, despite my disappointment at the lack of accessibility. The staff were pretty good with other kinds of accessibility, spotting Richard and his walking stick in the big (but fast-moving) queue to get in and being that little bit encouraging when he'd originally said "no, I'm fine to wait in the queue" which I enjoyed seeing because I know, since I know him, that he wouldn't say he was fine if he wasn't, other people would and so the "are you sure?" seems to be protecting against excessive Britishness.

I was so glad I thought to bring my little monocular with me, a low-vision gadget normally used for reading train departure boards or shitty lecture slides. It only magnifies a tiny area -- I could see a person at a time on the stage, or two if they were standing close together -- and it was too tiring to use all the time, but it did help me appreciate a little of the choreography and the other clever stuff I'd been sad about missing. I couldn't hold the thing up to my face for anything like the whole time (it reminded me of doing this in grade school when we watched movies, no wonder I hated movies until I was a teenager), and it's still a pretty spoon-eating way to watch a play. But it meant I wasn't miserable. I underestimated how helpful it would be that I knew every word of the thing so usually knew who to look for in terms of what was likely to be an interesting bit.

Otherwise, I have surely used up all of my luck when it comes to not losing my bus pass, railcard and in this case first-class train tickets home from London. I got a message I saw at the end of Hamilton on Facebook from a person who works for Virgin Trains, found my little plastic wallet with all these things in, searched Facebook for my name, found the person most likely to be the match for the name on the railcard and bus pass, and messaged me to tell me this. I hadn't even noticed the tickets were missing yet so even though this was accompanied by the huge relief of being able to expect them back soon, I still had a little anxiety attack which, on top of how much the ending of Hamilton puts you through an emotional wringer anyway, meant I was completely out of spoons about four hours before I could relax.

Still, I'm going to write to Virgin when I get home and tell them whatever they do to commend their staff they should do for this woman who went above and beyond for me. And finally something useful comes of Facebook!

Also, having always been so careful with making sure I have this on me, I've now lost it twice in a short time and am kind of horrified to be this version of myself I don't recognize.

W Sigh

Mar. 13th, 2018 08:36 pm
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
I've just had to resign from my WI committee. Because sometimes even when you've put a lot of work into something, even when you have friends still involved doing good work...sometimes that's not enough when the bullies call you a bully, when their mental health is centred and yours ignored, when "getting along" matters more than fixing problems and getting along means meek silence from me, when some people's tears matter and mine don't.

I stuck it as long as I could, for the sake of the other good people, for stubbornness and contrariness because I know that the bullies want rid of me and the likes of me, and for the sunk cost of the work I'd already put in.

But I'm still shaking and non-functional from an anxiety attack that meant I had to abruptly leave a meeting an hour ago. There has to come a point where it's no longer worth the effects it's having on my health.

I imagine eventually I'll be relieved but right now I'm just sad.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
  • e-mails
  • chores I have to do
  • homework
  • most things Andrew says to me
  • anything my lecturers say
  • most things my tutors say
  • anything on my Netflix or Amazon queues, or anything else on Netflix or Prime for that matter
  • podcasts, even my favorite ones
  • any book I've tried to read (audio, e, or regular)
  • even Terry Pratchett books
That's the most worrying one. That never happens!

I don't know what's wrong with me, but I hope it stops soon.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
Truly awful mental health day today, with no apparent cause. Most inconvenient, and no fun at all. I mean they're never fun, but the ones where you don't have to put on a bra all day or talk to anyone are slightly more bearable, you know?

Got to the point where I really wanted one of my anxiety-attack meds, which of course were back here because I don't carry them with me any more because I hardly ever have anxiety attacks any more.

I had a migraine last night, too. My brain chemistry's all kinds of screwed up right now.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
I've had a terrible night's sleep: I am something of a connoisseur of insomnia and nightmares even at the best of times, yet tonight's examples were extreme. But I was pleased, maybe even amused, at certain features of those ludicrously awful dreams.

There's a theory that it's a good sign when you start to dream in the foreign language that you're learning: it's supposed to indicate a level of familiarity with and proficiency in the language. If it's really a sign of having integrated something into your mind and life, I'm amused and soothed to realize that new features of my dreams tonight include
  1. comprehensive mental health care that incorporates the specific experiences of bisexuals (I was amazed at how much time and energy it saved to not have to argue about or justify bisexuality and biphobia); and
  2. me using my white cane! even when I'd gotten dream-news so bad I was crying enough to wake myself up, I was using it. Don't remember that happening before in any dream.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
+ I ordered myself some much-needed clothes online. New trousers like the ones I have, and a bright red duffle coat.

- The process of paying for stuff online was so stressful it reminded me why I never do this.

- I don't seem capable of normal, proportionate responses to situational anxiety lately: at the slightest provocation my body goes into full-on attack mode, which the last two days has left me in pain and exhausted before breakfast-time.

- I determined from this I really should go back to the GP to seek out something for my anxiety.

+ I was able to help out friends with a childcare emergency thanks to their toddler being too ill to go to nursery. She was well enough to demand repeated book-readings and throw all her toys over the floor though. I had fun with her and was glad to be useful.

- I was gone longer than I planned to be, so didn't get around to calling the GP today.

+ The weird "edible bouquet" of fruit carved into the shape of flowers, that my mom praised when someone else had one a while ago, has been ordered and will be delivered for her birthday.

- Andrew had to call up the florist because I didn't have the spoons to.

+ Andrew knew to offer because it wouldn't get done otherwise.

+ He also brought me home a ready meal because by this point I was way too tired to make myself dinner.

- I was too tired to make myself dinner because I'd had a couple more anxiety attacks about stupid things this evening (most of the time I'd spent babysitting, I spent convinced I'd left the back door unlocked and I'd return to a house devoid of valuables; of course I got home to find I'd done no such thing...and then I freaked out because the damn dog disappeared as soon as I returned even though I knew he had to be somewhere in the house; of course he'd trapped himself in the spare room, where he was not supposed to be, by being unable to understand doors). It's so frustrating to be debilitated by things I know aren't worth the effect they have on me.

- I ended up having a stupid facebook conversation with someone I know will never learn to stop being a clueless well-intentioned bigot.

+ I did help the mutual friend whose facebook we were arguing on deal with the situation thus caused.

--- I found out I have another bloody meeting on Thursday afternoon, so it's looking gloomy for me being able to see [personal profile] magister before I'm away for the weekend.

+ I'm away for the weekend! A much-needed little break from this daily grind.

So many things...

Brainwatch

Sep. 3rd, 2015 09:39 am
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
Really bad brain day today.

I walked through Piccadilly clutching my stick so tight my hand hurt. I wanted to hit someone who thoughtlessly pushed by me (when if he'd waited a millisecond I was moving out of his way anyway). Someone was nice to me when I reflexively apologized for nearly running into him/his suitcase and his few kind words almost overwhelmed me just because someone was being nice to me (so much that I wonder now whether British people unnecessarily apologize because it's a way to elicit kindness from their fellow human beings?...maybe it's a bit like saying "do I look fat in this?" as a way to get compliments that might not otherwise be so forthcoming).

Don't know what's up with me today.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
The great thing about having plok for a friend is that he knows what I'm talking about even when I don't know myself.

Vaguely apologizing in an e-mail the other day for my lack of having replied to e-mails for months, I mused that it's been kind of a strange year for me. His reply started
Strange years happen, eh?  I feel like I've had a couple of those recently, when people have asked me what I've been up to and I flat-out have NO ANSWER, even if I just went on a helicopter ride that afternoon.  It didn't feel like tunnel vision, it felt like something else...what do you call it when you buy groceries and then are completely surprised to see them when you open the fridge?  Not that I'm saying this is extensible to your experience, but it's what my most recent strange years have been like:  I *have* been doing stuff, but somehow it all fails to get properly flagged. 

I don't really know how that happens.  It seems like maybe I'm reading my current emotional state for memory?  Like, I forget about the trip and the work and all the peak (or trough) moments, all I can think of is the book I'm reading or how I have to buy toothpaste or how I'm a bit hungry...hmm, or maybe I'm reading *past* emotional states for memory, something that happened last week that I haven't adequately sorted through.  "What have you been up to?"  Well, I've been wondering why I seem to be short a couple of pillowcases...really need to get up to my parents' house and take care of a couple things anyway, maybe I'll look for them there?

"Uh...but didn't somebody tell me you just won the lottery?"

Oh yeah, and I won the lottery...the thing is, I remember the last time I *saw* those pillowcases, but I don't know if it was last week, or last month...

But at least if I'm already like this now, I don't have to worry about turning into this when I'm an old coot, eh?
I feel well on my way to old-biddy (biddy is the feminine form of coot, right!)-dom myself. And I have long thought that my problems started (though I don't know whether this was a cause or an effect) with failing to process things that happen to me, failing to flag them or sort them out exactly as plok says here. It's bugged me a lot that I was never able to write much about the two "tracks" of my life I was working on through the whole first half of 2015 and, now that I've got them sorted -- as much as they're going to get for now, anyway -- I still want to write about them, partly to update the people who read about how I'm doing here but largely for my own benefit: I feel stuck. And the reason I haven't written much -- a near-complete inability to focus or concentrate, a tiredness that cannot be fixed by any amount of rest or good eating or exercise -- is dragging me down still further itself.

To have this articulated for me with the words I cannot find these days, to know that this is a thing that happens to other people too, is an immense relief to me.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
This isn't a perfect list for me (no single attempt is going to work for everyone), but it's a pretty good start.

Bah

Mar. 13th, 2015 08:50 pm
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
The good news is, maybe the anti-depressants are finally working on me after all?

The bad news is, the only evidence I have for this is that I've accidentally stopped taking them and I have felt unusually shitty all week.

I can only hope these two facts are related. It'd be the easiest fix for this problem, and I really want to fix it.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
I'm seriously starting to count "talking about immigration or related issues on the internet" as a self-care failure, as bad as forgetting my meds or not eating properly when it comes to the effect it has on my well-being.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
Elsewhere, a friend relates having been told by someone else "You've had [good thing] and [other good thing] happen, how can you be depressed?

To which I said: Because that's not how depression works, is why. Sheesh. It's a disease. That's like saying "but you're so tall, how can you have eczema?" The two things are just completely unrelated.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
I seem to be alternating weeks where I am really productive with weeks where I get absolutely nothing done.

I noticed this pattern a couple of weeks ago, and it was my guilt and anxiety over that "wasted" week that got me to accomplish stuff I felt good about last week. But this week is all exhaustion and indolence again. Trying to fight it just seems to necessitate more naps.

I try to be kind to myself but it's hard to know where the line is between "good self-care" and "indulgence of poor character traits that will make getting a job impossible."
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
Andrew walked in from work yesterday evening, saw me curled up in front of the laptop, and said "Poor Holly! Having to watch The West Wing!"

Wow, I thought. It's that obvious?! I mean, clearly he hadn't seen the Facebook update I'd posted a bit earlier:
My head won't ever stop hurting, I fail at napping, what can I do now?

Oh yeah: it's been at least a year since I watched this!
"Poor Holly, not being able to deal with or think about anything new or that's happened in the last fifteen years!"

Yeah, pretty much. (Though I tried to argue it's less than ten years since I started watching the show in the middle of its run and I hadn't seen these earliest episodes until I bought the DVDs eight or nine years ago.)

But I thought this was a totally new revelation, that I'd just developed while staring forlornly at our DVD shelves. I didn't know this was such a glaring fact about me! It'd have saved me a lot of time and trouble if I did.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
I had a panic attack in a dream last night. Until a couple of weeks ago, I didn't even know that was a thing that could happen, but this is the second time it has, now.

It was very convincingly done: the cause was something that'd elicit exactly that kind of reaction in my waking life, and when I woke up in the middle of it I felt almost as exhausted as I do when they really happen.

And when I finally got my sorry self downstairs, Andrew told me I'd talked in my sleep! That's a new one on me (or at least, it's not something that's happened when anybody else has heard and wanted to tell me about it.) He says I said "Boo." It woke him up. He asked me what I was on about but of course got no answer because I was sleeping. He says he doesn't know if I was trying to be scary or to express my disapproval about something. Bit ominous, I think, either way.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
Oh well, I didn't like that laptop anyway.

I've still got fingerprint ink on my hands (good liberal that I am, I made sure the fingerprints were only for purposes of eliminating me from stuff and they wouldn't be kept after that). The fingerprinting lady was super nice and chatty, and half-convinced me to do a course and get a job like hers, perhaps because I seemed interested in things other people would be upset about, like my house being covered in powder.

Of course this was the first day in a month that Andrew was going into the office. After weeks of teasing him about how inconvenient it is that he's been around all the time, today he had to leave. He already had a back-to-work interview to stress about before he had to turn up and tell them his laptop had been nicked.

His work laptop has all kinds of complicated locks on it, so it won't be any use to anyone else. "They'll probably only get fifty quid for the lot," Andrew said of our laptops. "They might as well have just asked me for the fifty quid!"

"I wouldn't have given it to them," he added, needlessly.

The police officer had been really lovely too. Total opposite of the last time we were burgled, when I had to deal with them on my own and despite Andrew saying on the phone that his wife was off work sick with depression and be gentle with her, and me actually hearing that message come over their police radios, they said I wasn't depressed. It was my first day on my first SSRI, which had made me throw up already that morning.

This guy has a daughter with autism and a sister with depression so he was very good at the things we needed him to be good at. He was very thorough and kind. I actually felt better when he left than I had before, and I wasn't expecting that.

After the fingerprint lady had gone I was finally free to leave the house, and lovely [livejournal.com profile] diffrentcolours and [livejournal.com profile] greyeyedeve told me to come over and have tea. So I'm sitting in the gazebo with [livejournal.com profile] diffrentcolours now, feeling...a bit like I have the flu, post-panic attack: shaky and too hot or too cold all the time, not able to eat, and just feeling all uncomfortable and wrong.

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hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
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