Thursday, July 27, 2017

re mental illness, meds, & visibility

I'm struggling with my medication right now.

If I take the lower dose of welbutrin, the anxiety isn't so bad ...because I can't feel anything at all.
If I take the higher dose of welbutrin, the anxiety is uncontrollable and I have panic attacks even in the best circumstances.

If I take the prozac to augment the higher welbutrin dose, the anxiety is controllable but I basically can't get up off my ass. It's like there's a layer of not-yummy jello between me and the world.

If I take the prozac with the lower dose of welbutrin, I'm a zombie. And not the runner type, more the dazed-and-confused-moaner type.

If I don't take the prozac with the lower dose of welbutrin, I don't sleep. Ever. That makes me cranky. (Okay, not not ever but it sure feels like it.)

For now, in case you're wondering, I'm doing the lower dose of welbutrin with no prozac, and reducing my caffeine intake while putting several anti-insomnia tactics to work each night. So far, I've slept at least a little for 3 out of 4 nights.


That said, I've decided not to hide my mental illness from potential employers. I'll probably regret that.

Also, that sounds bad but it's not like anyone would go into an interview and be like, "yeah, I'm basically not functional 50% of the time, but I'm totally capable of pushing through that and getting the job done, it'll just hurt while I'm doing it. A lot. And I'll be irritable and apathetic, but I'll hide that really well because I have a TON of practice. No worries."

And what I really mean is that I'm not going to attempt to minimize my mental health conversations online (on fb, twitter, and my blogs) in order to present a "normal" image.

I hesitated to post about my medications - even though that's exactly the sort of thing I started this personal blog for - because I know that some of my potential future colleagues (i.e., other academics) might see this blog. Some of them are on my fb. Some of them are on my twitter feed.

So yeah, it has occurred to me that I shouldn't post *this thing about major depressive disorder* or *that thing about ptsd* but then I remind myself that if I want this stigma to ever end, someone has to take the risk of being honest about the realities of (my) mental illness. And I'm actually okay with being that person. It's just my socialization-derived instincts that fear being truthful about uncomfortable stuff.

I see you, fear. I'm just not gonna let you make my decisions. Cuz I got TONS of practice with pushing through bullshit emotions. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

oh by the way

I lost my job shortly after my friend's near-suicide experience.

Thought I was gonna drown in the subsequent depressive episode. Would have failed my classes if my history professor wasn't absolutely amazingly understanding.

Started working at a ranch the last weekend of April. It was exactly what I needed, although it's not a *paying* job, per se... I mean, it is but it isn't. More on that later.

Got another class (summer class, on the Mexican Revolution) coming up... today. It's going to involve more socializing than I'm really ready for. Digitial socializing, but still... I mean, there's a reason I'm taking online classes, and it's not all about the commute. Good thing I only signed up for one class this summer. Pretty sure that's going to be my limit.

I'm still struggling with the anhedonia.

But the biggest news is that - because of the no-job situation - I couldn't afford to continue my lease with Dash. That sucked/sucks. There are some silver linings, etc, but whatever. It is what it is. I miss Dashy Pants, and I miss just hanging out at the barn.

On the other hand, I feel a lot more productive hanging out at the ranch because there's a lot more work to be done that I can help with. It gets me moving. And sometimes, the friend of mine who owns it even throws some cash my way. It's a good gig. And once we get the ranch really operating well, it'll turn into a good job. And he has a couple horses. So I can ride... once we get all the necessary tasks done (like building the new chicken coop, or setting up the new fodder house...). There's still a lot to be done before I'll find time to ride, but it's cool to know it'll happen.

I'm sure that in some future post I'll talk endlessly about the ranch.

Right now I'm going to try - again - to get started on my classwork.