Sunday, January 24, 2010

where is my mind??


Oh - stop

With your feet in the air and your head on the ground
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
Your head will collapse
But there's nothing in it
And you'll ask yourself

Where is my mind

~The Pixies


I'm functioning, but I'm afraid I'm about to stop being able to do so at any moment. I've been busy. I am busy. I'm back in college, trying to finally get through the last couple of classes I need for my AA degree. I'm doing the activist work with NOW and NAMI which involves meetings and other things. We had a rally Friday to commemorate the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. I love protests, but at the same time, that day, I wasn't really into it. I kept thinking about all the other things I needed to do. That's what I keep doing. I'm working, going to college, doing volunteer advocacy work with two organizations, and managing my illness, all of which combines into one big snowball of stress that is hard for me to handle.

It shouldn't be this way. I should be able to thrive and enjoy the things I do with my life. I should be able to manage them and like it. I should be able to have a normal mind. But that's not the case.

In one sense, I'm doing quite well. But then there are the symptoms. I hear someone saying "Gotcha" to me and I automatically know that they've infiltrated my thoughs with Illuminati mind control techniques and the reason they're saying "gotcha" is that they successfully tricked me, which makes me one step closer to death in a concentration camp.

That is how my brain works.

I hear people say, "You're welcome", and rather than thinking this is polite, I immediately think they said, "You'll walk home" - in reference to my future walk on the Pinellas Trail that leads to the concentration camp that's going to be open in the near future.

It's hard to study marine biology when this kind of thought is going through your head. It's hard to study math. It's hard to do much of anything; maybe you can do it, but it's hard to do it well. It's hard to feel happy when people are calling you Anne (Frank) and telling you you're going to die. It's hard to feel happy when you're ridiculously lonely.

It seems that whenever I get too busy, piled up with too many obligations, my brain goes haywire. Something has to give. My mother tells me this on the phone. An old friend told me the same thing a while ago. My therapist says often that I'm too ambitious to be able to handle all that I want to be doing.

That sucks. I want to finish my AA degree, and then my BA degree. To move to a better apartment where life is safe. To find love with someone who's real. To get feminist work done with NOW and advocacy work for people with mental illnesses done with NAMI. I want to spend time with the friend I do spend time with and also make new friends, an spend time with them. I want to write a book. I want to have a career doing something meaningful unlike answering the phone all day as I do at my current job. I want to be able to work full time. I want to get out of poverty. To lose another fifty pounds this year like I did last year. To manage my symptoms with the medication, but without gaining any weight. To travel on a study abroad trip this summer to Ireland or Japan. To do well. To be happy.

To manage, while doing all of these things, to do all my dishes every day and keep my little apartment clean and tidy. Rather than have piles of dishes everywhere which draws bugs and looks disgusting, I want to have the place like I have it when I do a good job cleaning. It just never seems to stay that way.

I don't think I've mentioned my menstrual cycle here before, but I'm about to, so if you can't handle that, leave now.

I haven't gotten a period in well over a year, I think. It's hard to remember. It may have been close to a year and a half. After many months of not getting one, I forgot when the last one occurred. The reason for this is my antipsychotic medication. Risperdal and Seroquel can make your Prolactin level (hormone) get too high, and when that gets too high, you cease menstruating. This is a problem for a number of reasons. Not getting your period can lead to a lot of health problems, which is not something I realized before. So my doctor (gyn) wanted me to take Provera which is supposed to make me have a period. It was supposed to have worked a week ago. So far, it hasn't worked. The doctor wanted me to come back if this didn't work. But there is still the possibility that it's going to take a little more time.

Anyway, my point is that when your hormones change and do weird things, that can lead to depression. My period always, always made me depressed. I had terrible PMS for many years but also Endometriosis. None of that has been a problem for a while now, but it might be soon. The doctor said that the first time it happens again, it's going to be very heavy. Which means pain and depression. I used to think of suicide every month at that time. So maybe something is occurring now that is hormonal and is making me have some mental stress. I am having cramps which would indicate that there is something cyclical occurring, whether "normal" or not.

Next Day Update:
I've cleaned the apartment some, studied, finished assignments for school, visited with my family for my brother's birthday which was today, and am feeling a little better than last night when I wrote the first portion of this post. I am still disorganized. The place is still messy and needs work. I still need to do about five loads of laundry and have no time to do them. I am still just getting a "B" in my marine biology class so far, and am a little lost in my math class. But tomorrow after math class, I'll go see my tutor in the office of services for students with disabilities at my college. I'll talk to her about what's confusing me in this class. I will, hopefully, get some of the confusion resolved that way. I will not give up. What I know is that I can do what I must do when I must do it. I believe most people are pretty resilient. I believe I'm tough enough. I think I've waded through my share of muck in this life, and I've come out on the other side pretty much okay. So I know that I can do this semester. Because I have to do it.

My mom and I were talking for a few minutes about how she thinks I am trying to do too many things at once. After some consideration, I realized I'd be a liar to try and argue against her claims. She is right on this. I am doing too much. I will not be able to keep it up. Something will have to give, and it's not going to be school that I give up. It will be some of my activist work. I will give it up if I have to, because I may have to. And that's just how life is. It's not fair or fun to realize that I must give up things I like to do to manage basic survival, but that's how it goes with this illness/illnesses. That's par for the course sometimes. I'll figure it out.

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