For the record, really...

After super fun time with Lexapro, and a week of nausea and dizziness on the minimal dose of Zoloft, things seem better. I went 12 days at 25 mg, and started to feel human again around day 10... then I upped the dosage to 50 mg, as per the instructions. It's been 5 days now at 50 mg and the second round of nausea and jitteriness has subsided. I may actually get to be a real person again. That's super exciting.

And with less anxiety about my anxiety and my treatment for anxiety, I am starting to get excited about wedding stuff. It was so frustrating to have such a sparkly object on my left ring finger and be so freaked out about everything that I couldn't be excited or happy for myself. I'm still not myself, but I don't feel hopelessly disconnected from the world or like I'm going to die. Ultimately, I think in a month or so, I'll be back to normal. And I can't wait for that. I didn't realize how much I liked being me till I had to be a zombie for a month instead. I mean, I'm not so fantastic, but I'm better than a zombie. First steps toward reasonable self-esteem levels.

Soon I'll be picking out flowers and ordering invitations and it'll be great. I'm gettin' married.
  • Current Mood
    tired tired
super squeak

SSRIs: An adventure in lunacy

Friday, the doctor told me to take 10 mg of the Lexapro. I had the worst night of my life. It was completely terrifying, and exhausting. I was seeing things, hearing things, unable to focus or stay still and slept not a wink. My mind and heart raced for a good 6 hours. I actually felt like a crazy person. Not something I would recommend to anyone I liked.

So I called the doctor on his CELL PHONE, because I'm one of THOSE patients (and it was Saturday so he was out of the office), and I was like "Nope, not doing this again..." So he put me back on Zoloft, 25 mg to start. That's low. But 5 mg was low on the other.

Sunday: First dose of zoloft, taken with food in the morning as directed by doctor; mild anxiety attacks, nausea, dizziness-- however, nothing compared to last week.

Monday: Same... on all accounts. Also started exercising 30-40 min/day (it was recommended-- not anything awesome, just doing something... I've felt so awful and weird for like a month that I have become very sedintary, and rarely want to leave the apartment). Headache in the evening after walking.

Tuesday: Same, but less nausea, less dizziness, less anxiety. Things were looking up, didn't notice a headache.

Wednesday: Same timing (meds between 9 and 10), but had pretty severe nausea around 1; walked only 20 minutes, then felt worse... anxiety heightened, probably by nausea and inconsistent results, but who knows. I still haven't eaten a real lunch-- a piece of bread and some sips of soup... the soup seemed to be a bad idea. The bread was okay. Drinking ginger tea and chilling out for the time being, hoping this feeling passes.

My primary concern now is... how will I deal with this next week at work? And because my evaluation has been twice post-poned... when is that happening? Will she just show up to evaluate me next week? Will she not come back for a month? Will she get that this has been a hellish couple of weeks and that adjustment to medications like this take time? Will she care??

I hate my job most of the time. Not to whine... but just... for the record. I almost want to get fired so that I will have to find something else to do with my life. Something better for me, something less restraining, less stressful, more a job and less a lifestyle.
  • Current Mood
    anxious anxious
super squeak

For the purpose of documentation, mostly...

After an awful weekend anxiety extravaganza last weekend (I should have been picking venues!! and flowers and dresses!), my doctor prescribed Lexapro for a more permanent solution to the problem. I had taken Xanax in order to calm down and get to sleep that weekend, but it made me very dizzy and drowsy, and about 15 hours later, I'd be huddled in a corner somewhere sobbing about nothing. Apparently, I'm kind of sensitive to psych drugs.

So as I was prescribed Lexapro, I went back through my LJ for kind of a summary of how long it took me to adjust to Zoloft, when I took that a few years ago. I found very little that was helpful, except for one entry about being miserable on it, and another several months later about being better and starting to ween myself off of it...

That doesn't help me now. So, in the interest of helping out my future self, I've decided to document how I feel as I adjust to the Lexapro (assuming I'm not having some sort of bizarre reaction to it, and assuming the doctor doesn't decide to switch me to something else). It will help if I end up having to do this again...

Monday, Day 1: Took at 1:00 PM; felt shaky, but no real issues until that evening when I had difficulty breathing and trouble getting to sleep-- felt like my throat was closing up and I couldn't get enough air

Tuesday, Day 2: Went back to work, took meds at 4:30 PM; work was hard and I felt dizzy, anxious, jittery and had trouble breathing again-- e-mailed doctor, he said not to up the dosage to 10 mg as directed previously

Wednesday, Day 3: Took at 6:00 PM; bad day-- the morning was okay, but had trouble concentrating all day, around lunch time, the whole left side of my body went numb and tingly. Nurse said vitals were fine, e-mailed doctor again, and he said it was probably a side effect of the medication. Trouble breathing, couldn't calm down or sit still most of that evening, but became unusually sleepy around 8:30.

Thursday, Day 4: Took at 8:00 PM-- my target time after reading that taking the medication at night helps curb morning anxiety attacks; it was a good day, the best this week, until about 5:30. I had a bizarre feeling in my head followed by severe dizziness-- a very quick spell, but it was very unsettling, almost like I might pass out. Driving home from work was scary. Typical anxiety attack seemed to last from 7 to midnight. (pain in chest, tightness, tingly feeling in chest, jitteriness, fear, inability to concentrate, dizziness) Took Xanax to try to get to sleep around 10:45.

Friday, Day 5: Have not yet taken, intend to take at 8 again, but have a call into the doctor to see what he thinks-- stayed home from work for sudden diarrhea and morning anxiety attack-- woke up at 6 (after falling asleep at 2) with the same chest-related symptoms. It's 9:30 AM now, and I am jittery and can't be still. Chest symptoms have eased and are now a dull discomfort rather than a freaky episode like last night.

Waiting on the doctor's call back, but I think I may just try to sleep and hope for the best when I wake up.

Anyone had trouble starting a psych drug? I hear I'm supposed to give it 2 weeks, but I can't afford for it to take any longer than that, or to stop it and try another one... It is definitely interfering with my work performance.
  • Current Mood
    stressed stressed
toast's done

What I would do if I didn't need money.

The following is an incomplete list of things I would do if I did not have to work for a living and money was unnecessary.

1. Read.
Real books, not comic books, that were interesting and intellectual. Sci-fi and fantasies and satires and alternative histories and biographies.

2. Beat World of Warcraft.
I don't know what this means, but I think it probably involves breaking something.

3. Learn how to make circuit boards with wires and stuff on them.
I want people to think I'm smart... because I may not be smart, but I'm not as dumb as they think I am. One way to do this would be to point to a completed circuit board of some kind and say, "I made that thing."

4. Take classes in:
Earth Science
Metal Working
Computer Science

5. Learn to weave.
Like those big wall-sized tapestries. On a giant loom. My grandmother did that.

6. Make jewelry.
I mean like... hardcore, "I forged this in the fires of [fantasy fire place] with my bare hands" kind of jewelry making. I would probably not forge anything barehanded, that sounds dangerous-- but I want to be able to make more complex things than what can be composed from the tidbits available at Michael's and Hobby Lobby.

7. Develop good habits.
Like vacuuming and doing dishes in a timely manner.

8. Teach my cat to develop good habits.
Like using the litter box and not biting my face to wake me up in the morning (or pre-morning).

9. Ride boats.
I think boats are great fun, but in order to ride one, I have to travel-- and that involves having time and money I generally do not have at my disposal.

10. Make art.
Not quality art... but I dabble in stuff all the time without finishing. Art is finished. So I would paint things and sculpt things and draw things.

11. Make a wiki for my life.
Not that anyone would read it, nor should they, but I think the web-weaving, "inter-relatedness of all things" aspect of wiki-ology is really interesting. And more interesting than writing LJ entries would be a factual account and objective analysis of everything that happens to me. It would be... time consuming. And likely, the longest entry would be the one detailing all the time spent creating this completely useless database of events. It'd be like my Twitter.

12. Make friends.
I'm just bad at this and it takes time I don't have.

13. Ride a real train.
Again, this takes a long time if you're actually going somewhere interesting. It probably wouldn't take that long to get to Fort Worth, but what do you do when you get there??

14. Become a master of _______.
I don't know what it will be, but I want to be an expert at something.

15. Catch every Pokemon.

[This has been another lollerskating episode of "Holly Hates Her Job And Wants To Be A Hermit Or Maybe Quit Or Die Whatever". Tune in next week for more despair as Holly lists something else, equally depressing and unoriginal.]
  • Current Mood
    frustrated frustrated

Barftastic Weekend

You ever get that feeling that... however good things are right now, it won't last? Because that is the nature of time and goodness (to be fleeting)?

Friday, I left work at 4:40 (we get out at 4:00). That's incredible for me. It's like real people leaving two hours early. I was high on freedom, driving home with the windows rolled down, bouncing around to some Black Eyed Peas song on some radio station I never really listen to on principle, because their music selection is far too bouncy (and auto-tuned) to be sensible.

About 2 minutes from pulling into my apartment complex parking lot, I was shaken from my blissful perch by a feeling of dread and foreboding. A "this is too good to be true" kind of feeling. Like, the exact thought was "I wonder if people look back on times like this, when they are in such a terrific mood, just prior to disaster and wonder... Why was I so happy? Didn't I know terrible things were coming?"

Given my propensity to blow nearly everything out of proportion, you may understand why I feel this is somehow significant.

Friday night, I crashed, and felt bad... like exhausted and depressed, for no reason, and it was, despite spending time with my dearest love, a waste of a work-free evening. I felt somewhat better Saturday morning, shuffled off to "brunch" with my mom and sister at Panera Bread, and came home to play World of Warcraft. The expansion has been out for over a month and I am not yet to level 85, the latest level cap, if you can even believe it. Such is the misfortune of adulthood, I suppose. Anyway, come 5 o'clock or so, I started to feel a little uneasy. I thought it might have been a combination of laziness, lack of lunch and caffeine overload (Thank you, Keurig! 6-8 cups of coffee a day is normal, right?? It's just so fun to make drinks now, I can't help myself...). Turns out, I was wrong.

Oh, I do hate being wrong!

From about 7 to 1, I was miserable... vomiting and diarrhea and my head was going to explode and what I'm certain was a fever, although I do not have the good sense to own a thermometer, so I can't be sure. I haven't been sick like that for... I'd say, a good 10 years. That's a decade. My cat was mortified. She stood in the bathroom doorway staring and making pitiful noises. (or perhaps, noises of pity?) Aka sat in the next room trying to be supportive, but really, what can you do? I tried ginger ale and jello, but my body would have none of it.

Sunday was better, but not good. I was hungry, dehydrated, and weak... no longer throwing up, but still battling the poop demons and hesitant to eat anything, as I had no desire to revisit Saturday night's excitement. I wanted so badly not to have to work today (Monday), but there was no way I could have things ready for a sub remotely... I was going to have to go up to school to make copies and write plans anyway; my thought was that I might as well stay the day and see how it went.

Well, while I didn't barf on any kids, it was not spectacular, or even good, so tomorrow I'm taking a day to recuperate. I am about to try eating chicken and rice... we'll see how it goes. I'd honestly rather be gushing blood than stomach sick (it is the absolute worst-- I've been having these vivid, horrifying flashbacks all day, and it's not helping with the nausea levels), but I'm starving, and jello and crackers just aren't doing the trick. Time to be brave. Time to try protein.

I blame either Panera Bread or the Urchins.

But I am humbled by this experience-- lessons to be learned:
1) Do not get sick.
2) Do not leave work before 5:00 pm on a Friday, lest you be doomed to waste your weekend losing bodily fluids in unpleasant ways.
  • Current Mood
    sick sick

Perhaps my most inhibiting fears...

... stem from the fabled "that could never happen to me" mentality.

I'll not fall into that trap. No, never. I have, in precaution, taken an altogether too great amount of time to consider all of those things which could, in fact, happen to me. There are many.

Some considerations involve series of related events:
I could trip while walking down the stairs of my apartment.
I could break my leg as a result of tripping.
I could then fall the rest of the way down, and lay crippled on the ground.
It's possible no one would find me there for days.
I might then die of dehydration and/or starvation.

Some are singular in nature:
--The ceiling could collapse on me in my sleep.

--I could start my car for work tomorrow, after being careful to allow enough time to stop for coffee, only to be blown to tiny bits because someone decided to wire my beetle with an explosive device.

--The continental and oceanic plates which make California such an incredibly ridiculous place to live could decide they've just had quite enough of everything and then all of California would be screwed.

--I might have to move to Asia after being fired and blacklisted for low test scores, and I might die because I don't know any Asian languages, and wouldn't be able to communicate or get a job or eat or bathe or anything.

I'm not saying this is better than the naivete. It's clearly just more insane. I'm not joking, though, either. It sounds funny to type it all out, but I have actually piddled around in my apartment for an extra 15 minutes because I didn't want to find out if my car was going to explode. I was late for work that day. Hard to explain why.

The point of this being, for someone who spends so much time and creative energy (albeit, more or less unpurposefully) considering possibilities, things should not catch me off guard. Not big things. Not bad things. Good things frequently do, but I never turn to livejournal when things are good.

I honestly, really, truly, wholely never expected to find myself in a serious relationship. (By serious, I mean long-- nothing I find myself a part of is ever serious.) In my most elaborate fantasies about normal, consideration-free life, that never factored in. I had quick flashes of "and I would be married to ____", so it's not like the desire was absent, nor the understanding of how important a lasting, meaningful relationship can be. But the... semantics... the details of seriousness in relation to dating... I had no idea.

Two years is a long time for two people to date. Two adult people. Two years is serious business.

Here's my dilemma:

There is this understanding in the world that relationships are best at their beginnings. That passion, romance, respect, adoration, longing-- they all fade. Dissolve. Deteriorate... with time. I never really bought it. I figured that might be true for lazy people, or for fickle people, or for promiscuous people. But not me. That would never happen to me. I'm too smart for that. I would see it coming, I would reignite the dying fire.

Turns out, one, or all, of the following may be true.
1) I am not actually that smart, therefore did not see anything coming. (Yes, probably.)

2) I am lazy, fickle, and promiscuous, or any combination of those unfavorable characteristics. (I think I'm solid on 2 of the 3, so this is likely.)

3) I am imagining a problem. (Happens daily, as discussed above.)

I find myself now longing, but not longing with love. Longing with nostalgia. I have love, but it's different from how it used to be, and it's less fulfilling. It has hit me, painfully, in the last several weeks, that what once was a driving, up-lifting force in my life is now... mediocre. Unimpressive, unmotivating. No sparkles or anything. And it's depressing as hell. And I did not anticipate it at all-- that's the worst part. I am completely befuddled.

So what now?

This too shall pass?

I have brought up the issue... and I am alone in my acknowledgment and concern. He didn't even notice things were different. I don't know what that means.

There's evidence, though, of a change-- I don't think I'm making it up. I've looked through (hooray for technology) our communication over the last two years, and there is a stark difference in how we addressed each other a year ago and how we do it now. The things we discuss, the way it's discussed, the enthusiasm for communication in general... all different. And, I think, not different-better. Different bad. You might think time would deepen conversation, or open up more subjects to comfortable discussion. But nope.

  • Current Mood
    discontent discontent


I haven't written anything here since March. To be honest, I had forgotten I once did this... summer was wonderful. I was so incredibly lazy, so unproductive, and it was heaven. I am at peace with not working.

I am back at work now, however, and working for new administration. I swear the new principal hates me. She won't give me the time of day, or even acknowledge me when I say hello or ask how she's doing in the hallway. Someone told me it was "just how she is", but how can someone "just be" unwilling to say hello or nod or smile or say "fine"... naturally? How can that be their default? So socially odd. Clearly, she hates me. I haven't don't anything very bad or annoying, but there's no other plausible explanation.

We went to a meeting today that has reawakened the funk of last year, and I am sitting here nearly in tears because I thought I was free of that nonsense, yet here it is, slapping me in the face and calling me a moron for being so naive (I prefer "optimistic" or "positive"). I was so enjoying having a clue, being organized, staying a step or two ahead of the day... or even the hour. But I should have known it wouldn't last. I am anxious again, thus physically feeling the consequences of the frivolity that shrouds the american educational system. Our kids fail...
Because we're not using the right purchased curriculum.
Because we're not incorporating a sufficient number of graphic organizers.
Because we're clearly not taking advantage of their cultural heritage in explaining how to add and subtract fractions.
Because we don't cater to their linguistic needs.
Because we aren't making graphs to evidence their progress from one grading period to another.
Because we aren't emphasizing the processes involved in learning.
Because we're not scaffolding our questioning according to their individual abilities.

Or... because they're lazy, they're hormonal, and their parents don't give a flip. I dunno. I haven't been to that training yet.

We are graced this year with the opportunity to participate in "Instructional Rounds", akin to medical rounds, in that they are designed to diagnose and treat campus ailments associated with poor student achievement. About 15 times in this meeting we had about Instructional Rounds, we were told that they were completely nonevaluative. Non-judgemental. Purely objective. Simply a means of gathering data. Our peers and supervisors will visit our rooms and script everything said and done to be later analyzed by a team of teachers and administrators who are better and smarter than everyone else. Then, the people who suck have to go to additional training.

Wait, I'm getting catty. Let me try again. Then, based on the data, teachers will be given the opportunity to improve those specific areas in which the campus as a whole has been proven to be deficient.

That's great, but here's my problem with it. When a human has experience with a task (int his case, teaching) and is subsequently in a position to observe another human performing that same task, it is natural, instinctual even, to make a comparison, a connection, identify similarities, and evaluate what they have observed. They have a foundation, their own experiences, for passing judgement, and so they do. It's happening somewhere in the brain, I know it is, regardless of what anyone says aloud or writes on sticky notes. I have not read any scientific studies about this... but it's true, right? Are we not evaluative creatures by nature? And if so, how is sending a group of people with educational experience into a classroom to observe and record everything that happens there considered a non-evaluative exercise? The only thing non-evaluative about it is the fact that they will all have to, according to some book with some bulleted list of guidelines about some arbitrary procedures, try their darnedest not to record evaluative statements. It doesn't mean those statements are not formed, are not communicated... they're just not written.

I'm going to have a group of people come in and make silent judgments about the quality of the work I do, then never actually tell me what they thought or wrote or discussed with that fabulously important group of people who will be making campus/district-wide decisions. Some of them are people I see every day, work closely with, even. That could change the dynamic of our working relationship tremendously, especially if I suck. And often, I do suck. The work I do is an epic waste of time. Ask any of my kids.

So... all that to say, I'm wallowing this evening in frustration and severe discontent with my job. So much of the crap they have us do seems so pointless in the grand scheme of things, so meaningless to everyone choosing not to worship the frequent and unpredictable desires of our nation's educational theorists. Maybe it's just me. Maybe I don't care enough about my job. Maybe it's just a job to me, and it's supposed to be a lifestyle or a religion.

I'm tired of spinning my wheels and going nowhere. I put in plenty of hours, I do what I'm asked to do and then some, and do it to the best of my ability while maintaining a healthy level of sanity and caffeination, but when it's all said and done, it's not about me.

If they're going to learn something, it won't be because I danced around the room reciting poetry about acute angles, or because we wrote our angle vocabulary in boxes instead of ovals, or because every third word is also written in Spanish, or because I made them share their feelings about angles before we did our classwork.

It will be because they decided, before they even entered the school building, that today was a day they were going to learn something.
  • Current Mood
    bitchy bitchy

Everything I do is wrong.

Sometimes... being conscious is too depressing. And not worth the effort. I cannot write anymore. I cannot think anymore. I cannot make good decisions or act rationally anymore. I cannot lose weight. I cannot make my cat like me. I cannot make my boyfriend need my attention. I cannot keep up with the people who expect me to keep up with them. I cannot excel at my job, or even... just get by. I cannot be a good friend. I cannot be a good daughter. I cannot be a good sister. I cannot be good.

You would think, after a week of freedom, I would be in a great mood and have a new, inspired outlook on life. I thought I would...

But, actually, it's just the opposite. I look at the days I have left to go before this nightmare of a year is over and I am more exhausted than I have been in months. More overwhelmed, more unmotivated... I don't know how I'm going to do it. I don't want to do it, and I don't care about it. I just want to quit my job and move back in with my parents and never talk to anyone else again. No friends, no coworkers, no boyfriend, no contact with the outside world. No internet, even.

Hooray, Spring Break 2010.

On a less hopeless and unhappy note, I did get to see Muse on Wednesday, and that was incredible. I'd never been to a rock concert before. It was pretty fantastic.
  • Current Mood
    depressed depressed