Log: Aug 15 – Aug 19 (Sat – Wed) SCHOOL STARTED

Aug 15 (Sat): Cat-sitting for 2 cats, and dog-sitting;
Aug 16 (Sun): Cat-sitting; Possibly head to a nearby park for the day
Aug 17 (Mon): SCHOOL!!!
Aug 18 (Tue): School 9:40 am – 12:25 pm; Work 1:20 pm – 5:20 pm
Aug 19 (Wed): School 9:40 am – 3:25 pm; Study 3:45 pm – 5:30 pm

Grumpy Cat: Sometimes I want to hug someone, but unfortunately, I'm not a porcupine

Grumpy Cat: Sometimes I want to hug someone, but unfortunately, I’m not a porcupine

*Update* I had forgotten — I actually slept the ENTIRE DAY ON SATURDAY. Dog sitting got cancelled and I don’t want to talk about why. Still cat sitting – it’s going smoothly – School started – two classes on the first day, and they both seem okay. The professors seem nice and knowledgeable – After school, at night, I had another emotional meltdown, ended up sleeping out on the patio for four hours (came back inside around 4 am), partly on purpose and partly not. I mean, obviously I meant to bring my sleeping pad and bag and pillow-blanket out there, but I don’t think I expected to actually fall asleep. It was nice. I could watch the clouds moving across the stars, until I fell asleep. And my earplugs blocked out all of the yelling people and sirens and general city noise.

HEY! I forgot to mention — Sunday was fun — Peter & I went to free dance lessons in the morning!! Then went to the BEACH with his parents, and had a nice, homemade dinner with them afterward!!

My next classes – the 3rd and 4th – seem nice, as well.

I’d say that overall, one class seems like it will be a bit painfully slow, and one class might be just too damn fast for me. The topic should be okay, but the professor went zip-zip-zip like crazy. I’m so glad I am able to audio-record the lectures.

The one class that is REALLY important — the Accounting one — nobody volunteered to be a notetaker. So I’m not sure what will happen with that. But I’ll do my best and keep recording the audio lectures and if I find I’m not doing okay, I’ll have to talk with the professor about it.

I’m at work but I’m freaking out. HOW in the WORLD am I supposed to get all of this homework done???? I have DAY 2 of two classes tomorrow, which means reading and homework for both of them. I’m very worried that this isn’t going to be possible. Not unless I can somehow get a little bit ahead. Oh well. I’ll try to read for an hour tonight, at the least.

Pink flower petals

Pink flower petals

My emotions are a roller coaster again and I don’t know if it’s from the massive life changes or from my thyroid dose being lowered. I’m not liking it, though. I’ll wait until my new schedule has leveled out before I really insist on raising my thyroid back up, though.

I did get the new health insurance. It’s officially official. Now to cancel COBRA and see what they say about my August premium and expenses!!! GULP. I hope they don’t discontinue me and then reject the past claims I’m still waiting on receiving payments for!!!

Oh yeah and I’m also not in a sharing mood with many people right now. With my mom, sure. Anybody else? Not very much. I’m an upset porcupine.

Things On My Mind

Pink Flowers

Pink Flowers

  • Dog sitting on Saturday. I don’t know what that’s going to look like yet – it will be at or near Peter’s apartment / nearby parks, assumedly.
  • Therapy. Will I continue seeing my current therapist? She has been helpful. But it is hard to get out to that city lately, and will become more so. And she will not be in-network for my new insurance.
  • Health insurance. I’ve applied for a new health insurance. It’s through Peter’s work. Apparently I have been accepted, but have yet to receive a card. Apparently it will backdate to the start of August, when I first applied.
  • Health insurance. How in !@$# am I going to get my money back for August for my COBRA health insurance? I’ve already paid them $785.66 for this month. They will drop-kick me the instant they catch whiff of me applying for different insurance, so perhaps they will return my August premium.
  • My belongings. So I’m going to need to clear out all of my things from my aunt and uncle’s place and officially move in with Peter. I really hope that the wardrobe we picked out is going to fit all of my stuff. I’m to clear out all of my painting supplies, too. I hope that having them handy will inspire me to start painting again.
  • Rent. Once I’m officially moved in with Peter and his roommate, I’m going to start contributing to rent. This scares the living daylights out of me. Every time I think about it, my palms start sweating. I think last time Peter did the math for it, he suggested that $500/month would be appropriate. It’s not to lower it for him but for his roommate, since I’m using part of the shared space and all that. But I know what their full rent is and I can do the math and believe me, that is not the full 1/3 amount. That’s not even 1/4. Nor 1/5, 1/6, 1/7… I could go on but I won’t. So trust me. The idea scares the bejeepers out of me. I’m glad their lease is up in December. So the thing is, I’ll only be able to afford contributing toward rent once the new health insurance kicks in — it will be saving me more than that in premiums.
  • Work. So I absolutely do not qualify for student work on campus. However, it doesn’t matter right now, because I am not unemployed. It turns out that my work has not found a replacement for me yet. So I am invited to continue working as much as my schedule will allow — which is Tuesday and Thursday after 1:20 pm, and all day on Friday. I’m anxious about having to commute this direction after school on Tue + Thu, but I’m also relieved to maintain having some kind of income for now!!! I dropped one of my classes (the music class) to make sure I’d be able to work on Tuesday. But I also dropped it because the idea of three classes that day was starting to overwhelm me — I don’t think it was a good plan. And the amount of reading it required was incredible – more than any of the other classes.
  • School. OMG. What’s stressing me out is that I am supposed to introduce myself to each instructor right away and ask them to read the request for a note-taker for me (yay Disability Support Services!). But the idea of trying to pin down an instructor before the first class is pretty nerve-wracking. I’m not too scared of the reading at present — I have access to audio for 3 of my textbooks and will soon have access to the 4th. I’m terrified of homework — I just don’t have a good track record for actually doing homework. But, I’m older & wiser now, and I know how to work WITH myself a lot more than in the past (as opposed to against myself), so I have a much better chance of succeeding now. For sure.
  • Hobbies. I have not participated in ANY of my hobbies or side interests as of late (except for photography). Maybe this isn’t entirely true, because I’ve gone on some walks and watched 2 funny videos and have done my budgeting. But anyway, this is because I am feeling SO MUCH PRESSURE from the impending start of classes. Once I have my new schedule, I think things will go smoothly.
  • Relationship. This is moving awfully fast in two ways: Officially moving in with Peter, and going onto his work’s health insurance as an unmarried domestic partner of the opposite sex (they have that category). This is a little out of my comfort zone, to be honest. It is bringing up a LOT of baggage for me, in the form of flashbacks, memories, weird dreams, remorse, sorrowful memories of specific time periods I DON’T want to recall. Etc. I’m trying to keep a lid on it but I’m going to need to deal with it in a healthy way when I can. I haven’t shared all of these specifics details, but he’s suggesting we go to couples therapy, which I think is a brilliant idea. I just need that insurance card so I can get the in-network list… 😛
  • My pony. What am going to do with my pony??? I can’t keep paying for my pony! But I am hesitate to part with her, too. I haven’t seen her in over a year! I am just paying every month for her care and I don’t know when I’ll ever see her again or what I’ll do with her. I can’t pay for a pony when I will hardly be working!
  • Work again. I’m also glad to stay on with this company for now, because I am very familiar with the people and systems now. It can be stressful for me at times, but the thought of a new, minimum-wage job is even scarier. Also, my tie to my uncle might be broken once I’m entirely gone from this job. Particularly when I’m having to move all of my stuff out soon. My brother had told him that I’m moving in with Peter (for the insurance, he thinks). They think I’m just using the system. Oy. It will be hard to stay in contact with my uncle, I think. He doesn’t really respond to text messages. Maybe I’ll have to call him every now and then, or show up sometimes on the weekend. I don’t know yet.
  • OCD. My OCD has been acting up, assumedly from increased stress. I’ve been getting some intrusive thoughts and an inability to get past certain thoughts/ they just keep repeating in my head, over and over again. This’ll go away once I’m into the new school schedule, though. But OMG it does not help matters right now.
  • Mood. At least my mood seems to be stable again now. I had even called my doctor to tell her about my extreme crabbiness and even worse exhaustion in the morning. But she is hesitant to raise my thyroid level back up, because I guess that will increase the amount of bone loss for me in the future, since my thyroid level was running kind of high before. But I’m starting to feel okay again, and I even felt like a slept mostly okay last night. I did stall for an hour in getting out of bed, but that was more from my old anxiety than from exhaustion this morning. Things will be easier once I’m into the new school schedule. It’s hard to be looking at it from the top of the cliff.

Log: Aug 05 – Aug 14 (Wed – Fri): A LOT of change

Aug 05 (Wed): Work;
Aug 06 (Thu): School DSS appt!! 9:30am @location; Work 11:30am – 5:30pm;
Aug 07 (Fri): Work;
Aug 08 (Sat): ;
Aug 09 (Sun): ;
Aug 10 (Mon): Work;
Aug 11 (Tue): Therapy 8:30a; Work 10:30a – 12:30p; School appt
Aug 12 (Wed): Work;
Aug 13 (Thu): Work; Uncle’s house
Aug 14 (Fri): Work;

Well, I’m behind! Let’s see what I can re-construct based off of text messages, photos, and emails.

Flowers

Flowers

Aug 5, Wed: I received photos and pictures of a dragonfly that took a 5-mile ride on my dad when he and my parents went walking through the woods. Peter and I both got home super late from work. I made myself some beans and rice and he was able to get some food before leaving work – he was super late due to something up at work, but he was able to fix it.

Aug 6, Thu: My appointment with the Disability Support Services at my new school took longer than I expected, but it was worth it! Not only did I get permission to audio-record lectures, but they rented me out a digital tape recorder for free, which is great because I lost mine and didn’t want to have to buy a new one.

Aug 7, Fri: This day started out humorously. For some reason, I refer to pre-ground coffee beans as “coffee grounds”. I never thought anything of it. But I went to a new coffee shop to buy these beans, and I asked for “grounds”. The rep looked at me as if I was very odd, and said no, they don’t sell those. They usually throw them away. Haha. I didn’t understand until I’d already left and went to the another coffee shop. This time I corrected myself and said grounds – I mean BEANS! Peter and I went to my aunt & uncle’s house after work. I had needed to pick up some mail that arrives for me there. We couldn’t stay the night, in part because I had left my medicine back at Peter’s place.

Cat Picture

Cat Picture

Aug 8, Sat: Peter and I were at his mom’s house the whole day (from breakfast until night). I got to meet a maternal uncle, who was fun to speak with. I received pictures of my parents and dog in the mountains, picking blueberries. I got to see a couple of pictures of my pony getting attention from some youngsters. I took tons of pictures of one of Peter’s mom’s cats in the setting sun light.

Aug 9, Sun: It must have been this day that my brother borrowed my uncle’s vehicle and tried to help me and Peter pick up some large furniture items (a wardrobe for me, and a bedframe of a larger size than his current one). But alas, their website had lied about the number of items in stock and so we couldn’t buy the furniture. We took my brother out to lunch for helping (or for trying to help).

Aug 10, Mon: Work. Was able to back-order the furniture. I cooked from a cookbook!, with Peter’s assistance (I get pretty overwhelmed after a certain number of steps).

Aug 11, Tue: Therapy, which is perhaps not going smoothly at the moment. Then learned that my 2nd-favorite bakery just shut their doors!!! So sad!!! I also decided (and got agreement from Peter) to make fabric napkins and some potholders, which we need. So one of these days, I get to head to a fabric store… I’d better decide the max amount to spend ahead of time!!! $$$ I worked for 2 hours. After work, I went back to the school. I went through a meeting meant for people who can petition to receive financial aide (I wanted to participate in Work Study), but learned from the meeting that I absolutely cannot qualify because I have too many credits — it doesn’t matter that most of the credits are from over a decade ago. Oh well. I’ll explain why I say, “Oh, well” farther down this post! I also talked with someone about getting my 1 hardcopy textbook turned into audio, and it is no problem because they already had to do that book for someone else.

Pink Clouds

Pink Clouds

Aug 12, Wed: Work. Learned that my passport was approved after all. The problem had been that they only had half of my mailing address, somehow. Peter was in an odd(weak) mood and exceptionally exhausted. I think he was fighting off some kind of bug but he says he thinks it was something going on at work that is particularly stressful for him.

Aug 13, Thu: Work. Nobody showed up and I had no tasks. I slept for an hour under my desk. I’ve been playing some phone apps that help me remember my grade-school Math. ( I ❤ gamification ) I went to my uncle’s after work, to take some pictures of more items he’d like to sell. Peter worked from home for part of the day because he was still feeling so exhausted. He joined me at my uncle’s house anyway (although I had just finished and he sat on the porch while I got my bike and such, so my uncle actually never knew he was there!), and we ate out at my favorite Thai restaurant. Peter still seemed “off” to me. In case my nighttime kicking has been keeping him from sleeping at night, I slept on the floor again last night. I feel like I slept fairly well, although I remember waking up a couple of times. I must have tossed a lot because when I woke up, my sleeping bag zipper was now flipped to the other side!!

Aug 14, Fri: Peter sounded a little bit more like himself this morning. Work. I don’t know what tonight will bring. If I can, perhaps I’ll cut work earlier, although in a way, this is like my last “real” day. But I’d like to go home early and pick up some groceries. I’d like to make a quick dinner tonight. I have the feeling of there being so much to do / SO MUCH TO GET DONE. This is likely because school starts on MONDAY!!!!! I haven’t been a full-time student for over a decade!! This is crazy.

I might submit this post and then write an additional post highlighting certain things not mentioned in the log because they are more nebulous.

Mood Range: 3.7 – 5

Log: Jul 29 – Aug 4 (Wed – Tue): Lowered thyroid and mood

Jul 29 (Wed): Work; Stayed overnight at my uncle’s, alone
Jul 30 (Thu): Work; Bicycled on bridge while my brother jogged
Jul 31 (Fri): Work;
Aug 01 (Sat): RIVER RAFTING
Aug 02 (Sun): Dinner w/ Peter’s folks
Aug 03 (Mon): Work;
Aug 04 (Tue): NO THERAPY; Work 8a – 4p; Psychiatrist 5:30p

Wednesday: Work. Went to my aunt and uncle’s house. She was out of town, but my uncle and cousin were there. Peter joined us for dinner and then he left after we watched part of a silly movie, and I stayed and thought I’d sleep better, but slept poorly anyway.

Thursday's Sunset

Thursday’s Sunset

Thursday: Work, but there was little to do, so I ended up watching Stephen Fry videos, inspired by BlahPolar’s blog. They were wonderful but I ended up on the topic of HIV and other things that made me feel quite ill after 4 straight hours on the topic. I felt so yuck at the end of the day, I started to try and contact people. I ended up in contact with my brother. He was actually in the area and about to go jogging on a bridge, so I joined him with my bicycle! It was sooooo beautiful. I felt so much better after that. Even though he thinks my upcoming plans still place me as a mooch / using/abusing the system around me. But I think we got along fine and we then had dinner together and it was really good.

Friday: The morning was strange in that Peter had to leave quickly and I was still getting ready for work. I floated around, doing random, unnecessary things, like deciding now would be a good time to mop part of the bathroom floor. I was still in the process of making myself breakfast when he showed back up — I didn’t know he was coming back after that appointment. But I’ll confess that was infinitely more helpful for me. Especially since I was considering practicing piano briefly after breakfast… Who knows when I’d have actually left for work on my own. Then we left together.

ADDITIONAL, IMPORTANT NOTE: I forgot to take my Lexapro + Thyroid medicine until around 4 pm. That is when I started to feel some odd withdrawal-type symptoms — which is what alerted me to the fact that I hadn’t taken my medicine.

Keyboard Failure

Error message from a couple of days ago

It was this night that I have an odd email to my psychiatrist. After work, I think things felt fine. Peter and I made a dinner for ourselves. We were finishing up when his roommate and a mutual friend of theirs came over, and we all chatted. I was interested and engaged verbally with them when the topic of autism and programmers came up. I learned a different perspective. Then I was clearing up dishes and such and no longer having anything to say, but was sort of listening and wanting them to all keep having a nice time, when Peter’s roommate offered out some whiskey for himself and the friend. It was not offered to me or to Peter. Peter eventually asked if he could have some. I didn’t get up this bravery. (Mind you, I HATE whiskey and would have refused the offer anyway). But I felt so intensely jealous and left out. I went quite insane. My emotions literally took me to what I consider a bit of insanity. I couldn’t get past it. These emotions were building and I knew they have a cabinet where, if I had wanted some alcohol for myself, I could have surely asked and found something I would find palatable, and could have joined them and no longer felt left out. But I didn’t. I finished up the cleanup and then I think I went to my bedroom and sat and thought. It was already very late and dark outside, but I had the option of going outside, just down the street, and bringing myself back a wine cooler or something. Or I could go into a nearby bar and ask for a mixed drink. Or I could cut myself. That was a very, very strong urge. I could go into the kitchen, get a sharp knife that is likely not sterilized, and cut myself, and then have a bandage and another scar to deal with at some future point when I’m no longer feeling this burning and intensity inside.

I looked up how to go to bars alone as a female at night and stay safe. I read some tips online but none seemed that helpful. I was debating how to safely carry my wallet when Peter came to the room. I don’t know what I said to him but he asked if I wanted to go on a walk and I said yes, I was about to go on a walk. He asked if I wanted his company and I can’t recall my response; I was torn because I didn’t want him to leave his friend. I didn’t know that the friend and roommate were out on the deck partaking in marijuana anyway (or that probably would have sent me COMPLETELY over the edge with jealousy/ feeling left out).

But I agreed to his company and I hope I got across that I appreciated it. We walked. My fancy pedometer says I was walking very intensely for 2 hours. It took a while before I would talk about why I was so upset. I felt it was so STUPID and silly, I just wanted to walk off the feelings first and then later be able to talk about it in a detached way. But yeah, I finally talked about it, and I think I’m glad I did. He didn’t think feeling left out was a stupid/silly response. (He also pointed out that he and I are implicitly invited to join, but I’m not sure I could make that assumption). But I insisted my response was incredibly out of proportion to the scenario / fairly insane. I was INCREDIBLY upset for very little reason. (I’m a little concerned that Peter will be wary of people drinking around me in the future, since I reacted to this so strongly. But time will tell.)

We walked so hard that I had to stop at one point. I had been going even with a side stitch, but at the top of one hill, I got too light-headed to continue and ended up laying down on someone’s front steps.

Even when we got back, I was still upset. So I took 1 mg of clonazepam, and an unknown time later emailed my psychiatrist about it. I’m very concerned that the lowered thyroid dose has increased my mood instability. I have definitely felt more melancholy lately, but again, how can I know what is thyroid, versus my usual response to HUGE upcoming life changes?? I am very close to no longer being an employee for the first time since 2002. Even sometime in 2002, I got a part-time job. And I will be a full-time student for the first time since 2003!!! And that’s not to mention that Peter and I are going to buy me a wardrobe and us a bigger bed any day now, which will mark the time I’ll officially move in with him and begin to help pay rent/utilities and whatnot, and will also qualify for his health insurance as an opposite-sex non-married domestic partner (his work has that option). It is scary. But my own premiums went up $60 last month, making them now cost $785.66/month, I kid you not!!!!! But his insurance is much worse for prescription drugs. Instead of a set copay, it’s a percentage of the overall drug cost, which is very bad news if I ever have to take a drug that is costly. My thyroid and iron are very cheap, so that’s fine there, but I’ll have to shop around for the cheapest escitalopram (generic Lexapro). When that first went generic, it was still very expensive. But it’s been a good ‘nother year or two now, so hopefully the cost has gotten lower.

Anyway, I was eventually able to sleep.

River rafting!

River rafting!

Saturday: OMFG!!!! River rafting with Peter and two of my cousins and their dog, I kid you not!!!!!!!!!!!! It was SO FUN. OMG. (One of them is my cousin legally, the other is her fiance, but I count him as my cousin already.) So at the start, one of my cousins was running the car down and then bicycling back to our start position. My other cousin was walking around in the water and getting her dog used to the river (it was his first introduction to water / swimming). Meanwhile, Peter and I got used to the water temperature (it took me a while — I’m a huge chicken for feeling cold). Once in, we swam upshore a little way and watched some kids who were swinging off a tree and dropping off of a rope into the river. I decided to do it! CRAZY. Even though the water level was way down and so the dropping area was quite shallow, I decided to do it, because it’s something I’ve never done before and always thought I’d be too afraid to ever try. It’s good that the kids yelled at me when it was time to let go of the rope, because I’m afraid I would have kept holding on otherwise. It was fun! I touched bottom but I didn’t get hurt. It turned out to be sandy there, not rocky like the rest of the riverbed.

Anyway, there was very little current and so two of us were out of the “raft” at all times, pulling and/or “paddling” it down the river. We didn’t have paddles, but when the bottom was too deep for walking, we used our arms and legs to keep it moving. What a day. I feel terrible because Peter got terribly sunburned, even though we had slathered on sunscreen at the start. Apparently we went too long before re-applying it. Afterward, we all ate out together.

Sunday: I forgot to mention that while all this is going on, my parents and my dog have been out camping!!! I’ve been getting pictures of my dog snoozing with them in a tent. 🙂 It’s so sweet.

Gluten-free-dairy-free-vegan-cheeseburger - image of a slice of lettuce and a slice of tomato on an otherwise empty skillet

Gluten-free-dairy-free-vegan-cheeseburger Meme

I have no records regarding what I did on Sunday. If I remember right, the day started very slowly and I had a killer time getting out of bed, yet again. At some point, we walked and I looked in a shop, and then we ate fries somewhere as a lunch-snack, because we were scheduled to eat with Peter’s folks for dinner (they were generously sharing a $100 coupon with us, from his dad’s work). We ate dinner with them and it was really good. We went to an Indian restaurant because they were trying so hard to make sure I’d have something to eat! My eating is a pain in the @$$, let me tell you. I’m going to try going back onto barley in the next couple of months.

PTA: Gluten-free, lactose-intolerant pescatarian. That’s what I am right now. PTA.

Monday: Work. Slow at first and I was able to post pictures of the rafting trip for my cousins. Then it got super busy and I had to stay a couple of hours late, but that was fine. Peter was late too, so we met around 8 pm and ate out. Then we got ready for bed. I tried to sleep in the bed, even if it meant I wouldn’t sleep well, but it actually turned out his very bad sun burn was causing him to be super ticklish and my hair kept bumping it, so I decided to sleep on the floor anyway. And I was able to fall asleep at some point, so I’m glad I moved down there. I’m too alert/aware to fall asleep, otherwise. I’m so anxious about having to flop around and wake the other person, I can’t relax enough to fall asleep.

Tuesday: Work. It’s slow so far, as you can see. Later, I have an appointment with my psychiatrist.

Mood Ranking for all of these various days: 2 (Friday, such strong self-injury feelings count as a 2; in my book, there’s only one step lower) – 5 (Bicycling on the bridge with my brother; River rafting w/Peter and my cousins)