Close friends (no)

I’m assuming it’s mostly the Asperger deal but this lack of close friendship is killing me right now. I’m going through a lot internally and I feel so terribly lonely. I wish I had someone to go on walks with, and bike rides. I was bicycling nearly the whole day today, and it was lovely and beautiful and felt good physically, but I’ve entered into a depression as of late and things are pretty hard because of that.

MONEY MAKE-BACK COUNTDOWN

Okay, this is half joke, a quarter revenge and a quarter serious.

TARGET GOAL: 67 avoided bus rides

Joke: I just learned about “Sunk Costs” in Accounting
Revenge: I had to pay a bogus citation plus a HUGE late fee (okay, the late part was my own fault). The citation was for allegedly not swiping my card on a bus. But in truth, I did swipe it but the reader was busted. I protested it unsuccessfully through writing. Then I gathered tons of documentation and things for an in-person hearing but took them downtown 4 days late. My fault but the late fee was HUGE. Ridiculous. For a bogus citation. So I’m going to make back the money by not using them for my regular routes.
Serious: I do want to spend less on transportation.

My updates to the remaining number of avoided bus rides will be in the COMMENTS to this post, because that’s easiest for me to update when out and about. It’ll be a “stickied” post on my front page until I complete the 67 avoided bus rides.

A Brief Update (and a single picture, for now)

imageI couldn’t let you know ahead of time but I went Home (my parents and dog) recently. I’m back home (bf, school) now but I made it and it was wonderful. I can’t say much tonight; I’m going to go to bed very shortly.

There was much skiing and walking and such. I mean much. Every day.

So now that I’m back, I don’t want to lose that momentum. So I went to the bike shop after school yesterday and got my bike all fixed up (there were some things wrong). I also bought yet another lock. Two, actually. One is just to hold my seat on. The other is a fricking expensive but light-weight u-lock for my frame. City living…

So I biked to school today. That was pretty rough. I had to walk two hills on the return trip. It was a total of 9 miles and not flat enough for me. And my anti-persperant definitely couldn’t hold up… Plus I had jogging class. Apologies to the folks who sat near me at the tutoring center today.

It’s hard to be away from my parents and my dog. It’s interesting what kinds of things I have such strong emotional attachments to and what I can now part with. I parted with some more clothing. Even a black sweatshirt I had held onto for maybe close to two decades even though it had shrunk and was too small for me. But for many years, it held sand from an old Hawaii trip in its pockets, even after numerous washes. It was very sentimental for me. But I was able to part with it.

Then there were things in my childhood bedroom that had been rearranged and I was actually able to rearrange certain things, too. That’s pretty big for me. Certain shelves had to be kept in a certain arrangement or else I would experience intense anxiety due to OCD. It would feel that my luck would change and I would get terminally ill or those I loved could get terminally ill or injured. But it was not so bad this time around.

That is not to say I was able to part with all sorts of things. There is still so much I’m hanging onto and I wish I could let them go. But I won’t despair; it seems that things have been getting a little easier each time. So perhaps next time I am there, I can part with a few more things. And so on.

Anyway, I really need to go to sleep. One thing I did not get a lot of was good-quality sleep. For one thing, I was sometimes very sore and didn’t take pain medicine and thus didn’t sleep well. For another, there was a headboard I wasn’t used to and kept bonking my head into it.

Oh, but being with my parents and dog was WONDERFUL WONDERFUL WONDERFUL. There is so much I could say and tell about.

Last Day at Work!

The day came. It actually came. I didn’t even know it was the last day. Back story:

A month or so before school started, I let my boss know that I’d decided to go back to school and would only be available a couple of days a week until he hired my replacement.

I just finished Midterms, so it’s been half a semester. It turns out that he wasn’t really trying to replace me because he was worried how I would live without an income. I had gone down to really only coming in once a week, but continuing to do phones, faxing, and other things as needed from a distance. So he did find a person to work a couple of days a week recently. She was hired last week.

SO my boss asked me, do I want to continue to work one day per week, because that’s fine, or he can replace me entirely. I asked for some time to think it over. Last Friday, I let him know that I decided to no longer work at all for the company, so I could focus more on the schooling. I said, though, that I wanted to continue working one day per week until the point when I could transfer all of our important documents and procedures onto my replacement. (this was worded better at the time)

I never heard back.

But TODAY, in the morning, I got a text from my boss asking if my replacement was there yet to get the info from me. I was like, what? I haven’t ever talked with her, I have no idea what’s going on.

Well like two hours later, she showed up!! I had a good chunk of hours to go over every step (nearly) of the manual I’d created, and transfer passwords, numbers, procedures, etc to her. There’s still quite a bit of random contacts that will need to be informed of my replacement’s email address and all that, but WOW, that was pretty amazing! And my replacement is a serious spitfire. She will talk BACK to the bosses. It’s great. Not like push-over me. It was really fun to watch.

One of my bosses was on his cellphone as he was leaving (work call), and as he reached for the door, he seemed to remember that it had become my last day, and he turned and either nodded or waived at me, and then left. Heheh. I find goodbyes really stressful but that one didn’t even involve me having to do anything but smile and nod back.

But still, I do wonder what it all means. At lunch, my two bosses, myself, and another coworker went out to lunch together. And one of my bosses mused out loud that we needed to set up the phone system because he has no idea where any of the voicemails or faxes we receive have been going…. FOR REAL!!!!!!! I raised my hand and said, “…That’s me.” I’ve been taking care of them since March. Nobody knew that??? I had it routing to my cellphone every day of the week, even weekends. I could take care of any faxing from anywhere in the world I had service. He thought our voicemail system was going into a void that nobody knew how to check or take care of! Oy.

But, that’s enough negativity. Honestly, I have actually learned a ton from working at that company. I’ve learned more about the specifics of the tasks involved, and I’ve learned more about working with various personalities. I’ve learned a lot about many different kinds of problems that I had to solve on my own. There are still 2 problems I haven’t yet solved and to be honest, I will likely continue to work at those two until I figure out how to resolve them. But it was a very lucky thing I got that job from my uncle in the first place. It was lucky they kept me on. Especially back in January when I was so depressed and sluggish and came in hours late all the time. I was quite lucky.

And one employee did say thank you for all I’ve done. 🙂 And that was the one employee who usually did her own tasks and mailings and didn’t use me very often. But she’s super sweet and I’ll miss her, although I was always very awkward around her. I was always awkward around all of them, actually! I don’t think I ever felt quite right there. (And for comparison, I DID feel like I fit in perfectly at my old job.)

HEY and in other news, bf and I have not found an apartment yet. We will be moving in with his mother (not his father, after all), until we find a place. But we are looking now and that relieves me quite a lot.

And midterm grades came out, and I have all A’s so far! But like I say, the only way for me to go from here is down! Ha ha ha! I don’t know why I love being a pessimist so much.

Cheers, everyone! ❤

Oh hey and by the way, I found something really weird when I was cleaning off my work computer of anything personal. Something really, really, really weird. I won’t post it here, but it was weird. Then I went on a long bike ride for the way home and I got mixed up because I was also talking with my mom via headset. And it was getting dark. But I made it. I haven’t been exercising much at all.

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)

Log: Jul 7 – Jul 9 (Tue – Thu) Sleep is the Word

Jul 7 (Tue): Therapy 9:00a; Work 11:00a – 5:30p;
Jul 8 (Wed): Work; Rest
Jul 9 (Thu): Work; Chores

Lawn Daisy

Lawn Daisy

Tuesday: Therapy in the morning, then work. Then… Sheesh, I don’t remember. I was pretty tired. Busy days at work, which is great. I biked from therapy to work, and biked from work to the last possible train stop before there is no way of biking to Peter’s city. Then I got off the train as soon as possible and biked the rest of the way to his apartment. It was fun. I had too much antsy-type energy to go to bed that night, so we went on a night walk, and I was able to sleep when we got back. It was nice.

Wednesday: Work. It was really fun. I got to hand stamp 175 envelopes and stick the address labels and return address labels onto them. I like that kind of brainless, hands-on task. Then, I accidentally stayed late, although I’d already clocked out. I stayed late to get personal things done, like updating my budget. I had to backtrack to mid-June, so it took quite a while to get caught up again. I’m like $3000 in the hole this month. I think all the health insurance confusion caught up with me, as well as applying to school and whatnot.

So I got home late, cooked up some casual food (just some pasta and leftovers; actually Peter reheated the leftovers and boiled the broccoli after I had finished washing & chopping it). I’m glad for that. I hope it doesn’t drive him crazy. I am happy washing and cutting, but the actual cooking still scares me. I have such a long history of over-under-burning-rubberizing-etc my foods. Yuck. Oh, well.

THEN the exciting parts comes in. It was already very late by this point, but I got a little sweeping in and then I got to do some of my paper filing, which was I was several months behind on. SUCH RELIEF to have some of my junk filed away. And I found a wardrobe thingy online that Peter also agreed to, so I might buy it within the next 7 days so I have a better way of storing my belongings. We’ve discussed beds but no resolution on that yet. Next, I just need to get up the nerve to talk with his roommate about getting permission to trim the tips off of one of his cat’s front toe nails (she’s ruining all of my clothes and draws blood from me all the time, just because she is very friendly and loves to be on/near me, but is very stupid with retracting her claws). She gets stuck on things all the time. She isn’t a cat who deserves extremely sharp claws. She doesn’t use them well. She is a perfect cat for a touch of nail trimming, and I’m very familiar with how to do it. She doesn’t mind me handling her paws at all; Peter says he used to do that a lot when she was a kitten, so she’d be good with it. But still… permission from owner is what I need next.

Curly Plant

Curly Plant

Thursday: Well, I’m at work, and have one task awaiting me, but it’ll just take about five minutes to complete. Then I’ll do the dishes and vacuuming. Perhaps by then I’ll have more tasks.

BUT in the meanwhile, I’ve been doing personal business all week. Today, I’ve contacted insurance yet again, because they sent me a termination letter to my OLD address under my OLD last name, and the letter itself was really weird. I called and they had no idea why the letter had been sent but told me to ignore it. … Hmm. *has feeling this could come back to bite me in the butt some day*

Yesterday, I tried to get all of my ducks in a row for work study at the new school, but they actually thwarted me by saying because I am not a summer student, I can’t get the TB testing until a week before Fall semester begins. They won’t let me apply for work study until I’ve had a TB test, which they offer for free… but I feel like the jobs will be taken by then. Somewhere close to a zillion students attend this school each semester.

P.S. Sleep is the Word, because… I have been EXHAUSTED this week. I mean EXHAUSTED!!!!! EXHAUSTED. I am trying to sleep better, but I think I’m stressed. I’ve been clenching my jaw all night again for about a month now. My to-do list is so big and although I’m crossing stuff off of it every day, more stuff is always being added. My acne is still getting worse every day and it’s driving me crazy. What’s with it?!?!

Mood Ranking of These Days: 4 – 5.2

Log: May 26 + 27 (Tue + Wed) Medical worries

May 26 (Tue):  Therapy 8:30a; Work 10:30a – 5:30p;
May 27 (Wed): Primary care dr appt 11a; Work 1:15p – 5:30p;

Indian Paintbrush

Indian Paintbrush from some days ago (one of my favorite flowers)

Tuesday: Insomnia until around 4a or so. Slept a few hours, woke up drenched in sweat and having a nightmare (ex-related, again). Somehow made it to therapy, late. Was a little irritable at first. Made it to work. Nothing to do but I didn’t go crazy from it this time. I stayed occupied. Visited Peter after work and we cooked+ate, went grocery shopping, and then to bed. Only, I had a stomach ache and my shoulders were stiff and I so I couldn’t sleep. At all. Finally, a few hours before waking time, I got up, did stretches, and took a lorazepam tablet (they don’t make me sleepy, so that’s why I chose that one). I also asked for more space so I could stretch out more on the bed, and then I did sleep for a bit of time. (I wasn’t miserable about the insomnia, though, because I was in Peter’s arms the whole time and it’s incredibly sweet. If you’re not going to be asleep, this is the next best way to spend a night.)

I think my shoulders were so stiff because I’d been bicycling the day with a REALLY heavy, bulky load both tied to my bike and in my backpack.

Wednesday: It’s Wednesday! It’s silly and cliche but I’m rather happy. Let me first explain what’s happened so far today. Oohh boy.

First, OMG it was hard to get out of bed. But nice anyway, because Peter was there, and I made us very late because I was so tired. But finally I got up and we showered, cooked + ate breakfast, and were on our ways to work… Sort of. I realized that it would take me an hour to bicycle from work to my dr appt, so I didn’t even go to work. I went straight to my doctor’s appointment and was only about 20 minutes early. I snoozed in the waiting room.

So for the appointment, my suspected yeast infection was confirmed (that’s the second one in like a month, which mark the ONLY two I’ve ever had in my whole, entire life). But she wasn’t really sure about the bumps in my mouth. I expressed concern. She did a swab for culture for herpes, but says there’s a 30% chance that it will say negative but actually just be missing if I have it. So basically, if it’s a Yes, it’s a Yes. If it’s a No, it only means “maybe not”.

She also gave me the vaccine for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. AND gave me lab orders to have my thyroid re-checked AND a bunch of STD things. Again. Yay me. I’ll be really glad to have these results. Although she warned me that it’ll cost me $1000 if my insurance doesn’t at least help control what the lab can charge me. So yeah. My fear of my body’s health far outweighed my money anxiety, so I said, we’re doing this today.

I had a blood test

I had a blood test

I biked straight to the lab, brought my bike up and everything because I hadn’t been anticipating this today and hadn’t had my bike locks with me. Got my blood drawn, got a cute panda sticker that says, “I HAD A BLOOD TEST”, swung by my uncle’s house to pick up a few important items I’d left behind (like, um, my thyroid and antidepressant medication), and then off to work I went. He wasn’t there, so I thought he might be at work.

I chose to bike the whole way to work. It takes about as much time as catching the trains anyway. And I feel SO MUCH better after a bike ride. I just love it. IF ONLY I could make myself ride my bike next time I’m in a funk, but I know I won’t have the motivation for it.

So I’m at work. I don’t see my uncle. Or anybody, for that matter (they are not being lazy — it means they are out ‘in the field’ somewhere). I accomplished a couple of random, brief tasks for work and now… I wait for phones to ring or people to need to be let into the building or have things faxed or… I study online on Khan Academy because that site is just awesome.

Jelly fish sailer

Jelly fish sailer, some days ago

After work, Peter + I are going to cook something but we haven’t actually decided what yet. We have so much trouble with that!

I got invited, possibly, to a family event in DC. I say possibly because after Peter invited me, he then remembered that he should first ask his cousin if he minds me there too. It’s for a Bar Mitzvah. Some of my family is Jewish but I have never been to one before, so it would be pretty neat for me. It’s in like a month from now, so obviously $$$ would be a concern for me, if I do get invited and if I do end up able to attend.

For now, Khan Academy and maybe try to think of something for dinner.