This is not an update

Hi all,

This is not an update. I’m not sure what this is. I just feel a need to write. It’s been quite a while and I’m not sure what to say. There’s a lot going on, probably. Or maybe there’s nothing going on. It’s hard to tell. I’m not depressed, but I’m not relaxed.

It’s probably because I’m still living away from my partner. We talk about him coming to visit me here. But we are pretty strict here with how we treat possible exposure to ‘the virus’. He’d be tested upon flying, and then be in strict quarantine here at the house for at least a week or two until he’s tested again. We wouldn’t encourage breathing the same air until then. It would be a hard time period.

Then, he’s willing to take more risks than we are. He’d probably be going into local bakeries for pastries and such. He does that presently. We don’t do that. We’ve gone into a store at least 8 times in the past half year, but only for some supplies and groceries.

Well, you know. It’ll be what it is, I suppose. I’m just not sure what it is. Part of me can see positives of me returning back to what was my previous life. Part of me would leave where I presently am over my dead body, so to speak. You’ll have to drag me out kicking and screaming. And yet. I had friends and stuff in my previous life. Well, not like REAL friends, except the one. What was his fake name on here? “Joe” or something? The person I used to walk with once a week. He was a real friend. The others were just upbeat acquaintances but that could be so much fun. My Pokemon friends, I suppose I mean. And I had been developing some kind of friendships with people at work, but also not exactly. That is complicated.

Work is really, really, ultra weird. I suppose my paranoia and self-doubt is what’s kicked in, really. I’m pretty convinced everyone hates me. It’s funny to write that out, but I’m dead serious. I wish I could just do my work and not worry about what other people think of me. That would be so nice. It’s worse long-distance, because I don’t get any smiles. Apparently I find smiles really comforting when talking with others. Who knew. Also, nobody asks me how I am. At least in person, people might stop and ask how was my weekend, or whatever. Long-distance, nobody reaches out to me. It’s frustrating. I try to reach out to a couple of people now and again. But it’s so hard. I can’t tell what anyone else is doing. I don’t know what they’re doing! I don’t even know if they’re working half the time. Maybe more than half the time. What are they doing?

If this long-distance was going to go on a long time, I’d want to work elsewhere. I’d want to work for a company that is willing to work on developing a healthy mode of connection online. We suck. It’s so awkward. People don’t even turn on their videos during Zoom meetings, and typically keep their mics turned off, too. Are they even there? Are they listening? Are they working? Are they out driving around in their car, or doing house chores? How can I know? It’s frustrating.

Maybe I don’t like the people there anymore. I did before. Maybe I don’t now. Maybe it’s just a job. Maybe I need to calm down about it and just treat it like a job. Before, I was making it a center piece of my life, hanging out with some of them after work, trying my heart out at work, doing my absolute best at every moment. Not having energy left over for my personal life.

So, you know. Life’s weird. But isn’t that what I always say? Maybe I don’t know what a normal life would look like. Maybe it’s staring me in the face and I think it’s weird.

Well, I’m exercising a bit more finally. And I’m eating pretty well. I’m getting some chores done that I’ve wanted to get done. I guess that’s all I can ask for. I talk with my partner over the phone most every day. I don’t feel that I’m missing anything, other than talking with him and his parents. He doesn’t do things that I wish I could do– like he doesn’t go on hikes or anything, so I don’t have fear of missing out. I get to talk with him over the phone.

I’ve set up a ton of bird feeders. So far we’ve seen seven different types of birds, only 5 of which have used the feeders. And a squirrel, of course. But we love squirrels, so that’s good.

I can’t believe it’s going to be winter soon. The weather has changed.

Weaning off Lexapro: Day 23

Photo of a snail in the rain

Pretty snail today

Meds Today:

  • 10mg Lexapro; normal thyroid meds
  • Calcium-Mag-Zinc tablet
  • lots of exercise (walking all day)

Symptoms:

  • Maybe not as smooth socially (face too readable?)
  • none really
  • still having acid reflux or something every night (which is new for me)

Journal Items:

  • Today was Pokéwalk day with my friend, “Joe”
  • First, I took and passed a Final Exam
  • Then, I went to an outdoor shop in search of rubber rain boots but no luck
  • Then, Pokéwalk. This time, bf’s mom joined, too
  • Halfway through, we ran into another Pokémon player that I’ve known for a while now and is super nice
  • We all 4 walked quite a while
  • 4 became 3 became 2
  • (I was stressed at times because I worry about peace and harmony and “Joe’s” feet, and everyone being happy, and blah blah blah) I’m still de-stressing from that aspect
  • I walked extra once I got home, since my socks were completely soaked anyway
  • Dinner; Dr. Who; now it’s bedtime and it’s quite late and … the usual, I guess

Weaning off Lexapro: Day 11

Sunset (pink and orange clouds with darkening blue sky)

Sunset

Today:

  • 15mg Lexapro, norm. thyroid meds
  • fish oil capsule, multivite
  • lots of exercise (walking)

Symptoms:

  • Didn’t sleep soundly last night
  • Dreamt that my old obsession returned (OCD), but it didn’t bother me at all during the day, so I think it was just fear, not the actual obsession
  • My friend “Joe” said that my face seemed much more animated than ever before, as if my brain is sending signals to different facial muscles than when I’m on the 20mg, and he was shocked by it (like, hadn’t expected to notice any physical changes on this drug experient)

Today was my day of the week that I Pokéwalk with “Joe”. I had totally normal energy levels and stamina. I didn’t find it hard to maintain conversations or feel withdrawn. It was good.

Weaning off Lexapro: Day 7

Water's surface on a gray day

Water on a gray day

Today:

  • 15mg Lexapro, norm. thyroid meds
  • Multivite, fish oil capsule
  • Hardly any exercise (walking)

Symptoms:

  • NOT IN A TALKATIVE MOOD except with my boyfriend
  • VERY tired

I cannot be sure if my mood and exhaustion are from the withdrawal or from my period starting.

I’m not sure I can handle this weekend. Tonight, a friend was over and my bf, myself, and the friend ate out together. Tomorrow, there is a dinner party here with bf’s mom’s friends. It is so hard to distance myself from helping with cooking in times like this. But I do not want to help cook. I would chew off my limb to avoid cooking. Then on Sunday, another dinner party, this time w/my bro and his gf. I need to pick up some things for it. My bf wants to make cookies rather than me purchase something, but he’s injured right now and I’m too damn tired to make cookies. I know I will be cleaning the whole downstairs before the dinner party; that doesn’t bother me. If I’m asked to help with cooking, though, it will be one more inflation to my balloon body that is already set to explode.

I just need to re-adjust my thinking. Remember, it’s “the holidays”. They’re supposed to be stressful. It’s not all relaxing and fun and games and sacred, peaceful moments of thoughtful reflection and prayer, like when you were a child (I was very spiritual although nobody else in my family was or knew).

Long-Overdue Update

Hi all,

Deer crossing in front of our car

Deer crossing

I haven’t checked in or updated here in a very long time until just recently when I had a little emotional emergency. So I thought I should go ahead and try to fill in some gaps, briefly.

Since I last really updated on here, I quit my awesome tutoring job and the in-person school and went fully online. I also started volunteering at an animal shelter. The online schooling is boring as **** and I’m kind of regretting the decision, BUT it is going faster than it was going when I was trying to juggle tutoring, classes, and more classes at the same time (tutoring is tied to taking several additional classes).

My first pea plant flower of the season!

First flower! Pea plant

I’ve also started gardening, which I used to do years ago. It’s great. I’m growing peas and lettuce. I’ve started some flower seeds but super late, so I’m not sure they’ll do anything. I tried beans twice but they were immediately eaten by something (I know I hand-killed a ton of thrips but I suspect more than just them were at work).

Also, as you can tell, I found a psychologist and was seeing him once a week. It took at least a month before I decided I could trust him. Obviously, I am not as sure about that right now.

But whatevs. I have a dental appointment today. Next week, I have a psychiatrist appointment. I am only seeing her twice a year now, but I might try to increase to 3 times a year since just recently I’ve been having more trouble again.

GullSandwich

Stolen: Child’s sandwich

Oh, and I exercise a ton still! And I’m eating a little bit more healthfully, much of the time! It seems that whenever I exercise a LOT in a week, I feel emotionally good. Whenever I don’t exercise, due to illness or just getting swamped with other things, I get depressed. The correlation is INCREDIBLY strong. Exercise = emotional stability. Sedentary-ness = instant hopelessness. Obviously, I need to use this knowledge for good.

Once a week, I see my friend, “Joe”, who some of you may remember I dated for a while, like two years ago? I don’t know how long ago. Anyway, he’s probably my best friend now. We go on a long Pokéwalk every week. It’s often along the piers, where I can see the birds and sea lions and sometimes a harbor seal and some fish. Sometimes, we go to different parks, including a particular lake that always has tons of different ducks and birds and squirrels. I’m very grateful to have him as a friend. Also, because he has Asperger also, and has dealt with therapists and group therapy and more, he really understands when I have my downs and instability and has great insights.

ALSO, he’s as into wildlife as I am, so he doesn’t mind one bit when I stop 800 times to photograph slugs and squirrels and birds and rocks and everything.

Close up of gull's eye, which is reflecting water ripples

Water reflection in eye

He and my SO (significant other) have met twice but only briefly. I really hope they become friends because then we can all go hiking together and stuff. We’re all attending “Joe”‘s b-day dinner this weekend, and I hope it all goes smoothly. I’ve had terrible experiences in the past with my ex who hated my friends. I’m not at all concerned about my SO hating “Joe” but I know that “Joe” has difficulty around other males. There will be up to 15 people and I’ll have met like 1 or 2 of them. Hopefully it all goes well.

What other news? I’m still living with SO and his mom. I had a rough time with it like a month or so ago, but since then I’ve been working on establishing what I consider more boundaries. She’s awesome and very generous but can be a little bit controlling about certain things, and I have a hard time knowing how to shrug it off. So I’m learning and I’m working on it.

Ducklings, back in April

Ducklings (from back in April)

I’m considering getting a part-time job at a coffee shop. I want something nearby, not too intense (although busy is okay, and I enjoy customer service). But my feelings of self-worth slip every day that I’m unemployed. I didn’t think it would happen, since I know that finishing school more quickly will get me a higher-than-minimum-wage-job more quickly and thus is productive, but it doesn’t FEEL productive. Even when I volunteer at the animal shelter twice a week, I love it but I still feel rotten about myself. Also, I’m focusing less well on school the longer time passes since I was at the in-person school. Bummer.

I set up a bucket to catch water in the shower as we wait for hot water. I also bought grey-water-garden-safe laundry soap and hooked up some tubs to catch my laundry water. There’s a plant out back that is a water hog, so this grey water really helps.

All right, that’s all for now.

Mundane Update

I’m calling this a mundane update. I’d say that I normally only come on here when my emotions are high or out of whack or something’s eating me, etc.

But I logged in for a different reason this evening, and thought, perhaps I would go ahead and write. Because writing helps me stay stable.

And I feel completely stable at present. I.E. I normally wouldn’t be writing. So here I am.

I’ll give a day recap. I had a big exam this morning in computer programming. I hope it went okay; time will tell. Tutoring was really challenging because students from one of the other classes came in for emergency help (their exam is tomorrow) but it was from a class that hardly anyone asks for help for, so I don’t remember the content very well. And I hadn’t brought the right notes; I didn’t realize some of those classes were that far in the book. I don’t bring my full notes because they’re so heavy.

I actually went across town after school/work. That’s not my norm. But last night, I got an invite to dinner with my SO and some of his friends, one of whom I have met a couple of times now and I enjoy his company. So we went even though it was for a very late dinner and we only just got back a bit ago. It’s late. I’m super sleepy.

I’m getting over a virus. I had to take like a week off of school. I missed the exam review and the last bit of new info for it and everything! So I studied a lot this-past weekend.

Pokémon Go is pretty exciting right now. They re-balanced the gym prestige. And this week, or for a few days anyway, they’re running these crazy double-poké stop goodies and double (or more) spawn rates of critters. This is tied into my getting-over-my-virus because I finally feel a bit of energy returning so I’m probably going to go out on a Poké bike ride tomorrow after work, or at least a nice walk. I walked a tiny bit extra today, and it was really nice. The sunset was amazing.

I’m super, incredibly behind in my online school. Well, only a week or 2, but it feels like a lot. It’s because my current class is a writing-based class and I suck at writing papers. I have one I need to revise TOMORROW (I’m telling myself that) and then I need to write one more paper. Then I can move onto a different class, thank goodness.

Well, I’m incredibly sleepy beyond words, so goodnight. Voting is tomorrow here but I already voted.

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.

Log: Apr 29 (Wed) –got a bit stressed today

Apr 29 (Wed): Work 10:00a – 5:30p, Lunch with Shelly 1p, Go to beach w/ “Peter” 6:40p, Grocery shopping and make food w/ “Peter” 6:30p

The elusive cat

This cat is very shy of me still. He’s come close to me a couple of times. In this photo, he was being quite brave.

Today, “Peter” and I got up around 7:30a to prepare for the day. I needed to be at work by a certain time for a pick-up. So we got ready for the day and enjoyed another amazing home-cooked breakfast (not as elaborate as yesterday, but still amazing to me): I made scrambled eggs, and he made the tea, my non-dairy yogurt with homemade red plum jam swirled into it, and an avocado that I had bought the day before.

We parted ways and I got to work on time. I didn’t have any tasks first thing this morning, so I ended up vacuuming the whole office (it took me 45 minutes and the dust canister was pretty full afterward, so it’s a good thing I did). I also put away the clean dishes, washed the few dirty ones that were in the sink, scrubbed the sink and the counters, and made the coffee. I took the garbage out last night so that was already done. It’s satisfying to do hands-on tasks like that.

I later learned that the pickup had been taken care of by a different coworker earlier in the morning, so although my timely arrival turned out to be non-mandatory after all, I’m glad I was here earlier. I would like to get to work even earlier than this in the future. I’d like to always be here by 9:30a but I’m usually closer to 10:30a or even 11a.

Work has been productive (although now I am at a point where I’m out of tasks; there is a spreadsheet I’ll need to input data into on the horizon but hasn’t been given to me yet). AND I met Shelly for lunch at my favorite nearby restaurant, and that was fun. She gave me some brilliant ideas for my upcoming goal (bring homemade lunches to work for ALL OF MAY). Which leads me to what I really want to discuss: FOOD!!!!!

I’m cutting this and will begin my food discussion as its own post.

***UPDATE*** I am now EXTREMELY anxious. I have not told my uncle that I won’t be home tonight. I wasn’t home last night. And my plan is to not be home tomorrow night, either. I’m super duper anxious. I’ll be leaving soon for “Peter”‘s city, theoretically. I feel like canceling. What if my uncle has been looking forward to seeing me? That’s one anxiety. What if what if what if. A lot of the anxiety is stemming from the fact that I’m breaking my own rule. See, originally, TODAY was when I was headed to “Peter’s” city. We were going to see another of the films of the festival. Only that plan has been cancelled. Music Night was added last night. And instead there is a plan for tonight for heading to the beach. But tomorrow is another film. I have nothing against staying over there three nights in a row. There are no negatives for me, only positives. However, it’s a break in my rules and I’m finding myself very disturbed.

Maybe I should cancel and go home? At home, I would make the food for tonight and leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch. At “Peter’s”, we would assumedly be making the food and then going to the beach? No, there is not time for both. That could be adding to the anxiety. It doesn’t add up, does it. How can I get there by 6:45p, shop for some groceries, make food for tonight and tomorrow (7:15 have shopped, 8:30 have cooked?). Yeah, the numbers don’t add up. Shit.

Okay, I just wrote him, along with my meal plan. Carrots, green beans, brussels sprouts, probably chicken, maybe quinoa. He thinks it sounds delicious. I’m still super anxious, so it’s mostly worry about my uncle that’s eating me alive on the inside right now. *DEEP BREATH* I have to write him. | Okay, I have now written to and heard back from my uncle, and all’s well.

***UPDATE X2*** So the evening actually got a bit stressful! First of all, it was wonderful. We went grocery shopping and I wasn’t thinking clearly but managed to pick up some random ingredients. My recipes weren’t going to work because some of the ingredients didn’t look very good in the store, so I got other, random vegetables and such. I got some super fucking exciting news but I don’t know if I’m ready to share it online yet.

Cooking went all right but ran very long because I was so ill-prepared, had been unable to pull together any sort of plan, and depended on “Peter” for way too much of the executive functioning thinking stuff. I got overwhelmed. I should, next time, only offer to be responsible for a single side-dish. Start smaller.

It ran very late. “Peter” was cooking a chicken in the oven but it ran much longer than he expected. I was exhausted. At some point, I did make myself 2 PBJs to bring for lunch today (and an orange). And I have some rice cakes at the work place, and work has peanut butter, so I can make something edible out of that if I get hungry. Anyway, something stressed me that I did but hadn’t meant to do (too long to explain). So I felt really stressed. I even played a song off my phone then, to help ground me (“Stay With My Brother” by The Botticellis). I played it really quietly for myself, three times through and then was calmer and “Peter” started to play piano for a bit.

Exit building BEFORE tweeting about the fire

Exit building BEFORE tweeting about the fire

We went to bed. Everything was good. I slept like a rock until “Peter” got up in the middle of the night and went to the kitchen, where I then heard his roommate. They were there for a while. I wanted to care and I also wanted to sleep, so I didn’t get up. Eventually, I heard his roommate say something in a somewhat upset voice about there being no fire detector in the fucking apartment and something or other, and then he left. I didn’t hear anything else said.

So I finally asked what had happened. It turns out that “Peter” had left a pot of water with chicken bones on the stove, boiling it for a broth, and all of the water had evaporated (I didn’t know there was something boiling on the stove or I wouldn’t have been able to fall asleep). So his roommate had smelled something and investigated, and the kitchen was full of smoke. And there were no fire alarms or detectors. So that is very unsafe!!!!! I think his roommate is going to contact the landlord about it today.

“Peter” was upset because his roommate was upset and because it was his mistake, and they hadn’t really gotten to discuss it before his roommate left to sleep at his workplace for the night. I wasn’t upset because I was too tired to be upset. So we had the windows open and fan running, trying to get the smoke and smell out. He was scrubbing the burned pot. We took a journey to bring the compost down to the building’s compost area. I never looked at a clock; it’s easier for me to feel rested if I’m unaware of the time in the middle of the night.

Eventually, we went back to sleep. Today’s Mood Ranking: 3-5-7  (3 from the sudden, intense anxiety before I left work; 7 was only for a short while, after I heard such majorly exciting news)

Log: Apr 21 (Tue) willpower is kind of sad

Apr 21 (Tue): Therapy 8:30a, Work 10a – 5:30p, Lunch with Shelly unknown time @unknown location, Evening lake walk with Shelly 5:30p @lake, Dinner with brother 7p @his apartment

Baby Canadian Geese

Baby Canadian Geese

Today is sad. This is because I promised myself that I would spend tonight alone. I didn’t hear from “Peter” for most of yesterday, but halfway through today he did invite me to play music tonight.

I had to say no. Because I promised myself. And I made plans with Shelly to go walking around a lake (I need to leave right now; I’ll keep her waiting otherwise). But tomorrow won’t work either, because he has Book Club. So I won’t see him again until Thursday. I know, that is not far from now. But it feels far.

But I have a lot to get done anyway. THERE IS JUST SO DAMN MUCH I NEED TO GET ACCOMPLISHED this week, preferably.

I’m caught up at work still, so that’s something. Okay, I have to get bicycling to my meeting spot. I am probably going to delay her a bit, as I’m not sure how long this ride is going to take. More later, all. (Don’t sound so enthused…)

More babies

More babies

UPDATE: Okay, so I walked half the lake with Shelly and it was really fun and I got some neat pictures of baby Canadian Geese. They were adorable. The adults scared the living daylights out of some poor dogs whose owners were oblivious to the fact that they were jogging their dogs right past these babies. The adults didn’t mind humans coming close, but would hiss and run at all of the dogs. I also got to see a rat but my picture came out blurry. He was cute.

Then I met my brother at his apartment. We were there for a short time, and then ate out at a nearby restaurant. Everything was pleasant and great. Then we returned to his apartment to gather our stuff to head to our uncle’s place, and that’s when the typical lecturing started. I don’t remember the exact starting moment. I think I made the mistake of expressing excitement about some of my future plans, like finding an apartment/roommate, taking some classes, getting health insurance through a job. That’s what it was. I pointed out that I am back to working enough hours at this job that I qualify for their health insurance. He went into how I fucked it up for 2 months and nobody in their right mind would trust me now, I have a lot to rebuild their trust in me, I need to sound more grateful for my uncle not firing my ass, etc.

Canadian geese

Canadian geese

This sort of thing doesn’t motivate me, as he expects. He says when he fucks up then he’s more motivated to prove himself. That’s not how it works for me. If I think someone is mad at me, I’ll quit and find a different route with fresh people. I’m not going to prove myself. I know I fucked up in January and February. I was pretty badly depressed and unable to get out of bed. I got all of my work done, but I couldn’t keep any kind of normal hours and people certainly don’t have any reason to trust me at this job. So where he expects me to double down and prove myself, I pointed out that I have been doing fine ever since then. I’m getting to work, I’m keeping up with my work. If they want to distrust me, that’s up to them. He wants me to express more gratitude. That’s what it boiled down to by the end of this lecture. I need to be expressing outwardly how grateful I am not to have to work 3 jobs and be on welfare and have kids at home and be barely scraping by. I said fine I’ll go live on a box on the sidewalk. If that’s what he wants to see. Okay maybe that was a knee-jerk reaction but talking with him makes me feel like complete shit when he gets like this. He got really pissed and said I can’t be such a quitter, whining and poor me. Etc etc. It was pretty ugly for a while. I finally pointed out that a lot of my knee-jerk reactions weren’t really what I think, they’re just me being defensive because it feels like he’s attacking me. It went around and around for a while but we both calmed down. Then seemed to figure out the gratitude bit. I get the feeling he’d be happier about me if I make sure my uncle knows how grateful I am for him not firing my ass and throwing me out on the street to boot, and for allowing me this “cushy” job.

Anyway, he fit my bike into his car and we headed back to my uncle’s. He and my uncle chatted a while, drank some alcohol, and I went into the garage to try and figure out what tube to buy for “Peter’s” flat tire. That was my day. Today’s Mood Ranking: 5