What, When, Where, How, and Why in the hell: A Neurotics’ Odyssey to the Land of Sanity

07 May

I don’t even know where to begin filling you all in on the last month of my life. Has it seriously been a fucking month since I last posted?!?! Man, time just gets away for me these days! Well, I guess that I should acknowledge my 8 month no-smoke-iversary! Yep, the 4th (Saturday) was eight months since I quit smoking! On that front I have to say that I do still get cravings but I am starting to understand that they are really not nicotine related in any way now. It is kind of weird and a little sad but it has been long enough since I last smoked to know that the anxious, stabby feeling I use to get when I wanted to light up has nothing to do with the addiction to nicotine I beat, but with filling an uncomfortable, empty spot. I tried to fill it with food (and we all know where that got me) and now I am trying to figure out why it is there and fill it with the stuff that needs to go in there. So yeah… yay for that process.

I guess that Saturday also marked once month since I left for my trip to the Bay Area to visit my friend Cindy! I had a BLAST! The airport was very stressful but with the wheelchair assistance, things went pretty smoothly. The one real issue that I had in travel was carrying my purse and CPAP machine down the aisle to my seat while using my cane. I am short and fat so every part of me that I didn’t want bumping into people’s faces did and I kept getting my machine hung up on the seats. It was a little embarrassing but I managed with only a few nasty glances.

I won’t spend too much time on my trip details but will tell you that Cindy, her husband Bob, and the incredibly handsome Copper the Dog were very gracious hosts and they were very considerate of and helpful about my mobility issues. We had a great time in San Francisco doing the Haight and China Town thing on my first full day there. Cindy and I did some thrift store shopping and had some great art time on my second day, and even though they have been several times already, Bob and Cindy took me to The Winchester Mansion tour on my last day there because they are friggin’ rad! Here are a couple of pics from my adventures.


Burger place we had lunch at on The Haight.


Because every building should have a giant pair of fishnet clad legs hanging out of its second story.


Shop in China Town that was so cluttered and bright it actually gave me a headache (but so pretty and colorful!)


Awesome view down the main drag of China Town!


“Don’t turn your back. Don’t look away. And don’t blink!” OK, this is a statue at the Winchester Mystery House but you Doctor Who fans out there didn’t need that quote to get a tiny cold chill when you saw this pic.

So that is the very much abbreviated version of my trip. It was wonderful, I had a blast, and when I got home I was high on the fun I had and the pride I felt for doing what I did. This lasted for about 24 hours before I crashed and crashed hard. Part of it was physical exhaustion and part of it was the mental exhaustion of coming home to reality after a whirlwind tip-toe through the tulips. It took me about a week and a half to recover physically but I went to a dark place and stayed there until just a couple of days ago.

I have been having a difficult time ignoring that pushy, compulsive voice in my head that is always telling me how things SHOULD be and why. I don’t do well when I don’t have control over every aspect of the events in my life. Actually, my friend introduced me to a book that describes Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and how it manifests itself in me so perfectly that when I read the words “OCD is and anxiety disorder. It’s defined by a pathological intolerance of uncertainty, and by elaborate neutralizing rituals performed to eliminate this uncertainty.” I cried a little bit because I have never felt so understood.  I am not going to get too in depth about this OCD subject but this is the most perfect description I have ever heard and it best explains what kicked my most recent funk into gear.

I don’t want this to turn into a pity party. I am not looking for sympathy. But because I don’t feel that anyone should ever feel shame about mental health struggles I want to be open about mine here. I have a lot of changes coming at me right now and in each of those changes there is quite a degree of uncertainty. My son is graduating from high school next month, but by the skin of his fucking teeth (I know he will pull through but he is cutting it as closely as he possible can). I am graduating from The Art Institute with my Associates of Science in Graphic Design a week after my son graduates from high school. There is a lot of financial shit up in the air about this that I don’t want to get into at the moment but I will tell you that I am not sure if I will have enough financial aid left to finish my bachelors at another school after being forced to drop out of the bachelors program at AI because it is far too expensive. This alone has me stuck in an infinite loop of “what ifs” and visions of worst case scenarios.

There are other more personal things taking place in my life right now as well, and to top all of this off we just had to have our yearly rental inspection and are in the process of negotiating a new lease agreement… all of this together has just been too much but I am feeling much better now. Most of my new-found calm has come about because I got part of my finance stuff with school figured out, but I also think that my decision to add some exercise to my life has been a huge boon to my spirits. I initially decided that it was time to suck it up and get some exercise because I have been gaining and losing the same two pounds for a fucking month and have been stalled out at a 13 pound weight loss for three weeks now, but even after one day of exercise I felt a change in my generally anxious state.

I have to be careful so I don’t have falls but a friend gave me a walker to use a few months ago to stabilize myself when using my Wii Fit Plus. I did 30 minutes of the free step, at the fastest pace, three times last week and I am not only feeling less anxious/depressed, but I am sleeping better at night too. This is especially great because if I am not getting enough rest I start to have all kinds of physical problems related to my disability and depression sneaks in there and gets its gloomy hold on me too. The walker works perfectly and fits around the Wii balance board thingy as if they were meant to be used together! For now I am going to keep up on this and try to increase the amount of days I am using it. I have some other things in the works as far as mobility, increasing my independence, and adding more exercise to my life but it is 1:14 am and I should be in bed so I will report back in another week or so. Plus, I need to save something to talk about next time!



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Riding the waves of dual-diagnosis as a parent.

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