I’m playing catch-up this week. I’m way behind on work projects, on reading blogs, on writing, on projects at home, on planning for the future, blah blah blah, yada yada. I made some progress on work stuff this week, so I feel a little better about that.

I also got my second vaccine shot, so I am fully juiced and ready to go. I’m ready to lick door handles and have someone cough on my airline food as I travel to a crowded city. Okay, maybe not, but I do feel more at ease knowing I have a little protection. I can see the possibility of everyone requiring a booster sometime in the next 12 months (I guess Pfizer has already indicated this). I was sore at the injection site until yesterday, and I was tired and achy for about 48 hours after the shot, which was about what I expected. Nothing serious, and I didn’t miss work.

I also saw my psychiatrist this week. I printed out part of this post and let him read it, and he said it was textbook OCD. (I also told him his “How are you doing” forms are crooked on the paper, and it mildly bothers me.) He said we can work on the anxiety first, and then see if the OCD symptoms need more attention. I agree with that, since the OCD gets worse with higher anxiety. In addition, he said I was much more stable when I was taking Abilify, so maybe we should go back to that. I had the same thought previously, so I told him that was fine. I’ll just have to eat better and get more exercise somehow. I’m also going to quit the Wellbutrin, since it can cause instability and maybe anxiety.

Last week I met with the therapist for the first time (same office as my p-doc). We got to know each other a little, and he was interested by some of my problems (social anxiety, lack of self-esteem, avoidant tendencies, inability to deal with stress, etc.) He said something that bothered me though: when I was explaining about being overwhelmed at work, he didn’t seem to accept the reality that I absolutely cannot take a week or more off work for my mental health right now – maybe an occasional day or two, but not an extended period. I also don’t feel like I can ask to have some work shifted to other people, because everyone I work with is swamped and unhappy and drowning in projects. The day after he suggested I ask for less work, I received two more projects. Yay. We’ll see what he has to say on Monday.

The weather is cool but nice, so I am going outside to enjoy some nature and not think about life for a while. But first, I need Second Breakfast (the best meal of the day).

up, down, sideways

I have been in the midst of a hypomanic spell, but I think it has ended. It was actually more of a mixed mood, because while I was exhibiting my typical signs of hypomania, I was depressed as well. During these times I have especially jumbled and chaotic thinking (more than normal), decreased ability to concentrate, feelings of work-related stress, increased nervousness and anxiety, restlessness, irritability, higher blood pressure, decreased sleep when I need more sleep, and increased appetite. I also increase the rate at which I pick at my fingers, leaving them raw and bloody sometimes (which warrants a separate post someday). At the same time I have very depressive thoughts which take the form of catastrophizing, lack of self-esteem, pessimism, and obsessive thinking. 

Ironically, I produce some of my best poetry during these times when my creative energy is high but my thoughts are especially dark. I wrote something the other day which is honestly too dark to share right now, but it sits on my computer as a reminder of my thought process at the time.

I had an appointment with my psychiatrist during the middle of this phase, and it was very stressful for me. First he took my blood pressure, and it was 162 over 105, which is not good; I take medicine to control my BP, and usually it is much lower. I told him I wasn’t surprised; I tried to explain what was going on, and tried to discuss ADD symptoms (another future post), but I wasn’t expressing myself very clearly. In addition he had three med students in the room (all females), and it was a little distracting with them listening. Then there was a banging on the roof, which kept taking my attention away from the moment. He worked with me though, made an adjustment to my medication, and I felt better as I left. 

However … I wondered if the P-doc and the students talked about my case, and it bothers me not knowing, but obviously I’m making too big a deal out of it if it is still on my mind. I overanalyze and obsess over every social situation, because I feel like I fuck up most of my interactions with people. I feel like I said the wrong thing, or I was misunderstood, or that they are judging me afterward (the worst). I always wish I could think about it, then go back to the situation and fix whatever I did poorly the first time (as if that would work).