is it monday already?

It’s Monday. And it’s June. How the hell did that happen?

I foolishly jinxed myself a couple of weeks ago by saying – out loud – that I intended to take some time off in June. Now, of course, I am inundated with unsolicited projects, which is lovely, of course, because I love my job, but also a wee bit frustrating. (Not that my “time off” would be actual time off, per se – I have a novel to finish, after all, and a toddler to…toddle, and a house that desperately craves some TLC, or a reasonable facsimile thereof.) So I’m torn between doing a happy little dance because I’ve got new projects and kicking things. I could always do both! That’s the principle behind Goth dancing, after all.

But I did manage to kick last week’s Cold of Death after only a day and a half of real illness. YAY, IMMUNE SYSTEM! Managed to kick it and still get the house tidy enough to have a friend over on Friday. I never have friends over! It was glorious, and why don’t I do that more? I mentioned the social anxiety thing in my last post, but what I don’t think I mentioned is that my social anxiety is SO MUCH BETTER NOW. Seriously, the Wellbutrin might not have done a lot for my, you know, chronic depression, but it went to town on my social anxiety.

Used to be, I literally could not be in a crowd of people without feeling like I was stuck inside my head. You know, watching the whole thing from about three feet back and cringing every time I spoke? Yeah, was not what I would call “good.” But ever since I started taking the meds, I’ve had no problem being in group situations. Even if there’s more than two people in the room, I feel like I’m actually present. It’s so neat!

Curiously, the lingering bits of social anxiety seem to coalesce around the making and execution of plans. I still hate contacting people. I still would rather poke myself repeatedly in the eye than actually call someone on the phone. And I still spend the time leading up to a social engagement in a state of hair-rending panic, imagining all the myriad ways I could make a fool of myself and cause everyone to forever shun me, which I probably did the last time they invited me anywhere, and they probably just invited me this time to be polite, and OMG I SHOULD JUST STAY HOME.

But as long as I ignore all that, I always have a fantastic time. And it’s getting easier to ignore, sort of. Sort of. Depending.

In other news, I posted another video post. Whee!

better living through chemistry

Yesterday I totally impulse-purchased this Naturalean Complete Day/Night Energizing Cleanse thing from Whole Foods, which promises to “Kick-start your diet in 7 days!” followed by an asterisk, which informs me, sotto voice, that this statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. I figured, why not? My diet is certainly in need of a swift kick.

What the box contains is a jar of “Metabolic Advantage” thyroid formula pills, which contain a boatload of Vitamin B12 and a bunch of enzymes (such as the entertainingly-named “Multi-Glandular Complex” – hee!) as well as seven packets which contain a nightly dose of “Fiber Formula” and “Laxative Formula” pills – eleven pills per packet. Eleven! That is a lot of pills.

I started taking everything last night, and today I feel GREAT. Like, crazy-manic rearrange-the-whole-house great. I! Have! So! Much! Energy! This is a novel change, and one I plan to take advantage of by cleaning the bathroom and the kitchen and then maybe going for a jog. Because I have so much energy, you see.

In other news, the kid slept in his bed for the first part of last night. Slept! In his bed! This is cause for celebration, especially since it meant that mama got to have the entire grownup bed to herself for three hours. Ahh, sleep. How I have missed you.

above my means

Zen as I might be about socioeconomic status, there’s still a part of me that gets off on being able to Afford Things. Nice things. Things like my prettypretty BlackBerry Pearl or our multitude of Apple products. That part of me really, really wants to join this snooty athletic club that’s $100 a month and totally, completely impractical. But they totally offer childcare, and the idea of paying someone to watch my kid while I take a yoga class? Compelling. (See, because when I leave him with Not So for no reason except that there’s something I ‘want’ to do, I always feel guilty. Yes yes, I know, therapy would help with these things. But – another reason to feel guilty! You see my dilemma.)

big boy bedI’m starting to feel a little bit like our lives are getting managable, which – hey, there’s a reason I take meds, you know? When just getting out of bed in the morning seems huge and untenable, it’s kind of a big deal to think that things might actually be okay, kind of. It was cleaning the house that did it. We’ve got this great apartment that I love unreasonably (well, except for the permeating smell of Rice Junkies that greets me every morning), but it’s jammed so full of stuff that it might as well be a storage unit. But Not So went all MacGyver on the stuff in Ellison’s room this weekend, so not only is all our old crap hidden successfully in the closet, we finally got to assemble the kid’s toddler bed! And, dude, don’t even get me started on how exciting it is to think that someday in the possibly near future I may be able to sleep through the night again. In any position I want. I can barely contain my potential bliss.

Next step is to get our room whipped into shape. This is a bit more complicated than it sounds, since we’re waiting to be able to afford these cheap-but-cute wardrobes from Ikea so that I can stop keeping my clothes in a big ol’ Rubbermaid storage bin and actually explore the idea of drawers.

go ahead and quote me about that quote

I was reading Work Happy today, as I do, and there was a quote from Tiger Woods about his philosophy on life:

The greatest thing about tomorrow is, I will be better than I am today.

And I realized…that’s pretty much the antithesis of the way I look at my life.

If I’m not good at something now, I feel like a failure. The idea that I might be a better mother in a year? Is practically admitting that I am a horrible parent now. I might as well just hang a sign around my neck that says “Still Not Good Enough.” I mean, I fully anticipate that I will be a better designer in the months to come…but I cringe in anticipation of how sophomoric my current work will look to me by that time (no matter how pleased I am with my skill level now).

If wanted to play armchair therapist, I’d hazard the guess that this has something to do with the fact that I was a “gifted” child, which is just another way of saying that I was ahead of the curve for so long that average sounds like an obscenity. Oh! Can we talk some more about my issues from my childhood? Pretty please? Because there was this one time when I was five…

Seriously, there is nothing wrong with personal growth, okay? I just expect that any growth I require for my life now will have already occurred. Which is totally reasonable, yo.

quiet, at last

The kid, he naps. Or I guess I should say, “The kid, he doesn’t nap,” because that’s been the issue for much of the afternoon. I’m trying to work, and he’s trying to surgically attach himself to my lap. Conflict? Why, yes. YOU try typing code while someone does his best to pick up items on your desk with his little monkey toes.

But he is asleep now, hallelujah and hooray and all that. Happy Fun Baby gets short-tempered when he’s tired, and my afternoon has been punctuated by the sound of a toddler flinging himself to the ground and wailing in misery at the slightest provocation. Provocation like the fact that the sky is blue, or that his cup was out of water. After he drank it.

I had this great moment today, though, despite the tantrums and the screaming and the back arching (oh, how I despise the back arching). I was snuggling with the kid on the couch and I looked down at him and  thought “This is how I want it to be.” I have always pictured myself as a mother, but since becoming a mother I haven’t felt…right. I’m depressed, I’m anxious, I’m impatient, blah blah blah, but more than that, I’m doing this square peg thing, and it just isn’t cool. Because this is what I’ve wanted all my life, so now that I have it, I should appreciate every second. Right?

But today, things were just good. I love my kid, and I love hanging out with my kid, and maybe I’m not doing such a bad job after all.

Or maybe the meds are finally kicking in. You know, one or the other.


You ever have one of those days when you realize that you’re never, ever going to look like yourself again?

bellinghamhat and scarf

Okay, that’s not the best example. Try this one:
feltonjessica takes a break

I don’t even look like I’m related to the person I was ten years ago. I look a little bit like I might have consumed her. Like some sort of parasite.

Old pictures are depressing.

process of elevation

You may remember that I started Wellbutrin last week, possibly because I posted a long, involved rant about it (which did not, surprisingly enough, include links to the manufacturer’s website, the Wikipedia page and the article on Mental Health dot com – but rest assured that I read them all, and several more besides).

spinThe first couple of days were…not good. Bad, in fact. The first day I felt like a zombie and couldn’t speak without slurring my words (fun!), and I felt a little bit like I was on acid, only without the speed. Oh, seratonin! You jokester, you! The second and third days I was…well, the words wildly overemotional would not be out of place in a description of my mood. My mantra was “It’s supposed to get worse before it will get better,” alternating with “THE MEDS AREN’T WORKING AND WHERE ARE MY ANXIETY PILLS?”

I’m feeling better now, thanks. Just in time to up my dose! So this weekend should be a mood-altering extravaganza. I almost don’t want to take more of the medication, since the half dose seems to be doing okay and I’ve only just gotten past the dry mouth, which was annoying. But I’m game. If I’m going to do the antidepressant thing, I may as well go whole hog.

Speaking of whole hog: I jumped headlong into my WIP manuscript last night and ended up writing 2500 words. Woot!

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If you’re happy and you know it…you’re not me

I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday, during which I thought I’d mention that I was pretty depressed and anxious and might possibly benefit from some sort of pharmaceutical intervention. I also wanted to discuss migraine meds, but a funny thing happens when you mention depression at the doctor’s office: all else is eclipsed by the sudden need for them to quantify and prescribe. I was given a weird electronic device – something like an ugly LeapFrog – on which I was instructed to take a quizlet to ascertain just how depressed I am. “Press 1 for true and 2 for false,” the medical assistant told me, and then closed the door so I could have some “privacy.”

Of course, after taking the quizlet – which asks things like “Do you feel irritable or cranky most of the time?” and “Do you often find it difficult to interact with others?”) – I start to see “hidden” meaning in everything. OMG I call myself Cranky Mama. Cranky Mama. That means I am cranky! As in, not happy! I might was well call myself Severely Depressed and Should Be In Therapy Mama! (Forgetting, of course, that Cranky Mama evolved out of Cranky Pregnant Girl, which I thought was unbearably cute during Ellison’s gestation.)

I could have told you what my results would be. After all, I have the Internet, and what is the internet if not an enormous LeapFrog? Every once in a while, just for fun, I take various depression assessments, and my scores are pretty universally in the “Meep! Get thee to a doctor!” category. And, see? I got me to a doctor! It only took, what, 20 years of being morose to convince me that I wasn’t just going to “snap out of it”?

Said doctor came in very earnestly and proceeded to quiz me about my history of depression, taking copious notes and furrowing his brow a lot. My monologues tend to do that to people, I’ve found. There’s a reason I am not a super villain. However, at the end of said monologue, I successfully bent the doctor’s will to my own, prompting him to prescribe me the antidepressant I wanted (Wellbutrin) as well as an anti-anxiety pill (though not Valium, sadly)…so maybe I have a future as a super villain, after all. (“It is I! Prescription Girl! Fear my mighty Google-inhanced knowledge of psychotropic substances!”) Amusingly, the doctor actually had to leave at one point to discuss my treatment options with the on-duty psychiatric consult…since apparently I have “a long history of severe depression” as well as the “possibility of mania” (which is news to me, but whatever) and he wanted to make sure none of the meds would bring out what I can only imagine are my latent bipolar tendencies. People: I am depressive. Period. The closest thing to manic that I get is when I’m hopped up on sugar and exclaiming over Shakira videos.

We did not, however, discuss migraine meds, despite the fact that I was coming down from a migraine at the time of the appointment. It occurred to me that I ought to bring it up at some point, but I was tired of discussing things by then. You may be shocked to hear this, but I do get sick of talking about my problems. Eventually. Besides, do I need to add more pills to my daily arsenal? I do not. (I am a person who rarely even takes a multivitamin, after all. Ingesting substances that are not delicious isn’t really my thing.)

I have high hopes for the Wellbutrin. If all goes well, I will not only be a veritable fountain of good cheer and optimism, but I will also be thin and randy (those being two particularly attractive side-effects of this particular med). Let’s all think happy thoughts about that, shall we? Er, those of us who aren’t clinically depressed, that is.

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fist full of cranky

Man, I’m in a bad mood today. You know those days where everything seems to be arranged in a perfect tableaux of pissing you off? I couldn’t even find the floss. Clearly all my teeth are going to fall out now, which would be the perfect end to a perfect morning, and also prove that I have deeply prophetic dreams, especially if they crumble while still in my mouth. Dude, you’ve all had that dream, right? It’s such a bastard. I always forget what it means, too, aside from you are a crazy person who needs to floss.

Anyway, enough of all that. I will tell you about other things. The kid, for example! The kid is enormous now, all long legs and big grins and the very beginnings of actual speech, much of which involves either “Go!” or “More!” He’s ridiculously musical, which is baffling, given that Not So and I are…not. I wouldn’t use the words “tone deaf” to describe us, but you could, and we probably wouldn’t correct you. Not So does play a mean harmonica, though, so perhaps that gene just got passed on with interest. Plus, you know, my dead brother was all sorts of musically inclined, so you never know. The kid, though, he thinks everything is an instrument. He drums on boxes, strums his wooden sword like a guitar, and blows on puzzle pieces like they’re horns. You have not lived until you’ve seen him bouncing in front of the TV, watching Dan Zanes and strumming along on his sword.

The weather report said it was going to rain today, but it looks pretty shiny outside to me. We’re at the office, trying to get some work done before heading back to the house and trying to get more work done, plus laundry. The good news is we finally (finally!) have internet at the house, so working from home is decidedly more productive. The Covad people came out and hooked us up on Monday, and I celebrated by staying up until 3am working on all the projects I’ve had on the back burner for the past month. Because (and I know you will be shocked by this) it is not entirely productive to go to the office, frantically download everything that I might need for a project, transfer it to the ipod, bring it home, get it all uploaded to the home computer and then try to blindly make changes without being able to check to see if they’re working. And then bring them back to the office the next day to start the process again. I did that for a month. A month! And the fact that I managed to get anything done at all is testament to my extreme refusal to let something like lack of web access get in the way of web design.

But now I can work from home again, joy of joys and all that. I have to admit that part of me is a little disappointed that I no longer have an excuse to sit and read a book in the evenings anymore (because I couldn’t work anyway, not if I had something that required being online). We watched the last episode of Alias last night (only a year late! Go us! But it was full of stupid so I’m not really sad I didn’t see it when it aired) and I spent the entire time glancing at the computer, making a mental tally of all the things I needed to do as soon as the show ended. Hooray, OCD! How I’ve missed you!

You’re probably thinking Gee, it sounds like you need a day off, to which I respond Have you been talking to Not So? Because it isn’t nice to conspire behind people’s backs, you know! Also: that rhymed. I am so funny! And I do not need a day off. I have too much to do! Once I have done it all, then we can talk about a day off every once in a while. Assuming, of course, that I am still capable of speech by then and am not communicating by a series of expressive blinks.

Kidding! I’m kidding. Besides, I’m too tired to blink.