disclaimer

this is not an inspirational blog.  this is not a topic-specific blog.  more than anything, this is more of a journal than a “blog”.  if that doesn’t interest you, then stop reading.

the prime topics in this blog are my Depression and my Addictions, as they tend to consume my entire life.  other topics may include writing, books, video games, canoeing, sports, television shows, writing, and my multitude of other misadventures.

woah, just how long has it been?

yikes, y’all. it seems my last post was in mid-Feb? I didn’t mean to disappear on you. my Depression just really KO’d me for a while.

as it’s been so long since I’ve really discussed anything, we’ll just do a quick overview of things.

˜”*°• ᴡᴇ ᴇꜱᴄᴀᴘᴇᴅ ᴛʜᴇ ɴᴏᴛ-ꜱᴏ-ɢʀᴇᴀᴛ ɴᴏʀᴛʜ •°*”˜

March 23rd is basically the date that we GTFO of Minnesota. so yes, we’re back in Louisiana.

just in time for all the festivals to kick off! 😀 ……oh, wait — Covid-19. thanks.

anyway. we are back in Louisiana. so far, we’ve seen my parents, my brother and his now wife (like WTF, y’all?!? good for him, but it’s WILD to think about Tiger being fucking married, lol), my parents (stayed with them for two months; more on that later), Brian’s dad Mr. Mike and step-mom Mrs Brenda (staying with them now; again, more later), Jenna and Brandon, Sheila, and Mr Terry.

we’ll have a huge shindig (probably at The Swamp) once this pandemic lifts some. I’ve got asthma (which is flaring up like a muthafucka’ down here), so I’m technically at risk, and Brian is a straight-laced rule worshiper (lol!) — as such, we haven’t really been seeing anyone or going anywhere.

˜”*°• ᴍᴇɴᴛᴀʟ/ᴇᴍᴏᴛɪᴏɴᴀʟ ʜᴇᴀʟᴛʜ •°*”˜

I was off of my antidepressants for a week, while still being on fucking 1200 mg of lithium a day. y’all, not a good mix. Louisiana mental health care is ASS. I called Tyler Mental Health in mid-April (I got on getting my crazy doctors in line immediately), and they just scheduled my appointment at the end of May — for fucking July 13th. what. the. shit.

however, I talked to this one worker who seems to really want to help and explained to her I know me, and I need antidepressants. so she talked to the doc I’ll have and got me hooked up with 5mg of Abilify. not much, but better than nothing.

meanwhile, I dropped my lithium dosage by one-fourth. I’m feeling much better already. sure, I’m still really depressed. but the depression is more in the “lower-case” sense than the “capital Depressed” that I was just a few days back. it’s radically different.

˜”*°• ᴄᴀʟᴏʀɪᴄ ᴄᴏɴꜱᴜᴍᴘᴛɪᴏɴ (ꜰᴏᴏᴅ) •°*”˜

my eating disorder is … let’s just say not the best right now. I’m struggling really fucking hard. it sucks, because we were going to get me seeing someone up in Minnesota. that happened right as the whole necessary relocation started. and of course it’s getting worse with my ever-growing stressors.

I’m trying to keep my behaviour reasonable — each once in a while, don’t fast for too long, not all calories are equal, balancing eating less and eating healthy, et cetera. but it’s hard when the Noise in your head is so Loud.

that’s been my social outlet, however. this online community I’ve been a part of for a while. one of those demonized “pro-ana” forums. I mean, define “pro-ana”. most definitions of that do not fit my community. heh, though a little does. anyway. it’s been my social connection.

back to the food. I’m working on ADF (Alternate Day Fasting): fast MWF, eat TRAU. we’ll see how that works out.

˜”*°• ᴄᴀʟᴏʀɪᴄ ᴇxᴘᴇɴᴅɪᴛᴜʀᴇ (ꜰɪᴛɴᴇꜱꜱ) •°*”˜

I’m trying to get back into working out regularly. I’m still using body-weight, dumbbells, and my bicycle.

I’m supposed to do the following (debilitating depression and chronic pain allowing):

  • every day
    • 30-40 minutes (~ 5 mi) of cycling in town
  • Mon, Thu
    • 10 minutes of warm-ups
    • upper-body weight-lifting
      • push-ups
      • bicep curls
      • bent-over rows
    • 5-7 minutes of stretching cool-downs
  • Thu, Fri
    • 10 minutes of warm-ups
    • lower-body weight-lifting
      • squats
      • straight-leg deadlifts
      • calf raises
    • 5-7 minutes of stretching cool-downs
  • Wed, Sat
    • 10 minutes of warm-ups
    • misc. weight-lifting
      • mountain climbers
      • tensor curls
      • flexor curls
      • donkey kicks
    • 5-7 minutes of stretching cool-downs
  • Sun:
    • rest
    • bike only

I’m not all that great at keeping to it right now. again: chronic pain, debilitating depression, the stress of the re-move, the pandemic, the unemployed-ness, et cetera. it’s difficult.

˜”*°• ʜᴏᴍᴇ ʟɪꜰᴇ •°*”˜

Brian, Zero, and I stayed at The Swamp for about two months. that was … challenging. but we survived. and they mean well. but they have some unchecked issues. and my PTSD symptoms flared up pretty hard a few times. nothing major, but it’s just not worth it.

speaking of Pool House, things are better now that we’re here. it was a rocky move, but it’s the overall better decision to be here.

we just got Zero today. he’s wandering around exploring. he seems fine enough.
he has a lot of experience moving, lol. poor baby. I’m no good at staying at the same home or job for very long.

˜”*°• ᴊᴏʙꜱ & ꜰɪɴᴀɴᴄᴇꜱ •°*”˜

and on the topic of jobs, I’ll be resuming my search very soon. we allowed me to paused it while I was having my major depressive spell. but as that seems to be lessening, I’ll be on the hunt once more.

we are waiting on the dongle for Brian’s PC (it doesn’t have wifi like mine), so his hunt is on hold too. in theory, Dad’s actually driving it to us (with my bike) as I type this. 🙂

˜”*°• ʜᴏʙʙɪᴇꜱ & ꜰᴜɴ •°*”˜

Brian is still running the Elemental Evils D&D campaign for my n00b mom, his semi-inexperienced brother, and myself. he’s about to run the Acquisitions Incorporated D&D campaign (in place of my Supernatural Cortex one I dropped — yay Depression!). meanwhile, he’s talking about my running a pre-made duet campaign for him. (his being able to play was the main reason I was going to run Supernatural again.) so we’ll see how that goes.

otherwise, I haven’t really had any hobbies weren’t sleeping all day and being depressed, lol.

between granite and cement

it’s hard right now. I have control issues; we all know this. but the current situation is wildly out control — and in general, not just out of my control.

I relied on an otherwise competent person to talk to people to whom he’s related (yeah, the anonymity’s lost now, lol) to get information on a potential solution to a rather large problem we have. he did not collect sufficient info from his father, and he apparently did not collect any info from his uncle.

and now we are stuck living (albeit temporarily) either in a situation we do not want or w people we’d rather not. we’re now chosing between a very small space w no internet and no Zero vs living w my parents.

had he collected sufficient information ahead of time, we’d be more empowered in this delimma. as it stand, however, he’s just put us into a tight corner.

I have been so angry w him over the last month or so. it just seems like one thing after another, one ball dropped and then another.

I’m trying to be as strong for and patient w him as he is for and w me. but he’s not making it easy.

I Have an Eating Disorder

𝕗𝕣𝕠𝕞 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝔻𝕊𝕄-𝕍:

Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED)*

Symptoms characteristic of a feeding or eating disorder that cause clinical distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning predominate. However DO NOT meet the full criteria for any of the disorders in the feeding and eating disorders diagnostic class.

*OSFED was previously EDNOS
(Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified),
for those who were wondering

Atypical Anorexia Nervosa

All of the criteria for anorexia nervosa are met, except that despite significant weight loss, the individual’s weight is within or above the normal range.

Anorexia Nervosa

  1. Restriction of energy intake relative to requirements, leading to a significantly low body weight in the context of age, sex, developmental trajectory, and physical health. Significantly low weight is defined as a weight that is less than minimally normal or, for children and adolescents, less than minimally expected.
  2. Intense fear of gaining weight or of becoming fat, or persistent behaviour that interferes with weight gain, even though at a significantly low weight.
  3. Disturbance in the way in which one’s body weight or shape is experienced, undue influence of body weight or shape on self-evaluation, or persistent lack of recognition of the seriousness of the current low body weight.

Restricting Type

During the last three months, the individual has not engaged in recurrent episodes of binge eating or purging behaviour (i.e. self-induced vomiting, or the misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas). This subtype describes presentations in which weight loss is accomplished primarily through dieting, fasting and/or excessive exercise.

Continue reading

2019-Q4 Review

as many of you may know, I do a personal Quarterly Review every three month. the most recent one was eight pages and quite in-depth. don’t worry! I’m not just copy-pasting it here, as that’s a lot to read. (also privacy reasons, lol.) instead, I’ll create some groups/categories and summarize my shit in there.

Fitness/Health

I’ve been so-so with this one. I’ve been going to my various physical and emotional/mental doctors as directed and took all my pills as prescribed. probably once every two to three weeks, I’d forget a single dose. though this was true for most of 2019, I just wanted to point it out, as that’s leaps and bounds above where I used to be — mostly thanks to Brian.

to those wondering (and who even knew), I’m still sober. meanwhile, to those out of the loop, I stopped drinking back in August 2018. it’s actually been a lot smoother ride than I thought it would have been. so yay, something was “easy” in my life for once!!

weight-wise, things went on a pleasant downhill. on the morning of 10/01/2019, I was 175 lbs (35.4% body fat). then as of the morning of 01/01/2020, I was 166.2 lbs (33.6%). in 13 weeks and 1 day (or 92 days total), I lost 8.8 lbs– an average of 0.67 lbs per week (or 0.10 lbs a day). I’m okay with that. a lot of generic or online programs have you choose between losing 0.5 or 1.0 lbs a week, so 0.67 lbs a week is just fine by me. 😀 ….sorry, went a little OCD with the numbers there, lol.

anyway, I think things overall were good.

Team Ow

nothing much stood out here. Team Ow (Brian, James, and Zero) are doing fine as a team/unit.

the end of this Quarter found Brian and I being together for 9 years, 5 months, and 12 days — which, OMG. how has someone put up with my crap for so long … by choice?! and then how did I not get bored with the same human yet? wtf.

meanwhile, it found Zero at an age of 10 years, 3 months, and 7 days. mah ol’ man. XD but he’s still as freakin’ spry as ever. like, annoyingly so, lol.

Family

boy, this is a fun one.

as some of you know — my father became somewhat paralyzed in his right side and had to have emergency brain surgery to drain out the bleeding on both sides of his head. O_O and he apparently had one of the best brain surgery recoveries the workers on hand had seen. by the next day, he was already moving things again. so thanks to whatever Power helped us out there — even if it was just my father’s pure stubbornness.

some other family member attempted suicide right around the same time. that was … difficult. but honestly, not as much as Dad’s stuff.

other than that, family is all about the same.

Friends and Folk in Louisiana

we went home in July for two main reasons — 1] Sheila and Will were finally getting married; and 2] Brian’s grandmother’s 90th birthday bash might be the last family gathering they’d have. meanwhile, we had scheduled a shindig for while down there to see all our other folk.

AND THEN FREAKIN’ HURRICANE BARRY HIT. like, wtf. the birthday party was cancelled, the wedding was moved (to a day in which I could not attend), and our shindig was somewhat brief. seriously, what. the. fuck.

Writing, D&D, and Other Hobbies

I didn’t do NaNo this year. that was right after my dad’s surgery and some other shit, so it was just a really bad time. I really did not write much. I hope planned efforts for 2020-Q1 will change that pattern.

Brian continued running D&D for his brother, my mum, and me. I started looking into running Nobilis for Brian, Mum, and Daminelle; though nothing has actively come of that yet.

meta knowledge, but we finally sent out 2019 Holiday Cards … in the middle of January 2020. D: oi vey. we were not timely this year, lol. anyway. in the cards was an unnecessarily lengthy yet somehow still brief recap of our year. we kept busy!!

meanwhile, I’ve once again become a go-to pet- and house-sitter. that really makes me happy. I enjoy doing it. I love meeting all the critters. I like seeing new homes. oh, and helping people and/or getting paid, food, and/or gifts ain’t that bad either, lol.

Employment

as a reminder, back in July I had left the law firm and started as the Executive Admin Asst for the CEO of a single-family investment firm. still trucking along there. it’s just temp work, but I continue to enjoy it.

A Few Questions

and now, a few recap’ing questions. overall…

What Are Some Things That Went or Turned Out Well?

Christmas went well. we went to a friend’s place for the first time (was also the first time we weren’t alone up here for Christmas) and played a new game that Mum and Dad just got us.

legit, Dad healing up as quickly as he did was awesome!

What Are Some Things That Went or Turned Out Poorly?

the investment firm informed me they wanted me to stay on as temp worker instead of moving into a permanent salary role. that really sucked.

To What Am I Looking Forward about 2020-Q1?

I keep crossing my fingers about our getting out of the frigid north, lol.

winter is also on the decline by this point. yay!!

Monthly Consumptions: December 2019

little late, but here we go. XD

Continue reading

new bipolar depression medication approved by FDA — and into my body it goes

I start a new Crazy Med in the next week or two, depending on when it arrives: Cariprazine, as sold under the brand name Vraylar, to treat bipolar depression.

this is a drug that was only just approved in May 2019 (like, just seven months ago). so there’s limited data out about it. but as always, I’m doing my pre-administration self research. and as follows are my notes.

oh! but first!! I want to point out the ironic hilarity in my spellchecker’s desire to auto-correct “Cariprazine” to “Craziness” (image below) when I was emailing my Mum about it.  XD I’m already a fan of this stuff, lol.

image.png
it’s as if you’ve met a potential female mate for the first time and she’s got the smeared lipstick look goin’ on with a name tag reading “Hot Mess”.

anyway, below are the meds I’m currently on are below (for Crazies and brain muckery, not anything else). it’s important to keep track of all this shit.

Name
(name brand)
Dosage & FrequencyReason
Alprazolam
(Xanax)
0.5 mg, as neededanxiety,
panic attacks
Bupropion
(Wellbutrin XL)
100 mg, once daily;depression
Gabapentin
(Gabapin)
400 mg, twice dailyanxiety
Lithium Carbonate600 mg, twice dailymood stabilizer
Nortriptyline HCL
(Aventyl/Pamelor)
10 mg, twice dailyfibromyalgia
Pramipexole Dihydrochloride
(Mirapex)
0.5mg, nightlyrestless leg syndrome
Risperidone
(Risperdal)
0.50 mg, twice dailybipolar,
irritability
yes, that’s 1,200 mg of lithium a day.
are you less surprised now about my constant exhaustion and the complete death of my Creativity?

and again, for my personal reminding, I’m posting below anything I read that was of interest or relevance to me. apologies if my shorthand is unintelligible to others initially; I’ll try to flesh things out once it’s all collected.

  • Purpose & Usage
    • heavy focus on bipolar I (versus II); schizophrenia seems to be in the backseat, too
  • Administration & Consumption
    • advised dosage for depression starts at 1.5 mg daily and settles at 1.5 – 3.0 mg daily
      • for mania, starts at 1.5 mg and settles at 3.0 – 6.0 mg
    • take with or without food
  • Side Effects (for mania & depression): so the normal shit, naturally; plus all this mess…
    • nausea & vomiting
    • dyspepsia (bloated gassiness)
    • restlessness
    • somnolence
    • akathisia (twitchy, full-body RLS; sometimes spazmatic loss of motor control)
    • other extrapyramidal symptoms
      • Parkinsonism (tremors, slower thought processes, slower movements, rigid muscles, difficulty speaking, facial stiffness)
      • tardive dyskinesia (potentially irreversible effects; uncontrollable facial movements, like sucking or chewing, lip-smacking, sticking tongue out, or blinking eyes repeatedly) [so like a gecko?]
      • dystonia (muscles involuntarily contract and contort) [DC’s Ragdoll with a loss of control?]
    • metabolic changes
      • fffff, weight gain D:
      • 3% of folks had >7% weight increase for each mania and depression treatment
      • another viewpoint suggests an average 1.1 lbs of weight gain in the first three weeks for mania. for depression it was 1.5 lbs at 1.5 mg/day within the first 6-8 weeks.
    • okay, y’all, direct quote time from the manufacturer’s distribution sheet:
      • Falls: Antipsychotics, including VRAYLAR, may cause somnolence, postural hypotension, motor and sensory instability, which may lead to falls and, consequently, fractures or other injuries. For patients with diseases, conditions, or medications that could exacerbate these effects, complete fall risk assessments when initiating antipsychotic treatment and recurrently for patients on long-term antipsychotic therapy.”
      • like seriously, though. falls. I mean, that’s just a freakin’ Tuesday for me. XD
    • body temperature dysregulation
    • direction quote number two from official website:
      • Do not become too hot or dehydrated during treatment with VRAYLAR. Do not exercise too much. In hot weather, stay inside in a cool place if possible. Stay out of the sun. Do not wear too much clothing or heavy clothing. Drink plenty of water.
      • LIKE I COULD OVER-HEAT UP HERE EVEN I WANTED TO. >:/
  • Other Random Facts
    • is second-gen (or atypical) anti-psychotic
    • long half-life (Cariprazine 2–4 days; DDCAR 1–3 weeks)
    • side effects may take longer to appear than with other drugs
    • metabolites’ formation and elimination via CYP3A4 (liver-based)
    • looks like it legit can make you more suicidal (hello every anti-psychotic ever), not just the typical level for antidepressants

Things I need to research further include:

  • tardive dyskinesia
  • dystonia
  • Cytochrome P450 3A4
  • ways to counteract weight gain
  • details on potential body temperature dysregulation

An then some potentially useful links:

holiday/Christmas/whatever cards

want a 2019 holiday/Christmas/whatever card from Team Ow?

just fill out a quick form with your contact info. 😀

https://forms.gle/E9NX4H4nbcT6qM6C9