Why is it I check all of the boxes of negative things, but never the positive?

The latest and greatest of therapy this week was all about cognitive distortions. We’ve been working on identifying emotions rather than shoving them in the garbage can. I’m making definite progress there, but I seem to have the problem that sometimes I can’t distinguish between an emotion and a physical state of being. The “I statements” sometimes look something like this.

I feel tired when we stay up late watching Parks and Rec because I had to get up early and didn’t get up sleep.

Yeah. While true, that’s not what I’m aiming for. I’ve found those I statements to be rather helpful in teasing this out.

So we moved on this week to cognitive distortions.

Why is it, all of the of the things you’re not supposed to do or think I do? How has my thought process become so negative? Has it always been this way? I really can’t remember a time that I didn’t do or think at least some of these ways. In some ways it’s kind of terrifying. I’m honestly starting to question how the hell I’ve gone through life like this.

Do I get enjoyment out of anything? Or do I just do things because it’s expected or because I have to? I honestly don’t know. I mean, I have fun doing this. I enjoy reading. I enjoying hanging out with my husband. But… everything else? Gardening? I mean… I guess I enjoy it. I hate weeding, but who doesn’t? All of the crafty stuff that I do? I honestly started crocheting and cross stitching as a stress relief. It was suggested by my doctor. Would I have started otherwise? Probably not.

I enjoy concerts. I’m not sure I enjoy movies or TV, really. Most of the time I’m curious how a story ends (damn you sequels and period dramas), either from an earlier movie/episode/etc. Or how a story unfolds because the trailer made the story look interesting.

Er….

I’m just really confused at this point. Maybe this is why I have such a hard time getting out of bed in the morning.

The one thing I’ve always hated about therapy is that for every issue you start to work through six more pop up.

Damn you psychology. Damn you mental illness. Damn you dysfunctional brain.

Something Wild

I don’t know if this is true for everyone, but throughout my late teens to present day, there has been one man that has been a constant presence in my musical tastes and personal growth. Andrew McMahon. From the early days of Something Corporate, through Jack’s Mannequin, and now onto Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, he’s always been there. I remember in the early aughts hopping in someone’s car and driving to DC for the day to see them. I remember getting Mike into them and his surprise that he loved the music, all the way to introducing my (much younger) brother to their music and dragging him to an AMITW show earlier this year, which he loved.

His music has always spoke to me. I know it sounds stupid, but I feel a lot of it in my soul. These are the songs I sing along to at the top of my lungs in my car. I remember listening to the albums for the first time when they came out and thinking “Whoa, these guys get it.”

That brings me to today.

He did a collab with violinist Lindsey Stirling to produce the song “Something Wild.” I had no idea this song existed until Mike was cruising through Apple Music and came across it. He quickly sent it to me. He knew immediately that between my love of Andrew McMahon and my love of Lindsey Stirling I would immediately love it.

I did.

Being a classical trained former violinist the melody line that Stirling plays just makes me vibrate inside. It’s beautiful. Haunting and yet uplifting at the same time. But the lyrics… sometimes they make me soar. And sometimes they make me sob in my car.

You’ve got a big heart
The way you see the world
It got you this far
You might have some bruises
And a few of scars
But you know you’re gonna be okay

Seriously, give the song a listen. I can’t recommend his entire catalog enough, but this song…. Here’s the YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytMqO-WQpQ4 . And I just learned that it was written for Pete’s Dragon, which is pretty awesome in and of itself.

Sometimes I think that because I spent my entire childhood playing music, listening to music, writing music, that I tend to connect with music on a level that most people don’t. It goes past enjoying it. I feel it. The right song can change or enhance my mood. I know that’s not uncommon, especially for people dealing with the spectrum of mental illness, but I am yet to meet someone that didn’t spend their formative years immersed in music that doesn’t feel this way. Whether it’s metal, jazz, rock, emo, pop… we all have our genres. We all have our artists.

I know that I’ve mentioned this in a previous post, but Mike can gauge my mood based on what music I’m listening to. I have this random playlist, it has close to 1000 songs on it, if not more. Everything from the Jonas Brothers new album, to arias from Aida, to punk, pop, rock, classic, alternative, a little bit of jazz, a bunch of musicals, etc. Any time I hear a song I like, I throw it on the playlist. This playlist has been curated for easily more than 10 years. If I’m listening to this, mood is pretty steady. If I’m listening to Walk the Moon, I’m probably in a good mood. If it’s Dashboard Confessional, it’s likely that I’m down. (The age old question “are you listening to Dashboard because you’re sad, or are you sad because you’re listening to Dashboard?”) All Time Low can go either way. If it’s musicals – depends on the musical. Jekyll and Hyde? Kind of dark. Hamilton? Probably more up.

Anyway, this isn’t the point. Actually, to be fair I’m not really sure what the point of that ramble was.

I wonder though, sometimes, if this connection to music isn’t just another symptom of the bipolar disorder. At my last appointment with my therapist we talked about how over the years, for a myriad of reasons I might someday get into, I’ve kind of turned my emotions off. (I think I mentioned the emotion trashcan in my last post). But music is one place that’s always been safe for me to really feel. Interesting. I see him tomorrow, this might be something to bring up.

That’s it for now, I’ll leave you with this —

If you’re lost out where the lights are blinding
Caught in all, the stars are hiding
That’s when something wild calls you home, home
If you face the fear that keeps you frozen
Chase the sky into the ocean
That’s when something wild calls you home, home

The emotional garbage can

After a long talk with my shrink at my last appointment, we decided it would be beneficial to get back into regular therapy for at least a little while to work on my self-esteem issues. I was terrified of the prospect, but I know that it will help, so here we go.

Had my first appointment this week. One of the first things that we talked about was how I let the logical side of my brain rule over everything because that’s what makes sense to me, and I stuff my emotions down into a garbage can so I don’t have to deal with them.

Ok, accurate.

When I was growing up any time I showed any kind of emotion – mainly negative, but a lot of positive too – I was told I was volatile and that I needed to be in better control of my emotions. Even in situations where emotions would be normal, I often had to tamp them down or “hold it together” for the family. Ahhhh that good old Catholic upbringing.

At the same time, I was never allowed to celebrate my successes – the family could, but if I did it was seen as ego as pride. And when my family did celebrate, it came off more as “look at how wonderful we’re doing as parents/grandparents/family” rather than “we’re so proud at what she’s accomplished.” But oh, those failures. You can bet your butt that I had to own those failures. They were mine and mine alone.

Social media and my family has also been a big problem over the years. My family posts everything on Facebook, from what they’re eating, to any random thought that comes into their head, to posts that are clearly meant to garner attention and sympathy. I haven’t been a fan of social media for a long time, and over the last six months I never use Facebook, and tend to stick to sporadic Instagram (mainly use it to send funny or interesting things to my husband or a friend of mine), Reddit (if you can really count that), and the occasional Twitter. This pisses my family off because they can’t tag me in things, and I have put a hard ban on anything personal about me being posted. I didn’t talk to my mother for a month a few years ago because she posted that I was ill and in the hospital. My feeling is that my business is my business. It’s not her business to share, and if I want it put out there, I will. We have mutual friends on Facebook, so I hear pretty quickly if they post anything about me, but they’ve learned. I want nothing on the internet that I don’t control.

But anyway, back to the point. Emotions. Between this kind of upbringing and my background in science that taught us to put aside emotion and stick to the facts. Identifying and letting myself really experience a full range of emotions is weird. Unnatural to me. One of the things he has me doing is I statements. Such as “I feel _____ when _____ because _____.” So far I’m just keeping a list on the notes app on my phone, but I told Mike about it and told him occasionally I would share these with him and not to look at me like I’m a total loon if I make that kind of statement.

So yeah. There we are.

And that’s it for this week. I’ve got a few ideas I’m tossing around for next week, so look for something early in the week.

xoxo

Lean on me, but I won’t lean on you

I finally remembered what slipped my mind last week, and we’ve got a lot of ground to cover. Luckily, one topic kind of bleeds into the next.

The job that I interviewed for was set up through a friend. (For those that care, the first interview went well, they passed on all of my info to the higher ups with their recommendation to hire, so it’s all in their hands now. That was two weeks ago. I haven’t heard a peep other than the ones I interviewed with telling me to sit tight, they’re hoping for a decision soon. I’m not getting my hopes up.) She had I have been friends since first semester of our freshman year, so 13 years now. Her and another girl and I have been close ever since. Even though we’ve been out of school for almost a decade we still get together whenever our schedules match up, and we’ve had a running group text that we’re all active in at least once a week since we graduated. This chat log would literally go back years if someone wanted to pull it from one of our carriers. These two are some of my closest friends.

That being said, I hold a lot back. I don’t talk about what’s really going on in my life. Everything I share is fairly superficial. But I support them, chime in with advice when it’s asked for, am there for them. But I’m a bad friend. I don’t share myself with them. I keep my problems to myself as much as I can. There are reasons for this.

I don’t feel like I deserve them. I feel like one of these days they’re going to realize that I’m not worth being friends with. I don’t want to be a burden, burden them with my problems. I would miss them so dearly if they decided that, but I’d let them go without a fight because I believe that they had finally come to their senses.

I feel like that with all of my friends. Hell, even Mike I keep somewhat at arms length, although he knows I’m doing it and generally doesn’t stand for it. I keep a lot of barriers up to keep people from getting close. Part of it is for self preservation – when, as I said, they realize that I’m not worth it, it hurts less when they walk away. Part of it is to protect them, to make them care about me less.

There’s a lot of history behind this, but I think until I met Mike I only had one or two true friends. The rest were people that I thought were friends, but they all left me broken when they walked away after they had taken all they could. I’ve a giver by nature, and this was exploited by more people than I care to admit. Bit by bit those barriers went up to the point where now they’re almost impenetrable. As such, with most people I have very flimsy friendships with most people. The two women I mentioned earlier are probably the only two other than Mike that I can’t say that about.

I had an appointment with my shrink last week and we talked about this. He finally got me to admit that my self-confidence is in the gutter. I feel like I’m unworthy of love, friendship, or success. I don’t see value in myself as a person. That realization is a hard pill to swallow. I think on some level I knew this, but to have to admit this – to say the words reduced me to tears. I haven’t cried like that in years. Hell, I’m tearing up just writing this.

So yeah, back to therapy I go. We’ve got a lot to unpack. I can’t imagine feeling another way. I don’t see how I can change my mindset. This is just who I am. I’ve never seen the world as a light and delightful place. My world has always been a dark place where my worth is negligible at best. I feel like any time I’m confident that it’s really just a gross display of ego. Despite being propped up as a child and told that I could achieve great things, that good old Catholic upbrining shoving you back down into your rightful place as an unworthy sinner might have taken more hold than I or anyone realized. Or maybe it’s the mental illnesses that have warped my brain. Who knows.

I hate feeling this way, but I think I hate more the fact that it’s been blatantly pointed out as wrong hurts more. It’s the final “your brain is a dysfunction” nail in the coffin.

The power of positive thinking? Really?

I just watched a short video on the BBC website talking about how positive thinking can actually have a negative effect. He says that the problem with positive thinking is that if something goes wrong, we feel like we’ve failed.

Here’s the link, it’s worth a watch: https://www.bbc.com/reel/video/p07c6sb6/the-downsides-of-positive-thinking

This video got me thinking about this idea and my own life. How much of my sense of failure is actually caused by this? I’d hazard a guess and say at least some.

Now, I’m not an overly positive person. I’m a realist most of the time, but my thoughts definitely stray to the pessimistic side more than I’d care to admit.

Take my whole job search – everyone keeps telling me to stay positive, it will happen. Sure, eventually I’ll find a job, but I feel like every position that I apply for and either don’t hear back or do get a very polite fuck you very much email, part of me feels like I’ve failed yet again.

That idea that you have to always think positively is so pervasive any more. Hell, I’m in my mid-30s and I’ve heard it since I was a kid. How much of this sense of failure – when there really isn’t a failure, exactly – contributes to so many of our mental illnesses? (Honestly though? If one more person tells me I need to be more positive when I’m depressed I’m going to do something drastic. Just you wait until I have the energy to do so.) I love my family, but they are very much of this mindset and it kind of drives me crazy. They sometimes seem to think that if I think positively then good things will happen.

No. Just no. Good things happen, yes. But so do bad. And ambivalent. That’s just how life is. You thinking something will happen or happen a certain way doesn’t make it happen. If that were the case we’d all be billionaires, or astronauts, or married to Chris Evans. Last I checked I’m a broke, cashier with too many degrees, and married to a wonderful man who is, in fact, not Chris Evans. Not that I’m complaining about the husband part (far from it), but my point still stands.

I hate positive thinking.

In fact, fuck positive thinking. In my experience, nothing good has ever come from it. You can argue that it puts you in the right frame of mind, but honestly? When going into something serious, it just ramps up my anxiety due to the pressure.

I had a whole lot of other things to say, but I have been distracted by the Blues-Bruins Game 6. If I ever remember the rest of this thought I’ll post again.

Until then, friends.

I’m cautiously optimistic, and I’m trying not to get too hopeful

I had an interview on Tuesday, and it went really well. Funny part of the whole thing was after I had the interview they created the job that I had to apply for. I’m tentatively supposed to meet with the higher-ups next week, I just haven’t heard when yet. In many respects it seems like this position is being created around my experience and education, but I’m trying not to get too hopeful that this is going to work out. I’ve been let down too many times.

But it’s hard to not get excited about the mere prospect of not only a job, but a job in my field, in a branch that I would love to get involved in, that not only is relevant to my MBA, but also my biochemistry degree. This seems like a match made in heaven, right?

I don’t want to get ahead of myself here.

But for the first time I have hope, which is something I haven’t had for a long time. To be honest I’m not quite sure what to do. I’m part a ball of anxiety, part general nervousness, part hope, and part preparing for disappointment. I’m hoping to hear something tomorrow about scheduling the next interview.

If/when anything happens, I’ll keep you posted.

This waiting isn’t good for me though. I immediately jump to worst case scenario. I assume I’m not going to get the job. So while part of me is feeling hopeful, part of me is preparing to be completely let down. It’s an internal battle and neither side is gaining and retaining ground. As soon as one side starts to pull ahead in the battle, the other side resurges and gets that land back. I can’t win.

The worst battlefields in the world are in people’s brain.

I need to have confidence in myself, in my talents, in my skills. I need to believe that something will come along. I need to hope that when something does come along that it’s going to be worth the wait of the last two years since I graduated.

I’ve just had so much disappointment over the last few years. I’m scared to let myself feel hopeful.

Things might be looking up? And a few thoughts about CBD oil.

I’m trying not to get my hopes up, but I have a job interview on Monday. It was actually supposed to be next Friday, but they emailed me today asking if it could be moved up because they were really excited to meet me. That’s good new, right? So what’s the job? Yeah, I have absolutely no idea.

So here’s the story. On Monday for Memorial Day since we were all off, I got together with a few friends of mine. We started talking, and one had tried to get me in where she works and asked if they had ever contacted me. I told her that they hadn’t, but no worries, something would come along eventually. Friend 2 threw the brakes on the conversation and asked what we were talking about. I told her Friend 1 had given my resume to her boss trying to get me a job there. She said why didn’t you ask me?

I pointed out that she had PhD and I hadn’t thought that she would know of anything I’d be qualified for. She asked a number of questions about my degrees, what I wanted to do, etc., etc., etc. She tuned us out and picked up her phone. Friend 1 and I went back to our conversation. After a few minutes of furious typing, Friend 2 asked what my salary requirements were. When I asked why, she said she had gotten in touch with members from her old group, gave them the basics of my quals, and they wanted to know what I wanted to be paid to see if they could afford me.

They didn’t blink at the number.

I emailed them my resume that night and by Tuesday was an email exchange with their director. By Wednesday night we had an interview set up. They called today to see if we could move it up because they wanted to meet ASAP and were really looking forward to it.

This is all promising, right? Please tell me I’m not reading too much into things.

I’m trying to not get ahead of myself, but this is the first time in two years that I’ve felt any glimmer of serious hope. Hope that this will work out. Hope that things will change. Hope that I can finally start getting ahead rather than just plodding along. Hope that we won’t, actually, have to move. Hope for a better future.

I’m actually terrified at the prospect. I haven’t felt this feeling in years. My last job beat it out of me, and destroyed my mental and physical health in the process. For a long time I thought that was normal. I realize, now, that that’s not the case. I’m trying not to get too excited, but it’s hard.

Time to change gears.

I started vaping CBD oil recently. I was vaping any way to try and stop smoking (successful except when I’m really overly anxious and stressed), and my shrink recommended trying CBD oil with my vape to try and help with my anxiety as we were both reticent about adding another medication when, for everything else, my current cocktail is working so well.

Holy crap.

My anxiety is almost completely gone. What lingers is totally manageable. I sleep better. A lot of my general aches and pains from years of being hard on my body are gone. I’m generally a more pleasant person to be around. With the stress and anxiety lifted to manageable levels I laugh again. I have days where I’m actually happy. I don’t know if I’ve been genuinely happy in years, if ever. It’s a weird feeling.

That being said, the first few days I was like a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs, but for a weird reason. I described it to my husband in that anxiety has been around since I was in my teens. Even if it’s not active, per se, it kind of hums along in the background, ready to be called on at any moment to spring into action. In some weird way it’s like an old friend that I carried with me everywhere. In some sense, it became comforting, it just being there, hanging out.

That constant anxiety? GONE. Don’t get me wrong, when things happen it’s still there, but it’s more of what I would think is a normal reaction to stressful situations than the internal freak-outs I used to have. To add, people around me have noticed the difference. Someone told me the other day that it no longer looks like I’m carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. Which is funny, because I’m still dealing with the same stressors, but I’m actually more able to deal with them in a healthy, constructive way.

Point being, if anyone is thinking about it, talk to your doc. If you do go that route, make sure you get it from a reputable source. I did a lot of research before I committed, but it has to be something that you’re comfortable with from a brand that you’re comfortable with. One of my big sticking points was that I wanted lab reports to look at to see if they were certified, what they tested for, what kinds of tests were run, etc. I wanted the scientific transparency above all.

That’s it for today. I know, two posts in one week? Unheard of. Keep your fingers crossed for me and hope that things go well.

Sometimes you really have to think about things

I was reading an article today about how Millennials, essentially, are screwed. How we’re the generation with the lowest birth rate, the highest amount of debt. How we aren’t buying houses, having kids.

Is it any wonder?

Most of us are broke – up to our eyeballs (and sometimes higher) in student loan debt, struggling to find our place in the working world where Baby Boomers are trying to hang on to their jobs as long as possible so as to maximize their social security when they retire. This means that we aren’t being promoted (or even hired) as the prior generation just isn’t leaving the workforce. Many are working 2, sometimes 3 jobs just trying to make ends meet. And many more of us are underemployed.

Ours is the generations where our parents really didn’t put money away for our education because when they went, college was cheap. No one saw the high prices of education coming. And then a lot of us had to go on and get Masters degrees (or higher) just to try to stay ahead, or even get started, in our careers.

I was talking with my husband tonight and he made a good point – there was one thing that could have saved our generation, but it’s the one thing that our parents managed to convince so many of of us not to do. Blue collar work. Mechanics, electricians, brick layers, heavy equipment operators, etc. But our parents mostly were of the mindset that we had to go to college. Either because they didn’t and wanted better for us, or because they did go and believed it was the only true way to get ahead in life, or sometimes it was because they looked down on blue collar workers and didn’t want that life for their kids. Whatever the reason, there are a lot of us suffering from crippling college debt, unable to find a job, on the brink of declaring bankruptcy, unfulfilled, unhappy, and feeling like our lives were nothing but wasted potential.

Obviously, this doesn’t apply to all Millennials. I know more than a few with a home and a few kids, but most of them didn’t take the “traditional” routes that our parents wanted or envisioned.

But I have to ask – what toll has all of this taken on our mental health? Kind of funny, but I read an article not long after the first that pointed out that Millennials are one of the most highly medicated generations for mental health issues – depression, anxiety, bipolar, personality disorders, OCD, and on and on and on.

Reading the two articles back to back made me think – are you really surprised? We’re all stressed beyond belief. Many of us know we’re getting the short end of the stick given to us by forces way beyond our control. We don’t know how to make it through. All of the promises of our youth ended up being made of paper. We’re watching the environment turn to shit – a cause that many of us first took up as kids when we cut the six pack rings so ducks and fish didn’t get stuck in them. We came of working age at a point where the economy was at its lowest and unemployment was at its highest. We took menial jobs because we couldn’t find work in our fields. We waited for the days when it would be our turn, but – funny story – it seems to have skipped right over us and onto the next generation.

I’ve heard a lot of people blame Millennials for things we had nothing to do with and couldn’t control, and the be castigated for things when really it was our younger counterparts in Gen Z (never looking up from our phones, disconnected from what’s really going on in the world, wanting everything handed to us) (no offense, guys).

We’re waiting patiently for the day when we have political power, the power the Baby Boomers don’t want to relinquish even though many of them seem to think it’s still 1985 and the world should be run as such. We’re waiting for the day when many of us can really make our mark in the business world as people stop refusing new ideas just because they’re new.

We’re waiting for it to be our turn.

I’m sorry for the rant. This issue has been featured in many of the news outlets and blogs that I read, and many of these things have been weighing heavily on my mind. Partly because I feel a lot of this really applies to the situations I find myself in, but partly because the messages resonate so clearly with me.

Thanks for reading this long-winded rant.

We should be back to our normal programming next week.

Let’s talk it out

I’ve talked before about all of the things I regret in life. But there’s nothing for that now. What’s done is done. All I can do at this point is try to make the best of a bad situation, right? Er… right. Well, at least I can try.

Let’s get down to it, shall we?

I can always go back to working in a lab. Yes, I hate it. No, it isn’t what I want to do, but we’re getting to the point where I may not have a choice. At least working in a lab I can get a decent salary, and I’ll probably have to work another part time job. Ok, cool. That could work. It’s definitely an option.

But I guess what I really want to – no, need to figure out, is what I really want to do with my life, my education, and where I want to do it.

At the end of the day, I’m not against moving for the right job. Mike isn’t thrilled about the idea, but he knows that it’s not off of the table. What I’d like is a low cost of living city that’s a decent size, with a growing job market. I want a city that the bands we like will travel to. That there’s cultural things to do – the opera, musicals, symphony, art. While Mike, I’m sure, would like to stay closer to our families, I’m not going to let myself be hindered by that. If it’s a good job in a good city, I’m going to apply.

But what do I really want to do? I like the operations side of business – supply chain, stock movement, labor forces, etc. But what’d I’d really like to do is work for a non-profit that deals with anything from women’s rights, science in politics, healthcare advocacy, animal rights and treatment. A friend of mine and I joked back in February when her position took a hit that we should start our own non-profit. Honestly, I wouldn’t be adverse to that. Maybe it’s something to work toward in the future.

But at this point? I’m not going to be picky. I just need a job. And I need one that’s not going to cause my mental health to suffer. Good luck, right?

Is it possible to be having an episode without having an episode? Oh, and I may be going through menopause at 36. Or have lupus. But it’s never lupus.

As the title says, is it possible to have an episode – that is, the symptoms of an episode – without actually having an episode? I’m angry, irritable, irrational, moody, cynical, unimpressed by things that should thrill me (*cough cough Endgame cough cough*). But my mood itself feels fine. Or mostly fine, at least. I don’t feel like I normally do when I’m having an episode. I honestly think I’ve just been beaten down so hard by the world the last few months that all of the emotions are starting to vomit all over me.

Like I said in one of my last posts, I’m about ready to give up.

Back to the point. I’m angry, and I anger very easily. I feel very unsupported. Simple things will irritate me until the anger builds until it almost explodes. Unfortunately the tipping point is often my husband. Which isn’t fair to him. But he and I need to have a completely unrelated conversation about how I’m feeling very unsupported, unappreciated, and unloved. But that’s a post for another time.

Moving on.

Those damn irrational thoughts are back. Mostly anger driven. But still very irrational. I think. To be fair, I don’t even know the difference any more. And I’m not sure I care. Because even the irrational ones lead to thoughts or ideas that are based in reality. They just tend to veer into the worst case scenario realm, which is where half of my “normal” thoughts are any way.

I’ve always been a very cynical person. But it’s gotten to the point over the last week or two that has been previously unreached. For example, I didn’t hate Endgame. I actually quite liked it. But there was a lot I didn’t like about it. And when we left the theater I was very cynical about all of it. I reacted similarly to the latest episode of Game of Thrones. To be fair – winter has been coming for eight freaking years. And it lasted an hour. It didn’t even get past Winterfell. I wanted winter in King’s Landing, damnit. This obviously ties in with the not getting enjoyment out of things part.

Oh yes, the early menopause. Ok, so we don’t actually know what’s happening right now (went to get some blood work today for a start), but I get the hot flashes from hell. To every woman that has gone through it, is going through it, or will go through all of it (ok, so all women). I AM SO SORRY YOU HAVE TO DEAL WITH THIS. It’s absolutely horrible. They strike at random – during the day, middle of the night, in the shower, at work, at home, in the car, working out, doing nothing on the couch (have one right now). Sometimes I’ll only get one or two a day, others I get one or two an hour for 14 hours. I had my thyroid levels tested 2 months ago with my normal psych blood work, and they were fine. So were my kidney levels. So this time we’re testing hormone levels, liver levels, and a CBC with diff to rule out infection. I doubt the CBC will show anything – I just donated plasma last week and got the email today that my blood was on the way to the hospital, so I’m sure if there was any indication of an infection they wouldn’t send it out. If all of these look fine, it’s off to my Gyn for more thorough hormone testing and possibly an endocrinologist or a rheumatologist to see if this is something autoimmune. It is also entirely possible that this has at least something to do with having lost 22 pounds in 2 and a half months. After years of psych meds, who knows what was stored in that fat. And then there’s the added bonus of my brain saying hey, we’re 1.5 stone lighter and we have no idea how to regulate ourselves! Party time!

Anyway, yeah. That’s the latest and greatest this week. I’m still chugging along. Pieces are bent, but they’re not broken.