Thursday, August 16, 2012

The antics of my brain, lists and books, oh my!

Every time I post I say I'll post more often.  And then I don't.  But now I am.

I want to share the end of our summer with you all, but for that to happen I need to upload pictures, and I'm tired right now.  So we'll do a brief book/mental illness post for tonight.  You like how those two go together? 

We'll start with the mental illness...and I'm leery of typing this, but things are going well.  I had a really great session with my therapist in May and I haven't had a panic attack since.  I've even scaled back my meds a little - just by one increment, (and please remember - if you are on antidepressants, do not decide you are cured and go off on your own.  Most of the time you are feeling better because of the meds, and if not...cold turkey is painful.)  A little extra anxiety at the beginning of my adventures with the niecelets and nephews, but I'm pretty sure that was to be expected.  I mean, people were depending on me not to break their kids.  And I didn't.  Anyway, the past few sessions haven't felt very productive, and I realized at my last one that I was talking to her like she was one of my girlfriends.  One of my girlfriends I had to pay.  And that wasn't cool, so we've decided to take it down to once a month for a little while, and see where we go.  I, in my ignorance, didn't realize you could tailor your therapy that way - first time in therapy here.  I was all, "but I don't really think I'm "cured" you know, what if I start having problems again?" and she responds, "then you call me and make an appointment and we start seeing each other more often" and I say, "I can do that?"  Yeah, sometimes my own common sense blows me away.  So once a month.  And in talking to a girlfriend (that I don't pay) I realized maybe I could work through some of my weight and food issues with her.  Yay, more crazies!  But I have a new motto, and I shared this with a friend today, and I think I'll have it put on a t-shirt because it's so brilliant:

It's our crazies that make us interesting.

Ok, onto books, which are more fun.  My cousin got me the coolest book for my birthday this summer, and I've been playing with it.  Because I love lists.  They make me so happy - unreasonably happy, really.  The idea of taking the contents of my chaotic brain and putting it into some logical order - what fun!  So, here's what she got me:

Yay!  Lots of cool prompts, like "List the cities you plan to visit" and "List your dream jobs."  There are prompts about what you would do with a lot of money, sports you'd like to try, and healthy habits to start, which is timely, of course.  I try to write in it everyday, it's so much fun. 

As for books I've finished lately, I read Drop Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs and I loved it.  He has such a great style, and he's such a geek, I know I'd love him.  In this book, he decides to become the healthiest person in the world, so in addition to starting to exercise and eat better, he tries all kinds of trends and fads - paleo, the caveman workout, cayenne pepper in his breakfast, walking on a treadmill while he writes (which he ends up liking enough to continue.)  It's a great book - I love how his entire life is an experiment, and his wife has such a great sense of humor about it.

I also just finished reading The Great Gatsby again.  I read it in high school, but we are discussing it in my next classics book club, and I wanted to reread it.  Definitely glad I did, I didn't remember any of it, other than the character names.

There have been other books, including a great Jen Lancaster book, but I write about all my books in my Goodreads account, so if you want to check that out, go nuts.  I need to get to bed, I'm sleepy, and I have a lovely day planned for tomorrow.  I will get on here in the next few days and upload pics so I can write all about the last days of summer break, including the super-awesome boots my daughter chose, because you should all be aware of her incredible fashion sense. 

Pleasant dreams, friends.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Dude, seriously? Where did the summer go?

It's time for a good babbly post 'cuz it's really freaking late and I can't sleep, and it's been, like, 3 weeks since I last posted. 

Check out my cutie girl in her new glasses.  She was complaining last month about her head hurting.  Unfortunately, it's hard to tell with her, since she kind of complains all the time.  But they were both due for eye appointments.  The Girl definitely needed glasses - she's near-sighted.  The Boy is a lopsided goofball, as we all know.  The doctor says, "I have good news and bad news" which is an odd thing to hear from an eye doctor, but it turns out he is near-sighted in one eye, and is compensating with the other.  I tried to convince them that he would look awesome in a monocle.  Apparently they "don't do that anymore."  Pfft.  If anyone could pull off the monocle, my boy could.  A real distinguished sort, is my Boy.  I really had trouble typing that with a straight face.

I spent the last couple of weeks watching my nieces and nephews whilst their parents were in Hawaii.  Honestly, I would rather have gone to Hawaii, but we had some fun.  Check out these apres-bath hairdos.  Fabulous!

It's kind of a funny thing, the girl with the anxiety disorder offering to take on four extra kids.  I had a few anxiety attacks the first few days - it's been a long time since I've had a baby, and here I had two.  One of whom appears to talk and whimper in her sleep, loudly, and the monitor picks up every sound, and I would lie awake at night listening to every peep, wondering she was going to start crying, and then after 5 hours of very interrupted sleep, I would wake up shaking and sick.  But that eased up very quickly, especially after I realized I didn't have to have the monitor at full volume all night.  And we did just fine.  So I talked to my therapist on Tuesday, and she suggests I seem to be doing much better - dealing with stress better.  I told her about the anxiety two weeks ago and she mentioned most people would feel some extra stress with four extra kids.  I felt - still feel - apprehensive, saying I'm doing better.  I mean, I went several years with very little in the way of symptoms - how do I know I'm doing better?  What if we cut down on our sessions (which it makes sense to do - I spend a lot of time lately just chatting about my day with her right now, which I could do with friends for free) and I start having panic attacks again?  And she says - get this - "you call me and make another appointment."  What is this logic?  You mean, there is no regimented course of treatment?  If I need more, I schedule more? 

I guess that's pretty irrational, not understanding that right away - I guess it just seems so...un-medical.  When I have bronchitis, I go on an antibiotic (my bronchitis is almost always bacterial, I am not just pushing for meds) for a regimented amount of time and it goes away.  I guess I kind of wish my brain was like that - I have a very hard time answering the therapist's question, "what am I hoping to get out of this?"  I don't know, I want to feel better.  So give me a pill, some exercises, and a prescribed number of sessions, and bill me. 

Wouldn't it be easier if it worked that way?

On the other hand, I am gratified to learn that my therapist is not just out for my cash.  She is the one who suggested I don't need to pay someone to listen to me tell her I'm feeling pretty good, thanks, and you?

Alright, it's late and I should have been asleep a long time ago.  I'll have to do another book post soon - I've been reading a lot this summer, and I hit my goal of 60 books in 2012 almost a month ago.  Probably should update that one.