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A Matter of Scale - Body by Henson, brain by Seuss. [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Kelly J. Cooper

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A Matter of Scale [Nov. 19th, 2008|02:26 am]
Kelly J. Cooper
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How fucked up do I have to be to stop feeling guilty for feeling fucked up?

First, a general apology. I have been out of commission for a while - over two weeks, I think. If you were expecting me to do or say something, I'm sorry, I probably failed to do/say it.

The first week of November was very odd. I'd fall asleep and then wake up at odd times, in the middle of the night, unable to fall back to sleep for hours, finally doze off only to wake up for the day feeling exhausted. I slept on & off through most of Friday & Saturday, the 7th & 8th, utterly screwing my schedule such that I ended up crawling into work late on Sunday, the 9th, and tried not to stay too late.

On 10 November, a day I would have otherwise slept through, I went to the MFA with istemi to see the Karsh 100: A Bibliography in Images exhibit. (Highly recommended; doesn't require a special ticket; closes 19 January 2009, which really isn't all that far away, so go see it soon.)

Somewhere between then and the 11th, the exhaustion took over and I slipped into a really bad case of apathy. The random waking up (and feeling awake when I was awake) ceased and sleep came more easily than ever. (Normally I can't sleep again until I've been conscious for at least 8-12 hours.)

I slept through the 11th, got up for therapy check-in on the 12th (stopped at Wholefoods Market on the way home to pick up some cheer-the-fuck-up food - which didn't work, read a little email, then went to the monthly Somerville Garden Club meeting that night), worked at MYP on the 13th, slept through the 14th and 15th, worked at MYP on the 16th (12 hours, actually, finishing up a project), and slept through the 17th and 18th (today).

At therapy check-in on Wednesday, I managed to scrounge up a momentary feeling of embarrassment about how little I cared and how listless I was - just enough to mumble an apology before I was exhausted and didn't care again.

Unsurprisingly, she upped my dosage.

This afternoon, I wanted to get up & go over to Circlet with a stop-off to eat lunch at Seoul Food. I did manage to wake up, but I just lay there, unable (unwilling?) to get up. Neither the thought of disappointing ctan nor even the thought of yummy bibimbap could get me to care. I finally fell asleep for a few more hours until a stomach-ache woke me up. After having dispatched the pain's cause and despite it being 5-something-p.m., I jumped in the shower. I assembled a pile of clothes to launder. I read all the physical mail I'd received in the past week. Then I actually laundered the clothes! And dealt with the output!

Did a switch flip? Did I hit bottom and push off? Did the increased dosage kick in? Damnedifiknow. I was trying to NOT analyze it, to just experience it and let it flow through or around me. But it sucked.

Each of those days, there were things I wanted to do (besides sleep and watch TV until it gave me a headache, then sleep more) but I just didn't care. Calling friends, laundry, food shopping, projects, reading email, some editing work, visiting friends, celebrating birthdays, making it to the Davis Sq. farmer's market at least ONCE this year... none of it. It's as if the energy to exert the effort just wasn't there.

In retrospect, it feels like it was chemical - outside of my personality. But what do I know? It was kind of scary. It wasn't exactly seductive, more... easy.

Sorry if ya'll are tired of hearing about this shit.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: foomf
2008-11-19 09:19 am (UTC)
Definitely sounds chemical, and I wonder if it's light-related in any way. I've had a few days like that since the returning of the dark evenings.
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[User Picture]From: wonderreader
2008-11-19 12:11 pm (UTC)

sucky feeling

yep sounds chemical - also sounds like the stomach ache got rid of it - go with the "don't analyze - just experience it" for a while and see how that goes (although it is damned hard not to try to analyze it - it is what we do). Hope you are feeling better - getting the laundry done is pretty impressive. I was getting worried - I had just realized that you hadn't posted in a while.
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[User Picture]From: rmd
2008-11-19 12:38 pm (UTC)
that totally sounds chemical.

also, are you prone to SAD? because with the time change, it's suddenly a lot darker a lot earlier.
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[User Picture]From: dpolicar
2008-11-19 01:31 pm (UTC)
Whether it's chemical or elves or I don't know what, I couldn't say... but, I'm all for treating it as outside of your personality rather than identifying with it. Either way, sounds horrible... glad you came out the other end.
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[User Picture]From: ckd
2008-11-19 01:33 pm (UTC)
I'm tired of you having to deal with it, not tired of having you tell us about it. (I don't want to not hear about it because you feel like you can't talk about it, I want to not hear about it because it's stopped happening to you.)

Yeah, I'll go with the "sounds chemical to me" crowd. (Also the "sounds familiar to me" crowd.)

I hope things get better for you.
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[User Picture]From: miss_chance
2008-11-20 06:11 pm (UTC)
well said!
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[User Picture]From: metagnat
2008-11-19 01:57 pm (UTC)
I always want to hear about what's going on with you, be it good or bad, and as long as you even remotely sort of want to talk about it and even sometimes when you don't.

I have not yet learned to identify the difference between what's chemical and what isn't, but I bet you are right.

-E
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[User Picture]From: drwex
2008-11-19 02:56 pm (UTC)
How fucked up do I have to be to stop feeling guilty for feeling fucked up?

I have no idea; if you figure it out, let me know 'cause I'm feeling similarly. My fucked-upped-ness is objectively less than yours. But I still have the self-critic voice and the apologizing thing going on, pretty much non-stop.

I'm sorry it's been a bad time for you.
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[User Picture]From: gem225
2008-11-19 04:30 pm (UTC)
Nope, not tired at all of hearing about the shit you have to go through, my friend. I hate that you have to go through it, of course. *hugs* *more hugs*
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[User Picture]From: lillibet
2008-11-19 04:34 pm (UTC)
Add my sympathies and general interest in you to the pile.

I wonder if I've ever made the following suggestion to you: when I was struggling with my own situational depression a couple of years ago, one of the things that helped me was to treat just about everything I was feeling as a symptom, rather than a reflection of either myself or external reality. It didn't make the feelings less painful, but it did make them a) less debilitating and b) easier to treat as calls-to-action. Feeling lethargic? How do I treat that? Feeling apathetic? How do I approach that? Feeling suicidal? Clearly, something's all messed up with me...off to the psychopharm! I have no idea if this would be at all useful to you, but any time I find a new tool, I try to spread it around to see if it fits other people's kits.

Yay for the new dosage and I hope it continues to help. And, look, sunny day. Bundle up and get out in it, even if it's just to sit in a chair and bask for 5 minutes, until your nose starts to fall off.
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From: shostack
2008-11-19 05:08 pm (UTC)
I'm not tired of hearing about it at all. In fact, it's intriguing. Your first sentence was especially interesting to me because it echos a way that I've been feeling too. I'm so used to being strong, and when I don't feel strong, I feel like I should be strong, and I get mad at myself or feeling guilty or angry about it. I talked with my new and awesome therapist about it a few weeks ago, and he spent a long time saying "of course you're angry, everyone would be angry about that" and "of course you're pissed off, that's totally natural" and "you're feeling sad is totally reasonable" and a bunch more things like that. For me, it was surprisingly helpful. Somehow, someone giving me permission to feel bad actually helped me feel not so bad. I didn't feel like I had to "get over it" "fix it" or "stop it." I felt like it is what it is, and that in itself made it easier for me to deal with. I have no idea if that's helpful to you at all. But now the thing I want to say to you is "of course you feel fucked up, that's ok." You don't have to like it. It isn't fun. It isn't where you want to be. But it is how you feel, and it's ok to feel that way. And if you happen to feel guilty about it, that's fine too. Because that's how you feel, and I'd feel guilty too and it sucks, but it's how I'd feel.

And I'm thinking big hugs at you because hugs help me, so I'll think them in your general direction.
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