Major Anxiety

My anxiety has kicked into double overdrive tonight.  It's overwhelming, eating me alive.  So far I've taken 4 klonipon, 2 Seroquel and 2 Geoden.  It's better, but it hasn't gone away. 

I *think* I'm freaking out about school.  The quarter will be up in 3-4 weeks, and it doesn't seem like I've improved very much over this quarter.  How do I know I'll improve any next quarter?  Or the quarter after that?  I only have 2 quarters after this one to pass this speed or I'll get kicked out of school.  I'm really, really, REALLY anxious about it.  What if this just isn't for me?  What if it's not possible for me to pass it?  Hmmm...seems like my pastor just talked about the "what ifs".  What did he say, I was thinking at the time it was perfect, I just wish I could remember what he said.  Probably something about how worrying is not trusting in God, but I'm just guessing.

Everyone who progresses at my same speed or slower than me ends up dropping, so all I'm left with to compare myself against is people who speed past me.  People say this is a lot like golf, you can't compare yourself to others, only against your own performance.  Well, I don't play golf so that analogy is lost on me.  The teachers also tell me it's not a race, it's who passes the finish line, but what if I can't even pass this speed? 

Mark said I always do this at every speed, start panicking and freaking out, thinking I can't pass the speed and then I do.  But I don't remember thinking it like this before.  Perhaps I should check back in blog, blogs are good for that. 

I think it may be time to go back to counseling.  This anxiety is awful, and I don't think medication is the answer.  I need to fix what is broken in my thinking. 


I've been up since 2:30 (it's now 3:30) which is so strange for me.  Since cutting out caffeine from my diet, except for early in the morning, I've been sleeping well.  I had an idea though - I took Pamprin before bed, so I checked the label, and it has caffeine in it!  I can't believe the smallest amount makes such a difference in my sleep, but it really does.  I guess now I have to check labels before I take anything at night.

My poor dog!  After treating him for bordetella he contracted at the shelter, we then found out he had tapeworm!  It was simple enough to treat - gave him one pill from the vet, and it didn't seem to cause him any discomfort at all.  But it's got me to thinking - the vet said he got tapeworm from a flea - what did this little dog endure before he even got to the shelter?  My mind has been going wild!  Running through the streets, cold, shivering, nothing to eat, dodging cars, running through fields with ticks and fleas, searching for places to sleep, running from mean people.  Who knows how long he was "on the run" before being picked up.  It makes me want to spoil him even more.

I'm watching Nirvana's MTV Unplugged concert from 1993 (again).  It's so fascinating to me.  If someone were to ask me what bipolar depression LOOKED like, I would point to Kurt Cobain in this concert.  Disheveled, wearing an oversized gray sweater, greasy hair, melancholy look, not looking at the audience but constantly down or with eyes shut, uncomfortable in his own skin, set decorated with black lit candles and flowers, kind of looking like a funeral, playing songs about a tortured soul.  Mark came down the stairs and said he could hear the music all the way up there, and I commented on how tortured Kurt was, and he said sure, from heroin, and I said maybe, but something had to torture him to LEAD him to heroin.  His songs are enough to depress someone who isn't on heroin, I totally didn't get it when he was alive, but then again, I hadn't experienced a bipolar depression when he was alive.  Or don't realize how tortured someone's soul really is until they commit suicide.  Then you look back on their music in a different light.  I don't agree with Mark though, he sings a song called "Lithium", how he stops taking it and what happens.  There's even a channel on Sirius for alternative music called "Lithium" named after the song, so obviously Kurt took Lithium at some point.  I can totally relate to the song - it makes me not want to stop taking my medication, that's for sure!

Lithium - Nirvana

I'm so happy 'cause today
I found my friends
They're in my head
I'm so ugly, that's okay
'Cause so are you
Broke our mirrors
Sunday morning is everyday
For all I care
And I'm not scared
Light my candles, in a daze
'Cause I've found God

I'm so lonely, that's ok
I shaved my head
And I'm not sad
And just maybe
I'm to blame for all I've heard
I'm not sure
I'm so excited
I can't wait to meet you there
And I don't care
I'm so horny, that's okay
My will is good

I like it I'm not gonna crack
I miss you I'm not gonna crack
I love you I'm not gonna crack
I killed you I'm not gonna crack

I like it I'm not gonna crack
I miss you I'm not gonna crack
I love you I'm not gonna crack
I killed you I'm not gonna crack


Valentine's Day Gift

On February 12th, the Saturday before Valentine's Day, Mark said he had his present for me ready and we had to go somewhere to get it.  He gave me a time to be ready - 1:15p, and to wear something comfortable, like a sweatshirt.  I had no idea where we were going, I asked do I wear makeup?  I was wondering, are we getting a massage, should I be extra careful when shaving?  He then took one towel - just ONE, and said  we were ready to go.  I was so confused by the "one towel" thing, shouldn't we need one for each of us?

We then went to lunch at an Italian restaurant, and I assumed we were going to one part of town, but he went in a completely different direction.  I was so confused.  He was going down sidestreets and places in residential areas, I had no idea what he was doing.  He then handed me a card which I opened, and it was about the love of a dog, and on the inside was a dog tag which said "this is a daily my reminder of my love to you".  Then I looked up and we had arrived at Operation Kindness, a no-kill animal shelter.

I started crying, I've wanted another dog for exactly 5 years, our last beloved dog died on February 13th 2006 (I can check in my blog to be sure), but Mark's heart was so broken he's never even let me consider getting another one.  I've begged and begged for one, but he just couldn't deal with the possibility of his heart being ripped out again one day.  Until now.  His idea of getting a dog is to rescue one that needs a home, which I'm totally in agreement, so now was the time to find one!

They were very careful about who they let adopt their dogs, they asked us tons of questions.  Mark warned me about this before we went in, and told me not to tell them it was a gift, that was a big red flag for them.  I guess he'd done his research.  I wanted a small dog so we went to that area, and there were a lot of barking dogs, I fell in love with all of them, but there was this one tiny mop of a dog just curled up sleeping that melted my heart, and I asked if I could see him.  We had to go back to the front to get another person for that, I got anxious that someone else would pick him before we got there!

They got him for us, put him on a leash, and as my hand went out to pet him, he pulled his head back, as if he were scared.  I felt so bad for him!  Mark finally picked him up and pet him and seemed better.  We talked and talked about the dog - he's about 3 years old, part Maltese and part Shitz Zu (very tiny), housebroken, came from a city shelter to Operation Kindness, etc.  He was so quiet and still, I don't know why I didn't think this dog was simply really sick.

They took a picture of us with the dog, they entered our information onto his microchip, we paid for him, then we went to the pet store to buy everything his little heart desired!  We spent so much, but he needed everything, and I always buy the best.  When I got home, I spent more money on him on the internet.

He had this funny little cough every once in awhile, but I didn't think a lot about it.  I took him to the vet (he had already had all his shots, neutered, etc. at the shelter)  but I wanted him completely checked out.  He finally did his funny little cough there with the vet standing in front of him, and she said just to be sure, she would prescribe him medicine for bordetella, considering where he had been and being that he's underweight (4.5 pounds).

I couldn't get his prescription filled at the people pharmacy - they didn't have the correct dosage, and that night, his cough got really bad, it scared me.  I actually didn't know it was a cough at first, I thought he was choking on something and just froze with him in my lap, it didn't sound like he was breathing, just choking, and Mark took him from me and took him outside until he stopped coughing.  I called the Animal Hospital, thinking he needed to go there, but they told me no, it's like having bronchitis for a person.

So I took him back to the vet the next day, and she gave me medicine that she could  prescribe and hydrocodone for coughing (weird, they don't do that for people).  Turns out he does have a bad case of bordetella (kennel cough).  The calm, lethargic dog I saw at the kennel really WAS sick, he's now a little spark plug with tons of energy and a charming personality.

Mark said he's still in "rescue mode", but wow, all the money we've spent - vet bills, grooming bills, pet store, internet shopping, shelter donation (more than you're thinking it would be, it's not cheap), medication, it's well over $1000.  But he's totally worth it, he has so much love to give, and we have so much love to give to him, it's a perfect fit.

Except we have this huge backyard, just perfect for a dog, but not one that weighs 4.5 pounds.  He can slide under the tiniest crevice.  That may be what happened to him in the first place.  So I'm not sure if we'll end up getting a new fence (although our Homeowner's Association wants an iron fence in the back, which he is little enough to slip through the rods), if that will even be enough.  I get so mad at the HOA sometimes, it's our freaking house, why can't we have what we want.  We pay people to do our lawn and garden, everything looks nice which should be where they come in, so if we want a certain fence, why can't we have it?  It's our land!  What do WE even pay THEM for?  To come to our yard and measure any weeds in our garden to see if they should send us a citation or not?  We've gone both ways, a yes!  your yard looks great! postcard, and several years ago, a postcard that said hey, you need to weed your garden!  when the weeds were barely even there, we had a freaking gardener coming every week!  They are a Nazi-type organization when it comes to your lawn.

I took a test today at school and did really horribly.  I have to make up all of these hours that school was closed due to icy roads - 22 hours to be exact.  I made up 2 hours today.  So I go in an hour early and stay an hour late.  Getting to school by 7:00am is going to kill me, I can tell. 

I've discovered a cure to my sleeping problem!  No caffeine after around noon!  I started drinking Mark's Canada Dry Diet Ginger Ale at night because I was tired of my Diet Dr. Pepper, and it doesn't have caffeine, and have been falling asleep right away.  I didn't know why my sleeping problem had gone away until last night.  I got a Diet Dr. Pepper from McDonald's last night around 5:00p, drank the large soda until around 7:00p, and then I couldn't sleep almost all night.  I don't care that I couldn't sleep last night, I just hope I discovered a cure to my sleeping problem!

Other than that, I'm happy to have my dog, hugely disappointed in my performance at school, happy with my relationship, no bipolar symptoms that I am aware of unless being down on yourself about school counts, and I don't know.  What to do about school.  Why doesn't it seem like I progress as fast as others? 

Life's Bumpy Road

Mark and I were talking about Valentine's Day that's coming up, and he shared with me that he didn't used to get very many valentine cards from kids in school, although he always gave one to everyone else in his class.  When I was growing up, it was the rule to give one to everyone, but not at his.  It seemed like it was a cause of hurtful feelings for him when he was a child.

So I bought a whole box of valentines and on the back, wrote different reason that I love him and have been hiding them all over the house.  If he didn't get them when he was a kid, then I can make sure he gets a TON of them now!  He has absolutely LOVED it!  I think the messages I've left on the back mean the most, but getting tons of valentines makes him happy too.  It's so funny, I can spend a lot of money on a gift for him and he can think it's just okay, but the most inexpensive gifts that require thought and are sentimental mean so much more to him.

He's been having a rough time at work - he expects nothing short of perfection from himself, and is crushed beyond belief when he does not achieve it.  The tiniest thing can upset him for days.  It reminds me of when I worked for the Big 4, constantly working for that next promotion, putting my all, every waking moment, every emotion, all of my being into my job.  And when I didn't get the promotion I was expecting, it led me into the downward spiral of depression that put me into the hospital.  I think he's more together than that, he actually bounces back, but it makes me realize that I've put up walls around myself to make sure that never happens to me again.  I may work hard at something, but I don't completely give myself to anything.  I'm too scared I'll fail and end up back in the psych ward.  It doesn't mean I don't work as hard as I can at something, I just don't....let it all go.  I don't let myself hope, let myself dream, not anything like I used to.  I once thought the world was my oyster, I don't dare go down that path again.  I think I'm capable of great things in a career, but I'll never give all of myself to it ever again.  And maybe, that's not even healthy emotionally.

We had another school closing today, so ANOTHER ice day at home, but this time Mark was in Chicago.  He should be home any minute.  So I spent the day not leaving the house, being bored out of my mind, watching the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills repeats.  I should have practiced, but I didn't, so now I don't even want to test tomorrow.  No one says I have to type up my test, so maybe I won't.  The test I typed up on Tuesday was only 6 less errors than my previous test, but I had been home for 4 days and then the weekend too, so at least I didn't go backwards.  No one says I have to pass two 100wpm tests by the end of the quarter, I just WANT to.  Mark says I'm already freaking out about it and should stop, I'm having panic attacks already, but I just like to see movement in a forward direction.

With Mark taking the tiniest thing so seriously at work, I suggested that maybe he needed a distraction, something outside of work that would change his priorities.  So I brought up the baby idea again.  He said he wasn't okay with me taking my current medication while pregnant, and he thought I'd fall apart without it.  We went to a different psychiatrist who told me, with him sitting there, that I needed mood stabilizers.  The thing is, I told him I feel FINE, and have had basically no symptoms to speak of for quite some time now.  He said how do you know you wouldn't if you stopped taking your medicine?  I said there was only one way - to stop taking it.  He said he didn't want to go through what we went through when I went to the hospital, and I can't imagine what it must be like for the significant other who has to watch their loved one as they deal with suicide idealation for months.  No, I would not want to take that chance again if the shoe was on the other foot.  And I realize I may be feeling good BECAUSE of the medication, that's what my psychiatrist would tell me and does tell me.  I know the #1 reason bipolars go off their meds is because they start to feel fine and think they don't need their meds anymore, only to relapse, perhaps worse than when they started taking medication.  But it wouldn't be forever, just nine months.  Well maybe longer, I couldn't take them while we tried to conceive.  Doesn't matter, it takes two people to want to have a baby, and that's not the case.

Mark has been going to church with me every Sunday - he actually wants to go to church more than I do, and I don't know if I would go to church every Sunday if it wasn't so important to him.  I do get a lot out of it - last week's message was about marriage, what couple couldn't benefit from words of wisdom on how to improve their marriage?  But most of the things they suggested we already do except pray together at least 2 times a week.  Like make sure we have a date night once a week - we've done that forever.  At the end of the service, they had little "date night" packets for men to pick up for ideas.  Yes, it's all about Scripture and the way God wants us to live our lives, but I what I love about our church is that they make it practical to how we live our daily lives and can put it into practice right away. 

Well that's about it, guess I'll to school tomorrow, ho hum.

Great Ice and Snow Storm of 2011

The weather has been CRAZY!  I've never experienced anything like this, even when I lived in Kansas, and I now live in Texas!  I've been home for 4 days - I've missed school for 4 consecutive days because of ice and snow.  Talk about serious cabin fever!  Luckily I had just gone to the grocery store on Monday, the day before the ice storm.  Actually, I was getting my daily yogurts from McDonalds early Tuesday morning when it started - the wet "rain ice", sort of like sleet but it started out a bit more wet.  I went to the 24 hour McDonalds and they were closed, and I was confused.  I knew the weather was supposed to get bad, but the streets were dry, it wasn't snowing, what could possibly be wrong?  So I stopped at 7-11 and bought some twinkies, and right when I was leaving, it hit.  I was pelted by ice fast and hard, people were running to get out of it, and I couldn't get into my car fast enough.  This was at about 5:00am, and by 6:00am or so on Tuesday, school was cancelled and Mark had decided to stay home.  On the news, they said do not leave your house, but I had no idea that it would last so long.

The roads were just beginning to clear up, although the temperature hadn't gotten above freezing, and then a freak snowstorm happened overnight last night - we got 6 inches or so.  Maybe not a lot to many, but for us, that's huge.  We don't own snow shovels, heck, many people don't even own a winter coat!   But I had heard on the news that if it snowed it wouldn't hamper driving, it would just be snow, not ice.

So I got up this morning very early as usual and went on my normal trek to McDonalds for yogurt.  I thought "they were right, it's totally driveable", and then listened to the traffic channel as they were reporting all of the exits that were closing.  Our neighborhood is very hilly, but to get out of our gated community, it's mostly downhill, so I'd had no problem.  Right outside of the gates is the first hill going up, and that's when I had problems and got stuck.  My car could not make it up the hill.  I went in reverse and went back through the gates (luckily they were open), and tried to go back up the street I had just come down and got stuck again.  I reversed once more and tried the next street, I couldn't go up the hill there either.  Hills are pretty in the neighborhood until it's icy.

I had to park my car and WALK back home.  I hadn't put on a coat, I was just wearing a sweatshirt and sweatpants, but luckily I had on tennis shoes.  Normally I wake up in the morning and put on sandals with bare feet.  It was a bit of a walk, an eerily quiet and dark walk, and the only thing I really wished I'd had was gloves.  But I don't even OWN a pair of gloves, why would I?  It doesn't get cold enough here to ever need them!  Mark was working from home, and he walked to get my car and was able to drive it back home later.  It's times like these I question having a sports type car (a BMW with a turbo engine) because it is AWFUL in inclement weather.  But really, when in the world would you ever expect weather like this here?

4 days stuck in the house, without anything for breakfast.  The only time we left the house was when Mark took me in his Range Rover on Wednesday to a gas station/corner store a few blocks away and I bought doughnuts for the next morning. 

We finally left tonight in the Range Rover for our Friday night "date night" - to a restaurant nearby.  We take our date night very seriously.  It was AWESOME to be out of the house, I felt giddy.  I hated all of the food we have to eat, tired of reading news on the Internet (I know just about everything there is to know about Egypt now) tired of reading people's Facebook posts because I have nothing better to do, and really, just tired of this freaking cold weather.  If I wanted cold weather, I would have stayed in KANSAS!  Not that I don't love Kansas, I do, it's where my heart is, but I'll never move back.  Living here has too many luxuries that I have grown accustomed to.

So now the Super Bowl is here on Sunday, and I feel just horrible for everyone that planned it for so long - the weather has really ruined it for businesses, and who knows how many people bought tickets that now can't even attend because of the inclement weather all over the country.  A time for our city to shine has turned out to be a disaster.  I'm glad we didn't buy tickets when they went on sale last year - I don't really care about either team.  To go to the Super Bowl would be awesome, it's just that it would be more awesome if MY team were in it. 

I always thought I was a homebody - I was SO WRONG.  I need interaction with people, more than just Mark who spent all day every day on conference calls.  But I did find out that I wake up to eat breakfast around 5-ish, and can then go back to bed and sleep until at least 11.  Every day.  No matter how much sleep I've had the night before.  I'm truly not a morning person.

I think everyone is tired of the weather - including the kids.  Normally when it snows a mere 2 inches, we have snowmen up and down all the streets in the neighborhood.  I have yet to see one this time, I would think the kids would be excited just to get out of the house after school closings for 4 straight days.  But it's just too miserable. 

We live in Texas, not Duluth Minnesota!  Which, by the way, is the coldest I've ever been when I visited.
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