Moms, Typing, and Therapy

I used to have a body clock set in stone. For my entire life, I was awake at 5 AM, usually damn near on the dot. 5 AM. No alarms needed. No one woke me up at that time. My body just liked waking up at 5 AM. Nothing could change that wakeup time, even as I occasionally tried to shift it. Even on Abilify, which fucked my sleep SO HARD, I could not stay asleep past 5 AM.

So, 5 AM it was. 5 AM since I was 14 years old. It used to give my foster parents a hell of a scare, as they'd walk into the kitchen about six in the morning to find me already wide awake, cup of coffee in hand, scrawling in my journal. It was often the only time I was alone and could write with abandon. Even as a teenager, I recognized how important that was.

Like, seriously, I used to skip classes to go somewhere alone and write in some goddamn peace and quiet. I didn't skip to go party (even if I was already drunk). I skipped just to get a calm, midday writing break.

If I'd smoked that young, there would have probably also been a cigarette hanging out of my mouth. Still, the early wakeup times were always a little jarring for my various foster parents. It also annoyed the hell out of my Mom, who is also an early riser and disliked her alone time being interrupted. As an adult myself, I finally understand that irritation. No fault on you for that one, Mom.

While in the psych ward talking with my father, he said he was going to call my Mom and let her know what was going on. My immediate instinct (which quickly became my immediate response) was "NO. Absolutely not. I do not speak to her. She no longer has the privilege of knowing when my life is fucked up."

I then paused for the briefest of moments, rolled my eyes, and said "Wait, no, it's fine. She's been reading my Livejournal for years. Tell her whatever the fuck you want. It won't make a difference to me either way."

Back to wakeup times: These days are different. Due to the fact that there's more pills in my bloodstream than actual blood (or at least it FEELS that way sometimes), my wakeup times can leap about in the span of hoooours.

Being off the Prednisone has quickly and gratefully shifted that wakeup time to a regular 6 AM. But there's the odd morning or two a week that I'm up at 3 AM and mad as hell about it.

RANDOM: I never thought this possible, but the pasta I'm eating has too much sauce. This whole "renal diet" thing is finally getting to me. My food tastes are actually changing to adjust for it. How strange. And about goddamn time, too.

ALSO RANDOM: I am amazed at how many people who use keyboards as essential parts of their work and yet are slow typers. You'd think after years of working with keyboards, you could do so without having to constantly look at the keyboard. But so often, they have to practically stare at the keyboard to use it.

People ask me how I type so fast. I can manage nearly 80 words-per-minute free writing and about 60 wpm, error free, if I'm copying some other form of media. I just tell them I pretty much live on the internet.

Which is also pretty much the truth, so it keeps my bragging impulse to a minimum. (Teressa: An individual with a lagging self-esteem propped up by an ego the size of Texas. I are psychological juxtaposition.)

But the whole slow typing thing is what gave my intake counselor and I a break long enough to get super excited about seeing a cat outside the window. It turns out that he is also a fan of cats, usually owning about three to four cats at anytime. It gave us something to connect over, which always makes the intake process easier.

I mean, the dude was so excited at seeing a cat at work that he left his desk and peered out the window with me for, like, a solid five minutes. It's rare enough to meet an older man who likes cats. It's even rarer to find one that will, with the same glee that I have, talk about their cats. It gave us conversation material between awkward silences.

He did peer at me, a little surprised, when I noted he had a copy of the Fifth Edition of the DSM and asked him if they'd finally moved Bi-Polar under the Schizoaffective umbrella. It turns out they did, which was a private relief, as I'd written a 12 page paper promoting that exact thing in college.

They always look at me a little strangely when I say things like that. But hey, I've been in some form of therapy (either talk, medicinal, or group) for over 20 years now. You pick up some of the lingo along the way. And once the internet became a viable search tool, I was off like a rocket to read everything I could about my mental health conditions.

I try to do that with lupus, but lupus is scary as shit. Sometimes I just don't feel brave enough. Or physically well enough, as a computer screen can cause lethal (or, again, what FEELS like lethal) headaches and nausea.

Alex, I'll take Sunglasses In An Otherwise Completely Darkened Room for $200.

But you don't conquer learning the coping skills of MENTAL health in 8 months, so I imagine you also don't conquer the coping skills of MEDICAL health in 8 months, either.

So the therapy intake went well. Exceptionally well. I have both a psychologist (the talky type) appointment set up for next week AND a psychiatric appointment set up in three months. (I've endless refills on my psych meds right now. It's no rush to get at them.) It took about three hours, to which the staff was exceedingly apologetic about. But I never expect a psych walk in to be ANY LESS THAN three hours, so I told them no worries about that.

See? Psych shit I know. Easy breezy. The hard part these days is making sure I can physically get to the appointments. The process of reaching out and making professional contact, however, is like riding a bike. You don't ever really forget how to do it. It takes a while to initally learn it, but once you do, all you experience is a wobble or two when you climb back onto the seat.

My bicycle is not in great shape these days. It's rusted, the tires need refilled and I've got several spokes that are broken and jutting out, just waiting for someone who hasn't had a tetanus shot to wander by and get jabbed in the knee with. But at least I AM getting back on the wheels.

I'll die if I don't. I know that now. And as uncool as my beat up bike makes me look, I'll look a hell of a lot worse if I'm fucking dead. So let's not die, Teressa.

Let's just not die.

This entry was originally posted at http://quirkytizzy.dreamwidth.org/1066524.html
Good for you that it gets you a positive reaction.
If you know a lot about those parts of psychic dysfunctionality, also terms and diagnoses, that deals with violence und circulates the one who does them as main topic, you quickly run into trouble because people are just horribly nuts these days. Everyone's afraid of the next psycho running amok and being with a knife or gun at their throats. And before they actually listen to what you say, they only hear like three key words and call the fucking police to talk to you. Like "only evildoers themselves know this!" - well, yeah, this is even factually right. But who says you always stay 18 and ready and stupid enough to sacrifice your life for shit?
This is always like too much of the thinking. Intelligent evildoers - intelligent self-learning people at all?! Fuck, rather it seems to them like Jesus comes down to earth for a second time than this exists.
Especially then if you're not a person that is like at least 40 years old, made a career in his job for 20 years and has three children with three different women. Like "what can you have seen until your 20s? you've seen nothing!" - Boom, discussion over. You're stupid, all the people than you much older are a lot wiser...
Gosh, and those kind of people want to tell you about getting an ego that's much too big.

Edited at 2017-03-31 01:02 pm (UTC)