Thursday, December 30, 2010

GOOD EVENING FROM FOOD ADDICTION

For about roughly 2 1/2 weeks, I've been eating non-stop. And by non-stop I mean from about 130 PM, when I usually wake up, to 4 or 5 AM, when I go to bed. There are occasional 1 hour breaks, but it has been the most eating I've done since I acquired this eating disorder. I've gone from fluctuating between a size 0 and 2, to only-my-jeggings-fit (I'm guessing a size 6) in about two months. I'm horrified to say the least. But no matter how much I want or try, or what I try to trick my mind into thinking, I end up eating.

What is the worst about all this is not the weight gain (shh, I'm trying to be logical), but it's hiding food in my closet, scheduling my day around eating, coordinating friendships around what restaurants have private bathrooms or those stalls that are like rooms for additional privacy, and mentally preparing for the moment (god forbid) that I will run out of things to eat.

I'd like to think that one day, all this madness will cease and my obsession with food will go away. But for now, looks like the addiction is here to stay.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

GOOD MORNING FROM CROSSROADS

I've been thinking a lot lately about what I want to do with my life. It's that time of year. Yep, it's already application season again. This should finally be the last time, more or less. See, I've decided to tempt fate by applying to five schools for a PhD in Visual Studies related fields and to one MA program in Psychology.

Here is where I'm stuck. Do I give up what I love to do (i.e. academia) and pursue a more realistic route? Am I capable of handling a career within the university? So far, it doesn't look too good. My mental health is chronic. Ending up in the hospital again is more than likely, and educational delay is highly possible (in fact, that's already started!). But how can I so easily give up what fuels my heart? On the other hand, is it worth my sanity? Should I literally risk my sanity or even dying just so I can prove something to myself that I really don't need to prove? I wouldn't mind... In fact, I would love to find stability in a secure job and nice home. Not to mention, while clinical psychology is not the love of my life, I do care enough about it to make a career out of it.

Of course, the options will grow more narrow as decision letters start to roll in. I guess my future is up to the admissions committees across the country. Wish me luck!

GOOD MORNING FROM HERE

damn,
issa nother night
here
pressure gettin high
tension gettin thick
issall becomin too much
its gettin kinda rough
but gotta keep goin'on goin'on
cuz night fall come already now (damn)
and issa live or die thing
here.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

GOOD EVENING FROM BIRTHDAY GIRL

I'm not typically a complainer. Really, I'm not.

I also don't attach exceptional value to my birthday. Seriously.

It's just that today is just your average bad day, which also happens to be occurring on my birthday as well. A coincidence.

And not even all the Facebook felicitations can bring me up at the end of today.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

GOOD MORNING FROM TEN STEP BACK

It never ceases to amaze how little it takes to unravel the entire web of chaos you thought you had neatly packed away.

Monday, November 8, 2010

GOOD MORNING FROM PAUSE

Vent:

Circumstances might call for me to take a leave of absence for school.

I met with my therapist last Friday and she seems really persistent (almost annoyingly so) on me being in a PHP (partial hopitalization program). In addition, she wants me to consider going to a shelter for temp. housing. That's all fine and dandy, but I have a thesis to write, classes to finish, and schools to apply to. And both of those things makes the stuff I want and need to do, difficult. She insists that this takes priority, but I'm not 100% positive this is the case.

Meanwhile, this coming Tuesday was supposed to be my extended deadline for my thesis, but that extension will have to be further extended. Still on chapter two. Soooooo.... The way things are going, I might just have to ditch classes this year, and take the time to finish my thesis and go full time next year w/ school. Well -- I guess that'd give me a legit reason to move out, at least.

This shit has had me so anxious all weekend. Hopefully everything gets all figured out by the end of this week. As if I didn't have enough to deal with, now I feel like even my therapists are demanding more from me.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

GOOD NIGHT FROM DREAMWORLD

For some reason I spent a lot of time this hospitalization thinking about my dreams, my aspirations... etc.

What I want is a fantasy, but I believe fantasies can be realized. This will either be my salvation or my bane.

Meanwhile, a song that captures my heart for the time being:

Monday, October 18, 2010

GOOD NIGHT FROM WAKE-UP CALL

Yes, I am recovering from Borderline Personality Disorder. But I do indeed still have it. A rude awakening.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

GOOD EVENING FROM THE PSCYH WARD

"Dasein always interprets itself in terms of its existence -- in terms of a possibility of itself: to be itself or not itself."

Martin Heidegger, Being and Time
Going to the hosp. always presents to you, two sides of the same coin -- hope, defeat; compassion, anger; life, death.

What has always been difficult for me during hospitalizations is not the depressing atmosphere, the shitty food, or even the nurses who have to watch me pee so they can make sure I don't purge my meal. What's most difficult is existing between these and other similar dichotomies, then having to decide: "Which direction will I choose to go?"

Sunday, October 10, 2010

GOOD MORNING FROM BLAST FROM THE PLAST

I listened to this song all the time when it first came out a decade ago. It was the only thing in the whole world which expressed my distaste at the lying response, "Everything is wonderful now."

So, for all those who grew up thinking there was something "wrong" with them, knew they were growing up too fast, or lived at a home filled with chaos: this song.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

GOOD MORNING FROM THIRD TIMES A CHARM

Too bad this is the second time. And I'm anxious and upset as hell.

Tomorrow is the first day of the semester of my second year at CalArts and all I can think about is wanting to crawl into a hole and cry. Either that, or I wish someone would give me a magic pill that would fix everything. I know I shouldn't think of pills that way. But hey, if it could happen, I'm all about it. Unfortunately, I doubt this is likely, which is why I am writing in my blog and not swallowing pills. Or at least not any magic ones.

I suspect that I'm anxious because I haven't been able to perform academically, or perform anything in any capacity whatsoever these past couple of weeks. My fear is I'll have a horrible school year, never finish my thesis, miss PhD app deadlines, fail the GRE horribly, get even more distraught about my living situation and then I imagine all of this = a hospital stay smack dab in the middle of when everything is due.

Well, I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

GOOD MORNING FROM TIRED

You know those days when being alive feels like a burden?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Thought this was a relevant article (click title for link to actual article):

College Campuses See Rise in Cases of Severe Mental Illness

More students arriving with preexisting conditions, more willing to seek help, researchers say

THURSDAY, Aug. 12 (HealthDay News) -- More cases of severe mental illness are being reported among college students than a decade ago, as more young people with mental health issues tackle a post-secondary education and are open to getting help when they need it, a new U.S. study shows.

The use of prescription medications by students to treat psychiatric illness has also risen significantly over the past decade, the research team noted.

"If we look at the average college student and their level of psychological and emotional functioning and distress, on the whole they are not necessarily worse off than they were 10 years ago," explained study author John C. Guthman, director of student counseling at Hofstra University's division of student affairs. "However, there are some students who are outliers and they have some difficulty in some areas. And these relatively few students that present in significant distress seem to have increased to a greater percentage than they were a decade ago."

Guthman and his colleagues are to report their findings Thursday at the American Psychological Association annual meeting, in San Diego.

The authors noted that their observations appear to be in line with what mental health professionals have observed and reported anecdotally in recent years.

To get a handle on the current state of affairs, Guthman and his team analyzed diagnostic records concerning nearly 3,300 undergraduate and graduate students who had sought college counseling at some point in the 10 years between 1997 and 2009.

After examining intake information concerning mental disorders, suicidal tendencies and behavioral reports, the team determined that over the years most students had been diagnosed with mood and anxiety disorders and that, on average, the nature of these cases had remained relatively mild over time.

That said, Guthman and his associates did note a slight rise in the number of in-counseling students who were diagnosed with a single mental disorder, bumping up from 93 percent in 1998 to 96 percent in 2009.

In addition, among those students who sought counseling, the percentage who suffered from moderate to severe depression had risen over the years, from 34 percent to 41 percent, they found.

What's more, while just 11 percent of students in counseling had been prescribed psychiatric medications in 1998 (for depression, anxiety and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder), that figure had risen to 24 percent by 2009.

One silver lining: Among students in counseling, the percentage who reported having had suicidal thoughts during the first two weeks of treatment had declined over the decade, from 26 percent in 1998 to just 11 percent by 2009, a drop the researcher attributed to improvements in suicide prevention treatment and outreach.

Although the study team did not pinpoint exactly what accounts for the apparent changes, Guthman offered up some theories.

"First of all, maybe expectations are such that in general more people are attempting to get a college degree, as it's become more essential to employment," he said. "It could also be that colleges are seen as more supportive environments, and there is more outreach to help students than a decade ago," he added.

"It could also be that medications have improved, and students that may not have been able to go to campus a decade back are now able to function well enough to go and succeed," Guthman added. "Or it could be a function of the national health-care crisis -- that folks just aren't able to access support in other areas of their life, and so they seek help when they get on a college campus."

Lawrence Marks, a staff psychologist at the University of Central Florida's Counseling Center, said that all of these factors are probably contributing to the current state of affairs.

"I'm glad to hear this empirical data is being put out there, because I know that when you informally ask clinicians in university counseling centers it seems that everyone is seeing an increase in the severity and an increased demand for services," he noted. "Of course, universities have grown in student body over the years, so it's hard to measure increased service use as there is typically a much larger student population to deal with, as is certainly the case on our campus."

But, Marks added, "I do think that counseling centers are doing a better job letting students know they are there. And, to some degree, some of the stigma surrounding these services has dissipated over the years. So we're certainly seeing a greater accessing of services today than we did before."

More information

For more on college campuses and mental health, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

SOURCES: John C. Guthman, Ph.D., faculty, department of psychology, and director, student counseling, division of student affairs, Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y.; Lawrence Marks, Ph.D., staff psychologist, Counseling Center, University of Central Florida; Aug. 12, 2010, presentation, American Psychological Association annual meeting, San Diego

Copyright © 2010 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

GOOD MORNING FROM USELESS & HOMELESS

I have been amazingly unproductive this whole weekend.

Even the idea of looking at a book makes me anxious. I'm not sure why I get this way. I mean, I know that for me, one of the first things to go when my depression gets worse is decreased cognitive functioning (maybe decreased is an understatement...). But there's also the strange anxiety. There is no judgment, and there is little room for failure. Still, I freeze up at the thought of running my eyes across the pages of a book. I guess it's a vicious cycle in which I get anxious about my academic performance because I know I can't perform normally, and I can't perform even more so because of the anxiety.

I have an inkling that my environment is really starting to work against me. I moved here after my health began to falter and my work performance went wayyyy down. It provided me the immediate relief of not having to work and not having to deal with this wierd triangle of a commute where nothing was less than 40 minutes away. But I knew that after the immediate relief, the reality of the situation would start to reemerge. Home, where I experienced some of my trauma, would eventually become that -- where I experienced some of my trauma. Ignoring the voice in my head (the normal kind, heh), I actually thought I might be able to have some semblance of a home for once. And for about the 20th time in my life, I moved. The first month, heck, even three or four, were actually not half bad. But now I am slowly noticing myself becoming increasingly more irritable and isolated, my anxiety going up, and my eating habits shifting. My health is on the decline.

The reality of the situation is that I have hit that wall I knew I would when I moved here six months ago. I guess it's time to find an alternative solution. How could I let myself forget? People like me have no home.

GOOD MORNING FROM IT TAKES TWO TO TANGO

Earlier tonight I dealt with some emotions and thoughts I haven't had to face in some bit of time. I started missing my boyfriend (I saw him yesterday, for heaven's sake!), and I got very anxious about this. I felt like a failure for letting the needy, borderline part of me resurface. I tried to suppress it, took my meds remembering that I had forgotten to take my 2nd and 3rd doses of Seroquel (oops), hoped that would help, and tried to distract myself with my online world. It may seem petty, but the situation brought back many unwanted memories of my last relationship and how I was always blamed for being "too much to handle" and "too demanding" or "too _____."

Which leads me to the main point of this entry. I recalled an excerpt from a book I read recently, after having my mini borderline moment.

The following is an excerpt from Marya Hornbacher's Wasted. I related to it and wanted to share it with those who might be going through a similar situation or has gone through it in the past. I can't and shouldn't say what to do with it. But it helps to know you're not the only one going through this. But most of all, something I kept forgetting while I was living it -- it takes two to tango.

"But no matter how many times we make up, there's the fact of me and my mood swings and my drinking. Even if Jeremy were perfect, even if we weren't trying to destroy each other's lives, my mood swings would still be there. And I'd be drinking myself to death.

The fact of the matter is that Jeremy likes my drinking. And he likes the fact that I'm crazier than hell. This pattern is now an old one with the guys I get involved with, most recently, before Jeremy, with Julian. For one thing, when it's good, life with me is a constant party. We drink all the time. He fills my glass as fast as I can empty it. I'm excited, exciting, full of ideas and energy, great to be around. And then I go too far -- I drink too much, he holds me up, laughing, as I stagger, go into deep funks, and he comforts me and makes it all go away. My drinking and my crazies are my weakness. He exploits this to the hilt. It gives him something on me. When he comes home from work to find me lying in bed, Oh, honey, are you all right? And he strokes my hair. Why don't you have some Klonopin. Here. Even better, when he's not playing the savior, he's playing the saint: whenever we fight, it's my fault. I was drunk, or I was crazy, or I was both. He's untouchable. He screams at me until I'm a crumpled mass on the floor. I give in. He's right. I'm a fuckup. I'm sorry, I say. I'll get better, I say. And suddenly he's all care and kindness, bent over me, picking me up, rocking me in his arms. There, there, I cling to him, pathetic, humiliated, grateful that he's still there. I don't deserve him. He's too good.

I put my head down on the table and cry. Because it's happened again. I'm found out. I'm damaged. Fucked up. Broken. A fraud. I knew he would figure out sooner or later that I was impossible to love. And now he has, and I love him, and I'm certain he has tried, really tried, to love me back. But trying to love me is too much for any sane person to bear. I watch their backs, one by one, as they walk away."

On the lighter side, this is codependency at its dirtiest. On the darker side, emotional abuse in all its shining glory.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

GOOD MORNING FROM BAGGAGE

"You arrived. I changed the lights, because I knew you hated the overhead brightness. I apologized for the music -- embarrassed by its cheesiness. You said you didn't mind, but I paused it anyway. It began as usual. We knew where it was going. You sat down, and we hugged. We were next to each other, and I thought about how much I wanted to give in.

I thought about you. I thought about him. I thought about me. In that order. Without him, I would have thought about you. Then me. And I knew that me didn't know how to say 'no' without him. I felt the smoothness of your skin, and cried inside that it wasn't him. Then I was mad he didn't let himself be you. I was mad that there was no me with him. And now, just you. And you already knew there was only you. So you picked me up, telling me I was so tiny. And I felt huge, my weight doubling with burden. I laughed, enjoying the concreteness of your affection, then said 'no' because the concreteness was too real. Too real for him, not enough for me. But there was no me in that moment. Just you and him. No me.

You threw me on the bed and I kept laughing. You kept smiling. The laughing was you. The smiling masking laughing. Your body held me down. I felt a sickness rising when your body told me the truth. It was a scary truth, a sad truth, the fucked up truth -- there was no me. Everytime I pushed you away, your body responded with the same truth.

I thought of your truth. I thought of his truth. I thought of my truth. There was just your truth in that moment. My truth faded away, struggling to speak despite the presence of your truth and the distant thoughts of his truth. My truth left me. And without my truth, it was a battle already lost."

I've been having a rough night, feeling vulnerable, PTSD residue, etc., from last year. So to help me out, I looked back to a piece of writing while I did in the hospital that has helped me out in many ways (above). It's a bit cheesy, but it was cathartic to write and remains so to read. It also really helped me think about how my eating disorder happened and functions, the dynamics of the relationships in my life, so on and so forth.

Anyways, I'm planning on writing a real entry soon. Sorry for being MIA this past month.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

GOOD AFTERNOON FROM LOVELESS

Sorry to be so useless, but my update will have to take the form of a music video for now.

Monday, August 2, 2010

GOOD MORNING FROM EXPERIENCE #1 (Warning of possible trigger?)

Imagine you are blindfolded. Your hands are also tied behind your back. You are not alone -- you sense there is someone behind you.

The person frees your hands and you are pushed into a room. When the door shuts behind you, you become aware that the person is no longer next to you. You are able to take off your blindfold, unsure of what you will see once you take it off. You loosen the knot behind your head and let the blindfold fall to the floor.

There is nothing. There is only darkness. Stay there for 24 years.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

GOOD MORNING FROM CHANGES

The theme of the day is changes.

1. Meds:

I am having a love-hate relationship with Luvox.

Love: B/P is down a little, and cravings are much more manageable. I am at my lowest weight since last summer.

Hate: Brain dead. You know those oh-so-famous Effexor brain zaps? Well, I have been getting them on Luvox, only it's every time I try to read a book aka try to make progress on my thesis. FTW!!!

I really hate how so many med decisions seem to force me to pick between two important things. I will have to call my psychiatrist tomorrow for advice.

2. Therapy

I guess the state can't fund my sessions forever. My therapist hinted that it's likely they will force him to give me up soon since I am not making any measurable progress. He suggested I look into the Rosa Parks Sexual Assault Crisis Center to manage my PTSD.

I don't know how to or who will deal with all the other stuff.

3. Totally unrelated (or perhaps related in a weird oblique way)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

GOOD NIGHT FROM 16



A friend of mine on Facebook posted this video a couple of days ago. Brandi Carlile sings about her emotions surrounding the suicide of her best friend at the age of 16. The song got me thinking about all the hard years of my life, but in particular, the ages of 16, 19, and 23. These have been the most difficult so far. I thought back to being 15/16 and it wasn't so much a pity party as it was feeling empathy for the young girl inside me that is still attempting to recover from a life of pain. And I felt overwhelmed with sadness for her.

The 5, 12, 15, 19 year old me still resides in the depths of my 24 year old heart, and once in a while something small like this song reminds me of this interesting yet difficult parallel that runs between this ungrown part of me and the part of me that feels that I am much, much, older than my years. Midway through the song, I began crying, remembering being 15, wanting to run away from it all so bad, planning to go up to the Bay, planning on working the streets to make money.

It hurt me to think that a girl of 15 thought the only way out was to become a prostitute. This became an even more realistic possibility when I thought I was pregnant at the age of 16, and it was obvious the relationship that my then-boyfriend and I at the time could not provide a supportive environment for a child. I planned secretly on running away once she was born and providing for my baby by living and working the streets.

I am so lucky to be where I am right now. My temp. therapist here told me (and I agree) he was surprised that with the past I have, that I've managed to come this far and did not fall through the cracks, become a juvenile delinquent, etc. Life is still hard, but I am choosing to stick it through. And yes, I am still lacking a Ph.D. after three years of grad school. Yes, I am still struggling immensely with my mental health, which is honestly like a full-time job. Yes, I have no work and am broke as hell, and am thus living with my parents. No, I don't know of anybody in academia who has had these thoughts as a teenager to relate to (Uhm, and if you're out there, will you let me know? It would be nice to find my kind out there.).

But you know what? I never successfully killed myself. I wasn't left for dead in the gutter at the age of 16, 350 miles away from my parents and friends, baby in tow, in an attempt to survive. I have graduated from high school, have managed to be the first generation in my family to finish college, to go to grad school. I am in a safe relationship. I have a roof over my head. And well, I guess that's more than where I thought I'd be when I was 16.

P.S. Two words since then: birth control.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

GOOD NIGHT FROM RANDOM

Hi all,

Sorry I haven't posted anything substantial in a while. I haven't been feeling too well, and have had work to keep up with on top of that. Apologies beforehand for the non-cohesive rambling ahead.

A lot of the weekend after my boyfriend left (last Thursday), I spent contemplating if I needed to be in the hospital or not and trying to stay out. My sleep has been pretty horrible and so has the eating, but mood-wise I've been mostly okay. For a couple of days I was sleeping around 8 or 9 A.M., and after drawing blood yesterday I was done. Since I've been dehydrated due to the eating, that was enough to exhaust me. I crashed out for a record 20 hours! I think I was too tired for the past two days to think about my mood. Today's been the worst day since last Tuesday or so.

I've been trying to do work for the past couple of hours, but with the mood and anxiety today, looks like it's a no-go. Also quite tired. I will try again in an hour or two, but as for the questions that need to be posted for every seminar by 10:30 P.M.... there goes 10:30. I was stressing about it for a second, but I just decided it's not worth the chaos of emotions coupled with impulsive self-destructive behaviors for two goddamn questions that need to be posted. My professor has also been notified about my on-the-brink-of-hospitalization-health, so I'm hoping she doesn't hold it against me too much.

Oh! I've also finally got around to seeing someone here starting last week. I've been seeing the pscyh and therapist 2x/wk since, which has been helpful. I'm debating if I need the hospital for just a day or something, but I'm worried if I go in tomorrow, I won't be discharged by Friday, which of course means discharge on Monday, and I really don't wanna miss class again (since I overslept again on Monday, yesterday). I will see how I feel after class tomorrow.

Anyways, nothing amazing to say. Just thought I would drop a line about how things are going.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

GOOD MORNING FROM DEAD END

Sometimes it's just as easy as being able to read. But if it's so easy, why isn't it easy???

I am so frustrated that my conditions cause decreased cognitive functioning when under stress or when depressed. Seriously? It's just the motivation an emotionally challenged grad student needs. Oh, you'd like to kick me while I'm down? Please, really, my pleasure.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

GOOD MORNING FROM GARY GO

I first heard this song on Sober House (which I LOVE), season 2 and the words really reminded me of recovery (and trying to maintain sobriety). So without further ado, this is dedicated to those of us who have and do struggle with substance abuse or addiction:




I'm lucky to say that I've been clean for 1 year and 7 months, since my last relapse. I wish for others the same luck, strength, and most importantly, sobriety.

Monday, June 28, 2010

GOOD NIGHT FROM KANT, SOCRATES, WITTGENSTEIN, MARX, BARTHES, SARTRE, NIETZSCHE, AND FOUCAULT

GOOD NIGHT FROM GOOD MORNING

Sleep has really been working against me here. To say that I'm not a morning person is a gross understatement. I typically fall asleep sometime between 430 AM - 600 AM and wake around 100 PM. With seminars starting at 930 AM, waking up is quite difficult, and especially so on those days when I need to over medicate to bring myself down or if I've been having bad anxiety.

Last night I realized I had been caught in a hypomanic cycle for the past couple of days, and so I decided I would need to take my meds earlier if I was going to take the extra dose of Seroquel to bring me down. Then a thunder storm started, so I had to take a PRN. Well, as you can imagine I woke up very sedated. At 430 PM. Which means: I missed class, I missed a lecture, and I missed both of today's games. I've been keeping it hush hush, but I've been late to seminar by 1/2 hour once already, missed today's, and missed two public lectures due to sleep. I really don't know how to solve this dilemma at the moment. Thankfully, back home, classes start at 600 PM, so it's not a permanent problem.

I still haven't secured an appointment with a therapist here. My boyfriend is visiting me this Thursday (whee!), so I need to have one for the 8th, the day he leaves. As someone with BPD, something like that is really enough to make me very unsafe and potentially headed for the hospital. Hopefully it doesn't fall through and I can get something for that day.

As for my studies, it's been intersting but political theory is somewhat new to me, so it gets a bit tiring. I've decided to spoil myself today and work on my thesis instead! I know it doesn't sound like the time of your life, but for me it's a refreshing oasis in the land of governmental analyses. A foundational part of my thesis is an interpretation of Roland Barthes's Camera Lucida, one of my favorite texts of all time, and possibly his most well-known work:


Anyways, one of his essays was published in Aspen, an art mag founded in the late 60s. They were functional for only a couple of years but had some really amazing issues. www.ubu.com has them digitally archived on their website and I've been having fun looking around. The one that contains Barthes's essay is linked to the image below, but do peruse the archive. It's a fun mag! And if you ever have a chance to get your hands on them, they are fun to play around with as well.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

GOOD MORNING FROM JUNE 17, 2009

A note while I was in residential at McClean, the day before I went back into inpatient (go figure):

Taking one's own life is the most selfish act.

That is why it's so amazing.
This is for ME.
This choice is MINE.
I FINALLY FEEL FREE.

----------------------------------------------

Obviously, I'm still here. And I guess that's just as much of a choice too. I guess.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

GOOD NIGHT FROM WHATEVER

WARNING: Some complaining and possible triggers ahead.

You know, I really thought today would be one of those rare days when I would have a completely positive post. Last night, I thought of all the wonderful things I'd be able to post today. I should've realized this wasn't going to be the case once Korea lost to Uruguay.

Well lo and behold, that was only the beginning, not the end. I slammed my laptop closed and retried calling health services to get an appointment for counseling services (which I desperately need soon), but apparently they don't take calls on weekends, despite what the woman told me yesterday. That was a no-go. So I went out for a walk to relax and instead ended up going to a Chinese restaurant for lunch, fully aware that I have about $20 to my name, but deciding to splurge on a meal anyway. The meal was... how do you say -- horrible. Unsatisfied, I started to head back home, but decided to stop at a Japanese restaurant instead. I ate another full meal, and left feeling like I was going to explode. After the major B/P sesh, I thought I'd get distracted and call my mom.

Instead of distraction she reminded me of my unfortunate impulsivity by lecturing me on how in debt I am upon opening my credit card statement. It just made me dwell on how horrible my addiction to food and my impulse to buybuybuy is, if I'm not drinking/using, or _______, or doing whatever other fucking negative coping behavior I'm engaging in. After deciding to boycott my mom by shutting off my phone, I SI-ed before I headed out the door to catch the U.S. and Ghana game at a shop across the way. FOR SURE, the U.S. will win, I thought. And they did put up a good fight. But in the end, they lost, and I left the shop quickly, feeling even worse.

But thankfully, there was one thing I knew would save the day -- a screening of Metropolis with The Alloy Orchestra playing an original score! And it was aurally orgasmic! They were great! Unfortunately the youtube video below is of much lesser quality than in real life, but you get a taste for their musical style, which i thought was beautifully appropriate. You can almost guess what scenes they're playing though you can't see the screen.





After the movie, I came home and talked to a friend and the boyfriend, read some sweet FB comments people left me, and even decided to talk to my mom again (Though I had to lie to her about the SI when she asked.), all of which sorta brought me back up. Or at least baseline. I guess that's better than bad? So here I am, back to square one. Oh well, whatever.

GOOD MORNING FROM HEART ATTACK CENTRAL

Just had one of those "Oh, SHIT!" moments, thinking there was someone in the bathroom waiting for me outside the stall because I saw a blur in the crack between the door and the post. Then, of course, I had to walk-run back to my room freaking out, with that horrible feeling that someone is behind me, following me. I think the whole (semi)public bathroom thing just freaks me out. It always makes me think of dead people for some odd reason.

Deep sigh.

Seroquel, why aren't you doing your job???

Okay, maybe it's unfair to blame it entirely on the meds. Especially when... ihaventtakenallofthemtodayyyyoopssssss. It is probably sleepiness kicking in. I just spent an hour writing a Facebook note about soccer instead of doing some reading. (Also posted below.) Since I'm done with it, I think I'll be heading to bed now. After all, I have a game to catch in five hours!

GOOD MORNING FROM WORLD CUP SEASON

"The more successful he is the more money he makes, the more of a prisoner he becomes. Forced to live by military discipline, he suffers the punishing daily round of training and the bombardments of painkillers and cortisone to forget his aches and fool his body. And on the eve of big games, they lock him up in a concentration camp where he does forced labor eats tasteless food, gets drunk on water and sleeps alone. [...] And one rotten day the player discovers he has bet his life on a single card and his money is gone and so is his fame. Fame, that fleeting lady, didn't even leave him a Dear John letter." - Eduardo Galeano

"The Beautiful Game"

They say soccer is the beautiful game. And on most days, I'll wholeheartedly agree with the simple statement. But the game is beautiful to me not only because watching Ronaldinho play the sport gives me butterflies in the stomach, or even because I actually spill tears over matches. No, the game is beautiful for more reasons than that. It is beautiful because it brings to the fore, briefly, the dynamics of 32 countries. And moreover, because what is brought to the fore is not always pretty. It is not always the lovely footwork of Maradona pirouetting with the ball nestled in the crook of his angled foot. It is not always the joy of sharing beers with your closest friends at 4:30 A.M., yelling and banging fists on the table together. The game of soccer is beautiful because it also reveals publicly, the racism, the power of money, government, the desperateness of poorer countries as the games are televised around the world, at all times of day.

It is this aspect that I would like to direct your attention to -- to a game played between Portugal and North Korea on June 21, 2010. North Korea's second to last match in the qualifying matches against Portugal was painful one to see, fan or not. Resulting in zero goals pitted against Portugal's seven, it is not hard to imagine the failing spirit of the players as the game continued into the final minutes. Having to make it to class, I caught the tail end of the game at a coffee shop while walking to school.

At 6-0, I overheard a young male making a sarcastic comment about the likelihood of Korea progressing from the group. In passing, this is no big deal. There are worse crimes than making a snide remark about a team that ranks 105 in the world, and was not expected to even make it into qualifying. Portugal, who ranks third, is bound to gather some more loyal fans. So yes, this remark in a general context does minimal harm. Yet, upon hearing the remark, I could not help feel any less than pain. I felt pained because North Korea being disqualified cannot be comparable to a country like the U.S. being disqualified. No, for a team who has to reuse kits by peeling off names of old players and sticking their own on, and for a team who cannot trade shirts at the end of the game because it is their only one, this is not simply disqualifying.

There are more anecdotes such as those above, but like much of what happens in North Korea, no one can be sure of what is happening. But rumors continue to abound. The players supposedly return to work in coal mines, an imposed penance, despite the fact that the game was possibly lost due to the directives of Kim Jong Il. But there are more harrowing consequences. There is the sadness that comes from the reassertion that you are still the underdog of the world. There is the regret of not having been able to take full advantage of such a grand opportunity as the World Cup. There is the deep sorrow that comes from realizing your definite separation from a world that just seems to have it so much easier than you. There is that pang of loneliness that thus perhaps becomes manifested for the first time.

So they say soccer is the beautiful game. And I agree. But it is beautiful insofar as the losses can be as monumental as the wins.

Friday, June 25, 2010

GOOD NIGHT FROM SWIMMING HOLE

I love water. It calms me. Nothing in the world compares to the feeling of peace water can provide me.

An afternoon dip after class this past Monday:

Monday, June 21, 2010

GOOD NIGHT FROM I HATE MYSELF

How many PRNs do I need to take to make this stop?

6/23/2010 - 2:26 A.M.
Answer: 3. Jesus, I woke up so sedated. Have not been sedated like that since the magical land of McLean.

GOOD EVENING FROM PANIC ATTACK

I wish the smallest things didn't set off anxiety attacks.

I wish I had this under more control.

Until then, I wish I had a better PRN.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

GOOD MORNING FROM CONFUSED

I know this is wierd, but like, I really can't decide what my blog should look like.

Like, should I be like everybody else who is cool and minimal and have an all white or all black background? Or should it like have design-y stuff like I'm in HS, and this is my diary? Or should I try to find a happy medium, which is where I think the current one is at right now?

Anyways, thanks for bearing with me while I put your vision through a circus of layouts.

ADDENDUM: I gave into the whiteeeeeeee.... OMG OK, now I have 424780912740 pages to read before class in the morning.

P.S. I think I'm gonna give up on the whole theme thing. Seriously, who cares?

GOOD MORNING FROM 8..... 2..... 12 AM?

My internal clock is thrown off. No, it is more like shaken, broken, and thrown on the floor and stomped upon for good measure. Unless I am in class, I never have any idea what time it is anymore! It's very odd. I'm usually aware of my night-owl tendency. And as funky as my circadian rhythm gets, I can still keep track of the ungodly hour at which I am awake. 516 AM? Hmm.... I should sleep soon.

Now, I wonder -- 2 PM? and look outside to find no sun in my window. I am confused, and stare at the bottom right corner of my computer screen which reads 1259 AM. Wtf? Is it the odd nap times? The hypomania? My usual issues of fear surrounding sleep subconsciously subverting of my desire/need of sleep? I am not sure. But I think today will be another day of no night time sleep.

Other things:

1. My reading is slowing down. This is a sign of my depression or whatever it is kicking in. Hopefully I can manage to stay focused a little longer though. I really need myself to stay on track here, since I have my MA thesis due in September on top of all this SCT stuff. But I sense my studying is steadily worsening. I technically have all ADD symptoms, but am not diagnosed with it because one diagnostic criteria of ADD is that nothing else can account for it. And for me, well... I have _____, _____, ____, etc,etc,etc,theneverendinglaunfrylist of issues that account for them instead. In any case, studying has become a bit more tedious these past couple of days, and I am encountering some cognitive impairment here. I was at normal reading speed before I got here. I am at about 10-15 a night right now. Not too bad, but I will really need to step it up. But then again my worst is about paragraph a night, lol. So as long as I don't get there, I won't complain much about it.

2. I am amazingly broke. Whee!

3. Did you know that both BPD and bipolar disorder used to be on the same spectrum as schizophrenia? They are no longer anymore, and are very disparate disorders, but I recently learned this and find it very interesting. And while they should not be confused, and I'm not schizophrenic, or schizoaffective, or schizotypal, etc., I can see how this makes sense! I can now see why, I find the paranoiac filmic worlds of David Lynch relatable in a very literal way. He captures so well the tension, the bizarre sense of reality, the fear.

What it feels like to live inside my skin past sundown?:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

GOOD NIGHT FROM THIS IS ONLY DAY 4

It is only day four since I've flown out here from LA, and I am already falling apart.

Today was okay. Yesterday was not.

I had a a little downer -- not fun. I am notoriously bad at being away from home. I don't know what it is.... I think it kicks my BPD into high gear, which equals increased stress, anxiety, etcccccccccccccccccetcetc. And I know it's only been four days (three days last night), but everything has already started to crumble. I started to collapse internally, brain went into shut-down mode, body went into fetal position. Well, after a little boo-hoo-ing and self-destructive behavior, I took two PRNs. They kicked in. Then about an hour later, I started getting hypomanic. It was fun for a while, but I started to come down again. Bad. Back into fetal position. Yay for rapid cycling.

I decided I needed some help while I'm here and that I would call counseling services today. Turns out, I can't go to the school since I'm not technically a student here. This is not good, since I was hoping for a med change. Klonopin "works," but just not fast enough you know? I feel all calm and sleepy after about 20 minutes. But what's the point in that when by the time those 20 minutes are over, your body looks live you've got a case of stigmata and you've spewed like the girl in The Exorcist? Nothing. So, I need a faster-acting Benzo. I'm still in the process of working with the school so that I can get the support I need while I'm here. Hopefully it doesn't fall through.

As for the not-so-bad-today, I just got back from a garden party for our program. I was debating missing it -- I'm not much of a schmoozer. But it actually wasn't too bad, and I even managed to make some people laugh with some stories.



JK. That's a scene from Wedding Crashers. But it really was a lot like that though. Very shi-shi East Coast.

Now, I'm at home and a little nervous I'll have a repeat of last night. Box of chocolate chip cookies and chocolate bar are ready at hand. (Please let me know if any of you reading find this too triggering, I will be more cautious.) Oh, and bottle of PRNs. We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

GOOD MORNING FROM PUBLIC LECTURE, PRIVATE OBSTACLE

Today was our first public lecture (which means everyone at SCT plus open to public). Given by Saidiya Hartman, she began her talk by discussing the photography of Thomas Eakins, and more specifically, a photograph of a reclining nude Black girl taken by Eakins. She appears about 8 years old. It isn't necessarily pediophilic, but there is certainly a discourse of power present. Hartman decided to embody the subjectivity of the little girl to engage in this discourse of power (and later, she includes violence) and narrate the experience of the girl.

Much of the narrative was of the positions Eakins wanted to put her in, the way his look and touch felt, etc. Some of it was merely descriptive, but all of it was uncomfortable. Anyways, this is just all bad news for me, so I started feeling not so great. I started to numb out (I am a master numbing-outter.) but then she kept on going and going and goingggggggggggggggggggg. So I sat there torn between the desire to rake my pen across my arm, imagining the expressions of those around me once they saw blood, and the desire to walk out of the lecture defiantly, clearly showing offense that my sensibilities had been offended.

Well, in the end I did neither. I sat through it. I sat through it until the paper shifted to a discussion of W.E.B. DuBois. Then I thought of some pretty good ideas during the rest of the lecture. Then I left school. Then I ordered a pizza and buffalo wings on the way home. Then I ate while watching "Inland Empire" (Great movie, btw.) And then, I finally let my ED flush away all the bad feelings down the drain.


On a lighter note, I noticed these colorful little pinwheels attached to the top of the fence that guards the gorge on my way home. There's also really pretty colored elastics that weave in and out of the fence. I think they're supposed to deter you from killing yourself or something.

GOOD MORNING FROM BAD TIMING

Bad time for a nap. Yes, there is such a thing, and I never learn my lesson.

I have night time issues, which means I should never fall asleep in the daytime to wake up to night time. Borderline, PTSD, blah blah blah, related stuff. Anyway, I fell asleep at 730 PM, already knowing I shouldn't be. Well, I woke up at 845 PM. Surprisingly, it was still a little light outside. But not light enough. So I forced myself back to sleep. Anyways, I didn't wake up until it was light again outside -- 430 AM ish. Either that, or I felt really guilty about the piles of reading I have to do for today.

So here I am, awake at an ungodly hour, with a couple hundred pages of reading to go.

Schedule for today:

1000 AM: Catch some of the game at a local bar where they are playing EVERY SINGLE World Cup game (eeeee!) before heading to the library orientation. Or stay at the bar, if Portugal is on a losing streak.
1230 PM: Head back to Downtown. Who knew I'd need a thick sweater in summertime New England-like weather?
230 PM: Catch the Brazil and Korea game
400 PM: Public Lecture
600 PM: Back to hitting the books

Monday, June 14, 2010

GOOD AFTERNOON FROM DAY 1

I finally got to Ithaca last night at 928 PM.

Actually, I got to D.C. on a connecting flight, then got to Philly for my second connection. Then, my flight to Ithaca got delayed. Then, due to bad weather, it got canceled. Then all Ithaca flights got canceled, and so we were rerouted to surrounding airports. Then all those but the one to Syracuse got canceled. Thankfully, I had chosen to go to the Syracuse route. But then the Syracuse flight got delayed two hours. After bumming a ride with someone to Ithaca, THEN I finally got to Cornell. Also thankfully, I took two Klonopin for good measure before this fiasco.

However, I was appeased by a couple of things in the various airports:

1. I stopped by the kitchiest store I have ever seen, while at D.C. Everything was AMERICA! this, AMERICA! that. Life-size cut-outs of the Obamas and Sarah Palin stood out in front, and I asked the employee if she could take a picture of me standing next to them while country music about terrorist attacks, 9-11, and protecting the country played in the background.

2. Au Bon Pains! I could actually care less about ABPs, but they carry Harney & Sons' bottled tea and juices and Cape Cod potato chips, two of my favorite things about the East Coast. So I OD'd on some Harney & Sons while waiting.

http://www.harney.com/images/70024.jpghttp://www.scordo.com/blog/blog/pics/capecode.jpg

I realized I was much happier arriving at night than the day. With my SAD (social anxiety), even the thought of simple things like rolling luggage around campus and seeing people in the hallways in the dorms makes me quite nervous. Fortunately, there was not a single soul around and I got to do everything in solitude.

For those of you who don't know, I am at Cornell's SCT program for the next six weeks, here in Ithaca, NY. The course I'm taking is The Poltics of Religious Difference with Saba Mahmood, and it looks like a promising summer. Productive, at least.

What I have seen of Ithaca so far is gorges! (Haha, get it?) There's one gorge across from my dorm window and I hear it all day, which I love. However, the actual gorge is very difficult to see now. They've put up chain link fences all around the gorges due to a spree of suicides last spring. Personally, I think this is ridiculous. If you're going to kill yourself, you're going to kill yourself. Not to mention the fencing is low and some areas are not fully protected. Me and another girl were pointing out all the different spots you could still jump from on our way to lunch today. Anyways, what you once could see was this:

http://www.christennantphotography.com/LongExposure/Waterfalls/WaterfallF/812924531_HXjnU-S.jpg

Now, this -- where you cannot see past the first line of trees:

http://blogs.kitschmag.com/watch/files/2008/08/pg-1-fence-by-stthumbnail.jpg.

Well, I eventually made it to my dorm room last night, and what can I say? Dorm rooms are dorm rooms -- something like a hospital or German jail cell (have you noticed how nice those are?) While my OCD is very mild -- especially the actions (they are mostly the thoughts for me), dorm rooms kick in some special OCD gear inside me. So I spent the next two hours, untill 1130 PM arranging and rearranging. I've finally found an acceptable arrangement, and I even managed to throw some color into the drab room. THEN! I thought it would be a good idea to start a new blog at 1 AM, so between this and trying to finish reading Locke's A Letter Concerning Toleration, I made it to bed by 440 AM. The room is a little depressing at night, but I've been managing okay. Eating is not even an issue right now since I've been so busy.

Things haven't been too bad. This school is by far the most well-labeled school I've been to, which does wonders for those of us with anxiety disorders, lol. The first class today went well today, and for not having focused on religion for a while, I found the return to the topic quite provocative. The students didn't make me too nervous, and the professor seems invested and approachable. I even managed to speak up once in class! However unintelligible or irrelevant the remark might've been, that's a good step for me.

My future posts won't likely be as long, since I won't have to do all this introductory business. Till next time, then....

GOOD MORNING FROM HELLO

This blog is much like my other one, in that it will remain mainly concerned with my journey through mental health. However, I hope to write in this one more frequently and more broadly, as well as focus on struggling with mental health within academia. So rarely do people associate or mention mental health alongside academia. Going to school at an Ivy League or getting your PhD in Physics? Maybe double whammy -- getting your PhD at an Ivy League? How could you possibly have any problems when you go to Yale on full scholarship? Don't you have to be at least normal to make it that far? Don't you have everything you could ever want now? Aren't you happy?

Sometimes. Sometimes, no.

  • schoenbaum7.jpg


Oh, disclaimer: I'm not going to Yale for Physics.