April 30, 2015: watch colonoscopy videos

My mom called me last night to tell me that she had a colonoscopy and “pre cancer” was found. It was a polyp which had it not been found and removed in time but would have turned into cancer within the year. She was calling to remind me that I needed to have a colonoscopy sooner than the average person because colon cancer runs in both sides of my family. I’m super psyched about that, but let’s get real; that little tool certainly wouldn’t be the biggest thing I’ve had up my ass. Amirite?! 

I don’t know why but I started watching colonoscopy videos on YouTube. That polyp remover seems pretty efficient and easy to use. It’s like a video game for doctors. Somehow my viewing led me to one video about colon parasites which was set to classical music. The parasites are nasty as fuck but the music really classed the whole thing up a bit. Are they even still called videos? Is this an 80’s term that people don’t use anymore?

I passed a 70ish year old man today and we conversed. I wished him a good evening and typical old person style he said “stay out of trouble!” And I replied with “I’ll try.” with a sneaky little grin. Old people are cute. Except for the annoying ones. 

April 26th, tell off a neighbour

I can be assertive when I need to be but I am not particularly fond of confrontation. When I saved my neighbours dog from running into the street AGAIN I was pissed. It’s a Jack Russell and it is constantly escaping from their yard and running amok. I’m surprised it hasn’t been killed. After putting it on a leash I walked it back home and the owner was driving around looking for it. She stopped, laughed and said “I should put you on my payroll.” I said something like “shut the fuck up bitch and start talking care of your goddamned dog.” Thats paraphrased of course, that’s not exactly what I said, but she knew I wasn’t pleased. The good part is she lives far enough away that I won’t see her again until next time if have to return that fucking wiry little dog. 

In other news, I believe I have finally determined the amount of alcoholic beverages I can consume without waking up in the middle of the night in a full blown panic and that number is three. Any more than three drinks and I need some drugs to calm me the fuck down. It’s been a fun/terrifying question to solve. Science!! Science? Maybe not science, but still.

I’ve also recently discovered a concrete way to measure progress in my mental health and that is by comparing my work absences from year to year. By this time last year I had been sick 16 days, this year, one day and that one day was because I was in terrible withdrawal from my anti-depressants. Although I can acknowledge that many of my depressive episodes last year were due to my situation at the time, it reinforces for me that going off my anti-depressants was the right choice for me. I know that they are the answer for many people and that’s okay, but for me, they were a big factor in my depression, suicidal thoughts and attempt. 

I’m slowly learning to accept the fact that I was a little bit of fun Bobby. Now that I don’t drink much and am relatively sane, I’m pretty fucking boring. I’m embracing my inner boring person and am enjoying that flat monotonous ride. 

  

April 19th, 2015: Watch The Shinning.

do you ever accidentally “like” something on facebook then panic and unlike it? And then panic about whether or not you should like it again so you don’t look like a dick but then worry that that person might get two notifications and then think you’re over eager? Once I accidentally invited myself to a gay men’s event on facebook. Technology is stressful. 

I’ve spent 97% of my day feeling anxious. The very sound of one of my children speaking or the dog squeeking her toy sending me into a panic. I tried to find silence for awhile by walking the dog but then someone else was walking their dog and started talking to me. Just because we both have dogs doesn’t  mean we should talk.  Let’s just look at the ground, pretend we don’t see each other and keep walking like normal people. 

I’ve been meaning to watch the shinning for years. Even though suspenseful/horror movies scare me its just one of those classics that I felt I needed to watch. I finally found it on Netflix today and decided to watch it. That was a bad choice. An anxious person should not watch a two plus hour movie that plays scary music for the full movie. I won’t lie, I closed my eyes a couple of times. That helped a little. I don’t know why at the end he looks through the door and says “here’s Johnny!” His name was Jack. And then when the kid runs into the hedge maze to get away? Really? A massive hedge maze in the winter? Kids are stupid. The best bit though was seeing this scene. 

 

I always assumed that was from jack frost (which I have also never seen). I learned something today. Today has been a success! A mediocre success. Not all that successful actually.  

April 15, 2015: well, I’m a horrible person. I cancelled my volunteer gig at the last minute and am drinking champagne instead.

Does it make me slightly better if I said I didn’t have a particularly good day at work? Probably not.

A person who has been gone from my work life has returned today and their very presence put me in a bad mood. I don’t like being around negativity and manipulation and having them in my space started my day with resentment for my job. Then I spent my lunch hour in court learning that I will be subpoenaed as a witness for a trial on a day that happens to fall on my vacation time. Sonofabitch. My afternoon meeting that I thought was done at 3pm ended at 4pm. My ride home forgot about me and then when I finally did get home, my shipment of 12 bags of vegan marshmallows for $103.26 arrived containing 1 bag of marshmallows. That equates to about $3.50 per marshmallow. Sonofabitch. 

That left me feeling completely unenthoused about my volunteer shift tonight taking pictures of a volunteer dinner event. Maybe if it was taking pictures of something more important I would have been fine, but socializing with strangers isn’t appealing to me on a good day. And so I called in. I was hoping for a machine but I got a person. I said I had to work late and I couldn’t make it. Technically I was at work late since my ride forgot about me but the truth is I could have made it. I just didn’t want to. After my day the thought of a dinner event with strangers couldn’t be further from what I wanted to do. I did feel bad initially but I have accepted that it probably would have pushed me over the edge and I would have had to call in sick tomorrow. 

There were two good parts to my day though.

1. An attractive man driving an attractive car made eye contact with me at a stop light and smiled.

2. I had the chance to catch up with a coworker that I’m quite fond of (not aforementioned negative manipulator)

Oh, there’s a 3. CHAMPAGNE!!! 

March 10, 2015: spend Friday night hearing an environmental scientist speak 

That is perhaps not most people’s usual social activity of choice for a Friday, but it was mine. My city is currently in the process of having a company court it for a waste gasification plant located on the waterfront. There are many issues with this from an environntal, economic, tourist and social standpoint and I wanted to learn more about it. The group that put on the event was an environmental one and so the evening took on a one sided view from a passionate scientist. It was informative and was helpful given the audience. Of particular interest to me was his zero waste solution which was ripe with social enterprise ideas. 

It was lovely way to spend an evening with a friend feeling connected with our community and home by 9:30! 

I wish I could say that my anxiety attacks have stopped but they haven’t. I seem to be stuck in a sort of vortex of daily panic. I was doing so well for so long and it only took three days of triggers to put me on a repeat cycle. This mornings panic set in early. 5am early when I was woken up by the fucking birds that think everyone wants to hear their sweet spring song. Well you’re wrong birds, I want you to shut the fuck up so I can sleep later than 5am on a Saturday morning. Then of course being awake gave me opportunity to think about something occurring tomorrow (it’s a long and uninteresting story) that is causing me stress and then I could also feel shin splints from my 45 min steep decline walk to work yesterday. And bam, perfect storm. Curl up in a ball and breathe through it time. Next time I’m just going to run outside naked and yell at all the birds. 

March 9, 2015: admit defeat and enjoy the downward spiral 

it doesn’t matter what job you do, at some point you’re going to make someone angry. I don’t like making people angry. In fact I pride myself in my ability to deliver services and occasionally difficult news to people in a helpful way that avoids anger and it’s been years since I’ve had someone yell at me. Today I broke that years long streak and it didn’t feel good.

My rational mind tells me that this client has mental health issues and is a victim of a traumatic past and so I shouldn’t take it personally. My mind also tells me that due to this trauma their coping mechanisms are stunted and so they lack the ability to process and react to situations in an appropriate way. That’s nice brain, way to think positive, it’s not my fault. Enter overly sensitive heart. My heart says I’m a bad person who is unkind and not helpful. I make difficult situations worse and I have someone who doesn’t like me. 

Heart always seems to win with me and so after that incident began a downward spiral. Not a journey to the center of the earth spiral but a lay on the floor and mope spiral. I got home soaking wet and freezing cold, ate a big Lindt chocolate bunny, layed in the bath for over half an hour then flopped on the couch (not quite the floor, but still). I tried to get myself out of it, I googled “affirmations” and even “what to do when you don’t feel awesome”. Those weren’t particularly helpful and so I have just accepted the fact that today was shit and I can’t turn that feeling around. 

Perhaps my inability to move on is also due to this being my 7th consecutive day of my anxiety/panic attacks return. Welcome back fucker, I haven’t missed you!!!! Last Friday my anxiety returned because thrust at night I drank an entire bottle of champagne. Saturday my anxiety returned because I was out until 3am bartending and I missed out on sleep. Sunday I was anxious because I had family coming over. Monday-today I’ve had panic attacks every morning and had to motivate myself to even get out of bed. I’m done now, they can stop. I remember what it’s like and I’m not a fan. I’ve been well so haven’t needed any pills. I’d even run out of my PRN lorazepams and hadn’t felt the need to get more. I actually find lorazepams to be somewhat ineffective on me anyway. 

And so, I give on today. There’s no saving it. I’ve taken a melatonin and hope for a good night sleep and a better day tomorrow. Now that I think of it, my favourite pills are sublingual. Melatonin, clonazepam….. I should consider dropping acid. Perhaps and pros and cons list is in order. God, I fucking love lists. Lists are great. 

April 3rd, 2015: bartend 

Ive learned a few things from my 9 hour first bartending experience. 

1. No matter how comfortable you think your converse are, they are not standing on your feet for 9 hours comfortable. 

2. If someone’s change includes mostly a bill, don’t give them a bill give them change. Your tip increases that way.

3. Be friendly but don’t go out of your way. Don’t hold someone’s purse behind the bar. They will ask for it several times in the night and generally waste your time. If someone orders the wrong drink, tough shit. You ordered it and now it’s yours, it’s a pain in the ass to find a new home for three tequila shots because they actually wanted tequila rose. 

4. Beer drinkers are the best. They know what they want and they’re easy to serve. 

5. Some people are a pain in the ass. “I’d like a glass of Shiraz, but not in a wine glass, in a solo cup. Exactly three ice cubes.”

6. Some people will accuse you of watering down their drinks because after six they don’t feel drunk. From then on its helpful to pour in front of their faces to prove you’re not watering down.  Those people are also alcoholics. 

7, some people will claim you didn’t give them change. It’s helpful if you remember the exact change you gave them so they can feel like a dick when they find it in their wallet. 

9. Watching a party of drunk people as a sober person makes you feel better than everyone else. It also makes watching the interpretive dancing entertaining.

10. Drunk people are like children. They’re quite helpless. You have to call taxis for them and tell them where to stand and when to go outside and wait. 

My tips for the night were as follows:

1. One high five

2. One fist bump

3. One hug

4. Many handshakes

5. Tip:” don’t cook bacon naked.”

6. Many compliments by drunken men. 

7. A bag of pot.

8. $150