When Good Diagnoses Go Bad

Sometimes when I’m desperate that people know “I used to be skinny, I swear” I’ll often jump right into telling them how when I got my bipolar diagnosis they threw a bunch of drugs at me that made me gain a lot of weight very quickly. Also I started using a steroidal nasal spray (that no one told me not to use every day for 2 1/2 years) around the same time.

My appetite soared, I got more busy with my professional life, I got married and moved out, and suddenly I’m 60-70 (ish? timelines are hard) pounds heaver than I’ve ever been.

Even my fingers got fat. I look at my hands and I have slobby fat person hands. 10% of my clothes still fit, and I’m constantly wondering just how my thighs compare to all the other thighs. Who has the bigger thighs? Life’s biggest question. (I do. Easy answer.)

Now I’m looking at old selfies I had taken back at the weights I wish I still was wondering how the fuck I didn’t just enjoy it (because eating disorders), and I’m realizing that this recovered/fat me just isn’t sustainable.

I don’t know how I’m going to do it, and I’m going to do my best to not fall back into the super-disordered behaviors, but I’m so full of self hatred I could scream. Bipolar made me fat.

Also my school life is shit and work life is hard and personal life is 50/50 shit/hard and I just. And I just.

LESS THAN A WEEK UNTIL MY BIRTHDAY and I don’t feel festive at all. Goddamn life circumstances.

Plannin’ Dreamin’

So by now you all probably know that I complain about not having a bachelor’s or master’s degree like, all the time. I feel really lame that my college degree is just an associate’s, because I swore to myself that I’d get farther in education.

I mean, I have a weird addiction for learning. I may not retain as much as I’d like (as far as facts ‘n’ things) but I do enjoy the experience of school and learning new information. Honestly my dream job would be cat haven owner slash professional student.

My original plan was to major in pharmacology and run clinical trials and do the chemistry thing, but then I was doing really well in music in school and not so well in AP Chemistry in school, so I switched to music performance and theory.

Then I screwed up my first year and a half or so of college (blame it on the bipolar or on me being lazy or crazy I don’t care. I got over it.), and so decided to stick with a degree Metropolitan Community College could provide.

My stepdad is a big-deal accountant there so until I turned 23, it was all free for me. I got a free associate’s degree in Health Management (technically a business major) so that’s pretty cool in its own right, I guess.

Regardless of all that and trying to make myself feel satisfied with the “at least I have a degree” argument, I still always feel so jealous when people talk to me about their masters and things.

So after a couple of years of consideration (I graduated in spring 2014), a pretty solid understanding that I’ll be broke forever regardless, and a chat with my manager, I decided to go back to school full time.

Totally switching gears from anything else I’ve ever considered and landed on accounting.

There are a few reasons I picked accounting, and I don’t feel like really bringing up any of them. I just did J

My stepdad (the one at Metro), a family friend, and probably someone else I know who I don’t remember are all accountants, and I feel like it could be really good for me.

Plus I get to take a bunch of electives! Electives are my favorite. I get to take another history class or 2, some biology, some chemistry, some women’s studies…. Life is good.

September 6th is when the new quarter begins. After what I assume will be a few years at Metro (electives, the cheap stuff, etc) I plan on transferring those credits to UNO and hopefully, eventually, move on to get my Master’s. It’s going to cost me so much money. I don’t want to have to rely on student loans, so down the road I’ll either have to take a very long time going part-time to school to pay for it out of pocket, or get a lot of grants. Thinking about it is stressing me out.

Anyway the ultimate goal is, in fact, getting my CPA or CMA. Haven’t quite weighed the pros and cons of each yet. We’ll get there.

Extra plus side: my current company has its own accounting department, so maybe by the time I’m finished in school they’ll have a spot for me. I like it there.

Then I’ll make a bajillion dollars a year and retire early with 283 cats and be happy and skinny and never crave pasta again.

Hashtag: the dream.

Peace off. Happy Monday.

(P.S. full time students get tax benefits. Fight for your right to party, my friends.)

Look at this Photograph

Okie dokie so I’m taking the plunge with today’s topic. Belive it or not, I don’t enjoy sounding like a whiney whine-face. I do like whining, though….

Damnit.

Anyway I wanted to blog about my issues with my mom and my dad’s divorce. This really ought to be old news by now, seeing as they  divorced almost 24 years ago, but I feel like it affected a lot of my personality and traits and important skills like coping and knowing how to trust and all that and stuff. Mostly because I was around 1 year old and I literally grew up with it. (And I still had to deal with fighting, damnit. So much fighting).

There’s a lot to the story because they both got remarried within a year, and I have what I would call “a curious history” with all 4 of my parents. It’s mostly because I turned into a crazy bitch near the end of high school. Plus there are the (half) siblings and the ≈20 living arrangements I’ve acquired on top of the occasional verbal bloodbaths that ensued between 9 of the possible pairings of these 4. Maybe even more so if you take into account the incredibly tense vocal-almost-phsycial-half-the-time wars between just 2 of them. And if you include my yelling and being yelled at 🙂

Basically from the time I started developing a clear memory my mom was dating/engaged to my stepdad. Then, by the time I was 6, my dad married my stepmom out of the blue. Surprise! My mom and stepdad married less than a year after that. I only got to be at one wedding. But boy did I look good in that flower girl dress! And somewhere there is VHS video footage of me stealing swipes of frosting from the wedding cake during the reception. And I thought I was sneaky. Imagine all the fun I’d have had at 2 weddings within a year! If I could turn back time… (is my issue with this apparent yet?)

Ahem.

I lived with Mom mostly forever, then at 16 I did that thing that teenagers do and decided to switch parents. Then my mental breakdown really happened and I moved back in with Mom because I make no sense and wanted to be 3 again cuz I was a hopeless dipshit and everything sucked and suddenly I was 23 still living with Mom. That simply wouldn’t do. Now you’ll find me in (how funny, in’t it?) Matt’s mom’s basement. Almost 24. No big deal, right? RIGHT?!

After all this time, and all this history and all of these parents having to (try to) cooperate at least sometimes for school stuff and music stuff and stuff and I only own 1 physical picture of my mother, father, and myself.

One.

It’s from my baptism in 6th grade. Though I wasn’t the happiest camper that day (another story; I won’t bore you more than what’s necessary for this 1 post ;)) I insisted that I get this photo.

I believe I got one at my wedding, but I can hardly remember because I was such an anxious wreck and I got really drunk that night so I only remember the more wedding-related things.

(Like the fact that Matt was really trying not to cry but he’ll never admit it. Or were his eyes peeing?)

Even when I made a card for my mom and my dad after the wedding as a “Thank you for Birthing Me” present, it physically felt weird to write “Mom and Dad.”

Call me weird, but I find that weird. It’s uncomfortable to put my birthers next to each other even on paper, for biscuits’ sake!

Now, I’m not saying I wish they were back together. No offense, Mom and Dad, but you would kill each other off. Honestly I don’t even remember really wishing this getting back together. I had my “father figure” from the time I was around 2 years old (thanks Darrin), so I never really felt like I was missing out? I just got bonus family on Tuesdays and holidays and stuff!

Then came the step-mom-into-the-story days at age 6 then I got to go on a plane by  myself 654,665,465 times a year and that was fun. Plus all the presents. I even got to miss a lot of school around the holidays. School hated me. And I, it.

(One time I got in trouble on a test because the teacher was reading us the questions and then we were supposed to answer, but I was 3 pages ahead of everyone, because DAMNIT woman I was in FIRST GRADE I KNEW how to READ.)

How many tangents does it take to make me feel like I’ve made a good blog post?

Like, a hundred.

I wish I didn’t hold this divorce grudge. Or rather, I wish it didn’t affect me as much as it did. And I wish divorce wasn’t so fucking prominent.

Matt, I swear to potato, you’re stuck with me.

 

 

Community College Papers 101

So I wrote my final reflection paper for my final graduation-required course in about an hour and a half last night. It was a 5 page paper. It was done while some scary show was on TV behind me and I was still slightly tipsy from beers at dinner. I thought the teacher would read it begrudgingly asking herself why she ever became a teacher because she hated crap poured into keyboards like this, but this was her real response:

“GRADE: 250

Your first paragraph pulled me right into your paper!  Very honest, from the heart paper.  I liked it a lot!  Your last paragraph, While it’s one thing to want to learn as much as possible, it’s another to put it into practice. And the practice makes perfect. Most importantly, I think college has taught me self-motivation. I learned what it takes to be successful, at least the first steps I can take and resources I can utilize along the way. It was all worth it.” needs to be something ALL students in college need to think about.

Well done Ashley.  You should be so proud of yourself.  I am proud of you.  You are a role model for your family showing them how hard work and determination got you to where you wanted to be today!”

And here I thought the instructor hated me.

Well, I must’ve learned something in college.

Oh, and that “It was all worth it” sentence made me physically cringe as I typed it. I’m not sure what this teacher was thinking giving me 100%, but I’ll take it!

Some Weird Feelings

So, I think it’s well known through this blog that I have had a few issues with mental stuff. Mental stuff being a very broad term meant to encompass the eating disordered stuff, the anxiety stuff, the depression stuff, the psychosis stuff, and the mania stuff, and all that other stuff. All of it’s been a part of my life for a while now, and that’s not all bad. I’ve learned a lot about the brain and how it works, so that’s led to a better understanding of my own self which is nice. Luckily, the past couple years they haven’t been so overbearing because I got help and a support system that works for me (Thanks Matt and Mickey!). This introduction is shit.

What I was going to talk about is how it’s been since 2010/2011 since I’ve been on brain medicine of any kind, other than the occasional Xanax. The last batch was a group of 12 pills including SSRIs, anticonvulsants for mood stabilization, sleeping pills, antianxieties broadly, antipsychotics, and duplicates… There were a lot. So, just this month when my doctor suggested I take a medicine again it was kind of an odd thing to process. I am all for taking medicine when your brain needs it. Obviously, I know depression and other mental stuffs are real, so it didn’t bother me to take it, and it didn’t make me feel weak or less capable necessarily. It just kind of felt like I could go back to that sick spot in my mind again. It was scary for a few days.

I’m not sure what I’m complaining about. To my doctor, I expressed my frustration with my inability to focus and make sentences go together and do homework and not forget everything. She contributed it to my anxiety, so I’m taking prescribed Xanax and Lexapro now for its antianxiety stuff. It’s weird being medicated again. I guess I’m just not sure how I feel about it. I know I’m better off than I was last time I was medicated. Where am I going with this? Maybe my stupid way with words isn’t part of my anxiety. Maybe I’m just dumb. Sure does feel like it sometimes.

On a lighter note, I wrote a 4 1/2 page paper in 2 hours this week and I was so proud. Research papers are 230948% better than having-to-have-an-opinion papers.

Happy Wednesday, friends. Stay sunshiney.

Just A Friendly Reminder

I have to keep reminding myself that not everything sucks. It sure feels like everything sucks. I’m tired and achey and in a brain fog 90% of the time. People are always rude and short to me and I have to pretend I don’t take it personally. My laundry won’t do itself.

Remember that time the lady at the bookstore said I was “cute as a button?” When the gal at Taco Bell gave me a bag of cinnamon twists because I was “a total sweetheart…” All the times someone’s left a note on their receipt or a napkin or a scrap of paper saying I was a terrific/exceptional/superb server. People can be nice.

We set a date for our wedding, I have the fluffiest kitty, I put up my fall decorations, and my new job likes me (I think). I’m losing weight again, I have a heated blanket, and my family is starting to invite me to things on my days off.

I guess it’s not all bad. Just difficult to keep track now and then. I’m more air-headed and dumb than usual, however, and that’s one thing I can’t really see a bright side to. I work with what I’ve got. I’m seeing my therapist and possibly a new psychiatrist again next week. Will that help my critical thinking skills and memory? Probably not. Will it make me feel better? Whatever.

Let’s play How Off-Track Can I Get On This Super Late Blog Post?: Midnight Edition.

Good Night.

Lately

Recently it’s been a bit difficult to make myself talk about things in blog form at least once a week, but right now I’m a few beers in and figured I’d just go for it. Let’s start by complaining about things!

All I want to do is play tennis and read books. Why do I have to do all of this adult stuff? Why doesn’t Matt want to share just one car with me to save money when we grow up? Why do white strips make my teeth hurt so badly?

Who controls the traffic light by the gas station? Honestly sometimes I think I wait there for 3-5 minutes like, I need to go home. Why am I such an obnoxious drunk?

Why do pill bugs like my basement so much? Why does my mom always take my little vacuum and not tell me? I can’t find it. I don’t know where it is.

Why doesn’t my Marauder’s Map prop actually make sense? Why can’t I portion control? Why am I so anxious all the time? Why do people think tipping $4 on $74 is okay?

Maybe I should stop with the why’s. I have a stack of mail from the last two weeks I’m too afraid to look through. And a growling stomach begging to be stuffed with goodies and no calories left to do so today. I have homework to be done and a concert to go to in two days and sweater to buy for the dress I need to fit into. I have to unpack my overnight bag and get ready for bed and start a load of laundry and maybe journal a little about my insecurities and my frustrations and my goal weight.

I need to dust and organize and vacuum and plan how many calories a day I’m allowed to have this week to get down to where I was last week. I need to work out again because I’m anxious and I need to complain to my journal about being anxious and hate working out and I need to finish that one episode of Merlin that I never finished from that one time I forgot I had to take a test.

Have a happy Wednesday. Sorry for the rambling. See ya later.