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Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Who Needs a Negative Nellie?

I don't want to sound really negative in my blog, and it seems like my last few posts have been full of complaints! For real, I like my life right now. I have a teaching job, even if it isn't exactly the one I wanted. I have my own apartment. I have Lily with me, plus three goldfish and a new kitten. I still live only minutes away from Uncle J and Auntie Em, and I have a few really cool friends, including some who run a sanctuary farm (Odd Man Inn) and some who own 11 goats. Well, only 1 owns 11 goats, actually, but still. I can drink all the Dr. Pepper I want and nobody can stop me. Life is good.

But my brother and nephew are 8 hours away by car, and my parents and grandparents and several other family members are 4 hours and hundreds of dollars away by plane. The first year that I lived in the Pacific Northwest, I saw my parents about every 12 weeks, and sometimes less. I spent a week with them in California with my brother that first summer, plus went home for a few weeks at the end of the summer. Then I was home for Thanksgiving, and then I was with my mom and brother in California for Christmas, and then saw my parents and other family members for a week at the end of March.

But after that I didn't get to see them for 8 months! Part of it was because my summer job sucked up my whole summer, and also because my mom was in the hospital for a lot of the time. 8 months away from them left a gaping wound in my heart. I've been back home almost 2 weeks now for winter vacation, and the thing is it was really hard for me to relax, even from the very first day, because I was already panicking about having to leave... because I never know when I'll see them again! Its the same whole frustrating situation where I try to say I plan on coming back here for Spring vacation for sure, and my mom hems and haws and says she might come out by me for a few days, but even if she does, I still want to come home for a while. My grandparents are 84 and 86 years old, and every time I see them I'm afraid it will be my last time. I feel sad for them because all of their older grandchildren, plus their only great-grandchild, live many states away, and they can't really travel anymore due to their health problems.

That's why I am already soaking my pillow with tears every night. Going 12 weeks without seeing my family wouldn't be a huge deal... it would be stressful for me, but I could do it. Little kids who go to summer camp do it. But it feels like instead of 12 weeks it could be 100 weeks or something. My mom was torturing me because when I told my grandparents I would be back for Spring break, she said, "Yeah, but we won't be here, because we'll be in Arizona." Even though we had already talked about when my spring break was and looked up plane tickets and everything. And even though she'd already told me she was going to Arizona in the beginning of March. Of course I started to panic, and then my grandma asked her why she was teasing me, and she said because it was easy, but she never did reassure me that I'd see her for spring break.

I need it signed in blood or something.

I need to know that, as long as I am able to buy a plane ticket and get here for spring break, they'll be here. And even then it would be hard for me to believe it. I'm trying not to be negative here... but in order to enjoy my life in Washington, I need to know that I will still be able to have a time that I canb countdown to where I will be able to come "home" again.

In other news, I've found that taking an extra dose of one of my meds helps keep the anxiety and sadness at bay. The morning that my brother and Squeak left, I woke up early and swallowed my usual pills plus the extra dose of one, then went back to sleep. When I woke up, I was able to have a pretty good morning, eating breakfast and enjoying my last hours with Squeak. I even enjoyed being with him on the way to the airport. And then I was able to enjoy the rest of the day spending time with my parents. I was still sad, but it was bearable. It wasn't physically painful. It didn't bring me to my knees. I was still able to eat, talk about other things, be happy, and just generally function at a reasonable level, Even though I still did feel sad. I wonder if this is how "normal" people experience their emotions?

I've also noticed that I start to get really anxious and sad every day at around 3:30. I have known for a long time that this is my "witching hour" when I am going through a stressful situation. My Auntie Em knows that if she has bad news or if I have to do something unpleasant, she should tell me as soon as I wake up, because that is my good time of day. But lately I've been thinking about it and realizing that the anxiety and sadness shows up every day at 3:30 or 4, on some level, even when I am just going about my normal business. This explains why often if I stop at the grocery store after work, I get a terribly panicked feeling halfway through grocery shopping and feel like I must leave the store immediately. I have to do fast grocery shopping and just grab the necessities, or I start to feel like I am drowning.

I wonder if my meds wear out at that time or something? They are supposed to be the 24 hour kind, but maybe my type of anxiety and depression is so strong that it just busts right through the medication after 10 hours? My medical doctor prescribes my medicine right now, but I think I need to find an actual psychiatrist and ask them if I need a stronger prescription or some sort of booster or something. In DBT I learned skills that are supposed to help me calm myself down, but the thing is, those skills seem to be no match for my emotions when they are at their strongest.

Okay. I'm sure this was such an interesting post for you all and your life is better for having read it. I have 2 more days here... Even though I will be happy to see Auntie Em and Uncle J and Roo and my new kitten, I am still dreading that horrid moment when I have to say goodbye to my parents. So... I don't know how to end this post. SQUIRREL!

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