A Small Decorative Box.

It’s been a shitty few days.

Yesterday, I feel that I took the first steps away fro the shit show that is depression.  I asked my wife to call the MHMR crisis line for my county. I spoke with a counselor over the phone, and they dispatched a “mobile crisis team” to my house. I met with two of their team and I am taking steps to get help. I am looking to enter into a PHP/IOP here in a few weeks.

They are also setting me up with a therapist and hopefully I will get along with them.

I started to perk up yesterday. I made it out of bed and actually cooked some food. I also went out into public to pick up some smokes and did OK. I felt like things were getting better…

Then today happened.

We received Boo’s ashes back and now we have a physical reminder of her loss. It’s sitting in our bedroom, staring us in the face. All of the pain that had started to wane came flooding back into me. It knocked me down, but not out. I am fighting today. I am fighting the urge to curl up in bed and watch “The Office” all day. I am fighting to actually eat real food and not just pop-tarts. I am fighting to stay active and not just shut down. I am fighting. I am making my way through this grief and trying to make it to shore; however it isn’t an easy task.

I miss her so much and it hurts.

Despite that she is gone, I know that I have to keep on living. I have to keep on fighting. I will make it to that shore, and I am going to be OK.

I may need some more coffee, though. This shit is rough.

Princess of the Universe (and Surrounding Galaxies).

Yesterday was a hard day. My wife and I had to say goodbye to our first dog.

We had Boo since before we were married. We actually stole her from my mother-in-law. She asked us to pet-sit her , and we just never returned her. She was our pride and joy for 15 years. She developed pancreatitis and this complicated an existing heart murmur. Fluid filled her lungs and enveloped her heart. She had trouble breathing, even on oxygen, and it was just better to let her go vs. watch her suffer.

It was the right thing to do, but it still sucked.

Boo was with us in the beginning of our marriage, when we lost our pregnancy, and all of our other adventures. There are countless stories about her and her eccentricities; however I am not going to share those today. I mainly just want to get my thoughts out because I have been a wreck since she passed. I have had thoughts of self harm, thoughts of harming others, and then feelings of complete depression and apathy. Too the point where I didn’t trust myself to drive up the road a bit to Taco Bell. I was either going to wreck the car or hurt someone, possibly both.

Like I said, it’s been a hard day.

Because my wife and I cannot have children, our pets are our kids. With that being said, I feel like I lost a child today. I am lost in depression and fighting to keep my head above water. I may need to enter into a PHP or IOP; however I don’t think I can because I would probably end up losing my job. Even if I went out on FMLA, our income would be greatly reduced. I am not sure that we can afford for me to do that; however I am not sure if we can afford for me not to get into a program. Right now all I can do is watch “The Office” and lay in bed.

Sorry, but right now Netflix therapy is all I have.

It’s actually all I can afford.

 

Sleepless Over Office Supplies

Here I am. Sitting at my computer at 1:25am having a panic attack.

Why? What’s wrong?

I am terrified of putting on a red shirt tomorrow.

I started work for… well let’s just say a large office supply retailer that is named after an actual office supply… and I have yet to complete a full shift. Tuesday I made it for a whopping 3 & 1/2 hours before the people and the openness started getting to me. I can’t handle it. Even after taking yesterday off, I am still in a sense of complete dread about going to work tomorrow. I have tried all day to put everything out of my head, but here I am. I was in bed, watching Fawlty Towers, waiting for my medication to kick in. I got sleepy for a few moments; however the dread has counteracted my pills. I tried forcing myself to go to sleep; however that obviously hasn’t worked.

I actually have sealed myself up in my geek-lair with the oil diffuser cranked with a clove & cinnamon mix and some incense burning. I am hoping that these sweet aromas will help me calm down and possibly get some sleep.

I am not holding my breath.

I am just terrified of going to that place tomorrow. I actually have a good notion to type up a resignation letter; however I am stuck on the male notion that I am just being a giant pussy and I know that is false logic. I have walked around this house anxiety-ridden and depressed for almost two days now and I am not sure that overcoming a (hopefully) temp job in retail is going to make me better. I still have my 2nd job and a few good prospects that have popped up lately. Honestly, I believe that this job is taking up time that could be put to better use by looking for another job and also polishing up on my Excel and Word skills.

I just don’t want to put on that damn red shirt.

 

Where The Fuck Have You Been?

Unlike the metaphorical father that left for a pack of smokes X number of years ago, I am back.

Where have I been?

Well, I will tell you.

In February, I started a job. I landed a “work-from-home” techsupport gig… or so I thought. I got a call back from a company called Kelly Services. I was tested and interviewed for this work-from-home gig. I was made an offer and I accepted. I then was told what I would be doing:

I was to be working as an AppleCare Advisor for all iOS devices.

Now, you may be thinking that is AWESOME; however it was far from. The job payed crap (for a technical support position) and the “benefits” that they offered was from the healthcare.gov website. So basically, they didn’t offer any healthcare insurance at all.  They sent me an iMac to work with and I had to disassemble my current computer system. Which was heartbreaking (Like the ending of Ol’ Yeller kind of heartbreaking).

Also, I should mention this: I FUCKING HATE APPLE iOS.

I did try to keep a positive attitude about the entire thing (No, really, I did).

I went through the 4 weeks of training to learn NOTHING about iOS that I didn’t already know; however I did learn a few things regarding the interaction between iOS and Mac OS X  and it was interesting. I basically took aced tests over basic IT concepts and played games on my tablet. When it finally came down to the most basic of skills that we needed to work at this job: learning the call system, we got almost no training.

You would think that the training would include a large portion of how to use the Apple Care ticketing systems (aka: iLog) and how to use all of it’s features. You would think that we would have access to this tool before we took calls. You would think that our trainers that did assist us in taking the few calls we did before we started work would be helpful; however it was just the opposite. We got to take a few calls during training and we were “mentored” by the most apathetic guy on the planet (and that’s coming from me!) who didn’t seem to care about anything other than us n00bz getting him in trouble.  It wasn’t until the last 30 minutes of our last day that we got somewhat trained on this system. The next day we went into full production.

(Basically, up until we got access and training, we were shown screenshots of iLog and that’s it. Imagine me showing you pictures of the drivers side part of the dashboard and explaining how they should work. Then, after a couple of lessons with just the pictures and my tutorial/explanation, I tell you to get in the car and take it out on the freeway.)

On my first day of production, I started on time and taking calls like a champ. I muddled my way through iLog and did pretty well (IMO). Until, iLog and my Apple VPN shit the bed. I didn’t panic. I called out attendance line to report the issue and was told that I would need to call the Help Desk. No problem. I rebooted my iMac and called the help desk. While on hold, my iMac booted and I tried signing in again. iLog still showed that it had a connection error. While I was waiting, my mouse started to move and I kept getting a series of IMs. WTF? I wrestled my mouse from whoever had remoted into my iMac and opened the first IM.

Did you ever see the movie “Office Space”?

…Bob: I have eight different bosses right now.

Eight, Bob. So that means that when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That’s my only real motivation is not to be hassled, that and the fear of losing my job. But you know, Bob, that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired.

And that’s what was happening.

I had put my iLog into an auxiliary code that didn’t go over well. Apparently, I had someone remoting into my computer to get me out of it and multiple people yelling at me via Jabber. My choice to place myself in “Offline” when my system was… well, offline was a bad choice.  So, I had all of these strangers trying to get my attention to get me to change it. When I advised everyone that I was having technical issues and on hold with the help desk, I was told that I should be in “Break” and not “Offline” (Because that makes sense in their world). I then had the multiple people explaining why and that I was “doing a bad thing” by avoiding calls. I then left a message for the help desk and tried force quitting the app. This fixed it; however a call to the attendance line again later, I was told that without a ticket number from the help desk that I would be marked as absent from half of my shift. The above events took about 25 minutes and most of it was explaining to people what was happening. It did not take 4 hours. So, queue the panic attack.

I tried taking another call and made it through it; however I was done for the day.

The next day I logged in and was determined to have a better day. That didn’t last long.

The key metric that is monitored for an AppleCare Advisor with Kelly Services is attendance. You get five occurrences before you get the boot. I received an email stating that with the one day that I had to take care of my wife and logged in late during training, some other tardy that I don’t remember and the prior day’s episode that  I had 3 occurrences, and this email was to make me aware of that.  So, I sent an email to my trainer, my supervisor and my team lead:

I resigned effective immediately.

Yep, rather than having another termination on my resume`, I just gave my notice. So, now I am looking for a job again and honestly, I am glad that I quit; however, I was kind of excited to work again. I emailed my disability lawyer that I tried to return to work, but failed at my job.  I have yet to hear anything back.

I have an appointment with the county mental health clinic this week. I may be entering an IOP to deal with some shit, if that’s available. I have been dealing with depression and anxiety a lot. I have also been having mixed episodes, which suck balls.

On a brighter note, I did get a new phone recently and I fucking love it…

And no, it wasn’t an iPhone.

 

 

A Swift Kick in the Balls.

I cannot recall hating a year so fucking much as 2016. 2016 has been nothing more than a year of loss. I have come to an understanding that my being almost 40 means that my heros are going to be dead soon; however I didn’t expect so many at one time. Today, however, is the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Today we lost our princess: Carrie Fisher.

I am in tears, literal tears, as I type this out. We have lost 50 celebrities from music icons to statesmen this year. That’s almost one per week this year and 2016 still has a few days left. I cannot believe that one of my biggest heros is gone.

It sucks.

Not only was she Princess Leia, and later General Leia, she was a huge advocate for mental health issues. When I was first diagnosed as bipolar, I watched a documentary called “The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive” by Stephen Fry. I was shocked to see her in it. I felt a calm come over me when I found out that “Princess Leia” was bipolar as well. Carrie Fisher became more of my hero that day because I knew that if she could live with being bipolar, then I could too.

I will miss her terribly, despite I am just a fan that she never met. She meant the world to me.

So long, Princess.

 

 

Giving Up & Giving In.

I have made a decision.

After talking with my therapist, I have decided to give up on my disability claim.

Why, you ask?

Because, apparently,  I do not have the evidence to prove that I am disabled as far as hospitalizations, and medical records go. Especially since most doctors and facilities do not keep medical records past 5 years. My hearing has yet to be scheduled and is probably a year away. Plus, with the incoming GOP administration, I doubt that I could be approved anyway.

So, I am going back to work and looking for something that is preferably remote/telecommute so that I do not have a day’s worth of panic attacks; however I am willing to take whatever I can get.

So, the SSA wins.

Now, I am looking for a job and I have launched multiple applications out with my resume attached. Hopefully I will find something soon.

I have learned something though.

When you have a mental illness, don’t “Man-Up”, you give in to that shit. Go to the hospital, see a shrink, and get all the help you need. If it  all comes to a point where you cannot work after you bottled it up and you try to get assistance from the US Government, you are fucked; however if you seek treatment and have a shitload of medical records, then you may have a shot.

Hopefully, I can return to the workforce and not lose my fucking mind (But, if I do, I am getting help and starting a paper trail a mile wide).

Now, I have to get a haircut.

Back on Drugs.

Good News! I am seeing a psychiatrist and getting back on my meds and having a few changes done to my typical regiment. I am no longer on “rescue” anxiety meds but on a medication that is supposed to control my anxiety throughout the day. I am getting back on one of my mood stabilizers and I have a sleep-aid again. Soon I will be on my other mood stabilizer and things should be back to what I consider “normal”.

Bad News.I went from a “great” two or three week manic episode to hitting a brick fucking wall. I have been unstable (mood-wise), groggy, and just plain feeling like shit. Imagine drinking a lot of coffee or Red Bull and getting in your car to start going at 100 MPH (161 KPH) and suddenly just slamming on the brakes while downing a bottle of NyQuil. You skid, spin and flip the car multiple times while being extremely tired and sleepy. That’s as best that I can describe it.

Other than saying that it SUCKS BALLS!

The new anxiety medication makes me dream; which is something that I do not normally do. And not just dreams, but odd ones. Dreams that you wake up from and are questioning the fundamentals of life as you know it. Some I remember, some I do not, other than one word or scene from the dream sticking in my mind. I have had dreams about:

Lithuanian Fruit Bats.

Being in a shopping mall that is also a hospital, and a spaceship.

Being in a large building that changes/rearranges rooms & floors because it is alive.

My mother being a professional “Rascal” racer.

Being attacked by sharks.

Being in the soap opera “General Hospital” and knowing that it is a TV show.

If this keeps up I may start keeping a dream journal, just because drug induced dreams can be hilarious…except when they involve sharks. Fuck that and fuck sharks.

The shitty thing is that I have been getting easily annoyed and even filled with rage over nothing. Literally nothing. Like I will just be sitting there and suddenly I feel anger to a level that just makes me want to break shit. I have also been having a lot of “fight” anxiety attacks that have left me with just a feeling of rage and anger that I honestly do not like. I have been experiencing a lot of spontaneous laughter as well. It’s like someone else has the remote control to my brain and is just randomly switching through channels.

And this is only the first week.

Eventually I will be back on my medication at full dosage and things will be all good; however I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy being off of them and just being “crazy” for awhile. It felt amazing. Which reminded me of the real danger of being bipolar. You feel AMAZING when you are just hypomanic. You can do anything, and you have all of the energy and joy in the world. That is, until you hit a depressive episode and then the world is a vile place and just shitty or you have a full-blown manic episode and end up hurting yourself or getting into real trouble (like the kind that involves handcuffs and a taser) because you had “a great idea” that you just had to do at that moment.

Although I hate this feeling that I get when I have to get back on my medication, I know it’s good for me. I know what it feels like to be stable and even though being stable is “boring” it is also safe.

Safe is always a great place to be.

 

 

Stay Tuned for Our Halloween Special.

If you have ever read this blog you know my feelings on religion and you know that I “did time” in the church. One of the things that I would do usually for the church happened around this time of year.

Before I was “saved” I was a witch.  I practiced Wicca. A fun religion built on Welsh, Irish, British and other European pagan traditions that involves a lot of accessories and the delusion of the supernatural. Because I was a witch turned christian, I was always asked to speak out against Halloween & because I was a good little christian soldier, I always did (I now feel shame for it to be honest).

However…

I fucking loved Halloween and I still do!!

I loved the costumes, the pranks, the scary movies, and the whole idea of halloween! I know that Halloween comes from pagan roots, ALL OF OUR HOLIDAYS DO; however it isn’t satan’s night or the night where kids are sacrificed in some pagan rite. It’s a night where kids do more cardio than they do all year and get more candy than their parents know what to do with so they take it to the office the next day and all of their co-workers get to trick-or-treat throughout their cubicles (Adulting is awesome).

But, to keep with my old tradition of speaking out against things that occur on Halloween, I do want to go on a bit of a rant about some practices that do occur on this most awesome of nights.

Stop with this fucking Trunk or Treat bullshit! If you don’t know what this is, it is a stupid ploy to “make Halloween safe for kids” by having people come to church (sometimes a school, but usually a church) parking lots and open up their trunks and have kids just wander around the church parking lot and get candy. Of course there is also a catch at the church based ones:

 Churches are expanding on the original idea of trunk or treat by adding food, music, games, and rides. Their goal is to reach more of the community with an alternative to trick or treat. It not only has become a way to provide an alternative for children in the church but to the entire community. They have also found that it opens up opportunities to invite parents and children to other events or services going on at the church. To this end, some church groups hand out tracts or other information on the church at a Trunk-or-Treat.

Now I get it in the rural based communities where neighbors are 20 miles apart, but in my town there are suburban communities everywhere. We also have 30 churches that are in the 10 sq miles that make up our city limits (Welcome to Texas) and they all do the trunk-or-treat thing. The past 2-3 years that I have carved a jack-o-lantern, left the porch light on, signed my house up as a designated trick-or-treat house, I have gotten less than 5 trick-or-treaters in all 3 years combined. Its heartbreaking to see this tradition go away.

But, I would gladly let it die if it meant that a swift death would come to the other tradition that the church has on Halloween.

Every year almost every church puts on a spectacle called a “Hell House“.  They are like haunted houses you see pop-up around Halloween, but based on “sin” and “hell”.  They show melodramatic scenes of teen drug use, domestic violence, suicide, abortion, and homosexuality (amongst other evangelical christian issues). Now some of these things are serious topics, but the hyperbole comes in because the scenes are all caused by demonic influence. Yep, satan and his minion caused the depression that led that (always female actress) teen to suicide. Satan caused that girl (it’s usually always the same actress as the suicide teen) to go out to that party and get raped (notice there wasn’t any demonic influence over the guys that did the actual rape), and abortion is always caused by the devil; however at the end of the trip through this christian psychological shit-show, Jesus (or sometimes an angel if no one in the church looks like Jesus) pops in like a superhero and saves the day by leading the tour group out of hell and into heaven; however sometimes there’s a twist and not everyone gets in and you end up back in hell.

Here take a look, there was actually a documentary done about these a few years back:

 

In these attractions, you are basically subjected to psychological torture (Almost like Alex in “A Clockwork Orange”). You are made to see horrific images played out with sounds and lights (sometimes smells) to give a further discomforting augmentation to a distorted reality  and then given an out: Salvation through Jesus. At the end of these you are given a chance to pray with members of the church and be “saved” (and also join the church mailing list of course). Like the kid in the video, I would have given them the finger as well.

Truth of the matter is, I have only been through one Hell House (and that was enough). It was more horrific, and unsettling than any actual haunted house that I have been to. Mind you,  I have been to a haunted house as a kid/teen where the group was chased by a dude with a chainsaw. AN ACTUAL FUCKING CHAINSAW (sans the chain on the blade of course) and that was less horrifying and damaging than the 1 hell house that I visited in my 20s as a “saved christian”.  Honestly, I laughed at the chainsaw guy. I loved every minute of the normal haunted house. Because they are there for entertainment. Hell Houses are there to subject you to a psychological torment, distort your thinking, and then convert you you at the end. Basically, you are herded like cattle through this “morality play” and processed at the end.

And of course it’s all for your own good.

Richard Dawkins, noted atheist, has condemned Hell Houses, saying that using fear to convert children is child abuse, and that the children only leave with nightmares and soiled underpants.

My largest problem is that these are aimed at kids. They will usually let children as young as 12 into these psychological slaughterhouses and that is one of the most frightening things I find about them. That and the number of them. There is one, or more, in every town and usually the ticket prices are cheap. So, instead of going to an actual haunted house a few towns over or in the nearest metropolitan city, kids will usually end up at these. Plus, they are ran by a church.

Nothing could possibly be that scary to the kids at a church, right?

classroom-shooting

Nope. Go on and take the kids, be sure to hit the Trunk-Or-Treat afterwards.

 

Happy Halloween.

 

Denied: The Sequel.

So, I received my 2nd denial letter from The Social Security Administration on Friday. Despite evidence of my mental health degrading, a personal letter from my therapist, and a 3rd party account of my condition, I am still considered “fit for work” and can be “retrained in another field” due to my young age. Now, my option is a hearing before a judge.

The issue with that is the hearing wouldn’t happen for about another year.

I have already been through hell this year with trying to get this done. We are now at an all time low. Something is going to have to change. If I continue with my disability claim it may ruin us. If I go back to work, it may just break me. So, either way I am screwed. Right now I am just stuck at a crossroads and I don’t know where to go.

If I believed in the devil, I would probably sell my soul right about now.

So, I have to make a decision. I have to either keep fighting a system that is supposed to help me or I have to bend and find something to do that won’t break me.

Thankfully I have a therapist appointment this Saturday.

Frustration.

I’m not sleeping very well.

My wife is still in a lot of pain and can’t get around well. Money is tight and everything that I try to do to get something going to generate funds just doesn’t seem to be working. Apparently nobody wants the fucking table that I am trying to sell, and what faith I had in humanity is dwindling by the day.

So, I guess maybe my anxiety is up and depression is getting the better of me.

I just need something to give. I need something to just go my fucking way. That’s all I really need at this point is a win. I just need one win to get the wind back in my sails so that I can keep on going.

Because right now I am in the doldrums.

If not sinking.