Comparison to Three Months Ago

I decided to look over some of my earlier posts from before my time in IOP. I wasn’t completely aware how much different I felt until I read over those entries.  Here are some quotes from my October posts:

I don’t plan on doing anything drastic, but it just feels like this emptiness I have been experiencing is just going to engulf me.  It’s like I am standing on the shoreline and a giant wave is just going to drown me and my lifeless body will be swept to sea.  It feels like I have no control over this.  I feel like someone is going to find me dead, not by my own hands, but by some unforeseen force, like I spontaneously combusted with despair … I imagine my spirit as this decrepit soul, weighed down by chains, carrying a boulder the size of a small car and dripping wet from being doused with ice cold water.  It is seeking solace, warmth, relief, but all it does is get colder, wetter, heavier, weaker.  How do you come back from that?

The world is pressing down on me and I am not fighting back.  I’m letting it crush me, asphyxiate me slowly.  The light inside of me is no longer the sun always shining, it is a candle constantly being blown out … How do I start caring when the thought of doing so crushes me into immobility?  I can’t face living.  I don’t want to die though.  I’m not only at the end of my rope, it is fraying quickly under my weight, under everything I am going through, everything I am feeling.

I feel, dare I say it, hopeful now. I feel like I have purpose and I can do the things I want to do and succeed at them.  I don’t constantly feel like I am putting up roadblocks from my goals.  I know I still sometimes do that, but I don’t feel like they are impenetrable like they once were.  While my sleep schedule and issues are still wonky and need to be worked on, I feel I can fix that if I push myself to change.

I still do not have a job, but I am actively looking.  While I do not want to take just any shitty job out there, it’s becoming more and more likely that that is just what I have to do for now.  I do not want that at all, but apparently being a grown up means doing things you don’t want to do to better yourself.  I once was capable of doing such things, but haven’t in several years.  Maybe it’s time to start.

A Few of My Favorite Things

The Sound of Music is one of my favorite movies and although I don’t really understand why it has come to be known as a Christmastime movie, I figured I’d pay homage to the movie and list some of my favorite things in life.

1. Willie
2. Family
3. YouTube for Castle clips
4. Castle of course
5. Fanfiction
6. Internet
7. Lasagna
8. Pineapple
9. Cold Weather
10. My Bed
11. Liz Lemon GIFs
12. Stana Katic
13. Music
14. Water
15. Pudding

Yeah a lot of them are ridiculous, but I don’t care.

Facial Cues

It is common among autistics that they have trouble deciphering peoples’ facial expressions and cues.  I believe that if it hadn’t been for my love of TV shows, I would be a lot worse off at reading people.  I have a very hard time meeting people’s eyes and always have, which is a classic autism symptom.  Because of this, I don’t really look at people so I can’t interpret what they are feeling from their face.  When I watch shows like Castle and Who’s The Boss? though, I am able to look at the characters’ faces because I am not in their realm so I don’t feel anxious about doing it.  I think I learned how to read people because of TV.  I can decipher subtle changes in characters which I don’t think I would have been able to do about 15 years ago.  So TV has been very beneficial in my life.

IOP Update

My last day at the IOP program I have been going to is December 8th.  I feel really good about having done this program.  I feel better about life because I have a reason to get up in the morning and I have actually been going everyday.  One of the reasons I never could hold down a job was because I never actually went.  I believe the reason I did that was because I told myself I was unreliable and I believed that I could not change that.  I believed that that was who I had become and I couldn’t do anything about it.  This group has taught me that I can be reliable and I have it in me to do what is expected of me.  I feel a little more confident in myself.  As much as I want to get back to the super driven person I was in high school, I just have to accept that I can’t do that at the moment.  I might someday get there, but I can’t expect myself to jump right back into that life.

I have been doing pretty well about not isolating myself in my bedroom lately either.  When I get home from group I will go in the living room and read or go online for awhile.  Before I would just spend the entire day in my bedroom and wouldn’t see anyone.  I did isolate myself today because I just wasn’t feeling like being in the living room this afternoon, so I spent time with Willie in my room, which she was happy about.

I’ve noticed that I have been having memory or recall issues lately.  I don’t know if it is my meds or something else though.  It feels like if my brain is a maze and the destination for what I want to know is just right there, my brain takes the super long route around and through the maze to get to the answer when it was just a few simple steps ahead.

I have been working with a nonprofit here that helps people with autism find jobs, so I am hoping I will have a job pretty soon.

I didn’t know why

Being the freakishly obsessed Castle fangirl that I am, I was waiting and waiting in intense anticipation for yesterday’s episode.  Yesterday my OTP (Castle and Beckett) got freaking married!  I watched it on my computer before it actually aired because I didn’t think I was going to be able to stay awake until 9PM yesterday.  When it was nearing the end of the episode I was dreading it.  I was completely convinced that the entire thing was a lie and that the writers were fucking with us and that they didn’t actually get married and had in fact died or something.  I was catastrophizing everything about the episode.  They did actually get married though.  I felt so utterly hollow though at the end when I should have been squeeing and flailing around like a typical fangirl.  I remember actually feeling this same exact way when Booth and Brennan got together in Bones.  I don’t understand!

Day treatment has been going well.  I even went yesterday despite getting a ton of snow and the roads being wretched.  I ended  up not going today because I was expecting the same thing, but it turns out the roads weren’t that bad.  I have only missed 2 days so far which is phenomenal for me.  I just hope because I missed today that I don’t find out my favorite person in group had graduated today.  I want to say goodbye to her.

I feel…better?

I quit my job 3 weeks ago and while my knee has not gotten better despite not standing on it anymore, my mood has improved.  My regular shrink upped my dosage of Lexapro to 30mg from 15mg the same day I quit my job, so I don’t know if my elevated mood is because of the meds or because I am not working.

On Wednesday I started a day treatment program in Chanhassen.  It’s a bit of a trek to do every day, but I feel that having something to get up for everyday at a normal hour has helped me too.  Today I was exhausted before group and really wanted to just skip.  I knew I could get away with skipping too because my mom was out of the house all day.  When I thought about skipping though, I had a thought pop into my head that the therapist said yesterday, “Integrity is what you do when no one is looking.”  It struck a chord with me because I haven’t been living with integrity.  I managed to get up for group and get there 15 minutes early too.  I feel quite proud of myself for that.

I want to do some writing tonight, but I am feeling really tired, so I think I might just read a bit and then head to bed.

I’m Still Here

I saw my psychiatrist on October 3rd.  I managed to survive those two days.  My shrink essentially told me to take a few weeks off work and get off the night shift because the overnight hours seem to have been worsening my depression.  I ended up just quitting my job because there simply isn’t a job there that isn’t overnights.  So yet again, I am unemployed.  I applied for disability, so we will see if anything comes from that.

As much as I hate to say it, life has gotten a lot better since quitting.  I don’t have any money and I am basically dependent on my parents, but I feel like I am free from that anxiety.  I hope to someday soon be able to get back into the workforce but at the moment it isn’t something I am actively pursuing.  I have found myself laughing a lot more than I was the last two months.  I feel such immense joy when I watch Castle.  I missed that.

My shrink recommended me for a couple of partial programs.  I went to an intake appointment last Friday, but they didn’t think their program was the right fit for me, so they referred me to three other places.  I made an appointment with one of them in Chanhassen for next Tuesday.  I want to get started on all of this.  I want to change my life.