Title Would Help

Depression is the inability to construct a future.

– Rollo May, 1969

I’ve been reading a lot lately about depression and suicide, but that’s because that’s what I’m doing my thesis on. When I read that line, I thought, “That’s pretty much me.” I really don’t have any ability to construct a future right now because everywhere I look, it’s all doom and gloom, what with the environment, economy, and human greed. There’s probably more that’s contributing to our own downfall as a species, but I can’t think of it right now. But regardless, not much to look forward to in the future in general.

The SSRIs

I just realized that I called my pills “Cipralex” a lot when I was taking them and “SSRIs” now. It’s because I’m not on the more expensive Cipralex anymore, but the much cheaper generic brand that pretty much does the same thing.

In my last post, I mentioned that the pills seem to be working for the most part. I do wake up in the morning feeling super anxious about my day and I just want to curl up in my bed. It takes quite a bit out of me to get up, reach for my pills (on my makeshift nightstand right next to me), split them with my teeth or find the other half of one, and take it. I would then have to wait a while for the pill to kick in, and that alone is weird because upon every start of a cycle, whether it’s an increase or decrease in dosage, it starts doing its thing immediately. There are also days since my last post where it’s been unbearable, but when I socialize a bit, I feel better. I guess I just needed to take my mind off what I need to do, instead of doing things one step at a time and taking the time to relax.

I honestly think it’s been the lack of exercise lately. I’m playing hockey once or twice a week without going to the gym. Even my head shrinker is saying that I don’t have enough time for myself. I get up at around 10am, have a massive breakfast, go about my day which most of the heavy stuff is in the evenings, get home at around midnight, and just crash after making dinner. Finding time in the week is pretty hard to do, too.

Maybe I should just make more time for myself to play puck…

The Today

Today’s not too bad so far. Busy again, as I have to get new tires, and as I’m waiting, I’m selling off a few games that I found last year in my apartment. People just leaves stuff in the lobby for others, and I grab whatever I can and re-sell them. Some can be resold, some not, but it’s better than having it go to some landfill. I also bought a LEGO A-Wing over the winter for the purpose of reselling it for a profit (I already got one) and that’s also going on today. It cost me almost $34 with tax, and I’m selling it for $55. That’s a 62% return on $34 over about 3 months. Better than what a bank can give me.

Today was also payday for both my jobs, so financially, it’s been an encouraging day, and one less thing to worry about. If anything, the excitement have been magnified because of the SSRIs (much like every other emotion I go through while trying to get on this damn pill), but at least I know that it’s a good excitement that I’m solidifying my finances a bit. My money goal right now is to have my money procreate and make more money….which also means that my money is getting more action than me. Welp! Back to being depressed!

I also have to go to my thesis class later tonight so that’ll be fun…

Also, a friend of mine works at an insurance call centre for medical files, and she said she distinctly remembers reading that psychiatric pills takes about 4 weeks to fully work. I can’t personally confirm that, but 4 weeks does seem like a long time for something like this to really kick in and work from what I remember in the first round.

Here’s a random, disturbing song!

Follow me on Twitter @288theabe.

Maybe Working

I think this is working. The past couple of days have just been awful with the humidity and the heat. I’ve been working inside a warehouse with barely any ventilation flowing and I just didn’t feel as depressed or anxious about anything. Granted, I’ve been complaining and whining about the heat a lot, but that’s just plain venting. There have been little blips of anxiety, but it’s been really mild for the most part, so I’m going to say that the plan is working so far.

The downside is that I’ve been cutting back on the gym lately because I’ve been so busy. That’s the only shit part, but I’ve been able to put the rest of my time into other productive things like trying to make a bit of money, school, and things regular people do.

This is a short one because I just want to give a quick update and I’m pretty tired from work today. Random song. Yes, this is Avril Lavigne. Judge all you want.

Follow me on Twitter @288theabe.

Didn’t Last Long

Tuesday was the day that I was looking for. It was great. I felt great, had a few great moments (2), but all good things must come to an end.

I’m really starting to think the weather plays a massive role in my moods. It was around 20C Tuesday and I spent a lot of that time outside. I even found out that I was able to take a Masters course in criminal law (but can’t commit to it because of my insane schedule) so that jacked up my mood a lot, knowing that I was able to say I’m a Masters student. I also started my last course in university; the “year-long” course that’s condensed into 4 months of research.

Yesterday though, forget it. It was terrible out at 25C. I was sweating just sitting in my car, but it also doesn’t help that my car has leather seats, so that bloody thing reflects the heat from my back back to me. I also didn’t realize last summer that sweating from the muggy heat has an effect on my hockey playing. Yeah, I know that sounds weird: summer heat, ice hockey, makes sense…..sort of.

Little bit of ice rink technological lesson, you can still make ice in the summer, just depends on how the building was constructed. At the same time, not all rinks are built the same so the ice conditions vary. For those who are able to go skating, look up at the ceiling of the rink. If there are these sheets that looks like heavy-duty aluminum foil, that means the environment is quite well contained. My home rink doesn’t have that and is made around brick, which is also good, but the rink next to it (my facility has two rinks) has only aluminum siding. That ice gets to be garbage over the summer, but excellent when it gets colder. If it gets too warm, it’ll be foggy all over the rink and that’s just not fun.

But, anyways, I was playing some puck before my “job” (where I get paid to do nothing but watch NHL playoff hockey while timekeeping beer league hockey) and I noticed the mugginess early on in the pick up game. It was really freaking uncomfortable, but once I got my workout sweat in, it wasn’t too bad for the most part.

I really hate muggy heat and sunshine.

On the plus side, I found out my sunroof is really good at letting the heat escape when I first get into my car after the sun went to town on it. It works better than regular side windows.

Today was a disgusting 27C. I wanted to hide at “work” and just lie on the ice while everyone else skates around me. I was also hoping that the library on campus would be nice and cool, but this school is so cheap, they still haven’t turned it on yet. I do feel a little more…comfortable today than I was yesterday though, but I think it’s because I’m adjusting to the heat. This weekend’s going to be brutal though considering it’s going to be above 30C. Yuck.

But it’s the past few days that I was gunning for when I started taking the pills again.

I thought it was kinda weird that my 5-day “rule” didn’t work when getting on the SSRIs. I mean, it was consistent with getting off of them, and five days was about the time after every alcoholic drink to get through my system and get my anxiety levels back to normal. (See: 2013 & 2014) I also peaked on day 3 of the process of getting back on so all signs pointed to another 5-day cycle. So instead of a normal bell curve, I’m starting to think that the anxiety levels of getting on SSRIs are closer to a positive skew. Now, theoretically and statistically speaking, that anxiety level shouldn’t ever end or touch zero on a graph, but it gets pretty close.

I sort of remember feeling a lot of the previous symptoms, too, like the sexual side effects, short-term memory, and emotions. I’ve only had two quick instances of suicidal thoughts, but that was just me feeling sick and tired of the depressive feelings and anxiety.

One thing that I wanted to try out was using the anxiety/meditation apps when I was starting to get on the SSRIs and seeing if they help at all. There was a lot of lectures in my sports psychology class about meditation training and how that eases off anxiety during high-pressure situations. Boo-urns…

But here’s a random song.

Follow me on Twitter @288theabe.

The Secret to Anti-Anxiety is…

….hockey. Seriously.

The Update

I had such a shit morning. I woke up to my asshole landlord emailing to tell us that there was another viewing, while giving us a few hours’ notice. Somehow, this is legal in Ontario, and not a clue why. I must confess that I didn’t take the Tylenol as I said I would last post, but that email was too much so I went straight for the SSRIs. I quickly had breakfast (I hate being rushed), did a bit of cleaning, set up a hidden camera (more on that later), and off I went to start my day.

The reason why I set up a hidden camera with my point’n’shoot is because this guy is a habitual liar. The last time he said there would be a viewing (with four hours’ notice), he showed up with no one and said that the people looking were looking for a place without carpet. Suuuuree, buddeh. If he wanted to do an inspection, just say so, don’t blow sunshine up our asses and make up shit.

I giggled hard at that. lol

But I set up the hidden camera to make sure that he does have someone coming in, and not just another inspection. In Ontario, a landlord shouldn’t be by himself in one of his tenant’s residences so I wanted to catch him on that. I haven’t gone through the audio (to possibly hear more of turning my place of sleep into a house of lies), but he did bring someone in this time around so that’s all good now.

The Oddity

While I was out, I went to campus to catch up on some personal stuff, like work on my CV and loan applications. It was pretty muggy out because it was about to rain so I was not feeling the fun. It also didn’t help that there were stupid kids running around campus for some reason, and the library I wanted to work at only had the fans on and no air-conditioning. At least it was some kind of ventilation, but for a multi-billion dollar entity, it sure has issues letting people breathe. Compared to other universities in southern Ontario, it’s still pretty new and it’s not one that’s around a hundred years old where the buildings aren’t maintained.

I managed to put two and two together and went to the basement where it was awesome, but the damage was already done. For some bizarre reason, I couldn’t shake off the feeling that the heat from my point’n’shoot camera would set off a fire. I hid it underneath a scarf and after video recording for so long, I thought it would catch fire. Luckily, the memory card was filled after over 35 minutes of recording and stopped. It also turned itself off after a minute of no usage, so that helps. But I couldn’t shake off that lingering thought that I would come home to a blackened apartment. (7)

I knew it wasn’t rational and even talked to a buddy about it who reassured and confirmed my irrationality, but it still didn’t help. But, I stuck through and did all I could at the time (I needed to print something off at home) so I left….to find my home still intact.

The Hockey

The trip to the rink was more relaxing than sitting in the library with my thoughts, but I got a tire that’s about to go with a slow leak, so that’s not helping. It was only a pick up game with a bunch of strangers; some guy got my number yesterday and asked if I wanted to play today. Once I got on the ice, however, it was a different story.

All those thoughts just disappeared and I just focused on stoning people and stopping pucks. I wasn’t at my best because I haven’t been hitting the gym and staying in shape much lately because of all the landlord shit, but once I got settled in and caught my breath, it became a little easier. Frustrated a lot of people trying to put one past me too, and they had to really get creative with their passing and making me move in my crease to get me out of position.

I did that for a good hour and felt amazing afterwards because some kind of confidence in myself was back.

The Now

I really wasn’t feeling that great once I got settled in at home though. It could be because I didn’t have time to have lunch before my game and only had a Vietnamese sandwich with a coffee afterwards. I also mentioned last post that my anxiety symptoms could be related to my hunger so I should make sure that I get something to eat, no matter how unhealthy it is. I mean, it’s not like I’m back training for another championship…yet.

I still haven’t eaten yet because I wanted to get all of this out of my system before I spend the time to make dinner. Hell, even making dinner is giving me problems because then I’ll have to clean instead of spending the rest of the night relaxing.

In my high-performance psychology course last semester, a lot of emphasis was put on taking some time out and lose yourself in something, and I certainly wasn’t able to do that lately. Well, that’s another house of lies because that Cranberries’ song from last post that got me a little obsessed. It’s such an easy song to memorize that I played it a few times on my guitar and bass, again, just to get it out of my system…..at 2am. So…yeah, need more time to myself.

And it also doesn’t help that the NHL Playoffs are on so there’s a ton of quality hockey going on for the next month and a half.

So that’s it. It was instant relief getting on the ice and getting some hard shots, so I recommend those with anxiety problems reading to take some hard, frozen pucks to the face; mask optional. Or do something else that fancies you with people like…tennis. I hear more tennis courts are available in the spring for those who live in the northern hemisphere. Or….I don’t know….knitting with people, but I find that physical activity with people helps more, so do that. Sign up for something; invest your money in a physical activity with people. It’s a better investment than pills and medication, especially in the long-run with the long-term effects of exercise.

I got some thoughts as to why I still feel like shit after my 5-day period, but I’ll save that for tomorrow because this is getting a little long.

Here’s a random song.

Follow me on Twitter @288theabe.

Setback

Yesterday (day 5) was weird. My day 4 was better than yesterday where I was feeling a (6). As I’ve said before, getting off SSRIs was like a bell curve with day 3 being at the peak of the anxiety and depression, so I applied that theory to getting on it as well. Logically, day 5 should be better than day 4, but it wasn’t. The only thing that I can think of was that I didn’t have a full breakfast yesterday; I just grabbed a coffee and bagel from the local coffee shop and would snack on it throughout my morning shift. I had a full breakfast on day 4 before work, though, and felt good throughout the day, so that’s the only factor that I can think of.

I woke up today with anxiety as to what I need to do. I had to clean the kitchen and my room for viewings and still waiting for a random email from the asshole landlord giving us little to no notice as to when they are. He’s very critical and very condescending, and I don’t need that for my low confidence right now, so the unknown of that constant “threat” is giving me the jitters.

I also have polish off my resume for a job, do a bit more video training for a ball hockey tournament that I’ll be refereeing later this month as well as go over some rules for an actual ice hockey ref job that I gotta try out for; possibly at the same time.

The Writing Break

So I just got back from hanging out with a couple of friends, and that seemed to help for a little bit a least. What didn’t help was the heat and humidity today. It was only showing 26C with about 30% humidity, and that was bothering me a bit. It felt like I couldn’t really think clearly; as you’ve probably seen with my writing lately. I literally haven’t been feeling myself.

The Painkillers

A couple of my friends over the past few days (who doesn’t know each other) mentioned that mild painkillers like Tylenol and Advil helps with the anxiety. Well, one friend recommended Vicodin, but that’s not happening any time soon. That’s going to be the experiment tomorrow when I wake up: Take a Tylenol before I take my SSRI and see what happens.

I just gotta remember to have my pills close to me because I was too freaked out this morning to get up to my desk to take it. Even with the slightest sound this morning, I retreated deeper in my bed to avoid everything and anything. Yuck.

The Neutopia

A few years ago, I wrote about the sexual side effects of SSRIs, and the disclaimer on reading it is still in effect. It’s not as weird this time around, maybe because I’ve been through this before, but it just made me think of this because that’s what it feels like. No conflict. lol If you can find it for free, watch it. One of the best shows ever.

Here’s a random song. They’ve been random lately because I’ve been trying to catch up on podcasts and not really listening to music. This one is pretty good description of the past two days. (5) Let’s hope the rest of the evening gets better.

Wow, I’ve forgotten how awesome this song is. Gotta re-learn how to play it on my axes.

Follow me on Twitter @288theabe.

Tingling Teeth

One thing I kept forgetting to say is that my teeth have been tingling ever since I restarted the SSRIs. It’s still much better than the dry mouth than the older versions of the SSRIs I took several years ago, but it just reminds me that I’m back on the pill. Definite side effect, but I don’t remember it lasting long. I also don’t remember the tingling teeth while I was weening off the pills, too.

The Update

Day 4 was a lot better than the Hump Day that was Day 3. I woke up feeling awful with everything that I have to do, and the sheer hopelessness of it, but then I remembered that the (expensive) Cipralex I was on had an effectiveness of 24 hours before it “wears off.” I took it pretty early yesterday, but slept in like a rock today, so that was probably why I felt like crap to start the day off.

For the rest of the day though, it was a lot better. Work was fine and even had more confidence to really do my networking for an actual career job. I wasn’t able to do that since I was working, and when I got back home, I was too tired to do much but lie in bed for a bit. Breakfast may have also helped in my energy, but I was crashing after I had lunch. Emotionally, I felt decent; not great, but good enough. At the same time, I was probably just physically tired and didn’t want to get up.

It was a little different when I got back home, though. I wanted to work on my CV for a new job, but the anxiety was a bit much, mostly because of my asshole landlord trying to rip us off. We’re leaving at the end of the June, so we need to keep this place clean. That’s fair, but he goes out of his way to look for something to complain about and threaten us with fines to clean it up. We’re not talking about a few bucks, but hundreds of dollars for something insignificant. He also has a problem with the way I live, seeing as how I only have a mattress because it’s more comfortable on my back. I’m not impressed with this businessman, like other people in business. Lepers.

But the good news is, there was quite an improvement from yesterday, so that tells me that nothing has changed and I’m on schedule on normalizing. Hopefully by Sunday (day 6) I would come out of the bell curve of anxiety and depression and feel better while ready for the crappy heat of the summer.

I would say that I was closer to a (4) today. Here’s a random song.

Follow me on Twitter @288theabe.

Hump Day

What a mofo. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that it’s Hump Day (ie. the worst day to get on or ween off SSRIs) or if it’s just a shit-ass coincidence. Yesterday, I woke up to contractors’ laughter at the expense of my sleep, and today, my asshole of a manipulative landlord decided to have a viewing of the place with less than four hours of notice. So, the roommate and I had to scramble to get the place cleaned up and the fucker still wasn’t happy with it. Fucking hate business-people…such manipulative control freaks.

I found out that every little thing ramps things up, and felt like I was menstruating the entire day. While I was cleaning, I had to get some stuff out of the storage closet and that was when the anxiety hit me the most. Why? Because it was a storage closet and, while I’m not a massive claustrophobic, I’m still a bit of the claustrophobia side and that was too tight of a space for me.

Also, a friend of mine told me a few weeks ago that she cleaned her place up while she was having an attack, which helped her. I’m not going to lie, it sort of helped me too, but it certainly didn’t take it away completely. I have to try that out again when I level back down to being calm again.

Surprisingly, actual work (the one where I actually have to be productive, unfortunately) wasn’t too bad. Being busy certainly helped take my mind off of things, but there were times when I needed a second to compose myself. I actually thought of an experiment at work though. Last August, I wrote about a massive anxiety attack where I had to chain smoke just to be able to get 20 minutes of productivity accomplished. The entire day at work actual felt like two hollow bouncy balls of anxiety and depression constantly hitting me. It wasn’t quite a full blown attack, but I was certainly feeling the symptoms, so I thought, “Hmmmm…let’s have a smoke and see what’ll happen.”

…..Not much.

Maybe a minute or two of level-headedness like the aftermath of cleaning, but that’s about it. That was a bit of a bust of an experiment. It wasn’t even that exciting, and very anti-climactic. Now that I think about it (and going to free-write about it), it could be the brand of cigarettes that did nothing, since they weren’t my brand, but at the same time, I don’t think it would’ve been enough to have made any sort of a difference. Well, there goes that idea, but it wasn’t a very good one to begin with; just another band-aid solution.

But I am exhausted both mentally and physically from the day and going to hit the sack. I’m just hoping that I will starting bottoming out. I also felt my mood get better at around 8pm tonight so I’ll take that as a good sign that the pill is moving along.

I’m still too lazy to think up a song though.

Follow me on Twitter @288theabe.