Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

New Meds Again

Sorry I’ve been away.  I just have no interest in things.  And no energy

The Welbutrin didn’t help or hurt so the doc put me on Lexapro.  Two big side effects : increased anxiety and screwed up sleep.  Not fun.  I told the doc if this one didn’t work then I want to be off meds because this is the forth (4th) medication I’ve tried and doesn’t seem to be working.  I called for counseling but there was no availability. 

I have been making it to Mass every week so that helps (even if I was late this past Sunday).  

Still working on finding a job. I need one soon. The woman in charge of the paperwork part of the food benefits program does not like me. Dealing with her drives my anxiety up so I avoid dealing with her as much as possible.   She keeps changing the rules about what I have to do and what I can include on the paperwork (no interviews unless I physically walk to at least five separate businesses and physically fill out an application on site and then interview).  She’s also given me really bad advice about how to interview (she wants me to bad mouth my previous employer when you are never supposed to do that and to make myself look like a horrible candidate by bringing up immaterial stuff from previous jobs i.e. say that I got written up when I was working for evil security company). I want to leave evil security company in the past.  I’ll talk about why I was let go but I won’t bad mouth the company. (Just thinking about evil security company is activating my anxiety; that place was majorly anxiety inducing towards the end).

Still volunteering at the library and still very mildly frustrated that people can’t remember the alphabet when reshelving books.  I like working there but the are times when I want to go up to random patrons and have then recite the alphabet.  I don’t but occasionally I feel like it.

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Depression Reset

The Effexor had lots of nasty side effects.  I’m now on Welbutrin.  We’ll see how that goes.  This has been the longest episode of my depression yet. I’m barely functional most days and currently in tears daily though I think that’s from Effexor withdrawl. I feel cut off from my Catholic faith and it doesn’t help that I’m only able to make it to Mass every other week right now.  And I really need to go to Confession.  I sleep during the day and am up at night.  I can’t be bothered about most things. I hate depression and feel like I’m cut off from everybody until I get completely cured and never be depressed again, which isn’t going to happen.

FOR GREATER THINGS YOU WERE BORN: A PASTORAL LETTER TO THE FAMILY OF GOD IN LOS ANGELES ON GOD’S BEAUTIFUL PLAN OF LOVE FOR OUR LIVES AND OUR WORLD – Archbishop Jose H. Gomez

Some Lenten reading. Bishop Barron put up a link to this on his Facebook page.  I think it’s worth a read. I’ve read a bit of it so far and it is a good read. While Archbishop Gomez is not my Archbishop (I’m in the Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon with Archbishop Sample), I can’t recall an prohibition on reading the works of Archbishops not my own. So go ahead and read. Ponder. Reflect and maybe re-read again.

http://archbishopgomez.org/planoflove

Lent is Coming. Time to Start The Misery Competition

Lent starts next Wednesday and my anxiety has increased. It doesn’t help that I’m not on meds anymore.  

I hate Lent. It fills me with dread.

Lent always seems to bring out the competition in Catholics, more so online these days.  It’s like Lent needs to be the horrible torture fest in the name of God and if you aren’t miserable and despairing than you aren’t a good Catholic making a good Lent.  The more miserable you are the better.  Of course that feeds my anxiety and depression because I already believe I’m a horrible Catholic because I don’t do fifty devotions everyday, volunteer 70 hours everyday along with working 90 hours a day while caring for 4000 people.  Heavens, I have a hard time going to Mass on Sundays and I pray in the morning and at night and go to Confession regularly but apparently that isn’t enough.  That God isn’t going to love me until I’ve worked myself into the ground and then He’ll deign to notice my existence but only the once because I still haven’t done enough to even be considered worthy enough to gain a second glance. And forget about Heaven. As my mother constantly told me growing up, bad girls like me go straight to Hell.  I existed therefore I was bad.

Lent seems to turn God into a psychopathic, sadomasochistic tyrant bent on humiliating people and sending them to Hell, going by the way Catholics act and talk during Lent. (And outside of Lent, too, at least for some Catholics).  It’s like God is absent or barely there the rest of the time or at least this pleasant parent that lets the kids get away with everything but then Lent starts and God turns into this bully that lays down the law very strictly and any deviation is automatically a sending to Hell, do not pass Go, do not repent and go to Confession, there is no way that forgiveness is going to happen so you better freaking forget it.  Messing up means you’re dead to me.

Intellectually, I understand that this is not God but how people imaging God to be and what they think Lent should be.  The part of me that constantly heard that God couldn’t possibly love me and that I was going straight to Hell along with all the “Catholic” opinions stated as Church teaching make this easy to believe and to fall into this mindset.  And I’m left to figure out what is real and what isn’t all on my own.  It all feeds my depression and anxiety and just makes worse. And there are a lot of Catholics that would like to keep my marginalized or even excommunicated from the Church because of my depression and anxiety. I am not in a good place when it comes to Lent let alone my faith sometimes.

Lent has an emphasis on three things: fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. Yet, I’ve always seen an extremely improper focus on fasting and fasting alone with maybe Stations of the Cross thrown in.  Everyone is “giving something up” which they think is the whole purpose of Lent.  This is where the competition comes in. And it is competition because it ends with Easter and they can resume what they had “given up” which many do with relish.  This is not the purpose of Lent. So what is?

The purpose of Lent is to prepare for the Crucifixion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ. It is also when the elect (those going through RCIA) prepare to enter the Church and receive the Sacraments, to be Baptized into the Body of Christ.  Fasting is important but it isn’t the main thing or the primary importance.  Jesus is.  Our focus should be on our relationship with Jesus and what we can do to improve that relationship. But that relationship shouldn’t necessarily be at the cost of our other relationships.  A parent can’t stop taking care of their children to go to daily Mass, volunteer at the parish, etc. They can add these things if they are prudent but the care of children is how the parent lives their relationship with Christ and their vocation and has priority.  A mother can’t add or do things that would harm her child(ren).

And what about prayer and almsgiving?  Other than adding the Stations of the Cross or maybe daily Mass most don’t focus on prayer. And almsgiving? Well, Catholics seem to be tight fisted with money and give the least out of all groups.  

Lent uses all three (fasting, prayer, and almsgiving) to help us focus on Christ and his Crucifixion, Death, and Resurrection.  Like Church relies on Scripture, Tradition, and Magisterium (think a three legged stool) to uphold her teachings/doctrine, so does Lent rely on the three legged stool of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving.  You can’t focus on one to the detriment of the other two.  You’ll fall off the stool on to the ground and end up with bruises and embarrassed.  I can’t think of Lent as a time to focus on being punished for my sins, as a time to suffer just to suffer.  Yes, I have come across Catholics that just want fellow Catholics to suffer just to see them suffer and so they can gloat about being “better” Catholics.

So what to do for Lent?

Well, the Church already tells us when and how to fast and abstain. Maybe add Wednesdays during Lent as an extra day of fasting and/or abstinence. If you have an activity or behavior that drives you batty and you know gets in the way of your relationship with God and/or others, then definitely give that up.  I know I shouldn’t read certain things on the Web  (I’ve started it already) since they make my anxiety worse.  It’s not just something I’m going to do for Lent because my anxiety exists all the time and not just in Lent. Don’t just “give up” something just to give up something.  Do it with purpose and that you can continue outside of Lent. I suggest giving up sinning because you can continue it all year round.

For prayer, I’m working on being consistent in my prayer life.  I started that several Lents ago and work on that all the time.  That’s a good habit that can continue outside of Lent.  Or maybe add one prayer. Or add a prayer to pay at specific times of the day.  I pray a Hail Mary as I’m making my bed in the morning (okay, when I get up) and include several in my bedtime prayers.  That was actually a penance I received several months ago that has turned into a good habit and I liked doing it so I kept doing it. Yes, you still pray the Stations of the Cross.

Almsgiving.  Yes, you’re going to have to open your wallet.  Look at your budget.  How much is truly necessary (rent, utilities, food, gas, insurance, student loan payments) and how much is luxury (daily trips to the coffee shop, the gym membership you barely use, buying new and expensive clothes when you have perfectly good clothes already or can find it cheaper and used at Goodwill, etc.)?  If you haven’t been giving anything, start with $5 or $10 at least once a month.  If already giving, give another $5 more or start giving weekly.  Or at least give to the special collections like St. Vincent de Paul or the Bishop’s Appeal. If you can’t give at all, offer you time. Volunteer.  Parishes always need help somewhere. (I do give even though I’m still currently unemployed.  I give because I can and my lack of employment doesn’t effect my relationship with the parish.)

See, Lent doesn’t have to hurt.  You don’t need to suffer needlessly or pointlessly or at all.  I don’t have to either.

One thing I am focusing on is taking better care of myself. Depression can be very debilitating.  It can be hard to do simple, everyday things let alone new, complex things.  And my anxiety feeds my depression and my depression feeds my anxiety. Not fun. So I’m working on treating them and not just during Lent.

I am totally giving up snow, however. That stuff is vile. (And yes, we had snow yesterday (23) and today (24) and it’s almost the end of February. Seriously whacked if you ask me.

Remember That New Medication…

Yeah.  Didn’t work so well.  Made me sleep 12-14 hours a day. It also made me want to hide in bed all day. So I stopped taking it yesterday. And those were unexpected side effects. I emailed the doctor that I stopped taking it and the reasons why. We’ll see what happens.

Of course, my anxiety has gone up lately. I found out last Thursday (from Mr Drug Dealer himself) that he is schizophrenic and bipolar. And he’s not on any medication but he does take street drugs (aka illegal drugs).  I also got to hear his lovely delusions about his previous apartment and how the newspapers and TV news programs were going to expose “the truth” very soon.  He also keeps changing his story about who helps him and about all his “friends” that keep pounding on his door at all hours.  He also said that a girl screaming (for help) is no reason to call the cops. (I don’t know why the woman screamed which I didn’t hear but there was more going on that night than a scream and whomever called the police was right in doing so.)  I’m afraid to open my door anymore because I don’t knew who might be out there and if they might be dangerous to me or not.

I had a panic attack earlier today.  I know part of it stemmed from the library volunteer party Saturday night (I hadn’t been around that many people in a social setting in a very long time) and I was freaking out over what I said (I was fine but I always freak out over social situations) even though I didn’t say anything stupid. But I spent several minutes before my volunteer shift sitting in my car working on calming myself down because the library is totally not a scary place nor are the librarians.  I was able to calm myself down and was fine for my shift.  Then I went grocery shopping (I bought more than I planned but I should be fine for like two weeks now) and as I was driving home I realized I didn’t want to go home because Mr Drug Dealer is still my neighbor and I don’t want to have to deal with him at all.

I swear the quality of the tenants in this place has gone down. More are on some kind of public assistance or have a mental illness (oddly enough I’m not talking about myself though I could be included though I actually seek help and treatment) or substance abuse problems/addictions.  There seem to be more issues or at least talk about drugs/drug use in regards to tenants. Mind you, there are several children living in the complex, many under the age of ten.  I don’t want drugs anywhere near children. I don’t want them anywhere near this apartment either.

I would like to move but can’t afford to st this time, especially not without a job.

Just No

It’s doing this again. (Not a current picture; this is from the last one)


My opinion via Grumpy Cat

This has been one wack winter.  I’m sick of snow. It’s still coming down and I don’t think I’ll be making it to 5:30 Spanish Mass.  

Some Good News

The apartment manager talked to Mr. Drugs (I may also refer to him as Mr. Drug Dealer) next door today.  I heard them through my front door. So the apartment manager is aware and is taking this seriously. I have no idea who reported him, again, and I don’t want to know (to keep them protected) but I’m grateful they have said something and made the apartment manager take notice.

This has also triggered my anxiety which I’m trying to manage but not doing very well. I want Mr. Drug Dealer gone but it’s not going to happen overnight. It will take time. This is the first step. It took several months to get Mr. Superiority Alcoholic evicted.  But this is a positive first step. I just have to keep this is mind.

I do have new medication for my anxiety so we’ll see how that works.


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