6 Days a Week

It seems like I get 6 days a week where I can be productive.  Either Saturday or Sunday, I just crash.  Today, I couldn’t get out of bed.  Like almost wet my bed because I was too tired to go to the bathroom.  My body aches like crazy.  Doing my shopping (I ran out of time yesterday) was such a chore.  It doesn’t help I have no appetite and nothing tastes right.  My brain is like a pile of mush.  I was congratulating myself for having such a productive day yesterday and then today, BAM!!!!!!

And I still have work to do.  There’s a load of laundry that needs hung up.  I need to change the litter box.  I need to bundle up the garbage.  I spent yesterday doing stuff for work.  Writing tests and lesson plans.  I honesty don’t know how I’m going to do it.  Is it my meds?  I probably should get my thyroid reevaluated.  I wonder if I’m anemic.  I rarely eat beef and I never seem to remember to take my multivitamin.


I joke with my students when they ask how old I am.  I tell them 742.  But hell, I really feel like I’m 742 right now.


Look Me in the Eye

I got my hair trimmed after work this evening.  As I was sitting in the chair, I suddenly noticed that I never really looked in the mirror.  As I thought about it, I realized that I rarely look in the mirror period.  When I brush my teeth, I look down into the sink.  When I brush my hair, I stare off into space (yay short bob!)  I don’t put on makeup, so there’s no mirror there.

So as I was getting my hair cut, I tried looking in the mirror.  While I could kind of look off to the side, I couldn’t look myself in the eye.  All those years of shame and loathing came flooding back.  I tried, I really tried to look myself in the eye.  I couldn’t do it.  The thought of it sent waves of panic through me.

Are there any other survivors out there who find themsevles in the same situation?  I’m curious if it’s just my weird personal tendencies or if it has something to do with the abuse.

Organized? Yup.

You Are an Organized Worker

You are a very private person. You don’t open up easily, and you don’t open up to just anyone.

You draw a lot of inspiration and energy from your own internal world. You get bored easily around other people.

You are confident and competent. You tend to not make mistakes, and you trust your judgment.

You are down to earth and practical. You achieve success one step at a time, by paying attention to details.


Sometimes I wonder if I’m just a superficial person.  What shows on the surface is often different than what I feel and think in private.  I find it hard to express how I really feel about situations and things so I tend to say what I think people want to hear.  I may be privately thinking, I hate you bitch and I don’t want to help.  Instead, I say, no problem, I’d be happy to do it.

On the positive side, I’m better at identifying what I’m feeling.  On the minus side, I don’t often let people see it.  Is the old fear of expressing myself leading to punishment a good reason for hiding what I’m feeling?  Or am I just a bad person?

I can see a lot of black and white thinking in this.  I know I should try to see the shades of gray.  But I can’t.  It all gets lost.

So where to go from here?  It seems like a scary proposition to tell other people what I’m thinking and feeling.  Is it just the next stage.  It’s kind of like standing on a ledge making preparations to jump into the ocean.  It probably won’t hurt to jump, and it’ll be fun.  But I just can’t make that leap.

I was with two very good friends a few weeks ago.  R kept asking if I was OK.  In reality, no I wasn’t.  I was depressed, anxious and stressed over trying to find a new job.  Yet, all I could say was that I was OK.  I know my face betrayed my feelings.  But I couldn’t take that leap to say it.  No I’m miserable. I worried.  I’m scared.  I don’t want to go back home and look for a job.  I want to stay here, but recruiters are dragging their feet.


Now What?

I got the results from my thyroid panel.  They’re “normal”.  Note the quotes.  In the US, the normal range for TSH has been changed to .3-3 from the previous .5-5.   Korea appears to use the old values.  Now, if I were at home, I’d just argue with the doctors.  Point 1: I’m outside the new normal values (by quite a bit actually).  Point 2:  I have quite a few of the symptoms of hypothyroidism.  Point 3:  Whatever this is is starting to interfere with my life.

I don’t know why I’m so hesitant to ask the doctor here about it.  I’m afraid of coming off as a hypochondriac, I guess.  But I can’t deny how bad I feel, both physically and mentally.

I wonder how different things are with healthcare in terms of culture.  In the US, it definitely isn’t frowned on.  But there is  a lot about Korean culture I don’t know or understand.  I think my first step is going to be asking one of my Korean coworkers her opinion.  I trust H and we’re definitely good friends.  If necessary, she’s probably go to the doctor with me.  My doctor does speak pretty good English, but there are always communication difficulties.  They even crop up when both people speak the same language.

My goal is to just feel better.  I don’t think I can blame this all on depression.  There are just too many physical issues that can’t be explained away by brain chemistry wackiness.

Any suggestions?

Self Worth

So I’ve been thinking about self worth the last week or so.  I think I shocked a coworker when I said something to the effect of “But am I worth it?”.

Let me backtrack and explain things…  I’ve started going to the gym.  There’s a full service gym literally catty-corner from my apartment.  I had to get over the “I’m so fat and people are going to point and laugh” feelings.  Not that kids on the streets here don’t point and laugh…  sadly many parents don’t bat an eye at this behavior.  And I’m not just talking little kids, I’m talking older kids and teenagers.  But that’s beside the point.  I’ve started going to the gym.  Yay for me.  For the most part the trainers there leave me alone to walk on the treadmill.  Two of my coworkers also go.  They’re my motivation right now.  They’ve threatened (semi-jokingly) to drag me by my toes if I don’t go on my own accord.

At first I was planning on paying by the day (about $5.50) because my plan was to go three times a week.  N and D (my coworkes) had other ideas for me.  I’m going to go daily.  I did pretty good last week.  I went four out of five days.  I missed Tuesday because we had a work event to attend.  So at 7000 Won a day, that was going to get expensive pretty fast.  I opted to get a montly membership (about $70).   If I can keep it up, I’ll get a three month membership when my month is up.

That’s the back story.  I said something at work like “I hope it’s worth it.”.  A coworker (Nor) said “Of course it is!  It’s an investment in you!”.  Which I replied.  I hope I’m worth it.  Not only did this shock her, it seemed to offend her.  I haven’t told her about my past.  In fact, I’ve only told N very small bits about my past.  So I can see how Nor doesn’t understand why I’d say something like that.

Anywho, I have to keep reminding myself that I am worth that money.

SI by proxy?

OK, that sounds weird. I’ve been SI free since February of 2001. That’s 8 very long years. That hasn’t changed the urges. When they hit, they hit strong and they hit fast. I’ve always been able to fight them off. No cutting was a pledge that I made to myself a long time ago. I don’t want to go back there. I can’t go back there. It’s just not an option. I have better coping strategies.

But… and it’s a big but…

Is letting Ivory scratch me while playing a form of SI? I know my emotional response should be able to answer the question. But I’m having trouble understanding the whole emotion thing right now. Part of it is because my brain is horribly fuzzy from being sick. Part of it is general stress and craziness at work.

Sometimes it feels good when she scratches. Sometimes it pisses me off. Sometimes I understand she’s just playing. I don’t want to get into the habit of letting her play rough. I don’t want to make her do my emotional dirty work.

Does this make any sense? I dunno. Part of me says it’s wrong. Part of me tells me I should start over from Day 1. And I guess that would be OK.

Anyone else gone through a similar situation? Anyone have any advice for me?

I Keep Trying

There are days when I really want to give up.  I try to do the things normal people do.  But sometimes I just can’t.  Case in point, a coworker is leaving on Thursday.  We had a going away party for her.  I walked into the bar, looked around for a minute or so and then turned around and walked right out.  Between the smoke, sheer number of people and the noise, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do it.  Is it being smart?  Or is it being stupid to do that?  I mean, if I had stayed, maybe I would have had fun.  I didn’t even try.  I just gave up.  Sometimes I think I need to push myself more.  But I end up freaking out.  And that gets me nowhere.

The smoke was so bad there, just those few minutes stunk up my clothes and hair to the point I knew I would need to shower before I could go to bed.  I’ve not been showering at night for a very long time.  It’s a work around, but it makes my life easier.  I’ve not had a panic attack in the shower for a while now.  I’ve actually been doing a lot better with it.  But hell, I don’t know what triggered it, if it was just the night time thing.  But I couldn’t get out of the damn bathroom fast enough.  I didn’t even wait for the water to warm up.  I swear I took a 3 minute shower.  I soaped my body and hair and rinsed off.  I was freezing cold (see the not waiting for hot water thing) and I just wrapped myself in a blanket.  I wedged myself between my TV and the wall and I just rocked back and forth.

The whole thing left me totally exhausted.  I broke out my emergency stash of Valium and drugged myself.  I didn’t know what else to do.  I tried some of the coping techniques that have gotten me through some of the rough spots.  But they weren’t working.  I’ll be upfront, I have to be near hysterical before I’ll take the Valium.  I knew I needed to sleep.  My body needed a chance to rest.  Without something to cut the anxiety down to a manageable level, that wasn’t going to happen.  It helped. I slept, for the most part.  I have a feeling that I had the weird dreams I’ve been having, but at least I didn’t remember them.

I’m still very much on edge and jumpy.  The stress triggered a migraine, which always makes things fun.  Grocery shopping was a real chore today.  I wish I would have done it yesterday.  I was looking for a pet store yesterday because I want to get a cat.  Cats are not very popular here.  It’s definitely a dog country.  A yippy dog country at that.  A dog country where they dress up their dogs and dye the fur on their ears and tails garish colors.   All the wandering around the city yesterday (plus having lunch with two coworkers) tuckered me out.  Thus, I left the shopping for today.  I did make it through the grocery store, but it was a huge challenge.  And, of course, I managed to forget to get laundry detergent.

Baby steps.  Baby steps.  Just gotta take baby steps.