Sunday, January 20, 2013

Meh. (TL;DR)

I need to let out a little rant. Nothing specific, and I don't think against any one thing, just to feel like I'm talking to someone.

Because I am alone. I am antisocial. I have problems that make me antisocial. I desire change but lack energy and resources to make the change. I don't even know what target to set for it.

When I go outside, among.. you know, regular people, I'll be fine at first. Check that my hair isn't messed up before leaving the car and walking into the store. Don't waste time, just grab a cart and start picking out groceries or whatever. Everything seems alright so far; I feel like I'm there with a purpose and not diddling around. I don't look people in the face. I hardly look above shoulder level. -Okay, that's because I'm just shy, right? -But then I notice it.

I start walking around faster. I avoid people more. I'm suddenly rushing. Hurry up and get your things, hit the register and GTFO already. I'm getting a headache. I put my sunglasses on indoors so people can't really look me in the eyes, but I can stare wherever. No one can see thru my polarized glasses (Pro-tip: actually, they can).

Finish paying and walk out. Start rushing towards the car. Almost running. Why? I don't know why. I feel so pent up. I pack things in and finally sit down in the driver's seat, just sitting in the lot, and I feel like I just finished running a marathon. I'm not THAT out of shape and didn't do any heavy lifting. The fuck is wrong with me?? I don't start feeling better until I'm back on the road and heading home.

This is what it's like to have a social disorder. Putting it in text takes a lot of emphasis out of it, so you have to imagine how it feels. It's adrenaline, the bad kind of adrenaline rush, slowly pumping up higher and higher, while doing something mundane. When I have to go to two stores in a single trip, I'm literally exhausted by the time I get home. Again, not THAT out of shape, and no heavy lifting. Just walking around with a shopping cart, safe neighborhoods, able to easily afford my usual foodstuffs (so I'm not fretting about "will I be able to afford gas this week if I buy fresh fruit?"), so there shouldn't be any pressure. I'm not grotesque and I'm not walking around thinking I'm smelly. I know people aren't staring at me. There's no external sources of pressure, and still this happens.

It's not even a rush. There's no good feeling until I'm on my way home, then once I'm home I suddenly relax and the adrenaline breaks. There is no high, there is no "oh my GOD I just survived the store!" feeling, just mental exhaustion. I'd had legit adrenaline rushes before in everyday lift; avoiding accidents (caused by others) because my driving is awesome, putting out a fire at work (like a boss), and it's very different.

I don't think counseling alone would even fix this. There's likely a medication for it, but two things are wrong with that. One, my healthcare plan (from work) would only cover enough psychiatrist visits (because you have to be diagnosed before they'll assign you the prescriptions, then monitor you on it so you don't get worse accidentally) to last for probably 2-3 visits. Because visits like that are expensive as hell, and the plan only covers a little. Psychiatric health is insanely expensive (it shouldn't be, it should be easy and affordable and this is the root of many problems in the US). Two, my body has strange reactions and over-reactions to most medications, even OTC's. You know how Benadryl pills make some people sleepy? I take one and I'm out like a light. Give me Ibuprofen and my body may feel better but I'll get a bad headache. Give me the mildest antibiotic and my guts take over a month to work right again. But pass me some Naproxin and it works great. Pass the Mucinex and I'm high. A single Sudafed gives me heart palpitations, and I'm actually pretty heart-healthy (low blood pressure, low cholesterol). When my monthly cycle changes hormone amounts the difference in me is like night and day (from "okay" to "i hate everything, no one cares and death sounds fine").

To summarize those last few lines, drugs of all types affect me strangely and unpredictably. To that unpredictability add a powerful drug that affects mood and has it's own known cadre of strong side-effects. You can imagine that unless I got super-lucky on it, and the initial dosage, I would go through a time of sheer hell until it got tuned right for me. (I'm no expert but I've talked with psych teachers (Doctors) while I was in college, I know about the difficulty it takes in getting things "set right" for an individual patient, because there's no ruler that applies to everyone in psych regards. Everyone is different, behaves different, reacts different, and sometimes "attuning" the meds to a patient is 100 times more stressful than the initial problem ever was.)

Imagine being a patient in that regard, going through an even rougher patch than normal, waiting to find that "magical combination" of dosage and medication type that works for you. Now imagine that plus being hard-up to afford the doctor's visits to keep tabs on your health, to change the meds "quickly" when they aren't working or making things worse. (I saw "quickly" because often a patient needs to be weened off of meds like that, just stopping cold-turkey can be extremely dangerous.)
It's a nightmare scenario, and one that happens too often to people.

So anyway, there's some food for thought. I can't afford to "fix" myself, at least not yet. Maybe soon, I got to look over my plan options and put in for changes when it'll allow me, but I don't even know how helpful that'll be, yet. I don't even know if 6 months down the line, I'll be as willing then to get help as I am right now. I've long held the stance that "If I'm on medication that changes my moods and personal perceptions, I'm not really me," but I can't keep living as "me-right now" anymore. This is self-destructive in a very quiet sense of the word. I have no social life, no social ties, and feel worse in the loneliness it creates. The worse I feel, the more anti-social I become because I feel like I drag down the people around me. I have to break this cycle.

I was originally going to rant less about this, and a little more about how I feel like my life has no meaning. How I feel like I'm accomplishing nothing. Not even a cog in the machine. And how at the same time I don't see any goals worthwhile. I don't know what I want to do. There's some things I'd like to do, but I'd never make a living doing them, and there's not enough time or energy for both things. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that maybe all this is rooted in the same problems in my head. The fruit of some untreated and unrecognized ailment. But that's where I draw blanks, and the story ends.

So please, if you're a friend, a real friend... When I drift away, don't let go. When I start pushing, keep clinging. When I get nasty, remember that maybe I'm just thinking it'll hurt you less to push you away instead of dragging you down with my mood. When I'm in a dark mood, remember to treat it like it's a normal woman with PMS, only lasting weeks. And when I'm in a good mood, take full advantage of it because I never know how long it'll last. I've lost more friends to these things. Drifting away from them and losing them because they couldn't be around me when in a dark mood. I've also held on to other friends because they had problems akin to mine, and I wouldn't let go because I knew exactly how it felt. They've never said it, just like I've never said it. I can't say it, it's like I suddenly can't talk, but I need those friends who do cling, and I'd be lost without them.