No longer as truthful as should be deserved, some names, places and events deliberately vague to protect identities that aren't mine

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Nobody on the road, nobody on the beach; I feel it in the air - the summer’s out of reach

I keep finding myself in a really meh kinda mood.  And then I keep thinking about lots of things I should know better than to think about.  And I'm not sure if the meh mood is because I'm thinking about them, or I'm thinking about them because I'm in a meh mood.

I went to the doctors again today.  Hayfever this time.  It hasn't started yet; it tends to kick in end April/mid May through to mid/end August.  But I was low on anti-histamines from last year so it was time to stock up in advance anyway, besides which last years, like pretty much every years previous, didn't really work.  I was on the strongest dosage of the drug and it was barely lasting me 1/4 of a day.  So another year, another drug...  Apparently I've exhausted most of the BNF's list of drugs; there are 3 left.  That's a lie, there's plenty more, but they all have arrhythmia risks and such, and doctors don't like prescribing those, especially given I have relatively severe asthma.  I actually have one of the most stable and regular heart rhythms going (asthma aside); my other medical fails have put me on various drugs with high heart problem risks in the past (again, because those were the only options left), and so I've always had to go through stupid amounts of ECGs and other such tests as well as regular monitoring to make sure I was okay and you can literally trace one heart pattern over another from 6 weeks ago.  But equally if the doctors prescribe it in the full knowledge it can cause problems they don't have a leg to stand on if it all goes horribly wrong, so they tend to avoid those ones.  So I got given one of the 3 remaining options - Levocetirizine.  Given I was previously on 180mg of fexofenadine, and the new one is 5mg max dosage, that makes it at least 36x stronger in theory, but that remains to be seen.  They also still refuse to give me immunotherapy for no obvious reason.

One of the reasons I go abroad each summer, beyond wanting to get out of the country, wanting to visit other friends, my love of America, etc etc... is that I don't get hayfever abroad.  The grass pollens in Europe, Malaysia, Singapore, and both East and West Coast USA don't affect me.  I have no idea about the rest of the world yet but I'm going to assume I'm probably safe.  I get hayfever REALLY bad in the UK.  My eyes get so bad I can't physically see.  This means I can't get to work, or I can, but driving in rush hour traffic, on 2 hours really bad sleep, with your eyes shut, is NOT something I recommend.  Hell I can barely see to cook, or shower, or anything.  I have to lock myself in an overheated house where I can't open the windows, and every time someone opens the front door my symptoms flare up for a good half hour.  On top of this there's the getting through an entire box of kleenex every day, not being able to sleep even more than normal, and generally feeling like I have the worst flu possible for 6 weeks each year, and bad flu for another month or two either side of that.  Needless to say this puts a big downer on my summer, so I try and get away each summer, because its good to get away, it calms me down, it recharges my batteries, etc... and it means I ACTUALLY get to HAVE a summer.

This year, I can't afford that.  I could maybe *just* scrape together a plane ticket for myself, but a) I'd screw myself over for deposits/rent/job when I came back and b) I should really go on holiday with the boyfriend this year as it was about 5 years ago since we last went anywhere together.  So I have a summer in the UK to look forward to.  Aside from knowing that this means months of feeling like utter hell, I'm actually really really worried about this prospect.  Every summer I've stayed in the UK, I've lost my job due to hayfever.  Because when you can't turn up for work for 3 weeks straight, it becomes a serious issue.  Even if I do get into work I pretty much always get sent home within an hour of turning up.  So I'm pretty fucking scared that I'm going to lose my job from illness this summer.  Yes its a job that pays shit, and that pisses me off a lot, but its a job, it's income, it's straight forward and easy to do, and I need money.  From August onwards I have a £200pcm loan to repay for the next 5 years.  So I can't afford to be without a job.  And I definitely can't afford to be trying to look for a new one and attend interviews when I can't see to put one foot in front of the other.

In fact, I may just bitch about money again, 'cause that's always fun.

I asked for a raise the other week.  Because I now have to work 6 days a week.  The boss pointed out although the actors earn more, they have to pay their own tax\NI as self employed staff.  I countered they earn considerably more (200pcm) more than me, so I'd be better off getting what they do and paying my own tax/NI, on top of which I do considerably more work than them.  So the other day my boss conceded to give me a pay rise.  To the same level as the actors.  I took it, because at the end of the day more pay is better than no rise at all, but this means I am now being paid £55 more per week gross, in order to work an extra day.  So really, I've received bugger all pay rise in real terms.  I'm not happy with it, but I'll take it for now.

We also have 4 bank holidays coming up.  Good Friday, Easter Monday, the extra Royal Wedding Friday, and May Early Bank Holiday.  Of these I benefit of a grand total of one; work have graciously given us the Royal Wedding day off,, Good Friday I have to work (as well as Easter Weekend), and the two Mondays are my one day off a week now anyway.  And I don't get paid any extra for working bank holidays either.  In fact, because I have Mondays off as a matter of course, I benefit from hardly any bank holidays throughout the year.  FML.

As always, I'd like to go away in the summer.  I would maybe manage it if I was on my own, but probably because I'm only willing to fuck my life over in the future for the sake of short term relief.  But as it is, there is no way in hell I can pay for a holiday for 2.  Someone suggested I perhaps don't go the the US; I countered anywhere else I'd have to pay hotel and food costs, US I can get accommodation and half my food costs paid for me.  And a week or two of hotels and food for 2 in Europe would easily eat up the cost of a second US plane ticket.  So that's a non starter.

It's just been announced that the New York Rangers are coming to Europe to play the 2011-12 NHL Season Première games in October.  To Stockholm, but to Europe.  That's likely to be my only chance to ever see the Rangers play, and almost certainly my last ever chance to see Chris Drury play as he's getting on a bit, in hockey terms at least.  Tickets are £70 each, there are 2 games.  If I go for one game, it's £200 odd, for both games it's £250.  And that's not including taking Chris, as again, I should do, which then means another set of tickets, flights, hostel beds, food etc.  So that makes it £500.  Even at the £200 I can't really do it.  So now, one of my best ever chances to see my hockey team play, I won't get.  Which sucks.

In fact I technically have no surplus, as on top of the £200 outgoing from August onwards, at some point this summer, I will have to move.  Which means I need to save a 6 week deposit, and a month's London rent.  Which is a total of about £1000 - £1500 I need to magically save at some point, which to be honest, just isn't going to happen So no trip abroad, alone or with Chris, no rangers tickets, no xbox, no shiney new pc parts, no new tv, no portal 2, or dragon age 3, or swtor or any of that.

And you know what that all makes me want to do... spend money.  Spend money on comfort buying something to make me feel better, which I know just guarantees that I'll be really fucked when it comes to moving next time, let alone any of the other stuff I'd like to do, and frankly, I don't consider a summer holiday and a weekend break to see a team I've followed since I was 12 for the first time ever that unreasonable as luxuries go.

I'm 24, and I'm fucking sick of struggling so much just to keep going.
...and Sarah McLachlan's 'Full Of Grace' just came on.  Fuck you SpotifyESP

Saturday, 16 April 2011


So I never updated you all on what happened with my psychoticness.

Eventually, I got a new appointment with the psych doctor through, and spent a stupid amount of time talking to her (whilst my leg was frantically jerking around erratically as it tends to when i'm suppressing panic attacks).  Anyway, long story short she reckons I have Cyclothymia.  Most people tend to characterize this as the milder version of Bipolar II.  Which is somewhat accurate, though I kinda resent that as much as I imagine people with Bipolar II resent the impression that they have the milder version of Bipolar I.

For those not well versed in the DSM, the differences are as follows.  BP I requires you to have had a fully manic episode, complete with psychosis, hallucinations, the works.  BP II you've gone pretty manic, but not actually broken down into psychosis, so this tends to be what most bipolar people are.  Cyclothymia, again, only  hypomania, not full psychosis, and also only mild depression rather than a fully depressive episode.  Of course, these are clinical distinctions, try telling someone with these they're not quite in enough emotional turmoil and pain even though they can't physically control themselves and you'll find the physical lack of control will be oddly controlled enough to concentrate on your face.  But the Cyclothymia does seem to make sense for me.  I switch between the genuine extremes a lot less than a BP II person; I rather tend to switch up and down between what I guess you could call severe depression and mania, rather than crippling depression and mania :P  And I do it a lot, very frequently in fact, and cyclothymia effectively accounts for the rapid cycling qualifier of a bipolar diagnosis too, so it explains why my mood shifts so dramatically within the space of a week or even a day.

I'm supposed to be deciding what kind of therapy I want to go for.  Drugs are a bad choice for me.  I likely wont take them; I've never known them to be a viable long term answer for anyone, and as much as I hate the mood swings, I hate feeling 'middley' even more so, paradoxically, I cope a lot better with depression or mania than i do with just feeling okay.  And as the drugs are designed to narrow your emotional range and suppress the extremes, that's clearly not going to end well in my case.  So I have either the Freudian lying on a couch option whilst talking about my daddy issues, or cognitive behavioural therapy where I get to make mood diaries and other such annoying shit.  Obviously I not going to react well to either option, so its a case between the lesser of two evils at this point, though they were supposed to send me information on this about a month ago and they still haven't, so I guess I should ring them and chase this up, especially as there's a 3 month waiting list for a therapist.

By the end of the year, I might finally be seeing someone who can help for the suicidal feelings I was having back in December. -.-  God bless the NHS*

*I mock and deride the NHS and medical professionals constantly, and that's because, by and large, it's shit, and unbelievably broken, but in fairness, I am immensely grateful for its existence.  If I was born in a country without free social health care, I would have died many times over before I was even 1 year old.  I was never supposed to survive by natural selection.  And it's only by modern medical treatment I have stayed in the world so long, on so many counts.  If I lived somewhere where I had to pay medical bills, I just couldn't do it.  I would have died, or bankrupted my parents, and then died another 5 times anyway.  So the NHS for all its shitness, for all my frustrations at medical staff, and my hatred of them, is genuinely the only reason I am alive, and in spite of whatever suicidal thoughts I may go through, I will always be grateful for it's existence in British Society.

No Key


The sum of its parts

So I should really try and get back into doing this.  I even have a load of half written posts that I just haven't completed.  But this is the one that I feel like writing right now.

I'm pretty fucking unique.  I know that.  And that's not just me being up myself, at least not entirely, I get told this by people.  You'd be hard pushed to find someone else quite like me in the world.  And yet, I have no personality at all.  Or at least I might, but I'm not sure that I do, and I'm not sure what my personality is at the end of the day.

Perhaps I need to explain.  Like everyone, I am influenced by those around me, and I adjust my actions, reactions, and demeanour in social situations to fit the situation I'm in and the image I wish to present.  That's just normal.  Except I seem to do it to a much greater extent than everyone else.  Maybe it's tied to my ability to lie to everyone, including myself, so much, that it somehow influences my ability to imitate my environment, or vice versa, whichever way round, chicken and egg and all that jazz.  My personality does not exist.  It is an amalgam of every personality I have ever encountered, of all the people I have ever admired, respected, envied; every reaction is one that I have seen elsewhere, from a friend, from a character in a tv show, from a cliche.  I mix and match these and combine them one on top of the other to form a coherent, if very easily mutable whole, and somehow that makes me unique.

People who know me well will get what I'm talking about.  People who have spent a lot of time with me, or known me for a long time, and thus have met a broad spectrum of the various subsets of my friends will even be able to isolate which mannerisms, or sayings, methods of speaking or phraseology, even dress sense and tastes I have picked up from particular people at times.  I become so influenced by those around me so easily.  And yes it's natural to reflect body language, and speech patterns, in order to subconsciously align yourself with others and show your equality to them, or perhaps in other cases to subconsciously choose an overtly different set of mannerisms in order to show superiority or deference, but 5, 10 years later, I still bear certain hallmarks of people I merely passed in the street.  Many things I can tell you exactly who they belong to, some I know they're not mine but I have no idea where I get them from, and others I have no idea if they are the 'real' me, or just the remnants of a person I've forgotten.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and somehow this makes a person that people seem to like, to find interesting, to consider truly unique.  I guess in some ways, you could consider it flattering to those I envy, admire and respect, that part of them continues on in me even years after I've known them, and I'm sure some magicos could find some very fascinating prospects in that fact.  But if I could strip all these different parts of me that aren't actually me away, I'm not entirely certain there would be anything left.  I'm honestly not sure any part of my personality is me.  Not just that my own personality is heavily influenced by others, but that in reality, all I am is those other people.  In a unique combination perhaps, almost like a piece of art - up close the individual brush strokes might be somehow interesting, but its not until set amongst the myriad of others does any form of picture actually exist.  Only the initial canvas is also lacking in this case.  There is no core to set all these things against.

The environment that influences me doesn't even need to be that direct.  A few weeks ago I was talking on facebook with Terence, and when I turned round to speak to Chris, I used American pronunciation without even meaning to or noticing until Chris questioned why the hell I was speaking like that.

Sure everyone questions their sense of self every once in a while, but does everyone else go through their day thinking about how everything they do isn't them, just the channelling of some other person.  This is probably why I struggle to keep my self esteem up.  When you have nothing to hold on to as a concept of 'you', when you're just a reflection of things and people you never even chose to reflect, it's hard to believe you have much worth as an individual for any extended period of time