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RavenWorks's Journal

THE LAUGH TRACK HAS BEEN REPLACED BY A DIAL TONE!!

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Raven
ravenworks
Slept in again…kept thinking I was going to get up sooner, but just kept slipping back into sleep every time. Weird how strict that timer is

Had some weird dreams—that my computer caught a virus because I left it running unattended over night (control freak much? :P)…

…that I accidentally drove through mob territory while I was on a road trip, and now they were chasing me down…

but I had one GOOD dream, about the ecstasy of letting go when a roller coaster hurls you earthward in freefall…

trusting the bar in your lap, and just becoming a projectile, one of the universe's glorious curving arcs…

part of it was just the joy of weightlessness (which made me, in the dream, resolve to buy an Oculus Rift so I could reproduce it at home!)

but part of it was abandoning myself to the feeling of surrender, which is something I just can't do…

I think that's why I was so miserable the one time I tried pot, because I spent the whole night struggling to hold on with a weakened grip…

but anytime something successfully makes me let go (a roller coaster, a concert, a friend holding me in just the right way) it's such a rush

I've always intended to try and be more that way in my daily life, but it's so impossible to stare down the entire human race and say "okay"

I'm growing more and more tempted to try transitioning to anxiety meds… doubly so since I remembered that Ativan helps my sleep…

The stuff you can safely take on a daily regimen has WAY more side-effects, though—ESPECIALLY during the two-week adjustment period…

and there's several different meds to try, none of which might work, so that's literally months of side-effects to float through…

I don't have the nerve to go through it while I'm trying to hold down an already-stressful job (which is another reason I wanted to quit…)

aaaaanyway


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The daily medicine does have a lot more potential side effects, but that doesn't mean you're going to get them - if you have a good therapist monitoring your medication, they'll know how to experiment and when to take you off. Your experience may vary, but I felt beneficial effects pretty much immediately on starting medication, and for a couple, I then got intolerable side effects (the first one made me very lethargic) - if something crippling like that happens, you come off them immediately and you don't wait out the weeks for them to possibly get better. The ones that I'm on now gave me tremors for a while but they seem to have abated after the settling-in period - everything that they do is reversible.

And keep taking charge of your workload. Your job's killing you.

"if something crippling like that happens, you come off them immediately"

"The ones that I'm on now gave me tremors for a while but they seem to have abated after the settling-in period"

See, tremors is the kind of thing that I would have immediately stopped after!

The idea of someone monitoring my progress sounds nice, though.... all I had was my GP write me a prescription and send me on my way.... (when I started panicking I left her phone messages at her office and she called me back from home, which was nice, but I'd still prefer a specialist who would be making a plan with me without my having to prompt them to...)

I definitely need to accept that the changes are reversible. A friend of a friend said his tremors never went away after he went off the drugs, but..... honestly, I find that story pretty spurious, on all of hypochondriac google I never saw a single story like that; he probably just never noticed his tremors before? I guess? But at the time that I heard that, it was all I needed to talk myself out of taking them.... Still, even with the "he said it might never go away" fear set aside, I would definitely want weeks off of work (and a specialist working with me!) before I try this. (I still don't really trust my therapist, which is another matter entirely....)

I want to say that "your job's killing you" is hyperbole, but..... when I'm postponing medical treatments because I don't want to disturb anyone's schedule, it starts to become a lot more literal, doesn't it.

I feel like it's absurd to ditch a desk job for my quality of life since most people have desk jobs and are able to get by, so therefore I should be the same way.... (even among people dealing with medical stuff -- you've adjusted to your meds while at a desk job.... actually, I guess I've never come right out and asked this before: how did you manage that??)

The second medicine I tried (Wellbutrin on its own) actually gave me worse tremors that I was scared of, which is why I wanted to stop them - especially after hearing your story about hearing about someone that said his tremors didn't go away, even though I heard it third-hand with no medical evidence to support it. I did notice my hands not quite keeping still even a while after coming off it, but really look at your hands in the air in front of you just now - you can't keep them absolutely, perfectly still, especially when you're tensing them in order to try, and I was just noticing that more after learning to watch for it (actually, this may not be true of everyone - when I saw the neurologist, he said that I had an 'essential tremor', which is a very normal thing and not to be concerned about).

Having a therapist that you can trust with these things is incredibly important - if you don't, then I would recommend seeking advice elsewhere. Mine was recommended to me by a friend, so I went in with existing trust that she could help me.

I was worried enough about how my anxiety symptoms might begin affecting my ability to work that I was willing to try pretty much anything to reverse them. I was fortunate that the worst of it came during a bit of a lull in the amount of work coming in, so I could stay at home or take a day off (which you are also more than entitled to for your health and sanity, no matter how much there is to do) - I had to do this a couple of times on the first medicine, Zoloft, which made me very lethargic. After realizing that I couldn't work through that side effect, I called my therapist, she took me off it and said to wait until the effects had abated before we started on an alternative medicine the next week.

You have mentioned that you've treated sleep as a... reward rather than a necessity, and things like that. How many hours do you tend to work a week?

I would say I tend to work between 40 and 45 hours a week -- it's really not as bad as I think I make it out to sound, it's just that it's already so stressful -- and because I can tend to work from 1 to 9, it already ends so late -- that putting in extra time so often just gets me down...

Being able to take days off when I need them definitely sounds nice; my boss assures me that I can reserve whatever days off I need, but..... there's a deadly, immovable deadline at least once per week, so there's really nothing I can do without pushing the entire project into jeopardy (and flat-out missing at least one deadline that we promised them). This is an absolutely absurd way to run a business of course, but that never stops my boss........ I really really should quit, this is a stupid place to be working. He's telling me that the new guy will be able to handle some of the load when I'm away, but that's crazy because 1) every "new guy" he's hired has been useless, because he categorically ignores any assessment of their abilities in favor of "he really wants it", and 2) even if the new guy sticks around, my boss will just have HIM as double-booked as I am, and therefore UNABLE to take on more work when I'm away.

Sorry, I shouldn't be taking this out on you! I just don't know if there's any place else that will accept the work schedule that my unpredictable sleep can wind up thrusting me into.... and I don't yet know whether there's any money in self-employment, let alone whether I'm cut out for it.... it just seems impossibly short-sighted to hop out of this job, no matter how insane a place it is to be working. Hopefully the four-day week will help me sort out my other options. (And if that doesn't materialize within a few weeks, then I WILL quit.)

My therapist was recommended to me by my GP..... I don't think there's anything wrong with her per se.... I just haven't gotten past the point of... well, here's some tweets on the subject...

How do you learn to trust a therapist, anyway? I always felt like I shouldn't burden mine with TMI…

…or like I shouldn't be so stupid as to let a stranger know my weaknesses :P

…or I would think about telling her something, and then think "I can't say that, that makes me sound crazy"


And yeah, doing any work at all with motion controllers will teach you about your body's built-in wavering/shaking very quickly. XD

Yes, I was expecting a figure of about sixty or so. Nevertheless, the stress of being there could do much worse things than extended hours could. I honestly wonder how much of your unreliable sleep is a vicious circle, caused by having to spend all your waking hours somewhere you hate that puts undue pressure on to you - have you always been a late waker like that? I used to work from 11:30-7:30 or so, but never quite got that late.

I wouldn't call you short-sighted at all - you've said you have enough savings to last yourself a full year without anything coming in at all, and you've already talked to people you trust about the possibility of finding (apparently plentiful) work elsewhere, with people who might actually appreciate you. You're in a very well-prepared place.

For therapy to be able to help you, you do need to be able to tell them everything that's worrying you - or perhaps the act of being there and realizing something sounds crazy allows you to repeat that reassurance to yourself in real life?

When I used to wake up earlier, I would spend most of the day in a haze, and take lots of naps.... I feel much healthier now that I get up later (although I do spend hours getting ready before finally arriving at work, which I think is mostly my anxiety making me drag my heels... though I think tiredness has something to do with it too.)

The problem with working at any of these other places is that I don't know whether they'd accept my late schedule (and I don't know whether working someplace fun would be enough to encourage me to get out of bed sooner...) It's also nice to know that now, when project deadlines come crashing down, it's inevitably because my boss doesn't understand how to schedule things...... I lock up whenever I'm asked to give an estimate of how long something "should" take, and if I were working somewhere where I would actually be held to that estimate (instead of just being buried under other projects regardless of what I say), I don't know how I would respond when they say "well, you said it would be ready by now" if my estimate was wrong! .... I think the short version of this paragraph is, "I've never held a real job with actual responsibility and I don't know what it would be like".

And no, the problem is, I realise it sounds crazy, but then I keep doing it. It's more like "if I let her know that I ______, then she wouldn't take me seriously, so I have to make sure she doesn't find out".

You know, not to burden you or anything, but I have a game concept I would love to work with you on. ;) I'm still learning Flash, but maybe you could teach me a thing or two. I have a few local programming friends but honestly, this seems like a good opportunity for the both of us. ^^

I can definitely help you learn Flash :) Are you hitting a dead-end in your tutorial, or is it just not teaching you the kinds of things you need to know?

What it is, is that I need to finish the tutorial first ;) But since the tutorial is teaching an "Avoider" game rather than a gem-match game, then I know there will be things I don't learn - I may be able to get a few other items through other tutorials like how to generate a grid of gems, or how to get the software to identify a match-three, and then there's the programming needed to create a "solver" algorithm, but first I should get through the tutorial before I pick your brain :P

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