Monday, August 9, 2010

Email and Blog Anxiety…

A very kind and concerned soul emailed me this morning telling me you could still read my blog through my RSS feed via Google Reader.  A quick change in Blogger’s settings changed that.  Thank you kind sir and you got an invite. That kind of freaked me out when I read that as I had 222 subscribers to my feed. 

I had to remove some people I was paranoid about and it pissed them off no longer having access to my blog. They will just have to “deal” as they say.  My last vestige of social anxiety is email – I am so afraid to open some emails as to what I may find or read. It is so easy to write a flowery email of praise to me and the blog and use a fake email address to get an invite. I am still so sensitive about such things and can’t take a lot of criticism these days – my emotions and feelings still raw from all the recent drastic changes I have made. 

  • No More Drinking at my House…

    I carefully and calmly (and with great trepidation) explained to Stacey last night as we lay on the bed doing our usual web browsing that I no longer want or need drinking at my house. I told her I would greatly appreciate it if she would respect this request. If she wants to drink her wine, then she can do it at home without me which would benefit me greatly.  I am just too tempted by it, and it took me all day yesterday to recover from the three large glasses of wine I drank the night previously. I had a terrible hangover and headache, and then struggled with anxiety all afternoon needing another drink to calm it.   I carefully explained to her my past drinking habits for the first time being very honest and told her I have to be careful – that drinking has always been and will be a thorn in my side.  She took it extremely well stating she just wants what is best for me and us – not wanting to cause any problems in our relationship.  I also told her with George coming home soon that we are going to have to extra careful and mindful about drinking so as not to tempt him as he was truly a severe alcoholic.  She said she understood and how much my best friend meant to me.  I sighed a sigh of relief that things went so well last night on those regards.  I expected Stacey to balk and accuse me of thinking she was an alcoholic as she has done in the past when I remarked on her drinking habits.  I really don’t think she is an alcoholic, though – she drinks nothing compared to all the many alcoholics I have encountered in AA over the years.  She can quit at three or four glasses and be fine.  My old inclination would be to drink three or four bottles until I was blitzed. I could easily drink three bottles back in my drinking days no problem.

  • A Call from Dad Last Night…

    Dad called me apologizing about the altercation in my front yard the other day.  It really embarrassed me in front of Stacy as she sat in the house and could hear us talking tersely.  “I just worry about you, son,” he told me.  “You know you are schizophrenic and you have to be so careful about the drinking when it concerns your medications. I don’t want to see you go into a downhill spiral like you used to do.”  I listened quietly as he gave me a lecture on what he thought I should do – that I should go back to getting my injection, allow him back into my life as my father, and return to my old doctor, Dr. Kern.  I told him I loved him and will mull over the advice he gave me.  “Thank you for listening,” he said. “You seem like your old self tonight.  I could always talk to you when you were on your medications.  Your are so obstinate off of them.”  I sighed after getting off of the phone.  I am tired of the label and stigma of being accused of being schizophrenic.  I exhibit none of the classic symptoms these days with the reduction and change in my medications.  I think I just suffer from generalized anxiety disorder from all the hardships I’ve encountered over the years – kind of a poor man’s post traumatic stress disorder.  Dad’s controlling and overbearing behavior has also just about made me a nervous wreck.

  • iPad Fever…

    I definitely have the gadget bug I become afflicted with from time to time.  I will obsess over a certain plaything until I talk myself into buying it.  I came so close to ordering an iPad last night.  I had my debit card out of my wallet and ready.  It would have wiped out my checking account, though, and I’ve worked so very hard to build up some money for emergencies. $499 is a lot of carts pushed and hours worked I concluded. I eventually want to have 3 months living expenses saved up like Dave Ramsey always suggests on his radio show.   Dad said he is getting my brother and I an iPad for Christmas if I can just be patient.  I’ve just got to wait four more months and that is going to be a long four months!  I just want something simple to browse with as I lay in the bed – my laptop being so hot and ungainly on my chest.  

  • Sixth Week of Work…

    Today marks my sixth week of working and I am so amazed and proud – flabbergasted actually.  Who would have thought I could make it this far? To still be working despite all my problems with general anxiety and social anxiety.  It hasn’t been easy to be honest, but the reduction in my medications have greatly helped – making me more able to work.  I’ve changed so much in the past few weeks and change doesn’t come easy for me.   I’ve hidden some of my struggles from my readership so as not to alarm you all – mostly anxiety related.  It would be much easier for me just to sit quietly and complacently at home letting my father take care of everything while I browse the Internet all day and not getting out in that big scary world.  There have been a few times at work I had to just escape to my car and sit in quiet solitude for up to 30 minutes to recover.  Thankfully, I am working the early morning shift and my supervisor doesn’t come in until eight most mornings.  I can get away with a few latitudes.  Today also marks one month away from George’s parole hearing.  We, his family and I, are so excited.  We all just know he is going to get to come home soon!  I will work wonders for Mrs. Florene’s spirits as she’s been very down lately and lonely. I can only imagine the exciting drive back from Atmore as we bring George home barring he doesn’t have to live in a halfway house.

  • More Klonopin Control…

    I have decided to only take my Klonopin in emergencies now instead of my nightly dose.  This was a decision not taken lightly nor without great thought.  I know I am going to have some withdrawal after taking those pills for years and years, and this scares me, but I can work through it I think. A good friend on Twitter suggested this last night saying it helps their anxiety just knowing the pills are there if they need to take them instead of just quitting cold turkey.  I am now down to .5mg at night, but that will stop tonight.  I have to fight the urge to take three or more thinking more is better when I feel anxiety – realizing I am addicted to the pills and too dependent upon them.  I personally don’t like the side effects as they always make me feel sleepy and dopey when I take one – kind of out of it.

  • Joni Mitchell Week on the Blog…

    Today marks the start of Joni Mitchell week on the mp3 of the day.  I hope you enjoy some of my selections of the best of Joni Mitchell – my favorite recording artist of all time.  I will start this week with my all time favorite song from her, Night Ride Home.  She really influenced my musical tastes introducing me to other artists like Ricky Lee Jones.     

28 comments:

JCK said...

Thanks a lot, Jonathon! I really do appreciate it. And just so you know, I'll understand if you decide to cut me off at some point in the future.

I certainly know what you mean by needing a whole day to recover. I don't drink very much anymore, but even a few "Sunset Brews" will totally wipe me out the next day. That's great that your girlfriend understands your choice.

Congratulations on week 6 of work! May it be a good one.

C.A. said...

I'm so glad Stacey was understanding...that had to mean alot to you! :)

I agree with the person that told you sometimes just knowing your anti-anxiety meds are there can keep that feeling at bay. It IS hard sometimes not just to take one when you feel that uncomfortableness creeping in. I can totally relate to how that feels.

I hope you have a stellar "Joni Mitchell Week", my friend!

Hugs....

C.A.

justLacey said...

All goof news I think. Stacey wants what is best for you and that is good. The fact that you are now learning what is best for you is even better. All this is still new to your father but he will come around eventually I think, as long as things keep going well.
I think your supervisor would understand about needing a short break when your anxiety hits. She seems very willing to work with you.

LDAlvarez said...

I suffer from anxiety when I fly. Thankfully my job does not require that I fly as often anymore.
Doctor gives me several Valium and I too find just having them in my hot little hand helps. If not it takes an hour to peel my hands from the death grip I have on the seat arms. I hate the feelings, both the anxiety and the way the pills make me feel. Once I mixed them with a single glass of wine. I paid for that for days! Never again. I felt simply awful.

Jonathon, I think your doing very well with all of this change your going through. I am in awe of you! And proud too, asking Stacy to not drink in your home could not have been easy.

Congratulations on your 6 week anniversary!

Tee said...

That was a very wise decision to ask Stacey not to drink in your home. That is awesome that you also took into consideration George and his temptation to drink. I'm so glad she understood and I'm sure you communicating that to her wasn't easy for you, but communications is the best route. She would have never known if you had not talked to her about the situation and you would have continued to be anxious about the situation. Communicate, communicate, communicate. :-)

I'm certain your dad is worried about you, but stay on your course and hopefully he will see you ARE doing better without all those meds he had you taking. You did a very wise thing by just listening to him talk and being calm about what he had to say. In your situation less is best for now. Your medication is a decision between YOU and your DOCTOR.

I was going to suggest that you listen to Dave Ramsey, but you are ahead of the game. Hubby and I facilitate his Financial Peace class and it is the greatest. Read his book "Total Money Makeover", it is one of the best on finances I've ever read. We went to his office in TN about a month ago had got to meet him. We were there for a meeting with one of his employees. He runs a great organization.

You are doing AWESOME. Keep on doing what you have been doing.

Sharon said...

The fact that you carefully explained why you don't want Stacey to drink in your house went a long way towards her being reasonable about it. I think you said it in a very respectful way to her, and therefore she had no trouble respecting your decision. I think that she really does want the best for you and that your relationship is on the right track.

Syd said...

Joni is one of my favorites too. Very haunting music. It's good that Stacey took it well about the not drinking. Good boundary that you set which is important since it is your house.

Mary K said...

Can I say this without sounding like a freak? I'll try. You are an inspiration to me. I really admire the way you've made a choice and put yourself back out there, working, starting a new relationship, tempering the relationship you have with your father. And happy six weeks back at work to you!

Lottie said...

I'm so glad that Stacey understands... I'm sure that takes a load off of the "anxiety wagon." I have learned through the years that drinking alcohol (usually more than one beer) sends me into a mini-tale spin. Alcohol is a depressant and my struggles with depression are bad enough. Don't need alcohol to drag me down further.

Gotta pat your Dad on the back for at least calling and apologizing and trying to see where you are coming from. He's trying... but keep in mind that he's been the one in control for so long that it's so hard to let go. He fears for you... I think we all do to some degree. But it;s so awesome to see you so happy and having some normalcy in your life goes a long way for good mental health.

Hope you have an awesome day! Off to work myself... with my Klonopin in my pocket... that I won't use. :-)

matt_v said...

I think you are pretty clearly right in transitioning off the psych meds, based on how far you've apparently come back your bad old days. Most times I think is a good thing to be obstinate and independent.

Dana said...

J- I love your blog! You are an inspiration to me. Your strength is amazing. I'm so happy that you are in such a good place right now. The courage it took to talk to Stacey about drinking is amazing. It sounds like she is a great match for you and really cares about you.
Have a great day my friend!

Cathy said...

I have to say Stacey is proving herself to be a good choice for you. She could have reacted with selfishness and defensiveness, but she listened and understood how important it is to you. It also shows that she is not a problem drinker, because she could have had a fit if she felt you were threatening her drinking.

I was happy to read that your dad called to apologize. Takes a big man. He cares for you a lot and he is trying to cope with the new situation. I will be hard on him too. Be patient with him. It might make him feel much better about you and Stacey if you tell him about your conversation.

Each day in your life is like a miracle. It gives me inspiration. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Susan said...

I truly hope that the longer you are okay, the better your dad will be. As a parent, I see exactly where he is coming from. However, you are an adult and are doing okay right now. I'm sure he's just scared.

I think it's smart to not have alcohol around if it bothers you. If a person is dieting, no reason to have a huge cheesecake staring at them.

I'm curious about George and jail. Is it possible for you to visit him or is it too far of a drive?

geelizzie said...

I can't drink wine either, not that I like it that much anyway, even a few glasses give me a horrible headache too. I used to be a fairly regular drinker and suffered my fair share of nasty hangovers and then one day just stopped and now I don't miss it at all. I found that I really liked waking up headache and nausea free!
Very brave of you to have the talk about drinking at your house with Stacey, and very loving of her to want to do what's best for you.

Gulf Coast said...

I am so happy that you have the strength and desire to stay straight as an arrow! You are so intelligent to recognize your symptoms in spite of your additions. I believe you do not suffer from schizophrenia. The more I get to know you, the more I say you are on the right track making the best decisions of your life. You are so strong willed to stay away from the demons of additions and weaning yourself from your drugs. Now that is something else when your father is preaching the opposite. Stay strong my friend. You are winning this war.

Justfly said...

I have to admire your father for apologizing. I think it is going to just take time for him to adjust to the new wonderful you.

I have to admire you for having the no drinking in my house discussion with Stacey. That had to take a lot because you did not know how she was going to react.

Thanks for sharing your music =)

This IS The Fun Part! said...

Yep - you are growing in leaps and bounds, Jonathon! This quickly you have learned how to explain a very delicate subject to Stacey with no hurt feelings . . and have gained her complete cooperation!

Dad owes Stacey a little "I'm sorry", too. But I guess we need to be thankful for what we get! Do you get the feeling that I can hold a grudge? Yes - I'm afraid that I am very much one of those people who have a hard time forgetting. I can forgive - but I rarely let my guard down twice with the same person.

AND - get one of those lap top cooling pads that has the fans in it. Put that on your overheated chest and put the computer on top of that. They are really effective and not expensive at all! That will hopefully protect you until Christmas . . . or until you can convince your mom to get you the iPad early! And it's good for cooling the computer, too!

Love ya sweetie!
Grannie

themuttonfish said...

Stacey's reaction speaks highly of her! :)

Please don't feel bad about venting about your father. I think we all understand that you love your father dearly -- and I believe he loves you, too, with all his heart. It's complicated.

Also, please don't feel you have to censor your blog to edit out anxiety attacks. You've always given us the gritty truth, whatever it is -- that's one of the things that makes your blog such a compelling read. Also know that *everyone* struggles with anxiety from time to time -- the only people who never feel anxious are the ones lying in the graveyard.

Mike said...

Thank you for the invitation! And congrats on the 6 weeks. I think it's so great how much you've done in the past couple months to build a new life for yourself. You're an inspiration to us all, my friend.

Mike

cyottee said...

You very well may have hit the jackpot with Stacy!It sure does this old woman's heart good to know you have a loving and caring mate at your side.Wow and your father apologising?Your behavior seems to have all your peeps falling into place.Bravo Jonathon!

Billie

AJ Rahn said...

Andrew, thank you for allowing to once again read your blog. When I think back to how I first discovered you, I think I was looking for photos of leaves and you had a great one posted... I started reading & following your joy & tribulations the last 3-4 years.

becomingkate said...

Andrew, I agree with everyone else. Glad that Stacy understands!

Lena said...

great conversation you had with Stacey about the drinking. So glad she understood that it was important to you!

I was pleased to hear that your dad apologized to you and how you gave him the opportunity to talk to you.

I had a dream last night that I came to your house with my sister for a party. You served pimento cheese sandwiches. lol..

villain820 said...

Congrats on the six weeks of work! I am glad for you and his Mother that George is close to coming home. Her cooking sounds wonderful :-)

emptydog said...

"...I no longer want or need drinking at my house."

BRAVO! That is a most excellent decision.

Also, the commenter who talked about Dave Ramsey; I agree with her totally. Dave Ramsey has great advice and his book is excellent.

I am glad things are going well for you. You certainly deserve it.

hawkhammer said...

Bravo to you! You are a mature and reasonable person. Your Dad's love for you is impressive. He's a bit scared but I think you are living a life that will show him you are well and someday he will be as relaxed about you as he is with your siblings. The best to you.

kristi said...

You are doing great! Kudos to you!

Stephany said...

Hi, I've been following your blog for a long time, saw it go private and now back again, then this post...just in case you didn't know it's in the blogger reader still...

Anyway, awesome about work, girlfriend and all new positive changes, best of luck.