Always the same…

There is a never-ending shitstorm of bad news from an administration hellbent on destroying people’s lives.

Anyone with a single shred of basic human decency can see it.

There is a loud consensus as of late that if you’re not publicly screeching about what’s going on in the world, you’re contributing to the problem. If you’re not filling your Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/[insert social media platform of choice] feeds with outrage, you are helping the opposition.

Silence equals compliance.

I’ve done more than my fair share of screaming into the void with everyone else, though I make a conscious effort not to. It’s not doing anybody any actual good, and it’s just not nearly as cathartic as it once was. (see: the entirety of my livejournal) The stuff I do put out isn’t anything constructive, it’s just that things have reached a breaking point and [literally] screaming at my computer screen (alone, in my house) can only relieve so much stress. Does posting an angry tirade on Twitter really help? No. Not really. But it happens. Because sometimes I don’t know what else to do. We all have our coping methods. Meltdowns on public forums are part of my deal. I can count on one hand the number of people who actually see what I post on a given platform. I’m not influencing anybody over here. Nor do I have any desire to. I’m just trying to survive on a daily basis, just like everyone else.

Words are in short supply as of late.

I keep opening WordPress, staring at it, and closing the tab without writing anything.

I want to write about ANYTHING other that what’s going on in the world as of late, but it’s difficult to focus on anything but. I don’t have anything useful to contribute to the conversation. Screaming into the void is just adding to the endless noise. And while venting can be healthy and cathartic, it’s not what I want to expend my already limited amount of mental energy on. I spend plenty of time talking to Bob about all of it, I don’t want to spend even more writing about it too. (Yet, this post is still happening. Whatever.)

I’ve started and abandoned so many posts about other things recently. None of them make it very far before I just don’t have the energy to continue. So I close the tab and try to find something else to focus on, but focus is not happening either.

It’s that time of the year. February and March hit almost as hard as the summertime SAD slump. It’s not fun, but it’s not new, and once I finally manage to identify it, I can better find ways to cope until it passes.

Because it will pass.

Everything sucks in the meantime, but IT WILL PASS.

Need a little minute…

Technology hates me, I’m pretty sure. I do everything right and it still gives me the finger. If I don’t know what I’m doing or something isn’t working, I default to Bob—the guy who gets paid to beat technology into submission—and whatever problem I’m having magically WORKS for him, despite doing the exact same thing I was doing.

What.

Ever.

FILSS.

My current laptop has pretty good sound for a laptop. It’s nothing fancy. Just a Dell we bought off the shelf at Microcenter when my last laptop took a shit and gave me a hearty EFFFFF YOOOOO. It has a decent graphics card that lets me play games (on low settings, but functional nonetheless) and it has two hard drives for me to fill up with lots and lots of music.

But it hates me.

The Realtek HD Audio Manager kept crashing. Over and over and over again. (and over…and over…and over…)

Every single Google search said to reinstall the drivers. So Bob reinstalled said drivers for me. (The last time I touched drivers on my own—pre Bob—my laptop made a REALLY LOUD cracking noise and would no longer start.) And ever since the sound has been absolute shit. It’s way too quiet at what used to be normal levels. And certain programs are even quieter at max volume. The sound also seems to pulsate, fading in and out, making things extremely difficult to listen to. It is marginally better with headphones, but it’s still all wrong. And with Misophonia at work…it’s all I can do to not smash the machine to bits with a sledgehammer.

Bob went through every setting he could find and we thought he had it figured out…sort of. The sound was better—still not quite right, but better—but it only lasted about a day before it reverted back to the horseshit, despite all the settings remaining the same.

I’ve spent a hell of a lot of time looking for answers on the interwebz, and no matter how specific or general I search, I get the same answer:

Make sure your external speakers are plugged in to the correct port on your desktop PC.

Not.

Helpful.

And I’m about to start hucking rocks at people.

In other news…

I got a new mouse. My old mouse was dying a slow and aggravating death, so I finally invested in an actual gaming mouse. I hated the price tag, but I found one with programmable buttons that actually fits my small hands and isn’t some bizarre space-aged shape with sharp, confusing angles. Gaming mice are apparently designed for men with giant bear paws and contortionist thumbs who don’t mind sharp edges digging into their skin.

I haven’t mastered actually using the extra buttons yet. I’m so used to a basic mouse, I forget the extra stuff is there. But so far things are actually working.

Although a certain pink fuzzball is dubious.

Emerson Mouse is skeptical that this new “mouse” is really a mouse at all.

Sure it has a long tail, but where are the ears? And what’s with the green light?

What?

Cold pesto at two in the morning…

After Park Nicollet pissed me off to epic proportions, I was slammed with a migraine/tension headache that only added to the misery of the sobbing and swearing I was doing at my desk.

I grabbed my laptop and dragged it into bed, put on some music, and went to sleep. A couple lousy hours later I woke up with a headache that could best be described as: FUCK MY LIFE.

I took three Aleve and chased it with half a package of turkey pepperoni and a bowl of potato chips. And some ginger ale. Because ginger ale makes everything better.

I stayed firmly rooted in bed with my computer and dozed off sometime after 3pm and woke up when Bob got home from work. He snuggled with me for a few minutes and went to heat up leftovers for dinner and settle in for an evening of Star Wars raiding. I promptly fell back to sleep and slept until about 7pm when I finally got up and took a shower.

I took my laptop back out to the loft and stared at the internet for some length of time, and when Bob finished up with his Star Wars playing for the night we went to lay in bed where I proceeded to have a complete mental meltdown on him with excessive snot and tears and a whole lot of f-bombs.

We came to the conclusion that I’m not going back to Park Nicollet for my mental health needs. Their complete lack of accessibility is complete and utter bullshit. I asked for help and they told me to call back when it was more convenient for THEM.

Where am I going to go? That I don’t know yet. I have a website to search of “in network” providers that our insurance will pseudo-cover.

Bob talked me into eating some dinner—a very small helping of leftover pasta and two peanut butter bars. Then we watched a movie and went to bed.

I woke up about two hours later and now here I sit, done sleeping for the night.

Eating cold, leftover pesto pasta (because now I’m fucking hungry) and still epically pissed off at Park Nicollet and their bullshit.

Right now I’m going to go write some awesomely bad, schmoopy fiction and listen to Andy Grammer on repeat.

Park Nicollet is determined to stay on my shit list forever…

I have not seen a mental health professional since mid to late 2010. That was the last time I played the “Let’s Try This One Next” game on ADHD meds. When that prescription failed, as they all failed, I decided I’d stick things out until I needed to go back when my other prescriptions ran out.

I managed to drag those remaining refills out a lot longer than I should have without doctor supervision and essentially weened myself off all my medications.

I’ve been off my meds since we moved into our house.

I was okay for a while after that. And when I finally got back to my regular doctor for an overdue physical, we came to the conclusion that I was doing okay without the medication.

Truth is, I don’t really know if I’m “okay” or not.

And I suppose if I have any doubt, it means I’m not.

It’s been going on for some time now. Bob and I have talked about it quite a bit. I’ve been waffling about going back to see a mental health doctor for MONTHS.

My original psychiatrist left Park Nicollet in 2009 when PNC, in their INFINITE WISDOM, decided it was a BRILLIANT idea to consolidate their entire mental health department into one location, eliminating a lot of doctors and driving even more to leave PNC of their own volition. I moved with my doctor to her new private practice, but my insurance would not cover it.

Not really a difference though, because my insurance doesn’t actually cover anything anyway.

But ANYWAY.

I decided, when I decided that I need to go back, that I’ll go back to Park Nicollet and find a new doctor. Because my insurance will pretend to cover a PNC doctor.

I haven’t made an appointment because picking up the phone is one of the most stressful things in the world for me. It induces panic like few other things do.

I don’t know why.

And I hate it.

I suppose there’s some sort of irony in that my anxiety problem prevents me from picking up the phone to make an appointment to address my anxiety problem. Once the appointment is made, I have no trouble going. But making that appointment by phone?

Fucking nightmare.

So I need to get back to the doctor for my annual physical again. I had to pick up the phone to make that appointment. I decided do or die, while I was making that appointment, I was going to make an appointment with a new psychiatrist. Get all the panic attacks over in one shot.

I called my regular clinic and made my physical appointment.

Then I called PNC mental health. And was transferred to intake because it’s been three years and I no longer have an established doctor.

“We book 2 months out and all of our appointments with our doctors are filled by noon on Mondays. Call back next Monday RIGHT AT 8:30AM to make an appointment for the week of FEBRUARY 11TH TO THE 15TH.”

Are you.

Fucking.

Kidding me.

HEAD.

DESK.

So I don’t have an appointment.

I finally got past the panic attack long enough to make the fucking phone call and I couldn’t even get an appointment.

Not to mention that my heart rate was literally pounding at 108bpm as I was dialing the phone.

I’m trying to get a list of approved mental health providers OTHER THAN Park Nicollet to see what my options are.

I’ll probably force myself to call back next Monday and see what I can get.

And then I’ll consult my family practice doctor when I see him on the 17th of THIS MONTH whether or not he believes I should try to see someone sooner because he’s the one I started this whole roller coaster with in the first place.

I’ve put it off for well over a year, what’s two more months?

But that’s not really the point is it?

FML…

Slept about two hours last night. Calling it a victory because I haven’t been able to stay in bed to sleep at night for over a week now.

About 3AM, I was perusing the intarwebz when my computer screen went black.

And there it sat.

I had to do a hard shut down and restart (it wanted Safe Mode) and it took 3 tries restarting to get it functional again.

Things seemed to be running fine. Then I tried opening a game. Brown, wonky screen and a loud buzzing noise as it locked up in the middle of playing music. It sat for a few minutes, shut itself down and restarted. Again, wanting Safe Mode.

Shut down, restart.

I started copying some crucial files to my external hard drive. Then made the mistake of opening Firefox to pass the time while files copied.

BLACK SCREEN.

The light on the external HD kept flashing as though it was still copying files, but I had no idea if such was the case because my computer was just sitting there with a black screen. I let it sit for a long time, seeing if anything would happen and eventually did another hard shut down.

I started it up in Safe Mode and copied a considerable amount of crucial files to my external HD. Things copied much faster in SM than they did in normal mode. Bonus there I suppose.

It sat running in Safe Mode until Bob came into the loft after getting ready for work. I regaled him with my woes, he told me everything would be okay. And after I copied most of the files I wanted to, I restarted into normal mode and got THIS MESS.

The picture doesn’t really do it justice. The colors were a lovely, muted pink and brown and the pinstripes were perfect.

Bright sides.

I can find them.

Which brings back memories of THIS and THIS.

I’d post the pictures here, but I’m not running my computer and can’t remember how the hell to set up the FTP client.

But those are the lovely screens I used to get with my old laptop when the graphics card died a slow and painful death.

I’m not sure when the problem officially started. It has been stuttering in iTunes for a few weeks. Music is playing and it skips and sticks like a bad CD player or a scratched record. My old computer did the same thing for a long time before its inevitable death.

Last night I’d brought my computer downstairs to use while Bob played a game on the PS3 and as I was plugging it in, it slid sloooooooowly to the floor off the ottoman. Barely a foot off the floor, but still fuckadamnduck it hit the floor with an ominous THUD.

Then when I took it upstairs and put it back on my desk at bedtime, plugging it into the surge protector on the wall, the outlet snapped with a big blue spark.

So…

My computer may or may not be completely fucked.

We should be able to salvage all the important stuff if it can’t be otherwise fixed, but I won’t know until Bob has time to sit down and look at it.

Hopefully tonight.

I hope.

In the meantime I’m using this…other laptop that we have and while it’s functional, I hate it because it’s NOT MY COMPUTER.

I’m doing a fine job at feeling sorry for myself over it all.

I installed iTunes on this thing and ripped one CD. I’m sure you can guess who it is.

Also, apparently this thing only has one speaker that only plays the left channel. Because obviously.

Platyduck pretty much says it all

And I didn’t even get flowers first…

Back in September I got a letter from Walgreens telling me that starting January 1, 2012 they would no longer be able to fill prescriptions under the Express Scripts/Federated Insurance plan. It was a very…diplomatic…way of saying, “We’re terribly sorry that we care so much more about your health than your insurance company does. But we needed to tell you the truth.”

There was never a single notification from the insurance company about this change.

Bob took the letter to work to tell them, “Hey this shitty insurance fucking sucks!”

Or at least, that’s what I WANTED him to say. He probably worded it more like, “Hey, my wife got this letter and we’re probably not the only ones.”

After an exchange between work people and insurance people (who claimed this was the first they’d heard of it) we were told the two parties were actually in contract negotiations and it would more than likely be resolved by the end of the year.

Fast forward to January.

I called in a prescription for refill. I went to pick it up. The clerk asked to see my insurance card and then had to go talk to somebody else. He came back and said, “We don’t take Express Scripts anymore.” I had to pay retail price. Fortunately it was fairly cheap as far as drugs go, but it was still bullshit.

I’m just glad I don’t currently have an active prescription for Topamax that cost $200-some a month. If I still had five prescriptions to fill at one time, I would have had a complete mental breakdown in the middle of the pharmacy.

The same day in the mail, I got another letter from Walgreens. It was another, “We’re sorry we love you more than your shitty insurance does. Here’s a list of possible replacement pharmacies in the area. We’ll help you transition to somebody your shitty insurance will allow you to use.”

Bob’s taking the news to work. And I’m requesting a list of pharmacies our insurance will “allow” me to use. Because I might only have one fairly cheap prescription to fill right now, but I don’t see that always being the case.

I’m pretty sure the next change our insurance makes they’re going to tell me I can’t see the doctors I want to see. They already don’t cover my psychiatrist.

Denying access to pharmacies (one of the biggest…the biggest?…in the country) falls right in the same vein as controlling which doctors you see.

It’s bullshit.

Complete bullshit.

As the Window Leaks…

When we first looked at this house on our search, the only thing we didn’t like about it was the water damaged window and wall around it. When we came back to it to consider writing an offer on it, we figured as long as the window and wall were fixed at the seller’s expense, we’d be golden.

There had been an ice dam (though no one can seem to remember what year) in the winter and the association sent someone out to knock it down.

And that was all they did.

Damaging the roof in the process.

The seller’s disclosure said the window stopped leaking after the ice dam was knocked down.

One of the first major rain storms we had after we moved in, it leaked. A lot.

Bob and I were in the loft on our computers and I thought I heard water dripping.

DRIPPING.

WATER.

So I looked over the wall to the window below and I could see it dripping from the frame.

A towel on the window frame and a plastic shower curtain on the floor were our temporary fix.

We informed our real estate agent of the fun and she got the ball rolling with the seller’s side and the association to get somebody over here to look at the damage.

One afternoon there was a pow-wow in the living room around the window with our agent, the selling agent, the association manager, and her contractor of choice. Not much was resolved. It was “we need to decide whose insurance is going to pay for all this and we’ll get to fixing somethingsomeday.”

I don’t care whose insurance pays for it—the seller’s or the association’s—as long as it gets FIXED in a timely fashion. Although we are WAY beyond timely at this point.

We didn’t hear anything until the selling bank sent someone out to take pictures of the house for an appraisal.

The guy was very…opinionated…about the water damage and told me horror stories about mold. Which he was apparently having a reaction to while he was in my house.

At the time I had no idea what exactly his job title was, so I didn’t know if he knew what he was talking about or not.

Turns out he was in no position to be telling me how to take care of my mold problem.

There was a bit of D!R!A!M!A! with crossed communications between agents and the association and it was all sorted by the end of the day. (But I do not take lightly to being accused of things we did not do, MISS MANAGER.) But I’ve been irked ever since the first meeting with the association, et al, because they gave me the strong impression they had no intentions of fixing the damaged wall.

The dry wall that has been thoroughly watered God knows how many times. It looks terrible, and it would probably require a thorough coat of Kilz to properly paint over it. And if the window keeps leaking…it’s pretty much futile.

Also, I want to make gaddamn sure that there is no mold in the wall.

The next time the window leaked, we called the contractor and he was out the next day with an infrared camera to try to trace the leak. He found nothing. He sent his “people” out and they replaced six feet worth of shingles, believing if they replaced what was damaged from removing the ice dam it would fix the problem.

It didn’t fix anything. The window kept leaking.

After a few infrared camera searches, trips up into the attic, removing the soffit outside above the window, and…I don’t even remember what else at this point…the window still leaked. So they tore out the drywall above the window. And then they took the hose up on the roof to try to make it leak. They found…something…and decided a gutter fix was in order. Problem solved!

It leaked again.

But with the wall torn out, we could see it was coming from where the wall and ceiling meet and definitely not the window itself.

In between the gutter “fix” and the latest leak, we had our professional house inspection. He did a lot of poking around and while in the attic, he found a gap in the sheathing in the area above the window. When it leaked again and Bob called the contractor, he told him about the find. The contractor said it’s supposed to be like that, but they’d look at the picture from the inspector when they came to work on things again—just to make sure they were both talking about the same thing.

When they showed up, nobody bothered to come in the house, or even knock on the door. They just ripped off a bunch of shingles and changed the gutter and…who knows what else…and left.

We’ve had one…maybe two?…bad rain storms now since the gutter fix and I don’t think the window leaked. With any luck it is, in fact, fixed.

At least now I know they’ll be fixing part of the wall. I have a sinking suspicion it’s going to be a fight to get them to fix the whole wall…you know, the part that has the most damage.

And now we’re rapidly approaching the selling bank imposed closing deadline. We still need an FHA appraisal to see if they’ll even approve the final loan. The only thing that is going to fuck that up is the unfixed window.

We now have an absolute deadline for when the appraisal needs to be done. So we NEED the window and wall completely FIXED BEFORE the appraisal can happen, or FHA won’t “pass” the house for a loan. And that will delay closing. Which wouldn’t be as big of a crisis if the selling bank didn’t set an absolute deadline on when they’re willing to close by. I can only presume that if we don’t close by that deadline, the deal will fall through, and we—will be completely fucked.

We just need to light a fire under someone’s ass to get this DONE. Which means the contractor needs to get his ass (or his lackeys) over here and FINISH WHAT HE STARTED.

Thank gawd Bob is the one actually handling all this because I would be in a fucking padded room by now.

Instead I just swear a lot.

More than usual.

If that’s even possible.

Ugly on the inside…

Dear WordPress,

I would appreciate it if you would not take it upon yourself to go ahead and change my default settings on things. If I want things that wayI will change them to that myself. Please and thank you.

Hate you so much,
Me

In other news, last night, for the first time in probably two months or more, I slept through the night. In the way that I sleep through the night. Which is to say that I woke up probably four times that I remember, but I went back to sleep each time instead of sleeping for three hours and then staying WIDE AWAKE until Bob’s alarm goes off.

Chalk one up in the victory column.

Once more with feeling…

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

It was late afternoon, sometime close to 5:00. I was sitting at my desk at work, talking on my phone to Bob. The Absent Minded CFO™ ducked into my cube and asked me to “stop by” his office after I was done on the phone.

This meant one of three things:

1.) It was time for a “4:30 Mark Project”…some “ZOMG!URGENT” bullshit work that should have been done a week ago, but Mark put it off and now had his ass in a sling and needed one of his minions to bail him out of said sling and I was the only one in the department who wasn’t still inundated with audit season.

2.) It was time for one of our “status update” meetings we’d been having since I got back from my forced leave of absence in December wherein he berated me about my work performance and alluded to my mental health problems being fake.

or 3.) I was getting fired. Because I had been literally threatened with this at the very least once a week since I’d been back from my forced leave of absence in December.

I sat down in Mark’s office and as soon as he opened his mouth, I KNEW we had just opened door number three. He danced around the issue for as long as he could before finally getting to the point and then told me it was the end of the line.

Then he looked me square in the face and uttered seven words that I will never, ever forget:

“You’re not enthusiastic enough to be here.”

I was, at that point in time, bawling my head off. So I was in no condition to respond. What I was picturing in my mind, was launching myself over the desk and giving the fucking douche bag a tracheotomy with the ink pen in his hand.

Because one of the worst things you can say to someone who suffers from depression? Is exactly what he had just said to me.

My sincerest hope, Mr. Mark Jensen, is the next time you have an employee with a mental illness—and there WILL BE A NEXT TIME—that you choose your words more carefully when you fire them for having that mental illness. Because they might not have the support system I had when I got fired. And they might actually tip the other way when bordering on the edge of suicidal after being treated the way I was treated at your company. And I would hate for you to have to live with that on your conscience for the rest of your life.

Three years ago today I was fired from Pass The Buck Management™ for my mental illness.

It was one of the best and worst days of my life.

I am so much happier and healthier being away from that job and its incredibly toxic environment. But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t bitter about the way it all ended.

My work performance was suffering and I was making mistakes. But I asked for help COUNTLESS TIMES and I was ignored and told to fend for myself.

MY OWN SISTER WALKED AWAY FROM ME.

Someday I hope I can forgive her for that.

I’m still healing from the damage done by that Toxic Shit Hole.

It’s all a part of the process.

Here we are with your obsession…

For the first time in…I have no idea how long…a week maybe…I went to bed when Bob did instead of staying up. He gave me a fabulous back rub to relax me and I wasn’t too ungodly restless to lay in bed until I eventually fell asleep. I don’t think it took me too long to fall asleep. But I was awake after about three hours. And here I sit. I guess the sleep was nice while it lasted. And GOOD GRAVY Bob gives awesome back rubs. I am SO SPOILED. I LOVE MY HUSBAND.

I finally got my hair cut on Friday. I had four inches hacked off. It’s now too short for a ponytail. I could scrounge it into one, but most of the short layer would fall out in minutes, so it’s pointless to bother unless I need it for some reason. Sleeping without a ponytail has taken a slight adjustment, but it’s short enough not to be all up in my face without. The biggest downside is the fact that it is OUT OF CONTROL when I wake up. HOLY BEDHEAD, BATMAN. It’s also even more glaringly obvious how badly I need a perm now. But I’ll get that done…eventually. HEY. I bought one when I went to pick up my $40 worth of drugs at Walgreens so at least I made progress.

What?

I have Proactiv Patches™ cropping up on my skin in random locations. This is both aggravating and confusing. I have not used any new products on my skin to warrant a reaction. And some of them are ITCHY AS ALL HELL. Also in locations I have not experienced them before. As in…not on my face. And when they heal…in a couple weeks—because I take FORFUCKINGEVER to heal from any skin damage…there will be scarring. I really hope it has to do with it being winter and the dry air sucking the life moisture out of me.

Regardless–after almost ten years, I still say:

Fuck you Proactiv Solution. Fuck you right in the nose.

I am really crabby and excessively bitchy. I thought it was just residual aftermath of having to actually drive somewhere today (OHMYGAWD do I still know how to drive!?)…that did not go well…

But then I realize…it’s likely the early prelude to next week.

Also my medications are failing more and more all the time. Because I am too screwed up to make a damn appointment.

THAT’S MY LIFE IN A NUTSHELL…how ’bout you?