Posts Tagged ‘Blah’

But It Just May Be a Lunatic You’re Looking For

Friday, December 24th, 2010

So those of you who have been in therapy, do you ever look back on that experience and wonder if the therapist thought you were crazy? Or maybe diagnosed you with something really debilitating or awful, even if it was just to get your lousy insurance company to pay although – let’s be frank here – that’s probably just rationalization. I mean, if someone was secretly treating you for antisocial behavior disorder or any of the behavior disorders (famous for their doomsday-like prognosis: there ain’t no pill that will stop you from being a narcissist) then they probably actually thought you had said disorder and their reasons for not sharing your own fate with you run the gamut from protecting you from certain despair to plain old ‘just another not very good therapist.’

I have no idea what this is.

I remember I saw a therapist  just one time – before it became clear that my insurance would NOT pay for her and I was 100% on the line for her outrageous $226 ‘first meeting’ charge, which I paid in small $20 doses even though I technically could have afforded to do it all at once. It was the principle of the thing. And a misguided hope that she would drop the remainder of the bill out of guilt or a sense of not wanting to rip off some nice girl who truly got nothing out of that hour except a giant, unexpected  invoice and what I’m about to tell you.

So anyway, at some point near the end of our brief, but pricey meeting she announces that she had decided I was suffering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), an off-the-cuff and likely worthless diagnosis that made me proud. I have no idea why. I guess because it indicates I’m a survivor. Or someone who did three tours in Nam. I mean, you have to be tough to have PTSD and not be a heroin addict, right? Oh, and it’s fixable, or so I’ve heard. So all in all, I was okay with the prognosis. It was a badge of honor, even. A pat on the back, and a “Better luck next time. You’ve survived your life thus far. Sure, you’re messed up, but you’re still among the living. Hey, at least you’re not schizophrenic.”

That stated. this morning, for reasons unknown, I found myself thinking about this other lady I saw for about six months. She was the only therapist in town that my insurance would be pay for (seriously) and for the hassle, the co-pay was nothing. It was $5.00 a session to see her, and the first five or ten or so were free. As with most things in life, it was a ‘you get what you pay for’ situation. In hindsight (and even at the time), she wasn’t much of a therapist, and she seemed almost impressed with me. I think most traditional therapies ascribe to the school of coping equals wellness, meaning as long as you’re more or less going along without any major blips or addictions or other acting out, then you’re doing well. The whole goal is to get you to cope, and the buck more or less stops there: continue coping for the rest of your life and consider it a job well done.

I wonder if this plate is available in the state of Washington?

So truth be told, and if you haven’t already surmised as much, I didn’t have much respect for the woman nor did I think she was helpful in any real way (and later she developed an intense jealousy of my hypnotherapist and even questioned why I kept coming to her for these talk-only sessions and forced me to reveal that it was a) because I liked talking about myself and b) it was cheap. For $5, I can’t even get a friend to listen to me for ten minutes uninterrupted.) So anyway, the woman (whose name I honestly can’t remember. Let’s call her Pam. It may have been Pam, but I”n not sure. Perhaps it started with a P? I recall her face, so it’s weird to me that I can’t remember even her first name.) had had a lengthy career working with patients with borderline personality disorder. For those of you who aren’t familiar, borderline personality disorder is a condition in which a person makes impulsive actions, and has an unstable mood and chaotic relationships.

As for symptoms:

Relationships with others are intense and unstable. They swing wildly from love to hate and back again. People with BPD will frantically try to avoid real or imagined abandonment.

BPD patients may also be uncertain about their identity or self-image. They tend to see things in terms of extremes, either all good or all bad. They also typically view themselves as victims of circumstance and take little responsibility for themselves or their problems.

Other symptoms include:

  • Feelings of emptiness and boredom
  • Frequent displays of inappropriate anger
  • Impulsiveness with money, substance abuse, sexual relationships, binge eating, or shoplifting
  • Intolerance of being alone
  • Recurrent acts of crisis such as wrist cutting, overdosing, or self-injury (such as cutting)

Books on dealing with these folks have uplifiting titles like “When Hope is Not Enough,” “I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me,” and “Sometimes I Act Crazy.” Needless to say, it’s a wild ride, and probably not a very fun one. On a related note, I’ve been trying (in vain) to remember the name of this book the person we’re calling Pam gave me because I think I was hoping to see if if the methodology within (best described as Buddhist awareness) was the common treatment for some kind of dreadful mental problem that she suspected I had but never had the nerve to tell me. But then again, at the same time, I suppose worrying that you’re crazy is the first clue that you’re probably sane (or sane enough), as most crazy people rarely stop to take note that the voices in their head aren’t actually coming out of anyone’s mouth.

Just so you know I still care.

In other semi-relevant news, about a month ago (during the early stages of my four week-long sickness which is FINALLY more or less over) I had a couple glasses of wine and took half an Ambien and apparently got out of bed not once, not twice, but THREE times, the third of which I was found staring out the windows and muttering about how “they’re here.”

Very Poltergeist of me, no?

You hear these horror stories about Ambien (leaving your home, driving down the wrong side of the highway, or – worst of all – consuming thousands of calories and not remembering a single bite of the dry cake mix, beef jerky, raw eggs and shells, and two pounds of macadamia nut binge) and the first time I took it I was so wigged out that I put a chair in front of the hotel room door before going to bed in the hopes that I wouldn’t be able to get out of the room in the night and inadvertently become the lead story on the ten o’clock news.

To explain, I only have the stuff because when I used to travel East for work, I’d have a hell of time adjusting my sleep schedule, so I’d finally calm down and doze off around 4am, and then have to be up at 6am and work all day, and after about three days of this, I was more or less hallucinating.

Native Americans and their damned descriptive naming...

Enter a now five-year old prescription of Ambien that still has about twelve pills and is maybe used once a year. Also, it’s the old school kind (not the continuous release) associated with all the bizarre and unpredictable sleepwalking-plus behavior. It kind of brings to mind an idea for an experiment where maybe I’d booze it up and then take an Ambien and fill my place with motion sensor cameras and see what kind of trouble I get into? That could make an interesting reality show, at least in theory.

Finally, I do feel rather badly about neglecting the hell out of this blog (and you!) and have no real excuses minus my lingering illness and overall lack of riveting content, but presuming you’re okay with lengthy and pointless musings on whether or not a therapist I saw three or four years ago secretly thought I was insane, then I promise to provide much more regular, but still totally worthless, updates.

In fact, my intentions are so strong that I will come through on this promise that I’m not even going to wish you a Merry Christmas in the hopes that  I an conjure up some more cheerful, holiday-appropriate content and share it with you again then.

p.s.

But just in case, Feliz Navidad.

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How Do I Hate Thee? Let me count the ways…

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

I hate the way you give me anxiety bordering on a breakout of hives.

I hate the way you’ve made me call the heavily accented lady at the help desk (is she the only one who answers or is it just fate giving me her each time???) three times before noon with my stupid questions.

I hate that even if I put in my best effort, I’m not entirely sure I’m going to build a website that’s anything more than the equivalent of a messy crayon drawing obviously done by a slow child.

I hate that real experts cost thousands and thousands of dollars and often don’t deliver that much more than what I could have cobbled together myself and  yet leaves me feeling totally dependent on them should catastrophe strike.

No amount of Joomla! books will bring me comfort...unless it turns out a web designer comes with them.

I hate that it’s snowing (not your fault, but maybe it is in some kind of extended global warming sort of way.)

I hate that I keep wishing I was rich and could make this somebody else’s problem.

I hate that of I’m the ‘technically savvy’ half of the new business venture I’m part of, because that basically means we’re doomed, at least technically speaking.

I hate that it’s 1pm, and I’m still in my bathrobe, and I’ve already cried twice, and I’ve done nothing for three hours but work on setting up this website and ultimately achieved what an expert probably would have pulled off in fifteen minutes.

I hate celery.

I hate waiting in long lines.

I hate shoveling.

I hate feeling incompetent.

I hate being stuck: literally, figuratively, and metaphorically.

I hate waiting.

I hate not knowing.

I hate how I get in my own way.

I hate whiners.

I hate that I’m whining.

And yet…oddly enough…I actually feel rather better, so I suppose I’ll stop my whining now and knock off a few other items on the to do list, and wait to see if the DNS server changes I made were actually done correctly. And, with any luck, I’ll continue my tortoise and the hare (me being the tortoise) progress and have something to show you in a few days.

Slow and steady wins the race, right?

We shall see…

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Just the Way You Are

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

So I’m a girl.

Billy Joel: The StrangerThus, it’s a given that I would get  all smooshy over the lyrics  to Billy Joel’s “Just The Way You Are” and now Bruno Mars’ completely unrelated, but identically named “Just the Way You Are Are” for entirely different, yet similarly pathetic reasons.

Immature love:

“And when you smile, the whole world stops and stares for awhile

Cause girl you’re amazing just the way you are.”

Versus seemingly more mature love, yet probably equally doomed love:

“I wouldn’t leave you in times of trouble

We never could have come this far

I took the good times, I’ll take the bad times

I’ll take you just the way you are.”

Bruno MarsIf there really is such a thing as love, I vote for the latter. Personally, I’d rather be loved for being me than for the way my nails are painted.  But hey…

In other news, I really labored over the title of this post and thus, directly or unintenttionally or some such thing, drug out its eventual publication. I started with “A stitch in time saves nine” but that has nothing to do with anything. Then I went to the pun “Sew adorable”…but I hate puns. I won’t bore you with the iterations in between except to say that they were so bad that I was relieved to be moved by the dumbass scenario above, and thus conjure my final main subject matter and related title.

Nonetheless, and in conclusion, and in other news, I need someone to make me a dress. I have a good  friend who makes clothes and sells them on Etsy (you know who you are), and I may have to call you out literally (or just pick up the phone and call you) because I WANT THIS DRESS.

I want the one on the left with the turquoise top. LOVE.

Not this short, necessarily, and definitely not with the strange hairdo, but otherwise: exactly.

I actually want this dress enough that I have vaguely considered pulling out my own sewing machine and ruining several pieces of cheap jersey until I figure out how to make this. And that’s scary talk, because (minus a period where I made hats and sold them at Grateful Dead concerts: don’t ask) I don’t really know how to sew.

I wish I did.

I LOVE clothes.

And I love to save money.

And I love variety.

And I could combine  all three passions into one happy experience if I knew how to sew, but it’s not exactly like (searching in my mind something simple that anyone can just pick up and do expertly. Ummmm….) chewing gum. You need some schooling and some skill and some inside tips and tricks or it ends up looking like something you made yourself, which is never good. I remember when I was a little girl we made a wrap skirt in Girl Scouts and for some reason I had this hideous dark green wool material (compared with denims and flowered cottons brought by the other girls) and although the skirt worked out, it was butt ugly and (in my opinion) looked homemade. It also had a bad habit of coming open in a most unladylike way, which was probably my guardian angel’s attempt to prevent me from wearing it in public.

As if the green wool wasn’t enough.

Too bad it wasn’t…. (coming open either…)

Thinking of going with the curl instead of fighting it.

In other news, as long as I’m sharing boring things, I have a haircut Monday, and I’m thinking about giving in and going with the curl. And sticking with a more natural color (i.e. kind of like her color). Admittedly, I won’t be able to pull it back or put it into a ponytail or wear it the way it currently is 99% of the time, but I also do that because I’m not super thrilled with it right now anyway.

So there you go: I love this dress and I may cut my hair shorter still.

Exciting times.

Best of times.

Worst of times.

Boringist of times.

Some rain, some shine.

It was the age of wisdom,

It was the age of foolishness,

It was the epoch of belief.

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The worst idea ever

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

And  yet I’m compelled.

I’m not sure how I found this (File under: The magic of the internet), but check it out:

enter the wagging in a winter wonderland contest

What if pets ruled the holiday season? Would ugly holiday sweaters be buried in the snow? Would carolers sound like whirring can openers? Describe the perfect holiday season from your pet’s point of view, and you could win big!

Pamper Your Dog Package ($6,795 Value)

The Ultimate “Pamper Your Pet” prize package, brought to you by Purina, includes:

  • Roundtrip coach airfare for two (plus your pet) to New York City (Travel must be booked by 3/31/2010)
  • Pet-friendly hotel accommodations for two nights and dinner for two in New York City
  • A private training session with one of Biscuits & Bath’s expert trainers
  • Customized dog grooming session
  • 1 Luxury dog house and more!

Pamper Your Cat Package ($5,800 Value)

A Natural Health Weekend at the Sagamore Resort on beautiful Lake George includes:

  • Airfare to and from the closest airports (Travel must be booked by 1/15/2010)
  • Deluxe accommodations for three nights
  • Spa treatment and dining package
  • Breeze For Cats system with 1 year supply of refill litter
  • Heated pet bed, automatic pet water fountain and more!

Wipe Your Paws Home Makeover Package ($28,000 Value)

One lucky winner will receive a pet room/area makeover complete with:

  • Custom room sketch for pet room or area by Libby Langdon, an interior designer and expert commentator on HGTV’s “Small Space, Big Style” (Photos for room makeover must be submitted by 3/31/2010)
  • Phone consultation from designer
  • $8,500 to bring the design to life
  • Personal organizer from Real Simple to organize the home closet and pet area

Best In Show Package ($5,100 Value)

You’re invited by Us Weekly magazine to celebrate the hottest in entertainment at the annual star-studded Hot Hollywood party. Prize package includes:

  • Round trip coach airfare to and from Los Angeles, CA (Travel must be booked by 3/31/2010)
  • Two nights hotel accommodations
  • Two tickets to the Us Weekly Hot Hollywood party in April 2010
  • Custom pet basket with grooming products, leash set, dog bowl and dog bed
  • Custom dog house, gift basket and more!

Licking Chops Package ($4,375 Value)

The Purr-fect Epicurean Adventure Prize Package includes:

  • Roundtrip coach airfare for two to New York City from the closest major airport (Travel must be booked by 3/31/2010)
  • Double occupancy accommodations for two nights at a celebrated New York hotel
  • Two dinners at “purr”ific restaurants such as BLT Fish, Blue Fin, Lure Fishbar, Mary’s Fish Camp or Red Cat
  • A trip to New York City’s acclaimed MOMA to see Paul Klee’s iconic “Cat and Bird” painting
  • 1 Cooking Light® Gift Basket, 1 year supply of Purina pet food and more!

Oh man, I don’t even know where to start with this.

But let me say…Dozer does not travel well.

The last time he stayed in a hotel, I left him for 30 minutes to get some lunch and when I got back the guy in the room next door was moving out.

Whoops.

He’s a howler.

With mild separation anxiety.

Sorry ’bout that.

Plus, putting him on a cross-country flight to spend two nights in a dog house (prison), getting trained (Nazis) and groomed (torture) is probably the opposite of his “wonderland” and certainly nothing he would describe as “pampering.”

To be frank, Dozer’s perfect holiday season would involve being camped on the couch and delivered an unlimited quantity of roast turkeys to devour at his leisure, and I’m not so sure that reality is a contest winner…

Now Fu on the other hand.

Fu is travel-sized.

And fancy.

And magazine-worthy.

And I think he might make a nice excuse to win a free trip to NYC. Just one question: On this ‘purr’ific restaurant…I don’t have to take a f*cking cat into a NYC restaurant, do I?

Cause that would be awkward.

Even more awkward?

A $28,000 pet room.
What the eff???

I have enough “my pet thinks I’m his servant” problems (times two). Designing him a special room and closets and featuring this nonsense on TV?

Count me out.

It’s Licking Chops or bust…

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Seven birds doing a-something

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

What?
You’re honestly surprised?

It’s more birds.

Of course.

Mean-ass birds at that. Seven swans a-swimming, if you must know.

At first pass, I was going to share a boring fact about how I was told that the Queen of England owns all the swans in Great Britain, but I did some research and it turns out that in all actuality she owns all wild swans of the ‘mute’ swans species living in open water.

***yawn***

The rest of them are public property and good eating.

Apparently some of you Brits think it’s treason to kill a swan (let alone eat it) and the crime carries the death penalty…but it turns out you’d be wrong. I don’t know what the punishment actually is, but The Green Mile it is not.

Anyway, enough about swans.

Instead, how about a list of things you probably shouldn’t do while driving across the state of Washington in bad weather?

  • Make a sandwich
  • Search through your iPod for “Pale Moon”
  • Update your Twitter status
  • Open a partially shaken up bottle of fizzy water
  • Write an email on your Blackberry
  • Look for a Starbucks on the non-cooperating GPS unit which soon sends you down a dirt road
  • Clean lettuce shreds out of your cleavage
  • Research the lyrics to Pete Townshend’s “Let My Love Open the Door”
  • Knit a sweater
  • Play Scrabble
  • Carve an ice sculpture
  • Perform open heart surgery
  • Translate the Upanishads from the original Hindi

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