I tried hard to slow down with my stitching this week...more on that in a moment. I left off here last week:
And I stopped here Sunday night:
I also got my castles back from Hobby Lobby. I wish the picture did them justice...the purple and silver mats really make the sparkles in the fabric pop, you just can't tell it here.
Now for the boring stuff. Between the Asperger's, OCD and Social Anxiety Disorder, I should be a walking prescription bottle but I've always prided myself on the fact that I'm really good at dealing with my issues on my own, without medical intervention (if only I could do the same with my headaches). There have been times when I just can't do it alone though and I to head to Zombie Town before things fall apart completely. I'm pretty good at recognizing the signs now after a lifetime of dealing with this...when it gets bad enough that I WANT to live in Zombie Town, it's time to pack my bags. I have an appointment with a shrink next week to book "travel" plans, but I'm afraid I may have waited too late this time.
There are various stages of disintegration. Like most Aspers, I live in my head. It's a happy place filled with Disney and Duran Duran and cross stitching. I'm able to function in the "real" world by stepping out of my head long enough to get tasks accomplished, and then back in I go. 95% of the time, I'm able to keep the "real" world out of "my" world (although I'm HORRIBLE at keeping "my" world out of the "real" world, obviously). But sometimes the "real" world gets so bad that I end up dragging it into my world and it eats things like a plague. Sometimes I'm able to stop it before it gets bad, sometimes I can't.
Then the overcompensation begins...more stitching, more Duran, more Disney until it gets hard to function in the "real" world because I don't have my happy escape place, but rather a very Epic Mickey-like world where I'm running around like crazy trying to keep things in order, only to have everything melting away before my eyes. "Real" world functioning becomes non-existent which is a problem since I have to keep a roof over my head and food in Bam's stomach. Eventually, my head becomes complete mush and everything goes black although certainly not quiet. You'd think that since my happy place is being destroyed, I would just zombify on my own and become a functioning member of society, but it doesn't work that way. Since my head never shuts off, the sound is something akin to constant, 24/7 screaming, in utter blackness. Try working that way. Yea me.
Med-time usually comes before the blackness and screaming, but since I didn't hear the "Danger Will Robinson" chant like I normally do, I've spent most of the past week wishing I could shove a hot poker in one ear and have it come out the other to shut my head up. And trust me, I'm totally kicking myself over it. The fact that I haven't had a strong headache in months should have been my first clue. My headaches are stress-related and since my stress levels have gone through the roof, I should be a walking migraine, but I've barely had a twinge of one. Obviously, real world processing has already stopped and I didn't even notice. Must be a sign of old age.
Once I do finally get all zombied up, the screaming will stop, but I just have an empty quiet head...which is nice for a time, but I don't want to live there. Plus, it takes a LONG time just to get to that point. SSRI's are blood-level drugs meaning it takes a while to build them into your system and you sometimes have to go through two or three (or twelve) different meds before you find the one that works properly. There are horrible mood swings involved, extra sleeping hours (or lack thereof), general bitchiness, severe depression and numerous other side effects that normally I don't even know I'm going through (but the people around me do) which means constant doctor involvement to monitor my progress. Just because a particular drug worked in the past, doesn't mean it will still work, so it's not like I can jump on a particular zombie train from the get-go and enjoy the journey. It's a long, drawn-out process and how I survive it is beyond me...I figure one day I just won't.
Eventually, the silence gets deafening and I'm ready to start weaning off the drugs (although I have to fight to do so, doctors sure do like zombie people). Then the rebuilding of my world can start again and I have a nice, fresh happy place to call home again. Granted, the new place looks a LOT like the old one, but with fresh paint and maybe a garbage can or two in a different locale, so it feels new. I do typically have trouble moving from my world to the real one for a time, but it's only because I'm taking extra precautions to prevent cross-contamination.
On top of the doctor fighting, I also have to fight the people around me because they like me better as a zombie. Thankfully, Asper's are selfish enough that it really doesn't matter how good of an employee, friend, or family member I am as a zombie, what matters is how cool my head space is, so I can generally brush it all away and let my freak-flag fly high.
Long story short (I know, WAY too late), I'm not sure how my blogging will be affected by this. I can probably guarantee plenty of stitch progress (because I can focus more clearly on projects), but everything else, including my mood and temperament, may change significantly (and probably many different times). I'm really scared about my fall Disney trip now...I've never been to Disney World in zombie mode before. It could very well ruin my happy place completely and the rebuild might end up looking like Universal with U2 playing, and a constant desire to scrapbook...god forbid to all three. Part of me wonders if I won't chicken out before Wednesday and cancel my appointment, but right now, I have no desire to fight for anything other than making the screaming stop and there is only one way to do that. Zombie Town, here I come!