31 October 2010

Been three years since I got sick.

29 October 2010

this morning I went to an extra seminar my Chinese history teacher is holding for the class. in it were two white guys with knowledge of classical Chinese, the Chinese literary tradition, and Chinese scholarship, and a guy who looks permanently stoned. he liked to talk, for example, about the surreal experience of reading an encyclopedia of Chinese history of science in a truck at the dump. on arriving I referred to the first two as the A-team and they looked horrified. I think we were all feeling overwhelmed. the professor said that what we are looking at is very difficult for experts to make head or tail of. the professor was carrying a stack of books almost as tall as herself, almost all of which were really cool and inspiring. the books were passed around and I wrote down the interesting parts of their tables of contents as possible sources for my paper. I found out that I am interested in the same sorts of things as the two smart people, and that isn't all bad. it was an early morning hour that served up the most fun parts of university in distilled form.
It is common for people who are very prone to anxiety to be bad at empathy.
I bought my cat new dishes. He's a bit of a size king. The old ones were too small, he wouldn't use the water dish and would inhale all of the kibble in one go. The new situation is improved. Aesthetically, the Chinese blue-on-white with botanical print and grey speckles is an improvement as well.
My sister treats me like a pariah. In the words of the pervy neuropsychologist, she can't handle what's happened to her, what she's done to herself, so she needs to blame me, and does so in myriad ways. Seeing someone in a psychological state this extreme is vertiginous. She's really hostile, she can't help herself from snapping at me and making me a villain no matter what I say. Recently she's started catching herself and apologizing when she does this. I don't appreciate that nearly enough. According to the pervy neuropsychologist I am supposed to cultivate a reaction of "oh you poor thing," no matter what she does. I may need training. Apparently I needed to really screw up in order to understand and be able to help.

27 October 2010

I did
a) identify the problem
b) talk
c) ask for help
d) continue sleeping properly. make that, oversleeping. but not in the morning.
that's psychotherapy in action

25 October 2010

today being unhealthy in healthy ways was enough to cheer me up. cases in point: drinking cocoa in the rain, doing research for the class I'm not behind in as fun procrastination.
autumn is a good time of year for fruit if you like persimmons and pomegranates.
I don't think I've ever thought of myself as just a crazy person. there have certainly been times when the crazy was pretty much all-encompassing - that is the nature of psychosis, it really captures one's attention. psychosis requires a lot of mental attention - in being occupied with disturbing thoughts, in focusing one's mental energies to try to come down from what feels like a panic attack but goes on way too long, in just being disrupted, forgetting things and having difficulty concentrating, in talking to nurses and doctors about one's mental state twice or three times daily - despite which, the tendency among patients is to deny that they are ill, or the extent to which they are ill. paranoia and delusions feel very important, they feel more than real. they can lead to very intense empathic leaps; connections seem hyperreal, language hypertextual. later maybe I don't remember everything, besides which, excising the crazy from one's baseline thinking becomes a way of getting better or avoiding death by embarrassment. talking about it can be normalizing for what is mostly a traumatic experience, but crazy isn't an identity. even then I would be trying to read.
The Paris Review has opened up its interview archives for public consumption and rumination on the writer's craft. here is an interview with michael houellebecq. when I was in the hospital for the first time attempting to sleep off my psychosis in the psychiatric assessment unit, my psychologist provided me with a copy of The Believer containing an interview with Michael Houellebecq. it's dark times and the schtick hasn't yet gotten old.

24 October 2010

it rains and rains as though the whole sky is crying for my inability to make arguments.

23 October 2010

I did all kinds of healthy things today - literally planted a tree and drank green tea until the beginnings of a cold coming on were banished. plus now my skin is glowy. I came up with two sets of arguments... and two sets of arguments for why they were no good.

19 October 2010

I wasn't brought up in a house where you argued. As I got older people's feelings needed to be respected and there became less of a determination that one must mind-read, but conversation was still not on the top of anyone's list. Now I have to form arguments and it bends my mind, how working to understand is not enough and even besides the point. Today I totally failed to form an argument and went on with my day, making soup and picking up a magazine to read about art.

18 October 2010

my father says that when I am studying I emit energy in the form of vibration.

17 October 2010

research topic: are there epistemic reasons a museum's civic presence would be construed as invisible?

16 October 2010

I can't tell if I'm frustrated, angry, or crazy.

14 October 2010

I must get some real work accomplished and right now that fact makes me sad.

13 October 2010

I was worried I wouldn't get my period because I was too skinny. Then I managed to splash blood on myself and the floor of a public restroom. It was a victory of sorts.
my cat likes potato chips. my favourite prof sends good job notes. these things make me smile.

12 October 2010

dear proquest digital dissertations,

lets make out on the couch. lovingly,

I want to buy a whole bunch of books. The thing is, there is a backlist of things to acquire because I love them, but I am also looking forward to new and fabulous things. There is also an issue of space. As much as I love books living in a library can be oppressive. All of my books are above eye level, except for the ones piled on the desk, and the dresser, and the library books with their spines lined up on the floor. Really there is just a narrow passageway of floor space stretching from desk to door. And I don't even have that many books! Please leave book recommendations in the comments section.

11 October 2010

it's always scary when things get back to normal. that's when I fear for my bearings most.
my new plan for sleeping better involves olanzapine and melatonin. olanzapine prescribed by my doctor and melatonin on the recommendation of a pharmacist. the olanzapine was enough to stop what was probably psychosis creeping in - probably because I haven't felt panicked like I was since taking it - but left me feeling dazed and somewhat disoriented. it has a reputation for working quickly, making people sleepy, and raising blood sugar and cholesterol (along with the other standard warnings about antipsychotics), which is why the doctor gave it a go and the pharmacist was grossed out. melatonin is a hormone the body makes naturally, and can help you fall asleep, stay asleep, and sleep longer. sometimes people don't make enough melatonin. it's also a powerful antioxidant, which is nice, since antipsychotics are slightly carcinogenic. in any case, my worry and my sleep now have elixers of control.
limpid [ˈlɪmpɪd]

1. clear or transparent
2. (Literary & Literary Critical Terms) (esp of writings, style, etc.) free from obscurity
3. calm; peaceful

[from French limpide, from Latin limpidus clear]

limpidity , limpidness n
limpidly adv

09 October 2010

thought my yoga class yesterday was useless but now I have some nice sore muscles.
my other favourite tea is called tie kwan yin (goddess of mercy). it is a gentle green oolong, which means it is oxidized only slightly, the leaves rolled to release their oils. it is delicately floral, without the grassy, astringent or marine tones of green tea. you should come out for tea with me.

08 October 2010

what's good: kabusecha tea, the rush that comes from eating a substantial quantity of green stuff, a chance to work with my old boss on a school project, a note from a prof that says I write elegantly even if I don't have an original idea.

05 October 2010

last night an unusual panic attack, which I blame on my poison pills. I was proud of myself, I kept on working as soon as I could breathe again. life moves on, even with badly drafted papers.

04 October 2010

sleeping pills report

Prescribed by my doctor because I have been suffering from difficulty sleeping since I began taking a new antipsychotic one year ago. Initial response (t= 15 min) was positive: I felt as though I was floating on a fluffy white cloud, smiling. This is the sedative effect and is especially nice for about an hour. After I got to sleep, which took more than an hour, I wanted to sleep longer than the 7-8 hours recommended be set aside. Effectiveness diminished as life stress increased. The rebound, not being able to fall asleep normally after a night of taking the pills, is brutal. By the third time I'd used them I was up until 4:30 am anyhow. I slept through a meeting Friday morning and by the weekend I felt sick. Saturday was spent lying in one position, exhausted but drifting off to sleep only as if theoretically until suppertime. I've since hidden the pills in the back of my sock drawer and mentally refer to them as poison. Healthier ways of falling asleep include taking a calcium-magnesium pill, winding down all rational thought one hour before going to bed and focusing mental energies into a modified meditation on nothingness.

02 October 2010

when I have no thoughts it all seems so pathetic and sad. I've become dumbly average, there's no crispness, no insight, just whining. going to read for fine sentences now.

01 October 2010

I’ve come to think emotional generosity is as much a part of human brilliance as heat is of flame, whiteness of snow.
richard stern, lrb
cute overload: one kitten giving another kitten a back massage; three baby kittens sleeping in a pile, small, medium and pint size, who get up to launch themselves at the shoulders of anyone who comes close, their tiny needling claws sinking in. inside their steel cages they need so very much love it is overwhelming.