Saturday, June 30, 2012

This Is No Social Crisis. Just Another Tricky Day for You.


Well, chalk Thursday up to yet another visit to Crapville, apart from getting to see The Flaming Lips streaming online as they broke the Guinness Book of World Records for the most consecutive live shows in 24 hours (8 shows, which trumped Jay Z's 7), a tour that took them through Mississippi to ultimately land at the House of Blues in New Orleans. Wayne's voice, by New Orleans, was SHOT, while Steven maintained perfect pitch. Some sets in some towns along the journey were only 15-20 minutes long, then they'd head back on the bus and travel to the next destination. Fans and friends of Steven were disappointed he didn't get more screen time on the live feed, and were aggravated that all we got to see was Wayne. After the 6th or 7th show, Steven himself was feeling a little bummed about it himself, and admitted it gets to be a drag that the rest of the band is under-represented and The Flaming Lips look like "Wayne's band." At least the House of Blues had a boom camera, so we got to see a lot more of him.  I had school Thursday, so I missed most of the daytime gigs, but did catch the grand finale. When presented with the Guinness Record certificate in a formal ceremony, Wayne's thank-you speech consisted of a simple, "Fuck yeah!"  See below!!

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O Music Awards

After my day, going from bad to worse, getting to see my favorite band, which happens to include one of my most favorite people on the planet, sing my favorite song, wasn't a bad way to wrap things up, though I still had Luke's therapy session to attend Thursday night.

I missed a "B" on my psych exam by ONE POINT, getting a "C+." That in itself, sucked big donkey balls. If you think I flipped out over the B, you should've seen me at point C. I was beyond disappointed in myself, and in my performance, so I decided to come clean to the professor, who is offering some "alternative testing strategies" to students who aren't doing "that well" in class, which I consider a B to be, and I let her know about my slight cognitive dysfunction and short-term memory loss, and what it's from.  I told her I'm perfectly capable of being an A student, as I was in my other post-grad work thus far. The research paper's due in 2 weeks, and I still haven't decided on a topic, but am confident that I'll do exceptionally well on it. That's followed by a Power Point presentation of the paper's subject to the class, which makes me a little nervous, as I'm not that PP savvy, and I wish to God Luke had saved that vignette he filmed of me some months ago tanked out on NyQuil, because I would totally have used it (in some context).

Came home to find a letter in the mail from unemployment about my benefits ending and having to apply for extended benefits. I have to "produce" an exhaustive list of places I've "applied" for work since January. (Um....) I also have to go down to their office for a confab and to talk about job training, blah blah blah. Whatever it takes to stay on unemployment before I start my graduate work and loan out a living stipend. I'm not meeting with my grad school admissions counselor until the end of July. I need to keep scraping by until I start actual grad school. This all causes me an exhaustive amount of additional stress.

Then I've got trouble with Stosh, my primary care doc, who a) doesn't feel qualified Rx'ing my psychiatric meds and b) hasn't been getting reimbursed by Medicaid, so he said he'd only refill my meds for one more month, which leaves me scrambling to find a shrink that accepts Medicaid in the next couple of weeks. That's a bag of dicks I really don't want now, but admittedly, with as many mood fluctuations as I've had in my term without a psychiatrist's monitoring, yeah, I need one to tweak dosing. The difficult part is finding a doctor who accepts Medicaid, my former shrink being one of few who DO. Hence, an added stressor on an already full, depressive plate.

At Luke's therapy appointment Thursday night, we talked about the "you're really fucking ugly" and "you're getting fat again" comments he threw at me this week, which the therapist tried to debunk and iterate to Luke how hurtful such comments are to his mom. (Dad agreed.) The therapist tried to impress upon my son that what he thinks is funny really isn't. Claiming in hindsight that he was only kidding, the therapist told him that I take such comments to heart, and that Luke should avoid doing that at all costs.

Luke must have mentioned the word "crazy" in describing both he and myself no fewer than a dozen times, which we all tried to diffuse. I do talk about school, like at dinner, and what I'm learning, but I'm afraid it's giving Luke transference nuttiness. We talked about his gifted program, and his frustration with it, and the therapist explained that Luke's in what is probably the 99th % for intellect, whereas most of the other supposed "gifted" students are more like 70-80%. So she said, statistically, Luke won't meet a lot of other Luke-esque people in class. Like I said before, he might *not* meet other kids held to his ridiculous standards until college. I know I didn't.

I try to remember this when Luke tells me I'm fat:

I also try to remember the following regarding the pounds on the scale that unnerve me so badly:

Luke's therapist suggested we consider sending him to the Illinois Math & Science Academy for high school. He'd have to live there, which he's not going to remotely like, but we'll consider it. It's just an idea, anyway. But one to ponder between Craig and I. Oy. In the meantime, we have to continue to nurture his brand of genius as best we can. Next summer, he might be able to take some college-level courses at a university nearby, which, once his IQ test and personality/emotional tests are said and done, I have no doubt he'd qualify for.


Another grave evening of falling asleep outside at 1am, over which my mom is really, really pissed. I only vaguely recollect even coming outside for a smoke and having been up really late. Evidently, which I noticed Friday morning, I burned a big hole in my Knox sweatshirt (hail alma mater!) with one or more cigarettes, smoking half asleep. I have to believe it's something like sleepwalking, but I woke up to find a colander of lemons and tomatoes I'd put on the dryer in the basement, a piece of Swiss cheese on the kitchen floor, shit on the kitchen sink askew, but at least my room was intact and my glasses were on my desk. 

I do remember replying to another short email from Guy Friend, wishing me Godspeed given my recent mood fluctuation, in which I typo'd my way through it, then kept sending nonsensical typo'd PS's indicating that I really shouldn't type when I'm mostly asleep. I wish I could've sent him this:

In the last 1/2 session with my therapist, Erin, we discussed my "bedtime routine" and how it shouldn't include Luke or my mom. The plan is this: At 10:30pm, I go outside and smoke my last cigarette. I lock up the door and turn the light off downstairs, a mental trigger that I have to stay upstairs the rest of the night. I ready my bed early, find a book to read, or, she said, if I still feel compelled to write, I do so by handwriting in my notebook in bed, until I'm ready to go to sleep. No overly stimulating activity. She seems to think these behavioral modifications will keep me from wandering around the house at 1am, starting my sweatshirts on fire, writing nonsensical emails or attempting to blog in gibberish. Trying it out tonight.

I was pretty nonplussed with the new therapist, Erica, though we just met. She failed one simple test any hip psychologist fresh out of school should know: what NSSI stands for. (Non-suicidal self-injury.) She actually ASKED me what it meant. I explained it to her, looking oddly at Erin. Anyone who just spent 4 years studying mental health and in an internship should theoretically know what NSSI stands for. I did tell her I haven't cut in over 3 years, haven't abused narcotics in 14 years and have been sober, the NyQuil incident notwithstanding, for over 4 years. I explained my litany of psychiatric disorders in clinical terminology, and Erin weighed in: "Andrea is my smartest patient. She's also the sickest." I was a bit taken aback, but just in terms of comorbidity my case is very challenging. Erin did, at least, say I was "high functioning" and warned Erica that I'm pursuing my PsyD in Psychology, which should make my therapy sessions very interesting. I told Erica some background information on me, and included Best Male Friend and Guy Friend, and how I frequently have issues with both of them, about my parents, my son, my ex-husband and my Best Anorexic Award competition with my best friend, Kate. Stay tuned.


Well, I managed to stay inside last night, though I kept dropping my cell phone and trying to get the battery back in half asleep, which I gave up on at about midnight, I think. 

I lost 3 lbs this week! Huzzah!

Spent the evening talking to Kate, which made my WEEK, just as Steven had made my Thursday. Kate's doing better, and we got to catch up on all of our intricate life goings-on. Kate's life, dare I say, is even more spectacularly dramatic than my own at present. In a good way...

She had a theory as to why it's taken so long for Guy Friend to kiss me...3 1/2 years. It's because we lost our propinquity. I agreed and said that if Guy Friend were still working together, we'd be in a different situation than we are now, which is a stalemate. Kate also said there's the factor that Guy Friend, unlike she, I and Best Male Friend, is not a bohemian like we all are. We're all free-living artists who love without abandon, and Guy Friend is stuck in Puritanical Age and is consumed with Catholic guilt, which is ironic, given Kate was raised a strict Catholic and Best Male Friend is an atheist, and I'm lapsing Lutheran. But we're all a lot more liberal and free-thinking. We've also all lost people in our lives that we loved dearly or passionately in an untimely fashion, which gives us that seize-the-day attitude. 

Guy Friend? Kate and I agree on this, and think you should take note:

"The greatest relationships are the ones you never expected to be in, the ones that swept you off your feet and challenged every view you've had." 


Today I'm super-excited, because my best friend from high school, Christa, is coming over for dinner (and without her toddler!). I love her baby to death, but she's happy to have a weekend free, which is RARE for her, which leaves us plenty of time for girl talk, which we haven't had a chance to do sans baby since we reunited via Facebook several months ago. Then tomorrow is lunch with SuperJuls! Really looking forward to that. Between all that and the talk with Kate last night, the depressive episode seems to be resolving itself nicely. Whew! It's almost too much awesome for the Offbeat Drummer to handle in one weekend!

I've decided to challenge myself to make a mix CD of 20 songs in my iTunes library that each start out with a vocal 4-count introduction. I think I can do it. I can think of 2 right off the top of my head...alas, another project for another day. (Like the next time I'm manic.)

It's going to be a good day. "Mr. Blue Sky" by ELO shuffled on my iTunes. That almost guarantees a good day for me ahead. 

"The more attractive the woman was to the guy, the more likely he was to overestimate her interest in him, researchers found. And it turns out, the less attractive men (who believed they were better looking than the women rated them) were more likely to think beautiful women were hot for them. But the more attractive guys tended to have a more realistic assessment.
And the women? Perilloux and her coauthors found that women underestimated men’s sexual interest.
Believe it or not, this all probably makes sense from an evolutionary perspective, the scientists say. Attractiveness is linked to fertility, so if guys keep hitting on hot women, they’re bound to score occasionally and father sons who act the same way. Those attractive men don’t have to try as hard."
So guys like Best Male Friend and Guy Friend, who think they're both ugly? You're not ugly. You're both hot (to me...Best Male Friend is universally considered stunning by the masses, but Guy Friend is more unconventional in his physical adorability). Unlike Chris, who thinks he's really hot, when he's objectively quite ghastly and blech. He thinks he can land any woman on the planet because of his innate hotness. You two knuckleheads must use some kind of distorted mirrors to think you're ugly. So, so untrue. 

Meanwhile, seemingly, objectively attractive women, like Kate and I, think we're dogs and that no one thinks we're pretty, and that guys only pay attention to us because we're sick and needy, but if you think we're pretty, don't hold back on us. (Best Male Friend is actually really great about it. Guy Friend is less than forthcoming.)  A little positive reinforcement goes a long way (Kate and I talked about this.).  Also, what the study implies is that the more attracted to you YOU think we are, the more you overrate how hot we find you. Think about it and get back to me, guys.  Kate and I have a standing bet on something. Prove us wrong.

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