Career Shameer

It’s 10:44 in the morning. I got off of work two hours ago. I am sleep deprived from the last few days, and quite irritable. That’s the perfect time to belch out a post. Agreed?

I’m not sure about the rest of you, but my best cognitive realizations and abilities are birthed from pure, elegant exhaustion. I did much better in Calculus at eight thirty in the morning after four hours of sleep than I did in an afternoon class after a solid seven and a half hours of sleep the night before. My brain is backwards and I appreciate that.

However, I am at a rather jarring crossroads in my life right now. After the last three years of being in and out of psychiatric hospitals, on and off psychiatric medications, jumping around from (ignorant) diagnosis to diagnosis, gaining weight, losing weight, gaining weight again, in and out of a four year relationship, it’s left my education in shambles.

Most of you know I currently work as a Peer Support worker at a Peer Respite house and if you didn’t know, now you know. Somewhere on this blog I still have the post I put up about my first day of work there. I’ve been there for 2.5 years by this point, the longest job I’ve ever held. I started when I was 20 years old, a month or two away from my 21st birthday that I don’t remember. In my interview I told them I was a Pre-Med student eager for a career in psychiatry to fight the system.

I am now 23, four months away from my 24th birthday.

I’m not quite sure what happened. I was fully invested in my psychology degree and unscathed by the physics and math required for Med-school. I was a little perturbed about chemistry. I can’t balance an equation to save my fucking life. Another fun fact: put a Calculus equation in front of me, or teach me Linear Algebra and I”ll eat it alive. Put a pre-algebra word problem in front of me and I crumble, I disintegrate. As a writer, you think I’d understand what word problems are asking of me. As someone pretty decent at math, you’d think I’d understand how to calculate what’s being asked of me. Both of your assumptions would be horribly, horribly misled. I’m sure you can, then, deduce how well physics went.

My point in all this rambling is I can’t figure out what I want to study in college anymore. My psychology degree is almost complete and I don’t much care for it anymore. Every psychology class I take I no longer take interest in. Perhaps it’s from 1) living the experience of mental health issues and realizing textbook explanations are pale in comparison, 2) understanding the corruption that lies in the mental health industry/business, and 3) from working in the exact opposite environment that I would be working in were I to pursue my original career choice.

Perhaps it’s my stubbornness. I don’t want to answer to Insurance companies. I don’t want to be solicited or bribed by pharmaceutical salesmen offering me money to push certain drugs. I don’t want to have to deny someone my services because their insurance won’t pay for me because they don’t want medication. I don’t want to make that choice for them, it’s not my business. I don’t want to go into private practice and have to charge 300 dollars an hour and limit myself to an elitist group when we’re all very much aware that the people who need the most help are often struggling with housing, substance use, financial issues, as well as their mental health.

I don’t want to work for a county that would allow me to see that population but underpay me significantly and overload me with cases. I don’t want to only be allowed to see those people for 15 minutes when they need so much more time than that. I don’t want to be considered a doctor that only hands out medication. I don’t do well with rules that are illogical and all of the aforementioned happens to be just that.

And yet I feel that to not pursue this would be abandoning my own people. I feel the difference I wish to make can only begin with legitimizing myself, and unfortunately that requires a college degree in this day and age. But if the passion for the classes isn’t there anymore–where does that leave me? I still have a fiery passion for exposing pharmaceutical companies for what they are, for guiding people through their own mental health journey, for offering other opportunities and healing besides medication and hospitalization, but I just can’t handle sitting through these fucking brainwashing classes and pretend to care about what they’re saying.

So do I start over? Do I accept the psychology degree and switch to a different discipline? Do I follow my original plan, which would require a hard science degree? Do I have the confidence for that? Or will word problems best me? Will I make the same mistake, get the degree, and then not want to pursue the discipline? Will I even be able to get the degree? Or do I say fuck school all together and live the rest of my life check to check, roommate to roommate?

I’ve been off all meds for a couple months now. No antipsychotics, no mood stabilizers, no antidepressants, no sleep medication. I’ve 360’d my diet, and now exercise five days a week for an hour and a half. I’m making a lot of changes and it feels like it’s only natural that my career path do the same.

The real problem is i’d love to have a career in physics and a career in peer support. That just doesn’t seem realistic though. Research during the day, peer during the night? Sounds exhaustive.

What’s helped you choose your career path? Are you still searching for something? Are you at a crossroads too?

Smoke And Mirrors

If my boyfriend wasn’t my boyfriend, food would be my boyfriend.

I scarf it down way too fast, but it’s delicious, I can’t help acting like I’m on an army base with a full plate and three minutes until boot camp starts.

Anyway, whatever. What I am glad of is that my dad finally got a good doctor. When the doctor saw him do his thing where he breathes deep and scratches at his hand really fast and stares with wide eyes at you and only smiles like the Cheshire Cat when you call his name, the doctor said “well that’s a temporal lobe seizure”.

Finally, a doctor got to see what we deal with every other week.

The days he goes to the hospital (including the day I blogged about it), are¬†being misdiagnosed. TIA’s are mini strokes and can precede an actual stroke. He’s been having them for a couple years now. I’m positive they’ve been seizures. It would explain why he was just yanking on the door with it locked (and couldn’t unlock it) and why he was crawling around in circles on the floor. It would explain why yesterday¬†I found him just standing in the middle of the floor leaning over to one side scratching really fast at his hand and smiling like the Cheshire Cat at me when I called his name and why he limped his way outside in a circle while I ran after him saying “what’s going on; what’s going on?” and him replying “I wanted to see what you got me” over and over again. It would also explain why a minute later he was in the house again cooking himself something to eat and having a conversation with me like nothing happened.

So, problem solved . . . sort of it. He doesn’t know why they’re happening (I have my theories) and all my dad had done today were blood tests and urine tests regarding his kidneys and other stuff, along with a new blood pressure medication. My mother told me the doctor is a really chill guy who really cares about helping his patients (he actual had a good conversation with both of them regarding background health) which is good considering the psychotic sons of bitches we’ve had before through the county.

The one pill pusher doctor we had, which I think I’ve blasted in a post when I first started this blog, actually had the BALLS to invite us to his retirement party. I wanted like hell to go just so I could take his invitation and shove it straight up his ass.

Sure, I have social anxiety and sure, I’m extremely nervous around authority figures (particularly professors/teachers or anyone who knows more than me) but when it comes to doctors (or police officers) I could give two shits about their status. Police officers are easy, just tell the truth. I only get nervous socially when I have to give my opinion because people can shoot that down easy and that’s embarrassing. You can shoot down the truth all you want, it’s still the truth. I’m lucky most of them can’t tell my ethnicity from just staring at me so when I get pulled over and they can’t see through my tinted windows and they come around the driver’s side to see a kind of white but kind of black but not exactly Latina woman sitting there, I always get a “Oh . . . how’s it going today?” greeting.

I probably also posted about the time one was four cars behind me, put on his sirens, and instead of pulling over the ones in front of him (all of which pulled to the curb) he came behind me. He was the one who was most surprised when he saw me in the driver’s seat. He gave me a ticket for a brake light that was out. I have three. You only need two. He was a fucktard. Even the sheriff who signed off my ticket was like “what the hell did he give you a ticket for?”

I got pulled over a few months later for expired tags and asked the officer if it was legal to pull me over for only having two of the three lights working. He stumbled over his words and said “there’s a grey area”.

So whatever. I should have fought the ticket. If it ever happens again, I will.

But anyway, back to doctors. I’m not nervous around doctors. I’m nervous going to the doctors because I know I have to deal with the receptionist, sitting around all the people, and having to talk to the nurses (I can feel my heart pounding just thinking about it) and I’m even nervous when I talk to the doctor because they are humans. But I’m not nervous if I feel like they’re trying to fuck me over. I get mildly angry at first, then enraged. And at that point I will tell them straight up.

Like the one doctor who tried telling me Lexapro didn’t cause the giant cystic acne bumps on my face. What she didn’t know is that 1) I’m an expert in acne, I’ve had it since I was 10 years old and I’d never developed that kind, and 2) I’d spent two days researching the correlation between Lexapro and Acne and there is indeed a correlation; 30 thousand other people reported it. That’s not a coincidence. That was also the day I quit that shit before they tried to give me antibiotics for the acne.

And guess what? The bumps disappeared (apart from the bit of acne I still get every once in a while)

But Lexapro pissed me off, not only because of all the nightmares it gave me and the very little relief, but I had just healed my skin from acne’s torturous path and here that shit came causing more scars than I’d originally gotten rid of. I’m still having to rub aloe cactus leaves on my face just to get them to fade a little and it’s been three years since I’ve been on that crap.

Coincidence: also started having panic attacks after I got off Lexapro. I think I’ve said that before.

Well, anyway, we all know science now says anxiety is actually caused by too much serotonin so . . . you know, trust science. Trust in it. It’ll cure all your woes. Even if your woes could be cured without it.

Whatever. The point is, don’t not stand up to your doctor just because they’re a doctor. How do you expect to get full treatment if you’re not involved in it? Then you’re just riding a roller coaster in the dark with some stranger as the driver. One of my friends went to a psychologist to help with her anxiety (she’d had to move out of her parents house because it was just . . . bad; she and I were 15 when she left) and the first thing the psychologist suggested was anti-anxiety and anti-depression medications. I was laughing to the point of tears when she told me she stood up off that couch and started saying “don’t give me that bullshit; I came to you so I could talk, so I could sort out my problems, not so you could shove some bullshit down my throat”.

I laughed because it is so like her. She will speak her mind no matter who you are and she recognizes that her life is hers, not to be dictated by someone with a piece of paper that says, hey; I’m a professional.

Well, you’re a professional in yourself. They’re a professional in their field. That means you have to work as a team to learn about each other. And I’m thankful to the county doctor involved with my family who is like that. Right away he ordered all the proper tests, made Medicare pay for a blood pressure cuff, gave him better blood pressure medications (his was about 190/90; it can easily hit 230/90), and even set him up with a counselor to start working on his alcoholism. We need more like him, especially in the welfare programs.