Friday, October 24, 2014

Annual Review

Today was my annual review.  For a few years now, this has meant a day of a really dramatic and embarrassing emotional breakdown in front of whatever poor supervisor was delivering the goods.

Bad times.  Ugly crying.  Days of despair.

The reviews, by the way, were never bad enough to have warranted such a messy reaction.  They weren't great, to be quite honest, but neither was my performance.  It's part of why it sucked so hard- it was fair.  I was a big ole mess for a long time.  I feel bad for having put my coworkers in the position to have to deal with me.  Probably made their jobs harder than they should be.

This year was positive across the board, and I felt mellow about it coming and going.

I feel pretty mellow in general lately.  In fact, I'm not sure I could generate the emotions to fuel that kind of off-the-rails shitshow right now.

This has led me to gaze into my navel for a bit to figure out what's different.

The first thing that pops into my head is my living situation.  It will be one year without a Shitty Roommate next week, and that certainly does help with my overall mental health.  Not having to deal with another deeply disordered person's chaos and mess makes a huge difference.  The fact that I can actually afford to pay my dramatically-lower utility bills is icing on that particular cake.  William Gibson's quote speaks truth- "Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes."

On a related topic, all of the animals are generally healthy right now.  I loved Old Man, and I miss him, but caring for a chronically-ill creature for years takes its toll.  I have not had to bleach urine out of the garage floor in almost a year.  I have not had to inject anything into anyone.  I have not smelled ketones wafting off a filthy sticky cat, and I have not had to plan my day around carefully timed feedings and insulin.  I had forgotten what it was like to be able to swing by the grocery store on the way home from work.

Trixie's doing well.  Her pirate eye doesn't seem to bother her, and the melanoma vaccine seems to be working.  All her X-rays have come up clean, and she's developed vitiligo, which suggests that her immune system really IS going after pigment cells with a vengeance.  Her spotty pink lips are a little goofy looking, but I'll take it.

Zippy is beginning to understand that I need to sleep at night, and has not been keeping me awake at all hours.  He's becoming a lovely real boy, instead of a devastatingly cute kinetic needle-beast.

The rats have passed the two-year mark without tumors or lung diseases or dementia, which is a first for me.  Getting them from a breeder who really takes health into consideration was a very good choice.  They're still clicking along, active and happy, although Boris is starting to lose a little fur on his back and is getting some greys on his face.

I have been off the Diet Pepsi for a little over four months.  I know that the FDA says aspartame is safe, and aspartame poisoning is one of those fad-diseases that doesn't really exist, and all that rot… but seriously, I think I had aspartame poisoning.  I am way less moody, I have far fewer headaches and allergic asthma symptoms, my skin is clearer, and all my physical pains have a definite injury associated with them.  Nothing seems to hurt for no particular reason.

All in all, I am less angry, less desperate, less offended, less terrified, less disgruntled, less obsessive, less compulsive, less disgusted, less cranky, less irritable, less hopeless, less less less less less.

More…. content?

I don't remember ever having any of the emotions I have right now.


  1. Changing your diet does have a great way of changing your attitude.

    Getting rid of any food that disrupts your personal system makes life much easier.

    Having the strength to do it is the key.

    Glad you are doing so much better.

    1. Meeeee too. It's amazing how blind to the chaos you get when you're thrashing about inside it.

  2. Since starting on new drugs I have exactly that too; less of all the badness and sadness. Mostly it's good, but sometimes I notice that I have less of the passions as well, and I mourn for having to make the choice. But I hope you keep on feeling better and stronger!

    1. We're all just a bunch of chemical reactions, and those reactions are not static. Perhaps, over time, your brain will learn how to have the pleasant extreme reactions without also overloading the unpleasant extreme reactions. Sure, you can't really do a beautiful backstroke while wearing a life preserver, but at least you aren't drowning for a while.

  3. Replies
    1. They're okay when they're not embarrassing.

  4. WAHOO! Go Tante! :D All I can say is: HUGS! LOVE! AND MORE HUGS! May this continue into the years to come.

  5. Yay! I'm so glad for you! It's great to hear that all your animals are doing well; for them and for you as their caretaker. I've learned in recent months how incredibly draining it can be taking care of a sick or elderly pet.

    And kudos for kicking the diet cola habit! I need to follow your example on that.

    1. I will take sick/elderly pet care over any other sort of draining activity every time. Caregiver fatigue is awful, but strengthens the heart.

      Just go a day without the soda, and see what happens. It's what I did.

  6. I still have some work to do 'til I get to the mellow spot you've reached, but I'm glad we both seem to be doing better.

    1. Hey, better is better, even if it's not all-the-way-better!

  7. I used to have a diet coke habit - not too bad - one, maybe two a day. But then I felt that they were having a cumulative effect and I just started feeling bad. So I kicked the habit and if I have coke, it's a real, full sugar affair. I prefer the devil I know (sucrose - in those bottle cokes) to the devil I don't know (what the heck is aspartame anyway?)