Evolution or Reinvention

I’m moving to a state where no one knows me. I could be anyone. Other than my stupid scars, I don’t have to have a past. I know I can pretend to be bubbly and extroverted because I was as a camp counselor. I also know I can make small talk because I managed to be the talkative one at a high school friend’s baby shower, where I knew no one.

Ginny told me a while ago that I’m too intense and it is off-putting to some people at work because I’m always serious. On one hand, I’ll be surrounded by other graduate students and they may be more serious as well. On the other hand, I could try being less Olivia Dunham Season 1 and more Olivia Dunham Season 5. ;p

quicker with a smile

 

In the meantime, I’m sad that I have less than 9 days of work left. I’m avoiding packing. As I feel more sad, I’m withdrawing from friends. I’m not sure if I’m isolating to decrease the pain of leaving or if I’m isolating because that is my MO when I’m sad.

 

Have you ever moved states? If so, how did it feel and how did you handle it?

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I put a deposit on an apartment and gave unofficial notice at work!

Felicia Day_happy dance1

 

Ashley straight out asked if I’d decided what to do about my practicum and I don’t lie well to direct questions, unless it involves hiding ED behaviors… Yet I’m going to miss my kiddos!

Fringe_Olivia Crying

 

 

Good End to a Bad Week

Thank God it is Friday!

It has been a hell of a long week!

Today I was with John. We started a new thing where we call one Quiet Room the “Calm Down Room” and go there when he screams. The other Quiet Room is still a Quiet Room. We talked about it and so far it seems to work! He walked there every time, whereas he stopped walking to his other screaming area. Also, he screamed less overall.

Haha, I actually saw Ginny today. She and Danielle worked in the rooms to discreetly observe, which I love! Ginny watched Music, but Ron wasn’t there. So, it was much smoother.

I had some self-injury, restricting,  and purging urges, but I struggled through all of them and won. No one bothered me too much today. Danielle asked if I wanted to join her and my boss on a trip to the gas station for lunch. I felt wanted.

Fringe_another Olivia smile

Because I felt wanted, I ate. I guess feeling wanted made me feel like I deserved to eat? Nothing at work made me want to SI. I was anxious on my way to work because I’m worried the co-worker who backed me up about Music is mad at me. She still seemed fine though. So, I’m not sure why I’m worrying this much when she seemed fine yesterday too. Anyway, this is a nice change of pace. It is more like it used to be where work is a distraction from urges.

Olivia Dunham is my Spirit Animal

1. Olivia is serious; her smile does not come easily. (s3e09, Marionette) People tell me, even during depression remission, I need to smile more and I don’t have a sense of humor. That is not true! I just don’t have your sense of humor!

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2. She is driven and stubborn. Mostly my drive and stubbornness are pathological. I’m a huge perfectionist, which in itself is not a disease, but it is a symptom of both anxiety and eating disorders. In fact, as a child, I refused to say “sorry” even when I knew I was wrong because I despised admitting any mistake.

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3. Most of the time…Yeah…Law school, not so driven, lol! In undergrad I was perfectionistic and driven in classes I liked. If I didn’t like the class or the teacher, I didn’t try.

Fringe_oboe for six months

4. She does not trust easily and often hides her feelings. She is guarded.

 

5. She tries to shield her loved ones, really she wants to protect everyone. I do this. On one hand, I lie every day to spare them worry. On the other hand, I lie every day because I don’t want them to force me to recover. So, I have her motive, but I also have an ulterior motive.

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6. She is intuitive and smart…Or so people say about me. Ha. For a long time I thought they were stupid.

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7. She is really hard on herself (Grey Matters e10, e14,). Come to think of it, even though I have a ton of trouble getting myself to do the work in law school, I still hate myself for not doing and not doing it perfectly. Also, I hold myself to higher standards than I hold anyone else. My inpatient therapist gave me an index card saying, “What would you tell your friend, if they…” It was supposed to remind me to imagine my friend in my situation and self-talk as if it was my friend who did something wrong. For example, I got a ‘B’ on a test. My self-talk: “You’re such a failure! I hate you! Why aren’t you smart?! WHY didn’t you try harder? What is your problem? Why are you so lazy? You’re an awful person.” To a friend I would say: “A ‘B’ is a good grade!”

 

8. She is impatient.

Olivia_cut the yoda crap

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9. She hates her human weakness/ too strong emotions (Grey Matters e10). Newton: “And Olivia? Now I know how weak you are.” I remember at 13 or 14 wishing my heart would freeze (metaphorically). So, I didn’t have to feel emotions anymore and I could be more logical.

 

10. She is kind. For example, telling Walter it was he should call them any time he gets confused while Peter is away and she won’t let the government put him back in the mental institution. Plus, kids are her soft spot. The most common thing people say about me is I’m kind. I like kids; I think that comes with ovaries though! (not always, but mostly)ovaries

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11. She has a good memory, but can’t remember the illegal experimentation she experienced as a child (Jacksonville e14) I don’t have an eidetic memory; I wish I did! However, my memory is good…just not that good. In regards to childhood experimentation, she was 3 – 9 years old, while I was 7 days – 6 months old.

fire starter

My parents approved most of the experiments I was part of; however, we know of at least 2 that either were not approved by them or the doctors broke protocol, making them illegal. At my birth, the hospital was conducting trials for Surfactant, a drug used to help premature babies’ lungs grow, because previous studies showed promise, but it was not FDA approved yet. They expected us to be still born, but my brother came out crying. I was born 45 minutes later and my dad heard the nurse say, “Do it!” and another nurse looked at her suspiciously and said, “Are you sure?”, and the first nurse said, “Just DO IT!” and then the second nurse administered a light brown liquid.

The 2nd experiment (that I know of) which was illegal was a movement study. The study investigated whether NICU babies moved differently than healthy babies. My mom did not give permission until I was 2 months old, but they gave us VHS tapes from the study. My tapes were dated from 7 days old to 6 months old. Their Institutional Review Board would be unhappy! My mom refused to let them video tape me until I was 2 months old because she feared the nurses would be hesitant to check on me when the tape was recorded. I was also a case study about a medication, which caused me heart problems. My mom noticed the correlation between my tachycardia and the time of the medicine administration. The doctors insisted there was nothing in the scientific literature about the medication causing tachycardia in premature infants. My mom said there was no literature about 23 week gestation infants. They refused to believe her, despite her meticulous notes and her background as a statistics teacher at the undergraduate level. They told her if my heart kept this odd pattern, I’d die. She said if they gave me that drug again they’d hear from my parent’s lawyer and they’d get an ambulance to transfer me to another NICU. After that threat, they stopped giving me the medication and low and behold! My tachycardia stopped. The medication is no longer given to premature babies.

She has a large journal where she wrote notes of all my medical data. My parents also showed up at odd hours like 2 am to make sure Haha, some of the NICU people hated them! One nurse asked to be transferred to another patient. I visited when I was 16 because I was curious and that nurse was still there. It was…awkward…between my mom and her, lol.

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12. Olivia wants to remember, but she is afraid. I used to want to remember because I thought if I remembered all the painful medical treatments they carried out without pain medication or anesthesia (at the time, they didn’t know premature babies felt pain, but current research shows otherwise), I’d have an excuse to be messed up. I thought I needed a reason to have mental illness. I don’t anymore. Now I know sometimes it just happens and there doesn’t have to be some huge trauma someone remembers. NICU graduates have higher levels of mental illness and not just things like mental retardation, but also mood disorders like depression and anxiety

.little olive

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13. Intimacy scares her; she has trouble forming relationships (e14). That is an understatement in both our cases! I think all my issues somehow relate to this.scared

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14. She has insomnia and constantly goes over her choices again and again, beating herself up over them (Olivia. In the Lab. With the Revolver. e16). Ah sleep…perfectionism, depression, and anxiety are not your friend…Well, sleeping at night! I sleep too much during the day, when I shouldn’t be asleep because I can’t sleep at night.imageedit_7_3231508463

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15. Family is the most important thing to her (Over There: Part 1 e21 – spending her last night with Rachel and Ella and going to the hostile Other Side without a plan to save Peter). My family makes fun of me for wanting to spend so much time together. I don’t think it is so much that I’m just a loving person, as it is I’m afraid I’ll die alone and I want to keep my connections strong.

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16. “She is always trying to make up for something, right some imaginary wrong” (e22). *nods* Yes! Olivia, Nicci, and I.

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Too Sick for a Clinical Trial

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Too many feelings apparently…

I’m too high risk because of my past suicide attempts and current suicidal ideation, even though it is passive suicidal ideation. (Passive suicidal thoughts are ideas like: I wish I was dead. Everyone would be better off without me. I want to go to sleep and never wake up. Active suicidal ideation is making suicide plans, writing suicide notes, obtaining a means of suicide, etc.)

Moreover, I am too chronic. One of the reasons I wanted to do the study was that I’ve tried almost every type of medication (SSRIs, NSRIs, Atypical antipsychotics, Tricyclic Antidepressants). The only class I haven’t tried is MAOIs. It turns out, you CAN be too sick to get into a psychiatric clinical trial.

Fauxlivia_Fringe_angry glare

Since I’ve tried (and failed) so many medications, it is less likely that any new, untested medicine will work on me and (understandably) they want their medication to work, so that they can get FDA approval. The doctor hastened to add that he wasn’t saying I was beyond help. He recommended Vagus Nerve Stimulation or Transcranial Magentic Stimulation.

His comment rang hollow; despite his assurance that he didn’t think I was hopeless, it feels like that is what he meant. I looked up TMS and it is less likely to work on the chronically depressed.

Research Studies for Depression

I’m investigating clinical studies for depression treatment.

Okay_olvia_Observer Boy_Fringe

Sadly, many of them exclude people with eating disorders.

My mom’s reaction surprised me! She wasn’t completely opposed to the idea. Now to broach the subject with my psychiatrist…

 

Dentist: It was perfect! NO teeth problems!

The Bulimic and the Dentist

WOW, I woke up at 8:20 am!

In about 3 hours, I have a dentist appointment for the first time in years. I’m nervous. They know about my bulimia, but I was recovered for 2 years. 4 years prior to that I only went through spurts of purging relapses, never long enough to retain my old bulimia diagnosis. I had an EDNOS diagnosis. As of June, I met the DSM V criteria for Bulimia Nervosa for the first time since 2009. Therefore, I’ve purged a lot since March. (The criteria specifies purging one a week – the DSM IV said twice a week – for at least 3 months.) I’m anxious about the damage to my teeth.

Olivia_Scared

My grandma is in surgery right now to remove a breast cancer tumor. She is one strong woman! She battled uterine cancer, leukemia, and a previous bout of breast cancer. Luckily, they caught it early; it is stage 1 and a relatively non-aggressive type of cancer. My mom is at the hospital with her, just like she was at the hospital with me 2 weeks ago for my eye surgery.

Yesterday: I purged. I napped, BUT only for an hour. That IS progress. It is a normal amount of napping (Right?), as opposed to my usual 3 hour naps! I did not binge. Yes, I ate ice cream, but it was a typical serving size and I did not feel out of control. Two steps forward, one step back. Overall, I’m pleased.