Beta Test

I got an invite from Blizzard for the Battle For Azeroth Beta test, so I’ve been checking it out. It feels like kind of a mess honestly. Cutscenes, artwork, voice acting, design, so much unfinished, and it’s supposed to be released in 3 months! The last time I was invited to a beta test was for Cataclysm, and it didn’t feel as incomplete as this. It is very much still in the works.

In other WoW related news, I quit tanking for my women’s guild raid. I was feeling very frustrated because we have not been progressing because some players would bring different toons every week. For the past four weeks we have been getting to the 7th boss in the instance, but a couple weekends ago, the guild leader and raid leader and other players all brought alts. I was rather upset because the week before, the raid leader said we would start on the harder bosses for progression, but instead of a clean run we wiped on every boss and only killed 5. I thought we were going to continue our progression. That was the third week in a row that the raid leader had brought an alt because she wanted to gear it up. She has brought a demon hunter, hunter, and death knight. And last week she brought a Druid!

We only raid once a week, but this time because most everyone brought their mains we killed the first 6 with no wipes. But when we got to our progression boss we only had about 40 mins to work on him, which is not a lot of time at all. By then, I was feeling very tired and stressed because I could not get in a good rhythm with the off-tank and I was not getting the taunt timing right. It was very frustrating for me. Not to mention I was in pain in my neck and shoulders and my lower back to the point that my legs and feet were feeling cold. I was stressing out all week from the pain and taking Tylenol and muscle relaxants and having trouble sleeping. Now, I was starting to feel obligated, and when that happens, it is a sign that I am not having fun in raid anymore 😦

I am gonna miss tanking though because I like the challenge. I am also disappointed because I never really felt like I fit in. I’m the kind of raider that comes prepared and doesn’t expect to be carried. And I always want to do my best. So, it was just not fun to me because I felt disappointed in people. I felt disappointed in myself. But I just couldn’t take it anymore. I am tired and hurting and need to do what’s best for me and take care of my health.

Besides, in 3 months my guildies in Prime will be back. A couple of us are still playing and I had tried to get an alts raid going but we could never get a full team or at least 8 to sign up. I am a little sad I won’t be doing any raiding at all because it was like the only social activity I did on a regular weekly schedule.

Since I got nothing else, I think I will probably be going to therapy more often now. LOL. Idk why I still cry when I talk about my past sometimes. I thought I had put it behind me, I don’t actively think about my stuff everyday, but maybe it’s all there in the back of my head or something and it all comes out when I have to talk about it. Well, not all of it, because my therapist wants to me to come in next week again so we can talk more about my relationships. Sigh. Idk what I’m supposed to learn from all this.

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Relationship status: It’s complicated

What I learned about myself this week:

1) I don’t trust people.

2) I don’t think people like me or would like me if they knew the real me.

3) I’m afraid of getting hurt.

4) I want to be to close to people, but I’m also scared to be.

5) I’m very lonely but I can’t decide if I should try to find someone to be with or not.

6) I have doubts. A relationship would be a lot of work, and I like my freedom. But I also miss human companionship, the physical things like hugs and kisses.

7) I can’t remember what it feels like to be in love. Maybe, I’ve never been in love.

8) I can’t remember what happiness feels like.

9) And then, I remember London.

10) I remember my first love. The one who got away because I was scared and nervous and afraid I would mess up. I was afraid he wouldn’t like me or he would end up breaking up with me or he would make fun of me or laugh at me and it would all hurt. All these teenage fears of being humiliated and rejected.

11) I think maybe I still have them today.

Continue Disability

My disability review was completed in October and concluded that my disability is continuing. I felt very much relieved when I received the notice. Though I am no longer stressing about the review, I am still distressed that I cannot seem to make progress on or complete any of my writing projects. It is very depressing. Though I don’t think I am very depressed or depressed enough to take an antidressant though my psychiatrist might think otherwise. He wanted me to give Cymbalta another try, but I experienced nausea, a fast heartbeat that lasted for at least four hours, and I kept drifting in and out of sleep for a day and a half after I took the first dose. Since I still felt nauseous and sleepy the next day, I stopped taking it. Idk what my psychiatrist will say when I see him next. I am okay but unhappy. I have chronic pain which is mostly okay and when it is not okay I take some meds. My anxiety is also continuing. I just wish I could write. I want to get lost in my writing.

Instead, I get lost in other worlds by other writers. For the past couple months I have been reading mostly teen/ya fantasy/dystopia. I discovered the Selection series by Keira Cass, the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas, and the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard. Now, I am reading “A Torch in the Night” by Sabaa Tahir, and will be reading Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha series next. I also escape to WoW, raiding twice a week since my guild has the current tier on farm now and leveling my alts when I feel like playing on off days. I have now gotten the class mounts for 4 alts, my feral druid, enhancement shaman, havoc demon hunter, and windwalker monk. I have started to play my frost death knight again. She was at leavel 106 when I last played her, and since she has so much rested xp I will get to her to 110 pretty fast. Then I can work on getting her class mount, which won’t take very long either. I have not been watching much TV, though I never miss an episode of Grey’s Anatomy and The Voice. I also watch All In With Chris Hayes and The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC 2-3 times a week.

Most of the time, I don’t feel like talking to people. It seems to take too much effort. I hardly go out, and idk if I should care about whether or not it’s healthy. Well, I know it is not healthy, but I don’t seem to care. I mostly just want to read or listen to an audiobook in bed. I have been eating a lot of sweets lately and have gained some weight, but I am resolved to cut back on the sweets, which shouldn’t be too hard, eating is such a chore sometimes too. All I really want is to start and finish my writing projects. I just want to be writing again, a good story, and see the story to THE END. That’s all I ever really wanted. To write a book. A good book. Something that matters.

Creativity

Creativity comes and goes. I’m not sure if it’s related to my mood or my medications. Probably a little of both. Many people with bipolar disorder think that their bipolar meds–mood stabilizers like Lamictal or Lithium–stunts their creativity. I have been taking Lamictal for ten years, and for a few years also had been taking Lithium, which made me fat. Anyway, I was rather unstable at the time, and also taking an antidepressant. My moods were all up and down, but I managed to do some writing. It wasn’t very good writing, but I was writing anyway and almost finish a book. I gave up on it because I just couldn’t figure out the ending, and though I believed in my characters I didn’t believe in the plot.

So, now, my disability is up for review, and I am anxious and worried that I might lose my benefits–disability income and Medicare. When I had first applied for disability in 2009, I had been having trouble working. I had quit my lost job in 2008 on the spot, after frequently calling in sick and showing up late, and going on temporary disability twice in 2007. I had been hospitalized in 2007 for ten days for a mixed manic episode and had difficulty returning to work. After I quit my job, I received either unemployment compensation or State disability benefits for about year. It was awhile ago, and I can’t remember. But it must have been State disability, because I was immediately approved for SSDI in 2009 and and received a retroactive lump sum going back to the date SSA determined I was first disabled.

I don’t think I am ready to go back to work, and I don’t know when I will be. I think I have a serious mental illness, and now I have arthritis which limits my activities. Now, I am feeling depressed and angry with my parents because they think I should just get up and get a job and go to work. Just because I look fine on the outside doesn’t mean I am okay. My parents really don’t get it. When I was a kid, I used to wish I hadn’t been born. Like if I had a choice, if anyone had asked me if I wanted be a sentient human being, I would have preferred not to exist. I realize I must sound very negative, but I feel like there is nothing special about me, nothing special about my life, and no special love. I have many interests but not much passion for anything in particular. I really wanted to write a book, but I haven’t been writing anything. When I was growing up, my primary ambition–my quest–was to write a book and get published. That was it. I didn’t think about getting married and having kids. But I have noticed over the years that I am usually happier with my life when I am in a good, stable relationship.

Anyway, I am thinking maybe I need to go back on Abilify, because I seemed more active and motivated then, when I was taking it. And I want to talk to my therapist again, because I stopped seeing her when I was doing physical therapy for the arthritis, and I am feeling angry and depressed and anxious again and as I mentioned above thinking that I shouldn’t have been born because lately I haven’t been feeling motivated to do anything except the most basic things in life. Of course, I still enjoy my TV shows and audiobooks, and I started playing WoW again, just an hour a day or so because of the arthritis and my neck and shoulder pains. Of the TV shows I have binge-watched these past few months: Supergirl, Shadowhunters, The Crown, Poldark, and Harlots. I watched Poldark twice in fact. I can’t wait for season 3, and I hope Harlots will get a season 2, because I really want to know what is gonna happen next. Other than that, most of the time I just wanna stay in bed. Oh and watch prime-time MSNBC, especially The Rachel Maddow Show.

That’s it for now. I probably won’t blog again until I receive news about my disability review. I hope my creativity will come back. I just wish that I could have had a normal and happy life when I was growing up. Maybe I would have been stronger and well-adjusted. Maybe I would have written half a dozen books by now. Maybe I would have a passion for life and feel like a have a reason for living and maybe I would want to go out and be around people and do purposeful things. But whatever. I haven’t talked to my mom since yesterday. I am still feeling resentful and angry about what she and my dad said. Oh, I’m sure they mean well, but they just have no clue what it means to have a disabling mental illness.

This April

Well, the news is that we returned Harley to the breeder. I was just stressing out too much and the pain from arthritis was not improving, especially in my hip area. I think I really tried with Harley, even took her to puppy class. My parents were helping me out as well, but it was all just too much for us. I felt that Harley needed more time and attention, but I was constantly in pain. After we returned Harley, I saw my doctor again, and she referred me to physical therapy. I really want to get better, especially because my mom’s 70th birthday party is coming up in June. I am improving a little and feeling less pain, but I am still spending a lot of time in bed resting. My mental health is a bit more stable though. I haven’t been doing any of the things I used to do before I was diagnosed with arthritis. Haven’t been playing WoW, haven’t been writing, haven’t been reading that much, though I have been listening to more audiobooks and I continue to update my romance book blog. As a consequence of my current quality of life, I have been watching a lot more TV. LOL. I watched Supergirl Season 1 on Netflix and used my 7-day free trial of Showtime on Amazon to watch Homeland Season 6. I also wake up every morning wondering if Trump got us into war while I was asleep. So, 2017 is way more awful than 2016, and the Trump administration is truly scary. I’m just glad I have my family and few friends on/by my side.

Harley

harley2Here’s a photo of my puppy Harley. She’s a smart girl, affectionate, and very lively. She likes to play A LOT. Taking care of her is not easy. I haven’t been getting a lot of sleep, I am tired a lot, and by the end of the day my back hurts. I stay in my room most of the time, so I am not used to being this active. I can’t wait until she’s older and big enough to take her out on walks. I let her out in the yard to potty and play some. She is so fast! And she knows how to use the training pad, but I worry I won’t be able to potty train her properly. I think when she knows that she has to potty outside, I will be really relieved. But she is still very small, about 3 lbs., and I haven’t had her for a week yet. I have to be patient and try to relax. I have to admit I am stressing out some, and definitely will need my massage tomorrow. It’s not good for my mental health if I can’t sleep. But taking care of her should get easier over time as she learns. I do hope I get this right. And I hope I can get more sleep! I took her to the vet on Friday and they told me she has a slight heart murmur, which they will monitor for sixteen weeks. If everything checks out by then, she should be fine. I don’t think it’s anything serious. She is so full of energy I have trouble keeping up with her. But after she’s done eating and playing, she sleeps for a couple hours. Then, I get a break. She is also very loud! She whines when I leave her or when she wants something, and she barks a little when she wants someone to play with her. My parents help me out and watch her from time to time. But it seems like they don’t know what to do with her either LOL. They like to play with her though. Anyway, I really need to take it easy and relax more. I think I will be very happy when she is completely potty trained. I am gonna take her to puppy class as well.

A quick update on sleep, writing, and volunteering

So, I’m not getting much sleep again. Anywhere from 3-5 hours. A lot of mentally ill people have trouble sleeping. But this not sleeping streak has been going on for over a month now, and I’m pretty sure it’s not healthy. For people diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, not sleeping isn’t good and could trigger a manic episode. Idk if I’m manic or just being super creative. I don’t feel manic. I’m not exhibiting rapid, pressured speech, and an exceptionally high mood. But I’ve been more active than usual, thinking too much, and being real project-oriented. It could be because Election 2016 has fired me up. Or it could be because I started taking an antidepressant, Abilify, which has an activating effect. Or it could just be that I needed some changes in my life. Whatever the case, I’m writing, playing WoW, being less irritated with my parents, socializing irl, updating my book blog, and blogging here. I even started to revise my MFA thesis into something publishable. I haven’t worked on it in about ten years! I hope with this attempt I finally finish revising it.

One of my activities this month include the women’s volunteer group meeting I attended. My friend had asked me to do the Inspiration, which could be a quote, a prayer, an inspiring anecdote, anything that inspired you to volunteer. So, I read a couple paragraphs from Kay Redfield Jamison’s memoir of “moods and madness,” An Unquiet Mind. I talked about how Jamison realized when writing her book that love, not only Lithium, saved her, and how volunteering is a way I can save myself. Because volunteering, giving, is a form of love. And it also shows that I’m capable of self-love, which is pretty much essential if you want to survive your mental illness. By wanting to save myself it shows that I like and value myself enough to believe that my life is worth living. For my volunteer service this month I did a couple hours repainting a room at a transitional housing center for the homeless.