Losing my sleep over Battle For Azeroth

I’ve only been sleeping about 5 hrs a night since the new WoW expansion Battle For Azeroth dropped 2 weeks ago. Which probably isn’t very good for either my physical or mental health.

BFA was released globally 3pm PDT on Monday, Aug 13th, and I hit max level 120 at around 3am Thursday, Aug 16th. Since then I’ve been gearing up my hunter for raid. I was geared by Sunday for mythic 0 dungeons, which drop 340 ilvl gear, and are the highest difficulty content currently available. My ilvl now is 338. The ilvl requirement for the first raid Normal Uldir releasing on Sept 4th is 330. I am definitely ready to raid.

Aside from gearing up, I have completed 4 of 5 the meta achievements for BFA Pathfinding Part 1, increased mounted speed. Now, I need revered rep with 5 of 6 factions, which will truly be a grind and take time. Getting exalted with 7th Legion is the final requirement to unlocking the Dark Iron Dwarves, a new Allied race in BFA, which I’ve no doubt I’ll get eventually. I also need to max level my Enchanting and Jewelcrafting professions, but I’m not in a rush to get there either because we have a couple other enchanters and JC’s in the guild. So, I don’t have to do all that much on my hunter. Now, I am leveling my elemental shaman, which is actually kinda fun. I’ve already got her skinning and leatherworking maxed. LW is probably the easiest crafting profession to level up.

Anyway, other than WoW, there’s not much going on in my life. Sometimes, I still feel sad and lonely, but raiding is going to be fun and is my primary social activity LOL. Though we don’t see each other in person, I can hang out with my guildies who live on the East Coast or Texas or as far as Chile.

I have done a few social activities outside the house this year. In May, my brother, his wife, and their dog Cammie came to visit. My parents usually cook good food when they come over, and it’s fun to play with the dog. Cammie is so much fun. They’ll be visiting again at the end of September.

In June, I went to my friend Char’s birthday dinner party at a Mexican restaurant. I had a very berry Sangria and a very nice apple-flavored vodka martini. Red wine and vodka martinis are my favorites. The strawberry lemon cake was so good.

In July, I went to Char’s baby shower. She had gotten married in a civil ceremony attended by her close family a couple days prior to the baby shower. She had a lot of guests, but I was happy to be there. I sat at a table with her cousin and a few other people in the garage area where it was a lot cooler. We’ve been getting really hot weather, but it’s starting to cool down now.

Char’s baby was about a month premature. My mom and I visited her in the hospital Wednesday last week. She was telling me how wonderful it is to have a baby, how in love she is with him. She was so happy. She is forty, and she had a little difficulty with her pregnancy, was on bedrest the last month. But my grandma apparently had my youngest uncle when she was forty-eight.

I don’t think I will ever have kids. I am forty-four now and my body and mind just can’t handle it. Having kids was never one of my dreams growing. Neither was getting married. I don’t know if I will ever find someone and fall in love. I don’t even know if I want to be in a relationship. I just don’t want to be alone. I had this awful dream that my parents were moving to the Philippines or something but that’s not going to happen. They are planning to visit sometime next year for 3 weeks, and my mom is really worried about me being alone in the house for that time. She is gonna try to find someone to stay with me and water the garden and stuff while they are gone.

Sometimes, I feel extra lonely and afraid that I’ll end up alone. I had a weird feeling today that I am missing out on a lot of stuff, on a lot of life, that I’m not living life fully. I don’t want to think that way. I have plenty of distractions to keep me busy. I have my writing to think about as well. I need to keep writing even though I worry it won’t be any good. To write and publish a book is the only real dream I have. Maybe I could write more than one.

I think tonight my exhaustion caught up with me. I took a long nap, but I still feel tired and achy in my neck, shoulders, and kind of all over actually.

Things will slow down in WoW when I don’t have to work as much on my hunter and can put in some time on my alts. I’ll be spending less time in WoW when things settle down. Right now, it’s a busy time because everything is new and shiny. BFA was quite a successful launch for the Blizzard team. The cinematics and animated shorts featuring some of the main characters in this expac were pretty epic and a bit emotional. I was so rooting Jaina Proudmoore and the Alliance! The storylines are more immersive this expac. I actually care about the protagonists/antagonists and finding out what happens to them in some of these long quest chains. Anduin is all grown up now and the King at Stormwind. The story this expac feels more personal and contentious as the Alliance and the Horde fight for control of resources and Azerite, which could be deadly in the wrongs hands, or faction.

Hopefully, I will be able to sleep better now and feel more rested in the mornings. The aches and pains and the mental toll of my disability and chronic pain never go away, but I try to manage them the best I can. I hope to start writing again. This writing thing is a never ending story for me.

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Memorial Day Weekend 2018

This Memorial Day Weekend, Cammie, my brother and sister-in-law’s dog came to visit. Cammie is almost two-years-old now, and she has more lighter colors on her face and paws, so now you can see her eyes better 🙂 She was a lot of fun to have around this weekend. We played ball in my parents’ garden. She did get a stomach the first night here though 😦 My brother and sister-in-law thinks it was from the macadamia nuts she eat from the tree in our garden. But she was feeling much better on Sunday, happy and wagging her tail again.

Saturday, we watched the NBA Western Conf Finals on TNT because my brother and I are Warriors fans. I am pretty sure Game 7 tonight at Houston is gonna be stressful especially for my brother. On Sunday, we all went to the harbor for lunch. My brother and I had the salmon fillet, Mom had the mahi-mahi, Pop had the original fish n chips, and my sister-in-law had sharkfish n chips. The meal was alright but a bit overpriced. There were a lot of people at the harbor, and when we left the line long all the way to the parking log.

My brother has been on the paleo diet; he is taller and even skinnier than me, and he has to eat rice so he won’t lose too much weight. I need to try this diet, because I have been gaining weight since 2016. But it is so hard especially with the bipolar; it gives me a headache just thinking about cooking, but maybe I can find easier ways to prepare those gluten-free foods. My parents do all the cooking, which is mostly Filipino food and rice. So, maybe, just try not to eat rice for awhile and stick to the meat and veggies? LOL.

As far as the rest of my health issues… I started a low dose of Cymbalta, which is an antidepressant that is also used for chronic pain, but my anxiety got worse when I was on it. So, I stopped taking it. I guess I will just take Tylenol and muscle relaxant as usual PRN–when the pain is really bad and I have more trouble sleeping than usual. The pain makes me so tired sometimes.

I have been cutting back on WoW, for one thing there’s nothing to do until the new expac is released on Aug 14th. If I need to something to do other than reading and listening to audiobooks and watching TV, I work on leveling my Lightforged Draenei Paladin for the heritage armor. Let me just say, Prot/Ret Pally is the most boring tank/melee class I’ve played ever. But it’s just an alt, so NBD.

Other than that, I still think about my writing everyday, though I haven’t done much, just been noting down all my ideas.

Poem: Horror Stories

I’ve lived a thousand lives in one

More than enough

I’ve been through so many horrors

That each one could fill

A thousand books

Or at the very least a dozen

 

But no one lives forever

At some point

Each of these lives will be snuffed out

Like candles

Or books set on fire

Fragile pages exploding into ash

 

Ashes drifting in the cosmos

 

Each horror story extinguished

To my greatest relief

Hoping 2018 gets better

I wish I could say I am happy and I am doing so much better and I am writing really well. But I’m not. I can never finish any of the writing projects I start, and I always end up thinking it sucks. Is it because I’m depressed? Because bipolar meds suppress creativity? Because I’m not that smart? I hate not writing well. Is it because I’m not writing in the right genre for me? Should I give up on the fantasy novel? Because it seems like I’m never gonna finish it. Should I work on the memoir which is so painful to write I keep getting stuck on that too? Or am I merely avoiding writing the hard stuff? I got an MFA in Creative Writing but it seems like it turned out to be a waste of money and time.

 

How I ended 2017:

Spent the Xmas holiday with my parents, brother and sister-in-law and their dog Cammie. My brother, sister-in-law, and I watched Star Wars: The Last Jedi in IMAX 3D on Christmas Eve. It was alright. I liked seeing women and people of color in starring roles, but the plot was a little thin. I liked Rogue One better.

On New Year’s Eve, rented Wonder Woman, which I liked very much for the most part. It did strike me as odd that when Diana left her mother and Amazon sisters, she didn’t seem to miss them or female companionship much. Because men wrote the script. The only loss she reminisced about was her former male lover. It would have been more satisfying if she cursed stupid humans because she left her home and family and totally badass female Amazon warriors just for them and they kept screwing up. She should have walked away from their dumbasses and stupid wars and psychopathic genocidal fantasies. Because really, fuck them all.

 

How I started 2018:

Playing Wow because I’m angry and depressed more than anything, and all I want to do is escape everything. I’d rather be writing, but like I said, I end up thinking everything I write sucks. Maybe I should try outlining again. Idk. I feel like if I never get my stories out in the world, I have nothing worth living for, and everyday is just about getting by. Not even people make me very happy. Maybe it’s a symptom of my illness. The borderline personality’s feeling, and of emptiness, longing and fear of intimacy, the inability to sustain relationships, fragile sense of self, sensitivity. And all the rage and unstable emotions.

I feel like I belong nowhere, and I am so fucking envious of the writers who do. I have never fit in anywhere, or never stayed too long with any particular community, and I can’t sustain my friendships IRL.

The only community that I’ve sustained in the last 10 years is WoW. I’ve been raiding with some players on and off for five years. Aside from my main raiding guild, I’m also in a Horde women-only guild and a FB group for women WoW players. WoW passes the time, and the online community is a good place for people are relatively isolated to communicate and socialize with others who share at least this one common interest.

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.

Costumes and Cammie

Speaking of creativity… My mom hosted her 70th birthday party last month at the Hilton. It was a costume party with a Bollywood theme. She put it all together, the centerpieces, giveaways, and party gifts. She even did a Bollywood dance with her friends. The costumes were all very colorful. It was festive like all my mom’s parties. It seemed like everyone was having a good time dancing (ballroom and line dancing), taking goofy photos at the photo booth, and getting henna tattoos. I didn’t stay the whole night because of my back problems and arthritis, but I was there for awhile. It was a long day and I even got my hair done at the salon with my mom. The costume was all my mom’s idea, but I didn’t mind because the day was all about her. Anyway, here’s a picture of me, my parents, my sister-in-law Elsa, and my brother Eric.

 

Eric and Elsa also brought over their six-month-old puppy when they were in town for the party. Cammie is a Cavapoo, which is a cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle. She’s so cute and funny, and she knows a few tricks like sit, down, and shake hands. Shake hands was the best and made me laugh and feel happy. There she is walking all over my brother’s workstation in order to get his attention.

 

Things are somewhat back to normal with me and my parents. I am not angry anymore. I have been directing my thoughts toward writing, and am not going to worry about the disability review for now.

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.