Invisible Illness

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Today I have retreated to bed for the day. As hard as I try, it is very difficult for friends and colleagues to understand the peculiarities of my mental illness. You have all seen me with my happy face on, sometimes it’s forced but mostly it’s not. My mood today is nothing to with our current circumstances. I have days like this every fortnight or so and somehow I will have to relate this in an application form to apply for Disability Benefit. If only you could just attach a photograph, eh?

My intellectual capacity and usual appearance will undermine an application so I expect to be refused at least twice even with the backing of my psychiatrist who has known me for 11 years. I saw him yesterday and although he cannot take any more patients he said he would continue to see me no matter the future insurance. What a sweetheart he is.

The holiday season always takes its toll on me. I take on too much, forget that no amount of wine will take away my social anxiety and everyone tells me how great I look, ironically. I was looking forward to going to work today despite feeling tired. My ‘healthy’ appearance at the Christmas party had fooled my boss into giving me an extra duty that I always excel at but it wipes me out. When I got the schedule last night I wanted to cry – I just couldn’t do it.

The extra duty was training. I have a variety of post college training certificates in this and myriad other fields (the oddest was funeral counselling skills). When you are feeling mentally exhausted, you may as well be climbing Everest. I am annoyed at myself, at my boss, at the world and at my genetics. It is so frustrating to see other people working normally. My psychiatrist is the same age as me – he had worked at a hospital in the morning, was seeing out-patients until at least 6.30 pm and looked as fresh as a daisy. He was mentally sharp and even made me fall over laughing at his wit.

I didn’t write this for pity but you can sympathize if you like. Tomorrow, I will be back to my usual self and focus on physical tasks such washing the deck. I suppose the exercise gurus are correct about exercise being good for the brain and body but personally I love the satisfaction of completing a useful task. If anyone has any cows to herd, I will be available… 🙂

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The series finale…

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The Narrow Sea….(or maybe Vancouver)

I am afraid my Game of Thrones week has come a sudden and bloody end. That was literary exaggeration – it was just sudden although my fingertips feel bloodied. I have another deadline for a paid job and blogging life has to stop for a few days. Today I feel like Davos Seaworth, the Knight of Onions, who works so hard and loyally for his boss Stannis Baratheon. Stannis is deeply flawed and has made some dubious choices in his work and love life but also seems wearied by life.

I have two jobs, one paid and another unpaid. The unpaid one requires all my life experience and professionalism. It’s usually a pleasure to go there but this week it was one problem after another and the only thing that helped me was that I was wearing cobweb lacy stockings with my short uniform skirt. That added to my Scottish accent enabled me to put some humor into a mechanical problem (that was really irritating the customers) and blame it on the elves and leprechauns at Halloween. This is making me sound like one of Littlefinger’s ladies of the night…

My paid writing job is much more enjoyable but it is a steep learning curve and a very short deadline. I have spent the last day and night cajoling, persuading and working hard. I have six interviews with entrepreneurs in the next two days all mangled around the much needed one with the psychiatrist. All my plans of psychiatric flirting have disappeared in a haze of ‘what questions will I ask?’, ‘what is an appropriate outfit?’ (not the cobweb stockings methinks) and ‘do I have another UTI, really???’ So, at least you know my flirting will come to naught…

Ah, it will all be worth it in the end and winter is coming…

Varys writes a letter…

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Today my Game of Thrones hero is Varys. The elusive eunuch is one of my favorite characters – is he good or bad or neither? He is wily but can be kind. Is he on anyone’s side except his own? If I was made a eunuch I might feel a little impotent – or is he??? Over the last few weeks I have been Varys-like – so many characters to chameleon in and so little time. I can’t be the only person that is driven CRAZY by the endless mail from charities at this time of year. My husband has a kinder heart than me (Jon Snow, perhaps) but I will keep address labels to use and shred everything. We already tithe a large proportion of our income to our favorite charities and sometimes they overdo it.

In the last couple of weeks we have packages from animal charities that I choose not to be involved with such as PETA and The Sierra Club (there is a website that tells you about good charities but I just use my instinct) – so they just go straight into the dungeon (shredding bag). Even the good ones sent too much stuff when you have already given them hundreds of dollars. So, with Varys in mind, I decided to manipulate the situation. You can’t send a check or put on an address label or they will hunt you down, like Arya.

If I like the charity and they have sent a few Christmas cards then I will put $5 in an envelope and wrap it in something weird like the instructions for my Xanax (to make them feel bad for taking money from a poor anxious woman). I wrapped the $5 for a Thanksgiving meal at a Jesus center in my estrogen cream directions. MD Anderson got their $5 (like they need it) in a Peta leaflet. Then on the address label I write something ridiculous like, ‘Have a Happy Halloween’ to religious groups or eet smakelijk which is Dutch for Bon Appetite.

A marketing organization has been subcontracted for this task and it’s a boring, soulless job so I might give them a little chuckle. It did occur to me that they might keep the $5 for themselves but I really don’t care – it’s just a token. THEY SHOULDN’T BE SENDING UNSOLICITED MAIL IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!!! It’s probably obvious by now but I am due to see my handsome psychiatrist this week. I used to fancy him much more but now I have known him for 10 years and we are appropriate ‘friends’. The appointment is a little overdue and it is the day before Halloween so I am going to dress completely in black with cobweb stockings. Maybe a bit too much black eyeliner and a dark lip and see how quickly he wants to up my anti-depressants. I am just messing with him a little…its psychiatric flirting, really.

On a final note, don’t assume that a charity is not working properly if a large proportion of their money goes on salaries. When I worked in mental health, the community project needed to employ appropriately qualified personnel to advocate; run courses; manage a day center or whatever else we did. Volunteers can’t do everything by themselves and it might be harmful to the clients if they did. So in that situation, all the money went on salaries and rent and 100% of the care went to our clients.

So that’s my Varys day – can eunuchs have sex? I had to research this, of course, for literary reasons… See this link – fascinating stuff! http://www.mtv.com/news/1836500/game-of-thrones-grey-worm-missandei-sex-eunuch/