16.7.14

nyuus

ugh. i'm so crap at composing blog entries these days. here is some shit that has been happening:

while the current shitty depressive episode is still ongoing, i'm getting closer to some proper treatment. a few months ago my referral to LIFT Psychology, a local mental health service, went through and i was sent on a three-day "stress and mood management" course based on introductory cognitive-behavioural therapy. it did help explain some shit about how exactly the thought patterns created by depression work, how they become cyclical or "neverending", how triggers exacerbate them, etc. the downside was that although this knowledge might be useful if i do get any one-on-one sessions with a CB therapist, it didn't do any good for actually halting or removing any of those destructive patterns. that was the first day, and the other two were about anxiety disorders and anger management, so although i was there they weren't really relevant. they're gonna call tomorrow evening for a "review" and i'm hoping they'll send me on something specific to long-term depression now. i'll take what i can get. i also discovered that this whole time i'm meant to have had weekly or fortnightly appointments with my GP specifically to discuss my mood, thoughts, antidepressants and the like, which the GP has utterly failed to even mention, so i'm gonna try and set that up even if it's just a medication review. i haven't had the dose on my escitalopram (my main antidepressant) checked or adjusted for about five years now so i'm pretty sure it needs doing.

it was my birthday on the 14th - i got all the messages people sent me & all that, so thanks for the kind words. i also checked the facebook page duneo set up so thankyou for your messages there as well. my family went to the pub carvery (yeah that's how classy we are) and i abused the fact that i've survived twenty-six years without killing myself or dying of self-induced septicaemia to persuade the chef to give me an extra Yorkshire pudding and the tasty bit off the top of the roast beef that everyone else doesn't want. HAUTE CUISINE. my brother and his partner baked a cake that was blue on the inside, with yellow and purple buttercream, covered with iced flowers and rainbows, and was filled with jelly beans in the centre. it was a badass cake. i didn't want any presents on account of the cost, but my parents bought me a weird-looking toy frog to replace the one that i'd had since i was born that got stolen from me when i was moving out of University halls one summer (i had two big market bags that contained all my possessions/clothes/books and the one with all my textbooks, my toy frog, my recent birthday presents from friends, a little book that my dad gave me when i was two or three and my completely worthless sentimental-value jewellery was the one some scumbag lifted while i was loading up the other one into a taxi.) i named it Slymer II after the first one. i'm still gutted about that fucking frog.

regarding university, i have been trying to get into Bristol University, but we got the news a week or so ago that they don't take students without maths A2 levels, which i don't have, or they would have accepted me. their advice was either to go back to sixth form (yeah, back to fucking SCHOOL) for two years to get one, or to apply to the other local university UWE (University of the West of England). having looked at both courses, i'm pretty sure the Bristol one is too theoretical for the type of research i wanna go into - plus i don't wanna go hang out with a load of sixteen-year-olds who are still in compulsory education, i don't wanna wear a school fucking uniform, and i especially don't wanna go anywhere near the town secondary school which was the place where i got so badly bullied that i don't even have proper memories of most of it. the UWE course seems much closer to what i was studying in Aberdeen. i am actually very, very bad at maths - one educational psychologist in Aberdeen thought i had dyscalculia because i can't do basic arithmetic in my head, although i'm alright with stuff like algebra - so even if i did manage to get an A at the A2 level, i don't think i would be able to handle the contents of the second and third year university courses, which you have to take at the Maths Department with the maths students. even if i did i wouldn't be able to get the sort of grades i was getting in Aberdeen. seems like there's a distinction between mathematical, theoretical computing science in some universities and applied, less academic CS in others - the only thing i'm kind of worried about is that this might make it a "lesser" degree and maybe that would affect my chances of a career. when i was applying for places on linguistics & language degrees at eighteen i was repeatedly told not to apply to UWE because of its bad academic reputation, so i was also worried about that, but it seems that was referring to the Languages department, and UWE has apparently vastly improved its rankings over the last five years or so. so, i'm now trying to find someone at UCAS to find out how to apply for this place given my rather twisted situation.

in other news, my parents have decided to use what they've saved up over the past few years and take us on a holiday. a massive ten day holiday. the kind i've never been on before. they're going to some all-inclusive place in fucking Jamaica and for some reason they actually agreed to take me with them - i've seen the brochure and it looks incredible. the pool has a bar that you swim up to and sunken seats where you drink your drink and there's a snack hut on the side that gives you hot jerk chicken. it even has a Chinese restaurant. they're going in September (so my ma will have her 50th birthday out there which is pretty bizarre to think about because there is no way my ma looks fifty years old), so hopefully if i do get into UWE it won't interfere with classes, but i suppose i can always take some class work with me. i wouldn't mind working the whole time if i could go to the pool bar for breaks. i've never done anything like it - we don't have that kind of money and they've saved for a long time i think, it's never gonna happen again, so i'm still amazed they actually let me come. (hence why i didn't want them to spend any money on my birthday.) i am gonna have to take about ten cans of factor 75, and figure out a way to get a litre of heavy opiate painkillers into the country without being arrested, but i fucking love travelling when i can & i think it's gonna be fucking great.

i have also lost half a stone since being taken off one of my antidepressants, quetiapine. if any of you have depression, or an anxiety problem or a psychosis-related condition, i'd advise thinking really carefully about your calorie intake and checking the side-effects of your medications before you start if you're offered a new one. especially that particular medicine - it does help you with mood but it's so, so bad for side effects and i've had similar experiences (though not as bad) with others. i didn't look at the info properly and so because i didn't change my diet as they increased the dose i went from a size 8, weighing eight and a half stone, to a size 12 weighing eleven. being disgusted with yourself and not being able to figure out why reducing your calorie intake isn't working like it should pretty much offsets any benefits the drug might have moodwise, and it doesn't help if you're finding it hard to do things like put on makeup, shower properly, etc because now every time you look in the mirror or down at your body you're reminded that you're repulsively overweight. i'm hoping to lose the rest of the weight over the next year.

i'm loath to say "EVERYTHING IS FINE NOW" because it's still not and every time i say that something fucking awful happens, but shit is at least going a better way than it was a few months ago. i've been able to tidy the house and make the beds more often the last couple of weeks, and also to take my dog out for a couple of walks, and today i did the house, had a shower, did my hair and paint, and took my laptop to Hawkes House (the local omni-hangout that does restaurant food and tapas and drinks and coffee, that sort of shit) with the express purpose of putting a blog entry up and starting to deal with emails. a month ago doing any one of these things would have been the max i was capable of in one day, and there were a lot of days when i couldn't do fuck all.

i'm gonna try and do this again tomorrow. i haven't replied to any emails today (i was writing this) but i did clear out all the spam and automail, so tomorrow i'm gonna try and get to the emails.

carpe corporem

L

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Belated happy birthday then (I share the same birthday with you, even though I dislike the entire convention of birthdays).

Glad to hear that you're doing better, and hope you have fun on your vacation!

Lock said...

Really nice to hear from you again, and that things seem to be a bit better than before. It'd be great if you could manage university studies, I think it would do you good.
A trip to Jamaica though, wow! I hope you'll have an awesome time there. Try not to get vaporised in the sun :)

Anonymous said...

Congrats, and thank god ur up and going.. You had us worried, not that u owe us anything, but I'm sure glad u wrote some on your blog... A week later and I would have had santaclaus checking his list for your name, just to be sure you where with us... :D no need to bother old nick now(and be squeezed in to the naughty side for disturbing him on his summer vacation). Well as all your readers here think I would just say, good to hear from you lepht. Have a great day.
J

Anonymous said...

Belated Happy Birthday from me as well. My dad's was on the 15th and he made 50, pretty cool coincidences.
I'm really glad to hear that things have been going better for you. University sounds nice, really nice. Keep it up, really happy to have heard from you.

Anonymous said...

Fuzzy warm & happy reading you're better.

I wouldn't worry about the less academical CS, unless you're looking for a career in academical CS of course. In any case it only will be more algebra and less arithmetics over time, adding & subtracting is what computers are for.

Dan Campbell said...

Lepht,

It's difficult to respond, because it's difficult to read. I can't tell you, how painful it is to see what a difficult time, you are having.

Your experiences, only serve to remind, that other people in the world are struggling as well.

I'm glad it's a little better, and that you are seeing the beginning of some real diagnosis & hopefully treatment.

Derek said...

Sounds like things are generally getting better! I hope they are and continue to do so. Enjoy Jamaica!

Are you coding at all yourself? If you are, or start, and are interested in having someone look over code definitely reach out. I'm sure I'm not the only one who would volunteer. I have a friend looking over mine just now.

Hope to see another post soon.

Anonymous said...

I hope you're well! Can we still send items to the address you provided?! E-mail sent.

Dan Campbell said...


I hope you're doing ok this week, Lep.

Dan Campbell said...


Ugh! Lepth, I apologize. You asked not be be called 'Lep', because of its resemblance to a disparaging term.

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