Well and truly depressed.

I really need to start writing again. I mean NEED.

I admitted to myself and those closest to me that I have been hiding, from myself and everyone else, that I am horribly depressed. It's hard for me to admit it because I'm actually happier than most would be in my situation. My health is horrible, my friends and family are almost all having a hell of a time of it, and there's little hope in my heart that life could improve.

I still find joy everywhere I can though! I laugh a lot, I love a lot, I smile a lot. I enjoy a cool breeze on a warm day, the way my cats blink at me with love and do ridiculous cat things, a good meal with good company. I am in many ways, mentally at least, much healthier than I used to be. I don't feel numb. I ... well... *FEEL* ... that alone is a lot better than I used to be.

That being said, my physical health has been getting worse every year. I barely moved today because my psoriatic arthritis is getting so bad that not only were my hands all claw-y today, but so were my feet. I could go into all the details of how I just finished fighting bacterial pneumonia, or how my IBD is flaring up, but I won't. Suffice to say that I deal with pain and discomfort on a daily basis, and do my best to both keep a brave face on and keep my health from holding me back as much as I can. It's not always easy but I have years of practice :)

I ... sort of fell apart the other night though. I cried an embarrassing amount. I feel much better now, but it bothers me that I'm still letting thing get to a breaking point instead of realizing ... rather, recognizing the warning signs. I should know better by now. I should have approached my own doctor about my depression instead of ending up at outpatients at 4am having a mini-breakdown and getting my medicines upped by a kind and patient GP. I was not hysterical, in fact they even said they were surprised at how well I was holding together, but the concern was plastered all over their faces and I hate being a cause for concern, believe it or not.

So while I was comforted by the reassessment and reassurance that I don't have any psychiatric diseases and am coping quite well considering, it bothers me that I still repress things for far too long. It's important to let yourself digest things before reacting, sure... but don't forget them Erika! Deal with them in due time, else this happen yet again.

Hey LJ land :)

Anyone still around?

I miss blogging, but I really don't have much to talk about... or rather, a lot of the things I might talk about are other people's business and not mine to talk about.

So, how are you?

February and I appear to have a truce.

Usually February is my worse month for depression because I have S.A.D. on top of my regular depression, but oddly enough I've been doing things and making plans instead of climbing under a mental rock. I am optimistic!

It's especially surprising since the cramps in my hips, legs, and feet are getting much worse despite the upped dosage of cyclobenzaprine, so you might think I'd be MORE down in the dumps. Maybe it's the zoloft, and it probably is in part, but I think a certain someone has a large part in it too.

Josie has become much more attentive and affectionate since her operation, and she still hasn't grown any larger than she was at 5 months and she's 10 months now, so I think my little kitten is staying a kitten. I am in trouble. The cute, it cannot be resisted!

Been playing SW:TOR which would be fun all on it's own but I get to play with Brandon and Hoss, so that makes it extra awesome!

I'm working with someone new who works with people with disabilities and we both have a lot of hope for finding a place for me. I can't stand not being productive, and being poor sucks ass too, so here's hoping we find the perfect niche for me :)
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12 years in March?!

Wow, this journal has been around a while, huh :)

I miss writing here. On Facebook most of my status updates are only a sentence or two. Here I used to talk a bit more about what was going on with my life, for the few of you who were interested. I really should come back here more often, make posts with some meat, leaving the vagueness to Facebook ("Nope, Chuck Testa.")


Has it really been 10 months since I posted?

Holy crap XD

I guess I do most of my updating on Facebook now, and I have been bereft of computer for a few months now up until the other day.

Quick update then, for anyone that cares:

♥ Blissfully happy in my love life. Happier than I ever thought possible to be honest. Keeping this one.
♥ Doctors still unsure of what ails me. Obviously some sort of inflammatory / immune disease. Used to talk about MS, never did get called about the spinal tap, now we're talking about Fibromyalgia. *sigh* Someday I'll have a definitive diagnosis instead of a long list of symptomatic separate diseases. I need to believe this.
♥ I miss having a paycheck.
♥ My family and friends are AWESOME.
♥ Not playing as much Warcraft.
♥ Not knitting (arthritis is getting bad).
♥ Reading a lot more.
♥ Facebooking a lot more, but less Zynga games.
♥ Taking pictures and videos again. Art supplies are out and staring me in the face, telling me I need to work on my art again, that my future may lie there if I could just muster my guts up and fricken TRY again.
♥ Started watching TV again for a bit, then OLN stopped playing Man VS. Food and I stopped watching TV again XD Evil box anyway...
♥ OMG NETFLIX. Need I say more?
♥ I miss people.
♥ I'm currently terrified that Nemo is dying.
♥ I have a new-ish kitten named Josephine, although she thinks her name is Little One since that's what I call her all the time. Ike is her surrogate mom.
♥ I've actually been feeling better lately *knocks on wood* in the IBD area. 1/2 of that is adjustment.

That covers most of it I think...
I'll try to update more than once a year XD
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A post for everyone who thinks I'm lazy, or just doesn't understand inflammatory bowel diseases

I'm putting this under an LJ-cut for those who don't want to know, or don't care.

For anyone who doesn't understand IBD and wants to, or just doesn't understand why I'm not working, I warn you... I don't talk about this, and this one time I am going to be a little graphic. If you have a weak stomach, don't read this.

At the end is a little side note to those who worry about, or think badly of, the amount of time I spend playing World Of Warcraft. If you've ever done either of those, do me a favor and read it. I'll bold the title of that section so you can skip the IBD details if you're squeamish.

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Erika & Joy

Erika lies herself bare with an admission of guilt. Refreshments will be served at the pity party.

I doubt anyone else remembers me taking Nemo to the vet... I don't even remember if that was last year or the year before... they all blend together now.

Anyway. I was scared he had cancer. He had a large growth on the front of his chest, and in the days after the visit, when my fears were set to rest a little, I called it the uniboob. The vet had said it was a pad of fat. She did no tests, no x-rays, she just felt it and announced it was fat. I wanted to believe her, so I did.

I had also brought up his size, and told her how he never eats enough to sustain that weight. My mother acted as witness, but the vet just gave me diet food, which I dutifully fed him for 3 months before giving it up for the store brand diet food with about the same makeup and 1/2 the price (still twice the cost of regular, decent cat food). You see, I feed him 1/8 of a cup of this special weight-reducing food in the mornings and 1/8 at night, often with a small spoonful of wet food. That's it. I also feed him single pieces of this diet food as "treats" which I toss as far as I can and he runs after. I play with him several times a day because he gets winded after 4 or 5 minutes. So, he has a very reduced caloric intake and gets exercise... he should not look like a football with legs. Also, I worked him down to this low amount so it wasn't an abrupt change. Mom admits she thought I was overfeeding him too, asked to take over his feeding for a while, then apologized after a few months, saying she too was baffled.

So, I watched his "pad of fat" grow slowly over time. The other day when rubbing his chin I feel multiple bumps. I admit I'm scared again but the thing is, if it IS cancer (which I have a lot of doubts about) it would be too far along to do anything about.

Which brings me to my real point, that being I will not be getting cats again after these two pass on. I want to be able to take proper care of them, and if I can't afford to prod a vet into an x-ray to make sure my little man really is just fat, then I am not taking proper care of them. Sure, they eat really good food, get love and exercise and medicines for most of what ails them, but when it comes to the big money, like Joy's $1000+ vet bill... I just can't do it. Not on disability. I love cats too much to subject them to poor ownership. Ike's fine, but Nemo needs someone who can save him from diabetes, if it isn't too late. Someone that can afford thyroid tests, x-rays, blood work... someone who can take care of him instead of just loving him.

You see, the pity party isn't for me, it's for Nemo. It breaks my heart to even think it, but I've often considered contacting the NSPCA and seeing if they take cats like him, in a no-kill setting. It would break both our hearts, but his health is more important...
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Comfort Food

In the wake of Earl our recent hot spell broke and it feels decidedly fall-like. I felt like something a bit more warm and "stick-to-your-ribs" for supper. This is not low fat by any means XD

Erika's "Mug-O-Mess"

1 or 2 slices of bacon
1/2lb ground beef
2 cups frozen corn or 1/2 a can
1 shallot, diced
2 cups cooked rice (I prefer a long grain brown and wild mix)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp summer savory (you can substitute 1/2 tsp thyme)
1/2 cup sweet and sour sauce (I use VH)

Crisp up bacon in large fry-pan. Crumble and set aside. Using a tsp of the bacon fat, fry up the ground beef. Drain well. On medium heat add diced shallot and fry 1 minute. Add garlic powder and savory, stir well. Add cooked rice and corn. Add sauce and turn to low heat. Let this simmer 5-10 mins. Spoon mixture into mugs and top with crumbled bacon.

If you're wondering about the mugs, having the food all vertical like with the insulation of the mug sides keeps the food lower down hot until you get to it ^^
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Feeling Green

This blog entry by Suzie The Foodie has inspired me to rant a little in your general direction.

My mother raised a somewhat environmentally-friendly daughter. The only time I don't put something in a garbage can is if it's biodegradable (like an apple core) and I'm not in a populated area. I recycle. I compost if it's available. I turn lights off and conserve water. Etc etc, you get the point.

User Sorrow writes:

They put up signs around here that says "Only Trash litters" and ten fined people 50-100$ for all the trash they throw out the window.
dramatic! 85% decrease!

I know how I feel about this, but how do you? Should we be dedicating a portion of our law enforcement to this? I imagine if they even did it for even a year it would make a huge impact.

Poll #1607633 Environmental Enforcement

How important do you consider reducing litter?

Mean: 6.33 Median: 2 Std. Dev 3.86

Do you feel it would be a good idea for us to dedicate a small task force of law enforcement to fining litterers?


Do you feel there is another sector of environmental issues that should be either criminalized or more heftily penalized?

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Erika & Joy

Reason #75 I'm a cat lady

I'm reading Nora Roberts River's End (What can I say, she writes great stories with romance in them, so I don't really consider them romance novels... shush, let me pretend) when I get to a scene that touched a nerve. Nemo came over cooing like a dove and nudging the book away from me. I realized he was trying to get the object upsetting me out of the way, and he flopped down on my arm holding the book and nuzzled my face.

Honestly, can you blame me for loving them so much?
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