17 December 2010

Voc Rehab

I'm leaving for Voc Rehab in just a minute--so quickly, in fact, that I did not get to finish the preamble.

I'm waiting in the lobby now, because my friend BS is "talking about me behind my back", is what she said, but who knows. She may tell me when she's done.

We talked to my counselor's supervisor about what's been going on, specifically about my anxiety that seems to accompany authority figures (who are usually male--like my counselor), and about how slowly things have seemed to be going with him.

The supervisor seemed more concerned with how slowly things were going than with my anxiety--not that he wasn't concerned about the anxiety, he merely felt that the anxiety itself should be addressed, rather than skirting me around any dangerous territory. I'm basically okay with that. But he talked about setting specific, I don't know, benchmarks that, if we didn't find them happening within a timely manner, if we felt we weren't getting the service we needed, we were to talk to him about it. We didn't actually do it, so I don't know how that helps, but ...

(BS was asking about her position as my "advocate" and whether she was "helping" too much ... )

I also got them the name and number of a counselor/therapist/whatever (someday I'll learn the difference between the terms) who's been working with my family somewhat, and wanted to work with me. She was in their list of okay people, so that was good.

It's been a long day, and I'm tired. More later.

10 December 2010

If I'm not fucked up, if I'm not using drugs, if I don't have an eating disorder, if I'm not on any medications, if I've never attempted suicide, how can I justify not being happy?

09 December 2010

Moving On

So many different thoughts flying in my head at once. Voc Eval finished, and I almost wish they would keep everyone a full week, because that might be a decent test of how well a person can bear up under that schedule. BS says a lot of their clients can't. I thought it would be a cakewalk, but I think I was starting to show strain.

Tuesday was harder than Monday, with me employing my coping mechanisms more frequently (mostly homeopathic stress reliefs, but also one thing that could be termed "unhealthy", and thus will not go on the internet). Wednesday, while I was waiting, I laid my head down on my desk and fell asleep for a little while. Also, Wednesday saw me pull out my coping mechanisms very frequently.

And, fortunately for me, we were done yesterday, because I slept till 2:30pm today, which almost never happens. Granted, I did stay up till 2am, because I knew I didn't have to get up, but when I do that, I usually wake at 10am.

I was thinking earlier, before I sat down to do this, that it's a wonder I blog at all. I have this omnipresent belief that unless someone asks me a direct question, they're probably not interested in what I have to say.

And yet, here I am, sending information about myself into the ether, but I think it's because people wouldn't look at my blog unless they wanted to know what I have to say. If they weren't interested, they could just close the tab or window.

Whereas, in conversation with real humans, it may not be considered polite to tell someone you just don't care, will you please shut up. So I opt to shut up in the first place, and if you want to know something, you can ask.

Vocational Evaluation, Take 3

Good morning. Sitting in the Voc Eval place, waiting for my evaluator to finish with explaining the computer test to one of the other people. There's three people here today, but it's just after nine, so the fourth might be coming. Or he might be that guy sitting at a different table, working on something. I can't tell if he looks familiar or not. Probably not.

Anyway, once the evaluator is done, he'll pick either me, or the other guy waiting, and get us started. But for now, I'm just sitting.

Tests today included motor coordination, finger dexterity and manual dexterity. I feel like I did not do perfectly on any of them, but he marked me high on all of them, except the wiring one, because there wasn't any wiggle room: my score was how many tiny metal circles I got the "wire" through, out of twenty. I felt that was particularly low, but he said most of the people who do that test get lower scores.

I also did the Computer Operator Aptitude Battery, which involved three parts: logical thinking, pattern recognition, and one other that I cannot remember. The logical thinking one was the best: brain puzzles, basically, and it took me fourteen of the thirty minutes given me to do it.

If I remember what he said about my scores, I got between the 90th and 99th percentile on each of the tests, and unlike the other tests I took, I wasn't being compared against Random Population A, but against computer people. And I got the 99th percentile in something. (I don't remember which. I'm hoping I'll get all this information printed out and handed to me at one of my next Voc Rehab appointments, so I can take it home and frame it.)

And then he told me I was done, that the testing was done, and I had nothing else to do. So, this adventure with Voc Eval is at its end, which is good in a way: I was getting nothing done. Well, I did manage to write some during my breaks. But mostly I didn't have the energy after a session to do anything at all ...

07 December 2010

Vocational Evaluation, Take 2

Today feels like a waste of time. My evaluator seems unable to handle more than one person at a time: yesterday there were four people, and he decided to split us into two today and two tomorrow. And even so, I'm not doing anything. I filled out more bubbles, but he gave me those forms last night, and due to preparing for my game, I didn't have time to fill those out at home. I thought it'd be okay: I'll fill these in in my spare moments, when he's dealing with other people.

Well, I've been here for two and half hours. I filled in the bubbles, and then, because I couldn't find him, I started transcribing my list of (actually nineteen) ideal careers onto a clean sheet of paper in legible writing, and with the "catalog numbers" listed with them.

Then he came by, and said he would give me something to do, and walked away to his office, so I pulled out my netbook and began writing. He interrupted me to have me do a computer test: the kind that tests interests (again), and then the fun kind that ask you to match patterns and solve problems and know what words mean in a short amount of time. The pattern matching (figuring out a shape from a pattern of a shape) was the only one I finished every question in, and with time to spare.

I got the 99th percentile on Spatial Aptitude and Clerical Perception--and until BS reminded me how percentiles work (that out of 100 people, 99 of them scored below me) I saw the 99 and said, "What? I only got 99% on Spatial Aptitude? I should have gotten 100%, bitches!" in my super-perfectionist way. I also got 97th on Form Perception, and only 94th on General Learning Ability. What I actually feel bad about is my 85th on Verbal Aptitude--I'm a freakin' writer, how did I not get at least the 90th on that?

I won't list everything here, because that would put me over my word count limit, but I scored 100% interest in Artistic, Plants/Animals, and Mechanical, and I'm walking away with two or three different lists of jobs that I am both interested in, and probably good at.

So, now I just put them all on a dart board and start throwing?

I am going in tomorrow, but probably not for the whole time--I get to test my manual dexterity, finger dexterity and motor coordination. My evaluator doesn't think it's necessary, because I'm not likely to want to lay bricks or distribute handbills, but I pointed out I might want to play a piano, and then said that I like to learn things, especially about myself, and he agreed, basically, to cater to my whim, which I did not expect.

06 December 2010

Vocational Evaluation

Haven't written in a few days. This entry will probably take all day to write, but that's okay because I have no internet here.

I have two fifteen minute breaks, and an hour for lunch. I'm only here for six hours ... that's a schedule I can live with!

Doing Vocational Evaluation testing. So far just filling out forms about my work experience and why I have trouble getting and keeping jobs (anxiety issues rank high, here), and then one long fill-in-the-bubbles sort of form asking what I like or would like in activities, subjects to study and jobs. Never understood the purpose of those things: Don't worry about whether you would be good at it, or how well it pays ... I don't understand how that helps, but I guess I can trust in the system.

Anyway, finished my banana and egg, so, back to the table to fill out more forms--oh, yeah, he'd handed us some shiny magazines that talk about jobs ... sort of like a miniature OOH. So we get to look at those and write down "five to ten" jobs we'd like. Riiight ...

I wrote eighteen ideal jobs. Yay, me!

Also, they let me go early, so I didn't have a last break in which to write this. I'm writing now in the lobby, waiting for my friend BS, who dropped me off here. (This building is at about 1500 W, and I don't know if there are any buses in the world that go here ... )

So. I got to peek at my file, and I found that Voc Rehab's psych evaluation of me got me the diagnoses of Major Depression and Anxiety Disorder NOS (Not Otherwise Specified basically means the anxiety doesn't meet the criteria for any other disorder).

My "counselor"--I'm not actually sure what it's called--no, wait, my "evaluator" (that's fun) talked to me for a little bit at the end. He was impressed with my college degree, and commented that I must be quite intelligent.

He asked if I was feeling anxious about this evaluation, and to be honest, this is kind of a cakewalk--at least so far. It's all on paper, there's been very little personal interaction. While I was in his office (part of which time was spent waiting), I was more anxious, but I was forewarned, and brought all my coping mechanisms today.

He gave me some forms to fill out either tonight or tomorrow in the evaluation--more testing what I like and what I value.

I'm feeling slightly anxious now--it's a feeling of walking on eggshells, of, I guess, vulnerability. That's usually a sign to watch out for triggers, because whatever happens next will help influence which way my mood will fall: depression, anxiety, or mania ...

03 December 2010

Repeat After Me:

Alcohol is poison.
But it's so much fun! How can fun be poison?
Because I had one small drink last night, around six, plenty of water afterward, and now ... 17 hours later, I still have an awful headache.
So, what lesson have we learned?
Alcohol continues to be poison.

I feel like it's a Catch-22: I react to alcohol more strongly now than when I was drinking more frequently, because I don't drink much ... but I stopped drinking as much, because it was starting to affect me more ...
So, I feel like it should be something I can work up to again, but at this point ... I don't know if it's worthwhile ... the headache and the general sense of having been poisoned will continue for at least the rest of the day, though I'll take something for the pain in a minute.

Gratitude Journal

It's late, so I'm going to be brief ... in fact, I should probably save the story of my gratitude journals for another day.
I actually haven't written in my paper journal yet today ... but I will, just before I go to bed. And what I will write will be way too personal for this public blog.
So I will limit this note to:
1) I am grateful for my friend NF who has been the origin of many of the creative thoughts that have run through my brain lately. Just in case you read this, dear: you're great fun, and I hope to continue brainstorming with you.
2) I'm grateful to DP for understanding me and accepting me as I am.

Okay, I'm fucking tired. Time to get ready for bed.

02 December 2010

A New Idea!

Wow, they're just all over, aren't they? (New ideas.)

Well, I was reading dither's blog (again, you can follow this elegant and finely crafted link), wherein his comic got fan art! (Which is totally cool.)
Well, he has mentioned sprites before, but here he says the magic phrase: sprite comic format. I had to look it up. (See the other Wiki to see what I read.) And then DP clarified it for me.
Basically, you take static elements, and then put them together. Computer graphics, tiny pixellated blobs of color, and static backgrounds. You tell a story basically with props, instead of with amazing artwork.
Well, it takes me way too long to draw anything (I have, I can, but not in any sustained way, not really), and I don't have a video gaming or computer-related background. So here's how the idea morphed in my head:
Paper dolls!

I'm going to draw the backgrounds and dolls myself, including clothes and other props. I haven't decided yet how I'll put the whole thing together, but I have some options. The end product will be something basically comic-book-like, but I'll actually be able to produce it, and keep updating it.
This is exciting!

Trying Something New

Actually, trying a few new things. Let's see if I can enumerate them all:

First: I'd like to try updating at least once per week. That feels really weak, but I know myself, and I know that when I'm manic it's totally easy for me to believe that I can update every day, and write three novels, and get back into deviantART and start planning my cooking show, etc. So, I'm starting small.

Second: To encourage myself to update more than once per week, I'm going to try to limit my updates. I have a tendency to write really long blog posts every three months, and I think that deters me from writing more often. I believe my friend dither (of the blog mentioned in the last update--and yes, I'm starting to actually think of you as dither, even though I first met you in real life ... ) has a minimum word requirement for his blogs: I might make a maximum requirement. No more than ... I don't know yet. I also don't want to say it, because this update will probably go (way) past it ...

Third: Without going into too much detail, my family attempted some open and honest communication this weekend ... the part that is pertinent to this is the part where I was told that I focus too much on the negative. Skipping over all the things I could say to that, even the ones I am remotely tempted to say in response to that, I'll just say that I started thinking about doing a gratitude journal again. Um, there's way too much there to sum up, so maybe that will be an extra update, but suffice it to say (for now) that I thought maybe it'd be a good idea to post ... not everything that I put in my paper gratitude journal, but some of it.

Fourth: I will go into my plan for this year (I make plans when manic) in another update, but I'd like to update you all on my various creative projects. I'll post pictures when that makes sense, or maybe snippets of writing that I'm doing, or whatever. I have ideas about what I'm going to do this coming year, and I'd like you all to be a part of it.

So, minimum number of posts per week + maximum number of words per post + at least two specific "topics" (which will go into different updates) = I think I'll update multiple times per week.
Okay, so this post is a little over four hundred and fifty words total. I think I might place the cap at five hundred. I'll have to look at what this post looks like to be certain, but I think that's it.

Love you all, thanks for reading.