Dinah, ClinkShrink, & Roy produce Shrink Rap: a blog by Psychiatrists for Psychiatrists, interested bystanders are also welcome. A place to talk; no one has to listen.
Saturday, December 22, 2012
I don't think of myself as a workaholic, but there are moments in time where I find that my brain gets really stuck on work. Maybe there's a patient I'm worried about, or I'm working on an article that requires some searching, or is about something I'm passionate about. Ideas for blog posts run through my head, or every conversation somehow turns to CPT codes (~Yes, yes, this is my fault, Clink. Poor Clink has heard so much about CPT codes) or the latest issue of the moment. Or I get annoyed that the world makes no sense. I find that I stress myself out with things I really don't need to be stressed about, and then I really start to long for vacation. When I get in these states, I feel like the unfortunate thing about going on vacation is that I really need a vacation from myself! The good thing is that when I get away from work, the phone, the internet, the office, the house, the iPhone, the computer, --after a few days, I start to relax and eventually to recharge. There's something about our all-too-connected world that isn't always good for me, and I have this love-hate relationship with technology.
Okay, so today was my first day of vacation. I baked cookies, watched TV, cooked a gourmet meal, saw my family. I tried moving the laptop to another floor so I wouldn't be attached to it, but within an hour or two, it made it's way back downstairs. I didn't leave the house, didn't do any work, have my voicemail set to send callers to a covering doctor. Ah, but here it is, Saturday night, and what am I doing? Yup.... blogging.
So what do you do to unwind? Do you have trouble disconnecting?
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I play Everquest II. I sometimes play other online MMO's too, like I was a beta tester for DC (Comics) Online, and my first villain had mental powers and was named Psyche O'Therapy . . .
Watch Doctor Who (Bow Ties are cool, so are Stetsons & Fezzes!) and discuss the paradoxes, timelines intersecting (sometimes in opposite directions), and illogical stuff. My daughter put it in colorful terms, "Screw logic; it's Doctor Who!"
Seeing the various Star Trek shows through her eyes, all new-to-her universe, is pretty cool (but I wince at sexualized stuff that I didn't remember; I knew Kirk was like that but TNG has way more than I remember!)
Sept of last year through about June of this year, I read somewhere around 225-250 books, most of them logged on Goodreads.com. I do read fast, but I eventually figured out I was doing it waaay too much. Esp. when I asked my husband, "Wait, have you missed me these last 8 months?" and he said "Yes", among other things.
Oops. Too much of a good thing, is not a good thing. I tend to go to excess.
Board & card games (not your standard ones like Monopoly, but ones you mostly find only at game stores with a few breakout exceptions like Ticket To Ride), like the co-op game Pandemic, and such. I tend to find new things to throw my interest and attention to every few years, though at present I can't imagine ever not enjoying these games. Some are lighter, some are more thinky.
I'm not used to alot of bluffing in games (we don't gamble nor play games that are primarily used to gamble, so I don't know how to play poker) and I've been having fun with the mind games involved with that in the LCG Android: Netrunner. Nothing like, as the Corporation, luring my husband, playing the Runner, into a server hosting a trap waiting to be sprung on him . . .
I am not as connected as many, as we only ever briefly had a cell phone back before smart phones, and have never owned a touch screen device (and I've never operated one). This is partly because of finances, but partly because I grew up IBM. My dad worked there from the early 60's for many years (back then they'd fly him to places like Guam and all over to fix the half-room size computers and stuff). So I've never liked Apple stuff, don't even want the Itunes software on my computer to buy or manage stuff for non-Apple devices, so I have never been able to go comment on your podcast on ITunes.
Yeah, angles from which to blog about whatever's going on occur to me quite often. Like spending the last 3 weeks trying to get my psychiatrist to contact me as my main mood stabilizer IS messing with the kidneys and stuff (I know, cause it got to where I could feel them from the discomfort in side/back, almost daily), and within ONE day of a trial of lowering my dose of Lamictal it and all the abdominal pain got significantly better. So, trying to get her medical advice cause well the last time a year ago I went off it, well, that turned out . . . um, badly. Apparently, she doesn't give a fig that I'm in pain and something has to give, she and two other docs back in Sept didn't believe me about my theory that the Lamictal was behind this stuff (just because they've never heard of it doing that doesn't mean it can't be doing that, but I understood they had no reason to medically believe that & I did things their way for three months).
Sorry, I'm a bit peeved (and she's not been on vacation or anything). They say don't mess with this stuff without your doctor's advice etc. but if the damn woman won't call me back, well . . . I feel like well never mind what I feel like. Even left a msg on her emergency number. Nope, heard nothing back. So, I get to play doctor, I guess. As well as attempt to deal with increasing mania. Why does treating my bipolar have to be such a crapshoot?
Um, sorry. Whine over, lots of things are crapshoots, and medical stuff can often be far from clear.
Maybe I should edit all that crap out but anyway I think about blogging stuff, and then I don't, but then I think about it s'more (like I need to edit my last post and say, ironically, that even for myself I don't think messing with my meds is a good idea. It feels like a necessary poor idea.)
I spend alot of time asleep or half so, cause of the Seroquel, so there's less unwinding I need to do.
I have trouble disconnecting from my worries (well, duh, a variety of anxiety disorders, but still) as you can see above. The serenity prayer lately, among other things like lotso therapy, helps there.
For the second time in our 16 year marriage, we're going on vacation next year (paid for by in-laws, Disneyland and such, but we're driving down ouch my legs hurt just thinkin of it, 12 hours+). I'm actually not so excited (for myself; for my daughter, I'm very happy). Mainly cause managing my leg, knee, hip pain is gonna be a pain and well I have to face using a wheelchair. You do whatcha gotta do. My emotions aren't so logical however. Anyway, I'm trying HARD to disconnect from all my anxieties about how the logistics of the trip will make me hurt worse and worse and trying to spread things out so we're not packing so much in a day because I just CAN'T it's too much pain, and just relax and not worry about it. So I guess I have to disconnect from THAT . . . much of my world is anxiety and fear, I suppose; hrm, this is an interesting insight. (Well of course I know I have alot of anxiety and fear, but the notion that it's something separate and not ME (well not totally) that I can work on disconnecting from . . . I've felt that before but not realized it like that, it's always felt so much ME that how can I fight ME? But it's not ME I can work to separate that out . . . you'd think I'd know this after 8 years of therapy lol! Like I say, from other angles, I've been there, but . . . typing this stuff, it was kinda like a fuller, more felt realization (since many of my realizations are intellectual only).
Cool (been all over in this comment but what the hey, it went some good places lol).
Laughing at myself (and this next bit) a bit; I'm not as narcissistic as the split up long comment sounds . . . I just get to typing stuff, I don't necessarily think the world CARES lol.
Thanks, Sarebear, sometimes I wish I could just zone out with a videogame. It doesn't seem to be in me. On vacation, I usually get absorbed in novels, but it does take being away for a little bit until I turn off. Happy holidays.
I live in the country, so it's a bit easier for me, since I don't have very good internet (Hughesnet, which is a lot better than nothing!) I don't have a blog. I don't use facebook. I keep a large garden that keeps me busy for a few months, and deliberately don't play any music so all I hear are birds, chipmunks and frogs. I make time for meteor showers (the Geminids a couple weeks ago were something wonderful!). In winter, I use the internet a LOT more, so I displace it with cookie baking, hot baths, novels, and cribbage playing. When there is a fresh snowfall, or it's bitter cold and the ice crystals are sparkling in the air (I call it fairy dust), I make a point of going outside to experience that. My husband would never put up with me playing videogames endlessly, so if I do play them, it's short games like Scrabble or Boggle. I count that as screen time, though.
Thinking about it, that's how I avoid using the computer endlessly. I have activities that displace it.
But when I have depression really bad, it's just easier to play Boggle and get a lousy score than it is to take a bath, concentrate on a novel, and losing at cribbage crushes me. I just don't care about anything, and the meteors and fairy dust may as well be ashes. I have no answers for those times.
For me, the years on medications made it impossible to experience an emotional response to beauty, or to feel the emotion of love, so I am reveling in the experiences when I can have them. Next year I plan to spend some time watching clouds and studying ants. No kidding.
PS I just don't understand the appeal of Apple products either, Sarebear. I don't like a lot about modern computing. I have no idea what all those programs are doing in the background and there are too many gee whiz effects and updates. My dad was a computer person also and we had a homemade computer in 1970 the size of a washing machine.
I get embarrassed when I get all rambly and irrelevant, but on the other hand if I never posted when I'm rambly and irrelevant, there'd be some long stretches where I felt like I had to just shut up.
I try really hard not to do it this excessively much, though.
It's kind of like, do I retreat/withdraw when I'm less focused, or do I participate, knowing that people know sometimes I can pull it together and sometimes I can't?
I often want to delete such messes but I'm trying hard to just let it sit.
Anyway, thanks and Merry Christmas!
(I'm not videogaming all the time, although this fall I was actually, to where my therapist called it an addiction. I've been much much less for awhile, so that's good. Plus tho my best friend (whom I've never met in person) plays.
Talk of baking, I need to go make some Eggnog Pound Cake, yum. Mebbe I should shut up now.
Sarebear, if you have an Xbox download the videogame Braid from the Live Arcade. Well worth playing.
One thing I do to unwind is to follow Shrink Rap!
Thanks Jesse! We have a Wii, I'll haveta see if they have it!
Ditto on the other thing too!
Sarebear, do you have a blog? I would recommend it. Seems like you have a tremendous amount to say.
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