Monday, February 2, 2009

Dancing Through Life

So that great mood I was in, which I discussed in the last post? The one I thought might be the beginning of a manic episode? Well, my fears proved correct, and the last week and a half I've been absolutely miserable, anxious, depressed, fidgety, sleepless and exhausted at once, a "mixed state" episode that made me want to open a vein and bleed the ick away.

But I didn't open a vein, I just rode it out, and I'm feeling OK now.

Something that was recommended to me by a coworker, and which I think helped me through the terrible rigors of last week, was kava-kava capsules. Her homeopath recommended them to her for anxiety, and since I was feeling so much anxiety that I actually had to go home early on Tuesday because I thought I was going to have a panic attack, I thought I'd give it a try. I don't know if it was the pills, or just a placebo effect from simply having something to do about the anxiety... but it didn't make me sicker, and it doesn't taste bad, so I'm now a dedicated kava-kava fan. Better than gin, which I was seriously considering for my next go-to.

I have an appointment to see my psychiatrist next week, so I'll be bringing this up with her. In the meantime, I've decided to stop taking my meds altogether until I see her. I'm inclined to believe that part of my feeling good right now is because I've been off the Prozac for three days... exactly how many days I've felt good. Longer-term effects might not be so good, but hopefully by then I will be on some other medication, or no medication at all. We shall have to see what good Dr. Shrinkimadink has to say about the matter.


Funny vignette... Caroline and I were out driving in the Downtown Oakland area (we'd had dinner at The Fat Lady, and it was fantastic), and I was heading down 11th Street to go home; on the way, Caroline wondered what had become of the old Bench & Bar, the place I drank away most of my youth, the club that moved a couple of years ago to a newer, larger, much nicer location... and would you believe? It's now a Chinese church! That strikes me as very funny, from gay bar to Chinese church... I am soooo tempted to go there some Sunday morning, just to see how they redecorated! But they might look at me askance, and it's not pleasant being looked at askance by Chinese people... useless to explain to them that I'm a quarter Chinese myself.


So, I had this really fantastic weekend. When I got up on Saturday, I was still feeling Shitty McTitty, depressed and weary, but Caroline had inveigled me into driving down to Santa Cruz with her. I really didn't want to go, but she wanted me to go so badly that I gave in and went. And it wasn't too long into the journey that I became glad I did.

The weather was beautiful, sunny but with a softening haze, fresh with cool but not cold breezes. We started off with an Egg McMuffin breakfast, and drove down the inland route with very light traffic. On the way down, we talked and talked and talked, really good topics, a useful vent of feelings and ideas. Then we did some shopping at a leathercrafts store (the reason we went down there) and poked around in Santa Cruz for a little while.

Then we drove back up by the coastal route and had lunch at our favorite restaurant, Sam's Chowder House (home of the very best clam chowder in the whole world) for chowder and oysters... I hadn't had oysters in a long time, but these were delicious (Malpeque, to be precise, from Prince Edward Island, Canada), and I'd forgotten just how exciting oysters are... you wouldn't think six little morsels of bivalve with some lemon and cocktail sauce would provide such a satisfying experience, but I could have stopped eating right then and been fine (of course, I didn't... I had a big bowl of chowder and a massive hunk of bread, and rice pudding for dessert, every bite more delicious than the last).

After we ate, we went for a very pleasant walk along Pillar Point Harbor beach, did some rock-climbing on the breakwater, and made friends with a trio of very wet but quite lovable black Labradors. It was pretty good exercise, and we had a lovely time at it.

Continuing on our way North, we stopped at the Serramonte Center mall in Daly City because Caroline had to pee (she has a teacup-sized bladder, and drinks bottled water all the time, so restrooms are a frequent feature in our travels). While there, we had a good time shopping around; we saw a two-headed turtle in a pet store (sadly it wasn't for sale), I bought a couple of sweaters on a great sale at Macy's, and she got a very cute black froufrou dress at Hot Topic.

By the time we got home, I was absolutely worn out, but I felt great, completely satisfied and happy.

Then on Sunday, Grandmother didn't get up for church... she's feeling a little poorly, I think she may have that weird fatigue-y flu I had at New Year's... and so I planned to spend the morning in bed with a book (I'm reading Charlaine Harris's "Sookie Stackhouse" series, upon which HBO's series True Blood is based) and maybe get some laundry and cleaning done in the afternoon.

But once again, Caroline came charging in and changed my plans... and once again I had a much better day than I thought I would. First we had brunch at Somerset, a restaurant we frequently pass on our way to other places (it's a few doors from where I get my hair cut), and which Caroline wanted to try while they still had their winter menu in play... she particularly wished to taste their pumpkin custard appetizer, which completely lived up to her expectations. She also had the crab melt sandwich (much fancier than it sounds), while I had warm spiced mango bread and an order of baked eggs, fontina, and Black Forest ham with bread and potatoes (I'm drooling down my chin right now, just thinking about it).

Another good long walk was called for, so we schlepped up Claremont Avenue to visit Dark Carnival Books, which not only has an amazing selection of horror and fantasy books, plus an entire section of Edward Gorey books, but it also has the most amazingly entertaining toys...where else can you find Clive Barker Tortured Souls action figures or a rubber frog with visible plastic organs sloshing around inside? I bought a Whitley Streiber book (Lillith's Dream) that I couldn't find anywhere else, and a gay vampire anthology (Sons of Darkness) that I used to have but which has long been out of print, and a really fascinating book detailing (in words and many many color pictures) the creation of the film The Golden Compass. I bought a fourth book, but now I can't remember what it was.

After that, I was pretty tired, but I needed to swing by the grocery store to get some bananas and other staples; I decided on a whim to go grocery shopping at the Lucky in Montclair, instead of my usual Safeway at Rockridge... and of course when I'm in Montclair, I have to stop at Montclair Antiques to ogle their treasures and pet their pug. I even ended up buying something, two pieces of overstock from David M Brian (another favorite store): a gorgeous Christian LaCroix potpourri jar (it's LaCroix, darling! LaCroix, sweetie!) and a pair of silver pagoda salt-and-pepper shakers.

Then I got the groceries and made it home... and by then I was truly exhausted, my feet hurt, my back hurt, I was sleepy... but I still felt great. I finished reading Dead to the World, did a little FaceBooking and eBaying, and was in bed and on my way to dreamland by nine p.m.

All day today (Monday), people have been asking me "How was your weekend?" And it's such a joy to be able to truthfully say "I had a wonderful weekend!"


So anyway, that's what's going on in my world. I've continued to feel good all day today at work (though I am almost ashamed at how little work I managed to get done...though it was more than I did any day last week), and I think I'll even manage to go to the gym on the way home after work!

Here's hoping this lasts... but if it doesn't, I will rest assured that I made the very most of it.

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