Friday, June 17, 2016


A post-title with a clever double meaning! #1: SHU's reference to "Mosquito Mind"--that all-to-familiar state of being constantly interrupted and without focus and #2: all the time I wasted researching mosquito repellent and shopping for it on Amazon prime only to realize that 30% DEET cannot be air-shipped and will take 4-5 business days to arrive (we leave for Zika-infested-vacation-spot in 4 business days).

Indeed, I have so MUCH I want to write about, vent about, discuss...and yet I can't seem to be able to sit down and formulate a coherent and complete post. I have fallen to the lowest standard of picking the THREE most important work tasks for the day and getting them done ASAP so if the rest of the day goes to hell at least I am moving ahead in my major projects.

I've been struggling a bit...and not just with focus. I had a thought this morning---that perhaps I have internalized a double-standard re: mental health. I can be as scientific, rationale, empathetic, and supportive as anybody you will ever meet when it comes to the mental health issues of EVERYONE IN THE WORLD EXCEPT ME. I would NEVER say or think the things I say and think to myself. I would never tell someone else that this daily weight of anxiety & sadness I've been carrying for over a month now is only caused by "being too negative" and "not trying hard enough" and "not being grateful for what I have" and all manner of bootstrap/self/pull style nonsense.

I did make (and attend!) a first appointment with a new therapist earlier this week. But there was a lot to cover and we only had an hour. We didn't get very deep. And then we are going on vacation next week so it'll be a couple of weeks before I can go back. I think the first 2-3 visits may be "getting to know you" type affairs, before I can feel it actually start to be helpful. I did tell her that I'd like to try a few different mind/mood changing techniques for a few weeks but if I don't feel it helping, I'd like to meet with the provider that prescribes medication.

I just can't get excited or motivated about anything. I do things, and I do feel some satisfaction at getting them done, and some level of enjoyment at seeing other people enjoy them but...something is just not there. I'm not even excited about our vacation. Not at all. Just another list of things to do to prepare and then a LOT of trying to gear myself up to deal with the frustrations and lowered expectations of traveling with my children. Who have been in rare form lately, just...chock full & brimming over with negativity and whining and anger and bad manners.

Anyways. I've only done 2 of my 3 things today so back to work.


  1. THREE is better than what I'm doing. So good for you! Kanban would be proud.

    Right now my big thing is being so scattered that I don't know where to start so I waste a huge amount of time going, I don't know what to do next. I have both too much going on and not enough. And I go back to teaching and service in the fall. But I'm just not managing my time well and wishing I were playing instead of working; it isn't anxiety or depression (which I had in graduate school and when struggling with infertility, but not really now). I wonder if I'll be more focused when we're back where we normally live and there's not so much fun stuff to do and the weather sucks and the library sucks. And will that balance out the teaching prep and so on. Probably not. :/

    Good luck with the therapist! The other half of our blog swears by Lexapro, though she tried a lot of different stuff before settling on that and it took a while to get the right dosage, IIRC. So whatever happens, don't give up hope.

    (She also notes that CBT is effective with a narrow range of the things it's used for and that people are more and more treating it as a wonder drug for things it wasn't originally designed for, so if it doesn't work, it's not because you're doing something wrong. And that for some people CBT is only effective in combination with medication.)

  2. Sorry to hear you are feeling down, but glad for the new therapist & potential for meds.

    Even if it seems like one more hassle now, I hope the vacation is great - I remember how excited you were when you came back last year from vacation!

    Is there an REI in Philly? That's where I get my tropical strength repellant.

  3. FWIW I hate vacations too, unless 1) I am alone or 2) they otherwise involve me lying and watching TV and doing nothing while someone else takes care of life. Considering that I am a grownup with kids, that means that, in a nutshell, vacations=more stress for me. So you are not alone.

  4. Oh man - I hope the vacay exceeds your expectations and things turn around! If not, I think your plan sounds very reasonable.

    for mosquitos - which we have 28734 of here -- i use Deep Woods Off. Works really well. (I use it all the time. I may turn into a mutant but it's worth it.)

  5. "I can be as scientific, rationale, empathetic, and supportive as anybody you will ever meet when it comes to the mental health issues of EVERYONE IN THE WORLD EXCEPT ME. "

    This. Yes.
    I have thought this before while reading your blog... especially your last post about meds and therapy. I'm so glad to hear you're thinking about it from this perspective and feeling more open to considering medication.

    Congrats on taking good care of yourself!

  6. I wish the best for you and your new therapist. Hopefully, this is a person who can be of great help to you. I understand about vacations - sometimes, it is difficult to get excited, especially if you are responsible for most of the prep work, as Xyka.... posted above.