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It’s almost a month into 2016 and this is the first blog post I’ve made in the new year.  I started and trashed at least three of them, but here goes nothing.

Life has settled into a delightfully predictable routine.  I know for a lot of people, that would be terrible.  For me, it’s extremely helpful.  My anxiety is greatly reduced by sticking to a regular routine–I’m lucky that my job makes this easy.  I work four or five days a week, and in a typical work week, my shift at 8 am two days a week and 7 am the two or three days.  I set out my work clothes, earrings, watch, jacket, and shoes the night before, and I usually have my coffeemaker set up so I can just pop into the kitchen, turn it on, and let it do its magic while I get ready.

Unfortunately, having a routine doesn’t solve everything.  My team at work is short-staffed: when I moved to store support, I think there were 11 or 12 of us between pricing/signing and receiving/replenishment.  Now there are five of us between both teams.  Five!  Replenishment had more than that the first time I helped run shipment out to the sales floor.  My team has a new person starting Monday, thankfully–and she’s transferred from another store, a much larger store, where she worked in replenishment and pricing.  So, in other words, she knows what she’s doing.  Hallelujah!  She’s starting just in time, not only because we really, really need her help, but also because I’m missing two trucks (and four or five of my usual work days) to go to Michigan with Dallas for his dissertation defense.

I’m not looking forward to the drive–we’ll be going through areas of Tennessee and Kentucky where I-75 has basically been shut down this weekend due to the snow, and up where my family lives, it’s like Mother Nature is trying to erase the November/December snow deficit as quickly as possible–but I can’t wait to see some of our friends, meet one of Dallas’ professors from Germany (the university is flying him in to be at his defense, but he’s also giving a lecture the night before, which obviously we’ll attend), and of course spend a little bit of time with my family.  My dad and his girlfriend will come for Dallas’ defense, and the day after his defense, we will go see my mom and stepdad, along with (hopefully) my grandparents, siblings, aunt, and little cousin Julia, who was just 11 weeks old the last time we saw her.  She’ll be 2 in May.  Since this is such a short trip this time, I really hope we’ll be able to see everyone again in May when Dallas graduates.  This is such an exciting time for us–we’ve known each other pretty much since he started at CMU, started dating before he settled on a general topic for his dissertation, and I’ve been watching him put in an incredible amount of hard work ever since.  I’m so proud of him.

When we get back, I get to go see the psychiatrist (finally!) and then we have inventory at work, which is not exciting and is, in fact, very stressful.  Last year inventory wasn’t until Tax Day, but this year, the powers that be decided it should be the first Saturday morning in February (and they dropped it on my store manager right before Christmas).  I’m not sure why they picked a Saturday, it doesn’t make a lot of sense, but I imagine I’ll be working.  It’s rumored that they want to start it at 3 am, which sucks, but at least it would probably be finished by the time the store opens.

I’m hoping the psychiatrist will have some ideas about my medicine.  I made the executive decision, while waiting for my appointment, to taper down to 20mg/day of citalopram from 40mg/day.  I haven’t thought about self-harm or suicide in a couple of weeks–I’m not saying I could’ve brought myself to attempt it before, but now I don’t constantly think about it like I did then–but I have noticed a sharp uptick in irrational worries.  I’ll be halfway to work and panic about whether or not I shut off the coffeemaker.  I check the locks on the front door repeatedly before I go to bed.  Same with the alarm on my phone.  Have I left hair ties on the table?  (Lissy can get up there and likes to pick them up and play with them, and obviously I don’t want her to end up swallowing one.)  I’ve also started to pick obsessively through my hair looking for split ends to trim or pull entirely out of my scalp, and with a month-old perm, there are a lot of them.

Hopefully a medication change (because I really don’t think citalopram is right for me–it was better than nothing at the start but now it’s not doing a hell of a lot for me) and continued therapy will make a difference.  If it doesn’t…I just don’t even know.  I want so much more out of life than to be just minimally functional.

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