Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Big Picture

Things with Barry pretty much righted themselves after about a week, although I'm still keeping him on a very tight leash with money.

The Big Picture is this:  one, my depression and anxiety are not being properly controlled.  I need to see a new psychiatrist ASAP.  I am still taking the lamotrigine (generic Lamictal), but a low dose, 125 mg a day.  (The bad psychiatrist had had me on 400, up from 200.)  I lowered my own dose because after my meltdown and after reading up on the drug a little more thoroughly, I decided that it's a nasty thing to have in my body and I only wanted to take a minimal amount until my med could be switched.  But Barry, who does my doctor research because he has the time, has had trouble finding a network psychiatrist who's taking new patients and who has hours outside of 9-5.  At this point, I told him any hour will work for me -- I just need to see someone.

The second point of The Big Picture is that I worry about money every waking hour.  I used to tell one of my therapists that I was bad with money, and he always said the same thing:  "No, you just don't earn enough."  It took me a long time to understand this.  The point was not to be perfect with money -- the point was to have enough that if you weren't perfect, it wouldn't be a disaster.  I'm not earning close to enough.  Even during a month without a financial catastrophe like having to replace a computer, we don't have enough money.  It doesn't help that our monthly nut just went up $200 -- $100 for my therapy, and $100 for my carfare (the Back-to-Work job retention program paid my carfare for 90 days).  There is absolutely nothing coming in except my salary, and even though I now consider myself good with money (WAY better than I used to be), there just plain isn't enough.

I find I have to poke at Barry all the time to look for work, take classes or see a counselor at FEGS, try to sell our unused CDs to someone on Craigslist, etc.  I think he feels that his doing all of the shopping, cooking, doctor appointments, etc is enough.  I don't know how many times I have to freak out and yell that we need more money coming in, that he has to get something, anything, part-time, minimum wage, I don't care.  That generally buys me one day of him saying, "I looked at Craigslist this morning."  A few times over this past week, I took some time at work to look at Craigslist myself, and forwarded him a dozen ads each time.  That shouldn't have to be my job.  (Of course, there have been plenty of times in the past when I've said "That shouldn't have to be my job" concerning something that Barry wasn't doing, and I've always realized that if I don't make it my job, it won't get done.)

So the upshot of The Big Picture is that I cry almost all the time.  If I'm not crying, I'm close to it.  I usually don't cry in front of other people except Barry and my therapist, but I cry walking down the street, in the subway, alone at work.  I went through this once before, toward the end of my time at Penguin -- also an impending-doom scenario.  It's mostly just silent weeping, tears pouring out of my eyes without much sobbing or fuss.  If I feel particularly agitated, I take a lorazepam (generic Atavan), which is my anxiety-rescue med (as needed, no more than twice a day).  Some days I don't take it at all, some days I take one or two, or even three or four.  (Each pill is 2 mg.)  But I don't want to have to do that.

I don't know how to make more income happen.  I've even looked around for a part-time job that I could do evenings or weekends, but haven't found one.

In addition, our Medicaid runs out at the end of September.  My employers promised (in writing) to provide insurance when my Medicaid runs out, and for Barry as well if he is not yet working, "estimated at $3,600."  I think that was my low-ball estimate because I didn't want to seem too grabby.  $3,600 is nothing.  Even if they pay more and get me a decent plan, I'll have co-pays, which I don't have now.  Or I may have to pay in to the cost of insurance, which I can't possibly do.  This in and of itself is enough to cause constant weeping.

I am supposed to visit Jannah this weekend if I can manage to hang on to $30 for train fare.  That would certainly be a much-needed break, and I think I could actually stop worrying about finances for a couple of days.

My Amazon Associates widget is again not working, but I am reading The Help -- the movie based on it just opened very successfully.  The book is a little on the liberal-southern-chick-lit side, but not bad.  I'd really rather have seen it told exclusively from the points of view of the African-American maids, since the white protagonist kind of makes me grind my teeth in embarrassment.

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