On Friday, I bought a piece of cake off the bakery markdown rack at Walmart. That night when I sat down to eat it, the plastic container was a little stiffer than usual so I had trouble getting it open. Once I did, the lid started bouncing up and down and the plastic was making sounds that I swear to god sounded like laughing.
Every time I'd push the lid down, it would pop up and keep laughing. I've been a little paranoid lately and this only reinforced that.
Later that night, I became absolutely convinced that I was going to die. I had a full-blown panic attack. I started hearing voices and felt like the spirits of dead family members were hovering around me. I seriously considered going to the ER and telling the doctors, "I'm either having a heart attack or a psychotic episode. You be the judge."
The message from my ancestors is that I have to quit living in fantasy land and start doing something productive with my life. So I got up and did a little bit of cleaning, which helped calm me down, then I went to sleep.
When I got up on Saturday, I started the day by cleaning bird cages - thoroughly, for the first time in a long while. Then I made a 3-page list of spring cleaning projects. It includes things like dusting all the shelves in my bedroom. Cleaning out all my cupboards. Selling off some of my collectibles. Rearranging furniture, etc.
Today, I checked 2 items off the list. I hung a mirror in my living room - it's been stashed in a corner waiting to be hung for more than a month. And I cleaned a large bookshelf in my bedroom, which included dusting about 40 ceramic cats. They hadn't been dusted since I moved here 2 years ago.
One of the other projects I assigned myself was to work on a memoir I started almost 2 years ago. It's about my experiences being diagnosed with cancer and the treatment that followed. Originally, I planned to make it into a book but now, I want to turn it into a personal essay that I can enter in some contests at literary journals. My friends who edit a journal always have a shortage of quality non-fiction.
So I opened the document and read a bit of what I wrote in July 2010, then closed it again. I just couldn't face going back to how I felt then, back when I was just starting chemo. It was the loneliest time in my very lonely life.
Another thing I decided to do - I put my kitchen timer next to the computer. There are so many times I sit down to do something that should take a few minutes and I'm still sitting here 10 hours later. Today, I allowed myself 30-45 minutes of computer time for each chore I completed.
Earlier tonight, I took my garbage out back then went over to the first building to pay my rent. I left the check in the drop slot at the office, then went out the front door (opposite way I came in) and walked over to the mailbox in front of my building to check my mail. My key fit but it wouldn't turn the lock. I kept double checking that I had the right key. When I still couldn't get it open, I figured the manager must have been changing locks for someone but changed the wrong lock. I was mad because I knew my Netflix movies were in the box.
Nothing else to do but go back to my apartment. When I got there, my door was locked. I didn't remember locking it. I stuck my key in the lock and it wouldn't turn. WTF? Did I have the right set of keys? Yeah, it's the only set I have. Was I on the right floor? Yup. Was it the right apartment number? I wasn't sure.
Who snuck in and changed the lock to my apartment during the few minutes I was gone?
I started to panic, then I noticed one more thing. My apartment has a snowman on the door. There was no snowman on that door - and no rug in front of it either.
I was in the wrong building. It was the building I lived in for 22 years, but now I live next door. It was funny but I'm also kind of worried. I really do think there's something wrong with my brain right now.
And just as I was typing that, I remembered. My psychiatrist increased the dosage on my anti-depressant about 10 days ago, and one of the possible side effects is it could cause me to flip to manic. Maybe the voices I heard last night weren't my dead family members warning me of my impending doom. Maybe I was hallucinating.
I'm going to take some Ativan and try to sleep now. Right after I leave a big note on my kitchen counter reminding myself not to take any Wellbutrin tomorrow.