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Today I pulled out the planner where I'd written my assignment list, full of lab reports that need to be written and topographic maps that need to be sketched, and then I put it away again without opening it. All fall semester I had faithfully completed each task I wrote down in my planner, and then put a little checkmark next to each one, and when spring semester opened I copied down each assignment, next to its due date, from every syllabus I'd received. But I haven't made any little checkmarks for two weeks now, because I haven't been going to class and I haven't been doing my homework, and I haven't been leaving my apartment except once, four days ago, when I left to get something to eat because the box of Froot Loops that had kept me going for ten days had finally gone empty. Today I got out from under the blankets where I've spent the last two weeks and sat down at my desk, promising myself that I would get some work done so I could start going back to class. I pulled out my planner to see what needed to be done, but I found that I couldn't stand the idea of facing two weeks' worth of assignments with no little checkmarks next to them, so I put away my planner without opening it, got back under the blankets and went to sleep.

Tomorrow I'll probably withdraw from the university and pick up a job application from the Chipotle on Jaggard Avenue, or else I'll jump out the window. On second thought, I'll probably do neither of these things, because they both would require courage. I'll probably turn in some half-assed work by the weekend and struggle through the rest of the semester to finish with a 2.5 or so.

I fired my therapist yesterday.

Well, more laid him off. It wasn't for immediate cause, but because therapy's inability to make a dent in my mental state made his position redundant. I don't think this is his fault - he's a smart guy, he was honest with me, and he tried a variety of different approaches. At the end, however, he settled into what I consider one of the really unforgivable assumptions of the New York therapy model - the notion that long-term therapy, measured in a duration of years and years, is an acceptable and effective option for someone like me.

News flash: It fucking isn't. For so many reasons, not least of which that insurance had told me they weren't going to pay for most of it and I couldn't afford it, really, at all. I'd been sucking up the debt since around June, when the insurance company cut me off, because I felt that abandoning the treatment just because they decided it wasn't cost-effective was a bad idea. But six months later, I'm forced to admit that I don't feel I have received really any benefit over the past two years, and continuing the therapy would just plunge me fairly deeply into debt (whereas when I started, two years ago, I had a fairly comfortable chunk of savings I was willing to allocate to the attempt). I'm not saying therapy alone drained my coffers, but it surely hasn't helped, and I still owe the man for several months of treatment. I'm obviously going to pay him, but I couldn't afford to let that number continue to rise.

His primary argument against me quitting was always "what other option do you have?" My counter-argument is "None, but I can't afford to choose this one anymore." I don't think he was charging me unfairly; based on what I know about New York psychiatry, he was being quite reasonable with his charges - but the whole model is so fucking broken that it doesn't matter how reasonable he was being, I (as a 99%er) can't fucking afford it. If I had felt it was making a significant difference, I might have been willing to sacrifice my fiscal well-being (and it probably would have been the right move) but it wasn't, so I wasn't.

What's really sad to me is that I think he was genuinely trying his best, but he ran up against the same thing I've run up against time and time again - modern psychiatry really has a shallow and fairly pathetic bag of tools. Not, like some will tell you, because they are charlatans; not because they don't care - but because the science of the human mind (not brain, mind) is so poorly developed that they're basically reduced to trying the equivalent of leeches and cupping. Modern psychopharmacology and an actual scientific method (people think psychiatry doesn't have a scientific basis, but they're wrong, generally - it's the tools that are lacking, not the method) means that they do have a bag of tricks they can go through other than the incredibly fuzzy talk therapy genre. They will, too. I've been on more drugs and drug combinations than I can count. The reason I don't feel betrayed by the profession is because with one exception, my therapist has always observed me carefully and said "No, this isn't working" and taken me off them again. The one exception was Zoloft, which actually did work for me for a few years and pulled me out of a dark place, but eventually (as apparently can happen to many) lost its effectiveness.

So what now?

I really have no idea. I have no idea what to try next. I have had people suggest all kind of pseudoscientific or even completely woo-based bullshit to me - well-meaning people, I mean - but I won't do that kind of shit, because that would mean fundamentally violating some of my deepest-held tenets.

The Daylog: 14-Feb-2012

W/us By Type says 19 new nodes were posted to Everything2 on Feb-14-2012. Enough that I didn't have time to read them all (an uncommon occurrence, currently). Among them:

Dr. doyle noded another of his signature w/us on simple biology, this time on the subject of Malt:

Malted barley has undergone rigorous biochemical analysis because beer matters. Throw unmalted barley into a pot of boiling water, and you have hot mush. Throw malted barley in hot water, holding it at certain temperatures for a bit of time, and now you are mashing, on your way to making a fine wort, the mother of beer.

If you want to understand mashing, bear with me--a teeny bit of biochemistry follows ...

One of the Great Old Ones of primordial Everything, rp, chimed in with two new definition nodes. One of them-- ideolexicalization, a made-up word to describe the act of making up your own words-- proved quite charming and gained 2C!s

decoy hunches submitted a writeup on the album Combustication by jazz trio Medesky, Martin, and Wood that tweaked my interest enough to make me want to seek it out myself. If you're a Spotify user, you can listen to the album here:
(You're right, dude. This is quite good.)

Jet-Poop contributed a small, tidy bio on Bram Stoker, Zephronias added a Valentine's Day prequel to The life and times of a fallen angel, teleny had two nodes about colonial U.S. glasswork, and three noders added poems. My favorite of the three was the one by brand-new noder rosetinted: It would have been an excellent story but I had to get off the train

listen to the planes circle home
(spiral skies in an endless flight)
listen to the rains falling shorewards
(sound of waves in the harbor night) ...

The joy of these was somewhat lessened by the pain of four frankly harrowing daylogs about depression (from The Custodian and first-time noder massey), chronic pain (by corvus) and, less seriously, computer woes (by BranRainey). Please send some love to these folks, noders. You know how I worry.

Rounding out the rest: a w/u by Pandeism Fish on something called Omnietheism that I honestly could not make heads or tails of, and a short story about love on the subway by jmpz. What'd I forget?

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