Hello. Back-to-school is here and for the first time in forever I do not have any children attending a K-12 school! Pete continues in his district-run transition program, but this is his last year there. Luca is enrolled in a local community college and begins her courses in less than a week. Unfortunately, most of the classes at the community college are online, but she’s going to give it a go and see how she likes it. She does have one art class that meets in person one time per week.
We were unable to spend time in Lake Tahoe this summer because our house flooded earlier this year. A pipe broke and basically destroyed the entire first floor of our house. The good news is we’re insured and will be able to get it fixed up, but due to the wildfires last summer, the insurance companies are very busy so it’s taking some time to get everything sorted. It feels funny to not go there as we go every year! And now that I’m working 100% remotely, I could go there and work! But I’m still really grateful for insurance and the fact that we had our amazing trip to Hawaii this summer so I’ve got no real complaints.
My new job is going really well. My “new-old” job, hahaha. It’s much different than it was before — good leadership and much more organized now. Working from home is really great for me and was just what I needed. I am more productive and am able to do a few things around the house when I need to take a break, thus making the evening go more smoothly. I’ve been exercising regularly because I have the time to do that now and still have time to relax a little. When I was WFH before, during the height of the pandemic, I was lonely because I never got to see any people in person besides the people I live with. But now I can see friends after work or on the weekends and actually leave my house! So this is a really good fit for me.
I am continuing to deal with my old frienemies, anxiety and depression. I tried to get a psychiatry appointment at Kaiser in June, but they could not schedule me for over 2 months. I have been fighting with Kaiser for years. I am always deemed too healthy for them to help me because I am “high functioning.” I have thought about lying through the screening process but I just can’t. I always think of people who are really much more desperate than I am not getting services because of me. I know it’s not technically my problem that Kaiser has failed us, but still. So I decided to take matters into my own hands.
Five years ago or so, I read Ayelet Waldman’s book, A Really Good Day, wherein she describes her journey with microdosing LSD to treat her debilitating symptoms of depression. I have thought about this ever since, and wished I had access to this kind of treatment. I have read articles about alternative drug therapies ever since reading her book. Then I noticed a series on Netflix, How to Change Your Mind,* by Michael Pollan. I have read his books about food and I like him (he and Ayelet are both local Berkeley people!) so I watched and became even more convinced that I needed to try something other than the non-responsive Kaiser network and then another series of anti-depressants that they would surely prescribe, along with a bunch of unwanted side-effects that always make me stop using them.
Did you know that psilocybin is now legal to purchase in some places? Oakland is one such place. Psilocybin is the chemical compound found in mushrooms — “magic mushrooms.” I am super sensitive to these kinds of drugs (anybody who has witnessed me trying thc edibles recreationally can back me up, it is not pretty) so I decided to try this with great caution and a lot of research. The doses come in a capsule, so it’s all measured out. I decided to try a dosing protocol where you dose one day, skip two days, and then dose again. It is also recommended that you take time off after a couple months before resuming, or a that point, just dosing when you feel off. I have been doing this almost a month now and my anxiety has reduced. It is not gone. But I had been having “mild panic” every day (I would be just sitting at my desk working and get this overwhelming sense of dread, no idea what the trigger is), now it is more like a couple times a week. I have had one nighttime panic attack since starting the protocol, but it resolved in a matter of minutes rather than in hours. Actually, I just remembered I had another nighttime panic attack or the beginnings of one when Miles was out of town. I actually was able to talk myself out of that one! So that is progress.
Also, if you are wondering, I feel absolutely no “high” from the psilocybin. I just feel nothing at all, and that is what I wanted. 🙂
*I really recommend this documentary series. Even if you have no interest or need in trying these naturally occurring substances yourself, the doc is really eye-opening regarding our own government restricting the American people’s (and by extension, the world’s) access to these drugs.
I am still crocheting for fun and relief. I have started sending out small scrunchie care packages to anybody who wants one, so if you would like some scrunchies, just let me know. I make them with scrap yarn and I enjoy making them and sharing them a lot. I am working on a poncho for myself – it’s almost done, just need to finish stitching the pieces together.
Well, that’s all I’ve got for now. Wishing everyone a good start to the school year! xoxo