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Archive for November, 2008

Take Us To The River

Take us to the throne room
And give us ears
To hear the cry of Heaven
For that cry is mercy
Mercy to the fallen sons of men

Sorry for another moaning blog post. I don’t know how I fell from so high to so low. All I can do is hold on to the memory of that time and remind myself of happiness, but even that is a hard concept to grasp. It’s like trying to do vector calculus in spherical polar co-ordinates while blindfolded. Typing this is really hard, because the letters and the words keep coming out in the wrong order. My thoughts are all over the place, and I don’t know if it shows, but I can tell, I can really tell. I was trying to explain something to someone I work with today, and I fear she was not elucidated at all.

I saw my GP today, and she wants to see what happens when I go up to 20mg of Tally. (Gawd, I feel like a labrat at times like this). Hopefully the Tally wil help with the mood, anyways.

I can’t cope. I’m worried that, having taken so much else from me, this thing might take away my hopes of graduating. I look at everyone else, with their own problems and their own worries, and I marvel at how they manage it. I shouldn’t compare myself to them, I know, but it’s so hard not to.

A rational part of my brain wants to tell me that I’m not very well, that I’m falling down that worn old path, but the rest of me refutes it. This is me, this is my destiny. To suffer and to live out my days in pain and terror. I guess that in this fallen world, some people have to suffer for the rest to be happy, and if my suffering allows other people to be happy, then maybe it’s worthwhile.

I have to face my worker tomorrow evening – I could cancel, but then I might fall apart if I don’t have some contact with people who know my problems. I don’t know if she’s going to call me on my mood, I don’t know if I can hide it from her. I don’t know if I want to hide it from her. Perhaps for a change it would be comforting to spill it all… but then perhaps not. You cannot take back what has once been said, and she’s already concerned enough about me without piling more reason for her to be on top.

I should be working, working on that dissertation that is never going to get done, but instead I’m playing one song over and over again, and crying over the beauty of it.

Take us to the mountain
Lift us in the shadow of Your hand
Is this Your mighty angel
Who stands astride the ocean and the land
In His hand Your mercy showers
O’er a dry and barren place
Take us to the mountain
In the city of our God

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Qohelet

The words of the Teacher:

Meaningless! Meaningless! Everything is meaningless.
What does man gain from all his labour at which he toils under the sun?
Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains for ever.
The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.
The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course.
All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again.
All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing.

I devoted myself to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under heaven. What a heavy burden God has laid on men!
I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
What is twisted cannot be straightened; what is lacking cannot be counted.

Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind.

For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.

Laughter, I said, is foolish. And what does pleasure accomplish?

When I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.

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Citalopram: One Week Later

So, I’ve been on Tally for about a week.

I think my mood is dipping into agitated depression, but I’m not quite sure (as ever, I’m not very good at spotting my own mood changes).

Side effects wise, I’m not sure what’s due to the citalopram and what isn’t. I’m finding it hard to get to sleep at night, and waking up constantly during the night. but I’m shattered, my muscles are aching, and I feel like I’ve had a couple of sessions on the rack. My dreams are vivid enough that I’m not entirely sure what is dreaming and what is reality any more.

I’ve been getting a fair bit of praise from my management at work lately, which boosts my mood in the there-and-then, but it doesn’t stick.

I know I need to harness the flow of ideas and thoughts for good, to channel it into my degree work, but that’s easier said than done when you feel like an utter failure… a very frustrated utter failure. I haven’t even made it any further than the bathroom today, let alone the library.

I feel better when I’m out-and-about, but as soon as I stop, it turns to attack me, it dives and darts and pierces my heart, telling me how useless I am, ’til all I feel like doing is cowering and lashing out in fear.

And I know it’s true, because I can’t even control my own moods, and I’m just stuck here, yet again, waiting for the happy pills to kick in and give me the peace of mind I don’t deserve.

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Looks Like I’ve Been Tagged

Yay, another chance to procrastinate working on that blasted C++ program – which is, incidentally, telling me that the thickness of the thin metal foil we used in the experiment is roughly about the same as the distance from here to the Sun and back(!). If only that were true…

So, there’s a book-related meme going around, and I’ve been tagged by Kate:

Pass it on to five other bloggers, and tell them to open the nearest book to page 56. Write out the fifth sentence on that page, and also the next two to five sentences. The CLOSEST BOOK, NOT YOUR FAVORITE, OR MOST INTELLECTUAL!

Unfortunately, being a student, most of my books are intellectual. Not really much I can do about that, so I’ll make no apologies – turns out they call it “reading for a degree” for a reason… 😉

The nearest book to me was Boas’s Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences (beloved of physics students across the country), and the 56th page was full of equations (which I couldn’t be bothered typing out), so I picked the first book from the top of the pile in the corner of my desk instead, which turned out to be entitled Quantum Mechanics.

These results therefore represent an important test of quantum-mechanical theory, which it has passed with flying colours. Our belief in quantum mechanics does not of course rest on this result alone: indeed an expression identical to (3.65) was derived by Neils Bohr using an earlier theory which was subsequently shown to be incorrect when applied to other more complex systems. However although we shall compare the results of calculation and experiment on a number of other occasions when we shall always find agreement within the limits of experimental error, there are very few examples of physical quantities whose values can be both measured experimentally to such high precision and calculated exactly by solving the appropriate quantum-mechanical equations.

We now complete our consideration of the hydrogenic atom by discussing the form of the wavefunction associated with the different energy levels. We previously saw that the radial part of the wavefunction is consistent with the boundary conditions only if the series (3.57) for F starts at the term p = l + 1 and terminates at p = n.

I hope you feel suitably educated… and also very lucky that I didn’t pick any of the other books in the pile instead. When I looked, these turned out to be:

  • Nuclear Fusion (translated from Japanese)
  • Fusion: An Introduction to the Physics and Technology of Magnetic Confinement Fusion
  • Tokamaks (about 700 pages long, you could use this book as a darn good doorstop!)
  • a Bescherelle (= a book crammed full of french verbs, for those who haven’t come across them)

Erm… welcome to my world! 😀

I’m not going to tag anyone – if you want to do it, please steal it from me.

Now, I’m going to find that bug in my program, and squash it HARD. Does anyone have a flysquatter I can borrow?

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(I hope you can see what I did there. Do not adjust your monitor. Anyone who tries to should go and sit in the corner…)

I had a rather heavy conversation with my worker at the young people’s place today. I clued her in on some of my history, and showed her my copy of the feedback from the PCMHT team’s initial assessment, back in May, which she asked very nicely if I would let her photocopy for her own future reference if necessary (translation: for extra ammo if she was ever concerned enough about my safety to be considering tattling on me to my GP).

It also solved some confusion on her part over who I’m seeing in the NHS, though she then seemed confused about the fact that I was refered to the chocolate teapot and not to a psychologist for that mythical CBT I was promised and never got. When looking through a leaflet about the PCMHT that I’d been given at the assessment (and was now also showing her), she paused at the page which details who they do and don’t provide a service to, and queried why I’d been refered to them – “Ermm… which of these do you think you fall under?”. I refrained from saying something along the lines of “Uh, durrr… ‘Depression and anxiety’?”, and gave the more honest answer of “To be honest, I’m still not entirely sure…”.

It’s not easy to put a finger on the point where I stopped feeling ambivalent about working with her, but I guess it was at the point where I pitched up unannounced in an utter (Prozac-induced) state, and she dropped what she was doing to see me virtually there-and-then, and provide me with some practical support and advice on how to cope until I managed to get some help from my GP. Since then I’ve been increasingly confiding in her, about things that I’ve never mentioned to anyone else. I think she may be the person who gets to see the most of me, the bits I’d prefer to hide as well as the more socially acceptable bits. It helps that I’ve known her since July, rather than just in this context – and she’s seen the changes in me as I’ve moved through the various moods and med side effects that have plagued me over that period.

I suppose what I’m trying (very badly) to get across is that I feel she sees me as a person, not a “case” or a collection of psychiatric symptoms. She’s not there to “fix” or to “counsel” me, nor for one particular purpose, she’s more able to be whatever I need her to be at that particular time.

Now that ambivalence has been transferred to the chocolate teapot, and I’m still thinking about discharging myself from him…

Er… hang on… on second thoughts, was I ever unambivalent about him???

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Concentrate… Concentrate…

I didn’t just load my dirty linen into the washing machine and then throw the detergent bottle in after it.

Nor did I fail to realise the flaw in this until after I’d paid my money and set the machine going.

Nope, not me.

And that very loud clunking noise coming from the machine is entirely in your imagination.

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Challenges of Student Living

Attempting to wield a mop at 1 o’clock in the morning, whilst clad only in a towel, I was seized by a small epiphany.

People who recommend the relaxing power of hot baths have clearly never lived in a student hall of residence…

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