28 February 2009

Music hath the charm to sooth the savage beast

I am having a rough couple of days because, even though I finished the thesis (hurray!), a good friend of mine is acting strangely and I'm worried about her and also, next week is classics awareness week and I'm about one more phone call away from strangling Imperator Nostri with my bare hands. (That's not his official title; I just enjoy thinking of him as one of those less than reasonable Roman emporers). I've tried reasoning with him but it seems to make no impression. I hope I can keep it together enough not to volunteer to do anything else for the rest of the semester. I'll show up, mind you; I just don't want to arrange anything else.

I am also supposed to be getting my grad school applications done this weekend. I have the GSIS (pronounced gee-sis): grad school inadequacy syndrome. I'm trying not to be unduly alarmed because I have yet to see anyone apply to grad school in any other state of mind. However, I'm still sick with dread and fear over it. I want to get out of here so badly.

How am I dealing with it all? I had a long walk, that helped. I'm about to go sort out my closet, that will help. But, I have decided that something I really want is new music to listen to. I think it will make me feel better. The only flaw in this plan is that I have no idea where to start looking. To resolve this, I respectfully implore all of you to suggest something to me and help me save my sanity.

27 February 2009

Epistemic Injustice

I have taken to listening to a podcast called Philosophy Bites. It took me a while to get around to it, though many people had recommended it to me. However, it is quite enjoyable.

One of the ones I have listened to so far was given by Miranda Fricker, who is a professor at Birkbeck, which has made me all the more excited about applying there. She talked about epistemic injustice and credibility deficits. Epistemic injustice is also called testimonial injustice and it refers to a situation in which a speaker is not accorded the appropriate authority as a giver of knowledge. This might sound a little frivolous on the face of it but when one considers its instantiations in the real world, the dangers become obvious.

Take, for instance, a situation which she uses as an example and which has happened to me in my real life. Let us suppose that there is a meeting and a woman participant offers a suggestion that is overlooked. Subsequently, the same suggestion is offered by a male participant and greeted with enthusiasm. Each of the two has offered the same information and yet only one was taken seriously.

Another example of testimonial injustice that I can think of is the psychiatrist's office. As a patient, no matter what one says, one's credibility is only granted at the whim or opinion of the psychiatrist or any other mental health practitioner. Because one has the label of being insane (or whatever designation you might prefer) and because one is in an environment that reinforces that label, the psychiatrist or similar as the audience is the sole determiner of credibility because they have the label and position that accords them superior epistemic authority. Depending on the practitioner, this can be more or less of an issue. However, I would be willing to wager that anyone who has ever received treatment for mental health has experienced the frustration of being awarded a credibility deficit in the doctor's office because of the very fact of having a diagnosis. I myself find it unbelievably obnoxious, the more so because the doctors, when confronted about it, claim that such an imbalance does not exist. You can see where it will go from there.

Anyhow, I heartily recommend listening to the podcast itself. Dr. Fricker does a much better job of explaining this than I do. I found that it was a great relief to get a nice new descriptive term for the phenomenon; such terms help me think more clearly about things.

26 February 2009

I'm Posting This Even Though It's Making Me Nervous

I have just recently realized that I am not only out of touch with my body but really out of touch with being a lesbian.

The mentalisms will put one out of touch with the body: all that focus on mood and mind. One forgets.

I've had confused feelings about being gay for years now, ever since the ex-ex-ex girlfriend and I split up. It was awful. I fell hard for her and I'm still carrying not a torch but perhaps something like a wax taper for her.

Before that, being a lesbian, especially an out lesbian, was a joyful thing to me. I love women. They're beautiful.

Women deserve so much.

I've gained some queasiness about it from all that I've read with respect to the church. It has made me uneasy about the morality of it. I can't see any logical reason that it should be immoral. There are no arguments against that do not have counter-arguments equally strong or stronger. I think I should go speak to a priest about it.

I suppose it is rather that it has made me envy heterosexuality. The simplicity of it all; the ease of flirting, the ease of not having to out oneself at every turn, the comfort of not having to worry about holding hands. I can't imagine receiving all that community support and well-wishing.

This envy, though, is a dangerous thing. It comes under the heading of thou shalt not covet anything of thy neighbor's. I need to learn again how to be content with the way God made me. Out of shame, I have been stifling myself. I am worried about the very real possibility of rejection. I have given in to the heteronormativity.

My question is: how do I get back?

25 February 2009

Ash Wednesday

It's that time of year again. Tomorrow, all the statues and icons in the church will be swathed in muddy purple felt, the bell will be replaced by a wooden block and there will be no saying alleluia until Easter vigil.

I'm abstaining from the internets tomorrow, apart from checking my school e-mail, being as it's a fast day and I can't properly fast from food on account of the medication.

For Lent, I'm going to take up the daily office (again - maybe this time it'll stick.) I am also going to take up looking after myself as I should: this is something that tends to slip away in the illness but, as I am doing well, I shall spend Lent concentrating on getting the hang of it again. There is one thing I'm giving up but I'm not going to share that here.

I like taking things up for Lent as well as giving them up. Lent is a very interesting time in the church year. Not only do we sing the best music and lots of gregorian chant but it's a church-endorsed time to remake ourselves and draw closer to God. Saying the daily office will remind me, twice a day, of the relationship between God, the world and humanity. Looking after myself will help me to see myself and, by extension, others with the kind of love and respect God has for all creation. I hope that all those of you who are reading - whether you are a practicing christian, practicing another religion, atheist or agnostic - have a Lenten season full of love and revelation.

For your aesthetic and/or religious enjoyment, here is a choir (not the one I sing in - there are only five of us and Our Lady of the Holy Smokes does not look like that at all) singing Lotti's Miserere, which we will be singing tonight.

Misere mei, Deus
Secundam magnam misericordiam tuam
et secundum multitudenem miserationem tuarum,
dele iniquitatem meam

Have mercy upon me, O God, after your ruthful heart, and, according to your multitude of mercy, blot out my sins.

own translation

24 February 2009

Thesis and Pancakes

I am pleased to announce that I have finished a full draft of my thesis! It is 26 pages long (not as long as I'd hoped but I ran out of things to say and the energy to say them) and has an introduction, a thesis statement, a conclusion and a bibliography. No serious birth defects, in other words. And I found my way around an informal fallacy that I hadn't been able to figure out how to avoid.

I can't believe I finally finished it. Now, of course, comes all the revising and so on, but that seems very appropriate work for Lent.

I'm off to eat pancakes at church now.

23 February 2009

Confessions of a Philosophy Scholar

I had quite the episode of what I have named "Histrionic Scholar Syndrome". I was in the library, wanting to get some work done. I had e-mailed myself the draft of the thesis and I was planning to borrow a laptop and grab two books I needed that are actually in our library.

I got the laptop from the circulation desk and took myself upstairs. I found one of the books I was looking for and the other was not on the shelf. 'Who,' I thought to myself, 'would have checked that book out of the library between 11.00 last night and 10.15 today?'

I went and hunted for an unpopulated place to sit because there was, outrageously, someone sitting in my usual spot. When I found another place, I opened the laptop and switched it on and while I was waiting for it to start, I opened up my book and flipped to the back to look in the index, only to find there was no index. Horrors.

'Oh well,' thought I, 'I can look up the page numbers I need once the computer switches on.' I put the book away and opened the browser, only to find that the computer was not connected to the internet. I tried disconnecting and reconnecting, restarting the darn thing, walking over to a different part of the library - nothing helped. After twenty minutes, I gathered my things together and went back downstairs.

At the circulation desk, they told me that the internet was only working on the ground floor. 'Fine,' said I. I went around looking for a spot to sit downstairs, which is difficult because the university writing center is down there and they make a lot of noise. I found somewhere rather dissatisfactory and tried again. Still nothing.

At this point, I was still relatively calm. I packed up the laptop and took it back to the circulation desk, whereupon a laconic young man informed me that the internet was only working on the ground floor by the periodicals. 'Okay,' said I.

I used to sit behind the periodical stacks quite often but I stopped when they put in a group study area because it became too noisy, so I hadn't been back in that part of the library in a while. I went over, with the aim of finding a seat and putting the computer down and then getting my things. To my extreme dismay, I found that they had taken out all the desks and tables and replaced them with beanbag chairs.


So I returned the laptop, checked out my book and asked them about the one not on the shelves. I was informed that it was 'not checked out' and when I told them that it was not on the shelf or in any of the return carts, I was told that it might have been stolen or that it might be in somebody's study carrel without having been checked out. There was nothing they could do about it. 'Thank you,' I said, and stalked out of the library and into the cafe to get some coffee.

Coffee having been acquired, I went to sit in the glasshouse, which is by far the nicest place to sit on campus. There is a fish pond and many tall, green plants. It's always warm there.

I opened my book and started flipping through. I couldn't find the section on Jessie Taft. There was no index. One of the books I needed was missing. I had wasted an hour trying to get a laptop to connect to the internet. Some selfish student, probably one of the same ones who thinks that underlining library books in pen is an acceptable activity, had stolen or secreted it away for his or her exclusive use. The librarians at the circulation desk did not have the common courtesy to tell students borrowing laptops that the internet was down or even to put up a sign. I was sufficiently angry that I saw stars.

I took my coffee out to the nearest designated smoking area and flounced down on a bench. Partway into the cigarette, I realized that I was thinking 'I need to finish my research! My research is being compromised by the incompetence of others!'

It occurred to me that I was acting in a manner more traditional to dramatic sopranos than philosophy students. This made me laugh. I could just see myself giving the librarians a dressing down in a grand Wagnerian style. Thus, histrionic scholar syndrome was born.

I felt much better after that, although I still haven't figured out what to do about that lost book.

The book in question, pictured at right

There Exists a Blog Such That it is Sometimes a Greek Class

I'm in an odd state the past few days, sinking often into a rather blithery state where everything seems 'lovely.' I hope this is not a sign of impending hypomania. That's the way it always takes me: I fall in love with everything, which has the further side effect of making me prettier. This is so much the case that other people will comment on it. So many odd urges but then again, I can think of at least two other possible causes for this shift in mood. All that I see at the moment is lovely, though.

It's lovely in a detached way. It's detached because it's universal and uncritical. Sometimes I think that it is the eros of which Plato speaks. It does feel more like a close intimation of an eternal form than like an affection of my accidental qualities.

Isn't that phrase wonderful? Accidental qualities: except that they're so often seen as in some way essential to an existent self - these days, at least. I do wonder. Are they? There is such a long tradition of arguing that they are not.

What was I rambling towards? Oh yes, the blithery-ness. I feel so odd that I think I might give myself the day off tomorrow. I'm not sure that that is the greatest of ideas but I think I might need it. I had a bit of an upset last night, which brought up a host of confusing feelings. Has anybody out there read 'This Side of Paridise'? I'm feeling a great affinity to Eleanor again. Wet hens having great clarity of mind, and all that.

I would like to actually do something.

The thesis is trundling along, now a week behind schedule. I want very much to put up my post about it but I haven't sufficient remaining concentration to do more than copy and paste about it. I can't do that because I have two journals I want to submit it to for publication and if I do so, then it must be previously unpublished. I'm not sure how much a personal blog counts as far as that but I'd rather not give myself the temptation to prevaricate about it or run the risk of harming my reputation.

The idea of 'run the risk' has its own verb in Greek: κινδυνεύω (kin-dune-ewo). Then there's λανθάνω (lanthano) which is to escape the notice of someone. There's another verb dedicated entirely to the idea of arriving ahead of another person: φθάνω (phthano). Such very specific verbs.

I suppose that last paragraph is not great evidence of my realization that this blog is not a Greek class. It is good evidence of my rambling state of mind. It is likely that I will carry on putting up miniature Greek lessons until someone tells me I'm being obnoxious or pretentious, which I may very well be being. (Be being: what is that? The subjunctive present participle? Odd.) The reason I keep harping on the Greek of things, though, is because I love the Greek.

Well, well. It is an hour later than I thought and high time I went to bed. Wish me luck on feeling a little more human tomorrow.

21 February 2009

And I Shall Sing as I Push the Rock Back Up the Hill

One thing that I had forgotten about feeling well is that one doesn't always feel well. I feel rather rotten most of the time, being stuck, as I am, in a corner of the world for which I am not suited among friends whom I love but with whom there is so much I cannot share.

This sounds like pretentious weltschmerz from the mouth of an ingrate but it isn't meant that way.

What I do mean is that I often feel almost as bad as I do when I'm depressed but the trick of it is that now I only feel that way for an hour or five minutes and not two months. I'll feel unbearably anxious but whenever the reason for the anxiety is removed, it fades away, quickly. It's amazing.

I have worried, as I know that others do, that the medication could only ever take away from me; that I would either be artificially happy and well or still miserable and sick with side effects. I thought that it could only be a compromise between how much depression I could stand and how much medication I could stand. There was, indeed, no reason for me to think otherwise. I had learnt from experience that medication would make me not-depressed, which is not at all the same as well. As it turns out, that's not what has happened this time.

I've not turned into a smiling shell of myself. I'm not a morose lump either. I seem to have as complete a range of human emotion as I ever have had. I think that this is what it's like when the medication works.

Good job it finally did.

It only took twelve years, two hospitalizations, three depressive episodes so bad that I had to drop out of school, two so bad that I had to stop work, three pronounced periods of hypomania, years of insomnia, years of horrendous anxiety, and more than a decade of seeing various psychiatrists, psychologists and so on. It's only taken up the past seventeen years of my life.

I'm laughing though, it's absurd, but I'm laughing like Sisyphus. I'm glad something finally worked.

Powerpoint Is Not Nice

This is going to be a rather self-indulgent post. I seem to have contracted some sort of block. I think it must be related to the many hours I spent staring at this same screen trying to force out little, constipated answers for two take home tests this last week. I've had five exams (five!) this week, one for each class. Between that and the thesis and the upcoming Classics Awareness Week (don't ask) I am exhausted. I also really don't care whether one of the rooms we've booked has the appropriate equipment for a powerpoint presentation or not. I don't like powerpoint. Neither does the head of our classics department. I just can't get as worked up about it as Imperator nostri, Stultus Puer Ipse, thinks I ought.

Oh people. Popule. What does it even matter whether there exists a projector for powerpoint presentations? It's about to be Lent and spring and snow all at the same time. The snow drops on the east side of campus have bloomed inside the ivy and I counted twenty-two robins when I was having a cigarette between classes yesterday. Tomorrow, I'm going to a wedding. The next time I turn around, it'll be sundress weather again.

Of course, it'll snow at least twice after the first week of warm weather, but never mind.

14 February 2009

Those Foul Little -mi Verbs

Well, I just looked up the origin of the word "thesis" and found that it comes from τίθημι, one of those dread verbs ending in -mi. I will confess that I quite irrationally hate them and do my best to ignore their existence, which does not work out well in translation. Hint to budding classicists, do not get emotionally involved with the morphology - it will end badly.
However, this is a blog and not a classics course (I hear readers saying 'really? she finally figured that out?') so I am going to ignore the fact that thesis comes from τίθημι and stick with thesisizing. This is not only because I have forgotten how to form the infinitive with -mi verbs but also because τίθημι has caused me many sleepless hours with its tricky ways and resemblances to ἵημι, the only verb more annoying than τίθημι.
Here endeth the rant.

Giant Muffins

Just a short one today as I'm meant to be working and I didn't get as much done last night as I'd hoped. Part of the reason for that is that I did some baking, in honor of the dork vs. dork study match I'm having tomorrow afternoon with the ex: her presentation and my thesis.

I like baking. It's a great stress reliever to me, like reading cookbooks when I feel overwhelmed. In cookbooks, no one gets married or applies to grad school or dies and the worst possible outcome is feeling hungry or inspired to make a nice meal for a change.

I have two dinky little springform tins that are a mere 4 inches/10cm in diameter. I use them when I'm feeling a bit dainty and girly to make my cake for my studytime tea or coffee breaks. Usually I put them on little dessert plates and ice them or make a design in powdered sugar but I don't think that will work this time. I seem to have accidentally made giant muffins instead of cakes. Here is their portrait:

Any decorating ideas? The last several times I've baked with these I filled them to about the same level as I did this time but this is the first time that they have burst forth in this manner. Oh dear. I was very amused when I opened the oven door.

Wish me luck with the thesisizing! I need it.

13 February 2009


Hmm. . . I should look up the original Greek for thesis and make the verb form that way but I'll save that fascinating information for the next post.

I'm in thesis-land for the weekend. I'm writing my thesis on the non-fiction works of Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Most people know her from her short story "The Yellow Wallpaper," which is far and away the best piece of fiction she ever wrote, but hardly anybody reads her non-fiction anymore. I'm interested in placing her in the Pragmatist tradition alongside Dewey, James, DuBois and company. She is often claimed as a sociologist but she called herself a philosopher and due to her total lack of quoted statistics, I am inclined to think that she designated herself correctly. Those sociologists: they claim Durkheim and DuBois and Weber and almost any philosopher from 1850 on who wrote about social philosophy. Very naughty of them to poach so.

Gilman's major non-fiction work is "Women and Economics." In this book she puts forward the still startling idea that women have a right to specialized labor outside the home. A right, not a privilege. She supported universal kindergarten, early childhood education, and daycare. She, having been deprived of it herself, said that women must have the same opportunities for formal education as men and then the same employment prospects. She very strongly emphasized the importance of the nature of the work over the amount of pay.

Gilman thought it immoral that anyone should have to do work that they were not suited for because they needed more money. She thought it immoral that women were kept in the home to cater to the needs of its habituants exclusively, conducting endless undifferentiated labor (i.e. switching from cleaning to mending to teaching to cooking and back and forth all the day long.) Women, she thought, had as much right to be a part of the world, voting and working, as men did because they were human also. Too much emphasis had been placed on sex characteristics rather than human characteristics and we had forgotten that women were human before they were women.

This resulted in an excess of romanticism, poor female physiology, prostitution, disease (venereal) and the immolation of half of the world's abilities on the altar of the idea of home. To replace what Gilman considered to be an archaic idea of the home, she proposed the construction of apartment buildings with communal gardens, day care centers, exercise centers, restaurants and apartments with no kitchens. She thought that the kitchenless home would be a healthier place, freeing women from the labor of preparing food or having to fix two dinners, one for children and one for the husband, and also make the home easier to clean. Everyone must have a room of his or her own: privacy was essential to humanity and women, in particular, had been too long denied any such sanctuary.

Gilman was sufficiently well known in her time that several such apartment buildings were actually constructed and a few still exist in the Northeast. Her ideas were similar to those of Melusina Fay Peirce, a philosopher in her own right married to Charles S. Peirce the pragmatist philosopher, but she was more radical in that she suggested that women should be allowed to have the same kinds of work as men while Peirce took women out of the home to work co-operatively but also to work at women's labor (sewing, cooking and so on.)* Both put forward the idea of sharing the labor of the household communally in order to save expense and women's time.

I could go on and on, which I suppose means that I have done my research and that is a good, but I shall stop here for now and in the next post or so I'm going to dig in to the problem of work with reference to Gilman, having been inspired by this post of Kate's on the Agonies and the Ecstasies.

*See "Co-operative Housekeeping," Peirce, Mrs. Charles S. It's out of print but can be found on Google books. A fascinating read.

12 February 2009

Three for a Girl and Four for a Boy

The semester is almost half-way over and we are not yet suicidal.

Occasionally, the old flock of magpies swoops down and squawks, reminding me of "the sixteen things I have left undone that must be done this very minute or the world will end" or "the eighty-seven unforgivable things you did before the age of six that mean you ought to lie down and eat dirt". They were so thick and fast when they came, at last, and more and more and more, but now they come mostly in two's.

There are so many Very Important for the Future tasks I must complete this month and I don't know why I'm not lying in bed, unwashed and fearful. Bizarrely, I am getting more exercise than I have in years, sleeping and keeping up or almost up with everything I'm supposed to do. I keep taking showers and getting dressed in the morning in clothes that are starting to be a little big for me.

It is unutterably strange.
It feels vaguely immoral.
It feels fantastic.

08 February 2009

Keeping My Hand In

I was doing so well at posting regularly and now...

My only excuse is having been busier than I have been in a year. This is not going to be much of a post; I'm just trying to keep my hand in and not get to far off the habit of posting.

It has been quite a week. After the disaster that was last weekend and Tuesday (panic attack, then hungover on klonopin, then waking up dizzy and ill for no apparent reason on Tuesday and missing classes) I realized that something had to go. I'm glad that I tried to do all of the things I was trying to do but I can't quite do them all. Wednesday night I sat down and tried to decide what to drop. I have to keep all my silly general education courses because otherwise I can't graduate. I'm not going to drop church choir because we're about to get into the Lent and then Easter time of year - the really interesting music time of year - and I wasn't willing to let go of Spanish and the social justice committee. I can't stop working at the gallery. Working there just about saved my life this summer and gave me enough confidence to go back to school; besides, I'm involved in so many worthwhile projects there that it feels immoral to walk away.

There remained only one option. I added up all the hours I spent on non-school things and all the hours I spent on Greek and found that while I spend approximately eleven hours on church and the gallery, I spend seven hours doing homework for Greek and three hours in the actual class. If I dropped Greek, I would cut the amount of time I spent on non-essential school things in half.

So now, sadly, I am no longer studying Homer. I am sorry about it but all of the sudden I felt a thousand times better and I know it was the right thing to do. No sense in running myself into the ground, even for Homer.

It's hard for me to make these decisions. I don't like to let people down so I usually postpone it until I can't do anything at all anymore so that I won't have to feel guilty about it. Of course, this is not the best way to handle things nor does it really stop me from feeling guilty. On the one hand, I have no problem admitting that I have bipolar disorder and that it stops me from being able to do things I want to do sometimes. On the other, I have a hard time accepting this in a day to day fashion. Discerning what it is that I'm doing now that will have a bad effect in the future and then following through by choosing not to carry on doing it anyway is not easy for me. I'm pleased that I've done it this time.

04 February 2009

Snow Day

We have a snow day today, which is lovely. So far this semester we've had quite a bit of snow but we've only had late-start days, which are annoying on account of then no one can remember when classes start and end and so on. Everything runs late and bumps into whatever else you have to do: in my case, doctor's appointments and church. All the people with children, and we have quite a few students with children, have their difficulties multiplied as their children's school will have a snow day when we have a late start day and so on. You can imagine the chaos.

I am enjoying mine by drinking many cups of tea and working on the conference paper and the senior thesis and memorizing the first seven lines of the Iliad.

μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος
οὐλομένην, μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,
πολλὰς δ᾽ ἰφθίμους ψυχὰς Ἄϊδι προΐαψεν
ἡρώων, αὐτοὺς δὲ ἑλώρια τεῦχε κύνεσσιν
οἰωνοῖσί τε πᾶσι, Διὸς δ᾽ ἐτελείετο βουλή,
ἐξ οὗ δὴ τὰ πρῶτα διαστήτην ἐρίσαντε
Ἀτρεΐδης τε ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν καὶ δῖος Ἀχιλλεύς.*

(I'm really surprised it stayed in Greek)

As of Friday, I will already be a quarter of the way through the semester. I can hardly believe it. Soon it will be spring break and I'll get to drag out the sundresses from under the bed. By the time spring break comes, I'll be waiting for acceptance/rejection letters from grad schools. I will have finished my thesis and be preparing a presentation form of it. I'll be waiting to hear from two other conferences.

Thinking about this is nice but then my mind pops back to today and I think, how will I ever squeeze out enough time to do all that? It's a good question. I can't even find the energy or concentration to clean up the house.

Then again I can think back five weeks and remember how overwhelmed I was at the mere idea of going to school. I was sure I'd give up in the second week. I was very down from having been at my parents and couldn't keep up with some extremely basic things, too embarrassing to detail here. Now I am at least more or less on top of the day to day homework and I look presentable on a daily basis, something I would not have been able to forsee myself doing. Perhaps I'm in the same boat now, unable to see how I will do what I need to do but about to do it all the same.

I hope so.

*copied and pasted from the Perseus Project

02 February 2009

Time for My Pills

Yesterday I did something I probably should not have done.

In the late afternoon all the anxiety that had been building came to the point of being unbearable. So, I took a klonopin. Half an hour later, no difference. I thought, well, take another and I did. Still nothing. So I took another.

Finally, everything began to ebb away and I could at least sit still and stop picking on myself. I finished up a few things and headed off to bed where I fell blissfully asleep.

I was more than a little hungover today, bumping into things and walking from one end of the apartment to another for reasons I couldn't remember. I made myself walk to church because I though that it wouldn't be a good idea to drive. I dropped my music at least six or seven times this morning; I'm glad none of it went sailing down from the choir loft onto unsuspecting parishoners' heads. I've been fatigued and wobbly all day but quite relaxed. I sang much better this morning than I usually do - less worried about accidentally squeaking on the high notes, I suppose.

Then, too, I've had the less fun side effects. They don't always pop up when I take klonopin but they did this time. I kept getting tearful over all manner of things in the afternoon. I felt leaden and a little depressed for a few hours. I don't know why that will sometimes happen with klonopin and sometimes not. Most times not, really, now that I've been taking it a while.

When I was first out of the hospital I took 2.5 mgs a day, spread out. I could hardly walk but for the first time in years I wasn't eaten up by anxiety and self-loathing. Since then I've weaned off to the point of taking a half milligram every now and again. I take it in bursts, usually. I took one every day for the first week and a half of school to stop myself building up place-associated anxiety. Now that school is familiar again and not full of fearful recent impressions, I've stopped taking it.

When I took three of them yesterday (ssh. . .don't tell my psychiatrist I did that) I reasoned to myself that I used to take more than that on a daily basis and that therefore it was unlikely to have too much of an effect. I was so wrong. My tolerance did slip away; very, very far away. I will not be doing that again in a hurry. I suppose I might if I really enjoyed the 'stoned' feeling of it, but then, if I did enjoy such feelings I would probably have continued to take seroquel or geodon!

Was it worth it? I don't know. I did run through most of my first response anti-anxiety activities: bath, mint or other herbal tea, walk, pleasant errand, and the usual cure-all of distraction by dvd or NPR. However, I was too distracted to be distracted and I let the kettle boil over. I also tried the phone a friend option but it being Saturday night, I hadn't much luck with that.

It was worth it in that I didn't get to the point of a full blown, banging on the walls, decorating my legs with insults in ink kind of panic attack. It was too much hangover/side effect-wise.

Now I just wish I could figure out where that one came from.