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End of the year meme – 2013 edition

I wrote this back in 2009, when I first did the end of the year meme. Let’s see how 2013 went.

An end of the year analysis… in meme form.

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?

I got married and switched jobs two weeks apart.

2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I’ll have to look at my list, but I do think I accomplished certain things.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Not that I can remember.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

My college BFF lost her battle with cancer in May. Fuck cancer.

5. What countries did you visit?

Just the US.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

A significant raise. I’ve worked my tail off this year.

7. What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory?

Mid February when hon and I got married and May 21st, when my college BFF died.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Getting married and moving in two weeks without losing my mind, or my new husband.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not calling my BFF before she died and telling her, one more time, how much she meant to me.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Just allergies.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

A red table that makes me feel all grown up.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

Hon’s of course, for being always supportive and understanding, and celebrating every little victory, especially during the move. My mom and my nephew for bringing so much joy into my life.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

Republicans and Tea Party idiots.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Moving and moving related expenses, and wedding prep stuff. We’re getting married in the church in 2014.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Our wedding and the new job.

16. What song/album will always remind you of 2013?

I don’t listen to the radio, other than NPR.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

1. Happier or sadder? A bit of both.
2. Thinner or fatter? Fat, fatty fat.
3. Richer or poorer? Better than last year, but I still have about 3.5 more years of debt to pay.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Being more supportive of my husband and eating better.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Work. My God, I worked a fucktillion.

20. How will you be spending/did you spend Christmas?

Going home to see my parents, nephew and hubby.

21. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?

Hon, mom and vendors.

22. Did you fall in love in 2013?

More and more with the same adorable guy. And my nephew. He’s cute.

23. How many one night stands in this last year?

None.

24. What was your favourite TV programme?

Anything from Investigation Discovery and Snapped.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Politicians.

26. What was the best book(s) you read?

A couple of books about Mormon fundamentalist groups. Always an interesting read. Oh, and finally got a hold of ‘We need to talk about Kevin.’

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

New album from Macaco, Se que no te va a gustar and Lisandro Aristimuño. Check them out if you like music in Español.

28. What did you want and get?

A new job, with benefits, a big apartment and an iPad.

29. What did you want and not get?

More money, less debt. A job for honey.

30. What were your favourite films of this year?

The one about magic stuff with Mark Ruffalo.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Turned 32, spent the day with hon, ate at a restaurant we love.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Hon having a satisfying job, even if it was part time.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

Frumpy scientist, with the occasional sprinkle of something new and decent when outside of the lab.

34. What kept you sane?

The husband.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Can’t remember.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

Marriage equality, budget issues, women’s rights, the Sciquester.

37. Who did you miss?

My cute little nephew.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

Couple of very interesting scientists I admire.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.

Keep on going even when life throws you big piles of shit.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year?

I can never come up with one.

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Taking it all in

I know it’s been a month since I last wrote. Life has gone fast at times, and at other moments it’s gone too fast to even think. I’m still busy with work, lots of it, which is good, but it also means I’m tired (as usual) and I’m facing the last minute crunch of everything and everyone that needs to collect data before their grant/paper/presentation/defense are due.

I’ve been off and on on Twitter due to personal issues. I will share a bit, so you know what’s going on. And if you have any words of wisdom, I welcome them.

A month and a half ago my dear husband went to a NP at a counseling office, as he’s been diagnosed with panic syndrome. Hon is very panicky and anxious by nature and since his first panic attack (in Canada), he’d been on a mood pill to help with the panic attacks. The pill had worked well for the last couple of years. But this summer, after having two major medical procedures, and having to take an adjunct job that left him very dissatisfied, things came crashing down. He started getting panic attacks more often (a couple of times a month, when they had been absent since 2010) and we thought that perhaps he’d developed some sort of “resistance” to the drug. He tried getting to a psych doctor at school, but turns out they’re really swamped with new patients. Instead he was referred to the facility I  mentioned above and after the intake interview, he saw the nurse practitioner who suggested he upped his dose, since the drug had been working for 3 years.

Little did we know that upping the dose would sent my hubby on a downward spiral, which culminated with a visit to the psych ER on Thanksgiving. We’d planned to have a nice dinner, cook delicious (non traditional) food, stay home and rest from the hectic weeks we’d had. But it wasn’t meant to be. On Thanksgiving Thursday, hon woke me up in panic. He’d had thoughts of hurting himself, and me. And though he didn’t act on them, the mere thought sent him in a downward path. We tried everything, from watching funny shows, to driving around, but his anxiety wasn’t budging. Finally at night, when I realized we were sleep deprived and he was still panicked, I took the same decision I did in Canada 3 years back … I drove him to the ER to see if there he could find an answer or some form of treatment to whatever was going on.

We ended up staying the night after he was first interviewed. Once he told the nurses and doctors in the ER of the thoughts, that was enough for him to be taken to the psych area of the ER and for him to get even more interviews, more vitals and more questions.

It was a hell of a weekend.

At least in the ER he was being observed. His mind had a million thoughts, all being fired up at the same time. He was anticipating the death of his careers, blaming himself for choosing to study a topic that apparently no one has interest in these parts of the country, mourning the loss of the career he thought he’d be in by now. He was afraid I’d have him committed, them have the key thrown away. He was afraid I’d think he was crazy.

I didn’t think we was/is crazy. I just knew that my husband wasn’t the same man he was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. That he was anxious, panicked, terrified. And that just talking about things wasn’t doing shit.

The next day we saw a doctor. I had to leave for work for a few hours. My bosses were understanding, though I didn’t give way too many details. I went back and the doctor assured him he wasn’t crazy. That in all likelihood, the change in dose of his med, and the fact that he hated the job he was doing, plus the stress from the surgeries and recovery had made the perfect storm. This wasn’t just another panic attack. He was depressed. This was serious. And before he could act on his thoughts, he needed to be stabilized and needed urgent counseling.

The last couple of weeks have been a mix of good news and progress and the occasional set back. But mostly it’s been moving forward. He’s being weaned out of his med, changed into a “classical” one. He’s taken powerful meds to try to get his stress levels down. Though he’s afraid of what will happen once he’s off of it (there’s no history of addiction in his family, but still, he’s scared). I’m scared of not being a supportive wife and of “dumping” him on the doctors at the ER when things get stressful.

I’m sure it will be a long recovery for both. Hon seems to be doing better now that he’s in counseling every day and that there’s a plan of action. But still, I know that any “little” thing could destabilize whatever “normal” we’ve had until now. I’m eating my feelings away. We’re both going on little sleep.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayer. They are felt. If I don’t write before the end of the year, I hope your 2013 ends well and that 2014 is even better.