- Um, well, there was that whole going to IRELAND and ENGLAND and FRANCE and ITALY thing! For the first 5 weeks away I was entirely on my own, studying neurology in Cambridge at the Royal Veterinary College, but also hitting up Dublin and taking my veterinary boards in London. It was an astonishing feat of perseverance, considering the vast levels of anxiety I felt during much of the Point A to Point B portions. It wasn't quite at panic attack levels, I've never had one of those, but there were tears and shaking and gutaches and FEARFEARFEAR blaring in my mind. But I made it through, and enjoyed the pants off myself. Well, not literally. But it was fucking fantastic. And I kept a promise to myself to write a travel journal/scrapbook (cleverly bringing gluesticks with me from home), and I filled an entire Moleskine journal from start to finish. The journey, the memories, the photos, and the journals are things that I will treasure for the rest of my life. It was truly wonderful.
- I have a job! There were two months of aimless searching and hoping, sending out resumes, going on a couple interviews, trying to recuperate from the last 4 years of school I will ever do (well, probably). Being at home was both great -- I did a lot of watercolor, started exercising again, made it through all of Frasier, and enjoyed picking up Neopets again for some reason -- and terrible, feeling worthless and aimless. But now I have a job.
- The job is good. There's a few bumps as always, but overall I really like the people, it's a good atmosphere, and there's room to explore things like exotics and holistic medicine. I have already had a technician tell me (just out of the blue) that I was a great vet, based on how I explained things to the client concerning their dog with seizures. I've also had many clients start asking me how often I'll be in the office, or say that they look forward to seeing me again. I still hate surgery, and need to rediscover my skillz I learned at the Oregon Humane Society, but other than that I feel fairly confident in myself. And having money? FUCK YES THIS IS AWESOME. I now make about 4 times what I used to as a veterinary assistant. So, damn.
- Ben and I are doing really well. Being in Europe was fantastic but I did miss him terribly. Now that I'm back we're working on maintaining a good balance of individual time + sharing each other's hobbies + doing things we both enjoy, together. We had some rough patches this winter but we've come through them closer than ever. We still are ridiculously schmoopy, a fact which likely surprises no one.
- I've started therapy for my hairpulling and skin picking. I've only had a few sessions so far but already I am being a little more mindful of my picking and my hands and face are getting the chance to heal. For now to save money I'm going to go every other week only. I think it's a good idea. At first I thought maybe I was being silly for going in for a problem that's fairly minor, but now I feel like it's a good decision to learn skills to deal with it during a low ebb of the illness, instead of waiting until things are at their worst and my anxiety is higher. Easier to learn things when I'm calmer. So I'm proud of myself for that. The other point is that there is specifically a center for trichotillomania and dermatillomania here in Los Angeles, and I think I'd be foolish not to take advantage of that while I can.
- I'm doing pretty well at exercising at least twice a week. I'd prefer to be a few pounds lighter and more muscular again, but I'm very happy to just be keeping the habit of doing some form of activity on a regular basis. The Zombies, Run! app for the iPhone is helping me tremendously in terms of getting back on the running horse.
- I didn't watch the Olympics every night, but when I did, it was awesome to watch it on our big screen TV, and we even caught some of the 3D coverage, which was awesome.
....Note... I wrote this post several days ago, LJ ate it, I came back to try and recover it... and LJ didn't have it up until today. WTF. So I'm posting this now, and then I'm also posting the bad news that I have. If anyone is still around to read it, that is.