Possible Overshare Warning, but, this is my life and I want you to know it if you want to. (Why I am writing this blog post: to help me document my experience with MediCal –the insurance that I currently qualify for in the State of California, my experience with drugs they put me on –could have been doing this sooner, but I was experiencing a break of intense hopelessness and a sense of: why am I making katarinacountiss.com about my life through a sordid lense, won’t people judge me?, but I realized that I need to grab motivation where it’s available and consider it all to be about my process, believing in myself again enough to the point where I can be the cheerful and effective person that I know lies within)
I’m adjusting to my new life in California. I’ve been going through the trials and tribulations of aging out of my step father’s family plan insurance. I recently became a MediCal patient (which is the state insurance if you don’t know). Which means for me: drugs and therapy covered by the state.
On Monday after changing up my meds (see the above picture– trying to get more organized), my (I guess, former) psychiatrist helped me get in contact with the Mental Health Access Team of Behavioral Health & Recovery Services | San Mateo Health System. I got a call back from a person to get my information (history of psychotic breaks, meds, etc.). Then he set an appointment for the morning slot of 9:30am-11:30am the next day.
I went to this building and in less than an hour, I was talking to a mental health worker who was asking me these same questions about myself, including asking about my family history with substance abuse and my rapport with my mom (personal stuff so that they could “get to know me.”). She called up the doctor and explained that I was running out of meds and needed to get some refills.
She told me to stay by the phone as she dismissed me and said that we’d try to get an appointment with the doctor today to assess the meds situation.
Went away, came back, saw a doctor. He inspired me to make a timeline of my mental health. Then, I thought let’s just make a timeline of the highlights. I am trying to remind myself that I quit a good job to go toward a beautiful light of making art full time and I just Icarused it and combined free time with substance abuse and so begins the onset of Bipolar and what it means to have a brain looking at itself in its small pieces and moving didn’t help and now I am in Redwood City, trying to make the best of it.
June 2013 -Graduated from Graphic Design School
July -Started ASMR channel
August -enjoying summer, started recreational cannibus use
September- New York Trip
October- attended InfoCamp
November 2013- Started working at a bookstore
December -Designed some sweet holiday cards
January 2014 -Worked on a Webcomic called Shelby
February -Updated my resume/projects to reflect bookstore’s graphic design work
March -went to Crater Lake for a cabin trip
April -updated my portfolio to show that I wanted to work in game UI,
I had my first speaking event at said bookstore, I wanted to start a Seattle Graphic Design Guild,
May -I had my first publication of my art in eJournal USA and worked with a scientist on developing a cover for Small (a science journal), I raised money through a Kickstarter for a binaural microphone to help me make some awesome ASMR videos
June -I quit my job at the bookstore to start volunteering at Makerhaus, a wonderful makerspace which seemed to be gleaming with promise. I started work on products for my business that I was inspired to start: Katarina Countiss Multimedia
July -My first binaural song
August -I moved out of my current living situation because I felt cramped, started recreational cannabis use more heavily
September -Makerhaus shuts down, surprising the volunteerrs and Staff, I get invested in my art, the kind that doesn’t really pay any money, I started a recording group called Prismatic Ventricles with two wonderful collaborators, I start Kaleidescopy Art which includes cards, ASMR videos, and two t-shirt designs
October -Inktober, I start working with Ink and continue to use more Cannabis, I move into a bigger house where I have a garage space I call the KAT Media Lab, started some work at SODO Makerspace
November 2014 -Continued to make ASMR videos, increased cannabis use
December -set up a Patreon account, hoping to make some money off of art, auditioned for an improv show
January 2015 -Started the Book of Hypotheses, wanting to keep track of all the good ideas that I had, feeling like I was running out of time, visited San Francisco, visitor from San Francisco, best weekend in a while, created quick exercises to help creativity flow, pressure is on me to pack up the house and the media lab because I’m moving to San Francisco! Created Yellow Words, manic break, hospitalized (Swedish Medical Center), Olanzapine (why didn’t I like this? Too much too soon?) and Ativan (fine, but it didn’t work as long as I wanted it to)
February -Trying to process everything, not taking meds, reflected on notebooks of words long past, He moves ahead to San Francisco and I am alone, I speak at Town Hall about my art
March -saw my first Psychiatrist, had a psychotic episode, hospitalized (Stanford Hospital), Abilify (extrapyramidal effects include: akathisia (motor restlessness), parkinsonism (characteristic symptoms such as rigidity, bradykinesia, and tremor), Started Day Hospitalization, Ambien, Ambien Extended Release, Seroquel
April- tried Medical Cannabis, made me paranoid, my mother visits
May- I age out of Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance, try MediCal, start working at local coffee chain, visit with Psychiatrist: Lamictal, Seroquel, Ambien XR