A Reminder to Put Pants on Every Morning

I have a very dear Uncle, Uncle G, and it is only through medical miracles and (perhaps) prayers sent around the world that he is here with us today.  He is the Big Dawg’s brother, and they share red curly hair, freckles, and a love for the outdoors

Perhaps roughly two years ago, Uncle G was in the midst of getting a divorce.  It was a good thing for him, truly was.  One weekend morning, he hopped on his motorcycle and sped away to the local grocery store, because he was having people over and he was out of toilet  paper.  While on his journey, he was sideswiped by a truck.  He was life-flighted to KU Med, which is where anyone goes when anything really serious happens, in Kansas City, about an hour away.

We didn’t know for quite awhile if Uncle G was going to make it, and then when it became clear that he WAS going to live, we were very unsure that we would get back the same Uncle G that had been literally scraped off the road just weeks before.

My sister, a physical therapist, living in the same town, went and spent time with Uncle G nearly every day.  She read his medical reports, kept family updated, and just spent time with Uncle G.  She was a true blessing for him and for family, for us, to keep us updated.

Time went on and there were many different complications.  More surgeries, more IV’s, more antibiotics.  The guy couldn’t catch a break.  Even after leaving the hospital, he had to be rehospitalized at least once, that I know of.

But little by little, Uncle G was coming back.  And he did it with the most positive attitude I have ever seen in a person, and I mean ever.  Prior to his accident, he was always extremely positive and seemed like a happy person.  This accident didn’t take it away from him.

Today I was home alone, feeling bad for myself, having slept half my day away because I was up half the night, thinking I might as well just go back to bed instead of facing the intolerable loneliness I often feel these days.  Angry at myself for screwing up my psych meds for far too long, angry that the doctors just can’t figure out what is wrong, angry that I still don’t feel good.  Just angry.  Lonely and angry.

And then my favorite Uncle G called.  He wanted to stop by and visit.  He’d be here in five minutes.  The depressed part of  my brain screamed out, “Nooooo!  Your house is a mess and your hair isn’t washed.  Just put him off!”  So, that’s what I did.  Immediately after hanging up the phone, I had a revelation.  Uncle G would SO understand what I am going through.  So, I called him back and asked him to, yes, please come over.

Walking through the house, it really isn’t all that messy.  The kitchen is clean, and other than Avon products strewn across my dining room table, isn’t even cluttered.  I was only worried then about the fact that my now-short hair couldn’t go into a ponytail, but I found a headband and it actually looks rather cute.  To give myself a little burst, I gave myself one squirt of body splash and felt almost immediately better.

I put on jeans.  Better still.  One of my favorite tops.  Even better.  My feet still won’t fit into my shoes, but I jammed a pair of flip flops on and decided that would work.  All of this took less than five minutes.  I timed it.

And then Uncle G came and all was well, all was fine.   We had a really nice conversation and we talked about how it is to be sick for long periods of time and what we can do to make ourselves feel better.  I told him that just changing my clothes was motivating enough that I was going to run out and do a few errands.

So, a phone call and an uncle made my day today.  What’s making yours?

 

Building Rome: Shoot it to Me Straight

It’s Green Embers’ Building Rome time and I have thought and thought about what I wanted to post, being that I am not yet back up to full 100% Rosa awesomeness.  I think for me this week is going to be a bit of a repeat with a twist.  Originality just isn’t in the cards today, looks like.

Last week, I worked on the following things:

1)  Set aside one to two hours to read everyday (two if I am not working that day).  I did always set the time aside, although I didn’t always spend it reading.  I did read an average of two hours per day, though, so I’m going to say this goal was accomplished.

2) Go back to work or somehow be more involved with the shop.  This is not going to happen until I feel better, can stay awake all day, can handle interacting with customers and stressful situations.  Not quite there yet, but almost.

3) Start driving again.  Yay!  I did start driving again and it felt good, although kind of scary.  Especially kinda scary the times I did it without wearing shoes (that’s another long story).  I think though, as long as I have shoes, I’m good, so, goal accomplished!

 

My Do-or-Die Goals:

1) Take care of all  Kizzie’s needs, including play with Kizzie every day for at least 30 minutes.   This went so well that we usually went over the 30 minutes if  you count up all the 15 minute intervals during the day.  She is as happy as a pup ever was.

2) Hygiene/Self-Care.  Satisfactory.

3) Take all medications as prescribed.  I am having a really hard time remembering to take my morning meds, a terrible time remembering to take my morning, evening, and bedtime Zyprexa, and did goof around with a few of my physical health medications as well.  This was not a winner this week.  I do have a plan and it involves getting my mediset filled up and setting more timers.

4) Eat healthfully.  This is kind of put out of commission with me being sick.  I am getting really good at making Ramen in the microwave, and I’m doing a good job pushing fluids, so there’s something.

 

This coming week’s goals:

1) Continuing to read two hours every day.  This was really helpful for me in calming my brain down and relaxing me.  And I have some killer books to read right now!

2) Ask some friends for feedback about lack of blogging.  And of course, feel free to add  your two cents in the comments.  I am having a really hard time blogging regularly, coming up with topics, and even responding to prompts.  I do want to write, I feel pressed to write, but I just can’t come up with it.  Any advice?

3) Start reducing cigarettes smoked in an attempt to quit which will be upcoming.  “Nuff said about that one.

Happy Six-Month Birthday, Little Nephew

O –

You turned six months old yesterday and, even though it is cliched, wowza has the time flown!

Perhaps my most dear and precious memory of you is holding you the day after you were born.  You were so tiny, so perfect, and you slept quietly in my arms.  You, in fact, slept for so long that my arm fell asleep from holding you in position and your Grandma had to come rescue you before I dropped you on the floor.

I had not felt as much happiness as I did on that day before or ever since.  The second other happiest time was your mom and dad getting married.  I can still get teary about that.  Your mom, my sister, has brought so much joy into my world just by being herself and living her life, I don’t think she even realizes it.

Your mom keeps me updated with pictures and each one brings about in me an intense longing to be where  you are, wherever you are.  It breaks my heart now, that I haven’t been there for more of those memories.  You’re eating squash and you have your first tooth.  I can see in pictures that you’re going to be crawling any moment.

I think you don’t realize how fast a baby will grow.  Your mom even has you on a sort-of schedule now, and I think she is getting tiny bits of rest here and there.  You know her, though — there is always more she wants to be doing.  She has hit the trail of parenthood running, and I knew it wouldn’t be any other way.

I know you don’t realize it yet, but you are growing up in a great family of love.  Oh, there are so many people that love you, Mr. O.  It kills your grandma that she hasn’t been able to make it back for a couple of months and this whole time I have been sick, one of the main things I think of is that I need to get  better so I can come see you.  And you also have other grandparents, and aunts, and cousins.  They all love you so much and can’t wait to see you more often.

It isn’t easy taking care of a baby, or so it seems, but I want you to know that your mom is doing a bang-up job.  I  have never seen someone more coordinated, more competent, with so much love for you.  No matter what, you’ll always have your mom.  When  you get old enough, make sure she gets the edible peanut butter play dough recipe from Grandma.  There is nothing better.

I write this with tears in my eyes: because I am so happy you are a baby in existence on this Earth, that I can lay special Auntie Rose claim to, and because I wish circumstances were different and I got to see you grow up more.  Just know, Auntie Rose will always be there for you, no matter the time, the day, the event.  I will do my best to be a good aunt for you, Mr. O.  I love you dearly.

Love

Auntie Rose

xoxoxoxo

Building Mastery Decreases Stress

7weird

 

It’s that Weird Wednesday challenge again, coordinated and directed by Mental Mama.  I know that last week, I had a hard time coming up with weird things about myself, but I just thought of one.  I sometimes don’t know the day of the week, and I certainly never know the date.  I guess it’s not that important in my little sphere (other than to know when “Under the Dome” or “Extant” are on), because every day is so much the same.  Maybe that’s a little weird in and of itself, like I am Bill Murray in the “GroundHog Day” movie.

Moving on, this week’s topic is:

What weirdest thing you do to relax?

Well, I do things like this.  I learn a tiny bit of something new from a friend, and then, even though I don’t quite understand it, or what I’m doing, I make the text of my entire post purple.  I would have made the font size bigger, but I couldn’t remember how.  Maybe in an upcoming edit.

One of the best things for me for stress relief is to try and do something new, something I have to concentrate really hard on.  This is called “building mastery” for all you DBT folks out there!  For example, when I was having my little mental health breakdown earlier this past month, I tried to teach myself to crochet.  It was a wicked failure, but it felt good to try and it definitely kept my mind off things.

crochet starter kit

And because I still have the supplies and the links MM sent me, I can whip out this project at any time.  I have a few needlepoints, too, that I should work on but it gets too complicated for me when the color of thread changes every fourth stitch.  Unrelated note, QoB is the ultimate needle-pointer.  Her hands are too bad to do it now (not sure she’d be able to find time, either), but back in the day, she rocked it.

Another thing I like to do when stressed is put lotion on my hands and then enjoy the smell.  Yes, that’s me over there, sniffing my hands.  It’s actually a combination of several DBT skills — distract, TIP/Chemistry, self-soothe.  My therapist could probably list off several more.

When I need to relax of calm down in a hurry, the best thing I can do is talk to someone.  Be it my mom, my dad, my sister, one of my online friends — I’ve really got to talk things out sometimes.  I think that’s pretty ordinary, though — venting about things.

My final answer to stress reduction is to clean my kitchen and dining room area.  These are the two areas where I spend the most time, so they get trashed out the most easily.  It usually only takes about ten minutes, just throwing some trash away and then unloading and reloading the dishwasher.  Those ten minutes, though, can save me from an entire day of antsy-pantsying.

Building Rome: Back to Basics

This week, this Monday, I have started to feel just a bit better and so some of the fuzzy thinking is gone.  I know what I need to do is go back to basics and then build my strength back up.  I don’t want to set a bunch of goals, not to accomplish them.  With Green Embers’ Building Rome series, several of us have been setting goals around the blogosphere and sharing with others.

We all report on past goals, some of us report on the same every day or week goals, and we all set new goals.  You do it how it works for you.  And I only say this because I have been trying for the last 24 hours to come up with a way to do this post, that I wouldn’t fail.  I’m tired of not meeting my goals and it is clear that sometimes I am setting unrealistic expectations.  I hope to do a bit better this week.

Last week, I vowed to:

1) Help someone do something difficult for themselves, through support and encouragement.  I think I accomplished this with flying colors.  Yay!

2) Take downtime to set long-term goals.  I didn’t sit down and write a list, but I have been doing quite a bit of thinking about it, so I’m gonna give myself partial credit.

3)  Take joy in unexpected benefits.  I have really been finding my knee keeps getting better.  I have been able to get around better and be in less pain.

Do-Or-Die Goals:

1) Take care of Kizzie’s needs.   I have been trying to pay extra special attention to the Kizzer and have been able to do so with all this extra time.  She has not had a moment without water or food and the treats have been given in decent amounts.  She seems to be very happy.

2) Daily hygiene/self-care.  Check!

3)  Take meds as prescribed.   Check!

4) Work on healthy eating.  Does lots of Ramen and Sprite count?  :(

This week’s “back to basics” goals:

1)  Set aside one to two hours to read everyday (two if I am not working that day).

2) Go back to work or somehow be more involved with the shop.

3) Start driving again.

Tug Of War

kizz2

Every since Kizzie was  a puppy (this pic was taken at about two years old), she has LOVED to play tug of war.  The name of the game was to get the toy close enough to you for you to grab, and then pull it just out of your reach.  Every once in awhile, let you grab it so we can play tug of war.  Once little Kizzie has “won,” she runs around the house shaking the toy.  Best puppy game, ever.

You would think with all this free time I have, I’d be blogging more.  I’m actually mostly sleeping during the day, playing with Kizzie, doing a few light chores, and chatting with friends.  There is a big cloud hazing over my brain and I can’t seem to come up with a decent topic, nonetheless the motivation to write it properly.

So I’m doing this little tug-of-war with myself that DBT would term “opposite-to-emotion.”  Basically, you make yourself do a little bit of that which is opposite to how you are feeling.

My opposite-to-emotions have been ranging from doing diary cards to picking up the kitchen to taking out the trash.  I think I need to add blogging in there, though, because I do miss it.

Crazy is The New Normal

 Mama’s Seven Weeks of Weird asks the question:

 

 What is the weirdest thing about you that people don’t usually know?

Well, the answer to that is, I really don’t know.  I don’t consider myself ALL that weird, I guess.  Sure there were times, back in school when I felt like I was kind of the “weird” one, but it wasn’t so much weirdness as it was just being socially anxious and awkward.

After I accepted that I had bipolar disorder, I thought that made me kind of strange, a little weird.  To be mentally ill, in my circle, that was weird.  I still every once in awhile today think of all the “weird” things that go along with having bipolar disorder.  But then I shrug my shoulders, because that’s just how it is and it’s not going away.

 It helps tremendously to be active in the WP mental health blogging community.  There is such a sense of togetherness and  understanding and compassion.  None of these people think you’re being weird, whereas a friend or family member might.  Nope, those are called *symptoms*!

For the longest time I thought that my sister thought I was “weird” because of my bipolar.  And she kinda did.  But she has accepted me now with open arms and there is not  a single person inside my circle that doesn’t know I deal with bipolar disorder and there is not a single person in that circle who belittles me for it.  As it should be, and as I wish it for everyone.

We are all just people, weird or not.  I’m very thankful that I could overcome my “weirdness” and just be this super-cool chick who happens to have bipolar disorder.  Life is much more fun that way.

7weird

 

And that lovely and large and purple section at the top is thanks to a quick HTML course taught to me by Bradley of Green Embers.  Yay for Bradley!  (it’s actually easier than you might think!)