Don’t Live There: Get Up

 

 

 

melt down

 

As anybody who knows me or has talked to me in the last week or has done even a minimally good job at following this blog, ya’ll know the past week or two has been beyond the bounds of stress.  I may have snapped at a few people, been less than my cheerful self, become irritated by small things you asked me to do, seemed overwhelmed at a task that wasn’t that big, not returned your calls, or avoided you all together.

Right here, right now:  I intend to fix that.  Like the picture above says, “cry it out and then refocus on where you are headed.”  Well, I think, after tonight, I’ll be done crying it out, at least for a little while.  I could say for a week or a day or a month, but we all know what Father Time can do and how Mother Earth likes to smack us upside the head sometimes, maybe when we’re getting a little too proud or confident.

 

bad day

It’s easy to generalize a bad day into a bad year, for sure.  Especially at the start of the year, when not much time has passed.  It has not been a great year for DSB’s health.  There was the abcess from the kidney removal, the subsequent surgery to remove the abcess, and then, to add insult to injury, a wound vac that must be changed three times a week by a registered nurse.  And now a (going on 5-day) stint in the hospital with pneumonia.  DSB’s 2014 has been unpleasant, medically speaking.

While it’s safe to say that DSB has not had a stellar start to 2014, I can’t take that on as my own.  To generalize that to myself, to say that dearest Rosa has not had a stellar start to 2014, would be a lie that only I would tell myself.  That I have sometimes told myself time and time again, when things between DSB and I were not going well.  Because when someone is sick and someone is tending, tensions grow.  When someone is sick, the other person worries and stress rises.  But Rosa has not  had a bad start to 2014.  Some amazing things have  happened, and I think I have chronicled some of them in my TToT posts.

To, me, I can feel like the woman in that picture above.  I can sense the wonder at the rising or setting sun, the yellowed grasses around me, the sky, the very being of myself.  Some truly wondrous things have happened to me so far this year.  I have:

1) Formed and continued solid friendships with my bloggie friends.

2) Solidified my love for DSB, by choosing right over wrong, trust over lies, consideration for the other over self-indulgence.

3) Forged deeper connections with my inner voice.  I can let that voice out now, and have it be heard, and not worry (too much), about what effect that voice is going to  have on a person that chooses willingly to read what I have written.

4) Given up trying to hide myself from the one who has always hunted me.

5) Learned to forgive, not to forget.  Learned to trade in anxiety and lonesomeness and uncertainty in a fatherly relationship for compassion for what that person must be going through at this time.  We are all human, even dads.

6) Learned to separate myself from that which is negative in my life.  I choose not to have negativity in my life, and won’t tolerate it.  Even if this means giving up people that I thought I cared about.

7) Started to open myself up to the possibility of rejection.  Making jokes, telling fish stories, and selling bait isn’t as easy as you might think.  There is a world of nuance within those walls.

8) Decided to stop counting my breaths as I am trying to fall asleep, and instead to just.breathe.  In, out.  Don’t say it, don’t think it, just do it.  Appreciate the feel of the air through your nose, through your mouth, the rise and fall of your chest, the tickle in your throat.  Don’t put a word on it, just be, just do.

To celebrate, let’s take a listen to my second most favorite meditation practice, singing bowls.  And let’s be honest, Goddess of Mindfulness, my first pick is always the metal, but nowhere else can I get those bowls.  They are addictive and the stories you told me on Wednesday left happy traces of puppies and friends and love on my heart.  Bless you.

Please note that these are quartz singing bowls and they have a very special place in my heart.  If you can (after you get through the commercial-ish first section), do take a listen.  Take off your shoes, set your feet on the floor, sit upright, and breathe.  You can do this.  You really can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some Random Commentary

We have to face both new and old situations with a different perspective than what might have been our first.  My first instinct is to lie, and it comes from years of doing so.  With DSB, I had to learn NOT to lie.  To be transparent.  Even about the small, silly shit.  Our relationship has grown from it, but every not and again the old Rosa will creep up and tell a fib.  For no reason.  The new Rosa has to atone for that sin, has to come clean and be forgiven.  You can’t approach every situation the same as you have treated others every day of your life.

 

live

As with my lying, I feel I am making up for the errors and sins of my past, here, now, in every moment that I breathe and speak.  I want this life to be worth living, because I only  have one.  I believe in God, and I believe in his forgiveness.  I believe that if I pray and do right, one life really will be enough.

 

I have posted before that God gives you more than you can  handle.  What you do in that case is reach out to everyone you know, so you can keep holding on.  So you can learn.  So you can grow.  I believe I am strong enough to live through the hardships that have come upon me.  Through many difficult times, I have persevered.  I will continue to do so.  I have my faith, my family, my DSB.  I will persevere.

 

Time changes all things.  I wish my Grandpa and the Bird Lady were still around to meet DSB and know the happiness I have found, after so many years of grief.  I have to believe that they DO see it, that they are looking down.  I don’t think you ever have to FORGET what’s gone, but depending on how traumatic or painful, that might be preferable.  More than likely though, you can use it as a driving force toward accomplishing the next great thing that is in your life’s plan.

Following is DSB and mine’s “song.”  We played it incessantly when we first got together, and he told me it is how he truly feels about me.  There’s talk about waiting for the moment to be right, but always being there.  He is feeling a little better today, so we were able to talk more.  Like the photo above, I look forward to what is to come.

 

Bits and Ends

I made a promise to myself that I was going to post every day for the rest of the year, and I guess technically I am still posting tonight.  It just doesn’t feel like much.

I have all of these thoughts and feelings swirling around about a topic I can’t discuss on this blog.  I don’t know if he reads it, but it wouldn’t be right to put it out there.  To put it simply, my biological dad and I are just not on the same page.  That statement is probably not fair to him in some ways, maybe some of it’s me, but I can’t help but feel like an abandoned 6-year old, all over again.  That’s all I’m saying about that.

DSB is still in the hospital.  Pneumonia, severe.  It’s pretty bad, and the treatments for it make all sorts of other things worse.  He’s still gasping for air, I’m reminded of my grandfather, now that my mom has mentioned the similarity.  It brings back old feelings and sadness and such worry.  Extreme worry.  Nail-biting, hair-pulling worry.  And there is nothing I can do.  Nothing.  I’m getting help from QoB tomorrow (thank GOD for QoB and her ability to get a dirty house in fast order) to get the house all cleaned up for his homecoming, whenever that may be.  His doctors aren’t even setting a projected date yet.  DSB and his medical problems could fill every post for a month and I wouldn’t be done.  But I’m not going to burden anyone with that (although I seem to keep doing just that).

Related to DSB not being in the hospital, I am sleeping terribly.  I miss the feel and heat of him lying beside me.  Rascal, his pup, lies right up against me, but it’s just not the same.  DSB never licks my face like that, and he doesn’t shed.  They both fart in bed.  (tee-hee!)  In all seriousness, though, it is super-hard to not have him here.  I rely on him for so many things, that I didn’t even realize.  He is my left hand, he is my rock, he is everything to me.  And I can only see him in three or four hour increments, and he can’t talk for most of that, because he is trying to use oxygen.  It’s about to kill me, the being home alone.  It helps to go to my mom’s, but I’d rather be with DSB, even if I’m just watching TV in his hospital room while he gasps for air and mumbles something to me every so often.

It has come to my attention again today that I have great blog friends.  Emails back and forth, talking about things that are important, that aren’t important, that are.  I love it.  I love you guys.  I really do.

My sister goes back to work tomorrow, and, while I’ve asked for my share of prayers and shout-out’s to the Universe here lately, I ask that you think of her today, just for a minute, and wish her well.  It’s going to be hard for her, I know.  I wish I could live next door and just take care of that baby while she has to be gone, but it isn’t feasible.  I just want to fix it.  It’s probably not broken — my sister likes her work, but she loves that baby.

I am looking for good book recommendations.  I have a few on my Kindle that I’m getting ready to read, but I’m starting to commit myself to reading at least an hour every day, starting this coming Monday.  Suggestions and “holy-shit-stay-away-from-that’s” are welcome in the comments or by email.

Speaking of which, you should email me.  We should be friends.  I love my blog friends, as I said before, and I can never have enough.  So drop me a line, whydontcha.  RosieSmrtiePants at gmail dot com

I think that’s enough for a day.  My friend Bradley tells me he doesn’t like to read long posts and that most people don’t, and I tend to agree with that.  You should go say hi to Bradley, and check out the start of his series on his experiences with being homeless.  His series “Ten Days in Lockdown” about being hospitalized in a psychiatric facility is also very good.

We’ll cap it off here just above 700 words.  Do enjoy the video before you go.  Jack Johnson always soothes me.  Always has, always will.

Happiness is Right Here

The above song came out right around the time my sister and her (now) husband were planning their wedding.  I think both my mom and I hoped that they would choose it as their wedding song, because it was just so “them.”  Little did we know that they had another very special song in mind.

It seemed like such a magical time.  She had asked me to be her maid of honor, much to my surprise and, er, honor.  I mean really, it meant the world to me that she would ask me to be by her side as she married the man she loved most in the world.  And although I didn’t know her soon-to-be husband in a very deep way, I was convinced that he would treat my sister right and even more convinced that he felt a deep, profound love for her.

Her wedding day that November was the happiest I had in years.  It’s still probably in my top five happiest almost five years later.  It didn’t matter that the guy I was dating at the time was a complete social reject or that my dress didn’t fit right or that my shoes were ill-advised.  I choked up when I saw her walk down the aisle, barely stopping myself from full-on crying.  I was teary-eyed throughout the ceremony, and really, had never experienced tears of joy before.  I actually thought that was a made-up phenomenon.

After the wedding, there was a whirling limo ride through the city, with all the bridesmaids and groomsmen and the happy couple drinking beer that was actually made by my brother-in-law and his friends, and made to taste like champagne!

The reception was lovely, I made a little speech (that went rather well, I was told), and we danced away the night.  I have never danced so much, ever, and don’t think I ever will again.  I actually danced so much that I could barely walk the next day (darn those inadvisable shoes!).  My sister and her husband were so clearly giddy and in love and happy.  My heart warms thinking of it even now.

A car stood waiting to whisk my sister and her husband off to their hotel for the night, as my then-boyfriend helped me maneuver my tipsy parents off to the cars we drove.  A wave goodbye, and they were gone, Mr. and Mrs.  The only time I have ever been happier is holding my new nephew.  More love and happiness brought to me by those two.

I love that my sister made me a part of that day, and that I have been able to see my nephew a few times since he was born.  He is (I think) coming up on three months old now, and my sister has to go back to work.  I probably won’t see him as often, but I plan on asking for some time off every now and again so I can go see my favorite little guy.  Love and  happiness reigns with my sister and that little baby, even through the crying and the tears and the up-all-nights.  There is so much love.  I couldn’t be happier.

Also perfect — the song that they DID choose for their wedding:

 

 

 

 

Obsessive Tendencies Rosa

The theme of today’s Daily Prompt is:

Can’t Get it Out of My Head!

They ask “have you ever become obsessed with something?”

Me?  Obsessed?  Obsessive tendencies Rosa?  Ha!

It varies from day to day, but five constant obsessions include:

1) DSB’s health.  We’ve been in the ER most of the afternoon and evening, and DSB has pneumonia.  Like, in a bad BAD way.  They admitted him and, while we waited for a bed, he forced me to go home, laying on the guilt with, “the dogs need for someone to be home.  We left them in the middle of a thunderstorm.”  Gah.  So here I am, at home.  DSB is still sitting in the ER waiting on a bed.  And I am (in my head) writing my memoir, which at this point is stuck in the litany of illnesses, surgeries, accidents, and mishaps that DSB has had in the two years that I have known him.

Emergency

2)  Blogging.  Not blogging well, mind you.  But blogging.  Putting something up every day, even if I have to do it at 6:00am in my underwear or at 9:00pm before I’ve had dinner.  Even if it’s complete drivel and no  one reads it.  Hey, I’m blogging.  Daily.  I’d like to get away from doing “list and picture posts,” but I think I’m becoming obsessed with those, too.

3) Jelly beans. That’s right, it’s Easter bunny time and I am ALL about the jelly beans.  Year-round, actually, but right now, they’re everywhere!  Jelly Belly is my favorite, but I even like the $1 packages you can buy at Dollar General.  Jelly beans are my kryptonite.

These are Jelly Bellies...taken from Wikipedia of all places

These are Jelly Bellies…taken from Wikipedia of all places

4) My pups.  They mean everything to me and we treat them like they are itty bitty royals.  Treats, snacks, good (and expensive!) dog food, always up to date on shots and heartworm and flea/tick, fresh water, and a dog food bowl that never stands empty.  I can’t explain the love I have for these pups.  See below for yourself:

kizz

Kizzer Wizzer licking her chops

Rascal in water

Rascal in Kansas waters for the first time in his life

Kizzie and Rascal in water

Kizzie and Rascal wishing they didn’t have to be on leashes

5) Sticking to my schedule.  If there is only one non-medication thing I can do to treat my bipolar, to keep the bipolar demons at bay, it’s sticking to a schedule.  I have a wake-up schedule and an evening schedule and a bedtime schedule.  I take my meds at the same time each day.  I go to work on the same days, structure my days off, and generally not allow myself any down-time to brood over things.  If I’m not blogging or catching up on the 210 (yikes!!!) blogs I follow, I’m reading a book or scrubbing my kitchen or chatting up DSB.  Idle time is not good for me, and I learned that the hard way.

via I actually keep a day-planner.  Love!

via
I actually keep a day-planner. Love!

So, down goes another “list and picture post.”  They really are addictive!

Ten Things of Thankful, Third Edition

Today’s Top Ten was inspired by the following:

keep on

Yesterday’s post (which was read by I think, four people and didn’t even receive a like, not that I’m bitter or the low number freaks me out or anything) was all about never giving up, with a second half that sprawled out into the wide world of why it’s not good to lie.  I know, totally random.  It was one of those kind of days.

But, like Joe Dirt, in my opinion the funniest and most heartwarming David Spade movie to date, Joe keeps keeping on.  Just like I’m keeping on, through so much good stuff that it outweighs the bad.  In some ways it’s hard to keep keepin’ on right now, because DSB is in such a bad place.  I feel like I don’t have my partner, like some of the oxygen in my air has been sucked out, like things are just a little bit like a tilt-a-whirl at the carnival and my little seat keeps going round and round as the bigger platform gyrates up and down.

You get the point.

1) I am thankful for giant beach towels.  Kizzie is hiding under one spread across my legs as I sit here and type this.  She is terrified of rain and thunder.  DSB is in bed already and apparently Kizzie was not successful in getting tucked  under the blanket.  It’s kind of nice to me, because these days she usually runs to him when she’s scared.  It’s a good feeling to be her protector every now and again.

2) I am thankful for blog posts in which I make no sense at all.  It keeps me humble and reminds me that I should never write a book, as much as it might be encouraged.  I feel sad when there isn’t even a single like on a post, and maybe one comment.  I mean, I get it.  I don’t read and like and comment on every single thing that I read, but I do on a lot.  It’s one of those things that just is.  People like the damndest things that I write, and then skip over some that I think are pretty good.  Whatev.  I’m not in it for the money or the fame and glory.  I’m in it because I genuinely like doing it, even if it’s only for my own sake and the only person that reads it is my mom and therapist.

via

I know, Mom.  I know!

3) I am above and beyond thankful for my Kindle.  I was never one of those people who said, “oooohhh, but I LOVE real books.  The paper and the smell and the blah blah blah.”  I had to have one from the moment they came out and took off.  I’m on my second now, a Kindle PaperWhite and I love love love it!  I love being able to download books from my county library for free (just like with a real book, I know), I love $1.99 specials and 50 books under $3.99 and big credits on my account when the publishing firms screw up and lawyers decide they owe the readers money.  I love not  having big dusty bookshelves and accidentally tearing pages and dogs chewing them to shreds.  I can’t think of one single thing I don’t like about my Kindle.  Bury me with it.

from Amazon.  I have the pink case.  :D

from Amazon. I have the pink case. :D

4) On a related note, I am thankful that Dean Koontz just keeps on writing.  That man can write like nobody’s business, and he’s just a-churnin’ ‘em out!  I am currently working my way through the “Odd” series.  I had already read the first three some time ago, like when they came out, but much to my delight, I found out there were several more and my library carries ALL of them in their ebook library.  Can a girl ever get more lucky than that?

5) I am thankful for the ability to run the air conditioner in my car with the windows down.  This may sound silly, but sometimes it’s hot, but the breeze feels nice.  It’s probably all sorts of wasteful and I’m probably going to get an email from my mom or a lecture from my dad on how hard that is on a car’s system, but I’ll take my moment where I can get it.  It’s not like I do it all the time, all right?

6) I am thankful that Blue Bell ice cream pints were on sale today when I went to Walgreen’s to pick up some cough medicine for DSB.  And they had mint chocolate chip, which just made my whole damn day.  I find that, when your food budget is extremely limited, you don’t get a whole lot of chances to eat ice cream or cookies or chocolate.  Because that stuff is expensive!  But so is broccoli.  Go figure.

7) With all the ongoing anxiety (all related to DSB’s health and welfare), I have been having a hard time falling asleep.  I saw my psychiatrist early this week and he prescribed Sonata.  Of course, there was a prior authorization from my insurance required, so I managed to get it by yesterday evening.  Let’s just say that I am thankful for Sonata, because I fell right to sleep.  I did, however, wake up and put my shorts on inside-out.  Do not know if the two are related.

via Walgreen's

via Walgreen’s

8) I am thankful most of all this week, for prayers, kind thoughts, candles lit, dances danced, and so on for DSB and hope for recovery from ill health.  Not quite sure what’s wrong at the moment, other than he is extremely short of breath and is coughing.  And running a fever.  And having pain in his chest.  He assures me he is not having a heart attack, and since this has been going on a week, I presume he is correct.  My fear is that his blood clots are back somewhere and his thought is that he has a cold which may or may not have turned into pneumonia.  I am very scared at this point, because it just seems like health problem after health problem and he can’t function properly.  It really has him depressed, too.  And there’s nothing I can do, unfortunately other than making sure he stays hydrated and gets up and walks around once in awhile (to prevent more clots).  And nagging him to see a doctor.  So, if you’re reading, and you’re any kind of spiritual, send a shout out to the Universe that DSB recovers soon.  I feel like one of my legs is missing.

dandelion

9)  I am thankful for having a working car.  I can’t even imagine how difficult it would be without personal transportation.  Sure, there’s public transportation here, but it’s in the city.  And from what I hear, it’s less than ideal.  Maybe in a big city I would be okay without a car, but I have so many appointments (and so does DSB), that I think it would be a real hassle.  So, I am feeling very fortunate.

2004-chrysler-pt-cruiser-4dr-wgn-blue_100137332_m

10) I am thankful I am not addicted to Facebook anymore.  I don’t know if it’s just the “friends” I have, but there is so much negativity and drama.  I opened it up for a little while about an hour ago to check on something on my parents’ business’ site, but jeez.  It’s terrible and horrible.  Maybe it’s just me and I need to develop a tougher skin.  Whatever the case may be, I’m seriously considering deleting my account.

images

I couldn’t find one with a “thumbs down,” which is what I really wanted. :(

And that’s the long and short of it.  This is a really fun post to do, and you have through Sunday to get ‘er done for the link-up, which you can find at Considerings.

Sometimes it’s Okay to Give Up

 

 

Through some harsh life battles, I can count many a day where I was ready to give up.  Throw in the towel.  Just be done.  Depression is horrific and the voices running through your mind actually ENCOURAGE you to give up.  That’s right, not only do you feel like shit, your “inner you” is trying to make you give up the fight.

I honestly don’t know how I’ve made it through all of those times.  Probably my great support system, medications, therapy, and a lot of just white-knuckling it.  There’s a blog I read, in which the author keeps finding herself on the verge of giving up, giving in to depression and anxiety and fear.  I get that, totally do.  I especially can see how having no one on your side would make you feel that way even more.

Because sometimes, the only reason I don’t give up, is because I worry what would happen to Kizzie.  Sure, DSB would take care of her, but her momma would be GONE.  Giving up, following through and really doing it — that’s permanent.  There’s no coming back from that kind of giving up.  And I’ve lived years skirting that edge.  The things that kept me from stepping over the line were invariably my parents and my pup.  And now there’s DSB to think about, too.

The quote above really speaks to me.  Something about trusting your own madness is very right, and it’s something I’ve only come to embrace within the last year or so.  If we don’t trust in ourselves, we find any way possible to keep the truth from coming out.  About our (actual and literal)  madness, about our shady intentions, about hidden secrets.

Something I have given up, for good, is lying.  Being dishonest in any way.  I am now and forever more completely transparent.  Before DSB, lying was like breathing to me.  I did it without thinking, without reason, just because.  It usually didn’t even register to me that I had lied.  It was just something I did.  I spun a tale to make myself look better, mostly.  Or to make myself look a certain way, at least.  I didn’t trust enough to show my true colors.  I wasn’t true to my real madness, if you will.

About a year ago, DSB sat me down and we had “the real talk.”  More of a “come-to-Jesus” talk, as my mom would put it.  He told me that he knew I was lying about a lot of things, and about how he didn’t trust me anymore.  He told me that he couldn’t be with a person he didn’t trust, but he wanted to be with me.  I had to change my lying ways so that he would stay.  It was the biggest motivator of all time.  I didn’t want to lose him, and I knew that all of the lies I told were destroying me.

What I didn’t realize was the extent to which the lies and deceit were destroying me.  I was constantly on guard, worried about who was going to find out what, worrying about what would happen when they did find out, because they always did.  I have always been a poor liar — ever since I was a little girl.

I am reflecting upon this now, because for the past several nights, out of nowhere, I have found myself checking my gut for signs of anything amiss.  It used to be, I had so much to worry about.  And now I don’t.  Everything’s out there for the world to see.  I am not suffering any consequences, because, in general, I am doing nothing wrong.  This is a new world to me, and even though this has been going on for over a year, it feels like I’m just now noticing.

Noticing how nice it feels to just have a conversation and not make things up that I will have to account for later.  Noticing how much more trust and faith DSB has in me, in the words I say, in the actions I show.  There is no more worry, and there is no more fear.

Sometimes it’s ok to give up.  It’s ok to give up lying, drinking, cheating, negative things.  It’s even good.  It’s never okay to give up on yourself, and I am so very thankful to know DSB always always ALWAYS has my back.  And I am the reason he is still here and my quitting the lying is the only way we made things better.  Things are better for everyone, now.  Everyone was affected by my lying, and my relationships are now very uncomplicated.  For that, I am truly grateful.

 

Tumblr: My New Addiction

So, of course Sheena had to go and tell me that the best place to find pictures was on Tumblr.  I’ve been over Facebook for about a year and was looking for something new (because I don’t have enough Internet things to do, I guess, nevertheless all the real life things that need attending to).  At any rate, I checked it out a little last night and looking through today, there are some really amazing things on it.

I wasn’t going to post tonight.  I watched an episode of “The Good Wife” and it’s now 9:00pm, my usual gettin’-in-bed-time.  But, I committed to posting every day, so that’s what I’ll do.  Tumblr’s gonna give me a little help, though, because I’m not feeling too chatty.

A few days ago, I wrote about an old college friend.  The only friend from school I have ever stayed in touch with, and how it had managed to escape her that she knows nothing of my bipolarity over the past two years, and how I am now on SSDI and working part-time at a bait shop.  She finally did return the email, and she said nice things.  But it stops there.  We have nothing in common, and I think all we used to have in common was psychology classes and a love of sushi and vodka tonics.  That’s ok.  I’m going to let it go.

 

 

Ok, so these people obviously aren’t fishing in Kansas.  I think they’re actually in the Phillipines.  But ya know, it doesn’t matter.  Because fishing is fishing is fishing is fishing.  Things are starting to heat up down at the bait store, crappie will be running within a couple weeks.  DSB and his buddy are headed out bright and early tomorrow morning, and will hopefully bring me home some dinner.  I’m not much to fish, but I do like to sit in a chair in the sun and look out over the water.

And that’s about all I want to say about my day today.  Every day just keeps getting better and better, as long as I stay positive.  There were some serious things going on today that could have pushed me over the edge (hello ants, in the kitchen, for the millionth time) but I just keep trudging on.  I have two more days of work and then off for two.  Other than getting to see DSB, I’d rather be at work than at home doing chores and taking care of business.  That might be a little sad, but that’s the way it is.  For now.

 

 

Busy Anxiety to Loving Words

My morning didn’t start out well — no coffee in the house.  Or, more accurately, no milk or cream for the coffee that was in the house.  This means no coffee for me.  When I start a morning without coffee, there is nothing to burn off the fog of last night’s handful of (prescribed) medications.  I need it like I need air.  I know there is someone out there who knows this feeling.  I know DSB knows this feeling, but there must be someone else out there who feels it.

After chatting with DSB for not nearly long enough, I gathered my things and headed out to my car.  I had many missions to accomplish and it was going to be a long day.  The lack of coffee left me with a sense of foreboding, and I almost stayed home, but these tasks of today were not up for negotiation.

My first mission was to get two cavities filled.  Since I have been on disability, and without the cushy dental insurance of the private sector, I have been relegated to getting my dentistry issues resolved at the local free clinic.  I shouldn’t complain.  At least I have access.  At least I have a father willing to pay the $58 for each filling.  At least I don’t have to resort to an extraction.  I tell myself these things as I go into the dirty waiting room and speak with a disgruntled support staff worker.

I am very quietly pleased when I am almost immediately called back.  The dental assistant resists my attempts at chatting, and I feel like I might be lower than the gum on her shoe to her.  I can understand that.  Burnout at a free clinic is common.  I decide not to  hold it against her as she turns the radio on to a rap station that I detest.  Within minutes, I am greeted by the dentist.  I am very pleased.

Dr. Bob tells me that he has volunteered six weeks of his time to the Clinic, being recently retired from private practice.  He has good bedside manner and he is chatty and his hands don’t shake.  Dr. Bob appears to see me as a person and is very interested in my dental hygiene.  He did a pain-free filling and then, examined my x-ray, and said he thought we should just “watch” the other tooth, because he thought it could be cleared up with regular flossing and brushing.

I liked Dr. Bob, and Dr. Bob is the first dentist I have liked since I started going to the clinic.  I asked him how much longer he would be helping out, and could I schedule my next two fillings with him being the dentist.  He said I could, and that’s just what I did on my way out the door.  I go back in two weeks and am actually looking forward to it.

My next trip is about 45 minutes to the East, to see my psychiatrist.  He also works at what would be called the “free clinic.”  It is county based (I go out-of-county because my employment from before would have me running into former co-workers and clients; basically a privacy issue) and it has really treated me well, as far as med services go.  They also have the wonderful intensive DBT program that I have been through a few times.  For an organization on a shoe-string budget, they do good work.

I see my psychiatrist and tell him that I had to stop taking Adderal because it made me too jittery.  I switched back to Ritalin, and he increased the dose.  I also told him about all of my problems falling asleep and he prescribed Sonata.  I like my doctor, I really do.  He is somewhat elderly, perhaps early 70′s, and I asked him if he was getting ready to retire anytime soon.  He laughed and said they were too short staffed for him to do that, but that he might scale back to just a few days a week in January.  Anything I can do to keep this man, perhaps the very best psychiatrist I have ever known, in his office, I will do.  It’s not common to find good practitioners in county clinics.

After the appointment, I drove to a water garden store that sells product to my parents, for a pick-up.  It went smoothly and I headed back to the highway.  On the way home, I realized I had either been in a car or at an appointment for six hours.  I had wondered why I had been feeling so exhausted.

After dropping the product to my parents, I ran to Walgreen’s to fill the new prescription and get my Ritalin refilled.  They said it would be a fifteen minute wait, so I went and parked and talked to DSB on the phone for a little while.  After 15 minutes, I drove back through the drive-thru and was told that the Sonata had a prior authorization issue, but the Ritalin was ready.  Walgreen’s said they sent two notices to my doctor, and I called and left a message on the nurse’s line for good measure.  I’d really like to try the new prescription and see if I can’t start sleeping.

Finally home, with take-out in hand, DSB and I started processing the day.  Even though much good had happened, I kept picking up the negatives.  I didn’t get the kitchen cleaned.  I didn’t make dinner.  I didn’t get the trash down to the road.  I didn’t get any laundry done.  Gas was too expensive.  On and on and on.

DSB often says wise things, and to my moaning, he says, “Rose, things are finally starting to look up.  Stop looking down.”  For some reason that just clicked in my brain.  He said, “You know how when you’re in a plane or up somewhere high, and they tell you not to look down?  What do you do?”  I said, “I look down.”  “What happens,” DSB asked.  “I get scared,” I said.  “Okay then.  Stop looking down.  All of the good stuff is up here.”

That conversation right there is a prime example of why DSB and I are still together.  We are magic together.  He is magic for me.  I have never loved someone so totally and completely, who so totally and completely gets me.  I mean, he REALLY gets me.

 

Music Lesson Learned

Forgive me, my friends, but my head is in a dark place.

I heard the song posted below for the first time when I had made up my mind that  I was going to sing in my parents’ friend’s band, The Lounge Lizards.  I was out of my damn mind.  This is what happens when a manic 20-something gets told she’s a great singer for some goofing off around the campfire.

Thank God I’m not that manic 20-something, but this song still speaks to me.  About how it feels like you’re always fucking it up, even when you know better.  About how luck isn’t on your side.  The video — going to a dirt race track with an abusive boyfriend, eating sushi from the grocery store as you watch the cars go by, knowing by the way he’s drinking beer just what is going to be in store for you in the evening.  Feeling like no one in the world understands and you may as well give up trying to make yourself understood.