Choosing My Battles

I came home today from a five-night stay at the (actually quite) cozy local mental health residential crisis center.  I went in at the insistence of my med provider and stayed through the weekend after conferring with LarBear and family, and realizing that my behavior and thoughts really had become quite erratic and, most unfortunately, somewhat dangerous.

Let me first say that I am feeling much better.  At this moment, I am having no suicidal thoughts and my depression is not strangling me.  As tends to happen, I am quite literally bouncing out of this funk, and maybe soaring up a little too high.

I am trying very hard to make this a controlled leap through the air, rather like an artful trapeze artist instead of a chunky 34-year-old bouncing around on a backyard trampoline.  I have pinpointed the stressors that led to the necessitation of the crisis center, and quite a bit of it revolves around putting too much into my daily routine, all at once, after having done nothing but sit on my (ever-expanding) arse for months.  I went from 10% active each week to maybe 75%, and not having my downtime ramped up my symptoms.

I have figured out my schedule, and have been working at getting others on the same page with me.  I am struggling with this peer specialist I have been assigned to, and was quite befuddled as to why she did not call back to check on me after I had left her a message last Thursday letting her know what had happened, and then also leaving her a message this morning to let her know I had been released and again asking for a return phone call.  Radio silence.  So, I will be going into a meeting with her tomorrow where I will be asking for several things, and then also telling her my opinion of some matters, which she is sure not to like.

At this point, I just want things to be straightened out and I am not going to let myself falter and fail, just to fit into another person’s schedule perfectly.  We all have to make sacrifices, and it is actually her job to be flexible enough to “support” me.  Excuse me while I tear my hair out and spit nails for a few minutes, I’ll BRB!

So yes, the irritability is still there, but not the same degree, and my baseline anxiety level is far too high, but hey, I have come a long way down the road in the last five days, and so I am going to give myself credit for that, and just keep my eyes on the prize.  The prize being, I am going to take care of this conflict without conflict.  Because it is possible and because I can (and, Oh! I will).

The following is my new pump-it-up song.  DO take a moment and enjoy (unless you are trying to get into a chill zen state at this moment, in which case I wouldn’t recommend it).

 

Willfulness is …

Willfulness is SITTING ON YOUR HANDS when action is needed, refusing to make changes that are needed.

Willfulness is GIVING UP.

Willfulness is the OPPOSITE OF “DOING WHAT WORKS,” being effective.

Willfulness is trying to FIX every situation.

Willfulness is REFUSING TO TOLERATE the moment.

Replace WILLFULNESS with WILLINGNESS

Taken from the DBT Self-Help Website.  I believe it was Karl Menninger that wrote that particular bit, but am not certain.  

I love DBT and it has loved me back, for the most part.  DBT has been better to me than I have been to it, though, that’s for sure.  Dearest DBT, I haven’t always been true.  I haven’t always been mindful or effective and Lord knows I haven’t always tried my hardest.

DBT has a saying that I have posted about before…”You are doing the best you can, and you can do better.”  When I first started DBT, I thought that was crap and it drove me crazy when the leaders would say it.  But, it is genuinely believed!  And now, I’m on that wagon, too.  I can see that I am truly doing the best I can, and yet I do try to do a little bit better every day.

It took me forever to start a post today, because everything that flew out of my fingers came across as super-negative, whiny, and selfish.  Now, deep down I know I am not any of those things so I wanted to come up with something a liittle better.  I thought about the past week and what I really wanted to say, and it came to me:  I have been the the epitome of willfulness over the last five days!

(Hence the quote.  You may have thought I would never get around to my point.  Glad you stuck around!)  😀

I had recently posted about DSB’s medical problems and about how I wasn’t letting that stress get to me.  Well, I’ve been letting it get to me lately.  I  have been snappy and mean and, on top of that, defensive about my snappy meanness.  I have been taking out my worry and anger and frustration on the people I love most, the people that least deserve it, and the person that needs my support the most.  I haven’t been fair.  At all.

I am not sitting with my feelings and letting them go.  I am holding on, letting them bother me and fill me with negativity.  I am not tolerating the moment.  I am fighting, fighting, fighting.

I once had a therapist who told me the following…

Depression is like being lost at sea.  If you learn to float, you live. If you struggle, you drown.

There are variations on the saying, but you get the idea.  When we struggle with our emotions, bad things happen.  When we learn to float with, to tolerate them, we get better and good things happen.  

As DBT teaches us, sitting on our hands and doing nothing when change is needed is willfulness.  I have been doing a lot of sitting on my hands.  I need to change my outlook on the struggles that DSB and I share.  Instead of arguing and fighting, I need to love and give comfort.  I need to change my ways and get back to bettering myself instead of being in a “slow suicide” mode, as DSB calls it.  I am living a completely unhealthy lifestyle.  Smoking, bingeing constantly, no exercise, and so on.  I want to live to see at least 90, and at the rate I’m going, that’s not going to happen.  I need to get off my hands and make that change.

I could really go on and on about willfulness.  Let there be a Part II to come!

 

Don’t Put a Box on Me

Today has been both lovely and a struggle.  I woke up in the morning a bit hungover, after deciding to chase my regular sleeping pill with some Seroquel last night.  I was desperate for some sleep, and, as that usually does, it backfired.  I get that super-sleepy feeling but don’t get more sleep, and I pay hell for it in the morning.

After managing coffee and Tylenol, I managed to get the new DBT diary card that I created printed out with the help of DSB.  I had therapy today and we talked about me coming to group and she gave me the revised manual.  I haven’t looked at it yet, but I will.  We also talked about trying not to be stressed out in the face of extreme stress.  Of course the answer is to just live in the moment, but anyone who understands the concept and has also undergone major stress knows that it isn’t an easy task.

I really didn’t want to leave my therapy appointment today.  I wanted to either be there, making sense of things, or to be by myself.  My dad had driven me to therapy and we went out for Chinese afterward.  He is very pleasant to be around, anymore.  We have had tough years but it seems like we are working through it.  He caught me up on local politics and news and I soaked all that information in.  Feeling slightly bad that I’m not registered to vote and therefore won’t be voting on mayor, school board, or city council.  Ah well.

A few minutes after I arrived home, QoB came by for a visit.  It would have been nice to chat with herr, but DSB and I got into quite an argument when, when my mom had left the room, I told him I was tired of him putting a negative label anytime I expressed an emotion.

A worry is just a worry, not anxiety.  Irritability is not an indicator of great distress…I’m tired and stressed out.  So on and so forth.  It didn’t go well, I didn’t handle it well, and now he’s up in the garage.  I don’t know how these things get so out of hand when I am just trying to make one little point.

I was even accused of giving up.  How fucking far am I away from that anyhow?

Permission to Abort Operation Anxiety

Today has been a week of realizing and, eventually, accepting that my general anxiety level has risen to ridiculous levels over the past few weeks.  For a little while, around the time that Sondra started getting sick I started having a lot of problems with depression — lack of motivation, feelings of hopelessness, extreme sadness, problems with food/eating, extreme moodiness and irritation, so on and so on.  Of course I couldn’t just accept it as that, as some situational issues going on — I had to wallow and moan about how life was just so AWFUL. 

As that depression started to lift, my anxiety became more noticeable, at least to other people.  To Dr. Love, especially, because he’s the one who has to deal with my not-exactly-rare erratic behavior day in and day out.  I’m not proud or happy to say that I really get bossy, controlling, and mean with him when I’m anxious.  I work all day long and, if I come home and there are a couple of dishes in the sink, or some project isn’t done, I’ll go off.  If it isn’t apparent to me that he’s been busy all day doing different things, I get irrational. 

Little things set me off.  I have an obsession/compulsion about the bed being made, in EXACTLY the “right” way, all of the dishes being done and put away, the kitchen being spotless, clothes put away in closets in dressers, the living room devoid of clutter.  When I’m in my right mind, and even sometimes when I’m in the moment, I know that all of these little things aren’t super-important in the grand scheme of life, and I’m usually a little bit (sometimes a lot) embarrassed by the time I’m done throwing my temper tantrum. 

And sometimes I’ll just come home in a mood and I will sit and pick things to death.  It can get really obscene sometimes — I will sit and obsess about Dr. Love possibly leaving me or not loving me or not being attracted to me and it is a very slippery slope in my mind until it is to the point that I’m asking him ridiculous questions like, “Do you ever think about breaking up with me?”  This really pisses him off to no end and he really doesn’t like it when I go on and on about how his parents hate me, especially when I go into such detail about certain instances that I am SURE prove just how much they dislike me.  He usually ends up walking away when I start really getting into this “no one loves me, everyone is going to leave me, everyone hates me” topic matter, just because he can’t deal with how irrational I am being.  I can’t really blame him, although it really REALLY pisses me off at the time.  The problem is that, in that very moment, he can’t stop my bad behavior.  Only I can. 

Basically, my anxiety can lead to some very intense moments and I consider myself extremely lucky that Dr. Love takes these situations and generally turns them around, not getting angry or holding a grudge.  He’s really good about trying to make me laugh and get my mind off things by acting silly or distracting me with something else.  Unfortunately, there have been many days where nothing can snap me out of it.

As I said, I have been thinking a lot the past week about my ridiculous anxiety level and have decided that I really need to do something pro-active about it.  I had therapy with Goddess of Mindfulness today and we talked about what I could do to feel less anxious.  I pinpointed that my anxiety really gets ramped up after I get off work and this is when I’m most likely to go home and blow up.

During times of less anxiety, I spent a lot of time sitting on my back porch, meditating and doing mindfulness exercises.  I don’t do that anymore.  At all.  During that time, I also cooked a healthy dinner almost every night, whereas most nights now it’s just whatever I can microwave.  I’m tired of coming home from work, getting pissed off at Dr. Love, yelling at him, then eating something out of the microwave and watching TV for the rest of the night to block out (usually ineffective) how anxious I am feeling.  It’s no wonder I don’t sleep well, when I’ve been revved all evening.

As a response to fear about losing Dr. Love, I have it in my head that we have to spend every second together and I realize now that is not the case.  Dr. Love gets his “me” time while I am at work, and I come home to him every night and weekend, never having even a moment where he’s not around.  This is completely not his fault, but mine. 

I don’t take any time to meditate, practice mindfulness, cook, exercise, paint my toenails, or anything else that would make me feel good.  I’m (wrongly) driven to sit by his side, even if we’re not doing anything and are just staring at the TV together (which doesn’t usually happen because he gets tired of watching). 

I talked with him about it last night and he agrees that I need to be taking time out to do things for myself to feel better, to feel good.  When I talked with Goddess of Mindfulness about it this morning, she suggested that I need to find a way to relax at the end of the day.  When I was doing my best, I was in a routine of coming home, going for a walk, cooking dinner, and then maybe watching about an hour of TV or spending some time on the computer. 

When I come home now, my anxiety is at an unreal level and I’m so overwhelmed.  GoM suggested that, as soon as I get home, I go sit out on the porch and listen to some mindfulness exercises on CD.  She gave me a few suggestions of ones to try out and a workbook also that may be helpful.  I’m going to Amazon later tonight and will give them a try and report back, if they’re any good. 

My hope is that, with beginning to relax myself through meditation and mindfulness the moment I get home, I will have a less anxious evening and will be more amenable to cooking, exercising, blogging, LIVING.  Fingers crossed.

So this song is repetitive, but the lyrics (comments) get stuck in my head and I’m always singing it to Dr. Love.  Enjoy. 

Plain White T’s, 1 2 3 4

Giving New Meaning to the Phrase “TGIF”

Hallelujah, baby…it’s the weekend!  And I’m not sure where my cell phone is, and that’s ok.  I’m not worried about the stupid things my clients might do, the 2 a.m. crisis calls I might have to field, the irate landlords calling at 6:00 a.m., or the local hospitals blowing up my phone 24/7.  I know I keep saying similar over and over, but DAMN!  It’s almost surreal to have a weekend, to have my evenings free, to be forced to get off the clock after my 40 hours. 

Work is going really well.  I am staying super-busy, which makes the week go by really fast.  I feel like I actually know what I’m doing now, too.  After a talk with my supervisor and a few strongly placed words with the person who is supposed to train me, I was given the bare bones of what I am supposed to get done, when I’m supposed to get it done by, and who to call/email/fax/send smoke signal to in order to get it done. 

I think that I mentioned that I am employed by the medical/mental health contractor, but my office is over in reentry on the Dept. of Corrections side.  At first I thought this was strange, but now I’m thankful.  There are three other people in the reentry office and we’re all in our own little blue cubes.  (I’ve never had a cube before!)  I really like two of the people, and the other one is tolerable.  The two that I hang out with, Queen of Corpses and Prince Hot Dog, share a lot of the same ideas as I do about corrections, work ethic, and “the system” in general. 

Also, QofC and PHD are both interested in weight loss and exercise.  I started WW recently and have been doing okay for the most part, but am struggling to exercise.  QoC and PHD and I eat lunch together every day, which has helped me greatly with portion control.  Also, we walk outside when it is nice, and once it gets nicer we are talking about going and walking around some trails that are nearby.  I think this is a really good idea because when I come home, it seems like the last thing I want to do is exercise.  I don’t think it is imperative that I walk/lift weights after I come home from work, but it needs to get done at some point during the day.  My thought is that I can do cardio over my lunch hour and then do the Bowflex when I get home.  I just need to fall into that routine, which I am working at doing.  I think it will be even easier since it is getting nicer outside.

I have been both looking forward to and dreading this weekend for a long time.  It is the weekend of the yearly basketball tournament that Dad and I go to in the big city.  It has always been a really good time and definitely makes for good bonding time.  Going to basketball games is one of the very few, maybe one of the only ways that I feel we can connect without him driving me crazy or hurting my feelings.  But patterns repeat themselves and I end up feeling screwed.  For this weekend, Dad insisted on taking my stepsister’s son, BuddyBoy.  What the FUCK?  Okay, let’s take the one good thing we have going together and throw a six year old in the mix…a six year old that already dominates my Dad’s time and is chosen all of the time over me.  Seriously.  My feelings are hurt and I am pissed. 

I tried to talk with him last night on the phone with him about it, but Dad is so oblivious sometimes that it’s ridiculous.  I really think he is emotionally and socially retarded…really do.  I finally gave up and have tried to work on having an open mind so that I can enjoy my tournament.  Let’s just say that I’m really struggling with the open mind part.  In honesty, I feel like pushing Dad and that damn kid down the steps at the stadium.  I know that sounds petty, but years and years of similar behavior on Dad’s part have made me bitter. 

There is nothing to do but

Radically Accept.

Radically Accept.

Radically Accept.

FUCK.

Now that I have myself all worked up.  😀

I need to start setting some daily goals.  I think it will help me to be more focused and mindful about my behavior.  For this weekend, I need to:

1)  Practice sacred self.  I don’t know how long it has been since I have done this. 

2)  Work on being open-minded and willing when it comes to BuddyBoy and Dad.  This should be a real trial. 

3)  Stay on plan for exercising and diet.  Shouldn’t be terribly difficult, although I know there is some stadium popcorn in my future. 

Breathe.  In.  Out.  In.  Out.  Breathe.

Death Cab for Cutie, What Sarah Said

This video is friggin’ cool.  And the song reminds me of hard times that I went through not that long ago, and it makes me proud how. far. I. have. come. 

What’s Up, Doc?

After three straight days of minimal sleep, I passed out on the couch last night, watching Medium, that we had DVR’d from earlier in the evening.  DVR is a beautiful thing.  I’m still not used to having a fancy TV or cable, and when I found out that we could set it to automatically record my favorite shows in case I missed them, I went a little wild. 

I am watching the shop today so that the Big Dog can go get a cavity filled.  So far, nothing exciting, but then again, the wind chill outside is -5 degrees.  Why don’t people want to go do outdoor activities in that kind of weather…hrrmmmm.  Somehow the Big Dog manages to stay busy most of the day, though, doing inventory and calling people and making lists and God knows what else.  I know that the big garden and outdoor show is coming up soon, so likely a lot of preparations for that. 

In related news, the boat show is this weekend.  I am really REALLY dying to go, so I need to mention that to QoB and the Big Dog to see if they’re wanting to go.  None of us would be buying a boat (because QoB and the Big Dog already have one), but it’s a fun activity on a cold day.  Plus, there’s popcorn and diet soda.  What more can you really ask for?

I have kept up on my walking.  I’ve walked every day since last Friday and plan to walk again today.  It’s really energizing; especially when Wizzah and I went at 6:00 a.m. yesterday morning and it was chilly and windy and dark.  She was very protective and hyper-vigilant, and when we got home, she immediately started running around the house, barking like crazy, just because all the cold and the wind makes her high, I think. 

I had an appointment with my pdoc yesterday.  It did not go as great as I had planned.  I went in and told him that I am having a hard time sleeping and that I eventually want to taper off Klonopin, but not right at this moment because I am getting ready to start a new job and I don’t want to go off the deep end in the thick of that. 

He stated that my sleep and revved-uppedness in the evenings are related to physical problems and he wants me to go do a sleep study.  He also ordered me to start tapering Klonopin effective that day at a rate much more rapid than I have seen recommended on the Internet.  Because this was not what I wanted to hear, I got pissed.  And stayed pissed pretty much throughout the day. 

Of course, I took it out on Dr. Love, who was also having a crappy day.  We argued a little and then I went to QoB and the Big Dog’s house to vent.  Let’s just say that they threw a little reality back in my face and told me why the doctor was saying it was a physical problem:

1)  I have taken up to three sleeping pills at a time, with no effect on my sleep patterns.

2)  I am overweight and possibly have sleep apnea.  The Big Dog has said that he has seen me sleep, and that it’s not a pretty sight.  Dr. Love pretty much concurs with that.

3)  I have a lot of the warning signs, plus the genetic predisposition for diabetes, which might explain why I wake up on the hour every hour and have to pee. 

4)  Related to #4, sometimes I am so fast asleep and need to pee so badly that I wet the bed a little bit before I can wake up and make it to the bathroom.

So, yes, I suppose it is possible that my problems with sleeping are physical.  Highly probable even.  I am going to call the local hospital today and see if they do sleep studies so the pdoc can make a referral, but need to check first to see if my insurance will pay for such a thing. 

Also, it is becoming increasingly apparent that I need a primary care physician.  It isn’t for lack of trying that I don’t have one.  I am on state-sponsored insurance and there are no doctors in town that are accepting new patients with my type of insurance.  I did have a great PCP and she left for private practice quite some time ago.  Let’s just say that I am well-known at the walk-in clinics. 

Thankfully, I have a gynecologist that will take care of my birth control and antibiotics for acne.  Between him and my pdoc, I am covered as far as the absolutely necessary stuff, but it would probably be good to know if my thyroid is out of whack or if I have developed diabetes. 

In somewhat related news, Dr. Love has agreed to start counseling for depression related to losing his job.  He is somewhat skeptical, but I think it will really help him to figure some things out and to learn some coping skills to help himself feel better.  I do my best to keep him active and give suggestions as to things he could do to make himself feel better and I listen when he talks, but that’s about all I can do. 

I really think he can find himself again if he practices willingness in therapy, which I have been trying to explain to him.  It’s all about willingness.  And I’ll mention for the millionth time that the book Will and Sprit by Gerald May is totally worth reading.  That book saved my life, along with many other things. 

I will have to come back and add a video later, as I am at the shop and there are no speakers around to make sure it will come through.  However, I can tell you that the song that is stuck in my head right now is…

“99 bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of beer.  Take one down, pass it around, 99 bottles of beer on the wall.”

And for some reason, it’s stuck on skip, the number of bottles of beer never goes down…just 99, 99, 99.  I think it is an obsessive tic that I’m not able to shed right at the moment.  Whatever helps you cope, though, right?  🙂

Okay, home from the shop.  Here ’tis…

Sean Kingston, Beautiful Girls — this is not the original video and only does about 1:30 of the song, but it totally cracks me up.  If you want to hear the full song and see the real video, you can do so here.

P.S.  Big Dog just called.  Dr. Love and I now have VIP passes to the boat show…talk about having a great hook-up guy!

The Thoughts That Weren’t Lost

I have a lot to say tonight.  So much, that I know I will forget some of it, that I won’t get it down on paper and that thought will be lost until I think it again.  All of these tiny thoughts, big thoughts left in the dark.  Dead, really, until I can find them again. 

I am an impulsive and emotional person, although less so than at some times in my life.  If I were writing the blog right now that I thought I was going to be writing when I thought about blogging but didn’t have time five hours ago, you would have received a long rant about Matt.  Which I would have felt bad about and then deleted. 

This isn’t about Matt.  This is what I know about myself.

In the space of hours, years, months, seconds, I realize things about myself that I have refused to accept but have been there just the same.

My feelings are hurt easily.  I think everything is all about me.  I am bossy, demanding, judgemental.  I set unrealistic expectations of myself and others and am outraged when I disappoint myself or someone else doesn’t come through.  I won’t say if something small hurts my feelings.  I collect these like firewood and explode over something even smaller, making it seem as if I over-exaggerate.  Which I also do.  Imagine being a person that exaggerates, and then that person over-exaggerates.  It might be comical if it didn’t hurt so much.

I have wounds that are still healing, that break open sometimes, and I don’t acknowledge it or I over-acknowledge it.  In other places, I have put up stone walls with razor wire tops.  I do not forgive easily, if I forgive at all.  I never forget.  I will always remember what you said or did that one time when it is convenient for me to do so.  Unless it is more convenient to be numb, and that I can certainly do.

I have been having a lot of problems sleeping lately.  I can fall asleep, but I can’t stay asleep.  I wake up every hour, on the hour, almost down to the minute.  When I wake up, I am wide awake for about five to ten minutes and then fall asleep like a zombie again.  And then up again.  This is very frustrating.  It does not help that I am having recurring outrageously realistic nightmares.  This does not make me want to sleep.  It makes me afraid to sleep, which keeps me up.  I am torn.  I know I need to sleep, have to sleep, but I can’t sleep sometimes, and then sometimes I can’t stay awake.  This becomes very frustrating when it happens every night. 

I am having more half-awake, half-asleep activity than I have for awhile.  I am talking in my half-sleep, my body is twitching and I feel sometimes as if I have been electrocuted, only to dim back into gray again.  This concerns me, but I don’t like to think about it too much.

Because really, I’ve had enough anxiety lately.  For the past month, maybe more, I’m having mood and anxiety problems in the evening.  I get cranky, pick fights, snap at my mother, say and think outrageous things, and at times have a general sense of unease.  I feel fine in the morning, good even, until about 4:00 p.m. or, if I am working, until I get out of work and have been out for about an hour. 

Part of me wonders if I am not having withdrawal issues with my meds.  I take all of them in the evening, usually around 10:00 p.m.  Are they wearing off?  There is also the possibility that my nightmares are freaking me out so much that it makes all of the evening stuff worse.  Or maybe I have sleep apnea, high blood pressure.  I really don’t know.  I haven’t had a primary care physician for awhile now, thank you Medicaid. 

On my to-do list:

1)  Attend therapy tomorrow with Goddess of Mindfulness.

2)  Make for absolute certain sure that I make it to my next pdoc appointment, on the 2nd. 

3)  Pray for patience.

Bob Dylan, Series of Dreams from Tell-Tale Signs – Bootleg Series Volume 8  (see comments for lyrics)

Avoidance

It has been over two weeks since I have last blogged.  Almost three, in fact.  And I really haven’t been keeping it up too well since August, even though I see it as a valuable tool.  I have been choosing not to use it. 

Don’t get me wrong.  I get on the computer at least once a day, with the time available, and think to myself, “I should blog.”  And there’s a part of me that desperately wants to.  It’s not for lack of things to blog about, that’s for sure.  Even if I were to just blog about daily happenings, I have fodder.  And I know if I would blog, I would feel better, even if I’m not feeling bad.  It’s just a good feeling to put thoughts to words, to let the jumble in my head fall out onto the screen. 

Instead, I come up with an excuse.  I tell myself I don’t have enough time, that I’ll do it later, will make up anything in order to walk away from the computer.  And I’m left with all of this unprocessed thought rattling around in my head, making me dizzy. 

After what I went through this spring (if you’re new, read anything between April and June), I came through with a drastically different outlook on life.  I had therapy today with Goddess of Mindfulness, and we talked about how different my life is now.  We talked about exactly what happened, that in a sense turned the key for me, that let me see that my life could be vastly different, that I as a person could be and feel so dramatically different. 

Once I realized that I didn’t have to live my life numb, hateful, miserable, struggling struggling STRUGGLING, letting my past and my emotions control my life, I think I really wasn’t sure what to do next.  For 27 years, there was always something for me to fixate negative energy on, whether real or (more often) created by my own over-anxious imagination.  Suddenly, I was focused on feeling better, feeling amazing really, and I let myself get a bit caught up in it. 

And was totally caught up, oblivious, until I leaned back in time and ripped out that old “I AM MISERABLE” headline from the Rose Daily Times and decided that I needed to make some huge life changes (namely moving out of the country and getting the hell away from everything I know) in order to be satisfied. 

Right after I went through that change, some other pretty big changes happened.  Namely Matt.  And yes, everything with him is as truly wonderful as it could be.   

But I can be happy, and still have the potential to be happier.  I can feel good and still feel better.  And I can be non-symptomatic and still have ideas and thoughts and feelings that are troubling to me.  I can’t pretend that I figured all of that out on my own in the last 24 hours, but I can tell you that I’m relieved to know it and own it now. 

And starting, um, tomorrow, or maybe in a few hours, I’ll put some of those ideas and thoughts and feelings into words. 

Expect to hear more from me.

As for my YouTubes at the end of each post, I’ve decided to start posting a song I was listening to while blogging on each post,  unless there’s just something terribly appropriate. 

Nickel Creek, Sabra Girl

What I Know Now

It is late and I must get to bed soon, but I felt a burning desire to post, not unlike the desperate need to pee when I’m about one hour into my shift and have been drinking Diet Coke all morning. 

I am working pretty much full-time at the home improvement store and have been for the past two weeks and will again this week.  It will be nice to have the money and it is nice to feel functional again.  I truly think I will be able to keep it up over the winter, even though winters can be difficult for me.  This job is just so much less stress and it’s actually FUN for the most part. 

Granted, it doesn’t pay well, but will start paying better here within the next six months.  I will receive a fifty cent raise at the end of my 90 days and then will be trained on returns and then be promoted to head cashier.  At least that is what I have been told.  If that’s not how it works out, I will find something else.  Something that is flexible that I can enjoy.  But I am cautiously optimistic that it will work out.  I really think it will, and I hope so, because I love this job, even if it is not exactly what I choose to do for the rest of my life.  I am enjoying it while it lasts. 

I have been learning a lot of new things about myself and my relationships lately with other people.  I have learned that you can’t change your mother, that she is who she is and you have to take the good with the annoying.  She does all of this Internet research and has an opinion on everything.  I just must choose which advice to take and what to take with a grain of salt and do what I think is best instead.  I appreciate what you do, Mom, even though you drive me crazy sometimes. 

I have been learning how to communicate more effectively my needs and wants in other relationships.  I think that has made things so much easier with friends and people I date.  I am not willing to settle for something I am not happy with, and instead look for happiness and seek it out, rather than hoping it will come to me.  That’s what living is all about, right?

It is strange to me to be increasingly independent (even if it is in my own head).  I have a strong desire to, but it is scary all at the same time.  For my whole life, I have depended upon others in many different ways…mostly financially, but also emotionally and psychologically.  I have come to the conclusion that I am ready and able to diminish some of that a bit and try things on my own.  It is scary, but is a part of growing up.  I am not saying that I don’t need any help, but am just saying that I am wanting (and able) to do more on my own.  Scary, bothersome, but exciting all at the same time.  I kinda want to say sometimes, “hey, hey, HEY…look what I can do now!”

All in all, I am trying not to take life too seriously and let things roll off my back that would have caused me an anxiety attack just a short time ago.  Life is too short to be anything but ridiculously happy, and I am moving forward to that goal and will continue to do so to the best of my ability.  Because I can and because I want to.  I am finding myself saying “I can” now much more rather than “I can’t.”  It is a good feeling. 

Hey Tom, WORD, man!

Tom Petty, Learning to Fly

Getting it Together…Maybe

Another night of little sleep.  I figured that when I took a nap at Mom’s before Ab came into town that it would mess up my schedule a bit, but that I had missed so much sleep already that I would be able to sleep at least 6 hours. 

 I ended up going to bed around 11:30.  The only bonus to that was that I was able to talk to Malcom for a few minutes when he got off work.  I then woke up around 3:00 and have been up ever since.

In a way, I consider the lack of sleep a blessing.  It keeps away the nightmares that plague me and allows me to be productive.  The downside, of course, is that I am exhausted all the time and end up playing catch-up in the middle of the day when I am supposed to be working.

I am going to once again attempt to work 8 full hours today and not take a nap.  It would be nice to get the sleep-issue at least somewhat on track…although that might take a small miracle, since sleeping has always been an issue for me.  Thank you very much, bipolar and PTSD.  You’re always there for me, you assholes.

I finally cleaned up my tags and categories clouds.  Hopefully this will make it easier for people to find the entries that they would like to read.  It only took about two hours of obsessing, but that’s what I do best.

Curly Snap and I are making a habit of chatting for about an hour after work.  We are already starting to kick butt and we make an awesome team.  It’s nice to have an ally at work again, and I am relieved that the Ice Queen Cheerleader is gone.  It’s probably good that she is gone, too.  Curly Snap inherited her clients and has told me all sorts of bizarre stories about the Cheerleader’s lack of personal boundaries. 

Unfortunately, a lot of people at the agency have poor boundaries…and those people have problems with those of us that do set clear and firm boundaries.  It’s called prevention from burnout and striving toward professionalism.  Oh yeah, and that small issue in the health field called ETHICS.  Funny how some forget all about that to meet their own needs at the expense of the client. 

In health news, I have finally dropped a few pounds.  I attribute that to being accountable to Malcom via email.  I can hardly wait until I get down there and he can force my sexy-fat butt to exercise.  Crack that whip, boy!

Ab gave a positive report about Grandma after she saw her yesterday.  Mom mentioned as well that Gma has been doing better.  I wonder why it is, then, that Gma always presents as depressed and non-functional to me.  Mom believes it is because I won’t visit and she is trying to guilt me into it. 

Grandma being manipulative?  NEVER!  LOL  At any rate, I will not be visiting, unless I can keep it to a 15 minute visit…I believe I have already explained that in my post “Dear Grandma.”  No sense going into all of that emotional wreckage again. 

Today should be an easy day at work.  We have chart review scheduled from 12-5 today, which means that I’m practically forced to work all day.  That may be a good thing.  It will at least keep me from coming home and napping over my lunch hour.

I’m expecting big changes in my mood, as the weather is warming up and the sun is coming out (even in Kansas, the sun does show it’s face from time to time during this period of the year).  Eventually, it will be time to move from the sunlamp to sitting in the sun on the porch (I have an awesome deck and porch, thanks to DH and Mom).  Can’t wait to sit out there in a t-shirt and my underwear.

Don’t tell the neighbors.  🙂