This and That

Overall, the last week has gone rather well, especially the latter part.  I worked Thurs-Sat, we were quite busy, and I handled it.  I went to a busy grocery store on Friday at 5:00 p.m., which was actually quite brave of me.  Friday-payday-just-off-work crowd had the place slammed and I am usually so not good with that.

But, I was on a mission and I survived.  With barely any anxiety.  As I texted my mom…”I killed that bitch!”  And I rewarded myself with a dollar vanilla cone from Sonic.  Victory never tasted so good.  I have barely been able to step foot in that grocery store, crowded or not, for over a year due to social anxiety.  I honestly don’t know what came over me, other than I was just plain determined.

I saw the doctor on Monday and he said my foot was still “cracked,” but then he poked and prodded it, determined I wasn’t in any pain, and told me I could take the boot off and resume my normal business.  So, I did.

By Thursday, an hour into my shift at the store, I was calling my mom and asking her to bring me my boot.  Foot is totally killing me.  Worse than right before I took  it off.  I am beyond bummed about it and pretty pissed at my doctor, and even more so with myself for listening to my quack doctor.  I have an appointment with an orthopedic specialist on Monday for a second opinion, so we will see how that goes.

DSB sees the urologist and gets the results of his tests on Monday, as well.  Monday could be a good or crap day, depending.  Right now, I’m just trying not to anticipate and to live in the moment.  Adaptive denial, I believe they call it.

QoB has been out of town since Thursday and is not due back until Tuesday.  Life is a little different around the edges without her around in many ways, but it seems like she is having fun and a much-needed vacation.  It’s a good thing, because once the season starts at the stores, she won’t have a lot of extra time.

I am still feeling like I have to explain every move and emotion to DSB (through no fault of his own), and it’s not a good feeling.  I still feel like I have to be on the defensive, and it doesn’t feel good.  I think I have some past trauma stuff popping up when it comes to all of that, and I am hopefully going to be working on all of that soon in therapy. I think it is much needed, especially for the sake of DSB and mine’s relationship.

Wow, I just re-read that last paragraph and it is just now making sense that the way I act in this relationship could be influenced by past abusive relationship.  My brain has been in complete denial!  Off to do some research!

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?

ABC 123

Life has been quite the struggle later.  Between crippling anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, negative tapes, and insecurity, it’s been miserable.  I think I had a real wake-up call when I realized I was spending five to six nights per week at QoB’s house, calling Goddess of Mindfulness frequently, and being told to get a grip by my med doc.  Sometimes you don’t realize how bad it is getting until you’re already there.

So, I made a conscious decision to do things to make myself feel better.  I have started taking my Cymbalta regularly.  I am doing my sunlamp every morning.  I have tried to decrease my dependence on QoB and Big Dog by not going over every night, and instead, getting things done around my house.  Staying busy has been the key.

I know that both Dr. Love and QoB say it is ok to just “hang” but there are so many things that I want to do that I haven’t been doing due to the lack of motivation that depression and anxiety brings, that it is feeling good to get caught up.

I have cleaned the top two levels of my house, and it’s just a matter of time before I get the basement finished.  I’ve tackled some small projects that have been bugging me, and have been working at building mastery by cooking.  I have also really been working on mindfulness, especially in regards to my eating habits.  I find that if I pay attention, I am not really hungry during the times when I was usually eating.

It doesn’t take as much as I think it does to feel satisfied, and the integration of some new-found foods has much helped.  I was really in a rut with eating junk food and am now eating a lot of vegetables and some fruit.  I have also been concentrating on eating whole grains, and limiting sugar and salt.  No more empty carbs!

For example, I have been eating a lot of spinach salads, squash, sweet potatoes, brown rice, chicken breast, and the like.  I am making a meatloaf for dinner tonight that isn’t particularly healthy (covered in bacon), but it’s for Dr. Love and he deserves some good comfort food, taking a break from eating work food.  I fully believe that I can be rational about the meatloaf and just eat a normal portion.  YES I CAN!

Sacred self has also been a big part in feeling better.  I took Kizz for a walk last night and am trying to get into that routine.  I bought myself some new shower stuff and am spending time doing things that I enjoy.  Some of the skills mix together, but it never ceases to amaze me how much they work.  I am not keeping a diary card, but maybe I should be.

Back to basics, baby.  Goddess of Mindfulness and the IOP program gave me the greatest gift — my DBT skills — and they are something I can always bring more focus onto when the going gets rough.  It’s just getting around the willfulness that depression and anxiety create.

Keane, Somewhere Only We Know

Weekend Run-Down

All things considered, it was a pretty good weekend.  Productive, if nothing else.  For once, Dr. Love and I had no place to be, no commitments, no plans.  It doesn’t happen often, really no time in recent memory, and it was actually pretty nice, which was surprising, as I’m a girl who loves a good plan and to follow a predetermined schedule.

Friday night was the end to a rough week and to be honest, I laid on the couch and watched TV all evening.  Dr. Love made dinner for me and it was really just lovely.  It’s nice to be taken care of so well.  I fell asleep on the couch around 9:00 p.m. while watching Battlestar Galactica, Season 2.0.  There was really nothing better that could have happened.

Saturday was pretty productive.  Dr. Love and I didn’t even sleep in too much.  He has been doing really great at getting up early, and it’s so nice to have him in the present all weekend instead of me tinkering around and him asleep on the couch.  We took Kizz to the Bark Park first thing, which was muddy but fun.  Making the grocery list was really hard, because I was trying to do minimal but still have a week of good recipes to use. I ended up pretty stressed out, but Dr. Love was able to calm me down, as always.

After going to the grocery store, we came home and cleaned (our new favorite thing to do, it seems) and I cooked broccoli chicken cheese casserole with rice, a tried and true family recipe.  Something I don’t even have directions to make, but know by heart from QoB cooking it from way back.

Sunday was pretty good, too, although we slept in quite a bit.  We managed to clean out the garage, Dr. Love changed the oil and oil filter in my car and added antifreeze.  I cleaned out my car thoroughly, including vacuuming and scrubbing all surfaces.  Between all the change I found in my car and Dr. Love counting $45 worth of quarters from our change jar, we decided we could spare a few bucks and go wash the cars at the self-wash.  Now I have a lovely clean car to start my new journey with and it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for quite a while.

To add to building mastery, I also cooked a new recipe that is simply sinful —  S’mores Pie from Eat at Home.  Divine, really, and also quick and easy.  We had the whole pie gone by the end of the weekend.  Also revised my resume so I can start sending it out.  Talk about a stressful process.  I think I have it down pretty well, though, and QoB is looking at it right now.  We’ll see what she suggests.

A fairly skillful weekend altogether, using building mastery (cooking new recipes, making meal plan for week, writing resume), distract/self-soothe (cleaning, cooking, blogging), effectiveness (cleaning out car, grocery shopping on weekend), wise mind (choosing to be productive but doing things I wanted to do).  My PLEASE skills were also taken care of pretty well, too.

Can’t ask for much more than that.

The Postal Service, Sleeping In

To Heck and Back

Monday was pretty stressful.  Between my sleep study orientation in the morning to major drama with my car to deep concerns about money, given the upcoming cost of sleep studies, CPAP equipment, and now a car that needs fixing, I was ready to pull my hair out by the end of the day.

Let’s not mention that I was only able to clock in 7.5 hours yesterday due to car issues and sleep study orientation.  Seems like I didn’t get jack done during those hours, either, because I was too busy worrying.about.money.

I ended up leaving work early.  Just couldn’t take another minute of it, really.  And really, I think it was a wise mind decision.  My rational mind told me I had to stay until at least 6:00 p.m., no matter what, but my emotional mind was telling me that I was on the verge of a breakdown.  My wise mind found that middle ground, realizing there was no way I was getting anything else done and that I really needed a break.  Yay for wise mind!

After dropping the car off at the shop (in a scary neighborhood, nonetheless) and getting home, I immediately started working on self-soothe skills because I was pretty wired up.  Poor Dr. Love got a good taste of that, let’s say, and decided to leave me be for awhile.  I cooked dinner (marinated pork chops, mexican rice QoB style, and green beans) and started to feel better almost immediately.  It’s amazing how much cooking has become a self-soothe for me.  Really, it fits under a broad variety of the categories — self-soothe, distract, building mastery, and so on.  It just feels good and I think that’s amazing because there were days when even looking at a recipe was enough to bring me to ground zero because cooking was just.that.stressful.

To calm myself down even further, I talked to QoB on the phone while laying on the couch.  There is something about laying on that couch that is magical.  Just a feeling of “ahhhhh, relaxation…mellow, dude.”  Now I know why Dr. Love spends so much time lying there.  🙂

So I will be without a car for at least today, maybe tomorrow as well.  My mechanic didn’t know if he would be able to fit it in today but I will keep my fingers crossed.  It will be hard to be without a car because I won’t be able to get off grounds to smoke or talk on the phone or get away from the stress.  My plan is to take breaks by going outside and walking around the track and to chew gum when I’m dying for nicotine.  Should be a good experiment, if nothing else.

The beauty of not having a car is that Dr. Love has to get up and take me to work, which motivates him to stay up and get a lot of things done.  He has been amazing around the house lately, cleaning like a mad man, organizing, working on little projects.  I have not seen him in this good of spirits in a long time and I think we can attribute that to the entry-level-IT jobs popping up everywhere that he is applying to like mad and the Celexa that I kind of forced him to try again.  Whatever it is, he’s in a good place and that makes me happy.  Doesn’t hurt that it means my kitchen was thoroughly cleaned and the bathroom scrubbed, as well as all the laundry being done and the floors vacuumed.  He was even complaining about running out of things to do, so he went and bought all of the necessary stuff to change the oil and filters in both of our cars.  He finished his but, will have to wait on mine until it is out of the shop, obviously.

Dr. Love turned me onto this video.  Totally cool!

OK Go, This Too Shall Pass — Rube Goldberg Machine version

Why I <3 Fridays

One of the drawbacks to living (and loving) a computer geek is that, sometimes, you come into the computer room in the morning, really just wanting to wake up, and find that the computer screen in front of your face is not displaying your computer.  It is often that the computer on the screen is reinstalling Windows or some such business.  Then you look down and see that Dr. Love (or some midnight computer elves) have taken one of the 15 stripped computers from the basement, put it back together, and there are grand plans for it’s new uses.  Lovely.

So here I sit, in front of Dr. Love’s computer.  His actual computer.  And I wonder, why doesn’t he ever use his own monitor/mouse/keyboard to play with a new computer?  Why is it that I have to wake up to this atrocity without having had a full cup of coffee?  The answer — it’s more convenient to play with computers at my desk, apparently.  If I didn’t love him so much and really find all of this fairly amusing, I’d go crazy.

So it’s finally Friday.  Jeans day, oh yeah!  Morale would SO be boosted if every day could be jeans day, but alas, this will never be the case.  I think we should just thank the new warden for giving it to us every Friday instead of only on paydays.  It just makes life so much easier.  No worries about matching that shirt with those pants or what shoes to wear.  It’s just JEANS, people.

I am proud of myself for eating a decent breakfast this morning.  There is nothing like starting the day with some frosted mini-wheats and a good cup of iced coffee.  I stayed up until my normal time last night and got up at 7:00 a.m., which wasn’t really my goal, but getting up at 8:00 a.m. can leave me in a pinch for time, especially when I still have to pack my lunch.  Taking care of those PLEASE skills on my diary card, dontcha know.

Big plans for the weekend, as usual.  Building structure can be checked off on my diary card.  On Saturday, I have therapy with Goddess of Mindfulness.  I’m really looking forward to it, especially since I’ve been using my skills so much.  ‘Tis always better to have the daily crap somewhat under control so the bigger issues can be addressed.  On Saturday evening, Dr. Love and I will be going to QoB and Big Dog’s.  We haven’t really seen them and spent any time for a few weeks now, with everyone’s busy schedules.  It will be good to catch up, maybe gossip about Grandma for awhile.  😀

This weekend is the big tournament for my favorite basketball team.  Generally, I’d be there all four days (Thurs-Sun), but that just wasn’t in the cards this year.  Dad and I are going to drive up on Sunday, eat lunch at some Chinese place he likes, and then watch the championship games.  It would be great if our team was playing, but even if not, we’ll get to see some great games!

Queen, Under Pressure

Fighting Off the Glitch

Today has been a rough day.  I think it may have started with some restlessness last night (likely driven by eating too late and not getting to bed on time) which was then thoroughly compounded by the two huge slices of homemade pizza I had for breakfast at 6:00 a.m.

I sat in my computer chair this morning for a good two hours this morning, struggling to be awake when I really didn’t have to be.  I’m starting to get into that pattern where I don’t like sleeping, again.  Part of it is the recurrent nightmares, part of it is feeling like there is too much to do and I’m wasting time by sleeping.  A few more nights like last night and I’ll be at least hypomanic by Saturday.

I hate that my eating is so out of control.  My radical acceptance for the last three weeks on my diary card has been: “I have an eating disorder.”  Because, really, I just rationalize ten ways to Sunday why I do what I do.  I am trying to focus on working on it, and in order to do that I have to admit that there is a problem.

But sometimes it’s like, seriously, Rose?  Seriously? Am I back here again with this eating bullshit?  Am I really?  How hard does it have to be?  Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full, try to get your 5+ servings of fruits and vegetables.  Alas, it is much.much.much harder than that for me.

It’s irritating to have issues and to always have to stay on top of them.  And it’s exhausting, really.  As long as I am doing x, y, and z (my PLEASE skills, really, from my diary card), then I have a good shot at managing.  As soon as my sleep starts to hit the skids, I fail to eat “normally” for a period of time (and then fall into a pattern of old habits), I stop getting out and about, then I’m done for.

Luckily, I haven’t slid too far down that slippery slope yet.  My eating has really just been bad over the past few days, which totally coincides with the sleep problems.  When I’m having sleep issues, I eat too much.  Period.

I have plans to sleep until 8:00 a.m. tomorrow, even if it kills me.  I will lay there in bed if I have to, but I am not getting up.  When I get up at 8:00, I don’t have time to eat a piece of pizza for breakfast, but can wait until I get to work and have a bagel and some grapes or some such business.

Blogging tonight has helped, along with a “SMACK!  You could’ve had a V-8” lecture from Dr. Love.  Sometimes I just need a reality check and there is no one better at doing it without offending me than Dr. Love.

Ok, so this song is on the soundrack for Beautiful Girls, one of my most favorite movies.  If you haven’t seen it, you should rush out to your local Family Video immediately and rent it for the 7 day option, because you’ll want to watch it over and over.

Another fun note about this song, Dr. Love and I have a song we sing to the Kizz with Sweet Caroline‘s melody.  What can I say, we’re easily amused.

Neil Diamond, Sweet Caroline

I Got Skillz

I have really been treasuring “sleeping in” lately.  Work has been super-busy, with a lot of late nights, not getting home until almost 7:00 p.m. most nights.  That’s not terrible, considering I usually go in at 9:00 a.m., but there are days when I have to go in early and then stay late.  And then I’m exhausted.

So, with the “sleeping in” comes the “not-blogging.”  I was on a bit of a streak there last week, but it seems like life is so BUSY now.  The beauty in that is that staying busy and doing things keeps me happy, keeps me feeling good.  The downside is that I don’t have as much time to blog or sit in front of my sun lamp in the mornings.

Having been in that pattern where I do nothing but work minimal hours and sleep, I’ll take the current pattern any day.  I don’t do well when I have too much time to ruminate and dwell on every.little.thing.

I have been using a lot of self-soothe techniques lately, mostly music.  I find that if I am feeling overwhelmed or emotionally dysregulated, about ten or fifteen minutes of good music can leave me feeling really rejuvenated.  This weekend, I sat in front of Dr. Love’s computer (with the huge speakers and sub-woofer) and rocked out to Queen, trying to get it together for a trip to the grocery store.  I ended up being in really good spirits and was able to manage the anxiety that always comes with a trip to the store.

I have also been working on building mastery.  I’ve been cooking a lot, using recipes from Eat at Home, my new favorite website.  The writer’s focus is on low-cost, easy meals that can be made in bulk and then there are leftovers.  This helps immensely with nights where I don’t want to cook, just being able to pull something from the freezer that’s homemade, and also with packing lunches with leftovers.  I don’t have to think so much about what to take to work the next day, which is nice.

I’ve been rather domestic lately, using cleaning, cooking, and other little “chores” to build structure and distract myself when times are rough.  I really enjoy cooking for Dr. Love and I know he really appreciates eating something other than a piece of meat, a starch, and a veggie, which had always been my “go-to” meal.  And that’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with that, but you really can’t beat smothered steak with sauteed mushrooms and onions on a bed of homemade mashed potatoes or homemade pizza (the attempt at stromboli gone wrong) or chicken pot pie.  I know for a long time it seemed like the only really decent meal I could get was at QoB’s, but now it seems like I am turning out to be a pretty good cook.  Who would’ve thought?  🙂

I have DBT today and need to get my diary card filled out with all the skillfulness and effectiveness I have churned out in the past week.  I am really feeling pretty good and, even when I’m not feeling great, have been able to pull myself out of it by using my skills.  Yay for DBT!

I have found a new favorite artist using the “recommended for you” off YouTube.  Love it!

Stacie Orrico, So Simple

Overreacting to Normalcy

Today…(wait for it, wait for it) has been a pretty.good.day.  I am counting my weeks on DBT weeks now, starting on Wednesdays and ending on Tuesdays.  The rationale is that you do your diary card based on the week prior to group; therefore, with group being on Wednesday, Tuesday is close of business.

I had an annoying and blatantly obvious revelation today while I was chainsmoking in my car in an abandoned parking lot on my lunch break.  It became even clearer as the day went on, to the point that I’m finding myself observing my behavior and thinking, “How the hell did I not catch that behavioral phenomena before?” 

I am an emotionally reactive person.  I suppose I already knew this, or at least most of me did, but I was not willing to admit it.  And of course, like all of these little revelations that self-introspection brings, it annoys the crap out of me and leaves me shaking my head.  My interpretation of how my day went is based on how I’m feeling at that moment.  So.  Case in point being today’s situation (which is repeated non-stop in my life).  I had a pretty good day today.  I was up not-too-early and not-too-late, able to drink just the right amount of coffee.  I got a good parking spot, had positive interactions with my colleagues and other contacts, and really just plowed through my day and finished a lot of projects.  At the end of the day, I’m feeling good, ready to go home and see what could possibly make this day better.

On the way home, I lose an earring.  A new earring.  A new favorite earring.  A new favorite earring that I am convinced is good juju for Washburn Lady Blues games.  My mood went to hell almost immediately.  And it lasted for about ten minutes, because I remembered how great my day had been and how one earring isn’t going to change the world.  So I started cleaning and getting dinner together and putting away laundry.  And then, out of nowhere, everything started to get on my nerves.  My anxiety spiked, my cleaning became more frantic and the little voices inside my head were rapping about how dirty the house is and how lazy I am because I let Dr. Love take care of the laundry and how if only I could lose some weight I would have more energy and I could do it all myself.

So, that was about fifteen minutes ago.  I decided a little effectiveness was in order, a little self-soothe, distract.  Hell, you can lump it in to a bunch of different categories. 

So here I sit…smoking my e-cigarette, basking in the glow of my sunlamp, listening to my music, and blogging. 

And a state of near-perfect calm has come over me as I realize,

I’m hungry and dinner’s ready.  Time to eat!

Gnarls Barkely, Going On —

— another repeat, I realize…feel free to make some suggestions, as I could use an a new artist to obsess about. 🙂

Bring on the White Glove Test

I have always thought of myself as a clean and tidy person.  (I have also told Mom on more than one occasion that I am not a complicated person, to which she strongly objects, but that’s another post for another day)  That myth has been shattered recently, by not one, but two people.  When I first went to Matt’s apartment, I was stunned.  It was spotless, neat, organized, and very homey.  I have never before been with a guy who had those characteristics, who didn’t almost shun those characteristics.  At the time, I didn’t feel worried, because, as I said, I have always thought of myself as a very clean and tidy person. 

About a week ago, I came home from working late and Matt was there waiting for me (and there is no better feeling in the world) with some hot tea.  We were talking, and I went to throw something in the trash can.  I opened it up, and screamed like a little girl.  A mouse.  In my trashcan.  Looking up at me.  Argh.  I opened it again, and said mouse scrambled out and disappeared into a hole under my cabinets.  I’m not sure who was more horrified, me or Matt. 

I’m pretty sure that led to the discussion of how “cluttered” my house is, but only after Matt had set four different mouse traps.  I have stuff.  A lot of stuff.  Matt has stuff, but it’s all very organized and neat and he doesn’t have all of the interesting things I do…like my tribute to chaos, otherwise known as my kitchen windowsill.  It has plants, postcards, antique glass, and some other unique doodads in it.  Matt’s words —  “eccentric.”

I mentioned this to the Queen of Bisquits a day or two ago, and she told me that she didn’t think I was “cluttered” (other than a bathroom full of different kinds of products) because she lives in a museum.  However, she did point out that I’m not the greatest housekeeper.  Her thing was the copious amount of dust that seems to gather and stay forever on every surface in my house.  Okay, so I hate to dust and don’t find it a good use of my time.  And I have a lot of furniture, a lot of surface area. 

So I decided to come home and look at everything with open eyes, and see it as someone else would see it who doesn’t live here.  Let’s just say it needs some work.  So yes, I am a bit cluttered, especially in comparison to Matt.  And I’m a lot dusty.  The funny thing is that it doesn’t really bother me.  I did clean for awhile though, so that Matt would feel more comfortable about being here. 

When he came over last night, he remarked on things being cleaner.  He looked visibly relieved.  And I was relieved that I cleaned, because apparently it had really been that bad, and I don’t want to get dumped by a great guy (not that he would, just a paranoid thought) for being a lazy duster. 

Matt and I have been spending a lot of time together, and it has been really great.  We’re getting to know each other better every day, and the more I know him, the more I like him, and the more I like myself around him.  “YES WE CAN!”  Thank you, QoB.  More than you know. 

I went to my new DBT class yesterday afternoon, after fighting tooth-and-nail with work to take off at 2:30 like they had promised me I could just the week before.  I made it fairly on time and was very pleased with what I saw.  It’s a very unique group and I think I’m really going to like it.  My focus on my diary card was letting myself be okay, and not sabotaging. 

Interestingly enough, we did an exercise at the end of group that made me realize that I really am ok.  We were to put down our two most difficult problems at the time.  I put down not sabotaging/creating drama and money.  We then put down five negative and five positive things about them.  And then five things we could do to resolve the issues.  After doing so, I realized that I really have no problems right now, and that I’m doing everything I need to do to get more money. 

And I’m ok with that.  I’m happy, I’m content.  As long as I am mindful, I can roll with that and just be. 

This blog’s song has nothing to do with anything other than the fact that I’ve been listening to a lot of this band lately, thanks to Matt’s iPod.  And yes, this song makes me dance, just like the girls in the video.  🙂

Flogging Molly, Salty Dog