Bright and Shiny

That’s me, in the moment.  I just came home from a two-plus hour workout (arms and cardio) and am feeling on top of the world.  My relationship with LarBear is going great, I finally have some non-itch-producing laundry detergent and one load down, I am blogging for the first time in five million eons, and Kizzie is possibly done unearthing moles out of the backyard for today.  Sometimes, its the little things.

Yesterday, the day before, the day before, so on and so on, lots of anxiety.  Actually, lots of anxiety since my last ECT one week before this past Wednesday.  ‘Tis a serious death anniversary week for me, one of my hardest, and it has been just as brutal this year as in years past.  I did get to see QoB last night though and do a little crying on my Momma’s shoulder, which helped immensely, even if she doesn’t realize it.

A lot of the anxiety I am having is also because I am having a really hard time remembering things and am also, at times, extremely confused and almost disoriented.  The beauty of ECT, though, is that I have forgotten a lot of the bad stuff, or, at least the details are not so crisp.  Very few nasty and scary memories still play in my mind as if on a movie screen.  Things are either blurry and hazy or not present at all.  I am hoping some of that stuff never comes back!

I think LarBear and I are going to try going to church this weekend.  Maybe.  No commitments but possibly.  We found one that seems promising, just have to give it a shot.  I have been trying to find things to do to build structure, and that would be one of those things.  I am also going to add DBT groups back in, as well as the good possibility of a water-walking class to go along with the water aerobics I am going to start doing at the YMCA.

Lots of good stuff here.  I hope to be back soon, friends!

October in Kansas

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Above shot is blurry and distorted, and I’m not sure what it was shot with.  I’m pretty sure the photo credit for this goes to Karen Sexton, the mom of an old friend from grade school.  I happened upon it and it is really TRULY what it looks along the roadside in Kansas in October.  It was taken off the road in St. Francis, KS.

I couldn’t get this image out of my head, all through my workday, and into the evening.  I thought I would share it here because I feel like it is special, like it tells stories about me, even if you can’t hear them.

You may recognize me in this photo, and say, “Ahhh yes, there’s Rosa girl, from the flat lands of Kansas, with her dog and a lot of hope in her heart.”

And Rosa responds with a wave, a smile, and keeps trudging up the (so steep) Kansas hills.

 

 

Building A Life Worth Living, Week Four

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The tiny miracles, true friendship, amazing family, beloved critters, and lovely events in my life that have made life worth living this week:

1) The ability to send an “unpublished” post to a few friends, have those friends reply in earnest, and wind up with an email chain full of great advice and love.  Thank you…stuff like that makes my week, any week.

2) The beauty that I was able to start again with Goddess of Mindfulness, the ORIGINAL therapist to end all therapists.  She has been a great support to me in what has been a really difficult week.  I have never had a mental health professional be more supportive and more willing to spend the time.  And to genuinely care — that might be the best part.

3) That a tiny miracle, a new baby, may be growing in the belly of one of my dearest friends.  That I will be able to be witness to this little one from pregnancy on up, is precious.

4) The trust that QoB and the Big Dawg have in Blue Cat and myself, to run both stores while they are away at a conference.  The Rock and I did it last year, and it seems that the Big Dawg is getting better at ceding intense control.  That, and we’re trusted — that is the big part.

5) The resiliency of the Kizzer Wizzer.  She had been so accustomed to me being at home 24/7 when I was sick, and now it seems I am gone all the time.  She has transitioned beautifully and is still a happy little dog — she gives me no reason for guilt.

6) The ability to end the week on a high note, feeling good, feeling positive and optimistic, and most importantly, living in the  moment.  The weenie roast at the end of the week was perhaps the best time I have had, with friends, in quite some time.

7) The reaffirmation that I made the right decision in not having children.  It is lovely to watch friends’ and families’ children grow, but I know deep in my  heart that I could never do it myself.

8) The wisdom, courage, and forethought to remove myself from toxic situations before they become too ugly.  Truly beautiful wise mind.

9) Noticing the serious side effects of a temporary medication after one day, being mindful to it, and deciding to not continue.  My mental health is a priority to me, and I would rather have painfully swollen feet and ankles, than to be up peeing every two hours, all night long.

10) The sheer joy of having a big bag of ice in the refrigerator, so I can have my water as cold as I like it, thus motivating me to drink more water.

Ten Things of Thankful, Sickie Poo Edition

 

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I have two lovely TToT banners today, the above courtesy of Mama and the one at the end courtesy of the TToT blog-hop folks.  I like both, so I’m going to use both.  Sorry, I’m feeling defiant after a row with my well-meaning but obnoxious father.  I was going to turn it into a “Open Letter to Dad” but decided against it because I am still just TOOOOO angry.  Will have to settle for a little banner-acting-out behavior instead.

 

1) I am thankful for my mom this week.  When I needed Rx picked up, she jumped right on it.  She also brought me excellent sickie supplies since I was on a clear liquids diet for almost three days, but am now a BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast).  It feels good to be a brat and I cheated and ate ramen noodles for dinner, but hey, there’s probably some rice in those noodles!  So thanks, Mom, for always taking such good care of me, no matter the circumstances.

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2) I am thankful to have a job, a job that I like, a job that I am good at, and a job where I like my co-workers and bosses.  I am thankful they have adapted the last month as I spent a few days in the loony bin and then several days after that being loony and, just when the looniness ceased, developed the killer stomach flu.  And I still have a job.  They still want me back, and I am ready to come back as soon as I can get my fever down and be deemed noncontagious by QoB.  And stop being so dizzy.

3) I am thankful that I have a nice, clean comfortable house, with running and recently serviced AC.  I see many friends sweating it out on FB and all over the blogosphere and I just can’t think how much sicker I would feel if my house was 95 degrees.

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4) I am thankful I have  a “dumb” phone.  My friends and relatives are always having a helluva time with their smart phones.  The fanciest thing I ever do is put Walgreens on speaker.

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5) I know how much I might bitch about them sometimes, but I am thankful for Walgreens.  They rarely mess my stuff up anymore, it’s less than two blocks from my house, and they’re just so speedy and organized.  I could say less for their online site, but this is a POSITIVE post.

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6) I am thankful that Mom is holding onto my debit card for me.  Over the last month I was really doing some ridiculous spending — it’s bad when you don’t have enough left over from your little impulse buys to purchase groceries.  The beauty of it is that I did of my own free volition.  (Atta Girl!)

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7) I am thankful for WP and FB friends, old and new.  You guys are awesome, keeping up with me when I am bored, making me laugh, listening when I cry, just giving me awesome information and new things to look into.  I really do appreciate all of you!

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8) I am thankful for Caller ID, because sometimes, you just want to screen your calls.  There’s some people you REALLY want to talk to, and some you wish would fall into a dark well (temporarily, of course).  I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.

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9) I am once again, this and every week, thankful to Kizzer pup.  She has been a real trooper.  She was home by herself for almost four days, and she did really well with Grandma paying her visits.  It took awhile for her to get used to me being back, but soon she was up to her Kizzerly tricks again.  It seems since Grandma visited, she gets a lot more bones.  I don’t think that one is all on the Kizzer.

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Kizzer’s Favorite — Dingo Rawhides

10) I am thankful that I have the ability to forgive, because while it won’t be today and it might not be tomorrow, I do have the ability and willingness to call Dad on his crap, and it will happen.  And I will forgive him and he will try and explain and it will be over.

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Building Rome: Serenity Now

Well, it’s week two for me of Building Rome. Building Rome is a challenge created by Green Embers and each week, we set small goals and then report back on the past week’s goals.  I also add in my every-day-gotta-do-it goals at the end, but to each their own.

This week’s theme is “Serenity Now.”  The quote that Green Embers selected for this post if particularly apt to my situation:

“This art of resting the mind and the power of dismissing from it all care and worry is probably one of the secrets of energy in our great men.”
– Captain J. A. Hadfield

Indeed.  Following last week’s goals, we find:

1)  Fail #1:  Send a handwritten card to my sister and step-sister letting them know how much they mean to me.

I didn’t do this, namely because I didn’t make the time or the effort.  It just slipped off my radar.  Maybe for another day!

2) Win #1:  Perf0rm one random act of kindness for a stranger each day.  A smile, holding the door open, helping someone carry something, advising where something is located in the grocery store.  Small things, important things.

I have been in the position to do a lot of this lately, and have happily done so.  My favorite was spotting someone a quarter so they could complete their purchase at Dollar General.  It’s just a quarter, people!  Out of the long line, I was the only one to offer assistance.

3) Win #3:  Talk with Goddess of Mindfulness about this constant cycling and what we can do about it, other than following the “crisis” medication regime.  Also talk with her about the mental  health center’s lack of follow-through with my needed medication requests.  Ask for her help in communicating with them.

Done and done and done.  I am back on my “crisis” medication regimine.  She explained to me the extreme understaffing at the center and suggested I make an appointment straight-away, as it is difficult to get in now.

Those were the main goals I set for last week.  The following goals will be for this week, and will embrace “serenity now.”

1) Take Kizzie for a walk at least three times for at least 15 minutes this week.

This will help my mental health, my physical health, and Kizzer’s health.  I often used to find that walks were good ways to clear my brain, and with quitting smoking, I need all of that I can get.

2) Set aside time each morning to read in the devotional book that my mom’s best friend, Glo gave me.

We have not made it to church now in weeks, thanks to our dueling schedules, and my lapsing faith is irritating me like a burr right under my skin.  Who knew that having faith was such hard work?

3) Continue to not smoke.

Smoking creates anxiety, really.  When you feel like you’ve not had one in a certain amount of time, it certainly increases those feelings.  I have plenty of anxiety on my own to deal with.  I really don’t need the help!

Now, for my four must-do-every-day-n0-matter what:

1) Take medications exactly as presribed.  I actually did a pretty good job this week, other than taking my morning meds late on two days.  I still took them, though, so there’s progress!

2) Take care of Kizzie’s needs.  I did pretty well on this, too.  She never ran completely out of water and I’ve already made arrangements to get some dog food picked up.  We’ve been playing a lot, and it is clear she would rather sit on my lap in the  living room than sit under my feet at my computer desk.  She can be a bit on the needy side, sometimes.

3)  Take care of personal hygiene daily.  I did a bang-up job of this, I believe, this week.  Smelling all fresh and clean AND, I put away all my clean clothes, so I know what I have to wear.  That is a big bonus, and it doesn’t really matter that I did it at 9:00 last night — just that it’s done!

4) Eat healthfully and mindfully.  Epic fail.  Too much fast food this week, and too many sugary drinks.  There has also been a lot of snacking going on since I quit smoking and I KNOW that this is just nervous energy — I just want it to stop!

So, if you’d like to hold yourself accountable and feel like making some new goals, check out Green Embers’ site for details and link-up.  I know I feel a little bit better if I have some direction in life!

Sorry there were no fun  pictures, but today is a git’ ‘er done kind of day, and I didn’t have time.  Maybe next week!

Building Rome, Week 23: Gettin’ Ready to Get Ready

I have severe procrastination problems.  Always have.  Even back in grade school, I’d wait until the last minute to read a book or start a project.  It has grown and ballooned and blown up into Earth-sized proportions as I have become a 30-something.  I can’t seem to stop it or usurp it or tackle it or otherwise combat it.  It is oppressive and the fallout is always unpleasant, and sometimes painful.

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Green Embers apparently started a goal-setting-and-achieving challenge called “Building Rome,” some 23 weeks ago, but ya know, I’m always the last to know.  I’ve been advised that it’s quite all right to jump in midway.  As far as I can tell, there is a general given “theme” for the week in which you set a few related goals and then report back on goals from the week previous.

I’m all about setting goals right now, and so thought this would be something to keep me accountable for the things I have been trying to do.  As you may remember, Goddess of Mindfulness and I set four things that I WILL do each and every day so I will also be reporting on these every week.

This week’s theme is “Reaching Out” and I love the quote that tops Green Ember’s post:

“Ask for help when you need it. Even from your parents. There is no shame in needing help.”
– Unknown

Amen to that!  And even though you really do know that, you might not feel it deep down inside.  To reach out this week, I am going to:

1)  Send a handwritten card to my sister and step-sister letting them know how much they mean to me.

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2)  Perf0rm one random act of kindness for a stranger each day.  A smile, holding the door open, helping someone carry something, advising where something is located in the grocery store.  Small things, important things.

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3)  Talk with Goddess of Mindfulness about this constant cycling and what we can do about it, other than following the “crisis” medication regime.  Also talk with her about the mental  health center’s lack of follow-through with my needed medication requests.  Ask for her help in communicating with them.

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Those are about all of the goals I want to set for this week, as I am working hard at the main four:

 

1)  Take medications exactly as prescribed.  I have struggled this week.  Once I took my 9:00’s at 11:00 and I did forget one morning until about 3:00pm.  I’m back off Ritalin until further notice (aggravates mixed state) and I sure will be happy to be back on it.

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2)  Take care of Kizzie’s needs.  This went better than the medication stuff did.  She only ran totally out of water once, and I don’t think it was for long.  We had lots of play time and treats.  I have the stuff for her heartworm and flea/tick for next month.  She is a happy puppy, I think, too, because we have been spending more time outside.

Kizz as a pup

3)  Take care of  personal hygiene daily.  I definitely did a great job at this until about Thursday.  I don’t know what my problem was, but before that I’d been showering daily and putting on lotion and Friday just kind of went to hell.  That was about when I started cycling again and I have a lot of problems with negative thoughts, so I think that was part of it.  I’ll just need to get back on top of it.  My week restarts on Sunday, so I’m already a day behind, but that doesn’t mean I need to let the rest of my week go to hell.

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4) Eat healthfully and mindfully.  Ahhhh I don’t even want to talk about this.  I did eat healthfully some, definitely not very mindfully.  I really must to better this week and need to get to the grocery store so I have good options available.

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The Return of the Mixed Episode and Thankfulness

My fear is that I’m returning to a mixed state.  The inability pay attention to TV and reading is there.  The irritability is there.  The restlessness and agitation are there.  The racing thoughts are there.  The self-loathing is there.  The mind mud is there.  The not being able to sleep is there.  Didn’t we just do this, friends?

I’m pondering a call to the pdoc, but not without the advice of QoB and Goddess of Mindfulness.  Actually, I just picked up the phone to call, but it’s past five.  I’ll call in the morning.  I know what this is, I don’t need them to confirm it.

So typical, mixed to normal to mixed.  Hoping it doesn’t escalate into mania or fall into depression.  I hate mixed, but it’s harder to get out of mania and depression.  There also seems to be less of a crash when you finish up with mixed.

But mother-effer, it is unpleasant.  I am crawling out of my skin.  All I really want to do is take my meds and pray for sleep.  I know I won’t be able to, so I stay awake and try and occupy my racing brain.  I’ve cleaned and re-cleaned the kitchen and done as much laundry as the washer and dryer will tolerate.  I’ve read all the blog posts in my feed.  I’m running out of things to do.

I’ll have company soon, so that will be a good distraction.  I’m just so annoyed and irritable, though, that I hope I don’t snap anyone’s head off.  Will have to be very careful!  It’s the ones we love most who end up dealing with the ugly stuff.

When I came home from work yesterday, I was greeted by an extremely large (and heavy!) limb that had fallen out of a tree in my back yard and crunched two panels of wrought iron fence and damaged four boards on the wood fence.  No significant wind yesterday and the limb isn’t rotten, so not sure what’s up with that.

My first thought was, of course, Kizzie.  My heart was in my throat as I walked up to the back yard.  Imagine my relief when she came trotting out of her dog door, wagging her tail to beat the band, as if she hadn’t noticed the gaps in the fence.  She must be very content to live here with her crazy momma, or at least that’s why I’m telling myself she didn’t run.  In all honesty, I think she just didn’t know how to navigate over the broken fence and tree limbs.

So, the company I’m getting ready to have over is QoB, Rock, and the Big Dawg.  The Big Dawg is going to mow and Rock insists on cleaning up some of the fallen limb, even though the tree service will be here on Saturday to do that (as well as trim several other dangerous limbs, and maybe take out a whole tree).

These are good people.  They have worked all day and giving up their nice, calm evening to sweat it out in my  yard.  I will forever be indebted, with no way to ever pay back.  I mean, I have no usable skills and certainly no money.  I don’t think any of them are doing it to be paid back, though.  Ok, of course they’re not.  They’re just good people.  They’re family.

Family is all that’s keeping me going at this point.  My sister is coming down from the big city on the 10th and is going to help me whip my house into shape.  Dad is going to come over somewhere a few days before that and steam-clean all the furniture.  Rock is covering me at work so I can be off that day.  And then there’s Mom.  She’s always being helpful, even when she doesn’t realize it.  And the Big Dawg is always there with some kind words or mowing the yard or dealing with DSB’s mess he left behind.

Good people.  Keeping me upright.  Keeping me out of the hospital.  Keeping me maintaining.  Without them all, I would surely be in a hospital, Kizzie would surely be in the pound, and my house would sure be foreclosed on.  I don’t know what I’d do without these people, my family.  My guess is that I’d be totally fucked.

I hope they know how much I appreciate each and every little thing they do, and mostly, how much I appreciate them all being there to just talk to me and give me some support.  I say “thank you” all the time, but I often feel it isn’t enough.  I don’t know what else I could do to express my gratitude.  I’m just at a loss.