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!

Dear God: You Forgot To Mention the Bad Parts

1 Corinthians 13:4-8New International Version (NIV)
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

Dear God: I disagree with the Corinthians, and I’m pretty sure they didn’t run this one by you first, or you never would have approved it.  It’s a falsehood, God, am I right?  I mean, you theoretically put  us together, so one would think you would know. I have seen much about love in my little 33 years on this planet.  No, I’ve never been married, but I’ve been in a few major relationships and I know plenty of people who are “in love” or, at least mouthing the words at night before head meets pillow.

Love is not patient.  Love makes you crazy, it makes you rush into things, it causes you to call that person five times a day just to see what how they are doing.  Love makes  you do crazy things like show up at her work with a coffee and a sandwich, at two o’ clock in the afternoon.  Because you were NOT patient and couldn’t wait a minute longer to see her.

Love is not kind.  Not always.  Love can make us mean-spirited and jealous.  Love can drive a relationship into the ground, can rip a beating heart from a chest.  No, love can be cruel.  Ask anyone who has been through a bad breakup what they learned about love, if they feel that love is a kind entity.  I don’t think I have to tell you the particulars.

Love goes along with jealousy and rage and envy and anger and fear.  There is no fear without love and there is no love without fear.  You tell us not to fear, and then we find ourselves in the predicament where there is nothing to do but fear.  And then love quashes us, and we walk around broken, because of love.

There may be a love out there that transcends, maybe Your love, if one can wrap their head around that (I sure can’t at the moment) but it is not a love you see everyday.  Love without pain just doesn’t happen.  Most people will never experience it and some will throw it away because, yes, well, fear.

So, God, please get with the Corinthians.  I think you’re going to need a rewrite.

Sincerely, Rosa, who believes in the duality of love

Wishing Upon a Star

This has been a different week for me.  I still feel good, but with an anxiety cloud looming overhead.  I have read many “thankful for” or “gratitude list” posts and I want to do something a little different tonight.  The following are things I am currently hoping or wishing for.  Some are intensely personal and others more generic.  Come wish upon a star with me:

1) I wish that DSB’s health problems will be resolved so he can live a fuller, happier, healthier life.  The wound vac is in the way of a lot of his activities, not to mention the pain he is in, and the sickness he feels from the infection.  I wish him health.

2) I wish that my friend, Marilyn, coasts through her heart surgery tomorrow and is back to blogging and emailing and carrying on within the next several weeks.  I wish Marilyn time and patience.

3) I wish my mom a relief from stress.  This is our busy season, and she is trying to get plants potted and work outside on the few days that are warm.  On top of that, she runs all of the financial and business end of the stores, and that is a non-stop battle.  Beyond that, she is a loving and caring grandmother, and a supportive and positive role model for her daughters.  I wish for her to feel the appreciation from others for what she does every day.

4) I wish my therapist knew how much she helps me, even on a day-to-day basis.  Just fifteen minutes sitting on her couch this week, talking about what might seem mundane to most, helped with my anxiety level tremendously.  Perhaps I put her on a pedastal, but she and her words have saved my life over and over.  I wish Goddess of Mindfulness the experience of knowing she really IS helping people.

5) I wish certain bloggers who I follow, who are in such despair, that they are able to see a light at the end of the tunnel.  People do care, even if it only amounts to your readers.  There are people out there who care about you and don’t want to see you leave this life unexpectedly.  I wish those bloggie friends the ability to see into a more positive future.

6) I wish I could get in control of my eating.  I have taken the first step by nearly eliminating sugared drinks from my diet, but I need to do more.  I could be so much  healthier and happier even 100 or really, even 50 pounds lighter.  It’s not about the looks, it’s about my ability to function in day-to-day life.  I am tired of the binges and the guilt and the pain that go along with it.  I wish for myself to remember that food is fuel.

7) I wish my sister could get a little more sleep.  My nephew is 8 weeks old (and one day!) and he is not the best little sleeper in the world.  I wish for my sister patience, and the knowledge that I love her very much and would do just about anything to ease the stress and busyness and, maybe, the feelings of loneliness.  I love you, sis!

8) I wish for my BigDawg that he can take things as they come this crappie season.  I hope he can let others do a little bit more, so he can take a few more breaks.  I hope he can get off his feet once in awhile and use that damn tennis ball for the plantar fasciatis.  I hope that he gets the big sales he wants and that shad entrails come in soon.  I wish for him a fun summer with great employees that he can trust and rely on.

9) I wish for my Dad good health and optimism for his eating habits.  I hope he is able to go to the gym, like he wants to, and that he is able to do that without injuring himself.  I hope he is able to schedule in some big walks, and that he doesn’t over-do.  I wish health and never-ending happiness for my dad.  I also wish that he will go with me to Mass on a semi-regular basis.

10) I wish for you, yes, for you reading this, that I am very appreciative of any time you spend on my blog and that every “like” and comment mean the world to me.  Sometimes I just want to be heard.  I wish for myself, the knowledge that I am reaching out and touching someone, even if it is only a small number of someones.

Won’t you follow along and make a wish with me?  Please do link up, if you so desire.  I found that writing this “I wish” list was quite cathartic and meaningful.

Ask, Listen, and Ask Again

As anyone who reads this blog well knows, DSB and I have been having some problems lately relating to how I have been put into a caretaker role, and my feeling that he could do some of that caretaking on his own.  So I asked him about it.  I asked him why he didn’t want to drive, why he didn’t want to fetch his own drinks and help with dinner, why (it seemed) he only wanted to sit in his chair and rot.

There were no clear answers that night, but ever since, I have not been waiting on him hand and foot (nor has he asked me to), he has stepped up and gone to the grocery store, all sorts of doctors appointments, and driven himself numerous places.  Occasionally I will still get his drink, but it’s not about that.  It’s the getting up and doing for oneself when one is, in fact, able.

I don’t know that he realized he was at that point, where he was able to tend to his own business.  I am thankful he has reached it however, and I will support him in whatever way that I can.  I feel like things are “going back to normal” for us, and that is so badly needed, by both of us.  He is contributing, financially, emotionally, physically.  I am doing the same.  We both need that.

In not-really-related news, I have been on a search for the spiritual, on and off, for the past several years.  I wanted to find MY God, a God that understood me, that I could have faith in.  I tried going to different churches and wound up with a bad taste in my mouth with most of them, other than the Catholic church.

My Dad was in the seminary for a brief period and his “smorgasbord Catholicism” (as he would call it) led him to take my sister and I to Mass a few times when we were young.  I have very fond memories of it and of Dad in that setting and in the specific church we went to.  I was not surprised when Catholicism seemed like such a perfect fit.

It was no big surprise to me when I became very interested in the Catholic church a few years ago.  I went to Mass several times with my mom’s best friend, and really enjoyed it.  Then there was a breakup and I moved and then I got really crazy.  It fell by the wayside and it was not until a short while ago that I started thinking about it.

I had read Marilyn Armstrong’s “The 12 Foot TeePee” and lay pondering it for many nights, as I worked my way through it.  It had been awhile since I had thought about spirituality or church or religion or God.  Wondering out loud one night, I knew I had to get back to Mass.  I knew that was where I belonged and I was pretty sure that God had told me that Himself.  That may sound cuckoo, but that’s how it was for me.  It was very, very clear.

Since then, I’ve been to Mass just yesterday, and just in time for all of the Lenten celebrations.  It couldn’t be a better time to be going back, and if all keeps going well, which I hope it will (and secretly, *know* it will), I am going to start RCIA classes in the Fall and formally enter the world of Catholicism next year.

Trading Noodles for Hope

Another week has passed…finally.  About a month ago, I was looking forward to this week, Holy Week.  I was going to attend all of the services, celebrate Jesus.  It’s 5:03 on Easter evening and I didn’t go to a single one.

I have felt the absence of God recently.  I felt like I had found Him and now it feels as if He has gone.  I think that it is possible that depression is blocking Him from reaching me, sinking me deep into concrete and covering my ears and eyes to the beauty in the world.  It is hard to see anything good coming.  Even when they are brought to my attention, I see no hope.  I feel mired in these terrible feelings.

Of course, the question is asked, “And what are you doing to bring yourself back?”  The answer is always, “Not enough.”  I am not doing enough.  I feel like giving up sometimes.  Sometimes I do give up for a little while, sometimes even a long while.  I am at that point where there is only a little piece of me that thinks I can feel better.

Wanting is not having.  I do want to feel better.  At least, I think I do.  I just want things to be easier.  I want to not struggle, I want to not feel sad and alone.  What I do not want to do is work at it.  I am lacking the energy to do the smallest things for myself.

Today I went to the grocery store for the first time in about a month.  I have been eating random things out of my pantry and freezer, eating at Mom’s, and eating fast food.  And a lot of noodles.

I have really been missing having healthy food around house.  There has not been much to eat at the house, and while I feel like all I want is a sandwich or a salad, I just give up and eat junk.  I go get junk.  I do not go to the grocery store, I go to the drive-through or the gas station.  It is no wonder my body feels terrible, with all of this processed and fried food.  All the salt!!

I was going to put off going to the grocery store for another week, but I am beginning to miss protein and feel like I have eaten enough carbs to last me a lifetime.  I wonder to myself, knowing what GoM would say, if this latest sequence of giving up on monitoring my eating is contributing to my depression.  Well, of course it is.  I have the want to eat something healthy, but I don’t have the energy or desire to do anything about it. 

So, I went to the grocery store today.  I bought meat, vegetables, healthy dairy, fruit, and nuts.  I have this tiny glimmer of hope within me that I can start doing better with what I am eating.

If I could just make myself care about one little thing, I want to care about what I am putting in my body.  If I could just get that one little thing under control, the rest might start to come together.  Eating better might mean more exercise, which could lead to more energy to put toward making myself feel better.

I have talked myself into having a goal for the week.  Yay.

Just click on the link:

Norah Jones, Sunrise

When Things End

I do not even know how to start this post, I have been doing it so infrequently.  It doesn’t help that my mind is racing and I am doing my to ignore, block, avoid.  Ignore, block, avoid, repeat.  And so on and so on.  It just seems like there has been so much going on, and I haven’t been able to handle it all at once.

Two things can be true:  1) You can have an ended relationship and know it is for the best, while at the same time, 2) not be able to get your shit together, your new routine going, your scattered life to come back to one piece again.  That is how I feel, I think.  I feel like I have been broken into a million pieces and I am trying to put them all together again, and it is too painful/hard/irritating/overwhelming, so I just sit around, still functional, but in pieces.

I don’t think it helped that I went through another rough spot this winter right before Dr. Love and I broke up.  I hadn’t exactly recovered when we did break up, and, while sometimes things seem much brighter, there is this lingering and poisonous fog that hover.  And the mind can play tricks on you.  I am up and down, up and down — life is great/life is shit, I can’t deal/I can do anything, I want to quit smoking/I’ll never quit, feels great to be healthy/feels like home to throw self-control out the window.

I have been doing better about taking my Cymbalta, but nowhere near perfect.  I have this huge mental block around it, and try as I do to go through it, over it, under it, around it, I just keep getting stuck.  Sometimes I have this thought:

If I feel good, I might start doing more, and I might meet someone, and then they will break me in two.

Ok, so it’s not sometimes I have this thought, it’s all the time.  I absolutely do not want another relationship and the thought that someday I might feel up to it again terrifies me.  Yet, I sometime seek out these situations where I might meet someone.

I am lonely/I am terrified

QoB keeps on telling me that I’ve spent a lot of time alone in my life, so she knows I can do it again.  I don’t remember many alone times.  I was thinking about it, and I don’t think I have been without a boyfriend for longer than five months since early in high school.  It’s hard and it’s scary and lonely as hell.  The thought of being with someone though, makes me feel sick to my stomach and I whisper t0 myself over and over again that I don’t need love, and I don’t need kindness.  All I need is myself.

And you know, that’s just not true.  It’s a nice thought, that humans can be totally an island unto themselves, never needing, never seeking.  People can practice their lives that way, but true happiness does not shine through.  There is always a special friendship, caring family, someone that brings light into the life of that person.

I have my people and they know who they are.  Sometimes it is hard for me to reach out, but when I do, I feel relief.  And I continue to reach out to God, and sometimes I feel like He hears me and sees me.  Other times, I feel an oppressive weight upon myself and I feel that there is no hope for any change, so depressed that there are no gifts to be happy for, so agitated that all I can do is curl up in bed and hope I can fall asleep so the world will become silent to me.

I saw Goddess of Mindfulness yesterday.  I have goals for the week, although I am not sure I was able to process this therapy session appropriately because my mind was wrapped so tight.  I have not embraced these goals, but I know that I will try, because I said I would, and because I feel like I must constantly try and pry myself open and let new ideas and thoughts in.  But it hurts, so I am not getting too excited about it.

Sometimes I sit out in my backyard and repeat prayers and loving-kindness meditations, mixing them, and whispering them to myself in some attempt to connect with God, to connect with my own soul, to remember people I love who are no longer here, and try to forgive, forgive, accept, accept.  Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn’t.  I do this sometimes when I am driving from place to place, as well.  One might think that driving a car down the highway, or the boulevard, or wherever, would really limit one’s ability to connect to anything other than the highway, but I know that I have found myself over and over again, wandering out there on that road.

Dashboard Confessional, Vindicated

You’ll have to just click the link.  Apparently YouTube hates my blog and has decided that, because of me, they must ban embedding.  Either that or I have fallen behind the technology.

Long Overdue

Well, here I am…appears that I made it through winter without too many glitches.  The last month has seen lots of changes, most for the better.  Since it has been so long since I have posted, and I have so many things on my mind, this could be a long one.

Dr. Love and I broke up about three weeks ago.  It was probably a long time coming and I shouldn’t have been as shocked as I was.  Things hadn’t been bad, but there hadn’t been much happiness, joy, or love.  It had come to the point where we were mostly roommates, forced to share space, both of us being annoyed about it.  The breakup has been for the best, and has really awakened me to some changes I will have to make in my life if I want it to be a long, happy one.

Exactly two days after Dr. Love and I broke up, I rescued a very cute, sweet, terribly skinny and abused female Yorkie from a nearby city.  She had been dumped on a gravel road out in the country, and somehow made it to a farm where she was picked up by the family that lived there and taken temporarily to their sister’s house inside the city.  I found out about her through an email that was sent out by one of my mom’s co-workers and then sent to me.  I knew at once that I had to have her.

She was getting used to me, getting accustomed to Kizzie, and then last weekend I went to visit my sister.  QoB watched Birdie for me, and I anticipated no problems, but she is a very skittish dog.  Everything was going fine at QoB’s with Birdie and mom’s other dogs, when Birdie went walk-about around 8:00 p.m. on Saturday night.  I was heartbroken.  When I hadn’t received a call (she had a tag on and I filed a missing dog report with the local shelter) by Tuesday, I was convinced that she was gone forever.  It had snowed on Sunday night and I just didn’t see how that tiny dog could have made it.  My best hope was that someone picked her up and decided to keep her.

Much to my surprise, I received a call around 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday asking if I had lost my dog.  I was dumbfounded and in shock.  I had really written Birdie off, believing I would never see her again.  I went and picked her up and she was a mess.  She had lost all of the weight I had been able to put on her, and was covered in cockleburrs.  And of course, was filthy dirty.  She was so excited to see me, though, and I was overwhelmed.  I had said that I was going to get rid of her if I got her back, because I couldn’t deal with all of that drama and heartbreak.  When I brought her home, she got into a fight with Kizzie, which strengthened my resolve to find her another home.

By the following evening, after spending about 20 minutes with Birdie and Kizzie together, seeing how happy Birdie was, how happy I was to be around her, and how good it was to see Kizzie so excited, I knew that I was going to keep her and nurse her back to health, physically and emotionally.  This poor dog has been through hell and back.  When she was found, she was over a mile from where she had went missing.  I firmly believed that God wanted me to have this dog.  I don’t care how corny that sounds.  I believe.

With Dr. Love gone, I am trying to figure out what makes me happy. I keep telling everyone, “I’m fine, I’m great,” and maybe in some ways I am.  I feel more free, but I experience terrible loneliness and cry often.  I have spent a lot of time in my life being alone, and doing fine with it — it has been awhile though.  I know it will come in time.  I have to remind myself that I am grieving something that I had always thought would get better and last forever.

One of the things I know I am going to have to do if I want to attain any level of happiness is to stop f’ing with my Cymbalta.  I have taken it, it has worked well, and then I stop.  I just stop and I don’t know why.  Ok, I do know why…I feel better.  I convince myself that it is something other than Cymbalta that makes me feel good, and I just stop.  When the low days hit, I blame it on a lack of sleep or the weather.  It is not the friggin’ weather.  It is a damn chemical imbalance in my brain that can be righted with a small blue and white pill and I am so willful in this area it kills me.

In other “let’s-try-to-be-happy” news, I have been walking, eating right, trying to lose weight.  The progress is slow, and the knees are painful, but I want to live for a very long time and that isn’t going to happen if I don’t get at least some of this weight off.  I want to be more active and not be so restricted by my size.  I know I can get there.

I tried to quit smoking on January 10th and it is a damn uphill battle ever since.  Some days are better than others, some worse.  I just keep trying.  That’s all I can do.

I have been thinking about getting involved in a local church.  I feel that I had forsaken God for years, and find that He has not forsaken me.  I am humbly grateful for all I have and all I can give.  I’m sure there will be more on this topic later, as I try to find a church that I enjoy.  For now, talking to God makes me feel more whole than I can remember.

Jeff Buckley, Hallelujah

This is the song I wanted to put for this blog, but couldn’t find a video I could embed.  Try this link.