Feelings of Okay-ish-ness

capable

I think this is part of the human condition, rather than a function of mental illness (or wellness, for that matter).  We try so very hard to maintain a baseline, and sometimes it floats away from us, due to circumstances not within our control.

Let’s face it…very little is within our control, and especially others’ behavior and inactions and lives — those are exquisitely beyond our control.  And that little fact can drive me a bit mad.  I have the tendency to want to loop my lasso over the horns of every bull and drag it to the ground, and this is simply insanity and I cannot sustain it over the long haul.  I can (and do) work on my own issues, but I cannot *fix* or even (in most cases) alter the path of others’ behavior.

I have been quiet for the past couple weeks, simply living life, and struggling to live it on the terms which are required of me.  There is so much suffering around me and I want to reach out and heal it, but when I do, I often leave myself with scars.  I cannot help you, without being affected myself, and I am not always in a position where I can afford to be affected by anything other than my own complicated existence.

In the past few weeks, my focus has been on living in the moment, general mindfulness, willingness, practicing opposite to emotion.  In other words, Rosa is doing some hard work right about now, and sometimes when I am doing that, I have to disappear a little bit.  Because words are hard to come by, and there have been other challenges that I haven’t wanted to put a spotlight on — very real, very concrete and physical challenges that I don’t know how to wrap my own tired mind around, nevertheless explain them to someone else.

I miss blogging when I don’t do it, but it is necessary for me to shut down, or maybe even reboot my brain every once in awhile.  I haven’t been talking about it, but in the past month I have been dealing with a new mental health diagnosis, the confirmation of a new chronic physical illness, a septic system that is no longer working, the death of an aunt, worries about family members, and with all the recent rain, a basement that is full of water and must be pumped every couple of hours (and the ruin of my HVAC system and hot water heater, with the first wave of rain).

A lot going on, yes, but I am managing because I am living in the moment and not allowing myself to think too far outside of where I am right now.  I also don’t want to feel like I am complaining, because I really do have a great deal to be thankful for.  The challenges keep pouring in on my head, but I continue to have hope and faith that things will work out for the best.  That fact, that I still have hope and faith even with the storms of drama around me, is near-miraculous, as my general tendency (once-upon-a-time) would be to catastrophize and live in panic.  I don’t want to do that anymore, and I actually refuse to do that anymore.

some days are betterwill write more about the new physical and mental health diagnoses at some point, and at another  point I might take a moment to complain about my failed septic/HVAC/basement disasters.  For today, though, I just want to be grateful for things like my LarBear, family, friends, and for my new-found sense of hope and ok-ish-ness.

 

That Sinking Feeling

It comes from almost nowhere.   Previous thoughts were joyful, content, happy, the feeling of “everything-gonna-be-ok” running free.  The sun has set on those thoughts, and in their place is negativity and uncertainty and noisy feelings of fear.  The “ups” never last too long, around here.

What I wouldn’t give to have the last few hours back, the last few days, the week…ha!  I never seem to enjoy the “up” as much as I should.  I take it for granted, because it always comes back, but I seem to remember that it goes away, too.

It doesn’t go away in a roar or even a remotely noticeable way.  It skitters like grains of sand across the ground, until it accumulates in a pile large enough for me to recognize that those feelings are back.  The feelings that I thought would be gone, at least for awhile longer.

This crockery that I am working on right now, the idea of mental health recovery.  Who am I even kidding?  How foolish of me to finally decide to buy-in to the idea, that someday, I wouldn’t have to worry about any symptoms.  Does that really happen to people in reality, or is it just something for the self-help workbook?  Or are people just fooling themselves?  I think that is more likely.

This time is slightly different, because this time I recall exactly what I was thinking when the negative thoughts started to roll in.  The thought in my head, singular, standing alone — “I am going to worry about myself and what I need, and stop putting everyone else first.”  That was the thought, the idea that sparked all of this downhill slide.

Just as I knew the downhill slide would come, and I would have to stay busy refuting all of the garbage in my head, I know with certainty that the “up” will come back.  It might be an hour and it might be an hour or a week or a month, but my money is on an hour or a day, because there is so much up and down in my brain right now.  No mood state is lasting very long.

So I’ll talk with LarBear and cry my eyes out and then maybe understand a little better what is going on.  What is underlying.  I have my suspicions, namely my poor physical health of late and the fact that I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow.  Let’s hope that’s what it is, and maybe I can even find some middle ground, and not just go “up.”  I simply thought it might be helpful me to document the exact “what” of the downward slide because hey, maybe someday I can change it.

There are bad feelings right now, but there is also hope, and hope must be fought for with every shred of self that one has.  Without hope, there is nothing, and with it, everything.

I Want, I Can, I Will

dodinsky

It’s probably not the most difficult chapter of my life, but maybe just one of the MORE difficult ones that I seem to have repeated six or seven or maybe eleven times within the course of my short 34 years on this planet.  It’s the sense of extreme deja vu, the certainty that the piano in the corner has played this music before, although perhaps in a different key, a slightly different tempo.

Yes, it’s time to work on the recovery stage of a big, huge, fat, ugly depression, and to be starting to see the crest at the top of the hill.  It is within the next fifty yards or so, that I have started “doing things” again.  When I say, “doing things,” I mean everything from showering daily to leaving my house regularly to baking apple pies from scratch to exercising.  There are THINGS and they are getting DONE.  By ME.

A few days ago, I fell coming up the steps of my house and turned my ankle.  I was pretty sure something was broken, and I was somewhat positive that I had re-broken the metatarsal in my foot that I had also broken the last two Decembers.  My mood turned foul as I hobbled and waited to go see the doctor and have an x-ray.

As it turns out, nothing is broken.  While I was at the doctor’s office, I also managed to ask for a dietician referral and a prescription for compression stockings.  You see, I have let myself get a big fat.  A lot fat.  Ridiculously-bigger-than-ever fat.  Fat enough, that it is affecting my health.  My doctor almost put me on diabetes treatment medication, but I wouldn’t let her and asked her to re-do my labs — which came back within normal limits.

So, for the sixth, seventh, eleventh time in my life, I have had my “oh holy crap, I’m too fat to keep going in this way” freak-out.  I am going to, first thing tomorrow, go see about some compression stockings because my lower legs, feet, and ankles are swollen so terribly uncomfortably.  I’m going to research a dietician, who maybe can help me with some meal-planning.  I’m also going to get back to my aqua exercise at the YMCA, because that was really helping last week.

Life is too good, too sweet, too soon gone to spend my time being:

  1. So overweight that almost any movement is prohibitively uncomfortable
  2. So self-conscious about my high weight that I avoid eating or grocery shopping in front of other people
  3. So heavy that all I can think about is how heavy, slow, syrupy my body feels
  4. Ashamed (yet baffled) that I have let myself get so big
  5. So unhealthy that I need medication to treat any weight-related disease

SO friends, I might do something nutty, something drastic — I might swear off sugar or swear off carbohydrates or start making my goal of exercising every day.  Whatever it takes, I’m gonna do it.  Because, friends, I have TOO FREAKING AWESOME of a life to be without one, all over some fat cells and high blood sugars.

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How Not To Fuel the Fire

I have been a plus-size woman for the majority of my adult life.  Some years bigger than others (ahem…some DECADES bigger than others), but with the exception of a few years here and there, I have carried quite a bit of extra weight.  I have been extremely lucky, in that I have developed very few medical problems this extra weight.

Yes, I have sleep apnea and slightly high blood pressure, but both are easily treatable — one with a CPAP machine that I am devoted to wearing every time I lie down, and the blood pressure with a tiny dose of medication.  I again say, I have been extremely lucky, and I don’t really lose sight of that.  I know things could be much worse for my physical health because of my size (oy, and the smoking), but thanks to good genetics or the moon pulling the tides or what-have-you, I don’t suffer much with physical ills.

When I first started this blog over seven years ago, I was quite overweight, although not nearly to the degree I am now, and I actually DID have some health problems.  I joined Weight Watchers, dropped a bunch of weight, and walked three to ten miles a day (every day).  Unfortunately, I had a knee energy when I (foolishly) decided I was skinny enough to start running, and the scale has been on the uptick ever since.

For the past few months I have been feeling quite miserable physically, and I finally went and saw my primary care provider, who ran a bunch of labs.  It turned out that my fasting glucose was quite high, and she immediately decided that I had diabetes and she needed to prescribe Metformin (a diabetic medication) and all would be well.

Well, hellz no, lady!  With the 19 pills I take every morning and 24 I take every night for mental health issues, I’m not going to just throw another pill on top of things, all willy nilly.  SO, I asked her to test my A1C (it is more of an average of your blood sugar levels over a much longer period of time, rather than just the one instance).

And my A1C was NORMAL and my mononucleosis test came back NEGATIVE and so I am celebrating because…yay…I haven’t totally screwed my body up yet!  Now, of course, this doesn’t explain why I feel so awful physically, but at least I know that most of my labs are normal, so this is great news.

I spoke with my provider’s nurse, and my provider would like me to mostly eliminate carbohydrates and eat more fruits and vegetables.  I am going to take this under consideration, but I don’t want to do anything too extreme as I have a history of eating disorder, including but not limited to extreme preoccupation with food and calories.

I have not participated in *hardly* any eating disorder activity since LarBear and I have been together, and I want to keep it that way.  I don’t want to get really focused on a certain diet that I need to keep, and end up back where I used to be — all-consumed by anything that went into my mouth (and, similarly, that which was purged).  BUT, I do want to be a healthier person and I really do want to feel better physically so I can do more things.

There is the push and pull, now, that I need to lose weight and exercise more, and I do know that.  I am grateful I have yet to eff up the one body that I have been given on this planet (although I have really put it through quite the cycles of abuse) and so I feel very thankful for that.  I don’t want to worsen things, and turn that next A1C that I have to have drawn in two months into a problem number, but as stated before, don’t want to restart the eating disorder cycle (because it is the biggest bitch ever to get out of).

Any constructive thoughts are welcomed, desired, hoped-for, et cetera, ad nauseum!  😀

Transitioning

Over the last year, blogging and Internet activity in general have slowed to a near standstill for me.  I realized this not too long ago, when I was without a decent computer to use for about two weeks.  I barely checked my email, posted on Facebook maybe twice, didn’t even look at a blog post, and hardly noticed.  What I did notice, however, was that I have started to do quite a bit of sit-and-stare.  You know, the whole three-hours-pass-as-three-minutes sit-and-stare kind of thing.

And I thought…oh, that can’t be good.  So, most of the amped-up anxiety is gone, most of the days.  Instead, there is a very active LACK OF INTEREST in once-pleasurable activities.  I don’t necessarily feel  too depressed, but I am certainly hitting all the DSM markers of it.  I am taking boatloads of Seroquel, and also Topamax now, as a mood stabilizer and to counter the ridiculous hunger pains that Seroquel brings.

I can certainly say that Topomax has almost completely abolished hunger.  This would be a good thing, right?  Well, yes and no.  Its good, because I’m losing weight.  Its bad, because putting ANYTHING in my mouth, whether it be liquid or solid, nutritious or not, just sounds nasty.  That includes water, so I find myself quite dehydrated at the end of the day.  I have been sick on a few occasions since starting it, and I find I really have to be on top of things.

Immense stress and pressure here in the last week, with LarBear having serious physical health issues and a very ill grandfather, and me dealing with everyday randomness garbage and seasonal change to boot.  I feel like I am somewhat on top of things, but mostly because of the great support I am getting from my dad and QoB.  I am used to LarBear picking up a lot of slack, but he has really not been himself lately, and I am eager for us to put this little stretch behind us.

Of course there are always hopes that I will keep up better with blogging, and maybe I might, who knows.  I’m going to try, and am at least better set up for it now that I have a new monitor for my desktop.  Winter will be here soon and I won’t want to get out much (even less than the nonexistent now…ha!), so I am looking for some new routines.

So, yep, that’s my story…looking for new routines, looking to put this stretch behind me, looking, looking, looking…

This and That

I believe I am committing a sort of bloggie faux pas right now.  I have a day’s worth of comments that I have not responded to yet, and I really need to blog, like right now, because I am starting to drift off and must get this daily blog thing in.  One shouldn’t put up a new post before making sure all comments are answered from the previous day, or should they?  I’ve never understood the appropriate protocol.  Please, other bloggers, leave you thoughts on that bit in the comments.  Maybe now we will get some truth!

I had a very nice day at work, hanging out with BlueCat.  We didn’t make a lot of money, but we made it fun, and that’s what matters.  Ok, so money, yes, is important, but we have to realize that we are in a seasonal business and the “fishing season” is over for everyone except the die-hards.  Like BlueCat and Snickers — they will fish until you can’t get a boat out over the ice, usually early January.  And then there are the ice fishermen, and, well, that’s just a whole different kind of man.

Realized today while looking at the odd ticker tape on my dashboard, that I have not smoked for one week, one day, 10 hours, 39 minutes and 7 seconds. 506 cigarettes not smoked, saving $68.39. Life saved: 1 day, 18 hours, 10 minutes.

I mean, if you think about it, 506 cigarettes is a TON of cigarettes.  There toward the end, I was probably smoking a good three packs/day.  That is just grossness…in my mouth and in my lungs.  Another thing about quitting is that you start to get your sense of smell and sense of taste back.  I have bad news folks — coffee is disgusting.  No, I mean it, its foul.  Tried it with my usual creamer, tried it with milk.  Coffee is a no-go.  This makes me sad because I really loved coffee and the zip it gave me, but I am going to bust out the Iced Tea Maker that Mom and the Big Dawg got me for my birthday.  I can’t possibly have lost my taste for iced tea…surely not.

So, on Tuesday I get to swallow a camera.  Yeppers, it’s not sci-fi, it’s my life.  Unfortunately you have to do all the prep work for the procedure, although its not quite as bad as colonoscopy prep.  The bonus of all of this is that I was able to talk myself into buying a couple extra Gatorades since I can’t eat anything tomorrow and can only drink clear fluids (Gatorade totally counts, they just don’t want you to drink any red or purple).  Keep fingers and toes crossed that this whole little episode goes well.

great sisters get promoted to aunt

That’s right…Auntie Rose in the house. 🙂

I’m Gonna Pretend

The more apt words would be:  “I’m gonna fake it till I make it.”  I don’t particularly like this phrase, more than anything because it is really a 12-step mantra.  Now, I don’t have anything against 12-steppers and actually pertains to something else altogether, but it doesn’t really jive with the life I have set up for myself.  So, instead, “I’m Gonna Pretend.”

Last night, I had about six hours sleep, in two 3-hour blocks.  I’ve been sleeping pretty much this way for the last week.  So, I’m gonna pretend that I just rolled off my expensive bed at half past ten, feeling totally refreshed.  I know I can pretend this one, because I have for the past 32 years.  Yep, even as a baby, I wasn’t a good sleeper.  So I can do this.  I have a little under-eye concealer and my clothes match and aren’t wrinkled.  The appearance of success.  I, generally, look like a normal young person ready to walk out the door.

Now if I can just get my foot stuffed into this show, I’d be golden.  The cellulitis (which, Keflex, the treatment, is “apparently” the key to all of my stomach woes, says Dad’s wife who is a nurse).  Shoes are important, but they aren’t terribly important.  I choose my most stretchy pair, even though they look like they need to be run through the washing machine.  Trust me, people are not looking at my damn feet when I walk into a room.  They’re wondering how my hair got just that big, and then maybe wondering the same thing about my butt.

Shoes on, clothes on…will travel.  I’m gonna pretend.

And that’s my plan for today.  I am going to run every single weird-ass errand I have to run, from getting my CPAP looked at to making a run to the Rez to buying gas to seeing if I can’t find some lavender oil drops to make Kizzie less anxious during storms and fireworks.  I might even stop and get my car vacuumed out and washed.  Just because I have the free tickets and because I can.

So my friends, I’m gonna pretend that I don’t still feel slightly crappy, that I’m not tired as hell, that I’d rather be in bed.  I’m gonna pretend and I’m going to try and stay out all day.

Because I am a Talbott-woman, because I rock that, and because I can.  And maybe, just because I can.

(and also, staying inside another minute is going to drive me insane)

(and you would suffer because I would just keep on blogging, on and on)