Is it Weird, or Is it Cuckoo?

Mental Mama’s Seven Weeks of Weird has left me baffled.  The first three (weird foods you eat, weird things people don’t know about you, weirdest thing you do to relax) were all somewhat challenging, but do-able.  As I’ve said before, I didn’t consider myself a very weird person, but I guess I do have my quirks and once I got to writing, it became apparent that I am a little on the cuck0o, if not weird side.  I’m leaning more heavily toward cuckoo…maybe I just don’t like the word weird.  Semantics, semantics!

Last week saw me in a downturn, so I didn’t get around to Weird Wednesday.   I’m gonna double-book this post and do last week’s and this week’s all in one.  I’ll try and keep this from turning into a 1500 word essay on why Rosa is weird/cuckoo.  (I know, Bradley, 600 words, 600 words).  😀

Last week’s topic challenged me to describe the weirdest routine or habit I have.  I don’t think the routine in itself is weird, but it’s how closely I stick to it that might be a bit cuckoo.  Now, throwing the last six weeks out the window, I keep a very strict sleep/wake cycle.  I have a morning routine and I have a bedtime routine.  I’m talking more than just brushing your teeth and washing your face.  Certain things are scheduled at certain times and I get slightly distressed if I get off schedule.

It all kicks off when I take my evening meds at 8:00P and ends when I lay down in bed with my Kindle at 9:00P.  I “allow” myself to read for an hour, at which point I must try and sleep.  In the morning, I rise at a certain time, drink caffeine of some sort, and sort through the Internet until it’s time to get ready for work or do whatever else it is I’m doing that day.  I do this every day, and if I don’t, my mood gets seriously thrown off.  Schedule and consistency are key to managing bipolar disorder.  At least for me.

This week’s topic questioned the writer what the weirdest thing they collect would be.  I thought about this for awhile, as I don’t collect figurines of any sort or belly button lint.  Then, as I reached for my water, I realized — I collect oversized plastic cups.  Yup.  That is a little weird, isn’t it?  My current favorites are 32 oz double-wall-insulated faux Solo cups.  They are AMAZING.  They will keep a drink cold from the fridge without ice for hours.  They’re a perfect size so you’re not always getting up and refilling.  They might just be the perfect cup.

I also have a slew of glasses, and that was at the request of DSB, wh0 couldn’t stand to drink out of plastic.  I need to make room for some new plastic cups Mom found for me, and I am seriously thinking about boxing up all the glasses and giving them away.  Or at least putting them out in the garage.  I have little use for a real glass.  They never get clean in the dishwasher, and they break.

So, what’s cuckoo or weird about you?  It’s not too late to sign up over at Mama’s!

Building Rome: Back to Basics

This week, this Monday, I have started to feel just a bit better and so some of the fuzzy thinking is gone.  I know what I need to do is go back to basics and then build my strength back up.  I don’t want to set a bunch of goals, not to accomplish them.  With Green Embers’ Building Rome series, several of us have been setting goals around the blogosphere and sharing with others.

We all report on past goals, some of us report on the same every day or week goals, and we all set new goals.  You do it how it works for you.  And I only say this because I have been trying for the last 24 hours to come up with a way to do this post, that I wouldn’t fail.  I’m tired of not meeting my goals and it is clear that sometimes I am setting unrealistic expectations.  I hope to do a bit better this week.

Last week, I vowed to:

1) Help someone do something difficult for themselves, through support and encouragement.  I think I accomplished this with flying colors.  Yay!

2) Take downtime to set long-term goals.  I didn’t sit down and write a list, but I have been doing quite a bit of thinking about it, so I’m gonna give myself partial credit.

3)  Take joy in unexpected benefits.  I have really been finding my knee keeps getting better.  I have been able to get around better and be in less pain.

Do-Or-Die Goals:

1) Take care of Kizzie’s needs.   I have been trying to pay extra special attention to the Kizzer and have been able to do so with all this extra time.  She has not had a moment without water or food and the treats have been given in decent amounts.  She seems to be very happy.

2) Daily hygiene/self-care.  Check!

3)  Take meds as prescribed.   Check!

4) Work on healthy eating.  Does lots of Ramen and Sprite count?  😦

This week’s “back to basics” goals:

1)  Set aside one to two hours to read everyday (two if I am not working that day).

2) Go back to work or somehow be more involved with the shop.

3) Start driving again.

Obsessive Tendencies Rosa

The theme of today’s Daily Prompt is:

Can’t Get it Out of My Head!

They ask “have you ever become obsessed with something?”

Me?  Obsessed?  Obsessive tendencies Rosa?  Ha!

It varies from day to day, but five constant obsessions include:

1) DSB’s health.  We’ve been in the ER most of the afternoon and evening, and DSB has pneumonia.  Like, in a bad BAD way.  They admitted him and, while we waited for a bed, he forced me to go home, laying on the guilt with, “the dogs need for someone to be home.  We left them in the middle of a thunderstorm.”  Gah.  So here I am, at home.  DSB is still sitting in the ER waiting on a bed.  And I am (in my head) writing my memoir, which at this point is stuck in the litany of illnesses, surgeries, accidents, and mishaps that DSB has had in the two years that I have known him.

Emergency

2)  Blogging.  Not blogging well, mind you.  But blogging.  Putting something up every day, even if I have to do it at 6:00am in my underwear or at 9:00pm before I’ve had dinner.  Even if it’s complete drivel and no  one reads it.  Hey, I’m blogging.  Daily.  I’d like to get away from doing “list and picture posts,” but I think I’m becoming obsessed with those, too.

3) Jelly beans. That’s right, it’s Easter bunny time and I am ALL about the jelly beans.  Year-round, actually, but right now, they’re everywhere!  Jelly Belly is my favorite, but I even like the $1 packages you can buy at Dollar General.  Jelly beans are my kryptonite.

These are Jelly Bellies...taken from Wikipedia of all places

These are Jelly Bellies…taken from Wikipedia of all places

4) My pups.  They mean everything to me and we treat them like they are itty bitty royals.  Treats, snacks, good (and expensive!) dog food, always up to date on shots and heartworm and flea/tick, fresh water, and a dog food bowl that never stands empty.  I can’t explain the love I have for these pups.  See below for yourself:

kizz

Kizzer Wizzer licking her chops

Rascal in water

Rascal in Kansas waters for the first time in his life

Kizzie and Rascal in water

Kizzie and Rascal wishing they didn’t have to be on leashes

5) Sticking to my schedule.  If there is only one non-medication thing I can do to treat my bipolar, to keep the bipolar demons at bay, it’s sticking to a schedule.  I have a wake-up schedule and an evening schedule and a bedtime schedule.  I take my meds at the same time each day.  I go to work on the same days, structure my days off, and generally not allow myself any down-time to brood over things.  If I’m not blogging or catching up on the 210 (yikes!!!) blogs I follow, I’m reading a book or scrubbing my kitchen or chatting up DSB.  Idle time is not good for me, and I learned that the hard way.

via I actually keep a day-planner.  Love!

via
I actually keep a day-planner. Love!

So, down goes another “list and picture post.”  They really are addictive!

Not Quite As Easy As it Should Be

The weekend will officially be over in about two hours and I must say that I am thankful for that.  DSB’s kidney incision opened up and has been draining…four months later, and I am desperate to get him in to see his surgeon tomorrow.  What DSB really should have done, and my mom and sister both agree, is to go to an urgent care center to have it checked out.  Nope.  Not him.  “Bunch of butchers.”  Better to die of blood poisoning, I suppose.  It has been a very frustrating and scary situation for me, so I have been driving him crazy, checking and monitoring.  Ah well, I suppose that’s love.

I didn’t have to work a full day yesterday because it was so slow, so I went to QoB’s house and we set things afire.  I helped her get her goat and chicken chores done, and we sat and bullshitted a bit.  I am nervous about how my winter hours are going to pan out, because she still wants me to work a solid 15 a week and I just don’t know where that work will come from.  I really don’t want to sit down in a cold shop and read my book for five hours a day.  I am sure we will come up with something, I just want that something to be come up with soon so I can stop worrying about it.

Group therapy continues this week.  I am really looking forward to it.  I like the scheduling out of activities and tasks.  It is very soothing to me.  And I must say I am doing so much better on some fronts, like showering, keeping the kitchen clean, and doing laundry.  Those other parts will fall into place, I hope.

I have no individual therapy this week and in a way I think that’s good, because I feel like I need a break.  My therapist can be very intense and I feel really pressured to come up with a lot to say.  The trauma work is coming along very slowly and I have put time in my schedule tomorrow to write an un-sent letter to Blow, an abusive ex-boyfriend.  I think this will be quite difficult, but I am fairly certain that I will feel better once I do it.

I am having coffee with Sister Sara on Tuesday and I am really looking forward to that.  We don’t get together very often, but always have lots to talk about when we do.  I am interested to know how her kiddos are doing and it also gives her a chance to do something out of the norm.  I hope she enjoys our little visits as much as I do.

Speaking of sisters, my fabulously wonderful, pregnant sister is really hard to pin down.  I have been trying to get her to commit to doing something, even for a few hours, for weeks now and it seems like it just never happens.  I know she is busy, I do understand that.  It just seems like she could make a few hours for her big sis, and no, I really don’t think I need Dad as an escort.  I don’t understand.  I have even volunteered to come up and see her in the big city.  People have different priorities.

My mom has also been super-busy, working on her goat/chicken/duck paradise.  I feel like I have barely seen her.  I want to reiterate, I know that people are busy.  I get that.  It just sucks when I don’t have as much going on and the people I want to spend time with always have packed schedules and missions they want to accomplish.

I have missions I want to accomplish, too.  I am hoping to keep working on housework this week, trying to get all the mud up off the floors that the dogs have left in the last few days after a rain.  It is so overwhelming, it’s mind-boggling.  Even my mom, who does not shirk at the most difficult task, says “I would cry if that happened to my floors every time it rained.”  Welcome to my world, the world of where keeping the house clean isn’t quite as easy as it should be.

 

 

Overdue Word Vomit

Well hello again (and let me pre-warn you that this post is all over the place:  there’s kind of a brain-vomit all over the screen kinda-thing going on here).

These random comings and goings are quite annoying, for me, maybe for you, maybe not.  They’re annoying for me because then I don’t SEE what I have been up to, written right there on the screen, and I have a tendency of FORGETTING life’s lessons, and so I have to learn them over and over and over.

A few weeks ago, my new therapist, fuck! I can’t remember what I named her.  Something about cognitive disortions, so we’re just going to go with CD.  This is what happens when you go too long without blogging, as I had mentioned before, you FORGET things.  And you also forget that it is impolite to do all-caps but I am writing this with such feeling, it’s hard not to just throw capslock on and scream the entire post.

My mind is all over the place.  What I began to say is that CD put me in a “Intermediate Treatment” group a few weeks ago.  She was concerned about my higher scores of suicidal ideation, mounting depression, and feelings of worthlessness.  Now, I hate groups.  Hate.  Hate.  Hate.

I actually kind of like this one, and will be somewhat on the sad side to see it go here in a week or so.  Sad, but true.  This group focuses on your core values and then helps you figure out activities so you can meet goals based on your core values.  You basically fill out a daily schedule, one day ahead of time, placing in it activities that you think will help you achieve your goal (based on your core value).  There’s some other stuff to it, but the main thing is the daily schedule, pre-filling it, and then editing it as needed as the day goes by and shit either does or doesn’t.  There is also rating of the enjoyment of the activity, as well as importance of the activity.

I don’t know what it is about this group, but there are certain goals that I was kind of working on before, but am really working on now (for some reason), and I am actually accomplishing them.  I have been taking a shower every-other, to every 3rd day.  That’s exceptionally good for me.  I have been making it more a priority to read each day.  To get outside each day.  To cook dinner each night.

There are still some things that I just can’t quite get my head wrapped around, like keeping my house super-clean.  I’m not even sure that’s an attainable goal.  I think I need to break that one into little steps and go about it different.  Today, when I was working on housework, I set a timer where I would work for 15 minutes and then rest for 5.  Rinse and repeat.  Wax on, wax off.  It really did work pretty well and my kitchen is spotless and my horrifying laundryroom is totally picked up.

There are some things I really hate to do, but mostly that is to clean floors.  And it is very necessary in this household, because we have two dogs, and one of those dogs sheds like a bad dog.  We have more dirt than grass where they run, and let’s face it, they are just constantly tracking shit in.  I don’t know how to get my floors clean and keep them clean.  I try to mop, they’re dirty an hour later.  So I don’t bother.  I really do need to work on this.  I think one of my big hang-ups on this one is that my mom is always talking about  needing to clean her floors and has this near-obsession with doing so.  And she always has.  Forever.  Amen.

DSB did some working around so that I am using an actual (very large) monitor, real keyboard, real mouse, and still using my laptop.  We had thought the laptop was toast but it turned out it just needed a few driver updates and fixes.  It is kind of like a docking station, except much less sophisticated.  But I love it and today is the first day it has worked.  So, yay!  I am hoping this will get me to journal and blog more, maybe even catch up with the news.  DSB warns me not to be on it all the time, because he knows there are other things that need doing.  Like I need DSB to remind me what needs doing.  Kind of like I reminded him to take the trash down to the road today, which he never does but is on his “duty list,” might I say.  He took it like a trooper, though, and I am very happy it’s down there because it was very full and I know we’ll create a bunch more trash and I want to have room to put it.

And that’s why I did laundry, totally reorganized the laundry room, washed and put away dishes, organized the dining room, and thought about doing the floors today.  To my credit, it is very muddy outside and doing the floors would just piss me off 10 minutes later.  That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

Lack of Routine = Epic Fail

I am blogging now because I am hopeful that I can talk myself into cleaning and laundry and dishes by the end of the post.  I had so much energy about 10 days ago when I started Project Re-Invent, but I’ve had a few days off due to working and Monday QT with DSB.  It seems that all energy for the project has been sapped from me.

I woke up not feeling well today, a common side effect of my meds.  I took a few Immodium, and decided to rest for a little bit.  Well, I fell back asleep and woke up about an hour ago, still in need of more Immodium.  What is it about these drug cocktails that cause such horrible bowel problems?  This has been going on for years and years and years!

I ate a few dry Saltines a little bit ago, popped a few more Immodium, and took my noon dose of Ritalin.  I am convinced that I will be feeling on top of the world within the hour.  I mean, really, I NEED to be!

I was very much not pleased at falling back asleep this morning.  I took my sleeping pills too late last night and therefore did not have that pleasant morning wake-up around 7:30am.  Instead, I woke up groggy at 9:00am, thus the falling back asleep when deciding to rest my tummy.

Is it just me, or is there this fine balance that we have to walk in order to function like an average adult?  I mean, in order to get the chores and “have-to’s” done, and leave a little time in for play, I have to stick to my routine like my life depends on it.

If I don’t get my meds taken by 7:30pm, I am totally screwed for the next day.  If I don’t head for bed around 9:00pm, I am totally screwed for the next day.  If I don’t wake up by 8:00am and take my Ritalin and drink two cups of coffee, I can’t function.  My day is shot, both in getting done what I need to get done, but also in my mood and my interactions with other people.

I would like to be more flexible in my routine, but I have tried and time and time again it fails.  When the time changed, my mother suggested I try staying up later since it was light later.  I have learned from past experience and I told her there was no way I could do that.  She reconsidered and agreed it would be a bad idea.  It’s just that the IDEA IS ALWAYS THERE.

Hey, I could do this or change this or it would be ok just this one time.  Well, hell, it just doesn’t work that way.  Almost 15 years I have been living with bipolar, and it hasn’t sunk in.  Therapists and doctors and books and websites and research papers reiterate it: you must find a schedule or a routine and stick with it, no matter what.  Why hasn’t it sunk into my thick head yet?

There is such an urge to be “normal” and do whatever I want, go to bed at midnight and get up at two the next day.  I spent many years drinking alcohol, but decided over a year ago it just wasn’t in my best interests due to the bipolar and the meds.  I deal with it ok, but there are times, fleeting times, when it sure would be nice to have a margarita.  There is a big fireworks show at the lake this year, but it doesn’ start until 10:00pm and the lake is 30 minutes from my house.  The chances of me watching it, getting home, and getting anything recognizable as sleep are zilch.  I so much want to, but I so much know I can’t.

The worst is that the majority of the world around you doesn’t have to stick to a strict schedule.  My mom can stay up poppin’ tops until all hours, and still go out and put in eight hours worth of planting lilies in the sun like a rockstar.  Sure, she feels a little crappy, but she CAN DO IT.  DSB can live with three to five hours of sleep for weeks on end and not have his mood, his attitude, or his demeanor change.  My dad can stay up until two or three in the morning and sleep until nine the next day, and then the following day, go to bed at ten and get up at five, and be JUST FINE.

The one person I know who needs a strict sleep routine like me isn’t even bipolar.  Big Dog needs his nine to ten hours of sleep each night, or his mood, his attitude, his outlook starts the road downhill.  He tries to do more, of course, and in the busy season, he does.  But then he has to take naps, just so he can function.  I wish I could take a nap and not have it ruin my whole day.

I am throwing my hands up in the air at this time.  Ok, I have to stay on a schedule.  I screw myself when I don’t.  I am going to see if I can salvage at least part of this day, being as it is already 1:00pm.  I just hate feeling like I have wasted most of my day and it seems like I get that feeling a lot.