Throw a Bunch of Thoughts into the Pot

sunshine in three days

It has been a very up-and-down three days since I released from the residential crisis center.  To start with, the weather has been crap, or (to be more accurate) severe, and I am tired of rain, tired of thunder, and very tired of keeping up with two dogs who suffer from varying degrees of thunder and storm phobia.  I told my mom I was going to order them and myself a doggie thundershirt.  Yes, they really are driving me that crazy (ier???).

After reading a friend’s post about SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), I realized that some of my angst might be coming from a lack of sunlight, so I have my sunlamp blazing now, and I just pray it doesn’t throw me into a manic spiral.  It seems like the last month or so, I have experienced the true ick of rapid cycling, and to say it hasn’t been fun is an understatement.  Right now, this moment, I am desperate to feel just a little better, so in front of the sunlamp I will sit, until the bipolar devil on my left shoulder releases it’s talons from my flesh a bit.

I spoke with my peer mentor yesterday, and the conversation that I was worried about went just fine.  We are going to start meeting twice per week for 90 minutes each session, which is what I wanted.  She states that she never received any word that I was at the crisis house, including the Trust Quotes (9)voicemails I sent her and her unit secretary.  I don’t believe her.  I completely think she is lying, but it just shows that you can’t trust people.  Which is sad, because before all of that happened, I had been thinking about trusting her more than the average human being.  Now, I’m not so sure.  It isn’t easy for me to trust people in the first place, and my faith in people is easily lost.  What is different about me, is that I do give people many, many, many chances.  So, while I am not trusting her so much at the moment, she is going to get another chance.

Now that I have pushed through the suicidal ideation and self-harm thoughts of the past little while, I find I am stuck with huge spikes in my anxiety level.  I have spoken with a few people about it, and my therapist today even wanted me to go into the hospital.  I am not going into the hospital unless I am at a danger to harm myself, and I’m not, so therefore I will figure out the anxiety problem while I am living at home.

I’ve read a few interesting articles on evening anxiety, including this one because it talks directly about anxiety specifically in the evenings.  Every evening between four and five o’clock, I am having a very severe anxiety spike.  This has happened with regularity for over a week, since before I was in the crisis residence, and has happened at other times in my life as well.  I have a hard time when it gets dark outside, but its light at that time right now, although I do notice a further anxiety spike as the sun falls.  My mom and I jokingly have said for years that I have “sundowners,” which is a worsening of symptoms typical in Alzheimer’s patients at dusk.

Obviously I don’t have Alzheimer’s, but I have never been able to figure out why evenings are so difficult for me, other than maybe for trauma reasons.  I think it also has to do with my fear of the dark, which hasFear-of-the-Darkbecome more pronounced as I age for some reason.  Those little things that go “bump!” in the night…full body shiver.  I do believe all of that also relates to my issues with sleep and near-constant nightmares.  It is ALL related, I do believe.  I just have to figure out how to ease my unease.

 

image by listzblog.com

Building A Life Worth Living, Week Four

life worth living

 

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.

Uncertainty and Anxiety

via

 

I have to keep repeating that, like a mantra, to keep from face-planting on the floor.  Because that’s what I feel like doing.  Giving up for the day.  This has been a uneventful day, but I have felt such creepy crawly anxiety.  As a matter of fact, I have been feeling ever-strengthening anxiety day in and day out since before DSB went to the hospital for his blood clots almost two months ago.

I can’t help the thoughts in my head, can’t make them go away, that’s for sure.  What DBT teaches you to do is to picture your thoughts as if they are leaves floating down a gentle bubbling brook, and just notice them as they pass.  I alter this exercise some by envisioning myself blowing the leaves down the brook so they go away faster.  It’s a conscious pushing away of these thoughts.

These negative thoughts that are not helping me. Maybe if I could make myself more willing, I would make progress.  I am willing in so many ways, but I don’t seem to be able to give up the belief that I can control life as it is happening around me.  That is not willingness, it is willfulness, sitting on your hands instead of getting up and taking appropriate action.  It is defiance and stubbornness, it is me personified.

It took 32 years of life circumstance and genetics to bring me to where I am now.  Have some of my life circumstances been less than stellar?  Of course, obviously, absolutly.  I just can’t get over the feeling though that I should stop being such a little bitch about it, crying all the time, and just get over it all.  I mean, some of this stuff happened over a DECADE ago.

Why can’t I let it go? Why can’t I trust?  I ask DSB about something, and when he says, “I’ll take care of it,” I don’t believe him.  I can’t believe him.  It makes me more anxious for him to say that than to just deal with it on my own.  So am I better off alone?  Or is it better to say yes to whatever this love thing is that we have, and walk down a happy path together?

I have doubts about me and DSB.  Will his health ever really improve?  Can I handle being with someone who has the health of an 80 year old?  When is the next shoe going to drop, the next hospitalization, the next list of things he can’t do?  The uncertainty with DSB keeps me up at night, as he shifts over and snores beside me. I love him very much, but sometimes I don’t know if that’s enough.

How and when will I know, if that’s enough?  Will I figure it out next week or will we be five years down the road and it’ll hit me?  It is healthy to have that much doubt in a relationship, to be so unsure, but to love someone so much?  Is it normal?  I mean, does it happen often to people?  I always thought I would “just know.”

Well, I don’t.

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Daily Prompt: I Can’t Stay Mad at You

Do you hold grudges, or do you believe in forgive and forget?

forgiveness destroying heart

 

I don’t fit under either of the two cute little categories that WP decided on when they put out today’s Daily Prompt.  I bet most of you don’t either.  Rarely can we apply ourselves, as humans, toward reacting in the very same way to a specific comment or act, or even an unspecific comment or act.  So much of how we react depends upon the person in question, and also, if the act was perpetrated against us, or another person.  Because of this, I’m going to focus on one person for the purposes of this post.

Growing up, I saw very little of my father, the one I refer to on this blog as “Dad.”  My biological father.  I think he tried the best he could to love me when I was young, but he wasn’t able to be consistent.  You really must be consistent with young children, especially if you are a parent.  So, not showing up to pick me up for the weekend, cancelling plans at the last minute, not remembering my birthday, being passed out drunk when my sister and I were over for Christmas (just tiny little kids, at that).  Thirty-two years later, I have forgiven him for all of that.  The anger and the hurt and the even sometimes, hatred, fell away when I realized that, by being angry with him, by holding that grudge, I wasn’t allowing myself to move forward.

So I forgave, I found compassion.  But I didn’t forget.  Thinking about those times still makes me sick to my stomach, and even now, when he is running a few minutes late, I’m convinced he’s not coming.  So no, never forget.  But I forgive…over and over and over.  So much that others in my life question why I do.  He became much better about things around ten years ago when he married my stepmother, but he has regular lapses in the behavior you would expect from a father.

He acts like an ass, he says something judgmental, it appears that he does not have the feelings and emotions of a human being.  All those years of hurt come back, and I feel like I’m six years old again, looking out the living room window for the car that would never show up.  I don’t hold a grudge, but there’s a big part of my heart that remembers, can’t forget.

I realized not long ago, that sometimes I will have to tell my dad how to act.  For years, he would never call, but I would check in with him a few times a week.  I finally told him how much this bothered me, that he could never be bothered to give me a ring and I felt like I was doing all the legwork in this relationship.  As Dad often gets, he was baffled.  Had no idea.

I’m telling you, Dad does not have the normal emotional make-up of a human being.  He can be very distant and he goes through phases where it seems like he’d just as soon throw you in front of traffic than give you a hug or talk about the weather.  And maybe it’s this lack of humanity in him that makes me forgive him over and over.  I truly believe it’s possible that he just can’t help it.  His love, however inadequate at times, is the best it is ever going to be.  His follow-through sucks sometimes, but it’s getting better.

I think his wife helps him with that a lot.  Actually, I know  she does.  I don’t know how many times he has acted truly cruel, and then called back an hour later to say he has talked it over with his wife, and realizes now that he was very wrong.  She’s good for him, keeping him honest and accountable.  I don’t know if I’ve ever thanked her for that, for making my dad a better man, but I should.

After this last rough patch, we hand lunch today.  It went really well.  He was in a good mood and was chatty and told me how great I looked and how proud he is of me for all I am doing with work and taking care of DSB, and that’s how it should be.  It isn’t always, and I had to go a one month span without seeing him seemingly to prove a point, but we’re back on course again.  All is forgiven.  Again.

So DSB and the Queen and all my other supporters out there can keep shaking their head, knowing it’s only a matter of time until the next go-round.  Me, I’m going to embrace the fact that he’s my dad and he’s still on the planet and I’m going to keep forgiving every dumb thing he does.  Because I truly do think he’s oblivious, and I truly do believe he’s sorry when he hurts my feelings.

quote-forgiveness-is-a-promise-not-a-feeling-when-you-forgive-other-people

 

I Can Make It Through Anything, With You

Things have seriously been hectic around here, getting ready for the holidays, making plans, cancelling plans, changing plans, making more plans, plans, plans, plans.  I figure that since everyone is asleep (QoB included, since 8:00 p.m….she must have finally eaten dinner, bwhahaha!), now would be a good time to crank out a post, as I have not done so in a few days.

It looks like it will be a busy week.  We have inventory at the store, DSB’s surgery on the 2nd, and still Christmas to celebrate again, x2.  DSB and I started our own tradition to open presents on Christmas Eve.  He loved his Dixie horn thing-a-ma-jigger for his truck and was proudly wearing his “Don’t Tread On Me” hat today.  I am enjoying some lovely Yankee candles and a new votive holder.  And then QoB and the Big Dawg surprised me with a dishwasher (that is totally going to change my life), which DSB will install as another part of his Christmas gift to me.

I don’t like the saying, “I feel so blessed.”  I really feel like it is overused and cliched to death, although it might state accurately how you’re feeling.  But even though I don’t like the feeling, I see where the emotion comes from.  I truly am very fortunate to have the people in my life that I do.  And, not being a spiritual person, it is odd for this to come out of my mouth, but I truly believe some special force put them in my life for a reason.  I would not be standing today without the three of them and I do thank the universe for them every night.

I was getting stressed out tonight, talking to my mom and DSB, and my mom left the room for a minute.  He looked at me and said, “Rose, you know that everything is really going to be all right.”  He says that all the time, and I guess I don’t listen, but this time I really heard him.  His eyes were looking into mine so intensely, and it is almost like the words reverberated through my very being.  My heart almost broke right in half, because I know, as long as I have him, everything really will be ok.  I’m getting teary just thinking about the conversation.  And I told him that.  That, yes, as long as I had him, things would always be okay.

It is a beautiful thing that lets us believe in a person so strongly, with so little doubt.  I know he will always take care of me and that I will always take care of him.  I know he’s not going anywhere and neither am I.  I know that, through our spats and slight failings in life, we still have each other and we will always push through the bullshit to get to the real root of the problem so it can be fixed.  I truly do believe that, with DSB by my side, I can make it through anything.