Well, What Now?

Wellpers, it’s Day 30 of NaBloPoMo, and I made it!  Woot woot!  I blogged all 30 days and it was both easier and harder than I thought it was going to be.  I should really send a big thank you to DSB, who was quite patient while I had to make time every day to write, and sometimes it was a lot of time, because of, ya know, writer’s block and answering comments and commenting on other blogs.

That’s something I didn’t do near enough of during the month…comment on blogs.  I’m usually much more up on it, and I vow to get back to it now that the month is over.  I also have some new blogs to add to my reading list, with my rowmies at the top of that list.  Who could forget Marcy, who is bravely tackling her fears one at a time?  Or Marilyn, who puts out more posts in a day than I could do in three, but each one being very high-quality, with beautiful photographs?  Or Dream, with her fun poems and tales from her classroom?  Not forgetting Rarasaur, who is one of the most hardworking dinosaur bloggers out there?

If you haven’t seen their work, go check them out in your spare time.  I know I will be keeping up with them even though NaBloPoMo is over!

Now, as far as my own blog goes, I think I started out the month pretty great, but things went downhill as Thanksgiving angst started to pour in, I quit smoking, and all the stuff hit the fan.  It’s calming down, so hopefully I can do some posts with some more thought in them, instead of a stream-of-consciousness thing.  I like those posts just as much, but I know they can be annoying to read.

I’m going to spend the next couple of weeks sorting through the 200+ new follows I have gained this month, seeing who is worth following, all that jazz.  I am sure at least some of them have to be spam, because I just don’t think I’m all that popular, or good for that matter.  I am also going to celebrate soon, because this blog is getting spectacularly close to 400 posts and I think I’m going to throw a party, complete with sparkling apple cider and party hats.

For those of you reading, thanks for hanging in there with me.  For Mom and DSB, you can breathe a sigh of relief, and it is possible I won’t be quite as obsessed with blogging.  Please note that I said possible, not likely.  😀

By Next Thanksgiving, I Will Be Thankful For…

Made it through Turkey Day by the skin of my teeth.  If you have to wonder about that one, check back through the last few posts, and I’ll also give a recap.  DSB and I arguing.  Day Five of quitting smoking.  Ungrateful children at Mom’s Thanksgiving.  Dad and therapist stoking the fires of mine and DSB’s arguments.  Much angst about all sorts of things, really.  Anything that could be angsted over, was, again and again.

And now we’re done, right?  I mean, like until next year.  All of this familial stress and jonesing for a smoke and self-doubt in the brain and people influencing you to pick fights with your significant other…it’s all done for this year, right?  Well, I wish it was, and maybe part of it can be, if we just work at it a little bit.

I have never been one for New Years Eve resolutions, and I’m not going to start this year.  What I am going to do is start a new list…a list of everything I hope to be thankful for by Thanksgiving 2014.  This list, of course, is not all-inclusive, but it covers the big ones.  And to you naysayers out there who say I should be thankful for what I have, well, I am.  Thankful, that is.  I am thankful also that I can dream and hope for a bigger, brighter future, which is what this list is all about.

In no particular order, I give you the “By Next Thanksgiving (2014), I’ll be thankful for…”

1) A brand new addition to our family.  My sister and husband are having a little boy and the entire family is ecstatic.

2) Newer and deeper understanding of DSB, that I hope to gain through mind control, bribery, and long and meaningful chats.

3) An improved relationship with my mother, in that she stops calling me her kitchen bitch, and I stop running home when she makes me feel like a child.

4) One year smoke free.  Can you imagine what the stats would be like?

5) A stellar Christmas 2013.  Whoo-boy, did you see the tree that Rose put up?! Zowwwiie!

6) The ability to walk at least 3 miles, starting in short stretches.

7) The health and happiness of the pups, especially watching over Rascal not getting heartworms again and Kizzie’s bum leg and skin allergies.  Hey, here’s to being thankful on Thanksgiving 2014 that Kizzie’s skin allergies have been figured out and we can stop feeding her Zyrtec to no avail.

8) Being able and trusted to take care of my nephew, on my own, for at least one hour.

9) DSB being smoke-free.  A girl can dream, right?

10) Domestic bliss, in that my house helps me along the way as I clean it.  Lovely hope and dream.

More Blathering About Quitting Smoking

My pregnant little sister is in town, along with her husband.  I am excited to see them, but wary of the reaction I will get if I tell them I quit smoking.  They are both vehemently opposed to smoking, so I am sure they would be happy for me, but they would also be skeptical and I really don’t  need to hear that shit right now.  Add to that the fact that my mom still smokes, I don’t want any negative attention brought down on here.  So I came here to celebrate.

I have not smoked for: Two days, 22 hours, 47 minutes and 52 seconds. 176 cigarettes not smoked, saving $22.47. Life saved: 14 hours, 40 minutes.

176 cigarettes…really now?  That seems like an insane number after being just shy of three days.  I am using the patch, the very occasional nicotine lozenge, and a few puffs on an e-cig first thing in the morning and right after dinner.  That’s probably not recommended, but that’s what I’m doing and it is working for me, thus far.  There are so many opinionated assholes in the “quit smoking” forums, and everyone is an “expert,” and the whole thing resembles the bad parts of Alcoholic Anonymous.

I’m not saying that AA doesn’t help some people quit drinking, but not everyone responds to that sort of thing.  What I DO respond to is feeling already like my lungs are healthier, that I don’t smell like smoke (other than the stale-ishness still in my clothes and car and coat), and the satisfaction of knowing that I am accomplishing something important.

Even though my mom smokes, I receive probably the most support from her.  She is really proud of me, and that means a lot.  She pointed out that I have given up some difficult things for no reason other than my health.  I gave up drinking in April of 2012, not because I had a problem or needed to or my doctor recommended it, but because I knew it interfered with my meds.  I haven’t had a drop since, and it really hasn’t been all that hard.  I don’t think it hurts that I do occasionally enjoy a virgin margarita or virgin Bloody Mary mix on ice.  😀

I am giving up smoking mainly because I am tired of how my lungs feel and how limited I am as far as physical activity.  I really want to lose some weight, and while I know that most people who quit smoking gain weight initially, I am fully confident that I won’t because I will be more active.  And even if I do, an extra 15 or 20 pounds can be easily lost with some exercise and moderate diet.

I’m just saying, gaining a little weight is the least of my concerns.  I have actually dropped almost 10 pounds in the last two weeks, without trying too hard.  I just have been leaving something on my plate and eating only until I am full.  So, progress made on both fronts.

So there’s some more quitting smoking blah-blah-blah for now, and maybe after Thanksgiving today I’ll feel more motivated in posting about it.  For now, this will have to do!

 

No Begging

Today is the day before the big US Thanksgiving Day.  For years, I have traditionally spent this day with QoB, cooking and cooking and cooking some more.  For the most part we have a really good time, so this year that I am not feeling like doing it, I also feel very guilty.

I don’t think I can muster up merry, today.  Today has been very difficult.  For those not aware, I am on Day THREE (and yes, I did capitalize it because I think it’s just that important) of not smoking and it has been pretty rough on me, and those around me, really.  There is a big part of me that wants to say screw it, but an even bigger part of me that wants to succeed.

I went to a basketball game with my dad last night, something I really did not want to do.  It had been a long day and I knew that today would be long as well, but I went anyway.  And had a fabulous time.  It is so refreshing to not have to trek out to the farther reaches of the university just to smoke a cig in 15 degree weather with people you not only don’t know, but are fierce rivals against.  Goodbye hostile awkwardness!  Now if I can just not smoke, I can continue to enjoy that tradition.

Dad gave me lots of compliments: I smell better, I’m dressed nicer, my teeth look better (had them cleaned the Monday I quit…it is a very smart decision for anyone wanting to quit, very motivating).  I could tell he was very proud and that means a lot to me.

But that is not what this post is about.  This post is about pre-Thanksgiving and why I’m just not feeling it.

My partner in crime, DSB, is not doing Thanksgiving with us this year.  He is planning to stay home with the dogs and do, well, he’s not sure what.  I’m pretty sure it won’t be productive and I’m doubting, with the groceries we have in the fridge, that he’s going to have a great meal.  He just doesn’t care.  What that feels like is that he doesn’t care about me and my feelings.  What I know to be true is that he hates the holidays and going would make him uncomfortable.  So I go to Thanksgiving and I suck it up and I say I am grateful for DSB and my family, and all the while just wish DSB was there so we could make fun of the Big Dawg while he cuts the turkey and look at my sister’s big pregnant belly and speciulate about her due date and watch mom run around like a chicken with her head cut off.

So no, it’s really not ok that he’s not coming, but he is a big boy and he can make his own decisions.  I already posted, posts ago, that I wasn’t going to ask him to come.  He knows I want him to come and I, regardless of what that last post says, I have asked him.  I just haven’t begged him or told him what it does to me that he isn’t going.  And I’m not going to because I don’t think he would do that to me.

So for Thanksgiving, I feel grateful but sad.  I am hoping that by the end of Thanksgiving tomorrow, that I feel more grateful than sad, but that’s for another blog post.

Son-of-a-Bisquit-Eater & Thoughtful Tuesdays

I am not very happy with myself right now.  I have had a small relapse in the quitting smoking realm.  I find that the mornings are especially hard, when I am trying to wake up.  I gave in to temptation this morning and have had a couple of cigarettes.  I am trying to tell myself that a few cigarettes in 24 hour’s time is a big deal, and I need to give myself credit for that.   Unfortunately, I know that relapsing is a big deal and I feel like a failure.

I don’t know why I did it, other than that the cigarettes were available.  I think, had they not been, I would have pushed through it.  That might be an excuse, but it’s what I’m working with right now.  It is really hard for DSB to be smoking and me to be stopping.  He has been going outside, but the cigarettes are STILL AROUND and it is driving me crazy.

I need to work on developing some healthy habits that not smoking can center around.  I want to get out and take a walk, but my knee right now is keeping me from doing that.  I am getting ready to do a bunch of dishes and clean up my kitchen, which is how I made it through last night, but how clean can you get a kitchen before you’re done?

On a somewhat-related note, DSB has agreed to do the floors, as long as I can get the kitchen spotless.  That is a BFD in this household and, being as it is the chore I hate the most, a huge relief to me.  All that talking I did yesterday, when I thought I was talking to a wall, obviously got through.  I also think he was feeling guilty because he has done nothing but sit on his butt for the last several days.

I must say, I have had fun with NaBloPoMo, but I will be somewhat relieved when it is over.  There have been days where I have really not felt like blogging, but did so anyway.  Character building, right?  That’s how I’m looking at it.  So far, I haven’t missed a day and don’t intend to now.  In  honor of Thoughtful Tuesdays, I leave you with this:

creative-inspirational-quotes-thoughts-part11-61

Choosing Your Battles

Today has been slightly above average, but I have been somewhat plagued by troubling thoughts, mostly inserted by my therapist, by my Dad, by some other people.

I wrote a post about the division of labor in my relationship, called
“I Cooked.  You Clean.”  I’m just warning because this post might not make a lot of sense without reading the other before.  The bottom line in that post was that, for years I expected there to be a division of labor in which I was helped out with household chores, and with DSB, I’ve come to accept that it won’t happen.

But my therapist always brings it up.  My dad brings it up.  They both bring up DSB not contributing his fair share monetarily, as well.  I think my mom would bring it up if she thought it would get her anywhere.  There are times I get frustrated and I bring all of it up to him — the money, the lack of support in doing housework, and each time I get defensiveness from him and really, I get nowhere.

That happened today.  I saw my therapist this morning and she got me primed for it, and then I saw my dad  yesterday and today, and that primed me even more.  By the time I got home at 4:00 p.m. today, from a full day of running errands and having appointments, I was hopping mad and determined to do something about it.  And there we went again, round and round, with nothing being solved and feelings getting hurt.

I’m left to wonder, if completely left to my own devices, would I ever bring it up?  I’m not sure I would, unless there was just really intense frustration.  For the most part, I look at it and pass it over, deeming it as something not worth fighting about.  Choose your battles, right?  This just isn’t a battle I think I can ever win, and one that is so sensitive, that I’d rather not get into it with him.

Is it wrong that I’d rather put love, and I mean real and true love, ahead of petty bullshit like who does the dishes or who mows the lawn or who takes the trash to the road?  I don’t think it is.  I can see where there is a concern about money from my parents’ standpoint, but $700 only stretches so far and there are bills he has to pay, too.  Do I budget my money better, with the weekly allowances I am given?  Well, of course I do.  Have I spent countless years trying to get that right?  Absolutely.

I feel in some ways, like I am coming along as a person…in my happiness level, in wanting to do and try new things, in wanting to better myself, and I am leaving DSB in the dust.  I don’t like that, but I know you can’t change someone who doesn’t want to change, and he most definitely does not want to change.  He acknowledges being miserable, but he doesn’t want to do anything about it, and if anyone other than myself were to ask him, he’s doing great.  It’s quite frustrating.

The quitting smoking thing is just a prime example.  I listed all the reasons yesterday why I want to quit, and the real primary one is my health, and it helping me to lose weight and be healthier in the long run.  I want to be around for a long time, to see my nephew grow up and get married and have kids of his own.  I don’t want my mother to outlive me and have to bury her child.  I don’t want that kind of heartache in my family when it is so completely preventable.

DSB doesn’t want to quit smoking because he thinks it will make him gain weight.  I don’t get that.  I am very heavy at this time, and I don’t care if I gain another 15 pounds while quitting, even though I don’t think I will.  The point is to quit and then focus yourself on getting healthy in other ways.  I think he just doesn’t want to put up the work.

I suspect he was smoking inside the house today while I was gone, but maybe not.  I know since I have been home at 4:00pm, that he has only gone outside once and it is not a quarter after 9:00pm.  And he is in bed, and I’m doubting anything will rouse him from there except maybe an urgent need to pee.

He has been using the “e-cigarette” that my mom got for him last time he was in the hospital.  My bloggie friend, Kim, is doing what is called “vaping” and she has already cut her regular cigarette consumption in half.  Maybe DSB will unintentionally quit the real cigs this way, I don’t know.  I know that while it is cold, it is  unlikely he will go outside for much of anything, including any working that he might need to be doing.

Now I’m just blabbing.  No matter your religion, lack of religion, or somewhere in between, please do what you do and send a little kindness and understanding my way, that I can use to deal with DSB while I am on these initial days of my quitting smoking.  I think there is a possibility I am blowing things out of proportion and they might not be that bad.

My stats so far are a bit pathetic, but I woke up and smoked this morning, pushing back my quit date until today.  Here’s a little something, though:

12 hours, 28 minutes and 13 seconds. 31 cigarettes not smoked, saving $3.96. Life saved: 2 hours, 35 minutes.

I’ll take every little bit I can get.  Thanks, as always, for reading/listening.

Stopping Smoking Now Greatly Reduces Risks To Your Health

Take it from the Surgeon General, from a friend, a family member, your doctor…smoking cigarettes is not a good thing.  I have been a smoker since I was 18, other than an 18 month period were I was able to quit in my mid-20’s.

DSB smokes, and so does QoB.  Everyone else I know does not, and some of those do-not’s are vehemently opposed.  I personally smoke like a chimney.  And cough like a car that just won’t start.  I’m easily winded, and have a hard time completing daily tasks, because of being just that winded.

I am ready to break free from all of this.  I have been thinking about it for a very long time, and have tried to become more mindful of all of the negative things about cigarette smoking here as of late.  Something a blog friend said on a comment really struck me.

Marilyn wrote in comment to this post: “I’m still stuck on the idea of a cigarette AND a CPAP machine. It’s causing psychic dissonance. I used to smoke. Cancer cured me — of smoking. I still miss that cigarette in the morning, but I don’t miss the chemo. Just a thought. ”

It is just a thought, but it’s one I took under advisement.  There is much dissonance to my smoking.  First of all, I have asthma and use an inhaler.  And, as Marilyn pointed out, I have to use a CPAP machine to sleep at night.  Add those two things together, along with the fact that cancer runs heavily in my dad’s side of the family, and it is I wonder I ever smoked to begin with.

Of course, I get bronchitis every year, that won’t go away.  Have for the past three years anyway.  I get more than my usual share of colds and stuffy nose.  I have to go outside in freezing wind and rain or outside in 100+ degree weather to smoke, unless I’m at home or in my car.  My activities are extremely limited due to being short of breath.  I have a strong desire to get close to a healthy body weight, and I can’t do much exercising because of the difficulty breathing.

There is just so much more I want out of life.  I don’t want to be chained to always having to have a cigarette.  Not only are they nasty and cancer-provoking and socially unadvised, they cost a lot of money.  I figured out, if I quit smoking, I will have an extra $400 – $500 a month, and I can really use that money.  Case in point, I had to have my cigarettes this week so I barely bought any groceries, and now my dad is picking me up enough from the grocery store until I get my weekly check.  Terribly humiliating, and I never ever want to ask for money.  Mom had to give me extra gas money, too.  I financially can’t afford to smoke, haven’t been able to for a long time now, and it’s just now sinking in.

My dad went out and bought NRT aids (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) for me this evening.  Just because he wants to help and he knows it will help me quit.  Some people say to just do it cold-turkey, but I can’t handle that, and yes, I have tried.  The last time I successfully quit smoking (for 18 months), I used the patch and it really didn’t seem that hard.

I’m pretty sure it will be hard this time, seeing as DSB is a smoker and we live together, and also because I’m a much more stressed-out individual then I was when I last quit.  I’m ready for the challenge, though.  I just can’t keep doing this (smoking) and killing myself off slowly.  I want to be free to exercise and do things I need to do and get healthier.  I don’t want to become a cancer or heart disease statistic because of something I CHOSE to do to myself.

So tonight right before bed will be my last cigarette, and when I wake I’ll slap on a patch and put a lozenge in my mouth (because I was so advised by my doctor), and I’m hoping that this is a battle I will win.  Any support or kind words are appreciated.  😀

Closer to the Edge

Being on Medicaid and all, a side effect of disability (at least until my Medicare kicks in), is not without a bit of pain.  Sure, it covers prescriptions (most) 100% and I don’t have an office visit copay.  I even have dental insurance (that doesn’t actually cover anything) and vision insurance (which gives me one pair of glasses a year).  In a lot of ways, Medicaid is a lot better than private insurance and I am in no way complaining about the system, overall.

With Medicaid, there is a short list of eligible providers.  When I moved up North of town, I ended up getting “lucky” and found a primary care physician in my neck of the woods, connected to the hospital that I use (or would prefer to use, if I needed one).  My doctor has a nice enough office, fairly friendly reception staff, and a good sense of humor.

About three months ago, I had a severe ear infection in both ears.  It was very painful and very obvious.  My doctor prescribed some sort of antibiotic and pain-relieving ear drops.  The pain went away after awhile, but my ears stayed “full.”  I couldn’t pop them and I couldn’t hear a damn thing.  That has become slightly better.

Here recently, I have continued on with having somewhat impaired hearing, and more than recently, have been experiencing severe pain.  DSB convinced me to go see my doctor, who we refer to as a quack.  Because, well, he is.  He writes prescriptions, and he’s pretty good at that, but otherwise, forget about it.  He basically totally missed DSB’s kidney cancer and his official diagnosis when DSB went in for chronic back pain was that DSB must have “wrenched” it.  We just shake our heads.

So, I went to see Dr. Quack today and told him about my problems with ear pain and problems hearing.  He looked, and I have “a lot” of fluid on my left ear, and no fluid on my right.  He said the fluid doesn’t look like it is infected, but that there is a lot of it.  He pressed around my ear and instigated cries of “oweee!” from me, and then leaned back and shook his head.

I know that look.  He has no idea what is going on.  I asked him what I could do to stop the pain and he says, “Stop eating and talking.”  Right, then.  He asked about taking a steroid for a bit and I declined, telling him that steroids aggravate my bipolar, or really, make me batshit crazy.  He started to tell me about his mother-in-law and how she acted on steroids (crazy), and then he said that she was different because I was “closer to the edge” than most people.

Wow.  It has become so hilarious that I don’t even get mad at this guy anymore.  It’s just funny.  Hopefully nothing too serious ever happens and I have to rely on him for a professional diagnosis.

So, bottom line.  Prescription for Naproxen, return in 4-6 weeks if not resolved, and stop eating and talking.  And, hey, watch for the edge, while you’re at it.

I Won’t Ask You

Time has passed, almost two years.  In that two years, I have been selfish.  I have put my needs and wants before yours, and, as I start to feel better, I can see how unfair I have been.  How much you have had to sacrifice.  Sacrificing your time, sometimes even sacrificing your values and what you stand for.  Sometimes…who am I kidding, it’s been often and you haven’t complained.

In fact you rarely complain, and when you do it is because something completely egregious has come about.  And even then you complain quietly and you don’t do anything about it because you don’t want anyone to get upset.  I don’t want you to have to do that anymore.

You have been my biggest champion in all causes.  You have always believed in me, especially when I didn’t believe in myself.  You have calmed me on so many occasions, with just a few simple words and a hug.  You have made my life infinitely better, just by being in it.  You are the one that is always there, at the end of the day, when life has done it’s worst or it’s best, celebrating with me or talking me through tears.  That has been you.

I don’t give you enough credit.  You are the strongest person I know and I love you with an intensity I have never experienced.  I have not treated you the way you deserve to be treated.  I have loved you, but I have not listened to you, and I definitely have not heard the words that go unsaid.  The words that I think you want me to hear but won’t say out loud.

The “happy” Rose wants to do more for you.  I want to give you more happiness in life, more joy.  I want to take away your heartache and feed you hope.  I am not the only person who lacks hope.  You have hope for me, and so I can have hope for you.  You believe things can be different for me, and I believe things can be different for you.  I know that we, us, as one, are content.  I think, if I was as kind and loving to you, as you are to me, that we could be more than content, as us.

I have decided, starting now, that I am going to try and be less selfish.  I know you hate holidays, and this year I am not going to beg you to come to Thanksgiving and Christmas.  You hate it and you’re uncomfortable.  I get that and I saw that last year, and last year apparently I was just an ass and didn’t do anything about it.

This year, those are your decisions.  Whatever you decide, I am fine with.  I am done with putting you in uncomfortable positions.  I won’t ask you to join me, but know that you are welcome if you would like to come.  I won’t ask you to join me at my friend’s “welcome home” festivity, but know that I would like it if you would come.

You don’t ask me to do anything that would make me uncomfortable and I need to respect you and do the same.  So, from now on, I won’t ask you.  The choices are up to you.

 

Pushing Away Insecurity

I am constantly apologizing.  For things I said, did, and even thought about doing or saying.  I am on eggshells around people I don’t know well, trying to anticipate too much what they are thinking.  Who am I kidding…I am like that with close family and DSB as well.  I don’t know when exactly I started apologizing for breathing, but think it has something to do with a relationship I was once in.  That did not go well.

Sorry I burned dinner, please don’t yell at me.  Sorry I lost the batteries to the remote control, please don’t throw my TV into the backyard.  Sorry I glanced at that guy across the bar, please don’t publicly humiliate me.  And so forth.

The  year I allowed myself to be in that relationship broke a part of me.  Any confidence I had was gone.  Any self-respect I had vanished.  Any sense of self I had established evaporated.  I was no one and I did not deserve nice things, nice words, nice smiles.

And when people gave me those nice things, nice words, nice smiles, I didn’t know what to do.  I still don’t know what to do sometimes.  It’s still been several years, but a noise, a smell, a place, a certain phrasing of words brings me right back to feeling ashamed, to feeling scared, to feeling alone.

I’m supposed to be working on this in therapy, right?  I can’t bring myself to talk about it and I’m not even sure I am going to publish this post.  I’ve written my letter to him, that I won’t send, that I may print off and burn.  I’ve cut all ties and he hasn’t tried to stalk me on Facebook within the last two years.  That is surely progress, isn’t it?

For the most part, I don’t feel extremely affected by that relationship, feeling instead like I have moved past the worst.  But it’s like a shadow of it follows me and leads me to being deeply insecure.