Tag Archives: friends

Mandatory distraction can be good

Thursday’s appointment with my doctor was super triggering. Not only did it bring up the distant past, but it brought up the events of 5 years ago.

I had hoped to have individual therapy after the appointment, but Dr C had asked if I was ok moving group to the later time (since I would have missed group for the doctor’s appointment). I agreed to making that individual slot group instead. I regretted it almost immediately, but I had already agreed, so I wasn’t going to reneg…

I’m glad I at least had group. Between group and the triggering appointment, I had asked Dr C if she had additional individual time that day. She didn’t, but suggested I try to talk in group. I wasn’t at all sure I would know how to make what I needed to process group-appropriate, but Dr C managed to lead me there. It helped being able to be a bit more open, though I felt bad for being so self-absorbed during group…

Anyway, today was more distraction: a former college roommate is visiting from another part of the country. We’ve been hanging out quite a bit. It’s nice to have someone around during the day. She gets the depression piece intimately. We don’t talk too much about it, but it’s nice to have someone other than L with whom I can be honest.  She’s also an awesome motivator to get moving. We ended up walking just over 5 miles today with the dogs. I have not done anything like that since several weeks (if not months) before the move. It was good to get out, even if it reminded me exactly how out-of-shape I am…

Tomorrow will be another forced distraction: I will be working a 9-hour day. They generally wear me out. Being at work, interacting with customers all day, also forces me to be out of my head whenever they are there. Then when I finally get home, I don’t want to do much of anything other than veg on the couch… I hope that will all accumulate to be enough to keep me stable.

Speaking of stability, I’m contemplating asking Dr C what she thinks of trying to increase session frequency in an effort to jump-start progress. I’m so tired of feeling so stuck. I will figure the financial piece out somehow…

I’m tired of being so triggered by so much. I’m tired of not being fully in my relationship. I’m just tired… all week I’ve been battling increased self harm urges. I’m tired of that also. I’m tired of struggling with one coping skill or another. I just want to be fixed already.

I mentioned to my friend today that I never pictured myself living to this age. I always thought I’d die by 24. To still be kicking at 36 is almost beyond my comprehension. I need to get my shit together and get back to living a someht productive life. I’m tired of being a failure because I can’t get out of my own way long enough to succeed at something.

So tomorrow is work. Sunday is spent with the wife. And Monday we’ll work on an accelerated plan for therapy. Maybe some day that will lead to being able to being settled and stable.


2am… (not the Anna Nalick song, though that’s now going through my head)

Woke up around 1 because it was too hot in here, now not able to get back to sleep. I’m stressing about our amount of stuff and where to put it all. I think a lot will head to storage. I thought we would be able to get rid of our unit, but it’s not looking like it. Even if we purge the items we have and don’t need/use, we still have a bunch of stuff.

The shipping container with our stuff from my mom’s house arrived today. I only cleared out a small portion of it but the apartment is full… help arrives later today to unpack the heavy things. Gulp! I really need to clear out the area where the snake cages will go so we can get those set up and out of the way. Then I think the rest of the big things will fall into place around it all. One of our bedroom closets smells heavily of cigarette smoke from the apartment next door. We have decided to use the living room closet instead for clothing and use that closet for tools and art supplies. We will also be putting both air purifiers into the bedroom, with the smaller one in that closet… neither of us smoke, and both find the stale smoke smell pretty gross. Hoping the air purifiers do their job.

We had an old friend over tonight. He brought his gf. It was nice to spend an extended time with friends (and without being in a muscle relaxer fog). I’m finding I am as isolated here as I was at my mom’s house, only here it’s just me during the day. L has a crazy work schedule. I’m not quite sure how she keeps up with it. I think when all is said and done, she ends up working close to 60 hours a week. Hopefully with me starting up at a former job again, she will be able to drop down to the one f/t job (which itself is almost 50 hours)…

After having met with Dr C last week, I’m questioning my self-assessment. I really need to ask her if she thinks I’m as messed up as I worry she thinks I am. I know I have a tendency to read into things based on my own perceptions, so I really need that reality check next time I meet with her. There’s so much more I’m finding I have no memory of (between anecdotes from L and from our friend, I’m finding I have gaps in time from as recent as right before I moved back to my mom’s house… though even L was saying she didn’t remember everything the friend was talking about tonight). I dunno… I know there were times at mom’s that flew by or I don’t remember, but it was easily explained. Aside of the triggered times with De, most of that time was spent lost on the internet. I think mom would have mentioned if anything noteworthy happened. Definitely need to ask Dr C about some of this stuff.

I know I was really distracted today when the landlord’s son came by with a key we had asked for. I felt bad about how inattentive I was when we talked. I’m normally more outgoing and genuine. I was just so distracted about the pod arriving, my head was in a million different places at the time. I know I felt disconnected when talking to him, and actually felt kinda dismissive and like a jerk. I didn’t mean to be. :/

Does anyone else get such a different perception of things? Does your reality match up with what others report? I find myself checking in with others more often than not these days. I don’t trust my perceptions anymore, and I’ve gotten into the habit of asking if what I’m feeling or thinking is accurate to the situation. It started as something I only did with therapists, but lately it’s spilling out to friends and family. Sometimes I even do it with strangers (which I assume gets me a few weird looks). I guess it’s better than over-reacting to something that’s actually innocuous.

Anyway, enough middle-of-the-night ramblings from me. Hope you all are having a good weekend. Send us good unpacking vibes, and no rain on Sunday or Monday vibes please! The pod leaves again Tuesday, so everything has to be out of it (slight cartoon freak-out moment over how soon that actually is).


on trust

Someone on a forum asked about trusting people in life. I believe she meant it in terms of trusting someone to not hurt her, but I defined trust slightly differently. I took it in a more universal scope…

I don’t trust anyone 100%. I trust my wife the most, though I don’t burden her with most of my trauma stuff. I trust her to work on the relationship. I trust her to call me out on my crap. I trust her to tell me when something is bugging her… I trust my critters. They are easy to figure out and rarely have ulterior motives except maybe food and adventure… I can build trust with a therapist. I trusted TM to work with me on what I brought to therapy. I trusted her to be open to helping me figure out my reactions. I trusted her to help build that trust, and to work with my best interests in mind within the bounds of her expertise and ability. I’ve trusted the same with some past therapists… I trust other members of my family to live up to what I have experienced from them in the past. I trust my dad will continue to be an abusive *** who will never learn. I trust my mom will be distant and in denial but loving in her own way. I trust my brother to be a geek and creative and funny but not emotionally accessible. I trust my wife, my mom, and my brother will be there for me. I trust my dad will push the boundaries I put up and bulldoze them (or try his best to do so). I trust his oldest sister will forever be crazy, abusive, and a plight on society. I trust my best friends to be people I can always come back to regardless of the time and distance between us…
So I guess you can say I trust a bunch of people, just in different ways.
I wish I was able to trust someone completely in a positive way, but I don’t even trust myself completely. People will come and go. Critters will come and go. Nothing in life is guaranteed, but I trust certain people will do their best to be loving… I also trust everyone is imperfect…

Who do you trust? How do you define that trust?


found some comfort

So, TM doesn’t hate me.

She doesn’t think I’m a worthless, annoying, frustrating piece of shit.

I didn’t piss her off by calling for support the other day.

She returned my call and even said I could call her back to talk.

She was patient and kind and reassuring when I did. It was during her lunch, but she didn’t rush me.

She reminded me that there’s only a few days left anyway. Either I will be all set for the move or I won’t be, but it won’t be the end of the world.

She’s all for me going out with my friend tonight for one last trivia night. Her enthusiasm over that made it much easier to tell my friend I’ll be there.

She didn’t say much of anything particularly inspiring or profound, but she managed to say what I needed to hear: that she know’s I’m struggling with this; it’s ok that I’m struggling with it; and it will all be ok soon (for whatever reason, it sinks in when she says it, but it feels merely obligatory when L says it…).

 

Dr. C does not hate me either.

She doesn’t think I’m a worthless, annoying, frustrating piece of shit.

She scheduled an appointment with me for after the move despite me being so needy before even officially returning to her.

She has seen me at my worst, and is still willing to take me back as a client.

 

I get to hang out with M&B tonight.

M & I have known each other forever, and she still likes me.

B likes me by default I think… at least, he puts up with me.

I’m really gonna miss them when I go, but tonight we will kick ass on trivia.

Some friends will be there forever; M is one. I’m really lucky to call her a friend ❤

 

L will be here in less than 4 days!

I will physically see my wife again for the first time in 7 months!!!! 😀

I don’t know who will be happier: me, the kids, or L… I think maybe the kids, b/c there’s 4 of them, and they have not see her at all since she left last May. They get super-excited when someone returns from getting the mail, and that takes less than a minute. I’m sure they will not know how to contain themselves when L arrives.

 

 

 


Another Friday night, another fun journal class

I may or may not kick myself tomorrow because I may or may not have purchased another art journal tonight. There was a sale though. And a coupon. So… yeah. I had to get it. It was way cheap! (I’m really just trying to justify the expense when I had no business spending. We need to save every penny for this move…).

Anyway, went to the class tonight. We played with spray inks. While I miss having the longer class to be able to do something more than a background, I think I like what came out of today.

The first page was done with dylusion & Heidi Swapp spray inks using commercially available stencils. The second page was done using the home-made fabric dye inks and my fall-back black printer ink with a home-made mask and some commercially available stencils. I really actually like both pages a lot. The second page got more attention tonight, so it was a bit more finished. Not at all sure what I will be putting on the blue/purple/yellow page. I’m sure I will figure it out though.

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The nipples were totally an accident, but they had us cracking up 😉 I had picked up the mask and just wasn’t able to move it from the page fast enough for it to not drip… :shrugz: it works.

I’m really going to miss my friend and her classes. I was struggling with body memories today. The usual distractions at home did not help. Going to the class and engaging not only with the art, but also the others in the class helped lessen them however. They returned when I returned home but they were not as intense. I’m going to have to make sure I find something like this up north. It won’t be the same, but hoping it will help just the same.


backfired

I went to the beach to de-stress. I walked. I went in the water… I formulated a plan. So I got the heck out of there and took myself to dinner for sushi. I shouldn’t have wasted the $15, but I needed a continued distraction…

I want to go back to the beach because it was really calming. But at the same time, I need to not go back right now.

I hate this…

I talked to two friends. It was good. I miss them both a lot. One I will get to see soon after I return up north, the other will take a bit more effort…

I think I should call TM’s office, but… I utilized the crisis chats. It helped a bit.

Gonna plan to take the dogs out, shower, change, jump into bed, and maybe watch a movie or tv show off one of the streaming services. L will be off work soon, so that will be another distraction. Then I may leave a message for TM. I think I may need more help on accountability this weekend, though I really don’t want to bug her about it. That stupid boundary I have in my head might just have to flex for this.

I’m still supposed to go to the IOP intake Monday morning. Then I see TM on Tuesday. Gotta keep going through then… New plan will happen after that.

“My track record for making it through bad days so far is 100%…”


Dear TM…

Dear TM,

Now you are seeing the hopeless mess that I can become. I don’t like that you will remember me this way. I don’t like that we are ending on this note. I’d prefer you to think of me as someone who can figure shit out and make it in life (coz someone needs to believe that about me. I certainly don’t)…

I’ve put up walls b/c I need you to be a stranger right now. I need to be able to leave without feeling completely crushed about all the losses. It’s not just you I have walls up around. It’s the house, and the state, and mom, and the dog and cats, and art time with my friend, & everything… I’m only going to allow myself to miss the beach. That is all. Everything else is too raw and too painful.

I still want to ask if it would be ok if I called you once I’m settled again… I was going to ask if I could call you on the anniversary day, but it will end up being the day we leave. I will need to concentrate on driving and hanging with the wife… I hope she knows she will have to do the first leg of the journey, the one that gets us out of the driveway and away from this neighborhood. I’m not sure how to say goodbye to all this…

Maybe the IOP will work out? I’m not getting my hopes up, because I don’t have faith in them billing for copays, but at least I can go to the intake without having to pay anything that day. Then we can go from there. The little kid in me wants to keep seeing you as much as I can before I go, but the other part of me sees the heaviness of the depression and knows I would be better off with more support…

I really have no idea what I’m doing, but I know I will come out the other side. I always do.

Please don’t actually hate me, just maybe let me think you do for the moment.

Pieces,

sj


Last night’s art journal class & a moment of zen

I barely got out of bed yesterday. I got up to go to the bathroom and take care of the dogs…

In the early afternoon, I decided I need to take some sort of action to help me stabilize a bit. My friend then posted that there were still spots let in her journal class that night. I told her I was going. I didn’t really have the money for it, but I needed the distraction and to get out of bed (and the house). I’m really glad I went.

Not only was it great to see my friend, but I met some cool new people also. And the journal page came out really cool. I liked the concept so much (and I was bored waiting for the first one to dry) that I did one in both journals.

wpid-20150529_215618.jpgFirst we created an abstract background with tempera paint (the blocks, so it ended up looking like a grungier watercolor). It took a few layers, but they came out really cool. I might have to invest in some tempera blocks. Then we traced/drew some feather outlines on the page and painted around them with diluted gesso. I did the first page as she showed us (painting the whole page but the feathers). The second one I tweaked. One of the other ladies in class painted one half of her journal, then did the reverse (painted the feathers in) on the other half. Her’s came out really cool, so I tried a similar technique.

I showed TM both of them today, and upon seeing the smaller one, she commented how bright and happy the colors were… Then she looked closer and read the poem. She frowned a bit. She said it was surprising (or interesting? or striking? I can’t remember her exact word choice) that at first glance the page looked so happy & bright, but the words and additional images were so sad/dark/depressing. I hadn’t put it together in as many words at the time, but it was somewhat on purpose. It matches my presentation a lot of the time: I may look happy & bright and together at first glance, until you take a closer look. Then you see the darkness…

wpid-20150529_232604.jpgThe second page looks a bit more chaotic and grungy even at first glance, but the words are happier. They are lines/words from a song (“I won’t come down” & “fly”) I guess I liked the concept of having to look past initial impressions to get the true feel of the piece; contradictions in appearance and substance… Much like all of humanity. You can’t judge anything on appearance & first glances alone. There’s always more to it… (sorry, I don’t have an updated picture of the second one with the additional lyrics on it, but they are at the top, center of the spread).

I had a lot of fun doing them. I’m also ::gasp!:: pleased with how they turned out 😉

And finally, for a moment of zen; tonight’s sunset & moon: (yeah, so the sunset keeps getting more dramatic as it progresses… jumped up like 5 times for pics already. gonna miss this view a lot…)

 


Distractions: some art journal progress from yesterday

Yesterday I spent the day with my friend who teaches the art journal classes. We were going to play around more making spray inks, but my car needed to go to the shop, so I ended spending the day with her. We ran her errands, then went back to her place. I played around with journal pages, and her dogs (omg are they ever friggin cute! They’re a pair of french bulldogs…).

I didn’t finish anything, but started a few backgrounds… actually, I finished the “heart” page that I had drawn the other night but really disliked (before and after images included)… The blue & black page I finished at home last night (and true to my printer-ink-as-spray-ink history, I’m still waiting for the black ink to dry 24 hours later).

I also got some of the mirror foil that my friend has, and added it to my “create” page from last week. The glue used is really cool. It was still tacky and workable a week after application. It’s supposed to remain tacky for use with the foil for like 2 weeks, and I believe it. I even had dust on my journal, and wax on other parts but the foil stuck to the glue lines. Very cool!

The other 3 pages are still just backgrounds. We did end up making the additional spray inks, but I left them at her place for the time being. I’ll do a whole other post about that experience, as color theory doesn’t quite work the same with clothing dye (who knew blue and yellow wouldn’t mix well. We got a light olive-green, a slightly darker yellow, a slightly greenish blue, and a black, but no straight-up green)…

Anyway, here are the backgrounds and the finished pages in no particular order.


Pride

I woke this morning wanting to cry and stay in bed. A few days ago however, I had told myself I was going to go to pride today. I didn’t really feel like driving into the city (it gives me anxiety), but the train/tram/bus/walk route would have been 3 hours (2 hours longer than driving), and a whole lot more frustrating. So, after double-checking that none of my friends would be available to drive, I took myself. Traffic sucked, but it wasn’t as bad as I had feared. My anxiety about driving in city traffic was not activated. I parked at a garage we had parked at last year, and I walked the 20 minutes to the beach. I ended meeting up with some friends for a while, them struck out on my own again after they left.
I’m glad I went. It was fun people watching, and I found out my anxiety is not nearly as bad when I feel in control and I know what I’m doing.
I’m not sure when the anxiety started, but it’s gotten frustrating the last few years. I used to make the drive to that part of the city quite often during high school. In college, I lost my fear of having to drive in unfamiliar places. Then it came back recently. I used to have no problem striking out on my own to go places; driving 10 hours to visit a friend in another state for the weekend; heading to the islands on my own for a spontaneous weekend away… now I get anxious going to the store down the street… I miss my independence. Today was a good reminder that I used to love doing stuff like this.
Anyway, pride was fun. Going by myself and not having to worry about what others wanted to do was nice. And leaving when I wanted was liberating. I would have preferred L with me, but I didn’t mind not having to go with friends…

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And on the way home, I saw my dream car: (googly eyes for the Kermit jeep)

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site on suicide prevention, support, and treatment resources

someone pointed me to this site. it’s really good. check it out. Speaking of Suicide

it has resources for suicidal people, friends, family, treatment providers… all around good info. (I will also list it under my “resources” page so it’s always relatively easily available).


am I reading into things?

How do you not take it personally when you reach out to “friends” and they just don’t respond? I know everyone gets distracted and has their own lives and whatnot, but… :sigh: Certain friends will respond, but there are others that seem to just ignore me. I try hard to keep my crap under wraps. I try to be polite and friendly and cordial unless you ask me genuinely how I am doing. So what am I doing wrong?

There are three people I have contacted lately that have simply ignored me. There’s no acknowledgement of the call (or text or message). I’m not going to break if you tell me you are busy or not in the mood to hang out. I understand both of those states of being. I’m ok with that, but at least please acknowledge that I tried to contact you… and don’t continually invite me to call to hang out if you don’t actually mean it. :/


Monica’s closet

You know that episode of Friends where Chandler finds out about Monica’s closet? To the outside world, Monica is organized and together. She has her moments, but she’s actually quite OCD about her house being clean and perfect. Everyone believes this and goes with it. That’s how they categorize her. Then one day, I think it’s Chandler who stumbles upon a locked door hidden away in the apartment. He breaks into it to find a cartoon-esque closet packed to the hilt with stuff. It’s disorganized and messy and you can’t pull any single thing out without everything else falling out behind it. Chandler is shocked, and Monica freaks out that he’s found her secret…

Going to therapy is like Monica walking Chandler to this closet, telling him to watch as she opens it, pulls something out, then gets covered in the contents… and then Chandler has to leave for work, and Monica’s left stuffing things back into the closet by herself (totally frazzled, overwhelmed, and vulnerable).

Sometimes I wonder why I bother, yet I keep going back hoping this time I’ll get more help with it all. I hope that this time I’ll be able to finally organize things so they are not as overwhelming… coz even if I hid the closet away behind locks and chains and furniture, I would know it’s there and is a complete mess…


Happy Tofurkey Day!

1897012_10152868130329892_2569156459545851216_nHappy Thanksgiving to all my US readers. Happy Thursday to everyone else 😉

I’m trying to not break down in tears. I pushed myself to hang with friends this morning for “Friendsgiving”, which was good. I was able to laugh and be social. I was very ready to head home after about 3 hours however… The best part though (aside of hanging with friends), was that they set out colored pencils with a paper table-cloth so we could doodle. They are big into the Wicked Queen from Snow White, so I drew them an apple… I figured it went with the theme of the day, and with their decor.

Now mom and I made some of our own dinner, so there’s take 2 on food for the day (I swear this is more food than I eat in a week, all crammed into 1 day. Gotta love the tradition of gluttony with the excuse of it being a holiday). Just have to wait for the last of it to be cooked and I sit down for another round of stuffing myself…

___________________________

It’s just after 9pm, and I find myself cruising Netflix and hulu+ for movies that might trigger tears. The feeling of needing to cry has not left, and now I just want to get it over with. I want the tears to flow and the relief to come. I know even with the growing depression, at least some pressure would be released by crying, but it’s not happening. I can’t seem to let my defenses down long enough or fully enough to let the tears escape (though they threaten at every turn). I really need the relief. I need the break in the intensity of the emotion.

I suddenly don’t know how to cope with all this. I don’t know how to lessen the emotional experiencing right now. The more I think about the implications of some of the BPD diagnosis, the scarier it gets. I keep being reminded that individuals with BPD experience things much more intensely. I keep being reminded that it’s never a matter of lessening the emotional impact of things, but more so learning to deal with it. The prospect of that is terrifying. If I have to keep going through life feeling things this intensely, I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to just learn to ride the crazy waves of emotion. I want to lessen the whole experience.

I’m not sure I can explain the intensity of the emotion. It’s more than just really sad, it’s debilitating. When anger hits hard, it’s more than just anger, it’s blow-out rage. When it’s really happy, it’s really incredibly happy. Yes, there are times when it’s not incredibly intense, but when it crosses that line, it leaps over the line and the next 10 lines after that. It’s like the difference between getting a paper cut and eviscerating yourself… Strong emotions for me are on the self-evisceration end of the spectrum, only I have no idea how to anesthetize myself for it. I know how to turn off the emotions completely, to block feeling them. I know how to put up walls and keep them at bay, but if they start to gush, I have no idea how to lessen the hurt. I have the theories and the intellectual skills, but it doesn’t help the emotions. All the learning in the world makes no sense to my emotional brain, the one that feels every emotion with the intensity of a burn victim. I know DBT and CBT are supposed to help with it all, but it doesn’t translate to the emotional side. It also doesn’t translate well to the kid inside who interprets everything as not doing good enough, not being good enough.

I’ve noticed the old “failure” tape has gotten louder and more insistent of late. It screams over everything. I’ve noticed that I need to apologize to TL when I write to her. I need to find a way to make up for being “less than”. I’ve noticed that I cannot bring myself to easily tell her that I need the weekly appointments even though I really feel like I need them. I feel this need to “be good” and muddle through the two weeks between sessions. I need to do this because I don’t want to disappoint TL. I need to manage within her boundaries, even if they are just my interpretations of her boundaries. I’m aware that a lot of this is a reflection of the transference I feel around her, only I’m not sure if I can or should try to talk to her about it. We have only about 3 sessions left at this point. If I wasn’t about to terminate with her, I might consider addressing all this, but I’m confused about the value of it if we are ending. I guess there would be value in talking about it at least in so much that then I could more easily talk to the new therapist about it (or it may be more easy to spot if I tell her about it? and easier to help navigate it?). I don’t know. I guess I should talk to TL about this. It’s really difficult though. It’s the battle between the old learning (the child inside) and the new learning. I struggle to quiet the child and make her feel safe so I can implement the new learning. It’s most certainly a struggle.

I’m realizing again that TL managed to afford me a measure of balance that I hadn’t found before. I can’t seem to allow myself to attribute the balance to any changes within myself, so I have to call it something with our interactions or how she relates to me… I don’t have enough faith in myself to believe I could accomplish something like that myself, it has to be the other person…


Updates to my Wreck This Journal

Still going at it little by little.  I should be doing other things, but sometimes a girl needs a distraction (and sometimes this is all I can muster)… These are not all the updates to date, but all I have pictures of at the moment.


at an opposite pace

While I have fallen back into being up north during this brief vacation, L and I are glaringly at very different paces.  I feel a frantic pressure to see everyone and do everything before my departure on Tuesday morning.  L is taking her time, getting back into the groove of things, and planning for the coming weeks.  I feel bad unintentionally putting all this pressure on her.  I want to be able to go out and visit friends, eat at our favorite restaurants, and check out my “old stomping grounds” in this very short 4 days we have left.  I hurried trying to settle the car, I am making plans with friends and putting it on the calendar.  The pressure is rubbing off on her.  I don’t feel like just sitting around doing nothing.  The nap we took today (while very much-needed and appreciated) felt like a waste of time.  I need to be engaged and actively doing things because I want to cram SO MUCH into these few short days.  Like I said, I feel bad about pressuring her.  L is working on the time-table of remaining here where she can see friends and family as she pleases.  If it doesn’t get done this weekend, it can happen next weekend.  And I think she might be trying to slow time.  Neither of us is looking forward to my departure… I hope the interim months go by quickly and we can get things settled so I can move up.   As much as I love the semi-tropics, the beach, and the friends and family down south, I really miss here also.  I miss the mountains and the hiking with the dogs.  I miss seeing our friends and getting together just to hang out for a few hours.  I miss seeing the kids. I will really miss L when I go back. In the almost 6 years we have been together, we have never been apart for more than 2 weeks, and even that was peppered with brief stays at home between my myriad of hospitalizations.  This is the first time we will voluntarily and “healthfully” be spending time apart.  It’s a little daunting.

In preparation for the return, I have been eyeballing houses with “for sale” signs on them in hopes we can swing a “rent-to-own” situation with one.  The prospect of settling once again is appealing. I like the idea of trying to get our lives back on track.  The thought of having to work again full-time is a bit nerve-wracking, but this whole environment is generally healthier for me, so it should be doable.  The memories are quieter here (they did not originate here).  I find it easier to fall back into a groove of trying to be productive.  My head and heart feel lighter away from all those triggers at home (the physical environment).  It feels emotionally easier to breathe, even if it’s just because I’m only visiting at the moment.

Anyway, it’s glaringly obvious that our heads are on different schedules.  We will make it work though.  I keep trying to remind myself to slow down, and L is very accommodating about my urgent need to do everything all at once.  I know we will get through these changes in one piece.


bits of progress

Today started out slow enough, but then L convinced me that we needed to start packing.  We got through a bunch of the stuff in the bedroom.  It doesn’t really look like a dent was made, but we did a lot of work.  There’s still a lot to be done though.  Tomorrow will be spent cleaning the house because a friend is coming for a few days.  Then we resume packing.

We were invited  over to one of Lisa’s co-worker’s house for dinner.  We introduced her family to the game “Apples to Apples” and a fun night was had by all.  I think as we were leaving they mentioned having to go buy it for themselves.  It’s a fun way to get to know people and still not have to talk too much (works amazing for those of us who get anxious talking to new people).  Then, if you already know your competitors, you can have a blast trying to convince them to pick your card.  (They also have a kids version. There is a second game with similar rules, but a bit more crude if you are into that.  I was shocked the first time I played it, but it really can be quite amusing if you remember to keep the humor).

Anyway, I’m off to try to sleep now.  Hope you all have a good night.

 


why is it not ok?

Why is it frowned-upon to cut a family member out of your life if they cause nothing but grief?  Why is it not accepted that I no longer want to speak to my father or hear about him, or have him anywhere near me?  We have a long history of disappointments and abuse.  I don’t need to have that in my life anymore.  I have made the decision to not speak to him or see him.  Why is that considered selfish?  I had a long conversation with my mom today about him. Several times, she tried to convince me that I should “forgive” (not her word, but the gist of what she meant) him and not be so staunch in my refusal to see him or have him visit.  I tried to make my point that we are now all adults.  For me, this is a self-preservation thing.  I no longer want him in my life because he has proven time and time again that he is only ever thinking of himself.  She tried to convince me to “just ignore him”, but why should I set myself up for stress and frustration? Why should I allow myself to be put into another abusive situation.  Mom and I agreed to disagree.  She is also an adult and can do as she wishes with her personal relationships.  If she wants to keep bringing him into her life, so be it, but I will not allow him to continue to damage mine.  He has been nothing but hateful towards my family and friends.  I don’t need that in my life.  To me, chosen family is often times much stronger and more valuable than “blood” family (at least when it comes to my dad and his bitch of a sister).  There is no expectation to stick around through abuse and disrespect, but for whatever reason, there is with “blood” relatives.  I don’t accept that.  If you are hurtful to me and the people/things I care about, you are out of my life. I will not be bullied back into that relationship because now I do know better and I do have a choice.


family fun times (no, seriously)

1604597_10152238872164892_2106478565_nWe don’t have visitors often here, so it’s really nice when someone comes to stay.  My brother and his wife are in town for the next 2 weeks, and he is staying with s for a few days while his wife visits her brother in another part of the state.  L and I are really happy that we get to see them.  We used to hang out when we lived up north, and it’s nice to hang out once again.  My brother is a really charismatic guy.  You would never guess at the level of social anxiety he faces when you see him laughing it up with friends.  People come out of the woodwork when he comes for a visit, and suddenly our house is the place to hang.  So last night we had an impromptu party.  Because my family pretty much revolves around alcohol, it ended up being a beer tasting party (one of my other guilty pleasures is writing a beer blog so I can keep track of the things we like and don’t like).  Needless to say, I had to take notes on everything we tried last night.  For me, that totaled about 10 beers tasted (and the equivalent of drinking a good 5-6 beers worth total).  To put that in perspective: I drink one, maybe two drinks at a time. Last night severely over-did it for me.  Today is being spent trying to re-hydrate and quell the monster head-ache threatening to blow up my brain.  It was fun though.  We had friends over that I have not seen in years, and it was a (mostly) chill night drinking, eating pizza, and watching the logs burn in the fire pit.  There were a few snags in the evening (3 of the 5 dogs managed to break leashes while hanging out with us – one a chain leash… and L had a bout of really cranky time for about 3 hours in the middle).  Overall however, it was a good time had by most.  I think we even inspired our neighbors to start a fire as they dragged out their pit and had a gathering also.

Anyway, it was nice to see people and nice to have a change of pace.  I don’t have much family that I see and enjoy hanging out with, but my brother and his wife are some.  It’s always nice when they come around.  🙂


It’s the little (big) things

I’m feeling somewhat accomplished today.  I was able to fix my mom’s brakes on her car.  It took seven hours, several trips to the parts store, and lots of muscling loose rusted-together parts, but she now has a new rear braking system (calipers, high-performance rotors & pads). Tomorrow’s goal is to make sure the fluids are set before anyone drives it (I ran out of daylight and energy). I didn’t think it possible, but she ran her brakes top to the point where even the metal backing to the pads had worn away… hopefully these will last longer for her. I made her spring for the performance grade because she drives like she was practicing for NASCAR. Next month will be her front brakes (I hope they don’t get as bad as these ones because these were a pain in the butt to fix). To her credit, she helped quite a lot, as did L. I couldn’t have done it without them. ♥

I also found a few ways to cut down on the light intensity of the fish tank (huge help as I will not have to DIY a freshwater LED set-up for it). I also found some really neat fish at a local store: green neon tetras. They pretty much have the same blue stripe as the red neons, but their accent is a green stripe, not red. Neon and cardinal tetras are some of my favorite community fish and I’m so psyched to find such a variety locally (there was none up north). Among the various stores in driving distance, I can find green, red, black, and yellow neon tetras, as well as several other tetra species. I’m in heaven 🙂 I will have to choose wisely though. I can only get one species of tetra (max 2) for this tank. And if I get 2 species, I can’t get any bottom-dwellers… it’s an ok trade-off in my book.

I got to spend time with family (we also have friends coming over tomorrow), learned a new skill, sold some unused stuff (empty gecko tanks), and figured out the lighting so I can get the plants and fish I want for this tank. A few months ago I would not have been able to accomplish all this in 2 days, let alone feel good about it. I’m really liking the ability to appreciate the smaller things in life. I hope it keeps up. I wish I knew what was behind it (well, I have a theory but it isn’t pretty). I would work towards this more often if I could (well, not if it’s because I put up walls around everything and it’s all just waiting to break through when I crack). I like the distance and the sunshine. I hope I can keep it up even when tackling the cruddy stuff that is hidden right now…


dilemmas

I visited with an old friend today (well, ok, an old friend’s mother). I was taken aback by her state of being. While she is trying to look together, it’s quite apparent that she is having issues. I am unsure if it’s something along the lines of early-onset dementia or Alzheimer’s, or something else, but she is a mess. While I think she made a decent effort to have her house look clean for my visit, I don’t think it’s normally that way. The ammonia levels in the house are outrageous. The animals look clean, but I can’t imagine they are always that way with the smell being so bad there. I feel really bad for her. She is really attached to her animals, and I totally understand that. But she is losing her house, and she can’t afford their food or even food for herself. The care-taker in me has clicked on, and I really want to go help her out. But I also know that I am struggling myself. I can’t take all of her problems as my own… It just makes me really sad to see her decompensating so badly…

I contacted our couple’s therapist (her other job is working in hospice as a health social worker) to get some resources for P.  I have passed along those numbers to one of her kids, and will be talking to that daughter later int he week.  I offered to help get P set up with in-home services, but I think that will be all I can offer.  I don;t have the energy to go all-out with my help for her. I love her like family (more than most my f.o.o.) but I don’t have the energy in me to fix everything.


boundaries are hard

physical ones, yes, but emotional ones too. I have a difficult time setting them when I am feeling less-than-stellar. I have trouble balancing wanting to hide with taking care of myself.

Today, I really want to hide. I called out of my volunteer job, but was unable to reschedule the get-together with an old family friend. She will drain me, and I will want to hide more. I can barely get my own shit together, forget about trying to help her with her stuff… But now I will have to drive 30 minutes to meet up with her for a few (bringing L to help me stick to making the meeting last just a short time), then drive 30 minutes back home… I would much rather stay in bed (or the couch as the case may be). I slept a lot last night, but I do not feel rested. I would rather do a whole lot of nothing… but is that just feeding the depression? or is it taking care of myself when I’m already struggling? I’m not really sure…

There’s so much going on in my head right now, and so much I need to keep at bay. I keep trying to focus on our wedding anniversary coming up at the end of the week. THAT I’m looking forward to.


and it’s back

well, that was short-lived.  more alcohol needed I guess.

I don’t know.  This drama is too much.  I want it all done.  The depression needs to go.

We have plans with a friend tomorrow.  I’m not sure I want to go, but I know I should.  I need to keep up appearances and keep faking it… Hopefully they will approve my insurance application this time around.  I think I’m back to needing something more intensive, but at the same time, I am toying with the idea of dropping out of therapy.  I don;t want to keep subjecting others to my drama and moods.  I am tired of myself;  I can only imagine what others feel about me (I’m continually surprised my wife had not turned-tail and run yet… I don;t want to be with me but I’m stuck.  I have no idea why she chooses to stay).


the weekend’s over

it actually went better than I had thought. I only wish we had more time to hang out. both L and I are in a lull now, you know that sad feeling when a reminder of your life in another state leaves, and you are faced again with the reality of life elsewhere… It’s not awful here but the lack of friends hurts… we are used to being more social than we are here. it’s hard to meet friends and do stuff when you have really limited resources. things are looking up, but getting to that point of them being good is a tough road.
the urge to drink or seek out other means of distracting from the uncomfortable emotions is strong. Maybe I’ll go try to re-design the tattoos I want… I know we need to save money, but I want to cover the scars on my right arm. I have so many ideas for elsewhere on my body, but I think my priority will be the full-sleeve on my right arm. Only I Will start it from my wrist and then do my upper arm (instead of going from the shoulder down). I want to hide the scars, not worry about having to hide my tattoos from others. I think I want to keep the idea of having a bunch of tropical flowers on that side. Maybe I will also add a few geckos or one of my snakes too. I did a rough sketch a few years ago, I may just add the critters onto that one and see what it gets me. I know it’s going to be costly (1/2 sleeves are expensive) but I can do it in stages. I really just want to scars covered. I’m tired of the looks. At least with the ink there, people will be focused on that rather than the evidence of “crazy” (especially if I return to work in mh).
Anyway, Might go nap a bit. I didn’t sleep well the lat few nights. I think I need to catch up.


The weekend wasn’t so bad after all

I know it’s not over yet, but N leaves in a few hours, so that part is over.  It was good to see her again.  There were some awkward moments, and we did nowhere near all of what we had talked about doing, but it was good.  It was nice to catch up with her, and I think L was happy to have someone understand her frustrations with my quirks. it was nice to have another friend around. We have so few down here. 
I also got my disability determination letter and I’m truly humbled and grateful for what they will be helping with.  I hope we can get our act in gear and save what we need to be able to accomplish what we need to.  Now I just have to figure out how the insurance part of it works…
I think for the first time in almost a year I finally can picture a future again.


creatures of habit

Ever notice how a change in routine can make everything feel weird? I normally have therapy with D on Mondays. This week, it will be Tuesday. I see De on Wednesday. I have been used to seeing D again on Fridays, but this week an out-of-town friend will be coming that day, so all my therapy will be scrunched into 3 days, then nothing. I’m hoping my friend will not be more stress than positive times (ok, my ex is coming for the weekend… we are friends, but she is coming 1500mi to visit for the weekend. My wife and I spent a weekend at their house once a few years ago, but it had been driving distance at the time.  I was also in a better head-space). She tends to be critical of my mental health and how I am coping. Let’s hope she’s gentle this time around.
Anyway, I hope I can get back to see D next Monday, and figure out a schedule with De that will work.
I want to tackle everything with De at once, and I know she wants to take things slow. I think I may need to talk to her about that. I hope I can trust her. And I hope she can help me. I really need to figure all this out.

Anyway, this weird therapy schedule is throwing me off.  The only thing that hasn’t changed is that we see our couple’s therapist on Thursday… At least that will be consistent.

On a sad note, a huge reptile show will also be happening this weekend, and I just don’t have the money to attend.  We finally live close enough to drive up, but I don’t have the cash for the gas, the entry fee, or the supplies I would need… ::sad face:: Maybe Disability will come through with some miracle so I can not only pick up my car from the shop, but also make it to the show and get the stuff I need there.

I find myself bored and antsy… restless.  I’m watching TV, but can’t get into this second half of the episode.  I want to talk or walk or run or something but not sure what will help alleviate this feeling.  It’s frustrating yet familiar.  It’s anxiety.  I think I will try to walk the dogs after this episode.  If that doesn’t work, I will try my music, maybe some art.  If that doesn’t work (or happen), I will likely try to sleep.  I hate this restless feeling.  To top it off, my stomach has been a mess all week.  I’m beginning to think that it is part of the anxiety…