Facebook Post 11/22/17

I know you all think my household is filled with happiness and rainbows all of the time, and that we laugh, sing in tune while harmonizing and hug and kiss each other daily. The dogs don’t shed and the cat doesn’t walk across Daddy’s junk when he attempts to sleep on his back. The 18-year-old son is always respectful and nobody argues or gets annoyed with anyone else. The house is always spotless, none of our food has preservatives and my hair always looks perfect.
And you’re right.
But there’s something dark and sinister going on right now that none of you know about. Our refrigerator died tonight. The night before Thanksgiving. With 2 pumpkin pies and 1 sweet potato pie and a really big turkey sitting inside.
See? All is not perfect here.
Silver lining: Black Friday
Now let’s back it up so you know the full reality of our life right now:  In the past couple of months we had to bring our dog to the vet with severe itching.  It didn’t get better so we had to bring her back.  Then our kitty got sick.  Then she got better.  Then she got worse.  She pulled through.  We don’t know what happened. Two weeks ago I ended up in the emergency room with severe abdominal pain.  Turned out I had internal bleeding from a ruptured ovarian cyst (it took 3 ultrasounds, a CAT scan and lots of blood work to diagnose this) and had to have surgery immediately.  So far the bills are up to ‘only’ $1750.
Then tonight happened.  Now I’m an atheist; I don’t believe prayer helps.  But in times like this, I like to reference the Serenity Prayer:
(Whomever) grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
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Swing Low

Last year, my carpenter husband who has done home repair for almost 20 years got a job as the resident carpenter at a presidential library. The money is better, the benefits are better (for him) and the work is much less taxing on his body. When he was hired, his schedule gave him Tuesdays and Wednesdays off, so I adjusted my schedule to match his. I’m a caregiver and  this wasn’t a problem. It was perfect for us because although we weren’t off when our friends and family were, we were at least off together. I work a split shift, 9-2 and go back 5:30-6:30. I couldn’t eat meals with my family,  but that also worked out well because I eat frozen meals less than 300 calories and that’s helped tremendously with my weight loss.

About five weeks ago, my husband’s schedule was “temporarily” changed so he could paint the common areas when patrons weren’t around. Now he works Monday through Friday from 5:30 in the evening until 2:00 am.  This is supposed to be only a few weeks but it will likely last a few more months.

It sucks.

After my 3-week hypomanic state I am now swinging low. I’m tired and weepy and I miss my husband. I’ve been very supportive throughout this because he has no choice in this but I want it over. I want to sit on the couch with him in the evenings. I want him to go to bed with me and wake up with me. I want to do all the things on our lists I planned for our mid-week days off; museums and day-trips and matinees.

Again, I will “push through” and get past this mood change and keep up my exercising, letting my endorphins help  keep me stable.

But I still miss my husband.

Dream

I had a weird dream last night. Let me preface this by saying we spent the evening at a campsite with some friends yesterday so I went to sleep smelling like a campfire.

I dreamt that I sought out a high school friend who remains a close friend of one of my cousins. He was at a deli, sitting at a table eating with a friend. I asked him if he would be willing to buy a trailer and let my friend and I borrow it on occasion to go camping. He was fine with it, as long as his mother agreed because she would want to use it too. The weird thing about that is he lived with his dad growing up. Anyway, we talked to his mom, who wasn’t prticularly friendly but agreed to the deal, making it clear that she gets priority for use. It was really quite exciting!!

The dream then shifted and the rest is unclear but I felt like writing it down, so here it is.

I actually have a lot weighing on my mind right now but I’m sorting it out before I share it.

Until next time.

Stream of Consciousness…11/02/17

A few weeks ago I started to feel “on edge.” More than usual.  Frustrated.  Impatient.  Easily annoyed.  I started staying up later, I was more anxious than usual and I wasn’t able to sit still.  My OCD was in overdrive.  Frustrated, I called my psychiatrist, who told me to “ride it out.”  The following week I realized my problem was likely my period, only I had no warning because somehow “Stupid Dumb Period” was removed from my iCalendar.  Dammit.  I’m supposed to increase one of my medications the week before my period when I start to have these extra premenstrual symptoms.  So, at least I had a reason for my feelings.  It didn’t make them go away, but I was able to at least put some logic behind them.

My period ended a week ago, and guess what? I’m still struggling today.  I don’t want to work.  I don’t want to chat.  I don’t want to hang out with my family.  Just leave me alone to watch “Game of Thrones” or read one of my three library books.  And at 11:00 I’ll smoke some weed, brush my teeth, get in bed, read a bit and finally sleep.  Sometime around midnight.

The only thing that feels good right now is my run/walk to work in the morning.  It’s those endorphins.  You know what else would feel good? Money. I love my job but I’m not making enough money.  With the price of houses at an historical high, this is driving up the cost of rent, and I worry every day that our landlord will decide he wants more for our home and ask us to leave.  We.  Would.  Be.  So.  Fucked.  So my husband and I pour over Zillow looking at houses in Arizona and Texas, preparing ourselves to look for new jobs and move once our son graduates from high school in June.  This means leaving my family – parents, sister, nephews, aunt and uncle and cousins – and moving five hours away.  But we’d make friends and we’d have a home of our home and it would be so nice to feel like an adult at 47 years old.  Is that so wrong?  Our son isn’t so happy about it and my family will be VERY upset, but I can’t live like this.  My brain is wrecked enough just by virtue of inheriting my grandmother’s mental “disease;” I don’t need these constant extra financial concerns.

So there you have it.  It’s time to go.

It all Started With Anxiety

From Merriam-Webster

Definition of anxiety

1 a (1) :apprehensive uneasiness or nervousness usually over an impending or anticipated ill :a state of being anxious
(2) medical :an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physical signs (such as tension, sweating, and increased pulse rate), by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one’s capacity to cope with it
b :mentally distressing concern or interest
c :a strong desire sometimes mixed with doubt, fear, or uneasiness

I believe my anxiety started probably before I was even born. My mom always said when I came out I immediately took one look at my surroundings and wasn’t happy with what I saw.  I know now that I was uncomfortable, overwhelmed, anxious, insecure and just really wanted to hide – even then.  That pretty much paved the way for my life up until the past few years, although my “crazy” is still something I need to keep careful watch over.

On my second day of kindergarten I threw up in front of the classroom.  I still throw up when I’m anxious, unless I’ve taken half of a Xanax in time to fend off full-blown anxiety. I always had little tics and habits, even as a little girl.  I was aware of them and I knew others were, too. As far as I can remember I felt insecure, uncomfortable in my own skin, worried about what others saw in me and wanting so badly to be like everyone else. I wanted to run and play and spend the night with the other girls, but I just wasn’t good at that. I sat in the background with my book and my mom, watching my sister shine, being a normal kid, getting into trouble, being adored by all of her friends.  I never had more than a couple of friends, and never for a very long period of time.  I think I was needy.  I wanted so badly to be like them but I didn’t know how, and at the same time I kinda just wanted to sit back on my bed and read a book, alone.

As a teenager, I rarely went to parties and had my first kiss at 16 years old, after 2 wine coolers.  I hated it.  My second kiss came along with my first sexual encounter with my first boyfriend, and that was much better, but the relationship wasn’t.  Again, I was needy.  I wanted to be loved.  I wanted to feel normal.  I was willing to do whatever he wanted. I waited, I sat alone, I went alone and I put up with his friends just to be his girlfriend.  He wasn’t a bad boyfriend for the most part; I was just a messed up girl with a then unknown chemical imbalance who would do anything to be loved, taking the good with the bad.  Well that shouldn’t be the way it is when you’re 17.

From my teen years until my 30s I went back and forth from being a wreck to seemingly okay.  Nobody knew why.  I made bad choices, gained a ton of weight, spent more money than I had and was perpetually broke.  I was cheated on.  I was angry, I was sad, I wanted to be left alone and I wanted to be cherished.

Turns out I was simply bipolar, with anxiety and OCD.  Well no freaking wonder!!!

Look at What I did (DIY)!

Okay so really I didn’t, but it was my idea.  In our home, I’m the ideas of the operations and my husband is the brawn.  That’s not to say I don’t want to; it’s to say he won’t let me.  That’s okay.  As long as I get what I want.

I got this idea from Pinterest, which means there are no less than 12,736 blog posts describing how this was done.  That’s okay too.  I’m still going to share for myself.  The thing is, what a super cool idea.

You take a terracotta pot, a terracotta base bigger than the pot, some kind of gluey stuff and paint and:

Aug12 2016 037
Voila! Cake Stand!

Here’s the only problem:  It still holds the scent of the paint.  Not sure how long that’s going to last but in the meantime if I decide to use it I’ll be sure to line the bottom with wax paper and keep it loosely covered.  So I don’t poison my family.

I’m a giver like that.

So I Joined a Gym

bitmoji-20160810182538I joined a gym a month or three back.  I paid a bulk amount rather than make monthly payments, so I belong forever, or at least until they go out of business.  I’m not particularly good at the gym; I ride a bike/walk a treadmill and do leg exercises; but I go and I ride a bike/walk a treadmill and do leg exercises, so that’s a good thing.  The bikes and all the other cardio machines are perfectly positioned so that I can feast my eyes on any of 20 different televisions or look into the mirror to check out the goings on behind me.  The treadmills are pushed up against the mirrors, so when I go on those I get to look at me.  I can look at the goings on as well but directly in front of me is still going to be me.

When I do take a gander at the people, though, what entertainment:

There’s a lady who comes in wearing a nice shorts outfit with cute sandals.  She is very tan and has her terribly died hair all blown out straight and make-up on.  She brings a magazine, which she reads while she walks the elliptical for about 30 minutes.  In her cute outfit wearing her cute sandals.

There was a girl there today who I had to wait for, “using” a machine I wanted to use, while she Snap-chatted.  Apparently her friends want to see her sweat.  I didn’t, but I’m not her friend, so…

There is an elderly woman who enjoys the social aspect of the gym.  She comes in dressed to the 9s in cute gym clothes and sneakers, rides her little bike for 5 minutes (yes, 5) and then walks around chatting up the old men.  I’m super not kidding at all.  It’s hilarious.

Men seem to always work out as a team, even on the machines where they don’t need to be spotted (assisted).  That’s all good and fine, except they often spend more time chatting than working out, which more than doubles the length of time I have to wait.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t get frustrated or annoyed or angry at these people, as some would assume.  These are just observations and I just move around them and hope to get access to what I want.

Since I’m pointing out others’ flaws, what would you see if you watched me?  You’d see an overweight woman who can’t hold onto the side handles of the bicycle as easily as most because her hips touch them.  You’d see a towel over the screen so I can’t see how little time has passed and hopefully it will pass quicker.  You’d usually see me without makeup and with my hair pulled back but today you would have seen me with makeup ON due to timing issues.  You would see me sweaty but pale; the flush comes on when I’m done.  You’d see me frustrated and proud and humored.

You’d see me, though.  Today, tomorrow and Friday.  You’d see me.