Time Is Not Kind

Well, I’ve been gone.  I choose to blame my itty-bitty computers hesitation to merge onto the virtual highway.  It was far more work than I felt I could deal with most times…..and sometimes just getting back into the habit of facing my feelings into the ether.

So, for the feelings…..

I am still on the light side of the void, skipping along the bleeding edge of it, but I’ve not fallen back in.  I still have hope, I have dreams….reachable ones…..so I’m okay…or fine as we the afflicted say.  At least there is more hope and dreams to keep me from surrating my self to la la  land.  That said I’m tired, I go through times of anger and frustration and then a affectless dumbness that feels like home.  I’ve gone down on my meds, then gone up a little, but I think it’s time to bring it down again, which means more unruly feelings to tangle with.  I’m not looking forward to dealing with that, but that is the goal…to feel.

Time seems to be pressing down on me, like time is running out with it’s fading ticks and tocks using my spine as a xylophone so I feel intimately the menacing vibrations throughout my whole body.  I wish I could put the world on hold while I go through the last of this never ending form of self/family/friends/world analysis.  I’m trying of trying to figure out if this is something I should be doing, if I’s where I’m supposed to be, if it’s where I’m supposed to go……and knowing this job that I’m doing isn’t done until it’s done, but needing to get out and getting a job, terrified I will melt into a shadow of myself if I get another fulltime job.  Yes, I will have more help this time, but will I, really?

My new plan terrifies me.  The plan is to get a stay-at-home job, working on customer support or something like that…I have a computer that can keep up with me now, and I have a monitor and I can make the office space in my room comfortable and ergo-safe the only problem is my desk is in the same room with my bed and the safest place I know t be is in my bed.

Maybe I am back in the darkness…I dunno.  Trying not to obsess about myself online only made me obsess about myself in the fog of life and only scared myself more.  All the while there is this subsonic rumble coming at me from all directions….Tick…Tock….Tick….Tock.

Be Careful of Your Habits

Be careful of your thoughts for they will become your actions.

Be careful of your actions for they will become your habits.

Be careful of your habits for they will become your character.

I have a nasty habit of pushing things to tomorrow on my ToDo list.  I don’t think I’m unique in that, but I have noticed things on my task list that shouldn’t be, these things should be second nature to someone of my years and education….like showering.  For the record, I don’t smell bad, I think if I did I wouldn’t have a problem remembering to shower.  It’s just by the end of the day I’m too tired and I tend to drag my feet during the day until I have no time before I have to go to school…..(yes I’m in school now….for another blog).  When my pits start to stink I used a flowery underarm solid to control it, when my hair wants to stand on end because of the grease and product I slap on a cute casual or more formal hat.   This was a problem during the depth of my depression, and it seems to have become a solid hang-on habit.  I have everyone terrified in the family to point it out for fear I will take it the wrong way, but then, that conversation would go something like “don’t you ever bathe?” with a wrinkled up nose, a disgusted demeanor and shocked stance.   And I’m not suppose to take it personally, of course.

I thought for a while that when I moved over the line back to the light that all my bad hygene, sleep, and eating habits would go away and I’d be ‘normal’ again.  I’m really starting to hate that word ‘normal’, there really isn’t any such thing as normal.  But it seems the habits I had then are habits that I have now.  Along with trying to rebuild my stamina and not get overwhelmed on a regular basis I have to re-educate myself on practicing good citizenship skills and eating habits.  So annoying.  I just want to be cured, I wanted to cross into the light and be a shining example of what surviving depression is like.  I wanted to be done with this bull crap so I can move on.  But it seems like there is a lot of aftermath that needs to be tended to.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, I am starting to be a house keeper.  Not just someone that turns off the lights when the house needs to be clean, but an actual cleaner….with bleach and everything.  I’m not a fan of the bathroom, I try to keep the toilet clean but beyond that I’m stymied as to how to get the boys dirty foot prints off the bottom of the tub and I really don’t want to try.  I’ve claimed the kitchen as my own and I keep it in working order during the week and let the dishes pile up during the three day weekend, but I am cooking, I’m cleaning and I’m doing all the Molly Mormon stuff I swore I’d never do.  And, I’m enjoying keeping my kitchen the was I want it.  I’ve decorated it with my copper bottom pots and pans, I steam clean the floor regularly and vacuum instead of sweep because the broom is useless.  My room is still in disarray but I’m making it functional.  It’s still hard for me to work in there without the bed monster grabbing me and lulling me to sleep.

So, I started the thought process of changing my mind; thinking about the things I need to do.  I need them to grow into actions and actions into habit and try to reverse the damage done from my days of darkness and anger.  Too bad I can’t wash my brain and make it all better.  I’m sure it would sting a bit but I’d eventually get used to it and be able to move on faster.  Not that fasting is better, it really isn’t.  But the sooner I can get this stage behind me the sooner I can move onward and upward into my plans.  That’s what I’m excited to do!

 

What Dreams May Be

Dreams are like movies directed by the soul.  Your mind works out all the tangles and knots your daily life creates and then smooth’s things over so we don’t all go bat-crap-crazy.  Of which I am truly grateful.   There are certain things, symbols in dreams that are consistent with all the dream weavers out there….

There’s the anxiety dream where you can’t run when you’re being chased.

There’s the project dream where you dream you have a baby, a puppy, or something new born that is in your charge and you need to take care of it.

The wanting to speak dream where you try to say something but your mouth is full of gum or food and no matter how hard you work to pull the stuff out of your mouth you can never quite get it all out, ofrom between your teeth.

The happy dream is where you fly.

My dreams a few nights ago had puppies and flying.  The puppy was the sample of a business idea that someone came up with in my dream…..Send A Friend A Puppy….Even I had a double take in my dream and asked them to repeat it.  It works like this, you have a friend you want to cheer up so instead of flowers you send them a fluffy, clean 6 to 10 week old puppy.  In this case it was a golden retriever puppy.   They come in a box with food and puppy-poopoo-pads and gloves.  You have to admit no matter how sick, sad or frustrated you are, an afternoon with a puppy will take a lot of the gloom and doom and shine up your attitude in no time.  My mind has been feverishly trying to remake the main character in my completed novel less of a push-over and more of an woman that is 75% intelligent and 15% stubborn and 10% without a clue…..like most women.  That’s the new puppy.

Later in that dream I was told that I could fly again.  I didn’t believe them, but they assured me I could.  So I took to the sky and doing my rudimentary swimming motions I propelled myself into the air.  Though I was flying, and I was happy while I was aloft, I noticed that the scarf/sleeve had either sand or rice trying to pull me back towards the ground.  I struggled against gravity and as long as I focused on staying in the air I did.  I love flying in my dreams….they truly are my favorite dreams.  I see this as a promise of present happiness despite of the things that seem to be trying to tie me to the ground.  That’s to my surrender I no long dread or hate or even feel put upon taking care of my Mom.  When she gets angry with me I react internally first and then sort of laugh at the whole thing….she’s like a toothless Chihuahua.  It does kind of make me laugh and I try very hard not to do it in front of her.  So, mom is one of the bags that are trying to hold me down, the other, I believe is my work with OA.  I ran into a woman while getting food for my family and se said some of the OA speak and I asked her.  I told her my problem with getting sponsor and she said she would be more than willing to talk with me.  She said most people that can’t get the fourth step done is because they haven’t truly done the third step: Surrendering to your higher power.  I’m trying to learn to surrender on the celestial level now, trying to surrender myself, my control and my life to God the Father and Jesus Christ.  It’s harder than I thought it would be.  But then anything worth doing is never really easy.  It only seems easy when you see it through the rearview mirror.

I’ve also been having anger dreams where I just rant and rave at my sibling about stuff they don’t understand.  And there have been a few anxiety dreams as well about running out of time, which is an anxiety that chases me in the waking hours as well, but I don’t remember the specifics of the dreams only the impetus of them….the hospice nurse made the comment that Mom was deteriorating and it triggered the anxiety and a feeling a fear and dread at the idea of my mother passing.  (That’s a whole other post).  The events in the dream disappear almost with my eyes focusing on the alarm clock, but the anger and anxiety tend to fuss with my day for a while.

Okay, why the post about dreams?  Because it is confirming what I’m starting to realize myself.  I’m happy, really happy.  And I know I’m burdened some with my responsibilities and my health but I’m still happy.  If surrender brings this much happiness I would hope surrendering to the other conflicts in my life should and would be easier.

Pleasant and prophetic dreams to all!

Gobsmacked by Life

So, when last we met, dear reader, I was embarking of under-employment but ever so hopeful things would continue on the course I had set it on.  I stopped climbing the walls, so to speak only to have the freaking wall fall on me!  I planned on giving myself one week off from work, which is reasonable since I hadn’t really had five straight days to myself since, well, since I don’t remember when….and starting the next week Mom shot up a temperature to like 103.1 and then it would go down, then back up.  I got the temporal thermometer to see if the digital one was not digitizing the information the way we wanted but it was telling the truth.  Which basically means now I have a really cool thermometer…..but I digress.  I called 911 and had them take her to the ER in Mountain View.  If there is one thing I can say about being on anti depressants and anti anxiety SSRI and dopamine enhancers is that when you are faced with something serious your emotions shut down and you can focus on the task at hand get things done. Well, sort of.  Apparently  was being a real pain in the caboose and my humor wasn’t what my sisters would have liked.  After a few long, tiresome hours they realize that Mom was dehydrated.  Who knew you ran a temperature when you are dehydrated.  S. had heard about it when she went through her medical assistant training but she wasn’t sure.  Once that was determined they decided to give her IV fluids and see if it brought her double digit BP back to the normal range….well, normal for an 85 year old woman.  They admitted her around 2 am, I went home and had dinner, took a chill pill and went to bed around 4am.

What I learned from this experience is that 1) the right hospice agency makes all the difference and 2) never make plans that you can’t put off for later.  We’ve changed our hospice agency which is more aggressive towards the pulmonary set, unlike the last one that would have been happy for me to give Mom morphine to calm her down and let her die in her sleep.  The hospital doctor sent her home with a nebulizer and between me and K we have been militant about her getting her treatments, eating whether she wants to or not, and drinking at least two quarts of water a day she is gaining ground.  Just as she started to get back on her feet the holidays descended like a biblical plague.  Okay, so I’m not a bit holiday fan but being broke, being literally tied to the house like some house bound prisoner because Mom doesn’t like to be alone and “misses me” even if I’m in the other room.  Did I mention she’s almost as deaf as a door knob?  (hearing aids are on the list of things to do in the New Year).

I guess what I’m blathering on about is that I’m tired, I feel like a well used rubber band that is still functional if you don’t push it beyond it’s but when too much pressure is applied  it will loose the last of it’s elasticity and then when pushed father will snap and crumble to bits.  My doctor thinks I’m doing fine, but then we didn’t talk about how I imagine sawing through my arms again, or how I want to use a razor to carve a cross hatch pattern from my wrist to the bend in my elbow.  I won’t do it, I know I won’t, I’m too big of a sissy when it comes to physical pain but he seems to think it is something that should be reported to him.  I wish he was tech savvy enough to just read this and prescribe accordingly.  I can’t go up any further on m=any of my meds so what other choice does he have then to tell me I’m doing good and hope the placebo effect will see me through until the stress passes?

I’m pretty sure this will be my last entry for 2014.  May the New Year be bright, healthy and prosperous.  Thank you for reading and following me.

Miracle & Milestones

Miracles abound when you have faith enough to welcome them.

Last Thursday I took a trip up to visit Sammy (the parrot) as my sister spends time with Mom on Tuesdays and Thursday evenings which gave me the freedom to go.  (Sammy didn’t want anything to do with me other than take a chunk of flesh out of my fingers, but that’s another tale of woe.)  I called to check on Mom while I was there, as I’m want to do when I’m not home to make sure she knows that I worry about her and she said she was anxious for me to come home because she needed to talk to me, but she was soooo apologetic I wasn’t sure if I should believe it to be good or not.  The last thing I needed after a long drive back from one valley to the next is to have another “talk” in *that* tone of hate, disgust and disappointment.

I guess I should back track at this point.  The day before, Wednesday, it was written on my calendar that I should put her name in the temple for prayers.  They rotate out the names ever two weeks so I call and put her name back in.  I didn’t want to.  I fought with myself because of the way she still talked to me after we had our fight over Sammy and the lock on my door, which in her mind was the greatest betrayal I could have ever perpetrated against her.  She doesn’t have boundaries, so no one can have boundaries.  I asked her a few days after the bird was moved to my sisters if she would ever like me again, she told me it still remains to be seen.  And from that point on she has tolerated me, sniped at me every chance she got.  I remained happy and chipper and trying me best not to flinch at her tone.  There is some sort of dark hollowness that you feel when your mother treats you like you are the worst person in the whole universe.  Needless to say, I didn’t want to, I didn’t think she should have it because of the way she treated me on a regular basis the anger started to push everything else aside to pour salt in my wounds.  I had to stop, redirect the anger out some sort of internal overflow spigot and rethink my position.  She can treat me how she wants to treat me, I can’t do anything about that other than not let her hurt me but I made the decision not to let her behavior dictate my actions so I put her name, a friends name and my name in the temple.  (who couldn’t use extra prayers)

Okay, back to last Thursday….

She apologized, she was terribly sincere.  She wanted me to know that she loved me, appreciated me and was truly proud of what I have accomplished in my life.  She didn’t relent and let Sammy back in the house but the air purifiers haven’t come in by that time, so hope still spring eternal on that front.  The other portion of this was she realized she can’t keep trying to make me secure a happy end of life for her.  She has to make that choice, and she has to make the efforts to do so.  Now THAT is a miracle and a milestone for her.

My milestone is unemployment….again.  Only this time I have a plan, I have hope and faith and determination to make it worth while.  I also have someone to take care of Mom during the day so I’m not the only one with her.  I’m going back to my post The End Is Nigh…..Or Not.  Mom is afraid of dying alone, without someone who loves her there for her.  She’s having more and more problems in the night sleeping, or rather breathing well enough to stay asleep.  I’m thinking during this time I will do more watching at night, so if she needs me, I’ll be there and then sleep while the other caregiver is there with her.  I do want Mom to have a good end of life, I don’t want her to be alone, that said, I don’t want her to do it during the holiday season.  My father died on Fathers Day, and now I associate both days….actual death date and the holiday….with him.  I can live without two death dates for her as well.

It’s amazing what happens when you walk in faith and hope for the best by letting go and letting God.

Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys.

Mom and I hit the rocks, then the reef, then the iceberg over the weekend.  One realization that came from it was startling, sorta dream-crushing and it needs to go through the journal process before I can share coherently.  Sorry.  The other realization is that I can’t make my mother have a happy end of life.  I can’t do it for her, I can’t ease her from her dystopian state into the station where she believes she belongs.  It’s not my job to make those choices for her.  It’s like trying to have a pet polar bear in Phoenix, just isn’t going to end well.  I will be there to help her with her choices, of course, but I’m no longer going to foist them on her.

The fight was bad, things were said, apology made but we’re still dancing around each other not sure when the other one is going to launch the next salvo of words to try and destroy the other.  Neither of us willing to admit we love the other, and there are moments when she talks to me and I wonder if I still do.  I guess I do, I haven’t called the Shady Pines to come and take her away.  She hasn’t called the police to report me for elder abuse, so I guess we are still on an even keel.

What I don’t really like about myself in this fight is the war in my head of how to behave.  I don’t want to be mean to her, yet I think bad things, and wish I had the wherewithal to do what I imagine.  I get too much pleasure out of calling her bluff and watch her try and squirm away from the consequences.  For example she believes I don’t love her because I won’t dust my room or clean the birds cage on a more regular basis because of her allergies.  So, I’m sending Sammy away to my sisters to live for a while.  My reasoning is two fold, I want the feathers that stay aloft in the air for hours, the one she breathes in, to settle down and to see how well she improves and to, mostly, call her bluff.  I won’t let her use my parrot as a wrench in her manipulation toolbox.

It’s those words, the mean words, that I want to get away from.  I know I’m angry right now and I’m working hard to keep my head from swimming in the anger and frustration.  When I start getting angry I start deep breathing and chanting in my head, but that’s ameliorating the symptoms, not ripping out the foundation of them so I can build anew.  I’m at a loss of how to do this though.  How do you plug the holes and snip off the pour spout of the venom in your brain in favor of peace, love, and …YIKES…I sound like a hippie!!  I don’t want to feel the bile bubble up or the desire for revenge or strut the I’ll-show-you posture any longer.  Part of me is hoping this declaration will be enough, that making the choice to do so will be all I need to do to become that loving, peaceful zen-like person…..I guess that is my circus and one of the many monkeys that are on my back.  Reality sucks, and it’s hard work.  Maybe I should rethink the hippie thing.

Honest Gratitude

I’m not alone, for the longest time I thought I was the only one in my peer group that was stuck inside the void.  Of course I had isolated myself to the point that I was the only one I saw mostly and honestly, I was ignoring me.  I shrunk away from all the love at church because I didn’t want them to know, but I knew they knew, and I was interpreting their love as pity.  I knew they knew because years ago for an essay in my genealogy class, Mom telling people to get sympathy for the heavy burden I am to her, and I’m pretty sure it’s written across my face most of the time.  But to face them, to accept their love, to say “I’m doing well” when they I was lying made me just want to stay home, so I did.

I’ve been going back to church, and I’m hoping to make it a life-long habit from here on out.  I’ve been listening to the topics of conversation, the messages between the topics and I’ve found that a lot of people that appear so happy, as if they have everything they want/need/desire are getting sucked in, stuck in the void that I’ve been in.  The insidious nature of the void is that it is a palpable darkness that your eyes are for all intensive purposes blind.  No one calls out encouragement while they’re in there because no one wants to be found or helped or comforted because we don’t deserve it.  Or, so’s my experience.  The darkness can be a blinding light to some, a red ethereal heat, or a frigid cold that burns to the touch but it is our own hell.  The trouble with having your own personal hell is that no one can help you decorate it because they can’t see it.  But they want to do something to “brighten” things up to help you.  People brighten up your hell just by being there, not by making you explain and explain and explain how things are working inside your head only for them to look at you and honestly say “I don’t get it.  Why can’t you just make up your mind to get over it?”  For me, when someone would say that, I’d want to scream and throw things at them…preferable food that stains or smells bad.

This time around, hopefully my last time around, I’ve been honest.  I’ve been truthful with people when a question is asked that I am capable to answer from my experience.  I can’t address their experiences directly because I don’t know them.  It’s like having someone explain how salt tastes to them without using the word salty.  It can be done, but it’s really hard to know the words you need to describe it.  By being honest about my depression, I’m hoping to rip the mask off the face of depression and stare at my own face and not be ashamed, to abolish the stigma from you, your family, your friends and those that just think you should get over it.  Knowing you aren’t alone, even though your experience is unique, the concept of depression is ubiquitous is a comfort to some, a sympathetic pain to other and a reality the world needs to accept, understand and get over their issues about it.

To be honest, I’m so grateful for this depression, this time around.  (yes, that’s probably the meds talking).  What I’m grateful for is the opportunity I’ve gotten to stitch the tear, rebuild the destroyed and fix the broken so I don’t end up here again.  I’m not sure that I won’t.  I’m still very easily sent of kilter if something happens or my plans are upset in any way, but I balance out faster, I gather my strength and I push forward.  Honesty and gratitude seem to be working hand-in-hand for me.  I think I need to stop using this site as a pity party on ePaper and start using it to be grateful, honest and helpful for others.  It’s just figuring out how to do that and making the time for it and not using it as a way to hide from the issues I’m dealing with

Stay tuned, boys and girls, it looks like things are going to change (for the good, I hope)…….

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