Crossing the Line

Sorry, I’ve been distant, silent even.  Mostly because I did something wonderful and it confused me.  Let me explain…..

I went on vacation with my family, it was a wedding onboard a cruise ship and we were invited to join the happy couple for the honeymoon.  We all had our own rooms of course.  I brought a long two books; one pleasure and one enlightening.  I chose the Enlightening book first.  Before the end of the first day at sea I grabbed my book and went up to the top deck, sunglass/reading glasses in hand and a hat and read.   Within the first ten pages I came across a statement (that I can’t quote because it’s not exactly what I read but what I needed to hear) to the effect of:

There comes a time when introspection becomes indulgent.

It struck me so perfectly at that moment and I realized, every aspect of me said it was time to move on and move forward.  There was nothing more I could do with the deep dives into who, what, and why that makes me who, what, and why I’ve become.  I needed to put myself out there and try to put into place what I have learned, to build on the foundation that I have laid and hopefully not have any dead bodies hidden in the cement.  At many points in life we need to stop and do the self evaluation/inventory/mind-tripping that helps us move to the next level, but I feel like I’m all caught up now….

Crossing that line, the invisible line between the two worlds instigated a miraculous change in my psyche: I’m happy, I’m hope-filled, I have more energy, I am making plans for my future and are anxiously waiting to put that plan into motion.  (Mom is still doing well, so things are still as they were).  Crossing that line also gave me the push I needed to start  whittling down my meds.  I’m off one of my anxiety pills completely, I’ve cut my Lexapro in half, I’m still taking all my puppy uppers (Welbutrin).

I don’t know if I’m ready to go down another 10mg on my Lexapro.  This last jump down brought up the realization that I don’t really have the skills that I thought I had when  I was fully medicated, and emotions are starting to break through the chemical barricades.  I’m getting caught in the angry loops, but I have more success of talking myself out of them before I spin out of control.  I get overwhelmed and stymied easily , but if I just plug away at it, it gets done.  I’ve had to put some exercises into place so I could deal with the mental stuff, one of those is writing every day.  Which brings me back to the confusion….

For the longest time I used this blog as an integral part of my self exploration.  Anything too private was taken care of in my journal, and I’m back to journaling now too, but if continual introspection is self indulgent, it’s not something I should be engaging in if I want to move forward in my life.  And I’ve made some major strides in my life from March to now, but I didn’t know if I should start a new blog post-depression to write all the plans and the executions with both successes and failures or if I should just continue here; or should I do it at all?  I miss it, so I need to keep doing it .  I found that blogging my personal truths out into the world is an act of courage and bravery that makes me feel more courageous and brave in the real world. I think it’s not self indulgent if it isn’t wallowing in the dark but instead sharing the joy and excitement of rediscovering my life now that I’m outside the void.

Any input from my readers would be helpful.  Please,

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!

Climbing Down The Walls

So, I am unemployed, or underemployed.  I still have the granny nanny job, but the relaxing job of 8 hours a day five days a week, along with the paycheck, is gone.  Monday I needed two doggy downers to get me off the walls, but it completely wiped me out for Tuesday and then another attempt at the wall yesterday, but I talked myself out of it and avoided the chill pills.  I sat down and made a list of everything I need to do to, both large and small, and having it all in one spot keeps me away from the walls.  I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but I just love ticking things off a to do list gives me a deep down, tickle of a thrill.

The list is a two fold tool.  First, it puts everything that I need to do, everything I need to think about, everything that I need to buy in one place.  I need to put them in line with priorities, and I’ll put that on the list to do.  Second, it gives me a sense of accomplishment when I cross something off, but not enough to celebrate and blow off the rest of my to-dos.  The most important things that I need to do is get the credits for my CEC ‘classes’, study, pass the test and then start looking for a job in medical.  The other is to bolster my meager income and finish the chapter for House of Dragons.*

What is surprising me is that I am still getting up relatively early, I’m getting a good nights sleep, though some nights I stay up as late as 11:00pm (scandalous, I know) but I’m feeling the need to stick to my work schedule.  I don’t want to sleep the day away.  That said, that doesn’t exactly mean that I want to take the world be storm either.  I’m not hiding in TV, but I’m not as productive as I could be…..but then again, it’s only been four days…..I should probably just get to know myself without having some place to go in the morning.

* Soul Searching: House of Dragons is the first installment (hopefully) in my stories of missionaries all over the world.   This is about a cadre of companionships in Vietnam trying to return a lost Vet home and the general struggles that go along with being in the Lords service.

Suck It Up, Buttercup!

I feel like I’m devolving into a puddle of goo.  I’m shaking, implosion seems eminent and sleep doesn’t help.  But then I’m not supposed to be sleeping….I’m supposed to be shopping, cleaning, organizing, learning, writing the ending of my finished novel (House of Dragons) and working on a general editing pass at my other one (Hearts of The Mothers) for NaNoWriMo instead of writing something novel.  All I feel capable of doing is sitting and trying to keep my heart from bounding out of my chest.

Okay, maybe I’m expecting too much from myself the first day of unemployment and I did want to take today easy, but then I feel like I’m about to have a heart attack, problems breathing, heart pounding etc.  So I checked my stress level, which I figured would be low because I am on my blood pressure pills but it read 86% which, in the meters terms, is extreme.  I checked my blood pressure and it was 131/76 with a heart rate of 86.  So I did what any off-cetnerly sane person would do….I took something from my anxiety collection and I’m hoping the weaker compound will do me okay.  I need to get back to putting that in my morning pills.  It’s not like I have to worry about falling asleep at my desk any more, but apparently I need them.

I think also the collapse of my schedule has something to do with it.  I need to start a new schedule and commit to it as if it were a work schedule.  It’s so hard to commit to something that doesn’t have a prod to go with the carrot, or in this case the carrot is the freedom to write not money. I need to get up, do whatever work I need to do around the house and then LEAVE home and follow my plan as outlined.  I realize that I need to put the plan in writing, work on a check off system and just keep moving forward as much as my body/mind/soul will allow me.  Not knuckling under their weight but using it as a counterbalance to propel me forward.  Which honestly sounds all pretty and easy….on the screen….but in the end I just need to suck it up and get it done.

The Bluffers Rebuff

I miss Sammy.  I miss the way she says ‘Hello’ in the morning, or says “By by” when I leave but mostly I miss knowing there is one living, breathing person* in the house that loves me unconditionally even when she bites me.

Mom and I have plastered over the dings in each others walls, though I didn’t hurl anything heavy, she took asserting my boundaries as a direct hit and then taking Sammy away so she wouldn’t breathe in her feathers as a killing blow.  Covering the wounds works like turning off the lights instead of doing the dishes….if you can’t see it, it never happened.  I was told that I was breaking a dying woman’s heart by taking Sammy to my sisters, but if Mom truly is allergic to her feathers then taking Sammy out of the house was the only recourse.  It’s not like I would allow her to live outside even if she could.  It is still seen as an intentional, malicious action against my mother, which was not my intent, and I tell her I don’t intend on having Sammy stay away forever.  I’ve ordered air filters/purifiers/cleaners for her room and the family room and once she can breathe okay I will bring Sammy home as a test.  Mom on the other hand feels she will never be able to be in the same room with her again.  It is her way of bluffing my bluff, to see who could last the longest without her.  Well, not to be too macabre or put too fine a point on it, I’m the one that can live longer without her.  That’s not why I’m not going to buckle to her will, or maybe it is, I dunno sometimes what is going on in my head.  In a lot of ways I’m still very angry at my mom for the way she treated me, talked to me, acted towards me, and yet knowing that it’s coming from a place of fear and her interpretation of everything as pain she doesn’t know (or want to know) any better.  I can’t change her, I can only change myself so she can no longer hurt me.  But she made me cry this weekend, and honestly that seems to be the worst thing that she could have done.  That was the start of her treating me better, she thinks she broke me.  What happened was I didn’t have all of my social meds for the day and I crumbled a little but she’s taking it as a victory.

To help me overcome my loneliness and the fun in watching her, I bought a wifi camera that will allow me to log into it and I can watch her all day if I wanted to.  I won’t, hopefully.  But when I’m at home and in my room I can put it on my 24″ monitor and it would be like she was in my room with me.  It just can’t get here fast enough!

*Sammy is a feathered person….and yes, I’m one of ‘those’ pet owners.

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)…….

Prayer: The Hearts Sincere Desire

I’ve been praying again, at least making an honest effort.  I still forget that I’m praying sometimes and let my mind wander but I pull it back as quickly as I can, apologize to my Father in Heaven and push forward.  It seems odd that prayer is so hard for me.  That it was nothing before but “Please, Father, get me through today.” (And He did) But because of my meager efforts I’m no longer extremely anxious about taking the forward steps I need to into the haze of uncertainty because I know He will prepare a path for me even if all I can see it one step at a time.

It’s so hard to describe the sensation of this for me.  I’ve always known there was a higher power (mine is God/Heavenly Father/Elohim) for as long as I can remember.  At one point I wanted to be cloistered away as a nun;  a life of service and reflection apparently appeals to the writers heart.  However, I chose the secular world and now my realities are 1) my job is ending 2) my education to be a phlebotomist is a joke in the industry 3) I’ve not stuck anyone in years and 4)it’s going to pay less (especially a non-union job) than the pittance I’m making now. (I’m not even going to go into the lack of writing, lack of journaling and lack of any creativity in my life right now).  My mind races and then collapses from exhaustion.  I think R.E.M. said it best:

It’s the end of the world as we know it

And I feel fine

I’ve never been able to really make plans for my future because I’ve always had the concept hard wired into my mind “Live now for tomorrow we die”.  So now, I pray about it, when the anxiety, fear and general loathing of change overtakes me and then a calm comes and the gentle words of peace and comfort scatter the emotions like cockroaches in the light and I feel fine.

Though I’m still anxious about a lot of things:

  • Mom’s ultimate destination and getting her ready, getting me ready, fear of walking in on her and finding her when I’m alone
  • Money lasting to the end of the month and not being able to buy stuff with my own money
  • Getting money together for my nephews wedding (This is new one, he’s going on a cruise and we’re all invited)
  • Job ending
  • Job searching
  • Being trapped forever with Mom
  • Never getting my eating under control and never being able to eat Golden Mega Stuff Oreos again
  • Dying before I have a chance to live
  • Being around people
  • Dealing with my family and the anger it stirs up in me and the fear of not being able to control it around them

That’s just off the top of my head, the things that I can pick out when it’s spinning.  Though I know everything in my heart will be okay, the chemicals in my brain still won’t settle down and leave me in peace.  I’m hoping to replace my emergency anti-anxiety pills and the half one I take every day, with meditation and prayer.  It is my sincerest desire to be trusting and rest in the Lords embrace and know everything will be okay.  Though my heart is starting to trust my head is still overly paranoid and distrusting of everyone and everything, both physical and spiritual.  It’s not the end of the world, just a change, and I will be fine.  Prayer needs to be my bridge from this life to the next, I can feel that in my heart to be true and I need to be more persistent in following the whispers of hope and orient myself to the feeling of warmth and comfort the Spirit provides when I follow my heart.

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