Grumblings

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Grumblings

I’m not sure I have much to say today.  I feel like bursting into tears.  And I am tired because I was awake between 3:30 and 4:15 (ds got up and went to the bathroom at 3:30 and when he closed his door it startled me awake) and then I was up for good at 4:50.  I felt irritable the second half of Saturday and all day yesterday and I might still be irritable this morning.  I have AT and I am feeling frustrated about not making more progress.  I work today, but have not idea of how long (she never tells me ahead of time…Could be for 3 hours, could be for 7 or anywhere in between).  And it is pitch black out and cold with some snow.  And the dogs are nagging me for breakfast, but it isn’t time yet.

Yup…It’s very possible that I might be grumpy on this Monday morning.  It’s likely that will level off some as I get moving and have some breakfast.  And I won’t/can’t be grumpy at work, so I will have it under control by 9:15.  I can be grumpy at Art Therapy, but it’s kind of counter-productive, so hopefully, I will have it under control by 8.

K…Best way to combat grumpiness? Cuteness!  Here’s a picture of the little dog under the tree waiting for Santa.  ❤

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This Week and In Control?

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This Week

I have a busy week ahead of me…and I am not really feeling up to it.  That said, as always, I will shove the “not up to it” aside and participate in the things I am committed to.

Monday, I have my regular AT and then I picked up some hours at work.  Tues and Weds are quiet days, but Thursday is a triple-decker appointment day.  Art Therapy, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and Nutritionist.  Every now and then, this happens, when they are all lumped on the same day.  I am good with same-day for the AT and my PNP since they are only a handful of blocks from each other and it saves me a trip into the City.  But the Nutritionist too makes the day long.  Then on Friday, I assume I am working, but no guarantees since they have hired a new person.

In Control?

I am already nervous about my Nutritionist appointment.  A couple appointments ago, she was concerned about how fast I losing weight…And if she was concerned about that particular weight loss, then she is going to be pretty unhappy about my current weight loss….And it is only Sunday!  I have talked about how obsessive I can get with dieting…And at this point, I am beyond obsessing.  I feel calm and applied and not anxious about food…I simply don’t eat much, so I have no worries.  If I thought I could get away with it (i.e. not be caught) I probably could just stop eating.  It is already hard not to skip meals…Eating pretty much nothing seems barely a stretch.

So, yup. I am screwed. Not because of my decline to minimalist eating habits, but because I have someone monitoring me and thus I have to put up a front that I am fine.  And then there’s this little nagging voice in my head that is asking me if this is a control issue, like the nutritionist had commented on a while back.  I can’t control my feelings and my dissociation and my depression and PTSD and anxiety.  But I can rigidly control what I eat.  Well…It’s a theory anyway, who knows if is true.

And I did kind of a brave thing Friday and yesterday.  I pulled all of my summer clothes out of the closet because they are too big now and hopefully will still be too big next summer.  I bagged them up and will be taking them off to Goodwill.  And…I also pulled out all the clothing that I don’t like (of which I had a fair amount because I never feel worthy of having clothing I like) and stuffed it in the bag too.  Well…honestly, most of that clothing is too big now too, but still…It felt good to get rid of it.   All this clothing purging will not leave me naked.  I had clothes that had been too small that I can wear now.  Oh, and I found a belt, so hopefully, I can get the clothing to last me through the winter. If not, I may have to call on my tailoring skills.  We shall see how it all shakes out.

Okay…Sorry…I find dieting blogs tedious and I don’t want to turn this into one.  That will be all I have to say about weight loss for a while.

Not Feeling It

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Not Feeling It

Traditionally, the day after Thanksgiving, dh, ds and I head to the tree farm and cut down our tree and decorate it.  The past few years, that tradition has slid to the wayside, partly due to my work schedule, partly due to my mood and partly due to entropy.

I have been planning since October that we would get back on track with our tradition and I have been excited to do so.  So, yesterday morning, we headed out to the tree farm to find the perfect tree.

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And we did.  And then we brought it home and put it up and decorated it and revived the holiday tradition.  Perfect, right?  Nope.  I tried and I tried, but I just wasn’t feeling it.  As a matter of fact, I just wasn’t feeling anything.  I went through all the motions, did all the right things and was just numb.  Ugh…I hate that.  Why do my feelings do this?  I have a lovely family, a lovely tradition, a lovely tree…Why is my ability to feel it broken?

It is so hard, when I am trying to reclaim my life (I mean the rest of my life, not the tree tradition), that my feelings betray me.  Like, can’t I just catch a break and enjoy tree day?  Does that mean I was dissociated yesterday? (And possibly still today?) Was that because of Thanksgiving? Did Thanksgiving go okay because I was just shut down and playing my facade?

I know…a lot of questions…And I have no answers….Only frustration and disappointment.  And that familiar feeling of wishing to be normal and wanting to enjoy things like normal people.  I hate being broken.  Doesn’t this ever get better?

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Lemme Tell You About The Tic Tacs

I survived Thanksgiving.  Actually, I more than survived.  I got everything done in preparation that I wanted to do (even cobwebs and windows…delegating is so efficient!), my anxiety was okay, and I didn’t need lorazepam.  Not only that, but we had a nice visit with our parents, had good food and everyone behaved themselves. <huge sigh of relief> and by 8:00, the last load of dishes was in the dishwasher, the leaf from the table was taken out and put away, the extra chairs when back to their usual rooms and other than washing the table linens, there were no chores leftover for today.  <another huge sigh of relief>

When I saw the AT on Monday, he asked how I was going to get through Thanksgiving, and I told him, “Lorazepam.”  His response was a wry, “Ah…Better living through chemistry,” which I emphatically agreed with.  Mind you, I get the impression that he thinks there are better ways to deal with the stress than lorazepam….But he didn’t think to pull up the Emotional Geographic and read to me about over-supporting myself during the holidays…And I didn’t have any great ideas, and it seemed too late on Monday to do anything by Thursday, and I usually end up lorazepam-ing on holidays, so…I thought I had the solution at hand.

Anyway, our conversation about family kind of wandered here and there and then the AT said something again about the meds, and I suddenly had this silly idea.  The previous day, I had been in the grocery store and seen the Tic Tacs printed with the candy canes.  And I had this thought that they ought to distribute Holiday Lorazepam with little candy canes printed on them.  I shared my idea with the AT and we both had a chuckle about it, and then we kind of expanded on the idea in an irreverent sort of way, like having a candy dish with Holiday Lorazepam and just doling them out during Thanksgiving to calm everyone down,  and we had a good laugh about it.  After the appointment, every time I thought about the Holiday Lorazepam and Tic Tacs, I giggled.

Later, I told dh about the lorazepam/Tic Tacs and giggled. And that’s when it struck me…I was going to approach Thanksgiving with humor. And it worked!

I bought myself three little boxes of candy cane Tic Tacs and put them in a dish, smack dab in the middle of the dining room table.  And I smiled. And I appreciated the irreverent humor.  And dh saw what I had done, and we both chuckled.

And it worked for me!  Not only that…but at some point, dh, who is right on board with irreverent humor, was kind of annoyed by his mother and he turned to me with a sly grin, and said, “I need a Tic Tac!” and off he went and downed a candy cane Tic Tac.  And I giggled. 🙂

So….maybe the AT’s point was valid…That there are other ways to deal with Thanksgiving stress and anxiety besides lorazepam!  I will say, my lorazepam was at the ready….But I am pleased with the fact that I didn’t have to take any.

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Thanks

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Thanks

Here I am…Thanksgiving morning, and I am doing okay.  I actually feel pretty good and have minimal anxiety.  I think I will survive this holiday! (And maybe even without lorazepam!)

I have been thinking this past week about what I am thankful for.  I think what I am most thankful for is the people in my life.  And I appreciate them and am thankful for them every day, not just on Thanksgiving.  But…today, I am going to stop for a moment and recognize them and why I am thankful for them.

  • Dh, my partner and best friend, who stands by me through it all and has never wavered in his love for me, his commitment to me, his support of me.  This man has seen it all and still pulls me into his arms and hugs me and tells me, “I love you.”
  • Ds, who is an amazing person.  Bright, funny, thoughtful, caring, resilient, independent and committed to what he believes in.  I truly enjoy the person he has grown to be. ❤
  • A, who has known me forever (since I was 15) and has seen me through so much and who has been a wonderful, grounding force in my life.  Plus, she has taught me, through example, more about being a mother than she probably realizes.  She is one of those friends who has helped me grow to be a better person.
  • L, who I have known for almost 20 years.  Our relationship has waxed and waned, but is still there.  She is a voice of reason and never afraid to share her opinion.  She is kind-hearted and generous and will always be there if I need her.  She also is a grounding force who can reel me in from my craziness.
  • SS, who likes me even though I am depressed.  She is the first “new” person in my life with whom I don’t have to hide who I am.  I am so thankful that she is willing to accept me as-is.  She is teaching me that it is okay to be open and real…And that we all have inner strength to get us through hard things.
  • My blog friends:  I had no idea when I started Rusty Pluck that I would end up with so much support and understanding from my blog.  My blog friends have helped me realize that I am not crazy.  Sure, I have mental illness, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that there is something wrong with me.  And they pop up with support in ways I didn’t expect…but that has been very meaningful to me.
  • The AT.  I’m not sure how to quantify all that I am thankful for about the AT…I think that I am most thankful that he is not going to give up on me, no matter what. And that he smiles every time he sees me. And that he sees something good in me and is not going to rest until I can see it too.  And that he is open and honest and thoughtful and imperfect….I appreciate his realness.  And I am exceptionally thankful that he took me on as a client, because I think he is the right therapist for me.
  • My PNP, who has been in my life for 5+ years now and has seen me through some very hard times.  Her support has been unwavering.  Her gentle manner and thoughtful insights have made a huge difference in my anxious world.  Plus, she understands me and she sees me a person first, not just a patient to be “managed.”  And I think what I am most thankful for is that she listens to me.  She doesn’t try to “fix” me with meds …She hears what I need and want and she tries to find pharmaceuticals to help me get there.
  • My Yoga Instructor.  Honestly, this relationship has really surprised me.  I am getting so much more out of yoga than I ever expected! And my instructor is an incredible person…she really is just amazing.  She is not only teaching me yoga, but she is teaching me how to be a part of my body, which is kind of a new concept to me.  She also is teaching me to like myself, and to appreciate my own exquisiteness…A slow process indeed, but after 6 or 7 months of it, I am starting to hear what she is saying without internally scoffing at the idea.  And I appreciate her willingness to take the time to connect with me and to take me as I am depending on the day and my mood.

Yup.  I have quite the crew of amazing people in my life for whom I am just exceptionally appreciative.

Now…on to the brass tacks of making it through today….Here’s how I see it: I can lorazepam my way through the day or….not.  I have a secret weapon though.  I am going to try to use humor to get me through the day. Humor and candy cane Tic Tacs…which I cannot think about without giggling.  I will explain more on that tomorrow as I have run out of blogging time for today.

 

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Priorities

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Priorities

I worked myself into a lather yesterday.  Then I had a mini meltdown/anxiety attack (ostensibly about going to the grocery store…but of course, more involved than that) and then I started to relax a little bit.

As to my cleaning frenzy, I now say, “Fuck it.”  Here’s what I will do: swipe down the cobwebs (Sorry, spiders.), vacuum, run a mop over the floor, straighten out the dining room, dust the dog hair off of surfaces and clean the sliding glass door which is covered with dog nose prints and snot.  And…I will be delegating.  It won’t be just me cleaning.  And…I will step back and admire my OCD cleaned kitched cupboards, which today I can sort of chuckle about.

Here’s what I won’t do: Clean until I am exhausted, fuss over the cleaning minutia, cave to the stress about cleaning caused my my MIL, judge my worth by the cleanliness of my house.

Tomorrow will still be stressful no matter what.  I don’t need to make the whole week a nightmare.

But….All that stuff I just said  on the “Here’s what I will do” list?  Totally has minimal importance at the moment.  An issue with my son has popped up and derailed my schedule and agenda for today and that is okay.  Instead of doing pre-Thanksgiving day prep work all day today, I need to take ds to the credit union and then to the police station as he discovered last night that someone got a hold of his debit card number and for the past two weeks has been draining his bank account down to nothing.

I do have my priorities, you know.  And first off is my family.  If the cobwebs end up staying and the dog snot is still on the door tomorrow, we will survive! I have more important things to do today.

 

 

 

Hmmmm…..Another Perspective On Holidays

Second blog post of the day….

I am taking a break from my cleaning frenzy.  I know I have lost any sense of restraint and sanity with my cleaning because first thing this morning, I spent over an hour scrubbing the front of kitchen cupboards.  I mean really…What the hell am I overcompensating for?  Or trying not to feel?

Anyway, here are a couple of links with some interesting thoughts.  The AT introduced me to this blog sometime in the summer and from time to time, he pulls up an entry and reads to me from it.  I thought these two are fitting…though at this point, maybe a little late for me (at least for Thanksgiving). YMMV.

http://www.emotionalgeographic.com/blog-1/2014/11/21/want-to-enjoy-the-holidays-learn-to-oversupport-yourself

http://www.emotionalgeographic.com/blog-1/2014/11/23/holidays-and-trauma-holding-both

K…break is over…time to get back to the cleaning.

Too Many Feelings In Therapy and Food Control

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Too Many Feelings In Therapy

The Art Therapist was irritating yesterday.  Half the appointment went well, then he peeved me and I was not a happy camper.  Then, he wanted me to tell him why I was mad…And that made me even less happy.  <grumble>  And the worst part of it?  He was right to try to get me to talk about why I was mad.  I always internalize anger, which is not a good habit.

Ugh…and I genuinely almost cried yesterday too.  Lots of times, I can hold back the feeling of wanting to cry, but yesterday….I could not and I was way outside of my no-crying safety zone.  I barely reeled myself back in….But, I pulled myself back together and did not cry.

And…to top it off, I dissociated too.  The AT was telling me something… It was something along the lines of the, “You matter,” kind of stuff…but it wasn’t about mattering…He even used my full name and directed me to look at him….And…it’s just gone.  I have no idea what he was saying.  Which is unfortunate, because I am pretty sure he was saying something important.  (Which is why he was trying to get my full attention.)

So, how’s that for a therapy session? Mad, sad and dissociated.

But…It wasn’t all bad. Really, it was just the second half of the appointment that was so hard.  The first half was fine and relaxed and we even laughed a lot.  I kind of want to say, “Oh well…at least half the session was okay.”  But really, both halves were okay…Just one half was a lot harder than the other.

My Thanksgiving anxiety is stable at the moment.  Something that I often do when I feel anxious is clean.  It’s a good way to pass the time and burn off the anxious energy.  This is working well right now as I really wanted to do a kind of deep clean before our families come on Thursday….So, I get to burn off my anxious energy and I get to be getting the house clean.  It’s a two-fer!

And since one of my anxieties about having family over is that my Mother-in-Law is judgmental and critical and appearances are really, really important to her.  So, I have this pressure to have my home spit-polished and perfect.  Which the anxious cleaning is addressing.

Food Control

Something else that I noticed is that since my anxiety has gone up, so has the rigidness in my eating pattern.  The Nutritionist had made the observation quite a while back that my “diet” (my word, not hers) gives me something to control when I am feeling a lack of control.  Retrospectively, it made sense to me….But right now, I think I am seeing it as it is unfolding.

This Week Has Arrived

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This Week Has Arrived.

I have been pretending and pretending that the holidays were not rapidly approaching.  But here we are.  I don’t think I can ignore it anymore.I do not enjoy the holidays.  And Thanksgiving will be the start the unpleasantness.

My stress is all about my extended family and having to spend time with people that I need space from and that I can barely tolerate being around.  And I find it overwhelmingly stressful and it pretty much ruins the holidays for me.

The holidays is one of the few times a year that I usually end up taking my lorazepam.  However,  I have a smidgen of hope that I am going into the holidays stronger this year…And I have seemed to have developed quite the support system (If only I could ever get myself to use it!) so maybe this year won’t be so bad?  I am just wary because sometimes the family stress at the holidays stirs up so much stuff that I crash and burn.

I am actually kind of still on an even keel. And I had yoga yesterday evening, which was a nice way to center and balance myself before a stressful week.  And then therapy today….So, maybe it won’t all be so bad this year.

A girl can hope, right?

 

This Whole Friend Thing…

This Whole Friend Thing….

It might just be working out.

One of the things that happened for me when I became very depressed was that I withdrew pretty much completely from my friendships.  I became pretty much isolated aside from dh and ds and then my colleagues at work (but never socialized with them after work.)  I had friendships that I had had for years that I just dropped.  I couldn’t handle it.

And besides, what do you say to people when you are so depressed you can barely function? Especially when reaching out to them seems an impossibility. Or when you are afraid of alienating them or being judged or being seen differently because you are mentally ill.  Plus, I felt like I would be a burden on my relationships and be taking more than I could possible give.

And of course, my anxiety was peaked and actually leaving my home and trying to socialize with people that I knew was impossible, much less people that I barely knew (like folks at work.) (And for a friend or two who read my blog…If you ever wondered why I fell off the face of the earth…now you know why.)

So…As you know, I have been working harder at making contact with friends and developing some new friendships.  Remember the Maternity Leave Mom? I saw her the other day and I mentioned that  my per diem hours at work seem to be drying up and I joked that I might actually have to get a job. And she invited me to spend time with her and her baby during my free days.

I have reconnected with my friend, L, over the past several months.  I keep in regular (pretty much daily contact) with my friend, A. And then there is the budding friendship with Social Strawberries, which I think has graduated from “budding” to being an established friendship.  And you know what…I like having these friends.  I feel less alone, less isolated and I get pleasure from my friendships.

I also get support from my friends.  Maternity Mom does not know about my depression, but L, A and SS do.  And being able to talk with them about how I actually am, how I actually feel and letting them into my little bubble seems somehow liberating for me.  I guess it is because I don’t have to fake anything with them.  I mean…I don’t drivel all my crazy and depressed crap at them…But it is okay to be me, crazy, depressed and all.

Hmmm….did you see what I just wrote?  It is okay to be me, crazy, depressed and all.  That is perilously close to some kind of self-acceptance!  Shit…the AT will have a field day with that one!  And actually, my PNP will pick right up on that too.  She has been after me for <ahem> years to try to not be so socially isolated.  What if she was right?  Because it does seem like I do much better feeling not so alone.

Anyway, there is a point to all of this!  Last night, I stayed up really late (for me) IMing SS.  And it was really nice to talk to her.  She always has good insights.  Anyway, I wanted to share something she said.  This was in regards to my last two blog posts.

So I have been reading your posts- are you interested in my opinion of your question today?

Two fold answer.

I have known you five years now. You seem far happier now then I ever knew you prior (others have mentioned the same thing to me). I think I along with others have just assumed it’s the decrease in stress from work. Since reading your blog I think I understand maybe a little better.

Two I see you put yourself out there. Someone with no hope doesn’t risk starting friendships. You clearly love and are loved by your husband and son. Relationships like that don’t flourish when someone doesn’t hold hope somewhere.

Your mental health maybe has altered the stone and the way the water travels…. But people and streams change over time. I admire your hard work.

This resulted in a very long conversation that I never would have had, had I not taken the risk and honestly put myself out there with her.  And…she has offered me insights and given me food for thoughts in many of our conversations.

Oooh…wandering a bit off topic…speaking of SS, evidently Pixie-girl was talking about me last night.  I’ll have to see if there is a time I can go over to visit in the next week or so.  I have to drop off something for SS and I can get some visit time in with Pixie too.

And…if I can add one more thing to this epic blog post…Just as I finished my IM conversation with SS last night…Up popped my friend, A, who was wondering what I was doing up so late and then promptly sent me to bed.  🙂  I think I like having friends! Even bossy ones that send me to bed. LOL!