Feeding the Dog

Things are happening in my life that have been a long time coming. One i’d hoped for, and the other i dreaded. I don’t know where i’ll go from here, but it’s time to find out.

I’m back in contact with my oldest child and his family, which has been nothing short of wonderful. For the last 2wks, i’ve spent most of my time with them, and it’s been good for my heart. Watching my marriage breathe its last breaths is excruciating, but it’s been in its death throes for years now, and it’s time to let it go. I’ve done everything i can, i have to accept that the relationship will never be what i want it to be. I’m ready to go back out into the world and see what kind of life i can fashion for myself.

I’m thinking of moving out immediately. I know i said i’d stay, but i think it might be better if i go and then come back when my husband is placed on dialysis. For now, his health is good, and he’ll be able to care for himself. I know i’ll be a wreck for a while -lonely and terribly sad- but i’m lonely and sad here, and i have been for years. At least on my own i have a chance to not be so.

I’m not sure how our split will be received. My youngest is expecting it, i think, which makes sense because he lives with us. The middle one might be devastated. He has a lot going on in his personal life already, and i worry about the extra stress this will create for him. And my oldest will not understand and be angry about it. I think many people will be surprised, not understand, and assume it’s all me and my craziness.

They’re all free to think as they will, of course. But the truth is so much more complicated. Our marriage ending is indeed all on me. However, i have good reasons for ending it. I am not satisfied, i am not fulfilled, and i am not receiving the most important things that i’m in the marriage for. In over two and a half decades, i have not received these things, and i think i’ve waited long enough.

The most important relationship i’ve ever had is dying, and everything about this is terrible.

**********

Once again, life has hiccoughed and my plans have to change.

I got an infection in one of my fingers, requiring a trip to the ER. And then i had an allergic reaction to the precautionary tetanus shot they gave me. I’m so itchy it’s hard to get anything done. I have a large, hot lump on my arm. I’m not sleeping, and when i am, the dreams are so vivid i don’t feel rested. I’m logy all morning, barely productive during the best part of the day, and completely non-functional once i get supper served.

I haven’t been able to return to my son’s house to get more done. I have planting that needs doing. My writing is suffering because i can’t freaking concentrate. I had a new doctor all up in my lady-business because my doctor for over 25yrs retired — and i’m still not over it. My week’s been chock full of triggers. And my personal space doesn’t seem very personal right now.

On one side, i’m being condescended to, and on the other side… Ugh.
My husband thinks my silence is a sign he’s been given the green light to keep trying to save our marriage. But it’s not that. I’m just bloody exhausted and don’t have the spoons for a conversation about it. All this crap has sent me into fibro flareup, so once supper’s laid out, so am i. I leave the clean-up till morning. I can’t even do my nighttime toilet. I take meds, THC, and i fall into bed.

Where i spend the night waking up every 40freakingminutes.

And i’m coping by eating. Which i don’t do anymore. But i am, and it’s making everything worse.

This blog post has just been a bitch sesh so far, i know.
I’m sorry for anyone trying to slog through this.
I had to. It’s been building up, and i haven’t had the time or mental/emotional capacity to purge it before now.

This post is quick and dirty and utterly lacking in finesse.
Maybe this is what was stuck in my throat, and it was the reason i haven’t been able to write anything decent for the last couple of weeks. I plug away at something for an hour or two, hate what i come up with, and walk away from it disgusted and borderline angry.

I’ve got to get writing, have a hard talk with my son and the hardest one with my husband, figure out where i’m going to live and what i’m going to do for money, and get back to helping my other 2 children, all while dragging my uncooperative body back to exercising and –oh yeah– I’ve gotta stop eating my feelings, STAT.

I am now furious, and i don’t know why. I hate everything about this post, and i want to burn it.

**********

Took a break. Had a nap.

What i know is that i have to gather my thoughts as best i can and get back to basics. Do what i can, let go of what i can’t. This spring has left me with low stores. I’m tired, scattered, and emotional. A bare minimum with lots of check-ins is in order, but i have to distribute the talk around because i’m a lot right now. I’m hoping i don’t trip over a mania — i feel as if that’s a distinct possibility.

I recognise that this post is all over the place, but it’s more important that i get stuff out than it is that i like how it’s presented. That’s just not gonna happen.

So, i’ve bitched and rambled on some.
Now, for a list of small things i can do to manage my current state:

1 day of tea and popcorn
I do this to take away some of food’s power over me when i’m eating for the wrong reasons. I’m not thinking about what i’m going to eat, or what i can and cannot eat. This lessens anxiety and obsession for me. I feel relief that i’m not battling thoughts and urges all day.

3 or so days of eating the same thing
It’s usually a high-protein, low-carb soup. I’m adding calories and proper nutrition back in, but having the same, simple thing for a few days helps ease me back into thinking about food and eating. I know what I’ll be eating, so that removes planning. Planning can quickly lead me to obsession, anxiety, powerlessness and self-hatred.

Regimented eating times
Eating at the same 3X a day, with a 12hr break works well for me when i’m feeling out of control in my life and how i’m eating and thinking about food.

Using alarms
Alarms help me get back on a schedule when my brain is too busy to manage without some help. This is when i eat, this is when i wash my face and brush my teeth. Now i need to walk the dog, now i’m cleaning up from supper, now i’m taking meds and doing nighttime toilette.

Diary
I’ve got to journal a bit every day. I will attempt some non-journal writing if i feel able, but if not, it’s okay. As long as i’m airing out my thoughts and emotions a bit every day — that’s good.

Shower and put on clothes
I don’t usually shower daily, but this will give me a wake-up and a virtue-boost in the morning. I desperately need that right now. I will practise mindfulness while washing and go over my goals for the day.

These are very simple, bare-bones, doable activities that will provide a sense of accomplishment and return a bit of control to me.

This post is what the generation before mine would have called “a dog’s breakfast.”
Hey, at least i fed the dog, okay?

I hope everyone’s hanging in there.
Love and Peace,
~H~

IMAGE: Chris Benson

I’m a Pale Blue Bird

I will take this road much further
Though i know not where it takes me
~ Sinead O’Connor, I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got


ZOOM’d with a group of friends that calm and connect me. I was still pretty floaty, but they offer acceptance and unconditional love and support. It was exactly what i needed. I was having trouble being present for anything. All my thoughts and emotions were mixed together in a bitter mélange. They brought a pinch or 2 of sweetness that balanced me out.

My relationships at home are difficult for me at the moment. I’ve taken a stand and set down boundaries with both of them, and, well, let’s just say that change is hard for everyone. I want what i want and i don’t want what i don’t want. I’m through trying to twist myself into unnatural shapes to try and get them to give me what i’m asking for. Give it to me or i’m gone. Stop or i’m leaving.

It’s extra-tough, i admit. I’ve gotten fed up and overwhelmed before. I hit maximum stress and i dissociate, lose the face, and someone else takes over and screams for me. They issue threats and make promises that, once i was back in control, i wouldn’t follow through on. I established a pattern of being all bark, no bite. No follow-through. But i’m different now — more grown up and resolved to my current trajectory.
Give it to me or i’m gone.
Stop or i’m leaving.

I’ve lived my life trying to be what i thought other people wanted. I’ve been trying to avoid harm and rejection. I’ve been trying to earn love and approval.

There came a time when i saw my motivations and patterns clearly. But i still don’t set boundaries well. I avoid confrontation. I’m terrible at saying NO.

The way i handle it is to withdraw. Sometimes that’s me pulling inside myself and another part of me coming forward and handling things for me. Sometimes the withdrawal is physical. I can do it temporarily, or i can disappear from that person completely.

I lost a friendship at the end of last year. It was dear to me and i’m still not over it. It might be saved yet, and i do have some hope. But fixing it is tied up in confrontation and setting boundaries. Saying things that might not be received well, and hearing things that might hurt and upset me. I avoid this kind of shit.

I have other things that take precedence over the possibility of saving this relationship. If it dies, it dies.

I’m trying to get what i want in my marriage.
I’m trying to be a proper mother to a grown man.
I’m trying to reconcile a new diagnosis with the rest of the ones already part of my repertoire.
I’m in a bipolar depression.
I’m dealing with death and loss and my husband’s declining health.
I’m trying to be a real live writer.
I’m pursuing some big ticket items that don’t come cheap.

I know i was doing my best. If they’ve decided my best wasn’t good enough, i respect the choice. But i must put down the club i was beating myself with, because my best is all i can do.

Today is a (VERY) rare day alone. Between my chat with friends last night and a precious day to myself, my mood is considerably lighter.

I’m grateful for what i have, and to quote one of my favourite artists, i do not want what i haven’t got. We’ll see what life has in store for me in the coming week.

Whatever comes, i shall persevere.


Love and Peace,
~H~

IMAGE: Pexels

Dear Diary: Well, Hell…

I couldn’t hold on. Yep, again.

I write about falling often, because it happens that way. I’m not feeling like getting deeply into the specifics this time, which is weird. What i’d like to do is merely document that it happened. I’m not into a forensic analysis on this one. I do, however, feel an obligation to let my readers know. This is my process, these (hopefully) brief lapses of control might always be part of my life. And you know what? I’m not particularly concerned at the moment. It is a part of my life for now, and that’s what’s in front of me to deal with.

As my therapist so helpfully reminded me last week, trauma like mine is not “one and done.”

I’m already dealing with bipolar depression. If i can avoid going deeper, of course i will. Beating myself up for something that happened, that i couldn’t stop (or i bloody would have), is wasted energy. So here i am, picking myself up.

Yes, again.
But also…
Again, YES!
Perspective.

While i heartily and vociferously reject the cult of suffering, i understand there aren’t many over the course of human existence that have avoided it. I find truth and a powerful tool in the idea that a shift in perspective can move me forward. It can help to propel me out of whatever pain and difficulty i’m currently enduring.
And yes, i choose to endure, but also to MOVE, if i can. I will not tolerate suffering or pain any longer than i must.

I know myself well, and i know my limits.
I will push if i can, but if all i’ve got is just enough to hang on, then i will hang the fuck on. Sometimes, torpor provides the opportunity for rejuvenation. I’m immobile, but i’m marshalling my forces. I’m in trench warfare, and it ain’t pretty, but i have always prevailed. I’m a plodder, a babystepper.

Wow, i just motivated my own damn self.
If this helped you in any way, well, even better.
You are enough.
Hang on.
I will, too.

Love and Peace,
~H~

Photo by dominik hofbauer on Unsplash

Dear Diary: I’m Pissed Off

I’m afraid and i’m hurt.
And now the worst has happened.
I’m pissed off.

SO pissed off. I’m angry most of the time. I can keep it at bay during daylight hours, but somewhere around 6pm, it comes over me. It’s bad, like, don’t talk to me if you’d like to keep your head attached to the rest of your body, kind of bad.

I’m afraid i’m losing a friend, and i’m mad about it. It’s wicked unfair. I have to put myself first though, and i’m simply not strong enough to walk through someone’s anger and disappointment with me. There’s hurt on my end too, and resentment as well. I’ve remained silent because i’m not sure they could handle what i might say. I hope we can weather this storm.

I know i can survive the loss of a friend, but i don’t want to. Plus, it triggers all kinds of extra crap for me to deal with, and frankly, my outhouse is full.

I’m afraid i’ve lost someone else, too. It probably happened years ago, but i’ve tried to hang on and i’ve tried to make them like me and want to be a part of my life. I have to accept that they don’t. I think they’ve tried a few times to make it work between us, but it just doesn’t for them, for whatever reason. And i have to let it go.
I’m mad about it because it’s so unfair. I’m mad at myself for failing them, and i’m mad at them for not letting me fix it.

I’m afraid my marriage is in serious trouble, and holy shit am i furious over that one. I’ve fought like hell to keep it going. I’m tired of all the years of trying to be heard, trying to be taken seriously, reaching out for connection, asking for more, for better, for something deeper and more intimate. It’s not happening, and i’m changing in ways that put more distance between us and i don’t intend to stop.
This also seems to me to be outrageously unfair.

You know what – you know what?
I still don’t know if i buy that anger is a secondary emotion (i’ve written about this before). It can be, but for me, in a helluva lot of instances, it is primary. When i acknowledge the fear and the pain, you know what’s underneath?
Yep — it’s anger.
But in this case, it’s obviously due to hurt and fear. In this case, it is definitely a protective response.
I’m so fucking mad i can barely function.

I am tired of being the only person in close relationships, who can consistently admit when they’re wrong.
I’m tired of being the one who takes stock of shit and figures out what’s going on and notices when things are out of whack, and wants to talk about it and try to make things better.

Which leads to a major piss off:

I’m tired of being the one who lets shit go, who doesn’t say the thing, and who takes on the blame because, after all, i’m the fucked up one, right?

I’m dramatic, i’m loud, i’m chaotic, i’m controlling, i’m unbalanced, i’m sensitive, i’m angry, i’m withdrawn, etc., etc., ad nauseum.

Well you know what? I can be all of those things and more, but i show up and admit fault and cop to my shortcomings. And i don’t use my brain as an excuse – i set to making amends whenever and however i can. I’m always working on myself and trying to be a better person and a better friend and a better parent and a better wife, and what in the actual flippity-flip have i gotten in return lately?

Not much.

Someone had the audacity to tell me i’d better have a damn good reason for letting them down… There’s 2 sides to every story and i’ve kept mine to myself. I could take the backseat in this relationship for a while. I was seriously due. Quite honestly, it was my turn. So, in a way i was happy to be the one that wasn’t fucked up. This relationship should be give AND take, and i’d taken a lot. Turns out what i gave wasn’t enough.
I wish i had unlimited stores, but i don’t.

I’m pissed off that i live in a society that admires workaholism, selflessness, and sociopathy.

I’m pissed off that we worship revolting amounts of wealth that simply CANNOT come without preying upon, or at least knowingly victimising, those with few means and no power. I’m disgusted that we’ve bought the lie that we too might one day profit immeasurably off the bloody backs of the poor and afflicted and desperate, so we tolerate the unbelievably selfish and psychopathic behaviour of the vainglorious billionaire. It’s disgusting to me that anyone would even want that. We clap along with their hype man while they rape the resources of countries that aren’t ours and refuse to pay their employees here a living wage, or provide safe, let alone enriching, work environments.
And don’t even get me started on royalty – particularly the festering pus-boil that is the British royal family. YES – all of them.

I’m pissed off that i’m not being appreciated for what i’ve given.
I’m pissed off that someone i love won’t forgive me and be in relationship with me.
I’m pissed off that my partner won’t do the smallest or the biggest things i’ve asked for to make our relationship better.
I’m pissed off that i have to take care of an ungrateful person who low-key abuses me on the regular.
I’m pissed off that, through watching world events unfold over the last 5 or 6yrs, i’m a hair’s breadth away from becoming a misanthrope. That’s not who i am or who i want to be.

I’m pissed off that i’m this pissed off.

I can hear the tantrums going on in my head. I can read the whiny, petulant tone of this post. I’ve tried to deal with these thoughts and emotions quietly, on my own, because this shit doesn’t cast me in a great light.
But i can’t seem to get past it quietly, or on my own.
So i’m gonna blast this page with a torrent of bile, and hope it helps me get a grip on myself.

I don’t want to be angry and jaded and bitter.
I don’t want to move about in the world as a traumatised child.

I’m a grown woman who loves people and loves the world and wants to make everyone and everything better. I want to be looking at my life, the events unfolding around me and the people i interact with, through that lens.

I just need a few moments to scream and throw stuff.

I should be fine by the next Dear Diary.
Stay tuned.

IMAGE: Roger Starnes Sr

Dear Diary: Biting the Bullet

Truth can come from anywhere, so i keep my ears open. I picked up a bit of truth from an old vulture of a source some years ago. He said: You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge. I can easily tear that apart, but sometimes it starts like this. There’s some truth in there that i can apply.
I’ve been out of sorts lately, and i thought i knew why. I was right, but addressing the issue didn’t help. Or rather, didn’t help enough.
There was more.

Starting the blog on the other platform is what i needed to do. Yes, i use the other site for less bloggish writings. I know that’s what i said, and it’s true. But i’d always intended it for something else, and the longer i’ve procrastinated getting it started, the heavier a burden it’s been. Sometimes, the only way i can get a thing done is by backing myself into a corner. The new diagnosis, plus the constant inner urging to start the new blog, was causing stress. Stress that amped up a little every day. Stress that twisted my guts and squeezed that muscle that pulses inside my skull.
I started eating my stress – and i’ve gained weight.

It’s not a lot, probably somewhere between 5-10lbs, but that hits me where i live. I’ve struggled with my weight since i was 8yrs old, and it’s taken me a lifetime to figure out the whole jumbled mess of abuse and disordered eating. I was as close to my goals as i’d ever been, when life came and life’d all over me. It only took a couple of weeks for me to notice, which is good. I practise mindfulness to help me curb dissociative behaviours, so one day i noticed my clothes were fitting me differently. I prefer tighter fitting clothing, so it doesn’t take much for my yoga pants to show me there’s a problem. If i’m jumping up and down and getting sweaty to put them on – i’ve got a problem.

So i was stuck in this corner, with weight gain on one side, and being a grouch with my housemates on the other.

I know what to do, and i’m doing it. I’m not freaked out or devastated. This is how i work. I’m always making small course adjustments to keep me on track, heading in the right direction. Getting this new diagnosis hasn’t changed me, it’s new information that shines a brighter light on who i am and why i do the things i do. It can help me make better decisions on how to continue forward. It has answered some questions that i’d been puzzling over for some time.

I haven’t told my family. I’m not sure why.
For one thing, i’m not completely convinced. I don’t think i will be until i go for the more intensive testing that was recommended. It was hard for me, as a multiple, to figure out who i really am. I put on all sorts of masks to survive my childhood, and the masks aren’t me, yet they are. It’s taking time and intention to suss out the “real” me. As my personality has streamlined and become more cohesive, i have a better understanding. In some areas i have a confidence that i am “x,” and i am not “y.”

For instance, i now know that i’m an introvert. That’s only become clear in the last few years. Prior to that, i’d have sworn up and down that i was an extrovert. But i’m so much quiter than i’d have thought, and being around people tires me out. Like, exhausts me. And now that i’m meeting my own needs, i’m not seeking attention and acceptance from every human with whom i have contact. I’m not as obsessive. Things like rejection and conflict don’t wield the power to destroy me as they once did.

So, there might well be other things about me that i’d not known before, things that were hidden by my system coming in to fill the gaps. Aspects of my personality and psychological makeup that my ability to cope had camouflaged. The diagnosis fits in some ways, but i’m not sure it does in others. I guess that might be the “spectrum” part of it. Heh.

What i know is, i’m snippy with my family and i’ve put on weight. These things tell me there’s something i need to handle. I know that it’s ASD and the other blog. I can hurt my loved ones, including myself, or i can bite the bullet and do the work.

I’ve got the blog started, and i’m eating healthier and exercising more.
I also understand though, that the other blog is going to trigger all kinds of crap.
The subject matter is difficult, and the path through it ain’t gonna be easy.
If you’re interested in checking out my other platform, leave me a comment and i’ll send you a link.

I’ll check in again soon. Couple days, tops.

IMAGE: Jay Rembert

Dear Diary

Today i am snippy. I’ve been out of sorts and i’m churlish – not much fun to share space with, i’m afraid. I keep trying to keep my mouth shut, but it’s not working. Next step is hiding in my room and watching nonsense on my laptop. I don’t like being a jerk, and i’m kinda being one.

I need to get more testing with regards to the spectrum diagnosis, but that was recommended months ago and i have yet to act on it. I finally disclosed, but not to my family – on social media. Who does that? Someone with communication and intimacy and socialisation issues? Is it evidence that the diagnosis is accurate? I mean, the diagnosis is a professional one, but i ran from DID for many years before i accepted it. I could also judge all that i do now using autism as my filter, and see it everywhere, in everything i do, but confirmation bias is no more helpful than denial.

I just want to know the truth.
Just.
Pfft. Is that all?

I connected with some of my friends last night. Just seeing their faces made me want to cry. Not from sadness, rather relief. I remembered that i am loved and accepted for exactly who i am, by people that i trust and respect. I feel isolated and alone right now, but it is not the reality. I’ve been working with my husband, trying to make writing a career, living through a pandemic in a religious and politically conservative area where i’ve never quite fit. I’m in a bipolar mania, my husband and son and best friend all have serious health issues, and i got a new diagnosis that has thrown me for the proverbial loop.

I have so much that needs doing i’m frozen.
So i came here and wrote –a day late and a dollar short– but i came here and wrote.

These next entries won’t be like what i generally post. This is going to be more of a diary than a blog for a while.
If you’re able to tune in, thank you.


Love and Peace,
~H~

IMAGE: Kinga Cichewicz

Bugged & Bummed Out


So, yesterday happened. I’m not happy about it, but i lost the face from late afternoon to this morning. I was fully switched, so i have no idea what happened. Those hours are a blank, and so far, nothing’s coming back. I do know that an angry part was in charge, probably for most of the time i was gone. Some of my Bits N’ Pieces are so intense, they leave a trace of themselves behind. It’s like talking closely enough with someone you can tell what they had for lunch.
Rage, terror, garlic…

Plus, i’m absolutely knackered. The angry ones use up all my energy; when i come back i feel like a scooped out melon. These days i’ve been waking up early, and i mean early. Usually, i get up to use the facilities between 3 and 4am. The last couple of months i’ve been unable to get back to sleep.

There’s a few reasons for it. One is the writing. I’m trying to be a real live writer, i.e. writing like it’s my job. I read about how to be better at it, and other general thoughts from others on the craft itself. I’m learning about a career as an author. I’ve tapped into the passion i feel about it. It’s always been there, a pool in the centre of me, limpid but deep. Its quiet mystery always beckons, yet i’ve only ever dipped a toe in, or sat carefully on its edge and dabbled my feet.

Now, i’m fixin’ to swim.

There are other issues, but isn’t there always? Unfortunately, i fractured my left arm a couple of weeks ago. It’s causing me more irritation than pain. Don’t get me wrong, it aches like a bugger, but it isn’t unmanageable. The real problem is that it’s holding me back a little, and i’m chafing at life’s current restraints already. I have so much i want to accomplish. I’m not sure why i feel held back, exactly. Most of what i want to do can be done right here at home. I think i’m just grumpy and as fed up with all of this as everyone else.

I’m isolated and safe out here on our farm, though. We have money coming in and want for nothing. We’re all healthy and we have each other.

It could be a lot worse. I have dear friends who’ve endured nothing short of tragedy over the last couple of years. Many have lost those dearest to them.
I’ve been inconvenienced and delayed, nothing more.

Well, there you go.
Sometime’s a girl’s gotta kick her own ass.

Now that i’ve decided not to write about how tough i have it (because i don’t), on to the matter at hand. I lost time yesterday, and i have no idea why. I know my triggers, and while i deal with those every day, nothing was enough to trigger a switch. Yes, i’m tired and in pain, but –not to sound like a martyr here– i’m often tired and always in pain. I was writing, and it was flowing well. I’m receiving support and positive feedback. My fractured arm doesn’t keep me from writing or walking, which has become important for my physical and mental well being. My real life friendships are in some flux, but my online friendships are stronger than ever. The changes in my routine are stimulating, rather than overwhelming. I’m excited for what the future holds, not trepidatious.

I don’t know, man. I just don’t know.

I was up early, got some chores and some writing done before the hubs got up for work. I fed him breakfast, made his lunch, got dressed and ready for the day. I watched the news with him for a bit, but i quickly felt anxious, so i walked away and did more housework. I frequently hitch a ride with him into town, where he stops for gas and coffee before heading to the big city for work. I clocked 9,000 steps before i got home at around 8:30 or 9. I made 2 loaves of Friendship Bread and 5 pints of jam.

The jam didn’t set properly, which bugged me.
I kept trying to write, but it felt like i wasn’t getting anywhere with it, which bugged me.
An appointment i had, cancelled. Didn’t bug me, but change can be unsettling for me.
Couldn’t get my ass up to do any more housework, which was frustrating, and got me talking crap about myself, to myself.
I tried distraction, but nothing on telly grabbed me.
All my music – same.
Dogs were constantly underfoot, wanting walkies. I was annoyed.

And that’s really all i remember.

Woke up in the morning with a hangover/headache. I’m not drinking, it’s a rage hangover.

Feedback from my partner is that i was snippy and out of sorts. My texts were clipped. I didn’t have the right leash for our bigger dog. She would have been harder to handle, as she’s used to having around 3m of play. At some point after i met up with my husband after work, i got angry and demanded to be let out of our vehicle. Off i went on an angry walk.
My son relates that when i got home, he was downstairs but could hear me yelling. Said he knew immediately that i wasn’t myself.

These days i don’t struggle with shame over switching, like i used to. I’ve mostly accepted that i’m a multiple with bipolar disorder, who minors in anxiety and obsession. The thing that’s getting under my skin a bit is that i don’t know why i switched.

So, i came here to use one of my most productive tools. I’m writing about it. I came here yesterday morning, to write because it’s been a couple of weeks. I try to be somewhat regular and reliable these days. I want my readers to be able to count on me producing a couple of times a month. It’s not a stress, really. It’s helpful and appropriate. I’d drop it like a hot potato if it wasn’t helping or using spoons i needed for something else more important. But i wanted to write, and i needed to write, and here i am.

It came to me yesterday while i was walking. Because it’s actually the second day after i switched (Friday, if i’m hard to follow):

– I’ve been having trouble focusing;
– I can’t seem to get much done besides the basics.

I was irritated again, all day, so i decided to get my ass outdoors for a good long walk. It helped. Headphones on and just wandering around town aimlessly cleared my head. My thoughts were wandering around aimlessly, too.

It was then i remembered – i’m still manic.
Mania does not pop in and out of my life. While my cycles are significantly shorter than they were when i was first diagnosed (years long), i’m still a long, slow cycler. I could feel mania lapping at the shores of my consciousness months ago, but i’ve only identified being in an actual mania for, i don’t know, less than 2mos.

One of the chief symptoms of mania is irritability. I don’t know how i could forget that, except that i’m currently in a mania. My thoughts can jump quickly from one topic to the next, making it easy to lose track of things.
And you wanna know what?
I forgot about that insight until i made myself sit down and try and write this blog post again, today.

I would guess a large part of why i switched is that i’m experiencing a mania.
Another thing occurred to me though, during my walk. It struck deep and has stuck with me.
There may be times when i have no idea why i switched.

Not many people know themselves as well as i do, but i have limits. We know enough about the human brain to know we don’t know very much about it at all. And psychology is a very, VERY soft science, including the study of psychiatric disorders and neurodiversity. I know how my brain works in a general, non-specific, uneducated way; filtered through my own beliefs, experiences, and understanding.

What i know about my brain is that in some ways, it doesn’t function like other people’s. It does these extremely weird, often inconvenient things for myriad reasons – only some of which i’ve been able to suss out. There are things about my childhood i’ve forgotten, and others i’m not certain i’m remembering correctly. I know a bit about how trauma affects the brain, but i’ve only a lay person’s understanding. The abuse i survived was extreme and long term, and i imagine the effects have mirrored that. If nothing else, my multiplicity has taught me there’s a shitload going on up in this bat-filled belfry of mine, and i’m unaware of most of it.

I’m glad that i booted my ass out of the WHY-MEs earlier on in this post, but the truth remains. I live with serious, debilitating, complicated, life-altering mental illnesses, and at the moment my plate is FULL. I’m dealing with my own stuff, loved one’s stuff, and the world in crisis, on top of everything else. Whether or not everyone else has got a tonne of stress (and they do) doesn’t change the reality of my situation.

My brain will do what it’s going to do.
My job is to cope the best i can.

Yeah, not the most interesting or inspiring of posts, but it’s helped me to write it. The tool got the job done. Maybe now that i’ve got this out of the way, i can get back to my writing job.
I’m hopeful.

ETA: I’m posting this Saturday afternoon, and my time loss occurred on Wednesday. Since then, while chatting with a friend, it came up that one of my medications may be at least partly responsible. One of the known side effects is “mood swings,” so i guess i’ll be looking into that, now.

Love and Peace,
~H~



IMAGE: mana5280

GRRs & ARGHs

Today i am frustrated.
There are people in my life who aren’t doing what i think they should.
There are things in the world that i hate.
I want to change all the things.
Most of all though, >>I<< am not doing what i think i should.
There are things in my personal sphere specifically, that i hate.
There are things about >>ME<< that i hate.
I want to change them NOW.
I want to be at the place i want to be NOW.

Yesterday i felt how far i’ve come.
I have grown tremendously and come so far.
I’m growing away from things and i’m not sure i like it, but i do like it.
But it’s not enough.
I. want. MORE, but i’m tired,
but i’m motivated and energised.
I’m fully trepidatious, but mostly unconcerned.
I mean, that just seems natural and appropriate.
So i discard the mental message as not worth troubling over.

This morning my body was screaming at me.
It purged and purged and purged until i was a dry husk.
There is no sickness in my house, and we all consumed the same things.
They are fine, but i’m left sore and dehydrated. Spent.
My legs twitch with the desire to go.
My biceps are jumping.
My head feels like an empty gourd, my neck aches,
my skull is too hard and it’s screaming at me.
Everything wants to be busy and engaged and in full swing.

Wait, though. I can’t.
I’m heavy. I feel weighted down.
I’m tired of feeling opposing things at the same time and with the same intensity.
It’s exhausting and i don’t want to trifle with tiredness any longer.
I see things on my horizon, peeping over, and i want to be THERE.
The light is so bright and glowy and warm and welcoming.
It looks like winning and it beckons me come.
I’m tired though, and i want to skip the distance between us.
I want to BE THERE ALREADY.

This dangling promise frustrates me.
This beauty in front of me, but just out of reach.
I’ve come so far, why is there farther still?
Why must i still DO? Why can’t i be at the just being part now?
My temples are throbbing and my hands feel as if i’ve been wringing them.
Shaking my head, over and over. Wringing my hands.
Drumbeating WHY?! over and over.
The petulant child having one last tantrum.
I endeavour to make that last true.

Ever plodding along,
Always hanging in there,
Peace and Love To All,
~H~

IMAGE: Jordan Wozniak

Beneath A Star

Look around you find the ground
Is not so far from where you are
But don’t be too wise
~ Nick Drake, Things Behind The Sun

Still very low. It feels like i have zero energy. Sometimes i’m okay with baby steps and sometimes it gets to me and i just want to scream, RESULTS NOW! Bigger, better, faster, stronger, moremoremore!
I keep stiff-upper-lipping, i am persevering, i’m moving slowly because i bloody well must, but good goddamnit, why must this take so long?

Playing the long game takes so much time and so much consistency and i wonder if this is a mere blip or am i genuinely almost out of spoons? It’s usually a blip, but what if it isn’t this time?
I sit i stand i lie down with reality these days. In truth, in my body. In hope, in my face, looking directly into the sun. I’ll make new spoons from my dripping eyes as they melt in the brilliance of real life. I’ll be blind but i won’t be in pain… Right?
RIGHT?!

Has anyone noticed that i’m the quiet one now?
Has anyone marked the peace in me?
I’m okay with spinning along with the earth most days.
But today, oh today i want answers, please. I want to KNOW things. Today i want to read the last page. I want to know if all this work and all this investment and all the interminable waiting will be fucking worth it. JesusChristingGoddamn it, i clean up one mess only for another to be revealed.
And it’s taking so long that i’m running out of good years.

It’s my body, you see.
I’m getting my brain together only for my body to fall apart.
It’s my personality too, you know.
I’m getting a handle on my emotions and behaviours only for my relationships to peter out.
I’m becoming the person i’ve always wanted to be, but will anyone be left to enjoy me with me?
I’ve gotten myself mostly together just in time to see that everyone around me is still fairly messy.*

It seems as if i was liked better when i was more broken. It was easier when i blamed myself for everything. When i cracked a joke or acted the fool instead of crying out in pain or screaming out no. I could be dismissed when i was ranting about things i was mostly clueless about. Up on my soapbox, shouting about politics and religion. Snarking about science and sex and celebrities. Silly girl. Forgive her, she knows not whereof she speaks.
The less i’m seen, the more favourable my reviews.
Easier to consume in small doses.

Now, i’m not speaking unless i’ve done a whole lot of listening first.
Now, i’m not saying things to cozen or toady.
Now, i’m far less concerned with being liked than i am with being real and true.

Blech. I just read this over and it reeks of childishness.
A blip it is, then. This will pass. I’m at a low ebb because i’m in physical pain and i’m running low on energy and hope and determination. I’ll ride it out for now and spend some of my hope on tomorrow being better. Some days it’s harder to fight than others.
One day i would like not to have to fight. At least, not all the time.
How is anyone supposed to notice this brand new me in a pandemic, H?
I mean, how many folks have you actually shared space with in the last 15mos?
Who can/would/should track your progress besides you?

Some days i am so low i could almost wish for a thing to pray to. Almost.
I would like health in my body, peace in my mind, and solid ground in my relationships.
That might not be possible, but they are worthy goals.
And it is not for a thing to grant, but for me to attain.

Trudging on…

And open wide the hymns you hide
You’ll find renown while people frown
At things that you say
But say what you’ll say


*I’m discharging emotion for my mental health. I don’t think i’m better than the people around me. I am perhaps more invested in self-improvement (and probably more in need of it).

IMAGE: Sven Scheuermeier



Behind the Curtain


I’m extremely low today. There is something on my horizon that is going to change my entire life, and i’m so sad about it. I’ve done everything i can to avoid it, but the time has come to admit defeat. I cannot fix this thing. I’ve done as much as i can and the rest is not up to me. I could manipulate things to be more what i want them to be, but i don’t do that anymore. I have learned to accept people for who they show me they are, even when it hurts. Even when it’s not what i want. This is the last thing that i want, but it’s what i have.

I’m sorry for being so vague, but for now that’s all i can do. It’s too awful to fully acknowledge. For the record, i am okay today. I’m not in any danger, either from myself or someone else. If i get too low and need help, i will get it. I’m seeing my therapist every month, but i’ll probably bump that up. My heart is broken. I feel sick to my stomach. I could cry for days; i probably will.

I fell this spring, and did some serious damage. It’s looking like i have a pinched nerve in my back that is getting worse. I wound up in emerg this weekend with chest pain, numbness in my arms and legs, syncope, high blood pressure, and dehydration. After all the tests it seems likely it’s either a pinched nerve or degenerative discs. I think it’s the former. I need it to be the former. I’ve got too much to do, to prepare for, to take on, for it to be the latter.
I’ve incorporated some extra stretching that targets my upper back specifically, and i’m hoping that helps. This yawning pit of sadness that’s opened up in me is making the pain much worse, i think. The anxiety that gripped me late last week has only amplified over this weekend’s events, and my pain level is high.

My bruxism gets worse when i’m upset, and right now my face hurts so badly i wish i could take my jaw out. One more week until i can do a couple of things that have been waiting for nearly 18mos – i need Botox shots in my face to handle the teeth-grinding/jaw-clenching, and i need a new prescription for glasses. I have halos morning and evening, and wicked headaches and eye aches from straining to see. I’m in fibro flareup, which isn’t likely to get any better while i’m this stressed.

My game plan is to focus on routine:
– personal hygiene;
– clean house;
– writing/blogging;
– stay the course regarding eating/exercise goals;
– therapy;
– getting my affairs in order in preparation for future changes.

I will need all the tools in my kit to get through this, but i think when it’s all done i’ll still be standing.
I’m going to be okay, but i can’t write anymore today. I need to go and be sad, now.

Y’all hang in there as best you can. I promise i’ll be doing the same.

Clearly I am not a fat ass
I am active brain
And lip smacking peach deep
Sometimes too aggressive in its honesty
And heart sweet
That loves wholly and completely
Whom it may choose
Whom ever it may choose
~ Jill Scott, Womanifesto



IMAGE: Michael Dziedzic