Staying the Course


I’m trying to tell you something about my life
Maybe give me insight between black and white
~ Indigo Girls, Closer To Fine


Still feeling like Pig Pen from Peanuts. Depression is following me around like my own personal raincloud, and i’m kicking up moody dust wherever i go. My affect feels flat. Everything is either meh, or ugh. I don’t hate it, but i don’t love it. I’m working on a piece about anger, and it’s occurred to me a number of times while writing it that my creative juices aren’t flowing well. It’s getting done, but slowly.
And it’s struck me that nothing is riling me up, lately.
And i am easily riled.

I’m asking myself if this is a good sign or not, and i don’t know. It could be because as i mature and become more functional, i’m better at coping with the world and all that happens in it, and people and all the shit they get up to. WE get up to. (You know, cuz i can still get up to some shit. Heh.)
Or…
Is it because depression is settling in and dulling my senses and reactions. As i’m writing this i immediately thought No, because where is the characteristic frustration, irritation, and explosive anger? When i’m depressed i’m not so much sarcastic as caustic, and i’ll spit that acid at any and all comers. I’m churlish and cranky. I’m morose and i mope and think sad and dark thoughts.

I honestly don’t know. I don’t even have an intuition which one it is. In my life it’s usually both, but to what degree? Welp, since i don’t have enough evidence to draw my favour one way or the other, i shall just press on, as mindfully as i can. I’m still functional and accomplishing small goals. My routine is still in place and i’m pleased with its flow. I’m still on track with some longer term goals regarding weight loss, fitness, and relationships. I’m on track with planning for how i’d like my life to change once my area opens back up and i’m fully vaccinated.

Things are okay. They’re not great, but they don’t have to be. Life is like this for me at the moment, and that’s okay. It’s not ideal, i wish it were different, but i can work with it. I’m aware and conscious and intentional and committed. If and when more information becomes available to me i might add or subtract to my daily routine, but unless or until, i am staying the course. I am still moving forward, and while it’s slower than i’d like, it’s still positive and enriching and good.

There’s more than one answer to these questions
Pointing me in a crooked line
And the less i seek my source for some definitive
Closer I am to fine


Love and Peace, Everyone,
~H~



IMAGE: Alex Siale

Ouchies and Old Shoes

My body is rebelling against my return to walking. I have a number of health issues that i’ve dealt with for decades, the return of old ones, a relatively new one, and one or 2 that might be on the horizon. Yeah, i’m not just crazy, the old bod has been falling apart for years. Heh.
Still, i fully intend to get into as good of shape as i can.

This is going to be a rough week. I’ve been back at it for a few now, and this is the part where fibro flareup hits. I must also walk the line between accomplishing my goals but not triggering a mania. The reappearance of sciatica some months ago, as well as Plantar Fasciitis saying Hi, remember me? this last week, have made things more difficult. I can still do what i want to do, it just keeps me religious about stretching. Oh, and i had to get arch supports. I’m flatfooted, which doesn’t usually trouble me at all. The problem is, my running shoes need replacing, but i can’t go into any stores until i’m fully vaxxed. It’s too much of a risk considering my health issues, and buying online is just not an option for me with shoes. My feet are too weird, manufacturers are always changing their construction, and with me usually trying on a dozen or so pairs before i find something wearable, good exchange policies don’t matter much.

I’m waking 3 or 4X every night, too. And i’m so hungry, which is odd. I take THC drops sublingually to help me sleep (it’s legal in my country and i’m a lifelong insomniac), and i’ve found that eating something helps potentiate the effects, and more quickly, too. I have to be careful, because i’m eating at a calorie deficit for weight loss. I’m telling you though, i wake up at 1 and 3am and i’m not just hungry – i’m ravenous. My stomach is growling and i’m slightly nauseated. I eat a piece of bread with peanut butter or half a banana, but then i have to adjust my calorie intake during the day…

My concern is this: My mind is a very powerful thing. I can get a headache by just thinking about having a headache. Nausea, back pain, simple ailments like those. I can also sometimes think my way out of these issues. Which is cool. I bring this up because i can get physical hunger pains when i’m not actually hungry. There could be something else going on and my brain wants to handle it with food. I could be dissociating from a relationship or situation that requires my attention. What i’m saying is, i have some concern that this intense nighttime hunger might be a red flag.

I’ll handle it by writing down a list of things that are currently annoying/bothering/irritating me. I save that tool for times like this because, while it can work well, it can also rile me up pretty good, y’know? I don’t think that it’s gonna bring up anything, but i am next level magic at disappearing shit that i don’t wanna deal with, so i need to look under some rocks to make sure. If that reveals something, i’ll handle it, but i have a feeling that ain’t it.
I think i genuinely need to bump up my calorie intake.

Today i am walking longer distances, but at a lower speed. It’s easier on my body, but i can still achieve some distance goals that will feed my self esteem and keep some momentum happening. My mood is very heavy, and it’s like pulling teeth to get anything done. I’ve had to prioritise, and since my house isn’t messy, i’m not doing any extra housework today, and i’m focusing on the things that are most important to me right now, which is exercise and writing. I might even try doing a ZOOM thingy later, which i have never done. I won’t hesitate to nope out of it if my anxiety gets too big. My online friends know me and won’t take it personally. In fact, most of us deal with anxiety and depression, so there’s lots of empathy and no judgment.

When i’m low on spoons i have to prioritise what’s most important, and get realistic on what i can achieve. If i try to do too much, i’ll fall into a pattern of being too tired in the morning to do anything, so then i nap, and then i feel guilty for not doing anything and i do too much, and then i’m too tired the next morning to do anything, so i nap…

My aim is 10,000 steps, down from my preferred 10k, but still good.
I am blogging, GREAT. But it’s an easy one; not too long or emotional.
It’s hot, so i’m staying in and out of the sun. If i get dirty and sweaty when my mood is low, it pulls me down lower.
Setting up ZOOM and gonna talk with my friends for at least 20mins. If i can do longer and it feels right to do it – i will. If i would be pushing to stay longer, then i’ll bow out and feel good about taking good care of me.
Supper will be simple and vegan. Meat and dairy can be hard for me to feel good about eating when i’m low. Something light and full of crunchy veg will make me feel virtuous.
Nighttime toilette and 10:30pm bedtime are essential. If i can’t sleep i’ll read. This sets me up for a better tomorrow.
Staying mostly off of social media, and sticking to candy floss and bubble gum in my viewing choices.

This is how i navigate a day.
Today, to be precise.
Have a nice evening, if you can.
Love and Peace,
~H~

IMAGE: Gia Oris

Grumpasaurus Maniacus*

Woke up in a foul mood. Everything is irritating and i hate people. I want to throw things around and smash stuff up. I’m catching myself muttering under my breath. I am at YIKES level grumpy. This is mania. More than that though, i think this is mania under control and parts of me don’t like it much.

I can hear some of them bitching about everything up in my head. Mania makes sliding and switching easier and more frequent. Mania makes it more likely i’ll use drugs/alcohol, go out partying, and spend a lot of money. I’m not doing any of those things, and some of my Bits N’ Pieces are pretty worked up about it. They see handling mania as THEIR job, and an opportunity to get out and get some fresh air. Some parts like being in the face and in control, and they aren’t getting many chances to do that anymore. I think i’m feeling some resentment coming from up there. Pouting. There’s some serious pouting going on. Heh.

Yes, they’re me, but they’re parts of me that have been dissociated/disconnected for so long that i experience them as somewhat separate from me. I don’t know if that’s what others with this diagnosis experience. I don’t know if they’d relate to me much at all. It took so long and was so hard for me to accept this diagnosis, in part because, for whatever reason, i can’t tolerate being around other multiples. It triggers ALL of my childhood programming at once, i.e. i shut down and run. I was taught to denydenydeny from the start. I was indoctrinated to have an instantaneous and visceral hatred for any references to MPD (what it was called at the time), plus a deep distrust and need to get away from anyone who spoke of it.

That being said, one of the best friends i ever had was also diagnosed multiple. We met at a halfway house for women in crisis. I’d already been through the program, but came back regularly for visits with the ladies who ran the place. She mentioned DID when i was first getting to know her. I remember internally rolling my eyes, but liking her so much that i became friends with her anyway. I only remember her mentioning it once after that, and we still weren’t close. If she talked about it after we’d become besties (and she was without a doubt the closest girlfriend i ever had), i must have been in an altered state. (“Altered.” Okay, that’s funny to me.)

Back to my main point, which is my crappy mood and why that might be. Most of the “people” floating around in my brain are very flat characters: they’re an emotion, a moment in the past, or they’ve been created to handle or accomplish a specific task, e.g. talk to people in authority, take a shower, absorb a loved one’s anger, take care of children. However, there are a couple who are very well developed, and it is from them i think i’m getting the stomping around and grumbling. I can still feel and hear my various parts (a few have gone completely silent since i began therapy for DID), but they’ve become quieter, and carry less mental “weight,” over the last year or 2. If my brain is a ship, i am now truly the captain. I chart the course now – we’re no longer being tossed about on the waves, at the mercy of the weather.

This is an adjustment for me. When i finally acknowledged my multiplicity i was in the grips of a powerful mania, and i couldn’t control my dissociations. Later, when my mania had faded and i was deep in therapy and more depressed than i’d ever been, i didn’t bother even trying. I’d seen how my past had been spent in resistance to many truths, and i made the decision to just let things happen and see what was what. Once i had an accurate picture of myself and my past, i thought i could figure it all out from there. I was right, and that’s exactly what i’ve been doing. This is the most capable i’ve ever been during a mania, and i’m coming up against some internal resistance.

Today, i have a conscious and mindful experience of what it means to be a highly dissociative individual. The boundaries between me and my system are blurring more still, becoming nebulous and losing meaning. Today they are more me than not me. They always were all me all the time, i know that, but my clever and imaginative brain had created a house with many hidden rooms. It was to help me survive. It worked very well until the danger was over, at which time my house needed to be gutted and rebuilt, lest the foundation crack and the building be condemned. I’m a fixer-upper, but i’ve got great bones. So says i.

I don’t know if there’s anything i can do to improve my mood, but i’ll try. I have the ability to weather these thoughts and feelings if i can’t change them. Hopefully tomorrow will be better, but whatever it is, i’ll handle that, too.

Y’all Take Care,
Love and Peace,
~H~
*The Latin name for my current affliction.

IMAGE: Wonderlane