In which I take a break from the heavy stuff

I had to surrender to something over the weekend. KitKat.

I don’t know what on earth got into her, but she is different. I have accused her of being demon-possessed and have called her the spawn of Satan. She is just that eat up. But here lately, there has been a change in her attitude toward me. It started a few weeks ago where she started making a bee-line for the master bedroom whenever I opened up the door. One day she darted in there as I was on my way to the bathroom, and didn’t have time to pick her up and throw her out. And it is really hard to poop when you have a cat trying to get in your lap and to get you to pet her. I assumed she was just hungry because she gets friendly when she’s hungry.

It happened again, though not when I was pooping, that she wanted in the bedroom. I assumed she was hungry and refilled the food bowls – none of which were empty. Soon she was meowing and scratching on the door. So I gave her fresh water. No sooner did I get in bed than she was meowing and scratching on the door again. Crazy cat. This got more and more frequent, and rather than rename her “Dammit KitKat,” I gave in and put a food and water bowl and a litter box in the bedroom and let her move in.

Oh my word.

She is loving and playful. I had no idea that she knew how to cat. She’s still scabby and gross, but her personality makes up for it. It is so weird.

Aggravating my condition

I have asthma. I’ve probably had it my whole life, but wasn’t diagnosed until I was 29 and even then not officially until I was 30. That was also the first time I heard a doctor say “Oh my God!” during an examination of me. The official diagnosis that is when she listened to my lungs and immediately put me on the mist. Then she allergy tested me. Then she referred me to an allergy specialist who submitted me to the medical board to determine whether or not I was medically fit to remain in the Air Force. I was hoping to get the boot, but alas, I was only put on profile restricting me to stateside assignments only. That also meant I couldn’t deploy which I was ok with, but that played a big factor in my decision to get out when my time was up.

When I was allergy tested, I tested positive (very positive) to 5 of the 8 molds used. The doctor went over the results with me ending with, “I don’t remember which of those 5 are outdoor and which are indoor, but both are covered and as long as you live in England, you are screwed.” That explained the foxhole incident when I was in mob school. I was given enough medication to survive without constant wheezing, and even got to the point by the last couple years there that I rarely needed albuteral because I was rarely having attacks. But harvest season was a whole different ball game. Harvesting killed me. Despite the daily steroid inhaler and the addition of allegra, I would be hitting the albuteral every couple of hours. Harvesting kicked up enough stuff into the air to aggravate my condition.

I have several conditions that get aggravated. The one that gets aggravated the most I think is my self-centeredness. Being honest with myself aggravates it even more than other people do, and other people aggravate it a lot. I mean, really. Other people just will not do what I want, when I want, and the way I want. The nerve. ;) Being honest with myself aggravates my condition by showing me how self-destructive my self-centeredness is. Particularly when my self-centeredness is feeding off of self-pity.

I think self-pity might be my drug of choice. It hurts to the point that I can’t take the pain, and so then I have to numb it with something. But my off button doesn’t work, so that my self-medication is just as destructive. It aggravates my condition. But it is familiar, and there is comfort in familiarity no matter how insane it is.

“Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.”

While I will use a quote from Steel Magnolias at the drop of a hat, I can’t say that one is entirely true. Namely because I am not a big fan of tears. Sometimes I just get so overwhelmed that I just know a good cry will help. Problem is, sometimes I am totally distraught, but yet just too numb to have the meltdown I need.

On top of all the life going on around me, I got sick last week. At one point, I was real close to going to the ER. But the pain finally became less frequent and less severe thankfully before I had to take my daughter to her appointment. Now she had been asking for a bank account forever, and I told her I would take her to the bank after her appointment. So we did, and through the course of talking to the gentlemen setting everything up, he got to telling us stories. We laughed until we cried.

I felt so much better.

Someone told me that I should find something that will make me deep down belly laugh hard when I feel like I need to cry and can’t because I’ll get the same emotional release I need. I am definitely a believer now. Of course I have to over-analyze everything I do and experience, and this was no exception. I will, however, spare you that introspection and analyzation and just leave it as is.

Sometimes, I just need to laugh and laugh hard. Even when I hurt.

“I’m not crazy…”

“I’ve just been in a very bad mood for 40 years.”

You know you have reached a new level when your therapist’s eyes get real big, her mouth drops open, and she says, “Oh my God!” For once I had the migraine BEFORE I had the appointment with her. It’s usually after. Because that’s where everything gets brought out and processed rather than putting stuff away for later or never. It’s draining.

I decided that one more incident may land me in a psych ward. Seriously, there is just too much. My sponsor got a middle of the day crazy call from me, and I couldn’t even articulate what I was really feeling. But I was freaking out. Turns out it was a panic attack, but it was unlike my normal panic attacks. And I was a far cry from being able to process what I am able to reason out when I have some sense of mental stability.

There was crazy all right. A bazillion frantic “What am I going to about X, but then what about Y, and there just isn’t enough time for Z, but I have to do them all?!” Prayer wasn’t working. Meditation wasn’t working. Saying “Crisco’ll do you proud every time,” every time I passed a Crisco for US House sign wasn’t helping.

So it was call my sponsor or let the crazy keep building unabated and walk into work like that. Granted when I did get to work, one of the trainers asked me if I needed a hug. I wasn’t ok when I got there. I wasn’t ok when I left, but I did what my sponsor said and it helped.

I suspect that my body is addicted to adrenaline. That would explain why after a time of really high stress, I am plagued with panic attacks. Also it would explain the depression that follows the panic attacks which is yet to come. But I can’t say adrenaline is my drug of choice. Because it never has been.

Thanks for letting me share. Enjoy some Clairee and Ouiser.

“It takes courage to try.”

So there I was right, sitting at my desk at work and this cloud of despair descended on me from out of nowhere. Like I needed to just sit and meltdown with the ugly cry. And in my head I heard Data saying, “I no longer wish to have these emotions!” But, alas, I am not Data and can’t just be deactivated nor can I just turn off my emotion chip. I have to deal with them.

I told a friend recently that I have the emotional maturity of a 4 year old. It’s probably more like a 7 year old. It seems like when I think back that was the age when I began stuffing and avoiding “successfully.” It is also about the age I starting having panic attacks. I broke my leg just before I turned 7. There may be some correlation. Hmm. But I am digressing.

Bottom line is I have reached the point where my old coping skills don’t work, and I can’t just numb away the pain. When it comes, I have to feel it, and it will pass. Just like when I’m on top of the world happy, it will pass. When I’m scared, it will pass. When I’m all blah, it will pass. “To everything there is a season.”

There was a point last summer in the midst of the mess I came home to when I was just starting to go to Al-Anon where I was praying, and I asked God why he wasn’t helping me with all the crap I was going through. He said, “I’ve been sending other people to help you.” That stung. And it’s hard to go to and accept help when you’ve spent so many years hanging on for dear life to your own self-sufficiency. Even when it hasn’t ever worked. It’s irrational and insane doing the same thing(s) over and over expecting different results, but there is an illusion of comfort in the familiar. I wanted to keep doing things myself even though it was slowly killing me emotionally and physically. God was consistently answering my prayers, but not how I wanted Him to.

I hinted about a month ago that I have to completely change the way I think. Well, maybe that was more than a hint. But anyway, change is hard. Feeling is hard. But at least I am not going through it alone. Not that I ever really was alone, but it’s nice to finally take the walls down and trust people. Because if I am going to trust God completely, I’m going to have to trust him to give me people that I can trust.

Play on

If music be the food of love, play on;

Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, 1602

I was reading someone’s blog recently, and not only do I not remember whose blog it was, I don’t remember when. Could have been yesterday or several days ago. Anyway, the writer had a list of tips for bloggers, and one was write about what your passion is. Or something like that. That’s too broad of an area for me to niche. I may just be too ADHD. ;)

One Friday evening 2 or 3 weeks ago, James was sick and we were hungry, but I didn’t want to cook, and so I went to Lowes Food. As I was checking out, the young lady ringing me up asked, “Don’t you sing at New Hope?” She’s a New Hoper too, turns out, and I am slowly but surely losing the anonymity I used to enjoy in Sanford due to not knowing very many people. But, alas, I’ve made it. I’m a rock star. :cool: Of course, I’m not really, but it’s actually better because it isn’t about me.

I was in Food Lion the other night, and walked through the store singing along with whatever song was playing. I have no idea what it was, but it is just kind of funny to me that I feel comfortable enough to sing out loud (albeit softly) in a store. And without my kids. Even though I don’t remember the song, I remember just hearing it made me feel good. I’m sure it was from the 80′s. Did this yesterday at Food Lion also, and at one point even felt the need to apologize to the gentleman within earshot. ;)

A few mornings ago I was listening to the songs that were scheduled for the following Sunday on the way into work because I was on the schedule, and, oh, by the way, that was the closest I had come that week to practicing. One of the songs was a newer song containing an older hymn, Just as I Am. Since I knew the hymn portion, I was practicing the harmony vocals when just out of the blue, meltdown. 2 blocks from the front gate. Really? I didn’t melt down during any of the services that day, so it was all good. I did, however, have waaaayyyy too much coffee that morning resulting in my Beavis Cornholio impression for which I quickly apologized due to the inappropriateness of quoting Beavis & Butthead at church. I think they found that more humorous. I was off the chain.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I have always loved music and all kinds. Now, one of my goals for this year was to get a sponsor. I have one now, and Friday she told me to take some time over this weekend for myself just to relax. Well, who has time to relax when you are the only one with a driver’s license, and shopping needs to be done? I made the time. First of all, I shopped alone. This meant I was alone in the car for most of my running around which meant I could play Fleetwood Mac loudly and sing along just as loudly as I wanted. And I did it with the sunroof wide open. It was fabulous. Later at home, I sat on the front porch journaling and instagramming until sundown.

Music has a way of lifting my spirit when I’m feeling down. I can hear certain songs that will put a smile on my face no matter how down I feel. I can listen to certain genres and relax, which is why I often listen to classical when I am driving to and from work, and even sometimes at work. These are things I need to remember when I get into a funk or worry cycle, and then just listen to the music.

)

Here, there, and nowhere

I fell over in Walmart yesterday. Stone cold sober, and not even sick. Just a word of caution: If the aisle seems too narrow to turn your cart around, it is. I guess it was just my turn to be an example of peopleofwalmart.com. Hopefully the other lady in the aisle didn’t snap a picture and upload it. I never looked back. lol

I think that is Tiger’s favorite spot. Or maybe his second favorite because his favorite spot may be the one where his butt is in my face.

It was a really nice weekend. I got out Saturday and spent a lot more time out than I intended. I really wanted to go for a bike ride, but I took James to Lee & Rachel’s. I wanted Starbucks, and since we were close(ish) to Southern Pines, that’s where I went. I did not, however, stop at Starbucks as half of Moore County was there. So I went to Hobby Lobby after I had taken a few photos around the area.

I sat Saturday night sorting and organizing my fasteners.

It was quite relaxing and I was almost able to completely block out what Chad and Alex were watching. The only thing I really managed to accomplish was washing my clothes and picking up my Flonase prescription.

This post really has nothing to do with anything. But it’s a post. With pictures. ;)

The sound of silence

I had a migraine for 6 days. Day 4 I finally took something which took care of it until late in day 5. I took something for it again day 6 which left me just as useless as I was with the headache, but I slept a lot. I still want to sleep a lot. It is probably mostly the migraine hangover. It just stands to reason that having a migraine for that long is going to produce a longer than one-day hangover. And yes, a migraine hangover is a lot like a drunk hangover except for the lack of headache and dehydration and nausea.

Anyway, I DNRed a race Saturday morning, and I called in sick to church Sunday. I also had an episode in Walmart Saturday afternoon where I first got dizzy and thought I would pass out resulting in Jamie asking me to please not die in the underwear section. Then my digestive system decided it needed to purge. #everybodypoops I made it home to explode though as I did not want to spend that amount of time blowing up Walmart’s bathroom. Thankfully when we made it home, the kids brought in all the groceries while I went to have some quality alone time on the throne. Of course, I had to put all the groceries away when I completed downloading, and I absolutely did not have the energy to do so. Nor did I have the energy to cook. But I did. And then crashed.

One again I have reached that point where I started a post days ago with a plan in mind where to go with it, but I have no idea what that was. So this will just go where it goes and will likely have nothing at all to do with the title.

I’ve taken a semi-break from social media over the past few days. Naturally when I go to take a break people tag me on Facebook. lol. It’s been ok though because one of my cousins posted a photo of her grandma/my aunt last night that triggered such good memories of Aunt Iris and her store. Not just for me as several folks commented about their memories of her sitting out front and waving at people that drove by. I had forgotten all about that. Probably because we rarely just drove by the store because Daddy went by there 2 or 3 times a week and I think did some banking for her since we always stopped by on the way to town for the weekly laundry/banking/grocery trips. As I commented, I can still feel her wood floor on my bare feet. Because that was the only store I was ever allowed in barefoot. And no, I didn’t like wearing shoes when I was a kid. #hillbilly

But anyway, I’ve taken some time to read and go to meetings and think about making phone calls. The phone calls are inevitable. :sigh: I feel better mentally than I have in several days. I went to an Al-Anon meeting last night with a different group than my home group. Since the hubby and I joined a small group at church that meets on one of my Al-Anon meeting nights, I need to replace that meeting even though that’s my favorite one of the week. Sitting in a different group, I got to hear different perspectives than my home group. That was a good thing! Not that I am going to switch home groups.

I went to the dentist yesterday for my 6 month cleaning. They always ask me first thing if I’ve been having any problems. Normally I don’t, but I’ve had an issue going on for a while that I’ve been trying to self treat to no avail. So I told the tech about it, and she did an xray. After the cleaning, the dentist came in and looked at the xray and confirmed what I thought. It’s an abscess. That’s the tooth that I broke on a Skittle when I was active duty (the last time I ate Skittles, btw), and also my second root canal due to an abscess a couple of years after that. I now am taking a round of antibiotics, and have a referral to an endodontist to treat that bad boy. Again. :sigh: Also, it has not hurt at all until she told me that it really was an abscess. It hurts now. WTH? :-/

All that said, I’m tired. And I’m tired of being tired. I’m also getting tired of “Mommy can we go _____” and “Mommy can you get ______” and “Mommy when are we going to _____”. Therefore, I’m going to have to have a little sit down with the kids and explain (again) how many hours I am gone working, and try to explain recovery to them. Also budget and debt. Again.

Making the most of it

I had to run a virtual 5k this weekend because my foot was broken the previous weekend. “Broken” is an exaggeration. It hurt like it was broken, but 1) I didn’t go to the doctor over it and 2) whatever I did to it happened at work while I was sitting at my desk. Saturday was just nasty windy, and so was yesterday morning. But after noon yesterday, the wind died down some, and the sun was out and I made myself go run. I tried every way I could think of to not do it and yet still count it, but I finally just texted Karyn and Molly “Tell me to run,” knowing they would give me that bit of motivation I needed to just go do it.

I hated every single step of that run.

But. I’m working on finding bright spots among the suck. As I approached the halfway point, I noticed a pond. I’ve run past that house countless times, but yesterday was the first time I noticed that pond behind it. I noticed the squirrels, which really isn’t unusual. I noticed the frogs croaking in the ditch on the way back, and noticed how once I got past them, they stopped. And, by the way, I love the sound of a bunch of croaking frogs. I stopped at a neighbor’s house and chatted with him for a minute (pausing the workout – lol), and learned he was a boxer when he was younger.

The actual running (and my time) sucked, but the rest of it didn’t.

I tried to get the dogs in the photo with me, but only Brownie would even remotely cooperate. I also ripped a hole in the butt of my running tights while trying to get the dogs in the shot. :-/ But it really was a beautiful day for a run. The race was the Stop Stroke Shuffle 5k. Enjoyed supporting Dani’s cause, and would not feel the donation wasted if I hadn’t run. Thank you Dani for the reason to get off my butt! :)

Facing Fear, 2

I was listening to the radio one morning back in December, and by radio I mean SiriusXM. I reached the point where there is just so many times per day I can listen to Sleigh Ride by the Ronettes, and if I never hear that Christmas song by John & Yoko I would be fine. Anyway, I gave up on the Christmas stations, and went through my usuals, and ended up on 80′s on 8 which I am sure is a complete shock to anyone who knows me. Granted, I did spend a few more seconds on 70s than normal listening to Truckin’ by The Grateful Dead and wondering (again) what is the appeal to the Dead. Just like Pink Floyd. Anyway, Van Halen was playing on the 80s, and more specifically, Van Hagar. And I thought to myself, “You know, as much as I hate to admit it, I like Van Hagar better than classic Van Halen.” Even though I am such a non-fan of Sammy Hagar. I resolved to go public with that, and those stakes got upped even higher in the office that morning over Nelson. Yes, I was a fan, and still listen to them from time to time.

What does that have to do with anything? More than I like to admit. When I wrote about facing fear, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to have to face. Well, one of those things is caring too much about what other people think about me to the point that I will try to change things as asinine as what kind of music I like to “fit in” with others. And now roughly 3 months later since I started this post, I have a good idea.

I have to completely change the way I think about almost everything.

While that is kind of frightening, it is also surprisingly liberating. I don’t have to continue to be bound by destructive and paralyzing thinking patterns born out of seeking approval from others. Of course, on the flip side of that, I have to figure out who I am. That’s both scary and exciting.

But necessary.