Category Archives: Writing

Roller Coaster


Finally, I feel I have the ability to write again, both electronically and emotionally.  Well, I still don’t know about the emotional part.  Its been a very emotion-filled few weeks, with many ups and even more downs.  My laptop may overheat but I will write with breaks so it can cool down.

During these times I came to learn valuable lessons about myself:  I’m still strong, there is always something new on the horizon, and I have my pride intact.  There were lots more lessons learned but those are the big ones.

I was always waiting for something.  Exterminators because we had bedbugs.  It took the landlord 2 months to get them here so poor Carly and I would go to bed each night so the critters could feast upon our milky flesh.  All the info we read from the government and exterminator’s websites recommended you don’t sleep on the couch or they will find you.  Where. Ever. You. Go.  So I couldn’t sleep.  I would stay awake until the sun came up, killing any that crawled on me and put them in a jar of bleach and laugh manically as they dissolved before my eyes (I bet you didn’t know how sadistic I can be).  During the day I would pick though my daughter’s bed, trying to decrease her discomfort.  She would still have new bites every few days.

During this 2 month time we were banned from seeing my grandchildren as my son has an almost supersized fear of the bugs and he did not want to risk any hugstransfer from us.  Ditto for the boyfriend.  I maybe saw him 4 times in that 2 months and that was to go to movies.  I was so relieved when we were finally sprayed at the beginning of December.  My oldest granddaughter was overjoyed when I walked though their door.  The hugs!  Hugs beat the bedbug blues every time!

Unfortunately the bugs seemed to be the beginning of the end for the boyfriend. He called less and less and I saw him very infrequently. We seemed to have a plan to go to Cuba though, where I hoped some alone time would help.  Over the holidays, he just stopped calling except for a text telling me Happy New year and don’t be mad, I’m going to Cuba with my friend.  That was almost 2 weeks ago and not a word since.

I knew this was a man who has lived with a very traumatic past and this is the worst time of year for him.  It took me a while to realize that he could not be ready for a relationship.  He needs to find his own self before he could ever trust his life won’t be ripped apart again.  I, of course, have had my own traumatic past.  The difference is I have both professional and familial support.  He chooses to have a different way of handling his feelings.  I’m afraid it ended with me having a broken heart because of the silence.  Or maybe I’m giving him too much credit and he really is just a jerk.  I don’t believe that though.  I do know, really, it’s for the best because, unless there is help in his life, my heart would never heal and would keep going through these unresolved issues he carries.  I think I might be stronger in some ways.  Unfortunately, I’ve now developed some trust issues of my own.  My self-esteem is even more damaged than before.  Who would want me?  I don’t feel attractive physically or emotionally/mentally.  What a mess.

There was one day that I slept away.  22 hours.  That was when I knew I had to try to do something but everything was pretty dark for me.  For those who survive depression hopefully knows everyone feels it differently; it’s never a contest, like “I have more reasons to be depressed than you do” kind of thing.  No.  What I feel ????is physical (heavy like an elephant) and mentally (my brain is a foggy bog of poo).  It’s how to get out of it is the challenge.  Sleeping 22 hours may not seem like a healthy way to do it but that was all I could do that day.  The next day was less, more like 14 hours.  Then it was 12.  I can handle 12. I did the dishes.  I tried to go grocery shopping.  Then suddenly I had stuff to do and had to get out of bed to do them so my going to bed at 7 am was not going to work anymore.  I seem to have developed a fairly normal schedule.

How I felt is so hard to explain.  I wish I had the words to tell you how dark my world was.  My dreams were where I wanted to be.  I couldn’t wait to dream because what happened in them was so much more exciting and meaningful than what my life was.  My bi-polar dreams have always been vivid but never so much as during this time.  My awake-time flashbacks from the dreams would leave me  quite confused. Once, on the rare occasion I did go out, I was very nearly hit by a bus and leapt 3 feet in the air as the driver laid on the horn, inches from my hip, waking me from my musings.  I thought no one would care anyway.  Of course I know now that is not and never been true.  I have my peeps who love me and always will.

Before Christmas, I was on the bus after seeing my mental health worker and tearsjust broke down.  I was crying in public.  No one did anything except for the lady beside me who handed me a used tissue.  I sat there with tears streaming down my face, suffering in silence.  Which is what most people do.    All this was not necessarily because of a man.  I was on my way to my darkness partly due to the isolation I was in and the feeling of not being wanted anywhere because of the blasted bugs.  I was just so sad and lonely and alone.

I missed my Dad so much over Christmas.  His joy was like a child’s when he opened gifts.  His place was empty at the table where we would squeeze his walker in.  I did have a wonderful day with my family though.  We all felt his presence there, especially when, for no explicable reason, glassware started banana-cream-pie-004falling out of the cupboard and breaking on the ceramic floor at my sister’s.  I was making the banana cream pie at the moment, which was his favourite dessert.  I had to stir and stir the homemade pudding for at about 45 minutes so it wouldn’t burn.  Maybe Dad thought I wasn’t doing it right but I kept right on stirring during all the crashing and sweeping and didn’t burn the pudding at all.  One of the best we ever made.  He was keeping me on my toes I guess.

Carly and I got wonderful news the other day.  We now have a townhouse we’re moving to through public housing.  Instead of paying rent I cannot afford it will be covered by the benefits I receive from Disability.  This is a huge financial relief for me.

I have lots to look forward to.  I will get to purge yet again.  The crap that weighs me down.  Crap that I hang on to.  Crap I can let go.   And it ain’t just because of the packing.

If I can help it, life is going be like taking a deep breath of fresh air.

 

Advertisements

FYI


Hi Everyone! I won’t be able to post for a while as my laptop turned to a lump of metal my cat likes to lay on. It just takes too long for me to type with just one thumb on my phone. This will be a short one.

I’ve been totally isolating myself for reasons beyond my control. My sleep is terrible; it’s now after 6 in the morning and I’m still awake although I think my eyes might have some sandman sprinkles finally happening. Anyway. I want to get the hell out of here later in the day and hope to visit my fella who is recovering from surgery.

I’ll attempt to write again soon. Have patience with me.

Thanks

Yours truly….

Doing the Shuffle


I must tell you all, right off the bat, that I know I haven’t written anything for several weeks.  I really feel bad about it because I know it helps me get through a lot.  I’ve put my volunteer work on hold for this month because of the extreme anxiety I’m feeling about my health and the crazy developments with my father’s estate and, as such, the state of my family life.  The stresses have really gotten to me where I am, once again, staying away from candycrushthe outside world most of the time and hiding in my online games.  So boring I know.  I do go to my appointments and have made more effort into cooking some meals the last few days than relying on junk food.  It helps that Carly is home to eat.

After messing up the last 2 appointments booked with my new mental health worker we finally met each other for the second time.  It all went well until she asked me how my typical day goes.  I was quite embarrassed about it until I remembered that I do get up early twice a week for when my granddaughter comes over for the day.  (So fun to be with her…two years old and so cute and full of goof).  She asked me what my stresses are and I told her about the above mentioned in more detail.  It was a pretty substantial list but mostly I have such fast and negative thoughts.  Then I was to go over the positive things in my life which were fewer but still easy to come up with; kids, boyfriend, and my finances are a little better.  I was also to tell her about what I do to help the with stress.  Again the list was small but at the end of the meeting she said that column would eventually be full and she could see how low my self-worth and self-esteem were and she has the tools to work on those negative thoughts.

I so desperately want that.  So much.  Which is one reason why I’m writing tonight.

It’s been mind-numbing during the day and my sleep is filled with monsters and fear.  Restful sleep is really not a part of my nights.  It’s mostly 3 or 4 in the monstermorning when my brain will finally shut down and my eyes slam shut for anywhere from 5 to 12 hours of sleep.  I slept a day away a few weeks ago with a total of 19 hours.  Crazy.

One thing I told my worker that I was sure I looked like a “mental health patient” with my shaking and whatever.  She assured me I looked just fine and start thinking more positive about that at least.

Well, sure thing.  Except for last night…

My fella and I were finally getting to have some time together and were going out for supper except I kinda and sorta forgot about the going out part only because it was later than I thought we would be going.  He called and said he was here and I had just got out of the shower and was dripping wet, naked and just figured, no problem, I’ll just throw something on and let him into my building like I usually do.  I went to the front door, where he usually waits, then the back door but no fella.  I was quite confused.  I called him and asked him where the heck was he and he said at the front in the #1 parking space.  So, after wandering around the hallway in my nightie for another couple of minutes it dawned on me about the going out part.

Right.  He’s waiting in the truck.  For me.  So we can go out for supper.  Okay.  I got it now.

What to wear?  I felt all hot and sweaty after all that running around so I put on a tank top and jeans and put hair products in my very wet hair and ran out the door.  He asked me if I wanted to go to a fancy restaurant but I told him I wasn’t really dressed for one (that’s for sure!) so he suggested a favourite pizza joint we both like.

It was very crowded and we were waiting for a table when I noticed someone eating at a table nearby who doesn’t like me too much and the feelings are white winequite mutual.  I hid behind my fella after warning him.  He was worried about a cat fight or me being so uncomfortable that we should go.  I told him not to worry, I have big ovaries and can take it but could he please buy me a glass of wine tonight?  Absolutely, he said.

He’s such a nice fella.

So all the tables were full except for one right beside this person and a whole bunch of reserved ones.  The owner of the restaurant told us to sit in the reserved section for now until a booth became available.  “Don’t you guys leave,” she said.  Whew.  We sat in the reserved section (getting the stinky eye from THAT table) until a group of volleyball players started to arrive. It was then I noticed how hot my feet were as I listened to my fella regale me with his own restaurant stories.  I tried to remember which shoes I put on when, to my horror, I looked down at my feet and saw….

I was wearing my slippers.

I was sitting in a nice restaurant with soaking wet hair, a man’s lumber jacket, no slippersbra and a tank top and wearing my slippers and there is a person 20 feet away who thinks I should be locked up and felt the need to insult and treat me with such disrespect because of my illness I had to block her from my life.

 I looked like the stereotypical mental health patient.  Just like I thought…

A booth opened up and the owner had us skedaddle over there right away.  It was a really busy night.

My fella had me howling with laughter when I confessed to my slipper shuffle.  He does that all the time. He said he was going to get me a hospital gown to go with my slippers for next time we go out so I can really look the part.  It was then I remembered what I told my worker about the fear I had that people looked at me funny and man…I was laughing so hard.  We both were.  I had to put a little extra shuffle in my step for the rest of the night and the code word was “slippers” to make me start laughing all over again.

Supper was great.  At the end when my fella was paying the bill I asked the owner how her trip to Greece went.  She told us that she went there to find all her old boyfriends so she could fuck them since she was too young to do that when she lived there as a young girl.  She didn’t find any.

My fella was more shocked by her confession than by my slippers.  It just added to the general hilarity and weirdness of the evening.

It was great to get out.  It did me a world of good.  I’m so looking forward to Thanksgiving with my sister’s family and my group.

I’m also looking forward to working with my mental health worker in the coming months.

So I hope everyone has a great Canadian Thanksgiving and even if you’re not turkeydinnerCanadian, eat some turkey.

🙂

 

Shopping…


I’m about to test the strengths I’ve learned these last few weeks/months/years.  I’ve planned a great adventure with my daughter which is totally out of my comfort zone.  One that will include a Greyhound bus full of strangers, bad food and poor sleep.  And then…

Destination:  West Edmonton Mall

We will be shopping pretty much non-stop for 3 days then head home again.  loveshoesWell, the girl will be shopping with her money, I will be the one behind her carrying her many purchases and stressing over how to save a nickel (could we have popcorn for supper?  I really don’t want those shoes.  Yes I do.  No I don’t.).

Does this trip fill me with anxiety?  Oh yes, you bet it does.  As a matter of fact today I had to drive to the airport where the bus depot is to purchase tickets and I felt so much panic as soon as I couldn’t see downtown anymore.  Will I get lost?  Will my bank card not work?  Maybe I don’t have any money.  Will my heart decide to stop beating?  Will there be an accident while I’m driving my son’s van?  Watch out for that old lady!!!!

Remember, this was just on the way to the bus station.

The original plan was for me to rent a car to get to Edmonton.  This wouldn’t work out because I don’t have a credit card and also because I would have to sell my body 541,000 times just to get the $1,000 I would need.  So Greyhound it is.  I’m relieved I’m not driving the 15 hour trip.  I would really be scared of getting horrorlost among other things too many to list here.  I’ve watched way too many movies where a car breaks down and weird-looking strangers make sure the passengers are never seen again.  The mom always gets killed first.

So once I conquer the bus and the inevitable motion sickness I’m prone to, we hit the hotel and then the mall.

The huge, incredible “mall”.   mall

 

This is bigger than anything in my city.  There aren’t just stores; there are amusement parks and restaurants and lots and lots of people.  Lots of them.

I want to do this though because this is the last year my last child is a child.  Next summer she will be an adult and making her own trips with her friends.  This way I get her all to myself for a few days with no computer in my face.  I’m really looking forward to it in spite of the gnawing in my stomach.  After all, I made it out of the bus station with a few wrong turns on the way back but made it home, unscathed, just the same.

I take heart in these small steps as they are leaps and bounds to what I could do 5 or 6 or 7 years ago.

Huge.

Like the mall.

Oy.

Better Late…


Oh I have been a bad girl, missing at least 3 posts I had committed to writing.  Things are so busy with summer and all.  I find myself getting out of the apartment just about everyday now except maybe for most weekends.

Summer is always special.  I’ve written about it before and now you can read it summeragain:  The smells (on my skin, in the air, my granddaughters’ hair), the beach when I can get there (which smells totally different by the way), walking and walking even though my knees are older than dirt and so are my hips but I still walk when I can.

I just came back from 5 days at the beach with my daughter and my sister’s family.  I also was able to bring out my oldest granddaughter for the weekend.  It was “Gamma Gamma” and some new words and lots of new dance steps as well as our old favourites.  Even the nephews got into The Wiggles!  Our little gal had lots of fun.  I miss her now.

I also met a guy about a month ago. Things are really good but I won’t jinx anything.  We will just see how it goes.  🙂

It’s been great to feel the freedom from the isolation I had for the last few years.  This getting out everyday sure opened my eyes to my city.  Buses are still the fun buspart of the day with screaming babies, drunks who want to smell my hair and sometimes meeting up with old friends for those brief moments until whoever’s stop comes first.

I’ve been handling the death of my dad by keeping very busy.  It’s been kind of strange helping my sister do inventory on his estate and seeing some things for the first time and yet see the things he used every day too.  I love how he and my mom are now both in my dreams at night.

I still smoke in my dreams every night too.  Crazy.

One thing I am happy to say is we found my missing sister!  Alive and as well as she can possibly be and in touch with another family member.  Such a relief when I found out.  I was in tears knowing she still walked this earth even though her demons are still chasing her.  I don’t think I will ever see her again as it would be too difficult for her but having some contact through another trusted person makes it okay.

All that weight I lost is slowly coming back and Dr. G wants blood work done before I have my next appointment.  Fasting blood work.  Meanie.  He’s glad I seemed to have met a really nice man and also finally made my connection with a mental health worker.

Not that the new guy is my mental health worker.

Oh no, now that’s just confusing.

Dr. G is so pleased with my progress these last few months.  I do feel so much better with more positive things in my life.  These help me handle the negatives going on.

So I hope to get another post in during the next couple of days.  See you in my dreams!

 

A Few of My Favourite Things…


I’ve been thinking about positive thoughts and where they come from.  I really have to force myself, everyday, to think of myself in positive ways.  I thought I would try to come up with a list of my favourite things, not necessarily about me but maybe it will tell the world and me what I like and love.  So, in no particular order…

  1. Blue.  I love the colour blue for so many reasons.  I sometimes gasp at a new shade that makes me wish for the tropics or paint a picture.  Neither of which I’ll be getting to do soon.  The best blues are cobalt and music.
  2. My daughter’s smile.  It lights up the whole room.  It’s a rare thing to be seen since she became a teen.  Her brother and I spied on her while shecarly was working the drive thru at her work and oh, she smiled at everyone!  We both were astounded by the transformation.  I love her more every day than I did the day before.
  3. When she laughs it’s like bells
  4. My son’s energy.  Oh man he makes me tired!  Always smiling is that guy.  Very social which is the opposite of me.  He’s always talking and getting a deal going and has high ambitions.  I am immensely proud of him.  He is definitely one of my favourite things.  I love him dearly.
  5. My Mom’s paintings she left behind.  I just love them because she 000_0131never really knew her talent until she was in her 40’s, 50’s and she still painted until she died.  She had a passion.
  6. I love when people aren’t afraid to tell me what they think.  Sometimes I’m afraid of it, thinking it might be bad but it rarely comes out that way.
  7. I love colour and beauty and movement.  I love the ballet.
  8. I love the symphony.  The music sends me somewhere else.  I fell in love with the symphony at the same time I fell in love with the ballet.
  9. I love the kindness of others.  So many people have shown me how good they can be.  I’m truly lucky to know them and I’m a better person because of them.
  10. I love cats.  So cute, especially my Lucky who is, thank goodness, stilllucky2 with us.
  11. I like dogs too but not as much as cats. 🙂
  12. I love chocolate.
  13. I love lilacs and the wonderful aroma they leave in the air during Springtime.  I don’t think we’ll be having Spring this year.
  14. Spring and Summer
  15. My favourite flower would forget-me-nots.  I think.  If I was to make a bouquet it would be made up of many different kinds.  Orchids are always an option.
  16. I love long car rides.
  17. I love going out for supper.
  18. I love new clothes.
  19. And Shoes
  20. Reading and reading
  21. I love watching movies where I get totally lost.  I really don’t have a favourite movie, there are too many.  It always depends on the mood of the movie; for action movies I love the Terminator series; for love stories my favourite has to be The Notebook.  Whatever it is it has to be good.
  22. I like that I haven’t cried in weeks and weeks.
  23. I like Dr. G.  He saved my life along with Dr. H who died way too soon.  He found me Dr. G before he had to go though.
  24. I love my father’s face when he wakes up and sees me and the joyIMG_0292 that’s there, even though he doesn’t know its me.  He knows its someone he loves and who loves him.
  25. I love my grandchild.  She’s adorable.  I love when she holds out her arms for me even if her mom is holding her.  I love when she makes me feel special like at Easter when I was giving her strawberries and she said, in her 19 month voice, Mo Gamma.
  26. I love my younger sister and her family.  And all their dogs.  And all their cats.  Those kids have been brought up right and I stole a lot of things to use to bring up mine.
  27. Student Led Parent Teacher Conferences.  I was just at my daughter’s yesterday and finally got to see her amazing photographs.  She has a passion.  All her teachers said the same thing.  She does excellent work and it’s a pleasure having her in class.  They are all sure she will go on to do great things.  She didn’t want to go because she couldn’t see the point as her report card was excellent but I made her.  I felt it was important for her to hear the praises and make plans and goals.  She was very proud of herself and could see me bursting with it as well.
  28. I like when I make good decisions.
  29. I love to laugh and laugh until I cry or a little bit of pee comes out.  Well maybe not that but you know what I mean.
  30. I love how I’ve been able to get along for more than 3 years without a car.  Maybe it’s 4.  I don’t know but it doesn’t matter much anymore.  The only time I’ll miss it is during the summer because I won’t be able to get to the beach when I want to go.
  31. THE BEACH!  OMG I love the beach so much.  I love how it smells and the sounds and love looking at the water.  In my teens, I used to have a secretdsc024061.jpg place in the cliffs where I could be alone, write in my journal and watch the water while burying my feet in hot, smooth, white sand.  I can still feel the sun on my face and arms. The spot is gone now as everything has eroded away.  My memories of it though always fill me with comfort.  No one could find me.
  32. Driving.  I know I said I didn’t miss having a car but I really like driving.  I used to drive a lot in the summers, especially, to get to my ex’s cabin, sometimes just for the day and it would be a 4 hour drive then.  2 hours each way. Oh you know what I mean.
  33. I love the show Friends and the Joeyisms.
  34. Days of Our Lives and Dr. Phil and Ellen are my friends during the day.
  35. Wine.  Yeah.
  36. Writing of course. That’s my passion.
  37. Sleeping
  38. Eating
  39. Loving
  40. No more fear

I think that should do it.  Its been very interesting making this list.  Thanks for being interested enough to read it.  I’m sure there are lots more and I’m sorry if I left out anyone. I’ll leave you with a video someone sent me today on Facebook that has become one of my favourites.

http://youtu.be/V7OGY1Jxp3o

Later

PS:  The pictures on this page belong to me and I do not give permission for anyone to copy them without my consent.  Thank you.

In the Beginning


I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl and fell in love with reading.  I wanted to read way before parents were allowed to teach their kids anything about it before kindergarten and even first grade.  My mom would read me my favourite books so much that I actually started to read a bit on my own.  Once I learned to read in school, though, there was no holding me back.  I remember driving with my parents and them asking me what a sign might say and I would patiently sound out each letter until the word seemed to appear in my head and burst out of my mouth.  Every time my family would cheer and applaud me for my efforts.

I would read to my little sister most nights, giving her the stories I heard and loved.  I would try to teach her to read while we played “Teacher”.

writngWriting came next and it seemed like a natural thing. I wrote plays for my family and friends to act in.  Quite elaborate ones too.  One of them I remember quite well because it was about a dragon (my dad) and the prince (my cousin, Freddy) having a battle over the princess, (my little sister, Colleen).  I was the director.  This all took place in the kitchen at our cottage at the beach.  The dragon kept blowing fire at the prince and I kept yelling at the prince to put out the fire.  Unfortunately, the prince got the bright idea to take a 5 gallon pail of water and throw it at the dragon, soaking everything in the kitchen.  My mom was not happy and there were no more plays inside anymore.  But I kept writing them.

I didn’t realize that I could write until 10th grade when our English teacher had us keep a journal which he read every night and marked or made comments.  One day he gave us starter lines for creative writing and one of them was the one I picked “As the clock ticked…”  Suddenly I had an incredible idea of the last seconds of a person’s life ticking away; someone on death row about to die for killing her husband.  I wrote pages and pages in the 20 minutes we were allowed to write.  When I handed it in I had such a thrill of excitement knowing that someone was going to read it and give me an honest opinion.  I knew it was good.

It was.  The teacher wrote several lines of positive comments and gave me an A+.  He also encouraged me to write more and try to find that burst of imagination and creativity more often.  He also told me that was one of the reasons for the journal.  Practicing my writing would only give me more of a voice and, by golly, it sure has.

I saw my niece last night and found out she’s been following my blog.  I always feel kind of weird when I find out someone I know reads all about what’s in my head and then that goes away almost right away.  I’m writing for me and for anyone who wants to read it.  She wants me to keep writing and that’s my intention.  It was great to  have feedback from her and I feel encouraged to keep up my once-a-week posts here.

One of these days I hope to make a living at this.  Wouldn’t that be something?  I want to take more creative writing courses and maybe get a novel out of this old noggin of mine.  That has always been my dream.