Tag Archives: money

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.

 

Away From Home


There we were, two of the most anxious females I know, going to a strange city by Greyhound.  Whatever gave me the idea that this was a GOOD idea?  Well mainly it was because Carly and I were going to spend some good quality time together.

My son was driving us to the bus depot and I was feeling pretty calm until we were almost there.  Then my mind started racing with questions.  What do we do?  Where do we go?  We started off doing what we thought was the right thing.  We went to the counter at the depot and told the guy (who turned out to be our driver) that we were going to Edmonton and what do we do?  He looked at our tickets and, very kindly, told us we would be departing at Gate 1 at 6:45.  We found seats nearby and waited impatiently.  It got later and later and Carly was coming up with more and more dire scenarios (What if we don’t sit together?  Why did I have to read about Tim McLean? What if people smell bad?)  then finally we saw the bus arrive and security being set up.  We were about 5th in line and finally got to the security table when we noticed we were the only ones without any tags on  our luggage.

Now, remember, we did go to the counter and no one said anything about tags.  We had to go back to the nice man and tell him we needed them. There was a lineup there too and only 2 people on duty.  One staff member was being held up by a guy who was trying to say his 3 bags were all carry-on’s and the bag that weighs 100 lbs. is free.  That was not true and vigorous arguments ensued.  We finally got to the nice man and he apologized for his mistake and even let me take my heavy carry-on with me.  By this time there was no line at security.

Security checked my bags and waved the wand over me.  Then Carly.  Good, nothing was pierced on her that I don’t know about.

The thing about the motor coach I noticed the most was the smells that made their way to me throughout the trip to Edmonton.  The first half hour I smelled vomit.  The guy across the aisle kept belching really loud and they were quite stinky too.  As were his farts.  Then I thought everyone was drinking on the bus because someone would walk by me and I would smell alcohol.  Turns out it was the hand sanitizer from the bathroom.  Good for them for being so clean.  At least I knew they washed their hands after they did their business.

The smell that started half way there and never really went away came from a cup of coffee that a woman behind me spilled which proceeded to go downhill where Carly’s backpack was directly in its path.  Carly was already so stressed out at this point she went over the edge for a bit.  She cried over her Vans backpack and her new toiletries bag inside, now reeking of and dripping with coffee.  The lady felt so bad and mopped up everything with toilet paper.  Then there wasn’t any TP for the bathroom.  Finally the driver found some.  Whew.

feetMy legs and feet swelled up so much it was ridiculous.  I have a history of blood clots and made sure I walked around whenever we had a stop.  My feet hurt so much throughout the trip.  The swelling never really went away.

When we got there, after 18 hours on the bus and with barely any sleep, we still went shopping.  I could barely walk and would send Carly into a store while I would find a bench to sit on and rest. I had to buy a sweater because it wasn’t summer in Edmonton.  Fall weather had hit and I was in shorts and tank tops.  I was miserly with money and was so glad to find a pretty good one for only $10.  Carly must have spent over $300 the first day.   Her money not mine.

I slept so good that night and was out like a light before 9 pm.  I loved the pillows.  Our hotel was nicer than I expected.  I used booking.com and found a pretty good deal.  I give it 3-4 stars.

We hit so many stores.  There were so many people, especially on Saturday.  It was almost impossible to get through some of the aisles as they were clogged with crazy shoppers.

Saturday at the Mall!

Saturday at the Mall!

Friday was my birthday and another day of shopping was planned.  I got some great deals just telling people it was my birthday.  My new fella had given me a card with strict instructions not to open it until my birthday and I actually obeyed.  It was one of the first things I did when I woke up.  Open it I mean.  Lo and behold it had money in it!  With more strict orders (he seems to be a little bossy) to spend it frivolously on myself.  So I bought Body Shop stuff, which I never buy because it’s too expensive.  Because it was my birthday I got free hand lotion thrown in.

Carly spoiled me rotten on my birthday.  She paid for all the meals and cabs and bought me a beautiful forever scarf which was handy on the way home in the air-conditioned bus.  She paid for more than half the food on the trip and half the cab fares.  Almost every time I looked at her she had her bank card out.  She was so patient with me and my sore feet, as long as she knew where I was.  Thank goodness for texting and cell phones.

I noticed a lot of things that makes Edmonton different from Winnipeg, besides the mall.  The noise is unbelievable and overwhelming. We had to shout to each other most of the time at the mall.  Everybody goes really fast there too.  Cars and people.  Some of the fashions I saw I haven’t seen here, at least not yet.  AND I didn’t see one butt crack when people were sitting down.  In Winnipeg you can count on seeing several in any food court, on the bus or even just walking around.  I didn’t see one and that made me happy.

Leaving Edmonton was very different then leaving Winnipeg.  For one thing there was absolutely no security check done.  This caused a whole new round of anxiety for Carly as now anyone could have a knife or a gun and cut off our heads.  No one did but even so the trip home was a nightmare.  For 20 hours we listened to a baby either screaming with misery or laughter, depending on her mood.  At least I had to listen, Carly had her iPod so she plugged into her music world and drowned it all out.  The baby rarely stopped and it was horrible.  When she did stop another would start.  There were 8 children on that bus under the age of 5.  One mom had 4.  Another mom had 2 and one of hers was the devil child who kept screaming.

This mom who had 4 children with her was amazing.  We were about to leave Edmonton when a man came running onto the bus looking for seats he said.  There weren’t that many, it was pretty full.  The driver announced that a family of 5 was coming on board at the last-minute and to be patient.  No problem.  Out the doorway I could see this tiny woman, maybe about 25 years old and 4 kids, ranging in age from 8 to 18 months, all holding something; pillows, blankets, books, bags of food.  They climbed on then the driver made ANOTHER announcement that these people had reserved seats so a lot of people had to shuffle around.   The dad then ran off the bus, yelling “love you kids!” and he was a blur going back into the depot.  The little family was in the back and we didn’t hear a peep out of them.

We had a layover in Saskatchewan and these kids totally entertained me.  They danced and sang and giggled and climbed and ran and hid.  All the while, their mother was calm, laughing along with them, getting them to settle down for only minutes at a time and not worrying too much when they started up again.  She spoke to them patiently and kindly and I could tell she does this all the time by the way the kids treated each other; the same.  She met my eyes and laughed telling me they only had 3 hours of sleep so they were really goofy.  I told her, “My dad used to say, It’s better than crying”.  She laughed more.  I could hear a little hysteria in it though.  She was so great.  She would crouch on the floor with them, rocking the youngest against her chest while talking softly to the others and feeding them apples and grapes.  How she could hold that position for so long boggled my mind.

(Carly hates my people watching.  She thinks I’m nosy.  What the heck else would I write about if I didn’t watch other people and what makes them do what they do?)

Meanwhile the other screaming kid was still screaming with the mom begging her not to cry.  The dad did nothing; he just looked mad.  I know the child was tired and they were on a long trip but it was really hard to take by hour 15 of the 20 hour trip.  By the time we got home, I wanted to kiss the ground.

We had a delay before we left Alberta.  A young woman was hanging out with some of the younger guys on the bus, taking smoke breaks with them, etc.  These young men always smelled like pot (SECURITY!).  Anyway, we made a quick stop in a small town and I walked by her where she was commenting to some of the other women (who also smoked) with some concern about how she was swelling up.  I wanted to show her my own feet but didn’t dare scare her.  We all got back on the bus and started off again when she left her seat and went to talk to the driver.  He turned around and took her to the hospital.  According to the guys she hung with, she had taken opiates and then one of the guys gave her something else which didn’t react well with her.  We had to leave her there in the middle of nowhere, hopefully in good care.

I totally had a good time although in pain. Tylenol Arthritis was my best friend.  I’m pretty proud of myself but not totally surprised I could do it.  I had to be a good mom to Carly, who was anxious a lot of the time and keep her calm from her day-mares.  Never mind the hundreds of people or the guy who wanted to give me a makeover and wouldn’t give up, even when he saw me later and practically chased me.  I handled it.  I did good.  It’s taking me a few days to recover from the overload and the swelling but I’m just about there.

I’m still not sure about social situations though.  This was very impersonal as I didn’t have to interact with many people.  Just doing this trip and knowing, even if I am anxious about it, I can breathe through it and continue on.  I don’t know what the future holds but it sure looks good from here.  Going into big crowds like that was amazing and overwhelming at the same time.  We kept it simple; using cabs to get to the mall and back.  We didn’t do any sightseeing at all.  The fear of getting lost is still too strong.

Would I do it again?  Not on a bus.  No way on a bus.  I would fly for sure.

My world just got bigger.

I Need Naps


This week I finally had the chance to do a decent grocery shop.  And I went with my girl, Carly.  We haven’t been shopping together in close to a year.

It seemed that I could never get the shopping quite right; Carly wanted “healthy” things.  Well, so do I but our versions of “healthy” are two different ideas.  I had to teach her about balance and budget.  Since she was complaining so much I made her come with me.

So there we were with a borrowed van at the store and a good wad of cash.  I needed prescriptions and headed to the pharmacy while sending her to the fruit and vegetable section.  While my prescriptions were getting filled we met up again and started cruising up and down the aisles. I don’t usually cruise but I had a list too.

We agreed on some things that didn’t have much to do with food.  The most challenging was a new razor.  Ours was gross already so we agreed to buy a new one.  I was checking out the ladies and Carly insisted we get a men’s razor style.  I wasn’t too sure about that until she found a weird shaped one.  She was reading the package and exclaimed “It has a battery!?”  That perked my interest and it was only $7 on sale, half price.  Carly said she didn’t think we should get it as we probably were too technically challenged to use it.  It had an attached trimmer for heaven’s sake.  That must explain the battery, right?

I ignored her and got the last 2.  She has no faith.

Then it was groceries…she read every label on every box or container of food and exclaiming in a horrified voice every time; “OMG the sodium! …the saturated fat!…the CARBS!” and would quickly put the item back on the shelf.  I would pick it back up again horrifiedand show her what we had to do to make a balanced meal.  She had to realize it was OKAY to have fat, sodium and carbs to a certain degree especially since my cart was full of fruit and veggies too.  We picked up whole grains as alternatives to what we would normally buy.  We also bought a little more organic fresh food as well.  It was all starting to come together.

I must say, shopping with her took twice as long (at least) and three times the cost.  I’m just lucky we  had the money for this trip.  I asked her if she saw how much it cost us and she said she did and was shocked at how much we have to pay to eat healthy.  I warned her that, on our normally very limited budget, this shopping trip would rarely be like this.

I’ll let you in on a little secret though…I did manage to sneak in my Cheez Whiz.  🙂

Boy, I had my exercise this week too.  I’ve been looking after my oldest granddaughter while my youngest granddaughter gets her eating habits in order.  I swear I’ve never been so tired.  It’s a really good tired though.  I go to bed before 11:00 (!!!) and get up for 8:00 am.  Amazing.  And she  has me running.  Running after her, ahead of her, beside her and with her.  In between we watch inane children shows that make me get ridiculous songs stuck in my head which have replaced the songs we played for my Dad while he was on his death-bed.  I don’t know which is worse.

We also nap.  Grandma needs her nap.IMG_0985

So a good week all around. Thank you to all who gave me their support the last couple of weeks.  I really appreciate it as it had to one of the worse times in my life.  I don’t feel as alone as I did.  I feel better being busy and productive.

Until next time….

A Good Week…


Well, this was a good week.  I’ve discovered a few more things about myself, some of which I have to face and get a handle on.  Most though, were good or,  at least, good enough.

I finally started walking outside as the weather has been cooperating and the ground has dried up nicely.  I think this is the main reason for my good moods.  shoesExercise is so important for one with bi polar as it helps to even out everything.  I found myself becoming bored at home for, really, the first time in over a year.  Thinking about my future brings a dose of reality.  Dr. G and I are talking more and more about finding work.  I keep imagining myself in a tiny bachelor apartment after Carly turns 18 (1 more year!).

She and I have been talking about her post secondary schooling.  She is eligible for so many scholarships and bursaries as well as student loans.  Hopefully she’ll be able to stay living with me when she goes to school but she’s not so sure what she wants to do yet.  Take a year off, move out with a friend or stay home and go to school.  So many decisions she has to make and it’s so great to have so many choices.

Now for a change of subject…I’ve always known I have an addictive personality.  I don’t mean people get addicted to me although, hmm.  Nah, that’s not what I smoking-PAmean.  It’s like when I used to smoke like a chimney until I quit in 1987.  I quit while I was pregnant with my boy too but started again right away.  Wow, I smoked a lot, more than 2 packs a day sometimes.  I loved everything about it and, as I said in other posts, I still dream I smoke almost every night.  Booze was a problem too at different times in my life. I pretty much stay away from it now.  I smoked weed in the latter part of high school and as a young adult until I was pregnant with my son in 1985 then never touched it again.  It was hard to quit so if people try to tell you there are no withdrawal symptoms from marijuana, they’re lying to you.

My ongoing battle has been with food since I turned about 20.  Food is always there.  One needs food to survive.  It’s starting to get bad again mostly because I live next to a 7-11 and they have everything that’s not so good for me.  I’m making super-bad decisions when it comes to food.  Chocolate is my weakness and diet Pepsi.  Chips for supper sometimes.  They’re cheap and filling.  The nights with chips are the nights my daughter eats at work so I don’t feel so guilty.  I never figured I was an emotional eater because when things are bad I just can’t eat.  It’s when things arefood pyramid going well I eat more and badly.  I guess that would qualify as emotional too.  I need strength to get through this.  I don’t want to gain weight after losing so much.  Dr. G is thinking it might be the new medication I’m taking at night to help me fall asleep.  Although I’m on a really low dose one of the side affects is weight gain.  I’ll be watching.

My mom’s cooking was pretty basic and good most of the time but sometimes kind of dangerous as she wasn’t too careful with health standards; leaving pots of soup or stews on the stove for days and serving them to us; meat left on the counter for way too long and some stuff just tasted bad you know? We all got the “Grand Beach Flu” at the same time and it was usually after her “Grand Beach Stew”.  I love her dearly but not the bugs that were in the flour that went into the gravy or the stuffing or the cakes or whatever.  I survived though and I’m sure it was why I was so skinny until I moved out.

I did so well with money this week.  It helped that the government sent out our quarterly GST refund so there was more money to work with.  I actually had food in the pantry and the fridge and still had money in my wallet by the time Child Tax Credit came in.  What a great feeling buying a bus pass and veggies and fruit for my girl who looks in the fridge and says, “Wow”.

My plan is to walk every day for at least 1/2 hour and increase it.  I need to invest in a good pair of runners as Carly and I are sharing mine right now (!).  I know.

She needs them for work and I need them for volunteering so one of us is using them all the time.  Hopefully at the end of the month I can get another pair for her.  My shoes are actually too big for her.  She’s a size smaller than me.

Shoes I should be getting...

Shoes I should be getting…

So the plan is to walk, eat better and get new shoes.  Those are pretty good goals for a week…

Shoes I want...

Shoes I want…

 

Trying Out The Soapbox


There was a very hurtful comment on Facebook the other day and this would have been from one of my “friends” since those are the only posts I see.  Then I heard another, similar one from someone I know who probably didn’t realize the message I was going to get.  I think the aim might have been to give me a “kick in the ass”?  I am feeling rather on the defensive side so this will come out sounding like it.  I apologize in advance but only for sounding defensive, not for what I want to say.  I’m not one to give my opinion as I usually fear it would be “wrong” but I’m learning in many cases, there is no such thing.

Many readers know that I’ve been on medical disability (part of the Employment and Income Assistance Program) through the provincial government for the last year for bi polar disorder that has been going up and down with its hold on me over the course of several years. This time it’s so I don’t rush back into working sooner than I should as I had done in the past.  I get a very, very modest income that is supposed to cover my rent, utilities and food.  Luckily I’m also covered for my medications and I get bus tickets so I can get to my medical appointments.  I am so grateful for this income, you no idea.

I’m not “lazy” or trying to rip off the government.  I am truly not able to work and have spent the last year trying to get my life to make sense, to find the focus and strength to go on for my family so I can find my way back to some kind of work, earn money and a source of pride.  It takes so much effort just to write these words because it uses energy and organization I just don’t have yet (as a matter of fact I rewrote that last line 12 times).  I was telling my friend today about how I long for the days when I could open my mouth and out would come words and ideas filled with imagination and intelligence and people looked and listened to me with respect.  Most of what I get now are some strange looks from family and friends as I, yet again, try to convey information that proves to be false or terribly mixed up or I wonder if I’m spitting on them while I’m talking.

Yeah, I’m having a hoot spending the government’s money to live in poverty.  I don’t smoke, I don’t buy booze, I don’t do recreational drugs of any kind and I don’t have a car.  It’s been a real easy way to lose more weight; goodbye to 7 more pounds thanks to the meals of crackers or whatever was leftover from whatever I made Carly for the past several days while waiting for my child tax credit cheque.  None of it exactly nutritious, excuse me for that as well please.  But she was fed.  When the cheese gets mouldy and the milk goes sour and it’s still days away from that cheque, you make do.

I so much want to work again. No one would or could ever want to do this if one could help it.  No amount of budgeting or whatever it is people think it is that someone like me is supposed to do with “all that money” will stretch it any further than it can already go.  There are no extras.  Cough medicine when I was sick? It costs money. Toilet paper costs more than $10 for crying out loud! It’s a very good thing only one of us bleeds once a month now or I don’t know how that would work.soapbox

I challenge anyone to live on $30 a day (including rent, utilities, food and any miscellaneous payments you may have, in other words for everything) for an extended period of time and, hey, get back to me about how it goes.

What started all this besides the snide comments?  I wanted to give my daughter a great 17th birthday party.  It’s been such a tough year and she’s still doing amazing at school and gives me no cause for concern like most teenaged girls her age.  I had to drastically change our plans for her birthday because of our situation.    Oh, I know it might not be a big deal for most people if they do or birthday cakedon’t go to a nice restaurant for dinner.  This was something SHE asked for specially and she doesn’t ask for very much.  Ever.  I hated the look of disappointment on her face when I finally told her there wasn’t going to be any way I could take her now.  No matter how much planning or budgeting I do I can’t justify spending that kind of money.  It really means not eating for the rest of the month or no toilet paper or no to many things.  She, of course, being the darling daughter she is, took it fine, saying it was okay but I felt my heart break for her knowing what she wasn’t showing me.  I hope to do better by her for next year when she turns that magical 18!

So that’s enough about how poor I am.  It’s not just about me.  The Manitoba government just announced its budget for the coming year and is giving an increase to Social Assistance rent benefits of about $50 to $70 a month.  https://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/commentary/manitoba-budget-leap-forward-poverty-reduction .  I think this is a step in the right direction and still nowhere near being close to reality in Manitoba’s housing crisis.

I hear a lot of people cry out that everyone on welfare should be drug tested.  Oh my god what a message.  The majority of people, and I’m included in that group, are doing the best they can in a, hopefully, temporary situation.  These include persons with disabilities which also include people with addictions, like it or not.  The funding for helping this unique group of persons is almost non-existent.  That circle needs to be broken.

I never, ever thought I would ever need to go to  welfare but I can tell you that if it wasn’t there, where would I be?  It wasn’t all that easy to get either.  You don’t just walk in the door and say you can’t work.  There’s criteria that blew me away and I was aghast I met them all.

So give people on Assistance, Welfare, or whatever it’s referred to where you live, a break for a little while.  No one likes being poor.  Everyone likes having support and their pride intact.  I know I do.

Be part of the solution and use your voice to make it better.  And talk louder when you do.

I’ll be listening.

Thanks.

Stupid Brain


Hello Brain! What the hell is up with this crap lately? Here I’ve been bragging about how great I’ve been doing and today nothing seems to be working on all circuits! stupid brainWake up! Focus! Be my best friend again!

I don’t understand what happened.  I feel exhausted; so tired I fall asleep in my chair.  Last night my body physically HURT.  I had headaches.  My neck and back were so stiff I could hardly move.  I think even the old ladies at the personal care home where I volunteer could have outrun me without even trying!  Today I was shaking so bad I had to use my arm to hold my other arm still so I could drink from a glass.  Eating with a fork or spoon was not happening either. This is a lovely side effect that hasn’t reared its ugly head in quite a while.  It’s quite embarrassing when I’m in public which, of course, I was.

There’s been a fog around me for a couple of days and I’m hoping it will only last a short time.  I know part of it has to do with my frustrations with finances and settlements with the ex that STILL hasn’t happened although that seems to finally be coming together.  I tried to do an Excel worksheet to keep track of what I pay and owe and when to pay everything but I ended up using my pen and paper and drawing columns and making a big mess and now there is no TV!  ARGH!!

My Dr. G and I talked on Wednesday.  Well, I talked and he listened.  The more I Dr Gtalked the more all the frustration came out: parenting a teen and an adult son, facing some of my social phobias, and the situation with food or lack there of. There were a whole lot of other things that came up that I didn’t expect.  My chest hurt after that session.

I just want to feel better again.  I know I will.

It looks like I’ll have to walk to my volunteer job (2.9 km or 36 min walk according to Google Maps) all next week.  Hopefully the wind chills will be decent. Weird how Social Services works…they encouraged me to volunteer but won’t give me bus fare to get there!

Anyhow, this is a venting post (boo hoo poor me) and there is nothing anyone sorrycan do about anything although a lovely friend is going to come over and look through my freezer and we will cook some things I hope the girl will like.

So I’ll post again next week and I’m sure I’ll be right back to my sunny self again.  Along with having Viking calves from all the walking. And I’ll write shorter sentences.

viking calvesPeace and love.

A Day In My Life (Part One)


What a day this was (Friday).  It went kind of all over the place and it made me stop and think, and sometimes in places where I shouldn’t have stopped at all.

I started my new volunteer job this morning!  That was pretty great.  I had to get up early, which was tough because I’m into the last 200 pages of Stephen King’s almost 1200 pages of “The Stand” and it’s really hard to put down.  So after reading for over and hour and a half, until 3:00 AM, I determinedly set my alarm for 8:00 AM, which, by the way, is the earliest I’ve been up for a long time.

Well morning came and the alarm went off when it was supposed to.  I should hair productsknow better than to try to reason with a sleepy brain at 8:00 AM; it doesn’t work.  I reset my alarm for 8:30, thinking my bus surely won’t come until 9:30 and I can just put more hair products in my hair in lieu of a shower.

So, like a good little soldier, up I got at 8:30 and checked the bus times again.  Nope.  The time in my head was wishful thinking,  I had 25 minutes to eat and get ready and take my morning meds then run the 2 blocks to the bus stop.  Mad panic ensued.  lucky2My cat watched me in wonder while looking pointedly at her full food dish.  She likes to be petted while she eats.  It’s an anxiety thing.

It was the first beautiful morning in ages.  -1C and with the wind chill it only felt like -8.  So I figured I would not have to dress in so many heavy layers of clothes this time.

The bus was late.  A LOT late was that bus.  I even ran half of the 2 blocks to catch it on time.  Well, I think of it as running. It sure felt like running.  The wind seemed to be picking up as well.

I made it to the hospital where I volunteer and got ready to have coffee time with the “girls” for the first time.  Well, there were a couple of guys there too.  I love working with the elderly.  They were all smiles this day, even the grumpy ones apparently.  Tarts for tea today.

We spent the next hour and a half having coffee and tea and goodies while tea partyanother volunteer told jokes she found on the internet and yet another brought out his guitar and sang some songs.  I tell you, these people know how to chair dance!  The volunteer promised to play again next week.  Then it was time to clean up and go home.

I figured it was such a nice day I would wait at the bus stop instead of staying inside for 10 minutes.  Funny thing…was that wind getting colder?  It was definitely colder.  And stronger. And it was snowing really hard.

I made it home and had a nap.  Nice morning all around.

After the nap the ex brought me some of the child support which I planned to use almost all for groceries.  So now the bus to Wal-Mart.  The weather was worse than before.  It was freezing cold.  My fingers and my nose were numb in 2 minutes.  And the bus was 11 minutes late.  Then 13.  I guess it was travelling backwards.

A cold walk to the bank.  I climbed over snowdrifts up to my knees in some snow driftsplaces.  I fell twice.  I ran in front of traffic not wanting to stand on a windy corner any longer than I had to.  Then an even colder walk to Wal-Mart.  The sidewalks had been plowed though.  I wish there were heated bus shacks along the way.  This is Winnipeg.  There should be.

But once I got there I happily shopped, not realizing the money I had been really not that much.  shoppingTo me it seemed like a fortune but once I got to the cashier I was getting that feeling in the pit of my stomach that I made a  big mistake.  There were so many items on the belt I realized there was no way I could cover them all.  The cashier would tell me what amount we were up to and I was prioritizing items desperately.  Yes we needed meat.  Yes we needed milk and eggs and cheese and peanut butter.  Yes we needed veggies and bread.  I kept taking things out of bags and the patient cashier would take them off the bill.  I was red in the face and feeling rather faint with embarrassment.  I was so close to tears.  I apologized to the woman behind me for taking so long.  She was fine with it although the man behind her swore at me and went to another line.

Finally the tally came up with more than half of what I wanted to buy still sitting apart from my payitforwardbagged items.  I was paying, still on the verge of crying and holding it in nicely when I felt a hand on my shoulder.  I turned to see the woman who was behind me in line.  She leaned in close and whispered that she hoped I wouldn’t be offended but she wanted to buy me some of the items I couldn’t get.  Then there were tears on my face and told her how grateful I would be and promised to pay it forward.  She spent $16 so my girl and I could have toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner as well as a few other things.

I was embarrassed but so blown away by her kindness.  I know I’ve done that for strangers, mostly just a dollar or two, and more back when I was working.  The saying “What goes around, comes around” is perfectly true.  I wish for that woman to have the best year of her life.  The things she bought me aren’t so kindnessimportant but her actions touched me.  She is a truly kind and unselfish person.

I did get all the important items though.  I expect more money this coming week so I’ll be more rational when I shop then.

I made it through the day.  Again, as I usually say, I always do.  🙂

PS.  I know the title of this post says Part One.  I’m not sure if I can finish part two.  I wanted to have it for Mental Health Awareness Day on January 28 and it’s hard to write.  I’m digging deeper into my psyche lately and finding things that I want to ignore.  Hopefully I can put some order to it and share it with readers.  I might be a little late though.

Peace and love.