Tag Archives: writng

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.

🙂

 

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.

Looking Back, Pushing Forward


I’ve been reading some of the posts on my blog and have been learning a lot about myself.  There’s a little button I push that says “Random Post” and I click on it and get a different one every time.  Some of them are just hilarious and I’m so surprised with my sense of humour and how “on” I can be, even during difficult times.  There are posts where I can see how far the progress my thought process has become and the circle upon circles I’ve lived and survived within my world.  So even though I think I might be falling behind I can see I’m progressing and learning just like I should.reading blogs

I love the ones with my kids.

Some of my favourites aren’t necessarily the post itself, but the comments I’ve received.  So supportive, kind and so giving, They mean the world to me.  These are people who take the time out to express what my writing means to them.

Two posts that stand out, because they were written during one of the most awful times in my life are here and here.  Reading them again has really showed me how far I’ve come; the realization and seeing the journey of accepting myself with bipolar is really happening. The comments in both are what helped to keep me going.

Some that made me laugh out loud, even now, are here and here and here.

To me, two of the most meaningful posts I’ve written: here because it still moves me to tears that I could express my feelings and it was about my Dad and here because I first told a huge part of my story.

I feel bad that some of my earlier posts have been deleted when WordPress took over from MySpace and these were lost in the transfer.  I won’t get them back but I will just keep writing new ones!

There are others, of course, but the ones I picked will take a while to read or re-read if you would like to.  I would love to know which posts have been standouts for you.

Google to the Rescue!


I subscribe to Plinky (http://www.plinky.com/), which gives prompts for writers/bloggers who are stuck or just want some practice with their writing.  I was really stuck tonight so, after several failed attempts to write SOMETHING, (Carlyandfood, mycathadseizuresthisweek) I checked out some of them.  The one I picked was “What was the last thing you searched for online?  Why were you looking for it?”olympic google

One of the things I was looking up on Google in preparation for my post tonight was Agoraphobia.  One of my blogging buddies, Kim LaRocque, over at http://www.museinthevalley.com/ writes about it quite a bit, both on her website and her Facebook page. Excellent site by the way.  I encourage you to check it out.

I wanted to find out what it means clinically, always believing I had the symptoms.  A partial definition from Wikipedia says agoraphobia:

is an anxiety disorder characterized by anxiety in situations where the sufferer perceives certain environments as dangerous or uncomfortable, often due to the environment’s vast openness or crowdedness. These situations include, but are not limited to, wide-open spaces, as well as uncontrollable social situations such as the possibility of being met in shopping malls, airports, and on bridges.

No, it just didn’t sound right.  I have had a few panic attacks but they’re not what’s described by Wikipedia. I’ve mentioned them in some of my past posts on this blog.  I fear going to new places for sure but that’s the fear of getting lost.  Which I do.  A lot.  Oh, I guess it’s true then that this can make me anxious, but I don’t think I get panic attacks per se.  Any panic attack I’ve had seems to be associated with bi-polar disorder more than anything else. It comes with paranoia and its grip on me and that makes things hard to understand or control.  I can agree, though,  I don’t like the idea of meeting anyone I know in public and avoid it desperately.  Mostly because of my hair.  I can’t wait for it to grow out. I don’t like crowds but don’t really get panicked over them.  At one time I did but not for years now so shopping at Superstore is a breeze.  I just don’t like them and try to stay away from them.

So I dug a little deeper and found the symptoms for Social Anxiety Disorder on the Canadian Mental Health Association’s (BC) website digging(http://www.cmha.bc.ca/get-informed/mental-health-information/social-anxiety-disorder) seems to fit a whole lot better:

People with social anxiety disorder feel very nervous and uncomfortable in social situations like meeting new people. Or they might feel very anxious when they have to do something in front of other people, like talking in a meeting. Some people feel very anxious in both situations.

People with social anxiety disorder often feel like they will say or do the wrong thing. Or they might think that other people will look down on them and think poorly of them because they’re “strange” or “stupid.” It’s important to know that adults with social anxiety disorder recognize that they feel too anxious, but they may not be able to control it.

Some people may have a panic attack or feel some physical signs of anxiety when they’re facing a social situation. Common physical signs of anxiety include stomach aches, shallow breathing, sweating or feeling hot flashes, feeling like your heart is racing, feeling tightness in your chest, feeling tense and feeling shaky. 

Social anxiety disorder can have a very negative effect on your well-being and quality of life. The disorder can cause a lot of problems in your relationships with partners, family and friends. It can also seriously affect your school or work life. You may avoid certain careers or fields of study, avoid contributing your ideas, turn down promotions, drop out of school or take many days off because you feel so anxious.  Some people with social anxiety disorder fear one or just a few specific social situations. Others fear a wide range of social situations.

I highlighted the information which rang home to me.  It was incredible to see it all there in black and white, describing ME. I think a lot of people who’ve known me for most of my life will agree as well.  I can’t remember a time when I didn’t anxiety girlfeel like this, speak about myself like this, having some good days and some bad including when I was a child. I realize now the feeling of ugliness and worthlessness might not just be because of the abuse I survived but it may have lived within me before that time or manifested itself because of it.  I guess to some degree it could be both.  I doubt I’ll ever know the answer to that one.

It interferes with so much of my life including my family and that’s happening more and more lately.  In the past, anything social I had to attend I would long for a drink or would head to the food table, to take the edge off, to relax. I was invisible because I wanted to be?  Maybe. What the  hell happened to me?

Now I just don’t socialize very much.

I barely leave the apartment…I got out three times in almost 2 weeks and that was yesterday and today to buy food and last Sunday to take my cat to the emergency hospital.  It’s been like that always; invariably finding a reason not to go somewhere or putting it off for as long as possible.  I’ve lost friends, work friends and acquaintances and my kids think I’m lazy and unable to form complete sentences and say I’m “too sensitive”.

This is ridiculous. I know this is fixable.  Everything I’ve read assures me of this.  When I see Dr. G this Wednesday we can get a plan going with support and self-help material.  I just need the skills to become the person I was meant to be.  Better late than never.get out of jail

This has to be the best day for me to discover all this as I was getting pretty discouraged with my relationships with my kids. I’ve been having trouble being a mom to them in many ways, isolating myself from them too.  I’ve been too scared to open my mouth for fear of sounding like an idiot.  There I go.  See?

I actually feel better now, knowing that I’m not all that weird.  Apparently this is one of the most common fears in the phobia business.  So there will be lots of help out there.

Peace.

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.

2013 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,400 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.