Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Survey for 2009 (thanks to Stef)

1. Will you be looking for a new job in 2009?
No. I'd like to get back to writing, though. And I'm hoping my disability claim will be settled sometime this year.

2. Will you be looking for a new relationship?
No; I'm happy in the relationship I'm in.

3. New house?
I really doubt it. Unless the economic climate changes drastically or by some miracle we become gazillionaires, we couldn't afford a new house. And then we'd probably build one, anyway.

4. What will you do differently in '09?
Try to be more gentle with myself and not beat myself up so much.

5. New Year's resolution?
I don't make them, as I never keep them.

6. What will you not be doing in '09?
One specific thing? Going back to school. I have no desire ever to do that again!

7. Any trips planned?
If we manage to get out of our economic hole and save up enough money, we're planning on going back to Michigan for a family reunion. But that seems unlikely to happen at this point in time.

8. Wedding plans?
Already happily married!

9. What's on your calendar?
Mostly Dr.'s appointments!

10. What can't you wait for?
To have enough money to get by without constantly relying on our families for help.

11. What would you like to see happen differently?
I'd like to quit smoking this year, as I failed to do last year, but I don't know if I'll do any better at it in 2009 than I did in 2008.

12. What about yourself will you be changing?
My attitude towards myself, I hope.

13. What happened in '08 that you didn't think would ever happen?
Our beloved cat, Gwion Bach, was killed in our own back yard by two wandering dogs. I never thought it would happen in our own back yard.

14. Will you be nicer to the people you care about?
(stolen from Stef!) I hope I will continue to be nice to them, and if I am nicer that would
be good.

15. Will you dress differently this year than you did in '08?
I haven't dressed much differently since I was a teenager so I highly doubt it!

16. Will you start or quit drinking?
Nope. I don't drink now and the medication I'm on makes it impossible for me to start.

17. Will you better your relationship with your family?
I keep trying.

18. Will you do charity work?
I will continue to volunteer for the radio station I'm already a volunteer at.

19. Will you go to bars?
No. There are only two in town and I wouldn't really be interested in going to either of them.

20. Will you be nice to people you don't know?
I always try to treat everyone with whom I come into contact with at least common courtesy, if not a little more.

21. Do you expect 2009 to be a good year for you?
I really hope it is!

22. How much did you change from this time last year till now?
Not much :P

23. Do you plan on having a child?

24. Will you still be friends with the same people you are friends with
I hope so.

26. Will you be moving?
Not likely.

27. What will you make sure doesn't happen in '09 that happened this
I intend to make sure we don't lose another cat the way we lost Gwion Bach--all our kitties are indoor-only now.

28. What are your New Years Eve plans?
Stay in, order pizza and watch DVDs.

29. Will you have someone to kiss at midnight?
Yes, but we may not make it to midnight, being the old fogies that we are!

30. Wish for 2009?
I wish for so many things that I can't even begin to list them here. Maybe in blog entries along the way I'll make some of my wishes known to all of you.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Facebook Meme--20 trivial facts

Here's something that's going around Facebook and several of the forums I frequent.

20 trivial facts about me:

1. I love lobster but I can't stand the way they stare at you. So I rarely order it even when I get a chance.

2. I have never eaten dim sum and I have no idea what pho even is.

3. I love to eat.

4. I used to love to cook but lately I don't have the energy or the concentration to do elaborate things in the kitchen.

5. I have a LOTR Galadriel ring that my sweetie gave me for Yule several years ago. I never have the chance to wear it though.

6. I think Reubens should be made with Pastrami and Russian dressing, not corned beef and thousand island.

7. I love computer adventure games.

8. I have fairy blood from some Welsh ancestor way back.

9. My office is a mess.

10. My house is covered in cat hair.

11. I love eggs Benedict.

12. I think keeping this blog is really a pain in the arse.

13. I think I have the best relationship with my husband anyone has ever had.

14. I don't like to see movies in theatres. I would just as soon wait for the DVD.

15. Batman is way cooler than Superman.

16. I found my best friend from High School on Facebook this year and I was really afraid she wouldn't want to be in touch with me at all because some bad stuff went down between us way back then. But it's turned out to be a good experience for both of us.

17. I regularly dream about dead people and then wake up wondering if I've got it all wrong and they're still alive.

18. I used to read about five books a week but now I find it hard to concentrate on reading at all :(

19. I didn't think I would like RPG games but I tried them and I do.

20. I am still bitter about things that happened to me when I was younger and I don't know if I'll ever get over them.

So there you have it. 20 trivial fact about me that may let you know me better.

Monday, December 29, 2008


I was doing so well. Okay, for a week I was doing well. My therapist and I had set up a plan for me to follow, so I could get a little done every day without feeling too overwhelmed. And I was actually able to stick to it. For, as I said, about a week.

Then came the holidays. With their frantic preparations--yes, even in this economically distressed time we had some preparations--and their manic cooking sprees and building of gingerbread houses and what have you. And I got off track.

And now I find myself stuck again. Mired. Swamped.

And on top of it, a bad case of the post holiday blues. Some bad things happened--our refrigerator died, for one thing. And though M.'s parents were kind enough and generous enough to take us to Sears and buy us a new one, well, I can't get over the fact that all these disasters seem to keep hitting us below the belt. (I also feel so guilty that we keep needing them to support us and we can't do it ourselves, but truly M. has looked everywhere for work and there is none to be found. Really none.)

And we had no money to buy gifts for one another let alone anyone else. we couldn't even send cards.

I don't care about receiving gifts so much, but giving them means a lot to me.

And we are seriously overdrawn at the bank and all our bills are coming in and I haven't paid my psychiatrist in goddess knows how long...I can't take the stress of having no money much longer. In fact, I had a total breakdown in M.s lap the other night--not just about money, but about everything. I'm tired. I'm tired of following this stupid diet but being too afraid of being fat to go off of it. I'm tired of being hungry all the time. I'm tired of being poor. I'm tired of being depressed. So many things. Tired of being stressed. Tired of being tired.

I say I can't take the stress of having no money much longer but what am I supposed to do about it? i wish I could just break into a million tiny pieces. But I've never been any good at that--always too controlled--and now the meds make it damn near impossible. No: really impossible. Even when I was having my total breakdown the other night I couldn't really cry. I hate that.

Everything is going to hell in a handbasket. And I can't cry.

Oh, feck this.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

8 Days of Happiness--Day 8

On this last day of this meme, I can't really think of anything to be happy about except that it is over! Most days it's been very difficult for me to think off things to be happy about and I've had to scrape and scrounge in my mind for them--which I guess might be the point. That you can come up with things to be happy about even when you're not feeling insanely happy about anything.

I suppose I should be happy that tomorrow is Yule, a festive occasion. But it seems so bleak this year, with the inability to give gifts to the people we love. At least we'll have our goose dinner. I guess I'm happy about that. I always look forward to it, at any rate.

But there's so much work to do and I am feeling overwhelmed right now, so much so that I'm already having an anxiety attack although I haven't done anything yet.

Oh, M. thought this morning that our fridge had died overnight and it hadn't, so I'm VERY happy about that. With everything else, replacing a refrigerator would be impossible at the moment.

I'm happy for relative health and the friends I've met and got back into contact with on the internet. It's nice in this holiday season to receive cards from them, even if I can't afford to send any in return.

I'm happy that today I don't seem to have a migraine although the weather is closing in. We'll see how that proceeds.

I guess I do have a few things to be happy about, even though I couldn't think of any at first. Now to get on with my day...

Friday, December 19, 2008

8 Days of Happiness--Day 7

I have a migraine today. It's hard to think of anything to be happy about when I have a migraine, but I'm going to try.

First of all, it could be worse. I used to get the kind of migraines that made me puke uncontrollably, but I haven't had one of those in a couple of years, thank the gods. Second, I used to get these every other week or so, with the kind of pain that lasted for days. For weeks in a month I was virtually incapacitated with pain. But since starting taking Depakote for my Bipolar, I haven't had nearly as many migraines. I found out later that neurologists often use Depakote to treat migraines and it seems to be working in my case. Third, the sun is out. This may mean that the storm front that was causing the migraine to begin with is passing and with it my pain will pass soon.

So, all things considered I'm not as bad off as I could be and that's good enough for me.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

8 Days of happiness--Day 6

It took me a long time to find anything to be happy about today. I felt really crumbossa all day, in fact. But now I am home from my radio show and I'm happy that I got through it. It wasn't even as hard as last week's show and I did a good job. Now I'm happy because I'm home in my jammies again and I have nothing to do until tomorrow, when we have tentative plans to do some holiday decorating and cleaning. I think that will make me feel good.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

8 Days of Happiness--Day 6

Today I am happy because I don't really have to do anything today, except play a game that M. and I started last night. I'm also happy because I had putting off playing this game for a long time for fear I wouldn't enjoy it, but I'm enjoying it quite a lot.

Too, M.'s meeting with a client about work, which means we money coming in soon. Phew!

Lastly, M. got his Praxis scores back and he passed everything. So I'm happy because he'll no longer be stressed about that.

Now, if only my computer keyboard would stop acting up...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

8 Days of Happiness--Day 5

Today I am happy because I had a productive therapy appointment and I didn't even cry too much.

Also, it snowed more during the night! Happy Winter, all.

Monday, December 15, 2008

8 Days of Happiness--Day 4

Today I am happy because last night it looked like we weren't going to be able to go to the movie after all because the car door wouldn't shut. We could have walked, I suppose, but it was freezing cold and icy and we were running late. Anyway, M. managed to fix the problem with a little WD-40 and so we got to go after all! The movie (Twilight) wasn't great--okay, but of course the book is always better. But I was proud of myself for going out at all. It's been a long time since we've seen a movie in a theatre.

I'm also happy because I got about 12 hours of sleep.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

8 Days of Happiness, Day Three: Genuinely Happy

Today, day three of this meme, I am inexplicably genuinely happy. True, a lot of things may have contributed to this state, but I have experienced the same things or combination of things before and still have not felt this good in a long time. Which makes me wonder, what is the source of happiness? Does it rely on events or experiences? Or does it have nothing to do with those things, being a simply ephemeral and inexplicable state by nature, dependent on nothing but an internal sense of rightness with the world?

What I am happy about today:

We had a nice evening with M.'s parents. It was an early one because there was a winter storm warning in effect and we didn't want to get caught away from home in the front. We ate chili from a can (too salty!) and built a gingerbread house from a kit and at lots of sweets and pie. I did not worry about my diet.

M. and I were both unable to sleep last night. We found ourselves in the kitchen at 3 a.m. making ramen. This seemed very romantic to me for some reason.

Despite the lack of sleep, I still woke up by nine and found we had indeed had our first real snowfall of the winter. It makes everything look so pretty. Now the sun is coming out and sparkling on the snow, making it look prettier still.

We went out to breakfast. I indulged myself with my favourite Eggs Benedict omelette. I ate everything, having already decided that today the diet was not going to be an issue.

We got Christmas money from both M.'s parents and my mom, making it possible to pay our mortgage and a few other bills. Big relief there.

We're going to the movie tonight.

I gave myself permission to be a Twilight geek and started reading it again. So what if it's geeky? It makes me happy.

I plan today, after writing this blog, to take a nap, read some more, eat leftover pot pie and go to the movie. I will possibly indulge in popcorn and snowcaps.

Is this acceptance? I don't know, but I feel genuinely happy and I'm grateful, whatever the cause or source.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

8 Days of Happiness--Day 2

Today I am happy because we're going to my in-laws' for dinner. It's just going to be chili out of a can, but it means I won't have to cook. And besides that, my in-laws are great, kind, loving and generous people and I like spending time with them.

we may even build a gingerbread house after dinner!

Friday, December 12, 2008

8 days of Happiness--Day 1

Here's a meme that another friend told me about: for the next eight days I will try to list a thing that I am happy about every day. This meme comes with a caveat for me. I don't really feel happiness. I feel gratitude, or relief or something like that. Happiness, real happiness seems beyond me at the moment. So maybe the title of this meme should be "8 Days of things that I know I should feel happy about."

Day one: I am happy that I have a loving and supportive husband who is there for me no matter what and constantly assures me that things will work out, that I can get through this state that I'm in and that things will be all right.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Well, my experiment with waking up at a set time every morning was a dismal failure. As you know if you read my last few blogs, it lasted a week and then I was so suicidal I didn't trust myself in the bathtub even with a safety razor to shave my legs. So M. made me promise to give that one up--a promise I was all too glad to make and even gladder to keep.

Which leaves me wondering where I am now and what my goals should be, if any.

An internet friend of mine recently mentioned to me that she had come to terms with her agoraphobia and that's not something she wants to challenge right now. I wonder if that's where I should be in my mind. Really, it doesn't seem all too bad to me, staying in the house and not getting out. When it seems bad is when I think of all the judgments that go along with it: how much of a burden I'm being to other people and how I "should" be getting out more and how even my therapist expresses concern at the tiny box I seem to live in. But this box is safe and warm and I don't know if I want to leave it.

Judgments: how I "should" clean my house better and how if I don't I'm a lazy slob and how I "should" get more exercise and how I "should" run my errands for myself. Burdens, burdens on others.

What if I just accepted where I am now?

But that leaves me with the hollowness. The long, joyless hours that stretch before me every day when I have nothing to do and nothing to put in them. That's the problem, as far as I can see. That's what keeps me from accepting. Not the "shoulds" so much as the emptiness. Other people have hobbies and crafts and things to keep them occupied, whether they're agoraphobic or not. I have none of those things any more. All the joy is gone.

What would it be like to get it back? The thought frightens me. Would that mean I had to do something with them? Be out in the world? My therapist urges me to think about these things without letting them mean anything at all, and I try, but I don't do too well at it. Everything I think of has implications. When I begin to want, I want it all, not just a piece. And the wanting it all is what frightens me most. It's not enough to want to play the flute, I must do something with it. It's not enough to want to crochet; it has to go somewhere. Make me a success at something. I can't see the little successes and let them build gradually into something larger. It's the bigger picture, always.

Now I'm getting overwhelmed and Onyx has come to sit in my lap. Both make it difficult to continue this.

I wish my therapist would call me back.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Sometimes it seems like it would take so little for me to be happy. Well, a big pile of money would help, but that's not what I mean. I mean, just trying. Just trying harder. It seems like all I should have to do is decide to be happy and then it would follow naturally from there. I would be able to play my flute, draw, dance and sing; keep my house up and go back to gardening all without thinking about it.

But it doesn't work that way. Every little thing takes thought. And every thought debilitates me.

(It doesn't help that the the cat is screaming at me and I don't know what she wants.)

I remember way back when. I was severely depressed then; I know I was. I was suicidal and cutting myself and crying every night. But still, there were things that made me happy. I could play music. I could listen to music. I could write. I could act in plays. Monty Python made me laugh. I could make it.

Now everything is the same uniform shade of grey. I don't know where the colour went.

It doesn't seem to make any sense to fight it. Why? When I don't get joy out of anything, what can I hope for except more work and frustration for no result?

I can imagine myself being happy. I can imagine that person--what she would look like. But getting to be that person seems so out of my reach. So forced. It seems the inevitable course of my downward spiral is already mapped out for me.

Socrates said, "Be what you would like to seem." Sounds simple and for years I practiced that in the good faith that it would lead me to becoming the person I want to be. It didn't work that way. Eventually I ended up back where I am now. Grey and depressed. Unable even to cry. It reminds me of being anorexic. I felt nothing. I cared for nothing. Everything was...beyond me. Except I cared for the weight loss and exercise then. Now not even that touches me.

I need to shave my legs but the thought of getting in the tub with even a safety razor frightens me right now.


I had a very bad day yesterday (if you read yesterday's blog you might see that this was coming...)

I had to call M. at the shop and ask him to come home to be with me because I was so bad off. Actually, the conversation went more like this:

M. "Do you need me to come home?"
Me: (wailing) "I don't know!"
M. "That means yes."

Then I ended up having a crying jag on his shoulder and saying stuff like, "I wish I were dead." Little stuff like that. The crying jag didn't last very long as I measure those things: only a couple minutes or so. But it was good to be able to cry at all.

To top it all off, my therapist didn't show for our appointment. This happens sometimes. It used to happen a lot more often and I got really upset about it then. But now, after six years, I've kind of accepted that these things happen and I just need to deal. She might have had an emergency with another client or one of her kids, or she might have got stuck on the other side of the mountains--it was snowing pretty heavily up there yesterday. I'm sure I'll find out about it later. The one thing that makes me a little annoyed is that it always seems that the times I most need to see her are the times when our appointments fall through for some reason.

Mostly I don't feel anything. And I still think she's the best therapist anyone could have and I'm fortunate to be able to see her, especially when I pay her so sporadically.

Today I am just Blah. A little of the anxiety still remains. M. asked me if I wanted him to stay with me and I dearly wanted to say yes. But I feel so guilty taking him away from the things I know he loves doing, and the things that may actually contribute to our financial well-being. I feel like a big useless lump.

I don't know if I'll be able to get dressed today. My hands are cold and shaking. I can't think farther ahead than the next second or two. I know I need to do things like bathe and clean the kitchen but it all seems so overwhelming.

I'm also sad that we won't be able to celebrate Yule this year. Our Yule celebrations have gotten smaller and smaller as time has gone by. I remember the first Yule M. and I had together--it was bad in a way because we were still living with the psycho ex-housemate and she made everything difficult. But we had a lovely dinner by candlelight and lit the Yule fire from the remains of the last year's Yule log and sat up all night with it, waiting for the sun to rise in the morning. When we moved to this side of the mountains, we tried to keep up the tradition, but it's been very hard. The Yule fire was the first to go, as none of the houses we've lived in have actually had fireplaces. Then we lost the tradition of doing everything by candlelight, as the cats had a bad tendency to set themselves on fire...what is it with cats and candles? Last year we traded down and got a tiny tree instead of a big one, in the hopes that the demon kitties wouldn't destroy it. They still did. So this year it looks as though we won't have a tree at all, even if we could afford one. And of course we can't afford gifts at all. This doesn't bother me so much, except that I love giving gifts. Picking out the precise right gift for a person has always been one of my favourite things about the season. I don't care so much about getting them.

The one thing I won't do without is my Yule goose. We priced them at the store the last time we were there and they're up to $55 for a 12 lb. bird--yikes! I guess that's where a lot of this month's food stamp money is going to go.

Well, I'm going to go see if I can get up the nerve to take a bath...that sounds so lame, but it's where I am.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Oh that's right...I'm supposed to be keeping up a blog...

I'm having a really bad day today.

It actually started yesterday. I was twitchy all day and then it settled down into deep depression around evening time. Now I am extremely depressed and anxious. My heart is palpitating and my hands are sweating on the keys. I feel like it's all I can do to keep breathing. I feel like I want to scratch my face until it bleeds, or scratch my eyes out with my fingernails, because that would be better than feeling the way I do: like a big cramp is in my belly and there's no release for it. Or like I'm trapped in a narrow box. Or maybe it's not a narrow box at all. Maybe I feel like the world is too big and threatening. I don't know how I feel, actually. Just that it's very bad.

Maybe it started when I saw my pdoc last week. He told me straight out that there was nothing more he could do for me medically, but that I had to start challenging the strictures I've put around myself. Set myself more of a routine and follow it. Find things to get me out of the house. And I think he's right to a degree. I've been a slacker. I have sunk down into the comforting quilt of depression and let it and the anxiety rule my life. But the thought of getting out is totally overwhelming to me. The thought of running my life by some clock brings me to tears. That, says my pdoc, is what my therapy should be focusing on.

I think of the things I would want to do if I wanted to do anything and I start screaming inside. It's that terrifying. I've been burned and I'm afraid. But the pdoc says it's time to come out of the burn unit and into the recovery ward, so to speak. he says that's what normal people do. They get burned and then they move on and it's not a big deal to them. Their lives aren't destroyed if they find themselves entangled with dysfunctional people and/or groups; they just disentangle themselves.

Of course, there are complications. The first one being that I'm NOT normal. I have a mental illness. Excuses, excuses. But it's true: I do have a mental illness and sometimes things that other people take for granted are just too overwhelming to me. I think about taking a bath today and I want to burst into tears. Sometimes it's all right once I get going: once I get into the bathtub or actually start doing whatever it was that had me afraid. It's the anticipation that drives me crazy. I don't know what that's about either.

There are other complications. One being, we live in such a small town I've already tried everything there is to try here and have not come out too well doing any of it. I don't like or trust any of the people here. I have no transportation to go anywhere else. Plus, I don't want to get into situations that might put me in proximity with the Toxic One. Is that so bad?

What would I want it I wanted anything? I would want to write again. I would want to play my flute and sing and dance. The thought of all that makes me want to throw up.

I am trying. I have started by setting my alarm every morning and getting out of bed by eight, instead of sleeping until ten or eleven. It just makes me see how empty my life is. How all those hours have nothing in them. And trying to put anything in makes me want to weep. i think it would be easier if I really could weep, but the drugs have taken care off that. No more tears for me.

I guess all I can say now is, I see my therapist this afternoon and I need to see what she says and what our course will be.

Got nothing more today.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Brain Dead

Idea stolen from another blog, as a consequence of my being brain dead today:

Lists of Five

Five Places I have Lived
Detroit, MI
Portland, OR
New York, New York
Santa Barbara, CA
Boulder, CO

Five Jobs I have Held
Dishwasher, Seva Restaurant, Ann Arbor, MI
Clerk-Typist, Weiser's Books, NY, NY
Dancewear Specialist, Jr. Sr. Footwear, Santa Barbara, CA
Hotel Reservations Clerk, Boulder Chautauqua, Boulder, CO
Operations Manager, KVNF Public Radio, Paonia, CO

Five Ambitions
Learn to play the Irish Flute really well
Get my Singing Voice back.
Quit Smoking
Clean my house from top to bottom
Having the motivation to accomplish all this.

Five Places I want to Visit

Five Books I have Enjoyed
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein

And now I am too brain dead to continue with this, so I'm going to stop here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


So, this morning demon Onyx thought it would be a great idea to climb into bed with me and show his devotion by shoving both his front paws into my mouth. This might not have been so bad if it weren't for the fact that the very tips of his claws stick out just a tiny bit and when they catch on fragile things, say the inside skin of my lip, it hurts a great deal. And when it became a battle to keep his paws with their sharp little protuberances out of my mouth, I finally gave it up and decided to get up. This at about seven a.m., which is about two hours earlier than I get up on most days. I did get eight hours sleep; I went to bed at eleven, after all. So why does it feel like not enough?

Demon Elvira is crashing about in the kitchen cupboards and I can't be arsed to go see what she's up to.

Okay, I went and checked it out. It wasn't demon Elvira; it was demon Obsidian and it's a good thing I went and looked to see what he was doing because he was in the under-the-sink cupboard with all the cleaning supplies. (Does everyone keep the cleaning supplies under the sink? I wonder.) Which is stuff he really shouldn't be getting into. I think sometimes we need to get child-proof locks to put on our cupboard doors to keep the cats out.

Went out for Chinese food yesterday because I was so stressed after the trip down to Montrose to pick up my meds. I ate a lot, which showed on the scale this morning. I have gained seven pounds in the last month, ugh. All my clothes still fit the same, though. What's that about? I have no idea. Maybe it's just water gain or something. But I have the feeling it's because I don't get enough (read that "don't get any") exercise at all. I wish there were a place within walking distance where I could go swimming. I think I might like that.

Managed to do the grocery shopping last night without totally freaking out although the store was a madhouse. We bought a turkey, although I hadn't really intended to do one this year. it's a good food investment though. We always cut off the breasts and freeze them for later so we don;t get too tired of eating it. We'll probably cook it tomorrow, as I go back to my radio show on Thursday and won't want to cope with cooking a big meal beforehand.

Caved in and bought a copy of Twilight at the grocery store. I am happy because I have found that I am actually able to read it. In fact, it's the first book in a long time that I've found myself looking forward to getting back to. I find that a little sad, as it's total brain candy. But I also am just glad to be able to read again, so I don't really care what I'm reading.

Another happy thing: an old friend bought a copy of my book. She messaged me today and said she read it all in one gulp and really liked it. I was scared she wouldn't. And her opinion matters a lot to me because she's so witty and talented herself. She actually called my writing "musical." Ain't that something?

We watched Cats last night and I have to say I was seriously underwhelmed. The music was repetetive, as was the choreography. There were some good moments, and I have to admit that the last reprise of "Memories" was a real tear-jerker. But on the whole I thought it was a show that underutilised some very good singers and dancers. And having been familiar with Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats since childhood, well, I really didn't get much out of it.

And those are my random thoughts for the day. Enough said.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Random Monday Mutterings

Really there's no reason that Mondays should be any different from any other day for me, and yet they are. Despite my not being able to hold down a job, Monday somehow remains the beginning of the week. Maybe because it's the start of M.'s week, or maybe because the feeling is just left over from the days when I was in school. Anyway, here it is Monday again.

Later today I have to go with M. to Montrose to pick up medications from my pdoc's office. I'm not really looking forward to the trip, but it will at least get me out of the house. I am wondering if I should make an effort to wash my hair before the trip, or if putting on clothes will be enough.

The sun is shining in my eyes from the south window right behind my desk, making this hard to see and write.

My stomach hurts some.

I continue to get Facebook friend requests from all over the world. I have recently had a slew of them from Malaysia and Canada. Interesting. My Elven Blood party has grown exponentially. One of my new friends turned me on to another RPG called Knighthood, and another turned me onto one called Pirates. Ahoy, mateys! I'm hooked on these RPGs now and can't stop playing. I suppose that wile there are better thigns I could be doing there are certainly worse ones.

I wonder why my spellcheck picks up some words that are perfectly right and doesn't pick on others that are obviously wrong?

I still have the music from Jesus Christ Superstar going through my head.

The sky is very blue today. That usually means it will be cold outside.

To quote an old friend: "I think now I'll turn into a pumpkin and float up into the sky..."

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Nothing Much Day

Today I have spent most of the day sitting at my computer and doing various things while smoking to excess. Well, I did manage the personal hygiene thing, including the girly parts like shaving my legs (which I'm sure you all wanted to know). But mostly I've been going back and forth between playing games on my PC and on-line a visiting various forums I'm part of.

I've made quite a few new friends on Facebook, mostly through a game called Elven Blood, to which I've become addicted. It's interesting because a lot of them don't exactly share my political or religious beliefs. But as long as we stick on the subject of the game, I figure we'll be okay.

I've sat here so long my back really hurts but I have nothing else to do and nowhere else to go, so here I continue to sit.

Kind of a Nothing Day.

Now it's back to Facebook to see if I have enough life and stamina to complete the next quest...

Friday, November 21, 2008


Friday is like my Saturday. This is mostly because I generally have my one real working night on Thursday, when I do my radio show. But it carries over even now, when I am on sabbatical. So I feel I have a good excuse to goof off and hang around in my jammies even though there are numerous things that need doing around the house, like cleaning the bathroom (ugh!) and mopping the kitchen and sweeping and dusting and all the chores that I don't get around to because I generally do not have enough spoons in my cache to do them (for spoons reference see

Last night we watched Jesus Christ, Superstar. I had never seen the movie, though it seems I have always been familiar with the soundtrack; I remember my brother setting up the family's brand new stereo to record it back in 1973, and I've loved the music ever since. I liked the way the movie was played, but I don't think the vocals really measured up to that original cast recording. Judas definitely carried the show. The guy who was cast as Jesus was, I think, cast more for his looks than for his voice, although he did manage to come through pretty well on the big "Gethsemane" number. I still don't think he did it as well as Ian Gillan did in the original. I liked the Simon Zealots number quite a lot, though I couldn't help thinking things like, "Oh my gods, those dancers must have been half dead at the end of that day!" and ""Ah-ha! That's where my jazz teacher got that move." Still and all, a well put-together production.

Whenever I hear the music from JC Superstar I remember walking from upper East 81st street to the East Village in the pouring rain with then-BF, singing the soundtrack all the way. It earned us both smiles and odd looks from the passers by. One of the happier memories of our relationship.

I found ex-BF on Facebook recently and he friended me, but I haven't tried to contact him, although his e-mail address is there for all to see, and I'd like to know how his family is doing. I know his father passed away some years ago and I'd like to offer my condolences. I'd also like to ask about his mother and step-father and even his tortoise, Yertle. But I just don't feel comfortable doing it. I don't want to seem like the weird psycho ex-girlfriend. He's happily married now and has a family and I wish him well, and that's all I really could say. So I'll leave it at that.

Um, yeah. Well, that's all I have to say in this blog too. Now it's back to hunting mice and trying to defeat the Pirate King...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The guys with the big truck...

...that sucks the leaves that everyone in town has raked into the gutters out of the gutters are out today and all the cats are going wild from the noise. They run all over the house trying to escape and hide under the furniture until the truck has passed. Especially Obsidian, which is odd because he's the alpha male and generally takes a threatening posture towards the other cats (Except Luna, who is the alpha female). But really he's a big love bug who doesn't like strangers or strange happenings in general. So everything from loud sounds to the meter readers sets him off in this way.

Now the truck is gone and things are back to normal. Luna and the boys have gone onto the back porch to take the air. Elvira is asleep in the condo and Dacs is on top of her linen closet, thankfully not screaming for once.

My back hurts from spending too much time at my computer lately. I took some Tylenol and feel it sitting like a lump in my stomach with all my other semi-digested meds from this morning. I hope it starts to work soon because I'm in some real pain. Not just imagined pain. I often have a hard time knowing the difference between the two, but this time I don't.

The batteries in my cordless mouse have reached critical stage again. I am thankful I invested in rechargeable batteries and a battery charger, because this happens at least once a week. My computer tech says it's because I move my mouse around a lot, but really I don't think that's it. I don't think I move my mouse more than the average person. I know that M. has changed his mouse batteries about once in the two years since he's had the cordless and he moves his mouse a lot more than I do, when we're playing games and stuff. I think I just got a cheap mouse. Well, it came for free with the keyboard, so maybe I shouldn't complain.

I don't know right now whether it's fall or winter. According to the Celtic calendar, winter starts on Samhain (Hallowe'en) and lasts until Imbolc (Groundhog Day). But aside form being grey outside it's not very wintery. It's beginning to get cold at night, though. We had some snow earlier in the month and I was depressed about that because I thought it was just going to keep going on and on until spring, but it's given us a reprieve.

Now the guys with the truck are back, going up the other side of the road. I went to the kitchen to put on the tea and both boys were clawing at the door to get in. Obi stands at the window, staring out in terror. I try to explain to him that the truck is not coming in the house. I don't know if he believes me, or even understands. He heads for the food dish. I think he takes comfort in food and that's one reason he has grown so large. Great, I have a cat with an Eating Disorder.

How to end this post? I don't really know. It seems odd to simply stop. But I think that's what I might have to do, as my back is hurting me so much now that I need to go lie down.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Little Better Today

I at least managed to get up and wash my face brush my teeth and get dressed. That's a good day.

Still have this worry about hospitalization hanging over my head. I see my psychiatrist in two weeks and I'm the one who's going to have to tell him that my therapist keeps mentioning it. Really, it irritates me that the two of them don't talk and I'm always stuck in the middle, like some game of telephone. Something is sure to get garbled along the line.

I'm waiting for M. to get home. We were supposed to make lasagna together and I just don't feel up to it. We have no other options for food here though. And we can't go out due to lack of funds.

I really want fried chicken.

A friend of mine on Facebook posted a great link to an essay on the "spoon theory" at "You Don't Look Sick." I think I'll post it here: It does a great job explaining what it's like to have an "invisible" disability, like Fibromyalgia or Lupus or a Mental Illness. So read it.

That's all I have to say.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I am writing this...

...more because I feel I should than because I have anything to say. I feel bad for not writing a blog yesterday. I didn't have anything to say then, either.

I have been tired all day. I got up, drank my coffee and cruised the net and went back to bed. It was one of those strange times when you don't think you're actually asleep--when you're sure you're just lying there aware of everything that's going on--but when you finally open your eyes, hours have passed. Anyway, I lay down at eleven and when I opened my eyes it was just after two. I guess I must have slept.

More coffee and back to the computer, and an hour later I felt just as tired as if I had not had a nap at all. I wonder if I'm sick. I remember feeling this way when I had mono. They say you can't get mono more than once but I've had it twice and I suppose I could have it again. I don't feel sick otherwise, just bone tired.

I suppose it could be the stress. Our financial situation is dire; I had to choose between paying the mortgage and paying our utilities. I chose the mortgage. So at least we'll have a roof over our heads even if we have no light or heat or running water...

I am also at a very low level of functioning, per my therapist. Each day is a harder struggle. I only get dressed half the time, and then only when I have to. My therapist is talking hospitalization. My psychiatrist isn't talking. I don't know what I think. I don't want to be hospitalized again--those times when I was a teenager are plenty for me. But if it could teach me a new way to live my life. To get dressed despite the fact that all my friends are on the internet and I don't have any will to go out of the house. To exercise again. To dance in the aisles of the supermarket the way I used to before I became so depressed. It might be worth it. It might be worth it to go to group activities with other people like me and hear their stories. It might be worth it just to get me out of the house and break my stagnant routine. I don't know. I guess the question is kind of irrelevant anyway because of our bad financial situation. Even if I could get a bed in an inpatient program or get a place in an outpatient one, provided I could even find one of those in our small, rural community, we couldn't pay for it.

I can't even remember if I wrote all this in another blog or not.

Anyway, that's where I am. Here's a blog for today. That's all I set out to do and I did it.

Now if I could only get dressed and brush my teeth...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I Was Going to Fold Laundry...

...but then this giant cat came and sat in my lap. And so I'm stuck at my computer. Nothing is really going on at any of my usual haunts so I thought I'd write a blog. The problem being, that I don;t really have anything to say, which is why I didn't write one earlier.

Things that have been on my mind:

Is this med increase working for me? The last time I saw my Psychiatrist he increased one of my antidepressants from 25mg a day to 30mg a day (the maximum dose). It's been about two weeks now and I think I'm seeing some improvement in my mood. Not a lot, but some. The positive: I am interacting with people and look forward to getting out of bed every day. The negative: The people I am interacting with are all on the 'net, not in my everyday life. Virtual people, virtual life. It's not like I can actually go out and get a cup of coffee with any of them, as the closest lives in Denver (and I haven't heard from her in about a month, maybe more). So while this interaction is making me look forward to getting out of bed int he mornings, I wonder if it's really what my pdoc had in mind. Sometimes I wonder if it's what I had in mind. I'd like to have a real life, not just a virtual one. I'd like there to be non-computer things that I enjoy doing. but out of the security of my office, everything still causes me extreme anxiety. I have to get M. to help me cook. I can't leave the house without him, even. In fact, the other day was so bad that I couldn't leave the house even to go grocery shopping, which I usually manage every week. I had to send M. out for the week's supplies, which I felt really bad about. So no, I don't think this med change is really working. Not the way I had hoped it would.

I wonder what would bring my life back? I wonder when I will be able to read a book again, much less play my flute or dance or do any of the things I could do before I was on so much medication. The days when I thought I was a "normal" person and the times that I now know were periods of hypomania--those times of intense action and creativity that fell between my increasingly terrible and frequent times of depression--were just the way a "normal" person felt. I know now why a classic...symptom? Reaction? anyway, why Bipolar people so often go off their meds. The mood stabilizers work, of yes they do. But are they worth this flatness? This incapacity to function in even the most basic ways?

Well, when I was extremely depressed there at the end (before my diagnosis) I wasn't functional either. So it's not much of a change. Except, at least I could read. I miss that quite a lot. Now I can't even concentrate on a graphic novel.

And that's why so many of these blogs do not so much finish as end, like a dangling phrase. I lose my concentration. I forget what I was going to say. I am forgetting now. And the cat has left so I have no excuse not to go fold the laundry anymore, except that I really don't feel much like doing it.

But I don't feel like doing much of anything in my life.

I wonder if I ever will again.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I'm actually doing all right today, all things considering.

Last night I was terrified. You see, today is the day M. had to go to the city to take the Praxis test, which is kind of like a big honking SAT for people wanting to go into education. And I knew I wouldn't be able to reach him if something happened.

So what if something really did happen? What if I had a heart attack or an embolism or something? (Having an embolism is my big fear these days, especially since I've been spending so much time sitting at my computer.) What if I had a plain old anxiety attack and had no way to reach him to talk me through it? He assured me I could call his parents, but I never feel comfortable with that. I know they love me and all, but discussing my problems is never easy, even with people I'm very close to (strange, as I have no problem at all writing about them here!)

Well, I'm pleased to say this day has gone fairly well. If, of course, you leave out the fact that the cats woke me up at six a.m. and I couldn't get back to sleep. They had decided to spazz out on the bed and dig under the blankets around my legs and stuff like that. No amount of shooing them away or even squirting them with the water bottle could get them to stop. So Ifinally just got up.

But other than being tired, I feel pretty good.

That, I suppose, is to be expected. Yesterday I had one of those days when I was so out of it I couldn't even get dressed. Often after a day like that I find I am able to motivate myself better. I even had a shower. And I am, suprisingly, not freaking out about anything. I'm glad about that.

Tonight we're sending out for pizza. I'm looking forward to that. Maybe the looking forward to something is all I need to make me feel better. I'm glad there's something in my life to look forward to, though I feel bad sometimes that the the only thing I seem to look forward to is special food. Oh well.

Now I'm hungry and though it's quite early I think I'll have lunch.

Boring blog, I know. But I'm glad to be having a calm, uneventful day for once.

Friday, November 14, 2008


It happens every morning about this time: the anxiety. The shaking, the sweating palms, the nausea. Feeling as if I'm about to die. Sometimes it's so bad I have to call someone, usually M., to talk me through it.

Deer in the headlights. Waiting for the crash.

I don't know what causes it or why I get it this time of morning, always. I have some ideas. The thought of getting dressed and facing the world overwhelms me. The thought of one more day I have to get through.

Maybe it would be better if I could do something about it: scream, cry, I don't know. But I can't. I am frozen in this place.

It's not that I don't feel the urge to scream or cry. I often do. But something--my meds maybe, no: almost certainly--keep me from being able to. Not even when I try to make myself. All I can feel these days is the anxiety interspersed with boredom. My own pain is uninteresting to me.

I remember the days when I used to cry at the drop of a hat. Not only when I was depressed, though there was plenty of that. But at anything: at sappy movies, at sad songs. Now movies are only something to keep my attention occupied for a little while and music is a background to some of my activities, not something I feel and connect with.

I never thought I would long for the crying days. The times when I felt so bad I would scratch my arms until they bled because it was less painful than what I was going through inside and cry until my eyes had the scratchy feel of sandpaper. "Getting hysterical" is what I called it, though I think that was probably an understatement. But to a person to whom some kind of self-expression, even the expression of pain or self-hatred, has always been valuable, not being to express what I am feeling is the worst kind of hell.

Even in earlier parts of this blog, I see I could still cry.

Events make it through to me. When we lost Gwion Bach, I cried. But since then, nothing. No tears. No rage. No joy or laughter. I am stuck in this grey place, where the skies are broken only by the lightning of my intense anxiety.

Maybe I should be thankful I can feel that. Because otherwise I am just frozen.

And I don't know how to thaw out, or if I ever will.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Very Random Thoughts

Still can't access the e-mail from my website. Don't know what's up with that. I wonder if I can e-mail yahoo and ask them about it.

Umm...yeah. Trying to find the blog entry where I talked about June 2nd 1977 and I can't! A friend reminded me of it.

already getting Christmas stuff in my e-mail. "Buy this! Give these special gifts!" The way our financial situation is this year I think we'll be lucky if we can have our goose.

Halfway through my sabbatical from Whiskey in the Jar. I think I'll be ready to go back when it ends but I'm not sure.

I went back and read some more of my old blogs and realised I have been doing this a lot longer than I thought.

Finally wrote to my mother yesterday. It was hard to keep it upbeat. I mean, for a Bipolar person in the midst of depression, a cheery note isn't always possible. But I tried hard. I think I did okay.

I wonder if I want my lunch now?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Interwebz Junkie

It was working fine this morning. My internet. I got to sign in as I usually do, check my e-mail and the forums I follow, and Facebook, of course. I made it just a quick check as I wanted to do some other things today.

Then I had my breakfast and my usual morning anxiety attack started. So I thought, "I'll just sign in for a little while until I calm down."

The first sign that something was dreadfully wrong was that I noticed my cell phone had no signal. I queried M.; his didn't either. At that point, we both tried to sign on the 'net again. And it was completely down. error messages on every page. No forums, no e-mail, no Facebook--nothing.

My palms began to sweat. My breathing got heavier and heavier. I felt distinctly in pain, all over my body. All the symptoms of withdrawal from some terribly addictive drug: I had them. "Fine," I thought, "we have to go to the grocery store anyway. I'll get dressed."

Somehow I managed it despite the rising tide of fear that I was cut completely off from the world. That's when the knife cut deeper. We're on food stamps and these days your food stamp balance is carried on a little plastic card much like a credit card. Just to make sure--not that we thought the problem would reach so far, but just to be sure--we called the store, which is ten miles down the road. Nope, they told us; their card readers weren't working. This problem was all over the valley, it seemed.

My sweating became heavier at this point. The whole valley cut off from the outside world, as in some post-apocalyptic nightmare?

I had never really considered how much I rely on my computer internet connection to get me through my day. Nor had I really thought much of what would happen if we no longer had 'net access--not just in my house, but all over the place. I finally understand the people who were so upset over the Y2K scare. It could happen. For a while, here, it did happen.

We learned later, when M. took our last $20 down to the store to buy potatoes for tonight's stew, that someone had busted a fiber-optic cable somewhere and that's why the phones and the internet were both involved. The initial estimate was two hours to fix it. It took something more like eight. But what if it had been an insoluble problem?

I suppose this is the main reason people go wireless. My in-laws had internet all day. I actually had thoughts of going over to their house and booting them off their system so I could get access. Which just shows what lengths a junkie will go to to get a fix.

So, I admit it: I am an internet junkie. Without my connection I am lost.

I suppose there are worse things I could be.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

And I Thought My Space Was Addictive...

I have recently discovered Facebook.

That says it all, really.

It happened like this: Around this time of year, I always get really nostalgic because a lot of the old friends I've lost track of for so many years have birthdays around this time. So I naturally start to look them up on the internet. Well, after many years of searching, I finally located one--not on Facebook, but on another site. I asked how he was doing and he said, "Look me up on Facebook."

So I had to go get an account.

On Facebook I have located old friends and had old friends locate me. I have linked up with friends from other websites and forums and found support groups and causes. I have started a farm. I have sent hatching eggs and saved the rainforest. I have a number of pets. I have played games and won many wars (and lost a few, but that's how it goes, I guess.)

Where is this leading? You guessed it--I am currently spending hours and hours out of my day on Facebook attending to all the things I need to attend to. Kidnapping people. Hitting them with pillows. Training my virtual puppy. You know, important stuff like that.

There is an upside and a downside to all this. The upside: well, locating those old friends, of course. And since discovering Facebook I have been less depressed. It's something I like to do, which had been missing from my life. in fact, I think it has sent me into a mild hypomania, which is not at all a bad state to be in for one who has been as low as I have been in the past months.

The downside: You can see it, can't you? Spending all my time on the computer on a virtual friendship site is not helping me get out of the house. Or attend to the other things that need attending to in my life. The daily things, like, oh, getting dressed, for example. Today, it was noon before I could tear myself away long enough to get breakfast and my meds down my throat. Even now I am worried that I am missing something.

Fortunately this is not really interfering with the main relationship in my life, because M. is just as obsessed with Facebook as I am. We spend a lot of time on our respective computers, kidnapping each other and giving each other virtual kisses. This is good, right? Maybe. It's a shared interest, anyway. It's something I can answer when M. asks me "is there anything you feel like doing." Too much in the last months the answer to that question has been, "No, nothing."

I shudder to think what my psychiatrist would say about all this.

My therapist, on the other hand, thinks it's a good thing for me to be connecting with people, even in a virtual way. She's especially pleased about my finding old friends who have validated the reality of my past experiences.

Well, I'm off now. No, really: I'm going to do laundry. Honestly.

But I may just check in to Facebook first.

For a little while...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Close Encounter

So, M. and I stopped at the local coffee shop for a latte before my therapy appointment. While we were standing at the counter, there came from behind us the sound of the door opening and closing. Naturally, we both turned to look at the new arrival. And who should it be but the Toxic One?

We both turned back around and put our backs to her without further eye contact or comment. M. moved to the "pick up" counter while I went further into the shop. Then I knew I couldn't stay there any more with her there. So I told M. that I was going across the street (to my therapist's office) and asked him please to bring my coffee to me there, which he said he would do.

I had not been in that close proximity to the T.O. in six years. That's how long it's been since the badness between us went down, but I still feel embittered by it. I took one look at her and just thought, "That's an ugly person." I feel it right down to my toes, like I've been bathed in slick black crude oil or some other nasty goo.

I think I need to be smudged.

I discussed this experience with my therapist, of course. She said I should be proud of myself for allowing myself to have my true feelings about the situation and setting good boundaries: i.e., extricating myself. And maybe she's right about that. Okay, yeah; she's right about that. I've wasted too much time and energy making excuses and feeling bad and taking the blame for what happened between us on myself.

But is it really okay to judge? I don't believe it is. I have spent a lot of time and energy learning compassion too, and forgiveness. So why can't I forgive this person and move on? I thought until today that I had: that I had forgiven her but just didn't want her in my life anymore. Now I don't think that's true. I don't know if I can ever forgive her for what she put me through in the three years we were really close, in the ill-fated band.

I do know she was my friend, it seemed, and now she's not. And that's a grief to me. After the hostility and the lies and the failure to communicate, why is that? Why can't I just let it go?

I have a headache now and feel sick at my stomach. I have no answers, only more and more questions. The vision of her standing there in the shop doors is frozen in my brain and I think that brief second in time is also something I will never be able to put away. The moment I said, "This is an ugly person."

This was the real end.

A few random thoughts...

I'm having a really bad anxiety attack today.

yesterday was nice, though. I had duck for dinner.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Gaiman.

I'm frustrated because there's a glitch in my website e-mail and I can't access the mailbox.

Got turned on to this highly addictive game, Kidnap, on Facebook. Now I can't stop signing in there every five minutes to see how I'm doing.

Have my therapist later.

There were more thoughts in there somewhere, but I seem to have lost them.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

It's my birthday today and so far I feel pretty good about it. M. served me doughnuts ad coffee and milk in bed on a special little tray that he had built himself especially for the purpose. Later, we're going out to dinner with the in-laws. I may get dressed up for this or I may not--the style in Western Colorado is pretty casual, even when you're going someplace fancy, which we're not.

I'm 46 today, which I suppose should kind of freak me out, putting me closer to 50 than 40. But I find that every passing year I feel younger. Just this morning a Facebook friend who knew me in High School commented that I don't look any different than I did in 1980. Well, I do; for one thing, I weigh about 70 lbs more than I did the last time she laid eyes on me, back in those days of severe Anorexia Nervosa. And my hair is greying, and I haven't dyed it in a year, which I long to do (but don't on the advice of my disability lawyer). But I have good skin and no wrinkles, and come from a line of long-lived people. Besides, I have great taste in clothes. I should do all right for some time yet. As far as looks, that is.

As far as health, I don't know. I still smoke despite numerous attempts to quit. And I don't get any exercise at all these days due to my anxiety and depression. So my overall health can't be too good. I worry about it anyhow. Still, I eat healthy and drink a lot of water (which probably contributes to the good skin). I don't drink alcohol and that's probably a plus. And my dad, who got even less activity than I and was never treated for his ongoing depression still made it past eighty-four. So I probably have a good few years yet.

So, Happy Birthday To Me and Many Happy Returns off the Day.

That's All.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


We're all pussy-whipped here. That is, whipped by our cats--and one cat in particular.

I found Dacs twelve years ago last September on the first really cold morning of fall. I was walking downtown to work and as I passed by the local bar (the building that later, somewhat ironically, would become the radio station) I noticed a box sitting on one of the benches outside it. I didn't think anything of it but just kept walking.

Then the screaming started. From inside that box came the most horrible cat noise I have ever heard. So I had to look, of course. And what I found, huddled inside a scrap of pink towel, was the tiniest kitten I had ever seen. It was filthy and sick, with both eyes swollen almost shut from chlamydia, but it could make the loudest noise. Well, what could I do but pick it up and tuck it inside my shirt and carry it along to work with me?

Fortunately I had an understanding employer, because I spent the whole morning trying to figure out something to do with this poor abandoned kitten. I called animal control and was bluntly informed that they would just put the poor thing to sleep automatically. Finally I called my husband and we took it to the vet. The vet didn't expect the kitten to make it, she told us later, but she gave us some medication and told us how to care for it.

That's how Dacs came to us. We thought at first she was a male--even the vet thought so--but after a year when nothing seemed forthcoming (if you know what I mean) we found out otherwise. Fortunately we had kept her in for the previous year so we didn't have an unexpected pregnancy to deal with. Anyway, she's been our princess and Queen of the household ever since.

That is, until THEY came. The demons.

I think it started out with their wanting to play with her. She was having none of it, but threw a hissy fit every time one got close to her. Then, as the demons got older, the initial urge to play turned into a full-scale war for dominance. It didn't start out so badly, but after Gwion Bach passed away last summer it got worse and worse, until now every time Dacs tried to have a little peace and attention there's a demon--usually Obsidian and/or Onyx--there menacing her. It's really traumatized poor Dacs. Now she spends most of her time on top of the linen closet where no one can get at her. When she wants down, she screams until M. or I comes to lift her down to her food dish, which is now kept on the kitchen ledge so it's safer for her. When she wants to go to the litter box or back onto the linen closet, she screams more.

I am torn. I feel really bad for Dacs, but I can't help but remember how, as a kitten, she used to beat up Tamlane (R.I.P.), who was twice her size. And I wonder why she doesn't fight back. And I wonder if I am slowly going mad from all the cat fights in my house.

Still, M. and I find ourselves pussy-whipped. She's our princess and we can't help but come when she calls, even if it means standing there without any idea of what she really wants. We wants her to know she's safe and we still love her, but does this really help? It doesn't seem to. We can't be there 24 hours a day to protect her. I wonder if this is how parents of human children feel when their kids get bullied at school--so helpless. So unable to come up with any answers.

And now the cats are demanding my attention so I have to go...

Friday, November 7, 2008

How my morning goes...

Today I woke up way too early. Usually I get out of bed between nine and ten, but today it was at ten of eight. Ugh.

Anyway, I think that is contributing to the fact that I am having a way worse anxiety attack than usual. You'd think I'd be used to them by now, having them every day as I do. But it's a thing a person never gets used to. No matter how many times it hits, I always am sure this is the time I'm really dying, not just feeling like it.

So what do I experience when I have these attack? Well, you know what fear feels like. The racing heart, the sweating palms. The nausea and the shaking. Take all that together and multiply it by a hundred, maybe more and stick it all in a point the size of a pin. Then put those pins all over your body, especially concentrating on the chest area. That's what an anxiety attack feels like for me.

I promised myself I wasn't going to smoke today until after my therapy appointment, because I have been smoking way too much lately. But I don't know if I'm going to be able to hold myself to that because I feel so bad right now. I'm all alone in the house and I'm convinced that I'm dying. Yet, I'm also convinced that I'm only a hypochondriac: not worth any real time on the part of a professional. Probably if I really did have a heart attack I wouldn't call anyone because I'd be afraid of bothering them with my problems, which are obviously made up.

I am having a Tic-Tac now because I promised myself I wouldn't smoke.

To make matters worse, today I have a strange pain in my stomach. That's what really set it off this morning. Any weird pain, anything unusual in my routine brings on the anxiety. I think I've said that in previous blogs. Yes, I know I have. Here I go repeating myself.

It becomes a refrain in my head, like the sound the wheels of the train make as they pass over the tracks. "A-tick-a-tock! A-tick-a-tock!" I wish I could get that sound out of my head. I wish I could silence the obsessive thoughts that haunt me day and night. But I don't seem to be able to, not yet.

I will not have another cup of coffee. I think that would be a really bad idea.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I'm trying this again...

I'm going to try again to keep this blog regularly even if it's only a few lines a day. Something to keep me grounded.

The last few days I've been hypomanic, what with discovering Facebook and all. Today I feel myself sliding down that slippery slope into the place where I can't get dressed or go out or even move, much.

I saw my pdoc yesterday and he raised my antidepressants yet again so maybe that will help. Time will tell, I suppose. I didn't have much time to discuss things with him--it was only a 15-minute med check--but he seemed sympathetic to the place I'm in mentally and emotionally. How I know it's not healthy to just sit at home all day, but at the same time trying to force myself into activities that I find no joy in just makes me frustrated and angry so I end up feeling worse. It's a real catch-22. (I suppose I should read that book some day so I actually know what that phrase means.)

I wonder if this next part should have its own post, but I'm here now so I'm just going to go ahead with it.

Last night I was reading articles on fat acceptance on the web. And I ended up feeling pretty bad about myself. I believe that fat acceptance is an important cause. Prejudice against fat people is one of the still-acceptable prejudices in this country, maybe in the world. And that's just wrong. Wrong to judge anyone for their body size, especially when a lot of the devices for measuring it are so flawed (don't even get me started on the BMI!).

So why do I feel bad about myself? Because though I could accept others with no problem, I have never been able to accept myself as a fat person, which is why I have been following the Weight Watcher's program the past year and a half. And I've done pretty well on it. I've got a body I can accept, finally, after many years of struggle. (And I even fit into the "normal" range of that wretched BMI.)

I feel like a Judas to the cause, though. Like I can't support fat acceptance without accepting myself as a fat person. M. says I have done a lot of hard work and should be proud of what I have accomplished but I just can't feel it. All I feel is that I'm not a proper feminist.

and now my thoughts are becoming incoherent and confused jsut when I feel this post is starting to become interesting, so I have to stop. Maybe I'll be able to say more on this topic later. I hope so.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Back Again At Last

I can't believe it's been so long since I've written in here. Since July. Well, not much has happened in my life to write about. No sudden turn-abouts in my mental and emotional health. I continue depressed and the onset of winter--we had snow this morning--is not helping. Sometimes I wonder if I should move to a state that didn't have winter, but I remember when I lived in California I hated it there so I know that's not the answer.

I have just spent the last hour or so reading all the blog posts I have ever written. I can't believe at one point I had so much to say. Now everything is flat. I feel no real anger or real pain, but no joy either. This stinks. I would rather have the mood swings and all that comes with them. I understand why so many others with Bipolar Disorder go off their medication. It almost comes with the territory.

But I won't do that. I'm too afraid of what might happen.

Fear rules a big part of my life. Fear of being judged from the outside. M. is constantly telling me that what I feel on the inside doesn't reflect on the outside, but I wonder. This bleakness must show somewhere, mustn't it? But then, I've always been good at covering it up. Even to go over to the in-laws, I put on my nice clothes and a smile that I don't feel. I can keep this up for hours.

Then I get very tired and have to go hide.

Lately, I have been hiding on Facebook. It's not all hiding, actually. I hooked up with a few old friends, which has been nice. I also hooked up with friends from other sites, which is also nice. But still I have that fear of being judged. What if what I say and do isn't acceptable? What if I'm unintentionally mean?

When I started this blog I didn't worry too much about things like that. My family wasn't in my life. My old friends weren't in my life. Now they are again to a degree and I wonder if I've spoken too boldly where I should have remained silent.

There's a sweatshirt I want that says, "Be careful or you might end up in my novel." Even though I'm not writing much at the moment, I like that. It reminds me that a writer's craft is taking things from real life, chopping them up, adding extra bits here and there and making stew.

Sometimes that though is enough to keep the fear at bay.

Sometimes it isn't.

That's all I can say right now. At least I wrote something. And for me that's an accomplishment these days.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Chill of Summer

I can't believe that it's been so long since I've posted here. And Summer is halfway over and I still feel the cold inside. The truth is, it's been a somewhat colder summer all around. The weather is milder--we usually have temps in the 100s by this time and this year most days are in the 80s, which is actually nice, if strange. And the financial climate is definitely chilly. Most summers we have done well enough to keep more than afloat and have a few2 nice things, but this year we just can't seem to quite get our heads above water. I received one of those "when are you going to deposit money?" calls from the bank this morning, in fact. They think we're overdrawn quite a bit. (I thought we were overdrawn some, but not that much).

There's also been the chill of grief. Two weeks ago--can it be that already?--we lost one of our dear cats, Gwion Bach. From the evidence, he was torn off our screened back porch where he was resting in the sun by the cat door by a pair of roving dogs (we didn't see that part but surmised it from the damage to the porch). They then proceeded to toss him in the air like a rag doll, snapping his spine. We chased the dogs off, but it was too late. He passed over not long after.

Since then we've sealed up the cat door and kept all our cats inside. Since the cat door is sealed they can go out on the porch. This seems to satisfy all but Luna, who first threw fits of meowing and then peed all over everything in the house and now has settled down into a sort of grey funk, much like the one her human mother continues to experience.

I am cold inside.

I just wrote a whole paragraph and deleted it.

From the smell of it, one of the cats has peed in my office and I have yet to find where.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


I'm having a really bad day today. Feeling restless and all I can think about is food and cigarettes. I've put on 10 lbs in the last week. How is this possible? A friend told me I need to get back to my Pilates or go out and take a walk, and I know she's right but when I started the motions towards doing those things I had a total breakdown and ended up having to call M. at work to talk me through it. Now I feel that I am just hanging on by my fingernails.

Ten more minutes and I can eat. Ten more minutes and I can smoke if I really want to. My life has become boxed in these ten minute intervals and I can't get it out. I want to be healthy--I think I really do--and at the same time everything seems so overwhelming. I wish I lived in a bigger town so there was at least somewhere to go. I wish I lived in the back end of nowhere on an uninhabited road so I could go out in my own yard and no one would see me. Give me about 100 acres of my own and I would be happy. Give me enough money to get out of the financial pit we are in and I would be content.

I can't get out of this. Right now I wonder if it's even worth trying. All I can remember all my life is pain and more pain; why do I have any reason to think it can be any better than this? I keep thinking "I want to go home" and then I remember that I AM home and that scares the shite out of me. Is this all I get? This constant feeling of everything being worthless--of MY being worthless and life being pointless?

I'm tired of being cold, too. Where is spring, really?

Luna brought me two birds this morning.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Not all at Once...

Well, the answer to yesterday's question is, "No, not cold turkey."

I did manage to cut down a lot though--from about half a pack to only 3 cigarettes. I am trying to see this as a success and not a failure.

Today I got dressed and have not had a smoke yet. I am concentrating on changing my routine so it doesn't have smoking it it.

I know I should go out and get more exercise but right now I feel as if it is taking all my energy and will just not to climb the walls. Besides, it's cold. When will it not be cold??

Cat in my trash can.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Can I do This?

A couple weeks ago I decided that today, May first, Beltane, I would quit smoking.

The decision was a long time in coming; I had for months been increasingly disgusted with the...general squalor that goes along with the practice: the dirt ashtrays, the smelly house, the odor that clings to your clothes and gets in them no matter what. I became obsessed with whether I smelled bad. I think this started when I sent a friend in a different state some of the clothes I had grown out of and she told me she had to wash them first to get the smoke smell out. I had never considered that I smelled, even though I could at once recognise a place that allowed smoking or another smoker, as if by some sixth sense. I guess it's just the odor.

I also had been noticing that my voice was growing increasingly hoarse and rough. This troubles me as I have been working on my voice and becoming a better singer for so long and have tried to get back to it in recent weeks. I knew that the cigarettes couldn't possibly be helping this.

So one day, quite out of the blue (we were in the frozen foods aisle of the grocery store) I announced to my husband, "I think I'm going to quit smoking on Beltane."

And here is it, Beltane. It's 1:43 p.m. and I feel like I can't get dressed because I haven't had my first cigarette yet. My usual practice has been to cruise the internet for a while (I call this "maintaining my correspondence"), have breakfast and my pills, and then play a casual game while smoking my first one before getting dressed. I have not done the last step. So I feel my morning routine is unfinished. When I think of going on to something else I think, "I need that smoke before I can move on!"

I am chewing gum. It does not help.

As I look at it, so much has revolved around the next cigarette. "I'll do my Pilates and then have a cigarette." "I'll have lunch and then have a cigarette." "I'll go for a walk and then have a cigarette." It's like they've been my reward for doing difficult stuff and now I don't have anything to reward myself with. This sucks. If I had more money I would go out and get my eyebrows waxed or get a manicure or something. But I don't have any money at all.

It doesn't help that the weather today just plain sucks. It's supposed to be spring, for Gods' sakes! It is NOT supposed to be snowing.

So at this point...I don;t know if I can do this. But I am keeping up the fight so far.

It is now 1:51 p.m.