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.