i'm darkness and light, bubbles and faerie wings. i am sparkles and glitter, shadows and clouds. i love purple, and faeries, and books, and music.

Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

patterns & decisions

The helpful thing about journaling – whether on paper, or on this blog – is that I can reference patterns in my life. August and September seem to be months where my pain flairs and my mood drops. Pain and depression seem to be thrown at me between these two months. And this is all outside of the March 2013 PTSD issues. I haven’t even gotten to November yet, when I seem to have those triggers pop up.

BUT… I get tired of being tired, and in pain, and so sad that I feel like I can’t breathe. Sure hormones and medication (with/without) can factor into this, but mostly I find that this time of year is hard on my body and mind. And I need to watch out for that, and try and find ways to work through it.

I know when things are bothering me, even if I don’t think anything is bothering me. I know because all of a sudden I am plagued with an obsession with my hair. It’s wrong. It’s too long, too short, too pink, too blue, too MUCH. It has to change.

Earlier this month, I went to bed exhausted. I was sure I’d fall asleep right away but instead I tossed and turned for an hour. I got up and took my eyebrow piercing out. Went back to bed and fell fast asleep. I didn’t know I wanted to do that, or that I was going to do that. I just got up as if on autopilot and removed it. About 6 weeks before I marked the 12th anniversary of having it done.

This past week I have gotten up multiple times in the night, autopilot engaged, and cut my hair. A little bit at a time, but still enough to allow myself to fall asleep upon returning to bed. I knew I was going to change the colour soon, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do yet. But my hair was bothering me. Always noticeable. Always annoying me.

Today I cut almost all of my hair off.

I bleached it.

And I realized… I no longer want to do the Publishing certificate. Five (six?) years ago I had an idea about what I wanted to do to change the situation I was in. I went back to school. I was terrified. I was excited. I knew THEN that was what I wanted to do.

And I continued, slowly, through the courses. I had them as a distraction after the trauma. They gave me something to focus all my energy on. They gave me hope that I wouldn’t be stuck in the job I was in that wasn’t fulfilling me.

But then time passed. I got older. Life changed.

And now? I have moved on. I’m no longer interested in pursuing this. And yes, I had only two courses left and I’d be done. Thing is if I don’t want to do something, if I am 100% sure I do not want to do it? I can’t do it. You couldn’t pay me to do it. I think I’d end up destroying myself first. (That’s a lot harsher than I mean it to be.) I’m like a cat on a leash – I will NOT walk with you, stupid human. I will plant my feet on the ground and you’ll have to drag me.

And once I came to that realization, that I didn’t want to be in school anymore, I felt lighter. My chest felt less constricted. This isn’t the only thing I am having issues with right now, there are a couple of other things, but this one thing I can control.

So I withdrew from the courses.

And I dyed my hair.

And part of me feels as though I should feel disappointed in myself because I came so close to finishing something, but stopped. But I am not disappointed. I feel relieved. I feel refreshed. I have literally moved on from this in my head, and forcing myself to continue with something that I don’t want to do anymore wasn’t going to help anything. I lose nothing from this. I don’t want to work in publishing anymore. Not now, anyhow. I gained a whole bunch of knowledge and insight into the book world, and I am happy with that. I am happy that I challenged myself to learn something new.

But in the end I got what I, personally, needed from the experience and closed the chapter on that part of my life. I am content.

And my hair is short, and I feel like I can breathe a little easier. And I will continue looking at patterns in my moods and behaviours and work on figuring out what they are trying to tell me. And I think I will be happier in life that way.

But…maybe I could possibly stop wanting to chop all my hair off right before winter and decide I need to grow it out in the summer? Those are the complete opposite hair-lengths for those seasons! Argh! Me!

fauxplessness

I don’t really have a photo to go with this post so here is a photo of Abigail pretending she’s a flower in my garden.

The good news: After four years, I have finally gotten to the point where I am confident I have overcome the trauma I suffered in March 2013. I am no longer broken. I am scarred, but not broken. This means my doctor and I have been slowly decreasing the medication originally prescribed to help glue me together. I am looking forward to being medication-free once more.

The bad news: The first week of a decrease in medication is rough. It varies in difficulty per person, per medication, and even per dosage. And sometimes that roughness sends you into spiral of complete and total hopelessness. There’s no point in anything. There is no hope. No light. No reason.

But it’s not a true hopelessness. It’s false. I call it faux-plessness. Because I know everything isn’t hopeless. I know I am OK. But my brain is currently trying to figure out why it feels weird. My body is looking for extra dosages of whatever it was in those yellow and white pills. I guess it’s looking for the white part, because the pills I’m on now are all yellow.

I feel like total crap this week. From dizzy spells, to nausea, to random bouts of paranoia and anxiety, to a deep, suffocating sadness that convinces me there’s no hope for anything in my life. My head is in a fog. I want to cry one second, rage the next. I feel abandoned by friends that I love, and yet feel a total overwhelming sense of love for my friends that I want to hug them forever.

Up and down. Spinning.

I feel slightly better today than I did on Monday, which was the first day I was on the decreased dosage. Oddly, the decrease before this one (which was 4 months ago) didn’t have the same effect on me. That one mostly effected my sleep. 100mg I sleep like I am drugged, 75mg everything is fine, 50mg WIDE AWAKE HELLO INSOMNIA, 25 mg…. WHY DO I LIFE?! SO ALONE! GLOOOOOOM!!

But by this time next week this will all be gone. I will feel normal again. And as I continue on this dosage until I start to stagger the pills to every second day, then every third day and so on… I look forward to living my life without crippling anxiety and fear in a medication-free zone.

I had worked so hard to take care of myself mentally, after years and years of depression and other mood disorders. I was so proud of who I was and how strong I’d become. And then March 27, 2013 happened and I broke apart. It’s been a long, uphill battle to get myself back into feeling safe and strong again. I have gained the gift of learning more ways to help strengthen myself, and these gifts are what are allowing me to slowly remove the medication from my body.

But right now, the change is frustratingly overwhelming. I know it lasts about 5-10 days for me. It will pass. I know this stabbing hopelessness and sadness in my chest will evaporate soon. Also the dizzy spells. I’d like them to go away, too. Especially with how random they are. I don’t want to work or drive right now because…ugh.

But soon this fauxplessness will vanish and I’ll be right as rain. (Speaking of rain…CAN WE NOT WITH THE RAIN EVERY DAY THIS SUMMER, PLEASE?! Not helping the mental stuff. Also my garden is so soggy the plants are drowning to death. *sniff*)

Existing is exhausting. Good grief.

the healing power of snuggles

I go back to work tomorrow after having been off since the end of November. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I am doing much better than I was three months ago and I can actually go out into the world without having a nervous breakdown. On the other hand… I don’t know how I feel about going back to work, my job in particular. Part of it has a lot to do with the fact that I have to continuously walk by the building that the guy jumped from last March. I can’t help it. It’s right next to my office. I am just so over down-town, big cities in general lately. The jumper guy just added to my original dislike of cities. I’m also at the point where I’m ready to move on to a different job. Something that I really, truly enjoy. I just don’t know what that is yet – besides moving into the publishing world. I’m not ready for that one yet though. Still have some schooling to finish. Either way, I’m back to the real world tomorrow morning.

Besides missing not having to wake up to an alarm clock in the mornings, I am seriously going to miss snuggling with Sophie.

Snuggle Selfie

This dog, this tiny, vocal, fluffy little girl has been a huge part of my healing process. I didn’t even realize how much she’s been a part of it until recently. Whether it was the middle of the night, or during a crying fit, or just sitting quietly on the couch while I browsed the internet, Sophie will jump up beside me at least 10 times a day just o squish her face into mine, give me kisses, let me rub her belly and just hug her tightly for ever. She is a champion snuggler and I have never had a dog that loves to cuddle as much as she does. Sophie just loves to be loved and to share that love with her humans. She’ll alternate being beside me on the couch and then wandering over to Shawn at the table and stare at him, climb up onto his lap and give him kisses. She bounces between the two of us snuggling away. I’m a little worried how she’s going to be once we’re both back at work full time. I’m at least going back progressively while Shawn is hopefully on his way to finding new employment. I’d like to think there will be a decent enough transition period that Sophie won’t freak out about being alone (with Jinx) for 10 hours a day, 5 days a week.

Normally Sophie doesn’t DO selfies.

I realized this evening, as Sophie and I were smooshing our faces together, that it’s going to be impossibly hard for me to be gone all day tomorrow and not have snuggle moments with her. She’s been the best hug, the best comfort while I have been home. When I am anxious or sad I just bury my face into her fur and hug her while she grumbles at me. She’s vocal. She sings, she grumbles, she’ll occasionally bark at me when she thinks I’ve not paid enough attention to her (or paid her the wrong kind of attention… she might have told me off after the Olympic Ice Dancing routine I tried with her in the kitchen this weekend…)

Go, Team Canada!

But she’ll come right back up to me, tail wagging and jump up on her hind legs, stretching her JAZZ PAWS! up in the air at me so I’ll bend down and hug her. And hug her, and hug her and love her. She’s a bundle of love and affection that’s kept me together at times I was sure I’d fall apart. She didn’t care that I thought I was broken. She didn’t think I was broken, she just loved that I was on the couch next to her.

Jinx is great when I am down and out, he is. He’ll stay close and keep a watchful eye on me. He’ll curl up on the couch next to me, but he won’t snuggle. He doesn’t like kisses. “Boys don’t get kisses, Mummy!” is his stance on the matter. But he’ll protect me and he knows when I’m sick or sad. Sophie however, will jump right into that fire and smoosh herself right into your heart if you let her.

The best part about you exercising at home, Mummy, is that I can Downward Dog with you!

Both dogs stay near me constantly, but Sophie likes to be touching me as much as possible. She’ll take any opportunity for a cuddle. She’s not clingy or needy, don’t get me wrong. She likes her space well enough! Sophie just seems to know when I might need a little extra love and a giggle in my life. If I’m trying to hold a one-minute plank, or get 25 sit-ups in, she’ll sometimes come right over and stick her nose in my eye (thanks) and give my nose a little lick. Then she’ll slide down into play-mode and hang out with me as I giggle up a storm and take a break from the exercise.

Once I’m on the couch, she’s up there waiting. SNUGGLE TIME! Don’t play that computer game too long! Don’t watch too many hours of Buffy or Veronica Mars without stopping for a CUDDLE BREAK! Don’t forget to LOVE ME!

Sophie is my little snuggle bug and I’m almost in tears to have to leave her home while I’m at work the next two days. She doesn’t sleep in bed with us anymore (preferring to claim MY spot on the couch overnight!) so I won’t have as much snuggle time between getting home, eating dinner and then bed. I’m not sure who will miss whom the most. Thankfully she and Jinx will have Shawn to snuggle for most of tomorrow – although he’s got an appointment in the morning so he’ll actually be leaving the house with me at ten to eight tomorrow morning. Poor dogs, they’re in for a bit of a shock.

If I could get these dogs certified as therapy dogs for myself, I would. Having them – especially Snuggle Sophie – around me all day has been one of the best things I could possibly have asked for while dealing with my PTSD.

noises in my head

I have spent the last two days playing with graphics and switching up my blogs from their winter duds to their spring-time ones. I have spent the last two days doing absolutely nothing that I need to be doing. Not a thing. I didn’t even really write blog posts that I need to write. I’m behind in updating the book blog, but I haven’t really been reading much anyhow. Still, I have four posts to write and I should do that. But I just have absolutely no desire to do anything these days.

I have so much going on at work that I need to get done. So much school work. Everything keeps going over and over and over in my head and it’s been so loud that I can’t sleep and can’t focus on anything. As soon as I start one thing, chatter about all the other things I need to do starts up until it’s so loud I can’t see straight. So I just check out mentally.

I always know when I’m in a state because I can’t stand my hair. I have to change it and change it until finally, I find myself standing in the bathroom at midnight, having gotten out of bed because I couldn’t sleep due to the noise in my head, and chop it all off. I had wanted to wait until towards the end of April or until I’d actually lost more weight before cutting it, but I needed to do something. For some reason cutting my hair helps. Who knows.

Short in the back and longer in the front. It’s like a reverse mullet. My party is always in the front, yo.

I put the last of the pink I had in my hair. I will be changing the colour soon enough, but right now my soul doesn’t seem to know what colour it wants to be. Heck, I’m even lusting after a pair of YELLOW pants in the mall and I HATE yellow normally. Don’t think I have owned a yellow piece of clothing in my life (at least since I started buying my own clothes).

I played in the yard with the dogs for a bit this afternoon, too. I’m behind in school stuff but this weekend is the first weekend I just checked out completely and the thought of doing anything – cleaning, school work, ANYTHING, made me want to curl up into a ball, hide and cry. I just don’t want to do anything right now. Is this burn out? I don’t know, I’m just tired and sad.

I’m also giving myself this week to decide whether or not I want to cancel or keep my weight watchers account. Honestly, it’s just not working for me since no matter what I do I stay the same stupid weight all the time. I have changed my eating habits, my food, my exercise… and nothing. I lose those 11 pounds and then just stayed there forever. Why pay money every month when nothing changes? I have another 40 pounds to go and well, it’s just not happening that way. We’ll see.

MEANWHILE – we’ve had a few more Free Range Sophie successes! Last Sunday she was left to her own devices (Jinx was in charge) twice, Tuesday and Friday evenings she was left free, all with no problems at all. We’re not quite at the stage that we’ll leave her out for the full work-day, but perhaps we’ll get there by the summer.

Ok, my husband is about to go do groceries because I can’t possibly convince myself that I can leave the house today. I must go tell him what I need for lunch this week.

I hope this snow melts soon and the days warm up (not too much) and spring actually springs at some point. I need a seasonal change to help kick this mood in the pants.

self-maintenance

I have been frustrated with my scale. The last four weeks have not seen any remarkable change on Sundays when I stand there and take note of the number. I have my aqua fit. I am back to doing crunches/push-ups now that my plague is gone. I am planning meals and snacks and eating fairly well. I have lapses, but honestly, not enough for it to make NO difference. What I am noticing is that I am great at maintaining my weight, but that’s not what I am trying to do.

I’m also tired of taking pills. Having a past riddled with depression and mental illness I have done my time of medicinal cocktails and I am trying very hard to eliminate medication from my life. I am actually down to only two medications: the one for my pain (which I learned I cannot even cut in half without my body rebelling) and one for the acid reflux I have had since forever. It’s a burning reminder of the digestive issues I had for so long. It’s the only thing that still bothers me, to the point of EXTREME pain.

But I don’t want to take pills anymore. And taking the stomach acid pill isn’t healthy after so many years. It prohibits your body from producing things it actually needs. So I tried to research natural alternatives and I haven’t really found anything that didn’t seem sketchy to me. With the exception of adding foods to my diet that should help. Things like garlic and ginger and tumeric and all sorts of healthy things.

I’m trying to eat healthier so why not?

On Saturday I made the decision to not take my stomach pill. Normally by lunch time I am ready to breathe fire without it, but I made it through to Monday without having any discomfort at all. Success! Monday I could feel heart burn but I stood strong! I made sure I was eating healthy and natural foods and I wasn’t going to let the stomach acid win!

Tuesday night (last night) I had to take a pill before bed because I was in so much pain and the acid was so strong it was making me cough. I think it’s because of what I ate though. I had butter chicken and naan bread at lunch and both cheese and yogurt. I know dairy is bad for stomach acid stuff (at least I think? I know milk is bad). I think it was the carb-heavy meal that pushed me over the edge and then a sandwich at night for dinner. I didn’t take anything today and although I am in some discomfort, I am pretty sure I’ll be able to sleep tonight. I was convinced I was going to throw up fire all last night though. It was not a peaceful sleep.

I am slowly changing my body around. We start every morning by eating our two princesses and I am active (aqua fit was really intense this week and I am so sore right now) – even if I am not as active as I’d like to be – and I have made a challenge with some coworkers now to take the stairs up minimum once a day. We’re on the 7th storey and you can’t get out on floors 4 and five, so if you don’t get out at 3 and take the elevator, you’re committed to climbing to the 7th floor.

I can tell you that there are 130 stairs between floors 2 and 7. That’s about 70 more than I can do without my lungs hurting so much I just want to roll over and die. It’s embarrassing. Not only do my legs hurt, but I can’t breathe for like, 15 minutes after taking those stairs! I didn’t get to them today but I will try and do them twice tomorrow to make up for it.

Food, vitamins, activity… I will get there. I will become a healthier version of myself and hopefully only need to take my pain pills (and the occasional advil or migraine pill). Hoping that eventually the pain pills will be unnecessary, too.

My scale won’t move and my measurements are decreasing at a snail’s pace BUT I was able to wear my awesome purple rain-boots with my pants tucked into them today. I haven’t been able to get pants between the boot and leg since I bought them. I normally only wear them with tights. So I consider that a success.

And I am working towards a better me. I will do this. I’m in the zone. I will get there. I’d just like to have some of it go faster and I would really like that scale to move past the stupid plateau number it’s been at for three months now. Grrr.