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.

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Ramblings by Year

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.

princesses are delicious – who knew?

As part of my move towards better health and habits, I had been thinking about adding a multivitamin to my daily routine, but never thought of it when I was at the store. Last night Shawn and I hit up Costco because we were out of important things like toilet paper and puffs tissues. Also Advil. Did you know you can get a billionty advil at costco at a decent price? Yay.

Whilst in the pharmacy area of Costco we went up and down each aisle (because that is what you do at Costco. You never know what aisle might have some Magical I NEED THAT item you didn’t realize you needed until you saw it.) and the above bottle caught my eye. I didn’t actually know what it was until closer inspection but at first look all I thought was “MAGICAL!” so we picked it up. Shawn had just been joking about this giant gummy bear bottle of vitamins for kids, saying he would totally have taken vitamins if they were gummy bears. Then we found this.

DISNEY PRINCESS GUMMY MAGICAL MULTIVITAMINS!

And they are for adults, too.

Obviously we bought them – what with the photo taken on my stove and all. And now we are both taking two magical multivitamins each day.

And these are freaking delicious, too. I want to eat MORE than two. (Of course I won’t. I’m not that stupid.)

So each morning Shawn and I are starting our day by eating some Disney Princesses. That’s not weird, right?

Of course not.

It’s HEALTHY.

well, that didn’t work…

I have been feeling wonderful lately. Wonderful as in zero pain, totally limber and like my body is a normal body that can function on its own. This has been pretty exciting to me. I chalked it up to the exercise I have been doing every day and the aqua fit I will eventually get back to when I’m actually at the office on a Monday and Wednesday…

So on Sunday night, feeling like I could leap tall building in a single bound, I thought, “Why not try to decrease my 20mg dose of Elavil to 10mg? Maybe I don’t need it anymore because I am exercising regularly and losing weight and I feel BRAND NEW!”

Turns out that this isn’t a viable option just yet.

I felt stiff yesterday evening but  I was chalking that up to having increased my push-ups to 15 a day and my body getting used to it. But by midnight last night, I woke up with my body on FIRE and the pain was so sharp that I had been having nightmares about being in pain.

Fun times.

So I got up and took that second pill and came back to bed. My body is aching today, sort of like when you have the flu or if you’ve just fallen down some stairs and you feel bruised everywhere.

I’m sort of disappointed I need to still take my tiny amount of medication every night and how quickly my inflammation flares up without it. Sigh. I guess I’m not quite ready yet. Although it might take a week or two of pain without the pills for my body to adjust. I just don’t have the time/patience to test that out right now. I’ll be back at work tomorrow (have been home due to repairs/renovations) and I know I can’t function in the office when I get into these flare ups.

So I will continue to exercise and strengthen my muscles and lose weight and try again in the summer if I am still feeling 100% like I was.

Fibromyalgia is a strange beast and I don’t want to have to feed her pills, I have been managing it almost completely with the food, exercise and other changes I have made. I was feeling NORMAL for the first time in a long time. I want it to be like that without pills, as minimal as they are.

I am also trying to research a natural alternative to my taking Prevacid every morning. I have horrible acid reflux and I think that my pain started around the time I started taking this other medication regularly. I can’t go 24 hours without one in the morning or I throw up fire. Bleh. I just know that taking this long-term does crazy things to stomach acid that you actually NEED. But this is another medication I can’t experiment with while at work because it’s almost crippling without taking it. So… what do to? I am down to only taking these two medications (with the occasional Advil for headaches or a migraine med when it’s really bad). I’d like to me medication free if I can. It’s a goal.

Meanwhile, I will attempt to get through my push-ups today, but I don’t know how well that will go due to my skin hurting to the touch. I WILL prevail though. Just need to wait for the workman to leave my basement. 😉