Monday, December 28, 2020

Weekly Update: Tongue afire...

 Man, I forgot to tell the fine folks at Subway to not add the additional Buffalo sauce to my sandwich after it was toasted. I don't mind the heat, but when there's that much on there, it drowns out the taste of everything else and leaves my nose running a the mouth afire thing, but that doesn't so much bother me as much.

So, my little chickadees, how is everyone this week? Christmas is over and in theory, things have settled down. I say in theory because that's not so much the case here. I have a project that *must* be done in the next two days as well as another tidy of the living room and sweeping needs to happen. Now that I worked so hard getting it to okay, I want to keep it that way until I figure out how to downsize some more. I'll do a quick swish and swipe in the bathroom tomorrow so make sure that it stays up to par. 

I almost can't believe it, but I have two Christmas presents that still haven't arrived and show no sign of doing so any time soon. It's been eleven days since the last one's tracking updated and the other one was shipped without tracking. Hopefully they arrive soon. I've given up on my daily checks but will still check a few times each week. 

Christmas was good though. All the kids came over on the 22nd and we had pizza, watched a movie, and played Monopoly on the xbox. Then, the next morning, Molly joined us and we all opened gifts. I think everyone liked what they got. I didn't hear any complaints anyway. I got some great gifts...2 Lego sets, a new pan, and a Ninja Foodi Blender that we scored on clearance. I'm looking forward to having the kitchen in a place where my counters are clear and my floors aren't falling apart so I can use those last two. Now that the outside trash can is empty (again...that's 2 weeks in a row that I remembered!), I can haul out the Christmas trash and there will be room for more from the kitchen. It feels good to see so much going out and to see clear surfaces again. I really do wish I could figure out the living room. I know that it simply comes down to me having too many books, but I want to read them all...

Anyway, today Ben had his checkup at Mary Free Bed. He doesn't have to go back for six months and she's going to schedule him for a drivers readiness test to check his reflexes, flexibility, and all of that. We haven't told his dad and stepmom yet but while it scares me spitless to think of him driving, it's an important possible step in his independence. 

As for me, I have a doctor's appointment on the fifth. I need to message the office and see if I have to get more blood work done before that. I also need to do some research and find some meal options. I'm tired of what I've been eating and need to switch it up. 

That's all for today, I think...I need to get a move on before I run out of time for this project. Plus, I still have cats to feed, clothes to hang up to dry, and a never ending list like we all have. I hope your holidays were/are wonderful. Take care of yourselves and each other!

Monday, December 21, 2020

Weekly Update: Happy Holidays!

 Whew, we've made it to Christmas week. I can't believe that it's here already. This year has been so weird. On one hand, August seems like a year ago, but it feels like time is racing by at the same time. 

This past week has been okay. Nothing exceptional to report. I saw the dietician(s) for the first time and they want me to start carb counting and finding a way to exercise. I haven't done either mostly because it seems really overwhelming to add that in on top of everything else that's going on. I've decided to start next week once Christmas is over. 

I know that seems...irresponsible, but I've been good about my diet (or at least better) for the past few weeks. I am checking labels more and taking that into account. So, I'm not totally ignoring their advice. This weekend, I'll go over the packet that they sent home with me and try to use it for future meal prepping. 

Other than that, the past week has been about wrapping up my last projects of 2020 (one more to go) and cleaning the house. I've done the living room and while it's horribly cluttered, it is clean. After the holidays, I'm going to see if Roger will come over and help me load up things for Goodwill that are already boxed up. Then, I'll have to start another purge. 

The bathroom is done as well, other than the shower, which nobody will be using while they're here. Today, I have to tackle the kitchen and honestly, all I can say is ugh. It's a disaster and while nobody will be using it, the kids will be able to see in there and it's just not acceptable. The bonus of all of this? Once it's done, I can let the owner of the house know about one of the three big issues and get it fixed. The house will be good enough to have someone come in. I'll just have the laundry room to tackle and that's mostly mount washmore...

So, that's what I've been up to. Well, that and worrying that gifts won't get here in time. I already know that two won't be here which is so frustrating. I ordered everything in plenty of time, but the post office is so backed up. Heck, they aren't even scanning packages so I don't know where they are or when to expect them. I had one item ship from England on November 30th and there's no sign of it. It hasn't been delivered and the shop mailed it without tracking. I check the mailbox every day hoping that it's there and Dylan's big gift has arrived. So far, no luck on either. Ugh! 

I hate that two of the boys' main gifts aren't here. I hate that they're going to have to wait and watch others open their gifts. I'm holding out for a miracle that they get here tomorrow or Wednesday. For now though, I'm going to hang my few Christmas cards up on the wall and take my medicine before I forget. Then, it'll be time for round one of the kitchen.

Happy Holidays, everyone! Take care of you and each other!

Monday, December 14, 2020

Weekly Update: For real, Monday?

 Woke up this morning, had a plan for what needed to get done today. None of it...well, mostly none of it has happened so far. Why? My printer...and me. I needed to print out a client's check (aka my payment) so I sent it to the printer. My laptop says the printer is offline. I checked. It was on. Then...lightbulb. I hadn't used it since we installed the new network. Easy enough...I'll just update that. I did everything I could think of for an hour and got nowhere. Then, Roger suggested I just use my wifi hotspot on my phone and print it. Okay, set that up and it printed...but no black ink. It decided just to not use that cartridge. I think at this point I said a few words that didn't, they needed to be said. 

Ended up going shopping with the boys and picked up a new printer that Ben picked up for me because why? I can't deposit my check until I can print it out. Managed to get a small discount which was nice. Came home, got it hooked up, ran the set up and that's when I realized that for that entire hour, I was leaving a number out of our network password on the old printer. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I decided to keep the new printer and I'll donate the old one. Seriously though...mostly user error the entire time? 

Anyway, all of that put me hours and hours behind today's list. So, I'm going to do the minimum...write this post, fill out the paperwork for tomorrow's doctor's appointment, and contact a client who reached out to me...then call it good. Heck, I picked up dinner on the way home and I haven't even finished that. The frustration is real, but it is what it is. I can't change it.

In other news, I heard from "the man" a couple of days ago. He thanked me for the Christmas gifts that I sent. It was a short conversation but felt awkward. I had hopes that he'd start messaging me daily, but no such luck as of yet. My messages are going through now though so that's something.

Speaking of Christmas gifts, I wish the rest of what I'd ordered would get here already. I have to ship one to Canada but it has to get here from England first. It's supposed to come this week, but at this point, I'm sure that it won't make it to Rob on time. How frustrating. I'd have ordered him something else if I'd paid attention to where this is coming from. Somehow I missed England. Still, it's an awesome gift that I think he'll like so it may just be a new years gift in the end. 

I have to see the dietician tomorrow. I'm a bit nervous because they kept saying with the referral written how it is, my insurance won't cover it. They said they'd take care of it, and I certainly hope that they do. I can't afford a medical bill on top of the holidays. 

But that reminds me that I have half a dozen pages of paperwork to fill out. I don't know if they'll weigh me tomorrow, but if they do, I sure hope that it's gone down with all the really yummy stuff I haven't eaten in a couple of weeks.


Monday, December 7, 2020

Weekly Update: Blurgh...

 I'm late today getting this written. I  made a big mistake last night. I was wide awake, so I stayed up until something like 2:30am watching Death in Paradise because the newest season has finally hit brit box. Then, since it was so late, I decided to sleep on the couch. Big mistake. This couch isn't as deep as my other one was I just couldn't get as comfortable as I needed to get. I slept in 2-3 hour stretches and then Ben started calling around 8:30am. 

Oddly enough, I've only been a bit tired today which is good. What's bad and led to blurgh being the title is that my stomach is reacting to my medication today. I've not had one day where it hasn't but it's mostly been a bit of heartburn or a wave of nausea. I haven't had the rush to the bathroom stuff for a few days...until today. Blurgh. 

I even had the chance to be "bad" and pick up some pizza for dinner but it was so bad that the idea of food made me cringe. Now, I'm home, in comfy clothes, writing this post, and have no idea what I'll do for dinner. I have a few options, none of which sound good at all.

Other than that, I'm doing okay so far as I know. I don't have any medical stuff until next week so that's good. I do have a few files to "pretty up" for Anthony which will put a bit more money in the account which is also good. Ben "graduated" from OT today so I don't know when I'll be going into town, which is good and bad. I won't be seeing Ben until I don't know when. I'll have to make special trips for groceries, but I'll be home to hopefully get everything cleaned up for Christmas. 

That's my big goal. I want to have the downstairs (minus my studio and the laundry room) done for Christmas. I'm not sure what day we're doing it yet, but I don't want the kids to come in and want to leave immediately because it's so gross. 

That reminds me. I have three packages at the post office that I have to pick up tomorrow. I have no idea what they are. They could be comics from Kickstarter or Christmas gifts that I've ordered. I'll go pick them up tomorrow and then, depending on how far along the house is, I'll get things wrapped this weekend. I also have to write my Christmas cards. House first though. That's number one. Besides, I prefer to sit and wrap everything all at once and I need to wrap up my shopping. I know what I'm getting. I just have to get the funds and then order it. Easy peasy, right? 

For now though, I'm going to put the few groceries away that I bought during a spell when I don't feel like I'm going to heave. 

Take care of yourself and each other!

Monday, November 30, 2020

Weekly Update: Hanging in there

 I was asked this morning how I'm doing and all I can say is that I'm hanging in there. This medicine is kicking my ass...literally. Main side effects: nausea, diarrhea, heartburn...I feel like a pepto commercial except pepto makes me even more nauseas if I take it. It is slowly improving, but I up the dosage tomorrow which worries me that I'll be back at square one.

I got to the point yesterday where I just wanted to cry about not feeling good. I just wanted to be wrapped up in one of those hugs where you just feel safe, but of course, covid, so that's not a thing. Still, I've been trying to do what I can.

Yesterday, I moved the Christmas tree from the kitchen where it's lived for the past year into the "wall" (aka the office/studio). The lights that someone put on it (We bought it from Goodwill last year already covered in lights.) aren't lighting up, so over this week I'll detangle all of those, check to see which strands actually work and then decorate the tree. I do need to pick up some more ornaments. I can't get to mine in the barn and only have maybe 8 from last year on it. I'm stopping at Walmart today so I'll pick up some more ball ornaments and maybe a few others. 

I also finished my last client project that's been sitting on my desk. I ought to be looking for new ones, but I really want to take the time between now and Christmas to focus on the house and preparing for the holiday. If something comes along, I won't turn it down because we can always use the money, but I'm not going to go searching. 

I'm almost done Christmas shopping which is nice. I have one thing for Ben, one thing for Roger, a couple of things for Molly, and something for Dylan and I'm done. It sounds like a lot, but they're all small things except for Dylan, who has still not given me any sort of list. I've threatened him with buying him nothing but ramen, but that doesn't seem to be phasing him. 

I still need to rebuild my card list. Last year's list is on one of my external drives. I need to find it and update it for this year. I've had a few people say that they'd like cards so I need to make sure that they're on the list. 

Overall, things are slowly coming together. It's not easy, but I'm trying to push forward and keep making little changes where I can. I've switched to wheat bread and Dylan gave me his old fitbit versa so now I have that to keep track of my movement. It still sucks, but hey, at least I have it verified that it sucks. Plus, the dietician called and they want to set up an appointment. I have to remember not to go in defensive. They're there to help me. I just hope I can make some of it happen. 

Anyway, that's life here. I've been super blessed that Eric has been messaging me to make sure I'm okay and to talk things through with me. It helps a lot. I've told very few people about this so knowing I have someone to listen is worth its weight in gold...or his weight in gold...heh..It's hard not to worry that I'm bugging people with this, but I guess the bonus of not telling a lot of people is that I don't have many to 

Okay, time to get back to life. I have just about 2 hours before I have to pop into Walmart, take Ben to his specialist, and pick up part of Molly's Christmas gift. I think I might see if I can get any of those light strands untangled and off of the tree. 

Take care of yourselves and each other!

PS 11 weeks

PPS 321 lbs.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Weekly Update: Well, here we go...

 I don't know how many of you read my "bonus" post this week, but if you haven't, I've been diagnosed with diabetes. That's a scary sounding word, but my doctor has assured me that if I get my act together and eat healthier, exercise, and drop some weight, it's totally reversible. So, you'll probably be reading a lot for a while about my attempts at those things. 

It's tough because I can't afford to just replace everything in my fridge/pantry. I have to eat what's here. Still, as things go, I'm not replacing some of them. No more buying muffins or cookies, for example. I have quite a backlog of cereal, but once that's gone, I think I'm going to try overnight oats. Once the kitchen floor is fixed, I'll have better access to my stove which will allow me to do things like cook eggs for breakfast. Protein protein protein is apparently the new name of my diet game. 

Speaking of the kitchen floor, I've created another schedule for myself which allows for at least 15 minutes of cleaning each day. I figure with that, it won't be too long before I can notify the owners about that floor. With really needing the ability to cook again, it's more important than ever to get that taken care of. 

Mostly, I guess that it's important that I'm only freaking out a little. I've let a few people know and they've been super supportive. Rob pointed out that I have support and love as I work on making these changes. That's so important right now. I need to know that I have people I can turn to on good days and on bad days. I've posted vague posts to Facebook about a health issue but I haven't gone further than that. The posts didn't get a lot of attention but the comments were supportive which was nice. 

Today I woke up feeling pretty good, went to the post office, and read over my list of things that I need to do today. There are a couple that I'm pretty meh about, but I need to stick with this schedule the best that I can. That means packaging up books to mail and cleaning even if I don't really want to. Does anyone have any idea where I put the packing tape?


Friday, November 20, 2020

Bonus Post: Diabetes

 Well, it's finally happened. My "inability" to take care of myself has led to me being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. My doctor assures me that if I lose the weight and start paying attention to my diet and actually get some exercise, that it's reversible. I have nobody to blame but myself. I'm at my heaviest weight and it's due to all of the crap that I've spent the past 5 months or so eating. 

I'm freaked though. I don't know how to fix this. Okay, I do. I mean, I lost 75 pounds in the past. The thing that time, I had a place in my house to workout and a kitchen floor that didn't threaten to kill me whenever I step on it. Ben would tell me to stop making excuses and fix the problems. Really that's my only choice, but I'm feeling totally overwhelmed. 

I had to go and have more bloodwork done. I'm being put on medication. I might go see a diabetic nutrionist and she wants me to go see my eye doctor. I guess I'll have to call my insurance company to see if I can go before April because she doesn't want me to wait that long. 

I don't know, y'all. I'm super sad that I didn't love myself enough to prevent this. I'm not angry. I'm just sad. Anger is pointless and toxic when turned on myself. I haven't told anyone except Justin yet. I don't really want to make this a public thing, but I feel as if I need help. Even if it's just support and accountability. The reality is that I know I can't do it alone. It's going to take planning and preparation and a shit ton of house cleaning.

Maybe it's just as well that my editing jobs have slowed down. It may open up the time to work on the house. If I can get the house cleaned up, I can get the floor fixed. If I get the floor fixed, I'll be able to use my stove/oven again. If I can use them again, I can cook healthier meals. If I can cook healthier meals, it will help me to drop the weight and just get healthier. 

I have to go back and see my doctor in January. That's not a lot of time to get things in order, but I have to do what I can do. It's not going to be easy and I honestly expect that it's going to be a super big struggle, but if I did it before, I can do it again. I have to believe that, even when my brain says you're going to fail. That's exactly what my brain is screaming right now. You can't do this. It's too hard. You're going to remain fat and get sick and end up like Graham. Ugh. I do not want that to happen. I guess thank goodness he's pretty much shoved me out of his life. I'd hate for him to see that, but I need to be honest with myself. That's what's happening in my head.

So...I guess this weekend I add figure all this out to my list of things to do. I want to talk to Rob about it. I'd like to talk to Nick about it but come Tuesday it will be 10 weeks since I last heard from him. I've faced the fact that he's not there for me. He's not supporting me. Maybe I'll talk to Eric about it too. He's the only other person who knew about any of this. He actually wished me good luck at the appointment this morning. That was really nice. 

I don't want a huge support team, but I need a support team that I can rely on to support. And I guess that's that. I don't know what else to say about any of this other than it's stressing me out and it should be. I fucked up and I fucked up big time. Time to try to save myself because no one else can. 

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Weekly Update: A Day Early

 I hope nobody minds, but I'm writing this on Sunday night instead of Monday morning. My week feels topsy-turvy and I have no idea how I'm going to get everything done. So, instead of taking my usual down time tonight, I'm knocking a few of the easier to move around things out. 

The biggest things on my mind are a couch and a doctor's appointment. The couch currently belongs to my ex-husband and his wife. They're upgrading their furniture and I've been offered the couch. As I remember, it's not the most comfortable of pieces of furniture (which is why it's been in the basement tv area and not upstairs) but it also isn't falling apart. I guess mine isn't technically falling apart. It's just that the fabric over the springs has torn so the cushion gets shoved down between the springs. Still, a free couch to replace one that I'm constantly having to "fix" isn't a bad deal, right? The problem is that a) I love how comfy my current couch is and b) the living room isn't in "replacing a couch" condition. So, that adds more work to my first half of the week. That stresses me out because I know I won't have it done when the kids come with the couch. Why? I have to projects to get through this week.

Second thing? Yep. That doctor's appointment. Normally I don't fuss over them, but I looked over my blood test results and my glucose is really high. High enough that it could explain the constant fatigue. Crap. I'm still going to ask about a lung capacity test but clearly this is a big sign that I need to get my shit in order. I've been terrible this summer/fall with eating out/ordering in and having entire meals that are nothing more than milk and cookies. Covid depression craves comfort foods and comfort foods are so unhealthy for me. 

Now we just got news that we're going into a 3 week mini-lockdown here. I'm sure if I look at social media, people are already complaining. I'm already over it even though it barely affects me. It means no sit down going out for dinner. Well, maybe that's not such a horrible thing for me. I have no idea how to fix my diet, but I'm going to start with the more buying chips, cookies, and muffins. I can't afford to not eat what's here, but at least I won't be bringing more in. I'll cut back on the sugary cereal as well. There are healthier options, I've just been ignoring them.

So, stress...blah...In other news, I finished writing and formatting Apo's Army last week. That's good. I have three stories written for Back to the Toy Store - also good. I haven't written anything in at least four days - not so great. I'm like 10,000 words behind for NaNo. This may be the first year in about five years that I lose. I just don't have the stamina mentally to deal with the stress and to come up with brilliant stories. I've put write 3-5 stories in my to do list for this week, but we'll see what happens. First priority needs to really be getting the living room ready for the couch. I'm so over the clutter in here. I'm starting to consider getting rid of an entire collection of books that I have on a shelf behind the front door. So many new to me books come in that I rarely go back to the older ones that I have. On top of that, I couldn't tell you one that I really long to read again. Clearing off that shelf would allow for me to possibly empty out a box or two of books just taking up space in my living room. I don't know though. I do know that I'm going to have the boys haul the not yet built bookcase out to the street on Wednesday. One of the cats scratched the hell out of the box and ruined the backboard on the book. These are super cheap shelves and I can afford to replace them when I'm ready for them. Until then, it's just more clutter that I'm tired of looking at. 

Baby steps, right? If I can keep getting rid of things, it will clear out in here. I wish Ben could come back out. He's such a huge help and motivator when he's here. If I didn't think someone would bitch, I'd ask the boys to take some stuff back with them to drop at Goodwill for me. I can hear a certain one of them complaining though. Ahhh well...I'll figure it all out somehow. 

And that's what's stressing me out. I can either do this or it will trample me but I'll survive, so either's going to be what it's going to be.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Weekly Update: Sleepy Monday

Whew! I am one sleepy person today. Ben and I have stayed up later than usual the past couple of days which hasn't helped my usual level of tired. I have a doctor's appointment in a couple of weeks where I want to talk to her about why I'm so tired all of the time and sometimes short of breath. I just hope it's not something like diabetes (for the exhaustion) because a diet change is near impossible right now.

Mentally I'm doing okay. I'm getting things done. In fact, my next book is one story from being done and that story is already in progress. I've sent the art ideas off to Eric. The current plan is to launch it via Kickstarter in February. That seems so far away, but I just can't imagine the holidays being a good time to release it. 

The bonus? Because I include a preview section for the next book in the back of each book, when this is done, I'll have three stories already done for Return to the Toy Store. I'm not sure when I'll be releasing that one. I may actually finish writing it by the end of the month. Of course, then it will go to Eric for all of the art work. Depending on how the first book does on Kickstarter, I may or may not do the next Tales that way. Honestly, I'm a little nervous about doing it that way. If it fails, then that's a big embarrassment for me. Still, if it goes well, it allows me to pay Eric what he deserves. So, I'm going to give it a shot. 

Other than that, things are quiet. I have a project to get through this week. It's one of the rare occasions that I took one on for free. I don't expect that I'll do it again anytime soon. They always tend to end up being more work than the ones that I get paid for. I don't know why that is, but it's how it's been. Of course, they brought on another proofreader as well as me and she's turned it back in already. I didn't work on the weekend because that's my policy. I suppose it could make me look bad to the project runner, but I'm honestly not going to worry about it. 

That's really my goal right now...don't worry about it. Just take things day by day and try to get things done. So, here's to another week of getting things done!

Monday, November 2, 2020

Weekly Update: Blech

 I spent a good portion of the weekend either napping or laying on the couch watching movies. I don't regret either, but I wish I weren't so exhausted. There's no solid reason for it other than I must be getting sick. Blech. I actually went to bed at 9:30 last night because I felt nauseous and was getting a headache. I'm happy to report that I don't feel like I'm going to throw up anymore, but I can feel the headache lurking. I have a strong suspicion that I'm going to get my work done and then end up laying down. Did I say blech yet? Cuz blech.

There's not much else to report. This is week 7 without "the man."  I'm continuing on with life. I'll hear from him eventually and he might be surprised when I demand answers instead of just letting him get away with it. 

Oooh...NaNo started yesterday. I wrote another story for Apo's Army which is exciting. I only have eight or nine stories left on my list for that book, but I suspect I'll have to add more before I'm done. These stories seem shorter than what I wrote for Tales. That means more stories will be needed to hit my 100 pages that the book needs to be. 

For now though, I think I'm going to take a look at my weekly calendar and make some quick plans before I lay down. I know I have to vote tomorrow. I think my depo shot is due. I need to take Ben to OT on Friday and get the cats their flea meds. I have a project due in the next day or two. That's off the top of my head. 

Hopefully next week I'll have a better update for everyone. For now body wins.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Weekly Update: Monday again?

 Holy crow. These Mondays seem to be coming faster and faster. Today is a bit of a mixed bag because Ben has been here since Friday night and I love having that time with him. We worked on the house (he's a fantastic helper and supporter), watched a lot of football, watched a couple of Halloween specials, talked, and hung out. Today I take him to his OT appointment and then back to his dad's. Not my favorite thing, but he has work tomorrow. I'm just feeling lucky that he chose to spend his days off with his mom. 

Other than that, it was a fairly typical kind of week. I wrapped up not only a novel, but three comic projects which was awesome. I was also hired to proofread a trade paperback which is doubly awesome. I should get that done this week. I don't have anything lined up for after that which is a bit nerve wracking, but I'll survive. I do have two clients with outstanding balances so that will help on the financial side.

The house is slowly coming along. The living room is probably as good as it's going to be. The biggest problem is just having too much stuff. I'm going to have to do a major book purge and I'm not looking forward to that. I love my books. Still, there just isn't enough room in this house for all of the ones that I have. At some point I'm going to have to suck it up. I'm going to start with taking all of the books that I've already purged that are stacked upstairs on the landing.

I did a light cleaning in the bathroom. I still need to do a deeper cleaning, but that won't take too long. The biggest challenge is the kittens getting their toes all wet and dancing all over everything, leaving kitten prints. They love to see everything that's going on that's even slightly new. 

So, the biggest thing left is the kitchen. It's a bit "scary" with the floor, but like the books, it has to get done. The trash can is overflowing, so the kitchen will probably wait until the weekend. I can tackle the bathroom though. Easy peasy, right? Right. I mean, it's already mostly done. What's left is mostly just quick wipe downs of surfaces and scrubbing the bathtub. Then, sweeping and mopping the floor again. 

Other than that, life is same old, same old. I got back on track with getting to bed on time. I need to restart the alarm for getting up in the morning. I've stuck with taking my medicine, even on days when I'm tempted to just skip it. My mood seems stable, even with "the man" now on week six of not talking to me. He's now stopped posting to social media so I'm concerned, but not letting it slow me down. Rob and I talked over the weekend which was really nice. So, life is just ticking along. 

I want to thank you guys for reading this. If things keep going okay, I might come up with some topics to write about again. For now though, I'm signing off and getting some work done while the kid is in class.

Love you all! Take care of yourselves and each other.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Weekly Update: Backsliding

 I'm getting a late start today because I've spent the past few nights up far too late. That means I sleep in way too late and a cycle begins. Starting tonight I've got to buckle down and get myself to bed on time and start turning on that alarm that I said I was going to. I guess I did a bit of backsliding, but it's nothing that can't be readjusted. 

Other than that, things are okay. I got my car fixed so that's one less worry. I even got a load of laundry done for the first time in months. I'm going to try to get another load done today. It will probably have to wait until I get back from taking Ben to OT, but it can be done. Baby steps are still steps, after all. 

The kittens both go in to be fixed on Wednesday so I have to remember no food for them after midnight tomorrow. They're not going to like it, but I'll have to keep them in the bathroom overnight. Of course, that means one night of Mina not sticking her face in mine until I wake up to her cold nose. Of course, it also means getting up early to get them into the vet on time. I guess it balances out.

In other news, I managed to write another story for the book. It feels different from the other stories though so I hope it fits in. I also managed to write two comic reviews and a Kickstarter of the Week for Geek-o-Rama so that felt really good. I hadn't written a review in forever. I'm going to try to do one more this week. I have stacks off comics sitting here that I can write about. 

Let's see...still nothing from "the man." I think this is week 5 now. I saw a picture of him yesterday and he looks tired, like life is dragging him down. I'm not spending much time focused on him though. I have my own life that needs living. Things with Rob are okay. We've settled into a pattern of him texting me every few days and sometimes me texting somewhere in between. He's back to his life now though so he doesn't always respond. I'm sure he reads it, thinks he'll respond when he gets a minute, then forgets. I dunno. It is what it is. 

Wow, I really don't know what to write about today. Usually the words flow, but not this afternoon. My brain just keeps telling me I should go back to sleep. That's not going to happen though. I have just two hours until I have to change clothes and head out. Sorry, body. 

What I am going to do though is get some work done. I feel miles behind on this book for a client and I have some comic projects lined up for after that so I need to get moving on this. Have an amazing week, everyone.

Love you!

Monday, October 12, 2020

Weekly Update: Safe Spaces

 Before I get into the topic at hand this week, I want to just sum up this week's ...well, week. I'd have to say that it was good. It started with Ben here which I really enjoyed. I tackled a good portion of the living room which has helped my mood. Of course, the cats have knocked a few things over so I have to redo a bit of it. I'm still not sleeping great, but there's not much that can be done about that. I do need to remember to take some water upstairs tonight because my bottle is empty.

I also finally got to start work on the book for my client in. As of this writing, I'm only 82 pages in out of 250, but I'm making progress and if the week goes mostly like planned, I should finish it at the week's end. Then, I can pay my yard guy who yet again cannot grasp the concept of twice a month mowing and did every two weeks instead which put me $100 behind with him. I'm thinking of asking him to only mow one more time and that's it for the season. We haven't been getting rain, so the grass isn't really growing. 

I did take my car in to be looked at and luckily, the problem is under warranty so the only thing I have to pay for is two new tires. That will be done on Thursday so one more worry off my plate.  

Medicine has been going well. I think I'm two weeks in now and no more horrible side effects and I feel...calmer. I've also been doing well with my in bed and laying down by midnight bedtime. I think I'm going to start setting an alarm for getting up in the morning. It will be pretty late in the morning but I'll slowly move it up until it's a "normal time" for people to be up and moving. I still intend to talk to my doctor next month about how tired I always seem to be.

...and I don't have a beautiful segue into the topic that's been on my mind for the past day or so. I think I've been thinking about it because I've been thinking so much about Rob and "the man" and what they give to me. One thing has always been a safe space. I know that must seem odd because "the man" has been But when we're physically together, everything seems right and I feel safe.

I used to have quite a few safe spaces, but over the years, they've one by one disappeared. A number of years ago, I was in a relationship that ended rather abruptly. The next day, I got into my van and drove to Vermont, mostly because Rob wasn't available. If I had to guess, I'd say his girlfriend at the time made sure to let him know I wasn't welcome to visit. Sad really because I adored her and thought of her as family. Anyway, I ended up in Vermont and hid there for a couple of days. That location disappeared when Dave got married to a Canadian friend who didn't want to go back to Canada. I was never introduced and strangers don't equal safe to me. 

Rob has always been a safe space for me, no matter where he's lived. I've always known that he watches out for me and that I can just be me when I'm around him. I don't have to be "on." It's a really nice feeling. I miss not being able to get to that because of the border. I don't really need a safe space right now, but I feel as if maybe he does. I hope he considers me a safe space as well.

As for "the man," I'm not a safe space for him. It's been a month since I last heard from him and whenever this happens, it means something has shaken up his world. He doesn't confide in me...unless we're physically together...which only happens months after whatever happened happened. It sucks. It's not ideal for either of us. I miss him. 

I miss quite a bit  right now though. Covid has taken that ability to be those places. I keep hoping that we can get our acts together and somehow I can hug and kiss those I love again. I have a great desire to just curl up and talk or watch a movie or any of those intimate little things that make life so much better. I'm sure a lot of people do. 

Until we can though...Please take care of yourselves and each other...

PS I'm sorry about the lack of paragraphs still. I've reported it as a problem multiple times now.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Weekly Update: 95% Back to Normal

 Whew. What a difference a week makes. Last week was so hard but I'm thankful to report that I've weathered the storm of getting back on my medication and I'm feeling so much better. Now, to remind myself how miserable that week was when I start thinking about going off the meds again. I don't know why I do that. I'm so good about them for ages then I just stop one night. At least this last time I had pneumonia as a reason, but still...

Anyway, that's over, thank goodness. I don't have very much else to report since I spent the entire week pretty much on the couch. I did go into town with Ben and had lunch on Wednesday. That was nice except for the fact that food just didn't appeal to me. I'm still finding that to be a bit of a problem. I know I need to eat but once the food is in front of me, I'm kind of meh about it. It's frustrating because I don't want to waste food so I either force myself to eat it or I put it in the fridge and hope it sounds better later. 

Since there's not much to say about last week, I guess I'll jot down my goals for this coming week:

1. Finish cleaning the bathroom

2. Work on the living room

3. Help Ben with homework

4. Log new client's book

5. Start new client's book

6. Continue in bed by midnight

7. Set up appointment to get the kittens spayed/neutered

Not a complicated list but one that I think is achievable which is important after last week where I got essentially nothing accomplished. Some of it I can knock out today which will help set me up with time to work on the book. That's going to be a big one. It's the writer's first novel which is always special and just a little bit scary. For now though, I'm going to put a call into our vet and get these babies scheduled to be fixed. 

Take care of yourself and each other!

Monday, September 28, 2020

Medication Journal

 Day 1 (9/28): Took medication (2 mg Aripiprazole, 40 mg Citalopram) at 10pm the night before. Went to bed at 11pm.  Didn't sleep well. Tossed and turned, unable to stay asleep. Sometime in early hours of morning realized I'd developed a headache and sinus pain. Got up around 8am, took migraine medication and allergy medication. Then slept until 11am. Things feel a bit slow motion. Still going to try to push through with plans for today though client work may be extremely difficult. Headache seems to be trying to return (12:12pm). 

Day 2 (9/29): Took medication at 9:57 pm. Went to bed at 11pm. Slept better, but was woken up at 3:45 am by kittens who wanted to play. Went back to sleep but woke up at 5:30. Came downstairs, used the bathroom, and laid down on the couch. Fell back to sleep around 6:30 am. Woke up briefly at 9:30 am and then at 11. Went to the post office. Head feels funny and I'm nauseous. I wanted to get the shopping done today, but I don't think it's in the cards. I'm going to try to push through and do email and go from there.

Day 3: (9/30): Had a major headache yesterday afternoon/evening. Ended up having to take medicine for it. Took medication at 11 pm (damn debate) and bed around 12:45 am. Woke up 3-4 times during the night, but didn't check the times. Woke up at 7:30 and then at 7:50 when the kittens started playing on top of me. Feel groggy and already have a headache/nausea coming on. 

Day 4: (10/1): Took medication at 10pm and was in bed by 11pm. Too tired to read. Still headachey during the day and appetite is toast. I get hungry but when food is put in front of me, I don't really want it. Bonus? I have nearly an entire bowl of pasta in the fridge from where I didn't eat it when Ben and I went out for lunch yesterday. Didn't sleep well, but I think that was due to the pair of void monsters who didn't want to sleep. I think I woke up at least 4 times due to being attacked or wrestled on. Didn't end up getting up until nearly 10:30am and I'm exhausted with a headache. Probably going to take today to do the minimum and that's about it. 

Day 5: (10/2): Took medication at 10pm and laid down on the couch, falling asleep just after midnight. Huge mistake. I didn't sleep well at all and woke up once an hour or so but was too tired to drag myself upstairs. Slight headache and intermittent nausea today. Mostly just super tired. Fingers crossed that either this weekend or tomorrow I'll be back on track. 

Day 6: (10/3): Took medication at 10pm and went to bed around midnight. Slept under my weighted blanket for the first time. Other than it being hard to roll over under it, I enjoyed it. Slept through the night except for the kittens waking me up once and Dorian deciding that'd be a great time to start poking me in the face so I would pet him. Didn't wake up until about 10:30am. Essentially no headache this morning and only the slightest bit of queasiness. Actually feeling some motivation to do something which is a nice change. 

Day 7: (10/4): Took medication at 10pm and went to bed around 11:30pm. After waking up a few times, I ended up sleeping until around 12:25pm. Did have a headache overnight but it was mostly gone by morning. Actually stayed awake unlike the day before when I woke up at 10:30 and was back asleep from noon - three. Mostly laid on the couch but did get the disgusting towel out of the bathtub and that bag of trash taken out. It's not much, but it's something.

Day 8: (10/5): Last planned entry. Took medication at 10pm and went to bed at midnight. Woke up a few times and didn't end up getting up until 11:30 am. I really didn't want to leave the warm, comfy bed but my bladder demanded otherwise. I'd say I'm feeling 95% normal which is good. It means my brain is clear and I can get things done.  I do have a slight headache but not so bad that I can't function. 

Weekly Update: Medication Haze

 My brain feels so weird today and I know this post/day is going to be a challenge to get through, but I'm going to try my best.

Last night, for the first time in months, I took my medication. I took it around 10 pm and went to be around 11. I had plans to read, but I was just too tired so I went pretty much right to sleep. Except, I didn't stay asleep. I lost track of the number of times that I woke up or changed positions. At some point, I realized that the right side of my face sinus pain...that triangle between right eye, right ear, and right sinus. I think around 8:30 this morning I gave up and came downstairs. I took migraine medicine because I now had a full blown headache and some allergy meds. I laid down and managed to get a couple more hours of sleep, so I'm not totally exhausted.

I do feel...slow though. That's the only way I can think to describe it. My fingers are flying across the keyboard typing this, but I feel as if the rest of me is moving in slow motion. It's a weird feeling and not one that I especially enjoy. I have things to get done today that I really don't want to push off until tomorrow if I can at all help it.

Last night I sat down and wrote out a weekly schedule for myself. Today I'm working on getting started with it. I'm going to have to be fairly flexible with it though because I need to grocery shop before Saturday which is the day I put it on the schedule. I'm also waiting on phone calls from my son's specialist because between them and where he does his physical/occupational therapy, they can't seem to get it together and need me as a middle man. It's rather annoying. 

So, the's my hope that between having that as a guideline and the medication, I'll be more productive and get myself back on track with things. After all, it'd be good to do that before I fall through the kitchen floor. I keep feeling as if I missed putting something on there, but I included: house cleaning, client work, and writing time. I did leave a lot of space on each day's list though in case I remembered something as I go through this week. 

God, I know these segues are awful and I am so sorry. This slow motion brain just is not working for me. Here's hoping it adjusts quickly and I can go back to "normal" so far as this goes. But hey, let's jump to the next thing...

The boys came over Saturday and we all drove to Okemos and had lunch at Old Chicago. Total cost for a Chicago style pizza with 3 toppings? $8.88 because I had a birthday discount of $17 off a pizza. From there we went to East Lansing to Grand Traverse Pie Company and I got us all slices. Total cost? About $8.50 because mine was free for my birthday. So, for less than $20, we all ate and were nice and full after. Plus, the company was pretty priceless.

When we got back to the house, Roger carried the a/c unit that I had in my car to the barn for me. It's a small step towards getting my car cleared out. If it doesn't rain every day this week, I'm going to try to go out and finish up cleaning out the front seat. I think I have car cleaning supplies in the trunk that I can even wipe down the upholstery and such. There's also a car wash here in the village where I can go use the vacuum to sweep it out. Again, baby steps. A lot of this will depend on the weather and brain fog, but hey, all I can do is try.

I think I'm going to leave this at that. I want to do another quick post where each day this week I monitor my body's reaction to the medication. I'm not really sure why, but that feels important to me...

Love you all! Stay safe and take care of yourselves and each other!

PS I still hate the new blogger. 

PPS I'm sorry for the lack of paragraphs. Blogger is broken and not acknowledging them which makes these posts hard to read. 

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Bonus Post: Just Because

 I have no real solid reason for writing here this morning other than I have some time to waste and I don't want to clean. The boys are supposed to come over today so we can hang out and go get some pizza with a birthday coupon that I have. Typical to them though, one of them tried to get the other two to make a plan and the other two didn't. Ben has called me already this morning and let me know that his brothers are still asleep. Yep. That sounds about right. Nobody knows when Dylan is working. It could be noon or it could be four. Either way, I don't think he's going to be able to come. I guess we'll find out when everyone finally wakes up. I told Ben to wake them up once his clean clothes that he was waiting on are out of the dryer. That lets them sleep until ten.

In other news, yesterday was a crazy up and down day for me. I was working on a client's book and totally into it. It was the first time, in a long time, that I really took joy from reading. It felt so good. Then, Rob posted about still not having someone to go to the drive in with him, and I just crumbled. The stupid thing is...I didn't even have any kind of massive desire to go see Rocky Horror. It's a movie I watch once a year for Halloween and I'm good the rest of the year. It was that horrible feeling of being trapped and desperately needing in person contact with someone else. Touch starvation is a very real thing and I am 100% suffering from it. 

On top of that, none of my favorite streamers that I'd been looking forward to all week were on last night. Two of them were having minor medical issues and I don't know where the third was. It's not real human contact, but usually I interact with all of them so it kind of is. I did get to watch the cute Father of the Bride 3-ish which helped lift my spirits. Then, I finished the client's book and the ending made me cry. It was the perfect ending to the series as it stands now. I can't tell you why or it'd give away spoilers, but if you're looking for a book series, I can recommend the Godsverse series by Russell Nohelty.

Earlier in the day, he'd asked if I'd work on a comic for him. Since this time of year is tight and I've wanted to work on his comics for a while now, I said yes. What I didn't know until much later in the day was that he's having me proofread Ichabod for him. This feels huge to me and made me feel like somehow maybe it's all going to be okay. I can't explain that connection, but I was excited and happy and it was wonderful.

So, that brings us back to today. I'm sleepy, as usual, and struggling a bit to regulate my mood. I want to talk to Rob, but I don't want to be the one always texting him first. I haven't been yet, but I don't want that to happen. Maybe that sounds stupid, I don't know. I think it's part of the rebuilding trust between us. I need to know that he thinks of me and remembers I'm out here, not just when something bad happens, but any time. I sent him a flirty text yesterday and he never responded which while I can "make excuses" as to why he didn't, it still hurts a tiny bit. Not huge, but it's there. 

Yesterday, when I was sitting here crying, I actually thought to myself that I wished he hadn't appeared back into my life. God, that sounds so horrible, but my current reality is that having him back in my life, but not feeling like I can just contact him whenever (without being annoying) and not being able to be anywhere near him is kind of horrible. Like it hurts. When I'm struggling, like yesterday, I can remember how nice it can be when we're together...and it's not a comfort, but something that hurts. On a good day, I can have those same memories and smile. I don't know. Brains are so complicated. 

It doesn't help that "the man" still isn't talking to me. It's now been 11 days. He promised me that he'd never do this again. Hell, we even set up a "safe word" so that if he were going to, he could say that to me and I'd know and know that everything was okay. Every day I expect to get an email or text saying that we're over. That's cheery, eh?

In other not man related news, tomorrow night I'll be starting back on my medication. I'll reassemble the "drug bowl" sometime tonight or tomorrow. I've also been working on making sure that I'm in bed between 11 and 11:30. This allows me to read a chapter or two before I fall asleep. Yep, I gave myself a midnight bedtime. Due to the kittens I'm not getting a great full night's sleep but it's better than if I just let myself stay up to all hours. I was up later last night because I was so hyped about working on Ichabod that I didn't realize how late it had gotten. Still, I've been doing pretty well at it and I'm finally making progress on the book I've been "reading" for something like two months now. Baby steps, right?

I had three goals and I really think that getting this one going will help the other two. It's a journey, but a journey is just a long walk made up of single steps. Steps one and two are my medications and getting into a sleep schedule. I'm working on those and that's good. I'm hoping it will help me with some "stinking thinking" and envy issues as well. I hate being unhappy about someone else's success (a certain blogger/artist who wrote about her mental health, disappeared, and came back to much excitement and a book) or someone else's support (wife of a friend who had to have surgery and has him there to help and support her). Okay, so those people will never be me. I will probably forever only have me to take care of me and hell, nobody really reads here, but maybe one person does and they can relate and maybe it will make a tiny bit of difference in this hell that we currently call life. 

I guess time will tell. For now though, children are awake though still not making a plan and I think I'll start work on Ichabod because work keeps my brain busy and not focused on how I'd probably cry if "the man" or Rob texted me and talked to me. Man, I feel so stupidly pathetic, even if there's actual scientific evidence that feeling like this is normal.

Love you all...

PS I have no idea why this is posting as one long stream of consciousness. I wrote it with paragraphs. Ugh! This wasn't a problem in the old style of posting.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

2020 Birthday Wrap Up

 Okay, first of all, what the heck is up with sites feeling they need a brand new design? First Facebook...whose new design sucks and I have rejected it 11 times now. I know they're going to force it on me soon, but I will hold out as long as possible. Now it's Blogger. I really don't know why companies feel they have to fix things that aren't broken. Focus on adding features, fixing bugs, not redesign. 

There. Now that I have that off my chest, it's time for the annual birthday blog post. I used to do this over on Life With Katie, but since I've made that my author site, I felt here was a better place for it since it's not about writing goals or anything like that. 

Let's start by summarizing my birthday: the good, the bad, the summary style. 

The Good - First text of the day was from my best friend. I've missed him so damn much and he doesn't know that, but every time his text chime goes off, I smile. I cannot wait until we can be together again. That reminds me...I think I still owe him about 7 steaks.

A friend called and we were on the phone for nearly four hours. It was pretty awesome. 

I got an incredible weighted blanket from Justin. It has albino penguins all over it and I can't wait to use it. I also got taken out for a very late lunch/early dinner by my oldest and my "middle" child got to join us. (Middle is in quotes because he's my youngest biologically but the son we "adopted" is like 4 days younger than him.)

I got to pick a name for the name a cat poll on my favorite Twitch channel ( and my name won! I'd like to welcome Sadie officially to the channel. I also got happy birthdays there, on the SeanLikesJazz channel, and on Discord. Plus all of the ones on Facebook and a new thrown in on Twitter. Super nice.

The Bad - "The Man" sucks. Yep. I'm not being nice on this. He pretty much blew off our anniversary and then yesterday? No text. No card. No gift. He didn't even respond to my text. In fact, he hasn't in 9 days now. What did he do? He posted to my Facebook wall: Hey you, happy birthday.  ...I wanted to respond, Hey you, we need to talk, but I didn't. I did send him a text last night saying that I was super sad that he wouldn't even text me on my birthday. Zero response. Big surprise, huh? 

Anyway, enough about that. I need to do something about it, but I also need to do a thousand other other bad? No other cards or gifts. Maybe that sounds selfish or greedy, but it is what it is. I have a need to be validated on that one day a year and while social media posts are great, they're just not the same thing. Maybe next year I'll throw myself a card party...

The Summary - Not a bad day overall. There were some tears thanks to "the man" but there were also smiles and laughter. I'd give the day a solid 7.5/10. Only things missing? A phone call from my best friend, "the man" not being a douche, and a few more cards/gifts.

Now, for anyone who has read my past birthday blog posts, you know that I often use my birthday as a day of introspection and planning for the upcoming year. I usually pick something to focus on and set some goals. Why break tradition, right?

Focus: Mental health

Mental health can be the root of so many other issues. It can be why I don't take care of myself, why I don't do things or get things done. Ever since I had pneumonia and then Covid happened (to the world, not to me), I've struggled with all of this. I had such a hard time when I was sick that I stopped taking my medicine. I was coughing so much that I was throwing up and it just became easier not to take it. Unfortunately, as anyone who struggles with a medication schedule knows, once you mess up that schedule, it's so hard to get back to it. So, my taking my meds appropriately is step 1 of getting back on track. They should help me get to a place where I can start handling things that I've let slide again. 


I'm keeping these simple. They need to be attainable so that I can achieve them and then set new goals. Nobody said you can only set goals on your birthday and new years, right?

Goal #1: Books

I want to have written and published two more books by the time my birthday rolls around next year. Apo's Army is already in progress and then I want to go back to the toy store. This is doable. 

Goal #2: House

Due to my mental health, I've allowed the house to get more than a little out of control. I need to reign that in and then over the coming year get some serious house fixes done. By done I mean letting the owner know there are issues. My main ones are: kitchen floor (hopefully within the next couple of weeks), furnace (November) and water heater/electrical (Spring).  I'm spreading these out so that the owner doesn't 100% freak out. I don't want to go another year without heat in the house though. Can it be done? Yes. Do I deserve to have heat? Yes. I just need to remind myself of that.

Goal #3: Car

This one seems kind of silly, but I want to clean out my really clean it out, wiping everything down, etc and keep it nice. I'm so tired of it looking like I live in it or something. Next time I go out to it, I'm going to take a trash bag with me and just start filling it with whatever needs to go into the trash can. Front seats should be pretty easy. Then, I'll tackle the back seat. There's an a/c unit back there. Maybe when the boys stop by this weekend I'll get Roger to put that into the barn. 

So, that's it. My focus and goals for this coming birth year. They're small, but I think they're all really important. I'm off to actually write a post for Life With Katie. I've been so horrible about updating there. It's one of the things that I stopped doing in the Covid depression era. I need to get better about that.

Have an amazing day, all of you! You're much loved.

PS New blogger got rid of my entire list of tags. Argh! 

Monday, September 21, 2020

Weekly Update: 2 Days

Monday again! I'd ask how this keeps happening, but we kinda know. I'm tired this morning. The kittens didn't follow me up to bed last night and I decided that meant I'd get a good night's sleep. Nope. Mina started attacking my leg/foot at around 3:45 am. I ended up sleeping the rest of the night on the couch because I had to come downstairs to use the bathroom and then was too tired to climb back upstairs. Not the most comfortable or energizing of rests, but better than nothing.

I'm trying to remember back over the past week to see if there's anything I need to write about. DHS denied me for food stamps again. They claim I didn't send in the required paperwork (total lie) and that Roger isn't an eligible college student. They also added my oldest back on and then said he wasn't eligible because he no longer lived with me. Well yes, that's why I removed him like a year ago. I don't know that I have the energy to fight with them about this. It's like they're going out of their way to lie and not be helpful.

I'm concerned about my income now, of course. I have a project on my desk, but I've already been paid for it. I don't have anything else lined up for after that. That's scary. It means not knowing how I'm going to eat, put gas in my car, or basically do anything. I'm trying to have faith that it'll all work out, but ugh. Of course, my brain immediately makes the jump to how I'll pay for Christmas. I swear it works hard at worrying about things that are months down the road.

Speaking of roads...nice segue, right? The other thing that my brain is hung up on is moving. I know that I'm going to have to in a couple of years, but my brain seems to think that now is a good time to worry about how I'll make that happen and where I'll be moving to. Part of me just wants to stay here. Then I remind myself that if I stay here, I'll be having to take the house down to studs to get the electrical fixed. Ugh. I really thought I'd be moving somewhere closer to Baltimore but the more I think about it, the more I realize that it won't be like I was promised. Of course, there's the option of moving back to Buffalo. That would put me close to Rob which would be nice. Of course, Roger reminded me that it'd mean moving further from them. He said he was joking, but I wonder if there isn't a lick of truth in there. I know that Ben sometimes worries about me moving away.  I doubt there's a way to make everyone happy.

Speaking of happy...yes, I'm going to use that again...It's just two days until my birthday. I wrote last week about how anxious that makes me. I guess I've had my meltdown over it because today it's barely bothering me. Of course, that's because I've barely thought about it. I still have no plans. I'll probably work, watch tv, watch some Twitch streamers, and that's about it. I think I'll have one present to open, but that's it. Nobody has asked me for my address or a wish list or anything. It makes me sad but what can you do? At least I know I won't be raped this year for my birthday like I was for my 30th. Do you know that sometimes I still look that guy up on social media? That's some weird ptsd stuff there, huh? Mostly if I type his name into Google it just comes up with Harry Potter sites though which kind of amuses me.

Let's see, what else? I wrote a few more stories for my upcoming book which is awesome. I'm still excited about the book which is really good. I have at least fifteen more stories to write though so it's going to be a bit before it's completed. My goal is to take it to Kickstarter in February so I have time, but we all know how fast time can slip by so I need to keep working on it. I have no idea what's happening with book 3 of The Tether Saga. Nick told me over a month ago that he was going over his notes for it, but if he did, he never sent them to me. I know he's busy with Awakenings, but it's been almost a year. I'm sure people have flat out given up on this book. In truth, I pretty much have too.

Oh! A bit of nice...Roger came over and he helped me some with the house. The kitchen floor is now cleared, the litter boxes have all been changed out, and the living room had some good progress made. It's mostly a matter of books being tumbled out everywhere. If I can get that under control and the bathroom cleaned this week (it's in progress), I can let the owner know that the kitchen floor is disappearing...well, so soft that you could fall through if you aren't careful. I'm not looking forward to that (severe landlord anxiety), but I also can't be falling through the floor and it's not as if I caused the leak or whatever has led to this.

So, I think that's that. Nothing new to report with Rob. He's gone quiet but now that he's healing, he's back to being someone who must keep busy at all times. We're alike and opposite in that. I need to be busy, but I also badly need contact with people and am happy at home. He needs to be busy and through his work, he automagically gets contact with people so he's always on the go. It's not personal, just how it is. I'm trying not to be desperately needy and I think he's just living his life. That sounds kinda cold, doesn't it? Maybe because I have a severe out of sight, out of mind feeling about other in if I'm not in front of them somehow, they're not thinking about me. I'm sure he thinks of me sometimes, but doesn't feel the need to be in daily contact. Does that sound nicer? I hope so because I'm not trying to paint him as a jerk.

Anyway, long post again but that's healthy for me. It lets me get stuff out of my brain. I hope that those few who do read keep coming back and that these posts somehow help you too. Until next week...or I need to write again...

Friday, September 18, 2020

Bonus Post: Birthday Anxiety

My birthday is in five days and I laid in bed this morning and cried over it. Why? Well, the basic reason is that I'm sure "the man" won't remember until Facebook reminds him and even then, he won't do anything more than text me Happy Birthday.

The deeper reason goes back a lot further. Some of you may know that my mother was abusive. I don't remember when it started, but I know that by the time I was in middle school, it was happening. She would get upset about something and scream at me. She would scream that she wished I'd never been born, that I ruined her life. Quite often this would come along with her slapping me repeatedly. Over the years, that has stuck with me like sap clinging to a pine tree.

So, ever year, when September rolls around, I start hearing her voice in my head. Except the message has changed slightly.  Now it's that nobody cares that I was born. Nobody cares enough to even go to the dollar store to get me a card and mail it out. It's not about the money, it's about the effort. Nobody loves me enough to make any effort.

People will point out how many Facebook comments I get that day wishing me a happy birthday. My brain will kick in and say, "Sure, but those take zero effort. You leave them for people all the time and it takes about two seconds of your life." To those people I'll smile and say "Yes, isn't it wonderful? So many people care."

It's getting better, I guess. It used to be the entire month. Last year it was the ten days leading up to my birthday. This year I made it to five days before my birthday. Except the next five days will be hell for me. I'll have a desperate urge to go and check the mailbox, even though I know there's nothing there. I'll look for UPS shipping notifications even though I know nobody has sent anything.

My birthday will be the worst because, in my head, it will be the day that yet again it is confirmed that I don't matter enough to anyone, not even the man I've been in a relationship with for five years, to make even the smallest of efforts. One year I received something like three cards and a friend had a cake delivered. It was the most amazing year, but the next year was a hard crash when none of those same people did it again. Still, for that one year, I felt loved and special and it was wonderful.

I've mentioned my birthday once or twice on Facebook, mostly because it sort of snuck up on me. I guess that's improvement. I've not shared an Amazon wish list even once (nobody has asked for one either). I've not posted any sort of countdown. I'm sure that people got tired of me mentioning it for an entire month...well, 23 days.

I've been asked if I have plans for my birthday and the answer is no. In the past, whenever I've made plans, the other people have cancelled them. Those were really tough blows for me and further proof to my brain that I didn't matter. I always hope someone will remember and invite me to visit or something, but that's never happened. I suppose I could buy myself a tiny cake and eat it, but doesn't that scream pathetic and nobody loves you?

No, it will be just another Wednesday. I'll be here, alone, working on a client's book. The only addition will be some tears as my mother's voice screams I told you so in my head.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Weekly Update: Yawn...

Ello all you lovely people who pop in to read my ramblings. It's Monday and that weekend was a doozy. I spent a good portion of Saturday texting with Rob and wrapping up a client's book. Nothing super exciting. Sunday was a tad more exciting. I had planned on writing, but instead made the courageous decision to go grocery shopping.

Okay, courageous might be an exaggeration. For the most part everyone is complying with #MaskOnMichigan ...why did I just hashtag that?'s not much of a scary thing to go, I suppose. I just really didn't want to and had to talk myself into it.  I got to Walmart and immediately a woman stopped me to ask if my tires helped the car in the winter. I said nothing helps that car in the winter. It's too light weight to handle snow well. Turns out she has one that's a year older and feels the same way. After that chat, I actually did my shopping. I was only stopped one other time and that was by a U of M fan asking who had dressed me that morning since I was wearing my favorite MSU hoodie. Yes, I 100% put on an oversized hoodie so I wouldn't have to put on a bra and it be totally obvious. I also had a lovely five minute or so chat with a lovely couple in produce. I know that's probably frowned upon but that was my first in person socialization since Tuesday. I badly needed just to talk to someone, even if it was mostly about how much Covid sucks and petting zoos that are still open.

Got out to the car and I had almost no energy but I loaded it up, stopped at Wendy's for some dinner (I hadn't eaten yet that day.) and drove home. This is when things started to go downhill. I had bought mostly perishables so they had to come into the house. I think it took me four trips from car to front porch and then that many to go from front porch to living room where I sat the bags all on the table. I managed to get half of them put away when I had to stop and sit down. I was lightheaded and short of breath. After a half hour or so, I got the rest of them put away, but I wasn't feeling right so I laid back down on the couch and texted with Rob and Justin. Justin thinks I need to have a lung capacity test done in case I damaged my lungs when I had pneumonia. Rob questioned if it hadn't been covid. I dunno. I just know that this is how it's been since I had it and it sucks. I have no physical stamina.

It took three hours before I felt normal again. Gross. By that time it was too late to really do anything so I mostly just watched tv and talked about me moving with Rob. I have to do it. I know it's coming. I just don't know where to move to. I do know that it's going to be super scary for me and that, on some level, I ought to be preparing for it now...trying to downsize, etc. Just the idea of trying to pack up this house is completely overwhelming. I'll probably start doing it a good six months before the actual move. I know I'll start with "the wall" aka my studio because it can be a staging area for boxes from other rooms.

Anyway, no use worrying over that now when I have enough other worries. I suspect that some of you may want to know what's up between Rob and myself. Well, I proposed that we just keep being "us"...carrying on how we have been but that he had to promise on all things holy to communicate with me, even if he was afraid of how I might respond. He did and so, for now, we're mostly cursing covid which is keeping us from seeing each other. Who knows how long it will be until the border is open again. It sucks, but it is what it is. At least this is happening now and not back when we'd have had to write letters and then wait weeks to hear back, right? Now I can pick up my phone and shoot him off a text message.

I wish I had something grand to say here. I'm doing better, which is good. I'm struggling with my relationship with "the man" especially with Rob back in my life. I pretty much live a life of solo polyamory so it's not being with both of them that's the issue. It's comparing how one treats me versus how the other one does. I've grown tired of being ignored for days on end just to have "the man" act like it didn't happen. I don't have the emotional sporks though to confront him right now though. I need to focus on a hundred other things.

I suppose that's all for today. It's kind of a blah post for a blah day. I'm going to grab something to eat and then dive into some work. I'm excited that I have two different comics on deck right now.  It's a lovely palate cleanser before I dive into another novel. For all of you, have a marvelous day. You're all important in your own way.

PS If you want to get a good night's sleep, I don't recommend getting two kittens. On Saturday night, Mina figured out the stairs and bed. Last night, she showed Apollo. 

Also, my birthday is in nine days and I'm not sure how to feel about that. I have zero plans and zero expectations that other than Facebook posts, anyone will do anything for it...

Thursday, September 10, 2020

When do you say goodbye?

I should be working. Instead, here I am again. I'm feeling really insecure today and I know why, no matter how much I want to ignore it. It's "the man." We've been together for over five years now. I've stood beside him as he fought for custody of his kids, decided if he wanted to stay married to his wife, and what feels like a thousand other things. I don't know though if he's stood by me. Honestly, I feel ignored and taken for granted. That's the problem when you love as hard as I do. People tend to figure out that you aren't going anywhere.

The first couple of years that we were together were great. We talked all the time either via text or email or sometimes both at the same time. At some point though, the emails stopped. Then, over time, the texts slowed down. He used to share ideas with me, send me pictures, and just be there whenever I needed him. I don't remember the last time he sent me a picture. I find out about his ideas via Facebook...and I don't remember the last time he told me that he loved me. He's never been one to say it frequently but I've never gone without being able to remember the last time. We used to fall asleep together, texting back and forth. Now he never texts me around that time unless it's every once in a great while to say goodnight. He used to always call me by a nickname that he had for me, now he never does. He used to tell me I'm beautiful, now he tells someone else.

It hurts. It hurts a lot. I realized that even when I ask him for something a photo or a message, that he never does it. Twice in the past month he'd told me he'll send me photos "soon" or "soon enough." He hasn't.

The past few days he hasn't even responded to my texts really. I send him a lovely one yesterday morning and he ignored it. Last night, when he'd posted to Facebook that he was done writing, I sent him a message. His reponse? "Writing" ...except you just said you were done. I told him I'd leave him alone. I haven't messaged him since. He probably won't even notice if all day goes by and he doesn't hear from me.

It's so hard. When we're physically together, things are so good between us. We talk about things. When we're apart, I feel like he forgets about me.

Then, there's Rob. I'm so damn insecure with that. I don't know what he wants. I mean, he's made it kind of obvious that he wants to go back to how things were, but how can we? He destroyed me. Even today, when I told him that I'm feeling insecure, he didn't respond. I can't do that. I can't be intimate with someone who can't be there when I need someone to tell me that I'm wonderful and they love me. Of course as soon as I say he hasn't responded, he responds. Thirty seven minutes, but at least he knew he had to respond.

I don't know. The only thing that keeps me with "the man" is knowing how good we are together when we're together, but with covid, who knows when that might happen again. I just wish he'd tell me that he misses me at least. It's a stupid wish, but it's my wish. I could tell him that I need more from him, but I don't know what good it would do. He may just ignore that and then I'd feel even worse.

If I knew I had Rob to help balance things out, it'd be so much better. God, that sounds horrible, doesn't it? Except, in some ways, it really just is how I've come to work. I've long given up that I'll ever get married again. I don't know who could handle the semi-hoarding, the depression, the anxiety, all the time. I live with it and I annoy myself. Does that mean that deep down, locked away, there isn't a mad desire to have someone love me like that? Of course there is. All I've wanted my entire life is to be loved like that. I guess deep down I've never totally gotten over the idea that I don't deserve that.

Still, this past week it's become more and more clear to me what I want with Rob is the same thing that I wanted 15 months ago when all hell broke loose. It's not a "we're together when we're together" kind of thing, but a we're together because it makes us happy kind of thing. I want a partner...someone that is my safe spot, someone that I can do things with or do nothing with. I want not just a sexual partner, but an emotional one as well. I want someone who will tell me they love me and not just in the bedroom. I don't want to be a secret. I'm not saying we need to be "Facebook official" or even tell anyone about us, but if we're out, I want to be able to hold their hand. I want to sneak a kiss at the stoplight.

I don't want a husband. Not right now. I don't want to be physically with someone 24/7. I don't think it would be healthy for me or for another person. I'm not sure I can explain this properly, but I want to be with him when we can be, but when we're not, we're still okay and still us. We have lives of our own but those lives include each other. I don't need 24/7 communication, but I need open communication. I don't need to be "the" one, but I need to know that if someone else comes along, it won't mean that I'm kicked to the curb or left in the dark. Not again. I can't do that again.

In some ways, I've always seen us as two halves to a whole. We know each other and in the past, we were able to balance each other. Your soulmate doesn't have to be your lifemate. If we started with what we were before "the horror" but with what I thought we were when I last left him, that'd be amazing. If it moved on past that, well, that'd be what it'd be. I'm not going into anything with the hopes that it will turn into something more. I've spent too many years being alone and being told things could never be more in the relationships that I've been in. Like I said, I don't truly believe that I deserve that whole "happily ever after - white picket fences" thing. Most of the time I'm okay with that. I just want us to be okay, but okay together again.

Ugh. These are all things that I should just be telling him, but I'm afraid to. I'm afraid that he is going to tell me how he doesn't want another relationship after just ending such a toxic one. I mean, it's not like that's unreasonable, but we can't go back to what I thought we had before. I need more. I need reassurances. Most of all, I really need a freaking hug and to be told that it'll be all right.

Edit: Well, I asked him. I sent him a text asking what it was that he hoped for or wanted. His response? He doesn't know. He didn't know if I'd even answer him. He had just wanted to apologize and explain himself. He did that...August 31st. I guess after that it was just easy to fall into old habits...I think I'm going to go cry now and then fill out this paperwork that I forgot to do yesterday. It's better than hyperventilating my way into an asthma attack.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Weekly Update: I'm Lonely

I've probably titled a blog post this before, but I have a bit of a headache and I'm just not feeling creative with the titling today. Hopefully that clears out because I'm hoping to do a bit of writing later today, after I do a bit of working.

I'd say the past week has been pretty good. I haven't heard from Rob in a couple of days, but I'm not surprised. I don't think that he's necessarily pulling away, more just being him. It's been a long time since when we'd speak every day. I miss it, but I know that's not where he's at anymore. Hell, I miss "the man" talking to me every day but that seems to be a thing of the past too.

The reality is, and I know I've said it before, but I'm lonely. With the boys having lives of their own and almost never being here, I'm alone far too much. I miss Rob a lot and how we used to talk and joke around. I miss "the man" and how he used to tell me I'm smart and beautiful and how we would just talk. Now he's always busy and I suspect part of that busy is with someone else. Our relationship has always been an open one, but we said we'd be upfront and honest if anyone else came into the picture. He hasn't been, but it's been pretty obvious for a while now that there's someone else.

But, either way, I'm lonely and covid is just making it worse. I can't go and see either of them or anyone else. NaNoWriMo is going totally online this year and while Zoom calls are great, they're just not the same as being in the same place as other people. Ben and I go out to eat sometimes and while maybe we shouldn't, it gives me a tiny feeling of normalcy and of being around people. Right now all of my socialization comes from taking Ben to his physical therapy appointments. Tomorrow is his last one of those.

Other than that, I'm home alone all of the time. It weighs on me. I feel trapped. Sometimes I just cry. There's nothing really wrong. I just feel so alone. It's hard to feel motivated when sometimes you have no hope that this will ever end.

I went to a virtual birthday party last night. Honestly, I wasn't sure that I wanted to because I knew I'd probably only know the host and so many of his friends are doing amazing things. I don't feel as if I fall under the "cool enough" category. I went though because my loneliness overwhelmed my social anxiety. It was okay. People were friendly and I was only chastised once. I didn't walk away feeling better though. When it was over, I knew I'd probably never speak to these people again. No bonds were formed. I miss the intimacy of close friendships. I don't know how to have that when those few that are close to me are busy having lives of their own and not struggling like I am.

It used to be when I felt like this, I would pack up my laptop and I'd go to the library or the pie place and I'd spend all day there just being around people and writing. With covid, that's not an option. I cannot believe that I'm sitting here crying while I'm writing this. I feel like if anyone ever reads this they're going to tell me to pull it together and stop being ridiculous.

The truth is though that I'm still scared of Rob. I'm afraid he's going to disappear or not answer if I text him. I'm afraid he isn't the Rob that I half fell in love with over and over again. I'm afraid to reach out to him because what if he hurts me. This whole emotional thing is exhausting. Like everyone else, I just want life to be normal again. I'm pretty sure that part of my brain spends most of its days worrying that it'll never be that way again. I know it won't be for me. My boys are grown, they're living their own lives, and can't/don't take time for their mom. This is normal. I've done such a good job that they don't fear their independence and that's a good thing.

I tell people that I love living in the village...and it's true, but I don't have any friends here. I don't have any family. I've thought about moving closer to friends or "the man" but I'm scared. The last time I did that, it didn't go so well. The "friend" who rented me a tiny apartment in his house turned out to not be my friend at all, just someone who wanted my money and thought he could use whatever of mine he wanted whenever he wanted. He'd just walk into my apartment whenever he wanted. So, it's left me gun shy. What if I move somewhere where I'm close to someone I love and they act like I'm not even there.

I feel like I'm becoming more and more high maintenance as a friend. I need attention. I need someone who gets excited when I come up with a new project and I'm excited. I need someone to share things with and right now, I don't feel as if I have that. Justin tries, but he's so busy with his life that we don't really talk. He hasn't called me in months. I miss talking to him.

Like I said...I just feel very alone and miss "my" people so much right now. I wrote two stories this weekend for my new book and it's such a big deal to me. "The man" told me to keep writing, Justin read them and gave me good feedback, and I didn't even tell Rob. I guess because I posted it on social media...but he hasn't looked at my social media in years. I use these three men as an example simply because they're the three people closest to me. I don't expect my kids to get excited.

I dunno. Covid sucks. We all know this, but I guess I'm just realizing the toll that it's taking on my mental health. It's a toll that I'm not sure that I can pay and I wonder of the long term consequences. Do me a favor...look in on those who spend their lives alone. Don't get so caught up in how you're not lonely because you have a partner or co-workers that you forget those of us who don't have that. I can guarantee that I'm not okay. We all need a certain level of being connected to others and having that severed is so hard.

Still, I don't want to leave this post 100% depressing, so a challenge I've often given my oldest...
3 good things:
1. I wrote two stories on the new book.
2. The board I shoved in my couch is preventing me from sitting in the springs.
3. Apollo and Mina seem to be adjusting well.

I'll stop there and let the few of you who read this get back to your week. I hope it's an amazing one.

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