Sunday, September 22, 2019

Dipping and Birthdays

Okay, it isn't my birthday. Not until tomorrow. However, it's really affecting me today. You see, I guess at some point, I stopped feeling loved or cared about and my birthday was a solid reflection of that. After my divorce, nobody paid any attention to it really. Well, that's not true. I had one friend who did. I guess I started seeing my birthday as some kind of indicator of whether or not I deserved to remain on this planet.  I can't believe I'm writing about this. I don't think I've ever fully told anyone why my birthday matters so much to me...

Anyway, some years were bad...for my 30th, I was raped by someone I trusted. For my 35th, someone threw a birthday party for me that nobody showed up to. Others were pretty year, I got three or four cards and half a dozen presents. That was a really good year. I felt so loved. This year? Well, my birthday is tomorrow and there have been no cards or gifts that have arrived.

In years past, this would have been an issue for me starting a week to two weeks before my birthday. I'd have been checking the mail box every day, even checking my Amazon wish list to see if anything had been bought. This year, I made it to two days ago for the mail box and today for the depression. That's progress, but it's still hard. Part of me screams...I just want to be loved. Why can't you show me that you care? A card would cost as little as $1.50 to buy and send, aren't I worth your time? Blah.

Social media hurts in these situations. People post about their birthdays...the dinners, the cakes, the cards, the presents...and it hurts. People also post to my wall and feel like that's enough. It's nice, especially if we aren't close, but it's not the same as knowing that someone took the time to make a real effort. Ugh. I just flipped to Facebook to answer a message and what do I see? Someone's birthday with dinner out, balloons, cake, and presents. See? That's just what I mean. I'm happy for the person, but it's like a stab in the heart to me.

I know, deep down, that I shouldn't take one day and use it as a determining factor of my worth. I know that I shouldn't, but still, there's that piece of me...that really mean voice...that tells me that nobody loves me, they love what I can do for them, for how I can make them feel, but that they don't love me. I hate that voice. She's a bitch. She's just plain mean.

So, today, I'm sad. I'm next to in tears sad and it's not really anybody's fault. It's this whole birthday thing. I wish I could hate birthdays but I don't. I love them. I love celebrating the days that my favorite people joined the world on this planet. Somehow, I even love mine. That makes zero sense, but it's true. Maybe it's the part of me that's happy to be alive. I'm not really sure. I'm not really sure that this post makes any amount of sense, but here it is...Love to all who are struggling...

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Life Update

This needs to be my reminder to myself this week. Kat Scratch Press editing has taken off to the point where I have four separate projects on my desk. I'm always so worried about letting people down that I'll work myself to exhaustion trying to make sure that they're happy. Part of the reason that I've moved these posts to Sundays is to make sure that my Monday are open for me to just sit and work if need be. Fingers crossed that I can hold myself in check this coming week.

As for everything else, things are going pretty well. When Ben was here last week, we cleaned the kitchen, sorted through his clothes, and then created a 3" wide (give or take, I suck at estimating distance) path from my bedroom door to my bed. Then, since I could now access my dresser, I purged that and all of the clothes that have been stacking up on my bed. In the end, I donated three bags of clothes to Goodwill and I'm nowhere near done with that room yet! It's crazy, but the big news is...I can now sleep in my bed for the first time in five years! That's a victory right there. The bed is made up with clean sheets and I've spent the past three nights sleeping up there. I'm not sleeping 100% yet but I'm adjusting to having an entire bed to sleep in. I guess you can say that I kicked that having the tv on habit because there isn't a tv in the bedroom. I still have the light on, but that'll go at some point. I'm just not quite ready.

Ben is coming back over this evening for a couple of days and I suspect we'll be tackling the living room in between bouts of me working on client work. I'm so looking forward to the point where this house is a place where I wouldn't mind my son's girlfriend coming into instead of waiting in the car while he runs in to get something. I'm really hopeful that by the time colleges let out for Christmas break, the house will be good enough for all of the kids to be here. That would mean a lot to me.

In other news, I finally received a blood pressure cuff and I've been using it for the past couple of days. My results so far? 123/78, 133/87, and 131/80. So, two of those were a little high but still below the mild hypertension range which is good. If it continues this way for the remainder of the thirty days, I don't think we'll need to adjust my medication. Perhaps if I lose some weight, that will help bring it back down.

I haven't been able to start the walking or the pool time yet. I've been so busy with everything else that I just haven't had the energy. I know that it's something that I need to do, but I just haven't gotten there yet.

I'm feeling a little stressed but overall, I think I'm handling things okay. I just have to keep going and making changes when I can. The bed thing is a huge one and I'm looking forward to clearing more of that room out so I can get more things put where they belong. One day and one step at a time. Ever Onward.

Sunday, September 8, 2019


Two weeks in a row, who would have thought? This is going to be a short post because it's been a very busy day and, this entire week is going to be crazy. My oldest is visiting until Wednesday night and we have plans to attempt some serious deep cleaning around here. Of course, my plan to have no editing work for this week completely bombed. I have 4 more files for a friend of mine and each file takes me at least a couple of hours. I just seem incredibly slow at it. I'm hoping that he'll be patient and give me a few more days to get them done. I'll message him first thing in the morning and see what kind of timeline he can work with.

Other than that, things are going fairly well. I still don't have a blood pressure monitor, but someone from my past popped up and said he'd like to give me the money to buy one. Since we haven't spoken in about 25 years or more, I have my hesitations but if he comes through, that would be amazing.

I'm still really tired which concerns me. I don't know what's causing it. I did okay today though, but it's the first day that I have. I'm hoping though that it means I've turned a corner with that. It's so hard to balance life when you're spending half of it asleep or feeling out of it with exhaustion.

Balance is obviously a concern. My little editing business seems to be taking off which is incredibly exciting, but I need to figure out how to balance client work with house work and writing. I don't want to stop writing and right now the only writing that I'm doing is a weekly prompt over on Life With Katie that I've managed to do two weeks in a row. Hopefully I can start to find that balance so that I can do all of the things that I need to. Yep, I need to write. It's part of who I am...

For now though, it's nearing midnight and I need to take my medicine and see about getting ready for bed. Tomorrow is talking with my client, working on one of his files, and then Ben and I are going to try to get the kitchen cleaned up. A tidy space helps me keep a tidy mind. Thank goodness for awesome kids who are willing to help out.

Monday, September 2, 2019

What? A Weekly Update?!?

It's only been a week and I'm back! Can you believe it? I almost can't except that I've been working on setting up a new Monday schedule which includes writing a post here and writing one over on Life With Katie.

So, how are things? Let me tell you. I'm still struggling with being really tired during the day. I wake up around 7:30 and stay awake until maybe 9 am and then I fall back to sleep until 10:30 or later. It's far from ideal. I'm hoping that it's still the medication and not a blood pressure issue.

Speaking of blood pressure issues, I still don't have a cuff for me to monitor things at home. Why, you ask? Because insurance sucks. The first place I went doesn't take my insurance. The second place does, but the insurance requires submission of my appointment notes showing medical necessity. Then, once the place submits those, it can take 2-3 weeks for them to approve (or not) it so I can get one. It's really frustrating and a little bit scary. I've looked on Amazon and for $50, I could have a really high rated one and not have to go through this, but every penny that comes in, goes right back out to one bill or another. You would think that they'd find preventative care worthy of investing in. I don't think I'm at serious risk for a heart attack or anything, but if I were to have one, the medical expenses would be a lot higher than the cost of an at home blood pressure cuff.

Let's see, other than that, it's really all about adjusting to not having the kids here. Roger and Dylan seem to be settling in well at college. I saw them on Friday and Dylan was chatting quite a bit about a girl that he's met. Maybe he'll have a girlfriend soon. Roger is busy with classes and rehearsing. It makes me smile to see him taking things so seriously. His roommate is talking about starting a D&D group for Friday nights and he's interested. I may need to dig out my dice for him soon.

My editing business is trickling along with makes me smile. I made enough in August to keep DHS off my back for another month. Right now, September is looking promising, thank god. Even with the new medication, I panic at the thought of having to work outside of the house. So, I keep pushing with my little business. It's something that I truly love doing and it's flexible so if I need to go do something else, I can go do it. I think I need that flexibility.

I guess that's it for now! Life is all about adjustments right now. Tonight I start in with making sure I'm in bed by midnight. I've also slept with the tv on and the light on for years now so I'm going to start working on turning down the tv a little bit each night. Baby steps, right? Now...I'm going to baby step over to the other site and work on a Wordsmith Wednesday post!

Monday, August 26, 2019

Health Update

Isn't that post-it super cute? I made it all by myself...Okay, well, with the help of a generator. As usual, it's been a while so I wanted to post an update, especially since I went and had my annual physical on Friday. Look at me almost being on top of things!

So, here we go...everything, for the most part, is okay. My weight is down 15 pounds from last year (now at 300 even), so that's good. I still want/need to keep working that direction. I spoke to her about my crippling anxiety at the idea of having to work outside of the house to keep my food stamps. She's given me an additional medication to try out to see if it helps. I need to go back at the end of September to see if it's helping. The other big issue is my blood pressure. She wants me to monitor it twice a day for a month to see if we need to tweak medication for there. Right now, I'm waiting for a prescription to be sent to the the right place for me to pick up the monitoring equipment. I'm a little nervous about that, but considering the panic attacks and big life changes happening around here, I can't really be surprised that my blood pressure is high. Still, better to monitor it and get ahead of it than not. They also want me to change back to a birth control shot because it doesn't have estrogen in it and with my age, they don't want to risk the higher chances of blood clots that can come with added estrogen.

Let's see...what's happening other than that?  On Saturday, we moved the boys into Michigan State for their first year of college. I managed to hold it together and not cry, but my mom heart is struggling. I keep wanting to message them to make sure that they're okay, but so far I've resisted. They know how to reach me if they need me. I figure I'll make it maybe to the end of the week, but I'll limit myself to asking them how their first weeks went.

As for me, there's been a pick up in my editing business which is exciting. I'm hoping to continue to see that forward momentum. If I can bring in $600 a month from that, I can stop worrying about having to work outside of the house. Fingers crossed! Very soon I'm going to try to see about getting to the pool. I've been waiting for school to start there so that they can hopefully get themselves sorted into a regular schedule before I jump in. I'm nervous about that too (hello, blood pressure!) but hopefully it's something that I can do. I really think that it will help with my knee joint problems. I just have to find the ...what's the word...strength to pull myself up and out of the house to do it. That's going to be the hard part...well that and not letting nerves get in the way once I'm there.

Fingers crossed, lots of deep breathes, and here we go?

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Am I going crazy?

No cute graphic. Just me. Raw. Crying. Wondering if I'm losing my mind.

Last night, I sent a message to "the man" after I saw a picture that he'd posted on Instagram. His response was, "huh?" and then nothing because he'd fallen asleep. This morning I asked him why he'd deleted the picture and he told me that there had never been a picture. Except I saw it. I swear I saw it. I can describe it. He was in bed, shirtless, with his glasses on. He was holding the book that he was reading, but it was closed and you could read the cover. It was similar to the one that's still on his Instagram from the night before. He swears there was never a picture.

So, that means one of two things...either I completely hallucinated it or he's fucking with me to make me feel as if I'm going crazy. I can't imagine a single reason that he would do the second thing. We were just together last week and we're good, we're solid. Which really never existed. He thinks I'm overthinking the entire thing and that it was just a blip. Who the hell blips like that? Only crazy people.

Yesterday was a normal day. I worked in the morning and then cleaned some stuff out of the car. I went and picked up all 3 boys and we went to Kalamazoo. We dropped off Roger's sax for repairs, stopped by the comic shop so I could get a friend's latest issue, dropped Roger off at his lesson and then the other two and I went and had pie. After, we got gas, picked up Roger, and drove back, stopping to do a couple of errands. It was decided that everyone would go swimming at Roger's girlfriend's parents house so I left the younger two to get ready and Ben and I drove to my place so I could get my swimsuit. While here, I grabbed the mail which included stupid shit from DHS requiring me to jump through more hoops. I tried not to think about it much, but not knowing if you're going to be able to eat next week weighs on you.

We went, we swam, we had pizza, and I drove Ben back to his dad's because the other two were going to hang out longer. I used the bathroom there, changed clothes, and headed home. That's when everything went...weird...

I remember thinking about the DHS notice and thinking that I'd probably have to get some sort of job outside of the house and that's all I least for a some point, I "came to" and felt completely disoriented. I kept thinking it feels like I'm driving back to Hastings instead of to my house. I couldn't tell you where I was and it freaked me out. It was before I got to Woodland. I know that because I kind of remember going through Woodland and stopping at the stop sign at the bottom of the road there. I remember rolling up the passenger side window and thinking that I have to focus, I have to focus...

I don't remember the rest of the drive. I remember pulling up to my driveway and counting the number of cars that were next door...7...and then pulling into the driveway.  I remember looking at my phone, which has become habit, and seeing that he'd posted a picture and looking at it and then sending him the message. It's all kind of fuzzy...I came in the house and sat down on the couch. I remember changing from my jeans to my leggings without standing up from the couch. I watched Big Brother from the dvr but I don't really remember much about it. Then, I went to sleep...

I'm scared. I have to work 20 hours a week/$600 a month to retain any kind of food stamps but just thinking about it sends me into a panic. I could get some sort of doctor's note, but I don't know that they'd write me one and I don't want to sound crazy. I don't want to be crazy. I'm completely not functional ever since he told me that there never was a second photo. I've tried to work but I can't stop thinking about it, I can't stop freaking out. I just want to curl up, hide, disappear, something. I don't know. I just know that I'm scared...what if I'm going crazy?

Sunday, July 21, 2019

I Need a Plan

If you've been here a while, you know I've been struggling for the past couple of months. My best friend broke my heart and unfortunately, his way of dealing with it is by not dealing with it. The man loves his avoidance and in the past, I've given in and let him off the hook when he's hurt me. I can't do that this time. I've come to respect myself too much, even if it's been two months and I'm still crying.

But, that's not what this post is really about. This post is about me. It's about the me that is struggling and the me that I want to be. It's about the me who has spent just over 24 hours in a hotel and gave herself permission to not do jack. Yep, that's right. for the past 24 hours, I haven't done a single productive thing and if I'm honest, it feels pretty wonderful.

Forever, or so it seems, I've felt guilty if I allowed myself downtime or time just for me. I only watch movies/tv with my kids or if I'm sick. Well, let me rephrase that. I only only watch them in those ways. Usually I'm doing something else at the same time. If I'm allowing myself to play a game, I'm also working through something in my head or making notes on something else I need to do.

For whatever reason, yesterday something clicked and I said, "You know what? You don't have to work. You were sent to this hotel to get away from the heat that was making you sick and yes, to do some writing, but how good will your writing be if you're completely burned out?" So, I've binged watched the latest series of Queer Eye, I've taken a nap, I've spent some much needed online time with "the man".  I've gone swimming...and that last one is kind of important.

I'm not one who has ever loved my body. In other posts, I've probably mentioned how I don't feel pretty or sexy. I feel fat and frumpy and pretty yuck. I need to lose about 100 pounds before I can have breast reduction surgery but it's really hard to lose weight when all of your major appliances have failed and you're struggling with depression. It's tough to cook/eat healthy and dragging yourself out of the house when the heat is a perfect excuse is hard.

Today though, I told myself to stop making excuses and to take advantage of the fact that there's a pool literally across the hallway from my room. I knew there weren't any kids in it because I would have heard them if there were. So, I got on my swimsuit, grabbed my towel and snuck over. Then, I spent 30 minutes or so doing slow laps. I don't do fast laps these days and since I fell getting into the pool (wet hand + damp hand rail + weak knee = oops!) I was trying not to push too hard. At the end of those 30 minutes, I'd done a lot of thinking and my arms were tired, but that good tired. The tired that I used to love when I swam regularly.

What did I decide? Well....a few things....

1. I need to get the house in order. I know that when I walk back into it, the depression is lurking there waiting for me as well as every thought of being a failure. Somehow, I have to push past that to start making changes. It seems minor, but I'm going to try to spend one hour each day working on the house...15 minutes in the living room and 45 minutes (broken into 15 minute chunks) in a different room each week.  I'll also take advantage of when/if the boys come over to get some of the bigger tasks taken care of.

2. I need to get me in order. I love the pool. I love swimming. It's an exercise that my doctor actually recommended. I'm not quite sure how to make this one happen, but I need to try. The community center in Hastings has a pool and I believe that they have open swim times and possibly even lap times. I've not looked into it because of my own self-consciousness...what will people think about this big, fat person in a pool? What if my slow laps hold up other people? Well, what if I never try and end up not able to get up off my couch? Priorities, right?

Anyway, I know they have a pool but there will be challenges. First, it's 30 minutes away (like near everything else) and I'd have to get some sort of membership and those aren't cheap. I don't know quite how I'll make it happen, but I'd really like to.

3. I need to get my business in order. I love what I do and I'm good at it. Somehow I have to get my name in front of people. I was thinking of running an introductory price special with a discounted price for new clients as well as those who recommend them. I'd also like to have business cards made up. I'm supposed to be going to a big comic convention in October and I think it might help to have a double sided card made side having Geek-o-Rama on it and the other side having my editing/proofreading on it.

4. I need to get my finances in order.  They're not really out of order in the way that I have no idea what they are. I totally know what they are. They're non-existent. I need to start bringing money in so I can afford to do things like go to the pool, to pay off the fridge, to buy a new stove and microwave...and a thousand other things like paint for the living room. Life costs money and I don't have money. For the first time since my last failed attempt at getting a job, I'm considering applying for a job at the "local" gas station once the boys are safely installed at college. It scares me spitless, but I have to do something.

I publicly stated a goal of $600 a month in income this past week and I believe I can do it. I just don't know how fast I can do it.

The other option is believing all those people who keep telling me that it's okay to ask for help and set up some sort of funding type thing to help me get back into a position where I'm on safer ground and can take on more myself.  Honestly though, I have a really tough time believing that people would put in towards it. I remember how hard it was to get people to pledge when we had a gofundme to help send my youngest on a science research trip...and we had reward tiers. I have a KoFi set up now and in all the time that I've had it, only 2 people have used it.

I honestly believe that people don't understand what it's like to have a mental health issue that does its damndest every day to try to keep you from living. They see me...have heard me talk about the struggles of being poor ...and they're just plain tired of it and believe I should have sorted all of this out by now. I admit that I could be wrong and nobody thinks that at all, but it is what I think.

5. I need to get the people in my life in order.  That sounds harsh, but if being mostly away from social media for a couple of days has taught me anything, it's that it stresses me out far more than I had realized. I was on for 5 minutes earlier, just scrolling, and could feel the tension climbing back into my neck and shoulders. This means that I need to start culling people from my list. There are those there who give absolutely nothing of value to my life, but that stress me out whenever I read their posts. They need to go. It's not wait, it is personal. It's personal to my health and well-being and that's really what I need to be focused on. Quality over quantity and all that.

So...those are my swimming thoughts...Now I have to figure out how to make all of that happen. One step at a time.

Update: A membership to the community center to use just the pool is $20/mo or $200/year.

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