change · cleaning · denial · goals · home · Michele · resolve · stress · unemployment

Fear of the Unknown

If I were a Harry Potter character, I’m fairly sure the Sorting Hat would not have placed me in Gryffindor, simply because I’m not really a brave person. Yes, at times in my life, I’ve been able to stand up in front of the crowd, singing or acting, and I was, for a long time, very good at making new friends. Not so much any more. The last few years of my life have left me a very different person, and so many things scare me these days. It’s difficult to be in crowds, and the idea of having to talk to too many people I don’t know is terrifying.  I’ve had panic attacks in public places, including the local Fred Myer, where I wound up crying in the manager’s office. These events had been getting farther between, until recently, when certain things began making me very nervous.

If you’ve been reading this for long, you know I share a home with my extended family: my parents, who are 78 and 83; my younger sister and her two children, who are 10 and 20; plus two cats and a dog. During the last year my father lost his job, and hasn’t been able to find another one; he has also begun showing signs of dementia, which is difficult for all of us. Mom hasn’t worked outside the home in years; they have some Social Security coming in, but no savings. My sister hasn’t had a steady job in over a year, just temp things, and my while my niece has a full-time job, she doesn’t help out much. Hence, the only real income in the household now are my SSI/SSD checks every month, and Mom & Dad’s Social Security. Not a lot for all these people to live on. Jolene & I both get food stamps, which helps, and for now, all of our medical expanses are taken care of. The big issue is the house payment; we cannot afford this house.

When I moved back in here two years ago, my goal was to stay a few months and then get a place of my own. But things went downhill very fast; I sank into depression after the breakup and Michele’s death, and still haven’t fully recovered. It was easier to hide in this room than get on with my life. But now, I don’t have a choice, and this scares me. My parents are talking about selling the house, and this means we’ll all have to move. Sure, they’ve been talking about selling for years, but this time they’re actually doing things to put it in motion. Getting the basement presentable. Talking to realtors. Getting rid of things. And scaring the hell out of me.

My tiny room is full of stuff, and I have dozens of boxes in the garage. Every few days I’m encouraged to begin sorting, getting rid of things, both so the place will look better for prospective buyers, and so it will be easier to move. Jolene has done a bit of this in, but I’ve yet to begin, even though I’ve nothing but time on my hands.

At first I thought I was just procrastinating, as usual, being my normal lazy self.  I’ve had several conversations about where I’d go when the house sold with different people. Jolene proposed we get an RV, put Max in online school, and tour the country. I’ve discussed getting an apartment with my ex-husband and friend, Charlie (we get along well, and he’s easy to live with), but it’s never gone farther than discussion.  But recently I realized that I honestly have no idea what is going to happen to any of us, and this is nerve-wracking.  Some part of me believes if I don’t do anything, the unknown will stay far, far in the future, and I won’t have to think about it. Denial is my favorite river, and I swim deep in it.

denial-300x241

Talking about things helps, so they say. I’ve discussed this fear with Jolene, and Mom, and now you. Let’s hope it helps, because I cannot continue doing nothing, as much as I might like to. Getting past the fear is going to be hard. I may have to channel my inner Steel Magnolia and remember “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.”

cleaning · Crystal Light · eating · food · mess · stupid

Feelin’ Stupid… On A Saturday Afternoon


It started out as a completely normal day. Woke up and had a cup of coffee while checking Facebook. Had a yummy strawberry-spinach smoothie for breakfast, read some pages on the blog I’m currently obsessed with, took a shower. Used my new fancy blow-dryer to get lovely smooth hair, which I then messed up by going to the gym & walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes!

Yes, I realize that showering before exercising is not the smartest move, but it was not my dumbest move today. It’s not my normal routine.

My real stupidity kicked in when I returned to the apartment, and began to fix myself something to eat. A bowl of grapes, a Babybel cheese, and some leftover beef brisket. While my meat was warming in the microwave, I filled my water bottle and added a packet of Crystal Light drink mix. Cherry-Pomegranate flavor. It’s bright red. Then I picked up my bottle & shook it.
(Can you guess what happened next?)
Suddenly, there was hot pink water everywhere! The flip top on my bottle hadn’t clicked all the way shut, and I sprayed half the kitchen & myself with what is, essentially, diet Kool-Aid.
Because I was facing the counter between the fridge & stove, that area looked as if it had been painted fuchsia. I frantically took all the magnets & memorabilia off the fridge & wiped them clean, then went after the rest of the kitchen. The white wall is still faintly pink, and will require more scrubbing than I was willing to do this afternoon.
And after all that, I had to change my shirt & bra, which were both soaked in pink sticky liquid, and reheat my dinner.
Trust me, from now on, I will be sure the flip-top is secure. And I think I’ll be sticking to beverages of a lighter color, just in case.
Image from Google Images.
blogging · cleaning · Craig Ferguson · insomnia · medication · pain · reading · RLS · seizures · sleep · twitchy feet · yoga

Insomnia


I really should be in bed. Instead I’m sitting in the living room, watching ‘The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson’ and writing. I haven’t been sleeping well lately. So, I apologize if I begin to ramble. Sleep deprivation will do that to you!

Insomnia isn’t a new thing for me–it started way back at the dawn of time, when I was in high school. Always the same pattern. I fall asleep easily enough, and sleep well for a few hours. Then, usually about 2:30 a.m., I wake up, needing to pee, and after that, I’m awake for hours.
Sometimes I’ll be able to fall back asleep for an hour or two, but my twitchy feet usually watch me back up.
Oh, yeah, did I mention I have RLS? Restless Leg Syndrome. It’s a pain is the ass (or rather, legs) neurological condition that causes a tickling feeling in the legs or in my case, the bottoms of my feet. It makes my legs jerk so hard sometimes that I kick like a horse! Nobody is really sure what causes it, but we do know that many things make it worse; among these are the anti-seizure medication that I’m on. Yep. Finally found a med which will control my seizures (whoohoo!), and it makes my feet go crazy, causing an increase in insomnia. Wouldn’t you know, lack of sleep is a BIG trigger for me & seizures…
Anyway.
I’ve tried all sorts of insomnia remedies: medication, bedtime yoga, Sleepytime tea, self-hypnosis, melatonin & Valerian, and a white noise machine. Not many have been successful for long. I’ve heard all the advice, and have tried most of it, to little avail. I simply don’t sleep.
I’ve also tried many many remedies for RLS, most of them home remedies found online. So far none have worked for long. I’ve taken magnesium citrate before bed; I’ve rubbed my legs & lower back down with apple cider vinegar; I’ve done a series of strange exercises in the dark. The thing that worked the best was eliminating caffeine & sugar from my diet, which I did to get rid of migraines. Discovered it helped the feet. Of course, now I’m back on the coffee wagon, (or did I fall off the wagon?), so I may have to fix that… I do know there are a couple of medications available for RLS, but so far, I haven’t tried them. Didn’t want to add one more med to my already large collection. If things don’t improve, I may change my mind.
There was a time when I’d get out of bed and clean my apartment in the middle of the night, but those days are gone. (We have neighbors here who are very sensitive to noise, and even running water after ten seems to annoy them, so no more scrubbing the bathroom or rearranging kitchen cabinets!) Some nights I turn on my bedside lamp, pick up my book and read; other night I get online and discover strange new blogs. Most nights I simply lie in the dark, listening to the fake ocean sounds from the white noise machine, trying to count backward from one hundred, as I take deep, even breaths, and hope I’ll relax enough to to fall asleep again.
Tonight I’m going to finish watching Craig Ferguson, then stay up as late as I can, in hopes that I can reset my inner alarm clock a little, or at least throw it off balance. And then, with any luck, I’ll get some sleep, dammit!