Friday, July 31, 2009

Rapid Cycling.


What is happening, of course, is that I am rapid cycling in about one week intervals with some daily ups and downs as well. I should have recognized these cycles for what they were much sooner, instead of floundering around like a drowning person, but as I said before, sometimes I am slow on the uptake and don't see the obvious when it is staring me right in the face. And all that sleeping I did for a couple of days was my system telling me we were in for another change in the cycle. It's all so clear by now, that I should know this by heart, but I fumble the ball every time and drag everybody in my drama with me as if none of us know that I do this repeatedly. Apparently, I don't do it often enough for it to be a clear and concise set of behavior, so I want to make it very clear right now, so none of us forget it.

Rapid cycling is a repeated change of mood over a specific period of time that can be as short as a day or a week or a month. A change of mood would be going from a very upbeat and positive mood to a very downbeat and depressed mood for no really obvious reason, although it can be triggered by a minuscule little incident, and then having this cycle repeated several times over, or endlessly over and over again.

So, anyway, that is what's been happening with me and it got triggered about a month and a half ago by an incident involving my first ex husband, which I won't go into here, but which caused me to have many flashbacks to my first marriage and my life in the States and the memories weren't pleasant. My SPN says that I haven't been the same since then and I can believe it, because even writing about it this way is very disagreeable to me.

So let's forget all that and get on to other things.

I went to my appointment with the head therapist yesterday afternoon, only to get there and find out that she was sick, so no appointment. She won't be back until Monday at the earliest and I may be able to talk to her then. It was all a bit frustrating and I don't know what to do now. I feel I need this break, yet I also feel that I'm supposed to go to therapy. I really just want to stay home and do chores,

I got some things done yesterday and made some crucial phone calls too. The Exfactor really helped me out and did the grocery shopping for me, which was great, as I did the dishes and dusted the living room while he did that. I need to sweep the floors and vacuum the rug and my bedroom today and the furniture, which is always a job and a half.

I'm seeing Von this afternoon at our regular café and I'm hoping I'll be good company.

Yesterday afternoon I suddenly fell to pieces and ended up sleeping on the sofa until bedtime and then had something to eat and went straight to bed, I think. It's rather vague to me. Blame it on my Alzheimer. No, blame it on my pills.

So, either way, I've got to get my act together this morning and get some stuff done. Get some shit done, I really wanted to write and I just did.

I had the Exfactor buy me some Brie, but it was overripe and some of it didn't taste very good and I threw it away. You win some and you lose some. I didn't want to get sick with some kind of botulism or whatever it is you get from an overripe soft French cheese. I was very suspicious of it. Somebody tell me what you get from eating an overripe soft French cheese, please, that looks suspicious.

I do have wonderful bread with poppy seeds and light mayonnaise and very good salami, so I'm very happy with that. I also have various packages of Knorr soup and extra vermicelli to put in it.

Oh, I have lost 8,5 kilos and had made a miscalculation when i said I had almost lost 9, that should have been 8 kilos. So now I'm going for 9 kilos. I'll let you know when I've lost 9,5. I have about 6 kilos left to lose. Pudgy me!

Have a wonderful day!

Ciao...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

To wake up well...


In order to wake up well, and get the day started properly, I always feel that I have to write a post, even if I have nothing to report but my most mundane thoughts. I think, well that will do, at least it will organize my thoughts and get my mind set in the right order and I will have reached out and made a tiny effort at contact, but the latter is not necessarily the most important thing, because judging by the reactions, not that many people read these early morning missives. That's okay, this occupies my mind and keeps me busy while I drink my coffee and smoke my cigarettes and try to ignore the dog who just ate his bowl of food.

I woke up early this morning and thought terrible things about myself. I thought, this is awful, you're not allowed to do this, it is unacceptable, where in the world is this coming from? It was like somebody had dumped a whole bunch of garbage over me and I was struggling to get free of it.

Luckily, I was able to go back to sleep and when I woke up the second time, all that garbage was gone and I could think good thoughts about myself again. I had counted on that happening, but imagine if I had gotten up the first time with those feelings and had started the day that way. It would have been a very painful business and I would be sitting here with quite a different attitude.

Waking up that way, covered in garbage, hasn't happened to me in a long time, but it used to be the story of my life. I always used to wake up with a certain amount of self loathing, sometimes pure self hatred, yet I never let anyone know that I felt this way. I covered it up and did not let on how bad it was.

Due to my childhood, I'm a master at covering up my feelings and very often am not in touch with them myself. I can be in total denial about a state of mind that I am in. That's because I did it for such a long time, it became my second nature. I totally don't have a grip on my current mood and have no idea what to think of it. Am I depressed or just tired? I act like a depressed person, does that make me depressed? If it looks like a duck and it acts like a duck, must it be a duck?

I am planning on doing some cleaning today. Luckily, in Ubuntu the computer has a sleep mode, so I don't have to feel bad about leaving it turned on. It didn't have it in Windows XP, it just kept running and running, causing my electric bill to go up.

I must do at least three chores today, if not six. I must try to get that feeling of accomplishment. You do honestly feel better if you've made an improvement in your environment. I feel extreme discomfort at having things so disheveled. I barely dare walk around on my bare feet anymore.

Jesker has given up on me and has gone to sleep on his blanket, but I will make him happy and get dressed and take him for a walk. It is storming outside and we've already had rain and thunder and more is expected. The rains of England finally reached us.

I have an appointment at 2 pm with the head therapist and we will decide what I will do about my therapies. It will be good to get some feedback instead of thinking inside the box all by myself. Well, with all of your input, of course. Which I appreciate. Don't underestimate that!

I've babbled enough and must get going now, I feel some energy that must be spent wisely. Remember, chores of threes and walking the dog is not a chore, so it doesn't count.

Have a good day!

Ciao...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

All day long

Well, 'Ive been sitting here darn near all day, vowing that I wouldn't, vowing that I would get some work done, but I haven't. I have just been wasting my time, the thing that I'm so good at lately and the thing that keeps me from doing the stuff a proper housewife ought to do, like vacuuming and sweeping the kitchen floor and washing the dishes. Time honored chores that grace the women that do them with a certain status, which I now don't have, because what am I, but a lazy bum, a good for nothing wastrel?

I could be sitting here from the early morning when I get up with the chickens until I go to bed at night after the whole town has watched the late news. Thank goodness there are a few things I need to do that I can't ignore, such as feed the animals and walk the dog and even feed myself, although I do tend to forget that and don't notice that my stomach is very empty and growling and then I only give it some fruit juice, because of my last bad experience with an omelet and with the raisin bread.

I am all out of Brie or Camembert, or I would eat some of that, which reminds me that I have to go to the store tomorrow and that in turn reminds me that I have to check my bank account. You never know who automatically has been withdrawing money from it and I don't want to be surprised. It's a grab all you can party every month and I have to make sure there's enough left over for me. The kind people at the bank don't guard it carefully.

I look at the dust and dirt around me and I can't believe I just live with it. There is dog hair all over the place and a cat just barfed on the area rug and I'll have to clean that up in a while. All the surfaces are covered with dust and ashes from my cigarettes and tobacco crumbs. Look, I'm painting a dire picture on purpose, so you will know that I'm aware of my laziness and the state of my apartment. It can actually be put to rights in no time at all, but I don't feel that I can take the time to do it. Unless a minor miracle happens.

This is the second day that I have not gone down for a nap and that is as amazing to me as it is to you. It makes me think there's something wrong with me. The sofa has been unslept on for two days, although I did try it yesterday, but to no avail. Gandhi is laying there now, no doubt wishing I was there also, so she could lay on my stomach. Cats are funny creatures, they always have to lay on top of you, as if that is more comfortable, which I can't imagine at times. Oh sure, when I have a lap, but when I'm laying on my side and there is only a rib cage?

I have downloaded a weather bar and I can now not only tell you that it is 26 degrees Celcius, but also that it is 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Isn't that a novelty? At first I thought the download hadn't worked, because I was looking at the top bar for it, but then I finally noticed it at the bottom of the screen. Sometimes I'm a little bit slow in catching on with these things. I am only partially gifted.

Well, now the dog is making eyes at me again, so that must mean he wants to go out and it is that time of the evening.

I hope you all have had a nice productive day, which is more than I can say.

Ciao...







Stubbornness...


By getting up a little early this morning (not intentionally) and by being stubborn in my pursuit to solve a problem, I have managed to get the email program in Ubuntu to work just now and that is a great relief to me, because I was faced with a long wait, I am sure, at the help desk of my internet company's technical service. I so prefer to fix these problems on my own and I never feel better than when I do. I have two email addresses and I couldn't believe it when the program worked and started picking up an email for me. It is the first one, I know, bit hopefully others will follow.

Now I can drink my third cup of coffee in all peacefulness and that problem won't be bugging me anymore. Sometimes things do work out the way you want them to, albeit that this is a little problem in the grand scheme of problems. To me it was a very irritating thing and I wanted it solved. Yes, I know, I'm like a terrier that won't let go.

I've got a dog here that won't quit either. He has eaten his whole bowl of food and now wants something from me and keeps looking at me and making pitiful sounds that I try to ignore and when I do, he stops for a while. I think he wants to go out, but I'm not dressed yet. It may satisfy him if I let him out back. I think he must have been under the weather when he wasn't eating well, because his appetite has returned and he is eating his normal portions of food again.

I didn't sleep during the day all day yesterday, but that was due to the excitement of installing Ubuntu and getting all the add ons installed and getting things to work. I did reach a point of exhaustion in the evening and made myself go to bed when I could hardly think straight anymore. I do have a tendency to overdo it, but now that I've got the email program working, I'm much more at ease. That was my main concern, because I didn't want to have to flit back and forth between Windows and Ubuntu.

Every morning I wake up with a numbed arm and shoulder and pain in my hand. It disappears when I get up, but it's the same thing every day. Tonight I'm going to try to sleep with less pillows and see if that makes a difference. It's worth a try. It has gotten to the point that I have accepted that it is so and I dread those first few minutes when I wake up and have to start moving my arm and hand.

Well, now Jesker is sound asleep by my feet. I gave him his pill and a bone and now he is contend. Funny dog! After I stopped putting the ointment in his eyes, they have gotten better every day, so it seems to me that he was maybe allergic to the ointment. It was an antibiotic.

The cats have had their super expensive food, but luckily, one started to eat and stopped halfway through and then the other one showed up and finished what was in the dish. They should always eat this way. It would be a lot cheaper. They can now eat their kibbles, I don't care. I only started off with this expensive food as a treat and now it has become a habit and I have to stop it. It's costing me an arm and a leg. I'll try to find them some interesting kibbles instead. If any of you have any good suggestions, then please feel free to let me know.

We were supposed to have some really bad weather, but so far we've seen very little of it. I think it rained once and other than that, the sun has been shining. Maybe it is raining on England and by the time it gets here, all the rain is gone. It must be a very weak bad weather system. I hope I don't come to regret those words.

It's very nice for me when the Exfactor is so immediately understanding of my mood and my current position. I like it how it takes so few words from me to explain my attitude to him and my need for temporary help from him. He just steps in and does what he is supposed to do, nothing more and nothing less. That's all I can ask for and I don't ask for more, that is enough. He is very uncomplicated that way and I do have to remember that when considering our relationship.

I think he is the only person I know in my real life who needs so few words of explanation and who worries about me as little as he does. That is, in a way, very comforting. He cares about me, but he doesn't panic. I appreciate that very much. I don't have to be a "falling apart all over the place woman."

Well, I think I'll see what other sorts of damage I can do with Ubuntu, after I have gotten dressed to walk Jesker. The poor dog did eat a bowl full of food, after all.

Hope you have a good day and that the weather is kind to you and you get to decide what that means.

Ciao...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

In the meantime...

Well, here I am again, somewhat late in the evening, finally getting around to writing a post I have been playing with Ubuntu, which I have installed again on my computer and I'm trying to get various things to work and that is just the kind of job I needed for today to keep me occupied.

Of course, I'm running into also sorts of frustrations, which I can't solve right away, so I have to tell myself to be patient and just move back and forth between Windows for my emails and Ubuntu for the rest. I'm getting quite good at that. I tell the computer to shut off and start up again and I click on the different program.

I wrote my SPN an email telling her I was therapy fatigued and that I was holing up in my apartment letting the world go by and hibernating and not participating in life. She wrote me back saying that I should contact the head therapist of the clinic where I have my therapies and tell her about my therapy fatigue, so she and I could make some sort of plan of action about that.

So I called her this afternoon and we made an appointment to talk on Thursday afternoon and 2 pm. It may be that I'll take a break or it may be that I'll stop the therapies all together, we'll see. I don't care very much one way or the other right now. Well, actually, I wouldn't mind if I were to quit now. I've had about enough of it and it shows in the work I've been doing lately. My heart's not in it anymore.

I have to write an email to my SPN telling her about this and explaining to her why I have gone in a hibernating mode, but actually, I'm quite contend and I don't care if I stay this way for a while. The hard part is explaining to people why you just don't care very much at the moment and why you are taking a break from life.

The Exfactor came to my rescue and hardly needed any explanation and took Jesker for a walk and then we had coffee and talked about cheerful things, like cats and dogs and animals in the meadows and birds in the sky and bats that fly around at night where he lives. So that was easy.

I wore my leggings and my tank top that I had slept in and hadn't combed my hair and I didn't care. There I was in all my glory and I didn't give a hoot. The queen herself could have come by and I could not have cared less.

This Ubuntu program is fascinating and it keeps you going back to it trying to work it all out. The thing is that it starts up very quickly and has a lot of its own extras that you can add as you need them. You don't need a virus scanner, as for some reason, nobody bothers to write viruses for it.

I have to download all my music to it with a USB stick and do the same with my photographs. That will be a little bit of work. I'll be busy for some days yet. Rome was not built in one day. It's important to keep that in mind. Lest I become obsessed with it and then I'll have a whole other problem on my hands.

So you see, I'm not in the least depressed. Just antisocial. Not interested in the world around me and not willing to be part of it. One of these days I'll get back into it, just not right now. I'm taking a holiday and pretending I am incommunicado.

Have a nice evening all of you,

Ciao...

Slowly waking up...

I've only had one cup of coffee and just made my second. I shut off the alarm clock at 7 am and turned over and slept some more until I woke up on my own. I had some very interesting dreams during that time. Actually, it was a long story and it seemed to take forever. I must analyze it over the course of the day, because there were a lot of interesting details in it.

I have decided that I'm not depressed, but that I do have therapy fatigue and that this spills over into my regular life and makes me want to huddle in a cocoon and take a "vacation" and let the world get on without me participating for a while.

I sleep a lot during the day due to my medicines (the anti psychotic that I take 3 times a day) and I find this very pleasant, as I'm also sleeping well during the night now. It's like I'm taking a huge time out in the form of sleep and what better way to get rest? I'm like Sleeping Beauty in my castle and my whole world has come to a stop. Even Jesker spends all his time next to me sleeping. It's very nice.

So, that's just really all I've got to tell you right now, because I feel a huge sleep coming on and I'm going to lie down on the sofa with my book.

Have a great day.

Ciao...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sleeping...

After I wrote my post this morning I slept. I then woke up for some lunch and some computer time and then I slept some more, so I pretty much slept all day. Jesker has only seen the back of the patio to do his many piddles, I have not walked him once. Chances are, that in a little while I'll go back to sleep again. It's the best thing I can think of right now. It's like pulling a blanket over my head and excluding the whole world from my vision. I feel the need to do that right now. Therefor my reluctance to go outside and walk Jesker.

I'm in a hibernating mood. On top of that, it has just started to rain, increasing my resolve to huddle up inside. I want to be an animal in his cave in his winter sleep in the middle of summer. I have not combed my hair nor applied make up. I've just washed my face and brushed my teeth, that's it. I did a very lousy job brushing my teeth. I don't want to be kissed today.

I know this kind of mood. I've had it before and I'm trying to find safety inside the apartment and in sleep. It means I feel very vulnerable and unable to face the most simple things. I could screw up my courage and do them, but I don't want to. I want to be here safely inside my cocoon and pull my metaphoric blanket closer around myself. I may never come out again and starve to death for not going to the store.

I will make one resolution. I will walk Jesker when I'm done writing this, because the poor dog should not be the victim of my mood. One walk a day I should be able to handle.

I'll have to ask the Exfactor to do the shopping for me later this week if this mood continues. I don't see me doing anything significant now. It's like I've given up the battle and buried the hatchet, but I don't know if I'm a prisoner of war or a survivor.

Right, I'll go walk the dog and then go lie down on the sofa again.

Have a good evening.

Ciao...

My third one...

I'm sitting here with my third cup of coffee. I had the first one to wake up properly with and to pet Jesker with, who could not get enough of that and kept nudging his nose against my hand every time I stopped. I had to switch hands every once in a while due to petting fatigue.

I had my second cup of coffee while I checked my emails and read some blogs. Didn't you know there are always blogs to read? At any time, somewhere, someone in the world is posting their blog. That doesn't seem like a very good sentence, but I don't know what's wrong with it.

That's why I need the third cup of coffee and my medicines, of course. I must not forget them. I have to be able to think straight. Before you know it, I'll be tripping out and not making sense at all any more.

I hope I'm not the only one who has moments of complete dementia when I think my brain has entered a new dimension, where everything is slightly askew and no thought is in its proper place. You know those times, when you think you make complete sense for the moment, only to find out later that you've been blathering like a drunk or someone on drugs. Well, ha ha, I am on drugs, aren't I?

I'm supposed to be at creative therapy now, but for some reason, I could not get out of my pajamas and dressed. The whole thing seemed like too much work to me. I was completely unexcited about going. Now, I realize that when you have a real job, you can't do that, but I figured I could get away with it this time. It's a little bit of moral disobedience on my part and I'm not even going to lie about the reason why I didn't show up when asked about it this week. Sometimes I just don't want to do what I'm supposed to do and as I said one time before, I think I'm getting therapy fatigue. The thrill about going has worn off and now it is just another thing I have to do. I don't see it as useful anymore, even if it is still. I just don't see it.

Well, I'm so flabbergasted by that implication that I don't know what to write anymore and I've been sitting here for 30 minutes wasting my time doing nothing. I downloaded a new wallpaper and made some cigarettes, so I guess I did do something, but I didn't write and my coffee has gotten cold.

If I don't go to therapy, I need something else to fill my time. Although right now I think housecleaning and reading would be enough, which I now don't have enough time and energy for. I don't think Social Services would just let me stay home and will want me to do volunteer work. I will do that as long as it's not too complicated. Mmm...things to ponder.

I have much thinking to do. My official date to discuss the end of my therapy is in September, but that seems like a long way off. I must discuss this with my therapist. who I don't see until August 11th. I think an email is in order.

Right, it is time to get dressed and walk Jesker who has been patiently waiting. I am unsettled and want to make a decision.

Ciao...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

How to get through Sunday.


How do you get through a very sunny Sunday, when you ought to maybe have swept the floors and folded the laundry and taken a brush to the furniture to remove the dog hair?

Well, if you're like me, and you haven't slept all night, it may happen that in the course of the morning you find yourself laying very innocently on the sofa, where you will fall sound asleep for a few hours. In fact, you will wake up just in time to take your mid afternoon medicines and walk your trusty dog.

Having achieved this deed, you will be so proud of yourself, that you will very innocently lay down on the sofa again, this time with a very cozy and loving cat, and start watching the Tour de France, forgetting that the monotonousness of the ride will slowly put you to sleep again, until you wake up a few hours later, when the cyclists haven't even entered Paris yet, but you certainly do feel good.

Then you take a brush and hastily sweep the worst of the dog hair off your favorite chair to make it look like you did something, and quickly gather some dog hair off the floor too.

That's how you spend a very sunny Sunday and I didn't hear one church bell ring, that's how sound asleep I've been.

I mustn't make a habit out of this staying awake all night. I'll try to stay awake this evening and save up my sleep for bedtime. It's hard when your medicines make you sleepy, though, and it is so tempting to go and lie down, but I must use some self discipline and overcome the desire to sleep when it isn't time.

Jesker is being a finicky eater. In the morning he won't eat what's in his bowl, so I put it in the refrigerator. Then when he lets me know he is hungry later in the day, he reluctantly eats two thirds of it and I have to put the rest of it away again. Then he may or may not eat that. He used to eat twice as much, so I don't know what's going on with him. Maybe he's on a diet.

I tried some different food yesterday, but that was not a success either. I think I am going to get him containers with smaller portions and see if he likes that better. He could stand to lose some weight, so it would not be all bad. I just have to make sure he gets his nutrition, but so far he is in no danger of starving. Au contraire.

I just took my evening medication and I'm waiting for them to start working. Whatever tension I feel will disappear. I'll give myself another 12 minutes and then they should kick in. At least that gives me time to make another cup of that delicious coffee.

Isn't it funny how it only took a bottle of cleaning vinegar to fix the Senseo machine again? You have to stop it halfway through the cycle to really let the vinegar work for about 10 minutes and then start it up again. Then rinse 3 times with clean water.

Alright, enough with the instructions already! You uptight so and so! @*&%##@!!!!

There, I feel much better now.

I think I'll put clean sheets on my bed tonight, because it will be such a pleasure to go to bed then. I have to try to make it as alluring for myself as I can make it. By rights, I should iron the duvet and pillow covers, but that's a little bit too much work for me. Suffice it that they are clean and smell good.

I just realized something I have been forgetting before I have been going to bed at night. I have been forgetting to take my tranquilizers and have just been taking my sleeping pill. That's mighty stupid, because that's a major dose of tranquilizers. That must be why I have not been sleeping properly. Well, there's another mystery cleared up. Strike one for me, or is that a hit for me?

Well, my medication is working now, I'm sufficiently mellow. It makes me want to eat things with many calories, but I don't have those here, although I wish I had a package of shortbread cookies. Instead of those, I'll eat a glass of yogurt.

Having sufficiently bored you now, I'll go and read some blogs and bore some more people with my astute observations. I hope you have a splendid Sunday evening with something good to eat.

Ciao...

The best cup of coffee in town...

I bought a bottle of cleaning vinegar and used the whole thing to clean the Senseo machine and I now have the best and strongest, creamiest, most foamy coffee in town and I can't wait to get the next cup, that's how good it is. Boy, did that make a difference! Remind me to do this again on time, because it sure makes for a better cup of coffee. I didn't know what I'd been missing, little by little getting a worse cup of coffee all the time. I must do this once a month, or else...

´t Was a quiet day, well, except for the music that came out of the very good speakers of my computer. I had it tuned to a Deezer radio station and turned up loud enough so that talking on the phone was a little bit difficult. The bass boomed heavily and I had to turn it down both times my sisters called. The radio station is great, except that they don´t announce the artist or the name of the song, so I am in the dark as to what I´m listening to, which is a shame.

Oh, never mind what I just wrote there. I just quite accidentally figured out a way to tell what I´m listening to. It did that by trying to listen to an album they were advertising Mmm...strange! Sometimes I don´t know why things work the way they do. There´s some deep lying logic beneath it all.

So anyway, I went to the store and my new bike bags can hold as many, if not more groceries than the old bike bags. I can stow away quite a few things in there, which is good, because it means less heavy stuff in the bag I carry on my handlebars. I even managed to get two boxes of that good cat food, since the cats are eating it like there´s no tomorrow. I have to restrict their intake, because money still doesn´t grow on trees.

I bought Brie and Camembert, because they had the cheap kind of the latter also, so Jesker and I have been in heaven. Jesker very daintily eats his piece, like a connoisseur or a food critic for the Times. I think eating cheese could be a great hobby of his, except that he seems to be just a tat lactose intolerant. Nothing serious, just a little windy, etc.

I´ve stopped putting antibiotic ointment in his eyes, because it only seems to make them worse and I´m going to go to the herbal medicine shop and get something for his eyes there. The more I think about it, the more I think it is an allergic reaction, maybe even to the ointment itself. I check his eyes three times a day to see if they get any worse and they haven´t yet. The left one is even clearing up. So, keep your fingers crossed.

I had planned to do a lot of chores yesterday, but not much came of it. I did the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen and then took a long nap on the sofa. Then I went to Pen 10 and Six Sentences and read the short stories there and added comments where I felt I had something to add. I also wrote two short stories and you can read those here and here. I just shake them out of my sleeve, as we say here, so don´t expect any great literature, they are mostly exercises to keep me in shape and I feel I have to contribute something after making so many comments. Some improvement could have been made if I had spent more time on them, but that is talking after the fact.

Wait, there is the edit function!

I´m sitting here now in the middle of the night undecided about what to do. I took my sleeping pill, but I don´t notice it at all. I spent all evening asleep on the sofa, but that normally does not deter me from going to my bed to sleep some more. I´ve got my pajamas on, so that´s not the problem. Well, I´m wearing a pair of leggings and a tank top. That´s my nightwear. I do have real pajamas, but they´re too hot to wear right now.

I´m drinking decaf, which is not nearly as exciting as drinking real coffee, but I must be sensible. Don´t you love it how I take at least a little bit of responsibility? I should throw caution to the wind and drink regular coffee like I want to, but there may be some sleep in me yet and I do want to give it the opportunity to present itself.

The Exfactor was here the other day for a flash visit. He needed something from the shed which wasn´t there and he barely took time to drink a cup of coffee. It was as if he had ants in his pants and could hardly sit down to smoke a cigarette. I won´t take any of it personally and just assume he was in a hurry, but sometimes he is hard to figure out. He comes close for friendship and then withdraws again and seems preoccupied. I´m glad the state of my feelings doesn´t depend on him and I´m really serious about that. I forget him when he rides off on his motorcycle and get on with things.

I suppose it´s officially tomorrow now, so it is Sunday. The famous day of rest. The day of the church bells. I have to sweep the floors and take the laundry down from the drying rack. It´s been up there long enough now. Luckily, none of it needs to be ironed. It´s a fold and hang up job and find the matching sock to one single sock. I think I know where it is.

Well, that´s all I have to tell you. I can´t drag it out any longer than this.

Have yourself a terrific Sunday and fill it with all the things you enjoy doing.

Ciao...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

An Itsy Bitsy Long Day...

It feels good to finally sit down here and to know that I really don't have to do another thing until tomorrow morning. All I have to do is write this post and watch the news and drink my decaf and smoke my cigarettes. For some strange reason, though, the Senseo machine isn't turning out good cups of coffee and I wonder if I have to kick it or give it a good cleaning with vinegar. It's giving me very watery cups of coffee that don't taste very good at all. As a matter of fact, this morning my first cup refused to wake me up. I guess I'll put vinegar on the shopping list for tomorrow.

It seems like I had a long day, but it was actually over in no time at all. For a change the alarm clock woke me up and I considered shutting it off and turning over and going to sleep some more, but then decided that I shouldn't miss creative therapy, although I had no idea what I was going to do there.

So I very sleepily got up and made that lousy cup of coffee and drank it in spite of it being so bad, but made up for it by smoking three cigarettes and then I got up to see what was in my closet that I absolutely had to wear today, I picked two safe things to wear, both weather wise and fashion wise and ended up looking very demure and matronly. Well, maybe it was not quite that bad...

Just as I was getting ready to walk Jesker, a thunderstorm hit and it started to pour, which gave me an opportunity to make a better cup of coffee and feed the cats, those poor animals that are always hungry. We had to wait for about half an hour for it to stop raining and then I took my chance and we went out for a quick walk around the block.

After that it was time for me to leave and just when I got to the clinic and locked my bike, it started to rain again, so I hurried inside and just got some big splatters on my head. Timing is everything in this life. It poured like crazy once I was safely inside. The weather gods are kind to me, but then who are they unfriendly to? Some poor bloke must have been out there getting wet. More than one of them, most likely.

At creative therapy I worked on a project that I had abandoned some months ago. It is a collage booklet that I had halfheartedly started on and I finally decided to finish it. So I had to find more images and texts and paste those in and then paint the pages, which I did. Now I have to jazz them up a bit with pastel crayons and whatever else I can think of.

Sometimes I don't know why I start these projects, because I have a half baked idea in my head and just start to work on it without thinking it all the way through. I guess I think I'll just go ahead and surprise myself.

-------------------------

I had to stop writing this post, because I was so sleepy that I had to go lie down on the sofa for a nap. I did and fell sound asleep and vaguely remember making it to my bed sometime during the evening. I have my pajamas on anyway. Then of course, I woke up a while ago, wide awake and ready to go in the middle of the night, but that's okay, because I like these quiet hours.

It's confusing to Jesker who thinks it's time to get up and do a piddle and eat, but he is now sound asleep again by my feet on the hard linoleum. The cats also thought it was time to eat, but I ignored them and left them to their kibbles, which they are perfectly capable of eating.

I did manage to get a good cup of coffee and am going to try and get another one now.

Anyway, yesterday afternoon I met Von at café Charlemagne on the Our Dear Lady Square and we were lucky in that it didn't rain all afternoon, which was good, as I sat just at the edge of the overhang and would have gotten wet.

All around us people were eating and I decided to order a grilled cheese sandwich with curry sauce, but my eyes were bigger than my stomach and you can imagine the later results when we were walking through town and I had to visit the ladies room in a department store. I felt much better after that and could shop, where before I had been unable to concentrate on the items on sale.

We ended up in my favorite women's store and I found a long, knitted, black, short sleeved top on sale for 10 Euros and a set of 5 matching bracelets for 4 Euros, which was just about all the cash I had with me, so that was perfect. Von asked me if I didn't need to try on the top and I said that I never tried anything on, and I was right, because when I got home, it fit me perfectly and I was quite happy with it. Of course, it's black and knitted and attracts all the dog and cat hair and I constantly have to keep it clean, but what the heck!

Oh, and let me tell you. Making any sort of trip on my bike now is so much easier and safer. I don't have to worry about a thing. I stop and go when I want to and keep going when I want to and I don't have to worry about falling over and breaking my neck, and the pedals are always in the right position when I want to take off, because that was a problem too. I need to start off with my left foot downward, otherwise I don't get going properly and get in trouble. So, here's to my new bike!

Now, before I forget to do this, John of typos.daylight.fate has granted me an award for which I am very grateful and here it is:

There are some rules that go with getting this award and here they are:

1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.
2. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you love and/or have newly discovered.
3. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.
4. Use the One Lovely Blog award picture from my blog, on your blog to let everyone know that you have one lovely Blog
!


I am breaking the rules and am not passing this on to 15 other bloggers. I think that would be too much of a good thing and I would sit here for hours doing that, but I will pass it on to a few people I think are especially deserving of it.

1. Babaloo @ Fairymix.com
2. Grit @ Grit's Day
3. Maggie @ Nuts in May
4. WWW@ The Other Side of Sixty
5. Laurie @ Three Dog Blog
6. Connie @ A Crone's Chronicle
7.Angelique @ Sugar Cain
8. Sanna @ Violet Sky
9. Gail @ At the Farm
10. Casdok @ Faces of Autism
11. Jo @ Jo Beaufoix
12. Lisa Sarsfield @ Lucky Dip

Well, that is close to 15, but not quite. I think it is enough, but God forbid I forgot someone. Please let yourself be known to me if you think I forgot you. I scanned two lists and may have overlooked you in my eagerness to get it right.

In the meantime, the clock's hand are moving toward the dawn and at any minute now some birds ought to start singing. I've got the blinds open and can see the whole street by the light of the street lamp. That way I'll see the morning start sooner. Only one cat is visible, but I'm sure the other one is laying on my bed.

Today will be housecleaning and grocery shopping day. Oh, such fun, will it never end? The only good part about it is the Brie I will buy. I also must open my mail and check my bank account to make sure I'm still solvent. I'm amazingly free of fear of opening my mail today. That must be due to my medication. Those good old pills!

Have yourself a terrific Saturday and hopefully we won't get rained on too much, although the trick seems to be to wait for the afternoon, when it stays dry.

Ciao...


Thursday, July 23, 2009

That's okay then...


It;s another early in the morning moment. I'm having my coffee and my cigarettes and am enjoying the piece and quiet all around me. I slept a lot yesterday and fell asleep on the sofa in the evening and spent the night there, totally oblivious of everything. I know I was watching Midsomer Murders, but that is my last memory of what was on TV.

After I wrote my last post yesterday, I didn't feel all that great. Actually, I was a bit distraught and a feeling of desperation was settling over me. This, of course, had to do with my sense of failure which I felt, although I know in my heart that it was completely unnecessary. Nevertheless, for that moment I felt it and wanted to punish myself for it.

Luckily, I was able to reach my own therapist and, at the moment of greatest need, I was able to talk to her about everything. This was very helpful, as she knows me very well and has been able to keep track of my moods these last few months and has seen how they have fluctuated. She probably knows them better than I do.

It was good to talk to her about my fears and insecurities and my worries about feeling so easily overwrought all the time. There's nobody better to talk to than the person who knows the story of your life.

After having increased my antipsychotic medication last week, we had just decreased it again on Monday, because I seemed to be doing fine. So, the first thing we did was increase it again and I must say that this had an immediate effect and that it calmed me right down and that I quickly came to my senses again. Such is the working of that medication and I'm grateful for it.

Secondly, she talked me out of my feelings of shame, which I also came to see as unnecessary and not worthy of the cause (I think that's what I mean to say).

She dates my tendency to become easily overwrought to an incident that happened a few months ago and that makes sense to me and I have to trust her on this, because she has a good point of view on this and can judge it better than I can.

As I said, the rest of the day was spent in peace and quiet and sleep. That medication does so much for me, it's amazing. It literally stops me from feeling crazy and doing crazy things. It will be awhile before I try to decrease that again.

So, now it is Thursday morning and I have the whole day ahead of me. I don't have any therapy classes and officially today is cleaning day. Much to my amazement, there's hardly any dog hair on the floor. It seems that Jesker isn't shedding much right now, but I'll have to vacuum anyway just for the dust and the dirt. I'll have to wash his blanket also, just in case one of the cats has brought home any fleas. I think we're okay, but you never know.

It will be fun to do chores in sets of threes again and try to keep coming up with three different things to do. Not that I think I'll run out of them. There's always extra work when the regular work is done and the eternal cobwebs, now that the spiders are coming in through the open windows. No, we have no screens in front of the windows here. Every kind of bug can just enter. Luckily, no really scary ones live here.

It was so hot outside when I went to walk Jesker at 6 pm yesterday. The heat just hit me like a hot air dryer when I stepped out the front door. It had only rained in the morning, but luckily, a little bit later, it started to rain very hard for a short time. It came down in buckets, so it cooled things off for awhile, but in the apartment it is still 24 degrees Celsius.

Now I'm off to read some much neglected blogs, so I wish you a good day with all that brings with it.

Ciao...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Not quite that!

When I announced in this blog this morning, that I was going to live my life as a healthy person from now on, who was going to carry her dysfunctions in a little bag as baggage with her, while she climbed on her healthy horse and went through life as a regular ordinary person, I hope you didn't take me too seriously, because going public with that statement had some nasty repercussions for me.

Shortly after I had publicly declared myself that way, a great feeling of unease settled over me and I got chest pains and stress and I was just very short of starting to hyperventilate. Very soon I felt panicked and depressed and I knew I needed help. I wrote an email to my therapist, but I knew she wouldn't read it until after 9 am when she started her shift.

Very bad feelings took a hold of me and it was a repeat o f what I had felt last week, so I knew I had to save myself and acknowledge my feelings. I got on my bike early and rode it to the clinic where my therapies are and hoped that one of the therapists there would be there early so I could talk to one of them.

Luckily, the replacement ergo therapist was there and she was immediately available to talk to me and we went and sat in a little office and I could tell her what my problem was.

I told her that I had publicly declared that from now on I would act as a healthy person and merely carry my dysfunctions with me as baggage in a little bag, but that I felt very vulnerable and naked and without protection and that I had no idea who this healthy Irene was and how she was going to function in this world.

The therapist saw what the problem was immediately and saw that I was trying to make a giant leap from one situation into another without taking the little baby steps in between that are so crucial. I was suddenly trying to be healthy without any dysfunctions, where before I had been a dysfunctional person very often.

It is impossible to suddenly become one thing after you've been the other for such a long time. You have to take the necessary in between steps to get there and I wasn't taking them. I was thinking black and white, one thing or the other, now or never. She slowly explained the process of change to me and how it works for anybody. You can't suddenly hit nirvana and be a healthy person, because you decide that's what you are going to be. It takes time and practice.

Slowly, as we were talking, I calmed down, were before I was ready to self destruct. I became clear thinking again.

As I'm writing this down, I am saddened again by my reaction, because it was so extreme, but at least I recognized what I was reacting to. I feel a certain amount of depression hanging over me still, because I'm unsettled and I need to find my place in my own mind again. I'm insecure and unsure of my next move. I'm not a happy camper, but I hope to be one soon.

That's all I had to tell you for now.

We'll see how the rest of the day settles down.

Ciao...

Who's to say?


Up bright and early, as I have been for these past few days, It seems to agree with me, as I get some work done behind the computer and I get to drink my coffee and savor it and smoke my cigarettes and savor them also. In a while, I will have my tall glass of fruit juice when I take my medicines and really and truly wake up.

Right now I'm sitting in the twilight zone of the darkness before dawn by the light of my desk lamp and it is very cozy. Jesker and Toby are asleep on the blanket in a pact of brotherly love. They're both black and white and match up well. Toby and Gandhi have had their breakfast and Jesker has had his Bonzo bone, so everyone is temporarily satisfied. I put the emphasis on temporarily, because nobody permanently is. There will have to be a next round of food coming up soon.

I saw my therapist (SPN) yesterday and we had a good talk. I told her that I had made a pact with a fellow blogger that from now on I would consider myself a healthy person just like anybody else and conduct myself accordingly, even though I had some trepidations about it, but she thought it was an excellent idea and imagined me climbing on a healthy horse with my disorders as a little bit of baggage hanging off my saddle and she said that everyone has baggage, and that it is a good idea to think of myself as a regular, ordinary person just like anybody else and to not act out of my "diseased" parts anymore. It's much better to act out of the healthy parts and deal with the aspects of the disorders as they pop up.

It's nice to be understood so quickly and to get someone's blessings so completely. I think she had been trying to make this clear to me before, but I hadn't heard her, or had not been listening properly. Had not been receptive to the message, which is what happens when you're not ready and haven't reached that stage of perception yet.

So anyway, that is where its stands. I am to be a regular, healthy person from now on and behave that way too and call on the healthy parts of me to see me through a problem. Those are the parts that are so visible when I am hypomanic and so very capable of doing things with a great deal of courage and spunk and that are then not suppressed by all sorts of worries and anxieties. She said that if I was capable of it then, I should be capable of it always. It's in me to be that way.

I also had creative therapy yesterday and finished coloring a doodle I had made and I make these things without a clue as to what I'm going to do with them. They are just a way to fill in time and to keep me busy, they don't have a real purpose. I must change my tactics and do something useful there, produce something worthwhile. Maybe it is time I make collages on Tuesdays as well. All I need are some really good magazines for the images and texts. I can steal them from the smoker's room and the coffee break room. There are so many there, they won't miss one or two.

Oh, there's a thunderstorm moving in. Fun and games! It's supposed to be very warm today with rain and apparently thunder too. It will be very tropical here.

I went to the supermarket yesterday to pick up a few things and one of them was a piece of Brie. Since I've discovered it, they've raised the price to 85 cents. The cheap Camembert is never in supply anymore, so one of these days I'll have to buy the more expensive one. What is it with me and soft cheeses anyway at the moment? You'd think I had discovered a new food source. I'm going to make myself gain weight eating Brie and Camembert and vanilla yogurt, which I also can't get enough of. I must have an addiction to dairy foods. I am a true Dutch woman from the land of dairy products. Do any of you have this dairy product addiction?

Well, I think that just about does it for me. I will answer my emails next. I'm being awfully slow poky this morning.

Have a good day.

Ciao...

Monday, July 20, 2009

An early day...


I started of this day remarkably early, I think I was up a little bit after 4 am. That is, of course, because I slept most of the afternoon and evening on the sofa, and by the time early morning came along, I was all done sleeping.

I didn't mind one bit, because I was wide awake and so were the cats and they were ready to eat, so I fed them first and they acted like hey never had any food before. I had a hard time emptying the pouches into their dishes, because their heads got in the way, making everything rather messy.

At the sound of chomping down cats, Jesker decided to wake up and come and investigate and decided that he needed something to eat also, so he got a Bonzo bone and then had to be let out for a piddle.

In the meantime, I had made my mug of coffee and was looking forward to drinking it and having some quiet time reading my emails.Of course, I had to do some extensive petting of the dog first, because he does need all his loving first thing in the morning. That's how we bond together. We have our rituals every day.

I spend a long enough time reading and answering emails and then decided to go and have a good look in my closet and decide which clothes I was going to wear today. I was torn between dressing my age and looking sporty, or dressing younger and looking a little bit spunkier. That meant that I changed clothes an hour after I got initially dressed, because I changed my mind and went for the spunkier look. The one with the mini skirt and the leggings. That's also the one that allows me to get on and off my bike easier.

With plenty of time to spare, I went to creative therapy and entered the smoking den with a cup of coffee. Luckily, there were only two people there, so the air was not too polluted. I was without a lighter again and had brought a box of matches that worked very badly and one in three didn't light and had to be tossed away. I buy new, expensive lighters that work 2 weeks and then give up the ghost. I'm losing my faith in the manufacturing process of gadgets.

Soon enough it was time to go to the studio and work on my silly doodle that everyone seems to like so much, and I'm really only making it because I didn't know what to sculpt. It's just a silly doodle, with silly birds on it. I have finished it today out of sheer stubbornness and because it was there and I didn't want to leave it undone.

The thing is, that while you're working on it, you can have entertaining conversations with the other people around you and so I did. And let me tell you something, the men like a good chat as well as the women do. They don't really stop talking the whole session and they discuss everything under the sun, just like women do, if not more.

I ate 6 cookies and they were all good. Two were shortbread and four were gingerbread.

When I got home, I was greeted by Jesker and Gandhi and tried to pay equal attention to both, although Jesker tries to hog his. I had a big glass of juice and a cigarette and called my older sister and talked to her for a while, but she was very busy with customers. Then I took Jesker for a walk and the sun was shining and it was nice if you stayed out of the wind that was blowing.

At 2 pm I went to my sister's house where my niece was with her husband and her daughter, because they are staying in a cabin in the Kempen in Belgium right across the border from here. I had not seen them for a couple of years and my niece cried from the emotion of seeing me again, which I thought was very heartrending.My grandniece had become as tall as I am and very grown up.

We had a nice afternoon reminiscing and laughing and looking at old pictures and telling old jokes. You do realize you share a lot of history together.

We sat in the garden that is surrounded by hedges, so we were out of the wind and in whatever sunshine there was, although a few rainclouds passed to the right and to the left of us and we felt some sprinkles, but nothing could deter us from sitting outside.

And now I'm home again, full of apple pie and pieces of goat cheese and other unidentifiable snack food. The goat cheese was soft and smooth and I'll have to buy some off it on my next shopping expedition. That makes Brie and Camembert and goat cheese that I have to look for.

Now I'm going to put my pajamas on and get comfortable, because I've already taken my medications and I'm feeling pretty mellow. It's time to relax.

I hope you all have a splendid evening and may I direct you to this weblog for a special poem?

Ciao...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Naps...

I've managed to take two naps today. One after another. The only thing I did in between was check my emails and then I decided that I really wanted to lie down on the sofa some more, next to Jesker, and so I did and promptly fell asleep again, which I think is the best thing to do on a Sunday. Intermittently, I heard all the church bells ring all day long, calling people in for mass. I hope a lot of people showed up, because the bells sounded joyfully and people should really heed them and go light a candle at least.

Toby slept on top of me, which was fine until he started to massage me with his paws and his nails extended. It was only a little painful, but hard to ignore and it was not on an especially meaty spot of my body. It was right on the side of my ribs and I tried to prevent him from doing it by moving my arm there, but he just moved his area of operation over a few inches until he was done and laid down like a teapot without a handle.

Jesker checked on me every once in a while, I felt his cold nose, and then laid down again and yawned and went back to sleep. We did this for several hours until we were all done sleeping and had to eat something to restore our energy and then go for a walk. The rain has stopped completely and the sun is shining and it feels a little bit like summer, but not completely, because of all the clouds in the sky and the temperature is only up to 20 degrees. I think this is pleasant, but then I'm odd and don't like the sun beaming down on me relentlessly.

I have started to take my nighttime medicines at 6 pm, which means I get the benefits of it much earlier and I become quite mellow early in the evening. It's a pleasant feeling and all I have to do before I go to bed is take my sleeping pill. I get so mellow, that I'm afraid that I'll forget to take out the trash, so I have to make extra effort to not forget it when I'm done writing this. I have to go around and find all the debris in the apartment and fill the bag so as to not waste any space in it.

I have no idea what's on TV tonight and haven't bothered to look in the TV guide, It means tracking down my reading glasses and I'm always to lazy to do that and turn the TV on and hope to be pleasantly surprised by an English thriller. Sometimes there's a German one on and they are okay too, anything is better than a Dutch one, I just don't like them. I am not enamored with them.Give me an Inspector Morse any day. Or a Lewis.

Well, that's really all I had to report now, Just a quick post in between, I'm going to make myself an omelet, after I take out the trash! And walk Jesker one more time.

Ciao...

Just like yesterday...


Just like yesterday, I'm sitting here very cozily while outside it rains. I consider myself very lucky that I'm inside where it is 23 degrees and not outside where it is 15 degrees. I don't know why it's so warm in here, but it always is, even though I have the top windows open and feel a draft going.

Yesterday was a very successful day. I got all the groceries done and the apartment cleaned up, so I had to celebrate that fact by eating a piece of Brie and a glass of vanilla yogurt. Not all at once, of course. The supermarket was all out of the cheap Camembert, so I had to buy the Brie instead and that was a real sacrifice. Jesker likes the Brie as well as he likes the Camembert and always gets the last bite, for which he very patiently waits, the poor dog.

Cleaning the apartment was easy, especially when you consider that I had not done anything significant all week. I tried to do chores by threes, but sometimes I cheated and did them by twos or fours, depending on my stamina. I didn't mop the floors yet and must consider doing that today, even though it is a day of rest. Otherwise I'll do them tomorrow afternoon.

I had to go to the tobacconist and buy two weeks worth of tobacco, because they're going on vacation and will be closed. It was a painful amount of money to pay all at once, but it doesn't really matter, because I would have spent it anyway. You just don't notice it as much when you spend it once a week, it hurts less. A husband and wife own the tobacco shop and even though I can buy tobacco at the supermarket, I like to support the little shops and buy as many things there as I can. I can buy stamps there and trash bags and my bus tickets and newspapers and greeting cards and chocolate bars. Not that I buy the latter, of course. No, I never do.

I still haven't officially lost 9 kilos, I'm very close, but not quite there. I keep hanging around the same amount of weight and I hadn't weighed myself in quite a few days. I kept forgetting to get on the bathroom scale. That shows you how important it was for me. Apparently not very.

Jesker hasn't been for his walk yet, but I think he knows that it's raining, because he doesn't show the least inclination. Maybe he'll want to eat first. I accidentally bought him some puppy food and he likes it very much. It's got a lot of chunks of meat in it, it must be very nutritious.

A single church bell is ringing, that's unusual, as a rule more than one rings. It must be for something special. Maybe in remembrance of someone. It sounds very ominous, as if it is a warning signal for danger. It is a hypnotizing sound and you can't tune it out. I am waiting for it to stop and for all the bells to start ringing jubilantly like they usually do around this time. I've opened up the kitchen window so I can hear it better and now I can hear the single bell ring, but I can also hear the bells from the other church. There, now everything has stopped.

Not being a Catholic makes all this bell ringing a little bit mysterious for me. I don't know all the rules that go with it. I'm surrounded by Catholic churches, but I never see any of my neighbors go to church, yet they all claim to be Catholic. They've all been baptized and have Catholic names and have done their first communion, but they never go to church. I would excommunicate them all. They'll all want to be buried on sacred ground with the rites of a priest, no doubt.

Well, Jesker has eaten his puppy food and now wants to go out and it has stopped raining, so I guess we better go.

I hope you all have a great Sunday with many jubilant church bells.

Ciao...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Rainy Saturday...

I'm very happily sitting here watching the rain come down in the early morning while the town is still asleep. It's fine with me, because I think whatever rain falls now, won't fall in a couple of hours when I need to go to the store. Oh, and you all know what I'm going to buy there, don't you? Right, a nice piece of Camembert for 99 cents. I can't wait. I mean as long as they're practically giving it away...

I think anything under one Euro is affordable, when it gets up to two Euros it's expensive. That's how I shop.

Having to come totally clean now, when it comes to my feelings, I have to tell you that I've noticed that I spend an awful lot of time suppressing some feelings and allowing others, or rather, hammering down certain emotions that are not acceptable and artificially pumping up others that are.

I'm just taking the opportunity to do a little bit of self analysis here.

So, in a way, I'm constantly, or so it seems, in the process of accepting or rejecting myself. I, or the judgmental part of me, am constantly looking to see if I have the right feelings and to which mood they belong. I'm afraid that if I don't do this, I will be like a very hard bouncy ball and keep ricocheting of all the concrete surfaces I encounter, leaving me turning and spinning and crazy like a loon.

So I try very hard to be in one mood only and to reject all the emotions that don't go with that particular mood. If you have too many emotions, you have to reject many of them, so you're constantly at work, which is exhausting.

Therefor, it is very pleasant when the chemicals in your brain take over and decide that you're completely depressed or completely hypomanic. You don't have to make up your mind about anything, you just are and can let yourself float away into that mood as if you have no willpower left of your own.

But when you're in the middle of those moods, in other words, a "regular" person, you have to feel all your feelings and you can't just categorize them into easily defined moods, no matter how hard you try.

The problem is, that I don't know what "regular" is. For as long as I can remember I've always bounced around on an hourly basis. (define "hourly" loosely here, it could be two hourly, or three hourly, or half hourly).

Anyway, I'm not going to get into my past now, because that's an endless story and it wears me out.

So, I sit here behind the computer and go from feeling euphoric to feeling anxious and when I realize it and try to determine my mood, I become completely confused, because why should one emotion follow the other one like that?

I immediately try to wipe out both emotions and not try to feel either one of them. Or, if I'm so inclined, I'll grab a hold of the euphoric emotion and run with that and stack it up with the other euphoric emotions. That's if I'm on my way to hypomania. The same goes for depression.

I now realize, that in order to stay on an even keel, I actually try to wipe out any sort of emotion and try not to have any but the most mundane. I try very hard not to feel anything and if I do, my first reaction is to suppress it. Never show what you feel, don't let anyone know by the look on your face what your emotion is. Don't show, let alone feel your emotion. Always be even keeled and calm and predictable and stable and don't feel your emotions.

When you have as many as I have, and they are all so contradictory, that can be a tough job. It's no wonder that I'm a very "crazy" person. In the most normal sense of the word. Maybe I'm just a very normal person who behaves crazy, because I'm confused.

Okay, that's as far as I'm going to take this today. It's been a real learning experience. I understand more now than when I started off.

I have to go make a shopping list now, so you all have a good day.

See you around!

Ciao...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Knowledge.

Since this morning I know why I suddenly went into a downward spiral and why I ended up cutting myself. It was because of me buying that new second hand bicycle.

When I first saw the bicycle I liked it right away, but I thought it was too expensive, even though it was the cheapest one there, and I left the store pretty much determined not to buy it. When I got home, doubt started to settle in and I thought that maybe I should buy that bike and that if I waited too long with making a decision, it would be gone and I wouldn't be able to afford any of the other ones.

So I called Eduard to ask him for advice and he said he would come the next day and have a look at it for me, but I said no, that if I was going to buy it, I was going to do it immediately.

With a great deal of trepidation, I transferred the money into my bank account and convinced myself that it was okay for me to buy that bike for myself. I felt very unsure about it and had to call on every bit of nerve that I had to get on the bus to the station and walk into the store to buy the bike. I didn't think I deserved anything as nice as that bike.

After I rode it home and parked it in the hallway, my nerves were highly strung and I felt very nervous and uneasy about having bought the bike and I could hardly look at it without feeling all sorts of guilt and other bad feelings. I thought, "Now you've done it, you fool."

It took me the rest of the evening to settle down and the next day I tried to push all the unpleasant feelings associated with the bike away and to only pretend that I was very happy with it. I pushed very hard against those feelings, but they kept nagging at me in the back of my mind subconsciously, making me feel uncomfortable and unsettled and uneasy until I ended up in a downward spiral, but when that happened, I didn't associate it with having bought the bike, because I had pushed away the unpleasant feelings and didn't make the connection.

My discomfort grew and grew and took on enormous proportions, until I cut myself. That brought me hours of relief and an opportunity to talk to my psychiatrist and have my medication changed. Finally, this morning, I was so calm that I could retrace the past week in my mind and make the connection and I had a real "Eureka" moment and suddenly felt a lot lighter about everything.

Since then I've had a conversation with my psychiatrist on the phone about this and he understood the situation immediately and said that it is not an isolated incident, but that it is probably something that happens often to me and that it is connected to my childhood and that the link can be laid there. He said I had given him very valuable information and that he was glad I called and that we would work on this in the future. In the meantime, I am to be aware of these feelings when they happen again and rather than push them away, I am supposed to feel them very consciously and acknowledge them and let them happen no matter how uncomfortable they are.

I hope this clarifies it to you as much as it has to me. Once I knew what had happened, I felt so much better. Suddenly there was no mystery anymore.

Ciao...

Is it time yet?


I'm up early, but I've done so much sleeping since last night that I think it doesn't matter if I'm up already now. I hardly remember what I did last night, except that I think I slept a lot and when I woke up I was ravished and ate a two egg omelet, which surprisingly stayed down. It was all light and fluffy, though, and Jesker sat beside me for naught, because I ate it all by myself. He resigned himself to that, but what else could he do? Gandhi came and licked the salt from the plate and Jesker watched her with a curious look on his face, because he knew that plate was empty.

Speaking of cats, Toby and Gandhi now stand on the kitchen counter together and wait for me to get there and then find all possible ways to show me how much they love me and purr loudly.
They make quite a production out of it, but it's all to get that delicious food in the pouches. Boy, do they love that! They hardly give me time to put it in their dishes, they are already eating before I'm done. It pleases me very much to see them eat with such an appetite and I really don't mind. They also eat their kibbles still, so they are getting enough nutrition, although the more food in pouches they eat, the less kibbles. Those cats have me all figured out.

Eduard always says that those animals don't have anything else to do but observe us all day long and they completely figure us out that way. I think there is a lot of truth in that.

Today is creative therapy day and the first thing I'm going to do is destroy that ugly sculpture I made and not start a new one, because I think that right now I should not be sculpting. I'm obviously not in a sculpting state of mind and haven't been for a while. You must have the right feeling in your fingers in order to sculpt well and I don't have it lately. I also don't have any place left to put another sculpture. I have four standing in the bedroom on the shelves there and three in the living room.

I had started a silly doodle, but I'm not sure if I'm going to finish it. I have to look at it today and see what I think about it. It is very possible that I'll make a collage, because that's more the frame of mind I'm in. Making a statement about something or other, be it politics or society or mental health or whatever. Anything to get a feeling out. Whatever feeling. It doesn't matter which one.

I'm also seeing Von this afternoon, but we're not going to eat ourselves silly, we've already decided on that. Since we're both on a healthy eating diet, it doesn't seem like such a good idea and the fact is, that once you've started to eat something good, you only want more of it, so to prevent that, we're not even going to start.

I can buy a delicious Camembert for 99 cents at my local supermarket. I bought some the other day and let it get to room temperature and then ate it and it was great. Jesker also liked it. I couldn't finish it by myself. So, now I always have the Brie or the Camembert to look forward to, although I don't know which I prefer.

I'm going to take great care in how I dress today. It's not going to be too warm, so I can even wear long sleeves. I want to look really nice and I'm going to plow through my closet and find just the right things. So, it really is nice that I've gotten up early today. I can even do some ironing if I have to.

I hope you all have a great day and that many good things happen to you.

Ciao...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

This is what you do...


After I finished writing my last post I made the decision to harm myself. It was, what I thought, a very well thought out decision to get rid of the tension and anxiety in my mind, because it is my experience that self harming always does this. The act of self harming creates so much anxiety of its own, that it overrules the other anxiety that you feel and once you've self harmed, you feel such a release of stress and tension, that you actually feel a lot better.

I took care of the wound myself, having much experience in this now, and dressed it and put a bandage around my arm. Of course, it's like a white flag and everyone will see that I've done it again and that is not my purpose, that is just a not so pleasant side effect. It's better in the winter when I can wear long sleeves.

After all that, I did feel a lot of relief and for a while I felt better and I stayed up most of the night, being unable to go to sleep, and being unwilling too and I didn't go to bed until early in the morning where I crashed with my clothes on and I don't even remember falling asleep.

I woke up at 10:30 am from the phone ringing. It was my older sister who wondered why I was still in bed, so I told her I wasn't feeling good and that I did not have a reason why. We talked for a short time and then hung up and I laid on the sofa, petting the dog and trying to come up with a plan.

Then my younger sister called me and said that she had heard that I was not feeling well and that she was available for help. I told her that I needed a plan and that I didn't have one and together we decided that the best person to call would be my psychiatrist, because he knows the most about my medication.

And so I did. I left a message with the secretary and he called three minutes later. Unheard off! I explained the situation to him as well as I could and we brainstormed together about what would be best to do. After going over all the possibilities, we decided to temporarily increase the antipsychotic medication and if I really feel the need, I can take some more tranquillizers, but he hopes I won't. That's his least favorite option.

He also gave me some practical instructions on how to get through this period and that was helpful and made me feel better. It's nice to know that someone takes the time to care and gives you good advice. He emphasized that it was good that I called and that I could call anytime I felt the need or could in any way shed light on the situation.

Because I still felt the need to harm myself, I had called Eduard to come and take away the sharp objects. He got here at one pm and gathered them in a baggy and put them in his motorcycle jacket pocket. Now the temptation is gone and I won't be thinking about it anymore. I'm not crazy enough to go to the store and buy a new supply.

I took an antipsychotic tablet right after I talked to my psychiatrist and they usually work pretty quickly, but what I feel mostly now is the sedating effect of it, so I am pretty calm. That is a nice side effect.

Eduard is so sober minded about the whole thing. He listens, he looks and he says, "Well, in a couple of days you'll be as good as new." That's as excited as he gets about it and he is right, because he lived with me for a long time. He has seen many battle wounds and he knows I land on my feet again.

While he was here, he raised the seat of my bike and tilted it backward a bit, so I will be more comfortable riding it. He also reattached my headlight, which I didn't realize was undone. It was hanging by its wires. Silly me for not noticing that.

That's my story for right now, my confession. I was in doubt as to if I should tell you, but I can't leave out something that important.

Ciao...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Whatcha talking about?

Here I am sitting amongst the debris of my life and I can only surmise that I am on a downward slope, because I am not getting my act together and little by little things here are getting out of hand, even though I make token gestures such as organize stacks of dishes and empty ashtrays and get rid of empty juice and milk containers.

It makes just a little dent in the real work that needs to be done and that I find impossible to face and that I can't get started on without having an enormously big cloud of doom and gloom hang over my head that defeats me before I've even begun. It's a sorry state of affairs and this afternoon, after I did the groceries and ate lunch, I laid down on the sofa and slept, as it was the best thing I could think of.

I've been trying to get out of the job for several days now and every day I find an excuse why I can't clean house. Today I've run out of excuses and must find the real culprit and the real culprit is my enormous lack of enthusiasm in life. Frankly, I don't give a hell of a lot right now about anything to the point that I want to do something about it, although I am acutely aware of this lack in me and I just wish it were different, but it isn't, and I can only hope that one of these days soon, I wake up with the right amount of enthusiasm again and straighten this place up as it's supposed to be.

I was afraid of this happening, but I was not expecting it and thought I was going along steadily at a nice pace, but isn't that always when you stumble and fall and find yourself flat on your face? Having moods is a terrible bothersome thing in that it effects your functioning so much and you want to plan your life, but almost feel that you can't, because of the unexpectedness of your disposition. I completely feel like not leaving my apartment now, although I know I will, because I have obligations.

I only want to perform kind deeds for myself and do nothing that will upset me further and avoid anything unpleasant. Going to the store this morning I didn't experience as something unpleasant, though it was a chore that had to be done, but I got to buy nice foods that were no longer in the refrigerator and cupboards and in a way that was the reward for the effort.

In the meantime I'm avoiding some phone calls I have to make and I'm not going to make them until I feel better.

The good part is, that on this downward slope, I'm not condemning everything about myself to hell like I used to in the past. At least I don't do that anymore. I can sit here and say I'm not happy and I have a hard time doing things, but I don't hate myself. My whole personality doesn't disintegrate, although I do feel a strong desire to hurt myself and I don't know where that is coming from. I will try to ignore that wish.

The most important thing is to accept the mood as it comes and to not make a huge big deal out of it, but to lean into it a little bit and let it be. For all I know it's going to be over in the morning and I will be fine again and my enthusiasm will be back.

I have to go now and see a man about a horse.

Have a good evening.

Ciao...

With the greatest of ease...


I woke up at 7 am, because the alarm clock insistently beeped in my ear and it was hard to ignore it, though I tried it for a while. Half asleep I walked into the kitchen and with great fanfare I produced a double mug of strong Senseo, which I drank while petting Jesker and smoking a cigarette. I peeked at the world through my half open eyes and my eyelashes sort of got in the way and I just for a minute wanted to pull up my legs on the sofa and get comfortable.

Well, you guessed it, I fell asleep, totally oblivious of everything around me and what I was supposed to do and I didn't wake up until much later when it was too late to go to ergo therapy, or rather, I could have gone, but considered it a waste of time and decided to stay home instead and stay in my pajamas a while longer. I didn't need to rush around with my head cut of trying to do a half dozen things to get ready to leave as quickly as possible, which was a relief.

Yeah, I'm always cutting class and I wonder if I'm getting therapy fatigue and if it's getting to be time for me to stop and do something else, but what that else is supposed to look like, I don't know yet.

Anyway, this means that today I will get some work done around here and I will do some grocery shopping. I've been eating eggs and I want to buy a dozen of them, because I can eat two at the time and they fill me well and make for a nice meal. I also have to buy yogurt and another piece of that Brie that was so good and cheap.

I've got my chores waiting for me, boy, do I ever. I don't know why I'm so reluctant to do them. It's just a question of getting in the starting blocks and getting them over and done with and feeling good about them afterwards. I always boycott myself by making it look more complicated than it really is. I make mountains out of molehills. It's in the nature of the beast.
When I sit here tonight, writing a post, I must be able to say that I got a certain amount of work done, that I promise.

I did end up washing my hair last night before I went to bed. I dried my hair with a towel as well as I could until it was almost completely dry and then put some shape into it with a comb and the applied wax and, just like the hairdresser, lightly pulled it into spikes and jumpy curls. There's a trick to it and I'm slowly learning it. You mustn't use too much wax, just a bit will do. Then you apply the hairspray and when you wake up in the morning, most everything will still be spiky with maybe one flat area that needs to be brushed out a bit.

I've got to take care to wear some spunky clothes today, because I'm in that kind of a mood. I'd like to wear my favorite boots, but they need to go to the shoemaker to have new soles and heels put on, because I've worn them completely off, as I do with all my footwear. One sole is lose and flaps when I walk. I have my other very good boots, but they are more winter boots and not right for this weather, so ballet slippers it is.

I wasn't going to mention it, but I'm one ounce short of having lost 9 kilos. I will announce it officially when I have indeed lost 9 kilos and have stayed that way for a couple of days. People are starting to notice now that I've lost weight and compliment me on it, so it's a good motivator to keep going. I can't help but keep going, because I can't eat any differently than how I'm eating now, except that maybe I could eat more, but I don't feel the need.

Thanks to some advice from a friend, I have decided to only mention my weight loss if it amounts to one kilo, that's 2.2 lbs. I'm not going to be messing around with ounces anymore that just go up and down.

Okay, I am going to get things started here and get dressed. The moon's a balloon and the sunshine beckons me. First things first and that is to the supermarket.

Have a good day, doing your groceries or other equally amusing things.

Ciao...

Much later in the evening...


I had planned to wash my hair and give it great care with wax and hairspray and fix it up just right, so that I would look smashing again, but I did none of that and wasted my time instead piddling around doing nothing important, which seems to be the story of my life, but yet somehow I manage to get through it and get the most important things done and keep it all running in a fashion, I just don't have very smashing hair right now.

It's not really necessary for me to have smashing hair, I mean halfway decent hair will do too. After all, I'm not trying to lure some unsuspecting man into my female web of intrigue and sex appeal, so who cares what my hair looks like, as long as it is not dirty and terribly disarrayed.

It's actually curling now, which it has a tendency to do after I've put wax and hairspray in it and is very funny, because after I wash it, it is completely straight. I have the straightest hair on the block. Not so after I apply wax and hairspray, I get a natural curl and suddenly it looks as though I have a big head of hair instead of wispy straight hair.

But never mind, if I get up on time in the morning, I may have time to wash it then and give it the twenty minutes that it takes to fix it properly and get it dry enough without a hair dryer, which I also really need to buy one of these days.

These last couple of days I just haven't got my act together. Whenever I walk out of the kitchen with my mug of coffee, I slosh coffee over the side and onto the floor. When I make cigarettes, I spill tobacco onto the clean linoleum. When I eat a piece of bread with jam, a glob of jam falls onto the area rug. I have a half dozen little mishaps like that all day long. Anything that can be spilled, will be spilled. Paper towels are very handy right now. Luckily, I don't spill much on my clothes, but several items have had to go in the wash.

I live in the Republic of Absentmindedness. Alongside the Country of Forgetfulness. I'm not quite living in the Great States of Dementia, it's too early for that. Sometimes I think, "Oh, what the heck, just wave the white flag and surrender to it and become highly irresponsible," but there's a very sensible onlooker in me who won't let me get away with it and who runs interference for me and gets me back on the right road again. The Road of Paying Attention.

I'm sure everybody has these extremes fighting for position inside themselves constantly and it's always a battle as to which one is going to get the upper hand. The one with the smashing hair or the one with the puddle of coffee on the kitchen floor? I'm sure you all feel sometimes like you're just a tiny little mouse that's battling a Goliath with a big battle ax and you only have your little slingshot with dried peas, or were those little pebbles?

Sometimes I'm in awe of the fact that I'm supposed to be the adult now and know all the answers and be capable of running the ship, when obviously I sometimes don't really have a clue and I'm just faking it. Those are the doldrum days when I pretend that everything is moving along just smoothly, when in fact we're not going anywhere. The ship is not sinking, so it seems like we're safe, until we pick up speed again and move along at the steady pace that indicates progress.

I'm so glad I'm only responsible for myself and three animals. I think that is just about the amount of responsibility that I want in my life. If you were to add a fifth body to that, I'm sure I would panic and crawl away in a crevice in a mountain and become a hermit and grow my hair long. Or I would become a nun and devote my life to silence and growing herbs in a walled garden. Oh, I don't suppose I can smoke and drink lots of coffee then.

Actually, for as much as I fumble and stumble around, my life is as perfect as I'm going to get it. It's the simplest kind of life I can envision for me and simplicity is what it's all about, the absolute absence of complications, that will only set me cycling and I don't mean on my bike. I very rarely meet people who are as sensitive to events in their surroundings as I am, but they do exist and I do know some and feel a great affinity for them.

It's a terrible thing when you are like a leaf that gets blown about in the wind of the events that are the result of your contacts with the people in your life, but you can't be an island and you need human contact at the risk of getting blown about. A little side wind that's unexpected blows you off course and sends you cycling and moving from one extreme mood to another, which is very tiring, until it wears off and you somehow reach your equilibrium and go gently floating into the summer breeze again.

This whole treatise started with my hair and the fact that it wasn't smashing and I have decided that, despite the late hour, I will wash my hair before I go to bed. See, it's bothering me enough that I can't even sleep on it and I need good hair to go to bed with. That means that maybe tomorrow I will stop spilling coffee and dropping globs of jam, but I refuse to become attractive to members of the opposite sex. I have no desire to have that complication in my life.

With all the willpower that is in me, I will now attempt to end this bit of writing, but only because the hour is late and not because I'm done saying the things I have to say. I'm like a meandering brook and could go on forever babbling about any subject under the sun that would catch my attention right now. Instead, I will take my medications and put on my pajamas and wash my hair and do a really good job at it.

Washing my hair under the shower never works out well, because the shower refuses to point to my head and only one single little beaded stream points at my face. It's an exercise in frustration.

See you all in the morning when I have to get up bright and early for my ergo therapy, yippee!

Ciao...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Forgetting Time...


Jesker is so busy sleeping that he is forgetting that it's past his time to go for a walk and I'm not going to remind him, but just let him soundly sleep on his blanket and wait to see what will happen when he wakes up all confused as to what time of the day it is.

He ate his dinner with great appetite a while ago, after barking at me for thinking I had forgotten about it, but he was just a little bit ahead of me, because I didn't get home until 3 pm this afternoon and immediately had to entertain the neighbor lady who was waiting for her taxi. This was after I maneuvered my bike safely into the hallway without bumping into Jesker who was happy to see me and wanted to show me how much immediately.

Luckily, Gandhi was not at the front door, because she would have escaped into the stairwell and I would have had to go up after her or wait for her to come back down again. Sometimes that works and I leave the front door ajar and she walks back in on her own. I don't know where she was this afternoon, but she's sound asleep on the sofa now.

I've found out, that despite all my good intentions, I do not clean house when I get home after 3 pm in the afternoon. I'm happy to be home and walk Jesker and have a mug of coffee or a glass of juice, but the thought of getting the dusting rag out and the vacuum cleaner is more than I can handle. I just don't want to do any chores, while you would think that creative therapy would not be that emotionally draining, but for some reason it is and when I get home, I feel tired and not willing to do any work.

When I got to creative therapy, I got my painting out that I had started on a few weeks ago and went and got a plate of acrylic colors, bu then I sat there and felt a huge panic coming up and it was as if I wanted to run out of the room as quickly as I could, which did not go unnoticed by the therapist, who then removed the painting and the paint and gave me coloring markers and mandalas and had me color those instead for the rest of the morning.

This was good, because it was simple and calmed me down and I could just focus on coloring them as well as I could without it becoming complicated, so the panic dissipated and disappeared in the end.

Then, for our one hour break, I had a long conversation with one of the other women in my group and we talked about many things that were near to our hearts and it made the hour go by very quickly. It was good to talk about the things we talked about and I felt better afterwards. It was a relief and a release. That's how you can be there for each other. It's very mutual.

During the second half of therapy I doodled, not on a large piece of paper, but on an 8 by 10, which was just the right size for me at that moment. I'm going to color it in with coloring markers and there are some neat colors, so I look forward to that. Isn't it strange how in that class I can't seem to do anything complicated? It may be the atmosphere in the room, or the therapist, but I feel more fragile there, as if I can't do anything monumental. It all has to be little work. No sculptures and no collages.

--------------------

I've just walked Jesker. He woke up and wanted to be petted, but after that he wanted his outing, make no mistake about it. So we went on our merry way and when we were half way home again, it started to rain and it is raining pretty hard now, but oh, so cozy inside. We didn't get very wet, as the rain splatters were far apart when it started and we ran home. It's not cold outside, so it is a pleasant rain and good for the grass that is growing on the fields where there is a green haze now. Every day it is a little greener.

I have to stop writing now, because I want to watch the 8 pm news, otherwise I feel so uninformed. I must turn off the computer and do something else for a while.

I hope you all have a very nice evening and that you've enjoyed your day. I've enjoyed my new bike.

Ciao...