Still Here

I survived the Great Mold Crisis of the Summer of 2018, and the move that followed. Not only that, I actually made it through all that stress without having a seizure!!

happy-dance2

I stopped checking Facebook on July 8th. Sure, I have to check it to maintain a business page for my husband, but I only check up on that about once or twice a week. When I’m online I’ll check to see how my friends are doing, but I don’t post like I used to do. I’m not “all over” Facebook like I used to be. It’s been almost 2 months now. I’m kinda’ mixed about this…. It feels really nice to not be caught up in the drama and BS that goes on with the FB platform, but I feel out of the loop with everyone. It seems we all still use this platform to keep in touch with each other, despite the fact they sell our information to the highest bidder.

FB Selling Information

Yes – that image above? All those innocent quizzes you’ve taken were harvesting your data so it could be sold. I’m sure other free social media platforms sell data, too. As we’ve all heard at one time or another, “Ain’t nothin’ in this life for free.” But FB seems to be the chief offender in this one.

Harvesting data wasn’t my only problem with FB, though. It just seemed there was so much negativity, especially as polarized as our society is right now. Yes, people have the right to express their opinions, but after a while, some of us just get tired of the back and forth and (at times) less-than-adult ways of handling discussions. Especially with the November elections coming up, I’m glad I’m still off of FB.

But I miss my friends…

sigh

I may have to start checking in on FB more frequently, just to keep in touch. I feel like I’m giving in and Zuckerberg wins this battle, but that’s not really the case. I can choose here – I can either lose touch with people completely or not. I can post or not. I choose how much (or how little) I want to share.

So, as far as Flakebook, I guess I’m back… kinda’. :: sigh ::  Ever feel like FB has us by the short & curlies? Yeah……

 

 

I’m Not Old Yet

I’m not old yet. I just wish my body would stop trying to say otherwise. I’m going to be 52 this month. That’s really not that old. But I laugh as I remember a time when I thought it was.

Ever feel as though your body has turned into that rebellious teenager you can’t control, and it’s doing everything you don’t want it to, just to spite you? You don’t want to feel old, so it’s going to do everything it can to make you feel like your aging mother or grandmother you remember from childhood. :: sigh ::

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I shouldn’t sound so pessimistic. It’s not always like that. It’s just that, sometimes you have those days that you want to trade your body in for a new one, y’know? Oh, and seeing your own kid with that lack of fear of mortality…. Gods above, I miss that.

I suppose today is just one of those days. I’m writing to show that menopause, and getting older is no picnic. I don’t want to be grandma. As I get older, I want to be like this chick:

hippie grandma 2

I’m a lucky mother. My son is 20 years old. When he went through those teenage years, he wasn’t a “rebellious teenager”. We have a good relationship and it’s always been that way. We’ve always been able to talk to each other. Now, as with any relationship, there are days you can do better on your communication…

I’m sure that’s what goes on with your body as you age. Everything is changing and you have to learn how to communicate with each other all over again.

Peace and love, everyone!

peace sign

 

Social Media and our Health

Just over a week ago, I was diagnosed with an abscess in my sinuses. This one was hard – I haven’t been that sick in a long time. This infection hit me sudden, hard, and it was painful.

sinus abscess

Despite being on two different antibiotics at the same time, it seemed this thing was only getting worse. I had no energy (of course), so I killed my time on Facebook. After a couple of days of that, it just felt like I was being bombarded by nothing but negativity.  I didn’t want to communicate over Messenger or Facebook. I just wanted to hide under the bed. No special treatment for anyone. I just wanted to get better.

Sure enough, as soon as I went offline, I started to feel better. It was a gradual process, and it took just over a week, but I feel better. I’m not saying this is what cured me; the antibiotics did a world of good, too, I’m sure. But depriving myself from the negativity probably helped.

negativity and immune system

I told people that they’d probably see me back on Facebook sometime this week (thinking, after Monday), but, honestly, if I wasn’t running someone’s business page, I’d probably delete my account after this. I still don’t want to go back online there.

There’s enough negativity in this world already. Do we really need to bombard ourselves with more of it every day by using a social media platform that sells our private information to the highest bidder, anyway?

Peace, everyone.

 

Are we doing this again?

I remember, as a young child, feeling very put out because I couldn’t watch my after school specials in the afternoon. I was quite upset. You see, my Gran was keeping up with something far more important. President Nixon was drowning in the Watergate scandal and the Senate Intelligence Committee was thoroughly investigating the issue.

Gran watched daily to see testimony and to find out what else the President was lying about. The rest is history, as we all know.

At the time, I didn’t understand. I found it boring. I much preferred watching sci-fi movies about alien invasions and Godzilla.

This morning, I’m watching Former Director of the FBI, James Comey, give the long awaited testimony regarding the Russia investigation, his conversations with President Trump, and how things were handled.

I don’t know if this will answer questions or just create more. But I do know there will be more to come. That’s how these things work.

And now, I do understand why my Gran watched so closely back in 1973. It’s just the need to know the truth, regardless of what side of the political fence you’re on. If you don’t support the current Administration, you watch because, hopefully, this is the beginning of the end. If you do support them, you watch because you know your candidate is right and there’s nothing to fear from the investigation.

Regardless, we’re all watching.

The Long Climb

Sometimes, we find it difficult to write. Whether it is on our blogs, Facebook, or other means of social media. Some call it “writers block”, but sometimes, it’s just everyday events that just get in the way. Emotional garbage just blocks up the creative flow.

Sometimes, the garbage is so packed in there that it blocks more than creativity… it blocks our need to express ourselves, in general.

Good things happen and we want to say something, but we don’t know how to get past the emotional blockage.

Crappy things happen, and we want to say something, but the words just won’t come.

Horrible events occur, and we try to open our mouths, but we know if we break through that dam of emotional garbage, a river is going to flow and it’s going to be out of control. No one will understand where this raging flood came from.

So it’s just easier to keep things in, keep quiet, and maybe even disappear for a while.

Until you end up here.

pit

The journey out isn’t easy. It’s a long climb. When you realize you’ve isolated yourself, sometimes those voices in your head tell you it’s too late to reach out. It’s a tough battle, fighting those voices, especially when your worst fear is rejection.

It’s a hard climb. Your hands are as raw as your emotions, and the journey up is exhausting. Sometimes you slip, just as you think you’re making so much progress and you think you’re going to get out.

You’ll have moments when you want to let go of that wall and fall all the way back to the bottom, just because you’re having a bad day on your journey and you’re losing hope.

But you keep going. You rest, you breathe, and you start again. It’s a long fucking climb, and that pit is deep. But eventually …. someday….

The pit is always there, but I know where it is now. If I fall in, I know where the good rocks are in the wall. I know how to get out.

The Cycle of Depression

I’m wondering if I should just step away from the computer for a few days (or at least, step away from social media). I’ve been in a very …. well, I can’t describe my mood. But for the past few days my filters have been completely gone.

When FilterMode = False, I tend to post and comment whatever is in my head. Yeah, you got it – my crazy, fucked up head.

Now… those of you who are familiar with the cycles of depression will get this. When you’ve fallen into your pit and you’ve been there for a while, you eventually hit a point where you can get up again. But it takes effort, and that first attempt, all you feel is just “numb”.

I Feel Nothing
        Artwork by HyperboleAndAHalf.com

 

But you progress to other emotions after that. The first emotion you feel is anger. You go through an entire phase of “angry” at everything, everyone. You’re angry at the world. Everyone is “wrong on the internet” and you have to tell them why. If you do manage to get outside, good gods above, be careful when you drive. Those rat bastard motherfuckers can’t drive for shit! But you’re driving just fine, I’m sure… Road rage is a thing and you are its poster child. Parking lot rage is worse. You might even find yourself ready to get out of the car and choke a bitch over a parking space, for christsake.

scream

 

But at least you’re feeling something.

I think the anger phase is necessary in the cycle of depression. When you’ve spiraled down to the bottom of your pit and you’ve been there for a while, it’s the anger that gives you the energy to climb out again.

Being that angry takes a lot of energy. You get tired after a while, but you’re still on your climb to get out of the pit. That’s when determination kicks in. You start fighting for your sanity. You look back into the pit and see how far you came and you watch the anger fall into that deep darkness below you. You look above at the climb you have before you and keep looking at the light. The sun is shining outside of your pit. There is hope out there. So you’re determined to keep going because you’ve come this far.

Today, I’m angry. I don’t have a specific reason to be angry – none that comes to mind. It’s more all of the depression weighing down on me and I’m sick and tired of it. I’m angry at the depression. I’m angry at me. I’m angry at the world!

Today, I’m angry. So maybe I do need to step away from the computer. I am typing with my outside voice and I’m probably pissing off a lot of people in the process.

But that’s today. And it’s just something I need to accept. But at least I’m not in a dark room with the covers over my head. I have a list today and I’m working on it. I’m getting things done.

I went for it

Spoon Theory

If you aren’t familiar with Spoon Theory, go get a copy of Furiously Happy, by Jenny Lawson, right now. Also, start reading her blog. Gods…. if you haven’t been reading The Bloggess, what rock have you been hiding under all these years?

In Furiously Happy, Jenny Lawson explains “Spoon Theory” in detail. I’m giving her full credit for it here because it makes so much sense and explains the whole “I just can’t…” part of Depression. Let me explain.

First, let’s take a young, perfectly healthy person. This person wakes up in the morning with a full set of spoons. All the things they have to do that day require energy. You have a spoon for everything you need to do. You already got out of bed. That’s a spoon. Eating, caring for people, going places, cleaning house, working…. you get the idea. And at the end of the day, this young healthy person has spoons leftover as he or she goes to bed. When they wake up, the Spoon Fairy has arrived with this fresh supply of spoons for the day. Voila! Infinite spoons!

I Googled "Spoon Fairy" and really found this image.
I Googled “Spoon Fairy” and really found this image. The Spoon Fairy does exist. PROOF!!

But if you’re sick, that affects the number of spoons you get that day. If you’re battling mental illness, you start to see those spoons dwindle. There will be days you wake up and the fairy only left you 3 or 4 spoons. That’s all you get for the day and you have to make them last. You have to be selective with your spoons.

You haven’t seen a post from me since … oh …. June of last year, because I haven’t had the spoons to write. Today, I sit and write about Spoon Theory. I’m still in my pajamas. I haven’t had a shower or brushed my teeth. I haven’t eaten. I haven’t brushed my hair. If my husband hadn’t called me to ask me a question, I probably wouldn’t have said one word to anyone. By the time this post is complete, I may be out of spoons; I’m not sure yet. I may have a couple more. I hope I do.

You always seem to get 1 spoon. You woke up. You aren’t dead today. But, yes, that requires a spoon, because the energy that comes pouring in when you wake up…. all the mind chatter and the self-talk you have to fight.

“OMG, can’t I just lay here?”

“No. you have to get out of bed. How can you tell your kid he can’t stay in bed all day if you just stay in bed all day?”

So by the time you guilt trip yourself, you’ve spent a spoon just waking up.

If you only have 3-4 spoons that day, you decide how to spend them. Personal hygiene may have to be put off until the next day. Or the next. Or the next. Some day when you have enough spoons or until you just can’t take it anymore.

You start valuing relationships on a whole new level. Friendships change. Long-term depression will do that to people. But it comes down to talking about what’s wrong and why you don’t feel like this person doesn’t have your back. You tell yourself that this person just has too much going on right now and it isn’t the right time to talk, but in reality, you just don’t have enough spoons to have a conversation.

There are days when I wake up with one spoon and I just want to cry. I know I have to get out of bed anyway and I don’t have the spoons to do it. Those are the days I have to fake it. I have to put up a façade. I become Duch.

Duch is smart, confident, outgoing. She’s anything but depressed. She can damn sure get out of bed in the morning. I put the face on. Oh, and Duch would want to dress up pretty. But, damn… does she have to wear those uncomfortable shoes? So what if they’re pretty? Ok, but she does tell me I look good.

She drags me outside & we go somewhere. Anywhere. Even if it’s to a freakin’ coffee shop. Although, recently, she made the mistake of dragging me to the grocery store (trying to accomplish getting something done while getting me out of the house), but that only resulted in me having a panic attack. Too many people, too crowded. So Duch and I went home with just a few items, got back into the pajamas and drank beer. I was now at negative spoons.

Negative spoons is not a good thing. This doesn’t go away the next day. There is no magickal reset to zero. When the fairy brings your spoons the next day, she subtracts the spoons you “borrowed” against… you know, those spoons that took you into the negative? If you don’t have enough, she leaves you one. She carries the balance over to the following day.

If there is a way to earn spoons, I’d like to know.

But that is Spoon Theory, in a nutshell. Now go read Jenny Lawson’s book. But if you haven’t read her first book, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, go read that first. And, for chrissakes! Get out from under that damned rock!

SpoonTheory