Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Keepin' On

This week so far seems to be going well enough-although being "all right" feels strange to me!

I'm not in crisis and I'm not quite good. Though I definitely experience a lot of discomfort throughout my days it's not quite as much as it was and I even have noticeable moments of feeling "Hey, this is pretty good!" One example was just this morning when I was enjoying the brisk but sunny start to the day and admiring the clouds, blue sky, and this spider crafting their web:

I could've stayed and watched him/her at work for hours---oh! throw in some coffee and I would've been over the moon! but I had a schedule to keep and I went to the gym and threw myself into my workout there and enjoyed chatting with some of the ladies that happen to frequent quite a few of the classes I regularly attend.

Therapy this week went all right. I'm still feeling ill at ease and dissatisfied but I have not been able to work up to collecting my thoughts and feelings to bring it up with my therapist. I've been dealing with feeling pressured to achieve wellness and appear better and sometimes feel like I'm spending my time listening to her personal stories rather than utilizing time for my own therapy and she's made a few comments that make me feel she is anti-medication which is part of my recovery* and having her come across that way is giving me bad feelings. It's all grown into a sort of mental block against this therapist and I find myself feeling grouchy and resistant when it comes time for my weekly appointments! Not good...

Besides that whole gnarled mess there was an interesting coincidence this week in session when she brought up the fact that I might have PTSD. I had listened to a story on "The Moth" just a couple days before and been moved to tears as I truly related to this man's tale of PTSD and wondered to myself, "maybe I have some of that going on too?"   (Note: the hubster thinks it's just Generalized Anxiety Disorder and that's it, for the record)

The man was a combat veteran with 3 tours to the Middle East and when he spoke about the moment he realized that checking people for weapons and anticipating attacks around even corner wasn't normal I thought about my own fearful moments opening the door to my home and thinking that there might be someone inside waiting to attack me, or standing in front of my front door and fretting that bullets might shoot through it at any moment, or feeling vulnerable and scared in public, outside my condo, and even inside my own home... but relating so much to his examples and hearing him say that he made it to a place where he could recognize that being so afraid wasn't normal and he could relax with his wife and sip coffee in bed and just be-that gave me hope. That made me feel like I could get there too someday and I was so grateful for that.

That said, it sure sucks to be me right now in the midst of our family evening routines trying to surf my fear and anxiety and discomfort without getting too wound up or thinking about the future. I'm trying to stay in the now, trying to use my skills, trying to soothe and calm myself.

While I think many of my skills are helping, I also feel a heavy sadness to be dealing with these issues yet again. I feel a sadness for myself and the weight I carry. I feel a sadness as I yearn for a more comfortable and enjoyable "normal," but I'm just not there yet. Things are getting better though.

Things are getting better though.

Tomorrow is DBT class night which usually helps lifts my spirits. Thursday I have my regular TMS treatment and an office visit (check in with a doctor about every 2 weeks to make adjustments and check-in). That night we pack up and head east to see the hubby's family and celebrate his father's 75th birthday.

I'm excited to see my in-laws, especially my loving mother-in-law, but I'm nervous to see his siblings and be out of my routine and comfort (or semi-comfortable) zone of familiar gym classes and surroundings... I think I will manage, I think I'll do fine, and I'm planning on going for jogs and walks to keep myself energized-I'm just scared.

Oh the fear, so much fear.

Things are getting better though.

I will keep on keepin' on and keep y'all posted as much as I can  :o)

*Speaking of meds, I've been on Saphris for a week now and while I had some severe fears and anxiety the first few days I'm having a much easier time taking my med at night and I think it might be helping my sleep a bit. I'm still having wakings and panic attacks in the middle of the night-some that are quite difficult to get back to sleep after-but I think it happens less and I sleep deeper and without as many dreams/nightmares which I appreciate. It's a "wait and see" type of thing, so we'll see how things go!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Long Day, A Long Post

Today was quite a day in a pretty good way. Don't get me wrong, I've been surfing anxiety up and down and using skills, even popped an Ativan this evening, but overall I'm proud of myself and how this day went despite being off-routine!

It all started with hitting the gym and not a gym class. This was partially due to my schedule but also because the instructor I liked that did a class Tues/Thur mornings left to work more at her other job and they put a different class in that time slot that just doesn't challenge me enough (although I did try it once and enjoyed the social aspect).

Anyways. I chatted with a nice lady on the treadmill next to me and had a good, sweaty workout proving to myself that I can jog a mile without stopping-in fact, I took a short break to walk and then ran another mile! It felt good and I plan on doing so again tomorrow since my schedule is once again off-routine and requires an early gym visit that doesn't correspond with a class.

Odd detail, but as part of my schedule I opted to shower at the gym and happily noticed that I was more comfortable in the locker room. I even joked with a lady while I was only in my undies and bra!

"Ha!" I laughed as I unpacked the rest of my outfit for the day from my gym bag, making brief eye contact with the woman loading her locker to my left, "I guess ya know it's fall when you don't recognize the clothes in your own gym bag! I saw something yellow and had no clue what it was for a second!"

"Ha! I guess you're right!" She smiled and we laughed together for a moment before returning to our tasks in our own separate bubbles, but it was nice to connect for however brief.

My next social moment was chatting up the barista while I ordered my decaf double shot Americano for the potentially horrendous trafficky drive to meet my mom south of Seattle. We talked teas and autumn and laughed and it felt wonderful, a good way to set off into traffic I'd say!

My drive south went better than anticipated and I was able to reach my destination without hanging onto Google Map's every word from my phone (ECT memory baby steps!). Although when I parked and went to put my hair up with a band that I had scrounged from deep in my purse I found that my butt felt suddenly, acutely uncomfortable in my pants, as if they were chafing or pinching somehow all of a sudden when I'd been comfy all the way there... I couldn't figure it out so I decided to try and walk it off but as I walked away from the car I heard something clink on the parking garage floor and found my tiny Flounder pin. It must've dislodged from my purse as I scrounged for the hair band and somehow ended up under my right thigh in just the right place to poke me in the ass. Yep. That happened. I was annoyed but mostly amused!

Random pic of Baby Bananaface from last night
The hubster's caption to the grandparents was:
"Be with you in a moment." Ha!

Mom and I were meeting a mall and she got a little confused about which parking garage to park in so I had to give her some supplemental directions over the phone so she could find me (I had bags of hand-me-downs for my nephew so we wanted to park right by each other for the transfer). Feeling a little goofy and inspired, I decided to stand at the top of the parking garage ramp and overzealously gesticulate to get her attention and guide her to the right parking area. It was a good stretch-a one point I balanced on one leg and waved my other limbs all at once to occupy as much attention-grabbing space as possible-and my mom got a good kick outta it.

While we were in the mall I happened to come across a gal in the bathroom standing in front of the tampon dispenser in a bit of a frustrated huff and I walked up to her and said, "Hey, if you need a tampon or a pad or something, I'm carrying. You need one?"

She was surprised but looked happy to receive the offer and said she really needed a tampon. I offered her one from my overly cautious, abundant purse stash and we cheerfully parted ways.

Later on in the mall venture I paused to say hello and compliment a woman on her unique sweater. A compilation of white and browns woven (knitted? I don't know exactly the term or technique) into a cool pattern with llamas or alpacas and little mountains. I quite liked it and told her so and she told me it was made some alpaca.  We shared some bright smiles and wished each other wonderful days.

TMS treatment was a little different than usual too. I was exactly on time instead of my usual 15-25 minutes early and I was able to say that I was having a decent day instead of just listing all the things that were challenging me.

On top of this, I was able to relax enough to chat with the technician during treatment. I haven't really been very chatty during treatment, maybe before or after but not during. Today I was pausing the Netflix show to share snippets with the tech and explain the crazy traits of the different fish the host was going after. Today involved giant catfish in the Amazon and crazy looking alligator gar in Texas-with bonus slime!

You can check out the FB page here,
that's where the pic came from!

After I finished rewatching "Border Security: Canada's Front Line" I wasn't sure what to watch next, but luckily one of the Netflix recommendations on the TMS office's iPad led me to this show called "Chasing Monsters." I had never heard of Cyril Chauquet, but maybe some of my Canadian blogging friends will have seen him around on the telly? Apparently he's been doing shows about fishing for quite a while. Might have to look his other show up when this one runs out!

The rest of the day involved getting home through more traffic, walking the dog, and making dinner while the hubster and BB made it home a bit late. We all went to Costco which was enjoyable and I got to load and unload nearly everything so I got some of the strength training I missed from my usual gym class.

My mood has been mostly good. I've been able to stay positive and dismiss unhelpful and/or negative thoughts but I have had anxiety at my back and even a panic attack this evening. The hubster commented that it was nice to see me feeling more "me," and I made a comment along the lines that I'd have to take his word for it because I don't remember being quite this social and outgoing and sassy! But he says that's part of why he married me was because I was a strong, determined, sassy woman. Might ebb and flow with a mood disorder, but maybe I'm getting more strong, determined, and sassy stretch of things?

We shall see!

Right now I'm just focusing on a good night's rest and preparing myself for another off-kilter day schedule wise. Tomorrow is volunteering at the blood bank in the afternoon so early appointment for TMS and early-early gym time... a little wonky and jumbled but I've done it before and enjoyed the volunteer work. Hope that same lady is there as last week!

For now, the sleepy time.

Oh. Happy Fall to all my northern hemisphere bloggers and Happy Spring to those down south! Not sure I'm ready for the rainy season, but here it comes :o)

Monday, September 19, 2016

Sunday's Hike and Kickin' Off the Week

Boy howdy, it was a long, exhausting day Sunday but we had a good time and made it through in decent form.

The drive from the main road to the trailhead was quite... rugged, but the hubster did a good job getting us there despite the many potholes and loose rocks. It was a short(ish) hike but there was definitely uphill grade for most of it! The view was worth it though:

We got to take a little break, snack, hydrate, and throw rocks in the lake before the actual scattering of the ashes. Even Baby Bananaface was throwing pebbles and rocks into the lake! We took a family selfie too:

It was fun chatting on the trail, especially catching up with my cousin that I hadn't seen in I don't know how long. I"m not very religious but in a weird way it felt like my aunt was there too when we came across a little black Pomeranian named Midnight (she had a giant chow named Midnight) and that was a funny, special moment I remember.

I also remember not seeing a single slug or snail! ARGH! I love watching for slugs as I hike and I thought for-sure I'd see some big ole slugs on this hike, but not a one. Thankfully I'd seen some teeny baby slugs that morning walking Fio ;o)

As for kickin' off the week, I didn't get to sleep very well last night at all. Lots of anxiety and despite taking a Lunesta I wasn't able to sleep more than 3 hours at a stretch and had a panic attack or two. Very frustrating but even more frustrating were the discouraging and depressive thoughts creeping into my head as I laid awake. I did a little crying this morning out of fear and sadness regarding those dark thoughts. I just don't want to go through that again, at least not so soon!

Urgh. But I'm getting going to gym class and going to try and charge on.

One little bit at a time.