Bi Polar Swings

I should have been able to tell I was amping up. Yesterday, I think, was the top of a manic phase. I felt so great. Lots of writing and I spent time focused on my spirituality. I felt so strong. I felt on top of the world.

Nothing happened between last night’s blog and this morning. I slept. I don’t even think I had a bad dream.

And when I woke up this morning it’s like all the happy disappeared. I’m a crumbling, jumbled up mass of emotion who is curled up on her couch. I feel like anything I thought was going good are just silly things to find happiness in. I feel ugly. I feel lonely. I feel weak. It’s just one of those days where I really do wish life would just figure out how to take me already.

I feel physically sick. Food won’t happen because I am so upset. Upset without cause so getting more upset about just being upset. I’m about to go full blown anxiety for no reason and I can’t stop it from happening.

Bi-polar swings make me scared about life. How can I be so okay one day and so not okay the next without anything to trigger it? And no way to understand it? I fucking hate this.

The Days You Want To Die

If you are dealing with depression or anxiety you get it. We all have them.

They are the days you wake up and think nothing is worth it anymore. Try or not? No one gets you. They think they understand…

“I get sad, too.” “We’ve all lost things in our life.” “If you just think more positive…” “I don’t like shopping on busy days either”

That one got to me.

You don’t like shopping on busy days so you think you understand me?

Until you have collapsed in the middle of the cracker isle, unable to move because you can’t afford your meds to deal with this kind of situation, you have no idea what I go through!

Anxiety is a bitch!

People who don’t have mental health issues seldom understand. You know. The ones who love us but don’t have our mental health issues.

They try so hard. But sometimes? In not understanding they do more harm than good. And when you feel so misunderstood you just feel like, “why go on?”

I going to end this by saying… I am not feeling suicidal. Please don’t panic.

But if anyone who reads my blog ever feels that way? Just know that someone out there understands. No one is ever alone. We all have days that death may seem like our best option.

You don’t need to feel that way. I struggle sometimes to find reasons to go on. I find them and you can, too.

If you ever need to know that someone in the world gives a shit about you? Send me a message with your address and I will send you a handwritten note so you know someone heard you and thinks of you and wishes you well.

Please, stay alive on the days you want to die. You’ve got this!

Less Drowning, More Air

So, I’m still an alcoholic. The idea of giving up wine to go sky-diving (I Need Air) seemed easier after some glasses of wine than it actually is or will be.

BUT? I decided to start the saving journey AFTER my payday. Payday was four day’s ago. I also decided it is okay to have wine, but when I forego it I should put money in the envelope!

Since then?

Usually I buy a box of wine on payday. This particular day? I chose to buy a small bottle and put the difference in my ‘air’ fund. I’ve drank on other days and no money went in.

But yesterday? Paul and I were on a walk. I had money on my pocket because we walked the direction of the wine store. He had his bike so he could show me some of his tricks, etc.

After a bit I told him I was too tired in the hot sun to keep going. He offered to ride up to the wine store and get some for us. I gave him the cash I had and he asked me if I wanted the big bottle or small one.

I really wanted the big one. Really!!

But I told him to get me a small one. And I came home and put another $5 in my air fund.

I guess I am not giving up wine. But I am willing to make choices to have less wine to slowly make sure my dreams come true.

Four days, $30 saved toward air.

 

 

I Need Air

In my spiritual journey I have explored so many assets of myself.

EARTH. I plant. I learn about the foliage around me for what is wild edibles and medibles.

FIRE. I have used fire in my cleansing and I have fires regularly while I meditate on how fire cleanses.

WATER: I’ve had spiritual experiences at the ocean. With fire. And not. More recently? I fell into the ocean on Beltane and  bricked my phone because it was in my pocket. LOL

But AIR? I haven’t done air yet.

Today, I was exposed to some sky-diving videos.

My very best friend in the entire universe from many years back gave up alcohol to pursue better things. He wanted family, better jobs and… air. He wanted to skydive.

So…  if my long time bestie can give up alcohol to pursue other things? I can give up my wine. At least long enough to pursue AIR.

If I was Wiccan and wanted to call the four corners? Air is a key.

I am pagan. I don’t ‘call’ anything. However I feel I want/need to bring all the components of the universe to me.

I have felt the earth. My gardens grow in the most inexplicable places. I have felt the fire. I spent months cooking over one to feed the family around me. I have used it to cleanse my soul. I have felt the water. I wash my feet in the ocean while I contemplate how I can keep creating life.

Air? I have not felt.

It’s the last of the quadrant. I think I have a way to get it. It’s a terrifying, kind of expensive on my budget, idea. Thus, the giving up of wine to pursue it.

I’m going to give up wine for a month and put that money toward sky-diving. There is a place that is local who does the skydiving thing. I watched a video of someone diving from that local place.

I won’t lie. The thought mortifies me. Giving up wine? LOL I’m more scared of that than the idea of jumping out a plane and that makes me want to crawl in a hole.

But I need AIR. And watching those falls? After the terrifying push out of the plane where I shit my pants on the instructor riding tandem? I think I could love a free fall through AIR. Pull that rip cord and let me float and meditate about it. I may even prepare something to say through my mind as I float.

AIR.

It’s worth a break on wine. We’ll see how long that actually takes.

 

 

 

Shots! Shots! Shots!

Shots!

LMFAO’s song “Shots” is the only drinking game I ever won. Take a shot (or a large part of your bevvie) every time they say shots. I challenge all my alcoholics!

But this isn’t about that!

Shots.

My mom tells me that as a child I went through a period of time I liked needles so much my doctor predicted I’d be either a nurse or a junkie. I’m not sure when my hankering for the needle changed to fear, however, I hate needles and could never put one in my arm (ie. not a junkie).

Throughout my medical journey? I have had every kind of shot. If you want to include IVs? HOLY HECK!

In one hospital stay? They found that all my veins or arteries (whichever they put IVs in) were depleted. I’ve had IVs in the bottom of my foot, back of my neck and every horrible painful place.

Pre and post surgery? I had Heprin shots. Multiple surgeries. And they hit you with that four or five times a day. Not given through an IV. Pinch the fat and shove in the needle. Quick and not painful except for the fear of the needle every time they come at you.

So why am I focused on this? I saw my doctor today. I had some bloodwork come back that means all the eating pushing me out of my jeans has done nothings for my vitamin ‘levels’.

I got one shot today. B12.

I have to go back for regular injections of B12, iron and whatever else comes up as we monitor it (which means regular needles for bloodwork, too).  This all happens once a week for 6 – 8 weeks.

Did I mention fear of shots? I know some of the things are painful. Iron shots are NOT pleasant. B12 leaves my arm numb and me hyperactive for two days.  Getting blood drawn leaves me so tired.

Why does bloodwork leave me tired? I live in constant anemia. My doctor asked me if my periods were really heavy and I told him they are practically non-existent. He was shocked. I think he attributed my anemia to heavy flow… nope.

Typical man…must be her rag! (that is VERY tongue n cheek and represents my humour, not his attitude)

He asked more questions and that’s when he gave the news I have to go back every week for injections until my bloodwork comes back better.

I guess that’s just the way things go. Shots! Shots! Shots!

Can someone at least get me some tequila for this?

Kinesiology

“Kinesiology is the scientific study of human or non-human body movement. Kinesiology addresses physiological, biomechanical, and psychological mechanisms of movement.”

On March 30 I met such an amazing man.

I broke my ankle several years ago. I spent 9 months in a fibreglass cast to no avail. I freaked out when they tried to re-cast me. There were all kinds of reasons I wanted out of that fibreglass prison.

I wanted a shower. I was engaged at the time and wanted to walk down the aisle without a cast. Winter was coming and my toes were getting cold (not to mention funky smelling). I couldn’t bear another moment.

The doctor decided to give me a strap on, therefore removable, cast that I continued to wear(off and on) for over a year.

My ankle has never healed. The Alberta government took my strap-on (cast) when I lived in the forest. I was then refused medical treatment because of paperwork.

I came to BC without my cast. I walked here over a period of three months with approx. 65 to 71lbs in my pack on any given day. Even though I have settled down? I don’t drive. I walk a lot. I’m grateful for rides I get but I depend on my ankles for my main mode of transportation.

After all this time without treatment or my cast to help? My leg pain has become back pain. I have used a tensor to help. Paul has always been good to rub my ankle and my lower back to help with the pain. I stretch to help my muscles and I push through other pain to walk, regardless of it maybe causing more damage. I won’t be immobile at 42.

I have talked to many doctors. I broke my ankle when living in Manitoba. Even though doctors tried? I left there with the plastic cast. In Alberta I was refused any medical treatment because the government took my ID and held it. I could not prove who I was so they would not transfer my medical. My doctor in BC? He’s only good for referrals it seems. He referred me to an orthopedic surgeon.

The outcome? The surgeon told me surgery won’t improve my mobility and may increase my pain. I already knew that and was grateful he said the same but asked what I could do. Did I need a cane? I explained it was affecting my balance which means potential of other injuries. Should I get a brace? Would stabilizing my ankle when I am walking any distance help?

He said a brace may help. He hemmed an hawed over it and didn’t know it would help with my balance issues but it MIGHT help my pain. He gave me a prescription for one that didn’t need to be fitted so I could look at options.

I checked out the brace place he recommended but given my financial circumstances? I wasn’t super keen to spend that kind of money by going to an orthopedic brace place.

On the way home I had my friend stop at Pharmasave in town to see what kind of things they had over the counter. A lovely lady told me they had a kinesiologist coming at the end of the month who may be able to help me pick the best brace. I said alright and made the appointment.

March 30 at 10am.

I told him the background of why I was seeing him. He had me take my socks and shoes off, roll up my jeans and step down. Then he told me he could see it immediately, my pain issue. He slipped his hand under my foot, pushed up and INSTANTLY my back relaxed. He showed me how I was stepping to ‘protect’ my ankle and how it was affecting my foot. He found a brace that would help with stability and recommended something to help correct my instep.

I asked if that would help with my balance issues. (OK, yes, I drink. And that doesn’t help with balance. But even stone cold sober? I have serious balance issues.)

He noticed when helping adjust the brace that I have ‘excess skin roll’ on my calf. He told me his brother had gone through a mass weight loss and asked if I had. I opened up and told him I had. He asked how much weight and how long it had been.

After telling him the information? He told me music to my ears.  He told me my balance issues are totally normal. His brother went through that and it’s part of why he (the kinesiologist)went from being a personal trainer to studying how muscles work.

My muscles had carried that weight for SO long.  After you lose that kind of weight it takes your muscles YEARS to adjust. I lost more than half my body weight at an age where my body was already going through all kinds of changes otherwise. Considering all the change that has happened in my life from then until now? He’s confident my balance issues are related to not re-training my muscles after the weight loss.

Small weight training and yoga! Ankle weights held in positions for as long as I can will train my leg muscles for where my body is at NOW. Yoga will help with balance but I should start small.

I’m overjoyed! After several years of trying to figure out how to deal with this pain issue? Seeing doctors, surgeons ,etc? The kinesiologist who does volunteer work at my local drugstore is the one who helped me understand the source of my pain. He found me a professional brace that was on sale half off and then gave me and extra 20% off.

And he explained the balance thing. It makes total sense. He gave me realistic goals to help address it.

And because of all that? I feel a tiny bit of sanity about something. My leg pain isn’t in my head. My balance isn’t some kind of neurological issue. Both are real, explainable and able to be worked on! That does so much to help with the anxiety I feel about my health  on a day to day basis.

I’m so grateful.

 

Food Stress

How is Shaunda?

‘Coping’ the best is the best way to explain.

I am presenting well. Continually reminding myself of all the good things about having Paul home. Like, his company. I missed how much we laughed together. And he gives me foot rubs and leg rubs. He makes sure I have what I need at any time ‘physically’.  If I am puking? He is helping.

He is keeping his promise to get things about his life set back up as quickly as possible so he can be working and we can have a bigger space.

Focusing my energy on helping him maneuver his way through the system and re-establishing himself as ‘Joe Citizen’ has helped me keep from ruminating about other things. I’m thankful for everything he is doing to keep his commitments to me, to us and to our future.

In other words, he isn’t the one bringing stress to the situation. He is doing everything he can to recognize my weaknesses/anxiety triggers. He doesn’t judge me for them, but helps me with them.

And here I sit anxious and panicking over things that are small on the grand scale of things but are so important to me.

The main source of my inner angst? Food. Not necessarily how much we are going through, although the consumption triples when he is here, but the kind of foods we are eating and frequency. I am concerned about the amount I am eating because it’s not healthy for me. I just tend to eat more when I cook meals for another person.

Yes, I’ve reverted back to cooking meals at regular mealtimes. And they are heavy meals. Stew, chili, lots of meat and things that take prep time. It feels like if I am not eating I am planning or prepping for the next meal. It’s the focus of my day. I had gotten used to snack eating. Some salmon jerky here, crackers n cheese there. If I had a ‘meal’ it was usually from a restaurant and I could eat off the leftovers for three days. But now I am eating real meals every day. I don’t enjoy the way I am eating. It leaves me sluggish, and fat feeling, so the only energy I have is to cook another meal.

Also, I’m drinking coffee every day, a habit I had gotten out of by simply not making it. Now I make coffee every morning for him and I was drinking some so it doesn’t get wasted. Sure enough I am up to two or three cups a day. I can feel the caffeine affecting my anxiety!

I feel sick and bloated constantly. I liked my mornings of juice and a yogurt.

It’s not that I want to deny him what he wants or needs in food requirements. He would starve on what I eat after all. And we can’t afford to shop for groceries for both styles of eating. So I am shopping/cooking for ‘us’ in a way more suited to his needs. It’s more expensive, it’s not food I enjoy eating regularly and I feel sick from it.

We’ve talked about the ‘how much we eat’ issue and the fact we can’t afford it until he is working. We’re at the point we need to ration or end up going days without at the end of the month so we are cutting back.

You’d think that would ease the stress but for me it doesn’t. Now I am anxious about food and worried we will lose patience with each other in the face of the stress. That sort of anxiety weighs on me to the point I project it and cause the problem I am worried about.

I’m feeling my tension building. I know I can talk to Paul about this, he will be kind and understanding, but I still get so afraid of the conversation that I leave it too long.

AUTHORS NOTE: It’s been a few days since writing this but I waited to post it. We are getting through things well. It’s only one more week until we have some additional money coming in and we will be able to work out a grocery list/budget that suits both our needs and our budget! ❤

Waiting On The Call

I feel like this is the longest day of my life. I couldn’t sleep last night so I am running on adrenaline and coffee. I have my “Dancing” YouTube playlist going and I am dancing a bit. Trying to feel good energy until I get the call.

His lawyer has been fantastic to call me lately. I wrote him some emails, he changed his heart, and now he gets in touch! I am hoping he will call me right after court because it will take Paul longer to get back to a phone.

I want to tell Paul not to worry about the getting home issue. I had a friend get some money back to me today so paying for his ticket won’t be an issue either way. I’m sure he is anxious about that. I also want to tell him that there are more bus schedules available. I went over them with the friend who is picking him up. She is going to give him all the options and has a place for him to stay until his bus time.

SIDE NOTE: I have stayed at her place before. It’s like a small paradise.Her family is very welcoming. The guest rooms are amazingly comfortable. And she does energy work so I am sure it would be a valuable experience for him to spend a night there.

So I am feeling less anxious but still anxious. I’m just pretty much always anxious these days. I’m sure the anxiety will lessen after I get that call.

One Sleep, Two Sleeps, Three Sleeps, More

NOTE: I started this Sunday Jan 29th. By the time it’s posted the ‘today’s and tomorrow’s’ won’t really make sense.

Paul’s lawyer finally persuaded the Crown to agree to time served. He will be in court tomorrow to have the judge give his gavel of approval mid-afternoon. Then there is the release process which  can take several hours. He will be released sometime tomorrow evening. It’s hard to believe it is really going to happen.

He has one more sleep until he is on his way home to me. Tonight was our last, “Good night. Sweet dreams. I miss you.” He will be taken for court early in the day despite his appearance not being until afternoon, so I won’t get our usual, “Good morning.”

Obviously he won’t be home tomorrow night. It will depend on how they plan to return him. The flew him there but may choose to bus him back.

Other inmates told him they’ll bus him home. When he was at Fort Saskatchewan he was told he would get sent all the way home. However, he’s back at Edmonton Remand Centre and tonight one guard told him they are only obligated to get him as far as the BC border. Paul phoned me right away to tell me.

I can’t see how that is correct. They arrested him in the summer. How can they drop him off in Banff (snow capped mountains) with no jacket and no money to get to the island?

(now it’s Monday)

I didn’t sleep well at all last night. My stomach is very upset this morning.

Paul is sitting in a concrete room waiting for court. He pretty much sits there all day waiting and then gets seen on CCTV. But today is different. When he gets back to ERC he’ll be getting processed out. That’s when we’ll know how far they are sending him.

We have a friend in Edmonton picking him up and taking him to the bus. I can send money to her for him to get the rest of the way (crossing my fingers it’s within what we have!)

So what should have been a day I am sitting here all happy and excited I am, instead, full of anxiety. And I guess we’ll see how many more sleeps until he is actually here.

Taking Pills

I don’t pop pills. People can barely get me to take a Tyelenol when I am in extreme pain. but today I am taking an anxiety one.
Even all alone in my RV? I freak out over TV shows. My head can’t relax at all. Ruminating thoughts and bad imaginations have my heart pounding over ‘thoughts’, not reality. Everything seems to amp me up. I can’t calm at all.
I am so fucked up. Enough they give me pills.
I hate pills. I don’t want to put them in my mouth. I’m stupid for the next lil’ bit because my head won’t function. No thinking. No real function on the ‘pams. (lorazepam, diazepam, clinazepam….)
Ativan  is the one they prescribe me because of my stomach issues and it is sublingual. It dissolves under my tongue. It’s in the Lorazepam family. As much as I hate them? They work when I need. Previous doctors tried to give me a prescription where I was to take 2mgs three times a day. But that was way too much. I was practically a vegetable.
My new doctor told me they don’t like to prescribe that. We discussed it. He agreed on the script after speaking about it. It was my best choice! But then he tried to prescribe 2mgs three times a day (sorta like every other doc).
Why is it I need to explain to doctors repeatedly that my body doesn’t handle pills the same way? Did he not read my chart? Has he not taken my history?

I told him 2mgs three times a day was way too much for me.  I asked for .5mgs only as needed.  As needed, not regular. He was impressed and gave me what I needed. 30 pills? Lasted me six months because I only take them as needed.

I really hate these pills. I hate anything that numbs my emotions and thinking.
However? When my thinking goes ruminating and my emotions take hold without my ability to stop them? These .5mgs of Ativan? They kept me sane and not needing to suck a wine bottle.