Progress Made

It’s a funny place I find myself in, sitting comfortably in my mid-thirties, rid of all the angst of my late teens to mid-twenties. I still recall the emotional turmoil I was in, the loneliness, the anger- so much anger! Despite the ability to recall it all, in vivid detail, it also feels like a lifetime ago. The suffering definitely helped to shape who I am, but that person, that version of myself seems foreign to me now.

I remember… staying up all night, watching tv and chatting over AIM with 5 people at once and writing two pieces at a time. I remember all the pent up rage over my (perceived) inability to live a normal life. I remember the feelings of isolation, desperation, and loneliness that overwhelmed me. I remember having my first full blown panic attack one night around 1am, while watching Vanilla Sky, wondering if I should wake my parents to take me to the hospital or let them sleep and maybe find me dead on the couch in the morning. I let them sleep and hoped and prayed I wasn’t having a heart attack and dying like I thought I was, like I felt I was.

I remember… writing dark and twisted poetry about the fury, the sorrow, and romanticizing suicide. I never truly considered it but it felt like such a tempting escape from the misery I was in.

I think back to all the crazy that I attracted to my life during that time. The drama filled people who seemed to find me like I was a magnet and truth be told, I probably was. It seemed like one friend after another was in crisis. My friendship circle consisted of self-harmers, pill poppers, and the like. It was also filled with people who had been dealt some really shitty hands in life but year after year they continued to be the victim rather than become the heroine of their own life. I remember one often repeating, “I don’t know what I did in a past life to deserve all of this.”

I remember… finding solace in the darkness of depression, the depression that anxiety drove me into. Misery does love company and I found my tribe. I remember feeling so liberated being able to share the chaos and storms that were swirling within me. I was no longer alone in my looney tribe of misfits. We were all wounded in our own ways and suffering but we had each other and that made it less lonely.

I remember… the clouds starting to lift in my life. The poetry dried up and I feared I was losing my creativity. I remember that the down moments came less frequently, the mood swings not as severe. I remember feeling at odds with myself because I didn’t recognize myself anymore without turmoil. Sometimes, even now, a little part of me misses it. For the creativity that is. There is something about angst and writing that go hand in hand, at least in my twisted mind.

Yet, I wouldn’t go back to it. I like being in a happy place now. That’s not to say my life is perfect but I am more appreciative now. I understand my anxiety better and have a better handle on it. I’m thankful for my struggles because there are somethings one cannot fully understand without experiencing them, mental health issues being one of them. Yes, I remember my battle and I’m grateful for it but I am so content to be exactly where I am right now. 100_0291_2.jpg

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Education

I have long known that when it comes to our government and politics I am, to say the least uneducated. I don’t really have a good concept of how things are supposed to work. I know there are ‘checks and balances,’ that involve our three branches of government (executive, legislative, and judicial). I know that one major premise of our government involves the separation of church and state (which a certain party seems to conveniently forget). I know there was a cartoon when I was a kid that talked about how bills are made into laws… Even as I write this I know how woefully ignorant I am…

Considering the current situation our country is in and my general distaste for not knowing things, I’m seeking out an education on the basics. I’m researching,  starting to study the Constitution, Bill of Rights, learn more about civics etc. I’m reading up on other political parties and what their stances are to find what truly reflects my values and belief in what a government should be. I’ve been following what our legislative branch has been voting on and who is voting what. I’ve called more senators in the last week than I have my entire life. I’m done sitting on the sidelines. I’m done being the person that complains but does nothing. We are supposed to be a government for the people, by the people. Sadly, too many of us have sat back on the sidelines allowing corporations, lobbyists, and the like to take over.

Our government, as it stands, does not serve the best interests of the people. The only way that will change is if the people make it change. I’m not telling anyone what party to support, who to vote for in different elections, etc. What I am saying is, if you’re unhappy about the way things are do something about it!shutterstock_252537448.jpg

Mutt Update

It’s been quite some time since I have sat down and written about my mutts, aka ‘The Boys.’ I’ve been a little focused on other thingsIMG_0059: family stuff, dating stuff, house stuff, health stuff, school stuff, life stuff. Basically a lot of stuff. Despite my silence regarding the mutts, they are doing incredibly well, for the most part anyway.

Dane is my amazing, well behaved, little old man. We walk through the neighborhood without a leash and he barely wanders a few feet from me. I don’t even have to say, “Wait,’ to get him to stop. If I stop, he stops. He is my bud and we are so in-tune it is unbelievable. I’ve never had a bond like this with any other dog. He knows if I’m not feeling well and refuses to leave my side. He picks up on my moods, if I’m mad at someone, so is he. It’s been that way since day one. Recently he gave me quite the scare and knowing that the day is coming that we will have to part makes me appreciate the time we have left even more.

Frankie… Oh little Frank… What is there to be said about him? Dane has oft been refereed to as “royalty” or “the king” because of how he carries himself. When Frankie came along he was quickly dubbed “the court jester.” As Frankie dances around, prances, hops, bops, and flies through the house, Dane looks at him like he is worlds beneath him. Frankie is a happy-go-lucky, tail always wagging, silly boy. He is also incredibly stubborn, very ornery, and sometimes I suspect: untrainable. If he is curled up oh-so-comfortably and someone goes to move him? LOOK OUT. He’s like a cobra ready to strike. The noises he makes, well, I’ve never heard them come from a dog before. When he is angry I am certain all of his bones dissolve into cartilage for the way he twirls, twists, bucks, and lunges. For a five pound, toothless dog it sadly takes two to three adults to cut his nails. The last time around it took four adults, with people trading ouIMG_0061t after Frank left them bleeding. Psycho dog.

Milo… Oh the Milo Monster. When I first brought him into my home he was so quiet. He was very mellow, slinking around, ears down, rather skittish. He had some experiences in his past that were clearly short of loving. One of the reasons he was given up, if I recall, was his energy level. The first few days in my home he was so sedate that I questioned the sanity of the people who gave him up. High energy? Seriously? Then he got comfortable and there’s been no looking back. He is playful and silly, hyper as all get out, and very sweet. About the only person in the world he doesn’t like is the mailman.

The three of them have worked out a mutual existence. If one of them is not feeling well the other two are sensitive to that. The rest of the time? They are pretty great minus resource guarding their food. They all sleep in the bed with me, each in their own little area, Milo and Frank pressed against either side of me, Dane off on his own, burrowed in his blanket. Sometimes these mutts of mine drive me insane but I could not imagine my life without them.

The Dreaded Prep

I really should be doing reading for school right now, or homework for school, or something productive like cleaning my house. Instead I am sitting in front of my computer, feeling drawn in, this need inside of me.

Part of it is the need to communicate. I have Messages open on my computer and keep bouncing over to Facebook. Part of this distraction is my need to write, what exactly I am not certain but, we shall see what develops here…

I realized that today, I am living one of my greatest nightmares. When I started observing that I had GI issues way back when I didn’t want to deal with them because I knew that all roads led to a colonoscopy. I knew that one day, say at the age of 50, I’d have to get a colonoscopy. However, I always hoped that it could wait until that point.

The dreaded prep for the procedure has sounded terrifyingly uncomfortable. The procedure itself, well excuse me world but that right there? It is exit only! So I avoided. I ignored. I lived in denial because I simply didn’t want to deal with it. Occasionally, when I’d be in a lot of pain I would think “Perhaps I should see a doctor about this…” But that thought trailed off leaving me shuddering in fear for the torture that would be bestowed upon me.

Today, as I drank a lovely Gatorade/Miralax cocktail it hit me that I am living one of my worst nightmares and ya know what? It isn’t so scary. By this time tomorrow evening I plan on being stuffed to the gills with every delicious food I can think of. I am mad at myself for losing sleep the last few nights, worried about what this day and the next would be like.

I am proud of myself that I was able to calm myself last night and get some sleep. I sort of removed myself, mentally, from my body. I took a step back. I told myself that no amount of worry would change a thing. The only thing it was doing was leaving me sleepless and tense. I needed to appreciate the comfort of my bed, get a good night’s sleep, and let the next day take care of itself. After some deep breathing I put on a movie I’ve seen a hundred times at least, and before I knew it, I was out.

Tonight, on this rainy, sticky eve I wish everyone the best. I wish people courage to face their fears, peace to keep them calm, and a good night’s rest.

Back to School Take 2

So I am back in school, it is official. I have completed one week of class already. While the new week started yesterday I have not done much about it other than map out what is due and when. I figure that is a good enough start.

I cannot believe that it is already September. I am trying to soak up every ounce of good weather that we have left. I have been walking my dogs like crazy! I’ve been riding my bike, though not in a few days now. I’ve cut lawn but it is about time to do that again. I sit on my patio sometimes while reading things for school. I will make the most of this weather while it is here.

The increase in my physical activity and tracking my food is starting to pay off. I have lost about three pounds and I have been told that I look like I am losing weight. That is always a great feeling to know my hard work is paying off a bit.

This week I see two doctors in the quest of fixing me. That is about it for me and my life at the moment. I’m happy, busy, and at peace.

Random Sunday Rambling

Today is probably going to be more of stream of consciousness type thing rather than a planned out thought process. (Wait, I think that is how I always function?)

This winter has been a beast. The last several years our winters have been rather mild. Some snow here and there. An ice storm to round the season out. Cold but not terribly so. This winter? Ha. It’s been frigid. Temps dropping to the negative numbers thanks to windchill, and snow. So much snow. Thank God I invested in a snowblower this year. It’s been well used. I feel so bad for my dogs because they have a little path we made with the snowblower to give them a chance to get out and do their thing. Half the time little Frank cowers out there and dances in front of the door to just come back inside. Milo doesn’t have room to run around out there since the snow is so deep. Dane is the brave one, my ten pound chihuahua and trudges through it despite the snow being up to his chest. He is shivering by the time he comes in but it seems he needs just the right spot to do his business.

Last night in an effort to wear Milo out I was literally throwing one piece of dog food at a time for him to chase down. He loved it. My dogs love if I sprinkle their kibble on the floor and they have to chase it around. They are so weird. To make them all happy (and prevent scuffles), I put a pile down in front of Dane, one in front of Frank, and threw food for Milo. He would happily bounce after it, sniffing it out if the piece slid under the coffee table. When he came back we’d do different commands: sit, down, paw. I was also working on “come,” since he is awful about that. Yes, this was my Saturday night and I loved it.

I mentioned in my last post how I am working on keeping the focus on the goodness in life. I’ve gone back to reading the book, “The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.” I watched the movie years ago with T and it changed my life. Her and I watched it together. While part of me saw it as cheesy and “new age” something about it struck a chord in me. To sum it up, we are what we think. Not an uncommon concept at all. My return to, “The Secret,” and working on my inner self has been a long time coming. Losing my uncle sparked something inside of me. The reality of how short and precious life is. A reminder that there is so much I want to accomplish yet and I have a limited time to do it in. I want to make my time here on earth count, to improve the lives of those around me, the lives of the people I meet.

Recently people have posted about the rice experiment on Facebook. If you’re not familiar, check it out here. The idea that the energy we put out there can affect so much around us, I knew I needed to get back on track. Hence, reading “The Secret,” and starting my day, every day with gratitude. Before I get out of bed or as I am getting ready in the morning I start thinking of all the things I am thankful for. When I go to bed, I do the same. I am also focusing my energy on what I want out of life. To be a writer, to work from home on my own terms, to be the best person I can be for my pups, for my family, for my friends, for everyone I meet. To make the best out of all situations and to not allow situations or circumstances drag me down.

As I wrap this up for today, I am thankful for the delicious breakfast I cooked, the coffee I drank, and the puppy snuggles that started my day.