Reboot: Month 6

Six months? Six months??

I’m not going to break everything down by category. Instead I’m going to say I’m doing OK? I’m currently doing the 30 day yoga challenge/journey that YWA does every year. I’m walking some, not as much as I should be. We had this spell of cold weather that kept me from early morning walks, but I did push them to afternoons on some days. I’m trying to set myself back to a realistic goal of three times a week, until I get going again. Eating is not great, I’ve been eating too much sugar and not having decent, balanced meals.

My mental attitude is pretty good though, even if I’m not happy with my progress. I’ve got a BIG event this weekend which has been occupying my thoughts while awake and asleep. Once that is over, and I recover, I’m going to refocus on some other goals.

 

Other peoples feelings

Today is World Mental Health day.  I feel like there’s more than one of these? Maybe the other was mental health awareness day? I don’t know. When I google “mental health holiday” or “mental health day” I just get stuff about getting through the holiday season or taking a day off of work.  Not exactly what I was hoping to find.

I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for most of my life. I’ve done many not so great things to deal with it, from cutting myself to trying to drink my problems away, to just not being safe with my life and body in a number of ways (that I’m not going to get into). Right now my depression is well managed, so it’s mostly anxiety that I’m working to keep in check. Sometimes it’s the most literal kind of anxiety, like shortness of breath, tightness in my chest and stomach, feelings of impending doom and extreme fear that at times have been bad enough that I thought I was having a heart attack. Other times its just flutters that I can identify, address, and move on. Other times it leaves me feeling exhausted and afraid to get out of bed. On a day to day basis, though, my anxiety comes across more as a feeling of self-doubt and sometimes crippling perfectionism. I spend a lot of time second guessing myself and my actions (ask me how long it took me to write this!) which really slows me down. I’m getting better at dealing with this, but it’s definitely there, and its also not something that a lot of people would think of me feeling when I say, “I have anxiety.”

My point is, and I swear I have one, that while lots of people suffer from anxiety, or depression, or OCD, etc., not everyone experiences the same illnesses in the same ways. Two people can go to a doctor and walk out with the same diagnosis even though THEY ARE NOT FEELING EXACTLY THE SAME THINGS. Even two people who experience the same event, like the loss of a parent, or a car accident, are not going to react the same way, think or feel the same things, because feelings and brains are really god damn complicated, y’all.

This is what I think makes mental health such a struggle for our society to understand and in some cases for people to accept that it is even a real problem.

IMG_1270
Sometimes we just need someone to hold our hand

It amazes me that in this day and age, people still doubt the existence of things just because they can’t see them or touch them. Learning about mental health issues, talking to people who have these problems, can be a great exercise in empathy though because it forces us outside of ourselves, makes us do our best to walk in another persons shoes. It can also lead to the exact opposite. Not understanding it doesn’t give you the right invalidate other peoples feelings. Saying things like “you shouldn’t worry so much about that,” or “you’re getting worked up over nothing,” or “you just need to cheer up,” or (I think) worst of all “you really should be over that by now.” That’s not empathetic, and that’s not at all helpful. So if you catch yourself wanting to say those things to someone, for the love of all that’s good, JUST DON’T.

If you are struggling with feelings that you don’t like, feelings that you don’t think other people will understand, I want you to remember one thing–no matter what, you are not alone. I’m right there with you, as are sooo many others. People you know, people you don’t know. Don’t let anyone invalidate the way you feel or make you doubt yourself just because they don’t understand. If someone tells you what you feel isn’t real, turn around and find someone who does. There will be someone out there that will listen.

 

 

I finally came up with a new name for the blog that fits!

fairlyordinarystories.com (as if that wasn’t obvious)

I spent so much time wracking my brain trying to come up with something pithy or clever, a play on words that basically said, “hey, this is a blog where I write about my life, which is, for the most part, not that exciting,” and the WHOLE TIME it was staring me right in the face in the blog title–a life fairly ordinary.

Duh.

More to come…

An Ode to Miss Jean Louise

This post was for GISHWHES 2016, so, if it seems weird? GISHWHES.

Every year during the first week of August, Miss Jean Louise is heralded for her tremendous encouragement and authoritarian control over those participating in GISHWHES. She is renowned as a purveyor of unique and amusing art, the likes of which the world has never seen, fostering creativity through mediums that include, but are not limited to, food fashion, performance art, seat-of-your-pants poetry, and flash mob water balloon fights. However, there is one aspect of Miss Jean Louise’s considerable array of talents that is not properly appreciated or publicly celebrated. That role?  Advisor (aka babysitter) to Misha Collins.

Over the years, there’s no questioning the fact that Misha’s antics have brought joy and laughter to many. His enthusiasm bubbles over into often ostentatious public displays. tumblr_m3t1rpsvIL1qfch0zHis fans see this, and they love it. They laugh and laugh and laugh, flooding tumblr with images and memes of silly, silly Misha, yet they do not acknowledge the role Miss Jean Louise is quietly playing in the background.

Misha NEEDS a babysitter, as he’s basically a middle-aged toddler. Someone has got to protect him from himself, and Miss Jean Louise is heading up that difficult and challenging task. It may appear, when you see pictures such as the one I’ve shared, that Miss Jean Louise is not in control, but I can assure you that she is. The Misha Brand™ we all know and love is carefully curated and shared with the public through Miss Jean Louises’ caring, competent eyes. She is the glue that holds it all together.  She knows the world needs this silly man-child to heft their love upon, someone who encourages and inspires us to leave our comfortable little shells. When we do that, we make the world a little bit stranger, a little bit brighter, and for this, we must thank Miss Jean Louise.

Nobody is infallible, though, and Misha does sometimes escape the diligent watch of his guardian. Evidence of this can be seen on Facebook live streams of Misha tromping through treacherous woodlands, or using his phone to send a sneak peek to his followers from backstage at San Diego ComicCon, where there are signs that clearly say “Hey, you, don’t use your phone!” She obviously can’t be awake 24-7 and still be refreshed enough to keep control over her charge. Misha recently took advantage of her very human need for sleep when he made some crazy proclamations regarding item #141 on the GISHWHES 2016 list. Still, Miss Jean Louise managed to gain the upper hand, making Misha provide a public apology to his GISHWHES constituents. There is no doubt that in the Mishaverse, Miss Jean Louise reigns supreme.

You may not see her standing in front of the camera making her presence known, but Miss Jean Louise is always there holding Mishas’ hand. Her invisible fingerprints are on everything he does. She is the cool head organizing all of the crazy capers you so enjoy. For that, I kindly ask that whenever you see an image of Misha that makes you smile, hear of an act of kindness he has somehow facilitated, or see a GISHer doing their GISHy thing, send up a silent thanks to the incomparable Miss Jean Louise. It is the very least we can do.

 

 

 

High on paint fumes

After I posted the last blog, things just started falling in line and getting done.

I got a call Monday about delivery of the new sectional. They could have brought it this past Wednesday, but there was no way I would be ready, so its coming this Wednesday. This was the kick in the ass that I needed, a definite date that I HAD to be done by. I’m not usually big on procrastination because it makes me anxious, but sometimes I guess I need the crunch time to really get rolling.

I found a place that deals in mid-century furniture and sold the couch and chairs. I got a bit less than I would have liked, but considering the cushions needed to be replaced/recovered, I’m not considering it an extreme loss. It was kind of hard to see it go since its been around my whole life, but I know the new furniture will be a welcome change. Paint was purchased on Monday, we got the chimney cleaned Tuesday (it was bad, y’all), and the old couch and chairs were picked up on Thursday. Wednesday I threw tarps over everything and painted the ceiling. What a pain. in. the. ass. I kept getting paint in my eyes. I used up the gallon I’d gotten and had to send Zach to pick up another to finish. He and Jon helped me finish the ceiling. Friday Zach and I were able to get the walls done. Saturday I did trim, and between Saturday and today, the carpet was cleaned.

So now I have this big, empty room.IMG_0401 I have curtains to hang. I have plenty of pictures to put on the walls. The sectional is going between the windows, across from the fire place. Eventually, the carpet will be replaced with wood. It probably would have been smart to do that before getting furniture, but I didn’t think about that until Friday night. The lack of sleep and paint fumes had me thinking Friday that maybe we could install flooring in just the living room, and save the rest for later, but cooler, more rested heads prevailed and said that was pushing it too much.

I won’t lie. Even though the things I’ve been worried about are now done, the past week has been a real challenge. I sat down and cried many times because I felt overwhelmed and scared. I was so anxious about getting things done that most days I was up before the sun. My allergies have been horrendous, probably because so much stuff was moved around, or I’m allergic to latex paint. Tonight it should be decent enough to open the windows, so maybe some fresh air will help.

The best part of all of this is we’ll finally have a place to gather and relax. Zach can have friends over, the TV can be comfortably viewed from more than one or two seats. We can have a fire on nights that are cool enough to pretend its worth it. Generally, the whole room is going to feel warmer and more inviting. Now I just have the rest of the house to contend with.

August, September . . .

August is probably my least favorite month. May is difficult, with my mom’s birthday, mothers day, and date of her death all in one month, but August is a different kind of messed up. By the time August rolls around, we’ve already had a good three months of summer heat and humidity, and I know that it will continue through August with gusto. Nothing really good has ever happened in August, either.

September is moving up there, too. Maybe if I didn’t live in Florida, I wouldn’t be growing to dislike it so much, but its the FIFTH month of summer heat. If I’m over it by August, I’m WAY over it by September. I think I spend the entire month walking around with Green Day in my head. 

 Now its October, and its still hot and humid. Finally we have some lows forecast for the 60’s, but only for a few days, then its back to 90’s during the day, 70’s for lows. I would really like to open a window at this point and get some fresh air in here, but I’m just not feeling the temperatures yet, and won’t be for another couple of weeks AT LEAST. Its frustrating. I’m jealous of the people who are breaking out boots and sweaters.

I feel like I’ve been off track for the past two months. The first eight days of August, I was participating in GISHWHES (its a scavenger hunt. I meant to blog about it, but I’ve just been off and never got to it). It was an interesting experience, and I met some really cool people, but I got so stressed out that I ended up not feeling well. I had been doing yoga every day since April, I believe, so at the end of July I decided to change it up and do this two week “yoga shred” challenge. It was nothing like yoga, I don’t even know why it was called a “yoga” shred. I’ve done some good power yoga, and even though its a lot more cardiovascular and challenging than a lot of the yoga I’ve done, it still felt like yoga, which leaves me feeling peaceful and focused. I digress, during the “yoga shred” I aggravated a muscle in my hip. That was right around the time GISHWHES was ending. I was stressed out and tired, so I decided to give myself a break, and things just haven’t been the same since.

Last month, I gave myself a deadline of October 4th to get the living room painted. Its something I’ve been planning to do for a while (LONG ass while), plus we have some new furniture coming this month, so I thought it was doable. I thought I’d be motivated enough to do it. I did lose a week of September to a really nasty cold, but otherwise, I’ve just run out motivation to get myself moving. I don’t feel like myself, and part of that I blame on what feels like a never-ending, humid, suffocating summer.

I’ve been trying to get some stuff done in the living room this week to get it ready for painting, but every time I do anything, my allergies get awful and I’m sidelined because I can’t breathe or see. I’m trying different allergy meds, but it gets so bad I need to take benadryl, which leaves me feeling doped.  I’m starting to wonder if my allergies are partially in my brain, though, because deep down I feel bad for changing things in this house that have been one way for almost my entire life. My grandparents got the couch and chairs I have back in the 1950’s when my grandfather was stationed in the Philippines. The entire living room set up is not functional for the way we live, and its not my style. Since this is my house now, it should be ok to make it my own, right? But I still feel guilty. Plus, the furniture is large, and I haven’t found it a new home. I’ve said to Zach that I just don’t see how I’m going to work around it to paint the ceiling, walls, and trim, and there’s nowhere else in the house to put this stuff. He sees a way, but I’m just stuck seeing everything as impossible obstacles.

The only thing progressive I’ve done is pick the wall color and make a list of supplies I need (in my head). Zach has been picking up some of my slack and getting things organized and out of the way, and I feel bad about that because he’s been doing manager training this week, along with NBA preseason starting. He’s busy. Jon’s busy too. I feel like it should be my problem since it was my idea, so I’m having a hard time saying what I need to say. “I need help.” I should be excited–I’ve wanted to change the living room for a long time now, so why do I just feel like crawling in a hole, waiting for the storm to pass?

Bummer end to the month

I was doing really well for a while there. I was getting up every morning, working out, eating well, feeling good about myself. Then a couple of weeks ago I just crashed. I lost all confidence in myself. I lost my drive. It came on without warning and it seems to have settled in. I’m staying in bed later, not exercising, not keeping track of my eating like I should be. I really don’t know what happened.

They say exercise is supposed to help with depression. My doctor did say it could make anxiety worse, but this doesn’t feel like anxiety. This is just a pit of despair I’m in. I’m picking fights with Jon, I’m getting upset over little things, and bigger things. Stuff is just not going well in my head.

My dad is home from rehab. He got back a week ago. He’s doing his physical therapy by himself, but at least he’s doing it.  I guess its been pretty uneventful having him back. The quiet of no tv was nice while it lasted, though.

I’ve either acquired athletes foot or I’m having an allergic reaction to something I put on my feet. They’ve been itching horribly the past couple of days. I’ve been using allergy medication and athletes foot spray today and one of them is helping. I’m just not sure which. Seems there are a lot of things I’m not sure of these days.

Cleanse it

I’m on the third and last day of a Shakeology cleanse. I’m getting all of the nutrients I need by drinking three shakes a day and eating dinner, which is a white protein and  green vegetable, but only having that one meal to chew makes me hungry. Also, I’m detoxing a bit again, so I’m headachy and light-headed. Its really been a case of mind over matter, and I’m pleased I’m actually going to make it through, but oh man do I want a steak tomorrow!

Otherwise I’ve been taking time to myself, thinking about things, trying to take care of myself a bit. Had a massage yesterday, gave myself a mani pedi. Today I got my eyebrows waxed, which is SUCH a thrill, but they look better now and that makes me feel better. I also got to pick up my new glasses yesterday. They’re Tiffany so they have little silver hearts by the hinges. They were 50% off making them extremely reasonably priced, too. Can’t beat that.

Zach is doing most of the visiting to my dad. He’s been really good about it. I explained to him why its hard for me to go there, but I still should drop in at some point this week. Zach says he seems to be doing well, so who knows when he may come home. Its pretty quiet and relaxed without him here, I have to admit.

I hope you all are enjoying your summer. What are you doing? I’m just trying to avoid the heat as much as possible!

 

defeat

Last weekend Jon and I went to Lecanto to visit his dad for a St. Patricks day bbq. I know Jon isn’t terribly close to his family, particularly his dad, so since we got the invitation last month, I’ve told him it was completely up to him whether we went or not. Anyways, we went, and it made Jon completely miserable. He said in his own blog that the only reason he went was because it was important to me to “meet the family.” I am a little old fashioned, and being introduced to family does mean something to me. It shows acceptance. But this? I never wanted him to be unhappy. That’s the last thing I want. If I never met his dad because he didn’t want to see him I would have understood. Frankly, I was very nervous around his father, and didn’t quite know what to say. I had an opportunity to have a conversation with him, but I was too afraid and backed out. For the past week I’ve felt like the biggest jerk in the world. Jon says he doesn’t blame me, but its all there, written in black and white, or whatever colors his journal is. It makes me cry now, just thinking about it.

This weekend, as well as Saturday of last weekend, we spent a lot of time outdoors walking. Last weekend was the Winter Park sidewalk art festival. Its held along Park Ave. and the park that sits along side it. The oak pollen has been high lately, and being out a good part of the day breathing that made me wheeze. I think I kept Jon up most of the night because he kept talking to me, concerned about my breathing. I’ve been a little wheezy since. Maybe there is something else wrong, I don’t know, but I felt bad about wheezing so much. Also, every time we walk, I get extreme pain in my calves. Maybe too much laziness has led to muscle atrophy. I just don’t know, but it really sucks. 

I started something called Shakeology. Its a meal replacement shake with a ton of nutrients, antioxidant, adaptogens, etc. I feel like I’m still waiting for its full effect. The first week and a half I was going though detox, and that was rough. I enjoy drinking it. It feels very complete. I’m technically a Beach Body coach so if any of you are interested in their products or programs (Like Insanity or P90X) don’t hesitate to contact me, violetsinblue@gmail.com, and I’ll help you out. I feel like I can be a great coach. I’m very good at supporting people and encouraging them. I’m just not good at doing it for myself. I’ve got two fitness programs and fear of failure has stopped me from starting both of them. I have a good deal of weight to lose, and I know its not going to be easy at my age and fitness level. I wish I had somebody who was gentle and understanding of my fear to help motivate me. Actually I could really use that in several aspects of my life. But I want to get fit. I want to be healthy, I want to get things done. I’m just scared and don’t believe in myself. And when I hurt people I love, it makes me feel worse about myself.

So yeah. I’m having a kind of shit month. Hope yours is better.

Some changes

February was kind of a rough month. I had a lot of anxiety pretty much every day. I kept myself as busy as possible, did some nice things for myself like getting a haircut, massage, and facial. I’ll be doing those more often.

Jon and I got back together last week. We had a long talk and cleared up some misunderstandings. Turns out he missed me like I missed him. I feel good about it, still a little nervous he’ll change his mind but he says he won’t. I just need a little time to settle again.

I’m at a point where I need to lose weight for my health. I’m going to start a Beachbody program next month and try Shakeology as well. I’m excited and nervous at the same time. I’m worried that with my age, metabolism, slow thyroid, and bad back that I’m going to have problems making any progress. I’ve got quite a bit to lose. I’m in a group on facebook that’s all doing the same program together so I should have some support. Maybe that will make a difference.

I think its nap time now.