Tag Archives: home

Understanding Stress

Okay, I know that title is a little ironic. After all, stress can come from not understanding or not being prepared for a situation. In one of the groups I am in, someone asked how to deal with stress when … Continue reading

Waiting for Paint to Dry

Bedroom Paint1Today is Paint The Bedroom Day.  The first coat is on the walls and ceiling, so I’m freshly laundered and off to The Brew House to eat, rest and journal.

ETA for the second coat—1:30.

Henry7:16Henry is showing his age today.  He only banged on the door to get in a few times.  In his youth, this Alpha Tom would have hammered the door as long as it took for me to remove said barrier.   But, like most old guys, he’s more interested in going back to his post-breakfast, mid-morning nap.


Choosing To Not Give In

It seems that I have had a string of not-so-great days.  It is odd, because my stress should actually be decreasing, instead of skyrocketing.  I now have hot water, a working septic, and central air conditioning…which I hadn’t had for about a month.  Those little “daily tasks” which were made so difficult by lack of those things, have been made much easier, but my mood has begun to plummet into darkish places, and I’m running in place, trying to stop that downward trend.

In other news that should be reducing my stress level, QoB has decided to stay put right where she’s at, no moving hours away, and one would think THAT would make me feel better.  It doesn’t.  To further decrease my stress level, we don’t have to move into a rental, but she is finding a house that we can afford to buy and I have great credit, such to the point that I can get a mortgage in my name.  Her goal is for us to save money from the point we are paying out right now, in the new place, and still own.  So, it sounds perfect, does it not?  It sounds like all of my really big, fat, ugly stress problems should be gone, doesn’t it?

I know.  Shit.  That’s just not the case.  If anything, my anxiety is more pronounced, and I hate to say this, but my mood is going downhill.  Towards depressed, with increasing agitation and annoyance and irritation and flustery-blustery-yuck.  I don’t want to see anyone, talk to anyone, deal with anyone.  I am able to handle LarBear and the dogs, and that’s about it, other than brief interludes here and there.

I have no desire to do anything for the 4th of July, and if I were going to be frank about it, I’d say that, really, actually, I can’t stand the 4th of July.  Everyone drinking, small fires and explosions everywhere, I hate being outside in the dark, heck, I don’t like being away from home when it is dark outside.  I am afraid of the dark, at 34 years old.  The whole holiday seems entirely too much about alcohol and blowing things up and eating picnic food.  No, thanks.  I am officially done pretending that I like anything about the 4th of July celebrations.  I don’t even want a freaking sparkler or those poppers that you throw on the ground.

In trying to pinpoint where this increase in depressive symptoms, anxiety, and irritability comes from, I have made little progress.  I talked about it with my therapist today, and we think it could just be a cute little bipolar cycle.  Ya know, bipolar, making it’s rounds, duck-duck-duck-GOOSE!  The fact that changes are ahead doesn’t help, but at least they are more manageable changes than what they were going to be.  I mean, yes, LB and I will be moving, but the circumstances are better.  Other than that, much else stays the same.

So, like I said at the beginning, a few bad days does not make a bad life, and a few bad days doesn’t even make a bad episode.  I’m a few days away from this being an actual episode, and maybe I can calm it with enough DBT and Klonopin and ice cream, that it keeps from becoming an actual episode.  I certainly hope so.  I think, what is most disappointing to me, is that I almost had myself convinced that I had this disease whupped, as in, permanently, as in recovery = permanence.

I will keep choosing, every minute if necessary, to not have this rule my life:

 

 


Filed under: Life Worth Living Tagged: 4th of July, afraid of dark, anxiety, Bipolar, coping skills, depression, holidays, home, moving, panic attacks, PTSD, stress

Ten Things of Thankful, Home-Life Edition

**Just a word to the wise, there is not currently a link-up for Ten Things of Thankful, but you CAN find them on Facebook.  It’s a closed group, but just type Ten Things of Thankful into your search bar and you can request to be added.  I am not sure how much longer there were cease to be a linkup, but you can get more information there.

10thankful-banner

 

Another week down, another whole bunch of things to be thankful for.  I like to try and do TToT “themes” each week, and this week is no different.  I am a person who prefers to be at home, or to at least be feeling that “at home” feeling even when not at home.  I can get that at my house, and a select few other places.  This past week, I’ve really tried to be “out” more, and it makes me appreciate the weekend and nowhere I really have to be (today), that much more.

When I was in the crisis residence, I was surrounded by people who are currently homeless and some who had been homeless for very long periods.  It’s never happened to me, but it’s not impossible to think it would ever happen, albeit it’s unlikely if I keep up with my mental health treatment and continue to have family around that cares.  A house and a home are two things that I never take for granted, though, and so I’d like to dedicate this week’s TToT to all of the home-related things that I am thankful for:

  1. A fenced-in backyard.  For my dogs, for my sanity.  I really enjoy being outside, and I am thankful to QoB for making sure that every home I have ever lived in has had a pleasant outdoor space.
  2. The current house I live in has a very nice, large front porch.  It is very nice and cool in the afternoons, and breezy yet warm in the mornings.  Recently, my mom came and trimmed up all of the rosebushes (of which there are several,  VERY large) and laid mulch.  The porch was swept off and all that is on it are a few comfortable chairs and a footrest/table.  I have been loving sitting out there with company, and with LarBear.  It is also a good way to get a break from life, in general, by myself, with just my thoughts and a cold drink.
  3. A house as opposed to an apartment.  This is my personal preference, and I have been exceptionally lucky to do very little apartment-living (save from college years).  Houses are so much quieter, so much more private, and are what I am used to.  I feel almost spoiled by this one.
  4. Hardwood floors, with a few nice area rugs.  I really detest wall-to-wall carpet, and I think that is just because I was raised with hardwood floors and area rugs.  I really don’t like to vacuum, and I don’t like all the dust and dirt and grime and (potential) messiness of carpets.
  5. My kitchen has a large closet that has been converted to a pantry.  I didn’t have a pantry in the last two places I lived, and it seemed like I always had things stacked up everywhere.  With a pantry, you can put everything away and you can stock up on things without worrying about having the room to put it.
  6. I absolutely love that I have a driveway of my own to park in.  I have lived in places where I had to park in the street or in a large parking lot, and I hated it.  In the town I live in, it is pretty typical that most houses have a driveway and more often than not, there is also usually a garage (at least in this neighborhood).  I do have a garage, but I choose not to really use it for various reasons, some of it being sheer laziness.
  7. Being able to choose the colors of my walls has always been important to me.  I am not a fan of neutral, and really appreciate my yellow kitchen and lavender bedroom and green bathroom.  It makes it more homey to me.
  8. All of the Rose of Sharon bushes, Crepe Myrtles, and other various bushes that my mom planted on the west side of my house, in front of windows when I moved into this house.  They are grown up now, and it is lovely when they are leafed out, because I can keep the curtains open day and night and no one sees in, and they are also very pretty to look at.
  9. For the past few years, I have had an inflatable kiddie pool in my backyard.  I am spoiled by it now, and fully expect to put one up again this year.  You can get them for about $30 to $40, and as long as you keep chlorine in it, and sweep out the bugs/leaves/debris, they stay nice all summer.  There is nothing better than sitting in your own backyard in 30″ of water.
  10. I grew up in a house warmed (partially) by a woodstove and with no central air until I was well into high school.  I didn’t really think anything of it at the time, but I must say, I am very, very grateful for central air and heat.

Filed under: Ten Things of Thankful Tagged: #10Thankful, gratitude, home, home life, house, Ten Things of Thankful, thankful

You Can’t Go Home Again

Maybe it’s the holidays that are making me a little wistful, but lately I’ve been missing the “good old days” when my family and I lived in the big house on the hill. I miss the summer grass, the big above-ground pool in the backyard, the delicious meals that came from our barbecue. I miss seeing the leaves turn yellow in the fall and watching the woods fill up with snow in the winter. I miss the Easter egg hunts with the grandsons in the spring. And I especially miss the holidays and birthdays with the family gathered in our huge living room, with lights draped over everything that would stand still and good smells coming from the kitchen.

Let’s face it: I miss that life.

So when the opportunity to drive by the old home place presented itself the other day, I gave in to the temptation. I don’t know exactly what I wanted to see, other than a house that was being taken care of and loved by the new occupants the same way I loved it.  Instead, what I saw was almost unbearably sad: a broken-down truck alongside the house…wood slats stacked on the front porch…and worst of all, every single one of my flowering plants had been ripped out. Even my beautiful hydrangeas and the Hot Chocolate tree roses. Gone. As if I had never planted them or spent countless hours nurturing them.

It was all I could do not to burst into tears. There wasn’t a single trace of our family’s existence or the fact that we had lived there for almost 12 years. I can understand why a new family would want to do things their own way, but…ALL of my flowers?

Will was upset as well. He’d put in plenty of time around that house too, and it made him angry to see the beat-up old pickup and the wood out front. We didn’t waste any time driving away from there either. It was just too sad. I almost wish we hadn’t gone there; at least we wouldn’t have had to see our onetime Shangri-La desecrated, as it were. But unfortunately, what has been seen can’t be UNseen, and now I’m left with those disappointing images in my head. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Whoever said “you can’t go home again” was spot on!

So, once again I’m mourning the loss of my old life, the one in which I was productive and able to enjoy the fruits of my labors just by looking around the house and the 2 3/4 acres we lived on. I wish with all my heart I could still work and keep up the lifestyle we had then. But I have to accept the fact that that part of my life is over and it’s not coming back.

Besides, I have a perfectly decent life now. It’s different from the old, and my outlook and expectations have required considerable adjustments, but it’s good in its own way and I’m grateful beyond words for the people who have made it possible. A year ago Will and I faced a cold, joyless Christmas; now we have a pleasure cruise planned (we leave in 2 1/2 days!!) and there are multicolored lights everywhere. My son is an over-the-top decorator like me, and he’s turned the house into a Christmas fantasy land.

This is my reality. I know the “Shangri-La” is not my home anymore and never will be again. But the shock and disappointment are fading, and I think maybe seeing it the way I did may be the key to moving forward.

In the meantime, I’m getting ready for the trip and the next two days are going to be insanely busy, so I’ll say good-bye temporarily until I get back on the 14th. If you’re new to bpnurse, I hope you’ll peruse my old posts, and if you’re an old friend please feel free to re-read them. Gotta keep my stats up!

 


Nesting

Henry's Pillow 2

It’s autumn.  Time for apple cider and the annual ugly chest cold.  Time to put away shorts and see if the crotch in any of my old jeans will embarrass me in public.  Time to start work on my Solstice cards and pull out my Happy Light.

I love autumn, even if the waning light makes me think St. John of the Cross was probably bipolar and talking about winter when he coined the term dark night of the soul.  I love the smell of corn dust and how it hangs in the air.  I love the slant of the sun as it hits a golden point on its arc, how it burns through a single, curry-colored leaf stuck in the weeds.

I’m profoundly aware of how much I’m enjoying autumn this year.  Even with bronchitis and a pantheon of prescription inhalers on my counter, I watch the squirrels in their pre-winter frenzy and feel joy rise up.  Like a breath.  Like a sigh.  Clear lungs are not required.

I’ve had moments of bipolarness over the past five months.  Moments—not days or weeks or months.  Moments where the illness broke through to remind me to stay sharp.  I can’t go back to sleep.  And I also don’t fight or fret when the illness presents itself.  This is me, too.  All of this is me.

New BookcaseMy energy amazed me, and the way my mind opened to possibility and change.  Over the summer, I catalogued my apartment—the rotting furniture, the squeeze and mess of a tiny space, all the ways I made do when the idea of doing more overwhelmed me.  Getting a new bathtub and replacing the damaged linoleum floor suddenly made anything possible.

On my trips to Minneapolis to see friends, I also visited IKEA.  I gave away or trashed furniture that was too big, too ruined or too inefficient and replaced it with four beautiful pieces put together with my own two hands.  Now our living room fits us.  There’s room for the cats to chase each other, new places to nap, and a more inviting entry (rather than sliding in sideways and banging a hip on some ouchy corner).

Cabinet Before

Before

Cabinet After

After

Desk Before

Before

Desk After

After

I’m also working on more efficient storage.  I installed roll-out, metal baskets under my kitchen sink and bathroom vanity.  I cleaned out a skinny cupboard in the kitchen, found tubs that fit the narrow space, and got seldom-used art supplies out of the way.

Before

Before

After

After

valje-wall-cabinet-red__0290149_PE424853_S4IKEA carries a wall cabinet—basically, an open box with mounting hardware.  I tossed the hardware and stacked two of those on my coat closet shelf to wrangle the magazines I glean for greeting card captions (My closets have lots of height, so I’m always looking for stackables).  There was plenty of room left over to store other crafty stuff.  No more cascades of musty magazines when I get out the broom.

Autumn is the season for nesting.  We make ourselves snug and warm, surround ourselves with treasures and love, settle in for the long winter.  Nesting makes a place a home.  We should find comfort and relief there.  And joy.

Sitting here at my desk, with Henry curled on his pillow, I listen to James Vincent McMorrow and feel my home breathing with me.

A moment of joy.


Brain Constipation

I realised last night that I haven’t been blogging at either of my public blogs, and had a bit of an anxiety spike. But then, things have been busy. The littlest one is cutting three teeth at the same time (!!!!!!), and the big one has been off school for half-term. I’ve had a great time with both of them around the house, but it’s also nice when it’s just myself and Littlerbit. I’m getting a taste of that right now because Lilbit is visiting her grandmother, and as Littler is napping, I’m free to try and pick my brain.

I’ve also been doing things offline and, le gasp, outside. I finally got up the spoons to hit up our back garden in a big way, and I’ve been nose to the grindstone trying to get the weeding caught up and to get some things planted — in this case, mainly produce. I had wanted to do the same at our previous flat, but the garden was a windy vortex and pretty much anything we tried to establish blew away. There was also knowing on all levels that it wasn’t going to be our final/permanent home as much as we liked it, so ‘why bother’ apathy certainly was the easiest way to go.

And really though, we did like that flat, but our current residence is more emphatically ours. My in-laws encouraged us to get all the decorating redone before we moved in, and so we moved into a house that was pre-stamped as ours. There’s still things that we can do in future, like an extension, and we derive enjoyment on speculating on that for some future day. Planning. Being able to plan things. To have something worth improving that is our forever home is bliss. I look in the back garden and take pride that we’ve made something beautiful (and soon, literally fruitful). I enjoy the meditation that is weeding and caring for the garden, even if my back doesn’t as much. I’m adverse to the idea of exercise per se, but movement framed as movements is a beautiful thing to me. Calling it exercise robs the joy.

I guess that I can say then that I’m mainly doing okay. I have patches of disassociation where I have to slap my brain into accepting that I have an awesome life and a great family, but it normally isn’t severe enough for me to be more than mildly annoyed and has been a feature of my brain-life for as long as I can remember. There isn’t too much in the way of depression, though anxiety has been bad, and my sleep has cycled around to being a bit crap again. The latter is partially my fault for staying up late a couple of nights recently, but should hopefully smooth back out without too much effort. Hopefully.

Hope all is well out there for everybody.

<3

Everything Depresses Me

Today we got our shelving and dressers and I could finally get rid of the last of the boxes. I thought that I would be thrilled and for a few minutes as I looked around I was.

I then realized I had nothing to do. I can’t do laundry until our washer and dryer come Tuesday and I can’t really make much food wise until the fridge gets here.

Plus it doesn’t feel like home. I know it will eventually but right now it feels like a house with our stuff and some new stuff put into it. I am sure some of you understand that.

I should be used to this feeling. I’ve moved a lot in my life. Used to amount to about 1 new place every year and a half but now it feels wrong.

I know part of it is the depression and part of it is the adjustment. I’ll deal with it I always do.


Yet Another Day Passes

Today was not a bad day. My mood was a little better and I managed to get quite a bit accomplished.

The house is starting to look like a house. There are some pictures on the walls and shelves getting filled. I can’t wait for Saturday when we get the last of the shelves and bedroom furniture. Tuesday the appliances come and I’ll be able to get the rest of the clothing washed and put away and maybe then I can get on to cleaning the floor. it’s so dusty.

At least I am feeling motivated. Time for sleep now though. Hubby goes back to work tomorrow so it will be my first real day here alone. That will take some getting used to. I think I can do it though.


I Thought I Would Feel Different

I thought that my emotions would be different. I thought that I would suddenly want to do all sorts of things. I thought once I was in my house I wouldn’t experience the depression. I was wrong.

I’ve been feeling kind of blah today. Things are still not completely put away and I can’t take care of them until some dressers and shelves come later this week. I’m feeling overwhelmed and stressed.

I thought that I would just automatically be happier. I didn’t think that the mood swings would happen so soon. I thought I would at least be able to ride the high of owning a home.

It’s frustrating. I want to be happy and relaxed. Stupid brain.