Cedar has been (nicely) pushing me to think about what I want for myself right now.  And want I want from a partner in the future.  The protagonist of the book I’m reading has two lovers, one who essentially dominates her and one whom she dominates.  I fell asleep last night thinking that I wanted what she had tied up inside one person.  Equal and opposite and bending each way depending on what I want.

I want a partner that is intellectually equal to me, whose knowledge compliments mine, rather than parallels it.  Someone who can understand me even when I’m at my peak performance, thinking so quickly it’s like I’m spinning the universe out and inventing it right there.  Someone who will sit me down and teach me something.  Someone who make grand romantic gestures, who will be secretly, quietly silly with me in the universe of our creation, the land bound by our marriage.  Someone who laughs at my jokes even when they aren’t funny and cajoles me out of my own misery, even when I’m determined to swim in those cold, dark waters no matter what.  I would demand 100% loyalty, devotion like I was made of water in the desert.  Some one who yielded to me every evening as I held him tight inside me and made him beg to rip out his own soul and empty it into me, some whose heart would break in desperation just trying to be nearer to me.  On alternate evenings he would hold me down and punish me for making him want me so much, make me twist my body to him, my need for his touch frenzied and urgent. Nights would be spent never too far out of reach.  Close enough for comfort, far enough for freedom.  And in the mornings we’d tuck quietly together, sharing breaths and moving slowly as one to soft sunrise indulgent gratification until we had to separate and become two once again.  We’d step out into each day independently, learning , seeing, doing, being more of who we already are.  We’d bear the monotony of everyday life together.  Support each through the parts that got worse and revel in each other joy when the scale tipped the other way.  We’d sit quietly, knowing it was enough and still find the moment where there wasn’t enough, not enough words, to share every idea in our heads, trying to fill each other’s heads with our ow ideas until we had to push apart and take the time to learn more to have more to share between us later.

I don’t think any of that is too much to ask for.

I’m so scattered this week I can’t even keep my commitments to myself.  There was no list this week.  Although my priorities this week were down time in the evenings on the assumption that my new position at work would take all my mental and emotional capabilities.  And I’ve been pretty successful in that.  So YAY ME!

I am definitely feeling extra sketchy and anxiety filled lately.  But less depressed and run down. Which might be a fair trade off. Okay, well no anxiety, fatigue or depression would be best, but I’ll take two out of three because it’s better than none.

Here are some good things:

Work.  It’s boring and weird and confusing and hard.  But it’s a job and it’s always changing and it’s filled with learning.  And you know, it feels good to learn when working and it’s a job that is something.  I’m not selling, buying or processing anything (thanks, Lloyd) and that actually means something to me.  I feel appreciated in the work I do and I hope to continue to do well enough to stay there and keep learning more.

Hawthorn.  He’s still a mixed bag, we’re still in a limbo that’s going to end with some boundary setting.  But he’s been a good friend and I find I can set aside how angry I am with him some times and just enjoy having someone I trust as a friend.

My apartment.  My landlord is amazing.  I love having my own space and not cleaning up after other people or feeling like my space is being intruded on or worrying about other people when I already spend enough time worrying about myself.

Books.  I think they have been saving my sanity for most of my life.  I need to not ever forget that.

Sunshine.  Even when it’s scorchingly hot, even when I’m complaining about unseasonable weather, I still love it.  It’s like my brain is batteries that only run on sunshine. It’s been a very wet and dark spring here. And yeah, I don’t like the butt sweat of the 90+ degree days this early int he year, but oh sunshine I love you even when you hurt me, never leave me, baby, never leave.

And hey, I don’t have cancer! Or at least I don’t have malignant, spreading, icky, dangerous cancer.  I have benign keratoses and need to be checked for the res t of my life, but won’t kill me so HOORAY!  Also I got my stitches out.  I no longer have stitches in my snatch (Ha!  I’ve been dying to say that out loud, but I haven’t had the right audience).

Ugh, I have to say, I’ve been trying to suppress it, but man Hawthorn’s move and related fall out is really wearing on me.  This weekend, in addition to his son’s graduation, he moved out of the house he and I shared into a new apartment, and moved/cleaned out anything he had left in the garage of the house he’d shared with his exwife, as the sale on that closes soon.  And even though he hasn’t lived in that house in years, it’s still a huge deal that has been fraught with post divorce financial yuckiness and his level of stress is over the moon.  And today I just couldn’t deal with it so I bailed on helping him (rescheduled and he was very understanding) and just cleaned house all day and did projects to regain some control of my universe.  Since I usually use work to to that, I guess three days of floaty free time was to much for me?

I had panic attack on Saturday and managed to stave one off today (without drugs but with concerted avoidance, which was positive keeping busy).  And another day before I have to deal with the Hawthorn situation.  As far as I can tell his response to all of this is to try and woo me again, like he did in the beginning, like we might get back together, which actually ENRAGES me.  And I’d really like to sit him down and explain just how fucking much he hurt me and how much I value his friendship and how I will fucking cut him if he doesn’t respect my boundaries on this.   But given his current stress level and everything he’s been dealing with I haven’t had a chance.  And now it’s starting a feedback of my stress, his stress and the post-mortem relationship conversation we never had.  AUGH.  Plus I’ve been using him as my main source of emotional support which I can’t continue to do if I’m not giving something back,  so some lines really need to be laid down. Lines not to be crossed.  For my own sanity.

And then in a conversation about the need for companionship, Cedar wrote me the following:

“Companionship in general.” Yes, that is one of the things we need. It’s kind of frustrating that we have to do so many circus spectacles in order to achieve something so simple – just sitting outside on a beautiful weekend morning together with some good coffee and companionable silence in the fresh air. But then you know she has to leave. And having good sex is great – like being the first creature to climb out of the warm sea and explore land, breathe the new air. But why is occasional good sex easier to achieve than the comfort of always having a warm, familiar, snuggly body in arm’s reach while you dream every night? How great did it feel to have someone naked in your arms each morning, whispering good morning in your ear, and then wake her, or him in your case, properly before work? Ending each day and starting the next with the same breathless ritual. And beyond that, the close comfort of working through the day’s monotonies with that same person. It puts a smile on your face and a spring in your step. Yeah, we need to find that in order to make the most of the last few years we have as mammals.

And now I want to punch the next person in the face who tells me I just need some time alone to find myself.  Because I don’t.  I never have. I feel more supported, more well rounded and whole when I have someone to share things with.  I know this about myself and I am not going to question it again.  It’s a nice and a sad realization to come too and spun me a little this morning.

Plus Oak texted to ask if I had plans ‘later’ leaving me, again, feeling I’m his last resort for entertainment when no one else is free.  And if I’m honest with myself, I felt like that a lot during our relationship too.  I might have to set some boundaries there as well. I actually feel guilty for continually telling him no when he tries to make plans, but they are always last minute and I’m certainly not going to interrupt my plans to be his second choice. I definitely do not need any stress entwined in that already dead relationship. Ugh.

I should mention, I guess, that this is an excellent outlet for my rage, anxiety and personal misfortune.  But I am having a perfectly lovely evening.  Got lots of chores done, ate a fine dinner, bathed and am listening to Bob Dylan and answering person emails.  I feel calm and at ease in my house.  (No storms is probably going a long way to that end.)

I do actually feel better over all.  Last night being the exception to the rule, the panic attacks are drastically reduced.  I find I can often deal with everyday things with out a thought about it being effort.  I can manage cumbersome awful tasks, like having a chunk of flesh cut out of my vagina to be biopsied (results were god news on that front, not exactly all clear, but positive news).  I do feel however, like the more aware I am of how much better I am doing, I am also more aware that something is wrong with me.

I have the worst PMS imaginable.  Well I’m sure many ladies have it worse than me, but it’s bad.  Basically about TEN days beforehand I get crazy.  Like swinging between rage and depression.  And I can actually separate myself from it enough to know what’s causing it, but the emotions feel, er, ARE real , so it mostly sucky.  I also kind of sick, like morning sickness, from the hormones for a couple days.  Then I have about 6 days of feeling bloated, fatigued and lethargic, then bleeding.  It’s fun being a girl.  Anyway, I have a lot of intellectual rage tied up in this because I fel like so much of what goes on with women medically is written off to us being crazy or it just being a mystery.  The number of times I’ve been told, “well, it’s just like that for some women,” is infuriating.

In addition to being sent off for biopsy, I was diagnosed with mucosal vitiligo and ovarian cysts (that was the pain that sent me to the doctor in the first place, it’s been going on for a while, but it’s been getting worse, “coincidentally as the PMS stuff has been getting worse).  So I did some research and while I recognize the dangers of diagnosing oneself on the internet, it turns out there’s a few endocrine disorders that aren’t life threatening but symptoms include vitiligo, ovarian cysts and an interuppted insulin cycle that causes pretty dramatic mood changes rotating with a woman’s cycle.  So I’m working on getting into an Endocrinologist for a battery of yucky blood tests (easier said than done, but I’ll make it happen) because I’m really tired of being told that my womanly workings are mysterious and nothing can be done about them, because while it’s mild comparatively to many diseases it is affectly me and I really feel like something is wrong with me.  And who knows, maybe it can be cured with a better diet and more exercise or something, but I really need to feel better all month long.  I also started taking iron supplements a few days ago and I actually think they are making me feel more focussed and energetic (not in a speedy way, just in a feel more normal way).

I can never remember how much of any of this I’ve talked about here (I have an aversion to rereading past entries, it just seems like asking to be upset), so I might be repeating myself on a lot of this, but man, I’d like to be getting better already, you know?

Mood not improved.  More storms last night.  It’s been really bad here the last couple days.  Much of my neighborhood without power after it having just been restored yesterday.  Hawthorn at the top of the shit list in big letters for not coming over, picking me up and whisking me off to someplace safe after I expressed fear over last night’s storms and being in the house alone (other tenants in my little 28 Barbary Lane are out of town, so even if I went to the storm cellar I’d have to do it by myself).  This like one of those tests where he probably couldn’t win.  Hawthorn’s failure isn’t completely on him, but the only proper answer last night would have been, “I’m on my over to pick you up, you can stay here through the storm”  (or I might have accepted, “I’m coming over there to sit with you in your storm cellar, or at least watch the news with you and decide if we need to go to the storm cellar”).  And what I got was, “If you get scared later when the storm starts, feel free to call me.”  So this morning I’m exhausted and feel wretched (I just ate a donut which makes it all exponentially worse as the sugar is already making me nauseous) and he’s cheerful and quizzing me on why I didn’t call him. “What good would that have done me?” I asked.  He had no answer except to offer to get me more coffee.

Yes, I recognize how hard it is for people to live up to my expectations when I don’t even tell them what those expectations are.  Yes, I have people I can call for support besides Hawthorn.  But hey, my problems are still much the same as they ever were.  I have a terrible time asking for help.  I have an even worse time expressing vulnerability to people. Hawthorn I can express vulnerability to.  And almost ask for help. And still get angry at him when he doesn’t read my mind.  It’s not fair and I do see how ridiculous it is, but it is what it is.

And I realize how petty this all sounds, but here I am, I’m just exhausted, hormonal, and feeling a little overwhelmed.  My family has been helpfully stressing me out via phone all week.  Work is fine, just you know, busy and requiring, like, actual thinking.

I’m writing this at work in tiny spurts while doing actual work, and I pause to do some work and realize that sometime this week, while he was in the office after hours, Hawthorn wrote “bunnyz” and “owls” on the bottom of all of my to-do lists and work related lists.   And now I’m not mad anymore.  SIGH.

All my plans this week have been derailed one way or another and tonight is no exception.  Maybe I’ll try and spend an evening working on creative projects, finishing some left laying around, or focusing on meditation and vipassana in an attempt to re-center myself after this week’s hormonal and mental and weather derailment. Maybe I’ll mentally add bunnies and owls to all my internal lists and see if still makes me smile.

I am in a very, very bad mood.  Like stomp flower beds, break things bad mood. Probably hormonal, no less real for it.  I don’t even have anyone to take it out on.  Or anyone to feel sympathy for me.  I also need to back the fuck away from the internet.  People are dumb as fuck.

It would be really, totally super great if the doctor would just call me and give me the all clear, no cancer, you’re good to go call.  I’m trying really hard not to obsess about it, to over think or anything until I know something, but the longer I wait the harder it is to convince myself it’s fine.

And I do think I’m on an emotional upswing, but it remains hard to rise up while so many apparent road blocks remain.

Whew, mama, I am tired.  I am also tired of saying I’m tired and really noticing how much I say it.  Seriously, how can something not be wrong with me? It can’t be normal to feel like this all the time.

I also would like to complain. To everybody, I guess.  But I don’t because I don’t want your sympathy, or anyone’s sympathy.  I’m not even sure how to explain it or why.  But I am really, really tired of crying.  I just don’t want to do it. At all. And sympathy improperly given makes me cry.  It makes it harder for me to hold it together in the way I need too and, honestly, it makes me feel bad for making you feel bad or for making you worry.

Goals for this week:

  1. get rid of extra furniture and Goodwill pile
  2. make a nice dinner just for myself
  3. vacuum living room & mop kitchen
  4. manage domains for future web projects
  5. follow up with my doctor about my recent appointments
  6. finish digital filing project at work
  7. make reasonable budget for June

Some of these are carry over’s from the previous list that weren’t completed.  I’m good with that.  I’m trying for essentially a thing a day from these goals and if I achieve 75% I consider that a success.  I also consider planning this way a success as this is as lenient as I have ever been with myself

I am wiped, people.  I don’t even know what to say about the last week.

I think I feel better.  I’m still feeling around the edges of this.  The edges feel solid, but it might be hollow in the middle.

However that I feel better (maybe) seems weird as this week has been pretty sucky.  In reverse order:

Back at work after a to brief vacation.  I got a promotion, but, wow, I was not prepared for the focus and energy I’d need for my new job.  I feel good about my ability to learn it.  And honestly I’m kind of glad to have it to focus on.  Less time to worry pointlessly about things I can’t control.

My vacation ended, um, confusingly.  Wait, I’m going backwards, so between work restarting and vacation I had a cancer biopsy on, well, I’ll maintain some level of politeness and say that my stitches make peeing awkward, sitting can be uncomfortable and at no time would I feel comfortable telling a coworker where it is.  It was an unpleasant procedure, though the team that did it was great and made me feel as comfortable as possible.  I’m (probably overly) concerned about keeping it clean while it heals and hoping the location means it will heal faster than say my foot or my back would.

I came home from the procedure more distressed than I thought I’d be.  I tried to distract myself by cleaning up the post house guest untidiness.  While doing the dishes a pipe connector broke and water started pouring over my feet.  I got the water off, threw down some towels and stood at the sink and sobbed for my mom. Who lives 2500 miles away.  As I pulled myself back together my amazing landlord and friend came and fixed the sink, cleaned the mess and even ran the heap pf wet towels through the laundry.  Later my mom called and successfully distracted me until bedtime, with many reminders to take of myself since a removal biopsy is trauma, it seems small but a centimeter of flesh lost wasn’t meant to happen to your body.

The entire biopsy was misery, I still don’t have the results and the stitches are awful.  This has been the delineating line between my vacation and my return to my new position at work.  And my vacation ended confusingly.

I didn’t sleep with Cedar. But only because he had the presence of mind to slow it down before it went to far.  But that was the last of our trip: we kissed, groped, fondled and pushed the bounds of intimacy. Then we slept and I took him straight to the airport with everything unresolved.

The thing is I decided before the trip started that I needed a friend more than I needed a vacation lover or possible complicated long distance relationship.  We very much enjoyed each other’s company on the trip.  It was a good trip.  Mind clearing, beautiful, full of the small, good kind of unexpected.  For days and days, nothing but sky and green and back roads and music.   Silence for all the right long stretches of time, good conversation in between.

The trip was only marred by being a little rainy and cool, and the occasional text from Hawthorn expressing a previously unknown amount of jealousy about me being with anyone else.  I tersely reminded him that he broke up with me and didn’t get to even comment on what I did now (much later, post trip, when he was consoling me I pulled out the big guns and meanly made him feel like utter shit about it).

In the aftermath of all of it I realized that what I’ve been wanting is Hawthorn back, things back the way they were. But now I know I could never accept that.  It isn’t a possibility.  I just don’t think I could ever trust him again.  And ironically it was his expression of jealousy that made me realize this.  Like he could decide not to want me and I could mourn and mourn and mourn, but if decides again after all that that he wants me then he’s untrustworthy.  Because when will he decide again that he doesn’t want me? I couldn’t go through it again.  I couldn’t even go through the possibility of being with him always filled with doubt that some unknown action of mine would make him change my mind again.

So I guess that’s a relief. I still feel sadness over the loss of our relationship, but in just a few short days I feel more calm around Hawthorn and less broken up by every interaction.

As for Cedar, I just don’t know. I haven’t really processed it all.  In the short, I feel like I do need a friend more than a complicated romance. There isn’t more to say about it right now.  I’m just giving it time.  That last interaction we had was so sexually charged, but somehow it was only about me. I don’t mean that negatively.  I feel like I gained power.  Or like maybe I found power I thought I had lost forever.

Still it’s all very jumbled emotionally for me. I’m trying to just let it all go, all out into the universe.  What returns, returns.  I’m just to tired to worry about it any more.  For now I want to be better at my job.  I want to make my home more my own, not just filled with things, but filled with things I made with my hands.  I want to read books and watch TV.  I want to sleep late and get my chores done.  Every minute of the last two years, every interaction with Oak, every second I spent longing for something else from Hawthorn has drained me.  I feel like I’ve been struggling for so long, grasping for emotional straws only to keep getting shoved below the metaphorical water, where I can’t breathe.  I’m not struggling and it turns out I float okay.  So I’m just gonna hang here for a bit and breathe big lungfuls of air. Recharge until it’s time to actually swim for something.  Until I know which direction to swim.

There’s obviously so much more to say, but that’s what this time I’m giving myself is for, right? Thinking it out until it’s clear enough to say.

Regular posting will resume May 19.

I don’t know the correlation but I was definitely doing better when I was posting here every day and I want to return to that.

My weekly goals list from last week was successful in that I feel I met an acceptable percentage of my goals.  And having a achieved what I did relieved pressure to do more or over plan.  So I’d like to continue that going forward.

In the interim I am swamped at work as we have some internal organizational changes.  And I’m about to head out on my road trip with Cedar. So I’m giving myself leave to not worry about updating here until I get back.

I’m still breathing.  Still thinking.  Still trying.  Hoping the road trip leaves me feeling less beaten down by life.

Catch you on the flipside.

(Below is the post I started 3 days ago and have never been able to quite finish, leaving it unfinished here for posterity.)

I’m just having a hard time. I think a lot of it is hormonal. And situational. And still just slowly, directionlessly recovering from the last couple years. I feel kind of stuck right now. I’m really not interested in more medication experimentation. I had a therapist I liked and still didn’t find therapy really helpful. I don’t really want to start that again. It seems more exhausting and devastating to rehash everything for a new therapist than any benefit would be worth. I know I keep saying that exercising more would help a lot but it would, if only I could squeeze it in to my busy schedule of feeling sorry for myself. I should probably spend more time with my friends, but, while it’s unintentionally cruel to say so, all my local friends just exhaust me. The few friends I could drive to see require an overnight trip and my combined work schedules keep defeating the planning of that.

In an article on Jezebel.com, someone replied to a comment with advice on overcoming depression. I’ll post her full text at the end here, in case you’re interested, but the basics were: take your meds, your supplements and your vitamins, exercise, see the sun, sleep well, meditate and hang with your friends.

Which is pretty much the route I’ve been taking. Yes, I’m not taking the drugs, but really they were making me feel way more sick. And yes I need way more exercise than walking a few miles a couple times a week. And yes I’ve been pretty sucky on the socializing front, although it’s not that I’m not socializing, but rather that most of it is with Hawthorn or coworkers and probably needs to be more diversified.

The full comment text:

I worked a long, long day yesterday.  I went home, ate barely enough food and went straight to bed.  I was exhausted and painfully lonely.

I really do like having my house be entirely my domain and my responsibility.  I like having my own space, the sense of privacy that it brings.  But man, I really do hate being alone.  Or rather I hate being single.  And it isn’t the lack of sex, or the pointless stigma supposedly attached to it.  It’s just not having someone to call whenever I need too.  Yes, there are about a dozen people in the world who say I can call them when ever and talk to them about anything, ask them for anything. And maybe 4 or so of those I’d feel comfortable doing that.  I started to call Rose yesterday, but then I realized I had only about 30 minutes to get ready for my restaurant shift and there wouldn’t be enough time to talk to her about the things I want and still manage to get myself together for work.  And of those dozen people few are in this county and even fewer would I actually feel comfortable talking too.

I recognize that I’m kind of isolating myself lately, but I’m not sure how to change it.  I mean, I do talk to people, Hawthorn, my mom, some of my coworkers at the restaurant, my close friends (though not as often as I’d like).  It’s just that something is missing.  I’ve been dreaming a lot recently about my best friend who I, uh, ‘broke up’ with last year.  I don’t regret my choices or actions in that situation, but it’s made me feel very aware of what I’m missing: someone to talk to who knows me well, isn’t distracted by children or by their own really screwed up problems, who will listen to me without judgment, who I don’t have to tell whole long back stories too, who will stroke my hair and hold my hand and tell me it’s going to be okay.  Someone who is my partner in things, both good and bad.  And I recognize how selfish it is, but a few of friends who meet most of these criteria have their own current deep emotional problems and I really would like to have time where some one is paying attention to me and not comparing it to their own situation or problems or turning the conversation back to themselves.

Yes, I see that some of what I’m describing is therapy and I’ve already rejected that.  It lacks intimacy of the real kind (intimacy brought on just by telling your secret fears is kind of hollow in my opinion), it lacks physical comfort (even, or especially, the non sexual kind, hand holding and the like), and it lack immediacy (I can’t make an appointment and get myself to the place I need to be in to talk on a schedule, nor can I decide I need to talk and then wait hours or days for an appointment).

My need is for someone who can come right over and just be there to make me tea and hold my hand when I feel bad (mentally or physically). I can see how selfish it is, but I want someone to share the burden of how I feel, but someone who wants to help support me emotionally, who I don’t have to feel guilty about interrupting their life, because their life is already part of mine. And I really don’t think this is too much to ask for.

Maybe I’m not even ready for it yet.  It’s only been 5 months since Hawthorn and I broke up.  But I am very much feeling the lack of it lately.  And if one more person tells me this is my time to get to know myself and become whatever before I’m ready to share with someone else I am going to punch them in the nose.

Understand, I don’t think a relationship is going to save me, or necessarily even help me get better.  I just recognize that there’s a distinct lack in my life and that space is shaped like a boyfriend but could be filled other ways.

Mentally right now I feel like I’m huddled in a corner, rocking back and forth, whispering, “just take deep breaths,” over and over.

Period approximately 6 days early? Check.
Biopsy rescheduled for two weeks later because of the early period? Check.
Personal life, though lacking outright drama, filled with hard situations I’m trying to keep myself out of? Check.
Work utterly overwhelming and confusing? Check.
Cash flow way too low for current expenses? Check.
Ability to react to things in a timely and effective manner completely shattered? Check.

Gah.  I was in so much pain from the sudden start of my period yesterday that I had to pull over to cry while driving home.  I lost the whole evening to drinking water, taking painkillers and staring mindlessly at the TV, unable to muster enough caring to even read a book.  I am overwhelmed in my personal life by pressure from people I don’t have the energy to deal with, or by problems people I care about have that simply can’t even offer advice or much support on.  I have managed to hold it together at work overall through everything that’s been going on in the last year or so, but now work itself is becoming a threatening, complicated place to be, mired in many vague requests for information I don’t have and that I don’t know where to get, and people angry that they aren’t getting what they didn’t exactly ask for.

I have spent every last cent of my raise furnishing my house.  I don’t regret having done that because I need a place to be calm, but even with the decent insurance I have, I don’t know how I’m going cover my rising medical expenses (and we haven’t even gotten to dental work yet).  And even at that, the weather here has been so horrible that I’m not even calm at home half the time.  I’m sleep deprived from 3 am storms.  And even on nights I do get enough hours of sleep I wake up feeling anxious already like I’ve done nothing but have stress dreams all night.

My mini vacation is only ten days away and yet I feel like I’ll never be able to finish all the work necessary.  I do recognize that feeling this freaked out and anxious is cyclical (like the raging anger) but it sort of merges with the the other anxiety and becomes incredibly overwhelming.

GAH!!!!  If only I could focus I could least bury some of it in work or something.

Edited to add:  I guess I should mention that one year ago this week the river was only barely starting to recede and the whole city, myself included was still reeling from the devastation.  I had also just broken up with Oak and become ‘official’ with Hawthorn.  Two years ago this week, I was standing outside an emergency room, alone, with one less tooth in my mouth and had nothing more than some gauze to hold to it and incredible degrading rudeness from the staff there.  I drove myself home.  It isn’t all surprising that now is the time that I’m not doing well.

The answer to medical mystery #1 is a small ovarian cyst, hopefully on it’s way out already.  Call back in 60 days if it still hurts.  Hoping for as easy a resolution on medical mystery #2 on Tuesday.  Still I have opted out of the martial arts classes I was going to start today.  I definitely feel strained by this news and like I can’t afford one small extra thing, in case it needs to go to medical expenses.  While the ovarian cyst diagnosis is a relief to some extent (I didn’t want them to find nothing because I definitely have pain, but I didn’t want something huge and awful either) it can be a sign of an endocrine disorder which means, I have to deal with the skin cancer biopsy, the possible effects of that and keep much better track of all my bodily related health now, in addition to my mental health, so we can sort out if this is a one time thing or part of a larger problems.  Sounds exhausting.  I’m already exhausted.

I feel like I should make so big personal evaluation in light of of my birthday.  But honestly, I’m too tired to do it.  Or maybe I’ve just been doing it so much in the last 5 months that’s there’s not much evaluating left to do right now.  No, there’s surely always more evaluating to do, I am just too tired.

The above bit has been sitting in ‘draft’ format for 2 days while I try and think how to finish it.

I was running errands at lunch today and Alice Walker was on the radio talking about chicken farming of all things.  A woman called in just to tell Ms. Walker how much her life had been affected by Ms. Walker’s books. The host thanked her for her call and Ms. Walker said, “I can tell how beautiful you are just by your voice.” Just the way she said it filled me with so much grief and so much love that I had to pull over for a second to get control of myself.

I have had Shug Avery’s version of “Speak Lord (God is trying to tell you something)” from The Color Purple stuck in my head for about a week now.  God is trying to tell me something.  Alice Walker is trying to tell me something.  Everyone around me is trying to tell me something.  And it’s like I can almost hear the answer, a murmur, a susurration trying to get me to look inside and remember my own beauty.  But it’s like somehow my creativity got all locked down somewhere and with it my ability to see who I am and to see who I want to be (because it’s the always striving to be better that I think defines me more than the me in any instance).  There is actually stranger in the mirror some days, when I’m really looking and I don’t know how to find my own reflection anymore.

Annnnnnnnnnnnd, I am putting too much pressure on myself about it.  I mean, too much pressure to get better, to feel better, to act more like “me,” to heal faster.  Too much pressure on myself is big part what got me deep in this anxiety hole in the first place.  I’m struggling to come up goals for the next five years and I can’t even get it together to cook dinner for myself when no one comes over to share it with me.

So I’m going to start setting goals for myself for each week. And they will hopefully be achievable and I will not require more from myself than just doing my best to meet those stated goals.

Goals for this week:

  1. cut out the pieces for one sewing project
  2. mail package that have been in my car for more than a week
  3. finish one book
  4. make a nice dinner just for myself
  5. follow up with my doctor about my recent appointments
  6. buy a mop and clean my floors
  7. make identifiable progress on new work projects (at my actual paying job)

I think seven is good for now.  That’s essentially one a a day and none too taxing, I hope.

Ugh, so I was going to talk about setting boundaries today.  I’ve been composing it in my head since Sunday, but then I went to my doctor’s appointment.  It seems everything I went there for is a-okay.  However, my answers to some of her questions alarmed her enough that I got to have an emergency pelvic exam (which she did over her lunch break, people) and I get to go Thursday for an intravaginal ultrasound (the nurse who just called me to confirm the appointment made it sound really unpleasant) and then I go next Tuesday for a biopsy on what appears to a basal cell carcinoma.  Which I am assured by all the medical folks I spoke today is no big deal and probably just needs to be removed and I need to be checked to  make sure there are no others that need to be removed.  Also it appears I might have mucosal vitiligo, which would mean nothing (?? yeah, they said that) except it does put me in a super low risk group for malignant carcionomas, so that’s good.

I was really upset when I got back from the appointment.  My mom called after I texted her and she was super anxious and upset about it which seems to have calmed me down.  So no big deal, right?  If it isn’t malignant, then it’s removed and I have insurance.  The ultrasound is for concerns over ovarian cysts which are sucky but also no big deal.  And it’s not like I can do anything but wait anyway. Still, SERIOUSLY?  Ugh.

I have a doctor appointment tomorrow at lunch.  I’m asking about my somewhat persistent abdominal pain (that seems to be either reproductive related or digestive depending on the day),  and will probably discuss more drug options in the anxiety/depression (though still not interested in taking these, but maybe will give it one more go) and hoping for hormone, blood sugar and thyroid checks.  My periods have always been irregular and I’m not worried about that, but am hoping to talk about the PMS seeming much more painful and horrible in the last year and particularly in the last six months.

While I am there I will investigate the dentistry offices in that building, as I seem to recall there’s a specialist there who does the work I need.  I put a reminder in my phone for this.

I recognize that this is small bit for most people’s Monday mornings, but it’s HUGE for me.  And I did get through making the appointment just fine, but I almost started crying while setting the reminder for the dentist. Tiny, tiny, tiny steps.  Now if I can just make it through today without making myself sick thinking about all of this, that’ll be a huge step.

I had a good, calm weekend.  Went to Dandelion’s wedding, had a lovely time, only cried a little.  Drank too much.  Hawthorn was my date, which worked out lovely until he tried to kiss me good night.  In fairness we’d both had a lot to drink and had a good time together, but it was awkward.  He actually rather charmingly said, as he was going out the door, “Thanks for kissing me,” like I’d done him a favor by not making it even more awkward than it was.

During the ceremony I said something to him that I don’t remember that caused him to say, “You know I think so highly of you, right?”  And in the (not very good) book I read this weekend, I saved out this bit, “To offer someone your love is no small thing.  I offered mine to you and you refused.”  I have been meditating on both these things unintentionally most of the weekend.  I’d say in grander scheme the pain of the break up and the just being friends is getting better all the time, but there’s obvious steps back and wow, I am still really hurt.

I am irritable and whiny and achey today in a way that indicates PMS.  If it is this means either the really bad symptoms are stretching out to 10-12 days before my period starts or it’s going to come very early this time around.  This? Actually makes me glad to be going to the doctor tomorrow.

This post at io9.com is very interesting.  I’ve actually wondered with some regularity (when I don’t have anything else to stress about) what the long term effects of so much cortisol is doing to my body.  If we extend the findings of this study to realm of possibility then one assumes it’s damaging my endocrine system and making me more prone to future depression.  YAY!

But what’s actually the most interesting here is the comments.  Many folks giving the usual “just get over it” and “you can will yourself out of depression, if you were a better person you would have done this already” type comments (although I think many people don’t realize that that is specifically what they are saying).  One commenter made an excellent point and I hope I’m breaking too many internet rules by posting it here, but here goes:

“Getting over it” isn’t something that happens over night, once your brain stops knowing how to make ‘happy’ anymore. Its a choice to have discipline similar to being a marathon runner. Every day you have to have focus and choose, again, to do this difficult thing that hurts, on the chance of a really cool payoff long in the future. You work to modify your body, physically, through hours of effort. Taking care of your mental health is what you do, it is your hobby, and it is an activity that takes a similar amount of effort as a full time job, running your own company, training for a marathon, or getting a new degree.

“Get over it” is the equivalent of saying “get your MBA” or “run the Boston Marathon”. Yes, it is something that just about anyone can do and will improve their life. But its not something that is taken on lightly and shouldn’t be given lightly.

There, my friends, is the rub. Or at least the thing I’ve been losing sight of.  I do feel better, even though I know I’m not better.  And lately I’m guilty of just trying will myself better when I should be asking for help.  (Yes, YES, I will call my doctor and make an appointment about the physical things that I have been stressing over and that will probably help a lot.)

It was truly a nice boost to read all the comments on this article  and see the folks defending against the “you can just get over it” responses.  Made me feel like there are others out there, made me feel supported and gave some excellent insight into how others have dealt anxiety and depression.  Sometimes you find a boost in the most unlikely of places.

So I’m reading along in my happy blog list this morning, all the lovely folks who make me laugh and think and I come across this post by The Bloggess (who is generally hilarious and clearly crazy) and I’m nodding and agreeing all the way through it. Especially when she gets to the part about needing to be told that it’s going to be okay.  I feel like right now I am really, really lacking in lots of positive it’s going to be okay statements from folks around me (and from my own self).  And I find myself in an awkward space where someone does just need to come over and drag me out to do a photoshoot with wigs and fake cigarettes and make me have fun, but depending on how that’s presented and who is doing the presenting, I might be offended, annoyed or even more reticent to socialize.

Here are some of my problems that might or might not benefit from a surfeit of it’s going to be okay:

1. I still feel completely invalidated by the Hawthorn situation.  Like if we assume I made all the right choices, or the very best choices I could make given my circumstances and feelings  and the information I had at the time, and assuming that he is not cruel, intentionally malicious or out to get me then what? I mean, really, what? That means I’m just here, still feeling completely invalidated, like everyone either thinks I shouldn’t have known better or that he’s a horrible person.  I can wind the thread out and say, well I am in a better place now and I couldn’t have gotten to this place with out all the prior events.  But, BUT! So? I still feel like I need to be reassured that I did make the only choices possible, that they weren’t bad choices, that I didn’t do anything wrong, or anything to make the situation worse.  I don’t know who I am supposed to get this validation from, myself, I guess, but I suppose that doesn’t happen in any way but just letting go and I’m still too hurt to let go.

2. It’s really excellent, so good that I’m no longer in a nearly constant state of hyperoverdrive panic.  I can talk myself down or take a pill and generally deal with what’s immediately in front of me. But my social anxiety is still pretty high (though it has been for at least a decade) and I continuously don’t immediately recognize that need downtime when I’ve overextended myself socially.  But I also feel like I need validation for this.  Like I need to be told that it is okay for me to want to spend evenings at home alone.  Like I need affirmation of my legitimate need for alone time.  Someone (me?) needs to recognize that I’m not being a bitch, or a hermit, or weird and isolationist, rather I can only deal with, only manage so much, before I need to pull back and regroup.  Someone needs to tell me that it’s fine to take as much time as I need, when ever I need it.

3. I often feel weepy and it’s not just teary but like abject misery.  Some of it is okay, I think, given everything in the past few years, given the immediate emotional situations I’m still dealing with.  I’m certainly still trying to identify and define all it’s sources though and I think some of it might be hormonal.  Like not just oops, PMS is making cranky hormonal, but really problematically imbalanced hormonal.  I’ve been tracking it against my cycle and it is about 80% worse around ovulation and about 175% worse in the roughly 8 days before my period, and the first 3 of my period.  This means, surely, a trip to the doctor, who will tell me (or not) that it’s okay.

4. I can’t go to the doctor or dentist.  I’m just so blocked on this that I can’t even pick up the phone to make the appointments.  I can’t really articulate what I find so upsetting about this.  If it’s possibility that something might be really wrong with me, or some conviction I have that something is wrong and won’t be able to deal with whatever procedure is required to fix it.  Or if I’m worried about money.  Or if it’s some huge jumble of all of these things.  Surely hearing it’s going to be okay from both the doctor and dentist will go a long, long way towards making me feel better.  And like actually making me feel better, like with less pain and discomfort.  I’ve been trying to reach out to ask people to help me with this, but I guess I’m not persistent enough or making it seem dire enough because I can’t seem to get a stronger response than, “Have you made that call yet? Are you going too?” And I think maybe someone needs to make the calls for me and take management of the appointments in hand for me until I get past this.

And annoyingly much of this comes back to being single. Just not having someone to lean on.  Having ‘lost’ 2 romantic partners and my best friend in the last couple years I am left feeling distinctly without someone to lean on.  I know this isn’t exactly true, that many friends will pipe up and say are there for me and they want to help, but it really isn’t the same.  And I don’t know how to address it exactly, or resolve it.  A friend was recently complaining about a car repair place asking if she wanted to leave it for a couple days and she was dumbfounded, why would any one do that? How would they get around? But of course the ‘normal’ assumption is that you have a husband or partner to pick you up or take you around or take up the slack.  The world assumes that.  Single and independent does have it’s perks but realistically most everything is easier when you have some sort of partner to help you, someone to take care of and to lean on in return when you need it.  Someone to tell you it’s going to be okay.

I had a nice full weekend, with lots of friends and lots of love.  I feel grateful and overwhelmed.

Winding down on a Sunday night, trying to recenter myself.  Time with my friends was really wonderful, but it felt more like a diversion than real life. I need to be a little inwardly focused this week.  Increased panic attacks and and my general sense of unease the lat week or needs more meditation still.

I think the (boring, relentless) ongoing sense of no closure of Hawthorn is still weighing on me. Though really, really much less, it is vastly improving day by day.  Still I feel like I’m floundering a little, in limbo, waiting to make plans, to look seriously at the future until..? Until, what? I don’t know.  Until I get better, until some mystery action happens, until, until, until.  It’s surely all part of the process, what ever that is. Or, yeah, since that is what ever I say it is I would really like to get back to feeling grounded so I can say what I think that is.

What was I doing two weeks ago that left me feeling so relaxed and functional? What happened that the last week was so emotionally rough and miserable?  Will answering these questions help me move to the next point down the line?

Ugh this had been a really rough week. Very bumpy and up and down.  Right now I wish I was asleep, but instead I’m sitting up crying because I didn’t get to do the thing I REALLY wanted to do tonight.  And I’m in a loop of feeling worse because I feel like I shouldn’t feel so bad about it.

The short of it is that I agreed weeks ago to cover a restaurant shift tonight that no one else could cover.  Hawthorn bought me tickets, as a birthday present to something I really, really wanted to see at the symphony, but neglected to give me advance warning.  When he did he only asked about the date, not the event, I declined, as I had an obligation to the person whose shift I agreed to cover. Hawthorn made plans to take someone else, I found out what the tickets were actually for, since there wasn’t a surprise to ruin, since I wasn’t going to get to go. And of course it turned out the restaurant really didn’t need me there at all.

I just feel incredibly disappointed and left out. And things like this just always seem to magnify the whole Hawthorn situation for me.  Like partly I’m mad at him because if he hadn’t tried to make it a surprise and had given me advance notice, I would have found a way to go.  Plus it just feels like the universe cheated me out of my relationship with him because of the external factors he had/has going on, and missing things like this makes me feel like it’s just one more thing taken away from me.  Which is petty and silly.  I try so hard to focus on the good things, and I have so many good things, that sometimes I end up feeling worse because I actually feel bad about being upset over something so relatively minor, in the scope of the world.

And I might have been able to let it go if Hawthorn hadn’t felt compelled to text me after and tell me what an amazing show it was.  Yeah, fuck you very much.

Plus, it was just a really bad, really stressful day at work all day leading up to the sucktastic evening. And what I really want to do is call Cedar and tell him how upset I am so he will make me feel better, but he’s on vacation and I know he’s having a really good time and I don’t want to mar that.  I’d call Violet to console me, but she had an even worse day than I did and I don’t think I could even be a supportive enough friend right now to even interact with her. Which is upsetting because overall I really am feeling so much better, but wow, it doesn’t take much to set me back to not being able to deal at all (although, I’m selling myself short by saying ‘not much’ as it was a VERY stressful day at work).

I think I’m going to call in sick tomorrow and start what is sure to be a good weekend early. Maybe I’ll go to the park and sit and memorize Lorca poems until the storms roll in.

Full blown panic attack, around 11 am this morning (still on-going).  Not sure what set it off, but it’s perhaps the first one in two weeks.  Which is good over all, but barely able to resist the urge to flee my office right now. Gah.

Update (around 12:30): Email full of happening-right-now vacation photos from Cedar made me feel a little better (how do you not love a guy who sends you pictures he took of himself underwater and then refers to them as ‘Cedar-sea-monster’ pictures?).  Trying to choose something for lunch for Hawthorn to pick up and bring me reduced me to tears. Klonopin time.  It’s been weeks since I had to take it during the day, but I can’t possibly be any less effective than I am right now.

Update 2 (around 3pm): Klonopin and fried chicken helped immensely.  Still feel heart-racey and out of sorts, but calmer and like I’ll live through the day. Canceled movie night in favor of a long walk in the park after work.

I’ve been having some weirdly inappropriate sex dreams lately.  Last night I dreamt I was walking with an acquaintance (who is probably 50 to 55) and it seemed like he was hitting on me but I wasn’t sure.  We got to the point where we were parting ways and I felt relieved but then my bus left with out me (passed me completely even though I was at the stop, on the curb and waiting) and so I went after this guy, intending to ask him to have sex with me.  I caught up with him much later after many shenanigans of changing clothes and calling girlfriends, and when I did find him he was quite drunk and trying to sing karaoke to me.  Fortunately I woke up before anything happened, but this probably the third dream I’ve had about having resigning myself to have sex with someone I’m only marginally attracted too who is also an utterly inappropriate partner.  Okay, brain, I get it, just having sex with anyone won’t solve my problems, I’ll be selective.  Jeez.

Speaking of boys, I have been seriously trying to sort out my feelings on that front.  I don’t think I’m ready to tackle a relationship, even a fairly casual one. Still, I’m determined to have sex, as I don’t think it’s fair to be denied that just because I’m single. But then I don’t want to come across as the low self esteem party girl who is up for anything. And I guess it’s harder than one would think to find a guy to just have sex with you.  Or not hard at all, but hard to find one who isn’t inappropriate and wouldn’t leave me feeling a little skeezy later.

Additionally I still have my sort of Junior High feeling of boy crazyness. For instance there’s a guy who comes into the bar where I work, often earlier in the evening, by himself, to eat, have a beer and read his book, but he ends up talking to me someone of the time.  Lately he’s been coming in more often and I swear I keep catching him looking at me and looking away.  Now, most of the guys I know that are my age are married or coupled off, so I generally don’t give them a second glance, but this guy and I recently because Facebook friends and I know that an FB status as ‘single’ doesn’t necessarily mean that, it does mean that he’s not married and bothered to list a relationship status rather than none at all.  ANYWAY, he commented on my Facebook last night and suddenly I was all giddy and dorky like I was 13 and exclaiming that he noticed me!  Wheee!  (Luckily I was home alone so no one had to witness this.)  And I feel like this is just a distraction, but definitely a welcome one.  If my choices are panicking and thinking too much about bad things I can’t control, focusing and studying meditation and relaxation techniques, or thinking useless giddy thoughts about a cute boy, then I pick #3, you know?  And I maintain that this isn’t the need a man to rescue and rule me thing I was bitching about yesterday, this is more like thinking about Domokun chasing kittens in a field.  Not serious, just fun.

In that same realm, Cedar and I are still emailing nearly every day, long long emails and it is still very much the high point of my day.  His overt bad (and good jokes) make me laugh so much and stay with me all day.  I feel like I’m getting the subtle nuances of everything he says as well.  I was thinking last night about communication.  I think I tried to talk once here about the study where couples that used the same language quirks got along better than those who didn’t.  And how I often feel like I have no idea what Hawthorn is talking about, like his references seem so out of left field, or he’s talking in something that seems like it should be shorthand almost code that partner would get that just goes right over my head.  But with Cedar it’s like we’re on exactly the same wavelength. Which makes sense since we had similar upbringings in the same location and knew each other when we were much, much younger, in our formative years, as it were.  But it isn’t just the language, I feel like he’s taking me really seriously in way no one has in a long time.  Like no matter what I talk about, flaky astrology talk, or having prophetic dreams, or my anxiety or whatever, it’s like he weighs and balances each thing and knows when to joke and when not too and seems to regard each part of me as something valuable and worth hearing about.  I never feel condescended too or like he doesn’t care about what I’m saying, no matter how personal or how other there whatever I’m going on about is.  Indeed he also seems to be full of as many random facts as I am, with some cross over.  So if I make an offhand reference to Freya’s Day, I’m treated to a Viking Saga story in return.  I am very much much looking forward to the trip he and I are taking in May.  I’m still maintaining that there isn’t a romantic thread in what’s happening with he and I, but I suppose I’m not willing to completely discount that yet either.  Still every interaction with him leaves me feeling very supported and hoping that I’ve done the same for him.  So there’s that.  I’m not sure what to do with it.