Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Opportunities and possibilities.

I've never enjoyed packing. Whichever form it takes, it always includes a tremendous amount of stress. What if I forget something that I desperately need?!! It's gotten to the point where I want to keep special suitcases packed all the time; the overnight bag, the weekender, camping must-haves. Sure, I'd have multiples of everything - contact solution and cases, shampoo and conditioner - but I'd also always have everything I needed.

Or, I could give myself the time I need to prepare.

I've been packing for the past two weeks, now. I should clarify that I started packing two weeks ago, packed for about 3 hours/day for two days, between hour long breaks playing facebook games. Not overly productive, really. Not even remotely enjoyable. It's my typical way of packing. Start early so I feel okay about myself, then leave everything else to three days before d-day. A flurry of stuffing random items into random boxes and labelling them as 'miscellaneous', and - poof - I'm a soggy pile of tears and anxiety with years of living with boxes that I won't open because I don't want to have to organize their contents! Magic!

Yesterday and today have been good packing days. Wolf enlisted help in getting the big pieces of furniture out to the truck and into the storage unit while I've packed and done laundry. We have two weeks before we have to be out of this place so there's not too much pressure. We're keeping all of our necessities packed separately so we can still use them before taking them to our temporary digs. And somehow, for the first time, I'm actually having fun... okay, fun isn't the right word, but when I take a break, I can see what's been done. It gives me the motivation to keep going. It's fun-ish.

Back to it...

Monday, October 19, 2009


One whole day without Bejeweled Blitz. My most recent addiction. But I did get more packing and laundry done. Now, I'm going to watch House (and maybe Heroes) then bedtime!

Clean sheets, de-cluttered space, clean shaven hubby and a tepid tea. What more does a girl need?

Obviously not a decent blog entry!

Have a good night.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Steps and Phases

Looking back on my life, I see cycles - ever repeating, morphing with each turn. If I were to define it as a shape, it would resemble a spiral. I live from experience to follow through to lesson to experience - coloured by lesson - to follow through to new lesson.

It’s human nature, I think, to feel discontented with our lives. We want more money or less weight, more time or less work. We wish we hadn’t squandered our youth… Something is missing and we’re aware, on some subconscious level, of that void. This feeling heralds the beginning of my cycle, if cycles had beginnings, and the Dissatisfied Phase is born.

When I start feeling ungratified by my life, I hide in my addictions. If I have no addictions handy or convenient, I’ll create one. This avoidance encourages more unhappiness, which spawns yet more need to hide. Eventually, all of my ‘spare time’ is eaten and I’ve nothing to show for it. Then, all time becomes spare time.

Once the Avoidance Phase is well and truly established, it’s time to move on to the Recognition Phase. I’m really unhappy, tired and hungry. I have coffee for breakfast and snack on cigarettes all morning and afternoon. I eat once… at dinner… if something is made… not by me. I miss my family. I’ve fallen behind in all of my work. Denying and avoiding is no longer an option. So, I stop denying. I don't stop avoiding yet and I don't voice my realization. If I did, I'd have to do something about it. I can be stuck here, in self loathing, for another week or so. It's my own personal, self-created and nurtured hell.

I don't know where the breaking point is but when I hit it, I snap. The silence that has masked my emotional turmoil becomes charged with all of the energy I haven't spent. I can no longer exist within the confines of my dysfunction. Here I am again and I can't stand it any more!!!

I've come to my Action Phase. I speak. Words are power. A word, once spoken, cannot be taken back. A witness cannot un-hear. "I hate this. I'm wasting everything. I dream about change but that's not gonna make the change happen!"
Wolf's reply to this is in the form of a question. "What are you going to do about it?" (It's gently asked, not loaded with anger, resentment or judgment. Seven years is a lot of time to learn how your partner works. He's gotten very good at letting me get to where I'm going in my own time. God, I love that man!)

I once read a great quote: Be the change you want to see in the world. I've always thought the world was messed up. There is next to no community anymore. Heinous behaviour is to be ignored (not my place to do anything) or glorified (pick any hacker flick). My world is messed up, too. My world originates from within my own person. If I want to change the world, I have to start right here, with me. I know this, of course. I've learned it over and over, consciously since I was twenty-four years old.

A couple of years ago, I decided that the word 'should' wasn't going to be a part of my vocabulary. It was just a long four letter word. I replaced it with 'could.'
"I could be doing the dishes.
"I could be catching up on school reporting.
"I could have a shower, because it's been a week and I'm a slime-ball."

It was liberating. It made my active times feel good because I was choosing to be active. It made my lazy, avoidance times feel good because it was my choice.

Last year, when I went back to work, I lost the choice. I mean, I knew I could choose not to work, but that would leave my family homeless and starving. Had I made that choice, Wolf would have gone back to work and might not be here, today. I had a choice, I just didn't like the possible outcomes of taking the 'easy way out.'

Somehow, I've gotten mired again (*sigh*) in choosing not to engage in my life. I still believe that I needed to take 'should' out of my lexicon. It was imperative that I take responsibility for my own actions/inaction. I do think I kind of twisted the whole thing to suit my needs at the time, and now it's time to straighten out the kinks.

This is step one in my journey to recovery.


Friday, June 5, 2009

Le sigh...

I haven't written in a long time and I do so want to write. This is absolutely not the time to be doing so as I have to work in less than an hour but my brain is melting and my heart hurts so much. My world has opened up in front of me and there are so many possible avenues. I can see it clearly and it's just beyond my reach.

I have always been a jack of all trades and master of none. I like it that way. I get bored do easily and want to move on to the next thing to keep my brain from atrophying. This is generally not the best way to keep food on the table and a roof over our heads.

My heart lives in creativity. My soul needs to create.

With the departure of my favourite co-worker - the one who kept me looking forward to each week of work - I have new responsibilities. Creating purchase orders. Just one more thing outside of my comfort zone, in a department with too low an employee to customer ratio. One more thing there isn't enough time to get done. One more reason to feel like my job is killing me.

I spent my weekend, again, in the Big-City. My days off have become days of driving. With hubby medically unable to drive and working down island (oh yeah, he's working again... for the past couple of weeks) I have become chauffeur extraordinaire. I use my down time in drawing and thinking. This weekend, though, I was an interior designer... and I liked it. Picking colours and tiles and counter-tops and, and, and... It was fun. I was bouncy and bubbly.

And now I have to go back in to ten dollars an hour and ungrateful customers... and no favourite co-worker.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

On news, theme songs and living two lives…

Well hello there.

I never wanted this to become another defunct blog. Just thought I’d put that out there. I keep telling myself that I’ll write regularly when things settle down. The problem with that thought process is that things never really settle down. It’s all just various levels of busy.

Our latest busy-ness is in the form of another long term house guest. He arrived a week ago, yesterday, and so far it’s been relatively good. We have the consistent challenges - you know, the ones which present regardless of the visitor. Things like privacy, changes in routine, toilet seat tension and extra expenses. With this particular guest there are a few more things to think about.

This guest is a long standing friend of Wolf’s. This guest, who always had turbulent mood swings, has very recently been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. This guest has spent a couple of weeks, twice, (from February to March of this year) in the hospital for suicide attempts. This guest flew out to the island about two weeks after his latest attempt.



I find myself stuck. There is no more to say about it besides my own stress about the whole thing. He is medicated. He is not yet level. Oh, and in August, his girlfriend will arrive, too. They met in the hospital.

On a lighter and more intriguing note, the members of my little family each have their own theme songs. Since she was about three years old, Kitten’s been singing The Imperial March while she plays. Wolf, who has recently rented all of the movies, fills our ears with the theme to Superman. Mine? Like, since I was a kid? Embarrassingly enough, my background music is the Mexican Hat Dance. Ole!

There. Now you know.

My work week. My weekend. I’ve often felt like I was two people. Nothing to be concerned about, mind you, just the me-that’s-at-my-best and the me-that's-falling-apart. Now, I have Work me. The cool thing is that work me tends to supersede falling apart me, more or less. I mean, I have I’m-really-sick-of-this-shit-but-will-keep-gritting-my-teeth-and-smiling Work me, but the point is the smile remains. Mostly.

Weekdays are for work. That’s all I have room for. Work and a little bit of family because my hours are so crappy. Weekends are for art, but art takes so much time. It takes time for me to settle into the zone, to see what my next step should be. I can still work when I’m low. I struggle with art, even the idea of art, when I’m low. I hate that I have to allot so much time to my work life when I find it almost completely unsatisfying and my paycheque sucks. I hate that I exchange eighty hours for $630. I hate that, without Wolf’s income (which is up in August), we would have about $136 left over after paying rent. Per month.

And I’m not overly keen on having become ‘just like everyone else.’

I’ve had a tough week. I’m ready for my big break. Hey Universe, are you listening?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Things are happening. Things are happening faster than I thought they would. Since my last post, these things have happened - in list form!

~set up a website
~completed my next portrait
~completed the Bio and Contact pages on my website
~found an awesome place to get prints made
~have my first 'real' customer who wants a portrait done!!!

I'm excited and desperately wishing I could quit my job right now to do this full time... which would be jumping the gun, I think. I'm posting a link to my website in my sidebar. Ooh, of course you'll get to know me by my given name, rather than the one I chose. For the record, I prefer the one I chose.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Shout out.

A month later, she stops by to say, "I'm alive. Wolf's alive and well (perspective). Life goes on."

I don't have time to fill this out to any detail, at all, but I figured I owed you a 'Hello,' if nothing else.

Much had happened and continues to happen and later (today?) I will begin to fill it out. Right now I have to go apply for a business licence and meet another down-and-out, post head-injury pal for coffee.

Until next time, be well good Internets.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The situation...

This evening, at around 7:45, Wolf started seizing.
"Should I call an ambulance?"
I called 911 about ten minutes later. (There was a ten minute delay because if he doesn't respond with something other than 'No,' he'll fight anyone who tries to help him. He's a big boy. By 8:00, the ambulance had arrived. The arrival of three fire and rescue trucks, two squad cars and a half hour later, they finally earned his co-operation in getting onto the cot. They even managed to get him strapped in before he got antsy again.

Then, I lost it a little. Then I got it together and went into the spare room where Kitten was watching TV.

Now, I've managed to get some food into me and I've called his friend.

I can't seem to bring myself to call any of my supports, though. I'm feeling like I'm in limbo. I feel the fear begin to rise... then it just stops. It totally dissipates.

Is this what shock is? If not, what is it? It's very clear and calm. Which is odd. I don't know.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

It's all big stuff...

I've had a lot to think about, lately. The best way for me to break it down would be chronologically, I think.

First, as you may have been able to glean from my last post, I went out and got a touch blotto... for the first time in over a year. It took all of 4 drinks.

I had been invited to attend 'Girls' night out' by a couple of my co-workers and though I didn't want to go, I had already blown off several invites and thought it prudent to make an appearance, if nothing more. So, it was just us, the ladies. For the first time in over a year I was out, on my weekend, without Wolf. I had already decided I wasn't going to drink but my friend handed me her vodka/lime to sip and my thirst was on.
  • Back-story: I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome. For the last year and a half of my drinking years I would get the nastiest gut pains starting about a half hour from ingesting the first sip of whatever I was imbibing. I took this as a sign that it was time for me to back off a little. It took the 1.5 years to confirm my suspicions... and to let go of my favourite vice.
I think the first thing I noticed was that my gut didn't hurt. That was definitely a pleasant surprise which, obviously, precipitated another drink. By the end of the night, I still had no pain. I did, however, have the dawning of an ugly realization. I am a self-righteous bitch. But only when I'm not looking.

Wolf has always been a drinker. He never had a problem with it. As long as I was binging, I didn't mind either. But there came a time when alcohol became an issue for me and at the point that I could no longer deny that, it began hurting me. Well, with me no longer drinking I was better able to judge his drinking. How very convenient. This very judgement was fed and nurtured within me until last Monday. Eww.

Being who I am, I analyzed this to it's smallest detail and, once home, told Wolf all about it. I apologized for my self indulgent behaviour to which I was treated to the most relieved, sweet smile from my love. It really was amazing. The whole thing was amazing. I mean, I don't have the urge to spend my weekends plastered, thank God, and my feelings have changed regarding Wolf's occasional night with the boys. I know there will likely still be work to do to prevent me from slipping back into my old habit, but I'm up for that.

Next, Wolf had his neurologist appointment. The good doctor confirmed epilepsy, probably caused by Wolf's massive head injury. The back of his skull, travelling just below 60 km/h (about 37 m/h), met a curb. The doctor said that within two weeks Wolf would be called in for a cerebral angiogram. Hopefully the test will reveal the scar tissue on his brain and that the removal of said tissue is possible. They will also look at his aneurysm to see about taking care of that, too. Cleansing breath...

The 'third' thing that I'm working on is a new life. I have always been an 'artist.' I've know what I can do with a pencil, given the time and patience, and that I would love to make it a living. I know that my potential has not really showed in the bits and pieces of art that I have put on display. For the past week or so, I've been working on a portrait of one of my co-workers. Did I say that already? Well, If so, sorry about the repetition. My point is, I've shown the incomplete drawing to several people and each of them has asked what I will charge for my service. I've never had a clue. How does one put a price on something like this? What if the price is too much, or too little. How would I correct that, after the fact, for others without being totally unfair?!

Well, I was told, based on the info I had to date (it's taken me about 6-8 hours so far, I'm about half done...) that a picture this size, with this amount of detail, I could/should be charging about $450. It throws me and I think, "Really?" I'm timid about the whole thing, looking at the possibilities and daring to wonder - no, to dream that it might be possible. Wow. Really?

I guess I'm daring to dream... Now, I just need to finish the thing and get it 'out there.'

And, finally, my most recent lesson came today. I have linked my despair directly and irrefutably to anxiety. I awoke with a headache and immediately thought about this being the last day of my weekend. My mind took me to work tomorrow morning, and I was standing behind my till. I shook it off pretty quickly but my chest was a bit tight and I was instantly antsy. I managed to 'forget' the whole thing is pretty short order but I did become quiet. Wolf kept asking me what was wrong, and nothing was wrong. I was just quiet. And not hungry. And withdrawn.

Kitten was trying to tell us about her dream and one of Wolf's favourite things to do is pester the hell out of people. Every few words that Kitten would get out, Wolf would ask a question or link her words to a quote... whatever. Well, I was trying to re-engage with my family when Kitten said, "and there were these mountains and a river was winding between them..." when I smiled at her and said, "A river runs through it, which is the name of a movie." Well, my timing was off because I guess that was her breaking point. She just looked at me, eyes widened like I was the biggest betrayer, ever. Then her lips pinched shut and she turned to her breakfast without a word. I said I was sorry, and Wolf poked a little more. Well, I was done. I screwed up (which, when I'm at my best is a hard pill to swallow. At my worst, I shouldn't be permitted the care of a goldfish, let alone a child!) and had to leave the room.

As we all know, kids are far more resilient that we often give them credit for. Within minutes, she was knocking on my door, asking if she could finish the telling of her dream. I said yes and all was well. Except me. I crashed. Hard.

I realized that I wasn't trying to engage with my family for my sake. I know that when the ocean is turbulent, I need to just ride the wave. The less I fight, the quicker I reach solid ground. I know my limitations when I'm in that place. I know damned well that to deny my feeling is dangerous. And now I know that to deny my feelings, even when I think I'm helping others, is to hurt them as well as myself.

Biggies, all. Whoo-ee. And, as usual, the universe throws stuff at me when it's most pertinent. This morning, just before the emotional shit hit the fan, I saw this picture:

strong enough

Thank you...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Perfectionist in the Kitchen.

I used to be a slob. If I didn't see it, I didn't have to clean it. Out of sight, out of mind. 'I need to eat? I'll wash a pot and a plate... or maybe I'll just eat out of the pot. Yeah, that's easier.'

I used to be professionally unemployed. 'Too much stress. I don't fit in the world. I'm too depressed. I don't function the same way as others."

I used to cook as little as possible. Everything I made tasted exactly the same as the only seasonings I'd use were garlic powder, onion powder, soy sauce and, maybe, salt. I had no love for food. As long as it was edible, it was fine. It would keep me from starving. I mean, is that not the purpose of food, really?

I have a new-found love for clean, clutter free spaces. Working in somewhat cramped quarters with up to two other people in the same tiny area has shown me, first hand, how important it is to put everything in its place.

Speaking of work, I am and have been for almost five months. I've only held two jobs for longer than this one. One was with a family member and the other will not be spoken of, here. Five days a week I wake up and get ready. Five days a week I go in to the store where I bide my time until the end of my shift. I arrive on time, to a place that goes against many of my ideals, and spend eight hours with some of the funniest people I have ever met in a place where I almost fit. Often I have to battle my way through the days. I battle tears and despair -- this is not the life I wanted. Sometimes, though, I look forward to my day and it flies by.

I still have no love of food. Don't get me wrong, I truly appreciate a tasty meal and I finally know a little something about what that means. Wolf is a genius in the kitchen. I have learned, over the past almost seven years what good food tastes like and I would love, on one hand, to be able to produce such meals. I just tend to get a little stressed and flustered. Then, the F*ck-Up rears her ugly head and it's all a wash. The F*ck-Up, for the record, is my sixteen year old self who is a complete basket case who "can't do anything!!"

So, make me clean and I'll take a toothbrush to corners and a razor blade to crusted on grossness. I'll scrub toilets and bathtubs and make everything shiny and spotless. Sent me out to work and I'll bring in a much needed and appreciated paycheque. I'll go against my nature and do my best to work through my shit. I'll go above and beyond anything I have accomplished so far in my life, but please, please don't make me cook!!!

spinning, and oh so happy.

Today marks the first time I've had more than a few sips of alcohol since November '07.

I forgot how awesome this can be (until tomorrow). I forgot how much fun it is to be an asshat, know I'm being an asshat, and loving it all, oh so much!

Ahh. Cleansing sigh.

Now, I can continue in peace... to sleep... as long as the room doesn't spin.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

If this is a new beginning, why does it all feel the same?


This photo you may remember from my last post or the link therein. It was taken December 21st. We were trying to deal with an uncommonly large snowfall. Please understand that snow in this amount is highly unusual in these parts, at least from the perspective of we younger folk. Apparently, thirty years ago it got damned cold and snowy every winter.

Last year we were shocked when snow fell in November! "We never get snow this early," and a week later there was no proof of any snowfall at all.


This picture was taken today at 4:14 pm.

What gives? I mean, it has been fun, sure, but I have to say my work-day has gotten almost unbearably long. We saw lass than 300 transactions today. I'm sure there were at least a hundred more people through the doors but those were looking in vain for shovels and salt. We can't get those items in fast enough.

To be fair, we did get a slight reprieve. And by reprieve I mean that it thawed and froze and thawed and froze but nary a flake did fall for a few days. Until today. It was cold this morning, then misty and a touch rainy by 2:15 pm. Two-thirty saw tiny flakes in the air, tiny flakes which became palm sized clusters in the time it took me to clock in for the second half of my shift.

I will post a proper time line when I'm not falling asleep. I am so going to bed right now.