Lessons Learned

This was a week of lessons for both myself and T. I think too that it has been a hard week for him as the amount of time the Ex has spent with him has been minimal. I cannot even work up anger. I am resigned. I am sad for T. I cannot make him change. I cannot make him see the young man who is growing up right in front of our eyes. T is playing Farming Simulator as I sit here typing this.

I was excited because I am able to listen to my music on my notebook while writing and also watch T play Farming Simulator. I believe I have explained before? Long story short you build up a farm. People create maps and you go farm. Drive around. It is a popular game judging by the amount of Youtube videos I have been subjected to. At the moment I am sitting here with our shared headphones on (the ones that cover the whole ear not inserted buds that would be gross) listening to Florida Georgia Line. Basically I load the entire album and start at the beginning. Today may be the first time in a long time that I get through the very long list.

We had two rather comedic episodes that left me gasping for air I was laughing so hard.

Yesterday morning I was about to wash the bathroom floor and asked T if he wanted to go use the bathroom before I did. He said yes. As he is climbing down his ladder I stand there  and tell him he is not to pee on the floor, the seat, the side, nowhere but into the toilet as I had just finished cleaning it. As a matter of fact, I suggested that he straddle the toilet and push it down to pee straight in. With hand pantomimes. T stared at me in absolute horror and as I turned away informed me that that was the absolute worst advice ever. And if I had one I would totally understand why. I giggled again typing this up.

Later in the day as I was driving him to the Ex’s for his night with him T was muttering away about what an absolute boring evening it was going to be. That none of his friends could come over. It was going to be dad, grandpa and grandma. I

I am trying something new. We are all programmed to notice the negative, the absurd, in other people’s pain. We mock others to make ourselves feel better about our own selves. When T and me had our long conversation the other week I told him that we needed to change. That we needed to look for the positive no matter how hard it is going to be. And it is going to be hard. I mock others. I make fun of them to others. I am no saint as I told K and P. It is a habit, a trait, who knows but it needs to be changed. Now the other day when I dropped T off at school I mocked the bright color of one of his classmate’s snowsuit. I tried to recover by saying at the very least we would not lose him in a snowstorm. Told him that he was not to make fun of the boy to which he emphatically told me he would never. I told him I was sorry. That I should never have made a comment and about a child’s snowsuit nonetheless.

So back to T and me, driving to the Ex’s. Grandma and grandpa are visiting. T is going to be bored. I suggest that he could hang out with grandma. And glanced over to see him looking at me like this. Yes I pulled over and took this picture. Mom, he leans forward his arm on the back of the seat, that male posture when they want to tell you something really important in the car, Grandma is old. And she is annoying. The laughter escaped me and I tried to stifle it. I looked at T and explained to him that grandma really loved him. That she wanted to spend time with him. As he is muttering away, frowny face on, arms crossed. That was when I learned something new about T.

I suggested (I am great for suggesting things) that he might want to spend some time with grandma because she would not be around forever. And he said no that was not true. Um yes, unfortunately we all die someday. Nope, we get another life. I looked over at T and said you think after we die we get a different life. Yep. So you believe in reincarnation. Yeah like having past lives and all that. We get to be together in the next life too. There are times when T reminds me how so very special he is. He also believes that had he been born a girl, the Ex and me would have still been his/her parents. The life would have been the same just pink. He expanded my mind right there.

Today he was annoyed that I had picked him up from his friend’s so early. Had thought that he was going to be staying there until 5 p.m. He was angry with me and refusing to talk. So I thanked him. I could have argued until I was blue in the face with him about his attitude but again I am trying different things to find what works for us. I want to stop that cycle I have seen myself falling into. But no, I thanked him. And waited. Finally he asked for what.

I told that I had taken his suggestion and had started writing a story the night before. Wanted to know what it was about so I gave him a quick a synopsis. Explained that what had started off as a short story about one thing had morphed into something else totally different. My main character had a story to tell we were just figuring it out. I thanked him again and he said you are welcome. I felt it was a small victory and we chatted and laughed all the way home.

Once home with chores taken care of I went to grab the headphones and T was loading his game. Asked where the headphones were. As if I didn’t know, he had taken them into his room one day watching Youtube and left them in there. He fought with me. Told me I had taken them and put them somewhere and it was not his fault that I could not remember. I took the remote for the XBox and sat down on the couch explaining that he could have the remote back once he checked his room.

He argued with me and I kept my cool. I did not yell. I did not let my temper get the best of me. I spoke calmly and repeated that he would get the remote once he had gone to look for the headphones. Finally I said that if he was sure they were not there could he please just humor me and go take a look. Stood in the door and said looked. Uh-uh get up there and look.

I heard him climb up into his bed and silence. After a few moments I got up and double checked the table and counter just in case I was being a hardass for something I had in fact done. I stood watching him from the doorway as he climbed down and threw the headphones at me. I think he thought I was going to crow and say I told you so. Or some form of that. Instead I said thank you I really appreciate that you looked for them. Warned him I might sing and was that okay? I was informed that it was most definitely not cool to sing out loud. I made no promises. He giggled.

I need to be his example. I cannot expect him to act one way and for me to act another. I will slip. I am sure that I will make a mocking comment about someone, and snort giggle when reading memes on FB again I am no saint. But I will actively work to do this. For both of us. And in a world full of negatives looking for the positive is hard. And that is when I learned my second lesson.

What I do now is easy. I am in my home. Being a good example is not hard when I am not interacting with others for extended time periods. I will be going back to work. I will be around toxic people who are going to attempt to shame me. Those who are going to judge me. Not celebrating with me as I recover from this bout of depression. That I am emerging a better stronger woman. And it is going to be hard to not to give in. To not laugh at that little aside about a coworker. A dis about an employee. An irate customer. Being tired. I could come up with a thousand reasons why I slipped back and forget what I was doing this for in the first place.

Yes in part this is a step in my mental health and realizing that I was following a cycle that my father got from his mother. I was yelling at T and several times during the week I cut myself off from phrases he said. I need to break it here and now. But this is for Tember. Our children are our future, and I want to encourage T to see the good first before having to process the bad.

 

She’s a little pushy

This is going to be a wee bit of a brag.

T has informed me that the time has come for me to move beyond my poetry to short stories. He would like to see me stories like his. The Adventures of Pickle. Kids book he has created.

I have been mulling over an idea or what I thought the idea was going to be. Last night I grabbed my notebook and opened up a new page in Evernote Notebook Fiction. I wrote for an hour. At times my fingers flew across the keyboard as my character began to take shape. Imagine my surprise when my main character morphed from male to female and the male lead is becoming a secondary character.

I wrote 1249 words last night.

I could have continued writing but than I would only be going to bed now. I have not written a short story since the early 2000’s. I am so excited and even now she is hovering at the edge of my conscious poking me as though saying ‘Hey Jay what are you doing? I am here, c’mon let’s get going I have so much to tell you.”

 

A Girl’s Best Friends

**Picture via Pintrest**
I am me again! Both today and yesterday I was awake at what I consider to my regular time: between 5-5:30 a.m. Wednesday a.m. I woke up at 5:15, felt great, no grogginess, no feeling like I had been drinking without the alcohol. Today, it was 5:18. Again, feeling great and without grogginess. As well no nap yesterday. The only thing that was missing yesterday was the desire to write. I managed to read through the blogs I follow although my interaction remained as pushing the like button.  Oooooooo, oooooooooo and major excitement I am able to read again.  I have started a brand new author that I have never read before Sebstian de Castell’s Greatcoat series. I burned through book one, it is very well written and am into book 2 now. I highly recommend him.
Today is March 1st. Another new month. Another turn around the track of life.
T and me are learning to conversate (is that a word) although we are going to speak less in the morning until Mr. Grumpypants leaves and T returns. He is not all that keen on this idea but it is my answer to being snarked at every time I ask a question before 8 a.m. Also am not sure if he is getting ready to go through another growth spurt or if this is just the beginning of the teenage sleeping pattern but he is sleeping a lot. And it is getting to where he is asking for extra sleep time. Ah the joys.
Since Dec. 23/17 when I crashed, it is really the only thing that I can think to call it, I have been working very hard on something that my mom has harped at me about for so long. She always tells me that my girlfriends are going to be my support system. That it was a relationship like any other and you have to work at them. It is easy if you work with most of them, or have them babysit for you, for than there is a consistent pattern to seeing one another. I am very lucky that I have women in my life who worry and love me. Yes that is right they love me and I love them.
In the beginning there were quite a few people that I had to message or speak with on a daily basis. This way they were assured that I was okay. Slowly as time passed, some fell away, their lives to be lived. However I have discovered a core group of friends who I now know I can call upon whenever I need them. Well maybe not at 2:43:58 a.m. but any other time they are available to me. And I interact with them every day. First thing in the morning, as my coffee is brewing, I find good morning gifs to send to them. Yesterday I cheated and sent them all the same one because I found it hilarious. And I had to share.
Aside from the good morning messages every morning, V and me, we work hard to get together at least every other week for coffee on her day off. I have called Auntie K several times and we have gone out. Wandered the stores around town, laughing and having an absolute blast. Dreaming. My friend P, a brand new one for you to have to remember, reached out even before my crash. She would read my blog and than send me a message to remind me that she was here for me. She sent her husband to the store one day with coffee for me. And we have talked a lot. I really hope that she knows how much I appreciate her. M and me, after a brief hiatus where I withdrew from our friendship, because she was leaving me, are now back on track. Now, we talk daily. The boys are having sleepovers every weekend that T is here on his week with me. And K, bff to the stars and nice enough to allow me in her orbit. (I jest it is she who is lucky ha ha ha ha)
Mom was right. Your friends are more important than anything else in your life. Marriages last or don’t. Children grow and leave the nest. Homes are moved. Jobs changed or retired from. But the friends that support you and are there for you, will never change. It is hard work, even harder to maintain than a marriage. You have to juggle work, kids, life to be able to find the time to spend together or to talk to one another. With the technology that we have today, it is a lot easier to stay in touch daily with texts and Messanger and KIK and the list goes on. But you have to work on it.
I have an exceptional support group and I do not know what I would do without any of them in my life.
We will be the little old ladies riding roller coasters and racing our scooters down Main Street at 6 p.m. on a Saturday evening. We will be those little old ladies.

Pillow Head

Mirtazapine. Also known commenly as Remron. Used in conjunction with another anti-depressant to help to alleviate symptoms of major depression At least that was how it was explained to me. One takes it at bedtime as it is suppose to help you to sleep.
I have experience with Remron from 2003. The year after my first diagnosis.
During this time, the pills knocked me right out. I would take them and in 15 minutes be asleep and drooling. The Ex told me that attempting to wake me up was futile, I was comatose. I remember taking them for awhile but quitting. The dosage at that time was 45 mg.
I explained to the Psychaitrist and my counselor that I had previously been on the Remron and described my experience. Both felt that it was the dosage and the fact that I was also self-medicating as well way back when. They felt that it was safe enough because I was going to be on the smallest dosage of 7.5 mg.  Given how it had previously affected me, I wanted to experiment with the meds when T was not here. I was not comfortable thinking that something could happen and I would not awaken.
Saturday night I took it around 11ish. By 11:30 I was feeling groggy and having difficulty keeping my eyes open. Not so bad, it didn’t just swoop in and swamp me. I slept straight through the night. I woke up at 7 a.m. on Sunday and felt as though I had been drinking the night before. My head was full of stuffing, my mouth was dry, my teeth scuzzy. I stumbled into the living room, blinking my eyes, doing face contortions to try and awaken myself.
I thought that it was because it was the first day that I was feeling this way. I decided I would try one more time Sunday evening and after that I would call my counselor and tell him this was a no go.
Sunday afternoon I was feeling tired and out of sorts. Which is unusual for me. I went and laid down in my room and fell asleep. Was out for about an hour. When I woke up I felt like I had slept hours. My head was aching and again my mouth felt dry. Even Sunday evening I felt really off. I still took the pill willing to give it one more chance.
I again slept straight through awakening to the alarm at 6 a.m. Again, feeling as though I had been drinking the night before. Decided right than and there that I was not going to be taking this medication any more. I spent my day much as I did on Sunday, lethargic and I realized that my mood was not where it had been for the last 6 days. I was feeling down.
I could attest that to the fact that I was feeling out of sorts. That because I did not have my normal energy I was stressing a little. Not a lot, not panic like but stressing a bit. But I do not think so. And I did not want to write. My desire to read the blogs I follow was nonexistant. Again not like me at all. And I had been able to read but my interest again had waned.
I also had an hour and a half nap yesterday. Did not feel right. Called my counselor and left a message indicating that I would not be taking the Remron any longer. Which means that they might want to switch my Wellbutrin altogether. I am really leery about that because it does work for me. The fact that I am now having to take the highest dosage does indicate that I may be building up a tolerance to it.
This morning I woke up at 5:05 a.m. Actually Thomas woke me up tapping a claw into me to awaken the misterss so that she could feed me! Got up staggered to the bathroom and crawled back into bed. Did not fall back to sleep but did doze until the alarm went of at 6 a.m. I was not feeling as groggy as the previous two mornings but still did not have the same level of energy that I have been having. Also I was a little snappish with T. Annoyed because he would not even give the new cereal a chance.
I fell asleep after eating breakfast this morning.  I had done my workout when I got back from dropping T at school. But another wave of sleepiness rolled over me and I napped. Another hour and a half gone. And when I woke up my head felt stuffed with fluff again. I know that it is going to take a couple of days for the pills to be completely out of my system and I am drinking a lot of water.
What scares me is the drain on my energy and the fact my mood has gone down. How I have slipped back a little bit. I know that it is not going to last forever. I am still able to do the small things and am pushing through this bleak moment. And that is what it is, a bleak moment. I have tried the Remron again and it does not work. Groggy Jay is on the way out, and Energetic Feeling Good Jay will return. I just need to be patient.

I did it!

Yesterday was a huge success day for me.  I can acknowledge how far I have come now. And it is huge. I am doing the happy dance while sitting on the couch as I type this I am so excited.
I am a planner. Time and structure has a lot to do with it because I can than make sure that I am in control. Nothing can blindside me. T is much like me in this regard as was evidenced when he got mad at me because, wait for it, I did not wake him up at 6 a.m. on Saturday morning. Much pouting and anger were shown. Refusal to shower because he had to shower at 6. Within about 15 minutes, I was pretty tired of the #6 and a.m. Finally I looked at him and said: T, I understand that you are angry with me because I did not wake you up at 6. You are disappointed in me. I accept that but nothing is going to change the fact that I did not wake you up so please let us just move on from this.’
He was not happy with me at all. Whether he thought that if I fought with him I would yell and he could feel justified in his anger, or I really don’t know, but he glared at me his mouth pursed. I finally heard from M that they were up and told T that he needed to get ready. This was his sleepover day with his bff K. I think both boys live for these saturdays more than anything else. He stomped around here and snapped that he had no pants to put on. No socks. I went to the laundry basket and in seconds found what he was looking for. Than he tried to tell me that the socks I had brought him were mine.
I went out to the car and started it. I had not used it since Friday morning and it was -15 with a real feel of -26. Celsius. Came back into the house as T came out of the bathroom. A transformation had been performed. His hair was brushed. His teeth were brushed. He looked neat and tidy. He smelled good without it being overbearing. (He is 9 with an obsession for Axe) He looked at me and smiled sweetly. I awaited the angry boy to return but within seconds it was apparent that he had switched into sweet cherub mode.
We left the house at 9:26. Went to Mcdonald’s where T commented on the service. He is very bothered by what he views as a lack of service at the one Mcdonald’s we have in a city of over 15,000. I realized that the Hold button was flashing on the panel. This was not good. I told T that it was on and that we might have to make alternate arrangements. We were chatting away and I was okay when doing up to 80km/hour when I realized that the car was not shifting. We made it to Mitchell and pulled into the gas station parking lot.
I shot a text off to the Ex and than got out of the car to check fluids. I figured that I should make sure that the oil and transmission fluid were both alright and they were. I called M in a slight panic and told her what was going on. Wondered if she could come and pick T up and than I would drive out Sunday a.m. to pick him up. Except that the Ex had text back. He was up. And we could take the car to his place and he would scan it for me. I sent a quick text off to M saying to hold off I might still be able to drive T out.
Off we went to the Ex’s. T and me talking and listening as the engine is reving at 4000 rpm’s and I am cringing. I dropped back down to 80 in a 100 zone and tootled along. Got to the Ex’s and waited while he scanned the car. And it wasn’t working. I got into the backseat and text M to give her and update. T told Ex that he had not been to school all week. That he had been sick. And I projected my fear that the Ex was going to call my mothering skills into account, that I immediately listed off all of T’s symptoms. The Ex didn’t even say a word, and I realized it was me. I am T’s mother and I would know if he was scamming me. I can make these decisions without having to feel that it is wrong.
The Ex finally realized that he had the wrong ‘key’ for the scanner and retrieved the right one. Up came the code for Coolant Temperature Sensor. And when he cleared the code, the car shifted down and it was hoped that I could now drive without concern. I do need to call around and find the sensor and pricing but we were good to go. By now it is 10:30, the time that I had hoped that I was going to be dropping T off. Shot M a text and said we were off. And we were and the car shifted into overdrive. Wohoo, I told T (I Had already profusely thanked the Ex) to send his dad a text and tell him that he is the most awesome and again thank you. T says I already did before we left mom.
I was a little nervous at first but as the car continued to behave, I became a more and more confident. We were cruising along. I made the cloverleaf onto the perimeter coolly and calmly. Taking the cloverleaf off onto the #1 to head into M’s, it suddenly dawned on me. I had done it. Today I had been thrown a loop and I came through it without breaking down. I did it.
First my time line had been thrown off. I had it in my head that we would leave at 9:30, there by 10:30 back by 11:30. Finish cleaning the apartment by 12:30 and rest of time was my own to do what I wanted. Now I was an hour behind. I had gotten a little snappy when I again projected that T was going to blame me for the car failure. So I apologized to him. T looked at me incredulously and said mom you did not do this.’
Than I had called M to ask her come and get T rather than texting and fretting waiting for her to get back to me. Texting the Ex I had not expected that he would get back to me until later in the day. That he did and was willing to scan the car for me was an added bonus. The car acting up in the first place. Reading that one should not be shifting gears as it could damage the engine and hoping that mine was not about to blow up. That it is something easy to fix.
Before I would have been in a tailspin. My entire day would have been skewed because of all these things. Yesterday though, yes, there was a brief moment of accelerated heart rate, I was a little sweaty. I did not cry. I did not rage. I did not blame things on the unseen or think that the world was out to get me. I handled it. I had a plan and I followed through. And I cheered for myself.
I told T as we sat at the light and he said you know what mom, you are right. You did a great job.
And there we have it.
I did a great job. I took a huge step. I can see a difference and I am loving it.

My Best

Picture via Facebook. Created by @treeowl

I am at my best. Every time I push myself to write. Every time I have an idea. I no longer strive for perfection. I am happy how I am. I will grow and evolve but always as I do I will be doing my best.
“I am a woman with dreams that I am finally ready to persue. I am beginning to think that this is my evolution and I am awakening from hibernation.”
I wrote both of those statements yesterday in regards to myself. I was having a conversation with a friend at the time. And after I made both of these, I had a profound sense of relief. That another piece of the puzzle has slide into place.
Recently when asked to do something, my response has been ‘I will do my best.’ Prior to this, I would take on more and more work or tasks pushing myself beyond the limits that I impose on others so as to not overwork and burn them out. But not Jay. Jay is Superwoman and she can go for years on empty with a false smile on her face. (Yes I realize that I wrote about myself in the 3rd person but I have found another topic for myself to ponder) I do have limits though. I may crash through all the barriers before I come to the firey crash but it will end. And away I go down a road of disrepute.
Back to my best. My best is going to have to be good enough. For those who are use to me going above and beyond, well they are going to have to get use to this me. The me who is not going to keep her fingers on all the pulses. The me who is going to live life and work her job. Not work her life and live her job. The me who is right here, happy and well along the way to healthy. Both physically and mentally.
When the statement ‘I cannot wait to see you at your best’ was made to me, I did not even hesitate to think before shooting back the above response. What do you mean see me at my best? I am at my best. I give my all and if that falls short for you, well my friend I guess you are missing out on this me and you are looking for a me that does not exist. Now I know that he did not mean anything rude by his statement and I did not take it as such.
Yet again it made me think about how I have been in the past. Previously if this comment was made to me, I would have gone into a tailspin. To me that would have meant that I was failing at something and I needed to shore up the defences. I would panic and force myself to work hard, push more. For what? To fall apart when I cannot meet that ideal I have created for myself. No one else did this, this is a reaction that I have built into me. Oh wait, yes someone did help to create this mess but I am already leaving it behind me.
As for my dreams. What do I dream of? I dream of writing every single day. And I do. I dream that I will win the lottery. Haven’t yet but I keep on buying and dreaming. I dream of what T and me are going to do this summer. I dream of romantic dinners and walks under the moon. Ha, that one is a dream dream. I dream.
These are not the dreams I allowed myself before. Before it was all about ensuring that I had my head on straight. Took care of the bills the rent the loan putting food on the table. I was the responsible one at all times. This is not to say that I am going to ditch my responsibilities and run off to live on a beach somewhere (however we will add that to the romance and winning lottery dream) but I am reprioritizing. My dreams are very important. Never again am I going to stifle, deny myself the dreams that I have.
I am shaking the dust off my wings and I am going to soar higher than I have ever been. 🙂

Evolution

I am a dweller. When I have been through a situation, I will look at it from every angle to see where I could have done better. And will still be looking at that same situation three weeks later. I go over and over it in my head. It is the same with conversations that I know are forthcoming.
One of the steps in my counselling is learning to be present. Be in the moment. Once a situation is done it is done. No amount of dwelling on it is going to make a difference. As for the future, I am unable to predict that let alone know what is going to be said and how I will respond. So I need to learn not to dwell. Something I have done my entire life.
Yesterday as I was getting ready for my appointments, I began to think ahead to when I return to work. What that is going to be like. How will…….and I stopped. I shoved my face into the water, felt it cascade over my skin. Felt my wet hair clinging to my shoulders. My hands on my face. And the inside voice began: ‘Jay you are stopping this. You do not know what is going to be said. This does you no good to think about it.’ and like that, it vanished. The thoughts lol, not the voice.
In the evening when my Ex dropped off bread and milk for us, he was pretty curt to me. Thrust the two items at me and left even as I was saying thank you. I put the milk and bread away and asked T what was wrong with his dad. I know I should not have. T had no idea. And he had been off on Sunday too. I began to dwell. Trying to imagine what I had done or said that had upset him.
After a little while of this I realized what I was doing and shot off a long message to K1 (BFF in the United States). I explained to her what was going on. And as I did, the need to justify or figure out what his deal was, was not mine to make. I am no longer responsible for him. I no longer need to be concerned when his nose is out of joint. I only need to be concerned about what  T and me are doing. And as I did, it vanished.
This morning while working out, I began to think ahead again. To what I do not know. I had the same conversation with myself. I am responsible for myself and my actions. I do not know what someone will say to me or do in any situation I may find myself in so why do I bother dwelling on it? That doing so is not good. And as I had this conversation I could feel the beads of sweat that threaded along my temple. My hair glued to my back. The wet spot on my tank top. And I came back to now.
There are some exceptions to the thinking ahead and that is when you are planning something. A holiday to Mexico. Your wedding. The birth of your child. Submitting your work to a magazine.  To look ahead and imagine what that future looks like is normal. And exciting. That is not dwelling.
I really am proud of myself. I use that word a lot don’t I? The truth is though, that I never have really been proud of myself. I lacked the confidence and really felt as though I was not deserving of my own pride. I use to think I took pride in doing a great job at work, but that is who I am. It is an ethic that is ingrained in me. I learned it from my mom.  I take pride in T and all that he has accomplished but did not feel proud that I have been instrumental in this development.
Now though, as the days and weeks go by and I am learning about myself, I am beginning to feel proud. Proud that I believe in myself and that I am worthy of everything I want. Within reason obviously, wanting a castle, a pet dragon and a King to sweep me off my feel although well deserved is not going to happen. 🙂 Proud that I have not self-medicated in almost 60 days. 2 more days.
I am learning that I am stronger than I ever thought that I was. That I can look at myself see what is needed to change and go for it. Yesterday, I was telling my counsellor how after trying to teach T ’80’s’ math I started to flip through the pages. The first 15 or so pages were about addiction. A poem that I was trying to write. In 2015. Even then I knew but I was not at the bottom yet. Had not reached the point where my self-loathing came with a price that I had to pay.
I am going day by day. I am sorry to all who read this I bounced around a little bit. I am a woman on a journey. A growth that is spiritual in my own way, creative, as a mother and friend. I have come a long way in 60 days from who I was.
“I am a woman with dreams that I am finally ready to persue. I am beginning to think that this is my evolution and I am awakening from hibernation.”-Me today to a friend about myself.