Joy lies in the fight, in the attempt, in the suffering involved, not in the victory itself


Sunday, August 30, 2009

in a bullet proof vest with the windows all closed

In the last couple of weeks my grandmother (who regular readers will know lives with me and my parents) has suffered from deteriorating health. She's approaching 91, and has been lucky to not have any life-threatening or serious illness; because of that she almost seems to be oblivious to her (statistically speaking) approaching death! She had a minor stroke about five years ago, and came to live with us, and has been in good health since then. Last week she had a couple of dizzy spells, and possibly had one or more TIAs (like mini strokes), and consequently we've needed to keep a closer eye on her (and help her to shower, walk to the bathroom, etc).

The reason I mention this is that I decided I would offer to move out of my master bedroom with ensuite bathroom so my nanna can move in. Mr Ex and I had the master bedroom when we first moved in, and when he left I got to keep it. I am fairly obsessive about germs, particularly when it comes to bathrooms, and sharing a bathroom is very very low on my "to do" list. It seemed like it was important, though, and also I thought it might prepare me for next year when I plan to move out of here. Previously, my nanna has inhabited the two back bedrooms of the house and shared a bathroom with my parents. But there was a dining room, bathroom, laundry, and another bedroom between her room and my parents', so at night we were concerned she might call out and no-one would hear. The master bedroom is opposite the formal lounge room that my parents use as their bedroom, so nanna will be closer to them, and also having her own bathroom adjacent to her bed will be easier. Naturally, in the way of narcissists, she managed to be both ungrateful for my sacrifice and irritated that she got to sit in the family room relaxing while the rest of us schlepped her many china cabinets, chairs and occasional tables up to her new quarters.

In terms of square feet of space, I think the two smaller rooms are about equal to the master bedroom. All of my stuff has fitted in to them, and each has a built-in closet which combined are almost the same as the walk-in closet I had in my other room. I have one room set up for sleeping and one with a couch and desk and book shelves. The main drawback is sharing the bathroom...but I will adjust. I do think it will prepare me to live in shared accommodation, in case I can't afford my own place next year. I also think being "less comfortable" is a good thing, as it will encourage me to live outside these four walls.

I am in agony today, after shifting all the furniture. But it has been fun to put my things away in new places and to throw some old junk away. I've discovered a few hobbies and interests that I'd let drop, which I may take up again. And I know that health-wise it's better to have my PC in a room where I don't sleep. I miss my sparkling, scrubbed, fragrantly-deodorized, my-germs-only bathroom! In the way of things, I am trying to make the best of what I know is the "right" choice.

In other news, I'm thrilled to welcome Procrastination and Her One-Eyed Dog to my life. My virtual-world friend Kate has gifted her to me, and I'm happy to have such a quirky, beautiful, clever gift in my life (describes the girl AND the stitching lol).

(title of today's post comes from my favourite Coldplay song "See You Soon")

Thursday, August 27, 2009

but I can see that star when she twinkles

Firstly - thanks to everyone who responded to my last post. Your supportive comments really help, and it means a lot to know that other people know where I am coming from. Hugs to all!

I know it's been another long break between blog posts. This time it's due more to the business of life than the avoidance of such. Work has been hectic, and since I've tried to take things less personally I'm finding it easier to deal with. Basically, I don't have much in common with the folks who share my office, which is a good thing in many ways. I'm happy for them that they don't "get" me, it means they are well adjusted and easy going types who tend to talk things out rather than freak out and/or vent. Now I've realised that fact I try to limit my venting to Fee, my close friend at work, and just fake it out with the rest of them. It's working fairly well. I need to keep my job, for a number of reasons, and most of the time I enjoy being there.

Apart from being busy at work, and sometimes bringing work home with me to do in the evenings, I've been getting out and about. Somewhat! I haven't turned the corner, exactly, but I'm approaching the corner with less trepidation. I've caught up with friends on three occasions, including seeing my new niece S for the first time! I call her my niece, and her brothers my nephews, although we're not blood related. Their mother Samantha is my oldest friend, we met in high school and even when our lives took very different paths (she became a mother at 17), we've remained close. Her eldest son is now 21, and an amazing, well-adjusted, smart and hard-working man. The middle child is 12, and vastly different to his brother but equally awesome. Now my friend has a daughter, and the baby is truly gorgeous! I know I'm biased, but really, she's an angel. Spending time with the family last weekend was really nice, and I'm thrilled that I managed to get out and do it. Samantha is completely different to me in personality, and very strong, but she understands my mental struggles and is very forgiving when I can't manage to see them. For instance, I missed my nephew's 21st birthday party a few months ago because I just couldn't face such a large gathering. Having that kind of friend, who makes allowances and is happy to see me whenever I can manage it, is truly something to be grateful for.

I also had a great day with my friend Michelle, who I hadn't seen for a few weeks now we're not bowling together. I miss bowling, but I miss Michelle more! Was nice to catch up with her and feel like I was rejoining the world. I think breaking the avoidance habit will take time, the first instinct for me is always to think "now, just get through the day and then you can retreat to your bed". But I am making plans for the future, and trying every week to get out there more. One of my homework tasks from Dr A is to set some goals, which I will share with y'all once I get around to it! Something I am looking forward to is moving out on my own next year. I really need my independence back, and after four years of helping to care for my grandmother (the ungrateful narcissist lol) I think I need it to be my turn. My parents are all for it, very understanding actually, which helps me to look upon it positively. I'm scared, in so many ways, of being on my own and surviving. But it needs to be done.

It's a small life, but it's mine. It has flaws and challenges, but I am facing up to them and changing things. There are a lot of things that I'm too overwhelmed to deal with right now (driving, relationships, anger, health & fitness...) but I'm taking small steps in the right direction. When I saw Dr A this week I told him I thought a lot about the question he asked "Do you WANT to change?" I've decided that wanting to want to change is the same as wanting to change, it's simply less emphatic! A position that's perhaps not as wholeheartedly enthusiastic about the process, but still open to the possibility.

(Title of post is from Tori Amos' Twinkle - gorgeous song)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

born to be alive

The best thing that can be said about the last couple of weeks is that I am still fighting the good fight. Sometimes it's hard, but I know I don't need to tell y'all that!

Doc A gave me a major league hard time on Thursday about my avoidance of all things life-related. Apart from work, I don't leave the house. While at home, apart from eating dinner and showering, I spend my time in bed watching dvds and reading. He tells me I need to "re-engage with the world", and warned me I am displaying signs of Avoidant Personality Disorder. So that would make three "disorders" in my confused personality... Apparently there is a two-for-one combo deal known as "avoidant-borderline mixed personality" (AvPD/BPD). No wonder I have a permanent headache!

In the end, although I admit I am going through a resistant phase with my therapy, and throw up all manner of reasons and excuses to NOT follow Dr A's advice, I know he is right. I know that the less I participate in the world, the less likely I am to want to, or feel able to. I know that I am at a dangerous crossroads, where I'm fighting to hang onto enough sanity to maintain my job (which is a great, easily managed job). I tell Dr A that I am too tired, too lethargic, too depressed to go out and meet people, or do social things, or join a class. His argument is that I create or manifest or perhaps exacerbate these physical/mental conditions in order to avoid.

So I am trying to put myself out there more, and reach out to the "real world". Ten or twelve years ago I was active, motivated and sociable and I know I can get back there, or to somewhere close by. I have been thinking about studying a language or a craft, and perhaps doing a gym class once a week. I went to a public meditation last night, with my friend Fee from work. Dr a said to me a number of times during our session on Thursday - "Do you WANT to change?" I really had to think about it, and came up with the answer "No, but I want to WANT to change". And that has to be start, right?

I have been away from this blog-world for a couple of weeks, and have missed catching up with everyone's news. So I'll try and get around over the weekend and see what y'all have been up to while I've been bed-ridden and avoiding!