Monday, May 21, 2007

Monday Musings

I woke up feeling mildly dehydrated and in one of those "off" moods that hovers somewhere around the outer edges of bad. It's the sort of mood that makes me feel rather anti-social and often has me pulling away from people, more often so that I don't inflict my mood upon anyone or, worse, dump everything I'm feeling at their feet by venting. Things like that have never work well for me, so over the years I've learned to pull back and isolate myself when I recognize the moods coming on. This makes me something of a loner, but one that often enjoys the company of people.

Recognizing that my mood was hovering on the outskirts of some bad territory, I spent much of the day trying to pinpoint the cause of this particular round of feelings. The primary reason being that I'm really tired of feeling this way with a (close) secondary concern about me slipping back into those days when depression consumed me entirely for weeks and even months at a time. I don't want to go back to that. I rather enjoy the light of day.

One of the things I did today to try and counter this "off" mood was sit down to have a cup of tea. Not just have tea with breakfast (which I skipped - I really need to stop doing that) or have tea on hand while I work on other things. Rather, a dedicated tea time. I haven't had one of those in a while, and I do miss it. During tea time, I sit quietly and savor the tea, letting my mind relax and go where it wills. Sometimes I pray. Sometimes I read the Bible. Sometimes I just sit with my eyes closed and listen to myself breathing. On my schedule (which I also need to get back to) tea time is listed as "Tea with God" because more times that not it's during tea time that I feel the closest to Him, or maybe more precisely, that I feel Him closer to me.

Following the tracks of my relaxing mind this morning was difficult. Usually my brain will tell me what's wrong if I just settle enough to really listen, which is where tea time comes it; it helps me be still and settled enough for my brain to untangle itself and show me where the problems are. Today, though... wow. The tour my brain took me on today shows me exactly why I've been feeling so off lately and why this moody feeling has been so persistent. In short, I've overloaded myself.

I traced everything I'm feeling now back to April 21. Though I wasn't feeling well physically, I was doing fine emotionally until I got that wicked sun burn on the 23rd and had to give up (admit failure) on the 30-Day Organizational Challenge on the 26th. Things have gone down hill from there. For the first week I sat in semi-darkness, smearing and re-smearing aloe gel over the burned areas, only able to sleep in blocks of two to four hours before the pain woke me. Gradually I was able to sleep for longer periods of time, but I found myself awake at night and sleeping through the days more times than not. Though I was able to move more and was in less general pain during the second week, I was still pretty helpless, and more than that, I was useless. By the beginning of the third week, I had much of my range of motion back, but my sleep patterns were still horribly disrupted and my schedule was completely lost.

Sidebar for a little time line, because events and their ripples begin to overlap. For the majority of the second week I was suffering with that sunburn (April 29 - May 5) my eyes bothered me. On May 7, I woke late in the morning to find that there had been a stranger in my apartment while I was sleeping. On May 12, A. and I went to a Home Buying Seminar event. Confirmed pink eye ruled the time between May 11 and today. On May 18, I woke up somewhere between 4 and 5am and threw up so violently that I hurt my back. There were other things, little things, throughout the entire time period, but those are the highlights.

Now back to the tale.

I figured the trouble I was having with my eyes was from lack of quality sleep and being constantly on the verge of being dehydrated. I didn't find out until May 11 (which marked the end of the third week of sunburn recovery) that I had a mild case of pink eye that the doctor said was probably trying to go away on its own (it does that??) but kept returning because I was trying to get back to my normal day schedule and kept putting my contacts in. Pink eye sucks. Anyone who's ever had it can tell you that, but I'm here to tell you that even a mild case of pink eye sucks. All the same light sensitivity (in already light sensitive eyes) without all the redness and sympathy because "you don't look sick". The week following the diagnosis (this past week; May 13 - May 19) has left me - again - in a semi-darkened room in my glasses... which is my body's cue for me to sleep. Any progress I'd made toward getting back on schedule has been lost this past week.

Waking up to find that someone has been in your home while you were sleeping is very unsettling, and even more so when you sleep in the buff. It was "only" the bug-spray guy, but the guys hired to do the job are usually quite unsavory and I don't even let them in when I'm awake. The areas that are routinely sprayed are the kitchen and the bathroom - the two tiled areas in the apartment. To get to the bathroom, one has to walk directly past my bedroom door. So many things bother me about that day that I don't even know where to begin. My biggest question is Why didn't I wake up?? I know whoever it was didn't knock. They never knock when I'm here and don't see them coming. They just use their pass key and start to come in. Would I have woken up had they knocked? Probably. Maybe. With my sleeping patterns so off right now, I can't be sure. And that scares me. I'm not used to not feeling secure when I sleep anymore. It's playing havoc with my already out of whack sleeping patterns, and I'm desperate to get back to my version of "normal" before the end of the week when school gets out. While nothing really happened (that I know of - and I'd like to think that I'd have woken up if he'd touched me) beyond my sense of security being shattered in the street, I know that had something happened, I'd muddle through and survive. What bothers me more is the thought of what could have happened if K. had been home.. and sleeping... right next to the bathroom... and what could have happened. I try not to dwell on it, try not to think about it at all, but it's a thought that's there, buried deep inside my brain, and my sense of security is completely gone because according to the apartment management, the bug guy has the right to come in and spray even though I've asked time and time again for him (them?) not to because of my schedule. Just... never mind my right to feel safe and secure in my own home.

The Home Buying Seminar was less spectacular than I expected, and less helpful than I expected. Most of what we found out we already knew, but there were some nuggets of valuable information amidst everything we had already learned for ourselves. I guess that's what happens, though, when you have two self-learners/teachers in one household. Basically, because of those valuable nuggets of information we found, A. and I walked away from the event with the idea that we do not have to wait for another two or three years before we can buy a house. It's possible that we can afford to buy one before the end of the year. I'm not sure if it's probable or not, but it would seem that it is possible. Normally, especially in light of strangers being in my home recently, I'd see this as a good thing, but it has me stressed. I'm not sure why. It could be any number of things (being trapped at home for the past month but not being able to clean let alone find the missing documentation we need to fill out a loan application, the unsettling feeling that something bad is looming just over the horizon, the need to make sure the credit reports are straightened out but having to wait a little longer before that can be seen to, financial issues, etc.) or any combination of those things. And there's still research to do. Research that I can't get to because I'm almost a full month behind in cleaning and everything else... and trying to play catch up while still not functioning at 100% is wreaking all sorts of havoc on me to the point that I'm stalled, not knowing what needs to be done first, what's more important, what needs and/or deserves my focus the most.

I don't know why I woke up Friday morning to vomit so violently. All I know is that I did, and the vertebrae that's bothered me all my life feels like it's slipped just a wee bit out of place again. Not enough to warrant a doctor's visit (or going through x-rays and MRIs... again) because the doctor will only tell me I need to lose weight and offer me muscle relaxants (standard procedure with them, and just never mind that I've had this problem since I was 14 and weighed what the doctors said I should) but enough to be bothersome and keep me more or less immobile. And the muscles around it are all bunched up. This used to happen quite frequently when I was young. I remember being a teen and sitting in church with my elbows on my knees, hunched forward while my mother would rub that spot with two fingers - one on either side of my spine - all through services. Hunching forward like that was always less painful than sitting up straight (I could... and can... feel something grinding and pinching when I sit up straight) and her touch eased the pain further, and sometimes it would even relax the muscles enough that the vertebrae could go back to where it belonged. That's a painful "pop" but one that feels so much better afterward.

And through everything, I have to watch my husband come home from work and tend to the things that I haven't been able to get to during the day. I swing wildly between the feeling that I'm not needed and the feeling that I'm failing my family.

I feel lazy and useless.

I feel off balance.

I feel... broken.

And there's so much to do: catch up on the cleaning, advance on the cleaning, declutter... everything, prepare for hurricane season, check the credit reports, get my social security card reissued, prepare for a summer with K. at home with me 24/7 so that we're not sitting around watching tv and playing xbox every day, find the (missing?? how can it be missing??) documentation we'll need to apply for a loan to get a house, get passports for all three of us, dental appointments, doctor visits, car maintenance, upgrade the anti-virus program... and so much more, that's not even counting the recreational activities I want to be doing (reading, studying, working on chain maille, crocheting, exercising, wood burning, playing with K., etc.).

So where's the reset button? How do I stop playing catch up? Because I know there's no real way I'll ever catch up. I have to start over from this point, or some future point, in time. I got knocked off track for a month. I have to find a way to get back on track. I'm just not sure how. Right now I don't know where to start. Everything I start to do seems to be in direct opposition to something else that also needs to be tended to.

Maybe I need to stop stressing and worrying and take a break. Just throw everything to the wind and go have fun with K. at the zoo or park, then whatever I happen to pick up first when I get back gets my full attention until it's done with no thoughts about anything else that needs to get done.

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