Potentially Nonsense

Postcards from places I've never been.

Category: Depression (page 1 of 2)

Some days are just green beans and mustard, and that’s OK.

This week’s FMF writing prompt is: CONVENIENT

What a prompt. My head’s going all over with it.

The first thing that comes to mind is convenient food. I hate it. I’m no food purist – more than one dinner has been cold canned green beans dipped in mustard and mayonnaise mixed together. I’m classy like that. But convenience food tastes good for a moment, then tastes bad, and I physically feel bad afterwards. I’ll take my I-grew-up-poor-and-this-is-soul-food-for-me green beans any day.

I will admit to having a weakness for someone else doing the grocery gathering. For about $5.00, there’s a grocery store here that will find and bag everything, and all I have to do is pick it up. I only get groceries every 4-6 weeks, so it’s not a big expense for convenience. My anxiety and (currently managed) major depressive disorder salute you, Fred Meyer.

Convenient. When I moved into my apartment in late 2014, the rent was $935. Now it’s $1275. It’s going to $1325 in September, and I’ll absolutely have to move. I’m not making as it is and have sold everything that can be sold, and breaking the lease would be about $1900. Who has that kind of money lying around? Convenient is staying, and I wish I could. I live in a third floor walk up. I don’t have people here to help me. I’ll have to sell what remains of my furniture, because I can’t move it. It’s going to suuuuck.

Convenient is typing my complaints instead of solving them. Luckily, I’ve been working on solving them, to help me get by until my lease is up in September. Again, if it could be sold, I sold it. I don’t have internet or a TV, and I share Netflix with a friend. Yes, that’s a luxury and not a necessity, and I feel guilty about it. The lights are only on when I need them, and the heat is not on. Coffee is rationed, y’all. Not where I thought I’d be at this point in my life. I’ve reopened my Etsy shop in an attempt to slow the sinking, and am listing things every time the sun shines enough that I can take photos. Rainy pacific northwest, anyone?

It’s definitely not convenient to work a full day at children’s services, which is emotionally exhausting (and rewarding), then go home and hunt for a second job. I’m tired just thinking about all the applications I’ve submitted over the last few months. I took FOUR HOURS of evaluations just to qualify for an interview at one of those jobs, then didn’t get the job after interviewing. Not convenient.

I’ve really overrun my five minute limit, haven’t I? How perfectly inconvenient. Thanks for dropping by. Sorry about the rambling rant.

Life is better.

The first FMF writing prompt for 2019 is: BETTER

Life is better.

It’s full of struggling to balance two jobs with taking care of elderly pets and trying to squeeze some time to live into that life. It’s getting up at 5:00 and going to bed at 10:00 even when I really really try to go to sleep earlier. It’s that threatening text from the ex that makes me panic and wrecks me for days. It’s struggling to find the calm inside me, even though the path is overgrown and someone changed all the signs and I’m not sure it’s even still in the same place I remember it being.

Life is better.

It’s better than living on eggshells wondering what I’m going to do/say/think/breathe wrong today, and what consequences it will have. It’s better then being locked up in anxiety all day, for days, waiting for the proverbial hammer to fall. It’s better than not knowing if I can count on help if I really really need it. At least now I know.

Life is full of sweet moments with pets and friends and new friends. It’s strung with finding out that I can still feel joy and interest and curiosity and actually am still capable of feeling contentment and safety. In this life there are fumbled ukuleles and long walks with friends and loving texts from friends, and a friend who, every time they go to Winco, plays the claw machine to win me a rubber duck. Life is full of Soon, and Look Here, and Have You Tried This, and Remember Doing This and Yes. Yes. Yes.

Life is better.

Section 3: Package and Software Management

This suuuuucks. Three sections to go, and not much of November left. I let myself get pulled into taking care of someone who needs to learn to take care of themself. I’m not doing anyone any favors, here.

My ex cried, and told me that, if his girlfriend hadn’t come over last weekend, he “would have wound up in the hospital.” So I let him come over to hang out, and he cried, and tried to convince me I’m awful for leaving him, because he “would never have left me.”

Except for all the times he left me to see his girlfriend(s). And all the times he left me to go drop $$ at the stripclub. And those times he left me crying on the couch like I was dying, and was scared that I was dying because it was my second cancer scare . Oh, and the times he left me after I had biopsies when I wasn’t supposed to be left alone, after.

Yeah.

I know, I know. I am a chump. I went along with it, and going along with it makes my being behind on coursework my own damn fault.

SIGH.

This part of the course is done, at least.

Section 3: Package and Software Management
15 videos, 13 readings, 4 quizzes, 2 assignments.
1. Video: Module Introduction – Nov 11
2. Video: Windows: Software Packages
3. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Windows Software Packages – Nov 16
4. Video: Linux: Software Packages – Nov 17
5. Video: Windows: Archives
6. Reading: Supplemental Reading for 7-Zip and PowerShell Zips
7. Video: Linux: Archives
8. Reading: Supplemental Reading for the Linux Tar Command
9. Video: Windows: Package Dependencies
10. Reading: Supplemental reading for Windows Package Dependencies
11. Video: Linux: Package Dependencies
12. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Linux Package Dependencies
13. Practice Quiz: Software Distribution
14. Video: Windows: Package Manager – Nov 19
15. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Windows Package Managers
16. Video: Linux: Package Manager Apt
17. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Linux PPAs
18. Reading: Supplemental Reading on GIMP
19. Practice Quiz: Package Managers
20. Video: Windows: Underneath the Hood
21. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Windows Installers and Process Monitors
22. Video: Linux: Underneath the Hood
23. Practice Quiz: What’s happening in the background?
24. Video: Windows: Devices and Drivers – Nov 24
25. Reading: Supplemental Reading Windows Devices and Drivers
26. Video: Linux: Devices and Drivers
27. Reading: Supplemental reading for Linux Devices and Drivers
28. Video: Window: Operating System Updates
29. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Windows Update
30. Video: Linux: Operating System Updates
31. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Linux Update
32. Discussion Prompt: What would you do?
33. Practice Quiz: Device Software Management
Graded: Create, Update and Remove Software in Windows
Graded: Create, Update and Remove Software in Linux

NaNoCertMo: Navigating the System

I finished the first section, which is meant to take seven days, in five days. This will eventually catch me up in the class, so that I finish on time at the end of November.

One down. Five sections to go. Twenty-five days left.

I don’t think it’s a surprise that I did this by the skin of my teeth. I learned something useful apart from the course, too. I almost let myself be derailed from finishing. Something is happening at work that I find upsetting, and I almost let that take over my brain and distract me from concentrating on the course. So I need to:
1. Pay attention to when that happens, and figure out how to let it go. No excuses. No letting other people derail me.
2. Tonight, after I’m done, I need to sit down and think my way through why said Work Thing is upsetting me. Because my reaction is all out of proportion. SO out of proportion.

It just dawned on me that this first section is “Navigating the System.” That strikes me as funny, as I’m learning how to learn, and learning how to navigate my new life while I’m at it. Speaking of Navigating the System, I wrote a thank you note to my prior therapist, this morning. We’ve not been able to get schedules to match up to do an exit session, and so a note of thanks will have to do, since I can’t do it in person.

Here’s what I finished between November 1st and 5th (today).

Week 1: Navigating the System – Finished November 5th
32 videos, 10 readings, 3 discussion prompts, 2 quizzes, 3 assignments
1. Video: Course IntroductionNov 1
2. Reading: Navigating Coursera
3. Reading: Program Surveys
4. Reading: Discussion Forums
5. Reading: Get to Know Your Classmates
6. Discussion Prompt: Meet and Greet
7. Video: Lesson Overview and Practice Tips
8. Reading: Windows CLI and Unix Bash
9. Video: List Directories in a GUI
10. Reading: Size vs Size of Disk in Windows
11. Video: Windows: List Directories in CLINov 2
12. Video: Linux: List Directories
13. Video: Windows: Changing Directories in the GUI
14. Video: Windows: Changing Directories in the CLI
15. Video: Linux: Changing Directories in Bash
16. Video: Windows: Make Directories in the GUI and CLI
17. Video: Linux: Make Directories in Bash
18. Video: Windows: Command History
19. Video: Linux: Command History
20. Video: Windows: Copying Files and Directories
21. Video: Linux: Copying Files and DirectoriesNov 3
22. Video: Windows: Moving and Renaming Files, Directories
23. Video: Linux: Moving and Renaming Files, Directories
24. Video: Windows: Removing Files and Directories
25. Video: Linux: Removing Files and Directories
26. Discussion Prompt: Your Favorite OS
27. Video: Cindy Why OS is Important
28. Practice Quiz: Basic Commands
29. Video: Windows: Display File Contents
30. Video: Linux: Display File Contents
31. Video: Windows: Modifying Text Files
32. Reading: Notepad++Nov 4
33. Video: Linux: Modifying Text Files
34. Reading: GNU Documentation for text editors
35. Video: Windows Powershell commands and aliases
36. Video: Windows: Searching within Files
37. Video: Windows: Searching within Directories
38. Video: Linux: Searching within Files
39. Video: Windows: Input, Output, and the Pipeline
40. Video: Linux: Input, Output and Pipeline
41. Video: Windows and Linux Advanced Navigation
42. Reading: Windows PowerShellNov 5
43. Video: Ben First Tech Job
44. Discussion Prompt: What did you learn about OS?
45. Quiz: File and Text Manipulation
46. Video: Instructions for Accessing Linux Qwiklabs
47. Reading: Instructions for Accessing Windows Qwiklabs
Graded: Accessing Qwiklabs
Graded: Create, Modify, and Remove Files and Folders in Windows
Graded: Create, Modify, and Remove Files and Folders in Linux

Repeat: The quick, quick version

This week’s Five Minute Friday writing prompt is: REPEAT.

Hi. My name’s Jae, and this is my brother Pete, and my other brother Repeat.1

You guys. Holy cow. I’ve taken three run-ups for this OS class, and failed every time.

But this time I’m screaming through the class like a Bentley on fire, while “Bohemian Rhapsody” plays loudly in the background.2 I just thought my brain had broken. Too old, too dumb, too much a failure.

It literally never crossed my mind that having my home life constantly filled with conflict and confusion was taking up most of my brainpower, with nothing left over for anything else.

I’m kind of stunned by this thought this morning. I really just thought my brain was broken. And, I mean, I’m not 20 anymore, and to be honest, I was more than a little worried about the dementia that runs so strongly in my family, although I was trying not to be. Huh.

All those money fights, and the fights were partly responsible for my struggle to make a better wage. Life is hilarious.

Life is also more hopeful, now. I like that. Maybe my brain didn’t break in my 30s, causing me to have to leave a job I loved. Maybe things will be OK.

Insane courage, lodgepole pine, and having a voice

Today’s Five Minute Freewrite prompt is: VOICE

I’m not writing today because my voice is not important. My voice got me in trouble when I used it as a kid, and as a wife. My body and heart are quick to remind me why it’s a bad idea.

My voice is not important, and when I’ve used it, it’s brought me pain. So I’m going to stay stuck in my past and keep doing as I’ve always done, living a silent life, because who would want to listen to me? And if they do listen, the consequences are going to be painful.

^^ These have been hard thoughts to get past. That bit of bad coding is in there deep, and two years of good therapy has only begun to help me get it figured out. It might be a life-long habit, this breaking of old habit.

So I’m not writing today.

But if I were writing today, and did have a voice, I would want it to be made of earth and air. I would want it to feel like wind in a dry pine woods, with at least one thin Lodgepole creaking as it leans in the wind. I would want my voice and my higher self grounded in earth, and flexing around obstacles. It should be a necessary nothing that nonetheless moves, shifting things before and after it.

If I had a voice, I would want to talk about deeply important trivial things, because in the words of The Crow, nothing is trivial. I would want to use it to laugh too loud, and to laugh with other people.

Part of this Write 31 Days project, for me, is just getting past the initial block in my brain that stops my voice. If I can do that, I can say anything.

Listening to The Minimalists podcast, led me to look up Jeff Sanders talking about 20 seconds of courage. (Apparently this is from “We Bought a Zoo,” but I’ve not seen it.) Who can’t be brave for 20 seconds? This concept has done more to help me over my blocks than almost anything else. Often it brings some dissociation with it, but I’m getting better at accepting that disorientation, and quicker at bringing my self back. That’s where all the grueling work of healing and therapy has come in.

This is a Post of Nope, and a double serving of overcoming my own nope (writing and speaking).

Do you struggle with feeling your words, your voice, is unimportant? How do you speak up for yourself, for others? Any advice for someone trying to find theirs, and to heal in this area?

Your voice is important, y’all. And so is mine.

Now get out there and use it! I can’t wait to read blogs and hear your textual voices, this morning.

In case you’re having a bad day, here is a photo of my Jaynie, being so very helpful.

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

Personality defrag

The Write 31 Days prompt for today is: The struggle is real. What’s yours?

For nearly the last two years, I’ve been doing the work of pulling myself together. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a chameleon, and I hate it. There was an art to being safe in my childhood home. It was mostly Bad to be noticed. It was Good to be helpful. It was Good to be quiet. It was Bad to let anyone outside the family know what was going on inside the family.

Awesome, right? Right. I’m not alone in this experience, but I sure felt alone at the time. I think that isolation was part of the point, looking back.

All six of my siblings and I learned to give different faces to different people. It was a survival thing.

Our senses of reality were f*cked with. I’ve continuously kept a journal since I was twelve, because I was told so many times that something happened that didn’t, or didn’t that did. My siblings and I still, still sometimes check in with each other, just like when we were kids. “Did that happen? Do you remember? Mom says it did/didn’t.”

A journal was unchangeable. Ink on paper was reliable. I still sometimes go back and check an old journal, and sometimes I remembered it right, and sometimes I didn’t.

We all learned to wear carefully crafted faces, different for each person watching us. We learned different sets of memory, different for each person we were presenting to. We fragmented for survival.

The thing is, we are our memories.

It’s like I took a dozen different jigsaw puzzles, and shook them together in a box, and nothing goes together quite right, even though some of it does. Sometimes. Kind of. The story the puzzle tells makes no sense. Memories don’t quite work together, and it takes some outside help to make sense of it all, and sort out the stories we were told to remember, and the ones that actually happened.

So I’ve been doing some head chiropracty, trying to pull everything as straight as possible. It will probably never all quite fit, but it can be better aligned. My therapist was worth twice his weight in gold, for having the patience of a god. EMDR and therapy has changed my life, y’all. It’s dangerous to go skull spelunking alone. And thank goodness for modern medicine to correct my brain chemistry so I could start therapy.

During this 31 day challenge, I had a real thunderbolt moment. I’m a whole, fully integrated person when I’m writing. All the fog clears. The puzzle pieces make sense. I can think more clearly. I can remember more clearly. I knew this, but I didn’t know it, you know? Since you’re taking part in the Write 31 Day October blogging challenge, it’s even money that you do know this. I don’t know if it’s because I originally began writing to track my own reality, or if that’s just how brains generally work.

My continuing struggle with integrating and with running a personality defrag is made easier by writing, and writing is easier when I’m less isolated. I’m grateful you’re here with me, traveling through this writing challenge like we’re all on the yellow brick road, waving to the pixels as we skip past.

Thanks for being here with me.

In case you need something to smile about, here is a Corgi in a scarf.

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

It’s my first ex-anniversary, and boy are my arms tired

Twelve years ago today, I made some vows with and to another adult human. The vows were real flippin’ easy ones, and they were the same for both of us. They were so easy, and the ceremony was so fast, that the photographer missed the kiss for the first time in his 50 year career.

You wouldn’t think they’d be that hard to remember then, right? Alas.

To be honest, I had originally planned something heartbreaking and angry for today, but after processing so much this month, I just… don’t need to. Thanks for helping me work through so much, y’all. The set up costs of blogging are much cheaper than therapy.

I woke up this morning with a giddy thought. I CAN UNPACK ALL THE THINGS. All the boxes we never unpacked when we moved here years ago, because every time I started to clean or set our home up, I was met with a wall of resentment and silence, and I was afraid of the repercussions of that anger, so I did everything I could to avoid it.

I stopped living, I stopped being me. But… now? I can unpack my stationery and pens. I can unpack my quilting supplies and embroidery supplies and all the activities I’ve loved since I was a wee bairn. I come from generations of makers and builders. I was working in my mom’s wood shop as soon as I could handle a tack hammer and had enough dexterity to unravel rope.

I don’t think I can be me and not be making something. So instead of griping today, and doing something largely symbolic, I’m unpacking. I’m taking up space. I’m going to create. I’m going to make. I’m going to rebuild, stronger, faster, better.

This is going to be glorious.

So that’s why I’m not writing, today. It’s my first ex-anniversary, and I’m celebrating by finding myself amongst the boxes and bubble-wrap. No time to write! Things to do!

In case you could use a smile today, here is my teacup chupacabra in his Halloween costume.

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

This post was filmed before a live imaginary audience.

Today’s Write 31 Days prompt is: Audience.

I’m constantly trying to sneak things past my own internal censor. She’s a fiend with a massive sharpie. (Sometimes a sharpie is just a sharpie.)

I have what my biopsist described as a “nice crop of nodules” on my thyroid. It’s uncomfortable to swallow, talk, and/or breath. Makes hiking a real treat. I don’t think it’s a coincident that I’m having issues with my throat. Verbal wording is hard.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had trouble talking in a way that’s transparent. I’ve had trouble living in a way that’s transparent. I’ve talked about being a chameleon before. It’s not so awesome. Especially the having to lick my own eyes part.

My internal censor is oh so very concerned with not offending the imaginary audience.

The thing is, I don’t need to connect with everyone, and not everyone needs to connect with me. That’s chameleon talk. That’s my child-self, scared of being abandoned or threatened or physically hurt. I feel for that kiddo. She needs more fuzzy blankets and hot cocoa than I remember to give her. I’ll do that, tonight.

But while I feel for her, I can’t be her. I can’t let her steer me around. She’s a terrible driver, and can’t see over the steering wheel. She can’t see the horizon. She can only imagine it.

With this writing challenge, I catch myself up with, “but what will people think?” Can I really say that? What if someone doesn’t like it? What if I offend someone?

Dude. If this blog causes pearl-clutching, I’m doing something horriby, horribly right.

I just have to trust that a few people may find resonance with what I write, just like I find with a few of the other participants. Not all of them are writing for me, and nor should they, nor should I expect them to.

I need to quit editing out all the juiciness in my writing, worrying over guessing what an imaginary person would like. I need to write for myself, and my own needs. It’s OK for art to serve the artist. The rest is gravy. Tasty, tasty gravy.

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the wild and crazy index of all my posts of nope.

Sundowners in Whoville

This week’s Five Minute Friday writing prompt is: WHO.

I really want to write something about Doctor Who here, but my brain is too tired to be clever. There isn’t enough coffee in the world, after being up most of the night with my Maggie Mayhem cat, who is 18 1/2, and has the occasional bad night. That’s when I give her muscle relaxant, and hold her. The vet says she’s just developed a cat version of sundowners. It’s bonkers. 98% of the time, she’s great. Happy, mischievous, and with a spring in her step. Maybe every three-ish months we have A Night.

See? Tired enough I can’t stay on target. Where was I? Better still, who was I?

Losing my husband to his own midlife idiocy has been even more bonkers than a cat with sundowners.

So many years have been All Him All the Time. Two of those years he was going through cancer treatments, and needed a lot of help and care, so that was as it should be. It was a lot of pressure and exhaustion for me, but he got to live, so it was worth it.

But the expectation that every day be All Him All the Time didn’t end with the cancer being cleared. If he wasn’t the center of attention, if people weren’t waiting on him, if he wasn’t excused for all bad behaviour, if anyone asked anything of him? Criminy.

If I so much as asked him to take the trash out, while I was cooking dinner, he literally stopped speaking to me . He’d come home, glare at me, and go straight into the bedroom. Where he’d stay except for coming out to eat. He was the only one in his world allowed to be a real person, and everyone else was a nonplayer character.

And I went along with it, because He’d Had Cancer and Almost Died. Which was true, but at some point, can’t we start being a married couple again, and not a caregiver and care-ee?

I wasn’t allowed to be a person, with opinions and needs and feelings. I had no “who” in Whoville. I didn’t exist as a separate person.

And I went along with it. For years.

I went along with it, until I just couldn’t anymore. And I got some help, and I tried to get us to a marriage counselor, because me not caving anymore led to days of him just not speaking to me. The sheets of resentment baking off him locked me up with anxiety. I was on eggshells so constantly it was making me physically sick.1

Who can live like that?

After not having a who for so many years, it’s strange to have one. It’s like standing up and stretching after sleeping on the couch all scrinched up.

And now I’ve gone into eight minutes, so I guess that’s the end. Thanks for coming to my stream-of-consciousness Ted Talk.

ps.

I guess I’m going to sneak this in there after the timer, after all. I had stopped writing, years and years ago. I just didn’t have anything in me to write with. All my spare energy and time was spent taking care of T, in order to avoid his anger and resentment. This writing challenge is a tiny act of rebellion and reclaiming of self.2

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

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