I need a list

of things to do when my brain is functional.

Inside my brain are a dozen or more nagging things I should do .  Things that don’t get done because during the brain stillness, I function on a rail.  I do the habits. I walk through the day by doing the next habit.  I focus on conquering the small stuff.

But depression is not a static state and when it moves into the zone of normal I very often get less done than I should because I can’t really seem to put my thoughts into gear to get those nagging tasks done.  I can’t remember them.

I think I need a list.  It has to be on something easily accessible.  So when the nagging thought shows up, I can put it immediately on my list.  Thus removing it’s anxiety from my head.

And when I realize I am in functional normal mode, I can grab the list and do something I wouldn’t normally get done.

I also need the list to be already set up as a functional to-do.  Ie – task broken into it’s component parts.

I will try to do it on one of my phone apps I think.  Although I find writing things down easier, I no longer carry any pad of paper.  I have a phone after-all.

But breaking down the task means it can’t be an app like Remember the Milk.  It has to be a proper to do app.  But that will be an additional electronic nagging rather than a place to put my nagging thought that safely removes it from the anxiety place until I can do it.

I think finding the right app might end up being the first thing on the to do list?  Or at least figuring out how to make an easy app like Milk work for this.

Anyway – that is my current state of mind.  I need more lists in my life.  My brain is way to full of holes.

Advertisements

I bought a cat tree.

I got it quite cheaply compared to most of the cat trees you see, which was why I bought it.  No doubt it’s not as high quality, but…

Anyway, I bought it online in a fit of kitten love.  Then 24 hours later… it occurred to me to check how heavy the delivered box would be.  50lbs.  Huh.  OK.  I can lift that I guess… Up two flights of steps.  I guess.

Then it arrived.  The box was very large.  I was NOT going to be able to carry it.  But I triumphed.  I got out my two wheel cart, essential tool for all single people, tied the box to the cart and pulled that damn box up 2 flights of steps.  And didn’t kill myself by falling head first down the stairs.

Now it’s a box in my living room.  It’s still not a cat tree.

Apparently, cat trees don’t just happen when you open the box.  ASSEMBLY IS REQUIRED.

Assembly has not shown up and the box been waiting since Tuesday.

Saturday – the traditional day to celebrate the Assembly is Required footnote.  I think Assembly must show up today because the cats are currently entertaining themselves by stampeding through the apartment like buffalo.

Happy Cat Stampede is a sound that I personally enjoy, but it is my understanding that other people do not.  And I am going to assume that the downstairs neighbor finds the cat stampede to be annoying.

Hopefully if we assemble this cat tree they will focus their play on the tree and do fewer stampedes at 6am.

I doubt it though.   Maybe she’s deaf.

For the 1st time in 7 years I put up Holiday decorations.

I strung lights around my front window.  I’m rather proud of that step into normal behavior.  I haven’t involved myself in Xmas since my mom died.  But I feel more human and interested in making a pretty place for myself.  So I pulled out a box of lights I bought in an after Xmas sale, with the vague idea of making some kind of decorative element for the bedroom.

Now I need to watch the kitten and how he treats them.  He and Bijou were on the balcony while I put them up.  It’s a beautiful sunny warm winter day and kitten hadn’t been out on the balcony much.  Bijou supervised.  NO GROWLS!!

But I think it was serendipitous because then they weren’t involved in putting up the lights and didn’t see them bouncing about like a toy.

You know.  I really am a WHOLE lot better than I was 5 years ago.  It’s been a long VERY slow slog that feels like nothing gets better.  But it really does.  And it has.  I doubt I will ever be Mrs. Mental Health.  But I’m getting to be Mrs. Mental OK Sometimes.

Maybe I will buy tiny tree too.

Meet Rebel Tim

rebel tim day one

He is about 14 weeks give or take.  I got him from a woman who runs an informal rescue out of her pet supply store.  She can be counted on to have at least a few kittens and cats needing homes.

I introduced him to Bijou who is acting traditionally by hissing and growling as is prescribed by millennia of custom among cats.

Tim is not very impressed by her threats and has explored the entire apartment thoroughly, eaten a good dinner and now feels it is time for a cuddle.

BUT there will be NONE OF THAT.  Boundaries have been laid and he is not allowed to get on the bed.  Indeed, I have also gotten growled at for inviting him.

Tim and I are properly chastised.  We might seek solace in the dining room.  Where cranky pants calicos aren’t staking arbitrary claims to space.

I am hopeful that they will come to a completion of this cat meeting ritual sooner rather than later, if I just stay out of it.  But it’s hard not to participate in having a new kitten!

But I got the kitten for Bijou, not for me.  So.  I will attempt… Probably unsuccessfully… not to lavish a ton of attention on the kitten.

The Dentist – a lesson in depression management

My mouth is a disaster.  A disaster created by lack of maintenance which is a byproduct of depression.

When the stillness of depression overtook me I didn’t go to the dentist.   My teeth are not great – very prone to cavities and so they need regular attention.  But I didn’t go.  Until a painful tooth pushed me there and I had to have the tooth pulled because I didn’t have the money for the root canal.

That was the first of 3 teeth I had pulled in that fashion over 6 years.  Those were the only time I went to the dentist.  All of them were visits to the Urgent Dental Care.

But the painful teeth wasn’t the worst.  The worst was a cavity in my front tooth that was visible as a divot on the side of it.  It made me feel shame.  It made me feel like I couldn’t go on interviews because people would think badly of me for having a hole in my tooth.  It made me ashamed to see old friends and family.  It was a huge mental monster in head.

The last tooth I got pulled was earlier this year.  The dentist was very kind.  He suggested we tackle my mouth one tooth at at time.  He didn’t suggest a regime of dental cleanings or plan a giant trip tick of my mouth problems.  He just said – when you have some money saved just walk in.

And that’s when I realized that this was how I could make it work.  The Urgent Dentist is obviously more expensive than most dentistry, but not exorbitantly so.  (at least this practice.)  But they offer something that is invaluable to me.  They work 7 days a week, 5 of them until 10pm.   They encourage walk ins.

Convenient hours is a huge plus and when it’s tied to walk in it works with my brain dysfunction.  It takes a whole lot of self talk and consideration and aborted attempts to get me to the dentist.   And when the moment gels – I can just go.  No need for an appointment – just go.

An appointment would create a whole new layer of problems.  I would miss appointments if my brain moved into stillness at the moment the appointment came up.  That would make me a persona non-grata with a dentist.  And I would create a larger thing out of potentially missed appointments than they might in reality be so I would just make that into a reason not to set up appointments.

Yesterday, a Sunday afternoon, I walked into the dentist and got my front tooth fixed.  It felt like a triumph.  It’s been a source of shame for years and now it’s fixed.  In an  hour.

It’s not the dentistry tradition I grew up with.  And so it never occurred to me that I could do my dentistry by just walking in, but I can.  So, now for the next few years, I will be saving money and when I have enough, doing next tooth.  By walking into the office when my brain will allow it.   I am not rich.  But the extra money is more than worth this benefit to me.  I wonder how many other people would benefit from it.

 

 

Being Fated to Cats…

One of the drivers where I work watched someone dump a kitten at the side of the road, so she stopped and saved it.

It was a tiny tiny tuxedo baby boy.

Very upright and busy.

I have an irrational belief that cats find me. That every cat in my life is fated to be part of it.

I’ve been mulling a second cat.  I’ve had 2 cats my entire life until the last 5 years or so.  Lily, my last cat, did not enjoy other cats and for awhile I was barely fit to take care of her so we were fine, just the 2 of us.

She died last summer and after a bit another cat arrived to fill the utter void that claimed my life when she left.  Bijou.

I was quite sure I was still too hurt about Lily and couldn’t take on another cat, and then someone posted on Tumblr that a local cat needed a home.  That seemed like Bijou was supposed to be mine.

I think Bijou is a bit lonely.  And I feel quite guilty about this.  But 2 cats is, in fact, twice as many cats.  So I have been mulling and not doing much about it.

So anyway, while I was dithering, the driver walks in with this kitten.  A kismet kitten.  So I offered to take it.  But another driver was more excited and had recently lost his cat and had no cat, so in the end I didn’t bring home a tiny tuxedo kitten for Bijou.

I don’t believe in fate.  But nearly every cat I have taken into my life has been a sort of kismet of that nature.

Even when I picked up a cat at a shelter 25 years ago, I was convinced that I was going get a gorgeous calico kitten, but this bossy brown tabby literally climbed up my arm when I reached in to get the calico.  And he just kept climbing in my lap and pushing over the shy calico, who had no real interest in me. So I took him home.  Chester picked me.  I just showed up and followed his instructions on the matter.

I suppose another cat will show up soon enough. I think a kitten will be the safest thing to blend into our home, but damn they are busy.   It’s hard to guarantee to good meld if you introduce 2 adult cats to each other.  In a big space it’s not as crucial, but we are going to be in a one bedroom apartment.  It will be cozy.  We must get along.

But kittens.  They are so adorable for like 20 minutes and then you realize – they require a lot of monitoring.  Kitten proofing is necessary.  That kitten walked around our office for 10 minutes, and tried to bite cords, nearly fell off a desk, and for about a minute we couldn’t find him at all until he emerged from behind a desk covered in dust bunnies.  Tail high, jauntily walking around oblivious to any and all possible consequences.  He really was adorable.

Possibly Bijou would take on the mentoring role and keep a kitten in check.   Well, we will see what fate brings.  Not that I believe in fate.  I don’t. tuxedo kitten

Except with cats.

 

Well. Hello.

It’s been awhile.

There’s definitely a layer of dust on this blog.

 

I write most of my thoughts on tumblr.  It’s my comfort zone.  I know a core group of there.  But I think the biggest reason I feel more comfortable over there is that the environment feels different.

Over here it feels like most of the folks I see are putting people in the sitting room and serving tea.

Few if any people are crying in pain from the various disasters that are drifting through their lives.  They are talking about the disaster in the past – ie it’s a thing I overcame.

No one is venting their anger at spouses.  They are telling humorous stories of spousal quirks.

People aren’t talking about how they can barely breathe from anxiety or how they can barely move from depression.  They talk about how they manage it.

Nothing about their addicted family member beating them.  They are talking about their kids or dogs.

Nothing about failing to pay bills.  They talk about it being tight and this is a great cheap meal.

No guilt about how selfish they feel for being angry at the person they are being caregiver to.  Just the martyred exhaustion of caretaking.

In tumblr, or at least in the group I follow, there is much more of a reality spread.  It’s not the sitting room.  It’s the family room that hasn’t been cleaned in 2 weeks.  People are talking about the stuff that is too ugly to say in real life.  Because it’s there and it’s hard and sometimes you need to say it.

Most of tumblr is a large visual reblog machine.  But there is a very small subset of people who have formed a community.  And it’s just people being real.  We talk about our lives and we scream about politics and we post kitten pictures and we spout our opinions or we share our interests.  Sometimes we bicker.  It’s friendship.

I think I stopped coming here because while I do post quite a bit of non-personal stuff on tumblr, it’s also where I share my dirty family room.   It feels like home.  People who have seen my life deteriorate and implode and slowly get built back up to this point and have never made me feel less than supported are there.

But it’s dying.  Fewer and fewer people go there.  And I need to find a new place for my family room.

I refuse to do Facebook.  I won’t show my family room to my real life friends and family.  I don’t trust them with it.   They can see a sitting room version of me.  And I really don’t care to invest the effort in constantly cleaning up the sitting room to show them.  My life is hard enough.  Having to construct a virtual sitting room for a constant stream of visitors is not where I want to waste my energy.

Perhaps, if I show my family room here it will be OK.  But it doesn’t feel like it will.  Possibly because you all didn’t watch the arc of turmoil that has been my life for the last 8 years.  But mostly because showing your family room to people who invite you into the sitting room feels awkward.

But maybe that’s just me projecting.  I have to find a new place for the Family Room.  Tumblr is dying.  And my need for a place to share remains.

Thunderstorms and Alerts Systems

I got woken up by a thunderstorm at 7am.  A proper one with the cracks right overhead and lots of rain and hail.

I was wondering if I should get up and check my phone for the alerts, but its such a lovely feeling to be cuddled under the covers and have the storm raging outside. So.  Nope.

Can we talk about the weather alerts on the phones?

Is there a more clear pattern of crying wolf than the severe weather alerts on phones?  They alert you for a severe thunderstorm as though it wasn’t obvious.  They alert you for flash floods.  Again – how is that alert going to save my life?  I will see the flood.  My choices happen when facing it  and are not changed by having had an alert that flash flooding is possible.

Then to make the whole thing stupider they send you multiple alerts for the same thing.

So that I no longer feel any real threat if the alert goes off.  No one does.  When an actual tornado comes through no one will even look up at the alerts.

And the Tornado is the thing that I do need to act ahead of time for.  Utterly ridiculous system.

That thing where you don’t need something but you feel the need anyway.

It’s finally cold here in Cincitucky.  And I’ve been forced to wear my coat.

And I’m still cold.

This is because I haven’t been hardened off to the cold yet.

But today I was blaming the coat that has successfully taken me through many winters.

So I was staring at coats online.

I don’t need a coat.  Seriously.  I don’t.

But it is amazing how looking at them can make me feel like I do.

I guess that is why the economy works.  Because we all buy things because it feels like we need them.  But of course most of it we don’t.

What is that part of us that wants unnecessary things at the same level as necessary things.

Why do we want unnecessary things at all?

Do other animals do this?

Or is this just a byproduct of our fucked up human brains?

Now.  Don’t get me wrong.  I get that our pursuit of unnecessary things is why we can live in a first world economy.  Most of us have jobs that are based in one way or another on the pursuit of unnecessary things.

And indeed – some of the best things humans have ever done are the art and stories and music we create.  Utterly unnecessary – and yet so very human and wonderful.

So this is not some scolding diatribe against consumerism and trivial desires.

I get that it’s all an interconnected weave of human existence.  It’s just not always a very practical thing in my life.

I suppose if I wasn’t in a money bind with moving, I’d have bought a coat tonight.  Because I was cold in the grocery story parking lot.  And the only reason I was cold was because I haven’t been hardened to the cold yet.

In a couple of weeks I won’t even notice the sort of weather we had today. And I will still have my old coat.  And I will get a weird sort of satisfaction in knowing that I didn’t buy the damn coat today.  The human brain is weird.