Yesterday – A Day.

I was supposed to meet my sister for breakfast at 10 am.  She was driving over an hour to meet me for breakfast.

I forgot about it.  Got there an hour an half late, which was beyond rude and inconveniencing.  I called my boss to tell her I would now be late for work, by necessity.

I also found out that my my 2nd teammate was found unresponsive that morning.  She’s the one on drugs.  They rushed her to the ER and she was brought around but they kept her.

I’m HOPING they convince her to go into rehab.  She’s so nice and when she’s not on the drugs, very smart.

I’ve been so worried about her losing her job, I didn’t give much thought to her overdosing.

The thing is – the drugs are prescribed by a doctor.  I want to go over and bitch slap this quack.

Since, the first teammate was having surgery yesterday and the back up person was off because her daughter had a baby in wee hours of the morning, it was just me doing all of it.  Thank goodness it’s nice and slow.  I got most of it done.

I like feeling necessary.  And yesterday I felt very necessary.  So the stress of it sort of rolled off my shoulders, despite it obviously not being one of my most focused days – ie  breakfast disaster.

 

 

Indoor Hunting Feeder – A Review

I bought this hunter feeder for my cats.

indoor feeder

So.  I got it because I was concerned that the Kitten, whose not a kitten anymore, was bored and starting to act odd as a result.

First you try to show the cats that their food is in the toy by using the little plastic trainer with too many holes.  The trainer has so many holes that any movement will knock out food.

Then you put fill mice up and put them in the place of their food dish.  Then when they figure out how to extract the food, you start to move the mice to other places in the house.  So they have to hunt and play to get it.

Concerns:  Feeding Time is no longer an easy scoop and pour on the dish process.  Putting Food into the mice is annoying at best.  The provide an absolutely useless scoop that appears to be purpose made for the process but make it worse.  I got more food on the counter and floor filling mice than in the mice.  I have finally given up on their scoop.  I used my old scoop, keep the mouse just slightly inside the food bag while I pour into the mouse.   It solves the mess but it’s still more time consuming and involved.

Food is on the floor.  If they don’t eat all of the food they knock out, you may well step in it.  Also you have food on the floor when you don’t step in it.  Which bothers me.  It makes my apartment feel dirty.

I’ve stepped on mice in the middle of the night, twice now.  Not enjoyable.

I’ve been woken up by mice hitting the hardwood floor from the desktop at least once.

My cats are apparently lazy and/or smart.  I put out mice and they yowl like they are starving.  They know the food is in the mice, I have not started hiding the mice although I have been putting them around the house to give them the idea that food is no longer just in one place.  I do it with them following me, so I’m not sure “hiding” will ever be possible.

At least one of them is fully aware of how to manage the mice to get food because yesterday when I came home from work and today when i woke up the mice were empty and the food eaten.  But I don’t know if it’s both of them or just one.  They will not eat from the mice if I’m home and awake.  Apparently hoping I will offer up the buffet style they prefer.

Because I don’t know if both of them know how to use the mice I have a bit of food anxiety for them.

Positives:

Nearly all of the above are concerns from my human perspective.  I bought these for a purpose.  To keep a bored cat more interested in his daily life.  It’s hard to say if it’s working.  He’s not been acting out in obsessive ways, which was the thing that triggered my concern.

I intend to keep using them until or unless it becomes a problem from the cat’s perspective.  Beyond their lazy preference for buffet food.

New Years Eve. I just got home from work at 10:30pm.

And I didn’t get everything done and tomorrow will be worse as far as number of things that need to get done.

I always start these sorts of days with the absolute belief that it’s all doable and by mid-day I know it’s gonna be overtime and by the time the overtime begins I making choices about what won’t get done.

Of course tomorrow is another day.  That is what if beautiful about tomorrows.  What can’t be done today, can be accomplished tomorrow.   And by Wednesday, the excess work will be sorted and it will all be done.  Tomorrow it won’t all get done.  I say this to prepare my mind for the fact.  Perhaps if I go in knowing that I will make different decisions.

In my old job, I could count on one hand the times I left work on my desk when I left.  Possibly two hands, but I’m leaning heavily into one.

When I worked late, it was USUALLY on a task that could be done in one day.

I could have finished all the tasks today but I would have left at midnight.  It didn’t seem like a wise thing, much less an attractive one.  So I came home.  Cuddled my cats and now I await the inevitable firecrackers, which will raise my anxiety.

I’ve bought a bottle of wine in hopes of being asleep when they start and being able to stay asleep through them.  I don’t hold out much hope.  It’s 11:15pm and I haven’t even finished a glass of wine.  I’m not even tired yet.

Tomorrow I’m going to leave work for a few hours in the middle of the day and have lunch with my nephew and his Significant Other.  It’s a busy day to interrupt with a lunch, but I made a healthy decision and recognized the my nephew is more important than getting every damn task off my desk.

The first of the month is a bear for me.  All of our biggest accounts are invoiced on the first for the previous months trips.  1000s of tickets per account.  Many of them require special handling and invoicing in ways that are not normal.  It’s ridiculous.  And time consuming.  Last month I did it all alone, my teammate who trained me, helped me in the previous 3 months.  I was damn proud of that solo accomplishment.  But tomorrow will be worse due to it’s day – Tuesday.  Only worse if it was a Monday.  And being a Holiday it means less help.

But it’s doable.  Thank Chaos that the Stillness was gone this morning.  Hopefully it will remain away tomorrow.

 

Watching People be Busy and Productive

I adore youtube channels where people make things.  I watch makers do things I have absolutely no interest in doing myself, I’m just fascinated with their productiveness and the creation of a thing.  I follow woodworking, metal working, cooking, gardening, and artists of all kinds.

Yesterday I binge watched a channel of a young man who is rebuilding a 108 year old yacht.  I think he he is going to be lucky to keep 20 yards of original board on that boat.  It was a mess.  It will take years and years to rebuild it.  And he’s filming it.

He’s a boat builder, so it’s not like he’s inexperienced.  And he threw himself into this project heart and soul.  It’s hard work.  Both mentally and physically.

A few weeks ago he cut off his finger.  He was quite philosophical about it.  Life is about taking risks, he said.  You don’t learn anything or experience anything if you don’t take risks.  Sometimes you get hurt, but it’s all part of the process of living.

I don’t do anything.  Even in smaller ways.  People like Leo, the ship builder, fascinate me.   They just do it.  It might not work.  But the doing is worth it.  My grandmother was like that.  I’m not.  I’m stillness to their wind.  I want to be more like the wind – changing things, making things, doing things.  It seems like it’s just as simple as Just do it.

But something in my brain, Depression, makes the space between thinking about a thing and doing a thing enormous.  It’s like the Grand Canyon and my brain doesn’t seem to be able to cross to the part that makes me move into action.

I call it Stillness.  It’s the antithesis of a well lived life.

I think I watch these youtube channels so I can live the life of productivity vicariously.  That might be making the stillness worse.  It’s possible my brain marks my experiencing the video as a thing accomplished.  Our brains are fucked up wonders.

Worrisome Behavior

Rebel Tim, the grey kitten whose not a kitten anymore, has been acting a bit off.  Odd.

IMG_20180819_181858079_HDR

He’s started doing obsessive digging in the kitty litter and yesterday he was digging at a random place on the hardwood floor.  Nothing there.  I smelled it worried that someone had peed there.  But nope.  I distracted him for a bit but once the distraction was over he was back to digging obsessively.

I picked him up to check his bladder – I’ve had cats with urinary tract blocks and it killed one and cost more than a fortune to fix the other one.   But his bladder wasn’t full.

I wonder if he is constipated?  But the kitty litter seems to have the requisite amount of poop. His stomach isn’t distended, although he is too fat.

Last night it finally occurred to me.  He’s bored.  And is acting out in odd ways.  He needs more playtime than Bijou is willing to give him.

I have been seriously considering getting those indoor hunter feeder things that Katzenworld recommended last week.  I have hesitated because I picture my own hunt to find the empty toys every day.  Also stepping on random uneaten pieces of dry food.  But I might be wrong about the food, he is a piglet.  I won’t be wrong about the annoying hunt.

I’m also worried that the more active recently a kitten will get a disproportionate amount of the food.  I’m not sure how to make sure that doesn’t happen, but I guess that’s part of the process.  Making them work and compete.  Maybe??

Has anyone tried the indoor hunter feeder for a multi-cat household?

The Christmas Party

Today was the Xmas party at work.  My coworker, K, was in charge of it.  She worked her tail off for it and it paid off for her.  It was a great success.

They gave out those folding chairs that people drag to their kids soccer game and sweaters.  All with the company logo, obviously.  My sweater was too small, but one doesn’t mention that for a variety of reasons, not all of them related to my humiliation at being too big.   I can’t be given a gift and then go – Not it’s not my size, is there a different one in that box?  That’s rude.

We had Secret Santa.  I got 2 bottles of alcohol in the MOST ADORABLE FUZZY SANTA BAGS.  There was a little Santa cap on the top of the bottle.  I was enchanted by those bags.  I showed them to everyone.  They were all enchanted.

Isn’t it funny how the small, inexpensive thing is the thing that is such a hit.  For me the alcohol is nice, but those adorable Santa bottle bags were perfect.   They came from the Dollar Tree.  She spent $2 on bags that made me so happy.  And $25 on alcohol that it was nice to get, but did not give me the smiles that those little bags did.

I remember 20 years ago I bought my nephews $5 plastic swords for Xmas.  I didn’t think the gift would amount to much. Their parents and grandparents spent enormous money and huge effort to get the latest hottest thing for them.  But in the end, they LOVED the swords and played with them the entire day and for years after.

I don’t know how I hit on those swords, anymore than my coworker knows how she hit the jackpot on an impulse buy for something that I didn’t ask for but would make the presentation more fun.  Sometimes those inexpensive impulses are the best gift, however much you don’t expect it.

 

Eating

I don’t eat well.  Mostly because the depression’s stillness and odd thinking makes cooking into a monster task that doesn’t get done regularly.

So I resort to frozen meals and sandwiches most of the time.  And I’m not even getting a variety of those.  I eat the same frozen meals over and over and over…

I eat the same 2 sandwiches as well.

None of these items is particularly healthy.

All it would take for me to eat in a healthy way would be for me to prepare food.   I dream about doing a big meal prep once a week and just having that be my go to all week.   And every once in awhile I do that.  But it’s a rare event.

I follow a subreddit called Meal Prep Sunday  and I honestly think that my brain feels like it’s accomplished the goal by subscribing and seeing other people’s meal preps.

I bought a slow cooker in the mistaken belief that this easy no fuss method of cooking would make me cook and I would come home from work to hot food.  I’m pretty sure my brain thinks buying the slowcooker accomplished the goal.  I have only used it once in 3 years.

I think about making excellent tasting food to make me want to eat better.  I watch a TON of cooking videos on youtube.  I have only tried to make one thing from one of those videos.  My brain is capable of deciding that watching someone cook that meal is the same as me cooking the meal.

I know that it sounds like I’m being funny, but your brain does it too.  The human brain is kind of broken in how it evolved us into thinking creatures.  One of the things that broke is that the brain can imagine doing something and it marks the experience as a real.  MRI imaging shows the act of picking up a cup and imagining picking up a cup look EXACTLY the same in our brains.  I think it’s why so many people, myself included, have a hard time accomplishing their goals and dreams.

And I fell off subject again.  Sorry.

So, the problem, as I see it, is to overcome my brains natural tendency to assign something as accomplished when it didn’t happen.  I think depression makes that extra slippery because obviously my conscious brain can see the issue but depression makes me forget about the things that should be accomplished.  It takes that feeling of the task being accomplished and uses it to misdirect my brain away from the doing.   ie – it’s part of depression’s stillness strategy.

This is why I’m a big fan of lists and alarms.  But the same problem often happens with the lists – the stillness will make me ignore / forget / or defer the list.   Or and this is one of the shittiest things – I will get a flood of thoughts about all the various things I should do.  And all of them come with some corresponding reason that they should be the priority.   This creates a barrage that guarantees a stillness in me.  I won’t leave the bed wen the barrage starts.

Again – lists are helpful – but they aren’t as good at setting up the priority thing.  Should I vacuum or cook?  Should I take a walk or draw?  Should I do laundry or shop?  Should I call a friend for socializing or should I go to a park a sketch? Except it’s never even a dichotomy it’s always a bunch of options.  So now I need to prioritize the list.

And more than that, I need to prioritize the reasons for each one, otherwise how do I really know how to prioritize the actions.  Ie – what’s the long term goal?  Is socializing more important than eating well?  Is exercise more important than a clean apartment?  Is being creative more important than socializing?   I DON’T KNOW?!

So I freeze up and don’t make a list of priorities.  And so here we are.  Me eating a shitty frozen meal for breakfast and wishing I would eat well.

ANNOYED HUSKY

I hate knowing what is wrong, how to fix it and yet still being somehow and RIDICULOUSLY defeated by this damn depression.

So – by New Years I will have a set of priorities in place and I will have a plan for the 2019.   I’ve got work to do on this mess of a life I’m leading.

ellie-front

 

 

Money..

Now that I don’t have so much of it, it’s become less important to me.

Well, that’s not quite how I mean it.  I mean OBVIOUSLY it’s deeply important.  It’s the source of my food, safety and bed.  Also the cat’s food, safety and bed.

What I mean is that I’m no longer so concerned about having more of it than I need for my most immediate needs.  I don’t long for a newer prettier car.  I don’t want a new outfit every week.  I don’t need a fancy vacation.  I don’t even want to live in a nicer place.

So I guess it’s not that money isn’t important it’s that I’m not as concerned about the less important things money can buy.  As a result I don’t feel a lot of pressure to make more and more and more money.

On the other hand, I’m not rich.  I don’t have enough money saved for retirement and at my current income I never will.  I just don’t make enough and there isn’t enough time to make up for the loss of my life’s savings.  This doesn’t bother me too much.

I’ve come to realize that my mental health requires structure which I get from a job.  So.  It’s OK with me if I die while still working.

On the other hand, I am currently working 6 days a week.  The 6th day is overtime and that income is what makes my life more comfortable.  I don’t worry quite as constantly about each thing I buy.  I am not trying to figure out how to make $25 in the bank last for the 5 days until my next check.  I’m not scared of an unexpected charge sending me into the red.   I easily save money.

Those things are a WHOLE LOT MORE COMFORT than a fancy car or big house.  It’s like laying in the middle of a huge bed on top of a down comforter.  It’s warm and soft and good.

But the 6th day of work is starting to wear on me.  For the first year or so that I did it, my Sunday overtime was quiet and filled with side tasks and responsibilities unique to that day.  It felt different to the rest of my week.  I was home by 130pm and it felt like I still had a day off.   It never really felt like I was working 6 days/week.

But in my new job, it’s the opposite.  It’s now my current job, without my coworker’s there to help and my old job wedged into it.  It’s more work, it’s more pressure and it’s hectic.  I stay a lot longer.   It now feels like I work 6.5 days per week.  I don’t want to do it anymore.  And here’s the thing.  I don’t really have to.  I could just say I’m not doing this anymore and they would find someone else to cover the phones on Sunday Morning.

But I’m not excited to give up that money.  It’s the cushy bed that feels so safe and COMFORTABLE.

I’m grunchy a lot of the time at work.  I think it’s because I’m there too much.  I take it all too seriously.

I spent the first several years after homelessness on the verge of financial disaster.  I managed.  I got good at it.  I won’t fall into financial disaster if I stop working on Sunday.  I will just stop feeling like I’m in the middle of that down covered bed.  I will be back on a cot worrying about falling off the edge when I turn over unaware.

Maybe I can compromise and work every other Sunday.  Or just cut the cord.  I’m getting soft living with all this money comfort.  😎 Said the girl who is finally making what she made 20 years ago in an entry level job by working overtime in this one.

 

 

Sent Home by HR

A coworker was sent  home by HR.

She struggles with a alot of issues, depression, grief of a recent a loss of her significant other and the loss of her home.   A tree fell on her mobile home a month before her SO died.  You can see the trend of her life.

But before any of this happened she had physical and mental issues that caused her to attempt to get SSI.  But it didn’t work.

She was trying again for SSI when I was hired into the department under the idea that she intended to quit because of the SSI.

And then all of the above happened. And she had no other income.  And then when her SO died it became CRITICAL.  He died about 4 weeks after I was hired to fill the expected space she would create by her quitting.  That didn’t happen because – he died.

I felt like shit.  I went to my boss and said – Listen you can move me back to my old job and keep her .  But here’s the thing.  It’s not that simple.  Shes on drugs.  Prescription mind altering drugs.  At work.  Often.

She falls asleep at her desk when she is on these drug.  It’s not like you can nudge her awake.  I have physically shaken her and not woken her up.   It’s at MINIMUM annoying to us, her coworkers.  At worst it’s threatening her job.

I work at a small company.  The owners know us individually and probably way too much about our messed up lives.  But they are SOOO kind.  That kindness is what got me hired while I was homeless due to severe nonfunctional depression and what kept my job in midst of some of my dark mental moments.  It’s also what keeps my coworker in her job.  But patience and kindness have their limits.  And I am worried the owners have reached theirs.

Today, before I got to work, the new HR director walked in on my drugged coworker SLEEPING in her chair in the middle of the office.  Apparently she wasn’t even at her desk.  Her chair was in the middle of the office and she was snoozing.  The HR position is new.  Part of the effort to step up the level of business our income deserves.  He has no association with her golden past.  All he sees is a person who is so drugged she can’t stay awake.  He sent her home and wrote her up.

I worry about her. If she loses this job – It will be DEVASTATING.  She needs rehab.  But if she loses this job…

I know what it’s like to be so depressed that even the effort to get out bed is gargantuan.  She’s in that place now and she has managed for 3 or 4 weeks to get to work. PLUS she had the drugs issue.  I want her to get the help she needs and deserves but I have no idea how to help her do that

I’m worried that she is going to lose this job.  The job is such a pivotal part of how my life got better that I REALLY DON’T WANT HER TO LOSE IT.  But how do you talk about that to someone you really don’t know that well.  Should I try, even though we hardly know each other?  I am so worried about her.

 

 

 

Saturday

I work 6 days a week.  Saturday is my only day off.  You would think this would be my day of activities and joy and friends and projects.

It’s not.  It tends to be a black hole of nothing.  It the day my depression induced stillness can get it’s way.  I mostly lay in bed reading, scrolling through various websites and basically doing nothing of value.

I have managed my depression in most of the areas of my life.  But my days off continue to be a problem.   Today I want to just clean the apartment a bit, do a couple of loads of laundry and cook something for meals for the next week.  Even as I write that I know it’s more than I can manage.  Despite the fact that it’s a normal amount of stuff for a person to do.

I really need to choose just one of those tasks as my priority.  Probably Laundry.  It’s the most necessary for the next week’s needs.  I can live in a messy house but I still need clean clothes for work.  And this defines why I’m not really getting farther than the treading water.  I do the barest minimum to make my life work.

I’m really just one of the people in those bleak movies.  Trudging along in greyness.

What is even more necessary than all the tasks I think I should do is to find some joy in this life.  To get more social.  To find creative things that bring me personal satisfaction.  I think a Good Life is about the people and making things.  I’m doing nothing to promote that in my life.

I’m so much better than I was 6 years ago.  But only in that I’m not homeless and penniless and jobless.  I’m working and self sufficient and I don’t feel like my life is out of control.  I’m able to interact with my family better.  But I’m not even close to content or happy.  I’m… grey and blank.