Sweet Cravings

I am absolutely starving for a new volume of poetry that will blow my soul open. I need some poetic C4. I’ve been asleep lately, and only some fresh imagery and sensuousness can wake me. Alliteration allows me to think in music. Synesthesia strokes my senses.

I have been writing a little bit the past couple of days, but I still feel a tremendous pressure in the back of my head from all the images that are stuck behind my mental block. I’ve been able to birth a few good lines, but mostly I am blocked. It is as though there is a dam in my mind and the poetry is leaking through at a trickle, when what I need is a flood.

Science fiction and horror are starting to call my name, so I think I will read through some of the volumes I bought but haven’t read yet of horror and scifi. I  am renewing my interest in microfiction too.

Today my mom had surgery on her toe. Thankfully it went well and she is out of the hospital and at home resting comfortably. I wasn’t able to go to the surgery because my poor babysitter is sick with the flu, but my thoughts are with her. I  was going to take Angelica with me to visit Mom at her house after the surgery, but Mom was tired (turns out she had to be sedated in addition to her local anesthesia) and needed to sleep undisturbed. I will go over tomorrow to keep her company and see if she needs anything. She can walk on her heel, but she cannot drive so if she needs to go anywhere she has to have help.

Today I have washed dishes, loaded laundry, emptied trash, washed and refilled our Soda Stream bottles, supervised Angelica cleaning her room, and I am feeling utterly uninspired to do anything else. I don’t have to do a major cleaning because the cleaning lady is coming tomorrow, but I should at least sweep. I might read a good homemaking blog to give me that little boost needed to do the boring but Holy work of house cleaning.

Lately my brain has been trying to climb upward toward hypomania. I had to cut back on mood stabilizer because it was making me too tired (one of the reasons I always have low energy) and I think it is causing me to swing a little. But so far instead of feeling super good and creative I just get suddenly irritable and angry at no one in particular and for no good reason. I will suddenly be overwhelmed by a desire to yell (that I don’t give in to) or to be alone.

Rising like this has made me miss my good hypomanias. I don’t miss mania, but hypomania can be fun if you don’t do anything too stupid and get in trouble. I become keenly creative and highly energetic. Colors actually look brighter. All my senses awaken. I can see connections between things that I normally can’t. I really hope if I do swing high into hypomania I get one of the exciting ones, not one of the angry ones. No hypomania is good for you, but at least I get something out of the ones that feel good. It doesn’t get scary until you are thinking so fast you can’t remember your thoughts.

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Count Down to Colorado

The move is coming up fast. The guy from the moving company came out Friday to count how many mattresses and big pieces of furniture we have. We received  a list of things to do before the packers arrive the day before Valentine’s Day. We need to separate out everything we are bringing ourselves before they get here. Of course, my crystal is coming with us.

I am trying to maximize time with my family before we go, since we are going so far away. Angelica spent Thursday and Friday with my mom and dad, and she spent the weekend in Richmond with her Aunt Bridget. She had a blast. They went to an aquarium at a historical site, got ice cream, made cookies, watched Veggie Tales, and Angelica got to meet one of Bridget’s friends. She was sad to come home! Hopefully she can spend another weekend with Aunt Bridget before we go.

Although Craig has a little more than a month left at his current job, it was already time for the Hail and Farewell for his office, so the command went out to dinner at Vino together and welcomed the new people while saying bye to those who are leaving in the next couple of months last Thursday. Craig’s farewell speech was the funniest by far and he got several people humorous bail gifts. I was pleased because I had no anxiety. In the past I’ve had a hard time with Craig’s command functions. Social situations make my anxiety so much worse. But lately my anxiety has been so low that I spent an entire dinner out with Craig’s coworkers and their wives calm and happy. I didn’t need even one Clonopin. In fact I haven’t taken a Clonopin in about 2 months. I’ve had some low level anxiety in that time, but nothing unmanageable. Always very fleeting. So all in all it was a great evening. We had a good time and I didn’t have to take pills or excuse myself to get through it.

I am trying to find a psychiatrist in Colorado Springs but from what I’ve seen and from what I’ve been told there’s a shortage. One office lady told me the psychiatrist in her office was retiring and referring people  to general practitioners because he didn’t have a psychiatrist who would take them. I guess I just have to keep calling around. I can’t go without one. I have so many different kinds of doctors to find out there.

Then of course I have to find a good housekeeper, one with access to base since we will be living on base. It is hard to find someone for a reasonable price who is  trustworthy and does a thorough job. We will miss Sherry.

Most of all it is going to be hard to find a good babysitter. Our babysitter here, Linda, is beyond perfect. She does so many wonderful activities with Angelica and is just so good to her. She reads to her and does pinterest crafts with her and plays music for her and flies kites with her and does educational activities. Linda even helps with things around the house while she is here, and she is always very flexible with scheduling. Over the past year she has become more than a babysitter. She has become a friend. We hang out when she isn’t babysitting Angelica. Linda is one of the friends I will miss most when I leave. How am I going to find someone else to be so great with Angelica? How am I going to find such a good friend in Colorado?

Colorado is a whole new world. I have to build a new life for myself in a way. I have no family there, and normally I spend a lot of time with my family. I have no friends there. I don’t know where the stores I like are out there, or where the good local places to go are. I’m not connected to any other moms there, and I need to find some so Angelica can make friends. We need play dates. I don’t have any of the doctors we need. I don’t have a babysitter so that I can take time to myself or go to appointments. I don’t have a cleaning lady, and that’s just nice to have! Basically I’m starting from scratch and I have no support system. When Craig starts his new job I’m on my own. No company, no help.

I just have to hope my mood stays stable throughout the moving process. If it does, all this will be fine and I can take my time building a support network of friends and others. The big worry is that the change and the stress will set me off high or low and I will need a friend and a sitter and my family and won’t have any of the above, and Craig will have to start work. But I’ve been stable lately, so hopefully that gives me a firm enough foundation to go forward. With Bipolar you just never know. But the adventure begins February 23rd or 24th.

Pharmacological Fog

Recapturing yourself will be easy.

White still in the bedroom,

structure from private, necessary snow.

dreaming of silence.

Your mind is a playground of artillery.

 

Capturing the sense of yourself will be hard,

Lost 2 feet tall in a field of chaff.

The women have needles and no yarn.

A man sits toward the curdling sun,

his face a mouth.

 

Sound your siren song

A gentle offering of wisteria wishes

and sulking letters.

Give her a sonorous rope to tie round her wrist

a little balloon bobbing desperately toward mass.

 

Depression

The cessation of Fire

in me is like a white wall of Holy cold.

I manufacture crosses.

I carry most of them.

Others I strap to my man and my baby.

Suffering sleeps at the end of my bed,

takes up space.

drives me away in the middle of the night.

Sometimes I drive to a gold mine and wish for another God

if I cannot have another me.

Mania

Lush lights linger lightly on my legs.

Excess ecstasy jerks in my finger tips.

I have too much of myself.

I am smoldering.

My old jeans make juice from jam.

I’m going to take my face off

and dance with the band.

Please understand.

Gratitude, Meds, Creativity

My mood dropped a lot last night. I didn’t even finish my hot bath.  I have been uneven lately. I think my antidepressant is starting to burn out. To ward off any deep plunges, I did take double the dose a couple of times last week and that raised me up. But as soon as I stopped taking double I dropped again (yesterday). My antidepressants periodically burn out on me and I have to switch to something different. I am going to ask when I see my psychiatrist on Wednesday. Until then I will be taking double doses to keep myself going and functional and creative. Last night I asked Craig to wake me up before he went to work this morning just long enough for me to take my antidepressants early so that they would kick in by the time it was time for me to get up. The plan worked so I intend to try again. Maybe this can help keep my mood stable and help me wake up earlier in the morning. When antidepressant kicks in it energizes me. So it may be that by taking it at 6 something in the morning I’ll be awake by 8 or 9.

To help boost my mood, and because it is always a good practice, I want to list some things I am grateful for.

1. My mother and father. I am so glad they are in my life. They are wonderful parents and grandparents.

2. My sister. She is a good sister and a great aunt to Angelica.

3. Taco Bell. What can I say? I like their cheese quesadillas.

4. That I live in Hampton Roads where the Mexican restaurants have that white dip.

5. My library. It is a privilege and a pleasure to own a library full of books.

6. My cute yellow cottage. My house is perfect for me and my family. Perfect look, perfect size, perfect design, and for my husband, the perfect location.

7. Plus size stores. Plus size clothing options are still limited, but I know that there is a lot more available today than what there used to be.

8. That I got my car back Saturday from having work done on it since that lady crashed into me.

9. I am grateful to live in a time where there is so much art and music and literature readily available.

10. I am grateful to be short. I just like being petite.

Today I am at the library studying African poetry. Some countries I love. Others not as much. Overall though, I thoroughly enjoy African poetry and this Penguin volume of poetry from each country in Africa is quite educating for me. As usual, reading poetry inspires me to write poetry so I have been getting a lot of writing done. I will post that writing here, though I am not certain some of it is so good. But it feels good to create and be mentally active. Plus, I don’t want to lose any of my work and I use this blog to archive it so I need to post my poetry.

 

 

Crappy Friend, Dirty Animals

This morning (Thursday) I was a totally crappy friend. One of my friends was throwing a birthday party for another one of my friends and I slept right through it. This constant sleeping is really a problem. I feel so bad. And my friend only lives across the street so it’s not like I had some big journey to get there. I literally had to roll out of bed, throw on a dress, and walk across the street.

I am ashamed of myself. The get-together was early, being from 9 to 11, but that’s not that early. It’s not like it was a 6 a.m. breakfast or something. Craig is going to be home tomorrow and I am asking him to wake me up at 7 or 8. I must start getting up earlier. I’m just so out of it in the morning that I sleep straight through alarms. Craig has been trying to help me get up earlier but this morning he forgot. And at any rate I need to get myself to where I can wake up at a reasonable hour without any help because waking me up is not his job. It just goes to show how hard it is to wake up when I have something in the morning that I want to go do and I sleep right through it. It’s not like I was waking up to filing my taxes. I was waking up to going to a get together with friends. That’s something I look forward to. And I still slept right through it.

Today we bought a steam cleaner and went to the condo to steam clean the rooms that are carpeted. I have definitely learned a lesson in being a landlord. No dogs and no cats allowed. The room that belonged to the tenant with the dog and the cat was so much dirtier then the other tenants’ room. We were renting to a married couple and the wife’s friend. The friend had the dog and the cat and the carpet where her bed was sitting is still so nice and pristine. The rest of the carpet is just permanently darker even after steam cleaning. The carpet in the other room doesn’t look like that.

The fact is that dogs and cats, especially dogs, make houses dirty and some people that own them do not do the cleaning necessary to keep up with the animals. Dogs go in and out of the house all day and track in mud and dog poop and debris. They also lick themselves and rub on to the carpet. They are dirty animals. If you have an exceptionally clean person you may not notice that, as they will be regularly vacuuming and steam cleaning and mopping for themselves. But overall dogs make for dirty carpets.

We steam cleaned to the best of our ability and we’re going to steam clean again tomorrow. So we will be turning over clean carpets to the buyer. Having a dog in the house significantly shortened the life of the carpet though. It isn’t a big deal, but when I rent out my yellow house next year I know that I do not want to accept people with dogs or cats. No pets allowed except maybe small ones. This is also because while we were trying to show the house the girl who owned the dog kept not wanting to show the house and saying it was too hard for her because she didn’t have a place to put her dog and her dog has crate anxiety. I shouldn’t not be able to show my house because of an animal and it almost came to that more than once. It was a constant battle, even with 24 hours notice and a monthly rebate on rent for showing the house in good condition. 

I posted about this problem in a landlords group online and I got interesting responses. People who were not dog owners, and a few reasonable people that were, sided with me and said that the tenant needs to be willing to show the house with the legally mandated 24 hour notice, and that their dog is their problem. They are lucky to be allowed pets at all. We didn’t even charge a pet deposit. But all the dog lovers jumped in and said how I should be willing to pay for doggie daycare then ( I guess on top of the rental rebate I was offering for showing the house nicely, something I didn’t have to do), and that you can’t expect a dog with anxiety to stay in a crate. They even said if I have to have the unit sitting empty for a few months (because of not being able to show the condo while the tenants live there because of the dog) and pay the mortgage myself and lose thousands of dollars so that her dog and her don’t have to be inconvenienced I should be okay with that. I thought that landlording was a business  but apparently  it’s animal comfort first  and money second. It really taught me a lot about these animal lover people and I just don’t want to rent to them. Explanations to these people that someone else’s dog should not cost me potentially thousands of dollars in lost rent or a lost sale goes right over their heads. But…but…cute puppy!…..but it is scared of the crate….but it is time consuming to have someone come home and walk the dog…awww look its tail is wagging.        Don’t care.

Never again.  Having animals on my property is a privilege, not a right. If it is going to inconvenience me or cost me money I am not going to do it. Never again will I be yelled at by a tenant because I am inconveniencing a dog. If it can’t stay in a crate it can’t stay in my house. I will not have someone else’s dog become my problem.

Sad Mornings

Lately I just can’t seem to feel any joy in the mornings. I don’t know why. I always have a good day to look forward to. But lately not only am I having a hard time waking up, I’m having a hard time getting up and getting going when I do finally wake up. I feel neither the urgency of the things I need to do nor the anticipation of the things I want to do. Instead I feel just sort of empty and low. I want to curl up in a ball and just stay still for the day. When I do finally get going I am okay, but I just haven’t been feeling my best in the mornings. I hope my mood is not starting to dip, as usually having a hard time getting out of bed is a sign that it is dropping. And today at lunch I actually had anxiety, which I haven’t had in a few weeks.

However I feel, I need to get more done during the day and I also want to make the most of and enjoy my mornings. So I need to come up with a plan to get me going earlier, and get me eager to start my day. I have a good life, so getting up in the morning should be something I look forward to.

Starting tomorrow, I’m going to do several things to change my mornings. I’m going to set my alarm using an app called Alarm Clock Xtreme. The app settings allow you to require yourself to solve math problems of varying degrees of difficulty in order to snooze the alarm or turn it off. I’m hoping this forcing function of getting me to use my tired brain in the morning will force me to truly wake up. I’ve set the alarm for 8:02. Let’s see what time I wake up.

Now for the motivating myself to get out of bed part. I’m going to start setting daily checklists in my color note app in my color note calendar that will have reminders that pop up and show me what I need to do.  If that doesn’t help I’ll try Evernote or some other scheduling apps that might give me reminders of things I need and want to do. I’m hoping that just seeing a list of what I need and want to accomplish will help motivate me to get out of bed. I like Colornote because of the ease of use factor and because of all the rainbow colors it lets you use.

I’m going to try and start incorporating scripture in to my morning. Scripture can be so energizing and inspiring and it is the perfect way to start the day. So after making sure the baby has what she needs, and after letting the bunny out, I will dive into the Word. The Bible reminds me to take care of my family, my home, and myself – reminders I need when I’m not doing my best. And if the alarm I’m using to wake up actually works I should be awake early enough for once to have the chance to start the day with scripture.

Beyond that, I’m open to ideas. What can I do to dramatically change my mornings and my perspective on them? How can I take my mornings from unproductive and blah to creative and electric?