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?

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.

1st Weekend with Bunny, Sleep

Well this morning I almost made my goal for not sleeping in, but I woke up before my alarm and thought I could go back to sleep until my alarm went off. Then I slept past my alarm. I should have just stayed up. Next time I will. I’m determined that tomorrow will be better.

Weekend one with the bunny has gone well. So far he has not peed outside his litterbox once. He has pooped outside it, but it has stayed at a manageable level. He’s still sweet, cuddly, and calm. Yesterday he took an apple from Angelica and started munching on it.  Simply adorable.  He also took on a little stuffed alligator and was playing with it. Parsnip hasn’t chewed on any wires yet, thank goodness.

One ear is kind of lopped over and he can’t seem to pick it up very much, so I think he might be a mixed breed with lop. The other ear stands at attention. The result is a bunny who looks like he’s trying to get TV reception.

He watched Real Housewives of New York with me for awhile. Real Housewives is my concession to reality tv. I think it is fun to watch, and great to watch when you’re tired because it doesn’t take a lot of thought. I was really tired yesterday. So tired in fact that I went to bed with baby at 8:30, rather than staying up a little later like I usually do when I’m by myself. But by 8:30 I was ready to pass out.

Sleep

Sleep is sometimes an issue for me. The problem is cyclical, as it is connected to my Bipolar issues, and is also partly caused by my medications. My Depakote makes me really tired. I’m definitely not an energetic person.

Lately I feel so frustrated by the amount I sleep. I want to be awake more hours to spend more time with my daughter, and to have more hours to get stuff done around the house. More hours to read, more hours to write, more hours to visit with family – all of that would be amazing. So often I sleep through my alarm, and if I don’t set an alarm I’ll often sleep til 1 pm. Needless to say I use an alarm.

Sleep is hard with Bipolar because if you don’t get enough sleep you have mood swings, and so it is often not a good idea to get up if you’re still really tired. But I need more time awake. I am going to have to push my luck. I feel like I am sleeping through my life.

I’m going to use several alarm apps and try to start getting up by 8. It will be a gradual process, as I average 9:45, but I want to do it. I want to start waking up early to maximize my day, and hopefully as I wake up earlier I’ll also start falling asleep earlier. Lately I’ve had some issues with insomnia.

Numb

Yesterday I got a massage, but by the end of the massage instead of feeling good I felt low. I’ve been numb ever since. I just don’t feel like myself and I am not enjoying myself or getting things done, and I’m having dark thoughts. I need to pull myself out of this before it becomes a full blown depression. I’m not in pain, so that’s good. I’m just numb.

I always have a hard time dealing with Craig’s underways and I think it is just catching up to me. It is a lot of loneliness and change. I don’t do well with either one.

I could feel a lot worse, but I am definitely sliding downward.  Everything is taking way more effort than it should.

In the hopes of making sure today isn’t a total loss, I’m making a list of things I need and want to do and I’m going to see if I can get to all of them. So far it is 3:30 and I’ve already taken a shower, made lunch, and done a load of dishes. Not an amazingly productive day, but could be a lot worse.

So here’s my list

-read Scripture

-take a hot bath

-play some educational games with Angelica

-get the toys picked up

-put away the laundry in the dryer

-read

Hopefully this list will give me the accountability to actually do some of these things.

A Question for Blog Followers

I am toying with the notion of combining poetry and my personal life on this blog. Right now I run a separate blog about my daily life, but some part of me wants to be authentic here and write about myself, as well as catalog my poetry. However, I don’t want to bog down blog followers with information they don’t want.

About me: I am a married mother of one, a Christian, a Bipolar sufferer, on the Autism spectrum, a scrapbooker, and a serious reader. I’m a Navy wife, a synesthete, a beach girl, and a color addict.

Is anyone interested in hearing about my daily life to go along with the poetry and getting to know the poet behind the poems, or would you rather I kept this blog poetry only?

Mania

Frazzled fire

licks me frenetically.

My mind is the Monday after a holiday weekend

that meandered into a new month,

and the paperwork in me chafes and squeaks.

Behind my eyes I am filing.

I have begun 178 projects.

177 are exactly what I have been needing, what I have been waiting for.

1 is even better.

My eyes,

my hands,

my judgment ache,

and all I can hear is agitated paper.

Scrape scrape scrape.

 

 

Mood

Mood like a leaf,

a falling leaf beautiful and dead.

I appreciate normalcy because it’s gone.

Quickly my neurons shudder,

power plants going cold.

Please someone find a rake,

pull me together.

Light a candle so I can see my way out of this darkness.