Remember when I said I didn't remember how to take pictures with my camera? Here is how the first few photos turned out. If you look very carefully you can see the shadow in the bottom right hand corner. It seems to be somewhat overexposed.
I do not have bipolar disorder and I am super glad about that. I don't know that unipolar Depression is any better, but it seems more manageable somehow.
But still, there are times when I am kind of speedy and times when I am really not. Just because my level of "manic" is nowhere near a clinical definition does not mean that there are not highs and lows.
After all, people without a diagnosis of Depression experience highs and lows. It is normal.
So, as I sit here with my injured shoulder (&*(T^$#!!!#$^&(IRT$!) reflecting on the fact that I have not been able to take time to post for the past week because I have been too busy sprint-cleaning. That my monomaniacal obsession with the state of the house has grown to somewhat ridiculous proportions in these past few days.
Here is what it feels like: that I am adopting some of the ticks that came along with my eating disorder, without going in to the calorie restriction or the over-exercising. Those are just the obvious things. The things that people notice. Really in some ways the least problematic things.
Most of my days (when I was at the peak of my anorexia) were spent making sure that I followed an increasing number of imaginary rules. And I feel that part of me coming out to play a little bit now.
That rigid thinking.
That need to control minute details in my surroundings.
The idea that there can be a just right way for things to be. Perfect. No wrinkles on the bedspread. No soup spoons touching teaspoons in the drawer. Hard cover books color-coded on the shelf. No, alphabetized. No, organized by subject. No, by height. No... maye
The problem is that when I had these ticks back in the dark ages of high school, I only needed to exert control over my immediate surroundings. My bedroom. My locker.
Now I have a house.
And while the rules were impossible to follow even back then (because I kept adding new ones) it is even more ridiculous now that I have three children and a house and a yard and a job and a basement.
However, focusing on the impossible tasks eats up whatever space in my brain that might otherwise be spent thinking about things that I am having trouble coping with.
I am just as happy to have only the ticks and not the anorexia. Because I think it will be easier to bring under control. So to speak.
This post languished for days because my computer lost power and I could not be bothered to find the cord and plug it in.
So, I have managed to injure my shoulder badly enough that it kept me up last night. Could not relax my neck enough to rest my head on my pillow. It appears that juggling giant boxes of random crap does not sit well with my lack of upper-body strength.
When I went to see my chiropractor, she asked me if I had been doing pushups or lifting weights or perhaps helping someone move... nope. Just spring cleaning.
I am now on strict orders to rest said shoulder, to apply ice, take anti-inflammatories and to ease off the manic cleaning. Had to miss band practice tonight-- because I cannot bear the weight of my horn with my left arm.
I hope to be able to sleep tonight. My entire left side feels tense. Not just the stupid shoulder. I can see why people take muscle relaxants. Ugh.
Grateful Crap: ice
I may have gone a little overboard on the whole cleaning/decluttering thing. "Oh really? This must be a new thing for you..." Right. Pretty much every spare moment (and even some that I didn't have to spare) I spent in
AGRESSIVE CLEANING MODE
In agressive cleaning mode, you are always in motion, always moving just fast enough to work up a sweat and just slow enough that you can still talk (although maybe not sing). You are ruthless in the things that you decide to get rid of. You are not happy until a very large chunk of cleaning is done. You will not stop voluntarily. Some external force will need to act upon you.
Great. How very grown-up. Almost like these are things I should have been doing my entire life.
However, in agressive cleaning mode some other things happened as well:
Tyo: When I grow up I can kill things for us to eat.
[upon being reminded that we are, for the most part, a vegetarian household she was shocked. What do you eat?]
I did not go to meeting. This would have been the first Quaker meeting after the purposeful death of my friend. And I kind of really didn't want to be there. Wanted a little more time and space to elapse before returning to worship.
So I was gifted with a car that needed repair. Who knew that it was possible for an engine to overheat in weather below freezing?
Trapped at home. Spent much time in manic cleaning mode. Which I guess doesn't really fit in with sloth. But maybe I was doing penance for not wanting to go to meeting. Who knows.
Grateful Crap: Something. I can't think back on it right now.
Sure we are still gettting sub-zero weather late into March. And as I am writing this (actually March 27) snow is coming down in giant, lovely, airy flakes. And this winter has really sucked in a lot of ways from a Depression standpoint.
However, it is super nice to sit somewhere cozy and drink tea with a friend. So after flaking out on doing anything with friends during the week, I made plans to see said friends individually at later times.
So this particular Saturday I went to Lady Elegant's Tea Room and had a tea sampler. Which was delightful. The place, the food, the tea and the friend. Nice.
Grateful Crap: Friends who get that my hibernation/avoidance thing is totally not about them.
took meds (I have been really good about doing this at night)
tea with a friend
Got home at 9:30 - concert tonight. More posting tomorrow. Uneventful day. Because all I did was stay home with sick child, spend much time decluttering and napping with daughter before my concert. Now watching Elementary.
I found out on this day that my friend passed away. It was not nearly as emotionally devastating as finding out that she planned to end her life. Because once she made that decision the result was inevitable.
Still it is sad, for me. When people try to tell me that it is not sad when someone dies if they are elderly it kind of pisses me off. Maybe it isn't sad for the elderly person (especially if they made the decision of how and when to go) but may be very sad for those who love them.
Also, the daughter got sick in the car on the way home. I guess her red blood cells were pushing something out of her stomach again. Mostly dark chocolate. It's one of only two things she had to eat all day. She spend most of the afternoon yelling at everyone that she was NOT HUNGRY. All things considered, I am glad that she didn't eat much.
Grateful Crap: no longer have to wait for news of friend's death
French toast with Friends
There is a reason that opposites attract. Spouse and I are alike in many ways, but the ways in which we are different are super-helpful. So that when I dive head-first into my next project I have some kind of life-line to pull me back to reality. (For instance, rescuing some hastily-pruned books from the to-go pile this afternoon.)
I have been reading a book on minimalist living right before I go to sleep and it has had a great impact on the ferociousness with which I attack my "stuff" as I declutter. I don't feel the need to hang on to everything that is "nice." Because someone else will think it is nice and i am not using it. And it is much nicer to have S P A C E.
Right. So I agressively tackled my bedroom and replaced my ragged quilt and mismatched curtains. Trip to the Goodwill netted me things that I enjoy seeing in my room. So now I make the bed. And I draw the curtains open. And I make sure that the floor is clear. Because I like my room. Where I didn't before.
And because it is now a nice place to be, I took out my sewing machine (for the first time in almost a year!) and hemmed up the curtains, made a shorter curtain to use when the window air-conditioner is in (from the waste material) and a matching throw-pillow cover to toss on the bed.
I have also enlisted the help of the children to engage in a "ten-minute clean" every day. It can be in a different spot. I don't even care where it is. It just needs to be 10 minutes of solid cleaning. Also started talking with them about the importance of getting things OUT that are just taking up space. Becuase they also would like to have a cleaner, leaner space.
In my anti-clutter kick I remember part of my birthday-party-aversion... lack of control over the STUFF that comes in to my house. I am such a crabby old lady. I have been an old lady since I was ten or so. It is only recently that I have become crabby. Maybe just since having children. Nice.
I am feeling much better overall today. Seeing my students doing so well at their presentations at college helped. So did coming home to less disaster than I have typically had. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Previously, I couldn't even see the tunnel. Too much stuff.
My behavioral psych nurse practitioner has had to cancel on me twice now. Which is unfortunate, since my appointment was meant to be around the same time that I came down with a sudden case of the sads.
me: are you okay?
3yo: No. The cells in my body, maybe in my stomach pushed something out from my mouth. Maybe it was fulky. I think it was the red blood cells or somethin'. They pushed it out like this. [exhales]
me: What is "fulky?"
3yo: Oh, that's another word for throw-up
ate fruits and veggies
almost had enough water (I will go take care of that)
So I have decided that the following things are no good:
Nope, that is pretty much it. I think much of the downturn in mood was caused by lack of nutrients available to brain.
Now mind you, I kind of accidentally on purpose missed the meals. Because I was sad. And because I felt upset that things are not completely (or at all) under my control.
There is something about my friend dying through the conscious restriction of calories that has me overly focused on my own restrictive past. I am letting these thoughts mess me up a bit.
Then the shrivelled up, banished and unused anorexic part of my brain that hangs around just waiting for an opportunity to take over, whispered in my ear. Hey, you could not eat until your friend dies. Kind of a mourning thing Then you could go back to normal. Plus, you are a horrible person because you won't go visit her in hospice. You do not deserve to eat.
But I am wise to its tricks.
So I told the stupid part of my brain to shut up. Post haste.
And I ate healthy foods and felt better and determined that:
I already know that if I miss a meal I become fuzzy-headed and irritable. Why would I want that to happen? I don't.
One of my friends in college would make sure to dress up extra nice if she was underprepared for a performance. That way if she screwed up, at least she looked good.
The stupid part of my brain sometimes lies to me. Actually, it always lies to me, but usually I can't hear it. Or I can ignore it. This lie was: if I am going to be miserable and floaty and sad, I may as well see the numbers on the scale go down. Then at least I would be closer to a healthy weight instead of having nothing to show for the sad.
These thoughts seem surprisingly reasonable until I articulate them.
Grateful Crap: NOT being an adult anorexic. They are scary as crap. And pointy. And sad.
confessed to spouse about the stupid lies my brain is telling me
ate healthy foods
had a very nice breakfast (including home-made yogurt)
I don't feel that I am doing well. And I really want to say that I am not doing well today. But that is against my whole movement away from all or nothing thinking.
Can't even tell you why I am not doing well. Brain not so worky.
All I want to do is go home. And hide. I don't even want to write this because then people will read this and worry and call me and I just don't want to talk to them.
Things will be different later. No worries.
Grateful Crap: perspective. I know that how I feel now is not a permanent condition.
drank enough water
posted honestly even though it left a bad taste in my mout
Quaker, teacher, parent,