When you’ve had a good run

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8 months is a pretty good run. Right? It’s been at least 8 months since my last episode of anything resembling depression, well according to me, according to a doctor my body was telling him I was depressed even if I felt stable and happy. Visualise shoulder shrug here.

But now, today, I can feel it. The precipice is only inches from my toes. It’s a familiar feeling. And that is a sad sentence to write. But I recognise the symptoms, and I may have been trying to ignore the trigger, because, seriously, life has been good. It’s still good. The trigger is so insignificant in the scheme of things but it feels insurmountable. It feels like touching it with a yard stick will be enough to feel my toes in the air. And I’d like to think I’d just fly, float on up there opposite that damn precipice and smile at it like it was simply a launchpad for even more awesome, but I’m feeling thinned out and worn down. And now I just feel like I’m complaining. It’s stupid, but if I so much as nearly have a full thought regarding the trigger my body threatens to shut down. I mean full shut down mode. Bed is the first thought, and then how can I get out of work tomorrow, maybe the rest of the week, maybe I can escape somewhere, just runaway for a bit. If I ignore it, it doesn’t exist, right?

God, sometimes I wish I was one of those people who can swear with abandon. There are words floating around up in my head that would love that sort of release. But I’m still me, and those words only see the light out of my mouth when I’m too tired to filter, have hurt myself too badly to filter, or have slipped a few feet down the cliff-face over that precipice and I no longer care about stupid filters. I haven’t reached that point yet. I am trying, quite desperately, to dig my heels in here and crawl backwards if I can. It’s exhausting.

My couch beckons, the blanket on top of that couch calls to be pulled over my shoulders and tucked under my chin until the world rights itself. But I am all too aware that things do not become righted without some effort on my part. Why does adulting have to be so hard sometimes? The harder it presses on me, the more I worry that the decisions I’m making are irresponsible, and yet I really really want to go with those decisions. They call to my inner child, the part of me that knows laughter, and joy at all the little things, and relief in breathing mountain air, and comfort in sore muscles from a full day playing in the forest, or the river, or the snow, or the sun.

And then, well it’s not all about me, there’s the man-child to think about too, and then when those decisions are things I know will make his not so inner child come out and play and laugh and smile, those decisions really seem like a good idea. I have reined in the impulsive lady-child a tad but only just, only slightly in the last week, and she’s rebelling something fierce. I can only hold out so long. The reins are likely to have broken by the weekend, probably tomorrow, next Monday at the latest, but there is a lot of alone time over the weekend to contend with.

And my work isn’t getting done. I don’t mean I’m not going to work, I go. I don’t even mean I waste a whole day while I’m there but my levels of work are far from satisfactory and well down on the usual. On top of that, I keep forgetting things, not hard things, things I’ve written down so I don’t forget them, and I forget anyway, and it’s going to get me in real trouble soon.

I feel like maybe a re-grounding is in order. A recent trip to the home of my soul taught me that it’s important to make time for taking the long way home and stopping at all the places the make you smile on the way. For jumping into freezing cold rivers, walking barefoot in the forest, jumping rocks to reach a waterfall and revelling in the incredible sights that make up our world. It’s time to go and stand on new mountains, put my feet into new streams, and walk new trails to meet new wildlife. Time for our next trip.

Oh look, she didn’t even wait till the end of the day to break those reins. God I hope this isn’t a bad decision.

“The earth has music for those who listen.”
George Santayana

When You’re Too Tired To Human

Hammock Cat

Today, I am just too tired to human. I’ve dressed myself, pretty well too, in fact I’m pretty sure my work style today is on point, but I look tired af, even though I fully bothered to apply a light mask. Perhaps I should have gone heavier with the makeup, but I don’t normally do makeup, masks are something I’m lucky enough to go without most of the time.

True I haven’t touched my B12 tablets in weeks, and that is always a precursor to the overwhelming tiredness that means I feel like I need to walk, and yoga, and sleep, but I’m too tired to move before bed time and I can’t sleep once bed time rolls around and I plonk myself down to close my eyes.

This has been my reality for the last two nights running, so not good, especially when I literally keep H up with my tossing and turning and sighing. Oh and then because he can’t get to sleep he subconsciously grinds his teeth. Oh God, the irritation.

I have recognised that this day I am overwhelmingly jealous of our cats. They get to sleep pretty much all day, meow at me like their adventures prevented the end of the world as I know it, and get under my feet until the message that their bowls are empty is received loud and clear after a near deadly trip and at least one cat being kicked almost clear across the kitchen because it was a good idea to lie directly behind a person while they attempt to make a passable meal. Then of course they find any old spot they deem suitable and immediately fall asleep, with the odd bleary eyed glare at the odd much too loud bang or rustle made by the tall hairless slave.

Do I know anyone who can transmogrify a human? I think not. This is disappointing. Shapeshifting should have been an integral part of evolution, surely this ability would have made sense for the human race, I feel that it would have prevented many human made tragedies.

“Cats are connoisseurs of comfort.”—James Herriot

Grounded and Breathing Easy

Whakarewarewa canopy

 

Barefoot in the backyard or wearing barefoot runners in the forest, I’m finally starting to feel grounded and savouring breathing easy in the place we now call home. ‘Course I’m also hopelessly romantic and literally away with the fae half the time I’m out in the elements, but I’m cool with my weirdness and H is too, so we’re good. Actually I’m under the distinct impression that H loves my weirdness, yay for mutual weirdness.

And I did mean literally, literally. I see fae possibilities everywhere around here. I feel like maybe I should sit out in the forest with a notebook and write, everything. The trees, the trails, the water, the wildlife, omg the wildlife. Seriously, it has the ability to drown out every hint of human activity except for the human standing there listening, even then you would be doing well to hear yourself breath, or think, or do anything other than just be or move, slowly and in awe.

I’m learning to appreciate moments. Moments where my soul feels connected, to life, to death, to the in-between. Moments where myths and legends have their place in history, where imagination and reality are a truth you determine. Moments of truth, my truth, your truth, I don’t actually care, it’s subjective and I’m aware, I accept that, you’re welcome to the things that give you peace, as long as they harm no one because then I will be all up in your face, because love and respect are my truth, and idiocy is hard to ignore.

I’m enjoying this. I’m dreading getting complacent, becoming blind to the surroundings that are awesome, being jaded by the constant reminder of the things we have the privilege of partaking in. This is life, living, breathing, laughing, dancing, singing, dreaming, reaching, believing, seeing, loving, life.

Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world

The times they are a changing

Oh yes they are. And good God I feel so much better. No episodes for … ok well it’s only been two months but I feel so freakin positive, even when exhausted, even when alone, even when missing H, even while unpacking a mountain of boxes. That’s right, we’re talking full life change, everything you tell yourself you’re too afraid to do, but when the world is putting a buttload of pressure on, you had better figure out which way you’re going to expand, or prepare to smoosh beneath the force.

The lead up though, hmmm, shall I set the scene? I’ll give an overview. We’re talking things taking a turn to the almost legal, ending the 4.5 year business we had such high hopes for, being forced out of the rented house because it was sold and the new landlords wanted to put an extra $100 on the weekly rent, we’re talking stress to the eye balls and there’s me breaking under the pressure, becoming more useless by the day, no uplifting words of advice, no capability for offering comfort, wet faced, couch prone, sick every other day, every symptom of coeliacs you can find. And I decide off the cusp to apply for a job in a different city, city being applied loosely here, it’s small.

Imagine my surprise when I get an interview, and then, when I get the job, and then when we realise we now have to move half way down the island within a month. And realising the relief. Our new suburban rental is cheaper and better and so so quiet. Our costs are down, we can live on my income alone while H sets himself up again, although imagine his surprise when there is no real break in his trade and we’re immediately looking at setting up a new business or the logistics of him contracting.

Change is scary. There’s really no denying it, even if the only thing you feel are those butterflies, there’s an element of nervousness about the unfamiliar. But it’s so exciting when it’s embraced. It’s liberating when the decisions you make are no longer based on how much money it means for you, but how you can live your life. Change when chasing opportunities presented to you brings more opportunity, but your eyes need to be open, you need to be willing, or you need to believe you have nothing to lose except that which is most precious, life.

But in two months, with H still not here with me permanently for another couple of weeks and the house still not settled and me learning a new job and still figuring out financial logistics, we’re happy, happier together, but happy. I smile even when I’m late and still driving into work. I smile because we get to bush walk after work a couple of times a week, because there are plans to mountain bike as often as possible and run as often as that again. And the space in which we get to do these things now. God but nature is good for your soul.

Grounding, yoga, walking, running, biking, wading, standing barefoot in my yard picking lemons off the tree and watching tuis in a tree less than 2 metres from me. My mind is calm. My heart is full. My soul is healing. And body will follow.

We had nothing left to lose and have gained everything. Perhaps loss is a perception, it’s objective, it’s a flawed social expectation.

“Many leaves, one tree.”

Wake me up

Oh dreams! They are vivid. And nonsensical. Normally like movies, but I’m a character. It’s a hard one to explain. I can explain how vivid though.

In highschool I attended a sleepover, as one does during that time. At some point early in the morning I was awoken by the sound of a wimpering cry, as were a couple of the other girls. Concerned they asked who was crying. I shrugged until someone asked if I was ok, they had been pretty sure it was coming from my direction. Oh, was it? Was I? I touch my face, it’s wet. I notice that I am holding a lot of tension in my forehead, my muscles are tensed as if I want to run. I tell them I’m fine. But I remember. I was at school. We had quad bikes. It was fun. Until the dogs. The big, no massive, bull mastiffs chasing me around the school. No more quad bikes to help my escape, they disappeared. Running in between students, friends, classrooms, teachers, with no help coming to hand. And then they get me, the dogs. They bite and hold on and growl and I scream, then I snivel and cry and wimper. And I wake up to the sound of a wimpering cry. It was mine. I woke myself up, crying in a dream.

I wish I knew who that idiot was that said you can’t get hurt in dreams. I don’t wake up when I’m about to get hurt, I don’t. Good dreams are amazing, but nightmares are terrifying.

When I was a child there was a recurring nightmare I will probably never forget. Backstory – I grew up in the outback of Western Australia until I was about 3 years old, theoretically you’re not supposed to be able to remember those years, I remember things. But these dreams, they’re not memories. The nightmare – There’s a dusty street, red dirt road, wooden houses on stilts with stairs to a porch and screened doors. It’s quiet. No people, no animal noises. But there’s someone moving on the porch and I’m hiding under the bed, they come in, there’s gun shots, they walk out. I come out from under the bed, walk through the house, know everyone there is dead. Make my way outside and hear him coming back. He’s big, but I’m still a child, to me he’s bigger than my dad so he’s huge. I hide under the porch, see other people hiding under stairways and running down the road. Know they die. I never see anyone dead, I just know they don’t exist to help me anymore. I lie terrified under the porch listening to him move around the street. I lie like that till I wake up. Over and over again, no pattern, not every night, not even every month, just often enough for me to remember every detail even today. I stopped having those dreams just out of highschool.

Then there’s the usual falling dreams. They’re common right. You’re walking, you come to some stairs or something similar. You slip on the first and start falling. It should have only taken you a fraction of a second to hit the ground but instead you keep falling. Normally people wake up before they hit. I think that’s the point of the extended fall. But I hit bottom. Every time. I hit and then I physically bounce a good 30cm in the air, still in a horizontal sleeping position, maybe arched, wake while I’m in the air and register when I hit the mattress again. It makes me giggle, but it’s unnerving.

The ones H hates the most are the ones where I dream he does something wrong, anything. It takes a while to register that me recoiling from his touch has nothing to do with him. You can only move so far across your side of the bed before you may as well get out. But those ones, I know that’s normal, otherwise why would there be memes about it. What is going on in women’s brains to cause such a mass dream abandonment issues.

A Year! Seriously?

It’s been a year since my last post. I am… embarrassed and resigned and annoyed and understanding all at the same time. Last post was written just before a trip to Oz for a wedding, it was gorgeous, our time there was so great and we’re on our way back for another two over Christmas holidays. But back to then. Then, we got back and things ticked along stressfully until they came to a head just before Christmas, when they blew up and almost took my sanity with it. Thank God for amazing families and gorgeous places to ground yourself.

Since then I’ve been oscillating between doing many things at once and almost shutting down completely, though none as bad as the last 4 weeks. The longest depressive stint I’ve had in almost 10 years. Started out bursting into tears, randomly and often, and since I’m a woman, allocated to the dreaded hormones. Until it kept going, through acceptable hormone blame time and into the next week, so two and half weeks later, many tears shed, too many days taken off, nothing getting done at home or work, for pleasure or play, I accept I’m depressed, and attempt to pull myself out. Yeah, whatever.

Four weeks later. I’m feeling less unstable and more ready to pick up what I so recently dropped, but I feel The Edge under my feet and know if any of the things I so desperately worried about in the last four weeks actually goes wrong I may not ‘ handle the jandal’ as we say.

My poor Hubby. So many tears and all he wants is to see me happy. Putting out suggestion after suggestion, and all I could think was ‘I can’t! I’m trapped here, doing this, feeling unending stress, worrying about everything,  not moving forward with our lives because the business drains our funds instead of funding our future. I can’t! I’m trapped’ – my mind- a mixture of feeling trapped and feeling like an ass because I’m not doing anything to change it. Now feeling like I might be able to start helping again. Might be able to catch up on the housework that suffered, finish the painting series I started, eat good food, do more physical activity, build more portable mini vege and herbs gardens.

I’m proud of that painting series by the way. Finished one, a landscape of sorts, a road through a forest I thought I had imagined but later discovered a photo on Pinterest of a lane in Ireland that looks almost identical. I’ve never been to Ireland and never seen that photo so that’s a little spooky. Anyhoo, I’ve started on a second, actually started it before I was sure I had finished the first, it’s a winter scene of the same landscape. I’ve never attempted landscapes, trees, or snow before so it’s slow going with a lot of layers but so far I like it. Of course now I’ve decided I want to do all four seasons so another two canvases are needed. I still have five in the spare room, of varying sizes and shapes, but none are what I need, typical.

Well, I know I said it last time and I’ll probably say it again, but hopefully I don’t wait so long between posts and I don’t come back rambling, I know I was so if you read it thank you.

And I’ll leave with yet another quote I have decided I love- these get written down everywhere, I often find random scraps of paper and notes in books and feel a little like I found a hidden little treasure.

“We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.” – Dr. Seuss

As you can see, I have a pretty good reason for loving this quote, H puts up with so much of my weird.

Working Title

My head is spinning a million miles an hour at the moment. I can’t quite figure out if it’s indecision or I really just can’t focus on one thing at a time. Very seriously hoping a routine of running and learning some handy small gardening skills settles me down so I can gather my thoughts. At the moment I have a notebook and a phone full of notes about the …wait for it… novel I’m attempting to set up a plan for (uh yeah, I just said that, like so many others on here, and I know I should just be proud of even trying but I am both terrified and… no just terrified).

The birds-nest in my brain is probably a result of still working 2 jobs and trying very hard to help clean up a mess I definitely helped make, while only wanting to start writing and painting at least one of the 7 canvases I have at home untouched, for which I only have about 3 ideas. Possibly setting up a very small vege and herb garden and, oh yeah, the idea I have for our wedding album which is almost four years overdue. I desperately need to get some of this out and into reality before I burst.

Maybe it’s being in New Zealand that makes me nervous about trying to do anything out of the ordinary. ‘No limits’ is something we live by, but ‘shooting for the stars’ means you might need to be put in your place and brought back down to earth. Something we’ve labelled ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’ i.e bringing people down when they’re subjectively getting too big for their britches, hacking at the stalks of those who have gotten beyond us. Such a bad attitude. It’s not nationwide but you almost have to stay under the radar until you make it overseas before you reveal that you’re a kiwi and proud.

In saying that, I do have some amazing people around me, even my current boss has asked to be one of the first to read whatever I come up with, so I figured I better get started. No time like the present, right?! Actually my biggest problem is going to be letting anyone read it. Like my art, I never really consider anything finished, and if I can’t think of anything further to do with it I just kind of think of it as not that good after all. Obviously that has nothing to do with what I’m producing and everything to do with personal confidence issues, so I’m just going to have to suck it up and get over it.

Making the time seems to be my very biggest problem, leading me to literally schedule my weekdays, reminding me to take time to R&D, learn, write, read and exercise. Weekends are for cleaning and relaxing outdoors (now that summer is on it’s way over here).

And if that wasn’t one of the most boring posts I’ve asked you to endure I don’t know what is. Sorry about that. It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything substantial, as evidenced by my absence from my own blog. I need to work this muscle a bit more. Hopefully the next is less lady’s journal and more… I don’t know…interesting.

However, here is a quote I’ve decided I love;

Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.” – Morticia Adams