Growing into Me with Bipolar

Posts tagged ‘Animal Shelter’

Jumble of Emotions

Hi All!  I am feeling really pretty good today.  This is starting to happen more often now, and I’m starting to recognize it faster, and I’m starting to believe that even if I acknowledge it, it will most likely still be there!  I  was always afraid to believe I really was feeling good, because it seemed like when I did do that, it would just as quickly and mysteriously disappear again.  So, its nice to know it won’t just disappear.dark mixed lite brite flowers

I am experiencing a bunch of emotions all at once right now tho.  I am embarking on two adventures.  First, in June, me and my kids are roadtripping from Arizona to Iowa and we are staying with the last of my family.  We plan on being there for three weeks.  I have lots of anxiety about this trip.  Some is negative, but lots is positive.  Of course, I’m worried about finances, about hoping we don’t overspend or have an unexpected expense.   I am worried about the bills still getting paid, especially since there is no internet or cell phone at our destination (it is what you might call a ‘rustic’ locale), but I can always drive into the nearest city of any size about 25mi away, and use the wifi at the library.  I plan on doing that about every 3rd day.  And, my family there is the last of my line, and they are now very elderly, so this may be the last time any of us sees either of them.

My second adventure is probably moving a block over.  I can actually see the new place from my current place.  It is just up the street about a block.  There are some worries about the thought of moving there, tho.  The complex is actually only 3 buildings, in the shape of an H (or a tie-fighter if you prefer).  There is a pool under the crossbar.  There is a very small 2 washer, 2 dryer laundry room.  And the yard and surrounding area maintenance is a little less than desired.  Not exactly bad, but not really nice either.  But the apartment!  Oh, my!  it is probably about 1000+ square feet, 2 beds and 2 baths.  There are closets in every room (those of you not familiar with desert architecture may not understand why that is so great a feature!).  So, closets in all the rooms, a large kitchen plus an eat in area that does not use any of the actual kitchen space.  The bathrooms are both good size, and you can actually do more than stand in spot and pivot around (like where I am currently).  And both bedrooms are larger than what we have now.  So, my son will get the regular bedroom, and its about the same as what he has now.  My daughter and I share the master bedroom, and currently, we have only enough room to squeeze between the beds and along the bottom of the beds to get out the door.  The new master bedroom is roomier and should give us more room than the minimum to squeeze between the beds, so that my daughter can have more space to spread out her teenage girl self, and of course, for having more friends over at the same time!  Even better, if you pay a single $200 deposit, you can have as many animals in your unit as you want, and there is NO montly pet rent fee per pet.  This is great for me, because I currently have a cat who is designated as my Emotional Support Animal (ESA), so she is completely free (even of deposit), but I had been considering getting a new dog (i have a hole left in my from when my last dog, also my ESA at the time, passed away almost a year ago.  So, if I don’t have to pay pet rent, then it will be so much easier for me to afford to have a regular pet, which I can’t do at my current place, as there is both a deposit and a monthly fee.  I would really like to have a dog again.  So, there is a lot to like about moving next door.  Oh, and did I mention that not only is it larger (by about 1/3 more), and has no pet rent, but the rent is the same AND I would not have to pay Water, Sewer, Trash (which I currently pay close to $100 in addition to my rent each month).  That would mean that in addition to being larger, and no pet rent, but I would also be paying almost $100/mo LESS each month to the landlord due to not having a water bill.mixed wild flowers

So, negatives include having to go through the whole collecting boxes from WalMart in the middle of the night, putting them all together, packing everything into them, and renting a Uhaul truck to fill with the filled boxes and then drive it 1 block away to unload it all over again, and then unload the boxes and put everything in its place again.  That is a lot of work.  Plus, we have moved 4 times already since we came to Arizona in 2008, and according to my son “every move has only left us in worse and worse places, so we might as well stay put”.  Now on the other hand, my daughter really wants to move, because her sweetheart lives in the same place (that is how we even know about this place!), so then all they would have to do to see each other is step out the door and walk a few feet to the other’s door.  I must say, I am mostly in favor of moving, even though it is such a short distance away, and seems like such a waste of effort, time and money for so little a move.  I am really positive about having more space, more closets, no water bill (save me $100 ea mon!), and no pet rent, so I can get another dog.  But I hate to admit that I think my son might have hit upon a truth–we have moved to both cheaper, smaller, and less nice places each time we have moved.  Of course, that because our income has been either staying the same or declining as well.  Anyway, his words kind of haunt me, lingering in my head when I try to think of the positives of this move.  And I have worries that he may be right.  Maybe I am making another mistake that doesn’t need to be made.  Maybe I should quit looking for a fix, for something better, and just stay with what I have, what (mostly) works.  There is also the cost of coming up with first month rent and deposit, which could very well sink me and make me overdrawn.  That would be a very touchy and delicate balancing act, that logically and mathematically would and should work, but may always be tipped over by any unexpected bumps.

Well, ok that is what’s been going on with me.  I think I am starting to feel happy more often.  I think it might be sticking around now.  And I’m just all sorts of happy and excited but being torn in the other direction at the same time of not wanting to ruin what I’ve go now for something I hope will, should, could be better, but might not be.  So, I am feeling kind of torn and jumbled and not sure which way to go.  I wish there was an easy way to decide, to not take a chance that isn’t going to pan out in the end.  I guess I’ll just have to ‘let this sit’ like so many other things, and see where it leads.

lite brite flowers mixed

1 Step Forward, 2 Steps Back

So, I am no longer volunteering at the Shelter, since I seem to be blocking my scheduled days to go there out of my head completely on those days.  So, I can’t seem to make it there, so I didn’t want to let down the animals or the other volunteers by being unable to remember I was supposed to be there.  I heard back from the places I applied for part time work, retail places like Target.  They said they can’t use anyone who can only work 4-6 hours per day.  Bought my son a tank, since he’ll be getting his license in a couple of weeks.  Thought I got a basic old tank…but now the folks I bought it from let it sit with gas in the tank for 2 years.  So, the gas went bad, and the 3rd day I drove it, it quit running cause it plugged up the carb.  The repairs because of them leaving that gas sit in there is more than what I paid them for the car!!  I keep finding out more things about my ex, things that keep astounding me, showing me I never really knew him at all.  That he is incapable of true feelings for others, that he is incapable of truly connecting to others.  I know I am improving in some ways.  I know I am better at being reactive to external triggers.  I know my others have found a new niche inside, and that even Anti-Kitty is adjusting her responses to perceived threats to us.  She is much less intense, and is much less likely to overtake me when upsetting things happen, instead giving me a push, as it were, telling me she’s there, just in case.  So, I’m a lot better able to deal with normal everyday stresses than I have ever been.  So I know there’s been improvement.  But at every turn in therapy, I seem to find a new thing, a new memory, or person, or behavior that overwhelms me, takes me over, and sets me back to when I first found out I was ill, as if there has been all this time pass and I am still in that same place where I started.

I had started to think that maybe I could actually continue to live after my kids graduate in 4 years.  But now I’m back to thinking what I’ve been thinking for the last 6+ yrs….there is no future for me past them.  There is no way I can support myself on disability, and I don’t have much confidence in being able to get any kind of a job after this recent foray into the job market.  Well, that and the fact that I seem to block out work like responsibilities so that I don’t make it there at all.  The only way I would be safe and secure (able to have a secure home and food) is if I get into some kind of group home for the mentally ill with assistance from my clinic, or if I just end it all and quit this pretense at life once and for all.  No matter how much better I get or how much therapy I have, I always end up back where I started—its all my fault.  I made these choices.  It’s the bed I made, now I need to accept it.  I’m just weak, always have been weak.  If I had even once been strong, I would have made the right decisions and I wouldn’t be here where I am now.  I wouldn’t be pretending at living.  I would actually be alive.  And I might even like me.

Something’s Wrong Here, And I Think It Might Be Me

A few posts ago, I said I had done some training to do some different jobs at the Animal Shelter.  And I had no problems remembering when to go in for the various trainings, or getting there, or anything that might usually hold me up and make me late or just not able to get there.  And if you know this, you also know this is the first kind of ‘work’ I’ve attempted since I before I became disabled.  That means its been 6+ years since I have done anything at all resembling work.

So, why am I bringing this up now?  Because the last 4 consecutive times I was scheduled to work at the Animal Shelter I have blanked on it completely until it is too late for me to go there and do any good.  I even wrote myself notes.  I mean lots of notes.  I went to bed, and knew I needed to remember going to the shelter the next day, so I left myself a note by my clock on my bedside table, on my kitchen calendar, on my coffee pot, on my computer monitor.  I thought, good.  I won’t be able to miss seeing all of those notes, and I’ll remember to get to the shelter on time.  But what really happened is that I got up the next day, and never saw a single note, even though those are all places I go to each morning.  I never saw a note or remembered any thing about the shelter at all for each of the 4 occasions in a row.  Well, I remembered eventually.  When I would have been coming home from the shelter, if I had remembered to go in the first place.

So, today was the 4 time in a row that I forgot that I was scheduled at the Shelter.  4th.  I didn’t even remember at all until 5, which is when I would have been finished.  I can remember the whole week until the day I ‘m supposed to go.  Then the whole day I’m supposed to be there, I have no recollection at all that I even volunteer there ever!  Something is totally wrong here.  And I can’t blame it on anyone or anything except my own brain, my own self.  Maybe I’m too scared still to try to be doing any worklike activity at all, even volunteering with the animals.  Maybe its just too much stress to have an obligation to be somewhere and have people and animals relying on me.  Maybe there are more others that I don’t know and they don’t want to work or volunteer.  Maybe somehow volunteering or working is so triggering that I can’t go.  I have no idea what is going on, what is wrong.  I only know I can’t seem to do anything worklike right now.  I don’t know what I should do….just stop for now?  Or push myself harder to do it?  GRRRRR.   This time, it’s my own fault, and I am perplexed.


ok so apparently a part of me is causing me to dissociate just enough so that i am keeping myself from getting to the shelter when im supposed to and just enough to keep me from doing things like trying to apply for jobs.  so i guess that means that some part of me is afraid to try…but not just afraid to try, afraid of actually doing well at something we try.  i also have plenty of fear of failure, too.  so i guess that pretty much just leaves me staying right where i am, stagnant.  never knowing if i could succeed at something, if i could have happiness, and always reaking of my abysmal failure from being to afraid to live, to try, to succeed.   no wonder i am unhappy, unsatisfied.  i cant move ahead, stuck in the swamp.  no wonder i have given up on ever having a future.  its the only thing left if growth and living are unattainable.  and continued stagnation is simply unacceptable. how can i be doing this to myself?   how can i be afraid to fail, and also to succeed?  does everyone have to figure out such riddles and overcome such challenges as these, just to find a job they can live with and live on?  how do i stop myself from sabotaging myself?

New Horizons: Fears and Anxieties

First off, to those of you who follow me, I am so sorry I haven’t written recently.  But I have been reading and doing things in real life—this is a first in many years!   So, what have I been doing?  I have been getting up earlier (without an alarm!), I have been looking for a small part time job, and even applied at Target (it’s across the street, and I love shopping there!)  As long as I don’t work too much, I won’t lose any of my Disability benefits like Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid.  And that’s fine by me…I don’t want to work too much just yet!  What else?  Oh, yes, I changed ‘teams’ at my mental health clinic.  My med provider was always triggering me every time I went in for a med check.  Even when I would remind myself that he is just like that, he just seemed to always get me to react.  The most recent visit he asked if I was suicidal (standard protocol for mental health patients) and when I said sometimes he told me not to do it because my soul would get stuck inbetween planes and he knew this was true cause his grandfather told him so.  My team nurse can’t draw my blood, so I can’t use the lab at the clinic so I have to drive across town to a free-standing lab instead.  And my Rehab liasion insists to me that I cannot possibly have an open case and a case manager at Voc Rehab, because I didn’t meet with the VR counselor who visits the clinic once a month to do it.  She insists I could not have possibly have opened a case with VR myself (which I did 2 years ago) and that in order for me to get VR services I must close this supposed case and then open one with the VR counselor who visits the clinic instead.  Now, what I want to know is, why should I close a case just to open one?  Why go through all the work of that again, when all the information is already there?  Why can’t my VR counselor just transfer my case and files to the one who comes to the clinic? But my clinic Rehab liasion insists this is impossible.  She has no proof, no evidence, nothing to support her position.  She just keeps repeating that it is impossible, until I am ready to jump over the table and strangle her!!  So, since that is my current ‘team’, it finally occurred to me to switch teams.  It can’t possibly be worse.  Cause right now, all my ‘team’ members are horrible and triggering.  It can’t possibly be worse with another team, although I admit, it may possibly not be better… but we’ll take that chance.  We can always switch teams again!

So, what have I been up to?  I have been up to taking care of myself and feeling better!  I also am now volunteering at the animal shelter where I got my dog, looking for a job,  and switching teams at my clinic…and having a much, much easier time getting out and about, doing tasks more easily.  The only thing now is, how long will this last?  I know I shouldn’t be thinking about that.  But I haven’t felt this good in over 7 years.  For the last 7 years, I have been wearing a suit of armor and slogging through quicksand to do anything.  It has been so difficult that I have been able to do very, very little in all that time.  But the quicksand is gone now, and the suit of armor has been shed.  Movement feels easy again.  But how do I know this will last?  I mean, I have gone so long looking for it I’m not sure it’s real.  I want it so badly to be real, but at the same time I am afraid to believe it is real because it is probably only fleeting, and if I rely on it being real I will make commitments and plans and not be able to follow through on them as this feeling of well being slides away again, leaving me back in the quagmire, sinking all over again.  I am just as afraid as I am excited to get a job, to volunteer.  I am afraid that after 7 years of NOT doing anything useful, anything with a commitment, that I will fail.  And if I fail, that I will end up in the depths of despair yet again.  I am afraid of ruining this good feeling by failing at living and also afraid that even if I do well at these tasks that this good feeling will escape me also.  I’m so afraid of jinxing it, I’m not sure if I want to follow through on these ‘good’ commitments so I won’t be let down.  And yet, if I don’t try, I will never know if it might work out, if I might succeed, get well, become productive.  So I am trying to take it one day at a time trying to not think about anything more, success or failure, fleeting or staying well-being.

I Did It!

A few weeks ago, I made what is for me, a HUGE decision and applied to be a volunteer at an Animal Rescue center.  It is also the same place I got my precious Sunshine from, who is my faithful ESA (Emotional Support Animal).  Anyway, this marks the first time in 4 years that I have made any kind of ongoing commitment to any one thing.  About the biggest commitments I have made in the last 4 years are doctors appointments and therapy sessions.  So, for me, this is a huge step forward and also quite a bit of a leap.

I heard back from the shelter last week, when they sent an email letting me know that today would be the next volunteer orientation.  So, I was excited looking forward to it all week.  But when this morning came, and I had to get up at 7 am, I started second guessing myself, saying to myself, I can’t function this early, I’m worthless this early, I can’t do it…..etc, etc, etc.  Nonetheless, I managed to get through my morning routine and get ready and get out the door.  That in itself is a HUGE victory.

So, I stopped to get hot coffee, cold coffee, water and soda.  And, oh yeah, a couple of donuts cause since I had to leave so early, I didn’t have time to eat or make coffee.  And all the drinks?  Cause I get terrible dry mouth from all my meds and cause I am always dying of thirst thanks to the other meds that don’t give me dry mouth.  I made it to the shelter with time to spare–so, so far, so good.

Then I went and joined the people milling outside the shelter, and realized the orientation was to be held outdoors.  Which is fine most of the time here in the desert.  But it is winter–and yes, we do actually get pretty chilly weather here in the winter–and it was only about 37 degrees.  So, a 2.5hr orientation outside.  I really started doubting myself.  I was cold, shaking from it even, uncomfortable and really doubted whether I could even make it through the orientation.  I started to think, if I have to come at this time in the morning and do animal care, or walking, or cleaning out dog runs, its gonna be cold like this–I’m not sure I can really actually do this.  I started thinking this might be too demanding, too stressful, to difficult for me to stick to.  But the whole time I was sitting there, freezing my tushie off, I managed to stay put and not get up and run away, not chicken out and give up, and, amazingly enough, I got through it!  Yes, that’s right, I managed to get through until it started, and once it started I managed to stay present and focused and get through that too!!  And now, I’m officially a bona fide volunteer at the Animal Shelter.   Whoo-hoo!  I know it’s only a start, but I feel like I did something big, like I moved forward  a giant step.  I am now able to give TLC (ie, to come in and play and cuddle with the animals)  for any of the dogs or cats anytime.  And every week they have basic sessions on how to be an animal caregiver (exercising, walking, feeding and watering, cleaning the runs, etc) and on being an adoption counselor (to help make sure each prospective owner gets matched with the best suited dog or cat).  So,  soon I will do that too, and be able to do even more!  I really hope I am not getting my hopes up to high, too fast, too soon.  I really hope I can keep up with this commitment and not have to drop out.  I think I have failed so many times at so many things, some my fault, some just situational, that I am so afraid of failing again I am almost to afraid to even try.  So even though this a big step forward, I’m terrified I’ll let myself down again, or discover I just can’t handle the stress or the commitment after all.

So, here I go, fingers crossed!

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