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Friday, April 12th, 2019 07:50 am
The horizon is disappearing and instead views out the back are of the green and brown of the woods. I recollect that Thursday morning a week ago the deck was slippery with ice when i went to release the lions (erm, Edward and Luigi) at dawn. Last night i lay down on the picnic table bench to look up at the moon, stars, and fireflies. Fireflies! I guess no one goes looking for them in spring nights, busy with school nights and what not? This confirmed the glimpse i thought i had had the night before of a firefly.

I'd gone outside to be with the sense of grief inside me, instead of watching something or distracting myself. With moonlight and fireflies, though, the beauty of the night sat with me.

Since naming the heaviness on me, i feel a little more comfortable with it. My sister gave me another term yesterday, sisu, yet another one of these Scandinavian terms that seem to be trending across lifestyle websites. Finnish sisu is something i recognize: it's how i got through the couple of years of the terrible Director at work (official date 2011-05-11, but the months before that were colored with the coming change), then the couple of years after Christine's Elephants arrived. And before the merger of the Minnow with the Whale -- the couple of years i was the operations manager and essentially on call the whole time. It wasn't until after the merger with the Whale that i could put the pager down and actually sleep through all nights.

Between being moved out of management and moving to the eastern timezone, so much weight dropped off my shoulders. The Meeting here doesn't have the weight of concerns like that of the large Meeting i attended in California, partly because they have just come through the fire of the North Carolina Yearly Meeting schism. Christine's elephants are getting smaller and less demanding.

I've not needed to practice sisu since moving, really, and even Mom's stroke isn't demanding much from me, sisu-wise. But there are emotional things going on, and i think part of that is from the habit of sisu. Pushing perseverance requires certain coping strategies, and wrapping discomforts like sorrow, pain, and grief in fireproof blankets to keep going: i am good at that. But i also know the cost of that, as well. And right now i don't need to avoid my feelings about my parent's change of being.

What i don't know is what to do with these feelings when they aren't mummified. It feels like an infection. I'm fine, i could take on whatever. But in the absence of that all consuming critical whatever, this throbbing heavy lump and the sense of malaise is very distracting.

I wanted to see if i had a grief tag, and type ahead supplied the gratitude tag. Maybe that's a way through.

I am grateful to be here, to be able to see Mom and Dad in a day to day setting and know the details of what they are going through. I am grateful that i don't need to worry that this is going to overwhelm Dad beyond his capabilities (although i do wish he wasn't leaning on his sisu practice so hard). I am thankful for Christine's compassion, and for her spoon-management yesterday: she was able to be present at dinner with Dad without needing her shields up. I'm thankful for Carrie and the gift of dog-love and joy and energy she can give my parents.

I celebrate Christine's evolution in elephant wrangling, and the new additional project she's taking on.

I am grateful for the terrifying opportunity i will likely have on April 22nd, at work. I am terrified, and i know it's happening as i need to push the working group to be prepared for the meeting we will have in Estonia in mid June. I am thankful i used the time in March when everything was a lull to make my journey plans.
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Thursday, April 11th, 2019 07:06 am
Christine agrees my mood has been a little down the past few weeks. Spring and my relief at how well things are working out for my parents would seem to be big boosts. (Work has been intense.) In therapy yesterday i found lots of tears, particularly over my parents' relationship dynamics and the echoes over my childhood.

I don't know quite how to cut free of this drag. I'm not sure it's something one can healthily do. On the other hand, i am tired of being brain tired. I have capacity to mostly get work done, and then a little something else. Various chores that just got done before are backed up. Some work things are backed up. I've journaled about the gardening so much because that is a delight right now, and most of all, the sun and chlorophyll and water and stored starches are all doing the work.

The trees have greened up significantly since Saturday. I feel i am noticing more and more new things than last year. This year, wisteria. I had no idea the tangles of plants just down the road were wisteria, but there are walls of purple. I saw some wisteria encroaching on a bamboo thicket. Bamboo vs wisteria: coexistence? or will one subdue the other?

Other invasive species not on our property: wisteria, bamboo, kudzu, English ivy (found a sprig once), vinca (growing thickly in a bit of the woods next door).

Anyhow, it's easy to loose myself in observing and naming. How the sensitive fern seemed to sprout a foot over night, catching up with the southern lady ferns. The tiny, white, native forget-me-not, Myosotis verna (and the temptation to see it as a weed).

Well, staying here writing about plants is NOT the way to cut free of the drag.
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Monday, February 18th, 2019 01:18 pm
Forecast was for rain all weekend, which would make the soil too sodden for certain steps in gardening, so i took Friday off. The south end of the garden plot is now fenced and therefore i could uncover the greens and lettuce that have overwintered. I did much puttering about in the despite the wet.

Gardening to-dos and meanderings )

Carrie was too ready to eat the chickens, so no chickens for us yet. We'll need to build a safe place for them outside the orchard aka dog run. My sister took the chicken coop off our hands and it will be a "love shack" for the rooster Sriracha and the long time family hen Lily. All her cohort had died off and apparently she wasn't thrilled by the new six Swedish hens and rooster my sister got a year ago. When we brought Carrie over, eventually we decided it wasn't going to work, and we'd just have Carrie run around with my sister's young dogs. We round up the chickens, starting with the new rooster going into a dog crate. The Swedish hens were rounded up, but we couldn't find Lily -- until we found her on the deck next to the rooster in the dog crate. It's sweet to see critters bonding like that.

I became blue on Sunday -- possibly due to the gloomy weather but also feeling guilty about caring for my mother. My aunt is spending whole days with her, and observing issues (unsurprisingly) with the care location. My sister pointed out how we are in this for a long haul and we can't put our lives on hold - nor would Mom want us to. (My brain counters, "Aunt J-- is in this for the long haul, too.")

Christine has had a now-rare elephant event, so having both of us un-cheery.... Well, i just need to focus on ensuring i am doing what i can to take care of myself.

Tomorrow is the date Dad said he would start investigating getting mom out of The Current Miserable Place. He said he wanted to talk to someone with the home health rehab program, which worries my sister and i. I hope he's just trying to be prepared for Mom to no longer progress at subacute rehab, and not planning on withdrawing her.
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Monday, January 21st, 2019 08:01 am
Felt down, depressed yesterday. I visited Mom on Friday and again on Saturday with my niece. Mom wants out and is almost paranoid about the place where she's staying, saying that they don't want her to have cards and art on her wall or for her to use crayons.

I left a note but will call today to try and talk to the occupational therapist. Mom needs to learn to manipulate her environment (TV remote, bed controls). She also needs to be up in the wheel chair more (although i'm not sure if i've just seen her during resting hours).

As an antidote, i made mom a stroke recovery journal. It's a work of plagarism, more or less, assembling tips on stroke recovery from one web page with various "wellness" practices like gratitude and questioning negative thoughts, loving kindness practice, and psalms and some bible verses about healing. Two weeks, eighty pages. It's better than any book i could find, and inspired (and cribbed) from a number of wellness workbooks.
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Friday, December 28th, 2018 10:45 am
Oh, the brain fog.

And some depression.

I think i may have been in denial and maybe it's just beginning to sink in. Maybe the comment from the rehab case worker about mom needing 24/7 supervision because of cognitive issues jarred me. Physically, right now, she seems to need the 24/7 supervision... but cognitively.... I realize that the physical incapacity may be hiding much more loss.

So i am here for her care and my own aging stretches in front of me. Being under the weather is not helping now, with ache and weakness making the future look like an uphill-downhill: all the effort of going up hill while declining.

My father talks about having someone to tell your story. Childless, i never expected that for myself, but i am aware of wanting to make this little patch of land a source of native plant seeds to be spread by critters. Some sort of ecological legacy would be meaningful.


Christine came home from the vet -- Edward has some rash or infection on his chin that is apparently not feline acne -- and we had a nice long talk. I feel a little lighter now.

The bright SAD lamp is on and we have lots of lights on in the house to fight the gloom outside. More rain.
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Friday, November 16th, 2018 07:31 am
Much gloom in the weather this week. I took a clumsy spill and don't think positively about it. )

I've coped with the gloom by running the SAD lamp all day and having a second afternoon cup of coffee. Evenings haven't been particularly productive.

We have invited my folks over for Thanksgiving brunch, a meal that will bypass some holiday entrenched issues and will hopefully be joyful for Christine. (My sister's family is out of town so there isn't the usual large joint meal between my sister's family, her sister in law's family, and my parents. We've joined for desert in the past few years, bypassing the dead carcass, some dysfunctions, and making it easier for Christine. Breakfast for four is a nice scale for us, and my parents were delighted to be invited.

I've ordered a Christmas tree from a fundraiser in the little mill town with the Bridge, and we have a large so-called Moravian star (made in Mexico) to hang on the front porch this year. I've gotten so out of the habit of observing holidays -- particularly with decorations -- between hermit lifestyle and dealing with Christine's Elephants. (Christine's Elephants have holiday triggers.) With my own change of going off the SSRI, i suspect any disappointment that had been flattened out over the years would have been felt acutely, so i am glad to have some plans to observe.
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Friday, November 16th, 2018 07:30 am
Diagnostic writing
Read more... )
--== ∞ ==--

Yesterday i noticed the flood stage of the nearby Haw River. It had crested at 17.71 ft, likely to be the second highest recorded crest, beating out the previous second through fourth record holders by less than a tenth of an inch The water was beginning to drop but was still at a rare height.

Historic Crests
(1) 21.76 ft on 09/06/1996
(2) 17.67 ft on 03/14/1975
(3) 17.62 ft on 09/18/2018
(4) 17.40 ft on 03/01/1987
(5) 16.87 ft on 03/21/2003

Why not leave and go see? This is a luxury i have access to: i'm close, i didn't have meetings scheduled, it is OK to run an "errand". Christine could go too, so we went to Bynum Bridge (the same location as the pumpkin viewing) and spent a half hour marveling at the incredible power of the river.

--== ∞ ==--
back to diagnostics )

I just went out to the green house and did a quick check on my buckwheat microgreens. They seem a little "dirtier" than i would expect from all the videos i watched, but i think i could cut some today for fresh greens with lunch. The miner's lettuce (aka winter purslane) is sprouting in their pots: theoretically it's 40 days to maturity for them. We reach the Persephone Phase on Nov 27, the point where we have ten or less hours of sunlight, and (it is said) most winter plants stop growing at that point. We are back in business mid January, so i should have Miner's Lettuce to eat by early February. Seeing how long the buckwheat takes, i should probably start another flat of buckwheat this weekend.
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Friday, November 9th, 2018 02:21 pm
New boss this week -- someone i managed back when i was managing. My previous manager is a director. He ended up with too many direct reports and so he has taken all his architects and put one architect as an architect manager. I'm sure the burnt-out management abilities i evinced in 2014 have taken me off a list of "able to manage people." I have a little ache that that competency is assumed not to exist due to my poor execution during a period of extreme externalities, but that's pride, not desire. I am happy to be passed over for the management gig, even for such an easy management gig. Four years away from the management position, i still remember the huge weight lifting.

So my new manager, manager G, is someone i mentored a bit. He's got a really formal way of writing and speaking that i've avoided -- mainly because i don't think it helps in communicating with non-specialists. I believe he has a desire to Move On Up. I just hope i am left to thrive on my own and not Coached or Managed. Given the uncertainty, i've a little edgy feeling there.

--== ∞ ==--

I have had a couple cognitive breakthroughs this week. One is partly informed by reading about placebos and the (apparent) biochemistry behind them. I'm not sure whether the article came out and said this, but i was struck by the potential availability of an enhancement for healing with my current therapies. Why not try to use the placebo effect while making use of "regular" medicines? So, i'm trying to think about why i am taking my various meds when i do so, rather than thinking of them as tasks i have do do. I don't know if anything will heal faster or better, but i think i will get a little positive boost from the task compared to my current mindset of, "Yet another thing i have to do, sigh, what a drag."

The more i can reframe as not a drag or a pain, the more i will feel i am living with delight.

And so another insight was just how tightly i hold on to negative while less consciously i do celebrate the more positive experiences. Since giving up the SSRI i have felt "negative" feelings more clearly. It's something i appreciate as they are authentic feelings, but i have wondered where the authentic "ups" were. My therapist and i talked this past Wednesday about how overshadowed the trip to get apple trees and the Halloween outing were by the stress of the uncertainty about under the house critters and the gloomy rainy weather. And we went around it a bit -- i framed it as i had a bad habit, i can't change, she challenged me on that (gently) -- and then i realized just how much i had enjoyed the Halloween outing and the little road trip. I AM enjoying things that i don't think i was really enjoying before. The word enthusiasm came to mind: i have shared with others, with enthusiasm, even if i have been blind to it.

The "ups" ARE part of my life. I AM feeling them. And as i acknowledged that i was overwhelmed by a feeling that is, i guess, awe: intense appreciation for this change. Maybe having this conscious and visceral experience will help me remember to balance how i perceive things in the moment. Monday, for example, was gloomy and dark -- like today. Monday, though, it felt like it would ALWAYS be gloomy. Gloom season is here. Darkness! Today i keep reminding myself how lovely Wednesday was, how even in the low light the saucer magnolia and the crepe myrtle have leaves that glow with autumn colors.
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Tuesday, November 6th, 2018 06:55 am
The past few evenings we've driven up to the house an a large light colored bird has swooped through our headlights. I surmise we've an owl hunting in the front.

So many predators!

I'm trying to sort out blue feelings. Sunday i had blue feelings related to my mother giving up her cake decorating equipment. It's a past time that gave her and so many others great joy. Mom had incredible skill at making beautiful gum-paste decorations with delicate coloring. I remember hydrangea flowers with all the tiny florets, a tedious repetitive act to create all the little florets but assembled, incredible. And my sister's wedding cake with tiny heads of wheat all over, piped from golden icing. I'm so sad to see her retiring that, acknowledging her fading.

I worried for years about how Mom's anxieties and anger would manifest as she aged. I am in awe of how gentled she is. I know, from Dad, she still explodes and is controlling, but i'm thankful that she is generally not reacting in anger.

The elections hang over the US: the comic pages are filled with get out the vote messages. A book review in the NY Times yesterday expressed the polarization in a way new to me, but it resonated:

... stories of centrist liberalism coming to dominate mainstream politics in the aftermath of the Cold War can be told throughout the countries of the West — just as most of these countries have now begun to experience populist insurgencies aimed at dethroning that consensus. (In the United States, the challenge to the liberal center is coming from both the right and the left.) The insurgencies are inspired by widely felt exhaustion with, and anger at, the unacknowledged failures of the ideas and policies that have defined the ideological center for more than a generation. That exhaustion and anger can’t be willed, wished or insulted away, no matter how unsavory the insurgents may be.....

Linker, Damon. “Did Max Boot Turn His Back on the Republican Party, or Did the Party Turn Its Back on Him?” The New York Times, November 5, 2018, sec. Books. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/01/books/review/max-boot-the-corrosion-of-conservatism.html.

I search my feelings about this election, and i realize what i feel is the dread of the next two years.

And then there's the gloom: not only have we fiddled with the clocks so it's dark earlier in the evening, but locally we are under a gloomy blanket of weather. Daytime is dim, dusk lasting all day.

Are there joys? Yes, yes. Luigi snuggling with me on the sofa. Watching MASH, which hasn't been available to us but for a few months in the past fifteen years. Picking the harvest of unripe peppers and planning to string them up. Hanging up Thai basil to dry in the laundry room as a test. Christine coming home from the passport office after a respectful and straightforward interaction.
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Thursday, October 4th, 2018 05:15 pm

The delight evinced by a working group leader when i join the call. Note to self: do this when you are the working group leader.

Toasted sharp cheddar cheese and tomato sandwich.

Apparently in the white mock turtleneck top and the over the ear headset, i have a striking resemblance to "Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope"'s Princess Leia on video conference screens.


Just noticed the seed heads on the stilt grass. Fie.

Edward ate a bird. Possibly a blue bird. At least he eats all of what he hunts.

Triggers Read more... )
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Thursday, October 4th, 2018 07:25 am
Therapy yesterday: right now i think of therapy as a disciplined checkpoint on following through with good mental health practices. The week of Kava-NO (as Christine quips) sucked my life away. I can't imagine what it was like for those who had personal experiences to compound it: thank you, my friends, for sharing here.

My therapist gets ecstatic at the thought of ripe persimmons, so she was delighted to hear my first fruit tree was a persimmon. I do tap into joy thinking about the orchard, and that wave of anxiety i had about getting it Right has long sense faded. But this blasted cough (not quite a month old yet, the sinus infection began over Labor Day weekend) exhausts me and weighs yard work with a great dampening.

Right now everything i think about brings up negative responses. short examples )

I think i am still mourning the beautiful grass in the orchard: how my heart leapt as the vision became visible!

Between the factors of asthma flare, dead grass, horrible news, and the shortening of the days i think i can explain feeling down in the dumps without being concerned about going off antidepressants. Somehow, though, i need to trick myself to reframe.
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Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018 08:37 am

#inktober2018 - i can play with digital ink, why not?

Dogwood berries in bright red are cheerful for so long, so much longer than the iconic flowers. One of the bathroom windows opens to a view of leaves and berries and i delight in seeing them.

Adulting (which sounds better than "Headaches")

I wrote my Primary Care Provider asking if he really wanted the three years of paper records or if he knew how to use MyChartCentral and Lucy to pick up my California provider's continuity of care records.

Triggers For my records )
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Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018 06:43 am
Both Christine and i struggled with blues yesterday, and my cough tired me at the end of the day. So, there's that. I'd guess Christine is more affected by the news than i as she actually listened to the whole hearing on Thursday.

Carrie is learning cat-like behaviors of "let me in, let me out, let me in." We've returned to taking the bell down when we go to bed -- she's out for the third time this hour. It's possible she's smelling other animals from the open windows and is prancing out to get a better look. She's such an independent creature. The cats are more interested in being near to us than she seems.

Last night i turned on a camel documentary for her. She laid down on the carpet and gazed up at the aerial footage of camels in the desert, camels around the Bedouin tents, camels wrestling in Turkey. Shots of the city, of interviews? Her head drops, she yawns. After a while she got up and i switched to John Oliver. I probably should have stayed with the camels, except hearing how climate change is removing what vegetation camels feed on in the Saudi desert was depressing as well.

But, oh, Carrie! How good to see her running like a crazy thing around the back yard.

What should be my condition of enoughness for today for outside? I suppose i should get the fig in a pot or the berm. I keep going back and forth on where to plant it, and one location is not yet prepared.
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Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 05:32 am
Yesterday, busy morning, procrastinatory afternoon.

We did take Greycie Loo's medicines over to a cat refuge for them to use. I'd been to their front gate in April or May, when i was establishing a design for our fence. This time we went through and saw the large area of free roaming cats, some of which who came over to say hi, others that ignored us. Fortunately there's a bit of a process to adopt, including a house visit, so we avoided the risk of coming home with a new friend. The place seemed a little magical, wooded and shaded with mossy banks and creative fencing from gnarled cedar. As we left, a white cat walked with us on the inside of the fence. The cat's coat seemed a bit disheveled and there was a stumble and wobble to the cat's walk. There was just enough of a similarity to remind me of Greycie Loo's last days and bring the grief back up.

I completely ignored the gas gauge, and when we went to do the evening groceries the car was on fumes. We emptied the lawnmower gas into the car tank and made it with out incident to a gas station. Christine was dealing with elephants, but by the time we were home she was much better. I on the other hand was wiped.

I think it was a good idea to get off the SSRI, but i wish the joy would be more of what surprised me. Grief and bumping up against Christine's sharp edges when she's doing her best to cope tires me. We both (and our therapists) think it's better that i am more sensitive to those sharp edges -- partly so Christine can learn to mediate better. Watching her struggle with the elephants though -- she tries so hard -- i don't want to make it harder on both of us. I trust though, that poetry (maybe) and photography will come back to me, so it's better to feel.

A dry spell would be nice. Hearing about the fence gates and from someone up to prepping the ground for the fescue planting would be nice. (I can certainly do it, but i would stretch out the process.) I guess i should go buy lime and other amendments.

--== ∞ ==--

I wasn't expecting the Women in Tech gardening channel to be triggery, but there is a woman with a small farm on the coast in California that posts instagram-ready images of her oh so rose-filtered life (alpacas! deliveries of dahlias to her hospital). I know i'm getting a curated experience, but the perfection is about to drive me bonkers.

Contacted two friends from the 20th century this morning. One has been hit by a truck while walking on a visit to family while her daughter was across the continent with a parent and her partner on a totally different continent. The other was in a car wreck while on a trip to celebrate her anniversary in which her husband was killed. I suppose feeling moved enough to actually write is part of the SSRI removal.
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Friday, June 15th, 2018 09:25 am
The stupid mouth discomfort is frustrating. I might still have low-for-me iron, as the blood test came back with a value that falls between the value when i had the diagnosis of low and the value measured some time after that when i was "better."

Therapy on Wednesday was interesting: my therapist says she notices me being much more vulnerable in the last few sessions as i taper off the SSRI. I know i am going slowly and it's helping me acclimate to having much more reactive emotions. Still not noticing highs, more affected by frustration and sadness. But maybe, maybe, i will want connection with people more?

I did have an insight about work and how i am no longer really "on a team." I think i miss that. Being remote doesn't help.


In yard news, OH EM GEEEE! The cleared orchard area is amazing. The rapid removal of stumps that had become little sign-posts, reminders of clearing one thicket or another, the weather at the time, anxiety-causing hangups of trees in other trees.... I could still see limit of where the goats worked, where i had cast down fescue seed the first winter. All of those markers are gone: it's just a rich red clay swathe, with a little island around the triple-trunked massive tulip poplar and a dogwood.

I remember when that tree seemed far back in the woods -- i thought it was three trees. I remember the revelation of the base of the tree, fighting through honeysuckle and autumn olive.

There are swale and berms just uphill from the house. The berms are made up of buried sweetgum trunks from the two massive trees we had the father and son team cut down. It's all very rough because the guys just do everything with their equipment, as if they were wearing transformer suits to haul and dig and pull. Watching them encased in their equipment as they pulled the poison ivy out of the tree, i think back to all the honeysuckle i've thrown my full weight against and failed to budge.

Between now and my trip to Ohio, i want to broadcast buckwheat seed and rake out the berms.

The other thing they did for us was dig the rain garden, a basin with down-slope berms for runoff from the downspouts that are in a poor place for rain barrels. One of the most surprising parts of planning this garden is finding recommendations for plants for rain gardens that other sites say want dry soil. I assume this has to do with the feast or famine (flood or drought) quality of a sand filled clay basin. I'm also curious about definitions of shady, as i see blue eyed grass listed as for a shady rain garden. Given where i found blue eyed grasses this year, i wouldn't call it shady, at all.

Yesterday, driving home from getting my blood drawn, i stopped at a garden supply place and arranged to have 54 cubic feet of sand and 54 cubic feet of ground pine delivered and poured into the hole they dug. After work, i tried to mix the sand and "compost" as best as i could and smooth it out. I worry there's too little "compost" but i followed the extension agency instructions. I've buried the giant litter pan we used for the cross country trip to act as a reservoir for the two plants i have ready: a pitcher plant and a cranberry. I've not purchased the rest of the plants for the area, which i want to be themed in blue.

In pet news, Carrie has discovered there is room enough in the bed for her to crawl in next to me. Unfortunately, she also startles and jumps away every time i stir. This then wakes me. And then she jumps back in the bed. I suspect this means she'll sleep in my spot while i am in Ohio and it's going to be entertaining when i get back.
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Thursday, June 7th, 2018 08:30 am
Yesterday's reorg had me staring at the note in which i keep track of corporate changes. I apparently started the note in July of 2014 when the effects of new executive leadership at where i work, "The Whale," had reached a crescendo. I realize i needed a time line. This has been incredibly helpful to me since then, and i've added as much detail as i could tracking back to when the merger of "The Minnow" and "The Whale" occurred in 2006. I find myself wanting to add some other dates.

And then i thought that, while a number of you have shared the journey with me, many of you missed some of these adventures. So i thought i'd share here.

Cut for length )
So, here we are.

Not all of that reflection was about "the elephant in the room," but part of what inspired this was for me to get a sense of how long this elephant has been hanging around as well as how long i was in the crisis that put me on antidepressants to begin with.

I think Christine has made a great deal of progress out of her crisis. Admittedly, after this much time, "crisis" is no longer really a good term. Some time back i did accept to myself that this is a long term condition. I do see improvement though, and i see her making great efforts to cope. The most hard thing, i think, is that she wakes with panic attacks more often than not. She has changed from a CPAP to the more fancy thing (heated! humidified! variable pressure!) which has a little bit of improvement, but the change didn't solve the issue.

There are things left out -- my time line of involvement in Quaker meetings stands out as something significant. My Dad's surgery is important because it came just before i my body seemed to hit middle age. There are a number of things about my health -- when did i do the diet exclusion test? When were various therapists? -- but i actually think those are in another file. My siblings' marriages, their children's birth, deaths of Christine's father and my grandfather -- those are important markers, too.

What this does, though, it take some events that have duration -- the process of coming out and how long before Christine had confirmation surgery, my work misery, her crisis -- and helps me see how my sense of duration is so skewed.

--== ∞ ==--

So if i keep journaling here for another eighteen years, i will have documented half my life on LiveJournal and its descendant DreamWidth. LJ was launched nineteen years ago. (I was actually blogging on geocities in 1999. No one read it, but i was writing there.)
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Wednesday, June 6th, 2018 03:47 pm
The mother rabbit has been visiting the nest, so all the unmolested bunnies are OK. The one i returned to the nest that i hope wasn't injured had opened its eyes and stood up in the basket, so i suspect its siblings are close to beginning to explore on their own. I hope the one that survived Edward is able to move out of the nest as well.

Reorg at work today: it felt like all the development leadership when i joined the company had been moved out with a particular lay off, but a quick look at the org chart revealed that the folks who are involved with leading the data side are many long term folks. I suppose the application side is more visible at the executive level. The data is like the engine of the car, but the user interfaces are like the car body that gets all the attention. Same engine just gets move to a new body. Meanwhile engine improvements just keep happening.

I'm on half a dose of the SSRI i have been on since hitting bottom during the reign of the "New Director". I'm not sure about the change. Frustratingly, i have failed to log my state through much of May and so i don't have much data about distractability to compare with before making a med change. I can do a nice organization of the data, though, so if i HAD been keeping records i'd be able to review.

Recommendation: airtable.com It's a web-hosted spreadsheet that also has forms. I suppose google tables might do the same thing, but this "freemium" service isn't supported by ads.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Friday, May 18th, 2018 06:23 am
Long ago applications of bile and current repercussions. )

Part of the dwelling on my mom's shaping of me as a child is that i am currently wrestling with the word "lazy." What does lazy mean, any way? )

I do note that i've reduced my SSRI prescription to a roughly 60% level (alternating between a 3/4 dose and a half dose). I think that instead of tapering down again next week, i will stay at this level another week.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Tuesday, February 20th, 2018 07:08 am
I'm trying to come out of a turned inward paralysis phase. I think i'm beginning to recognize a sort of pattern of behavior with a variety of habits dropped and a resistance to interacting with others. There's a procrastination/paralysis mind set: a noise of "must do mumble, don't wanna do mumble, let me distract myself" where the actual avoided activity is not clear. It's vague and all encompassing, so the usual advice of "small steps" and teasing out what i am afraid of is a challenge.

I made myself go to Meeting for Business and Worship on Sunday.

I'm trying to resurrect my todo list from a week of just throwing things on, resurrect a few self care habits.... it's harder because 2017 was marked by not doing these things and i was finally feeling the opening that getting back to the habits creates when i slipped.

I recognize this pattern as "depression" and "procrastination" but i think i'm going to start calling it the paralysis pattern. That sort of unloads the history and baggage.

February's not a great month in general, and it's been more grey than i've seen in years. (NC drought followed CA drought.) While i appreciate the beauty of "dreary" days, the boost of energy is missing. Finally, Christine's therapists said to her that the people she saw who had the "crud" in January are suffering a low energy period now, so there's that, as well.

So writing this is moving through the paralysis. A step.