Monthly Archives: January 2012

Furnishings

The other night, I purchased a sofa off of Craigslist. This one, actually:

My sofa. NOT my house.

The house pictured above is a mid-century modern treasure with original floors, paneling, and kitchen. Recently, the owners opened a vintage furniture shop on Cherokee Street. This sofa, however, is not vintage. It was purchased from Macy’s a few years ago, and this was all a great coincidence because I was looking at this exact style over the weekend. There is some slight wear on it, but I prefer to save $400!

This weekend, I’m going pillow shopping. I never thought I would write such a sentence, but there it is. I need some pillows for this sofa.

I also hope to do some painting this weekend. With that, the pillows, and opening a new checking account, I’ll be quite busy.

Non-furniture Stuff

Starting this past Sunday night, my sleep has become much better. When I started dozing off in bed without having to trick myself into sleeping, I was so incredibly pleased. I now wake up around 5 am, and I can usually get myself back to sleep without too much trouble.

Sleep: it makes such a big difference.

My dreams have been quite interesting because that’s where I process stuff. While some people have fluffy candy or other such fantastical dreams, mine are very literal. If I’m annoyed with my dad, I dream of arguing with him. If I’m stressed because of work, I have work dreams. So far, I’ve had three major dreams since the break-up, and each one makes me face things that have happened, are happening, or will happen. The emotions in my dreams are quite intense, but I appreciate my unconscious preparing me for hard things.

Regarding food, my appetite seems to be back in full force. I want to eat all the things. In less than a year, I lost over 11 pounds. Half was due to cutting out grains and cutting back on sugar, but I lost the other half quite suddenly because of the Great Sadness.

This, perhaps more than anything except the ache that I felt in my chest, bothered me. I never thought I would be someone who didn’t care about food. I love to eat, and I love to make good things. So when I started to forget to eat, when I had to force myself to eat things despite my stomach not wanting anything, when I lost interest in grocery shopping, I felt like I’d become a stranger. It’s good to be back to being hungry and interested in food again. Now I just need to bring something besides nuts with me to work for snacking.

I’m likely to become a giant almond.

All for now.

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Napoleon

My friend CJ, author of 13projects, has cats on the brain. This is surprising because she is terribly allergic and has always declared to dislike cats (with the exception of Keetah, of course). However, a recent cat-sitting stint was enough to have her searching the Petfinder website.

Last time I was on the Petfinder website, Porkchop and I found ourselves filling out an application to adopt a little chihuahua puppy, which was going to live in Porkchop’s pocket and accompany her everywhere. (The puppy was adopted with his brother, which was good because he was found to have a heart condition that required a lot of medical intervention.)

This is what the Petfinder website does to you. It sucks you in until you find yourself wanting to drive to Sheboygan, Wisconsin, to adopt a cat.

CJ sent me a link to this little guy named Napoleon:

Squishy little cat cuteness

Besides Keetah, is Napoleon not the best cat you’ve ever seen??

If CJ didn’t have dibs and Keetah wouldn’t die from the introduction of another cat, I would have been in my car last night to bring him home!

Churning Thoughts

I have a lot going on in my head right now.

I haven’t been sleeping past 4 AM for a while now. Different anxious thoughts wake me up.

This morning, it was what to plant in the front garden beds in the spring. Should I do cannas and other lillies? Or some other type of perennial? Then I move on to paint colors for the front doors, the upstairs, the eating area, the little nook off the living room. Then I start wondering if I can do some minor tuckpointing, fix a couple of walls downstairs, fix the upstairs bathroom, paint, and buy a new couch without spending more than my tax refund. And don’t get me started on what color to paint our old bookcase, what to hang on the walls, or selling the old kitchen table I’ve had since college.

It’s an exhausting mental treadmill.

PS Did I mention I’m staying in St. Louis and taking the house on by myself? With possibly a roommate later, but only if the roommate can be non-intrusive and invisible. I want to change some things in my life, but I really feel much too set in my ways to have a roommate. (Loud music? You’re out! Dirty dishes left in the kitchen overnight? Pack your bags! Using metal utensils in the non-stick pans? You’re dead to me!)

If

If I had known the night before moving out was to be my true last night with Porkchop, I would have stayed awake all night holding her and whispering my love instead of insisting on talking about hurt feelings or whatever else I did.

I would have shut up and made time stand still to savor all the last things.

Yeah, I know these are self-torturing thoughts.

Breaking Thoughts

It’s hard to be the one left behind.

The one who is no longer wanted or needed. And to not know why really, or what exactly changed.

And it’s even harder to know this for four months, yet be told otherwise. To keep trying and failing because what you’re trying for is no longer there. To feel like something must be obviously wrong with you.

It’s hard to watch another begin building a different life, and to not understand why you aren’t included. To draw the conclusion that something must be wrong with you, but not knowing what.

I know some will think it poor form to write about such things on my blog, that it isn’t very fair to Porkchop. But my blog documents my life and feelings. If you feel uneasy, don’t read it.

Porkchop and I are officially no longer partners.

I feel lost and sad, but relieved to have closure to these past months.

I know that nothing is wrong with me as a person, but I also know it will be a while until I feel right again.

Whereas

Whereas I was previously anxious with nervousness, I am now anxious with excitement.

Whereas possibilities previously seemed closed, they now seem to be opening.

I am ready for change and new growth. Let us toss these tired, old habits to the wind!

Now

This is the wintry day from my basement office window:

You can't see the blowing snow, but it's there.

This scant amount of snow caused the St. Louis roadways to shut down in many places. My usual 15-20 minute car commute increased to 1.5 hours, and while I enjoyed listening to NPR for an extended period of time, it was an hour longer than I preferred.

While the wind screams outside, I’m ensconced cozily in my Tilted Duster, Clapotis, new boots, and longjohns. This day could only be better if I wasn’t at work but sitting elsewhere drinking a spicy hot chocolate (and, well, I can think of a few other things, but let’s not get into that).

Back to Now

Last week, my doctor recommended that I read Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now. It can be a bit heavy-handed, but it’s a good reminder to observe your emotions instead of becoming your emotions.

One particular passage really resonates with me for many reasons, so I’m reproducing it below. If you are not into new age-ish stuff, you can stop reading now.

Another aspect of the emotional pain that is an intrinsic part of the egoic mind is a deep-seated sense of lack or incompleteness, of not being whole. In some people, this is conscious, in others unconscious. If it is conscious, it manifests as the unsettling and constant feeling of not being worthy or good enough. If it is unconscious, it will only be felt indirectly as an intense craving, wanting and needing. In either case, people will often enter into a compulsive pursuit of ego-gratification and things to identify with in order to fill this hole they feel within. So they strive after possessions, money, success, power, recognition, or a special relationship, basically so that they can feel better about themselves, feel more complete. But even when they attain all these things, they soon find that the hole is still there, that it is bottomless…As long as the egoic mind is running your life, you cannot truly be at ease; you cannot be at peace or fulfilled except for brief intervals when you obtained what you wanted, when a craving has just been fulfilled.

As hokey as it seems, this actually gives me some insight into myself and others. Thanks for sitting on a park bench for two years, Eckhart Tolle!

Still Sad

This is only my fifth day on an SSRI, and I wish it would hurry the fuck up and make me not sad.

I wish it would also help me sleep. Sleep is pretty much impossible. I’m crazy anxious with churning thoughts. When I do sleep, it’s for but a few hours. Tomorrow, I shall try to get a prescription for a sleep aid. Lack of sleep makes me even sadder than I am already.

It doesn’t help that I’m sleeping in an unfamiliar house.

I’m currently living with a friend of a friend. Porkchop and I were stuck cycling through the same unhelpful emotions, and something needed to change. This is supposed to be a time of growth. I need to make more friends and get me back, but it’s difficult with this depression thing.

My heart and soul ache so much. My life is currently so weird and unfamiliar. I miss old times, and even if I weren’t depressed, I don’t think anything will ever be the same.

I just want to cry and tear open my skin and shriek with anger. It’s a terrible feeling. Instead, I lie in this strange bed, unable to sleep and wishing desperately for time to pass quickly so that I don’t have to endure the slow pace of change.

Cracked

2012 seems to be off to an already auspicious start.

And I write that rather sarcastically.

Yesterday Porkchop and I went to Elephant Rocks State Park and climbed around some big rocks.

Big rocks

The rocks are red granite and were formed by big deposits of molten lava. Seeing the rocks and the old quarries makes you appreciate all the natural forces that have formed this little planet of ours. Thinking about a big volcano in mid-Missouri is kind of crazy.

Speaking of crazy, while sitting on the top of a big buried granite boulder, I plunged headfirst into the crazy waters.

It’s been a tear-filled week for me, but sitting on that boulder, I really let it rip. I sobbed and let snot stream out my nose (thanks to Target’s generic Mucinex).

Things that happened over the summer and fall cracked me open, spilling out everything inside of me. It’s been a couple of months, and I still haven’t been able to figure out how to put everything back inside and sew myself up.

The feelings I have weigh me down and wear down those around me. Worst of all, I have intense envy for people who have been able to move past things. I feel stupid for not being able to deal with my shit, and I feel like my growth has been stunted while life continues on for others. I didn’t ask for any of this, and I don’t want to be like this.

I used to have an intense feeling of being homesick, but now I just feel broken. All I want to be is the person who I used to be, not this sack full of sadness and envy and anger.

Given all of this, I guess it’s time I make the call to the therapist who I saw in the fall and talk about antidepressants. This pains me greatly because I wanted to be the one child in my family who didn’t need antidepressants.

Is this the face of depression?

My new alligator buddy

Is this the face of depression?

Keetah being stately

My biggest fear is that antidepressants won’t work. What happens to your thoughts and feelings? How does it change how you feel about things that happened?

While visiting my parents over Christmas, my mom told a family story that I had never heard. In the early 1960s, one of her cousins disappeared. He was headed from Kansas to Colorado to visit his mom, but he never showed up. All of this was on the national news, and the FBI investigated the case, but the cousin was never found. His car turned up later somewhere in Kansas. His horse and cowboy gear were all at the ranch where he worked in Kansas. His bank account was never touched. There didn’t seem to be foul play involved; it was all just very odd. My mom’s aunt was in poor health anyway, and she died not too long after her son’s disappearance. Five years later, he surfaced outside of Phoenix where he was working at a ranch under a different name. Nothing bad had happened to him; he just wanted to start over somewhere completely new.

My family had nothing but bad things to say about this cousin, but I kind of understand him.