NOT OKAY

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I’m really struggling with my depression.  I am in therapy every week so I have that on my side.  The unpacking is going very slowly.  The Etsy store is okay.  I need to put more into marketing and into getting quality components to make saleable goods.  I’m hoping to get an influx soon.  It’s really disheartening to see all the page hits but no sales.  I know the items up there appeal to folks because I’ve gotten feedback.  I don’t think the prices are unreasonable either.  The last show we did was a bust.  Didn’t quite make back our expenses.  But many valuable lessons were learned and there’s another convention coming up over Labor Day weekend.  Hoping that one will be a success.

I have several follow-up appointments coming up.   My pain levels have been awful.  I am on a new med prescribed my the rheumatologist for pain.  It helps but with the moving and now the unpacking,  some days I can barely get out of bed without crying.

I’m very weepy and spending a lot of time navel-gazing.  I have an app to chronicle my mood each day.  Most of mine have been “meh”.  Just feel stuck, I think.  My therapist wants me to sit down and write down a list of my need and wants.  Then I guess in our next session, we’ll figure out a strategy for getting my needs met.

My relationships are unsatisfying. I think it’s because I need more in person time with the partner who lives in Tucson and more quality time with the partner I live with.

Not having things unpacked and semi-orderly is causing me great anxiety.  I like having stuff put in some kind of order.  I love shelves and boxes and cabinets.  I want everything in its place. I’m working on it as I have the energy and when I can manage my pain.

I’m trying to remember to use my coping tools: music therapy, journaling, making pretties.  I’ve not yet successfully reincorporated exercise/movement yet.  I am a work in progress.

Worried about my kitties.  They seem okay but I’d feel better if I could get them a wellness check.

I need to write down all the things I want to bring up with my doctor (who I see at the end of the month).  Stuff keeps coming up.  I also have two more specialists to see in the near future as well as follow ups with ones I’ve already seen.

Feels like too much sometimes.  Plus all the things my partner expects me to track and take care of.  I mean, I know I have broad shoulders but dang.

Looking forward to vacation next month.

PayPal Donation link

My Etsy shop

State of my head

Finally made it to a therapy appointment this month. Had to reschedule twice and was determined to go this time. I still have little voice but we made it work. It was so good to talk and get feedback. I really feel like this therapist helps and will continue to help me sort out my stuff.

Today we talked about my panic attacks and anxiety. My realization that they started happening not too long after my rape at 9 years old. I didn’t realize those episodes were panic attacks until very recently when I learned exactly what panic attacks are.  From https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/panic-disorder-agoraphobia/symptoms#

A panic attack is the abrupt onset of intense fear or discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes and includes at least four of the following symptoms:

Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
Sweating
Trembling or shaking
Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
Feelings of choking
Chest pain or discomfort
Nausea or abdominal distress
Feeling dizzy, unsteady, light-headed, or faint
Chills or heat sensations
Paresthesia (numbness or tingling sensations)
Derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself) Listen to this podcast.
Fear of losing control or “going crazy”
Fear of dying

Of these, I most commonly got the sweating, derealization/depersonalization, light-headed/faintness, chills and pounding heart.  And I still do.  I look normal from the outside but inside I’m a mess.  It has happened at school, at work, at parties, just sitting alone at home.  It’s awful and exhausting.

My next step is to talk to my doc about getting an anti-anxiety medication.  Being able to somewhat control my anxiety will help me cope better, I think, with life in general and maybe wrestle my demons more effectively.

In better news, I will be a dealer at a local sf/f convention next month!  LepreCon is a general sf/f con with a focus on sf/f art.  The GOH is the artist Lubov

I’ve added more stuff to my Etsy shop.  Dragon & Wolf Crafts

Facing Challenges

So I’ve been trying to figure out how to write about my current load of issues.  So much has happened since I last posted anything.  I did find a therapist who is wonderful.   I am very optimistic that she’ll be a big help in my journey to better mental health.

I’ll need it because my physical health is…well, not so great.  My follow-up with the nephrologist was rescheduled by that office until next month.  My labs show a slight decrease in kidney function so I really need to consult with him.  My primary care doc continues to be my champion.  One of my labs is elevated which indicates either liver impairment or something else.  I had follow-up labs this week and it’s not my liver.   I will be seeing a hematologist next week to try to figure out what the heck is going on.  Unfortunately, I spent time consulting with Dr. Google and now I’m all freaked out.   There is a chance of bone disease of some type including perhaps, cancer.  So there’s that.

Speaking of bones, I now know why my back hurts all the time.  I have a bulging disc and degenerative disc disease.  Yay me.  I’m waiting to hear back from the neurosurgeon’s office about an appointment. disc29120100_M_0.jpg

How am I coping?   ~sigh~  Well, music therapy helps some.  Today I’ve been rearranging the house which has also helped.  I’ve asked for support from friends (go me!  actually asking) and they’ve been wonderful.   I am reminding myself to take things one step at a time.  Cope with the bits that I am able and don’t sweat the what-ifs.  I’ll have more information soon enough and can then decide how to handle things.

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Coping

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Still waiting from a decision on my disability claim.  Feeling frustrated and discouraged.  Felt myself about to drown in the dark pool of depression.  My wolfcub suggested we make real all the talk about selling our crafts.  So I have an Etsy shop!  He makes chain mail jewelry and I, as you know, make beaded stuff.   My shop is Dragon Wolf Crafts 

I am slowly adding inventory to the shop.  Taking good pictures has been a challenge but I think I have some decent ones.

Making is wonderful and each completed piece brings me fulfillment.  I have a reminder set so I can spend some time every day working on either crafting or on the shop.  It’s good to have some structure to my days. I was getting lost.

So that’s the good.  I’m still fretting about money because bills need to be paid.  I added up how much it would take to make me current and it’s over $2000 with interest adding up every day.   Each company offers help if you have some small income but they don’t have anything if you are flat ass broke like I am.  Hopefully, the shop will allow me to pay something.

I am in a weird mental state right now.  Hopeful but not.  Really discouraged by politics and what feels like lack of social change.  Discouraged by having no money and not hearing  about my disability claim.  But I make things!  Pretty things.  And I have a shop that may generate some income.  I have friends and family who love and support me.  Plus it is Secret Santa season!  And I get to send out nifty holiday cards all over the country.   But I’ve been sleeping poorly.  And I’m tired all the time. And my hands hurt.

So, yeah. Weird mental/emotional state of late.

 

Helping Hand

Tips welcome!

 

Personal things

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Haven’t updated in a long while. So, got out and skimmed the pool. Trying to do this every day but not always succeeding. So that was exercise plus time in the sun (need that vit D). It’s 9000 degrees here and the air quality sucks so I’m actually avoiding spending a lot of time outside at the moment. When monsoon season kicks in, I’ll probably go spend time on the patio post deluge when the air is clear and stuff. Hope it happens soon but the forecast for the short term is just very sunny and very hot.

I’ve also taken to dancing around the living room for exercise. The birds really don’t like my taste in music though.

Been having pretty bad pain levels in my right hand, right hip and lower back. Not sure why but hopefully, more movement will ease things. Or I resort to drugs.

I think I posted somewhere about taking classes to try to keep my brane engaged. I started with a full slate but quickly realized that I was being unrealistic and setting myself up for failure. So, I now only have Art History which I am enjoying quite a lot.

I managed to read yesterday!  I devoured an entire book in a few hours.  It was great.  My review is here: Flowers of Luna by Jennifer Linsky

Plus I’ve watched the Black Panther Teaser Trailer many, many, many times.  I’ve also watched a slew of blerd reactions videos.  I. Can. NOT. Wait!  So excited for this.  I really want to make a Dora Milaje costume.

Actually, I’ve gotten the urge to Make.  I created a crafty things wishlist on Amazon here.

Well, that’s it.  Still not sleeping well.  Still anxiously stressed about money.  Still overwhelmed by the news of the day.  Still overwhelmed by all that needs doing around the house.

But I have an adorable kitten and a wonderful, cuddly cat who purr and frolic.

Finn and Pete

 

 

https://www.youcaring.com/HelpCherylThrive

Insecurity

Just ran across this old post:  Stress factor 100000000   and Mother’s Day just happened.  I read all the memes and tributes and whatnot.  I felt wistful that I couldn’t call my own mom.   Though I am happy for those with good relationships with their moms.  The partner that I live with called his mom and she was effusive about the gift I sent her.  My other partner doesn’t have a relationship with his mom so he likely spent the day making chainmail, playing Kerbel and the like.

My mental health month fundraiser hasn’t attracted much attention so that makes me sad.  It’s here if you want to take a look.  https://www.booster.com/intomentalhealth   I added more color and style choices as well as a donate button for those who wish to support the campaign without getting a t-shirt.

Had a burst of energy and cleaned the parrots cages.  Also left the house and dropped by the pharmacy and visited Penzeys for more ginger (for my nausea) and a yummy spice mix that we ran out of.  V. tired now though.  Will probably curl up and stay inside for a day or two.  Feeling very drained.

Mental Health America has a list of things to boost your mental health http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/31-tips-boost-your-mental-health   Some of them are geared towards those who are higher functioning that I am (people with money, energy and good health).  However, #27 is something I can do and something I enjoy.  I have blank cards that have somehow accumulated over time and I sent out some last week.  It made me smile.  I will try to send out another one this week if I can find current addresses of my friends.  I used to keep an updated address book (on paper!).

All in all, it’s only Wednesday and it’s been a very emotional week especially with all the political turmoil.  Plus that very emotional piece in the Atlantic.   I also just read this Captain Awkward bit and so close to my mother’s day wistfulness, it wrecked me.

I have bills coming due or past due.  I was thankfully able to pay a few through the generosity of others.  Trying to focus more energy into making rather than into fretting.  My disability claim is still pending.  Not sure how much longer I’ll be in limbo in that regards.

 

Tips

 

 

Usefulness

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Since it is Mental Health Month, I decided to do a little Booster campaign to give y’all something tangible in return for your support.  The campaign is here:  https://www.booster.com/intomentalhealth I hope you like the design. I think it is pretty spiffy.  As stated in the information at Booster, I will donate part of the proceeds from the t-shirt sales to NAMI.  The campaign is open throughout the month with the t-shirts delivered a couple of weeks after it closes.

So, that said. Let me delve a bit into why I’m doing this.  I mentioned before that I’m coming out of a down cycle.  Doing something useful will help me keep from falling back too far.  I’m actually pretty excited to see this succeed.  There’s a minimum of 8 sales before the shirts will go to print.   However, if 20 are sold, Booster will kick in another $20, if 100 are sold it’s $50 and so on.  I doubt I have enough reach for 100 but I’d be thrilled with 20!  I’ll donate the entirety of the extra.

Anyway, thanks for listening.  I’ve been feeling incredibly useless and like a waste of air.  This campaign is a good start to quelling those feelings.  I’m going to look for other things I can do that makes me feel like a contributing member of society.