30 March 2006


Today, I went to the gym with trepidition.  My shoulders (in the front, the area between where my arm joins my torso and my collar bone) are very sore from the water-workout Tuesday night with Cory.  But then I thought, well, go and if the weights are too much, put em down and do the workout without them.

So I slipped into my swim suitee and climbed into the pool.  I stretched and got ready for the water-workout.  Cory wasn't there today, but Elizabeth came and she was enthusiastic.  A good instructor, but not intent on pushing us to the max (which was a good thing, cuz we were all spaghetti-arms).

Glad I went.

I weighed myself.  215 pounds!!  And that was in the evening.  So in the AM, I probably weigh even less.  So, I lost 20 pounds in less than 3 months!

Cool, huh?

I caught myself from going to celebrate with ice-cream.  sigh.  Some habits die hard.  But, I came home, sans ice-cream and had some tea instead.  yea for me!

29 March 2006

A day in the life of...

Three in the morning is too damn early to be wide-awake.  Especially if I just went to bed and half past midnight.  But I couldn't get back to sleep.  So around five, I sighed and hauled my ass outta bed and into some public clothes, or rather gym clothes.

That's right, I said, "gym".  I carted my butt to the gym at 5:30 AM.  My lord, there were people there.  They were moving about, they were swimming, they were laughing.  Oh my eyes, my ears, my muscles....

I did my work-out, complete with a wide variety of machines and the recumbent-bike.  Then I showered and poured my sluggish self into my swim-suitee.  And I slinked out to the pool and slithered in.  Ahhh, the warm soothing lapping water...so calming, so gentle, so...what in the world?  there are people, leaping, jumping, stretching, blink, blink, in the water!  A water workout class at 8 AM!!

I was out of the gym by 9.  I tell ya, this was one long-ass day.  It felt like I put in an entire day before I normally open my eyes.

Let's not be making this a habit, k?

Weight!! I'm swimming, here!

I don't know if I told ya, but I'm taking swimming lessons.  I got the back strokes down pat (cuz I'm good on my back, doncha know) but the front stuff which involves that tricky act of breathing throws me for a loop.  AJ says that I'm getting it.  I think I am.  But dudes!  35 is a weird age to be learning to breath...

Also, I now weigh less than 220.  Omigawd!!  I am sooooo thrilled.  fer sure.

I really am.  I weigh somewhere between 217 and 219.  I think perhaps by the end of the week, I might hit 215.  Perhaps.  Especially if I don't go holding my breath.

Oh!  and I am a few steps closer to the whole "forgive/discharge the student loan" business.  Yea!!

So, what's new with you?  How about You?  and what about YOU?

27 March 2006

Death's Blows

Over the weekend, Scott and I spoke of suicide.  Not my own.  I told him about a friend of mine who worried that she would leave a mess behind and so would clean and get all her affairs in order and then when she was mostly through, she would be so tired that she wouldn't be able to find the energy to commit the act.  Besides, none of us can tidy all of our affairs, there are loose ends somewhere along the way.

We spoke about how the person that finds you would be affected and how that is not really avoidable, unless you were to disappear.  Even that carries its marks and lingering troubles.  So if you ever existed here, then you will always exist in someone's mind, their memories, their thoughts, their dashed dreams of the future.  There really is no escaping that.

This morning, a friend of mine who I met through NAMI trainings and events, told me that a woman we knew through the same events was dead.  She killed herself through self-medication, drinking, and so forth.  She is gone, but her memories live on and her ten year old son must cope with her death forever.  He will be sorting through her life and death for years to come.  I hope he did not find her.  I am glad she did not linger in a coma never to return.

How does her death affect me?  Only in the general broadest sense, I'd suppose.  We were not close, we were not friends.  I knew her only because she was one of the mentors through my first NAMI training, Peer to Peer education.  I was not terribly fond of her then.

I wouldn't wish her troubles upon her, or even my worst enemy.  I am sorry that she was not able to reach out for help, or to accept the assistance she might have been offered.  I don't know what her life was like or how she experienced it.

I can only tell you that this reaffirms that death by my own hand is not an option that I choose.  Will there be a time of horrendous chaos that overwhelms me?  Yes.  Will I become suicidal at some point in my future?  Perhaps.  I can only hope that if that point comes, I will recall my anti-suicidal thoughts.  I hope that I will reach out for help.  I hope that I will accept it.

23 March 2006

Dude! the day in review, thus far...

So this AM, I had an appt with the Dr.  8:40 is way too early for me to be out driving, apparently the county-road-folks thought so too, cuz I almost did not get there due to some road work of the rarest variety.  In fact, only on this farm in Mississippi would you see such a sight!

First, I had to drive around the idle road-grader.  That's not too uncommon.  We have the road re-graded often during the spring.  Heavy rains make the dirt and gravel rut and pile.  Not a good thing.  Course then, when is rutting and piling ever a good thing?  Getcher minds outta the gutter, folks!  You know who you are, don't be making me name names now.

Then, I had to drive around the fence.  The new fence that my landlords just put in a couple weeks back, replaces the old gate they tore down, which seemed pointless to me, cuz the fence is not there for any functional reason, just asthetics.  So as I drove around the new white fence, I glanced over to see why in the world we have three earth-moving machines clustered at the entrance.

They were removing the cattle-gap!!  (gasp)  And after I came back from the Drs, the road was all fixed and smoothed and no bumply gap to drive over anymore.  This is a really big deal.  See, for those of you who are city-slickers, a cattle-gap is sort of a gate in the surface of the road.  It was made of rails (like those for the rail-road, rail-way, trains).  Its function normally is to keep cattle on the property.  Cuz, dumb as cows are, they are smart enough to think, "hey, if I try to cross that, my hoof could get caught in the gaps between them there metal things, and say! I could break my leg and then have to be put down (shudder)".

Thing is, this farm gave up on the dairy business years and years back.  Now we just raise hay, hell, and kids.  So, the county-road-folks came out today and removed the grating from the road.  Big improvement.  It's almost like we are now joined with the rest of the county, instead of being The Farm on which the road peters out.

Ok, so that's the big farm excitement...

The nurse at the Drs, (and really where else would the nurse be in the capacity of a nurse?) told me to "hop up on the scales."  So I did.  I hopped all the way across the room.  She cracked up laughing.  That's my good deed for the day, making the nurse laugh.  Gosh that feels good.

Great news!!  I weigh 220!!  I lost all the weight I had gained in the past year.  The last time I weighed 220ish was March 05.  Wootee-woot!

Then I went to the library.  Has anyone read Bill Crider?  This is an author whose books I checked out today.  I've never read his stuff before, so I'll give it a go.

It's cold, windy, and I'm gonna go burrow under my covers with "A Time for Hanging".  Shaddow and Ziggee will probably curl up and keep me company.  Later, we might all take a nap.

Well, that's it for the exciting day, dude!

20 March 2006


April brings two things that are connected in my life.

One is that three years ago, in April, my life took a drastic turn.  That was when I took medical leave from the PhD program.  That was when the mental illnesses broke through the last of my defenses.  That was the beginning of the summer spent in purgatory.

This April brings the restart of the NAMI support group meetings.  I'm facilitating one per month per town.  That is a huge change from what I had been doing!!

So, starting Thursday 13th April, NAMI Support Group Meetings will meet in Columbus and Starkville on the second Thursday of every month.  Columbus will meet at 10a til 11:30a.  Starkville will meet at 1pm until 2:30pm.

If there is a demand for more, down the road, then someone else can go through the training and step up to the plate and shoulder some of the responsibility.  I'm going to watch my own limits closer and make sure I don't skate on the thin ice of burn out again.  I cannot afford that, especially with these sorts of disorders affecting me.

18 March 2006

It's the little things...

My phone finally quit working.  It took lots of abuse a few years ago.  So, I'm not surprised when the 3, 6, and 9 keys were no longer registering.

So, I bought a new phone.  It was less than 10 bucks, but has all the features I'd use.  Cool, huh?

My old vinyl table-clothe that was on my huge kitchen-table which is actually used as my office table and holds all my electronic stuffs; well, that old vinyl thing was ripped, shedded, tore...had seen its last days.  So whilst gandering at phones, I detoured through the table-clothe isle.  I found hunter-green and white checkered cotton clothes.  But, I didn't think to measure the table.  So I bought two, for 10 bucks for both.  Once I got home and unfolded one, I realized that one was large enough for the big ole table.  So, I left the other one folded and draped it on my real kitchen-table, which I actually use for a kitchen-table, in my kitchen.

So, the kitchen looks some spruced up.  I also threw away the old towel that I was using under my stainless-steel dish-drainer and put a nice fresh white cotton one under there.  And I placed a hunter-green pine-scented candle-in-a-jar on the green and white checkered clothe on the kitchen-table.

Details, details, details.

The kitchen just feels so much more comfortable.

In the office, I took out all the NAMI stuff and stacked it in a corner in the living room.  Then I took the study rug out and draped it over the fence with the other rugs.  I'll get to them eventually.  I filed all my paperwork, put away all my books, rearranged my medicine shelf, and swept the floor.

The study is now nice and neat.  The phone looks good on the clutterless table, which is covered in the green and white cotton clothe.  So ya might say it all looks spiffy, even.

I did a few loads of laundry.  Hung a new hunter green shower liner behind the curtain.  The bathroom has a fresh feel as well.

So basically, it's just my bedroom which needs a quick tossing.  The rugs need cleaning.  I need to paw through the NAMI stuff.

But I am making tons of progress.  Cuz it's the little things that all add up.

17 March 2006

a few hours sleep later, and PRESTO!

Gosh I feel ever so much better now.  I called and got the gas thing straightened out.  I did most of my other business.  Gee, and 'taint even noon yet!

snippittee, i do it well

I'd say in honor of St. Pat's day that I turned the journal green, but that'd be a bald-faced lie.  Instead, I turned green, but not in honor of St. Pat's day.  Lemmee explain...

I've not been dealing well with stress lately, not even a smidgeon.  So, last night, while attempting to relax at a local coffee/bakery, I went into overdrive.  Lemmee explain...

Shortly before closing time, early, ya know, spring break hours (don't ask, I too would have thought they'd be open later, but alas, no); a police car with flashing lights (did I mention strobe lights can cause seizure-like activity in me?  no?  well, yet another factoid for ya to store away) zipped into the parking lot.  Lemme explain...

Seems some dork called in a bomb threat to the neighboring Pizza Hut (what the fuss?!?).  So the police, ambulance, fire dept, EMTs, and miscellaneous other folks that were terribly excited flocked to the scene of the potential problem.  So, we all were evacuated.

After packing my computer in my car, I called the two young employees over to me (further away from the alleged bomb-site).  I asked if either had cell phones.  They both eagerly produced them.  I said that although I didn't see media, that did not mean much, and just on the off-chance that the news flashed this sensational event across the air-waves, perhaps the kids should call their folks.

Then, call the owners of the store.  No one knew their number.  I, however, being the handy-dandy person I am, produced a phone book (doesn't everyone carry on around in the trunk of their car?  no?  well, yet another factoid to store in yer heads).  The owners' line was busy (probably on the web, dial-up, no other option when you live on cow poke road, I guess).

However, the excitement seemed to be dying down, folks were either re-entering the stores or driving off to spread the excitement of the evening.  I went back in with the kids, and helped to straighten some of the mess of the mad dash to exit.  I offered to stay til the owners did show (by now they reached them).  They assured me that they were ok, plus the owners were on their way, and the girl's daddy showed up to calm her (it was her first bomb-threat).

I drove to my friend's house because I had called her to let her know that I was OK (cuz it is, after all, all about me) and to let her know that thebomb-threat seemed to be just that, a threat.  I got to her place and checked my voice-mail, cuz I had signed off IMs rather abruptly with two friends, who do know my number, as we were friends in actuality before the virtual connection was made.  That's when my head began to throb moreso, my heart began to race, my skin got all sweaty and slick, and I got so dizzy that passing out seemed like a good option (but I never seem to be able to do that).  Lemmee explain.

See, I've been having a run-around-about with the propane folks.  Mostly miscommunication, nothing that cannot be fixed.  But I'm just so sick of dealing with this shit.  And there was a message on the voice-mail pertaining to that whole SNAFU.

Then, I tried to make an outgoing long distance call on my friend's line, but I had forgotten that her land-line is local only.  Silly me.  And I really wanted to call Scott, my security-blanket...I mean, my boyfriend.  She was using her cell.

No problem, I thought, I'd sit and wait.  When she came in the room, she looked at me and got very concerned.  I never had a full-blown panic attack around her before.  It's not pretty to witness.  At least I wasn't mumbling mantras to myself (sometimes I do that to calm the inner-me), that woulda scared the holy-bejesus outta her.

No, instead she thought I was having a heart-attack, cuz I was pale, sweating, jittery, breathing rapidly and shallow, and not very coherent.  Plus to there was the racing pulse, contracted eyes, and general weakness.  My jaw did hurt, but that was tension, and in my state I was not thinking too clearly so missed the connection as to why she was asking (sillee me).

At least she did not call the ambulance (they could have responded really really quickly, they were only down the road a mile or so, at the bomb-threat scene).  That would have heightened my panic.  She did remember that I sometimes have panic attacks and cleared the couch so I could sprawl.  She got me a blanket.  She talked to me.  She turned out the lights.

I went to sleep.  That's one of the best things to do when I am coming out of a panic attack.  I am very tired, drained.  And driving is not a good option at a time like that.  I know this from past experience, but that's another story.

I woke just before 4am.  Decided that I ought to get home while I can.  I wrote a note, headed home, climbed in the shower, dressed in my guy's pjs (when in a pinch, take comfort where ya can), took some meds, and decided that since my brain was racing along, I'd post an entry.

So, how was your evening?

16 March 2006

oh, and...

So, Saturday, before Ziggee came home on Sunday; I got down on the hands and knees and scrubbed the kitchen, living room, and hallway floors.  I moved all the furniture.  I went through an entire bottle of Pine-Sol.  I went through countless buckets of water.

That floor looks good!!

And then I hung all the freshly laundered drapes.

And all the rugs are out, hanging over the fence, airing.  Maybe it will rain on them.  Maybe I'll be able to do some sort of shampoo job on them, I don't know.

I do have all the NAMI stuff spread out in the office.  SO that is the next thing to be tackled, along with laundry, the bathroom floor, the bedroom floor...

And my toilet now flushes properly.  No more sticking my hand in the tank to flip the plunger around.  Gee, and THAT was sooo much fun.

a bit spotty, eh?

I haven't been journalling with any regularity lately.  There's just so much that's up in the air.  Quite a bit of it is more personal than not.  But, an update on the dog situation...

The saga continues...(much eyebrow wriggling)...I know all you are waiting with baited breath (which is much better than dog breath) for the next issue, tune in tomorrow and hear Ziggee attempting to howl with the big dogs.

Actually, ya don't even have to wait.  Anymore, I mean.  Ya waited long enough.

Cuz I know how your lives just cannot go on one more night without knowing.

So here's the latest...

Ace is settled nicely into his new home.  Yea!

The woman who had Ziggee for a week, couldn't keep him, her fibro makes it hard to walk him and such.  She cried when he left.  She spoiled him rotten in just that one week.

But he's a charmer, so spoiling him is not hard.

My friend who works with NAMI at the home office in Jackson has a 3yr old male chihuahua.  She is looking for a second to keep him company.  Ziggee is 3 yrs old next month, a male, and a rat terrier (feist) and chihuahua blend.  So he is perfect for this situation.  My friend is all excited and she is coming up to meet him at the end of the month.  It'll be infatuation at first charmin' butt wag!

10 March 2006

New counselor, new model

I fired my counselor and my psychiatrist.  About two or three weeks ago, I found another and made the arrangements for my GP/CRNP to take over the supervision of my medications.  This is one of the major things going on in my life.

See, the most effective counselor I ever had was promoted to a different program in December 04.  So in January 05, I began to see a new counselor at the same center.  About a month ago, I realized that she was not very effective at all.  I couldn't say that we worked through ANY issues at all in the year that I saw her.

I do feel that I've grown, but I don't feel that she had much to do with that.  I know that I need to work through all sorts of crap and I didn't think she was the one to help with that process.  I did, however, notify her that I did need to work on some things.  She said that we would see each other every week.  That didn't happen.  Three weeks after she said that, I finally went to see the director of the center.

I expressed my needs and how they weren't being met.  I know that the center is the ONLY "option" available for many on Medicare and/or Medicaid.  There are only three counselors available to the adults who need care.  Then my counselor, a week after I left the center's "care" ended up in the hospital (and has not been able to work the last few weeks due to illness).

Although I regret that she is ill, I sure am glad that I found an alternative situation.  See the problem mostly is that licensed professional counselors are not reimbursed by Medicare/Medicaid, unless they work within a clinic setting.  If the LPCs are in private practice, they won't get reimbursed, so they can't accept that sort of insurance (because it won't pay).  There has been pending legislature being kicked around for quite some time.

Fortunately, I found a counselor who accepted me as a client, self-pay, on a reduced rate.  She is very professional, maintains her boundaries, while still being reasonably accessible to her clients.  She cares about the well-being of her clients and doesn't regard this merely as a job, but as a true calling and blessing.

We went over the goals and expectations I have and the rights and responsibilities that we each have.  She uses the Internal Family Systems Model, developed by Dick Schwartz.  We had one full session, but I had spoken with her extensively before that to cover all the formalities.

I visited the IFS web-site.  Reading and reviewing the model helped me to understand how the model works and how she will be using the model.  That way, we were able to begin work right away.

It's hard.  It's good.   It exhausts me.  It makes me nervous, because it's scary stuff that I am dealing with.  But I am confident in this counselor's abilities and motivations.  Since she does check in with me, and encourage me to let her know what is going on, how I feel, are we going at a good pace or too fast, do I need to take a break, can I keep going, etc.; I feel that this is a good fit, all the way around.

So, that's the deal.  The big thing that is the main focus of my life at the moment.  Cuz, I gotta get through this.

home, sweet home?

So, I am hoping to reclaim my home.  I live in a single-wide, older trailer.  It is not the ideal place to house 3 dogs.  I am hoping that now I will have just Shaddow.  She sheds enough for all the dogs I'd ever want, but other than that, she is very low-maintenance.

I need to scrub all my floors, moving the furniture to do so.  I'm thinking of it as the most thurough spring cleaning I plan to do.  I washed all my curtains and drapes.  I need to rehang them.

I also need to clean all of my rugs, completely.  A good beating and sweeping is called for.  Then too, I need to do something with the one that I haven't washed yet.  Using my own washing machine is not the answer.  Perhaps I can take it to the laundromat and load it up in the big ol industrial frontloader.

I don't think that I will get to it all this week, but this month would be nice.  I also need to get going through all the NAMI stuff that's been piled up and get to work with the whole promoting the support groups.  Next Saturday, I'm doing a presentation.

Then, maybe my home will feel more like home.  Maybe then I will enjoy being there.  Maybe then I can live in my home and feel like it truly is home.

Doggie Situation

Well, one of the minor things that I've been trying to deal with is that I am beginning to hate my home.  Why?  Cuz it doesn't feel like home.

A few months ago, I took up the rugs and piled them in my bedroom.  Mostly cuz Ace (my boston terrier) has a spastic colon and went indiscriminantly here and there.  His pooh even blended in with the tan and beige in the patterns in my mostly maroon and green rugs.

I got tired of cleaning the rugs, so I took them up.  However, my house started to smell.  I would clean up the messes and tried to air out the place but it didn't seem to help so much.

All the rain led to wet dog smell and mud tracked throughout.  I began to realize that I was not spending the time or giving the attention that my three pups deserved.  So I decided to see if I couldn't place the two little ones.

Shaddow is MY baby.  She is the best, most laid-back, easy to care for, low maintenance (like me!) dog ever.  She's sweet and gentle.  And I've had her since she was 2 months and she is now 4 and a half years old.  So, I am keeping her.

Ziggee is the rat-cha.  I thought I found him a home.  He has been staying with my friend for a week now.  But she has fibro and may not keep him as she find it hard to take him on his walks at times.  So, I may have to find another home for him.

Ace is my Boston Terrier.  A few potential placements fell through.  So today, I thought I was going to surrender him to the human society.

But as I pulled up, a volunteer was speechless.  She was delighted with Ace.  She took him.  I gave her my number and all sorts of info about Ace.

So, even though I didn't want to give my pups away, they deserve more love and attention than I can give right now.  It is times like this that I think that I wouldn't be able to be a mom, if I can't even take care of the pups properly.

08 March 2006

Flying by, in the blink of an eye

I'm having a rough time dealing with some old stuff, some new stuff, and some blue stuff.  At least none of it is borrowed and no, I'm not getting married.  For those of you who have been following my journal, my apologies, but I just can't seem to get much of anything together right now.