bleah

Do you ever just want to go to sleep and not wake up? I’ve been there far too often lately.

Life just keeps kicking me in the teeth it seems, and I don’t know how much more I can cope with. Something has to give, and lately I fear it’s going to be me.

I was going to write so much more but I just don’t have it in me.

Reflection

It’s the evening before my 40th birthday, and it would be very easy to let myself slide into a wallow of all the things my life isn’t, all the achievements I’ve failed to reach, all the things that feel wrong about my life.

Failed marriage, single motherhood, still renting after all these years, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia radically changing the quality of my life, finances in rough shape, career at a screeching halt due to Heath issues, Depression, bad relationships, bad decisions, missed opportunities, the list could go on.

Taking a deep breath though, I make myself think of the positives, the things I did accomplish, where things could have gone so much worse ….

When I saw things were wrong in the marriage, I had the courage to speak up. We did what was best for our child and ourselves and din’t put our child through years of fighting and bitterness.

I got saddled with the debt that accrued during the relationship, yet I managed to pay it off in only a couple of years. That’s a pretty amazing accomplishment, especially considering how bad it was.

I have a wonderfully imaginative, active, caring young lad. He has absolutely no doubt that he is loved.

I learned to knit properly, and discovered how to make things mine. I learned patterns are guidelines, not laws. I discovered a love of fibre, and opened myself up to learning new things, and not just about knitting.

I have met so many many wonderful people. I’m sure many I wouldn’t have met if I made different choices, and I am glad of all the friendships I’ve had.

I learned to speak French very well, and even found that I enjoyed it.

I rediscovered a love of photography.

Pre-cancerous cells were discovered and removed early enough that they never turned into anything scarier. A few years after, I learned of a friend who was not able to have children of her own as she’d not wanted to deal with regular doctor visits. What if I’d made different choices?

I have a University degree and a resume that while not exactly what I might wish it to be, is also nothing I am ashamed of.

Only 1 speeding ticket, and two minor accidents in my 23 years of driving … Would be nice to stick close to those numbers for the next 23!

I have an endless capacity for love.

I never stop hoping completely. I have had some really awful moments. Some deep dark pits. Times of wondering what the point is and much, much blacker thoughts. There is ALWAYS an ember deep within though that refuses to go out, and I have been stubborn enough to be able to fan that ember back into flames time and time again. Which explains why I chose a Phoenix for my tattoo. My life has felt like it’s been in ashes on more than one occasion, but I always manage to fly again eventually.

I am a little bit crazy, and I like that about myself. I like that I can giggle about splashing in puddles, that I make “that’s what she said” jokes with my friends, that I sometimes make the car “dance” and so many other silly little things. I think life doesn’t have enough laughter and joy in it, and you’ve got To laugh when you can.

I am a bookworm. I am a bit on the geeky side. Sensitive. Quiet in crowds or with people I don’t know that well. Shy about new situations. Scared of change. I’ve learned to embrace all that and challenge myself on some of it.

There’s so much ahead of me still.

I might never own a house. And that’s ok. I’ve learned how to make a home. It’s very unlikely I’ll have more kids of my own. There’s so many who can’t have any. My health will never be the way it was but it could be so much worse. The finances won’t always be this rough. I won’t always be single, but I’m also not going to settle for a relationship for the sake of having someone. There’ll be more rough times, more dark patches, more challenges, but there’ll also be more hoy, and laughter and hopefully more peace with myself ahead.

Stuff

So it’s been forever since I wrote. That’s partly due to my laptop deciding to go belly-up on me awhile ago. Partly due to Life stuff and partly just Me just being me.

So, just some general updates ….

I’ve been getting new meds for the RA via weekly shots and they have got my bloodwork looking more normal than it has in a very very long time, yay!

The Child and I have moved, wheee? This is a good thing, just a lot of hot and hard work and not easy when battling health issues and financial issues, but we’re almost at the end of it.

Talking of The Child, he’s on a push-my-buttons rampage lately, joy.

What else?

I knit two shawls and a tank top this summer. Managed to get to the beach with The Child several times. Lined up a teaching gig! That’s exciting and a little unnerving since it’ll be my first time teaching a knitting workshop. Haven’t read anything that stands out in a while … must remedy that! A big thing for me, I got out the DSLR camera for something other than a quick snapshot for the first time in 18 months. The combo of RA and Fibromyalgia made it to hard to hold and carry. The camera for so long. I am so glad I could get out for some shooting and hope I can do more soon. One of the challenges is figuring out how to manage both camera and cane together.

I’m sure there’s more, but that’s as much writing as I can manage in one go tonight!

Blues

I seem to have started the New Year off with a bad case of The Blues.

It’s so hard to know how much of it is SAD, post-holiday blues, dealing with my ongoing health issues, and how much is Depression rearing it’s ugly head.

I don’t talk about my Depression much.  I was taught it was something to be ashamed of, that I should be able to “pull up my socks”, “shake it off”, “think of all the things (I) should be grateful for”, “just DECIDE to be happy!”.

You know what. It does NOT work THAT WAY!

This is a Medical Condition.  It is a Disease just as much as my RA is a disease, just as much as someone else’s Diabetes is a disease.  I CAN’T control the feelings of sadness or flatness or bleah that overwhelm me.  It can be anything from a dull achey kind of depression to a “I wish I could just dissappear” kind of feeling.  It’s sudden teariness over a sad song, or cute picture, or just completely from nowhere.  It’s not wanting to get out of my jammies.  For two days straight.  Maybe more.  It’s not being able to make myself leave the house.  It’s barely eating, only managing to make sure the kiddo is getting decently fed.  It’s not wanting to talk on the phone.

It’s chatting online and feeling so fake every time I write “lol”.  It’s not wanting to pick up the knitting needles, or maybe it’s eating all the cookies, or maybe it’s sitting on my bed with one sock on for the last 30 minutes.

It’s trying not to listen to the “shoulds” in my head telling me I should shake it off, that I should be thankful for what I DO have, telling me I need to just get outside and get some fresh air. It’s trying not to beat myself up for eating those cookies, or trying to chase away the voice that says I’m alays going to be alone.

It’s spending too long online hoping somehow to connect to someone, hoping somehow to feel less alone, less isolated, to be able to believe somebody cares.

It’s the rational mind fighting the emotions.  One part of the brain trying to say “You DO have friends, you are NOT alone, others go through this, you CAN get through, it WILL get better”, all the while the part in charge of the emotions is screaming “then when am I going to FEEL better? Why do I FEEL so alone? Why am I so SAD and ANXIOUS and feeling so OUT of resources” Why do I feel so low, so blue?

*sigh*

 

 

 

I’m scared to post this.

 

I’m gonna anyways.

knit all the things

It once was I would see a pattern I’d want to knit, pop a post-it on the magazine page (this was before ravelry even existed you see), then take myself off to LewisCraft (ok, dating myself HORRIBLY with that admission!), and pick out what I though was a comparative yarn.  I used to (shudder) do this by picking something I liked & checking it against the pictures of (actual size) yarns used for projects to see if it matched. I’d buy the needles and home I’d go, to cast on.

No, I did not knit a gauge swatch. I’d never heard of the beasts.

So I’m sure if any knitters happen to read this entry you’ll be chuckling t yourselves and imaging just what kind of results I might have got. and you’d be right!

Any wonder I gave up on it after a couple of years?

When I was pregnant with kiddo however, I was hit with the desire to knit him some things.  I had another disaster with a sweater, and wisely decided on a baby blanket next.  Gauge does NOT much matter for a baby blanket I’ve found!

I was given a stitch dictionary as a gift the year kiddo was born and that made a WORLD of difference to my knitting.

I learned what a gauge swatch was.  I learned there was more than one way to cast on!  More than one way to decrease. I learned MANY things from that wonderful book.

Not too long after the book came Wanda.  Wanda knit socks.  Beautiful socks.  Many, many socks.  She kindly took me under her wing and showed me how to cast on to fiddly dpns.  She held my hand (well not literally!) as I nervously turned my first heel.  She talked about CHANGING and TINKERING with patterns!  She led me to Lens Mills Store, where there was a lovely selection of sock yarn.  From Wanda, I learned that my knitting is NOT the boss of me!

After finishing my first pair of socks, I was enamoured.  I made more.  I experimented with circular needles.  I searched out knitting blogs and discovered Wendy Johnson’s toe-up socks.  Magic!!!  I started building a wee stash of sock yarn.  i attempted a hat for kiddo and it FIT! I stumbled across the Yarn Harlot and learned even more about the joy and frustration and love of knitting. somewhere in the blogosphere I learned about a new craft website called ravelry.

Ravelry made my head EXPLODE! the patterns!!!!  I spent DAYS browsing the patterns and drooling and queuing things up.  I ventured timidly into the forums.  I learned about alpaca. and merino wool. and acrylic vs natural fibre. I learned out Yarn Stores and visited the two in my town.  All of a sudden, I had a Stash.

I started a lace scarf.  Discovered it’s not the easiest thing to concentrate on with a toddler around.  So cast on for socks, which by now I could do in my sleep.  Wait.  TWO projects on the needles at the SAME time???  *GASP*!

Well …. any knitter know how it goes from there!  Today I have TWO rubbermaid bins of yarn plus a small basket of sock yarn.  I have two different socks actively on the needles, a shawl I’m halfway through, a Beekeeper’s Quilt puff just started, and probably half a dozen other projects on needles that I’m planning to get back to soonish.  I want to swatch for a sweater in the next few days and have just promised kiddo another sweater.  I may have said something about making my niece and nephew Christmas gifts and then there’s the softer-than-a-kitten’s-butt cashmere that jumped into my hands that is begging to be made into a soft cowl fr chilly mornings … and yeah. I want to knit ALL the things.  From project monogamy by the rules to gleeful make it my own knitting slut.

and proud of it.

Poor Neglected Blog

Boy have I been absent from here! To make a very long story short, for anyone still following this thing who doesn’t already know, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis this summer. It’s not been a fun few months, and I don’t seem to be responding yet to the meds, which is frustrating.

Learning to live with chronic pain and fatigue has been extremely challenging.  My limits can vary greatly from day-to-day, making it hard to plan. I’ve been off work for about five months now, and that was a surprisingly difficult adjustment.  I bet many people think they’d welcome such a break from their jobs, but trust me, it has NOT been a vacation! Doctor appointments, specialist appointments, blood work, testing, fighting with the insurance company, on top of trying to cope with daily life when suddenly every task has become so much harder, when many taken for granted things have become difficult or even impossible.  Something as simple as walking can cause me a great deal of pain, and my main hobbies of reading, photography and knitting have become things I have to really limit in my day, even having days where holding a book, a camera, or trying to work a few stitches is too much.

I had a couple of good weeks in the early Fall and I’m thankful I got a bit of a break.  I’m disappointed to be struggling as much as I am now and for the moment the doctors are unsure how much is weather related, how much is the RA, and how much is perhaps something else.

Learning to “roll with it” is not easy for me.  I am big on Control and Plans and Taking Charge.  I believe in hard work, in “pulling up your socks”, in 3 month plans, in 5 year plans, in saving for a rainy day … and life is just laughing at me right now it feels like! Hopefully soon I’ll get to the point where I can laugh back at life more!

Memorable Books

A plurk friend posted a challenge: share the five books that have been most influential in your life, or simply that you’ve enjoyed the most including at least one book from childhood, adolescence and adulthood and one that might be classified a “guilty pleasure”.

I love books.  I read voraciously.  Trying to come up with just five books is a very difficult task indeed!

My choice for young childhood would be The Velveteen Rabbit, such a beautiful tale about a beloved child’s toy. 

Some of the authors and books that stand out from later childhood include Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, Agatha Christie, the Nancy Drew Books, The Fantastic Five, Stephen King (I recall my mother being horrified I was reading those before my teens), Dean Koontz … the most memorable thought would have to be The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. Such a fantastic journey, such beautiful images it created in my mind!

Adolescence saw me reading V.C. Andrews, more Stephen King & Dean Koontz, Kurt Vonnegut, George Orwell, Shakespeare, Hemingway, George Bernard Shaw, Jane Austen (yes those classics were all by choice).  It’s easy though to pick the most influential book of that time of my life, as I became heavily involved with a Born Again Christian group, so the Bible was by far the most important and influential book of that time of my life. 

Trying to pick a single book however, from my adulthood so far, feels darn near impossible.  I’ve read Diana Gabaldon’s Outlader series, Jean M Auel’s Earth Children series, almost everything by Maragret Atwood,  yet more Stephen King & Dean Koontz, Christopher Moore, Terry Brooks, Terry Pratchett, Jodi Picoult, Kelley Armstrong, Mary Higgins Clark, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and many more; quite the range! Some of the books that stand out for me include Richard Armstrong’s book God Doesn’t Shoot Craps, The Shack by William P. Young, Upside Down by Tim Bailey, August by Judith Rossner, One Door Away From Heaven by Dean Koontz, Or Your Money Back by Nicole Lorenz, Margaret Atwood’s Oryx & Crake,  Terry Pratchett’s The Light Fantastic (simply because this was my introduction to him), The Horse Whisperer by Nicolas Sparks, My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult, The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. 

I think if I really had to single out a book though, I’d pick The Stand by Stephen King, one of the best post-apocalyptic  pieces of fiction I’ve read yet.

As for guilty pleasure book, I’d pick any of  Laurell K. Hamilton’s  faery books or Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books. 

I’d love to hear other’s five picks!

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One Month In

One month into the New Year.

Too much snacking this past week, but overall eating habits are still better than they were.

Weather got too damn cold for walks far too often!  The days it was milder seemed to be my busiest, so didn’t get out much last week.  Did get out for a longer walk yesterday though!

Knitting, finished the baby gift for my brother & sister-in-law’s newest, who was born Sat jan 22nd at 4:30 am, welcome to the world baby B!  Also knit mittens & fingerless mitts for a swap.  Finally got the zipper sewn into my sweater, so it just needs an I-cord or something similar to finish the edge off as the neck looks too sloppy for my taste as is.  Also got the buttons onto my Amelia & am in fact, wearing it right now!  Knit a Dalek washclosh to EXTERMINATE! the dirt, heehee!  Coming alogn nicely on a stranded colourwork project, finally feeling I’ve got the general hang of that.  Convinced a co-worker to pick up the knitting needles after she’d had a long break from the craft. So I’d say it’s been a good month knit wise!

Health-wise & financially, this month has sucked hugely & unfortunately things aren’t about to get any better in either department.  Probably better not to get into details on a public blog, but some big things are going to have to change fast.  ugh.

Anyways, there’a little update from me!

Confusion

My life seems to be full of uncertainty and confusion at the moment.

I can’t seem to work out what it is I’d really like to do job wise.  Where it is I’d really like to live.  What it is that would help bring more happiness, contentment, joy, laughter, fufillment to my life.

I’m not looking for a magic fix. I know life isn’t perfect. I know the journey can be as important as wherever it is we think we’re headed.  But when it doesn’t feel like you’re headed anywhere, that’s pretty damn discouraging.

Friendships seem to be in flux.  Distance, time, geography, stage of life, and such things seem to have placed me at a distance from those I was once close to.

One in particular continues to puzzle and confuse me.  We were so close just a couple years ago. He spoke about the importance of vulnerability, openness & honesty.  We shared painful things, scary things, and seemed to make a deep connection.  Yet since then, he’s pushed me away, shut me out, refused to let me very far into his life.  I find it hard not to be hurt.

I know friendships come & go.  Doesn’t make it easier to feel the lack of any close ones.

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