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About juno_writes

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    being outside, photography, writing, reading

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  1. Apparently I have one emotion left after all: anger. Trying to find better ways to deal with it. The other day I raced to the hospital right at the start of visiting hours, had my mask on and ID ready, but the receptionist just looked at me and said, "Uh-uh." "Uh-uh what?" "It's not time." "What do you mean it's not time? Doesn't visiting start at 11?" My phone is buried somewhere in my backpack. I look around for a clock, but there isn't one anywhere in the vast empty lobby. No response. (When I dig out my phone, it shows the time as 10:58.) The tinder: chronic stress, fatigue, feeling alone. Feeling more dumped on the more I try to do the right thing. Feeling like I have nothing left to lose (even though that's not true). The match: two little syllables, "Uh-uh." That's all it took! White-hot rage. My hands balled up with the urge to wrap them around her neck, literally, vividly. She (and an armed security guard) were between me and a person I desperately wanted to see...so I choked back my response. But OMG that bland, dismissive tone. The way she could have just said, "It's 2 more minutes" but sat there watching me struggle instead. I wanted to scream, "Make sure to enjoy BOTH MINUTES of your petty little power trip!" Of course, looking back, I can see that she deals with frantic people all day long and was probably just trying to conserve her own energy. Maybe not great but not worthy of M*****. If my response is this out of proportion, then something's got to change. Since there's not much to be done about the tinder or the triggers, I've got to find some better outlets and dampers for the fire. Rule #1: no music while driving for me. Drivers pull enraging moves around here constantly, and I need to focus on breathing exercises or whatever. Wish I had room for a punching bag at home but there's just none. Maybe some heavy yard work moving dirt around this weekend will help.
  2. Never thought I'd say this, as a total non-trusting introvert, but peer support groups (irl and online) have helped me far more than anything else. A few years back, it was an online network related to a medical issue I was having. Everyone's problems varied in certain ways, but the main lesson was how much the feelings around them were shared -- and these were people from around the world. I could feel for them what I'd shut down for myself. Then I quit drinking and went to addiction recovery groups locally. Again, these were people from all categories, who would probably never meet otherwise. When you start from a position of admitting some common struggle... maybe there's nowhere to go but up? I've had the best laughs of my life in recovery groups, after talking about the most tragic things *with others who know what it's like.* Those who just have no energy left for being anything but real. Doesn't happen much these days, but when it does it's healing. Including tonight, when I went there from the hospital. Yes, it's important to share with safe people. You can start slowly, and certainly trust your instincts. In a group, if you can, stay for "the meeting after the meeting," where those who sense things in common gravitate toward each other and can talk more privately. Who knows, someone else may be helped even by your listening. No obligation, though. If one meeting doesn't click, there are other types. These are the things that have kept me afloat, as well as possible.
  3. The last place I went for a 'retreat' had shag carpeting on the walls. A gem. But it had a little balcony where I could wrap up in blankets and watch the moon. And quiet. That'll be fine. It just got postponed until my partner can be left alone...whenever that might be. I'm pretty much his only support. Leave of absence to file for social services? I don't know. Absolutely making it up as I go along.
  4. You've been a good example of this during some very hard times. If I have 5 minutes, I waste them on something stupid like doomscrolling the news, because at least that takes attention away from things I don't want to feel. Nothing actually feels good -- and if it does, I'm now conditioned to expect a catastrophe, a theme that keeps getting repeated. There's fear that if I let out whatever I'm holding back, idk, maybe it won't go back in. I have to function. There's so much pent-up traumatic crap inside that I feel like it needs an exorcism -- at least 2 or 3 days somewhere private. Been trying to do that for 6 months. Tomorrow I have to talk to my boss about (unpaid) time off. Thank you all for letting me vent. I've been a hot mess from day 1 here, and you've been gracious. Thank you.
  5. Had a good weekend celebrating a couple of occasions with a few people I love. Getting along better with my partner / ex / companion (it's been complicated, obviously, but we've known and loved each other a long time). Also had to do home repair stuff and many errands, but with some rare happy events mixed in, I was feeling almost OK for an hour or two! Then my partner had a stroke last night. He's stable but has aphasia, meaning he can understand speech but can't form coherent sentences. Meaning brain damage. This quick-witted guy who loves to talk... just sent me 3 texts that were total word salad. I would be heartbroken, if I weren't already crushed too flat to feel. No idea what the future holds. He can't work. We have no-one else. I'm already maxed out caring for both parents. I want to say I can't, I'm done. But now THREE people need me. How. Just &$#@ how.
  6. First, my sympathy with all that you've been through! We've had several crises with my parents in the last few years. One relative -- the busiest one -- also drops everything and shows up without being asked. Another's main contribution is "Why aren't you..." messages in a group text, which do nothing but make us feel blamed and spend time explaining decisions. Some people seem to confuse telling someone else to do something with actually DOING something. Blaming you for your Mom's cancer, though?? It sounds like your brother was self-centered before this crisis and hasn't apologized since. That's different from blurting out a comment under stress and then taking it back after calming down. What should you do? My instinct would be: whatever costs you the least energy. You don't have to make long-term decisions now. You don't have to explain. Decisions were made by the people who WERE there, and it's done. There are guided meditations for helping to shield yourself mentally when you have to deal with narcissists or other draining people. Maybe they could help a little, if he does end up staying in your life.
  7. Happy (late) Canada Day! Anyone watching hockey tonight? I'm in the US but with a friend who's a lifelong Montreal fan, rooting for . Today was calmer and cooler here, which is a relief.
  8. This has haunted me too -- it's an awful responsibility. There will always be limits to our resources (so no end to the potential guilt). If you'd had that heart attack/breakdown and she'd ended up at a shelter, what would have been her fate then? She knew how much you loved her.
  9. That's it. I don't want to complain about stigma while adding to it by pretending that everything's fine. With certain family members (and most of the time at work), the full mask has to stay on. Other times, I've nudged myself to be more open and found that most people have dealt with some heavy stuff in their lives, even if their baggage looks different from mine. But there are some details that people probably won't understand if they haven't been there. I'm afraid they'd fixate on one weird symptom ("you lived without a fridge for HOW long?") and not see the determination (and, yes, health somewhere inside) that it takes to keep semi-functioning anyway.
  10. I've been avoiding my family since the wedding disaster a few weeks ago, but it can't continue. My black eye is now hidable with makeup (not my skill set, had to learn that too) and sunglasses. Still trying to do something with the "haircut." My mom noticed it right away, despite being blind, when I took her to an appointment. She's the only one who sensed something was off. "But didn't you just get it cut?" Yes indeed, I did just waste money on my first pro cut in a year. "Your dad can see your new hair tomorrow." As if this is something I'm proud of. I love her for noticing and caring. Just sad to put yet more energy into concealment.
  11. Tried it, didn't feel a difference. But I also know people who say it has helped them.
  12. I've been certified to use it for depression for a couple years, and have a little at times before that. There are benefits and side effects, which is better than my record with psych meds. On the plus side, it can help with motivation and focus. It has a way of detaching repetitive thoughts, letting me concentrate more deeply and maybe see things from different perspectives. It doesn't usually help my mood much (once in a while), but getting a few more things done does help. On the minus side, it makes conversations and quick reactions harder, so I tend to stay home alone more. It can sometimes increase tiredness afterwards, even though I pretty much stick to sativa. Usually I'll take ~10 mg of an edible. Haven't felt the need to escalate, in contrast to alcohol. Sometimes it does seem to be losing its effectiveness (making me more fuzzy than clear), and I back off for a few weeks. Not sure about long-term use. Right now I need all available tools and am glad to have the choice.
  13. Take whatever time you need. I was enough of a mess after losing a foster cat I'd known for a few weeks, just missing her presence and second guessing decisions. You lost a good friend, and the fact that other people don't share the loss doesn't make it any less real.
  14. I feel this too, this whole thread. I look back on things I got done while less depressed and just freaking marvel. Who wouldn't rather live that way? But depression wrecks my executive functioning -- focus, memory, prioritizing, learning new stuff... exactly the skills needed for my job. (That's before I even get to the emotional part, the family caregiving duties / emergencies.) It takes me 60 hrs to work 30 that I can in good conscience record, but luckily I do work from home. No-one cares what ridiculous hours I work as long as they get what they expect. Lazy? No. No-one has any idea what it takes.
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