Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Awoken

I was woken up yesterday by the sound of wind and rain and my initial thought was "well, of course, it's October after all"... but, no, it was just a stormy morning, in what is STILL TECHNICALLY Summer.

You know... for a few more days, right?

In the dream I was woken up from, C-Dawg and I were on a road trip (as in we were driving, not flying) to Mexico.  (No, I have no idea why, not in the dream and not why that particular place!)  We'd crossed the border (apparently) and were in the gas station/tourist shop filling up on gas, and I was inside looking at souvenirs that looked suspiciously like those I saw last time I went up Island (very "West Coast") and trying to figure out what candy I wanted to buy (again, all the type of candy I'm used to up here) when the windy rain woke me up and I never got to figure out why we were down in Mexico or where we were going or anything! But alas, such is the way of dreams sometimes, eh?

I may have mentioned it before but sometimes when I'm stressed, I'll wake up in the middle of the night with something I *HAVE* to deal with (that usually isn't really a thing)... like someone has stolen my teddy bear and left a duplicate.  Which let me tell you is super upsetting.

Or, my favourite from the other week... I woke up and got out of bed because Jason was coming over and he was going to see my bra (wait... have I told you this one already?  I can't tell, because I've told it to a few people, including Jason! because it's pretty funny... I tried to look but I couldn't find it so sorry if I *just* told you this and forgot!).  Clearly it wasn't ok for Jason to see my bra, so I got out of bed and covered it up.  Like, literally.  And then I went back to bed and thankfully to sleep.  But I was awake enough (I often am in these wakeups) to remember it and sure enough, I'd covered my bra (gasp!) with my bathrobe.  Go figure.

Now the funny thing to me is that no, Jason wasn't coming over and even if he was, he actually (looks around)... *whispers* has seen my bra before!  (GASP!)  Right?  I figure it's because I'd been watching the Marvelous Mrs Maisel (yes, I know, late to the game) which is a show set in the 1950s when women's things were a lot more improper than they are nowadays and I suppose my psyche just transferred that into... "hide your bra, woman, a man might see it!" because Jason is probably the only man my brain thought would be coming over any time soon.

So, I mean, I can usually find it funny in the morning but at night it's real and I'm not sleep walking, I'm just waking up stressed and dealing with the situation my brain is telling me to because I guess I'm not awake enough to not?  Although most nights when it comes to someone having stolen my teddy bear, I usually just grab the "fake" one (hint, it's the real one, amen!) and tell myself it's too late at night to deal with this right now so I'll deal with finding the real teddy in the morning but man oh man yes, this is sad and scary.

I suppose it could be worse, but I am glad for the mornings when I wake up and realize I slept through, you know?


Tuesday, 17 September 2019

To The Gentleman Yelling Last Night

Dear Sir,

It wasn't easily apparent if you were being ironic or helpful, but repeatedly yelling "STOP YELLING" at something o'clock at night was maybe not the best use of your lungs.  Or words. 

And since yours was the only voice I was able to discern, I have to wonder if you were talking to yourself, or, I suppose, someone on the phone perhaps?

Nevertheless, I do hope that you, and whoever you were yelling at to stop yelling did indeed STOP YELLING!

This was a lot funnier in my head at something o'clock last night, by the way.

Yours,
Victoria

Monday, 16 September 2019

Receptionless

Remember a while ago (probably not!) I mentioned that my alarm is the radio and that sometimes the radio goes all fuzzy? 

Well, this morning, it fuzzed out for two segments of snooze... which, if we figure a snooze segment is 9 minutes, that means that my radio on the alarm clock had fuzzy reception for maybe 20 minutes!

I keep figuring it must be someone else in the building standing somewhere, although I suppose I could pay attention to the weather, maybe it's partially that but that would explain it less, I think, thank a human moving around type thing.

Speaking of weather... Fall seems to have decided to be here, as of this weekend.

We had rain.  As in, rain so heavy it woke me up, twice, on Saturday (I think) night.  (As well as being "rain so heavy" I wondered why there was no rainfall warning.)  Lots of standing water on the roads and at least one friend's husband got drenched (like, completely!) by a bus while on a run.  But it was also the chill.  It just felt... cold this weekend.

Even just five degrees or so makes a huge difference at this point, and I did debate turning my radiator on...

I put one of my fans away, and figured that would cause a heat wave, but... apparently not, so the second fan is not away, but is moved close to being put away and maybe we'll see if that brings up an atmospheric change.

I mean, the time I took my umbrella with me on a stroll to the library, it didn't rain and the sun came out so clearly I'm magic that way. 

But no, it really did feel genuinely fall-like this weekend.  Perhaps we're not getting the late summer we are used to around here.  (Note, I'm not mentioning the shortening days, which is totally also noticeable... sigh... although apparently ninety something percent of people surveyed said they didn't want the time change anymore so maybe there's hope?)

Brr.  Radiator not on... yet, but hot water bottles have been used.  Just saying!

Friday, 13 September 2019

Technology Win!

I had a funny technology moment the other day.

When I was over at Jason's for dinner (apparently getting chewed on by un-named bugs!) he went to the store to pick up something he'd forgotten and needed and I sat outside staring at the clouds... or whatever.

Jason texted me from the store saying the lines were going to take longer than he'd planned for and could I go stir the sauce? 

What a fine use of technology, eh? 

(It made me smile anyway.)

Thursday, 12 September 2019

If I Can *Just* Figure It Out

One of the things I find myself doing (and probably struggling with?) is trying to figure it out.  You know, what's... causing *this*.

It's like... if every time you cut the grass you sneeze, you sort of figure out that you're allergic to grass cuttings... or if every time you drink tequila you lose your keys and kiss a random handsome stranger in a parking lot (I'm looking at YOU 18 year old me!) you figure out that you and tequila shouldn't hang out anymore (except for that one time at Burning Man but all you did then was snap at Connor and then felt bad so yeah, no more tequila!).

I've been trying to figure out for years what causes my stomach to hurt and I think, with the help of doctors and specialists and dieticians and the like I have a pretty good idea. 

So it's like I've been trying to do that with my mental/emotional health.  Been trying to figure out what causes a panic attack or anxiety to spike.

Sometimes it's clear and obvious, but I'm not talking about that, I'm talking about trying to figure out if there are environmental factors that are possibly contributing.  Like sugar... caffeine... or what about a mercury in retrograde or waking up with a stress dream or the less obvious things I may not be aware of?  (I'm not entirely joking about the retrograde thing, sometimes I do wonder if there are things beyond what science knows that maybe affect us in ways we're not always clear on.  Anyyywaaaay...)

There are the few things I mentioned that I try to do every day:  I have some minimal exercise, I have some mindfulness/meditation and I try to track my sleep and my mood to see if there are patterns or correlations.  One of the things I am trying to go after is what I eat (drink/consume/whatever)

If you've been around here more than a while you know that I've had stomach and digestive and so food issues for a long while.  I figure it's gotta be a decade by now, but I don't have the easiest relationship with food to begin with.

And because of this not so great relationship with food, I don't have many skills when it comes to preparing or making food and on TOP of that, when I'm struggling with just day to day, sometimes food becomes the one place I feel like I can give myself a little happy.  Or that because it's already so complicated and I'm struggling in every other way, sometimes food is just the last thing I want to try to challenge or change or adjust.

But as things have started improving (oh dear lord knock on wood) and I'm finding a bit more ease (double knock on wood) I'm starting to look again at what I eat and how it might be helping or hindering my mood.  (Not just how my body feels but how it might be triggering anxiety in some way).

I know there are things that may not impact anxiety or depression but are still just not all that good for me (hi junk food, how are you?) but I also know that there are things that ARE good for me that I don't always have (hi vegetables, how are you!?) but yeah, part of me would love to figure out if there are foods that trigger not so good feelings but also I have to be reasonable and realistic in what I'm able (and willing?) to do.  (Right now I'm working on reducing sugar.  It's maybe a suspect, but it's for sure not the healthiest thing no matter what!)

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

A Sample Day

My day Monday wasn't the easiest and I thought I'd try to use it as an example of how a not terrible day (but a not good day) can sometimes go for me.

I'm no sleep expert but I figure I am in lighter sleep in the mornings or something and so often I have a dream that I call a "stress dream" (because it's not really nightmare level) and I often wake up with/from it.

So I started the day with one of these stress dreams.  This one involved some sort of chase and escape and ended up involving a work location (I find the stress dreams usually do, duh) and so I woke up kind of stressed (maybe elevated heart rate or some hormonal elevations or something Science-y like that) and once I was more awake I felt pretty anxious because it was Monday (as in not a weekend, when there are no expectations and nowhere to be).  I have some morning routines and I've found that sometimes if I can kind of use them right away it can help me calm down so I did my "twenty minute minimum" "exercise" in the kitchen (I've referred to it before I'm sure, it's basically walking pretty much on or around the spot and getting a tiny little bit of cardio in) and then a small guided meditation (I use Headspace) and then I sit and check on a few things online. 

This, I've noticed, causes my anxiety to spike back up again, so I've taken to using a program to block certain sites on my laptop (Facebook is the current frontrunner for causing me stress and anxiety when I pop on to it).  If my anxiety is still high, or has been set off I will often put on a show and while it may not be the healthiest, it is a coping strategy that I use when I really just want a break from the anxious feelings.  So I meditate a little, I exercise a little, and if I'm still not "ok", I'll distract with a show.  Which is what I did on Monday morning. 

I did pretty well and was able to calm back down but then it spiked up again and I'm aware of what pushed those buttons but sometimes (like writing here) it's something I want to push through or work through and so it's like a calculated risk/choice.  (But still no fun.)

I've referred to it as "hitting in waves" because sometimes that's how it feels like it's happening throughout a day (or a morning).  It'll be bad, then I'll work to calm it down and there's a huge feeling of relief when I realize I'm ok... and calm and I try to hold on to that and then I get on with things and then sometimes it (the anxiety) comes back (or the sensations that go along with it do) and it's uncomfortable and it feels like I get "hit" by it again and have to ride that out and do the things and then it (hopefully) subsides and I try to forget about it but sometimes it grows again and, well, Monday was one of those days. 

I have a calendar I keep to try to track things and I highlight yellow for "some anxiety" and red for "really bad anxiety".  Monday was a yellow day.  Here's hoping the rest of the week will be colour-free.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

The Writing

Someone mentioned the other day that it seemed like it was hard for me to write the big posts about what's been going on with me and my health.  And absolutely it is.

It's overwhelming and difficult and sometimes it brings it all back up but there's also some practical considerations I've run into.

Like... how on earth do I try to remember, sort, organize, and talk about things from a year or three ago?  Well, maybe I don't, but I do like me some organization... Hmmm...

Or, the other thing that occurred to me was that I didn't want someone googling anxiety or depression or any other word I might use in that arena and reading what I wrote and taking it as advice.  And then I realized that the name of my damn blog literally has "advice" in it and I had to face palm.  Crap.

I then thought about using codes instead and I thought that, well, Anxiety could be A and Depression could be D but then I realized that writing about "The D" on a blog called "single girl" might be taken as me talking about something else entirely ahem ahem if you know what I mean and so then I just started giggling and, well, all of these things kind of put me in a "well then I gots nothing to say then do I?" sort of mode.

So, I mean, I don't have advice.  Not about health.  I'm just talking about what I went through (and am going through) and what I maybe tried or what maybe worked or just... telling my story.  The only actual advice I think I'd give is if you're really struggling or really unhappy, you don't have to continue to be so.  Talk to someone.  Look into getting help.  And then get help.  Whatever help works for you, and whatever help you have access to.  You don't have to be stuck in whatever it is you're stuck in.  (If you're stuck)  I think I was a long time coming to the point where I no longer could muddle through.  I wish I'd known there was more and that there was a way "out".... but I digress.  I'm not giving advice about health things here.  I will, however, give advice to things like spiders (please stay out of my place and especially my bedroom) or to cute guys I'll never actually talk to (just ignore me not so subtly staring at you, I'm not wearing my glasses, but I'm pretty sure you're super cute) but when it comes to your physical, mental, emotional health?  No advice from me, k?  (But go talk to someone.  Or someones.  If you even think that maybe you might benefit from it.)

And yeah, I'm still struggling with how to a) get back into my writing habits for regular posting and b) figure out how to sort through all of .... this.

Monday, 9 September 2019

Ick

This summer is seemingly the summer of me getting bitten by things that haven't bitten me in ages!

First there was the wasp sting of ow, and now at some point last week (Thursdy?  Friday? Hard to know) I think I got chewed up by a flea... or fleas.

We all know that mosquitoes love me but I remember in my childhood that my Mom said that fleas loved me too and something to do with a sleepover at a friend's house and coming home with flea bites and something something... well, I mean no one likes being bitten by anything, right?

So I was hanging out at Jason's Thursday evening (I think) and we were outside enjoying the late summer evening and I did notice a mosquito but I was pretty wrapped up (long pants and a hoodie) so I figured I was safe...ish.

I didn't even think about it but I woke up the next morning and noticed a bite on my foot.  It wasn't bothering me too much but I figured the mosquito I saw must have got me through one of the holes on my sandals.  Meh, no biggie.

But then at some point, maybe later that day or maybe the next day I looked down and noticed quite a few bites on both of my feet.  And a few on my leg.  And then as the day progressed I found more and more of them swelling up.  And, well, I kind of freaked out a little, because mosquito bites I know pretty well.  I know what they look like and how my body reacts to them and these didn't seem like mosquito bites.  Which meant something less... fun.

I tried to google "mosquito vs flea bites" because my Mom had always told me that fleas bite in like.. batches or rows (so a few bites all together) and this looked like that but it's been SO long since I got flea bites that when I googled and google showed me photos of bed bugs I kind of got a little OH SH*T.

So I of course stripped off my bed, and washed all the sheets and the whole time I'm like please no please no please no but they didn't look like those kinds of bites and my bed area doesn't show any of those signs so let's just... omg not.  So... probably fleas.

Which raises its own set of questions.  I don't have pets and neither does Jason, technically, but Jason and I feed a few stray cats that come by his yard and he also has raccoons that hang out there at night and so I said to him, hey, I'm pretty sure I got chewed on by some fleas.

Nah, he said, I've not seen any on the cats.  Probably your place had fleas.

Which is laughable, and I think he knew it when he said it.  So I pointed out that he doesn't actually get close enough to the raccoons to check them for fleas and saying that you have never noticed them on the cats is not the same as the cats not having them and no matter what, I now have two legs full of itchy bites that also look super ugly.

Because that's another reason I'm 99.9% sure they're not mosquito.  My mosquito bites swell and puff up and itch itch itch but then they calm down and they go away.  These bites are doing different things, so that plus the pattern of bites and the fact that fleas tend to hit you from the feet up, I'm pretty darn sure a flea or two got at me.

Which is a little reassuring but still not because now where are they??? Did they travel home in my pants (which I also washed) and jump off in my car?  Or did they jump off on my couch before I knew I was bit?  WHERE ARE THEY AND WHAT IF THEY GET ME AGAIN!!!!

I also don't know much about flea behaviour just that they can't live without a host for more than a few days so now I'm like, well did they jump off of one of the animals in Jason's yard and then find me?  Like where did this bug come from and how did it get to me and is it gone now and also I itch!

Behaviourally, it makes most sense to me that whatever did get me, got me when I was outside in a backyard on a summer evening.  I just have to hope that they stayed there or that if they came home with me (OMG) that they're now washed away or dead or dear lord make it stop.

So, yeah.  I got chewed up at some point this last week/end.  And me no likey.  Let us never speak of this again!

Friday, 6 September 2019

An Instinctual Red Flag I Suppose

Do you know what I mean when I say that sometimes you're walking down the street (or whatever)
and someone is approaching and they just don't seem right.  Or they seem unsafe.  Like, some part of you throws up a red flag of "not ok, potential danger" or something?  Do you know that feeling/sense?

Well I was walking downtown the other day and I was walking past a church/cathedral thing and I saw a fellow crossing the street towards me and I just knew I didn't want to interact with them.  So I kept my head down (I usually have headphones in) and just kept walking.  This fellow in particular (thankfully, once I had passed him) started to shout, or yell, I'm not really sure of the technical difference there, but anyway he started to yell/shout about how THIS was the place where they held little boys down and (he used more explicit language than I'm willing to share) did horrible things to then.  And he went on to say this a few times and how this is where they did it to him and I just kept walking, head down.

There are usually a person or two when I walk in the downtown sort of area that I don't feel comfortable with.  And it's not an anxiety thing and it's not a paranoia thing I really just do think it's instinct and being smart.

And it's sad that things are how they are...

Thursday, 5 September 2019

Ohhhhhh

I wrote a post in bed last night as I was falling asleep and I think we all know that's never a good idea... not for anything you actually want to remember!

And when I say "I wrote" I, of course, don't mean that anything was actually put down on paper or computer, just that, you know, I thought about words.  In order.  Yup.

Anyway.  I did find myself wondering last night why I have no trouble falling asleep for a nap but sometimes falling asleep for... you know, sleep! isn't so easy.  And I wondered if it has something to do with the pressure.

Like, I had a delightful nap this weekend (I try not to nap much these days, for the "sleep hygiene" you know) and I just kind of... felt sleepy, curled up on couch and...zzzz... Lovely!

But then last night I was lying in bed.. feeling sleepy, curled up on my bed and... nope!

So is it maybe something to do with "I don't need to sleep, I just want to sleep" (nap) vs "I have to sleep because if I don't I will feel awful in the morning and it'll be a long night" (bedtime).

Not that I have this issue every night (knock on wood) but it did get me wondering.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Ai, Yi, Yi

I'm about to whine in this post, and ordinarily I just wouldn't bother typing right now and would wait until I was in a better mood/mindset but I didn't get any posts ready this weekend and so I figured I'd type out a whiny post rather than no post at all.... sorry?

My stomach is picky.  Or.  No.  My stomach is sensitive?  Or something?  And I've tried to explain to people that it's really not much fun when it does... what it's currently doing this morning.

Which is become nauseated for what seems like no good reason to me!

I've mentioned to Jason that sometimes drinking water will upset my stomach, so that when he's like "pound back that water!" sometimes I just actually can't.  Because I'll get nauseated.  (It's super frustrating)

So this morning, imagine my "ugh" when I finished breakfast and went to brush my teeth and then ... upset stomach.

Like... did toothpaste that I did not swallow just make me slightly nauseated???

I figure most would say it was more likely the tea or the food (even though I had the exact same thing yesterday!) but I was totally fine until I went to brush and then... not so fine.

It's been a while (half an hour?) and I think it's starting to calm down a bit (and no, I didn't take anything because I'd just brushed my teeth and it seemed ... wasteful or something?) but yeah, that's my whine.  My stomach sometimes gets upset and makes me feel pretty icky and sometimes those upsets feel really unfair and are seemingly from things I don't think should be triggering any upset.  Or, more accurately, they don't always trigger an upset so it's not like I can knowingly avoid them.  And yes, it's more likely to happen in the morning (although the weird water one happens sort of randomly too) which is yet another reason I'm not always the happiest morning person, you know?

Le sigh.  Whine over...for now.  I gotta go rub my poor belly and take some Gaviscon or something.  *grumbles... mint's supposed to make a tummy feel better... not make it upest!*


(Oh, and yes, I'm aware of the gut/mood connection and it's something I totally take into consideration but sometimes I just need to deal with the ouch)

Monday, 2 September 2019

Labour Day

The Labour Day holiday is a holiday I know I've seen as an ending for a long while.  As in, the end of Summer, even though the weather will do what it wants in the coming month, timing wise, it always feels like the symbolic end, you know?

Burning Man occurs the week leading up to (and ending on) Labour Day, and so since my first time going the "end of Summer" being marked by this day became even more pronounced.

Last week was the week of Burning Man 2019, and I followed along on social media, including popping in to watch a live feed from time to time (I have very mixed feelings about it) and I did watch the two big burns this weekend (the Man burn and the Temple burn.)  But I also felt pretty disconnected.  For a lot of reasons that aren't all that important right now...

But back to Labour Day.  It's a bit of a funny one because I think a lot of people (since it's a shared US/Canada date) treat it as a Summer party sort of thing, when really, it's meant for us to remember and recognize those who fought for us to have reasonable working hours.  Or, according to the google search I just did, to "celebrate the workers" and some other patriotic wording I don't feel like repeating.

But happy Labour Day anyway... whatever it means to you; recognition of workers and workers rights, or a symbolic end of summer or the day Burning Man ends or ...

I know we still have three weeks until Autumn, so enjoy them and watch as things slowly, subtly change around you.


Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Phew

Just when I was starting to think Summer was over, we're going to have another hot one today.  It's early and already warm.  I guess it'll be "full keep things cool" protocols today!

I was out last evening and the air temperature was lovely.  And then I came back into my apartment and the air temperature was not at all lovely!  Which reminds me... I have a thermometer thing around here somewhere... wait, are 'thermometers' the things for when you're sick?  What do you call the regular temperature ones?  Same?  ERMAGHERD it's too early in the day for my brain to think!

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Tutus On

It's Tuesday, and were I at Burning Man I would be wearing a tutu since it's often thought of as "tutu Tuesday" out there.

There aren't "theme" days, but wearing a tutu on Tuesday of burn week is something that seems to have become popular moreso than anything else a camp has started.  I think it's because tutus are fun to wear and "tutu Tuesday" is fun to say!

When I was a kid doing ballet, in the youngest classes (think three or four years old) if we'd had a good class (honestly, I have no idea of the teacher's reasoning, I just assumed we'd been "good") she'd pull out a little basket of pull on tutus and we'd get to "dance" around in them until class was over.  It was seriously the highlight of my day/week back then!

Growing up doing ballet I'd look up to the prima ballerinas and at that time most of their performance outfits included a tutu.  Yes, there are reasons (apparently) that tutus became a thing in ballet but they just always looked so cool, and important, and pretty.  And you really only get to wear them for special occasions!  So imagine my joy when someone mentioned before my first year that some people wore a tutu on Tuesday down in BRC.

So I made a few "easy to make" tutus and I happily woke up Tuesday morning that year and put one on!  I've put one on every Tuesday down there since.  They're not comfortable, but hey, who doesn't want to wear a tutu!  YAY!

This doesn't have anything to do with much of course, just..... I'm missing being there this year and yes, I know I could put a tutu on today, it's just in a bin in my closet, but... I'll just wait until the next time I'm down that way... or have some other "legit" reason to. 

Have a good Tuesday y'all.  Tutu or not!

Monday, 26 August 2019

Monday Again

Welp, there's another weekend where I made no time for writing...

Yesterday was my plan but I spent the entire day (like really, it was like a full work day!) helping pass on info and updates for folks on their way to Burning Man (which... sadly, I am not... sigh)

Unfortunately there was a bad accident down that way (right near the entry to the event) and as people aren't always on their devices while travelling (and shouldn't be when driving of course) I tried to sort of be a middle person to pass on the info that the highways were closed, etc.

I did run some errands during the day though and at one point was buying candy (Lik-m-Aid/Fun-Dip to be precise... what, I can't eat the same stuff I did when I was a kid?  That's the whole point of growing up!) and I ran into my parents in the store!  Yep, I totally got found out at buying flavoured sugar, d'oh!

I'm also clearly a little stumped at how to talk about EVERYTHINGGGGGG now that I started talking about everything so most of the time my brain is blank for posts and I sort of try to wait for ... inspiration or something but it's been a couple of weeks now so I may just have to "force" it.

Bit of an odd weekend weather wise... woke up to rain/drizzle two days in a row, but yesterday was sunny and looks like today will be too.  Feels colder to me, but forecasts says it'll warm this week so we'll see how everything goes.

I suppose I had a decent weekend if not terribly exciting.  I tried a "mask" on my hair... a new thing for me, but C-Dawg raved about it and how soft it made her hair so I tried it (I'm a sucker sometimes) and, well, my hair smells nice this morning.

Hope you had a decent weekend and that your week to come is a good one.  I'd much rather be at Burning Man, of course, but I'll be here enjoying running water and electricity and flush toilets and keeping an eye on things down there... a little.  Jason reminded me that I had a hard time last year (and the year before) too but I swear I felt extra sad not going this year.  Some days it's a mixed bag and others I just miss being there. 
Please don't steal stuff from here, it's not nice. But leave a comment, why don't cha? And drink more water. It's good for you.

P.S. If you think you know me? You probably don't. If you're sure you know me? Pretend you don't. I'll never admit I know what you're talking about anyway.

P.P.S. All this stuff is copyright from then til now (Like, 2006-2019 and then some.) Kay? Kay.