Archives for category: medical marijuana

I didn’t get anything like enough sleep last night.

I saw a great little duplex early in the morning. I got home feeling hopeful and eager, but without any cause to make assumptions about the outcome. The unexpected phone call late in the afternoon, letting me know the unit is mine, and gently inquiring if I am still interested… well, sleep just didn’t come easily on the level of excitement that resulted. I still needed to get up early this morning to return the Zipcar I’d reserved. (From the perspective of going to and from the new place from this place it seemed practical to use a car, instead of public transit.)

Today, I’ll meet up at… holy cow… my new place (wow, I’m still so excited!) to pay the deposit. I’ll take public transit out from downtown (near the office) to the house and try out the commute for ease and travel time on a day when neither is critical.

It’s funny… my move before last, bringing me to the apartment community I currently live in, was a product of months of searching, looking at units, exploring the communities near work, and emotional uncertainty reinforced by Other People’s Drama (well… and mine, too, let’s be real). The choice never felt like it was really mine; it was the choice I ultimately had in front of me when the time came that moving was no longer optional. This current experience began with a similarly forced feel to it, then… it cracked open and changed completely when I met my new landlords yesterday morning, and got my first look at what will be home for the next year (and perhaps as much beyond that as life carries me before I purchase a place truly my own). I walked away feeling yearning and wistful to have the little duplex be my own, before a decision was made; I actually really like it. My landlords strike me as delightful people, and we connected over morning conversation, finding each other more alike than different, really wanting there to be a connection – and creating that experience together, over a common experience; we like that little duplex. 🙂

So, the move is on! It’s real. I have a new place, an old place, and a journey to make between them. Aaaaaand… the move date is sooner than I expected, and a comfortably negotiated compromise for both them and for me. I’d have liked to make the move later, to amass greater resources. They’d like to avoid having it vacant. They are, themselves, moving to another place, in another community. I’m scrambling… and yesterday the excitement caught up with me and wrecked my sleep utterly.

An unexpected visit late in the evening by my Traveling Partner, on his way from one moment in life to another, was an emotional salve and then some. He’s a very calming influence in stormy emotional seas. I wasn’t having tantrums, or meltdowns, or raging – but I was “over excited” like a little kid, and just couldn’t seem to soothe myself or achieve the sort of calm that promotes sleep. He knows me well. He knew just what to do about it to be helpful, and when he left I put out the lights, and called it a night. There really wasn’t anything “wrong” – I’d just had too much of all sorts of good things. 🙂

It’ll be some days before the move properly begins to show signs of actual movement between places, but I’ve got boxes ready, and a to do list, and a lot of experience. The excitement of it lingering in my memory woke me ahead of the alarm clock. I get the morning started, yoga, shower, writing and coffee, and…

…The anxiety hits me like a wall. What if I’m wrong? What if this is a terrible idea? What if this all goes horrible awry? What if it is too good to be true? I pause and stare across the meadow for a while; this won’t be my view much longer. Lingering dew sparkles on the grass and the points of the needles of the pine that seems so poorly placed, just beyond the patio. I sip my tepid coffee. I breathe. I relax. Change is. Sometimes that’s scary. It’s hard to trust myself – harder than I’d like. Second-guessing and anxiety about the move is going to come and go – because I’m human – and that’s got to be okay, too. I consider other moves, other experiences in life. My coffee is finished. I’m smiling.

It’s time to begin again.

…It’s a new dawn…it’s a new day… it’s a new life for me…

 

Ready? Let’s do this!

…It’s a new dawn…it’s a new day… it’s a new life for me…

…And I’m feeling…good. 🙂

I feel right

…even…happy.

It’s a nice morning. Things to do. I ended the day, yesterday, on a bitter note. I was overcome by sorrow and tears. I’ve no idea why. Tired? Hadn’t meditated? Wasn’t sufficiently well medicated to support needed emotional resilience? All of those things, I suspected at the time, and what was weird is that although I was totally overcome by it, and also utterly unable to lift a hand to help myself – even though I knew what I needed to do – I still somehow managed it, rather by happenstance; I was trying to make an angsty moody sort of post on Facebook, pretty typical really, and quite human, and I went to attach an appropriate picture to that post… I kept scrolling through pictures of smiles, and pictures of flowers, and pictures of forest hikes, and pictures of the way the light hits the water in the summertime, and… I started giggling, just a bit hysterically. I just couldn’t find “photographic evidence” to support my misery in the moment. LOL I’m okay. A fears tears aren’t fatal. 😉

Growth over time. We become what we practice. New self-care practices built over time become default habitual behaviors that support us.

The evening actually ended well. My moody moment was obviously more biology that emotional reaction to things, or events, and I finished the evening taking care of me, and noodling around on my bass, calmly, contentedly – and then crashing out rather later than I intended – so this morning I slept in a bit. 😀

There’s an entire lovely day ahead… I wonder where my path leads today?

Last night I dealt with my anxiety, and comfortably resolved that. Win! Progress. Practice. It wasn’t any sort of trophy-winning event, and my “victory lap” will be just this handful of words, a later reminder for another day, perhaps, that it does pass, and it can be eased. It wasn’t over anything consequential, but it was very real, very visceral, the sort of mind-binding gut-punch of stress and fearfulness that anxiety is so famed for. Meditation still works. It still wasn’t “easy” – and I’m honestly not even sure I would call it meditation, considering the challenge I had calming my monkey-mind even long enough to take a few breaths…but…I went easy on myself in the moment, emotionally, understanding that the anxiety itself promotes a certain restlessness. I patiently returned my consciousness to the moment, to my breath, to a timeless mental space in which anxiety cannot thrive. No tv. No music. Just practice. It was, after a time, highly effective. There were indeed verbs involved, and even moment by moment my results varied. There’s no fighting it, though; we become what we practice, and continued practicing of calm… I became calm.

I slept poorly last night, although I did sleep more or less sort of through the night (my sleep tracker notes periods of wakefulness, and very little deep sleep, but I have no clear recollection of waking so often). I woke with the alarm, head stuffy, eyes watery… back aching. It’ll be a good day for physical therapy. I hurt. I manage my pain in a similar way as with anxiety; practices that tend to offer relief, practiced routinely, and given still more attention when I hurt more than usual. In this case, appropriate medication, yoga, yes meditation for this too, and a little later, dancing (to sort of force those stiff joints into a state that accommodates movement). I also spend more time considering things that don’t hurt than things that do, and once my symptoms are properly treated, I move on to distraction; shifting my attention to something else quite engaging, and letting the awareness of my pain recede into the background.

It’s a pretty ordinary work morning. Nothing fancy. Nothing noteworthy, really. Ordinary stuff right here. If I let myself get all worked up over a moment of anxiety, or a painful morning, I have the power to amplify both. If I take care of the woman in the mirror in the best way I know how, I have a shot at easing both. So many choices, so many verbs, so many results vary; it’s a very human experience.

It’s time to begin again.

This morning is a lovely cool sunny summer one. I’m enjoying my coffee slowly, listening to birdsong and watching the sun crawl lazily into the Sunday sky. I make a point of savoring this gentle experience, because this wasn’t likely to be the experience I’d be having this morning, just a couple years ago. This  morning, I wrote a very different post than what I might have written a year ago under similar circumstances. 🙂

A picture of night.

A picture of night.

I woke at 3:00 am to a dense core of raging anxiety consuming my breath. My body felt panic-tight. I sat bolt upright in bed, struggling for air, and wrapped in fear. A nightmare? Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t remember a dream, and when I woke I was alert – too alert for sleep. Too anxious. My brain immediately attacked me with all the ‘nevermore’ idiocy available from the darkest and most insecure reaches of my consciousness, dragging me from panic to despair like a horror film monster. I sighed aloud. Got up without internal commentary, or external tears. I shuffled into the kitchen for a drink of water, like an uneasy child. I medicated (cannabis is safe to use as needed). I didn’t fight back my insecure thoughts, instead I took them with me to my meditation cushion, sat awhile watching the cloudy night sky shift and roil overheard, breathing, focused on breath. I breathed in the cool night air through the open patio door. I breathed out the anxiety, imagining it a fog that would dissipate as vapor across the meadow. I gave myself time without concern for the hour, and let myself settle down in my own time. I don’t know what time it was when I returned to sleep. The night sky was still quite dark.

Here it is, morning, and it is a lovely one. I never quite know how to communicate how much difference building a good meditation practice has been for me. Or how much difference it made [for me] to give up psychiatric pharmaceuticals in favor of improving my self-care, and getting real therapy. Pills didn’t solve anything, or even really improve anything; they slowed everything down. The Rx pharmaceutical drugs were poisoning me, impairing my ability to create, and stalling my growth as a human being. Without also having real therapeutic support of some kind they were chronically useless, and probably killing me very slowly. (My opinion here is related to my experience only, your results may vary, and I am not a medical professional; my opinion does not have the weight of scientific fact, and should not be used to make decisions about your own prescription medications and whether to take them! If you have doubts, please talk to your physician. If you don’t like their answer, please get a second opinion – this blog should not be considered medical advice of any kind!)

My first cup of coffee is finished. The sound of the wind chime through the window charms me into listening awhile. I lose the thread of my writing… I decide to move on with the day from here.

Today is a good day for a second cup of coffee, and a leisurely moment. Today is a good day to enjoy the value of incremental change over time, and a moment of celebration with the woman in the mirror. Will it change the world? I don’t know, probably not, and I am willing to wonder, and to enjoy today. 🙂

 

Sometimes I have the sense that the entirety of my life is a process of waking up slowly, but in the case of this morning, the titular remark is an observation relevant only to the morning I face now. This one. I woke really early and went back to sleep. I woke a bit later, on time for taking my morning medication – which I did – then I went back to sleep. I woke about 90 minutes later, again, found another comfortable position. Went back to sleep. This repeated until some minutes ago… when I woke, and after looking at the clock, pulled myself upright to begin the day, rather arbitrarily. I think I could have kept sleeping.

I woke slowly. I woke puzzled by the utter quiet. I still don’t hear any traffic, really, just bird song. The on site contractors working on this and that haven’t yet arrived, and there’s no sound of neighborhood children heading to school… It’s quite peculiar. I make a point to listen – I do hear birdsong. I hear my fingers on the keyboard. The morning is such a quiet one, even with the windows thrown open to the morning breezes, that I easily hear the goose neck kettle finish it’s part in the making off coffee – no whistle, no alarm, just a quiet ‘click’ from the kitchen.

My coffee is good. I sip it contentedly and let the morning slowly come to life. I think about yesterday, and consider what I learned from it, and all the many mysteries that remain. It wasn’t actually a ‘bad day’ or even a ‘bad experience’ being at the VA yesterday, generally speaking. I got my imaging done, and took some interesting pictures while I was waiting. I don’t know more about my health than I did before. I’m still waiting. I’m not at all sure what to make of that. There’s probably something to learn from it. 🙂

Something... something... perspective. (Give me a break, I haven't had my coffee, yet!) :-)

Something… something… perspective. (Give me a break, I haven’t had my coffee, yet!) 🙂

I arrived home incredibly cross on this whole other aggravating level. I canceled plans with my traveling partner; I wasn’t fit to be around, honestly, and I’d have gotten as far from me as I could, if that were an option. My irritability didn’t last, once I undertook to care for my needs. There is no place at the VA convenient for using cannabis, the grim hilarity of which is not lost on me (it’s the only drug I know that actually works effectively on many PTSD symptoms), and I arrived home seriously under-medicated for my stress level. My blood sugar wasn’t an issue, and I was pleased that I’d managed that piece with such care. My noise sensitivity was through the roof – doesn’t matter if that was caused by being under-medicated or due to the stress, resolving either would ease it. I felt angry-but-not-at-anything-specific, and more than anything I just needed quiet in an environment with a lot less stimuli – particularly social stimuli. Public transportation is crowded, noisy, and emotionally loaded during rush hour. Once I was home, it was not-quite-easy to take care of my needs, dial down my stress, ease my frazzled nerves, and find my way to feeling okay, again. It was a nice change to be able to re-calibrate my mood successfully.

Work in progress - like me. :-)

Work in progress – like me. 🙂

Now, here’s today. What’s to be done with that? My knee aches from the long Monday hike, and I’m walking with my hiking staff for support for a few days. The apartment could use some tidying, and there’s laundry to be done. I’m in the middle of an art project I’m emotionally  invested in. I’ve taken up bass guitar, and – well – practice is a necessary thing. I have one appointment, later. The knee is an inconvenience, were it not for that the day plans itself easily walking to the appointment, from the appointment to the store, and home… maybe I can manage that in spite of the knee, taking things slowly and with great care? There’s time. It sounds like a nice day, actually…but it won’t feel so nice if I over-commit, and find myself a mile or more down the trail, unable to continue due to pain. Yoga first and reassess? That seems a wise choice. I finish my coffee feeling purposeful, still wrapped in contentment.

I’m hopeful the day will include a visit with my traveling partner, but I’m not so invested in it that I would be blown off course if the day takes a different turn. That’s a lovely level of flexibility and resilience to have – I’ve worked at it for a while now. Success feels very comfortable. Natural. Learning to let go of attachment, and becoming more emotionally self-sufficient, has been entirely worth making the effort to sort myself out, find out how worthy I am of my own company, and to become a woman I am entirely content to hang out with day-to-day, on my own. 🙂  Still… I miss my partner when we’re apart, and I’m eager to enjoy his company, if not today, then another day – any other day. 🙂

It's a good day for practicing effective practices.

It’s a good day for practicing effective practices.

Today is a good day for sunshine, and getting things done. Today is a good day to smile at strangers. Today is a good day to be the change I wish to see in the world. Right now? Right now is a good time for a second cup of coffee. 😉