Archives for category: Metaphors

Crazy busy week last week lead into a vibrant and busy weekend that finished with a long trying drive and a quick and unexpected, thoroughly predictable, bout of stress, anxiety, and a few tears. I totally had a tantrum. Like an exhausted, overstimulated, toddler. My funk didn’t last, and by the end of the evening, last night, I was feeling relaxed and mostly merry, even though I rather carelessly (literally carelessly) left my badge to get into the office behind when I quietly crept out of my Traveling Partner’s residence to avoid waking sleeping party guests, as I prepared for the return trip to my place. I smile thinking about it; best party I’ve been to in a long time. πŸ™‚ I’m not even irked that my morning (and departure) was anything but leisurely – and entirely coffee-free. Well. Not now. lol

Beautiful momentum.

I woke up this morning feeling busy already, the week ahead landed on my consciousness before I got out of bed. Unfortunate. I considered writing. It would have been a choice moment for writing, as a practice. I chose meditation, and housekeeping, instead, and felt decently mild-mannered and appropriately focused when I arrived at work. It didn’t really last… my head is filled buugeng patterns. lol I want to go home and practice more. πŸ˜€ Then, about half way through my morning, a quick blast of stress, and the resurrection of a personal demon. Even that didn’t last long. I got past it sufficiently to wrap up a productive workday in the usual fashion. The day began and ended rather well. The commute home was neither nauseating nor enraging (win!).

I got home still carrying some stress from earlier. Nothing weird or major (for me)(these days); money. Money damage. Money baggage. Money triggers. Money symptoms. I’d have done anything to numb those sensations and emotions, even 3-4 years ago, to ignore them, shut them out, to turn away. I don’t know exactly when my thinking changed on this, but really, it wasn’t worth fighting myself over it. I sat down and planned my 2018 budget, looked for (and found a couple) opportunities to be more efficient, more accurate, and therefore more realistic (and successful?). It felt good to finish that, to have a good plan… to be on my own side. πŸ™‚

The stress that had lingered in the background is gone. So is most of the evening – and I don’t feel at all cheated by that. I may even feel… entertained? Satisfied, at least. That’s often the resulting emotion (for me) when I am skillful on some self-care task, satisfaction. Comfort? A certain settled safe feeling that seems to accompany being able to count on me to take care of myself. πŸ™‚

I chuckle when I realize “plan 2018 budget” was never on my to do list… so… I add it, then I check it off. A nice finish to the day. Tomorrow, I can begin again.

I love this holiday season. I love giving gifts. Before I understood the challenges my TBI can sometimes present me, I regularly spent myself into negative numbers every year; I didn’t really care about that as much as I wanted to give, just a little more. Small gifts. Big gifts. Unexpected gifts. Handcrafted gifts. Funny thing… I didn’t at all recognize the importance (to me) of giving, at that time. I didn’t recognize the annual yearning to shop – in order to give. It’s fairly specific to gifts. I don’t consider myself charitable in a noteworthy way. I really really like giving a moment of delight to someone dear to me, most of all.

Tonight, I had a couple such moments, myself. I’m still smiling.

First, I arrived home to a rather large package on the stoop. Like… can’t get the door open large. Push it off the stoop to get the door open, because it’s both large and also too heavy to properly lift with ease, large. Large. It’s not for me. It’s for someone else. I laughed and laughed as I struggled with it in the blustery cold autumn evening. I don’t know why it tickled me so much that the physical size of the packaging was so much larger than I expected it to be. Expectations. Man. Damn. Avoid those if you can. lol They can be so misleading.

Then, I remembered to grab the mail on the way in. So much to do this evening… I almost forgot to check the mail. There was just one large-ish plain white envelope in the mailbox. I opened absent-mindedly as I returned to the house, thinking it to be something from the VA, or something of that sort. It turns out instead to be a sweet and wholly unexpected gift – even a tad exotic. I’m still smiling.

So, laundry, dishes, chores generally – and a smile in every direction. I’ll see my Traveling Partner this weekend, and celebrate holidays, birthdays, and friendships under a starring winter sky. The thought reminds me to add a couple things to the morning to do list. There are gifts for birthdays going with me, and I am too excited to give them (although they are wee and of no great consequence) to let myself forget them. πŸ˜€ I smile again, thinking of giving a friend a ride to the party. That verb. Give. πŸ™‚ There’s a feeling to it.

The evening begins to wind down. Evenings seem more about finishing things, don’t they, and less about beginnings. I’m okay with that. Things end. It’s not an idea worth fighting. lol

I got home last night fairly happy just to make it safely home at all. I can’t make any claims to enjoying my commute. :-\ Last night was a hair-raising example of “how bad can it be?”

I spent the evening relaxing, regaining my softer side, and just chilling as evening settled and became night. I don’t really recall it with any detail or clarity. I know that I relaxed and enjoy the quiet evening well past that time that makes sense for me to call it a night and get some damned sleep. LOL I’m paying for that choice this morning. I would happily go back to bed. I didn’t “do” anything though; I made a commitment to studious relaxation. Goal met. lol

So tired this morning… as if that relaxation stuff were mighty difficult work. lol I’m okay with being more honest with myself than that; I didn’t get enough sleep. Being more careful about that will serve me well. Cheating myself on sleep does not rise to the level of “good self-care”. I even know this, I just lost track of time sitting by the fire, daydreaming.

Sleep and sleep quality are a big deal. I put myself at risk of all manner of cognitive weirdness, and even increased risk of ill-health, by undermining my sleep hygiene. Too many days on too little sleep, and I’ll quickly experience a decline in cognitive efficiency, attention to detail, memory, and emotional resilience – it just doesn’t make sense to be careless with my sleep habits. So. I give the woman in the mirror a stern talking to, which she’ll no doubt do her best to heed. Being human, I can also be fairly certain it’ll come up again. I mean, seriously? I did not lose track of time by intent. lol

Sitting here yawning over my coffee two things occur to me: I can begin again, and before I can type out a coherent sentence, the other thing slips away, lost. LOL I better get right on that beginning again, stuff… maybe… a second cup of coffee? πŸ˜€

 

 

I woke a few minutes ahead of the alarm, and lingered longer in the shower than is usual. Stepping back into the work routine feels less than joyful or desirable, so far, and I know to expect this after a long weekend away from it. I feel, if nothing else, purposeful.

Strange, lovely, solo holiday, celebrating an occasion generally celebrated in groups. Nonetheless, it was a lovely weekend. The house is dressed for the holidays ahead. The tree is up and decorated.Β  The first celebration after Thanksgiving is my Traveling Partner’s birthday. I made a point of getting some small tokens of my affection into the mail over the weekend. I marked the calendar for another trip down to visit, weather permitting. I am, for the moment, confused about his plans for the upcoming holiday weeks, and make a note to get clarification. There’s no urgency, neither to the confusion, nor to the clarifying questions.

Looks like a solo holiday season ahead, generally, and I find that I’m not at all averse to that. There are two wee packages under the tree for me (one’s a book!), from me, and of course the new grill on the deck – an early gift to myself. I enjoyed the day spent listening to music, yesterday, and decorating the tree. I wondered, often, if there were something particular I actually “want for Giftmas”, as I hung each ornament with great care. I didn’t have an easy time with that, since basically all of my material needs are pretty well met, generally. So… what then? lol Books. πŸ™‚ A lovely quiet holiday reading by the fire sounds pretty luxurious… and I’ve already a tidy little stack of new-ish books I’ve not yet read. πŸ˜€

Festive, and suitable for leisure. πŸ™‚

I wonder, though, from this vantage point, what will Giftmas morning utterly alone look and feel like? Will I find myself blue at some point? Lonely? Or will it simply be a lovely morning, lazing over coffee, enjoying a bite of brunch at some point, and reading books by the fire with a hint of a contented smile? I guess I’ll find out soon enough. lol

There is so much ahead. So much that is well-suited to new beginnings. It’s already Monday… again. πŸ™‚ It’s a good morning to embrace change, and re-commit to healthy practices, and reliable routines. It’s a lovely time to begin again. πŸ™‚

I’m awake. It’s 1:37 am.

I’m not awake for some wonderfully cool reason, like a late night out with friends, or not yet home from a concert, or anything like that. I’d intended to be sleeping, and until some moments ago, I was.

I woke abruptly from a deep sleep, heart pounding hard and beating very fast. I felt short of breath, and fearful. Panicked. The world was quiet, so I could pretty safely assume whatever woke me was internal, rather than external. I didn’t struggle to find a solution to my racing heart and gasping breath; I immediately, gently, eased myself into a very comfortable relaxed position, and began slowing and deepening my breathing, and soothing my consciousness; there was nothing obvious to be so frightened about. I started letting that go, first, with firm reminders to remain in the moment, there in the darkness of a space that, after 4 months, finally feels more or less familiar, most of the time. I turned on a light. I sat up. I continued to support myself with soothing practices. I got up and took an antacid for my very acid stomach and quietly cursed my acid reflux. I got a glass of water and added some Calm to that.

Over the next few minutes, sitting down to write a few words, using even that to help me “sort myself out” in the quiet hours of night, I sip on my glass of water, and feel the chill of the room start to play a part, too, cooling me down.

It’s been a long long time since I let myself make any effort to “figure out” a waking moment like that one. I just don’t do it any more. It’s like digging at a scab, just barely gratifying at all, and definitely not actually helpful, just very compelling. So, I don’t. Because doing so wasn’t useful in a positive way, and it tended only to mire me in a whole assortment of shitty crap loitering in the dark corners of my consciousness waiting for a chance to be weaponized and turned inward. So… I don’t know what woke me. I don’t know why I woke so frightened and overwhelmed. I don’t know what the anxiety was about. I have made knowing such things not a priority of any sort. And… since I’m not “picking at that sore”, the fear and anxiety are already dissipating. With practice, not hours – minutes. It is 1:51 am. I may actually get back to sleep at some point, soon. πŸ™‚

I’m still feeling restless and weird. So, some yoga next. Just postures that promote relaxation and calm. I keep the lights dim. Each small practice picked up along the way has value right now. One by one, I step through the most relevant practices I have learned over time, and I feel myself begin to calm, to become relaxed, to settle down through and through. I’m okay, right now. It’s enough.

I think I’ve mostly come to terms with the likelihood that some portion of my symptoms of PTSD may linger for the remainder of my life time… I sure feel more able to deal with them, generally. Even two years ago, a night like this might have evolved into something more serious, lasting days, destroying my sleep, eroding my judgment, damaging my relationships… this seems better, not perfect. There is no “perfect”. I’m not “cured” – but I am far better at caring for myself in such moments.Β That’s something pretty wonderful.

I finish my water. Run this post through spellcheck. Then, head back to bed. πŸ™‚