Archives for category: pain

Yesterday was weird. Started well. Went well. Then… rather unexpectedly, my mood just went straight to shit in an instant. I wasn’t even sure why. My noise sensitivity got crazy intense, and the frown on my face seemed to “come from within” from this whole other deep deep place that felt like “this is me,now”. It was hard. I looked over my work calendar, and cleared off the meetings I had remaining; none of it really required me, that I could tell, and all of it could be rescheduled. So, I did.

I was still fussing with an analytical question I was wracking my brain over, when I left, and committed to finishing that off, from home. I looked at the days ahead, and determined I could spend this one (today) more wisely as a “training day”, tackling annual “tick the box” training regularly assigned to everyone and due in just a couple weeks, and finishing off some certification training and testing I’d committed to earlier in the year. It seems a practical and efficient way to give myself some room to sort myself out without the risk of infecting my workplace with my toxic bullshit and baggage. 🙂

…Sitting here with my coffee, I feel fairly “grown up”, having managed this piece of self-care adequately well. Yesterday was weird though.

I got home tense and cranky. I stayed tense and cranky long enough for my Traveling Partner to make other plans for his time that evening, while I was in the shower trying to “wash off” my shitty mood. (No surprise, I was not able to wash off my mood. lol) I wasn’t surprised; his self-care skills are very good, generally, and he knows that it does neither of us any good to sit by and endure each other’s bullshit. There are better ways. 🙂 He was heading out for the evening, shortly after I was changed into “comfy clothes”. A few minutes of conversation. A kiss. He was gone.

I sat quietly for a time. Still so cross with… whatever… I was irritating myself without trying. I made a salad. I the dishes in the dishwasher. I sat a while more. Distracting myself was harder than usual; noise sensitive, cross, anhedonic… I wasn’t fit for my own company (and these days I really like me). At some point, I dozed off on the couch, wrapped in a snuggly soft throw. The phone woke me. My Traveling Partner calling, some time later (I never looked at the time)… did I want to join them for dinner? …Italian. Um… I’m sleeping. Deeply. LOL How rare is that?? I thanked him (I think. I hope.) and declined.

…Some further time later, I heard someone in the house… I felt disoriented in the darkness; I had lights on in the living room, where I had been dozing on the couch… I was waking out of context – in bed, no clear recollection of going to bed. I slipped out of bed, still confused, and quietly went to the door. Home intruder? Break in? Um… probably not; I hear the sound of someone using the hall bathroom. I call down the hall way, “hello?”. My partner answers, and I relax, finally pulling myself fully into the present. I’m not really awake though, and hadn’t even put my glasses on. Staying up long enough to connect, to embrace, I went back to bed pretty soon after he got home.

I woke reluctantly when the alarm went off. I feel pretty well-rested this morning, but I’m also glad I adjusted my work plans to make room for self-care. I needed to ease up on myself, and although I still don’t know what the hell went wrong with me yesterday, I’m pretty sure caring for myself in a way that demonstrates that I matter, to me, remains important, today.

Self-care choices are not always easy. It’s taken me years to break habits of self-abuse, self-exploitation, and inwardly directed mistreatment of all sorts. I still practice self-care, because I still need to. It still takes commitment, effort, and deliberate willful consideration, to choose to care for this fragile vessel, and the being of emotion and reason who resides within.

I’ve got a work day of training ahead of me, self-paced, isolated by headphones and the door of my studio. This suits me, although I am already feeling much better this morning. I find myself wondering if my poor sleep is something I need to be taking more seriously at this point… I smile and sip my coffee. The short to do list I’ve got for later seems wholly manageable and it’s not driving any stress at all. So far so good. I finish off my coffee while I rock out to this playlist… it’s time to begin again. 😀

Yesterday was a difficult day. Summarized in that brief fashion, it seems so much less noteworthy than it felt at the time. This morning, I wake with some effort, and struggle to get past feeling groggy and vaguely “hungover” – the “hangover” that is the after effect of profound or frequent shifts in emotional chemistry, but, nonetheless, very much consistent with a hangover from other intoxicants (this headache, my acid stomach, and feeling vaguely dizzy, for instance). I sip my coffee seeking salvation and relief in a porcelain mug (it could be so much worse).

…All this over work

What’s funny is how hard it was to “let it go” at the end of the day. I fussed and fretted throughout the commute. I struggled to distract myself (even with meditation). When I went to bed, feeling wholly relaxed at long last, and definitely sleepy, I did not fall asleep for hours, even though I was steadfastly “letting all that go” with real commitment. lol

…And now this fucking headache. lol

I take another sip of my still-too-hot coffee, and look at the day ahead with new eyes. Yesterday (a Wednesday) held within it the power to more or less derail my workload for the whole of the week, but today I have the power (and potentially also the bandwidth) to catch all that up and finish the week in the most ordinary way. That’s the “win” I have my eye on this morning… Feeling reluctant to build that up until my expectations can’t possibly also occur in real life, I take a deep breath, exhale, have another sip of coffee, and let all that go. 🙂

I pull myself present, back to this moment, here. I answer a message from my Traveling Partner. More work stuff. Different work stuff. Another sip of coffee. Still fighting this headache. I notice the time… oh, yeah; time to begin again. lol

The possible (likely) impeachment of the US President? I don’t care right now, at all. Local weather? I’m indifferent; it’s meaningless. Work? Connectivity? Housekeeping? The appointment I have scheduled later? Nothing matters beyond one small (huge) thing; I’m sitting alone, heart aching, while my partner is elsewhere, also alone (an assumption), and probably having a less than ideal experience, too.

…I’m not even sure what went wrong, exactly. We started down the path of a conversation… we converse daily, often, and manage both deep conversations, and light-hearted banter (and lots of things in between) quite effortlessly, most of the time. Was I pre-disposed towards frustration, after spending a morning frustrated by technical difficulties, on a rare day working from home? Was he having his experience from within a context that had him potentially predisposed toward difficulties, himself? Is this even “about” either of us, at all? We are each having our own experience – this much is reliably true. I feel, at the moment, sort of bitter, rather heartsick, fighting off tears I don’t want to deal with, and feeling that I am a failure as a partner because – how can I not manage something so fucking basic as a conversation??

In all respects it was a lovely morning to start with. I sit staring disinterestedly into this 3rd cup of coffee, trying to hold onto the morning’s delights. Elusive. Those moments feel as if they were only a dream, now. I am acutely aware I have a “routine” check up with my therapist coming in a couple weeks, and I find myself struggling with a feeling of shame over maybe really needing that time, even after so long, and so much progress. It flares up as resentment and anger, then recedes as a sort of sad gray shadow over my experience, and a hint of despair and futility. “Doesn’t it ever stop…?” My demons attack where I am weakest, that’s a given, and I’m unsurprised by the bleak feeling of doubt, the sense of loss, of abandonment, the feeling of hurt and unworthiness. Damn, this is shitty.

…I hope he’s okay (he’s probably feeling shitty, too).

I look into my coffee mug again, as if I were even going to drink it. I put the cup back down. I also don’t care about this cup of coffee – not compared to how much I care that I am enduring this moment, or that he is enduring his… or that we ended up in this place, in the first place. This coffee doesn’t even smell good. I made it the same as always. No interest in drinking it now. It just sits. Same as me. Just sitting here, mired in this mess. I tried the “walk away and calm down” approach to handling miscommunication and frustration… it does not seem to have provided any useful benefit. I mean… I suppose it’s better than waiting around poking a hornets’ nest until one or the other of us seriously lose our temper. I can’t stand raised voices. Instead… oh sure, it’s fucking quiet, but… I am isolated with my despair… my most dangerous personal foe. “Misery loves company”? Nah. I don’t buy that. Misery doesn’t love a fucking thing, it’s grim, stoic – a loiterer who takes everything pleasant and destroys it without hesitation.

…I even know the steps to take to not be here… and can’t raise the motivation to do a thing about it… like giving up. The futility becomes a quiet waterfall of hot tears. A lifetime of frustration and learned helplessness clench my jaws. My back aches with the weight of it. This? This right here is another very human experience. (“It’s just a moment”, I hear my internal reminder on autopilot, “this will pass. It’s just weather, not climate.” I can’t hear it; it feels very distant and irrelevant.)

Too fucking human. So… what’s to be done about it, then? Yeah, um… I don’t know right now. I’m too busy feeling hurt and filled with chaos and damage. Let me get done with all that, then I’ll move on to doing something else… probably sort myself out at some point… maybe even begin again.

I’m sipping my coffee feeling the hint of autumn that seems already evident, a certain chill I notice, and the slow turning of leaves to colors other than green; the feel of it is “autumn approaching”. The equinox is tomorrow. Fitting. I sip my coffee thinking about change.

This a good cup of coffee, this morning, and I’m feeling pretty well-rested from a better than average night of sleep. I ache – arthritis cranks things up on the pain scale along with the increased chill in the air, that bit of extra moisture, too… not helping. I shrug it off; pain is likely a notable portion of the remainder of my life – and, let’s be real here, it could be so much worse. (A VA doctor, a resident, recently asked me “Have you tried Tylenol?”, my astonishment prevented my reply, which, ideally, would have been “Have you tried getting your fucking foot out of your mouth??” I mean, seriously? If Tylenol were going to be adequate, what do I need her for?? And who hasn’t already tried OTC remedies by the time they want to take time off work and spend the money to talk to a doctor?)

This morning, though, isn’t about that. It’s not about pain, or pain management, it’s not even about this excellent cup of coffee, or a good night’s sleep. It’s a few words on a page that anchor me in this moment, in this experience, and really… that’s all. I’m here. This is now. Life is, actually, pretty good. Good enough to have comfortable easy conversations about where our money goes – and where it could be better spent. Good enough to sustain romance, and day-to-day comfortable, affectionate intimacy. Good enough to feel generally safe, and generally well. I take time to notice, because savoring the good times, however small the detail, fills me up for those times of sorrow that we each will definitely experience; challenges and heartache are also part of the human experience.

I reflect for some moments on my mother’s relatively recent death… June already seems so long ago. Summer is behind me now. Seasons do indeed change.

I sip my coffee, take a breath, and begin again.

I woke to the sound of rain. It’s the sort of steady rain of well-separated medium-sized raindrops that keeps the pavement looking soaked, and the air smelling fresh, without every becoming a downpour. I made coffee, standing at the kitchen window, staring out past the driveway to the street beyond, not really watching the cars go by, still half-wrapped in sleep, not quite awake, yet. I’d considered sitting down and reading some news articles while I waited for water to boil (I like a “pour over” in the morning)… decided it against it, after glancing at headlines. I am not ready for the cesspool that is “newsworthy” humanity, before my coffee. lol

California was more or less “as advertised”, generally in a pleasant way.

I got home far more easily, with fewer moments of stress, and a much more enjoyable (quiet) flight. I wondered later if time of day was something to have considered when I made the plans (the unpleasant flight to LAX was late afternoon, getting me there by 6:30 pm, the flight home to PDX departed from LAX at close to 8:00 pm, and we did not land until well-past 10:00 pm)? There were no chatterboxes or fussy children on the flight home; it was filled with quieter people, traveling purposefully, and keeping to themselves. I chuckle to myself as I read back these past couple of sentences; how much of my experience was actually just… me? Something to consider, too.

I missed my roses while I was away.

My homecoming was pleasant, relaxed, easy; we missed each other, we welcome each other with open arms, and smiles, with appreciation, and gratitude. Friday was very busy, and I’d forgotten to grab the power cord for my laptop when I returned to the hotel Thursday evening. The low battery, and the need to pack with care before work that morning, resulted in letting go my usual “best time” to write. Yesterday? Yesterday was mine to cherish, a sweet day of leisure and romance with my Traveling Partner, time to catch up, time to enjoy each other, time to spend together. I didn’t write, yesterday, because it is most definitely a solitary activity that takes my presence away from my partner’s experience, and on a day we choose for deliberately enjoying each other, sharing our time, our love, and our presence, that would be sort of rude, wouldn’t it? 🙂

…It feels like life is settling into a useful cadence of work and life and love, as the months together go by. Was it January he moved in with me? Or December, before the Yule holidays? I don’t remember now; it feels as if we’ve never been separated by different addresses, at all. 🙂

I arrived home to a lovely, tidy, welcoming, orderly, aesthetically pleasing home that very much looks like I live here. That makes sense – I do. 😀 I very much appreciate that I have my partners help with all the housekeeping and household maintenance – it makes for a wonderful shared experience. I notice a few things that are “better than I left it”, and remind myself to level up to better household care, on those tasks, myself. When everyone works, and the work is shared such that each person is valued, the quantity of work is equitable, and the effort is reciprocal, there is no room for resentment, or hurt feelings, over housework. 😀

Signs of autumn approaching begin to turn up in the garden on the deck…and also, a baby praying mantis or two, that have survived long enough to be easily noticed.

Another lovely day begins right here, listening to the rain fall. I feel like walking, although my arthritis flared up with the coming of the rain. I consider the day ahead… visit a nearby farmer’s market… run an errand or two, perhaps… get ready for the work week ahead… It’s an ordinary enough Sunday, pleasant, and relaxed. These are the qualities I am choosing, and choosing to foster, to build, to nurture, to act upon. Beginning again is a willful thing, a considered, deliberate reset, not merely the tick of a clock from one moment to the next; there are choices to make, and verbs to act upon. 🙂 My results may vary…

…None of that stops me; it’s still time to begin again. 🙂