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Or, say, at 4:30 in the morning, with the computer screen brightness turned down as far as it will go, in an otherwise completely darkened room. It's the migraines, which turns out is not so much the Trazadone but my exceedingly high blood pressure.

WARNING: Bitchfest about lupus ahead.

My blood pressure runs regularly between 150-165/113-117. That's WITH the highest dose available of Carvedilol, twice a day. I'm getting a doctor's appointment set up to adjust my meds, but in the meantime....oooowwwwwww.

And the edema, which this time was about 25 extra pounds. It happens everytime I'm in the hospital due to oversaturation of fluids, usually medically necessary due to my kidneys not flushing properly. Given the number of times I've been in the hospital, and the 50 pounds I initially gained, I've gained and lost 190 pounds in 8 months.

Not given the damage it's done to my skin (stretch marks, wrinkles beyond belief, ankles that stretch out an inch and half more than they should, etc), edema also affects: Blood pressure, temperature, joint pain, and mobility. It takes about a month to bleed off, to which by then, I'm back in a hospital bed, gaining it all right back.

It's disheartening. I'm 35, never had a baby, and should look fucking amazing for my age. I instead look like I've had several babies and am fat. I try to ignore it, but it can do a number on one's self image. I'm learning (as many of us with chronic illness do) that there's little ill a good pair of tits and the deft application of make-up won't cover, but still....

I now have to go by the directions given on Tylenol dosages (no more than two pills every six hours), which barely keeps the headaches at a dull roar, lest I risk my kidneys. Ibuprofen, the most effective of all OTC pain meds for me, will make my kidneys fall out altogether. That is also disheartening.

I'm trying to not complain about the physical aspects of my illness, but it's hard to live an active life when one is filled with so much water that nothing you own even remotely fits you and have headaches that make even the sound of a door shutting completely jarring.

I mean, seriously. Who the fuck wears sunglasses at night? Corey Hart was not a role model, for fucks sake.

(That's something else I have decided over the last several months. Fuck curtailing my cursing, privately and publicly. Sans children, granted, but otherwise, fuck it. I'll say whatever the hell I want to, when I want to, because goddamnit, why the fuck NOT?)

I took my Tylenol. The migraine is now a headache, but I might soon be able to navigate the apartment without endlessly putting on and off my sunglasses. I have to look at that as a positive rather than an inconvenience.

And eat something. The meds do a number on my stomach, but if I don't eat, the nausea only expands into something crippling. It sucks to eat when every bite makes your stomach clench. It sucks to not eat when an empty stomach makes you feel like throwing up bile.

Lupus sucks altogether. I don't know how to make that a positive thing. I don't know if I ever will.

Fuck this sunglasses deal. But thank god I have a pair in the apartment anyways. The things we have to consider ourselves blessed for...jesus fucking christ.
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I feel better this morning, if not plagued by Trazadone and high blood pressure headaches. I'm going to wake Pat up early and just...hang for a while. Try to utilize my support system. I've always thought that people who wind up in my situation do so because they don't have a good support system.

But I've got a FANTASTIC support system. Jesse's unfailing attentiveness to my illness, Pat's knowledge of being there for over half my life. My sister, whose been through this over and over, you guys, access to health care - even as a poor person. I've GOT THE TOOLS. I just need to fucking use them.

Mornings are the time when I'm alone. For most of my life, I've needed those several hours. Right now, I don't need so much alone time. It's bad for me.

The dreams...I like the idea that they are all parts of me, reoccurring themes in my life right now. It makes so much sense. It's also in its own way terrifying, because what's coming up is so graphic. Graphic but also appropriate.

My head hurts. I'll be okay.

Maybe I should write out the nightmares as stories. Stephen King says that's how he gets his ideas. And Poe did as well, though under opium deliriums, so he saw his while awake. The problem is that revisiting those dreams often makes me ill, but maybe it's time to fight through some of that and do something...useful with it for a change.

I keep trying to compare this time of my life to other difficult times. As a teenager, fighting the home abuse. My drug abuse and recovery, fighting myself. I'm trying to see if what I'm going through could be easier. But I can't recall what's been harder or easier.

I had a thought a couple of days ago. That the thought of "This isn't how I saw my life at 35" is NOT AS IMPORTANT as the thought of "This IS how my life is at 35."

I feel like I need to stop feeling so much about what I'm going through and start DEALING with what I'm going through.

I'm also making a concerted effort to return to talk therapy. I need professional help. I've never fought that before. As I've gotten sicker and sicker over the last year, I have fought it.

But I'm not going to survive without professional help, both psychological and medical. I can no longer separate the two. Both depend on each other to literally keep me alive. I'm still struggling to reconcile that. It's so much more goddamn work than I think I've ever done. It's a full time job to keep all these appointments as a sick person.

But it's not like I'm employed right now. The only obstacle to fulfilling those duties right now is me.

And goddamnit, I've never let me stop me for very long - and damn sure never to the point of dying.

I'm not going to die. I'm tired. I hurt all the time. I'm scared.

But motherfucker, of all things, I'm not going to die. Not like this. Not like that. Not like anything other than old age and a possible oxygen tank because I've refused to give up smoking.

So far, at least. I'm getting the feeling that in the end, the one thing that will be the tipping point will be my smoking. In due time, though. One thing at a time.

One day at a time.
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I just woke up from one of the most horrifying, vivid nightmares I have ever had. So bad that an hour later, I still feel like throwing up. If I were smart, I'd leave it alone, and pray that in five years, ten years, the nightmare will fade and I will no longer remember it.

But I'm not particularly smart and I'm going to do what I've always done with the worst nightmares. I'm going to write it out. See if I can lance the nausea like a wound, and with a shower later, wash out the fear like an antiseptic.

The back of it )

The worst of it: As the sun began to fall, we were to move to a smaller building. To sing, to worship, to join the faith of over a hundred people into one grand shield. We started outside, walking the small forest between buildings, and the army came upon us.

At first, they simply marched through us, not seeing us. I could see the horror on the faces of the people around, as we could see THEM, but I wasn't worried. I was with people of True Faith. We would make it.

And then a young man, only in his very early twenties, on the phone with his girlfriend to help him through it, was asked one question. "Do you think you're a good person?", she asked, trying to reassure him.

"I am", he replied, "but sometimes...". He averted his eyes to the ground, as if trying desperately not to say something. "But sometimes...I have dark thoughts."

It was like some kind of magnet had been flipped on. I saw one army man, as soon as those words were uttered, whip his bony neck back towards us. He had heard what the young man said. His jaw dropped in an unholy shriek and the army was all over us.

A frenzy, a bezerker of thousands, dashing through the crowd. The press of their ghostly forms was so thick I couldn't see anything but white. I could hear, though. I heard screaming. I heard the sound of flesh tearing. I heard slaughter. I stood there, frozen, paralyzed, wondering why they were simply passing over me, around me, while I could hear so many others dying screaming.

God, the sounds echo even now. How can something you only dream be so LOUD?

In the dream, I eventually passed out, waking later in a small cottage room. I wandered out into the main room and my heart sank. There were only a handful of people in the room, faces pale, shaken...but alive.

"How many of us made it?" I asked. The pause, the silence between the question and the answer stretched an eternity.

"...seven," said a woman.

"Seven," I said. "Seven out of a hundred of us made it". A grief so deep I nearly dropped to my knees fell over me. Seven people. Out of so many, there had only been seven truly good people.

One of them, strangely enough, an ex-gang member who had been a hired murderer. He hadn't seemed particularly good when I first met him, as he'd been graphically open about how he used to terrify, torture, and kill his victims. I asked him how the hell he survived.

"I didn't care. I figured if I died, I was just paying the price for what I did." He gave a nonchalant shrug. "It would have been fair enough."

I looked around the cottage and saw the form of a corpse that someone had draped a white sheet over. I held the bottom of the sheet, thinking to flip it over and see who was beneath it.

"No." I dropped the sheet. It didn't matter whose face was under that sheet. They were dead and there was nothing I could do about it. What mattered was ahead of us. What mattered was the people who had survived.

I pointed to three people who had been with me all along. "You're coming with me." I told the remaining few that they were going home.

I had led the army to murder nearly a hundred people. Those deaths were on me. I had killed them. Had I simply pressed on, the army would never have detoured over the camp. They would still be alive.

I had killed them. Good people or not, they had still been people, people who likely did not deserve to die outside of some insane code of black and white. Their blood, their screams, their last moments spent in terror, were my fault.

I could not imagine why I'd survived. I did not...do not...consider myself a person of faith, or a person of shining goodness. I am human, beautiful and ugly, good and bad, evil and light.

My soul is not pure.

The other ugliest piece. I'd wandered outside for a moment, trying to breathe away the horror. I saw a piece of paper with words written on it, words smeared over with blood.

"Kenny wrote out his confessions," a man told me, startling me as he came up behind me. "I think he survived, but..." There were two lines of arterial red leading off into the forest, as if someone had slit their wrists and crawled away.

I looked away from the paper fluttering in the grass.

"We don't have time to look for him. We have to go."

Why do I have dreams like this? Is my brain so broken? Is there some guilt buried so deep that it only comes crawling out in my sleep? Have the recent near-death experiences drawn out some fear of the afterlife, of where I would go? A fear that I simply don't want to deal with and so it only comes out in my sleep?

Are demons and angels real, and for some reason, I can only see them in my sleep? I DO NOT BELIEVE in demons, angels, God or Gods. But sometimes the dreams are so vivid. I can still HEAR the sounds of slaughter two hours after waking up. I can only wonder if what I am seeing is actually real on some level.

It was only a dream. That's what I'm telling myself. That's what I tell myself every time. It was only a dream.

It wasn't real.

It was only a dream.
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Not shiny, mind you. Not new. Not full of refreshed energy or a zest for life. I hurt in every way possible right now, physically as well.

I apparently woke up halfway through the incubation, broke the hospital restraints, and ripped out the breathing tube, air bulb beneath it still full. It's left me with a HELL of a bruised wrist and bruised airway. They couldn't give me more anesthesia (I guess that would have been another overdose). There's a weird pride in having been able to do that - and a regret that I did, because fucking hell, it still hurts.

That I can safely say I did not mean to do. The things we do while under the delirium of anesthesia....

But I am back. Call me refurbished. Call me found art. Call me...a nervous little girl who is petrified of herself, the world around her, and what it and I will do to me.

But like Jesse told me last night, just because Mike Tyson takes a right hook to the jaw and falls to the mat, it doesn't mean he's forgotten how to fight. And as scared as I am about the fight ahead, he is right. I still know how to fight. I've done it before. I can do it again.

The Basics: I wasn't actually trying to kill myself. It was the strangest thing I think I've ever experienced. I'd thought to myself a nap would be nice, went to take a quarter of my Seroquel, and stood in the kitchen with the bottle and a glass of milk in my hand.

And then I thought )

I've been off Prednisone for a week now. I am mentally clearer, emotionally a wreck, and sad that anything spicy I might consider eating will tear up my esophagus.

I've received all responses about hope. I've never read responses so closely before. I've never needed people's experiences so much as I do right now. I've never had so much to process between what's going on in my head and what other people have told me has gone on in THEIR heads.

I want to think that I what I did doesn't mean I'd lost hope. But people with hope don't take an entire month's worth of sleeping pills at once. Somewhere along the line, along with everything else, hope had also taken its leave.

One thing I know above anything else: The trees have begun to bloom. The grass is green. It is spring. It has now been a full year of dealing with the wolf, first not all knowing why I was being torn apart by sharp teeth, and then hemorrhaging for months from having my throat ripped out.

I lost last spring, last summer, last fall, and last winter.

quirkytizzy: (Default)
Well some of you may know (or not) but Tizzy took a full bottle of pills Wednesday on an impulse. She then dialed 911, spent 2 days in ICU, and is now resting safely sans internet. When speaking to her today (she is doing much better) she voiced that she is struggling with an issue. She wanted to reach out to her support group and ask a question to everyone who reads this. So I am typing this out at her behest for when she comes home.

On to the question, QT wants everyone's opinion and thoughts regarding hope.

This includes how you would define it, how does one maintain it, and what does one do when you lose it.

If your not a member of LJ or DW and want to share your thoughts privately the email to share it with her is quirkytizzy@gamil.com.

I apologize that it has taken me this long to update everyone, but here it is now.

On a side note, she is FINALLY 4 days off the steroids. I believe her mental health should take a sharp turn for the better now. No one would listen to us, we both begged the doctors to get her off of them. She knew they were causing enormous problems for her mental health, and I could see it.

Last update, her kidneys are doing much better now, working at over 70%. The doctor said optimistically that she might have saved them from failing so lets, hope?
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If I'm in any kind of right mind, this is how the self-harm inner monologue plays out.

* Wake up and for whatever reason, feel like doing damage to myself. Usually cutting, but there's a thousand other ways to do it, too.

* Think to myself "Okay, before we do anything, let's have a first cigarette. You don't want to do anything rash before you've got your nightly nic fit fixed."

* Have cigarette and mentally run over what the morning chores are for the day.

* Think to myself "Okay, if you REAALLY want to hurt yourself, at least scoop out the catboxes first. Jesse will be too stressed to do if you're in the psych ward."

* Scoop out catboxes.

* Think to myself "Okay, if you REEALLLY want to hurt yourself, let's at least do the dishes first and straighten the house up. It'll help Jesse not be so stressed about the house."

* Do the dishes, straighten up house.

* Think to myself about how long it's been since I've showered, because I know if I get locked up in the hospital, I won't want to shower for at least a week.

* Shower.

* Think to myself "Well, if you REEALLLY want to hurt yourself, at least eat first. You'll be stuck in backrooms and waiting rooms for hours and hours and get a nasty headache from hunger. So eat first."

* I eat.

* By this time, the house is clean, I am showered and fed, and have even done a few good deeds for Jesse. Normally by this time, I am tired from the morning exertion and just want to go back to bed.

* The urge to hurt myself dissolves into this morning routine I have for myself. I've done other things and it wore me out.

It's not foolproof. Plenty of times in my life when I've played paint by numbers with my own blood in a filthy, messy home. But it can - and often - does help. It stops the immediate and actual urge to hurt myself and relegates it to an intellectual exercise, way back in the back of my head.

* Like this morning, when I woke up with a wild urge to hurt myself, for no real reason that I could see, other than The Crazy.

* There's a reason I can be such a stickler for doing my chores exactly when I do them, exactly how I do them, and exactly in what order. Sometimes they are what save my life. You just don't mess with a system like that.
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So something is happening with penetrative sex that has not ever happened before. I'm not quite sure what to do about it. What's happening, you ask? Well...it hurts. The vaginal walls and muscles are NOT STRETCHING the way they should when being penetrated.

As in, either I somehow got tighter than a virgin or Jesse's dick grew another inch around and longer.

I'd thought "Okay, well, you haven't had sex in, like, a year. So you probably just need a little more lube than usual." I ALWAYS use lube, because a 35 year old body just doesn't produce lubrication the same way a 20 year old body does. Basic science, no moral judgement there.

(Well, no moral judgement except to the assholes who have been, in my life, OFFENDED that I used lube. As if the sight of their cock should somehow override biology. Fuck those dudes. Lube rules.)

Anyways, it turns out the extra lube, though, is not helping. Sliding down, even the simple act of penetration hurts enough to make me wince - and not in that good way.

I don't think vaginas can tighten up that much and Jesse's dick has not gotten bigger. So what is happening and how can I make sex more comfortable for myself? It's not lack of foreplay, because after all these years of body-boundaries, I REFUSE to have penetrative sex unless I really, really want to.

So if I'm climbing aboard the Cock Train, it means that I am ready and raring to go, engines gunning at full speed.

Except my body, by sending pain signals from my brain to my twat, disagrees. Why?

I'm going to bring this up with my doctor (it's possible this is medicine side effect), but I also thought you guys might have some ideas on what's going on and how to fix this.

Sex has never hurt like this before, and I'm doing all the usual things people say to do when it hurts. Use lube. Have more foreplay. Try different positions. It still hurts.

And it sucks, because I really want to start having regular sex again. Ideas? Suggestions? Similar experiences? A happy, warm speculum? Something?
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Ahh, how does that go? No rest for the wicked? I get an amazing day's worth of energy earlier this week (though procured only after 5 days of straight sleep) and then, as if returning to chastise me for my cheer, come the nightmares.

The worst kind of for me, which involves my cats. Silly, I know. Other people have dreams about their kids. I don't have children. So it's my cats in peril or who are lost and I cannot find them, I cannot save them. Or it's kittens that I have to abandon in some apocalyptic situation to ensure my own survival, their mewling echoing in my ears when I wake up. Or I stumble upon cats that are dying or mutilated and it's up to me to put them out of their misery, sobbing the entire way through the mercy killing.

Those are the dreams that I will wake up crying from. Monster dreams? PTSD dreams? Screaming. Those I will wake up screaming from. In some way, those are easier. I just turn on all of the lights, write out my mindfulness exercises on Livejournal, and lay back down (all lights still on, of course.)

These dreams about animals?

Those shatter my heart.
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I pull the blankets aside, resettle the cats onto the pillows and sheets they've conquered for the evening, and softly press my cheek to the pillow. A deep breath. Today has been a good day. Another deep breath. Jesse and I spent several hours listening to music we both enjoy, conversing, enjoying the company of our relationship. Another deep breath.

I can't sleep. Words are running about in my head. Not words in any coherent order, mind you. Just letters tumbling over each other, filling my closed eyes with images of black and white text, lines and dots tangling in each other. Not words that have a point, not words that have something to say. Just. Words.

I get up and take a Xanax. The rest of my meds will kick in soon. The Xanax will stop the words just short of my plunge into my nightly medicinal coma. I will be able to have the internal silence I need to rest.

The words and I, forever chained to each other at the wrist, yanking one or the other one way or the other. They seem a separate thing at times like these, another being that lives in my head, crowding me out. If I could just hear what they are saying, it would be easier. But no, it's always just letters twisting through neural pathways, shooting across a wide and unfollowable crossword puzzle.

I do not believe in writer's block, only days when the words and the will do not line up. This is an inevitable process of writing. One does not come upon it and burn the pages in frustration. Maybe your sanity, but not the words themselves. I hear others speak of writer's block being what stopped them from penning words onto pages and I do not understand.

But there is much I do not understand. It's okay that this is one of them.

Ah - there we are. The Xanax is doing its job. The words are quieting themselves. The rest will follow shortly. This is what we do when we cannot write. We write about writing. I was able to write long enough about not having enough to write about.

This has satisfied the gods long enough for me to earn my sleep.
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JESSE: *talking about a story idea set in a Lovecraftian like universe* But SHE - the love interest - is a cosmic being in this story.

ME: I hope with fewer tentacles?
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...without the golden blonde hair, or the ability to sing, or an entire kingdom just waiting to be enchanted into a very, very long nap.

I asked what day it was yesterday, as we were running low on smokes. I'd assumed it to be Wednesday or Thursday, as a carton usually lasts us four days. I recalled my last forage for cigarettes to have happened last Sunday, so surely it was mid-week.

Nope. It was Sunday. I had been sleeping SO MUCH that one, ONE single, carton had lasted us over a week. It really goes to show who the heavy smoker in the house is. I'm not sure when I turned into the guy who's a two pack a day smoker, but somewhere along the line, I did.

Also it's a little freaky that I've been sleeping so much that my last clear memory was buying that carton of cigarettes over a week ago. (And then only memorable because I'd gotten to the store hours before they opened and drove away extremely irritated.)

Yesterday, at about 2:30 PM, I crawled out of bed and felt something that I haven't felt in weeks. I felt rested. SO rested, as a matter of fact, that when I saw Jesse had gone to hang with a friend, I almost texted to ask to come along. (Said friend and Jesse came back to our place, though, which was good, as I was in a cheery mood and plenty able to converse.)

The Prednisone step down has plenty do with the extremely heavy sleep schedule, but if five (or six) days of playing Enchanted Sleeping Enchantress is what it takes to get good sleep, then by god, I'm buying a fucking spinning wheel.

Okay, I don't reeallly want to waste away most of my days asleep, even if it means saving major on our cigarette bill. But it helped prove a small point to myself - that I CAN get fully rested, even if it takes days and days of resting to do it. Normally it wouldn't take quite so long, but Prednisone stepdowns are famous for causing hypersomnia.

So I woke up early this morning (4 AM), am going back down here shortly (by 6:30 AM) and will hopefully sleep till about 10 AM, when the cigarette store opens. But if I sleep later, I'm not going to worry about it.

I'm definitely not Sleeping Beauty. I've got more nicotine in my blood than I do any royal lineage. I'm no princess (or if I am, I am in an extremely unknown exile). But maybe she had a few good ideas after all.

Sleep, any long chunk of it, is so, so appreciated these days.
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"I'm really hungry. I wonder what I should do about that."

*Brief pause, as I am genuinely confused on how to solve this problem*.

"Oh! Duh. How about you try eating? Y'know, that thing that humans have been doing since the dawn of time when they're hungry?"

*pours bowl of cereal*

Less than a dumb thought: I am struggling a bit with self harm issues this morning - but in a weird way. I can't decide if I want to cut myself because I actually want to cut myself OR if I want to cut myself just to make a big, messy, dramatic, messy kind of mess.

There are logistics to consider. If I were to take the car to ER, that would leave Jesse stranded. He'd have to beg a ride to pick up the car at the hospital. Summer is coming soon. It won't look quite right if I've got my amazing rack (seriously, some days my tits are the only thing I've got going for me) stuffed into my tank top right on top of a bunch of scars. Jesse and Pat will be exasperated. I won't be able to smoke while in the hospital. They won't let me shower at 3 AM (which is often my favorite time to shower.)

Usually those thoughts are enough to curtail any real damage I want to do myself. And as I've yet to pick up anything sharp and apply it to my skin, it seems to be working now, too.

So obviously (no sarcasm there) the issue is not acute or immediately dangerous. I just wonder why I'm wondering about it at all. I've had another bad night's worth of sleep, which I'm sure contributes. The insomnia is all piling up again, which I'm sure contributes. I'm a firm believer in things adding up.

You don't just experience one thing at a time. It sits there and more and more stuff gets put on it. If you're doing the right thing, you are constantly trying to remove the old stuff before the new stuff gets tossed onto the pile.

But sometimes that pile rises so fast, way faster than anyone could ever work through the bottom layers to keep up.

My lupus may be somewhat under control (as in "It's not going to kill me today.") But my bipolar is sitting at home base, baseball bat cocked and ready to pulverize whatever comes at me.

I'm just a little worried that what's going to come at me is ME.

So yeah, got some self-harm idealization going on today. Heavier thoughts than usual, but with no real energy behind them. So far, at least. That's good. As far as I can tell, that's how unhealthy behaviors change. You feel them - you just don't act on them.

So I guess it doesn't matter if I really want to hurt myself or if I just want to be a bloody attention whore. I'm not going to cut myself either way. At least so far. I HATE having to add that caveat. But I always do, because (1) The crazy (2) life changes fast and (3) I'm not perfect and sometimes I go back on my word.

Wouldn't want people to think I'm completely reliable, since I'm absolutely not.
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A boring argument between Jesse and I )

I've had three days this week where I've done nothing but sleep all day, all night. I've also had four days this week where I've been extremely active, doing all kinds of errands, chores, conversations with Jesse, etc. Jesse asked how it is that I sleep so much.

My reply was that I probably push too hard on the good days and wind up paying for it the next day - and often the day after that as well. Lupus fatigue is not like normal fatigue. One day of rest does not equal one day of burning it hard, as most people would expect it to be.

Sometimes you just wind up paying for those good days in multiple increments - one of those being daily energy. It's erratic, it's unpredictable, and it's extremely frustrating.

It is also something I don't have much control over. Telling someone to just go back to sleep is like telling a night owl to just go to bed earlier. In other words, it's likely to get you an eye-roll at best and a rip-roaring argument at worst.

Still, it's 1:30 AM. I'll try laying back down. Even a couple more hours has to be better than nothing, right?
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Visiting with a friend at their house. Their shotglass accidentally gets knocked onto the floor.

FRIEND: Oh shit! My carpet's going to get drunk!

ME: laughs uproariously

That laugh was enormously appreciated, as the emotional baseline was lower than normal today. No intrusive or disturbed thoughts, though. At least none that weren't manageable. It amazes me how casual thoughts of self-harm (be it physical or something like running away) can be. And I mean casual in the original sense - a feeling that is fleeting, transient, something that just floats across the mind and behind the hills like a cloud across the sky.

It's getting easier to ignore those thoughts. This is good.

I'm forever going to be crazy. There will be days when the intrusive thoughts are easy enough to bat away. There will be days when those thoughts will eclipse every shard of light in my soul. This won't ever be fixed. Maybe the point isn't to be fixed. Maybe the point is to learn how to be okay with the broken parts.

"You wanna fix me? But maybe I like me broken." - Emily Amber

Maybe it's okay to like my broken parts. Like the crazy. Like the lupus. Like accepting that I don't have to be whole to be happy. Like the picture can be incomplete and yet still be beautiful. Maybe I can be beautiful, even through all the self-doubt, the scars, the ridiculously large ego that hides a terribly insecure woman underneath.

Maybe I can still be beautiful.
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Rupert, the little kitten, likes to chase down and eat cockroaches. Since bringing him home, our roach problem is nearly eradicated.

I don't know whether to be grateful or grossed out.
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The Grim Reaper is missing.

Okay, the light cast on the wall off the apartment across the way that LOOKS like The Grim Reaper is missing.The porch light is off, therefore no pareidolia for my mind to design what is simply a wall reflecting a light. It's plenty creepy, though. Hooded, arms outstretched, nearly translucent at the bottom, as if he were rising from the grave.

It makes me a little anxious, even knowing how silly it is to be afraid of what is literally a shadow. He is not there this morning, though, and I am relieved.

Jesse speaks in his sleep, the sound muffled by his CPAP, but definitely there. Tossing and turning as well. He's been having nightmares lately. I wish I could shove my hand into his brain and pull out all the messy parts that plague him, that keep him from sleeping.

But I'm pretty sure that would kill him and murder is pretty illegal. Also messy. And generally immoral. All things that make murder a disastrous plan for getting rid of things.

Still, I wish I could ease his mind. I know what it is to be tortured by your own mind while asleep. I wish I could stop his torture in his sleep.
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When renewing my lease the other day, the front desk clerk noted that I have been living here for 8 years now. Apartments like these are transitional. It's mostly divorcees trying to get on their feet, college kids in their first apartment away from home, etc. Eight years practically qualifies me for seniority. (If such a thing existed with commercial properties, at least.)

He said it was a wonder that they don't see more of me, as this complex is big on community activities such as pool parties, special movie nights, and potlucks. I WANTED to say "That's because I hate people. And these apartments. And people. Did I mention that I hate people?"

What I actually said was that I was just a homebody. The truth is I prefer to draw as little attention to myself as possible. My home is my sanctuary. I will not allow myself to be dragged into drama with my neighbors or landlords. Avoiding drama altogether in one's life is impossible. Avoiding drama that knows where you live? That is of dire necessity.

At least they stopped putting "Happy Birthday!" signs and decorations on people's apartment doors. That was such a breach of privacy. I told them the day I signed my first lease that I DID NOT WANT THAT. I don't want my neighbors to know my first name, let alone a vital piece of information that could be used by creepers, criminals, and otherwise crazy people.

Oi. I woke up too early and while my body is full of the "LET'S GO!", my mental capacities are full of the "Wtf, why did we wake up at 2 in the morning?" This means going back to bed, even though I would much rather stay awake and get some more cleaning done.

So, back to bed as it is. I'll probably only get another couple of hours, but it will be a good couple of hours. That's worth putting off scooping the litterboxes for a bit.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
I am not as ill as I thought I was. I am, in fact, doing "remarkably well", as per my doctor's reflection. I'd gone in and the only thing that needs work on is that I need to control my protein levels a little more carefully. Otherwise?

"You are managing your diet and your activity extremely well.You are recovering faster and more completely than most other patients do." (I wasn't aware that tests could track your activity levels, but apparently they can. Learn something new every day.)

As of today, I am allowed to drop my Prednisone to 10 mgs, with his intention of dropping it another 5 mgs when I see him next month.

This is uplifting and reassuring in the most deeply psychic sorts of ways. I have gotten so tied up in the fact that I got sick at all, that it's taken eight months - which seems like SO FUCKING LONG to get here - and it turns out that I'm doing better than most patients do with my condition and time length.

I'm doing better. I'm doing better than other people. Yes! Give me a bit of brag to add to my ego, which is the size of Texas. (Is there another state bigger than Texas? Cuz if there is, that's now my goal to get my ego to!)

Now I don't have to feel bad about days when I push hard. Now I don't have to feel bad about the days when I can't get out of bed. I'm still doing better. I fucking rule.

Okay, WE rule. Jesse, the other half of my diet and activity, is owed a great deal of credit. YOU GUYS, with your support through even the most outrageous of my tantrums, all of your suggestions, all of your love and cheerleading, are owed a great deal of credit. Patrick, providing me so much of what financial security I have and endless decades of listening to me endlessly ramble, is owed a great deal of credit.

I rule. We rule. LIFE RULES.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
But what I didn't know until last night was that laughter can also be a powerful aphrodisiac.

After a month resisting watching anything creepy, I finally felt comfortable enough to watch a show Jesse had said I would love. "The Santa Clarita Diet", a show about an undead woman and her supportive family. (I'm into funny zombie shows lately.) It's morbid. It's bloody. It's sarcastic and shriek inducing at all levels.

And it was FUCKING HILARIOUS. The humor is all gallows humor, all quick retorts, sarcasm, and the hilarity of normal people getting thrown into very ABnormal situations. I loved it. That's MY kind of humor! I watched 5 episodes in a row, which is damn near unheard of.

And so I laughed. Laughed so hard that I thought I might crack my rib open again. And about halfway through, I realized that I was feeling so good that I wanted to bone Jesse. That I had THE ENERGY to bone Jesse. This is the first time in eight months that the desire to have sex and the ENERGY to have sex have lined up in unison.

So I did. I even initiated! That alone is a sign of wildly good health returning. I am not broken! I DO have a sex drive. I just haven't had the energy to do anything with it.

And then I watched something side-splittingly hilarious (in this case, concerning the broken rib, perhaps literally) and realized that maybe, just maybe, I need to do more things that make me laugh. More things that make me feel delight.

It was such a wonderful return to not only sexual activity, but in finding humor and joy in such a terribly morbid show. That feels like me.

The day had even started in an equally wonderful place, as I had woken up with enough energy to do six loads of laundry, an hour of errand running, and regular cleaning. I even got the KITCHEN, which is usually Jesse's zone to take care of.

(He's been in a lot of pain these days, so when I can, I try to make his day a little easier. Do the dishes. Set up the coffee pot so all he has to do to get fresh coffee is to flip the ON switch. Stuff like that.)

One thing I am learning with the lupus fatigue is that when you have the spoons, you damn well better bust your ass and get as much done as you can possibly get done - because there is no guarantee you will have that kind of energy tomorrow, or the day after, or even for WEEKS after.

It can lead to pushing too hard, which I realize today will be spent "making up" for all that activity with some serious bed rest, but goddamn, it was SO FUCKING WORTH IT.

I'm coming back. It's still a long road ahead, with plenty of bad days and angry entries and assuredly more hospital stays to feed the fire of frustration. But last night proved I am not broken.

I'm sick.

Not irreparable.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
* The geese are returning. I thought to myself "How silly of them. It's only February." And then I thought "That's dumb, Teressa. They don't know it's February. They just know it's warm enough to come home."

* I saw the first squirrel today that I've seen in months. This has to be a good sign.

* Why do squirrels build their nests so high up in trees, where the slightest breeze perilously tips the branches? Wouldn't it make more sense to build the nest somewhere near the base or the middle of the tree, where it'd be more stable?

* Joint pain sucks. I am surprised, however, to note that everybody is right: moving around helps ease the sharpest of the aches. It doesn't make it go away, but it makes it less immediately painful.

* I want to be well enough to get on the treadmill. This is not yet a feasible thing to do, concerning the two sets of stairs I have to get down BEFORE I get to the treadmill.

But they say any activity is good, so I count the forty minutes or so a day tidying up the apartment, moving from room to room, bending, stretching, stooping, etc doing chores as activity.

And at least twice a week, I manage to get out to go to errands, which includes walking. Once a time ago, I would have not counted that as activity. Having been at the point where a 10 minute trip in and out of Walmart left me near crying with exhaustion and pain, I now count walking - even as part of errand running - as activity.

Thankfully, the doctors agree that it all counts as activity and so no one is expecting me to run a marathon yet. But I AM feeling well enough to start trying some of the exercise programs that you guys have sent me.

* Feels good to be able to do something physical most days.

* Rupert HAS NOT stopped sleeping in trash cans. Jesse went to the bathroom and was baffled by a low, rhythmic yet rumbling sound. A few minutes of opening cupboards, pulling back the shower curtain, etc, it turns out the sound was coming from Rupert, fast asleep, warm and safe, in our bathroom trash can.

* His roots as a stray cat, having to forage for every bit of food and safety that he could, show very strongly. It makes him rambunctious, but I hope soon he settles down and realizes that he is always safe here.

* When I don't have anything else to talk about, I talk about animals. I guess there are far worse things to talk about.

* Like being halfway through six loads of laundry. It's an endevour, but one well worth it. Clean underwear is a pretty awesome thing to have.


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