Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Recovery starts somewhere

The last few days have been an uphill/downhill roller coaster battle with myself. I know that it has something to do with my medications - Doc bumped one of my anti-depressants up and it made me angry and violent again, so I dropped back down. Now that I ran out of the lower dosage, I have to call doc and get him to adjust the Rx so I can get more. It's been really frustrating to realize medications are not going to completely fix my problems. As long as I continue to depress myself about our current childless situation, my meds will not fix me. I have to learn to fix myself. I have to learn that I am awesome without being a mom. I need to learn that I don't know what the future will hold, and things could change a million times between now and then. I need to learn the concept of 'happy' again.

Someone in my support group said "You don't need children to be happy, that is just an illusion caused by society". I know that she was just trying to help me feel better, but it doesn't feel that way - mainly because I'm tired of people telling me that I don't have to be a mom to be happy. I know that. I understand it's becoming a more popular choice to live childless, but it's not my choice. But for the last 20 years, I've wanted to be a mom. I'm not feeling pressure by the outside world. I'm feeling pressure from my heart. Submitting to the idea that we may not have kids is breaking my heart.

The first few years with hubs was fabulous. We were having fun, going out to concerts, comedy clubs, dinner at fancy restaurants, seeing movies, even playing computer games together. (Yes, I'll admit it. I really enjoyed playing a Level 70 gnome warlock on WoW.) But for the last few years, I've been stuck. The depression about children has drained more life out of me than I had ever imagined it could. I hate that I've dragged hubs down with me. I wish that my family could understand it, but they don't. So it's up to us to change things.

Last weekend hubs and I watched all 3 Transformer movies. And played hidden object games together on the computer. And it was fun. I miss that. So hubs told me last night that we needed a date night. One night a week where we could do whatever we wanted. We could play games or watch movies, have a picnic at the dog park, etc. But we wouldn't watch regular tv because we do that every night. I picked Saturday night, so work wouldn't get in the way. I haven't yet decided what we are going to do, but I plan on having fun.

I've been having a lot of realizations lately. I like to call them epiphanies lol. While I was cooking last night, I came up with a label for my cooking style - Cook It 'Til It Tastes Good (and eat with your mouth, not with your eyes... - because sometimes it doesn't look good, but tastes awesome. Like last night's black bean and sweet potato chili.) I don't write recipes. I start throwing spices in, tasting as I go along, until I'm happy with it. And I love that about cooking. That's also part of the reason why I have so much difficulty posting recipes on the blog. Since we don't have any grocery money for the month (spent it on unexpected trip), I'm going to have to get creative with food. I have a lot of dry ingredients, like black beans, lentils, rice, quinoa, etc. With most dry foods, like beans, you have to start prepping them the night before, so I'll have to think about what I'm going to eat ahead of time. I hope that it'll get me back into cooking more - because I really love to cook. In another life, if I didn't have all the pain issues, I'd probably be a chef. It's just felt daunting for a while, and it shouldn't. I want to love food again, instead of hating how much I can't have.

It's a long road to recovery, but I have to start somewhere. And I have to learn to overcome the problems and frustrations. But I'll do it. I have to. I might even look into how recovery from drug addiction works, to see if I can apply any techniques to my situation.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Expressing frustration, yet again.

(Disclaimer - I realize that most of my posts lately have been rants about my life. I would love to have more positive stuff for others on here, but right now I'm trying to focus on getting my head on straight)

I've always thought I understood how my mom feels when she just wants to stay in bed. There's been many occasions when I don't want to get out of bed and face the world. But until yesterday, I don't think I truly understood that overwhelming desire for my bed.

I knew that as I got older, I would encounter stressful situations I hadn't dealt with before. Like owing the IRS, dealing with sick/ill family members out of state, rent increases, student loan payments due, etc. I just didn't think they would all hit at once. And I didn't know how I would react. Of course, I had hoped that mentally I'd be more normal. But I was wrong. As usual.

Over the weekend, hub's father had a stroke. We heard about it Sun morning. At 4:30 we decided a trip to Oklahoma City was in order. But taking a trip like that meant extra gas money, hotel rooms, and a dogsitter for Spike. We also needed an oil change. We do the oil change, prep and pack until 7:30. We get on the road and go an hour out of our way to take Spike to my sister's. Then we head for OKC. We arrive at the hotel between 12 and 1 am. At 3 am, we switched to a different hotel room because the TV didn't work and the neighbors were way too noisy. 4am rolls around and the hotel fire alarm goes off because some other person left a curling iron on while they got in the shower. The alarm was set to go off at 8am so we could take advantage of the free breakfast. At 10:30, we finally get up, pack our bags, and head to the hospital. Now I don't regret making the trip. If he had died, hubs would always regret not going, and I couldn't let that happen. I felt that way when my great-grandmother died, so I knew how bad it would feel. And he's still trying to get over the death of his grandfather last October. He didn't need any added regret. But when we got there, and Fred was arleady walking , talking and feeding himself, we knew it wasn't nearly as bad as his ex-wife made it sound. We honestly thought he was dying, and that couldn't have been further from the truth. So after coming back, hubs was ticked that we spent all of our monthly grocery allowance to go. I was too. With our luck, if we hadn't gone, Fred would be dead. Now we know he's alive, but we won't be able to eat for a month.

When we got back home, there's a note on our door explaining that renewing a lease would involve an increase in rent, from $45 to $325 more, depending on the length of the lease. Now we have to decide if we are going to move. I would have to increase (almost double) my hours at work so I can afford a new security deposit, moving van, packing supplies, etc. I promised myself that the next time we moved, it would be a home, not an apartment. A place where Spike had a yard and Squeaks could have a friend, a big kitchen where I could cook, and maybe even a cuddly kitten. But I hadn't planned that for another year or two. Maybe staying where we are for one more year is ok. Maybe it isn't. But now I have to decide.
Last year's tax bill ended up being larger than the year before, when I only made half as much money. To add insult to injury, the self-employment tax rate has gone up this year, so I'll have to pay even more. I've got a monthly payment plan to take care of last year, and instead of the balance going down, it'll just go up. I had to apply for forbearances on my student loans, which means they won't nag me about paying for a year, but I will still be accruing interest.

I wish this was the end of my rant, but it's not. Not in the least bit. My grandparents came into town a few months ago, and we mad at me because I had shown no appreciation for them paying off one of my student loans (about $6700). I didn't even know that they had done it, so how was I supposed to be appreciative? Then they said 'we expect you to pay us back.' I agree that I should pay them back, but they are mad that I can't pay them immediately. 'Well even if it's $10 a month, just to show you are trying.' They are on a long list of people I owe, and unfortunately, if I have to choose between the IRS and them, I have to pay the IRS. They also told me that I need to focus on taking care of myself and ignore everyone else - specifically my mom. The believe I should totally ignore her. She's 'bringing me down, not letting me focus on myself.' But I'm not supposed to ignore them. I should call or email more often... But to me, communication is a two way street - and their fingers aren't broken. When I do email them, I'm told the same usual crap - 'All you talk about is how you don't have any money. Everytime you email, you want money from us.' And that's total bullshit. I don't ask them for money. They want to know how my life is going? I tell them. How's life? I'm $100K in the hole, and I'm not supposed to let it control my life. I would love to hear suggestions from others as to how I can keep my debt from controlling my life.

My other grandfather told me last week that I needed to cut down on my unnecessary expenses.
* 'You live in a two bedroom apartment.' Yeah, but I can't afford to pay the security deposit or moving fees to move into a smaller one. And I was working full-time when we moved in.
* 'You have pets.' Seriously? You're such an asshole that you want me to get rid of my pets because I can't afford them? That's like giving your child away when things get rough. I didn't get my pets when I had no money. I got them when I could afford to take care of them. Even my grandmother defended me, saying 'They make her happy. She needs them.'
* 'You should put 20% of your paycheck in savings every month.' I can barely pay all my bills right now, let alone put 20% back. I've had to ask for gas money so I could get to work. I'd love to do that - it's just not possible at the moment. My grandmother is paying for my prescriptions and doctor's visits because I can't afford them or the insurance. If I stop my meds, my fingers become useless, and mental stability disappears.

Now that this post has deviated (only slightly lol) from my original thought, I go back to my point. Yesterday I was working to find a bug in our code that was difficult to reproduce. I ended up being so frustrated that I couldn't find the problem, on top of all the other problems eating away at me, I just wanted to shut down. I wanted to be at home, hidden under the blankets. It was such a strong feeling that I told Hubs I wanted to go home. I've had moments in the past where I was afraid of a mental breakdown. This was much worse. I truly felt I was on the edge of the cliff, peering into the darkness below. I don't know how much more crap can be thrown at me before I jump over the edge.

So now that I've gotten all that off my chest, it's time to go hug my husband - the one person in my life that never tells me I'm doing something wrong, or says I'm useless, blames me for everything that has gone wrong, or treats me like crap because I'm not perfect.