Dreaming my life away…

My bed is comfortable and safe. I slip inside it and minutes later I’m ensconced in dreams. They’re vivid, more exciting than my real life, and disappear moments after I wake.

Thanks to depression, I sleep 12 to 15 hours a night, the twelve is if I set an alarm. Thanks to anxiety, I end up curled up on my bed… and the cycle continues. I slept 12 hours last night then, after breakfast, I took a two hour nap. I could easily go back to sleep right now.

What worries me is I’m dreaming my life away and shortening it at the same time. My life might not be exciting but it’s mine and it’s the only one I have. And, to be fair, most people’s lives aren’t excited. We all have dishes and laundry and floors to mop. There is no glamour there.

With that being said, I’m putting on YouTube and going to wash the dishes. I could go back to sleep until Emma gets home from school but I’ve got my life to live.

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Anxiety…

It’s late and you’re alone watching a horror movie. The music starts. Something is going to happen. The protagonist bravely sets forward. Your heart starts pounding, you feel weak and trembling, your stomach churns.

Except there’s no horror movie, no late night, and you’re probably not even alone. Yet the racing heart, weakness, and stomach churning continues.

That’s what anxiety is like for me. It’s hard to breathe, hard to think, and the anxiety sits there like an unwelcome guest. The most minor chore makes me want to curl up like a pill bug and hide. The major chores are beyond me.

Counting breaths doesn’t help. I end up worrying I’m counting too fast or too slow and end up hyperventilating, which is so not the goal. Reassuring myself helps a bit. Sleeping helps a lot but is a huge inconvenience. And Ativan helps, but brings along a worry of addiction.

I wish I had some amazing ending to this, some great way of alleviating anxiety, but I don’t. In fact, I’m rocking while I write this and thinking about curling up for a nap. What triggered this bout of anxiety? I don’t know. Maybe the fact there’s dishes to wash? But probably not. It just seems to show up like an unwelcome house guest and never knows when to leave.

If you’ve got a great way to decrease anxiety, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Depression…

It clings like tar, oozing over my toes, coating my feet. Each step is ponderous… laborious. My legs burn with exhaustion… my lungs strain. And the tar climbs. Trapping my shins, encasing my fingers. It weighs down my mind.

Panic revs but it’s a futile fear, akin to a hamster running frantically in a wheel. My thoughts might be going as fast as they can but they’re not getting anywhere. My heart trembles… and it hurts.

What did I do today?

I made my bed and brushed my teeth. I nearly cried but I got my clothes on. I toasted an english muffin for breakfast and had a vegan “cheese” sandwich for lunch. I took one of our cats to the vet two blocks away. I almost, but didn’t, cry again over the thought of making dinner. A seven hour long power failure solved that one. I made another “cheese” sandwich. Then I sat. I didn’t have the energy for anything else.

Lazy, my mind tells me. Lazy, my body agrees.

I curl up into a ball with BunBun and agree with them both.

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My life as it is…

I woke up this morning to discover Jeremy had made me breakfast to eat in my room which is so not typical for them. And, even more surprising, they weren’t dropping hints for anything. Breakfast was edible too. Mega bonus!

I was going to head out to a group called “Bucket Lists and Life’s Adventures” but finished breakfast a bit too late and went for a bike ride with Jeremy instead. It was a beautiful day here in Ontario and absolutely incredible, colour wise…

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So pretty!

“Can you hold my bike?” Jeremy asked when we got back to the front of the building. I nodded and held it steady while they ran inside.

“Only some jerk got mail,” Jeremy said with a laugh as they threw a letter into my bike basket. It was from the Ministry of Community and Social Services. Not to be confused with the Ministry of Magic.

I opened it as soon as we got inside our apartment and the words jumped out at me.

The Disability Adjudication Unit has reviewed your disability and found that you meet the program’s definition of disability.

In most ways this is good. I’ll have money to live off of, a drug card for my bucket of meds, and an discounted bus pass which will give me transportation through the region. But I have to admit that seeing the letter proclaiming I’m disabled was a shock. The word comes with a fair bit of baggage. I’m not sure my stuffed dragon and I can hold it all (it’s a very small dragon).

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Jeremy and I took a break after we got home then my Mom and I took a whole big load of stuff to our local Value Village (pronounced Value Vill-aghe with a slight nose tilt and a bad accent). I had five ficus trees on my balcony but the kittens kept climbing them so I now have two. Plus we got rid of my wicker rocking chair (I can rock well enough without it) and Jeremy’s too small elliptical. We suddenly have living room space!

Today was supposed to be my trip to downtown London, England to ride the London Eye and see Wicked with my ex boyfriend. I’d like to lie and say that the stuff I did today more than made up for the missed trip, but seriously? Today was supposed to be the highlight of what I thought would be an amazing trip and a ride through woods I’ve seen a hundred times and a run to a second hand store doesn’t compare. But, sigh, that was then… another lifetime ago… and this is now. And today was pretty damn good (and came with a delivery of breakfast).

Shadowlands

I can almost see the colours in the shadows
Nearly feel the sun through the grey
Where’s the light at the end of my tunnel
The rainbow to brighten my day?

Cast a light for me in the darkness
Give a hand to hold until dawn
A beacon of hope through the shadows
A star to fill me with song.

I have a long distance to travel
A faint, jagged trail to climb
Please walk with me for a while
And help me to mend up my mind.

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How do you let go?

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I settled down for bed tonight with an Ativan, dim lights, and some quiet surfing on Facebook until I was drowsy. Then I snuggled into bed with BunBun, one of the kittens, and some quiet music; hoping this time I’d drift off peacefully. It’s been a busy day filled with grocery shopping, swimming, taking the kittens for a walk, writing, and phone calls… by all rights I should be tired. My eyes fluttered shut and I thought, “L never found out about the kittens and now he’ll never know. I won’t ever be able to tell him how sweet Jeremy is with Lara… how Smudge tries to nurse off my stuffed animals as she goes to sleep.”

No one ever taught me how to go on living around the empty space in my heart. No one ever explained how to encourage it to close. There’s surgery for physical holes, what do you do for the emotional ones?

L and I talked every day… all day… for years. Every time messenger chimes, I think it’s him. We talked about everything from meals to philosophy to his hopes and fears about transitioning to my hopes and fears about writing. And we weren’t scared to get downright weird with each other. We were each other’s soul dragons… and then we weren’t. And it hurts so much.

Dear L,

It’s been almost two months since we talked. It seems like almost a lifetime. I’ve bought new (to us) living room furniture and two adorable kittens. You’d love the kittens. Not so much the furniture but, then again, they aren’t really my style either. They are comfy though.

I’ve worked on my novel, scrapbooked, camped, and organized a trip to Niagara Falls for Jeremy and myself. Just 18 more days until we leave. It’s a trip you would love, complete with a tour behind the falls and a trip to a butterfly conservatory. I remember how you talked about your trip to Ontario. If we were still talking, I’d buy you a surprise from the Hershey’s chocolate store. I still have stamps left over for all the cards I knew I’d write to you.

Jeremy’s furious with you but they’re the one who got to see the aftermath of us breaking up and me being blocked. I don’t know what they did with the stuffed cat you gave me. I’m pretty sure they simply hid it but I haven’t asked. They’ve changed pronouns too, which makes a kind of sense since they were your pronouns first. You were the first man they’d trusted in a long time so I guess their anger is understandable. I know you were happy when they put you down as stepfather on Facebook. It was a huge step for them. You were mad at me in June. Did you think of them? I guess they were probably just collateral damage in a war none of us wanted.

It’s so hot these days here. You’d hate it. Forty degrees with the humidex and 30 degrees before that. It’s humid enough that I was carrying cold drinks home in a plastic bag and condensation was forming on the outside of the bag to drip on the ground. Kind of like my own personal rain cloud but smaller and less pretty. Everything feels sticky and uncomfortable. I have to peel myself off chairs and I’m pretty sure falling outside on the pavement would result in 3rd degree burns.

Jeremy’s been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which explains their rages and depressions. Their medication is helping so much. Jeremy bought me the laptop I’m typing on and we’ve both applied for subsidized one bedroom apartments. It will take a few years before we each move and they’re hoping we move into the same building so we can hang out regularly. They talk about it every day.

I don’t know how you could promise to love me forever and change your mind. I don’t know how you could promise to be my friend then block me for asking for the friendship back. I guess I’ll never know and that’s one of the hard things. There’s no closure, no way to say goodbye.

I wish our friendship could have gone on forever. That I could be there to listen to your voice deepen and watch as you grow your first beard. That we could joke about trash pandas and dream about a trip under the northern lights. That we were still swapping good night pictures and counting down for a visit this October. I found the perfect birthday card for you too. The reminder’s off my phone to get you a double chocolate doughnut before I leave.

I hope you’re doing well and have finally gotten reimbursed for your travel expenses. I hope your kitties are treating you kindly and your back is doing better. I hope you’re happy.

Love always, me

p.s. How do I learn how to let go, especially since you’ve already walked away