Very vivid dreams + regular anxiety + oddly specific situational anxiety = no good sleep for Sarah.
I have phone issues – I don’t like talking on the phone and I try my damnedest to avoid ever actually calling anyone (I love the internet so so much!). I had what must have been a dream last night though it took me hours to convince myself that it really was a dream.
In the dream, I woke up and looked at my phone and there was an email from a name I didn’t know, replying to me, something along the lines of “It will be fine” with no other information, not the original email, no hint who the lady was (and I remember it being a lady’s name but I don’t remember and didn’t recognize it). I woke up convinced it was a real thing, convinced I’d somehow sleep-emailed some poor lady. I went through my phone, the sent folder, the trash, no sign of anything.
I had a horrible time getting back to sleep. I should have given up the ghost and turned on the murder channel (Discovery ID) because I can almost always fall asleep to that. I managed a bit off an on until I was woken up at 5ish to wet dog feet in my neck – thanks Hubster! (He lets them out before he heads for the gym before work and apparently, the ground was wet today).
I still haven’t been able to shake this dream but it wasn’t a bad dream really, just a weird one that caused me to go a tiny bit bats trying to prove it was actually a dream and I did not, in fact, sleep-email some stranger. This is not the post I planned to write today but I guess you’ll get the one I was going to write tomorrow or over the weekend – my latest project turned out pretty cute!
This isn’t the craziest dream I’ve ever had but it was the most real-feeling. I’m still having trouble acknowledging that I did not email nor receive a reply from this imaginary lady. Even if the message itself is probably a good one. It’s always nice to be told that everything will be fine. Next time though, maybe the universe can convey that via rainbow unicorn or dancing flowers.
Playing with makeup again after all these years is making me feel a little like one of the lost boys in Hook when they’re finding Peter’s face. After all these years, it’s still me under the weight, under the effects of time. Maybe a little more Morticia than Lily now – no more too pale powder for me – but that’s a good thing as it was always Morticia I wanted to be. Well, with slightly purple hair, in the right light.
I am completely capable of appearing normalish. For the sake of my kids anyway. I’d really rather not. I’m so much more comfortable with the darker, wilder, sparklier stuff. And really, I don’t actually go out much so what’s it matter if I look like I’m headed to see Peter Murphy or Lisa Gerrard play every day?
In any case, maybe the rest of me is still in here too – that fearless one who didn’t overthink every single word she said or every single step she took. The one with too much confidence and too loud a mouth. I kind of miss her sometimes.
I learned a thing today. There’s a thing called the Hedgehog’s Dilemma which uses the hedgehog’s gathering together with other hedgehogs to share heat but having to stay their distance so they don’t hurt each other with all the sharp pokey ends to illustrate the introvert’s biggest problem. I am a Hedgehog – there’s nothing more in the world that I want those close relationships and camaraderie and shared experience, I just want all that from over here where no one is touching me. Or looking at me. Or expecting me to be able to use real words that make sense in a vocal fashion.
We’re a few days into January and I’ve had the kids home extra days for the cold so I haven’t had but 5 hours to myself since the first day of Winter. I am not getting words outside of my personal journal where apparently I have a lot to unpack. I’m still working to get back to normal from the injury I sustained in mid-December! It should have been a minor thing, a bruise at most but my immune system just gets so excited at having something to do that it treats it like a mortal wound instead. I’m so close to being back to normal but it’s still stiff and sore and I’m still moving like it is both of those things. I enjoyed the kid part of Christmas but I struggled a lot with the rest of it. I’m missing my dad a lot and thinking about my mom a lot. I’m weaning off the prednisone but my family says it’s still mucking with me.
I know my methotrexate is doing its job, with every dose, the inflammation in my joints really does go down but with every upping of the dose, my icky, sick, tired time the next day increases by about an hour. Really though, five hours of ick is worth it for being able to do stuff the rest of the time. I’m even adjusting so I’m not terribly tired after taking it. I think it’s likely to adjust up at least once more before we settle out but I do hope it’s not much more than that.
I do need to get back to writing. I need to get the last threads down and finish Hunter’s Hell. I know how it ends, I just have to fill in the odds and ends and get it done then set it aside for a short time and come back to it when I’m not a weepy, emotional mess because it’s absolutely creeping into the words a bit. It’s not like I don’t have projects to work on – Hunter’s Hell, Eldercynne War*, Gods of the Fallen, Long Is The Way, and Soul Eater are just the main titles I have in various stages of progress (though I have two more I ought to be submitting to places). I’m struggling to even read books right now, let alone write them. I’m far too emotionally involved with fictional characters, my own and other writers’.
This year hasn’t started that great. I think I was hoping for some kind of switch from awful to awesome but I think it’s going to take more than a switch. I think it’s going to be a slow transition but I’m pretty sure it’s going to transition. I can’t take another year like last year so it’s just going to be better when all is said and done. Period.
*working title only, likely to change.
medication (or the lack of it) can make! We’ve started tapering my already low dose prednisone and I’m feeling a lot less … boom. I’m not exactly sure how to explain it. It’s like I was feeling things too big if that makes sense. It couldn’t come at a better time as I always get weepy in December and this year, Thanksgiving is already going to be difficult. I’m a little more sore and achy than I was before but I’m definitely willing to push through that in exchange for not flipping out over everything or feeling like I want to cry all the time.
I’m definitely not going to win NaNoWriMo this year but I will have a draft for Leilani and Blake’s second book before the end of the year and I’m really happy with that. I have a lot of projects in my head, it’s just a matter of putting them on paper. It used to be I could work five projects at once but my brain is not working with that right now so, I’m going to have to focus on just one. If I can write a minimum of 500 words every day – which isn’t really that much when you break it down – I can get all of my projects finished. I’m really excited for some of them to get out of my head and into the hands of readers. I expect to have Hunter’s Hell finished by the end of the year and Eldercynne Knight by Valentine’s Day and Gods of the Fallen by my birthday. In that order. If I keep it in that order, maybe I’ll get done a little faster because I am super excited by Gods of the Fallen – some of the ideas are just so neat to me. I’d also like to get back to my poetry a little more but I have to figure out how that will fit into my writing schedule.
I think there’s more of my anxiety and depression rearing up than I usually like to admit to. I don’t think all of my sleepiness is just RA related and I know my inner critical voice is just going bananas over every misstep I’ve ever made in my life. It’s not like this part of things is new, I should be old hat at this by now and have it under control already. Except we all know that’s not how these things work in the real world.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I’ve got plenty to be thankful for, even if this year has been just a gaping hole of I’d really rather not. The kids are awesome, the husband is awesome, they’re all healthy and that’s enough for me right now. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and get to spend some time with family and eat some yummy stuff. Tomorrow, I make pumpkin pie and a veg and that’s all anyone is expecting of me and that is glorious.
The fair is done and my whole body is feeling it today! I met some interesting people and made some good connections and even sold a few books. I have some new stuff to get up on Etsy this week but not today – my fingers and knees are hurting. I’m falling behind on the book but I’ll catch up during the week when I’m not trying to make stuff too.
I’ve got bloodwork and a doctor’s appointment this week and I’m really hoping I can get off the prednisone ASAP. I do not like it at all. I had been doing so great with my panic attacks – I haven’t had many to speak of in a long time and now they’re getting to be a little bit regular and I don’t like that at all – I’ve been there, done that, wouldn’t like to go back there. I also blame my newfound weepiness on it too – I’m crying at the dumbest stuff. I burst into tears in Krogers because they didn’t have the breakfast my youngest son requested. I cried at the end of The Dark Knight Rises, not for that movie but because I was so upset that the role of Batman did not go to Joseph Gordan-Levitt who deserved it (and the story was perfect for it!) but to the guy I don’t see as anything like Batman (so much so that I haven’t even watched it). Both of those things are upsetting but neither is really honestly cry-worthy. I’m a lot quicker to get mad too and I really don’t like it. The other meds, it is what it is. My nails are terrible, my skin is terrible, but my hair isn’t falling out and I’m not hurting anywhere near as bad as I was. I’ll do as I’m told because, as much as I don’t like one of the ladies in the office so much, the doctor himself seems to know what he’s doing and for sure he knows more than I do.
I’m going to get some words today but I am not going to push too much with my fingers today – they need some recovery time right now. I’m in an interesting place in the book though, some ramifications from the events of book one are coming to light and no one knows what it means longterm just yet (not even me!), and the new plot is getting a little convoluted and the connections are starting to come to light and it’s just beginning to get exciting. This is my favorite part of the process but I’m a little worried that I’m coming to this point too early so I might have to toss in a small distraction or two as they figure stuff out. This is the sort of stuff that makes me remember why writing is my all time favorite thing to do.
So, I’m home and (mostly) unloaded with an ouchie knee and tired feet but I’m very happy with the overall results of the day. I cannot begin to tell you all how relieved I am to have this first event out of the way! I was far more nervous than I probably needed to be but I didn’t have any panic attacks and I peopled pretty well and I didn’t even get sarcastic once! You could say that today was a pretty big deal.
It probably helps that my friend was at the table next to me.
I went in with absolutely no expectations, which I think was very helpful. I talked to a bunch of people, I sold a few books, a few boxes, a few bookmarks, an Alice in Wonderland inspired miniature topiary, and a few magnets and I bought myself a pretty octopus bracelet. I came out way ahead on the day and I’m actually even looking forward to doing it again. I’m calling today a win all over – not just for my goals but for me in general. I really did expect to have trouble with the people part of it.
For those of you playing along at home, you’ve still got a short bit of time to enter the contest to win one of my books!
I’m finding it a little more difficult than I expected to stop being invisible. Almost my entire life I’ve been striving for functional invisibility. It’s very hard to give that up and try and get people’s attention now but, for my stories, I do try. Marketing is not my strong suit – I find the whole thing overwhelming and scary to be honest. It is really hard to suddenly have to wave around saying look at me when all I want to do is hide away.
I wasn’t always comfortable talking about my anxiety and not just because of said anxiety but because most people treat anxiety like it’s something akin to stubbing my toe. In some ways, I’m glad they do think that as it means they’ve never ever had an actual panic attack. You don’t just get up and walk it off. I talk about it more now not to garner any sympathy – I don’t want that – but because I spent so many years thinking I had these attacks because I was broken and maybe, some other girl will see this and know that she isn’t broken or any of those other negative things she thinks of herself because I wish there’d been that when I was younger and this first really came to a head. Which is a really icky idiom by the way – pretty sure I sat here for five minutes while I’m making a hat ornament thinking about it while I was going over the words I should type. And now that image is going to be in your head too. You’re welcome!
Panic and depression have been arguing over who gets to control me for a whole lot longer than I like to admit. Mostly I win but sometimes it takes me a while. The internet has helped. I’m fairly certain that, with the exception of my monthly support group for families dealing with autism, 99% of my non-family human interaction is online. I do go to the grocery and pet store so that’s the other 1%. Most of my close friends, I have never met offline. I don’t want to think what I would do without the internet!
I’m trying to do better. I’ve even signed on for a slot during one of my publisher’s marketing parties (March 9 at 4:30 please come!). Sometimes it doesn’t feel like I’m doing enough but other times, it feels like much too much.
I love Dune, no question. It was one of those books that actually changed me. The Litany is something I say more often than I’d like but probably not as often as I need to. Fear can be huge and paralyzing. Fear can be small and insidious, sneaking up on you like smoke that’s been hiding in your shadow. Fear can be loud, quiet, boisterous, secretive. For me, fear is the Eater of Worlds, the monster under the bed, the Jabberwocky and the Nothing all at once. It is the mind killer and it takes everything and twists it – everything in my mind is suddenly connected with that fear, that what if, and it won’t let anything else in. Even when logic and intellect tell that fear that it is stupid and unfounded. There’s a difference between understanding and Knowing.
A while ago, I found a tiny little bump. At first I thought maybe it was an ingrown hair or a bug bite. But it didn’t go away, didn’t change, did nothing but sit there and be a tiny little bump. Given my family history, I scheduled an appointment with a dermatologist who couldn’t see me for forever (ok 2 months but also forever). It has been driving me bonkers. And for no good reason as dermatologist confirmed my own opinion on the bump this morning – a clogged pore, a cyst, maybe but nothing to be concerned about.
The bump itself was not the problem. My problem is that fear is also the instigator of my tendency to look at all things through the lens of Worst Case Scenario. I knew the bump was nothing. I knew it but I could not get my fear to understand that. When my mother was diagnosed with melanoma the first time, it wasn’t a mole, a spot, a lesion or the usual, it came in the form of two marble sized lumps on her back. I am older than she was the first time she had cancer. I am not my mother but I can’t help but think in those terms when I find something strange. What would I do if? What would my husband do if? What would my kids do if? I know I’d jump into whatever treatment would be the most effective without care of hair. I know I’d do whatever it took. That’s good to know I suppose.
I haven’t been very productive in the last few weeks because my brain wouldn’t cooperate with me – it wanted to obsess and I didn’t want to so the kids and I had netflix marathons and played games and were bumps ourselves. Hopefully now I can get back to my regularly scheduled weird. I don’t talk about this stuff until after all is said and done because I don’t like to worry people unnecessarily and most everyone I know is dealing with far worse than a tiny little nothing of a bump.
Filed under Anxiety, Life