And our lives continue…

Good morning Dear Readers!  It’s a rainy cold Sunday morning, and it’s exactly my favorite kind!!  I was terrified of storms and rain as a child, but as an adult, nothing makes me happier than waking to hear the rain, seeing it fall outside my window, or listening to Mother Nature’s call when the thunder booms across the world… That thunder is amazing, truly… It rumbles, it rolls, it almost demands your attention, and then just as quickly it continues it’s journey into the distance… Nothing stops it… It’s going to do and go where it wants… It’s YOUR job to acknowledge it, feel it, and allow it to roll through you… I love thunder storms because it reminds me how much power Mother Nature has, and truly how little WE have as humans…

Many things have power over us… We may think we’re the biggest and baddest things on earth, but in truth we’re but a small part of this wonderful blue marble we live on… Oh we can do some damage to her… We can kill, maim, torture, stem the tide of natural processes and selection… At least for a little while… However, we are nothing but an hour to the timeline of this Earth… She can shrug her shoulders at any time, and we’ll become nothing but a memory for her… I often wonder why she doesn’t do that… Why does she not just get tired of these annoying fleas that exist on her surface, shrug her shoulders and let her surface become peaceful once more… The same answer comes back to me every time…

She is a mother… She is OUR mother… She nurtures us, nourishes us, protects us, calms us and teaches us what we need to know… Just as most Mothers will love their children no matter how badly they act, no matter how they try to ignore their mothers, or even pretend they’re dead, Mothers will continue to love their children…  I know I do mine… They try to pretend I don’t exist, tell others that I don’t support them (when often times I’ve been the only one that did), and even tell people that I’ve died… That’s their choice.. They are free to say or do whatever they want…  It doesn’t stop my love for them, it doesn’t stop my joy at seeing them happy, my sadness when the world is cruel to them, or my desire to see or hear from them at least once a decade…  As most children have done at one time or another, my kids think that their Mother was mean to them, or didn’t give them what they wanted… But just like our Earth, I look at them and think “They’re on their own, they have jobs and food, they’re living their own lives, they both have graduated from schools, they’ve not produced any unwanted children, and they’re not in jail… If that is ‘being mean’, then I’ll take the blame for it…”

I’m sure our Mother Earth looks at us the same way… We think that the “Powers that Be” have been neglectful, or mean to us… Yet we live… We eat… We smile at something during the day… We have everything we need at our feet… She has provided all of that for us, and more… And we need to respect that just a little more…

This wasn’t where I wanted today’s blog to go, but like so many things in our lives, I let the water of thought travel where it may, so it’s not my job to deter it… So on this rainy and cold Sunday, I offer you a hearty Hello, and hope that you’ll take the time to enjoy the peace that our Earth has provided us today… And if it’s sunny where you are right now, then enjoy the warmth that she’s given you, and share it with someone else… Enjoy your Earth folks, because just Mothers, she’s the only one we have…

2013 and this time of year

Writer’s note: I’m a little depressed, hence the mood at the beginning here… But please read all the way through, as the mood will change…  🙂

Happy Christmas Eve dear readers… Well, maybe not…   I’ve grown to dislike this time of year… Combine that with the year I’ve had, and it’s hard to keep the depression at bay… I’ll be so glad when the holidays are over, to be honest… Being single during the holidays sucks… Everyone talks about being with friends and family, feeling loved, and everyone being so much nicer than other times of the year… I fail to see it… And it’s not that I don’t try to see it: I do try… But I’ve not been invited to a holiday party since I was still married, ironically enough… (That’s 9 years ago, folks)  I’ve not been invited to share the holiday with anyone, in at least 3 years… And being the only single person in my circle of friends, it drives the point home even more at this time of year…

I try to avoid the usual holiday claptraps, but no matter where you go, it’s there… Just yesterday I had to run some errands in town… One of them was to run to Walgreens for a prescription… (An errand that seems never-ending these days…)  I love Walgreens because it’s like a toy store for adults!  There’s always something in there that I’ve never seen before!  As I drove there, I thought to myself “You know, you have an extra $10 in your account, let’s look for something new and special to buy to cheer us up…”  Excited by that thought, I sat a little taller in the driver’s seat… But as  I got closer to the store, my brain started processing what all I needed to purchase to make it to the next paycheck… As I went through my bank account in my head, I realized that every dollar I had needed to go to either prescriptions, probiotics, utility bills, or food to last through to the next paycheck….  Hear that whooshing sound?  That was the sound of good cheer flying right out the driver’s side window…  And again, the depression threatened to take over… I did allow myself to walk through the store and browse, looking for interesting items, but the thought never left me that I needed to do what I came there for, and then leave…

OH and let’s not even TALK about the guy in the red Mustang that came within INCHES of hitting me!!!  He/She pulled out to turn right on red without stopping OR looking, I clearly had a green light and if there’d been anyone in the lane to my left, we all would have found ourselves meeting a cop and a claims adjuster…. Whew!!  But I’m betting he/she did some damage to their tires or alignment as they drove up and over a curb to avoid hitting me once they heard my horn and saw my big black grill coming at them!!  Talk about jump starting your heart!  But I digress…

As I think back over the last 12 months, I think about what has gone on, the amount of money spent on my medical items, and the difference between where I was a year ago and where I am now…  Financially, I’m lost… My health insurance premiums will be going up $103 a month, starting in a week… Because of this, I’ve had to shut down all of my “fun” services like Netflix, Audible.com, etc… I also had to shut down my “I’ve fallen and can’t get up” 911 service… I’m also selling my motorcycle, but having a hard time with that one… (Wrong time of the year for it, to be honest…)  And if I total up all of the money I’ve spent this year for prescriptions, it breaks my heart…  I’ll be totaling it all up as I prepare to do my taxes in a few weeks… And to that end, I started putting all of my receipts together, writing down all of the appointments I had so I can figure out the mileage to each, and getting my payments together so I can hopefully use the medical tax break this year… Doing those simple deeds, however, brings home how much money and time was spent being ill this year… I’m hoping that now that trend will be finally on the positive side for the new year, but my hope is tenuous…

It’s getting harder to find joy in the things that I used to… I used to enjoy food a great deal… But now, with all of the restrictions and things I have to look out for, that joy is gone for me… Watching TV can be quite a pain too… Here’s an experiment for you… Watch one hour of prime time TV and count the number of commercials you see for food and/or restaurants… And of course many of the places that are advertising are places that I wouldn’t be able to go, even if I had the money… I can’t enjoy my online movies, because those cost money, hence they’ve been discontinued for me… I can’t travel, gas is too expensive… Even reading is getting harder for me… Because of my condition and the meds that I’m on, my vision isn’t as good as it used to be, and I can’t afford new glasses…

I rely heavily on my old laptop, and I pray that it lasts for a while longer… It’s over 7 years old and there’s no way I can afford a new one… So I clean it, defrag it and just talk to it nicely in the hopes that it’ll hang on… I have three Cats, one of whom is currently under the care of the local Vet… Her care this year has just reached the $1,000 mark… My truck insurance just went up thanks to the State of South Carolina changing some laws and forcing the companies to charge us more…  Also found out last week that two of my regular medications will be going up… Granted, not much, but total that up with everything else and you can begin to understand where I’m at financially and mentally…

So, Stormy, why not get a 2nd job?  Because with my health, it’s hard to know when I’ll be able to work and when I won’t… Why not apply for a new job?  Did that and got turned down… My job is very focused and specific and there aren’t many of those jobs out there to begin with… But I am looking…

Now before anyone gets the idea that I’m ready to walk off a bridge somewhere, it’s not all bad here at the abode… I have friends… Some amazing friends…  They’re going through some tough times too, hence the reason I’m trying not to bug them right now… But I know they’re there, and they show me their Angel’s wings from time to time and remind me of what I DO have… I also have some amazing parents… And even though I can’t afford to go see them, they too remind me of their love for me… These two groups humble me more than they can ever know…

I also have a roof over my head, there’s food in the pantry, gas in my truck’s tank, lights coming from my lamps, and water through my pipes… My heater is so old that I give up a small “thanks” every time I hear it come on… But it’s on, and I’m heated decently… (I keep the heat at 63 in order to keep that electric bill down, but by gosh, I’ve got heat!  LOL)  I’m employed and have good health insurance… I’m not wholly unhappy about the things I’ve had to lose this year, because it means that I at least HAD them to lose!  Many others don’t… I try to donate when and where I can, because again there are too many others out there who have significantly less than I do…

So as this lousy year ends next week, I won’t be sad to see it go… I will welcome 2014 with a smile and a hopeful thought that it’ll be so much better than it’s dying sibling… Here’s to the new year… To better health… To lower bills…  To brighter days… To new friendships… And who knows?  Maybe even a new love?  Well, one can dream…  *smile*  I wish you and yours a nice holiday and bright new year!!

Something happens along the way of recovery…

You don’t expect it, and many times you don’t notice it… Especially if you live alone… This latest and greatest flare started the July 20th… I’m still trying to get my body back to some form of “normal”, whatever that is… Normal left sometime last year and I’ve not see him back in town yet… BUT I had reached a point, prior to this flare, where I could see his house and I was happy with that…

But this particular flare, or episode, just doesn’t seem to want to return to see normal’s house… And so, little by little, day by day, weekend by weekend, I become a recluse… I did notice it some time ago, but didn’t know what to do to change it… It kind of just snuck up on me… Because the length of my normal morning time routine seems to change day by day, by the time I felt it was “safe” to leave the house on a Saturday or Sunday, it was almost Noon and not worth the squeeze, ya know?  So I might lay out my clothes, make my shopping list, and decide the quickest routes to where I needed to go… (Notice I said “needed” and not “wanted”…)  But then, as the morning slipped by, I made more and more rationalizations as to why I didn’t need to go out…  And before I knew it, I’d talked myself out of going… Clothes go back in the closest and I had figured out what meals I could make, with what I had in the house…  And with no one expecting me, it helped make it even easier…

The next step was to do the food shopping on Friday, on my way home from work… THAT way, I don’t have to step outside my house from Friday afternoon, to Monday morning… And that’s where I’m at… Until this weekend, it’d been 3 weekends since I’d stepped outside my house… It’s hard to explain, but it’s like a rash that you can almost feel moving up your legs… I can feel the “desire” to become a complete introvert… Could it be depression?  I suppose so… I’d never experienced depression until 2 Christmases ago… I didn’t even KNOW I was in a depression until I started coming out of it… I just knew that I didn’t want to see or talk to anyone and was perfectly happy with my computer, Cats and TV… Alone…

I know it’s the disease that’s pushing this… I’m naturally a very humourous person, much to the irritation and chagrin of my friends… And I loathe being UNhappy… But there comes a point where it’s comfortable… It’s known… I know the people here and they offer me cookies… (Gluten free, of course…)  So what changed for this weekend?  Because I can feel it happening, and I hate it… I don’t like bothering my friends on the weekend… They have their lives… They’re all married or partnered and they have lives… Active lives… And I’m not about to change that… Right now, half of the friends I might call on are out of town… The other half lead very busy weekends and I appreciate and respect that…

A group that I’m associated with was having an event this weekend… Low key, I could come and go as I pleased.. $10 was all it would cost… So I decided to go… It didn’t start until 12, but the first real event didn’t start until 1:30… Perfect… I had my shower, brushed my teeth, did all of my “leaving the house” preparations and was ready by 10… But then, the brain started… “Hey, you know it’s an hour drive to this thing, right?  Alot can happen in that hour… And it’s comfortable here… Look, Sophie wants you to pet her… And Squirt’s looking for your lap… OH and American Ninja Warriors is on!  We need to catch up… OH and you haven’t even THOUGHT about what you’re going to wear… Oh and is that some grumbling I hear down in your belly?  Could it be another attack?  HA HA that’s it… We’re not going, I can see it… And you only have three things on your shopping list… You can get those on Monday…”   blah blah blah on it went… And I almost listened…

I was pissed by 12:30… I could feel my resolve fading… So I got up, put on clothes (had no idea WHAT I’d put on until I got there), grabbed the keys, made a SHORT run to the loo and ran for the door… I refused to let myself think until I got about halfway there… I turned on Pandora to the Comedy channel and turned it up loud!!  And, as always happens, once I got there, I was glad I was there… I was welcomed, and got to talk to folks… Even met a couple who I’d never seen before… I was talking to one of the folks I know, and he is a real dear… I’d told him of my troubles of trying to get out of the house and he said to call him and we’d do dinner once a week or so… Then maybe a movie on the weekend.. But he said something else that made me sad, although I didn’t show it to him… He mentioned that because he was single, he had time… Yea… Um… I’m single… I have time… That’s the problem… He doesn’t know how that comment made me feel… And I wouldn’t tell him… He thought he was being nice, and I appreciate his effort… I also know that once he’s no longer “single” that outlet would disappear… So I won’t rely on it… I’ll call on him from time to time, but won’t put all of those eggs in that basket…

So I continue down this rather annoying path to see what I can do to resolve it… What can I find that will motivate me to want to leave the house for something fun…  Do I have it in me to find those motivations?  Or will I continue to allow my illness to drag me down into the abyss… (And wouldn’t it be nice if Ed Harris was down in my particular Abyss?  But I know he’s not…)  In the words of Dory “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming”…