My Brain On Insomnia

Instead of trying to figure out how to cathartically expunge the contents of my distraught soul, I’m going to pose a bizarre hodgepodge of questions I’d love input on.

  • Lexapro insomnia: Just me? My doctor did warn me that it could happen temporarily but HOLY CRAPBALLS Y’ALL. It’s bad. This is just the shit keeping me up TONIGHT. Yesterday was entirely different.
  • How have you handled differing of opinions of punishments in a co-parenting situation? I struggle with this a lot because I was raised by my Dad and there was no one in the house to debate his punishments. How do you compromise when you so strongly disagree? Do you take turns? “We’ll do it your way this time, my way next time.” That doesn’t really make sense if the difference of punishments come from different methods entirely. You can’t go back and forth.
  • Our new house (1500 sq ft, not updated since the 60s, closing on Friday, hopefully!) has the skeleton of what you can tell was a pretty great back yard at one point. How do I revive it in the easiest way possible? What plants are hardest to kill?
  • Am I too old to wear a choker?

    Wait. Scratch that. I’m answering myself. I’m not too old to wear shit. I can wear whatever the f*ck I want, society! KISS MY ASS.

  • How do you talk to people who you love and trust…but who don’t find treating mental health as “real” medicine? People who supposedly love me but who also think either A) Therapy is ridiculous or B) Medicating is ridiculous. (Weirdly enough, they’re not the same people. Therapy-haters approve of medicine, Medicine-haters approve of therapy.) I have a hard time feeling anything but judged when I’m open about my struggles but I WANT TO BE OPEN SO NO ONE ELSE FEELS JUDGED. Do you sit down and talk with the people? Do you have resources like links or videos to share?
  • Do you have a quick/easy granola bar/ball recipe? I’m sick of pre-packaged granola bars as it feels so wasteful but so many of the recipes I find require SO MANY STEPS, or food processors or something. I want to just use a bowl. And maybe a spoon.

On Greetings

I like seeing people I know out in the wild. This is a 100% change in my persona in the last decade. Before Dad died, and I was mildly agoraphobic and strongly crippled with social anxieties; so I would run in the opposite direction if I recognized someone at Target. I remember seeing a parent of a classmate of E’s somewhere once, and I literally left the store without getting what I needed because it was too small to hide in and I needed to get out before she saw me.

But now? Now I tend to enthusiastically greet someone when I see them in unexpected places. A friend of mine walked into a restaurant I was eating at to pick up her carry-out order and I ran up and hugged her before she left. I ran into an old friend at Target 2 weeks ago and I literally said, “I was feeling really crappy because my allergies are killing me and I’m grumpy and then I saw you and I love life again!”

However, I’m a little enthusiastic, most of the times.

It’s a whole different kind of awkwardness, I’ll admit. And some people freeze a little and my manic/hyper enthusiasm, but it doesn’t faze me because I know how weird I come across sometimes. The thing is, I just find this is such a better form of awkward than running and hiding. Kinda like how I’m constantly determined to use people’s names when I see them. No matter how little I know you, I try my best to use your name when I see you as it helps me relax a little. Sometimes I’ll dodge down an aisle in Target to check Facebook to make sure I’ve got your name right, and many times I should do that as I get names wrong, but for the most part? I’m a name-user. I find it helps me feel comfortable socially.

Well…all of this is to say that I received the KINDEST message on Facebook recently. You see, a friend of mine runs in the part of town I run in. I don’t know if he’s training for a 100-miler right now, but he has in the past and with as often as I see him out on my runs, he’s gotta be training for something big. Anyway…every time I see him I enthusiastically greet him by name and last week he sent me this message, “Kim, every time we pass each other running, you are always smiling. Your smiling is contagious to others. Thanks.”

I MEAN!

It made my year. I already try not to feel awkward about how hyper I get when I see people I know in public, but that message really helped remind me on that great see-saw of social awkwardness, this is the better side to lean on…the overly-enthusiastic-greeting side. The runs-away-and-hides side was no less awkward, to be honest. But at least this side can have a positive ripple effect whereas nothing positive comes from me running away and hiding.

So I’ll keep excitedly approaching friends out in the wild. I’ll manically ramble on about something completely bizarre. Like that time I ran into a classroom parent from one of my kid’s classes at an art collective and proceeded to lament about how I wish I hadn’t worn the shirt that showed my boob sweat so clearly and that I should pack that shirt away in the summer time. YES. I AM THAT WEIRDO. But I’ll keep doing it because I truly believe that, in the big picture of life, the awkwardness that stems from these encounters pales in comparison to the joy I can potentially spread by simply being happy to see a friend.

Updates.

  • We found a house! Donnie and I had been coming from different places in the search for years. I had a lower price I was aiming for (really wanting a 15-year loan) and he had locations he was aiming for where that price was hard to reach so we were struggling with the dilemma between a 30-year mortgage and his ideal location. But we found a house so outdated that it falls under my budget in his location! Of course, the inspection could thwart us significantly, but we’re bracing ourselves for some of it. We’d be a hop, skip, and a jump away from the trails we love in a 1-story rancher that is less than 1600 sq ft. EEK! Contract is signed, now we just have to deal with the inspections.
  • Nikki got in the magnet program she applied for. I might have updated that already but I haven’t really been sleeping and my brain is foggy so I want to make sure you all know! She’s in and we know a few others who will be in too so we’re super excited!
  • I posted a picture on instagram a few weeks ago of a gift with no card I received that I COULD NOT MAKE ANY SENSE OF. I blasted it on social media and NO ONE said ANYTHING. Until last night and y’all? This is not even a story I can do justice in written form. One of my oldest and dearest friends sent it to me but the text conversation we had last night as she was trying to discretely see if I had gotten it, and then alarmed I didn’t understand the gift because SHE HAD EMAILED ME ABOUT DINOSAURS AND I DID NOT EVEN REMEMBER REPLYING. And if that’s not even funny enough, that I answered an email about dinosaurs and have NO recollection of it, it turns out she was trying to gift me something of significance from a story I told here. She was trying to send me hints like the “title” of the gift in an email and I was SO DAMN CONFUSED STILL but we were both cracking up. AND THEN, when she tried to pull up the source blog post to send it to me to say, “NOW DO YOU GET IT?” she realized: OH. She got it wrong. The story was about SPIDER PLANTS not AIR PLANTS. SO WE BOTH ARE IDIOTS and it makes that little dinosaur SO MUCH more significant now. THE MYSTERY HAS BEEN SOLVED!
  • I’m back to running. Slowly but surely. I have a stage race in a few weeks and I’m definitely not going to be “prepared” for it in the typical sense – but I should survive. It’s good to be back running, it’s hard with the extra weight but I’m confident that will melt away slowly as long as I eat smart. Big race is labor day weekend. I just need to be down to race-day-weight by then!

Truth Time: I was going to just end this here but that feels weird. I’ve had a bit of a personal crisis this week. Too personal to talk about here but it involved a lot of sleepless introspection and that’s honestly never good. I’ve made bad decisions that I disguised-to-myself as good decisions (it’s easy to do if you compartmentalize like I do to cope with anxiety) and I’m having to face that and it’s hard not to be really angry with myself. I tend to always assume I’m the worst person in the room in any situation anyway – and facing honest errors in judgement just magnifies that. So I’m going to spend some quiet time coloring and reflecting and hopefully I’ll come out on the other side a little wiser and less prone to bad decision making. I’ll keep you posted.

Today’s Mantra: Be as kind to yourself as you are to your loved ones.

And Now On To The Important Issues…

I took the rescinding of Obama’s Rule on Transgender Students bathroom use VERY HARD last night. Maybe you live in a state that is trying to issue legislation that protects Trans kids – BUT I MOST CERTAINLY DO NOT. Luckily, my state is terrible at writing anti-Trans legislation and the one we’re fighting now (AL SB1) pisses off business owners too so I think we’ll be okay. BUT DUDE. OBVIOUSLY THEY’RE NOT TRYING TO PROTECT THE TRANS KIDS. So leaving this as a “state issue” is disconcerting at best for me.

BUT!

I don’t want to talk about that. Instead I’m going to dedicate this post to some random fluffy things that have been on my mind.

What’s Up With The Fancy Pens?

Y’all know I take pens seriously, but I don’t understand the next level of pen – the one you buy refills for. Are those pens as good as my uni-balls? Or my Signo 307s? They’re super expensive and many carry a lot of street cred (YES. THERE IS PEN STREET CRED. STEP OFF.) but I’ve never used one. In my head everyone seems to rave about the CASING and not the INK part, so is that why people buy them? Just for the fancy casing? Or are there good internal pieces too? Is this a world I need to explore? I can show you the world…shining shimmering splendid…

I can’t watch This Is Us

I tried, y’all. I started it and fell in love with it with the rest of the world. But it makes me cry EVERY DAMN EPISODE and I feel like I’m being manipulated. I quit watching Parenthood for the same reason. And I’ve quit watching other shows when I feel like they’re holding a desired character hook up in front of the audience like a carrot and keep letting us get close, and then moving it further. I HATE BEING MANIPULATED BY TV. I know that’s how they make money but for some reason I just can’t. So I quit watching it.

Really it’s because I cry enough without a heart-destroying TV show to trigger me.

I need a new job to pay for my hair stuff.

I’ve never been someone who pays money for hair or cosmetics. I used to dye my hair but I did it myself. I get my hair trimmed at the place next to Target twice a year. I don’t wear makeup but mascara once in awhile. ETC. But I’ve been trying new hair stuff now that we’re trying to go cruelty free and my favorite conditioner is $12 a bottle and my fave styling/curl cream is $16 dollars a tube! (I buy one at Whole Foods and the other at Target.) And if I showered and fixed my hair-from-wet every day I’d use those both up in about 5-7 days. That is $120 a month on hair stuff??!!!??! Instead I go several days without getting my hair wet so I make it last and sometimes I just throw a braid in to avoid the styling cream BUT STILL. SO MUCH MONEY. But I love my curls so much now. I’ve liked them before but now I LURVE them.

As an alternative today I just coated the crap out of my hair with straight-up coconut oil. That stuff is expensive too, but a good alternative that can look like a food product so I can pretend it’s groceries. 😉

I really like apartment living

I mean, I hate walking the dog but there’s a dog park so it’s kinda easier. Overall I have such minimal anxiety about my living situation when don’t have to flip out every time the toilet wobbles or maybe doesn’t flush great. NOT MY PROBLEM. Our house still hasn’t sold (Tentative closing: March 3rd. Maybe one week later. Seller waiting on paperwork that takes 2-3 weeks from yesterday.) so it’s hard to REALLY relax, but it’s so nice not having to worry about ANYTHING related to my living quarters. ANYTHING. LOVE IT.

I’m so behind on doctor’s visits

Y’all know I’m not a fan of doctors. I avoid them when at all possible. I loved my OB/GYN but I think that’s because if I wanted to have kids I needed to love him because I SAW HIM OH SO OFTEN. And he was very good at the “there’s no heartbeat” message when I had miscarriages. I didn’t need it, I knew how to interpret my own ultrasounds, but still…it was nice.

ANYWAY. I need to make SEVERAL. And it’s overwhelming. I feel like I can just make ONE appointment, now when I’ve not seen a real doctor in forever. And what about the hours I miss at work? That’s the sucky thing about being an hourly employee…every doctor’s appointment means a decreased paycheck. I mean, we’re not leaving paycheck-to-paycheck so it’s not a HUGE deal but it’s still a deterrent. BUT I NEED TO DO IT. Am I the only grown-up scared of doctors? Please tell me I’m not. I know my left-hand turn anxiety is weird, but I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in the doctor anxiety.

Brief Update:

Saturday and Sunday went MUCH better. I stayed present and calm and caught the warning signs earlier of my anxiety overflowing and took breaks and gave hugs and Nikki and I kicked some butt and took some breaks and now we’re both sick as dogs.

Yep. I’m sick now. The nasty cold with the hacking cough has overtaken me during the LEAST optimum time.

But it’s okay!

Thanks for the suggestions to talk to the buyers about renting the home for a bit longer, this situation isn’t quite adaptable like that as they’re moving in town that weekend and will be homeless without our home! We have to make it work. Somehow.

I got a lot done this weekend, and I feel like it might be possible to get it all done in time, as long as someone can promise me that I can pass out for 24 hours at some point in the near future to recharge. Can someone promise me that?

Anyway. Just wanted to jump in and update everyone. I’m doing better. Still overwhelmed and busy as hell and not sleeping anywhere near as much as I need to be but my anxiety is closer in check and I’m not lashing out on my family anymore. 11 days. We can do this.