Feeling Powerless

More night terrors. Well, they call them “night”, but I usually have mine early morning. Yell and scream, and curse in my sleep. Another unrestful night. I wake up exhausted and aching everywhere. Even the joints in my fingers hurt as I type this with one finger on my phone.

The anxiety is high, my depression is high. Feeling powerless over everything in my life.

I envy those in control. I have no income, the transcription company changed their metrics, and I got bumped back down to the level of trying to transcribe prison calls and people with mumbling thick accents. It’s a nightmare.

I have no money, no car, no real friends in the city, no family… It’s lonely.

What’s going on at home, being evicted, not knowing where we’re going to live, is a nightmare.

The sleeplessness, the stress, the struggle, feeling sick all the time, being in pain, it’s ALL a nightmare.

Why am I even here?

What’s my purpose?

I feel like a burden. I feel like a loser.

No wonder I’m having the PTSD dreams again.

Going to keep trying for a job. I hate having to work for 4-6 hours, hurting my body, for a measly $15 – $20.

I am so much more than this.

Feeling shattered today.

S.

Don’t Take Shit From People

So I’m laying here tonight trying to relax after the week from hell. (Impending eviction)

Fumbling through my old Facebook photos, you know how that goes. you start nosing in on people you’ve lost touch with over the years to see what they’re up to. Tonight, mine led me to a face that I haven’t seen in over 9 years. My mother.

For the past couple of years, I’ve missed her. I’ve missed having a mom I could call up and ask for advice from. I’ve missed having a mom that would be there for me when I needed her. Most recently, I’ve needed my mother to deal with this illness. whatever it is is. Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, something neurological. I really don’t know what the fuck is going on inside my body. I know I’m in early onset menopause, I know I have pretty severe osteoarthritis as it’s throughout my body and leaves me pretty crippled in the damp and humid weather. I know I have something seriously wrong with my spine and am waiting to see a specialist about it. I know I have PTSD.

I’ve also needed my mom to deal with my father. His in and out presence in my life. His oblivion to my pain. His inability to recognize how seriously he has damaged me.

Then I browsed through some more photos. Saw her and my stepfather got another dog. Got a new motorhome I see. It baffles me how my parents were unable to attend my wedding years ago (I’m divorced now, thankfully and am with the right person, finally) but are apparently able to travel in a camper. You couldn’t even send me a card when I got married.

I remembered how my mother was never there for me. When I called she couldn’t be bothered to take the time to talk to me on the phone. Her TV shows were more important. No matter if I was in a jam and needed help, or just really needed to hear her voice when I was down or needed life advice.

I had no one to go to for life advice.

I look at my stepfather’s smug face in his profile picture and remember how he always looked at me with contempt. Like I was gross. Some kind of fucking slimy garden slug. A garden slug with a bad smell. Yeah, that’s how I would describe it. Oddly enough, it’s the same way my stepmother always looked at me.

I feel like I’ve gone through tremendous mental growth over the past few years. I’ve terminated friendships that were not healthy, balanced or kind. I don’t need that. I’ve ended associations with people because I don’t share their views or ideas. I have different values, I have strong morals. something that seems to be lacking in this world.

Funny thing is, I didn’t get these morals or values from anyone in my family. Not my mother, not my father, and most certainly, not my step parents. I have absolutely nothing in common with my stepbrothers. For the most part, they’re egotistical, selfish, immature, and well… they’re kind of jerks. Who needs that? Nope.

I developed my own code as I grew up. As I made mistakes or failed, I learned lessons the hard way, on my own. Some values I received from my grandmothers. My paternal grandmother was a woman of faith who taught me about Jesus and the Bible at a very young age. I loved it. I found the time we spent reading the Bible together, I read it out loud to her because the printing was too small for her eyes, to be peaceful and reassuring. My maternal grandmother taught me about strength and perseverance. She taught me how to cook. Both grandmothers taught me to stand up for myself and, in their words, “don’t take shit from people.” They were sassy ladies. I probably get my sassiness from them as well.

No. Looking at my mother tonight brought me to a conclusion. A closure even. I don’t know this person, and she doesn’t know me. She’s never been that kind of mom you could call when you needed her. She’s never been that kind of mom that puts her (only) child(ren) first. She’s always been more concerned about her own needs, her own wants. It was proposed to me that perhaps my stepfather is too controlling. Well, yeah. he is controlling, sometimes an outright asshole but, I also know this. What my mother wants, my mother gets. My stepfather has always been a “Yes Dear” man. He’s not entirely to blame. My mother had a choice, and she chose to pretend I don’t exist. In the photo of my mother’s most recent lap dog, she’s a better dog mom than actual mom, I zoomed in on the shelf behind her. There were pictures of stepbrother one and his woman, next to it was a photo of stepbrother two and his wife. There were no other photos on that shelf. No, I’m sorry, their past dead dogs’ photos were there. But that was it. I didn’t make the shelf display cut. I simply don’t exist.

Last year, this would have sent me spiralling down the depression hole quicker than a squirrel up a tree with a cat after it. But tonight something in me clicked. I’m done grieving my father and my mother. It took some time, but I think I’m done. They’ve sucked up enough of my time and energy. No more.

I cut these ties.

I am just going to focus on building what I have with the love of my life. I’m going to enjoy some happiness for a change. As my paternal grandmother would have said, “Fuck ’em.” So sassy.

I feel remarkably stronger and lighter. My love is intact, my faith is stronger than ever. That’s all I need. We have overcome worse things in our lives, we’ll overcome this too.

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

S.

ARGH.

Stressed out womanWe were served one week ago with an eviction notice. For one week I have been unable to sleep more than three or four hours at a time. Unable to eat more than one small meal a day. I’ve had migraines. I’ve vomited, and I’m in a flare up. I’m having some pretty bad PTSD nightmares. My speech is slurred and I can’t stay out of the loo.

Thanks so much for this.

The vacancy rate in Halifax is 1.5%. There was just a piece published in the Chronicle Herald yesterday about how young people aren’t able to come to Halifax anymore because the rents are not only ridiculously high, but you’re lucky if you can even find housing.

So you tell me in what world two decent tenants are facing homelessness by the word of one person?

How can one person have the power to throw our lives into such upheaval? We had been nothing but kind and considerate since we moved in. If this individual didn’t like us, she had three months while we sublet, to change her mind about signing a lease with us. Yet she chose to.  She had ample opportunities to tell us if she had a problem with us, but she didn’t.

Every time I asked, (and I asked multiple times because I am not an asshole, and certainly didn’t want to disrupt anyone else) whether or not we disturbed her, or bothered her, we were told, “No, I never hear you guys.”

Any time she was rude to us, which was frequently, we took it on the chin and just went upstairs. Throughout ten months of incessant barking, we said nothing. Her girlfriend practically lived here, contributed nothing, but again, we said nothing. Why? Because we honestly liked these two people, we thought we were friends. But now I see we were just being taken advantage of.

Even though we did ALL the cleaning inside and outside (except lawn, that was the roommate’s only job), we said nothing because we wanted to live in a clean home whether she pitched an effort or not. We are not dirtbags.

The backyard is piled up with items that don’t belong to us. A bio composter of some kind, prior tenant. A wooden flower bed, prior tenant. Coffee table, roommate, stool, prior tenant, wagon, roommate. Pallets, roommate.  You get the drift.

We have spent the better part of 10 months living in a room together. The couple of times we attempted to use the living room (after we cleaned downstairs for hours) we were kicked out and ended up retreating to our bedroom.

We have felt disrespected THE ENTIRE time we have lived here. It’s not a good feeling. Again, we never involved the landlord because this was not a long term solution for us, and you DON’T INVOLVE LANDLORDS IN ROOMMATE DISPUTES in Halifax.

I’m going to have to schedule an appointment with my doctor because I’m having difficulty coping with all the stress this has brought on. I’m in menopause and I suffer from PTSD and Fibromyalgia, so that means I go from angry to crying in a flash. A hot flash. yuk yuk.

One thing I do to cope is clean, but this place is sparkling and I have run out of things to clean now.  I have begun packing, in case we are tossed out on to the street after our hearing.

Who needs this shit? Honestly.

I feel like I’ve been bullied my entire life, but none more than being a grown, disabled woman.  From constantly having to prove my disabilities, to narcissistic abuse from family and a few friends. I have taken so much shit from so many people over the years, that I have finally reached full. The shit runneth over.

I just want to lie on a beach with a book and forget all this ever happened. Including moving to Halifax.

To address our need for immediate housing, we have started a Go Fund Me to assist with moving costs, utility hookups, damage deposit etc. If you are able to donate, it would be greatly appreciated, if not, a simple share or prayer helps. Thank you so much for your kindness. I really appreciate my online friends and the blogging community.

 

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

S.

 

Image Credit

http://www.clker.com/clipart-634242.html

Facing Homelessness

Well, this has been one hell of a week let me tell you. In the last two weeks, our amicable roommate situation turned sour. We were are getting along just fine. Until the mange chihuahua.

Now, anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE DOGS. I love cats, birds, fish, rabbits, guinea pigs, pygmy goats, you get the picture. I love animals. The issue was that we were already allergic to the existing chihuahua that lives here, Annie. Annie barks incessantly, all day, every day. it’s something we’ve learned to live with simply because she was here before us. I also have a dog. A miniature dachshund named Lucy. Lucy is wire/long hair. I have to cut her hair regularly. She is, for the most part, hypoallergenic.

The roommate sends us a message one day on our shared group chat explaining that she will be adopting this dog. Another barking chihuahua with mange mind you, not housebroken or vaccinated from the Dominican Republic (because apparently, Halifax dogs aren’t good enough). We said no. She kept picking at us, demanding we “chat about it”, which was basically her railroading us into accepting this dog. And if we didn’t accept this dog, we were told that her girlfriend would gladly take over our lease if that helps. HOW WOULD THAT HELP? We are in a lease until November. Housing in the city of Halifax is absolutely DIRE because of rent hikes and the increase of Air BnB’s swallowing up all the good rental opportunities.

She wouldn’t listen to us. She kept pushing. we kept saying no. So the roommate thought it would be a fantastic idea to contact the landlord, tell them we were fighting with her, threatening her (???). The landlords’ response: EVICTION for ALL of us.

We have a hearing scheduled for July 20th, although the landlords want us out by June 28th, which they cannot do because they themselves have applied for a hearing. I have verified this with the appropriate authorities.

In what world can two good tenants, (we pay our rent on time, we keep the home and property immaculate), get evicted because of a lie told by one person? This person has been caught lying so frequently, that I’m thinking she must have some kind of disorder. All the times we asked if we bothered her, disturbed her, we were told: “No, I never hear you guys.” But then tells the landlord we were disruptive. Again.. ????? The only thing disruptive in this house is Annie, the chihuahua mix.

So now we’re caught up in a legal battle as well as trying to find housing. Did I mention how FEW apartments in Halifax allow dogs?

My wife has been under immense pressure at work and literally feels like she’s being pushed out of a job, now we’re being pushed out of our home because our Adult Baby of a roommate pitched a fit for not getting her way.

I cannot express the amount of stress this has placed on us. We don’t have the money to move, can’t find an apartment, we can’t eat, can’t sleep. I have fibromyalgia, (ME/CFS) severe osteoarthritis, and PTSD. This is pushing me over the edge with stress. Unnecessary stress. We need prayers.

In the meantime, I have started up a Go Fund Me to help with moving costs and a new place to live. If you are able to donate, it would be greatly appreciated. I don’t know what else to do at the moment.

https://www.gofundme.com/ckrtcr-immediate-housing-needed

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Be Kind to One Another.

S.

Can I Borrow a Spoon or Two?

Bzzzzzzzz the anxiety is high today.  Bzzzzzzz It rings in my ears, vibrates through my bones, reverberates through my skin and echoes through my lungs as my chest tightens in around itself like a nervous armadillo.   Bzzzzzz  my eyes lose focus and my train of thought ceases.  Bzzzzzzz I forget how to breath and here comes the tears.  It’s getting dark.  It’s a panic attack.

This is how I started my morning.  The last few days I’ve been physically and mentally exhausted.  I’m wide awake all night long and unable to fall asleep until almost lunchtime.  I get a few hours of snooze and then I’m up again.  Not quite awake but not asleep, I’ve been drifting through the last few days like a ghost.

I’ve had a lot of pain in my wrist/arm which I am now convinced is broken but I loathe hospitals and rarely have a drive so I haven’t gone and gotten it checked out.  What the hell am I gonna do with a cast on my arm? I got shit to do.  I usually have to feel like I’m physically dying to justify going to the Emergency room.   With all the pain in my wrist, back and neck, the only way I’m comfortable is lying down.  I’ve gotten nothing done around the house, I haven’t blogged or been on Social Media, other than brief lurking and Gif viewing.

I’m just tired.

Tomorrow, we travel home to Nova Scotia for Christmas.  We have to take the ferry.  It wouldn’t be as bad if we had a car but lugging all our suitcases and my little dog and standing outside in the weather until boarding time then all the walking you have to do once you board just kills my body.  I have to drop my dog off at the kennels and then go up stairs to find a place to perch.  It’s the holidays so I’m guessing the boat will be packed with people.  Ugh. It’s usually cold on the boat so I’ll have to bring a blanket.  The whole thing is a pain in the ass.  I look forward to the day when we can just pack up our car and drive there, avoiding all the noise, hassle, pain and cold of the ferry.  I usually need a day or so to recover from the travel.  It’s embarrassing.  

It’s a week of visiting and dinners and family and friends and food I’m not supposed to eat.  I’ve mentioned before how I’m not in the Christmas spirit at all this year, so it’ll be a week of acting, watching my language and making sure my dog doesn’t poop anywhere in the house.  My mother in law’s house is really large so it’s a lot of walking and stairs.  At some point, my legs will go out and I’ll be stuck in the basement for a day crying out of frustration and humiliation.   

Don’t get me wrong, I love my in laws.  They’re wonderful people and they’ve been very kind to me.  I love to see them and the little nieces.  It’s just me.  My body doesn’t always cooperate.  I get tired fast.  I just run out of spoons.  It both depresses and frightens me so I cry.  I’m peri menopausal so I cry.  I’m grateful for their kindness so I cry.  I cry over everything these days.  It’s embarrassing and I don’t want them to think less of me.

I’m a bumbling, Pajama wearing mess.

But I have to try to be normal for a week.  

I have a ton of shit to do today to prepare for our trip, I just want to crawl back in to a warm bed and sleep.


How do you handle all the activity during the holiday season?

What do you do when you just don’t have enough spoons?

I love reading your comments!

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Sam

Another Fu**ing Poem: ME/CFS

fucking tired

Fuck this chilly weather change

Making me feel tired and strange

All I want is to sleep and sleep

Making me mad, making me weep

Throbbing head and swollen body

A bigger bitch I couldn’t embody

Trying to hear what you’re saying

I think “Hello” is what you’re conveying

My head’s all muddled in shades of gray

Repeating my words, my brain’s on replay

I’m sorry, I didn’t hear what you said

All I’m really thinking about is my bed

Shuffling and grunting like some old hag

Cursing and swearing at my Magic Bag

Why you so small Magic Bag?  You can go to Hell

I need you on my back, my hips and buns as well

In a rage, I plug in my heating pad

The time it takes to heat also makes me mad

Laying on my back, missing the warmth of summer

The period leading in to winter is a fucking bummer

Staying in due to cold means a belly and bigger ass cheeks

While I dream of sunshine, eating chips for the next 28 weeks

“At least you get to sleep in everyday” say the mindless few

You have no clue, the pain, the tears, the guilt I go through

So back to my fleece, hot bath and couch I go

I’m fucking tired and my back hurts me so

Because why I came I fucking forgot

Oh yeah, to tell others to not be a fucking Twat

If you know someone with Fibro, MECFS

Someone that you regularly address

Be compassionate, gentle and most of all kind

Because they are suffering; bear that in mind

 

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously

Sam

If you enjoyed this, you might like this 

Images

I’m so fucking tired kitty   https://cdn-webimages.wimages.net/05197f03e21089241289b6b115c808dadf2f0b-wm.jpg?v=3

I Can’t Throw it Away, These Things are Valuable to Some People…

mangrove tree  Trying to pull it together after a week of pure exhaustion.  I have Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis everywhere and degenerative disc disease so I have bouts of pain and exhaustion where I fluctuate from suffering from insomnia to chronic fatigue.  I spent the evenings unable to sleep and having to nap in the afternoons.  My brain has been so foggy.  I’m somewhere in that space between not really awake but not exactly asleep but walking around. Miraculously.   Yesterday I went out with 2 different shoes on and I didn’t even notice.  Everything I eat makes me feel like I’m going to be sick.  It’s like having the flu.  I woke up this morning completely soaked.  Had to change and crawl back into bed.  I barely remember because I was still partially asleep.  I couldn’t wake up and get up so I slept.  I slept until 11am.  What woke me was another nightmare.

 

I usually dream the same things over and over again.  The world outside is chaos.  Something has happened.  Something from the skies.  We’re always watching the skies.  People are travelling in small groups of people trying to stay safe and unnoticed.  There’s no food, and there is destruction and devastated buildings everywhere.  We have to to stay quiet and unnoticed because if they hear us, they will take us.  I don’t know who they are.  I never see because I usually wake myself  up screaming.  My dreams are terrifying and violent.   I’ve had dreams similar to this for most of my life.  I have had PTSD for most of my life.  Another way I wake up is I’m yelling at my parents.  Usually my father.  We fell out a couple of years ago over money.  He had co signed a line of credit for me in 2007 to go back to school.  I went back to get certified in Fitness Instruction, Personal Training and Nutrition and Wellness.  That was going to be my career and I was really good at it.  Then I got sick.  I had to have emergency surgery one night from endometriosis complications.  I was off work for a while but I was unable to ever fully return to my normal capacity.  Over time my Fibro came back full swing with new symptoms added.  Arthritis became crippling some days.  I missed time from work and kept getting fired from job after job.  The stress of not being able to eat or pay rent or take care of everything while being sick and getting sicker was awful.  Again.. No support or caring from my father or stepmother.  I was put off work years ago because of illness.  My stepmother thinks I’m lazy and so does my father.  Kept telling my to get my shit together .  I’m sick not lazy.  They don’t understand that I am actually ill.  So when I was unable to keep up the payments on this line of credit, my father cut me out.  He told me he did not want to see my face.   That was almost 2 years ago now.  My mother and I haven’t spoke in five years or so.  She has a lot of health problems as well, in fact we share many of those- thanks DNA, but I was told by my stepfather years ago that I wasn’t to call there anymore.  If I had something to say, to put it in an email.  I know my mother has moments that she could speak to me for five minutes.  She chooses not to.  She’s chosen not to since I was 26.  I had a rocky relationship with my mother until about 12 where we became friends.  I say friends because she was never consistently in my life like a mother should be.  My father just ignored me but she would be in and out like the seasons.  In while my stepfather was away at sea and she was lonely, out once he retired.  

 

All I’ve ever wanted is to feel loved by my parents and to feel close, but instead I felt like an old antique piece of furniture being passed back and forth.  “Well I don’t want it right now, so I’ll just store it in the attic in case I need it for something, I mean, I can’t throw it out, these things are valuable to some people.”  I guess not everyone gets the supportive advice, the encouragement, the hugs, the “I love yous” , the birthday cakes, the gifts, the help, the empathy, the compassion.  I’ve been pretty much on my own since 13 with the occasional help from them of say groceries for my birthday.  I’ve lived with my father but I was ignored.  Like not even told there was dinner ready ignored.  No one noticed my good grades, no one noticed how hard I was working at university, or the fact that I never asked them for anything.  Ever. (Except for that line of credit in 2007) I overdosed at 18 on Valium and slept in my bedroom for two days and no one noticed.  When I got married in 2011, my mother and stepfather didn’t attend my wedding, nor did I receive a card or a present.  I noticed my youngest step brother got married this past month, my invitation seemingly lost in the mail.  My stepfather made it to his wedding I learned.  My stepfather.  He taught me some things and helped me different times but he was more of the same.  There, then not there, then don’t call me.  

 

All this stuff seems to come up when I go through a flare.  I guess it’s because it’s when I feel most vulnerable.  I so wish I could hear an encouraging “I love you” or a hug or “I’m sorry that you’re having these problems, can we help?”  I hear my partner talking to her mom and sister on the phone and there’s always this little piece of me that breaks a little inside.

 

My parents are getting older, approaching their seventies and I know that things will never be resolved with us.  The chaos I grew up in, the things that happened to me and not having their help, their protection, their guidance or love.  Even my health needs went unmet which in turn has complicated my health now.  In today’s world, I would have been removed from that home.  I saw things and knew things children should never know or be exposed to.  Nothing…  There will never be anything different with them.   

 

Seeing how difficult it is to attain mental health help in addition to the family doctor I am waiting for, 2 years now.  I felt like the only means available to me is to write about it.  I can’t afford the treatments that many people have access to and I have no health coverage.  The only thing I have is my writing.  I have hesitated to really put things out there for a long time.  I already got yelled at by my brother because of “how I write about our parents” he is my step mother’s son from her previous marriage.  Her only child.  He got taken care of well.  Very well.  I on the other hand was not her problem.  He doesn’t realize that despite us living under the same roof for 6 years we have lived very different lives.  

 

My family doesn’t care about me.  I have one cousin that I wish lived closer but I even tend to keep her at arm’s length because I don’t trust she’ll stay in my life either.  My now ex wife cheated on me and we divorced in 2014 so yeah, now I have some serious abandonment issues and PTSD and chronic pain and poverty and bad credit and all the other shit that comes with being chronically ill.

 

I prefer for people to think of me as witty and happy and clever so I tend to only write when I’m feeling upbeat but that isn’t realistic.  Life isn’t always like that.  Sometimes, life is just shit.  

 

I hope I feel better tomorrow.

 

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

 

Image

“Mangrove Trees” by 9comeback  www.freedigitalphotos.net 

 

Another Night, Another Dreamish Sleep

A guest blog post by Ocean Hayward

 

Anxiety

Here I am, up again. I start off well- I  doze off into dreamland and then am awakened from my slumber (usually because I need to urinate); then it starts. I try to go back to sleep, but I worry.  I worry that I won’t be able to get back to sleep. Then I worry that I’ll be tired in the morning because I didn’t sleep. And then I worry about all of the things I didn’t manage to get done and the things I need to do. And the worry goes on, and on and on (till the breaka-breaka dawn, yo!)

 

Anxiety.

 

So this morning I awoke, and I started thinking about my anxiety, and the fact that I have always had it. Or did I?  When did I start feeling anxiety all the time? Was it, in fact, always a part of my life?

 

I tried to remember the first time I felt really anxious. My first thought was that it was my very first day of school (which is ironic because I am a teacher now and tomorrow… no, technically now, today is my first day of school for this year.) So my first day of grade primary, I took the bus by myself and got to the school. All the kids at the elementary school were playing in the school yard. I remember sitting on a bench in front of the school by myself. Worried. Worried because I didn’t know where I was supposed to go.

 

Before the summer, they had given us an orientation to grade primary and I went to my mom to see the school and all of that. But I couldn’t remember what I was supposed to do or where I was supposed to go. Did they even tell me? Then the bell rang for the instructional day to start, and I sat on the bench and cried. I didn’t know what to do. A little girl saw me outside by myself, sobbing. She was arriving on a late bus. She asked me what was wrong. I replied that I didn’t know what I was supposed to do or where my class was. She said, “Maybe you’re in my class.”

 

Now, you may be thinking this is a happy story about how I made a new best friend who helped me find my way on my first day of school. Let me stop you. She did not become my best friend. In fact, I never made any real friends until I myself was in grade one. But that is another story and does not relate to my main point here and the epiphany I made this morning in my sleep-less state. Or maybe it’s not an epiphany at all. Maybe it’s just the ramblings of an extremely over-tired, worried, crazy teacher lady.

 

The kind little girl led me to her classroom. I arrived to a class full of strange faces. The girl told the teacher my situation and the teacher asked me my name. “No,” the teacher said. “You’re not in this class. This is grade one,” and she asked the other little girl to take me down the hall to the grade primary classroom.

 

I thought about this moment in my life- yes, I thought- it was all the people and commotion, this was the defining moment of when my anxiety started. Or was it?

 

It wasn’t.

 

I thought about the time my mother and I went to visit my Great-Aunt Evelyn and Great-Uncle Allison. (Yes, Allison is a man’s name too. Men with typically female names are prevalent in my family- my grandfather’s name was Beverly and I have other family members named Laurie.) Anyway, I was playing on the floor next to the Grandfather Clock in their sitting room. I guess I must have been too loud or something because I remember my mother snapping at me, “Children should be seen, not heard.” After that, I always worried about being too loud when we went visiting.

But no, that wasn’t the first time I felt anxiety. My mother was always yelling at me. “Clean up your toys” or “It’s time for bed” or “Get ready to go.” It was my mother yelling at me all the time that really triggered my anxiety. It wasn’t her fault though. My mother always acted like a bitch, but she really wasn’t. She would yell at me out of frustration. You see, she would ask me to do things, but I would be zoned out in my own little world of thoughts, play or television. As a teacher, I totally understand her frustration- you ask a child to do something again and again and again and they don’t listen. It makes total sense that she would eventually explode into a tirade of yelling and crazy bitchiness. In fact, I had such a problem with listening to both my mother and the teachers at school, in addition to a speech disability, that in grade primary I was sent to have my hearing checked. The result: I have perfect hearing. Not so great at listening.

 

This may be all coming together for you by now. Or maybe not. I’ll spell it out for you. I have recently been diagnosed with Adult ADHD. All of a sudden, my entire life makes sense.

 

Being diagnosed was a struggle. Throughout my teaching education and career, I learned a lot about ADHD and I suspected I may have it. Zoning out, daydreaming, messy, hyper… Of course, when I was growing up, ADHD wasn’t a thing. Or if it was, it wasn’t well known. But when I was sent to see a psychiatrist due to anxiety attacks, I asked if he could test me for ADHD. His response was that since I was a teacher and had been successful at life, I couldn’t possibly have ADHD. But he didn’t know my history, and how could he? Psychiatrists don’t have the time to learn our histories in this age of information overload, unequal work-life balances, and Donald Trump where everyone has some kind of mental illness. (Really, it should be called societal illness since we seem to be creating a lot of this madness ourselves!)

 

If he knew my history, he would know everything I’ve just explained to you. He would also know that throughout school, my assignments were often incomplete and late. He would also know that I struggled with attendance and drinking too much during my early university years and actually flunked out. I returned later, and turned that anxiety into motivation.

 

So this morning I had an epiphany. Which came first? The chicken or the egg, the ADHD or the anxiety. They are connected, you see. But if I had to articulate what came first, I think it is the ADHD. You see when you are constantly living within your own mind, you miss things. A LOT OF THINGS. Instructions, conversations, deadlines, places where you put your things. You miss out on so many things because of your inability to focus, and then comes the anxiety. What was I supposed to do and how was I supposed to do it? How come I can’t remember that my husband told me about Trump watching the solar eclipse when we had an entire conversation about it? (He thinks it was a conversation only because I nodded and said yes and no to make it appear that I was listening. When you have ADHD, you become an expert at faking attention.) When are those grades due again? Where did I put the keys? Where did I put the keys?

 

Then there is the hyperactivity aspect. I can do everything! I’ll volunteer to do this or that, because I always want to be busy. I will have these amazing, wonderful ideas and start planning something, then be overwhelmed by the amount of detail, effort and organization involved. This leads to procrastination due to the overwhelming workload I’ve created for myself. Then things either get done in a sloppy way or don’t get done at all because people with ADHD take on too many tasks due to our constant need for mental stimulation.

 

And so here is the equation as I see it: an inability to focus + a need to be active= ANXIETY. That is my epiphany in the early morning hours of dreamlessness.

 

Proof positive: in the time that I started writing this piece, I started making oatmeal for breakfast and got focused on writing, forgetting about the oatmeal cooking on the stove. Yummy, burnt oatmeal for breakfast. Just another day in the life of a person with ADHD.

 

Did I mention I ran out of my ADHD meds? It’s going to be a great day of chaos- I hope I can find my classroom.

~ Ocean

Image

“Thoughtful Young Woman Sitting on Red Sofa” by Ambro  www.freedigitalphotos.net

These Days

I am having a bad day.  I’ve been dealing with physical pain the last few days.  This always happens with a season change.  It starts with the sleepless nights.  The tossing and the turning.  Sleepless because my legs and feet ache.  A cold throbbing ache through to my bone that refuses to subside no matter how I position myself.  Next it’s the neck pain.  I am writing this currently with a hot magic bag wrapped around my neck.  Then the spine pain.  I’m eating Tylenols like Pez while propped up by pillows and have broken out the space heater.  In the meantime, I wanted to post at least twice a week to the Blog Broad but it’s difficult to be witty when you’re in pain.  All I want to do is ensconce myself in fleece and watch things that make me cry.  I like to hide that part of myself; the sick part of myself.  I prefer to retreat like a wounded animal far away from people.   I feel like I have nothing of importance to say or pass on on days like this.  It takes a big toll on my confidence.  I spend these days in a state of anxiety and nothing I write is ever good enough. 

On “these days” I am going to post “Guest Pieces”.  By a good friend of mine. I am urging her to start her own blog because she is a fabulous writer and I really enjoy her style. Last year she wrote a book and is in the process of finding a publisher. I read her book. Not only was it full of humor and things I could relate to, I couldn’t put it down and finished it in a couple of days. I really hope she finds a way to get it out there for other people to enjoy. She is a teacher by career, so her life is incredibly busy. Until she starts her own blog up she’s going to occasionally send me pieces and I will share them here.  

Stay tuned for guest posts by Ocean Hayward …