tHe haPPy grOUch

tHe haPPy grOUch

Monday, May 2, 2016

It's been a while, and I feel like talking. So, get comfy.

It's 5:30am, and here I sit, in my usual spot by the lake for my morning coffee.
I don't mind waking so early nowadays.



I guess I'd better get used to it, now that I'm adding a puppy to the household.
Yes! I'm getting a dog! After several (lonely) months of living without and animal in my life, I'm finally getting a dog!

I began the search thinking that I would adopt. That I could kill two birds with one stone- I get a service dog, and a displaced dog gets a great home. I filled out several applications. About a week later and I've had only one response and home visit. I understand that it takes time, but I am not a patient person.
I was looking for a (young) adult. Hoping to skip the puppy angst of chewing, potty training, and all the other headaches of puppyhood. But at the same time, I worried about the train-ability of an older rescue dog. I know, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks.  But even an adult (especially in rescue) is bound to have some learned bad behaviors. Maybe a puppy is a good idea? Maybe a blank slate is better to start with? Either way, I'm going to potentially (and probably) have my hands full. I don't know. So much to think about. So anyway, my search continued.
And then I saw this ad for puppies. They were shih tzu/mini Aussie mix. I didn't really want a tiny dog, so I thought this might be a good mix. While talking with the breeder, she mentioned that she had just had a boy fall through from her full mini Aussie litter. She sent me a picture, and it was pretty much all said and done then.
I did spend a few days obsessing over the breed and the fact that it's a puppy... Oh god, it's an Aussie. Can I keep it busy enough??? Oh god, it's a puppy. There goes my shoes. And poop on the floor. And crate training. And sleepless nights. And, and, and... I spent about 12 hours reading online about Aussies and training.
Even when I went to meet them, I wasn't sure. But mom was SUCH a sweet dog. She wanted nothing more than to lean into you and have you pet her. And when you stopped, she'd gently paw you and ask for more. Her and I played this game for about an hour while I was there. The dad was a little more skeptical of us. He just laid on his couch watching us with his puppies. Once in a while he'd come over and sniff us, let us pet him, then right back to his couch to watch over.
And the puppy... Oh, the puppy. Those ice blue eyes. That tri-color coat and stub tail. Oh god. How did I think I could resist! And so I (begrudgingly) parted with my deposit money. I pick him up this coming weekend.
So I have a week to prepare! I'll go broke this week on supplies, I'm sure. Broker than I already am? If that's possible?

I worry that I shouldn't be spending on a dog, especially when things are so tight. But, it is an investment. It's not just a new coach purse, or a bunch of new home decor stuff, or a new wardrobe. It is going to pay me back tenfold, for a very long time.

And then I worry.. is this the part of me that I don't like?
Am I being impulsive? Am I cycling? Am I in a an "up" moment right now? Where am I in my mind? Will how I feel about this change tomorrow, next week, next month? How can I know I am making the right decision? About the dog, or my job, or my relationship(s), or where I live, or, or, or... How can I ever really know, about anything?
You have no idea what it's like to live this way. Never being able to regulate your own emotions and/or thoughts. Life feels like such a roller-coaster. All. The. Time. And then there are the "blank" times. When you simply feel nothing at all. Worse than the emotionless moments though, are the down times. When you're stuck in sadness. There's nothing you can do. You know they will pass, you just don't know when. It could be hours. It could be two or three days. So you wait it out. Those moments are debilitating. Knowing it will (eventually) pass is the only thing that keeps you sane, keeps you from being stupid.
It all makes every day difficult. Every decision. Every moment. Self identity is nearly impossible.
Mix BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) with depression and bipolar, and it's a pool of crap that makes life... interesting.
But I'm not crazy. I cope. I function. I'm normal.


Speaking of which.. I'm finally trying the Abilify that I was so dead-set against (as if the stigma of mental health diagnoses aren't enough).. I was quite appalled at the thought of going on an anti-psychotic. I was afraid that by agreeing to it, it somehow was the final sentence that states- Congratulations, you're officially crazy. But when my therapist said- Crista, it might not help, but what would it hurt to try it? ...it made sense.. Stigma aside, denial aside. Just try the Abilify. And so I've been on a tiny dose for about a week and a half. Too small, and we (me, my therapist, my doctor) all know it, but as with any medication, start slowly and gradually increase. And wait and see.
And so, I wait. To feel differently. Or, maybe better put- to feel less different. I wait to feel balanced. I wait for peace.

Speaking of peace...

Living here on the lake has brought some. More than I expected, actually. There is definitely something about the water that brings it to me. Moving here from across the street was one of the best decisions I've made in a long while.

Anyway, back to the dog...

I am very excited about the new puppy. A bit (or maybe more than a bit) of anxiety accompanies that, though. I know I will have moments of regret. I'm sure I'll be complaining. The poop on the floor, the chewing, the crate training, the craziness. But I have to remind myself that it will pass. Not right away, but it will.
I will invest in some training (and lots of chew toys). I will be consistent.
And with any luck, I'll end up with a wonderful companion and service dog.

In other news.. 

I do miss having two incomes! Sigh. 
Just once I'd like to not have to owe someone money. Or complain about the cost of living. Just once I'd like to have someone say- oh hunnie, I paid the electric bill yesterday, or got the groceries, or paid the cable bill, or, or, or... My good friend Sue loves that Don (her hubby) checks with her every day- Do you have enough money today? Sigh. Now that, I miss. Just in general.
I have obviously forgotten how difficult it was to do it all on your own.
But, I am doing it. I guess. Barely.

Relevant but random... I did consolidate my student loans and get them out of default, so I can now qualify for government grants to go back to school, which I have been considering. That is, IF I can decide what the hell I want to be when I grow up.
Sigh.

And although I am lonely much of the time, I try and remind myself I am not completely alone. I have company, sometimes. I have Dawson, well, half-time (Norman Bates's mother effect still in full force). I have my mom and Logan on occasion. A few friends, I suppose. None that I actually talk to or spend any time with, though. Ok, maybe I don't have friends. Lol...

Hence, the dog.
Hopefully he won't mind me sucking the life out of him.



Be well.