tHe haPPy grOUch

tHe haPPy grOUch

Sunday, May 28, 2017

It's Sunday, so, on with it.

It's been a long week. Tiring. Exciting. Stressful.

I picked up an extra shift this week, which was good for the wallet, but bad for my (already screwed up) sleeping pattern. I'm definitely out of practice for night shifts. My blinks were getting longer and longer by 9 o'clock.  By midnight I was already half asleep. Pretty sure I sleep-drove all the way home. And even though I went to bed at 1:30am, I still got up at 5. Geez.

Speaking of work... This week I had several "ahhhhh" moments. Not like a surprise ahhhh, more like a content ahhhh. Moments where I've looked around and thought, this is my second home, this is my second family... This place, and these people, how I love them so. (even as much as I complain about this industry, and about how much I hate people)... I've made so many connections here. I am happy here. At home. And I am thankful for that.

This week also found me closing on the new place. I was very excited, but also verklempt. Overwhelmed, saddened. Leaving the lake is bittersweet. I will miss the water, so friggin much. I'm looking at it now as I write this. The sun is shining, the lake is calm with just a bit or rippling from the breeze... It's so beautiful. Calming. I will miss it so. And I have felt at home here, at peace.
But onward to new adventures... to home ownership, to hopefully seeing my boy more often. And hopefully I will feel at home, at peace, in the new house.

I've also been going back and forth on this whole dog thing... To get a dog, or not.
I know, I had Flash. But Flash was an extraordinary breed, who required far more than I could give him. He was a decent companion, but he required more than my busy/lazy life could provide. Yes, I'm busy, but I'm not that busy. And when I'm not busy, I don't want to be outside throwing frisbees all day long, or running, or hiking, or any other kinds of activities needed to satisfy a herding dog. I knew it when I adopted him, but I still convinced myself it could work.
And in the end, I made the hard decision to do what was right for him. And now he's training to herd cattle, running free with two other dogs every day, getting all the attention, love, and activity that he deserves. He's ridiculously happy.
And there I was again, dogless.
Then there was Ivan the shih tzu, who I was guilted into providing a foster home for. Some would say- why didn't you just keep him? Trust me, I thought about it. But I knew that Ivan was not the dog for me. If and when I get my very own dog, it's going to be a big lazy dog (Ivan was pretty low maintenance, but he wasn't big). I've raised Danes for nearly ten years, I've always loved the large/giant breeds. And I primarily live alone now, so I want a big dog who will fight off a big bad guy if need be, lol... I've just always loved big dogs, and that's what I will have, at some point.
As most of you have already seen on facebook, I've been visiting with a Dane lately who needs a new home (through no fault of her own). She is super sweet, and seems to be a very good dog, although she does have her issues. I don't think they're issues that can't be worked with, though. Because the family is under contract with their original breeder, they are abiding by that contract and going through the breeder for the adoption. Unfortunately, I am not impressed at all with what she proposes for a contract. I drafted my own and presented it to her, but she still insists we use hers. If we can't come to an agreement, it will be a moot point, as I won't sign to her terms.
I'll be meeting with a friend's dog this week as well. They don't need to place her, and aren't actively looking for a new home, but they are super busy, and feel she would be better served in a home where she will get more love and attention. We'll see how that goes. Coincidence? Maybe.
(With all these visits, I feel like I'm on the doggy love connection)
I do want a dog. I'm busy a lot of the time. Am I too busy? I don't think so, I don't think it can't be managed. I long for that companionship, so much. I thought the cat would provide it for me. Maybe I'm wrong in thinking that a dog will provide it for me. Who knows. I know that I'm lonely.

I do see someone occasionally, and the boy is with me once in a while (once in a great while, lately, unfortunately), but primarily, I'm alone. And even though I am lonely, I have developed a bit of a fondness for being alone. I never thought that would happen.
Being alone means that I can go and do, whenever, whatever I want. Or whatever I don't want. I don't have to consider someone else's needs and/or desires. I can sit on my couch for 6 hours in my pajamas and binge watch Prison Break. I can go out dancing whenever I want (although that's not very often, but I can if I want to). I can stay home when I want to. I can eat whatever I want, get as many cats as I want (or a dog), watch whatever I want on tv, leave somewhere (or stay) whenever I want, sleep in the center of my bed, decorate as I want, leave my laundry everywhere if I want, buy whatever I want...  Anything... I can DO. Whatever. I want.
There is something to be said for that kind of freedom.
Yes, it's lonely. It's still really friggin lonely. But it is tolerable. And sometimes, enjoyable.
The only downfall (other than the loneliness), is... what happens if I ever do have the chance for a real life partner? Will I be able to? Have I grown too accustomed to being alone, to my own ways of living... How can I go back to anything else?
I guess I'll just have to make sure he's a pushover. Although, that's nothing new for me. :)

I miss my boy. So friggin much. He's only stayed one night with me in about six weeks. As I've said before, I always suspected he'd eventually get to a point where he'd want to stay more with his dad, but I just wasn't prepared for it. Sigh. I miss him so. Life is pretty empty without him around.
I'm hoping that I'll find him visiting more often once I'm in the new place. That was a big part of the decision; the fact that there's a trail that runs from it straight to his dad's house. If you're a child of divorced parents, what could be more ideal than having them practically next door to each other?
I'm going to the new place today to start painting and cleaning, He's already said that he'll come over on the wheeler and take me for a spin through the trails. That's a start.  :)

I'm torn, Although I want to suck up as much time on the lake as possible, I want to go get settled into the new home as soon as possible, too.

Well, I suppose I should go eat my package of bacon so I can get going for the day. I have painting and cleaning to do, and a four wheeling date with a cute boy.





Thursday, May 18, 2017

Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday... What the hell day is it?
It's Thursday. It's my Monday. First day back behind the bar for the week.
Without the boy here, the days still kind of meld together. It's hard to tell one from the other.

I've watched the sun rise over the lake for days. I've been waking between 4-5 every day. I don't know if it's the changing of the seasons or what. If I go back in my facebook timeline, or in this blog, I think I'll find a pattern of it. I wake before the sunrise this time of year. It's part of my "mood pattern" too, I just haven't figured out that piece yet.

The sunrise was especially beautiful today. The sky was so pink, and the sun was red. And it all reflected off the water.
I sure am going to miss that.
As most of you know from my facebook page, I have decided to leave the lake. I had the opportunity to purchase a mobile home in a lovely park here in Glenburn. Coincidentally, there is a trail that leads directly from it to the boy's dad's house. And yes, that was one of the primary factors for the decision. In my boy's mind, having his parents within walking distance of one another is the perfect scenario. If you're parents are divorced, what could be better than having them practically next door to each other? I don't go into it assuming he'll stay with me any more than he does (it's been one night in five weeks), that would just be setting myself up for disappointment. But I do know he'll buzz over once in a while on his four wheeler, or dirt bike, or snowmobile. And knowing that his parents are that close to each other brings him joy and peace, and in turn, it brings it to me as well.
My heart belongs to the lake, but it belongs more to my boy.
It's a nice home, very spacious, and completely remodeled. And the park is very well cared for and quiet. I have the last lot in the park, so it's quite private. The payment is very economical. Even with the lot rent, it's a fairly substantial savings from what I am paying now for rent. And it'll be paid off in ten years. It'll be easy, low-maintenance living. I'll be 53 when it's paid off, with only a small lot payment and utilities to worry about. And besides, I'll own it. It'll be mine.
I'll be leaving the lake in just over a month. I'll soak up as much time with it as I can. At least I was able to realize my dream of living on the water, even if only temporarily.

I saw my psychiatrist for follow up this week. I think the new meds are helping me dig out of my hole. I'm not sure. Could be just an upswing in the moods. We'll give it another two weeks and then decide whether or not to up the dosage. Hopefully I'll actually stay on this one this time. As most of us "afflicted" people do, we tend to get to a point where we think we're just fine, and we don't need meds anymore. Then suddenly we land ourselves in a depression that we can't get out of, or we do something to up-heave our lives and the lives of others, something that hurts ourselves and/or our loved ones. Then we say, oh shit, gotta go in search of help again. It's a vicious circle. One that I'm trying to quit. For real, this time. Or so I say. Until I think I'm "well" again. Sigh.

At least I've been able to avoid the potential life pothole I was headed for in matters of the heart. As I said in my last blog, I'm always practical, except for where that's concerned. Practicality wins the day this time, though. It's funny how much we will accept and forgive "in the name of love". Too  much. All too often we give third, fourth, fifth chances, when a second wasn't deserved in the first place.
Why has it taken me so many years to learn this? Who knows.. But at least I have. Better late than never, right?

Oddly, I've also begun to feel a little better about "being alone". Is it the meds? Is it a mood change? I'm not sure. But being alone isn't always lonely. Sometimes it's just what I need. Most times, it seems. I've realized I like my time. My space. There is something to be said for living for yourself. Doing what you want. Not doing what you don't. Not answering or explaining anything to anyone. No one but the cat, anyway.
I'm trying to balance it more with being social, as awkward as that may be for me. I can't completely become a hermit, as much as I might like to. Don't get me wrong, I pretty much still think that people suck. But not all of them, and not all of the time. I'm trying to give them a chance. And myself.

Speaking of living alone, and buying my own home...
This means that, if I deem my life accommodating enough for one, I can get a dog. Whatever kind of dog I want. No bending the arm of a landlord or husband or boyfriend to allow one. No having to choose a small breed, or one with less hair, or one who slobbers less, or whatever.
Will I go back to a Dane? Not sure. It'll be some kind of big dog. For protection, for companionship. We shall see.

I suppose, I should go get ready for work. And peopling.

I wake to watch the sunrise
It’s pink over the water
There’s an empty beer bottle on the counter
Next to my coffee cup
It belongs to the body in my bed
The warmth begs me to come back and lie down
But the sky is so beautiful
And the coffee tastes lovely
And this moment is mine
~CGJ



Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Sunday coffee and blogging... Wait, it's Tuesday.. Tuesday coffee and blogging...

Without the boy here, it's very difficult to keep track of the days.
It's been almost four weeks since he's spent the night here with me. I've seen him a small handful of times over the last month. Easter, for a short dinner visit. A couple dinners out, at his tennis matches, or when he needed me to drop off his ROTC uniform...
I always thought there would come a day when he'd want to be at his dad's more often. His dad's is the fun house, lots of toys.. four wheelers, snowmobiles, dirt bikes. He doesn't feel "emotionally challenged" there; he can cope with his feelings by burying them. It's a bit more, how do you say, "relaxed"; fewer rules and restrictions, more freedom. And perhaps he feels closer to his brother there. And perhaps they need him there for that same reason. But I need him, too. Probably I need him too much (Norman Bates's mother syndrome). I suspected it would come. I just didn't think it would be so soon, and I wasn't at all prepared for it.

Logan has been gone for some time now. She'll be 22 this month. And with Dawson gone most of the time now, the empty nest has fully set in.
And now, without children and without a partner, I've truly become alone.
I think I already mentioned in a previous blog, that living alone isn't empowering, or liberating. At least not for me.
It's just.. lonely.

According to the advice of others, there's all kinds of things I could be doing to enrich my life, to reinvent myself. Get a new hobby or two. Meditate. Walk. Knit. Read. Write more. Spend time with friends (If I even have any). Join a gym. Join a group of some kind. Get out more...
Perhaps once my new meds kick in, and I've climbed out of this "down time", I'll find something that I enjoy. For now, though, I lack the interest and/or motivation. For anything, really. But, it'll pass. It usually does. I just have to wait it out. Get through it.

And yes, as always, I'll go on to speak frankly about being bi-polar, about borderline personality disorder, the depression, the anxiety. It doesn't bother me, I'm not ashamed or embarrassed.
I met with a new psychiatrist last week whom I really liked. She's my age, she has two kids, both boy and girl, both my kids ages. She was very laid back, yet also professional. Seeing her is much more personal than receiving treatment at Acadia, where you feel like you're shuffled in with the rest of the crazies, given a prescription, and shuffled out.
Anyway... After trying a multitude of medications over the years (Zolaft, Depakote, Topomax, Abilify, just to name a few..), perhaps the Latuda will help.
The changing seasons are always more difficult for me. I'm not sure why (I hear it's that way for a lot of other bi-polars.. fellow bi-polars, raise your hands, lol). Spring and fall usually find me changing jobs, starting or quitting school, having an affair, getting a divorce, obsessing over some new hobby or activity until it becomes unhealthy, binge drinking, up and moving to a new place, draining my savings until I'm poor and destitute, or some other life altering behaviors... (I don't imagine I can fly, it's not quite as sensational as they make it out to be on tv). That's why I'm always hesitant. Over the years I've learned to cope, to "stay in place". Don't start anything new, don't leave anything old, don't change my mind, don't change direction, don't do anything. Is it just "my time"? Am I making a mistake? Will I regret this? Unfortunately though, that overcompensating also becomes a source of angst. In anything in life, making a decision becomes one of the most challenging things in the universe. And so many times, I just stay in place. Stay stuck. Do nothing. Fighting with yourself constantly, is exhausting.
Exhausting is a good way to describe it all.
Being afflicted this way is exhausting. It's not a joke. It's not a scape-goat. It's not a myth. I don't like to call it "mental illness". That seems too heavy. But it's real. And it's exhausting.
The moods (and please know that bi-polar moods, or BPD moods are not like what you experience every day), the anxiety, the depression (and oh, at times it's so fucking crippling), the highs (although sometimes the highs are quite nice, that's why we hate Depakote), the roller coaster... it's all. so. exhausting.
Not to sound morbid (and no, I'm not suicidal)... I used to be cursed with what I liked to call "mortality anxiety". I was always afraid of dying. I am not a religious person,  so I don't really have the afterlife to look forward to (although at times I surely wish I did). But lately, the last several months or so, maybe a year even, I seem to have tamed that mortality anxiety. I seem to have come to terms with dying. And simply because, it'll finally be a release. And everything won't be so exhausting anymore.
Again, please don't freak out. I'm not going to go walk into the lake and not come back out. It was just a realization I've come to over time, and thought I'd share.

I once read a quote that said- "Life is supposed to be enjoyed, not endured". And yes, that makes sense, but it's a pretty far reaching goal. It's not very realistic. And if nothing else, I'm cursed with being a realist. Although, I'm also still slightly hopeful. I'll keep enduring, in the hopes that maybe something will bring it purpose, enjoyment, enrichment, fulfillment. At least once in a great while. Hopefully. Until I can be not so exhausted anymore.

Random insert (and another thing I've discussed with the psychiatrist, and will pursue with my new primary care provider)... I was thinking about my kids. Trying to recall something from when they were young. And, I can't. I can't remember anything. I can't remember what their faces looked like when they were young. I can't remember things we did, or places we'd been, or moments in their lives.
And I've always known I can't recall memories like other people can.
I don't remember things. When I say "I don't remember things", I guess I mean, I can't remember anything in my life beyond, oh, about the last five years or so. Nothing.
The memories I do have are photographs. I'll think I'm recalling a memory, but then I realize I'm recalling seeing a picture of something, or someone, or a place, or a happening. Oh, I remember the birth of my eldest! Wait, no, I remember the picture of it. Hey! I remember my first wedding! Wait, no, that was just a photograph. I see the pictures as memories but I can't remember the actual moments. I don't remember any of it, at all.
It started some time ago, almost as a joke, when my friend would recall something and say- do you remember when we did... (this, or that, or whatever)... And I'd say, ummm, no, I don't remember. How do you remember it?
Unfortunately, I've had that same damn conversation with pretty much everyone in my life. With my daughter, my friends, my mother, my ex-husband(s)... hundreds of times.
I don't remember the things I've done. I don't remember my children when they were growing, I don't remember anything. I certainly don't remember anything about being young myself. At 6, 16, 26... Did I even exist?
I know it sounds crazy. It sounds crazy even as I type it. My short term memory is pretty flawless. But my long term memory? Well, I seem to not have one at all.
And I haven't even really talked to anyone about it until recently. Because recently, I've come to accept that it's probably not normal. And I should probably talk to my doctor about it, instead of stuffing it, burying it. Perhaps my son gets some of his coping skills from his mother after all.

Anyway, back to reinventing yourself, enriching your life...

I'd like to say that going back to school is something I'm doing for those purposes, to enrich my life, reinvent myself. But it's not. It's an obligatory necessity (as is pretty much everything else in life). Essentially, I need to prepare for employment between the time I'm too old to bartend and the time I'm dead. And going back to school, even if it is just Beal, just an associates for administrative professional, will do that. It's practical. It's doable. It'll prepare me to be employable in that time frame, that space between bartending and death.
I know, exciting stuff. Practicality trumps excitement. Such is my life.

Practicality trumps excitement. I guess that's my life motto now (at least it is while I'm "managing my moods"). Someone please engrave that on my tombstone, or my urn, whichever.

I haven't always been practical. Unfortunately, the one area in which I'm never practical, and always reckless, are in matters of the heart. And that habitual behavior has turned my life (and the lives of others) upside down, on more than one occasion. Probably more than ten occasions. Probably even more than that...

Once upon a time, there was a girl who was in love with two men. It was several years ago. I won't go into detail; it's a tale too long to tell. But if you've been reading this blog over the years, you are probably already familiar with it.
Anyway... Back then, the girl described that "love triangle" as one of the most painful experiences of her life. She wrote- "There's a reason love triangles only exist in the movies or on tv, because they are too painful for reality". And so, she had to choose. Because, let's face it, she couldn't have both. Even though she couldn't help but love both. But she had to choose. She had to sever ties to one or the other, much like choosing to lose one of her very own limbs. She had to carve out half of her heart.
And she did. She lived through it, though she lost half of herself in the process. But life went on. And she hoped and prayed she'd never, ever have to do something so painful again.
And yet, here she sits.
Well, my second ex-husband didn't always make sense, but he did always say- "life is about circles". Perhaps he was onto something.
I must have believed it at one point, I have the tattoo on my back to attest to that.

Speaking of ex-husbands... I recently heard that the maximum amount of times you can marry in the state of Maine is 5 times. I'm over half-way there. Damnit, there goes my hopes of collecting ex-husbands and becoming the next Elizabeth Taylor. Perhaps I should move out of state?

Anyway... I suppose I should get off this computer, put down my proverbial pen, since I've rambled now for nearly two hours, drank five cups of coffee, and smoked half a pack of cigarettes. Do something productive. Rake the leaves, vacuum the house, do the dishes, take out the trash, make some candles. Go talk to the cat. Decide on my next ex-husband. Something.