I Regret Nothing…Maybe

Looking back through some old (and mostly private) posts, about three years ago, I was falling apart. Depression was worse ever, anxiety was bad, there was lots of family stuff going on, etc. — just a straight up clusterfuck. And then I made things a hundred times worse when I stopped taking my antidepressant and anxiety medicine on a whim. It makes me cringe so hard now just thinking about what a straight up mess I was.

Image result for inspiration get to where i am today

Okay, yeah, inspirational type things like that really aren’t me.

Image result for office laughing gif

If I were going to do an inspirational type thing, it’d be something along the lines of, “Yay, you’re less of a fuck up than you were a few years ago. Go, you.” (And now I really want to make that and post it in the comments section of the next person who posts one of those memes. Oh hell, I’ll do it.)

It’s been about a year since I saw my therapist. And in the year range since I wrote anything about my own mental health. And I never dance around those issues with my friends anymore, either. (I say “dance around” because those conversations were very limited and vague.) After spilling my guts the other ways for the better part of three years, it’s been weird not saying anything and kinda losing touch with myself, if you know what I mean. I went from being very in tune with my feelings, moods, etc. to, well, not. 

That kinda bit me in the ass a little, too.

A few months ago, I started having some heart palpitations. A few times per hour, I was having palpitations. Since the only other time I have had heart palpitations is when I was having an awful anxiety/panic attack, I assumed that my heart was about to kick it.

Husband: “It’s anxiety.” 

After waiting for my heart to kick it for a week, I went to the doctor.

New doctor: “Sounds like anxiety.” 

Me: I don’t think so…

<refers me to cardiologist, palpitations worsen>

Cardiologist: “I really think this is due to anxiety, but I’ll do an ECG.” 

That turned out fine, of course, but I still didn’t think it was anxiety. I figured that as someone who has dealt with anxiety pretty much forever, that I would know if anxiety were the culprit. I mean, yes, I was having anxiety and very much on edge a lot, but still…that wasn’t how it typically presented in me.

Psychiatrist: “What’s new in your world?” 

I tell her about the palpitations.

Psychiatrist: “Oh yeah, that’s anxiety, it might be time for you to start back taking a daily medication again.” 

Me, in my head: IT’S NOT ANXIETY.

Me: I don’t think it is. Doesn’t seem right. 

Psychiatrist: Maybe it’s not, but let’s give this a try for a month and see what changes.

I agreed.

Within a few days, the palpitations were gone. Hmph. Being the person that I am, I skipped them for a couple of days, and lo and behold, palpitations started back. So everyone was right except for me on this one.

That definitely showed me that I’m not as on top of the anxiety (or any of the other mental health stuff) the way that I was. Maybe if I had been mood tracking (the tracker goes through a bunch of symptoms on a sliding scale to show how you’re doing with anxiety, depression, etc.), I’d have put it together on my own without wasting a few hundred bucks on having my heart checked. (Or maybe not, it’s possible that I’d have never fingered something I associate with attacks with run of the mill anxiety.) Same thing with my moods — when I’m not diligent about tracking those and being aware of triggers, it’s easy for things to go south and get super irritable. Whereas if I’m more aware, I can tap out or do whatever it is I need to do to stay right. Not so much tapping out these days.

So, I guess I should add this to my New Year’s Resolutions list — track shit, lest I go in clusterfuck mode again. I’ve got an app downloaded to my phone, plus I was gifted a nice adult coloring book/marker set for Christmas. Everyone says it’s really calming, so we’ll see. I don’t anticipate having the patience for it, but it does look pretty cool.

Really, though, I think it’s extra important to be on top of things right now. As excited as I am about getting a cochlear implant, I know the risks. I know that I might lose the rest of my hearing in the implanted ear, that the sound quality might be awful (think sensory issues), that relearning to hear just might not work out, etc. I’m willing to take those risks because the possible benefit is huge, but I know that if things don’t work out or it gets too overwhelming or whatever, that I could be prone to falling into a bad depression. I guess that’s true any day, but more so with that situation, I’d think.

So, here’s to getting in touch with my brain again, so that I avoid the cringe in future posts. Scratch that — there’s always going to be cringe with me — so I’ll shoot for avoiding batshit cringe.

Next up — time to do a catch up on the family that doesn’t involve talking about what cute/funny thing they said. As much as I enjoy doing the Dorky Mom stuff, it almost pains me at times to only show my family/myself through that one lens. That’s the nature of the content and all, but still…

Till then.

Advertisements

Old People and Technology

This has been sitting in my drafts folder for months — time to let it see the light of day.

My mother-in-law got a new car. She is really not tech savvy. I routinely have to fix her computer, her tablet, and her phone. Had to fix Facebook for her once after she accidentally set her posts private for a year and was pissed over lack of comments, and then there was the time she straight up thought Obi Wan Kenobi was Jesus on Facebook. As most of y’all probably know, many (maybe all, I dunno) new cars have infotainment systems. And guess what’s required to use this system? A basic understanding of technology!

The struggle has been real for my in-laws because of this. We were getting call after call asking about syncing, music, bluetooth, contacts, Google Voice, where Siri went (which is strange, because my MIL has never owned an iPhone or iPad that had Siri), and On-Star. I know there’s a learning curve on this stuff, and despite my teasing, I mostly don’t mind helping. (And as much as I like to joke about older people and technology, I have to ask for help on some pretty basic cooking things, so it evens out.)

Mother-in-law approached me a month or two ago to ask about the possibility of legal trouble regarding their new car. After complaining about it for a few minutes, she told me that she was worried they were going to get arrested because her husband cussed out the virtual advisor. He asked for directions, it didn’t understand him and it gave him some random answer. After that happened a few times, he let loose.

“Could he go to jail for that?” she asked me.

I can usually keep a straight face with her, but this time I couldn’t. The thought of cussing out On-Star’s version of Siri is was humorous enough, but getting arrested for it? I about pissed my pants.  I assured her that no one was monitoring those interactions (I don’t need to expose her to my paranoid brain) and that no laws had been broken.

I thought that was the end of it until I talked to her grandkids this past weekend and one of them mentioned her calling all four of them — recently, too — and asking if they were going to get arrested over this. Holy shit.

Praise Zeus

March has been good to us so far. We made it through the first week without anyone getting sick and puking all over or needing a prescription! And my washing machine is no longer running continuously. “Praise Zeus,” as Little Man is fond of saying.

75954398

And, yes, I’m knocking on wood. All the wood. Even…nah, I’m not going there.

We have had a super laid back weekend. We took the kids out to dinner and did a little shopping on Friday night, did soccer and a little cleaning on Saturday, and all we have planned for today is taking apart Baby Girl’s crib to give to some relatives. Since she only used the crib a couple of times (she preferred her pack-n-play), I won’t get all weepy. (Although I am still a little annoyed that the adorable owl sheets I bought to match the theme of her nursery were never really used. I’ll get over it when she’s 20.)

In other good news, I had a few necklace orders this week, plus a couple of vinyl decal orders. If things continue being less chaotic, I hope to get more up on Etsy rather than focusing just on Facebook. People apparently love stuff that is pet-related, so that seems like it’d be a good focus once I start focusing. Little Man is making a bunch of necklaces for a festival at his school, and we have to have 50 ready for later this month, so I’ll be making necklaces one way or another. He has Pokemon, Star Wars, My Little Pony, Deadpool, Transformers, and some others.

Some of the necklaces we made last month.

He’s offered to help me with necklaces for my Etsy shop “for a cut of the profit.” (His class has an entrepreneurship theme this year.) I told him we’d talk after he helps me with 50 necklaces, so now he wants his own shop. He is obsessed with all things LEGO and wants to save his money to buy the Millennium Falcon. That thing is expensive — around $120 — so he better make a lot of necklaces.

What’s new with you?

It’s Christmas!

All the presents are wrapped. All of the presents my husband went out and bought because he temporarily lost his mind and decided that everyone need just a little something extra to go with the gifts we already had are wrapped. The stockings are hung and the stocking holders are duct-taped to the mantle because I bought heavy things to go in them. Little Man’s plot to booby trap Santa has been foiled (he didn’t get to sleep on the couch, so he wasn’t alerted by the jingle bells that he sneaked into the stockings).


We’re done for the night.

Unless Baby Girl wakes up at 2:00 again asking for a bottle. (Yes, she’s back on the nightly bottle after getting sick because that’s the only way we could get fluids in her, so now we’ve gotta go through the painful process of taking it again…after Christmas.) Fingers are crossed that won’t happen since she had a busy day and no nap. If she does, we’ll haul her into “the big bed” as she calls it and hope she sleeps.

I stayed home all day, doing more cooking and cleaning, while Sam took the kids to a birthday party. I made a turkey breast in the crockpot (and it was heavenly and juicy), mashed potatoes, lima beans, a baked potato for me, corn on the cob, and biscuits. We used the nice plates and silverware we got as wedding gifts, and LM expressed shock over the fact that we owned such fancy things. The meal was followed by chocolate cake. It was all so good, and even Baby Girl ate more than just her cheesey roll up.

Afterwards we decorated our salt dough ornaments and opened gifts left from Rufus (our elf). They loved the new jammies and books. Then they opened one gift each from us, plus LM gave his dad and me our gifts. (He gave me Kylo Ren and Rey action figures; his dad got a socket wrench set.)

While Sam and I were busy cleaning the kitchen, we heard the distinct sound of paper being torn and found Baby Girl busy opening more presents. We told her not to do it, and went back into the kitchen where I watched her watch me from the corner of her eye, give me a devilish grin, and sprint back to the tree to finish her business. So, the kids also got to finish opening a carry along Lego case each since BG started each of them.

Eventually we got them into their jammies, brushed their teeth, made sure Santa had his goodies (Little Man left a letter with the goodies admonishing him for not bringing his dog a gift last year and asking for one this year), and read The Night Before Christmas.

I like how we’ve settled into our own family tradition now. It’s nice going to visit family for Christmas (well, sometimes it’s maddening, but mostly nice), but I like having our own Anxious Family thing. Christmas Eve dinner, dessert, crafts, a movie if we have time, open a present, read the book. It feels special to have our own little thing now.

It’s now officially Christmas Day in my neck of the woods, so Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, y’all.

Llama Llama Family Holiday Drama

My title wins, I think. Llama Llama Holiday Drama just isn’t enough drama. Throw the family in there, Llama Llama Family Holiday Drama, and you’ve got a winner.

So, don’t you love it when strangers on the Internet ramble about their family drama? Not really? Then skip this one, because ramble I will.

screenshot-2016-12-17-at-12-20-30-am

Baby Girl loves these books!

So, on my husband’s side of the family, there are lots of people who don’t like each other. This isn’t abnormal, because statistics show that only 20 percent of members of an extended family like each other at any given time. No, not really, but that can’t be too far off.

Keeping that statistic in mind, I was volunteered to cook Christmas Eve dinner. Once by Little Man, who sent out sweet messages to everybody on his Facebook list and asked everyone over. That obviously didn’t count. The other time was by my mother-in-law.

Here’s how it went…

“E, my niece and her family don’t have anywhere to go for Christmas,” she told me.

“Hmm.” The niece and her family (all older than me) moved back to town about a year ago, have a place to live, and have lots of close family members who aren’t my husband and myself. That sounds about as strange as saying the Anxious Family doesn’t have anywhere to go for Christmas.

“I can’t invite them to my house during our family get-together because people might get mad,” she told me.

“Who might get mad?” I asked.

“Well, you know, I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes,” she responded.

“It’s your house. Whose toes would you be stepping on?”

“Some of the others might not want them here. I’d have to call around and ask. You know how it is.”

Not really. “Is someone mad at them?” I named over the other families that were coming, wondering if there was a beef that I was unaware of. There wasn’t.

She shook her head. “No. But you know how people are. Someone might not want them here and get upset, and then we’d have drama at Christmas.”

“Well, it’s your house. If you want to invite them, then you should. I wouldn’t worry about what anyone else thinks.”

She sighed. Clearly I wasn’t getting it. “Well, maybe no one would get upset. But they might. And then what if [Niece’s] brother comes to town and finds out where they’re going for Christmas? I don’t want him and his family piling in here. And neither does her aunt, that’s why she’s not inviting them over for Christmas, either. And if I do invite [Niece], then I can’t tell her that she can’t let her brother come over. It’s Christmas, for crying out loud.”

“Well…” I wasn’t exactly at a loss for words, but none of the words I had were appropriate for deescalating drama over potential Christmas drama. Plus a headache was starting to come on.

“I know!” she said excitedly, suddenly having an idea. “We could just invite them to your house for Christmas Eve to eat dinner. And we could invite [lists several other relatives]. And if the brother finds out about it, we can just tell them that since it’s at your house that he can’t come; it wouldn’t matter then.”

Great. I get to cook and clean for fifteen people (instead of the just four of us) and potentially have a family pissed off at me.

“Yeah. I don’t know…” At some point, if you display being reserved or uncomfortable about something, people pick up on that and back off, right?

“It’s be great!” MIL said. “Everyone would be so happy and we wouldn’t have to worry about Christmas being ruined.”

I told her I’d let her know, that Sam and I needed to talk about it first, plus I needed to check to see what my dad had going on. I barely got the words out of my mouth to Sam when he said it wasn’t happening. He talked about how we already have our own Christmas Eve tradition with the kids and that he doesn’t want to break that, plus if his mom wants to invite people over for dinner, she should do it at her own house on Christmas Eve and deal with it. So, I texted MIL that we weren’t going to be able to do it. I felt relieved, but felt a bit guilty, too.

And then MIL texted me yesterday to ask me if the plans were still on and to let me know that everyone was excited about coming.

1432

We’re used to this method of hers — she will disregard whatever you say and move on with her plans. Sometimes we (or Sam’s siblings) shut our mouths and go with it, sometimes not. This wasn’t one of those times, so I broke it to her again that I wasn’t hosting anything on Christmas Eve. She didn’t say anything else about it, so I think we’re fer sure off the hook now.