Peanut Butter and Nutella Sandwiches

Quarantine hasn’t been kind to me. I take that back – I haven’t been kind to myself during quarantine.

I’ve walked around the apartment and kept up with calisthenics… sometimes. I’ve gained 8lbs, which is no small amount for someone just under 5’2″. (Heads up, Lucas.)

I should have and could have been consistent with working out during all of this but, damn I love peanut butter and Nutella sandwiches. I’m positive that I’m not the only person who’s dropped the ball during all of this, but I hate that I took the opportunity to miss the chance to keep moving.

So, alternate day fasting and calisthenics it is until the gym reopens on the 20th. Maybe a bit later in order to skip the gym rush. New Year’s all over again.

I haven’t mentioned that, have I? Going back to business as usual is happening, in phases. I’m excited to get back to the studio. I miss it, and I miss my studio-mates very much.

The gallery show with Art League Houston was moved from this month to July, so I have plenty of time to work on some new pieces. The second show at Sabine Studios was originally scheduled for October and hasn’t moved dates. So that’s good.

My aunt was diagnosed with COVID-19 and is now recovering at home. I hope to visit once all of this is over.

I’m rambling because I really don’t have a specific thing to talk about today.

Again, hah.

Back to the first topic.

Nevermind, I’m tired of typing on my phone now. Later.

Missing out but it’s fine

Today my Wednesday art class had a video chat lunch together, and I had been looking forward to it since Rafferty first mentioned it a week ago.

But I must have needed a rest day today.

I woke up late, again, and got ready. I washed my face and threw on the tiny bit of makeup I wear anymore. My hands had started shaking by then and I could feel my lunch tumbling restlessly in my stomach.

I couldn’t make myself get dressed. Last year I had pared down the amount of clothes I own so that getting dressed would be less time consuming, but I couldn’t make myself get dressed. I sat on the edge of the bed in my underwear and the t-shirt I had slept in, and struggled to think through what items of clothing I would need in order to be considered presentable.

Finally, I simply grabbed my phone and tapped out a message. I don’t think I can make today after all. I’m sorry!

I got back in bed, my back against the headboard and my Kindle comfortingly on my lap. Then I picked up my phone and began to write this. Yup. That was my day up until now.

Anxiety’s a bitch.

I’ll be fine in a few hours and regretting missing the chance to see my friends.

It’s all okay, though, because I also know that I’ll eventually remember that it’s never been better than now. It’s something I tell myself when the bipolar, hypomania, anxiety – whatever – kicks in. Yeah, having a little phrase to get me through the bad days is cliche, but I don’t care. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, and I’m kinda whatever about it.

I’m already starting to feel okay again. Seeing my friends was a flop but the rest will get better. It’d fucking better.

Posting two days in a row?!

I know, right? Who am I?

Sleep was fitful last night. I’ve been sleeping through the night lately, but man, the dreams are odd. I’m thankful for the sleep, though. I still have strange nightmares and strange dreams but every now and then I’ll have one that’s so bizarre that I can’t help but hope that I’ll be able to continue it the following night.

I’m bored. [Squirrel.]

I woke up around 10 this morning. Fell asleep again until 1. I woke up groggy from the excessive sleep and sheets that had become stale from sweat – I told you, I have bizarre dreams. Then I sat in bed and read for an hour and a half.

I read. My attention span is improving. Audiobooks don’t feel like my only option anymore.

If it had been a textbook, something about neuroanatomy for example, I would have been able to read forever. But there’s something about fiction; I used to get frustrated because I couldn’t picture what I was reading. I couldn’t picture the images described in the words.

Reading fiction had essentially lost its magic.

Like all things, it just needs practice.

Like walking, which is something I need to take more advantage of. The apartment is set up in a circle, perfect for walking aimlessly. I need to use this quarantine and bleak, inanely boring but precious time to walk. To get the most out of the phenol injections my PT, Lucas, had kindly worked his schedule around.

What was my point?

There goes my train of thought and memory again!

I should probably be editing this as I write it but it’s become a way to let out my thoughts in real-time. Why edit that? I take so long to write, it’s no wonder I forget things as I try to write them.

I think I was supposed to make a phone call today. Or something. I don’t remember.

It’s quite funny really.

To live now

In Harris County, where I live, we’ve had thousands of COVID-19 cases.

We’ve been under quarantine in Houston for weeks now, with the end of quarantine in either the near or distant future.

I had surgery to replace my DBS battery last month, on a Thursday or Friday. By the time the weekend was over, hospitals had stopped all surgeries not considered necessary – so I’d made it just in time.

My recovery is going just fine. I’m almost back to normal. The headaches have all but stopped entirely. I’m unusually tired most days, though I no longer needing to nap at midday to get through. Though that could be because I’m taking my antipsychotics before going to bed rather than in the morning.

I’m reading more. My eyes tire easily and I’m not yet able to read steadily for more than an hour before a blaring headache kicks in but, it’s getting better. Easier. I’m sure that I’ll be back to reading multiple books at once again soon.

The art classes I attended no longer meet in person because of the pandemic but, it’s for the best. The classes are online now. Tuesday – Friday. I haven’t been since my surgery, unfortunately. I simply haven’t been up to it. I plan to attend this week, since I’m feeling a bit better.

It’s an odd feeling, being alive during a pandemic. It’s surreal. A pandemic. It seems worlds away due to my being locked inside an 800sq.ft. apartment for weeks now.

At this point, the cats have decided I’m annoying.

I am.

Why I haven’t been posting

Shit happens.

I’m in an “up cycle” right now. That’s why I have the energy and motivation to post.

Bipolar disorder is far more than just mood swings.

So, here what is happening this week:

  • I’ll have phenol injections. Ow. I had a seizure during the last phenol session. This should be fun!
  • Then I’ll go to pre-op.
  • Friday I will have the surgery to replace my DBS battery. I’m not excited; I’m tired of having surgeries and procedures. Let’s get it over with.

Until Friday, I’m in my wheelchair. I’m not supposed to get out of it unless someone is with me, in case my battery dies. The operation to replace it is urgent since the battery could die at any moment. We hadn’t realized that the battery was so low.

I’m already tired from writing. Will post again soon!

How does it feel?

How does it feel to be alone?

Fine. It’s fine. I’m fine. Always am.

I hate being bipolar.

Experiences over things

I don’t want to be caught up in the Black Friday/Cyber Monday madness, whether it’s online or in person. I’m not on a self-righteous tirade and I don’t intend to throw shade on anyone who takes the opportunity to save a bit of money.

I’m just feeling in a way that makes me want to go somewhere and not give a damn about what I have. I want to chill with the people I give a shit about and just be.

No, it’s not because of Thanksgiving, and I haven’t turned hippy.

It’s because one of my dearest friends found the person he wants to spend the rest of his life with, and that’s something to care about. It’s not an object – it’s intangible. And it cannot be purchased. That’s what I felt when I met, then married, Adam – and I won’t stop feeling it. It’s what I remember and will always remember. His family accepting me as one of their own, adopting me in.

People change people. Good or bad, they impact each other. People are precious.

It’s a good day, that’s all.

Thanks

You’re the reasons a lot of us are here. Thank you for serving.

Also: My Father of Guantanamo Bay

*facepalm*

I’ve made a mistake.

It’s been six years, not 7. Fuck.

By the way, get out and vote if you’re American.

7

I’m 7 years old today.

Technically not, of course, but my life started over 7 years ago today.

It started with learning to breathe on my own, then rolling over. Then sitting up; crawling; motorized wheelchair; sitting unassisted; standing; walking with 3 people helping me, then one. Then a walker. Then a cane. Then nothing.

Nothing.

I’ve come so far.

Heather – Heather always remembers today. She has no idea what it means to me. I can’t explain.

Today I handcycled with some of the Achilles crew. They didn’t know what it meant to me to be able to propel myself forward so easily on my own, on the day, 7 years past that horrible night. Well, it meant the world. Thank you.

Then Adam took me for tacos. It was so much fun, to be relaxed and having a blast with the best person I’ve ever known.

I’m not sad this year like I have been on this day for the past 6 years. I’m not scared. I got back up.

I’m going to train so I can race next year. I’m going to walk again this or next year (I’m using a wheelchair right now – more on that later).
I’ll get back in the pool and I won’t be scared of having another stroke when the water closes over my head.

My fears don’t control me anymore.

I still remember that stroke.
The feeling of drowning.
Nightmarish for coma dreams.
Ataxia.
Growing up again, not knowing so much.
Memory loss.
Broken but healing.

Yeah, I’m not scared anymore. I’m still making it through each day, but I’m making it.

I posted this song on Facebook on the first anniversary of my stroke – and it rings true now more than ever.

Give this another listen.

Blue October: Fear