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April 8, 2015

For some reason my mood has dropped off today.  Upon waking, I felt very off, did a bit of crying this  morning, have had increased suicidal ideation, and am generally feeling the pits.  I have no idea why this is happening; it’s not hormone time (unless something is very wrong in that department) and the weather is just lovely.  In a fit of moody pique, I removed myself from Facebook this afternoon because I didn’t want to have the temptation of over-sharing everything and I also felt the need to isolate myself a bit.

I have some things that are stressing me out a bit right now, but not so much that I would have thought it would affect my mood this much.  I’m going to go to bed early and hope I feel better in the morning.

Finding an Ally: Wanting vs Needing

April 5, 2015

I posted this on FB the other day:

“As I mentioned a while back, I’m coming upon a bunch of 10 year anniversaries this spring. In May, it’ll be 10 years since I left the Wasband & moved back to BC from Ottawa. I was sitting in the doctor’s office on Wednesday, on the verge of making yet another medical decision on my own, and I started to reflect upon all the medical decisions I’ve had to make over the last 10 years all by myself. I have had supportive family & friends, but I have not had a partner to go through some of the more nitty gritty stuff with. And you know what? I felt a huge surge of pride for myself, because look at what I have survived, on my own! Instead of feeling “oh woe is me” I felt empowered because I am so capable of making health care decisions on my own without having the input of a partner, or the need to consult a partner about my health care. I had such a powerful “go me” moment I had tears in my eyes. I may not enjoy being single and I may be lonely, but I really think that I have become more empowered, and more powerful as a woman by having to go through what I’ve been through without a partner. The learning, the self-determination, and the independence I have gained in the past 10 years has been hard, painful, and nearly killed my soul at times, but I have survived all this shit without a man by my side and I wouldn’t pass up those hard lessons or that learning again if I had the chance to do it over.”

The medical decision is that I’m having a tubal ligation, but I’m not putting that on FB. I was at the gynie’s having a consultation.

I have been doing quite a bit of personal growth since January, which started off with some training I was doing for my new job. The journey has, over the past few months, allowed for an awful lot of self-reflection, a shift in beliefs, and changes in what I want out of life – and in a relationship.

I am refining what I’m looking for, now that the imperative to partner up is gone. I very much want to retain my fierce independence, and I feel strongly that I need to retain being the sole power of making major life decisions for myself. I’m not saying I wouldn’t value input, but in the end the decision-making has got to be up to me. Also, as I come to the conclusion recently that I like living alone. That doesn’t mean, though, that I don’t want regular company, or a constant presence in my life.

I want someone in my life with whom I can have that regular companionship, intimacy, and who is OK with my desire to remain independent and make my own decisions. I want a supporter, an ally. And I want to be an ally. I don’t want the typical goal-oriented relationship of co-habiting & marriage being the end goal. That’s what most people want, and what most couples work towards – and there is nothing wrong with that. But at this point in my life, I feel strongly that I need things that would prevent me from having those goals.

So the guy I’m looking for is going to have to be OK with all that. He may not be the alpha-male type, yet he’s going to have to have pretty big balls – he’ll need them in order to be brave enough to be that ally, to be able to have room in his way of being to allow me to me who I am and honour what I want. He’ll have to be brave enough to step away when I ask him to, and be OK with it. And I think for men, that does take courage.

For my part, I am an extremely giving person, and I will be the greatest ally you’ve ever had, if you can be my ally in return. But I won’t give until I’m empty; there has to be mutuality in here to keep the well full. I can negotiate, and am willing to, as long as I can maintain my very precious and hard-won self-determination and the aforementioned things that I must have.

I want to remain empowered, powerful, and in charge of my life. Bottom line. Because I really feel that I have come to a place where I truly understand the difference between wanting and needing a man. I may want – very badly, in fact – but I certainly don’t believe anymore that I need.

Monitoring the Old BP

January 8, 2015

I have been feeling rather restless these past few days.  I get like that when I’m bored, or, in this case have a case of niggling anxiety.  The cause of this new anxiety: my fricken blood pressure. It’s high.

I was taking ramipril, which is a beta-blocker, which works on keeping blood pressure low.  I have had some symptoms of heart failure return, so I went to my local Shoppers Drug Mart to take my blood pressure on one of their machines, and it was really high.  Now, I have no idea how accurate those things are, but it was a tad bit alarming, so off to my GP I went.

She took my blood pressure three times in her office after I had sat for more than half an hour.  It was high.  She strenuously encouraged me to purchase a home blood pressure kit, which is something the heart clinic had also encouraged me to do, but which I balked at as they A) are not cheap and B) I could see myself getting obsessed with it and taking my BP every hour or so.

But anyway, it was GST rebate day on Jan. 5, so I had a bit of money that I could put towards a BP monitor, and so that’s what I did.  For about $80 I got this puppy, which is a basic model with three functions.


I am checking my BP twice a day, once when I get up in the morning, and once just as I am going to bed.  I take three readings each time and write them down.  Tomorrow morning, I’ll take the machine and my readings into my GP and compare them to what she gets on her BP machine.  From there, we will decide whether or not I’ll go back to the cardiologist before my regular appointment in March.

But back to my restlessness…It’s a bit difficult to deal with.  My concentration level is low; I don’t even want to watch TV or read.  I kind of go about my day in a detached kind of way, trying to be productive but always having unproductive thoughts race through my mind.  Controlling thinking is a difficult task, and it can be exhausting.  I do spend a lot of my day just  trying to relax and breathe.  Of course all this affects my BP readings so perhaps nothing is wrong with my heart, I’m just going through a period of anxiety & stress I’m not coping with 100% effectively.  I don’t know.  It’s a vicious cycle, that’s for sure.


January 5, 2015

1330664692848_7326508So, I got “friend dumped” in December.  This incident set my life all topsy-turvy, stressed me out, caused a lot of anxiety and sleepless nights, did a number on my self esteem, and hurt me so much that I might have trust issues making friends in the future.

I got no explanation from this person at all, just a curt email after 9 days of not talking to me at all or answering messages, telling me that my services as cat sitter were no longer necessary.  I was her primary cat sitter throughout 2014,  I was very confused.

This incident has coloured my life darkly for the past month, but I have not gone around moping about it.  I have been stepped on and treated as a door mat by other people I thought were my friends (ex. the crazy dog-hoarding lesbians in Maple Ridge I lived with under horrific conditions in the fall of 2011; and if they still read this blog – which I’m sure they do from time to time – I want them to know that they are the two most hideous excuses for human beings I have EVER come across in my life, and I hope they have nothing but shit luck and shitty lives and if there is a hell I hope they spend a goodly amount of time there after they die horrible deaths) and that experience taught me NO MORE of that shit.  I will not be treated in a passive aggressive, discourteous, and disrespectful manner.

I have spent the past almost month letting go, and it’s been a difficult process.  I have had to do a lot of self-talk, a lot of mindfulness work, and I have used my support system to help me process this whole thing.  Yesterday, I came to a place of needing to communicate to this person; she has a key to my place and I want it back, and I have a key to her place and want to give it back.  I was treated to a one sentence email saying that she would drop the key in my mailbox today.

And that will be it.  She still has some of my stuff in storage from my move in Feb., but those things are not 100% necessary for me to get on with life.  I’m sure I have things of hers she’d like back.  Maybe one day we can negotiate an exchange, but that time is not now.

Now, I will excise this person from my life, and continue to move forward.  I still have a lot of friends who are caring and supportive – old friends I know I can count on.  I do have fears about making new friends (this woman has made my question my judgement about whom I bring into my life, but I am working on that as I do not want to remain a closed off person) and I will probably move forward a little more cautiously with new people who come into my life.

I will not tolerate people who treat me like shit.  I will not tolerate passive-aggression, disrespect, judgement, or general bullshit.  Not anymore.  I have had enough.  Though I was heartsick and disappointed with this person, I realize that whatever has caused her to act this way has nothing to do with me, it is not my problem, it is not my shit to figure out.  If she had an issue, it was her responsibility to bring it up with me for discussion in a respectful manner.  She didn’t have the courage to do that.  Therefore, it is her loss more than it is mine.  And if she ever wants to try to reconcile, I will have to think on that very carefully, as my trust in her has now been compromised.

Like a break-up in a romantic partnership, closure is always nice – but not always going to happen.  Since that is the case here, I have had to find my own closure through my own processes.  I’m not 100% there, but I’m not far off, either.

Snow Day

January 4, 2015

Well, it is snowing very heavily here in good old Surrey, and I think I’ll be forced to stay indoors today as it is seriously nasty out.  As the day progresses, this is supposed to turn into rain, and we are under a winter storm warning from Environment Canada.

It’s a good day to stay in jammies and putz around the house, doing not very much.

I took myself off FB for the second time on New Year’s Day, and right now I am kind of missing it.  I am not sure exactly why, but I just am.  I feel a little out of the loop, and I’d like to know what my favourite bands are up to these days.  Nightwish had big news while I was away in early December, for instance, and I missed it when it came out, so it was already old news by the time I caught up with it.  Perhaps I need to figure out for myself a new way of using FB; setting more boundaries, unfollowing people who annoy me, deleting some people, even.  And maybe I should just not spend as much time on it as I was before.  Also, my brother texted me from chilly Winterpeg the other day wanting access to a photo album on there that I’d made of my family.  I told him he was SOL, but I did rely on FB to sort of back up a lot of photos (even though I have a back-up cloud storage program I pay for every year).  I don’t know, but this is a good day to think about it!

Non Couch Day

January 3, 2015

Oh dear God, this blog needs so much updating and maintenance!  My side bar is a mess of links that go nowhere and in desperate need of revamping.  I am a little overwhelmed by it!  Perhaps that’ll be New Year project #1.

I have been off the scene so long I don’t even know who’s blogging or not anymore, or in some cases, where they are blogging now.  Lots of changes have happened over my long blogging hiatus; it’s going to take a while to catch up.

It’s Jan. 3 today…I have shit to do!  Places to go, a CD to review (still writing for Sonic Cathedral – it is my only freelance gig right now), and other odds and ends to take care of.  I am officially starting my New Year’s “goals” on Monday, which means I need to do some prep for that, too.

But the metro Vancouver area is under a winter storm warning and the weather is crap outside and I am tempted to just stay in and curl up in front of the TV.

But I won’t!  Take that, ye olde magnetic, super comfy couch! :D

Goodbye 2014

December 31, 2014

Today is the last day of 2014, and good riddance, I say!  This has been one shitty year.

The obvious biggie that dominated my life throughout the year was the cardiomyopathy/congestive heart failure thing.  I cannot tell you all how much this derailed my life this year.  The recovery has been long and difficult, but things are better now.  I am down to one heart pill and that’s it.  I am a little freaked out about that as I just, two weeks ago, went of ramipril, which is one of the “big” two I was taking.  I seriously hope I don’t have a relapse; I don’t think I could go through another bout of recovering from something so severe.

I have gained a lot of weight this year because I spent most of the year unable to move the way I am used to moving, i.e. walking lots & going to the gym.  I am very frustrated and overwhelmed by the amount of weight gain I’ve had, and one of my goals for 2015 is to get rid of as much of it as I can given my limitations.

The sprained ankle at the beginning of October hasn’t helped matters, either.  It’s still not fully healed and it still causes me pain from time to time, especially when I overuse it.  I have just started adding more walking to my routine, but it’s been hard.

I am getting counseling through the heart health clinic because I am having a lot of emotional issues come up due to the heart condition, and I have to say that it’s been fantastic.  The counselor is amazing and I enjoy seeing her.

This year has been very difficult financially, as my work for the Telegraph has ceased, and I have had a lot of expenses that that income would have been helpful with.  I used a food bank for the first time this summer, and I had a lot of mixed feelings about it.  I used the food bank again in September and that went better for me as I wasn’t as filled with anxiety about the second visit.  I have had other financial stresses that have hit me hard, but they are being worked out.

I turned 40 this summer, and OMG, was that ever hard for me.

On the positive side, I got home twice this year to see my family and my dear niece, little Lexi Lou.  I had a trip to the Koots in July and one in November, when my mom was visiting from PEI.  I reconnected with some friends and had good times all round.  The visit with my mom was also really great and it was hard to see her go on Dec. 2.

Also on the positive side, I did some dating in the fall, and though I had some very frustrating experiences, I also had some really good ones.

I did some purging this year – of people, of things, of baggage.  I had a lot of time to think while in the hospital last winter, and one of the things I concluded was that there was a lot of shit I no longer wanted to carry around.  It involved coming to grips with a bunch of things from the recent past and letting them go completely, while doing my best not to beat myself up about doing them in the first place.  I set some pretty strict boundaries and rid myself of some baggage I no longer wanted to carry.  Those are all good things.

My goals for 2015 are modest: get back to work, get exercising.  I will have my peer support practicum done hopefully by the end of January, and there are indications that there are peer support jobs in the future of the local mental health scene, so I am optimistic about that.  I was lucky this fall to be able to complete the training necessary for the positions; all I need now in addition to completing the practicum is a first aid course, which I can do in January or February.

Regarding exercising, I am going to have to go very slowly and rebuild all that I lost at what seems like a snail-like pace.  I have been given the tools etc. to do workouts on my own, after a visit to the cardiac rehabilitation program.  The exercise specialist was very good and I know exactly what I need to do.  But it’s going to be a long freakin’ road.  I can barely lift a load of laundry these days, or stand from a squatting position – that’s how weak I am, and for those who know me, you know I am typically very strong.  It’s hard not to feel discouraged, but I am committed.

I have taken myself off Facebook for a while.  I didn’t need the distraction or the ability to vent, over-share, or whine so publicly about my life.  Taking away the place to do that (you should have seen my posts around my birthday!) and the temptation to do that stuff has been good for me.  Perhaps this blog will be revived somewhat, as I do need an outlet still.  I just don’t think FB is the outlet I need at the moment, though I do miss keeping up with some of my peeps and the bands I follow.

And speaking of bands…OMG!!!  Nightwish, in Vancouver, April 25th!!!  Supported by Delain and Sabaton!!!  That will be the musical highlight of 2015, I believe!  I can’t wait!

Anyway, that’s about it for now.  Goodbye 2014, and greetings to 2015.  Have a safe and fun evening everyone, and my best wishes to you all for the coming year.  :)


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