I’m learning.

I think THE hardest thing to do is to limit my activities Before I do to much.

All my life I’ve been “push push push”, “keep on going”, “muscle through it”. And I would keep going until the blackouts started, the nightmares overwhelmed me, and I ended up essentially comatose in my room.  
I’ve learned that I need to be aware of how much I’m doing and listen to my mind and my body when it tells me “enough”. 

The additional stressor is that other people can’t seem to accept that this is how it is. 
I’m fortunate that I’ve got a couple friends that *have* learned to accept this, even if they may be disappointed, and I don’t feel torn between doing what I need to do for me and what I need to do for them. 

I’ve been on the go all week and I have to go to dog training tomorrow. So today needs to be a quiet day. A day inside being calm. No driving. No crowds. No extra noise. 
I had plans for today. Things that needed to be done. They’ll have to wait. 

I am trying to not feel guilty.  😦

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The Requisite “Awwwww” Picture

This is Kalev, asleep on my bed, with his lampchop plushy toy (it has squeakers too).

Convoluted, but with a point.

These are the types of things that used to send me over the edge. 
My external hard drive is bricked. Less than two months old and it’s stopped working. I bought it from Amazon so I could probably send it back but it has all my music on it. And I no longer have those cds because when I was living in my truck cds were a big bulky item I couldn’t afford to keep.  So…  Just a few short months ago this type of thing would have overwhelmed me to the point of collapse. It is stuff like this that reminds me how far I’ve come in just a few months.

When the VA approved my claim I was sliding down pretty fast. I think it was a combination of being homeless and not having the correct meds and treatment. It wasn’t because I wasn’t trying but I couldn’t find a doctor who could give me the meds in conjunction with the counseling I was receiving.  They were trying, I acknowledge that. But it wasn’t working.

Then I started seeing a psychologist and psychiatrist thru the VA, those who also worked in conjunction with the records from my civilian psych I’d been seeing when I could (at cost I might add). 

Now days I can go in and tell them when I’m having trouble, and when I’m doing well. They can adjust my meds immediately when needed. 
They can give me the immediate counseling help if it’s an emergency, like it was during the holidays, along with regularly scheduled counseling. I have access to classes to learn how to handle emotional reactions to things that just aren’t going to change.

It’s all up to me to take advantage of these things but finally the help is available.

Which leads me to some stuff I’ve seen floating around the net recently. Comments that people with PTSD or similar difficulties should be “registered”. 
This concerns me greatly. 
There is a large minority in this country today with PTSD; I’d guess that those most likely to own guns are those that are most likely to use them responsibly, soldiers. 
To think that because of some persons who aren’t aware that they have “issues” are doing destructive (evil?) things that the uneducated would decide that those who ARE aware (those very ones who would be in the system and thus able to be “registered”) should be registered is unconscionable. 
It isn’t the ones who are aware that they have issues and are seeking help that need to be discriminated against. 
To do so would only drive those who want to get help but are afraid of such things further away from the help they want and need. 

I don’t think I’m making a very good case for my argument. But I wanted to get my viewpoint out. If a registry does come into being I know I’ll be on it, as will most of the rest of the veterans I know. 
The very ones most likely to be able to protect our people, even here at home, will be the ones most strictly prohibited from doing so.
Sound scary yet?

This is Kalev, napping on my bed.

This is Kalev, napping on my bed.

If he weren’t so beautiful I’d have kicked him off the bed already!

These are the days I like.

Productive but not too overwhelming.  Not too hot, not too cool, sunny, the perfect weather to open all the windows so the apartment can air out but I can still enjoy a cup of tea.

I’ve been busy all day, but just little stuff. Following up on some things, cleaning house, trying a new recipe for healthier eating, small training sessions with the dogs. Practicing my cello, and a nap.

I’ve been working with Kalev on his retrieve, what I call a “bring”. So far he does quite well for very short distances, though he seems a bit confused by it all. Soon I will start using the target stick to direct his attention to the same objects we’ve been using so far, at more of a distance.

Alcye, You might like a cookbook called “Basic Macrobiotic Cooking” (http://www.amazon.com/Basic-Macrobiotic-Cooking-Anniversary-Edition/dp/0918860598). It’s all gluten free, processed foods free, and easy to use. Seriously, easy. Short cook times as well.

 

Hello again everyone.

I’ve been awol for a few months. There was so much to deal with coming back into the world of the homed. 
I think I’m at a place where I can start updating things again, letting everyone know where I’m at and how things are going. 

First and foremost, Keegan retired Nov 11th, Veteran’s Day. Kalev came into our lives Nov 30th. Yesterday, Kalev took his Public Access Test and passed with flying colors! I was never so proud of him as I was yesterday. He’s now a full fledged, registered, service dog.

He still has quite a bit of training to do yet, additional tasks and maturation, but he’s learned enough that he’s dependable now.

Keegan spends her days sleeping on my bed and snoring. Or chewing on chew toys with tasty treats inside them. Or sleeping on the couch watching the door, I know this because she doesn’t move that fast anymore and I’ll come in the front door to see her lifting her head off of her paws, snoozing on the couch. Only to have her come bounding, as much as a 14 year old dog can bound, over to meet me. : )

I’ll try to bring everyone up to date in future posts. Soon!

We Passed! Kalev is now a Service Dog.

We Passed! Kalev is now a Service Dog.

Kalev giving me kisses after we finished our exam.

Bettter

Better today. The past several days have been really rough but I think I’m back on the right side of the line again.

I’ve dropped my class, and started concentrating on the little things that I need to do for daily continuity. Things like paying a bill the day I receive it. Watering a plant the moment I notice it needs watering. Feeding Keegan first thing in the morning before I can get distracted. This cuts down on the stress amazingly, and it keeps me confident that there is order in my life.

My days of multitasking are so very over.

Too Much. Again.

I keep thinking that if I just push a little harder, work a little smoother, that I can do more than I can.

I signed up for Trigonometry this semester. And everything else started falling down around me. And the nightmares started showing up nightly.

I get frustrated, it’s all the little things I can’t keep up with. Paperwork and forms to fill out and paperwork to send off there and over there and fax over there. Groceries to buy. Post offices to deal with. Dishes to do and a house to clean. Little things.

Yet if I don’t get these little things done they snowball.

I’ve decided that there are things I could do and things I should do.

Some of the things that I should do are:

Visit my grandma, even if she doesn’t know who I am and cries the entire time I’m there.

Buy groceries regularly so I can eat healthy and keep my blood sugar level.

Exercise. Find a way to exercise that I can do consistently.

Pay my bills on time.

Stay in contact with my friends, including visiting occasionally and going out.

Do my laundry regularly.

Learn and practice meditation and grounding. I can disassociate with no prompting whatsoever, what I can’t do is ground myself and be wherever it is I am instead of disassociating.

Out of bandwidth. More later.

arghghghghg!

<whiny post>

Civilized life is hard! <insert stomping of feet and wild arm flailing here>

Actually, while I make fun of myself, it isn’t the great big “hard” things, it’s the little things that use all of your reserves and then you have no time to recharge.

It doesn’t help that it takes me 2-3 times longer to recharge than it apparently does “normal” people.

 

I spent the weekend “dogsitting”. It wasn’t worth it. I didn’t sleep for 2 nights. Keegan was miserable. And I spent all day today trying to catch up on normal routine stuff that keeps me settled.

 

School has started. The teacher is useless. I get home and crash for 3-4 hours, no choice in the matter, I’m doing good to get home before I black out. Too much sensory overload. 

 

My stomach has hurt for over a week now, I constantly feel like I’m on the verge of throwing up; whether I’ve eaten anything or not. And eating only makes it worse.

 

I am not a happy camper at the moment.

 

</whiny post>

 

On the plus side, I’m getting *much* better at my cello. Some of it is starting to sound like phrases and music instead of just sawing back and forth on the strings! And only occasionally does the strangling cat make an appearance. 😀 

I’m going to try a cello lesson at the local music store and see how I do.

 

In other news, the dryers were either all broken or all in use today when I did laundry BUT… the washers spin so well that I was able to just hang all my clothes up around the house and let them air dry. And they’re already dry! Well done central air.

 

Tomorrow will be spent attempting to finish my homework and read the next section in the textbook. Fortunately, I can usually figure out what I’m being asked to do by reversing the steps in the solution guide. There is one section that I did though and got almost every problem incorrect… huh… that can’t be good… so it’ll be office hours on wednesday and hope the instructor will actually talk about the math instead of his catholic school upbringing (where they actually got an education unlike today apparently).

I have to admit I’m very nervous about the exams, this teacher seems the type to enjoy trick questions. However, I suppose that if I pass I’ll be another notch up on my self-learning and better prepared for calculus.

 

Oh! anyone see the start of the new Dr. Who season? Last night here in the states. Gotta say I’m a bit confused; I thought he was … <spoiler> dead! </spoiler>

Rough weekend but better now

For various reasons I had a tough weekend. Down, really down, bad memories, etc etc.
But I was able, eventually, to get through it and by Sunday evening I was doing okay. My cello had a lot to do with breaking the cycle, I’m not very good but I’m good enough to play a bit of my feelings. Plus, I can see progress from my practicing and that makes me feel good.

Today, Monday, I was alert and squared away enough to get some errands done. I closed my post office box, got my text book ordered from the book store, and got my neck unkinked. All of these involved waiting in lines with people all about.

Now I’m dog watching and doing a bit of training with a hyper pit bull mix (incredibly sweet, very energetic).

I still have to go grocery shopping soon but one set of errands per week. Though I’ll have to get dog food tomorrow for Keegan.

Anyway, good start to my day.

Crew practice

One of the things I used to do before I crashed, was row. I rowed with a women’s team. I also rowed a single, but even rowing a single involves meeting and navigating thru people at the boathouse.

Tonight was my second practice since I’ve been back. It went much better tonight. It wasn’t as hot as it was Sunday and the workout was a base building workout instead of a speed workout. And we had sufficient water, and water breaks.
Last Sunday I ran out of water, not good. Tonight I had a 42 ounce water bottle with me, and I drank it all.

Anyway, I kept my mouth shut for the entire row and just concentrated on myself. That’s difficult, because in my usual position as bow its my job to mention things, sometimes… sometimes it’s not. 🙂

But today I wasn’t in bow, at my request, so I could just focus on rowing.

Keegan got to ride in the launch with the coach. She wouldn’t leave me while she had her cape on so I took it off and off she trotted with the coach. But she did head straight back to me the minute she got out of the launch. I’ve got to say, it made me smile to see my happy buddy trotting back to me with her ears all perked up and a big grin on her face.
She fell asleep on the way home.

So I feel pretty good. I handled the people pretty well (with Keegan), got a good workout without overdoing it, and my little truck just purred on the way home.

Self-esteem

I hadn’t realized how much my truck was involved in my self-esteem.
I did know that when my truck wasn’t running well I was upset and anxious, but that made sense because I was living in it and if it stopped running I lost my living space, such as it was.

But having the camper off seems to have lightened my mind as well as my truck. I feel lighter, and speedier, and more vroomy. 🙂

I don’t feel as on guard and as defensive; I’m not waiting for the questions that invariably came when people saw the camper. I’m not subconsciously waiting for the police to stop me; okay, maybe at the very line between conscious and subconscious.

I feel freer.

I’m hoping my gas mileage improves as well!

Thanks Karalee!

(I forgot the nick you usually go by, sorry!!!)

But I wanted to let you know what your donation paid for, I think you’ll approve.

As I mentioned a while back Keegan is now on arthritis meds for both her front feet. You just paid for one month of my best buddy’s pain meds. Thank you thank you!
Keegan would just lick your nose but that might be enough enough yeah? 😀

Camper coming down.

Sam and I finally connected time and day and met up to de-construct the camper on my truck.

Actually, Sam did almost all the work. I was there to hold this piece or that piece and pick up stray screws. Sam had the circular saw.

I snapped some photos during the takedown…

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