Sunday, July 23, 2006

i'm melting away

We are having a heat wave.
My house doesn't have air conditioning because I live in the fog belt and 362 days of the year the desire for a refridgerated room doesn't even cross my mind. Not all of California is about beaches and sunshine, kids. This is Northern California ("The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco"--which they now believe was not said by Mark Twain). I was sporting turtleneck sweaters a few weeks ago. In June. But now it's so hot I am melting.

And there's been another kind of melting down going on around here, too.
The emotional kind.

Of course, being the type of blogger who is fully aware that life can get messy and who has gotten over her concerns about sharing it, read on. For those who don't care for other people's problems, the whining, or just prefer the nicey-nice-nice of less personal blog entries and would rather sip their morning coffee with a positive note, that is totally cool with me.
Here's the official warning: there is muck at the end of the post. It's right after the photo of the lovely blooming flower, a true and positive affirmation of life being all rosey. You can just stop right there.

SOooooo Wheeeee! Let's do the fun stuff first :-)

Lookie what Jodi sent me!!

A bunch of very cool badges. I'd been coveting the "KNIT" ones, and she got all generous on me and sent them to me gratis and threw in a couple to give away and a couple more to add to my collection (I'm already the proud owner of a few sets of her stuff...seen here).

Jodi has an etsy shop. Do check it out, because she's now selling t-shirts and some of her prints, too.

She also sent me this totally awesome blank book...and it looks like eventually she will sell these in her shop, too.

People, check this out...she printed the cover herself and the pages are recycled/found materials from around her campus. Hand bound. Some of the pages are maps and old charts...and I'm totally in love with it.

Jodi, I don't know if you are psychic or if I've mentioned it somewhere on the blog before...but I am a blank book addict. Seriously. Addicted. Addicted as in I used to have little blank books of possibility stashed away all over my house because I couldn't keep from buying them. I don't buy them that often any more. I had to kick the habit a couple of years ago. But I still can't get near the blank book sections in stores without getting suckered in. I always stop and flip and fondle and create some story about why I need another blank book. Big ones, small ones, plain and fancy. I love them all. I almost always end up with one in my shopping basket, but since then I've gone to Little Blank Books Anonymous, and I make myself put it back on the shelf. The only blank books I've bought this year are a half dozen 2-for-a-dollar spiral bound school-style notebooks.

So this little notebook is a treat!!! And I have plans for it *mwah hahaha*

Thank you thank you thank you (did I say thank you?), and your timing is fantastic because it arrived yesterday while I was still quite poopy from the emotional meltdown I'll be writing about below. It was a total ray of sunshine. You rock.

Just a little photo phluff before getting into the muck.
I'm finally learning how to really use my digital camera properly. I'm currently messing around with using the zoom and the macro features together.

I snapped these on Thursday at the Berkeley Rose Garden.

Muck Alert. Ok, so here's the emotional content, in case you aren't into this stuff (you were supposed to stop at the flower LOL)....
bye and see ya' next entry ;-)

I had a major meltdown on Friday.

I had been served one hearty portion of parental stress (my child requiring a booster tetanus shot—I’ll let you ponder the “why”). The accompanying side dish with my entrĂ©e was one good-sized dollop of bureaucratic healthcare (lost) paperwork bullshit. And that was schmeared with an unrelated and (somewhat) unexpected fiscal circumstance to remind me of my always lurking financial stress and incompetency.

Something in me snapped.
And I completely flipped out.
Luckily I was home alone when it happened. For a good chunk of time I fell into the pathetic self-loathing pit of wanting my life back. My pre-accident life. And wanting it to reappear. “Magic Wand” style. Like, “someone please pinch me so I can wake up now because this dream sucks.” That kind of stuff.

I can’t pretend that this hasn’t happened before in the past couple of years since the accident. But it doesn’t happen that often. For the most part, I’ve pretty much adjusted to my circumstances. Given the complete pineapple-upside-down-cake flip my life took, I think you’d find me the type of person that has made peace with The Fates and is doing just fine. Nice and well adjusted, I am. So much so that some of you even think I’m super duper inspirational and amazing (my least favorite thing for you to think about me).

If I described to you what I had going for me in my life back then and you compared it to what I have in my life currently, I think you’d understand my occasional trip to the pity-pot. At the time of the accident, I had just completed a set of huge life changes and was basking in the glow of peace and accomplishment earned by much effort on my part. I was happy. Really really happy.

Most of the time I thank Spirit for allowing me at least a few months of sitting with all I had just acheived. I might not have been in that state for very long, but at least I can say I got there, and I have no regrets or sadness about not completing my goals.

But on Friday I was a mess. If I were to be talking to you on Friday whilst flipping out, and comparing for you my old life and my current life from the state I was in…which was me viewing my life while teetering on the precipice of a major depression…well, you’d probably call in the men with the cozy white coats and book me into the rubber room.

I was sobbing about how I used to have a job that fit the description of "right livelihood". I had health benefits, money in the bank, a savings account for MyFK to go to college. My house was relatively in order and not in need of repairs. I was cute, I was healthy, I had a ton of energy and was exuberent about life. I was having fun with parenting and feeling effective. I was feeling very accomplished as a dancer and at teacher. I had pretty much just gotten it all together. Oh! let's not forget that I had this totally amazing and hot Boy (TheMIG) by my side...and He's still here :-)

On Friday I felt exactly the opposite of every single one of those things. Even if it isn't all true (I'm still cute, dammit). And I had a really good cry about it.

Once I got to calming down and really looking at it, I could see that the crux of the poop in the pity-pot is related to my not having returned to work since my accident. And I could also see that the reason why it was hitting me in the face at that exact moment was because one of the major barriers keeping me from returning to work up until now has just been lifted. I've been waiting for one more surgery on my arm, and I have just decided to forego that surgery. It is no longer a hurdle I need to pass before returning to work.

Returning to work. It’s suddenly my next big project.
And as exciting and full of opportunity it seems on a good day, it’s also fairly terrifying on a bad one.

I have lots of f-f-f-feeeeeeeeelings about re-entering the workplace. And I'll try to spend the next couple of posts sharing a few of them, primarily my fear about trying to assess my "calling in life" and how that may or may not tie into physical job restirctions, and also my fears about being descriminated against for having a disability.

As for your comments on this topic as it unfolds? Empathy is fine. Advice may or may not be taken. Support is always good. Sympathy sucks (and I'm not lookin' for it).

I'm just writing what I'm feeling in an effort to work this through and to keep things real.


Anonymous said...

We're getting the heat up here in Oregon too. I am also melting, we have a portable a/c unit [a very recent gift from TheBoy's mom] and have holed up in the bedroom with the computers and the a/c unit trying to stay cool.

My favorite part about having breakdowns every now and then is the peace I find afterwards. It sounds like you might have started to find that, and if not, I hope you do soon!

M-H said...

The only thing you can count on is change... always change. I'll watch your next phase with interest. :)

Anonymous said...

Of course, my dear, little trips to the "pity pot" are totally normal and healthy. Things change. Sometimes the changes hurt a lot, and no matter how flexible and upbeat we are, there is no escaping the pain. It will come. And it will recede. And it will come back.

Thirty years from now you will still have these episodes. And you will go through them like a fever or a headcold, and then do something else afterward, just like this time.

I'm very excited about your plans to go back to work. Will it be at Whole Foods do you think, or will you try something different?

jodi said...

It's hot everywhere! When I got home from Georgia last week it was hotter here in Canada than it was there. Of course, this is the southernmost part of Canada, and if you drew a line across the map it's about the same latitude as Northern California (no turtlenecks here, though).

I'm glad you like the presents! And now that I know how much you love blank books I'll have to go dig in my attic; I used to do a LOT of bookbinding and I have boxes of handbound books half finished up there, all sewn on tapes and waiting for covers. I haven't touched that stuff in a long time.

Good luck with getting back to work! It sounds like it's definitely time. I'm curious about the arm, though: is it healing well enough on its own that you no longer need the additional surgery, or have you just decided that it's fixed enough? Either way, I'm glad to hear you don't need any more surgeries.

jodi said...

Ugh, I just realized that I started three paragraphs in a row with sentences ending in exclaimation points. Dock me ten marks for style.

Gray said...

As a fellow parent it was hard getting past the mystery of the tetanus injection: I immediately had flashbacks to a excruciating visit to the emergency room with my daughter that involved an unscheduled tetanus shot, stitches, and a long distance ambulance ride. These sorts of life events are the enemy of self confidence.

I understand having feelings about employment. I imagine all of us do. Few arenas evoke more dread and self-doubt for many of us who have not had even a fraction of the challenges that you have experienced. Anyway, Sara says it much more economically than I do: Your feelings sound both painful and normal!

May you find the workplace that values you as much as you deserve, and may you find work and colleagues you love.


Rabbitch said...

All out of sympathy here, and I'm not so good at the other shit either. How 'bout support and a listening ear if you want one?

Well, maybe a little empathy too. The pity pot has seen me visit more than once.