Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


Meltdown Day

Saturday the 21st, in which a discussion about fruit derails my entire day.

Some days I really hate my brain.

Today evening made me cry for most of the daylight hours leaving me with an even worse headache than yesterday. I ended up watching an anime movie I love, Nausicaä the Valley of the Wind and working up to eating food.

CK suggested I’m feeling burn out. I told her later that my brain’s immediate response to her saying that was, “I can’t be burnt out! I don’t have enough done yet!”

Getting the dishwasher loaded feels like a huge accomplishment. Likewise for getting the last of the instant mashed potatoes into food service containers.

Tomorrow will hopefully be easier.


Shame Monster Again

I tried to get 5 houses worth of hazardous materials to the transfer station today and missed the cutoff by a few minutes. The minutes I spent visiting our kitten at our friend's.

Then I got home to an IRS letter.

I know how to handle it and we agree getting closer to being caught up, but it still left me feeling like a failure and a burden.

It didn't matter what I did during the day or how grateful our made our friends, our family of choice. The Shame Monster could only focus on my not getting there on time.

The whole evening just saw my anxiety build and the Shame Monster stomping around telling me I suck.

Then I stopped my phone and it bounced across the floor and into the water bowl! It is just fine, the OtterBox helped and I was damn fast to grab it and wrap it in a towel!

I finally gave up on cleaning the kitchen, worked on art, then took as long shower. As I got ready for the shower it finally got me that I forgot to take my bedtime pills!

I'm wondering if I worker need more of the medication for my brain, particularly the part of CPTSD that creates the Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria, or if I might benefit from taking it at dinner with my antidepressant.

This might help with Shame Monster's nightly rampaging.


Postponing Joy

I have several articles of clothing I never wear at home. I put them on to leave. I avoid wearing them at home because they’d get dog or cat hair on them, would start to show wear, etc.

These are mostly things I wore to teach. Some things for fancy occasions. My “nice” clothes as opposed to my “play” clothes.

I started wearing a sweater I would wear while teaching to keep me warm at the end and between classes. It finally hit me that I really don’t need to save them, I don’t know when I’ll teach in person again, so I might as well enjoy my clothing now!

It’s made me wonder just how often, and in how many different ways, I postpone joy for dubious reasons. What undercurrent of shame believes I don’t deserve joy in the present moment?

It’s been a tough few weeks with my Shame Monster, “Whinnie”, telling me what a loser I am, what a drain on resources, etc. It’a exhausting, tedious, and driven by the election anxiety.

Maybe tomorrow will have hope.

I’m grateful for an unexpected urban ungulate feasting on windfall apples I saw when I took our leftover pumpkin curry over to AF’s.


Dread not Optimism

CK asked me this evening what I think will happen tomorrow. I had to reply that I really didn't know.

2016 taught us not to trust polls. We know that people were misleading them intentionally. We know not to trust our broken Electoral College.

We know that we're one of the hotbeds of militia activity. We know T* supporters are behaving like Brownshirts and cops nationwide are enabling it.

My discussion group for the "Seeing White" podcast had some folks who are feeling optimistic. I'm not one of them, I'm just feeling so much dread.

It wasn't helped by the Governor declaring a preemptive state of emergency starting at 5pm this evening. There's all kinds of businesses boarded up.

Clearly everything will be done to protect property, not people, not our votes.

I'm wrapping up the last grocery pickup and getting fuel in the vehicles tomorrow. Then we're hunkering down. I'm going to open up a Zoom in the afternoon and invite folks to just come hangout online with us.

I'm already exhausted.

On the positive side of today. I was approved for 13 more weeks of pandemic unemployment assistance! I also delighted myself making a cover comic for my new journal, that I'll add to periodically, just for comics!



I asked students this morning what they were grateful for. When silence greeted me, again, I asked if there was anything anyone needed held in community.

A student spoke up about how uncertain and terrible everything feels to them. I noted that everyone was nodding along. I reminded them that what we're experiencing in the United States is unique and we're months into living in this state of heightened stress response, which is to say, trauma.

Tomorrow I'll be working on a new video, possibly two. One detailing the "legs-up-the-wall" restorative yoga pose and another where I talk about what a Self-Care Plan is.

I'm going to look for stuff around the house for the kitten and make a list of what to get. I'm also going to spend some quality time in the garage sorting all the stocking up I've been doing. I want to see if there's any last bits I want to get before Tuesday.

I want to be wrong about all this preparation. I really do.

CK read me news reports of armed Trump supporters harassing a bus of Biden supporters in Texas and cops refusing to help. There are armed people harassing the folks protesting another Black man who was killed in Vancouver, Washington, yesterday and the cops aren't helping.

I better make a list of what to check in on before Tuesday.


Donuts & Kittens

I got to visit a couple of friends today, safely outside of course. I also got to see tiny Ursa Minor who is working his way towards 2 pounds. There were also delicious donuts.

I found out another friend is leaving the state in the next few weeks. I was extra grateful to have suggested the donut date today. It was a sunny, beautiful Autumn day. Perfect to be outside and catch up with a friend.

I'm going to miss being able to do this when the rains start. I'll really have to bundle up on clear days and find reasons to see people outside.

Everyone is in a limbo state of anxiety.

There's all the things I want to do next week, including (hopefully) getting to bring Ursa home and taking a run of toxic materials to the transfer station.

Then there's all the things I'm trying to get done before November 3rd in the event there's civil unrest and general strikes.

It made the donuts extra delicious and I'm feeling especially grateful to have our home.


My Brain, the Jerk

I'm having an night where I feel like I didn't really accomplish much and that's why I couldn't easily think of a title for this post. I had a similar moment trying to figure out what to make my comic about.

It's false, I did a bunch today.

I did the usual morning stuff, plus fed Obie first at 5:40. I prepared and taught a Yoga of Freedom class, got us lunch, made art, played my game, read my book, put up some Autumn decorations, made tasty dinner, hung out with CK, made a comic.

A pretty full day. My Inner Jerk is at it again. Fatigue and anxiety are the most likely culprits of this mind state, I know that. Despite trying to rest, I feel more anxiety about it.

Tomorrow I'm going to make a point to spend some quality time in the hammock or under the weighted blanket. Maybe both! There will also be kitten planning since Ursa has had a growth spurt and will be coming home next week!


Basic Unemployment Benefits

I got home from physical therapy to find a letter from the State Employment Department letting me know if exhausted the basic State benefits. It has been months since I've worked, but still, the reality hits.

I'll look at the other benefits being offered. I feel even more urgency to finish the budget combined with dread at determining how much I need each month to pay for needs, therapy & floats, and some pleasures, art supply blind boxes mostly.

My physical therapist found that my lower back was likely the cause of hip pain that was causing me pain lying on my side! She also worked more on my jaw; we speculated that all the ringing in my ears and the infection might have kicked off the increased pain, leading to increased sensitivity, triggering somatic flashbacks. It's complicated, the body remembers what the brain could not process.


Voting and Other Acts of Self Care

Smoke cleared and just as my allergies recovered from that, Autumn arrived with its associated increase in mold allergens and all the tress are dropping leaves. I've had something of a permanent headache for several days to go with my increased sneezing.

Despite being exhausted, I've not been getting to be until nearly 1am most nights. I developed night owl tendencies in early childhood and they reassert dominance in my life pretty quickly and I've never been able to become an "early bird" kind of person.

I feel conflicted about napping during the day. The small, more legitimate concern, is that I'll throw off my ability to go to sleep later. The inaccurate, but larger worry is that I'm not getting enough done.

There's a long list of yard things that need doing. There's a long list of home repairs. There's the task of sorting and reducing stuff. There's paperwork to follow up on. There's stuff to mail out. There's day-to-day chores to keep the house pleasant. There's overdue chores we can't quite seem to get to.

All of that hangs there and I feel like I'm a terrible person for needing so much rest. Then it all burbles up at 2300 and I try to think of how many chores I can get done before my brain allows me to go to bed.

Which is why I finally took a nap for much of the afternoon. My headache felt better. The feeling of crushing dread was slightly reduced by laying under the weighted blanket for a couple of hours. I made us school lunch dinner with salads and homemade lemon tahini salad dressing, that was the fancy bit.

This meant I had the energy to sit down with CK tonight and vote. I love that we really sit down together and raise questions together, go read things and make sure we understand them together. She's even been making an estimate on the potential financial impact of any property tax related measures. I'll go drop them off in person tomorrow, despite it being early enough to mail them in.


Sinus Headaches

The weekend has featured sinus pain. I've been so tired too, it's making my ears ring as well. No boxing today, having my heart rate up sounds painful!

Magnolia Clear Sinus tea as my night cap. It helped me make dinner for us both earlier once I realized I had a terrible headache.

I'm working on sending out patches, a really big project. The ongoing efforts to destroy the USPS leave me worried about all the medications I worked so hard to get to mail order. I'm worried about the envelopes in sending this week,

I'm glad I'm taking off some birthday time. I feel so tired all the time.