November 29, 2014: discover your house is trying to kill you

I’ve made a huge mistake. Everyone has heard the saying “ignorance is bliss” and I suppose it’s true. There’s something to be said for being uneducated in a certain subject and happily continuing on in your little life as though as is well. Apparently I’m not the ignorance is bliss kind of girl.

Last week I read an article saying that radon in homes is the highest leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. I’d heard of radon before, that unscented gas that seeps through your basement caused by decaying rocks which creates uranium. Any basement can be at risk. I pushed it aside the first time I heard about it. This time I didn’t. I remembered that a couple years after moving to our 1940’sish house we discovered we had lead water pipes outside. One contractor, many bottles of water and thousands of dollars later we fixed it. Given our old leaky basement, I just knew. I should have stuck with ignorance is bliss. But nooooo, I had to go online and research the most affordable and accurate radon detectors and then buy one.

If you live in Europe who have higher standards in virtually all aspects of life, anything over 100 bq/m3 is unacceptable. In North America where they enjoy sugar, guns and fatty foods, the level of acceptable is 200bq/m3. Well my house is 235. Twofuckingthirtyfive. I’m dying. My house is killing me. I probably have fucking cancer right now. Fuck you cancer.

In the interim until I can afford the $1,500-$4,000 to fix the problem I’m thinking I’ll just buy lots of air cleaning plants. Turn my house into a fucking rain forest of fresh air. I’ll spray a water bottle in the air and play soothing monkey sounds. Everything will be okay.

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November 27, 2014: send a Christmas card to a stranger

There have been times in my life I have found comfort from the support of strangers over the Internet. Everyone knows that sometimes it’s easiest to share your feelings with a person you don’t know. Sometimes that’s because you don’t have anyone else to talk to and sometimes it’s because you don’t want to be judged. Whatever the reasons, it can be very helpful and therapeutic.

I have a friend that I met on Napster and a friend I met on chatroulette. Most recently the interwebs support and friendships I’ve had were through imgur. While typically a site to look at for funny pictures and gifs, there are times when people reach out for help, comfort or a little human interaction. When I’ve struggled with depression and marital breakdown I received countless uplifting words and friendships. Some of those strangers have even checked in on me regularly to make sure I was still ok. dcorn91 I’m looking at you!!!!! Shoutouts also go to TheNewOldFastSlow, KiLLUMiN4Ti, Mollyroger629, Tharoth and sgtmills88! My imgur family has sent pizzas to hungry users and toys for users kids without…. You name it, imgur strangers have helped with it. It’s a beautiful thing to give completely selflessly.

Last night on imgur I saw a post about a little girl in Utah called Addie. Here is the post which also contains a link to the FB page:

When the internets asks for help you give it because you never know when you’ll need it in return.  It cost me little money and time to do something that will be meaningful to her and her family.  My card is Utah bound with words that I hope will bring joy and happiness.

November 25, 2014: commit yourself, to yourself

Last night I had a shitty night. I didn’t want to do anything and retreated up to my room before dinner. I hate being depressed, I really do. While isolating myself I did a lot of thinking about how I can work a little harder at avoiding feeling depressed. I came up with the following self-suggestions:

1. Stop treating your body like a garbage dump. Work has been a shit show and I have rationalized the horrible food that I’ve eaten as some sort of reward for my work stress. The reality that I know is that mental health and physical health are related, so I have pledged to myself to cut down on the shit. This morning aside from my usual crazy pills I also took B12 and probiotics. I also avoided the donuts at work.
2. Do something for yourself. I have come to realize that my life currently revolves around the activities of everyone else in my household. I don’t do any of my own activities. I know that after yoga I always feel great yet I haven’t been in probably 8 months. To that I officially dub Friday as my night. I do yoga and now everyone else will have to work around MY schedule.
3. Remember that you cannot control the actions of other people. As a person who likes to be in control (except in the bedroom where I like to be dominated…TMI?) I have a hard time accepting when people don’t act the way I think they should. I need to remember that no matter what I say or how I feel I cannot control how others act or treat me. That is their choice and I need to let it go. They have the right to react and respond as they see fit.

I’m certain that there were actually more points but given work’s shittiness I seem to have lost my memory, ability to make decisions and sanity as a whole.

For those who like follow ups: until today I’ve only had one sea monkey. He’s gotten quite big and I’ve called him Francois. He’s actually become quite entertaining and I’ve enjoyed watching him more than I ever thought I would. He brings me some peace and relaxation at work. I’ve felt badly for him being lonely but as of today I’m pleased to say that he has two newly hatched siblings.

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This evening after work was me time. I went to an art gallery to see a cezanne exhibit. It was late and the gallery was quiet. In fact I only saw employees. I love the sound of an empty art gallery, it sounds like you can hear a powerful windstorm that is miles away. The exhibit was gorgeous but In order to avoid breaking all kinds of copyright laws I will show you only this one from the entrance.

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It’s beautiful in its own right. After the gallery was dinner with a friend at my favourite Mexican place. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have any margaritas. It just seems rude and maybe even racist to not have margaritas at a Mexican restaurant. Nobody likes a racist.

November 23, 2014: use alcohol to calm anxiety

This wasn’t my first choice. My first choice after meditation was a lorazepam. Four hours later when I still felt anxious for no particular reason I took another. It didn’t help. The PRN lorazepams that I have have never not worked before. This is not a good sign.

I am incredibly aware that using alcohol to mask mental health issues is a dangerous game to play. After no relief of a day of anxiety I care not at this moment. Two drinks do not an alcoholic make, but I do need to be cautious that this cannot be a long term solution. At least that’s what my liver says.

I can only hope that tomorrows return to work brings me peace because I definitely cannot drink at work. The line in the sand must be drawn and I’m drawing it hard and deep right there.

After my roller coaster of a day the two drinks are nice. Warm, comforting. They help me forget that I was sad. That despite my value of inner peace, my war rages on. For now it’s a truce.

Today was the first day in months I’ve held a knife to my arm again. I didn’t cut but I felt the cool flat side of the blade slide up and down my arm. It felt good. I was in control.

November 22, 2014: draw your feelings

Yeah, that title sounds quite clinical and dull but it does summarize what I did this evening.

When depression has a strong hold on me I don’t do art at all. In fact I don’t do much of anything at all. I’m quite content (relatively) to do absolutely nothing, not reading, not tv, nothing. I almost did nothing this evening. I almost laid in bed and did nothing. My morning started off well, I felt ambitious and did a couple hours of cleaning. After that I faded fast. I felt lethargic and didn’t want to see or talk to anyone. I knew I was feeling depressed but was not ambitious enough to even attempt to snap myself out of it. I slept on the couch and then in my room. I woke up feeling as though I wasted a day and was even less ambitious than when I went to sleep.

My daughter slowly pulled me out because she held me to a promise I had made to do homemade soap with her. Children suck the life out of me, but sometimes they are the only thing that can force the life back into me. We made soap, we had fun. That led to my evening of painting.

This is what I made:

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It’s still wet in this picture but you get the idea. That’s me, I’m the skull. I’m empty, alone and hollow. I’m dark and amongst the shadows. Im surrounded by beauty, life and joy. I’m not so far gone that we can’t all be in the same picture. We share a screenshot. We’re close together but still apart. Almost within reach.

November 21, 2014: take a sleeping pill. Keeping writing until you fall asleep

I wrote the following last night. I apparently thought it would make a good blog. It’s ridiculous. I fell asleep hitting the screen. For your entertainment:

For the first time in all my 10 years at work we were allowed to do overtime. I stayed until 6. I got home with a banning head headache so I took out my milk maid braids and popped some pain killers. I also took a sleeping pill about half an hour ago to ensure I am well rested.

My blinks aye starting to get to the point where it might be seen as 5 second power naps.

I just had my eyes closed and I heard my boss voice say my mothers name. That’s weird.

Bigger eye close this time. I saw a field of hay. A mother kicked the kid down the hill.

Got up to use the bathroom. I stumbled, feels like I was intoxicated .

It’s getting harder to fight the steady
Push of sleep coming toward me.

I farted under my blanket. Leftover bean stew fart. It’s brought me some new awareness.

I can’t have been out long. Only seconds but I remember seeing ladies in dresses with the lit cats.

Top of a wall. Guy in charge is weaering a long scarf. More has happened. I forget in

Continue reading “November 21, 2014: take a sleeping pill. Keeping writing until you fall asleep”

November 30, 2014: Medieval Times dinner and tournament bitches

For those unfamiliar, Medieval times is an arena venue where you are entertained with actors/horses in period costumes and served meals by your wench (ours had a very low cut top and massive breasts) It’s been around for as long as I can remember but the $100/ticket price has been a deterrent for me. My dad invited us to go and bought the tickets. There are cheaper tickets I’m sure but he bought us front and center which as a grown ass person watching knights sword fighting, I have to say was pretty awesome.

If you’re an introvert, this is not the place for you. Audience cheering and participation is strongly encouraged.

Parents prepare yourselves and coach your kids in advance because there is a literal shit ton of merch that kids will beg you for. Be strong. Tell them to shut the fuck up and get a job.

The vegetarian meal was actually really good and unlike the meat option we were given a spoon. My daughter watched in polite disgust as my father picked up what I believe was no less than half a chicken in his hands.

Part way through I started to think about the horses and hoped that they spent their days happily on a farm and then came to the city for their nightly performance. Yes, I’m sure thats true. Then I was thinking about the actors. Imagine that being your job? You’re at a party mingling with a glass of wine.
“so, what do you do?”
“I’m the mother fucking red knight at medieval times.”
“Fascinating”

I got as much pleasure watching my kids as watching the show. They went from big smiles with wide eyes to peeking through their fingers at the exciting bits. The two hours seemed to go by quickly.

I don’t want to make you jealous but my knight tossed me a favour he won from the princess. I can’t catch a football but I can catch a flower from a man on horseback.

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