Monthly Archives: June 2016

Senses Overmuch

A Quest for Restfulness:

I may have trust issues. I definitely have sensory overload.

The ground was hot and rolled under my feet. My face burned. My toes curled. Who put on a gallon of hairspray today, smoked a pack and drank a 24? Who forgot to shower, change a diaper and evict the toe jam? Pull up your pants! Keep your shirt on! Who thought it would be cool to leave the fridge full of rotten produce, burn the toast and attempt to DJ? The sirens wail, the kids shriek and I want to cry. Or choke, and die.

The visual is overwhelming, the auditory is arresting, the taste is revolting, the smell is suffocating and the feel is that of a smothering.

I’m either helter-skelter for the bus or stuck in what might as well be the middle of nowhere, for what seems like forever. I endure radio silence or else have queries coming back every 5 seconds about what it is I’m doing, exactly, or what it is they’re doing, exactly.

I’m bending over backwards right now and I don’t like it one bit.

Here’s the solution, it’s easy.

Me: My home + headphones + food + water + downtime = 🙂

You and me: My home + Coffee, tea or alcohol + Muffin, pizza, soup, sushi or sandwich + movie/moderate conversation = 🙂

Oh! And if you bring it in, you’re packing it out! I’ve not rebranded to Sami’s Storage Spot. Please! Thanks!

End rant.

–Sam (in a very small, very quiet bubble)

Saturday’s blurb

Today has been good. I slept in (!!!), read, remembered to eat, forgot to worry, and smiled at the sun.

I played some cello– I have to say I don’t have much, but what I have, I love. My desk chair doubles as a cello-chair, which works perfectly, and believe me when I say that’s no small accomplishment. It was nice to play loud and feel the vibrations through my whole body, goof around a little bit and just relax.

I feel like everything’s on a trial run at the moment.

I’ve got to pack my laundry or risk doing a disservice, find out what exactly I can recycle and where, and electronics and Stix-wise, well I know I sound like a broken record, but I’m working on it.

I’m dying for some one-on-one at my house. I just need a day to spend feeling un-rushed and in good company, where some of those burning and admittedly random questions might actually get answered.

I think half-portions and takeout are both really good ideas — not sure why I didn’t think of that before.

I wonder if Shaun would mind if I had a barbecue with M+D, F+R and some tunes in the courtyard?

It would be nice if I had the ability to order people about sometimes, brook no opposition, pre-program, if you will: You are going to do this and you will enjoy it! — But I can’t commandeer conversations, not like some people.

I got told off once for trying to fit a word in. “Now, listen to me!” I was like, dude! You do realize I come from a family of exceptional listeners, am highly intelligent and do not appreciate being told to shut the hell up so that you can continue your random rant. How about you listen to me for a change? You might learn something. But in this case, that would have added fuel to a fire I did not want to fight, so I just glowered instead. Sometimes, you have to pick your battles.

I’m going to have pasta for dinner and watch a movie.

Trying not to…

I’m trying not to let anxiety get the better of me, which it has for the past week-ish. I’m trying not to worry, and just write instead.

I had the world’s most stressful evening and crappiest sleep with the world’s most crowded head last night. I tried not to worry and  ate some chocolate, watched some thrilling tv (bad idea) and the drama The Fundamentals of Caring, which I enjoyed very much. But sleeping was crappy.

Work was pretty good today–pretty freakin’ busy for a Friday, I must say.

I’m glad for the rain and tea and chocolate and clothes that give comfort instead of broadcasting jumbled messages to the topsy-turvy universe that is in my perception these days and also the result of global warming (extreme weather events… coming soon to a ‘hood near you).

Maybe I’ll play fiddle tonight. Maybe, if I’m lucky, I can sleep in tomorrow and wake up refreshed and not full of baseless dread and loneliness. So this is what it feels like, and let me tell you, it’s not very fun. Everything I’m finding out about the world and my place in it is so disheartening. I’d like to see a few rainbows and unicorns, a friend or two, a dog. To feel comfortable in my own skin again and trust in my abilities and those around me.

My honesty is going to come back and bite me in the ass, maybe.

 

 

Unguarded

I often feel guilty for talking about what interests me, for speaking my mind and for staying in my comfort zone. But it was so good to be able to spend the day with Dad, and do just that, even if it wasn’t all super interesting or well-scripted. To laugh at stupid jokes and quote The Hobbit, find unknown dots on maps and get random national trivia off the CIA. Eat tuna melts, have a bowl of soup and overindulge at dinner. To be comfy-cozy and snug, watching the rain fall and to be embraced in a hug.

Thanks, Dad 🙂

It’s happening now

Daily Prompt: Attempt #9 (Aimless)

My Dad asked me for good comebacks over dinner, for when curious family, friends and others hear about our family’s exploits and passions and life-ways.

I’ve come to the conclusion that people will always, for the foreseeable future, ask what it is I am doing or am planning to do with my life, as if they perpetually forget that it is currently happening, that the answer has been told in variations hundreds upon hundreds of times at family gatherings – maybe secretly they are hoping for it to change to the one they want to hear or to something they understand.

I for one wish they’d ask wanting to hear the answer and know a little of the person’s experience, rather than carrying out the seemingly token social gesture of asking for asking’s sake and not really connecting to the conversation or individual past the first phrases of “What are you up to these days?” “What are you going to do after?” “What credential do you have and where is that going to get you?” “When are you going to get a real job.”

Here’s my answer: I am working full time at a job I love, with a fantastic team of people that literally fill the building with laughter and caring and support for everyone that comes in the door or over the phone. They are not ‘crazy’. Working in mental health is not synonymous with dealing with some unknown ‘other’ population in constant crisis, denoting suicide attempts, substance abuse and straight jackets. Mental health can and does affect everyone. People come in looking for help and support and information and they are just like you and me and your neighbour across the street. They are people with stories and families and skills and personalities and hopes and dreams just like all of us.

Just because you can make a joke about the family tree having perhaps a few nuts on it doesn’t make you special or immune, or tell me that you really care about what I’ve just said. Treating me like a walking encyclopedia of mental health conditions and resources isn’t really appreciated either. If it’s a cry for help, I will do my very best. But I don’t know it all; I am not a professional. And at the end of the day it’s your journey and you have to take those first few steps: visit your doctor, ask for information and support, go to a support group. I’m not saying it’s easy or fun but eventually you have to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Trust me, there are people that care about you and professionals who are there to support you and resources out there to help you. Unfortunately, all of that can’t come to your doorstep and provide a magic solution, you have to create that first connection.

And as for my brother, he is a professional athlete. And he works harder than anyone I know. What does he do? The formula answer is to say that he rides his bike as fast as he can downhill. He trains with some of the best in the world. Mechanically, nutritionally, mentally, physically, he does all he can to be the the very best he can be to compete at the very top of his sport. He represents Canada on the world stage and works tirelessly to develop and maintain relationships with sponsors, trainers and other world-class athletes, building a solid network of contacts and support and a wealth of knowledge. He is his own trainer, manager and mechanic, travel agent and financier. He works incredibly hard all year. He is doing what he loves, and he is very good at it. Yes, he rides fast down hill, but there is so much more to the story.

People try very hard to bust our bubbles; they just don’t get it. The fact that my mom still does laundry for everyone at home is of great contention within some circles… Aside from the occasional load of laundry or jar of peanut butter, my brother and I are 100% self-sufficient, we make our own ways in the world, are happy and healthy and have sustainable routines and a wealth of transferable skills and support that in my opinion means we are pretty well-prepared for whatever life decides to throw at us, wherever we go and whatever we decide to do.

Forrest and I, Mom, Dad and Ruby, too — sorry I couldn’t fit you in! We are not aimless or helpless or waiting for our lives to begin or for our real jobs to start. We are living them, and we work hard every single day.

“If you really want to get to know someone, spend the day with them.” (Unknown)

 

Pancake

I feel terrible; I’m just completely out of gas. I don’t want to eat any food, talk to anyone, listen to any sound or do anything. What I do want is to go to sleep in dark, soundproof room and wake up to breakfast in bed, but the chances of that happening are pretty slim.

I’m dizzy and in a fog, able to see just enough to almost convince myself that everything is fine — but it’s not, obviously. I need to lie down. I need to recharge for tomorrow.

I’ve officially pancaked.

Please let tomorrow be better,

–Sam

Grand schemes and slimy sidewalks

I’m off kilter lately, feeling breathless and whether that’s from being terrified or in another heightened state, I honestly have no idea — things change so fast!

My mind is going a million miles and hour.

This was my day:

Apple porridge while looking at the rain coming in sheets down from the sky. Brisk walk to work over slimy sidewalks. Hours on the phone with clinics and participants, data entry and fielding questions fortified with several cups of tea. Sushi out with Mom and Rube, sans essentials; surprised myself with my chop-sticking abilities. Though probably not correct in the slightest, I did manage to get everything from my plate to my stomach without loosing my cool, or an eye. Back on the phone. Fading fast but booking A1’s for participants left-right and centre.

I walked home with the sun beating down, feeling as though I moved through molasses and made a half-hearted stab at housework. Did an hour of pacing. Made popcorn and half-watched an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Dinner was beans on toast, veggies and hummus with Rube, who came knocking at my door for some paper-writing moral support. We spent an hour discussing pathologies, eating disorders and finally arrived at what was being written and how to go about it. More tea.

It restores my faith in humanity to know that my sister and I can conclude a conversation, both having learned something and being able to respect, understand and relate to each other’s processes — a piece I sometimes think is glaringly absent in other interactions where each side tries to make it work, but somehow it never does. I try; It is so hard to find yourself sometimes, let alone any sort of kindred spirits.

I’ve left Rube to her writing and come to do mine. My headphones are on and random tunes are on a loop. I can’t believe it’s mid-June. I’m not sure what happened to my weekend, or to the first half of the year, but I’m happy to have made it this far. Happy to be here, but struggling to keep a clear head.

Thank goodness for the blogosphere!

More later,

Sam

 

 

 

Monday

Good day at work today. Some laughs, some teaching ops, some brownies, rain and sun and a needed tidying and tying of loose ends.

Three quarters back to where I have my space the way I want it, taking a needed break from the housework that is ongoing.

I hurt, and my crutches are crunchy — must fix that. I want to melt into a puddle and read my book with some tunes right after I finish this random post.

Trying to contain my enthusiasm for writing research papers that I am no longer obligated to complete, it’s a bittersweet moment 🙂 Truly, no homework is the best kind!

Maybe popcorn later? We will see, perhaps I will celebrate if no one breaks into tears or deliberately hangs up on me again today… My Monday has been a good one, as far as Monday’s go– for everyone else, maybe not so much.

Tomorrow’s another day.

Until next time,

–Sam