I’m feeling a little bit topsy turvy

“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?”


I think my feeling of being “off” started on July 24th when I walked out to find my roof slashed on my car. Nothing was stolen, but it still felt very much like a personal violation. My car is very special to me. He symbolizes the grown up me who is supposed to be fun and spontaneous instead of dull and boring. I feel good when I sit in my car. I enjoy the attention I get when people comment on what a nice looking car he is. (It never extends to what a nice looking driver he has, but I’m quite okay with that)

Things started to get better once I was finally able to get to the claims adjuster to inspect the tear and get a check to pay for the new roof. I felt like I was finally making some progress. Then, the following Saturday, I suddenly lost fifth gear. Thankfully, I have a dual clutch transmission, and was able to utilize fifth gear by switching into manual mode. Once again, I fell into stress mode, worrying about what this was going to cost me to repair it, even with my super awesome bumper to bumper warranty. At this point I was looking at a $250 deductible for the roof, plus a minimum of $250 deductible on the transmission repair. Since I’m still on disability, this meant that I was going to have to save up for a very long time before I could get either repair done.

I returned to work on a modified schedule, working four hours a day. After the first two days, my knees hurt so badly that I could barely walk. I made an emergency appointment to see my surgeon’s PA and he cut me back to 3 hours a day to see if that would help. I’ve discovered that if I keep my legs elevated at work, they don’t hurt nearly as bad, but I’m still having to ice them for several hours when I get home.

My check arrived from State Farm and I called the auto upholsterer that was recommended by State Farm (and more importantly, but a very close friend of mine whose wife used the same company on her beloved Miata) and found out that the cost of the roof and labor was the exact amount of the check I was given. State Farm forgot to back out the $250 deductible that I was supposed to pay. Oops. I called them and asked, and they informed me that the check was correct, so I was went with it. I ordered my new roof . In the meantime, Morgan (my 350Z) decided that he was going to use fifth gear again, and hasn’t had any shifting problems since. I still want to get it checked out, but it’s not on the urgent list anymore.

Then I went to see my surgeon. He told me that he’s done all he can do with arthroscopic surgery, and the next thing to try is a procedure called “autologous cartilage replacement.” Basically, they do a quick arthroscopic procedure where they harvest some healthy cartilage and send it off to a lab to grow into a patch large enough to cover the two condyles on my tibia that are crumbling. Then, he’ll go in and do an open surgery to essentially sew the new cartilage onto the bone, where it should theoretically grow into healthy cartilage and be just like new. Finding out I need two more surgeries put me over the edge again and I spend a good portion of Monday crying and trying to wrap my brain around the fact that this means I’m stuck here in San Diego for at least the next two years, and possibly as many as four. I’m trying to stay optimistic and think of how wonderful it will be to not have pain and grinding/crunching in my knee every time it bends, but it’s hard to stay positive right now.

I did get my new roof on my car installed on Friday, and it looks very nice. It’s driving me a little nuts that I can’t lower the roof until tomorrow afternoon, because it needs to stretch properly so that I don’t have issues down the road, but that’s a minor inconvenience that I can live with. Also on Friday, I got a surprise visit with my son, as his father had some business to attend to here in town.

At this point, I’m so mentally turned around and upside down, I don’t even know what I’m feeling anymore. I’ve been having panic attacks again since finding out about the new surgeries and I have a pervasive feeling of anxiety that I just can’t get rid of. I try so hard to stay positive and always look on the bright side, but sometimes it’s just too hard. I feel like I’m bogged down; stuck in a city I hate, for the foreseeable future, and every time I try to make any plans to leave, something else comes up to hold me here longer. I should have never moved back. I haven’t been completely happy since returning, and I’m brokenheartedly homesick for the Carolinas. It’s getting to be time for the leaves to change color, and the air to turn brisk.

I feel like I’ve lost control of my life, and that I’m surviving on the whims of others. The depression is creeping back in, and so is the anxiety. No, they’re not the same thing. I’m trying to do the one coping mechanism that generally works for me, and that is taking control of one aspect of my life and setting it right. If I can control just one thing, then I know I’m not helpless. Inside, I’m still screaming though.


My week has been a bit of a roller coaster

Last week started out very low. Not only do I have depression (I personally hate the phrase “suffer from depression”), but I am also extremely empathetic, so the death of Robin Williams struck me very personally. For most of the week I was in a pretty deep funk, and it was hard to pull myself out again. Finally Friday rolled around, and with it came my measly little paycheck from only working 3 hours a day, five days a week. It doesn’t add up to very much. Fortunately, it was enough to provide just enough funds to be able to repair the slashed roof on my car. That put me into a better mood, even though it means waiting until next Friday before they can actually install said roof. It’s been nearly a month since it was sliced open; I can wait another few days. While I was wallowing in my misery, I was also feeling very alone, as my best friend and “other half” was out of town and I wasn’t able to talk with him daily like I normally do. He’s the one I depend on to cheer me up and remind me that things will get better.

Also on Friday, I had a conference call with the founder of the rescue group I volunteer for, to let me know that I’m ready to start interviewing potential adopters instead of just listening in and learning. I was extremely nervous about the idea, even though this is something that I wanted to do, because I had listened in on all of our senior counselors doing interviews and they all sound so professional and knowledgeable and I feel like I’m just struggling along, trying to remember everything I’m supposed to cover. Well, tonight, I made my first call to a prospective adopter and it went really well. I had one of the senior counselors listening in, and afterwards she told me that I did very well and didn’t seem nervous at all. Maybe the two bourbons I had before the call helped.

I’m hoping that my life smooths out a bit. I’m trying to make plans for the future, but it’s hard to do when I don’t know what’s going on with my knees. I’m just getting through one day at a time here.

Words of a parent

My parents and I have never had the best relationships. It’s no surprise to anyone who knows me to find out that my father and I have gone on years’ long periods of not communicating with each other. In many ways, I think our problem is that we’re too much alike. As I approach 40, I find that I’m mending fences and letting go of old hurts. That’s not to say that my relationship with my father is great now, but we’re slowly getting to “good.”

Throughout my childhood, it was very evident that my older sister was the favorite. She had free reign to do as she liked, and our father frequently bankrolled her. He did things for her that he later refused to do for me. I could write an entire blog entry on all the things I missed out on that my sister got to enjoy, but I’m learning to let go and release that anger. I can’t change the past, all I can do is learn from it. The funny thing is, when my mom and I were discussing this, she admitted that my sister was treated differently than I was. She called my sister “the experiment” and my upbringing was a direct result of what they learned from how they treated my sister. That’s not to say that it was fair, but it did explain a lot to me.

Another thing my mom recently told me was that she was a horrible mother. I don’t think she was, but I don’t have another mother to compare her to, so I don’t know. She admitted that after she and our father divorced, she gave up cooking and left my sister and me to essentially raise ourselves while she put herself through law school and worked full-time. She stated that she thought it was amazing that we turned out as well as we did, mistakes and all. Then she brought up an article that she had read in a magazine from a mother’s day issue where women talked about the things they learned from their mothers. Mom asked me what I thought I learned from her. I told her that I learned that I can be independent and to follow my heart, even when it leads me down the wrong path. There are so many things I wish my mother had taught me. I wish she had taught me how to balance a checkbook and learn to live within a budget, so that I didn’t accrue so much debt. I wish she had taught me about relationships. She and I have never discussed any of the boys (and later men) that I dated, and never held me or talked to me through those painful high school breakups. She never talked to me about sex, and in return, I never talked to her about being raped and later beaten. We didn’t talk about serious things. We still don’t talk about serious things very well.

I wonder sometimes if my son thinks I’m a horrible mother. After all, I’m never around. I don’t call nearly enough or visit hardly at all. I try to inquire about what’s going on in his life, but I get the normal teenage answers of “nothing’s going on.” I think of the things that I want my son to know, so that he grows up to be a better person than I am. I want my son to feel like he can come to me for anything and I will give him honest answers, even when those answers are painful.

100 days of happiness, and a week of sad

It’s sometimes hard to separate reality from make-believe, and maybe that’s why I’m having such a hard time dealing with the passing of Robin Williams. I did not know him, except as his characters in movies, but I feel so empathetic towards him because I know how it feels to always project a happy facade when you feel like your world is crumbling from the inside and there’s nothing you can do about it. I know my grief is disproportionate to my lack of relationship, but it feels personal to me because I know how it feels to hurt so badly. I know the wounds that bleed endlessly, and the smiles and laughs that I use to cover the pain. I’ve had a hard time finding my happy place this week. I feel lost and abandoned, even though nothing in my life has really changed. Well, except for one thing. The one I call my other half is out of town somewhere and that’s a physical pain not knowing where he is, and that I can call on him when things get truly dark for me. I feel like I’m drowning in sorrow and I don’t know when that will go away. I know I’m strong enough to beat it, but that it will exhaust me and emotionally drain me before I reach that point. To that end, I’m finally posting my entire list of 100 things that made me happy. Today, I’ll name one more. My mom praised me on how she knows she can depend on me for all things computer/technology related. Tomorrow, I’ll try to find number 102. Maybe I need to start searching out my happiness in the little things again, so that the big picture isn’t so overwhelming.

Day 1 — April 20 = Brunch!
Day 2 — April 21 = Goofing off.
Day 3 — April 22 = Cat adoption.
Day 4 — April 23 = Friends.
Day 5 — April 24 = Tiggy.
Day 6 — April 25 = Rain!
Day 7 — April 26 = Clean car.
Day 8 – Sunday 4/27 = Family.
Day 8 Bonus = My other half washed and shined up my car for me.
Day 9 – Monday 4/28 = Je parle français! (Really badly)
Day 10- Tuesday 4/29 = Fetching kitten.
Day 11 – Wednesday 4/30 = The windstorm.
Day 12 – Thursday 5/1 = Chocolate cake.
Day 13 – Friday 5/2 = Easter flowers.
Day 14 – Saturday 5/3 = Helpful salesmen.
Day 15 – Sunday 5/4 – Baby Milo
Day 16 – Monday 5/5 – cooler weather
Day 17 – Tuesday 5/6 – long nap
Day 18 – Wednesday 5/7 – May Gray
Day 19 – Thursday 5/8 – draft day
Day 20 – Friday 5/9 – worker’s comp leave
Day 21 – Saturday 5/10 – Lions, tigers, & bears (oh my!)
Day 22 – Sunday 5/11 = Mimosas & mother’s day
Day 23 – Monday 5/12 = free coffee
Day 24 – Tuesday 5/13 = great conversation with my neighbor
Day 25 – Wednesday 5/14 = surgery is done
Day 26 – Thursday 5/15 = mint chip ice cream
Day 27 – Friday 5/16 = catching up on sleep
Day 28 – Saturday 5/17 = playing with kittens
Day 29 – Sunday 5/18 = drove to the store by myself
Day 30 – Monday 5/19 = lunch/bay with Isaac
Day 31 – Tuesday 5/20 = massage
Day 32 – Wednesday 5/21 = new purse
Day 33 – Thursday 5/22 = stitches removed
Day 34 – Friday 5/23 = started crocheting a scarf
Day 35 – Saturday 5/24 = meeting with friends
Day 36 – Sunday 5/25 = scarf is nearly complete
Day 37 – Monday 5/26 = homemade chili & fresh French bread
Day 38 – Tuesday 5/27 = had fun watching Tiggy & Mandy playing together
Day 39 – Wednesday 5/28 = disability payments started
Day 40- Thursday 5/29 = new haircut and colour
Day 41 – Friday 5/30 = cleaned my room
Day 42 – Saturday 5/31 = drove around with the top down
Day 43 – Sunday 6/1 = dinner & movies with someone special
Day 44 – Monday 6/2 = did lunges & squats without much pain
Day 45 – Tuesday 6/3 = Yuengling
Day 46 – Wednesday 6/4 = homemade pasta primavera
Day 47- Thursday 6/5 = baking brownies for my fundraiser committee
Day 48 – Friday 6/6 = completed setup on the fundraiser
Day 49 – Saturday 6/7 = successful fundraiser
Day 50 – Sunday 6/8 = sleep
Day 51 – Monday 6/9 = ginger cookies
Day 52 – Tuesday 6/10 = sweet tea
Day 53 – Wednesday 6/11 = sunshine & fresh air
Day 54- Thursday 6/12 = playing with Tiggy
Day 55 – Friday 6/13 = beer & taquitos
Day 56 – Saturday 6/14 = Tiggy kisses
Day 57 – Sunday 6/15 = dad said “I love you too”
Day 58 – Monday 6/16 = finally back in PT (big hug from Guns)
Day 59 – Tuesday 6/17 = homemade peach cobbler
Day 60 – Wednesday 6/18 = #Yuengling
Day 61- Thursday 6/19 = clean car
Day 62 – Friday 6/20 = saw a drone flying around
Day 63 – Saturday 6/21 = watched a hummingbird
Day 64 – Sunday 6/22 = night driving with the top down
Day 65 – Monday 6/23 = lizard sunning itself on the hood of my car
Day 66 – Tuesday 6/24 = soaking in the hot tub
Day 67 – Wednesday 6/25 = goofing around at PT
Day 68- Thursday 6/26 = massage
Day 69 – Friday 6/27 = nighttime zoo
Day 70 – Saturday 6/28 = lunch with the family for mom’s birthday
Day 71 – Sunday 6/29 = good coffee
Day 72 – Monday 6/30 = homemade birthday cake & ice cream
Day 73 – Tuesday 7/1 = cleaned my room preparatory to my son visiting
Day 74 – Wednesday 7/2 = Mike called me Kitten all morning
Day 75 – Thursday 7/3 = helped a lost gentleman find where he needed to go
Day 76 – Friday 7/4 = a hot racing lap
Day 77 – Saturday 7/5 = new stereo in my car
Day 78 – Sunday 7/6 = napping with Tiggy
Day 79 – Monday 7/7 = enjoying the a/c
Day 80 – Tuesday 7/8 = received my Petoskey stone amulet
Day 81 – Wednesday 7/9 = heard a frog croaking (it made me really miss living on a lakefront)
Day 82 – Thursday 7/10 = saw a monarch butterfly
Day 83 – Friday 7/11 = Portillos Italian beef sub
Day 84 – Saturday 7/12 = Cracker Barrel
Day 85 – Sunday 7/13 = saw lots of wildlife
Day 86 – Monday 7/14 = back in San Diego
Day 87 – Tuesday 7/15 = zoo with mom & Eric
Day 88 – Wednesday 7/16 = harbour cruise
Day 89 – Thursday 7/17 = extra sleep, and pizza
Day 90 – Friday 7/18 = spent some quality time with my sister
Day 91 – Saturday 7/19 = quiet time by myself
Day 92 – Sunday 7/20 = orange blossom beer
Day 93 – Monday 7/21 = met a parrot that meows
Day 94 – Tuesday 7/22 = dad sending me photos
Day 95 – Wednesday 7/23 = homemade pasta salad
Day 96 – Thursday 7/24 = cute new neighbors
Day 97 – Friday 7/25 = 1500 thread count bed sheets
Day 98 – Saturday 7/26 = massage
Day 99 – Sunday 7/27 = rain
Day 100 – Monday 7/28 = organized & filed


I’ve been arguing with myself for most of the evening as to whether or not I was going to write tonight. I hate the fact that Robin Williams is trending right now. As anyone who has read my blog before knows, I have major depressive disorder. I am depressed. It’s not in my head, and it’s not something I can just smile and think happy thoughts to make it go away. Some days are better than others. There are still days when I actively think about killing myself because it feels like it’s the only solution to make the pain go away. I’ve tried before, and thankfully I’ve failed. I’ve never been so proud to be a failure at something. Depression is an insidious liar. It whispers in your ears that you’re worthless and unlovable, that nothing you do will ever be good enough, that it was a mistake that you were ever born.

I grew up watching Robin Williams, and in 1995 I was lucky enough to meet him on one of my many trips to San Francisco. I would never have thought that he had depression, just as most people tell me that they would never think that I have it. We put up walls. We hide who we are. We laugh off things that are slowly killing us inside because we don’t want to show that pain to the world, and we shouldn’t have to do that. There ARE people who love you, and you are NOT worthless. Don’t listen to the voices that tell you otherwise. We lost one of the greatest comedians of all time today. Don’t let his death be in vain. Talk to someone if you’re feeling depressed. Call a friend. Hold a puppy or a kitten. Think of three good things. Maybe even just one good thing. If you look for the happiness each day, it does help. Remember that you’re not alone. Even when you’re by yourself, you’re not alone. There are anonymous hotlines to call. http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ is a great resource. Suicide is not the answer; it only leads to more questions. It hurts other people, maybe even people you’ve never met. It leaves a hole behind that no one else can quite fill.