Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Pow pow pow!!!

Let's talk about health! But I mean kind of mental health and perspective and all that malarkey. Because I'm Out Of Town and that makes such a tremendous difference, I don't even know how to express to you what a difference it makes. Big! Huge! Massive!

Well, I will try. My dog is shredding the paper shuttlecraft thing that the chicken and fries came in. They have a whole little take-out home-made restaurant kitchen in the gas station next door. Did you know that? I did not know that! Though I suspected something of the kind was going on from the delicious smells wafting by when I walked over last time.

I went over to get lunch. Oh, I'm in my brother's lawyer house. It's lovely! It's so totally comfortable and there's a couch! And my old crappy side table with the one foot that keeps tilting under, which I think I need to fix lest it cause plummeting of computer hardware and beverages. Nooooo! Especially now that dog is foraging around for crumbs underneath it. I have a drill and screws in the car, y'all. But the thing is, I've had a drill and screws FOREVER. I could have fixed it before. I DID fix it before, but since it's a rather low-value thing (which I got along the side of the road when someone put it out for the garbage) I never did do it right.

Doesn't it feel metaphorical? I KNOW!!!

Also they gave me fries even though I asked for onion rings. Fries are super illegal for me. They coat any prepared potato product with sulfites to prevent discoloration. Fries aren't as bad as potato chips, but they're extremely illegal because I'm so very allergic to that quantity of sulfites. However, I ate them anyway because a) so good! b) I did try to avoid them, and said "onion rings" about seventeen times, c) what am I going to do, toss them? ha! and d) I'm already on a fistful of antihistamines because of the massive upper and lower respiratory infection. 

Woohoo, fries!!!

Anyway, point being: I've stayed here before and never ventured to discover the source of hot cooked food in the next building over. Sheesh! I think that's amazing.

Which is what leads me to health. And getting out of town. Even back to the town of unpleasantness! Nothing wrong with this town here--it was a different town I lived in and had no job forever and no money and starved and descended into panic land. 

But part of mental health is taking care of yourself. Doing whatever it takes to take care of yourself. How many people actually do that? I suspect a good percentage do not. You let things go or you avoid or you put it off. Taking care of yourself is hugely important.

Getting out of here was a good choice. Getting out of the other place is a REALLY good choice. Because I was not feeling so together but now that I'm out of there, it's abundantly clear that it's the situation, not me. It's like life claustrophobia or something. If I feel trapped in a bad situation, I get panicky and miserable and feel powerless and very frustrated. Badness!

And when I get into that zone, I retreat into terror of everything in case doing something will make it worse. Or, I don't know what the logic is there. All I know is that I do it. I don't leave the house. I don't go anywhere new, or even much of anywhere old. I let things run out and I don't take good care of myself and I don't stick up for myself or fix the things that need to be fixed. I kind of hunker down and squeak by, being invisible.

I am not invisible. I just went and bought groceries and the aforementioned shuttlecraft of deliciousness and the ladies in the store knew exactly who I was and where I was staying and who owns this house and where I've been living and just flipping everything about me, including about my dog, because I've been in before and they know the deal. Even though it was last year or the year before or whatever. Or both.

In fact the one girl is one of those completely awesome Mainers who can survive anything. They're just the toughest people. We were talking about how to cook food when you don't have a stove and she said she's done it before, for extended periods of time. I love that about people here. It sucks that they have to be so poor and without resources, but my golly, they can do ANYTHING. She lived with just a wood stove, which also means there was no hot water and probably no electricity. Which makes this place seem very cushy, with all the heat and electricity and stuff. 

Though I would really like a shower. I'm appallingly sick and woke up absolutely drenched in sweat last night. Wringing wet. No hot water here. BUT of course I brought my electric kettle (for tea) and the hot plate and the rice cooker, so I can make a decent amount of hot water in not too long. 

Or drive over to my brother's in this raging nor'easter which is like eight inches deep already. Nope! But I will have to do laundry over there tomorrow, since I'm too sick to drive back to grandma's house right now. I'm just hoping it doesn't get bad enough to need antibiotics because ugh, that means a) a doctor visit and b) antibiotics, right. But it's in my chest already and I just got it yesterday. 

Speaking of doctors, apparently you can't drink grapefruit juice with the one remaining anti-banana med I was still taking, which I learned *yesterday* when my sister-in-law the oncologist just happened to see me drinking pink grapefruit juice and noticed the pill bottle, which was out because I was calling to refill it. I've been taking this for ages, dude. Since, what, last summer? No one mentioned that! It's not on the bottle!

Jeez. Grapefruit juice makes it stay in your system longer at higher levels. This is the pill that makes me not have horrible nightmares, which also makes me zonk out like felled timber for at least eight straight hours. Which kind of explains why sometimes I sleep fourteen. CRIMINY.

Anyway, I got them refilled (grrr for not taking care of that sooner so I wouldn't run out) but did not go get them because of nor'easter and being sick and also being all sweaty and gross and also I need to snowblow the driveway to get out at all, which I can't because I'm so sick and also it's still bucketing down out there so it's too soon or I'll have to do it all over again. Jeez!

It's fine. I asked what happens if you don't take it and she said nothing much. I would love to get off this last one, too, but I have a week and a bit until a cross-country move...which reminds me, I was going to get off it anyway, because I'm not going to take something that makes me unsafe to drive while sleeping in a moving truck.

Which I only want to do because otherwise I'll have to haul the animals, plants, cellos, and guns into a motel room. Does that sound fun to you? Me neither. But I'll probably do it anyway, at least a couple of times. Jeez. 

Three trips with the plants, at least. Maybe four. Two cellos. One big nasty heavy awkward bag of guns. Cat. Dog. I know, it's so unwieldy that I really would rather sleep in the truck, except for the part where it's winter and we'll all freeze. Plus going around with a big bag of guns is extremely iffy. I'd rather not. Even though the ammunition will be distantly separated and locked into those ammo boxes all safe and sound and left in the truck. STILL. But I understand you're liable if someone steals guns from you and uses them in a crime? At least in some states. 

I went over to Tractor Supply and interrogated the guy about ways to heat a moving truck and he was stumped. I really think there must be a way like they use in RVs. Propane tank outside, heater inside that exhausts outside, right? I know! RVs obviously have heat. Maybe the heat runs on a big battery. More research needed. If it's easy and safe, I'll totally do it. Otherwise, I'll just have to haul all that stuff inside every time. Oooooof. 

Right! Health! 

Take care of yourself. And don't feel guilty about anything if you do less than healthy things. Boy am I over guilt. I hate it. It's useless. Where did I read some internet platitude? It was about how if you're depressed, you're living in the past and if you're anxious, you're living in the future. Which kind of ignores brain chemistry and situational difficulties but the point is valid. 

You may spend time around people (I hope not) who engage in guilt-wielding as a weapon, or who like to be manipulative in other ways to make you feel terrible and/or make you do this or that. All I can say is WALK AWAY. Or run. Drive. Ski. Take a Segway. Get out! Get out now! They make you feel like you are the one with the problems, when actually they're the source of them. 

I'm hoping I've grown an extremely sensitive manipulation detector and will tell anyone who tries that in the future to knock it right the hell off. It's ugly. It's awful. I would even say it's evil.

There are people who just love to make others jump or squirm. Get away from them and stay away. Remember Evil Nancy! Avoid anyone who is like that, even if they're family! I totally have to write an Evil Nancy book. Young adult. It's something I feel very strongly about.

I'll probably hang out here much longer than I intended just because it's such a pleasure to be out from under that. Oh my goodness. It was like living in a cage where someone would come by with a red-hot skewer and jab me with it to see me jump. All the time. Every day. You know I would get this nasty panic/adrenaline lurch and my heartbeat would race whenever I would even hear her coming down the hall--not even coming toward me, necessarily, just moving around nearby. What a piece of work. 

I really think taking care of myself means putting a lot of distance between me and anyone who actively likes and enjoys hurting me, huh? I KNOW!!! She called a couple of days ago and told me I was not mentally competent and also "nuts in the head" for driving cross-country. Isn't that sweet? As usual, her opinions are meaningless but the viciousness of such a thing does bother me. Who would be that unkind? Who would use language that way to hurt someone who is (hello) getting treatment for anxiety already? Who would undermine someone already worried about such a trip?

We have had an actual conversation about what being supportive means, but it's such a foreign concept, I could tell it wasn't going in. You know if you're supportive of someone, you cheer them on even if they're doing something you wouldn't do yourself, or don't think is right? You help, or at least don't try to make it harder or impossible? Yeah, she disagreed with that completely. Why would you encourage someone to do something you didn't think was right? That was the argument. I was boggled. Because....you don't get to decide what's right for ANYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD. Only yourself. 

I'm still shaking my head in bewilderment at that. She will never, ever understand even the concept of being supportive. Isn't that amazing? 

Gosh, the snow is pretty! Thanks for putting on such a great show for me, Maine! It's so gorgeous at twilight. I'm going to have to shovel a path for the dog later, though. He went out before lunch and lifted his leg and was still peeing below the top of the snow. That was inches and inches of snow ago. Poor short dog! It's way up over the tops of my boots. 

Oh! I went out to the L.L. Bean outlet store, amazing place, and found glorious boots for super cheap. They sell returns at this store. If you have size 9.5-10 feet, it's heaven. Yep. Blue rubber boots, these fancy cap toe black leather elastic-sided boots, light blue hiking sneaker type things, and these tall snow boot/sneaker chimaeras that look like downhill ski boots but have sneaker type soles. I've been wearing them constantly. What possessed me to go to Maine in February with short leaky velour boots and Doc Marten mary janes? And one disreptuable and ancient sweater all full of rapidly growing holes. I guess I wasn't going to stay this long, but still. Also I went up there thinking there would be lots of inexpensive giant wool sweaters so I could replace my holey black one, but they were not giant, not black, and very expensive, so nope! 

Hot food, decent footgear. Take care of yourself. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.

This has been a public service announcement of the self-preservation society, and yes, I did download that song! Along with Die Vampires Die! and that song that Harry and Hermione dance to in the tent, O Children by Nick Cave. It doesn't sound like the same version at the beginning, but you'll hear it's the same one nearer to the end. Not that I'm a shipper, gosh, no! You aren't if you think about the books. It's just the movies undercut the fabulous book Ron so much that you start to wonder. Ron is awesome in the books. And I say that as an honorary Weasley, you know. Red hair, hand-knitted sweaters, iffy in the money, good at Quidditch--clearly I'm one of their people!

I didn't even tell you about how snuggly and cuddly my little niece and nephew are being. Oh my goodness! I've probably only spent an hour total in the past however many days without an animal or a child smooshed against me or perched on top of me. Little nephew sits next to me and snuggles me. Little niece wraps my arm around her and cuddles on my lap. All while the dog is snuggled under a blanket between my knees. I'm where the children and animals want to be! It's awesome. And they're so nice and funny and good with the dog. Good times, I tell you what.