Saturday, March 31, 2012

PAWS

Since last September I've been volunteering at a local animal shelter called PAWS and I've really enjoyed it. I feel much more at home there, more confident, and really happy with my role in CAT ISO (kitty sick bay).

I have helped out with the cat room where the adoptable cats are housed and don't like it nearly as much. There taking care of animals is combined with helping the public-HECTIC!

Snow-a recent intake with the sniffles.

This past week I met some nice kitties and after a few weeks having just one or no kitties at all I was happy to see some patients in ISO (not that I like cats to be sick!). Even though things have been slow in ISO I know that things will change rapidly with the seasons-summer and fall will be crazy.

Last year during the fall I had in excess of 35 cats in ISO at once. That's nuts! They barely fit in the building!

Rhett & Felix-Rhett is an elderly, quiet, cuddly senior with one fang
 while Felix is a spunky, chunky adult with a purr motor Ferrari would envy.

Consider then that certain cats have special diet requirements, some need litter box changes, some vomit, some have diarrhea all over their cage and themselves, some meow your ear off for attention, laundry has to be rotated, dishes have to be washed and sanitized, and litter pans have to be cleansed as well.

And you have three hours to accomplish this.

By yourself.

Harley-cutey with a kitten face and a senior's experience! 

Luckily I'm a fast learner and I love cats. Despite the occasional gag-attack I've loved my work at PAWS and have been contemplating adding another shift since it doesn't look like I'll be working full time anytime soon.

I may not be able to plan my own wedding but I can wash litter pans like no one's business! Bring on the summer/fall rush!

Bye, March!

Well, there went March. It started out pretty productive but then screeched to a halt when my mental health decided I wasn't quite ready to run on all cylinders quite yet.

It's been a rough month but I did have my first glimmers of hope returning earlier this week while hanging out with my fiance and best friend (she was in town training future coworkers). Until that night I hadn't really had much hope regarding the future and I was simply avoid thinking about the future. Since then I haven't been skipping on rainbows but it was a mile marker to be noticed and appreciated.


I had intended to be sending out wedding invites this upcoming week but considering we don't have any locations locked in or a list of invitees' addresses or a complete and final guest list to begin with-I won't be visiting the post office anytime soon.

$%&#

*deep breath*

My standards are far too high. That makes me bristle to say but I need to lower my expectations of myself and others or I'm going to drive myself into the ground. If I get married in a highway median-so be it-things will most likely fall into place with or without my input.

*deep breath*

It's very stressful for me to let go of things (especially my wedding) and hand over my "project" to someone else. Like most everything I produce or put my two cents into I believe it reflects upon me and I feel the same about the wedding. It's scary to let it go, trash my timeline and expectations and just hope that it all comes together.


Really not my style but I don't really have a choice. I can hardly discuss the wedding with panic breaking over me-tightening my chest, swelling my temples, and shortening my breath.

*deep breath*

After all, who really cares what others think? Big freaking deal-it's a wedding folks. They happen everyday all over the place in a million different ways and you'll hardly remember the majority of it in the long run. I just have to hold onto what's really important-marrying my fiance.

That's the core of the entire ordeal and the only thing that really matters. Become legally married to my soul mate-achieve this and the day will be a success.


In other news I've been listening to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and have loved every minute of it! I'm not a huge fan of the Downey Jr. movies but the original text is wonderful.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Fiance's Point of View

I took inspiration from a fellow blogger and decided to have my fiance answer some questions about living with a partner who has depression. I may need to work on my interviewing skills but it's still interesting to get his point of view!



Q&A with the fiance

  1. How does Hannah's depression affect your daily life?
Generally it has little impact on my day unless Hannah is having a really bad episode. When she is having a bad episode I have to be more cautious about what I say to Hannah-- I have to avoid subjects that could either be triggers or could cause dark thoughts.

  1. How does Hannah's depression affect your relationship?
Sometimes it can create distance between us, but it is like dealing with any other illness; sometimes it gets the best of the day or the situation and it just requires patience.

  1. What was the recent depressive episode like from your perspective?
It was surprising because it was a very fast and aggressive episode. She definitely seemed to be out of control and it didn't seem like anything at all helped. Essentially she was no longer Hannah and the depression had full control of her.

  1. Do you have doubts about your impending marriage in regards to Hannah's illness?
No. I know we can beat it and control it.

  1. Do you have a breaking point when it comes to coping with Hannah's depression?
I get tired sometimes, but I know when to take a break and refocus.

  1. Do you see Hannah's treatment plan working?
Yes the treatment is definitely working although she does have some bad days.

  1. What do you see in your future together?
A dog, a house, and a lot more adventure.

  1. What is your advice for other partners, friends, and loved ones of depressed people?
Ask for help. Keep your spirits up. Take time out for yourself.  

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Big Ole Update

It's been quite a week-or-so. We're talking crazy, emotional roller coaster and beyond. It was a major depressive episode so my memory is lagging, my body is aching and even though I've been wanting to blog since it happened I just haven't been able to get up enough energy until now.

Here's the poop. On the 16th I had a major break down and suicidal episode that involved a suicide plan, suicide notes, and eventually handcuffs.


Long story short I had written my notes and planned to drive into the North Cascades to kill myself when a ginormous pang of guilt while staring at my fiance made me blurt out where my suicide notes were and that I had a plan.

He tried to talk me down and I didn't want to hear it so I grabbed my purse, slippers, and jacket and was on the way out the door when he grabbed the car keys. Forty-five minutes later he had pinned on the floor because I wouldn't stop wrestling him for the keys, crying and screaming for him to "just let me go" and that "it will be better in the long run."


We've had such dramatic episodes before, but usually he can calm me down or I get tuckered out and just go to bed-but this time I was a crazy b&*$% on a mission and he just couldn't handle the situation anymore.

He called 911 and the cops showed up.

For the rest of the week I was under suicide watch by the fiance and family and even now over a week later I'm still in the pits and recovering slowly. Last night was especially rough. I'm out of fight and so tired of the turmoil in my mind.


It's so hard to nourish hope when times get this dark. Everyone else knows it's temporary but I feel fated to a pitiful, painful existence-it's hard to imagine days without this demon lurking over me.

This probably wasn't my longest post ever but I'm spent. Hopefully I can hash things out more later, but for now I need some Girls and kitty cuddling.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Another Assault on the Fiance's Netflix Preferences

My fiance is not a homophobe or gay-hater or anything like that-he's just a little upset that the films and TV shows I've been watching and liking on Netflix have commandeered our Netflix account.

Exhibit A: Rupaul's Drag Race


Combo America's Next Top Model, Project Runway and good old fashioned game show I LOVE watching this show for a pick-me-up and cheery entertainment. It's not all fun and games though-many of the contestants have dark pasts from coping with their sexuality in adverse environments but for me that extra dose of reality and humanity launches this reality TV show above and beyond it's more hetero compatriots.

Exhibit B: Kickoff


This British comedy was delightful and surprising. I'm not much for soccer and I was happy to find that while the film explored some macho football culture it wasn't soccer-centric and didn't alienate non-soccer fans.

In the film a gay team faces off against a fouling, macho team and the ensuing comedy drives forward through the entire film. I was surprised the film covered just one soccer match but the stories of all the players and their confrontations were hilarious and made the time fly.

Exhibit C: Queer Eye for the Straight Guy

I have found memories of watching this with my sister and mom so putting one an episode while I'm cleaning is comforting background noise with bursts of entertainment!

Exhibit D: Priscilla Queen of the Desert


Classic. Hilarious. Love it. Terence Stamp is wonderful regardless of gender role!

Anywho, Netflix in all its genius has taken my fun picks and transformed them into a "Gay & Lesbian Movies" section that takes space away from the fiance's comedic, crime, and action/adventure preferences.

Oh the hazards of sharing accounts.

Mwahahahaha!

Trudging Uphill

I found myself telling the fiance tonight, "If there was a customer service center for humans, I'd return myself for a refund."

This familiar ache is making sick. Tightness in my chest, headaches, and that pre-cry feeling behind my eyes-I'm so sick of it. Unfortunately with this disease getting sick of the pain rarely lights a fire under your but or inspires change and in my case it makes me feel hopeless and all the suicidal thoughts line up for inspection.

To make matters worse I doubt my capability of seriously harming myself and I'd prefer not to make matters worse in the long run by somehow damaging myself further by some half-assed attempt. So I feel helpless and hopeless and end up doing next to nothing about it which makes me feel even worse about myself.

I know logically and with good reason what I need to do to be better but right now I just see an unending tide of depression that will never leave me alone. It's hard to start climbing a mountain that has no peak in sight.

Now I'll find my Ibuprofen and an ice pack distract myself with word searches until I can't keep my eyes open anymore.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Roller Coaster Day

Boy howdy-yesterday was a doozy. Luckily the low wasn't that low and I headed it off with a Xanax but it was one of those great days that took a dark turn that I didn't expect.

At first I was having a nice, productive day where I was actually awake when the fiance left for work. I cleaned, watched some Golden Girls, put gas in the car and even got a prescription filled before heading over to my old holiday job to chat and eat pizza with a couple of ye olde ornament elves.


It was great. I don't have many friends up here and it was nice to just sit and chat around a table with other girls for a change (no offense, fiance). Not to mention the fact that one of the ladies has personal experience coping with depression. Both the gals were encouraging and caring but also a great reality check.

I think the most important part of the chat was about focusing on myself and allowing myself the time to heal without any expectations or timelines. I feel immense guilt for being down-and-out or not up to my usual capacity and that guilt really impacts my recovery-keeps dragging me down!

Heck, I feel guilty for not keep the house clean for my cats. I have cat-guilt. I have fiance-guilt. I have family-guilt. I have Hannah's health-guilt. It's a guilt party for ONE.

Anywho, the first half of the day was lovely. I capped off the chat with a visit to the library and then went back home to rest up for yoga. Unfortunately I got some bad news.


The ceremony location that the fiance and I were going to check out next month has been booked for a retreat already. I was devastated. That was one aspect of the wedding I felt that I had in the bag. The one piece of the puzzle already laid down and now I'm thrown  back to square one.

How could this be? Well the guy I was planning with neglected to mention this even though I announced my wedding date in the very first email. Weeks of emails and planning just crumbled.

At first I wasn't in a full-blown attack. I distracted myself with word searches. When the fiance came home I prompted him to read the email and once the discussion began my defenses came down.


I was able to level out and stop the tears long enough to go do yoga at Y but once I came home and tried some trouble-shooting the pressures and stress fell upon me and I was grounded. I grabbed Iroh and retreated to the dark bedroom to relax and eventually popped a Xanax and fell asleep.

Eventually I awoke shortly before 1 am and proceeded to watch movies online and do puzzles until nearly four when I was tired enough to return to bed.

Now I'm drinking coffee at three in the afternoon trying to wake myself up enough to get to PAWS and help some sick kitties.

This wasn't the worst episode ever, but it's just another notch in my broomstick that makes my depression feel like a giant monkey on my back.

I hope there are cute kitties to cuddle tonight :o)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Daylight Savings What?

Instead of sitting in bed tapping my touch screen, playing away the hours with AI foe Aiden on my Gin Rummy phone app I decided it would be nicer to blog some of the wee hours away.

I haven't felt too productive or progressive in regards to my depression and getting back on the ole horse called "life," but I have had some moments. Thankfully some of my old craftiness is reemerging-just in time to prepare for the wedding.

What does this mean exactly? How about table toppers, thank you cards, jewelry, and two invitation designs! It's a creative typhoon up in here!

First off-the table toppers. Hand crafted a couple weeks ago while the fiance was out partying it up with my dad and childhood neighbor.


The little blurbs are factoids about wedding traditions around the world and I used some scrap fabric, buttons, and yarn to make little bows while I decorated the back with some print-outs of a hiking trail sign we see a lot of during our adventures.

I also designed these postcard invites to our reception a few weeks back. Our animal totems coalesced on a windy walk one day and we ran with them for our wedding. I complemented the rodent duo with some wood grain font and we pimped them out with some colored accessories.


The thank you postcards follow the woodsy theme with the same font and some autumnal leaves. The fiance struck a creepy stalker pose with these-see his eyeball through the space between the two cards??? What a loon!


The second invitation design hasn't been through PhotoShop yet, but it keeps with the beaver/porcupine/woodsy theme and we even incorporated some party possums!

The fiance is in charge of my wedding earrings but I was inspired this past week and came up with my necklace...


The original plan included darker colors but I found myself drawn to the purple (it is my favorite color after all) and I integrated some pearls to class it up a bit.


The clasp and string channeler-thingies were nicely priced at a buck-fifty each and I'm thinking about making a matching bracelet to go along with this purty necklace!

We didn't really plan on having a theme-we summed it up to "autumnal" but it seems like we've begun leaning towards a National Park/National Forest/Hiking/Nature theme without really trying. Between all the forest creatures, natural colors, and signage we're pretty well along the path towards straight-up themeage.

Oh well. I think it's cute :o)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Weird Dreams

Last night involved some odd dreams.

First set of dreams involved a college friend and fellow blogger of mine. We had a visit and drove around to a casino in the middle of nowhere but the most memorable aspect of the dream was the ending-a wedding.

My friend married a pretty blonde chick in a renaissance fair style wedding. Crowns, tents, goblets, and costumes-the whole shebang! Her outfit included a white halter top with a bare mid-drift and one of them belly-necklace-thingies. It was quite an odd compilation of details! Especially when you consider I haven't heard of any renaissance fair tendencies from him!


The second dream was definitely more intense.

I was back in my childhood home with my family and we were under attack. The country was invaded by Al-Qaida types!

I think the dream stemmed from an episode of Parking Wars where there was a conflict outside a mosque. Funnily enough the drama stemmed from a bystander that wasn't even a member of the mosque!

Regardless of the reasoning, the dream was dramatic. Our neighborhood was invaded and we had to fortify our home. Running from window to window watching for small squads of invading troops and trying to keep our animals safe-although my cats ran out and disappeared :o(


Eventually we ended up in a large bomb shelter in our backyard. Somehow we had prepared for the invasion and had a high-tech bomb shelter with monitoring equipment hidden on the surface of our yard.

Unfortunately we were discovered months later by the invaders and there was a sort of hostage situation/negotiation. The whole thing was unpleasant and stressful and not a pleasant dream at all.

I've had numerous dreams based in my childhood neighborhood where we are invaded by terrorists, opposing armies, or random thugs! None are pleasant and usually including death, guns, running and hiding, and anxiety.

Definitely an interesting night in my head!