Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I'm sorry I didn't see you there

This is me trying to take my blog back from the spectre of my dog's death.  The sun is setting, and I'm sitting in my underwear waiting for the smoke to clear from the kitchen, trying to figure out what I'm going to wear for TV on Friday...and trying to take my blog back.

For months I've had inner monologues bursting out of my skull, desperate to escape and bore someone else.  I've opened my blog so many times, but until today I could not find a good enough reason to hit 'New Post.' It was as if my nonsensical rambling about Edward's death was some kind of monument to him, and it was as if any new post would dishonor him.

What else could I possibly have to say?

How could I move on?

Eh, "move on" isn't really the right term.  I don't think I have or will move on in some ways, but in the very concrete way of using my blog...I guess maybe I am moving on.

Sort of.


We'll see.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

He's Gone

I knew it was coming; unfortunately that doesn't seem to make this any easier.  Here, in the wake of perhaps the worst thing that's ever happened to me/the worst thing I've ever done, I feel empty, hollow, and lost.  The emptiness is punctuated by sharp and almost unexpectedly real emotions.

There is an all-encompassing and overwhelming sense of loss that keeps knocking me down as I try to wrap my brain around the idea that Edward doesn't exist anymore.  How could someone so important just disappear?

There's the longing, the itch in my fingers for his almost delicate and soft, but not girly "silky," ears, and for his almost coarse coat of thick almost sharp hair that used to give me hives on the insides of my wrists...

The breathless shock, when I "see" him out of the corner of my eye.

The guilt, for putting him down, even though it was the right thing, because I really, really just wanted to say no and take him home.

The regret, for everything undone.  Could I have put him on anti-convulsive meds and had him for another few weeks?

The undeniable and childish want.  I don't care; I want my dog.  I want to rub his gigantic rib cage aka belly; I want to talk to him; I want to see that quizzical and concerned look on his face; I want hear him "purr" that noise between talking back and growling he would make when he was happy, when I talked to him.  I want to wrestle and play the way we did when he was younger.  I want to cuddle with him in bed.

I want him to fill the 141lb Edward-shaped vacuum in the universe.

I don't care; I want my dog.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

One Month Down

Woo Hoo!  I survived January!  Yesssss.  If only that wasn't the way I felt about it.  January was...difficult, but alright.  I feel really good about the goals I was able to acheive, and pretty frusterated about the ones I didn't.

First the good:

I'm still not smoking.  In general I would say that not smoking has become normal for me, and that feels great.  When I suddenly do want to smoke, I'm having an easier time pushing past it.  I'm also still using my planner. It looks like the planner of an insane person (is that saying something?), and I see that as success.  For now.  Moreover, during the month of January I corrected two negative marks on my credit report, filed new W-4's with all three employers, read The Death of Bunny Munro, exercised (though not as much as I should have), and was generally successful in my goal to monitor my consumption.  I even cooked!  I made lasagna!  without causing an apartment fire!  Yessss!

And the not-so-good:

I exercised in January; really, I did.  I just didn't exercise anywhere near three times a week.  I find this very frustrating.  I know that my level of physical activity is inversely related to my stress level.  I know that when I get stressed, I sit down.  The problem, it seems, is not sitting down.  I also found out I somehow filled out my W-4's wrong, which I didn't even know was possible.  So now I owe the IRS over $1000, and they're fining me for having to pay so much in taxes.  What?  Really?  There's a fine for paying taxes?  I have a plan, I've corrected my mistakes (I think) and I will get a payment plan with the IRS.  Still, it puts me behind on my goal for cleaning up my finances, and honestly, how can I be fiscally responsible if I can't even pay my taxes correctly?  I've never had a problem with my taxes before, but it really hurts.  Finally, I'm struggling with The Diamond Age and I don't think I managed to write a blog a week for January.  Heck, I haven't even written a blog a week so far for February!

At the end (or a week after the end) of the month, it seems like a wash.  Edmund is wildly supportive, but after such a rough start it seems like a long way to the end of the year.  I'm not doing great for February (I haven't exercised near enough), but I'm trying.  I'm not giving up; with some luck (in the form of reduced stress and increased sleep) I'll be able to turn this month around.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Slaying Dragons

Stress is my dragon.  She's trying to eat me, and I'm embarrassed to admit it.  I guess I thought I'd be able to handle her because I'm an expert worrier (these here are shoulder length Kevlar gloves and that's a 100,000 lb. tensile strength harness).  I worry about everything, all the time (practice makes perfect).  For example, later today we will set up a surprise party for a friend, and I'm worrying right now because I'm terrible at tying balloons.  Really (it's important to stretch when handling such a large beast).

Unfortunately, I'm not so good at handling periods of really intense stress (if I'd had the strength to crate train her earlier, I think she'd be better behaved).  When things get bad, the stress affects my entire life (singed hair, singed eyebrows, singed seat).  I have a really hard time keeping it together when it feels like everything is falling apart (skill with the whip has saved my hide more than a few times).

Work has reached new levels of stressful in the last few weeks (she ate the whip).  I have panic attacks all the time, I'm barely managing to work out once a week, I forget to eat, and when I do eat I eat crap (when did she start breathing so much fire?).  I hate to admit it, but something has got to change (she's got to go).  I've worried so much, for so long that I don't know how to change it (she's like a pet to me), but it's becoming really unhealthy (she keeps biting me!).

I want to reduce the stress in my life, but I'm not having much luck (bullets-no, grenades-no).  I can't just tell my stress to leave, and techniques like yoga just add to my stress because I don't feel like I have time for it (hand to hand combat has not been successful).  I do feel like success is closer because I'm aware of the problem; now I just have to find the solution (enchanted blade, anyone?).

Monday, January 18, 2010

Putting it in writing

I hate New Year's Resolutions.  I hate the spur of the moment nature of the claims, the self-congratulation, and more than anything, I hate the high rate of failure Resolutions have.  So instead, I give myself goals.  The New Year might give a great opportunity to take stock, but goals can be modified or achieved at any point in the year.  I wanted to write about my goals earlier this month, but I wasn't able to, and that's okay.  The extra time allowed me to fine tune and reevaluate some of my goals, and now I really feel like they're all achievable.  For 2010, my goals are:

1.  To not smoke.  At all.  Ever. My TV likes to show me an ad about how 95% of people who quit smoking in the New Year will fail by the end of the year.  I am making the decision every day, sometimes every five minutes, to be in that 5% who succeed.  It hasn't actually been very difficult, but I take the risk of failure seriously.

2.  To exercise 3 times each week.  I'm not trying to run a marathon, I'm trying to quit smoking.  Exercise reinforces my desire not to smoke and helps me feel in control.  Obsessing about my BMI is also better than obsessing about smoking.

3.  To plan.  This goal is important to me.  Each year I get a planner and attempt to use it all year.  I think I made it to March last year.  I want this year to be the year I make planning a habit.  It also helps me with several of my other goals, like exercising, and to feel more in control.

4.  To be concious of what I eat and drink.  This goal is difficult to quantify, but so far I'm on track to make this an all-the-time habit.  I am trying to be aware of my caloric intake, nutrition, and the environmental impact of what I eat.  It doesn't always change my food choices drastically, but I feel like it helps.

5.  To improve my finances.  This goal may be more long-term than any of the others, but I really only have two "items" to work on.  A negative mark to correct and a loan I would like to pay off early.  This is a goal about awareness and responsibility.  So far, I've still shopped, but I've also cleared two items from my credit report.

6. To write and to read.  I want to write every week, even if it isn't fantastic.  It's more about the exercise of writing.  I'm using my blog for this goal so that my success or failure will be public.  I also want to read at least 1 new(to me) book each month.  I don't feel like this is a big goal, but it's really about maintaining the habits of writing and reading.

When I look at all my goals in writing, it seems a little overwhelming, but when I think about it, I can't see removing any of them.  Achieving one or some of these goals will help me achieve others.  They fit together in a way I really like.  So far, I'm succeeding at not smoking, eating/drinking awareness, reading, finances, and planning more than at exercising and writing, but I'm still doing alright at those two.  I expect that planning, exercising, and writing will be the ones I have the most difficulty maintaining.  I'm planning on writing one blog entry each month about my goals so that I can stay focused all year.  Hopefully all of my future "Goals" posts will be positive.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What was I saying?

It's a new year with a lot of new goals, but I'm already distracted.  Among my goals is one to set some standards of improvement for my writing and meeting those standards.  I can't even come close to this one if I hide from my blog, but that's exactly what I've been doing tonight.  Hiding.  From my blog.

I haven't been hiding because I'm lazy, I swear.  I've been hiding for the worst reasons.  I wanted to write about my goals tonight.  I wanted to write about the specific things I want to accomplish this year, but I really just can't.  Instead I am heartbroken for friends and grieving their tragedy. Even that feels wrong, like I don't have a right to feel terrible for them.  But I do.  I can't seem to stop crying.

In any case, I can't write about their tragedy because that would be the most awful theft.  So that leaves me writing about how I'm not writing about what I wanted to write about. 

Huh.  I just spent ten minutes staring and the screen and trying not to cry.  I will leave my goals for another day, once the shock has passed.

Friday, January 8, 2010

New Address

I moved the blog.  I didn't move it far, but I did move it.  It felt like a good idea, so the blog can be more a tool for writing wherever that might take me.  I hope you continue reading, commenting, and correcting.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Breathing deeply

It's not how they said it would be. It's not really a "craving," or a "fit." It's more like momentary vertigo. As I step out of some, but not all doors, there is a moment when it feels like I'm falling. I feel like I should be smoking, like something is wrong because I'm not lighting up. It's shocking and disturbing every time, maybe more so because it seems to happen randomly.

Other times, when I'm stressed or feeling overwhelmed, those feelings echo and amplify. I feel like I might drown in the emotion. Screaming and crying are the only reactions. Nothing else is even possible. It's selfish, ridiculous, and embarrassing.

Frequently my mind will the gratification of breaking kneecaps and headbutting. The heel of my hand striking a collarbone. What? I may have trouble watching my language. I apologize a lot. For swearing, for snapping, for sarcasm.

And then, there are the millions of in-between moments when it's just breathtakingly easy. When I don't even think about it. The rolling blanket of control barely punctured by the moments of vertigo and doubt. It's the moments just after vertigo when it really seems like I can do it. Each of those moments is a white-knuckle grip on reality...and the world settles. I only have to hold on for a second.