Letters to Loki # 23 - Rambling and ranting.

Dear Loki,

Today has been a rather long day. I was reaching a point of intense frustration when Beloved gave the wonderful suggestion of going out and picking up take-out for dinner. Having eaten a good portion of shrimp in garlic sauce and lo mein, I feel a bit less on the verge of either screaming or throwing stuff. I guess part of my problem was low blood sugar. I thought I had gotten past the whole 'forgetting to eat' thing. Looks like I was wrong.

The sky outside right now is really impressive. It is raining but the sun is setting. It is at such an angle where the whole western sky is lit up with shades of orange. I'm sure if I stepped out and looked east, I'd see a rainbow right now. It is, however, wet and windy out there. I don't think I'm going to do it, but I will admire it all from right here in the living room.

I keep getting things tangled up on how to approach my creative efforts. Freyr is wisely telling me not to take an 'all or nothing' approach. It's been tempting to just say that since I can't do much now that I should just give up on the whole mess. I am, however, listening to his better judgment and putting such decisions aside. It is, honestly, awkward for me to listen to Freyr's advice. He's been suggesting over the last several days that perhaps I have been operating a little too much under the influence of my past trauma.

At his encouragement, I picked up my therapy journal and I have been writing in it again. It is really uncomfortable. I guess the best way to describe it is that writing in there is the mental equivalent to having that wound drain pulled out of my side. And, like when I had that damn thing taken out, I recognize this is necessary and something that is only going to help my long term welfare. I get angry with the fact that I have to do all these things (therapy, journaling, medications, etc.) to manage some degree of mental stability. I look around at how other people are going on with their lives and I feel intense envy for how 'easy' it seems to be.

Then I mentally smack myself and remind myself that I'm comparing things that have no relation to each other. Freyr's been suggesting that I consider talking to my therapist about finding some sort of PTSD support group. I have been hemming and hawing over it. I don't feel like there's much for someone like me in my area. I have had a hard time looking around and finding support stuff for us when it comes to the kids autism. I'm afraid to go looking for myself.

Fear has been a big problem for a little while now. Some of it is because I haven't been sleeping well. I have been having nightmares and trouble sleeping since late last August. I'm now on 8 different medications. If the three I'm taking to sleep at night don't resolve the problem or at least mitigate it, then my psych provider is talking about putting me on Ambien. I've read a little bit about Ambien. It makes me a bit nervous.

I have been feeling really upset about the fact that I take all these medications. I know that mental illness is as legitimate of a health condition as diabetes. I still can't shake the feeling, however, that I have some how failed because I'm taking medication to manage my symptoms. Every time I go to take my medicine, I get this awful sinking feeling in my stomach and I feel terribly, terribly guilty. My therapist says this will pass as I get the bad programming from my youth out of my head. Apparently conditioning is harder to put aside then sticking to a diet is.

Speaking of diets, I have come to the conclusion that baked tofu is probably one of the worst things I have tired in my attempts to eat vegetarian meals for breakfast and lunch on most days. I still have three blocks of the stuff sitting in the fridge. I am pretty sure the kids won't touch it. I know that Beloved will not eat it. So, I think I'm going to have to just throw it out. Apparently, the only way I can tolerate tofu is in hot and sour soup or miso soup. And I don't have the stuff to make either.

I can't think of anything more to write. I could go on about how upset I am with my mental health issues, but I think I covered that pretty completely. We watched a parade for Memorial Day. The kids loved the two marching bands and the firetrucks. I have been wracking my brains on something I can do for the ancestors. I feel badly saying that it is probably only going to be a small food offering and a candle. I want to do more but I just can't think of anything. I hope that I'm not disappointing them with what I have to give. I am, probably, over thinking things again. Another habit I really should consider breaking, I suppose.


Letters to Loki # 22

Dear Loki,

I have been giving some thought to what you've suggested. I honestly don't feel like I'm up for the task. Still, you, Freyr, and Odin are all of a mind that I can get three books written by the end of summer. I am going to give it my best effort. Thinking about summer has me really intimidated. My mental health hasn't been all that great over the last few months and I'm reluctant to say that the medication adjustment has resolved everything. I feel like I can't fully trust it. The last medication adjustment only lasted a few months before it started to lose effectiveness.

This whole business with my mental health has been really frustrating. You've been really awesome about helping me keep my proverbial shit together. I really appreciate it. The fact that you have helped me calm down in the midst of a panic attack is solid gold. I will confess, it was eerie to go from panic to complete calm with out dissociating. It was like some switch in my head got flipped and I suddenly gave no fucks whatsoever about being in that crowded location. Freyr suggests that I can learn that skill. I have been kinda confused by this. But, I've been talking with Odin, as you have encouraged, and doing the exercises he gave me.

Speaking of exercise, I've been more active about physical exercise. I am pleased to report that I walked 2.5 miles today despite my knees giving me a lot of trouble. I'm paying for it somewhat by how much they're aching right now, but it will pass. I am at something of a loss for yoga. I know that you think it would be really awesome for me. I think you may have a point and it would probably be easier on me then aggressive strength training or running (which always comes to mind when I think about exercise for some reason). I could come up with a dozen excuses for why I am not doing it but, honestly, I am intimidated by it. Your arguments that it would improve my sex life hasn't exactly helped make the prospect less intimidating, by the way.

I have been getting more spinning related stuff done. Last week I washed up about a pound of wool. I need to card or comb it before I can spin it. I don't think I did stuff right in washing the brown colored wool in the batch of samples. I didn't handle it very much (really, I didn't handle it at all) but somehow it seems a bit felted. I am coming down the home stretch with the dark blue silk that I have been spinning. I will be taking a break from spinning silk to get some of that batt of raspberry colored wool spun. That idea you had for how to improve my homemade distaff was brilliant. It is working out really well. Thanks again for the suggestion. It never would have occurred to me to try putting one of the drawer pulls I had been using to make little drop spindles on the end of the stick. And the wood glue seems to be holding really well.

I am running out of coherent things to write and Thor is on his way through. I'm hoping the thunder storm will knock some of the humidity out of the air. It's hard enough to sleep with my chronic nightmares. This sticky, hot, and humid weather isn't exactly making that easier either. The front is supposed to pass through tonight and we'll be in the 60s tomorrow. I hope it doesn't cause any problems for Snuggle Bug's school field trip tomorrow. I'll catch up with you again soon. Give my love to Sigyn.


Letters to Loki # 21

Dear Loki,

I feel like the village idiot right now. I'm really upset over losing my favorite pen. So upset that I find myself half on the verge of tears over it. There is no rational reason for this. Yes, I lost my favorite pen. But it's just a pen and I have a similar one that I can use right now.

It kinda encapsulates today. The morning was fun with laundry (and I lack the verbage to adequately express the sarcasm here). I tried to get some writing done but I was interrupted. I didn't have my favorite pen then either, but I was just happy with the cheapie that I had at the time. I kinda found myself in a position of somewhat forced socialization.

On one hand, I'm pleased with how that turned out. I think I may have someone buying my book because of it. At the same time, I was upset because I really wanted to write more in my journal. Then I got home and I tried to work on some other things but it just didn't work out. Right now, I'm cooking dinner and half expecting that to go sideways on me. (I know, that type of attitude invites trouble. I'm not having much success adjusting it right now.)

The thing that really makes me mad is the fact that I should have had a good day today. I got a bunch of stuff done. I averted a problem. And I even managed to have the kids behave despite being stuck in the house all afternoon. But I'm tired, upset, and angry. I guess it is because of my brain chemistry, but it feels like a pathetic excuse.

I've been forcing myself not to start worrying over things. I guess that may be part of the crankiness too. I don't know. I just hope that tomorrow goes better. And that my damn pen turns up.


Letters to Loki # 20 : I am thankful.

Dear Loki,

It's been a rough week. At the same time, I've been taking your advice to heart and trying to focus on the things I am thankful for compared to where I was not so long ago. It kinda baffles me that a year ago [I can't say for certain it was a year because my sense of time is so messed up by my medications and psych issues. :( ] I was in the hospital for suicidal depression. As much as I have been struggling, I am not at that point and I am deeply thankful for it.

I had my plans for a garden go sideways on me but I found soil to use in my containers for dirt cheap. (Yes, I used the pun. I would have found a worse one but it wasn't worth digging up.) I am beginning to make peace with the absence of the trees behind the building. I will confess, I am glad that we have a lot less mosquitoes. I have been noticing more birds at the feeders and focusing on that rather then the mess that has been coming with it.

I am not very good at being patient with myself but I am making an effort not to push myself too hard before I am ready. I am somewhat disappointed that I don't have it in me to do more right now. Still, I find I can do more then I could a few days ago and that is something that I am glad of.

I also did as you suggested and talked with Freyr about all the things I've been worried about. And, again, you were right. I was over thinking everything and letting my anxiety run the show again. I know I need to stop bottling up my anxiety and start confronting it face on when it pops up. I think I have a long way to go before I can take that in stride.

I don't think it was a coincidence that over the last few days my arthritic knees have been functionally keeping me at home when I've been really restless. I guess I need to slow down and focus on getting my immediate environment under some measure of control rather then running away from it. Which, I admit, I was doing some of last week. Ok, I was doing a lot of it.

I keep staring at the knitting project I've been working on and wishing it would finish itself. I'll be glad to give that to my sister-in-law when it is done. I have no idea where to start with the sampler I was stitching. I just stare at it blankly for several minutes and then put it back into the canvas bag where I've been keeping it. I know that I need to do more artistic expression. I just find myself at a loss for where to begin. It's all rather overwhelming.

I'm sure I will figure it out. It's great that you are willing to just share coffee with me and hang out. It helps a lot when I have days where I'm feeling really lonely. Also, those ideas you've thrown out on how to deal with the kids have been solid gold. I'm a little intimidated with where things are going on that front, but I'm going to do as you encouraged and deal with each thing as it is presented.

It's funny, actually. So many people think of you as the random clown or the scary guy who destroys everything they've attempted, but not too many folks seem to think that you are practical and a problem solver. Sure, some of your solutions are unorthodox, but they work and that is what matters, right?