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Alison's · Wonderland

we're all a little mad here.

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In order to help people, you have to not only take a sincere interest in them and their needs, but also never discount your own importance in the community and as a compassionate human being.  To be of any use to others, you must stand firm in your own ability to be useful.

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Here is my god-awful daily routine:

0600 alarm goes off. Stare with dread and sleep heavy arms at crutches.

0700 Out the door and hobble downstairs for a 100 mile drive (no morning tea anymore because I can't carry it down the stairs).

0835ish Tell everyone, once again, no I do not need help onto the bus, thank you.

0840ish. Hobble miserably what is really probably only 1/4 of a mile but feels like four times that to the Ops office. Outside. In the awful Florida humidity.

0900-1730 - Absolutely nothing. A handful of radio calls and some much put-off and dreaded trips to the ladies room which is down a hall out a door and down another hall away. Pretend to ignore scornful looks, pointed cold shoulder, attempted bullying, and endure endless inquiries about my damn foot. Every day.

1730 - Repeat hobble back to shuttle. Again telling people, no, really, I can get on the damn bus on my own. And off it, too.

1740ish - 100 mile drive home

1920ish - Stop at 7/11 for about $25 of gas (every day)

1930ish - Finally arrive home. Hobble UP the stairs (it's the worst).

1934ish - Hobble back down the stairs to take Regan out. Hobble back up the stairs again. My shoulders and arms and hands hurt so bad....

1950ish Hate everything.


0600 Alarm goes off. Yesterday's aching has sunk in and spread overnight. Look with dread at crutches...

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Tonight Katie made shrimp Caesar salad for us to take to eat on the beach. I feel like I am a vampire beach-goer, I've been several more times at night than I have in the day.

We sat and laid. Watched clouds and stars. Katie got out her star app to find out what a particularly bright star was. While she was doing that my eye was drawn to a star that was small, but a little orange, and shining differently. I borrowed Katie's phone and found out it was Saturn! A couple days ago there was this really cool picture taken from space of Saturn, with Earth in the background.

We heard a dog, but didn't see it! Katie took me running through the wake after the elusive SeaDog ... She swears she saw it fly by. SeaDogs fly.

We didn't stay long. I am tired and weepy and had trouble staying in the moment. I loved laying there in the breeze, the cool evening, where the moistness in the air didn't bother me and I could just quietly listen to the waves.

Maybe this weekend I can make home feel more like home. Move some furniture. I'm sure there is more to like here than just the beach. I will find it. Katie will help me.

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Tonight we went for another night time walk on the beach. Left our shoes in the car. The moon is full so we could see so much of the water.

We walked right into the surf and stood for an bit, just looking and breathing. We sat a moment, then got up and walked for a bit. Eventually I decided that I didn't really want to walk, so Katie turned us right around so we could head back. She paused us for a moment so we could dance a little, and kiss a little in the moonlight.

We picked a spot near the tide and sat down. Shortly after with a screech we jumped up narrowly avoiding a wet butt (actually, I think Katie did get a wet butt). We sat a little further back. Katie let me ramble on and on about the things I had learned from my books about Marie Antoinette and how very sad I am for her. Katie says I need to be reading happier books right now, I agreed.

I told her that there are times when I know I should be happy (like right now, sitting so close to the surf and in the perfect breeze with the full moon on an empty beach). And I want to be happy. And I feel like it should be in there somewhere. So I peel back the sad of everything else to let it through. But it's not there. The happy just isn't there. And then ... that's sad.

We sat a bit longer, Katie washed my feet when we got back to the car. Now we are headed home to watch a movie of a book I finished today. It's a nice night.

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Tonight Katie and I took a long walk on the beach. The crescent moon was very, very
Orange and it reflected prettily on the water. When we stopped to look at the moon, I saw a shooting star. I wished to be happy (really, what else is ever worth wishing for?$

We saw:
A baby sting ray
Threeish crabs
Funny little bugs ! We think they were hermit crabs.

Collected a few pretty shells.

There were so many stars out to see tonight.

Katie and I talked about my sadness, how
I just can't find the happy, and that hopefully when we get through the boxes at home then I will be better. Katie wants me to worry less about money.

I found out Katie had never been to a planetarium, so we have to fix that. Planetariums are spectacular.

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My co-workers are very nice in true Southwest fashion. The station is easy to work. The organization is non-existant. I have been offered virtually no info or direction in the station. I got lost trying to find the door to get past security today and was in a hysterical mode of panic at being late and lost and helpless (I don't have any numbers and no one to call). It costs three hours and $15+ for the commute. My happy place was no longer happy at last visit, because I was still having to deal with moving stress, I wasn't on vacation, but I was still far from where I have to live. I am literally allergic to Florida and I am constantly DIRTY and GROSS and wet and hot and generally physically miserable. I want to go home :(
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Katie always thought that the general populace of Colorado was unfriendly. I am learning it is a matter of perspective. I spent most of my life in Colorado so of course it seemed amiable enough. I spent a short time in a very rich town in California and also just outside of Washington DC. Compared to those, Colorado seemed quite hospitable and welcoming! In my travels now though ... I listen to easy conversations and people ready and eager to make a genuine connection. Maybe there was something to Katie's idea of friendly places.

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I find that I miss journalling.  I tell myself that I don't think I have time for it .. but the truth is that I stopped making time for it.  Started filling my days with endless nothings that compiled into blankness.  Fell in with the rest of common society and subsisted on posting thoughts and moments in a few words on a fleeting page that is very difficult to track over any extended period of time.

 Somehow, writing it down makes it more real even than well documentation with pictures.  Keeps the memories stronger.  I lost the trust in a more extended and open written word.  Stopped believing I could do it and convinced myself that I didn't need to... I wrote little bits and it would be good enough.

Kageshien ended and I was just starting college.  I joined a sorority that taught me a lot about life, and took a lot of my life as well.  Lead the group, learned many skills, held it together with quite literally everything I had ... and it fell to shreds the minute I left.  In the middle of all of this I think I see the moment when my social life, my meaningful relationships outside of Katie ... died.  Completely.

I was preparing to go to India.  It was a great adventure, a great challenge, and in fact was everything I hoped and feared it would be.  I spent as much time as I could with Dayl ... she's been my favorite friend for such a long time.  Weeks after I left for India Dayl left for grad school.  I had been in only fleeting contact with Mandi and whatever we had left seemed to all but die...  Kate surprise-moved while I was away.  I cried so hard the day she posted that picture of her car attached to a uhaul.  The shallow destructive people I lived with in Hyderabad didn't care to try and understand.    These people were just about the last I had of strong emotional friendships.  Katie became literally everything to me.  I had nothing else to go back to.  Dayl and I have always had an understanding, we get it, it's still there, its just ... maybe on hold?  In intermission?  I lost Mandi.  I tried to keep Kate, but neither of us could hold on.  Laura, we have an understanding too.  Just never quite met up ... never quite found that same level of platonic love again.

There is a picture just days before I left for India of Dayl, Mandi, and me on my couch.  The last time we were all together.  It feels like it was the last time I really had friends.  We knew there was an ending in that afternoon.  We were calm and easy together.

I came home from India and dove severely into work, Phi Sigma Sigma, PCMA, work, school.  I almost lost Katie, almost pushed her away.  Tried too hard to make new connections.  Had a breakdown ... in over my head and I knew it, tried my best not to show it.  Whatever it took to become who I was meant to be, that was the aim.  Fell apart.  Took it easy.  Stepped back, way back.  Stopped trying for connections that would not come through.  Stopped it all.

Left a terrible job for a great one at Southwest.  Love my job.  Love the people I work with.  Might have found a friend or two.  The job is so easy though.  It's the easy and the cheap way out to stay put, but no need to look to hard to move.  Good company.  Great benefits.  Structured raises, flexible schedule, and the freedom to travel and live almost anywhere in the country.  Maybe someday I will find something with a little challenge.. something to make me feel that passion again in day to day living.

I am at a crossroads again, ready to wipe the slate clean and see what the new horizon brings.  Transferring to Florida, Katie working for Disney.  Leaving Denver just as Dayl might be returning, it tears me apart to think on it too hard.  A new life.  Moving changes so much.  I can leave behind the people crowding up my view, minor acquaintances and those that I keep on my facebook list online just in case I actually see them in person ... I never do.  Dig through.  Find the people who really mean something.  Wow, digging that deep, it was easy to keep the wedding guest list small.  Ridding myself of almost everyone else.  Starting over.

Maybe ... just maybe this time I will find that strong connection again.  Maybe I can have easy, comfortable, reciprocated platonic-love.  Maybe a real circle of friends.  Maybe.

Huh.  It just occurred to me that I am talking about finding true friendship the way so many talk about finding true love.  Can't be fulfilled with just one or the other.  I suppose a person needs both.

I'm not sure I know how to connect anymore.  I've resigned myself to being shy.  To never assuming easily that my presence is actually desired, might even be sought out in favor.  So in that I am obviously not opening myself up for what I'm looking for.

Maybe around the next corner.  Dive in there.  Maybe I will find my people.

I miss you all so much.
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Stuff sucks a lot lately.  Let's make a list of things to elaborate on later, since I have to go to work in twenty minutes...

Xcel turned off our power without notice, despite the fact that I had been paying every month (into an inactive account, which they neglected to inform me of).

The very next morning, we were woken by our carbon monoxide detector going off.  Okay, that was more good than bad cause better to wake up than to die ... but it was really off-putting and terrifying way to wake up.

Katie's job is screwing her over in hours.

Also, apparently Great Lakes is STILL screwing us over.  This is the super-big-bad.

I am finally getting help for anxiety ... this is a huge post on its own that has been floating around in my head.  The pertinent point now is that my counselor is incredibly unhelpful.  To the point that I was telling her (having been in an awful state of anxiety/panic since the day before over the whole power-turned-off thing) that I was in this awful place and I couldn't find the way out.  She tried (again) to convince me that I was just stressed over money.  Which I'm not.  Previously she had tried and failed to corner my problems to stressed over work, stressed over relationship  -- way to hit on all the things that are REALLY QUITE FINE in my life.  The anxiety is NOT THAT FUCKING SIMPLE.  I was so upset over the fact that I was reaching out for help FINALLY and finding the response so ridiculously unsatisfactory, that once I got back to my car I just cried and cried.  Cried so hard that I pulled muscles in my back.  My back hurts so ... so bad now.  Nothing seems to help it, and being on my feet all day at work is making things so much worse.

And I had pilots that were assholes and too fucking lazy and entitled to WALK UP THE JETBRIDGE and instead complained that I never told them the number for the door code and wahwah they had to make a *phone call* to get it.  When I was just up the jetbridge, the whole damn time.

And seriously, with the asshattery of Katie's old job.  It is over the top.

Uuuhhhmmm ... that about covers it.  Oh yeah.  And then there is basic public social stuff.  Like EVERYTHING about Mitt Romney.  Politicians in Colorado stalling so that civil unions don't even get a chance to go to a vote (along with several other bills in the process).  GOD.  THE STUPID LATELY. 
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The past several days I had a relatively severe personal breakdown.  The anxiety crept up and slowly but surely engulfed me and my entire being.  Today was a better day.

The last few nights though?  I spent way too much time sobbing over nothing, being simply *terrified* that tomorrow would come.  Not that it would not come, but that it would.  It was coming and it was going to be different and there was nothing I could do about it and it freaked me the heck out.  I can't describe how overwhelming the panic was about this simple fact.  It was multiplied by the fact that I *knew* there was nothing to be worried about, and that I was having an extreme reaction about literally nothing.  I couldn't help it though, I was beyond reason and excruciatingly fearful about tomorrow coming.
Katie held me and told me that it would be okay, that I'm a good person and other comforting things that I can't remember now.  I spent a whole day at work fighting immediate and immense panic at every turn.  I avoided people and conversations.  I found myself catching my breath suddenly to keep myself from breaking down in public.  I did what I could to leave work early.

Today was a fine day though.  No meds.  No worries.  Just a fine day, as long as I didn't think much about my last couple.

It's come to the point that I need to admit to myself that I need to get therapy.  When I was in school I could rationalize away the anxiety, and I think there was a small part of me that actually thought it would go away for the most part when I graduated.  Maybe it did for a while.  But now it is here and rearing it's ugly head and sometimes I feel completely crippled by it.

There are a few of you who have known me long enough to know about my brief but traumatizing foray with paxil.  ... ....Oh man, I can't even get into how awful that was.  Suffice to say that I am more than hesitant to try any SSRIs ever again.  The meds I take now I take as-needed, and they are beta-blockers (usually heart medicine).  They have little to no side effects, and they are very helpful.  

But like I said ... it looks like I actually need to try therapy.  It's a harder idea than I think it ought to be.  Some of my biggest triggers are change, leaving home, and new unknown experiences.  Adding things into my schedule is always hard ... and just thinking about it makes me start to panic.  It is very counter-productive.  Extremely counter-productive.

So here I am.  Putting it out into the world.  My anxiety is a problem.  It effects (affects?) my ability to comfortably accomplish daily activities.  Medicine isn't enough and I need to get cognitive care.  I need to find the strength to make that happen.
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