24

Norbert

Some of you have been asking for a picture of Norbert. So here he is. In an Amazon box that was about 10 times larger than a book I bought on American Sign Language.

Sort of like how Norbert’s ears are too big for his head.

Feeling sort of not horrible. The body aches and headache have set in which always happen after I go through dark days.

Here is one thing I’ve noticed since starting counselling. I go through super dark times like I always have but they don’t last as long. I am gaining knowledge and inner strength to reach within myself to find solutions to see if I can be in a better place. Like yesterday, when I actually say down with my employer to see what could be done. Because deep down I know I am a great worker and have a lot of compassion and when you get to your last stages of living, you want someone like me there. I have a lot of love to share and have empathy and compassion. Anyway, being able to reach within myself is huge for me. It’s something everyone else does without thinking. My normal reaction up until now has been to regress into fear. I have so far to go. This is just a twinkle right now. Maybe one day it will be a shiny sun. 🌞

10

Today

Today I dealt with one of the major issues with my depression. My work. Not only has the workload increased from seeing 6 or 7 clients a day to 20 or 21, those clients change daily so I never get to see the same people. It’s like this… Tomorrow I am going to send you somewhere in your community to make a total stranger breakfast. You don’t have to give them a sponge bath, get them dressed, give medications, read previous communication or make the bed or empty a commode or urinal or a catheter bag. Just breakfast. First, what do they eat? Cereal. Almond milk? Regular milk? Soy? Rice? What spoon? Tablespoon? Teaspoon? Coffee? Tea? If so. What do they take it? Again with the milk thing. Sugar? White or brown? Maybe Stevia. (Huge importance if they are diabetic.) Maybe they want eggs. I won’t go through the million different ways to have eggs. Toast? They may have several different types of bread. What do they want on the toast? Butter? Margarine? Peanut butter? Jam? Marmalade? Are you getting my point here? And that is just breakfast. Just. Breakfast. You have 15 minutes. Do that 100 times a month.

Let’s add that the person is unwell. And/Or has dementia. It’s not just breakfast. It’s never just breakfast. I also do all the things for the people I care for that you do without thinking every morning, from where you toothbrush is kept to how you pick out your clothes.

Anyway, I had a meeting with management and a shop steward and they were surprised at how crazy my schedule has been and it’s going to be rectified. The shop steward is also a scheduler so that was a huge help. The manager is so kind and nice and that helped as well.

So, one thing less to stress me out.

I read all your comments over and over again. I am so tired right now and can’t respond to each of them. But please, please, please know that they mean so much. Sometimes it’s the smallest thing that can get me through.

20

Will I have it in me to post this? Usually when I get really depressed I don’t talk about it here even though my blog is about the ups and downs of depression. I haven’t been completely honest. The last several months I have been going through one of the darker depressions, which is the reason I didn’t post for two months. Other than my kids, I don’t have anything to live for. That’s how it feels. Like I have no skin on. Every breath is raw and painful. I’m not sleeping, which in itself is brutal. Here is one of my sleep logs.

That part between 10 and 11 wasn’t sleep, I was listening to an audio book. And just when I was getting into a deep sleep around 5:00, my alarm went off and it was time to get up for work.

My doctor cancels appointments on his patients on a regular basis because he decides to take the day off and when he isn’t cancelling he has medical students. I have given up on him. Today I made an appointment with a new doctor but can’t get in until the end of the month. Last night, in desperation I called a crisis line and was put on hold before being told that I needed to call back because everyone was busy. The hospital is not an option. Wait times are in the hours and in the end I will be sent home with a prescription and I will still have to get up tomorrow and go to work. At least staying home ensures that I will sleep tonight, my only escape. Well, fragmented sleep but at least my bed feels safe. Safer.

This afternoon I wondered what it would be like to go downtown and jump off a bridge but reason held me back. I can’t do that to my kids. Right now, their presence is the only thing keeping me alive. And it’s torture. Love keeps me prisoner here.

It’s not getting to be too much. It is too much. Over the years I have been on every medication and mix of medications. They don’t work because medication doesn’t get rid of PTSD. That acronym. I hate it. So many have had it so much worse than me but my therapist would beg to differ. If I just stopped feeling sorry for myself. If I tried harder. If I could just snap out it. If I wasn’t so weak. If I was stronger. If I wasn’t such a complete waste of space. If I was smarter. If I was prettier. If I felt that I had something to offer the world. I wonder constantly what I am doing in this life or what I did in a previous life to deserve this. Karma, right?

Sometimes I wonder if I will ever get better or is this going to be how it ends for me. My grandma died of a stroke. My mom died of ovarian cancer. Maybe I will die as a result of a broken brain, a heart that can’t take another day of all the pain in this world.

Anyway, I am not going to do anything tonight. I am safe for now. Safe, but utterly alone.

18

How About a Pointless Post?

After going almost two months without posting I want to make up for it but it usually comes down to not having much to say.

Do you really want to know that I almost never wear the same pyjamas twice in a row? There is something so satisfying about putting on clean pyjamas. Since I’m not Oprah and can’t change my sheets everyday I can put on clean pyjamas.

Do you want to know that my son brought me a loaf of bread today that he made at his new job at the bakery? Both my kids work at a local grocery store and both were promoted. My daughter is in the deli, my son in the bakery. My son, being my son was having a panic attack the other day because he felt he wasn’t learning fast enough and was going to quit but the manager asked him not to and said he was doing a great job. Isn’t is nice when the rest of the world sees your kids how you see them? I wanted to call that manager up and thank him but well, my son is 22, not 12.

Do you want to know that I have a friend at work who makes me laugh so hard by showing me totally arbitrary pictures she takes of the strangest things that make no sense? Pictures of picnic tables, a stuffed toys, a person with a suitcase at the airport. These aren’t deep thoughtful pictures that tell a story. They are just pictures. And she gets so excited showing them to me. She brings me Perrier and cookies and today she brought me a bookmark that says Just Breathe because I have a Breathe tattoo on my wrist. She’s retiring in December and I am going to miss her so much. I’m lucky to have a friend like her.

Do you want to know that Norbert loves skim milk? I’m pretty sure I have said this before. Probably dozens of times. He’s waiting right now for some because I always give it to him before I go to bed and it’s my bedtime soon. He gets frantic, no lie, if he thinks I’m going to forget.

Do you want to know that when I look at my hands I realize I’m not a young woman anymore? What happened there?

Do you want to know I go through a lot of Kleenex? I have an unending runny nose and have boxes stashed all over the house and in my car. To add to this, do you want to know that when I sneeze I sneeze in threes? Every single time. And if I don’t I get confused and wonder what happened to the third.

Yeah. I know. You probably do want to know these things but to me they seem silly and unimportant but they make up my life. I’m going to go get Norbert some milk and go to bed in clean pyjamas.

8

It’s a dark day here and because I don’t have the mental stamina to post words, a song instead.

Cry me a river

So I can float over to you

The bearer to deliver the news

 

I’m over the moon

And underfoot

All these elixirs would be moot

 

Cause if we knew where we belong

There’d be no doubt where we’re from

But as it stands, we don’t have a clue

Especially me and probably you

 

You’ve fallen in a slumber

Just wake one more time

To miss or put asunder

Would be a crime

 

Some songs feel like butter

Some songs sound like cake

This little number is for your sake

 

Cause if we knew where we belong

There’d be no doubt where we’re from

But as it stands, we all need the truth

Especially me and probably you

Probably you, probably you

Definitely you

Does it resonate with anyone else?

18

Part 1 Completed

Today I finished the first part of my counseling. The second part will actually go into the PTSD. I’m not looking forward to it. The first part has been exhausting and at times brutal but I will say that the counsellor has been beyond amazing and I feel like I’m making progress. She has given me some resources to use over the next few weeks because I’m on a wait list. She’s invited me to be a part of an art therapy group that meets on Thursday nights. After the second part of the counselling is over I will go into the third and final stage with hopes of a life not so wrapped around depression anxiety and fear.

Of course, work continues to be gruelling. My counsellor suggested I buy a box with a lock on it and write down things that I’m either not ready or can’t deal with right now and put it in the box. Finding new work or re-training is going into the lock box. Just not ready right now with all the counselling and changes going on. It’s just too much. But, I do see in the future this is something I want to pursue and see where it leads. I’m pretty sure I want to go into working in palliative care full-time or working for myself, or both. I need to get myself into a better mental state before I can be making major life changes.

As most of you know, I’m back on Facebook. It’s just as crappy as ever. But, it is so nice to see a lot of you and to see my friends and family that I don’t get to see often. My sister’s sister-in-law is expecting a baby any day and I am so excited for her and her partner this is her first but she comes from a family of 10 children herself!

It seems that Norbert’s age is catching up with him. He’s 14 this year. Usually in the spring, his favourite time of the year, he starts to cavort with leaping and prancing and spending most of the day trying to get outside. Mostly he’s just sleeps now. However a few minutes ago when I took the recycling to the road he did try to get out. I dropped the recycling bin very loudly on purpose and that scared him and he ran upstairs. He is still the biggest wimp of a cat that I’ve ever owned. But by god, I love that cat. Right now he’s sitting looking out the window watching his birds.

Well, I have laundry to do. Until next time.

16

Home Today

I couldn’t go to work today. I just couldn’t. Work has me so stressed. From a job that I used to love to a job that has me sick with dread 24 hours a day. My therapist has given me information about retraining because this can’t keep happening. This afternoon I called the agency that does retraining but the hoops I have to go through are daunting. It’s a program for women who have mental health issues (check) and have experienced violence (check) and have barriers to full time employment because of it. Like Scarlet O’Hara, I will think about it another day. “I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.” Ah, what great coping skills I have.

All your comments in my last post brought tears to my eyes. Sometimes I feel so alone and dull and the most boring person in the world. Really, my life is very mundane. When you have depression you don’t look forward to anything. But what’s to look forward to? The planet is past the tipping point. I don’t have time off until September. Going through bed each night is what I look forward to.

Anyway. I heard this song today on another blog and it made me think of my love for my own kids so I sent it to them. I’m posting it here because it’s beautiful.