Quarantine and Writer’s Block

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I’m having one of those days where I just don’t know what to write. Nothing good comes to mind. I don’t really want to share art or poetry today, but I don’t feel like I have much else to share lol. I guess I could write about a few mundane things going on in my quarantined life right now…

  • One of my poor kitties has a huge hematoma (blood-filled cyst) on his ear. We already took him to the vet and they gave him a shot and some medicine, hoping it would shrink, but so far, nothing has effected it. If it doesn’t change by next week, they will have to do surgery to remove it and his ear will always be disfigured. I feel bad for him. His poor ear is flopped over from the weight of the hematoma and he looks like he is in discomfort from it 😦
  • My husband is a teacher and he is trying to figure out how to do the whole homeschooling online with his students thing. You wouldn’t believe how many problems he and the school district have run into trying to get Google classrooms up and running! My poor husband has been frustrated, irritable, and sometimes almost enraged by the technical issues he keeps facing. I feel bad for him and wish I could help, but I can’t. It kind of makes home a less fun place to be sometimes!
  • I really miss being able to decompress by going out shopping. Even if I didn’t buy anything, it was fun and got me out of the house. I miss it. I guess I could still go to Walmart or Meijer or whatever, but I feel that would be unwise unless I really need to go there for groceries or other essentials. I don’t want to contribute to the overloading of our healthcare system if I can avoid it.
  • Watching the news is so depressing, I’ve kind of been avoiding it more lately. I’m usually one of those people who is up to speed on all things happening in the news, but right now it just makes me feel helpless and sad, especially for the poor doctors, nurses, and other emergency and healthcare employees on the front lines of Covid 19.

Ohio Coronavirus Lockdown – How I’m Coping

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Here in Ohio we are now in an official lockdown, where only essential business is allowed to be out and about. I don’t have any official business, so I’m stuck at home lol. Being home all the time does start to get to you after a little bit. You don’t realize how much even small things, like being able to go to a restaurant, sit down, and eat affect your mood until you can no longer do them.

On the positive side, I am trying to stay busy. Today I did some cleaning and organizing around the house and it felt REALLY good. I would definitely recommend it to others stuck at home. Doing stuff like that makes you feel like you are accomplishing something, and it feels great to look around afterwards and see the change your cleaning up has made.

I’ve also been reading some, doing a lot of social media gazing, watching tik tok dances (a guilty pleasure of mine), doing puzzle books, and I took a few paid product review jobs through Upwork, just for something to do and to make a few extra dollars. So far I’ve signed on to review several supplements/vitamins (I loved the hemp gummies!), books, wrinkle reducing masks, a nail decorating kit, and a kebob maker. Hey, I get lots of free stuff that way too!

So how are you all doing? Are you under quarantine? If so, what are you doing to stay busy? Are you having any trouble with depression or anxiety? I know I have at times.

Reasons I’m Depressed Right Now

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  • My cat will die tomorrow. After 14+ years together.
  • A meetup group that I was truly enjoying and was beginning to feel part of disbanded for the foreseeable future.
  • I feel artistically lonely. I wish I had others in my “real” life who had the passion for art and literature (especially poetry) that I have.
  • There is a good chance I am going through early menopause and that is triggering my major increase in migraines and making my hormone levels go crazy, affecting my mood as well. The doctor says this could go on for years 😦
  • I have been fighting off migraines the last few days.
  • I wish I had someone to watch movies and tv shows with that really got into them like I do. My husband is just not a movie/tv guy.
  • There will always be a huge hole in my life where my family should be, as all of my immediate family members are dead other than my mother, who I have a shaky relationship with.
  • Climate change catastrophe and human ignorance. The realization that if scientists are right about climate change, we are likely causing our own extinction, as well as the extinction of much of life on earth. It is pretty much too late now and we humans are not willing to make the changes needed to save ourselves and the world even if there was time. In the end, industrialization may have been the absolute worst thing that could have happened to the world. I guess we can hope the scientists are wrong, but it isn’t looking good from what I see.

Holidays, Routine Changes, and Anxiety

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Been feeling stressed. I don’t know if it is because I am autistic or just part of my personality, but even the smallest changes to my routine tend to throw me off and cause a lot of anxiety…and the holidays seem to be filled with those kinds of routine manglers.

For instance, tonight I have a friend’s Yule party to go to and tomorrow I am supposed to meet my mom for an early Christmas dinner/present exchange. Part of me is looking forward to these events and even wants to go, but part of me is stressed out and just wants to go back to bed and hide under the covers until the weekend is over.

All the anxiety takes a physical toll too. It turns my tummy into a wreck and brings on headaches that can easily slip into migraines if I’m not careful. The anxiety last night about the events this weekend was so bad that it did give me a migraine, so I had to take my migraine prescription. Hoping that won’t happen again.

I often tend to think depression is worse than anxiety because its symptoms are more obvious and immediate, but I think I underestimate the compounding ability of high anxiety.

Depression Again

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Been really fighting off a depression slump again, and I’m losing. Today I slept in until after noon – that is often one of the first signs that the depression is getting real. The longer and later I sleep in often correlates directly to a diminishing mood.

You may ask if there is something triggering this slump. The holidays often seem to be related to the issue. Last night I had a dream about revisiting the house my dad died in when I was 12, I’m sure that might have something to do with it – approaching the holidays and thinking of all the family losses again.

My cat, Spyder, really has me down too. He has been sick for over a month now. We’ve spent a ridiculous amount of money on 3 vet visits, 3 rounds of antibiotics, special diet foods, and medical tests – all to be no closer to a real answer about what is wrong and with him not getting any better, at least not for long. He’ll get a little better on the antibiotics, but once they stop, he quickly gets sick again. Yesterday and today he hasn’t even been eating and just sleeps all day.

Feeling pretty low and hopeless at the moment.

Joker Movie – Thoughts and Feelings

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First off, I think this is a great film to really make you think about society and some of the true causes of violence and group anger. This movie can be interpreted many different ways and honestly can make you forget that it has anything to do with the superhero universe. It is gritty and realistic. Phoenix gives an amazing performance, just as everyone has been raving.

Now, on to my actual thoughts and feelings. The first 3/4 of the movie or so is just incredibly sad. I was actually relieved when it started turning to senseless violence because it was a break from the sadness, even though you knew the violence stemmed from that abuse and pain shown in the earlier parts of the movie. My heart ached for this man’s mistreatment at the hands of others all his life, partly because I have also experienced abuse and trauma for much of my life.

This movie brought to the surface many questions I have asked myself my entire life about accountability and assigning fault. In the Joker’s case, he has obvious mental health issues, seems to have suffered severe brain damage as a child, and would likely score sky high on the ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) test. The brain damage, trauma, and abuse together may have not allowed this man to have any other kind of ending than the tragic one we see.

Think of it this way, we know that trauma can dramatically change an adult’s personality (think of veterans with PTSD). We also know that brain damage as an adult can make a kind, loving person cruel and abusive (think of athletes who have suffered severe brain damage and underwent entire personality shifts). Now, imagine these things happening to the brain of a child while the child’s brain is still developing. Also, imagine that the child doesn’t get medical care for the injury or illness quickly as the athlete or veteran hopefully would, so there is no hope of minimizing damage or healing appropriately. How much damage can that do to the child’s brain and personality?

It also makes me think about family legacies where abuse, malignant personality disorders, and mental illness have reigned for generations (much like my own family and probably Joker’s from what little we can see in the film). I’m fairly positive that most of my “ill” family members developed their personality disorders in very early childhood as is believed to be the case in psychology. From childhood they never developed empathy the way they should have. They never grew out of the petulance of the 2-3 year old attitude. Although they seemed terrifying to me when I was a child, I almost feel sorry for them now because they are permanently stuck in immaturity.

I wish they showed empathy, but I ask myself how I can expect someone to show something that they have never had. How can I realistically ask them to be something they could not be even if they wanted to be? Some might think this way of thinking is defeatist, but I simply see it as realistic. It does help keep my hopes from getting too high only to be dashed yet again.

 

Stressful Week So Far

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This week has been stressful. I’m not sure if I’m just overreacting to things because I’m autistic and hypersensitive to everything (especially changes in routine), or if this would even throw many normal people off their game, but since Monday:

  • I had to wait hours at the BMV to renew my driver’s license and then sweat it out when they weren’t sure if my two forms of address verification were acceptable. (Thank God they ended up accepting them in the end so I didn’t have to do the whole process over again.)
  • Our electricity went out Monday night (along with 3,000 other homes and businesses in the area, eventually they did get it restored.)
  • My husband’s birthday was on Monday and I ended up going to 4 different stores looking for a birthday balloon for him because everyone was out 😦
  • My psychiatrist appointment got moved up today from 3pm to 2pm which meant I had to alert my husband who drives me. He then had to check to see if the school could get a substitute teacher in earlier to relieve him so he could take me.
  • I almost got kicked off Instagram again (I got warnings again but luckily they haven’t kicked me off yet. I think I may have discovered the issue. I have used an app to track unfollowers and I think that might be what they were picking up on as a “3rd party”. So, I’m just not going to use that app right now.)

Mixed State or Hell?

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The past few days have not been the greatest. I’ve been both super anxious and fairly depressed. I guess it is probably what most people would call a mixed state in the bipolar community. I feel on edge all the time. My brain is constantly telling me something is wrong and that I need to fix it, but I don’t know what it is. The depression is telling me that I am worthless, no one really likes me anyway, and everything I do is pointless.

The depression is making me feel never good enough. It is times like these that no matter what I achieved, I would probably still feel a failure. If I suddenly won the Pulitzer Prize in poetry or had my art showcased at the Louvre, I would still find fault with it and myself in this particular mood. It is a hellish feeling.

This depression is interlaced with anxiety that pushes me to want to achieve, achieve, achieve right now, but in this state I am so all over the place that it is hard to concentrate on anything for long. Not to mention that the depression makes me feel like it is all futile anyhow, even as my whirling mind is telling me that I’m not trying hard enough.

All of this is heightening my chronic pain. I hurt so bad deep in my muscles, I feel like I have been tortured on the medieval rack.