“Stop it, Kramer, you’re freaking me out.”

person in cosplay costume

I just got back from a mini vacation in Denver.  M thought it would be an excellent way to shake loose from the downward spiral into a pit of depression.  It worked.  I’m feeling so much better.  I’m nearly giddy — a pleasant side-effect of getting baked while in Rome.  I feel energized from reaching a state of zero anxiety.  Half the effect is from the sense of awe over the achievement.  I always forget how incredible it feels.  It makes for a delightful surprise each visit.

It also reminded me of the cost demanded in vulnerability.  In my case, partaking is a buddy exercise only.  Heh.  I cherish this knowledge like someone who thinks way too much.  🙃 (Jordan Peele made us cool.)  I slept like Gayle King after an R Kelly interview last night.  I woke up laughing, feeling like I could conquer my chores before noon.  (Done.)  I worked on my story in progress like Mavis Beacon was testing my typing for several hours.  The Muse must have been pleased to see me discover that headspace.

The only con is I didn’t do an ergonomic check before I jumped in.  I’m don’t stay in the same position for too long, or you’ll move like you’re 100 for an uncomfortable minute years old.  It’s still funny every time I forget;  bonus.  I had a great time in Denver.  I behave like someone who hasn’t been around enough diversity for a long time and can’t reign in the huge grin.  I strongly suspect it factors into why I find the people of Denver so kind.

cute bearded person

I beta tested a prototype while visiting, and it’s triggered all sorts of thought paths for potential usability.  Air traffic controllers, surgeons, and neurodiverse people were obvious beneficiaries immediately.  By the time I strayed onto a different thought tangent, I had decided it would probably be useful to everyone who wanted to use it.  I merely applied a bit of capitalist tinged triage on the fly.  (Those are people I know are often under tremendous pressure.)

Despite having fun, coming home was the best part.  I longed for home while enjoying myself.  It’s confirmation I’ve successfully configured my living space.  It’s where I want to be.  I had no idea this was the prize.  It’s fabulous!  The funny part is I think it’s going to weaken my tendency toward agoraphobia.  When I know, I have a place where I can genuinely exhale, awaiting my return, going out is a lot less painful.  Yay.  Thank goodness for Marie Kondo.

I think the most important thing she taught me is organization and awareness of my connection to my stuff is a beautiful coping skill for anxiety and depression.  (Usually, what’s good for us is good for most, because many don’t know they dabble in juggling these challenges, too.)  I didn’t bring my new camera because I’m not even sure which parts of it I’m not supposed to touch yet.  I only know those parts exist.  (I’m such a noob.  😂)  I’m off to continue re-reading A Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss.  (We’re in Fae.  😆)

“What’s with all that sniffing?”

child at aquarium viewing polar bear swimming

I’m having a good 2019, so far.  (I’m already keeping track.)  Heh.  Ever since I leveled up in the game of life, I’m more apt to notice positivity.  It amuses me as I used to be one of those people who automatically scoffed at others saying, “think positive.”  As if thinking a certain way can vastly improve my quality of life.  Pshaw!  Cue the condescendingly tolerant reel that plays whenever I witness hippy-like behavior, courtesy of being raised in the upper midwest.

Either the community brain-washing didn’t take, or I’m a rebel.  I’m presently engaging in all sorts of hippy-like behavior.  I just got back from a mini-vacation in Denver.  Since M accompanied me, I was able to partake of the legal variety of weed while there.  (I decided I don’t need to use it very often, so mini-trips suffice over moving.)  I still feel like it’s having a positive effect on me.  Reverberations from reaching a state where I experienced no anxiety, I presume.

broken cookies

When I got home, my blood pressure meds were waiting in my mailbox.  I have to see my primary care doctor in the next three months, or I’ll run out again.  I suck at noticing symptoms until they bring me to my knees.  Now that I’ve taken a dose, I can already feel the difference.  It feels like someone just let me out from between the heavy mattresses that were crushing me on the sly.

I’m sensitive about my hypertension.  In my case, it seems my blood pressure and anxiety level increase in tandem.  The closer I get to freaking out, the higher my blood pressure rises.  I despise having it checked with the auto-cuff.  It usually starts a loop of ever-increasing numbers, until the medical person groks the pattern, and turns it off.  (I’m embarrassed by this quirk because I strongly suspect I caused it during an experiment I did years ago attempting to train myself to suppress all visual signs of stress/anxiety/depression.)

It backfired, I think.  I waiver between the benefits of masking to prevent stranger danger and the dangers of mistreatment due to not presenting stereotypically around poorly trained medical professionals.  I’ve apprehended a resolution to my difficulties in getting racism-free care at the Sioux Falls VA.  I’ve concluded my best option is to forgive the mistreatment in the past, and move forward without the baggage.  (It seems kind of duh, now, but it took me a while to figure it out.)  😂

bunny suit costume

It turns out; I’m allergic to baggage.  It slows me down, weighs me down, and worst of all hurts me.  (I’m also allergic to pain. 🤫)  My ability to reason when enduring pain is pathetic.  I could work on that, or I could focus on avoiding pain when it’s a choice.  I’m big on narrowing down the root, so I’m going with the latter option.  Fortunately, I don’t have any chronic pain conditions, and borderline-unsafe high pain tolerance (unless it’s above the neck.)  Most of my pain is a result of poor choices.  (Ouch.)(Shaddup, ego.) 🙃

I’m going to schedule an appointment with my primary care doctor at the VA.  When I believed this action impossible, it was due to being buried in painful baggage.  Now that I’ve engaged my Superpower of Forgiveness, I’ve freed myself and can imagine a fabulous 2019:  A year that includes preventative health care, lots of joy, and the Fleetwood Mac concert.  (Okay, the last two are redundant, but who’s counting?)  😂✌🏾💜

“You know, these movies are great, but they’re just so emotionally exhausting.”

Growing sprouts

I used up most of my energy before noon, today.  Whoops.  I’m allowing too much news to get through.  I’m battling against an overwhelming desire to isolate, as a result.  I remember when I used to surrender to this urge.  It seems like a long time ago, but it’s been just over a year since I crawled out from beneath that rock.  Life is quite challenging now, and it’s building me up.

Anxiety has been dangling me by my ankle over a pit of doom.  I’m hanging there, trusting in The Force while my body trembles.  I need a Star Wars marathon.  I’m going to do a chronological order viewing over the course of a week.  We’re heading to Denver soon for a short tree planting session.  M is going to play with drones.  I miss the smell of freshly turned earth.

I watched Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, yesterday.  I started from the beginning and watched through Sarah Jessica Parker.  Jim Carrey made me laugh so hard I cried.  I didn’t know he was a painter.  You get to see lots of his works inside his art studio.  I love the show because it’s not only hilarious, it’s fascinating.  I love Netflix.  Heh.

flying drone

I think I may need to include a rest day in my workout schedule.  My muscles feel itchy, which is distracting.  I haven’t quit running yet.  When I step onto the trail, my body starts running automatically.  I roll with it until I get to the first street crossing.  Then I walk for a bit until my mind wanders again, and I start jogging.  It’s a stim, not my workout, so I don’t mind.  It calms me.

I create mashups of songs by Stevie Nicks and ABBA in my head while I run, lately.  Edge of Seventeen mashed with Does Your Mother Know is ridic dope.  I may even try to mix it myself just because I need it in my life.  It’s in my top two songs right now, including Nice For What by Drake.  The creative part of my brain works so well when I’m in constant, rhythmic motion.

I regret pushing to muscle failure in my workout this morning.  I forgot I’m in my 40’s or something.  I don’t feel older; I need more time to recover, and stretching is no longer optional.  I remember when my body could do whatever I demanded without flinching.  I would miss it, but I’m too busy being pleased with what I can still do.  Recovery time and lots of stretching are acceptable.  I practice meditation while I stretch like it’s worth extra credit; (it probably is.)  I’m off to make popcorn for my marathon.  😆 💜

“His phone wasn’t hooked up. He just liked ringing that bell.”

woman with rabbit mask

I postponed my visit with my sister.  She was kind and reassuring about it.  I’m just waiting for my body to get the memo and stop stressing out.  I don’t know when we’ll reschedule yet.  She’s going to visit her daughter next week, so hopefully after that and before she moves to her summer place. I don’t want to visit her there as I’m not into lake-related activities.  I’m an indoor enthusiast who prefers interacting with nature in VR environments.

I’m no longer functioning in rote mode.  I still take too long to do simple things, like showering.  I never thought I’d say this, but it was a lot easier when I used a community shower in the Army and could copy the person next to me.  I don’t spend time pondering the universe or having a good cry in communal showers.  Get in, get clean, get out. When I served, the Army used public shaming as a deterrent for poor hygiene.

You can’t have bad hygiene habits in close quarters with hundreds of (sometimes armed) people for long, so I understand why they do it.  Well, that and the fact the military doesn’t give a shit about feelings.  (You can only have them when they don’t interfere with the mission.)  I still think it’s the ideal environment for comedian appreciators, though.  It’s what I miss most about serving.  I spent a lot of my time laughing so hard.  People who are voluntarily expendable and uncomfortable all the time, but accept their lot, for the most part, are ridic funny.

I find it ironic the military recruits the mentally ill, but eliminates the diagnosed mentally ill.  It plays heavily into my rapidly growing belief the mentally well don’t exist.  It’s why I get pissed off when humans shame other humans for mental illness.  It’s hypocritical bullshit.  Being diagnosed doesn’t affect the severity of one’s mental illness.  It just increases opportunities for treatment and mistreatment.  I don’t think volunteering for service is a means of suggesting sound mental processes.  (Either you’re a little suicidal, a little deluded or both; you know, around 18 years old.)

The More You Know

It’s Mental Health Awareness month.  I think they should rename it:  Stop Pretending You’re Not Human, forever. I also think shaming others for being diagnosed is bullshit. Nobody has perfect mental health. It’s more a matter of chronic or temporary. Every adult you’ve ever encountered has experienced a period of being mentally unstable. Children, teens, and young adults are often mentally unstable; their brains are still developing.

Mental illness isn’t deliberate. It’s not the same as acting up or being an asshole on purpose. It’s a human being trying desperately to cope with a brain that for whatever reason isn’t functioning correctly. It’s an abnormal physiological state. It’s like trying to walk normally, but while also having one leg facing the wrong way. If you’re fortunate, you eventually figure out how to walk in this condition without knocking anyone else over or breaking anything.

Some days, the leg faces the proper direction, and some days not. You have very little control over its state, but you know eating healthy foods, sleeping regularly, and exercise seems to help some of the time. The last thing anyone needs when trying to navigate this world while in a challenging involuntary state is an asshole with a mouth. Please remember this, the next time you’re tempted to call someone crazy.  A better idea is a little compassion.  Here’s a script to steal:  I’m sorry you’re having a rough time right now.  If there’s anything I can do to help you get through today, please let me know.  Often, a little quiet time to regroup is helpful, but a little compassion is fabulous.  Plus, it’s (literally) doing what you can to help by acknowledging instead of shaming.  

 

“Why can’t you be like that Lloyd Braun?”

road trip

I’m still paying off the debt to my body for eating like I don’t understand how consequences work.  I feel like my neurons are communicating via dial-up when I’m used to gigabit speeds.  The signals get there eventually, but I’m so exasperated and clumsy in the meantime.  I’d love to share about how executive function is involved, and the importance of eating wisely, but it’s not happening today.

I’m supposed to leave for my sisters’ place in a few days, but I have no idea if it will happen.  I can’t predict that far in advance how I’ll be feeling with any accuracy.  Thinking ahead requires too much bandwidth.  Driving for roughly five hours in a row is a challenge for me when I’m functioning at my best.  I’ve pulled it off a few times, but I’ve always been in awe of myself for a bit afterward.

Driving requires a lot of focus.  It’s hard for me to allocate that much of my attention on a task that doesn’t interest me.  It’s similar to being overtired and trying to pull an all-nighter anyway.  I have to remind myself every few moments to pay attention.  On top of that, I live on the prairie.  It’s flat and monotonous.  I sing with my system blaring until I hit a city.  Then fear of collision takes over, and it’s all good.

I’ve driven around Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska so far.  I tried a guided bus tour years ago, but it was to Deadwood, SD.  It sucked.  It’s only a fun town if you’re into gambling, (and even then fun might be a stretch.)  I don’t gamble.  (Gambling and lottery tickets are topics that raise my blood pressure.  I blame statistics.)  Traveling with strangers from an elder generation wasn’t fun, either.  (I strongly suspect my presence made them tired.)

prairie

The weather is perfect today.  It’s 62° F and sunny.  I’d love to go for a run, but I can’t trust myself to stick to my route yet.  When my brain is in this state, I’m extremely likely to keep going, and then eventually realize I don’t recognize my surroundings.  I hate when that happens.  I rely more on my sense of smell than any weather apps when it comes to rain.  I was once caught out in a lightning storm, but at least there wasn’t any thunder, (it levels me.)  Sigh.  Not today.

I dumped DirecTV Now and went back to PlayStation Vue.  It’s only $4 more per month, and it doesn’t suck.  I got tired of the buffering, and crappy picture before my introductory offer with DirecTV Now ended.  It also took more bandwidth than PlayStation Vue for a less reliable, sad result.  I can use picture-in-picture on my iPad Pro to have live TV or my DVR shows play while I use another app simultaneously with PlayStation Vue’s app.  I like the user interface on my Roku, too.

I dumped them because they raised the price, but after trying some competitors, I’m back, baby.  I think the channel line-up for the basic tier is better, too.  I hope M doesn’t look at the available offerings (for more money) and see all the games he could be watching.  I’ll probably end up upgrading out of guilt.  (I suck at feigning interest in sports.)  The DVR in the cloud rules, too.  Yay, Sony.  How about lowering the price of the PlayStation 4 Pro, eh?  $350 is more reasonable now that the Xbox One X is out (and no drop date for PlayStation 5.)  I’m just saying.  😀💜