Fumbling, Star Gazer, Springer and Wiggly

Who is doing better?

Fumbling is at 100% of 30% energy. She got out of bed.

Star Gazer is at 30% of 100% energy. She is star gazing at lunchtime.

Springer is at 110% of 100% energy. She is multitasking everything.

Wiggly is at 80% of 50%. She is having a nap.

Decided?

Can’t decide between one or another?

Fumbling, Star Gazer, Springer and Wiggly are all doing just fine. There is no need to compare. Each is doing their own thing. If you must compare, then compare Springer today to yesterday, Wiggly today to yesterday, not Springer to Wiggly.

Fumbling is doing amazingly well. She pushed herself.

Star Gazer is taking time out. Resting her body.

Springer will burn out if she tries to maintain 110%. She needs to give herself time to rest.

Wiggly is making great effort. And has energy to spare.

I cannot perform at peak 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. I need to pace myself. I also have to ask myself how I’m doing. Some days or moments I can push myself and other times I cut myself some slack.

Rest is as important as Action.

This past year, or to be more truthful, the past several years I have not pushed myself. I have rested. Soooo rested I have found it difficult to spring to action. There is no springing. More of a rolling into action.

On the days I am at 100% of 30% is a great day. On the days I am at 50% of 100% is a good day. I am learning to pace myself. Any day can be a great day.

I am learning to (cough) moderate my energy. Up till now it has been flat tack and then burn out. Nothing in between. Rest was burn out. That’s not how rest is supposed to be. I get that. I have relearnt that so many times. Stupid I know. But I will keep at it.

Cleaning, tidying up, putting things away and decluttering. Just writing that makes me want to have a rest. Those things. I am learning to do those things at 30%, 50% and 80% and be okay with it. It doesn’t have to be perfectly done. It really doesn’t. I am relearning to make an attempt. Be fine with the attempt and live with it.

I used to be so tidy until I overwhelmed myself. So overwhelmed I stopped caring. I have made it hard on myself. I am ready to face the clutter and mess. There will not be before and after photos. One swipe of a cloth at a time, one item discarded, recycled or donated at a time. I cleared a third of the kitchen bench yesterday. That’s a good start. I wiped out one shelf and the front of the fridge. I wiped down the bathroom sink. Don’t worry I won’t be detailing everything.

Wellbeing, well-being, well being, however you spell it involves just about everything. My environment where I live affects my wellbeing so it needs work. My wellbeing project began yesterday. I have made it a year of wellbeing. It doesn’t have to be all done by tomorrow. I have time. Action, rest, plan and repeat.

2 months on

Fed up. Writing out my feelings. Don’t for God sakes feel sorry for me or give me sympathy. I’m grumpy. It won’t be received graciously.

I managed to get outside into the garden. I was wallowing in bed feeling so low. My hair hasn’t been brushed in God knows how long. I brushed my teeth for the first time in three days. I am well overdue for a bath. I am two months into recovery from my broken ankle.

Last night I was teary eyed. Netflix couldn’t cure my depression. It didn’t lift me at all. YouTube did nothing. I was restless and barely made my daily sketch. I didn’t want to sleep. Or was it I couldn’t sleep. I don’t know. It was after 2 and I was wide awake.

I looked at the depression, self compassion modules. I read the notes and it said to read them in order. I couldn’t even bring myself to open the module. When you can barely get out of bed, with poor self hygiene then reading something to improve or elevate yourself just is so far out of reach and requiring too much energy.

As I said I made it out to the garden and sat in the sun. I threw on a dress, a baggy summer dress. Turns out it was back to front. Oh well. It matched my mood. I thought it was better to be ‘dressed’ in my own backyard than ‘running about’ in a T-shirt and underpants. I say running about with loaded sarcasm. I am still on crutches with a moon boot. My moon boot stands at attention waiting for me to jump into it when I am in bed.

My knee scooter has been banned by my physiotherapist. She said she doesn’t want to see it. She wants me to use crutches placing some weight on my right leg. So I have designed a cheat method of getting into the moon boot. The three leg Velcro straps are done up loosely, I can slide my foot into the boot, and do them up quicker. Then there are two more straps on the foot. It saves seconds. When going to the loo these seconds are precious.

I must be the most hydrated person on the planet just now. The boredom of a broken ankle makes me drink more water. What comes in must come out. Duh.

Oh and by the way I broke my fibula not the tibia, like I thought. The fibula is apparently not a weight bearing bone yet I have been off the weight on my right leg for six weeks! That will teach me for going the non-surgery route.

The colour is coming back to my right foot. From a reddy pink shade moving back to a pasty white. It is not there yet but much improved. Wrinkles have come back. Note that is a good thing. It means that the circulation is working. The swelling is gone. There is tenderness around the ankle. That’s to be expected. There is stiffness and pins and needles. This is normal because the foot hasn’t been used for a while. Weight is slowly going onto various parts. The muscles are being stretched and pulled. The toes scrunched to pick up objects. Progress is being made.

Coming up to my one year sober mark at the end of the month. Thought I would be feeling better about it but the broken ankle is getting in the way. No matter how low I feel I don’t want to drink again. But I need to develop better habits of celebration.

I am learning how to treat myself. Here she goes again with bloody ice cream. Passionfruit ice blocks with white chocolate. The most expensive ice cream I have even bought. Three blocks to a pack. I slammed aside my frugal self and let the self indulgent me free reign in the frozen aisle. I also tried a new brand of AF ginger beer. Delicious. Gingery and dry. Low sugar by the taste. I have found my summer drink.

That’s enough waffling. Wrote away the grumpiness. Feeling much better. If you comment, I promise not to bite your head off.

Ch ch change

Change is made when small actions are repeated until it becomes a habit.

Change doesn’t happen over night. Change doesn’t happen when you do a new thing once. Actions must be repeated again and again consistently in order for change to occur.

I am writing this for myself as a reminder that change just doesn’t happen by itself. As obvious as it sounds I keep forgetting this and stumble when change doesn’t materialise immediately.

Change requires patience, consistency and repeated behaviour.

I decided while having a cast on my broken ankle that now would be a good time to lose weight. Not so. To heal a broken bone it requires nutrition and possibly more food than normal. I ignored this fact and installed my “new found knowledge” and had just fruit for breakfast, toast for lunch and you can guess what happened…

Low blood sugar reared its head again. Bananas are food from the Gods. Bananas are my go to food if I need instant energy. So I recovered from my moment slowly.

Throbbing headache, feeling nauseous, shaky, sweaty, chills, thirsty, elevated temperature. Why do I do this to myself? Far from clever.

Sweet tea, banana, water, sleep. Followed by dinner a couple of hours later. Followed by more sleep.

Moral of the story is heal the bone first and then deal with the weight.

It may seem obvious to observers but when you are in the thick of it and with time on your hands stupid ideas can appear sensible and efficient. Well stupid ideas are stupid, before conception, during execution and when they have failed.

Lesson learnt this time.

At no time have I felt like having a drink. Except when I heard good new music and thought that this would go well with a glass of red wine. I then rebuked myself and squashed that thought.

Sober and I know it, clap your hands.

Floundering Inc

Which way is up?
Why are my eyes leaking?
This sigh!

I cannot smile for myself. How can I smile for anyone else?

Doing nothing can be the best way to sit out a funk. Or in this case a sit in. I hope it doesn’t last long. I cannot see an out. I know in my logical part of my brain that it won’t last forever. I know that. But. The loudest part of me cannot see that. It cannot fathom that. It despairs. It doesn’t see why I should bother trying. Why bother? What’s the point? Lie down. Give up. Stay down. You’re not worth it. You’re down right ugly. To the core.

I just want to hug myself and grip tightly and stay like that until the tears stop rolling own my cheek. Saying nothing. There are no words that comfort me. I just need to feel constricted and warm, cocooned. I don’t need unnecessary sounds of ‘there, there’ that’s just condescending. Shut up already.

Scratch that. I want to hug, not be hugged. I want to feel comfort, not be comforted. On my terms.

I cannot see myself clearly. I cannot see myself honestly. I am lying to myself. I am hard on myself. I am downright cruel. I would not treat an enemy as I do myself.

Fear grips me too. Fear to move forward. Fear of success. Fear of failure. Fear of being laughed at, ridiculed. Fear of being vulnerable. Fear of being me. Fear to try. Fear. Simple. Fear.

I can’t deal with fear today. That’s too hard.

What’s the worst that could happen?

It will never be as bad as you imagine and it won’t be as good as you imagine. It’s usually somewhere in between.

I can talk myself out of trying. Easily.

Being sober. I am clinging to that. It is my life raft. I don’t have a desire to drink.

I drank to give myself moments of peace from the negative voices in my head. I drank to take a holiday from myself. It was my way of coping with being me.

I am living with fear. This fear I want to shake off. It is crusted and mouldy, there are layers upon layers of fear. Peeling layers replaced with glossy new ones. It is suffocating me.

Trying to open a window for my soul to breathe. But the window frame is painted shut. There are nails that need to be pried out. There are cobwebs. It is filthy.

I want to have a long soak in a bathtub. I cannot do that at the moment. I have a cast on my lower leg. A bath is out of the question. God I miss having a bath.

I have plugged the leaks of my eyes. In its place a headache has surfaced. Rest.

Rest.

I am so sick of resting. The simple act of taking a walk. I would love to do that. I am going stir-crazy from a month of rest. Damn this broken foot. That is the truth of it. This will pass.

Broken

I lie in bed with my leg elevated. Six weeks of rest, elevation, no weight allowed on my right foot. I am halfway through my stint. A broken tibia.

Forced inertia allows time for one time to think. And I have had plenty of time to think. It hasn’t driven me round the twist. I haven’t felt weak and reached for alcohol. Have you tried crutches lately? You cannot hold anything while walking with crutches. A backpack would help but a cup of tea you cannot carry. A thermos of tea, yes but not a cup of tea. The effort to sit up in bed relying on one foot only, the effort to get to the toilet, to go down steps. I cannot go up steps. That’s where my bottom comes in handy. I creep up steps, one by one on the seat of my bum, with a flat cushion and make it to the top.

Could my fitness have been better before the break? Yes. Would it have made getting about easier. Yes. That doesn’t help me now though. I am not great on crutches.

Let me interrupt and say this: New Zealand has excellent public medical service when it comes to broken bones. I paid NZ$40 for subsidised X-rays and NZ$35 for a subsidised GP appointment and the rest was paid for by the government. Which really means by the people and our taxes. I received a moon boot. There was a long wait in Accident & Emergency. New Zealand hospitals are understaffed and underpaid. Capacity of patients in winter is at 145%. They are busy. That doesn’t stop them from being both professional and caring. I was impressed. Yes I waited a long time but others who waited also waited patiently. I received a cast after more X-rays. And follow up appointments for out-patients.

For getting about home I have been loaned a toilet seat with handles and stability. A shower chair. And later a knee scooter. I had my own crutches. The shower chair actually sits beside the bed so it makes it easier to get up and standing. Who knew how hard it is to do everything on just one leg. I am humbled by my situation. I have time to recover. I do not have children to look after. DH has been an angel with fetching and carrying things for me to keep me fed, watered, amused and functioning.

All this time to think and I have not gone bat shit crazy. I appreciate this moment in time that I have been given. It is a glitch or a correction in my life. A time to reflect and look to the future and see how I can do better, plan better. I can write, draw, use my computer. I can hobble about the house. I cannot clean. I hate cleaning anyway. But that got me thinking. I deserve to live in a clean house. I can look at cleaning as self care. Take more pride in my surroundings and care more. Don’t listen to what I say here, watch what I actually do later. Hold me to what I said here later.

The doctor asked me if I wanted a knee scooter. I said no. Why? I didn’t know what it was and it didn’t sound stable. I was an idiot. When I rang support at ACC (Accident Compensation Corporation), a government department, they suggested a knee scooter when I said how poorly I was managing on crutches. I said yes please. Not realising how helpful it would be. It was delivered to the house the next day. What a game changer. Mobility and stability with getting about. It has a basket on the front so I can carry things at the same time, The catch is, if the basket is on the front then it’s harder to turn. I ended up taking the basket off. Since having the knee scooter I can now do the laundry. I balance on my ‘bad’ leg which is supported by the knee, the breaks are on, with my ‘good’ leg firmly on the ground. I can lean down with the help of the handle bars. It allows me to function more normally. Rather than feeling useless and immobile I feel more independent and capable.

I can eat in the kitchen now for meals. I can turn the jug on. I can gather the placemats. I can do simple things. I can collect the yoghurt from the fridge, the muesli from the bench and the kiwifruit from the bowl. I can carry the knife, the bowl and the spoon in the basket and I can get my own breakfast. I still cannot carry a cup of tea.

I am not writing this for you to feel sorry for me. I am writing to voice how lucky I am. I didn’t need an operation with plates and screws. I can recover at home. I only have myself to look after and get well. DH looks after me. The cats have looked after me too. The public hospital system in New Zealand is excellent. I may have waited many hours for service but I was dealt with empathy, care and professionalism. I wish that others countries have the same level of care that we have here. My next cast will be renewed. My leg is getting skinnier. The cast feels roomier. That is life.

Everything takes longer at the moment but I have an appreciation for each thing or each action. I am lucky that this is temporary. I am grateful.

3:59pm Good Friday

Just to be extra clear: Don’t feel like drinking alcohol. Never really have since I stopped. Maybe once or twice in the early days because I didn’t know how I was supposed to feel. Nobody does. It wasn’t hard. It wasn’t the end of the world. It was the beginning.

Today and this week or month I have been feeling out of sorts with myself.

Not drinking allows me to see, find and be myself in the raw. I am finding it hard just to get out of bed these days. Why? Don’t know. Change of season?

I have gotten out of the habit of self care or care in general. How did I get this way so quickly? I have no idea.

In no way shape or form does the idea to drink enter my head. For that I am grateful. I don’t feel ever like taking that route ever again.

Depression is settling in. I have let it in somehow. I recognise it and yet I feel helpless to help myself. I feel like a witness to something happening yet it is me it is happening to. A witness observes and is impartial to the event, yet it is me that it is happening to and I feel immune to do anything about it to improve my situation. I can see it happening. I can feel it happening. Yet I do nothing.

I cannot help myself. The desire is there. But the effort is not there. The house has gone downhill. It is chaos. My cleanliness is doubtful. I am not eating my best meals. My cats are looked after better than me. I put them first. There is no neglect there. Just neglect of myself.

How can I write I have been wondering, if I cannot help myself? Ridiculous thoughts really. I should realise that it the depression talking and not the real me. How have I fooled myself so many times?

Lately (this year) I have felt so strong with dealing with depression, noticing when it comes on and how it comes in. I felt more knowledgeable about depression. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. I might have gotten cocky. It appears so. I have been put in my place. Depression isn’t to be conquered, it is to be dealt with and lived with. It is not to be treated lightly and with superiority. Depression will put you on your arse swiftly if you mock it or think light of it.

I am on my arse.

Today I felt able to write about it. That is something. Perhaps things are on their way up after all.