Zest for Life!

Wow.  It’s amazing what modern medicine can do; and what a difference it can make!  I re-started my anti-depressant meds (Cymbalta and Abilify) about 2 weeks ago now and the difference in me is nothing short of amazing.  My energy level has bounced back to normal, and my entire attitude has flipped from bleak to enthusiastic again!  I am so freaking happy about this I could dance!

It’s taken a lot of work and energy to get back to being happy again.  The meds were just the final addition, the final move back to feeling normal and not useless.  I know some don’t like modern medical fixes, but I am rolling hard with this one – it’s exactly what I needed.  I had been on these before, but decided (somehow with my wrong brain) that I didn’t “need” them anymore, so I quit taking them about 18 months ago.  And the rest is history…I spiral down to a level of depression and hopelessness that I hadn’t experienced ever before in my life.  My temper grew shorter, my tolerance lowered considerably and I just wasn’t happy with anything.

After meeting with my doctor to finalize my getting completely off all of my pain medications permenently and finding other pain relief avenues, we discussed my stress, depression and overall declining mental health.  After much discussion we decided together to make the jump back to the medications and I am now SO freaking glad that we did!  I was unsure at first.  Questioning if it would “really” make a difference. But I now wake up happy as hell and looking forward to each day!  Wow!  What a 360 degree change!  Hell, I even LIKE myself now!  Even my pain has become manageable.  Cymbalta does have a component that helps with chronic pain, and with ibuprophen and my heating pad I am managing quite nicely without any other pain medications.  I am going to pursue help with it via the Pain Clinic as well, after I undergo a full set of new MRI films later today.  I will find ways to deal with this in a much better, and healthier manner from here on out.  Chronic pain sucks, but I can live with it – as long as it doesn’t impede my enthusiasm for living and life in general.  Of course, a new exercise routine is also being added to my regimen to help strengthen the muscles around the affected discs and help support them a bit more.

I am setting up my button booth at the Eliot Festival this weekend.  I’m really looking forward to just being there for the day; for the excitement of the little town fair and seeing all the people – many of who I will probably know.  Its cool being from a small town area, you grow up around these families and it’s just a much more quaint and tight kind of community feel.  Everyone cares so much for their friends and neighbors, unlike many parts of the country where the hustle and bustle of busier lifestyles and community conditions prevents that small town closeness.

Next weekend I will set up the booth at the Berwick Dog Park during their fund raising event. That will be a blast also.  Taking photos of dogs and owner always makes me smile and I just love meeting the dogs and their owners.  Yes, all of this gets me back out into the public realm and back to making new friends, meeting people I haven’t seen in a long time and just plain old socializing – something I’ve always been great at but have lacked lately.  I’ve always been a very social type person, but the depression made me more reclusive and I would hide from the world most of the time.  I love that I am feeling so much better and am feeling far, far more social now.  I even went to my father’s birthday gathering last night with my family and I was probably the happiest I have been around them in over a year.  We had a lot of fun!

With this new attitude and having gotten back to being more of my happy self again I am also hoping to find more romance in my life.  And I don’t mean flirty stuff, I mean I hope to find love again.  But without the depression looming over my head I am also much, much more comfortable with being alone. It’s not so bad, because now I can just jump into the truck and go visit when I am lonely – AND I now have the energy and drive to DO SO.  It was always hard when someone would suggest I get out of the house and go visit…they just did not understand that I didn’t have the energy – or the social desire – to get my ass out of the house.  Depression is often very misunderstood. It’s such an invisible condition, but it’s very real, and it’s very devastating to one who suffers with it on a daily basis.  I try to understand that others don’t usually “get it” and that it’s easier for them to think one is “lazy” rather than to see that they have a mis-fire in their brain that is causing the symptoms that look like laziness to others, but feel like hopelessness to the one suffering.

Anyway, in closing here, I appreciate all of the support I have received from everyone in my life.  I realize I have put some distance into some of my relationships, and I hope to close those gaps once again in the near future.  My family has been wonderful during this very difficult and trying last year of my life.  Without them I am sure I would not be where I am today – feeling loved and supported is so very vital to one’s over all happiness in general.  It just is.  Without the encouragement and support I may not have chosen to do all, or that I have done, to get by this by myself.  So, thank you from the bottom of my heart my supportive friends and relatives, you are truly loved by me – each and every day!

And as usual – ROCK ON!!!!

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Chilled Rambles…

Day in and day out, things basically remain the same.  I feel pretty lost most days lately; just like I am going through the motions most of the time.  I know it’s stupid, but I feel winter coming and it just sucks my zest for life of any kind right out of me.  Of course, the last month has totally sucked…too many negative things happened to me all at once from hitting the dog to having to ask my renter to get out.  Just makes things a little more difficult for a while, but I figure I will eventually bounce back onto my feet…always seems to happen that way!  

In the meantime, I do have those things that sustain me.  My reading – I do love to read and love to learn on a sort of psychotic plane.  I can suck up hours of Discovery Channel or History Channel without even realizing the day has gone by me.  The useless facts in my brain are quite numerous.  Then there are the number of creative endeavors that I partake in; and when all else fails I beat on my djembe drum for a while just to make noise and get the frustration into some kind of rhythm.  

I try to get out as much as I can.  Some days my pain level keeps me home, some days the depression succeeds in keeping me in place.  (Hoping the new meds will help this eventually).  But living in rural southern Maine doesn’t offer much in the way of LGBT friendly spaces. We have no community center, or bars or clubs.  Those all went the way of many of us getting sober in the early 90’s, after tearing the 80’s up as club kids and crazy 20 somethings.  A decade to remember for sure…the parts of it I can remember!  There are Meet Ups, but they are all centered down around Boston, an hour’s drive for me…and most of the time just more than I am able to muster for energy to go out alone to one of their meetings.  I really should organize one of my own “Meet Up” meetings here in this area, I can’t be the only very frustrated LGBT person around here with this same problem!  

Fall is here. It brings with it the need for necessary winterization tactics around the house.  Preparing for winter and the dreaded snow season.  I have the yard to tend to today, going to mow, thinking that the grass has slowed in growing so this just may be the last round of mowing.  But there will be leaf removal soon to follow, once they all fall from the surrounding trees.  And also some tree trimming (I love a good workout with the chainsaw!) and bush cut backs, garden turning and just general outside winterizing.  Of course, there’s also putting in the driveway markers so that the snowplows don’t miss the mark – or me and my shovel will have guidelines.  Inside I have to put up the window barrier plastic, which I do every year to save a few pennies on the oil and electricity bills.  Every little bit helps when trying to keep a New England home warm and efficient during the really cold periods.  I also have a ton of interior “projects” to keep me busy for quite a while. I got new paint for the living room – I’m only waiting because I have decided that the ceilings need a fresh coat as well, so I am going to need 2 gallons of ceiling paint and some thicker matt roller covers (yep, popcorn ceiling texture).  But I should pick those up soon and be able to get going on freshening the room up.  I chose a nice green color, light but not a limey green.  And it’s a paint and primer mix, so I should only have to do one single coat.  Ah, the advantages of a having a solid construction background combined with being Butch…great recipe for excellent home maintenance.  Plus the use of power tools just turns me on.

There’s always a lot of talk about Femme invisibility, and it intrigues me.  Sometimes I want to say to Femmes “wear some kind of fucking signal! Or even I think you are straight and miss the mark!” but I know that’s just wrong.  Being so visibly – painfully so – Butch I often just miss the mark with Femmes and don’t fully “get” the invisibility thing – which I readily (albeit ashamedly) admit. It’s hard to comprehend when all your life you’ve felt like you stood out like a sore thumb.  My Butchness often seems to “threaten” straight men which I also don’t fully “get” – although it makes me chuckle and secretly do an internal happy dance every damned time.  I love it when I see a straight guy out with his girl cock-block a Butch who’s’ just walking by…too damned funny!  Sometimes I even give the girl a second look just to fuck with the guy’s head.  Why is the world so damned afraid of female masculinity??  Something that comes so freaking natural to me just can’t be that far out of the norm.  It sure as hell feels completely normal to me.  

Ok, this week has got to get started here…I have a LOT to get accomplished before Saturday morning!  Going to be a busier week than normal, as I have a show on Saturday at the town festival.  Got to get my wares ready, and make sure everything works!  Have a great week my friends and readers!  🙂

Changing Tides

Life is a rapid fire series of changes, crisis, and wonder.  I’ve had more than my fair share of everything these last few weeks.  Yet today I woke up very early, and had a peace in my heart for a change.  See, I booted my renter because the negative energy, drunken stupidness and insensitive words he spewed at me 2 nights ago were just more than I could have in my life.  Sure, it’s going to make a huge financial adjustment inevitable, but I woke up this morning in peace; not dreading dealing with his irrational ass stupidity.  See, he’s one of those guys who thinks he’s “all that and a bag of Doritos” when he’s just an empty bag, a very empty bag.  HIs wanting to talk turned into a ball of threats, hostility and blatant disrespect.  This only reflects what he really thinks about himself; how truly he feels he himself is a total failure and has to try to make someone else feel “less than” so he can feel like a “man”, when he is merely an empty bag with no direction and no idea of where he himself is going.  I actually got a good look at how people “believe” their own personal lies, and fall victim to ego.  And a new resolve to make my life far better than it was when he was here.  Yes, I think I shall live alone for a while, no need to have a renter because the last 3 have been very wrong for me, so I am going to just go this on my own, and struggle through it.  I’ll be just fine, I feel it.

I was at a pretty low point yesterday after I got the renter out of here.  My only thoughts were focused on money and how I was going to manage the month.  Prior to knowing I would have to ask him to leave (after he started drinking on Sunday and morphing into an asshole) I had bought the paint for the living room, loaned a friend some money, and made some other purchases to move things along, that I would not have done this month had I had the knowledge that this would pan out this way.  But, it’s done and I will have to scrimp and figure it out as I go for the rest of the month.  I have to say, I was pretty low and feeling stuck.  But a Facebook friend who lives locally contacted me, sensed my despair and offered to stop over for a short visit.  At first I hesitated, then I said why not, come on over.  It turned out to be just what I needed.  We enjoyed a nice conversation, coffee and a little weed – something I haven’t done in a long time.  But my pain levels are high and I am no longer on pain medications at all.  So it was a great visit and really helped improve my day! I was happy that I hadn’t, again, pushed someone away.  I have a bad habit of doing just that, which I must break immediately.  

I am saddened by the distancing of the girl I care for very much down south.  It was her choice.  It’s kind of a pattern with us, she gets irritated that I have other friends who are women, and all hell breaks loose.  It aggravates me but there’s a point where I am just not going to be bossed around about who I associate with on a friendship level.  It’s not right, not fair and the situation is she is THERE and I am HERE.  I’m not going to just sit and wait forever for something that may never even materialize, for a full range of reasons.  We choose to be exactly where we are in the world, physically, financially, and socially.  I have chosen to be here in Maine, very consciously so, and this is where I shall remain.  While I mourn the loss of even the friendship, I am well aware of the reasoning.  One can only stay frustrated for so long before they need to decide one way or the other what is best for them personally.  I respect her decision and hope she finds love and light there where she’s chosen to be.  She’s a strong woman, and lives in a tough place, but it’s her comfort zone, and we all like to stay protected in our comfort zones, that’s a natural thing.

So, in closing, the last 3 weeks have been damnation and hellfire.  But today I am a new person.  I am on a mission to not be in a funk any longer and to find what I need in my life.  It’s out there, I just need to take it and make it mine.  I’m not disillusioned that this will be an easy run, but baby-steps will get me there, and I am finding the energy to make those steps, one by one.  LIfe is challenging to everyone, I am not special by any means, but only I am in charge of my path and at the start of each day it’s only me that can make things happen to make tomorrow just a little better.  Be well dear readers.  Peace.