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    Society's Depression

    Friday, July 18, 2008, 9:33 AM [General]

    I did a lot of thinking about depression this morning, while I was writing in my paper journal.  Seems to me that an awful lot of America is bi-polar lately, or, in my own case, claiming to be at least borderline bi-polar.  And, if we're not bi-polar, we are uni-polar, functional depressive, non-functional depressive, dysthemic, and I'm sure there are more names that I'm not aware of.  Where did all this depression...and titles...come from?  I'm 60+ years old, and it seems that it's only in the past 15-20 years that this has happened.  What has happened to us, as a society, not as individuals, to cause all this depression and unhappiness?

    Growing up in a calmer time, back in the 50's, and even during the "hippie" 60's, the "me" 70's, and the whatever 80's, I don't recall folks claiming to have all this mental anguish.  No.  There were, of course, crazy/insane people back then, even back in the 1800's there were asylums for those people, but I'm not talking about those folks, I'm simply talking about depressives.  We're not crazy, but we definitely have problems.  Here on beliefnet.com there are at least two depression groups that I'm aware of, the depression support discussion board, and the Beyond Blue group(what's the difference between the discussion board and the group?  I have no clue....), and I think there are other support groups for depressives in other places on the net, as well as in real life.  There are more people that are depressed, those that don't post on boards, enjoy support groups, just don't talk about their depression, as well as those of us here at b'net, so there are literally thousands and thousands of depressives in our society today.  Why?  What has caused this pandemic of depression?

    I'm sure that all the modern technology we've been exposed to has much to do with it, not to mention DNA/genetics, also.  Our air, at least here in the metro Atlanta area, isn't fit to breathe during the summer months, to the point that our media tells us "red alert/orange alert/brown alert...stay in the house...stay in the house...stay in the house," many times.  Scary, eh?  Our water can't be drunk(drank?  drinked?)without a lot of scary sounding chemicals being put in it.  Our food supplies are loaded with antibiotics, preservatives, steroids, and who knows what else?  All of these modern technological advances may have done something to our natural brain chemicals, causing the imbalances that cause the depression.  The very things that have been invented to keep us alive and "healthy" are now ganging up on us and, if not actually killing us, they are at the very least destroying our brains.  Reminds me of a book I read years ago, don't remember the name now, but the whole society caught a "stupid" disease, one that caused people to regress in intelligence until they were no more than infants.  Is this now a possibility?  Another scary thought, eh?  What are we allowing "them" to do to us in the name of advancement, I wonder?  How are all these advances affecting us?  What can we do about it?

    In my case, I'm going to start taking yet one more chemical into my body, to offset the "rollercoaster" that I've been riding for years now.  I admit it, I need some help to simply maintain a level ride, I'm tired of the highs and the lows, the Black Hole, and then the upward soar to Heaven...back down again...up again...ad nauseum.

    Anyway.  I dunno what else to do.  I do the "right" things for myself: I maintain a fairly rigid routine, I burn pretty candles, I use pretty lights, I listen to music I like, and I try to eat a decent, well-balanced diet, as free of chemicals and preservatives as possible.  Sadly, those chemicals and preservatives make some of the junk food I love, and I can't seem to stop eating them.  Sigh.  I try, not to successfully, I admit, to stay away from sugar, and goodness knows, I love my cookies and candy.  But I'm doing better with the sugar...right now...and ever since Old Man left, my groceries are more and more either frozen or fresh, with very little canned and over-processed.

    And after doing all those things, as well as adding a chromium supplement, I'm not in the Black Hole right now.  Thank You, Father!  I don't neglect the spiritual aspect of my life, either, btw, because I think that's very important to my recovery here, and always have thought so.   I've also made a radical change in my work schedule, having moved from the afternoon shift to the morning shift, which has put me back into the "normal" sleeping pattern of us humans, as well as boosted my financial situation a lot.  So, after five months in the Hole, I'm out of it, and I want to stay out of it, so, I'm going to go ahead and fill the prescription for Zoloft, in hopes that I can maintain this good life I'm living now.

    Now if I would just give up caffeine and nicotine....

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    More compartments?

    Friday, July 11, 2008, 9:03 AM [General]

    Tongue outDon't know how I'm doing with re-compartmentalizing my life...ever since I came back from my week with Rhett and Tamila, on Treasure Island, and then to first shift after years and years of either nights or, recently, afternoons, things have not been as routine as I like.  Tomorrow, tho, I start a five-day schedule, Saturday thru Wednesday, with Thursdays and Fridays off, so there's a compartment right there, thank goodness.  I don't like being a loose ends, so to speak, I need a certain amount of rigidity in my life, to keep me on track, so that most of the time I know what I'm supTueosed to do, when to do it, where to do it, and with whom I'll be doing it, as well.  Is that too much to ask, I wonder?

    Mondays and Tuesdays are actually the days off that I WANT, but since Lee assured me that this new schedule is permanent, "engraved in stone," then I'll cope with it, just like I usually cope with whatever is thrown my way.  But losing Mondays took away my "play" days with Johnny and Amber, and takes away being off the same day as Pam, also, which is going to make doctor's appointments, etc., a bit of a problem.  On the other hand, E. is doing much, much better, and might be willing to come in, all the way from Carroll County, once in a while to take me to see Dr. Dillard.  It's certainly worth asking him about, anyway, and he's willing to come here to visit, so why not for business, too?

    One compartment that had to be re-scheduled and re-shaped is library day.  Now it's on Thursdays, every three weeks if not oftener, like this time.  I went thru 14 books in less than the three weeks, but admit to NOT reading two of them, lol, and not finishing the book of poetry, sigh.  Debra and I went yesterday, and I "only" took out 12 this time, lol...and think I will need all three weeks to go thru them this time.  One of them, much to my delight and total surprise, is the fifth, and, I think, final book in the "Wolf" series by Jane Lindskold.  This one is "Wolve's Blood."  It was like meeting an old and very dear friend, lol.  And, it's over 500 pages of very small print, so it's going to take a while, which means I will most likely be reading at least one other one at the same time, and, in fact, have already started the one of stories about the Arctic and the Antartic, which promises to be very good, as well as true.

    One of the four "picture" books is a book about altered art, and I'm itching to start another project, it's been so long since I've done any kind of crafting at all.  I'm taking steps every day towards getting my little craft area set up in my bedroom, tho, so hopefully I'll have room to craft in a couple weeks, maybe less.  It's going to be a LOT of work, but I can do it, yes, I can!!!  I already have two empty shelves in the bedroom closet, and just a few minutes ago, I moved the big green storage tub of fabrics, and the air mattress, into the living room closet...all by myself, ta-da!!!  Thanks be to God for the energy and the motivation, amen.(Oh, my, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, 97.1 FM!  E. showed me how to use the round player, so now I can play my CD's, but right now I'm listening to the radio)

    I have made my final decision on paint for the whole house, just one color, instead of two like I'd originally planned...sort of this color...all the way thru.  The blue I picked out, exactly the shade I wanted, Iceberg,,,sort of this color...greyed out in the light here in the living room, sort of like this, and I refuse to live with concrete/prison wall/battlehip on my walls, lol.  So I chose the Impatiens Pink instead, and it's light enough to be a neutral, will go with the dark red I want to use as accent, as well as anything else I want, I think.  So that much is settled.  Final decision!

    Pam loaned me her rug shampooer, and the living room rug is done, except for under the coffee table and loveseat, which will most likely be bright rust when they're moved, lol.  But she has an area rug, fairly large, that she's going to give me, and that should cover a LOT of the problems on the big rug.  I hope, lol.  The bedroom I'm just going to use the spray cleaner in the can, and then vacuum.  It will at least freshen the carpet in there, make it smell better, and maybe even make it look cleaner, too, as it's not quite as bad as the living room carpet is.  And it's still bad, even after shampooing it, and some of it two and three times, sigh.

    So, after I finish moving the crafting stuff around, and decluttering, the next step will be to buy a sponge mop and wash all the walls, preparatory to the actual painting.  I also want to move the printer to the right side of the desk, and put the tower on the left side, and get the little bookcase out of there completely.  The tower might be better off under the desk, I don't know for sure.  Hopefully Tony can move the desk over the 10 or so inches after the bookcase is gone, and hopefully he will also be willing to move the dresser to the wall where the craft supplies are now, in the bedroom.  Or heck, maybe I can do a push/pull myself, who knows?  I know I'm going to try, lol.

    So, things are coming along well, slowly, but since I'm doing it flylady's way, baby steps, baby steps, I'm fine with slow, and figure it will ALL be done in about two months, maybe a little more.  I've pretty much decided that I'm going to take Pam up on her offer of using her credit card to buy the paint and supplies, because I don't think I'll be able to save up enough money to pay for everything all at once...altho I might be able to buy a gallon a week.  I'm figuring it will run me about $60 a gallon for the pink, and probably about another $50 for the five-gallon bucket of Kilz to prime with.  And maybe close to another $100 for brushes...oh, and probably aobut $50 for the gallon of red laquer...Chinese red, maybe?...for the screen and the wooden chair on the carport.  So, I'm figuring about $400 for the whole thing.  Whew, that's  LOT of money.  Heck, it's a whole month's rent, lol.  But.  It is going to be gorgous in here, believe me!!!

     

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    new compartments/less trash....

    Thursday, July 3, 2008, 9:28 AM [General]

    It has been a long time since I've written anything.  For another long, long time, I was too depressed to write, too deep in the Black Hole to put out the effort needed to put words on paper.  Praise God and all that is holy, I seem to have climbed out of the Pit and made it back to the Land of the Living, one more time.  How long this will last...this time...I have no way of knowing, of course.  All I can do right now is to be thankful that I am actually feeling good, very close to that hard-to-attain emotion called "happiness."  I'm not sure I would recognize "happiness" if I found it, tho, so what I will say is that I am supremely content at the moment, and ever so grateful.  Thanks be to my Almighty Father!!!

    I'm not at all sure what has changed my mood, but it's probably safe to say that several things factor into it.  The Old Man's belongings are gone.  My work shift and schedule have changed radically, and I am, for the first time in many moons, a day shift person again...and lovin' it, much to my surprise and supreme gratitude.  Lastly, but not least, I started taking a chromium supplement some time in June, having found a recommendation for it as a depression fighter somewhere on the net.  Who knows?  Maybe it actually works, eh?  It's not hurting me, that's for sure.  Again, I'm grateful.  And all during the depression, I did all the "right things," or at least, as many as I could, without going to my doctor and asking for a prescription for an antidepressant, preferably Zoloft, as I'm familiar with how it works with me.  Whatever the cause, tho, I'm here, and I feel well again.  Good feeling, too, believe me.

    And, I am actually excited about something for a change, I realized it while I was sitting out on the carport just a few minutes ago, listening to the concert the birds are giving...free of charge...today.  It's a beautiful day out there, green, sunny, full of birdsong, and as of yet, not too hot and humid, altho I expect that that will change as the day wears on.  I looked at the black and chrome chair, and pictured it with a white "dress" over it, tied on with a red belt of sorts, or maybe with the beads that Traci gave me so long ago..."IF" I didn't toss them out in a decluttering fit, that is.  And right then I realized that I am having soooo much fun thinking about how I want to do the house without Old Man here any more, and how it will look, and the fact that I can do so much of it by myself(YES I CAN!!!), and what I can't do, Pam will help me, Debra would help me, and probably Tony will do the heavy stuff and possibly even help me paint, without charging me an arm and a leg.  And I've found the exact colors I want to use, too, colors that will satisfy my need for color in here, and that will hopefully satisfy the rental office's need for colors that can be painted over with one coat of paint(how cheap is that, btw?!?!).  Actually, because I have to buy the paint myself, I don't care if they like it or not, lol.

    The living room will be a very, very pale shade of blue, almost an ice blue, and the rest of the house will be a pale pink/beige color.  Any accent colors at all will go with these two colors, and the accents I want to use are the "temple colors:"  crimson, blue, purple, and gold.  Cheerful and bold in the living room, but lighter and more calming in the bedroom.

    I want to take the headboard that Old Man made and lacquer it a bright red, and use it as a folding screen in the living room, where I am going to make an entryway of sorts.  I'll use the screen, sort of set off to the side, and with it, one of the black bookcases...mmmm, should I lacquer it to match the screen or leave it black, I wonder?  Ah, decisions, decisions, decisions, sigh!  Such fun thinking and looking at magazines to find what I'd like to incorporate into my own little home, lol.  The wooden chair on the carport will also come in, with the black/chrome chair, and eventually it will be lacquered red, also, and the already white parts of it touched up.  The loveseat, I hope, will have a new cover, in some sort of red print.  I also want to clean up Stupid's old brass/glass table, the one on the carport, and put it on the wall by the front door, in the entry way.  The big brown bookcase, which will also need to be painted...nah, leave it stained like it is, and just polish it...will go on the wall by the bedroom door.  The loveseat will go on the wall where the electronics were, and the little dresser by my bed will come out here, beside the loveseat, with books piled on it to hold the lamp, which by the time I get the walls painted, will match beautifully...serendipity!  I think I'll leave the branch over the window, but put a lace panel back in, take the little bookcase down, and just leave the plant and the angel/harp on the sill.  And lots more plans, too, but not totally formed yet, lol.  I'm just really hyped about doing all this, even tho it's going to be a lot of work and will take me a long time to do it all.

    I also have to clean out all three closets, declutter, decide which of my tchochkes I want to keep and use.  That's a month long job in itself, lol, as well as make the craft area in the bedroom...which is where I'm going to need Tony to help me.  No way can I move the dresser by myself!  Thankfully, there's nothing I can do in the bathroom or kitchen besides clean, declutter, and eventually, paint.  Whew!  LOL!

    The job:  It's taken me two years of fussing and fighting, but I am finally on first shift, 7AM-2PM, and loving it, like I said.  The money is soooo much better.  This past week, in four days, I made $239 in tips alone, which does NOT include gratuitie and payroll, ta-da!  That's more than I;'ve made on second shift for a long, long time.  In fact, Monday I made $75!  I was astounded when I counted it all up, I really was.  And much to my surprise, I don't mind getting up at 5AM as much as I thought I would, and I LOVE being off at 2PM.  There's just so much more day left as compared to getting off at 9PM, when it's dark and the day is actually done.  I have a little more energy, and the extra motion seems to be good for me, as I can honestly say I think I'm getting stronger.  Praise God.  So I'm pleased about the job, and my only fear is that Scott will come back to our shop, and Ryan will go to another shop.  We are all hoping Scott stays where he is...even Lee and Dan don't want him back here.  Time will tell, eh?

    I've started experimenting with different cooking, too, things I wouldn't have dared do with Old Man here.  Moroccan flavorings in my turkey burgers...goat cheese and zucchini pizza...smoked paprika, turmeric, cumin, mint...and almost no canned and processed foods at all.  I'm certainly enjoying that, and make it a point to try to find a foreign cookbook when I go to the library now.

    So, right now, things aren't as compartmentalized as they were, and there's much less trash in my life and that's a good thing and I'm so pleased.  And taking it one day at a time, because I've learned one thing over the years:  Everything changes.

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    Compartmentalizing....

    Monday, April 28, 2008, 6:37 PM [General]

    Last week's beans and the sauce were absolutely fantastic, but I've had stomach problems ever since, so haven't dared to eat them again, sigh.  Too bad, too, as I had to throw out a big potfull of them, dagnabit.  Ah, well, live and learn, eh?

    E. is still in Piedmont Hospital, and will be there a couple more weeks, Missy told me this AM.  Then he is going into a nursing home near Tanner Hospital, in the same county where his son and Missy live.  Last Tuesday AM, he had his first surgery: the outside of his lungs were scraped to get rid of the "goo" that had leaked thru onto them.  He was evidently in the ICU blue to recover from the surgery, and I'm assuming that he's back in a regular room again.  But, he now has a feeding tube, they won't let him eat, as he can't pass the "throat test."  Whatever the heck that is...other than that he can't swallow properly.  He also has three shunts in his chest area, to keep draining his lungs, bless his heart.  He keeps trying to pull them out, and has been furious that he's not allowed to eat, so they are...once again, poor man...going to sedate and restrain him.  That poor man is just plain going thru hell, no doubt, and I feel so badly for him.  I also found out last week that because of the parole board, he can't move back in here anyway, and wish to goodness I'd known about that beforehand, because it just isn't my decision to make.  That was SUCH a load off my shoulders, and I've been feeling much, much better this past week.  So, now I need for John to get his butt over here and get all this crap out of my house, so I can start moving things around, trashing more of my own stuff, and get this little teeny tiny cluttered tacky house into the kind of calm and uncluttered home that I want!!!!

    My life is compartmentalized.  I realized that last week, it hit me out of nowhere, and tickled me slap to death.  Why I happened to think of it I have no idea, but, so be it, I am compartmentalized, lol.  Fancy-schmancy way to say I'm in a rut, I guess.  But just about everything I do is on a fairly rigid schedule, without a whole lot of leeway at any time.  In a way, tho, it makes things simpler for me, knowing what I'll be doing where when and with who at just about any given time: work, Wednesday thru Sunday, 2pm-9pm; days off, Monday and Tuesday.  Dinner around 11pm, with 30 minutes of tv while I prop the bad leg.  About an hour and a half computer time after work each night, and none in the mornings any more.  Mornings are exactly the same: get up, brush my hair, swish the toilet, make the bed, make coffee, take the meds/vitamins, and read the Bible and devotional books.  Read a library book, color a mandala, get ready for work at 1pm on the dot.  Day off...same as above except that before I come out of the bathroom I'm dressed to the shoes, and "usually" have the white load of laundry started.  Every third Monday is library day with Debra, and Tuesday afternoons are usually grocery day with Pam.  So rigid, don't even usually have to think about what I'm going to do next.  Except on the days off, those days I'm apt to be sort of at loose ends after the morning routine.  About all I know then is that sometime during the day, and sometime Tuesday, also, I have to do some housecleaning.  The rest of the week, all my energy, such as it is, is for the job.

    I'm getting hungry, so I'd better finish the dishes and make room to start cooking dinner...leftovers.   And while it's cooking I can start one of the library books I got today...it's the third Monday, lol.

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    Normal trash...

    Tuesday, April 22, 2008, 4:47 PM [General]

    I wonder how long I can keep putting some kind of trash in my titles?!?!?  LOL!  Maybe next week I'll come up with something new and exciting.

    Anyway.  Today was just a normal trash day, I didn't toss anything out.  Last night I threw away a shirt that didn't fit right any more, but that's all that I can think of right now...ok, wait a minute here, I will be right back...There!  Found some stuff in the bathroom that can go: old conditioner, shampoo, soap that makes me itch, denture cleaner that I don't like, old baby oil gone rancid, and a bottle of mouthwash that's been there for so long it's covered with ucky sticky grey dust, lol.  So, now I feel better!  I LOVE throwing stuff away, lol.

    I also made the first baby step towards packing E.'s stuff, ta-da!  Just a couple plastic grocery bags, but it got a lot of the millions and millions of "little things" he has in "his corner." So it's a start.  There's an empty milk crate in the bedroom, I can put a lot of his books in that, which gets them off the empty Avon cartons he used for an end table for a few million of the little things.  Sigh.  God, I miss him.  NO I DO NOT   NO I DO NOT  NO I DO NOT   Do I?  It's still rough, very, very rough...I don't like doing this...I wish to hell this had never happened, dammit.

    I called the hospital today, and he's back in an ICU unit...this one is blue, just "general medicine" the operator said.  But any ICU isn't a good thing, I don't think.  And of course nobody has called me.    .  .

    Last night Johnny and Amber picked me up about 15 minutes early...because Johnny took us to dinner at the Golden Corral, just about my favorite place in the world to eat, lol.  I totally pigged out, but it was soooo good...and I didn't eat so much that I made myself sick.  I have finally learned to control that, thank the good Lord.  After we ate we went on to the bowling alley to wait for Lynn and Ken...Lynn had to work, so they got there around 9:30pm, I guess.  Zane just happened to be there, pretty well drunk, but still able to bowl, so he bowled with the four of them, and darned if Sean didn't show up, too...he didn't bowl, I think he was there to hook up...um...with Zane, lol...they were outside for quite a while.  Sean stayed and sat and talked with me for a while...the baby is growing like a little weed and he loves talking about her, lol.  I saw Ken in a whole different way last night, and am more convinced than ever that he is just simply a total butthole, which is a shame: Lynn has a serious crush on him, and we had all had such hopes for her to have a good relationship with him.  I know she's lonely, still missing her deceased husband, but she deserves a whole lot better than Ken, that's for sure.  He told her he couldn't afford to pay for her shoes...Johnny did, bless his heart...and then had two regular cokes(mediums are $2.19 a piece!)and two mixed drinks...I think someone told me those are at least $4 a piece, plus he ate a cheeseburger and fries.  And sat up at the "counter" with me while he ate, instead of beside Lynn, who was his date.  Now.  That's just wrong, and the man is a jerk and an idiot...I didn't like him much anyway, and now it's going to be all I can do to be polite to him, and I sure hope he doesn't come back to cook at our store, or at least not on my shift.  Yuck.  Poor Lynn.  All in all, tho, I had a good night, and will most likely go back again...assuming Johnny asks me if I want to, lol...and next time, I might even try and bowl, lol.  I didn't get home until 1:30AM, and I didn't like that too much, but I guess it won't kill me every few weeks, right?  Right.

    It's not quite 5pm, but I'm cooking dinner already, I'm starved, and it's almost ready.  I'm trying the sauce I found in the Food Guide for brisket, but with the pinto beans I cooked yesterday.  It smells wonderful.  Baked potatoes, and the leftover green peas, heated up with lots of butter.  YUM~!  Better go stir the beans and check on the 'taters.

     

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