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Cracking the shell
Sunday. 1.1.17 5:40 pm
I wasn't expecting to write again this soon, but here we are.

For some reason I started feeling better yesterday. I've still been sleeping about the same; the last two nights weren't any different, more restful or otherwise, than the last two weeks. But I felt better mentally. Today was about the same.

I met up with two of my friends and we drove out to Snoqualmie Falls. One of my friends has a tradition to drive out to the Falls every New Year's day; I joined her last year, and this year we brought a mutual friend since she'd never been. We ate lunch at the restaurant inside the hotel at the Falls, then took a few pictures before heading back in to the city.

Once back in the city, we decided that we needed dessert and wine so we made our way to the Purple Cafe and Wine Bar. Despite the cold and fog out at the Falls, it actually turned out to be an enjoyable day. The kicker, however, is the fact that because the 1st of the year falls on a Sunday, we have tomorrow off from work. I'm looking quite forward to not having to wake up to an alarm. Though, I'll likely end up being awake at the time I normally get up anyway.

Last night I watched the live stream of the ball drop in NYC, then was in bed by 10:00 my time. Fireworks woke me up right around midnight, but only for about 10 minutes. I guess I was tired enough to sleep through whatever other fireworks were set off around the city.

I'm not sure when I'll write again, but after the last entry, I felt like I should put in something a little more positive.

Until next time. . .

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Insomnia
Thursday. 12.29.16 10:04 pm
This bout of insomnia has gone on a bit longer than it usually does. Normally I have restless nights for a few nights in a row, then something in my system resets and all is back to normal. This time, however, it's gone on for about two weeks. It's to the point where my coworkers have started to try to convince me to see one of our Pulm/Sleep docs. I already talked to a tech; she said that one of the more common things for insomnia patients is to be referred to behavioral health. Well, way ahead of you there. Go figure that the appointment that seemed to have helped (at least that's what I felt when I left) the most was the one right before this elongated period of insomnia.

Every night for the last two weeks I've woken up at least twice, though it's usually 4 or 5 times. Sometimes it's just long enough to go to the bathroom before laying back down to sleep again. Other times it's taken me hours to doze off, only to be awoken by my alarm 30 minutes later. Other nights it's stress dreams; luckily none of them have been nightmares. That would only worsen things.

I know that I'm allowing my depression to kind of take over my life. I'm not confronting it. I am, however, holding it at bay. I go in to work, I interact with my coworkers. I laugh, I joke, I smile. I will admit I am a little more curt than normal with the patients. I only feel a little bad. I go in to the back, out of sight, and I keep my eyes down so that no one will stop me to talk. I come home and avoid social interaction; I've been off Facebook for a couple weeks now as well.

I'm not in a good place, and I know that. I'm not sure if that makes it better or worse; then there's the fact that I'm not really doing anything about it. I'm not letting it consume me entirely. I told myself that I wouldn't let it get that bad again and I've managed to hold true to my own word for the last 12 years. I've not completely shut everyone out, like I want to. I want to leave. Disappear for a while. But I know I can't. So I don't. But distance was what my therapist suggested I do, and I've been doing my own version of what I think that is while still trying not to completely disconnect. It's a tough line to walk.

I plan to rejoin the 'normal' world this weekend. I can't keep myself isolated from it forever.

People keep talking about how horrible this year was and how they're looking really forward to 2017 finally being here. To be honest, this year hasn't really been too terrible. Good things have come from it. Bad things have also come from it. I'm still trying to implicate a lesson that was presented to me a couple years ago by a person I am no longer in contact with: it's something along the lines of 'having little or no expectations allows one to enjoy things a little bit more. You get to be pleasantly surprised. Or if it doesn't go well, you didn't expect much from it anyway.' It's a challenge, going in to a situation with little to no expectation. But that's how I am going to regard 2017...

My world has been turned upside down; I've seen things for myself that I've never seen before. That I've been adamant about never allowing myself to have and so I kind of don't really know what even is anymore.

So here's to 2017. And having little to no expectations.

...perhaps maybe I can at least have some hope for this fucking insomnia to go away for a little while so that I can enjoy sleeping comfortably again.

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1741
Monday. 12.19.16 7:55 pm
Damn, I've written a lot of blogs over the last 12 years ... and the first two years got deleted.

I saw my therapist tonight, and I actually got quite a bit out of it. I was planning on going in tonight on the pretense that I'd be apologizing that it wasn't working and I didn't really feel like I was getting anything out of it. But I actually felt pretty good after I left. Now, I won't be going back again until February; his schedule is booked until then, but that was kind of the plan anyway. I wanted to wait to go back until after the facility move had happened. I'll call tomorrow or Wednesday to set up my next appointment.

I feel really bad about harassing my cousin's wife recently. I really don't know how to reconcile things without just saying sorry and then vanishing, so that's pretty much what I'm going to be doing. My therapist thinks that distance is good, so long as I don't completely disconnect. When I get too deep in to my own head, bad things happen. Sometimes I need people to pull me back up to the surface.

I'm beginning to think that being alone for the holidays affects me more than I let on. I don't mind being alone, even for the holidays, but I tend to disconnect even more than usual because I don't like seeing things that I'm missing out on. One of these years I'll have my own family and things will take on a whole new life, but until then, I'll keep to myself so that I don't get too upset about seeing the things I'm missing out on. It makes being alone a little easier that way.

I've decided not to write every day next year. I enjoy writing whenever I actually have something that I need to get out of my head, rather than trying to force things out that really aren't there. It was good for me that one year, but it's nice having *kind of* actual content to write about.

So until next time. . .

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DC chronicles
Saturday. 12.17.16 12:31 pm
*disclaimer: long entry, as I will be typing up about the entire trip in one blog*

Monday morning (the day after my last blog entry, 5 days before traveling) I woke up with a horribly sore throat, chills, and no voice. I went in to work to tough it out; I wrote a sign to put up on my desk stating that I didn't have a voice, and requested the proper information from patients in order to do my job correctly. People still didn't believe me, even when I tried to talk. They thought I was just trying to be funny, or rude.

Toward the end of the day, it was getting worse, so I went to Urgent Care just to get tested to make sure I didn't have strep. If getting sick wasn't the last thing I'd wanted to do while on vacation, it was being on antibiotics for the duration of my already short trip. Luckily, I was tested negative; just turned out I had a really bad cold and I probably shouldn't have been at work on Monday. Oh well.

Tuesday my voice started coming back, Wednesday and Thursday I had started to feel so much better. Friday? Friday I woke up without a voice again and was now experiencing coughing fits, as well as my left ear not popping. Fantastic. My flight was scheduled to leave at 11:30pm that night. And I had a layover in Boston. So two flights with no voice, and an ear that wouldn't pop.

I somehow survived both flights and got in to DC right around 11am local time Saturday morning. My cousin's wife picked me up from the airport and we headed back to my aunt's place, stopping on the way to get food. After eating, I'd made plans with my friend to go hang out with him while everyone else was out and about or sleeping. It was still going to be a while, so I decided to attempt a nap since I'd been up for over 24 hours at that point. I maybe napped for an hour.

My friend picked me up and we headed over to the place he was dog sitting at. It was really, really nice to just get to hang out for a while with him that first day. I'd hoped to get to see him every day I was there, and that's exactly what happened. There were breaks in between; he does still have a life and me being in town shouldn't make everyone else put their lives on hold for it. Saturday evening we all just kind of hung out and talked.

Sunday was family picture day for all of them and I was volunteered to play photographer. I'm used to taking photos of nature, not people, and with my phone, not an actual camera. So it was interesting to say the least. I didn't think the pictures came out very well, but everyone else seemed to love them so that's what matters. The rest of the day kind of became a lazy day to just recoup and rest from the travel the previous day. I'm having a hard time remembering exactly what I did that evening, but I believe that was the night we had tacos from this yummy taco place out there called Taco Bamba. I now understand why you get more than just one of the same kind of taco.

Monday everyone had plans in the morning/early afternoon, so I just kind of hung out by myself for a while. I watched a little TV, showered, and took advantage of the time alone to nap. That evening I went with my friend to watch him at pipe band practice. It was really, really awesome seeing and hearing him, and all of them, play the bagpipes. I now get how the sound is different than just the practice chanter, which was all I'd heard my friend play last time. I was still trying to get my voice back at this point, so I felt bad whenever someone asked me a question and I'd have trouble amplifying my voice enough for them to be able to hear me over other sounds in the room. We left earlier than anticipated; the people he normally hung out with afterwards weren't around that night.

So we decided to head back to my cousin's to play a game. It turned out to be a not great idea, as it ended rather poorly, resulting in the two of us girls in tears, separately. (It was at this point that I was glad I'd had my conversation with my friend on the way back, rather than waiting until the next day.) The game Munchkin, I can see being a fun game, but as this was my first time playing, and the intensity at which the other three were playing, it just ended up not being fun at all. It became way too personal for everyone. After the game came to an abrupt end, my friend and I left and I asked if we could go for a drive, so we did. I crashed at his place that night. The next morning he had plans so I got dropped off and it was kind of a somber morning back at my cousin's.

Tuesday morning was when I'd finally started to get more of my normal voice back, though I was still having to deal with coughing fits. My cousin and I decided to go out for lunch that day, and kind of talk over what had happened the night before. By the time we got back to the house, things seemed to have gone back to normal. I was still kind of feeling down because it was my final full day there and I was definitely not ready to leave again. It was challenging to keep from crying at every turn.

Tuesday night was fancy date night with my friend; we went to a movie first (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; go see it if you haven't already), then came back to change in to something more dressy before going out to dinner. It... it didn't go as well as I'd hoped. Between the timing of things, moods still being off, and the restaurant we'd wanted to go to saying the wrong hours on the website and being closed when we arrived, made it all feel less exciting. I still had a wonderful time; the food at the place we ended up going to instead was delicious and the company was enjoyable. It was just far less 'giddy' than I'd originally pictured it going in my head.

Wednesday was the museum. It was intense, to say the least. We spent four hours there, and still didn't see everything. There's just SO much to take in. I barely even cared about taking pictures while I was there. Unlike at the other museums that I'd visited previously; I just wanted to be able to focus on what I was seeing, rather than trying to get in as many shots as possible. I could spend that amount of time in there every day for a week and still not see everything that there is to see. If it the demand is lower by the time I eventually make my way back to DC, I will make it a higher priority to go again.

The museum is pretty much all we did before it was time to take me to the airport. I was told I couldn't cry; and I almost had a panic attack in the car headed to the airport while trying not to cry. I managed to make it on to the plane, and then broke down. It was dark at that point, and so staring out the window, I didn't even really care if anyone could see me or not. It took about the first hour of the flight to calm down again.

The only downside to this trip other than the short amount of time allowed, was the fact that there were some higher expectations. Unlike the two weeks I was there in October, where everything just kind of happened as it happened. There were very little expectations and I was just going with the flow pretty much the whole time I was there. The strings that weren't supposed to form last time, were very much in place this time around, and it made it a little more real, rather than complete and utter bliss. However, the reality of it was still something that I wanted to live. I didn't want to come back here at all. The really hard game night, sure I wanted to do what I normally do and go for a long drive, clear my head, be alone for a while. But where in previous vacations when shit went south, I'd want to go back home, no part of me wanted to leave. No part of me wanted to come back to Seattle. I wanted to continue living my life there.

Since I've been back, I worked the last two days and saw Rogue One last night. My voice is back to normal, but I still have a lingering cough. Due to the fact that I don't know when I'm going to be able to go back, nor do I know when I'm going to see everyone again, this time around may take a bit longer to adjust back to life here.

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Not so perfect timing
Sunday. 12.4.16 9:02 am
I think I'm getting sick. My nose has been all weird lately, and I woke up this morning with that feeling in my throat indicating that I'm most likely getting sick. Which is fucking perfect because you know, it's not like I'm flying across the country in 6 days or anything. I haven't been sick in over a year so go figure that I already have several things going against me for this quick trip, let's just add in a cold. Because why the fuck not.

It's been over a week since I last wrote; I just haven't felt like writing anything. Thanksgivings went well enough. The fudge came out really well, surprisingly. Everyone who tried it loved it. So I guess now I know an easy recipe to make in a pinch for parties that I should be bringing something for. I still have some Bailey's left over so maybe I'll try drinking away this damn cold/weird throat thing.

As I mentioned last, I've been horrible about budgeting for the trip {one of the things going against me} and this paycheck wasn't an exception. There are two baby showers for the same person; one was yesterday and the other my coworker and I are planning to surprise her with on Wednesday. However, I'm pretty sure it isn't a surprise anymore since too many people know and someone is bound to slip up. Anywho, I tend to go a little crazy buying baby things {the last DC trip was indicative enough of that} and this was pretty much the same. I have maybe $9 to my name left until next payday; if I have any of that left, I'll put it toward what little I was able to put aside to take with me. Maybe the next time I go back east, whenever the hell that may be, I'll be better prepared.

The conversation I was planning on having isn't going to happen anymore either. Like I said more than once at this point, there are several things going against me for this trip now. My expectations have gone down significantly over the last month. I guess this will be like the last time: go out there with very little planned and just wing it the rest of the time. Except I only have 3 days to 'wing it' so it'll either be a lot of stuff crammed in a short period of time, or it'll be a lot of nothing that should have been something.

At least I have one thing to look forward to when I get back: I'll be seeing Rogue One that Friday. So that's at least something. It has nothing to do with the trip, but should the entire trip just end up being a complete bust, I at least have some sort of pick me up already planned.

Yes, I'm aware of the negativity saturating this entry. No, I don't give a shit. That's the whole point in this, isn't it? To get out whatever is in my head, good or bad? If you don't like it, you can stop reading. Though, if you're already made it this far, you're pretty much almost done because I've run out of things I want to bitch about currently.

Until next time. . .

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Stuff and things
Wednesday. 11.23.16 7:13 pm
I'm really not super creative when it comes to picking titles.

Happy Thanksgiving people! At least U.S. people. And it's technically tomorrow, but whatever. I've been saying it all day, and I'm not going to be home much tomorrow to say it then. So Happy Thanksgiving.

I made fudge for the first time ever. I have a feeling it's going to be very rich due to the fact that I mixed three different types of chocolate chips: bittersweet, semisweet, and dark. There's also Bailey's in the fudge so yay for adulting. I'm interested to see how it will come out.

I leave for DC again in a little over two weeks and I'm starting to actually get excited again. I'm sure it'll wear off again in a day or so and then I'll only get excited again once I'm actually on my way there. Excitement for me comes in spurts. Also, I said again a few too many times ... my bad.

I've been horrible at budgeting for this trip. It's likely because I've bought things for it, as well as some cold weather clothing items for here {I've been here 6 years, I think it's time I started increasing my collection} and the fact that there were only like 4 paychecks between that trip and this one, two of which have to pay the rent, so it doesn't leave much room for me to save up. I could always go donate plasma next week. Maybe I'll do that. . .

I'll be getting three Thanksgivings again this year. All three are 'friendsgivings.' It's nice knowing that people want me around because they want me around, rather than feeling sorry that I'm alone out here. I've spent holidays by myself before, and I'm perfectly cool with it. But it is much nicer to be around people that you like. Especially when there's food involved. Hence why I've made fudge. I needed to do something to contribute to these dinners; it'd be rude to just show up empty handed and just consume everything they've generously provided.

Anywho, it'll likely be December before I write again; about a week apart seems to be the trend.

So... until then ...

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