Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Figured that out...

Well, today I finally figured out what was going on with the new Internet provider. I called them up again and got someone sensible on the line and she explained what was happening. It seems they have 3 systems and in one of their systems I showed up as having my application canceled and that was why the installation packet was not showing up, which consists of a new modem and a connection for the telephone. All will be resolved, it will just be a little bit later than I had planned.

In the mail today came the official end of services letter from my old provider stating that their services may not end exactly on the date we had agreed on, so I'm thinking maybe I will have their connection a few days longer, which would be good. So keep your fingers crossed on that one.

Slowly by little, things are starting to make sense and I have to tell you that this whole thing has bothered me to no end, as I don't do well with changes in my environment and especially not with changes that don't go smoothly. All along I knew something was not right and I was worried sick about it. I think I was having a little nervous breakdown about it. I said as much to my SPN today and she agreed with me. I am not going to do anything remotely like this again for a long time. Everything that can stay put, is staying put.

As you can see, I have a new keyboard brought to me by the magnificent Exfactor himself, who is now in the arms of his Paramount getting ready to ring in the New Year. Well, let them, I don't wish them anything good. I am not that kind.

The Exfactor had brought the Überhund an aluminum dish of wet food and the Überhund liked it very much. This was after I had tried to feed him his chunky, meaty food this morning, which he did not want for whatever reason. I tried to hand feed him, but he would have none of it. So, I gave him the wet food and he ate it in 2 minutes flat. After that, there was not a peep out of him for the rest of the day, so I went to the store and bought more of it.

I gave him another dish of it tonight and he loved it and again, he is very satisfied and has not begged for a treat yet. I don't know if this is the solution, but I am willing to give it a try. Anything to get him to eat and be satisfied and full.

I also took him to the vet tonight and one eye is completely better and the other eye is nearly so, but may never become completely better again. Still, we are going to continue treating it. So I have another tube of eye gel to apply twice a day.

I am now going to watch TV after I have put on my pajamas and my bathrobe and hopefully good things will be on tonight. After all, it is New Year's Eve and something good has to be on TV.

I am wishing you all the best for 2009 and I hope all your wishes for the new year come true.



as i told you in my post last night, i am not using any capital letters because of my shift key and it also means that i type my posts in about half the time it usually takes me. please read that post to see how it all came to be and how i am and about my internet troubles.

i was awakened this morning on the early side by the überhund who had to go outside urgently, meaning that all that food he ate yesterday had gone through his digestive system, which is good, because lately what he produced hadn't amounted to much. so that was good news.

i'm happy to tell you that today i feel normal and awake and cheerful and that i am enjoying my coffee and my cigarettes as i usually do and that i do not feel down and tired and sleepy. so, whatever it was that hit me yesterday, is gone now and i am much relieved. it is possible for me to totally recall these feelings and the anxiety i felt with them, but i won't bother and just leave them behind me.

i think that a lot of the anxiety has to do with the internet troubles and if i can just get a different mindset about that, i will save myself a lot of wear and tear. i have always known that i have a low stress threshold and i must not forget that in a period like this.

the exfactor is coming over with a new keyboard this morning, so i will be able to capitalize my letters again, although i like typing this way. he is going to help me when the installation packet arrives from the new internet provider and, although i do not like being dependent on him this way, i do know that i probably can't do it on my own. it's a double sided coin, or is it a double edged sword? i'm not sure which expression is appropriate here.

well, i have been sitting here for 2o minutes now without writing anything down, just drinking my coffee and smoking my cigarettes. that ought to tell me something, don't you think? probably that i don't have anything of interest to tell you. i am having a severe case of writer's block. i need sweet william's book about blog writing.

i'll hang up then. get myself ready to go to the store early and get the shopping done.

have a great day.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008


i am not going to bother capitalizing anything, because my shift key doesn't work and i can use the other little shift key, but it is a terrible bother and slows me down something awful. besides, you are still capable of reading this, so i won't worry about it too much.

i think i figured out why the überhund was asking for treats all the time. i think he was just plain hungry, because he didn't like his food and wasn't getting enough nutrition. luckily, i had bought a new bag of dog food at the store the other day. it is the same brand as he always gets, but this time the chunks were bigger and meatier, and frankly, they looked more appetizing. so i opened that bag and poured some in his dish and started to hand feed him. he decided that he liked that very much and after a while he started eating on his own, until he had eaten about half of it. i then fed him the rest of it by hand again until everything was gone and i knew he would be full.

he didn't beg for food again until this evening, so i again poured some of the chunks into his dish and hand fed him until he was full. there are just 5 chunks left in the dish now and he is very content. i think he needs to learn to eat properly, as this always has been an issue with him. he has always been very picky about his food and never really liked anything, but he seems to like these chunks and especially when i hand feed them to him. i don't mind encouraging him a little. i just want to make sure he is really full and it seems to work. this way i know he is getting some decent food into him.

i seem to be doing better this evening than i was this morning, although it has been an off day. i have felt so down and tired and it is just now that i feel some of my energy returning. i did talk to my spn over the telephone and i will be in contact again with her tomorrow to let her know how i am then. neither one of us knows exactly why this has happened, so we will chalk it up to just one of those days that will hopefully not repeat itself.

i am waiting for the installation packet from the new internet provider. it should have been here yesterday, but when i called the help desk to ask where it was, they could not tell me so specifically. if it's not here tomorrow, i'm screwed, because that is the last day of service with my old provider. my old provider withdrew money from my bank account for the month of january, but has promised to return it, and my new provider has withdrawn money from my bank account for a bill dated 22-12 that i have never seen. these kinds of things drive me crazy and it means making costly phone calls and being put on hold endlessly.


there, that feels better. it's not like i'm frustrated or anything, you know.

tomorrow morning i have to go to the grocery store early before the shopping madness starts for the new year. i only need to get a few things, but they are things i need for when the stores are closed new year's day. another holiday! enough of them already.

well, i am going to watch some tv now and then go to bed early. i'll try to make it as cozy as i can for myself.

have yourself a good night.



I am slowly waking up. It seems to be a long process this morning and I definitely need another mug of coffee shortly. At least I am sleeping through the night, even when I fall asleep on the sofa in the evening and make my way to bed in a half slumber sometime around midnight. Some common sense seems to be prevailing, because I woke up at 3 AM and had enough sense not to get up, but stay in bed and sleep some more. I do like it when I outwit myself and not give in to my primal urges.

The Überhund has now eaten half of the food that was in his bowl and is again begging for treats and I am again ignoring him. He is quite put out about this and lays down at my feet waiting for the next opportunity to attack me with another begging round, but I will not give in. I will give him some fresh food in a while, but that is it. He understands perfectly well what I want from him and he will just have to cooperate. I wish we had never started this reward system and with my next dog I am not even going to have treats in the house. Sometimes I think I have the word 'sucker' written all over my forehead. That cocker spaniel is too smart for his own good.

Today I am actually seeing my SPN and my appointment is for two in the afternoon. It will be a nice break in an otherwise uneventful week. I am waiting to hear about the news about the new psychiatrist that will be taking over my case and if I am not mistaken, I should hear something about that today. I am very curious about who this person is going to be, as there are two possibilities, but I have heard good things about both people, although my preference goes to one of them. That is only grounded on something someone has personally told me. My SPN will still be my main therapist, so in the long run, it makes hardly any difference, although the feedback that she gets may be quite different than what she gets now, seeing as though these psychiatrists specialize in personality disorders.

Time for another mug of coffee.

Yesterday, I turned my keyboard upside down and shook it and all sorts of junk fell out of it. I kept shaking it until it was empty, or nearly so. I was attempting to fix my question mark key, but it didn't work and now one of the shift keys has stopped working, so I have to use the one on the right, which is a hassle. So, that may not have been the best attempt at fixing that and I have asked the Exfactor to bring me another keyboard from his work where they have spare ones laying around.


I walked the Überhund and went to sleep on the sofa, because I felt not at all awake and cheerful. So I slept for nearly 3 hours and now I am somewhat awake, but not yet cheerful. I must drink my coffee and see if that will help. Actually, all I want to do is lay on the sofa and sleep. I don't have the energy to do anything else and I have just canceled my appointment with my SPN. The thought of getting dressed properly and riding my bike over there is just too much to think about. I think I am having a rapid cycle and I am on a downward slope.

I thought writing would help, but it isn't, so I will stop now. I will write later today when things are better.


Monday, December 29, 2008

Awake again.

I just woke up from a nice long nap on the sofa and the Überhund thinks that this is a good opportunity to beg my attention for something good to eat in the form of a treat. I am undecided what to do now, because he hasn't done anything to deserve it and he has a bowl full of food that he is ignoring. I think I need to be very strict and ignore him until he starts to eat from his bowl of food. He sure is laying it on thick, though. You'd think I was a very cruel person for treating him so badly. I think he has been spoiled too often.

For some reason, I thought I had an appointment with my SPN this afternoon and I got myself all ready to go and just before I left I checked my agenda again and saw that the appointment was tomorrow. So there I was, all gussied up with no place to go. Instead of that, I did the dishes and cleaned my computer desk. That was somewhat gratifying too.

Luckily, I had no pressing problems on my mind that I absolutely needed to talk about and that could not wait. Since I am back on my original antipsychotic medication, I have been feeling so good, that I feel blessed every day that goes by without an incident. I feel so very lucky in knowing that I am taking the best medication there is for me and that it works so well. I will never take those little orange tablets for granted again. As if I ever did, really.

Within the next two days I am changing Internet providers, but if things don't go exactly according to plan, it is possible that I may be off line for a day or so. I hope this is not going to happen and I have been assured that it won't, but you never know. So, if I'm not here, you know where I am. In a frustrated place. I am feeling just the tiniest amount of stress about this, but I must remember not to worry about it, because it is only Internet after all, it is not a life support system, ha, ha.

Well, that's my little simple message for this evening. For the more riveting stuff, I refer you to this morning's post.

Have a good night.


The First Thing...

The first thing I did was change the background back to black from the red I had gone to, because I didn't want to be responsible for poor Maggie May's migraines. Maggie is a most loyal reader, and very often my first commenter of the day, and I sure don't want to make her life difficult for her. I hope this is easier on your eyes, Maggie.

I woke up at 6 AM after I had gone to bed at 2 AM, but I had fallen asleep on the sofa during the evening while watching television. You know what that means, don't you? That means a major nap some time today, so I will make it to the end of the day in one piece mentally and physically.

I woke up during a program in which very well meaning people laid the responsibility of all their problems in the hands of their God and believed that with the power of their believe, mountains would be moved and any sort of serious wrong in their lives would be righted. Even with my still sleepy mind, I was impressed with their naiveté and their lack of active self intervention. Serious short comings like that can really make an impression on you when you just wake up. I wonder at their God who is held responsible for so many accidents in the lives of people who were born with the capacity to reason and draw conclusions about their own and other people's actions. I pity their God for having so much to answer for.

Needless to say, it was a senseless and empty handed discussion in which nothing got resolved and nobody got a straight answer to their problems that would have been of practical nature. I think that everybody ended as confused as they entered the fray, with only promises of prayer and intervention at a later date. I would have insisted on some clearer language and some definite answers that I could have applied immediately.

Oh, I see I am on one of my favorite subjects and that is the one of self will and self determination. I am such a great believer in those things. I believe so very much in the power of reason and had I been born in an earlier age, I would have chosen the renaissance and I would have filled in for the question religion, humanist. Of course, this was before Calvinism and before the Puritans got their hands on the Bible and gave it their interpretation.

The Dutch Reformation has much to answer for also. Imagine all the brow beaten people who thought they got it right, but were ruled harshly and followed the letter of the biblical law, while firmly believing to have been set free from the auspices of the Roman Catholic Pope. My grandmother was a living relic of this system and I never saw a more distorted woman than she, who felt shame for her own body, but gave birth to 5 children and who went to church twice on Sundays and who only watched Christian programs on television, because they were evangelically inspired.

I don't care much for organized religion, as it is always exclusive to the slightly other thinking non conformist and aversive to questions and doubts, and many horrible things have been and are done in the name of religion and being the representative of the true and only one. When it comes to religion, I am an anarchist, being intrigued by it and rejecting it at the same time. I have pagan leanings, but have yet to worship at the altar of a Goddess of Nature, unless you count Mary in the guise of Mother Earth and the child in her arms being representative of all of mankind. I have lighted candles, but to which God I do not know.

At a certain time in history, I would have been a heretic and things would not have looked good for me. I doubt very much that I would have been able to not have the same doubts that I have now, knowing my nature. I would have been an insurrectionist, and maybe I would have been drawn and quartered for my heresy, or burned at the stake, although I don't know how very popular that was in the Netherlands. Maybe we were too sober minded for that. I always could have claimed to be a child of Israël, as they were allowed some leniency here.

I wasn't planning on writing a whole post about religion. It just came out that way and it must have weighed heavier on my mind than I realized. I do know that when I was a teenager, the Christian teenagers were the biggest sinners that I ever met and tried to get away with murder. They were disallowed so many things, that they tried everything and made us progressive youth look tame in comparison. I don't remember them for doing many good deeds, I remember them for getting drunk and wanting to have sex, while we marched in anti Vietnam rallies and collected money for starving children in Africa.

Okay, you must amuse me now and then and let me have my little rants. I'll jump on another cause on of these days. Watching television can bring out some emotions in you, can't it. My question mark doesn't work half of the time. i must get a new keyboard.

Have a very great day. It is Monday, but somehow it doesn't feel that way to me, having no place to go. I must amuse the animals with my presence today and be extra endearing.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Rather Splendid...

I just woke up from a rather splendid nap on the sofa. I think was asleep for more than 2 hours and, believe me, I needed it, because suddenly, this afternoon, my mood started going to hell in a hand basket and I could think of two things to do, either take an extra pill, which I am not supposed to do, or go to sleep, which I am when faced with the devil, so that is what I did.

I really thought I was going around the bend, but then I realized that I had gone to sleep very late the night before and that I had not exactly had my 8 hour beauty sleep and that maybe that was what the problem was. When in doubt about your state of mind, go to sleep and stay asleep long enough for the chemicals in your brain to normalize themselves again. This rapid cycling can be cut short very often by going to sleep and staying asleep for a long enough time.

I was a woken by the Überhund who thought my nap had taken long enough and who wanted some action. I let him piddle and sniff around out back and gave him a treat for being a good dog while I slept. He is a faithful guard dog and does not budge from my side. I think he spends enough boring hours with me waiting for something to happen, although he does appreciate long naps himself.

There had been one cat laying very heavily on top of me, moving up and down with each breath I took, no doubt being very comforted by that. Is it any wonder that there was an old wife's tale saying that cats sucked the breath out of babies' lungs? Cats belonged to witches and old crones, after all. I am practically an old crone myself. If you don't watch out, I will start brewing potions and teas and casting evil spells. And I have three cats.

Toby's chronic cold seems to have dissipated and he now no longer goes around sneezing and having runny eyes. It took awhile for it to pass, but he never did infect the other two cats. It never did interfere with his eating habits, although for a while he was very thirsty all the time. I made sure there was fresh water and milk, but things seem back to normal now. The cats don't like to drink water that has been standing for a while and I constantly have to replenish their dish with fresh water. Finicky is their middle name and drinking from a running faucet is their favorite activity.

You see I've changed the colors of my blog. I was infected by Jill of all Trades, who changed the look of her blog and it made me long for some changes myself. I would have done more, but that would have been too drastic for all of you and I'll save that for a day when I am really hypomanic and I don't know what to do with myself. You see, I do care about you when I am in my right mind.

It's been one heck of a lazy Sunday and tomorrow I don't have creative therapy neither do I have ergo therapy on Wednesday. I don't like it very much and am kidn of at a loss of what to do with myself. These diversions sneak in and give you something to look forward to and when they don't happen you have to find a way to amuse yourself and it can be tough, especially when the weather is too cold to find your solace outside. Taking the Überhund for an extra long walk is not an option, nor is spending any money at the moment. I am too dull to think of anything else.

It is just very possible that the ordinary me, without being the least bit hypomanic, is in fact a very dull person who can't get off her butt and think of very interesting things to do that don't require the input of any money.

Oh well, I think it is time that I fix myself something to eat and get into my comfortable pajamas. My so called lounge wear. If I am lucky, there will be something of interest on the television. I better check the online TV guide, though.

Hope you have a pleasant evening and that you manage to stay out of trouble. If not, tell me about it in the greatest detail.



It's yet again another Sunday after all these holidays that we've had that felt like Sundays. So, again the stores are closed, although the cafés are open and I would go hang out at Café Monopole on the heated terrace if it weren't so darn cold and I would have to get there first.

You see, I need darn good motivation to go downtown and a cup of cappuccino just isn't enough in this weather. I would wish for the stores to be open and for me to have about a 100 euros to spend on frivolities. You know, leggings and necklaces and a new wallet or something like that. The thing is that I don't need any of those things. It would be a pure waste of money.

Since I am not of the well off financially, I'll let that idea drop by the wayside and consider myself lucky that I was able to get new glasses for such a good deal yesterday. Things are so relative and what gives me joy are these very lucky and unexpected good turns like this. I'm also glad that I can turn up the thermostat so precisely and have a toasty warm apartment. You must always count your very basic blessings first.

All the food that is bad for me is gone now and I am down to food that is good for me, for which my expanding hips will be grateful. I had really made the month of December an eating party with too many things that had too many calories that I did not burn off and that translated themselves into a few extra kilos that I now need to get rid off. So, I am starting my resolutions before the New Year. I am not going to be eating rabbit food, but I will eat wholesomely and sensibly. You'd think that with a gastric band it would be impossible to eat too much, but I had found ways to do it.

I suppose this is going to be a lazy day, unless I deem it to be necessary to wash the windows or something, which would be a bad idea in this cold weather. Besides, who ever heard of major housework on a Sunday? I am trying to decide if I still feel Christmassy enough to have the sparkly branches in the vase up on the dresser, because I am always in danger of poking my eye out when I go to get my medicines out of the drawer and Christmas is over now. I will ponder over that while I write this and then make a decision.

I am very happy that I don't have a whole Christmas tree to dismantle, as I always remember that as being a job I disliked very much. The needles fell off and disappeared into the carpet forever and the tree always looked so bare and unattractive when stripped from all its finery, sort of like when you turn on the bright lights at the end of a really good party and see the damage that's been done to the interior of your house. And is there anything sadder than an ejected Christmas tree by the curb waiting for the trash man to pick it up?

I am all for getting things back to normal as quickly as possible, except for the Christmas cards on the door, those I keep up for a long time. I like reading the messages inside of them and some of them are home made and you have to appreciate those especially. But I do like to get the evidence of the holidays out of the way once they are over and get the living room back to its original state. I guess it is my way of saying, "Okay, we've been sentimental, let's get down to business now."

I am looking forward especially to 2009 although I can give you no specific solid reason for why this is so. I just expect it to be a good year and one in which no major upheavals are going to take place. Dreams can come true, can't they? If everything is just a solid dull roar, then that would be fine with me. With the beginning of the new year comes the longing for springtime and the nicer weather and all the new life that it brings to nature and the uplifting of everybody's moods. It gives you hope. You think, just that final little push and we'll be there. I see the glass half full.

Well, I have got to do my hair and try to look smashing for no reason in particular. Just because. It is one of those days too fool around with your hair and try to make something of it.

Have a good day, you all. Enjoy your day off.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Towards the end of the day...

I just talked to my older sister. We talk on the phone a lot. We give each other lots of courage, each when we need it, sometimes one more than the other, lately she more than me, but that is okay, I gladly give her all the courage I can spare at this time of the year. It's almost been a year since her husband died and it is tough for her to live through the holidays now and keep the business running in the present economic climate, so she calls me and we talk and hopefully it helps. I am glad she finds her trust in me and her peace of mind. She's a tough broad who needs a listening ear.

It's been a good day. It's been a cold day. Every time I took the Überhund out I shivered in the cold wind and, of course, he had to dawdle and sniff at interesting spots for a long time. He's not done until he's made his mark on them and even then he'll go back and double check.

I went grocery shopping int he morning and I was cold on my bike riding into the wind and my empty shopping bag was waving like a flag on a steamship. I bought enough food for the next couple of days, until it is New Years and I will have to make sure I have supplies to last for those days off. I bought Napoleons to have with our coffee for when the Exfactor came over, because I figured I wanted to make it a bit festive since I had not seen him in a while.

He came over at about 1:30 PM and the Überhund was beside himself to see him, he wagged his whole rear end and squealed like a puppy. He has not forgotten who his first alpha male was, even though that is I right now. He acts like a little spoiled pup when the Exfactor is around as if he never gets any attention otherwise and is starved for treats and petting and all sorts of contact. I have to call him to order an tell him to calm down and behave and settle down.

The Exfactor actually stayed for an hour and a half and we had a good visit and chatted up a storm. Both of us were very relaxed and could enjoy each other's company. I think the fact that we both survived Christmas as well as we did was a big reason for that. Neither one of us had felt the urge to check on the other person's wellbeing during this time, assuming that all was well and if it wasn't we would hear about it.

After the Exfactor left, I caught the bus downtown and went to the optometrist and picked out a different pair of glasses, which, because of the warranty that I had, only cost me a tiny bit of money, even though they were more expensive then my original glasses, which was good, because I thought I had to pay the full price and I was very relieved. Because of the strength of the one lens, the new glasses won't be ready for a week, so I have to be patient, but I think I can manage that. With some of the money I saved, I bought some clothes at my super discount store for which I had a certificate for 25% off and I managed to buy two nice items for 21 euros.

Feeling very satisfied, I fought my way through the crowd to the bus stop and waited for my bus. There was now way I was staying downtown, because it was teeming with people shopping and tourists and you had to walk very patiently between the hordes of people to get from one place to another and then try and get into the entry of the store you wanted to get into. The cafés were full and there were no empty tables and I was hungry so I went home, where I had the big chocolate candy bar with orange filling that the Exfactor had brought me. It was very delicious.

This means that so far I have only had junk food to eat today and I am planning on having a bowl of muesli shortly to get some halfway decent food into me. It's all very wonderful to eat chocolate and whipped cream and it does wonders for my mood, but it is not very sustainable and I need something substantial.

There were more Christmas cards in the mail today, making me very cheerful and one was from my old boss whose secretary I was 36 years ago and we have kept in touch all these years. He had moved and gotten a new phone number, so I called him right away and he asked me when I was coming to visit my home town, where my older sister also lives, so I could visit him. I am going to have to make some sort of arrangement with the Exfactor about him taking care of the animals while I go up North for a few days. I haven't seen my older sister in a while either, so it is time.

Now I'm sitting here quite hyper from all the chocolate and in need of slowing down. I think the best thing I can do is put on my pajamas and get into the semi sleep mode, after I have had my bowl of muesli. Something sleep inducing is bound to be on TV. The Überhund wants something from me, but I can't figure out what it is. Maybe he just wants attention.

Well, that was my happy and fulfilled day. I hope yours was equally so. Oh, yes, I did clean the bathroom, I almost forgot to mention that.

Have a good night.



I managed to sleep until 7:30 AM again and I just finished my first mug of coffee. I woke up at 3 AM with the silly idea that I had to get up, but luckily I had enough good sense to go back to bed after I realized that I was drunk with sleep. I laid me down in bed and was departed to dreamland in the shortest amount of time, I think half a minute. Such a silly woman am I, to want to get up in the middle of the night to turn on the computer and read blogs.

It's a compulsion to want to be up in the coziest hours of the very early morning hours when nobody else is awake and to be active then. But it is a silly one, because I screw up my sleeping schedule and I have promised my SPN to try and do something about it. So, I am trying very hard to sleep through the night and to ignore the desire to get up when it is far to early to.

Sometimes I am wide awake, though, and there isn't an ounce of sleep left in me and I have to get up, because staying in bed is senseless. I think that has to do with having a mild case of anxiety about what is going on in my daytime life, such as anticipating Christmas on my own. Now that it is behind me, I can sleep much better again.

The cats dragged home a big bone of something and the Überhund has laid claim to it. He has placed it on his blanket and guards it very protectively. Woe is the cat who tries to get near it. This makes things very easy for me, because now he is so busy protecting that bone, that he forgets to be bored and ask for treats. It makes me think that I ought to ask the butcher for bones, or maybe buy soup bones that have a little bit of meat on them.

Yesterday I got off my lazy butt and vacuumed all the rooms and vacuumed the furniture too. This was after I changed the bag in the vacuum cleaner which was dead full of dog and cat hair. It sure made a difference in suction power. I have to change it more often than I think I do and I can notice it by the results of my attempts at getting the sofa hair free. When those are futile, it is time for a new bag.

Today I have to tackle the bathroom, another one of my favorite jobs. At least the dirt is all mine, except for the paw prints in the wash basin, where Toby likes to hang out. He thinks the shape is perfect to curl up in and have a nap. He doesn't mind that the faucet drips a little bit and hits him right on the head. He is also oblivious of the rain and comes in soaking wet.

Now there is only one holiday left to get through and that is New Year's. It wouldn't be so bad if the whole town didn't set off fireworks at midnight and make it sound as if WWIII had broken out. There is no way to go to bed early and sleep through that.

It's minus 4 degrees Celsius outside. Cold enough to stay inside, but The Überhund still needs to be walked, although right now he is sound asleep on his blanket. If I don't make a move, he'll stay asleep, but I have to get some more coffee.

For now, life is back to normal. I'll be able to go to the grocery store today and buy milk and muesli and dog food and tobacco and filter tubes. Hurray! First I must go and check my banking account and see how rich I am toady.

Have a great day, everyone.


Friday, December 26, 2008

I'm late...

I can't believe I've slept until 7:30 AM. What is the world coming to? I woke up during the middle of the night coughing and trying to catch my breath. I think I was not breathing and that my sleep apnea was acting up, because I was sleeping on my back. I got up until I was breathing normally again and then went back to sleep on my side. That happens every once in a while, but I had not put two and two together.

Now I have had my first mug of coffee and I'm about to have my second. I took my medication as soon as I got up, because I did not want to wait for it to do its job until later. I notice that the antipsychotic works about 30 minutes after I take it and I get a great sense of well being and whatever stress I feel disappears. It is a melting tablet that I put on my tongue so it works very quickly.

Today is Second Christmas Day here, so it is still a holiday and everything is still closed. We always have that second day added to a holiday. I don't know why that is. The cafés will be open though, otherwise the tourists would be bored to death, but the stores are closed. Just when you want to get some good shopping done. Well, not I, but the public in general.

Yesterday morning my sister and I had espressos and pastries of which I could eat half and even then I got in trouble and ate too much and had to make an emergency trip to the bathroom. But it tasted good going down. My sister planned on cleaning house the rest of the day, because her cleaning lady would not show up, of course, and my sister had to work so much this week. What a way to spend Christmas, huh?

I spent the day doing nothing that required any effort. I watched the Queens Christmas speech, that she writes herself, and it amazes me what she thinks are the important issues that are alive in our society right now, because I could have thought of a whole bunch of different things to address the nation's people about, making me think she is not quite in touch with the reality of the situation. I think she is too far removed from the lives of the ordinary people and what we worry about. There was not a peep about the economic crisis and the havoc it is creating everywhere. Some solidarity would have been in place there. It makes you question the value of having a queen who is supposed to be the mother of the people. I think we may just as well have a republic.

I got a gift certificate from my sister to spend on books and I ordered two of them. The Curious Incident of the Dog at Midnight and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. It will take about 4 days for them to get here, but it will be something new to read. At the moment I am reading James Baldwin, If Beale Street Could Talk, but it is a little dated and I am reading it in a Dutch translation which takes away from the rich language that is being used by the black people of the book and that I can imagine as I read it.

I just made myself my third mug of coffee, decaf this time, and it sure tastes good. I love these first hours of the day behind the computer, when the Überhund has piddled out back and he is not yet in a hurry to be walked. It is freezing outside, as was predicted, and I will have to dress warmly. I told you that there has been talk bout skating on natural ice in about a week. Brrr...

Well, I am postponing the inevitable and that is getting dressed and taking the Überhund out in the cold. I won't close this post yet, but be back in a jiffy...

There is a cold wind blowing from the east, although the sun is shining. But the sunshine has no warmth, unless you happen to find shelter from the cold wind. It's not the kind of day to go outside for your pleasure, unless you are a die hard and have very specific Nordic clothes. I suppose it would be nice to walk in the woods where you are sheltered from the wind, but out in the open it's no fun. If you look outside through your windows, you'd be fooled into thinking that it's a nice sunny day outside. If the wind comes from the east in the wintertime, it's always cold, because it comes from Russia, with love.

I am finding shelter inside the apartment today. I'll go out to walk the Überhund, but that is it. The other problem is, that you get an extremely snotty nose when you are out in the cold and you have to have Kleenexes in every pocket of every jacket you are likely to wear.

It always amazes me that the Überhund doesn't seem to be the least bothered by the cold. I always expect him to shiver, but he never does. It's all the same to him, the only thing that bothers him is the heat and he pants too much.

Well, even though it is still a holiday, I have postponed housework to do. I can't get around it, not even if I squint my eyes and look at it that way. It must be done. First, however, there is breakfast. Oh yum, hot porridge in a big bowl. It's high time that the New Year comes along, so I can make some resolutions. My hips are expanding.

Have a lovely day, all of you. I'll be by to read your blogs shortly.


Thursday, December 25, 2008


I'm like a kid on Christmas morning. I am so full of excitement that I can't sleep and I am reading everybody's Christmas blogs and there is good cheer all over the place. If that doesn't get you in the proper mood, I don't know what does. It's all rubbing off on me very much and I think I ought to be having Glühwein now and pieces of bitter dark chocolate.

The message of the season is clear. It's about joy and goodwill and sharing and togetherness and being cozy in each other's company. The whole crazy rat race has led up to this day, the unfolding of the Christmas spirit, and even I as an atheist can feel it. I am a sucker for sentiment.

I am living vicariously through everybody else's excitement and it is so catching. I love reading about everybody's preparations for the big day as I jump from one blog to the other. It makes me feel like I am right in the middle of it. Like I am some fairy godmother who is somehow responsible for making it all happen. What grandiose thoughts I have, but I do feel like that a little bit.

All over the place Father Christmas is being plied with good offerings of milk and cookies or wine and mince pies. I wonder who will get the best presents? If I were him, I would reward those with the wine and mince pies the most. There is nothing better to warm yourself on a cold Christmas night.

I thought I was going to be like Scrooge this Christmas, but I am not at all and have found the joy of it deep within my heart, even if I am celebrating it on my own. It's okay to do it this way and to be alone here with the animals, because the spirit of it is with me anyway and even though I am a pagan, or a doubtful atheist at heart, I understand the goodwill toward mankind and the longing for togetherness and the symbolic gestures of the rituals and I reaffirm the message of peace on earth, especially now.

I am glad that I am not surrounded by a host of cynical people who will even cast a sentence of malignment on the small grasp I still have on the season's indisputables. Who will wipe everything off the table and declare the whole thing as nonsense. I do wish to keep acknowledging some of the absolute downrights still. Such as goodwill to all men and peace on earth.

Being single allows me to make my own rules about how I celebrate the season, about what elements are important to me and how I think and feel about them. It's wonderful to have this feeling and to make the discoveries. I am no longer fitted in one straight jacket or another, either one at opposite ends of the spectrum. I don't have to please anyone but myself, nor listen to anyone's dissertation about what Christmas is all about and how it should and should not be celebrated. That's my freedom of choice.

I will festively dress today and have morning coffee with my sister. Her children are with their father until the weekend is over, but I think she has plans for the whole of that time. She has a large group of friends and acquaintances.

The Exfactor sent me a short email announcing that he was busy, but that he would come by for a while on Saturday afternoon. I replied why he thought that this might be convenient for me. Now I must make a plan for Saturday afternoon. I will not be taken for granted like that.

I am expecting an extra 100 Euros from Social Services and when I get it, I am going to pick out different glasses, because the ones I picked out were only 29 Euros, the cheapest they had, not including the lenses, and I have decided that I am not all that happy with them. I think they make me look too stern and that they are not flattering enough. I want to see if I can find something better for a bit more money. So, that is going to be my Christmas present to myself. I get a 25% discount through my health insurance and I have just found out that they are tax deductible. The reason I mention this, is that it would be nice if I had the money on Saturday and then I could go downtown in the afternoon.

Well now, I am not having a good goose roasting in it's own fat today, but I will eat what I usually eat. I doesn't matter, because I would hate to have to face a plate of food I couldn't eat. I think I will make a simple rice dish and than the Überhund and I can eat that together.

Have a really terrific Christmas everybody and blog about it, please. I want to know all about it.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Nothing Better.

There is nothing better than sitting in your pajamas and you bathrobe, with your warm slippers on, behind the computer on a cozy weekday night, with your dog by your feet in the vicinity of many brightly lit branches with silver balls hanging of them, to give you that Christmas feeling that you have been looking for since you started sending those first Christmas cards.

All that is missing now is a pumpkin pie in the oven and a container of real whipped cream, but I made up for that by buying some real chocolate chip cookies this afternoon of which I have eaten enough now to make me slightly sick. So, hold you horses on the cookies. There really can be too much of a good thing, Irene. You greedy old thing.

The sparkling branches give a festive feeling to the room and there are ten of them in the vase so it makes for a pretty show. The silver balls reflect the light and make it look like carnival. I am having my own Christmas Eve with the slumbering Überhund who is oblivious of the importance of the occasion. I did give him extra hugs tonight, so a little bit of joy would rub off on him.

One cat took off with one silver ball and pitched it across the living room, but I managed to retrieve it intact and put it back in its place secured a little bit tighter. There is too much temptation for them there and doubtlessly it will not be the only ball that hits the dust. They are pretty sturdy, though, not having been made of fragile glass, but some sort of plastic.

So you see, I was swayed by the spirit of the season after all and could not withstand making it a little bit festive. The balls were a late addition. I have strings of beads too, but I think that will really be too much temptation for the cats, so I won't put them on. It is good the way it is.

I had to move two plants to make room for the vase with the lights and the plants look perfect where they are now, which makes me think that I will buy another big plant where the vase with lights stands now. It has to be a plant that can stand low light conditions, so I will have to search for something in the nursery in January and find a big pot. So you see, I always have some scheme brewing.

I am managing to keep the plants inside alive that are hard to kill and that I only have to water really well once a week. If they need special care, they die or don't thrive. I don't have a green thumb for indoor plants. They have to have their own will to live. Nothing can be dainty or fragile, all has to be hardy and tough. Tough broad plants.

The Überhund and I are having a stand off. He is refusing to eat his food, because he only wants treats and I am refusing to give him any and tell him to go eat his kibbles. He looks at his kibbles and then gives me these pathetic looks as if he wants to say that I treat him badly for making him eat that stuff and walks away from it. I know that secretly during the night he eats it when he thinks I don't know about it. I am refusing to budge. He resigns himself and goes to sleep.

Now I am going to watch some TV and hopefully something good will be on No choirs singing Christmas hymns.


Another Bright Day.

I have been up for a while, but at first couldn't figure out why I wasn't getting the show on the road properly, until I realized that I was drinking decaf coffee. Now, you can't tell me that that doesn't make a difference. So I very hastily made a mug of regular coffee and drank that and now I am functioning the way I should. Boy, I was worried there for a while. I thought, "Now what, what in the world is wrong with me?" As if I hadn't had enough to worry about.

Now I am sitting here quite contentedly enjoying the quiet hours of the early morning and all is well with the world. The Überhund tried to talk me into giving him many treats, but I ignored him completely and finally told him him a firm No when he wouldn't let up and now he is sleeping on his blanket, no doubt feeling very neglected and misunderstood.
Sometimes he behaves like a spoiled child, but I suppose I can only blame myself for that, because I can be such a push over and he can be very persistent.

I had ordered some boots on line the other day and they arrived yesterday. I got them on sale and paid for them with the money that my older sister sent me for Christmas. They are very nice and I am very happy with them. They are half length boots and have one strap across the instep. They are dressy enough to wear with skirts and dresses, so I can wear them all the time. I will probably wear them out this winter, as I seem to wear out all of my shoes and boots in one season. It has something to do with my uneven hips and the uneven length of my legs.

Anyway, it's nice to have new boots to wear and I like these especially, because they hardly have any heels and are very comfortable to walk in.

On Monday I managed to find more Christmas cards and sent another bunch on their way. I went to a drugstore and they had all of their cards on sale already. Then I went to the textiles store in the hope of finding something at a very good bargain, but there was nothing I would have liked to wear at any price. It pays to go in there every once in a while, because you never know what you may find there, but you have to be careful to not buy something that looks cheap, even though it is, if you get my drift.

There was a long line at the little post office in the grocery store and I waited patiently to buy my stamps. Everyone in line seemed resigned to the fact that they had to be patient and wait. There was no grumbling anyway. I wonder how that one postal worker doesn't get overwrought when faced with such a long line of people. It's good to see that so many people still send Christmas cards, though.

This morning I have ergo therapy and I am looking forward to it, given that my present mood persists. After this, there will not be any therapy until January the 2nd. I don't know how tough that is going to be yet, but I'll make the best of it and a lot depends on my state of mind. My state of mind depends on how well my medication works and and I'll know in a few days how that works out.

I do know that right now I feel very good and could just about tackle anything. Nothing seems daunting to me now and I feel pretty fearless. I do want to write that down especially in case I want to look back at that later in the day. You can all be witness to the fact that I stated this.

Now I am going to hang up and see what other sort of trouble I can get into at this hour of the day. There probably isn't that much I can do, but then there is always early morning TV. Oh yes. I get BBC Prime, not BBC 1 and 2, I think that's a darn shame, unless someone tells me that BBC Prime is good. Then I promise to pay better attention.

Okay, that's it.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I am in a good frame of mind right now, so I thought I would write a quick post, as we may have found a solution to my problem.

I went to see my SPN this morning and had e very tearful session in which I let my heart speak and told her all the bad things that were on my mind and together we tried to find a solution. We tossed around all sorts of ideas, but I was feeling kind of hopeless and could really not see the forest for the trees.

Finally I said, "Could it be the new medication?" and she said that she had just been thinking the same thing. She promised to talk to my psychiatrist and call me at home if he was of the opinion if maybe that was the problem.

She called me this afternoon to tell me that they think that the new antipsychotic is not working for me and is causing me to have these extremely depressive moods and my psychiatrist made some crucial phone calls and, because of absolute medical necessity, has gotten permission for me to go back to my original antipsychotic medication, for which I won't have to pay a penny. Isn't that a wonderful thing? He must have twisted some arms to get that done, so I am very grateful.

I picked up the medication this afternoon and already took one pill and will take another one tonight. It will take a few days for it to build up in my system, but I should be in better shape soon.
So, I just wanted you to know that and to hope with me that there maybe is light at the end of the tunnel.


In order to...

In order to understand this post, you need to read the post before this one that I wrote last night and that was a true confessional of sorts and took me some bravery to write. So, please go and do that first.

I am diagnosed with two disorders, namely Bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder. The rapid cycling that I talk about in the last post, and that I have talked about a lot previously, are very quick changes in mood that go from one extreme to another all in a day's time within the span of hours.

This opposed to the longer changes of mood which last for weeks or months when I get depressive episodes or hypomanic episodes that belong to the bipolar disorder.

My psychiatrist and my SPN and I have decided that the rapid cycling belongs to the borderline personality disorder, which I will call BPD from this point forward. Rapid cycling is one of the symptoms of BPD and one of the hardest ones to deal with. Your mood goes from one extreme to another during the day and can repeat itself several times.

It causes a lot of mayhem in your life and there is not really a medication for it to stop you having these moods. I take a mood stabilizer, but that one is really for the more longer term mood changes that come with the bipolar disorder.

Rapid cycling can be triggered by events or thoughts or perceived threats, but sometimes it is not at all clear why the sudden mood changes happen. It is like a switch gets flipped in your mind and you go from being cheerful to morose and depressed in the shortest amount of time and then, after several hours, you go back to being cheerful again and then it may happen again all in the course of one day.

It is very difficult to be caught up in this cycle and when you are at the lowest point, it is difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel, because you suffer. Sometimes you suffer very deeply and you want a way out permanently.

My depressed episodes are accompanied by a great deal of self loathing, so that makes it extra hard, but I try to remember the period before that when I was still cheerful, although that is difficult to do at that time.

Yesterday, the option of committing suicide seemed like a very reasonable one to me. I just don't have a good method. This morning I don't want to be dead, but I also don't know my own frame of mind yet. I'm caught somewhere in the middle.

I just want to tell you that the medication doesn't fix everything, although it fixes a lot. I would be in such dire straights without it.

I have an appointment with my SPN this morning at nine. I will thoroughly discuss the situation with her and try to come up with some solutions, but there may not be any.

That's all I wanted to say.


Monday, December 22, 2008


It's late at night and I have just woken up after haven fallen asleep on the sofa in my bathrobe and pajamas. That seems to be a the way I do things now. I fall asleep watching TV and get up and go to bed and sleep some more there. Except for tonight. Tonight I want to tell you something.

This morning I wrote a very cheerful post, because I was feeling very cheerful. I am sorry to say that within an hour of writing that post my mood had plummeted down to nothing and I found myself in a state of great anxiety and depression.

I don't know what caused me to feel that way and I tried very hard to climb out of the black hole I found myself in. I couldn't figure out a way to do it and I was so upset and distraught that I almost forgot how it had felt to be cheerful an hour earlier and I could only feel this sense of doom.

This constant changing of moods has been going on for a while now and sometimes I can tie it to an event, but more often than not I can't, so I am left in the dark as to why it happens and how to resolve it.

This morning I thought that if this kept going on, I would at least be able to kill myself so that this endless rapid cycling would stop. Having thought that, I felt a bit calmer, because I saw it as a solution to end something that I do not have a grip on.

I went to creative therapy in that mood, because I thought it would improve there when I was busy with my collages and in the company of other people, but for some reason that made no difference. During our coffee break I stood out on the smoker's deck and all I could think of was the best way to commit suicide.

My mood finally lifted when I came home again. When I walked into the apartment and was greeted by the Überhund and I hung up my coat on the coat rack and made myself a mug of decaf and sat down to smoke a cigarette. Suddenly all the heaviness and the darkness of the morning slipped off my shoulders and I could think clearly again. It took me about half an hour to gather myself together emotionally before I felt like I was my normal self again, but then I was okay.

As I write this, I am struggling again, but I know that I will go to sleep in a while and that when I wake up it will be gone again. It is an utter feeling of despair.

I just wanted to tell you the truth, that's all.



After a terribly boring Sunday, it is a new week again and I am so happy about that and I can tell you that I have been looking forward to it all day yesterday when I did nothing but blog and watch TV and took the Überhund for walks. Oh, I am sure I could have done more interesting things, but when things got too boring, I took a nap on the very soft arm pillow of the sofa and it was a good way to get through the day. I actually watched some decent TV and saw some interesting documentaries. One was abut food design and how it was made to be as appealing to the public as possible. Very fascinating and educating and I will never look at food the same way again.

When I tell you about my days and I state that there are lesser days, it is never with the idea that I am complaining and am asking for some solution. I just tell you the facts and share with you what happens here, both the good and the bad, and I know the bad days are always followed by good days. Which does not mean I don't appreciate the input, but sometimes I know when I am in a less than optimal situation and that I need to do something about it. I don't want to give the impression that I am a helpless female, because I am not. Sometimes I'm temporarily off course, but I always find my way back somehow and manage to get to the point where I'm supposed to be.

Anyway, I am full of good cheer for the coming week and I hope that the mood I am in now will stick to me and will help me get through the rest of the week. I have both creative and ergo therapy this week and then it will be Christmas and we''ll have a week off until the day after New Year's when there is an extra creative therapy class. You can bet that I am not going to miss that one.

I was hypomanic when I started the ergo and creative therapy classes, so at that time I had a lot of courage and brawn. It was easy for me to step into them then. Now I am not at all hypomanic and I miss that feeling of over competence that comes with it. I have a lot of balls when I am hypomanic. I am meek when I am not and miss that courage to start something new and I remember this feeling from when I was a child. I went through an extremely shy period when I was a fearful child. It seems I have not shaken off that particular trait yet in certain moods. Therefor my fear for going to the new creative therapy class and having my whole week upset as a result of it. Fear of the unknown.

Today I am going on my hunt for more Christmas cards and hopefully I will find some decent ones. I never enjoyed sending Christmas cards as much as I do now and I don't know why that is. Maybe it used to feel like an obligation and now it feels like a fun thing to do. Isn't it funny how you rediscover yourself when you live on your own? You make up your own mind about what you like and what you don't like without the subconscious influence of the other person. Sometimes it isn't even subconscious, sometimes it is blatantly out there.

I suppose everybody needs a large period in their life of being totally autonomous. Of being an independent thinker and doer. I never had that opportunity until now, so you can say that I am a late bloomer, although I am coming back in many ways to my original self. The unspoiled self I was when I was a very young adult, except with a lot more experience. I find that I have core values that are unchangeable, although they had been malformed and hidden for many years. That's what you get from hanging out with the wrong people.

Well, that's all for today. I'm going to have a good look in my closet to see what I am going to wear today. I feel kind of festive and that needs to be celebrated with color.

Have a great day!


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Middle of the night.

You could also call it very early in the morning, whatever. The fact of the matter is that I wake up at 3 AM and that there is no stopping me from getting out of bed and getting the day started. I must admit, though, that I like these wee hours of the very early morning and that I spend some of my happiest moments then. I like the coziness and the solitude and the silence of the world around me. I can pretend that I'm the only person awake for miles around.

The best part of living alone, is that I don't upset another person with my schedule. I can be awake or asleep whenever I want. It used to bother the Exfactor something awful when he heard me type in the middle of the night, because he was a light sleeper and my nighttime activities always woke him up. Now I can do whatever I want and I am glad about it. This is one of the very things that would prevent me from starting another serious relationship. It would be the loss of freedom to do whatever I want at whatever time of day.

I don't miss having a man in my life. Sometimes I am a little bit lonely, but not necessarily for a partner. That loneliness can be filled by anything and anybody. They're just lonely moments and not moments that I long for a partner. It's just more of a longing for human contact and it's up to me to fix that problem, but most of the time I am perfectly okay on my own. I find a lot of comfort in my own company. The realization that I can be who I am without having to adapt myself to someone else is a blessing.

Well, I went out on my bike first thing yesterday morning to find some Christmas cards and I did at one store, but I think I got their last box and now it seems that I need to go out and buy another one. I need not despair, however, because there are several more stores where I can have a look.

I have decided that I like sending and receiving Christmas cards very much, so here is a gentle hint. If you want to receive a Christmas card from me, email me your snail mail address and I'll add you to my list. You can email me through my profile. Please feel free to do so, because sending cards is just about the most fun activity that I can think of for Christmas. I really enjoy it and it is almost as good as receiving them.

I have put up the twinkly branches and it looks very nice indeed. It gives me the festive feeling just a little bit. I need to cut off a branch from the Golden Rain and decorate it. I'll see if I can do that today with the aid of my stepladder.

I did finally sweep the patio, which was covered with rotten leaves and I layered all of those in the flowerbed. I figured those would make good compost. I cut back the winter blooming jasmine a bit, because it is such a rambling plant and wants to grow all over the place. I will have to do it again in the springtime.

I am not very interested in gardening in this period of my life, as opposed to a time in my life when I was crazy about it and it was my greatest hobby. It is not something I get excited about now. The patio is just a place where I hang my washing to dry when the weather is good and that is about it. The cats hang out there and the Überhund piddles there in the morning. I do like the Golden Rain when it blooms, it is a beautiful sight.

I bought the muesli with the apple and raisins, but I can only eat a small amount of it before I am full and I chew it very well. So, that means that I eat a little more often during the day, but in smaller amounts. I think in the end that's better anyway. I have also been drinking more fruit juice instead of coffee. I think I drink three tall glasses of that every day. It's most refreshing when you are thirsty and I am always very thirsty because of the medications that I take. They give me a very dry mouth. That's one of the drawbacks you learn to live with.

I have gotten used to wearing my glasses constantly. Now, when I take them off for some reason, my right eye does not like that at all and goes funny on me. It's like it can't focus. That must be because of the astigmatism., but that is all guess work.

I never did get around to vacuuming the furniture yesterday. I got sidetracked every time I planned to do so. I may do it today, even though it is Sunday and my official day off.

I had some ups and downs yesterday and the only way I knew of how to fix the downs was to go to sleep for a little while, because that always seems to get me out of the slump. If I nap for just a little while, I feel better when I wake up, as if my brain has reprogrammed itself and the negative energy has switched to positive. There is such a difference in my attitude between the two poles, you'd think I was a different person emotionally speaking.

I try never to blog when I am negative, because it is all doom and gloom when I do and the last thing I want is a post that is based on my negative depressed feelings. Sometimes I start one, but I always have enough sense to delete it. At least, I am speaking of the here and now and not of the past.

When I feel myself sliding down the slippery slope, I always try to remind myself of all the reasons I have to feel happy, but it doesn't always work. I concentrate very hard on all the positive things and try very hard to stay in the present moment, but regardless of that, sometimes the gloom wins for a while and that is just the way it is.

Well, those are all the words I have for you this morning. I must say that I am enjoying my mug of coffee very well and I am about to make a new one. One decaf coming up!


Saturday, December 20, 2008

One of those nights again.

I woke up at 3 AM, wide awake and not one bit of sleep left in my body. I stayed in bed until 3:30 to make sure I was really awake, because there were two cats sound asleep on top of me, but I didn't fall back asleep and decided to get up, much as I hated to disturb the snoozing cats.

While I was putting on my bathrobe, the Überhund woke up and decided he wanted to go out for a piddle, so I let him out back and gave him a treat when he came back in for being a good boy. He is now sound asleep on his blanket under the coffee table and I think I will not see him awake again for some time. He does like his nighttime rest.

It is very cozy here all by myself with the animals asleep. I feel like these moments could go on forever. I treasure them very much. It is because I fall asleep on the sofa after dinner that I wake up in the middle of the night. I try to fight that by finding an interesting program on TV to watch, but so very often there is nothing on that really grabs my attention.

Yesterday was a very decent day. My mood didn't tumble all over itself and I was pretty steady. Rather than vacuum, I swept the whole apartment and had little piles of dog hair and grit all over the place. That did make the job very satisfying, but I still have to get out the vacuum cleaner to do the furniture. Sweeping however is so much better than dragging the noisy vacuum cleaner around, I do dislike that intensely. It is the noise that bothers me so. There are periods in my life when I just can't cope with that.

I even had a period in my life some years ago when I couldn't cope with any kind of noise and I wanted the TV and the radio off and for there to be complete silence in the apartment. I realize now that this must have been hard for the Exfactor, who could only read or do other very silent things, but I didn't stop and think about it then. I guess I was like a tightly wound string that would break if there was too much input.

Anyway, I'm happy to report that I made it to the grocery store where I bought 12 liters of milk and delicious muesli with apple and raisins. The milk came in big cartons, that's why I was able to buy so much of it. The muesli is good for me to eat as opposed to the porridge, because it fills me up quicker, so I eat less of it and eating less is always better when you are like me and you enjoy your food too much. The porridge slides by my gastric band too easily and makes it too easy for me to eat too much of it, so I didn't buy any of that.

The Überhund is always full of curiosity when I come home from the store and pushes his nose into the bag to see if I got anything for him. I very rarely disappoint him, because there usually is a snack for him and he knows it. The cats are equally curious and at least one of them climbs into the bag while I am emptying it, getting caught in the strap and not being able to figure out why they can't get out.

I was unable to buy more Christmas cards as they were all sold out, so today I must hunt for them. I am trying to think of the most obvious stores close by that sell Christmas cards so I won't have to go all the way downtown. Of course, there is nothing wrong with going downtown, but I only see the sense in that if I also get to shop for myself and since I am on a self imposed non shopping policy, I won't tempt myself by going there. I have taken a good look in my closet and I can't find a good enough reason to buy any more clothes. Can you believe I said that?

The Exfactor came by in the early afternoon. It is now a standard procedure that he comes by at least once a week and has a cup of coffee with me. I look forward to his visits and we chat about the little things that happen in our lives and then he leaves again. It's like he is a good acquaintance. I have no specific feelings for him at this time. I don't feel strongly one way or the other, but that may be because I choose not to. Given enough time, whatever I once felt, will fade out and merely become a memory and something to look back on.

I do notice that he very much lives in his own world and is preoccupied with the things that concern him and those are what dominate the conversation. I don't actually know how much of what I tell him penetrates his thick skull. As a result, I don't tell him very much. I mostly listen. I do think he comes to check and see if I'm not completely off my rocker, but that is as far as his interest goes. I don't think he is all that involved.

My sister and I took the dogs for a long walk and I get the feeling that my function in this life is to be a sounding board for people who have a lot going on in their lives. It has always been that way, because I have the tendency to be the quiet listening type who seems non judgmental and apparently that makes people feel comfortable. My sister always has a lot to unload and I am always amazed at her ability to keep her life on track. So, I listen and make the odd comment here and there. I try to not become involved emotionally, because I could really let things get to me and I don't want that. So, when we are done with our walk, I put everything out of my mind. My sister is getting enough help. She doesn't need me as her therapist.

Oh, I just realized that today is Saturday. Where am I with my mind? Well, hurray! The weekends keep being special and I always feel like I am having mini vacations. Imagine how I would feel if I had a job. I suppose that I subconsciously feel enough stress during the week that I feel an unloading of it during the weekends. Well we all know that my stress threshold is very low. I may look like a very brave woman on the outside, but I am an easily scared human being on the inside.

I was not going to decorate at all for Christmas, but I have some branches with little twinkle lights on them and I think I will stick those in a vase and put them somewhere in the living room. I can make it festive a little bit. I have gotten eleven cards so far and the mail brings new ones every day. I am happy with every one of them and next year I will send out even more.

So, my mission for today is to find Christmas cards and to vacuum the furniture. That doesn't seem too complicated. It's good to have these things clear in your head, lest you start running around like a chicken without one.

Well, my dear people. I wish all of you a very good Saturday and lots of very good weather. It's going to be drizzly here and not very cold, as opposed to, I'm freezing my buns off.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Picture and Award.

I am sitting here with a nice mug of coffee after I have just woken up from a nice nap on the sofa. I was watching CNN News for a change, but it did not prevent me from falling asleep. I don't know about you, but I find CNN News a strange phenomenon with all those Kens and Barbies who cheerfully present the world events as if they are nothing but equally casual bits of tidbits of unimportant information. I wonder how they would present the end of the world...and now back to you, Ken.

It has come to my attention that you all would like to see a picture of me with my glasses on and since I can't ignore that request, I took a bunch of photographs of myself today and tried to look as friendly as I could. I deleted a bunch of them and then was left with a couple to choose from. I hope I picked the best one to show you, because here it is.

I don't think it is the most flattering picture of me, but I am not in the mood to sit and take a hundred photographs in order to get the best one. That would be rather obsessive.

I was also given a reward by the lovely Diane, which I really appreciate and which is this one here.

Now, I already have this one, and I think I have already handed it out, but that doesn't spoil the fun.

So, this was just a little in between post. I must go and walk the Überhund now.


Friday Morning Once Again.

It's going to disappoint all of you when I tell you that I didn't go to that new creative therapy class and it wasn't because I was too tired to go, but because I was too intimidated to go. I simply did not have the guts to go to a new group and become part of it and do my work there. I chickened out and when I made the decision not to go at the last minute, a huge amount of stress fell off my shoulders.

I don't know what it is with me, but everything new intimidates me and rather than face up to it, I choose the easy way out and don't do it. I get such stress from having to do something new in my life. I affects my mood something awful and I become a nervous wreck who can't function properly. I am not proud of it, but I have found no way to deal with it yet.

The rest of the day my mood was up and down, the way it has been lately. I hit high points and I hit low points and I try to get through the low points by remembering that they are temporary and that after a few hours they will be gone and I will feel better again. I get very morose and down on myself and see the world colored black. Then, when that mood is over, I see things in heir proper perspective again and I can think clearly and see that it isn't so.

So, there is some rapid cycling going on and that seems to come with the time of year, I think. I am warding off a real depression and fight my way out of the low points by finding ways to distract myself and by trying not to believe what I think.

The good news is that my welfare payment came 2 days early, so I can go grocery shopping, which I badly need to do and I could pay some bills. I was hoping it would be and kept checking my bank account.

The other good news is that my eyes have become completely adapted to the new glasses and now when I take them off, there is a hell of a difference, especially in the right eye, which is a -3 and has an astigmatism. I find myself paying close attention to people who wear glasses on TV and comparing their glasses to mine and seeing how they look in theirs.

My household is still getting nowhere. I have stopped making myself promises that I don't keep and just sort of mess about. I know it will resolve itself over time, like it always does, but in the meantime I hope the queen doesn't come over for a cup of tea.

So you see, I have nothing interesting to tell you. My life is an up and down seesaw and I'm eating too much. I think I don't like the wintertime too much, but I don't consciously hate it. I think this week wasn't a good week for me, although I may have sounded cheerful enough. I am avoiding things and that is no good. I have to make amends next week and do a better job of being present.

Structure, that's what it is all about.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Once again...

Once again I am sitting here in the middle of the night all bright eyed and bushy tailed and very much wide awake and have been for about an hour. You could say that my whole sleep schedule is turned upside down and I really don't mind it so much, except that yesterday it made me miss my ergo therapy class, because I found myself having to go back to sleep an hour before it was time to leave.

So, I sleep in the morning, am awake all afternoon, fall sleep after dinner on the sofa, drag myself to bed at around 11 o'clock and then wake up in the middle of the night. It certainly is an interesting schedule. Today I must make it to my new creative therapy class, because it would look very bad if I didn't show up.

Now partly this schedule I am on has to do with my sleep pattern, but some of it has to do with my mood, which seems to be fluctuating up and down and sometimes I feel very good, as if I can take on the world, and then I get rather low and I feel like avoiding everything. It is a little bit like rapid cycling without the extreme hard edges. I know that if I feel low, sleeping gets me over that, so I sleep.

Anyway, yesterday started off as a frustrating day once I got up, because I saw all this housework that needed to get done, without having any of the motivation or mental energy to do anything about it. I just felt defeated by it. I sat on the sofa and drank many mugs of decaf and smoked my cigarettes and thought about the vacuum cleaner, but that is as far as I got. I did the dishes and a load of laundry. I felt like I was in a slump and I couldn't see my way out of it.

So, I decided not to fight the thing and to just let it be and not worry about it and to not beat myself about the head for it. It is that time of year and I will get over it. I also knew that I had to get some groceries and I didn't even feel like doing that and was considering drinking my coffee black and liking it that way. Anything seemed better than going to the grocery store for some reason.

However, I did have to go out that afternoon, because I had to pick up my new glasses at Specsavers and I called them and they told me that they would be ready at 3 o'clock. So, at 2:30 I walked over to the bus stop in the drizzling rain and caught the bus downtown. I do so like sitting in the bus and watching the people get on and off and I always try to imagine what they are all about. When the weather is bad, the bus is always crowded and there is a lot of people watching to be done.

I got to Specsavers right at 3 o'clock and had to wait for a little bit while a final adjustment was made to my glasses. Another chance to people watch.

Then it was my turn and I put on the new glasses to see if they fit properly and I said, "Oh my God, what a difference!" Everything was so sharp and bright. The man who helped me, made some small adjustments so they fit really well and out of the store I walked into a new world. It was an eye opening experience, excuse the pun. I have never seen the world that bright and clear before. It truly is amazing.

So the first thing I did, was stop by my sister's work to show her my new glasses and she liked them very much and she is very blunt, so she would have told me if she hadn't liked them. She sent me an email later in the evening telling me how much she liked them, so that is good.

It was busy downtown despite the drizzling weather and I decided to walk to the grocery store and do some of the most necessary shopping there. It is very handy to have the grocery store downtown, but you must have one there for all the people who live there. I also bought tobacco and filter tubes there and carried my heavy bag to the bus stop on the market square, where I could take a number of buses, but I waited for the one that would take me closest to my apartment, having to haul the groceries with me.

The Überhund was his usual beside himself when I got home. he is just so happy when I get there. It is a joy to see. The cats show their own minimal interest, they are too cool to get all excited. The first thing I did was have a mug of decaf with a good shot of milk in it. That certainly tasted good.

Then I opened my mail and in the mail was an end of year accounting from the energy company telling me that I was getting back 123 Euros. You can understand how happy that made me, because all along I have been so conscientious about using gas and electricity, but I do turn the heater on when it gets cold and I do have enough lights on for coziness. I was afraid that I had not been paying enough, so it came as a real pleasant surprise.

There was also a letter from Social Services telling me that I am getting an extra 50 Euros this month. And there were 3 Christmas cards, so all in all that was very good mail. I would like to have mail like that every day.

When I first put on my glasses, my right eye, which is my worst eye, had to adjust a bit and I was very much aware of the fact that I was wearing glasses. But as the day wore on, my eye got used to the correction of the glasses and when I took them off at night, I realized what a difference they made. I can wear them behind the computer, but for reading a book I still need reading glasses. I have a pair that I could never wear behind the computer, but that I use for reading in bed, as they are a 2,5 strength. I also need those when I look things up in the phone book.

Now I must figure out a good way to wear my hair, as I am not happy with the way I have it now. It is very flat and dull and does not at all fit my image, so in a little while I am going to mess with it. I must have interesting hair. For the same reason, I must find something interesting to wear, I mustn't be a dull woman. I have to jazz up my image.

So, with those famous last words I leave you and I am going to look in my closet and see what jumps out at me. There are probably things in there that I have forgotten about and that must see daylight again.

Have a terrific day. Hope all your days are as bright and sharp as mine are now.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

For lack of...

Since it is early in the morning, and I have caught up on reading all the blogs I follow, I think it is a perfect time to write a post as I sit here with my third cup of coffee (decaf) and one of my numerous cigarettes. I think early mornings are one of my favorite times of the day, because nowhere around me the day has started yet and all is quiet and peaceful. Even the paperboy hasn't been by yet on his noisy scooter.

The reason I wake up so early, is that I actually fall asleep quite early in the evening on the sofa while watching the news and when I wake up, it is several hours later and then I drag myself to the bedroom to sleep in oblivion some more. It is very pleasant not to completely wake up in between, but sort of walk around the apartment in a half awake state and shut off the lights and turn down the heater and make it to bed where I almost immediately fall asleep again.

I take naps during the day too. I do so when I feel my mood plummet and experience tells me that the best cure for this is to go lie down and sleep for a while, because I always wake up refreshed and in a much better frame of mind. This is what happened yesterday afternoon, when I badly needed to sleep, but had to go to my gastric band appointment. I decided to reschedule the appointment and to sleep instead for the sake of my mental health.

It does mean that my schedule is kind of screwy right now, but it can't be helped and I remember going through a period like this last year and I blame it on the time of year, when I really have hibernation tendencies. Maybe I should be like a bear in his cave and burrow in and not come out until the early springtime. Except that I would miss the food, which I seem to need copious amounts of right now, but that also belongs to the time of year. Comfort foods that make me feel good. No, no sweets and cookies, just plain food.

I am still not cleaning the apartment the way I should, but today at ergo therapy, I'm picking up the daily schedule that I made on an hourly basis and that will help me get things done in some sort of fashion. I think that is exactly what I need to get the show on the road again, because it will give me some guidance instead of this aimless puttering around that I do now. Aimless puttering around is very nonproductive and you achieve very little by it. It keeps you a little occupied, but it shows no results and you may as well do nothing at all.

My appointment with my SPN went well. We talked about the coming holidays and how to best survive those and my plan to just treat them like any old day and to not get sentimental about them. She was also pleasantly surprised that I had not had any problems switching from the one antipsychotic medication to the other, because it seems that people do. I had a smooth transition and suffered no ill effects.

The Zyprexa is working well and sometimes I try to purposely form those compulsive thoughts in my head again, but nothing happens, so I know I am cured of them. It's pretty quiet in my head and all the demons have been put to rest. I think I may be the least bit melancholy, but again, I blame that on the time of year, when I have a tendency to not always be at my upper most best.

Even though I needed the sleep, I do miss going to creative therapy, but I am going to have a chance to work on my collage tomorrow when I go to the extra creative therapy class. Today I have ergo therapy, also called bother therapy, and I am curious if the obnoxious person will show up with her negative attitude. I think the therapist is beyond kind and patient with her and treats her very well, something I would not be capable of, but that is why I am not the therapist.

This afternoon I get to pick up my new glasses and I can't wait to put them on and see what the world looks like. I am very excited about that and I am glad that I've overcome my vanity and am willing to wear them now. I have been paying special attention now to people who wear glasses and see that they are used as a fashion accessory and make a statement about the person who is wearing them. You can be as fashionable as you want to be, although my glasses are more understated and not so very obvious. I am hoping to be thrilled to bits.

Last night I dreamed that I was moving back to the States. It was a quite complicated dream with all sorts of side events in it that I can't make heads or tails of. I had to leave a lot of my clothes behind, because there were too many to fit into two suitcases. I had to leave the country, because I had realized that I loved the Exfactor very much and that this was interfering with me building up a life of my own.

The Exfactor was very upset and tried to dissuade me from leaving, but I was adamant that I should, but I did it with pain in my heart. In my dream I realized how much he was the better half of me and how we had been split apart and how that would hurt me for the rest of my life. I had to leave in order to grow whole again.

In my dream I was under the impression that a better life awaited me in the States, but the details of it never became clear to me. I did get the feeling, that if I went there, I would grow in leaps and bounds emotionally as a woman and that I would be light years ahead of who I am now.

In reality, I know I will never go back the States, because I know I have no sort of future there as a psychiatric patient. I wouldn't even be able to get health insurance that I could afford or a job to pay for it. So, I must interpret the dream symbolically. If any of you out there have any ideas about this, please let me know. It may be that I have to regain some of my self assured and cocky American identity, instead of the meeker Dutch one that I have now.

Well, that's all the sharing with you I have to do at this moment. I hope you have terrific day.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tuesday Morning.

Yesterday morning at 8 o'clock, I was sitting on the sofa, watching the teletext news and waiting for it to be time to leave for my creative class, and a terrible tiredness fell over me and I started to fall asleep and I realized that more than anything I wanted to go back to bed and sleep some more, so that is what I did. I slept for another 3 hours and when I woke up I felt ever so much better.

I could tell that I needed to sleep some more, because I was starting to feel a little bit defeated and that is always a sign that I better go back to bed and not do anything else. If I don't get sleep when I need it, it affects my mood so much and that is one thing I don't want to happen. It did mean that I missed my creative class, but I figured that sleeping was more important at that time. I was right about that, because the rest of the day went smoothly.

The only thing I am having a problem with right now is doing the household. I am being very lax in it and I am leaving some jobs undone and just can't find the motivation to do them. I keep postponing jobs and promising myself that I will do them tomorrow and then I still don't do them. I suppose I don't care enough if they get done or not, otherwise I would put some effort into getting them done. I am so not a typical Dutch housewife.

I did do groceries yesterday and I am eking out the money that I have left until the 20th when I will get my welfare payment again. It's a challenge to go to the grocery store and buy what is absolutely necessary and not spend a penny more. There is a sport in that and I am not complaining, because I'm still better off than other people who have nothing. I count my blessings every day and I did have the added expense of the new glasses, which are not covered by my health insurance, believe it or not.

I do like a challenge when one comes my way and I can be a penny pincher just as well as the next guy and, even though I like to buy pretty things, I can withstand the allurement and close my eyes to them and walk away from something very attractive, even when it is a very good deal. I'm lucky in that I've found some shops where I can get decent clothes and accessories for a good price, because I certainly don't need to shop in the expensive clothing stores which abound here and which the town is famous for.

So far I have gotten 4 Christmas cards and yesterday I sent out 5 more and I think I need to buy another box of cards and some more stamps, because cards are coming in from people that I had forgotten. So, you see that despite myself, I am getting in some sort of Christmas mood anyway. I do enjoy sending the cards and receiving them, especially when people have gotten my surname right. That's a real big one! Some of the cards are very pretty and I enjoy looking at them. I am not at all a Christian and the purpose of the season is lost to me, but I appreciate the little rituals that come with it.

Today I get to see my SPN and I am so happy that I see her once a week, because she is one of the steady things in my week that I always look forward to. I feel very grounded when I have been there. We have tried to make our appointments every two or three weeks, but it has always been necessary to go back to once a week. I suppose it is not possible yet for me to do without her for a greater length of time. I have an enormous amount of trust in her and I like discussing my thoughts and actions with her. She always gives me good feedback.

I also have to go to the Obesitas Nurse Specialist to get weighed and discuss if my gastric band is going to be filled some more. I have to go to the hospital for this appointment and it is late in the afternoon, so it will be dark when I get home. I very often take the bus, but today I am going to ride my bike over. It's really not that far, but I always like the luxury of riding in the bus, which delivers me right in front of the hospital. Now that I write this down, I may change my mind and take the bus anyway, so I won't have to ride my bike in the dark.

The cats surprised me. I bought a box of cheaper cat food yesterday and I honestly thought they might not like it very much, but they are eating as heartily as the more expensive one. I don't understand this, because they are usually so finicky. I suppose if they get hungry enough, they'll eat what's being served. The Überhund is being finicky and I have to take away his bowl of food regularly, because it is just sitting there. I have two kinds of dog food, but I don't know what he wants anymore. Today I am going to serve some of one of them with some broth and see if he likes it that way. I have a huge bag of it and I hope he will like it. What he wants, is to live on treats.

I was going to show you my collages, but the photographs I took this morning didn't turn out well. I took them with and without flash, but I'm not happy with them, so I want to redo those in daylight. So I owe you those.

Well, that's it for this morning. I hope you all have a great day. It's foggy and 2 degrees Celsius here. What I wouldn't do for a bit of sunshine.