Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Suddenly, I Lost My Mind....

...for a few months.  Essentially, this is what happened to me.  I even had a dream about it. Should I tell the dream first or the reality that happened?  Better start with reality and then save the dream for last.

From the beginning of my being here in Colorado I have been battling a strangeness about myself that, up until recently, did not have a name.  I had effectively ditched my old life.  A life of security, a job, my condo, my beautiful Alaska.  I lunged forward into the unknown to try and achieve a goal I had been planning for about six years.  

The goal was tiny house living, a nice job, and happily ever after.  What I ended up with was a giant 5th Wheel that was broken before it even arrived at my son's house, no job, and serious money issues.

Well, that's all my fault.  I planned up to the goal and didn't think further than that.  I really like my 5th Wheel, but the term "living simply" is very real in this case.  No running water in the winter.  My water tank has a broken nozzle so water won't stay in the tank.  The hot water heater is fried so completely I have to replace it.  Propane is expensive and without my electric heaters I would freeze to death (kind of like I almost did last winter when the propane froze).

On the plus side, I live in my son's back yard and can go in the house to shower, do laundry and get water.  Of course, there is a down side to living in my son's back yard.....it IS his back yard.  I can't blame my son for this.  He wanted me here.  He said it was his turn.  He took my money and bought my 5th Wheel for me.  Now he's suggesting I go on to other things....he's been suggesting this since he met his new girlfriend and I get it.  I made the decision to move here, and I made every decision since on how to fail miserably at life.  No one to kick but myself.  So I kicked....harder and harder.

Knowing all of this now, you may begin to understand that mentally I hit a wall.  I was pushing myself to get on with it.  I pushed too hard apparently.  One day I just..........stopped.

I went to work.  I came home, sat on the couch and let movies play while I stared off into space.  I felt useless, unwanted, unneeded, unnecessary.......seriously a waste of space.  The honest truth is I had told myself that ceasing to exist completely would be the better action, but, more honestly I really didn't feel like ceasing to exist even if logically it made perfect sense.

You are now thinking, "Wow, she was so depressed!"  It really didn't feel like true depression.  It was just nothing.  Kind of out of body most of the time, except I wasn't looking at myself from outside, I just wasn't inside.  Seriously nothing.

I didn't cross stitch, sew, crochet, knit or get on the internet much.  If I did it was just to see what chats were happening which really didn't do much for me.  If someone asked me a question I would answer and then log off.  I know being offline actually helped me since I wasn't "involved" with life on the internet and could continue to internalize about nothing.

It took some time to come out of that nothing and start socializing more, picked up some stitching, started planning my one WIP at a time situation and getting myself back together.  

Some of you may be suggesting empty nest syndrome............totally not the case.  It's more like my children are all adults (35, 31, 28 and 27).  Three of them are married.  Three of them own their own homes.  They all live far away (except for son #2).  Doesn't this sound like empty nest?  Seriously it's not.  I'm proud of them.  They are successful adults living decent lives.  I LIKE THIS.  What I don't like is the part where I'm not needed or necessary.  What do I do with myself now that I'm finally alone?  My Baby Bird was the last to leave me and she waited until she was 25 to do it...pretty nice of her really.

Finally, feeling too pathetic about myself, and everything in life, I realized that without someone to take care of other than myself, I wasn't driven to excel or aim higher. I honestly don't want to.  But is that true?  I don't know what I want to be now that I'm grown up and alone!  I doubt I'll ever know.

My children suggested I start doing charity work.  The local places all have power craving lunatics trying to be in charge with no concept of what charity work is about....they just want to be the boss of something.  We have to be real here.  It's hard enough to get along with stronger personalities in the work place, but to try and do charity work with a rampaging controlling monster on the loose is just too much.  So that is right out the back door.

I did find a little job at a store here in town.  Minimum wage, was recently promoted to a lead position and it's generally fun.  Not enough pay to move into an apartment or even rent a room.  So, rock and hard place for now.  

The financial mess I got myself into after I moved here has not helped my mental health whatsoever.  With this little job I'm managing to pay off my debt and most of it will be done by April 2020.  I'm at that part right now, like when we all are stitching and we are about 2/3rds done but can't see the end anytime soon and just want to throw it across the room...yeah, that's where I'm at financially and mentally.  Soon I'll get that last wind in and will be able to breathe.

When I finally started dragging my butt off the couch and doing things again, that's when I had this dream.  It made me cry because it was so.........strangely intense and sad.  Describing the dream to you will be difficult.  You all know how dreams can be........all over the place and incomprehensible, but I'll stick to the main parts.

The dream begins with me standing in the lobby of this giant hotel.  I'm alone but surrounded by people coming and going.  I realize I'm waiting for the elevator so I can go to my room but the elevator only takes so many people up or down at a time so it will be a long wait to get on the elevator.  i am not sure if I'm purposefully not being allowed on the elevator so I wait.

I am across the street from the hotel in the lobby of another hotel where I am asked if I would like two standing lamps.  They are either gold plated or brass, but pretty with the golden metal swirling around the frosted glass lampshades.  I take them and go back to the lobby of my hotel.

Standing there I see my friend Vanessa (a person I actually do know) and she is talking to me and trying to convince me to be her girlfriend (yes, this is pretty accurate too, and part of reality, although she's not my type, I don't date anyway but I still think she's great) and somehow she's gone and I'm still standing in the lobby with my two lamps.

A man walks up to me and asks if I'm okay.  (For you readers, he looks like Chris Pratt but isn't.  This is so you have a good idea of the man talking to me)  I look at him slowly and say, "I think I have lost my mind."

It is at this point in the dream I realize that I was feeling nothing during the entire dream to this point.  I realize I had completely lost my mind, my sense of self and was a walking ghost.  I had been NOTHING.  The man has lovely brown eyes that convey sympathy very well, honest feeling was in those lovely eyes.  

I'm also wearing a hospital gown.

The man hugs me and looks at me with the saddest eyes I've ever seen and I could tell he felt love for me and sorrow.

After he stops hugging me I felt...FELT...better, like someone has re-lit the candle in my heart.

There's the dream in summary.  I could go on with more of it, but that's it in a nutshell.  If you are anything like me you would want to research the symbols in that dream to see what might be happening in my sub-conscious....and yes, research was done.

Clothes make a statement about how we want people to perceive us. If your dream symbol is shabby clothing, you may feel unattractive or worn out. Changing what you wear may reflect a lifestyle change.

Faulty machinery in dreams is caused by the language center being shut down while asleep, making it difficult to dial a phone, read the time, or search the internet. It can also represent performance anxiety.

People (other dream characters) are reflections of your own psyche, and may demonstrate specific aspects of your own personality.

Sex dreams can symbolize intimacy and a literal desire for sex. Or they may demonstrate the unification of unconscious emotions with conscious recognition, showing a new awareness and personal growth.

Lamp. To see a lamp in your dream symbolizes guidance, hope, inspiration, enlightenment and reassurance. If the lamp is dimly lit or unlit, then it suggests that you are feeling overwhelmed by emotional issues. You have lost your ability to find your own way or see things clearly.  It is also symbolic of disappointments, misfortune and bad luck.

HotelTo see a hotel in your dream signifies a new state of mind or a shift in personal identity. You are undergoing some sort of transition and need to move away from your old habits and old way of thinking. You need to temporarily escape from your daily life. Alternatively, the dream may imply a loss in your personal identity.


Elevator. To dream that the elevator is out of order or that it is not letting you off symbolizes that your emotions have gotten out of control. It may be a reflection of your life or your career. You are feeling stuck in some aspect of your life, whether it is your career, relationship, etc.

Crazy as all of these symbols sound, they all have a bit of accuracy in how I was feeling and what I was thinking.  The big NOTHING.  It makes sense.

I read a book about parents who are estranged from their children that talks about loss of identity and it made sense as well.  Luckily I'm not estranged in a bad way, just by life and distance.  What the book absolutely was firm about is how it is now time for me to live my own life.  No more service and sacrifice for my offspring, just make my own way from here on out.  I like that very much.

So, I asked myself what I would like to do.  Pay my bills, which I AM doing...check.  Listen to more audible books while I stitch (I've gone through six recently)....check.  I need to move, but where?

Ahhhh, THAT is a darned good question.  Do I stay locally since I'm here?  Do I go back to Alaska?  Do I move to Arizona where I have friends?  Research suggests that regardless of which way I go, it will cost money.  Better make some money.  Luckily I have a little job and once winter is over, I can get back to doing some contract jobs to make more money.  I have time to figure out the where.

I have also challenged myself to planning some trips for 2020.  I will visit my Baby Bird in Florida the end of January.  Go to Seattle for a girl's weekend with my friend Cyndy in May.  July I will be in a posh hotel in Denver for a convention and a lovely reunion with my friend Nancy who is coming down from Canada.  Once again I will be her tour guide in the area in which I live.

You see?  I have begun to plan MY life.  The adventure begins so slowly you would think it hasn't even been planned! I actually like slow.  Slow is fine.

One plan at a time.  One WIP at a time.  One stitch at a time.

And all of that, my dearest darlings, is where I have been.....nowhere, doing and being nothing.  Luckily for me and for you, I am real again all thanks to a hug given by an imaginary man with incredible brown eyes.

Now, go get a candy cane, get your stitching and lovely warm drink and dry your eyes.  It's time to continue living.  

Until next time.....KEEP ON STITCHIN'!

8 comments:

  1. Oh, love...I know you've had a lot of nasty stuff going on in your life this year, but don't think I've grasped quite how much until now. I'm so glad things are starting to look better, and that you are taking control and making plans :) Hope you'll be okay!

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    1. Oh I'll be just fine! Kind of like re-booting the computer is how I look at it :D

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  2. Oh wow Carla. I'm so glad your doing better. Looking forward to seeing your stitching. You mentioned you crochet. I'm crocheting stocking caps for the elderly and homeless in my community. I'm also crocheting little blankies for angel babies in a FB group called Project Robby. Please have a great holiday. My husband has to work Christmas Day. (He has to every year.) So it will be another one alone with my kitties.

    Linda

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    1. Linda, I won't be working Christmas Day, so maybe we can spend it together somehow! I do crochet and knit but my main passion is stitching. I'd love to make a hat or two out of the extra yarn I have laying around, we can talk about that on Christmas Day :D

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  3. I understand. We recently got a cabin and we LOVE it. We counted down the days till we went to our cabin. We started building it the way we wanted to in May. We had a lot of work and projects. The property has a lot of work and we get treated awesome for the work we do for my Dad and Step Mom that own the property. It's just perfect. But Sunday night on the way home I felt terrible. I could feel the happiness leaving me as the miles got longer. I knew I would wake up Monday and stress would start. How sad. I hurried my week days. I just wanted Friday to get here. Then I realized I was literally rushing my life. Life that already goes way too fast the way it is. I have to make each day better. Each day more fun and less stress. Stop rushing my days by waiting for the "good" times. All my times should be good times. So I'm trying hard. I'm glad to hear you are working on you. It's the hardest job to do. Taking care of someone else is a lot easier. Thanks for sharing your story. Please continue to share. Please continue to feel better. (((((HUGS))))

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    1. Oh Katie, I feel you completely! Maybe my brown eyed stranger (that looks like Chris Pratt) will come and hug you too! I also know that when you aren't "happy" where you are at and every time you leave that "place" your unhappiness leaves you as well. I haven't visited your blog in awhile, do you have pictures of the cabin? I'd love to see where you feel your best! And yes, YES, make every day count one way or another.......walking around waiting for something is no good for your heart and mind my sweet friend!

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  4. I just read your blog post and for some reason it reached out to me. I've experienced depression in the past but never like this before. This is more than Seasonal Affected Disorder. I can relate to that feeling of nothingness, being unable to engage, finding no more purpose for life. Thinking I should do this or I should do that, but they're just that - thoughts, the energy is not there, why bother, it's not going to make any difference to the world, to my family's lives. Just going through the motions while I wait to die. You say you started to 'feel' when the stranger reached out to you and looked into your eyes. I believe that was not a stranger but your guardian angel.
    I've started to journal gratitude and it's beginning to make a difference. Not huge I have to say but very slowly life is improving. It's been made more difficult by the social isolation being asked of us at present. I can look out the window now and instead of seeing the same old rain we get all winter I can imagine the underground aquifers, the lakes and rivers below us, recharging. I mean really see it, complete with rocks, gravel, and sand. I'm imagining myself as an aquifer, the drops of water are current life experiences recharging what could have been a complete collapse.
    Thanks for this opportunity to voice what has been bothering me for a while now. I don't think my siblings or children would have understood.

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