24 May 2020 Memories and Anxiety – coping with ghosts of the past

Hello to.  How are you doing today?  I’m up and got Link out on the morning drag.  When you walk Link it’s not always you walking him but him having a pretty good idea of what the walk is about.  He definitely has his own agenda!  Boy dog stuff – “I MUST pee here and  I MUST leave a dribble on this particular blade of grass.”   Since he’s been back home he’s also been barking in the house a lot more than I remember him doing before.  He and Spot used to bark, but not as much as he has been doing lately. He doesn’t have Daddy to keep  him line!

5 May 2020 Link and I on walk Parkway Park Alvarado TX

Lately I have been coping with anxiety that is associated with memories.  So much of my life is filled with my husband that with us being separated like we are, I have been having trouble.  Everything I do has a memory associated with him and that evokes a feeling of anxiety and longing in me,   Every part of the day from eating breakfast,  going for the morning walk, playing a video game we used to play and even taking a shower at night are all filled with memories…..ghosts of our shared past.   He  was and in my mind and heart still is, my everything.  I am having to make new patterns and I can feel myself resisting doing that.  I don’t want to figure out how to live my life without the man I love!  

My family has been reminding me that I have to stay in the now and quit going backwards to avoid those anxious feelings and it’s hard for me right now! I am sure God has a plan in all this but some of it sure seems to hurt!

I baked cupcakes yesterday to take out to him and the family for Memorial Day.   I had packed up a bunch of my kitchen stuff so it was nice to get it back out for that – to do something normal.  Hopefully the weather is going to cooperate.  They were talking about us getting potentially heavy rain tomorrow…..I hope not.  I have been looking forward to this for so long!  I miss my husband, Spot and most definitely seeing tangible family.

Not much else to write.  I’m trying to stay in the habit of writing as a part of my therapy and coping strategies.

Thank you for stopping by!

 

ghost” in the English Ordinal system equals 69

people” in the English Ordinal system equals 69

 

22 May 2020 Good Morning and Communication (Discord program)

Hello to you.  How are you doing today?  It’s a new day.  I started my day today trying to coax Link to go outside and do his business after the rains we had last night.  I’m probably going to have to take him for a walk to do it.

I began my day with sending my husband a good morning text and a picture of our “son” being cute as he resists me.  Even though we are not together right now, in my heart we are.  Link is not just a dog but a Link to my husband and to Link’s family of origin.  No matter how far apart we are inside or out.

What dogs teach us is every morning is a good morning.  Every moment is precious.

22 May 2020 – GOOD MORNING!

I found another way to communicate with people and that is through a an computer program called Discord (https://discord.com/).  My husband uses it to communicate with his gaming friends or he did.  I play an MMORPG Rift from time to time and joined a guild that has a Discord Channel.  They are really nice people and there are a couple ladies that use it that are my age.  They aren’t on all the time, but when they are it’s really nice to have people to talk to about something besides my problems.  I’m just trying to find various ways to help fill the void for daily human contact and communication I’m living in right now.

I’m grateful to my family and friends that have been sending texts almost daily.  It’s amazing how just a few words on the phone can help make a day start off right!  If anything all of what I’m going through has made communicating with people outside of the home even more important.

 

 

21 May 2020 Feelings come and go

Good morning.  Well Link and I had our walk, eaten breakfast and now some laundry.   I am grateful to be able to do those things after looking at the headlines for Michigan this morning – severe flooding.

I didn’t write yesterday.  My husband had a journal for a little while when he was welding and he said it was a bit like may be a diary of a blacksmith back in the day, “Today, I made a sword.”  The next day, “Today, I made a sword and a hammer.”  It gets real dull after awhile.  I honestly don’t have a lot to write about right now and feel a little dull!

I am still wrestling with myself about whether or not to keep my handwritten journals,  I was talking with someone in the health chat program I’ve been using lately and they brought up a good point.  Feelings come and go but once I get rid of the journals that’s it, they will be gone.   There are memories from my current marriage like playing scrabble with my husbands Grandma before she died.  I am having a real hard time thinking about tossing away stuff like that.

I spoke with my Care manager yesterday about my anxiety issues lately.  He had a lot of the same ideas my cousins wife Tawna, who has a Masters in Psychology, had to offer.  He suggested breathing exercises, yoga stretches, making a safe place for being in and visualizations.  He suggested church groups, prayer, meditation and reaching out like I have been doing with family, friends and chats.  He is calling me once a week now.  It’s helpful to have a professional checking in and being able to talk to him.

Other than that, I am missing affection.  Between social distancing and my husband and I being separated it is hard.  I am grateful to have Link as he likes to cuddle and is affectionate.  We are planning on getting together for Memorial Day (25th).  I hope when I see him and his family there will be hugs even if we have to wear masks!

20 May 2020 – My cuddle buddy Link

 

19 May 2020 Moment to Moment

Hello to you.  How are you doing today?  I’m doing better now that Link and I had our walk and then I made myself some breakfast!  I know, simple, normal things but it’s those little things that help me move forward.  The past couple of days have been a moment to moment kind of thing.  I will be feeling ok and then if I’m not careful I will start ruminating on things from the past or memories and just get all anxious inside.

I am realizing that I have always been this person my husband has left me alone with.  The difference before was I had work, running, playing video games or something else to help get rid of it.  So this time alone is definitely getting me reacquainted with a self I used to be and realizing what used to work isn’t going to work this time!

As I’ve said before, I do believe God has a plan for me and I’m pretty sure what I’m going through is part of it.   Some times only tough love gets what needs to be done accomplished.

From the people I’ve been talking to lately, a lot of anxiety going around so I’m definitely not alone.  We all just have something different we are going through, but we are definitely not alone.  With all this social distancing I find myself missing hugs and kisses a lot.  I’ve been sending and receiving a lot of virtual hugs lol – just not quite the same as real ones!

Anyhew – hope this finds you well and loved.

hugs and kisses” in the English Ordinal system equals 156/128/141/128……….

18 May 2020 Reaching out

Hello to you.  It’s Monday again and I made it through the night.  Sleeping through the night is rough right now even with an  aide.  I’ll wake up in the night and anxiety provoking thoughts float flitter in.  A lot of them center around my husband.  Our family and friends have really been helping during the day but they can’t help me through the night.  Link is my cuddle buddy but he can do only so much!

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of reaching out a lot more.  I find even a couple texts back and forth help me.  I have been feeling almost paralyzed in my body lately.  I am having to force myself to do things that used to seem so effortless before.  Things I used to like to do are more difficult right now.  Just watching the wrong thing on tv can provoke swells of anxiety in me.

Writing here has been helping me process what is going on inside and keep my family and friends up to date on how I’m doing.

For me, right now, it’s one moment at a time and to continue to reach out.  I don’t ever want what has happened the past couple of years to happen again.

I am having to remind myself a lot to stay in the present moment.  My inner voice, that sounds a lot like my husbands voice, saying, “Jackie, stay here.  Stay in the now.  You can’t change what has already happened.  You can only go forward and be better.”

Thank you as always for stopping by and walking with me on this journey.

17 May 2020 Comfort from unlikely places – visit from Sam

Good morning to you. It’s Sunday as I write.  Link and I got out already and manage to get around the block together.  We snuggled all night and were reluctant to get out of bed but we needed to.   The past few days I have been set up in the bedroom with  my laptop.  I just haven’t felt like being in the rest of the house for too long right now.  I’m in the middle of a process right now and it’s a very uncomfortable place to be.

I have been receiving really good advice come from my faraway family and friends.   I have been practicing some of it the past couple of days.  The advice isn’t new but when you are in the middle of “the feelings” you just don’t remember crap to put it bluntly.  My cousins wife has helped me with remembering to do deep breathing, may be to try counting when I walk if I find myself ruminating on things too much.

The words of comfort and great advice help me in my head but my body is different.  I miss the tangible presence of my husband.  I miss hugs.  I miss kisses.  I miss waking up and seeing him and hearing his voice.   I miss having someone to talk to that at one time use to understand me better than I understood myself sometimes.

The Nothing Compares To You song was in my head this morning.  It’s the first song my husband and I listened to when we got home after Sam left us.

Sam visited me in my dreams last night and was so excited to see me.  He was bigger in our dream visit than when he was here in life.  He was healthy and vibrant and full of joy.  It was very comforting.  I think it was God working in mysterious ways again.  God just knew I needed comfort from an unlikely place, to have a visit from an old friend.

This morning I went and got the fleece version of him I sewed 9 years ago now and just held him this morning.  It helped me some to do that.

I sewed this fleece version of Sam 9 years ago. I started sewing these to help me with grief and it only makes sense this one would help me now.

Writing about all this is helping me process part of what’s happening in my life right now.  Thank you for visiting, reading, your kind thoughts and your prayers.

16 May 2020 Making it another day

Hello to you.  How are you doing today? I’m finding myself in a better place this morning.  I feel grateful to be making it to another day in the circumstances I find myself in.   I am trying to remain grateful.

Last night I had another battle with anxiety.  What happens is I start thinking too far ahead or ruminating on all the uncertainties in front of me and things I can’t control.  Then I start to get that extremely uncomfortable anxious feeling in my gut.   Relief has come from physical exertion and doing normal things.  I am having to relearn what normal things are for myself right now.  I find there are a lot of things I used to do that I just can’t bring myself to do right now.

I really feel like  I am really having a test in my life right now with the concept of mindfulness.  That concept of staying in the present moment.

I am having to ask myself internally a lot, “what can you do about it and if the answer is nothing right now why are you dwelling on it?”  Something my husband used to do for me and now I’m having to do for myself is to remind myself that worrying about things doesn’t do any good.  It’s usually easier said than done he’s right.

The pandemic is still here in Texas but they have really started to lift restrictions so places can open back up.  I went to get groceries yesterday at our local Brookshire’s and some of the shelves were cleared out!  One of the biggest areas that was cleared was the aisle with cleaning supplies – nothing but concentrated Clorox for example.  I can tell they are having trouble keeping some things stocked up right now.  I’m just grateful to be able to get the basics right now.

Well I hope however this blog finds you that you are well.  Everybody is telling me that I’m strong and that I will get through all that’s going on.  I’m just learning to take a few steps at a time and having a lot of faith.

 

15 May 2020 Clearing out (process)

Hello to you.  How are you today?  I am trying to start my day off right.  I made myself some breakfast and am trying to stay in the present moment which is kind of hard.  I have a lot on my mind these days with everything that is going on.  I know I’m not alone.  Each of us has a lot going on, it’s just a little different and varying degree for each person and situation.

So I am dealing with some anxiety I can’t seem to shake.   I miss my husband and the life we had together with Link and Spot when it was good.   I’m having to find what my life is now and it’s tough some moments.  It’s become a moment to moment sort of thing.  Through the wonders of technology I’ve managed to get closer to my family and some friends again.  I have found a couple chat rooms to be a helpful resource of being able to talk to people so I don’t feel so alone.  I’ve just been doing whatever I find is helpful to do to try and keep the anxiety and fear at bay.

Yesterday I got a little relief from my feelings by clearing some stuff out my husband and I don’t want to move.  My neighbors wanted some of the furniture we wanted to part with and I was only to happy to give it to them!  Things are narrowing down in the house to easy to move, easy to pack and that’s what we want.

I think the interacting with people and the physical exertion of moving the furniture helped me feel better inside.  I have been a bundle of nerves for several days now.  So much uncertainty.  I can imagine what I’m feeling is might be what people who have jobs and can’t work now are feeling because of the pandemic.  It’s definitely a feeling of being powerless.

So the house echo’s more now with less in it….kind of a weird thing but it’s just part of the clearing out process we are going through.  I’m sitting here with a laptop thinking of when my husband, Sam, May and Amber and I first got to this house.  We arrived and all we had were pillows, suitcases and a laptop.  I feeling things going full circle again in a way…but it’s just Link and me right now.

For whatever reason this is part of what God wants me to go through right now and I have to face it.  No matter how alone I may feel at times the past couple weeks have shown me I’m not.  I thankfully have Link.  There are people, to include my husband who care and are there for me if I need help.  I’m just having to do something that has never been easy for me and that is to ask.

14 May 2020 Support Systems

Hello to you.  How are you doing today?  Well I’m up, got a load of laundry in and some hot tea brewed.  I got some sleep last night which is important right now for me to stay strong.  I’m working on the new laptop I ordered  and so far so good on that.  I bought it planning for downsizing and mobility for my future.

So what’s on my mind after the past couple of days is support systems and how important they are to have when you are going through the many things I’m going through at once.   I just recently got out of the hospital.  We are planning to be sell our house.  I will be making a long distance move.  My husband and I are separated and will potentially be getting a divorce.  That’s a lot of stuff to go through at once!   Everybody that knows, loves and cares about me wants for my happiness so a support system is getting stronger to help me through all of this.

I have been talking a lot to the family I ultimately will be living with and near.  They have become a strong support system for me long distance but they have encouraged me to make sure I have something here as well.

My husband is only able to do so much considering what is going on between us.  I am realizing without him here with me just how much I relied on him for a bunch of things to include moral support.   It’s really hard living without him!  With everything that’s happened,  I can’t completely rely on him and his family now and understandably so.  They have already been very helpful and are doing what they can given the circumstances and for that I’m very grateful.

One of the big obstacles for me right now is living in the house with our shared stuff and contemplating getting a POD delivered and having to pack it.   I’m feeling a overwhelmed and have been experiencing a lot of anxiety.    My Aunt encouraged me to back off a little and allow my husband to do his part too.   What’s going on is a lot of the stuff we have isn’t even worth keeping or selling.  He’s already taken most of what he says he wants out of the house but there is a lot of furniture and clothing yet of his here.  I can’t just put everything to the curb for the garbage to pick up.  The garbage people only pick up so much stuff at a time.   I just have to be patient about this and trust we will get it all worked out.

So I am having to use the system that has been put in place for me and reach out in the ways I can so I stay connected.  With this pandemic going on things aren’t as easy as they used to be but at least there is something.

Like my Aunt told me yesterday, we are going to use the technology we have to our advantage.  She said she has been praying for me a lot and God even answered saying, “She’s your gift.”  I hope so, sometimes I don’t feel like one!  We decided we can talk every day if we want to!  We will do whatever we have to do to get through this as a family.

Yesterday I also had a long visit with my cousins wife who has a Master’s in Psychology and that really helped a lot.  She emphasized the importance of my utilizing the system I have access to.  For example just having someone to talk to at least once a week from a professional standpoint that isn’t family – someone to check on me kind of thing.  So I made contact with my Care Manager and arranged for that.  As she and I talked about, just having someone to talk to even for a few minutes really helps you get through the day. Something else wise she said, “we are not our problems.”   Hearing her say that really resonated with me.

I am sharing all of this as a way to help me help others if that makes sense. Writing also helps me process what  I’m going through.    Something I learned when I was in AA was to share my experience, strength and hope.  When you share the difficulties you are going through and how you are going through them, you can potentially help someone else facing similar circumstances.

Thank you in advance friends and family who visit me here and read.  Your support means a lot to me!

12 May 2020 Let them help you

Hello to you.  How are you today?  I’m hanging in there.  Trying to take care of myself and Link in the midst of a personal time of crisis.  Yesterday we had our first realtor come and take a quick assessment of our place.  Link didn’t like it at all.  I don’t know how well trying to show a house with us in it is going to go.  He chased and barked at the guy the whole time he was in the house!  Having Link is part of the reason I’m anxious to sell the house and get to Idaho as quickly as possible so he is situated with family again.   This whole situation hasn’t been easy on him either.

Today the realtor is supposed to have some numbers for us so we can decide if we want to go ahead and list our place with him.  The reason I chose him is he has a lot of familiarity with the property in our area.  He seemed pretty optimistic about being able to turn the property pretty quickly.  I don’t want him to do it too quickly because we need time to clear out the place and Link and I need a place to live.  I want to stay in the house until we get it all cleared out of our stuff if possible.

I’m trying to move past the anxiety I am feeling so that I can be in my own skin.   Some moments I feel like jumping out of it but it’s getting better.   You know how I was talking about having background noise, well now it’s getting about to the opposite.  I can’t turn on the news without it provoking anxiety.  I can barely turn on the radio for the same reason and that’s EVEN the classical music station!  My personal world is in a tailspin and adding to it with the rest of the world doesn’t help.  It’s not that I don’t care about anybody else in the world, I truly do, but anything more on me is just too much right now.

Life right now is having little things be big things.  This morning I woke up really early with almost a panic about whether or not I would be able to charge my cell phone while Link and I travel to Idaho.  I ran out to the car in the rain to check and thankfully I found I will indeed be able to keep my phone charged while the car is running.

I went back to bed and said to myself in the dark, “I’m scared.”  It’s been a long time since I’ve admitted that to myself about anything.  I’m honestly scared to make such a big journey right now with Link.   A few years ago, in a healthier world,  I don’t think I would be having so much angst about all of this.  There is a part of me starting to resist the thought of moving, trying to stay here, but I know that won’t be good for me in the long term.  This house is more than I can take care of by myself.  We need to sell it now before the “to do” list of repairs gets too much longer.

My cousin and his wife have offered to help me with the journey.  They had talked about driving down here and then we’d drive back together.  The more I think about traveling with Link alone, the more apprehensive I get.  With what’s going on in the country and world with this virus I’m not sure I’m going to want to stop anywhere except for gas!  Just the thought of making a pitstop to go to the bathroom and having to leave him alone in the car is worrisome.  Depending on what time of year it is will make a big difference too.  Flying right now would be out of the question and I think it will be for quite some time.   I’m hoping we have a few months yet and may be things will be safer for travel for all of us.

I have asked for help from my family but worry about being a burden but there is a part of me that is saying, “Let them help you.”  I just don’t want to make a debt I cannot repay.  That’s the kind of person I have become.  I worry about that invisible balance sheet, the “if I do this for you, what will you do for me?”    May be God is trying to teach me something about that.  May be not everyone in the world operates on a balance sheet.  May be the people I know and love are willing to help me without expecting a payment in return.  May be I will repay them somehow once we have a chance to be together.