Surfacing (Again)

Brown skin woman with dark brown hair facing the camera with a small amil

Current events have me down. However, I’m feeling more hopeful and energized than I have in quite some time.

Today is a very bad pain day. I’m currently flat on my back trying to ease it a bit. I also actually left the house! I had to go get some labs drawn. These are for my PCP. I just had a set done for my rheumatologist. I need to schedule my follow up with my nephrologist soon. Plus I finally got an appointment with a new endocrinologist.

My blood work isn’t great but I am working on getting my numbers better. I’m disappointed with my rheumatologist who has essentially thrown up his hands about pain management. My labs aren’t showing arthritic inflammation to his satisfaction. There’s not many medications I am able to take for arthritis pain due to my diabetes and CKD. So here I am. Figuring it out on my own.

My therapist, however, is a treasure. My work with her is hard, challenging and delightful. I’m moving forward in learning to prioritize myself, self-care and wrangling my demons.

I feel alive in a way that I haven’t in years. I am crafting more regularly and trying out designs that push my creativity and skill. I’m delving into vintage jewelry and bringing some of the aspects that I like into my own work. I’m trying to drive more traffic to my website so I have the funds to get the supplies I need to bring my ideas to life! I’m super happy with the package that a friend sent to me. So many beautiful elements! It’s given me even more new ideas for designs.

Life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. Sales are slow. My nesting partner and I have much to work on. Our AC stopped working but was quickly repaired. Still waiting for her insurance company to pay for her GCS. I miss my wolfcub terribly and have no idea when we’ll see each other again. The laptop I use for work, is old and slow. Frustratingly slow.

But.

I, for the moment, feel alive and hopeful.

Netherworld

Surprising no one, I’m depressed. Not the deep, dark mire kind but the vague, don’t care about anything, nothing brings me joy kind. I feel like I’m drifting through a grey netherworld. Everything is muted.

I’ve revamped my GoFundMe. Finances are deeply concerning. My partner’s surgery is being appealed to the insurance company. On top of having been on short term disability and only receiving a portion of regular salary plus not getting paid for the time we spent attending to family emergency (my partner’s mother died). ~sigh~

I am managing to craft new items for my online store. Dragon & Wolf Designs I’ve been trying to keep up a regular presence on social media to get traffic. It’s difficult while I’m feeling so blah about life though.

My birthday is coming up soon as well. 52. What is my life?

Everything feels like a struggle right now. My pain level has been relatively high of late. I’m trying to just keep moving even so.

My sleep has been weird. Incredibly vivid dreams around moving, attending events and being lost. Lots of dead family and friends are dropping in. It’s likely related to my fresh grief for my partner’s mother added to the anniversary of my own mother’s death.

Trying very hard to stay away from reading too much about the awful current events. I want to stay informed but I don’t want to doom scroll.

I’m still hanging on to hope. Though it is really really really hard right now.

Dark Skies

I can’t get out from under the dark clouds. I feel useless, hopeless and pessimistic.

I know it partially stems from the bad health news. Partially from super slow sales (had to cancel on a show due to illness). Also, my pain levels have been higher.

I mean, I have had some good moments like feeling creative and making several new things to list. Plus my NP got insurance approval for her surgery. And we are getting solar panels installed.

Overall though I am worried that I won’t be able to reverse the trend of my worsening health. My kidney function has decreased and my A1C has increased.

Time to try some radical self care. So far, I have taken a closer look at what I eat and how it makes me feel. My blood sugar levels have decreased and are closer to normal. I am also being more active. I have CBD gel caps and oil to help with pain and anxiety. I have other tools in my Coping Toolbox that I need to use much more like music therapy and dancing about like the awkward goof I am. Plus fun nail polish colors. I need to pull out the coloring books and crayons as well. Spend more time crafting.

So hard to get started though. My head is full of self doubt, guilt, anxiety and a sense of futility.

So I need some help. Peruse, shop and/or share my store! dragonwolfcrafts.com

Get me something from my wish list or donate directly so I pay bills this month PayPal.com/CherylMartin

Gratitude

The subject of gratitude came up recently with my partner. They were unable to quickly come up with a list of things they were grateful for. I, on the other hand, very quickly listed several things off in my head. I discussed this with my therapist. She posited that it is another manifestation of the differences in outlook between my partner and I.

Anyway, I wanted to take a moment, breath and feel gratitude. This time of year is very difficult for me (as it is for many others).

Grateful for my wolfcub. You make me feel safe, cherished and understood. You fully accept my broken, flawed, crazy ass.

Grateful for my NP. You provide a home for me and my cats.

Grateful for my Nia. You helped me grow so much.

Grateful for Jo. I’m forever thankful you wouldn’t let me sleep on the bus all those years ago.

Grateful for my big brother, Keni. We’ve seen a lot, you and I. You were my first and best friend.

Grateful for my sister in law and extended family. I love you so much.

Grateful for the kids in my life by blood and by choice. It’s a pleasure watching you grow into amazing people.

So, so grateful for fellow unicorns. Y’all rock.

Grateful for my imaginary internet friends who live in my computer. Your support, understanding and generosity over the years has been beyond anything I could have imagined.

Not Coping

I’m in a pretty dark place. Have been for some time. Yes, I’m going to therapy and taking my meds. Right now, though, neither are helping. I lack motivation and hope. It’s hard to make myself do stuff as nothing I do seems to matter. I’m discouraged by the slow sales at the two events I did recently. I’m discouraged by the lack of relief from my prescribed pain meds so I’m supplementing with arthritis strength acetaminophen which at least lets me background the pain. I can’t take any NSAIDS due to CKD. My blood sugar has been all over the place. My appetite as well. It’s been over a year since my last period so I’ve moved into menopause. I’m tired all the time.

My therapist recommended that I try spending time on the patio in the sun for at least fifteen minutes each day. Unfortunately, with the shows I had to do and the travel involved plus the awful cold I manage to catch (again), I wasn’t able to give it a try. So, now that the cold symptoms have diminished, I will set a reminder to go sit in the sun each day.

I’ve also been drinking a lot of tea. Tea is relaxing. The whole ritual of making tea and then sipping it slowly. I wish I had a wider variety. I went through the ordeal of renewing my nutrition benefits so I’m still able to buy food for myself. I’ve had trouble finding foods that are within my dietary restrictions that I want to eat, that I feel up to preparing and that aren’t too expensive. Mostly, I sometimes really need easy and quick.

And this. I need to write out my thoughts more often. I’ve had so much trouble getting things out. So just starting with a random thought seems to work. I will make another reminder to do a blog entry each week.

Bleh.

Oh, hey. https://www.gofundme.com/f/investforbrightfuture

I’m having a sale at my shop!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/DragonWolfCrafts

https://www.customink.com/fundraising/support-craftyfriend

And then

I went on an interview yesterday. I was qualified for the job but honestly, it wasn’t something I could do full time especially with the commute across the city. But it felt good to get dressed up and give it a try.

It solidified in me, my desire and drive to push my business to sustainable income levels. Lots of work ahead but it is what I want. I feel such deep satisfaction and joy when I’m making things. When those things find new homes, it fills me with even more happiness. This is a good path I am on.

Today, I’ve been doing come household chores that I’ve put off. I’m tired and I hurt but that stuff is done. Go me.

I need a nap.

I’m selling t-shirts to raise money to get a desk and any extra will go towards getting crafting supplies. Check out http://www.customink.com/fundraising/support-dragonwolf

Not Quite All There

Of late, I have felt ephemeral. Like I am walking through the world without actually interacting with it. I feel like I am fading from existence and no one will mark my passing.

It’s like nothing I do truly matters.

I have small moments of existence when I make a thing or my cats love on me.

Otherwise, I am just wandering around, empty and without purpose. I feel distant from the world.

Fall has always been my favorite season. But here, the leaves don’t change color and fall to make piles for jumping in. The air does not change scent in the same way. I watch the rain from inside instead of dancing in it.

I suppose I will continue to make things and enjoy the solidity and feeling of realness it brings.

http://dragonwolfcrafts.etsy.com

http://dragonwolfcrafts.storenvy.com

New!

So today I saw my new therapist. My former therapist retired so I had to find someone else.

First, her office is a much, much shorter drive and no highways! I thought my appointment was at 10a so I scrambled to get out of the house no later than 9:40. Then I realized, nope, my appointment was actually at 11a. So I came back in and dorked around for a bit. Then I left early enough to get there 15 minutes early. Of course, I missed the turn and had to make my way back. Still, I was early so I was able to calm down and breathe.

She is great! Very open, friendly and up on trans and polyam and I am so fucking happy. We went over my past and touched on what I want to work on and it went by really fast and I’m so glad.

I scheduled three more appointments. I’ll be seeing her biweekly.

I’m relieved, y’all.

More Health Updates

I’m feeling kinda down because I followed-up with my rheumatologist and found out that she’s moving out of the area. So my medical team is breaking up. It took so long to get a good team and start to find answers. I feel a little disheartened.

But I see a new therapist in a couple of weeks and am hopeful she will be good fit. I’ll follow up with one of the doctors at my rheumatologist’s practice. I’ve seen him before and I think it will be fine.

We talked about pain management which is all that can be done really. And about menopause a bit. Because she is easy to talk to and I have concerns. I need to ping my primary care doc about it as well.

She’s fine with me self-medicating with CBD. I just need to find the money to get more of the gel caps. It helped with both the pain and my sleep issues.

She also said the monsoon was likely causing increased pain as I suspected. So there’s that. She recommended that I try regular doses of acetaminophen to stay on top of the pain rather than trying to mitigate it once my pain spikes.

My birthday is coming up! I will be over 50. It feels weird. I actually got carded the other day. I feel every bit of my age but I guess it doesn’t show (yet).

If you want to help me celebrate, I’m happy for anything!

http://paypal.me/CherylMartin

https://smile.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/1RSQX46H3S1P0/

https://smile.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/1H5NA7N64H37Q

Thank you! And remember, you are not alone. I love you. You matter.

Drowning Out the Brain Weasels

Yesterday was my last therapy session before my awesome therapist retires. I have an appointment with a new therapist in a few weeks.

Meanwhile, my brain weasels are working overtime. I’m exhausted from working two shows in a row. The last one was four days due to the holiday on Monday. We did well. My partner’s chainmail creations sold very well. My own, well, not so much.

Saturday was the 23rd anniversary of my mother’s death. My birthday is coming up in a bit over a week. Many memories, dreams and thoughts have been dancing through my mind.

Reflection on the life I thought I would have versus what I actually have.

Feeling useless and a failure. My pain levels have been high as well.

So right now, I am listening to music. Loudly. Hoping to lose myself in it long enough for my brain weasels to give up.