I Bumped Into Gloria, I Came Away Healed

I bumped into Gloria today. Well, I didn’t really ‘bump’ into her, but you know what I mean. I saw her, in Safeway.

At first sighting I didn’t recognize her. I was approaching the Starbucks counter to order my grande Americano, and chatting with my daughters friend, when I glanced toward the door and saw this lady that seemed somehow familiar. Now in hindsight I’m almost embarrassed to admit that but it has been about a year, or close to it, and in my defense I think she changed her hair colour, so that may have thrown me off. Funny I didn’t know her right off the bat because my previous relationship with her was a significant chapter in my life.

I started ‘seeing’ her maybe 2 or more years ago now. I am married but we met with my wife’s consent, she’s understanding that way.

Now, before you get the wrong idea I had best explain.

A few years ago I had finally reached the end of my long emotional rope, particularly at work. I felt depressed, unappreciated, and generally unhappy, so I went to my doctor to seek advice. Well, he interviewed me, gave me a questionnaire to fill out at home, then sent me packing to the hospital for a number of tests. Once I had completed the questionaire and the test results had come back to his office we had a second visit. There was nothing conclusive he said, nothing really abnormal or standing out that could cause me to feel that way. He had thought thyroid perhaps, or some vitamin deficiency, but I was normal, or healthy even. He recommended exercise, and perhaps avail myself of the ability to seek counselling, perhaps through my works EFAP (employee and family assistance) program. I did, and it was through that system I met Gloria. She became my counselor/therapist.

Healing
Healing

So to make a long story short we met for some time, and for the life of me I can’t remember exactly how long, but she has helped me in a number of ways. In almost every session I came away with something to think about, and some of them I’m still thinking about. I miss our sessions.

Bumping into her in Safeway I will take as a sign, as a signal that I need to re-connect.

I’m a big believer in fate, in the thought that things happen for a reason, that there are circumstances that are presented to us and if we see them, if we recognize them for what they are, they can lead us down the right road. They can guide us toward making the ‘right’ decisions, perhaps to choosing one avenue over another, and that one/correct way will lead us to the light (and no, I’ve not been smoking crack).

My sign today was seeing Gloria. She makes me remember from whence I came, my path, and the healing I’ve done. I’m close to the end of my journey and I feel so much better. I still have a ways to go but the healing has begun.

On the Road Again…., Again

I’m leaving on the next train…. Wait, that’s a song title, not my next step. Of course “On the Road Again” is also a song but that more closely reflects what’s about to happen today. It’s also the title of a previous post but that has no real bearing here. That was camping, this is a road trip, by car.

I’ve been away from home for a week now. Really 8 days but who’s counting?  This whole adventure is partly a life experiment and partly an opportunity to reconnect with friends and family I haven’t seen for a while. In my Aunts and Uncles case it could be 20+ years.  I don’t really recall the last time I saw some of them.

The life experiment part is a little harder to explain.  Sometimes it can be a challenge for me to pass information on concisely so I question whether I should try to do so here, but what the heck nothing ventured nothing gained.

It all started back in the summer of ’72…… Well, that may be a bit too far back but it was when I met my wife and she has a bearing on this story.  Fast forward to a more reasonable time period, say earlier this spring (2012) to my retirement and just subsequent to it.

I adapted to the idea of being at home (I think) but there was, and still is, some adjustment required when it comes to my wife and I occupying the same space in the early morning, before she leaves for work.  This hasn’t presented any arguments or ill will but it has stimulated discussion, and that’s a good thing.  Better to talk than yell I think.  Everything they say is true, when one spouse retires it certainly provides challenges for the other, actually both if you think about it.

So to make a long story less long we discussed the option of me taking a bit of a road trip at this time, a time when she is just beginning her school year as a Child car worker and things are already stressful.  There are little side stories to her responsibilities which complicate things further and add to this stressful time but needless to say after talking it out we both liked the idea of me heading out for a while and her having some “alone time” so she can re-adjust to the idea of being back at work.  It was also a good fit for me, because while we were able to travel a lot this past summer there were still places I wanted to go and people I wanted to meet.  The idea of a road trip was a win-win.

To begin this adventure. we both went to Kelowna a week ago last Friday to see our daughter and family.  It was a nice treat because they were going to a wedding out of town and we would be taking over sole responsibility of Madden’s care (new grandson) while they were away.  Our first over-nighter, there first night away from the baby.  We handled the challenge admirably and while my wife wanted to stay a bit longer after the babysitting tour she had to get back home.  I took her to the bus on Sunday afternoon.  She was back to the grind Monday.

I stayed in Kelowna until Tuesday when I left to go to my brothers in the Vancouver area.  We had a really nice visit and I left there Thursday, hopped on the ferry and stopped at our friends house in Saanich to commiserate with them.

20120922-121048.jpgThe rest is history as they say.  I left there this morning and now here I sit, having some lunch and a beer, taking care of some business and leaving shortly to visit a friend for a day or so.  From there I’ll try to connect with my Aunts and Uncles and then perhaps go to the Sunshine Coast for a brief alone time before heading out again.

I’ll endeavour to provide an update, goodness knows my record isn’t the best for posting lately but I’ll see if I can pick up my socks.  Bear with me please.

On a more personal note perhaps I’ve been feeling pretty good lately, emotionally.  I don’t feel depressed, or at least most of the times I don’t.  I still struggle with understanding if the issue is really depression or just pronounced mood swings.  Maybe I’ll get smarter as I age.  Time will tell.

Perhaps this road trip will also be an opportunity for me to learn more about myself.  I often hear people say “I know so much more about myself now”, or “I want to learn who I am”.  Although I aspire to acquire this knowledge to date it’s escaped me.  I really don’t know what more I can learn.  I think I’m an open book but perhaps I’ve not read every chapter.  I hope the road can tell me.

Meds, Can’t live With ’em, Can’t Live without them.

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20120730-173347.jpgDamn those meds, those little yellow tabs of……what, of what?  Life? Normalcy? Equilibrium? …..What are they doing to, or for, me?  Do they have me under their spell, are they my control or my Savior?

Can I live without them?  Will I still be depressed?

Continue reading Meds, Can’t live With ’em, Can’t Live without them.

To Rant, or Not to Rant, That is the Question

I’ve been feeling kinda emotionally crappy last couple days, makes me wonder if the change in meds is working for me.  At the same time I think it may be just me, who I am, and maybe I just sweat the small stuff too much and I just need to buck up and quit whining.  I can’t believe that this would be “normal” though as I was feeling pretty good before, all upbeat and stuff.  I do know I over-analyse things though, of that I’m sure, and there is an off chance that is the case here.

It started last night.  I went out for dinner with a group from work, one of them is leaving and this was a good-bye dinner, a last meal as it were.  I felt pretty good, had a couple drinks, and was enjoying a chat with one of the girls from HR about various philosophies in hiring practices.  After some time, and once dinner was over, she left to join another group.  No harm, no foul.  Being a work group of course the topic of work came up, and I was asked a question relating to a meeting we had earlier that day.  Being the diplomatic and ever accommodating soul that I am I responded.  But being the passionate person I am I’m afraid I put too much “heart” into the answer and started the emotional ball rolling.

Now for me work is something I am having challenges with at the best of times, not the work per se but the management leading such work and the way plans and objectives play out.  In short I’m horribly frustrated by my environment and I feel emotionally hurt, saddened and somewhat ostracized.  So of course my reactions always tend to have a negative spin, or at least they sound that way to me.  And if they sound that way to me I’m sure they do to others as well, and that likely influences their reaction to me and compounds whatever perceptions of me they may already have….

It isn’t really something I think I can to talk to anyone about either, certainly not from work, as I just begin to rant and that is counterproductive.  I have discussed it with my wife, and counselor, but at least part of my rant will have to be done here.

So the bottom line is that I think work is a negative for me, it’s apparent there is little positive that comes from it other than a cheque and some positive interpersonal relationships.  Both are very good, but the other negative components seem to outweigh that good.  Plain and simple it feels like it’s a counterproductive thing for me, but I’m scared of making a move.  Retirement is the likeliest choice, but what a big step.  Sounds like another fork in the road.

Where do I begin?

It was an eventful day yesterday, running the gamut from dealing with Dad’s care, to full-on socializing, and being on the listening end of a full on bitch session regarding work.  By the end I felt beat-up and somewhat overwhelmed.

Dads doctor called in the afternoon, the results had come back from his blood work and his INR (International Normalized Ratio) was too low.  Essentially the INR is a measurement of the effectiveness of blood thinning drugs, in this case Warfarin.  If I understand correctly the low results indicate his blood has a slightly lower ability to clot.  In itself not too serious but the potential is there if left unmonitored or treated.  So between the doctors office and myself we got his dosage increased for a couple days and a further blood test this Friday.  The bus at the home will take him down to the blood clinic and he can get re-checked.  I have to say I’m a bit sceptical of this process, the whole “let him take the bus” routine, I see it having the potential for him either getting lost or missing the bus back, something that will require extra attention.  Call me a cynic, I just don’t feel all warm and fuzzy about it.

Next phase was visiting with Bruce, who was in town to do his service, so we were able to sit and have a couple scotches before going to dinner.  Unfortunately we didn’t get to commiserate as long as I’d hoped, nor about more interesting topics as Wally came with us and while he is generally fine to be with today he wasn’t so much.

He must’ve been feeling especially frustrated because when he began talking about work and how things were going the torrent of verbal distress came forth.  It pretty much dominated the conversation after that and by the time dinner was over I felt anxious and depressed.  Doesn’t really have a lot to do with me directly but Wally was hired to replace me and he’s having some challenges on the job himself.  Personal reasons have driven him to hand in his notice and he only has another week or so before he leaves.  I’m sure the work issues have impacted his decision in no small way as well, end result is he’s going after being there only a year or so, and no replacement has been selected that I know.

Bottom line when I got home I disgorged to Mo somewhat myself, poor thing.  I’m having some challenges getting my head around all the issues, both personal and work.  I’m sure it will come together, it’ll just take some time.

Children under the stairs, no more help with Dad

Mo and I had lunch with my Mom yesterday, Sunday being the day we typically try to get together with her, and both Larry and her before that. She does live in the basement, one of the original “children under the stairs”, but she has her space and we have ours so it’s not always that we see her, or get a chance to catch up. Unfortunately she is now the only “child under the stairs”, my stepfather having passed away in March.  I guess she’d not a child either but somehow the whole “under the stairs” thing was designated and has since stuck.

We asked her how her visit was with Dad earlier in the week.  The week prior she had actually offered to take him to lunch as she was going to be in Trail anyway and thought it would be nice.  Even though their marriage has been over for almost 30 years they are still civil and Mom has offered a number of times to help with Dad in any way she can.  Unfortunately that may be coming to an end.

It seems that Dad was not the most optimistic and upbeat lunch companion that we thought he might be.  Allegedly he complained about most of the food and even told the waitress he thought it was terrible.  Mom was embarrassed and as she said “very depressed” when she left.  “I won’t do that again” she said.  I can only hope she means she just won’t take him to lunch again.

He’s not always the most chipper guy when we’ve gone out but I don’t recall him being that vocal nor obviously unhappy with the meal.  It’s possible it was that bad, likely not though, and it’s possible it was more that he reacted that way in a restaurant that Mom and Larry favoured.  Unfortunately my inside voice said “Oh no, how I have to deal with him all alone again”.  I mentioned that I felt that way to Mo, about having to deal with him alone, and she said “We” will have to deal with him, not just me.  It’s yet to be seen.  Makes me sad.