The 5 Tigers represent the big things in life. This blog is about facing them.

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What I’ve Been Doing

I was sitting here drinking the coffee that my roommate L has made for me and I realized that you don’t know what I actually do with my time while I’m demobilized.  I’ve done a fair amount of complaining about things and I’ve certainly shared my (mis)adventures, but really life is pretty good and I want to share some of that.

I sleep most days until 9 or 10 in the morning.  I usually wake up with my cats cuddled up to me, which makes me happy.  If you have pets, you understand this.  Or children, I suppose, though as a mother I dislike comparing pets and children.

I get up and check facebook and email and other online things I’m working on.  I take my morning meds and eat some peanut butter toast.  I like the way the hot toast melts the peanut butter.  Usually by then L is up so there is coffee.  Now you may ask why I don’t make my own coffee since I certainly know how.  The truth is, we use a French press and the thing is just a pain to clean.  I am lazy.  That’s my big secret.  If L makes the coffee, she cleans it up.  Yup, that’s it, silly as it is.

Most days I go to a support group.  I use a peer run support group cluster that is available through a local mental health facility.  It’s free.  Mondays is DBSA, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance and we are working out of a book about managing life while struggling with a behavioral health concern.  Tuesday is Recovery International which has a very formal method.  It does however teach you to deal with daily life, something I don’t always do very well.  Wednesday is the PTSD group.  I don’t have PTSD but nobody is without trauma.  Thursday is a depression support group.  Friday is ATTA, which stands for Achievement Through the Arts.  It’s for artists with brain differences, so there is a mix of people with issues ranging from schizophrenia to injury.  Most of these groups meet for 2 hours, so that gives me a whole lotta free time.

I have been writing letters.  I have an extensive mailing list that I am trying to send everybody something and see who writes back.  Then I’ll keep up with the respondents.  I like getting mail and to get mail, one must send mail.

I also have been working on the 100 Hats project.  I want to sell them but I suspect most of them will wind up donated.  And that’s fine, for me the joy is in the making.  Speaking of making, I am working on some art pieces as well.  One of them is based on my friend K’s living room.

I stay up with my roommates until around 1 in the morning, then I lay in bed on the phone until 2 then I sleep.  So 10 am is really 8 hours of sleep, which is good for me.

I do see friends and go out to eat and run errands.  It makes for a pretty full life, but I would like to be deployed again.  Not that I wish for bad things to happen, but when a disaster hits, I am ready.

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First World Problems

I’m pretty sure I have mostly first world problems. Maybe “New World” but definitely not Third World.

I live in a mobile home with 2 friends. We have heat and air conditioning, running water, toilets and pets. There is a dishwasher and a washing machine and a microwave and a fridge. The stove is having issues but that’s mostly an age factor. Everything needs to be replaced eventually and this one is over 20 years old so . . .

Meds are sometimes an issue; they cost a small fortune. My daughter’s meds are over $600 a month out of pocket. However, she has assistance through a state government program. I have actual health insurance and I will add her to it shortly. It’s a paperwork issue.

I forget to take my meds sometimes, but I think that’s human. When I miss them, I have actual physical pain the next day but it goes away when I take them again. Could be worse. I suppose I’ll never miss more than one dose.

I am hoping to go back to school in less than a week. I’m still waiting on a final approval from the college but that should be here today or tomorrow. Considering how my disability affects me, I think the degree is the only way out. I need to do something that frees me from the strictures of production, which means credentials are important.

This all feels very hopeful today. Which seems wrong but is really true. I could use a remission period.

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It’s the simple things

I went to the grocery store with a friend yesterday, and that particular store also has a cafe in it. I used the ladies’ room and was insanely happy to see the fresh flowers in there:


My phone doesn’t take amazing pics, so know that the orange was SO HOT, the little yellow flowers are actually lime green, and the purple was velvety and almost too dark to see.

Besides that, we were able to snag a booth next to a window on one side, and the fireplace on the other side.


It’s not quite freezing here, but it’s close enough that the fire was a nice addition.

Plus we got loads of fresh food for a good price, so that’s always good. I bought some exotic (for me) fruits to try too. Makes life interesting!

If this man can overcome his issues, I can overcome mine

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This is Arthur. He was doing the right thing, and it basically kicked his ass. So he got his determination together and kicked life right back. I cried for him, and I’m not a weepy person. Watch to the end, and look how happy he has become!

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Small successes and small failures

Missed posting yesterday because I had a job interview.

Not my dream job — actually just a little part time retail job — but small income is better than no income.  It went pretty well and I should hear from the next tier up Monday or Tuesday.

I also saw my therapist.  Again, not a major victory but I thoroughly recommend that everybody have a therapist.  Not necessarily full time and not necessarily because you are “sick” in some way, but because a therapist is a good place to dump your crap so that it doesn’t get stuck in your head.  Oh, sure, your friends will listen to you because they love you but they don’t want to listen to you prattle on endlessly about your stuff and sometimes even the best of us need to prattle on endlessly.  It saves friendships and sanity so it’s worth it.  And if you go through United Way (for example) you can probably find one to fit your budget.

However I ate a cookie and that sounds silly but for me, cookies mean nap time.  So I fell asleep most of the afternoon which means I didn’t get anything else done all day.  Also, the day before, I did not get the table cleaned off.  So on the one hand a lot got done and on the other, well, just lost time.

I tend to believe napping is bad although since I’m averaging 5 hours of sleep per night right now it isn’t unreasonable.  In this case, I am very sure that sugar-coma napping is evil.  So even though there is less money and that affects food choices, I have to be careful what I eat and when.  I’m not doing myself any favors if I mess with my health.

I’m going to have to think very carefully about nutrition and money now.  There is a reason people on public assistance eat the way they do, and it’s so recognizable a pattern that it’s called the “welfare diet”.  And there is a reason that low income people have many of the health problems they do.  I need to pay attention that I don’t fall into that trap.

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Unemployed doesn’t mean not working!

So I was fired Monday. Yep. Fired from a job I hated. Because, well, I hated it SO much that it took all my effort to get there late. They fired me for the lateness, which is understandable by their standards but so silly from my side. I mean, I was getting the work done, I was just having trouble motivating myself to get there in the morning.

But it doesn’t matter now, because I don’t have to go there again. I am FREE!

That’s how it feels. I know I should be panicked about no income and supporting a child, but what I feel is “I AM FREE!!”

Now I must gather my tigers and not just kiss them, but dance with them.

Come, tigers, let’s get moving!

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I have great friends!

My computer died a while ago. Oh, it gave me fair warning but as long as I could start from the repair screen, I let it go. Then that stopped working. It took me a week to find a friend who was willing to look at my poor baby, since I contact people more online than I do by phone these days. Then it was 2 more weeks while I waited, biting my nails.

But William the Tall fixed my machine, and I am back up and running.

So much going on, so much to say, hopefully I’ll get a minute to say it soon!