Kiss5Tigers

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


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Working the WRAP

WRAP is Wellness Recovery Action Plan, and I’ve talked about it in some detail in other posts so I won’t bore you.

I am struggling with spending.

I am spending money I don’t really have to spare.

I can’t seem to halt the behavior.

So it’s time to get out my WRAP notebook.

What can I do when this takes over?

Oh, turn over the bank card to someone else! That really scares me so it’s probably the one I’d better do. Tank up the car, get a couple dollars in cash so I can get a coke or a coffee, and take the bank card out of my purse.

Scary.

Really scary.

What else can I do?

Use up the art supplies I already have. Make art. Making art makes me happy, and most of my spending is on art supplies which want to be used. Make art seems like a good plan.

I have 2 online courses I’m taking, I could listen to one of them.

I need a shower before I see my family tomorrow.

I am owning my faults and blogging about them *right now* as I am typing this. I’m not sure if that’s helpful except that it’s always helpful to be honest and start from truth.

I can sleep. I just finished dinner and I have full-belly sleepiness. Nap is possible.

I think . . . I think I will listen to one of my courses, and maybe do some journaling or write some letters. I have a letter to Fishspit to finish. Then the shower before bed.

And I will not get on Amazon or Etsy, even though I want to.

Because the medicine keeps the feelings under control and this is just behavior. I can change behavior. I can do this.


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Shopping

Shopping is bad for me.

And yet I love to do it.

I did some online shopping. I ordered stamps, which I need. I ordered art supplies, which maybe I don’t need, but they are with a purpose. I ordered some really cool yarn for specific projects. I love yarn so one of my rules for myself is that I must have a project in mind. And I went on Etsy and ordered some vintage ephemera for junk journaling.

I also spend money on tickets to the Perot Museum with friends on Saturday and some yogurt pretzels. Then Saturday night have dinner out with friends, Sunday I have a ceramics class, and Monday I have dinner out with my roommates.

I’m hemorrhaging cash.

I need to get this under control.

I also need to put gas in the car, help my daughter pay for a replacement ID and do a little grocery shopping.

Money vanishes so fast! I don’t feel like I”m doing much but I’m spending too much.

In other news, Hurricane Dorian is a thing. It’s due to strike Puerto Rico and Florida, two places that got slammed last hurricane season and aren’t dug out yet. Neither one is prepared for another disaster.

Roommate says I need to clean my room. How do I say, it’s hot so I don’t want to hang out in there? I have an air conditioner in the window, but it’s an older house and if I turn it on while the one in the living room is running, it blows the circuit. I can’t imagine my roommates want to turn off the main a/c in order for me to clean my room. So I will work on it somewhat at the beginning and the end of the day, when I am awake and the a/c is on but it doesn’t interfere with the roommates’ comfort.

And yes, it IS hot. This is Texas. For the past week, temperatures have been over 100 F with heat index around 110. We had a cold front come through which dropped temperatures by 15 degrees, but that’s still over 90. I am just hot and uncomfortable with no air. I should be used to it – there’s no air conditioning in my car either – but for doing a task I am loathe to do, heat is a deal breaker.

Waiting for the cooler weather, thinking of how to tidy my room, it’s all part of life.


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Way Too Early Friday Morning

It’s Thursday night, it’s Friday morning, it’s that gray area when you get to decide what time of day it is.

By the clock, it’s 1:29 Friday morning. By my sleep habit, it’s the middle of the night on Thursday.

Funny how it’s getting up that makes it the next day, not the clock. Although this is a planned all-nighter so sunrise will make it the next day.

But it will still be today. I might even still have the same clothes on.

What’s going on, that I’m not sleeping?

My daughter got mugged in Deep Ellum last week and we need to go to the DMV to get her a replacement ID.

Mugging. That’s something you don’t like to think about. When I was young, when ATMs were a new phenomenon, we used to carry $20 “mugging money” so that we wouldn’t get knifed for having no cash. Nowadays, well, apparently my daughter was slipped a mickey. She says it was GHB, but since she didn’t do a drug test, I have to wonder how she knows. Maybe date rape drugs are surprisingly common these days and the young folk know the difference. I don’t know.

I just know she freaked out, legitimately. She had a chain maille chain attached from her jeans to her wallet and they broke the chain to get the wallet. Whatever else happened, this was a determined mugger. They also got her phone and her vest, but she got those back. A friend of a friend recognized the vest and knew it didn’t belong to the person wearing it. They got it back with the phone and left them with a local club management, then put the information into the grapevine.

I would rather they had called the cops about this, but my opinion is immaterial. Not to mention ACAB. My kid is, well, alternative looking. Not someone the police would find sympathetic. Doesn’t mean she somehow doesn’t deserve sympathy, but she’s not a Plano girl, blonde highlights straightened hair perfect teeth cheerleader type. She’s a tough little green haired sprite in Doc Marten’s and black denim. Not the right type to be a victim.

So I am up all night, to be sure we get to the DMV early. Last time we got there about 11 am, they were already booked for the day. I figure I need to pick her up about 7 am and be there before 8. You just never know.

In other news, I found some Sesame Street stamps for my mail. I figure, the way things are, people deserve a postage stamp that will make you smile and remind you of childhood. I will get some mail together tonight as part of my staying up. I have some things to send out for my Etsy shop (I sold a hat, yay!) and a box of cards to write. They’re already addressed, I just need to put messages in them. I also have a pack of postcards with liberal social issues on them that I want to send out. I want them to go to people who appreciate them, though, so I might put up a lottery.

Mr Momo Kitty has stopped vomiting, so either it was a hairball or it was a stomach virus that passed. Charli Cat has been trying to sit on the computer all night. She succeeds from time to time, and then I have to move her. Right now she is sprawled on the back of the sofa behind me.

That’s about all the news from here. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.


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Everything and Not Much



Wow, it’s been a week, where have I been?

It seems like not much is happening but every day is full.

I’ve been napping a lot. I seem to sleep 10 hours. I get out of bed after 8 hours and then fall asleep on the sofa in the living room. I am trying to find things to do to keep myself awake. My doctor would like me to go for a walk but even at 8 or 9 in the morning, it’s too hot for me to do that. I would do yoga but F is asleep in his recliner so I don’t really want to turn on the sound.

Unemployment is giving me grief. I was scheduled for orientation on the day before my vacation, at the time I was due at the passport office to pick up my passport. They assign you a time to get it, so that wasn’t actually negotiable. However I had reason to believe the orientation could be flexible.

In the past, I actually blew off the orientation appointment and it did not interfere with my payments. I just rescheduled the orientation. It wasn’t a big deal. I didn’t realize it was a requirement. This time, I tried several times to reschedule. I called in more than once. I left voice messages. I did not get a call back. I thought it was okay because I gave them notice more than once that I couldn’t make it and needed to do it another time.

I was wrong.

Unemployment decided they didn’t need to pay me because I missed the orientation. They decided this after they had already paid me. They want their money back. And they won’t pay me again until I refund it.

Well, I don’t have it. I had to catch up on rent and phone. I put gas in the car. I paid bills. I mean, it was spent.

Now I do want to be clear, it was NOT spent on my trip. The trip was paid for before I was even eligible for unemployment. The trip was already budgeted. Not that I have to justify where unemployment payments go. This is insurance and I pay into it when I’m employed. It’s my money, not welfare. But, that aside . . .

I also told them I was out of town and they decided that meant I was unavailable for work, so they want the money back for that week as well. So that’s over $1000 they want back from me, and frankly I don’t have it. I have been to doctors and picked up medicine. I have bought a book or two. I renewed my Barnes and Noble membership. I’m not outrageous, but money doesn’t go very far.

Now really if there had been work, I would have been doing it. But there is no employment for me. I am working toward it in the mental health field, but it won’t pay as well as the government does. Still, I am looking, to see what I can find.

However my friend P has found an opportunity for me. He knows someone who makes jewelry who needs help marketing it. I know a bit about posting on Etsy and maybe DeviantArt. I can maybe get her started for a stipend. Of course, it’s only any good until I get called for work. P suggested I take a percentage of the profits, but I’m thinking an hourly rate might be better. I don’t need to get paid right away but I can’t for example mail anything that gets sold if I’m in another state. So internet marketing consultant could be a thing.

I also got the chance to facilitate a few groups in the past 2 weeks. Three people told me I did well, so I’m feeling pretty confident about my facilitating skills. I don’t feel like I actually did very much. For example, one group we had a new person come in who burst into tears when we asked how he was. I didn’t know what to do, but the group did. They gave him Kleenex and water and support. It was amazing. I got credit for it, but I think it was all on them. I am facilitating again next week and the following week, assuming I’m not called for work.

And I do hope to be called for work.




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Short Time

There is just a short time until I leave. I’m ready to get ready, but until the unemployment money hits, I’m at an impasse. I need the money for things like flip flops and deodorant. I just need a few things before the trip.

I spoke to my travelling buddy yesterday. She is also excited. She’s looking forward to the food, she says, because cruises always have great food. I’m just looking forward to real, fresh seafood. Which there should be plenty of on an Alaska cruise.

I also need to mail 3 purchases on my Etsy site, and pick up some postcard stamps. My friend wants to read, but I want to send postcards. I’ll do some reading too. I bought The Four Agreements to read during my down times. If I have a chance, I’ll get a couple magazines too.

I need a new backpack, my current one is coming apart at the seams. I really like it, but I’m afraid it won’t last. I don’t know what to bring out of it. My little Alaska notebook for sure, but what about my journal? It’s big and heavy, so maybe not, maybe just a little notebook, like a composition book. But what else? Do I bring a tape runner, a glue stick, watercolors, water color pencils? Probably none of those things, just keep my keepsakes and get to relive the trip putting it together afterwards.

I need to get my sweater out of the car to wash it. I need to think about what shoes to pack. I need a pair of dress shoes for dinners, but I don’t have any. Something else I suppose I could buy if I have time. Or I could buy a pair in Vancouver or Alaska. That would be an interesting souvenir.

I am hoping I can fit everything in my suitcase and still use it as a carry on. So much to bring. So much to do. And I sit here watching Lucifer since it’s only 1000 degrees today and I am overheated. Waiting for the sun to go down and the house to cool off a little.

Dinner in a minute. Then get the sweater then do another load of laundry.

Busy busy.


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Small Victories

It’s been a couple of rainy days and I’ve been in the house since I got home Friday. It’s now Sunday.

I don’t have any money so I can’t exactly go places. I did request my first unemployment payment today, but they have me down for receiving checks and that means it can take time for the money to arrive. Then I have to cash the check, and send some of it to the bank.

Yes, Citibank does not have any branch offices in Texas, so I have to mail them my opening deposit. Very frustrating as well as causing delays, but once I get that initial deposit in, I can use direct deposit. As long as I can get it resolved before the second payment. The second request is right before my trip and I’d like to get paid for vacation.

I have had another sale in my Etsy shop, so that’s cool.

I finally managed to take a shower this evening. I should have done it while my roommates were out of the house but I couldn’t pull myself together. This is a small victory, but the bipolar didn’t win today. My hair is washed, my jammies are clean, my legs have been shaved. Not well, but shaved none the less. I am all girly again and I don’t smell.

You know, personal hygiene is such a struggle for me. It’s like, it’s just a pain in the ass and it feels overwhelming. I don’t understand this because once I’m actually in the shower, I am happy to be there. It just seems like getting over the threshold into the tub is nearly impossible. I don’t know why that is.

I had a shower. I took my meds. I ate. I didn’t exercise though, I am bad at doing that. And I’ll go to bed soon, which is a reasonable time for me. I don’t have any obligations until tomorrow afternoon.

Life is full of small victories. I made my own breakfast. I journaled. I made some plans. I taught that vision board class last month, I just need to find something else to teach now. I might see if I can get certified to teach WRAP.

I am hoping to hear that I’ve been accepted for coach / evaluator at work. I know it’s only been a week since I applied for it so it may easily take some time to be approved. But I am an optimist about time.

Of course I am a pessimist about the background check. I’ve been doing the job for a year now, 2 years if you count my time as a local hire. I would hate to lose it at this point because of my credit report. And I’m afraid I will.

Still, I am clean and ready for bed, and that’s a good thing. Sometimes little things are all there is.


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Background Check and Meds Issues



It’s been an interesting week so far.

I loaned my book Coping Skills by Faith G. Harper to one of the ladies at group. I just hope I get it back at some point. I need some of the information in it for the “book” I’m writing.

I put book in quotes like that because it doesn’t feel like it’ll be 100 pages, and most books are 200 pages or more. Some of those Harry Potter books were almost 2 inches thick, that a lot of words! I don’t have that many words in me any more. I used to, before meds, but now it’s just impossible. I have become a good listener and not much of a talker.

Anyway, I seldom loan out anything, so it was a rare moment of generosity for me. Especially since there is the possibility it won’t come home to me. Slight, but still.

Sunday was the storm in the picture I posted the other day. It was apparently a thing called a rain bomb, where a very small area has a terrible downpour and high winds. Of course it moves as the storm front moves. It took down trees and took out power for 3 days in some parts of town. What I have learned from this is, Dallas is not prepared for a disaster, if it took 3 days to restore power after a storm. What if something significant happened?

Monday I went to deal with my passport at the post office. It went pretty fast, but boy it was hard to part with $125. The passport itself isn’t that expensive, but I’m less than a month from travel so I had to expedite it which is another $60. Photos were $20 and there was a cost for cashier’s check, which the government needs since they don’t take bank cards. So this is a good thing, but I’m missing the money.

There was no group on Monday because power was still out at the facility.

Tuesday I had a work meeting so I didn’t go to Recovery International. I was told the meeting was at 10:00, so I signed on at 9:55. Well, sure it was at 10:00 — EASTERN time! I’m in central so it started at 9:00 for me and I only went to like half of it. At least I’ll get paid like $10.00 for it. I feel a little dumb about this, I mean, I know the meeting is webcast from DC, I just spaced on the whole time zone thing.

Then I had to drive up to the office for a background check. I’ve been working for the government for 2 years now, and they’re just getting around to the background check. What if I don’t pass for some reason? I mean, I’ve proven I can do the job, would they really let me go? But I was honest with them about what they asked. They asked about my work history and I told them about getting fired from the bank job. I mean, why hide it? The job became a call center, I am not cut out to work in a call center, and I was glad to be fired. They also quizzed me on my credit report. There were of course medical bills, which I may never pay. And my student loans. But they had something with TD Bank, and I’ve never done business with them to my knowledge, so I’ll have to call on that one. I don’t mind paying for what I owe, but I don’t want to pay for the other Allison.

You might remember the other Allison. I mentioned her in a previous post. She has my same first and last name, but she has a middle name which I do not, and she was born in the same town I was but 3 years before me. That means when I request my birth certificate, I usually get hers. Pain in the tushie. Plus I have had her stuff show up on my credit report. I know it’s hers by the location. And I have had her information show up in those verify your identity quizzes. They pull the information from public records online, and we are too similar to avoid computer confusion. I wonder if I should have mentioned her in the background check? Probably not, it would be too confusing.

I stopped at Buc-ee’s on the way home and got a peach ice tea. It was so good. I also got chicken salad but it was a bit too mayonnaise for me.

Today I went to group, the first one this week, and it was so good to be there. It’s truly my safe place. I will miss it when I’m deployed again, but so it goes. Someone in group payed me a great compliment today. She said I am her accountability partner, because she texts me and I always text back, and I don’t take sides or have an opinion about things. I know she is used to people just piping up with their take on situations in her life, and I don’t do that. I just mirror. She feels heard and understood. I bet I turned red when she said that.

Then I took my daughter to get her meds and dropped her off in town. She has a friend visiting who is catching a bus home at 3 a.m. tonight. I’ve taken buses, it’s a hard way to go. But the friend bought my daughter’s meds and some cat food, so that was nice. I got home and remembered that I hadn’t picked up my meds so I had to go back out.

I take 3 things for my bipolar disorder: Prozac (anti-depressant), Abilify (atypical anti psychotic) and Lamictal (mood stabilizer). I see the doctor about every 3 months, unless I’m deployed. He usually writes the prescriptions in 90 day lots. Well, I got 90 days of Prozac and 90 days of Abilify, but only 30 days of Lamictal. I called for the refill, because the bottle said I have 2 refills, and the pharmacy said I didn’t have any. I asked them to contact the doctor, and I called the doctor myself. Of course that was Friday, the doctor sent the refill on Monday, and it has taken until Wednesday for them to be ready to pick up. I’ve been out of my mood stabilizer for several days now. However, I have felt pretty good even without it. I might ask the doctor about that, since I’d prefer to take less medicine if I can get away with it.

Right now I am sitting in the living room, enjoying the air conditioning. Momo kitty has been affectionate and Charli cat is napping nearby. I have some reading material to get through and then, if I feel like it, some letters to write. I made 2 more sales on my Etsy shop, so that feels good. Those need to get mailed tomorrow. I also found I had $20.00 more than I thought I did. I celebrated by getting a frozen cranberry limeade at Sonic. I also stopped at QT and got a huge cup of ice water and an ice cream cone. Didn’t even come to $1.00 so that was a nice treat. Sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference. Ice cream and a cold drink, and I feel like my day is complete.

Time to get working on my reading material.


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When Is a Courtesy NOT a Courtesy?

Money is still tight. I have 5 days away from being able to apply for unemployment again. That’s apply, not receive, they could turn me down.

There’s no reason to, but they could. I hate being at someone else’s mercy.

I have applied to Half Price Books. I don’t know why I didn’t think of them sooner. I guess I hate to burn a bridge with them. I would like best if someone could hire me, knowing I’m going to be deployed for months at a time, but having a job of some kind for me when I get back. Still, if they’d pay me close to $40K a year, I might reconsider.

I did sell a hat, and someone sent me money in my GoFundMe. So there is a little money coming in.

My bank “courtesy paid” two items for me, and overdrew me by more than $200. If I don’t pay it within 60 days — more like 35 days at this point — they will charge off my account. I didn’t think they’d pay anything without the money being there. And I won’t have $200 to spare before the 60 days is up.

So I opened an account with Citibank. They were willing to take me on. I need $25 for the savings account because they open checking and savings simultaneously. I have no idea how to get that to them. I guess I should call and find out.

I have no idea how to come up with the money I need for a passport. Or my meds, for that matter. Life is stressful. And money would, literally like $500, would solve everything right now.


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Mushroom Pasta

We are a keto household. I need to clarify that I am not fully keto myself, but I am definitely low carb these days. One of the things my roommate F misses is pasta. Well, L found shirataki noodles in the produce section at our local Walmart that are pretty much the same thing. The texture when chewing is a little different, but they are an Asian product and it isn’t much different from glass noodles.

All of which is to say, tonight we had spaghetti casserole. Shirataki noodles, tomato, meat and cheese. It was a little greasy, but you know, sausage and cheese are not fat free. Very good, and a nice change from servings of just meat. F is not a fan of vegetables, so we don’t eat a lot of those.

I’m planning to go to North Texas Food Bank on Saturday morning. They provide fresh produce, I think it’s 30 pounds to a household. There is a place near me that claims they come every Saturday, but I think they really only deliver once a month. But I’ll go down and check it out. I might have to give away some of it so it doesn’t go bad. I feel like, as long as I have no money so I can’t pay for things, I can at least find other ways to bring resources into the house. Being poor is hard work.

I took the first withdrawal from my GoFundMe today. It will take a few days to be available and then I’ll withdraw it so it doesn’t accidentally go for another purpose. I’m keeping an eye on my bank account. I wish I could withdraw to Paypal, which would be more accessible for me.

I continue to post hats in my Etsy shop. I’ve gotten compliments on my work but I haven’t sold one yet. Of course this is not exactly the hat time of year. I need to find something else I can make that is more seasonal. I used to make jewelry but now it’s too difficult. I can’t see up close with my contacts / glasses, and I can’t see far enough to pick up the beads from the table without them. I can’t even thread a needle at this point, which makes needlework or mending difficult. Eyesight is sure a problem when you get older!

We didn’t make it to the plasma center yesterday. Daughter was sick as a dog. She thinks it was food poisoning. She was eating chicken nuggets Monday night and one had a huge (for a nugget) bone in it. She kept eating. I think it’s money stress combined with lack of sleep.

We did make it to the doctor. She finally talked about her issues with employment and got a referral to Genesis Women’s Shelter. They do counselling as well as housing, so hopefully they can find some way to help her. Daughter gets anxiety attacks when she’s at work. I think she is capable of doing a job if someone is willing to support her until the anxiety attacks subside. There are all kinds of jobs for people with disabilities. Hers is very real and there should be options available for high functioning people who just need a little help.

I fall into the same category, since bipolar is certainly considered a disability but I can hold down a job for months or even years at a time. I just need some support when things come crashing in on me. There isn’t much room in our society for people who don’t aspire to a 40 week job or who don’t fit that mold.

In the meantime, I keep working on finding money. I believe the Universe has infinite resources and can find some to share with me.


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Zero’d Out the Bank Account

I just took the last of my money out of the bank. I want control over what gets paid and what doesn’t, so I just pulled it out and paid my rent for May. I am now broke.

My daughter wants to donate plasma tomorrow and I’m gonna go with her. I can use the money and we can keep each other company. Then I’m taking her to the psychiatrist. We’ll have to figure out paying him.

What am I doing to find money? Well, I have applied to some temp agencies, waiting to hear from them. I have written an article that I hope to post on Nook. I have submitted it, but it still shows as pending, not actually for sale yet. I am signed up with Rev.com to do online transcription. I have applied to Amazon and will try Costco, since apparently they are hiring. I hate to burn bridges by leaving with no notice — and I get 24 to 48 hours notice before being deployed — but I need money now so I just might have to bite the bullet. I have also watched a dog and would consider house sitting.

In the meantime, my GoFundMe is doing well. Got another donation today, so that makes me happy. I’m over $200 now.

I’m working on hats. I have posted 13 of them in Etsy. I’ve had some looks, so hopefully there will be some buys soon.

I learned, in group today, that I basically like myself. I knew I didn’t hate myself, in spite of my periodic disgust with my body, but I didn’t really think about liking myself. I would be friends with me. That’s actually pretty cool. Not that I’m a perfect person, because there’s always room for improvement, but I’m good with who I am. And that makes me happy.