Home again, home again. Home again, now!

I had a wonderful two week (almost) visit back to Wisconsin to be with my parents for Christmas. I was also able to see and catch up with a lot of friends and previous colleagues. Seeing my elderly father settling into a daily routine, in his independent living apartment community, and stick to it despite having company, gave me a good feeling. He and my mother are comfortable there and have made a lot of friends. My dad gets out of the apartment for a coffee hour and lunch every day – which means that he is seeing and interacting with people other than my mother. When they were still in their house, he would often go for a week or more seeing only her (or me when I went over.) That was stressful for both of them! We all know what it’s like when you spend too much time with only one other person. Even the best relationships can get ouchy! Although my mom has been able to come and visit me here in California, and will again, I doubt my dad will be able to due to physical limitations. That was why it was so important for me to go see them over Christmas.

my son, dad, mom and me

Peter, Dad, Mom and me

Dad, Mom and me

Dad, Mom and me

father and daughter

father and daughter

I also was able to have Christmas with my sisters-in-law and their families. A long tradition on Christmas day, of rotating homes, will no longer include our house unless they all decide to come out here one Christmas! It was a long day starting with picking my son up at the airport after his overnight flight from San Francisco. Then it was back to Grandma and Grandpa’s for a belated Christmas Eve time (when my family usually does Christmas) before we headed down to the in-laws.

My niece and her husband

My niece and her husband

Anxiety always plagues me over the holidays. I know that the get togethers are all about family, but the eating disorder part of my history and mentalness always kicks in and can’t quite do the food thing very well. I don’t purge, but I do over eat and eat to cope with anxiety, little depressions and any little thing I harbor. I’ve never felt able to talk to others very much about my food issues. And there are so many issues that touch upon it!

Peter and his second cousin  (I think that's what his cousin's son would be?!)

Peter and his second cousin (I think that’s what his cousin’s son would be)

drummer boys!

drummer boys!

Spending all that time away from home also drastically impacted my ability to get any exercise or spend time meditating. The weather didn’t make me feel like walking (cold, snow, gray, wind – all the reasons I moved away from Wisconsin winters!) as well as being in my parents small apartment. LOTS of just sitting occurred. I can feel in throughout my body – like a slug. I desperately tried to meditate every day. I think I was successful only once. Every other time, either the phone would ring, someone would walk in or, if I tried before bed, I would fall asleep.

But I am home now. It was a wonderful visit, but it was time to come home. Seven hours of flight time (2 legs) and a mad dash through the Houston airport have gotten me : home again, home again. Home again, now!

Time to go meditate then go for a much needed walk!

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Scars and the tales they tell or hide …

My mom (who is almost 88 years old) just flew home after visiting me for a week. It was one of the quickest good-byes I’ve ever had at an airport. I think we were both afraid … afraid of the tears, afraid in case this is the last time we ever see each other. At her age, you never know. For someone who struggles with depression and BPD (me), you never know. These days in general, you never know. And we now live 2,000 miles apart.

my “Stoic Swede” mom and me in Tahoe

My mom knows that depression has plagued me most of my life, but she doesn’t know about the BPD and I don’t plan on telling her. She’s seen many of my scars. Some she asks about, most she doesn’t. Although she is quite educated and was a nurse and educator, she gets quite anxious at any indication that I might be struggling to cope psychologically with anything or be seeing a psychiatrist or psychologist. It worries her that there’s something wrong with me … Partly because she will then blame herself. So, I keep it to myself. I wore long pants and sleeves while she was here. I was continually conscious of myself and what she could see.

It was a good visit, setting her mind at ease that our move out here was right for me. The mountains help me to feel settled, grounded in a way the midwest did not. The movement of the American River soothes me whenever I am able to be near it and watch the sun reflect off its surface as the water rushes around and over rocks.

American River Canyon

American River Canyon (Photo credit: aresauburn™)

This is only a few miles from my house! The Forest Hill Bridge in the back is the 3rd highest in the US

I continue to have moments when my anxiety and fear of loss and abandonment overtake me. I had some even while she was here and again as I said good-bye. Will those ever go away? I’m beginning to doubt it. That is my cross to bear or fountain of youth to seek. Am I Don Quixote fighting windmills in my mind?

Don Quixote and Sancho Panza

Don Quixote and Sancho Panza (Photo credit: M Kuhn)

In my last post, I was very discouraged about how few people were reading my blog. I contemplated the suicide of my blog and the word suicide was in the title. Suddenly, there were many more hits and several comments from readers saying they were reading, even if they weren’t commenting. Thanks for the comments that were made to that posts. They helped. I guess I need to keep fighting my windmills and some of them might turn out to be real and I can win the fight! Others will taunt me as they will. More scars may come from the fights, but I will fight to the end – never giving up hope for happiness in life. Not just fleeting moments, but deep seated, know it in my bones and it shows in my face real happiness.

I just realized …

I just realized I haven’t written in about a week. I have been busy reading other blogs, playing with my puppy (3 months old), making new friends here through swimming class. TODAY, my outlook is good. I’ve had periods of sadness, anger, anxiety … the gamut that usually torment me … but not for sustained periods. The blogs of others, especially  Jaen Wirefly’s (You Know You’re Borderline When …) posts on mindfulness and Gypsy’s (Through my eyes: Adventures in Boreline Land) reminder to think positively. Others have shared progress going on in their lives (Mandi) and just shared some humorous anecdotes about their family and children (John the Aussie). There are others and you’ve all kept me moving forward!

My husband now is employed, almost full time, although still no benefits, so that takes some of the worry off. He is not pressuring me to go back to work yet. I want to, but don’t feel the time is right just now. Making friends and building that support network, here in a new environment, is what I need to do first. The people in our community are very friendly and welcoming. I’m putting forth the effort to make friends, which I never really did before. I’m struggling with parenting a 16 year old boy – who is a great kid, but is still a 16 year old boy with all that that entails. Thank God I’m not a single parent!

Having more than a day or two in a row without the yuk is kind of scary, but good. I’ve been having days with short periods of distress that I’ve been able to stay with and not succumb to. I appreciate the good days and know the bad days won’t last forever. But I know this “thing” won’t ever leave me for good also, and that’s somewhat distressing – but is what it is and not an excuse to check out. I do have a son to set an example for.