August 10th, 2020

Today was blaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. I started out on the wrong side of the bed and had to struggle to get back to a normal state.

Now that I’ve been on brain meds for a few weeks I’m really starting to feel their effects. One of those is making is sleep longer than I normally would. I’m a morning person, and this is a really weird thing for me. I’m not use to having to fight to get out of bed. Normally I wake up when the sun does, even if I don’t wanna.

I had the hardest time getting up this morning. I meant to get up around 7:00am, but didn’t actually get up until 7:40am. Woops. I still don’t use an alarm clock, and I hope I don’t get to that point, but it might happen.

After lunch I had to take Snowy’s husband back to the train station. It’s downtown. (The King Street Station if you know Seattle.) I got down there mostly okay. I-5 is a lot more stressful than it used to be, but I didn’t seem to have much of an issue.

The way back was a different story. I live North of downtown, and on I-5N around Northgate had a big truck pull up behind me. It was a big scary red truck, and it wouldn’t get off my bumper. Here’s a drawing to demonstrate:

A drawing of my car on I-5.
May not be to scale, but is how it was in my head.

It just wouldn’t get off my bumper, and I started to freak out. I started slowing down, and finally it got away from me, but I was pretty shaken up after that. After it got away from me I got into the right lane and went really slow. (Like 50MPH and everyone else was doing 70MPH.) I kept re-assuring myself that it was gone, but it was rough.

Once the big red truck got out of sight I did my best to chill out. I still had a hard time talking (and Snowy did her best to talk to me, but I just wasn’t willing / able to talk back), but I made it home. I didn’t even get upset when I got home. Last time this happened I laid down on the bed and cried, but I was able to keep focused.

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. Snowy and I talked a bit about how we’re gonna get to Castle Rock this weekend, and I don’t know if we’ve worked it out. She wants to take the train like we did last time. I kinda want to drive, so I have my car once we get there, but if I’m having problems just making it to downtown and back… I dunno. 😰

August 9th, 2020

Today was very mixed. Mostly bad.

Most of the day was okay. I did the usual Sunday things, like get my car washed and vacuumed out, got a bagel and the really nice Jewish Bakery down the street for breakfast, and got a big Diet Coke to wash my bagel down with. (It’s the one time a week I give up Coke Zero for Diet Coke!)

That all went fine. Really good, even.

Today’s also a special day, because it’s Snowy’s anniversary, and her husband came into town for the day. (Yay, I like to see him, too.) We went together to pick him up from the train station. I was in the middle of a project at the time (I hung some extra lights in the hallway since it’s really dark), and had to leave quickly because his train came in early, but I did okay. I got really amped up on the ride into Seattle to the train station, but it worked out okay.

One of my worse things is “oh no, someone is waiting on me,” and it’s especially true when I don’t control all of the pieces. (Like, say, traffic on I-5.) It’s a variant on the “I’m worried about hurting someone” theme that has been the dominate force in my life for the last few years. Traffic was okay on the way to the train station, but it could have gone bad very quickly. But didn’t. Phew.

On the way back we stopped for lunch at Chipotle, and I had a bit of a nervous breakdown.

Snowy had to go to the restroom, which is totally fine, of course, but it left me without a place to stand that wasn’t known-safe. I was in the line at Chipotle, and there wasn’t a dot to stand on for “waiting on someone to pee.” That set me off. I like the dots on the ground, they make things easier, but they also make things hard when you can’t follow the lines.

We ended up waiting next to the window, which wasn’t 6′ away from the dots, but I reminded myself “uh, we’re the only ones in here. There’s no one to hurt,” and it mostly worked to calm myself down, but I still had a rough time there.

After lunch we went back to the house and went our separate ways. Snowy and husband went off to do grownup things, and I hung around the house and finished up my project.

A normal Sunday afternoon thing is to go grocery shopping. The last two months or so Snowy and I have been in a pretty good routine, but this time, I was on my own. I didn’t complete my whole trip.

As I tweeted about, because I wear glasses all of the time (I don’t have contacts), I fight with it getting fogged up due to a mask. When I get nervous I start to breathe harder, which makes my glasses fog up more, which makes it harder to see, which makes me more worried I’m gonna hurt someone, which makes me breathe harder, which makes the circle complete, and it doesn’t take long until I have a meltdown.

The store was out of some of the things that I needed, so I knew I’d have to go to a second store to get everything. I got so worked up that I never made it to the second store. It took all of my effort to get home, but I did.

I’m both sad that I couldn’t handle the whole trip, but kinda glad, too, because I was alone. That was the first time grocery shopping alone in months. I didn’t get all of the things that I needed, and I freaked out, but I was able to handle it, and that’s important to me.

I came back home and got paralyzed for a few hours. I basically did nothing. Siri helped me out by playing some forest sounds (which I find relaxing), but… yeah. 😒

Snow eventually texted me and said they were on the way home. I told her I was not okay, but was home and safe. She offered to meet me at a different grocery store (that’s a bit larger) to get the things that I needed. I agreed.

The Safeway where we met, as seen from my car.

While in this grocery store I had another freak-out. This one was larger than the first. I had to cross the path of the door, and a constant stream of people came in. It was really hard to keep 6′ away because they just kept coming in. I froze and just stood still for several minutes while waiting for the path to get clear. Snowy and husband had to come get me to get me out of it.

We got home, I said “that’s it, no more going out today,” and put on my PJs and we watched a movie. (Iron Man) That part was pretty good. I’ve seen that movie a bunch of times, and it’s really familiar. Re-watching movies I’ve already seen is really comforting right now since I know how it goes. Familiar is good.

The current view of my living room, as seen from my normal spot on my sofa.

On the plus side, today’s project, which was hanging lights in the hallway, turned out great. It really made that dark and drab hallway a lot more magical. πŸ’œ

August 7th, 2020

Yesterday wasn’t a good day. I don’t even know why.

Work was fine. A little slow in the afternoon, but just fine. After work was … eh.

Thursday was the first good day I’d had in a long time, and I was feeling pretty good following work, so Snowy and I decided to do something different for dinner. We went to a PF Changs (same place we went with the rest of the family a few weeks ago) for dinner. We had a 6pm reservation.

We left with lots of time to get there, which turned out to be a good thing. Traffic getting onto I-5 was a mess. I kept an eye on the ETA on the Maps app in my car, and it kept showing a comfortable margin, so I never really panicked on the way there.

When we got to the restaurant things started to go bad. When I went to get out of the car I managed to twist in such a way that my butt hurt, and I started freaking out about blood getting on my white pants. (The horrors of having hemorrhoids in the past!)

Dinner was mostly uneventful. We sat closer to an aisle that I would have liked, but it didn’t phase me. The problems started after dinner.

We stopped by the bathroom, and I had to use one of the really low toilets. The wasn’t anything to hold on to to get up, so I just had to struggle a bit. I did get up (and reassured myself that I wasn’t bleeding), but it was a bit of a challenge. The toilet with the bars was in use, so I didn’t get to use it.

Struggling to get off the toilet set a bad series of things in motion.

After dinner we stopped by a Whole Foods nearby so Snowy could get a few things. I didn’t wanna press my luck, so I decided to wait in the car. (Grocery stores can be overwhelming if the aisles are long enough.)

The view from the driver’s seat in my car as I waited for Snowy to return.

Backing out from the parking spot was a struggle. People kept getting in my way, and it triggered my “oh no, I’m gonna hurt or kill them” reflex. I managed to get past that, and we went to a gas station. I didn’t have enough gas to get home.

Fill the car up with gas up was fine, too, other than I forgot my mask.

As I was walking back to the driver’s side of the car after filling up I saw a hand sanitizer thing and thought “oh, that’s a good idea, let’s do that,” and tried to use it. It wasn’t working quite right, and rather than squirt foam onto my paws, it squired a lot of the liquid that I guess the foam is made of? I’m not sure, but it was really sticky.

I tried to get my paws dry by rubbing them (there was a LOT of stuff on them), and eventually gave up and grabbed a paper towel. That left my paws all sticky, and … that’s a problem. It set me on edge.

I got home just fine. Traffic wasn’t an issue. I was feeling pretty good at this point. I pulled the trash cans back up to the house (which is good! Lately I’ve been waiting 3-4 days to do that), and then scrubbed the goo from the gas station off my paws in the kitchen sink.

I’m not sure what happened after that, because it all went wrong.

My brain started beating me up over eating dinner. The combo of struggling to get off the potty and my knees bothering me and… yeah, I don’t know, but my brain was like “you shouldn’t have eaten dinner,” and things spiraled out of control.

I started thinking about “do I need to eat tomorrow,” which isn’t healthy. I kept trying to convince myself that it was okay that I’d had dinner, but my brain just wanted nothing of it.

I flopped on the sofa and tried to keep it together.

I can see into Snowy’s room from the sofa, and my brain went to “that room will be empty eventually,” and I just lost it. I cried really hard.

It’s a hard mental struggle right now. I need to prove to myself that I’m able to live alone, but at the same time, I don’t really want to. I need to be able to prove to myself that I can, so that a decision to not live alone is my own choice… but at the same time, I’ve really enjoyed having someone here and the idea of an empty house again is really scary.

Snowy came over and hugged me, and we talked for a bit. The crying eventually stopped. I stopped feeling guilty over eating dinner. Snowy went to bed, and I did about 30 minutes later.

What a day. I wish I knew why it was a bad day. It just … was.