I Don’t Know Where The Day Went

Song: “Sultans of Swing” by Dire Straits

Mood: 6.5

Nightmares: 0

I woke up quite a few times last night. I’m not sure why, but it took me a while to get back to sleep each time. I also couldn’t get back to sleep when J left for work so it was kind of a short night for me.

My exercises went well and I went for my walk early so I could get it over with. It was very nice out today – I wore a hat instead of my touque for the first time this winter. Maybe it’s a sign that spring is on the way…

My mom called today and brought me up to date on how my uncles are doing (one has ALS and another has complications from diabetes) and after that we had a good chat.

The day flew by. I spent most of my time playing with the quadcopter again. It’s flying well (I had it flying at waist height a couple of times) but it still wants to drift. I lightly crashed it a couple of times but fortunately nothing broke, although I hope those propellers I ordered get here soon. There’s not a lot of space in the living room to fly in so when things go wrong there’s not a lot of time for corrections.

I topped up Lloyd’s tank today. He seems to be doing well and still approaches whenever I’m in the room. I think it’s because he’s used to getting food when I show up in the morning but that’s okay. The two shrimp in there are doing well, too – somebody moulted and left their skin in the middle of the tank. Fortunately, they eventually clean up after themselves.

I have an appointment with Dr P tomorrow. No appointment this week with Dr W but I’ll see him next week when he’s back from holidays. I wish I could do my sessions over the phone. That way, I’d be more comfortable and I wouldn’t need J to drive me anywhere.

Stay safe.

Keeping Myself Busy

Song: N/A

Mood: 6

Nightmares: 0

I slept reasonably well last night. I woke up a few times but it didn’t take me too long to get back to sleep. I also don’t remember having any nightmares or bad dreams and I’m grateful for that. I woke up still feeling nervous but it wasn’t as bad as yesterday.

J and my mother-in-law were like really quiet this morning – I slept right through them getting ready to go out and didn’t wake up until well after they’d left.

My exercises went better today. It was much easier to relax and focus on what I was doing, and the exercises left me feeling better than I did when I got up. I find it interesting how much of a difference a successful round of mindfulness and worrying helps me for the rest of the day. If I don’t get a chance to do it or it doesn’t work out, I feel wrong all day.

I’m still feeling anxious but it’s nowhere near as bad as it was. I got out for my walk today and it was easier than it was yesterday, plus I didn’t clench my jaw as much so I didn’t get a headache. It was quite pleasant out – probably around -3C with only a slight breeze. I took the long route again and brought in the garbage cans when I got back.

When I checked the mail today I found that the replacement motor for the quadcopter had arrived. I spent some time trying to figure out how brushless motors work so I wouldn’t burn anything out if I hooked it up wrong. The good news is that it fits and after some fiddling (when I first soldered it in, it spun backwards) it started right up. I very, very carefully gave it a try to see if it would do the job:

I made it briefly lift off a few times and didn’t crash it into anything. It drifts quite a bit but it should be pretty easy to adjust for that.

Our vacuum cleaner stopped working the other night, so while I had my electronics stuff out for the quadcopter, I took it downstairs and checked it out with the multimeter. Everything looked normal so I plugged it back in and it started to work. I wonder if it overheated and just needed time to cool down. It’s nice we don’t have to buy another vacuum.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do tomorrow. Probably spend more time working on the quadcopter. A week or so ago, my mom challenged me to make a batch of bread by My 1st. I haven’t made any in a long time but it would be a good way to spend an afternoon – and who doesn’t like the smell of fresh bread?

Stay safe.

Not As Bad As Yesterday

Song: N/A

Mood: 6

Nightmares: 1

I took a PRN last night before I went to bed and it helped me relax a bit so I could get to sleep but I had trouble staying asleep through the night. I had one particularly bad nightmare that kept me up for a while, too.

I gave Dr P’s office a call this morning and left a message. He called me back a short time later and I told him about what was on my mind and his response was reassuring. I hung up feeling quite a bit better than I had earlier. Still anxious, but better.

While she was shopping for groceries on Saturday, J picked up a big box that had a bunch of different cereals and other products in it. This morning I had Fruit Loops for the first time in probably twenty years. They weren’t too bad but they’re no Raisin Bran.

My exercises went better than yesterday but still not very well. I went for my walk and took the long route and it was quite a bit more difficult today. By the time I got home I could feel the beginnings of a headache from clenching my jaw.

I kept busy around the house, listening to music and doing some tidying up, then spent some time reading. I gave up after I kept noticing that I’d be at the bottom of a page and didn’t remember anything that I’d read.

My mother-in-law came over this evening and the three of us had a good chat. It was good to see her. She flies out early tomorrow morning so I probably won’t see her again until she’s back in town.

I’m not sure what I’ve got going on tomorrow. I think a lot of it depends on how I sleep tonight.

Stay safe.

Not A Great Weekend

Song: N/A

Mood: 5

Nightmares: 1

I’ve been very anxious all weekend. Dr P and I talked about some stuff on Thursday and I gave it some more thought over the weekend and it’s really bothering me. I’m going to try to give him a call tomorrow morning and talk to him about it I think.

I didn’t accomplish a lot this weekend. I went for my walk on Saturday (took the long route again) but didn’t make it out today, although I did take out the garbage so hopefully that counts for something. J had a good time at the movies with her cousin, so that’s pretty good.

I slept very poorly last night because I kept waking up and worrying and it was very difficult to get back to sleep. I don’t do well when I’m low on sleep so tonight I’m giving in and taking a PRN and hopefully things will be a little better.

I’m having a lot of trouble relaxing and concentrating on things so my mindfulness and worry time today didn’t go well. I can feel myself winding tighter and tighter.

I need a haircut pretty badly but I was talking to J about it and I don’t think I can do it right now.

My mother-in-law is coming over tomorrow evening – I hope I’m feeling better by then because it would be nice to be able to sit down and have a chat with her instead of wringing my hands.

I hope tonight is better. Wish me luck.

Stay safe.

All Set For The Weekend

Song: “Get Over You” by The Undertones

Mood: 6.5

Nightmares: 2

Last night didn’t go very well. I had a few bad dreams and two nightmares that woke me up, and one of them was quite bad and took a long time to calm down from. Getting up this morning was a little rougher than usual. I don’t have much of a reason to complain, though – it’s been four or five days since my last nightmare, which is a lot better than the way it used to be. This sounds silly, but it would be really nice if I had different nightmares once in a while instead of the same three.

My exercises didn’t go as well today as I would have liked. I was feeling a little groggy from the poor sleep and had trouble concentrating on both my mindfulness and worry exercises. I’m still jumping like a flea whenever there’s a sudden noise, and that doesn’t help either.

I went for my walk right after I finished my exercises. I took the route I did back on Monday, which takes me over to the next block and well beyond where I can even catch a glimpse of the house. I really, really don’t like doing stuff like this. The anxiety builds quickly when I get away from the house and it’s a terrible feeling. Plus, when I feel the anxiety ramping up, I start to get worried I’m on my way to another panic attack, and I’m horrified I’m going to have it in public.

The good news is that the weather was very pleasant today and I feel less silly when I go for a walk than when I just stand out in the back, doing nothing.

No ERP homework for this week, although if I see myself slipping on things I think I’ll go back to doing it instead of waiting for my next appointment.

After I got back home, I listened to a couple of records to help me calm down after I got back from the walk. I blew the dust off of the Undertones’ first album and listened to it all the way through twice. “Get Over You” is probably in my top five songs of all time.

I also watched a couple of YouTube videos. When I grew up, we had The People’s Court, with Judge Wapner presiding. Now, there are TONS of different “court” shows. I watched a couple of episodes and was, frankly, amazed at the lengths that people are willing to go to to humiliate themselves when they’re on TV. I hope those shows pay the guests well.

I got bored of the courtroom stuff quickly so I went and worked on the quadcopter again. It’s been transmitting an image from the onboard camera to the goggles, but it hasn’t been sending the telemetry. I was hoping to have that mainly so I could tell what state the battery is in. I don’t want to be running the battery flat every time I use it because that’s not good for them. Well, after some more research, messing around, and luck, I got it working:

View Through Quadcopter GogglesOnce I get that new motor, I’ll be ready to fly! We don’t have a lot of snow right now so maybe I could even try it out in the nearby park. That would probably be smarter than trying it in the living room again and taking out another plant (or worse). Oh, and speaking of wrecking stuff, I found gashes in the dining room ceiling the other day that weren’t there before. I’m starting to wonder if I should be wearing goggles when I’m flying this thing…

I don’t have any extravagant plans for the weekend. J is going to a movie with her cousin tomorrow afternoon so I’ll be by myself for a while. I really need to catch up on laundry and my mother-in-law is coming over on Monday so I’ll need to make sure all the dirty socks laying around the house get picked up.

Stay safe.

ERP And An Appointment

Song: “Spanish Flea” by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass

Mood: 6

Nightmares: 0

No nightmares again last night, and I don’t even remember having any dreams – good or bad. I’m really starting to appreciate not waking up panicking during the night.

My exercises went reasonably well today. For whatever reason I’m still jumpy but it only bothered me a couple of times.

I had time to do two rounds of ERP with the garage door today, and both were successful, which was a pleasant surprise. I also stayed out of the kitchen as much as I could so I wasn’t tempted to look through the curtain and check.

By early afternoon I was already starting to dread having to go to my appointment. I did some reading to try and keep from thinking about it. J got home (which made me feel better), and then we left for my appointment (which made me feel worse).

My appointment with Dr P today was difficult again. I’m trying very hard to pay attention and absorb the things we’re working on but it’s very hard to keep focussed when my mind keeps going back to what’s happening at home and all I want to do is get back to the house. He did say that I don’t have to spend my time doing ERP completely focussed on it, but find a balance between that and being so distracted that I don’t notice it anymore. I’m glad about that – it was pretty uncomfortable sitting there for an hour and a half, stewing over whether the garage door was open or not.

I’m also supposed to keep walking around outside. Standing in the garage is much less uncomfortable for me than walking to a point where I can’t see the house, so I need to challenge myself by doing more walks and spending less time in the garage. It’s not a big time commitment but it’s still pretty unpleasant.

Other than the ERP and my appointment, I had a little bit of time to play with the quadcopter. I didn’t make any progress but it was a good distraction. I figure that new motor should be here in a week or two.

This evening my parents called and we had a good chat. Mom recently had some hand surgery and got the stitches out a couple of days ago but it still looks (and feels) pretty gnarly. I’m glad she got it done, though – better to take care of that stuff earlier instead of waiting.

A letter came from the insurance company today. I couldn’t make myself open it so I left it for J to take a look at. Fortunately, it’s just tax documents. I can handle that.

Stay safe.

More ERP Progress

Song: “Those Were the Days” by Julius Wechter and the Baja Marimba Band

Mood: 7

Nightmares: 0

I slept pretty well last night. No nightmares that I can remember, and only one weird dream where I think I was in prison and arguing with someone over a blue blanket. Haven’t had that one before.

My exercises went well today. Aside from jumping a couple of times when I heard noises, I was able to focus on the mindfulness and worry aspects and felt much better when I was done. My time on the treadmill and doing the burpees felt like they took forever, though.

I had more success with the garage door ERP today. All of my attempts worked out well and I don’t feel quite as strong about opening the curtain and checking outside every time I’m in the kitchen. It’s a bit of a relief – for a while there I was wondering if I was stuck. I have time to fit in a couple of tries tomorrow too, so hopefully they’ll work out.

I did my outside time in the garage again today. It was nice out and there was no wind so I can’t complain about that. There’s a lot of stuff to putter around with in the garage, too, but I think Dr P doesn’t want me to distract myself when I’m doing things that make me anxious. He wants me to feel the anxiety and face it head on. Distracting myself with other things makes the time go by a lot faster, but I understand that it’s probably not a good idea to hide from the anxiety if I can help it.

After I got back inside I spent a while listening to some records, including some really snazzy James Last albums. I enjoy just sitting back, closing my eyes, and letting the music wash over me. I’ll often listen to the same record a few times in a row so I can try to pick out individual instruments and hear how the contribute to the overall sound. I find it relaxing and a good grounding tool.

I worked on the quadcopter again today. That one motor wouldn’t cooperate so I spent time changing some of the settings and trying to get the status info to show up in the goggles. I thought I had it but I think I need to do a little more research, which is fine by me – this has been a very interesting project to work on!

After realizing that the laundry basket was buried under a pile of dirty laundry, I did a couple of loads today to try and ease the situation a bit. I don’t think I made much of a dent but at least there’s some clean stuff in the laundry room now.

I also spent some time doing a Wikipedia adventure. It’s amazing how far away from the original article you can get with just a few clicks.

I have an appointment with Dr P tomorrow afternoon. With the ERP and time I’ve been spending outside, I hope that it will be easier to be away from the house. We’ll see.

Stay safe.

Getting Better At The Garage Door

Song: Theme from Super Mario Bros. by Koji Kondo

Mood: 7

Nightmares: 1

I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night. I spent quite a bit of the night awake for some reason, and when J left for work this morning I couldn’t get back to sleep. I remember waking up because of nightmares once. It would prefer zero times but once isn’t too bad I think.

I went outside today and spent my time in the garage. I find that it’s a lot easier to do that than it is going to the park or around the block. Being able to see the house helps a lot, even if I can’t see the front door.

I did several more rounds of ERP with the garage door. The first one didn’t go well but I was able to keep from checking the other three times.

I know that ERP is helpful (it’s worked for me before) but it takes a lot of time. To be successful, I need to keep myself from giving into my compulsions for 100 minutes. I also like leaving half an hour to an hour between attempts so I can relax a bit before trying again. That means that a successful try takes between two and two and a half hours, so I can only do three or four attempts per day.

I find that during the trials where I do end up checking usually only last around fifteen to twenty minutes. If I can hold on past that, chances are I’ll be able to make it to the 100 minute mark. If I check, I still give myself half an hour to an hour before trying again.

Aside from the ERP, I worked on the quadcopter again today. That motor is still being stubborn but every once in a while it starts up. After working on it for a few hours I brought it into the bedroom, put it on the bed, and turned it on and off a bunch of times until all four motors were running. I managed to get it to hover briefly but it was drifting quite a bit and I didn’t want to crash again so I landed it quickly.

While I was looking some stuff up, I fell into another Wikipedia rabbit hole and lost another hour or so doing that. It’s very easy to get distracted…

I got notifications last night that my motor and propeller order have shipped. Now I just have to wait a bit.

Stay safe.

A Nice Long Weekend

Song: “Home for a Rest” by Spirit of the West

Mood: 7.5

Nightmares: 0

J had today off so we had a long weekend. We had a good time and got a lot of things done around the house. I introduced her to Carcassonne and we both enjoyed playing. I think we’re going to pick that one up. We also played some Blokus:BlokusWe also watched a couple of episodes of Columbo. We’re deep into the 1989/1990 episodes and I can’t remember most of them. J says that we watched them a couple of years ago but I was pretty sick at the time. I probably slept through them.

I put in an order for a new motor and 20 propellers for the quadcopter. The motor should be here in a week or two but the propellers are going to take a lot longer. I’ve played with the quadcopter a couple of times and the bad motor sometimes starts up just fine but most of the time it just quivers a bit in both directions. I checked the wires and they seem fine. I hope the new motor fixes the problem – otherwise it’s probably the controller and I’m not sure how to fix that. We’ll see.

I went for my walks outside every day except for yesterday. On Saturday J came with me. We walked to the local park and back, and that wasn’t too bad (with J around everything seems easier). Today I took a different route and walked a bit further and didn’t enjoy it at all, particularly once I lost sight of the house. It doesn’t feel like it’s getting any easier.

I’ve also done some ERP with the garage door; it hasn’t gone well. Every time I’m in the kitchen I can’t help but brush the curtain out of the way and check the door. It has four panels and I have to count all of them as well as look at the rubber bumper at the bottom and make sure it’s flush with the ground. Even typing this out made me go and check again just now – it’s very difficult to ignore. On the upside, I don’t think anything else is slipping.

I’m still feeling jumpy but my anxiety has gone down since Friday afternoon and it’s been easier to do my exercises. That’s good because when I don’t do them (or they go poorly) it impacts the rest of my day quite a bit.

My nightmares have backed off considerably. I had one on Saturday night but none last night again. I’m still waking up a few times but it’s a lot easier to get back to sleep when I’m not panicking. I hope this keeps up.

Stay safe.

Yesterday (Friday)

Song: Theme from Crazy Comets (Commodore 64 game) by Rob Hubbard

Mood: 7.5

Nightmares: 0

Thursday night was another decent sleep. I woke up feeling anxious a few times but none of them was because of a nightmare and I was able to get back to sleep reasonably quickly. I was feeling pretty anxious and discouraged when I went to bed, though, and J took some time to give me a pep talk, which helped quite a bit.

I woke up Friday morning feeling anxious again and immediately started winding myself up. My exercises didn’t go very well again and the ERP and time I spent outside didn’t help. FA was coming over so I broke down and took a lorazepam to help me calm down.

FA arrived around noon and brought burritos again, which were particularly good. I have yet to have a bad one from that place (or even a so-so one) but sometimes they’re fantastic instead of excellent.

We talked while we ate and had a good conversation. That’s something that I enjoy about talking with FA – you never know where the conversation will go, and it’s always interesting.

After we were done, we played a few games of Carcassonne, of which I think I squeaked by with one single point win. FA left it here when she left so J and I could give it a try. It’s a pretty good game – different than the type of games that I’m used to, like Monopoly or Scrabble or Trouble.

After a while, we switched over to playing some Sequence. I had a little more luck there, winning a couple of games but FA won most of them by far. I like Sequence, there’s a bit of strategy to it but if you’ve got terrible cards there’s not much you can do.

I remember hearing on the radio that it was 1:55PM, but the next thing we realized was that it was 4:30 and FA had to head home. The afternoon flew by, but it was fun and I had a good time. I hope FA did, too.

I did some more ERP with the garage door after she left, and J got home around 6:30. We had supper (small pizzas on flatbread) and had a good chat about how our days had gone. Between hanging out with FA and J getting home, I felt a lot better than I did when I got up.

I did one more round of ERP in the evening but it didn’t go well at all.

J and I watched an episode of Columbo which I found to be a little over the top but it was alright. Halfway through I started to get tired, and by the time the episode finished I was ready for bed. I had planned to write a blog entry when the episode was done but I couldn’t keep my eyes open.

Today (Saturday), I’ve been puttering around the house a bit and have a load of laundry in the wash right now. I need to get outside again but I really, really don’t feel like it.

Stay safe.