I Hate Halloween

Well… it’s that time of year again. We usually don’t get many trick-or-treaters on good years, and this isn’t shaping up to be a particularly good year so I think both J and I will be hiding in the basement with the lights off this time.

I feel bad for the kids who are going to miss out because of all the stuff going on, but I will be a happy man if everything’s done by 7PM and the streets are quiet.

Stay safe.

A Nice Long Weekend

Song: N/A

Mood: 7

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Few

This has been a good weekend so far. J has today and tomorrow off, and it’s been great to just hang out, relax, and get some things done around the house.

One of the things that’s been on our list for a while is the outdoor light above the front door. It’s got a little brain in it so that it turns on at night, but only runs at half brightness until it detects motion, at which point it goes to full brightness for a while. Well, a couple of months ago we noticed that it was doing this weird flickering thing so we turned it off. Not a big deal in the summer, but as it’s getting dark by 7PM now, having an outdoor light would be good. We did some online window shopping but didn’t find anything we liked, so we took the lamp down, ripped the guts out of it, and then put it back up as a regular lamp that we turn on/off with a switch. Might get one of those extra screw-in light detectors and see if it can turn on automatically again but at least we’re not in a big hurry to find something now. So that’s another item off the list.

With the days getting shorter and some of the other things going on, I’ve been feeling a little down lately. Had an appointment with Dr C on Thursday and it was one of the more difficult ones I’ve had in a while. Sometimes it’s easy to talk to her, while other times it feels like every word is snarled in a bunch of tree roots and I only have a butter knife to cut them free with. Four and a half years in, though, the sessions are still very important and I’m lucky to have Dr C as my therapist.

J and I decided to see if there were any new computer games we could play together and we ended up trying Neverwinter. It’s certainly not new, but it’s new to us. I think we’re both enjoying it, although it’s a little confusing in places (particularly when trying to figure out where you’re supposed to go). We’ve played Neverwinter Nights and NWN 2, so the fantasy-style game isn’t new. I think the most fun part of the game is when we talk about and mock the bad guys, particularly the big nasty looking ones who howl and take forever to fall over after you beat them.

We’re still watching Bob’s Burgers, too. I’ve been finding it getting funnier as the show goes on. We’re on season four but there hasn’t been much of a lull yet, although the first season was a little rough. There’ve been a lot of places where we’ve had to pause and rewind a couple of times because we were laughing so hard.

Otherwise, there isn’t a huge amount of stuff going on right now. This coming weekend J and I will be going into her work to sort out a bunch of stuff and load up our little truck to haul stuff to a couple of charities and recycling depots. If I remember correctly, the following week is going to be another appointmentpalooza. So I’ll enjoy the quiet calm we have going on right now.

Stay safe.

Accomplishment, Friends, Food, And Fun

Song: “In The Navy” by The Village People

Mood: 7

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Several

I’ve been neglectful about my posts for a while now. That doesn’t mean that things aren’t happening, though. The last week or so has been pretty interesting.

First things first. The trip to FA’s place that I mentioned in my previous post went very well. No panic, no clawing at the doors trying to get home… it was great! There was a bit more traffic than I would’ve preferred but that’s kind of my own fault – I went there during the lunch rush hour and came home during the afternoon rush hour. But it was okay.

On the way there, I picked up burritos for FA, DM, and myself (which is a first for me and it was very nice to be able to return the favour), and stopped in at a pet store where I went right to the counter and said something along the lines of, “my friend has a new dog, I won’t see it all that often but I want to be best friends with it.” The cashier said she knew just the thing and showed me two different products, I picked the one that looked the tastiest (and had the best name) and got out on the road. Like I said, the roads were busier than I’d hoped but the drive was fine, I didn’t get lost, and I didn’t make a wrong turn and end up eaten by a giant lobster monster.

Had a great time there, too! Beautiful weather made eating outside very pleasant, and the three of us had a really good conversation. Plus, the treats seemed to go over well with DM and FA’s new dog. She already seems a lot more comfortable there and was wagging her tail a lot. FA and I spent a bunch of time geeking out over some electronics stuff and an old ship’s wheel that she has in her garage (don’t ask – it’ll take too long to explain and I’ll probably end up confusing myself), and talking about all kinds of stuff. Then the three (four) of us went to pick up the mail and they let me walk the dog on the way back. I’ve been around a lot of dogs over the years, but that was the first time in my life I’ve ever actually held a leash with a dog at the other end. So simple but pretty neat!

The drive home went well too – again, no wrong turns, and there was no cloying panic getting in the way. I got home with no problem. Pooped, but no problem. Aaaaand… driving out to FA and DM’s place by myself is one of the items on my list of things I REALLY wanted to accomplish this year! And I did it, woohoo!

So in addition to it being a fun day, it was also pretty big for me!

Then, on Monday, J and I both went over there again for a fancy little Thanksgiving visit and meal. The food was delicious – very nicely seasoned beef, dumplings, gravy, and yet another form of cabbage that I not only was able to eat, but quite enjoyed… and dessert was a lovely lemon and chocolate cake. The conversation was good as always, the weather cooperated again (which at this time of year is quite a gamble), and J and I had a fantastic time. Having friends like FA and DM is wonderful thing. They’re good people who are a pleasure to be around, we never seem to run out of things to talk about, they’re able to look past my many and wide-ranging faults, and they make reeeeally good food (which is not necessary to be a good friend but I’m happy to take advantage of it).

We also spent time playing with their dog, which was pretty great. She seemed even more comfortable than when I’d been there a few days prior, and I think the treats I picked up worked some magic because I not only got more wet dog nose in my face, but she was comfortable enough around me to lay down and let me keep petting her while she zonked out for a short while:

Petting a relaxed dogThe four of us humans all grabbed some treats and then called out her name to see how good she’s getting at responding. I think she’s getting pretty good at it but it’s entirely possible that she was playing us and just getting the treats. Still, I think all of us (humans and canine) enjoyed the exercise.

She’s also apparently quite the escape when DM and FA are out, so FA and I set up a little camera to keep an eye on her and see what she does while they’re away for more than a few minutes. Should be interesting to see what she gets up to!

It was another good day and J and I both really enjoyed ourselves. So many things worked out and it was fantastic to hang out and just shoot the breeze on a beautiful fall day (and eat good food (and play with the dog)) with friends.

As for J and I, we’ve been getting back into watching some shows. After finishing The Good Place (and being sad about its ending) we’ve been watching Bob’s Burgers. The first season was a little rough but since then it’s been really good. It’s clever, funny, and pretty uncomfortable at times (kind of in a Napoleon Dynamite way), and once in a while something happens or there’s a joke that makes J and/or me laugh pretty hard. Here’s an example:

As for the rest of this week, there’s not a whole lot going on. Work is still frustrating for J so hopefully things will be calm there, and hey – tomorrow’s already Thursday. I’m not sure how the weather is supposed to go but there are a few things I’m hoping to do out in the garage before it gets all damp and miserable. We’ll see what happens.

Stay safe.

Some Ups And Downs But Doing Alright

Song: N/A

Mood: 7

Nightmares: some

Ghosts: few

Fall is certainly here. It’s been below freezing at night once or twice now, the leaves have all turned, and it seems like most of the geese have already been overhead on their way south. I’m not looking forward to winter but I suppose the closer winter gets, the closer spring gets too.

It’s been a little more difficult than usual to get myself started in the mornings. I wake up, finish rebooting (as FA would say), and then I pretty much just want to go back to bed. I’m not particularly tired – in fact, I’ve been doing pretty well with sticking to the new sleep schedule – but it’s hard to build up some steam to get going on something. It’s a normal swing and not something to worry about but yeah… it’s tough to start working on something.

The bad part about that is that being idle isn’t healthy for me, so I’ve been doing my best to force myself to start in on something and spend at least five minutes doing it. If I can do that, often what happens is I start to get interested, and if I’m interested it’s a lot easier to concentrate and continue doing whatever hobby/task/etc that I’m doing.

Along with that, I’ve had the feeling that something is terribly wrong. No matter what I try, I can’t put my finger on what’s causing it. It varies in intensity but has been following me around like a little dark cloud for the last week or two. I’ve checked in with everyone, checked around the house, and have gone back through dozens of conversations and nothing seems to be the trigger.

I’ve also had a few nightmares (life jackets mostly, some tent) lately, and more of them than usual have sent me out to to the light in the living room to fight with myself to calm down. I don’t know what I’m doing differently – could be related to my mood or the shortening of the days or whatever. At least I’m able to get back to bed and I’m not losing too many hours to nightmares right now.

Had a Dr W appointment today. We talked a lot about my nightmares and how I feel that something’s wrong, and Dr W mentioned that a lot more people that usual are having trouble with mental health issues because of everything going on nowadays. Virus, politics, climate, economy, protests… all kinds of things are putting more pressure on people and making it more difficult for them to go about their regular routine. He didn’t have any answers for me aside from making sure I use the tools I’ve learned, keep in touch with him, Dr C, and my family and friends, and keep busy. We talked about medication for a while too, and we decided together that I’d lower my quetiapine another 25mg, so I’m down to 100mg of that per day. Not bad, considering I think I was at 700 when I first got out of the hospital. As always, Dr W said that if I’m having problems I can call him anytime, which I really appreciate.

As J’s job winds down, it seems to be getting sillier and sillier. I think one of the other supervisors she works with is having a lot of trouble with the whole situation, as she’s rarely making any decisions and the decisions she makes are increasingly erratic. J has been putting in a lot of work trying to keep things running smoothly and then this other supervisor just suddenly decides to ignore what’s been decided and documented and go her own way, without so much as an explanation or warning. I can see J getting frustrated and angry but she’s doing an amazing job of staying classy and professional. I’m really proud of her but I’m also worried about her, too. I wish I could go into her work and point and yell at that other supervisor, but I’m starting to think she’s having trouble keeping things together and talking to a professional would help more than someone yelling at her. Buuuut… she’s making my sweetie sad and I REALLY don’t like it when my sweetie’s sad. So I’ll just sit here and if J wants anything I will do my best to help.

Tomorrow I am getting together with FA for another geek-out session. The big difference this time, though, is that I will be driving over there by myself. J and I went over a week or so ago and hung out with DM, FA, and their new dog (who is such a sweetheart). I drove there and back and it was fine, so I think going there myself will go alright. I don’t need to worry about whether I make a wrong turn or miss a particular street – I’m familiar enough with landmarks in the area that I’ll be able to recognize it if I make a mistake and be able to turn around or change my route or otherwise correct things. Last time I checked the map, it did not look like this:

Old map with sea monsters as a map to FA's house

Public Domain + scribbles by Mark

FA and DM are also right up there on the list of people I trust and J will be at home, so that’s a lot of stuff off my mind right there. Plus, their dog is very calm and not jumpy and/or bitey (did I mention she’s a sweetheart?)

So… I’m not feeling my best right now but I’ve got a lot of good stuff going on. Tomorrow should be fun and interesting, and hey – I may get to play with a dog!

Stay safe.