Another Gloomy Day Outside

Song: “Downtown” by Mrs. Miller

Mood: 6

Nightmares: 1

It’s not tough to tell that fall is here. It’s been dark, gloomy, rainy, and cool since the end of September. The sun comes out occasionally, but it doesn’t seem to be enough to clear the dampness from the air or warm things up much. The street has a thin cover of fallen leaves, which are sticking to everything because they’re damp. From late morning to the middle of the afternoon there was a decent breeze blowing, too. I’m really hoping for a warm spell or two before the snow arrives for the season but I don’t know if that’s going to happen.

It looks like it’s been a couple of days since I did much of an update. I was pretty happy that the truck started on Sunday but I didn’t mention anything about my Dr C appointment or anything like that. Let’s see… my appointment was difficult again. We started out talking about how my week went, and then I handed her the list of things that bother me in a normal day (I went through it a couple of times and changed the font and margins and got it down to two pages) and we talked about that for quite a while. I had the items on the list organized from the things that bother me the most to the least, and Dr C asked how I thought we should start in on it. I was of two minds – get through a couple of easy things first to build up to something more difficult, or work on a hard one to prove that if I could do that, the others would be easier?

We talked about that for a while (lots of talking in therapy, go figure) and then we talked about a goal that I wanted to achieve. I replied that I would really like to be able to reliably get to the local grocery store so I can pick up groceries so J doesn’t have to do 100% of the shopping. Considering the impending winter and a couple of other factors, we decided that I’m going to take little steps to drive the truck to the grocery store and pick up groceries. To do that, I needed to get the truck running again since it hadn’t been started since March and the battery was completely shot (wouldn’t take a charge and read 4V for you battery geeks out there).

My self-confidence is (at best) 97% absent; despite maintaining vehicles since I was 16, I was very nervous about swapping out the battery and making sure the truck was in good condition before starting it. The longer it sat, the worse I felt about it. Things fell into place this past weekend though. J picked up a battery tender and a new battery last week (thank you!!!) and when my folks came in on Sunday, Dad gave me a hand changing out the battery and giving the truck a good once-over before I turned the key (thank you!!!). I was worried that various truck juices had leaked/evaporated and after being that long without power, the belts would’ve cracked, or the computer would’ve forgotten the chips in the keys or the signal from the key fobs… all kinds of things.

Turns out I was worrying about nothing. The various juices were in the right places, at the right levels, and the right colours, and the truck fired right up. I even put it into gear and drove back and forth a little bit while Dad grit his teeth, hoping I didn’t bump the side of the garage. The only thing I lost were the time and the radio station settings. That should only take me six hours to figure out (or four minutes if I break down and look at the manual).

So… that was a lot of talking about a little truck. Long story short – if my goal was to drive the truck to the grocery store, I needed to get the truck running first, and with an enormous amount of support from J and my parents, the truck is ready to go. I am so, so very lucky!

Baby steps, though. Sit in the truck for a while. Start it up and sit for a while. Back it down the driveway, take it slowly around the block. Play lots of music. Remember to do grounding and mindfulness. Push up against the discomfort but don’t jump into the panic zone. Baby steps.

As for today, it was alright. I woke up worrying four or five times and a nightmare jolted me awake once but after going out to the living room for about half and hour I was able to head back to bed. I couldn’t get back to sleep after J went to work, so I got up and started in on my day a little earlier than usual.

I went for a short walk between spots of rain and then spent some time out in the garage, sitting in the truck. Sitting there by myself, it didn’t take very long for me to get pretty uncomfortable. I felt anxious and silly at the same time. I hung on, though, and waited out the peak of the anxiety while my phone’s tinny little speaker blasted upbeat music from the dashboard. The anxiety felt like it was just going to keep building until I started to panic, but eventually it started to back off a bit. I grabbed my phone, hooked the battery tender up to the truck, and darted back inside, scaring the rabbits in the back yard in the process. I’m calling today a success. Uncomfortable and felt like eternity, but a success nonetheless.

My exercises didn’t go very well, unfortunately. Between being tired and still feeling rattled from my walk and sitting outside, I had a lot of trouble keeping my mind from zipping hither and yon. It still beat sitting in the truck, though, and I felt a little better when I was done.

I sent out my texts and had quite a few good text chats with people. One of my good friends sent me a bunch of pictures from a trip she just took. One of them is a black and white photo of her walking on the beach at the ocean, the waves splashing against her rubber boots as she stands there in contemplation. It’s a very striking and relaxing photo.

I went to do my daily banking and crafting stuff in Star Trek Online, but it was down for a long time due to a giant update, and after it came back up the banking and crafting was broken. It wasn’t just me, either – the chat windows were full of very unhappy STO fans. They’ve announced another maintenance window for tomorrow morning – hopefully that’ll fix some of the problems.

I was texting with DA and he mentioned that he’d just scored a super good deal on a 60” pull-behind mower. That got me to thinking about lawn tractors, which got me to thinking about welding, which got me to thinking about generators, which got me to thinking about lawn tractors. Some weird yet interesting idea was starting to form in my mind. I mentioned it to J later and she… well, she wasn’t impressed. Still, I think my idea will be on my mind for a little while. We’ll see.

This evening, J and I watched some more Parks and Recreation. We’re into Season 5 now and even though they changed the formula, I think it still works very well. I’m already a little sad that we only have the rest of 5, then all of 6 and 7 left. J and I have already decided that we’re going to have to watch them again.

Tomorrow I have my Dr W appointment. I am not looking forward to going all the way out there again but it’s been a while since I last saw him and I really need to keep making sure that I’m on the same page and doing the same things that I’m prescribed. Quite a lot has happened since we last had an appointment so I expect the appointment will go long. Hopefully things go smoothly and J and I are back home nice and quickly.

I have a Dr C appointment on Thursday afternoon – not looking forward to that, either. I think I’m going to start taping my sessions so I can play them back later. With all of the stuff going through my head when I’m out of my comfort zone, it’s very difficult to pay attention, never mind absorb information. I recorded quite a few of my sessions with Dr P and being able to listen to them when I was back at home and relaxed was very helpful. I will try to remember to ask Dr C if she’s okay with that.

Stay safe.

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