Friday, August 10, 2007

Ant hills and mud puddles

The pipe dream is progressing from clouds to images to renovation. As a lark when I was bored earlier this year, I began to design houses. Then I moved on to redesigning this house. When my partner looked at one drawing, she said, "I like that; let's get an estimate." I was shocked. It was a pipe dream for me.

But, we began to look at the drawing, make changes, then called a contractor. He called in specialty subs to check things out. Drawings were made.

After calling the contractor, my anxiety soared because, of course, I take as little of my anti-anxiety medicine as possible. My depression got worse because of the heat and hot, humid summer. So I was a mess. I have worried over every little thing that has happened to any of my friends...excessively so. My therapist suggested an increase in my anti-depressant, and I decided I'd best take the anti-anxiety more like it is prescribed.

Yesterday, the contractor came back with a price. A reasonable price! So I was relieved. We could do it.

Then I began to add in all the things not covered by his contract - moving everything out of the house and storing it for three months, moving me and partner and the cats to the condo, possibly need a new refrigerator if this one is moved, what if the cost of the flooring (which we haven't picked out yet) is higher than we estimated, time and effort to paint (we're doing that), cost of the cabinets for the kitchen (think I'm using Ikea but not sure) - and the price soared. I was anxious again.

Then we began looking at financing options - what could be paid out of current assets, how much might be financed, where to finance. Then we came upon a way to pay for it that is reasonable and not too costly.

I'm still a bit anxious, but, as you can see, the anxiety fluctuates. By this afternoon, I will be worried silly again.

"it's cloud's illusions I recall, I really don't know life at all."

This morning, I'm fine. It's hot as blazes here, as in most of the rest of the country. I considered just going to Iceland for a few months but vetoed that because I couldn't take all my hobby stuff. Yesterday the heat index was 119 degrees - a humid heat when I couldn't breathe.

On the other hand, I got out anyway and lived to tell about it. At Weight Watchers weigh-in, I had lost six tenths of a pound - after all my binges, I still didn't gain. Tee, hee, hee. I ate a wonderful chicken salad for lunch with partner and our friend. All of us managed to continue losing a bit of weight.

My life has been a jagged line of ups and downs, and I'm trying to level off the sharpness of the peaks and valleys. Old habits die hard. Lately, I've been trying to make sharp peaks of things that are really ant hills (regular ants - not the fire ants we have in our yard), and I've exaggerated the lows into lakes instead of mud puddles. My conscious mind can't see what I'm doing. My therapist can. I'm seeing her again in a week. We're going to keep that sharpness down to manageable humps.

For all and any of you suffering from both depression and anxiety, I send my love and prayers. Mine really is mild. But, mild is painful. So I hug you and hope your peaks and valleys become ant hills and mud puddles.


Judy Vaughan-Sterling said...

I also suffer from anxiety, a trait I inherited from my mom. So I know exactly how you feel! Thank heavens for Paxil! You'll be in my prayers during this stressful time.

PseudoPiskie said...

Speaking of mudpuddles - my neighbor finally put gravel down so I don't have to wade to my back door.

I'm sure the mud of my building/remodeling project is just the smallest beginning of one worry after another, one frustration after another.

We will need to keep in close touch and send lots of virtual hugs? I don't have a partner. Tho I'm not sorry about that, I'm a little jealous that you can get real hugs.

klady said...

My thoughts and prayers have been with you, especially these last few days. I, too, have struggled with anxiety and depression my entire life (never medicated the former, though that may have been, still is, a mistake).

I am so sorry you've been having a tough time. I don't want to venture between you and your therapist, but from the outside, it looks like your writing here does an extraordinary job of bringing insight and control. I hope it does you as much good to write as it does others to read what you've written.

I have difficulty sometimes of putting away my deep admiration of your words and holding up high the person behind them, who seems to be struggling, perhaps even more than words can convey. Just please know that I do care about you, real, live in the flesh you, even though I only know you here. And also know that part of what I admire is not just words nicely arranged on the page but what amounts to a ministry to those of us who need to put similar struggles into perspective and transformed into a deeper understanding of how to live with anthills and mudholes, how to find balance and harmony among the rhythms of ordinary life, of work, chores, planning and unplanning, of love and friction and hugs and solace. Thank you M., and blessings always.

June Butler said...

ShareCropper, one day my house will be falling down around me, because I can't face the thought of the turmoil involved in renovating. I'm joking, of course. But we are down to doing only what must be done, appearances be hanged - up to a point.

When the wallpaper that I don't like any more starts peeling off the walls, we'll make a change.

I wish you were not anxious and depressed, my friend. Prayers for you.

Anonymous said...


I have lots of days like that - up down, freakingout, doing better...

Chin up. The project sounds exciting and it seems like the bumps are getting smoothed out.

Anonymous said...

I am glad to see you writing again. I think you're a brave writer. And, as for the depression, any day that you manage a little hope, you are a hero. I am SO pulling for you, Sharecropper. I hope that somehow that finds its way to you and helps.