August 31, 2011

A Hard Afternoon

I'll write my post for today in the morning, but wanted to write here before I went to bed.

Today when I got off the bus, I knew they were doing something over by the 'pile' of the old building. Before even going in my apartment I went over to take a look. It turns out that the owner of the building and a few friends/family were working on the pile. They were pulling out heaps and dumping it into trucks.

For some reason it really hit me. Just full on, I was completely overwhelmed.

Instead of going home, I walked down to the smoke shop to see a friend, as I knew I needed to be around someone from the building. When I got there, I walked in, and said they had started to pull out the rubble into trucks. Then, I set my stuff down, and just burst into tears. I just sobbed. More than I have since this all happened.

She got off the phone and came over and just gave me the biggest hug and just held me while I cried. I wasn't prepared for that kind of reaction, it just overcame me. I knew it would be hard when they started taking it all away, and it was.

This evening I spent time with her after work, as I was pretty angry about it all. They were digging a hole in the middle to try to get to their stuff, which I'd found unfair, since they never even tried to shore up the building for us to retrieve anything we may have been able to save. It just struck a bad nerve with me, figuring I was crabby from not smoking and all.

After walking around the pile after they'd all left and seeing they'd gone right for the basement where there stuff was, I took one puff on a cigarette against my friend's advice. Well.... that I can say, taught me how well the hypnotism worked. One puff and I wanted to puke. It was the grossest thing ever, which was exactly what Dr. G. planted in my head, so that saved my ass on the smoking thing. Never want another puff on a smoke again!

I know I'll be okay, I'm just overtired, crabby and just plain mentally wore out. I'm hoping for a good night's sleep tonight....

-M

8/31/11

*52 Days* and 1 day without smokes :) (ok so i like to count things.....lol)

Been up since 330 am this morning. Couldn't sleep. I think it is being without the cigs, my body is going through withdrawl. It's weird though, it's not like last time, last time I had cravings and came very close to acting on them, my mind would be like...oh this is terrible, this is too much, etc. This time around I don't have that. I have the physical cravings but my head automatically dismisses even the notion of having a cigarette. That is where the hypnosis comes in to play.

Yesterday after group, I was hypnotized by Dr. G at his office, to help me quit smoking. He was happy with the homework I did in preperation. It gives him an idea of my smoking triggers and reason for quitting, which he incorporates into the hypnosis. It was really neat. When getting hypnotized I think people think that you have no idea what is going on but that isn't true. You still know you are laying on a couch, etc. So I remember what he said and it was really just....fascinating. He put all sorts of stuff in there about not being a smoker anymore and not needing cigarettes for this and that, etc. And I was really happy he put in there that I will not gain weight from not smoking and won't overeat from not smoking....I sure hope that works....I have enough to get rid of as it is.....

He also put a few snippets in there that we hadn't really discussed..... About certain people in my life that have put me down a lot and hurt me, that they won't affect me anymore, that I don't need the compliments of others to verify my own worth, that I am perfect just the way that i am. That I can let go of the abandonment issues I have from Mom abandoning me as a child, etc. It was really cool.

I think both Dr. G and Bille want to see, is me get to the point where I can focus on my photography as a career. I was flabbergasted the day after they saw my photography when they said I had so much talent that I needed to be able to contribute to the world of art and I had so much to offer, etc. At the time I still was bad with compliments and sort of dismissed it but now I really understand what they meant by that. They are pretty juch laying the foundation for me to be successful in what I do. It's really cool.

The NA meeting was great last night. I actually talked, a lot. It was ironic coming just hours after the hypnosis but maybe not so ironic?? Hrmmmmmmmm. Tiff and I had a great ride back as I rode with her. Her little car is way too fun. We were all paranoid about deer though...it's close to that time of year....

I also had a wonderful time yesterday going to the LOOKS Salon reopening. They are only two blocks from where they were, as they like this area as much as I do. The place is amazing!! So artsy!!!! Really really awesome! Chris was like............ MISTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Haha was too funny :P And as soon as I asked if I could snap a few pics she was like............. YES. lol

Groups 8/30/11

1. Coping Skills
- Negative ones I use:
- Stuffing emotions
- Drug/alcohol abuse
- Isolating
- Self pity
- Smoking
- Black and white thinking
- Self harm
- Procrastination
- Negative self talk
- Over sleeping
- Obsessing
- Not talking
- Approval seeking
- Not saying 'no' when needing to
- Smoothing things over
- Fidgeting
- Catastrophizing
- Over analyzing
- Passiveness
- Assuming

-Good coping skills I've been using since starting partial:
- Healthy eating
- Support meetings
- Calling people to talk
- Socializing with others
- Relaxation
- Keeping a journal
- Getting help when needed
- Make amends to others (still doing)
- Taking one day at a time
- Setting boundaries
- Clarifying my values
- Avoiding substance abuse
- Healthy friends

2. Understanding my anger
-Physical: grit my teeth, get red faced, get stomach ache, tense up, sweat
-Emotional: feel like running away, feel guilty, feel resentment, become anxious, think negatively
-Behavioral: use substances, lose sense of humor, withdraw, get very quiet, use drugs/alcohol

With my anger I'm learning to talk it out because I'll stuff it all in and stuff it in and then BOOM I bounce off the walls one day and then go back to stuffing it.

-M

August 30, 2011

8/29/11

*50 Days* !!!

Had a great time Sunday evening. Myself and others gathered ahead of time to chat and catch up with one another, now that most of my NA buddies have graduated the partial program. One of my friends was having relationship issues and showed up in tears. It was either go out and drink or come with us and he chose us....was so proud!!

My friends are having a Pampered Chef party in my honor in a few weeks (how wonderful hey?). So they brought a book for me to pick things out of. I chose all things practical that I really need, like a pizza cutter, measuring spoons, etc. It is amazing what is all in that book though....a girl can dream!! :)

Today was a great day in group. We have a new member so it was neat explaining to her how partial works and what it has done for each of us still in the program. All of us are making strides. It's amazing to watch not only how you change, but how others do as well.

Groups 8/29/11

1. Communication Skills

- Changing my communication
- When I am angry I usually express myself by: being angry on the inside, thinking negatively about myself, using or drinking, etc.
* A more positive way to express my anger is: talk about it to others
- When I am sad, I usually express myself by: hold it in, am quiet, isolate, drink or use
* A more positive way to express my sadness is: talk about it and cry if I need to
- When I am frustrated, I usually express myself by: cutting, thinking negatively about myself, am very quiet, use drugs or alcohol
* A more positive way to express my frustration is: calm myself, think positively and talk to someone about it

- Self Esteem
- Answering questions like:
Do you like yourself?
Do you feel lonely most of the time?
Do you want to look different?
Do you compare yourself to others?
Are you concerned about what others say about you?
Do you feel comfortable attending a party?
Do you think you are worthy to be loved?
Do you blame yourself often?
Are you confident all the time?
Do you stand up for yourself?
Do you blame yourself often?

- Dr. G's Group
- Prep for quitting smoking homework
- Make lists of why to quit, why not to quit and compare them
- Observe what makes me want to have one or reactions that cause me to want one
- Identify the thought process (ex: it will help me relax), is that thought true or not?
- Write under the thought that it is false and write a counteraction to it (ex: having a cigarette will not help me relax, it might actually make it worse)
- Brain is being tricked. It doesn't help me to relax as it is a stimulant, it is just feeding the craving, which my brain interperets as relaxing = it is a false message to my brain.

August 28, 2011

8/28/11

*49 Days*

Having a great weekend. Napped some, cleaned up some, visited people, roamed around online....has been really nice.

Today I'm finally getting the bedroom done. Procrastinated a bit on it but now I really want it done. Once it is done I'll take a picture of it and post it here. Will be really nice once a dresser and the computer desk are in here. Then it will be about getting the painting hung in there :)

Hope everyone is having a good weekend.

-M

August 26, 2011

Books!




Many people have donated books to me since the fire and it's wonderul to see how many I have. I have everything from horror, mystery, drama, self help, do it yourself, educational, autobiographies, etc. It is becoming quite the collection :D I'm pissed I lost the books I did at my place, especially the one Aunt Kris gave me, my ADHD book and a few others. I am starting a list of ones I really want and will slowly buy them when I can. In the meantime I have so many to read :)






-M




August 25, 2011

8/25/11

*46 Days*

Had a great evening. I helped a friend get some furniture back to her place as she is one of my fellow fire tenants. She also opened a box I'd given her with a few extra items I had that I wouldnt need and some cloths that were too big for me (paying it forward is something I really wanted to do with this). She absolutely loved the stuff and almost cried, as none of her other friends have been so generous. She's my friend, she lost everything, of course I would pass along what I don't need.

We both then went grocery shopping and I got a lot of healthy things. I've chosen for now NOT to get a microwave so that I start cooking healthier meals instead of just getting junky throw in the microwave stuff. So far, it's working.

When I got home, I got online with Jess and Tracey and gave a tour of the apartment using the webcan on my netbook. Was so funny walking around talking to them through the computer, showing them room after room :P Was awesome though! Yay for technology!!

Groups 8/25/11

1. Tom Miller Vids cont.
- hurt, inadequate, depressed, anxious, guilty all can show as anger.
- don't need others acceptance or love to boost self esteem.
- don't need to treat love from a man like oxygen, won't die without them....

2. Dr. Graham group
- he was very excited I wrote my letter and got rid of it in such a symbolic way
- could tell a difference in me today, seemed less stressed, troubled, more light, happy
- said not to get overwhelmed, as I'd been closed off so long, and many emotions for me are still new.

3. Dr. A's group

- Very very happy I am staying on my meds and have finally learned the lesson that I must take them at the right time and every day or my mood drops into depression rather quickly.
- Had the room clap at how many days I've had clean and said I don't need to use to be happy
- Thinks maybe two more weeks of partial and I'll be ready to graduate the program
- Said I even look a lot better (ie: doing hair, makeup, nails, dressing nice, etc.)

8/25/11

*45 Days*

A kid who'd been in partial the very first day I was there, and then got into a massive car crash that evening, came to see us today! He's doing AMAZING!!! He was paralized from the waist down and now he's moving his legs, and working so hard in physical therapy. He said he's too stuborn to be stuck in a wheel chair.... :D

Had my 1 on 1 yesterday with Dr. G. It went SO well. I was hypnotized again, mainly so we could make a new tape, since mine got all messed up from the building fire. I'm going to sent it to Paul and see if he can make a digital file for me. Would be awesome! Dr. G gave me a gift. He's not really into religion, just more of a spiritual person, so he gave me this gift that had positive energy attached to it and transfered that positive energy to me. Was really neat.

He said as far as my progress goes, that I am ready to really open up and live and experience life and people. I almost started to cry by the end of the session, but it was happy tears, not sad. He said it is time to let go of my past and all the negativity associated with it. Before I left he gave me a huge hug and told me to keep pushing myself and working hard, that it is really showing in me. I agree with that, and so do many of the others that see me often.

The lady from the charity program that is putting me on their permanent housing rental program came over and we finished all the paperwork. It's pretty much official now....yay!! I also get my money back I gave to offset the Red Cross money for first month's rent because they ended up paying all of it, which was great. Love how the Red Cross has been so helpful.

Went to an NA meeting and it was very good. Afterwards we went for pizza at a little shop we like to go to. One of my friends, who is in the National Guard, has his uniform on as he'd just finished work before the meeting.... when he went to pay our bill he found out a random person eating in the shop paid for our entire bill. How cool is that?? Positive energy I tell ya....

Groups 8/24/11
1. Tom Miller Vids cont.
- the workings of self esteem
- people get mat at you, your self esteem dropss, the closer that person is to you, the more it affects your self esteem.

August 23, 2011

I did it

Tonight I wrote a letter to someone who hurt me deeply in my childhood. It was very hard to do and I was very upset while writing it. I kept thinking of things this person did to me and got more upset and angry, but I wrote until I was done.
Afterwards, I crumpled it up, put it in a jar incense burner and went out into the alley and I burned the letter. While it burned I thought of all these things that were done to me and put them into perspective, that it happened then, not now. That it wasn't happening to me any more. That it no longer needs to follow me. It is over.
When it was all ashes, I dumped those ashes over the rubble of my old building, signifying that it too, is part of my old life. I have learned the lessons I could from it, but now it is time to move on.
And I am.
-M

8/23/11

*44 Days*

Last night I had fun with Jess and Tracey online. I also chatted with another friend who is pregnant! Yay!
Dad called and we had a great conversation about how I am doing and my conversation with Mom, etc.
I also grabbed an app from Holiday Inn. They are hiring for three housekeepers. Would be nice but I'm not banking on it. If I don't get a call back it is okay, I will keep looking. I do have a couple weeks of partial left, so I can't start immediately.
I had a crappy morning. I had a bad dream that all us tenants were trapped in the crushed/collapsed rubble of our building.... then I woke up and realized that I still needed to pay my cell bill for the month and was short on money, but a great friend came to my rescue and it all worked out. When I'd found out they were getting ready to shut off my phone, I started to panic and get upset, and I thought...... Is this something I can change? Or is it beyond my control? It was somethng I could change, so then the question was, how can I change this? And I figured it out. Good ol' partial program, working wonders for me again ;)

Groups 8/23/11

1. Dr. Tom Miller Vids
- event -> thought -> feeling -> behavior
- "horse": unconscious thought - habit
- "rider": conscious thought - new learning
- use the scale...is this really worth getting upset about?

2. Dr. Graham Group
- need to write my letter
- stop letting her scare me
- need to learn forgiveness

August 22, 2011

salaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad



This is the package it comes in . It is different types of Artisian lettuce, including Oak, Tango and Gem. Comes from a company called Tanimura and Antle.


Made for a wonderful crab meat salad.....nom nom......

-M

8/22/11

*43 Days!!*

Got up very early (for me) this morning. It was storming again outside (awesome lightning!) and I kept on hearing this drip...drop...drip....drop.... noise. Come to find out, the big storm last week weakened the top seal on my window. I'll let them know about it tomorrow.

I FINALLY was able to buy some groceries this morning as my food card was charged. Woohoo!! Just got a few things for now, will get more on Wednesday.

Groups 8/22/11

1. Stressors
-identified small irritants up to major life stressors
-identified how stress affects me
-identified how I see stress in others

2. Self-Esteem
-trying to see how far I've come
-appreciating myself, my thoughts, my body, my values
-I am unique
-treat myself well and recognize basic needs
Hungry
Angry
Lonely
Tired
=HALT and fix the need
-Create the life I want and do what I love to do

3. Dr. Graham's Group
-told him I want to work part time when I finish partial. we decided no Walmart or large places, no crowded places, no retail, no gas station/convenience stores.
-he said I am starting to grasp the concept of the PTSD I have from growing up and of two particular people being in my head all the time.
-Still need to write a letter to one of them, that I will never give to them and will instead rip up and throw into the lake.
-He asked why I hadn't started it yet, if I was afraid to write it, I admitted I was. He asked why and I said because I never really stood up to this person growing up, I was too afraid to, and still am today, even though that person is not here. He said I became afraid of everything, ended up with social phobia, people yelling, of going outside alone, crowds, etc. He said that is what PTSD had done to me and that I don't just have it from the incident with Mom, but from others growing up as well.

We have a 1 on 1 at his office tomorrow and he has a pressy for me too :D Won't give one damned hint about what it is.....grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

-M

August 21, 2011

8/21/11

Today was a very very busy day. I was up by 6:30 and had coffee in me by 7. I finished the entire livingroom today and even got two chairs put together (sorry jess lmao). I was hoping to get a couch today but the timing didn't work out right, but I do have a loveseat someone is giving to me :) k
I brought home the coffee pot from partial because it was running so slow and looked pretty bad. This is one of those times that OCD is handy. I worked on it for almost two hours and it looks like it just came out of the box! Bille will be thrilled.
This evening I went with my friends to the NA meeting again. It was the first time I saw a speaker meeting. Basically this is where a speaker gets up and talks for most of the hour. It was sad, wonderful, inspiring, funny.... I really liked hearing someone's story. I had a LOT in common with the speaker and a lot of what she said really made me think about the stupid things I used to do and how much money I've blown in the last 12 years or so on drugs. It makes me thankful I am finally recovering and thankful I can now have that kind of insight.
We went to a Mexican place to eat after the meeting and the dude handed me my plate with a mit on and he didn't warn me the plate was hot and holy shit!!! My fingers were bright red the rest of the dinner. Looks a little better now, just a few red spots. Was NOT happy.
Tomorrow starts another week of classes/group which I am greatly looking forward to. Tuesday I get hypnotized again.....yay!!
-M

8/20/11

Last few days have been good. Friday in partial was easy as Fridays are. We did make a wonderful poster with positive affirmations on it, like ‘I am beautiful inside and out ‘ and ‘I have the right to say no’, etc. On Monday we will hang it on the wall, for future groups to read.
I went to a candle light NA meeting with some friends Friday night and really enjoyed it. I figured I wouldn’t like it because of all the people but it turned out to be really good. We each chose a stick that had something on it, like strength, sorrow, relationships, etc. Then we said a few words (or a lot) about the topic or we could just talk about what we needed to. I ended up with ‘self will’ and it was perfect. I expected to say a few words and that would be that, but I ended up saying a lot about how easy I could have fallen back into drugs or alcohol and instead took this tragedy and turned it into like a catalyst to make me even stronger. I broke down while explaining I’d lost all my things and my precious Sam and quietly had tears running down for a while after, but I sure was proud of myself for opening up.
After the meeting many wonderful people made it a point to come up to me and give me a hug and say some words about what I’d said. One guy I talked to was a farmer who lost almost his entire years crop in the severe storm we had the other day (still haven’t heard word if it was just straight line winds or a small tornado but the winds officially topped over 90 miles and hour in town). He said before he got clean he wouldn’t have even had the money for crop insurance but because he wasn’t wasting it on drugs he thankfully did have the insurance. He said it wouldn’t cover it all but it would be much better than having no coverage.
After the meeting we all went to Dairy Queen and had blizzards. I had a Hawaiian blizzard that was SO good!!!!!! It had chunks of banana, pineapple and roasted coconut in it. We had good convo as well and just had a nice time.
This morning I walked down and visited a friend, then a few more to see their new place. Everyone from the fire is slowly picking up the pieces and trying to start over again. It’s been hard, but we are all survivors and will make it through this.
-M

August 18, 2011

8/17/11

Didn't get a ton done last night, but got a little farther on the place. Bille was like, do it in parts, and it will get done. She doesn't want me to overwhelm myself and end up doing nothing. Good point.

Had a really rough time when I walked through the door last night after NA. All of a sudden I was expecting my Samsam to come running down the hall and come up to me feet and get up on her back feet waiting for me to pick her up and put her on my shoulder and give kisses and get headbutts and purrs and kneading feet and kisses back......It was like I was looking for her. It really upset me for a while. I miss her so much sometimes but I know with time it will get easier.
I talked about this in first group this morning and I just started crying. Others were very supportive, as they have pets too and could only imagine how it would be for them.

Groups - 8/17/11

1. Bipolar Disorder
-Mood disorder that causes radical emotional changes and mood swings, from manic highs to depressive lows.
-My manic symptoms include: speech pressure, sleeping less, making lots of plans, irritability and crabbiness, spending too much money, euphoria, increased creativity, wound up, overly self involved, poor judgement, oblivious, obsessions, thrill seeking, outbursts, anger, etc.
-My depressive symptoms include: low energy, feelings of despair, difficulty concentrating, extreme fatigue, psychomotor retardation, self harm, crying, sleeping too much, not showering, eating junk food, being too quiet, smoking more, etc.
-rapid cycling - manic + depressive episodes must alternate frequently
- mine can be every couple days, couple weeks, or couple months.
-Tegretol helps to stabilize my ups and downs but only if i take it on time 3x a day, every day.
-Bipolar patients tend to go off their medication when they feel well.

-M

8/16/11

Interesting start to my day....I got up and went outside to have a smoke and halfway through I got poured on....before I left I went out again and partway through, I got poured on....and I had the bus drop me off so I could walk a little as it was fine then, but half way across the parking lot guess what happened?? It started pouring!! So much for nice straight hair....

I didn't get as much done as I wanted last night, but I'm very proud of what I did do. I'm very proud this morning as well dressig nice, doing my nails, straightening my hair...I looked nice! Jess stopped by and gave me a present....a coffee pot!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was like woooohooo!! There is nothing better than waking up and having a fresh cup of coffee to get the day going. I appreciate it!

Groups - 8/16/11
*Bille made a good point. She said her Mom told her she didn't set a good example for her about relationships when Bille was growing up. But Bille said she did set a good example, because she knew what she wouldn't put up with.
You know, I think I am starting to feel the same way about Mom. I'm very picky about the men I choose to have a relationship with, so I don't make the same mistakes Mom did.*

1. Detachment
-Need to work on this!
-Detachment can be bad but also a good thing when used in the right way.
-Staying in touch with your feelings but detaching from others (ie: a crabby store worker)
-Helps you to not get upset about other people's negative emotions, anger, criticism, etc.
-An inner calmness
-The more you meditate the more able you are to do this
-I detach for the wrong reasons (to isolate, avoid anxiety situations, etc.)

2. Values
- Values are your own personal beliefs.
- Values come from how you were raised, family, society, religion, etc.
-Some of my values include: Family, Friends, Creativity, Honesty, Nature, Helping Others, Serenity.

3. Dr. G's Group
-can't reach full potential if holding on to the past
-Can go through grieving process for my possessions, my cat, my home. Will know when I stop grieving.
-Life Lesson = learn to overcome fear
-Must learn to let go of the past
- Survival behaviors might be good at the time of danger/threat, but continuing to use them can be detrimental to emotional growth.

My 1 on 1 with Dr. Graham went really well. It was funny, during his group earlier, he knew I was getting anxious (still don't know how the hell he figures that out...) and he started patting my arm while talking to the group and people were like....huh? lol He does that all the time in our 1 on 1's to calm me down so I'm sort of used to it now. At first I would be thinking get away from me.... but now I understand and trust him and know it's a positive gesture.

We talked about how the fire was like a catalist to me opening up more verbally and emotionally, basically because I had to. Some of the same fears are still there but I am handling them in different, positive ways. I told him I feel like I'm waiting for the ball to drop, for me to screw something up or for something to happen. He told me that was the old ways of thinking coming out again and to immediately cancel it out with a positive about everything going so well.

He did harp on me about not giving myself credit for things and minimizing accomplishments. It is something I need to keep working hard on, because I've done it for probably twenty years or more. That and my self esteem are two biggest issues I am working on right now.

We are going to do a session next Tuesday at his office so I can have the hypnotism again and make a new tape for me to use at home, since mine is in a little plastic bag here with water and wood chips inside of it.... Will be happy to have a new tape!

I need to write down what I want to talk about with him Tuesday as I wasn't as prepared as I could have been this time.

-M

August 15, 2011

8/15/11

The NA meeting was good last night, a very emotional one for some members. A good topic that was brought up was self-sabatage and I could relate to that one. At the moment I almost feel like I'm waiting for the next thing to happen, me to fuck up or the ball to drop basically. I didn't talk this time, but really took in what people were saying that did.

I got a little twitchy going to the NA meeting because there was a fire in the distance. A friend of mine just knew I'd be staring at it and turned around. She saw me staring at it with huge eyes. She was like, "no don't look at it!!" She reminded me it was most likely farmers burning off some brush. She was most likely right.

I've noticed today that I feel very worn down, like I could just fall asleep anywhere. It was harder for me to get up and get ready to go. My mind is sort of wandering all over the place. It started late Saturday and was noticeable to two people on Sunday. I am hoping very much it is because I forgot some of my Tegretol doses towards the end of the week and on the weekend. It most likely is, since it is coinciding with that. Hopefully now that I am back on schedule I will perk back up again soon. I would be very very upset if I am swinging back into a Bipolar depression, but I really just don't feel like that is what this is.


Groups - 8/15/11

How I connect and disconnect:
Connect: making connections with other people by chatting and facing them.
Disconnect: not looking people in the eye, not getting close to them, thinking about other things while people talk, wanting to leave, crossing my arms defensively, talking quieter and one word responses.

My symptoms of stress:
Emotional: anxious, depressed, worse OCD worry, negative on myself, concentration issues, racing thoughts.
Physical: headache, neck and shoulder aches, heart races, stomach rolls, tense up, pick @ fingers, legs tremble, cry, face flushes, smoke more, clench jaw, adrenaline rushes, no energy, don't eat or overeat, GI problems, hands tremble, isolate.

Dr. G group: He said I probably have mild PTSD from the fire, because smoke scares me, so does the smell. I over worry about how I'd get out of my new apartment if there was a fire. I check the smoke detectors every couple days and I think of the fire often. He said it is pretty normal after something traumatic to go through these things. He was happy I've been grieving for Sam and my things, instead of pretending everything is ok. He thinks it is interesting that this experience, instead of making things worse, has actually opened me up more to people.

-M

August 13, 2011

Wonderful Evening

Went by one friend, who gave me more much needed items. She was so very generous! After that I went to another friend and we had the best evening. She had lavendar oil going, dimmed lights, awesome relaxing music and I played on the netbook while she was on her computer. We were even having a conversation back and forth in chat even though we were ten feet away haha. Reminded me of doing the same with Tracey and Jess :P

Got up this morning to awesome coffee and a very affectionate cat all over me. We went through clothes and some dishware for the kitchen and books, all she was going to donate anyhow, so it was donated to me instead. I am so appreciative!!!

-M

August 12, 2011

Moved in, busy days, still fluctuations in mood

Jess and some other friends (don't put their names for privacy) all helped me move in throughout the day Wednesday and I slept my first night in my apartment...and loved it. On Thursday a friend helped me unpack all my kitchen stuff which was a huge help for me. Also another friend had me come over and dug out some things from his garage that I could have. It's been so wonderful how generous everyone has been. Had dinner with another friend that has been going through a horrible time since the fire.

My days have been filled with running here and there and getting things done, picked up or worked on. I'd like to have everything unpacked by Monday morning and I think I will be to hit that goal.

My mood has still been a bit up and down, not as much though. I've been more tired and at first worried it might be a sign of a little depression coming back in, but I now think it has more to do with me just being plain wore out every day with all the stuff I've been doing and the running around so much. My appetite has been much better than it was in the days after the fire, which is good because I sure wasn't eating much.

My netbook has arrived and I'm so thankful and grateful for it, as it keeps me connected to the world, provides me with entertainment and news/weather, lets me blog and express myself and if it's three in the morning and I can't get ahold of anyone, well there is always someone up online.

Now I'm in Iowa with some friends, enjoying a wonderful evening at a friend's house that is so cool, calm, peaceful and relaxing. The lights are dim, relaxing music is on, candles are going, and we are both on our computers..... :P Takes one to know one!!!

The biggest lesson I think I got out of this week is how generous, loving and caring people can be when another is in need. I truly do feel loved. It's just been amazing. The other thing I learned..... that it is so easy to take the little things for granted, like a plunger or silverware!!

-M

August 9, 2011

30 Days

I was so busy I almost forgot.... Today is my 30 day milestone of no drugs or alcohol!!!!!!! Yay for me!!! :D

Was a busy day today. Jess and I got up early to go watch my building get smashed with a wrecking ball, but they weren't ready yet. The had to board up windows to the building across the alley, take down some light posts and disconnect a bunch of power lines. We went to Walgreens and I got my pictures I sent via internet to print, of the fire and the inside and outside of the building. Then I went to community services and they took me up to the furniture store and bought me a new bed!!! It's a soft and cushy one you just melt in to. I love it. It will be delivered tomorrow at 3:30 to the new apartment.

Then I decided to go to group the rest of the day, so I wasn't missing too much. I got paperwork on the groups I wasn't there for and came in the middle of, which were about accepting love and self esteem. After lunch we did a fun group where they ask questions like... if you became president what is the first issue you would attend to (i said affordable health care), if you could talk to anyone in history who would it be (i said Ansel Adams) and if you could be on any game show what would it be ( I said hole in the wall haha).

After group Jess and I did a little running around (thank you jp!) to check my mail, run to the bank and give the new landlord the last of this first month's rent that red cross didn't cover. We then realized they had started smashing the building, so we darted home for cameras and came back. A wonderful lady in partial program, her sister has a lot of money and had extra cameras she wasn't using anymore and she gave me one!! It's a fuji in the same class as my old one and i love it. Jess took pics while I took mostly video.

After coming back and showering I met up with the group for our twice weekly NA meeting and gawked at the building for a bit and saw they had just started to hit a bit of my apartment before they left for the day. I want to go back tomorrow early to watch them smash my apartment before I go to group.

After the NA meeting, one of the members invited us to a pool party which was very fun. I didn't swim but took up the role as camera woman (huge surprise there) and took a bunch of pictures. They all turned out great :D

Now I'm winding down from the day and preparing for the much anticipated moving in day tomorrow. Woohoo!

-M

August 8, 2011

First good day since the fire.

Today was just a really good day. I went to my groups today and everyone was in a good mood. People came in with more stuff for me, including a jacket, incense, etc. Also the members of group were passing around a list of grocery items and putting their names by them. It still never stops amazing me how generous people have been through all this. It's so very heartwarming.

I found an apartment!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was walking past my old building to go to the realtor to start the apartment hunt in full swing, when I ended up chatting with a couple people. Turns out one guy owns a shop at the other end of the block and there was one apartment up for rent. I was leery because it was another older building but still I went to see how it looked. Turns out, they rehabbed the entire second floor above the shop and the apartment was the cutest thing ever. Great cabinet space, two closets, a glass shower, new fridge stove and DISHWASHER. Walls looked great, carpet looked great. Just all around awesome. I was sold. The red cross is covering my first month of rent and a charity in town is covering after that indefinitely. I'm stoked!!!

Jess and I watched as they started to set up a massive crane to start demolition on the building tomorrow. We are going back there around 8am to watch them throw a wrecking ball through it....I think it will be cool, but I also think it will be therapeutic and give me some closure as far as the fire goes. I'll definitely take pictures.

Staying on my meds exactly on time and I haven't had any issues with depression, just dealing with my emotions as they come, talking and venting, seems to be working well. Tomorrow I will be 30 days clean! I finally get to put my 30 day red NA key chain on with my keys. I'm very proud of myself for this. Through such a trying time I've managed stay away from alcohol, pot, K3 and pills. I'm learning I don't need them as a coping skill....I have many more positive ones :)

Hope you all have a good evening.

August 6, 2011

Tough Day

Today has been a very mixed bag for me. I was able to go to the building (at my own risk but with landlord's permission) to see if I could save anything. I didn't know what to expect as I'd heard multiple versions about the state of my apartment. I was certain though the kitchen and bathroom were lost by the way I could see it through part of the giant hole on the 3rd street side.

Ironically, the therapist I use on and off was going in too, as her daughter lived across the hall from me. We each didn't want to be in there alone for safety reasons so we met and went in. It stinks so bad. If you've ever been near a house fire, you know the smell. It wasn't dark like I'd thought it would be, especially once up the stairwell into the hallway, because halfway down the hallway it stops and it's open air. And it sorta looks like 9/11 with everything caved and piled in on itself. My very first look into my living room I was actually surprised it wasn't worse. It hadn't burned, although it did become evident that it was extremely hot at some point. It was just gross, there must have been so much water in there, they'd hosed the center of the building for HOURS so was probably flooded at some point. There was mushed ceiling tiles everywhere that had literally turned the consistancy of mud that was all over and in everything. The tiles had crashed down and broke many things, even took down a whole tall bookshelf. There was chips of old paint on everything, bits of paneling on everything, pieces of wood from the ceiling, plaster from the ceiling, bits of insulation all over everything.....

The worst part of it all, was I found my cat Sam. She was in the middle of the living room. I'm thinking all the smoke made her try to run from where she was hiding and that is as far as she got. I was really upset about it. I went out in the hall bawling my eyes out and found my friend's mom and told her I found Sam, and she dropped what she was doing and gave me a huge hug and just held me while I cried. I have to remember to thank her for that later. I covered Sam up, while saying I was sorry, and I loved her very much. Tomorrow we plan to bury her with some of her favorite toys I found. :(

I managed to find my birth certificate, my ssi card, my bank card, my library card, etc. They were still just where I'd left them, just drenched. I found all my handwritten journals drenched but ok, I found all my master disks of my photography in water but salvageable, a few pictures that weren't ruined, my medical records, and a few other things. I also got my drenched computer tower open and was able to pull my hard drive out, and it was in perfect shape.

Couldn't get to the kitchen or the bathroom. I'm pretty sure beyond the bathroom door....everything is now caved into the first floor. I found my slip i get stamped at my NA meetings and I'm going to take it in to be a smart ass....as it was drenched and had see WAY better days. I also found my deep relaxation tape made by my psychologist....at our next group with him I'm going to hold it up, with wood chips inside of it, and tell him I think it's malfunctioned..... :P

Now I'm at JP's house. The journals are laid out on a towel with a box fan blowing on them and most of the disks are already clean. We cleaned them very softly in lukewarm water and let them lay to dry. So far all the ones tested work just fine. The few clothes I grabbed are on the second time through the washer and smelling slowly a bit better.

Tomorrow I will go back with a couple other tenants. I want a last look for anything else I can take out. At that time I will also put my baby Samsam, in a shoebox with her toys and a picture. That will be really hard, but I know I can do it, and I know it needs to be done.

I'll try to write tomorrow evening.



My kitchen has definitely seen some better days.....


Where the hallway ends and the giant hole begins.....

August 5, 2011

8/5/11

The best news I've heard in the last few days, is that a friend of mine and neighbor from across the hall, managed to grab my two big cameras I use for photography. Everything else around them had melted but they had not melted, cracked or broken. They were waterlogged though. I'm going to see about calling some places Monday, as I'd really like to get the big digital one cleaned out to see if it works.

I've been holding my own. I'm really strict about taking my meds right now and I've been using every coping skill I have, but I'm doing okay. Sometimes I laugh, sometimes I cry, sometimes I bitch...I'm just letting it all out as it comes and taking care not to stuff any of it. I have an NA meeting Sunday and it will be my first since the fire. I'm looking forward to it.

The community has been amazing. I've had random people I've never met come up and stuff a twenty in my hand. And many people have called and said they have dishes, makeup, clothes, linen, food, hair stuff, etc. The partial group I'm in at the hospital all came in with bags of stuff today....I cried.... the enormous amount of love and caring has been overwhelmingly wonderful.

Jess and Zak have been wonderful and patient and it's been an enjoyable time here. I really appreciate the hospitality guys! Hopefully I'll be out of their hare by early next week. I do like getting on with Jess and Tracey. Sometimes I'm a little distracted in thought, but I know they understand.

I'll write more when I can.

-M

August 3, 2011

I'm thankful to be alive.

I was sleeping really well. Trazodone was working good, hadn't woke up or tossed and turned. At around 1:26am I heard pounding on my door. Hard pounding. Then it hit me, the smell. I knew from being with a friend in Milwaukee while her house burned, exactly what it was. I sat up and by the illuminating light of my pc monitor..... I saw rapid rolling thick smoke coming through the bottom, sides and top of my door. I thought Shit! followed by OMG! Followed by my brother, in my head, telling me what he told me many times about a fast exit from my very old building. I didn't panic, didn't freeze up. I quickly grabbed my keys and phone from the dresser next to me. No time for shoes, the cat, my I.D., nothing. Had to go go go.

I opened the door and an incredible amount of smoke poured in. I held my breath as I entered the hallway. Looking fast both ways, I could see nothing at all, just acrid smoke. I put my hand out to touch the other side of the hallway and then ran as fast as I could to the staircase. I passed a guy who'd just opened his door and he was putting on his shorts quickly and said, "is the for real???" and I said "yes, hurry up and get out!". I ran the stairs two at a time, got to the door and out I went.

I let go of my breath and breathed in the normal air. I ran around the corner and down the block the long side of our building was on and started naming off people in my mind as they poured out of the building, some crying, some freaking out, others counting people too. A police officer ran in, then another. I told my friend from across the hall I was okay, she'd been really scared for me. Then I went across the street, sat down against the bank building, and just stared up unbelievably. When I'd first rounded the corner, the fire was taking up two of the 3rd floor apartments. This few minutes later, most of the 3rd floor was already being engulfed. Our building is over 100 years old and the wood is very old, gray and even brittle in some spots, so I wasn't really shocked, yet I still was.

Every single person made it out. This is not because we heard the fire alarm system. We did not. It sounded like a cell phone notifying someone of a text. That's it. The reason everyone got out in time, was because the kid who's cigar started the fire, when around and banged and kicked on everyone's door and woke everyone up. A few more minutes and many of us would have had smoke inhalation while sleeping and that would have been it. He could have took off and ran away, but he took it like a man and basically rescued all of us. Totally amazing.

Will write more later.
-M