It’s been sort of a morbid time around these parts in some ways. The husband’s grandmother (who made it to 97 feeling perfectly spry, mentally sharp, and with no health complications outside of a little cataracts) has been told now that she’s got only a few months to live. At the same time, today I just got news about my good friend’s mother. We had been commiserating because she too had been having “mysterious” physical problems and kept being brushed off by doctors because they couldn’t find anything obviously wrong so the problem must be “all in her head.” Yeah. Not so much. Stage 4 lung cancer, spread now to her bones.
Thankfully we’re not personally close enough to either of them to be truly broken up about it, but still. My heart is going out to them both.
And damn doctors and their unwillingness to look beyond the most obvious explanations. Doesn’t exactly reassure me about my visit to the ear specialist yesterday either, in which I was told that what’s happened to me is “probably genetic” although no one on either side of my family has these issues at all.
I’ve actually been doing well mood-wise for the past couple of days. I continue to be a little stymied by how dramatically my mind-state changes from one day to the next, but on a good day I really can’t complain too much. At least there are more good/indifferent days than bad days now. And the bad days aren’t nearly what they used to be. Really I need to focus more on the progress I’ve made rather than being continually frustrated when I think things have finally turned around and then a really hectic week (and last week was the mother of all of them – I swear I had at least two different appointments every single day, 45 minutes to an hour away, often in different directions, on top of a really heavy week of coursework and assignment deadlines) reminds me that I’m still more fragile in some ways than I would like. I am back to the stage in which most of the time I can hold it together and people outside my head would never know if I chose not to enlighten them. …But I can feel that frantic edge now and then.
There is progress, though. I was realizing yesterday how far I’ve come with trying to battle down some of my areas of anxiety. It wasn’t particularly crippling, but still, nice to have minimized. Even a couple of months ago, I would never ask someone for help in a store unless I really needed it. Asking the counter person at Starbucks how to log in to their internet would have been an effort. Changing an appointment time or meal order after the fact would be extremely unlikely to happen. Making waves or drawing a lot of unnecessary attention to myself that way was pretty strictly avoided.
(I know – the people who watched me in Montreal are laughing out loud right now. But I’ve always been a person of contradictions. I’m really very shy. Really.)
Anyway, I’m getting much better at putting myself out there without much of a second thought. Just in what I did yesterday while waiting between two appointments, I can see evidence that I’m different. I went looking for a laptop bag for my Shiny New Laptop (yay!!!). Unfortunately, Shiny New Laptop is shiny enough that it’s kind of…how do I put this delicately…It’s kind of a beast. And common-use laptop bags were not made for beasts. Past a certain threshold of teeth and fur, they just don’t fit. But I was unabashed about letting the store-boy help me. And when he had finished drooling longingly over my computer, looking dead confused that a 33 year old woman was carrying a fine gaming machine, calling over the other store-boys for input, and telling me that I would probably need a really extra-large bag to have a chance of carrying it, I unabashedly asked the group of them to show me the “prettiest extra-large bag they had.” Even a couple of months ago, I would not have drawn that much attention to myself. Side note: It’s not pretty. I’m not even sure it strictly qualifies as ugly. More of an “inspiring of disbelief,” I think. I refuse to give in yet.
(Apparently people with high powered computers don’t often have the urge to store them in the purple bags with flowers on them. Dang.)
As a side note, my new laptop comes with the following three mysterious buttons in the upper left corner. I have decided that they mean “Stop Cows from Being Milked,” “Point To Shrek’s Ear When He’s Hiding,” and “Make Eyebrows Angry.” My machine is multi-purpose.
Anyway, I am progressing. I’ve even managed to keep myself from doing the Absolute Best Job Possible with my coursework. There is no mark attached. There is only “pass” or “honours.” And as far as I’ve been able to tell, nobody even knows which one I got on my last course. And as much as my nature screams to get the higher grade anyway just in case it somehow matters in the future, this is not the time to kill myself trying to knock this out of the park. So I am doing what needs to be done for the pass and no more. I didn’t even edit my work – I’ve been working that hard at lowering my expectations for myself. I am going to EXCEL at not excelling. I will be the PERFECT non-perfectionist. I am going to be the MOST MEDIOCRE EVER!
It’s a start, I guess.