Sunday, 26 February 2017

Yesterday was a good day ...

... the best I've felt in a very long time, despite having one of those barometric pressure headaches and not much sleep.

I had more energy. By noon I was dressed and ready to go grocery shopping. When we got home I cleaned up a little in the kitchen, at least.

Could it be a cumulative effect from using my cpap machine again? I dislike that thing. It's supposed to help me feel better-rested and more energetic. Normally it doesn't - I wake up more often during the night, but I do have to say I feel more rested than nights when I don't use it and wake up at night.

I'll keep up with it, and maybe I'll get to pre-depression functioning one day.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

And they call it puppy love

About a week or so ago someone who was important in my life when I was a teenager passed away. I can't remember if she had COPD or emphysema (or maybe they're the same thing, I don't know). She was a lot of fun to be with and had a larger than life personality. Always laughing. I think there was very little that would bring her down. I hadn't seen her in many years, but we got to reconnect on facebook. I still can't believe she's gone.

Thinking about her has made me nostalgic about my teenage years. And, as usual, when I think of my teenage years I think of my "love at first sight" crush. His name is Jan (pronounced with a soft J).

When I was 13, I was sitting on a bus with a girl named Marianne. (She was really nice and sometimes I wonder what happened to her, too.) We didn't go to the same junior high school but we had a mutual friend. While we were talking the bus stopped, and on walked Jan. I caught my breath when we looked at each other. As we stared at each other, Marianne told me his name and said he was a nice guy. She knew him from her school.

A few years go by and Grade 10 comes along (I was 15). Phys-ed wasn't coed yet. It was the portion of the class dedicated to gymnastics. Being a total spaz (some things never change), I looked on with immense disinterest at someone doing their floor exercise. On the other side of the gym, the boys were doing their portion of gymnastics.

There was one girl sitting beside me on the bleacher - come to think of it, her name was also Marianne. Or was it Marilyn? Anyway, she nudged my knee and asked, "Do you know that guy over there?" I asked who, she pointed out "the one who keeps staring at you." She then told me his name was Jan and he's a really nice guy. My heart skipped a beat. Or three.

I asked how she was sure he was staring at me and not her (I dared not hope his attention was meant for me). She moved away and acted like she was doing something. He didn't move his head, so yeah, he was staring at me.

And thus began our mutual crush on each other without uttering a word to one another. What I can remember:

I was incredibly shy back then (less so now, but still shy). I would assume he was as well, otherwise he would have done more than stare at me. Our lockers weren't far away from each other at all. He stood at his, laughing with his friends, and I stood at mine, laughing with my friends all the while stealing looks for as long as we could at each other.

I had a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey that I would wear proudly. One Saturday they played the New York Islanders and lost horribly. That Monday he stood at his locker proudly wearing a New York Islanders jersey and had a huge smile on his face. I was not amused.

Once in a while if I was around the gym area at lunch time I'd sneak in a look to watch him play squash (or racquetball, not sure which).

My friend Jane joked about him having "the hots" for me (because that's how we spoke back then), and it became a running joke with her; she would do play by plays of where he was looking and every time his gaze came back to me. She thought I was joking as well because I didn't tell her how I felt about him.

Then summer came. I figured there's no way I'd see him at all but I saw him twice. Once when my friend Cathy and I went for a bike ride and we went down the street he lived on, apparently. He was playing squash (or racquetball, not sure which) against a pink garage door, with a friend who wound up being Cathy's first boyfriend. I was surprised to see him there but instead of taking the bull by the horns, I rolled on by.

I needed a new bathing suit. We went to the shopping mall just north of where we lived. There was a sports clothing store there and my mother and I walked in to look at some Speedos. I walked in far enough so that it was too late to walk out when I saw him behind the cash. My breath was all caught up - on one hand here's this boy that makes my heart do back flips, and on the other hand is the all-seeing, all-knowing mother who I didn't want to know I had a crush on him (I didn't want to be subjected to any teasing.) I had to look all cool and collected while checking out bathing suits. I found a Speedo I liked (white with little Canadian flags all over) and I brought it over to the cash. My mother wasn't right beside me so while he wrote up the bill, he cleared his throat and asked in a low whisper what size it was. I blinked, paused slightly then said the size wondering if it affected the price somehow ... ? I remember my mother had this look on her face as if to say, "Did I hear what I think I heard?" Thankfully, she didn't ask anything after we left.

We went back to the same store near the end of the summer because I needed a track suit. The owner of the store was the one who served me. I wound up coming out of there with a neon orange Adidas track suit because everything else was dark blue and I was sick of the same dark blue. Neon orange was a huge risk since it was 1978 and neon wasn't in style at all back then.

Grade 11 started soon after. I decided I had enough of merely staring at each other, so I began to say hi to him. That's it. I'd say, "Hi Jan" and he would answer with a quick "Hi" and that was it. One day when I said hi, his friend slammed his locker and asked loudly, "Aren't you going to tell her?" as I walked away. I didn't know what that meant until that fateful day when he wasn't there. At the very end of the school day my friend Jane ran up to me, breathless and laughing at the same time while telling me Jan moved to San Francisco.

My heart fell to my feet. That's when she realized that I wasn't joking all that time, that I really really liked him. Because she saw the tears.

I was devastated. The next day I told my mother I wasn't feeling well enough to go to school, even though I had a French test. Surprisingly, she didn't question me. I remember she looked very sad as well. I think that marked me because she was rarely empathetic towards me. She went to work, and I cried in my room all day long. Played records, 2112 by Rush in particular. I was listening to the B-side when this syrupy ballad started me bawling all over again:

Tears by Rush

Every time I hear that song I remember how heartbroken I felt. Ouch. My 16 year-old self needed a hug.

I never knew why he moved away, so in the throes of my teen-aged tearjerker daydreams I made up a story of how his parents must be brain surgeons that are needed in a hospital there because only that could explain the sudden departure. It's okay; I'm laughing myself as I type this.

So skip to the summer of 1980. My mother took me on a trip to California, just me and her. I was reticent but she mentioned San Francisco so I jumped at it. I never expected to ever see him, but I couldn't help but wish it would happen. I remember this song was playing in the bus from the airport in San Francisco to our hotel:

While You See A Chance - Steve Winwood

And every time I hear this song, I think of him.

Before we left, my father had just come back from Mexico and bought a dress for me. It looked ... Mexican. Traditional Mexican. I tried it on and both parents actually oohed and awwed together. I think it was a conspiracy because once I started high school, I was finally allowed to wear jeans/pants to school instead of skirts or dresses and I was quite vociferous about never going back. My mother said I needed a dress for when we went out somewhere nice to eat. So there I was in Chinatown, wearing a traditional-looking Mexican dress, facing a very busy-looking street. As I looked to my left, I heard horns honking to my right. Traffic was backed up because there was Jan behind the wheel, car stopped in the middle of the lane, staring at me.

All I could think was, "Holy shit." He had to put it in gear and move because the other drivers were becoming insistent. I turned to see where my mother was, and he drove off. Didn't circle back around, at least not as far as I knew.

Finally, a year later at the Canadian National Exhibition, I saw him there. I walked by with my friends and he was there with his friends, one of them being Cathy's ex-boyfriend, so no one else was inclined to stop. We got far enough away, I told them I wanted to go back and see Jan. I ran back, said hi to him. And he said "hi" the same way he did before. That was it. Did either of us see a chance and take it? Yes and no. But it was enough to embarrass myself by running back to my friends and yelling, "HE SAID HI TO ME!" Fuck, that was embarrassing. One of the most embarrassing moments of my life. I couldn't walk right up to him and ask how he was and was that him I saw in Chinatown. Nope.

That was the last I saw of him.

Throughout the years, every once in a while something triggers a memory and I wonder whatever happened to him. Now, with the internet, every once in a while I'd google his name, but nothing would come up. I tried facebook before but there are some profiles with no pictures and are completely locked down, so how am I to know. I think the last time I tried looking and came up with nothing (it's been quite a while), I began to wonder if something bad happened, like maybe he's in prison, or worse. So with Donna's death and me thinking about my teen years, I tried facebook one more time. Surprisingly, I found him.

And my brain went, oh. It's him.

It was all very anti-climactic. I don't have to wonder anymore. At least he's alive and not in prison. He's still handsome. I hope he has made a good life for himself. I'm not going to contact him - I would doubt he has pined for me and thought about me off and on through the years as I have him, and he has very few people on his friends list. I suspect he only uses his account to keep in contact with family/close friends.

There's no chance of another random encounter since he lives in Europe now and I live in another province, and I doubt we would really recognize each other if we happened across each other.

Thinking back on all of this has given me a good chuckle but damn, why did we have to be so shy?

[Note:  the thought of him still makes my heart pitter-patter, and I have exercised restraint and have not contacted him but if he were to contact me I would welcome him.]

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Wish You Were Here

Vivid dream last night. I dreamt I went to see Pink Floyd with an ex-boyfriend who is also a friend. It wasn't in a stadium, though; it was more like a hockey rink with half of it closed off. When I asked him where his girlfriend was, he waved his hand dismissively and said, "Ah, that's all finished." When he saw the look of surprise on my face he added, "It was getting expensive." (I have no clue what that meant.) The band began to play Wish You Were Here with the lights on. He put his arm around me (despite my husband being somewhere else in the audience) and I closed my eyes.

When I opened them, we were in a small pub that happened to be owned by my friend from high school's mother. Pink Floyd was there, playing in the corner. The place was packed so it was very difficult to move around. My ex and I made our way to the opposite corner from Floyd. There we found two vacant La Z Boys so we were able to recline and hold hands while listening to the band (despite my husband being somewhere else in the pub).

When the show was over, I stopped to talk with my friend's mother. Next thing I know, my friend was in a mad rush to leave. Outside, I saw an open door and a couple of the band members were in a room, packing up their gear. I told them I appreciated them playing such a small venue and I thanked them. Then my friend and I made a mad dash along city streets I didn't recognize.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Not this time ...

Cripes, I think I have some kind of weird writer's block. I have moments of "creative genius" when I think of something that would make a great blog post and map it out in my mind. But when it comes to writing it, I'll pause then ask "Aww, is it really all that interesting?" Sometimes I'll decide not to write even though I feel a little disappointed, and other times all the ideas come flooding back too quickly for me to register the thought into a full sentence before the next idea hits. (Miss Run-on 2016. Crown me now. You know you want to.)

And this is about the time I forget how I was planning to end the post because I was thinking about it while typing the last few sentences..So I erase it.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Rainy Days and Wednesdays

They don't always leave me feeling down but feeling down I am. Have been for quite some time. I think the Cymbalta has stopped working; I've only been taking it for 5 years now so perhaps it's time to change it up. To what, I don't know. If I were able to get a prescription for medical marijuana, I would. The thing with that is traditional anti-depressants are released slowly into your system so, theoretically, you don't "crash" after a couple of hours, but if you took only medical marijuana, you would have to smoke it a few times a day, wouldn't you? Not too many employers would allow you to do that, even if it's legal.

Lately, I can't tell if my friends have been more distant, or if I'm the one who is withdrawing from them. Now don't go getting worried that I'm going to do something drastic. Not every depressed person ends their life, otherwise the world population would dip. Some get their heads out of their gloomy thoughts and are able to continue for a while until the next bout comes along, then it's rinse/repeat. For some, it isn't so much gloomy thoughts as it is wondering if they're going to slip into a catatonic state because they feel overwhelmed. And for some it's an innate feeling; they will do it one day and they know it. May I never slip into that category.

I will admit I've sometimes thought about suicide, but not in a serious way. A little while ago I thought it was becoming a bit much so I asked myself an important question - Do I really want to die? No. Despite what I see as my realistic future as everything stands right now, I have hope; I have sadness and concern, but I still have hope. Hope is in my son. Hope is in the memories and moments of laughter and bonding on every level - familial, romantic, friendship, to help me get through what fogs my brain and pains my heart to the point of distraction. I know some of you reading this know what I mean. They're my lifelines. Some have others or the same, but you understand.

When I feel overwhelmed, that hope fades. I used to feel overwhelmed by work (and rightly so, that was an insane job) then while I was in the process of recovering from that, my family life went to shit. It's been five very long years and it's only recently that things seem to have gotten better; there's still an undercurrent of tension between us. Now, overwhelming feelings are beginning at work because of big changes happening for our department and tension is in the air.

Why do I feel overwhelmed? One aspect is worrying over things I have no control over, or I feel like I don't have a say in anything. I'm more emotional and quick to anger when I feel I'm being treated unfairly and/or my feelings aren't considered. Another is the inability to do something when I have so many things to do. I work in a department where we do varied tasks from data entry to warehouse work (plus a lot of other things), so we work on a schedule. Each week we're assigned different tasks, so we know who's in charge of doing what all the time, the shitty stuff isn't always stuck on one person's shoulders, and the knowledge is spread around. This is perfect for me. Surprising since I used to balk at schedules and still got things done.

So why don't you do that for home, I hear you ask. That damn thought. One more thing to do and it's too much energy to explain. Too tiring ... and the depressed feeling is heavy. It's all layered, one thing on top of another then when you're at the top of the pile, that's when you feel overwhelmed. You do something then what feels like in a blink of an eye, you have to redo it. Because no one else will. And there are new things to do from the last time you did that first task. You're not sure where to start, and once you start, it takes you a really long time to finish. Hopefully, a lot of you won't understand how this could drive someone into inertia, but it does. Please bear in mind I'm only explaining the thoughts and feelings I can put into words.

It's a vicious cycle.

By the way, it's taken me 6 hours to write this post. After agonizing over this, I am now in the "fuck it" phase, so I'm going to post. If you've read this all the way to the end, I thank you, and I appreciate your attention. It's finally time for me to do something else. Something constructive. Think I'm going to jump on top of this while I do something; makes it more fun:

Friday, 25 September 2015

Yes, this sums it up nicely

"You are just a dreamer,
and I am just a dream.
You could have been
anyone to me.
Before that moment
you touched my lips
That perfect feeling
when time just slips
Away between us
on our foggy trip."

I love the Roxy Music version of Like A Hurricane because it's soooo sexayyy, but Neil Young is more … realistic.