Cat Personality

Ajax…my constant companion for about 12 years.  He’s not feeling well.  Hopefully it is an annual cold/allergies.  When he is sick, he likes to curl up on me and wants lots of snuggles.

But…when Ajax wants snuggles, jealousy rears its ugly head in the other otherwise loner cat, Leo.

He suddenly must be near me, on me, kneading me.

People who don’t see pets as family members make no sense to me.  The personalities in pets, while sometimes harder to learn than that of a child, are just as real as a human’s personality.

Love my babies….

Ajax is feeling better today, but still not 100%.   


Seeking understanding

I’m struggling.

Before therapy, when they “tested” antidepressants on me because I cried a lot and had no friends, I didn’t fully appreciate this “disease”.  It was another one of those labels you slap on a condition you can’t identify and send them away with happy pills. Needless to say, with that attitude and lack of moral support, the pills were useless.  Doses were increased at record speed and their effect was minimal at best.

Then, I sought counseling. All I really gained in therapy was (a) reassurance that I was not the only one who deals with the anxiety/depression; (b) I’m never good enough for myself; (c) the counselor was never going to tell me what to do but rather make me figure it out; and (d) I probably really need meds.  These are not necessarily negative.   Especially the “I’m not alone” reassurance because I am really out there sometimes.

Anyway, I’ve previously blogged that blah, blah, I didn’t want meds, I could handle it, blah, blah, overwhelmed, doctor insisted and BAM!! I’m “human” again.

Here is my struggle:  pre-med and therapy, I would feel the apple cart starting to go and I would fight it something fierce. The bouts seemed so very long…months even.  The fall into that pit of hell was so long.  And yes, I was there longer with no visual on the light at the other end.

But now that I have acknowledged the issue, accepted I need help and support, there really isn’t any time to fight it.  I have maybe one day of “uh oh there goes the apple cart” and the next day I’m in the closet under my dresses trying to quiet the world.  The air still hurts my skin, the noises are still overwhelming.  There really isn’t any time, I feel, to right my apple cart, so to speak – not that I have EVER been able to right it before falling.  I hate it here (who doesn’t) and I know it will pass, but I thought these episode were supposed to stop.  Was that wrong?

And I do know the triggers now.  Only they seem to be simultaneous with the overturned apple cart.  

To be honest, I seem to handle being down here better and that’s a super improvement, but I guess I wanted to reach out to the blogisphere so that I don’t have to ask my doctor.  While I have accepted the need for help, I’m still not fond of pills and I’d like to avoid the “increase the dose” conversation.

How can I get a grip on the slip into this dark place?  How do I get out?  Do I just need to accept that even with meds and support, I’m going to constantly go through these cycles of ups and downs?   Ugh.  I feel stupid…being here…I’m bigger than this “disease”.

Jane is so temperamental

I use the Waze app and I love it.  It took me a few times using it to truly learn to trust Jane.  I tried a few different navigation voices, but Jane and I have a bond.   She knows when to give me an update…sometimes 5.5 miles before, sometimes 3 miles, and sometimes .5 miles.  Whenever she updates me, it is just as I start thinking “am I getting close?”  At first I couldn’t understand why she would route me off the known route, but I quickly learned she knows best and not to question her.   Woman to woman there is a level of trust there.  Having issues with anxiety and not doing spontaneous well, it would be nice if she could say “hey, we’re going to take a 3 mile loop around because there is a traffic jam up ahead and I KNOW you hate sitting in traffic”.  But no, Jane wants unconditional trust.  If she says exit right, you exit right.

My husband is not so trusting of Jane.  Jane does not like my husband (apparently).  Today, a fight ensued.  Well not a fight-fight, but clearly my husband managed to piss Jane off and all I could do was sit back a say “aw snap, you did it now.”  

The funny thing about Waze is that when Jane is silent, you can hear what “she” is thinking.  But here’s how today’s drive went:

We were coming home from Gaithersburg and on 270.  Jane instructs my husband to exit right.  That was about 2 miles from the exit.  Then at 1 mile.  At .5 miles.  Then she seemed to yell EXIT RIGHT.   My husband does not as that is not the way home.   The silence from the app was deafening.  She then says in what clearly seemed to be through gritted teeth “estimated time in traffic is 9 minutes”.   Husband curses.  Being a woman, there was only one thing I could say… “You should have exited.”  He says it would be nice if the app tells you why you need to exit.  “The app.”  Not “Jane.”  Uh oh…it’s on.  I told him that Jane has never steered me wrong and you have to trust her. Obviously with Jane being a woman that was not going to happen.  

We inch along for the promised 9 minutes and get closer and closer to 70.  Jane didn’t say anything.  I could hear her glaring through the app, and staring at my husband with her arms crossed.   For 15 miles, she is silent.  No 5 – 3 -1 mile warning that the exit is getting closer.  No warnings of hazards on the road.  Nothing.   Just silence.

Finally,  Jane being a professional, breaks at .5 and gives direction to exit right.  When her direction is followed, Jane comes back to being her normal helpful self and even gave him a heads up to the police up ahead.

It was an uncomfortable ride home.  If felt so caught in the middle.  Lol.

Realizing what I missed most….

Some time ago I blogged about coming back home and how at peace my soul felt to really come home.  Well, since I have been home the old and the new has been overwhelming.  Old memories coming back as I drive through neighborhoods where I spent many childhood hours, but adjust to the new homes, roads and stores in place of fields.

I am often stunned into silence at the beauty of the fields when the wheat turns golden and the breeze turns the fields into rippling ‘amber waves’ or when I am driving to work and witness the enormous rising sun over the valley, but that’s not it.

I love the mom & pop diners serving cheap, but oh-so-delicious dinners, all coming with a small scoop of ice cream for dessert.  Not fancy ice cream, but your basic vanilla, chocolate, butter pecan or sherbet.  That isn’t it either.

In the last 2 years since I have been home, some old memory or feeling comes back and I am washed over with peace and happiness that I am home.  But there is one thing that I keep coming back to – 

                                        THERE ARE NO STREET LIGHTS.  

Yep, that simple.

I moved from here to the city and for the next 23 years, give or take, I lived in or near a city.    You become used to the constant light.  The lights of the cars that never seem to rest, the street lights that flood every road in every neighborhood, the neon lights illuminating signs, church marquees and billboards.  When I came home, it was the first thing I noticed.  It was pitch black.  The only light was a light in the farmhouse or the gentle dim lights of electric candles in windows of the homes lining the dark streets.

I am thankful that I moved away, if only for the ability now to appreciate the simloilset things, such as darkness.