Roughly 36 hours left!

Today we made one last trip to the recycling center here in town to make sure we got rid of all the garbage we had left in the old apartment and also donate some spare items that had popped up while I’ve been busy packing the place up.

We got going early in the day to be sure that we had time to haul everything off, so when I was carrying our old laundry baskets I was still a bit sluggish. This resulted in me taking a nasty dive down the half stair I was standing on.

I landed with knees first on the hard stone floor and winced from the pain and chock. Luckily I had T, who was packing up the car at the moment, quickly coming to my aid, checking if I was hurt in any way. We soon determined that the neighbour’s wheel chair (that sits at the bottom of the stair) and the old laundry baskets must have taken some weight off from the fall. I’ve already gotten large bruises on both knees and my left arm but nothing seems to be broken and if that’s all that will come of it, I’ll take it.

But other then that unfortunate incident, I’ve gotten by with mostly a sore body from all the packing, lifting, sorting, throwing away and so on for the past week. It’s been like having a constant muscle soreness from exercising. But looking at the sizable heap of boxes all neatly packed and sealed, I feel content. I made it!

At the beginning of the week I was in overdrive, feeling panicky, wondering how I ever would be able to get everything sorted in time. But as time ticked by, as it often does, I calmed down. The panic actually went away. For a while I pondered this, it has never gone away once it have started before.. maybe stayed at the same place it was on, but never gone away like this.

Two days or so it finally hit me. I feel in control! I knew I would manage this to the end, we would be prepared for Monday to come and once I had gotten everything into boxes I had done my part for this stage. As that settled with me I started enjoying feeling this new strange calmness, not feeling that old panic breathing down my neck, having me spinning out of control. I felt exhausted beyond belief but I also felt happy. Real happiness for something new to start.

So now we buckle down and wait for Monday to come. We will be alive early in the day and the day will be very long indeed. It’s been hard but I think I’m ready to say good bye to this place. Everything that made it special will come with us and even if I loved the location, I’m certain the new location will be just as good.

Our new home actually exists!

Our apartment was up for the final inspection today! As the future owners we were invited to attend, to which we accepted right away so we’ve known about this for about a month.

A third party professional surveyor went over the apartment and marked every little flaw up with some blue tape so the workers would know where the surveyor wasn’t satisfied. Although there was quite a lot of tape bits he said he was overall happy with it and that the craftsmanship have held a high level, both in our apartment and the rest of the building.

Afterwards T and me got to spend some time in the apartment, checking everything out. The kitchen was to die for, just as I have been dreaming about! A warm and welcoming place where I hope I will find inspiration and joy again.

There where so many other cool features that we have never had in our home before. There was also some really neat ideas put into the design of the place as well. Some, not so much, but overall it felt really good. There was really only one thing I went “What on earth did they think here?” and it was the small space in between our washing machine and the wall. I’ll have to figure something out there because it does not look like the blueprint.

We also need to rethink how to furnish the rooms, we will probably not have enough space to furnish them as we originally had planned. The rooms was somewhat narrower then we had pictured it (even if we have measured twice and compared with the blueprints) but it will be fine I believe. After spending some time there, talking back and forth we agreed on what should be put where in case things wont fit according to the original plan.

The rest of the day today I’ve spent packing. There aren’t much else to my days right now but soon everything is in boxes so I’m confident we will be completely ready once Monday comes. But packing up the place takes it toll on the body. I feel constantly on the verge of developing a migraine and I can’t honestly remember a time when my body hurt this bad. It’s like an perpetual muscle soreness that never gives in. I can’t even lift the heavier boxes!

But I must say I’m amazed at how calm I’m feeling. I’ve had bouts of extreme giddiness, happiness, slight panic and anxiety. But mostly I feel calm. I know I’ve got this. I will make it on time, I only have the large wardrobe and some minor things left to pack and we’re not even at the weekend yet. It will be fine. It will be fine because now I have a visual on the place. I know what the entrance look like, I know everything we ordered and paid for are in place. I promise, there will be pictures later on.

I will just drink my warm milk with dissolved Kanolds Eucalyptus-menthol (a Swedish folk remedy for sore throat and coughing I like to drink when I’m feeling like this) and sit back for the rest of the day with the knowledge that our new home aren’t something I’ve just dreamed up.

Choosing happiness

A few days ago I read a quote while mindlessly scrolling through my feed and it went something like this “Happiness/joy is a state of mind that you choose”. When I first read it, I didn’t think much of it, it just scrolled by on my screen.

I’ve been thinking about this for the past few days though and today at dinner I brought it up with T. I often discuss thoughts like these with him as he as such a different worldview then me and it’s often interesting and informative to hear his standpoint.

I asked him if he ever had thought about it and he quickly said yes, he had been thinking along those lines before. We spoke about it while eating and I slowly put words on the thoughts I’ve been carrying since I first read it. It was hard because I wasn’t sure what my own opinion was.

But this is something so alien to me as happiness have always been a destination, something you must endure hardships and heartaches to attain. Something you are rewarded with for being successful in life. Not something that you simply choose for yourself like deciding what shirt you would like to wear or which breakfast cereal to buy this time.

With that said, this is something that I would like for myself. I would like to get out of the darkness of my own thoughts and state of mind. I get that it wont be easy, it might take years to get there if I ever do. But it would be nice if I could, I think I would like it.

Current events (Jan 29th – Feb 8th)

It’s been an intense couple of days, so much so that I actually lost track of the days. I’ve been focusing on getting things done before anything else and so even the streams have suffered somewhat. In the beginning of last week I still felt that I could handle it all but as the days progressed I’ve just been amazed that I’m not laying on my side in a constant panic attack. Tensions and headaches have constantly been just around the corner.

Two days ago I finally got the letter in my mail about the polyp. They concluded that it indeed was a real polyp and not something else but also that it was benign, meaning that nothing needs to be done at this point. They will call me in four to six months for a follow up to see if it has grown or if something else have happened since January. But finally getting the letter sent tension cascading down in huge waves. My whole body hurt something bad at the end of the day yesterday and the headache I’ve been going around with was dangerously close to develop into a full blown migraine attack.

Our wedding anniversary was on the 2nd of February. But because T had been invited to a game night with his co-workers we chose to celebrate our anniversary on the 3rd instead. I wasn’t all that happy to begin with when he said he had plans on that particular day, we were celebrating 10 years as married and 16 years as a couple after all, but after thinking about it for a while I told him it was alright. He did suggest that he’d cancel with his co-workers though and the gesture was very much appreciated. But while this was honestly all good, I still felt weird about it since this is the third year in a row that we don’t celebrate on the day. Of course we had the most intense weather this evening. Which funnily enough corresponds very well with what weather we had on our actual wedding day which was also all about crazy snow storms and frigid temperatures.

During the past week I also went to hold my bipolar lecture. This time it was for fellow patients and their families. It felt like I was just rambling without any coherent message but I’ve done this for a few years by now so I know my material inside out. Even in a stressed state like this I managed to get what I want to say through. Most people seemed to think the lecture was excellent and even Laila, my psych nurse, said she felt I was doing great, even though she knew how exhausted and stressed out I really was. Of course Laila knows more about my state then I let on in the lectures so she could read into all the strange pauses I made when I lost what I was about say.

On Tuesday we got the official approval from the bank regarding the loan we are taking out on the apartment. While that was a huge relief and cause of joy (we had known we were approved for some time but the official thing has weight) we had enough on our hands and went into complete stressed out mode while printing half a forest worth of papers that we needed to read through and sign. Like it wasn’t enough that we needed to send the paperwork via snail mail, we also had to send it via express mail to make sure the bank got it before the end of the week. We were lacking a valid address to send it to, we only had the free postage adress that wasn’t valid for the express mail option. So I spent yesterday morning rushing around trying to get hold of the correct adress feeling like the world would break if I couldn’t get the mail off in a timely fashion. T’s usually the one who have contact with them but he didn’t have time to sit down and call them so calling them, finding the invalid adress and getting the mail off fell squarely my shoulders. I didn’t find out about the adress until I was at the post office and let me tell you, that did not help my stress level. But, eventually I got it all right and through the tracker that was placed on the letter, I also know that it have been delivered successfully this morning. Phew!

Finally we land on today, the day when the Second Hand (SH) people came to pick up our donated furniture. We donated things that we either don’t need at the new apartment or otherwise do not want any longer. Since we donated both furniture and money we got help hauling a broken dresser to the recycling center. That dresser have caused me so much worry during the past two months I can’t even begin describing it. I’ve asked around and had a backup plan should things not work out, but I thought I’d try my luck with the SH people as they have this huge truck they come with when you have things you want to donate but can’t deliver yourself. The administrative woman I spoke with on the phone was hesitant to begin with but came around quickly when I suggested I could make a contribution to their cause as well as donating the furniture. This particular SH is backed by a humanitarian aid organization, which honestly is the main reason as to why we chose to donate to them. But this morning three burly men rang the door bell and hauled everything out to their truck in less then 10 minutes. I had some anxiety but was honestly too tired at this point to spend much time obsessing over it.

I’m mostly amazed that I’m getting up in the morning while feeling like a walking dead. There’s been a few very late nights and very early mornings. While I am amazed that I manage it, I know it won’t last. I will have to regain some sleep during the coming days. That I’m somewhat sleep deprived at the moment isn’t something I’m alarmed over though. We are but 1 week and 5 days away from the move and this reaction I’m having have nothing to do with being bipolar. I will give myself some time after the move as well to settle in before I start ringing any bells about my state of being. But the line is very fine here, even if the state isn’t caused by the bipolarity I know very well that it might be accelerated by it and I need to be mindful of my general well being.

Snow, so much snow

At times you see these enormous headlines in the Swedish news feed about huge amounts of snow that’s supposedly coming to drown us all. This time it was justified. We awoke with 50 cm (19.6 inch) newly fallen snow outside the window today 😨

Snö 2018
Not our town, but it looks the same outside our window. Photo: Mats Andersson / TT

I went out in the heavy snowfall yesterday to pick up T from the afterwork he attended and it was bad enough then. The ground quickly went white and it was hard to see the road as it became indistinguishable from the already snowy sides. We got home in one piece but driving in such a weather took much longer then usual. I was completely drained from having to focus so intensely for almost 2½ hours for a trip that usually takes ~1 hour there and home again.

We had decided that we would celebrate our anniversary (10 years as married, 16 years as a couple) today by going to our favorite restaurant. While we did get there eventually, we first spent 20 solid minutes shovelling snow off the car – literally. The roof of the car was covered in 30-ish cm (12 inch) of snow 😒 I keep a lightweight snow shovel in the car for situations like these.

Snö 2018-3
Not our car, but we faced a similar situation. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

This is where my upbringing shines, but I don’t know how many times I’ve been ridiculed on snowless winters because I keep things like the shovel, spare blankets, a knife, duct tape, straps and tarpaulin in the car in case you get stranded somewhere and need to get crafty. I also bring energy bars, nuts and water with me if I’m leaving for a trip outside town.

Come to think of it, I believe T have never laughed at me in this regard. He was questioning the first time I bought all the items but once he realized I had a point, he never said a word.

I know the weather up north is much worse and that you don’t need to prepare to the same extent when you live as far south as we do, but you know what? I could dig my car out today and be on my merry way within a reasonable time while many couldn’t do shit about being snowed in. But I’m not heartless, I do my best to help other people out, especially if it’s an elderly person. Hopefully they’ll keep a shovel themselves and be able to return the favour to some other stranded soul.

 

Broken record

I’m heading deeper into the depression. Sleeping 14 hours a night is something I’ve been doing for roughly a week by now. I’m trying to cut myself some slack but without much success. It’s gotten to the point where I’ve told my nurse at the psychiatrist ward that I want to get in contact with my doctor, the chief physician, to look over if we can adjust my medication or do something else to give me some relief from the anxiety.

My downwards spiral was worsened by a letter that arrived in my mailbox two days ago. It was from my administrator at Försäkringskassan. The letter said that they are “considering” rejecting my application for disability pension since I’m not sick enough, or something like that. Now, I know they are strict with their judgement but it still affected me very badly.

I’ve tried to get in contact with the administrator, as the letter suggests that I can, to talk about why they are considering rejecting my application and if there’s something I can do to explain just how much I’m affected by this crap. For two days there’s been nothing but silence. I did leave her a message the day the letter came, saying I wanted to get in touch with her.

Today she finally called, two minutes after I went into my opticians office. Two minutes!! 😠The only half hour the past 72 hours that I really couldn’t answer she calls. I was so pissed off once I saw that I had missed her call. So now I need to carry on with myself and wait yet another day and hope that she calls me tomorrow and that I can answer, or that I get hold of her somehow before she leaves her office for the weekend.

My whole body aches at this point. I’ve had to take my migraine nasal spray and painkillers to at least alleviate the pain somewhat. I was in bed by 21:30 (9:30 pm) yesterday and it looks like this will be the case for today as well. But considering that I know that the administrator at Försäkringskassan will be in her office at 08:00 (8 am) I might just want to go to bed early so I can get up and call her first thing tomorrow.

I feel so whiny. But sadly, this is what’s up right now. There aren’t many things that are on my mind, just really big ones. The move. The polyp and possible new cancer cases in the family. The administrator and the whole shebang with that. One of these things had been enough. But this is how it is according to Murphys Law, everything that can go wrong will go wrong and preferably at the same time.

Now excuse me, I’ll go hide in the arms of my husband for the rest of the evening.

No rest for the wicked

This always happens nowadays. A thing, an event: “X” is scheduled to happen. For days before “X”, I go with heavy steps thinking “I don’t want to do X”. I force myself to do “X” anyway. I think, “I gotta get used to doing shit like this sometime” and truck on.

Sometimes “X” goes well and I enjoy myself even though I felt so badly about it beforehand. Sometimes “X” heads straight to hell and I’m panicking before it even begins. In the latter case I must heavily medicate with extra anti-anxiety meds to just be able to stay in the room, let alone be sane enough to hold a coherent conversation.

But as a interesting side effect, I can’t remember shit. This is because some of the heavier anti-anxiety meds affect the ability to form short term memories. So I don’t only have to try to reason with myself when I’m panicking with anxiety coming out of my every pore, I also have to battle memory loss. “Well, that’s an easy fix isn’t it?” some helpful cretin asks me “Just take less meds and the problem are gone! No?” Sigh..

For days after “X” I shuffle around at home like a zombie in PJ’s, unable to rest but too tired to do something constructive. My mind is constantly buzzing with what if’s and I writhe, obsessing over every word I exchanged with everyone. The unrest makes me feel annoyed and I lash out at everything, but even that only gives me grief for I hate not being able to control my temper and let my mood go out over the ones I love.

But I reject the cats, T and anyone else who try to come close. I can conceal it, hide whatever feeling I’m having at the moment when out from the apartment, but the anger are still there. I just want to be left alone. I don’t have energy to handle myself, much less handle anyone else at that moment.

It’s so much easier to just isolate myself then have to explain this time and time again. T knows me well enough by now to just leave me alone when I enter this kind of mood, I’ve even learnt to communicate that need to him. It’s closely connected to my energy levels and we both know that it will go away once I get some rest. But how soon that will happen is anyone’s guess.

This time the “X” was the last session of my Mage group yesterday. I’ve had crippling anxiety because of it, but I was determined to have it happen as I wanted to talk to the group about shutting the campaign down. I felt like I was clear when I said it would be the last session we had before we moved. Some seemed to pick up on the wording but for some it just flew over their heads. So now I’m tired because of the social interaction from yesterday and also because I’m beating myself up for the poor wording I obviously had.

But I will have no time for rest. The move is quickly coming upon us and I still feel like I have so much to do. Even when the anxiety for the RPG-session goes away, I will still be stressed out about the move. I both long for the 19th of February and fears it at the same time. I need to feel my secured fort beneath my feet, this move is shaking everything at the moment.