Happy New Year!

Okay, so I am late for the Western world but the lunar new year is February 8th so I am technically on time for that anyway! lol It’s the year of the monkey.

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2016 arrived, for me, with little to report as I have been in some weird state of lethargy that left no energy for grand New Year plans. Due to the fact I hardly ever leave my house I find anytime I do go out I end up catching something. Thus, for the past month I have had an annoying bout of allergic rhinitis and sinusitis, as well as some flu like symptoms in spite of getting the ‘flu shot’.

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I want to hibernate all winter like a bat.

In short, I have had no energy. Oh sure, I went out a few times (not to do groceries!) and managed to avoid sinking from Seasonal Affective Disorder into a clinical depression; but beyond that I feel as though I have done very little. My counsellor has been ‘missing in action’ since she left for some type of emergency back in July (not sure of the specifics obviously). The point is I have not seen her since the end of May 2015 (my last appointment) and think I am doing alright. It’s just the winter lack of daylight draining me along with my seeming penchant for catching colds/sinus problems every time I venture outdoors.

All I want is enough energy to do my laundry regularly and keep my home looking half-way decent. Surely, that is not too tall an order. Now that my ear and jaw are feeling less painful (sinus related) I have found a bit of energy returning to me. For awhile I wanted to pop Advil regularly but decided against it since one develops a tolerance to drugs that way.

Fortunately I don’t take it often, as I heard in the medical news regular long-term use of NSAIDs (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can lead to Alzheimer’s. Before 2010 the medical community thought it prevented or protected against Alzheimer’s. Good thing I only ever overdosed on Aspirin and Tylenol! Sorry bad joke. I last tried to commit suicide in November 2000 using Aspirin on two attempts and Tylenol on the other one. I have to wonder though about my mom because she took NSAIDs regularly for many years for arthritis and developed Alzheimer’s. She died at age 60. The only positive I read about the connection between NSAIDs and Alzheimer’s was there was some speculation it might stave off the worse symptoms of the disease for longer than would be the case without NSAIDs.

But none of this matters now because we never did an autopsy on my mom’s brain after her death. We felt she’d been through enough and never liked doctors much so decided against any postmortem; so we’ll never know if her brain could have revealed any clues or not. I like to think the NSAIDs gave her a few extra years before the worst of her symptoms set in. Either that or it was a contributing factor in her developing the disease.

©Natalya for Reflections On Life Thus Far, 2016.

 

 

Black Friday or Buy Nothing Day?

Which one did you take part in today if you live in North America? Canada used to be free from the Black Friday madness until a few years ago; now we’re almost as bad as the U.S. with sales on everything you can think of. I don’t think a lot of it is really a savings but more of a way to lure people into stores to spend money.

By virtue of the fact I didn’t go out today I guess I could claim I celebrated Buy Nothing Day but that’s not true. I hardly ever go out anyway so me not going out for Black Friday sales is not me being political but apathetic. Most of the shopping I do is online because I can find deals better on the internet than I can going all over my local city. It’s not always a sure thing when ordering clothing or footwear but those are chances I’m willing to take for the convenience. At least I don’t have to stand in line-ups or get lost in crowds of people.

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One of the advertisements I got in my inbox for Black Friday.

So did you go shopping today and take part in the Black Friday madness? Or did you make a conscious decision to avoid buying anything for today? If you don’t live in North America my apologies for my content not making much sense for where you’re living.

©Natalya for Reflections On Life Thus Far, 2015.

Nearly A Year Gone

Oh my, I can’t believe I have been MIA (missing in action) for a year and a day! It’s a wonder any of you are left following my blog since I haven’t updated you with anything. But I just didn’t feel like writing. You maybe know how it is when you just get tired of something and have to be away from it to appreciate it again, well it’s like that.

There have been other reasons too, primarily I started to feel phony using a pseudonym to hide behind when I blog. But I thought about it and so far don’t feel comfortable ‘outing myself’ totally to anyone who may read this. So I continue as ‘Natalya’ for the time being anyway. Maybe in the future I’ll decide I have nothing to lose being an ‘open book’ online but not yet. It takes a lot for me to share myself not knowing who will read my words.

A lot has happened in some ways but in other ways things seem much the same to the casual observer. I am still me but something has shifted and I can never go back.

Thank you for being here and reading.

©Natalya for Reflections on Life Thus Far,2015.

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This & That

Well it’s been too long since I’ve updated my blog I fear but hopefully you’ll forgive me. I have not been especially busy apart from wondering what I’m doing at times. Mainly I read silly novels and distract myself from the onslaught of emotions I stirred up after my minimalism cleaning spree in June. It seems I must have dislodged some emotions or some such thing because I feel ever since my clean up I have retreated into the decidedly preferable world of characters in novels. Not only the cleaning though has caused this retreat from the everyday; no, my dad’s sister has Alzheimer’s and he went to visit her. Apparently she’s worse than predicted and my uncle wanted me to attend to my aunt’s care whilst she waits to go into a nursing home. Well I am not a caregiver sort so the idea didn’t appeal to me in the least especially as my aunt is aggressive like my mom was before she died from Alzheimer’s related complications.

Anyhow, I had to deal with my own very strict Superego and felt no end to my guilt for nearly a month. My therapist did manage to elevate me from my guilt ridden state but only after I’d already fled reality for the imaginary world of novel characters. Only now am I losing my taste for reading frivolous novels and returning to some state of reality again. I do not know how long it will last for. I suspect until my dad visits my aunt again and tells me how much my uncle would appreciate me giving my help (I expect there would be no money paid to me but I wouldn’t want to do it even if monetary reward was involved). Honestly, I’ve been burned out from my mother’s experience with Alzheimer’s and couldn’t abide by putting myself in the position of the martyr caring for someone I didn’t have a close relationship with again. Although I doubtless sound cold and unfeeling for not flocking to my aunt’s proverbial bedside I don’t feel particularly cold or unfeeling, at least not since my therapist convinced me otherwise. 

It was only within the last week or so I made the connection between the guilt and stress I felt from being asked to be a caregiver to my aunt that I realised why I’d stopped doing much else besides reading novels. Suffice it to say I found the novels holding less appeal once my reasons were made conscious to me. Perhaps I can finally persuade myself to go out again and be amongst people. Not that I favour crowds but I do miss taking in the sights during tourist season and wish for a change of scenery beyond the grocery store aisles and the office of my shrink. Besides I told my therapist I’d make an effort to take part in something that gets me outside my home. Guess I’ll ‘sign off’ for now.

 

©Natalya, Reflections On Life Thus Far, 2014.

 

Healing Affirmations – Metaphysical Causes of Disease and Illness

Healing Affirmations – Metaphysical Causes of Disease and Illness.

I found this website and wanted to share it because it’s insightful with respect to physical ailments having emotional roots. You can click on the listed disorders and ailments to learn the most likely emotional cause associated with it. After going through the list and checking the ones I had I found it rang true for myself anyway. You may not find that the case for yourself but the emotional causes are interesting and healing affirmations are offered as well for each ailment.

My New Obsession/Confusion

A selection of ereaders.

Amazon and Chapters (Kindle & Kobo) both have lots of free ebooks so I’ve been adding them to my digital library with glee. The only thing is I don’t have an ereader so have to read them on my laptop which is not ideal for lengthy periods of time. Essentially, I want a tablet or ereader but am reluctant because I don’t have wireless internet (just the standard cable type). So I would have to go out to a wireless hotspot as they’re called here (public locations with free wireless internet connections) for an update/book purchase. Actually I am not sure if I can even read from the device without wireless internet so would be forced to read only at spots offering free connections (i.e. public library and some cafes). All of this makes me think I’m better off reading my ebooks on my laptop and shouldn’t waste my time or money on a device I might only be able to use in certain places. To make matters more confusing I contemplated going wireless at home but am concerned with security risks as it’s easier to access a wireless connection than one using wires/cables. So it’s true what they say about a little knowledge being a bad thing! If I were more knowledgeable about how wireless stuff works perhaps I’d not be so confused right now.

Recently I posted about clearing out some books from my bookshelves and now I am going crazy “buying” FREE ebooks because they’re great for space saving. You would not know I have lots of ebooks because they aren’t the physical clutter a “real book” (paper book) is. I’m really enjoying finding free ebooks to add to my collection. It never occurred to me you could get free books unless at the library. I’m just so pleased! If you are a bibliophile (book lover) like me then you have to check out Amazon’s ebooks because there are lots offered for free or at $1.00 or under. Haven’t checked out any other sites yet like Barnes and Noble so I can’t say if they have free ebooks or not but now I must go look!!

©Natalya, 2014.

 

Happy Canada Day! & A Bit of Rambling

Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians. What am I doing to celebrate my country’s birthday? Well nothing unless you consider sitting in front of your computer on WordPress celebrating! LOL Guess my patriotism doesn’t get too stoked about these holidays. July 4th is a big deal in the U.S. but July 1st in Canada is a bit more subdued :P

I haven’t been on here much so apologise for missing your posts. It’s really warm and humid today so I haven’t got much energy unfortunately so this post is likely to be slightly scattered like my brain at the moment. Humidity and heat really aren’t my friends. I take two antidepressants and both cause me to perspire more and be more sensitive to the sun/heat. Thus I am not loving summer so far even though I would likely be told I’m nuts because it’s cold the other three seasons and ought to enjoy it. Oh well.

Okay, I’m not thinking straight now so am going to contemplate the merits of putting my head in the freezer to cool off.

 

Changes

Discouraged. That pretty much sums up how I have been feeling lately. I think I am overwhelmed because I have been going through my possessions trying to become more minimalist; but in the process I have felt a mixture of emotions. Most recently, I parted with a garbage bag full of treasured books destined for charity and in doing so I wanted to pull some out and ‘save’ them…but I resisted. It feels like a loss to me because I love books and they’ve been my ‘significant other’ since I have never let real people close to me. So in parting with so many books I felt attachment to I went through a series of grief related feelings. Maybe not all of the grief related feelings/stages but definitely some anyway.

When you use books to satisfy your need for relationships giving away a large quantity of them feels horrendous. It’s not like I hoard books but I definitely value my books more than a person ought to. They aren’t historic relics suited to an archives department either so I don’t have any objective reason to view them so fondly. Perhaps it’s the fact I parted with books that had served as valuable references and comfort when I needed them; now I’m forced to either let go of anything I can’t remember or trust I will be able to call upon my brain to give me the knowledge when I need it. That’s scary given I dissociated for so much of my life to avoid pain. What if I can’t remember everything I read in the books I gave away?! Now I must trust myself to survive and have greater acceptance of my innate fallibility which also makes me face the fact I am imperfect. You see all these things connect to my sense of lovability and self-worth and that is terrifying territory. There’s little comfort in what I’m experiencing.

I want to crawl under my bed covers and not have to face the world. Maybe I am depressed but more than likely I am afraid of the fact I have nothing solid to stand on. All of my worldly identifiers are gone and I’m struggling to not concoct a new identity for myself knowing such a thing would be a production of my ego anyway. Part of the reason I fear social interaction is I’m afraid someone will ask me about myself and I don’t have any tidy, pat answers on tap to reduce my discomfort and the other person’s. The other reason for my social anxiety is I simply have trouble easily relating to everyone. Maybe most people don’t easily relate to others either and just hide it better than I do. Or maybe it’s a problem of ‘how’ I relate. I can relate at a human level but not at the social/surface level. After all, I don’t have a paid job, sports don’t interest me and I don’t have a husband or kids. So right there I am starting off from a disadvantaged position. Then again maybe I just overthink these things and should try to ‘relax’ more! Ha, if it were that easy I’d have done it by now. In some ways I have learned to relax about it a little bit but other times I get triggered by things like giving away some of my precious books. Who knew parting with a garbage bag full of my books would trigger me? Certainly, if I’d known it, I might have chosen to part with fewer books to ease the discomfort. The way I have done it feels like I just had a Band-Aid ripped from a tender sore spot. I suppose I shall have to go easy on myself. Trying to bulldoze my way through the pain won’t help me any if past experiences are anything to go on.

On a more positive note I did manage to dust my computer desk and tidy up my messy cords from my electronic devices. Well that’s it for now. Tomorrow I see my counsellor.

©Natalya, 2014. Reflections On Life Thus Far®