Monday, October 22nd, Day Forty-Eight, Gratitude

Monday, October 22nd, Day Forty-Eight, Gratitude

 

Morning

 
Two-thirds of the month has gone by.  My weight has gone in circles.  It is at 120.1 pounds.  I had a good birthday and am now 57.  My husband is still in a rehab facility and will likely be there for a while yet.  He is starting to improve but slowly.
 
If you would like to join me in this journey from the beginning, start with Day One.
 

Coping

 
I have not dropped completely into depression.  I just have had my moments.  Anxiety and stress are taking their toll, but I am finding ways to cope with them.  Perhaps the best way is through writing these blog posts.  I have written more than 113,000 words so far in the travel log for this journey.  My writing has taken time.  However, it has been time well spent.  Writing is an activity I greatly enjoy, and with practice I probably am improving.  Social support and meditation also have helped relieve anxiety and stress.  My best girlfriend from Utah just called to chat briefly.  In addition, numerous other people have been there for me during this stressful time.
 

Business

 
My step-son just called about our business today.  He needs to exchange some paperwork and wait for a call back, so he will call again later.  It was hard to tell my step-son the state of our finances, but he needs to know, so he can manage them.  I have been using my husband’s money for most of my needs, which my step-son did not predict when he got him into this place.  I pray I will not have serious conflicts with him over it.
 

Fasting

 
I am a bit hungry, but I have learned that it is best to fast between meals, even if that is a bit uncomfortable.  Just now, I almost went into the kitchen for a snack, but I stopped myself.  I think 24/7 availability of food can sabotage us.  Fasting is a solution.  I still have to practice what I preach, and it is not always easy.
 

Taking Care of Myself

 
I left a message for my husband at the rehab center that I will be in tomorrow.  I am sure he will be disappointed that I will not be there today, but I need some time for me.  My social support tells me not to feel guilty over doing that, but I do.  However, I must take care of myself or I cannot take care of my husband.  As they say on airplanes, “Put on your own oxygen mask first.”  It would be nice if I could just talk to my husband on the phone, but he never answers the phone in his room.
 
I got some forms filled out for Social Security.  That is a critical thing to do.  Next, I probably need a shower, but my hair is still fluffy.  Maybe I will do that later.  I think a trip to the mailbox is next.
 

Friendly Invitation

 
I encountered my neighbor in the hall.  That was excellent timing.  She invited me to the Treasure Chest sale at 1:00 PM.  I met the woman handling the sale in the elevator.  She encouraged me to come as well.  It is just about time for lunch.
 

Aches

 
My body is aching in a number of places, which may be stress related.  I considered seeing a chiropractor, but if I have to drive often to get treated, it may be more stress than it is worth.  I wish I was an official resident and they had chiropractic care here on campus, but I am not, and there is not.  That reminds me of a saying my parents used to say, “If we had some cake, we would have ice cream and cake, if we had some ice cream.”
 

Sleep

 
I am going to lie down for a few minutes.
 
I think I slept half an hour or so.  That is the first time I have been able to sleep during the day in weeks!  I was so deathly tired.  I need more sleep, but that is a start.  Maybe I was able to sleep because for the first time I feel hopeful that the finances are going to be handled.  I fear a bit that I may get in conflicts with my step-son over my spending, but at least transactions will get handled.  I may have been more anxious over finances than I realized.  Now I will get myself some lunch!
 

Afternoon

 

Treasure Chest

 
My beautiful neighbor and I walked to three buildings north of us, walking across several indoor bridges to the Treasure Chest, where they sell semi-valuable items donated from estate sales and the like.  I bought a salt and pepper shaker, a set of white cloth napkins, a white ceramic citrus juicer, a wicker basket, and a pretty butterfly with dried yellow flowers in a bottle to put on my shelf at the entrance to the residence.  Everything was $6.75 with no tax added, which beats buying things like that on the Internet.  The ladies said to come back; they always have new things.  They said I could give back the items if they do not work out.
 

Rest and Snack

 
I could probably take another nap.  First, I think I will drink a couple of glasses of Berkey water and maybe do some meditation.  I am still feeling a bit of guilty glumness for not going to the rehab center to see my husband today, but I am glad I took the needed time for myself.
 
It is now 3:15 PM.  I went down, but not all the way to sleep.  I am not sure though.  I am so tired, I do not know whether I slept or not.  A lot of time has passed, so I may have slept.  I feel like I need a snack.  Maybe I can wait 72 minutes though.  I have some avocados that would be about right.  I will see if they are ready to eat.
 
The one I ate was a bit too chewy.  I should have set it on the counter, but I have not been home enough to pay attention to my avocados.  It was still edible.
 

Gratitude

 
What should I do about the feeling of depression that is threatening?  I have kept it at bay for weeks, but now I do not know if I can control it any longer.  I could take some l-tryptophan.  Perhaps a session of gratitude practice would bring me around.  Of course, Thanksgiving is around the corner.  This is the type of thing to do year-round.
 
I feel gratitude because:
 
1.
I have a nice, new laptop for doing blogging anywhere.
2.
even with all the eating over the weekend, my weight did not go up.
3.
I have a fantastic new friend across the hall with whom I can do fun things.
4.
my friend is also emotionally and spiritually supportive and generous.
5.
my husband is gradually recovering from his fall earlier this month.
6.
I am hopeful my husband will get off alcohol and go to alcohol rehab.
7.
my financially responsible step-son has become financial power-of-attorney for my husband.
8.
I got the utilities paid for my place in Utah, for two months.
9.
my step-son has offered to arrange a place for me to live, if I get kicked out of here and has the power to make sure it is paid for.
10.
despite the difficulties, my step-son and his wife are negotiating for me to become a resident here.
11.
I posted a blog entry for every day for the past 47 days.
12.
I went to church yesterday with friends, and the topic was about overcoming discouragement.
13.
the hospital bill for my husband was only a tiny fraction of the original after insurance paid, and I paid it today.
14.
my relationship with my mother is better than ever.
15.
we only owe for the current month for housing, and my step-son said he would personally take care of it.
16.
I still have my faith in God and my communication with Him.
17.
the cause of the noise in the jeep engine does not affect the operation of the vehicle.
18.
Lyft provides an occasional alternative to driving.
19.
my neighbor friend said I have a sweet singing voice.
20.
I am coping effectively with the stress and anxiety in my life.
21.
the rehab center has provided a way I can leave messages for my husband.
22.
the rehab center offers WIFI, so I can do online computing while there.
23.
the rehab center has a grand piano I can play, and my neighbor has a keyboard.
24.
I can get a meal at the rehab center very inexpensively.
25.
I finally got salt and pepper shakers and cloth napkins at the Treasure Chest for almost nothing.
26.
my Berkey water filtration system provides good tasting, healthy water.
27.
the rehab center also has great water.
28.
my Cadillac is in good hands with my mother in Utah.  I bought the car with her in mind, and now she has it.
29.
my husband’s disposition has been sweet and accepting of all he has been through.
30.
the clubhouse dining room is a delightful way for me to dine with the company of friends.
31.
I could count the negatives in my life.  However, with so much good going on, why bother to take the time?
 
Evening
 

Gratitude for Friends

 
After dinner and my gratitude session, I am feeling better.  We used to sing a song in church called, Count Your Many Blessings. “Count your many blessings, name them one by one.  And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”  Though I sometimes fear I will lose my blessed state, I keep finding more and more blessings further along my journey.  I just need to have faith that the Lord is taking care of me; He always has so far.
 
I want to write a thank you note to show my gratitude to my neighbor.
 
I finished writing a message and gave it to her.  She phoned back after reading it and said it made her cry.  She said she planned to keep it.
 
I called my best friend in Utah.  She was at a cabin with family members.  Wow, I am so fortunate to have friends.
 
The day is winding down now.  Sunset is past.  I have had a good day.
 

The Power of Gratitude Over Depression

 
My gratitude practice brought me around today when I was on the verge of depression.  I thought of using meditation or l-tryptophan.  They would have been useful, but I think gratitude was even more powerful.   Gratitude helped me form a bond with my neighbor who has been so kind to me.
 

Fatigue

 
I mentioned in my voice mail to my step-son that I have had chronic fatigue syndrome since 1990.  I have mostly recovered, but stress can trigger a relapse.
 
It could be that stress alone could have caused my fatigue.  Whatever is causing it, it is crushing.  I plan to spend more time with my husband tomorrow.  Tomorrow I will likely take Lyft to the rehab center, unless for some reason I feel up to driving.
 

Worries

 
Based on a conversation I had with him, I think my step-son does not think I should take Lyft unless my car is not working.  I pray I will not get into a conflict with him about it.  So far I put the fares on my credit card.  I hope my step-son does not make me budget stringently so as not to spend his father’s money.  Does he just want to inherit it?
 
If I continue worrying about that, my anxiety is going to get worse.  You, dear reader, have read through this entire journey and know that driving makes me deathly tired.  I am so tired anyway from stress and lack of sleep.  I do not normally drive that much, but having my husband in a rehab center has forced me to drive more often.
 
Perhaps I just need to stand up for my needs with my step-son and be sure he considers them.  My husband is kind of a miser, but he has said to me repeatedly, “If you need, get it.”  I am not exactly a spendthrift, but I do spend.  I still have expenses for my place in Utah.  My step-son mentioned getting my place rented out, but I would have to figure out what to do with all my stuff first.
 
Obviously, I have some challenges in my future.  I apologize about ending this entry with worries, after a day of gratitude.  As you can see though, none of this stuff I fear has happened yet.  Things will work out somehow.  I may get better about standing up for myself.
 
Let me turn to gratitude.  If my step-son takes charge, he can help us find solutions for our finances.  If he knows a better way than what we are doing, I am willing to consider it.  I can be flexible.  I am grateful that he is solution-oriented.
 

Tuesday Morning

 
My weight went down to 119.8 pounds, so I have it moving in the right direction again.  I feel better after a night of sleep.  My “hot brain” symptom bothered me considerably last night as I was going to sleep.  I do not know if it is menopause or something else.  I have suspected lupus, but my sister did not think my symptoms were lupus.  I do not have my appointment with a doctor until another week.
 
Last night, I had some worries about my step-son.  My husband has expressed some concerns about him also.  Fortunately, he is capable of taking care of himself and does so very well.  The worry is that he might dictate how we take care of ourselves.  Probably, we would do well to follow most of his wisdom.  It is just that we still need the freedom to make decisions on our own.
 
Now that my husband, myself, and my step-son are all tied together financially, it is going to be a pas de trois.  My step-son is sworn to be my husband’s fiduciary; he must act according to what he wants and his best interest.  Since the two are not always the same, he has to make judgment calls.
 
A council of three can work.  I have seen it work in an organization I belonged to.  It can even work if the presiding member is disabled.
 
What can I do to relieve my mind of its concerns?  I must agree to work with others, rather than always being the lone wolf.  I will not always get what I want, but perhaps down the road, I will get something better than what I wanted.
 
 

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