So it is a new year. This means resolutions and reflections. Resolutions to improve something in your life for the coming year, and looking back on your previous year, remembering the fun times and the bad times. I used to never do resolutions, because I’d see other people break their own not too long after making them. So I thought the idea was silly. Besides why start something new just because the calendar says it is a new cycle of the earth traveling around the sun? But I’m starting to feel like improving myself and looking inward is not such a bad idea, and if you can set it up at the beginning of a year, maybe you can keep track of things better. Monitor your progress better.
I have a mood chart that I keep to track my moods, medication, and other things for my bipolar disease. I could keep a diary or journal (or simply write in this blog?) each month with an update on how I feel I’ve come in my progress toward my resolutions.
First, I will discuss the previous year. 2015 was a little hectic and tumultuous. I moved 700 miles, to a new state that I really don’t know much about. I am still learning things. That to me was an adventure, and a little scary. I don’t know anyone here. I don’t have friends or family here. So that was interesting. It was a time of getting used to things and getting situated.
I had some good times this year though. Living only 15 minutes (on foot, 53 minutes by car) to downtown and also the capital building is pretty cool. It is a lot of fun to explore and take advantage of all the city has to offer.
Other good memories include running in the summer and fall out on the trail by the river. You’d see many different kinds of animals and birds (this state has the most different species of birds I have ever seen) and it was refreshing and nice. I lost weight that way. I’d eat one meal a day, usually a vegetable (I know, I know… unhealthy way to live) and then I would run a mile and walk a mile back to the car. Doing this for 5 months or so helped me go from 180 lbs down to 145 lbs. Awesome!
My job became very fulfilling and enjoyable upon being given the opportunity to do something different and a little more familiar to what I did in my home state. That made me happier and more comfortable with things in the workplace. So that made a big impact, a big difference.
Going to see Dave Matthews Band with the mother in law and mate was a really fun experience, as well. We stayed at their house in Nevada, and saw the band play at Lake Tahoe. Dave Matthews Band put on a great show (as usual, when do they not?). We had other fun moments on that trip, such as seeing the Reno balloon races. I really liked Night Glow (Or maybe it is called The Glow Show), where the balloons light up in the early morning and do light shows to Dueling Banjos and other fun songs. Then there is Dawn Patrol, where the balloons go up into the sky at dawn and glow. Then there is the main event, Mass Ascension, when 100 hot air balloons ascend into the sky. What an awesome sight!
During Christmas we took vacation and had a great time. We were given a present during that time to go to an art studio and have a guided painting session, where we painted snow owls. That was a lot of fun. I enjoy painting, and it was neat having a professional go step-by-step and show you what to do and how to paint it. There were about 30 people and each owl turned out differently. It was neat to see. That was a really cool experience that I enjoyed.
What I did not enjoy, was worrying about my mother, who went to the hospital in October because of her COPD complications. She couldn’t breathe, and then she’d have a resulting panic attack, making it even more difficult to breathe. She was in and out of the hospital and then post-acute care facilities ever since then, with the majority of the time spent away from home, including Christmas. In early December I flew to Seattle and stayed at my mom’s home with my step-dad. I visited my mom each day I was there, in the post-acute care facility, where she had her own room, TV, bathroom, etc. It was hard to see her in the condition she was in. She hadn’t been eating much, and so was frail and skinny. She had to pause between words when talking to try and take in air. I was only there for about 4 days, but it was good to be able to see her, because I feared the end was near, and that the outlook for her was not good.
I was right about that. On New Years day she called me to tell me she was getting to go home and that at home some people were going to come and give her medicine. I thought, oh, that is good. She gets to go home!
Then the next morning I was awoken by a call from my step-dad, asking if my sister had told me what my mom was going to do. I hadn’t heard from my sister, but I told him mom had called me and said she was going home. He said yes, she is coming home, but did she tell you what she is going to do? I told him that my mom just said people were going to come to the house and administer her medication. He then explained that my mom is going home, and upon choosing a day, will have doctors give her an overdose of medication and she will then fall asleep, and never wake up again. In Washington state this is legal, and she chose to do this. He was upset and he cried.
For some reason, though, it made me a little relieved to know that she is going to be in control of her passing. Not a random day, not suddenly without us knowing. It would rather be like euthanizing a pet in the way that you get to be there, (I won’t get to physically be there though) and say goodbye appropriately. I’m going to ask my sister for a huge favor, and have her record a video on her phone of my mom talking to me, saying goodbye, so that I can have it forever, and whenever I miss her, play the video and feel loved. And maybe, if they are going to be there when she does this, someone can keep me on the phone so I can be present as well. I’m still thinking about that one, as I am not sure I would like to do that or not.
But I feel like she is miserable, and when you can’t breathe you panic and it just scares you so much. Living like that is terrible, and I think The Finger (the Universe, God, fate, whatever you choose to call it) made me be present for my beloved cat, Joey, while she was dying from congestive heart failure. Her lungs were full of fluid and no matter what they did, they couldn’t help her. She was trying to breathe and had barely any lung function. She was literally suffocating. They had her in an oxygen chamber, and when taken out of it she would clamor for the tank and the panic in her eyes just saddened me and I told the doctor I needed to give Joey some peace, and that peace would only come when she went to heaven. I couldn’t be physically present to see the euthanisation, but I had seen the misery she experienced by not being able to breathe, and so I was able to understand my mom’s decision to self-euthanize a lot better than I think my step-dad and sister probably do. I want mom to be at peace, and feel better again. Afterward, when she goes home (the true home, not the temporary one here on Earth), she won’t even need to breathe. She will just be pure light and energy, and feel happiness and love. Overwhelming joy and love. And that is better than suffering. I will miss her incredibly, because we are very close, but I won’t let myself slip off into a depressive episode. I will be happy that she is now happy and will always be with me. And it makes me feel comforted by knowing I will get to see her again, and more than likely get to be a part of another life with her in the future (souls in the same cluster tend to stick together upon returning for a new life, so you are usually with them in different lives frequently, though perhaps as different relationships).
So 2015 was a very interesting year for me. A lot of different emotions. I went through mania and depression, and had a few periods of relative stability. As medication goes, I only skipped my medication about 3 times. That helped keep things in check. Though I went through episodes, they were not extreme, and I did not suffer psychosis.
I learned a lot about myself in 2015, and as such, have come up with a few resolutions for 2016. They are being more responsible, doing things with whole heart (no half-assing things anymore), and being more honest. I also had an epiphany after speaking with my step-dad about my mom’s decision, that for whatever reason, I needed to be more strong, physically.
In terms of being physically strong, I’ve started running again, and doing intervals of quarter miles, trading back and forth with my mate. While she runs, I do push ups, crunches, bear climbs, hula-hoop rotations, and any other exercises we can come up with.
And half-assing things. I grew up for 6 years as a child with my father who was a hoarder and messy. I didn’t do chores. Clean my room? What does that mean? So when I moved in with my mom, I was undisciplined in the area of being tidy and doing tasks and chores. She had me during the daytime do dishes, water all the plants, clean up my room, and take the trash up to the street, among other miscellaneous things. But when I did them, I did them as someone who didn’t like doing them, and did them quickly and sloppily. To this day I rush through things I don’t like doing. I strive this year to do things with whole-heart, and fully complete any and all tasks given to me with attention to detail and the correct way.
Being responsible. I live paycheck to paycheck, and I always have. Savings account? I have one, but is it in use? No. Loans? Yes. Borrowing out of my 401k? Yes. Keeping track of important things? No. Keeping up with my to-do list/calendar activities? No. I need to be a more dependable person. I need to be responsible. I need to see things through, and get important things done, and keep them in check. I want to do that this year. I want to be that person.
Last but definitely not least, is honesty. I am a pathological liar, and I just realized that in December. I lie to get out of things. I lie about general crap that I know nothing about, having an answer for the question anyway. I want to be an honest person. I want to say to myself, “Is what I’m about to do something I would lie about doing? If so, is it worth coming clean and being honest about it? No? Then don’t do it.” No being sneaky, either. If I do something that my mate wouldn’t like me doing, tell her about it anyway. Just to be an honest person. No more being sneaky or telling lies.
Those are the 4 things I plan to do/be this year. I am going to work on them and report in this blog each month on how I’m doing. I also plan on meditating more. Clearing the mind of junk, being calm, being present in the moment. I want calmness and peace for myself, and for my family as well.
So, happy new year to all. I hope yours goes well too.