Hugging Hug: Electric Huggaloo October 10, 2019 8:13 AM   Subscribe

It's been a few months since the last hugging hug thread , and things being what they have been recently, it seems like a good time to open another one up.

From the previous thread, by Little Dawn:
As we all know, everyone needs a hug! And as many know, the Fucking Fuck threads have been evolving, from the originally-intended politics venting space into a more personal venting forum and hugs distribution center. In recognition of this evolution and the kind support that has been shown in the Fucking Fuck threads, this is a new venting thread for everyone who needs a hug.
posted by Sparky Buttons to MetaFilter-Related at 8:13 AM (46 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

I'll start (and admit my ulterior motive that I need some hugs) : I had to put one of my dogs, Lindy, to sleep this morning. She had liver failure that came on fast, and there was nothing that could be done. The passing was peaceful, and I am confident that I did the right thing but I am grieving, and am going to miss her stinky, scratchy, loyal, and very cute little face.

I found out she was terminal on Tuesday, and that night I also found out my water heater was leaking and needed a replacement. And , I have a vacation scheduled with my boyfriend this weekend. It's all a lot of emotion, financial hits, and extra things to do all in a very short period of time. But! Things are moving forward, and the worst is now behind me.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 8:24 AM on October 10, 2019 [38 favorites]

Thank you for posting this, Sparky Buttons, and I'm definitely sending you and everyone who needs them ::hugs::
posted by katra at 8:47 AM on October 10, 2019 [2 favorites]

BRRR we're having our first frost of the season already, it's too early, and I don't want to get out of bed because I refuse to deploy my heater yet and BRRR what the fuck!?

Right now I don't want to get out of bed because after nearly 5 years of living in this hammock I finally figured out how to properly hang an underquilt under it without messing up the primary hammock functions of being a comfortable hammock.

Which means my butt is no longer cold and I'm no longer wrestling with trying to line the inside of the hammock with blankets that don't stay put and end up bunched up in weird places.. Hammock still functions as a hammock and can move around and spread as a hammock should, and the sleeping bag stays put below the hammock, but with light contact and a small air gap for insulation.

When I get into my hammock I am now floating in a cocoon surrounded by sleeping bags on all sides, top and bottom. and it's gloriously warm and comfortable. I mean it's downright toasty in there and I have no idea how cold it is in my little shack until I try to get out. The difference with the underquilt is just incredible and I wish I figured this out a few years ago.

As for the heat I do have a heater but I'm in a friendly if strange contest with about four other friends who are also in alternative or off-grid homes and we're seeing who can last the longest before firing up stoves or heaters. And I intend to win.

Granted my PJs last night involved a full thermal layer top and bottom, flannel PJ pants and a long sleeved comfy shirt. I would add wool socks to that but socks bug me when I'm sleeping and I will usually peel them off with my toes in my sleep and wake up wondering where my socks went.

Anyway, the floating sleeping bag cocoon is very cozy and hygge and not unlike a good hug.

Hugs to any who need and want one.
posted by loquacious at 9:26 AM on October 10, 2019 [5 favorites]

Oh, Sparky Buttons, I am so, so sorry about your dog. You know that you did the right thing as a loving, caring pet person, but it is always still so hard. Sending many, many hugs to you--and to everyone else who needs one.
posted by bookmammal at 9:26 AM on October 10, 2019 [5 favorites]

Earlier this year I went to the funeral services of a guy who'd been my neighbor while I was growing up. In addition to many wonderful memories people shared about him many people remarked on how he gave great hugs. I have a three year old kid and one of my current goals is to raise him to give great hugs (if he's into giving hugs, of course).

So everyone who needs a hug today: I'm sending you hugs from me and from the kid.
posted by sciencegeek at 10:05 AM on October 10, 2019 [5 favorites]

It would be my dad's 77th birthday today.

It hit me yesterday that I lost a father instead of my mom just losing her husband. I don't know if I can go visit her this weekend, I'm just so sad and don't feel like I can move. I've spent this week doing something related to moving the grave for her that requires all of her brothers and sisters signatures and it's been a lot.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:38 AM on October 10, 2019 [6 favorites]

I had a biopsy yesterday on my right breast, on an irregular area of tissue spotted during my routine mammography last Monday. It wasn't on last year's mammo, my GYN didn't feel it in April, I never felt it at all.

My breast HURTS today, I've been an absolute unproductive lump at work since last Tuesday, I have a vacation in 2 weeks that I'm going on no matter what. I get the results tomorrow at the earliest, Tuesday at the latest. I am not by nature a brave person and with each hour that ticks by I despair more and more.

My mother-in-law had a stroke early September and while recovered, has a long road ahead toward lasting health. My father claims to be recovered from his ablation 2 weeks ago. These last 6 weeks have almost broken me (and likely my husband too) in half.

Take a hug, leave a hug.
posted by kimberussell at 10:55 AM on October 10, 2019 [22 favorites]

Hugs Sparky Buttons and OnTheLastCastle, and to those of you who want them whom I maybe don't know as well.

I am doing reasonably OK right now other than work stress so offering strength beams *beam*beam*
posted by wellred at 11:26 AM on October 10, 2019 [3 favorites]

((((((((((all of you))))))))))
posted by Gorgik at 11:28 AM on October 10, 2019 [3 favorites]

I'm so sorry Sparky Buttons.
posted by a snickering nuthatch at 11:30 AM on October 10, 2019 [3 favorites]

My sincerest condolences to you on losing your friend, Sparky Buttons. As fate would have it, I also lost a pet today, and was just thinking about posting a thread like this myself. Our cat, Woodstock (pictured here during happier times), put up a long, tough fight against kidney failure, but this morning, we knew it was time to give him a peaceful end to that fight.

The doctor and vet tech had both become pretty attached to him over the years, (the tech watches him when we're away), and the spectacle of four grown-ass adults in tears and hugging each other was something I'll never forget. They were both compassionate and professional during the euthanasia process, which was comforting, particularly since my wife and I both went through one a couple years ago with a dog that didn't go smoothly at all.

Our dog sniffed us a lot when we came back, and sniffed around all of Woody's toys and perches, so he definitely knows, even though he's not showing it the way we do. We'll get our tiny tiger back in a week or two, and he'll take his place on my wife's dresser next to his brother, who we lost a few years ago. This is the first time since my wife was seven that she's without a cat, and the emptiest our house has ever felt.

These are immensely difficult times for so many reasons, and I know there are others out there reading this who are hurting as much as I am today. Love and hugs to all of you in the hopes that we come out the other side stronger.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:06 PM on October 10, 2019 [16 favorites]

SB, I'm so sorry to hear about Lindy. She was fortunate to have you as her carer and champion, and she is a VERY GOOD GIRL. Big hugs to you and to everyone.

On Tuesday, I completed a stress test, which is required to maintain my candidacy on the transplant list. Everything was going well, and as the name suggests it really is stressful!. And I'm in a private room on a treadmill with my back to the door, with two helpful technicians assisting me, and with my attention focused on the computer screen.

So here we are exerting at running speed (which, hahaaaa) and I'm also focusing on not falling off the treadmill and killing myself. And I'm very nearly about to hit the prescribed numbers for a successful test when OUT OF NOWHERE SOME NURSE DUDE WHO I HAVE NEVER MET AND WHO HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THE TEST ENTERS THE ROOM AND STANDS RIGHT NEXT TO MY TREADMILL AND ANNOUNCES THAT HE'S HERE TO TELL ME EVERY POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS BELIEF I HOLD IS WRONG. Like, as a joke. To raise my heart rate. Because he thinks it's cute?

I mean, who does that? At the time, I was so stunned I didn't say anything, but now it's just sort of dawning on me how inappropriate that was.

I'm so mad.

Also, my results came back online and there's a line in there that the test was stopped due to patient request. And I'm totally baffled, as I never requested to stop -- it never even came up. I'm sure it's just some sort of lazy cut and paste error, but this report is going to the transplant people, and I don't want the transplant people to think I would stop a test unless it was absolutely necessary, because compliance is extra important as a candidate.

So grar. Great big grar-y grar-hugs to everyone who wants one.
posted by mochapickle at 12:21 PM on October 10, 2019 [18 favorites]

Oh, Tony. I am so sorry. Woodstock is one gorgeous cat.
posted by mochapickle at 12:24 PM on October 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

So sorry to Sparky Buttons and Tony.

I am still drudging away at a job I dislike, still sending out applications still not getting responses, still inching slowly but surely closer to debt freedom. It's a smaller problem and there is an end in sight, but - as Carrie Fisher once said - "instant gratification takes too long."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:30 PM on October 10, 2019 [6 favorites]

Mochapickle what happened to you was completely inappropriate and if you have the spoons, should be reported to that nurses supervisor. That is not ok and you have my hugs and my slapping hands. Sparky and Tony my condolences to you both.

Life without anxiety meds is... anxious? but not as anxious as I'd thought it would be so I'm going to keep moving forward. Now that the high holy days are over I'm much more comfortable. Could use hugs pretty much always.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 12:43 PM on October 10, 2019 [7 favorites]

I'm donating a portion of my liver in the next 2 weeks. Because it's anonymous, I can't share the exact date, and I can't really share it with my broader social media group or comic fans for a while.

I've been in screening and tests and all that for months and it's finally time to actually cut me open and take part of my liver out and then put that liver into a child. It's kind of amazing.

But I am nervous and worried and stressed and I have to work to the day before the surgery and everything feels kind of overwhelming right now.

I would normally have some pot to relax but... ya know... liver donation.
posted by robot-hugs at 1:10 PM on October 10, 2019 [30 favorites]

That is fucking amazing, robot-hugs. <3
posted by kimberussell at 1:12 PM on October 10, 2019 [3 favorites]

Wow, robot-hugs, that is amazingly generous of you.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 1:46 PM on October 10, 2019 [3 favorites]

In a little less than two weeks, my girlfriend is going in to have surgery that will remove a 3cm tumor from her auditory and vestibular nerves. She'll be in ICU overnight, probably another 3-5 days in the hospital, and then home for a possibly-long-ish recovery.

Next week, I am 22 months sober from my addiction of choice. Coincidentally, that same day should be an event that will significantly ease the financial strain I've been trying not to think about.

It's Ren Faire season here in Northern California. I love Ren Faires, but... Ren Faire people are Exceptionally Friendly in ways that have triggered me in my addiction in the past and that make my girlfriend nervous in the present. I'm still trying to navigate this without giving up a thing I love.
posted by hanov3r at 2:07 PM on October 10, 2019 [8 favorites]

Thanks to SB for starting this thread and many hugs to you for all you are going through.

mochapickle, your experience is horrifying and I'm shocked and offended on your behalf and I hope everything works out with the transplant people. Many hugs to you (and your little dog, too ;).

Hugs to everyone who needs them! I have stuff going on but I don't want to elaborate because I am trying to ignore it to stay sane. Literally. I just don't want to be manic. I will be depressed to avoid mania. But right now, I'm stable. And hugging myself!
posted by danabanana at 2:27 PM on October 10, 2019 [8 favorites]

Okay, just really quick, thanks to everyone for giving me something worth reading and being enlightening. Love to you. You're light in the darkness. Thank you. I'll be right back.
posted by Stanczyk at 5:51 PM on October 10, 2019 [2 favorites]

Life has been super stressful for me lately. It's still probably less stressful than most people's lives, but for me it's been tough. Work is crazier than it's ever been, my mom has been sick and doesn't seem to be recovering, and my kid has had... quite a year.

I am blessed, I know this. I have so much to be thankful for and life is generally ok, but it's still been sucking more than normal.

And that's just on a personal level. Then there's also, you know, all of THIS.

Peace, friends.
posted by bondcliff at 6:36 PM on October 10, 2019 [6 favorites]

I'm so sorry, Sparky Buttons, and Tony too. And < awkward hugs > from me for anyone who can bear my very high awkward hug level.

My 13 year old dog Pippin was euthanized on Monday and I am absolutely gutted. I work from home and we were a team for so long. I miss my sweet, serious doggo. Having to make the decision to let him die was tough, but we were so lucky as the vet was able to come to our house and it was very peaceful. We buried him in our (very tiny) backyard and it's helping me to visualise him sleeping back there even though I know that's not rational.

I spent some time yesterday planting pretty ground cover plants in the backyard that have a better chance of surviving now that Pippin is no longer peeing on them. I also took all his toys, dog stuff, and left over medications that could still be used to the SPCA and they were really glad to have that, so it felt good. Also, throwing away the left over medications that couldn't be reused felt good. I would have preferred to destroy those in a controlled detonation as it was so tough dosing him with stuff that made him feel worse in the short term, but helped in the long term. Also the reason he got sick sucked so badly - there was a sewage spill in our local nature reserve estuary and he contracted giardia which was resistant to the medication. He didn't die of that, but it still made him feel really awful.

I need to start writing again, but staring back on my normal routine feels like a betrayal of him, like I'm leaving him behind.
posted by Zumbador at 10:33 PM on October 10, 2019 [5 favorites]

kimberussell, I've been there and it suuuuucks. I hope your breast feels better very soon and am thinking benign thoughts for you.

mochapickle, sorry you had to deal with that jackass. Definitely report him.

Hugs to everyone who has lost an animal friend this week, and for everyone who is going through hard times.
posted by mogget at 10:38 PM on October 10, 2019 [2 favorites]

Sorry for all your pet losses :(

Sorry for medical woes, as well.

I just got a $900 bill for the crime of having had pneumonia back in February and March. I got the same bill in July, and it turns out they hadn't billed my insurance. Now it turns out all my insurance claims were rejected. I'm hoping that a few more calls tomorrow will finally clear things up, but if Medicaid continues to reject the coverage, I'm screwed. The clinic will either bill me automatically (they have my card on file), or I'll incur late fees. I'm in a precarious spot now: I'm still waiting on my tax refund, the medical bill is due on the 20th, and my next loan payment is due on the 25th. I don't have enough money to pay the bill and the loan payment, even if the refund comes tomorrow.

Fortunately, I think the odds are in favor of getting covered by insurance for some, if not all of that bill. If not, a family member has offered to lend me the money, but yikes. This is tightrope walking. Meanwhile, I'm trying to get some kind of income going, even something small, but it's a frustratingly slow process.

The good news is that I'm doing better mentally, thanks to the magic of SSRI drugs. The downside is that all SSRIs now seem to make me insanely tired all the time. I can't think straight, I've been physically weak, and I keep getting dull headaches. It seems like the only solution is to take Excedrin a couple times a day, which has the side effect of keeping me up all night (which is why it's past 4 AM here). All of this -- the mental fog, the fatigue, the odd schedule -- are obviously complicating factors when it comes to looking for work. It sucks, all of it, but I still think I'd rather be dealing with this than be in the dark, dark, dark places I was in before I was medicated. Hopefully the negative effects will wear off in a few more weeks, and I'll be able to live fully as an active go-getter for a change.

To end of a positive note: I've felt really weak and tired on my bike for a couple weeks now, but today... less so. Might have been the caffeine/Excedrin, might have been that I'm getting stronger. Maybe a combination of both. Don't know how I'll be doing tomorrow, but at least I powered through today.

Thanks for making a post where we can vent. I've needed to vent for a while, so thanks.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 1:28 AM on October 11, 2019 [7 favorites]

My sister died three weeks ago. She'd been fighting cancer and had been through an extensive round of chemo already, and she was clear for a month or two...then it came back with a vengeance. I was just getting adjusted to the idea that my sister was almost certainly going to die, and soon, when it just happened. We thought she had a few more months left at least.

I'm not sure how to feel. We weren't very close for most of her life, which sounds awful, and we hadn't seen each other in person in years, which sounds worse...but she was my sister. And now I'm trying to come to terms with the idea that both my mother and sister are gone, and all I have left is my father and brother, neither of whom is in the best of health...and in the back of my mind, I'm waiting for the next shoe to drop.

Which also sounds terrible.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:26 AM on October 11, 2019 [12 favorites]

I am being traumatized on a nearly daily basis by people on my Facebook feed posting pictures of tarantulas this month. I really hate spiders and I really really hate surprises spiders especially when I am on my phone with big pictures of surprised furry fat f****** right in my face. Ugh.
posted by supermedusa at 7:46 AM on October 11, 2019 [4 favorites]

My condolences about your sister mr. Bad example
posted by supermedusa at 7:49 AM on October 11, 2019 [2 favorites]

Since last December my 83-yo mom's physical and mental condition has deteriorated pretty steeply, with a series of falls and other medical incidents. She was hospitalized for bleeding ulcers about 2 months ago with an additional few weeks of recovery in a nursing facility before insurance kicked her out back home, where she spent a grand total of two weeks before falling yet again last week and heading back to the hospital and now nursing care facility with a broken pelvis. I joked with my sister that it felt like just as we were getting mom's in-home care situation sorted out and running like a well-oiled machine, the machine decided to run us over. She's on narcotic pain relievers now and she's extremely disoriented and confused. It's not good.

I am the non-local sibling and have been trying to help my local sister coordinate her care and other needs and generally providing her a sounding board, decision-making support, and a safe place to vent. She is definitely more stressed out this time around compared to our last go-round with a major medical crisis for my mom about 4 years ago, probably because this time it's pretty clearly not a question of a lengthy rehab but rather a lengthy process of her body and brain giving out entirely.

I've got all kinds of complicated feelings about it. I feel quite ready for my mom's death, and as weird as it sounds, I welcome the day when my sister is no longer saddled with the burden of tending to her needs. I was talking to my daughter last week about how sometimes I feel like I am/was more detached from others and more able to accept these kinds of losses, and she pointed out to me that it's probably the flip side of my "fiercely independent" nature, in which I am not/don't let myself become dependent on others. I've gone from logging less than an hour a month on the phone to spending an hour a day between my sister and my autistic brother. I'm not good at multitasking on the phone like my sister is--she's always been a "phone person" and I'm not. At least I'm getting better at remembering to switch it to speakerphone so I don't have to sit there pressing my phone to the side of my head for an hour every day.
posted by drlith at 8:21 AM on October 11, 2019 [4 favorites]

Thanks for posting this. I honestly thought yesterday after making my post about Splinter that we haven’t had one in a while, and I think I’m starting to hit a limit on how much more terrible shit I can take.

Before splinter being shut down, it was the NBA knuckling under to China, setting a terrifying precedent that Apple and Blizzard have fallen all over themselves to reinforce.

Before that was HK reviving the anti mask law, which scares the hell out of me. Round the clock surveillance and cameras everywhere have become such a part of life that we forget to be terrified of how the world is going, and now we’ve got the first country to attempt to outlaw trying to opt out of having our image recorded non stop, and they won’t be the last, and this is not the future I signed up for.

And there’s the Kurds about to be wiped off the map because a visibly, blatantly corrupt president is more concerned about the pittance he’s got invested in Turkey than human lives, and the whole thing, the whole region is filled with enough overlapping entanglements that if we don’t WWI ourselves into WWIII because of Trump’s callous idiocy, I’d be stunned.

And back to Hong Kong, I’m terrified that we’re weeks at best away from China deciding they’ve browbeaten everyone into accepting whatever they do and turning HK into a city wide version of Tiananmen while everyone sits by thinking “if only someone would do something!”

And California and the idea that power outages because of blatant corruption and the need to feed the investors is just the beginning of the new normal.

And all of that. I think I’m just about out of hope that things even have the potential to get better. I don’t know the last time something turned out for the better, and I’m well past believing that things can’t get any worse, because the last three years have been a master lesson in proving that wrong.

And to everyone dealing with illness and lost loved ones, I’m deeply sorry for your loss, and sorry that I’m dumping what feels like the beginning of a panic attack with no end on all of you, but holy shit, I’m glad this thread is back again. Hugs to any who need them.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:21 AM on October 11, 2019 [10 favorites]

It's benign! I'm okay! I feel like a wrung out washcloth and I think I need to cry for an hour and sleep for 10.

Thank you for the hugs and MeMails. Hugs for everyone who needs them.
posted by kimberussell at 12:36 PM on October 11, 2019 [31 favorites]

Oh Sparky Buttons, hughug. kimberussell, I went through that almost a year ago; I remembered being shattered. hug hug hug. And I see you’ve got results back. Yay!

And to all those needing.....hugs to all. Squeezing my eyes shut hoping the clouds clear and things resolve.
posted by lemon_icing at 12:44 PM on October 11, 2019 [4 favorites]

kimberussell, what a relief! Very glad to hear it, and thank goodness you didn't have to wait too long for the news.
posted by mogget at 2:27 PM on October 11, 2019 [4 favorites]

*Huge hugs to Sparky Buttons and everyone else who needs them*
posted by daybeforetheday at 1:55 AM on October 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

I've been having a lot of panic attacks because things are hard and I'm worried. And I can't help myself so I try to help as many people around me - helping people move, volunteering for things, giving rides, watching other people's kids, etc. But it's tiring. I'm always tired. I could use the hug.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 12:44 PM on October 12, 2019 [7 favorites]

On Wednesday the woman that I work for forgot how to drive. While driving me home. Five blocks from her house she started to believe that she was required to have the car's wheels on either side of the yellow line, and insisted on driving three or four blocks that way in heavy traffic before I persuaded her to pull over as a favour to me, even though she couldn't see any reason to do so. Once we had pulled over the line of traffic behind us all stopped and would not move. Nobody moved, nobody honked. They just waited patiently because they were NOT going to drive around her and get in front of her.

It was not fun. It also means that I probably have to decide between getting into the car with her again, or not having a job and losing a friend. I'm going to go with resigning of course, but the next two weeks while I negotiate not getting into a situation where she kills me are going to be less than fun. I like her you see; her distress is going to be very painful. Her family gave her back the car keys that I took off her; if I can't get someone to believe me now that she is sure she is recovered and her family is sure she is recovered, someone may get killed.
posted by Jane the Brown at 5:50 PM on October 12, 2019 [6 favorites]

It's hayfever season here, and I've got it real bad. Tied with some female reproductive system issues, I feel like my body hates me, and it's just meh.

I also am fighting off panic attacks as I work through an enormous pile of marking, that I should technically be able to get done at school during my spares. (HA HA HA.)

Thanks for the hugs and the place to vent, hugs to all who need them.
posted by freethefeet at 11:45 PM on October 12, 2019 [2 favorites]

I woke up this morning and saw that the truck parked at my neighbor’s house overnight(we have connected driveways) had a huge Trump flag, many bumper stickers and window stickers about guns, plus stickers with Bible verses (because.... yeah). They just left but I feel really unsettled. I could really use a hug.
posted by bookmammal at 7:05 AM on October 13, 2019 [6 favorites]

I was trad8ng places with my grandson at my birthday dinner in August. I fell out of a high booth and tore tendons and bicep, my left shoulder this time. Surgery was Thursday last and it is going to be OK. Only right side hugs please!
posted by Oyéah at 4:34 PM on October 13, 2019 [3 favorites]

I've had to buy tools and things to do odd jobs for people, and it's really stressful because I haven't broken even and I don't have that much money to begin with. I'm hoping it'll pay off in the long run, but I'm worried about the short term. A couple more jobs building stuff, snaking drains, or regrouting stuff will make up for my expenses, but I'm not there yet and I don't know when I will be. I feel weirdly OK with this particular kind of stress (vs stressing out that I can't keep coming up with insightful arguments for college classes), but money stress is still such a burden. I appreciate the flexibility of this kind of work (especially since my health makes it hard to work sometimes, and I haven't been able to keep up with a real job in a while), but the downside of all that flexibility is that nothing is a given.

All of this contributes to a nagging doubt that I'm doing the wrong thing, that I belong in a library somewhere getting paid by a research grant. But this is what I want to do, and I guess I have to make it happen or I'll run out of money completely. Stress stress stress. What's keeping me going is that I haven't been this motivated or productive since February. I worry about sustaining that motivation (like, I worry that there will come a time when I'm absolutely sick of this kind of stuff), but I worry about everything. I'm just hoping it's a good sign that this is what gets me out of bed in the morning, and I'm hoping it'll pay off for me.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 5:19 PM on October 27, 2019 [3 favorites]

This morning (starting in about 15 minutes …) is a big court date for my divorce. Not the final one, but today's outcome will either set the case towards a quick resolution or down a gnarled tangled road with more court dates, subpoenas, and a legal fight that is unnecessary and expensive. My lawyer is great and we are on the same page and I trust her, but my stomach is in knots and my hands are shaky. I also found some new info out from my lawyer last night that dug up all kinds of feelings and it's very close to the one-year anniversary (anti-versary?) of our separation. It's all moving forward which is great, but there's a lot to process and the whole "feel your emotions instead of shoving them in a metaphorical box" is a skill I'm still learning, and it's definitely overwhelming at times.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 6:57 AM on October 29, 2019 [4 favorites]

I have been occasionally coming in here and bemoaning my fate. However - something happened this weekend that ordinarily would have sent me coming in here looking for a hug, but instead I got good 'n' mad about it and Took Action*, and I think that's actually a sign of progress.

* Some fucktrumpet got hold of my debit card number and used it to rent a car on Friday afternoon; fortunately it's the only unknown charge and I caught it quick, and my bank credited me the money back right away, but they also locked my whole account down until I got the new card and that took until this afternoon so I had to buy my damn $40 of groceries for the week with my credit card like a doofus.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:31 PM on October 29, 2019 [2 favorites]

I think I'm probably averaging four hours of sleep per 24 hour period for the last month and a half, at least, and it's not like the rest of the year has been particularly good in that regard. I've kinda lost track of nearly everything. I saw a different psychiatrist--last week?--than I'd been seeing because the previous doctor had to cut back hours unexpectedly. The new doctor suggested I could be experiencing a hypomanic episode, which is something I was starting to suspect myself. My wife read that it's possible to develop bipolar 2 when one previously didn't have it as a trauma response. Either I've been (poorly, I think I'd argue) probably mild undiagnosed bipolar 2 my whole life along with undiagnosed ADHD (they're frequently comorbid), or I developed it after Trump got elected two days after my cat suddenly died. I've been tapering off the SSRI I was on and she's going to try me on a mood stabilizer.

I think that all this was masked as the primary agent of my sleep issue by the facts that I've always had sleep issues and that the pinched nerve in my neck seems to be getting worse again (and I feel like it got worse again last winter too, which makes me worry there's going to be something seasonal about this, which is weird), but that's possible because our bedding situation was less than ideal because bedding is expensive and we're poor idiots. We've thrown a bucket of money we don't have at new bedding stuff over the past month, and it's starting to help, though my neck feels terrible at the moment, and the weighted blankets I think did damage we're still recovering from before we fully realized it was happening.

My wife might have MS. She's done a rundown of the symptoms, and while it could turn out to be a combination of panic attacks and fibromyalgia and allergies maybe, and she also got a concussion recently and it could partially or fully be the after-effects of that, she does have a lot of MS symptoms. Regardless, she's in bad shape and has been steadily getting worse, whether its the commute and allergies, or the environment at work, or simply the stress of working full time, or some combination, and is having to fill out additional FMLA paperwork and get more leave from work for the time being. This is not great, because her insurance is very good, it's part of why we're not in even worse shape right now, the many many appointments we've been going to have not been too large a drain on our finances, but you need to still pay for your portion while on leave, but FMLA is unpaid. And I'm not working because of my chronic insomnia and related issues and because my previous job was miserable and killing me, and have made essentially zero progress in teaching myself any marketable skills that will allow me to work a job that even makes sense for me to work given that it will reduce her support, in between my own health issues and the effort most make it take to keep a home not completely filthy and healthy-ish food on the table when you're not a very skilled or capable cook and am exhausted all the time and your wife's appetite is really bad so even when you manage to make something healthy she can't eat enough of it to make it worth the effort half the time, as well as trying to take her to work or pick her up when she's not feeling well enough but didn't feel like she could call in because she was already out of leave by like August. Things are going to be really tight. It's a good thing we got our refinance done, that freed up a lot of credit and got rid of some monthly payments, but fuck.

I feel like I'm borderline-phobic incapable of even opening my resume after years of empty, responseless searching, other than that one time I inexplicably got a phone interview with Wizards of the Coast. (Which would have been a dream job even if I'd gotten laid off when they downsized the D&D team, but I wasn't familiar with 4e which was the edition at the time because I couldn't afford it at that point, I'd been unemployed for years and had a bunch of grad school debt, for all the good grad school's done me (other than meeting my wife, who is the light of my life), and I absolutely flubbed the interview because of it and because I wasn't willing to be ambitious enough about being a game designer, which I hadn't ever really considered until Chris Perkins asked me the fucking question because I'm a fucking idiot. If I'd had any sense in my head at all I would have been laser-focused on being a tabletop game designer from like 13 on. (But then again how was I to know analog gaming was going to blow up in the late aughts and twenty-teens? I did know I didn't want to make video games, even as a teen, and I guess I wasn't ambitious enough to believe I could get a job at Wizards of the Coast.) I'm afraid I'll end up in a place with a bunch of secret nazis, or not secret nazis. I'm terrible at connecting with people so I've always been bad at networking and I chose a bad college where I didn't fit in and I mostly destroyed my relationships with the people I did get along with by the end. I've never felt comfortable in American society. Even now, that all the sorts of nerd shit I grew up loving are mainstream, it's not actually the nerd shit I loved, and I still kind of mostly hate it. (And a lot of what I loved super doesn't hold up, and what does is the weirder stuff that's probably not ever going to be an HBO series, and, like, I liked Harry Potter but I'm baffled that people mostly seem to like the movies and even then the books have a lot of issues.) The internet was cool for a decade and then it got shitty, and it's getting shittier at an ever-increasing rate. I just am so frightened that any job I get is going to be as or more miserable than the last one I had.

Not that I can do any work of any sort effectively on four hours of sleep per 24 hours, which only happen when my exhaustion overrides my discomfort and my brain's general refusal to calm in any way no matter what I do. Leaning into the disrupted sleep schedule is the only thing that's keeping me at all functional; when I've tried to restrict like I'm supposed to I've gone 36 hours plus a couple of times by powering through when I was actually sleepy waiting for the time I was supposed to sleep, only to be wide awake and incapable of sleep when the time came. I just hope like the mood stabilizer or something will make my brain function enough to turn off. Just getting off the SSRI.

Also like everything's fucking terrifying, which is why I wanted to be on the SSRI in the first place. I've disconnected almost completely since the Turkey pullout so I don't even know what's happening right now. I'm just scared of the world. I really don't know how to find comfort or hope, even reading about reasons to be optimistic also requires reading about how so completely fucked everything is that I can't. We've not been doing much but listening to the McElroys and playing Stardew Valley (and I have to restart like half my days because I goof them up so bad I won't be happy continuing), but my wife has to sleep like a normal person and then I'm just up awake and alone. I try and get some useful stuff done but the sleep deprivation all seems to come out as physical exhaustion rather than mental (except as this comment shows it's also definitely mental it's just harder to notice), I just get so worn out so fast. And then she's at work and I'm either sleeping or too sleep-deprived to do any useful errands when the world is open.

And I've written maybe 30k useable words this whole year. Like, I'm pleased with what I've written, which is one of the only things I'm pleased about these days, but I'm not going to be able to accomplish what I want to accomplish in my lifetime at that rate. I need to be putting down ten times that, at least, if I'm ever going to get enough traction to gain any sort of an audience. Like it'll matter if our democracy collapses or WW3 starts.

I just feel like such a failure. I can't even take care of myself, let alone my wife. I'm certain I must be a disappointment to my parents. If I can just get my brain working semi-steadily I have a few options I can explore that might make okay money and/or be a tolerable way to make at least some money, but I can't fucking do anything with 3 hours of sleep on a bad night and 4.5 on a good one. I certainly can't emotionally regulate well enough to interact with other humans in a professional environment. Or even one that's not particularly professional.

Good lord this is obviously hypomanic rambling. I'm sorry if nothing makes sense, I just don't have it in me to edit it right now. I swear I'm a gooddecent writer if I'm not writing casual comments, sleep-deprived or otherwise, on the internet.
posted by Caduceus at 1:37 AM on October 30, 2019 [4 favorites]

I might need to button to keep from embarrassing myself with unhinged comments while I'm dealing with these med changes and sleep issues. I dunno.
posted by Caduceus at 2:41 AM on November 3, 2019 [2 favorites]

Mrs. Example and I just today did the last step in filing for our permanent UK resident status. Now we wait for anything from one day to six months for a decision to be made--and that's if everything goes smoothly. Fingers crossed.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 8:05 AM on November 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

Caduceus, same here. I definitely know the feeling.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 2:24 PM on November 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

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