Well, that didn’t go as planned.
Although the election made it clear that everything was going to hell in a handbasket, I kind of thought things at home were going to continue going along reasonably steadily. The Universe took one look at that assumption and laughed her ass off. Just to catch you up:
- The night of the election, about an hour into the results, I felt myself going into a kind of fugue state. I had to stop watching, take myself to bed, and just … avoid everything but the very highest-level news. It took me about three weeks to get out of the full-body panic state, and I started looking for a good trauma-based therapist, because clearly the election was bringing up some old shit I didn’t even know was in there. I found one, thank everything holy, and I’ve been doing EMDR-based therapy since January. It’s been really helping, but I’m still having to curate my news intake, even though I get all my news from Twitter. (I follow awesome people on Twitter.) Sometimes I can keep up with what’s going on, and sometimes I just have to log off, for my own sanity.
- We had an unusually horrid winter — multiple snowstorms, including one that closed in on a foot, and this in a city with like two plows, and us not owning a snow shovel — and then a summer that included a week of nearly record breaking temperatures that only avoided breaking records because of wildfire smoke that made everything look like a dystopian hellscape and us all cough like lifelong smokers.
- Somewhere around the end of January, Catharine’s mood started a slow downward slide that culminated in her needing to be briefly hospitalized, something she hasn’t needed in 25 years. We found out a lot about the resources our current city offers, which are surprisingly robust. The subsequent meds changes are ongoing, and there was one recently she had an extremely unusual reaction to that gave us about five weeks of extremely labile, unpredictable moods. Super fun!
- Around the same time Catharine went into the hospital, ElderStatesCat went into the cat hospital for a radioactive thyroid treatment that kept her away from home for 10 days. YoungestCat held it together through all the chaos, but when that all calmed down, spent about six weeks attacking me at dawn and dusk. Here in the Pacific Northwest, dawn and dusk at the height of summer are inside my sleeping hours.
- Work has gotten both better (less chaotic) and worse (somehow also more stressful?)
- On the upside, I finally got treatment for my migraines that has settled the daily headaches down to the week before my period and the occasional one in punishment for eating pizza, and an experimental treatment for my chronic fatigue, in combination with the EMDR, means I’ve had more energy.
As you can imagine, since our levels of cope weren’t high to begin with, we have been operating on “just the basics” mode. The problem is that “just the basics” mode doesn’t work as an indefinite setting. We have coped by throwing money at the problem. We both have therapists. People come to clean our house. Our groceries get delivered and we are experimenting with Blue Apron (we cook but we don’t really have to meal plan or shop for ingredients). We still get delivery more often than is ideal.
But we don’t live in a complete sty and it all leaves me enough cope to do the laundry, keep the plants alive, and manage things like meds refills and fetching cat food and remembering to get the trashcan to the curb. (Oh! And she got her damn driver’s license renewed, so I am not the only driver in the house anymore!)
And now, now it seems like things might be calming down (knock on wood). I went, alone, to watch the eclipse in its totality. I was able to drop the long-dead external hard drive off for recovery. I’m here, writing to you. There’s just a little more slack in the system. And there are so many things I want to talk to you about.