Chaos and order.

Leila Raven Posted in General

What is it, about a clean uncluttered surface, that makes me want to take a cloth and wipe it down? Is it the same thing that makes it so easy to just add more mess to a messy room, dump more junk in a junk drawer?

Why is it easy to take a fresh load of laundry into a neat and clean well organized bedroom, closet and drawers and fold things and put them away, but take that very same load of clean laundry into a room of chaos.. and it’s so much easier to just dump in the corner with more of the same?

Come into the kitchen with a dirty dinner plate, and the kitchen is clean, the dishwasher empty, and my urge is to maintain the clean, put the dish in the washer… come into the kitchen that is dirty, add it to the pile.

It’s like some physical law of like attracting like for me. It’s easy to maintain a state of cleanliness, it’s my natural inclination, but if chaos abounds, then chaos it is.

I used to be a very clean and neat and tidy person in my home, honestly. As a kid, you never had to tell me to clean my room, everything was organized. Not obsessive compulsive style, but I was happy to be neat. I liked decorating and re-arranging my room. I loved the feeling of being in an environment that was as beautiful as it could be. I might leave some clothes draped on the back of a chair because I was going to wear them again tomorrow. I was not a ‘neat freak’. But I liked my underwear folded and stacked by colour, and my sock rolled a certain way.  I might leave a snack plate in my room to put away the next day, but I never let things ‘pile up’. A little bit of displacement was fine, that was life, but I liked to maintain a level of tidiness, that was, well, easy to maintain. You never had to do more than a few little things to have things be just right again. You never let things get ‘messy’.

That continued into adult hood, I couldn’t wait to grow up and have a place of my own to organize and decorate the way I wanted. Home has always been important to me.

Somewhere along the way, things changed. For years now, it’s never been just a few little things to do to have things be neat and clean and tidy. The mess is always bigger than it takes to clean in an hour, bigger than it takes to clean in a day… I have no idea, how long, it would take, to organize my closets, my cupboards, my drawers and rooms, the basement, the yard.. the.. endless things. Part of it is having more space, yes, but a big part of it is just having too much chaos.

Where do you start? Why pick up something to put it away, when the place you’re going to put it away too is a muddled mess of random junk?  It’s going to be misplaced wherever you put it because everything is disorganized to start with, so then, you have to organize the place where that thing belongs. A 2 second job of putting something away in a cupboard has become an hour job of tidying the cupboard.. but oh, wait, half the stuff in the cupboard, doesn’t belong in that cupboard. There’s dozens of items that belong in dozens of other locales, each of which, you guessed it, is disorganized, you need to relocate them to another space that is going to be another big job.. and, it becomes endless.

Like those mirrors which reflect themselves endlessly.

I’m upset about it all tonight. In tears with frustration even. Why… ? I think it’s because I spent some time today organizing and decorating some Christmas things. Super early for me, I don’t usually put anything Christmasy up until mid December, but I was inspired.  But I think it made me more hyper aware of my environment. I walk around most of the time deliberately choosing not to see, smell, or think about, the mess. It’s too big an issue. It’s too much to do.  Today it seems to be in my face.

For many recent years, because of my depression and anxiety, trying to re-start being tidy and organized, was  just too big a stressor to take one, so I did nothing, as little as possible, to address it. Why? because it was just too big an issue to tackle.  Recently, I’ve started to have that desire to have things be pleasantly and relaxingly neat and tidy. For myself and for Wolfe. I’ve started tackling little messes here and there. But the stress has moved in with it.  If it were just myself, I think I could manage it.

I’m of the cleaning school of thought that it’s easier to rinse a dish or utensil right away, than to let it sit, and then have to work away at cleaning off stuck on food with 10 times the effort of cleaning it later.  Wolfe is of the, do it later is easier school of thought.  If something is laying about cluttering up a surface I need to use, I’m of the school of thought to take the clutter and put it away where it belongs. Wolfe is of the open the nearest storage space and put the mess in school of thought. It’s the easiest fastest way to get the space cleared in his mind. But, in the process, he’s just created a new mess, somewhere else. Do that regularly, and you end up with everything messed up. Wolfe frequently ‘tidies’ in this fashion, and then, we never know where anything is when we need it, and it ends up being so much more work to do what should be a simple task, like getting a pair of nail clippers. It doesn’t matter that I may have designated a ‘home’ for nail clippers to be kept it, if he puts them ‘away’ in whatever space is quickest access for him, it then creates a nightmare of never knowing where they, or anything else, is for that matter.

I’ve noticed, because of this pattern, we end up with several more of the same thing than we actually need. I bet, in our house right now, there are a minimum of half a dozen nail clippers… there are multiples of things we don’t need multiples of because we are always ‘losing’ things we need in the mess, unfortunately half a dozen badly organized randomly placed nail clippers isn’t solving the ‘problem’.. it’s compounding it. It’s the ‘easiest’ thing to do, just buy another pair.  Of course it ‘seems’ the easiest thing, because locating the other pairs would be a huge job. However it really would be easiest if things just didn’t get misplaced to begin with. If instead we took 4 seconds instead of 2 seconds to put something back in the right place, instead of the closest place.

I know, all of this is mundane logical stuff, and it’s also no big deal, and I should just suck it up buttercup, but I can’t. I feel like I’m sitting on the edge of a place emotionally where I could really gain a part of my -life- back. Recover from feeling dis-abled from my depression and illness of not being able to keep house and cook, and actually do it. I feel like as if I were living on my own, this moment in my life this winter would be a huge turning point where I could reclaim my ability to maintain order, control, peace, beauty… cleanliness in my home and environment.  However, I don’t know, don’t think, I can do that within my partnership and marriage… I can’t reclaim those things when I have a partner whose approach to organization makes things 10 times harder to maintain than they would be if I were on my own.

It’s hard not to feel hurt, upset, and resentful. It’s then hard not to feel guilty for feeling that way, as I’ve done little to no cleaning for years, and he’s had to do it all.  How can I have the right to feel critical of him for behaving in a way I feel maintains me being ‘stuck’… when that means I abdicate and do nothing?  If it’s his style of cleaning and organizing, the sweep it under the rug and throw it in the nearest cupboard style.. then I can’t cope… to me moving the mess out of sight has not only not made it better, it’s made it worse, it’s a bigger job later! Then I end up doing nothing, because if I clean the rugs, and under the rugs, and organize the cupboard… and then the next day he tidies by pushing it all back under the rug and into the nearest cupboards… those bigger harder jobs are recreated again. I can’t jump on board and do it his way, and so, I do nothing.

It’s both of us, doing what causes us the least stress in the moment, probably causing us the maximum stress in the long run, those messy stressors we create then trap us into doing less, creating more stress, bigger messes, etc, and it cycles into a place of ugly desperation for me where I just disassociate from my environment.

The question is, why can’t I do that tonight? Why is this stupid healthy part of me sitting up, and getting pissed off and wanting to have a healthy cleaning organizing lifestyle back? It’s clearly not making me happy. I’m crying, I’m anxious and distressed. I feel over whelmed, and I feel angry. I guess, I know that emotions like that exist for a reason.. they are natures way of motivating us to change a negative situation. The pain is the poking with the stick that can causes movement to happen.

So now the question is, will the movement be able to finally start to fix and resolve the situation so those stressors, those messes are tidied? or will the movement be a firm re-positioning of my head back in the sand? I’m going to go to bed and hide under the covers and see what tomorrow looks like, because right now I’m split between washing dishes and breaking them, but it’s hard as hell to just ignore them.  I know then how does it make sense to just ignore them… because when you’re being pulled equally in two strong but opposing directions, ‘going nowhere’ is -exactly- what happens.

good days, bad days, and some days.

Leila Raven Posted in General

Well, my overall pain level and inflammation has gone down considerably, but it takes daily diligence to my anti-inflammatory routine to keep it going. What’s working for me, eating an anti-inflammatory diet. Some foods are known to increase inflammation, others to decrease it. I’m eating a really health clean low glycemic diet with fairly restricted calories and it seems to help a fair bit. I’m averaging anywhere from 900-1400 calories a day, and focusing on high protien and nutrition packed options, as well as supplementing when I need it. I’m taking omega 3 and 6 oils, flax seed oil as well. Also ginger tablets for inflammation.

The other thing I find key to managing my inflammation and pain is keeping my muscles and joints warm. We bought a heated mattress pad, which is nice because it has separate controls for both sides of the bed.  I was using a small heater previously and it wasn’t working for us because Wolfe was getting too warm. Now my side of the bed can be cranked to the maximum to keep my joints and muscles toasty hot, and he can remain comfortable. It’s cut down on my needing to have a super hot bath right before bed, or sometimes getting up in the night to super heat myself.

The other major help has been sleeping through the night, which I chalk up to two things, keeping my body heated up quite hot with the mattress pad, and taking an ativan before going to bed. I had read a lot with fibromyalgia that there was a connection between sleep and pain, and I know I’ve been most nights waking up several times in the night with stiffness, pain, and discomfort.  Using the heat, and knocking myself out for the night, seems to make a huge difference. I’ve been waking up with much less stiffness and pain.

I’ve now cut out all narcotic pain killers, and only have to take an anti-inflammatory rarely.

The other big critical key to managing the pain and inflammation seems to be gentle non joint stressing exercise, the more the better. Again, this is commonly found with fibromyalgia sufferers. I’ve been spending much more time at the gym/pool. I try to go everyday, and I always swim a minimum of an hour of laps, followed by a good heating up in the hot tub and sauna. Some days I swim up to 3 hours of laps, taking a break in between the hours to sauna for 15 minutes and keep my body hot. I used to have pain with walking, back pain from my muscles and joints in the back getting stressed and inflamed, and my ability to walk seems to be improving now too. Yesterday I walked the 3 kilometers to the pool. I used the elliptical trainer in the gym for 20 minutes, swam and hour of laps, and then did some resistance exercises in the pool for another half hour. Then I managed to browse Value Village for an hour after that! Though I didn’t find a thing to buy.

The good news, I can actually get about and do things off my couch and out of my bed, if they’re the right things, nothing that stresses joints or if I’m not having much inflammation that day. It’s a matter of listening to my body in the moment, and keep strengthening my supporting muscles around my joints while avoiding things that cause inflammation and pain.

The bad news, my IBS is acting up again, and I’m blocked up like crazy. Constipation… sucks. I barely respond to stool softeners. It seems when it gets bad like this I have to resort to extreme measures, high volumes of stool softeners, docusate sodium and lactulose… combined with massive amounts of natural fiber.. I eat a cup of berries everyday, sometimes 2 or 3 cups, as well as various other fruits, and usually fiber filled fresh veggies. I had beet soup the other night, and still, nothings moving. It looks like I’m going to have to step it up to the next level and do a regime of enemas and high fiber fruits, veggies, and juices and no other foods for a few days to see if I can clear things out and get things moving again.

My body, is a lemon.. lol, It has all kinds of imbalances and issues going on. My brain doesn’t create enough of the right hormones to keep my mood stable, so I have to take anti-depressants to normalize my chemistry.  I’ve had to have my uterus removed the other year. I now have something going on with my auto-immune system, something causing nasty rheumatoid symptoms that don’t fit nicely in one category having the experts suspect I may have one or more related conditions, reactive arthritis and fibromyalgia topping the list. Then there is the IBS, irritable bowel syndrome that I’ve had for years. Which in years past would include horrible gut wrenching unbearably painful spastic cramps that would send me to emerge.. thankfully that symptom has passed, but now I deal with chronic constipation.

So, the body, clearly a lemon. I have to take the very best care of it, of my body and mind as I can, carefully maintaining balance with chemistry through proper medications and a really clean diet and strict exercise program. It’s become all consuming right now, focusing on ‘self care’, but the reality is, if you’re body and mind aren’t working properly, if you don’t attend to that first, then nothing else can happen anyways.

I’m still going to miss facebook terribly. The timing’s bad. Wolfe just started working, meaning I’m alone at home more, and I don’t have a ‘hang out’ place online to go to… and I still don’t know if I want to pick up another one. We took on the kinkBC website, but can’t seem to do the maintenance needed to keep it up and running, maybe if that gets fixed, I could use that as my new hangout… after all, if I own the place, I can’t really get banned from it.. lol.  Times like that where I wish I had more computer skills, but I am totally lost with that stuff.

Well, that’s it from me for today, today I’m struggling with facing the day.. a big part of me wants to just go back to bed and try to force sleep the day away, not a good thing to do. It’s cold, cold in the house for me, even though the heat is on and I’m dressed, too cold outside to try to make it to the gym on my own. the pain in my body hates the cold. If we had a hot tub, I’d be sitting in it right now.

I think I’m going to have a ‘poor me’ day, eating a bunch of inflammation causing maple fudge for breakfast, and see what’s on the television… some days, you’ve just got to be bad.

“Your account has been disabled by an administrator”

Leila Raven Posted in General

Well, I’ve been banned by facebook, that’s the message I got on screen when I tried to log in today. I have written to ask why, but I know with these things I may never get an answer. Was it one of my photos where I’m naked in the bath, even though I show less than some bikini clad women do? Or maybe the recent photos of me dressed as a naughty cowgirl with a riding crop and a human pony scantily clad… who knows. I was always very careful to make sure none of my photos showed nipples, or genitals, that what is covered is what would be covered by a thong bikini, usually more. I’m not sure what caused the ban… the terms of service has plenty of options on what’s not allowed, enough that they could probably slide anyone out if they wanted to. Realistically, these places don’t need a reason, and usually, it’s simply a matter of receiving a complaint from another user.

I’ve not had a good track record for online communities. I’ve been banned from Neopets.. yes, neopets, where I was falsely accused of having multiple accounts. I did not. We had 3 different people playing from the same computer though. I’ve been banned from I’ve been now banned from facebook. Community excommunication seems to be a gift of mine.  Why?… well, I’m certainly not mainstream in any sense of the word. I live what some people consider a controversial life. Though really, from my experience, my exclusion from these communities has usually come from one or two people, women, who for whatever personal reasons, dislike me, feel threatened by me, or? Who knows really, I can’t get into the head of that type of attitude.

I’m not a mean person, I genuinely like and respect people as a whole. Even people who are sometimes damaged and nasty, though I try to stay out of their way.

It sucks though because often online communities are a way for me to meet some very real needs I have for community. Dealing with disability, multiple illnesses, spending much of time stuck on my couch. Having a group of people that I can interact with, connect with, at a moments notice, is really valuable to me. Even though it’s usually playing games, or light conversation, it is none the less, a form of support and connection.

When that is all shut down, probably at the hands of one person who feels crossed by me, or offended by me, and seeking to hurt me, I am hurt. They are successful, I’m deeply hurt, saddened, and feel loss. I know, it’s ‘just facebook’.. actually, it’s been a big part of my day to day connection to humanity. It’s been my community, my place to connect with old friends, meet new friends, interact, chat, share and play games with friends online, and it’s gone.

Yes, I can create a new account, and ‘come back’, I could go back to community too, I could go to a new online community. But for what… do you keep building sandcastles knowing the bully is going to find what corner of the beach you’ve moved to and tear it down kicking sand in your face.

Someone might see it as me having an enemy, I won’t believe that, there may be someone or someones, and I have a good idea of whom they may be, who are deliberately trying to cause strife in my life, and succeeding. But they are not my enemy. I will not set myself up ‘against’ another human being because they are filled with something that drives them to hurt others. These type of people in my mind are more damaged than any damage I could ever do to them. I don’t want to compound their damages and hurts. I wish instead I could heal them, but I can’t.

Right now I need a break from being ‘attacked’… I shut down my parties at Raven’s Retreat based in a large part on threats from someone and community nastiness in general. I moved away from that community and social circle and isolated as much as I needed to to avoid those I felt wanted to hurt me and be disruptive forces in my life. I’m going to take a break from all online communities now as well for a while. Why not just tough it out, you say? Why let those petty people get to me. Because they do. I’m a deeply sensitive emotional individual. My mental and emotional resources are stretched thin in my life dealing with ongoing depression, and now a rheumatoid condition that leaves me dealing with additional physical limitations and chronic pain. I can’t afford the personal emotional resources to deal with anything on top of my personal challenges. I know my limits, and know that as long as someone is gunning for me… I can’t afford to take too many hits, and my only options really, for my health and well being, are to lay low.

I know there are many people out there that are genuine, positive, caring, individuals. But right now, I feel cynical, hurt, and mistrusting, and all I want to do is isolate, knowing I’m the only person I can truly feel safe with. I’ll bounce back a bit. I know, I’ve been betrayed much worse, from people who I’ve cared for and loved much more. These small betrayals from relative strangers scratch at those old wounds, but I know they’ll heal.

In the meantime… I’ll stay quiet, and enjoy the solitude of my self care.

Live in Love…