WELCOME HOME, LORELEI

Phew! This was supposed to be written three weeks ago, but things have been pretty hectic, becaaaause… We got a baby girl! In a whirlwind over the course of less than 24 hours, I believe it was closer to 12, I decided she was meant to come to us and another 24 hours later I picked her up and brought her home.

It really was a coincidence that she joined the family. I was driving down the road to my parents house when I saw their neighbor, M, was out in her yard with her dog, but I also saw a little red ball of fur through the hedge as well. Did she get a puppy? I had to say hello! Coincidence #1 in me arriving just in that moment.

I parked and got out of my car and was so disappointed to see she had gone inside again. Went inside my parents house, my mom was still outside and suddenly I see M coming over to talk to my mom. Coincidence #2. She told us that she had gotten the puppy four weeks ago, but had to rehome her due to her being a bad match with their other dog. How had I not known they had had a puppy for four weeks? Coincidence #3.

M actually had a couple who were going to see the pup the next day and probably take her with them. Coincidence #1, #2, #3 and #4, hadn’t I arrived just then I never would have known and she would be gone. I told her I could be interested, I couldn’t hide my excitement and asked her if she would let me seee her that evening, despite having more or less of a deal with the other couple. She said yes, and would be so happy if she ended up here in the neighborhood so she could she her now and again.

The evening came and I fell in love, but we planned to meet the next day to see if Leesi would be okay with her before I had to decide. I know Leesi to be kind of peculiar and she usually wants me for herself, so I was really nervous as to would she would think of a puppy and having to share the attention. She behaved extraordinarily good and did everything she. could not to seem threatening and really wanted to help the little puppy accept her. I have never been a prouder dad! ❤ That was really coincidence #5, because I really couldn’t dream that Leesi would have accepted her the way she did.

Last coincidence, #6. I’ve been in a really dark place for so long, drinking my way into oblivion to numb myself out, but just days before I saw her I had, for real this time, decided to get myself back on track, get sober and try to get better and I had done well. She was just what I needed right now. There was just too many coincidences surrounding her for it to be a coincidence. All in all, I truly believe it was destiny. She was meant to come to us.

I renamed her Lorelei. (She was initially named Luna, but that’s the name of 50% of female dogs, so can’t have none of that). Little Lorelei ❤

– E.J

THE ALL FAMILIAR “LONG TIME, NO SEE”

The last time I posted something here was when Koda had just turned 7, now he’s soon turning 8, so it’s clearly been a while. Quite a few things have happened since then, so I thought I’d do an update.

Shortly after I stopped posting, my two beautiful, little tortoise babies came home to me. I named them Littlefoot and Petrie, after their respective namesakes from The Land Before Time. They were tiny, as you can see, only 9 and 10 grams.

It was really good getting them home and they were thriving for a while, eating well, walking around, climbing stuff. Then they got slower and they slept more. I think it was because they stood next to the outer wall of the house, and they got some draft from outside which made them sleep. It was a good thing really for the next thing that was going to happen…

I told you that I got a home loan in June last year, right? Well, in September I found the apartment I’m now sitting in, placed a few bids and it ended up as mine! (Obviously or else I wouldn’t be sitting here). Back to Littlefoot and Petrie, it fit perfectly that they hibernated for a while before and while moving, and once they were set up in their new place, away from outer walls, they woke up again and was as happy and healthy as before.

I couldn’t believe it when I got the call that the apartment was mine. I was now a home owner. Owner. No more rent. This is my place. It was very bittersweet though, very hard in fact. I went into a downward spiral of guilt and shame and was more depressed after moving in. I’m still not out of it. I struggle a lot with thinking I deserve it, that this – something this good – is meant for me.

Photos from right after I moved in.

As a result it’s turned into quite the depression nest. Because I don’t deserve the apartment, and even less deserve to have it nice-looking and clean around me while being a fraud, also due to zero energy, it has turned into a shit-hole. (Just a few days ago I cleaned out 4 bags of trash, and that’s just the start, but I guess it is a start at least). I stopped taking my meds properly just to further revel in my own misery.

Come two months ago to this day, our dear grandpa passed away with Covid and pneumonia in the hospital at age 87. He was in isolation for almost a week, it must have been horrible for him who values and thrives off of, and literally lives for, being surrounded by family and loved ones. I got to see him in the hospital two days before he passed. I still can’t believe he’s gone. When I tell myself that I just break down like the first time, I haven’t been able to grieve, I’ve just pushed it all away, I can’t handle it.

So, to sum it up, life pretty much sucks right now. The last couple of weeks I’ve had a few small “ups”, some glimmer of light in between. They usually last a day, two days tops, and I’m back at the bottom again, but it gives me some hope at least as to what’s (hopefully) to come. It’s like I’m practising my ability to feel good, like you practise running. One day you can run for 100 meters, next day 200 meters, and someday you do 1km, or even 10km.

I started taking my meds properly again a month ago, but it doesn’t seem to quite do it for me yet. Or, well, I don’t have my massive swings, now its just a stable low, so I guess it’s something. I’m trying to boost myself up to clean this place up, like with those 4 bags of trash, it’s a struggle, but like I said, it’s a start.

– E.J

MAY SUMMARY, RECLAIMING MY LIFE AND GOALS FOR JUNE

Hello again, precious earthlings

A month has passed and a new one lies before us. May was harsh, but at the same time relieving and uplifting. I was finally able to send my application for disability aid, (after waiting 2 1/2 months for my caseworker to do two simple things, that she had said would take 2 weeks), which sparked a whole lot of different emotions.

It is a grief having to come to terms with the fact that I’m not functioning in school or work and won’t be able to stand on my own feet financially because of my mental illnesses, and knowing what I’ll miss out on not having a career. It is a grief knowing that you don’t function “normally”. In many ways I have lost. It is also a huge relief to know that I can have financial stability despite of that, if this application goes through. I’ll be able to have a life. Permanent disability aid, instead of temporary 4 year work ability assessment pay, also means that I have time to learn what works for me and find out how I can live my best life with my limits. It means security and calm.

In this post I talked about waking up from a dormant state of mind and wanting to reclaim my life. Of course this doesn’t indicate that I’m 100% healthy, and that all of a sudden I’m all well, I am simply having a better period. My struggles are still there, but I see them more clearly and I’m able to address them in a more productive manner as they come along. I am more aware of when I’m (for example) spiralling and have the extra energy and will to pull myself out of it or distract myself. It may come easier for me now, but it’s still work.

By “reclaiming my life” I mean taking ownership over my day, my emotions and my actions – in my best-est of efforts not letting my disorders rule over me completely. What do I want this life to be and how do I get there? How can I easiest facilitate ways to achieve an overall good quality of life? Where should my focus lie in my everyday life? How can I grow? These are questions I have to keep asking myself regularly.

I’ve set myself some goals for June to cover different areas, from general well being to sparking creativity. I thought I’d share some of them with you.

GOALS FOR JUNE

✎ Make my apartment cozy, a place for relaxation and inspiration. I love decorating, so I’m very excited about this task. I have some ideas already. Having nice and clean surroundings is good for everyones mental health.

✎ Spend more time outdoors! Fresh air is good for your body and soul. I get a little garden patch at my new place and I want to spend (almost) equally as much time there as inside this summer. (I take the liberty of reserving myself from this goal if it gets too hot). If anyone wants to join me reading on a picnic blanket in the grass, just let me know.

✎ Not post process my photos, rather change settings in camera, and keep the photos as they are afterwards. I want to get more creative and mindful with my camera and I hope this will help!

✎ Keep up with my newly started routine and keep getting dressed on weekdays. Keeping some sort of routine is in my eyes one of the keys to a healthy life, it is a way of taking action.

I haven’t set too many goals, I don’t want to drown myself and end up doing everything half-way, but I have set enough to not make me lazy either. Good middle-ground.

My plan for the rest of the day is to try and stay calm before I get the keys to the apartment tomorrow! And I really do need to start packing for my move, I haven’t packed anything yet… I thought I’d get a clearer idea of what I wanted to bring as I was closing in on the big day, but I haven’t. I probably know subconsciously, so what’s left is actually p a c k i n g.

See you soon, stay safe ❥

x E.J