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

PHOTO DUMP: MONDAY HIKE

Three-four weeks ago I made plans with my sister, S, to visit her, hang out and take Leesi on a little hike. That didn’t happen since I was lucky enough to catch the flu. We did several rain checks we had to cancel, but I ended up saying “you know what, I’ll let you know when I get better”, since it just got worse and worse. I didn’t want to visit her and possibly infect her, with her being pregnant and all.

The flu hit me hard and I was sofa bound for two and a half weeks binging whatever I could find on Netflix with zero energy, while constantly coughing and blowing my nose and sounding like a man. The last part weirdly, or not so weird, gave me a lot of gender euphoria, so I didn’t exactly mind that tho. It was hard saying goodbye to my masculine voice.

On Monday me and my sister, and Leesi, finally got together so I thought I’d share some photos from our hike:

S took us to one of her favorite places and I must say, besides the ants I really enjoyed myself there too and Leesi seemed to as well. It truly was beautiful: greenery everywhere, light flickering through the leaves of the trees above us, magical woodland paths. A few weeks ago the place was filled to the brim with blankets of wood anemones, but now leaves upon leaves of lilies of the valley had taken over, soon ready to bloom.

Afterwards we indulged in some frapinos from Espresso House, well deserved in my opinion. I will definitely want to come back, but maybe in April or early May to see the wood anemones and to avoid some of the insects, (they’re not my best friends to say the least).

Happy and satisfied after our hike

Other than that, I’ve thrown out yet another four bags of trash and I’m not at the bottom yet. I hit a small bump again after that a few days ago, but today has been better so I hope I’m back at it tomorrow. I bought new carpets for my living room and dining space that came two weeks ago that I haven’t been able to unpack them yet because I want it to be nice here first so I really can enjoy them. A (kind of) fresh start in a clean space.

– 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

BIRTHDAY BOY / 070621

Yesterday was my beautiful prince’s birthday! Koda turned a whopping 7 years old, I can’t believe it! The little boy who was an outcast in his litter has turned into The Good-est Boy. So calm and sweet.

He had a tough first years going through something called Tollers Disease. Tollers Disease is an auto-immune illness that affects the joints, muscles and more. A kind of rheumatic arthitis. It can also be meningitis.

It’s been really scary, because I’ve read that most people with dogs with Tollers Disease have had to say goodbye to their fur babies way too soon, between 5-8 years old. Koda on the other hand has been doing really well the past two-ish years. He’s been going to a physiotherapist the last four-five years. The first years of therapy where hard, but now he’s doing so good he’s gotten off his meds!

My dearest prince, I love you with all of my heart. You’ve been with me through my toughest years, always by my side, and I instantly feel better when I see your precious face. You’re such a well adjusted and happy dog.

You let Leesi mess with you and boss you around and you also play very nicely together even though you’re 17kgs heavier. You’re just so considerate of her, and she couldn’t have asked for a better big brother, and I couldn’t have asked for a better dog than (the two of) you <3.

– E.J

CAT SITTING, LIFE, MOVING?

Happy Saturday, guys! I hope you’re having a good day. This weekend I’m cat sitting at my parents house while they’re at the cabin, which means lots of cuddles with Leesi and lots of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

Kalypso is mostly outside this time of year, so it’s not exactly the hardest job, haha. She only comes in to check on everything, give Leesi a little nuzzle and have some food and then she’s straight back out the door and doesn’t show her adorable little face again for a few hours. I’m so anxious to get her inside at night, I can not relax until she’s back meowing at the door.

Life hasn’t treated me the best. I’ve been kind of outside my body and mind. I get really insecure in my personality and don’t really know what’s what and get out of touch with my interests. It comes at me hard and I don’t know how to handle myself when I’m in the periods when it’s more prominent, I disappear into myself.

I had some good weeks with hikes and photography and family and it was so good, and then I fell into this hole again. BUT I’m trying to find back to myself again, whoever or whatever that is.

A fun thing that has happened in this otherwise low period is that I got a loan, so I’m looking at apartments – for real. I could buy an apartment! It’s so exciting in this otherwise low period, trying to keep my spirits up.

– E.J

A SEIZURE AND MY BIRTHDAY GIRL

Things haven’t been going too great lately. I’m a mess. I feel hopeless when it comes to my self destructive behaviour, I don’t know where to begin to get out of it. I try and I manage for a couple of days, but then give in. It’s easier that way somehow. I want to get better, I just can’t seem to do it. The biggest part of me has given up.

On top of that I had some sort of seizure last Monday, early morning. Went to my GP and described it to her and she said that it might have been an epileptic seizure. I’ve read a lot since then and epileptic seizures are so comprehensive, there are so many different kinds, so now I’m pretty sure that was what it was.

I was half conscious when it happened and apparently that’s possible after what I’ve read. I tried to reach for my phone and call my mom when it when it got worse, but then the seizure climaxed. There wouldn’t be enough time to unlock my phone, go into my contacts and find my mom in my favorites. I was certain that that was it, I would be dead within the next few seconds. I was in full panic and it was rather traumatic.

Obviously I didn’t die. All of a sudden it was over. My mom is kind of perplexed how cold or indifferent I have been about it in the following days. I don’t know how or why I’m not more scared and anxious. Maybe that is just another sign of how I’ve given up? Or maybe I’m just in denial, or completely shocked and don’t know how else to deal with it.

On a more positive note, my precious baby girl turned four yesterday! She has been a true godsend. She is so loving and on the constant lookout for cuddles. She truly is the light of my life, I don’t know what I would do without her. We celebrated at her grandmas and grandpas with big brother Koda and little sister Kalypso. They got some extra snacks for the occasion. I think she thought it was the best birthday.

Hope you’re doing well, (at least better than me).

– E.J

1/365

It feels like this day has lasted for an eternity, but strangely enough I haven’t felt like I was suffocating at any point, I’ve felt content. Almost happy even.

After a few nights of bad, if any, sleep, I decided I needed some help and took a sleeping pill last night. Woke up at 9:30 this morning actually feeling rested, it was like I was a different person. Together with the pep-talk and reflection I did with myself yesterday I was looking forward to the day that lay stretched out before me. Read that again. Looking forward to. How many times have that happened the past year? I think I can count that on zero hands.

I had no specific plans other than listening to my own advice and take things slow and be mindful in whatever it was I was going to end up doing. And I did, and I was. I made oatmeal with almonds and finely chopped apples, (I love the ritual of making oatmeal), brewed myself a cup of blackcurrant tea and ate slowly while listening to my favorite song at the moment on repeat. (When Wedding Bells Ring – Midnight Choir).

I wrote a post on my Instagram, opening up a bit about my depression and my 365 project plan. Then I posted the actual 1/365 photo. It felt good to have started and it pepped me up even more about the day, the week!

It had been snowing all day, so I had planned on staying in, but decided I’d ask Leesi if she wanted to go for a walk. She ran under the dining table and gave me a death stare: how could I suggest such a horrendous thing, it was snowing? But she got around and we went out onto the snowy streets of our neighborhood. Brought my Fuji along as well and snapped some photos. Ate some snowflakes mid-air. (Yes, I am a child).

Well at home, I managed to make my first proper dinner in months. That was such a huge win for me. People who have been or are depressed, or struggle with eating, will know.

I’m praying that I’ll have the same state of mind tomorrow, (I didn’t even have one BPD meltdown). But you can never know with mental illness, only hope. So I cross my fingers and hope.

Hope you have a good one ❤

– E.J

WISHES FOR 2021

In 2021 I wish…

… to read 12 books. In 2020 I only read 8, which is partly because I suddenly decided to knit some Christmas presents and they took a lot of time and energy to get done because I haven’t knitted for such a long time. This year I have definite plans not to knit anything, so I will have plenty of time to read, haha.

… to get control of my self harming. It’s been a lot lately and at the moment it feels quite hopeless. I’m drowning in shame and guilt and I just want it to stop. I know I can do better. It’s hard when you don’t actually care what happens and couldn’t actually be bothered to stop, because you know “it’s fine as it is”, but I’m determined to take action and don’t let it control my life.

… for the first time to write out and finish my first ever notebook. I’ve been journaling my entire life, I remember I must have gotten my first notebook when was about 4 or 5. It was this tiny book with an orange plastic cover. I called it something that translates to “little writing book of mine”. (I find that pretty cute, to be honest). I didn’t finish it and I haven’t finished a single book since either.

I think one of the issues is that I love collecting notebooks and when I find a new one I just have to start writing in it. Another is also my constant need for for fresh starts, a way of deleting the person I was, press the reset button. But this is the year!

… to save up for a tortoises! Since last Spring I’ve really wanted tortoises, I find them fascinating and think they’re awesome creatures. I’ve talked to a breeder, and now I just need the money to pay for it. I have never been good at saving money, never thinking I would need it as “I wasn’t going to stay around for too long”. Bad impulse control has had a say in it as well. I’m hoping these tortoises will help me look forward and stay on track. After all, if I don’t save I don’t get those tiny dinosaurs.

Yes, I realize it says 2020, I made an error. I fixed it.

… to lose XX kgs. This is not a healthy one, but it’s on my list so I’m sharing it. I haven’t talked about it here before, but my eating habits and body image aren’t exactly healthy and I was diagnosed with an eating disorder around the time when I was first inpatient. It has stuck around in different forms. I have to do this, if I don’t I will most definitely not manage to get control over my SH.

… to eat more fruit. Over to a more healthy one! I have been very bad at eating fruit the past years, it just never had a place in my mind. I know fruits are very beneficial for both our physical and mental health, so this year I’m going to focus to have fruits as a big part of my diet.

… to photograph more, and bring my camera with me everywhere I go. I’ve been in a rut with my photography since Autumn, and it’s been painful, at one point I felt so much like a failure and loser in photography that I put my camera up for sale. But I’ve had a serious talk with myself, telling myself I am good enough and that I need this, so I took the ad down again. And so far this year I’m doing good! I feel content with what I do.

Do you have any wishes or wants for this year?

– E.J

JANUARY FIRST

Crappy New Years, peeps! The time around New Years is usually a pretty difficult time for me. Thinking about how I have lived another year and have to start a new one. I don’t understand how I’m still here, why I’m still here. It’s just every year I get this panic-y feeling. Another wasted year, another year over due.

I wanted to spend New Years Eve alone, just practising some self care for myself. I was going to cat- and dog sit for them while my parents visited my aunt and uncle with a couple of family friends. They cancelled last minute due to Covid, so I stayed. I know New Years is yet another holiday my parents appreciate, and where they value family time, so Leesi and I didn’t go home to our apartment.

It actually turned out alright, my mother and I found out Bones was available for only thirty more days(!!) on our streaming service, so we watched that while my dad was in the upstairs living room watching horse races and the usual movies that aires around this time here in Norway. My mom and I have only 29 days to watch the remaining 3 and 1/2 seasons of Bones now. (I think we can do it).

I went to sleep at 23:00 yesterday. It’s not a big deal for me to see the fireworks. The fur babies were doing so great yesterday. The fireworks started slowly at around 16:00 and they barked a little at the first few bangs, but it seemed they understood that it was going to bang a little more that evening, so they either went to sleep or came onto my lap for sleepy cuddles. I am so grateful they are so calm about it, I can’t even imagine the stress and sadness people with nervous and stressed out animals on New Years Eve feel, and especially the animals themselves. I truly feel for them.

My parents, bringing Koda with them, left for the cabin this morning, and I’m staying at their house to watch the Kalypso. She’s currently fully stretched out on the living room rug, I think she appreciates having the space to herself. Well, Khaleesi is also here with us of course, but she’s pretty tired out from last night. I think this is going to be a pretty chilled out day.

I have layed out my unused A&O book now, and my new A&O Acrylograph pens, and I’m thinking of starting off the year in my new book. I brought all my bujo stuff with me when coming here just to be sure I didn’t miss anything, haha. I hope you had a great New Years Eve and I wish you all the best for the coming year ❤

– E.J

IN THE COMFORT OF MY LIVING ROOM

Sipping tea from the Marimekko mug I got from my fur babies for Christmas, watching big, wet snowflakes fall from the sky in the comfort of my warm living room. Vanilla scented candles are lit and Khaleesi is slumbering by my side. I know the snow won’t stay long, so I’m savouring this moment.

We’ve had constant rain for two weeks now, so looking out at the millions of snowflakes falling, almost dancing in the wind, gives a very welcomed feeling. Rain in Autumn is perfect, but rain in Winter makes gets me down. The sun sets at 15:00, if we even see it at all, so snow should in my humble opinion be mandatory, (do you hear me Mother Nature?). I guess this is what we’ll be seeing in the coming years due to climate change. It’s a real bummer, the snow brightens up the surroundings in a usually dark time.

I have no specific plans for today other than to try out the A&O Acrylograph pens I got from my mom and dad for Christmas. I’ve been eyeing them for so long, and an online store here in Norway finally got them not to long ago.

I’m thinking of starting with bullet/creative journaling again the coming year, I’ve fallen out of it the past few months. I miss sitting at my desk; writing, planning, creating. Cutting and pasting, stickers here, stickers there. And luckily I found an unused A&O book lying around the other day, like it was just waiting for January 1st to come around.

x E.J