Archive for September, 2007

Well, what a nice way to start this Sunday morning. The Rotten Correspondent has seen fit to give me the You Make Me Smile Award, which makes me wonder if she has read all of my posts lately? Nevertheless, there must have been something endearing about them and I very gladly accept the award, of course, I am not going to let that one pass me by, and I will pass it on, as is the custom, to other equally deserving bloggers. Or should I say, more deserving bloggers? Because I love them dearly, and they hold a special place in my heart, I pass this You Make Me Smile Award on to Frances of Carpet full of Holes, Bobbie Of Great Grannie Blog and Beverley of Eleanor’s Blog. So, pick up your award from the side bar, girls, and remember that you are all well loved and have been with me from the beginning and I appreciate that. You’re a bunch of great women!

I woke up this morning on the sofa, under the yellow blanket, with Nouri laying on top of me and that was very cozy. It was four am and I felt like I had slept enough. I had been awake once at 1:30 am and found Eduard sound asleep in his chair with his book in his lap and his head nearly falling off is body. So I gently woke him and sent him off to bed He was very sweet and disoriented and had no idea at first what was going on.

I thought I was wide awake then, but I made myself some hot chocolate and was soon asleep again. I like this new habit I have of making hot chocolate. I fix it in the microwave and it is done in two minutes and it tastes great. I don’t know how many calories there are in it and I don’t want to know, because it is such a wonderful treat and it warms my stomach and makes me feel nice and drowsy and satisfies my sweet tooth also. I make it with two heaping spoons of cacao and three spoons of sugar and lots of low fat milk. It is smooth and dark and bitter and sweet all in one.

When I wake up in the morning, I feel good. There, I have said it. I just feel good, there are no worries in my head and I look forward to making coffee and lighting a cigarette and turning the computer on to read my first blogs. It is all so very uncomplicated and satisfying. They are such simple pleasures, but boy, do I enjoy them. And then they are made especially enjoyable when you receive a reward. That brings a smile to your early morning face! An award a day keeps the doctor away. Well, no, if you got that many, they would become worthless, of course. They do become very valuable when you get one sometimes when you least expect it.

Omega Mum asked me if I had ever blogged about my childhood and I think I have mentioned the odd bits every now and then, but I think because of the festivities today, I will not get into that now. Rest it to say, that I come from a pretty dysfunctional family in which neither parent behaved normally. Some other time, I will get into more details, I have to test the waters a little bit first and see how the possible reactions would be to my revealing more of this. I am never ashamed to tell things, but I do have to keep my audience in mind and their sensitivities. Maybe I should take a poll. It would be handy to have one of those poll things on the blog where people can vote. Does she tell or doesn’t she?

Yesterday turned out to be a good day when you compare it to the day before. The lowest I scored was a four and that was once in the morning when I was feeling a bit low and insecure about things. When I first woke up in the morning I rated myself at a seven, as I do now. Mostly I stayed around sixes and fives. I don’t think that is bad at all, and I don’t expect to be all sevens again yet, that will take some time, I’m sure. God forbid I should be an eight! Although I would like that very much. I think that may be a bit unrealistic and that would worry me also. Looking back in my diary, I see mostly sevens in the past and that seems like a very decent even score to have.

Yesterday afternoon Eduard went to the film house to give an extra training to some volunteers. When he left, he put on his rain suit and left on his motorcycle. Of course, right away I started to question by myself why he was going on his motorcycle and why not on his bicycle and did he need the rain suit because he was traveling far? I will have these kinds of insecurities for a while to come yet. I need to learn to trust him again and not let my imagination take over. I wonder how long that will take? I realize I am full of insecurity still and I can only rest at ease when I know exactly where he is and at what time he is coming home. I know that is no way to live and that I have to relax, but I seem unable to right now.

In the meantime I am reading The Unquiet Mind and it is a fascinating book as she manages to achieve so much in her life in spite of her disorder. Lithium works very well for her, so she is lucky that way, but still she is victim to the ups and downs that come with the disorder, yet she manages to have a very successful career in the medical profession. You wonder how it is possible? I look at my own life and see so little achievement, just a very average sort of life with nothing really outstanding and to tell you the truth, I wouldn’t even call it an average life, what am I saying? It certainly has not been an ordinary life. It’s been more like a dramatic movie script. I know one thing, I want Meryl Streep to play me in the film version! And Robert Redford can be Eduard. He is all wrinkly like Eduard too.

That reminds me that I have not been watching the film channels, which is a shame, because I am sure that all sorts of good films are passing me by. I don’t know why I have taken this hiatus from watching films, except that I find them hard to concentrate on right now. I’ll have to look in the film guide and see if there is anything really good coming on that will grab my attention.

Of course, the books I got at the book store, like The Unquiet Mind, I am all reading in Dutch, but I find that the translation is so good that it doesn’t bother me at all. I thought it would and that I would prefer to read them in English, but it is turning out to be no problem at all. Sometimes, when a book is badly translated, it is. You find yourself constantly translating it back into English, but I am not doing that now at all. In the past, when a book has been written in English, I have preferred to read it in English, but now I find I can read it in Dutch and that it doesn’t distract from the stor
y at all. Maybe that is also because my Dutch language skills are becoming better. I am getting used to the sentence constructions and the vocabulary.

Jesker is chasing Gandhi around the apartment, they are playing tag, it seems. She is the only cat he will play with. The others he just tolerates. Gandhi is allowed to sleep on his pillow with him. I don’t know why that is, but she has never been intimidated by him, so maybe that is why. Nouri loves him, but he does not love her back, the silly dog.

Well, people, this is going to be a short post. I am going to make cigarettes now, because I have run out and I have nothing left to say. Just for once I can’t be rambling on and on. I hope for a happy day and that Eduard and I will have our nice Sunday morning ritual together. With hard boiled eggs and soft white bread buns with strawberry jam.

Have a wonderful day. Remember that it is Sunday and that officially you don’t have to do anything! Ciao…

P.S. I have added a new blogger to my list of favorite bloggers and that is Jo Beaufoix who is very humorous and the mother of two little girls called Miss M and Miss E and she is married to Mr B.


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Just a short update. It has been a quiet and uneventful day, for which I am very grateful. I am very happy to say that my moods have only swung from sevens to fours, which is a vast improvement over yesterday. Mostly I am hovering around sixes and fives, which I can live with, that’s not bad at all when you compare it to the twos I was having yesterday.

After I wrote my post this morning, I took all of my medication, including my Oxazepam, and walked the dog. It was nice and chilly out. When I got home, I put on my nice thick sweater and laid down on the sofa and slept for another two hours under the yellow blanket. It was very nice and when I woke up, I was mostly okay. By that time, Eduard had been to the store to do some grocery shopping. I realize, that beneath everything, there is an undercurrent of sadness, obstructing me from functioning at full power. So, things don’t get quite done the way they should, but that is okay. Mostly things get done somehow. The dog gets walked and the dishes get done and I hung up the laundry to dry finally.

Sometimes I think I am going to cry, but then the moment passes. I am glad when Eduard is home, yet at the same time it is more difficult when he is. It is a bit contradictory, I know. Lots of feelings involved there.

Now I am going to make myself a delicious cup of decaf Senseo and make some more cigarettes so I won’t run out during the night if I wake up early again. I will take my sleep medication tonight. I will also sleep on the sofa again, so far I am liking that very much, but I’ll crawl in bed with Eduard in the morning.


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So, I’ve done my satisfying first round of my favorite bloggers and got to read and see some nice things. It is always a good way to start the day. I read some great answers to some curious memes. You do get to know people a little bit better that way. By the way a meme just means Me Me! It’s all about Me! It’s not some exotic French word, like I thought it was.

Yesterday was an exhausting day and that was because I was ultra rapid cycling all day long, which would not have been half as bad if in all of those moods I had realized that that was what was happening to me. Unfortunately, while I was bouncing from one extreme to another, all sense of reason left me and I could only react with a certain amount of panic at what was happening to me.

When I hit rock bottom the first time, I contacted my psychiatrist and asked him if he could please see me as soon as possible. Luckily, he had a spot open at 4:30 in the afternoon, unluckily for me, it was still morning. After having been at rock bottom for three hours, I slept for an hour and woke up feeling fine and was okay again. That lasted for about three hours and then I hit rock bottom again, so when I went to see my psychiatrist, I was crying my eyes out. I was crying on my bicycle on the way over, while, luckily, Eduard accompanied me, but then waited in the waiting room for me.

Within a half hour’s time I managed to tell him that this had been happening since September the 17th and that I didn’t know what had started it, except that I had been up then for two nights in a row, and that it had gotten worse since I had found out about Eduard’s love affair. That each mood seemed to last for about three to four hours and that it often changed after I had slept some. We talked about Eduard and his love and we talked about how I dealt with my mood changes. I told him how it was impossible for me to remember any other kind of mood once I was in one certain kind of mood. In other words, once I hit rock bottom, I can’t remember what it is like to feel happy anymore. And once I have climbed out of it and feel fine again, I forget what it feels like to be at rock bottom. I am completely one thing or the other.

He said that it was very important for me to remember that every mood had a beginning and an ending, that this was exactly what would save me. To not give in to the despair, but to try and remember that the ending would come within three hours time. But that’s very difficult when you are at your whits end and you feel like you need to be committed to the hospital. I felt very frustrated when I thought he didn’t understand me at first, but it turned out that he did and that we weren’t talking at cross purposes.

He only had a half hour to spend with me, but we got some work done in that time and one of the things he did is increase my dosage of Topamax, since this is my mood stabilizer, from 100 mg to 150 mg. Since I react to it quickly, he thinks we will see some improvement there soon, as it will keep me from swinging from one mood to another. It can be increased some more if need be. He wants me to try and keep the Oxazepam as low as I can, so really only take it when I need it and not just take it because I think it is time to.

I am seeing him again on Monday at five o’clock, when he will have an hour to spend with me. That will be good, because we haven’t sat down and talked for a long time and he needs to be updated on where I am in my life now and how well things had been going with me until recently. It’s a good thing that I have kept a little diary with all of my daily ratings. It is easy to look back and see how I have been doing these past eight months. Which has been mostly good. I was a bit hypo manic in the springtime and a bit religiously mad, which I have completely been cured off, although I must say that, when I was at my utmost lowest yesterday, I prayed to God to please help me.

By the time we got home again, I felt a bit better for having talked to my psychiatrist and seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. I did feel very exhausted and took a nap on the sofa and when I woke up, I felt fine. I took my night time medications early, because I wanted the Topamax to start working, but I waited with my sleep medication until I thought I would go to sleep properly. Then I hung out with Eduard for a while and made myself some hot chocolate, which was delicious. Eduard and I talked about things a little bit and I do feel for him, because it must be upsetting for him too to see me in such a state and it isn’t very pleasant for me either to have him see me like that. So, I feel that I have to normalize things as quickly as possible.

At about ten o’clock, I fell asleep again on the sofa, without having taken my sleep medication and I woke up there in the middle of the night with the yellow blanket over me and Nouri and Gandhi next to me. I thought I might still take my sleep medication, but then decided against it and stayed up instead and visited blogs and drank coffee and smoked cigarettes. I haven’t taken an Oxazepam yet and I won’t unless I really feel that I need one. I feel amazingly good now. I would easily rate myself with a seven now and I don’t feel any of the sadness that I felt yesterday. I hope that I can stay in this mood and that there is no other mood waiting for me and I am going to take my morning medication on time also, so I will really get the benefit of it early. Knowing that my Topamax has been increased and knowing that I am going to see my psychiatrist again helps me. I feel that I am not fighting this all on my own.

For those of you who are bored with these psychiatric exertions, you have to remember that a large reason for writing this blog is to discuss the Bipolar Disorder and all the complications that come with it and the medications. I am trying to reach other people who may be going through similar situations or who know people who are going through similar situations. I think that what I have been doing is actually called ultra ultra rapid cycling, in that I rapid cycle on a daily basis, but that is such a mouth full, that I will just call it ultra rapid cycling. I pray to the God that I almost do not believe in, that I will not go through it today again.

I am supposed to go to the job market today at 10 am. I don’t know if I am going to make it, because I am also supposed to have a resume that I can hand out and I don’t have one ready. I had planned to do that yesterday and, of course, that didn’t quite work out. So, I don’t know wha
t to do now, as making a resume is quite a hard job in my case, as I have to organize all sorts of incoherent information into something meaningful. We’ll see. I don’t think I am quite up to the job yet. I plead madness.

I think I am going to take all of my medication now and also take an Oxazepam as I feel that I am ready for one now. I am beginning to feel the first twinges of stress, doubtless that is from talking about the job market and not being ready for it. I am feeling a little bit screwed up.

It’s been nice chatting like this with all of you. One sided chatting, but still…Have a wonderful day, keep a stiff upper lip and all that, talk to you soon. Ciao…

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Well, I slept on the sofa again and it was so comfortable that I am thinking of sleeping there always. There is nothing nicer than falling asleep there while Eduard is still sitting in his chair watching TV and me dozing off to the sound of that. And I sleep so well there also! Due to my triple layer of clothes, I am very warm and I hardly need the yellow blanket, but it is nice for Nouri to sleep on as well. Yes, I hear you all making noises that I should be sleeping in bed with Eduard, but I think he hardly misses me, for he is asleep in no time himself and doesn’t have time to miss me. And I am so comfortable on the sofa. When I wake up, I feel so good. I am right by the kitchen and the computer and already dressed and toasty warm with my socks on. And you know how much I dislike going to sleep at night, it’s a thing I really don’t look forward to lately.

Now, if I am subconsciously putting some distance between me and Eduard, I don’t know, but maybe I am and maybe that is okay for now. I am sleeping independently as if I am living on my own, for surely I would do this if I were on my own. I just like it for now and I like it better than crawling into that cold bed in the evening where I can’t get comfortable anyway for lack of proper pillows and lack of heat. The sofa is really good as it has an arm cushion that I can rest my head on and that is perfect. It is just long enough for me to stretch out on and it is just wide enough too. I like being in the living room, it is cozier than the bedroom, there is more stuff there that I am comfortable with, like the bookcase with all the books and the coffee table with all my bits of papers and pens and calender and address book and telephones. And there is always Nouri to keep me company.

Yesterday was a day of ups and downs. Sometimes I was very calm and sometimes I was a little bit of a nervous wreck, the two conditions alternated. It was a little bit like watching a scary movie, with nice quiet parts in between the really scary bits. Thus my mood fluctuates. This morning I got up and felt fine and I am trying to hold on to that feeling. I rate myself three times a day and see how my mood changes. I keep track of what is happening in the little diary and I try to write abbreviated, because I am starting to run out of room. I will have to start in a new little notebook soon. It’s a really good system and I can look back easily and see the state of my mind over the past months very quickly. I had whole weeks when I rated myself with nothing but sevens, which I think is pretty good. Even in the beginning of this week my ratings were still okay, they’ve just started getting very wobbly the last few days. Bobbie would say, the shock has worn off.

Yesterday we went to Eduard’s bank for the personal loan and we were helped by a very nice loan officer who seemed a bit more authoritative than the one we had at the other bank. She could see no reason why the loan would not go through and we are full of hope and should see the money in our account in the beginning of next week. There it will very quickly disappear again as the two large debts are paid off. We have an insurance policy to go with it, in case something were to happen to Eduard. So much wiser to do that. This was all taken care of in a half hour’s time and we rode our bikes home in the rain and got sopping wet. It couldn’t be helped.

I do finally manage to fit into a nice winter coat that I inherited from my sister in law four years ago. I had tried it on at the beginning of the summer when it did not fit me yet, but now it fits perfectly and it is a nice warm coat and I needed it yesterday. It’s a suede coat with a furry lining and very comfortable, so it will be perfect this winter. That’s a small victory for me.

I am working on my third cup of coffee now, but I am still yawning, so I think it is time for some of that nice Arabic coffee. Last night, I made myself two mugs of hot chocolate. I had cacao powder in the house and made it with sugar and hot boiling milk. It was delicious and really perked me up. I had a craving for chocolate and remembered the cacao powder sitting in the kitchen cabinet. Waste not, want not. I made it very strong as I also like dark chocolate and it was very tasty. It does fill you up, though and I didn’t have my regular snack of Melba toast, which is no great loss, because lets face it, Melba toast is pretty boring to eat.

Eduard says that I have to trust him now, but I find sometimes that I am very insecure and that trust is far away. He says that he will never have an inappropriate relationship again with X or another woman. I know he means that, but then I think, “He is only a human being and a man, and can he predict the predicaments he will get into?” If X reappears in the picture, what will happen to his feelings then? I know I am speaking out of my own insecurity and that it is going to take me some time to get over this. But there is also a bit of realism in all of this, what is that saying about, once burned, twice warned? Something like that. I am sure as heck not going to take anything for granted right now. I will stay on my toes.

Writing about it fills me with a great deal of sadness, yet I feel compelled to write about it. It’s a subject that is going to stay on my mind for awhile. Today it is only one week since I found out about it, that’s not a very long time yet. Actually, my mood is plummeting right now, so I will get off the subject.

Jesker has just been out here to greet me and have a drink of water, but now he has gone back to the bedroom. It’s probably too early for him still. He is getting a bit older and slower in the morning. He used to be ready for his walks at 6 am, but not anymore. In the wintertime, when it had been snowing, we were the first people to walk in the newly fallen snow and that is always fun. My father and I used to go for walks in the first snow of the season, which was usually in the evening and we enjoyed making the first tracks. We also used to dress up in all the scarfs and hats from the basket in the hallway and put on shows for the rest of the family. It was all pure slapstick. I used to wet comb my hair to the side and pencil a moustache under my nose and do a fair imitation of Hitler, which would have my older sister in stitches. Oh, memories…

I hope Eduard and I get our sense of humor back really fast, because that is what I miss the most. The Monty Pythonesque slapstick. The wonderful silly way of being. Like the unbearable lightness of being. If you can laugh together and be silly together, you have gained a great deal.

Well, now I have to ma
ke cigarettes, I’ll be back before you can say, nudge, nudge, wink, wink…

I wonder if the Oxazepam doesn’t just work as a tranquilizer, but also as a downer. Maybe I should be taking less of it. I will try that today and see how that works out. Probably I should not just take one first thing in the morning, but wait until I really need it. I have gotten so used to the way they make me feel, but you can have too much of a good thing too, of course. I need to discuss this with my psychiatrist. Thank goodness he knows all about the pharmaceutical end of things. He has a lot of experience with prescribing medication. I need to trust him with that and I seem to have some trust issues right now.

I am rambling, aren’t I. I am a little bit befuddled and unsettled. Sometimes I don’t know what to do with all of my feelings. They seem to go at roller coaster speed and in the same manner. I am wishing for tranquility, but I am finding it hard to get.

I am reading An Unquiet Mind now, By Kay Redfield Jamison. It is very interesting so far. I am at the beginning, before she is diagnosed and you see her go through this whole range of moods and you wonder why nobody is curious why this happens to her. She least of all. Then again, we can all be in denial, can’t we? I used to have so many moods myself and I never wondered why, I always thought they were caused by my circumstances. I only knew until recently that I am an ultra rapid cycler and I always have to keep that in mind when dealing with my moods. Sometimes it is hard to keep circumstances and tendency apart. Is it one or the other or is it a combination of both? I think sometimes it is a combination of both, as is the case now.

Well, Eduard is up and so are the animals. It’s funny how they all decide together to start the day. When suddenly there is this rush of activity and I feel that I have to be in a rush too. I start typing faster and making more mistakes, and I really don’t need to. Jesker will sit very calmly with Eduard while he eats his breakfast. The cats, on the other hand, want to be fed and I can’t ignore them. Those poor little critters that have such a tough life here!

Right, I’ll get going then. It’s been interesting rambling at you, we should do it more often! No, really, I would like to be more coherent in the future. My mind is just flitting this way and that.

Have a great day, everyone. Ciao…

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First things first. I have been tagged by Debi from Debi Cates Photo a Day, so here we go:

Name four places you have lived:

Utrecht, the Netherlands (where I was born)
Costa Mesa, California (in Mesa Verde)
Sonoma, California (where I left my heart for a while)
Maastricht, the Netherlands (where I live now)

Name four foods you like:

Tortilla chips with guacamole dip (finger licking good)
Lobster with quail (in Mexico)
Spaghetti with meatballs (in a diner in Garden Grove, CA)
My own leek pie (with meat substitute)

Name four places you have been on vacation:

Paris, France (on my own with a map of the metro)
Berlin, Germany (right after the fall of the wall)
Copenhagen, Denmark (blueberry pancakes)
Prague, Czech Republic (beautiful city)

Name four places you would rather be:
Houston, Texas (where my daughter lives)
San Francisco, California (where all the happy people live)
Soldotna, Alaska (where my son died)
Paris, France (where I need to see the rest of the museums)

I, in turn, tag Rotten Correspondent and Flowerpot. Tag, you’re it! Oh, and I tag Miss Understood also!

Well, that was a nice start to the day and I am only working on my third cup of coffee. Imagine, that much mental effort first thing in the morning! I think it is a really good exercise and that something like this should be required of a person every morning before they properly start their day. Right, watch me get tagged for all sorts of things now. Go ahead, I’m game!

I slept on the sofa last night with my clothes on and I did it on purpose, because I couldn’t think of a cozier place to sleep than there. We were watching TV and I was starting to dose off, so Eduard said, “Irene, time to go to bed, time to take your medicines.” So I got up and took my medicines and laid down on the sofa again with a book and was out like a light in two seconds. Eduard knows how impossible it is to wake me once I have fallen asleep, so he covered me with the yellow blanket and left me there, which is what I wanted in the first place. I was nice and toasty warm, because I was wearing the thick sweater that my sister had given me for my birthday and some thick socks, so I was very comfortable. And I slept so good! I didn’t wake up until 5 am, so that is a pretty good sleep for me.

Yesterday was an emotionally draining but also gratifying day. I felt very uncomfortable in the morning, very much on edge and unsettled. I managed to get an appointment with my psychiatrist for Monday and then I called my sister and told her how I was feeling and how insecure I really felt. So, we had a long conversation and she actually managed to say all the right things and when I hung up the telephone, I felt better and more able to face the day. One of the most important things she said to me was, that it was okay for me to feel sad and I guess I really needed to hear that, because when she said that, the tears started to flow and that was the first time I cried about it. This did take the ache off my heart a bit and I felt better for it.

So, when Eduard came home in the afternoon, I was able to face him with a halfway cheerful face and ask him happily how his day had gone. This was a genuine interest on my part, because I figure, the more we talk about normal things, the better, so I was happy when he told me about his day with his colleagues and the films and the school kids that had come to watch a film.

In the meantime, I was reading the book my sister had given me and that I really wanted to finish quickly to learn as much as possible about the problem as I could. I had fallen asleep on the sofa with it once and that is no reflection on the book. So I sat up and put the book on the coffee table and read it leaning over with my elbows resting on my knees. I finished it in the evening and I must say that it has been a real eye opener and that it has addressed all of the issues that I had been concerned with and things I had not even thought off. It was a lot to take in, but it was all very helpful and I wanted for Eduard to read the book also, because it could really be read by both people involved in the problem.

I put the book down, to make cigarettes and was suddenly overwhelmed by a huge sadness and started to spontaneously cry and tell Eduard how badly I felt. This led to a long conversation in which we each got to say a lot of things that were on our minds and I think it cleared up some misunderstandings and it cleared the air a lot. I had been so calm and rational all along that I don’t think that Eduard knew how hurt I was and how sad and that really shocked him into a whole different mindset. You can be too rational and calm. It makes it look as if you don’t care enough, when in fact you care very much.

Well, I couldn’t have made myself much clearer than I did last night without getting hysterical, it was just a genuine overwhelming sadness and fear of losing him. He had to know how much he meant to me and how much I was trying to figure out how much of the blame I was trying to take on myself. If I had done things differently, might that have prevented it from happening and all that. So, we talked about things like that a good deal and came to all sorts of conclusions about it.

I think all in all we are doing a good job in dealing with this. We are both staying reasonable and not becoming dramatic and overly passionate. We’re not yelling and screaming and throwing with furniture. I think we both have the other person’s best interest at heart. But it is okay to show your feelings sometimes. It is okay to not be so rational and understanding all the time. It is okay to be a human being!

I learned a lot yesterday, and I learned that, first of all, Eduard is just a man with all the limits of a man and that, despite his great intelligence, he has the frailties of a man and the desires of a man and that these frailties and desires can be a cause for him to behave a certain way, in spite of his sharp mind. I always have to remember that and never think that Eduard is any different than any other man on this earth. I’ve always put him on a pedestal and thought more of him
than I thought of anyone else, but now I am more realistic about him. I still love him equally as well, if not more, but I love him differently now and I see him differently now. He has become very human to me.

I am drinking some very good coffee now that I have made with the Senseo machine. It is dark roast Arabic coffee and it tastes very good. It’s got a very strong flavor and tastes like that thick Arabian coffee that you get in those little cups. My Turkish neighbor in Costa Mesa used to make coffee like that, that made you all hyper and walk the ceiling if you had too much of it. She used to serve that with the sweetest baklava that she made herself. Mmm, wish I had some of that now…

Eduard has left the building and is on his way to work. I walked the dog late last night, so I know I have a little bit of time yet before I have to walk him. He is sound asleep on his pillow. Nouri is sound asleep on the yellow blanket, she slept there with me all night. It is really her blanket that I borrowed. I wash it periodically to get all the cat hair off. I see Toby sitting on the dining table, but I don’t see Gandhi anywhere. She must be asleep on the bed. I think the animals are starting to hibernate a bit.

Right now I would rate myself with a five, no more than that. That is because I keep feeling such a sadness welling up in me. It comes and goes. The Oxazepam helps. It suppresses the worst of the feelings. This is the second day in a row that I have rated myself so low. I hope it isn’t a sign of things to come. I really would like to be back to my normal sevens soon. It is so much infinitely better to be cheerful in the morning and to start the day off that way. It is such a power boost. Maybe more of these cups of Arabic coffee will help.

One of the things that it said in the book was, that it will take as long as two years to get over it properly and that you have to decide together when the day is that you both say that you’ve put it all behind you now and close it with some sort of a ritual. I think we are quite capable of that. I can imagine us thinking up a proper ritual to end it with. But not yet, it is way too soon, I realize that. We both have to go through a period of mourning. Eduard needs to put this behind him and he isn’t nearly ready yet, I realize that too. One day we will be happy again, but not yet.

Well, I’ll go and walk the dog now and do all those other things that require my attention. I don’t do them whole heartily, but I will get them done nevertheless.

Have a great day, people, wherever you are, whatever you do, whoever you do it with! Ciao…

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The small list of bloggers that I visit first thing in the morning before I write my blog is growing, that does not take into account the other bloggers that I visit later in the day. I now visit about ten bloggers first thing before I start on my own post. I do it to get in the proper mood and see if there is anything that I will be inspired by. Rima had an especially inspiring poster today that I liked very much. There was no new art today, I am afraid, except for a new painting of Diane Clancy, entitled “When was it due?” You can make of that what you will, her paintings are always whimsical and playful.

I slept rather late, as a matter of fact, it was 5:30 am when I got up, but still I need lots of coffee to get properly started. For some reason, Eduard is up already too and Jesker is laying on his pillow beside his chair. So it is all very cozy here. Eduard reads with the speed of sound, very regularly a page gets turned and if you could see his face, you would be able to see his eyes flit across the written pages.

This time I am sitting here in my bathrobe with thick socks on, I learned my lesson yesterday and will not have freezing feet again. The sun isn’t even up yet, that’s how early it is still, so it is still cold outside. Today I don’t have to go anywhere in a hurry and I am up on time, so hallelujah, I get to sit here and take my time, which I will need, because the words are coming slowly. Starting next week, I have to be at the temp agency at 9 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so that will make for a change of pace on those days and I wonder how much I will like that? I will have to write my posts in the afternoons. Hopefully I will have lots of interesting things to report then also, about what I learn on those days and the people I meet. I do have a very nice case manager named Olga, whom I like very much, so I am off to a good start.

After I had my appointment at the temp agency yesterday, I rode my bike over to the film house and sat in the café and had many cups of nice espresso with some good cookies, because I didn’t have breakfast or lunch yet. I had to wait for Eduard who was having his yearly functioning talk with his boss, in which he and his job performance get evaluated. That all went well and soon enough Eduard showed up and sat and had coffee with me. We halfway planned to go to the bookstore, but then decided there was not enough time left, because Eduard had to run some other errands, so we kissed and went our separate ways.

I went straight home, where I still had to clean up the apartment some and walk the dog who was waiting patiently for me and who got a good treat for that. Eduard came home a bit later, saying that he had to go back to the film house in a hurry, because he had forgotten that there was a special showing of a film for a group of school children. So, he hopped on his motorcycle and was off again. That meant that he had to work in the morning, the afternoon and the evening yesterday, so I only saw little bits of him.

I think I am taking an Oxazepam 5 times a day now, not because I am especially stressed out or anything, but because after about 3 or 4 hours I feel that I need to take another pill as I feel the other one has worn off. I start trembling with my leg when it does and that is always a sign to take a new one. It’s just a nervous little tic that I sometimes have and that I get in times of stress. If I take a new pill on time, I don’t feel the stress acutely and all is well. There is a pretty smooth passage from one pill to the next. I have some pills in a plastic baggy in my purse, so I won’t be caught unawares. My body tells me before my mind does to take another pill. When my body warns me, and I pay attention, I can tell that my mind needs it too, as I become distracted and unable to focus as well. When the pill works, I can be very calm and focused and really pay attention to what needs to be done. I really appreciate the soothing qualities of the medicine, without it making me feel like I am a zombie walking around in a trance. I function quite normally with it.

Eduard has walked Jesker and has gone to work now, giving him an early start. He seems a little preoccupied and not quite all there with his thoughts as if he has a lot on his mind. He doesn’t talk about anything specifically, though, and I will just let him be and give him his space. I am sure that when he is ready to share again, he will do so. It’s when he gets quiet like this, that I get uncomfortable, because I don’t know what is on his mind and my mind works overtime. I suppose it will take me some time to relax again.

I really think I need to make an appointment with my psychiatrist just to talk about some things. It doesn’t have to be a long appointment, but I do feel that I have to get some things off my chest. Maybe he can recommend me seeing his tandem psychologist then or not, maybe he would rather keep an eye on me himself. Okay, I just sent him an email asking for an appointment, now we’ll see what happens. I think it is better if I don’t struggle through this on my own, even though I think I am doing pretty well. My instincts tell me that I am not out of the woods yet.

My psychiatrist is actually a pretty neat human being. He has really pulled me through some hard times, when I was unreasonable and irrational and hard to work with. For a long time I saw him twice a week, but it was such a bad time, that I hardly remember what we did during all those sessions. I think he was fighting for my life and I was fighting life. He would give me instructions on things to do during the week and I would be incapable of following through on them. It was as if nothing penetrated the fog I was in. All I was, was pain. He never gave up, though. There were times when I was unkind to him, because I felt unkindly towards the whole world and that included him. I always felt remorse afterwards and somehow tried to make up for that. He always let me. I think there must have been times when he would have rather see me go then come, but he never let me know that.

Now, our contact consists mainly of emails and sometimes, about once or twice a year, I go see him, just to check in and to say hello and how is it going. He prescribes most of my medication for 3 month periods, except for the sleep medication and the Oxazepam, I only get that for a month at the time. It is probably too dangerous to have too much of that medication in the house, alth
ough I don’t have any suicidal tendencies and haven’t for a long time. Now, with my gastric band, I wouldn’t even try anything like that again anyway. Imagine the complications I would get then! No, there is no need to worry about that any longer, thank goodness.

The point of the story is, that when you think everything is black and bleak and without light and hope and you never think you will feel one bit of happiness again, then don’t despair, because things can turn around. You will be happy again one day, even when sad things happen, you will see your way through them and come out as a whole person in the end. I am the living proof of that.

I hear the school children rushing by with their mothers, trying to get to the elementary school on time. Cars drive by quickly with impatient parents in them. You always hope that no accidents will happen, because it is such a rush here in the morning at this time. The school doesn’t have proper parking and there isn’t enough room for all the people who drop off their children by car. Then there are all the children that walk and you are afraid they will get run over. I try never to walk the dog at this time, because it only adds to the pandemonium. Jesker is always so curious and wants to sniff every child that we pass. Some of them are scared of dogs, so I keep him on a short leash then. Luckily, he is very contently sleeping on his pillow now.

On the day we got Jesker, Eduard had to get him from the animal shelter in Heerlen by train. It was raining that day and when they came home, Jesker was sopping wet. He was such a pathetic looking dog. So wet and so unsure of himself. I fell in love with him right away, though. He needed to be groomed and cut and he needed a good shampoo. At first he was very quiet and subdued, but he attached himself to us very quickly. At first, he attached himself to me, but later on he decided that Eduard was the ‘Alpha dog’. Now, when Eduard is home, Jesker follows him wherever Eduard goes and he is very excited when Eduard comes home. He listens equally well to the both of us, though, as a matter of fact, he listens better to me, because I always have treats as rewards for him. We’ve had him for more than three years now and I can’t imagine doing without him. He is such a good companion and such a good dog. He is, by far, the best dog I have ever had.

Well, not to make a long story short, but I think I am going to, because I can’t think of anything to add. I am just a little bit unsettled and won’t rest easily until I hear from my psychiatrist. Suddenly, getting that appointment has become very important. I think I’ve got some things on my mind. I’m off to read some other blogs. Oh yes, before I forget, there is a woman who writes about food in a very humorous way. The blog is called Pig in the Kitchen and I will add her to my list of favorites. The recipes are for people with allergies, but they sound delicious and well worth trying.

Okay folks, have a good one, talk to you all soon again. Ciao…

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Bewerkte Pisa Deur Images number 1 and Two Poems.

Louise Bogan (1897-1970) Poet, translator, editor and poetry critic.


Men loved wholly beyond wisdom
Have the staff without the banner
Like a fire in a dry thicket
Rising within women’s eyes
Is the love men must return.
Heart, so subtle now, and trembling,
What a marvel to be wise,
To love never in this manner!
To be quiet in the fern
Like a thing gone dead and still,
Listening to the prisoned cricket
Shake its terrible, dissembling
Music in the granite hill.


Women have no wilderness in them,
They are provident instead,
Content in the tight hot cell of their hearts
To eat dusty bread.

They do not see cattle cropping red winter grass,
They do not hear
Snow water going down under culverts
Shallow and clear.

They wait, when they should turn to journeys,
They stiffen, when they should bend.
They use against themselves that benevolence
To which no man is friend.

They cannot think of so many crops to a field
Or of clean wood cleft by an axe.
Their love is an eager meaninglessness
Too tense, or too lax.

They hear in every whisper that speaks to them
A shout and a cry.
As like as not, when they take life over their door-sills
They should let it go by.

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