Well, it was a long week. And, I reached out a few times and many posts were not posted.
I’ll start with this so you may understand my absence.
And in the words of Mr. Gump. That’s all I have to say about that.
The weekend she passed … here’s what I was doing.
A hike to Richardson Ranch. This was the beginning of our adventure. A friends dog stayed with me, probably because she knew I was the weakest link.
The ‘noose tree’ – We found it like that a long time ago. I truly hope it wasn’t used for it’s intention. I truly hope it was designed to haul folks out of the dirt road.
Part Three: I explore Richardsons’ Ranch.
Moved on from there and …
Then this happened. You know, they say ‘Don’t hike alone’ for a reason. You could sprain an ankle, be struck by a snake, lose yourself. Which, in this case, happened. The lose yourself part.
We got home.
One more thing. I’m watching ‘A Beautiful Mind’ and the doctor is telling John, “You can’t reason your way out of this!”. Almost verbatim to my doctor telling me “You can’t smart your way out of this.” Meaning, the anxiety.
But, I’ve made so much progress.
I can drive home.
I can drive to work.
I still do the rituals – my OCD is not going to leave me soon, but will.
I ask myself, things like: How many times have you HIT a coyote?
How many times have you been in a crash?
How many times has a steer or rock fell off of the pass onto the road (yes, I thought about those things.)
I used logic, even while panicking.
I still acknowledge the unknown, as well as the very known – every cross on that road I take twice a day – but, now I make things practical in my head.
I don’t know what my friend went through in her last days, but I’m betting she didn’t see a light. I’m betting no phone call or visit would have changed her state of mind.
I am here.
I want to be here.
I am making strives without medicinal help.
And – Bye for NOW.
Just dive in shall I?
It hasn’t been that long ago that I didn’t think my life was worth much.
Funny isn’t it? How I can post fun exploits here and still feel that way? How I can share with you, but, I’ve stopped sharing with those close to me after hearing ‘just get over it’ or a version of that too many times.
I’ve been suffering from such extreme anxiety and depression that even getting ‘home’ was a hit or miss. Luckily, I didn’t hit anyone.
Couldn’t breathe. Couldn’t feel my hands. Couldn’t see. Put my windshield wipers on just to adjust my eyes. Focus! Breathe!
As for the ‘ with ‘home’ – no, I’m still not settled.
It’s not my space. It’s OUR space. And while sharing one seems quite romantic, it’s a constant compromise where before I had no need for such a thing.
I have always been able to be alone and not feel lonely – and truth be told, there are days I feel lonely living with someone.
There’s also the matter of being so far from places. I have my Rapunzel moments. And I have times I don’t know what to do or where to be.
Anyway, these past months have been tough. Well, let’s be honest, past few years have.
Couldn’t wake up without my heart pounding therefore disallowing a shower.
Couldn’t lay down because ‘horizontal’ was not an option.
It hasn’t been that long ago that I thought – “What else is there? I just want to be done.”
I absolutely thought about how I’d do it.
After all, I’m well traveled, ‘been there done that’. I’ve loved. I’ve lost. I’ve experienced the most amazing of things and the worst.
Besides, ‘no one will miss me’. (Untrue, I know.)
Now I’m entering a time of my life that I’m not completely pleased with. Losing others I love.
Losing control over my own health – well, to be fair, I could have more control but I’m also in that delusional phase of, “But, it’s MY turn now!” Fuck the warnings! Why on earth would I want to miss out on anything – I could die tomorrow!
Sought out a counselor, only to discover this psychologist was a once only, prescribe drugs type of guy.
Too bad, because I liked him.
I didn’t like his two drug decision. I have been on anti-depressants before, and I hate that feeling of … ‘other’. Outside of self. No highs, no lows, just – zombie.
I reached out to his office and explained I would find another way.
My general doctor told me, “You seem very smart, but, you can’t ‘smart’ your way out of this.”
Oh, yes I can.
I watched (binged) Ricky Gervais’ After Life yesterday,
There was a quote about religion, or, rather, the lack thereof.
He responded with (and yes, I’m paraphrasing), okay, so would you stop watching a movie knowing there was an end and nothing after that even if you were enjoying the movie?
It resonated with me.
It gave me pause for thought.
I want to finish the movie.
I am someone who has ‘good’. Also, always looking for it. I can offer something to the world even with my glitches.
I can be feeling my lowest and still find beauty in something. Even at my worst, I still notice special things around me and have the wherewithal to appreciate them!
I’m baaaaack! Why?
“It is the year, 2019” (said in Morgan Freeman voice) and I have my first EVER laptop. No more stressing over my keyboard vs blue tooth connections – no more trying to tap out a post like morse code.
I, am at home and able to type this on an amazing machine.
Oh what a relief. I have so very much missed writing. And talking to you Soupers!
This post contains graphic anxiety so if you have triggers – stop reading. Also, if you have rain, flash floods, commute or coyote phobias – not the one for you.
I’ll begin repeating myself shall I?
I moved to a very rural area and have a long commute now. But, the land, the man and the hiking is worth it. I am very grateful and know how blessed I am.
It’s ours. Okay, it’s the bank’s – but, we’re not renting.
Here’s the deal though. We live on a ‘Turn around don’t drown’ road.
This has mostly not been an issue.
We have monsoon season, which has kindly occurred mostly on weekends in the summer. (Shout out to those storms dodging work days! Whoop!)
But then came ‘the day’.
It was before the day I’m going to talk about.
Our neighbor gave me a map. How very mysterious. But, actually, he was looking out for me. ‘Back Road Map’. When would I use this? When would I need this? I was fine with my route.
Oh lord. The day I first used it I figured all of that out and was so VERY grateful.
I’ll now just leap into what happened the other day shall I?
It was a foggy morn’ … arrived at my turn onto the highway with almost zero visibility.
(This is where I reiterate how this commute on a GOOD day is scary for me. I have literally driven shaking, almost losing my vision, heart pounding, can’t feel my limbs, feeling ‘out of self’.)
I watched for headlights – waited – saw an ‘in’ and pulled out.
AND – some asshat didn’t have their headlights on.
They braked, I almost had a heart attack.
Going forward – heart pounding – and next fear comes true. Coyote crosses road.
I safely navigated it and kept on going.
Long story short, I made it to work, going 45-50 in a 65 zone.
Rained ALL day.
We are … um, the ‘rain catchers’ of the area. The mountains above us drain on down.
So, when my honey told me, rain is stopping, you should be okay, I believed it.
What I didn’t take into consideration was how long it takes for those long showers to make it down.
Here’s video one.
At this point I’m thinking, “Well, I’ve gunned it through heartier. But, after seeing trucks turn around, I’m nope to the nopety nope.”
I first text my boss who asked me to let her know when I got home.
“I’m stuck on my road and shaking.”
I then call my husband.
“OK. I’m coming down.”
“You made a very good decision not crossing that.”
He can’t save me. So, I turn around, ready to do the ‘back roads’ with that map in my 4 wheel drive amazing truck … wait …
Off road car YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not.
Then, this …
Remember, I’ve come this far right? I can go back, do the highway, take those back roads. So, I turn around Aaaaand ….
I am now stuck between two washes.
I just want to go HOME!
I DID gun it through that one. Shamefully I’ll admit, wasn’t the most dangerous decision I have made, but completely stupid.
I got to the highway and THIS highway (as if I haven’t made it clear enough) is so super dangerous.
I need the next left for my ‘map’ directions.
Almost got nailed doing that.
Next part, I’ll be the first to admit was fun, if danger was not a factor.
I slid, I slid and slid and … learned to get out of past tracks.
My poor car lol! It’s not built for that.
Good thing it is a shift – and I could downshift.
And, that last track home made me smile. (Only, I wish it happened in a jeep lol.)
I made it.
Now, here’s some pics of what the rain does to our land.
Yeah, roses are pretty watered.
The morning ‘weather is going to suck’ fog.
There used to be mountains?
Our parking area today. (Yes, I’m lucky.) But, you can see the wetness, I share this post knowing my husband will be in Chicago soon and I can’t even imagine being there during adverse conditions! Me: Boo! Look what the rain did!
Him: (I’m making this up) I can’t feel my fucking face here.
So! There you go. Stay warm. Stay dry. Stay a Souper!
Well! Big news.
1) I’m in escrow
2) I’m in escrow with that guy I hike with
3) I have a ring on my finger
4) I’m having a nervous breakdown
And I swear to God, if one more person tells me ‘worrying won’t fix anything’ I’m going to end up in the news. Yes, yes I AM aware that worrying will not help anything. I however, AM a worrier. Kinda had to be raising a son completely, physically and financially alone. I’m also that person who you share a sad story with and I’ll cry FOR you. An empath through and through – so, imagine being alone in my own head unattended!
I am stressing the hell out. And I would be lying if I said that there is a small part of me hoping the house does not appraise. Horrible, I know. But, I’m nothing but honest.
This is a HUGE commitment!
It all began because my guy and I have some distance between us. This month will be a year since we met – we needed to find a solution to our 45 minute drive. That solution was apparently moving somewhere where I’ll have a twice daily 35 minute drive.
“I don’t mind.” Said cheerful, dreamy, smitten me. “I’ll commute as long as we’re together.” (Insert fingers down throat and go ahead and gag now.)
Now, I’ll have to hop in here and interrupt myself by pointing out that in fact, the ONLY thing I’m certain of right now is my unwavering love for this man. No, not the guy in the pic above, my guy. So yeah, I am willing to have a tedious commute in trade for sharing a home with my future husband. (Gulp. Hold on. Dizzy.)
“Tell us Amanda! How did you get engaged?!”
We went looking at a house that actually happened to have EVERYTHING we both wrote on our ‘wish list’. Acreage, HUGE ‘hangar’ ‘shed’ whatever. Completely fenced. In the area my honey is in love with. (Me, not so much. I could leave the desert tomorrow and be just fine.) AND, an actual house with a wood burning stove and in need of LOTS of projects and fixing up.
We checked it out – stopped at a local place for a beer and a chat deciding whether we make an offer or not.
We both knew we loved it. We both knew what our answer would be – but I had knots in my stomach. Share a mortgage with someone and then what? Can’t just walk away if you have an argument from a 30 year loan.
Well, not without serious repercussions.
So I asked the most important question:
“Most importantly, are you sure you want to do this with me?”
Him: “Yes, I’m never going to meet anyone like you. Maybe we need to go to Vegas.”
We went to my place and his response kept ringing in my ear. He’d dropped other hints. Like, when he bought into a claim put me down as ‘spouse’ and told me that. No guy who doesn’t want to put any thoughts in his girlfriends head would say that. Nor would they mention marriage at ALL or discuss anything close to the topic. LOL!
So after the Vegas comment – I just straight up said, “Look, you keep mentioning things, and I’ll tell you right now, I’m not doing Vegas. IF that’s what you meant.”
(I hurt my parents once before by eloping – so that wasn’t going to be an option.)
I then approached him, got down on one knee and I popped the question.
Romantic as hell huh?
So that was out of the way.
We’ll most likely do it at a courthouse. No guests, (except my parents). Just quick nuptials and onto life. We’ve both HAD the fancy, flouncy, over the top weddings. We don’t need all that again.
So here we are.
Then on Mother’s Day, I learned that my parents are moving. Leaving the area totally. And, doing it very soon. I NEED my ‘mummy’. Truly. There is just SO much going on and the last thing I thought could add itself to that pile would be the departure of my rock. My number one fan. We’ve never lived far from one another. This was a huge blow for me.
I’ve downed an entire box of M & M’s today – yes, a box. I’ve been spontaneously weeping. I haven’t packed a f$%#ing thing (our close of escrow is the 25th).
My stress level is at an eleven.
Am I going to be that girl at the altar, or more fittingly, the signing table that blurts out, “I’m sorry – I just can’t do this!” and runs dramatically out of the building? Probably not. I’ve got this ‘love’ thing going on with the other party.
But I needed everyone to know that it is TERRIFYING!!! And this is with a guy I love more than any other guy! This is with the person I WANT to spend the rest of my life with. It’s not all smiles, handshakes and keys being handed to you ya know! It’s “Oh shit, this is big.” It’s “What if my car breaks down now I have this insane uphill desert commute?” It’s “What if we move in together and hate it?” It’s “Does he truly love me?” It’s insecurities and fear and taking a leap when you’re sure there’s nothing to break your fall.
And being willing to regardless, because life has handed you something amazing.
I’ve been on a sabbatical of sorts from my site – for various reasons. One of the least interesting being, my usual writing routine was disrupted due to no WIFI at the laundromat.
Some other reasons include: Lack of interest, health issues, life changes, procrastinating purchasing batteries for my wireless keyboard …
Some writer I am.
Poe didn’t just lay around staring at his quill and just thinking about penning more cousin pining perversion or tooth obsession. He got on with it.
Then again, he did have a metaphorical raven egging him on.
If I’m going to be truly honest though – (ironic considering what I’m trying to say) I can no longer not edit myself here.
Recent events I want to share with you involve others and I don’t have the license or lack of conscience to tell their story.
Even if I was cryptic they would know who they were – and I don’t want to hurt anybody.
I seriously considered taking Debauchery Soup down completely.
I’d rather not write at all than not write honestly.
But, there have been some past pieces that I’m quite proud of over the years. In addition, pieces I know have helped others (I do read the private emails and comments I receive from the side bar) so, Soup remains.
I’ll tell you some good news though.
I conquered agoraphobia!
My anxiety has decreased significantly.
I’ve been not only leaving the house – but, ‘peopling’.
I’ve acquired a social life. Yes, me. OK, so it’s still heart pounding to begin with – but I find myself settling in no time.
I honestly can’t remember the last time the house was cleaned from top to bottom, I haven’t been cooking. I’m enjoying life home alone because I’ve finally accepted that things don’t constantly NEED to be done – I can take time for myself even if there is a dish in the sink or dog hair on the carpet.
Which does now remind me of a story I can share.
Comfy? Ready? Here we go:
I was in a clothing store early in the week perusing the racks of dresses when a petite older lady approached me.
“Did you ever find something that fit so perfectly and was so lovely that you just HAD to have it?”
(These encounters happen often for me – strangers coming up to me and chatting)
I saw the top she was holding up. It was teal, flowing, layered and sparkly.
“I have. That’s beautiful!”
“Oh,” she said, “It is – but, I don’t have anywhere to wear it.”
“Why not wear it at home and have a glass of wine?”
“I don’t drink.” She answered.
“Ok, well, the holidays will be here before you know it!”
“Then it will be too cool to wear this.”
At this point, I’m invested in this woman getting the top for herself. But she continued with,
“Besides, it’s a younger girl’s style. I’m 80.”
“More the reason to get it then! No time like the present!”
“I think it’s too dressy for church too …”
I’m torn at this point between smiling and exiting the conversation while internally yelling ‘don’t get the fucking top then!’ Or doing everything in my power to make sure she left the store with it – whether that meant I purchased it for her or took her hostage to the cashier and forced her to treat herself.
“Certainly they have functions though?”
“No, not my church.”
I was striking out – and long past looking for anything for myself. I wanted this little lady to have something that she had loved on her – something that had made her feel beautiful and wistful.
She suddenly remembered she had a similar, less splashy top in her other gnarled hand.
“OH! Well – I should probably try THIS one on.”
I smiled and we parted.
I left hoping that other top fit just as well – but also sad that she didn’t get the one she obviously adored.
She was being practical I know. But sometimes we have to treat ourselves to something fanciful.
And that’s how I’m living life lately.
Doing things that make me happy and not questioning a thing.
My life right now IS that lady’s sparkly layered top.