Insomniac Ramblings Pt. 1

Because sleep is just a luxury…

I’ve had quite the interesting day uhm…. well yesterday at this point!  For all purposes I should be fast asleep in a near coma given the planned and unplanned exercise I was so graciously blessed with from the pooch.  Two planned runs on the trail behind the property to continue practicing our recall command (dog should return to me immediately upon receiving the command) back and forth several miles each run.  I began to get very proud of Elsa and maybe a little too proud of myself as she obeyed the recall without fail every time.

Mommy sent a gift card for Elsa from Amazon so we settled in and spent some time picking out some training treats, a clicker and other goodies, and a wonderful saddlebag harness in hot pink (she’s such a diva!)!  Click click… alright it’s evening we better get out for a potty before dinner as I had an online meeting at 6:30, the time was around 5:40.  Admiring my confidence in our recall abilities I subconsciously made the decision not to leash up.

~Deer~  ~It took less than 2 minutes for Elsa…. to disappear~

Colorado is a beautiful place, the area where my apartment building sits is surrounded by open land and wildlife is not exactly a rarity by any means.  Deer, 4 does grazing in our yard….  I love my Border Collie mix for her activity level and her mental capabilities, oh yea and that herding quality that is so funny to watch when she tries to herd the neighbors or the apartment maintenance guy.  It took less than 2 minutes for Elsa and the herd that she was watching to disappear.  A half our or so of jogging around calling and looking I finally gave up and started back hoping some kind soul would read her tag and call my cell or I would get a call based on her chip.

As I neared the edge of the open space to cross the street to the building I was greeted by a black lab and his owner who said he would keep an eye out and as I was just about to leave here comes this happy go lucky brown and white lightning bolt popping up over the hill at break neck speed to my side proudly about a job well done.  Okay, I’ll admit it took me a few minutes to relax and not blame her as it was my fault for not being cognizant of the time and the traits of my wonderful Elsa.

I posted a reminder note to myself on the door as somewhat of a self training tool and we proceeded to have our dinner while I attempted to get into my meeting.  The last 10 hours or so have taught me quite a bit, from the herding incident on through interactions with other people in support groups and other bloggers that I follow.  Perhaps I’m still slightly off in my mental state but all in all I’m in an incredibly serene mood!  Ordinarily at this point after tossing and turning so much I would be grinding my teeth with anger at my insomnia.  Right now I’m incredibly content to reflect on the day and return to my snuggle bear.

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A Thought on Change

Sometimes change is scary but still a necessity…

It’s early morning and I find myself awake suddenly, sleep has been fairly elusive for me for as long as I can remember so it’s not a new sensation.  I found myself journaling on paper for the first time in a long time and decided to move some thoughts here as I wind down to go back to my bed and my snuggle pooch.

Uncomfortable Territory

Last night I went to an online community which I used to spend a lot of time with for a meeting (yes recovery related).  It has been a while since I’ve been to one of these meetings and I am incredibly well versed in this particular program thus I was hoping to work through one of the tools that I have been somewhat stuck on the last few days.  I found myself in uncomfortable territory as I knew absolutely nobody in a place where I used to be a fixture, part of me was happy to see so many new people seeking help but another part of me was somewhat depressed to see so many new people needing help.

In any case, I brought up what I was hoping to work on to little effect (my tool was much more advanced and most meetings at this particular site are geared towards early tools).  I sat through a good majority of the meeting but removed myself when I felt things were going south for me, the meeting started to tilt towards other methods used by other programs.  I thought it best to leave the meeting and let them do what they need to do as it was non productive for myself and possibly dangerous to others for me to stay.  I entered the public chat instead to see what other strange changes have happened.

I must bring up that years ago this particular community suffered a problem with a technology provider going south and a large number of us “fixtures” moved on to another platform as a stop-gap measure until things got figured out.  The organization that maintained this online community hit us with a lot of push back over the change taking it as a threat and as such a large rift was formed.  I will say that our stop-gap has become fairly permanent and while small our community is incredibly tight knit.  We have genuine concern for each other and it’s not uncommon for one of us to reach out to another when we suspect they need help.

In the public chat system of the old community I saw very few familiar faces, one of which I was very happy to see as I had not spoken with this person in a very very long time.  We had some very good conversation and we also managed to help guide two newcomers to help within that community.  I didn’t dare bring up our little side group for fear of the push back (banning, etc.) from the old community, I played it fairly straight forward.  While I never did accomplish getting past my “stuck” point in the tool that I am working I felt more emotionally calm and sound having possibly helped others.

I suppose the point of all this is that I was a part of a relatively strong and large community that simply changed, I felt incredibly uncomfortable last night as the old familiar feel of the community was gone.  Perhaps had I gone back sooner when they rebuilt the chat and meeting systems and let myself stay there I might have felt more comfortable with the change as it would have been more gradual.  Fact is, during the flux time of that community I myself was in a horrible flux time.  Fact is, I’m still experiencing a flux time though nowhere near as horrible.

Change, and seeing the results of change can often be incredibly scary.  I take comfort in the thought that both communities are still around at present and that both communities have no quam reaching out to those needing help.  I take pride in my knowledge of the tools and while my lack of using the tools in the past is depressing the thought that I am using the tools actively on a consistent basis currently gives me hope.  Will I once again haunt the pages and meetings of this older community that I was once a fixture in?  I cannot say for sure, at worst I will return now and then I suppose even if it’s just to refresh myself with a more dynamic group as our members are fairly fixed.

 I can take responsibility and utilize my own agency~~

I cannot say I like the changes I see, and in the case of the meetings being geared to early tools I am not a fan of the fact that some changes I feel are necessary have not happened.  The fact is communities like these exist for just that purpose to serve a community not to serve just me.  I can take responsibility and utilize my own agency to reach out to someone directly to help me with my more advanced tools.  I have to remember my goals and my responsibilities, it’s no longer a time to hide regardless of how uncomfortable with change I am.

The world is not going to stop for me, nor should it.  And I should not stop for any discomfort whether incredible or otherwise.  I have been blessed with a very large support system, many times many people have genuine concern for my well being and to ignore this fact any longer is a disservice to those that are there for me, as well as myself.  With that thought I will close and wander back to my bed and my pooch.

Tomorrow we should face whatever changes we need to with strength and understanding.

~J

Run Elsa Run!!

IMG_1691These last few days have been strange for me, I’m not exactly sure why but I’ve felt a touch emotionally “off”.  I’ve been super emotional the last few weeks and for the last week and a half I’ve had an incredibly hard time sleeping.  Today I slept in, way in!  I slept snuggling my pooch most the day waking up a few times to go for our runs.

My history tells me that about this time the cravings and urges to shut my brain down with a splash (or a pool rather) of vodka would be the norm.  It’s different today, I have no urges or cravings, no intentions, no want or need to jump off that cliff.  This is a positive change for me and while I’ve been here before the trick now is to maintain this positive change.  Despite how strange my emotions are right now I need to absolutely maintain myself in proper fashion.

So, what’s different this time?

What’s different?  A lot is different!  I’ve been taking a drug called Naltrexone and taking it religiously, Naltrexone works as an inhibitor blocking the receptors of the brain that are activated by opioids and such, basically a dopamine inhibitor that is used to reduce cravings of alcohol and other such things.  My quitting smoking is another change (which the Naltrexone seems to be helping as well).  I’ve been on this before but last time I could not seem to keep on it daily, this time another big change that of routine has helped me maintain my dosage without fail.

The most impacting (and important) change though has been Elsa!  She’s been my light and my reason lately.  Knowing that regardless of how I’m feeling or what is going on she needs to be fed has strengthened my routine, and knowing she needs to run has reinforced my health.  She picks up on my emotions and responds without me ever saying a word, often from the other room no less.  Watching her run and roll and play, her looking at me with the Border Collie gaze and those blue eyes it’s impossible not to melt.  She’s my snuggle bear, my roommate, my pooches and while we have some things to work on behavior wise she’s picking up quick.

 

I only wish I had made these changes 10 years ago.  Such is life, the world continues regardless of what is in my head.  I can only pick up and keep moving, accept my faults and problems and try to repair what I have broken when I am capable.  There are plenty of things I need to fix that I am not ready to tackle yet but so long as I stay as positive as possible, and take Elsa’s example to run forward I think I will be okay.

Let’s go another few miles tomorrow Elsa

~J

Splayed out

So pup has figured it out this is all hers!!  No longer sleeping under the bed she’s become my snuggle buddy!!  With the most amazing blue eyes and The calmest demeanor she’s perfect!!

I volunteer at the shelter and recommend shelter pups and cats there is always a risk.  My Elsa had an abusive family constantly getting kicked and beat so she’s shy.  She will never go through that again never ever!

My neighbors love her and I love her she’s a good pup this morning I will spend some time on heel and stay and of course spoil my girl.  She’s coming out and a wonderful pooch and god those eyes she’s the most amazing eyes!!

A man needs a pooch!

~J

First Morning and a Good Life

Life is good this morning, I woke at my normal 4:30 body clock time refreshed and ready for a good day.  Something was different though. Something good!

She heard me stir and came out front under the bed!  Still shy and timid but there she was with her amazing blue eyes and velvet ears waiting to go out.  I found a pooch after so much time.  I know it’s going to take a few days for her to adjust and understand that she now owns the place she’s no longer in a kennel where she’s spent most of her life.  She’s home, she’s where daily walks and hikes and cookies and cuddles are normal routine not just some thing a kid with a job needs to do.

My neighbors love her already, I can’t blame them she’s so sweet natured.  Aside from a propensity to explore my kitchen trash can she’s shown no signs of the destructiveness in her notes.  I purposely picked a pooch that needed work because it means I need to focus on something on someone.

She seems content so far to sleep under my bed, I suppose having been surrounded by crates all her life it gives a security.  Last night I too slept under my bed lol felt great on the back and my pillow didn’t move much she did lick now and then.

I have a very late shift today and thus more time with pooch, yesterday we did a short walk along the trails today maybe a longer run I want to again off leash her but I might have to wait.

For now as I cook my breakfast with Elise at my leg I have no complaints!!  In fact I’ve only felt this comfortable with my Akita my darling soja a man needs a pup.

A man needs a pup…..

~J

Changes

So now I have purpose…

Elsa, I call her Elise as she responds well to the name, a border collie mix and god can she run!!! This poor pooches spent her entire life in shelters she’s a sweetheart but shy.

She thus far is most comfortable under my bed, I can now say I’ve napped under the bed I think she’s just used to the cages.  I’m hopeful it will change soon it’s only been half a day and she’s already showing improvement.  I can off leash her at the end of a run and she knows what door to go to.

It makes me think though, the last few months have been uncomfortable for me as I’ve been experiencing a lot of change.  And this pup is as well, even if it’s for the best I’m finding change itself a tough deal.

We live in routine and modification scares us often.  Today and next week I will accept the changes given and stand up to my challenges. After all I need to be a good example for my sweet Elsa.

~J

Of Pooches an Christmas 

When I was 6-9 years old I remember Christmas Eve as wonderful yet brutal.  Oh the waiting….

In 3 and a half hours I meet and hopefully take home my next pooch.  Mind you this will be interview 9 for the perfect fit thus far I’ve met some great pups but none fit.  Is not fair to either pooch or myself to go whilly nilly.  But “Abe” from what I can tell so far is perfect.  I’ve been waiting all week for this meet and I’m excited.

I’ve everything ready…. food… treats…. a friend whose a local vet for shots and all I even cleared the boxes out so pooch would have room!!  Fresh sheets on the bed and I took a couple of days off to be home and reduce his stress I’m counting minutes!

May the pooch fit into my strange world!!

~J

Of Pooches and Human Treats

Happy Wednesday everyone, today and tomorrow can’t seem to pass fast enough for me.  Friday evening I go meet “Abe” a beautiful lab mix that with any luck will be coming home with me!  A man needs a pooch plain and simple!

So this morning I was rummaging around the kitchen trying to figure out what to pack as a good energy snack for breaks at work.  The kitchen is slightly bare til payday Friday in the realm of quick items so I’ve got to get creative.  I noticed I had a bag of cashew pieces and a bag of almond slices in the freezer that I use for brownies and such so here’s what I came up with:

Sweet and Salty Nut Mix

I melted about a tablespoon and a half of unsalted butter, mixed this well with a cup and a half of cashew pieces and a cup of almond slices.  

Added 1/4 cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of salt, and 2 tablespoons of sugar mixing well as I added these.  

Spread the nuts on a cookie sheet evenly and baked @ 350 for approximately 15 minutes (sorry I just eyed this step).  Removed from oven and set aside to cool.

After it was cool I poured the whole thing loose sugar/salt and all into a ziplock bag and shook vigorously I ended up adding a little more cinnamon at this stage as I was tasting as I went.

And now I have a tasty snack that should give me a good protein/carb/fat profile and a quick energy boost throughout the day!

Now usually I thin slice a can of spam (fyi the bacon flavor or jalapeño flavor spam is awesome) spread the slices on a baking sheet, dust with whatever curry or rub I’m in the mood for and bake at 425 for around 10-12 minutes.  This gives me Spam chips that I can bag up and snack on during my breaks.  Unfortunately I’ve burned through my Spam stockpile over the last few weeks with my long shifts.  Don’t judge till you’ve tried it!! (Most people that claim Spam is disgusting have never actually tried it).  I can’t fight the Hawaiian in me I love the stuff.

Spam on!!!

~J

Healthy Eating, Healthy Brain 

I find myself unusually calm lately, things don’t seem to bother me so much anymore which is a good thing.  I’m not exactly sure what all has changed but I do know that I have been eating much healthier the past two weeks.
A very dear friend brought me some venison the other month and I have been pulling it from the freezer as of late.  The meat is very lean and takes seasoning with my various curries incredibly well.  I have been cooking up the ground deer pork with various veggie mixes and divvying up the batches into Tupperware for lunches.

I start each morning with homemade hash browns and sometimes two eggs over medium.  Later in the morning I usually do a bowl of pasta with red sauce and I do the same after returning home from work.  I also always have a batch of rice to reheat as a quick snack.  I’ve also been doing a lot of beans, this morning I actually did homemade refried beans from dried pintos I soaked overnight.

And while my kitchen is getting a little bare by my standards this week I have plenty of these healthy items to eat.  I get paid Friday and have taken the time to work up a shopping list of healthy items and not a bunch of quick microwave garbage.

As I’ve been working a lot of hours I plan to treat myself this weekend with a junk food meal of pizza from fat boys pizza but aside from that I’m consciously choosing to continue eating healthy.

My body feels better, I’m starting to actually sleep better, and my thoughts don’t seem to run away as much.  I’ve become more thoughtful and direct with my interactions around others.  

Next steps?  Go back into tech, slay this smoking dragon, and give a pooch a forever home with belly rubs and hikes and luvs.

~J