Bored & Eaten

I’ll address the eaten part first. WordPress ate this post. Probably because I didn’t finish writing it yesterday when I started it. I think WP gets the munchies if it has to stare at a half-written post for too long. (Maybe that’s why it eats them upon the Save Draft command.) In any case, I have defeated the WP blog monster this time by copying and pasting the draft into a text program. While this has preserved said post, it has not added anything to it in terms of quality. Regardless, let me rewind to yesterday…

I’ve been bored and down lately. We were supposed to go visit a friend of mine for Christmas, but they got ice and snow down there so it wasn’t safe to drive. This left us at home with no Christmas dinner only what we could scrounge around the house. And cookies. I was giving them cookies for Christmas so we got to eat those. (I know, bad for the diabetes.) DH was also sick the day after Christmas so it’s been quiet here. I haven’t felt like leaving the house although I have mustered up the energy to do a couple of quick errands. But grocery shopping? That takes way too much energy – more than I have. We’ve just been playing video games for the past three days.

Bah Humbug! I’ve felt no holiday spirit this year. 😦 Last year was great because my niece visited, even though my arm was still healing and DH and I were separated for the holiday. (He went home to visit his family.) It would have been a wonderful Christmas if he had stayed, but it was good even without him. I’ll never be able to afford to have my niece visit again, but she has a family now so wouldn’t happen anyway.

I hate New Year’s Eve. It will be 25 years ago this year that I survived a near fatal car crash but when I hear sirens it feels like yesterday. I wrote about it last year in New Year’s Eve and some of the medical I went through in my gallbladder post.

Back to today… I know that last thought was sort of left hanging there, but I didn’t want to go back to that frame of mind again. Yes, I’m still bored and slightly down, but my car accident is not something I want to revisit again. I just don’t. I’ve gone down that road so many times… and it’s still not paved. Probably each time it’s traveled I level it a little bit more, but I really need a break from it. Let’s just not turn down the path this time. (I may change my mind by Monday, but that’s how I feel right now.)

Going out with friends last night really helped me, even if it was a long battle to get ready. I spent all day yesterday procrastinating on taking a shower until the last minute. Then I just threw some clothes on and we went. Saw Les Miserables, the movie. It’s quite good. Very sad, but then the story is very sad. I recommend the book (find the abbreviated version if you aren’t a European history fan) and the musical. I keep wondering if I will find myself out on the street in a few months time as well… more depressing thoughts I don’t wish to indulge. Sigh.

We had dinner, saw friends and went to a movie. If we leave it at that, then this post ends on a happy note. Remember friends, the difference between comedy and tragedy is where the scene ends.

 

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Sandy Hook

This is difficult to write.  I can’t even come up with an appropriate title because this is such a horrible event.  Twenty six dead.  Twenty of them small children, too young to know even to hide, as if it were possible.  Six adults who tried to help and lost their lives in the effort.

How can a person do this?  What sort of mental state rationalizes such violence?  As many mental states as I have been in, I have never felt homicidal.  (Suicidal yes, homicidal no.) I can’t imagine what makes a person do such a horrible thing.

He was crazy, they’ll say and eventually this will go down in the history books as another tragedy caused by a crazy person.  If one crazy person can do this, then all crazy people must be capable of doing this.  Put another check mark down for stigma.

Only 50% of people with mental health problems seek help.  That means that half of those who need help could be a danger to themselves or others. Making mental health more available, affordable and less stigmatized could make a difference in the future.  But it’s too late for the children and adults who have already been lost.

Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook. Schools should be safe havens for our children.  This is no longer the case.

The shooting in Connecticut seemed so unreal to me over the weekend.  Distant, foreign, just like the Twin Towers had felt.  But I substitute taught today and I talked with some of the students.  None of them said they were scared, but you could hear it in their voice and see it in their eyes, there was concern.  Could this happen here?

Of course it could.  It could happen anywhere.

I was talking with one of the teachers about it today.  He said Sandy Hook had all the same precautions that we take here (locked doors, little video cameras) but until society is ready to make the investment into serious deterrents, like metal detectors and armed, trained policemen in our schools, we are all at risk.

And it’s not just Connecticut.  A similar plot in Oklahoma was foiled. A disgruntled teen planned to lure students into the gym, chain the doors and start shooting.  He even planned to plant pipe bombs on the doors rigged to blow when the police arrived.  At least he was caught and arrested before any of this could come to pass.  Allegedly he was trying to recruit assistants in the lunchroom to help with his plans. Students turned him in to the authorities.

It’s a sad time for Newtown Connecticut and the world mourns with the victim’s families.  While gun control is one issue on the table, mental health is a complex problem that needs to be addressed.  I am glad to see that some attention is being paid to the problem, and hopefully this will open up new doors to understanding mental illness and new paths to treatment.

Me? A Good Sub?

OK, this has come up twice now, so I thought I should blog about it. Last week a student at the end of class said, “You’re a good sub.” He was a very nice kid as he helped with attendance and then put up most of the chairs in the room (last class of the day for that teacher). I said thank you and told him he was a good student. As for internalizing the compliment… well, it was all disbelief. Why would he say that I was a good sub? The class was average, my attitude was average (for me) and by average, I mean I had to raise my voice but I didn’t send anyone to the principal’s office. So why me? I discussed this in therapy today. My therapist asked why would he tell you that if he didn’t mean it? I’m sort of stumped on that one.

Then there was today. For my last class, a girl came up to me at the beginning and said, “Ms. Monday, you are my favorite sub. Can I have a hug?” I was shocked (again) and I gave her a hug. It wasn’t until later, when I was telling my husband about it, that he pointed out that maybe I wasn’t supposed to hug her. Maybe it is against school rules. Now I am going to worry about that all weekend. So I was having a great day until that little worry came up. Now I don’t know what to think. Hopefully it won’t be a problem, otherwise I’m out of another job.

Oh well. I’ve still been complimented on being a good sub twice now in the past few weeks. A few more times, and I might believe it. Maybe I was meant to teach secondary school after all.

Retail Therapy

I’m feeling a bit down today and yesterday.  Went out and performed some ‘retail therapy’ with a friend yesterday, but that only went so far.  It’s also difficult to get into retail therapy when you don’t have spare cash to spend.  Fortunately, I only spent about $30 (vitamins excluded).  The other thing about retail therapy is that the high only lasts a little while unless you’re manic.  Then it’s the reality of spending money you don’t really have on things you don’t really need.  Even when I brought home a large paycheck, it didn’t change the guilt I would feel afterwards.  Of course, I would be spending $100-$200 instead of $30 too so it’s all about perspective.  I’ve spent so much at Eddie Bauer over the past few years, DH & I nicknamed it the ‘evil store’.

We even stopped into the jewelry store.  I was working on collecting jewelry from all the major gemstones.  I have a ring, earrings, and necklace of garnets, amethyst and sapphire.  I was planning to go on with rubies and some of the others.  (I think ruby was next on the list.)  I saw this beautiful heart shaped ruby ring.  It’s too expensive (and too impractical) for my Christmas list this year but maybe next year.  Anyway, I don’t know why I stopped in the store in the first place.  Perhaps just to torture myself.

I feel like I should be saying something more profound about retail therapy, since I titled the post with the phrase.  But I guess I have to realize that not everything I write has to be profound.  Sometimes it’s important just to write something – anything. 

Here’s an aside though, that I want to throw out to all of my readers: my therapist wants me to bring in my journal so we can use it as talking points for therapy.  I am reluctant to do this.  It reminds me of how my mother used to read my journal when I was young.  I know she isn’t my mother but it still feels like someone is checking up on me to make sure I did what I was supposed to – like homework.  Do you think she has the right to look at my journal?