More Insomniac Ramblings

     Hello again, everyone. Once again, I am awake at 0300 and writing to help keep my sanity intact. I was awake last night and finally gave up and napped from 0830 until 1030. After that, I stayed awake until 2100 and slept until 0100 this morning. Here I am, wide awake again.

     Since I woke up, I have recorded another test podcase entry. I can create a five-minute entry without too much difficulty, and I am glad about that. I will try extending the test to ten minutes the next time. My wrecked sleep makes me look much uglier than usual, so I have a face for podcasting. 

I am still researching cameras for vlogging, although probably not much for showing my ugly face at first. I am seriously looking at the DJI Osmo Pocket 2 Content Creator Kit because it has everything needed to get started. The kit is also cheaper than other options I looked at, which is always a good thing. I checked, and our local Best Buy has the equipment in stock, so I might drop by there and have a look later today when the rest of the world wakes up.

I hope that my creative juices keep flowing. I missed writing while taking a break, but I knew that I needed that break as well. I burned out, and writing wasn’t much fun. I feel refreshed now, and I dream of podcasting and vlogging to serve as inspiration. Now all I need is to get back to a regular sleeping cycle.

Right now, the subject of a podcast is a big decision for me. The timed exercises are teaching me to focus on what I say and how I communicate, but I need to subject that I can talk about regularly to make a podcast that is interesting to people.

My goal is to increase my exercises until I reach the thirty-minute mark. Then I will take that next step and focus on a name and platform for the podcast. I want to rush in, but that will result in disappointment and give up altogether. Discipline is the key to success.

Have a great day.

MLK Day 2022 – I’m Back

     This blog post is the first one I have put any effort into for 2022. I have enjoyed my downtime away from blogging, and I look forward to resuming my writing activities. I also am thinking about creating a podcast this year.

If I am creating a podcast, I need to practice. I started using iMovie to record myself. I use this tool to talk about a random topic for a designated period while remaining on topic. If I can master this skill, I will be more likely to create a podcast after all. I started these exercises by talking for 5 minutes.

I listen to it later to see how I sound. Did I stay on topic and keep the audio clear and concise? Are there any background distractions?

     As I improve my skills, I can focus on other things, like the title of my podcast and how to find the right hosting site for me. These are significant decisions, but they don’t have to be made all at once. I am in no rush. I have as much time as I need.

     I invested in a microphone for podcasting or video chat. I purchased a Blue Yeti microphone from Best Buy.

     I immediately realized the connection between blogging and podcasting. I need a roadmap for a podcast, just like for this blog. I need the focused roadmap to keep me on topic, especially when talking. I need a script or a good outline of talking points to keep me honest.

     All of these things are on my mind since I cannot sleep due to insomnia. It’s good to be back.

Anniversary

     Twenty-two years ago, I met Hal for the first time on this date. I was at a rough point in my life, just out of a bad relationship and unsure of what to do next. I chatted with people online, back when AOL was a thing, about life and relationships. 

     On January 6, 2000, I started chatting with someone I thought I knew. That person often changed their screen name, so I thought it was just a new one they created. After a few tests back and forth, I realized that I was talking with someone new. Their use of words was different than the person I thought they were.

     I apologized to the new person, and they thought it was funny. I began talking to him anew, and things started to click between us. We found enough in common to agree to a date that evening for dinner and a movie. We ate at a local restaurant and then saw “Galaxy Quest.” A romantic evening ensued, and I secretly hoped that he felt the same way I did. By the time we parted late in the evening, the sparks were there. We spoke again and saw each other the next day and the day after. It wasn’t long until we discussed making things permanent. 

     We’ve been together almost every day since then. We have gone through family crises and deaths, career changes, more moves than we can count, but we always emerge stronger. I drank like a sailor when I met Hal, but I stopped almost entirely without him saying a word, and now I only socially drink once or twice a year. Friends have come and gone; we have made a home for cats throughout our time together. The important thing is that Hal and I love each other more now than ever before.

     We promised each other that we would never go to bed angry. We would always talk out any problems that arose. We each compromised to preserve our union. Jealousy was never allowed.

     In 2020 I was hospitalized. Hal was there with me. Even though he lacked legal standing, he made the medically necessary decision to put me into a coma to save my life. The doctors transferred me to another hospital 50 miles away, and Hal made the trip as often as possible because Hal could no longer drive. He took Uber for those trips, but he made them, which helped my recovery.

     I came home from the hospital on 17 DEC 2020. Hal helped me because I was invalid, barely able to walk. I wasn’t strong enough to shower, so he bathed me. I was never out of his sight for the first two months. As I gained my strength, he gradually eased up but never left me alone for long. I’ve been on disability ever since, but Hal demands that I don’t return to my job because I am not strong enough to deal with the stress. Of course, he is right, although I wanted to man up and try working again. Hal told me that we would get through this just like we’ve made it through every other difficult time we’ve faced together.

     Twenty-two years ago, my life got better. It gets better every day because of Hal. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be here today without Hal.

First post of 2022

     As 2021 winds down, I wanted to try and sum it up from my perspective. I’ve managed to stay out of the hospital for the entire year, and that is a massive accomplishment for me. My recovery started well, but by September, I felt like I had reached my plateau, and progress slowed almost to a halt.

     2021 taught me to live on a tight budget due to being disabled and the never-ending COVID situation. Hal and I moved to a new apartment that we love. The Stooges are happy; although we did lose Stevie Nicks this year to illness, we adopted Willow, who has adapted to life with Jax and Hal The Cat. Our new family arrangement is working out well.

     I don’t have any grand expectations for 2022, I just want to stay as healthy as possible and out of the hospital.

     January 3, 2022 will be a day we’ll remember. In addition to a snowstorm, we lost power around 1000 that morning and it wasn’t restored until 1600 Tuesday. We sat here in a gradually cooling apartment, waiting and hoping for the power to come back on. As darkness settled in, we were lucky to have emergency radios with flashlights to give us limited light.

     Tuesday afternoon is here. More than 24 hours without power and no word on when it will be restored. We’ve taken perishable food from the refrigerator and put it outside to stay cold. Sone freezer items have been thrown out. Once the ice is gone in the freezer, everything else there will be thrown out as well. The worst part of this is not knowing when it will end.

Our power came back at 1600 on Tuesday.

Perspective

I’ve fought my way through a tough patch here. The first anniversary of my hospitalization is nearly complete. Tomorrow is the anniversary of my release from the hospital. Thankfully I haven’t been back since then. I’ve dealt with nightmares for several weeks, which came as no surprise because a therapist told me that I would likely have some trauma during this time. 

I hope I won’t have to go through this again anytime soon. I want to focus on positive things for a change. A new year begins soon, and I want it to be excellent for everyone. 

My perspective has changed over the last year. I am on disability and learned to live with less income. I am not as physically strong as I was before last year, but that is no surprise. I take my time and approach things more cautiously now. I meditate every day to keep my emotions under control so that I won’t stress myself out over trivial things. I control my feelings and don’t get upset as often. Even subjects that used to get me all sore no longer affect me.

I take the time each day to be grateful for how lucky I am. I have Hal and The Stooges here with me, and I cannot ask for more of a family to call my own. I write almost every day, but most of it never gets into this blog. I write to calm myself and get rid of inner emotions and thoughts that I don’t always want to share.

I deliberately took time away from writing to deal with all these issues. I think I’ve done a pretty good job. Perhaps 2022 will see me write in this blog more often, but I’m not setting any artificial deadlines to make that decision.

Afraid to Sleep

     I’m afraid to sleep. There, I admitted it to myself and the rest of the world. I’m reliving my near-death experience when I sleep from a year ago, and I don’t know how to handle it. A therapist told me that anniversaries are triggers and that sometimes we don’t recognize them until something suddenly snaps. 

     I’m trying to reevaluate everything right now. I’ve probably lied to myself about getting better. Instead, I think I’ve recovered as much as I can. I feel angry, like I let myself down, but now I must consider how bad my situation was. I’m moving away from the precipice without recognizing how close to the edge I was. 

     I have flashbacks, nightmares, and bad dreams when I sleep now. I wake up on the verge of screaming, but the details of the dreams have already escaped my mind. I can’t talk about things I can’t remember. All I can do is hope that in less than two weeks, with the anniversary of my release from the hospital, that the flashbacks, nightmares, and bad dreams will stop. 

Bad Dreams

I cannot sleep. I had nothing but bad dreams all night long when I managed to doze off. The dreams were strange and disjointed, not to mention unpleasant. They all seemed to focus on situations that made me feel uncomfortable and inadequate. These events caused me to lash out at those who wronged me.

I am going through a strange period in my life right now. It is the first anniversary of my last hospital stay, the one where I nearly died. I have talked with counselors, and they told me that it would not be unusual to have a tough time right now. That puts my mind at ease, but only to a small degree.

Not sleeping cannot be good for me. I give up on sleeping tonight, and my mind is just a mess of unwanted emotions. I wonder if this will last until the first anniversary of when I left the hospital last year. If so, that means another almost three weeks of this turmoil.

Depressed, Sad, and Afraid

     It is Thanksgiving, and I am feeling depressed and afraid. Almost exactly one year ago, I went to the hospital for the 4th or 5th time that year for breathing trouble. It happened the weekend after Thanksgiving. After several days in the hospital, my kidneys started to shut down; I don’t remember much for the next few days after that.  Doctors put me into a coma and transferred me to another hospital. I wasn’t brought back to consciousness for almost a week.

     At that time, doctors and nurses told me what had happened. I was alone. Hal had to take Uber for almost 75 miles to get to me because he couldn’t drive. I was alone every other day for nearly a month there in that. It was the worst time in my life, and I never want to relive it.

     Now, I have memories of that time, no matter how I try to avoid them and think of other things. I’m sure that the first anniversary triggers these memories. To make matters worse, this year, Hal has some of his family nearby and will probably spend time with them. I don’t blame Hal for wanting to see his family, but that will leave me here alone for an indeterminate period. I don’t want to be alone right now. I’m thinking about the bad things that could happen instead of the good things that already happened.

     So, here I am on Thanksgiving feeling depressed and afraid. I can’t talk with Hal about how I feel because he will tell me to get over it and not think about it. I wish it were that easy. I have flashbacks to the time in the hospital that I just can’t control. Am I going insane? I hope not.

     At any rate, I prepared a large roast for out Thanksgiving meal later today. We will spend the day here at home. Just us and The Stooges.

     Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Detachment

     The terrible news from Waukesha, Wisconsin, last night made me stop and think about the world we have today. It is full of beautiful people, but some lunatics don’t care about others. Immediately after the tragedy, people began imposing their world views onto the event to make themselves somehow the center of worldwide attention.

     I had to deliberately step away from news coverage and social media reaction to the tragedy. My health and well-being were at stake. I meditated to calm myself down and look at the situation. No matter what happened hundreds of miles away in Wisconsin, I cannot do anything about it in the short term. There isn’t much I can do at all. Other peoples’ reactions aren’t my problem unless I make them so.

     A tragedy like this hurts us all in some way. We are human and need to care for each other. I learned over the last year that I must take more time for myself because of my health issues. I cannot let myself get caught up in events I cannot control. Stress makes me feel worse, and I don’t want that.

     My solution is to detach myself from the news when something like this happens. I listen to music or read a book with the tv turned off. I play with the cats because they are smart enough to ignore the news all the time. When the tightness leaves my chest, I know detachment is working. One year ago, I nearly died. I was in the hospital, and there was a good chance that I would not survive. Fortunately, I did, and I don’t want to be in that condition again.

     I’m awake with sinus trouble; that is my main concern right now. I wanted to write because it puts my mind at ease when I feel bad. I write to describe how I feel and what I do to correct wrong things in my life that I can control.

     Detachment works. It isn’t easy, but it works.