I am a a woman married to another woman who lives in an insane world maintaining sanity
What is sanity? I'm pretty sure I crossed over that edge a few years ago, but I'm back for what it's worth. I think for people who have lived with tremendous trauma that we are always kind of living on that edge of sanity. I'm really not sure what I'm going to write here so bear with me. One of the things I want to write about is surviving the mental health system. I am not saying that the whole mental health system is bad, there is a need. Unfortunately it can become very cyclical and people can become overmedicated or over treated and I was one of those.This happened for many years while my real problems were not addressed until much later. I still take an antidepressant, but I am not on copious amounts of medication so that I that cannot possibly get healthy, which is what it was like at one point. I know that I'm going to try share with you some of the tricks I use to get through days that are hard to get through. I think that people advocating for themselves and for other community members can make a big difference in personal and social mental health and education. I want to share some of my experiences as an older married lesbian living in a community where everyone except for one other woman in our whole 194 apartment complex that I know of are straight. I think have a bit of a unique viewpoint. We live in a 55+ community. Actually at 53 I slide in because my wife is about to be 66. There a lot of young people here though, grandchildren living with grandparents. We have experienced some discrimination. I had a woman tell me I was going against God and it was so wrong. I guess we have a different God..|
Another thing I deal with on a regular basis is pain. I have chronic back pain. I have a disease called Sjogrens disease that effects the connective tissue in the body and it effects the fluid in my joints as well as causing pleurisy. On top of that I have fibromyalgia. About 6 or 7 years ago I had a brain tumor removed and before that I had really bad headaches. They have tried all kinds of medication with me and had me try acupuncture. Some of these were successful but they were opiates and then the opiate crisis happened and doctors said they were no longer prescribing opiates to anybody, at least here in MN. The next solution here, medical marijuana. It was legalized here in MN and all the pain clinics were passing their severe pain patients who qualified on to medical marijuana clinics. This is great for me , it helps with the pain and the inflammation, but it costs $360 a month. Seriously, I'm on disability, I do not have large amounts of money lying around. I really do not like being in pain and feel I have spent enough of my life there, so my creative brain goes to work.
Away from craziness and pain, First I decided I was going to learn to crochet again , I only knew two stitches, but the power of google and you-tube and Pinterest totally amaze me. I have learned over 20 stitches and then set out to learn how to make and sell hats. I do live in MN after all, we need hats here. Then I crocheted and donated over 50+ hats to the homeless. I felt such a sense of accomplishment. Next I started making crochet washcloths, potholders and scrubbies and people loved them . I was really excited and surprised that people wanted to buy the things I created. My wife and I started making aromatherapy bags and I make some jewelry, When the pandemic hit, although it was a big fear of mine because I had never before used one, I learned how to use a sewing machine and have since made more than 50 patterns of masks. I was surprised by how involved I got into fabrics and picking out fabrics and the beauty in the colors and matching them. All of this led up to me setting up my own business 'Jordys Creative Jems'. It is something totally new for me. Exciting and terrifying at the same time. This stuff is all new to me. I was nurse for 25 years, and this is definitely different than nursing. Then I was sick for a long time. It's like I'm coming back into the world and this is all new information for me. Computer literacy is not my top skill, but I'm learning! Actually I think I had more confidence in my nursing skills than I did at the thought of creating my own business. Here I go, taking a leap of faith.
|It's funny when I was younger, I thought I would grow up to be a great writer. I have many ideas in my head, many life-lessons learned that I want to share. I just can't seem to get them out in any order that makes sense. Partly because of my memory issues and partly those lessons learned took a great amount of time and energy and work. There are not easy answers to moving forward and I stumbled and fell flat on my face many times. There are many things that people say that in a time of crisis seem so maddening to the person in crisis, impossible even. Sometimes breathing seems impossible and then when you are in a place where you have risen above the din of what you are sure was madness the words make sense. Let me give you an example. Take one day at a time. There were times when getting through the night seemed like an impossible goal as my fears intermingled with the darkness and I was sure that I would not even make it one hour at a time. Before I was able to love myself for who I am, peoples opinions of me cut me like a knife. I would try to please everybody, being whoever they thought I should be and drowning in their disappointment when I couldn't live up to that. I did not even know who I was. I dissociated constantly. I was on a plethora of medications that caused to dissociate even more. I look back now and I want to tell people, you can do it, it gets better. I was there. I was on that precipice and I am living now. Day to day. Learning, growing, laughing, loving. That is one thing I have learned is that now that I don't have the day to day struggle to survive I laugh more, I love more fully. I find joy in the small daily things like finding new things to create for my small business. Sharing a word game with my wife, laughing over the silly words we come up with. We are both word geeks. I have eliminated toxic people from my life and have wholly invited friends and family that are part of my healing and moving forward. Peace to all of you moving forward. I have my bad days, but they don't control my life.