Tossed salad and scrambled eggs

Today I had planned to go to a movie with a meetup group. I wanted to see Where the Wild Things Are, which is a fabulous picture book I remember reading to my son, and is now a movie with appeal to adults also. Plus I wanted to keep practicing socializing with new people and being comfortable in groups. It didn’t happen.

My excuse is that I slept extremely badly last night, so felt exhausted, and with weird little stomach pains. Maybe it’s a good excuse, maybe not, but I just couldn’t get myself out the door. Instead I heated some leftovers and watched three episodes of The West Wing which I’d borrowed from the library. I’m so interested in this show. It gives a kind of an insiders view of politics, where nothing is black and white, and only tiny bits of progress are ever made. I guess I picture myself as one of the white house staff, wise cracking on the one hand, spouting policy on the other, and desperately idealistic underneath it all. Well, it’s a daydream, obviously.

This afternoon, after a walk, I read a novel and listened to the Saturday afternoon opera in the background. I realized today that having an opera in the background can be quite soothing. It’s like an organizing force or something – music is metred, at least the type I listen to, and it’s got this soothing effect. I’m not an opera fan really – they are so long and in a foreign language – but I’m going to start putting on the radio on Saturday afternoons if I’m at home.

A friend called me in the afternoon, and I could hear it on in the background. When I asked about it, she said she likes it because it’s not in English, so she can have it on in the background and read and it doesn’t disturb her. That’s how I got the idea.

I’m looking for some things to make me feel better, so that’s one thing. I’m getting depressed what with not sleeping and then having no energy to do things. I just need to keep on trying. Actually once I started making supper, I went on to a few other tasks, and definitely started feeling better. Not doing things is depressing. Or getting even just the porch swept gives a bit of a feeling of accomplishment.

I had been starting to wake up less often at night, and for a few days last week, felt almost normal. So last night was a set-back. I think I may have become over tired – I did a lot on Friday. And then I saw a stressful friend in the evening, which didn’t help me sleep peacefully. I value this friend for her intelligence and other good qualities. For instance, she is the only friend I have who reads fiction, as I do. It’s amazing how few people read. But, she also stresses me out as she is liable to jump on me for being illogical or for having a different opinion from hers. So I’m walking on eggshells a bit, when she is around. Which stresses me out sometimes. Friends are mixtures of qualities – we have to accept some not so good with the good.

I’ve been going to a new PTSD information type group Friday mornings. It’s OK. I want to do what I can to heal, and these information groups are what is on offer to people on waiting lists for therapy or therapy groups. I’d like to be able to chat a bit with the other participants, but the group is structured so that you listen to the social worker present information on a particular topic. I know they don’t want to get into anyone’s personal stuff, but I’d think we could socialize a bit.

So those groups stir things up for me, and I feel a bit triggered afterwards. One of the topics was on how to avoid triggers. I almost said, well, I’d best avoid this group then…but restrained myself. Ha ha. It’s true though. Do they think we aren’t reminded of why we’re there in the group, just because we’re not supposed to talk about it? Who knows.

In therapy for the last two weeks, I have avoided EMDR and it’s ‘time machine’ effect. The first week, Ms T didn’t even suggest it, as I told her I was waking up every two hours. The second week, I just told her, I’m just getting some more normal sleep, and I can’t do any more for now in case I stop sleeping again. Without sleep, I can’t really cope. So we talked about my family, mostly, what they’re like, how I react. It’s great just to talk about concerns with someone with some insight. Plus she’s getting paid to listen to me and hopefully not be bored. Then after therapy, I feel fine. None of this long recovery that is needed after my dives into my past.

I can’t heal from PTSD without going back to the dark past it seems. But I need to do it slowly. Me falling apart isn’t going to do my healing any good.

And in other news, I was very proud of myself on Friday, for making some very dreaded cold calls. I have my company website set up, so I’ve been researching and emailing local software companies with a link to the site. I’m keeping track of who I email on a spreadsheet with phone numbers, and have been intending to call the companies also.

Friday I bit the bullet and called 12 companies. I was extremely scared. First I napped (good avoidance strategy). Then I took a small amount of medication. Had some tea and a snack. Finally, I picked up the phone.

It wasn’t too bad. I got through to a person in about half the companies. Three people were interested enough to give me their email address so I could send them an email and link to my site. They might need someone in the future.

No one was angry, though one guy was impatient. Two people seemed actually happy to speak to me – they were both in marketing, if that has anything to do with it. They must be nice to callers in general.

It’s good to remember that sometimes I will get a pleasant reception, and rudeness is actually rare. I’m very low key – I just try and find out who I should speak to, say briefly what I do, and ask if I could send them some info. I’m not at all aggressive. Just putting my business out there to those who might need it.

I have to admit, I was basically scared the whole time. That’s why I stopped after 12 calls. But I also was on a nice high for about an hour afterwards, just so pleased that I’d carried out my plan and started calling companies.

I must keep it up next week. I need work soon.

  1. alice said:

    12 calls, thats a lot. especially if youve been putting it off, then it only seems worse. well done you for plucking up the courage to do this.and with your friend,mmm, its good to have differing opinions thats what life is about, is she trying to control what you do or say? why is that?xx love the title, frasiers in the house!

  2. Ellen said:

    I thought it was a lot too Alice :-)It was difficult, and I did it, so I was happy. Now I have to keep doing it…I guess my friend is trying to control what I say perhaps…not so much what i do…she is just like that and I feel I need to watch what I say with her. Friends can be difficult. Happy to know that Frasier is international, I didn't know if anyone outside north america would get the reference. Funny show. Cheers

  3. diver said:

    Hi Ellen. I was impressed by and sympathetic to your marketing efforts. I myself have spent two years failing to get past the 'company website set up' stage. It's been such a struggle for me to get to that next level, the 'active marketing and self-promotion' level. I can't imagine what it must be like for you to pitch your services as a writer. Do you do it with a portfolio or something like that?I'm a foreign language TV and radio fan too. I just love a bubbling background babble I can't understand. It's like a co-worker in my workshop, busy with their own tasks, yet a companion nonetheless 🙂

  4. Ellen said:

    Hi Diver,Welcome, so nice to have your comments. Interesting that you also have the challenges of 'marketing'. Maybe we can cheer each other on across the continents? Calling companies was not as bad as I thought it would be really. But I didn't get any results, and so I stopped. Silly. No one gets results in one day do they?Yes, if someone agreed to a meeting, I would bring a portfolio of manuals I've done. I imagine you also would bring photos of your work along.In my case, I absolutely must find work or end up on social assistance – there is no other option. So I will persevere. I've only tried the foreign language thing with opera – perhaps I will branch out into other programming…we have a French channel here I could try.Take care,Ellen

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