Monday, July 26, 2021

Life in the Time of WTF

Not actually Erin.
As& is used with permission.
I seem to be living in a constant state of "What the F**k" as I deal with the ramifications of my father having dementia, being in rehab, and trying to get him into a VA home. Some days I am sobbing in frustration, wondering WTF I can do to fix things; other days I am full of rage as I scream "WTF is going on here?"; and others I am physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted, wondering WTF is wrong with me and why can't I pull it together? And of course there's all the family drama going on that I haven't touched on because it doesn't belong here. 

So this (unfortunately late) post is going to be a buffet of things that have kept me more-or-less sane over the past few months.

Being able to get out of my own head and escape the stress for a few hours is a wonderful tool and I make use of it constantly. In addition to playing online games with my friends, which is both escapism and socialization, I also listen to audiobooks. I prefer them to books because I can do other things while I listen, like drive the car or clean the house, and that increases my efficiency. 

Right now I'm (re-)listening to The Martian, which is a science-fiction story of survival. If you've already seen the movie I encourage you to read (or listen to) the book anyway; it goes into more technical detail than the book does, and I find that level of crunchiness enjoyable. Also, the narrator of the audiobook does a magnificent job with all the different voices. 

I've mentioned before that my father is a hoarder, and so mom and I are going through his room and closet to get rid of things he won't ever use. For example, he's lost so much weight that most of his clothes will no longer fit him, so we're deciding what to keep, what to give to friends, and what to donate to charity. This may sound like drudgery, and I admit it's not very fun to do, but there's something to be said for the sense of control it gives me ("I may not be able to change my current situation, but I can control this") and the feelings of accomplishment I get when I accomplish something (hahahah dopamine goes ping!)

Directed Rage
Yes, you read that correctly; there are times when my only option is to vent my anger by destroying something, and so the challenge is to direct that rage towards something that either needs to be destroyed (like cutting down a tree) or won't be harmed by the destruction. For example, the other day I buzzcut my hair to 1/8 inch. Oh, I look horrible like this, but I feel so much cooler now in hot, humid Florida, and I love the non-maintenance of it. Besides, it's not like I'm trying to impress anyone with my looks these days anyway. 

As a point of interest, I have made the decision not to go shooting on days I feel like this. 

Hey, I never said these were healthy ways of coping. I know it's not good for me to eat late at night, or to inhale a pint of ice cream in one sitting, but it's psychologically fulfilling. Not only does it tell my brain "I know you're worried about survival right now, so let me reassure you that we aren't going to starve any time soon", but I also sleep better at night with something in my belly. 

There's even a German word for this: Frustfressen, which means "frustration eating". There, that's something you know now. 

I can't think of a good way to end this, so I'll just say that hopefully the next time I post, it will be more helpful than this. Maybe I'll have pictures of some of my prepping projects. 

1 comment:

  1. I admire that you are there for your mom. You are a hero.

    I think you are being too hard on yourself. You can only do what you can do.


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