Floating on a starlit ceiling

You guys things are going really well for me.

I spent last winter doing a lot of hard work. I did a lot of journalling and reading and therapy and processing with my friends and family. I went on ADHD meds and I tried to change my patterns. I didn’t leave the house much, and I took a lot of cabs. I started dating Chris. I wrote in here a fair bit during that time, so I don’t need to rehash it all. I probably wore mostly pyjamas?

I spent the spring doing a lot of not really much at all. This period is super foggy when I think about it! I now think of this time as “keeping off of it”, like I had an injury that I was nursing (which I did, but it was my brain, which is hard to keep off of). I tried to keep journalling, I tried to move forward on all the plans that I had cooked up. But I sort of stalled completely and watched a lot of TV and had to be reminded to eat, and goofed around on the internet. I got really worried that I was wasting my stress leave. I found out that my landlord was moving by into my apartment and that I would have to leave. I refreshed Craigslist constantly, until Jairus saved by brain by setting up a script to email me whenever Craigslist ads were posted containing certain key phrases. I had three sundresses in rotation.

I also had the perfect idea (not being sarcastic) of shaving my head. The end result of this was not only that I look super cute, but also it helped me learn what an emergency is and ISN’T. One of the bigger game-changers of my LIFE. I didn’t know that I would ever learn this, because I didn’t know that everything wasn’t an emergency.

This summer I felt like I was walking out on wobbly legs, testing out new capabilities. Interestingly, my literal knee was super screwed up during this time. This was a big bummer because for the first time that I can remember, I started to feel able to leave the house! This is so huge that I am sort of embarrassed to talk about how huge it is! But I was recently having lunch with Jennie in the cafe under her work and I asked if she thought I was doing better than I had been before the stress leave. She replied “You’re here! You came out and hung out with me! I didn’t have to go to your house to see you, not that I mind your house!”

She’s completely right. Even in this city that I love, I still had a tiiiny radius that I felt comfortable travelling in, and would get knots in my stomach about the transitions between my house and wherever I was going. This is part of why I so often stall until I am running so late that I have to take a cab, because a cab comes to your door and takes you to the door of where you are going and that is as compressed as those distances can get. But then August 1st I moved into an adorable new apartment that is right on the subway line, and I bought a metropass to get me to rely on the TTC instead of cabs.

Chris helped with this a lot. He is a freelance writer and going for walks is one of the ways he percolates story ideas as well as one of the few times he feels comfortable taking a break from the freelance hustle. So I figured out that if I wanted to hang out with him, suggesting a walk was a good way to make this happen. The distances we’d walk would get longer, and so the city slowly got stitched together better in my head as one big safe place, rather than a bunch of discrete places with “HERE THERE BE TYGERS” in between.

This summer was great. I wore every bright colour and tried to find as many chances to put on my bathing suit as possible.

Now it is autumn. I am so happy! Not that it is autumn, because I miss the beach already, but because I feel so capable now. My relationships (physical and otherwise) are so solid. I am writing things (not a ton of things, but more than I was) which is hard but a relief. Most dramatic is the difference in my professional confidence, in that I have professional confidence again. It’s been a while.

To that end, Jairus and I have so much interesting client work on the go! I also have a fantastic steady contract with Chris, that Jairus helped us get. Finally, I have a few of my own clients who are only looking for social media help which means it’s all up to me. Scary! Amazing!

I’m really excited that Jairus and I have figured out how to work together in a way that makes both of us able to do our own best while learning from each other. I love working with him, and how proud we always are of each other. We also have worked through some non-work-related struggles we were having around communications and expectations and routine and we’re so solid and I feel really lucky that we are both always so willing to make concrete commitments and stick to them. He works so hard, and every time I’ve underestimated him I’ve been wrong.

Other great news is that I have seen a sports doctor about my knees, because it’s not good for me mentally if I am always scared that every step I take might end in my kneecap slipping to the side and twisting and hurting and auuugh. Here are two different diagnoses I have had about this problem, from two different GPs:

  1. I should have a tendon transplant in my right knee.
  2. There is nothing wrong with my knees.

… whaaaaat? Anyway, the sports doc is sending me for physio, and says it’s really good that I didn’t get surgery because that would have possibly made things worse. I was really scared to do so, but I asked him what the best case scenario was for me. He said (aieeee I get goosebumps thinking about this) “Oh, I think it can get more or less fixed with regular physio. You might have to keep doing the exercises for the rest of your life, and still brace it if it’s icy our or you are doing something really demanding, but I think we can get it 80% there”.

YOU GUYS NO ONE HAS EVER SAID MY KNEE CAN GET BETTER! It just has been screwed up since I was 14 and that is just my life! Imagine if it wasn’t my life anymore?? Yeah I can’t, either.

Also I have started taking harmonica lessons from Catriona Sturton over Skype, and I am starting to figure out music and harmonies to the point where even after one lesson I was able to improvise a bit when I joined Jesse at a House Concert he played in Ottawa last month. It’s like finding a whole other room in my house that I didn’t know was there!

Fashion-wise, I found a pair of these jeans at Value Village and whoa they fit perfectly and I’m so excited about that because I have pretty much worn skirts and dresses for years but pants are warmer than skirts and dresses and if I’m gonna keep going outside and for walks, I don’t want to start getting avoidant because I don’t want to be freezing. So my long-term goal is to get a bunch of different colours of them and wear them all fall/winter with warm colourful sweaters so that’s my projected winter wardrobe. Right now I am still wearing dresses and skirts and colourful tights as often as the weather allows. I might grow my hair back long enough so I can dye it bright fall colours (like an inch maybe?) but I dunno.

You guys I don’t know how to express how thankful I am for all of the love and patience and cheerleading I’ve been getting from my amazing community of online and offline pals. I feel so lucky and so relieved to finally maybe be a less anxious person. It’s not like I am never upset now, but I feel like it’s now proportional. And manageable. Things are still hard, but now I have skills and perspective and new patterns that make me able to take it all on. I love this momentum.

I love this picture because I am not posing for it (I am watching Chris and Jairus try on werewolf hats), but I can tell when I look at it that I am relaxed and delighted and looking forward to something.
I love this picture because I am not posing (I am watching Chris and Jairus try on werewolf hats), and I like seeing myself just naturally being relaxed and delighted and looking forward to something.

9 thoughts on “Floating on a starlit ceiling”

  1. thank you for sharing..and letting me just have a little peek into Audra..its really lovely to just feel i may get to know a little about you here and there and I love writing and sharing its my way of feeling safe and expressing to so many different degrees and journaling..you are very blessed to have such love and support but I am sure it did not come by luck it was earned and I salute your courage on your journey of the last year as one who totally gets that whole scene and I mean totally even to the point of the last minute taxi due tothe anxiety of leaving my comfort zones..thank you.for so much..good luck with your knee..as to that i too relate since i get mine drained approx every 4 months or so…surgery suggested..i now think rather going with the physio…so girl..I am not so far removed in your universe..i send love ..kudos and wish you well and hope that we can have a chat now and then / one way or another ..there are so many ways..these days..either way I send you much love and respect always..MJxoxxo hugs and much much continued blossoming back to the exotic person you are just a maybe added new leaf and who knows what seeds that were planted will sprout during this sebatical and now opening to the nuturing of your lifeand beautiful friends and loved ones..xo

  2. Aaaaaaaudra, I love you soooo much!!!!! This post made me really happy to read. I wish I had read it last night so I could have squeezed you more with all of this in mind!!! xoxoxoxoxoxo

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