That time Kris was scared of Tina

Kris here

Tina’s been writing quite a bit lately about some personal things she’s been going through and I’m very proud she’s advanced to the point that she can share these things. She gave me the go ahead recently to discuss another rare facet of her glowing personality, so I decided to give it a brief mention. Something she can’t tell you about, because she’s never been there!

There are a lot of preconceptions in the world, and I’m not really sure how or where I’ve built all mine up. The one I wasn’t prepared to have shattered was the one about sleepwalking. Do people actually sleepwalk? Heck I don’t know, it’s just a movie trope I guess. I’ve moved rooms and not remembered it, or told someone how to solve a math problem and then lapsed into unconsciousness. Is that sleepwalking? Maybe, but let me tell you about some stuff I’ve learned in the last ten years.

Firstly, there are different levels of sleep walking and my experiences certainly don’t span the spectrum – they only span my wife.

The first time I encountered this was about seven or eight years ago. Tina jabbed me awake a bit roughly, so I jolted up like the house was on fire. “Zomg what’s wrong!” I looked to my adorable wife in alarm. She stared at me. Just..staring. And then she handed me a small children’s toy. Okay sure, but what’s the matter! I took the toy from her hands and investigated, maybe it was actually going to explode? No, no it’s just a toy. She bolted from the room into the pitch-black kitchen and rushed over to the fridge and just stood there. She was staring at the closed laundry door for about a minute or so in the darkness and obviously I’m a grown adult, so I’m not going anywhere near. I’ve seen the Blair Witch project dang it. She yanked the freezer open, talking about “I have to save them! I have to save them” Looking frantically, tossing stuff every which way. I flipped the light on in my room and followed her into the kitchen.

“Saving who Tina?”

She plucks this bag out of the freezer in triumph, backing away from me clutching the bag like a stolen candy bar. “I have to save the peas”

“The …the peas?”

My wide-eyed wife ran into the bathroom with those frozen peas and climbed into the bathtub, where she stayed in a state of panic until she fell asleep about 5 minutes later. A minute or two following, she woke up super groggy and disoriented.

“Kris, why am I in the bathtub?”

What did we learn from this experience? Well, Tina is just so cute and terrifying. Sleep walking can apparently turn you into a different person with very different goals than your usual self. Lastly, if someone wakes you up in the middle of the night and then runs off into the other room to stand unmoving in the darkness, just hide until they get into the bathtub and everything should be fine.

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Izzy – Happy 1st Birthday!

Tina here, and yes you read that correctly, Izzy is now 1 year old! She has come so far since we first got her and learned so much. Her willingness to work with me and learn and adapt to new tasks has been incredible. We have had our problems and issues with things like chewing on dear lord everything! But over all, She has been the biggest blessing in my life, providing me love and compassion with all of her heart.

She has molded and adapted to understanding when I need space or when I need her close. She knows when anyone else in the house isn’t feeling well too. She has been an amazing protector and only barks/growls when asked to or when someone is around the house without telling us first.

I love her so much and it is so fitting that her birthday is on Valentine’s day, considering how full of love and care she is and how much she wants to give it to everyone she meets.

We are still working on training but for the most part she has 3 tasks now that she helps me with everyday, Getting up the stairs, general balance when not using my walker, and space awareness and creation. She does so much more then that but when people ask me what tasks she preforms for me, those are my go to. Okay, now for some adorable pictures.

Building my support

Tina here! I want to look back on the last year of mental health improvement that I have been working on and mostly remind myself of how far I have come and how far I can still go.

When I started out on my journey to help my depression, I didn’t have much hope that anything would change. I spent everyday in bed. Food and drinks were brought to me. I entertained my son with videos and video games and limited my interactions with people to the point that I truly believed I had no one besides my husband. Even then he was just putting up with his lot in life because he would never give up. I had convinced myself with what I felt was firm evidence that no one wanted to be around me, that they put up with me for one reason or another.

One day, Kris said that there was help being offered at work. He encouraged me to take the information and just talk to someone. I didn’t do it because I had some epiphany that I could get better. No, I truly thought my family would be better off if I was gone. I did it because the one person I saw as having a choice to stand by me was asking me to try. Not some like lovey dovey reason. Just that it might make his chore of caring for me a little bit easier.

So I called the number and talked with a coordinator who took action to get me a list of people in my area I could go talk to. Which is great but it took many reminders from Kris and several follow up calls for me to even start calling anyone on that list. I didn’t know what to say or if I would say something wrong. I tried several of the numbers only to leave messages that were never returned or to be told they had no openings. I was defeated. I gave up. Kris had a few more weeks of sad mopey me who had “tried”.

I get a call from the wellness coordinator with my husband’s work who was check in to see if there was anything she could do to help because of recent ER visits for migraines. I don’t know what sparked it in me but when she said, “But seriously if there is ANYTHING I can help you with please let me know.” I cracked. I started bawling and telling her of my struggle to find someone to talk to and how I had gone over the list and still couldn’t find someone.

This amazing nurse jumped and started calling for opening herself. Then gave me a list of those. She then helped me set up a Primary Care Doctor so that we could get me started on long term treatment plans. I called and left messages on 3 phone number and felt defeated again. I was sitting there crying about how even if I wanted to change that the universe was against it, when she called. My saving light. She called me back and set up to have me come in the next morning.

Jane was my push. She saw me not as someone broken and needing to be fixed, but as a strong intelligent woman who had faught for so long and was so tired now. She helped me rebuild that confidence and self reliance that I had once been so proud of, and she pushed me to seek help for the things I often dismiss as unimportant.

She helped me realize that it is okay to be tired. It is okay to feel useless. But you have to remember who you are in your core, and set up people around you who know you and can remind you at times as well. Build your ladder as my favorite YouTuber Martina says. How to build your own ladder.

What kind of ladder can you start building today?

Head problems

Tina here. Dealing with various medical issues I feel rather apt in saying that I have an extremely high pain tolerance.

Wait.

Before my husband can edit this and say, “No way dude, I poke you and you bruise.” I don’t mean that I don’t feel pain jerk off! I mean that I have to deal with a barrage of pain almost 24/7 at this point. Currently to write this post I am wearing sunglasses in a dark room where the windows have been covered by blankets. (I really need to buy some black out curtains.)

 

Among my sideshow variety of medical issues, I have menstrual migraines. Meaning that once a month when my hormones get pissed I didn’t get pregnant, my body goes into shut down mode. If I am lucky it just tries to kill me slowly from the ovaries out, however, there are times when it goes that extra mile and jacks with my brain. I get blinding headaches that make me want to pull out my hair for relief, or pull my eyeballs out with a spoon just so I can put pressure on the one spot in my head that is trying to kill me.  This has exploded to the point of me needing to go to the ER and get shots of morphine and later Dilaudid. Or what my nurse called legal crack. It was just to give me enough relief to get some sleep.

 

I am blessed not only with Menstrual Migraines but also, aura migraines, where you see pretty colors around things before getting a migraine and migraines that take away my ability to speak, write or at times understand English… I could speak Japanese though! I also had one migraine that made colors change. Blues and greens and oranges were the primary colors I saw.

 

All of this being said, I do my best when I get these lovely pains to push past my own problems and ensure that my family knows that I am okay. That I love them. It wasn’t healthy. I got a lecture from my 6 year old.

“Mom, if you are sick you should take some belly breaths and lay down. Drink your water and rest. Your body needs rest to make you better so your good germs and cells can fight and repair whatever is broken.” As his father shushes him from my side. I love this kid. He is wise beyond his years. So I guess what I am saying is, I don’t have an insightful hope raising piece this week… I am resting with lots of water and belly breaths and letting my body fix my migraines.

Year of Change

Tina here.

This time last year I had just started with my therapy and finding help for what I thought at the time was maybe just depression, and a bit of some kind of crazy. Because what sane person sees demonic or dead figures, watches them act out a story or scream their name in the middle of the night?

Well, I was right that I had depression, however, it was classified as Severe depression with Highetened Anxiety. Oh and Untreated or documented PTSD! Wooooo.

The voices and visions were because my brain didn’t know how else to tell me something is seriously wrong and we need help. They made great inspiration for scary stories, but I was so tired all of the time and seeing random things just made me jumpy all of the time.  I can’t count the number of times Kris woke up to me crying and saying creepy things about why I couldn’t sleep.

Fast Forward to a full year plus of being on medication, getting help and having a subject to research and help me keep on top of things. I feel like I still have bad days. The visions are not completely gone, especially if I forget to take my meds. I know that my family is upset to see me on so many pills and think that I am just trying to medicate myself away or that my doctor pushed me into it. No. I went for help. I do use the pills, they do help. I can tell a clear difference of when I have not taken them. (as they wear out of my system)

I enjoy being able to stop myself from yelling about stupid little things like my husband taking a bite out of all the food he makes for me. OMG that bugs me so much, but I would become like, someone just slapped my kid angry about it. He didn’t even know! I hadn’t told him it made me upset. He just did it out of habit since childhood. The communication about how I feel has been sooooo much better. My husband doesn’t understand feelings, or rather, how others feel. He thinks you should take everything at face value and that there is never a hidden meaning behind something unless otherwise said there is. He is extremely Vulcan. I am EXTREMELY emotional. Everything has meaning and you should always be aware of what you say and how it could come across in the situation. Yeah… We had some problems. We are coming up on 7 years of being married and I can honestly say that we understand each other so much better now. He knows that if I start getting upset or worked up with what I am saying that I am most often just having an off day. He will offer me tea, blankets, hugs, bubble bath, time alone. Whatever he things might help me. And I have learned how to take a deep breath, think about what I am feeling and explain it to him much like I would explain my symptoms to a doctor. It helps him get a better idea about how to address whatever we are talking about. It also helps me understand myself and why I might have been getting worked up about it.

So a year might not seem like a long time, or maybe it seems like forever! Either way, keep working on yourself. I have gotten help with my mental problems, developed greater communication with my husband and family, and went to school! I am about to start my finals for my second Term in two days! Just keep swimming, put one foot in front of the other, all that jazz.

 

Much love,

2018 Tina

NaNo-more please my fingers are bleeding.

Tina here,

So with that grim title I am here to share with you all my outlook on this the day after what should be the Halfway mark of NaNoWriMo. Meaning we should have 25k words written into our projects.

However, I am working on an existing project so I should have 75k and Kris is well, Kris is Kris. He has been working so hard on his project and I am so proud of him for all the challenges he has overcome. The biggest one being him asking me to read over his last writing session to see if what he wrote sounds good or if it makes me think of fire and death. He laughed at me last year for asking him each day to review my work. Stating firmly that he would review it once I had finished with it… here we are two years later and I am still writing. However, now I feel no need to show him any of the work!

It has been fun to see him get excited about creating and moving his story along, and don’t tell him but I have been reading it each day and watching what he adds. He is building a beautiful story that I am now racing to try and beat with my own story! I can’t allow him to finish his own novel before mine is done now can I?!

Another funny thing that Kris and I discovered yesterday as we were talking was that it was amusing to us that the stories we are writing is not even what his world was created for, meaning that he created that world to tell a story that neither one of us has even touched. He is so in love with the idea of the story that he cringes anytime I bring up the idea of storyboarding it or working it out on paper. I had wondered if he just needed a push and that was why I started my story.

Now this year he is writing a story that is something completely different than what he wanted to start with but we are both so entranced with the story that neither of us mind. I just thought it would be funny that in a few years we have a few books out in this world and at a Q&A we get asked about why we started writing in the same world and the response would be because of a story that they have never heard of!

Any way, I have been mostly rambling, but since Nov 1 I have gotten really good at doing that for the word count. Don’t forget to backup your current projects and keep on writing!

How we Outline

Howdy ya’ll Tina here again! You know what that means. I am just sooo much cooler than Kris. I get to say that because I can. HA!

So because thinking up a blog post on the fly is OH so much fun, I am proud to present you with, Our outlines for NaNoWriMo! This is my second year doing it, but I am kinda cheating because I don’t want to start a brand new novel, I am going to do 50,000 more words on the novel I worked on last year! And this will be Kristopher’s first year doing it so he is a fresh new little baby into the whole NaNo world. He is aiming for weekly goals and as he says, isn’t wholly aiming for 50,000 so much as for writing every week on a story.  So, I thought I would share with you some of the brain farts and dumps that we do when we were getting ready to get started!

Let’s start with me first since Kris still hasn’t sent me his pictures yet.

Binder
I have a Binder for Each of my Projects
Acts
Each Manuscript has it broken down into Acts
Blocks
Which is then broken down into 3 blocks
Scenes
Further broken down into 3 scenes

So, When I break it down like this I find it much easier to focus myself on what I am writing at that moment. I make notes on each scene as to what I plan to do within that scene and expand it with my beautiful words. Taking in those tiny little strings of thought and turning them into big fat bottomed thoughts of filled goodness. I push to have about 500-1000 words per scene but tend to end up with more.

So in that image you can see my ideas for each Scene on that Block. Then I included pictures of the word count for each of them to show you that I tend to go a bit more heavy handed in words. I enjoy adding detail, and I can always cut it out later if I need to.  Here are some extra pictures from my project I thought you might like to see.

Project Statistics
Here are some stats from my projects
Full break down
And here is just a full view of more of my acts.

Now, Kris does things a little more wonky….

Now I apologize for the blurriness and crazy tones in the pictures, that was my fault. However, you can see, Kris likes to lay out a bubble plot where he has lines that connect in various ways. How did he say it again? *shuffling papers around, flinging post-it notes here and there* AH! here it is, “double lines are plot progression, single lines or connected bubbles are relevant or progressing ideas”.

There you have it. He included several pictures of his more detailed outlines where he has it more neatly laid out but I thought the bubbles were the cooler part of that whole process.  He has pushed himself so far and I am so proud of him. I have really enjoyed getting to brainstorm with him about ideas for both of our stories since they both take place in the same world. He is even going to have one of my main plot points show up in his book for like a few seconds. *girly sequel* How romantic is that! Well, Until next time Keyboard Couple readers!

 

Same Bat Time, Same Bat Place!

 

*Groovy bat symbol spiny sound*