Posted in cats, depression, Christmas, community, homeless, storage, friends, disability

12/14: Christmas cards?

So, being homeless and depressed, I can’t really decorate or celebrate the way I’d prefer. While begging for money to help cover storage isn’t beneath me at the moment (other expenses and not as many tasks rolling in so far), I would love little thing: Christmas cards. If you don’t want your address and such be known, just “self address” it (use my p.o. box, etc as the return address as well as the receiving address). 

Getting in the spirit is tough when your life is in limbo. Not to mention stressful.

(Not my legal surname below, but the cards will get there.)

So, if you’re so inclined:

Amanda Wolfe

P.O. Box 2113

Portland, OR 97208

Yes, I’m broadcasting that. It’s one of thousands of boxes in Portland. And still a few hundred or so in that zip code alone. I usually have my box number up somewhere online anyway, so no biggie. Not a home or work address. 

And if people were so inclined to send something from my Amazon wishlist or Portia’s list, I’m cool with that. I should say I don’t need socks, but Heat Holders are a freaking Godsend for my poor “always cold” feet. 

I just love the idea of getting cards. 

~A

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Posted in C-PTSD, chronic pain, crowdfunding, depression, disability, health, homeless, insomnia, life, peace, PTSD, storage, urgent

12/13: ask? 

Storage: not sure if I’ll have anywhere near enough for December. Not getting as many tasks as last month. Any help to keep it up would be vastly appreciated. 

A Peace Offering: I can’t go into details, but there’s something I want to do that I’d like to do before Christmas, but between storage and such, I can’t place the order I need to in time and also save up for storage. It isn’t wildly expensive, but add it to storage (302 + late fees), and I really don’t have the funds. 

This has been the suckiest year on record for me… and that says a lot as I’ve never had any one really good year. I’m trying, but shit is holding me down. 

Anywhoooo…

This late night begging/rambling brought to you by pain meds at 1am.

~A

Posted in activism, anxiety, community, depression, faith, family, friends, grief, homeless, housing, life, poetry, society, urgent, writing

11/18: Feeling Broken

Something happened today.
Something that ripped me to pieces.
I want to believe there are humans
Who understand what being
HUMAN
Is like.
What being
HOMELESS
Is like.
My day was okay.
Except one brief moment.
That formed a black cloud
Over my head.
My soul is soaked through.
My heart and mind
Need to be wrung out.
The cloud weighed me down.
I wonder now.
Who among us
Has compassion?
A safe place for a woman and her cat?
When the world buckles underneath you,
Who do you turn to when it makes you fall?
When the help you need the most is not the help family can give you?
Where do you go?
When you scream for help, but there is
None to be found.
~A.
November 2017

Posted in chronic pain, community, disability, health, homeless, life, medical

11/15: Back Down

Recent pic of Portia begging for a tortilla chip. No, they are not cat food. (Didn’t give one to her)

I’ve lived with sciatica over half my life now. I know when I can “power through it” and when I need to stop and rest. Today is rest. I was on the NB yellow line MAX train that couldn’t continue because of the stabbing on a SB yellow line MAX a few stop north of where I was. The stabbing happened at the Denver stop, but the assailant jumped on the SB train and was apprehended at the Rosa Parks stop. My stop. I was two stops south. There were police, etc at the RP stop. Instead of waiting for the bus bridge to show up, I hoofed it. I regret that now. I didn’t have a lot on me, but that much walking, on top of what I’d already done earlier, my back said, “NOPE! Not gonna do anything today.”

I had an off-book job with a return client set for today. But my back -more precisely my sciatica- said otherwise. If it’s just hitting one spot, such as my hip, I can adapt and work through it. Today, however, the pain is up around a 7 on the scale and it’s radiating down to my knee. 

No bueno.

So, pain meds and rest. Rescheduled for tomorrow. There isn’t much else that can be done for my back and the sciatica. I would like to join a gym and work on the machines to strengthen my back muscles. I proved that I can get the slipped discs back in place with work on the machines. I did that over 20 years ago. Slipped the same discs at 17. I continued to dance and started lifting weights and by 22, the discs were no longer out of whack. 

Sciatica is still there and always will be, but I know I can bring the pain levels and recurrence of severe days like today down… I did it before, I can do it again. No space to dance, but if I can find a close-in gym that’s really affordable, I need to carve out some of my meager income and go.
For now, I rest. My back has informed me that I need to do this. I listen.

~A

Posted in cats, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, disability, friends, health, homeless, housing, life, medical, Personal, storage

11/12: Pain, Storage, and Life

This has been a weird, wild, crazy, fucked up year. One lesson I’ve learned is to not the universe… because it will come right back and smack you down… hard. I am, reluctantly, asking for a teeny bit of help. I don’t expect miracles.

I make as much as possible from tasks, but as anyone else in the ‘gig economy’ can tell you, it could be booming one week and dry the next. Two weeks ago, I had a handful of tasks. They paid out, I took care of a few bills, but have come up short for storage.

I also want to get ahead of the game for December. I have some empty boxes and a few items to take down to storage, but can’t get in right now due to November not being paid up yet. I may have a task tomorrow, but no confirmation yet. No one task will cover my expenses. Right now I owe 320 or so. I may have half that, but not sure.

Honestly, I’m not sure how much longer I can keep doing furniture assembly with how my back is getting. I have good moments, but the bad moments are getting bigger and more painful. I feel like they missed a lot when I re-injured it in 2012. They only x-rayed my tailbone and the few vertebra above it (which is how I know I re-injured the discs), but there’s pain that doesn’t fit with slipped discs and sciatica. I just want answers.

The pain limits my ability to go on tasks. I’m in the middle of one where I’m just feeding the client’s cat. The walking and bus rides there are back have me down for the count when I get back here to the house.

As for where I’m living… trust me, I’d much prefer to be in my own place, no roommates, no nothing… me and my cat. And eventually a second cat again. But I need steady work first. I met with my VR counselor and she gave me the link for the housing lists. One problem with these: they’re always full and they aren’t always accepting names. This is for low income housing, which is a rare thing here, although more here than other metro regions. In other areas it was either Section 8 or market rate. Here there’s Sec 8, Low Income (subsidized), and market rate. But the lists for Sec 8 are 4-6 years long and low income is nearly as bad.

We will see how things go. Back to stuff…

~A

 

Posted in activism, bigotry, bugaboos, community, faith, homeless, life, society

11/7: Humans aren’t always Humane

Humans are strange critters. Granted, the homeless man probably shouldn’t have been begging ON the MAX, but nevertheless, he was. This woman across from me though… she had this air about her that screamed “I’m a churchgoing conservative” … I know the type all too well. He stopped and asked her. Her response?
“What are you asking ME for?”
Here’s what I take issue with: You can (and should) be polite to all people, no matter where they are in life. Many of us are one or two paychecks away from being where this man is… hell, where -I- am. Homeless. Not enough people realize this is very much their reality as well. We are all made of the same starstuff. Her response could have been much better. Even a simple, “Sorry, I don’t have any cash” is enough. I rarely have cash on me, and when I do, it’s usually for something specific. If I do have ‘spare’ cash, I will give it. Because I know what it feels like to ask for help.
I imagine that woman on the train today has never had to ask for help. I pity her more than the homeless man. If she is a churchgoing “Christian,” I don’t think Jesus would be too pleased with her behavior. His teachings were few, but enough to get the general idea.
Love, not hate. 
Not a difficult concept, really. But it doesn’t seem to get through to enough people. I’m not going to get all preachy or anything right now. I just wonder about people like that woman today. If she were in his shoes, even for a while, maybe… just maybe, she would come out the other end of that experience a better Christian. For those who consider themselves people of faith, especially Christians, how would your God react if they saw you treating someone this way?
~A
Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, chronic pain, creativity, depression, disability, dreams, empath life, eviction, faith, friends, grad school, grief, health, homeless, housing, insomnia, job hunting, life, medical, Personal, writing

10/21: Living Outside My Own Life

More “frustration contemplation” … bear with me.

I’ve chattered on about the various things I do: writing fiction, etc, costuming, grad school, and a bunch of other things. I’ve also talked -at length- about depression, grief, homelessness, being unemployed, being disabled, etc…

Right now, I feel like I’m not living my life. I’m trying to move forward, busted my ass and made promises to get back to school and finish this term, but I’m flailing again… each week flies by me and I look up to find myself even further behind and royally fucked. My own doing. Job hunting is the same. I feel removed from the life I’m supposed to be living.

My health hasn’t helped this, but neither has being homeless and jobless, and … yeah. I know I need to do X, Y, and Z… but I don’t … I… fuck it. This is difficult to put into words on a ‘page.’

I see ME doing all these things in my head. I KNOW I can do them, but I feel like… like there’s a door between the me I am at this moment and the me who can do all those things. That door is locked and deadbolted and can’t be gotten through. And I don’t know where the keys are. I know they exist, but not what they look like or where they may be. I feel as if I’m standing at the window next to the door, looking in. Seeing this other me accomplishing things. But she can’t hear me banging on the window and door to let me in.

Every time I try to jump back in, break down that door, the brain fog returns. The disconnectedness. The feeling like my life is RIGHT FUCKING THERE!!! and it’s just out of reach. I can hear it, smell it, see it… but I can’t step into it and DO it.

Is my being “in between” [i.e. homeless] part of it? Likely. Is being jobless for over two years part of it? Very likely. Nothing like spinning your wheels in a job hunt and getting nowhere. The rare interview I do get, I don’t get hired. Despite the fact that my VR coach has said I interview very well.

I feel as if I can’t fully be ME where I am. Not my kitchen, not my bed, not my bathroom, not my home.

A lot of it started when I lost my dad in 2014. Before I was evicted. My dad was my anchor in life. If I felt lost, I could call him and he’d say what was needed to get me back to center. It’s been nearly 3 years now. A couple of weeks away. I slowly began to slip after he died. I was able to keep shit together to some degree for a while, but over a year later, my own disintegration became more obvious. The fog settled in. It lifts every so often for a brief moment or two, then returns to envelope me, keeping me from my life.

It’s looking -to me at least, from my own digging around- that Chronic Fatigue/Adrenal Fatigue is a distinct possibility. Long term stress makes it worse. Look at my life of the past 12 months… it’s been pretty fucking stressful. But getting out of this mess. How?

CFS/AFS has no cure. Doctors treat the symptoms at best. I’m on Vitamin D (enough to choke a large farm animal), and Celexa, among other meds for things like my asthma and allergies, my tachycardia, and “as needed” pain meds.

Is my current living situation part of the issue? The late start to mornings here… the people I’m staying with are retirees, so they stay up late and get up late. I stay up to about 11 and try to get up at a reasonable hour in the morning (Furry Alarm Clock gives me no choice), but I’m groggy and stumble around. Fall back asleep and wake up a few hours later… late morning. There are other “environmental factors” as well, but I won’t go into those. And no, setting an alarm doesn’t help. Tried that. Keep trying it every so often.

But that brain fog… lack of oomph… standing outside of my life… I don’t know how to fix that.

~A

Posted in C-PTSD, chronic pain, creativity, depression, empath life, eviction, food cravings, friends, grad school, health, history, homeless, job hunting, life, medical, Personal, research, silliness, storage

9/21: Like I Really Need to Write More on Here Today… SQUIRREL!!! (shit)

*sigh* It feels strange to NOT be begging for help after the last several days. I would say the last week-ish has been madness for me. I went from “great! I’m gonna get back to school and finish my degree!” to Cluster(fuck) Headache for 6 days, then that resolved, then “oh shit, storage!!! help!”

No wonder I’m freaking exhausted right now. I think most people would just curl up into a ball after the past 8 days. Actually, I kinda want to do that. I also want Thai food… and Hot & Sour Soup. I LOVE me some really good H&S soup. It better be a bowl of incredible goodness that can clear the magma chambers of Mt St. Helens… nice and hot. Dammit.

I had nothing left… well, not enough to order food via Postmates. Also, they’re being assholes with my debit card… sooo…. yeah. I ended up with Annie’s Gluten Free Mac & Cheese… microwave M&C… it’s decent… but it isn’t Pad Thai and H&S soup.

In case anyone who reads this blog hasn’t noticed, 2017 has really, REALLY SUCKED for me. And I’m not even bringing political fuckery into that picture.

Oh… yeah… when I’m tired, I get all rambly… like now.

Someone sent me a message request on FB… asking if there was a way for me to split my stuff up and have friends store it. I still haven’t accepted his message (I will, really) and replied, but this is my answer in case anyone else was wondering the same thing: No one I know has the room. Two friends (well, married pairs of friends, so four friends, technically)

Oh look… SQUIRREL!!!!

Where was I? Oh yeah… friends of mine are holding a few bins of fabric from when I had tried to downsize a previous storage unit and hauled them back to my apartment… and then the management said “no… you can’t have all those in your apartment… it’s a fire hazard” … welp… fuck. I need to get those bins back from said friends (one pair has asked when that would be possible… ummm.. when I can make enough room in storage?).

One must understand geeks/creatives like me. We have “stuff” … a lot of “stuff.” Some of the “stuff” in storage can be (and will be… once I can reach it) downsized, trashed, etc. Some will get sold off… I really don’t need three sets of speakers. One set… one is good. I have a buyer for one pair… some furniture will be broken down and trashed… I kinda beat them up a bit during the eviction. Sadly.  That really was a nice sideboard… it would just need a lot of shoring up with metal bits to hold it together (which I could realistically do… not sure yet)

(don’t mind me… my brain is bouncing around between ‘things’ as I type… this is kinda ‘stream of consciousness’ blogging when I’m like this)

I don’t have the physical energy (yay for chronic pain/fatigue… NOT!!!) to tackle my storage unit alone. I get a few feet in and I need to sit my ass down and rest. I am not joking.

This has been a wild week. Still need to play catch up with school stuff (thinking of taking my Chromebook, Kindle, and iPod with me tomorrow and alternate between school things and working on storage… I’d be offline, as it’s one huge steel and concrete building… signal? What signal? Psshhh).

One of the many things I am grateful for with this week is an answer to the issue of my headaches. The fact that it responded well to oxygen therapy is HUGE for me. I’ve been on birth control to help manage hormones, as they were presenting after every other month’s cycle. We chalked it up to wonky hormones and have been managing them that way. But even if hormones are affecting them, the headaches are something else. I looked up “one sided headaches” and cluster headaches were the clearest answer. While migraines and tension headaches can present on one side, they tend to be present on either side, and mine have always been on the right. Cluster headaches are always one sided and most commonly on the right. No one really knows what causes them. I looked at a few medical sites. But oxygen therapy helps them. Seriously, it fucking WORKED. 15 minutes breathing pure oxygen made the vast majority of the pain go away (I also have TMJ pain, so that wasn’t helping either).

Medical stuff is one of the “big uglies” that has impeded my life. If I even tried to list the shit I’ve been through that has sidelined me for some length of time… I know I’d forget something. Big things, little things… everything from Cellulitis to breaking a toe… This year, it was the eviction, which exacerbated my back injury, knee injuries, drove me deeper into depression, sidelined schooling and job hunting to some degree… I’m not fully out of the woods, but feeling better. It’s been a shit year, but I’m slowly climbing back out of the abyss.

With a little help from my friends (and a few strangers online).

When I got back from my errands today (which ended with an eye exam and ordering new glasses… I’m getting old… new pairs will be bifocals… and Voc Rehab is covering them as they are something needed for working), the number of page hits for this little personal blog were higher than I’d ever had since I started blogging. I’ve had different sites/blogs over the years. This is my personal one. I have another one I’m working on starting, but it’ll take me a bit. It’ll be about archives and history. That’s what my grad degree is in. But other than linking to it from here, I want to keep them separate. Last thing I need is potential fellow archives folks (and potential bosses/coworkers) seeing all my personal ramblings…. yeeaaahhhh, no. It was around 172 at the time. Now? 188.

I think I’ve gotten most of the rambling out of my system. That’ll be all for the night… I think.

~A

Posted in anxiety, community, depression, homeless, life, Personal, storage

9/21: Thank You

THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! 

Storage is out of the woods. I just got back from a day of errands, which started with stopping at the post office to get my mail, and then to storage to pay the bill and put a new lock on it. I grabbed a few things that were near the front and then headed off to my next stop. I do want to desperately go back with a bunch of friends and really dig in and sort the whole mess. I can’t get back to the back corner (it’s an 8×20 unit and the door is half of one of the long walls…it’s 8′ deep, 20′ wide, jam-packed).

That’s what happens when one is homeless and has “stuff.” Here’s the thing: once I get into my own place again, I can downsize back to a smaller (cheaper) unit. It isn’t like this is all “excess” stuff, this is all my household things… some furniture, my mattress, kitchen supplies, etc… plus my collections of books, music, fabric, costumes, and random other things. My dad’s coffin flag, my piano (electric. my dad wanted so badly to see me return to music, so that was my “legacy purchase” with the estate money).

I won’t need the 8×20 unit forever. This is a temporary thing while I’m “in between” homes of my own. I would love the help in tackling organizing it better… so if you’re local to PDX and want to help and aren’t a total gimp with chronic fatigue like me, let me know. I’ll supply water/soda and granola/protein bars. I have two seats (small office chair and the padded piano bench) but there’s plenty of space to spread out.

And the offer stands… for those who helped, especially those who donated, if you want copies of my three published books, let me know. I can place an order in October.

Again, thank you to everyone who helped. People have asked me how I’m surviving this even deeper pit of hell with being homeless… it’s because of my cat and my friends. Portia, the cat, makes me laugh and lets me bury my face in her plentiful fur when I need to… and my friends help me in every other way. It isn’t easy. But I’m surviving. One day at a time…

~Amanda

Posted in community, crowdfunding, friends, homeless, life, Personal, storage

9/21: all set!

Another donation came in… $100. And a very good friend has covered the remainder. 

With the way my life goes, school funds will show tomorrow. Honestly, I doubt it, as they take time to process stuff… 

Portia is holding my left ankle down. Wish she had slept on my feet last night… I was cold. She’s a stubborn girl. Does what she likes: sleeping, eating, zooming around the space we’re in like her butt-fur is on fire, and watching the squirrels skitter by in the back yard.

I’ll post more later. Want a bit more rest before I go galavanting all over PDX for storage (1st), pick up scrips (2nd), and then put on the east side for an eye exam (covered by voc rehab because my eyes are kinda important for getting and doing work). 

~A