This is one of the hard days

Today’s post is going to be a shit sandwich. Fun, good stuff on the outside, crap in the middle.

I found an ancient Ande’s mint today and it was the first one I thought didn’t taste like nostalgia and happiness. It kept chasing me. I think it was haunted. When I disturbed it in it’s tomb, the back of my snack cupboard, I kicked off the minor but tasty curse.

I have a snack cupboard. I chide the kids for having food in their rooms, or for marking their names on food in big back letters, since it’s pretty much “everyone’s” food, unless they bought it themselves. Which in later years, they have. Battles can be lost if you keep the big picture on the War. So this is my bunker.

When we’re at the grocery store and I’m randomly dropping smokehouse almonds, bags of Andes mints, or a package of traditionally flavored Oreos in the cart, those are my treats. Back in the day, the kids would holler for this or that and we’d throw “we have that at home” at them while cackling internally.

When we get home I grab all of my precious snacks and put them up in a high cupboard. Wife is short, and the kids used to be. So it wasn’t a hiding place, it was an inaccessible place. After years though treats pile up, get pushed to the back, and get hidden under containers of Oats that are I-have-no-idea how many years old now.

On the master “To Do” list one of the tasks is “clean out the snack cupboard” and today I found myself confused, standing in the kitchen waiting for a thought or purpose in life to swing back around into my brain. I thought I might as well hit the snack cupboard. The “Everything Bagel” rice crisps and a bunch of other health intended items went right in the trash. All of them were opened with hope and abandoned with a taste that wasn’t hopeful.

I tidied up the snacks that remained, and found one lone Ande’s mint. They’re a weak spot for me, as they taste just like Fanny Farmer mint chocolate combination bars. Just went to find a helpful illustration to steal, and found out Fanny Farmer got bought out by Fanny Mae, and now the perfect treat is associated with student loans. They had a “bar” that was chocolate with a layer of light green chocolate on top, and tasted like Ande’s mints do now. Only 1000 times better. They came in fancy foil wrappings. The Fanny Farmer shops were always bright and clean and full of chocolate. Buying something that wasn’t chocolate was like going to the salad bar instead of taking the all you can eat steak option at Fogo.

My aunt would take us there when we visited her downtown. She was very hip. Called her apartment a “pad” back when that was actually a thing, and tells great stories of the political unrest in Chicago in the late 60’s. In the 70’s she had a variety of jobs while getting hired for her profession here in town. One of the jobs was to hand out chocolate samples at convenience stores. Also, she lived next to a convenience store, so every time we visited her, it was time to load up on the candy and pop! No matter how old that aunt and uncle get, they’ll always be the cool ones. She would buy us one thing at Fanny Farmer, usually, and it felt a bit like the scenes early on in Willy Wonka, with the candy shop.

So now I get Ande’s mints (please sponsor me, Ande’s Mints!) and it remembers me of those times. And they taste good. I ration them out, for the most part. And I don’t often share them. The package sucks though, as you’re pretty much all in once you open it. Invariably one or two sneak out and you have to deal with them later. Well, this one was old. Like, so old it seemed like it would call it’s first apartment a “pad.”

The mint jumped out of the cupboard, onto the counter, and down to the floor. It didn’t fall, it jumped. Like it knew the jig was up and it wanted to escape or just get it over with. As I’m bending down to capture it, the tea boxes on the other side of the cupboard see their opportunity and decide to go for it while my back was turned. I grabbed one of them, but it back up, and another jumped out. I finally contained them and closed the doors solidly, but couldn’t help but feel like something, or someone, was telling me it was time to finish off the little mint. It was the curse!

I ate the mint, and while it wasn’t as sharp as they usually are, it was still a good thing. And I got to check off “clean the snack cupboard” from the task list today. Little victories.

Today is not one of the good days. It’s one of the bad days prophesized by everyone on my care team. I wouldn’t even say it’s interesting enough to be called a “one step back” day, it’s just a hard day. It’s cold outside, though I did get some porch time. It seemed gray out before the sun set an hour too soon, not that I went out to find out. I haven’t slept properly in a couple days, and that’s always bad for the mental health. So I’ve decided not to write anything or give any of my feelings validity today, because of the exhaustion and where they’ll put me, mentally. Then a 250 word post turns into 1500. Oops.

I’ve had a headache, which doesn’t help. I think the last time I was this tired I was in the hospital. We’re changing up my sleep meds and it’s not going well, but “it’s a process” so I’ll suck it up for another night to see if things settle down. I don’t think they will. So today – and this week – feel like writeoffs. But they aren’t.

I am still broken. I feel like I have a broken leg, got my ambulance ride, a cast, and sent home with a pillow. Now it’s the inconvenient state of healing. Only I’m not sure I got any salve? We’re waiting for meds and regimens to kick in, which is the professional depressive’s worst activity. We just get to sit in whatever we have at the time and “use our tools” to deal with situational issues. These are the days when there is no trauma, no drama, and nothing to be able to complain about. “Same” is how you answer when someone asks how you’re doing. I’m not flat, I’m not deep in the hole, but it’s all there, and reminding me that some of us are just a head cold or broken toe away from falling back into the pit. My perspective is still pretty bright though.

It’s the kind of day that you don’t need support. You want support. But you have nothing you need specifically. And to be honest, you really don’t want support, because that involves putting the human face on and being thankful. It’s the kind of day that’s actually boring. You’re not getting worse, you’re not getting better, and the Anxiety and Depression personalities must be taking a day off, because it’s actually a bit lonely without them making noise in the head. They’re there, somewhere. I don’t miss Suicidal Ideation, though I may think of her from time to time, remembering the good times.

But I cleaned out the snack cupboard. And have started and am dedicated to completing one basket of laundry. And I did some cross stitching during program this morning, and played a bit of Animal Crossing as a mindfulness activity. I ate lunch (2+ meals a day, remember, regardless of how you feel) and made a bologna and cheese sandwich. So it’s good to notice the things I got done, and the time I didn’t spend in bed or on the couch. Also, I remembered the awe inspiring, actually spiritually beautiful moon last night.

I guess it wasn’t so much a shit sandwich post, it was more of a cheese sandwich post.

That’s a term from the old days of “weblogs” when people would write a post about having a cheese sandwich for lunch. Isn’t it great that Internet content has evolved to much since 2004? https://ask.metafilter.com/5587/I-ate-a-cheese-sandwich

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