Question of the day (15th June).

What makes you nervous no matter how many times you do it?

My answer:

There are loads of such things, but one that comes to my mind is definitely peopling in general. That is, sometimes I’m less nervous than other times, and there are times when I’m almost not anxious at all, but if we assume that the longer/more often you do something, the less nervous you become over time when doing it, here it just doesn’t apply. As for how much I’m nervous during a social interaction, I feel like a lot of the time it’s pretty random, which baffled me for a long time because I’d hear people with “normal” social anxiety always say how they’re always anxious or nervous with strangers, or in some specific kinds of situations, while for me there are times when I feel nervous talking to my own Mum, even though we generally have a very good relationship, or I can have trouble writing to someone online whom I like and know well, and there can be times when I can hold a fairly normal conversation with someone I barely know or even a total stranger, and even enjoy it, and the person mmight even end up commenting how very outgoing I am. πŸ˜€ I used to explain to them that I don’t, or even when I was a child my Mum would explain that it’s not like that, but now I no longer do as it’s not their business really, and they usually wouldn’t believe me anyway when I’d say that actually I’m normally very anxious around people and they’d say things like that everyone is a bit anxious sometimes, like my last therapist, for example, haha. The next day, my anxiety may work completely inversely, or I’ll be scared of all people equally. It used to really confuse me, well, still does in a way, but I used to think that because it’s not really like I have very clear social anxiety triggers beyond a few, I can’t have valid social anxiety and either it’s something else or I’m somehow making it up or whatever. I still haven’t fully figured out what may be the reasons behind such a weird, changing pattern, although I have some theories and think there may be multiple factors involved, but a lot has been cleared up for me when I learned that in fact I don’t have the classic social anxiety, but instead I have AVPD, in which the anxiety doesn’t have to necessarily be triggered by any specific situation, it’s just some general people phobia with some other, additional gimmicks to make things more interesting.

Another such thing for me is definitely horse riding. I haven’t done that in quite some time now, but I used to for many years, and despite that, I would always be more or less anxious beforehand, and as much as I absolutely love it, the anxiety could seriously get in the way or even spoil things completely sometimes. I’ve written here many times before how my fear started out mostly due to my balance problems and having obligatory hippotherapy at nursery, but then later on, after a few years’ break, my Mum got me back into it at our local stud where I grew to love it and also really bonded not just with my horse but also my instructor. I still experienced all the same issues that I did before, but since I learned that horse riding can be enjoyable and started doing it not just in a therapeutic but also more properly sporty way, I was able to overcome my fears enough that my love of riding and for my horse was stronger than the anxiety and most of the time I was able to motivate myself to do it, even if it took me some 15 minutes on horseback to relax and feel it properly. After those fifteen minutes I would usually start feeling way better, euphoric even. I always found it really annoying that it took me so long to get into it and that I was so shaky beforehand and for the first few minutes while riding, which also affected the way I rode since all my muscles were tense and of course my horse picked up on it too. My main horse was really phlegmatic and hardly moved by anything, which I found very reassuring, so he didn’t catch the anxiety from me like some horses do, but it was definitely an obstacle in our communication. So when I was put on the anti-anxiety medication I always took half of the pill before the riding to calm me down a bit. Sometimes it worked, sometimes I didn’t feel it at all. Then I guess at some point my brain started protesting louder and my anxiety became almost as strong as my love for riding and it was harder and harder to motivate myself to actually do it and I didn’t see much point if I was feeling horrid hours in advance. So that was one of the reasons why I stopped doing it, although I still don’t know yet if it’ll be permanently or not.

And yet another thing which very often makes me nervous is change. We all deal with changes in our lives a lot, but some of us I guess just never get used to it. Not all changes freak me out, but major or sudden ones or such that involve leaving behind something that I was emotionally connected to tend to be difficult. New things I have to get used to are also difficult, they may not always scare me but the stress related to getting used to the new thing can be rather exhausting, even if it’s sometimes exciting at the same time.

What is such a thing(s) for you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What do you do for exercise/recreation?

My answer:

I used to do a lot of horse riding, which was my main, if not only, form of exercise for many years. I’m not really into any other sports, nor am I good at them. I started with it in primary school only in the form of hippotherapy, because that’s what is mainly done at the stud where I go to, as it mostly serves disabled people, most of them quite severely disabled with severe forms of cerebral palsy and severe things. However, my hippotherapist is also a riding instructor and at some point she suggested to me that we could do more of riding as a sport, since I don’t have a severe movement-related disability, and do just elements of hippotherapy in it, which I was very happy to do. I also participated in some local competitions for disabled youth. Now though, things with my horse riding have been suspended for a looong time and I don’t really even know when/if they’ll go back to normal, for several reasons. First there’s the pandemic now. Even if it perhaps is an option for some people to do sports while wearing a mask (I have no idea how they do it) it is definitely not an option for me, because despite I’ve been riding for years, I’m at the same time allergic to horses and while this allergy is mild enough that it can be super easily managed with anti-allergy meds before and after the ride, I still do experience some mild respiratory symptoms of it, and having to additionally wear a mask would make breathing rather tricky. Social distancing wouldn’t work either because my riding instructor assists me a lot of the time especially when we’re somewhere that I’m not familiar with or when I’m learning some new technique or something or sometimes she holds me when I do some exercises on horseback that I feel insecure about because of balance stuff.

Besides that, even before the pandemic my instructor has had a crazy life. She had a breast cancer two years ago, which thankfully is a thing of the past now, but as she says it made her change her life and realise that she wasn’t prioritising the right things before. Besides being a horse riding instructor and hippotherapist, as well as a keen equestrian herself, she is also a very busy neurologist by profession, and a mum of a primary school-aged boy on top of all that. Before the cancer, I remember her as being always super busy and in a hurry and she kept saying that she wished a day would have more hours so she could squeeze more things in it that she had to do, yet she was also always very positive and energetic and rarely seemed very tired or worn out with all the comotion going on in her life. Yet when she got the cancer and several other things started going wrong in her life at the same time, it made her realise that she really needs to prioritise her mum role over her professional life, and maybe focus some more on her own riding for pleasure, which she had very little time and opportunity to pursue because she was constantly teaching other people and she had no time for riding just for the sake of it. That meant that she decided to slow down with work a bit and also with the stud, so I was seeing her less often. Then there was also some financial trouble they were having with the stud, and then my horse – ŁoΕ› (or Elk in English) – the one on which I rode primarily, died. All the horses at the stud where I go are older, often have some diseases and stuff or have had difficult or traumatic experiences before. ŁoΕ› was no exception, he was in his 20’s and had several illnesses, but ultimately died of bronchitis. Because my horse riding was very irregular already then, I only learned about the fact a lot later and it was a huge shock, because we’ve known each other for like ten years and we were a really good team, even though he would often fall asleep or get lost in his daydreams while I was riding him. πŸ˜€ After that, when I did go riding, I would usually ride on another horse – Rudy (or Redhead in English) – a very cute fjord horse whom I used to ride already before whenever ŁoΕ› had a day off or something and we knew each other well, and I really do like him very much as well, in fact, in a lot of ways, Rudy is easier to ride because he’s a lot smaller, lighter and a lot more sensorily perceptive so riding him requires a lot less strength and muscle effort, and he’s also a LOT shorter so I feel less insecure in terms of balance. But at the same time I never felt like we get along sort of emotionally as well as we always did with ŁoΕ›, we’re on quite different wavelengths while with ŁoΕ› we clicked instantly, so much so that even though I used to be scared of riding before, it miraculously changed the first time I rode him, or at least got alleviated enough that, despite the anxiety, I was able to fall in love with riding enough that I wanted to continue it even though I’d always be very nervous beforehand. He always was extremely sensitive to my feelings and especially when I was anxious. Often, even just his presence made me feel more at ease, perhaps because he was absolutely, unbelievably phlegmatic, like you’dthink absolutely nothing can phase him as if he was half-asleep all the time. πŸ˜€ Rudy is a lot more lively, which is super cool because you can have more fun with him and generally do more spontaneous things, but we just don’t have as much of the emotional connection and he’s quite anxious himself so my anxiety makes him more anxious and vice versa.

Then during winter before the pandemic has started, I got that weird, recurrent thing on my calf that I sometimes get during winter, apparently it’s similar to eczema but I don’t know really what it is or what’s the actual cause, anyways, it takes ages to heal and it hurts when walking and stuff or when something rubs on it which is quite hard to avoid when you’re riding and have riding boots on. So during winter I stopped riding completely. I’m always massively frustrated when that leg thing happens to me because as you can figure out I do love riding very much, but that year, my frustration was accompanied by a hint of relief that I won’t feel obliged to ride. Because the last few months of my riding, I found it more difficult than before. I wrote here many times before about my first experiences with riding in nursery and how I didn’t really like them and found horse riding super scary because of my balance problems, but how I then got into it later at our local stud because Mum read that hippotherapy would be beneficial to me. Even though I ended up loving horse riding, partly because of my very competent instructor and her being able to understand my issues around it, and partly due to ŁoΕ› magic, I never fully got rid of the anxiety and always felt quite anxious before riding and it took me some time to relax. Some times were worse than others. And I guess after ŁoΕ›’s death things got a bit worse generally and it became more difficult for me to feel at ease when riding, so that finally at some point it started to become more and more of a struggle for me to actually motivate myself to do it, and was no longer as much of a pleasure as it used to be.

So now, having not ridden since before the start of the pandemic, I don’t know if I’ll get back into it. I’d love to, I miss being in the saddle, I miss that feeling when I am finally able to relax my brain and my muscles while riding and I miss how freeing riding can be once you relax, I miss Rudy and I miss my instructor, with whom I really enjoy talking. But on the other hand I’m not sure, I just have super mixed feelings about it. Also I know that, while I’ve experienced a lot of benefits from horse riding, at the same time it’s very paradoxical that that’s the sport I’ve been doing, because I lack pretty much all the skills that are said to be required to be a good rider. My balance, coordination and sensory integration are all fairly rubbish, and I’m allergic to horses on top of that. Still, I’ve been told that I’m a pretty good rider despite that, given my possibilities, and I do feel I’ve achieved a lot and am quite proud of myself in this department. Being an equestrian is definitely a part of my identity since I’ve been doing it for years, and it would feel weird to decide that I’m no longer going to do it. And I don’t have as much interest in any other sport or physical activity, so I don’t know what I’d do instead. Yet at the same time I think it’s not really something for me because of my difficulties. I just don’t know.

But because I don’t do horse riding for now and I haven’t yet made up my mind on whether I will or not, I think I still need to do something so that if I decide to go back to it, I won’t realise that I’ve regressed physically. Therefore, I regularly go for walks with my Mum when we both can, often quite long ones, which I like as it can be a good way to clear your mind, although not as effective and cathartic as horse riding can be. I also do some low-key core exercises at home that my instructor recommended to me and that I also used to do in between my riding days, which I consider fairly boring as any form of workout so I’m not always as systematic with it as I should, these days, but it’s just to keep my muscles in some kind of shape.

How about you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Ok, so I haven’t posted any questions of the day in a while, so let’s just have some general questions to catch up how we’re all doing.

How have you been doing?

My answer:

I’m focused very much on the My Inner Mishmash Readership Award. Everything is almost completed and I’ve only got a couple more things to do and then send it out. I suppose it might in the end be sooner than 26th November as I planned. As you may know from my Coffee Share post some time ago, I’ve got a package from a friend in the UK recently and I was genuinely surprised how long it took for it to get to me since she had sent it! So I thought I’d better do it sooner than later. Things are going really well so far and I’m very positively surprised with how all that special stuff I wanted to prepare for the winners went out in the end, I was a little apprehensive about that to be honest, but everyone around me has only positive feedback so that’s good, I don’t think they could be lying. Now Zofijka also wants an award. πŸ˜€

My computer has been acting up. I mean, it’s 5 years old, and it’s acting up since I guess March, but lately things are getting really crazy, something seems to be wrong with the drive and random programme and system files get damaged for a reason that remains an utter mystery to me. I have a feeling it could have to do with the drive cloning that was done in March, maybe something went wrong or whatever. Anyway, it looks rather unpleasant, like, you don’t know what will stop working today. When I reboot it, it does a lot of some weird scanning before the system actually starts, I only know about it from my Mum because my screen-reader doesn’t turn on by then yet, and usually during that scanning things repair but sometimes they don’t, or something else gets damaged straight away. I still don’t have my new one if you’re curious because it got damaged during the delivery so it doesn’t even work at all, we filed a complaint to the delivery company so that they would pay for the repair but they don’t seem to be up to it. I have mixed feelings about that. My old laptop is crying for rest and I’m afraid that it really won’t cope much longer with the amount of things I do on it, but at the same time I hate hate hate changes, and that will be a major change for a lot of reasons. But the more it gets delayed, the more anxious I feel about it, I guess.

I can’t go horse riding because I have a weird thing on my calf that is really painful. It happens to me every single year since a couple of years, at the time between autumn and winter. First there is a small, itchy bump, and then, before I realise, it sort of opens up and I end up with a red, throbbing hole that takes months to heal. I’ve tried antibiotics and lots of other stuff for that, but nothing makes it heal faster, and it’s painful when something rubs at it, or when I put a lot of pressure on the calf, which is hard to avoid while riding. It really sucks. I’ve noticed that little bump a couple days ago and I was afraid to even touch it even though it was itching quite a bit, hoping that if I won’t, maybe it’ll just go away. It didn’t. Also the bronchitis season has started for me as well. I don’t have it yet, but I feel increasingly phlegmy and have had to increase my allergy meds so I just know it can come any time now. But perhaps it will pass me this year, who knows. In any case, it seems to come because of the allergy, or episodic asthma that I have, or something like that, and I’m allergic to horses, so I need to be careful. Luckily, my instructor wouldn’t be able to fit me in this week either way, otherwise I’d be really frustrated. Maybe some miracle will happen until next opportunity comes…

Have I told you that Misha was sick? If not, he was sick, he had diarrhea and was vomiting and seemed quite sad and subdued. Mum took him to the vet, she gave him some dewormers, antibiotics and stuff, and said she’s not sure what the problem is, but if it’s not worms, it’s probably hairballs. Misha licks himself a whole lot, apparently more than necessary because of stress. Basically, when something upsets him he’ll isolate himself and lick and lick and lick and lick, Mum jokes that he should have turned snow white long ago from all that licking. When you’ll touch him, he’ll also often immediately start licking dynamically. And that could mean he has more hairballs than normally, plus he doesn’t go out, so he doesn’t have the green stuff to munch on and get rid of the hairballs, plus he doesn’t let anyone else other than Mum to brush him, and Mum only does it when she has the time and remembers about it, and feels like it. So we’ll plant some greens for him. What I always find a bit frustrating is that so many of the cues that Misha sends are not readable to me because I can’t see how he looks or all those more subtle signs, and also with him it’s the eye contact that matters the most and can tell you the most. And I’ve always been afraid and worried that something like this might happen, like that he’d be ill or something else would be wrong, and I wouldn’t notice it in time. That’s one of the reasons that if I lived on my own, or if I ever will, I would not take the responsibility for Misha for sure. And recently Mum said that it looks like we’ve all missed it, and that Misha must have felt unwell for much longer than we thought. He actually had such vomiting and diarrhea episodes in the past, only not as long, and Mum said that only now, as Misha has been treated properly,, she can see that he must have been ill, because now he is so lively as he hadn’t been in ages. His fur is more silky and shiny as well, and I feel like he’s no longer so sad so often. Also today I was carrying him upstairs and I have an impression he’s a bit heavier, which is a very good sign because the vet said he’s too skinny and that’s because he probably didn’t retain a lot of his food as well as he should because of the hairballs. Hairballs are not a serious thing, although I suppose they could be in the long term, but I feel really sad that Misha’s

malaise seemed to be neglected for so long.

So, you? How have you been doing? πŸ™‚

A mid-week coffee and everything else share.

I wanted to do a Weekend Coffee Share post this past weekend (finally), but didn’t end up doing it, of course. I planned to do it on Sunday but had a terrible headache for pretty much all day and didn’t feel like writing anything overly complicated. And, actually, I’m not even sure what I’m going to write about because there’s not that very much going on, or I can’t write about everything that is publicly. So we’ll see where this coffee and tea and everything else share will take us. I hope you’ll join in.

Get yourself a mug or a glass of something delicious to drink, maybe a snack or a meal and let’s get started. I’m just going to drink water because that’s what I feel like drinking right now, and I’ve actually just had supper. But if water doesn’t feel sophisticated enough we can pretend it’s champagne because my water bottle is glass and, according to my Dad, looks very much like a champagne. πŸ˜€ You can have some of my Mum’s chicken and pasta casserole or bring something to the party yourself. πŸ™‚

If we were having coffee, I’d ask all of you how you’re doing…?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am getting more and more excited and thrilled about my project of My Inner Mishmash Readership Award. The official announcement of the winners is going to take place on November 26 (I would like it so anyway) the day when the awards will be sent out to people. I tell everyone that it’s the first year in a long time that I’m excited about Christmas time and can’t wait for it, hahaha. I’d like to make this award my yearly, Christmas tradition, unless the winners will be exactly the same every year. But it’s also quite stressful. I’m not preparing it on my own, my Mum helps me a whole lot obviously and I depend on other people too to prepare some things, so I’m quite stressed out and desperately praying that it’ll be all ready on time, and rushing my Mum all the time because we haven’t even got the half of it done yet. My Mum takes it very slowly with such things, and is often late, so I’m glad I’ve started it out in late September, and if it gets very hectic I might get to it even earlier next year, just in case. But anyway it’s gonna be lots of fun I think, and I hope my winners will feel appreciated and I’ll make them happy.
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that our dog, Jocky, who is 1-and-something-year-old, has been fixed last week. He looks so poorly. It was necessary because there is an awful, old bitch in the neighbourhood who seems to appeal to all the dogs in the area and attracts them with an unbelievable strength. We didn’t want him to go there, and not letting him go was so awful because he would howl all nights and seemed so unhappy. Now he just seems miserable, and the whole experience of getting Jocky fixed was very unpleasant and unsettling for Zofijka, but I believe it’s all temporary.
If we were having coffee I’d tell you that I had a Zombie day on Wednesday. My horse riding instructor offered me that I could go riding that day but I said no, because it just didn’t seem right to ride on a Zombie day. I feel dizzy and floaty on a Zombie day and so my balance on horseback would be even worse, and that would only make me more anxious. Also, well, it requires a good deal of focus for me to ride and do all those exercises that I do, and to do them well, so I would just feel disappointed with myself, and obviously you never have enough energy after a sleepless night. I went riding only once during a Zombie day, and got a massive panic attack and couldn’t recover for ages, and I don’t normally get panic attack as my anxiety is more of a chronic and generalised kind. Anyway, I didn’t go and had a very lazy, hazy and crazy, lousy and drowsy day at home, but it was one of such things that no matter what I would do, I would regret it, so all day I was like “Oh no, why didn’t I go riding? What a pity I couldn’t go riding. Maybe I should go riding? Why did I miss my riding this week?”. Especially that, as you may remember from my post about Zombie days, I struggle a lot with decision making on such days. By the evening I was absolutely exhausted but, already in bed, I tuned in to BBC Radio Cymru and realised with a thrill that this was the day on which the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards ceremony was about to happen, and my current music crush –
Gwilym Bowen Rhys – was one of the nominees for the Folk Singer of the Year Award. So I switched to BBC 2 and, instead of going to sleep as a proper Zombie should at 9 PM, if not much earlier, I listened to the ceremony, and enjoyed it a lot because there were other people too that were either nominated or won some awards, whom I knew and liked. A bit sadly, Gwilym didn’t win, but oh well, I think he has a chance to do so in the future if he’s been already nominated this year. The next day, my instructor said she could fit me in as well, but I decided not to go again, I just didn’t feel quite well mentally, just not in the mood whatsoever.
If we were having coffee I’d tell you that, thankfully, last week my instructor was flexible and could also fit me in on Friday, which I did accept and went riding, as I felt much less shitty. Still not very well but I thought I could manage it and I don’t like having too long breaks because then it’s just harder and I feel more anxious and unsettled beforehand, and it’s just a pity when I have to miss a whole week, and, because my instructor is very busy, it does happen a lot of the time. I was very anxious beforehand despite I still take my medication before riding to feel a bit more at ease. It took me a long time to relax, the more that we decided to go to the forest and ride there. I hadn’t been riding in the forest for about two years! And I had to sort of get used to it again. To the different ground and landforms and it just took me a while to feel more confident. I generally love to ride in the woods far more than just in the hall where you go round and round all the time but this time it was a bit more stressful than enjoyable. I just hope next time, whenever it’ll be, will be better. It was Rudy’s 20th birthday (60 or 60-something in human years) so he’s got lots of carrots afterwards. But before we finished, we came back to the hall for a while, and I did quite a few circles of both sitting trot and rising to the trot and some balance exercises, and riding sidesaddle – like ladies used to in the olden days. – We have no sidesaddle as such in the stud but I was just riding as if I was in a sidesaddle, in such a position. It is also a very good (and very scary) balance exercise. Previously I was able to do only one circle of it and was all dizzy afterwards, but this time I dared to do a few circles, though still with my instructor’s assistance. I am hoping I’ll soon get better at it and it’ll be less scary haha, and then maybe will also be able to try riding backwards again. I used to once but could only manage a few steps and it scared the shit out of my brain. πŸ˜€ But yeah, overall I enjoyed it a lot. Rudy’s hair is very thick now though, for the winter, so he was completely worn out and sweaty when we finished. I just have to remember to take my allergy meds before the riding, and not after, haha, so I can be more efficient and have my airways clear. My horse allergy is not strong but it really is a pain in the neck, especially if you forget your meds. πŸ˜€ I won’t be able to ride this week because my instructor is very busy.
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I had an awful day on Sunday. I had lots of nightmares and woke up with my head throbbing like hell, and couldn’t get out of bed, so I didn’t until afternoon. A very lousy Bibiel I was! Zofijka fell down and got a mild concussion which scared her, but then she said that after all she doesn’t use her brain anyway, so she doesn’t care if some of it has spilled out. How honest! πŸ˜€ My headache went away in the evening but I was still anxious and just blah. My parents had their acquaintances come over in the evening and had a little but very loud dancing party, which really annoyed Zofijka, who was tired and her head was hurting after the fall, and all the noise didn’t let her fall asleep. Thankfully, her brain seems to feel better now.
What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

Question of the day (15th September).

When was the last time you did something you didn’t want to do?

My answer:

As far as I remember, it was when I had to go out last week with my Mum in search for a bra that would work for me for horse riding. Oh, okay, I haven’t told you I’ve restarted my horse riding last week! It was really great, and thank God for my anti-anxiety med, I figured out that, at least until I won’t settle with it a bit, I think it will be a good idea if I’ll help myself with it, because the anxiety I feel before that can be sometimes overpowering, and really badly affect my riding, not to mention my satisfaction of it. I thought I would need to remind myself a lot of things but once I was on horseback, everything felt very natural and automatic despite I hadn’t ridden for almost a whole year. But I needed a good bra, which, because of my not very typical figure –
as I am skinny and have relatively big breasts – I didn’t have anything that would be suitable for trotting or such. On the same day I also had to finally go to the hairdresser’s. I was glad to be done with all that, but I hate clothes shopping, and I hate when people are playing around with my hair for ages, so that cost me a lot of determination and patience. And it was such a gloomy day weatherwise. But yeah, I’m glad it’s all done and I don’t have to worry about the bra thing anymore.

How about you? πŸ™‚

Working On Us – pets.

It’s week #11 of Beckie’s mental health prompts’ series Working On Us at

Beckie’s Mental Mess

and I’m joining in. The topic for this week is pet therapy and emotional support animals.

Β Β Prompt #1 Questions:

 

  1. Do you own a pet for emotional support and/or service/therapy? – Yes, but it’s not strictly speaking an emotional support animal. I have a cat called Misha, he’s been with me since he was a few months old, and he is of tremendous support to me.
  2. Is your pet a certified therapy animal? – No. As much as Misha is helpful for me, he’s definitely not a fit whatsoever to be an emotional support animal formally. If you’d spend even just a day observing him closely you’d rather say it’s him who needs emotional support. Misha is an anxious loner who is scared of touch and closeness, and chronically stressed about everything, afraid of every noise and a more sudden movement. Strangers and travelling scare him as well, he doesn’t do changes and other cats. He is a well-bred aristocrat with loads of noble ancestors but looking solely at his behaviours and reactions one would think he must have spent years on the streets or in a shelter in the middle of a war zone. I really don’t know why he is like this, apart from that I’ve heard that just as much as parents can “infect” their children with anxiety if they are very anxious, same applies to pet owners. My Mum says he’s practically the worst fit for me, also because he only seems to tolerate eye contact fully well. Yet, despite our ups and downs, we get along really well. I have the added benefit that I know I am not alone with my anxieties and fears, weird reactions to stuff and avoidance. I know he understands me, although at the same time he is the only being in the world in whose company I would be happy to be ALL the time, but he so often prefers to be alone, and sometimes it’s hard to not take it personally. I have to often prioritise his needs when he needs his solitude or has a bad anxiety day and is all jittery and jumpy, but I know he understands how important he and his support is to me and that when he recuperates he’ll give me his attention and support and I’ll be happy to give him the same in return if he wants. I’ve heard so many people saying he is selfish, but in fact, taking everything into consideration, I think he is of an extremely noble and generous nature, but also a very difficult and complex character. I guess it’s good he’s not a human, he’s already enough of a complexity.
  3. What kind of pet do you own? – Misha is a Russian blue tsar, he’s over 3 and a half years old. We also have a mixed-breed dog called Jocky, who sometimes works therapeutically for me as well, even though I don’t have usually as much of a connection with dogs as I do with felines. Jocky is the lively, happy type, he’s mostly Zofijka’s, her cure for loneliness and lack of friendships, but my family says he must like me in some special way because he’s always very engaging with me. I mean, in a bit of a different way than with the rest of us. Especially when I feel low, I have a suspicion he really is able to feel when I’m depressed. And then he is so very funny and jumps at me and all and wants to play with me, and he always wins in the end because I can’t not laugh. We also have aquarium fish. I’ve heard people saying having aquarium fish is very calming and therapeutic because it calms them down to be able to look at them swimming, but since I can’t see them, they might as well not exist to me.
  4. Do you believe that support animals truly assist those in need? – Sure they do! I am not sure what to think about that animals can respond to our emotions, I think it depends in a way on an individual animal, but in any case, just having a pet that you love, whatever that animal does to make you feel better, can sometimes truly help. And there are trained service animals who help and assist people and I think that is unquestionable that they do and to a huge degree.
  5. Do you believe that any animal can be a therapy/support pet? – I think it really depends. On a specific animal, how engaging and interactive it is, but also on the human who is on the receiving end and is supposed to get some help from that animal. If you are sceptical, I don’t think it will help, and if you are scared of horses for example, it’s doubtful you’ll benefit from hipotherapy, unless you want to overcome your fear. It’s slightly hard for me to imagine how those less interactive animals (like the fish I mentioned for example) can support people, but I guess if you really like fish and are attached to your fish, it’s possible. I think it’s primarily the connection and love between you and your pet that is healing and therapeutic, not some unusual properties of the animal itself.

Prompt #2 Narrative:

Describe how your pet is of support to you? EXAMPLE: Helps with anxiety, depression, PTSD, etc… (And, please… Share their name and a photo) if you desire.

Misha – despite being a bundle of nerves himself most of the time – has a very calming effect on me. He is my best friend. I spend a lot of my time alone, which I am most of the time happy about but having Misha gives me some company and on those days when I do feel lonely, I feel less lonely because I have him. He helps me with anxiety. Like I said, I know he is anxious himself and that sort of adds to the connection between us. We understand each other on this front, I know I am not alone with what I feel, because a lot of the time, when I have a bad anxiety day, he does too. I call him my charger because he always helps me to recharge after a lot of socialising. Misha is very quiet like most of cats, not even particularly vocal, but he helps me with what I call silence anxiety (basically when there’s complete silence and my brain doesn’t get enough sensory stimuli, it’s really hard to explain and understand), even if Misha doesn’t make the slightest sound his presence can sometimes make it go away completely. When I feel depressed, he keeps me company and gives some purpose to my existence. He makes me feel useful because he needs support too. There are days when he does want a proper, long, relaxing cuddle, and he always comes for it to me, and he comes to me in search of refuge when suddenly there are lots of shouty strangers downstairs, smoking and listening to loud music, or stranger kids running around the house and wanting to hold him and calling him a she. It’s funny by the way how he’s always able to understand that an invasion of human beings is about to happen and run away to my room just in time, and it’s interesting how he doesn’t mind some people coming over to us and is happy to stay downstairs with them. He is my sleeping pill. We’ve established a routine on most of the nights (and Misha loves his rituals and routines) that he sleeps in my room at night, in his bed, and it really helps me to fall asleep when I have him close. Or if I can’t sleep, it’s even better, because I can pet Misha. My Swedish teacher encouraged me once that I should talk to Misha in other languages, because that’s what he did with his cats and they understand. And that’s what I do now. It’s cool because he seems to understand me no less than in Polish, while the humans don’t get a word. So I can talk to him about things that I wouldn’t talk about to people, that I don’t feel like talking with people, or that I don’t have anyone to talk to about. Misha doesn’t purr very loudly, I’ve read somewhere that purring isn’t only a signal of pleasure for a cat, but a self-soothing mechanism first and foremost. And when he does purr, it sounds more like he’s purring to himself. I’ve also learnt that a cat can purr when anxious or in pain and that would be true for Misha I think. But when he purrs for himself, I love to eavesdrop and get some of it for myself. I like to lie near him and listen to all his inner sounds – his purrs, his breath, his tummy gurgling, his heartbeat, every Mish sound is like a music for me and it is very soothing. – Playing with him always makes me happy. And just his presence changes the atmosphere in the room where he is. Basically, after those 3 years with Misha, I can’t imagine my life without him anymore. I guess Misha is like a drug for me. When I’m away for a few days, like on holidays or something, by the time I come back home to Misha I have full-blown withdrawal syndrome.

Here’s a pic of Misha, I don’t even know how presentable Misha is on it and don’t remember what he looks like here, but this photo’s been lying in my Dropbox so I believe I must have used it somewhere earlier, and I don’t think we’ve made many new photos lately, so I hope this one is good.

Misha standing alone

Other than Misha, I’ve also had some experience with hipotherapy. I’m currently having a hiatus (which will likely be over in September), but I used to horse ride regularly. I’ve written a fair few posts on my complicated relationship with riding and how it all started but to give you an idea, the very first time I started riding was at the boarding school for the blind when I was 5 and in the nursery. I didn’t like it, I was scared of it, probably because of my issues with balance, and any time I was supposed to ride I was sick. That stopped when I went to primary, because since then only those with multiple disabilities could do hipotherapy and it turned out I had allergy to horses, so I was happy with it. The when I was in what we call integration school at the age of 10 my Mum read an article on the benefits of hipotherapy and she felt like I could benefit a lot from it, especially emotionaly, and she found a stud and signed me up for hipotherapy there. All without my knowledge. I guess she didn’t even know how scared I was. But after the first time I rode there I suddenly discovered that I love horses and I love riding and it is amazing! I’ve been riding there until now with some longer breaks in between, still with the same instructor, and, until last year, always on the same horse. Sadly, last year, my faithful horse – Czardasz aka ŁoΕ› – died of old age.

At some point my instructor suggested to me that we could do more actual riding and less hipotherapy. That is, the stud where I am riding is exclusively for the disabled, and most of the people riding there have severe cerebral palsy or similar things, and they can’t really ride. I have some additional stuff apart from my blindness, like my shitty balance but it’s definitely not quite as severe a thing so overall I was able to ride and do much more on horseback. So I agreed and since then we’re doing what’s apparently called horse riding with elements of hipotherapy. πŸ˜€ My instructor is both a hipotherapist and a riding instructor, and a keen rider herself, but she is also a doctor – a neurologist. – So, apart from having fun riding, I have conversations about the brain with her and it’s thanks to her that I realised that had I been sighted I’d like to be a neurosurgeon.

I find horse riding very therapeutic. Very helpful with releasing the stress, tensions, all that stuff. Makes you feel free. You can’t ride while you’re tense so you naturally have to relax. Which can take for me just about the whole 45 minutes to fully relax my muscles at times, but oh well, it’s worth trying, isn’t it? It’s incredible how you bond with a horse while riding, especially if, like me, you don’t really change horses a lot, so you can get to know 1-2 horses really well, get to know your horse’s personality, the way of walking, what they react to and so on. My horse – my first one, the one who died last year – was really good and patient with me. He always felt when I was anxious, he seemed to understand me and I usually understood him too. He was very, very big and very, very phlegmatic. He once fell asleep while walking and tripped and I fell off of him, that’s how phlegmatic he was. πŸ˜€ We got along really well, although sometimes his size scared me and he wasn’t easy to ride because he was very demanding and I needed to work real hard to make him feel anything from my movements, since he was so much bigger than me. πŸ˜€

My current horse is a bit of a nervous type, and very receptive. I am not quite as bonded with him primarily because I haven’t ridden much on him, but I like him a lot.

I usually feel really euphoric for a while after hipotherapy, you know, endorphines kicking in and all that. But also, I said I have a complicated relationship with riding, because I do. While I love it so much, at the same time it’s still scary for me. Not that type of scary as when I was a kid, but it is scary. I can’t even exactly tell you why. I am scared that something awful will happen when I’ll be riding, I once had a panic attack while riding, and that I have poor balance doesn’t help and doesn’t make me feel safer on horseback. I know I go through the same fear every time I am about to ride, and I know that 9 times out of 10 everything will be fine, and I am willing to take the challenge, and my willingness to ride is (usually) stronger than the fear, but the fear is just there no matter what. Sometimes it still makes me feel sick and like I won’t do it this time. Things would be much easier if I didn’t have that fear, and I think I’d be able to do more and in less time.

Just like with Misha who makes an impression of not fitting for an emotional support animal, same applies to my horse riding, it’s a bit paradoxical that I ride, because technically I don’t have in abundance all that stuff that you need to be a good rider. My balance is screwed up, my sensory integration is screwed upΒ  and my coordination is screwed up. It makes things tricky. But at least thanks to riding I can improve them as much as it’s possible. But I think overall, taking everything into account, I am a pretty decent rider anyway, and I used to take part in local, small competitions and scored high which I am proud of.

Question of the day (16th May).

Which animal species do you probably know the most about? Like describing varieties, behaviours would be easiest for?

My answer:

Hmmmm… mmmmm… I don’t know?… πŸ˜€ OK I have a cat obviously, and I find cats very interesting, and even more so, I find Misha very interesting, and I like to think I know a lot about him, but then Misha is our second cat, and for me he’s actually the first cat because the first one we really had, Kiki, wasn’t particularly close to me, and I was at the boarding school most of the time, and don’t even remember much of him. But I can’t say I’m an expert in cats or anything like that, I think my idea about breeds is just a little bit wider than an average person’s, and, as it turned out last autumn, my and my family’s knowledge about cat behaviours wasn’t particularly impressive – my loyal readers who’ve been sticking around since then probably remember the sad story of Sasha. – We’ve learnt a fair bit because of that experience, having to do with different cat behaviourists and such, but I still don’t think I’m that very experienced. I also probably know a bit more about horses than an average person would, from my horse riding instructor who is like a horse Wikipedia personified, and I really love learning from her, but I can’t say I know a lot about horses definitely.

How about you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What kind of exotic/uncommon pet would you want if it were affordable/safe/legal/moral (for the animal)?

My answer:

Hm, I’m not sure… I guess I’m really happy with my Misha. I also don’t really have an interest in any exotic animals. The only thing I can think about is a horse. I’d love to have my own horse, so that I could ride more regularly and also so that I could establish a really strong bond with it and so it would be just mine.

How about you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What do you hope for in the next few months?

My answer:

The first thing that comes to my mind is for Misha to settle down, I mean I’d like him to feel comfortable now that Sasha is with us. He is getting better and better, but I can still feel he’s very insecure at times.

I also hope that I’ll be able to catch up quickly on all that time I was not able to ride. By the way, haven’t updated you guys on that, I’m going to the stud tomorrow and ride for half an hour. Usually it’s a full hour, but this time, because I’m still having this yucky skin infection, it’s gonna be half an hour, I don’t want to irritate it more, but I also don’t want to wait God knows how much longer until it heals. Oh yes and I hope my leg heals quickly, not for months as always.

I hope for doing some more visible progress in therapy. I can see that at this point there is something going on but so far it’s very small progress and I hope that with time I’ll go a bit further. And I hope I’ll get funding for all the tech stuff I need, or at least for a new Braille-Sense, my old one, as you may remember, is Zofijka’s age, so quite a senior as for a tech device, and is driving me crazy more and more with each day. So I also hope that in case I won’t get the funding, I’ll have the patience to get me through it all.

What are your hopes? πŸ™‚

I am just so darn lucky! πŸ˜ 

Guess what? I’ve got the skin infectionn on my leg, again. I was writing about it early this year, that I get very weird skin infections, or whatever it is, on my calves and I can’t, no one can’t, figure out the reason. I’ve been to three dermatologists and two surgeons with it and everyone is kinda clueless. I thought it’s maybe allergy, but I can’tfigure out what could I be allergic to that I don’t know of, and I don’t apply any chemicals on my skin nowadays consciously, most of the cosmetics I use are homemade by our lifestyle guru – my Mum, the rest are either al natural or hypoallergic, if I need to use anything else which is extremely rarely. Hell my Mum even got me tested for diabetes because we were worried it’s healing for so long, but I don’t have it. I’ve been told I once had staphylococcus in it, but not much more, and I’ve got a lot of meds for it, which worked sometimes more, sometimes less, but always very slowly.
It doesn’t look too bad because it’s always small and I’ve never had any complications, but as I said it heals for ages, like a few months, and I have scars after that shit, I have it twice a year, so if it doesn’t stop, I wonder how my legs will look in ten years time. It’s also pretty painful most of the time and makes long walking or standing a bit hard.
I’ve felt my leg hurting since last night but I didn’t figure out it can be that until I saw it bleeding when I was going to shower a few hours ago. I was mad.
I wouldn’t be whining at all, after all I kinda got used to it and many people, including me have to deal with worse and more important things, but this time it drives me crazy for a reason.
It means that, AGAIN, I won’t be able to ride for God knows how long. Some part of me is starting to wonder whether I actually should still insist on riding if there have been so many things speaking against it over the years. Maybe it would be wiser to give it up, or maybe there’s something else that God has planned for me, but I can’t accept it, and won’t. Not yet at least. I guess I just have to wait some more. Maybe then I’ll get some luck with riding finally. But OMG I’m so angry with this!

I’m back!!!! A little ramble.

HEY HI PEOPLE!!!!

How have you been doing? πŸ™‚

Yes! Fortunately, or not, depends on who you’d ask, I’m still alive. I’m sorry I’ve been MIA for so freakin’long, but, if I’m honest, there was little to no influence I had on it. As you probably know from my earlier posts, my laptop got screwed up, I guess it wasn’t anything major, but I wasn’t even able to use my screen-reader, so it needed to be fixed, and also it’s just plain old so it needed some refresh in general. It wouldn’t last so long if I’d send it right away to the company I finally sent it to, they’re a company mostly distributing specialised equipment for the blind across the country, but they also do servicing sometimes. I sent my previous laptop to them and they did a brilliant job. But before I sent this one to them, I tried with my local IT specialist, who doesn’t have a clue about screen-readers nor anything typhlo it-related, but I hoped he’ll be able to fix it. He wasn’t. And then when I finally decided to send it to that company, there even were issues with the post office, so the actual fixing was the shortest of all that.

It was so frustrating to me, and I was bored to death. Also wasn’t doing well mentally with very very high anxiety and quite a huge mood dip, which I’m still not fully out of.

Maybe you remember I wastrying to blog from my Braille-Sense, but it turned out to be not a good idea, because it was freezing so often it was way too arduous, especially when it was freezing so badly that I had to reboot it and write stuff from the beginning.

I’ve got a new keyboard to my laptop – as well as some other new stuff and while it’s good, I find it a bit hard to get used to all the changes – I actually never had any problems with my old keyboard and it was just fine, but the guy who serviced my laptop suggested I’d rather get a new keyboard because in his opinion it’s getting old and uncomfortable. This new one’s pretty cool, although I guess the Space key is somewhat sluggish or I’m just typing too fast or too gently, or maybe it just needs time, anyway if you’d see some words without spaces you now know why, sorry, I’ll try to reduce it but I may not notice everything.

So to finally step away from the IT, I’d like to update you on two little things, that in fact are pretty big and new to my life.

First thing is sad, or actually part of it is very, very sad. This week I had therapy on Monday – I now have it on Mondays, not Fridays – and after that as we were riding back home, we drove past the stud where I’d been horse riding, but havent’ for like half a year or even longer, at first because of some health issues I had myself, then exams, and then my tutor being busy and – as it turned out, having financial and other issues, hence she didn’t get in touch with us for so long. So Mum said maybe we’d look for her and ask what’s going on, if something happened, ’cause you never know, maybe she lost our phone or just waits for us to contact her… I agreed it is a good idea and she just went on her own to look for her and Mum told me she – my riding instructor – was kinda emotional, she was telling her about the issues they’re having, looking quite miserable, which just astonished me so much, because she’s always such a dynamic, spontaneous and lively person. And Mum asked her whether then there is any possibility I could get back to riding at her’s, because it’s highly unlikely we could find someone as versatile and knowledgeable as her. And she then bursted with tears, as my Mum said, which is even more not like her. And she told Mum that my horse, I mean my regular horse on which I was riding most often, and for longest – he died… From what she said it had to be a while ago, but she still can’t get over it, neither can I, although somewhere in the back of my head I had a creepy suspicion that that might be the reason why she isn’t contacting us. My Mum told her something scary, that for me it doesn’t matter on which horse I ride, I just want to stay in her stud. I mean yes, I still want to ride despite my lovely “little” horse died, but it sounded so insensitive to me when Mum repeated it to me, as if I wouldn’t care at all. I do a lot, and can’t accept it either. My Mum didn’t intend to say anything bad though, she just doesn’t realise how you can have the bond with a horse, she’s afraid of them and doesn’t understand them at all. I’m only glad that ŁoΕ› didn’t have any particular illness that killed him, he was just very, very old, although when I last saw him he had bronchitis and I was scared it was that and that he could live even a little longer if not that. But luckily it wasn’t bronchitis. I so regret I couldn’t even say goodbye to him. I kinda feel like some little part of my soul has died, only a little one thankfully, because we weren’t always training regularly, and it was only an hour a week, nevertheless a very important part, and i feel weird without it, thinking I’ll never see him again. 😦 It made me think a lot about Misha, and what will I do if he dies. That would be so scary if I left him. And I think a lot about my instructor, she was so bonded with him, they were like one, they knew each other so well and trusted one another so much that it was visible even to me. NO wonder she’s devastated. 😦

And another news is good, I suppose, we’ll see what comes out of it long term. We have a new family member. A new friend for Misha. A first real life animal friend for Misha. It’s another Russian blue, he’s not even 4 months old, it’s his first day with us, and his name is Sasha. He’s a complete opposite from Misha. He’s very very cuddly, purring very loudly, while Misha’s purr is rarely heard if you don’t lie very close and tight to him, and he’s very brave. He’s already adapted I suppose. And it’s just a day. In Misha’s case, he didn’t let anyone come closer to himfor a day, and meowed desperately and heartbreakingly for like two weeks I guess. And my Mum says he’s never fully adapted, as he’s still so timid and incredibly anxious and would rather be alone. I just think it’s the way he is, and he wouldn’t change anywhere.

We – me and Zofijka – saw an interesting relationship between our cats and us two. You see – Misha is officially my cat, because it is me who is his actual owner and buyer. Unofficially, he used to be mine and Zofijka’s, so that she wouldn’tbe jealous, though of course everyone here likes Misha at least a bit, gives him snacks so in practice he’s the cat of all of us obviously. Now though as Sasha is with us, he’s a bit more Zofijka’s than anybody else’s, just like Misha is a bit more mine. And here’s what we saw.

Me and Misha are incredibly similar to each other, and now it turns out so are Zofijka and Sasha are too very similar personalities. There has to be something true in what my Mum says that the cat is just like it’s owner. πŸ˜€

We – me and Misha – are both Aquariuses, to begin with, his birthday is just two days before mine, we’re both loners, tend to be anxious and avoid other beings than each other and some safe people, but practically I don’t know if we haveany really completely safe people, there’s always risk involved, right? We both like and want to be close with others in theory, but in practice it’s way too scary to even try so we run away before we even can be touched, unless there are some special circumstances. We both HATE strangers and spend hours isolated from the world after a major stress. We’re both sensitive, we both hate noises and being completely lonely without anyone else in theΒ  house. We’d rather be with someone, but a proper distance needs to be kept, usually. We are both night owls. We both have quite acute senses, though in Misha’s case it’s more visible, however I don’t know how much of it is his own trait and how much is just because he’s a cat, and a Russian blue, still, he’s very alert and acts a bit as if he was overstimulated sometimes and then he either retreats or gets kinda elated. We both are curious and like to observe our surroundings carefully, but again, preferably from some distance, as it makes for a much better view. We both can walk very quietly (well unless there isn’t anything unexpected standing somewhere on the way, as for me πŸ˜€ ) which is useful for the above mentioned observing surroundings, even though neither of us intends to “slink” really, and is funny sometimes because people are deaf and dont’ hear us so they get scared as if we were ghosts. We both are somewhat picky and whimsical which manifests itself in different things for both of us. etc. etc. etc… boy, he was even born via Caesarean section just like me. And we’re both accused of being haughty while we’re not. πŸ˜€ And we highly value our privacy. I strongly believe he has quite a good sense of humour, and so (as I strongly believe) do I!

We can’t say much about Sasha at this stage, but what we know makes him a perfect match for Zofijka already. They’re both Gemini, Sasha’s birthday is actually a week after Zofijka’s. They’re both very brave and adventurous – so is Misha, but in a different way, Misha’sΒ  more of an escapist, as I see it. They’re boh very playful and energetic, Sasha is much more energetic than Misha. I always thought Misha is like a volcano, but in comparison to Sasha, he is almost like an old guy, I think though Sasha will energise him a bit, he needs it. Both Sasha and Zofijka are quite big for their age, not very big, but slightly bigger than the norm would predict, he’ll be bigger than Misha when he grows up probably. They both like to be in the centre of attention, like making friends. They’re both cuddly and crave a lot of love and warmth. They both eat like horses and seem to like changes, I can’t say it about Sasha for sure, the more that Russian blues apparently rather don’t like them.

I think maybe Sasha will be able to in a way replace ŁoΕ› for me, he came into our lives just in the right moment, and very suddenly. My Mum just in one of her frequent impulses phoned Misha’s former breeder and asked if she could make a reservation for a second cat. He said that it actually won’t be necessary, because there’s a little one who should’ve be taken to a new home, but the guy who wanted him didn’t come despite a few days passing. So we had him home just the very same day.

What I’m worried about is Misha. He seems to be very unsettled. He has never seen a single cat before other than from the window or on the TV or pictures or stuff. Heseems to feel rejected, and afraid of Sasha, even though he’s older, and Sasha doesn’t care much about Misha’s hostility and wants to play with him, or just ignores his uncle happily – yes, Misha is Sasha’s bio uncle hahaha. Despite he’s afraid though, Misha protects his territory quite fiercely and we can see emotions flooding through him. Man I didn’t know he can make such creepy sounds. He just growls at him, not even just hisses. It sounds scary. Old, scary, possessed uncle Misha. πŸ˜€ I want my little Misha back. I’m kinda afraid he won’t accept him, but try to think positively, after all everyone would be unsettled seeing some being of their own kind after nearly 3 years of peaceful life as The One And Only. And it’s slightly better than it was in the morning or last night.

OK, so it would be all from me for now I guess. Hope I’ll be finally able to write the daily series posts and some more tomorrow.

So happy to be back at the blogosphere. Missed y’all terribly.

I’m gonna check what our little kids are doing and maybe one of them would be willing to sleep with me, at least Sasha, I guess Misha is still too overloaded to be able to think about sleeping with someone, he’s even barely eaten today.

Question of the day.

If you HAD to pick a favourite sport, what would it be? You can’t say “none” or “pass”.

My answer:

Horse riding, obviously! I haven’t been riding for more than half a year now myself because of my instructor not being available, my exams, skin infections and other adventures, but I like to learn more about it, even if I can’t ride. And I am very disciplined in this matter.

Which would you choose? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Name one thing you must do more of and one thing you must do less of.

My answer:

Lately I noticed I need more physical activity. It’s been a little bit hard recently. For most of my life, my main physical activity has been horse riding. But this year things have changed slightly. I am taking my final exams this year and preparations consume quite a lot of time, and also money, as I have the tutor who helps me with maths, which is obligatory to pass the exam from and I simply wouldn’t be able to achieve this without her help, I’d say it’s even doubtful with it, but anyway… I needed to stop horse riding for some time as it also consumes a lot of both things. Besides my horse riding instructor and hipotherapist is a very busy person, she is also a professional rider, a doctor – working as anasthesiologist, neurologist and now also on A&E, ER or however you call it – and a mum, and has a lot of both children and adults she works with as either hipotherapist or riding instructor, so sometimes she just doesn’t manage to crowd everyone in her schedule and as I am one of people with less complex needs of those she works with and don’t necessarily need constant therapy/stimulation, it’s more of my hobby, it often happens that I may have breaks between my riding. Also my horse has been not in the best condition lately. I think I”ve told you about my horse ŁoΕ› who is quite an old guy with lots of stormy and not the nicest life experiences and because of that, he’s having more and more health troubles, recently something’s going on with his bronchi. I have my “emergency” horse – Rudy – but he has a lot of people who ride him, mostly children, on a regular basis, so it isn’t always possible for me to ride him. ANd also I’ve been through that awful skin infection which I had on my leg this year which was too painful to ride with. So actually the last time I rode was sometime in December. That’s such a pity. I feel like I’ll forget how to ride! That would be scary, but I hope I won’t and that I’ll be able to come back to riding soon.

Anyway, I’m out of riding for now and it’s a little hard to find some replacement activity. My spacial orientation and related stuff are rubbish, I’m barely able to navigate through our backyard and I don’t feel very confident about it, not to mention anything outside, I need someone to guide me. So I can’t organise much for myself. We do have some walk from time to time with Mum as we have some time on our hands at the same moment, but we both feel like it’s too rarely. At least I do some muscle exercises for my legs to not go out of practice when I’m back to riding, but I’m not that very systematic about that to be honest, especially now in all that mishmash. Hope I’ll be able to take it more seriously after the term session, maybe then I’ll have some more spare time, if the stress before the final exams won’t eat me completely.

The thing I think I should do less is overthinking. This is something I’m really an expert about, I could be a PHD in overthinking really lol. I feel like it’s a bit pathological and often very overwhelming so that I can feel absolutely insane just because of my thoughts overwhelming me. It’s damn hard to have any control over this, but I need to try and try and maybe someday I’ll succeed?

Now it’s your turn. πŸ™‚

My fav animal.

It’s the #WYF day at Revenge Of Eve

and today the question is – what’s your favourite animal? Thanks for hosting, Eve. πŸ™‚

So, my favourite animal for years was bear. Just any kind of a bear. Now I think it was mainly because I just liked our Polish word for a little bear, or a teddy bear, which is miΕ›. I still really like it, I mean the word, and I still have my most favourite teddybear PimpuΕ›, but that’sΒ  it about my love for bears now. I like them, but not as crazily as when I was younger, when I wanted to feed bears in the zoo with honey. πŸ˜€

Now, my favourite animals are cats and horses. Cats because they’re just so mysterious, enigmatic, introverted, silent, you may think they’re so silent so that you may not even notice their presence, but still most of them has something very soothing about them, my Misha is this kind of cat, I’ll always somehow sense when he’s around. I don’t know… the atmosphere changes in some way lol. Plus I think cats have a lot of traits in common with me, or otherwise, so that’s probably why I like them and why many of them seem to like me. My gramma’s cat Felix, about whom gramma says that he’s wild, always comes to me and lies at my feet when we come to her. He never lets me stroke him, but aparently, besides gramma, he doesn’t lay at anyone else’s feet and doesn’t act this way around anyone. Maybe he feels Misha’s smell. Before I got Misha and became convinced that Russian blue cats are just the best cats under the sun, I wanted to have a black cat, but now I wouldn’t change Misha for a million billiards of black cats. He’s just the best and he’s my baby and my best friend and just everything for me. But well, I named him Misha, which (apart from being a diminutIVE of michael) is Russian for little bear or teddy bear, so I must still have those bears on my mind haha. But Misha is such a cool name for him, rather gentle and cute, but still handsome and masculine and charming, just as Misha is. There aren’t many names with this kind of vibe. Oh but I’m going off topic!

Let’s go on to horses. When I was a little girl I was just so enormously afraid of horses. I’ve always had balance issues and height anxiety, and we all had obligatory hipotherapy at the nursery. I was just so shaky when I had to have it. Usually we just were riding around, but if I had to do some exercises on the horse, I always failed. I was so afraid and my coordination and balance was so rubbish, so that everyTime I finished hipotherapy I was more and more discouraged and more afraid. Then the nightmare ended and at school only a few kids with most complex needs like CP were having hipotherapy so I was immensely relieved. But after a few years my Mum decided to sign me up for hipotherapy at our local stud. Mum didn’t really know about my fear for horses, but even if she did, I don’t think it would change that much. I got to know I’ll have hipotherapy the very last day before it was supposed to happen and I was just panicking. You know, after all these years, my fear grew just so huuuge. But then we went there, I sat on a horse, felt very very anxious and dizzy for a while and then started to relax and actually at the end of my hour I was extatic. I liked this horse so much! I started to love horse riding very passionately. I was still afraid and my balance was still a mess, but after some time, my hipotherapist, who is also a professional rider and horse riding instructor, offered me to have actual riding lessons because she said I’m very good at it despite my issues. And I agreed and I still horseride in the same stud, on the same horse and with the same instructor, having just elements of hipotherapy, but generally learning to ride and sometimes still participating in competitions. I am so grateful for my Mum. Actually it is still weird for me that I am riding, because theoretically it seems like the worst choice of sport for me – it requires good balance, sensory integration, coordination skills and a few other things that I don’t have in abundance, but I’m still doing it and apparently it goes well. I still do have some fear every time I’m riding, my horse is very big so I need to face my height anxiety and I hate riding downhill, but it’s not so overwhelming at all.

I love my horse. His name is Czardasz, which is literally just czardas in Polish,but everyone calls him ŁoΕ›, which means elk. πŸ˜€ He’s very big as I said and very old, he’s 23, having various health difficulties, but still working. He’s just so incredibly phlegmatic, he’s so calm that when he’s walking, he can literally lose himself so deeply in his thoughts (or in sleep πŸ˜€ ) that he can easily stumble, but overall he’s so calm that he’s the safest horse on Earth. He’s very demanding for his riders, he never lets me do things by halves while riding and somehow he always knows the possibilities of a rider, for example if a child with cerebral palsy is riding him apparently he can feel what they can do, and if they can do something, he will only respond if they will do it correctly. but despite his phlegmatic, a bit indifferent you could say, way of being, he’s very feeling and emotional. We get along really well and actually are pretty similar.

My horse “for replacement” (so when ŁoΕ› is ill or something else happens) is named Tarzan, but everyone calls him Rudy (which means redhead). He’s younger than ŁoΕ›, his very sensitive and lively, and a bit cheeky. I love troting on him, because his trot is so light. My instructor says it’s so light you could as well just sit down, relaxΒ  and have a cup of coffee while troting and you wouldn’t spill a drop and that’s true. πŸ˜€ He can be very stubborn at times and his favourite food are apples. ŁoΕ› can’t eat apples, but when I’m riding on Rudy and don’t have apples for him, but only carrots, he seems rather disappointed, although he’ll devour anything edible willingly.

So yeah, that’s it about my favourite animals.

 

Ugh, again? Some general update and a little health ramble.

Today it would be a really nice day for me, if not the fact I’m feeling really crappy physically.
Remember when last week I was writing about my emotional crisis I had on my birthday? I wrote it can be partially due to PMS and now I am sure it was true. Only why I have to feel PMS symptoms for more than a week before the actual time of surfing the crimson wave? Luckily emotionally I am much more stable than then and I hope it’ll continue, ’cause that was scary.
But OK, I can fully understand that aunt Ruby or Flo or whatever is her name, has her own rights, but why my leg is not cooperative either? Seriously, I am starting to worry, or at least wonder.
I got a weird and pretty painful wound on my calf and what is the more weird about it that a year ago I had an almost exactly looking wound on my other calf. Same was two years ago on the same leg as now, but not exactly in the same place as now. And moreover as far as I remember it was also in February, ’cause it was close to my Dad’s name day and it was annoyingly hard to heal. I had no idea where I could get it, it was like totally out of no where, so that my Mum even thought it may be some ulcer, which scared me, but when I went to my GP with it, she said it’s just a form of infection. I remember that last year it finally healed in April. So now I think it must be something chronic and I think I’ll need to visit someone who could tell me more than my GP. I was even wondering ’cause people with diabetes have issues with skin regeneration and I am apparently at a higher risk ’cause I was taking growth hormone in childhood and people on the both sides of my family have diabetes, but because I was taking that hormone I have tests about once a year and they were as good as always recently. I really want to know, even just of curiosity, what it is. Plus it pisses me off. My leg is hurting so much since a few days that even walking for a longer distance is a bit challenging. I discovered that it’s back with me when I went shopping with my Mum on Tuesday and then we went for a longer walk almost around our whole town and when we came back my calf started to burn horribly.
And it is also shitty because yesterday I was meant to go horse riding. I didn’t ride for a really really long time now, since Christmas, I believe, so I fell out of the routine completely. But my instructor is a very busy person, she is not only a horse riding instructor and hypotherapist, but also a doctor – anasthesiologist and neurologist and recently also works on ER a lot. Plus she has her own, big family and it always surprises me how she can manage it all and before now I could ride pretty regularly once a week unless she had to go to ER. I like the fact that she is a neurologist ’cause we can talk a lot about the brain and related stuff which i always appreciate, I’ve learnt a lot from her and it is thanks to her that I realised that if I could see, I would most probably end up as a brain surgeon. Anyway, back to my horse riding, she texted me on Wednesday evening she finally was able to schedule an hour on Thursday for me and asked me whether I’d like to go. It hurt me but I felt so excited that I impulsively wrote that yes sure I will come, but yesterday morning the pain was big enough that I realised it won’t be anything neither pleaasant nor beneficial if I went riding, I could easily make it hurt even more and I wouldn’t do a good job ’cause even my muscles around the wound were hurting.
I find life much more boring without riding. As for now I use Rivanol and tea tree oil to treat it but surely will end up on antibiotic as last year, I just didn’t go to any doctor yet.
Tomorrow is my Dad name day. You know what name day is? I know there are only a few countries now which celebrate it so if you don’t know, it’s basically the day when your patron saint has his/her feast. It’s a purely Christian tradition but now it’s celebrated just like your second birthday or something. Just another opportunity to eat as much as possible and have your family gathered together. There are all name days listed in Polish calendars, although they differ slightly and you probably won’t find exactly the same names under the same dates in two different calendars, but there are some conventional dates. Tomorrow is the name day of Elwira, Jacek, Jacenty and Scholastyka and therefore my Dad who is Jacek (or Hyacinth in English) is having his name day. It’s a bit weird to me though because saint Hyacinth who has his feast day tomorrow is almost unknown while we have another saint Hyacinth who was Polish and whose feast day is celebrated in August and he is much more known, so if I was my Dad, I would pick my name day to be in August on that other saint Hyacinth’s day, but I think it doesn’t matter that much for most people.
So tomorrow we will have even bigger family gathering than it was on my birthday and there will also be my Dad’s friends and I hope I won’t have to endure another emotional crisis. My poor Mum is in the kitchen almost all day long. She isn’t preparing that much food, but my Dad will have a big toffi cake. Ridiculous, because he can’t stand anything sweet. πŸ˜€ But we love toffi cake. Me, Zofijka, Olek and my Mum kind of likes it as well. And I am sure all the guests will be happy with it too. Toffi is such a delicious thing to eat. Will share with you tomorrow lol.
Now I am listening to Welsh music all the time, as it is Welsh Language Music Day today, so I definitely need to celebrate it. I’ve also learnt some Welsh today. But now I think I will go and nap for a while, ’cause my leg is hurting, my abdomen is hurting, my head is hurting and I feel quite miserable physically.
How are you guys doing? Any nice plans for the weekend? Maybe you’re celebrating something as well? Anyway, whatever you’re doing, I wish you a great weekend.