Daily Post 038: These Seem To Be Turning Into Weekly Posts…

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I guess now’s a good a time as any to write. It’s almost 10 pm. I “should” have been asleep a few hours ago since I wake up at 3 am for work, but eh… I’ll be ok. I would rather do this. It’s better to do it rather than toss and turn in bed all night thinking about writing.

I don’t remember the last thing I wrote about, to be honest. I suppose I could go back and read my last post. I’m pretty sure I mentioned the concert with Big Bad. I don’t think I talked much about it. That was the last time I’ve seen him. Conflicting schedules suck.

The concert was a lot of fun. I think we both needed the break from reality. I drove there, roughly two hours, through what seemed like never ending rain. Big Bad drove back which was unbelievably nice. I tend to get headaches when I have to drive at night. Instead, I got to rest and actually slept part of the way back.

So I’m going on two weeks of not seeing him. During those two weeks, his mom was hospitalized. I don’t know much as far as details go. I know she was discharged so everything must be relatively ok. I know Big Bad is worried about her living alone. I’m not sure if that’s going to change in the near future or not. I’m sure it’s something we’ll talk about when we see each other again, which thankfully should be soon.

I am scheduled off on Tuesday so we have plans to spend Monday evening together. Our schedules finally line up to have a weekend off together so we may try to make plans for Friday night / Saturday. I’m not sure yet, but it would be unbelievably nice to see him twice in one week again.

It’s something I talked about in therapy today. I finally scheduled another session. It’s been close to two months. I mentioned during the session how I probably should have scheduled one sooner with how I’ve been feeling lately. It was nice to have a session where I felt ok for once though, rather than an emotional ball of sadness and grief.

I mentioned my sickness and my trip to the ER and how it was hard being there. How it reminded me of the surgery floor and waiting with mom for her to be taken back. I talked about how I had to have a CT scan done and how I finally knew what it felt like for mom to be in the room by herself inside of the machine and to have to wait for test results. I know what it’s like to be a patient and to be pushed around in a bed and wheelchair.

It sucked having to go through those emotions, but in a way, I’m glad I did.

My therapist mentioned at the end that she can tell there’s been a lot of growth within me during these past two months of my training. She asked if I understood that my grief and the sadness will continue to come in waves. I said I did, but this was the first time where it seemed to stay. It wasn’t as fierce as before, but it seemed to last longer. Like a calm sea that stretched on for forever. Nothing was really wrong, but there wasn’t an end. No change. No reprieve. Just this constant sadness and apathy that made everything feel pointless.

I explained how it was comforting to be out of it because it showed me that even if that state, those feelings, last for a while, they will eventually change. I’ll go back to being ok even though I’m not really “un-ok” when I’m sad. It’s just a different state and I guess a natural one I’ll have to swing through from time to time now that mom’s gone.

I don’t really know what else to write about.

I’ve been feeling better recently. Monday was more mind-numbing power point slides. I survived. That was the last day as far as lecture material goes. Woohoo.

Tuesday was a fantastic day. I had three patients on my own. I initiated and terminated their treatments by myself AND handled all of the documentation within the timeframe I was given. Go me. Totally improved by leaps and bounds compared to last week where I was able to do the treatments but couldn’t keep up with the documentation.

Theoretically, if I had a fourth patient, like what I’ll have once I’m on my own, I would have been able to handle it with the time I had. That’s reassuring. It means even though I’m still a little nervous and could be doing better in the confidence department, that I really am doing well and that I really do “got this”.

I was supposed to work Wednesday but opted to trade days so I’ve had Wednesday and Thursday, today, off. It’s been a glorious two days. I think I needed these days. I needed the time to step back and breathe and exist without obligations for a little while.

I did absolutely nothing on Wednesday and yes, it was as amazing as it sounds. I woke up at six, didn’t get out of bed until 10. Had some coffee. Napped on the couch. Took a shower. Napped again. Ended up getting dinner with Nicole, Marc, and Des. Came back home. Went to sleep.

Absolutely perfect.

I most likely needed all of the sleep since I’m still pushing pretty hard in the gym department. Add to the fact that every day I work is now a cardio day with how much I move around. It was nice to have two days off in a row so I could take one day to be a complete and total “rest” day.

Today has been productive. I got all of my book work done. Once again it was off the clock, but I’m ok with it. I would rather be on the floor with patients while I’m at work rather than sitting in front of a computer. It didn’t take as long as I thought it would. Roughly two hours for the online training and book work. I went and got a pair of nursing shoes finally. It’s been on my to-do list for a while. I got a pair of scrubs while I was at the store since mine still haven’t come in yet. I’ve decided that these will be my Saturday scrubs.

I would say it’s a secret, but since I’m putting it out there for the whole of anyone to read I guess it’s not all that secret… There’s a pretty big push to wear the companies scrubs, but since no one from administration is around on the weekends I’m going to wear the scrubs I just dropped $60 on. They’re super amazingly comfortable. They’re essentially workout clothes. Stretchy, comfy, moves with you, breathable material. I love them and I haven’t even worked in them yet. Totally can’t wait for Saturday. I want to try them out so bad.

Same with the shoes. I haven’t worked in them yet, but from walking around the store I’m pretty sure I’ll like them more than my sneakers. I felt like my heels had more support. I also got better, more cushioned socks. We’ll see if there’s a marked difference tomorrow. I think there will be.

I’m also thinking about wearing my Fitbit to work so I can see just how intense my days are. Do I get to count how much I walk in a day as a workout? Is that cheating? I feel like it should count so I can’t be called a slacker when I’m tired and don’t want to go to the gym or train.

I’m supposed to have lunch with Jon on Sunday. Afterward we’re going to go kayaking again. I’m looking forward to it. I think getting some sun and having some family time will be a nice way to rest up from the next two work days and to destress before my test on Monday.

Which, by the way, I have my certification test on Monday. The rest of next week is my final week of training, and then I’m off on my own, a certified PCT for DaVita.

The thought of my training ending doesn’t terrify me as much as it did three weeks ago. Especially after how well I handled Tuesday, I feel like over the next five-ish work days that I’ll get a good feel for my own flow. I know I won’t be the best PCT on the floor, but I’ll be competent enough to not drown, and I know my teammates will help me when I need it.

So yeah, one more week and then I get a dollar increase.

I talked about the schedule with my supervisor and asked how it would be handled. He couldn’t promise me a super consistent schedule but he did say if there was a particular day I wanted off that he could try to work with that. After talking to Big Bad we’re going to see if I can have Tuesdays off. That would allow us to have Monday evening together since I wouldn’t have to wake up at 2 or 3 am to get to work.

I was nervous about bringing the subject up with him. I didn’t want it to feel like I was forcing him to give up his Monday evening. I know it’s really sucked for both of us, though, not having a set day where we know we’ll be able to see each other. It was reassuring to hear his support for requesting Tuesday as my off day. I guess I’m still sort of insecure and vulnerable feeling when it comes to the emotional stuff. It’s nice to have the reassurance that it’s not all one-sided nonsense inside of my head.

I haven’t seen my blacksmith since the 8th but I know he and I are still ok. He had family matters which kept him from coming over last week, and this week I’ve needed the alone time to regroup.

I think that’s about it.

Been killing it at the gym even though it doesn’t feel like it. I did a spin class today which has my inner thighs hating on me. I did way more “climbing” than I’ve ever done though, even in the spin classes I was taking at the YMCA. These classes feel way more intense. The first one I went to was last Thursday. Totally kicked my ass and my feet, but that’s because I wore my Vibrams. Not the best shoes for those classes. The peddles on those bikes are sort of weird on top of that. Just not a good combination in my book.

I wore my sneakers this time ’round and it went way better. We’ll see how I keep doing I suppose. It’s hard to find consistent classes to go to with my wonderfully inconsistent schedule, which is why it feels like I’ve done “nothing”.

I’m glad I have my calendar to tell me that, no, actually, I really do need a rest day or I’ll regret it.

Tomorrow is kickboxing. Saturday is yoga. Sunday is kayaking. Monday is conditioning at the gym. Tuesday will most likely be a rest day with meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking. Maybe laundry. Most likely sweeping because dog fur sucks. We can throw in vacuuming, too, because dog fur doesn’t stay on just the tile. Blarg.

It should be a pretty decent day, though. And it should start off fantastically. A nice warm cup of coffee with Big Bad.

I’m very much looking forward to it despite all of the adulting I’ll need to get done. It’s my light at the end of the tunnel.

Maybe that’s helped with the sadness and apathy lifting. I know I’ve made it through the hardest part. A lot of the people in my life have made it through the hard parts. Warren started his new job this week. Big Bad applied for a new position and may be switching to something he’s more interested in. My blacksmith is no longer having to work doubles every day because his company was able to hire more people.

It’s a good feeling. A stable feeling. I’m glad I’m feeling it rather than the coldness, the aloneness, that I was.

I’ll try to be better about writing.

Thanks for being patient with me.

Daily Post 037: Unknowingly Reaching Goals

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Today has been a good day. I got through most of my to-do list.

I woke up. Always a plus. I actually woke up at 2 am since that’s my “normal” wake up time for work. Since today was my day off though I had no issues rolling back over and sleeping until 7 am. Once I got up I showered then went downstairs for breakfast and coffee.

I started the day by tackling something I’ve been avoiding; calling Verizon. Yes. That wonderful company that actually finally got my phone promotion figured out. I called them today to get Zane’s line closed out. So all of that is done. He’s officially off of my phone plan. I did have to finish paying off his phone, but you know, I don’t care anymore. He’s out of my life. I’m off the apartment lease. I have no ties to him any longer. It’s an accomplishment for my “Year of Stability”. Which I guess I should really iron out what I want to accomplish before next April 4th…

While I was on the phone with Verizon I inquired about my employer discount which I submitted over a month ago. I guess it got denied but that’s because they were looking at the wrong company. The lady I spoke with wrote some notes on my file and sent it up to be reviewed. I’m not sure if anything will come from it, but it was an extremely pleasant experience compared to the three previous times I’ve had to call Verizon. I’m looking forward to seeing the drastic drop in my phone bill next month.

From there I kept the day rolling by cleaning the bathroom. There was purple dye everywhere from Saturday.

Oh. Sunday Big Bad and I went to a concert in Tampa. That was super fun and I’m glad we both agreed to go to it rather than backing out like we had thought about doing earlier in the week.

But yeah… back to today…

I met up with one of my classmates at IHOP for coffee and a study session. It was fantastic being able to talk one on one with her. We never seem to get time to connect during class anymore. Everyone else jumps into our conversations. It’s mildly annoying, but it gave us a reason to meet outside of class so I guess in a way it worked out well. We got to talk about our experience in our own clinics and how we’re feeling overall with our training. It was a good experience and kept the day going well.

After studying I went to the dojo for my training session with MG. It was pretty good. I felt like I gave more than I have in my previous sessions. Maybe that’s not the right way of saying. I felt like I had more to give. I was able to do better because I felt better. I know I’m still sad. I know that there’s still a weight that I’m walking around with inside my chest, but I’m handling it better. I didn’t go to the point of failure and sitting here in front of my computer looking back at my session I know I could have given more, but I’m content with what I did. It was a good sweat and I can feel the mild soreness in my legs and back.

After my last rep of sled work, MG and I talked about competitions. It’s something that I’ve been kicking around in my head. I don’t know if I want to do it or not. I don’t know what it would mean to me if I did. It’s something I would have to meditate on, but talking to MG about it gives me an idea of what it’s like on the female side of things. I don’t know where it will go, but we’ll see I suppose. I think it’s something I would want to try at least once just to see what it’s like.

Once I was done at the dojo I met with a former coworker who I haven’t seen in over a year. I got to talk to her about everything that’s gone on in my life and she got to tell me about hers. The main event being her recent resignation from the school. There was a lot that went into her situation, much like my decision to leave. I’m happy for her. I think this is a positive change and I can tell she’s happier already even though it’s only been two weeks.

I came home after lunch. I showered and started a load of laundry so I can have clean scrubs for work. I actually found out the scrubs I ordered through work came in, so I’ll get my official scrubs tomorrow. There’s a whole story behind that, but it’s not what I want to reflect on at the moment.

I want to reflect on something else.

I found out last Monday that I’m down another 10% in body fat. I started out at 47%. In November I found out I was down in the low 30s. Last Monday, since I was doing my first training session at the new gym, I got all of my measurements done which include body fat percentage.

I’m at 23%.

I’m 3% away from the goal I’ve had in my head for three or four years.

I had no idea I was so close. The scale hasn’t changed since November. I’m still at 240 pounds. I’ve been 240 for a while. I was actually down to 230 and then went back up, which was extremely frustrating because I was still going down in mass. Everything was fitting better but here’s the scale telling me the opposite of what I want.

I know muscle weighs more than fat. I know that I don’t care about the numbers on the scale anymore, but because of that I haven’t had a way to measure or track any of my progress other than the times I’ve gone down in shirt and pant size.

So when I was told, “Oh, by the way, that goal you thought you would never reach… yeah, you’re pretty much there,” I didn’t really know how to handle it.

I know my body has been changing and that it’s continuing to change. I know I sit differently. I walk differently. I feel “different” and yet the same. It’s odd. In some ways, I feel like a foreigner inside of myself. This body is new, I don’t know how to interact with it. I find I sometimes look at myself as if I’m a stranger.

I’m still introverted. I’m still the socially awkward me. I’m still the person who would rather not be the center of attention. Yet, I can flip a 175-pound tire all the way down the track and back like it’s nothing. It’s fun. I felt like a fucking badass doing it because I am a fucking badass now. I’m looking forward to running my Spartan Sprint in December and my Warrior Dash in February.

I’m looking forward to proving to myself that I can do those things.

I don’t really know what else to say in regards to this knowledge, this fact. I’ve worked hard over the years. I’ve fallen off track and gotten back on. I didn’t really focus on my goal. I didn’t try to reach it. There were plenty of times where I was directionless and purposeless, especially during this past year with mom’s death. There were countless times where I didn’t care about anything. I didn’t have goals and I felt like telling the world to go fuck itself because nothing mattered in the face of my grief.

And yet in the past six to seven months, I’ve taken out another 10%. It makes me wonder what would have happened if I had seriously tried. If I hadn’t been sick for what amounted to a month. If I hadn’t traveled as much. If I had stayed and trained the way I had originally thought I would.

It makes me wonder where I’ll end up now that I’m focusing more on muscle building rather than just sparring for the fun of it. Now that I have plans and people guiding me and keeping things structured.

I think I want to aim for 12%.

I think next year I would actually like to compete in jiujitsu and Muay Thai. Just because I can. Just like with my races, to prove to myself that I can do it.

If I can drop 35% then I can do anything. Another 11%. That’s it. I’m already over halfway there.

It’s a weird feeling. It’s inspiring. It’s surprising. It’s an open feeling which leaves me feeling vulnerable. I’m not going to let that stop me, though. I’m going to keep going to the dojo and doing my training. I’m going to keep going kayaking and biking and doing yoga. I’m going to keep doing the things that make me feel good because that’s what’s led to this change.

I’m going to try not to think about my goal or to obsess over reaching it. I’m going to keep my head down and keep working. I’ll get to the end once I get there.

I’m going to wait three months. Even if my measurements are taken before then, I don’t want to know them. I want to wait until the beginning of November to compare to my measurements now.

I don’t think I’ll be a blue belt in jiujitsuĀ by November. I think I’m ok with that even though that was a goal I had. I’m content with still being part of the dojo. I don’t mind being a white belt still. I’m focusing on doing well at my job and not slacking on my health goals. I can focus on belting up after I’m through my work training and have a few months of experience working on my own.

One goal at a time. My main goal right now; get through training.

I’ll reevaluate my goals in three weeks since that’s all I have left. >.<

I think I’m doing pretty alright. I think by the end of three weeks I’ll be ok and less terrified of the thought of being out of training.

Daily Post 036: The Feeling of Suffocating

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Hey Keyboard,

It helps to think I’m writing to someone right now. I guess it’s another moment where I need it to be you.

I had all of these things I wanted to tell you, and now that I’m here I can’t think of anything. I guess it’s because today has been such a full and long day so now I’m tired. And in my tired state, I know in the grand scheme of the Universe my days and struggles are trivial so there’s the slightly self-deprecating thought of, “why bother to write at all?”

I went to the dojo today. It’s the first time in I can’t remember how long that I got to spar. I got to wear my gi. I got to wear my belt with my one stripe on it. I got to see some of my buddies. Not a whole lot of them since it was a Saturday class, but a few.

I went to kickboxing yesterday. I got out of work early enough to go. I wanted to go. It was a good feeling to have motivation like that. I pushed pretty hard. The trainer was one of the guys I like.

It was pretty cute. He came up to me and said, “There she is! The girl with beautiful kicks!” It made me genuinely smile and feel warm. Acknowledged. I do exist. Others notice.

Since it was a small class he helped me with technique and pushed me more than a majority of the other people since he knows I’m at a different level.

That’s something I’ve had going through my mind for most of the day. One of the guys I sparred with at the dojo was a person I’ve never met. At the end of our match, he said, “You’re really strong.”

When I had first been thinking about my day I had thought I would stay for Muay Thia after jiujitsu. Danny was there, and Roman. It would have been a fun class, but the emotions of my grief had been pulled too close to the surface from sparring. I opted not to stay and went to my car and cried instead.

At the time all I could think about was how I hadn’t been strong enough to make my dad stay when he divorced my mom. I hadn’t been strong enough to keep Warren #2 from rapping me. I hadn’t been strong enough to save mom when she was hospitalized.

There are all of these moments where I wish I had been stronger, more able, more something. Strength doesn’t mean anything if you can’t protect the people you care about.

Yeah, I’m stronger than I was. I can lift things on my own that used to require help. I can run faster and farther. I can do all of these things and even though I know it’s an improvement it feels pointless and hollow. I’m strong but in the areas that matter I still feel weak and helpless.

I asked Warren #1 for a hug when I got home, but it didn’t help. I don’t think it ever will anymore. I think we’ve moved past that point. He’s caused me too much stress and heartache over the apartment and not paying rent for so long. I can feel a distance between us, one that I put there. I’m not sorry it’s there. Maybe that’s cold and bitchy of me. I think of him as an annoying brother type figure. We can get along, but he can be extremely frustrating and “not worth it” sometimes.

Tody has been a productive day. I’ve gone through three to-do lists and I’ve done all of the items that were listed on them.

I’ve been having a hard time sleeping all week. Last night was the first night where I slept deeply. It was a good feeling to wake up on my own rather than to an alarm at 3 am. I cooked breakfast for the first time in over a week. I had a homemade cup of coffee in my cup. I sat on my doorstep holding my cup in my hands as I Ā felt the day warm up around me. It was nice. It was perfect.

I started playing Torchlight 2 with my brothers today. It’s a fun game. I’m enjoying it. Warren and I had lunch together and went to an oriental market. I got caught up on all of the messages, emails, and such that I haven’t had a chance or energy to reply to. I got my calendar updated with my work, social, and training obligations.

I did a lot today and I’ve done a lot over the past week. Five days in a row at the clinic was hard, but they were good days. I’m continuing to get more comfortable with my team and the patients.

I finally got to see my blacksmith Thursday evening. He didn’t stay very long, but we got to talk and see each other. I feel like it was something I needed. I needed to see him, to feel his hand on my cheek. I needed to feel him say “I love you” against my lips.

I realized that lately, it has felt like I’ve been suffocating. I’m breathing, but it’s short shallow gasps. Emotional overwhelm feelings like drowning. Life overwhelm feels like suffocation. There isn’t enough time to recover from one thing before the next thing takes its place. I keep having to go and go and go and go without pause for reflection or rest.

Not being able to see my partners factors heavily into that feeling of suffocation. Maybe more than I realize or care to admit. Not sleeping well plays a huge role as well.

And at the moment, while I’m on the subject of sleep, it’s already 11:30 and I still have dye to rinse out of my hair, so I’m going to go.

Things are ok. I’m still hurt. I still haven’t meditated or worked through my sadness. I can see the positive things in my life, though

Daily Post 035: Kidney Stones VS Childbirth

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I’m not going to apologize for my life. I’m not going to apologize for not writing. I’m not going to apologize for spending money or for playing video games. I’m not going to apologize for being sick or frustrated or tired.

I still don’t feel much at the moment even though the depression and apathy I have been feeling for the past several weeks seem to be easing their grip.

Big Bad and I finally got to spend an evening together. I don’t know when we’ll be able to see each other again. Maybe not until the weekend after next. We enjoyed our time together we both slept well. In the morning, he went to the gym, letting me sleep in, though I did wake up when he text me to let me know he would be back. I replied with my own message to which he replied, “Go back to sleep :p ”

Our exchange made me smile as I snuggled deeper into the blankets and his scent. It made me feel like I belonged which was extremely nice after feeling so alone for so long. We finally were able to share coffee together again. We got to talk about the things going on in our lives which included my trip to the ER.

I had a kidney stone Friday morning. That sucked. Like, literally was the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life, level of suck which I feel is saying a lot for how hard I play with my partners as a masochist. I was in so much pain I threw up and couldn’t walk. Warren took me to the ER since of course this happened at 1 am and all of the urgent care clinics were closed. FML.

And to make it even better, on the way to the ER the pain faded. By the time we got checked in and I saw someone I was still dazed and fuzzy from the intensity of the pain, but I could walk again, and I could answer all of their questions though I was sort of slow on some of them.

They put an IV in my arm in case the pain came back I and needed medication. I had blood work drawn which included a pregnancy test. Good news. I’m not pregnant. Big Bad was also appreciative of that result. I had a CT scan, which that stands for computerized tomography. You learn something new every day, right? I also had an ultrasound and a few other tests run.

I had a CT scan, which that stands for computerized tomography. You learn something new every day, right? I also had an ultrasound and a few other tests run.

Everything was inconclusive.

The doctor, an extremely nice lady, said given my symptoms and description they believed it was a kidney stone that was too small to show up on the scan.

While I was waiting in between all of my poking and prodding I consulted the wise and mighty Google, asking it what the causes of kidney stones could be.

Basically, it’s one of those, “if you breathe you might get one” sort of things… dehydration could cause it, too much protein in your diet can cause it, being sick can cause it, genetics can cause it. Most adults will experience at least one kidney stone in their life. I’m totally ok with having this off of my to-do list because when I say it sucked and was the worst pain I have ever experienced, it’s not a joke or exaggeration. According to the Internet, kidney stones are worse than childbirth. There’s some food for thought.

I think what happened is the stone formed due to my sinus infection or as a result of the antibiotic I took to fend off the ear infections because of the sinus infection.

Whatever the cause, I’m seriously done with this being sick thing.

On an unrelated note… Big Bad and I said the L word to each other. Actually, we typed it to each other since we were exchanging emails but as introverts, we both count it as “saying” it. Maybe “admitting” would be a better word to use.

I don’t think it will ever be commonplace for us to say it to each other. Not for a while at least. I think we’re both still skittish about things like that due to our past experiences, but we’re both happy we’ve addressed it. I know, at least for myself, when my friend asked me how I felt about telling him I love him I replied with “vulnerable”. I’m pretty sure he’s in a similar boat.

Yes. We love each other. That doesn’t change anything or require anything more or less from either of us. We like how things are. I’m glad that if anything were to happen to me, or to him, that we’ve had the exchange we did. Neither one of us will leave having doubt about the other person’s feelings. That means a lot to me.

I don’t like thinking that I might die and not get a chance to say the things I want to say to the people I care about. It makes me feel like I’m not living my life the way I should be living it. Fully, completely, every day. When I hold back from saying something I’m assuming I’ll have tomorrow, which isn’t true. Nothing guarantees me more time so I want to say and do the things I want to while I can rather than later because there might not be a later.

I finally said what I’ve been holding onto for months. It’s relieving. I’m glad I was able to say it and that we’re still ok.

Work is going well. I was going through overwhelmed feelings, but that’s eased up a little bit. Since I had to miss work Friday due to the kidney stone I’m going to be at my clinic all week next week. No mind numbing power point lecture for me. Woohoo.

Hey, Universe… just for the record… I would have rather sat through the power point than experience pain worse than childbirth… You know… in case you were wondering…

In other news, I have a new gym membership. I know… I seem to be going through them like candy. I feel a need to write this out so I can straighten it out in my own mind.

Because of the work schedule I have now, I can’t make it to classes at the boxing club like I was, so even though I enjoy my membership and I love the instructors, it’s not getting used and won’t be renewed. I’m actually going to talk to them about ending the contract, which that will require more writing about later.

I wasn’t using the YouFit, and the only reason I had that one was because it was $10 a month with no contract and let me run inside while it was cold due to winter. There really wasn’t much else going for it which is why I canceled it as soon as it started warming up.

I still have the dojo membership and I will be keeping this regardless of my schedule. It sort of sucks right now though. I can’t really make it to the classes, not without totally fucking over my sleep schedule, which is why I’ve switched over to doing private lessons twice a week. I’m mostly focusing on conditioning and technique, which I’ve already noticed some pretty serious results, so I’m not complaining too much about the switch. I do need to acknowledge my ache from not being able to spar with my dojo family at the moment. So while, yes, technically I am there, I’m still missing a large part of what it means to be at the dojo. At least for me. It’s a temporary change, but it still aches.

I do miss going to the YMCA like I was when I worked at Full Sail. I stopped attending that because I lost the benefit through work, but mostly because they tore the building down to rebuild it. I would possibly entertain the idea of going back except with my new schedule, even if the building was done, which it won’t be until next year, I would have the same issue as the boxing club. I work too early to workout before work and the classes in the evening are too late for me to do them after work.

So that brings in this gym. 24 Hour Fitness. Warren is actually the one who told me about it since he just got a membership there.

They’re open 24 hours, which is instantly a plus. They have saunas and showers. Already sold.

In addition to having those three of my requirements, they have a nifty system with their studio room. They offer classes during certain hours, but on “off” hours there’s a TV. You’re able to search for different types of classes, combat body, yoga, step class, strength building, whatever. You can select that class and do it on your own by following the instructor on the TV. They’re also working on getting punching bags because that’s a huge request from the gym members, including myself.

There’s a facility within biking distance of my apartment, and walking distance from work, though I would most likely drive, and you get access to all facilities with your membership; no having to pay an extra fee or more expensive membership to get that perk.

I’ve gone to the gym since Wednesday. Thursday I ran for the first time in what feels like forever. I’ve shaved two minutes off my run time. I didn’t hurt during or after my run. I was breathing extremely well through it, too. I’ve had a quiet empty space to do yoga every time I’ve gone, and once I’m done I get to sit in the sauna and relax, doing my dragon thing and basking and in general not giving a fuck about anything going on in Life because Life can’t touch me while I’m surrounded by the heat and warmth. For those 15 minutes, Life doesn’t matter. My run time doesn’t matter. Work doesn’t matter. Rent doesn’t matter.

It’s my 15 minutes of silence and I’m glad I have it back. I think it’s helped.

I still ache in my chest from my grief. I can still feel it. A heaviness. A tenderness that I don’t want to touch or deal with. Sort of like when a cut is infected. It hurts so you don’t want to do anything with it, but until you scrub out the infection and clean the wound it’s not going to get better. The pain has to get worse before it gets better.

I think that’s where I’m at right now. I think I need to do some meditation or further writing to figure out why I’ve hurt so much recently.

I think there’s a lot of factors for it. Not seeing my blacksmith or Big Bad for so long led me to feel disconnected. Being so severely sick didn’t help anything. There’s still stress regarding the apartment. There’s stress from work. Until recently there was also the reduction of workout time, which for me feels like a punishment; like I’m having to give up a part of myself.

I talked to my brother Thursday afternoon as I was leaving work. I needed to talk to someone. I needed someone who would understand why I was sad and crying and I needed to know that I could cry and still be loved I guess. That I wasn’t weak or broken.

I told him that all of my coworkers constantly tell me that I’m doing well. Everyone is so encouraging and supportive. I told him that I appreciated their words and that they really do mean a lot to me, but that I still felt like a failure because I wanted to hear mom tell me those things. I wanted to know mom believed in me and supported me. I told him that I started trash talking myself in my head, saying that I would never get this and that I should quit, but that I stopped myself because I can’t do that to myself anymore. Mom isn’t here to counter the Evil Voice. I usually don’t let it get very far anyway, but I CAN’T let it erode my confidence away. Mom’s not here to clean up my scrapped knees anymore.

I remembered something on the way home after the conversation with my brother. It was a situation from a while ago. I had been packing up my stuff at the apartment I shared with Zane. At the moment I was working on taking down the cards my mom had sent me. I always kept them taped up around my corkboard so I was taking the tape off of them and putting them away in a box. These were my last words from my mom. I couldn’t get rid of them.

I wasn’t really reading them, but I was looking at them. There was one, a gray and white picture of a baby duck on a board looking down into a large bowl of water.

I picked up the card and pulled the tape off of it, just like I had all the others. When I set it down the card fell open and on the inside was the phrase, “I believe in you”.

I remember I bawled my eyes out as I sat on the floor. And I cried again in my car as I remembered that event because that day all I had wanted was to feel like my mom believed in me and that I was doing the right thing. She’s always believed in me. I have to remember that even though I can’t hear those words the same way anymore.

I know my mom is proud. I used to pass out at the sight of paper cuts and here I am doing dialysis. Go me. Fuck yeah, I’m a badass, and even though I know that about myself I still wish she were still physically here to see it and to say those things to me. And I guess that’s why everything hurts so much right now.

So many things have been happening and I still long for that physical connection. Her hug, her voice, her existence.

I’ve been doing well. This past month will be known as “The Dark Age of 2017” since I’ve survived the plague that’s tried to kill me eight million different ways.

Today is 14 months. One year and two months since her death.

Today has been a decent day. I’ve started playing World of Warcraft again with my younger brother. We spend most of the day running my character through dungeons. I cooked all of my food for the coming week. I even cleaned the apartment.

Internally I’m still heavy though. There wasn’t really happiness today. There hasn’t been for a while. There’s something more real and less fleeting than happiness instead. I don’t think it’s contentment or acceptance. I don’t know what it is, but it’s very flat, calm. It wasn’t a hard or heavy day and in my tired state of mind, I’m glad for that.

Tomorrow I wake up early to go to the gym before work. I work until 3 pm. Afterward, I have training at the dojo. Then I go home, shower, eat, and go to sleep. Maybe I’ll play on the computer for a little bit depending on how tired I am.

I haven’t felt like writing. I haven’t felt like doing much, but despite that, I’ve done a lot and I’ve been hanging in there. I may not be ok. I may not be doing ok. But I’m surviving, and I still want to survive. I want that to count towards something. Like a solid baseline maybe. It’s not positive or negative. Getting through everything I have been contending with goes into strengthing my foundation.

None of this has been as hard as the weeks leading up to or after mom’s death, but a lot of this shit HAS been hard and I still got it all taken care of.

That counts.