Daily Post 066: Continuing Forward

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This new direction continues to unfold itself.

Sunday I worked since the clinic was closed for New Year’s day, which meant I didn’t do much.

I worked. I came home. I crawled into bed because I was exhausted from working two days in a row. I slept until around 11:30 which is when the fireworks started going off. I got on WoW for a little bit but didn’t stay on much past midnight. People kept texting me and waking me up once I did get back to sleep, which was annoying, but overall it was a fairly quiet night and I was ok with that.

Monday was a day of staying inside. I guess it was a dreary day though I didn’t know that until later in the evening when I went out to get the pizza I ordered. Pretty much regretted every part of that decision when I realized just how cold and rainy it was. Totally not cool. ;-;

Monday I stayed mostly in front of my computer.

Moving has become a when, not if, scenario. I realize I might not move to Nebraska. Things might not work out. I might not like the area when I visit, etc. I do know, however, that I am not going to be staying in Orlando. Because of that, I decided to drop the Biology class I was scheduled to take. I should be getting a refund for it within the month.

I don’t want to start something here only to have to stop part way through. I don’t want to miss opportunities because I’m in the middle of taking a class. I don’t want to spend another $30 when I do register in a new program because I have to get ANOTHER official transcript for one lowly biology class. Having the money back for the class will make things easier for when I do move as well.

It felt like the right choice. My focus is something else now. School would suffer if I tried to do it while at the same time relocating. I don’t want to make a poor investment and at the moment I feel like it would be.

I began looking for apartments in Nebraska. I got a list of five to run by Ox since he knows the places which are decent and which ones to stay away from.

I then began looking at jobs on Indeed. The DaVita clinics in the area aren’t hiring. There are a few in other towns that are. They’re even offering bonuses at those locations, but they’re an hour away from where I want to be, so I would rather avoid those if possible. Despite the fact that no job postings are listed for the clinics I will be near, I plan to go and introduce myself to the FAs, which, surprise, I’m flying up to Nebraska next week to view the area in person.

I played wow for a little bit. Ox and I continued to talk. I worked on my resume. That was annoying. I couldn’t find the Illustrator file or a pdf version of my latest changes so I had to go back to an older version. It ended up not being that big of a deal. I reworked a lot of the formatting so even if I had had my most recent version I still would have spent a fair amount of time on it.

It’s a nice ego boost to see how qualified I am for positions now. There’s a lot of Medical Assistant things in the area. I’m not that qualified, but aside from the MA certification, I have all of the experience they are looking for. I’m thinking I’ll apply to the things I feel I fit and could enjoy; positions with normal hours close to or in town so there’s not much of a commute.

There’s also public transportation so if I super don’t like driving in the snow I don’t have to. Ox has looked at pictures of my tires and said I wouldn’t need to buy snow tires. The tread on the ones I have is good enough. He’s also said if we can find an empty parking lot he’ll let me drive around in his car so I can get a feel for driving in the snow. It’s something I’ve never done and am slightly highly intimidated by.

I’m pretty sure those were the main things Monday. I did rest a lot, which meant crawling back into bed with Scarlet and doing nothing for a while. Mentally, it was a productive day.

In the evening Ox helped me narrow down the list of apartments I had and even found some that weren’t listed on the sites I looked at. We have a “to-do” list for when I visit next week and taking me to tour potential apartments is one of them.

I also started looking into dojos for the area. I haven’t found one that has everything I’m looking for, but they do have places for jiujitsu, so even if I have to give up the Muay Thai/MMA aspect for a while I think I’ll be ok. I’m not sure if I’m going to be up to going to a class while I visit next week. I’m going to be working three days in a row to make this trip possible without screwing over my paycheck.

To optimize time I got the earliest flight I could which means going to the airport at 3 am, then flying for six hours with two takeoffs which will most likely trigger the PTSD I have from when I flew out to be with mom. Yeah… not sure Thursday I’m going to be up for much and Friday and Saturday already have a bit going on. I’m not sure I’m going to have it in me to add sparing to the to-do list when I’m already going to be having the crap beat out of me by Life.

We’ll see how it goes. I’ll take my gi just in case. Always be prepared, right?

Now that I think about it, I would like to walk around the grocery stores and maybe the oriental market if they have one. The more I know/see of where I’ll be moving to, the less scary it will be. I’ve already seen it. It’s not an unknown.

Tuesday I got my car back. That’s about a week ahead of schedule. Woohoo.

It’s as good as new. I returned the books I had purchased for biology. That worked out better than I could have hoped. I didn’t have the receipt from the purchase anymore and I didn’t think about that until I was already standing in line. I asked the cashier if there was any way to return the books, that I was moving and had dropped the class. The textbooks aren’t ones that I can sell on eBay or anything either since they’re a special edition specifically for my college.

Everything was still wrapped up and untouched. I said I had the purchase on my credit card statement to prove I did legitimately buy the books from the college, but that I didn’t have the paper receipt.

The cashier discussed the issue with a coworker and they agreed the credit card statement was enough and refunded me the amount. Hooray. : D

I also bought groceries, cooked, and donated plasma on Tuesday. I was more hydrated than I thought I was, which is nice. It’s been hard drinking water since I haven’t been working out. I can feel a difference within myself and it’s not really a good difference. I’m hoping to start turning that around shortly, and by shortly I mean in like… an hour and a half…

So yeah… Tuesday was a pretty busy day.

Wednesday, yesterday, I worked. Most of my coworkers know about my pending move. My FA and I spoke again about it. He wanted to know roughly when I would be leaving. Since I have the Warrior Dash with Big Bad that I REFUSE to miss, I’ll be in Orlando until at least February 10th. I told my FA that ideally, I would be moving soon, but not before then. I also said at the moment it’s still a hypothetical. Until I go and see if I actually want to be there there’s still the chance that I won’t go. I said I would keep him posted on the trip and my plans. He’s going to need to replace me so it’s only fair to give him as much of a heads up as possible.

My FA is the one who encouraged me to meet with the FAs in Nebraska and to let them know what was going on. You know… Networking and all that jazz. I know of a way to find out who they are so I’m not walking in there blind. It’s more research, most likely none of which I’ll do today, but I’m ok with that. I’ve been doing a lot, and there’s still more to take care of. One step at a time.

Yesterday showed me just how discontent my coworkers are. I hadn’t realized that five of us are about to leave for various reasons. That’s over half my team. And the people leaving are the ones I like working with the most. They’ve been doing this longer than I have, but they’re just as burnt out, just as tired of not being able to have a life outside of work.

I don’t think going to a different clinic is going to fix my issues, but it does give me a stable job that I already know how to do; something familiar in the sea of new I’m about to throw myself into. It would most likely pay me the most as well as potentially help with relocation. It might not be the “for forever” choice, but I think if it could work out, it would be a very good choice for the moment, especially if I could get close to $16. That would make everything amazing doable. Like… without a question doable. No longer freaking out over how to pay bills doable. No longer needing assistance from others doable.

Anyway, all of that is up in the air and nothing that can really be figured out right this second.

I do plan to talk to my phlebotomy instructor and to get my certification for the class I took along with the national certification I never did since I got hired by DaVita before the class ended. That would open more doors for me. I also still plan to take my CCHT certification since I don’t honestly know when I’m moving. That will be a dollar increase for while I’m still in Orlando.

Warren may be about to get a leadership/training position. If that pans out he’ll get a two dollar increase. He’s been good about paying rent on time and in full amounts. Maybe he’ll actually be able to start paying back towards the 10k he owes. Kyle also should know what his paychecks are going to be like come Friday. With him contributing I’ll be able to breathe again.

Big Bad and my blacksmith know about my move, as does Jon. All of them say I need to do what I feel is right for me and that we would figure things out from there. Big Bad was the one I was worried the most about, though true to his nature, Jon is the one who has the most issue with me moving.

Big Bad: You have to do what’s best for you and your future. I know your current financial situation is having a negative effect on you and it shouldn’t be that way. I will continue to be here for you no matter what so don’t you worry about us.

Me: We can still do the Warrior Dash together?

Big Bad: You’re damn right.

Me: If I do move I can come visit?

Big Bad: Of course.

I don’t know what will happen but I’m more ok with trying. He understands it’s not personal. I’m not moving to get away from him. In fact, he’s one of the few things making it hard to leave.

Kyle and I had lunch together Tuesday. During it, he asked if I had any positive memories of Orlando. It took me a while, looking deep, for me to answer with, “Not really.”

I know positive things did happen. I graduated Full Sail. I ran the 3D Blitz events. I met Tre here and Jin and Mark and Nick, all amazing friends or students from school. I found the dojos I’ve attended. Kayaking with Jon. Cups of coffee with Big Bad. My Warrior Dash runs…

But mostly I remember the living situations that sucked. I remember wanting to cut my wrists and having anxiety to the point of breaking down in my car on the way home at the thought of having to drive to the apartment with Corey. I remember driving Zane to work the morning he told me he had had sex with another girl in our room while I was in Vegas with mom. I remember Warren #2 picking the lock on my door and the aftermath of that situation. I remember screaming silent screams into my pillow afterward and the three days of suicidal thoughts that I overcame. I remember him telling me that I run slow, and that he didn’t believe I worked out as hard as I said I did because I would have lost more weight if I did. I remember my heart breaking over Jarrett because when we touched I honestly thought I felt the rest of forever; that he and I were going to work only… we didn’t.

I remember Full Sail not paying me for the time I was away taking care of my mom’s death even though I had poured so much of myself into my work. I have to drive past that almost every day. I have to see that reminder along with so many others about hurts and negativity from my past.

I’m done with being reminded. I want to be somewhere else where I can move past, grow past, all of that. I think I wasn’t ready to move before. I wasn’t ready to all of the new while I was in the middle of trying to figure out my career and direction in life. I still don’t think I really know what I want to do, but I have a better idea and at least a solid enough foundation that I am once again confident in my ability to find work regardless of where I am.

I’m ready to make this change now. I’m ready to start standing on my own, for real this time, without the safety net of mom to catch me if / when I fall. If I fall it will suck and eventually I’ll pick myself back up. I don’t think I’m going to fall, though.

I’m an Earth Dragon. That gives me a sense of calm that I don’t know if I can describe. It’s a fact. I’m about to change everything, but I’m an Earth Dragon. Somehow, acknowledging that makes everything feel ok.

I’ve got this.

Today I was supposed to go see my instructor but I felt writing was more important, and admittedly I do feel better for taking the time to do it. I will be going to kickboxing at noon. I’m thinking about dropping the gym membership I have along with staying out of the dojo until after I move and solely focusing on conditioning and bag work at Title Club. I still have the three hours of personal training I bought back in October that I can begin using while I remain in Orlando.

As much as I would like to say I use everything I pay for, I went from training 1 to 3 hours every day to doing an hour a week if I’m lucky. That WILL change, but I doubt it will change to the point where I’m using Title Club, the dojo, and the gym to make it worth having all three. Title Club gives me the most out of all of them, so I think it would be the better of the three to keep.

But yeah… I have kickboxing there at noon. After that, it’s off to shower then donate plasma. I plan to apply to jobs along with cooking my last meal, then leaving here around 6:30 to spend the evening with Big Bad. It’s most likely going to be the last time I see him for two weeks. I won’t be able to see him before I leave to visit Nebraska, and then I work when I get back, so… yeah, roughly two weeks. That’s going to be hard. Maybe we’ll be able to work something out to see each other briefly for dinner or at least a hug.

Anyway. I’m off to shower and finish my coffee. The freezing day awaits.

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Daily Post 065: Standing Up

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It has been a lifetime since I have written, and I don’t mean that in an exaggerated sense of the phrase. I mean, literally, since I have last writen a new chapter has unexpectedly begun writing itself.

EVERYTHING is about to change but unlike how things changed when mom died, I want these changes. I feel like this is the change needed to finish becoming who I’m supposed to be and I realize that most all of the people in my life won’t understand or agree with it, and I’m ok with that.

This is another moment of writing for myself, regardless of who reads my blog. This is my life, my thoughts, and I won’t change the picture of it by omitting events or feelings. I won’t skew myself, misrepresent the person I am. I won’t dishonor this space by pretending that things did or did not happen the way they did.

My week away was decent. I spent most of the time playing World of Warcraft with my brother. I have a level 110 mage. Her item level is in the 870s. I’m getting back into the groove of the game and I like most of the changes that have been made. Not all… but most.

Monday, the 18th, started my week. Really, in hindsight, I suppose it was the start of this change even though I didn’t know it at the time.

I woke up early to take my car in for repairs. I was able to find the drop off location with relative ease. I only had to U-turn once in morning rush hour traffic. Hooray.

The woman handling my claim is extremely nice. She even took a look at the damage and gave me her opinion. After crawling on the ground to look under the bumper she said both wheels were straight so there most likely wasn’t any real structural damage from the accident. It “should” be all cosmetic.

I was given a rental car to use until my car is repaired. It’s an Accent. It’s a bit bigger than my car but I actually really like it. If I ever feel the need to trade in my car or get a new one an Accent is definitely up there on my list to try out.

Since I was in the area I wanted to figure out the remaining issues with school. First I needed breakfast, though. I knew of a Cracker Barrel not far from where I was. I decided to get over my anxiety of driving a new car that didn’t belong to me and get some coffee in my system. It would also give me a chance to battle plan out my day.

I was looking forward to how things felt like they were going go.

On my way to breakfast, I received a text message. It was from Mother Earth. She had read my blog about the car accident. Her comment hurt. She quoted part of my previous blog post to me, the part where I say I was glad I wasn’t injured and I was able to message the people I care about to let them know I was ok.

Mother Earth: Good to know.

I hadn’t messaged her and her words felt like a slash mark across my chest. It’s a cold feeling. Metalic. I can still feel where it is. It’s in the same place as when she got upset at me about dating Zane. The same place where she told me to never message her again because of the blow up with Josh.

I read that message and felt defeat. I still do. It took a few minutes to know what I wanted to do, to say. It felt like nothing would be good enough, right enough. I had already failed and any sort of justification would just intensify that failure.

I replied explaining that I had messaged three people, though after reflection on it, after stepping back from the quickness of my reply, I realized it was four. I messaged Jon first, letting him know that way if I ended up not being ok at least he would be able to sound the alarm. I then messaged both of my roommates in case I needed help transportation wise, and again, to sound the alarm if needed. Once everything was squared away and I had already completed my journey to work I called my older brother.

That’s it.

I didn’t call my dad. I didn’t call Big Bad or my blacksmith. I didn’t call Sir, or my uncles, or my cousin, or Allison. There was no need to call anyone else and tell them, “Hey, I’m ok. I know that you think this is a big deal and you want to do something, but it’s really not a big deal, my day is unchanged, and there’s nothing you can do. K. Thanks. Bye.”

I made a post on Facebook. I wrote about it on my blog because it happened. As far as my inconvenience level it was actually mildly convenient to get hit because it forced me to be in the vicinity of school at an early enough hour to get shit done.

I had already moved past it, the car accident, much like you move past the annoyance of brushing your teeth in the morning.

But that’s not how it stayed. This is the second time my blog has caused drama in my life. The second time it has been read and actions have occured because of that writing.

Sitting in my car, holding my phone, seeing a message that felt like our effort and time meant nothing left me with a choice to make.

What did I want to do?

And my answer, inside of my head, was nothing.

I am not going to apologize for how I handled this situation. I’m not going to… I don’t know what…

I’m not going to be responsible for someone else’s emotions. And I wasn’t going to open myself up to what felt like more hurt and discord when it was two days away from my birthday. Two days away from an agonizing reminder that mom is dead.

I replied saying who I had messaged, what was going on with the car, and that though I was feeling fine if I started to have pain I would go to the hospital.

She replied with I knew my body best and we haven’t spoken since then.

I’m not sure what else to say on the subject. I know the rest of my writing is going to affect at least two people who read this post very deeply if they read it before I talk to them, but this is my journal, my diary. This is where I figure all of my shit out. I NEED to figure things out before I talk to people and I have a right to my emotions, just like they have a right to theirs.

I’m not going to let the possibility of them reading this before I talk to them change what I write or when I post. I post once I’m done because I don’t know if I’ll get the chance to afterward. I post in the moment because these words, my words, belong in the moment they were created, not later when things have changed and progressed.

So yeah… A text message was the second major event of my week off and it wasn’t even past 11am of the first day.

I continued to Cracker Barrel. I had my breakfast. I figured out the hours and locations for the departments I needed to be at for the school tasks I wanted to complete. I went and got my ID made. I got my textbooks, finally, since the bookstore never called me back. Shitty service guys. I called twice. : /

I was going to get the parking decal for my car but I didn’t have the registration, nor did I know my license plate number so I decided to save that for a different day.

I did spend the evening with Big Bad. He cooked dinner. While he had been on his fishing trip, which he returned from sans shark attack, he caught a grouper. It was the largest fish caught that day so he won a pool he and his coworkers had going. It was a tasty meal. We had sexy time before going to sleep however for the first time in a while I didn’t sleep well next to him. I don’t remember why, but I remember that I had been hoping to feel better, more connected, but I didn’t.

It was still two days until my birthday. Even though I was with someone I cared about, things still sort of sucked.

I don’t remember all of the details from there. Things get hazy but then, there’s really not much to say. I didn’t train at all during my week off. I didn’t donate plasma, either. I played Warcraft and slept and hung out with my brother.

Wednesday, was the 20th, my birthday. My blacksmith came over for a few hours before he went to work. It was good to see him. We had sex but in all honesty, we spent most of our time cuddling/sleeping.

He asked if I was ok, to which I replied yes. He said he knew I was strong but was I really ok. I again said yes, that I was fine.

Me: I promise.

I didn’t feel connected, though, and there was nothing either of us could have done to change or fix that. I wanted mom but that connection can never be what it was. It’s not wrong. It simply is.

I had been fine-ish for most of the day, but I began hurting when he got up to leave to go to work. It’s like by the act of him leaving I realized I was alone.

I didn’t feel used, but I didn’t feel good, either. Much like how I didn’t feel better from my time with Big Bad.

I got back on WoW because I had told my brother I would, but I didn’t stay on all that terribly long. We did a few things with guildmates, Jon and I talked a bit in Discord, and then I went to bed.

I didn’t cry much that night and that’s something I will acknowledge. I didn’t cry as much as I thought I would that week.

The 20th is the first day that I really started interacting with Ox. That’s his Chinese zodiac sign, so that’s his code name. He’s wood ox actually and so yes, I do make jokes in reference to trojan horses sometimes.

Anyway, I’m sure you can see where this is going…

We’ve spent roughly three hours each day since then talking to each other and neither of us knows why. We can’t explain it. We can’t find the logic in it.

What I do know is that in the next few months, as soon as feasibly possible, I will be moving to Nebraska.

Am I moving there because of him?

Yes.

And no.

I don’t want to stay in Orlando. I don’t want to stay at my job. I don’t want to stay at the apartment. I don’t want to have the roommates I do. And being completely honest with myself, I don’t want to be a nurse.

I don’t know what I want, but I want to figure it out and the pervasive feeling through this whole season was stagnation. The feeling that I can’t move forward here. I’m stuck here. I’m screwed here. I’m surrounded by reminders here.

Is my choice to leave stupid?

I don’t know. I haven’t done it yet. I don’t know what the repercussions will be for my actions.

I know that it feels right. It feels like there’s less resistance, less friction following this unexpected direction then staying here in Orlando.

My question for myself, the one I always ask when I’m not sure what choice to make; If I were to die tomorrow would I regret not doing this?

Yes.

My answer is yes.

I would regret not doing this. I would regret not seeing what’s about to happen. Even if I crash and burn and crawl back beaten and bloody and broken, I would be content knowing I did what I wanted to do. It didn’t work, but at least I can die knowing I tried.

There are things I/we want to take care of before I do move. We have both said, “within the year”, but what we’re aiming for is within the next three months.

On my end, there’s the issue of school. My certifications. Finding a job. Finding a place to live. Leaving my friends. Leaving my lovers. Moving what little I have and figuring out what exactly it is I want to take with me.

There is a lot that goes into this decision and I am working through all of the aspects and doing the research for it as I go. I’m asking deep questions and I am being brutally honest with my answers.

I know parts of this choice are going to be painful. Big Bad and I just spent an afternoon together where he gave me a birthday present with a card that brought me to tears.

It hurts knowing that this choice will hurt him. I love him. I want for him to be ok and for this to not damage him and I don’t know if it won’t.

I know there’s more I most likely should/want to write about but this writing was interrupted by a phone call and now I’m not sure where I am within the writing or where I want to go, and really, all of this is a lot in itself. Maybe ending it, for now, is the best course of action so I can come back later and work through all of the many different parts one at a time.

I have set it within my mind that I am leaving. I’m leaving to go live in essentially what is a forest. I’m leaving to have the space and distance and solitude that I have craved for so long. There is a person involved but it’s more that he showed me this area exists and that, with work, it’s possible for me to get there.

I will be there. And as I find time to write, which I know I need to make more time for, I’ll work through everything that comes with this decision.

I think I know what this coming year will be for me. I wasn’t sure before, but now… now I think I know. I will leave this broken, empty, dusty den of what used to be and I will fly away to make a new one, my own nitch which I carve myself without approval or guidance. I am no longer a fledgling dragon and I will prove it to myself.

I need change if I am to continue to grow the way I feel I’m meant to.

This will be my year of standing up.

I had a year where I survived.

I had a year where I have become stable.

Now it’s time to stand once again and own the person I’m meant to be.

Daily Post 064: So That Got Scratched Off My Bucket List…

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Today has been a bit of a day.

I woke up to a text message from Big Bad. His company was taking his team on a fishing trip today so he sent me a message saying they were about to leave shore and he would let me know when he got back on dry land. He also sent me a picture of himself in his sunglasses and fisherman’s hat.

It was a warm way to start the morning, getting a goofy message from him. I sent a reply telling my sea fairing captain to have fun and stay safe. It’s 6:30 now and I haven’t heard back from him. I’m starting to get mildly anxious, but I also recognize why I am feeling that way, so I think I’m doing alright with handling the emotions.

I highly doubt he’s dead and being eaten by sharks, ok Brain? Jeez. You have enough things to worry about without involving sharks…

I stayed in bed for a while longer. Eventually, I did get up. I changed into comfy clothes. I put my glasses on instead of messing with my contacts and made sure my hair wasn’t too much of a mess before going to Perkins for breakfast and to study. I had the motivation to do it so I wanted to take advantage while I could.

Breakfast was alright. Nothing will ever be a good as their pulled pork smasher. I’m still mildly heartbroken that it was a limited time thing. The coffee was warm, the sun was out, which I appreciated. My phone was fully charged and I had my headphones with me. I let the music drift through me as I read through another chapter and a half in my book. The chapter about dialyzer reuse was actually really interesting even though it doesn’t pertain to me. The chapter about water treatment is only about 20 pages, but holy shit, by the time I was halfway through my brain was mush.

My Surface wasn’t charged when I left the house, so I didn’t have a way to really map out my day or take care of computer things like writing. Since there wasn’t much else I could with my brain draining out through my ears, I decided to head home and see if there was a class at Title Club I could take.

There happened to be a kickboxing class scheduled for noon. I had just enough time to change and get there. I also wrote down the information I needed to get the money order for my certification. The gym is near my bank so I figured I could take care of that while I was in the area.

The class was good. It was nice to be back. I enjoyed the routine of taking off my sunglasses, shoes, ring, and necklace. I enjoyed putting my shin guards on and bowing in before stepping onto the mat even though Title Club isn’t a dojo.

To me, it’s a sign of respect and acknowledgment. This is an area to train, to be better than my self. This area is important and should be shown respect. That’s what bowing in means to me.

I didn’t do as well as I have in the past. I was sore from training with L the day before and I haven’t done an hour-long class in a while. The warm-up had me more winded then I’ve been in a while. Instead of giving myself shit or making myself feel bad for “not doing better” I accepted that I’ve been out of the game for a while and that it’s going to take me a week or so to get back to what I now consider my baseline.

I’m glad I stayed for the whole workout since by round six I was seriously considering throwing in the towel. The last two rounds were rough, but I made it. I didn’t do core, but I did stay and stretch which is another thing I have been neglecting. I used to do yoga so often. I can feel the tightness within me. I can feel how my hamstrings protest. I can feel the tension in my neck and shoulders from the stress of work.

It was actually interesting. As I started my stretching, sitting on my shins, my hands open and relaxed palm up on my thighs I could feel everything, all of it, begin to melt. As I began stretching my neck, feeling the tightness, I told myself it was ok to let go. It was ok to not carry all of that with me, and it started to leave.

There were silent tears, thankfully hidden by my perspiration. The unevenness of my breathing was covered by the loudness of the music as the class continued. It was freeing. I was sad, and I was tired, and I was stressed, and in that moment it was ok. I could let all of it go and I did.

I focused on letting my body relax and breathing through the emotional pain that came with that relaxation and at the end I felt better for having taken the time for myself. I’m not where I used to be and I know there are still things I’m harboring within myself. Pockets of tension and discord. Tangles that need to be worked through. I’m working on it, though. I think that’s what today was. The start of taking me back.

Once class was done I walked out to my car, which was an accomplishment in itself because I swear if I had to do any more squats my quads would have resigned and I would have had to army crawl out the door.

The bank was uneventful. Got the money order I needed then headed home.

On the way, I called my clinic and spoke with my FA. We were trying to get the form I needed emailed to me, but for whatever reason, I wasn’t able to check my work email at home. To be honest, I’ve never checked my work email for that reason. I’m not sure if I can only access it at the clinic, but if that’s the case then it sort of sucks.

Anywho, since I wasn’t able to get the paper via the Internet I called and asked if I could come to the clinic and pick it up. He said sure. That wouldn’t be a problem, so I added that to my to-do list.

I dashed home, changed, told Kyle I would be back in a bit then headed out.

I got to the second stop light, the “busy intersection” light. It was red and traffic was picking up because rush hour was just starting, but I figured I could make it to the clinic in about 30 minutes which would put me back on the road before it got too bad.

While I was musing through my trip/return trip I had the Universe decide that today would be the day to get rear-ended while fully stopped at a stop light.

Yep.

That totally, completely happened.

The guy was super apologetic about it. We pulled into the parking lot on the corner of the intersection and got everything taken care of.

Neither of us was injured. I mean, I do have a bit of a friction burn on my left arm from the door of my car, but when you’ve had a fractured rib and survived a kidney stone a little bit of friction burn really isn’t a big deal.

Both of our cars are/were still drivable as well, so when faced with how bad it could have been I think it was actually a pretty decent accident.

I was still able to call and text the people I care about and tell them that I was ok. I wasn’t being rushed to a hospital in critical condition. I was able to tell everyone, on my own, that I had been in an accident but everything was legitimately fine and we were taking care of it.

The guy called his insurance company and started filing a claim. We traded information and both of us took pictures of the damage to both cars. I’ve already been contacted by his insurance company. I drop off my car to get it repaired Monday morning and will be getting my rental car at the same time.

I’ve been told that whiplash symptoms can take a few days to show. While at the moment I feel fine I have 14 days to seek medical care if I start feeling iffy.

When all of the excitement of the car accident was taken care of I continued on my way to work. The day had been going so well. I refused to let this thing, that seemed to be going smoothly, all things considered, screw with my inner peace.

One of the lanes going through downtown was closed off which made traffic more annoying than it needed to be, but I made it to work within the hour which was nice. I got a chance to see the clinical coordinator and have my TB test cleared since I had that done on Wednesday. I got to see my FA too since he was getting ready to leave.

I told him I would have been in sooner but I got rear-ended. We talked a bit about that, so he’s aware of the situation.

The doctor’s had bought lunch for the clinic that afternoon so while I was there I got to have a free meal. That almost made up for the headache of the car accident. Not quite, but almost. I mean… come on… Free food? How can that not make your day better?

I got to talk to my older brother for a bit since I called to tell him about the accident. I also posted on Facebook so everyone would know that I was safe. Maybe it’s lazy of me, but I didn’t feel like sending a billion individual messages. I don’t post often to Facebook and when I do it’s usually important… or a cat picture… which is still important…

I don’t know. It just seemed like the most efficient way to let people know something major happened but that I was ok. I’ve had a lot of people reach out to me and say they’re glad I’m ok. I wasn’t looking for warm fuzzy feelings but I’ve been getting them since that post.

I made it back home without further incident. That’s when the Progressive chick called me and the car drop off/repair got figured out.

Since then I’ve called the college bookstore, again, about seeing if I can get my book for my upcoming Biology class. I still haven’t been able to get in contact with anyone. I left another message. I haven’t heard back from them so I doubt I will since they don’t have hours over the weekend. I might as well resign myself to driving up there sometime during my week off to see what is going on with that.

It might be good to do regardless since I’m pretty sure I need to go have my student ID made and a parking permit issued. I guess I’ll look into that Monday morning or Sunday night.

The biggest development, aside from scratching “get rear-ended” off of my bucket list, is that I booked five days at an extended stay for the coming week.

I sat down and figured out how to spend the $500 of Christmas / birthday money I allotted myself. $80 of it went to my World of Warcraft renewal. Roughly $100 will go to getting my hair bleached and brows done. I’m not sure if it’s really going to be that much. I hope not, but since I don’t have a price point that’s what I guesstimated. If I end up with extra money, cool. At least I know there’s no way it can go over that much.

That left about $300 to spend.

Just for shiggles I opened a tab in Chrome and took a look at extended stay prices. I found one for about $60 a night near my apartment, which led to me making my reservation.

I like that I have something to look forward to. I will have a week away from the apartment. A week away from Warren and Kyle. A week where I can have the space and silence I need to reflect and figure stuff out.

This is my gift to myself and I cannot wait for Sunday night. I check in that afternoon. I plan to donate plasma first thing in the morning then head over to see the room and take stock of what I want to bring with me. I’ll most likely pack up my computer, along with bringing some food stuffs like coffee creamer.

It’s almost stupid how much I’m looking forward to this. My paycheck is going to be short 20 hours because of this. I’m using my credit card to pay for it. There are all of these “things” saying I most likely shouldn’t have done this, but I don’t care. I have been and am doing a bitchin’ job at keeping things in my life together with duct tape and super glue. I deserve one week out of the whole year where I can be alone.

I’ll figure out how to make things work. I have the savings to cover the missing time if it comes to that.

Also, Kyle told me he starts his old job on Monday. I don’t know what hours he’ll be working. He said it’s sort of an “as needed” gig, so I don’t know if it’s going to be all that reliable, but it’s definitely more than nothing. I’m grateful he applied, and I’m grateful he’ll be able to start contributing financially.

Once we have an idea of what type of income he’ll be pulling in we’ll have a better idea of how much he can contribute. $425 would cover all of his quarter, since Warren pays half for having the master bedroom.

All I need to do is survive tomorrow; my last day of work before my break, my retreat, my reward. A week of very few obligations. A week of self-care. A week of no alarms unless I want them. A week of actually having time to workout and eat when I’m hungry and drink water throughout the day. A week of seeing sunlight. A week of being able to cry when I’m sad and missing mom.

I can do this. Things are getting better. Things are ok and it’s starting to finally feel like I believe those words again instead of saying them with a plea in my voice as if begging the Universe to let them be true.

I laughed today and it was genuine. Kyle had said something before I put my headphones on to take care of my computer tasks and I laughed and it felt good. He said he was happy to see me smiling again. I said it felt good to smile.

I know it will still be hard, but I think that’s part of what my dream was referencing. The one about the house. There will be storms and hard times, but I’ve stood through all of my storms so far and I’ll make it through this one just the same.

I’m battle-hardened and scared and flawed and imperfectly perfect and that’s ok. I’m still me and I can still smile and laugh. I can still be productive and move forward even when it feels like Life is doing its damnedest to stop me.

You know what, Life? Come at me, bro. (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

0_otLMv-OO2jeSrq8l

Musing Moments 112: Linked Dreams

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I had a dream a few nights ago which I only just remembered today because last night’s dream built on top of it.

I think this is the first time where I’ve had dreams that were connected to each other as if they were a continuation of the same dream; touching the same thread with my fingertips and tracing it, following it as it travels along its path.

In the first dream, I finally had my own place. It was a house I think. I remember the main room I was in was very open with a high wood beam ceiling and tall floor to ceiling windows.

Someone else was with me. I don’t remember who, but it was someone I was close to; someone I trusted. They were worried about the house because it was old. It needed a lot of work done to it. The beams were worn and old looking. There was dust and cobwebs, but I loved the house because it was mine. My very own dragon den.

The person I was with didn’t think it was a good investment and were hesitant to give their blessing, but I didn’t care.

It was mine and I was alone and it was perfect.

In the dream, there was a storm coming, so everything was overcast and couldy instead of bright and sunny. I think the storm was a hurricane, or at the very least a severe thunderstorm. The kind of tropical downpours which are so common during the rainy months here in Florida.

I remember it started raining while we were still in the house and even though the water was leaking in through holes in the roof I loved the way the water cascaded down the windows. I loved the sound of the water. I loved the cold feeling in the air. I was worried about damages but at the same time, I was drawing strength from the storm. I wanted it to rain. I wanted to stand and scream back at the wind and thunder because I wouldn’t leave my house. I had earned that house and even if it wasn’t perfect I wasn’t going to leave it to face the storm alone.

The dream from last night built on top of that dream.

I recently booked a room at an extended stay for five days. It’s my birthday / Christmas present to myself. In the dream last night I was having lunch or coffee or something outside at a cafe. I was talking to someone, explaining why I had gotten the room for myself. I don’t remember if they were actually there at the table with me or if I was talking on the phone. I remember it was warm and sunny and one of those “movie perfect” moments.

While I was explaining my decision to book the room I had the realization that it was silly of me to have done that. I had my house that I could have gone to. Why did I book the extended stay if I wanted to be alone when I simply could have gone to my house to get away from Warren and Kyle?

I’m not really sure what to make of this dream; this “realization”.

The closest I have to a home outside of the apartment would be Big Bad’s. I do feel a sense of relief when he closes the door behind me. I do have a feeling of “coming home” when he hugs me hello. We have progressed to the point where I sleep better next to him than on my own, which sucks when we only see each other once a week.

Despite those feelings, I am hyper aware that his home is NOT my home, regardless of how I feel. He has his own life and schedule. He has his kids. We’ve never broached the subject of exchanging keys much less living together.

We’re not there yet and may never be and I accept that about our relationship, much like I accepted, until recent conversations, that I would most likely never have children with him since he already has four daughters.

We may never live together and I accept that. I’m ok with the time we are able to spend together.

I don’t know. It’s interesting. I do feel like both of these dreams are important, especially since they seem connected. It reminds me of the dream I had about the beach houses, and how I knew none of them would be mine. I would never want to live somewhere like that because the houses would never be safe from the water.

I liked the feeling of the house I was in. It felt like it was in the woods. Maybe a mildly swampy area. It felt old. Like it had stood the test of time and would continue to do so. It was sturdy, reliable. It was secure and isolated. It was everything my dream-self needed it to be, even if it wasn’t perfect.

I’m glad I remembered that dream. It gives me something to hold on to. It reminds me of the feelings I used to have when I would visit mom. When I would take my weekend trips home and sit on the couch with her.

Even with the chill in the air from the storm, there was a warmth in that dream house that I haven’t felt in a very long time. It reminded me that those feelings are and were real. That at one point in my life I did feel them. It wasn’t always this coldness and aversion. At one point there was a place I thought of as mine; that I had a sense of ownership over.

Maybe one day I’ll get back there. Maybe one day I’ll find the new spot where I’m supposed to belong and it will seem silly to go elsewhere.

Daily Post 063: Waking Up Awake

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Tuesday was my day of self-care. I still think of it that way even though it turned into a crap-tastic day. I broke that evening. I knew it was coming, I could feel it, I just wasn’t expecting it to be now I guess.

Tuesday I wrote. I had planned to study. I had planned things. A light to-do list, but never the less I had planned for the day to be productive and relaxing.

It started with writing, which helped. It moved from there to paying bills since I was still on the computer. I figured I wouldn’t be able to pay all of my bills this early in the month since I was missing so much of Warren’s contribution, but I figured I could pay rent and have that out of the way. The one major, main bill I have anxiety over would be taken care of.

That quickly turned into realizing that I am short $100 to make the payment. Not that I myself am short. I have my part of the payment. What I am missing is the rest of Warren’s part.

That spiraled into depression and sadness because I do have the savings to cover it, but that’s savings that I already have plans for. Like saving for myself so I have a cushion when my car suddenly breaks down or having to buy a $700 plane ticket to be with a dying family member because I’ve learned from personal experience that shit like that actually happens.

My savings, as meager as it is now, is the emergency money for the shit I can’t plan for. It was money left to me from mom that was never meant to help other people. It was meant to help me and it’s the last of it I have.

I decided, sitting there looking at my bank account and the numbers not working, that I wasn’t going to fix this problem. I wasn’t going to dip into the money I had just transferred into my “Me” fund and I wasn’t going to touch my savings. If Warren wanted rent to be paid then he needed to come up with the rest of his share, otherwise, there would be a late fee and I wouldn’t be the one paying it.

I decided then and there that I was done. I was done being the parent. The problem solver. I was done giving to make things easier for someone else.

I sent him a message saying we were short $100 for rent and then laid on the couch and let the silent tears have their way.

It was seven days until my birthday. Seven days until I’m 29.

Right Brain: Happy birthday! Your gift is not being able to pay rent.

Left Brain: You know… if you want… you can go fuck yourself right now. I’m cool with that.

Warren eventually came downstairs since he woke up. He ignored me for a little bit and I didn’t care. Before he took Bruno out he asked when rent was due. I said not until the 19th but because the amount was so large it takes a few days to transfer it. I said liked having it done as soon as possible to avoid complications.

He asked if it could wait until Friday. He would get paid Friday and he would be able to transfer me more to help out. I said yes. I said once rent was paid that I would have no money for any of the other bills like internet, power, my phone bill or car insurance. It was hard not to cry while admitting to that. That this is what my life is at the moment.

I asked him if I could ask something without it being a bitchy question. Warren said yes, so I asked what happened? What happened to all of the overtime he was supposed to have worked and the promotion with the dollar increase? How are things worse when everything should have been better?

He said that after the first week of the iPhone release his company took away the overtime because the call volume drastically dropped compared to what they were expected. The raise has only just started to kick in since he’s officially out of training. He was also denied FEMA assistance for Erma, which is pretty fucked up.

His side chick, which I realize she’s his companion and I’m being dismissive by referring to her in such a way, but right now, on my blog, in my head, I’m resentful of Warren indulging in things while I feel like I suffer, so yeah, for the time being, she’s Miss Side Chick. Anyway, she’s a Nero Scientist / Therapist / Doctor. Like, legit has a doctorate already and makes complete bank on her own.

She got FEMA assistance of $1000.

Warren on the other hand, who was without power for three days and then without internet for about another week and who could legitimately not work during that entire time, was denied any assistance. Nothing to replace the food we lost. Nothing to replace the income he missed out on because he couldn’t log into work. In fact, he told me he’s being investigated for fraud…

Yeah…

So he’s been trying to catch up from getting screwed in all of those ways.

I’m more understanding of his situation. I’m less irrationally angry and more frustrated with the situation. It sucks, but it is what it is. We’re all doing our best and trying to adult as well as we can.

Warren is assuming his mom is going to send him money for Christmas. She has for years. It hurts knowing he’ll get a Christmas gift from her; that he counts on it being there.

I’m not going to get anything. I’m not going to be in Vegas with my older brother and sister-in-law so I doubt we’ll do more than send text messages to each other. Maybe a phone call. My younger brother and I aren’t going to do much in the way of gift exchange. He mentioned he has bought something for me months ago at Salvation Army because when he saw it he knew it was meant for me, but we’re not wrapping gifts. We’re not going to have “holiday cheer”. We’re going to spend the day much like Thanksgiving; at his apartment surviving, understanding that both of us are sad and trying to hold our shit together.

I’m not going to be getting anything for my birthday either, which I don’t mean to make it sound like these days are about receiving things because they aren’t. I’ve never been big into giving or receiving gifts. I would rather spend time with the people I care about. But always, without fail, there would be a card from mom. AND a phone call. Not just text messages.

I have a meeting at work on Sunday. We’re doing a secret Santa exchange. We’re most likely going to be doing birthday wishes since a few of us have birthdays either recently passed or coming up. I don’t want to get a card from them. I don’t want it acknowledged. I don’t want to pretend like there isn’t a wound there that is having salt unintentionally ground into it. I don’t want to pretend like I’m ok with where I’m at in life when I’m not.

Tuesday I realized that I went from working out three hours five days a week to a single hour a week. Since the end of April, since getting this job, I have done nothing but give up my “Me” time. I work to the point where on my days off I don’t have it in me to do anything other than sleep. On the days I do train I also have to donate plasma now, so afterward I can’t do anything intense like sparring.

It sucks. I’m not ok with any of this.

Wednesday, yesterday, I woke up and wanted to cry at the thought of having to get out of bed and go to work for 16 hours. I hit snooze more than I should have. I was slow in the shower. I didn’t want to eat. I didn’t finish my coffee. I put on my scrubs and made sure everything was packed for the day before fighting through the pain, tears running down my cheeks, as I walked to my car.

I drove to work. I tried not to break down as I put my bag down and switched into my work shoes. The day was rougher then it needed to be since I was working with Star Lord. That’s the nickname he has at the clinic. I don’t know the story behind it. He’s not a bad guy, but he’s super slow. On all of the days where I’ve had him as my RN, it’s felt like we’ve been short a person because he does so little. He takes 40 minutes to put one patient on the machine. He leaves tasks halfway finished because he hasn’t figured out how to multitask in such a fast-paced and demanding environment.

I’ll be the first to throw up my hand and admit that I was slow and disoriented in the beginning. I messed up and made things harder for my teammates for a while I’m sure. I was the weakest link and I’m sure when people saw my name on their side of the clinic there was an inward sigh of “fuck me… ”

But I’m no longer that person. I’m a strong and confident member of the team; to the point where some people prefer to work with me over others. In eight months I have gotten to the point where I am on par.

Star Lord isn’t there and I don’t think he ever will be. I don’t think he’s cut out for this type of environment. I think a lot of his slowness is from hesitation and insecurity but instead of rising to the challenge he’s shrinking away from it which is why he isn’t getting better.

It means the people he works with have to pull his weight. It means patients are an hour or more late getting on the machine. It means that trickles into all of the other shifts. It means breaks get messed up. It means it’s a rough day when it didn’t need to be one.

That’s what yesterday was. I knew when I saw his name on the schedule it would be like that. I was tapped out before the day had begun and it was going to be a hard, long day.

I think I did well most of the day. I worked as best I could and that’s all I could do. By the time we got to third shift it was the home stretch. No other patients were going to be coming in. There were six CVCs to take care of. That’s a lot, but we got everyone on the machine.

My final patient was having complications. We got the clinical coordinator over to check out her CVC and to clear her for her treatment. I completed her CVC care and got her connected to the machine and dialyzing. Everything was finally settling down. Everyone was on. I could start cleaning up the unused chairs and closing stations down. I could be done with people for a little bit.

Only I couldn’t because five minutes later that same patient wanted to be taken off the machine so she could use the restroom. And it’s not like she could walk on her own. She’s in a wheelchair and wanted me to take her to the restroom. I had to rinse her back, secure her CVC which has been hurting her because two of the stitches are bothering her, so she’s in pain as I’m trying to take care of her, then help transfer into her chair…

It felt like a lot, like too much. I just needed a break from having to do something for someone else. I wanted to go home. I wanted to cry. But I didn’t. I took her to the restroom, went back on the floor to clean until the assistance light started flashing, went back to the restroom to get my patient, got her back on the machine, then went back to cleaning.

I listened to music while making needle packs. I took my final break. I spent about 20 minutes afterward making CVC kits in the stockroom, alone, listening to more music.

We were out of terminations like I knew we would be. We’ll be out of them again by the end of today, but I don’t go back to work until Saturday so it’s someone else’s problem on Friday. According to the log I am the only person who has made CVC kits for the past 14 days of December. That’s pretty shitty and something I will bring up at the meeting on Sunday. We need a better system with the CVC kits because right now ours isn’t working.

I didn’t leave the clinic until around 9 pm last night. I didn’t get home until 9:30. It was a long day. Kyle was in the living room. I didn’t care. I ate dinner in the kitchen. I went upstairs and brushed Scarlet for a while. I took a shower. I fell asleep with my light on.

I woke up at midnight. Everyone was asleep by then. I went downstairs and ate again then fell back asleep on the couch. When I woke up it was light outside. I had a moment of freaking out thinking I had overslept and missed my training session, but it was only 7:40. I had plenty of time.

Today I woke up feeling awake.

I’m not sure how to really describe it or if anyone else has ever had that feeling. I woke up feeling clear-headed and aware. I wasn’t sad or tired. I wasn’t injured feeling. I felt like myself with my own perspectives rather than the fuzziness or fog or weight that I’ve been contending with.

I don’t know if my break down Tuesday has anything to do with this feeling, which I just realized I mentioned it but never explained what happened.

Tuesday didn’t recover from the “can’t pay rent” realization. I didn’t go out and study. I stayed on the couch and slept. For the few hours I wasn’t asleep I watched more of Fate/Stay Night. I hurt. I knew I hurt. I knew there wasn’t going to be anything to make it feel better. I knew I didn’t want to smoke. I knew I couldn’t drink because I’m trying to stay hydrated.

In the evening Kyle came downstairs and asked if he could have the TV when I was done. I was just starting another episode of Fate/Stay Night which I really didn’t want to watch. I knew it wouldn’t make me feel better I just didn’t know what else to do so I had let it start on its own.

I told him I was done. He could have it. I got up and put my dishes in the kitchen. I knew I sounded like I was on the verge of tears because I was. As I was walking by him to get to the stairs Kyle tried to poke my arm. It’s a thing we have, from the Facebook poke feature I guess. We randomly poke each other and say, “Poke”. It’s stupid and I know it is and I couldn’t handle it last night.

He reached out to poke me and I backed away.

Me: I’m sorry. I hurt right now. It’s seven days until my birthday.

It was only three sentences, but it was the first time I verbally told anyone that I hurt. It was the first time admitting my fear even though I didn’t really say it was a fear. I’m scared of my birthday. I don’t want it to come. My throat kept getting tighter as I said those words and even though they were so few by the end I thought I would choke if I had to say more.

I think Kyle tried to say something to me but I was so close to breaking down that I didn’t stay to listen. I jogged up the stairs as fast as I could and bearly closed the door before I started sobbing.

I hate how all of my writings recently seem to come back to this. Me crying. Me talking about mom. Me missing her and obsessing over the fact that she’s dead. I’m sure it’s annoying to read. At what point am I going to get on with my life and stop whining about not having her?

It’s my second birthday without her.

It sucks.

It sucks and I hate this. Even though there’s a lot of really awesome things in my life now like Big Bad and Master and jiujitsu when I’m able to actually get to the dojo and losing 20% body fat and leaving Full Sail, this one thing, this one piece of my life overshadows all of that. Or at least makes it break even to where I’m neutral.

I have all these things. I have all of this confidence in myself.

I don’t have my mom.

I won’t have a phone call from her on the 20th. I won’t have a birthday card. I won’t have an “I love you.”

I knew this time would be the hardest for me, which is why I took the coming week off from work. I only have 20 hours of PTO to cover it. That means my check is going to be short by half.

This is why I have my savings. This is why I’m not going to take care of other people anymore. Because there are still going to be times where I need to take care of myself, like know. Like on April 4th; the two-year mark.

I cried for a really long time Tuesday night and I cried hard and I didn’t care if my roommates could hear my screams through my pillows. I didn’t care if my grief made anyone else uncomfortable because in that moment I was bleeding out on my bed all of the hurt and pain that I have been trying to work with and breath around and hold on to because I have to go to work, I have to donate plasma, or grocery shop, or take care of laundry, or any of the number of life things that I “need” to take care of.

I can’t stop and deal with the pain. I can’t cope with it and slow down and let myself heal the way I need to. I have to keep up with society. I have to keep functioning because you can’t not function in the world we’ve allowed to develop.

Tuesday night I gave zero fucks and I cried all of it into my pillows.

I eventually calmed down. I looked at my phone and had a message from Kyle saying he was sorry. He hasn’t meant to push me.

I said there was nothing to be sorry for. That he had done nothing wrong and that I would get better eventually even though I didn’t have a specific time for when that would happen.

He offered for me to come downstairs and watch the rest of The Incredible Hulk with him since we had watched part of it Sunday night before I had to call it quits to get to sleep on time.

I said I might cry if I came downstairs to which he replied that was ok.

I got up. I showered. I changed into comfy pjs. I took my contacts out and put my glasses on. I dragged my fuzzy blanket with me. It’s not as awesome as Big Bad’s fuzzy blanket, but it’s a decent substitute. I curled up in “my” corner of the couch and we finished watching the movie together.

I wasn’t ready to go to work on Wednesday, not after Tuesday night, but I did it. I survived it and I only have one more day of work to get through before my week off.

And so now I’m at today.

I woke up feeling “with it”. I don’t know how else to explain it.

I trained really well. I know my arms will be sore tomorrow and I’m looking forward to it.

I only have one more training session left with L before I have to buy more. I don’t think I’m going to, though. Right now I can’t justify that much money. But I think that’s ok. On Tuesdays and Thursdays there a 6:30 am jiujitsu class at the dojo. I can go there in the morning before school. I can potentially do boxing/kickboxing during the afternoons. I can definitely get to Title Club on Fridays, which I’ll start having off in January. That also leaves me Sundays which I’ll be able to start working out on again since I won’t be working two 16 hour shifts in a row anymore.

I do have three hours worth of personal training I bought from Title Club during October while they were doing a super awesome deal. I haven’t cashed that in yet because I haven’t had time to, but my instructor knows about my situation and agreed that the new year would work best for him as well. That’s where I’m going to start focusing on footwork and how to move in the ring with an opponent.

So maybe for this first semester of school, it would be good to back off of the personal training with L and to focus on finding a rhythm with the dojo again. It would also be a break financially which could help things righten themselves.

Kyle hasn’t mentioned anything about his old job but I’m pretty sure he should get the background check cleared by the end of this week.

I gave my FA the form he needed to fill out for my certification yesterday. He was supposed to get it back to me but didn’t, so I’m going to text him and see if he could email it to me. That’s another part of what my savings are going to go towards. My company will reimburse me for the certification fee, but I still have to cover it on my own up front. That’s close to $300.

Hooray…. said no one ever.

I do plan to study today after donating, which I’m about to go do after I shower once more.

I feel stronger today then I have in a while. I know I’m going to have dark days ahead of me, some of them in the very near future, so for right now I’m going to enjoy the warmth and clarity that I feel within myself and get as much done as I can. The more I do know the less rough the hard days will be even if I lose sight of that while I’m in them.

Daily Post 062: A Self-Care Day

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Today is a day off. One which I’m grateful for. It’s 10:17 am and I have yet to do much of anything with the day.

Tuesday’s have a routine. I wake up at Big Bad’s. Usually, I wake up when he first gets out of bed, but I didn’t today. I have nebulous, fuzzy memories of movement, but I didn’t fully wake up. My first real memories of this morning where if him crawling back into bed, burrowing under the covers to tickle me with his freezing hands.

Today was the first day I’ve stayed with him where I didn’t feel well waking up. I was still insanely tired. I had a painful, sharp headache covering most of the front right side of my head.

It was the first time I didn’t feel ready for the day. On one hand, I did feel recharged, refreshed. We had time together when I thought I wouldn’t see him for over two weeks. A co-worker offered to switch days with me this past Saturday which meant even though I worked Monday I was able to leave early enough to have my evening.

It was fantastic. We watched Bad Santa 2 which was crude but funny and mindless. It was low-level stupid humor and really I think it wouldn’t have mattered what we watched. I wasn’t at work interacting with patients. I wasn’t studying for my certification. I wasn’t worrying about money or being frustrated with my roommates. Nothing was required of me aside from being present.

I remember being worried that I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep, but I guess I did.

I was pretty sure the headache was from dehydration. I didn’t drink anything on Sunday because I slept most of that day. I don’t really remember the last time I wrote. I worked Wednesday, was off Thursday, which I guess was the last time since I’m pretty sure I wrote about therapy that day.

I didn’t feel better after therapy. I still don’t, but maybe that’s because in eight days it’s my birthday and that thought hurts. This season hurts. I don’t think there’s anything that will make it better, not even therapy.

Anyway, I worked Wednesday, Thursday morning, then did all of my obligations for that day, then turned around and worked Friday and Saturday. It felt like I was at the clinic four days in a row, which in a way I was. Even if Thursday wasn’t a “full day” at the clinic, I was still there and still had an extremely productive day afterward. It wasn’t a rest day by any stretch of the imagination. So by the time I finally got to Sunday I had nothing in me to give.

When I woke up Sunday I went back to sleep. The few times I actually got up were purely for bathroom breaks and food. I guess it would have been smart to drink something while I ate, but I didn’t. I didn’t really start feeling like I was “with it” until around 5pm.

I didn’t shower until around 8 pm and the only reason I did was because I had literally no food for work on Monday.

I knew I didn’t have the energy or motivation to cook so I bought premade salads, something I normally think of as a waste of money, but all I need to do is survive this week, and if not having to cook helps me do that then it’s a good investment.

I got a rotisserie chicken with coleslaw and instant potatoes so I could make meals with that as well as a veggie lasagna which I just got done cooking.

I worked my shift yesterday, Monday. It went fairly smoothly. The patient who was a jerk to me the other day complained to my FA. He pulled me aside and said that she was pissed at me and to not mess with her. He said he had been around me long enough to know her story was BS and that he knew I wasn’t disrespectful or rude to her the way she was saying. He said she’s like that to the people at her nursing home, too, and to just let it be water under the bridge.

It made me feel cared for that all of my team members who this woman talked to didn’t believe her story. It made it easier to not care about her opinion. If she wants a target to be angry at, fine. I’ll be her target. I have 11 other patients every day who need and want my help during her shift. If she doesn’t want to interact with me then that means I have more time and energy for those other 11 people.

Monday I helped mix acid again. Next time I’ll be the one doing all of the work while my trainer supervises me. I might want her to watch me twice just to make sure, but overall it’s a fairly easy process.

I also had to make a billion CVC kits. Ok… not really a billion, but I did 20 termination packs during my first break, which yes, I do catch a lot of flak for working during my break. I like doing it, though. The stockroom is always empty. Making packs is organized and structured. It’s one of the few times I can sit and listen to music and de-stress, and a lot of the times it’s too busy on the floor to step away and make the packs during the day, so yeah, I don’t mind spending 15 of my 30 minute break alone doing something mindlessly structured away from people. I’m ok with spending that time being anti-social.

Not only did I do the 20 termination kits, I also did 30 initiations and 30 tego packs before I left the clinic because ALL of the CVC bins were empty. That’s in addition to the 24 needle packs I made while I was on the floor.

Yes. That’s a lot.

At the moment we have a lot of new patients with CVCs rather than graphs and fistulas. On TTS days we have 18 patients with CVCs. That means almost all of the termination packs I made yesterday will be gone by tonight along with over half of the initiation packs. Packs need to be made, but there’s rarely downtime to do it. It’s annoying. It’s something that I’m going to bring up in our meeting along with organizing the drawers on the floor. I’ve been at the clinic long enough to have confidence in speaking up, and I feel I have earned the respect of my coworkers enough to be heard when I make suggestions.

Anyway, Monday was a pretty full day with little sleep and little recovery time from the previous week. I was glad to leave the clinic. I was glad I had my evening ahead of me, and I was glad Tuesday was a day off.

So here I am. Back at home. Today is a much different day than how my Tuesday’s usually go, though, and all of that has to do with being so tired and sick feeling this morning.

Normally I would leave Big Bad’s and come home to start chores before going to training. After training would be showering and eating before going to donate plasma. Once I finish with donating I normally go to my sports bar to eat and study. The rest of the may have a few more chores like finishing meal prep or some such, but those are the main things for my Tuesdays and Thursdays recently.

That’s not how today is going to go at all. The first thing I did aside from drinking water was cancel my training. I told L I wasn’t feeling well and asked if it would be ok to try to meet Thursday. She said that was fine and that she would message me tomorrow to see if I was feeling better.

With my first obligation of the day taken care of, I went back to sleep on the couch. I slept until 9ish. When I woke up my headache was gone, which confirmed it was most likely from dehydration or a combination of dehydration and tiredness. I had more water before trudging into the kitchen. I put the lasagna I bought Sunday in the oven, ate breakfast, then went back to sleep again.

The lasagna is done and now I’m left to figure out the rest of my day.

I’m not going to be donating today. I don’t think it would be a good idea and I don’t want to risk having a bad donation on the one day I have before going back to work. I’ve been going at life pretty hard. I want a day to myself that’s actually relaxing that I’m conscious long enough to actually remember.

There are a few chores I need to do, like cleaning the litter box, but laundry is done, food is taken care of, so aside from paying bills there’s not much else to do.

Rest. Not get sick. Self-care. Those are the things on my to-do list for today.

I took the practice test for my certification Saturday night. I got a passing grade on it, though it wasn’t as high as I wanted it to be. Since this is my blog, and I’m supposed to be honest here, I passed with a 75. You need a 75 to pass, so I barely made it.

Most of the questions I missed were from the chapters I haven’t read yet, so there’s a small amount of comfort from that. Some of the questions were about medications, which I don’t think will be covered. Those questions fall into the category of “what the actual fuck” for me since that content isn’t listed anywhere in the study material. If I knew I needed to know it, I would study it, thus why I got it wrong, because I didn’t have the information to study.

It’s one of the reasons I hate certification tests. There’s always bullshit questions that lower your grade and make you feel like a failure because you didn’t get a perfect grade even though you aren’t a failure.

So yeah, right now I got a barely passing 75 on the practice test, but I have a better idea of what I need to be looking at, mainly the stuff I haven’t looked at yet. I’m happy to say that for the 75% I got right, I was extremely confident with the material. I’m not scared of the actual test and I’m on track for having everything taken care of during the first week of January. It’s going to cost me an extra $50 to have the process expedited, but I’m ok with paying the cost to have it over and done with before classes start.

Pretty much the only thing I plan to do today is to go to my sports bar to study. I feel like having a good meal with some solitude would be beneficial. That way I’m not staying at home “wasting” the day away. I still progress even if it’s just a little bit, and it’s not a taxing or intense obligation that will deplete me for tomorrow.

I have two more days to get through at work. Wednesday, then two days off, then Saturday. Sunday there’s a meeting at the clinic, but it shouldn’t last too long, and once it’s over my week off begins. I still haven’t figured out what to do during my week, but maybe that’s something I can figure out today. While I’m paying bills I can sit and figure out how to divide up my $500 of birthday / Christmas money.

Kyle may have a job by the end of the week. His former employer got in touch with him. Kyle’s essentially hired, provided he passes the background, which there’s no reason he wouldn’t. That would be amazing. If he could actually start paying rent… My brain can’t even begin to process my finances improving that much. Having an “extra” $400 to put towards my debt… and if Warren keeps to his word and begins actually paying me back, not just making his monthly rent payments…

In the coming new year, my financial situation might not be the dark depressing forever nothingness that has been eating away at me for months. I’ll have my dollar raise from my certification, and people will be keeping their word, and things won’t suck, and might actually be ok.

I haven’t allowed myself to think of things “being ok” because it felt like such an impossible, foreign thing. But now there are actions and data to support the “being ok” idea and those thoughts bring such a feeling of relief that I want to cry.

It would mean I’m not the failure I feel like. I would actually be adulting well enough. I would be making progress to being able to live alone, to getting away from the dependency I once again placed myself in. Maybe, finally, I will have learned this lesson.

It’s something I talked about in therapy, and it might be the main reason I don’t feel better from having gone. I think my therapist is frustrated with me because I did the same thing with Kyle that I did with Warren, that I did with pretty much every person I’ve lived with.

We talked about boundaries and protecting myself financially.

I don’t want to stop helping the people I care about. I help people the way I would want to be helped if I was in a shitty situation. There is a point where it’s harmful, though. I’m not going to sit here and type about “how I’m learning where that line is” and other inspiration BS like that because I honestly don’t know if I’m learning that or not.

I know I am learning that I’m tired of people’s bullshit. I’m tired of being burned for helping. I’m tired of not being able to help myself because I’ve injured myself in my effort to help.

I don’t know if that’s gaining wisdom or becoming jaded. And right now, a little over a year and a half after my mother’s death, eight days before I turn 29, I don’t care which it is.

I know I am driving a stake into the ground, splitting the Earth beneath me as if I’m throwing down Thor’s hammer. I’m done being “here”. I’m done sinking back into this situation and feeling these feelings.

I WILL NOT knowingly do this to myself again.

Mom isn’t here to help me. There’s isn’t a bailout option for me. There isn’t the coping mechanism of a phone call to help me deal with the stress. There’s only me and if I want to be there for myself I have to protect and look after me.

So yeah… That’s about it. I’m tired but I’m hanging in there. I think things will get better soon and until then I’m not feeling bad about doing the things I need to do to keep going.

I’m going to keep fighting the fight even if that means some days I don’t fight at all.

Daily Post 061: Ending A Long Day

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Today has been a long day.

It started at 3:30 am. I showered, changing back into my night clothes afterward because I refuse to wear my scrubs or a bra any longer than I have to.

It’s part of my morning routine now. Wake up. Shower. Redress since I’m not actually dressed yet. Go downstairs, and yes that is on the “to do” list because that action sucks at 4 am and deserves a gold star for being accomplished. Brew coffee. Heat breakfast. Pack lunch. Fill water bottles. Clean dishes if there are any. Eat and drink, basking in the 15 minutes of silence and stillness I’m able to experience. Sigh when my alarm goes off. Actually get dressed. Make sure I have my cell phone, wallet, keys, and sunglasses not that I actually see sunlight on the days I work. Also check to ensure I have socks and my shoes packed in my gym bag since I wear my flipflops into work; yet another example of my defiance. I refuse to wear my shoes longer than I have to.

I enjoy having my cup of coffee still. I’m glad I haven’t given it up and that I reclaimed those moments for myself rather than trying to drink coffee on the way to work like I was for a few months. There have been times where I’ve let those moments, my coffee moments, last a bit longer than I “should”. I allow myself five more minutes of silence, sometimes ten more minutes. If I’m going to spend the next 16 hours giving and interacting and caring and being fully present, then I deserve an extra five minutes. I’m allowed those five minutes. On those days I still arrive to work on time, I’m just not as early as normal.

Today I didn’t do an extra five minutes. Today I woke up tired, but at the same time refreshed. I knew it would only be three hours at work. I KNEW when I would be leaving and that in itself did wonders for my perspective. I knew everything I was about to experience was voluntary. I knew I had the rest of my day ahead of me and I was looking forward to it.

Work actually went fairly smoothly. Everyone got on the machines on time aside from the one person who showed up late. One person called out from second shift so we were able to arrange for one of the third shift patients to come in early. While my fellow teammate was on break I was able to do ALL of the chores on our side. Before I came back from my own break I stopped by the stock room to load up on the things we needed.

Honestly, there was very little interaction with people today. Aside from treatment initiations and communicating with my teammates it was fairly quiet. It was nice. I even got to have the breakroom to myself since I was the last person to go.

The only shitty thing about work today was leaving my lunch box in the fridge at work, and even that isn’t really shitty so much as it is annoying.

Once I left work I drove to the gym for training. I changed out of my scrubs. I took off my ring and necklace and I committed myself to actually training today. I would make this a good day and with that in mind I took my water bottle and met up with L.

She had me start off by running a bit on the treadmill since I was early. I haven’t been running all that much but I’m pleased that I ran fairly well. I continue to feel stronger and better which I guess is a testament to how I am continuing to improve physically.

Today was intense at the gym. L didn’t hold back and neither did I. I told her how my core has been sore the past two days and how it was a good sore. It’s the type of sore that lets you know you’re getting stronger. The same with my arms.

We focused on legs today. There was a lot of jumping and burpees and inchworms and hating L’s next client for messaging that he was running late because that meant L wanted me to run my obstacle course a third time rather than only doing it twice. I beat my time each time, though, so I guess there’s that.

I was exhausted when I got home. By 10:30 I had already been awake for 7 hours on 4 hours of sleep. There’s some perspective that makes me feel better about my next action…

I curled up on the couch for an hour. I’ve felt bad-ish about that almost all day until the last sentence I wrote. No wonder I was as tired as I was. Not only had I gone to the gym. I had pretty much already done a full day and very little sleep. I totally earned that hour of rest. I take back all of the guilt I felt.

After my hour of rest, I ate then showered so I could donate plasma.

That’s been going well. My account is flagged since I got a tetanus booster shot on the 28th. I’m still allowed to donate, it just means it’s slightly more annoying to check in.

My arm is still sore this time. I think I might end up with a bruise again. I haven’t bruised up since we stopped using my median cubital veins. I was hoping those days were behind me since we found the awesome vein that we’ve been using, but alas, it too might be getting tired and want a break. I don’t blame it. Getting stabbed twice a week with a 17 gauge needle must suck.

The phlebotomist who normally sticks me even mentioned how the vein wasn’t popping as much is it normally does. I asked if that could be a hydration issue and she said that’s what she was worried about. The donation itself went well though and I can’t imagine drinking more water than I already had. I did over a gallon yesterday and was close to a gallon before donating today since I was awake so early in the morning.

I think next week I’m going to switch back to my right arm and see if we can find a better vein on that side. If not maybe using my medians again for a little while would be good. Site rotation and all that jazz.

Anyway, I ended up being pretty hydrated after all. Donation went well and by the time it was over and my arm was taped up it was time for me to head out to go to therapy. I haven’t been in a while. I think my last session was a week or two before Thanksgiving.

I cried a lot during this session.

I talked about my blow up fight with Warren over him ignoring my messages about rent. I talked about getting tired of Kyle. I talked about Jon’s situation. I talked about work and how school is starting.

We talked about mom a lot. I talked about how I felt bad realizing how little I’ve written to her, how little I’ve written this year in general. I talked about how this was supposed to be my year of stability and how I actually think I haven’t done half bad for myself.

She asked about the plasma donating and I explained that I felt better about it then I did in the beginning. I said since it feels like something I’m choosing to do rather than an obligation I’m being forced into that there was a sense of confidence and independence that came from it.

I don’t have to ask people for help. I’m helping myself and fuck anyone who stands in my way. Maybe there’s a level of defiance with it. I refuse to back down. I refuse to work overtime. I refuse to be more scared of an inch and a half piece of hollow metal versus 200 pounds of pure muscle trying to choke me out on the mat.

I refuse to be a victim and if donating helps me change the situation I’m in so I can eventually get out of it, then fine. I’ll do it, and I’ll still train and go to school and work full time while I do it.

That sounds all good and big and bad until I cry my eyes out in therapy and still have to drive myself home, get gas, and figure out food, all while I’m trying not to pass out behind the wheel.

Ok. I wasn’t that tired, but I was so ready to be home and done with the day. I stopped by a Taco Bell after donating but didn’t have time for a full meal before going to therapy. I think eating something helped, but it wasn’t enough, and I certainly didn’t drink enough.

I was tapped out and I knew it. I stopped for gas since I had 5 miles left on my gauge. I went to Publix since it was in the same plaza as the gas station and picked up a rotisserie chicken with coleslaw and a box of mac and cheese. Totally not the healthiest dinner but I wasn’t looking for health. I was looking for warm and tasty and on some level, comfort.

When I got home Kyle was watching something on the TV. I didn’t have it in me to care. I put my stuff down on the kitchen counter since opening the fridge was too much in that moment, then went directly upstairs to my room. For once I couldn’t hear the TV in my room. I normally can, even with my door closed. But today I couldn’t and it was amazing. I cuddled up with Scarlet and let the “not care” flow through me. I dozed for a bit, waking up to find Scarlet snuggled in the crook of my arm.

Eventually, I went back downstairs to eat. I wasn’t hungry but I knew I needed to do that. And drink. More drink than eat, but both were on the list. And switch the laundry because I started that before leaving the apartment to donate.

Kyle was in the middle of turning off the PlayStation which I was grateful for. He tried talking to me and showing me a facial rig some guy made in Unity, but I really couldn’t have cared less. I didn’t want sound. I didn’t want another person’s presence and eventually, he went back upstairs to do whatever.

I devoured most of the chicken barbarian style while I stood in the kitchen with the lights off and no sound. At some point, I managed to start the mac and cheese.

I watched a few episodes of Fate/Stay Night. I think I’m about halfway through the series now. I like the characters but the storyline is pretty weak, which is lame.

And so now here I am. Writing.

Jon wants to play WoW. To be fair I asked him earlier if he would be interested in gaming tonight, but right now I don’t know if I have it in me. Maybe if we were just running around doing easy quests but I really don’t feel like healing our way through dungeons. I don’t want to have to think or do anything important.

I guess I’m going to go for now and see what can be done as far as a compromise. Maybe it will work out that we game on Sunday instead. I do know I have another liter of water to get through before I’m happy with my water intake. So much water. Oh my gawd. >.<;

Seriously. I don’t understand how my eyeballs aren’t floating around inside of my head with how much water I’ve been trying to drink.

Oh. No studying happened today, but I’m ok with that. I’ve done really well this week and I still have two days of work to survive.

I got this.

 

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