Letters to Mom 016: I Promise I’ll Try

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Hey mom,

I woke up tired today.

I miss you.

I miss a lot of things.

I miss Jon. I talked to him today while I was on break at work. I got to tell him that I’m homesick.

I guess it started when I got a text message from Big Bad.

I miss him, too.

And there’s a part of me that wants to hate myself for that. I want to be angry at myself for missing the times he and I cuddled together. For missing our quiet mornings. For fucking up our plans to do the Warrior Dash in February.

I want to not miss him. I want to remember what it felt like to read his message about being “disappointed. Thanks.”

But I’m bad about remembering things like that. I’m bad about remembering how he never said, “I love you.” I’m bad about remembering that there most likely would have never been a family Thanksgiving that I would have been invited to. A house I could come home to with him. There wouldn’t have been an “ever after”, but that doesn’t make me miss what I had less.

I miss wrestling with him. I miss kicking his ass at Mortal Kombat.

I miss my friend.

Just like I miss Jon. I miss going to Friendly Confines with him. I miss driving up to Daytona for breakfast. I miss our sappy hugs goodbye. I miss the times I slept on his couch.

I miss my dojo. I miss not having anxiety over going to work out. I miss feeling strong and healthy.

I miss feeling like a warrior because right now I don’t.

In a lot of areas in my life I know I’m doing better, but the overall feeling I have right now, the most pervasive one, is that I’m treading water. I’m bearly holding on and maybe that’s just the tiredness. Maybe that’s just the overwhelm of having the kids for the weekend and not having a safe space to get away to.

I feel apathetic right now about most things. About gaming. About working out. About eating.

I don’t want to do anything.

I want to sleep. I want to wake up and feel ok even though I know I’m not “not ok”.

I don’t have drive or motivation for anything at the moment, mom, and it sucks.

I’ve been breathing better for the past few days. I’ve been taking a lot of decongestant stuff and I guess it’s working. So now that I don’t have to struggle so hard to breathe I guess my body thinks it’s ok to remind me that my soul hurts. That’s I’m actually still really injured and I need to take care of that.

But I don’t know how because I don’t know what’s wrong.

I know I like it here. I know I’m starting to love my job again. I know that I don’t dread getting up in the morning even though I still wake up at 3 am.

I know I don’t want my own apartment because I like coming home here. I like being part of a family. I enjoy falling asleep next to Ox. Being away wouldn’t feel right. At the same time, all of my things are mostly still in storage. When the kids are here I don’t have a space for myself. And there’s a part of me who’s not ok with giving up the few days I have off to socialize.

Maybe “not ok” isn’t the right words. I would rather it be a choice rather than something I’m forced to do due to the living situation. But it’s not a choice. I have to and there isn’t really a way to change it at the moment. Maybe ever.

If I’m not “ok” but I’m not “not ok” then what am I?

Why can’t I just figure out what it is that I need to do?

Why can’t you be here for me to talk to? Why can’t I hear your voice on the other end of the phone? And saying, “because I’m dead” doesn’t count.

I don’t care right now. Because you’re dead isn’t a good enough answer.

I miss you, mom, and I so desperately want to say that I need you, but I know that word isn’t true because I’ll wake up tomorrow having survived another day without you and so it’s not a true need. Not like air or water or electrical impulses within my heart.

But I need you, mom. I need you to be here and you’re not and it sucks and I hate it.

I meet with a personal trainer tomorrow. I’ve signed up for a Warrior Dash in July. I have no motivation to do either of those things, but I’m going to do them because I know they need to be done.

This is the therapy part of healing. This is the hard part. The part that hurts. The part that sucks. The part that makes me cry and want to give up because the thought of doing them feels like it’s too much. Too heavy. Too hard.

It’s so much easier to hide away and stay in bed and be sad and to not do anything, but I know that’s not what I truly want for myself. I know it’s not what you would want for me either, so I’m going to go to my stupid meeting tomorrow, mom.

I’m going to try, mom. For you. For me. For us.

I’m so sorry I can’t promise more than that. I’m sorry I can’t do more than try. I’m sorry I can’t say that I’ll kick ass and take over the world and be an amazing person who does amazing things.

I wish I could, but right now I don’t feel those things. I don’t feel amazing or strong. I feel weak and broken and all I can do is say that I won’t let the sadness win and that I’ll try really hard for you.

Today sucks, mom. Nothing bad happened. Work went smoothly. I’m back home and I’m writing, but today just really, really sucks.

I love you. I promise I’ll try to make tomorrow better.

 

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Daily Post 085: Looking Forward to Today

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It’s a little after 7 am and I’m alone at the house and writing. Well… not completely alone. Papa Ox is still here but I very rarely interact with him. He will come out to the kitchen for breakfast and coffee and then go back to his computer room to work. I will stay in the bedroom and our paths most likely won’t cross until dinner when we all sit down to eat.

He’s nice and kind and has been accepting of me, but he is a man of few words. I know I haven’t written much about him but I guess that’s because, for the most part, there isn’t much to write. I have to interact with Mama Ox much more to coordinate meals and grocery shopping and cleaning different areas of the house, so it’s easier to make it seem like Mama Ox is the only other person in the picture even though she’s not.

Anyway, because I’m secure in the fact that Papa Ox won’t disturb me, it feels like actual solitude right now, which is an amazing feeling.

I went to sleep early last night after a decent day, and now that I’m writing I’ve realized that I didn’t write anything about yesterday. I’m so focused on what’s ahead that I forgot to take time to reflect on what happened.

Yesterday, as I said, was decent. I didn’t sleep enough and I totally did that too myself. I wasn’t able to fall asleep until around 1 in the morning. With a 3 am wake up call, that sucks. I snoozed my alarm instead of getting up to shower. I took time to heat up waffles for breakfast; not my first choice but at least I ate something.

I drove to work while my eyes burned from lack of sleep. I found out fairly early in my shift that one of our patients had died Friday. I didn’t know her all that well since I’m so new to the clinic, but I was getting to know her. She was extremely kind to me. She never got upset when I forgot that she was the patient who preferred to use band-aids rather than gauze. She would tell me stories about her puppy dog. She had a kind and warm smile and she will be missed; her empty chair a reminder that she’s no longer here.

The workday went fairly smoothly. No crazy turn over. One of our patients called and said he wasn’t coming. That wasn’t a surprise since he’s super non-compliant even when he does show up. Rarely does he ever stay for a full treatment.

I was able to start playing around with the bins my AA got for me. I have 45 termination kits made for our CVC patients. That’s a pretty decent amount. That will get us through most of the month; a little over three weeks. I would have preferred closer to 60, but the bins aren’t quite that big. This at least gives me two weeks before having to worry about making another batch, and that’s the biggest thing. I don’t have to do packs weekly or daily. We have a stockpile and I can rotate through making things.

I got to check my paystub while I was at the clinic. Still no wage increase. I need to check it again before the meeting today just to double check something, but yeah, I will be mentioning this to my FA afterward.

The RN I like working with got a phone call with a job offer she’s going to be taking. That sort of sucks. I don’t know how much longer she’s going to be working with me, but I know her absence is going to leave a huge hole at the clinic; one I can’t fill. One I couldn’t fill for at least two years, so yeah… that is going to suck.

I don’t so much care that she’s leaving. She needs to make the choices that are right for her and I’m not all that heartbroken to see her go. She’s a good nurse, but not a very compassionate or clean nurse. I get along with her and she’s a solid worker, so we flow through the day well. But if trash falls on the floor, like gauze wrappers, she leaves it on the floor. She’ll leave trash on the trays next to the patients, or used syringes…

I don’t know. It’s not clean and it bothers me to know my patients are sitting next to garbage, or having to look at it on the ground, a place it’s clearly not supposed to be. It’s something I actively correct while I’m working with this RN. I go behind her and clean her areas up and make sure the patients are comfortable.

Me: Do you need anything else? Your blanket? The tv? Water with ice? *steathily shifts things into garbage bin and sharps container* Well if you need anything, you let us know. *warm smile as I move to the next area of disaster*

I know this RN can come off as abrasive and that there are some patients who are happy to see her go.

I’m worried about the extra stress it’s going to cause my team, having to find someone to cover a clinic so far away with machines that are completely different from anything they’ve worked with before. I feel like all I can do to  help is be consistent.

I may offer to work five days a week. I’m not sure if they can allow that hourwise. I’m not sure if that’s something I can maintain, and I know as a PCT that doesn’t fix the issue of not having a charge nurse. It could make our clinic a bit more stable though by not having a tech have to float down on the two days I’m off. It would be over time for me which would give me more money and more PTO which I’m going to need if I do take off time in August to visit my brothers and friends in Orlando.

I don’t know… it’s an idea I had yesterday while I was typing up a list of things I want to talk about during and after the meeting today. We’ll see how that gets received I guess. My heart isn’t set on it. It’s really more like recon than hoping it will work out.

That’s about it as far as work goes. Not a whole lot to say at the moment. The meeting is at noon so I plan to leave around 11 to be there early.

After work yesterday, I came home. Jon called me while I was driving and he and I talked for a while. We’ve been talking more consistently. I like it. Ox called, too, or rather, he texted me saying to call him, so I chatted with him while he drove to Home Depot to order the countertops everyone decided on.

It was nice sitting in my car outside talking to both of them. The sun was out. It was warmer than it has been, though the breeze still had a bit of winter bite to it. The grass was surprisingly green even though yesterday it was buried under snow. Birds were chirping… I stayed in my car for a few minutes just to enjoy the moment. It was close to six. I was already off work and home. It was still sunny outside… Life isn’t awful.

Once I was done with my phone calls, I went to shower the day away. Mama Ox cornered me as I was about to go into the bathroom and asked if I wanted to cook dinner. I had already told Ox on the phone that I would, but there was a large part of me who didn’t want to. I was tired. My head was starting to hurt from being awake so long with so little sleep. I was really hesitant before answering that I had planned to cook the deer steak in the fridge for dinner but that I wouldn’t be heartbroken if I could save that for tomorrow instead.

Mama Ox: You know, you don’t have to answer everything so delicately. *warm smile* Alright, you’re off the hook for tonight.

It was such a relief having someone else take over that obligation. Willingly, no less. My mind had a hard time wrapping around my interaction. Mama Ox wasn’t upset with me. She didn’t think I was a slacker. She didn’t think anything negative at all; at least not that I know off. She made an Asian dish with peppers, onion, carrot, bamboo shoots, and cashews and it was fantastic.

Since she took over dinner I was able to enjoy my shower rather than rushing through it. I was able to finish vacuuming the room, something I had started on Saturday but never found the time to finish. I folded the laundry AND put it away. I rearranged things a bit so now there are two dirty clothes baskets in the room. One for me and one for Ox.

Since he does construction work he’s worried about washing our clothes together. He doesn’t want mine to get messed up with oil and grease and grime from his work. Most of my stuff is soft, thin microfiber. His is heavy, thick jeans and cargo pants. His stuff has velcro, too. I can’t disagree with his logic on washing our stuff separate.

While washing separate seems to work fine, having only one basket was causing friction in the system. With only one basket, I would have to hunt through it and pick out what was and wasn’t supposed to go into the washer. And though the modified system of, “my stuff in the basket, your stuff in a pile on the floor” was working… it was like a low-grade sandpaper scrapping over my brain cells everytime I was in the bedroom because dirty clothes aren’t “supposed” to be on the floor.

Hopefully, the two basket system helps keep things a little more organized and clean. We’ll see how it goes.

Anywho, it ended up being a very enjoyable evening last night; one which ended shortly after dinner since I was so tired.

I took two Excedrin, drank a bunch of water, then crawled into bed beside Ox as he played World of Warcraft. As I was drifting off to sleep I asked if we could throw the books away.

The basement is pretty empty aside from stuff that needs to be thrown out. One of the things Ox and I have talked about before is clearing it out so I can have a punching bag down there. As I was driving home last night I thought about how I knew I wanted to work out, but I didn’t want to go to the gym and run, or do weight machines, and there wasn’t a class I could get to. It would have been nice to just come home and punch something for a bit and then shower and continue on with the rest of my night.

Ox: Yeah. We can do that, baby.

All of the warm fuzzy feels.

I know we most likely won’t get it cleaned up to the point of being able to get a bag right away, but it’s a step in that direction. It’s probably what I’m looking forward to the most about today. Ox coming home and us moving forward together, even if it’s only by a little bit.

As far as today goes, I need to make breakfast since I’m starving. There’s a bit of stuff I want to take care of and look into before showering and heading out to my meeting. After my meeting, I plan to go to the gym and workout. I also plan to turn in my piece of paper inquiring about personal training with the doctor they have on staff. I offered to go grocery shopping for Mama Ox this morning before she left for work, so I’ll most likely run into town after the gym. Before stopping by the grocery store I’ll stop by the bank and actually go inside.

I bank with Navy Federal Credit Union. The closest physical branch is in Omaha, roughly an hour away. According to the Navy Federal app, there’s a bank I can use in town that won’t charge me for using their services. I’ve withdrawn money from this bank’s ATM a few times and been fine. No missing money. No charges. We’re good.

Saturday, while we were out, I asked Ox if we could stop by the bank so I could deposit the $50 of cash he gave me into my account. He didn’t want me to use the ATM to deposit because he was worried it wouldn’t go into my account properly since it’s not “my bank’s” ATM. He said he would rather I get clarification from someone rather than risk losing the $50 in a void of nothingness, never to be seen again.

Though I don’t share his worry, I understand it. I agreed that I would wait and talk to someone, though I didn’t know when that would be. Well, it just so happens that if I work things right, it could be today, so I’ve already added it to my to-do list.

Once grocery shopping is complete I’ll get to come home and cook then throw away stuff in the basement for a little bit. I’m sure that will lead to needing a shower, and then it will be bedtime since I work tomorrow.

I’m looking forward to today and I’m hungry, so I’m going to go.

 

Daily Post 084: Two Days In a Row!

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Sorry if it’s annoying, having me post twice in one day. I haven’t done that in a while and I do feel like this is an accomplishment for me. I’m actually caught up and writing a legitimate daily post. I feel better for how much I have written and reflected on recently.

It’s a good feeling. Like I’m getting back on track. Like I’m making time for me and my mental/spiritual wellbeing.

Today was another day that didn’t go according to the plan I had in my head, but that’s ok because it was still a good day even though it was sort of a shitty night.

I had another kidney stone. At least I think I did. It didn’t hurt nearly as bad as the first one I had, which thinking about it as I laid on the bathroom floor trying to force myself to take deep breaths through the pain, I realized was almost a year ago to the day. Though the pain level wasn’t as bad as the first one which forced me to throw up and take a trip to the ER, it was definitely the same type of pain.

I tried to tough it out and not wake anyone up but after what felt like a while, though it could have been a short amount of time since time perception gets sort of messed up when pain is involved, I decided someone needed to know what was going on because the pain might get worse. I made myself get up off the bathroom floor which sucked but so did laying down so I guess it really didn’t matter. Nothing I did was or could help the pain. I had a cup of water because I knew I needed to drink fluid to help it pass. I went back into the bedroom and woke Ox up. I told him I thought I was passing a kidney stone.

I don’t remember everything that was said mostly because all I could focus on was the pain and I was proud that I had articulated anything in a mostly coherent fashion. He had me lay back down next to him and he cuddled up against my back as he rubbed his hands up and down my side. He talked to me, coaxing me to try to take deep breaths.

It helped with the pain; knowing he was there, feeling his warmth, having his voice to focus on rather than the mildly agonizing pressure and stabby sensations in places that should never be touched and that I couldn’t reach. The pain started coming in waves, growing, then ebbing. I couldn’t stop from writhing and shifting or from making pained whimpers as I moved around during the waves.

And just like last time, I didn’t pass an actual stone, so I don’t know if it was literally a kidney stone or not. I don’t know if it dissolved on its own. I don’t know what happened other then the pain increased to a breaking point and then was gone and I could breathe normally again and the sense of relief from the pain being gone was so overwhelming that I wanted to cry.

I fell asleep next to Ox shortly after the pain subsided. When I woke up I had a mild headache and I could feel ghost pains from the night before. Maybe the pain this morning was all inside my head since the memory of last night’s ordeal was so fresh, or maybe I really was experiencing pain due to inflammation or from the surrounding muscles contracting so hard as a result of the pain.

Whatever it was, I was mostly ok when I woke up aside from that felt like soreness in the side of my back and a headache.

Ox made cinnamon rolls. I cooked eggs and bacon. We ate with his parents. As Ox and I were getting ready to start work on the addition Mama Ox decided she wanted to go into town to look at countertops at Lowes and Home Depot… you know… just to see if maybe they had anything she liked better since she wasn’t 100% in love with what we had found at Menards.

I get it. I totally do… But… At the same time…

Why? ;-;

That’s totally not what we were supposed to do today. I was supposed to make progress here, at home, and not go out into the world where I would have to deal with people and socialize.

As I was getting my towel to shower, since I can’t go out into public without showering, Ox and I had a brief exchange where I mentioned how I was sort of not ok because even though figuring out the counters is a huge step forward, it’s not a visual step and so it would feel like nothing got accomplished on the one weekend we were supposed to do things. We get the kids every other weekend and because of that those weekends are “no work” weekends. That means there’s really only ever four full days in a month that things can get done. I wasn’t ok with the thought of going another two weeks with nothing changing.

We agreed that when we got back from our unexpected excursion that we would finish up the laundry room. I hadn’t gone through the cabinet out there yet. It was a task I was supposed to tackle on my own but was intimidated by.

Ox said we could tackle it together and that would give me the visual progress I needed. I was ok with that and was able to shower and go through the day knowing we had come to a good compromise. A good halfway happy.

Home Depot was by far the best store as far as customer service goes. Their rates were pretty decent, especially when considering professional installation was included in their pricing.

Lowe’s had a way better selection but their service sucked and installation alone was $700. What the actual fuck? That’s the price we were quoted for just the countertops there, so professional installation would literally double the price.

We pretty much noped our way out of the store after that.

I felt drained again, energy-wise. I hadn’t planned on going out. There was still snow on the ground but surprising I wasn’t bothered by the cold. Wearing my new shoes most likely helped with that.

And I’m going to go on a mild rant here because my computer just automatically restarted on me… Goddamnit Windows, this is why no one likes you. I was in the middle of something. I told you not to do anything with my computer and you did it anyway. Thankfully, I write all of my posts in Grammarly first so everything was already saved, but seriously, fuck you. The past three times I’ve sat down to write I’ve been interrupted. I didn’t need those updates. I most likely didn’t want them. I just wanted to write. Go burn in hell. Awrrawrrawrrawrrawr. >.<;

/end rant

Anyway, back to talking typing about my day…

I knew there was still stuff to do. I was still supposed to cook dinner. Ox and I were supposed to work on the house. I wanted to do laundry and make sure I was reset properly for the coming week, but after the countertop adventure, I wasn’t feeling like doing anything other than hiding in a dark hole of nothingness where higher level thinking was banned and human interaction was equivalent to crossing the Line of Demarcation and punishable by death.

Ok… maybe my energy level wasn’t that low… but it was close…

Ox and I ended up going to Greenfields for lunch, which is the place we first had breakfast together during my original trip to Nebraska. It was amazing going back there again. I was able to have a warm cup of coffee followed by a lunch combination consisting of a turkey sandwich, a bowl of French onion soup, and a cup of fruit. The atmosphere was quiet for the most part and we were seated in a corner booth away from everyone.

It helped balance me out and recharge me. We decided since Home Depot seemed like the company we would be going with for the countertops that we would stop by the store again on the way home and pick up more samples for Mama Ox to look at.

With a better idea of what type of countertop we were going to be going with, Ox and I were able to start thinking about how to handle the cabinetry; wood stain versus paint, light versus dark. We were able to get a feel for the type of tiling we want to do on the kitchen wall space between the counter backsplash and the cabinets as well.

It was really nice and I’m glad we went back even though originally it seemed like a dauntingly impossible task.

We went home after that.

We talked with his parents more about the countertops, eventually leaving them with the sample chips to discuss which one they wanted to go with.

I laid down for a bit in our dark and silent bedroom. When I eventually got up Ox and I sorted through the cabinet in the laundry room. We were able to throw a bunch of stuff away. Since we cleaned out a bunch of space there, we were able to move the light bulbs that were being stored in the bathroom cupboard out to the laundry room cabinet. There’s a fairly empty shelf I would like to move most of the cleaning supplies to, but that’s a project for a different day. I would want to get the green light from Mama Ox first before making that change, and since I didn’t have it in me to move forward on that project I decided it was better to wash up and have dinner instead. It was getting kind of late anyway.

Oh. We were able to clear off the top of the freezer while we were working, too, which was another area that needed some serious attention.

I heated up one of the containers of my sriracha chicken since there were leftovers from last night. Originally I was supposed to cook deer steaks but the meat wasn’t thawed enough so it became a “fend for yourself” night. I ate my dinner sitting on the couch behind Mama Ox who was at the table on her computer. We talked about the countertops again. I gave my opinion on the one I liked the best and why then watched the show that was playing on the TV. It was something on the Discovery channel about finding the truth behind the myths of sea creatures and stuff. It was actually pretty interesting.

After eating I loaded up the dishwasher and set it to run. I finished putting away the cleaning stuff I had used out in the laundry room, started a load of laundry, then came back to the bedroom to write.

And so here I am, at the end of my day. I need to switch the wash into the dryer, but workwise, I’m pretty much prepared for tomorrow. I’ve already filled the water filter so I can fill my water bottle before going to sleep and not have to worry about that in the morning. My scrubs are cleaned and put away so the cats can’t be jerks and spray them again. I have clean socks, too, and will shortly put all of them into my backpack so I can have my stash at work. I have leftovers to take to work with me tomorrow for food as well as bread, lunch meat, and chips I plan to take with me so I can make sandwiches on my lunch breaks rather than constantly having to meal prep at home.

That was something I got to thinking about at some point late last week. Since we have such a small team at the clinic, there’s actually space in the fridge and cabinets to keep stuff at the clinic. I think that’s one way I can cut down on my stress. I don’t have to constantly cook and prep stuff. I can keep some things in the clinic breakroom. I’m going to try it out at least.

Monday, tomorrow, I’m going to take everything with me and leave it there through the week. At the end of my work week, which will be Saturday for me, I plan to bring whatever is left back home with me so I can regroup and see what I need more of, grocery shop for the replacement stuff over the weekend, then take the restocked foodstuffs back with me the next time I work, which since the schedule ends this coming week, I don’t actually know what I’ll be working, but I’m hoping to start the whole “Me Day Mondays” the week after this one.

So yeah… lots of stuff on the horizon hopefully with the addition of modified / new routines.

I’m looking forward to work tomorrow since the bins I asked for should have arrived. That means I get to play around and reorganize stuff during my downtime. Woo! I’ll also get to finally check Workday to see if I got my wage increase or not.

Tuesday is my meeting at work so I’ll be able to talk to my FA about becoming NFACT certified with the possibility of moving towards Vascular Assess Manager with the potential move to LPN in the future.

Yes… Lots of stuff to look forward to this coming week. Guess I should get off the computer so I can get to sleep so I can not hate life while I’m doing all of it.

Daily Post 083: And Then Booze…

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Written last night.
Posted today because guildmates
are bad amazing influences. 

 


 

There are two full days worth of writing to get through. I’m hoping I have it in me to get to the end because productive day was productive. x.x

Also, totally high fiving myself for writing before another full week passed.

 


 

Friday – April 13th

Friday the 13th. A glorious day off where I did a whole lot of nothing. I woke up and had a morning cigarette with Ox. I went back to bed after an extremely brief exchange with Mama Ox. I was so not ready to socialize. In fact, for most of the day I wasn’t and I’m completely ok with that fact. Yesterday was pretty much the first day I had been able to have to myself since last Wednesday.

That’s over a week.

In introvert time that’s FOREEEEEVVVVVVVEEEEEEEER.

I eventually got back up and had breakfast. I talked to my brother, which was nice, followed shortly afterward by crawling back into bed. Eventually, I got up for lunch and proofread my last post and actually posted it. Woo. By then the bed needed to be cuddled again because it was lonely. I talked to Ox while he was on his lunch break. After a few more hours I finally got up and showered which helped generate some energy for my day, though by then it was already 3 pm. People come home by 5 pm usually, so in my mind, the day was already pretty much over.

I decided that I would use the little bit of time I had left to actually do some of the chores I needed to get done. I started by forcing myself to sit down and look at my bank account; something I was knowingly procrastinating on.

I was nearly brought to tears at how ok my finances were. I was able to pay ALL of my bills. Not only that, but I was able to pay extra, EXTRA, on my car payment, student loans, and credit card.

And… AND… I still had money for groceries and gas.

*mind blown*

It was amazing. I adulted the shit out of this paycheck, and it’s only going to get better from here. At least in theory. Until I’m able to get on one of the computers at work and see if there was a change in my wage or if this was just from the overtime I worked a few Saturdays ago, I’m not going to count any eggs or think of this as the norm. I also had a bit of extra from my tax return still in my account, so that helped as well.

Still totally ecstatic that I was able to make so much progress without having to buy ramen noodles. God, it’s such a good feeling.

I decided after paying bills that I would work on the new tattoo I want to get. It gave me a reason to unpack my tablet, which sort of sucked because when I went to plug the USB cable into it the port fell into my tablet…

I don’t even know how it could break that way, but I am left tabletless and Wacoms aren’t cheap. At least not the one I would want to get. Since I haven’t been using it I’m hardpressed to justify going out and getting another one. After stewing a bit I decided I’ll work on my tattoo design the old school way; with pencil and paper.

I was still able to do all of the research and design legwork that needed to get done for the concept, so even though I wasn’t able to make as much progress as I would have liked, or in the way I had originally planned, I was still able to take steps forward.

I talked to Jon again later in the evening, after everyone was home. Ox hurt his thumb pretty bad at work. It’s mostly just sore now though I guess it bled a lot while he was at work. When he came home I got to help him clean the cut and bandage it up.

I cooked dinner. Stir-fry. It was awesome, though not as awesome as the last time I made it. The only difference was last time I tried actually frying the noodles once they were boiled. I guess it really does matter so I’ll fry them again the next time I cook that particular meal, which I guess if Ox had his way would be every night for the rest of forever.

I don’t think I stayed up much past dinner. Ox and I slept with the bedroom window open. The forecast called for snow early in the morning so there was a pretty cold breeze outside. Perfect for snuggling under the covers close together. Though, I do want to point out how messed up it is to go from 80 degree, shorts and a t-shirt weather to snow…

 


 

Saturday – April 14th

I do have to say that today did not go as I thought it would, but it was an amazingly pleasant day regardless.

I woke up around 3 am because that’s when I’m conditioned to wake up. I went back to sleep until 6ish. I went outside, had a cigarette, came back inside, but didn’t really have the motivation to do anything while everyone else was still asleep.

I crawled back into bed beside Ox and slept for a bit longer. When I got up again I poked around on Facebook for a while, then decided it was close to 9 and that it was time for Ox to wake up. I vacuumed a bit but didn’t get a chance to finish the bedroom before breakfast was ready.

We had eggs, bacon, and waffles. It started snowing at some point while we were eating and the day wasn’t projected to get any better weather-wise.

Ox and I had talked about working out in the addition today, but those plans changed. His mom wanted to figure out the kitchen counters instead. I can’t blame her. Getting the kitchen squared away would be nice since that’s such a used area.

Instead of staying home, we took a bunch of measurements, I drew up a rough schematic of the countertops, I made a grocery list for later, showered, then headed into town to go to Menards.

We looked at countertops for two hours. x.x

I didn’t expect to be there that long. There was tension at a few points between Ox and his mom but overall it was nice. We got to look at new kitchen sinks, too, since Mama Ox doesn’t like the one in the kitchen right now. I was also able to buy a couple of racks to help organize the kitchen; one for skillets and one for baking sheets.

Since it was snowing, and because I still only own sandals, Ox and I agreed that going to a shoe store would be a good idea. We went to my new wing place and got lunch first. I had the same waitress as last time which was nice. She’s pretty friendly. Getting lunch at a relatively quiet place allowed me to recharge from the unexpected drain of counter shopping.

We went to Star Bucks after so I could have a coffee drink, then CVS so Ox could look at different band-aids for his thumb. There was a Famous Footwear store nearby where I was able to get a pair of sneakers I actually like. They’re black with accents of hot pink.

Ox has this thing where he wants me to wear pink. Raver pink, not soft fluffy pink, so I’m more ok with it, but pink really isn’t a color I’ve ever thought of as a “me” color. So yeah, getting shoes with pink in them was definitely a “for him” thing. The laces are pink, too, which at the time I thought was too much. I bought black laces to replace them with, along with socks since the only ones I have are for my work shoes.

It ended up being a bit more expense then I was expecting, but I like them and I needed a pair of shoes to work out in the addition in, or to wear on days like today where it’s cold and wet and snowy, though, hopefully, the snow part of it will be over after today.

There was a Jo-Ann Fabrics store next to the shoe store, so I ran in and bought a packet of tracing paper so I could work on my tattoo design later.

From there I went to a strip club.

Yep.

You totally read that right.

A strip club.

It was the first time I’ve ever been in one. There is a story behind the trip though not all of it is really mine to tell. The bullet point version, without backstory or supporting details is that Ox knows one of the girls who works there. He had to talk to her the other day and she mentioned how he seemed happier and better now that his ex was no longer in the picture. She asked if he was seeing anyone new. He said yes. She said she wanted to meet me and that she worked Saturday. So yeah… we went to a strip club so I could meet one of his friends.

She’s amazing and I feel we clicked pretty well as we talked about Disney movies and anima and how we both can’t wait to see Wreck-it-Ralph 2. We both want to hang out more and I’m actually looking forward to it. Aside from coworkers, I really haven’t met anyone in Nebraska yet. Ever, that’s her stripper name, seems to be the type of person I could actually be friends with.

It was a fun experience, striptease included, and I’m glad I went rather than using my introversion as an excuse not to. I was pretty dead on the energy side of things afterward, though. Meeting a new person in a totally foreign atmosphere was a lot for me and we still had grocery shopping to do. >.<;

Ox was awesome and drove us to the store I prefer. We got everything on the list along with stuff to make a recipe I haven’t made in ages; siracha honey chicken rice bowls.

I also got two 12 packs of Bang while we were there because I totally don’t have an addiction problem or need any sort of intervention…


 

And this is where my writing got interrupted by a conversation Ox and a guildmate from World of Warcraft were having in Discord which led to me logging in to join the conversation which led to me making a rum and coke drink so I could partake in the shenanigans. It was a nice way to end the night and I don’t regret not finishing my writing.

Long story short… Ox and I came home. I put groceries away. I cooked dinner. I sat down and started writing. I had an awesome conversation with friends and we might be trying to plan a guild meet up for next year. With that, I’m off to a new blank page to write about today. : D

 

Daily Post 082: Recap Attempt #2

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Hey mom,

I didn’t start crying when I typed that. Go me.

I want to finish telling you about my week since I wasn’t able to finish it last night. I was crying through most of my writing so when the internet crapped out on me I figured it was the Universe saying that I had had enough for the day.

But there’s still so much that’s happened and a lot of it is really good and I really need to tell you about the good stuff.

 


 

Friday – April 6th

Friday was another day where I worked. I was pretty sick and I knew working was going to suck. I also knew it was a shorter day than if I had been in Orlando and that I would tough it out.

I ended up getting a text message from my new FA. She needed me to update some of my personal information in the company’s system, specifically my address, because she was having issues moving me over from Orlando to Beatrice. While we were texting she said I was approved for the Step Up program which will be another boost to my wage.

That’s three raises within a month, mom.

FA: You are a FANTASTIC addition to our team and I want to make sure we do everything possible to show you how much we are so glad to have you! 🙂

I’m doing good. It’s not just BS inside of my head. I’m excelling and I’m actually getting compensation for it. I might be able to break that $15 mark that has been haunting me. I make less than when I started teaching at Full Sail still. Because I make less I’m failing; taking steps backward in Life.

I save lives every day I work and yet I’m failing.

I know that’s not a healthy way to look at it, but if I could just make what I started at I would feel like I’m at least back at square one. I would feel like I’m out of some intangible hole of darkness that is eroding away the success of my life.

I’m close to being there. So close. And I’ve earned it. It wasn’t handed to me.

I guess that’s what makes it so… vindicating. As a first-year tech I “shouldn’t” have gotten a raise during my yearly review, but I did because my FA thought I did amazing. I passed my national certification because I studied and proved that I knew what I needed to know. I’m approved for the 12-month increase in this program because I’m a competent technician who meets the program’s requirements.

I got myself here. I’ve earned these things and I’ve earned them because you raised me to be who I am. These accomplishments are ours, mom, not just mine and I’m so happy that I can tell you about them. I’m glad that I achieved them even though you died. I’m glad I can say that I’m doing well and it’s not just words or lies or half-truths.

They’re full truths.

The day at work was still brutal, but it wasn’t as bad after getting the messages from my FA.

Ox got his kids for the weekend so I was bombarded by an eight-year-old when I got home from work. You would love her. She’s adorable. I wish you were here to tell me how to be a parent. I wish I knew how you did it when you were tired from work and wanted to be alone. I wish you were here to tell me that I’m doing well. All I can do is try to be a parent like you were to me. You are my example, mom, and I feel pretty lucky to have had you for as long as I did.

I didn’t sleep well that night. Things didn’t feel right between Ox and I because of the money issue. He said everything that everyone else has said. “I’m sorry.” “I’ll pay you back.” “I’m not like the rest of them.”

He said everything I didn’t want to hear which instigated the feelings of “not ok-ness”. I ended up sleeping on the couch for most of the night and only part of that had to do with being sick. I needed the space. At the time I didn’t know how long it would take to come to terms with our situation. All I knew was that I wasn’t ok and I needed to be alone to figure it out.


Saturday – April 7th

I worked again. I was still sick but not as much as I was the previous day. The morning was rough because things still didn’t feel ok between Ox and I. We still had our cigarette together. He still hugged me before I went to work. I wanted to magically fix things to be the way they were before he asked me for the money, but I couldn’t. I had to go to work wanting to say more but not knowing how to.

It was a short day at work, so all I had to do was survive, which I did.

I messaged Warren to see if he had had a chance to take care of the internet account. Not surprisingly, I didn’t get a message back from him.

I also found out that the work schedule had changed and that I didn’t have Monday off like I had thought. No. I had to work Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Four days in a row.

I was glad I found out about the change. I also realized I was sort of fucked on the introvert side of things. The kids were going to be leaving Monday morning so I wouldn’t have any time to recover or prep for the coming week. I was going to have to hobble through the week using duct tape and super glue and hope that things got better not only with my sickness, but with Ox and me, and I knew that wasn’t going to happen unless I talked to him, which I wasn’t ready for.

After surviving work, I went home and celebrated… I need a code name for Ox’s daughter still… but anyway, I celebrated her birthday. She turned eight. That was a bright moment in the day even though I was tired.

I went to sleep early that night still feeling disconnected from Ox.


 

Sunday – April 8th

I had Sunday off, thankfully. I spent most of the day sleeping and trying to feel better for the four days ahead of me. I messaged Warren again in the morning asking him to please reply to me. By the evening I still hadn’t heard from him so I sent another message.

Me: Dude. I get being busy and shit but this is stupid. All I want is to know what’s going on since I’m still getting emails from Spectrum.

Maybe that wasn’t the best way for me to handle the situation, but I had pretty much had it with feeling disrespected and ignored. I know from having lived with him for over a year that he’s glued to his phone and that he’d seen my messages. I know you would be on my side with this, mom. He’s being a jerk and that would sadden you. Maybe you would be able to talk sense into him if you were still here.

I got to text with my blacksmith and Big Bad a bit on Sunday, too. I miss both of them but I also enjoy the life that I have here.

I want the future that’s here and that makes things painful. The tentative plans at the moment are for me to visit Jason and Jon towards the end of August. If I visit Orlando I will want to visit my old clinic. I will want to see Nicole and Warren and a few other select people. I’ll want to visit the dojo and roll with the guys again. And there’s a part of me who will want to have a quiet cup of coffee with Big Bad or a hug from my blacksmith.

I still care about them. I can’t not remember how much they helped me heal and grow during the first year after your death. I don’t know what to do with those feelings right now other than to know that they’re there. I guess that’s something I’ll have to come back to and meditate further on.

I feel like I should be making a list of things I need to think about and figure out. I feel like that’s a theme I’m constantly writing right now. “I need to figure it out. I need to meditate on it.” Maybe I’ll actually get around to figuring all of that shit out at some point.

I went to sleep early again since I had work the next day. I wasn’t even remotely ready to go back in but I also knew I didn’t have a choice. I’m the only PCT for the clinic at the moment. No one else could cover me short notice like that even though I was googling the symptoms of pneumonia.


 

Monday – April 9th

I don’t remember much about work on Monday. I know I made it there. I know I worked. I’m pretty sure I started feeling better the longer the day wore on.

I stayed late that day to do the steps I needed to do to be reimbursed for all of the work expenses I’ve had. I wasn’t able to submit the report, but I got most of it figured out.

Ox and I talked about the money situation when I got home. Or rather, I finally admitted that I wasn’t ok with it. I’m glad we talked. I’m glad he shared his side of the situation with me; specifically his emotions and his reasoning.

I admitted that I was worried about permanently damaging us by letting him borrow the money because now all of those icky feelings are part of our dynamic. The fear of not being paid back. The fear of being used. The feeling of loss over something that I worked hard to earn. The fear that this was a test that I should have said no to and now things are ruined for forever because I can’t let things go.

I cried. We hugged it out. We agreed all we can do is prove to each other through actions that we’re not our exs. In this situation, that means waiting to see how things play out, and that sucks, but I think we’re better for having talked to each other. And I guess I should really rewrite that to say, I’m glad I manned up enough to voice my feelings rather than keeping everything bottled up where it could fester and get worse.

I know we ended up having sexy time that night and I think that helped, too. With being sick and working and the kids being there, we hadn’t had much time to be affectionate towards each other. I’m sure the distance between us didn’t help the money issue feel any better.

The sex helped me feel more connected and grounded. And totally going to have a girl moment and say I slept amazingly well that night because yes. Just… yes. And I know that if we were actually talking, sitting on the couch with Law and Order reruns playing in the background that you would have some silly, quick-witted remark that would have us both cracking up.

I know that you would be/are happy that I finally have a stable relationship with open communication where I can talk through my fears and still be ok. I can admit that I’m not happy with something and have it not be the earth-shattering end I’ve grown to associate with voicing my feelings. I think you would be pleased that it brought Ox and I closer together and that we’re stronger for this challenge we’re being faced with.


 

Tuesday – April 10th

Of all of the days that could have turned into a clusterfuck of disaster, it was this day.

I overslept and was late for work. >.<;

I ended up sleeping on the couch a little bit after sexy time. I was coughing a lot and sleeping elevated seems to help me breath better. So I took some pillows out with me around midnight and left my phone in the room and fell asleep. I wake up at 3 am for work so I can have an unrushed shower and breakfast before getting dressed.

So imagine how screwed, and not in a good way, I felt when I woke up fairly rested, tiptoeing into the bedroom to see what time it was and realizing it was 4:15, I’m supposed to be to work at 4:30 and I have a thirty-ish minute drive to get there and I’m still in night clothes…

*queue cold, sinking feeling of despair in the pit of my stomach as the death of my work life flashes before my eyes*

I totally didn’t shower. I threw things into my lunch box. I don’t even remember what it was. Ox was super apologetic. When my alarm had gone off he assumed I was already in the shower since I wasn’t in bed. He filled my water bottle for me as I dashed around trying to in some way salvage the morning. Of course, the only number I didn’t have was the number for the RN I was scheduled to work with that morning so there was no way to let her know I was running late.

Fuck my life. Seriously, mom, I thought I was so dead. I thought I had ruined the day and there was no recovery.

Surprisingly I made it to work by 5 am. The RN was super chill. She sent me a text as I was driving so I was able to call her and explain the situation. She said not to worry, that we would be fine and we were.

I was able to do the water checks like I needed to do. We got the clinic set up and everyone on the machines at their scheduled times. It was a surprisingly smooth day. While I was on my break, having my cup of coffee, I took a moment to take a picture of the sunrise because that’s one of the things I love about where I work now.

Even with the craziness of the morning and the fear and anxiety of having royally fucked everything to hell and back, I was able to have a moment of quiet, peaceful serenity that made everything worth it.

The move. The goodbyes. The change of everything. The sickness. Even the mad dash to repair the morning. This picture, this moment, and every moment I’m able to have where I can reflect on where I was and where I’ve been able to bring myself, makes me remember that it’s worth it.

 

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I ended up getting a reply from Warren later in the day explaining that his phone has been messed up since the latest OS update. He explained the situation with the Internet account. He didn’t say anything about my spare key or about paying me back, but at least he replied to my messages finally. I’ll tackle all of that when I feel like dealing with more excuses and BS.

I messaged my FA about my expense report since the system wouldn’t let me submit it. I have to have a person to send it to for approval and it won’t let me enter my FA’s name. I think it’s because I’m still listed in the system as being in Orlando. She’s looking into the issue for me so I’m hoping that will get resolved.

I came home and took close to a three-hour nap and it was amazing. When I woke up I made dinner. It turned out really good and it left me with leftovers to take to work for lunch the next day since meal prepping didn’t happen over the weekend.

That night was another night of incredible sexy time.

I know… two nights in a row. My brain can’t even.


 

Wednesday – April 11th

I woke up tired. #noRegrets

I also found out that one of the cats sprayed all over my clean scrubs…

I ended up rewearing the ones from the previous day. Aside from that small hiccup in the morning, the day went smoothly at work. I emailed our AA and requested more things for the clinic.

This was the day that I think I’ve found my direction at work, mom.

I was going through a couple of the notebooks because it seemed like they were redundant. While I was combining them, I found the criteria to become a Vascular Access Manager (VAM). It made me realize that because our clinic is so small, we most likely don’t have a VAM and that if I did this training I could fill that role.

It got me thinking about the different things I already know about, like becoming an “expert cannulator”, which would be more training. It got me to thinking about becoming an LPN instead of going all the way with RN. I want to stay in a tech role while being able to be more helpful to the nurses I work with. LPN gives me that. At least I think it does. It’s something I want to talk to my FA about at least to see what I could potentially be doing to continue to grow.

I don’t know. I just… allowed my self to think about the future. I let my mind wander over what it would be like… What would it be like if I stayed at the clinic for a year? Two years… a lot of years?

I like the thought of being a core person there. Someone who’s knowledgeable and important and… I don’t know… I like the thought of having some sort of “ownership” over it. It’s “my” clinic.

I clean and stock the treatment floor. I know our first MWF patient has a tape allergy and only likes the plastic tape. The fourth patient doesn’t want to walk out with gauze on her arm. She likes bandaids instead. I know the fifth patient on TTS likes her chair pushed all the way back and the screen of her machine turned to block the sun when it rises.

I want to be the best I can be for my patients because I’m the only tech they have. I want to be the best I can be because they deserve to have the best. I’ve listened to their stories, at least as much as we’ve been able to share in the two-ish months that I’ve been working there.

I’m not burnt out anymore, or at least I’m on the road to recovery from it. I like the idea of staying at the clinic. My patients inspire me to be the best version of me I can be. I think you would get a kick out of that, mom. We never thought I would be able to do anything medical because of how I used to pass out at the sight of blood, and now look at me. Little Ms. Dialysis Technican stabbin’ people with needles and shit.

I know you’re proud of me and that you’re thrilled that I touch the world in the way I do now. I never saw my life here.

While I was going through the binders I found the old phone sheet for the clinic. It was a list of all of the teammate’s cell phone numbers, only, over half of them didn’t work at the clinic anymore. Not a very helpful phone sheet…

Since the day was going so smoothly I ended up recreating the phone sheet, structuring it better. I removed the old names and numbers and added the new ones, like mine, that needed to be added. I also added the phone and fax numbers for our “sister” clinics in Lincoln along with the numbers for the FAs and AAs because those are important numbers, too.

Towards the end my RN came over and looked at what I was doing. She said I was way more ambitious than her. I told her that I enjoyed making documentation like that and that my second degree was in Digital Graphics. It was a wonderfully creative outlet which continued the positive energy the day had generated within myself.

I will say that even though I felt good about it, there was a part of me that wanted to downplay what I was doing.

Me: Oh… it’s nothing… really… all I did was open a resume template in Word 2013, delete a bunch of stuff, and then type in the information I wanted… It’s not like I “did” much of anything…

Also Me: You’re a fucking bawce. You know who else updated the phone list? No one. That’s who. You will take your praise and compliments and you will like them!

Once the clinic was closed up for the day I drove home. I changed into comfy clothes and dyed my hair. Mama Ox brought home Chinese food for dinner so no one had to cook. I rewashed my clothes because the cats are jerks.

Ox gave me part of the money he owes me since Wednesdays are paydays for him. He was originally going to give me $100 but I wouldn’t take all of it. I only want $50 payments.

That $50 is already the most anyone has ever paid me back. I don’t want him to limp by the rest of the week because all of his spare money went to paying me back. The relationship is two halves. I don’t want my other half to suffer needlessly. We’re not going anywhere. It doesn’t matter if it takes two months to pay me back instead of one. I would rather it take two and have us both be content and ok, rather than be paid back in a month and my other half be stressed and not ok.

We’re doing ok and I’m more secure in feeling like it’s ok to believe I will actually get my whole $400 back because he is actively paying me back as he can.

It was a good night. I washed the dye out of my hair and crawled into bed. Sexy time didn’t happen but that’s ok. I think my brain would have broke if we had gone three nights in a row.

I did end up sleeping on the couch again. Even though I’ve been feeling better the past three days now, I seem to keep getting coughing fits and last night was one of those times.


 

Thursday – April 12th

And here we are at today. All caught up for the most part.

Today was was my fourth day in a row at work and for all of the stress I put on getting the clothes washed so I could have clean stuff to wear, wouldn’t you know I completely forgot to pack socks in my bag this morning… I ended up wearing my gym shoes all day at work, which got me a lot of comments since they’re the Vibram toe shoes I’m not supposed to be wearing… but it was either those, my sandals, or barefoot because there wasn’t a chance in hell I was wearing my work shoes without socks again.

I took the CWP out of its disinfect cycle. I’m getting more comfortable with my routines at work and how they fluctuate through the week.

The bins I asked to be ordered should be in tomorrow so I’ll be able to play with them at work on Monday. I’m looking forward to that.

One of the doctors made rounds on the patients today, so one of them ran for six hours instead of his normal five. That sucked, but it left me with time to continue making notes and lists of things I want to bring up in our clinic meeting this coming Tuesday.

Once work was over I went to the gym again. I ran and did more upper body work. I picked up a sheet for personal training. I’ve been thinking about that a lot and how to mesh my personal routines with work.

I think I’m going to request to always have Monday’s off. That would give me a day alone before having to go back to work. During the weekend Ox’s parents are home so it’s awkward for me to meal prep or do any of the chores I want to do. And I realize that’s mostly all just inside my head but I feel weird. Everyone else is playing computer games or watching tv and here I am being Ms. Productive and making them feel like slackers. Or… since I’m up and they’re up… having to have actual conversations with people while I’m in my introvert mode… Don’t mind me while I go to the backyard and dig my own grave because that seems more appealing than actually talking to a human right now.

It doesn’t help that every other weekend the kids are here so it’s even harder to do chores or to get to sleep early enough for work since I wake up so incredibly early compared to everyone else.

I also want to start looking at maybe taking a class or two at one of the community colleges. That might be a little tricker, but it’s something I have the motivation to do, and something that would be easier to accomplish with a more set schedule.

Consistently having Monday off would give me a day where I would be alone for most of the day so doing chores and stuff wouldn’t be an issue. I could actually look at having personal training again as well since there would be at least one day I could guarantee a consistent time to meet. Training, ideally, would give me something to do in the morning that would force me out of bed, which has been an issue I’ve noticed for my days off. On my days off I tend to not do much which allows the apathy and sadness a foothold.

Having Monday to myself would ensure that my weeks reset fully. Laundry, meal prep, writing, planning, mapping everything out so I at least have a battle plan that can be modified as needed.

I think I’ve proven myself enough at work that I can ask for a “me” day and get it. I didn’t mind working four days in a row. Even with all of the unashamedly sleepless nights that I’ve had I made it through all of my days with energy to take care of what I needed to.

I’m going to see if I can talk to my FA alone after the meeting on Tuesday and see if something like that can be worked out. I think that would make work as close to perfect as human existence can allow it to be.

I’ve eaten dinner. I got to talk to Kyle a bit. He’s still not able to pay me anything back, but it was nice to be able to chat with him and to hear his voice.

Ox is home from a long day at work. It’s supposed to snow eight inches on Saturday. And I don’t have to go to work tomorrow.

I’m glad I wrote all of this, mom. I’m glad that I didn’t cry through all of it. Not even most of it. I’m glad there was so much positive to tell you about.

I still miss you. I still feel that hurt, that ache. But I’m still going on because I know that’s what I’m supposed to do right now. I’m still going to the gym. I’m still eating healthy. I’m still trying to learn things and to help people. I’m still striving to be a daughter you can be proud of.

I love you, mom. I miss you. I love you, forever and for always. Thanks for listening to me and for being there for me; through all of it. The good. The bad. The new. The scary. Thank you, so much, for loving me and for helping to make me who I am.

I’ll talk to you later.

Daily Post 081: Recap Attempt #1

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I wrote this yesterday evening but only got so far before the net crapped out on me. I will continue in a different post because this post’s time has passed.

 


 

It seems to be a trend to have to recap my days rather than writing daily, but I want to take a moment to acknowledge that I have written more consistently in the past month than I have in the two years since mom died. Maybe that’s a sign of recovery. Acknowledging this fact hurts while at the same time feels good.

It feels like I know she’s happy for me; for me writing and doing something that gives me peace and fulfillment. Like she would have one of those small smiles of pride that would make her glow from the inside. One of those smiles that she would smile whenever she knew I was doing something I didn’t want to do or a task that didn’t feel worth it in the beginning or sucked or was hard. The pride of knowing I accomplished something that I struggled with but I didn’t let the struggle win.

This post is for you, mom. This post is for all the times I haven’t written; to you, for you, for myself. This post is for not writing on your death day. This post if for every time I never sit and make myself write to you when I know you’re the one person I want to talk to. This post is for all the times I’ve struggled with the feelings of loneliness and lostness and have thought about giving up but didn’t.

This post is for us.


 

Wednesday – April 4th

This was the last day. The first day. This was our last, “I love you,” in person. This was my last hug from you. This was the day I woke up to Lio saying that I needed to come to the hospital because you had died while I was at your apartment sleeping before I took what was supposed to be my shift with you in the hospital room.

This was the day Jon gave me your mother’s ring. This was the day I called the funeral home.

This was my first day without you to tell me how to be an adult. How to cope with all of the shit life was going to force me to go through.

I talked to my therapist on Wednesday. I didn’t stay in bed all day. Instead, I got to tell her about all of the amazing things that have happened since I’ve moved to Nebraska.

It’s been probably the best thing I could have done for myself, mom. I can’t put into words how much more ok I feel here. I don’t hate work anymore. I don’t feel burnt out. I’ve been sick for almost a whole month, coughing and having issues breathing, but even that can’t take away the fact that I don’t hate living life as much as I was.

It was a good conversation and it helped me not sink into the darkness I could have so easily disappeared into on that day. There were so many “lasts”. So much sadness. None of it has gone away. None of it hurts less.

I guess it’s because I survived your death, because I kept living, I was able to experience things that make me grateful that I’m still here. April 4th, 2018 wasn’t awful even though I still missed you as much as I do every day I breathe.

After my phone conversation, I took a shower and went into town. I had to buy a flower for you. I had to keep up with my tradition; a tradition two years in the making. There are two roses in your vase now and writing that sucks. I hate that I had to buy that stupid flower, mom. I hate that you’re not here and I’m tired of being sorry for feeling that way.

I think that’s something I have to come to terms with; that I’m allowed to miss you even though I know you’re still a force in my life. I’m allowed to wish you were still alive. Having a spiritual connection doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to long for what we had.

So yeah, I hate that I had to do something because you died but I’m glad I did it. I’m glad I pay my respects to what this day meant for us and our relationship. I bought you a rose. I wish I still had the china hutch set up the way I did in Orlando. I wish I had a better way to honor your urn, but right now I’m doing the best I can.

I wasn’t able to connect with you the way I wanted to on your death day. I don’t feel like I get much quiet time to do that, or maybe it’s that I’m avoiding doing it because I know it will hurt. I don’t know. I know last year I knelt in front of your urn and wrapped my arms around it and cried my eyes out. I wanted to do that this year, but I didn’t it because I wasn’t alone.

Instead, I cooked dinner for everyone and when I had a moment alone in the room I added the flower to your vase as I placed my hand on your urn. I had a small moment with you and until now, sitting here, writing, that was the most I felt like I could give because giving any more would cause people to ask questions and I didn’t have it in me to deal with that on top of my emotions. I wanted to survive and I did and that came at the expense of our connection.

That I am sorry for. I shouldn’t let things like that come between us. I’ll try to be better about it in the future.

 

Thursday – April 5th

I worked this day. I don’t remember much about it, workwise. I got a message from Nasse. He and I haven’t talked much since I saw him at your service. He sent me a picture of a shirt you bought him at one of the color guard competitions he and Jon were part of. He said he still treasures that shirt. I had tears in my eyes as I replied, “thank you for that” because it meant so much to me to know that you still matter to other people, not just to me.

You didn’t touch just my life, mom. You influenced so many people and we all still miss you. We are all, still, forever changed for having known you.

Thursday did sort of suck in one regard. Ox messaged me while I was at work saying that his car payment was two months behind. He asked if he could borrow $400.

I had just gotten my tax return. I’m still waiting on the check from Full Sail along with a billion other things money related, but I finally had one thing. I had a check for over $800 that was money I had earned. I was going to do so much with it. And then suddenly I’m faced with the same situation I’ve been in so many times before.

What is it that I’m not learning to constantly be put here?

I was angry. I was hurt. I knew I wasn’t going to say no and that sucked. That felt like defeat.

I sat in my car and cried angry tears as I smoked a cigarette, thinking about what I wanted to do with my life.

I decided that I wouldn’t let it fuck up my day. I still went to the gym like I wanted to. I ran and I did pretty well. I like the gym in Beatrice more than the ones in Lincoln. It was quieter, emptier, smaller. It was homier and “lived in” feeling. It’s not new and ritzy and flashy. It has a dry sauna which I love. It has an area where I could do yoga by myself. I would never be able to make it to any of the classes they offer, but I think I’m ok with that.

Going to the gym made me more ok. After the gym, I drove into town. I went to the bank and withdrew the money for Ox. From there I went to my new wing place for lunch. If I was going to do something I didn’t want to do then I was going to reward myself with something that I did want and I gave zero fucks about it.

Left Brain: We’re having money issues… I don’t think spending anything is the best…

Right Brain: Go fuck yourself. All of the things!

 

Funny-Money-Meme-Thought-I-Had-Some-Money-And-Its-Gone-Image

 

Yeah… INFJ shadow traits at their finest…

The wing place isn’t as awesome as my sports bar in Orlando, but it’s passable. It’s something I think I could grow to enjoy. I read through some posts online while I waited for Ox to get off of work. He met me in the parking lot, I gave him the money, he drove to the bank and I drove home after stopping at Star Bucks because I wanted one of their coffee drinks that I hadn’t had in what felt like forever. It was another moment of, “Fuck it. I’m getting this and I’m not going to let the Universe make me feel bad for getting it” moments.

 

Daily Post 080: Finishing the Recap

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So last week started with what will forever be known as the horrifically sockless Monday. I continued improving at work and doing more things on my own like spinning labs, packing labs, and switching the CWP over to disinfect and taking it back out of disinfecting for normal operation. It was also the first week of working on my own, out of training. I was able to get measurements for things like shelving units and plastic bins to eventually make different areas/processes at the clinic easier.

Work-wise it was a good week.

Emotionally, the week had its ups and downs. Monday was pretty bad. Unintentionally making a mom joke didn’t help anything in that regard. As far as my writing goes, I recapped all the way up to Saturday evening, which Saturday was an amazingly good day.

That brings us up to Sunday, so I’ll continue from there.


 

April 1st – Sunday

April. Mom’s death month. And it’s not even like it’s a week into the month. Only four days later… Maybe it’s because her death happened so close to the first that the changing of months feels significant.

I woke up to snow on the ground; about an inch of it. It was still coming down, too. We were projected to get roughly three inches, which we did.

We had a good breakfast that morning. Mama Ox made monkey bread, Ox made eggs, and I made bacon. Real bacon, not the microwavable things they typically buy.

I didn’t do much of anything for the rest of the morning.

I was sad and it was hard to fight through the apathy and sadness. The weather didn’t help since it was cold. Ox helped a bit. Laundry needed to get done so he carried the basket into the laundry room for me.

Eventually, somehow, we ended up going to the U-Stop in town to do minor grocery shopping. It’s really a gas station with a mini food mart built into it. It’s nice and clean inside and their prices aren’t bad.

I guess it helped that the snow did stop in the afternoon and the sun came out and the day did warm up nicely. It helped that Ox was there to make it feel less like I was fighting my battle on my own.

Did it still suck? Yes. But not all of it sucked and it was up to me to recognize that fact or not. he could have been a jerk and not helped at all with the laundry. He could have given me shit for feeling sad instead of being understanding. He could have been harsh or distant verses encouraging and warm.

The trip to the store helped. Being productive usually does, regardless of how hard it is to start that upward trend/turnaround. I was able to get chicken and instant potatoes to make decent lunches for my work week. That led to a conversation with Mama Ox when I got back to the house about what to do for dinner. I said that I could make Parmesan chicken with the leftover seasoning packet I had. That led to another trip to the store for more chicken and to me making dinner for everyone.

The meal didn’t turn out as good as I wanted. I should have used more sauce. The whole package of noodles ended up being too much so there was a ton leftover. The bag of frozen broccoli sucked and I really should have bought some fresh instead of being cheap frugal.

It wasn’t an awful meal, but it wasn’t one that left everyone saying, “That was good.” It was a meal and no one left the table hungry or puking and swearing off my cooking for the rest of forever. Small victories I suppose.

The day ended up being a good day even though it was rough in the morning. I was looking forward to going to work and being able to set up my shelving unit next to the bleach sink.

I’m pretty sure I played WoW for a bit. I don’t remember specifically when I did that, but it did happen over the weekend at some point. I basically screwed around in Outlands completing super low-level quests and one shotting elite mobs that use to kick my ass. It was a nostalgic feeling. And gratifying…

That fel reaver totally deserved getting destroyed. Just sayin’ >.>


 

April 2nd – Monday

I worked Monday. It was a smooth day. I liked how I knew how the clinic would be since I worked Saturday. No guesswork as to if the lab packs were made or if the correct supplies would be laid out.

Nope. Everything was exactly how I wanted it because I made it that way.

The first shift went well. After my break, I put the shelves together. I love them. ❤

The second shift went well until four out of six people wanted off their machine at the same time. Holy fuck was that a bunch of crazy. Me and the RN survived though and once everyone was taken care of I spent the remaining time cleaning stations and getting ready to close up for the day.

I would have left the clinic early but I ended up staying to talk to our AA, administrative assistant. I haven’t had a chance to really interact with her all that much, so I had a distant level of respect for her but no real opinion of her as a person. After talking with her though, my opinion has changed to one of “You’re one of the people I super like”.

She showed me where the extra highlighters were. If that’s not true love I don’t know what is.

All joking aside, though, she was amazingly complimentary about how I’m helping to improve the clinic and she’s glad to have me as one of the solid, stable members of the crew.

She was supportive of my suggestion to rearrange a few things in the stock room for ease of use. She said if there was anything that I wanted to be purchased for the clinic to let her know. We talked about the future prospect of getting a second shift on TTS and she told me a bit of her story and why she is only part-time for the company at the moment.

She even emailed me a few files so I can print things out when I need them, versus having to wait or ask for someone to do it for me. I know that may not seem like a big deal. I mean, it’s not like their top secret files or anything, but I do feel it shows a level of trust that didn’t have to be given. It helps make me more independent as a worker. I’m able to be helpful rather than a hindrance. It’s a good feeling.

That actually led to how we were able to share part of our stories with each other. She had been trying to find my email address in the company directory, but could only find a Jennifer Conley in Orlando, so she didn’t think that was me since I’m clearly not in Orlando. I said no, that was me, that I had been working at the downtown clinic in Orlando, Florida before moving to Nebraska. She had no idea I had moved or been part of the company beforehand. She said that made her even more comfortable with me working at the Beatrice clinic because I had previous experience.

Even though it would have been nice to leave work early rather than on time, I’m glad I stayed. Getting to know her better makes me more comfortable with having to interact with her in the future and I think our conversation gave each of us a better understanding and level of respect for each other as people as well as coworkers.

Because we had so many noodles left over from the failed mediocre parmesan dinner the night before, I stopped by the Walmart near my clinic to pick up a few ingredients to make a soy sauce noodle recipe I found online. I am not a fan of that Walmart, or any Walmart really, so I’ll most likely avoid having to go there in the future, but I was able to get the things I needed. Since my mission was successful I headed home.

Dinner was super quick to make. It turned out pretty awesome, too. Hopefully, that makes up for the not amazing-ness of Sunday.

I had messaged Warren super early Monday morning; before I left for work which would have been around 5 am his time. I asked him to please reply to my previous message. You know… the one I sent on Friday asking about my spare key, the internet account, and our financial situation. I had emailed my old landlord Friday and was told everything was square with the lease. Ms. Side Chick is on it. I’m off it. We’re done in that regard.

I had let Warren know what the landlord had said, but still wanted answers for everything else. I had my “not amused” face on as I sent him a text Monday morning.

Me: Dude… Seriously… I know your phone is an extension of your hand because I’ve lived with you for a year. I know you’ve seen my message. I know you’re choosing not to reply to me. This is why people think you’re a dick when I tell them about our situation and why it’s hard to defend you against their opinions. You’re not doing much to make yourself look “non-dickish”.

He did eventually reply that evening, but it was after I had gone to sleep so I didn’t get his reply until Tuesday morning; yesterday.

All in all, Monday was a good day. I don’t remember being sad. I knew I was worried about the next two days since they were/are my days off. I was glad I wasn’t going to have to go to work, but at the same time, not having anything requiring me to be busy left me worried since the sadness and grief of mom’s death would have a better chance of seeping in.

I curled up in bed with Ox and went to sleep, turning my alarm off before doing so since I didn’t want to wake up at 3 am on a day I didn’t have to.


 

April 3rd – Tuesday – Yesterday

Yesterday started ok. It was weird not having to be up before Ox. Normally I’m the one up and dressed, lunch packed, breakfast eaten, sometimes showered, other times not with a bandana strategically covering up my bedhead used to keep my hair out of the way while I’m working…

We still did our “goodbye cigarette” in the morning only it was reversed with me being the one to crawl back into bed and Ox being the one to leave for work, off to be the breadwinner for the day.

I think I didn’t make yesterday easy for myself. I was still fuzzy and sort of headachey from drinking the night before. I ended up oversleeping with left me feeling groggy when I did actually wake up. I didn’t have a reason to shower, so I didn’t. Instead, I had breakfast then decided that I was still tired and got back in bed, in the dark. I basically stewed in my own thoughts of “this is the eve of mom’s death” for most of the day.

Ox called me a few times. He’s been talking to one of his friends and he wants me to meet her. It worked out that yesterday would have been a good day to do it. The thought of having to go out into the world, to interact with anyone, anything, hurt. The thought of doing anything hurt, much like the way I imagine physical therapy to hurt.

You know you need to do it. You know it’s beneficial and that doing nothing is only going to make things worse in the long run, but the thought of having to stretch those muscles is agonizing because you know it’s going to suck. It’s going to take a lot of work. It’s going to take a lot of time and effort and determination and willpower and discipline, and sometimes you really just don’t want to do it. Sometimes it just sucks and you need to have those moments of self-pity where you allow yourself to feel that suckage in all its unadulterated realness.

Everytime Ox called me yesterday I ended up crying. He mentioned that I sounded sad during our second call and I said I was. It was as if finally being able to admit to someone that today sucked made it more ok; less like an overwhelming weakness I was trying to hide from.

It was ok to be sad because being sad isn’t inherently a bad thing.

He ended up convincing me to shower and to drive into town. We could get dinner together, just us. We could drive up to his friend’s work and say hi, or not. Staying at home all day hadn’t helped anything though, so maybe trying being out of the house would.

I agreed that going out had a better shot than staying in since staying in had done nothing but make things worse.

So I showered. Getting up and doing it was hard at first, but I felt slightly better after doing it. I had done “something” so doing “something else” didn’t seem as bad; as hard.

I got dressed, putting on the overcoat/jacket thing I wore to my interview during my initial trip to Nebraska. I knew that I felt injured internally, emotionally. I don’t know why, but putting in that one small extra effort to make myself look a bit more presentable made me feel a bit better about myself. Yeah, I’m still sad, but you know what? I still did amazing enough in an interview to get a job that I’m doing well with. I can still look classy while being injured. I can feel broken and still function because I’m doing it, right here, right now.

I guess the jacket thing was more of a visual reminder to myself that have I done, and am doing, well regardless of what my emotions make me feel sometimes.

I picked up the Amazon package that had been sitting on the porch all morning. It had been there when had my first cigarette after waking up, but the thought of bringing it inside with me was too much at the time. It would get done eventually… by someone…

I’m glad that I’m the one who did it and that I didn’t let the apathy I had been struggling with all day make someone else’s day mildly inconvenient. I’m able-bodied enough to pick up a box and put it on the kitchen table, damnit.

Me: Fuck you, Brain. I KNOW I’m not that weak and feeble.

I cried almost the whole time on the drive into town and I really can’t explain why. The sun had finally come out and though it was still cold, there were puffs of warmth mixed in, like the Earth is struggling to wake up out of its winter sleep. Coughs of spring mixed into the fierceness of the wind.

It hurt to drive. It hurt to be outside, slightly dressed up, driving into town to do normal things on a day that isn’t normal.

It’s the “Eve”.

It’s the night code STEMI was called on mom. It’s the night she bled all over her hospital gown. It’s the night I didn’t sleep and I worried about her bleeding out while I held her hand because the heparin wouldn’t let her blood clot properly.

Today isn’t normal, but it’s sunny and I’m showered and I’m about to go do whatever it is I’m about to go do and it sucks and I cried because, for me, all of those facts suck. For me, the memory of April 3rd, 2016 will always suck, no matter how bright and sunny and warm the day may be.

Ox and I met at the parking lot of the PetCo in town since his snake needed more mice. I had a few minutes alone to compose myself and to come to terms with the fact that mom wanted me to get through yesterday. She wouldn’t have wanted me to stay home in the dark being sad. I know she would understand my sadness, but she would want me to find something about the day to enjoy, no matter how small so I was going to try to. For her. For me. For us.

One of the things Ox and I ended up doing was going to a HyVee and getting Bang energy drinks for me. There was a Super Saver in the plaza we met up at, but they don’t sell my drink and the thought of having one made me feel better in one of those silly, slightly childish “a piece of chocolate would give me warm fuzzy feelings” sort of way.

When I asked if we could go get one, Ox said sure. It nearly brought me to tears all over again because I know it was a silly request and yet he made it seem like it was no problem at all. He could have said no or asked why and forced me to explain all of the things I didn’t want to explain, but instead, he said yes with a smile and drove us in his car so we could be together, leaving mine in the parking lot until our impromptu adventure through the town was done for the evening.

He drove to a nearby HyVee where I got 12 cans of Bang because they were on sale. I don’t know why those drinks are so amazing, but having one of the Cotten Candy flavored cans makes me feel like I’m drinking liquid childhood or something. It was another small action that helped keep up the emotional improvement.

We drove to the Home Depot where his friend worked since she was getting off work soon. I was nervous. I mean, obviously… It’s a person I’ve never met before. Their sole purpose in life is to attack me on sight…

Me: You can chill the fuck out, Brain. I would be totally ok with that right now…

While Ox and I waited, we looked at paint and wood stain for the kitchen cabinets. We walked back and looked at the countertops since his mom wants new ones. We talked about color scheme and tile backsplashes for the kitchen walls and looked at different pantry cabinets since I want to get one for the kitchen. We talked about how we could move things in the house around and what type of flooring we want to put down in the addition once it’s done. We talked about how a lot of things in the house feel half down and how I’m not wrong in feeling that way; that’s an issue with his dad. Projects not getting finished.

It was a really awesome experience. I’m not sure if it was intentional on Ox’s part, but I’m grateful for the time we spent together in the store looking at home improvement stuff. It helped me remember there’s a lot of things in the future I want to be here for and that I’m looking forward to being a part of.

I was also able to get a white milk crate for work. I want one as a “shred” box for the treatment floor. It’s so annoying having to constantly walk back behind the nurse’s station to put documents into the bin there. Now I have a crate I can put on the main tech counter. I can put treatment sheets and lab forms and all sorts of paper in there and at the end of the day I can take my crate and empty it all at once. It’s a small, trivial thing, but it makes me happy knowing that my workflow will be improved.

I did get to meet Ox’s friend. She seems nice and I’m curious to get to know her better. I think we have had very different experiences, I also think we’re very different people. I don’t think we’ll be best buds or BFFs or hang out buddies, but it would be nice to know if we wanted to hang out with people other than ourselves that Ox and I have people we can call up and spend time with.

Once we left Home Depot we decided to try Buffalo Wings and Rings again, the wing place we had tried to go to Saturday evening. I can’t lie, part of the reason I’ve wanted to go there is simply because the name makes me smile because I think it’s cute. The other part is because I really like their color scheme. A very small, insignificant portion is because I want to find another wing place. I had already determined before moving that nothing would compare to my sports bar in Orlando.

BW&R was much quieter yesterday evening and though the food wasn’t as good as my sports bar in Orlando, it definitely is better than Buffalo Wild Wings in my book and overall I was satisfied with my meal. I would be ok with going back there. In fact, it might be where I go for lunch today since I’ll be in town.

Dinner was nice. Once we were done we drove back to my car and picked up snake food before coming home. I spent most of the evening writing which helped iron out details and timelines in my head. It helped shift things into a clearer, less sad perspective.

I’m glad to say that even though yesterday was hard that it turned out to be a pretty amazing day; one that I’m grateful for experiencing.


 

That brings us to today. April 4th, 2018. The two-year anniversary of my mom’s death. I… am ok so far. Better than I was yesterday. I’m already showered. I’ve written again and was able to remember all of the positive things of yesterday. I have therapy scheduled for 1 pm today and I’m actually looking forward to that phone call. I haven’t spoken with my therapist in almost two months now. There’s so much that has happened that I want to share with her. She’s been on this journey of recovery with me since the beginning. It was only about a month after mom’s death that I sought out counseling, and I do believe it’s one of the reasons I’m as stable and strong as I am today.

I need to buy a flower today. A second one to go into the vase I have by mom’s urn. I want to go to the gym today because I know mom wants me to keep living my life and to actually live it rather than exist through it. I want to cook dinner tonight since I didn’t last night and I already know the recipes I want to do. I’ll most likely need to stop by the store for a handful of things. Making sure laundry is squared away so I have scrubs and socks for the next three days would be a smart move, too.

Since I have a few hours before my phone call I think I’m going to try going through and organizing the piles on top of the freeze and cabinet in the laundry room. Maybe I’ll even poke around inside of the cabinet if I have time.

I don’t know. Today has possibilities and I can still enjoy them, experience them, while I miss my mom.

Today, two years ago, my mom died, and yet I am still her daughter. That is the fact I take comfort in right now. Life can’t change that fact. Death can’t change that fact. She and I are forever connected because I’m her daughter and she’s my mother.

Fuck you, Universe. You can’t take that away from us.

And with that, I’m going to go live my life today because I know that’s what my mom wants me to do.

I love you, mom. Forever and for always.