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

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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.

 

iQBQTwv

Daily Post 059: Tackling Today

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I’m back home. I have been for about an hour. I’ve scrolled through Facebook for most of that time. I don’t know if I really feel better so much as I feel stable. Shit is still as it was last night but I feel less overwhelmed by it. I know what my “next steps” are for today, they just seem less daunting then they did I guess.

My evening with Big Bad was nice. We watched two episodes of Stranger Things. Or maybe a better way of saying it is he watched them while I snuggled against his arm and stopped caring about my life for a few hours. I didn’t watch the show really. I listened to it halfway but really just let my mind dissolve into nothingness.

In between episodes we wrestled, which was a good release. We both went at it harder than we have in the past. He still got me into a few positions where he almost choked me out with my own arm, but I’m content with being able to say that I wormed my way out of all of those positions. I’m getting better and I can tell that I’m stronger.

We almost fell asleep on the couch but, eventually, we did move into the bedroom, crawling under the giant, heavy, fuzzy blanket that I love so much. We both slept well, and even though I had my cup of coffee alone this morning I still felt connected.

I haven’t broached the subject of how I work this coming Monday. I haven’t figured out how I’m going to go almost two weeks without seeing him. I suppose that will be something to address later tonight once he’s out of work. My blacksmith wants to try to meet Saturday evening. I have to figure that out as well since Warren works that day and Kyle is always home. It’s also after another 30 hours at work so I don’t know if I’ll look at it like a reprieve from my life or as another social obligation that I don’t know how to survive.

The DnD meet up this past Sunday went well enough. Only one other person showed up but my blacksmith said two of his coworkers are interested in gaming with us. Because the meet up was such short notice they weren’t able to attend, and December is sort of a crazy month for everyone so the game itself most likely won’t start until sometime in January.

I’m hoping that it can happen in the early evenings on Sunday. Maybe every other Sunday. It would be nice to be able to have a day to myself once in a while. I’m not going to get many of those with school starting. I’m always going to have requirements taking me out of the house.

Even when I’m here at the apartment I’m never really alone. Warren or Kyle are always here since neither of them has obligations taking them out of the house, and when there is it’s always while I’m at work. It’s almost to the point where I don’t remember what it’s like to have solitude; true aloneness where I can completely decompress and let go. There’s always some sound or energy to process through because there’s always someone here.

I haven’t had a cigarette in over a week. I wanted one last night when I got off the phone with Jon. It felt like things were crumbling again, shattering around me. But I guess they aren’t. I can’t do anything differently. All I can do is keep trying to move forward.

Warren paid me rent. It’s short compared to what the payment should be, but it’s really close to the full amount. He paid in cash, tucking it under my mouse pad since the online system was still being screwy. I guess I need to add stopping by the bank to my to-do list so I can deposit that into my account.

I have training in an hour. The past few sessions haven’t felt all that awesome. I’ve done them, and I feel tired afterward and I feel like I push hard for where I’m at, but they feel… different. More like physical therapy rather than training I’m looking forward to.

When I get to the end it’s hard not to cry. The Evil Voice is there, louder than normal, asking me why I’m doing any of this? What’s the point?

I don’t have answers for it right now. None that I believe enough to stand behind. Nothing to shield myself from the pain those works drag to the surface.

All I can do in those moments is silently rage inside of my head, louder and louder until I’m screaming at that voice to shut up; to go fuck itself. And then I’m at the end of my set and I can put the weight down and somehow it doesn’t seem like the overwhelming burden it was during those 30 seconds because it’s over. My body is fine, revved up and ready for the day, but my soul is so close to crushed from having to scream loud and fight so hard against the ceaseless, oppressive waves of “why bother?” and “do you even really care?” that I just want to collapse to the floor in the middle of the gym and cry.

I don’t have answers right now. What’s the point in working a job that keeps me away from the things that give me fulfillment, when it doesn’t even make ends meet? What’s the point of going home and cleaning? What’s the point of eating and trying to be healthy?

In the middle of this sea of grief I find myself drifting in I don’t have answers. All I see is the apathy I’m surrounded by. I don’t see land anywhere in the distance. I don’t see an evening with Big Bad. I don’t see the sanctuary of the dojo. I don’t have a reason to keep going other than because I don’t know how to stop, but that’s not really an answer to the questions ricocheting around in my head like bullets.

All I have is doing because that’s all I’ve ever done. I don’t know how to not take a step forward. I don’t know how to not clean. I don’t know how to not make a to-do list and tackle it one line at a time. I don’t know how to give up. I don’t know how to say “it’s too hard” and to accept defeat.

Sometimes I wish I did. I wish I knew how other people are able to throw their hands up and have other people save them. I wish it felt right to not struggle. As much as I bitch about my battles and whine about it being hard, I would be pissed if someone solved my problems for me. Like, irrationally, “You’ve ruined our friendship for forever because you have tarnished my honor” level of pissed off from which there can be no retribution for.

Today shouldn’t be all that intense. Or rather, it should be over fairly quickly. I have training at 9:30. I donate plasma about 2 hours after that so I can cool down and try to replace the water I sweat out. I don’t think I’m as hydrated as I should be. I don’t think I’ll be able to fix that as much as I want before donating. Hopefully, it’s not as bad as “The Bad Donation”, because yeah… that sucked.

After donating I have lunch planned at my sports bar where I’m going to get through another twenty pages in my textbook. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is. Maybe if it goes by quickly I’ll finish off the last bit of the chapter and be ahead of my game plan. I’m not going to push my brain exceedingly hard, though. As long as I making through the next main section, the next twenty pages, then I will be content.

I guess after that I can stop by the bank. Then it’s coming home and throwing things into the slow cooker to finish off one of my meals for the week. I still need to put my clothes away, but that’s not a huge deal. I might do kickboxing but that depends on how training and donating go.

I am calm and empty today. I feel like I don’t have much energy for people. I can do the things I need to do as long as there isn’t a lot of interaction, and for the most part, there isn’t, which might be why my day doesn’t feel like an impossible weight that will destroy a part of me if I attempt it. It’s not like I’m having to spend 12 to 16 hours interacting with my patients and pretending that things aren’t hard.

Friday and Saturday are going to suck since I close both days. I won’t get home until around 9 pm while having to turn around and wake up at 3:30 am. It’s going to be rough. Only a week and a half left until I’m able to take my week off. Then only one more week before classes start and my work schedule becomes consistent.

I want to finish printing out my “Book of Survival”. I got partway through that but never finished. I haven’t set a day for when I want to complete that task. I need more printer ink before I do it. But acknowledging that this is left undone makes me feel better. It means I’m one step closer to completing it.

I realized my letter last night to mom was the first time I’ve written to her since April 3rd. I’ve talked to her a few times since then, but last night was the first record I have, the first tangible thing, to show that interaction. That hurts. It makes me realize how much I don’t turn to my mom when things are hard.

I realized how little I have written this year. This was supposed to be my “Year of Stability” and though I’m not financially where I want to be I don’t feel like as much of a failure as I thought I would.

I’m stable in my confidence in myself. I’m stable in my ability to say no when I feel like something isn’t good for me. I’m stable in recognizing bullshit and not putting up with it. I’m stable in doing what needs to be done.

Since my year resets in April rather than January I still have a few months to figure out what I want the upcoming year to be. Maybe it would be good to focus on routine; consistency. Maybe it can be a continuation of stability since that’s what routine ties into for me.

I don’t know. I do know that I need to go for now otherwise I’ll be late for training and I would rather not be.

Here’s to today.

Letters to Mom 015: I Need You Right Now

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Mom. I really need to talk to you.

When I got off the phone with Jon I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know who to call. I knew I needed to talk to someone but you’re the person I wanted to call and you’re the one person I can’t.

I know I won’t be able to hear your voice and I’m sorry that still hurts. I’m sorry this wasn’t the first thing I thought of after getting off the phone with him. I’m sorry this still doesn’t feel like enough sometimes and that I still wish you were here.

Jon can’t pay rent next month. His roommates are screwing him over just like mine are doing to me.

I know you would be frustrated with both of us. I know if you were still here you would be helping us as much as you could. I know Jon and I would both feel like failures if we actually asked you for help.

I get angry at people like Warren. He came downstairs shortly after I got off the phone with Jon. He saw I was upset and trying not to cry and he asked what was wrong.

I told him Jon wasn’t able to pay rent.

Warren said something along the lines of that’s the plight of our generation and how Jon could ask Jason for help. I told him, no, he couldn’t. Jason loves us and is our brother, but he’s not going to help, and Jon isn’t going to ask.

Jon and I don’t have that luxury anymore; that safety net. Not like Warren does. We can’t go to our parents and say, “Oh no. We messed up. Please help us undo this terrible decision.”

I had 9 dollars to my name this morning. I told Warren that last night. He said the online banking system was having issues but that he was trying to get his payment to me. I told him it would be appreciated because I had 9 dollars and was unable to buy groceries.

There wasn’t a deposit in my account this morning when I woke up. Warren sleeps until noon since he works the late shift. I couldn’t spend the day waiting to get money to do the things I needed to do. I don’t have time to wait on other people like that. I can’t “Life” things like cook or grocery shop on days where I work 16 hours. I have to do everything on my days off or it has to go undone.

Because of that I had to use my credit card to get food, which isn’t all that bad. I mean, hey, I was able to get food, and pay for my new car tags, but it sucks. I have to pay interest on that money. I shouldn’t have to use my card because someone doesn’t pay me on time. I shouldn’t have to pay interest as a punishment for other people slacking off because it’s not there account that has 9 dollars in it.

It’s so ungodly frustrating, mom. I want to be able to help Jon. I want to be able to tell him that it’s ok. That we’ll figure it out together. But I can barely keep myself afloat. I can’t take care of three people. I can’t save anyone else, and it sucks because he’s my brother. He’s the one I should be there for and he’s the one who’s having to suffer because one of my roommates is still unemployed and the other can’t get his shit together financially even though he worked a fuck ton of overtime with the iPhone release AND got a dollar raise.

How? HOW are you STILL having financial issues? What the actual fuck?

I’m terrified that Jon’s going to have to drop out of school to get a job that he hates just to make ends meet. I’m terrified that he’s going to become another statistic in dissatisfied America who got screwed over and gave up.

I hate where I’m at, mom.

I hate how I worked 30 hours in two days and was so tired on Sunday that I slept for 14 hours. I hate how next Monday I work and I’m going to have to miss my night with Big Bad. I hate how I wasn’t supposed to close the clinic on Saturday, but I ended up doing it which screwed over my whole night. Louis and I had made plans to see each other. I was supposed to leave at five. We were looking forward to our evening; to seeing each other more than once.

It was my light at the end of the tunnel. I got up even though I didn’t want to. I fucking killed it at work. I was a total bawce and several of my coworkers mentioned it. But I still had to give up my night. I had to give up my plans.

Nothing I did or have done was good enough to mean anything. Just like how my awesome credit score and pristine renters history didn’t matter when I needed an apartment when I was unemployed. It didn’t matter that I could pay all of the rent up front. None of my past, none of my actions, mattered.

That’s what Saturday felt like. Nothing mattered.

Life: Fuck you, Jen. And the horse you rode in on. And the one that sired it, just for safe measure.

You know what? No. Fuck you, Life. I’m so sick of your bullshit.

I’ve given up the dojo. I’m giving up my plasma. I’ve given up my room and having my computer with me.

When is it enough? When am I allowed to feel secure? When am I allowed to have things for me and to not be injured by other people?

I’m so angry and frustrated right now, mom. I’m tired of this constant fucking struggle to make things work, only for them not to, so I have to find a different way and that way works for a while but then there’s another roadblock that I have to figure out. It’s always an uphill battle and the few things that make it feel worth it always feel like their taken away from me.

It’s not fair. And I feel like a four-year-old for saying that, but it’s true. It’s so fucking unfair right now. Why, if I do everything right, if I’m such an amazing, kind, caring, compassionate person like people say, do I not deserve to feel like life is worth living?

Why can’t I have my hour at the dojo? Why can’t I have my three hours a week with my significant other while everyone else gets to go home to theirs?

Why can’t Jon go to school and not worry about keeping a roof over his head while maintaining his 4.0 gpa? He’s doing so well. I’m so insanely proud of him, and yet I can’t help him not stress. I can’t stretch myself any more than I already am.

I don’t know what to do, mom.

I studied for my certification today. I’m trying to get that out of the way. School starts for me in January. I’m trying to stick with my training as much as I can.

It feels like I’m trying so hard, so why does it feel like I’m not making any progress? Why does it still feel like I’m not doing it good enough, right enough?

I wish I could hear you right now. I wish, out of everyone in the Universe, that you could be the one to tell me things will be ok because you’re the only person I ever believed when you told me those words.

I know things will be ok. I know both Jon and I will make it through this. I just so desperately wish that I knew how. I wish things were already better. I wish all of the struggles and battles I’ve already fought felt worth it, but in this moment they don’t.

I feel tired and drained. I feel alone in my battles and I’m tired of showing up to them. I can’t fight Jon’s battle for him when I’m barely keeping up with fighting my own.

I’m tired of feeling angry. I’m tired of feeling sad. I don’t have tears left to cry for either emotion. I’m going to finish doing my chores and then go spend my one evening with Big Bad. I can’t even drink because tomorrow I have to donate plasma and I’m still behind on my water intake.

I miss you, mom. I promise… I don’t know what I promise. I’m not going to promise to hold it together because I can feel that at some point this season I’m going to break again. I just know it’s going to happen. With my birthday coming up, and Christmas… I just know that I’m going to end up screaming in my car and I don’t care.

I guess I promise to keep my promises I made to you that first day without you; the last day at the hospital.

I promise I’ll get out of bed every day. I promise I’ll eat at least one meal every day. And I promise I’ll at least shower.

I love you, mom. Thanks for listening even if I didn’t figure anything out.