Daily Post 035: Kidney Stones VS Childbirth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Everything was inconclusive.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That counts.

Daily Post 034: Promise Kept

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I cried today.

It was another day that I completed everything on my to-do list.

I’ve pushed really hard the past two days. I don’t know if I’m proud of that or not. I know normally I would be. I still hurt and so it’s hard to feel past, see past, the pain.

Work started off well. I’m getting faster at setting up the machines. A lot of the machines were failing their alarm tests this morning. Two of the machines in my section had to be taken off the floor because we couldn’t get them working properly. It made everything so much more chaotic and slightly overwhelming. Add to that the fact that today I cannulated two patients (stabbed them with needles so their dialysis treatment could be initiated).

Hopefully, my jokes about stabbing people with needles aren’t offensive. I don’t mean for them to be.

But yeah, two machines are gone, and I’m having to perform an invasive procedure on people who know I’m new, oh, and by the way, my clinic trainer AND my company trainer are both there watching me to make sure if I fuck up it will be wonderfully recorded.

It was a lot today. I held it together. I did really well. And after it was over and I had clocked out and I was driving home I completely broke down because I couldn’t call mom and tell her about my day.

I couldn’t talk about how it was overwhelming and I survived. I couldn’t tell her how I was able to cannulate Chef on my first try even though my trainer still has issues with his access sometimes. I couldn’t get a hug. I couldn’t go home. I couldn’t have any of the reassurance that I’ve been used to for 27 years of my life.

I talked to her again. I told her I was sorry for not listening to her couponing stories as often as I should have and how I miss them. Even now I’m crying.

Instead of going home and giving in to the sadness I kept taking care of the chores I wanted to do. I was mostly on auto-pilot. Detached from the world around me, floating in it but not really interacting or experiencing it. I was ok with that.

I found out about my contact with the boxing gym. Because I put a hold on my account for the first three months I was going to the dojo my contract has been extended until October. Lame. I was hoping to end that in July since I’m not going there much. I could have used that money to go towards my training with MG.

I did talk to her about finances, though. Since I’m not doing classes at the dojo due to my work schedule we’re going to use my membership payment to go towards the personal training sessions. So it all works out nicely.

Verizon finally figured out my phone discount. Tomorrow I’m going to call and finally cancel Zane’s line. That will save me about $50 a month on my phone bill.

Mom’s pension finally closed out. I sent Jason the money I owed him from that. One obligation taken care of. Three more to go at least as far as payback goes.

I went to the dojo and did yoga today. I saw another one of my dojo buddies while I was there.

Both him and James commented on how I’ve lost weight. I know I have. I can still see new lines and contours in my form. I’ve stopped thinking about it. Maybe it’s apathy due to my grief. The fact that I’m losing weight doesn’t do anything to my emotional state. It’s a neutral fact. It is. It exists. I don’t know what else to write about it.

I know the two tattoos I’m going to be getting. I need Photoshop to make the files. Well.. want. Not need, but still. It would be easier than doing it by hand.

I don’t know what else to write. I’m tired. I slept deeply last night though I didn’t sleep long enough. I think I’m going to have the same issue tonight. It’s already almost 10 pm and I wake up at 3 am.

I feel like this is another moment in my life where I’m transforming, changing, morphing into the person I’m supposed to become. I don’t know why I feel like that. I don’t know why it feels like I’m supposed to feel this pain.

I guess it’s because this is me moving forward. I know this is something I need to do. It hurts. It sucks. I don’t want to do it. Each step forward feels like I’m moving further away from that moment in time. That moment where I was a younger more naive version of myself, protected by the safety of mom when she was still alive. A different me. I don’t want to use the term weaker because I was strong even then. Less battle hardened maybe. Less tried.

I wish I could hug my younger self. I wish my now self could have a hug, too. I wish when I cried I wasn’t alone and yet, even as I type that I know I would try to pull myself together if someone were around me.

I wish I wasn’t so complicated.

Daily Post 026: Working Girl

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My days have been long. Tiring. Stressful.

But they’ve also been extremely rewarding, uplifting, and connecting.

I finished my phlebotomy class. I have my final payment figured out and a solution to the issue of not being able to attend the final part of the PCT course due to my employment training. I still won’t be able to take my board test for a while since Warren still isn’t paying rent reliably. It’s down to paying my bills or getting the certification. It sucks that I’m in this position, but I don’t want to complain about it.

This is a fact in my life. I have to choose between things because my finances are so low. I choose to keep the dojo instead of getting nationally certified for something I don’t need at the moment. I WILL come back to it and I WILL become certified. Just not in the time frame I was hoping for.

The day after my last day of phlebotomy, last Friday, I had my first day of work in almost a year. Physically and mentally it wasn’t a very intense day. A lot of power point slides, a lot of meeting people. Blood work was done. I had my first TB test. At least it’s the first one I have a conscious awareness of. There was a CPR class that I had to stay for since the Red Cross certification I paid for wasn’t accepted.

Everything in hindsight… /sigh

It was actually a pretty awesome class, though. The guy was super funny and engaging. By far one of the best training classes I have been to, ever.

So it’s sort of a toss up. On one hand, I would have liked to have left at 3 PM so I could have gotten to South Carolina sooner. On the other, I’m glad I was able to stay and experience the class.

I didn’t get on the interstate until 6:30 PM and traffic out of Orlando was at a level of stupid I haven’t experienced in a while. I drove until 1 AM. Allison called me around 11 PM and told me that I didn’t have to be up until around 9 AM the following morning which was totally ok in my book. I knew with as emotionally exhausting as my day of orientation was plus the drive that I was going to need as much sleep as I could get before the “big day”.

I slept surprisingly well even though I was basically in Drug Town. Downtown Charleston is pretty much like any other downtown. You have some sketchy areas, but it was actually mildly reassuring. This is where I grew up. There was still a feeling of “home”. I could see it in the way the grass is a different kind of green from Florida. The oak trees with their Spanish moss… The salt in the air is different. There’s something about low country South Carolina that can’t be replaced or impersonated. There’s something about going back to where you came from, even if you return as a visitor, that will pull at the strings of familiarity.

I’m glad I went to Allison’s wedding. Partly because she would have killed me if I ditched the day before when I was supposed to be her maid of honor… I do have a slight sense of self-preservation. But mostly I’m glad I went because it was beautiful to not only see the ceremony but to be part of it.

I realized I will most likely never have a wedding of my own, but I also realized I think I’m ok with that.

I don’t want to spend $1000 on a dress. I don’t want to make people drive crazy distances to hear me say things that I really only want my companion to hear. I’m ok with not having the government involved in my relationship.

Maybe all of this will change as I continue to move through life, but at the moment, I’m ok with accepting that I have always been different and that I will most likely continue to be different. Different doesn’t mean bad.

So the ceremony was really nice. I made my speech. I feel like I tanked on it. I was shaking so bad by the end that I had to put my glass down so I wouldn’t spill it all over my dress. After my “speech” I promptly changed out of my dress and went to a quiet outside area away from the reception and did yoga.

I know that may be weird or maybe even disrespectful but I was completely out of my element. I knew only a handful of people. I was in a dress with makeup, my hair all braided and “not me”. I had just spoken extremely heartfelt words to one of my best friends in front of a ton of strangers… I earned 20 minutes of alone time to stretch out my muscles from my seven-hour car ride.

Allison’s mom came and sat with me for a while. It was nice to talk to her alone. I haven’t been able to since my mom died. I got to tell her about my new job and how I’m doing in life. I’m pretty much her second daughter, she says so herself, so I think she enjoyed catching up with me. It was nice to have some one on one time with someone I’m close with. It helped ease the overwhelmed feeling from the speech.

The rest of the night was fun and uneventful for my part. I got to people watch. I talked to a few other people, but mostly I kept to myself, which I was ok with.

In the end, I helped pack everything up. I went out with Allison’s buddies to a bar and had a few more drinks. Afterward, I went back to the hotel where I had another night of extremely deep and restful sleep.

I woke up in the morning, packed everything up, checked out of the hotel, then drove back to Orlando. I stopped in Daytona first and spent about three hours with my brother. Originally it was going to be a short visit, but then I ended up going to a few stores with him and then we got dinner together. It was insanely nice to spend time with him and I don’t regret it even though it altered my time table for when I wanted to be home.

By the time I got back to my apartment I was done. I don’t even remember what I did. I brought everything in from the car, but that’s about all I remember. I know I didn’t sleep at all even though I tried to. I don’t know if I was wired from the cup of coffee Jon made me while I was with him or what, but I spent all night awake.

One the plus side, I didn’t have to worry about being late for my first official day at work. Downside, if you think spending eight hours reading policy and compliance documentation sucks, try doing it on no sleep…

Even though I was wicked tired I liked how I started my day. I went to Starbucks and got a coffee drink and a breakfast sandwich. I know that was splurging and my bank account doesn’t appreciate it, but I wanted to do it. It helped make the morning special.

As I pulled out of the drive-thru I spoke to my mom for the first time in a while. Out loud spoke to, not just silently thought words.

“Ok, mom. Let’s make today a good day.”

I had tears running down my face as I drove through the parking lot. My chest hurt. I didn’t want to take those steps forward. But I did, and I even enjoyed my day despite the mind-numbing material.

I actually really like the group I’m with. All of the managers for the facilities are super nice and friendly. This really does seem to be a company that lives up to all the talk about the company culture. I really do believe they care about their employees, from my own observations and limited exposure so far.

Tuesday wasn’t as bad, but still really dry material. We were told we needed to come up with a team name. I’m super hoping for DaVita Divas to win. We realized we’re an all female class and with the spunk and banter we toss around the diva portion really fits us I think.

Today the subject of mom’s death came up with a few of my… classmates? teammates? not really sure what to call them mates?… Anyway… it was an extremely connecting conversation.

Two of the ladies are slightly older. One lost her mother about 15 years ago, and her husband 4 years ago. She shared some of her experience with grief with me and I was able to explain mine. In the end, I thanked her for talking to me. I told her hearing other people’s experiences helped me feel not alone and helped me understand and accept my own feelings.

Another, we’ll go with teammate, gave me a hug.

It was really nice. Mom’s death is a big part of me right now, and I like that I was able to share that aspect of my journey and still be accepted.

After class I came home and sort of dicked around on Facebook for longer than I meant to. I did go to Muay Thai tonight, though, so I don’t feel bad about the computer time. I’m pretty happy with the effort I put in at the dojo today. I had been worried about interacting with people, but I’m glad I went. I was paired with a person that I’ve seen at the dojo fairly often, but have never formally talked to. He’s super nice and was extremely helpful with giving me advice for my stance and punches.

I enjoy going to Title Club on the days I don’t want real interaction. I want it to just be me and the bag and whatever the voice through the speakers tells me to do. I don’t have to worry about holding pads or having someone “push” or “encourage” me. I don’t have to worry about my grief snapping and having to explain to someone that they didn’t do anything wrong and that I just need to cry. It’s the main reason I haven’t gone to the dojo as consistantly as I was before the end of March.

I have been keeping up with training, though. Just in a different way.

Today ended up being a dojo day instead of a gym day. It was a good class and I did well and I think the interaction was good for me on a social and emotional level.

I stayed a bit afterward and talked with one of my trainers; the one who had asked if I was ok the last time I had been at the dojo. I got to explain about my new job and why I had left the time before. I got to talk about the situation with Warren. She knows I might have to cancel my membership. It won’t be this month at least. I’m hoping things work out.

I’ll make things work out.

Oh… yesterday…

I went to kickboxing at Title Club since I didn’t feel like being around people. Afterward, I went to the store and bought a few things to make meals since I have to have lunches at work. I made tuna and beef stir fry. I had some leftover rotisserie chicken so I also make spinach and chicken couscous. Got some protein bars. Some Gatorade. Eggs… Normal stuff.

Tomorrow I’m going to buy a lunch box. I donated the one I used to have to Goodwill almost a year ago; shortly after I resigned. I got rid of a lot of stuff when I left Full Sail. I’m actually glad that I’ll have to get a new one. This is a new place. I don’t want to bring old memories into it.

I actually have a to-do list for tomorrow. It’s the first day this week that I’ve made one. Much like with my writing, my to-do lists have become sporadic. I don’t mind, though. I feel like I’m doing well.

This whole month has been hard. Everything from March 23rd, through mom’s death day and past with the final weeks of my phlebotomy class, skill evaluation, beginning a new job only to turn around and be the maid of honor in a wedding which required a total of 14 hours of driving in two days…

I DID do well and it WAS hard.

Now that things are settling down I can feel the rhythm that’s forming. I like it. I wake up early. I workout in the early evening. I come home and unwind.

I’ve already mapped out what I would like to do tomorrow. This is the first day where I’ve wanted to plan ahead. It’s not a very extensive list and the first five things on it are still, “wake up, make breakfast, eat, shower, go to training”, but it’s my list and it’s what I want to do, so I’m going to do it.

I’m going to be ok. Financial stress is pointless even though my financial situation is something I have been stressing over. I’m going to make my life work the way I want it to because I’ve come too far to let it uppercut me again.

Fuck you, Life. I’m ready for you.

Daily Post 025: Beaten and Bruised

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The end of another day.

I want today to feel successful, and I guess in some ways, in most ways it is, was.

I woke up and had breakfast. That’s aways a win in my book and I still write those actions on my to-do list every time I actually make one.

Wake up
Eat
Shower
Go to class

Those are almost always my first four actions. Always my first three. Pretty soon I’ll switch out “class” for “work”. Maybe I’ll use “training” first since I will have to go through that phase before I’m actually legit working.

Class was ok. I only need two more sticks. I’m hoping to get them tomorrow. My evaluation is Tuesday.

It was actually pretty cool today. We got to centrifuge a tube of blood, which meant we had to draw a full tube of blood first. Normally, since we’re just practicing the procedure of venipuncture, we don’t fill a tube full. We just get enough of a specimen to prove we were able to access the vein of our patient and we’re done.

My instructor wanted me to fill the tube, which I was able to do. I know that seems sort of silly but it meant a lot to me. She trusted me enough to be successful with the procedure, and I actually was. It’s a boost to my confidence.

I came home after class and curled up in bed for a bit. I slept like crap last night. No real reason for it, just couldn’t get my mind to settle. Not even sleepy time tea worked. I ended up rearranging my room a bit. I like it more with my bed in the corner. It’s like I have a “nest” again.

It was nice cuddling with Scarlet and letting my brain chill out for an hour. Eventually, I got up and went to the bank. I put Warren’s rent money into my account and got a cashier’s check since I had therapy later in the day.

I went to Publix and got cat litter so I couldn’t use being tired from the dojo as an excuse to not do it. I got a dollar burger from Wendy’s since I needed to eat. By then it was time for my session.

It went well. We talked about a lot of things. My new / upcoming job. Warren being a dick. Big Bad and the developments in our dynamic. My grief and the two weeks leading up to mom’s death day. I got to explain the ritual of buying her a flower and how the coming year is going to be my Year of Stability.

We ended up going forty minutes over my time.

It was an intense session but I’m grateful for it. I feel like it did help even though emotional and physically I was worn out from it.

I didn’t make it to the Muay Thai fundamentals class due to my session running longer than I had expected. I went to the dojo anyway since I could still do jiujitsu.

I don’t know how I feel about the class. I practiced the technique being taught but it didn’t feel “right” and I couldn’t figure out what I was doing “wrong”. I only did two rounds of sparring today. I left before the class was finished because I didn’t want to give more. I was done, emotionally, physically, mentally, socially.

Could I have gone for the final round? Maybe. I don’t think I would have died if I had. Maybe I would have cardio tapped. I didn’t want to try, though. I didn’t want to push myself further because I had already done a lot on almost no sleep.

One of my trainers called out to me as I was leaving. She wanted to make sure I was alright. I said I was ok. You know, one of those, “I’m fine even though I’m not fine,” sort of answers because saying you’re not fine isn’t socially ok. It’s easier to say you’re a wimp and can’t hang for an hour than to say I’m sad and hurting emotionally.

She pressed asking if there was a reason I was having to leave early. I said it was emotional. it was hard to keep the tears back. She replied with she knows I’ve been through a lot and that she loved me and that she was here for me if I needed her.

I told her I love her, too, and that I appreciated her.

I cried when I got to my car. I had the thought that I wanted to go home, which made me hurt more because the apartment wasn’t home. At least in that moment it wasn’t. I wanted my old home. I wanted mom and there was no where I could drive to be with her. There was no way for me to go home.

After crying for a bit I drove to my apartment. I brought in my gym bag and the box of cat litter and I laid down on my futon in the dark and breathed. I could hear Warren upstairs working. Burno came down and nudged at me a bit before laying down on the floor beside the futon. I stayed like that for a while. It was dark, I was mostly alone, and I was able to be tired in every sense of the word.

Warren went on break, came downstairs for a bit, then went back upstairs to work. I stayed on the futon. Tired. Beaten. Covered in bruises from my phlebotomy class and jiujitsu.

I acknowledged I was alive, though. I can most definitely say that I feel I lived today and maybe that’s another added level to the tiredness. I did more than exist today. I lived.

I guess that’s where I am right now. Beaten but alive.

I want to say today was a hard day even though in list form, on a piece of paper, I don’t feel I did much.

This room, this apartment, this is my home now. That’s something I need to affirm for myself and own. This is where I’m going to make my stand. This is my “Home Base” for the time being. This is my nest and my safe spot.

I don’t know what else to say in that regard and I’m pretty written out. So I guess that’s that.

Today was a hard day but I made it through it. Tomorrow’s a new day and we’ll see where it goes.

Daily Post 024: Done and Determined

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I’m alive.

It’s nice to feel warm again after the past two weeks. Solid. Real. Driven and determined.

I went to the dojo yesterday. Stayed for NoGi and Muay Thai. I most likely would have stayed for Jiujitsu too but I was a slacker over the weekend and my gi wasn’t dry enough to wear by the time I left for the dojo. In the end that might have been a good thing since doing three classes after a week and a half of nothing might have been harder than I could have / should have handled.

A lot has happened, as always when I go for stints without writing.

Warren and I had our first full blown fight / spat. I’ll probably post the message I sent to him as a Musing Moment so I can keep it.

He’s still being a not cool roommate. And since this is my blog I’m going to say how I really feel. I feel like he’s being a dick. And insensitive, selfish, disrespectful dick.

Every time we have a conversation about him not paying rent or contributing to the apartment he uses being depressed about Amber and his job as his reasons. He’s too depressed some days to clock into work, so he’s always short on money. He’s too caught up in being depressed to notice his dishes in the sink or the coating of dog fur on the floor. He’s depressed so it’s ok that he’s not doing the things he said he would. He’s depressed so there’s a reason for it and I should be understanding.

I think I’ve been pretty understanding and supportive for the past seven months.

So all through the two weeks of me contending with mom’s death day approaching I still had to take care of his dirty dishes and do all the chores even though I’ve repeatedly expressed how I’m not ok with it.

Friday it sort of all boiled over. Friday morning I woke up at 7 am. I stayed in bed until 9 am, not wanting to go downstairs. Not wanting to see a sink with dishes in it. It didn’t seem worth it. Nothing was worth it. Mom was dead, but that didn’t matter enough, didn’t count enough, for me to be depressed and have someone take care of me. Or at the very least not have to take care of someone else along with myself.

Victim mentality, maybe, but I don’t think it’s unfair of me to not want to clean up after someone else when I am legitimately struggling just to come downstairs in the first place.

I did get up eventually, though, and I did go downstairs. And again, like every morning since he’s moved in the sink had dirty dishes in it. I pretty much snapped. I took Warren’s dishes and put them in his computer chair and left them there for him to find when he woke up. It’s something I had said I would do during one of what feels like our many conversations. After that I started drinking. I drank from 10 am until 6 pm and the only reason I stopped was so I could be sober to drive to Big Bad’s house.

This was the first time where I hurt so much that the only thing I knew to do was to drink enough to be buzzed so the pain was bearable. I literally didn’t know what else to do other than drink and watch movies all day as a way to survive. I wanted to self-harm. I wanted to hurt on the outside as much as the inside so then maybe at least my pain would matter enough to be taken seriously. Just as seriously as I should be taking someone’s depression over a breakup and a shitty job.

I didn’t really want to self-harm, though. I knew those thoughts were there, but they weren’t the actions I truly wanted to do, so drinking seemed like the better option. Drink, be numbed, watch movies, cope, breathe, survive, and ¬†tomorrow will be better.

When Warren found his dishes he got pissed. I waited a few hours before writing and explaining how every night I clean the kitchen so there won’t be anything for me to have to contend with in my morning. And every morning I wake up to having to clean someone else’s mess before I can start my day. It sucks, and since I’ve told him about it I said it feels like a giant “fuck you” every time it happens, which is literally every day.

He said I was being childish and petty which felt like a slap to the face.

It took me a while to come to terms with his response. Those words bounced around in my head like bullets. Childish. Petty.

Am I really being childish? Is wanting to not take care of someone after doing it for seven months being petty? Am I being unreasonable? Selfish? Am I that bitchy roommate I didn’t want to be? It didn’t help my mental state at all. It made me feel guilty and like I really was asking for too much.

I’ve come to the conclusion that actions aren’t “things”. Just like facts are neither “good” nor “bad”. They exist. They happen. It’s our perspective which makes them “things”.

So, Warren’s perspective is that I’m being petty. My perspective is that I kept my word and did something I said I would do.

Even if the situation turns around, which it hasn’t, his dirty dishes are still in the sink, I don’t want to be his roommate in October. I really don’t want to be his roommate now, but there’s not really anything I can do about that. Since I paid rent in full I have no money to put towards living somewhere else.

I doubt I’ll be able to live alone in October. That doesn’t mean I have to stay here or live with him. I can find somewhere else to go. Really, the real question is can I last until October? To that, I don’t know the answer. I hope so. I really do, because I can’t afford to live anywhere else at the moment.

This whole situation has caused another shift inside of my brain, though, so I guess it’s not all bad.

I’m done waiting on people. I’m done expecting people to help when they say they will. I’m done waiting for people to keep their word. Basically, inside of my head, I’ve cut all imaginary ties for financial support.

I’m on my own.

All the people who said they would pay me back… Done. I’m not going to go through my life holding my breath, waiting, hoping, thinking my situation would be better if only…

No.

I’m done.

I’m not going to get that money. What I have right now is what I have. End of story.

If they pay me back, cool. But I’m done thinking about how great my life would be if it actually happened. I’m done with not mattering.

I have my goals. I know what I need to get to them. I need to work my ass off essentially, especially if I want to reach them in the time frame I’ve given myself. I can only count on me, financially, to get me there, so that’s what I’m going to do.

Fuck Life if it thinks it can stop me.

That’s the mentality I’ve taken up since clawing those bullets out of my head. I’m not petty or childish. I want to be treated fairly. I want to be treated how I was told I would be treated. I want to not have a 30-year-old man-child.

This isn’t where I wanted to be so this ISN’T where I’m staying.

I talked to my instructor today about the PCT issue. That led to a conversation with my former instructor who agrees that I shouldn’t have to take the Home Health Aid class over again. So they’re both going to fight on my behalf to get my paperwork changed. That will be roughly $800 I can keep. I can’t put into words how much I really want to hold on to that money at the moment since Warren still isn’t reliably paying rent.

Yeah… it’s not just dishes that are broken promises.

I need four more venipunctures. That was another eye opener. One that I don’t feel like writing much about at the moment. It’s sobering to know where I stand with some people. It’s interesting in a mildly detached way. When I asked people to support me in obtaining my certification, in advancing with my life, they said no.

I get that I’m asking, “Can I stick you with a needle?” I understand people have phobias and anxiety and fears. I know I was asking a lot. For every person I asked it was too much. No one, not a single person out of the ten I asked, said, “Yes. I’ll help you.”

I asked my brother on the off chance he might be able to drive down from Daytona, but his class schedule conflicts with mine, so it can’t happen. He’s the only person who unwaveringly said, “Yeah. I’ll help.”

Next week is my evaluation. Thursday is my last test for the class. Next Friday is the orientation day for my new job. Saturday is Allison’s wedding. Monday I begin my two months of training. Monday evening I get to register for my board test for phlebotomy. That will be a 120 question test since my evaluation counts as the clinical portion.

I’m tired just from thinking about it all.

That’s not mentioning how I have to drive 7 hours to get to the wedding, be the maid of honor in the wedding, give a speech which I can’t even really drink during because directly after everything I have to turn around and drive 7 hours back so I can be in Orlando for work.

I know this is me being sort of whiny but I really don’t see how any of this has been an honor. I had to take a week out of my life to go to Disney, which was fun-ish, but not something I would have volunteered to do on my own. I paid for the vacation home we stayed at along with all of the gas and driving we did that week plus my own ticket and $3 bottles of water. I’m going to have to drive to South Carolina and back and pay for my hotel room. I had to drop $200 on a dress I’m going to wear once, plus whatever the shoes cost…

I want this honor to be over with and I’m glad it almost is.

On the subject of money…

I have a sort of side business going on at the moment. Resume making. Wooo. It’s actually pretty cool.

Because I got the job with DaVita that’s been a topic mentioned a lot when we go on break. My classmates ask about the interview process, how I found the posting, different things about the company. etc.

One of them asked to see my resume so I showed her. She was super impressed with how clean and professional it looked and I got to explain how I created it myself and how until I had resigned from Full Sail I had been working on a second degree in Digital Arts and Design. She asked if I would make one for her. We negotiated a price and she sent me her information.

I guess she ended up telling others about our arrangement, so now I’m creating resumes for three other people.

Even funnier… I was talking to my blacksmith over the weekend and mentioned my “underground” business, so now I’m helping him with his resume as well. XD

One of my classmates mentioned how I should create a flyer for the billboard at school as a way to market my services.

So… yeah… that might be a thing for me. It would be pretty cool if it worked into a fairly reliable side income.

I don’t think I really have much else to talk about…

I’ve started cross stitching again. I’ve started listening to my audio book again as well. I have about three more hours in American Gods. I saw they’re coming out with a series on Netflix for it. At least I think it was Netflix. Totally stoked for it though. I hope it’s done well.

I’m proud of myself that even while I was in a hardcore grief wave that I made meals and stuck to them. I did laundry and though I haven’t put it away yet, I know I will by the end of the night.

I think a lot of my turnaround has to do with a few experiences / conversations with Big Bad. I actually don’t want to write too much about those experiences, but I will say I am glad he’s in my life and I’m grateful for the perspective and acceptance he gives me.

I got mom her rose for her death day. I went to Goodwill and found the vase I was looking for. I had an idea of what I wanted in my head and I found it.

I’m happy with where I’m at right now with my life. And maybe happy isn’t the right word. Or, at least it’s not happy in the normal sense.

I’m happy that I know what I want to do and how to do it. I’m content with the direction I’m going. And I’m ok with not allowing negative people to deter me from my course. If that means removing them from my life I’m ok with that. I’ve come too far to stand by and allow myself to be disrespected or taken advantage of.

I’ve done my part. More than my part.

I’m done.

Just like I’m done with this writing and will now continue with my evening by cross stitching, drinking tea, and listening to the rest of my story.

Daily Post 019: Temporary

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Let’s see…

I wrote Friday. The day I found out that I was denied for the job.

I went through a lot of the 30-Challenge posts. I have a clearer idea of what I want to achieve and how to achieve it. Most of it comes back to:

Getting a job
Finishing the PCT program
Continuing to kick ass at the dojo

I ended up talking to my younger brother. That sort of sucked, though there’s a story for how the day evolved to the shitty conversation I had with him.

I went and made a payment for the EKG class I took. While I was there I saw one of my former classmates. She had just gotten done taking the board test. She failed by three points.

We ended up standing outside talking for a bit. The subject of my interview came up and I had to explain how I was denied and how the email hadn’t specified a reason why.

She said that even though companies aren’t allowed to discriminate, that it most likely had to do with my purple hair.

I hadn’t thought of my hair as an issue since it was mentioned during the interview. I had been told it wouldn’t be a problem. Accommodations would be made as long as I wore a head covering.

The conversation with my classmate made me begin to wonder, though. Am I going to have to give up my hair in order to get a job?

The thought of having to dye my hair back to “normal” physically hurt. I know I am not my hair, but my purple is important to me. Purple is the color of the 7th chakra, the crown chakra at the top of the skull. It represents our connectedness to the Universe and energies around us.

I don’t dye my hair because purple is my favorite color, or because I’m being a punk ass millennial and “sticking it to the man”. This is part of my spirituality, and it sucked, hardcore sucked, to have the realization that almost all of society would stand in front of me and say, “well if you want a job you have to conform”.

In my head that’s a lot like telling a Christain, “You can work here, but only if you renounce your faith and tell people, daily, that you don’t believe in Jesus.”

Yeah, you could do that. You could say those words. There’s nothing stopping you from stringing those syllables into that particular order, but I bet the thought of doing it sucks.

I bet for some people it sparks anger. Why should you have to do that? Why should you have to renounce your faith when it has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with the quality of work you’re able to do as an employee.

Maybe sadness. Why should you have to give up something that’s important to you? Why are they making you choose between something your soul connects with and the survival of having a paycheck?

Yeah, I get it. It’s “different” in my case… It’s just hair…

But at the same time, IT’S JUST HAIR.

Why can’t I keep it the way I want? Why do I have to give up an expression of myself, my soul, just to prove that no, I’m not a crazy drug user or whatever unfounded stereotype someone else is brainwashed into believing, especially when simple, easy compromises could be made to negate ALL of the perceived issues it would cause?

What is the company sacrificing for me to make this trade fair?

What core identity, fundamental belief, is it sacrificing to show it cares as much about me as I do about my potential job?

A paycheck? It’s sacrificing money to make me conform? Yeah… ok. I can go with that. I get that in exchange for changing my hair I would be receiving compensation in the form of money.

Is money worth giving up the fulfillment of being able to say, “Yes, I believe in Jesus?”

Would anyone else give that up, or something else just as core value? What if it was, “You can work here as long as you’re not gay?”

And that’s where I have the biggest problem. If it were anything else people would be understanding, but because it’s “just hair” it’s not allowed to be important to me. It can’t be something I have an attachment to, or a connection to. It can’t be something spiritual that I have a right to keep.

What’s more infuriating is the fact that I could work at a fast food chain and because it’s considered “lesser” work there are more leniencies in regards to appearance, but because I want to work at a hospital me being myself is suddenly something that needs to be altered or hidden or eradicated.

At the time my brother called me I was very much in an irrationally angry and hurt state.

I told him I didn’t want to talk about it, but he pressed.

Jon: It’s how our society works.
Me: Well, fuck our society.

What’s really bad is I don’t even know if my hair was or wasn’t the cause of my denial. It was mostly just a built up fantasy inside of my head of a bunch of supervisors sitting around a table and saying, “Nope. She’s obviously a delinquent. Just look at that hair.” And the only reason I was thinking about it like that was because of the conversation I had with my classmate.

Originally I had thought it was because I was very obviously over qualified for the job. I mean, come on… Patient transporting when I’m EKG certified, working on phlebotomy, about to be CNA working towards PCT… The only thing I could have done more to keep me from getting the job was walking in with a flashing, “I’m not going to stay in this position long” sign above my head.

But no, the conversation with my classmate totally overrode all of that rational. The only reason I was denied was because of my hair. They lied about the accommodations and simply didn’t like me even though both interviews had gone well. They’re all lying soulless jerks. Rawr.

The conversation with my brother ended on not such a good note. He sent me a text message not long after our conversation saying how it had felt like a slap in the face to him. He had just sent me money to pay for my classes and here I was throwing it away because I refused to dye my hair.

Bitch, I had just said on the phone that I knew I would do what I had to do, but that I hadn’t had time to process through the emotions and that I was angry and didn’t want to talk about it.

If you want to pick and choose what parts of the conversation you hear at least remember the goddamn facts of it and recognize that whatever hurt feelings you have are your own fault since you didn’t leave it alone when I told you to leave it alone.

I felt betrayed and guilty. I’m not the only one invested in my schooling anymore. That makes me want to do my best. But I’m not the only one invested in my schooling, so now I feel like I have to do what makes him happy. I feel like I “owe” it to him to give up my hair because that’s what he wants.

While we were on the phone he tried to relate to me by saying how he hates having to flip his septum piercing up when he goes and works with the color guard at the high school he volunteers at.

I mentioned how he had been dishonest about his piercing and that he was playing a dangerous game, which he was obviously ok with playing. He hadn’t been told he had to take the piercing out in order to have the job. He had flipped the piercing up before the interview and pretended like it didn’t exist.

That’s fine. That’s how he wants to play it. But it wasn’t fair of him to use that as an example of him “sacrificing” because he didn’t sacrifice. He lied and kept something that is important to him. So really the moral here is I should lie. I should hide my hair in a head wrap preemptively. At least that’s what he’s saying his actions would be if he were in my situation.

I didn’t have it in me to do much the rest of Friday. I applied to some jobs eventually. Only three. One is a Central Service Tech job at a surgical center not far from where I live. I wouldn’t mind interviewing for it. Another is a pharmacy stock position with the hospital. That one doesn’t seem so bad either, but with how I got so far with the interview process for them to deny me with no reason given, I’m sort of burned out on the hospital right now.

I thought a long time about the conversation with my brother. I didn’t want him to feel like I was throwing away anything because I wasn’t. What made everything so painful was the knowledge that if push came to shove I would, indeed, relinquish my hair. That I wouldn’t stand true to myself. I would conform. I would bend, but in my head, it wasn’t bending, it was breaking. And I would do it even as I hated every second, even as every morning I would be reminded by the mirror that I had abandoned myself. He felt hurt and betrayed even though ultimately I would do whatever I needed to do.

What do you do with that? I said, “If I have to, I’ll do the thing you want me to do.” And he still felt hurt. He still felt like I slapped him in the face. How was I supposed to succeed in that situation? I didn’t, and still don’t, understand other than to say, “It’s Jon and he’s always going to be a double-edged sword.”

Saturday morning, while I was drinking my coffee, I came up with what may be a compromise I’m ok with.

I’ll keep applying for jobs. That choice was never really an option. I’ll keep my purple hair while I do it. If, by the time I finish my phlebotomy class, 5 weeks from now, I haven’t been able to land anything, then I will dye my hair back.

And even then, I might wait a month while I finish out my PCT course and see if I can get a phlebotomy position with my hair the way it is. I think I like that idea better. I can’t apply for phlebotomy jobs yet, so I want to give myself a chance in that area before giving up my hair.

So, yeah, nine weeks. Nine weeks to find someone who sees me as a person rather than a stereotype. Nine weeks to find a company who understands that IT’S JUST HAIR and that I would be beyond grateful to be allowed to remain true to myself.

Having found that compromise I felt a bit better. My thoughts turned to the job search, though. I’ve been seriously looking for a job since mid-February. So a month I guess? Two interviews, and a call back I shouldn’t have passed up. So does that count as three?

Are those good numbers? Am I not trying hard enough? Should I still be reaching for low hanging fruit or stay aimed at the direction I want to go in? How do you know when you’re making the right choices? Is there something I should be doing differently?

Blarg.

I paid bills on Friday, too. I’m broke. Like, “I can’t go grocery shopping until Warren pays rent” level of broke. Yeah… and with no future income in sight at the moment. It makes my stomach tight like I’m preparing for a massive uppercut that I know is going to suck no matter how prepared I am for it. It makes me wrap my arms around my stomach to think about how I can’t buy anything. Not conditioner or body wash. Not the cheese slices for breakfast.

This was what I was trying to avoid by searching for jobs early. I didn’t want to be in this situation. But I’m here. So I guess the best thing I can do is understand the emotions I feel and do the best I can to change my situation.

I went to the dojo Saturday. Jiujitsu was first, then Muay Thai. I thought about not staying for the second class. I did, though, and I’m glad I did even though right now I’m incredibly sore.

I hung around after class, stretching on the mat while some of the guys talked. We all ended up in sort of a pow-wow circle, sitting and relaxing while we chatted. It was nice. I feel like I’m starting to form actual friendships with some of them, which you would think trying to choke each other out all the time would mean we’re like BFFs or something. Since a few of them are friends on my Facebook they mentioned my stripe and EKG certification. It made me feel like I was part of the group.

I didn’t drink enough water while I was at the dojo so by the time I got home I had a killer headache. I ate, drank water, then curled up in bed and suffered for a while. It wasn’t until around 8 pm that I started feeling ok enough to do much of anything. I cooked homemade beef stir fry. It came out awesome.

I went back to bed not long after cleaning up the kitchen and running the dishwasher.

So, of course, I’m not ok that when I went down to the kitchen this morning there are dirty dishes in the sink.

Blah. That’s a conversation I don’t want to have. But I know I need to because it’s only going to get worse for me internally if I don’t.

I don’t feel like doing anything today. I’m supposed to go start cleaning out the storage unit but the bitch in me doesn’t want to do it. Why should I be the only one to do anything when he can’t even be bothered to put his dirty dishes in the dishwasher?

I know if I don’t start moving boxes back to the apartment that Tuesday is going to epically suck. I don’t want to spend my whole day moving stuff. I want it to be the furniture and that’s it.

I feel like that’s a victim mentality. “Why me? Why can’t it be fair?”

I don’t know what to do to change those feelings. And I don’t know how to make it fair when the other person doesn’t care enough to change.

I might have a way to make my work area more conducive to studying. It’s something I’m looking into at least, being able to work better at home. Since home is becoming a point of stress for me I’m not sure how helpful any changes are actually going to be.

I want things to change, but I don’t want to put in any more effort because it feels like the effort I have put in is pointless. It hasn’t gotten me anywhere so why keep trying?

Because I said I would. Because if I don’t try than things literally won’t change. I have to keep going to the dojo if I want to keep getting healthier. I have to keep applying for jobs if I want the chance to actually have one. I need to keep going to class so I can keep improving which will let me apply for better jobs. And I need to keep telling Warren that he’s being unkind to me because he is. His apathy affects more than just him and it will kill our relationship if he doesn’t change.

I have to accept that he might not change, and if he doesn’t then that’s on him. I’ve been doing my part. I’ve tried to come up with compromises that work for both of us. I’m not a doormat. I’m not his mom. He’s not my man child.

This moment is temporary. It will change.

Daily Post 017: Pizza Vs. Dojo

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Not proofread due to impromptu dinner plans. : D

 


 

I have decided that I’m taking this week off from the dojo. That mostly comes from the fact that it’s already Thursday and I have yet to go, and even though I could go today I would rather continue getting things, tasks, situated and figured out versus going to the dojo.

It’s not that the dojo is slipping in priority because it isn’t.

It’s more I feel the need to “clean house” so to speak. This week has been crazy, and with starting my cycle on Monday, along with a new class, along with a two-hour interview, along with the emotional roller coaster I’ve been on recently, it feels like the better option would be to take a step back, breathe a bit, assess where I’m at and where I want to go, and then start clean this coming Monday.

I’ve been haphazardly accomplishing my days. I’ve done well through all of them, but the only to-do list I made was on Monday. The rest of the days were filled with class and studying and listening to my body, and now we’re at Thursday and I know things in regards to life and building up and I want a game plan going into the weekend for how I’m going to tackle all of it.

This post is me figuring it out and processing through the whys and hows of things.

Firstly, I’m proud of myself. All this week I have been attending a class I had originally been worried about. I honestly didn’t know if I would be able to hack it. Every time I thought about phlebotomy it was with a nervous, “I don’t know how this is going to turn out,” sort of mentality. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to overcome to my past history of fainting and lightheadedness.

I’m proud that I’ve been able to change my mentality and that I am actively working with my own natural physiology. I have a better understanding of why I have fainted in the past while having procedures done to me, so now, when I’m working with my fellow classmates as their “victim” I am able to stay with it and not lose consciousness. Today I actually didn’t get lightheaded at all while I was having a venipuncture performed on me.

Totally giving myself tons of props for all of the forward progress I have made as a “patient” as well as an aspiring phlebotomist.

I think, from a technician side of things, understanding the steps to the procedures, why things are done the way they’re done, all of the behind the scenes of what happens before and after specimens are taken, helps with keeping me grounded during the procedure.

In my head, I am in a very different headspace. I’m in the left side of my brain. I’m thinking about the equipment I need, the steps I need to perform and the order to perform them in. I’m thinking about the tubes I need for specific tests, the additive in the tube, how many times I will need to invert once the specimen is collected. I thinking about what goes in biohazard and what is normal trash and what is classified as sharps.

It’s all left brain with the underlying knowledge that blood is good. It means I have successfully performed the procedure and that with this success a person is one step closer to the help they need to have. This procedure is an important step.

It’s an extremely invasive procedure, so there’s the knowledge that the person is trusting me to help them. There’s a weight with that, an importance, that helps me to stay steady while I do it. I can’t be squeamish. They need me to do this for them.

I got to use a butterfly needle today on the mannequin arm. That’s a 23 gauge needle. It’s pretty small. It felt a lot like the needles I use when I cross stitch. Maybe that’s sort of sick, thinking about a medical needle in relation to the ones I use for a hobby that so many people say, “my grandmother used to do that.” But for me, it helped me find a level of confidence that I didn’t have prior to that thought.

I handle needles all the time. Why should this one be any different or cause me to doubt myself? If anything I should be more confident because it’s a larger needle than the 26 that I constantly move in and out of 28 and 32 sized fabrics. Those sizes are so much smaller, the precision so much finer. This should be a cake walk in comparison.

Yes, this is a person, but the process of having a needle and an intended destination for it is the same. It made me realize that my fear is what is holding me back. My fear of the equipment. The needle.

Why am I scared of 21 gauge medical needles but not 26 gauge stitching needles?

I’m fearful of hurting someone or doing something wrong.

I remember being worried when I first started stitching when I was younger. Most likely around eight years old. I remember being worried that I wouldn’t do the stitches right. But here I am, 20 years later. I love my needles and I do have “favorites” because I’m weird. It’s like having a favorite pen.

I’m not going to be scared of the 21 gauge needles anymore. I understand them better. They have a place inside of my brain now. They’re not bad, they’re different, and that difference is ok. It has a place.

So, yeah. I think I can do this. I CAN do this, and I will do this. The overwhelming list of abbreviations isn’t as intimidating. I understand Order of Draw now. We’re one week in and already I have so much more confidence in myself in this particular area. I’ve gone through my EKG flashcards again and still remember all of my previous information. Nothing is being overwritten with this new content. It’s a good feeling.

I got this.

So all of that in itself is a good enough reason in my book to take it easy in other areas of my life. This was a huge, massive step that I didn’t know if I would be able to do. It required a lot of physical and mental focus, and I’m ok with that temporarily detracting from other areas. Now that I have the confidence I need to go forward my energy can go back into other areas once again.

I got to talk to my younger brother today. The first big payment of my class is due and I’m still sans job. He is sending me money to cover my classes as well as a month of living expenses.

The original conversation was through text messages on Facebook.

It was tense for me. I didn’t want to have to ask for help. Especially with how I’ve written about buying clothes and my shin guards or the time I went to Taco Bell. There was the voice in my head saying that I haven’t been responsible so I don’t deserve to ask for help.

His message of, “This is the only time I will send money. I can’t keep supporting other people and myself,” didn’t help with those feelings because I know them all too well myself.

One of the reasons I’m in the situation I am is because I have given money to others. I don’t want to be that type of person for anyone. I don’t want to put him in a bad position because I’m not able to meet my own responsibilities. I don’t want to feel like I’m failing at adulting.

We were able to talk on the phone later. That helped a lot.

He’s glad I’m doing so well in my class. He’s happy the interview seemed to go well and we both agree that even if this position doesn’t work out that getting something in the hospital is just a matter of time, especially with how I keep improving my skills. It means there will be more opportunities I can reach for and the biggest hurdle of them all is getting that initial foot in the door.

I mentioned how I was thinking about withdrawing from the PCT program and sticking with just the CNA, phlebotomy, and EKG certifications.

Jon: I’ll stab you if you withdrawal. With love… but I’ll still stab you.

He wants me to do the whole course because it will give me more opportunities. He wants me to do the best I can, and completing the course and achieving the PCT certification is doing my best.

Knowing that he’s fully supportive of that direction makes me more ok with the thought of completing the course. The main reason I was thinking about withdrawing was for financial reasons. It would save roughly $800. He thinks it’s worth the investment and is willing to help me with it. So we’re going to do it. All the way. No half-assing or giving up.

It makes me want to do better than my best because it’s not simply me who’s invested into my certifications now. I need to prove it wasn’t a waste to believe in me, to support me, to help me. I’ll do amazing because I’m worth the love and support people give to me and doing well is one way to prove that.

Warren and I talked. We’re going to close out the storage unit. We have an idea of how to rearrange things in the apartment to get his furniture into it. I’m going to sell the futon. Not having the storage unit will lower both of our monthly expenses by $75.

There are several emails in my inbox for expenses. My website is supposed to be renewed, but I think I’m going to hold off on that for the time being. I’m not pursuing a career in computer animation at the moment so I don’t need a website active for employers to view my work. Maybe in the future I’ll activate it again. I still have my domain name, but, for now, it’s not the direction I plan to go.

My shin guards should be here tomorrow. I’m looking forward to them. It means I’ll most likely be stoked to go to the dojo on Saturday since that’s Muay Thai conditioning and I’ll be able to try them out.

I’ve figured out what I want my reward for phlebotomy certification to be. My herb garden. I still haven’t done that even though I said I would back in February. A lot of that is due to how things panned out. I’m not sorry for how things have worked out so far. I’m content with how my time and energy has been spent. I’m ok with saving my garden so that it has deep and meaningful significance for me rather than simply being something I give myself because I want it.

I did something amazing and I’ll have something that reminds me of that accomplishment every time I go into the kitchen.

And actually, I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t go to the dojo. Big Bad just messaged me asking if I wanted to have dinner with him. If I were at the dojo I wouldn’t have gotten his message and I would like to spend the evening with him, relaxing, decompressing, and regrouping for the day of “life” productivity I have planned.

I’m glad I was able to process through most of this.

The only thing that I haven’t mentioned is last night. Last night started getting rough. My grief was swelling. It’s been cold the past few days and I think that factored into it. I don’t like being physically cold. It seems to amplify the emotional hurt I feel.

When Warren came downstairs last night I was on the couch. I was reading something and he asked if I was ok. I said not really, that things were emotionally rough at the moment. He gave me a hug and I started to cry. I said I didn’t understand why there was such a difference inside my head between day 365 and day 364, but there was and the closer we get to April 4th, the closer to March 23, the more I hurt.

I think another part of the roughness of Wednesday evening was due to the rawness of Tuesday morning with Big Bad.

I think it was good to talk to Warren last night. That’s one of the reasons we wanted to be roommates. To physically be in each other’s worlds when we have moments like what I had last night. Where I needed a hug and a friend and someone to let me know I wasn’t as alone as I felt.

It was nice that we ended up talking about the storage unit and made plans to close it out on Tuesday. We got to talk about the apartment. We got to make plans and brainstorm and it helped even me out and ground me back in life rather than being lost in my emotions.

He still drives me crazy with his dirty dishes, but it’s such a minor thing compared to the problems I could have. He doesn’t steal from me or go into my room. He doesn’t do drugs or murder hookers in his bath tube. I mean really… dirty dishes in the sink every morning is pretty minor and I know at the moment I’m overly sensitive to things.

I’ll keep breathing and working through the issues I have, but overall I think things are ok. I think I’m going in a good direction and even though I haven’t been to the dojo in almost a week I think this was an ok break to take. I need to make sure life stays on track and with how all over the place and demanding it has been this past week I’m content and proud of how I’ve handled things.

Now I’m off to go have a wonderful dinner and potentially kick some ass in Mortal Kombat.