Daily Post 076: Re-Finding My Routines


I’m almost at the end of my second week at my new home clinic.

That means I’ve had almost two weeks to find my routines again. I can’t say that I’m back to them 100%, but I’m getting there.

I wake up in the mornings at 3 am on the days I work. That’s thirty minutes to an hour later than what I had to do in Orlando. An hour may not sound like a lot, but trust me, there’s a huge difference between 2 am and 3 am.

Depending on how the night went and how cold it is in the morning I may shower, or not. When it’s below freezing outside I’m more concerned about being warm rather than not having bed head. I’ve been able to enjoy cups of coffee again with an egg sandwich which I cook fresh instead of having to have eggs premade because that’s the only way I’ll get breakfast if I do.

I pack my lunch box with my premade lunch containers. I add a fruit or protein bar. I add a pudding, too, but I don’t always get around to eating it. I’m not heartbroken over that fact. It’s there if I want it and for whatever reason, that’s comforting.

By the time all those things are done, it’s about time for me to head to work so I’ll go back into the bedroom and let Ox know that I’m about to leave. I’ll change out of my sleep clothes into my scrubs. I have my own locker at work so I’ve started leaving my work shoes and googles there, which means I slip into my sandals, allowing myself to stay in “gearing up” mode during my thirty-minute drive to work.

Ox and I will have a cigarette together on the porch in the darkness of predawn. Lately, I’ve been saving my coffee for that shared moment together; another added layer of warmth to my morning along with our quiet conversations and hugs goodbye. And I realize there’s not much of a “lately” since I’ve only had two weeks to figure out my mornings, and only six of those days have been ones where I’ve actually worked…

Ahhhh data… how I wish I had more of you…

I’ve gotten comfortable with the drive to Beatrice. I’m sure I’ll get iffy with it again once winter comes back and I have to really start driving in the snow and ice, but for now, with the seasons changing, the worst I’ve had to worry about was one morning when it rained. Being from Florida, that didn’t bother all that much. It just sucked that the lines on the road were a little harder to see.

I’ve been getting to work 15 minutes early. I’ve opened the water room on my own a few times so I’m comfortable with adding that to my routine. I think after the next two days of training I’ll be confident in my ability to open the clinic on my own.

Yesterday I was able to talk to my new FA about some of the changes I would like to make. She was on board with them, which is super fantastic since all of the changes would make my life as a tech easier. I also got confirmation that my certification does entitle me to a raise and that I will be retro-paid for it. Everyone still thinks I’m doing well and that I’m a good fit for the clinic. I’ve meshed well with several of the patients. I had one of the say that they’ll keep me which made me smile.

Overall, my work days are settling into a routine that leaves me with enough energy to do things when I get home, or at least with the time I need to recharge for the next day. It’s a nice change from what I’ve been used to for the past year.

My “off” days don’t have as much of a routine, but I’m trying to find one for them.

Today was my first off day where I put real effort into figuring something out. I didn’t stay home all day. I didn’t sleep all day, though I did go back to sleep after Ox left for work.

I got up around 10:30. I made breakfast and had a cup of coffee. I sat on the porch and had another cigarette as I enjoyed the cool breeze and sunlight and quietness. I showered, hoping that would spark me into actually do stuff. I’ve noticed the days where I don’t shower in the morning seem to be harder.

I made a shopping list since I needed things for my lunches at work and for the enchiladas I was supposed to make for dinner.

There was a fitness place I wanted to check out so I called and made sure it was ok to come in for a free workout. I also packed the car with more things that needed to be donated.

It was a pretty light to do list, but I was ok with that. I’ve been having anxiety over getting back into the routine of working out. I know I’m not where I was at this time last year. That’s a hard pill to swallow and it’s easier to not acknowledge that fact rather than actually doing something about it. That doesn’t get me back to where I was, though.

I miss the dojo. I miss punching and kicking things. I wanted to try out 9 Round to see if it could help me find what I feel I’m missing.

It was a decent workout. Definitely the hardest 30 minutes I’ve done in a while, but it’s not really what I’m looking for. I don’t think it would be worth the money they want. I wouldn’t be happy or fulfilled with it. Maybe if it were cheaper… but even then, I would feel like there’s something lacking… It’s only part of what I want.

I’m glad I went. I’m glad I pushed as hard as I did. I coughed for most of the day afterward because I haven’t had to breathe that deep or hard in a while. My body is sore. I’m tired and I feel like I’ll sleep well tonight. I also know that I need to drink more water before going to sleep because I’m running warm still. Blarg…

It’s a good step forward, even if it’s not the route I’ll most likely end up going with.

There are a few other places I want to check out, but I think the dojo in Omaha is going to be the one where I find what I’m looking for.

After my workout, I drove to the Goodwill to donate the stuff in my car. I still had to use my GPS to get there, but after seeing the route on my phone I knew where to go because I recognized the streets. I’m getting better at navigating and I know eventually I’ll be able to do it without double checking myself with my phone.

After Goodwill, I went to the grocery store for the foodstuffs I needed. I treated myself to some cans of Bang, the energy drink one of my senseis turned me on to. I had to use my credit card for the groceries, which that payment is up to $300 now, but I’m ok with that.

I’ve survived March. I’ve paid everything that needed to be paid. I’m doing ok, and this next paycheck is where I start recovering, assuming nothing else hits the fan. I should be getting my tax return and the check from Full Sail soon. I should be reimbursed for my certification test, the registry fee, and retro-paid for my certification. I also should get my raise for my annual review at some point.

All of those things will help once they actually happen and I should be ok until they did actually happen since nothing ever happens in a reasonable time frame… I mean, NOW is a reasonable time frame, right?

After the grocery shopping, I headed home. I stopped by the Dollar General near home since I wasn’t able to find a pumas stone at the grocery store. I most likely overlooked it or something, but it was a new store and I was proud of myself for getting everything else on my list without asking for help so I didn’t mind stopping at a second store that was on the way home to see if I could find what I wanted.

While I was at the Dollar General I got shampoo and conditioner specifically for dyed hair since the stuff I’ve been using eats through the purple dye in my hair. I’m not one to be girly or anything, but I’m used to the dye lasting for a month at least, so when I’m two weeks in and it’s already faded looking I’m not really an ecstatic camper.

Once I checked out, I hopped across the street to the gas station and got gas for the car so I wouldn’t have to worry about that in the morning or after work. I’ve been getting pretty awesome gas mileage even though I’m having to drive a bit further for work. I have literally no stoplights on my way to the clinic. It’s a smooth thirty-ish minute drive of music and sometimes an annoying driver who leaves their brights on because they’re a dick, not that I have strong feelings about that or anything…

When I got home I cleaned up the kitchen and put the groceries away. I bought premade salads. I didn’t think I would have it in me to made a whole much of stuff from scratch but I still wanted to eat well. It was a bit on the expensive side, I mean, $10 for two salads is pretty up there when you can make six for that much if you just buy everything yourself, but if it helps me keep on keeping on then for this week I’m ok with it and we’ll see how next week goes.

I listened to music for most of the day which I also think helps. I’ve found a lot of new songs that I like. I made a bit more progress in organizing and cleaning the kitchen and I was able to make the enchilada dinner for everyone.

It turned out a spicer than everyone was expecting. I wasn’t a fan of the tortilla shells either, but there’s a lot of the meat filling left over, which I was a fan of, so I can have little nacho lunches.

I resisted the urge to get lunch while I was in town, waiting until I was home to make a ham sandwich. Go me. Not sure why that matters, but it does.

Overall it was a pretty low key day, but I think I’m guiding myself back to the path I want to be on. Doing an actual workout took a lot of… something… It didn’t leave me beat, but on a mental and emotional level it took more than staying home would have and I feel I need to let myself acknowledge that. I gave a lot today. I need to not let that go.

I work tomorrow and Saturday. Saturday is a short day though, so I should be done before 1 pm. Ox has said we can do more in the addition this weekend and it’s something I’m looking forward to if the weather isn’t super crummy.

I’m looking forward to going to work tomorrow and taking measurements of the shelving in different spots so I can figure out what size containers we can use to make things more organized and flow better.

There’s a lot of things I’m looking forward to. It’s a good feeling.

On that note, I was supposed to have my therapy conversation today, but that got rain checked. My therapist wasn’t feeling well, so we’re going to try to find a time next week to talk. I’m worried about her because there’s more to the story then I feel I’m allowed to say here. It’s not my story.

I also got a message from my blacksmith this morning. That leaves me feeling sort of defeated. He says I’ve grown distant…

All of the months I was in Orlando where we didn’t talk and things were fine. With him working double shifts and taking care of his granddaughter and being busy… All of the times he didn’t reply to my messages and things were fine.

I move out of state and we go two weeks and suddenly I’m the one who’s distant. It feels unfair. What am I supposed to do differently? In my head, nothing changed. But I guess it did and I don’t know where to go with that.

I had to be understanding and secure and breathe through the feelings of loneliness and accept what I had in regards to our relationship because of the limitations it had. But when the situation is reversed I’m distant and in some way not giving enough.

It… sucks, I guess. If it was supposed to be good enough for me then why isn’t it good enough the other way around?

I talk with Big Bad more, but that’s about the same as it was. Our text messages never really touch on the deeper topics that I need to feel truly connected. It feels like small talk most of the time which is… alienating I guess. There are a lot of people like that in my life right now.

Why is it I always save writing about the deep, dark stuff that I need to meditate on until the end of my day where I need to be unwinding and going to sleep? >.<

Damn you, Brain. Damn you.

I’ll figure it all out eventually. I know I will. Tomorrow starts the two weeks of mom’s hospital stay though, so I’m not all that worried about hand-holding others through their hard times. I’m financially survived my move. Now I need to emotionally survive reliving my worst fear.

I’ll be ok. I know I will be. That doesn’t mean it will be pretty or that it won’t suck.


Daily Post 075: On to a New Week


Things continue to move in a forward direction.

All last week Ox had his kids. I also worked all last week which wasn’t as much of a struggle as I thought it would be what with having 3 am wake up times for my days.

I went to bed shortly after supper and for the most part was able to get enough sleep to make it through my days, which weren’t nearly as rough as what I was used to in Orlando.

I took my certification test on Wednesday. The drive to Omaha was nice and sunny and I listened to music the whole way to the testing center. I pulled off the interstate to have lunch at an Arby’s which was nice. Ox was on break so we were able to chat for a bit before I continued the last ten minutes of my trip.

I got there about an hour and a half early. Luckily, they let me take my test early so I didn’t have a lot of time to sit and stew.

There were a lot of case study questions. That meant there were a lot of questions with more than one right answer, but you’re supposed to know the “more right” answer. Those were frustrating.

I passed with a 70 something. There’s part of me who wants to feel bad about that. I should be passing with 90s and shit. I should be the best of the best and a total bawce.

The larger part of my self is happy that I get to keep working and that I’ll be reimbursed the two hundred dollars I spent for this test. The larger part of me remembers mom saying “C = RN” while she was taking her classes to get her nursing degree. The larger part of myself remembers Warren encouraging me while I was in Orlando by saying, “What do you call a doctor who got straight Ds while he was in school? You call him Doctor.”

I’m doing well at my clinic. I opened the water room under the supervision of the other tech last Friday. I plan to do it again tomorrow morning and the rest of the mornings this week since I’m still in training. I’m getting more comfortable with the patient population at the clinic. I’m setting things up the way I want them to be so I know where they are and so things are organized. I have a list of ideas to suggest to my FA when we have our clinic meeting.

I’m a good tech. I would rather not let a 150 randomly generated question test make me feel bad about myself. By national standards, I passed. If they wanted to require a 90 to be passing then they should change the requirements. According to them, I’m good enough.

I guess at some point I should let that be good enough for myself as well and stop looping over this moment in my head.

I don’t feel bad, but I don’t feel good either. There was nothing done to mark it. No celebration. No phone call to mom. It’s just a thing that was supposed to be important that happened but nothing followed it so it feels incomplete I guess and I don’t know what to do to complete it.

It’s something internal, so only I can figure it out, I just haven’t yet and I don’t know if I’ll really get around to it this week. I guess that really depends on how much time I take to reflect on things now that the kids aren’t here. It’s hard to be reflective when you have a seven-year-old constantly wanting to do things.

One positive thing to note about work is that the RN I worked with on Friday said that I was doing well and that I would be a good fit for the clinic. That was a warm fuzzy moment. It’s always nice to hear positive support when things are still nebulous and sort of iffy in my head.

Oh. On the subject of work… Dialysis technicians are now required to be part of a registry, like CNAs and RNs. That means there was another fee I had to pay for an application I had to fill out with a bunch of other paperwork I had to submit.

I did all of that on Saturday since I wanted to run into town for craft stuff. It’s nice to have it off of my to-do list, though another thing has been added to it since apparently, my CPR certification isn’t in my teammate file… yeah… the one that I had to stay for since the American Red Cross one I had wasn’t good enough for my company…

I’ve already reached out to my trainer from the Star Learning program to see if it can be located because that’s why I was so exhausted for Allion’s wedding. I had to stay for that class before I could drive the six hours to be in South Caroline to be her maid of honor before driving back to be in Orlando on time for my first day of training… I know I got that f’ing certification and I want it f’ing found… please.

I also got a text message from my FA in Orlando this afternoon asking for me to call him when I had a moment. I’ve successfully not replied to that message all day today. It was my first day alone. There wasn’t a chance in hell of me doing anything work/obligation related. I have a short day tomorrow so I plan to pick back up the adulting mantle and figure out what else is about to hit the fan.

One more positive note regarding work… I hadn’t realized how much has happened regarding work until I started writing…

I got my first full paycheck. I’m getting my full rate of pay rather than training pay. Woo. That meant this past Friday I was able to catch up on ALL of my bills. Things are still tight because I did that, but I don’t have to worry about anything falling through the cracks or being late. It’s a pretty good feeling.

Warren still hasn’t started paying me back. Or Kyle. I haven’t gotten my Full Sail check or my tax return, but I’m doing just fine on my own*.

*With the support of Ox and his family

I took the bike out for a ride yesterday morning. I was antsy and wanted to do something without actually having to go anywhere. I only biked for four miles, but that was four miles more than I did the previous day and with the hills here I think it still counted as a pretty good ride. My heart rate was up and when I came inside I definitely worked up a sweat. That’s normally how it works with biking for me. The wind keeps me from sweating too much. It’s only after I stop that I realize, oh yeah, I soaked my shirt. Go me.

The coldness here probably adds to that. I made sure to drink water even though it didn’t “feel” like I needed to. Dehydration can be a sneaky jerk like that.

I haven’t figured out code names for Ox’s kids yet. So that’s going to make writing about them a bit cumbersome until I do, but none the less, that’s a big part of what I need to write about since that’s the other main thing that’s been going on in my life this past week.

Ox’s daughter continues to want to spend time with me. We’re doing pretty well in Crash of the Titans. It’s the Crash Bandicoot game where you can have two players. It does get rough at times with her constantly say, “Hurry up. Wait for me. Do this. We don’t need that. What are you doing? Don’t hit my guy! Sorry I killed you. I want to do the skateboard! This boss is hard. I don’t want to do that.”

I can only handle a few levels before my brain is in overload and I need to step away, but overall I think we’re doing well in the game and I’m handling being thrown into the deep end of parenting with no instruction booklet or training course pretty well. I went on a bike ride with her on Saturday, which most likely sparked my bike ride Sunday. We baked muffins Sunday afternoon to have for breakfast this morning. I’ve gotten her interested in cross stitching which is why I wanted to go into town Saturday; it was just a bonus that I could take care of the application for work at the same time.

Since she’s so small I figured it would be good to start her on 14 count fabric rather than using the 28 count that I use. I also wanted to get her larger needles so they’re easier to thread. She’s doing surprisingly well for never having stitched before and being seven. She’s having a good time with it which is what I was hoping for; her enjoying something other than computer games.

We also made magnates out of Perler beads. That was fun. Maybe we’ll make frames for our little cross stitch cats once they’re done.

I think having the kids for extended periods of time will be easier for everyone once the addition is done. More space and stuff.

I offered for Ox’s son to go with me the next Saturday we’re all together to a Tae Kwon Do class. I haven’t interacted with him much but that’s because he would rather stay in the computer room playing whatever game it is he’s into. I can’t really blame him. He doesn’t get any alone time when he’s with his mother, he’s also not allowed to touch the computer while he’s there so this is the only time he’s able to do electronicy stuff.

He seemed interested, then changed his mind and said no thanks… I said if he changed his mind to let me know. Regardless it’s something I want to look into.

I did find a dojo that seems perfect for what I’m looking for. The only downside is it’s about an hour away in Omaha…

I haven’t figured out what I’m going to do about that. I do know that I need to keep focusing on getting back to where I was. As work continues to ease into a routine and as I make it through mom’s death day and as the Earth continues to turn into spring I think things will naturally align themselves, so I haven’t started giving myself shit yet.

Not much has happened in regards to organizing the addition or making progress on the house, but that’s because everyone has been sick, it’s been cold and rainy and miserable days outside, and the kids have been here. Hopefully, small steps forward will start up again now that things are sort of back to normal.

I know the kitchen feels like a losing battle.

Every time I give myself a pat on the back for clearing out a space or getting rid of something, Ox’s mom goes and spends $100 at the grocery store. It breaks my brain in certain ways.

We were out of ketchup so she went out and got two small bottles. I’m ok with that. I mean… I would have only bought one, but I can see having a spare. Mom would do the same thing. I’m just so used to not having space to store anything that I don’t buy spares.

Well, today she came home with another two bottles of ketchup because they were most likely on sale. You don’t need three bottles of spare ketchup. >.<;

Or another four cans of mushrooms to go with the other eight we still have… >.<;


But I can’t really fault her because she did come back with things that the house needed like toilet paper and trash bags.

But frozen pizza isn’t healthy. We don’t need four of them. No one is eating the cereal that we have, why did you buy two more boxes of it?

Me: *thuds head against the kitchen counter in defeat*

I guess it’s really not all that bad. It’s just so different from what I’m used to that I don’t know… it just feels wrong. It doesn’t help with the cluttered feeling. We’re working on it, though.

I’m looking forward to getting rid of the mini fridge that isn’t been used so a pantry can be added instead. If I’m allowed to work things the way I want, I think it will help with the cans and paper product storage. As well as spare stuff.

I want to get slide out drawers for the larger cabinets as well. I think those would be amazing.

This house really does have so much potential. All it needs is elbow grease.

Sadly, today was not a day of applying any. I stayed in bed for most of it. I did a bit of meal prep. I picked up the dirty clothes the kids left scattered in the bathroom. I washed Ox’s clothes and just switched them into the dryer so I could do a load of the kid’s stuff. I’ll most likely save my own laundry until tomorrow since it’s getting close to my bedtime.

I cooked dinner, too, which turned out well. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and there was enough left over to have an additional lunch container.

Jon and I have talked a few times over the week. He took a trip to Boston since he was on spring break. He’s back safe and sound in Daytona. I guess he’s made a big impression at work in a short amount of time because all of his patients missed him and wanted to know where he was. That made him feel good, which is good. He’s been having a rough time of it lately, much for the same reasons I am.

It’s a rough time of the year. It starts March 23rd. I guess the universe wanted me to have the 4th of April off because I’m not scheduled to work. I actually have the 3rd and 4th off, though I do go back on the 5th.

I don’t know what else to write about. I’ve touched on subjects that I need to address and haven’t.

I had a dream about mom the other night. Thursday I think it was.

I don’t remember all of it, but I remember I was telling her I wanted to move back home. Things weren’t bad, but there was an issue I wasn’t addressing and instead of fixing it I wanted to move back home with mom because that would “fix” everything.

Mom was exasperated with me. I don’t think she said “no” but I know she didn’t agree with my “throw my hands up” sort of attitude.

It led to a conversation that I think needed to happen with Ox. I think we’re better for it even though it was hard for me to voice those feelings. It’s hard to write about because I know he’ll read this section.

We’re still trying to find a balance with everything, including each other. I like our relationship, though. I like how he came home and we watched a couple episodes of a show while cuddled together before putting groceries away once his mom got home and having dinner together with the family.

Things still feel good and that’s scary for me.

I have a phone appointment scheduled with my therapist, which I think is good and something that could help me figure myself out.

I’m still scared of all of this good. With work. With my relationship. With life.

I actually had time this weekend to sleep in, eat a good breakfast, bike ride, cross stitch, and work on a puzzle.

What the actual fuck?

When did I die? When did this become my life? This stress-free, sit on the porch and swing life away, type of living isn’t meant for me. Or at least hasn’t been for so long that I don’t know how to trust it, accept it. This isn’t how it can continue. Something has to break, or crumble, or shatter. It’s too pretty to be real and yet I desperately cling to this dream of a life because it’s what I’ve wanted for so long.

Yeah… It’s too late to delve further into this, but at least I know it’s there. I love my life right now and that scares me because now I have something I’m scared of losing again.

In a way, I’m glad I had that realization. I’m glad I love my life. It just sucks that I understand where my fear comes from because now I’m aware of my fear.

Blag. I guess that balances out to being neutral. For now, I need to go be an adult and brush my teeth and go to bed. Maybe mom will have more advice for me in my dreams. Maybe we’ll be able to say hi to each other and talk about nothing for a while.

That’s such a pretty thought right now. I hope it happens.



Daily Post 073: Two Weeks Later


Things are going well.

It’s been two weeks to the day since I’ve written. Time gets pushed ahead an hour which is sort of lame, but overall my body hasn’t noticed a difference.

I’ve been sleeping better the past few nights which is nice. For a while, I was having a hard time being able to sleep. The past five days or so have also been rough. Nothing bad has happened. I’ve just been sad.

I think there are a lot of factors that go into that.

The biggest is that it’s almost the two-year anniversary of mom’s death. I don’t like the word anniversary. I think I wrote about that last year; how anniversary makes it sound like something to celebrate. It’s another day where I have to go out and buy a flower for her. It’s the second time I will have to go and stand in front of the fake flower display at some store and figure out which one I want to get to signify this event in my life that I didn’t want to have happen.

It’s a heavy thought. This impending action I have to do. That I need to do. That I promised myself I would do because I have to do something to show that this day is significant. I don’t have a grave I can go to. All I can do is place my hands on her urn after adding another flower to the crystal vase I bought and make my promises all over again.

Not promises of being happy or not having breakdowns.

My promises to eat. To not stay in bed all day. To at least shower.

My promises of bare minimal survival because as long as I survive I can keep going which is what she wants for me.

I had a dream the other night while Ox was playing World of Warcraft next to me. I guess it was sort of a waking dream. I knew I was in bed with him. I knew it had been a while since I had talked to mom. I hadn’t seen her in a while and I knew she would be worrying about me. I had the thought that I should call her so she wouldn’t worry about me. So I could let her know I was going to be staying with Ox and that I wouldn’t be home for a while. I wanted to let her know I was ok.

It sucked when in the dream I remembered that’s now how this works anymore. I can’t call the same way I used to. But maybe that’s something I should be aware of. I haven’t written to her in a while. I’ve talked to her a few times. I’ve told her I miss her and that I wish things were different.

I like the way things are going in my life. I like where I am and I do look forward to my future most days. I know mom is happy for me. I just wish she were here to visit or to meet Ox or any number of the things that I feel like I can’t have or do because her presence isn’t physical.

I got my raise at work. 2%. So… like a quarter. I’m not complaining since most first-year techs get nothing. My boss and former teammates had nothing but positive things to say about my performance and character. Most of my ratings were 4 out of 5. They were actually really hard pressed to find anything constructive for me to work on since I’m pretty good about continuously improving. They mentioned that I was late for work a few times, but that was it. Other than that they all loved working with me and were confident that I would do well at my new clinics.

I am scheduled to take my national certification this Wednesday. I’m mildly nervous about it but I’ve started going through my flashcards again and I’ve been going through several lists on Quizlet and adding to my flash card collection when I run into things that I don’t know or feel I should add to my own cards.

I know I’ll continue to internally worry about the test until it’s over and I know mom will be standing behind me doing the “I told you so” dance when I pass the first time. If I didn’t worry I wouldn’t study or try so hard. I know in its own way my worry is a good thing. I just need to keep it in check and make sure it doesn’t change into anxiety.

I’m going to continue to be in training at work for the next two weeks which is mildly annoying, but I’ll finally be at the Beatrice clinic which I’m looking forward to. I’ll get a whole extra hour of sleep. 3 am wake-up calls instead of 2 am. Woo!

It’s sort of sad being an adult and being excited about shit like that.

I have slowly been working myself back into my routines. I meal prepped today which was extremely gratifying. I made chef salads along with a chicken alfredo dish. I made venison chili for dinner, too, which everyone seemed to like.

All of the laundry is done. The dishes are taken care of. My bag is packed for the gym tomorrow if I feel like going. All I need to do is fill my water bottles and I’ll be done with my “work prep” stuff. It’s a good feeling to feel like I’m on top of things in that regard.

I did go and talk to the YMCA guys earlier last week. Since I’ll be working in Beatrice it would be easier to go to the gym there rather than driving all the way back into Lincoln, but I wasn’t sure if my membership would work like that.

Well… it does. And if it ever becomes a problem with me going to the Beatrice gym more than the Lincoln one they said they would work it out. They’re more concerned with me going rather than where I go. It was actually a much less painful experience then what I was anticipating, so yeah. Depending on how work goes I might go and check out the gym before coming home. If not, there’s Tuesday which will be a shorter day and theoretically leave me with more time and energy for new things.

It all depends, and I’ve been doing pretty good about not giving myself shit for not being consistent with my gym going. It’s still very obviously winter here and the cold and cloudiness makes it hard to find the drive to go out or stay out. I’m still “new” at the gym and most days I don’t feel like dealing with more new since pretty much everything in my life is new.

New house. New town. New clinics. New state. New relationship. New bed. New elbows stabbing me at night. Yes… I know eventually you’ll read this, so I’m putting that part in there especially for you. Kisses :3

Sometimes making it through my obligations of work is enough for me. I got through all of that “new”. I don’t want to deal with more “new”. So I don’t. I know eventually, I’ll get there. Small steps. And I think that’s the biggest part I’m learning right now. Not everything has to happen right now, this second. I can take time to adjust and breath and get used to things before slowly adding onto the things I get established and stable.

I did go running the week before last. It was the first time I’ve run in a while. That sucked. Hardcore. My legs hurt, my breathing sucked, and I can tell that I’ve gained a little bit of weight back. When I bowed in on the mat at the gym to stretch after my shitty run I couldn’t bend as far or twist as much as I used to and almost every muscle complained at me, reminding me that I haven’t done anything remotely consistent since the beginning of December.

The yoga class I went to last Saturday was more about trying not to die while in downward dog than finding any sort of inner peace and I was sore for days afterward.

Overall my first gym experiences here were pretty demotivating and that’s something I’m having to align within myself.

That was my square one and that’s ok. Everything from those points forward will be a step forward from here. It doesn’t matter where I am or where I was at. What matters is what I DO.

So I went running again this week and I did better. My legs were less sore. My breathing was better. I was able to stretch deeper afterward. It was nice to see myself regain so much in such a short time. So I’m not as demotivated as I was and I think that’s helped make today better than what the past few days have been.

Financially things are tight. Warren is being himself. Mrs. Side Chick moved in but Warren is still trying to get his finances straight which means right now he has no money to give me.

Full Sail never got around to writing the check they owe me so that hasn’t shown up yet. Neither has my tax return. I got paid $4 this past paycheck because the only hours I got were the hours that I shadowed…

So yeah… I don’t have money to pay my car payment which is due tomorrow. It sucks, but there you go. I can’t magically poof money into my account. Payday isn’t until Friday. I’m going to call the bank tomorrow and let them know the situation. In the two or three years that I’ve had the car, I haven’t been late on my payments once. Maybe that will earn me a few brownie points or something. If not I guess I’m eating a late fee.

I’m hyper aware that I would be fucked right now if it wasn’t for the kindness of Ox’s parents. I stay here rent free. They pay for pretty much all the food. Today was the first time that I put any sort of “serious” money towards groceries and that was mainly because I was buying things for my lunches at work. I’ve bought things here and there, but this was the first major shopping trip that I’ve made for the house, and even then I only had to spend $50 since Ox’s mom gave me some money before I left for the store.

I feel awkward and… bad?… accepting her help like that, but I also know that I wouldn’t be able to do anything without it. I try to make up for it by cleaning and helping. Which that’s a story for another time.

I will say it’s nice not being the only person doing chores. Everyone does a little bit.

And yet as I write that I feel the need to say that the past few days I haven’t done as much as I was when I first moved here.

There was one day where I slept pretty much all day. Because of the sadness, I’ve been sleeping more. Ox and I talk about it sometimes. I ask his opinion. I know it would be better for me to sit and write more; to try to figure out my emotions for myself, but I like knowing what he observes in my behavior and his opinion of it.

The other night, the night where I slept most of the day, I came out for dinner, but shortly after eating I went back to the room, leaving my plate and cup on the table. Normally I would clear the dishes away and load the dishwasher, storing the leftovers into containers and making sure the kitchen is clean, but I didn’t have it in me to do it that night. Dinner was the most I could bring my self to do as far as human interaction. The sadness hurt and being around others made it that much more painful. I had made my appearance. I wanted to go back to the room where I could hide under the covers and continue to be sad because those emotions weren’t done yet.

I guess Ox’s mom was worried that I was silently protesting doing the dishes by leaving my stuff on the table, which made me feel awful because that’s not what it was at all. I hadn’t even realized I had left my stuff like I had. I was so wrapped up in getting away that I didn’t think about it. I didn’t think about how my actions might have been taken by others.

Ox said he explained the situation to her; how I’ve been having a hard time. Nothing further was mentioned about it so I guess things are ok. I’ve made a conscious effort to not let my sadness hinder others or create more work for those around me.

And I guess since I’m writing about everything I might as well throw in the fact that I’ve been on my period this whole time which totally doesn’t help anything.

Body: Hey. I know that you feel shitty right now. Here. Have this. It will help. : D

Me: … I really fucking hate you right now… Just so you know…

I’m glad that I can write that today feels more like a normal day. Everyone else is sick with head colds, but I’m finally breathing better. I’ve slept well the past few days. I’ve had two days off from work. I got my Ubox unpacked and into a storage unit which makes it feel more official. I got to touch all of my things again, and even though I don’t have them here at the house with me, I have them stored and permanently here.

Eventually, when I have money to spend, I plan to get another tattoo. This one will be on my right forearm and it will be for me. It will be the final mark of this transition. I’m looking forward to that day.

I know March is going to suck as far as finances go. Maybe I’ll get my new tattoo on April 4th. That gives me three weeks to create the design and find someone I like and schedule an appointment. I know I won’t get a tattoo every April 4th, but maybe this could be a way of marking my new year since that’s when it begins for me.

March is where I start getting full paychecks again. It’s when my schedule becomes stable. It’s where I get back on my feet. It’s where, hopefully, the weather starts to warm. It’s where I get back to the gym.

Surviving March is where things begin. I want that to mean something and I want something to mark this step forward for me. It’s something to meditate on further. I guess a lot of that depends on how this month actually goes. As irresponsible as it might be I could use the credit card to get the tattoo. It’s not like that debt is going to go anywhere anytime soon…

I think another part of the sadness I’ve felt recently is finally having the space to feel all the things I never let myself feel in Orlando. I have the space here to be sad. I have the time to come home and let the emotions have their time. I don’t have the constant drain of work. I have the time for self-care and maybe before I start really delving into that I have to go through the hurt and sadness first.

I don’t know. I haven’t really done a lot of soul-searching yet, but now with everything settling down maybe the sadness is my soul’s way of saying it’s time to look at those painful wounds that have been neglected for so long.

Writing helps. I’m glad that in addition to everything I have done today, that I have not only written but also made noticeable progress on the cross stitch I have been working on. Maybe I’ll start taking weekly pictures of it so I can track it.

Who knows. There are so many things I can do, or not do, and I have the space and time to do or not do them. It’s such a weird feeling and is another thing I’m having to adjust to.

My therapist actually reached out to me today. She said she had been thinking about me. I replied back explaining a bit of what has been going on in my life and asked if I could talk to her about some things that I would like her opinion on. She replied back saying of course. We can definitely talk. She wants me to let her know what my schedule is so we can work something out.

It’s nice to know I still have her support and connection.

When I first moved here I had anxiety any time Ox or I had to leave to go anywhere. I kept thinking about how one of us would get into a car wreck or die some horrible death and how we had both found happiness just for it to be stanched away from us.

I haven’t had those feelings for a few weeks now, but I still want to talk to my therapist about them. I also want to talk to her about the sadness I’ve felt this past week and mom’s upcoming death day.

At the moment I don’t really have much else to say.

I’m glad I wrote. I’m glad that even though everyone is sick that it’s been a pretty decent day. I’m glad dinner was a success. I’m glad I’m prepared for the coming week. I’m glad I’m finally going to be taking my test. I’m glad I’ll be at what will soon be my home clinic. I’m glad this Friday I get paid. I’m glad I have a car that works. I’m glad I have my computer set up and that I have clean clothes to wear. I’m glad I have a gym membership I can take advantage of. And I’m glad I have the time to do the things I want to do.

Things are going well. I’m doing well. And I guess that’s it for now.

Daily Post 072: Midnight Tears


It’s 11:15 pm. Everyone else is asleep and so I’m left on my own. It’s quiet. Ox is sleeping in bed, the sound of his breathing the only noise I could hear before I put on his headphones to play Opacus by Arkasia on repeat. I used to play it in the mornings while I strung the machines at work. I’ve listened to this song most likely more than what would be considered healthy, but it’s helped me through so many times where I wanted to give up but couldn’t.

I don’t know how I feel right now.

I know I feel good. Better than I have in a while, but I also know that I feel sad. I feel tired. I feel… I don’t know what.

When I’m asked if I’m ok I don’t know how to reply. I know I’m not “not ok” but I know that I’m not my total normal self either so I don’t know how to answer the question honestly.

Maybe writing will help figure it out, but I doubt it.

I miss Jon even though he and I talked on the phone just yesterday. Plans have changed a little in that regard. Instead of visiting Orlando in August during his school break I’m most likely going to be flying out to Vegas so my brothers and I can be together then. That means I won’t see my home clinic like I had thought. It means I’ll most likely have to tell Big Bad I won’t be visiting until December at the earliest and that brings up the question of do I want to travel to visit people during what seems to be the hardest time of the year for me.

It will be the third year without mom. My third Thanksgiving. My third birthday. My third Christmas.

I don’t want to travel and pretend that I’m not hurting. At the same time, I don’t know how I’ll be if I stay. I don’t want to bring Ox and his family down with my sadness. I don’t want to disrupt the time he has with his kids.

It’s such a long way off and already I’m worrying about it. There’s a large part of me who just wants to stay here where I can cry or go to the woods to be alone. I guess I’ll figure out that bridge when I get to it, but it’s already on my radar.

I start work Monday. I’m nervous about it. I don’t know why. Maybe because I’m not keeping myself busy enough, which I know is a lie but I can’t really think of a logical reason for why I have anxiety over going back.

It will be my first week back at full-time hours. I’ll be in training, shadowing one of the techs. The person I’ll be with the first two days is super awesome. I think I’ll really get along with her. The person I’ll be with the second two days I think I’ll mesh well with once we both get more comfortable with each other. After this initial week of getting me checked off on some of the Nebraska specific policies, I’ll start training down at the Beatrice clinic since that will be my home clinic for the time being. I’m hoping for that to become permanent. I like that location and I would rather not have to learn how to mix bicarb.

I guess I’m nervous about fucking up; about not being good enough.

I had to go in for a few hours yesterday. I actually got paid for those hours so that’s nice. I didn’t really know what to expect. All I knew was I needed to be there around 8 am. I knew my FA was supposed to show up around 11 am, but that’s all I knew.

Well, luckily she was in the front office when I walked in. She had me complete some mind-numbing computer work so I could gain access to a skill checkoff list. After that, I spent a few hours on the floor. For the most part, I sat and watched. Two other people were in training so they were doing most everything to gain experience. One is a tech, the other is an RN who I think I’ll get along with. I mean… she was talking about MMA… finally, someone who I can gush over this stuff with.

Around 10 am I asked if I was allowed to do anything, to which the reply was yes. It took a bit to get me set up in the computer system so I could effectively document for people. I tried stringing a machine, but the lines this clinic uses are different from the ones I used in Orlando. I know with practice I’ll be fine, but right now I’m fumbling and slow. It’s hard to not feel incompetent. At least I was able to clean the machine and chair down without a problem. And once I was in the system I was able to document like the pro I am, so at least it ended on a fairly positive note.

I know I’ll be fine but there’s still the worry that I won’t be.

Worrying is a misuse of the imagination.

I’ve started cross-stitching again.

I don’t think I’ve written about that. I don’t think I wrote about what it was like to actually travel from Orlando to Nebraska, either.

There’s a lot I haven’t written about or processed through, and maybe that’s why it’s so hard to understand what I feel.

I no longer have Scarlet.

That’s how my journey started.

It’s been something I’ve feared for about a year now.

I worried I would come home one day and she would be dead, or that I would wake up at night to her in distress and have to helplessly watch her suffer through her death. I worried my roommates would be there, alone, while I was at work and they would have to call me to tell me she had died and there had been nothing they could do.

It’s sucked, watching her go from walking normally, to waddling because her hips bother her, to dragging her leg. To watch her not be able to jump onto the bed. I placed a pillow on the floor to help her step up, but at the end, even that wasn’t helping as much as it used to.

Roughly two weeks before my move I went to the veterinary clinic to talk with Scarlet’s vet. I knew that the trip would be hard for Scarlet. I knew the house I was moving into had three young male cats. I knew it wouldn’t be a good living environment for her. I knew her health was failing.

I wanted to talk to a professional.

I told her my story. I told her that I didn’t want to make this choice because there wasn’t a way I could talk to Scarlet and ask her, “Are you in pain? Are you suffering? Do you want to make this trip with all of its hardships?”

My vet said moving Scarlet would be very similar to moving a 90-year-old women. Keeping her in a cat carrier for 12 hours, at least, for two days. Taking her out of her home and relocating her to a foreign place where nothing would be familiar.

She said if Scarlet survived the stress of the trip that it would most likely mark a more significant decline.

She said, in her experience, what she has seen with pet owners who face this decision is that they wish they had done something sooner. They wish they had ended their pets suffering sooner. She said very rarely do pets pass peacefully in their sleep. Usually, it’s painful and sometimes can last for days.

Scarlet deserved better than to suffer.

For the 20ish years she has been my companion, for all the times she didn’t have a choice in moving with me, for all the times she didn’t have a choice in living with other animals, for all the times I stayed out late or didn’t come home because I slept somewhere else, for all the times she was alone, she deserved better.

It sucked making the vet appointment. It’s hard to not hate myself. It’s hard to feel like I wasn’t being selfish.

Ox offered to be there for me so I wouldn’t be alone.

I made the appointment, trying not to cry on the phone as I did.

Ox flew into Orlando on Sunday after one hell of a fucked up flight. It was his first time flying. That alone is something I’ll never be able to repay. He flew down so I wouldn’t have to drive the 21 hours by myself. There was a change over on his flight. Originally he had 30 minutes to get to the second plane, but the first plane arrived late, which meant he missed his connecting flight, which resulted in a three-hour layover.

After all of that, he still helped me take apart my computer desk and pack my car. After all of that, he still hugged me as I tried not to break down in the lobby of the veterinary clinic.

They do the procedure in two steps.

The first step is a normal sedative which puts them to sleep. The vet waits a few minutes to give the sedative time to fully take effect. I knelt on the floor so I would be level with the table and wrapped my arms around Scarlet while the shot was administered, petting her the whole time, trying, and failing, to not cry.

Scarlet was my most faithful companion aside from my mom. She’s the reason I survived Warren #2. I couldn’t force her to go through a move that I knew would be awful for her and yet I didn’t want to let her go. I wanted to be selfish but I didn’t want to make her suffer and all of it sucked. Every part of every possible decision sucked.

She was in pain. She couldn’t use the litter box properly because she was almost to the point where she couldn’t walk. She was matted and ratty looking because she wouldn’t groom herself and wouldn’t let me brush her because it hurt her.

She was my little old lady and she was hurting and there was nothing I could do to change it because that’s part of life; growing older, being mortal. Aging. Dying.

It’s all part of this fucking circle that I’m so tired of having to accept over and over again.

I held her as she fell asleep; as she finally looked peaceful. I petted her and told her I loved her and that she would always be my baby cat.

A few minutes later the vet came back in and administered a second shot. I don’t remember the term they used for it, but essentially it over sedates them, causing their heart to stop.

They said there’s no pain. And I so desperately need that to be true and I wish there was a way to know for sure, but there isn’t. It’s just blind faith and that sucks because since I don’t know for sure that it doesn’t hurt I feel like a betrayer. What if it does hurt? What if she was in agony in her final moments but her body was so sedated that she couldn’t express it?

The vet listened to Scarlet’s heart and told Ox and I when she was gone; when Scarlet was dead. They said I could have as much time as I needed and quietly left the room.

I don’t remember how long I cried. I know eventually I stood up and I took out the brushes and lint roller I had brought with me.

I had planned to do this ever since I had made the appointment. I was going to brush all of the mats out of Scarlet’s fur. It was going to be my way of honoring her one last time much the way a warrior’s body is prepared before being taken to the funeral pyre. I was going to brush her and care for her before sending her back to the Universe.

It took forever. I swear I got another three cats worth of fur off of her. I was also covered in fur by the time it was done, which in an odd way was comforting because it wasn’t any different than when we were at home. Only this time she wasn’t in pain while I did it.

I arranged her head on her paws. I told her one last time that I loved her and then I left the room.

I arranged to have a private cremation so I could have her ashes.

I guess in a way mom prepared me for this. I know that the ashes are not Scarlet. They are the ashes of her vessel, not of her. The energy she was is returned into the vastness of the Universe and what I hold in the small, beautiful wooden box is merely a physical representation of what once was.

I have her ashes with me, sitting on the shelf where I have mom’s urn.

I did what I thought was kind. I don’t know if there’s right or wrong in this situation. Everything is always a shade of gray anyway. I still miss her. I don’t feel like the scum of the Earth. I don’t think I’m the worst person to ever walk the planet, but I’m still struggling with my choice.

Mom had to make this choice a few times with previous pets. I know she had a really hard time when she had to euthanize Cleo.

Cleo ended up having stomach cancer. She would eat, but no matter how much she ate she would lose weight because everything she consumed went into feeding the cancer rather than her body. She was suffering and so mom made the choice to end that suffering.

My situation isn’t so clear as that. Scarlet wasn’t necessarily sick, but I do believe she was in pain.

I will never know what choice she would have made for herself. All I can do to try to cope with my choice is to know that I was her caretaker and that I cared for her for over 20 years. If I could go back and do things differently I would. I would get less annoyed with her when she meowed about her water dish. I would buy more cat treats. I would cuddle with her more.

But I can’t do that. I can’t go back and change anything. I did what I thought was my best at the time. And I made what I thought was the kindest choice for her in the end.

None of us can live for forever. If given the option to continue living my remaining days in pain or to pass into stillness while in the arms of someone I love, I would want the latter.

I don’t know what else to say about this.

It was and still remains the hardest part of my move. There’s still a lot I haven’t written about that I don’t feel like getting into.

I miss my companion even though I know this chapter wasn’t meant for her. There is so little left of the time when mom was alive. It’s hard to not feel like a different person.

I need to go for now. I haven’t fully cried and mourned over Scarlet’s passing yet. Maybe I’ll be able to write about all of the good stuff that’s happened to me in my next post.

All of this needed to be written, though.

All of this needed it’s time.


Daily Post 070: The Last Day


There are so many areas of my life to work through at the moment. To clean up; much like the apartment. So many places to empty out, scrub down, sort through… maybe not in that order, but it’s all on the to-do list.

I’m going to start with work because work is easy. It always has been for me and continues to be the easiest area to analyze, figure out, and explain. The easiest section to set to rights and be done with.

I talked to the FA from Nebraska. Apparently, she replied to my email. I never received it and I can’t imagine why I wouldn’t, so I feel it’s more likely that she thought she replied rather than she actually did reply. Either way, we talked on Thursday. I am set up to shadow at one of the clinics on February 23rd, which is a Friday.

There’s not an official offer yet. They want to see how I fit with the team and all that jazz, and honestly, I’m ok with that. That gives me roughly two weeks to myself, though most of the first one will be taken up by traveling and getting situated. During the second week, if not towards the end of the first week, I plan to find a gym and to begin/continue conditioning since that is something I plan to start seriously going back to next week; the week before the move.

I’m thinking that finding a YMCA might be a better option at the moment. I liked the one I used to go to; the one I I would bike to until they closed it down to rebuild it. It won’t be done until the end of this year, but the few times I’ve driven past it have been nice. It’s going to be a gorgeous facility once it’s done. Too bad I won’t be here to enjoy it.

I liked the classes that were offered. It was homey and comfortable feeling for me. I know it’s not the kickboxing or jujitsu that I will eventually find, but for the time being, I want a gym and I want yoga in my life again. So yeah, that will be one of the first things I do outside of becoming comfortable in my new living situation.

So that’s the future of work. Shadowing. Playing the “Game”. Making sure I make good impressions so they like me and follow through with hiring me.

As far as work in Orlando…

I worked my last day today. I feel lighter. Knowing that I’m no longer obligated to the crushing weight of working at one of the most demanding clinics in the area is freeing. I no longer “have” to wake up at 2:20 am. I no longer “have” to work a sixteen-hour shift.

I know the next week is still going to be hard and full of tasks, just as demanding, if not more so in some ways, than what work was, but I’m mostly looking forward to all of those tasks. It’s conflicting because I did enjoy my clinic; my teammates, my patients. I’m also glad I’m not having to give up what feels like a huge part of myself. I don’t have to choose between going to work and self-care at the moment. I can do the things I want and need to do to be ok. It’s liberating at the moment.

I did pick up extra hours this week. I worked part of Monday, a day which I was supposed to have off. I also picked up a shift at a different clinic. It was my first time working outside of my normal environment.

My FA came to me Wednesday afternoon while I was working and mentioned the Airport clinic, the one I trained at, needed someone to cover for one of their technicians and wanted to know if I would be interested in the hours.

Since I’m about to move to a completely different state to work at, potentially, three different clinics, I figured it would be a good experience to have sooner rather than later.

I need to know what it feels like to walk into a facility and to have NO idea where anything is or who the patients are or what the team members are like. I needed to prove to myself that I could do it. That I could work a day somewhere else and survive and not kill anyone.

I would have had to face that anxiety at some point so I decided to do it now, while I still had a relative idea of what the clinic looked like, while I still knew who the FA was, while I still knew how to drive to the clinic and where to park and what their breakroom looked like and the type of coffee they have for their fancy coffee machine.

Yeah, it was a fuck ton of “new”, but it was also a lot of familiar. I got to see Jonathan, one of the FA’s who interviewed me when I was first being considered by the company. I got to see Omar who was my trainer during my initial training. I got to tell both of them about my moving and how I was grateful for their support and encouragement. They got to wish me well and congratulate me on surviving and staying with the company.

I got to experience what it’s like to work with new patients who are familiar with their environment. They’re not the visitor. I am. All of them trusted me enough to do their cannulations. Even though I was slower than what I have come to feel is my norm, mostly because I had to keep asking where they kept things, I felt like I held my own and that I was actually helpful.

I proved to myself that I can be the new person and still get the job done and that’s what I needed to know. I can go to other clinics and survive. I can talk to and work with new technicians and RNs and be competent. I can interact with new patients and still be kind, caring, and attentive while dealing with the overwhelm of being in a new place.

I can do it, and that makes the choice to move feel that much more right.

I worked today, my scheduled day, and it was actually a pretty good day. When some of my patients tried to say goodbye to me I said it wouldn’t be the last time they would see me.

I tried saying goodbyes on Wednesday and it made the day so much harder. All of the kind words and hugs and feelings… I didn’t want to go through that again today. I also didn’t want to have to rush through my goodbyes because another patient needed to be taken off the machine, or because I had to reset a station, or whatever other countless tasks need to be accomplished during change over.

I wanted to be able to have heartfelt moments with people who have impacted my life.

So, instead, I decided early this morning that one of the things I will do with my remaining week is to go to the clinic and to say farewell to my patients. I already have thank you cards which I need to fill out. One for each individual I have met while working there, including my teammates.

This is different than leaving Full Sail, and even then I wrote an email explaining the situation, and the people I worked with played a few rounds of laser tag with me as a way of saying goodbye.

I need to say “I’ll see you later” to these people. I can’t not do it and be ok with the move. So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to write my personalized, deep, emotional, teary-eyed messages in my thank you cards and give them to each patient I have had the honor of meeting, tucked safely into an unassuming envelope. I’ll shake hands, or hug. I’ll most likely tear up and feel loved and appreciated on levels that I didn’t know where possible, since that’s what most of Wednesday was, and even though I know it will be hard and it will hurt, I know I need to do it.

The wife of one of the patients went out Wednesday night and bought me cupcakes as a thank you for me taking care of her husband. Another patient who served in the Army shook my hand after I had finished taping him up and said, “It was a pleasure serving with you.”

Yeah… all of the feels. I DO make a difference, and that means the world to me because that was the whole point of my career change. I didn’t know how I could keep going without mom. I didn’t know if I had a reason to. I needed to do something that mattered, that was important, so there could be an anchor to hold me here. I needed a job where I HAD to keep going because what I did actually mattered.

Wednesday was, is, undeniable proof that the past nine-ish months of my life have impacted others on levels I never imagined I could.

There’s a “going away” party with my teammates tonight. Several of us are getting ready to leave the clinic so it’s not specifically for me, but I am part of it.

While the thought of not having to go back out into the world and staying at home in my pjs alone sounds amazing, I know if I don’t go I’ll regret it for forever. This is my last hoorah with them. I need to be there, even if it’s only for an hour.

That’s about it as far as work for what I will always think of as my home clinic.

It made me what I am. I’ve worked for nine months at what is considered one of the hardest clinics in our area and I have become a battle-hardened badass. My teammates helped pick me back up when I started questioning myself or feeling like a failure. They shared their knowledge and experiences with me. They were encouraging and supportive, as were my patients.

I am able to confidently move because of my time here and I will always remember that fact. I did not get here alone. And even though I know it will change, the Downtown clinic will always be special to me.

That’s about it for work I think… at least for the moment.

That means I can move on to the harder areas… hooray…. -_-;

Alright… A slightly less hard area… I’ve been closing out accounts and memberships for the things here in Orlando. I canceled my 24-hour fitness membership. That actually worked out extremely well because my personal trainer was there. We’re friends on Facebook, but it was nice to see her. It was nice having the opportunity to explain how everything had progressed to the point it had and to say goodbye in person. It was nice to thank her for everything she did for me because it wasn’t just about having me lift weights.

She was the first person I talked to about conditioning for MMA. She listened to me bitch about work and the apartment. She listened to me on the days that were hard because I was grieving and really didn’t want to workout but I knew that I didn’t want to let my grief win so I showed up. She helped get me to the point of flipping tires and jumping boxes. She was the one who made me realize that I am fit. I am strong. Just because I want to improve on something doesn’t mean I’m not already that thing.

She was another key person during this year of stability for me and even though I was there to cancel my membership, it was a positive moment because it marked a step forward in my life. Beginnings happen because something else ends and not all ends are bad.

I need to still cancel my Title Club Boxing membership, but that requires me to send an email with proof of blah blah blah blah… and I just haven’t gotten around to doing it yet. The staff knows I’m leaving and I’ll be refunded the personal training I bought but never had the time to use.

That leaves the dojo… which I went to on Wednesday.

I don’t know why, maybe it was because everything that day had been so emotional, but as I was driving back to my apartment, trying not to break down into tears as I drove, I had the sudden swelling urge to go to my dojo. I NEEDED to see my senseis. I NEEDED to be there, in the one area in all of Orlando that has felt like home for me since mom died.

So I did. I went there. I walked in during the Muay Thai class in my scrubs and work shoes. Both of my instructors were sitting in the back of the dojo with a handful of other people. Mongoose got up and gave me a hug and told me congratulations since she read a post I had made on Facebook. My sensei clasped my hand, a wide smile on his face of genuine pleasure from seeing back at the dojo.

I stayed there for a while, mostly talking with Mongoose. It helped me decompress. It helped me feel like things were ok. It helped me… I don’t know what, but I know it did help. I felt better as I walked out of the dojo barefoot. I felt more connected. I felt stronger.

I have to go through and do a formal cancelation thing, but that’s not what Wednesday night was about. Wednesday night was about going home for a little bit and seeing my pseudo-family. At some point in the coming week, I’ll go back and finish taking care of things.

The only other accounts to close out are the ones for the apartment. I need to switch the internet over to Warren and I need to set a closing date for the power.

Past that it’s getting Ms. Side Chick onto the lease and me off of it. I’ve already been in touch with my landlord so he knows about the situation. I’m waiting on him to send me an application to send to her so she can fill it out and more legal red tape bullshit so I can wash my hands of the apartment and be done with it.


Oh my god. Like… for real, I can’t put into words how amazing it will be to drive away from here and to legitimately be able to give absolutely zero fucks about what happens once I’m gone.

I have still, STILL, had to do all of Warren’s dishes. And I get that I don’t “have” to, but when it’s freaking 3 am and the sink is full of his shit and I need to actually use the sink there really isn’t a way around taking care of it. I don’t have time to wait for him to wake up… I have to go to work. Talking to him about it for the past year and some change hasn’t done anything, so why throw a complete bitch fit over it now, the last week that I’m here and burn every possible chance of him actually paying me back?

Because I want to rain down death and destruction on his life for being a shitty roommate. God, the thought of flipping shit on him feels amazing inside of my head. There’s a part of me who wants to break every dish he owns just to prove the point of how sick I am of being his mother.

What’s sort of sad is how Ms. Side Chick is all on board with moving in and taking my spot because, according to Warren, she loves the idea of finally being able to be with him in all of that rose-tinted colored glory.

What’s going to happen is she’s going to move in and see the reality of the situation and get tired of his shit and want to leave.

I’m not saying Amber was an amazing partner to Warren. I’m sure a lot of the stuff Warren told me was truthful, but there was a reason she fell out of love with him and called off the engagement. From the five years I dated Warren to the now year and a half-ish that we’ve lived together… I am willing to bet realizing she had three kids instead of two was a contributing factor.

I’m not going to say jack shit to him about it because I’m fucking tired of trying to talk and being disregarded. I’m going to watch this situation play out and when/if he comes to me crying about how she left, I’m going to ask if he helped maintain the apartment or if she was the only one doing chores. I’m going to ask if he actually helped in any way and showed that he was an independent adult or if she had to manage not only her life but his. Was he an equal partner or a helpless dependent?

I realize this may be a darker side of my personality, but there is going to be a very sick and twist part of me who’s going to do the “I told you so” dance so hard when that conversation happens because it will validate every fucking conversation I had with him where I told him I was unhappy with the situation, offered compromises and alternative solutions, and he did nothing to fix it.

It will be that moment where I get to quietly point out that, oh yeah, I was right the whole time and you should have listened to me but instead you didn’t and here we are… Oh… Sorry. Totally not going to feel sorry for you. You should have done the fucking dishes since they were YOUR dishes. Or swept up the dog fur since it’s YOUR FUCKING DOG instead of having this delusional idea that the dish fairy actually exists.

No. I’m not a fucking dish fairy. I’m a dragon who’s about to rip your throat out because I’m tired of your shit.

No hostility or pent-up frustration over this issue… None what so ever…


So I guess this is a good place to segway into all of the other hard topics… like relationships… because you know… writing 3000 words and counting isn’t enough…


Jon and I are going to have breakfast tomorrow before he goes into work. It may be the last time I see him before I move. I’m sad at the thought, but there’s really not much else to say about that relationship.

We still chat for a few minutes roughly every other day. Mostly it’s him bitching about his new job and how he hates working at a nursing home. I don’t blame him.

I do feel like he and I will stay in relative contact. I do think the move will put some strain on our relationship since he doesn’t agree with my choice. He thinks I’m about to fuck everything and get pregnant and become addicted to heroin…

No. For real. He said all of that to me over the phone.

Like… thanks dude for having so much faith in my ability to make smart rational decisions on my own.

The only way I can prove to him that I’m doing the right thing is to do it and not fuck up. Since it seems to be the season for me to have these irresistible urges to prove people wrong… I’m going to do it. And I’m going to prove to him that moving was the best decision I ever made for myself, next to telling Zane to go fuck himself and Full Sail that it could burn in Hell.

Yeah… both of those decisions were pretty amazing and deliciously satisfying, too… Ah… memories…

So yeah, things with Jon will be whatever they will be and that’s pretty much how it has always been, so there’s nothing really overly new or exciting to write about it I guess.

It’s going to be hard leaving tomorrow afternoon. I’m going to cry. I’m going to miss him even though he’s not really gone… fucking emotions…

I don’t know if I’ll have the chance to see my blacksmith before I leave. I hope so. I have his things that I would like to return. I’m not sure what I will do if I can’t return them. I know I can’t get rid of them, but they’re not mine so I can’t really keep them either…

I don’t know. I’ll cross that bridge when I get there, I guess. Currently, I’m waiting to see if he can get time off work for us to meet one last time. It’s another reminder that we would never have been able to have any sort of real happily ever after.

I went to therapy on Thursday, and I mention that in this relationship section because my relationship with my therapist is changing. It was a pretty intense session since we had to go all the way back to Thanksgiving. I opened the session by mentioning that I was moving. We had to backtrack that far to get to the beginning of the events that led to this moment in my life.

Because I will be moving we have decided that I will no longer be a client and can now move into the position of friend. I am honored and grateful that someone who has helped me survive and heal and grow so much asked if we could be friends on Facebook.

During our session, I was able to talk about Ox. While I do value everyone’s opinion, and I do weigh pros and cons within my head, this is a person who is paid to tell me when I’m being self-destructive and doing stupid shit. If anyone has a right to tell me something’s a bad idea, it’s her, since that’s what she’s literally paid to do.

After listening to me explain all of the events she said it seemed like a positive opportunity for me and that the Universe was doing a lot to allow for this to happen.

She said instead of over analyzing things like I always do I should let it be. I should let it exist for whatever reason that it is. I don’t have to know the why and how. I don’t have to listen to outside voices or wonder if they’re right.

I should listen to my voice. The one that whispers. The one that I always question if it’s real or not. That voice of Intuition that tells me when something’s good or bad even though I can’t really put my finger on why it is what it is.

I didn’t ask her for permission to do this. I didn’t ask if it was the right or wrong thing to do. I essentially asked if I was crazy for wanting to try, and explore, and to see. Just like how that was the main reason for my trip to Nebraska in the first place. I wanted to see if the things I felt were real, or if it was all just make-believe inside of my head.

It was real for the three days I was there. The feeling of absolute peace from walking in the woods even though there was snow on the ground… that was real. The feeling of home and acceptance… that was real.

If it was real for three days, I want to see if it can be real for longer.

She thinks it would be positive for me to try. I think it would have been too late to undo a lot of my choices if she had come back and said, “You realize all of this is batshit insane…”

Yeah… that would have sort of sucked and put a dampener on a lot of things. I wonder if you can undo letters of resignation…

I’m glad and relieved that she thinks I have researched and planned and gone about this in a relatively logical and thought out way. It may be sudden, but it doesn’t seem to be impulsive or causing harm to my self; emotionally, physically, spiritually, or financially.

At the moment, aside from the pain of endings, it has only had positive effects, but all change comes with its own level of hurts so the pain I am feeling in regards to the move is understandable and even expected.

So that’s that… and even though there’s STILL more to write… I’m pretty written out…

The rest can be saved for another day, and with work not demanding my time, I may actually be able to sit and write and process more often than the never it has been for so long now.

I’m looking forward to the coming week. I’m looking forward to a lot of things in the very near future. And in my own, weird, introverted way, I’m looking forward to this going away party tonight. Maybe there’s be a cat I can hang out with or something.


Daily Post 067: Home


This isn’t the first time I have sat in front of my computer since I have been back from Nebraska. There’s actually a writing that I never posted before my trip which I doubt I will at this point. Really, most of that lost writing was me being definite. This is the first time that I’m taking the time to try to figure it all out, though.

I don’t know where to start with everything. It’s another massive tangled thing within my chest. I don’t think it’s really discord, but the fact is, there’s a lot.

There’s the apartment. There’s my job. There’s the trip itself. There’s everything with Ox. There are my relationships here. There are my brothers. There’s my grief. There’s just… everything.

There’s my life.

That’s basically what it feels like. It’s so much stuff it might as well be everything all at once and I don’t know where to start with that. There’s the mountain in front of me that I don’t know how to climb. This feeling of never being able to get to the top so taking the first steps are pointless. I’m striving for an unattainable goal so it’s easier to just not try.

But I can’t not try. I don’t know how to do that. To sit and accept nothingness, so here I am. Once again in front of my computer with a blank page in front of me, my words slowly filling it with black marks as Arrival At Sydney Harbour plays on repeat, instilling the sense of calm it always does for me. Safety, security. It makes the tension of standing in front of the mountain more ok. More bearable. More do-able.

I made my trip. I guess that’s a good place to start.

I worked three days in a row. That was brutal. I took an Uber to the airport. I made it through TSA without SWAT repelling down from the ceiling to confiscate my contact solution and deodorant stick.

I made it onto the plane. I survived the take off even though I still cried through it. There’s still the feelings of… I don’t know what. The thoughts of, “Mom is dead,” fill my head as the plane rumbles down the runway. Once I’m in the air it’s fine, but the takeoff… those few seconds are so much of everything…

I want her to still be here. I want her to be alive still and take off reminds me that she’s not, she never will be. Not how she was.

I survived both take-offs since there was a layover in Chicago.

I made it off the plan in Omaha.

I met Ox in person. I don’t know what else to say about our meeting. There aren’t words which could hope to explain those feelings. I’m glad it happened. I’m glad he hugged me. I’m glad we stood there for as long as we did holding each other. I’m glad I had the time I did to relearn how to breathe.

I’m glad we touched as much as we did through the time I was there. The random touches as we passed by each other in the hotel room. The holding hands. I’m glad we talked as much as we did. I’m glad the first place we went to was a forest so I could be away from literally everything. No cars. No people. Just emptiness and space and silence and all of these things I didn’t realize I was suffocating without.

In fact, every time I became overwhelmed, or borderline overwhelmed, he let me sit outside in the fifteen-degree weather with his jacket around me. He let me cry when I needed to, like after my interview.

Which I guess that’s another thing to write about. It wasn’t just a meeting. I showed up to the clinic and was welcomed inside of an office where I sat in front of an FA and an FA assistant while conference calling another FA. It was most definitely an interview and it went amazingly well. They’re interested in having me in the area and as far as I know are still working the logistics out.

After the interview, we drove to another park. It wasn’t an empty forest, but it was still nice. We sat outside for a bit at a picnic table before driving to another area, one of Ox’s favorite spots when he needs to get away. I was allowed to explain why every accomplishment I achieve sucks now. Why it’s painful. Why it hurts and feels pointless.

I can’t tell mom. I can’t tell her I did this amazing thing. Not how I’m used to, and I guess a big thing in that regard is that I don’t reach out to her spiritually much. I still question if it’s real. It’s something I need to work out but now, today, is not that time.

There was a lot of open communication with Ox. This is week four of knowing him actually, to the day.

One of the nights we were together we drank and instead of drinking and doing stupid shit or just having sex we looked up our personality types and read them to each other and then had super deep conversations about it. It’s things like that, moments like that which make us both feel connected to each other in ways that make me want to explore this.

The internet calls our pairing “the golden couple” and I can honestly say that even if it doesn’t work between us I’m glad I have met him. I’m glad I have someone who seems to so intuitively understand… me. All of me.

I met his parents while I was there and for the first time since last Christmas I sat down at a kitchen table and had dinner with a family. I felt part of the family. I felt… home… in the middle of a place I have never been surrounded by people I honestly don’t really know… I felt like I belonged. I felt warm and cared for and accepted for me.

I answered all of the questions I was asked as honestly as I knew how.

When Ox’s mom made the comment that she didn’t know how I could explain and be open about half the things I did I replied with it’s easier to be honest than to lie and I don’t know how to explain certain things without explaining all of it. All of the parts are important. The whole story is important and needed.

I didn’t go to dojos. I did walk through a grocery store. I didn’t drive around in the snow. I didn’t look at apartments.

I had my interview. I had lunch with Ox’s mom, and then the following day I spent the day at his house. In between those events Ox and I spent our time together learning each other in person and I wouldn’t trade a minute of my time in Nebraska for anything in the world.

I didn’t realize how claustrophobic Orlando was until I was sitting in the passenger seat of Ari’s car as she picked me up from the airport. I didn’t realize how much I didn’t want to be here anymore until the plane touched down and I had silent tears from wishing I was anywhere but here. It was the first time where I didn’t cry during the takeoffs. It was the landings which hurt. It was only during the last landing that I wished I hadn’t had to leave a place that felt so right.

There was a moment when Ox and I were together, at yet another park after having met his family, where I cried and admitted that I was terrified of all of this not being real. It was too perfect to truly exist that it had to be something I would wake up from. I would wake and the soul-crushing reality of it being a dream would be too much.

I know I will move. I know that Orlando isn’t where I want to be and that if things work the way I want for them to, that I will be leaving mid-February and beginning work in Nebraska the 5th of March.

I know a lot with the apartment is falling into place though my first night back felt like a disaster waiting to undermine everything I was striving for.

Right now I’m having to breathe and be patient while the ball gets tossed around the court from one person to another, rarely ever landing in my own where I can do something with it.

The two shirts Ox let me take back with me remind me that the experience, the trip, was real. That there is a home for me there, one I am waiting to go back to. They’re reminders that it was “I’ll see you later,” and not “Goodbye”.

I have my evening with Big Bad tonight and though I want to see him I don’t want to have to drive or deal with people or leave the sanctuary of my room. I do feel the need to acknowledge I am feeling better for having written even if I don’t feel I haven’t figured much out from it.

Maybe it’s solidifying that I do have a home now and not just a place where I sleep. Even if I’m far away from it, I have a home and that makes me feel more ok. More like there’s a point to everything. I’ve had more energy when interacting with my patients the two days I’ve worked then I have for all of December. I no longer dread the hours as they tick by, waiting to finally go home so I can be alone.

I’m fully present. Several of my patients knew about my trip and asked about it once I was back. They all wish the best for me and commented on how I will be missed and how I’m a kind, caring soul that made the clinic a better place. With almost everyone I have talked to I have nearly been brought to tears from their words. I didn’t realize I made such a difference for them.

It’s nice to know that I mattered and that I helped.

It’s nice to feel like I’m being an adult. That was something I mentioned to Ox yesterday while I was on one of my breaks. I feel like I’m figuring things out. I’m taking care of my life. And, for once, I feel like I’m living it for myself.

I don’t feel broken. I don’t feel injured. I feel like I’ve gone through that process of healing wounds. I’ve been the invalid, bedridden and feeble. I’ve progressed to a wheelchair and then crutches. And now, even though my body and soul still ache, I’m beginning to walk my path again. And this time I’m walking it for myself.

My path so closely followed my mom’s for so long, and now my path continues on and I must walk it by myself, for myself. I know she’s still with me, but she’s not here to hold my hand through it. She taught me to be strong, to stand tall, and to walk with confidence, and so for the first time, I’m doing that.

At least it feels like the first time.

I’m holding my head high and making the choices I want to make.

I know there were several times in her life that mom faced opposition to her choices. No one agreed and yet she lived her life how she felt it should be lived.

I only have one life. I only have these moments. I want to search and explore and experience and question. I want… to be happy. Content. I want to be away, where it’s quiet and open and spacious and… just away.

I know with this change, this chapter, there will be an end. And end to Orlando. And end to paths. I think I’m ready for that, though. I’m ready to move away from the past and to shed it much like a snake sheds it’s skin so that it may continue to grow.

There’s still a lot to figure out. There’s still information to gather, but I support myself, and I think that’s the biggest hurdle any of us face while trying to figure out our lives.

I support what I am doing. I think it’s the right thing, and so I’m ok with other people not agreeing with it. I am the only one who knows the full story, the full history of what got me to this point, to the point of sitting here in front of my computer on this day, January 18th of 2018.

This is my year of standing up, of standing tall, and even though I’m still drained from my trip and the days I’ve worked this week, I feel like it’s a confident and stable start.

I will not fall, and I will not break. And for now, that’s as far as I feel like climbing today. Maybe that’s all that needed to be climbed.

I am moving. That’s what all of these past weeks and days and events lead up to in the end. I have found home and I will move to be there and that alone, that statement, makes me feel ok.

I’ve found home.

Daily Post 062: A Self-Care Day


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.