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

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Today has been a bit of a day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yep.

That totally, completely happened.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That left about $300 to spend.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

0_otLMv-OO2jeSrq8l

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Musing Moments 112: Linked Dreams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daily Post 062: A Self-Care Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes. That’s a lot.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We talked about boundaries and protecting myself financially.

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

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

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

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

I WILL NOT knowingly do this to myself again.

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

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

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

Daily Post 061: Ending A Long Day

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Today has been a long day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I cried a lot during this session.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And so now here I am. Writing.

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

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

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

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

I got this.

 

iQBQTwv

Daily Post 060: I’m Proud That I’m Actually Writing A Daily Post

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So I’m going to try to write this… while drinking a drink that I for serious accidentally made too strong. I’m most likely not going to finish it, which is ok because it will still be good tomorrow evening.

Anyway, I have the living room for roughly 30 minutes to myself. 30 minutes of silence and what I’m going to start referring to as pseudo-solitude, since I’m “alone”, but my roommates are still home so I’m really not. Or at last one of them is still home. The other is most likely out banging his chick even though he was short on rent. Not that I have resentment over the fact that he won’t leave the house to do something useful like donate plasma so he can finally get his finances straight, or, I don’t know, take hit contracts on the black market.

This writing may be a bit blunter than normal… damn you alcohol for making me not care about causing offense. Damn you.

So Warren isn’t here, but Kyle is, and I actually just kicked him out of the living room. And by kick out I mean I had anxiety for about 30 minutes since I walked through the door and saw he was in the middle of some B rated demonic movie thing. I dropped my lunch box off on the kitchen counter then went upstairs to shower. Once I had washed the day away, all while trying to figure out how to ask for the living room without sounding like a dick, I came downstairs and put the day’s dishes into the dishwasher, set it to run, then finished washing the crock pot by hand.

I putts around a bit more, heating up my dinner, making my drink, then I finally had nothing else to do to procrastinate further.

I walked into the living room, set my stuff down at my computer and asked Kyle if I could have the living room for 30 minutes before I went to sleep.

He didn’t say anything but turned the TV and Playstation off then went upstairs.

You know what? I really don’t care if he’s upset. I worked a 16 hour day. I agreed to work the first three hours of co-workers shift tomorrow so she could actually get sleep tonight. She’s closing the clinic right now. She might not even be out of work yet and it’s 10 pm. She has an hour drive home, and yet the schedule has her working at 5 am tomorrow morning.

I told her that I could cover some of her hours for her. She said she could be there at 8 am. No later than 8:45 which leaves me with enough time to get to my training session with L. I told her that worked for me. I would rather her be able to make it through her day. I can always take a nap or go to sleep early before my shift on Friday.

This means I should have a few hours of overtime, which will be nice paycheck wise, but also hour wise. It means I’ll more than likely be able to cover most if not all of my week off without having to suffer financially. In theory, I’ll have the PTO to cover it.

So yeah. I have an early wake-up call. I want some time to myself, for myself, before I have to wake up and give the little I’ll have in my reserves to other people. The cool thing is I’ll be out of the clinic before change over happens. So I’ll I really need to do is put the first shift of patients on and do some of the morning chores.

I’m pretty sure I’ll be alright.

Today wasn’t a bad day. Though it started off kind of rough.

There’s one patient who got mad at me last Friday. She wanted to be off the machine at a specific time since her transportation has been leaving without her. I told her we, as in, the whole team, would make sure she got off on time. Normally this isn’t an issue. That morning ended up getting crazy, though, and even though we took this particular patient off the machine early, she still ended up being left by her transportation.

Since I was the tech who took her out into the lobby she blamed me for the transportation leaving her essentially stranded at the clinic. She said we didn’t care about her and that she wanted to talk to the FA.

It hurt. I was almost in tears as I went back to the clinic floor and continued with my day. That was the second time I’ve had a patient be mad at me. I eventually got over it, but I was glad I didn’t have to work Monday so I didn’t have to see her, and I was hoping to be on B side of the clinic today so even though she would be there, I wouldn’t have to interact with her.

As luck would have it, I was on A side, which meant she was one of the patients I had to care for. I helped transfer her into her chair, but another team member did her treatment initiation, which I was grateful for. About 50 minutes into the treatment the charge nurse called EMS for her because of complications. We think she has an infection since she has bedsores which aren’t being cared for.

But yeah, I feel sort of bad for not feeling worse about her going to the hospital. I’ve seen her treat other teammates unkindly. It’s not that I wish ill on her. But I don’t feel bad either. I think I’m closer to feeling nothing which might be worse.

I hope she gets the care she needs and I hope if / when she comes back she isn’t a jerk to me or the people I care about.

That was the main ad hoc event of the day, but since it happened fairly early in the first shift it didn’t domino into second shift.

The day went smoothly after that. I got to watch a teammate mix acid in the water room so I can start helping with that in the future. It seems easy enough. I told my teammate that I would want to see it done one more time, then most likely have someone watch me do it once or twice, but overall I think it’s pretty simple.

I got out of the clinic at 8:30. I’ve started assuming I won’t leave until 9 pm. I find it’s better to overestimate than under. I still budget for 36 hours, but as far as my calendar goes, I would rather assume I have fewer hours to work with rather than more when planning the events in my life. That way I can be pleasantly surprised when I get free time rather than seething with blind fury over having to cancel plans.

So that’s pretty much been my day.

All of the cooking is done, so all I really need to do tomorrow, other than cover the first three hours of first shift, is train, donate plasma, and maybe laundry.

I’m ahead on studying, but it would be good to continue tackling that. I guess it depends on how tired I feel after donating.

Even though there are four chapters left in my book there’s really only two more chapters that pertain directly to me. One of the chapters is about reusing dialyzers, which my clinic doesn’t do. The other chapter is about becoming a preceptor, or trainer, which has nothing to do with the actual dialysis process. I’m still going to read them, though.

Once I finish the book I plan to take the practice test offered by my company. I also want to look online to see if there are flashcards or anything already made. I want to see if my flashcards line up with what other people study for the certification. I usually end up studying more because I make flashcards for random facts that I think are interesting, but not nessiccarily required to know.

Anyway… Yeah. I’m almost done with the book. It would be nice to get through it in the next two-ish weeks. Definitely before the end of the month. That’s completely do-able if I keep up with the chapter a week pace that I’ve been going. That means I’m on course to taking the test early January. Since school starts the 9th, it would be cool to get the certification during the first week of the new year that way it’s done and I won’t have to figure out when to take it between work and my class.

I got my “Me” savings account created yesterday. It was actually super, insanely painless. I walked into my bank and told the greeter that I wanted to see about opening a second savings account. They entered me into the queue, which had no one in it, and asked that I wait in the lobby for one of the representatives to speak with me. I waited all of two minutes. I let them know what I wanted. They created a new savings account for me, and that was that.

Poof.

Done.

Like magic.

I’ve transferred $300 to it already. That’s still $78 short of the 27-week mark, but I think I’ll be able to transfer that through the month. And really, since that’s where I want to be in the first week of January, I have five weeks to come up with it.

I think I’m also going to give myself $500 to spend on myself between my birthday and Christmas. This is money that will go to things like getting my hair bleached since the roots have grown out. Most likely getting it trimmed too, along with my brows waxed because what the hell, it’s my birthday.

Maybe I’ll get a new keyboard finally. And a new headset. I’ll most likely take into account my World of Warcraft renewal, and subtract that from the $500.

I need to sit and budget out what I want to see how far I can make $500 stretch. I’m pretty sure I can do a lot with it, though, and I don’t think I want all that much.

That’s for another day. Right now I’ve finished my “too strong” drink along with my dinner. I’ve also had the living room for close to an hour rather than 30 minutes so I should go. I’ll also only be getting about 4 hours of sleep, which I can work with. It would be better to get only 3, that way I’m not in the middle of a REM cycle when my alarm goes off. God, that’s the worst.

Anyway. Yeah. Good night. Thanks for letting me ramble.

 

Daily Post 059: Tackling Today

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s to today.

Daily Post 058: Better Then They Have Been

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Written earlier this morning.


 

I’m physically tired right now. It’s taken me about an hour to recover from my training session with L. We worked inner thighs pretty hardcore today since I told her that’s where I feel weak. Tuesday was shoulders and back and I can still feel the tiredness there as well.

I suppose a lot of my tiredness comes from being so active this week after such a hard lull the previous week.

Thanksgiving was pretty good for a shitty day. All of the days leading up to it sucked. I watched Fate/Zero in its entireity in two days. I didn’t feel back about taking over the living room for those two days. I’m hardly ever home. No regrets or remorse.

The show was alright but I didn’t really connect with any of the characters. I watched it more because I wanted to watch Fate/Stay Night which I’ve been told is good. Since I made it through all of Zero I started watching Stay Night Wednesday evening and continued throughout Thanksgiving day with my brother.

I have to admit that one of the reasons I’ve avoided watching these anime for so long is because Zane watched them before we dated. I can remember him having conversations with other people about the show and so I’ve always associated the Fate series with him. Sort of like how I associate Burn Notice with Corey. I don’t know if it’s really overcoming anything to finally watch the series, but it feels less like Zane’s and more like any of the other story lines in my head.

Jon actually took care of most of the cooking, which was a fantastic change from last year where I did all of it and then no one ate anything.

I actually woke up thinking about ditching and just staying home and being sad. I didn’t want to get out of bed. The thought of having to take a shower was borderline too much on top of having to drive the hour up to Daytona. I didn’t like the idea of having to stay with my roommates even less.

Instead, I made a compromise. I would stay in my pjs, get in the car, and make it to my brother’s place. That’s all I had to do. The only “requirement” of my day was driving. Everything else was icing on the cake that I didn’t “have” to do. My brother wouldn’t care if I was in pjs or not. He cared if I showed up. If showering compromised my energy levels for completing the trip then it was ok for it to not happen.

So that’s what I did. I got in my car and drove up to his apartment. There was a hot cup of coffee waiting for me and a hug and no judgment. Only acceptance, and understanding.

I helped a bit in the kitchen when he wanted/asked for it. I helped load the dishwasher a few times, too, so I wasn’t a total slacker and mooch. The turkey was brined which was the first time I had anything like that and it was amazing. Jon is now Lord of the Turkey and we have plans to do pretty much the same thing for Christmas since neither of us can get out to Vegas to spend it with our older brother.

Jon did have a friend come over for Thanksgiving. I guess he didn’t have anywhere else to go and Jon didn’t want him to be alone. It was super socially awkward and Jon even sent me text messages while we were all in the living room asking me not to kill him for inviting the guy over and saying he was sorry. He essentially begged for my forgiveness which I thought was cute.

I told him he owed me and he agreed. Jon said he had forgotten how “off” the guy had been the few times they had hung out. In the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t all that bad.

Towards the end of the evening, Jon’s roommates came back home and said that their family was going to show up to play board games. Roughly six people in total. That totally went against all of the plans they had agreed to previously with Jon, leaving the apartment empty so he and I could have a place for our own Thanksgiving. When we asked when their family was supposed to show up his roommates said they weren’t sure. Just that they would be there at some point.

I didn’t have a bra on… There was no way I was going to be ok with being in the middle of surviving my second Thanksgiving without mom and dealing with six strangers having a good time while not being “presentable”. Fuck that shit. Like, for real.

I ended up leaving before they showed up. In fact, I’m actually not sure if they ever did. Jon hasn’t mentioned it in any of our conversations. I was sent home with leftovers, a big bear hug, and the whispered words of “You’ll be ok” echoing in my ears as I cried the whole drive home. The leftovers are what got me through the next couple of days because I didn’t do any sort of cooking or prep work on my days off due to being sad.

I don’t remember which day I started feeling better. Maybe it was when I came back home Friday. I know that day at the clinic wasn’t bad even though I thought it would be. One of my coworkers called out sick so we were short a person. My boss came out and worked the floor on my side of the clinic, so that was pretty awesome. The times he’s worked on the floor he normally takes my spot to see how the changes they’re making to the schedule work. This was the first time we worked closely together and he was very complimentary at the end saying that I did what had to be done.

I was expecting that day to totally suck, but it ended up being one of the smoother ones I’ve worked. It was good to see all of my patients and to hear about their Thanksgivings and how they got to see their friends and family and eat good food and enjoy their day. It was nice to share that mine had turned out better than I expected and that I spent it with my brother who made a fantastic meal for us.

I guess going to work forced me to get up. It forced me to not sit at home in the dark where the only things to keep me from thinking about the pain are anima, alcohol, and cigarettes. It made me go out and see people who care about me and who are grateful that I’m alive and do the things I do. It made me go out and connect to things that feel worth it, so for that I am grateful. I may dislike my job, but I’m glad that I have one that gives me purpose.

Warren and I had a fairly friendly conversation. He’s paid full rent for this month. That’s the first time he’s paid fully two months in a row. I’m hoping that December continues with this positive change. This is the month where he should be able to start paying in advance rather than having me use my own money to cover for him and then him paying me back. It would be nice to not feel tension and tightness in my chest when I pay bills. It will be nice to feel secure in the fact that I know everything will be taken care of.

My main mission is still to survive until January. I feel more confident in my ability to do that, especially since it’s only two and a half weeks until my week off. I haven’t figured out anything that I want to really do that week. Maybe getting my hair bleached again since the roots have grown out so far. Maybe it would be good to talk to Big Bad and see if there’s anything he would like to do and if he still plans to take that week off with me or not.

I had thought of giving up personal training for the coming month and solely focusing on work and my certification. I have since decided against that. I want to keep training the little bit that I am, which leads to this week and why I’m so tired right now.

Sunday started with messaging Big Bad. It was light and playful until he asked me if I had had a cigarette since our last time together. I said yes, less than what I normally would have done, but more than none.

His reply message of “I’m disappointed in this behavior” was more soul-crushing that I expected it to be. I actually sat crying at my computer for a little while. I know a lot of people don’t like me smoking and I have always acknowledged and accepted that fact. I don’t like it either.

I decided, after my cry session, that I wouldn’t smoke anymore. I went outside and had my last one and while I smoked it I asked mom to help make it my last one. I wasn’t prepared for those emotions either because asking that made me feel like I was losing a part of her all over again.

Yeah… Sunday was a day full of emotions after a week of already heavy emotions. So tired of emotions right now…

I hadn’t realized I was using smoking as a way to feel close to her. At least I didn’t realize it as consciously as my awareness became during that last cigarette. I cried during it but stuck to my word and threw the rest of the pack away.

Once I was back inside I sat down and wrote an email to Big Bad explaining why I had been smoking these past months and how his message had hurt because I don’t want to let him down. He’s been so supportive and accepting throughout this past year that the thought of letting him down feels like a betrayal in a way.

I haven’t had a cigarette since Sunday. I know that’s not a lot to go on, but I’m content with it so far. The first month is going to be the hardest, especially towards the center of it. So really, this coming week and the week after are the ones I want to really get through.

Big Bad responded to my email saying he was proud of me and that I can do anything. I felt better even though I was emotionally tapped out. I felt more solid and stable. It felt like I had finally made a stand about the whole smoking thing and confronted some heavy things I had been avoiding.

Jon came down and we had lunch together while studying for his Anatomy test. We started with the section for the brain, which was amazing, and then moved into the spine. I think we were both in need of some more time together. We agreed to start playing new characters in World of Warcraft. Horde side this time so I have more drive to actually play. Since Monday was a day off for me we spent most of Sunday night leveling our characters.

While I waited for him to drive home I cleaned my room and the apartment. I ended up doing four loads of laundry to wash all of my blankets and sheets as well as my clothes. Kyle cooked a chicken alfredo dinner and let me have some. It was a pretty low key night after what ended up being a pretty intense day.

Monday went well. It started with canceled breakfast plans. I had made plans with Mrs. G, a former classmate from DaVita’s training program, to meet since we haven’t seen each other in almost six months, if not longer, but she’s been having headaches and asked if we could raincheck out meeting. Though I really do want to see her, I was ok with the cancellation.

It meant that I was able to go to boxing instead, which I think I needed. I didn’t do as well as I’ve done in the past. I was also late because I stopped to pick up my new glasses first. I didn’t let that stop me from going, though. I still went in while everyone was warming up. I put on my shin guards and gloves even though I knew there wouldn’t be any kicking. It’s part of my ritual, just like taking off my necklace and ring. I always do these actions and I will not compromise them just to get onto the mat fast enough to make someone else happy.

I pushed myself pretty hard. I can tell there’s a difference in my core strength. I can feel how my punches, especially my hooks, are stronger, harder. It’s a good feeling. I stayed for all of the core section of the workout, which I sometimes skip out on. For not having done any sort of workout for a while I was happy with my effort. It was a total body sweat. I got to talk to the instructor who was one of my favorites. In January he’s going to begin working with me on footwork and how to move around in the ring with an opponent. I’m looking forward to it.

I took a nap when I got home. I did some cooking. A lot of things were already taken care of due to my burst of motivation Sunday. I ended up going out and finding a new nightshirt to wear at Salvation Army and having a sandwich for dinner at Arby’s.

I spent the evening with Big Bad. We watched a few episodes of Stranger Things. He said he tried watching some of it without me but it wasn’t the same. That gave me warm fuzzy feelings. I got to wear my new top while we cuddled on the couch. It was another quiet, relaxing night after a fairly productive day.

Tuesday was a busy day. I knew it would be and I knew I would be tired before it even began. With how productive I had been Sunday and Monday I knew Tuesday was going to be rough, but there wasn’t anything I could do about it. I wasn’t going to back out of any of my obligations so instead, I tackled everything head on.

I trained for the second day in a row which is a first for a very long time. That’s where L tore up my shoulders. We did some box jumping as well. Only the red box, but that’s what I wanted. I told her I would rather warm back up into things successfully rather than trying to push too far too fast and compromise my confidence. I’m ok with being on the low side this week.

After training, I donated plasma. I wasn’t as hydrated as I wanted to be, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as the one donation where I almost passed out twice. After donating I had a doctors appointment. I had been instructed to fast for the blood work I needed to get done for my bio screening, which is supposed to save me something like $800 on my healthcare premium. So even though I trained and donated, I hadn’t eaten for eight hours. I was edging towards a bitchy mood and I could tell.

I made it to the appointment on time. Didn’t have to pay anything since it counts as my yearly physical. Had to get a tetanus booster shot, and then drive over to the place where they actually do the blood work to have that done. So I got stabbed three times on Tuesday. All while not eating anything. So hangry.

I’m grateful I was able to get the blood work done and out of the way, though. Since I went to the clinic so late there wasn’t a wait time. I was seen pretty much immediately and was assured my results would be in by Thursday, which was perfect. Thursday was my next day off, so my doctor said to come by the office during the afternoon to let her complete the form I needed to be filled out. So I was able to get most of my healthcare stuff taken care of. The only things left were to have the paper filled out and to submit it via the online portal, both supposedly easy things to accomplish on my next day off.

Tuesday was also Nicole’s birthday. We were chatting throughout the day and eventually made plans to meet at a Cracker Barrel for dinner. It was roughly 40 minutes away, but since she drives up to see me all the time I felt like even with how tired I was it was the least I could do to drive halfway to see her on her birthday.

Well… that ended up taking an extra 30 minutes to do because of rush hour traffic and car wrecks. I was super bitchy by the time I sat down, but luckily Nicole let me bitch while we ate our fill of biscuits with apple butter. I even got to order my Country Boy, “there’s no way you could possibly finish all of this food” breakfast. And yes. I did actually eat all of that food. Fuck anyone who thinks poorly of me for doing it. You try strength training, donating, doctor appointments, and driving through Orlando hell on no food for almost 10 hours and see if you don’t devour everything, too.

I will say it was amazing to finally get home. I slept deeply that night, though it wasn’t enough before I had to wake up for work on Wednesday.

Yesterday was rough. I was on my normal side at the clinic but I was paired with the newest team member, who works extremely slow because he’s still new, along with the preceptor who trained me, who is extremely thorough, but also a slow worker. That ended up making things extremely rough. My preceptor went and complained to my boss about the new guys which I didn’t think was fair because she also could have done more than what she did throughout the day. I am actually glad that he came out onto the floor later in the evening because it meant that I got to talk to him and give him my opinion.

I said I didn’t think it was that the new guy is a bad worker. I said I felt like everyone at the clinic has their own strengths and weaknesses and that right now, two slow workers together was not a good idea. He needs to be around two strong workers until he gets his confidence and speed up.

My boss was grateful for my input and I think it helped give a more unbiased opinion about the situation since I also voiced my opinion on how my preceptor handled/didn’t handle the day.

I was pretty dead by the time I got home. It was roughly a 14 hour day and six miles. Maybe closer to 15 hours, but once you get to a certain point it really doesn’t matter. A long day is a long day regardless of how many hours it is.

I ate dinner and checked my mail in Warcraft since I’m back to whoring the auction house. I showered not long after that and went to bed. I slept for a little bit but woke up around midnight hungry and thirsty.

I logged onto Warcraft and chatted with my brother who also happened to be on. I stayed up until around 2 before going back to sleep.

Since then I’ve woken up, gone to training, and am about to go back to the doctor so she can finish filling out my paperwork. After that, it’s donating plasma. Then lunch with maybe some light studying. Then back home to chill for the rest of the evening. I do need to cook one last meal. Doing a load of laundry would be good. But overall my requirements for the day are mostly done.

Speaking of, I’m going to cut this short so I don’t miss my appointment. I’m glad I took the time to write. It was nice reflecting back on everything that’s happened. I’m also glad things feel better than they have been.