Daily Post 054: Comfortable Sadness

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I’m in a bit of a funk and I know I am. I can feel how my body is tired from everything I did yesterday which I’m sure is a contributing factor. My pulse has an arrhythmia that also isn’t helping I’m sure. And of course, since I’m tired and worn feeling I feel my grief more acutely.

I guess it started last night while I was showering. I was reflecting on how well I did yesterday. I biked to the gym and did a plyometric workout based on the different exercises L has had me do in the past. I followed that up with a half mile run before biking back home. I haven’t plotted the course but I think it was roughly four miles round trip.

Later I biked to Title Club Boxing for the boot camp conditioning class then biked back home. We’ll say that’s another 8ish mile though I think that’s lowballing it.

So yeah. Roughly 12 miles biking, a half mile run, and two conditioning classes. 30 three foot box jumps. Yeah. I pushed myself yesterday and it was awesome. I loved all of the sunlight I was able to get. I ate well and drank plenty of water.

I was thinking about how I’m doing well even though mom isn’t here. I don’t feel guilty for doing well. I don’t feel guilty for living my life and enjoying my bike rides and smiling and living.

But I’m sad now.

I miss her. I want her to be here so I can tell her about my day. I want to tell her how I’m scared I won’t be able to jump the red box on Tuesday even though L says I can.

I want mom to tell me I can, and she can’t. And that sucks.

I guess it’s not really a funk I’m in. I guess I’m sad today and I didn’t really realize it until now.

I woke up this morning and was proud of myself that I got out of bed and downstairs before noon. Before 9 am in fact. I had thought I would be so tired that I wouldn’t do a lot today, and to be fair I haven’t done a whole lot, but the morning started better than I had anticipated.

I made coffee and for the first time in a long time, I made an egg sandwich. I sat outside on my doorstep eating and drinking my coffee instead of smoking a cigarette. I bought a pack a week ago, but it’s gone and I haven’t replaced it. I don’t want to replace it, but I’m wondering now if a lack of nicotine is part of the sadness I feel; withdrawals in addition to everything else.

Regardless, the morning was nice. I felt like I was doing well in caring for myself and recovering. My knuckle is almost back to normal. I thought about going to my sports bar for lunch. I could take my flash cards with me and begin studying for my certification. I could do things today that didn’t require a lot of energy because I didn’t have much to give.

I spent most of the afternoon on the couch instead. I washed my dishes from breakfast and that’s about as far as I made it.

Eventually, around noon, I went back to my room since Warren woke up and was in the kitchen. I didn’t feel like being around people, though we did patch things over yesterday so we’re talking to each other again.

I still don’t feel like being around anyone but at the same time, there’s this need to not be alone. It’s frustrating. Like sandpaper inside my skin. I know there’s this irritation but I’m at a loss on how to ease it; sooth it. Nothing on this plane can make it better. None of the people in my life can be my mom. Not Warren, not my brothers, not Big Bad, or anyone else who loves me or I love in return.

It’s an ache I have to breathe through, function through, fight through, until I adjust to the pain and it fades into the background again, white noise in the chaos that is my life. A vibration that is always there that seems to be louder in the silent, quiet moments I allow myself even though I don’t think my grief itself ever really changes.

When I got to my room I started researching hospice RN positions.

It was something my brother and I talked about when I brought up the subject of going back to school for an RN degree. I don’t think I want to work at a hospital. I don’t want to change patients every day. I like that about the dialysis clinic. I know my patients and they know me. We share inside jokes. We pick on each other. We feel sorrow and pain together. I know them. I care for them. I like that about my job.

I’m not sure what I want to do with my life. I still don’t have an end goal, especially right now with the sadness hugging around my shoulders like a blanket. A soft, heavy blanket that is comforting in its own way. It’s familiar. I know what my grief feels like and I accept it.

The hospice thing is more just looking into other options I gain by becoming an RN. It’s another field I think I may find fulfillment in. I read several posts about what working as a hospice RN is like. I also looked up wages since pay is a logistic concern that would need to be looked into at some point regardless of how fulfilling I think something might or might not be.

It’s definitely more pay than what I’m making as a dialysis PCT.

Aside from that I’ve halfway chatted with a friend from California and arranged to pick up Mother Earth from work. I actually need to leave before too much longer to do that. It’s the only obligation I have today and so I feel shitty for not wanting to do it.

We’ve agreed to go sit and have lunch which I am actually looking forward to. I’m not looking forward to the driving, to having to get gas, to having to deal with traffic.

I’m looking forward to sitting and being injured and for that to be ok. I just wish there wasn’t so much to do to get to that point. The thought of the effort makes my shoulders physically hurt, like getting into my car is some huge weight I have to lift. I know it’s not. I know I can do it. I wish I knew why internally it feels like I can’t.

I’m worried that I won’t be accepted to the RN program since most programs are competitive or have a waiting list. I’m worried that I won’t get much for financial aid. I’m worried I won’t be eligible for reimbursement through DaVita because I haven’t been employed long enough. I’m worried about paying rent. I’m worried about keeping up with my training. I’m worried about Scarlet being sick and aging. I’m worried about letting the people in my life down because I don’t hang out often enough / well enough.

I don’t know why I have all of this hanging over me right now. I don’t know if it’s a matter of “misery loves company” and so it’s easy to see and find the negativity that isn’t really there, or if this is my brain telling me to slow down and process through some of the shit I have going on.

Right now I’m tired.

I’m tired of making sure my ducks are in a row for the meeting with my admissions advisor on Tuesday, which they are so there’s really nothing else to do other than wait.

I’m tired of making sure everything is ok with the lease renewing and that paperwork gets done, which that’s all squared away as well.

Maybe, since a lot of the stuff I’m stressed over is now stuff I can let go of, all of this is the stress I wasn’t allowing myself to feel. I had to keep going, keep doing, keep figuring out, and now, today, I don’t have to. Today I can be sad and tired and cry silent tears and it’s ok. It’s not interfering with anything. All my stuff is done.

I hope tomorrow feels better. I hope work goes smoothly and that the new schedule is out so I can plan my next six weeks.

Everything is temporary, including this moment. I know I’ll get better and I know I’m not broken. I know things are ok. I’m just sad and it’s ok to be sad sometimes.

I love you, mom. I miss you and I hope where ever you’re at that you’re having a good day.

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Musing Moment 108: Throwing Down the Gauntlet

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I’ve been thinking about this for a while. For months. It’s been a thought that keeps popping up. It’s something I’ll ponder on and then let go back into the vast, endless sea of thoughts that fill my head, but it keeps coming back.

I want to be a fighter. Yeah, like an MMA fighter.

I don’t really know why. I keep asking myself that because I know other people will ask me the same question.

I know it’s not because I want to beat people up. I don’t have anger issues where I’m using this as my outlet. I’m actually a very anti-violent person.

So why this pull to something so… well… violent?

I want to prove to myself that I can. I want to prove that I’m better than I was the day before. I want to fight “for real” because every morning I wake up and it’s a fight inside my head.

Do I get up and go through another day without mom or do I give up?

I can’t put into words how much I wish I could give up sometimes. How I wish I could stop fighting, struggling, pushing. It would be so much less effort, less pain, less everything if I just stopped.

But I can’t. I promised mom I wouldn’t. So every day, I get up. I fight even if sometimes I struggle more than others.

That fight, the fight to keep going, is so much harder than going to the gym and busting out some burpees. It’s harder than the guys I go up against at the dojo. It’s harder than 16-hour shifts with dialysis patients. It’s harder than anything, everything else I have ever done. Just because after over a year I am more familiar with how the fight goes doesn’t make it less hard, less tiring, less demanding.

It’s the same fight, I’m just conditioned for it better than I was when mom first died.

I want to fight against other people to make my mental fight real. To make the fight of Life tangible. I know I’m going to lose some fights, or all of them because who knows, maybe I’ll super suck at this. I know I’m going to get knocked down, knocked out even. Maybe I’ll get injured. Broken bones, cuts, bruises to be sure.

And I know I’ll get back up. I want to fight and I want to lose and I want to keep going because that’s what I have to do. That’s Life. There’s giving in, giving up, and saying it’s too hard, and then there’s giving a giant middle finger to Life and saying “Fuck it. I’m going to do what I want to do and you can’t stop me.”

That’s why I want to do this. Because fuck you, Life.

I know I still need to condition. I know it will still be at least a year before I even want to start toeing the subject with my trainers. This is me throwing down the gauntlet, though. This is me declaring to myself that this is something I’m serious about and something I WILL do.

I will be a fighter.

There are very few people in my life who know I am interested in doing this, let alone the fact that I’m seriously going to do it, and even though I’m writing this for all of the Internet to read, I want to keep this information to a very select few.

I don’t want to explain it to Facebook. I don’t want to be discouraged any more than I already have been from something I want to do because “I’m a girl” or “too pretty to get punched” or any of the other things I’ve already heard when I’ve brought this up to people.

I’m going to do it and I don’t need permission to do it. I don’t need people to agree with it, or understand it. Not my brothers, not my lovers. No one. My body, my choices, my consequences.

I’m serious about this. I return to the dojo with a purpose.

Why do I train? Because mom died.

Why do I fight? Because I can.

Those are my answers, my reasons, my justifications and I am content with them. I don’t need other people to be content with them. Just myself.

Hopefully, I’m content enough to now go to sleep because tomorrow is going to suck if I don’t. At least it’s a short day… because you know… 12 hour shifts are short… ;-;

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Daily Post 035: Kidney Stones VS Childbirth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Everything was inconclusive.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That counts.

Daily Post 034: Promise Kept

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I cried today.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I wish I wasn’t so complicated.

Musing Moments 107: As Deeply As I Always Will

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I need to write this.

I don’t view today as special. I never have, and there is a small part of my brain which feels guilty for that though the guilt is not for what I feel, more so because I know other people will be angry from reading that and I do not wish to injure others.

That guilt does not change my feelings, though. I view this day as a joke, like most holidays.

I view Mother’s day as a commercial day harped on as a way to sell items. You only care if you buy something, give something, spend money you don’t have to spend. That’s the only way to show you care. If you are asked if you have plans for this day and you say no you’re suddenly a terrible child. Why wouldn’t you do something for your mother? She brought you into the world, didn’t she?

I always called my mom on this day because I knew it made her smile, but she always smiled when any of us called her. It didn’t matter the day. She always loved to hear from us, to chat, gossip, bitch, comfort, plan, reminisce. It didn’t matter. Knowing we took time out of our days to call her was enough for her to feel special, and so I like to think even though I didn’t value this day in particular above all others, that I still honored her and made her feel loved.

My older brother always had flowers delivered to her. I don’t know how he’s handling the change now that there’s no one to send flowers to anymore. I guess he’s handling it as well as Jon or myself. Coping. What else is there to do other than to keep going?

There are so many days which I miss her. Ache for her. Long for her to still be alive. Days that actually have significant meaning. Her birthday. My birthday. Her deathday. The birthdays of my brothers.

Those days matter to me. Those are significant in my life. Days that actually mark something worth remembering. Not a random day picked by society. She was my mother every day, not just on this day. This day, the 14th of May is meaningless to me, has always been meaningless to me, and will continue to be meaningless.

Even if I were to have a child of my own, it most likely won’t be May the 14th on which I give birth, and so this day will not mark the day I become a mother.

This day isn’t the spring equinox. It’s not a full moon or a new moon. This is nothing special about today other than the importance we are told to place on it.

I have so many days which ache and hurt without society telling me that I am less than because I cannot participate in this day any longer. All of the Facebook posts about remembering the mothers who are in heaven are like sandpaper as if today is the only day to remember them or as if heaven is the only place for them to be because all other religions are wrong. As if today is the only day to feel their absence, or that it should be felt more.

I am here to say, “No.”

No.

I refuse to ache more.

Today is just like yesterday. It’s another day where I cannot call my mom. Another day where I wake up and that fact is still real. She is still dead. Her body, as I knew it, will always remain dead, ashes upon my china hutch, her urn and my memories the only things to remind me that I’m not crazy. I didn’t imagine her. She was real and she was mine as much as I was hers.

She made me who I am. She helped me learn from my mistakes. She gave me hope and strength when I was lost and weak. She held my hand when I needed encouragement and she slapped me with the truth when I needed to be brought back down to Earth.

I refuse to feel emptiness and loss today. I refuse to cry. I refuse to feel shame for my feelings.

This day is meaningless because on all days she was my mother and I will feel her loss in equal measure every day I wake up. Every day I breathe. Every night I lay down and close my eyes.

Every day I am her daughter and I refuse to let society dictate when I should honor that fact.

And yet…

Despite my feelings, despite hating this day and the capitalism I feel it stands for, I still need to say this to you. I still need you to know…

Happy Mother’s day, mom. I miss you as deeply as ever, as deeply as I always will.

Daily Post 030: The Right Direction

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Today has been a good day. This weekend has been a good weekend.

Friday was amazing. It was my first day at my home clinic. The first day meeting the people who will soon be my new teammates. The first day meeting the patients I will be working with three days a week from now until the day they die or move or receive a transplant. The first day meeting my new supervisor; the fourth one I’ve ever had.

It was a good day. One which started at 3 am. I got to the clinic by 5 am. Traffic was non-existent which I was grateful for. I’m ok with early mornings for that fact. Everyone is still asleep. There’s a solitude that I enjoy that can’t be found any other time. A hush. A quiet which I thoroughly enjoy.

I was nervous. I explained to my trainer what I had been cleared to do. We agreed on what I was comfortable with doing. She showed me new things. She explained the layout of the floor for my clinic and how things are divided up between the team members. I learned how to make the needle packs for patients; how much gauze, which tape rolls, how many alcohol and iodine packs.

At the end when I asked my trainer how she felt I did she said I did better than she expected. I was allowed to string the machines and set them to prime and test the alarm systems and though I did make a few mistakes, with my trainer’s guidance I was able to correct them and in most instances, I was able to troubleshoot the issues on my own.

I was able to clean the chairs and machines once the patients were done. I like to think even though I asked a lot of questions that I helped my trainer out a little bit.

My supervisor is one of the kindest people I have met. There’s an aura about him; the way he carries himself, the way he talks to my other teammates and patients. You can tell he cares. He’s genuine and real.

There’s another girl who was training with me on Friday; one from my class. My clinic will not be the one she works at, but it is where, at least for the moment, she is getting the “hands on” portion of our training. It was nice to have her there with me. A familiar face in the sea of new. At the end of our shift, before we went home, my supervisor took us back to the breakroom. He had bought a cake for me and the other team members as a way to welcome me to the clinic.

It was so amazingly fantastic. I felt nothing but welcomed all morning and then to have something like this done for me left me speechless and humbled.

I had felt that having a good morning was my sign that this was the right step forward. Simply having a good day and not killing anyone and feeling my confidence grow as the day progressed was enough. Having a good day was enough to affirm to myself that I can do this and that things would be ok.

But then there was the cake.

I know it’s just a cake, just a balloon. It really doesn’t say anything at all about the future, and I know there will be problems and issues and bad days ahead of me. But it nearly brought me to tears to see my balloon and cake on the table I had taken my break at only a few hours ago.

They took the time to think about me. They wanted me to know I was welcomed. I still feel moved to tears when I think about it.

I cried in my car as I left the clinic. Good tears. Painful tears. I wanted to call mom and tell her about my day. I knew she would have been ecstatic about the cake. She would have been thrilled that my day had gone so well and that I already love what I’m doing.

I talked to her in my car. I don’t talk to her often. I write more than I talk, but I talked to her Friday afternoon. I told her about the cake and my day. I told her I knew she was happy for me. I told her I would be ok.

I went to kickboxing that evening. I enjoyed the class though it was one of the more intense ones. The trainers all have different styles. Some focus more on conditioning, others more on technique and reps. The instructor on Friday was a “conditioning” instructor. My core still hurts from that class. It was worth it, though, and I’m glad I went.

Big Bad and I spent the evening together. I loved all of our time together, but what I loved the most was having my head on his chest and hearing his heartbeat while he held me close. It was the first time in almost a month that I’ve fallen asleep next to someone.

Saturday morning we had coffee with bagels. I came home and meal planned. I made my shopping list then showered and headed out. I went to Target and got blackout curtains since I’m having to go to bed when the sun hasn’t fully set. Next was the dojo for my first jiu-jitsu class in what seems like forever.

I didn’t do well with the technique. It was a roll technique, one they had been training all week, but this was my first day with it. I’m ok with that; not being good or proficient with something new. I was glad I was at the dojo at all. Being there meant more to me than doing well. My sparring rounds weren’t all that awesome either, but again, I didn’t mind. I did better than I thought I would, I stuck it out for all of them, and no one made me tap.

Once class was over I finished my shopping by going to the oriental market. The cashiers there are starting to remember me. It’s a warm feeling.

I came home and prepped most of the veggies. I spent time watching Vikings. It’s a show on Amazon Prime. I’m almost done with season three I think.

I went to sleep fairly early. I slept well and deeply.

Today I woke up and felt low. I figured I would. Two days, both of which were fairly intense and productive… I was actually surprised Saturday hasn’t started that way with how sore I was from kickboxing. I could feel the arrhythmia in my pulse and the tiredness that either comes with it or causes it. I’m not sure which is first.

I didn’t want today to be a low day, though. I still wanted to do things and I didn’t want to let the sadness have a chance to take my day from me. I knew that some form of exercise would most likely correct at least the arrhythmia, which hopefully would at least help with the tiredness and being less tired would hopefully, ideally help keep things in perspective and not allow the sadness to overstep its place.

I didn’t want to do anything intense, but an active recovery like yoga sounded good, especially with how sore my body was feeling.

There had been a post in the dojo’s group earlier in the week about an open mat on Sunday. Normally the dojo is closed on Sunday, but the thought of having all that space to do whatever I wanted to sounded amazing. I didn’t think many people would be there either which would make it even better.

After cooking breakfast and enjoying my coffee I showered and figured out a yoga podcast I wanted to try out.

I was pleased that there were only four other people who showed up. All of them I have seen before, two of them I’ve sparred with previously. They did some conditioning work while I did yoga. Eventually, they started to spar and asked if I wanted to join.

I did, for two rounds. It was really nice. I did better than I had on Saturday. I almost got Akib in a choke hold but the bell sounded before I could finish it, so I guess it wasn’t meant to be. Next time. Just like Big Bad, his days are numbered. >:3

Overall I’m glad I went and I’m glad I sparred, too, even though I hadn’t planned on it. I felt much better afterward, my muscles warm and stretched, no longer painfully tight, and my arrhythmia seemed to be gone.

When I left the dojo I made a trip to Publix for a few missed items, but after that, I came back home and continued to cook my meals for the coming week while watching Vikings. I did a load of laundry towards the end along with cleaning out the water bottle graveyard in my car.

And so here I am at the end of it all, writing it all, remembering, processing, accepting.

I like that I have bruises on my arms again. I like them because they’re reminders of my training. Marks where someone tried to hold me, subdue me and wasn’t able to. I was able to break their grip and though I might not have been able to achieve a position of advantage, I wasn’t tapped out or trapped either.

I like how I made it through the weekend without feeling like I was surrounded by chaos or being overwhelmed. I like how even though I felt low I was able to actively work to alter those feelings. I like how sadness didn’t take away my ability to get things done.

There’s a lot of things I liked about this weekend. More than anything I’m glad I went to the dojo and the gym. I’m glad I brought training back into my life after a week of absence and close to a month of inconsistency.

I don’t want to go that long without training again. I don’t like the ache I feel when I think of having to give it up, or not being able to make my schedule work with it.

I need this in my life still. I want this in my life. It’s one of the things that makes it worth it. And so just like I know my new job is the right direction, so too do I know that I need to keep my training close to me. It’s a part of who I am now. It’s in my heart chakra and I refuse to give it up.

It’s part of myself and I’ll keep moving forward whole, complete, without sacrificing the things that make me me.

I’m done meandering through my thoughts for the moment. I’m tired and ready for sleep and another 5 am wake up call in the morning.

So with that, I take my leave.

Daily Post 029: First Day at Home Base

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Tomorrow is my first day at my “home base”. It’s going to be the first time that I meet my direct supervisor. It’s going to be a day of a lot of firsts and though I’m nervous about it, I’m also confident that I’ll do my best and that it will go as well as it’s supposed to.

Today was my second review. I’m still doing extremely well and my trainer is still impressed with how quickly I’m catching on to things and how versatile I am with working on my own but also actively helping my teammates.

One of the company’s core values is Integrity. My trainer designated me as the teammate exemplifying that value.

I like the difference I feel in myself from the start of last week to the end of this week. I’m ahead in the reading. I have all of my flashcards made. I understand most of the P&Ps. I have a better idea of how to search for the information they want us to know. I don’t mind asking questions when I don’t understand something or if I have a theoretical situation inside my head.

Tomorrow I wake up at 3:30 am. I work 5 am until noon.

I have decided next Friday, payday, that I need to invest in a pair of blackout curtains so I am able to sleep when I need to as well as an extremely good pair of shoes since I will be on my feet anywhere from 8 to 16 hours at a time. I’ve had some good recommendations from the nurses on my team. I also get a company discount through specific stores, so maybe it won’t be as rough as I’m expecting.

I get a discount with Verizon so I might stick with them for a bit longer if I can ever get my phone situation resolved.

Today was the first day that I wasn’t exhausted. I actually got a fair amount done after class. I talked to several people through messages. I wrote to my friend who’s in boot camp. I went to the store because I ran out of coffee creamer.

Yeah… try doing 3:30 am without coffee…

I did laundry so my scrubs are nice and fresh. I relaxed and had a good dinner, and now I’m writing. I thought about going to the dojo, but I wouldn’t have gotten home until a few minutes ago. I wouldn’t have had time to unwind.

I miss the dojo and I can feel how my body wants to go back. It’s been a week which feels like eternity. I think this was the better choice, though. Having a cup of tea, one geared towards relaxation and sleep, writing the last of the day away before sleeping and taking yet another step forward… I like the way this feels. It feels right.

I have had several conversations recently about my grief. I keep comparing it to physical rehabilitation. I know I am injured. I know I need to do things in order to heal, but those things, those actions, hurt and so I don’t want to do them.

I want to be ok, but I don’t want to move forward because there’s still a part of me who feels like each step forward is a step further away from mom. I don’t want to lose her. I don’t want to love her less, and I don’t know why I feel the need to type that because I know moving forward with my life doesn’t have anything to do with my love for her, but I feel those words for some reason.

I don’t want my moving forward to be seen as a sign that I’m ok. That my grief is leaving me. That I don’t hurt as much. That I’m healing. Which I guess that’s sort of counter to everything I’m doing because the whole point IS to heal, isn’t it?

I guess what I really want is for my forward progress to not be mistaken as forgetting. There is no forgetting. Just like with rehabilitation. There will always be the scar, the trauma of the experience. Learning to walk again doesn’t mean you forget that for so long your legs were broken.

Tomorrow is another day where I will ache and hurt and most likely cry and be angry and lost and feel alone.

Today is one year and one month.

13 months in total against 324.

I still count. I don’t know if I’ll ever stop. I don’t know if I want to, to be honest. Every month I count is a month that I’ve survived. It’s a month that I acknowledge. Each month is important and worth noting.

Each step, even if it’s small, deserves to be noted as the accomplishment it is.

There’s a large part of me who doesn’t want to do this tomorrow. I don’t want to get up and meet someone new. I don’t want the weight of reality and knowing that mom will still be dead.

I do want to be the person she raised me to be, though. I want to keep progressing to being able to live on my own. I want to keep learning and helping people and experiencing the amazing things that are in my life, and so even though I know tomorrow will hurt I want to experience it.

Tomorrow night, after everything is complete in my day, I get to see Big Bad.

I’m not sure how I’ll be. I’m worried about that. But I’m not as worried about it as I was with my blacksmith. Big Bad would be ok with just cuddling or playing combat games in silence. Ok… I would most likely be trash talking about kicking his ass the whole time, but still… He wouldn’t mind me being injured.

I don’t think my blacksmith would mind. I know he would understand, and we’ve had several conversations about both of our emotions, but that’s not what last night was supposed to be, and so being allowed to be alone met a lot to me. I didn’t have to go through with a situation that would have left me more injured than before and that means a lot to me.

Maybe I’m not explaining it well, but that’s ok because inside my head I understand. They both fulfill me. My iron linking me to reality and myself, and my warm fur blanket on a winter’s night keeping me safe and secure as snow dusts the earth.

I am looking forward to tomorrow. I’m looking forward to sleeping at the end of it. I’m looking forward to surviving it and noting it as another accomplishment in my long line of accomplishments from last year and into this year.

This is my Year of Stability. Becoming employed and beginning my training was a good first step in that endeavor. Tomorrow is another step. I feel like it will be a big step. But that’s ok. I know I’ll be pushing myself pretty far, but I know I’ll have the weekend to recover from it.

I know I’ll be ok.