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.

 

Musing Moments 111: Looking At The Future

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I don’t know why there’s such an outpouring of writing from me right now. I’ve already written twice in a roughly 12-hour span. Once to my mom, and once to recap a bit; picking up pieces from my shattered yesterday and putting them back in place.

Maybe that’s what all of the writing is for. Examining pieces.

Reflecting.

I guess that’s good. I know I need to sit and assess my mind and emotions. I need to clean house and organize the clutter I’ve let build up within myself.

Training went well. L and I actually had a pretty deep talk at the end. She’s started setting up obstacle courses for me. She makes me run them two or three times at the end of our sessions after I’ve strength trained and can feel my arms and legs doing their damnedest to fall off to avoid further abuse.

She always pushes me to beat my time, and so far I have.

Today, in between my second and third run, while I was sitting and trying to remember how to breathe, she said I was doing really well. With the Evil Voice in my head continuing its relentless harping of “what’s the point in all of this?” I asked her why, internally, felt like I wasn’t.

She asked what I meant and I explained how I don’t train how I used to or as often as I want so I feel like I’m failing there. I’m not where I want to be financially, so I’m failing there. Even in that moment, knowing that I had just beaten my time by twenty seconds, I didn’t feel like I did a good job so let’s add some sprinkled failure to all of the failure in my fail-tastic life.

I said I know logically I’m doing well but why do I not FEEL like I’m doing well?

She said sometimes we get like that. She mentioned that’s how she felt at her last job. How she hated it. How it kept her from everything she wanted. How she felt like all she was doing was spinning her wheels and going nowhere. She said I’m in the process of changing my situation and that I’m doing well and that I need to keep at it rather than getting frustrated or giving up.

I told her that lately on training days I’ve woken up and have thought about calling out; about  not showing and giving in to the sadness I constantly feel. She asked what I felt when I came in to train.

Me: Like I didn’t let it win.

I told her how our past sessions have felt more like physical therapy rather than training. I’ve felt injured and going to the gym forces my body to function in ways that it should but doesn’t want to. It hurts. It takes effort. It’s so much easier to stay at home in my pjs and do nothing. It’s easier to get sucked back into World of Warcraft and to medicate my life away with games.

But I don’t do that. I change into my compression gear. I make sure I have a full water bottle. I get in my car and I drive to the gym and even though I start out slower than normal, by the end I usually do feel better. Better enough to at least get through the things I need to get through for the day.

I told L how it always seems to be at the end of “the hard times” that I reach my limit and I find myself faltering. It’s now, at the end, just before things get better, where I feel I have no reserves; nothing left to give. Where I feel my will giving out and the darkness crushing down around me, trying one last time to force me down so far that I finally don’t stand back up; submitting to the oppressive weight I refused to bend to.

I have two weeks left. Less than that. A week and a half. I have six days of work. Only six. I can make it through that. I can hold on, by my fingertips if need be, for that long.

I WILL NOT BE BEATEN.

I don’t have to win. All I need to do is not lose. Six more days.

I have donating to do today and then studying. I have to rehang my new “business” corkboard since it fell down a few weeks ago. I have my “memory” corkboard in my room; the one with pictures, and letters, and Warrior Dash bibs, and hiking wristbands. It normally hangs above my computer, but since I can’t have that type of setup at the moment, I opted to keep my “memory” board in my room. I don’t want to share those moments with other people, so instead, I got a “business” board to hang above my computer in the dining room.

I bought it a few weeks ago. So far it has the class requirements for my RN degree so I can highlight the courses I’ve taken and visually see my progress. I have the transfer credits for English and Math, so I already have blue highlights over those classes. If I contest my psychology class I might be able to add another mark before I even get started.

This board is my reminder of what I’m working towards. Once RN is complete I can replace it with the physical therapist assistant sheet. Then BSN. Then MSN. Then my doctorate. Each time I reach a new milestone I can add a page on top of it, climbing my mountain one step, one course at a time.

This morning I printed off another paper to add to it. It’s the 52-week money challenge. I want to start that in January. That would be $1378 dollars saved. I don’t know what I want to do with that money. I want it to be my “Me” fund, though, which may seem stupid with how much I bitch about my credit card and “not having money”.

I want to have something for myself other than food and training.

I want to save that money so next year when I take a week off for my birthday I can go somewhere, alone, by myself. I don’t have to spend all of the money I save, but I can if I want to. I can do whatever I want with it because it’s MINE. It’s not for bills, or debt, or obligations. It’s my reward for holding shit together and doing everything I have to do.

It could be my new gear fund. It could be a new gi or a new solid state drive for my computer or a new keyboard instead of keeping the refurbished one I have that randomly double spaces all the time. it could be any number of things that I haven’t gotten for myself.

Maybe I could make it a biannual thing and start off at week 27. Actually, I really like that idea. That way it’s not a full year that I have to wait. I’ll need to ponder over this for a bit, but I like the way it feels at the moment.

I need to see if I can open a second savings account so I can keep that money separate from my normal savings, which has done nothing but diminish.

Kyle said he applied for his old Domino’s position. There’s a part of me that aches at the thought of him going back to a job he hates. I know there is probably a feeling of defeat for him in reapplying. At the same time, I’m grateful. I feel like that means he is keeping his word to me. He said he would apply for “jobs”. He specifically stated it wouldn’t be only CG jobs.

Even if it doesn’t pan out, I’m grateful for his actions.

If it does pan out I know it will help me feel better about having helped him. It would mean I could actually start putting money towards the credit card again. It would mean that Life would be progressing rather than staying stagnate in the mire I feel like I’ve waded into.

It would mean he’s pulling more of his own weight which takes the burden away from me. It would give me the ability to breathe again.

My main source of stress is money at the moment. Work sucks, but I know that’s getting ready to change. I’m getting ready to make more. I’m getting ready to have my days set and spaced out. It will be annoying but not what I would consider stressful. It’s known rather than unknown. It can be worked with and compensated for.

If I can hold on long enough for things to financially right themselves then the tension and uncertainty “should” go away. Then it becomes a matter of focusing on school.

I am stable with work, which was a goal for this year. It wasn’t purely financial stability I was trying to reach, but rather total Life stability.

I needed to come to terms with entering back into the workforce. I dealt with making a career change and getting my foot in the door for a completely different industry. I’ve actually progressed to the point of having goals again and even a roadmap for how to get to where I want to go.

Career-wise, I have a job which will work with me in regards to school. I have a team who cares about me and who supports me. I have a boss who is exceedingly understanding and who actually listens to me when we have conversations. And it’s not that I dislike my work. I dislike how demanding and unthoughtful the system is; how it makes sleep seem like a luxury we indulge in rather than a basic life necessity. I feel that’s most healthcare positions in general, though.

One CNA CANNOT give adequate care to 20 patients who all need to be bathed and dressed. Companies are too focused on bottom line and Excel sheets and metrics. Too many people with a business degree are in charge rather than people who have actually worked on the floor and who understand what their choices actually do. I feel most workers are treated as cells rather than as humans. We are digital text on a screen, expendable, deletable, rather than people with families, lives, goals, hobbies, fears, and insecurities.

I love my patients, and I love my team. I love that I help people and that my patients are grateful that I do the things I do. On days where I’m not overwhelmed with burnout, it does make my job feel like I have a purpose. I matter. My time matters. My actions matter, because all of it goes into keeping someone else alive. It goes into letting them go home to their husband or wife. It lets them go on trips to Tampa to celebrate their 20th anniversary. It lets them see their great grandbaby. It lets them have Thanksgiving.

I WILL NOT stay with this company, but for now, with the changes I hope school forces to happen, I think I’ll be able to stick it out another couple of years. I like the experience I’m getting. I like how I don’t mentally freak out when someone starts bottoming out from hypotension. I know what to do. I’m confident in my choices. I can stabilize the situation and get the required help I need. I’ve seen patients have seizures. I’ve seen a lot of things in my roughly eight months of working.

I want to keep working while going to school because I want the wisdom of experience as well as the knowledge of a degree. I do think if I’m able to find a balance with everything that I’ll be ok.

One of those things I’m considering is changing the time I attend my class in January. At the moment I have it set for 9:30 am. If I don’t get off work until roughly 9 pm it’s going to make training the in morning before school hard. I also do not want to be in the middle of Orlando rush hour traffic in the evening. It may be that training happens in the afternoon and plasma donation happens in the evening.

I could also look into going to a different donation center; one closer to school. Grocery shopping shouldn’t be too bad since there are several stores between here and school.

I guess this is a good sign. I’m acknowledging where there may be friction in the upcoming system and I’m brainstorming workarounds and alterations to relieve that friction. Like with laundry… Maybe it would be best to do it in the evenings when I get home from work. Shower first, toss everything into the wash then go about my evening for an hour, decompressing, eating dinner, prepping for the next day, before switching the wash to the dryer and going to sleep. That way it’s done and not an added item to my to-do list on school days. And even if I can’t tough it out for an hour, I can switch the wash to the dryer in the morning and still have it off of my to-do list before the day even starts.

I don’t know if this writing has really helped. I guess it has. I like how I acknowledged the actions I’m currently doing along with the actions of others. I like how I’ve reminded myself of what is in the very near future. And I like how I’ve changed work to a number of days rather than stretching it into the vast foreverness it felt like before.

Six days.

I have a countdown. I have an end before my restart.

I can do this.

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.