Daily Post 054: Comfortable Sadness

Standard

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.

Advertisements

Daily Post 050: The Aftermath of Irma

Standard

I’ve written a handful of times since my last posting, but never actually posted them. I didn’t have the time to sit and proofread through all of the red squiggle lines of death in the moment and the promise to “get to it later” never happened.

Those writings seem so long ago now. A lifetime ago even though it’s only been a few weeks. I’m not sure if I’ll post them or not. I know I won’t  delete them, but this writing eclipses them and so it seems almost wrong to post. Their time is past.

Honestly, Irma already feels like forever ago and it was only last Sunday, around this time in fact, that the storm actually made its way to Orlando. I remember waking up when the eye passed over because there was a guy outside my window talking on his cell phone. Rude much?

The storm itself wasn’t as scary as some of the ones I stayed through in South Carolina. Floyd is the one I remember being the scariest. I know a lot of people were severely affected by this storm and so I do realize how lucky Warren and I are. The apartment did not sustain any damage and both our cars are fine.

Even though we came through the storm fine the last half of last week and the beginning of this week hardcore sucked.

It started with last Friday being 4 shifts long rather than 3. I was lucky enough to be sent home “early”, around 9:30pm because I had to be back at the clinic at 4am Saturday morning to continue dialyzing patients before the storm.

When I got home Warren asked if his girlfriend could stay with us through the storm. I didn’t have a problem with it at the time. She came over around 6pm on Saturday. By the time the storm hit on Sunday I was ready for her to leave. I was tired of her and Warren making kissy faces at each other and all of the “new relationship energy” filling the apartment.

I just wanted to be home and not around people. I especially didn’t want to feel confined to my room while they took over the living room with a movie marathon. When the storm finally ended there was a curfew in effect until 6pm Monday. When she finally, finally, blessedly left I got a text message from Warren about an hour later saying her apartment was without power, could she come back?

No, but yes because I’m not that much of a jerk even though I wish I could be.

So she came back and I did my best to not focus on the fact that I was going to get no alone time at all on the few days I had off.

Tuesday I didn’t have to go into the clinic until 10am. I went and had breakfast at a Waffle House which was running off of a generator. I left my waitress at $13 tip. I knew her day was going to suck having to work without AC. Hopefully, I helped make her day slightly less shitty.

Tuesday was a crazy day where we ran for four shifts again. The only things I wanted to do when I got home was eat dinner, shower, and go to sleep. That wasn’t in my cards, though. I got home to discover we had lost power at some point during the day.

I ate cold pizza because I couldn’t heat it up. I had a cold shower by the light of my cell phone flashlight. I tried sleeping but wasn’t able to because the air was so stagnant. I had to be back to work at 4am and with each passing hour I felt more hopeless. Wednesday sucked and the entire day I struggled with not breaking down into tears over the smallest things because I was so burnt out and tired.

I had been texting back and forth with Big Bad Wednesday morning. That evening he offered  me to come over to his place since he did have power. I can’t put into words how greatful I was for his offer. I asked if I could shower at his place as well. I had my gym bag with me which meant I had clothes to change into. He said that was fine and that he would see me soon. I stopped at an Arby’s on the way to his place so I could have dinner. Big Bad said he didn’t want anything.

I knocked on his door three times to no answer. There was a larger part than I want to admit to that was worried about him standing me up, or it being some sort of sick joke. I actually walked back to my car and was about to drive away when I decided to try calling him. Maybe he would answer?

He did. He had fallen asleep waiting for me. I can’t blame him.  It was past his bedtime. He opened the door for me and showed me where the towels were before going back to bed. I showered crying silently as the water washed away all of the stress I no longer needed to hold on to. Once I felt clean I sat in the kitchen eating my dinner, enjoying the feeling of being off my feet.

When I finally crawled into bed he wrapped his arms around me and sleepily asked me how my day had gone. We talked for a little while and as we did I could feel myself relaxing and legitimately letting everything go. None of it mattered while I was safe and cared for and away from that part of my life. None of it mattered while I was warm and breathing in his scent. Everything was ok and I would be able to sleep and in the morning I would be able to begin figuring it all out.

I slept amazingly well. Surprisingly well. I felt restored when I woke up in the morning.  I slept so deeply that I don’t remember Big Bad’s alarm going off or him getting out of bed. I don’t remember anything until he came in to wake me up.

We parted ways after breakfast, him to work and me back to my apartment.

I still didn’t have power so there wasn’t much I could do. There wasn’t a point in going food shopping since the fridge didn’t have power. I couldn’t do anything chore related like laundry, dishes, or vacuuming and I didn’t really want to stay in the apartment as the day progressed because it was going to suck not having AC.

While I was trying to figure out what to do my phone notified me that there had been a post on the dojo’s Facebook page so I checked it out. The dojo didn’t have power but they were going to be open at noon for anyone who wanted to come train a bit.

I decided to say “fuck it” to the day. Fuck life, fuck responsibility. I just spent I don’t even know how many hours at the clinic making sure not only my patients but other clinics patients were dialyzed. It felt like it had been an eternity since I had seen sunlight and I had to turn around and be back to work Friday and Saturday.

No. Fuck it. I’m taking today to do whatever I want to do and no one is going to stop me or talk me out of it. I’ve earned today.

So instead of doing the mountain of things I “should have” done, I got on my bike and biked to the dojo where I sparred with five other guys for an hour before biking back home. Instead of going straight home though, biked another mile and got lunch at Moe’s. I sat outside for a while after that resting in the shade, enjoying the breeze and letting my food settle before biking the mile back to my apartment.

I still didn’t have power but I didn’t care. I wanted to rest before driving to the gym for my training session with L. Originally it was supposed to be Tuesday, but Irma had everything shut down for a while. I was honestly surprised I was able to reschedule so quickly.

Just as I was getting ready to leave for the gym my power came back on. It was a relief knowing I would be able to take a warm shower once I got home.

My training session went well. I was able to talk to my trainer about a lot of things that have been on my mind. I don’t know if I really want to get into all of it right now, but part of it is the possibility of going back to school for an Exercise Science degree. Not because I want to get a different job. Just because I think it’s interesting and I want to learn more and because the thought of doing it makes me happy.

I talked to my younger brother about it. He’s supportive while at the same time not. He doesn’t think it’s smart to invest a bunch of money and time into something that I’m not going to actively seek a financial benefit from.

At the moment I’m in a “fuck it” mindset with my finances. Not that I’m being reckless, at least not anymore reckless than normal. I’m tired of setting goals to “pay this off” or “get rid of that debt” only to constantly, consistently, fail at doing it because other people won’t pay me the money they owe me.

I just spent $300 on personal training sessions instead of paying down my credit card, and for once I don’t care. I get more fulfillment out of training than I do out of making an extra payment on my card.

Maybe this is a bit self-destructive of me. Maybe this is selfishness. But right now, in this moment, on this blank page where I can actually begin to address my feelings over my situation openly and honestly, I’m angry.

I’m hurt and angry. I still don’t know how I’m going to make things work in October. I’ve openly communicated my situation over and over again to no avail.  Nothing has changed. All I have are hollow, empty, useless promises.

So I’m done with those goals. I don’t know how to make things work but I know it’s not going to be by sacrificing the things that I want. I’m not going to give up the dojo. I’m not going to give up the gym. I’m not going to give up myself because I’ve done that over and over again for the past nine years and it’s gotten me nothing.

So yeah. Screw that. Fuck that, actually. I feel alive at the dojo. I feel alive when I train. I feel like living it worth it when I’m able to bike in the sun and feel the wind moving past me, my legs burning and aching from the effort of maintaining my speed on my highest gear.

I’m letting go of my financial goals because they’ve only ever made me feel like a failure at life. Like I’m not adulting well enough. Warren agreed to pay part of the interest I’ve accrued on the card due to him not paying me back. That brings his total to around 8k for what he owes me. If he paid me that in one lump sum I could almost pay off the card completely. Hell, I could pay it off with the remaining money I have from mom.

But that’s not going to happen. He doesn’t make enough for that to work. With Irma, he hasn’t been able to work at all this past week so I most likely won’t get his rent payment yet again. At least this time there’s a legitimate reason for it. It still sucks though, and it still leaves me in a worse off position than I was, and I still don’t care that I spent the money I did on myself rather than saving it for situations like this or putting it towards something that has no hope of being gotten rid of in the near future.

I’m done sacrificing my life and fulfillment.

My new goal, the one I’m giving my focus to, is to run the Spartan race that will be in Florida in December.

Tuesday I go and find out information about the Exercise Science degree, then later this week, hopefully, I’ll be able to talk to my FA about changing my work schedule.

I’ve proven that I can work the hours I was scheduled because I did work them. And it sucked. Sucked to the point that I had to have other people talk me out of not quitting my job.

I know I need a job to survive. I want one that’s fulfilling. I want one that allows me to have a life outside of work. One that lets me still be true to myself. And one that pays enough for me to be able to support myself. I think my FA will be willing to work with me a bit more now that I’ve proven myself to be an asset. I’m worth keeping around. I’m a hard worker. I get along with my teammates and the patients. I am reliable and for the most part, I’m pretty flexible.

I want to cap my days at 3. They can be three 16 hour shifts or three 12 hour shifts or a mix of whatever they need me to work, but three days. That’s it. That’s all I want to give. I’ll figure out something if it’s not enough hours. They can use my PTO to bump it to 36 hours if I’m short because 36 is what I budget on.

There are all these things that could be done as a way to compromise. I can still be an asset and valuable, but I want to be fulfilled and happy with my life at the same time.

Going back to school is one of those things that will give me happiness and fulfillment. I like learning. I have always desperately wanted to take an anatomy and physiology class. That’s going to be what I take in January hopefully.

Finding a compromise with work so I can still actively and consistently train is another thing which I want to address. That’s where the day cap comes into play. I can work three days, train hard three days, then have a day to recover. That would give me time for school as well when that begins.

Increasing my pay is another aspect I want to explore since a lot of my stress is still financial. I found out I can take my certification test whenever I want. I had been told there was a waiting period, but I guess there isn’t. It’s something I want to clarify with my FA. It would be a dollar increase for me. There might also be additional things I can do to increase my wage.

For a while, I didn’t have any real goals and I think that’s why it was so dark for me all the time.

My goal of “get a job” was accomplished. It then became “become secure with job” so I poured everything into it. I worked whatever was needed. I didn’t speak up all that much if I had to give up something in order to make work happy. But I can’t keep going the way things are.

Something has to change. My goal is no longer “survive”. My goal now is “conquer”. I will run the Spartan. I will become a fighter. I will go back to school and I’m not going to let something like work stand in my way.

If compromises can’t be reached then I’ll begin looking elsewhere. I got one job in the medical field. I can get another. I can always go back to using my animation degree. I have options. I’m not stuck even though for a while it felt like it.

I have a destination in mind. Now it’s just figuring out how to get there.

Daily Post 049: Learning to Care

Standard

I wrote on Tuesday. Tuesday evening, specifically.

Wednesday seemed like another awful day full of overwhelme. I went to the gym after work again. Well, actually… first I went to the dojo. I had kept that as my shining light at the end of the tunnel all day. I could make it through all of the hectic, crazy bullshit because at the end of it I could go to my dojo.

I didn’t get out of work early enough, though. I’m sure rain during rush hour traffic didn’t help with getting me there in record time. By the time I made it to the dojo there was only 30 minutes left of the Muay Thai class and I didn’t have my gi for the following jujitsu class. It sucked realizing my time was going to be so short; almost pointless. I did stay until the end of Muay Thai and it was a good workout, though light and short.

I did stay until the end of Muay Thai and it was a good workout. I bruised the crap out of the top of my foot. I wanted, needed, to get as much out of my body as I could for those few minutes so I pushed harder, kicked harder, and allowed the pain to start washing the day away.

It wasn’t enough to get rid of the angst and tension from work, though, and that was frustrating. It wasn’t enough to make me feel ok.

Sadly, frustratedly, I bowed out for Muay Thai then headed to the gym so I could try running the rest of everything off. The machine I picked to run on hadn’t been reset and I didn’t realize that until I had already been on the treadmill for a song or two. I didn’t care. I wasn’t on it for the numbers that night. I was on it so I could be ok. So I could go home. So I could not cry.

I ran well. I ran faster than I think I ever have, going past 7 mph. At least I think that’s what the number on the treadmill means. Who knows.

By the time RunKeeper told me my workout was done I knew that I needed to stop, otherwise my legs were going to regret it and I would be forced to take extra recovery days. I still wasn’t ok, though. Why couldn’t I shake these feelings, damnit?! What did I have to do?

I didn’t have an answer for myself so I went to the sauna and sat for a bit, trying to meditate my way to inner peace, but that too didn’t work. Nothing seemed to work.

I hurt and felt like a failure and nothing was soothing over the wounds of the day. I was still bleeding out emotionally.

I left the sauna and sat on the first steps of the pool in the gym, soaking my feet in the cold water as I sent a text to my younger brother. I couldn’t call mom. I’ll never be able to call mom. But I could still talk to Jon. I could still hear his voice and tell him that everything sucked.

Me: Busy?

After a few minutes, he replied with no, asking what was up.

I said nothing important. It had been a rough day at work and that I wanted to hear his voice.

He called and we talked for about an hour as I sat in the pool not caring about who heard my conversation.

I explained the past two work days. How I had to work with my head RN and how it always seemed like I did everything wrong in front of her. How days seemed bad now even though recently they had been good, amazing even. We talked about why my RN’s opinion means so much to me. How mom had been an RN and maybe this was my way of getting “mom’s approval” and praise.

It was a good conversation, one which I had silent tears for part of. We talked about his trip back home for the eclipse. We talked about his part time job at the school. We talked about his roommates and mine. By the end of the conversation, I was feeling better. I felt solidly grounded in reality and not falling through the chaos in my head.

I went home and slept deeply not caring about any chores that may have needed to be done. They could wait. Tomorrow would be another 24 hours.

Thursday I slept all day. Ok… not all day. I did get up and rewash the load of laundry that I never switched over to the dryer. But aside from that I really didn’t do much. Pretty sure I showered. I think I chatted with Warren briefly. But for the most part, it was me recovering from Monday and Wednesday.

Yesterday put things into perspective. I worked. It was another rough day. I was sitting in the breakroom during my lunch break when two of my coworkers also came in for lunch. One of them mentioned how I looked “perturbed”.

I said that it felt like the day had been a disaster so far and I could never figure out what happened on rough days to make it domino into such a crap-tastic time. I also acknowledged the fact that I really didn’t know how badly we had done with getting patients on the machines at their scheduled time and that it was entirely possible that things were fine and it was just my perspective on how things were going that was skewed.

They both gave me advice, mostly revolving around “don’t sweat it.”

There’s only so much that my team can do, and the only thing we can consistently do is our best. I’m not going to stop caring because that’s the whole reason I changed careers, but I think I need to adjust what I care about. I can’t care about literally everything because if I do this job is going to kill me. I need to save it for the important things.

Turn over is always going to be organized chaos. There are too many variables for it not to be. One patient might become hypotensive while another takes a longer time clotting and bleeds through their gauze a few times while at the same time another patient wants to come off the machine 15 minutes early, adding to the chaos.

Other times it might run smoothly with no deviations from the expected or intended schedule.

Every day is different. I can’t hold onto the thoughts of, “This isn’t how it’s supposed to happen.”

I guess that’s a lot like having to let go of the life I thought I would have. I thought mom would still be alive. I thought I would have her for another 20 years with her and that she would live long enough to see Jace graduate and become a karate ninja samurai. I thought things would be different, but they’re not. Things are how they are.

I guess that’s the mentality I need with my work days. It doesn’t matter what I thought the day would be like. The day goes how it goes regardless of what I want or expect. “Go with the flow.” “Don’t sweat it.”

It’s not that I don’t care. It’s more like I won’t waste energy on trying to change the course of a river. I can’t change it, I can only go with it and let the current do all of the work. The destination is still the same. I’ll still reach the end of my day. I’ll most likely still be tired at the end of it, but I think one method will leave me with much less stress and inner tension than the other.

I don’t know if I’ll actually be able to implement this new mentality right away. I think it will take some time, but it’s something I’m going to try. Those moments where I feel overwhelmed and like chaos is raining down all around me I’m going to try to remember to step back and let go of trying to control it all. I can’t control it, I can only go with it.

The rest of the day went better after the conversation with my coworkers. All of the third shift patients got put on their machines. I was able to make needle packs for the following day as well as close down the machines we were no longer using. I was able to go to the stockroom and get the supplies we were out of or low on. I was able to update all of the documentation. I was able to finally breath is what it felt like.

I left work around 5 pm. I didn’t want to go to the gym. The dojo was doing randori which I don’t feel I’m ready for. Title Club was still closed as they transition to a new location, and to be honest I don’t think I would have wanted to do anything physical anyway.

Instead, I thought about what I wanted to do with my evening. I needed closure. Something to signify my night was done and that I was now able to relax.

I ended up getting dinner at a little place called Viet-Nomz. They have amazing food, and it’s an extremely small establishment near my apartment which encourages social dining. I’m not sure if that’s actually a thing but it reminds me of one of the customs in Germany where it’s socially acceptable to share tables with strangers as long as you ask if you may sit with them.

Since it was dinner time they were fairly crowded, but I was ok with that. I sort of wanted that feeling; being part of, lost in, the crowd. I sat across from two girls who were chatting together. I put my headphones in and ate my rice bowl. This was my reward for surviving; a bowl full of carbs and protein. Good music and a moment of not having to worry or care.

It was an extremely fulfilling meal. Once I was finished I headed home. I did make a detour to CVS for some Icy Hot patches for my back. It’s been bothering me lately and those have helped in the past.

When I got home I didn’t bother with the kitchen. I took my shoes off and headed straight upstairs to my room. I didn’t bother with anything other than showering and putting one of the patches across my lower back. I changed into comfy clothes and scrolled through Facebook for way longer than I care to admit until I finally crawled into bed. By that point, I didn’t even bother to take out my contacts I was so tired.

My alarm went off at 2 am since I forgot to turn it off. That’s when I figured taking out my contacts would be a smart move. I drank so water while I was up then when back to sleep until about 9 am.

I’m currently at Perkins. My breakfast has been eaten. I’m working on my second up of coffee. I have an appointment for a deep tissue massage at 6:30 this evening. I’m going to be going to kickboxing at 1pm since it’s the grand reopening for Title Club. I have a few odds and ends as far as doing chores goes, but overall it’s a pretty low energy / recovery day. Same with tomorrow I think.

I was supposed to have a sleep over with Mother Earth this evening, but she’s feeling under the weather so we’re going to reschedule our girl time. Big Bad and I have plans to see each other for our scheduled Monday evening. One of my coworkers wants to split my Monday shifts with me, so instead of 4 am I would go in at 10 am and still leave by 5 pm. That gives me time to go to the gym in the morning, shower, eat, and start my week off the way I would really like to. I think that will be a fantastic change for me. I won’t be getting as much overtime, but I also won’t be nearly as burnout as I’ve been fearing I would be. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this change works for both of us since she needs the hours.

I still have the blog award nomination I need to write for, but I think I will save that for either later today or tomorrow. I think I want to go back home for a little bit and rest before going to kickboxing.

I guess looking back at it, this week hasn’t been bad. It’s been long and it’s had a lot of stress, but it’s had a lot of positive moments, too, and for the next two days I’m off and I plan to fully, thoroughly, enjoy them.

Part of learning to care is learning to care for myself. I think a few days of introverted downtime is what I need and I’m not going to give myself shit for it.

Daily Post 047: Breakfast Reflection

Standard

I wrote this earlier today but didn’t get a chance to proof it until now, not that I’m really too worried about typos. It’s already 9 pm and I have a 2 am wake up call to go running at the gym. I’m hoping I’m dedicated enough to actually pull it off.

 

Anywho… without further ado, I present the ramblings of my brain.

 


 

After a week I’m finally able to enjoy my Perkin’s breakfast. Though to be fair, it’s closer to noon so it most likely counts as lunch rather than breakfast, but it’s my first meal of the day even though I’ve been up since seven, so it’s still breakfast in my book.

There’s a kid in the booth next to me being slightly loud. I can hear him through my headphones, but even that isn’t really enough to detract from the peace I feel at finally being able to sit and complete this thing, this action I’ve been wanting to do, which is really nothing.

Literally, nothing.

I can sit and give that my full attention. Breathing. Being. Bask in the feeling of being alive and not having to go anywhere, do anything. Of not having to worry about fucking up at work. Not having to worry about chores or errands or obligations or time constraints.

I can finally take a moment to sit and acknowledge that I have survived up to this point.

The past few days have been rough emotionally. I’m slipping back to that place where most things, all things, feel pointless. Why do them? We all die. We all have hardships and struggles and they only ever end when we do. There’s always a new obstacle and so really what’s the point? Why try? Especially when mom’s not here to see any of it. Not the stress, the effort, the failures, the triumphs.

There’s only myself.

Logically, I know there are other people in my life but when my brain gravitates to this area, this saddened, wounded place within myself, I feel alone. I’m hyper aware of the fact that every person in my life is mortal. Everyone I love, at some point, will die, and so even though they are in my life eventually they won’t be, and so it’s hard to argue with the loneliness.

That’s one thing I learned from mom’s death and I’m not sure if my take on it is healthy or not.

Everyone dies.

Even the people closest to you. They’ll leave, or you will, eventually. It’s sad, morbid, maybe, but those qualities do not make it less of a fact. Less true. That’s part of life. It’s why I’ve changed the way I evaluate my relationships and the hurts I feel from those I care about.

Are they worth the pain? The miscommunications, the angry comments, the criticisms, regrets, guilt. Is the person I’m having these emotions over worth it? When they die will they be worth the pain I’ll feel?

The answer for most of the people in my life is yes. They are worth it.

I look at the people I love. I see their mortality and I accept that when they pass, if they pass before me, that I will hurt, ache, mourn, maybe even grieve, though not on the same scale as I grieve for mom. I accept that the pain I will feel is the balance. It will let me know that my love was, is, real. That our relationship existed in the infinite vastness of our universe and that, for me at least, it meant something deep.

The few people who are in my life who I don’t feel are “worth it” I find myself growing more and more distant with and I’m ok with that distance. With work taking so much more of my time I don’t regret not putting energy into something I don’t legitimately want.

But still, even valuing the relationships I have, cherishing them for the love and support I am freely given, they aren’t mom. They can never be mom.

I don’t seek their approval the way I did her’s. I don’t want their praise as much as I desperately wish I could hear her say she’s proud of me one last time. I can’t embrace them the same way I did her because they aren’t, can never be, her.

I’ll never forget those words, spoken through cracked lips while we talked in her hospital room.

I have always been proud of you.

I know she’s proud of me.

Sitting here, surrounded by other people going about their day; getting lunch with family members, having a business meeting,  or what appears to be an awkward first date, I’m sitting here allowing myself to realize that I’ve still survived and that even though I don’t understand it, it’s not pointless.

I save people every day I go to work. I know she would think that’s amazing.

The other day I had one of my patients thank me and tell me I did well. Very often my patients tell me they don’t feel any pain when I cannulate them. I finally earned the trust of one of our more finicky patients. She allowed me to cannulate her for the first time last week after which several of my coworkers came up to me and told me “good job!” and that they were pleased with how I handled myself.

I had another patient not want to come into the clinic one day. I went outside to talk with him. He sat in his wheelchair and wouldn’t look at me while he said he didn’t want to go to his treatment. When I asked why he said because he was tired. He was tired of going inside, of sitting in a chair for four hours every other day. He didn’t want to do it anymore.

My heart broke while I knelt in front of him holding his  hand and listening to him because I know those feelings. I know what it’s like to be tired of trying.

I’m tired of waking up. I’m tired of mom being dead. I’m tired of being tired.

I asked him if he knew what would happen if he didn’t get his treatment. He said yes. I told him I understood that he was tired, that he didn’t want to come inside. I told him he didn’t have to come in, but that I did have to tell the charge nurse that he wouldn’t be there. He said he knew I would.

Before I got up I asked him if I could give him a hug. He said yes, so I stood and wrapped my arms around him in empathy. I told him that I hoped he felt better as I squeezed just a little bit tighter even though I knew that I couldn’t take away any of the tiredness or pain. All I could do was let him know that I knew it sucked and that I cared.

He said thank you and we both had tears in our eyes as I walked back inside. I told the charge nurse about the patient not wanting to come in. She nodded her head and went outside herself shortly after. About 30 minutes later I saw the RN coming in, pushing the patient’s wheelchair. They got him set up and when I had a second I went over and spoke to him again.

Me: I’m glad you’re here.
Patient: I came in because of you.

I’m still moved by that comment. It’s hard not to have tears running down my cheeks while my coffee sits in front of me growing cold, while other people around me laugh, while the kid next to me bangs things on the table, I’m trying so hard not to break down as I think about this one patient and how I made a difference for him.

Every time I have seen this patient I make sure to say, “I’m glad you’re here,” because I am. I’m glad that he’s still fighting, that we both are. I’m glad we’re able to see each other even if it’s under the shitty circumstances of kidney failure.

I’m glad I wrote about that event finally. I’m glad I solidified it through text rather than letting it remain a memory inside of my skull. It’s on paper now. It’s real. It happened. I touched someone’s life and showed them it was worth the struggle and pain. And like wise they have touched my life even if I still stumble from time to time.

I’m glad I wrote about all of these moments because it’s allowing me to remember the good points. The moments where I don’t feel lonely and where I feel like life is worth living and that I really do have a purpose.

I’ve been sad. I’ve been lonely, and it’s not a loneliness that anyone can fix. This is grief. It will always be here within my chest, within my heart. The only thing I can think to do is to keep breathing. I’m not ready to give everything up and I don’t know why. There’s not a point to do anything, but there’s not a point to not do it either.

I guess it comes back to the beginning of my writing and the feeling of being alone.

I truly only have myself. I’m not ready to leave that. I still want to prove to myself that I can do the things I want. I still want to be a fighter. I still want to learn to dance. I still want to run my Warrior Dash. I still want to have my cups of coffee. I still want to play Witcher 3 and kill monsters in horrifically horrible ways. I still want to love the people I love.

I’m not ready for any of that to end.

I don’t really know where I’m going with this writing. To be honest, this wasn’t how I had intended it to go, but it has been soothing. I don’t hurt as much as I did before I sat down, yet in some ways I hurt more. Maybe that’s healing.

The new scheudle for work came out. I’m scheduled for four days every week for the next six weeks. In some ways I’m happy. That means I should get a handful of overtime hours every week. There’s only one week where I’m working three days in a row. The other weeks are pretty spread out so I shouldn’t be too burnt out from the schedule. If it becomes too much I can always trade / give away days to someone else.

On the other side, I’m worried about being too tired for the gym or training. I’m worried about feeling like all I do is work and being so exhausted on my days off that all I do is sleep.

My worry about the schedule factored into my mood last night. I sulked as I played my game, thinking about all the time I wasn’t going to have to do things because of work. It carried over into this morning, though I did recongize that I had more energy than previous days.

Eventually, I got up and showered. It took two hours for me to pull myself out of bed, longer than I feel it should have, but I did, eventually, do it and that action seemed to kickstart things. After I dressed I sat at my computer and made a small to-do list, refraining from adding too many tasks. I wanted to keep it short and sweet. I didn’t want to overwhelme my day off with a massive list that I wouldn’t be able to finish.

No. Just enough to get things done. Enough to feel accomplished. That’s what I needed. To feel like I did things and that I achieved something.

Updating my calendar was one of those things.

After putting the work dates into the computer along with my workout times I think I can find a balance. I also think I know what I need to start doing as far as caring for myself goes.

Sunday will ALWAYS be a rest day. I’ve staked that claim solidly into the ground. No obligations. Ever. That is MY day. If I choose to share it with someone, cool. If I want to do chorese, awesome. But it will never, EVER, be an obligation day.

It will be my “go out for breakfast” day. My “free time to write” day. My “video game” day. My introverted “I’ve trained and worked the past six days the rest of the world can catch on fire and burn, silently” day. My “zero fucks given” day.

Since Tuesday is my other guaranteed day off, that will by my main chore day. Laundry specifically since I need to have some sort of routine for that. I need to know when my work / workout clothes reset. I need to know I can pack my gym bag and have srubs ready to go. I need clothes to not be a stressor in my life, and knowing when they will get cleaned helps with that. It makes things reliable, structured.

So Tuesdays, always, without fail, first thing in the morning so it’s already halfway done, will be laundry day.

I think I’m going to have to change the way I meal prep slightly since I very rarely will get concecuative days off now. I think I’m going to try preping one or two meals at a time rather than having a week’s worth of food ready. That means I’ll be cooking more than once a week, but for smaller intervals. I can also work it to where one meal is a baked dish so I can use the oven while also cooking something on the stove.

Salads are another easy option to add into the mix. So maybe getting three meals prepped in a single day isn’t as hard as I’ve been making it. Maybe my system doesn’t need to change as much as I think it does. Maybe I just need to be more conscious of the cooking methods for the meals I choose.

I suppose we’ll see. Food isn’t a huge stressor for me. I know I can provide for myself, even if it means grabbing a handful of things from the gas station on the way to work because I ran out of pre-made stuff at home.

My biggest concerns are remaining active in my training and continuing to adjust to work. I still need to find that balance between the two and not lose myself in the process.

I feel like this has been a productive writing. It definitely let me reflect and consciously accept different aspects of my life.

It feels good to know I have a dedicated “off” day to reset myself and a dedicated “chore day” to reset for work.

I think with having those two I’ll be able to figure out how everything else fits in over the course of the next six weeks.

Well, my breakfast is most likely good and cold by now. I feel better. A lot better actually. Stable. Solid. Like I have an idea of how to live my life and still take care of things. I’m going to go so I can eat and finish off my to do list.

Thanks for being here for me, mom, even when I’m not always here for myself.

Daily Post 046: A Couple of Stories and the Rest of Everything Else

Standard

There are a few things I want to write about.

Recapping my time off
The wallet story
The key fob story

And so I suppose I should start with the wallet story since I mentioned that in my last post.

I don’t remember what day it was exactly anymore; a sad consequence of my lack of writing. Time and events blur together. I remember the emotions, but the time frame gets muddled. After looking at my calendar, I guess it was last Friday.

I woke up after surviving two days at work. They were good days and I was looking forward to my morning. I had planned to go to Perkins for breakfast and coffee; a quiet way to start the day where I could plan my to-do list, figure out the shopping and what chores I wanted to get done.

All was going well. I wasn’t able to locate my wallet right away but I didn’t put much thought into it. I had gone to the store the night before and most likely had forgotten to put it back into my gym bag. I’ve left my wallet in the center console of my car by accident before. All was well. No harm, no foul.

Nothing boded well when I went out to my car and saw the glove compartment open. I  don’t keep anything in my car, so nothing seemed to be  missing. Owner’s manual was still there along with my proof of insurance. Even the ancient GPS system my mom bought me for my 18th birthday was still there. I did notice that the small, black coin pouch I had was missing, though, and my wallet was still MIA.

Further adding to my conclusion that someone had been in my car was how the driver’s side door wasn’t fully shut. Luckily the car battery wasn’t dead, but my relaxing day had now turned into a “fuck… well… how do I replace all my shit before work tomorrow” type of day.

I started by calling my brother. I had plans to go to Daytona to watch the marching band he’s been working with perform. I let him know what was going on and that I would try my best to be there, but that I had to take care of life first. He wished me luck and told me to keep him posted.

I next went to the bank and explained my situation. I needed to get a license so I could have a form of ID, but I needed money to do that and I had no way of getting access to my account without my cards.

Luckily the bank let me answer a bunch of questions about my accounts after which they gave me $50 to get a new license. Hooray for being able to answer questions about myself.

Once I had the money I went to the DMV. I would say ours is pretty terrible, because in general I think there’s a law that says DMVs have to suck, but mine is actually sort of, kind of cool as far as DMVs go.

They use an app where instead of getting a number, you can use your phone number. They text you updates about your wait time so you don’t have to spend three hours sitting doing nothing. You can still go out and do things.

I couldn’t do any if the grocery shopping, but I could go to my training at the gym without much worries about losing my spot in line, so I did. It was a good training session and it helped with my stress levels even though things were going fairly smoothly all things considered.

By the time training was done my spot in line had come and gone. Not to fear, though. With the app, you’re allowed to join the front of the line once. So I drove to the DMV with my “box of important papers”. It’s a portable filing container where I keep things like my social security card, my pass port, past bills, tax forms. You know, things that can be used for identification or things that should be held on to. I took the whole damn box with me because there was no way in hell they were going to turn me away for not having the “right” papers.

Irrational Right Brain: Bitch, I have every paper you could possibly ask for. Give me a freaking license.

Well, I got to the DMV, all proud of myself for getting things taken care of and not freaking out the way I would have when I had first moved away from home. I hit the J key in reply to the DMVs message to rejoin the line only to be told that “This line is closed. Please try again later.”

Umm… what?

*Hits J again*

“This line is closed. Please try again later.”

*Franticly continues to hit the J key*

The result didn’t change. I tried downloading the app on my phone, but it took forever and I grew impatient with waiting. I tried to rejoin the queue from the kiosk but it said my number was already in the system and wouldn’t let me join again.

Ok, so at this point I was about to flip shit because there was no way I was going to be able to get this done on Saturday because I had work, and I didn’t know what the hours were on Sunday, but I didn’t want to waste my Sunday trying to finish something I could have / should have gotten done in one day. Not to mention that I was going to drive to Daytona with or without a license, though with would have been preferable.

I got in line to talk to the chick behind the window. You know, the one who hates her life because she only ever gets the really stupid questions and she’s always having to repeat herself. Yeah, that chick.

The guy in front of me had the same issue, so at least when I got up to her I knew what was going on. They had reached max capacity for the day. We couldn’t rejoin the line from the app because it was no longer accepting people. She did some sort of IT voodoo magic and added me back in line and my number was literally the next one to pop up on the screens in the waiting room.

Total score. Mrs. I Hate My Life Chick is still my hero to this day.

I went through the door to the counter I was assigned. I told the other “I Hate My Life” DMV employee what was going on. For the low low price of $30 and a new picture, I was able to get my replacement license and get the hell out of Dodge. I went back to the bank, got my new debit card issued and went to the car dealership to make an appointment to get a new key fob for my car since that was the whole reason my car hasn’t been locked for over a year and a half.

Which brings me to the key fob story, but before delving into that I want to conclude the wallet story with saying that I made it to my brother’s performance and immensely enjoyed being around a marching band again. It solidifies the fact that one of my goals in life is to own a 3 1/2 octave marimba of my own because I miss having the means to play music.

Fast forward a few days… I had to go to the front office to talk to the secretary. Warren’s truck got towed while he was at work and he wanted me to figure out what was going on. That’s a whole different story, one I might get into, but the big takeaway here is that while I was waiting for the sectary to get off the phone she pulled out my wallet from a drawer.

Once she was off the phone she explained that she had found it in the drop box that morning and was about to call me. I guess who ever took my wallet felt bad that there was literally nothing in either it or my car worth any sort of value and gave it back.

I’m happy they did. I couldn’t find a replacement wallet I liked. I love my Thundercats wallet and even though I’ve replaced everything of importance in it already, I’m grateful to have the wallet itself back. Memories and all that.

So… on to the key fob thing…

When I first got back to Orlando I ended up staying at an extended stay for a while. I was trying to figure out what to do with my life after mom died, and every time I settled on what I was going to do all of the information changed and so my plans had to be reevaluated. It sucked and for a long time I lived in the nebulous sort of uncertainty.

While all of that was going on the key fob for my car started falling apart. I kept having to snap it back together. I did that about four times before the key fob started acting weird. It wouldn’t lock the doors properly. I had to mash the key several times before it would work. Then it started having issues unlocking… That sucked because I didn’t want the alarm to be on and me not be able to get into my car.

I knew getting a replacement fob was crazy expensive, so I decided to forgo the fob and just use the regular key. Since I wasn’t keeping anything valuable in my car I didn’t care about locking it. And after a year and a half of no bad incidents, I really didn’t see a pressing point in dropping a ton of money on something I didn’t need.

Well… having your wallet taken from an unlocked car sort of sucks. So I made an appointment to have a new fob programmed.

The morning I went to the dealership to have it taken care of the check-in girl asked me if I had ever tried to replace the batteries.

No. I hadn’t. To be honest I didn’t even know it took a battery until I had talked to my younger brother the previous Friday. I had just figured because the fob was falling apart that the malfunctioning was associated with that.

She said the fob wasn’t lighting up which was a stronger indication of an issue with the battery and that we should try that first. I told her I felt like I was breaking rule 101 of troubleshooting by not trying that myself. We went to the parts room, got a battery, walked back to my car, and poof! Working key fob.

That saved me about $300. Yeah. No joke. That’s how much they wanted in total for a new fob plus programming it to work with my car. What the fuck, right?

So that ended up being a pretty awesome and worthwhile endeavor. I am now in the process of relearning to lock my car whenever I get out of it. I also have an updated picture on my license which is pretty cool since I’ve lost so much weight. It would have been nice if it hadn’t of been such an involved process, but all things considered, I’m happy with how both situations turned out.

The thing with Warren’s truck was that his tags were expired. He was given notice to update them and never did so I really don’t feel sorry. I’m glad he was able to take care of it and got his truck back. He’s also been paying rent on time though he’s still dodgy when it comes to the chores. I still don’t want him as a roommate for the coming year, but there’s not much I can do about that. I don’t foresee the credit card being paid off anytime soon, so for the next year at least I’m where I’m at. At some point, I hope for that fact to not feel like sandpaper inside my skull and to find some sort of peace with it. We’ll continue to see how things go in that department.

I went to the dojo last Monday evening. That was fantastic. I got mat burn on the top of my left foot which sucked. Friction burns always feel like pure alcohol is being poured over an open wound. It made work hard because of the pressure from wearing closed toed shoes. Not that sandals would have felt any better. There were two spots, not just one, and the top one lined up perfectly with the strap of my sandal. FML.

I’m glad to say they’ve healed nicely and that I should be ok.

Because of my foot, I didn’t go to the dojo the rest of the week. I did go to my training at the gym. We’re going to be increasing my weights tomorrow. My trainer wants to push me and I told her I can take more because I can. She had me flipping the 220 tire last time. Woo.

Work has been going well. There’s a new RN being trained at our clinic, so I’m no longer the super new person. I didn’t get a chance to talk to the new guy a lot, but he seems nice. I think he’ll be ok. He used to work at one of the hospitals, so while I don’t really know his story, he has medical experience so I think his transition won’t be as hard as what mine was.

This was the first week where I’ve worked overtime. I worked four days, three of them in a row, and that was brutal. It’s taken me two days to recover to the point I’m at and even now I’m not sure I’m fully with it. Way better than I was, but still low and pretty introverted. It doesn’t help that it feels like I’m getting sick.

I noticed it yesterday. My throat was sore and my nose was runny. Today my throat was worse. I feel fine physically. I’m not exhausted like what I was from working so much, but still. I know I’m not at my best.

Despite all that I feel like I’ve been productive-ish the past few days.

I got the car washed and vacuumed so it’s not icky anymore. I’ve cleaned my bathroom, washed my sheets and comforters. I’ve washed the clothes, cleaned out the fridge, and run the dishwasher.

I also bought the complete edition of Witcher III and played that last night while eating pizza and drinking. I haven’t gamed like that in I can’t remember when. It was nice. I’ve played a bit this morning as well. Indulging and all of that.

Big Bad and I saw each other Saturday evening. I spend most of Saturday sleeping, recovering from my three 12-hour shifts. We met for dinner then went to his place. There was a brief session of sexy time, but we both ended up falling asleep before 9 pm and slept through the night. We had breakfast and coffee in the morning before going out to start our days.

I was supposed to see Mother Earth but that’s been changed to Thursday. Hopefully, the tired, sick, introverted feeling I have now is gone by then.

There’s still a few chores I want to do, one of them being “go to the store” which I really don’t want to do but I would rather get it over with and have food to eat for the coming week then not doing it and being screwed. I’m most likely going to do a rotisserie chicken from the deli along with a frozen lasagna or something to that effect. I don’t feel like spending time in the kitchen cooking, so I need to find decent alternatives.

I know… a frozen lasagna is not the best alternative, but it’s definitely better than going out to eat for every meal.

On the subject of going out… I guess that’s something else worth mentioning. When I got off of work on Friday I was sad. I didn’t want to go home. Nothing bad had happened at work. It had been a decent day, but I missed mom and the thought of going home and being alone in my room was the last thing I wanted to do or experience.

I messaged Warren and asked him if he was working. He said yes but that he would be done around 10:15.

I asked if he wanted to meet and my sports bar for dinner. He said yes, so I went and sat by myself for roughly an hour and a half during which time I had two Angry Orchards.

When Warren got there we ate and talked. I cried a bit as we talked about mom and what I was feeling. It helped and by the end of dinner it was midnight and I was ok enough to go back home. The thought didn’t seem as painful as it had when I had left work. I went to sleep pretty instantly.

I have tomorrow off, work Wednesday, off Thursday, work Friday and Saturday. The new schedule should be out this week so I’ll know what my coming weeks look like.

For now, I guess I’m going to go so I can shower and go to the store. I can’t think of anything that makes it feel worth going out. No reward or treat. I don’t want lunch. I don’t want a coffee. I want to stay inside and maybe nap. Maybe I’ll do that afterward as a reward. Get everything taken care of then nap before going to the dojo for NoGi. I don’t feel like I’ll do all that well tonight, but I want to go regardless.

 

Daily Post 044: On The Mend

Standard

It hasn’t been the worst five days, but it hasn’t been the best either.

It started with Thursday evening, just after work.

Big Bad and I had made plans for the evening. It had basically been my “light at the end of the tunnel.” You know. That one thing you’re looking forward to, so all the minor little annoyances through the week aren’t that bad because this one epic good thing is going to happen.

Only it didn’t happen.

I got out of work, got into my car, and sent a text message asking if we were still good for the evening.

Big Bad: Not tonight. Saturday?

That brought me up short. Like, mental functions came to a screeching halt because what do you mean not tonight? What happened? Why did it change? As an introvert, I’m all about canceled plans but only when I’m the one to cancel them or when it’s something I don’t want. I wanted this. This was what made waking up at 2 am and not breaking down in front of patients worth it. This was my reward, my recovery. This was my one epic good thing.

Why did it change?

But there was no explanation. To be fair I didn’t ask why. I said I would have to look at my calendar to make sure I wasn’t double booking myself but I didn’t ask why. I don’t really feel like it’s my place to ask why I guess. If he wanted me to know he would have told me. But he didn’t tell me and so my brain is still left to its own conclusion.

Maybe he was tired. Maybe something happened with his mom. Maybe it’s another girl since we’re in an open relationship. Maybe he had a shitty day at work. The reasons are pretty endless and in the end, really don’t matter. Our plans changed, or at least what he wanted his plans to be changed, and so this is where we’re at.

I was hurt and on some levels still am, though since time has passed, not as much as I was.

It felt like being stood up though and that sort of sucked. So that’s how I spent Thursday night, alone, at home, drinking Strong Bow and watching the new Power Ranger movie finally, which was actually pretty epic in its own right. I mean, how can watching an illegal download of Power Rangers while you’re intoxicated not be badass?

Friday was hard. It was mom’s birthday. Would have been her birthday if she were alive but she’s not so it seems sort of silly to me to celebrate it. I acknowledged the day. My brothers acknowledged it. Several of our close family friends reached out to us, but that was it.

I respect the day for what it meant, but the day I honor now is her death day.

That doesn’t mean Friday didn’t hurt. It did. Warren tried being playful with me a few times only to be thoroughly shut down. I ended up apologizing to him while he was in the kitchen. I hugged him from behind while he was putting his lunch in the microwave and said I was sorry for being bitchy, that it was mom’s birthday and that the day sort of sucked.

He held my arms around him and said it was ok and that he wasn’t letting go. We talked like that for a while, my head against his shoulder blades since he’s so much taller than me. I giggled and laughed even as tears were running down my cheeks. It helped me feel less alone. I had lunch with David to talk about his logo branding again since we’re back to square one with that, but even with the day not being all that bad I still hurt and drank again that night.

I remember what mom’s birthday was like last year and so I’m glad to say I feel I improved on how I handled the pain. I’m sure as time continues its relentless march I’ll become better, but there was an improvement and I’m proud of that. I watched Fantastic Beasts and Hidden Figures Friday night. Both good movies.

Saturday I still hurt. I still didn’t want to do anything. My blacksmith wanted to meet with a few other people to discuss a DnD campaign. I agreed to meet them at 7 pm. The location chosen was a gamer pub that I’ve been to before. In my head, I had the feeling that going there was a bad idea. If we were even able to get a table on a Saturday evening it would most likely be so packed and loud we wouldn’t be able to hear ourselves think much less discuss our campaign.

Well, apparently it was a Harry Potter weekend event thing at the pub so it was even more packed than usual. I got us in line for a table for six which was a 40-minute wait. In the mean time everyone else had shown up and we talked outside while we waited for our time. 50 minutes later it was still about a 30-minute wait. We decided to go elsewhere for food. Let me dig out my surprised face…

The other couple made it to the sushi place first, followed by me. About 15 minutes later my blacksmith still wasn’t there. I sent a text asking if everything was alright. Before I got a response the other couple decided to leave. I asked if they still planned on being part of the campaign. The guy replied with he wasn’t sure. He would text and let us know.

Irrational Right Brain: So basically you’re saying no, you don’t want to be part of it, you’re just too chicken-shit to say it out loud.

About two minutes after they had left my blacksmith called me saying he couldn’t for the life of him find the sushi place. I said I didn’t know if it was really worth the trouble of him finding it since the other people had just left. He decided to go home instead since he had been called into work later that evening anyway.

So that basically turned into an hour of me wasting my life. I messaged Big Bad to let him know the campaign had fallen through and if he still wanted to hang out that I was able to. About an hour later I got a reply saying he was already heading to bed but that he missed me.

Irrational Right Brain: Yeah… I miss you, too. I miss not feeling alone and stood up constantly.

Rational Brain: You’re not stood up constantly… It’s just a series of unfortante…

Irrational Right Brain: Fuck you! It’s constantly. /pouts in corner

I went back home. On the way, I called Warren and asked him to check the Dr. Pepper that we’ve had for forever to make sure mold wasn’t growing on it. I also told him I was getting a pizza and that he was going to eat it with me while drinking and watching a movie. He didn’t seem all that heartbroken about his assignment.

I got a bottle of Fireball, picked up the pizza, then came home and watched Ghost in the Shell, a live action movie of one of my favorite animes. The movie wasn’t bad. I don’t know why it got such horrible reviews. People suck I guess.

Anyway, that was my Saturday.

Sunday started off alright. I went to Perkins and had breakfast. I enjoyed my cup of coffee while staring out of the window into space. I wasn’t as sad as I had been the previous days but I still didn’t feel at my best.

I was supposed to see Mother Earth but those plans changed to a phone call. I was actually ok with that change. I did stop at a gas station for a pack of cigarettes and a bottle of water before driving to my park where we ended up having a two-hour conversation.

I think a lot of things were aired out. I do think her and I will be ok, but that Josh and I may never fully recover. Having been able to tell my side of the situation and hearing the aftermath of what happened I feel like I was thrown under the bus by him and I don’t think there’s a way to recover from that. You can’t fix feelings of betrayal.

You can explain them, rationalize them, but it doesn’t change the fact that they’re there. The stab wound in my back, the fallout of being labeled a homewrecker, the loss of two of my closest friends for over a year… none of that can be taken back, and they all stem from his actions/explanation. Intentional or not, he didn’t stick up for me when shit was going down is basically the situation.

Instead of defending my name he allowed people to think I was a sleazy skank. It sort of sucks knowing that, but I would rather know than not know.

I was pretty emotionally drained after the conversation but I did manage to go do the grocery shopping along with prepping the food and even going as far as to cook half my meals.

I didn’t do much else for the rest of the day.

Monday is basically a black hole in the world of Jen. It was what I guess I’m going to start referring to as a “heat” day, though to be fair it was something that was building for a while.

I thought about writing a drunken post about it last night but, thankfully or unthankfully, it depends on your perspective, I didn’t and went to sleep instead.

I would say I needed my partners, but need means you would die without it and since I’m still alive I guess it’s not a need, though I can tell I’m still not really my full self so maybe it is a need. I don’t know. Shit like that gets complicated because having shelter is a need but you can go for a while without that. Same with food. Blarg.

I desperately wanted to be touched yesterday. Sexually, affectionately. I wanted my mates and that was the one thing I couldn’t have. Sometimes that makes me depressed. Female ferrets can actually die if they don’t mate while they’re in heat, so the depression thing is something I’ve come to accept. I’ll get sad and feel alone and “woe is me” but eventually it passes. The fuzzy feeling inside of my head and my obsessive thoughts usually go away after going to sleep. My craving for rare steaks and dark chocolate go away and I’m back to my productive self.

Yesterday I wasn’t depressed though. I was frustrated and no matter what I did the irritated feeling wouldn’t go away. Towards the evening I drank again, which didn’t really ease things over but it made me more accepting of my situation. I have two partners and for the past six months, I’ve not been able to be with them when my body craves them most.

Drunk Irrational Right Brain: What the actual fuck is the point of having mates then? /rage

Really if I had written last night I’m sure it would have been a lot of bitching about how society represses female sexuality, how I shouldn’t feel ashamed for actually wanting / needing to get laid, and how frustrating it is to not be able to meet those needs even though theoretically, I should. Maybe also something about wanting it more than once a week or every other week. You know… pretty much what I’m ranting about now so maybe being drunk would have had nothing to do with it. More F bombs, maybe, but looking at it now, that most likely would be the only difference.

Like I said, it was something that was building for a few days. Most likely since Thursday and the sadness of mom’s birthday sort of masking the actual build up.

Today has been the best day so far out of my five-day break from work. I was supposed to work Saturday but my boss actually took that day from me. He wanted to be on the floor to see how the changes we’re making to the patient schedule actually work rather than being told how they work. I actually really respect that about him. I feel like my boss is a true leader rather than a dictator.

I go back to work tomorrow, Wednesday. I also work Friday, but those are the only two days on my schedule this week. Those are 16 hour days, so while at first, I gave myself shit for not having a lot of days, I totally take all of those thoughts back because those are going to be really long days. >.<;

I haven’t been to the gym at all since last Wednesday. The first three days I was ok with. I was emo about my plans being canceled, then I thought it was a good idea to take it easy since it was mom’s birthday and I haven’t had a legit rest day in literally weeks. Then I was in heat and only wanted to be around specific people and destroy anyone/thing that wasn’t those specific people. And now we’re at today.

I had training scheduled for this afternoon but moved it to Thursday instead. I’m not feeling the whole “having an instructor push me” thing. I really don’t want to deal with people still even though my mind isn’t fuzzy anymore. I’ve been way more productive today. I’ve cleaned the kitchen mostly, I’ve done a full load of laundry with plans to wash my sheets since they’re infested with cat fur. The woes of cuddling with Scarlet.

I’m thinking about going to boxing at noon. That’s still tentative. I like the idea better than going to the gym with my trainer and I know I’ll feel better after doing something since I’ve gone almost a week with no form of intense physical exertion. It would let me stop by the store for more tomatoes as well, which I need to finish one of my meals for the week.

There’s a lot of positives for going, but there’s still a larger than normal part of me in the “fuck it” mentality where it really doesn’t matter to me if I go or not. I really just need to state one way or the other and stick with it rather than flipping back and forth because that’s too much energy.

I’m going.

There. It’s done. I have 30 minutes before I need to leave. All I need from the store is tomatoes. Quick in and out, then back home to cook and shower.

I am picking up Mother Earth from work so we can see each other face to face. We both agree small steps should be taken towards mending our relationship. We both agree we’re part of each other, which I feel the ease of which we were able to converse on the phone proves. We both agree that even though we’ve done well this past year and we’ve existed, we haven’t fully lived either and part of that is because of the absence of each other in our lives.

I don’t think it would be good for me to show up to one of their game nights with everyone and pretend that things are normal and fine. I think being slowly reintroduced to the group would be best and that honestly maybe I’ll never be ok with going to a game night or hanging out with the whole group again. I don’t want to see Josh in the group, or alone, or really at all. I think there’s going to need to be a lot of meditation before I can rationally hear his side of why he let things happen the way they happened and even then I, while I might be able to accept it, the damage is done and maybe this distance is a consequence for his choices.

I don’t know.

I do know I’m not ready for it, and that this meeting with Mother Earth is a small step towards what we don’t know. We want each other back in our lives at least as friends, sisters. She’s my Mother Earth and I’m her Earth Dragon.

I have less anxiety over this meeting than I did over the potential meeting of Sunday and the resulting phone call. I think her and I will be ok in whatever capacity we decide to take this to. I don’t need to figure everything else out just yet, so I’m not going to or worry about it at the moment.

I do have slight anxiety over the thought of going back to the dojo. I recognize it, acknowledge it, and I’m doing pretty well at not giving myself shit for it. I don’t know if I’ll go tonight. I guess it depends on how the rest of the day goes. I do plan on working the dojo back into my schedule though now that my arms are fairly healed.

After a few days to a week of going back, I’ll be alright. It’s that initial push back into it that’s going to be rough.

I guess I’ll go for now. I still want to take a quick shower before heading out for boxing.

These haven’t been the best or most productive days, but they haven’t been the worst either. Just got to keep on keeping on.

Daily Post 038: These Seem To Be Turning Into Weekly Posts…

Standard

I guess now’s a good a time as any to write. It’s almost 10 pm. I “should” have been asleep a few hours ago since I wake up at 3 am for work, but eh… I’ll be ok. I would rather do this. It’s better to do it rather than toss and turn in bed all night thinking about writing.

I don’t remember the last thing I wrote about, to be honest. I suppose I could go back and read my last post. I’m pretty sure I mentioned the concert with Big Bad. I don’t think I talked much about it. That was the last time I’ve seen him. Conflicting schedules suck.

The concert was a lot of fun. I think we both needed the break from reality. I drove there, roughly two hours, through what seemed like never ending rain. Big Bad drove back which was unbelievably nice. I tend to get headaches when I have to drive at night. Instead, I got to rest and actually slept part of the way back.

So I’m going on two weeks of not seeing him. During those two weeks, his mom was hospitalized. I don’t know much as far as details go. I know she was discharged so everything must be relatively ok. I know Big Bad is worried about her living alone. I’m not sure if that’s going to change in the near future or not. I’m sure it’s something we’ll talk about when we see each other again, which thankfully should be soon.

I am scheduled off on Tuesday so we have plans to spend Monday evening together. Our schedules finally line up to have a weekend off together so we may try to make plans for Friday night / Saturday. I’m not sure yet, but it would be unbelievably nice to see him twice in one week again.

It’s something I talked about in therapy today. I finally scheduled another session. It’s been close to two months. I mentioned during the session how I probably should have scheduled one sooner with how I’ve been feeling lately. It was nice to have a session where I felt ok for once though, rather than an emotional ball of sadness and grief.

I mentioned my sickness and my trip to the ER and how it was hard being there. How it reminded me of the surgery floor and waiting with mom for her to be taken back. I talked about how I had to have a CT scan done and how I finally knew what it felt like for mom to be in the room by herself inside of the machine and to have to wait for test results. I know what it’s like to be a patient and to be pushed around in a bed and wheelchair.

It sucked having to go through those emotions, but in a way, I’m glad I did.

My therapist mentioned at the end that she can tell there’s been a lot of growth within me during these past two months of my training. She asked if I understood that my grief and the sadness will continue to come in waves. I said I did, but this was the first time where it seemed to stay. It wasn’t as fierce as before, but it seemed to last longer. Like a calm sea that stretched on for forever. Nothing was really wrong, but there wasn’t an end. No change. No reprieve. Just this constant sadness and apathy that made everything feel pointless.

I explained how it was comforting to be out of it because it showed me that even if that state, those feelings, last for a while, they will eventually change. I’ll go back to being ok even though I’m not really “un-ok” when I’m sad. It’s just a different state and I guess a natural one I’ll have to swing through from time to time now that mom’s gone.

I don’t really know what else to write about.

I’ve been feeling better recently. Monday was more mind-numbing power point slides. I survived. That was the last day as far as lecture material goes. Woohoo.

Tuesday was a fantastic day. I had three patients on my own. I initiated and terminated their treatments by myself AND handled all of the documentation within the timeframe I was given. Go me. Totally improved by leaps and bounds compared to last week where I was able to do the treatments but couldn’t keep up with the documentation.

Theoretically, if I had a fourth patient, like what I’ll have once I’m on my own, I would have been able to handle it with the time I had. That’s reassuring. It means even though I’m still a little nervous and could be doing better in the confidence department, that I really am doing well and that I really do “got this”.

I was supposed to work Wednesday but opted to trade days so I’ve had Wednesday and Thursday, today, off. It’s been a glorious two days. I think I needed these days. I needed the time to step back and breathe and exist without obligations for a little while.

I did absolutely nothing on Wednesday and yes, it was as amazing as it sounds. I woke up at six, didn’t get out of bed until 10. Had some coffee. Napped on the couch. Took a shower. Napped again. Ended up getting dinner with Nicole, Marc, and Des. Came back home. Went to sleep.

Absolutely perfect.

I most likely needed all of the sleep since I’m still pushing pretty hard in the gym department. Add to the fact that every day I work is now a cardio day with how much I move around. It was nice to have two days off in a row so I could take one day to be a complete and total “rest” day.

Today has been productive. I got all of my book work done. Once again it was off the clock, but I’m ok with it. I would rather be on the floor with patients while I’m at work rather than sitting in front of a computer. It didn’t take as long as I thought it would. Roughly two hours for the online training and book work. I went and got a pair of nursing shoes finally. It’s been on my to-do list for a while. I got a pair of scrubs while I was at the store since mine still haven’t come in yet. I’ve decided that these will be my Saturday scrubs.

I would say it’s a secret, but since I’m putting it out there for the whole of anyone to read I guess it’s not all that secret… There’s a pretty big push to wear the companies scrubs, but since no one from administration is around on the weekends I’m going to wear the scrubs I just dropped $60 on. They’re super amazingly comfortable. They’re essentially workout clothes. Stretchy, comfy, moves with you, breathable material. I love them and I haven’t even worked in them yet. Totally can’t wait for Saturday. I want to try them out so bad.

Same with the shoes. I haven’t worked in them yet, but from walking around the store I’m pretty sure I’ll like them more than my sneakers. I felt like my heels had more support. I also got better, more cushioned socks. We’ll see if there’s a marked difference tomorrow. I think there will be.

I’m also thinking about wearing my Fitbit to work so I can see just how intense my days are. Do I get to count how much I walk in a day as a workout? Is that cheating? I feel like it should count so I can’t be called a slacker when I’m tired and don’t want to go to the gym or train.

I’m supposed to have lunch with Jon on Sunday. Afterward we’re going to go kayaking again. I’m looking forward to it. I think getting some sun and having some family time will be a nice way to rest up from the next two work days and to destress before my test on Monday.

Which, by the way, I have my certification test on Monday. The rest of next week is my final week of training, and then I’m off on my own, a certified PCT for DaVita.

The thought of my training ending doesn’t terrify me as much as it did three weeks ago. Especially after how well I handled Tuesday, I feel like over the next five-ish work days that I’ll get a good feel for my own flow. I know I won’t be the best PCT on the floor, but I’ll be competent enough to not drown, and I know my teammates will help me when I need it.

So yeah, one more week and then I get a dollar increase.

I talked about the schedule with my supervisor and asked how it would be handled. He couldn’t promise me a super consistent schedule but he did say if there was a particular day I wanted off that he could try to work with that. After talking to Big Bad we’re going to see if I can have Tuesdays off. That would allow us to have Monday evening together since I wouldn’t have to wake up at 2 or 3 am to get to work.

I was nervous about bringing the subject up with him. I didn’t want it to feel like I was forcing him to give up his Monday evening. I know it’s really sucked for both of us, though, not having a set day where we know we’ll be able to see each other. It was reassuring to hear his support for requesting Tuesday as my off day. I guess I’m still sort of insecure and vulnerable feeling when it comes to the emotional stuff. It’s nice to have the reassurance that it’s not all one-sided nonsense inside of my head.

I haven’t seen my blacksmith since the 8th but I know he and I are still ok. He had family matters which kept him from coming over last week, and this week I’ve needed the alone time to regroup.

I think that’s about it.

Been killing it at the gym even though it doesn’t feel like it. I did a spin class today which has my inner thighs hating on me. I did way more “climbing” than I’ve ever done though, even in the spin classes I was taking at the YMCA. These classes feel way more intense. The first one I went to was last Thursday. Totally kicked my ass and my feet, but that’s because I wore my Vibrams. Not the best shoes for those classes. The peddles on those bikes are sort of weird on top of that. Just not a good combination in my book.

I wore my sneakers this time ’round and it went way better. We’ll see how I keep doing I suppose. It’s hard to find consistent classes to go to with my wonderfully inconsistent schedule, which is why it feels like I’ve done “nothing”.

I’m glad I have my calendar to tell me that, no, actually, I really do need a rest day or I’ll regret it.

Tomorrow is kickboxing. Saturday is yoga. Sunday is kayaking. Monday is conditioning at the gym. Tuesday will most likely be a rest day with meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking. Maybe laundry. Most likely sweeping because dog fur sucks. We can throw in vacuuming, too, because dog fur doesn’t stay on just the tile. Blarg.

It should be a pretty decent day, though. And it should start off fantastically. A nice warm cup of coffee with Big Bad.

I’m very much looking forward to it despite all of the adulting I’ll need to get done. It’s my light at the end of the tunnel.

Maybe that’s helped with the sadness and apathy lifting. I know I’ve made it through the hardest part. A lot of the people in my life have made it through the hard parts. Warren started his new job this week. Big Bad applied for a new position and may be switching to something he’s more interested in. My blacksmith is no longer having to work doubles every day because his company was able to hire more people.

It’s a good feeling. A stable feeling. I’m glad I’m feeling it rather than the coldness, the aloneness, that I was.

I’ll try to be better about writing.

Thanks for being patient with me.