Daily Post 78: Continuing to Recover

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I’m glad I didn’t write yesterday. It would have been a post about hopelessness and grief and how everything in life is meaningless… Not really warm fuzzy feelings…

I didn’t sleep at all Sunday night. And by “at all” I mean I literally did not sleep at all and had to go to work sick and exhausted and even though I knew it was going to be a better day then what I would have worked in Orlando I had to fight back tears as I took my shower, thinking about the endless day I had ahead of me.

I’ve learned that my sadness and grief will ALWAYS have a better chance of gaining a foothold when I’m tired. My body ached. My head hurt. I was nauseous from lack of sleep rather than the sickness, but still, the sensations were there, keeping me from wanting to eat which didn’t help anything at all. I didn’t have coffee. I didn’t have cigarettes… I really didn’t do myself any favors in making yesterday any easier.

I made it through my shift. It actually went smoothly all things considered. I completed the water room on my own again. I took care of the meters. I tested the machines for residual disinfectant. I did everything I was supposed to do and it went well.

The weather yesterday sucked so several of our patients were “late-ish”. They all pretty much showed up at the same time, too, which made things feel rushed. No one likes sitting around waiting, and knowing that you have three other people dinking around until your done makes you feel pressured even though you’re really not. At least it does for me. Maybe that’s something I need to work on…

Anywho, first shift got on relatively on time even though it was just me and the RN yesterday. Our first day together, on our own, with no additional help. Go us.

Once everyone was on the machines I was able to start tackling the chores for the clinic. Preparing the packs for the next day, including labs, which actually weren’t done for our first shift because whoever worked Saturday didn’t do it like they should have. That was another hitch to the start of the morning, but we recovered from it and it didn’t hinder the rest of the day since I was able to do the packs for second shift before it started.

Yesterday was the first day were I really took over making sure labs were spun properly and put away. It’s not hard. I didn’t think it would be, but it is an added responsibility to be aware of and I’m glad that despite being as tired as I was that I did it on my own. It adds another level of ownership to my work and my place at the clinic.

During my first break, my FA came into the breakroom to talk to me. Since I wasn’t at work Saturday a lot of my skills list stuff didn’t get checked off like it needed to. She wanted to know if I would be ok with coming into work for a little bit today, my day off, to get that completed.

It’s not like I could have said “no”. I need this stuff signed off so everything is legal and squared away. And, realistically, I did it to myself by calling out on Saturday. I said yes, I could come in and explained that if I seemed defeated or sad that it was because I was super tired from not being able to sleep the night before. I explained how I spent most of my weekend coughing and sick and sleeping when I was able to and how that most likely threw off my sleep schedule. I said I honestly didn’t mind coming in on my day off. It was just a rough day and once I got some sleep I would be fine.

My FA was understanding and said she appreciated my willingness to come in. She left me alone after that and I tried not to let the thought of having an additional obligation on my plate eat away at my non-existent motivation to keep going through the day.

Second shift had its own issue with a patient showing up late, so I had to stay longer than what the schedule suggested. I ended up being at work an hour later than “normal” but that ended up being a good thing. One of the preceptors I was working with when I first moved to Nebraska was at the clinic. She signed me off on all of the water room stuff along with a lot of other paperwork that needed to get done, so I don’t have to go to work today. Hooray!

It did give me a bit of silver lining towards the end, but I was so done with the day that I knew it didn’t really matter in the moment. It would matter when I woke up and had the day to myself. In the moment, however, I still had a 30-minute drive home, plus having to figure out dinner, plus dreading the thought that I might have pushed myself so far that I wouldn’t be able to sleep because my body is weird like that sometimes.

I made it home. I had a cigarette with Ox as I talked a bit about my day. One of the things that added to the level of “hardness” was that I couldn’t find my socks when I got to work yesterday morning. I’ve been leaving my shoes in my locker. I wear my flipflops into work and I switch shoes before I clock in. I had made sure I had socks in the front pocket of my backpack before I left but when I got to work I couldn’t find them. I checked my car. I checked the parking lot…

Nothing.

So I spent the whole day sockless which felt weird and gross and, again, didn’t help anything.

Me: Fuck you, too, Universe…

I guess they had fallen out in the driveway at home because Ox found them when he got back to the house. So much lame. >.<

It’s something I’ve been thinking about, though. How I only have two pairs of socks and that I really would like to get a few more pairs. I want to leave a stash of clean socks at work with my shoes and take the dirty ones home with me. Once they’ve been washed and are clean again I can take the stash with me back to work and not have to worry about forgetting a pair and having to go through another horrifically sockless day.

That will most likely have to wait until Friday though since I’m broke until I get paid.

It was nice to stand outside and unwind and bitch for a bit before going into the house. When we eventually came inside I made a ham sandwich along with a glass of Jack and Coke and I didn’t feel bad about doing it.

Ox’s mom came home with groceries and started making spaghetti for dinner, which is where things became super painful for me.

Spaghetti sounded amazing, and I jokingly made the comment about his mom being the best mom ever… It wasn’t until after I said those words that I realized the words I had said and there really wasn’t a way to recover from them.

I felt awful. Awful in levels that I haven’t felt in a really long time.

How?

How could I have said those words even as a joke?

How could I have done that to my own mom, when she hasn’t even been dead for two years?

It gave the hopeless, pointless feelings an even stronger grasp on my sad, exhausted mind. My drink became one of dulling pain you can’t hide from. Pain you know is still there but the alcohol makes you more ok with the sensation of slowly bleeding to death from a wound only you can feel.

When Ox told me things would be ok I said that I knew they would be, I just wished it felt like it. I said I knew all of this was from tiredness and that I would be better after sleeping. Knowing those facts didn’t seem to make last night any easier and I struggled with the question of “Why?” for the rest of the time I was awake, which wasn’t long thankfully.

I still don’t have answers to those questions. Why go throw this? What’s the point? What’s the meaning of life and the reason to suffering through every day for the rest of forever without mom? Why accomplish anything when I can’t tell her about it? When she can’t be part of it?

Still no deep philosophical answers for any of that. I still don’t have a reason other than I promised that I would because I knew/know she wants me to keep going. Other than because I actually do smile small smiles when I’m alone and thinking about the future and how it could play out. Because I actually do feel warmth more often than not now when I think about living my life even if I have to fight through anxiety and terror at the thought of losing it all. At having it burn down to ashes or shatter into shards around me. Watching it slip through my fingers into helpless ruin as I have to continue to survive and function as another precious thing that I love dies in front of me.

I know that may seem overly dramatic but that’s what I feel when I think about enjoying my life. Mom died and it felt like I lost everything. I didn’t have a reason to keep going. I didn’t have a purpose. And now that I’m finding those things again, feeling them again, I’m scared of feeling those feelings of loss all over again. It sucks and it’s another part of the healing process; acknowledging and working through all of these annoying, relentless feelings…

I don’t really know where I’m at in the recovery process. All I can say is that after sleeping, living doesn’t seem like the dauntless, impossible task that it did yesterday and that I do have the energy and mild drive to do the things I want and need to do today.

I did cough a bit last night. I don’t remember when I fell asleep. I remember eating dinner and talking about work and answering a bunch of questions about dialysis. I remember finishing my drink. I think I remember curling up in bed after dinner, but that’s hazy and I don’t remember anything past that point.

I think Ox came to bed… At least I’m assuming at some point he did because when I woke up at 11pm coughing my remaining lung out he was asleep beside me. I stayed in bed hoping it was a fit that would pass but after a while, I got up and slept on the couch since being elevated more seems to help with the coughing.

Around 4:45 this morning I woke up again. I crawled back into bed and slept until Ox woke me up to say goodbye before going to work. We had a cigarette outside together. I wished him well.

He said there was $40 for me to go grocery shopping since the previous night, while we were on the porch, I had mentioned that I wanted to cook my chicken zoodle meal for lunch this week, but that I didn’t have any money aside from my credit card and I didn’t want to use it again. I could survive until Friday; the day I get paid.

He tried giving me the money last night. I was still in my “near tears” mode when I asked, “Please don’t.” Accepting the money or help of any sort feels like failing. It feels like I’m not doing good enough on my own still. It feels like I’m not holding up my end of the deal where I support myself and help make things easier.

I don’t think that’s how he sees it. He said we’re supposed to help each other and that he understands getting help and support from my partner isn’t something I’m used to. The money is sitting next to me as I type this and I still don’t like the idea of using it, which conflicts with the feelings of warmth at the thought of being able to have one of my favorite meals which I haven’t been able to make in over a month. I would be able to buy the little instant coffee packs to have coffee at work for the rest of the week. I could get coffee creamer for at home. And I could get them without adding more interest to the credit card. I could have small, nice things, that would make my days a little brighter…

It’s not my money, though, and my brain makes me painfully aware of that fact. It’s a gift. It’s kindness. And there’s an injured part of me who feels unworthy of this kindness. Like I have to repay it in some way because if I don’t then I owe and owing is bad.

I still need to figure that out, like so many other things in my emotional life. /sigh

I do know that so far the morning has been nice. I stayed in bed until 9 since I didn’t have to be awake for anything. I’ve had breakfast which consisted of a donut. In no way healthy, but it was still good and I gave the Universe the middle finger as I ate it for all the shit I dealt with yesterday. I’ve had part of my coffee as I sat on the porch. It’s a cold day today but at least it’s not rainy like yesterday. I don’t dread the thought of having to drive into town in icky weather or worry about ice being on the roads.

I plan to shower after I finish writing since that will hopefully help generate a bit more energy within myself. I want to start a load of laundry since Ox and I both need clean clothes. I can drive into town, do the grocery shopping, then come back to finish up with meal prep and the clothes, ensuring everything is done and in line since I work the next three days in a row.

One of the things with the kitchen was the top shelves being full of dusty, unused mason jars. I pulled them all down last week and vacuumed up the dust on the shelves. I also washed the jars so they aren’t icky anymore. Ox’s mom wants to keep most of them. Right now they’re in cardboard boxes in the living room, taking up space and not really doing any better of a job about being out of the way then they were in the kitchen. Maybe worse actually…

I would like to wrap them up in the bubble wrap I saved from moving up here and pack them into one of the bins I had planned to donate. Warren got me a few replacement bins for the ones of mine he still had in his room, but they’re a different size than my original ones, so I don’t like them because they’re different. I know that’s petty and silly, but there you go. They don’t match so they don’t belong…

I think it would be a good use for at least one of the bins; storing the jars. That way the jars are safe and neatly tucked away in one location in a fairly nice bin that is totally usable… just not for anything regarding my personal stuff because I’m weird … myself…

I haven’t figured out where to put the bin after it’s full… maybe in the basement once that gets cleaned. It would be silly to put it in the addition since we still need to straighten it up and finish the electrical work… or maybe in the laundry room once things out there get squared away…

Yeah… there’s a lot of work to be done, but the gears are turning and I know as Ox and I become less sick and the weather turns better things will start moving forward faster.

On the subject of to-do stuff… I also want to reach out to my old landlord and see what’s going on with the lease since I can’t get a straight answer from Warren. He did finally replay to me, which I almost wish he hadn’t…

He says he’s going to “try to make the internet account a priority this week,” you know… since it’s been over a month since I’ve been gone and it still hasn’t been taken care of… He also said that I never gave him an address to send my spare key to and that’s why he hasn’t sent it yet.

Dick… You could have mentioned two weeks ago that you didn’t have an address to send it to rather than making it seem like I was my fault it hadn’t gotten taken care of yet…

He said he didn’t know anything about a roommate release form…

I’m not supposed to be on the lease… that means I have to be signed off the lease… how did you not know there should have been another form when we’ve been talking about this since before I moved?

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In lighter news, I was told that the reimbursement for the test fee and registry fee for work should happen pretty quickly so I’m hoping for that to be part of this coming paycheck.

Anywho, Right now I want to take care of my day and keep making small steps towards progress so what’s what I’m going to go do.

 

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Daily Post 077: Surviving Sickness

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As the title suggests… I’ve been sick… again… so much lame.

I woke up Saturday morning after spending all of Friday night coughing my lungs out and messaged the tech I was supposed to be working with saying that I wouldn’t be coming in.

Part of me feels shitty about that, but at least I was still in training and I didn’t screw the day over by not showing up. I’ll have to figure out how to get signed off on the remaining things in my skill booklet, but I feel like I made the right call.

I spent most of Saturday drugging myself up on Dayquil, sleeping, drinking water, and stitching when I had the energy/strength to hold the fabric in my hands. I did pretty good about eating, which can be an issue when I’m sick.

I went for a short walk with Ox yesterday, too, and by short I mean we walked around the corner to the first stop sign and then turned around and went back home. It seemed like a good idea to get some fresh air and to try to move around a little bit. I took two really warm showers through the day as well, which helped me cough up more of the grossness in my lungs.

I was able to sleep fairly well last night despite being sick. Waking up this morning led to a bunch of coughing initially, but once I was through breaking up all the junk that settled during the night I was fairly ok. Still tired and weak feeling, but I’ve been able to breathe fairly easily for most of the day and I’ve only had one nap rather than the two I had yesterday. I’m still medicating myself and drinking fluids but the thought of going to work tomorrow doesn’t make me want to go into the backyard to dig my own grave so I think I’ll be ok. It helps that I have Tuesday off this coming week so as long as I can make it through the 12 hours tomorrow I should be ok.

I’m good as far as scrubs go and my lunches for tomorrow are made, so today has been a fairly low key day of resting and recovering, which might be why I feel as ok as I do. It wasn’t a day of “holy shit, everything has to get done and I’m the only person adult enough to do it.”

Tomorrow is going to be my first day on my own, out of training. So it will be the first “real” day with no extra help. Just me and the RN. I think I’ll be alright. I’m curious to see how things go; if things will still be as nice as what they have been. I’m hoping they’re smoother actually since I’ll have more control over what happens and when. Less tripping over people since there’s so many of us on the floor and stuff like that because there is such a thing as too much help.

I don’t think there’s a lot to of other stuff to write about…

I did have a hard time Friday before I started getting sick. I made it through the whole day at work. The 23rd. The day mom was hospitalized. Maybe it was the fact that I was home and could let all of the emotions out, but I cried a lot and had some pretty deep conversation with Ox before talking with John for a while. The conversation with my brother actually really helped.

I told Ox he was the first person I’ve cried that much in front of aside from my therapist since mom died. There wasn’t really a way to hide any of it. There really isn’t a way to hide a tidal wave once it starts…

Due to my sickness, not a lot has happened in the way of cleaning up and working in the addition. It’s also gone back to being cold so I’m sure no one is heartbroken over staying inside where it’s warm. Ox and I did make a trip out today to recycle the cardboard that’s been building up. I also unloaded the dishwasher so I don’t feel like a total slacker. Go me.

I guess what I want to stay is that I’m doing alright. I’m taking care of myself, physically and emotionally, and I’m making it through the hard times.

I spent the past few hours messaging people on Facebook and catching up on the socializing I haven’t been doing. I know a lot of people want to know how the move went and how I’m doing. There are still people I need to send messages to, but I’ve replied to all of the ones I’ve gotten so far, so the rest of the reaching out I can do in the coming days. I still need to write the thank you cards for my co-workers as well… Hopefully, that is an instance where late is better than never since a month and a half is pretty late… >.<;

It’s been a week since Warren has responded to my message about the internet account and my spare car key. That’s getting annoying. I messaged him again earlier today and still haven’t heard anything back from him. Blarg…

It’s getting close to my bedtime, though, so I’m going to stop for now and go figure out dinner so I can get a full night of sleep, fingers crossed. Here’s to hoping my body doesn’t rebel in the morning. That would be a really shitty way to start my first week out of training… “By the way, I’m not coming in today. K. Thx. Bye. : D”

 

Daily Post 035: Kidney Stones VS Childbirth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Everything was inconclusive.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That counts.

Daily Post 033: To My Keyboard

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Hello, dearest Keyboard.

Yes, you, Keyboard. This is for you.

You who I have typed on through this whole year. You who randomly double spaces every so often which most of the time I can ignore and correct while other times it provokes a level of irritation that can only be matched by lag during an MMO PVP match.

I realized I’ve never acknowledged you nor your contribution to keeping me going through this past year.

Every time I think about writing it’s you I think about sitting in front of. You who allows my fingertips to dance, playing the music in my soul, sometimes smooth and lulling, other times chaotic with the anguish and rage of my grief.

It’s you who had been consistent for me through all of my ups and downs. You who I constantly turn to. You who lets me bleed away my pain onto blank, white digital sheets of paper scrawled with red squiggle lines of doom because the computer loves to tell me that I don’t know how to spell.

I’ve missed you, Keyboard. I’ve missed having someone to talk to.

I miss mom.

I had left a voice message for John the other day. There were four parts to the message, all pertaining to different things. When he called me back he said, “What’s up?”

Me: Did you get a chance to listen to my message?

John: Yeah, I listened to about half of it. I got the gist of what you were saying so I deleted the rest of it.

He deleted the part where I told him I was feeling better from going to the urgent care clinic. He deleted the part where I said I had my first 12-hour shift at work and that I felt like I would be ok with the workload and my new career.

He deleted the part of the message that was about me.

We finished the conversation about his resume. We made plans for the weekend. I didn’t mention anything about the deleted sections. He didn’t ask how I was doing.

When we got off the phone my first thought was, “Mom wouldn’t have deleted my message.”

My next thought was, “John’s not mom.”

I’ve hurt since then, Keyboard.

It’s true. Mom would have listened to any message I sent her no matter how long or unimportant. She would have listened to every word.

I feel unimportant to my brother. I feel like this happens a lot with him. I keep allowing his actions to cut me deeply. I keep thinking that we’ll be able to find mom in each other but we don’t. We can’t. Neither of us is mom, but we both miss her so much it’s almost unconscious on our parts.

Maybe the deletion of my message wouldn’t bother me so much if mom were still alive. I most likely wouldn’t have left him a message at all since I would have been calling mom to begin with.

I don’t know. It’s all “what ifs” and “maybe would have beens”.

This is the life I’m living, and in this life mom is dead and my younger brother is his own person. Maybe one day I’ll understand that wholly. Completely.

I’ve been sick for a while. Two weeks and counting, though I’m pretty much well at this point. I caught whatever my classmates were passing around. Last Sunday it got so bad that I was looking up the symptoms of pneumonia, vowing to myself that if I was still super sick in the morning that I would go to an urgent care clinic.

I was still sick Monday morning, but I was better than I had been the night before, so I didn’t go get looked at. It was only on Wednesday when I was leaving work that I changed my mind. My right ear started hurting as if a nail were trying to drive itself into my skull.

John came down and took me to a clinic to get looked at, which ended up being a good thing. I had ear infections in both ears and pink eye in my left eye. The doctor said most likely what happened was I got an extremely severe sinus infection which ended up spreading to everything else.

The terms “eww” and “gross” come to mind.

It was extremely not cool. I had eye drops for four days, and I’m still taking my 10 days worth of pills for the ear infections. I was given a doctor’s note excusing me from work for two days, which I was luckily able to make up on Saturday. That’s how I was able to get a 12-hour shift in even though I’m still technically in training for another four weeks.

For the most part, I’m better. My sinuses aren’t draining nearly as much. The pressure in my ears is mostly gone. The cough which hurt so bad I was in tears is gone.

I felt well enough, and non-contagious enough, to go to the dojo for personal training today. MG pushed me pretty hard, though not has hard as she said she wanted to. My lungs were burning nearly as much as my legs by the time we were done with the sled work. I know tomorrow will be a yoga day to stretch everything out and get rid of acid build up.

Aside from missing mom and being sick, I’ve had to contend with more emotional ickiness in regards to the apartment. Since I was sick nothing got cleaned, and of course, once I was done being sick Warren got sick, so even if he were the type of person to care about cleanliness it would have been dickish of me to rant and demand that he help out.

It still sucks, though.

In my self-absorbed moments of sadness, I think about how it’s not fair. I was sick and still had to do the dishes. Why does he get to not do them while he’s sick? Shouldn’t it be fair? Equal? Couldn’t I have been cared for, too?

It doesn’t help with the feelings of worthlessness and meaninglessness I’m already feeling due to the deleted message.

When will I matter to the people who are supposed to be closest to me?

I have new coworkers, online friends, distant family, and distant friends who all think I’m an amazing person. They think I should be treated well and loved and cared for the way I care for others.

And even the people who hurt me think these things. So why do I hurt? Why am I hurt?

Why do I still not have rent money? Why do I still have to be the only one figuring out how to make financial ends meet? Why do I not warrant the respect to be told that a payment won’t be made at all, not even the partial of the partial I was getting before?

It sucks. And for the last two days, I’ve come home and curled up in bed under my covers and have allowed that pain to be almost all consuming. I’ve tried to understand why, and today I’m no closer than I was yesterday to an answer.

I don’t know why.

Today was different, though. Today I went to my clinic and I worked. I worked hard. I focused on finding my routine and flow and needing less guidance than I have on previous days. I still made mistakes here and there, but I can tell I’m getting better and my trainer constantly praises me for how well I’m doing.

I saved three people today.

Maybe that makes it sound more glorious than it really is, but it’s true. I initiated three dialysis treatments today and terminated them once the treatment was over. That’s three people who can live slightly longer, slightly better because I was there to help them.

It’s a good feeling. It makes it feel worth it. And right now I need something to be worth it.

I can see myself getting wrapped up in work once I’m allowed to work overtime. Maybe that will be good. Maybe that will be my form of self-medication for when I hurt, which might be bad. I already have a preference for being at work rather than home because home is stressful and there’s nothing I can do to change it.

Warren has a new job which starts on the 11th, but that doesn’t fix anything right now. And even on the 11th, nothing is going to be fixed. We’ll have to wait two weeks at least for his first paycheck, maybe 4 if his new company holds the first paycheck.

Things are still going to be painful for a while. They’re still going to be hard and there’s nothing to do other than to breath and wait and not lash out in my pain and frustration and claustrophobic confinement of being trapped in an environment I can’t change.

I had a dream last night where I yelled at Warren. He was upset that I was yelling, but nothing else I had done worked. Being nice didn’t do anything so I was yelling because that’s my way of breaking down. That’s when the frustration wins and rational through dies and the only thing that matters is letting out all of the hurt and injustice that I diplomatically tried to convey.

That’s part of why I was so tired this morning. I was fighting all night in my dreams.

Work was good, though. And the dojo was good. I got to see James for a few minutes after my session with MG. He said he hasn’t been able to make it to the dojo much because of a new job, too. We chatted for a bit, but all too soon we both had to leave. I hope to see him more in the future. I miss having him as a sparring partner.

When I came home I decided to clean. Not just clean, but hardcore clean. And so far I have. My room and bathroom have been bleached and vacuumed. My sheets are being washed. The stairs and floors are swept and mopped. The living room is vacuumed. I have a shopping list that I will take care of shortly. All of the trash has been taken out, including the bag that sat by the trash can for three days.

Part of me, the small bit of sadness still in my chest, knows that this, my cleaning, won’t matter. Dog fur will pile up again, the trash will build up from someone other than myself, and I will still have to take care of dishes that are not my own.

The order I have returned to my world will be eroded away day by day, action by action, and the thought of that makes me want to cry. I’ll still come home and not have my solitude because Warren’s waking up earlier in the afternoon.

I don’t know what else to say or write about in that regard. It is pointless. Hopeless. Meaningless. But in this moment, in my small bubble of a room with my music playing as I type to you, I want to take comfort in giving myself the illusion of control.

I can’t fix anything, everything, but I can clean my notebooks. I can put my clothes away. I can sleep in clean sheets. I can bleach the hair dye off of my bathroom counters. And for a few hours, the kitchen can be spotless and the floors free of gross Godzilla bunnies of dog fur.

I still need to go through and pay my bills since that’s another thing I haven’t done.

I’m trying to catch up on life, Keyboard. I’m trying to be an adult and to keep going even though I really don’t want to. I feel alone right now.

I saw Big Bad the other night, but even that isn’t enough to make me ok. We spent three hours together. Three wonderful hours. He held me in his arms and I was able to sleep with my head against his chest for a little bit. But because I had to wake up so early for work we decided it would be best for me to sleep at my own home. We had a cup of tea together before I left. I couldn’t fall back asleep, though.

Having been surrounded by warmth only to return to emptiness added to the feelings I’ve been struggling with. Big Bad has his kids this weekend. I don’t think we’ll get to spend any sort of extended time with each other for a while. My blacksmith and I most likely won’t see each other for a while longer, either.

I’m having a hard time finding a purpose, a reason, to keep doing all of this other than because I promised mom I would. I hate that there’s a part of me who doesn’t want to keep my promise. I want to give up. I want to let everything fall down around me and to say it’s too hard that I quit. I have nothing left to give.

Promises are important to me, though. I want to keep the ones I make and I promised mom I would keep going, so I have to keep going.

I started listening to The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck about a month ago. One of the things mentioned in the book is how blame and responsibility are two different things.

I’m not to blame for Warren not paying rent. I’m not to blame for my brother deleting my message. And I’m not to blame for my mom’s death.

I am responsible for how I choose to act in regards to all of those situations, though.

Right now I would rather not feel. I would rather tackle Life like I did the last few reps of sled work that I did at the dojo today. I don’t want to think. I want to go on auto-pilot and push through this section because this section sucks. It’s hard. It hurts. I want to quit, but I’m not going to because I can’t quit.

I want to survive. I want to make it to the end. I don’t want to give up. I don’t want Life to win and break me because fuck you, Life. You don’t deserve to win. I won’t let you win.

I want to hold on because the end is worth it. When I’m finally able to rest even if my legs and arms and lungs are at the point of failure, it’s worth it. Maybe it’s more worth it because I push to my breaking point and then past it because, fuck you, Breaking Point. You’re not the boss of me.

In the end, the blessed end, the relief is so much more intense, so much sweeter, so much more gratifying, when you’re clinging desperately, reaching into the very core of yourself to make it the last 10 feet.

I just wish the people making this so much harder weren’t people I’m supposed to love and care about. I wish it wasn’t my heart chakra I’m having to close off and ignore. I wish it didn’t feel like bleeding out.

Thank you for being here for me, Keyboard. Thank you for not being upset for all the times I thought about replacing you because of your finicky spacebar tendencies. Thank you for letting write and complain and whine and bitch and cry. Thank you for not judging me or telling me to grow up and to stop being petty. Thank you for helping me figure out my life.

Thank you for being the best replacement for my mom that I didn’t know I had.

I know it’s so stupid. I know you’re just a keyboard, but I want to make you a promise. I want to promise that I’ll finish my chores today because I need to promise someone, something, so I actually do it. I want to make this promise to you because you’ve been here for me. Because you matter.

I promise I’ll be ok. I promise that I’ll make it through this. I promise that I’ll write tomorrow. I promise I won’t think about replacing you because of your annoying spacebar anymore.

Thank you for being here for me.