Letters to Mom 023: I Passed

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Hey mom,

I passed my first test for Human Anatomy. I passed with a 95. Pretty awesome, huh? I bet you’re doing the I told you so dance. I bet you rolled your eyes every time I said, “I’m going to fail this class.”

It hurts. Passing my test sucks. I’m doing well and I want you to be here and you’re not. You’re still dead and I’m still not used to it and I still want things to be the way they were.

I think I’m getting better, though. I’m dealing with the hurt better this time. I’m writing to you sooner. I’m remembering that I can still talk to you even if it is sort of a one-sided conversation.

The hurt isn’t as paralyzing as it has been in the past. I don’t think that it hurts less. I think it’s more that I know what it feels like and so I’m able to function through it better. It’s still going to suck going to work tomorrow and having all of my patients ask me how I did and telling them and knowing that it isn’t you. I can’t have you sitting across from me or going to Moe’s to celebrate with me. And goddammit, I get so frustrated with myself for focusing on what I don’t have anymore.

I love you, mom. I miss you. I’m doing well and I’m trying really hard. I think I’m doing trying for today, though. I think I’m going to go curl up in bed after calling Ox and be sad for a little while.

I know it’s been three years, but hopefully, it’s still ok for me to have sad days and to feel sad over silly things like passing tests.

Thanks for listening to me. And thanks for all of the studying tips and tricks that you taught me growing up. I wouldn’t have passed this first test without them.

I love you, forever and for always.

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Daily Post 136: Post-Test and the Other Three Weeks

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I passed my state tests. I passed with flying colors on the skills portion, including manual blood pressure, and with an 88 on the written portion. The 88 sort of eats away at me. I would have liked for it to be in the 90s. But when they ask things like, “Your resident wants to vote. What do you do?” it’s not really fair. The class taught me that residents had the right to vote, not what I am supposed to do as a CNA. Do I request the ballet myself on their behalf or inform the charge nurse? Nothing in the book told me what to do. Nothing in the class told me what to do. So now I have a 50/50 chance of getting the question right. Or wrong. There were several questions like. Nothing about proper temperature or blood pressure ranges. No “What does this abbreviation mean?” It’s frustrating, but for the time being, it’s over. No more classes to stay up late for. No more three hours naps before work the next day. No more discussion posts which aren’t worth the time to read or reply to. It’s done. It’s over. I don’t have to think about school until possibly October.

And no more six-day work weeks. I made it through that stint of the holiday season and all of the emotional roller coaster that goes with overworking myself during one of the hardest times of the year for me.

I made it through my birthday. Lil’ Ox baked a cake for me with Mama Ox. I blew out my candles after everyone sang happy birthday to me. I opened the presents I was given. I didn’t cry at work while people told me happy birthday. I saved it all for home where Ox held me while I cried on the front porch and admitted to being sad and missing mom.

I made it through Christmas and the week of having the kids here while working every day and having no true alone time. Lil’ Ox and I stitched a fair amount. Ornery Ox and I made a trip to the gas station, just the two of us. I stayed home alone while everyone else went into town to spend a few hours with the rest of the family. I talked to my brothers and my dad. I’ve even replied to all of the text messages and Facebook messages I’ve received over the past few weeks.

I passed my annual skills check at work yesterday. Actually, everyone at my clinic passed their skills check on the first try so we’re getting pizza tomorrow for lunch to celebrate.

I also cannulated our patient’s new fistula yesterday morning so I should be NFACT certified now as an expert cannulator.

Our new tech was there yesterday. She’s going to be in training with me for the next month. We get along extremely well together. She’s also super into organization and to-do lists so I think once the clinic opens up to six days a week again that we’ll be able to transition into it fairly well. We have similar mindsets and are both open to creating / editing systems and finding what works and changing what doesn’t. She’s open to trying the systems that I’ve developed over the past 10 or so months of working by myself and I’m open to changing my ways and trying new things. As long as we maintain communication I think we’ll be able to work through any friction or challenges that will pop up in the coming weeks and months.

There’s a new RN who started training this week as well. She’s been an ER nurse for the past however many years, so I think she’ll actually do fairly well. I haven’t interacted with her all that much but my impression is that she’s sharp. She’ll catch on quick and she’s used to a fast-paced, fluctuating environment. She’s used to having to react quickly to critical situations. I think once she becomes comfortable with the machines that she’ll be alright. It would be nicer if she were a little more open and friendly, but she’s not un-friendly so at least there’s that. I can work with distant and maybe as we interact more we’ll warm up to each other.

So, things at work are going well. I’m planning to take the second week of February off for vacation. I’ll be staying at home and not really do a whole lot other than not working. There currently aren’t plans for amazing productiveness or any trips to stress or plan over. Just a week of self-care essentially. Taking a step back and recharging my batteries. The new tech will, ideally, be through training and comfortable doing things on her own and if not I would only a 20-minute drive away to come help if needed.

This is the first week in a while where I’m only working three days and it’s only this morning where I’m beginning to feel more like myself and less on the verge of burnout. The thought of grocery shopping doesn’t feel like sandpaper under my skin. The thought of socializing still feels heavy, but not as much as it did.

I’m planning to take the last week of March off to visit Orlando, as well. It will be Jon’s birthday. My dad will actually be in Florida with my half-sisters visiting Disney. We’re thinking of trying to meet up, all of us, one evening for dinner.

And there’s a Warrior Dash in Kansas this summer. Originally I wanted to try to run the one in Florida scheduled for February, but I like the new plans more. I haven’t been going to the gym or the dojo. I know I won’t be where I want to be within a month. The new game plan gives me more time to ease back into my self and to continue at a pace I can be successful with.

In addition to all of the events I have been a part of and gone through, it’s also a new year. I don’t have resolutions. My goal was to survive and I did. I didn’t get Ox’s Christmas gift done like I wanted, so it’s turned into my “one-year” gift for him. That’s coming up. Hard to believe I’ve been here in Nebraska for as long as I have. Looking back at the past year makes me realize how much I have accomplished for work and my career, but also with my health, and with my relationships, specifically with Ox. I have been far from stagnant in any area of my life.

I also submitted my essay for the leadership course I applied for. I don’t think I’ll be heartbroken if I don’t get chosen. I’ll know tomorrow so we’ll see I suppose. I don’t think it will be as heavy of an obligation as what my CNA class was, but I’m also ok with not adding more to my plate. Whatever happens, happens and I’ll figure it out from there. I do think the essay came out better than I thought it would. It’s definitely better than the first draft I wrote.

Ox and I are doing well. He’s been amazingly supportive and encouraging during this roller coaster of a ride. He was there for me after my state test. He kept the kids entertained on the days I needed alone time. He’s cooked me eggs so I have breakfast while I’m at work. He’s helped with the laundry and making the bed. He’s listened to me talk and cry and helped me feel secure. I don’t think I would have done nearly as well these past weeks if it weren’t for his support and I’m grateful he’s in my life.

We had Tuesday off together since it was a holiday. The morning started with a lot of tears and crying, mostly because it was the first day off where I could begin emotionally processing through nearly a month worth of experiences. It left me feeling fragile and tired for most of the day but it was a very nice, quietly productive, and connecting day in spite of those feelings.

We cleaned the inside of our computers which was something we had talked about a few weeks ago. We ended up going into town for breakfast at Cracker Barrel. It was crowded and busy but we had a pleasant server and though it was six degrees outside, it was nice to be spending time together out of the house. We went to Best Buy and Walmart. I got a peppermint mocha from Star Bucks with a gift card he got from his work. I now have a pair of warm gloves to keep my fingers from freezing; the last piece of winter gear I was missing. We were even able to get a case of Cotton Candy Bang from the gas station since GNC was sold out and not going to get a shipment in for a while. While I could have made do with the Sour Head flavor I still have a few cans of, knowing that I have my favorite flavor to look forward to gave me warm fuzzy feelings about waking up on my workdays.

Ox and I got a USB / outlet wall mount to go above our bedside table. That meant we could get rid of the alarm clock that was taking up space and never being used aside from charging the phones. Not that I have strong feelings about an unused alarm clock taking up my cross-stitching space or anything…

The wall mount also gave me warm fuzzy feelings and actually did a surprising amount of work in regards to battling back the grief/depression of the past few weeks. It gave me a small, little project to look forward to when we got home. It made me want to go home and to do something other than nothing. It was one, small change to make things in the room better. And I keep saying “me” and “our” though, in truth, Ox was the one to set everything up. I didn’t do anything other than spend money and carry a bag into the house. He ran the cord and attached the mount to the wall. He’s the one who got rid of the alarm clock and freed up more space for me and my things.

Still, I can’t deny that the changed helped me. One, small step forward that makes all of the other steps not seem so bad. One step got accomplished so other steps can be made. It doesn’t have to be giant leaps that require energy and motivation and a mass amount of effort that I don’t feel I have. Things can be small and manageable while still being fulfilling.

There was a lot of quietly productive things about Tuesday that helped warm me on the inside and fight back the sadness that I’ve been struggling with.

I know I’ve been… something recently. I don’t know if it’s depression or grief since they feel so similar to me. I know burnout was part of the mixture which always makes me more sensitive to events, but I think Tuesday things started turning around. Our small bedroom project helped. Passing my skills test yesterday marked the last major stressor I had to get through. I’m not going to say it’s smooth sailing from here because I work dialysis. There’s no such thing as “normal”. But things should settle down a bit and I’m grateful for that. I will have more time to focus on myself and my inner world and my homeworld; my relationship world.

I’ve already been fairly productive today, and that too makes me feel better. I’ve gone through my emails, replying to comments on my tutorials and such. I resubmitted the rebate for the contacts I bought with the proper receipts. I’ve already put dye in my hair so I can rinse it out before much longer. I made a to-do list for my car on Tuesday so I have a game plan for that. I’ve taken stock of the bathroom so far, writing down things I need to get while I’m at the store; things I normally forget until I’m taking a shower and remember, “Oh yeah, I’m running low on body wash. I should write that down once I dry off….”

I’ve gone through most of my “inbox” stack of papers. Most of the things that are left are recipes I need to make a decision about. Jon should be calling me before too long so we can chat for a bit and catch up with each other and our lives.

Overall I think I’m on the right track. I still have a long ways to go to get things cleaned up, situated, and back to how they were, but I’m taking the steps I need to and I think I’m being mindful while I do it. I’m going to continue to take this week easy. I may go to the dojo tomorrow night. I may go Saturday, but I’m not holding myself to an obligation of it. I would like to cook dinner for everyone since that’s something I haven’t been doing as much as I was when I first moved here.

This week is about breathing and letting go of all of the stress and anxiety I’ve had to contend with over the past three weeks while getting back in touch with myself and the things I want; the things that make me feel happy, or at least content with myself and connected with my true inner priorities.

And so, with that, I guess I’m going to go so I can keep plucking away at the small to-do list I wrote for myself today. Writing was one of the things on there and I’m glad I took the time to do it. I know there are a lot of details from the past three weeks that will be forgotten about and left unwritten but I feel like I got a majority of the events. I’m glad I wrote about Tuesday because that really was the first step, the first day towards getting back to myself. Maybe I’ll be able to write more regularly in the coming weeks.

Daily Post 135: Pre-Test

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I slept roughly 12 hours last night. For the past few days, I keep having dreams though I don’t remember much about them when I wake up. I know last nights had something to do with putting gas in my car and having an issue with being on the wrong side of the gas pumps. It also had something to do with the bicarb cartridges we use at work and the wall boxes where the acid and RO water comes from the hoses into the machines, only we didn’t need the machines for whatever reason. It had more to do with how the wall boxes were all the way on the other end of the wall, far away from where I was and what I was trying to do. There was something about waiting for the bell to ring so we could leave class to get to the buses on time like I was back in high school only I wasn’t that young. I was still me and how we were all crowded around the door waiting to leave, but the clock on the wall was fast so it was past the time for the bell to ring and everyone was frustrated, waiting, waiting, waiting, watching the second hand on the clock tick further and further past the time.

Yeah… weird dreams. I didn’t wake up with bad feelings about them. I guess I remember more about them then I thought. I do feel like I’m waiting and to be fair I really am.

I’m waiting to take my test today.

I don’t think I’m going to study more than I have. I don’t want to stress out and worry. I want to cross-stitch. I want to relax. I want to be lazy and be able to get through my day tomorrow since regardless of what I do on my test I’ll still have to go into work and it will be two full shifts of patients with just the float RN since the medical director is coming to our clinic tomorrow for our FHM meeting with my FA.

It’s going to be a busy and important day and I don’t really want to start it off with burnout from today.

So… no. No more studying. I’m going to do what I do and I’ll figure it out from there. If I don’t know it by now then I’m not going to know it in the next few hours anyway. My instructors felt like I knew the skills enough to check them off. They were confident in my abilities. I need to have some confidence in myself, too.

Ox called not long ago. He’s off work and headed home. I asked if he would be willing to go into town with me this evening. The thought of not going to this test by myself makes me feel better. I know that’s kind of selfish; having someone sit around for two hours doing nothing… but I wouldn’t be alone. I would have someone to look forward to seeing once I’m done. A hug regardless of what the outcome is. He’s agreed to drive us in so I don’t have to do that either. I can sit in the passenger seat and stare out the window and listen to music.

I need to stop at Walmart to get a wristwatch since I need that for the 20 seconds of handwashing I have to do for my test. After the test, I’m going to go return it because I don’t wear watches. We are also going to get food together and stop at GNC so I can have Bang for the coming weeks as well as stopping at the craft store so I can get more of the thread I need to finish his project. There are a few other things I might pick up while I’m there so I can finish the projects I have going on for my patients Christmas gifts.

I’m looking forward to all of that. I don’t care about the test, at least not in the same way.

I guess I really don’t know how I feel about it. What does becoming a CNA get me? The potential to do LPN, but I’m not thinking I’ll be able to start that in April since finances are still a thing. So I’m looking at either part-time in October or fulltime in April 2020. That’s so far away. CNA gets me nothing right now so I don’t feel any sense of accomplishment at the thought of passing my tests today. I get another piece of paper to go along with all of the other pieces of paper that I have.

Right Brain: Woo. I helped kill another tree. Go me…

I like the thought of not having to go back into town on Tuesday and Thursday nights. I like the sense of relief from knowing that the class is done. I like the thought of being able to stay home. I like the thought of being able to go to bed at a decent time again and not simply taking a three-hour nap before having to get up for work. I like the thought of doing nothing.

I know this test is a step towards something I want, but at the moment I don’t feel like I’m invested in it as much as I was in the beginning. I don’t care about the result anymore. I care about the aftermath. I care about recovering. I care about getting me back to where I was emotionally and mentally before taking on this two-month obligation. And in about seven hours I can start that. With Ox. He’s been so supportive through this whole section of our relationship and continues to be into today.

Just the thought of knowing I don’t have to worry about driving there makes everything else seem more manageable; more doable. I don’t have to worry about getting myself there. It’s taken care of. I don’t have to worry about fighting off a headache by driving back home in the dark. It’s taken care of. I don’t have to worry about whatever emotions will be there after my test because there will be someone in the parking lot waiting for me. I won’t be alone. It’s taken care of.

All I have to do is answer 50 multiple choice questions, then an hour later, prove that I know how to wash my hands properly and do five skills that I’ll have a total of five minutes to review. I can do them in any order I want. While I was studying last night I realized that I knew a lot of the “critical” steps for each skill.

I’ll be alright. This test can’t kill me. It can’t take my job away from me. It can’t take my home away from me. Or my car. This test can’t harm me in any way other than emotionally and mentally and that’s only if I let it.

So I’m not going to let it. I’m going to go enjoy cross stitching for a bit while watching more episodes of Bleach once Ox gets home. I’m going to take a really nice, long, hot shower before getting dressed to go get my watch. I might get a little something to eat to hold me over for those two hours. After that, I have a really nice evening to look forward to. I’ll be able to be productive and get in quality time.

It’s almost over and that knowledge, that fact, makes me want to cry a little bit with relief. I keep typing that word, but that’s what I feel. This heaviness that I didn’t really know was there is about to go away. All I have to do is keep going for a few more hours. I can do that. I can make it through this and then all that’s left is work and work is easy.

I know what’s expected of me. I know how to do my job and do it well. There might be a lot of it, but it’s known. It’s not scary or nebulous. It’s almost auto piolet in some regards. I come in. I set up the machines. I test the water room. I make sure the clinic is ready for my patients. I get to say good morning to them and chit chat and be interested in their lives. I get to ask about their plans for the weekend. I get to help them live. And then I get to clean everything up, close everything down, and go home.

Easy. Known. Safe. Routine.

I can do that. I want that.

I’m almost there.

Daily Post 134: Procrastinating on Studying

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I passed my test last night. Got a 98 since I missed one question. You have to wait 10-20 minutes before taking someone’s oral temperature if they’ve just had something to drink. Not 5-10 minutes. You’re welcome.

I’ve officially completed my CNA course. I’m signed up to take my state skills test tomorrow at 6:30 pm. I have my state written test at 5:30 pm. I’ll know if I pass both of them before I leave campus.

I’m about to begin studying for my skills test. That’s a whole process in itself that I’ve talked to a few people about but I don’t think I’ve ever explained it here on my blog and for better or for worse, I don’t really feel like getting into it right now. Maybe the next time I write.

Work today wasn’t bad. It was the first time that we had nearly all of our patients back from the hospital. It was just me and my FA on the floor today and even though we didn’t have the extra nurse there to help things went fairly smoothly.

I’m still tired, though, and that tiredness eats away at everything. I should care more about my test tomorrow, but right now I sort of don’t. Whatever happens, will happen. Either I’ll fail, drink and cry about it and then figure out retesting. Or I’ll pass, drink and cry about it and then figure out what I want to do with my LPN course.

Jon and I have talked a fair amount this week. Ox and I have talked, too. We both think I’m contending with depression right now. Potentially burn out as well. I turned down working an extra shift this coming Saturday. See… I can say no… sometimes. Not without mild guilt, but since the only thing I want to do is hermit myself away from the world, the thought of having to give up any sort of time to be around people, even to grocery shop, is sort of a no-go right now.

I’ve been thinking about maybe going to the dojo on Saturday. If I took the shift it would have been a definite no and I wasn’t ok with that. I’m about to work a crapton of overtime in the next two weeks. I don’t want to give up one of the few days off that I’ll have. I need to go to my eye clinic and get a receipt for my lens fitting so I can actually get the rebate I was denied today. Jerks. I need to do laundry. I need to finish meal prepping for the next two weeks since I will have a single day off during each of them and I don’t want to spend any of that day having to do chores.

I need to take care of me a little bit more than what I’ve been doing. I think a lot of it comes back to sleep. Lack of sleep makes everything harder. If that means I need to give up the dojo for a little bit longer then I guess that’s what I need to do.

In a way, the coming weeks will be easier. All I’ll have to do is work. No worrying about tests or studying or discussion posts that are so lacking in content that there isn’t really anything worth replying to. The extra shifts are only about eight hours. I’ll have the rest of the day to myself. I could go to the gym to run or row. It would be beneficial to run since I want to take vacation in February to go to Florida and I could do the Warrior Dash while I’m there.

I’ve decided not to apply to go to a convention for work in March. Not sure if I wrote about that either. There was an opportunity that I think I’m going to pass on. I’m already going to be doing preceptor training sometime around April. I might get into this leadership course which would be a six-month investment. I just went to Dever… I think I’m ok with not doing something.

I think I’m ok with taking a step back for a little while. I think I would be ok with having days off that are legit full days off with no additional side / personal development obligations.

And with that, I’m off to go study so I can pass my tests on the first try and not have them looming over me.

Letters to Mom 021: Please Be There

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Hey mom,

It’s the 11th. Only nine days until my birthday. Only nine days until the day I became your daughter.

Only eight days until whatever birthday celebration happens at my clinic since my FA found out the 20th is my birthday and we’re closed that day.

Only eight days until the bombardment of “happy birthday!” starts.

I’m sorry, but I still don’t want it to be my birthday. I don’t want to go to class tonight and take my test and pass. I don’t want to not be able to call you. I don’t want to go through another birthday where I don’t hear your voice. And I’m sorry that these wants infect the rest of my day.

I’m sorry I came home last night after a mildly good day at work and wanted to give up. A patient infiltrated his arm trying to cover his cough. The acid I was mixing for the clinic was testing really low for its temperature so I had to call Biomed. When I was leaving the clinic I couldn’t get the front door to lock properly and had to call my boss.

None of those things were earthshattering. None of them really affected the day. All of them got figured out. But after coming home and cooking dinner, I was done. I didn’t want to do anything else. I wanted to give up on the day and have it be over, so that’s what I did. I went to bed. I didn’t wake up any better and I don’t have a legitimate reason for feeling this way, at least it doesn’t feel like it.

There wasn’t some recent awful event to justify what I guess is depression.

I’ve been back home for over a week so I can’t say that it’s stress from the trip anymore. At least I don’t think I can. I made it through Thanksgiving, so I can’t say it’s that…

There’s not something I can point to and say, “This. This right here. This is why I’m sad and depressed and apathetic. This is why nothing matters right now. This is why I hurt. This is why I’m tired.” I don’t have a reason and so I’m struggling right now, mom.

I’m sad and I don’t have a reason for it. I hurt. I’m tired, of everything and nothing is really making me feel better or helping me cope.

I guess I need to let you know that I miss you. Still. Always. I guess I need to let you know that I haven’t cried in a while because I don’t give myself a chance to. I instead pick up over time and take classes and go on work trips. I keep myself busy to the point where I get to here and I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

I liked my trip. I wanted to take this class. I’m happy to help the other clinics out.

I still miss you and underneath all of my busy-ness, I’m still hurting. I’m still wounded and not really all that ok. More ok than I was but not ok enough to not dread the 19th or the 20th. I’m going to have to force smiles onto my face over and over again as my heart contracts, knowing that I can’t explain why those words hurt so deeply because it’s no one’s intention to hurt me but that doesn’t change the fact that they will, that they do.

I wish I could hear you wish me luck on my test. I wish it was you telling me that I will do fine instead of Jon. I wish it was you I was brainstorming ideas with for my leadership essay.

I wish so many things and it all just sort of sucks today, for no reason other than I had today off and finally had a chance to realize that some things still just suck because they suck. It’s no one’s fault. Some facts are just sort of lame like that.

I wish we could talk. I wish I could know how you’re doing. I wish you could tell me about your day. I wish I knew you were ok and that death isn’t all that bad. That once you’re dead there’s this other side, whatever it is, and that it’s different but there are positive things about it. Sort of like taking a new job. “I miss my old team and there’s this one annoying chick in human resources, but everyone is super nice and friendly, and the company has a good benefits package. The commute to work is pretty nice and I’m working on this nifty project,” type of a thing.

I wish I knew if you missed being alive. I wish I had known to ask more questions. I wished I had known to listen to your stories more.

I wish I was better at grieving and being depressed rather than letting it eat away at my days like it does. I wish I had had it in me to make myself go to the gym today. I wish I had it in me to care about how many carbs I eat. I wish I had it in me to actually stop smoking like I keep thinking about. But I don’t think I can right now, mom, and I don’t think I need to be sorry over that. I don’t feel sorry and part of me wonders if that’s from the grief/depression/whateverthisis. Being sorry means you feel something, and right now I mostly don’t.

I feel mostly frustration with myself for feeling this way, but that’s about it. The only emotion I really feel is in response to my lack of feeling anything… Oh, and more frustration because it’s frustrating to feel frustrated. Gah. Talk about a vicious cycle of lameness. : /

I feel bad for not having more to talk about but I can’t really think much past the words, “I miss you.” My mind just kind of gets stuck there. I miss you. I wish you were here. I wish we could talk. I wish I could give you a hug. I feel like it’s the same things I always write when I write to you. It’s like maybe I’m stuck or stagnating in my grief. I’ll be fine until I’m not and then all of a sudden I feel like I’m regressing or not doing well enough. Things I’m normally fine with will bother me or be amplified.

I’m going to go to class today, mom. Mostly because I have to, but I wanted you to know that even though today sort of sucks for no reason that I’m still going to go. I’m not going to fail my class even though I can’t call you and tell you I passed. I’m not going to not take my state skills test just because we can’t celebrate together. I’m sorry all of these stupid, small, silly things are so hard sometimes, mom. I’m sorry. I know you don’t want me to be but I have to say those stupid words so they can hopefully stop eating away at the inside of my brain. I’m sorry and I’m sorry I’m sorry.

Please help me get through this. Please tell me that you’re still here and that everything will be ok. Please tell me I’ll do fine on my test and that I worry too much. Please tell me tomorrow will be better and worth it. I know most of those are unfair of me to ask, but right now I really just want to be an eight-year-old kid and cry and have you tell me that everything will be ok. The monsters aren’t really real. The bad things will go away and can’t hurt me.

But these monsters are real and no matter how much I wish them away the 20th will still come without your voice. Another year will pass. Another scar to mark my survival. I’m just so… tired, mom. I’m tired. I’m tired of hurting. I’m tired of being sad.

I wouldn’t change anything, though. I don’t want to miss you less. I’m not tired of missing you, of loving you, of caring that you died and that you meant something to me; that you still mean something to me. So I guess I really don’t know what I’m tired of because I feel like saying I’m tired of hurting means I’m tired of loving you and that’s not true. It will never be true. I will always love you and it will always be worth the pain I feel.

I don’t know, mom. I really don’t know right now but I’m sort of glad I wrote. I’m glad I had that realization; that if given the choice I wouldn’t want to hurt less because that would compromise or diminish my love for you and the Universe can go fuck itself if it thinks I’m going to let that happen. I would fight to keep my pain. To the bitter end.

I really wish I wasn’t so confusing sometimes. I wish things were easy and straightforward. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t an INFJ full of contradictions but then I wouldn’t be me and I sort of like me most of the time.

Thanks for listening to me ramble, mom. I think it helped a little. I need to shower for class. Please wish me luck. Please be there when I pass. Please let me feel you so I don’t feel alone. I know that’s not fair to ask but please don’t let me feel alone tonight. I really don’t want to be alone right now, mom. I really just want to feel like you’re still with me and that even though it’s different now that it’s still ok. That we’re still ok. That we still love each other and that we’ll figure it out somehow.

I love you, mom. Forever and for always I will love you.

Daily Post 075: On to a New Week

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Things continue to move in a forward direction.

All last week Ox had his kids. I also worked all last week which wasn’t as much of a struggle as I thought it would be what with having 3 am wake up times for my days.

I went to bed shortly after supper and for the most part was able to get enough sleep to make it through my days, which weren’t nearly as rough as what I was used to in Orlando.

I took my certification test on Wednesday. The drive to Omaha was nice and sunny and I listened to music the whole way to the testing center. I pulled off the interstate to have lunch at an Arby’s which was nice. Ox was on break so we were able to chat for a bit before I continued the last ten minutes of my trip.

I got there about an hour and a half early. Luckily, they let me take my test early so I didn’t have a lot of time to sit and stew.

There were a lot of case study questions. That meant there were a lot of questions with more than one right answer, but you’re supposed to know the “more right” answer. Those were frustrating.

I passed with a 70 something. There’s part of me who wants to feel bad about that. I should be passing with 90s and shit. I should be the best of the best and a total bawce.

The larger part of my self is happy that I get to keep working and that I’ll be reimbursed the two hundred dollars I spent for this test. The larger part of me remembers mom saying “C = RN” while she was taking her classes to get her nursing degree. The larger part of myself remembers Warren encouraging me while I was in Orlando by saying, “What do you call a doctor who got straight Ds while he was in school? You call him Doctor.”

I’m doing well at my clinic. I opened the water room under the supervision of the other tech last Friday. I plan to do it again tomorrow morning and the rest of the mornings this week since I’m still in training. I’m getting more comfortable with the patient population at the clinic. I’m setting things up the way I want them to be so I know where they are and so things are organized. I have a list of ideas to suggest to my FA when we have our clinic meeting.

I’m a good tech. I would rather not let a 150 randomly generated question test make me feel bad about myself. By national standards, I passed. If they wanted to require a 90 to be passing then they should change the requirements. According to them, I’m good enough.

I guess at some point I should let that be good enough for myself as well and stop looping over this moment in my head.

I don’t feel bad, but I don’t feel good either. There was nothing done to mark it. No celebration. No phone call to mom. It’s just a thing that was supposed to be important that happened but nothing followed it so it feels incomplete I guess and I don’t know what to do to complete it.

It’s something internal, so only I can figure it out, I just haven’t yet and I don’t know if I’ll really get around to it this week. I guess that really depends on how much time I take to reflect on things now that the kids aren’t here. It’s hard to be reflective when you have a seven-year-old constantly wanting to do things.

One positive thing to note about work is that the RN I worked with on Friday said that I was doing well and that I would be a good fit for the clinic. That was a warm fuzzy moment. It’s always nice to hear positive support when things are still nebulous and sort of iffy in my head.

Oh. On the subject of work… Dialysis technicians are now required to be part of a registry, like CNAs and RNs. That means there was another fee I had to pay for an application I had to fill out with a bunch of other paperwork I had to submit.

I did all of that on Saturday since I wanted to run into town for craft stuff. It’s nice to have it off of my to-do list, though another thing has been added to it since apparently, my CPR certification isn’t in my teammate file… yeah… the one that I had to stay for since the American Red Cross one I had wasn’t good enough for my company…

I’ve already reached out to my trainer from the Star Learning program to see if it can be located because that’s why I was so exhausted for Allion’s wedding. I had to stay for that class before I could drive the six hours to be in South Caroline to be her maid of honor before driving back to be in Orlando on time for my first day of training… I know I got that f’ing certification and I want it f’ing found… please.

I also got a text message from my FA in Orlando this afternoon asking for me to call him when I had a moment. I’ve successfully not replied to that message all day today. It was my first day alone. There wasn’t a chance in hell of me doing anything work/obligation related. I have a short day tomorrow so I plan to pick back up the adulting mantle and figure out what else is about to hit the fan.

One more positive note regarding work… I hadn’t realized how much has happened regarding work until I started writing…

I got my first full paycheck. I’m getting my full rate of pay rather than training pay. Woo. That meant this past Friday I was able to catch up on ALL of my bills. Things are still tight because I did that, but I don’t have to worry about anything falling through the cracks or being late. It’s a pretty good feeling.

Warren still hasn’t started paying me back. Or Kyle. I haven’t gotten my Full Sail check or my tax return, but I’m doing just fine on my own*.

*With the support of Ox and his family

I took the bike out for a ride yesterday morning. I was antsy and wanted to do something without actually having to go anywhere. I only biked for four miles, but that was four miles more than I did the previous day and with the hills here I think it still counted as a pretty good ride. My heart rate was up and when I came inside I definitely worked up a sweat. That’s normally how it works with biking for me. The wind keeps me from sweating too much. It’s only after I stop that I realize, oh yeah, I soaked my shirt. Go me.

The coldness here probably adds to that. I made sure to drink water even though it didn’t “feel” like I needed to. Dehydration can be a sneaky jerk like that.

I haven’t figured out code names for Ox’s kids yet. So that’s going to make writing about them a bit cumbersome until I do, but none the less, that’s a big part of what I need to write about since that’s the other main thing that’s been going on in my life this past week.

Ox’s daughter continues to want to spend time with me. We’re doing pretty well in Crash of the Titans. It’s the Crash Bandicoot game where you can have two players. It does get rough at times with her constantly say, “Hurry up. Wait for me. Do this. We don’t need that. What are you doing? Don’t hit my guy! Sorry I killed you. I want to do the skateboard! This boss is hard. I don’t want to do that.”

I can only handle a few levels before my brain is in overload and I need to step away, but overall I think we’re doing well in the game and I’m handling being thrown into the deep end of parenting with no instruction booklet or training course pretty well. I went on a bike ride with her on Saturday, which most likely sparked my bike ride Sunday. We baked muffins Sunday afternoon to have for breakfast this morning. I’ve gotten her interested in cross stitching which is why I wanted to go into town Saturday; it was just a bonus that I could take care of the application for work at the same time.

Since she’s so small I figured it would be good to start her on 14 count fabric rather than using the 28 count that I use. I also wanted to get her larger needles so they’re easier to thread. She’s doing surprisingly well for never having stitched before and being seven. She’s having a good time with it which is what I was hoping for; her enjoying something other than computer games.

We also made magnates out of Perler beads. That was fun. Maybe we’ll make frames for our little cross stitch cats once they’re done.

I think having the kids for extended periods of time will be easier for everyone once the addition is done. More space and stuff.

I offered for Ox’s son to go with me the next Saturday we’re all together to a Tae Kwon Do class. I haven’t interacted with him much but that’s because he would rather stay in the computer room playing whatever game it is he’s into. I can’t really blame him. He doesn’t get any alone time when he’s with his mother, he’s also not allowed to touch the computer while he’s there so this is the only time he’s able to do electronicy stuff.

He seemed interested, then changed his mind and said no thanks… I said if he changed his mind to let me know. Regardless it’s something I want to look into.

I did find a dojo that seems perfect for what I’m looking for. The only downside is it’s about an hour away in Omaha…

I haven’t figured out what I’m going to do about that. I do know that I need to keep focusing on getting back to where I was. As work continues to ease into a routine and as I make it through mom’s death day and as the Earth continues to turn into spring I think things will naturally align themselves, so I haven’t started giving myself shit yet.

Not much has happened in regards to organizing the addition or making progress on the house, but that’s because everyone has been sick, it’s been cold and rainy and miserable days outside, and the kids have been here. Hopefully, small steps forward will start up again now that things are sort of back to normal.

I know the kitchen feels like a losing battle.

Every time I give myself a pat on the back for clearing out a space or getting rid of something, Ox’s mom goes and spends $100 at the grocery store. It breaks my brain in certain ways.

We were out of ketchup so she went out and got two small bottles. I’m ok with that. I mean… I would have only bought one, but I can see having a spare. Mom would do the same thing. I’m just so used to not having space to store anything that I don’t buy spares.

Well, today she came home with another two bottles of ketchup because they were most likely on sale. You don’t need three bottles of spare ketchup. >.<;

Or another four cans of mushrooms to go with the other eight we still have… >.<;

Arg.

But I can’t really fault her because she did come back with things that the house needed like toilet paper and trash bags.

But frozen pizza isn’t healthy. We don’t need four of them. No one is eating the cereal that we have, why did you buy two more boxes of it?

Me: *thuds head against the kitchen counter in defeat*

I guess it’s really not all that bad. It’s just so different from what I’m used to that I don’t know… it just feels wrong. It doesn’t help with the cluttered feeling. We’re working on it, though.

I’m looking forward to getting rid of the mini fridge that isn’t been used so a pantry can be added instead. If I’m allowed to work things the way I want, I think it will help with the cans and paper product storage. As well as spare stuff.

I want to get slide out drawers for the larger cabinets as well. I think those would be amazing.

This house really does have so much potential. All it needs is elbow grease.

Sadly, today was not a day of applying any. I stayed in bed for most of it. I did a bit of meal prep. I picked up the dirty clothes the kids left scattered in the bathroom. I washed Ox’s clothes and just switched them into the dryer so I could do a load of the kid’s stuff. I’ll most likely save my own laundry until tomorrow since it’s getting close to my bedtime.

I cooked dinner, too, which turned out well. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and there was enough left over to have an additional lunch container.

Jon and I have talked a few times over the week. He took a trip to Boston since he was on spring break. He’s back safe and sound in Daytona. I guess he’s made a big impression at work in a short amount of time because all of his patients missed him and wanted to know where he was. That made him feel good, which is good. He’s been having a rough time of it lately, much for the same reasons I am.

It’s a rough time of the year. It starts March 23rd. I guess the universe wanted me to have the 4th of April off because I’m not scheduled to work. I actually have the 3rd and 4th off, though I do go back on the 5th.

I don’t know what else to write about. I’ve touched on subjects that I need to address and haven’t.

I had a dream about mom the other night. Thursday I think it was.

I don’t remember all of it, but I remember I was telling her I wanted to move back home. Things weren’t bad, but there was an issue I wasn’t addressing and instead of fixing it I wanted to move back home with mom because that would “fix” everything.

Mom was exasperated with me. I don’t think she said “no” but I know she didn’t agree with my “throw my hands up” sort of attitude.

It led to a conversation that I think needed to happen with Ox. I think we’re better for it even though it was hard for me to voice those feelings. It’s hard to write about because I know he’ll read this section.

We’re still trying to find a balance with everything, including each other. I like our relationship, though. I like how he came home and we watched a couple episodes of a show while cuddled together before putting groceries away once his mom got home and having dinner together with the family.

Things still feel good and that’s scary for me.

I have a phone appointment scheduled with my therapist, which I think is good and something that could help me figure myself out.

I’m still scared of all of this good. With work. With my relationship. With life.

I actually had time this weekend to sleep in, eat a good breakfast, bike ride, cross stitch, and work on a puzzle.

What the actual fuck?

When did I die? When did this become my life? This stress-free, sit on the porch and swing life away, type of living isn’t meant for me. Or at least hasn’t been for so long that I don’t know how to trust it, accept it. This isn’t how it can continue. Something has to break, or crumble, or shatter. It’s too pretty to be real and yet I desperately cling to this dream of a life because it’s what I’ve wanted for so long.

Yeah… It’s too late to delve further into this, but at least I know it’s there. I love my life right now and that scares me because now I have something I’m scared of losing again.

In a way, I’m glad I had that realization. I’m glad I love my life. It just sucks that I understand where my fear comes from because now I’m aware of my fear.

Blag. I guess that balances out to being neutral. For now, I need to go be an adult and brush my teeth and go to bed. Maybe mom will have more advice for me in my dreams. Maybe we’ll be able to say hi to each other and talk about nothing for a while.

That’s such a pretty thought right now. I hope it happens.

 

 

Daily Post 039: At Least I Got This In

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I just got done having a wonderful dinner with Nicole. Breakfast for dinner can never be a bad thing.

We chatted for about two hours which is why I’m late getting to this, which is going to be why I’m late getting to bed, but I’m not backing out of the gym at 2 am. I’m going to go even if it sucks.

Before I go off on a tangent with that…

I passed my certification test on Monday. Woo. Three of my classmates failed but they get another shot at it. We may try to do a study group. It depends on when they get scheduled for the retake.

This is my final week of training. Tomorrow I get to sign up for my days since the new schedule is being created. Here’s hoping I get Tuesdays off like I want.

Big Bad and I had a fantastic evening together last night.

I went out and got something sexy to wear. It’s odd. I’ve never been able to fit into things like what I got yesterday. I was always too big. So when I found an outfit I liked I had mixed feelings about it only being available in a 3x. On one hand, it’s awesome that I fit into XLs now. On the other hand, I really wanted that outfit…

I don’t want to go back to being how I was. I like how I feel stronger and healthier. I’m still not where I want to be, but I liked the way I looked in the mirror. I liked being able to try on different things and actually feeling sexy and attractive. This is still my body, but it’s changed so much in the past months, over the past year. It still has a foreign feel to it sometimes. It’s like I have to learn how to be a smaller, stronger me.

Sexy time started pretty much as soon as the door was closed. I enjoyed it and we’ll leave it detached and objective like that otherwise I’m likely to write six pages about how mindblowing and amazing it was. I would say not getting to spend much time together factored into it, but the sex has always been intense with Big Bad so I’m not sure how much of a factor it really was.

I enjoyed the cuddles afterward. I loved how he pulled me close on his own accord. I loved finally being able to hear his heartbeat again. I loved being surrounded by his warmth and scent and hearing his breathing deepen as he fell asleep. I loved being woken up by his alarm and snuggling into his side of the bed when he got up this morning. Most of all I loved being woken up a few hours later to a breakfast of bagels and coffee where we got to talk about some of the things that have happened in our lives during the past weeks.

It was absolutely amazing and everything I was hoping it would be. I feel so much more connected and grounded. I’m tired at the moment, but it’s not a suffocation feeling I’ve been fighting for weeks.

As we were saying our goodbyes this morning we made tentative plans for kayaking and pizza dinner on Saturday. Even if we don’t do kayaking I’m pretty sure we’ll spend one of the evenings together this weekend.

I spent most of the day enjoying my time off since I didn’t have to go into work. I got all of my meal prep done over the course of the day, but that was about it as far as chores go.

I went to the gym for my training session. I was supposed to have it Monday but opted to sleep more instead since I didn’t want to be exhausted for my test. I didn’t sleep much Sunday night which was lame.

My trainer wants to increase the intensity of my workouts since she feels I can handle it. I guess flipping  175-pound tires isn’t intense enough… She also wants me to keep coming to her spin classes along with doing at least two days at the dojo each week. That’s four days on. She wants me to do the fifth day of lighter, more recovery based, cardio. Yoga is another potential option.

But yeah… five days…

I guess that brings me to what I really want to write about but don’t really have time to at the moment.

I need to reaffirm my dedication to my fitness goals and to the dojo. Work isn’t going to make anything easy. I knew that going in. So now that things are settling down and I’ll have my schedule for the next month and a half, I need to find a routine or pattern for my workouts.

I spent Friday and Sunday buying new gear since all of my stuff was too big. It wasn’t something I wanted to do. I’m supposed to be saving money and getting my credit card paid off before October. However, when you start chaffing on your breasts because your tops don’t fit properly anymore it’s sort of hard to justify not spending the money.

Don’t spend the money and cause myself literal bodily harm, or spend the money and keep doing the things that bring my fulfillment…

I have new compression shorts and shirts. I’m waiting for sports bras to come in. They should be here tomorrow. I’m trying the SheFit bras since they seem to have pretty awesome reviews and will adjust with me as my size continues to change.

I also want to get a pair of fingerless boxing gloves from Venum. Maybe that can be my reward for passing my exam. The new gear was for dropping 10% in body fat. Gloves for kicking ass these past two months of training for work and passing my test.

There’s more to write about. A lot more. There’s more to meditate on, too, but at least I wrote something tonight. I’m happy with getting through as much as I have. Hopefully, I’m able to sleep well enough to get to the gym in the morning.