Daily Post 047: Breakfast Reflection

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

 

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

 


 

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

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

Literally, nothing.

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

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

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

There’s only myself.

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

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

Everyone dies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I have always been proud of you.

I know she’s proud of me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m not ready for any of that to end.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Updating my calendar was one of those things.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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There are a few things I want to write about.

Recapping my time off
The wallet story
The key fob story

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Umm… what?

*Hits J again*

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

*Franticly continues to hit the J key*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So… on to the key fob thing…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Daily Post 044: On The Mend

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

It started with Thursday evening, just after work.

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

Only it didn’t happen.

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

Big Bad: Not tonight. Saturday?

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

Why did it change?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyway, that was my Saturday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m going.

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

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

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

I don’t know.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daily Post 043: Assessing, Reflecting, and Tattoos

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I tried writing the other day, but it was in the middle of a pretty bad thunderstorm. About two paragraphs in the power cut out, my computer restarted, and the internet didn’t want to play nice anymore. I figured that was a pretty clear sign to go to sleep.

Writing has been on my mind a lot lately. More accurately, my lack of writing. I get to the end of my day and I’m tired. I have to be up early the next day so it’s a better option to sleep. Other times I don’t want to take the time to go through the stuff in my head because I know it’s going to be a long and more than likely painful process leading to personal growth/realization.

Well, today is a day off. I don’t have a lot going on and I really don’t have an excuse to not sit down and do this… so I’m doing this.

Work is going well. And I’m conscious of the fact that I start this reflection off with work rather than my relationships or personal life. It seems so natural. I start with my mission.  My sense of purpose. The thing I’m doing to be helpful, useful, and productive to society. I’ve always loved work, and even though I enjoyed my year of unemployment, I’m glad to be working again. I’m glad I’ve found something that makes me feel fulfilled in this way.

Waking up at 2 and 3 in the morning is getting easier. I’m finding ways to make it work for me. I’ve made friends with the gas station attendants at the Wawa I stop at for breakfast and coffee. It’s a nice start to my day, and I’m not going to lie, using the app is pretty nifty.

The days at work aren’t as physically and mentally brutal as what my first week was. I’m finding my flow. All of the tasks I need to do aren’t as overwhelming. I am familiar with more of the patients. I have favorites who always make me smile and who smile when they see me. One of them calls me “Nurse Jen” even though I’m only a PCT. It’s cute. It makes me feel warm and like I belong.

One of my patients got a kidney transplant. I found that out yesterday. Last week one of our patients died at home due to a heart attack. I didn’t know her very well but I remember being introduced to her. It was sobering. Eventually, one of the patients I’m familiar with will die and that day will be hard for me. I don’t know how I’ll handle it. I don’t know if it will stir up the grief from mom dying, but I know eventually that day will come and I know my team will be supportive of me and help me through it.

There’s a girl at my clinic who I call “Academic Dishonesty”. I think I’ve written about her a few times, though I honestly can’t recall and I’m not going to go back through my writings to find out. I shadowed with her and she was in my training class. She was supposed to work at a different location but ended up getting transferred to my clinic. No one on the team is happy about it. They don’t care for her and she’s pretty much pissed everyone off one way or another.

The reason for her nickname is because while she was on the floor, in front of patients, she mentioned how she had forgotten about a test she needed to take for her online class. She had her boyfriend take it for her and she was mad at him for not scoring high enough and costing her the President’s scholarship she had.

… I mean… That’s like saying you convinced someone to rob a bank for you but you’re pissed because they didn’t steal enough money…

Having been a student, and a teacher, I can’t respect someone like that. There are other instances involving patients that bother me and I’ve spoken out about them. She went from being full time to part time, so I only see her every other week. I guess now she’s being changed to per deim. I know one of the patients spoke to the FA about her. I don’t think she’s going to stay for very long.

I don’t wish ill on anyone, but I hope she finds something else or that she leaves because she wants to focus more on school. I don’t think she’s the right fit for dialysis or the team. Anyone who is comfortable lying and cheating like that isn’t a person I want to be associated with.

That’s really the only hardship I have with work. Ms. Academic Dishonesty, and I hardly ever see her. The rest of it is finding my own pace for things and I’m getting better with that. Yesterday was the smoothest, least stressful day I’ve had so far.

I found out that I’m going to be back paid since I wasn’t given the dollar increase I was promised. That was supposed to happen when I passed my certification, which, surprise if I haven’t written about it, I passed and am now certified through DaVita. In about six months I will need to take another test to become nationally certified, but that’s still a little ways away and so for the moment, I’m going to continue to focus on finding my balance.

There are other things I need to be trained on, like how to mix bicarb and acid for the dialysate and how to clean catheters, but catheter care is still about four months off, and there’s no rush for me to do the water training. I think they’re going to wait on that for a bit, too, which I’m ok with. I feel like I’m catching my breath from being through into the deep end. I’m no longer drowning. I’m treading water. I want to recover a bit more before I try swimming.

My FA asked me what I wanted to work; a lot of hours or fewer hours? I told him honestly I didn’t know. These past two or three weeks have been my first weeks on my own and I’m only now starting to feel stable. I think I want to keep it down to two days in a row at most. Last week I had to work three days in a row and that was pretty rough. I did it. I could have done a fourth, but it wasn’t fun and I would rather not do it again for a little bit. Three of my teammates went on vacation at the same time which is why the schedule got sort of screwy. Doesn’t help with trying to establish a baseline for how a “normal” week will feel.

So really, I think the only thing I need with work is time. I’m doing well and I do find my job extremely fulfilling. I don’t know if I’ll be there for forever, but I’m happy with being there for right now. I get to play in the stock room organizing things on my breaks. The patient schedule is getting ready to change due to new CMS regulations and we’re trying to petition to be moved to a newer, better building. I think there’s a lot of potential for me here and I would like to stay with it for a little while to see where it takes me.

Big Bad and I are doing well. We were able to see each other Sunday evening. His mom is in the hospital again but should be released later today. She started having chest pain and shortness of breath at 3 am on Saturday. Big Bad couldn’t remember exactly what the doctor called it. He said he thought it was arterial fibrillation but I’m pretty sure it was an arterial flutter, which is bad, but not as bad as fibrillation.

I didn’t stay the night since I had work the next morning, but it was nice to have sexy time along with the quiet time of cuddling and feeling connected to something other than work. For all that I’m around people my moments with Big Bad are the few moments where I’m actually touched or hugged.

We’ve been able to see each other mostly weekly which has been nice. We decided not to see each other last night since we had time together Sunday. I would have been bummed but we decided to spend the evening together Thursday instead. I have Friday off so it works out pretty well for us and it means I don’t have to go a whole week before my next hug. We’ll even be able to do coffee together. I’m looking forward to it.

I’ve seen my blacksmith a few times as well. It’s been incredible. He was in a car accident one of the evenings we were supposed to meet. He’s ok and no one was hurt. They kept him at the hospital for a while to make sure there wasn’t anything wrong. He’s had family in town and is back to working doubles at work. With my schedule being the way it is and his changing, I think Saturday evenings are going to be our times together. He’s trying to get a DnD group together which could prove to be fun. That’s still in the works but it’s something to potentially look forward to.

Warren and I are doing alright. Still not thrilled to have to have a roommate, but things are a bit better. He takes a few days to do chores but they do eventually get done. He swept yesterday and when I came home the trash had been taken out. Hooray. I’m still waiting to get a rent payment from him. I might ask him about it later since he said he would pay me on Friday. Well… It’s Tuesday… Blarg. At least he’s been paying the full amounts when he does pay.

We’ve broached the subject of the lease and how we’re going to pay for things this coming year. That’s still tentative and nebulous, which I extremely dislike, but there’s not much we can do about it at the moment. The lease is up October 19th. I won’t be able to pay for a year in full again. We’ll most likely switch over to monthly payments where I pay with the credit card that way we don’t have to worry about having to pool a large sum of money together all at once. I can make multiple payments on the card and keep the balance down.

Warren’s new job is going well. He’s out of training. In a few months, he’ll be eligible for bonuses as well as a raise. He’ll be eligible for moving up to assisting with OS issues as well which will be another raise if he gets picked for that promotion. That would help out significantly. A two dollar raise with bonuses. Yes, please.

He’s recently been hanging out and being social with people. He’s picked up the hobby of paddle boarding which gets him out of the house. I can tell he’s dropped a lot of weight. He seems happier and more energetic.

One of the girls he was chatting with was interested in all of the things I do. I guess Warren was telling her about me being a badass with jiu-jitsu and Muay Thia. I ended up meeting her for dinner and we got along pretty well. She went to a kickboxing class with me at Title Club and enjoyed it so much she got a membership. That meant I got a free month. Totally had no idea about the referral thing so that was a pretty nice surprise.

She and I have gone to a few other classes together. We have plans to do boxing tonight at 7:30. She reminds me of me a few years ago. She’s just starting out on trying to get healthier. I think eventually she’ll want to try going to the dojo, but for right now I think she’s doing things right. Taking it slow and figuring out what she likes and doesn’t like and what her limits are.

I haven’t been to the dojo in a while, but that’s because I’ve been waiting for my arms to heal.

Yeah… that’s right… heal.

I got tattoos on my upper biceps and rolling around on the ground with sweaty hands gripping my arms didn’t sound all that hygienic so I’ve been going to Title Club a lot and doing bag work.

Big Bad went with me for the first tattoo on my right arm. I was alone for the second one. Originally my brother was going to be with me but that ended up falling through. I think it was better that way. In the end, I took care of a lot of things alone. I flew with mom’s ashes alone. I drove to my grandparent’s grave with her urn alone. I stayed in the hospital at night with her alone. There were a lot of moments where it was just me and her, me and mom, and so I think it was fitting that I ended the tattoos for her with her, alone.

Overall I think they turned out well. There’s some touch-up work I want done. Now that they’re mostly healed I think the runes in the center need to be a darker red. The ink looked good in the bottle but with my skin tone, it seems pinker. I liked the darker red of when it was scabbed over with blood.

The bands going around the under side of my arm was the hardest part. My triceps bruised all the way down to my elbow. I’m still waiting for the bruise on my left arm to fully go away. The bruises didn’t hurt and were extremely shallow but yeah, you could definitely tell my arms were pissed with me.

The scabs are almost fully healed. There are only a few spots left where the skin needs to flack. I’m thinking I’ll be able to go back to the dojo next week.

One of the realizations I had this morning happened while I was talking to Warren’s friend. I told her how I had training at the gym today along with our plans for boxing in the evening. Somehow through the conversation, it came up that I might have a second cup of coffee since I was being a slacker today.

She asked how I was being a slacker when I had plans for the gym.

That’s when I realized that my definition for “slacker” has changed.

I don’t honestly feel like a slacker, but I am taking it easy today. Easy… when I have roughly 2 hours of intense activity scheduled…

What I don’t have planned is nineteen million other things to go along with those two hours. I don’t have 12 hours of work where I walk six miles while staying in the same room. I don’t have chores or errands. I don’t have projects. I don’t have social obligations.

I have a fairly quiet day, on my own, where I get to enjoy not one, but two cups of coffee while I sit on my couch until noon in my pjs. I don’t have cooking I need to do because it’s already done for the week. I might do laundry, but that’s only because I don’t want to have to do it tomorrow night after work.

I did order more scrubs over the weekend. The ones for work still haven’t come in, which is frustrating, but even if they had, I wouldn’t like wearing them as much as the ones I went out and bought myself. So, last weekend I went to Uniform City and ordered two more sets of the ones I like. That way I’ll be able to make it through four shifts without having to worry about doing laundry on top of getting enough sleep. It seemed like a good investment especially since I like them so much.

But yeah, currently I’m scheduled to work Wednesday and Thursday and I only have one set of clean scrubs… lame. So laundry will most likely happen. It would be one less stressor to worry about.

I haven’t had a legitimate “rest” day is about two weeks. My “rest” days are now my long days at work where I walk about 7 or 8 miles. On my light days at work, where I only walk about 6, I usually get off early enough to still make it to a class, so I go.

I haven’t felt burnt out, it’s been helping me sleep more deeply, and it keeps my muscles from getting too sore or stiff. I think I’ve been pretty good about gauging my body and understanding when I need to stop. Sometimes I only stay for 30 minutes of a class, other times I stay for the whole thing. Sometimes I push hard. Sometimes it’s a lighter workout.

I’ve been consciously focusing on my water intake as well. I drink at least one bottle of water every time I go on break at work. I drink at least two, sometimes three, when I work out. I make sure at least one bottle is a Gatorade to help with electrolytes. I haven’t had any headaches, but there have been a few days where I’ve run “warm”. I feel hot like I’m overheating, but after some fluids, I’m better.

I’m too active to not keep up with what my body needs. So far I think I’m doing pretty ok.

I got new gloves and I love them. For all of you with a fetish for sexy black gloves… you’re welcome.

 

They’re fingerless sparring gloves from Venum. They’re holding up extremely well. I can throw punches harder without destroying my knuckles and still have my fingers free from gripping. If / when I replace them I might go down a size, but at the moment I’m extremely pleased.

I’m thinking about getting new shin guards next. I know I just got a new pair around Novemeber but I can definitely feel how they’re too large for me now that they’re pretty broken in. I gave my old gloves and wraps to K, Warren’s friend who I’ve corrupted to the way of beating things. I might give her my shin guards when I replace them since she’s taller than I am, which is odd for me because at 5 ft 8in not many people are taller.

That will be a month or so down the line when it happens. I would say “if”, but I know I’m going to replace them, so it seems silly to try to deny the fact that I’m eventually going to spend the money.

I recently upgraded all of my gear, actually. New compression shorts and shirts. I got the shirts right before my tattoos so they haven’t seen much action yet. I’ve been wearing only my cover shirts since the sleeves are looser and don’t agitate the skin as much.

I’m starting to see more definition in my abdomen. I try not to think about results all that much but it was nice being in smaller sizes when I upgraded my gear.

The Shefit bras are still doing amazing. So amazing in fact that I got ones for work as well.

I did spend a fair amount of money but I’m ok with it. It’s keeping me going, both work and workout wise. I feel like I’m investing in myself rather than splurging for no reason.

I still have a ways to go, but I’m in a much different position in my life than what I was last year or when I started this journey I didn’t know I was on. I like where I’m at. I’m getting comfortable with this new me. The me where two hours is something I look forward to. It’s a reward. My “me” time. It’s an understood part of my day, not something I have to convince myself to go do.

Mother Earth and I are supposed to meet on Sunday. I’m not really sure what else to write about that. I had been going through my Facebook messages, deleting old ones I no longer wanted to keep. I found messages from her and Josh, messages from when mom first died and they had reached out to me.

I didn’t know what to do with those messages. Keeping them hurts, but I don’t know if I’m ready to let them go either. I messaged Sir explaining my feelings and asked him to let Mother Earth and Josh know that I miss them.

I try to live my life as if it’s my only day alive. If I were to not wake up would I have died with unfinished business, unspoken words? Would I be ok with things being left as they are or is there closure that needs to happen?

This was one of those things where I wouldn’t be ok with leaving it as it is. I needed them to know I missed them. If I were to die, at least they would know I still cared.

He said he would work it into the conversation for me. I was ok with that. I wasn’t trying to bridge a gap. I wasn’t trying for anything other than having peace of mind.

I got a message from Mother Earth a few days later. We started touching on the subject of our separation. She said she would rather meet in person to talk about it because she didn’t want to cause me more pain. I said it was a painful situation. She accused me of trying to steal her husband. She said her and Josh would always be “home” for me and then exiled me through text messages. There’s no way for this to not be a painful situation.

I still feel abandoned. I still feel wounded. I think there’s a lot that’s gone on or that was said that I don’t know about. All I know is my side, but, from my side, mom had just died and two of my closest friends cast me out. I don’t know how to recover from that.

Life doesn’t go backward. We’ll never be able to be where we were a year ago. I’ll never be able to trust or be open like I was before this hurt. I don’t know if I’ll ever want to try for a sexual experience again. I think it will always have that “unsafe” warning flag. Even if we hang out and drink and there’s the “harmless kissing a girl” thing going on, I don’t think I’ll ever give into it because for me it wouldn’t be “harmless”. It will bring up all of these emotions and memories.

In my head, they’re no longer the “safe” people they were. They can be friends, but there will always be a distance there from having been pushed away. I can come back but only to arm’s length.

I don’t even know if they want me to be their friend. I don’t know what this meeting is going to be like. I’m hoping it’s a decent meeting. We’re meeting at a restaurant so I’m assuming it won’t be a screaming match. I don’t know how I’m supposed to be able to eat. Even thinking about it gives me anxiety. I don’t know where I stand with her. I don’t know if this is a meeting for her to tell me to fuck off to my face.

Logically I know that would be really silly. She could do that over text messages again and save both of us the gas and time. But the injured part of me, the one focused on self-preservation and not being hurt again, is worried and because I’m worried eating food sounds like an impossible task.

We haven’t spoken since arranging the meeting. I’m trying to not think about it because there’s really nothing to be done until Sunday so fretting over it is a waste of energy. I would rather enjoy my day off than play the “what if” game. Whatever happens, happens. It would be nice to have some sense of closure.

There’s still the money that is owed to me by both her and Sir. I know both of their situations have improved. It would be nice to have that money back. It would make October less scary. It would be a way to show that I still matter. That promises mean something and are still worth keeping.

Things are going well for Jon. I had a dream the other night that I was at home. I think I knew mom was dead, or that she “wasn’t there” anymore. I was walking from the garage, through the kitchen, down the hallway back to my room. It was darkish though I could still see well enough to know where I was going.

As I passed the door to Jon’s room I got a sense of foreboding. It was like something was in there and I shouldn’t turn my back on it. I had to watch this doorway to darkness because something bad was inside it and if I looked away it would get me.

I woke up feeling uneasy. I turned my bathroom light on for a little bit until it got annoying enough for me to turn it off and go back to sleep.

I called Jon last night after kickboxing and asked him if we were ok. I said I knew it was a weird, out of the blue question and explained my dream to him. He said we were fine and he was sorry about my dream. It was good to hear his voice and to have the reassurance that we’re ok. I’m sure we’ll fight about something eventually. I mean, after all, we’re brother and sister, it’s part of our genetics to fight. But for now, things are good between us.

He’s on summer vacation from school so he’s been playing World of Warcraft a lot and teaching guard camps for marching band. He’s having his own roommate issues, but I think they should be fixed in October assuming he can last that long.

I got my breaks replaced on my car. It’s the first “major” expense I’ve had with it other than getting new tires. The struts need to be changed eventually but those aren’t an immediate concern. I’m able to plan for it a bit and work it into my financial schedule/goals.

I like the place I go to for car service. They’ve always treated me extremely well. Because I ended up having to wait so long for my breaks to get fixed I got a half off oil change with a coupon for another 1/2 price oil change. I would have liked having those three hours of my life back, but they tried to make it better with some form of compensation. They could have done nothing.

Scarlet is doing ok. Still annoying as ever with her whole meowing thing any time there’s running water. She’s been curling up with me at night again which is nice. For a while, she was sleeping in the closet for whatever reason.

I think that’s about it for the moment.

I know I need to meditate about mom, about the tattoos. I haven’t done that. I know there’s pain I need to work through and find balance with in regards to accepting the end to that chapter.

She died. End of story.

End of THAT story.

It’s not the end of MY story, which I guess is why it hurts.

I’m alive. I’m not dead. I still wake up. I still do things and move forward and achieve and fail. I still have things I want to talk about and share.

I’m still here and because I’m still here I feel that pain. I feel that loss. I feel the absence and the void. I feel that end and it sucks because it’s not MY end. It’s not where I wanted it to end.

I’m glad I have the tattoos. They’re heavy, but they remind me that she was real. That she lived. That she influenced my life and made me a better person. I’m glad that I have a way to permanently show the world that I mourn for her.

My tattoos aren’t like her ring or my necklace, things I have to take off when I train. My tattoos are always with me. Unlike the emotional wounds, my tattoos are visible. They remind me of what I’ve been through. They remind me of what I’ve survived.

I’m strong. I’m the matriarch of my family. I’m my mother’s daughter. I’ve made it this far. I’ve told Life over and over again to go fuck itself this past year. I’ve made things work. I’ve taken step after agonizing, inching step forward because I promised I would.

No one can take that away from me. No one can remove my tattoos or take away the insight and knowledge I have gained through the experiences I’ve had. No one can take away my self.

That’s why I got the tattoos I did. The runes are what my mom gave me and no one can take that away. Not Life. Not Death. Not Stress or Doubt, or any of the other countless personified things I struggle with.

I love you, mom. Forever and for always.

 

Daily Post 042: 16 Hour Days = 8 miles

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Monday was my second day on my own at work. My second 16-hour shift.

It was the first day that I remembered to wear my Fitbit with me to work. Apparently, I walked eight miles that day.

It was the second time that my teammates were amazing and had a little pow-wow with me to help boost my confidence.

Monday was the first day where I forgot the clamp the saline lines, not once, but twice, which resulted in a major headache for my trainer who had to help fix my mess up. Monday was the first time where not one, but two, of my patients, wanted to pause their treatment to use the restroom. It was the first time I got done taping someone’s access up and wished them a good day only for them to come back two minutes later, their gauze soaked in blood because they bled through.

It was the second time that I used organizing the stock room as my destresser from it all. It was my first heart to heart with one of the RNs who’s become way more friendly to me now for some reason. It was my first time interacting with Mr. C who said I did a good job taping him up.

It wasn’t a bad day. I was joking with my boss earlier, just after my first break, saying that I hadn’t killed anyone yet, I hadn’t broken down into tears, and I hadn’t quit, so, all in all, it was a good day so far.

He laughed, and I laughed with him even though we both knew how serious I was about each of those statements. Since he started as a PCT he knows exactly what I’m going through and it’s a nice feeling to know that he legitimately understands the whole, “It’s not a bad day but I’m totally going to break down into tears once I get out to my car” feelings.

Part of the routine at the clinic is each team member gets a specific chore for the day. My chore on Monday was making CVC kits. It’s sort of like making the needle packs.

Two packs of 2×2 gauze, two packs of alcohol, two tempadots, one piece of 4×4 gauze, paper tape, plastic tape, one syringe, one iodine pack.

Making needle packs is an extremely structured and repetitive task. It one of the moments in the day where I get to breathe and take a step back. A moment of decompression. Just like mixing the bleach water. I get to measure everything out. No higher level thinking. No inserting needles into arms or thighs. No human interaction for those six minutes. There’s only running water, measured bleach, writing initials, date, and time onto a piece of plastic tape to go on the container.

Monday was such a crazy busy day with me trying to keep up with my patients that I didn’t have time to do the CVC kits. I stayed after I clocked out to do them, holding up in the stock room and listening to the same ambient techno song on my phone while I did five packs at a time.

Two of those, one of that, three of these.

Counting. Repetition. No beeping alarms. No “next obligation”. No “I hope I’m doing this right and don’t mess up.”

My brother called me during my CVC making. There’s a former guard instructor who lives really close to him. She helped Jon get a job working with a high school marching band this past summer. She’s sort of become Jon’s adoptive mom. I’m not as close to her, but she’s an extremely nice person and I’m glad Jon has her in his life.

She was taken to the ER for a kidney stone. I can relate all too well to that situation.

Jon said he needed someone to talk to because it brought up a lot of emotions for him. Seeing her with IVs in her arm, just like mom had. Being there when she was discharged, an action we never got to experience with mom.

I had silent tears running down my cheeks as I continued to count out alcohol packs and tempadots. I know what it was like for me to be in the ER on my own. I haven’t seen any of my loved ones in the hospital yet. I’m sure it will bring up powerful emotions when I do have that experience, but I still ached for my brother and myself over our loss of mom. It still hurts remembering what it was like to see her in the ICU, what it was like to sleep in the hospital every night for two weeks. To stand in front of the drink mix aisle at Target and to feel like an awful daughter because I didn’t know what flavor mom would want. To know that mom never got to be discharged.

It brought up a lot on an already overwhelming day and I didn’t even bother to wipe the tears away as the rolled down my cheeks while I listened to him and shared in his pain.

I’m glad my brother called me and I’m glad we have each other to understand the emotions we can’t share with anyone else.

When I finally left work it was 8:30 pm.

I drove home. I talked to one of my friends from California while I did it. He made me laugh which kept the tears in check. It helped remind me that the day hadn’t been bad, just overwhelming and the way to fight overwhelm is to let go of the tension and breathe.

I took a long, hot, relaxing shower when I got home, washing away the day. Work will stay at work, and I think showering will be one of the actions I use to solidify that for myself.

I then went out to dinner with Warren since it was his birthday. We talked about finances. We talked about the Internet issue. We talked about him having a friend over on Wednesday (tonight). We talked about a lot of stuff. It was good to be out even though I was exhausted. I think it helped him feel cared for that even if it was a small outing that we at least did something for his birthday. It didn’t go unnoticed.

When we got back home I went to sleep almost immediately.

I slept almost all day Tuesday. At first, I thought about getting up and doing something with the day. At 7:30 am I went downstairs to make coffee but only made it to the futon. I laid back down for a few hours before finding enough energy to go back upstairs to my room. No coffee. No breakfast. In fact, I didn’t eat anything until 6 pm that evening and the only reason I did was because Warren agreed to pick up a pizza for me.

By 7 pm I was feeling a bit better energy wise. I stayed up and played Torchlight until about midnight before going back to sleep.

I woke up at 3, 5, and 7:30.

I’ve felt better today but still tired. It’s the type of tired that feels like it will be fixed with a good night’s sleep, so I think tomorrow will be ok.

I work tomorrow. It’s a “short” day. Only two shifts of patients rather than three. If I close tomorrow then I’ll be out around 4:30 pm. Friday is a day off, then Saturday is another “short” day. I’m hoping the new schedule is out so I can know what I’ll be working for the next six weeks.

I’m glad with the way the schedule worked out this week. I enjoy closing. I enjoy the calm and being able to stock and clean and not worrying about having the pod set up for the next wave of people. 16 hour days are brutal. Maybe I’ll get better with them as I improve my workflow and things become less overwhelming. Right now it feels like a lot and I needed these past two days to recover. Just like I needed Saturday and Sunday to recover from this past Friday.

I saw my blacksmith Saturday night. It was supposed to be Friday night but he was in a car accident.

I knew something was wrong that evening as I was leaving work. We had been texting earlier in the day. When I was leaving I sent a message to let him know I was on my way home. After thirty minutes I still didn’t have a reply. I knew that was odd. After an hour and thirty, I knew something had happened and our evening most likely was going to be postponed. At 11 pm I sent a message saying I hoped he was ok. At 3 am I still hadn’t received a response.

It wasn’t until the morning that I got a message saying he was being released from the hospital. No one was seriously injured. His shoulder and chest were sore but that was it. A 17-year-old was texting on her phone and pulled out too soon, smashing into the passenger wheel of his car.

I’m glad he’s ok. I’m glad we saw each other Saturday night. It was another session where I feel like my soul was melted into liquid iron and reshaped. Insecurities that I’ve had for years seem to have vanished over the course of a single night. Even with the weight of work I can feel a difference in myself. The breaks and cracks and chipped pieces where past experiences have hurt me have been undone through this one interaction and I really don’t know why or how.

I feel accepted with both my blacksmith and Big Bad. I feel a level of peace with both of them. Like it’s ok to be me, pure me, vulnerable me. No walls keeping people out and protecting hidden, secret hurts me.

I like how they both make me a better person. How they want me to reach the goals I set for myself. How they’re supportive and inquire about what I’m doing. How they help me through the hard times and share in the good times. I’m grateful for both of them and this is another instance of where I realize just how rare a dynamic like this must really be.

I still feel the hurt of mom being gone, but excluding that wound, I feel more whole than I have since I can remember. It’s another foreign feeling where I’m still me but it’s a different version of myself that I’m not used to. There should be pain in certain areas of my soul and there isn’t. In a way, it’s disorienting and yet relieving.

It’s something I am consciously aware of, so I suppose I’ll meditate on it and form other thoughts and will write about it more in the future. For now, it’s enough to say that I continue to grow and change and develop into the person I’m supposed to be.

Today has been a more productive day than yesterday, though really it feels like any day would have been “more productive” than yesterday.

I returned my fourth pair of shoes today. I actually really liked the ones I had. The only bad thing was they were a 9.5. The store I had been at previously only had half sizes in stock, so it was either a 9.5, which was a little too big, or an 8.5, which was a little too small.

I decided to try out the 9.5, but nope, too big. The shoes almost slipped off my feet while I was walking around the clinic. Everything else was amazing though. I loved the cushion and the slip resistant bottoms. The style was what I was looking for, too.

So today I went to a different store to return them and see if they had the elusive size 9 I wanted. They did, so hopefully, that mission can be labeled as a 100% success. We’ll know tomorrow when I try out the new pair. I have high hopes.

I did grocery shopping after that. This week is almost over and with still being low energy like I am I don’t really have it in me to do a bunch of cooking. I got mostly frozen stuff that requires baking in the oven. Not the healthiest of meal planning weeks I know, but it’s better than eating fast food every day from having nothing prepared. I’m going to try to be a bit better planned for the coming week.

I also got my car looked at today. One of the things my blacksmith and I do is go out to Waffle House for breakfast before he leaves. As we were driving there he mentioned how it felt like I should get my brakes looked at. Since I’m not a car person I tend to default to other people’s judgments on things like that.

My rotors were fine but the pads did need to be replaced, along with my brake fluid and my oil. It wasn’t supposed to have taken very long, but when one of the mechanics when to pick up the brake pads the store didn’t have them, so we had to wait for them to be delivered from somewhere else… it was sort of a cluster fuck on their end and I ended up waiting about four hours to get my car back.

Wasn’t really how I wanted to spend my day to be honest…

I got a half price oil change out of it, along with a card for a second half priced oil change. Would have rather had my car back two hours earlier, but at least they acknowledged the fact that it was sort of BS to keep me waiting as long as I was.

I’m glad the car got taken care of. The struts need to be replaced soon, but since that will be about $1k I’m going to hold off on that for a bit.

Oh… I bought more of the Shefit bras as well since they’re working out so nice. Three isn’t enough to get me through the work days as well as working out.

Aside from cooking food and doing laundry, there’s not a whole lot else about today to write about.

Warren is going to have his date night. I’m going to go to sleep, and then it will be tomorrow.

So with that I guess I’m going to go and hopefully tomorrow is less overwhelming than what Monday was.

Daily Post 041: Not Much To Report

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As the title says, there’s not much to report today, which is good because it’s already 9 pm.

I slept most of today. Normally I would feel like a slacker for that, but surprisingly I’m ok with it. All my meal prep was done. I did laundry so I have clean clothes for the remainder of the week. Nothing else really “needed” to be done, so instead, I caught up on resting.

I did go to spin class today. The Shefit bras are still living up to my expectations. I could tell my body was tired from kickboxing because I was putting more weight on the handlebars of the bike. I’m glad I stayed for the whole class, and I feel like I did well. I guess this is more of an awareness that I am only a human who does need time to recover.

I met a woman in the locker room who commented on my purple hair. It led to a really awesome conversation and left me feeling connected with the world. Hopefully, we see each other again at some point.

L created a “workout” calendar for me. Too bad I don’t know what my work schedule is so I can’t promise to actually adhere to that particular calendar. I already have an idea of what I want to do anyway, so I’m most likely an annoying client in some regards. I appreciated her taking the time to create something for me. It gives us a starting point that can always be modified as needed.

She’s going out of town for a few weeks which is another reason she wanted me to have the calendar. L created a couple of workouts she wants me to do while she’s away. I think I’m going to swap some of the excersies out for tire flipping and box jumping. Those are fun and things I am comfortable doing on my own.

Tomorrow is an early day. I’m not going to start off at the gym. I’m going to try to sleep more and go straight to work instead. Depending on how I feel afterward I might go to the gym to row, maybe run. Sitting in the sauna would be nice. I do think it will need to be a lighter day, especially if work is intense. Well, really, regardless of what work is like. I’ve done three intense days in a row and I have plans for kayaking Saturday and a body conditioning class with my brother on Sunday. I  need a break or  I won’t be able to survive the weekend.

My blacksmith and I have tentative plans to see each other tomorrow night. I hope it works out. We had to cancel our plans Wednesday night. I guess his work is being annoying.

I still don’t know my schedule for next week. That’s a bit frustrating. With luck they will let me know tomorrow otherwise I won’t know when to come in…

I still need to ask to have Saturday off. I know that will put me short a few hours but I would rather be short and go kayaking with Big Bad before starting my first official week out of training.

Other than that, I figured out the issue with the gym payment. Since Warren and I are on the same account they were billing him for both his membership and my membership. When I checked in before the spin class I added my card to the account so there shouldn’t be further issues. I also spent about an hour talking to a friend / former student. That’s the main reason for being a bit behind tonight, but I had that phone call scheduled for about a week, so really I did it to myself.

Anyway, since that’s all the excitement of today I’m going to finish my tea and shower so I can try to get about 5ish hours of sleep.

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.