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This will pass.

Like a kidney stone.

But it will pass!

I tried desperately to convince myself it would pass. I was sure a few nights of meditating would help. I’d be back to myself in no time….but nothing changed.

I knew I needed to eat healthier, exercise more. So, I threw myself into doing both. Time passed, still…nothing changed.

I could no longer feel. Emotions eluded me. I could no longer think. Thoughts scattered like dust bunnies during cleaning. My motivation ran off with my gumption. They never looked back.

Simply choosing attire for my daily adventures to the office became torture sessions. What to wear didn’t matter. It felt fundamentally flawed in its necessity. Why couldn’t I just wear my sweats and t-shirt? What barbarian decided business attire should be a requirement? They surely hated people whoever they were.

The every day humdrum-ness mattered even less. I couldn’t remember if I’d showered or when. Was it yesterday, or last night? Did I really need to shower this morning? Why isn’t bed-head an acceptable fashion statement? It all required to much effort.

I wanted to be left to my pillows, blankets, sleep, and darkness. They welcomed me and required no mask of societal acceptability. I could be empty, exhausted, forlorn and the darkness wouldn’t care.

But, the darkness did care. It said, “You will find no comfort here!,” and then proceeded to show me why. In the dark my mind raced. It lashed out with all my fears. Heaping one on top of another. It told me I would never be good enough. Whispering, “They know you’re a fake! You’re only going to fail anyway. They’ll fire you soon it’s just a matter of time. Why do you even bother getting up in the morning. You’re not the type of person who will ever be successful.” Each word adding fuel to the fire of my anxiety. Like a bad movie, on repeat, it played over and over and over and… Louder each time. More detailed, more convincing, more persistent. Sleep becoming nothing more than a memory.

I couldn’t tolerate the waking hours and sleep only failed me. Darkness became painful. The light, even worse. All that was left was simply…existing.

I am still, currently, just existing.

Caught an endless nightmare my mind controls. I have only one course of action – call Ginger!

For 20 years Ginger has normalized my world. She has taken it from bland and lifeless to brilliant and enticing. She has found the perfect combination of medication to keep the emptiness at bay. She is the hand which leads me out of the darkness and back into the world. She is my saving grace.

Today, she listened. We discussed the hopelessness which led me back to her, again. She  proposed some possible solutions, and together we made a choice.

A choice, a solution, should make me feel hopeful. In most situations it would. When it comes to my mind….I know there is a battle before me.

If we add a new medication. It takes time to kick in – usually 4-6 weeks. That is 4-6 weeks of impatiently waiting to see if the medication will help. There is a chance it won’t make a difference. There’s a chance it will make the issue worse. There is a chance it won’t be the solution to the problem.

It will then become an endless trial and error exploration of possibilities. It could take weeks….months…years…

I’ve been here before. I’ve hated it before. I hate it still. I’ve asked myself why I bother…and to be honest. I don’t know.

The answer society expects is, “I keep going for my kids, my family, because life is so precious.” It’s a good answer. I’ve used it on many occasion. But lets be real here.

When the darkness sets in and the world has crashed around you. When every hope is lost and it takes everything you have just to tolerate being awake. A cutesy, up beat, positive and loving answer is NOT an honest one.

An honest answer would be, “I don’t have the energy to plan, let alone commit, suicide,” or, “What else would I do?,” or simply, “I just do….”

Those answers cause the ‘how can you say that’ look. Well….I put one word in front of another and….

The honest answer isn’t popular. It isn’t welcome. It is the elephant in the room. Everyone pets it while pretending it isn’t there.

It is past time we talk about the elephant in the room. Stop using cutesy answers to appease those who don’t understand the struggles of mental disorders. They exist, they suck, and I refuse to suffer in silence. And if you want the subject sugar coated…better visit a bakery because I’m giving up sugar!

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So…I’ve been thinking about death recently.

How’s that for an opener?

It is highly likely it has been on my mind due to all the deaths I’ve been privy to lately. I’ve reached the age where anyone, at any moment, within my age group, could suddenly drop dead. Gives you the warm fuzzies doesn’t it?

You always know, in the back of your mind, this day will come. You try not to think about it but BAM! one day there is no avoiding it. I reached that day a few months back.

So…I thought…what would happen after I die?

I know one thing for sure. My funeral had better not be boring!

In fact, here are some rules for my funeral.

  1. Do Not, and I mean DO NOT have some gussied up bible thumpin’ preacher standing at the pulpit going on about what a good person I was, and how heaven was lucky to have a new angel. Bullocks!

I don’t care if no one stands up at my funeral and says a damn word. And, if they do, they better not talk like I was a saint. My halo disappeared long ago, and my horns are a bit twisted. If I was planning my funeral – and in a way, I am – I would go all out to see how many people I could offend, or make laugh their ass off, or flat out say, “Ya, that’s a Wendy move right there!”

Get me a Satanist to speak at my funeral. Heck, their tenants are a million times better then the bible thumpers ten commandments. Plus, it will make good press for the town paper. Get some of the local churches up in arms to boycott. No funeral should be complete without a good boycott, right?

2. Do Not, and again, I mean DO NOT have a grave side service.

I always hated grave side services. You stand around a hole in the ground waiting for some boring old guy to finish speaking so you can lower a decaying meat suit into the ground. The warped side of me always waits for the pully system to break and the casket to fall open tossing the body out. It’s a bit morbid but, it would be far more entertaining.

3. Please, please, please do not play that crappy funeral music. You know the stuff that makes you feel like you’re in an elevator but sad about it.

If you’re going to play music at my funeral it had better be something I like. It had also better be something up beat. I mean seriously. Funerals are long, boring, and tiring. No one ever wants to go to them. No one ever wants anyone to die either, but that’s beside the point at this juncture. If I’m dead, I’m dead. You can bet I going to attend my own funeral just to make sure it isn’t boring. I will haunt whoever makes the damn thing boring.

There had better be some AC/DC, Nightwish, Poison, Ratt, Metallica, Bond, etc. playing. You can bet I’ll be working on the play list before I die.

4. There had better be at least one grim reaper at my funeral.

My sons have already volunteered to fill this role but, I want my obituary to read; “By Order of the Recently Deceased – Please wear a reaper costume to the funeral if you have it . If you don’t, then wear your most comfortable clothes. All dress clothes have been banned from the service. You will be asked to go home and change.”

That brings me to…

5. Do not, and I MEAN DO NOT bury me in dress clothes!!!!

I want my favorite pair of jeans. My favorite t-shirt – and yes, I mean the holy one. I don’t care about shoes. Don’t you dare put a bra on me. If my boobs fall under my arms, just prop my arms up on top of them. The things aren’t doing me any good anyway. And don’t let me do my makeup all fancy. It wasn’t fancy while I was living. I’ll be darned if it will be fancy while I’m dead.

I would say bury me with my jewelry but…. I enjoyed it while I was alive. Give it to the kids, or sell it, or both, or…who cares, I’m dead.

6. I always like the movies where everyone adjourned to a bar to get drunk, loud, and reminiscence about the deceased.  I vote ya’ll do that!

Celebrate who I was, or wasn’t. Tell the jokes I’ve told, or talk about the pranks I’ve pulled. Remember that one time when I did the one thing….and you’re still questioning it. Hell, question my sanity! I do, everyday.

I guess what I’m trying to say is…

When I die … do everything you can to have fun. Life is to short to be serious all of the time.

So, for today, while I still live, I wish you a joy which brightens your days when darkness does step in. I wish you peace with where you are, and where you’re going. I wish you a long, and definitely not boring, life. Tomorrow is never promised –  don’t waste one more second on worrying, stressing, or wondering. This is YOUR day a world to win…

Goodnight my friends.

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.”

I dusted off my resume’ today. I haven’t seen it in 5 years, and didn’t figure I’d see it any time soon. Unlike many people I absolutely love my job. It is what I have always wanted to do. I enjoy the people I work with and the problems I have to solve. It’s perfect!

So, why would I dust off my resume’? The 2%.

I’ve worked in the corporate world before, I know how it works. Most of the time it works well. You have competent managers and supervisors who are admired, revered, and sought after. You rarely hear a bad word about them. When you do it is usually a disgruntled employee who hates their job anyway. This group of people make up 98% of the corporation.

That leaves you the 2%. They are the ones who you avoid in the hallways, or who complain constantly about how much they hate their jobs, or the dictators/tyrants who employees do anything to get away from – including quit, walk out, tell them off, etc.

These people can be anyone! They can be your boss, one of your teammates, a co-worker in a different department, janitor, vendor, client, ANYONE! They’re the reason you dread going to work, dust off your resume even when you love your job, seek psychiatric help, suddenly feel the desire to jump in front of train, etc.

I’ve learned these people are the ones who fit the “Golden Goose” persona. They advance in their careers because they have the power to do two things:

1. Chase away talented people because, talented people know they don’t have to put up with it. They will go elsewhere.
2. Walk all over people.

A Golden Goose will lay eggs of discontent, discord, resentment, and frustration but never see it. They move people around like pawns on a chess board. One minute you rule the board with them and can’t make a wrong move. The next minute you’re cornered and every move you make is incorrect. They’ll never tell you though. They prefer the sneak attack method.

They will tell everyone else what they perceive you’ve done wrong. You can’t argue with them because they KNOW they’re always in the right. They don’t realize the reason they’re “always right” is because people have given up. The smart ones walk away shaking their heads. You can’t fight a Golden Goose.

When faced with a Golden Goose you have two options.

1. Try to ignore it and take up drinking.
2. Find a new job quickly.

Eventually you get tired of trying number one and entertain number two. Either that or you commit yourself to the nearest psych ward to prevent committing homicide. Over the years I’ve done really well at ignoring it without taking up drinking. The past year though, drinking has slowly become part of my nights. Coming from a methyphobic it’s a pretty sad commentary on the state of things.

So, I’m dusting off my resume’, evaluating the state of things, and deciding my next move. If the business was doing better I wouldn’t hesitate to walk out. The only problem is I’m not good at quitting. And, I would be hard pressed to find a job I love as much as I love this one.

This truly proves that it only takes one person to ruin things…..

So… I wish you Golden Gooses locked only in fairy-tales, a job you absolutely love, co-workers you don’t need to find places to bury, and a strong will to endure whatever may come your way. We plot our course by OUR choices no one elses.

Note: This post was triggered by an inept co-worker who still, unfortunately, works for the company. I have, thankfully, moved on to bigger brighter things. I feel extremely sorry for those who are under this persons domain. I hope they have great health insurance. I do greatly miss the company and my old job. I loved my boss, direct co-workers, and 99.99% of everyone else. They had all become like family. I do not, however, miss, even the slightest, the one bad apple. Until today…and refinding this post…I hadn’t thought about this person….it was great lol

I pray, cross my fingers, hope you never have to work with a Golden Goose.

Anyway…onward people, onward! :)

KonMari’ed Kinda…

I have tried the KonMari way.

Well, it was with only one drawer in my dresser but, I have commitment issues with new fads.

They always sound great. People rave about them. Even the people from the Netflix series are still saying it changed their lives. Chocolate and coffee change my life daily but I’m not convinced their life changing. They’re life supporting but…that’s a story for another day.

Anyway, back to the single, lonely drawer in my over-stuffed dresser.

I Marie Kondo’ed it because a bra pissed me off. Not from wearing, which would be normal, but from trying to fit it into the drawer. So…after getting irritated, because I’m THAT person some days. I emptied the drawer out. Threatened it. Then calmly went about finding a couple of boxes.

Do you know empty shoe boxes are handy? I didn’t know this until I placed one in my dresser door and filled it with neatly folded underwear. I fit 20 pieces of underwear, in a neat row, inside this shoe box in my dresser drawer. 20 pieces! I was a bit surprised. I also discovered there is a bottom to the drawer – hadn’t seen it in a while…

Having accomplished the neatening of the underwear; I went fiercely after the socks, stockings, and tie… still questioning where the tie came from but hey…

To my surprise, again, every sock, stocking and, yes, even the tie fit nicely in another abandoned shoe box. I even had room for my ‘nice’ underwear. Ladies, you know the underwear I’m talking about, right? ;)

The only thing left to tiddy were the bras. The bastions of torture and torment.  The evil in women’s clothing. The keepers of the men fascinators. I faced the challenge undaunted!

Since the underwear and socks were tidied there was still room in the drawer! I’m still a little surprised but, anyway, onward!

I doubted the availability of enough room for the abundance of bras I’ve managed to collect. However, to face the challenge I did evaluate each one for joy….they ALL failed miserably! Whoever decided wire should be part of a bra is an evil, evil person! How could you do such a thing to innocent women everywhere? May the fleas of a thousand camel crotches infest your armpits!

Oops, sorry, got a bit off track there. Anyway, since bras are an evil necessity in my life, I kept them. I folded the ones I could neatly, squarely, compactly, and placed them in the empty space. I attempted to fold the unruly padded ones but surrendered when they refused to square.

They ALL fit. Everything which had previously been in the drawer, remained in the drawer, AND I could close it! I didn’t have to attempt to stuff an escaping piece of underthings back into the drawer before closing. I simply closed the drawer. Simple. Easy. And I didn’t eliminate a single piece of clothing.

The question now is….how long will it take me to undo what I’ve done? Surprisingly, I have maintained for the past month. I’m even thinking of doing a second drawer! Maybe. Perhaps. Possibly. Maybe even this week!

I cringe at the thought of KonMari’ing the closet, or the basement, or the kitchen, or… Baby steps people, baby steps!

So, my final take on the whole KonMari way….

I don’t know.

If I KonMari’ed a drawer which brought me joy, my answer, I’m sure, would be different. My OCD, upon opening the drawer, is very satisfied at the symmetry. The ability to find items at a glance is refreshing. Maintenance of the organization is fairly simple. Perhaps there is a bit of joy which follows the neatening. I’m just not completely convinced it is life changing.

Also, I just couldn’t bring myself to thank my underwear for their service. They have yet to make my butt look smaller, rounder, or firmer.

For tonight, I wish you joy in the simplest of things. Hope even when you question the ability of it. And the willingness to try new things, even if only in small ways. The combination of the three can be life changing.

Goodnight my friends!

 

Finding Joy in Pain…

So… my hands have their painful days.

Days where just moving them makes me want to cut them off.  It makes typing, writing, moving dreadful. Yet, there are days, they are pain free and I forget for a moment about the pain.

I have ventured to the doctor for answers as to why my hands are persnickety.

The first time I went….

They scheduled me a mammogram. I asked what the correlation was between my hand pain and the necessity of a mammogram. The only answer I received was….you’re at that age. You should have a mammogram.

Okay, great. I’ll go get my boobs smashed but, what about my hands? *chirping*

So, I scheduled an appointment with a different doctor. Attended my appointment. Told him about my hands and…. he talked about weight loss…the whole visit!

I eat fairly healthy. Something his face said he didn’t believe. At the time, I was going to the gym three times a week. Again, his face portrayed disbelief. My attitude quickly displayed annoyance.

So, I asked him, what does my weight have to do with my hands hurting? *chirping*

Once again, I scheduled another appoint with a different doctor. Third time is a charm, right?

I went to my third doctor appointment. Visited with the new doctor. Told her about my hands. She asked a couple of probing questions unrelated to my hands. I told myself, at least she is asking questions….

I walked out of that appointment with four prescriptions and three diagnosis’s. None of which were related to my hands.  Two of the prescriptions were for fibermyalgia. Two for allergies. The allergy ones I will admit I needed. The fibermyalgia ones were a joke. They had to be. I know people who suffer from fibermyalgia. I know it is not centrally located. It is a full body issue. Oh, and she threw in celiacs disease – I have none of the symptoms, but hey, it has to be there right? The doctor said so!

Anyway, being an optimist, and wanting to give the doctor the benefit of the doubt. I did try the fibermyalgia medications for 6 weeks. During the 6 weeks trial I felt no difference. The pain still came and went. There was no correlation between how much I used them, or how little. No pattern I could see of how or when I used them.

I still have no answers for my hand pain. I’m done seeing doctors. I have learned a few things from all of this though.

  1. If you are even slightly over-weight, it is the only thing doctors will focus on. Everything is suddenly related to your weight. <– This is a very dangerous assumption by doctors.
  2. Doctors will push certain procedures – for women it is mammograms and pap-smears. These procedures make the doctors/hospitals money but, they are not as reliable, or effective, as they’d like you to believe. Read, research, look at the science behind them. Then make an educated decision.
  3. The “issue de jour” is suddenly widely diagnosed. My fibermyalgia and celiac diagnosis were very popular at the time. Everyone I know, who saw a doctor during the same time period, were all diagnosed with the same issues. Again, read, research, look at the science. And for goodness sake, do not take medication you do not need.
  4. A second, or even third opinion, is only useful when it is actually related to the issue you’re having. You have to have an initial diagnosis before you can get a second opinion.
  5. Doctors are not smarter then anyone else. They simply went to school longer. I prone to agree with my father these days. He says, “Doctors are just over-educated idiots.” I can’t argue at the moment….

Today, doctors have 15 minutes to see you. Thirty if you are lucky. They have to get in, get out, and move on to the next patient. There is a shortage of doctors, and I am not running out to be one. I would be an over-educated idiot. So, I have a bit of pity for them.

We have turned the medical profession into a well oiled business. Great for someones pocket book. Terrible for those who suffer.

I can live with random hand pain. It isn’t life threatening, just uncomfortable. I know our hospital/doctors offices are working to be better. I know this because I work for the hospital – IT department, thankfully.

If I had a chance to offer my hospital some advice. I would tell them to encourage the doctors to ask more probing questions. Teach them the great skill of observation. Focus on what the patient is say, not on the popular diagnosis de jour. And for goodness sakes, start treating people, with a little extra weight, like people. Stop treating them like they’re weight. Not everything is related to their weight!! (I’ve lost weight, my hands still hurt, kinda rules it out huh?)

Anyway, doctors are not my favorite profession. Them and lawyers. But, they are still people trying to do the best they can within a corporations policy’s. I do miss private practices.

Not matter what I do wish the doctors hope for their struggles. Faith in their own abilities, and a voice to speak out against what they believe to be wrong. We put our lives in their hands. Their patients should be their first thoughts; big business their second. In a perfect world it would be that way. And, if I may, I wish every doctor joy. May it be a glimmer in the darkness when all hope is lost. (And yes, I stole that from Lord of the Rings lol)

Goodnight my friends,

May you find joy daily!

“Respect is Earned, not Given.”

I have always disliked this phrase. I’ve also found it to be completely untrue. Think about it…

We meet someone for the first time. We respect their space. We ask if they’d like a drink, or a offer them a seat. Signs of respect. We respect what they say during a conversation. We compliment their clothes, eyes, hair, shoes, what-have-you. We offer our hand, in respect, for a polite handshake.

We respect people immediately. Out of need, or hope they’ll like us. We do it naturally, without thinking. Yet, so many believe “Respect is earned, not given.” How sad life would be if it was true…

Perhaps a better quote would be: “Respect is freely give; it is your responsibility to continue to be worthy of it.”

So for today, I wish you continued respect. Be thankful for the huge impact such a small word has on our world. And, when you reach a point where you believe respect is earned, and not given. I hope you remember everyone around you shows you respect in a million little way everyday. Celebrate their selfless act by passing it on to others.

Goodnight All!

The past week, or two, have been challenging for you. It has had its ups and down. Its tears, frustrations, and revelations. I know the emotional roller-coaster you’re riding. I feel for you and wish I could change every moment of it.

I know your first instinct is going be to run. Hide. Blame yourself. Close yourself off from each other. And do everything possible to escape the emotions your feeling. Resist, resist with your whole being! The temptation to pack up, call it quits, pull away from each other is fear. Fear stands solidly behind this innate instinct. Do not give in. Please.

See, this is an event you will never forget. You will, one day, look back upon this moment with fondness or regret. It is your response which now decides your future emotional reaction. My hope is it will be with fondness. Regret is lonely, painful, and worse then the event which caused it.

I know you have started to pull away from each other. You don’t talk. You have a hard time being in the same room. You avoid being home or going home. Please don’t. You are creating a regret worthy memory you’ll never forget. It will haunt you. You will wish you would have done things differently.

Now, I know I don’t know two of you as well as I wish I did. I know a few little things, but not the important ones. My lack of knowledge makes me nothing more than an observer. So why am I writing this? Why do I care? Why should you listen, or read further? Well…

Here’s the thing, you are important, loved, and cared about by the sunshine in my life. I may know nothing else, but that…that is enough. It means you are important, loved, and cared about by the rest of his family. You are family! And this family, doesn’t like to see anyone in it hurting.

The three of you have laughed together, struggled together, been each other’s shoulder, refuge, and safety. You have been the greatest support system for each other. Lifted each other up when most needed. You’ve fought for each other, cried for each other, and fought with each other. You’ve built a solid foundation which has now been shaken. Worse, fear has stepped in and threatens to take it all away. The feelings fear invokes are powerful, all consuming, and oh, so valuable.

Please don’t let them win.

Do the toughest thing you’ll ever do. I promise you won’t regret it.

Take a deep breath.

Remind yourself fear triggers the fight or flight response.

Ignore it.

Then do two things:

  1. Make a list of all the little things you miss, or would miss, about each other if you ran/closed off/etc.
  2. Then…do for the others what you desperately wish someone would do for you right now. It could be a simple sorry, a hug, a touch, taking them their favorite drink, providing a shoulder to cry on, finding a punching bag…doesn’t matter. Just do it.

Because, dang it, this page of your story may be over but there are still pages to read. No, this part of the story wasn’t pleasant but, if you close the book…that’s it. It is over. You have a chance to make a different choice. You can choose to turn the page and experience the amazing story yet to come. No regrets. No ‘if onlys’.

You are all strong, amazing, talented, smart, creative, loving, and unbelievably fantastic young men. Have faith in yourself, and each other. You can make a difference in each others lives which will last a lifetime. I have so much faith in you! And I am so proud of each of you for the way you have handled all of this so far. So, please, turn the page, don’t close the book.

You set a dangerous precedence if you do close the book and walk away. You give yourself permission to do it again, and again. It means there will be a lot of closed books in your life, and a lot of regrets. Take it from someone who knows all about books, and regret.

I’m here for all of you, if you need me.

Love you all