I love you because you were my drug of choice…

No one tells you about the itch you can’t ever quite itch.. or the thoughts that you can never settle.

The reoccurring movie that plays in your head of the moments that you bonded when you were high and felt more grounded than you’ve ever felt before. Tied to this perfect relationship so imperfectly. Feeling needed and wanted, warm in an embrace of endorphins and serotonin falsely elevated by the last hit.

No one tells you that you’ll never love that way again or that you will feel the way you feel.

No one tells you that letting go of the person you got high with is harder than letting go of the drugs sometimes.

No one tells you that just because you’re clean, things aren’t easy, or clean.

No one tells you there’s an ache that some days you can learn how to mask it, pushing in deep into the depths of some part of you you’ve compartmentalized long ago when you decided enough was enough. Did you decide to get clean? Or did the world decide for you. Did it decide that enough was enough. Or that the bliss you felt when you inhaled, injected or snorted wasn’t real and it was time to wake up.

No one told me it would almost end me.

No one told me that once my body learned to produce its own happiness that I slowly began to appreciate the sun in my face, so much that I refuse to wear sunglasses, for fear that it might dim the colors again.

No one told me that I would have strangers tell me I laugh too loud, too frequently, as if I care.

No one told me I live on my own time now, not a scheduled determined by how long the fix or baggie would last and if I had enough money to get another.

No one told me about vacations and international travel.

No one told me that every day further away from the high… I feel more alive.

No one told me I would still miss the idea of you, but that life was getting so good, I could recognize that it’s just an idea. You are no longer the fix, but a passing whisper of my past.

No one told me the freedom I would feel.

No one told me I should have never tried once, but no one expected it would turn out the way it did either.

Posted in 2022, Life, Love | Leave a comment

I love you because you talk behind my back

It’s been awhile, and I would love to say I was off having grand adventures, but really, I was laying in my bed every non-busy moment and binging TV like it was my new heroin. “Mild to Moderate Depression” I think is what they call it. I would rather refer to it as COVID burnout. The moments that used to bring joy are now filled with doubts of whether I am appropriately attired to attend an event, or appointment. A slight cough from a person next to me now prompts disgust that I’d never entertained for a stranger before (I’m working on that one). Through all of this, writing seemed like a chore. I try to bring happy, carefree, or hopeful shorts.. and none of those emotions have been in my toolbelt consistently for the last year or so.

I have been happy, but not in the overwhelming joy kind of way, for sure not in the laugh out loud kind of way. Though morbidity has become a more present thought… and strangely it’s something I can smile and laugh about. I know how that sounds. I apologize if it offends you. Some of the rest of everything I write probably will to.

I recently went to a funeral of a coworker that I have had the pleasure of working with for 7 years. It was a largely unexpected passing and hard on many people as was evident by the over-flowing funeral home during their celebration of life. The quiet whispers and stifled tears were all that filled the heaviness before, during and after the service. The person that was represented was so much more than the person I knew. But I knew her enough that I’m still able to hear her laugh when we were being ridiculous. I hope she knew what she meant to us.

Occasionally, I get to hear how others perceive me. I know we aren’t supposed to care… blah.. blah.. blah.. But I’m not saying I strive to be something that I’m not for the sake of someone else. I’m saying sometimes, people talk behind your back, good, bad, or indifferent, And rarely those impressions make it back to the person they are about. For me, I didn’t realize the impact I have made in certain situations until someone comes back and tells me that I helped them see things a different way, or heal, or have hope.

Tomorrow, I will be making extra time to give them the 3 minutes they want to talk about their cat, or the 45 they need to cry over a loved one, or the quiet eye contact that lets them know they aren’t alone. Because even it if doesn’t seem like anything big to me at the time, it could be something that changes someone’s entire world. To those that have told me, accidentally or on purpose what I’ve done for you, thank you. And if you have someone that does something for you, no matter how small, please let them know… they may not even realize they’re doing it, and you may change their world.

Posted in 2022, Life | Leave a comment

I love you for the second day

Second day after the shot.

12:12 am I can’t sleep and I’m starting to wonder what was in the syringe…

4:32 am at some point I fell asleep, because now I am awake again. My face is freezing, I’m shivering. Maybe this is the end.

4:34 am I remember I didn’t turn on the heater last night and the house is 54 degrees. It is not the end

5:36 am My farts smell like I’ve eaten nothing but eggs for 3 days. Everything is heavy, especially my face

7:02 am I wake up, everything hurts especially where the nurse hit me. I take advil and go back to sleep

9:22 am I am awake and going to attempt to eat something. My burps smell like flinstone’s vitamins.

10:57 am I am exhausted. My eyes are heavy, I’m freezing and whatever I ate is not happy and threatening to come back up. I am full on hiding in my blanket for at this point and one of the kids has delivered a cup to throw up in.

2:01 pm I just woke up. The bed is soaked. I verify I did not in fact wet the bed… I guess that’s what happens when you have a fever and it works itself out. At this point I think I’m overdosing on Advil. What ever the max limit is, I believe I have exceeded it.

3:13 pm I am questioning why I didn’t take the drugs when offered yesterday. Everything is achy and feels like it doesn’t want to work right

4:04 pm I order a large sandwich from JJ to deliver because when I feel bad, I eat

5:07 pm This feels oddly close to what it feels like when you are withdrawing from several different drugs. Chest is heavy and deep breaths hurt. I did shower and change the sheets so I wasn’t laying in a puddle.

Today has been rough, trying to find a comfortable position to lay in and everything hurts. I think it means I’m not going to die though and that it’s doing what it’s supposed to. I am learning to trust my farts again and have a can of air freshener next to me so I don’t kill anyone. More to come.

Posted in 2021 | Leave a comment

I love you because you won’t go away

It’s been a year… a year since we were told to stay inside for a few weeks and this would all be over. A year since everyone seems to have lost their patience, happiness and sanity. A year since speed limits mattered and people knew that the lines on the road are to define actual lanes. A year since the great run on toilet paper. Then the vaccine came out and many places are starting to reopen fully. Today I got my second shot. I will be journaling it for you.

9:08 am we leave the house to drive over an hour north because was NOWHERE nearby. I think I can still feel where they gave me the last shot in my right …er… left arm

10:20 am we get there. It’s a clinic in the middle of nowhere and it doesn’t appear busy. We chill in the parking lot like stalkers watching the occasional person leave.

10:45 am We are tired of waiting. Planning to walk in and see if we can get in earlier than the scheduled 11:10 appointment. I’m feeling dizzy. I think it’s the first vaccine letting it’s twin know we are near

11:00 am All signed in and waiting for someone to stab me. Questioning several life decisions… including not getting a helicopter when I had the chance.

11:03 am She’s swabbing the area… I am trying to relax but OMG SHE HIT ME IN THE MUSCLE AND IS PUSHING THE VACCINE INTO MY SOUL

11:04 am she tells me to suck it up and is now swabbing the OPEN WOUND with another alcohol swab… I ask her who hurt her. She slaps it to see if it will bleed. It does not. She hands me my card and a kitchen timer. Timer is set to 15 minutes to see if I die before the statute of limitation is up on the vaccine.

11:06 am I’m pretty sure when she was trying to stab for bones she hit something because I swear I can taste the vaccine. I want to ask them if it’s just going to end up in the back of my throat, why couldn’t they just have given me a shooter. I don’t. They are busy with other people

11:11 am I have to pee. and fart. not sure if those are real feelings or if the effects of the vaccine are starting to hit.

11:16 am I pee. Not sure I can trust the fart, so I don’t.

11:19 am I haven’t died. I don’t think. Maybe I entered a virtual world and this is all a simulation.

11:22 am my arm hurts. I rub it, it helps.

11:38 am my other arm hurts, I think it’s having sympathy pains. Or I’m dying

11:58 am ONLY my other arm hurts now. I’m whiny. the person I’m with tells me to suck it up. ZERO sympathy

11:59 am I get offered narcotics for the pain. I feel like I should say no since it was from my mother… is this a test? Are we in reality?

12:22 pm I taste butter. the wrong arm hurts. My collar bone hurts… probably the un-trustable fart bubble making it’s way upwards as I refuse to let it go.

12:55 pm I see smells. We are still in the car and I am trying to not think about what will happen if I relax my butt cheeks. the wrong arm still hurts

1:10 pm the wrong arm hurts and I think my face is melting

1:35 pm I am no longer concerned about my arm hurting because my lips feel funny and my face feels melty. Still not trusting the fart

2:10 pm I am so grateful I did not trust the fart or I would have had to clean the car. Either the vaccine caused some things to move or it was the burger king I had for breakfast. I’m blaming the vaccine. Face still feels melty

2:26 pm face feels melty and my eyeballs are sticky.

2:41 pm eyeballs are not sticky if I do not close them

2:56 pm I’m eating my 4th meal of the day. I heard something about carbo-loading for the vaccine, right? Face is melty and I am checking in the mirror to make sure I am not having a stroke. Now my right thigh hurts

3:30 pm I am going to take a nap, my eyes are sticky and they don’t want to stay open anymore

5:45 pm I am woken up by a text from a kid asking about dinner… don’t they know I’m trying to not grow a third arm in here???

6:05 pm I eat again… because you know.. feed a vaccine starve a cold or something like that

6:07 pm I am working out for a minute, not because I’ve eaten enough for 3 people today, but because the vaccine needs to move through my body (I think I read that somewhere)

6:08pm I threw up. Also, still cannot trust a fart.

6:15 pm I don’t think I’m going to die. Actually, after I took out my contacts, my eyes are a lot less sticky. Drinking a ton of water… the cotton mouth is crazy. Small bruise forming on my arm where she skewered me. I will keep updating. There are a little residue smells coming through from the color yellow, I have requested everyone not wear anything of that color.

Some of this is loosely based on what really happened with me trying to use humor in a very depressing world void of many people who have forgotten to laugh. Get the vaccine if you feel it’s for you. Don’t if you don’t. The nurses were very sweet and accommodating to my dramatics. I will keep updating today, but I don’t think I am having a stroke.. though my face does feel weird. I really have eaten way more than I should have today. And no, I still cannot trust a fart.

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I love you because you are always there…

Forty something years ago my parents became parents for the first time. They had the perfect first child. I know he would argue otherwise, because humility is one of his natural attributes. I didn’t know until years later that when they had me, he was thrilled to have a little sister. From that moment forward, there was always something different about our bond. He has always tried to be my protector… and we both know, I never made it easy. We would get in trouble together, a lot, he would usually taking the bulk of punishment. At least that’s how I’ll remember it.

He’s always made me feel wanted, cared for, and that I mattered. He gave me my first sister and some pretty cool nieces and a nephew.

I know when I hurt, he hurts… I hope he knows it works the other way around too.

I hope he knows that the things he struggles with are things I wish more than anything I could fix for him. I hope he knows how much I love him.

Today, while he celebrates a birthday… not knowing without a calculator which one it actually is. I hope he knows that I wish for him that life will start a new chapter, and no, he’s not too old for adventures. That things that make you lose sleep are so temporary. That you are not alone, ever. And that I hope he knows that I think he’s the best big brother I could have hoped for. Happy birthday.

Posted in 2020 | Leave a comment

Quarantine day eleventy-seven…

We are now at the point that the days are becoming slightly more clear, the weeks are flying by, but the days of the week are clearer. I think my people skills are getting better.. but on the same hand, I’m pretty sure I’m the same level of awkward as before. I am kind of digging the masks thing.. there’s something about having your face half hidden that removes a lot of stress of looking good.

Mother’s Day came and went, moderately uneventful. I was reminded again how lucky I am.. both that my kids are great, they don’t fight for the most part, they do chores without being asked… and most importantly, they aren’t toddlers. I feel for all the moms (and dads) that have been stuck inside with any child that is not completely ok being alone, and/or plugged into electronics like a crack addict. Those are the same children that need to eat all day.. We’ve managed to only go to the store twice in the last 3 months by only eating once every other day. Kidding, we have ordered enough take-out to feed them all at least once every 3 hours.

The threat of loss of internet access is the only thing that is making the final days of homework get finished. The school announcing that everyone’s grades will not decrease, regardless of participation, and then sending several emails a day telling me how many assignments each kid is missing… is sending mixed signals. Feels like an ex.

This week I learned that I shouldn’t eat bread several times a day. Or donuts. Or cookies. I learned that if someone is really important to me, I will make time… even and especially when all I really want to do is stay home. I have regretted going out exactly zero times.

I learned that sometimes, it’s ok to just sit and be with someone, maybe that’s all they need. They may need that silence more than you need to talk.

I learned that there is only one person that I can go to the bathroom with on video chat, and they are finally ok with it.. I think it means they are stuck with me in their lives forever.

I learned through a terrible situation that you don’t know the kind of impact you make on those around you. If you ever thought you were invisible, you weren’t to everyone. And the impacts we make through smalls act of friendship, or kindness, might make the difference in someone’s life that you never get to see. Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it wasn’t epic.

I have spent a lot of time in the last few weeks/months reevaluating every close relationship I have. Some I am making a concentrated effort to further and some stayed the same. Some of them I am letting go of because it’s time to move on. It’s no longer about the career, or the money, I was going to say or the status, but if you know me… that one didn’t matter before, it won’t matter now.. everything is about the people.

This week I finally reached the point where I am no longer taking any human contact for granted. I think I needed a “tolerance” break. This new world we are learning to live in doesn’t seem like it will ever quite be the same. Maybe it needed the change. Maybe next time it could be a little less rough.

This one is a little sappy… sorry, feeling sappy today. Here’s things I will NOT miss.

Reminding teenagers that I have seen them in the same clothes for a week straight and declaring a “shower day”.

The smell of microwaved ramen.

Having no spoons.. seriously, where are all the spoons.

Trying to convince the delivery drivers that we do not in fact have the ‘rona and they don’t have to throw the food at the front door and run.

Trying to convince my oldest daughter that even though she’s been the mom for the last decade or more, that it’s ok.. I’m here now and I can do it.. .because apparently, being a working single parent and relying heavily on the kids has made them super independent. She can have the household back.. I had my fun, we are good.

The smell of popcorn. I think that’s all they eat is ramen and popcorn.

Being kicked off the internet because everyone has 4 separate devices going at once.

Feeling like the dog loves me only for my blankets.

Feeling like the kids love me only for the food and internet I provide.

Being alone.. the majority of the time. Thank you to the few people that have braved the ‘rona scare to make sure I am getting my allotment of hugs, cookies, and time with your faces. You are my heart.

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Quarantine day 7,001

I live in a state that has decided to open this week. I have chosen the best use of my abilities is to continue wearing pants with elastic and t-shirts with holes on the collar. People are treating yesterday like a day that because the government said we were safe to go outside, we are safe. I’m going to wait it out for another week or so and see what happens to all the people that are licking doorknobs this week. If they are OK in a week or so, I might venture out.

People ask all the time how things are going. Here’s the honest answer…

I’m worried that the anxiety from being home will turn me into an agoraphobic.

I’m falling in deep like with someone over text. That alone concerns me, is it the quarantine that is making any attention, good attention? Or is this really it?

I’m trying a no sugar, no bread, no dairy diet. Today, I ate all three, several times… it’s going well.

I gave up Zebra Cakes. No one over 35 has the digestive power to conquer them.

I definitely chew too loudly as I am reminded daily.

I have begun to google everything that could fix even a minor inconvenience. Today I googled how much a sugar glider is. I’m not sure I can explain what minor inconvenience that will fix, but use your imaginations.

I find myself screaming at the television when the characters are being stupid. I think I am actually finally getting somewhere in my friendships with those nice people on Warehouse 13.

It has become glaringly obvious that I do NOT drink enough water.

ANYTHING can be delivered. Anything.

Matching socks are optional (who are we kidding… they’ve never been mandatory).

I am not good at zoom conference angles. Not good at all. I may never take a selfie again.

Donuts are a valid lunch. Three days in a row. As long as they are different flavors.

There are emotional roller coasters, but when you reach out to a friend on your low.. either they can help because they are not on a low.. or you can both be on a low together and cry. Either one is OK. Hanging in there, for myself, my employees, my friends and my family is the only real job I have.

I got this.

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quarantine day 736

Today I am choosing to be grateful. Lots of time to think about everything. Don’t get me wrong, I think about everything all the time anyway, but these thoughts are different. Time is moving slower. Slower in such a way that my normal thought process that skips from idea to curiosity like a 4 year old on caffeine has changed into full thoughts, slow.. from beginning to end.

This morning I was looking through Facebook memories. Mostly because I like to self-torture. I realized this month is my yearly anniversary of being clean. I used to struggle with sobriety. As does everyone that has ever tried to get clean or sober. Now a year has passed faster than a blink. With the quarantine going on, I wondered how many addicts are hurting right now? How many people are being forced to face withdrawal alone? How many people are trying drugs as an escape, not realizing that none of us had that first high realizing we had just sealed ourselves into a label? No one starts using to become addicted. But that’s usually where it ends up. Today, my heart hurts for them. I am grateful I am not withdrawing, or trying to find a way to make money for drugs, and that another year went by easily.

I got a call a few hours ago. My daughter, crying. I immediately went into “mom” mode.. assuming the worst. Turns out she had a flat tire. The first in her driving career. I had to go “rescue” her. She had pulled into a parking lot on the side of the road, but beyond moving out of traffic, she didn’t know yet what to do. I got there and walked her through jacking the car up, removing the bolts, putting the spare on, and taking the jack out.. Then we watched at the tire slowly sink rim-to-ground. The spare is flat. I am grateful that 9 years ago my dad gave me a car emergency kit with a small hand-held air compressor in it and I have carried it, unused for 9 years in the back of every car I drive. I am also grateful that 20-something years ago, he taught me how to change a tire and check the air pressure. I have used that skill several dozen times since then. Today, I was able to pass on that skill to my daughter, so she too can feel like a bad-ass next time she gets a flat and a guy pulls over and she tells him she’s got it, but thanks.

Yesterday, we celebrated my youngest child’s 14th birthday. We went nowhere and he received no presents. But we did have dinner and cake together and talked about what we appreciated about him. I’m grateful that all of my kids see material items as less important than the time we spend together.

I’m grateful for my mom, who offers calm reassurance.. all the time. And who has also been sewing masks non-stop for people all over the country.

No cute/funny stories today.. except this lovely “cheat” I discovered today. I am boredom eating. I know I am, I am also eating my feelings.. makes for potential of weight gain (I say potential, but I know it’s happening) Today, I discovered when I put on a bra it made my stomach disappear. so, you aren’t chubby… you just need a better bra.

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Quarantine day 73-b

This week was one that topped the last year of quarantine. Time is blurring together, some things I’m recalling may have happened this week or last year… we don’t know anymore – disregard my inconsistencies with time, it has no meaning anymore. My washing machine yelled at me today and told me I needed to clean it. I didn’t know that was a thing. But with all my spare time, I was able to research.. and yes, it is in fact a thing to clean your machines that do your washing. Both dishes and clothes. I’m shook (as my kids would say… or is it woke?)

This week, we are beginning to discover who is handling the isolation well and who is not. There may have been a massive screaming fight that made it’s way out to the street… I’m sure we won’t be the first house. I know our mental battle is different than those that are in their homes alone. I have to remind myself that I am blessed to have people here with me, even if they can’t stand the site of my face, or the way I breathe, or how I walk up the stairs.

I have sent some of the kids outside earlier in the week to do the yard work. While they were out there pulling weeds, someone walked by and made a comment “you’ve got a lot of work ahead of you”. I don’t know why, but it hurt my feelings. So if you ask me how my week is going, my emotional status is “hurt by random person’s opinion of my front yard”. Let me tell you, it’s a fun place to be. We fixed the yard and a different person walked by and said “you have the best landscaping in the whole neighborhood”. I’m thinking of printing her quote out on a 6’x18′ banner and nailing it across the garage.

I think I was depressed in the beginning of the week because yesterday I started getting packages of things I’ve ordered, but then completely forgot about. Today I got a pair of earnings and 2 power strips. Yesterday was a mouse pad with a picture of an elephant wearing headphones. Clearly, I have my priorities.

I had forgotten that when I have time, and energy… I actually like to cook. More than that, I like to make things up and see how different things taste that you wouldn’t normally put together. The kids look at me like I’ve lost my mind. I might have. I do know they are not enjoying that I’m home to tell them once maybe twice a day to do a chore. It’s an adjustment.

We are learning to slow down. A lot. I can hear the neighbors band playing in their garage. It makes for the background on a very quiet neighborhood. The governor announced an extension the other day to our quarantine for at least another 10 days. While everyone is trying to stay separate, I’ve noticed the friendliness among strangers is increasing. I am waving at everyone, when I’m driving, or when I’m walking. The neighbors are all out howling at 8pm every night. Regardless of the isolation we may be feeling, the waving is a reminder that everyone else is going through the exact same thing.

Hanging in there for another week. one day at a time.

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Quarantine day 42.c

I think I’m more on top of it today than other days. I know trash is tomorrow because one of the kids came in and emptied all the bins in my room earlier. I will have to verify with the calendar on the fridge, but I think trash picks up Tuesdays. I realize my sense of security is false. I’m learning to live in denial. It’s nice.

I have learned a lot in the last few days. For example, I learned that when I chew gum I make small bubbles inside my mouth and pop them. Complete news to me. I discovered this when one of the people sitting next to me told me in their outside voice before they walked forcefully to their room. I’ve also learned that rock, paper, scissors will solve ALL the problems. If it doesn’t we do best two-out-of-three. I learned no one is too big for a fort.

So, today while I was hanging out in my fort, working, with netflix playing in the background I was absent-mindedly twirling my fingers. I think I am too close to mother earth now when I realized I was twirling my leg hairs. On the upside, I also discovered I do not in fact, (despite my best efforts) have cankles. And on top of them I got to remember how to shave again. Side note, new razors will scrape you to your soul if you aren’t careful.

I have learned that I have never been more grateful to delivery drivers in my life. I learned I go through a lot of PJs and socks for someone that doesn’t leave the house. Also, did you know when you don’t wear shoes for a long time that your foot widens? Yeah, me neither.

I have learned it’s way harder to ignore your bosses 9pm emails when you’ve lost track of time and are still in the same spot in your fort that you were at 9am, watching the same show you’ve been binging for the last 12 hours straight. I learned that when we talk loudly at dinner and give each other crap, it’s good for everyone to get some things out. I’ve also learned this time is stressful enough to take my most easy going kid and push him to his limits.

While you are learning about the people you are privileged to be on your own personal reality show with, remember this opportunity will probably never happen again. Take advantage of it. Oh.. and go outside at 8pm and howl.

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