This Changes Everything


If you cannot handle an honest take on life and discussions of depression and mental health, please do not read below this image. Thank you. 


It didn’t set in until this month.

The majority of my days are Groundhog Day-esque. Lather, rinse, repeat. Dull. Uninteresting. Zero challenge involved. Over time, this method of “living” has worn me down. I’ve kept silent, but today I feel the need to say “I HATE IT. I hate everything about it.”

A little over a year ago I sat in full blown tears when I realized there was never going to be something in this world to cure me. With multiple diagnoses which are highly comorbid, I remember trying to hold back the tears by saying, “I can’t cry. I’m wearing $30 mascara.” I tried blowing it off. I tried using humor. I failed miserably, and no one noticed.

As someone who unintentionally fell into advocacy, fueled by my rage post the ER visit from hell that I still can’t fully talk about without going into the “red rage zone”, I spend a lot of time fielding questions and phone calls, dumbing down information for people so they sort of understand what I’m saying, and doing my best to help others. All while I’m dying inside more and more each day.

This past Spring, a nurse got in my face and asked if I was suicidal. I replied multiple times with, “I have a therapist. I’m fine. Thank you.” and ignored the question because, quite frankly, it didn’t pertain to why I was there. If I come into an office with pneumonia or go to Urgent Care or the emergency room with a broken bone, do NOT ask me if I’m suicidal. It doesn’t pertain to the injury or illness at hand, and medical professionals should NEVER scream and/or get into the face of someone who has a trauma history and a clear-cut diagnosis of any form of PTSD. If I had reacted by physically harming her (I romanced the idea for a good twenty minutes or so.), I would be in the wrong. I would have looked like “the mental patient”, or worse. By pulling myself together and reminding myself of who I am, that bitch still has a face. For now.

“Mental illness” is a phrase I loathe using. It’s a phrase that is incredibly hurtful to me, and always has been. Perhaps because it is so often said in fear, in blame, with malice, or with false empathy, I’m not entirely sure. I prefer to say “Everyone’s brain chemistry is different.”, which is accurate. I could probably get at least one doctor to agree with me on this.

I have openly and honestly discussed my battle with a difficult form of depression. For me, it is virtually un-treatable, so they refer to it as “Treatment Resistant”. I’ve failed more than twenty-five medications, and this year, I failed another. I just started taking something new (to me), but it’ll be a while before I know if it helps or hinders. My first dose definitely affected me and the side effects after the medicine left my system were not high on my list of “Let’s do this everyday”. On one hand, I am lucky because my doctor is trying new things and he has challenged us both with his commitment.

I also suffer terribly from anxiety, Complex-PTSD, and chronic migraines. Two of these diagnoses are hereditary. My headache specialist happily informed me that since my father got occasional headaches (I inherited my pain threshold from him. My father wouldn’t take so much as an aspirin unless something was bordering on emergency.) and my mother had a few migraines in her life, that I most assuredly inherited my migraines from one side of my family or perhaps both. This was nothing I didn’t already know.

Everything that makes me unique, smart, sharp, tough, witty, snarky, and a bad ass stems from at least one or two of my collective diagnoses. It does not make me better or worse; though people would love for you to believe anyone with different brain chemistry is going to either cause you harm or harm themselves. We are treated as lesser. We are labeled and ostracized. Within my own family, I’ve constantly been told I have nothing to be depressed about. I’ve experienced both exclusion, ridicule, and have seen everyone’s true selves. And yet, I see signs of various mental illness in a great many of the very same people who sit in judgment of me, feeling superior because they would never cop to their diagnoses, if asked. They are in denial, and I used the words “mental illness” for them because I have never seen anything special or unique about any of these individuals. I have never thought, “Wow. This person is something special.” When people describe me, it is usually in a positive light and the word “incredible” is often used. It is interesting phraseology, but I’ve also been told I “just want attention”. What crazy, delusional person would say such a thing? Fifty percent of my genetic make-up. 😦 I can’t take this person too seriously. If I did, they’d never walk, talk, or breathe again.

People often underestimate me, and they absolutely underestimate my ability to come back when challenged. If I counted how often a person has said I’m “so nice”, “so sweet”, “the kindest soul”, and/or “so caring”, I would be richer than Bill Gates. These are not words I’d ever use to describe myself. The inability to read non-verbal cues is apparently something many people either choose to suffer from or simply don’t realize they’re doing. If you spend two minutes looking me in the eye, you might catch a glimpse of the real me. “She may be small, but she is mighty.”

My mother once told me I’ve had the most interesting facial expressions since the day I was born; that she knew I was not only looking at someone, but I was also looking through them. She told me, “You see people exactly as they are. Not as they pretend to be. Sometimes, that scares people away, but it’s only scaring the wrong people away. The right people will always stick by you because you’re incredibly loyal.” When I think about those words, I can almost hear her voice again.

I have my moments. I can certainly be nice, sweet, kind, and caring, just not all on the same day, lest I ruin my reputation. 😉 I have limitations on how much niceness I spread around.

My physical and emotional pain is completely invisible. Unless I mention it, no one would ever know, and thus far, only one person seems interested in understanding the complexities of it all. I don’t have a lot of facial expressions. I’m predominantly quiet, unless I have something to say. And you’ll often hear the word “formidable” used in the same sentence as my name, providing the person is smart enough to grasp the fact that I’m not passive.

When other people talk about various forms of mental illness; OCD, anxiety and/or panic attacks, bipolar disorder, trauma, or personality disorders, they tend to be shocked by my openness and honesty. I suffer silently and I suffer alone. I have ceased to discuss it with family because I question their concern for me. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt someone’s concern was genuine. No one has EVER taken a call from me when I was in a crisis situation. People don’t call to check in on me, either, but they’re very quick to dial my number over the slightest thing bothering them, and I find myself exceedingly annoyed by the ridiculous questions I get via text almost daily. Loyalty, compassion, and the ability to be emotionally present are the things I provide, but they’re also the things I am not provided with.

So, it took me all this time to realize I am passively suicidal. And despite knowing this; people have consistently said or done something this year to hurt and upset me. My thoughts, feelings, and overall health has never been taken into consideration. No one has ever said, “Man, she’s going through so much right now. She’s fighting for her life. I’ll wait to talk to her about this until I see she’s feeling stronger.” My suffering is almost completely ignored. I wish people could see how horrible this all is for me and not attack me. I wish they could take my suffering into deep consideration; not as an excuse to avoid a discussion, no, but as a solid reason to know how close I am to the edge.

I can’t remember the last time someone asked how I was doing and it wasn’t someone in customer service. I can’t remember the last time someone genuinely cheered me up. I wish someone would understand how much pain I keep contained. I’ve never used my health as an excuse and I’ve never hidden behind it, but I often think people forget I’m human. The fact that I openly declared being passively suicidal should be enough to get friends and family to sit at attention. I can’t tell you how many times this year I truly believed my life was just moments from ending.

Because it was something I felt I needed to do, I went back into therapy last year. I was seeing someone once a month, and that particular situation worked well, until the therapist left the hospital she was affiliated with. She let me know well in advance, and even when she told me, it wasn’t a shock or a surprise, but it then took me time to find someone new. I saw two people, initially. One I automatically deemed “too young”, and I don’t mean chronologically. I mean in the sense that I didn’t feel she was prepared to genuinely assist me. She immediately got under my skin in a way that let me know she was not a good fit, and I also felt incredibly uncomfortable in the building her office was in, and the surrounding neighborhood felt unsafe and emotionally charged. I shouldn’t be going anywhere if I have to second-guess my personal safety. The second person was okay, but when she pissed me off in two separate sessions, completely twisting my words and practically stabbing me in the hand with a few of her questions, I was hesitant to go back. I mentioned it to my doctor, sort of in passing, and I appreciate the fact that he looked at me and said “Why are you trying to force it?” Beforehand, I felt bad. I never want to waste someone’s time, but he said the perfect thing to me in the moment, and there was nothing about his tone that bothered me. If anything, I was relieved that he knew me well enough to say something. He helped me get set up with someone in the same office, and thus far, things are going well. I feel like she’s got a good head on her shoulders and, because I laid all the dos and don’ts down in the first appointment, she has been good about letting me take point on how I want to proceed. She feels she’ll be able to help me, but she has no idea how hopeless I truly feel.

In the past when I’d read about how people were pushed by friends and family, or maybe one more than the other, into suicide attempts, it appalled me. I would think to myself, “No, not my family. They love me.” But the truth is, people like the idea of me, especially in passing, but love is rarely found in my life. I have friends who likely have more combined love for me than twenty family members, but my family would all deny this. It took me a long time to understand that love means different things to different people. Anyone who ever loved me unconditionally is long gone, and the pain of that sits deep within me.

I often hear people say “I love you.” in passing. It’s the end of many phone calls, but it means more to me than it does to other people. To me, it is a truth, or I won’t say it. There are many ways to say you love someone. It can be by helping them through difficult shit, or telling them to drive safely. It can be so many small and large things, and yet, I feel so devoid of it from people. My cats display more love when they look at me than most people ever could, yet I know many people are quite fond of me. It’s a short list, but I don’t doubt any of the people on it.

Inevitably, once this is published, I will get texts, e-mails, and a few phone calls. This will happen either all within a few hours or over the course of a week. People will ask me questions, pretend to be interested in what’s going on in my life, etc. I will also be accused of writing about each person in my life specifically, be accused of placing targets on their backs, as if I’ve got the time to psychoanalyze all of them and as if my readers are going to attack them physically in the streets! It is ridiculous behavior, but at least they’re all consistent. 😦 I’m supremely honest, so I MUST be targeting them. I mean really, the world seemingly revolves around a LOT of fucking people whenever I speak the truth. It’s baffling, to say the least.

All I want are some good days. Good moments. No pain. I’m desperately trying to survive this life. I’m tired of crying, something I almost never do. I’m tired of the emotional abuse. It is a horrendous burden to bear, especially when someone tells you you’re not being abused, or that you deserve every last ounce of hatred and vitriol a person can spit in your direction. I understand being upset or angry, but I’m tired of it being taken out on me as personal blame. Every time it happens, I reassess my life. No one should have to fight this hard just to stay alive.

It’s important to talk about feelings. It’s important to work things out of your system. Unfortunately, writing this was not a purge of emotion. This is an explanation of my daily life. It is slowly killing me, and those who know me refuse to see it.

I didn’t know until this month. I didn’t know how completely unimportant I am to people who should always have my back. I’ll stop here, though, because the emotional wounds are deep. I’m not sure there are enough sutures on the planet big enough to fix all the emotional harm that has come my way. But I’ll be damned if people don’t start backing off.

When you can’t see past the tears, and can’t breathe without feeling spikes in your chest, passive turns to aggressive, and absolutely no one is more determined than I am once I’ve made a decision. I need love and support right now, and if the people in my life can’t provide safety and a calm, quiet place for me to exist, then I need to stop being the dutiful family member and friend and prioritize nothing else except my own desires.

I know now, and this changes everything.

copyright © 2018 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. Further protected under the Digital Millennium copyright act. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


Nobody Knows The Real Me

I’ve been going through some seriously heavy stuff for well over a year now. I may have posted this before, but today, this rings immensely true for me. I pray for strength to get me through, but some days, even the strongest person has a meltdown in the shower, so no one can see or hear. Some days; the strongest person you know can’t bear the thought of any more yelling, abuse, or internal pain. Some days are fucking HARD. Way harder than they should be.

Full Frost Supermoon In Taurus


A SuperMoon not only affects nature, such as the tides and wildlife, it also affects us. Our emotions will be heightened, our senses will be sharp, things that were hidden or in the shadows can now be seen.

The November Full Moon is also known as the Full Frost Moon, so-called because the frost and ice will start to set in as the earth grows colder. Animals will start to hibernate for the winter months, the last leaves will fall from the trees, and the land will become barren.

The Moon is rising in the sign of Taurus. We are amidst some strong planetary alignments that are heralding a need for great change and revolution both inside and out. Our attitude is of utmost importance during this time and can empower us and see us through whatever we are facing. Gratitude for what we have and a willingness to move with the energy that is calling us is required now.

This particular Full Moon will not be boring and will have an unpredictable vibe along with it. The places we have been feeling stuck in our lives may suddenly begin to move or shift. If emotions are clogged, they may surface and flow; let them, don’t hold anything in, let your emotions out. Be aware of dualistic thoughts, emotions and behaviors, as this may be generating a lot of mental stress and tension, plus sending out mixed signals to others and the Universe. Try to stay grounded and find balance. Finances are illuminated on this Full Moon, to watch what we are spending and to improve or bring in any extra income we can.


Tonight’s Full Moon brings change. We are coming to the end of the year, with Yule and the New Year fast approaching, we must become empowered to make the changes necessary to shift our situation. It is up to us, the time is now. We must let go and surrender to the deeper current that is transforming us. You are the master of your destiny. Take your power back from society and other people. Learn from your past mistakes. Vow to do better next year. Make a commitment to your success. Be adaptable. Make friends with change. It is not the enemy. Change is your friend. Change sheds the old and gives birth to the new.

This Full Moon is about communication, higher learning, and our sense of creativity and adventure. Something has been building inside of us and now is the time when the energy of the cosmos demands that we let it out. We are magnets to our desire now. We have the power to attract what we want toward us. Taurus is the sign of strength and truth; this will give us a boost in mind power, as we will be able to see things more clearly. We will see our own truths and a fog will be lifted that can show us a path that can lead us into improving ourselves both spiritually and mentally.


This Full Moon look into yourself and ask yourself what you need to move forward. Ask yourself how you are going to achieve this and ask yourself if you feel that you are strong enough to do this. If you feel that you are not strong enough, use the energy of this Full Moon to heal and gain strength. Ask the Goddess for guidance and to lead the way to a more positive, happier life.

Tonight is a good time to determine what you value and what you stand for, what you want to create in your life and carry forth into the next cycle of your evolution.

Have a blessed Full Moon. May the Goddess watch over you.

Written credit: Various

Photographic credit: Various

Edited by: Lisa Marino



12144943_1168964586449056_1438987978090284685_nI might be writing this from the afterlife. Why would I say that? Because the truly gruesome bruises are gone, there’s not a scratch in sight, and I feel…nothing. Perhaps empty would be the correct word. That can’t possibly be normal. Though my warm shower definitely reminded me that my left knee is far from okay. I will try to get it checked out this coming week.

I am packing my clothes, or at least, I’m trying to. I had no clue I had so many items. I tend to cycle through a lot of the same things over and over, as many of us do, but now that it’s getting colder and I am moving to a colder climate, there’s just cause to make sure my sweatshirts, sweaters, and warmer items are readily available.

I packed several boxes of books. I still have to finish getting all of them into boxes, so this weekend and Monday I will be on a box hunt to see if any stores have boxes from deliveries that they’d normally be recycling. It kills two birds with one stone and since the entire area doesn’t recycle until next week, they will surely have some larger boxes that will help make my life a little easier. With lighter items, the bigger the box, the quicker things get packed. There will definitely reach a point where I just start throwing things into boxes. Hey, it’s what a lot of “professional movers” do. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. I keep labeling things STORAGE or HOUSE. I’ve lost the ability to read my handwriting and codes about what is in each box. If I had more time, I’d feel like less of a moron. 😦 I should have cataloged everything with a notebook.

Monday is my birthday. If my best friend hadn’t mentioned it to me the other day, I would gladly have pretended it wasn’t happening. However, I promised her I wouldn’t do that. I will spend a few hours on Monday doing some small “me things”, but afterwards it’s back to work. I shouldn’t be wasting time I don’t have. I can always “celebrate” after the move, in a city where, right now, I know exactly four people. YAY! 😦 I’ll become a proud member of the “Can you open a bottle of wine?” club. #NockingPoint #UnfilteredBlonde

I truly wish more hands were on deck than just mine. Packing up a large house on your own is incredibly difficult. My cousin gave me a very lame excuse as to why he couldn’t help, and has suspiciously been avoiding me ever since. Case Study #1 has to work, which is a legitimate reason seeing as how he’ll be in another country. That’s not his fault, but I’m happy to mention it whenever he says he’s sorry he can’t be of “more help”. Seriously dude?! Case Study #2 is being an immense pain in my ass. By the time I arrive at my destination and clear the truck out, I might be insane and/or murderous. Expect to see bizarre Tweets “from the road” and/or photos posted from odd stops along the way.

I feel bad for Cat and Kitten. They’re going to be forced into their carriers for roughly 4-6 hours and believe me, the chorus of crying will begin the second they realize the house is empty and all their safe things are “gone”. I will pack them up with a blanket each, so they have something soft to sleep on and pray that they both fall asleep at some point. I know where the first stop is and I will make sure they’re okay before the longer shifts of not-stopping occur, but ultimately, I look forward to seeing how they adapt to their new home. I suspect it will be harder on me than it will be for them. As long as they have me, their toys, food, and things that still smell “like home”, they’ll be okay. Cats may hate change, but they do adapt well when you raise them properly. I am many things, and one of those is an excellent Cat Mother. It might be roughly for 7-10 days, but I know they’ll be fine.

Me? I’ll be emotional. I never dreamt of leaving my home, the home I chose for the long-haul, but sometimes shit happens, life changes, and you have to make decisions to better yourself, your health, career, and happiness. I would prefer to be as positive about it as humanly possible, as opposed to holding on to negative energy or emotions that do not enrich my life in a prosperous way. The only way to reach an emotional state of inner peace is to be a positive person. I’m not perfect with this, no one is that zen, but I’m trying.

I hope you all have a wonderful, fun-filled, happy weekend. If you start sneezing for no reason at all, I’m probably talking about you (Just Kidding). LOL.

copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


As Real As It Gets


WARNING: Potential Triggers

I’m a ridiculously intuitive person, which has the tendency of scaring people if they aren’t used to it. I live my life paying attention to the same things most people ignore. However, it is virtually impossible to ignore your body and mind when they’re screaming at you. No matter what bad thing it is that you may be going through, it is sometimes important to take a step back, allow yourself to feel what you feel, without apologies, and regroup tomorrow.

For the majority of my life, my purpose wasn’t clear. I don’t know if I ever considered the purpose for my existence. I had so many responsibilities, and I openly admit that I took them on myself. When most people would have been taking care of themselves for their “most selfish years”, I was taking care of two sick parents. I was dealing with burying friends and loved ones, and so it took until maybe this last year for me to say “Enough!” and begin focusing on myself. I now know that it’s not selfish to be focusing on myself at this point in my life, it’s survival.

I’ve been through some awful things, a lot of which I try not to focus on. There’s a saying about not looking back or you’ll only manage to hurt your neck. In many respects, that is true. I gain nothing from reflecting on pain, but I do gain something for having survived all of it. I know that I can get through the horrible, never-ending cycle of suffering, I know I can come out the other end a far better person than I was today, but it’s not a choice one ever wants to make. It’s “kill or be killed”, so you have to regroup and “kill”, even if only metaphorically.

In times like this, a lot of people turn to religion. I am not hardcore religious, but I am spiritual. I pray several times a day for the peace and the concept that someone Higher is listening to me. That someone Higher cares. Through trial and error, I have found that most people care about themselves, and they have no room in their mind or heart for anything or anyone else. I’ll never understand it. The average person cares about five people, or less. Are we such a selfish, self-absorbed, self-centered society that we take no time at all to care about the person next to us? I often hear myself say that if a situation does not directly affect me and/or those I love/care about, then I cannot put forth the emotion to worry about it. The point though is that I actually love and care about other people. I’ve spent a long time placing others before me, and I still do it at times, but ultimately I don’t have my head up my ass. I find it easy to be emotionally present for others, and a lot less easy to be emotionally present for myself.

I’m sick of my internal dialogue because it’s so abusive. It’s something I call “self-abuse”. You’re cutting yourself apart as if you were actually cutting, but there’s no blood, the wound is entirely internal and it grows daily. You wouldn’t even feel it if someone dipped you into the Dead Sea, because you’re already a walking wound of agony.

I can point out positive things in other people, but when it comes to doing the same for myself I usually say “I’m loyal.” and when asked how I’m feeling I often say “I exist.” I will never lie and say “I’m fine.”, because then I’d be lying to myself. I’m not fine. I’ve never been less “fine”, but because I’ve been through so many “not fine”, “not okay” times, I would rather not pick at the scabs, so to speak. How much negativity does one need to focus on before they become batshit crazy and hurt someone, or themselves?

I will never lie about often feeling suicidal. Never. I will never pretend that darkness doesn’t coat aspects of my life so thickly that it’s hard to see the light. I will never say it is a topic that is “off-limits” or “taboo” because the fact of the matter is, not everyone acts on their thoughts, but those that do aren’t weak. It takes an immense amount of strength to say “I’ve had enough pain.”

Many people advocate for “assisted suicide” for terminally ill patients, but what do we advocate for when a person cannot be healed in any way, shape, or form, through no fault of their own? Do we pretend the issue doesn’t exist and go off into our own selfish bubble? Do we say “That’s not my problem?” Do we walk away? Do we ignore it?

So many people have been unable to see the signs in a loved one and have later been devastated that they chose to end their own life. Instead of thinking about how much pain THEY had to be in to go there, to reach that point, all I ever hear is “How could s/he do this to me?”, “How could they leave me behind?”, “Why didn’t s/he tell me?” Bringer of honesty: It’s NOT about you. 

It amazes me how people don’t look closely at situations or loved ones. It blows my mind how people choose to see the surface, and nothing more. It behooves me how few people ever say “I’m here for you, no matter what. And I will NOT judge.” Once a person commits suicide, people can lie ’til the cows come home, but they are absolutely judging. If you’re unaffected by the deeply personal pain of others, you aren’t human.

It is important to check in with those we love. It is important, and crucial, to look deeper. There will still be times when you will not see what a person chooses not to show, but there will also be times when a hug, a hand to hold, a kind word, a moment of inspiration, a thoughtful phone call, or card will pull a person back and show them that they mean something, that their life has value and purpose.

This will be painful for some people to read because they choose to avoid brutal truth. This may be painful for suicide survivors who are still left asking themselves “Why?” As a person who thinks about it deeply, I have very few reasons for not acting on my feelings. Those reasons become less important each day.

I am touched by the people who genuinely reach out to me in love or friendship. I am touched by the people whose actions say “I’ll always be here for you, no matter what.” But those moments, and people, are few and far between.

One day I may not be able to rely solely on my self-talk to pull me back. And the excuses you might very well hear in the wake of that will be: “I work 60+ hours a week, I have no time to talk.”, “I never returned her phone call. I feel TERRIBLE.”, “I didn’t answer her text message.”, “I stopped speaking to her because she was too honest.”, “She was so young, smart, creative, and beautiful…I don’t understand. She had her whole life ahead of her.”

No one will say “She was in so much pain, she couldn’t take it anymore and I understand.” No one. And that is truly fucking sad.

copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.




There is no nice way to say “I feel like shit.” I thought about it and decided I wasn’t going to attempt to gloss it over. That’s like buying heavily scented cat litter with the idea in mind that roses will make it all better. Unfortunately, no matter what you do, shit is still shit. Be it a feeling or an odor. (Okay, that was graphic. I apologize.)

I realized a few hours ago that with Father’s Day approaching this Sunday, it’s probably not doing a whole hell of a lot for my mood. My father passed away almost eight years ago after battling various forms of cancer for fifteen years. I always knew he’d die young, I simply never knew that it would have such an impact on me.


Finding a dead bird in my yard the other day didn’t do much to curb this gnawing feeling. I contacted the local authorities and by the time they got back to me, the bird was gone. Was it stunned? I don’t think so. It’s not often I find a bird face down anywhere, leave alone my back yard. It made me really sad. It wasn’t breathing, so I’m certain it wasn’t a magical vampire bird that was simply taking a nap.

For the past couple of years I’ve had a regular cat visitor (a big, black cat that I tried to take in myself when he was just a kitten roaming my yard) and while he appears to be well cared for, he’s a menace when it comes to other animals. I’ve yelled at this cat a few times to stop chasing cats and kittens all over the neighborhood, but as I said, he’s a menace. When he’s not peeing on my trees or the fence, he’s usually chasing the few stray or outdoor cats he is able to find on his daily jaunts.

The bird thing bothers me for a number of reasons. One, I have neighbors that shoot bunnies in their yard because they think it’s an acceptable way of “ridding themselves of pests”. They’re looking for food, they don’t know you’re an animal-hating asshole. Two, my brother neglected to tell me that he found a dead squirrel about a week ago when he was spraying for weeds. When I inquired as to why he didn’t tell me as soon as he found it, he said “I didn’t think you needed to know.” I didn’t know I needed coddling. Had I known it was there, I would have called animal control to make sure it was safe to remove it. If I wouldn’t leave a person there, I certainly wouldn’t leave an animal out like that either!

When I did call animal control yesterday to ask if the cat could be trapped, neutered, and released the woman I spoke to actually told me this: Are you ready cat lovers/owners? “All cats are feral.” Excuse me, you crazy bitch?! “It’s the circle of life and all that. Dogs are the only domestic animals in this world.” No, they’re NOT. Besides, I didn’t say I had a tiger in my back yard, you nut job!

While I can easily say that nine times out of ten, it’s the owner and not the dog, I don’t meet a lot of civilized, well-socialized dogs. Some, but not every single one. Family dogs tend to be better and those that receive a boatload of love and attention aren’t OCD about jumping on me, biting, or being aggressive. If a dog can listen to basic training commands, it’s probably not going to come flying down the street in an attempt to jump me. A lot of rescue dogs are traumatized in some way from previous life experience and are in fight or flight mode upon meeting new people, especially if their owners haven’t sought out training or done the training themselves. Dogs require a lot of work, but they’re not the only domesticated animal on this planet.

I’ve had cats my entire life, none of them have ever been feral. For this chick to actually state that as if it’s fact is ignorant as hell. Yes, cats are predators. That’s an actual fact, but I see my almost two year old cat and how completely uninterested she is in “the great outdoors”. You can open a door and she’s not running out into the heat or cold. She sits at the glass doors to the patio and watches the birds, bunnies, squirrels, etc., but she’s more bothered by flying insects than anything else. You should see how she reacts to a bee. Yeah, real feral.

Kitten is still a baby, so everything requires a vocalization and a physical reaction to the presence of other animals. If she comes across something, she will swat at it, she’ll cover it with her paws, but she’s not “going in for the kill”. She’ll certainly let me know something does not belong here and that I need to come and assist her, but she’s not vicious about it. Using the world “feral” to describe every single cat is irresponsible. It’s the kind of idiotic comment one can expect from the inhumane society, who are far more interested in killing for their paychecks then they are in rescuing and adopting an animal out to a good home.

I called a no-kill shelter and explained the situation to them. They don’t have enough manpower to come out and get this cat, so they referred me to another organization that can trap him, get him fully vetted and screened for any potential health issues, and then decide if he can be properly socialized and adopted out to someone. He doesn’t have a collar or a tag, but he’s a purebred cat. I’ve seen him since he was just a few months old, rolling around in my back yard and meowing for attention, but utterly fearless in how he’d watch me for hours. He doesn’t deserve to be put to sleep for being outside utilizing his predatory instincts, but if he’s without a microchip to let the rescue know who he belongs to, then he deserves a good home. If he’s going to be an outdoor cat, it’s safer for him to live with someone who is okay with that and will watch out for him.

It’s highly possible he didn’t kill either animal. However, it’s the most likely conclusion based on previous behavior. I’d rather find out who he belongs to or get him into a situation where he can be in a good home, as opposed to the alternatives. I’d hate for him to get hurt for any reason and I’d hate for anyone with a pulse to harm him, so all I can do is hope that the no-kill rescue gets back to me and that we can set up a trap. It’s way too hot for animals to be outside anyway, and with the expectation of a brutally hot summer, I’d feel better knowing that he’s safe indoors somewhere.

End of bizarre “crazy cat lady” rant.

Have a wonderful start to the weekend everyone!


copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


Beltane Blessings To All


Beltane Blessings everyone! 🙂 I wish I were able to enjoy this holiday as I once did, but seeing as how it is the anniversary of a loved ones’ death, it’s still a bitter pill to swallow. Tomorrow is the 7th anniversary of the death of a beloved cat, so I’ve decided to take it easy this weekend and do my best to decompress. This week has already been stressful to the point of severe darkness.

I am still trying hard to focus on the manuscript I’m working on. You KNOW you have flipped over to the dark side of OCD when you find something wrong with your own work every single time you open the file. I keep making changes and then I have to remind myself that revisions will be made by the author, and it will be edited a final time. So, I need to push forward and let some, if not all, of the nagging in my brain go. I can’t really afford to rip any hair out of my head. Short hair, on me, is not a good look.

If you’re going to the movies this weekend, please let me know how the new Avengers movie is. I am really looking forward to seeing it. Unfortunately, I’ll have to get it on DVD because I simply do not have the time now for a movie or anything even remotely social on an external level. It’s quite sad, really, but I suspect it will be quite a while before I am able to focus on my social life, or even mild entertainment. For now, my DVR is difficult enough.

Last night I watched my team lose Game 1 (I’m going to hunt Henrik Lundqvist down and have a little chat with him about his idea of goaltending. I didn’t have time last night to threaten to beat him with his own stick when he allowed the Caps to win with 1 second left on the clock!! I’d rather sit through overtime than have my team lose at home. UGH!) of the second round of the playoffs, flipped over to The Blacklist, and then went to bed. That means there’s approximately 8-9 hours of “How much do I WATCH?!” on my DVR. If you saw the queue, you’d think I had absolutely no brain cells OR a lot of free time on my hands. I have all of my brain cells, that I’m aware of, and damn near no free time on my hands. If I had free time, I’d use it to murder my neighbor across the street who is currently mowing his lawn for the third time this week. The first two times were while I was trying not to cave my own skull in from migraines. Each time he saw another neighbor mowing within a 1-3 house range, which automatically spurred him to come out and proceed to mow, trim, and be a pain in the ass. I suspect now he is trying to make it even shorter than it was two days ago, before we get rain. Either the man is incredibly bored to be mowing in 50 degree weather OR he needs a hobby. I’m thinking it’s a combination of both. No one needs to mow their lawn that often. This is NOT a golf course or Yankee Stadium, nor is it a football field with real grass on it. Unless you’ve somehow managed to use 10-30 bottles of Miracle-Gro in a matter of days, you don’t need to be out there every few days mowing the same patch of grass over and over again. It’s borderline psychotic. (Plus, every time I sneeze from the smell of cut grass wafting in, which drives me allergies insane, my kitten mimics the sound with a meowish squeak. She feels my pain.) The fact that another neighbor across the street just joined in on this madness makes me feel like I’m listening to a dentist’s drill on a loop.

When you suffer from migraines, you become incredibly sensitive to noise. I rarely mind good music (I said GOOD.) and I can tolerate certain things at an extremely low level, but everything else is just a great big NO and has been for almost 18 years. My migraines have progressively gotten worse, so I’m extremely audio-sensitive and equally photosensitive. For me, the latter is far easier to manage most days, but especially on dark, grey days like today.

Okay peeps, I am going back to work, or at the very least, I am going to try. Enjoy your day and have an awesome weekend. 🙂


copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Grief Is


Grief is like a snowflake? If you want to be poetic about it, okay. If you want to be honest about it, which I am going to be, grief is a demonic fucker that sneaks up on you when you least expect it.

I buried my father seven years ago today. The morning of the funeral I was up until nearly 2:00 a.m. finishing the eulogy. I have no idea how I functioned that day because eight hours later I was heading back home, back to the funeral home where I’ve had to bury almost every key person in my life. I stood up in front of family and friends and brought the house down. The rabbi went up after me, saying “She’s a tough act to follow.” My father’s co-workers came up to me afterward, blown away by what I had written and how I speak in public. A few of them had known him for 40+ years, others nowhere near as long, but they all came, right before Christmas, and paid their respects. I can say a LOT about that because it’s a level of respect that I respect and appreciate. It’s something I will never forget. My father’s own family (all but a few did not live locally), never bothered to show up at the funeral, call, or send so much as a card. I damn near kicked a headstone over this disrespect at the neighboring cemetery where, in four inch heels, I flipped out at my Uncle’s grave and told him he should be ashamed of his family. The tone of voice I was using was enough to probably break bone. If any of them ever need an exact match for tissue or organ donation, I would have to seriously re-think my views on “family” because I don’t tolerate disrespect. There are moments in life when you truly see everyone for who and what they truly are. Sometimes it’s heartening, and other times it makes you murderous.

I’ve been sitting here for the last few hours wondering why I feel so terrible. Not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. I’ve wondered if I was coming down with a cold, and a plethora of other issues. While it is entirely possible that I have a cold in my system, the truth just hit me: I’m upset and when I realized the date, I changed my plans for the day. I don’t want to have a nervous breakdown in public. I will make sure the two places I need to go are open tomorrow and go then, because it’s not an emergency, but it does need to get done before everything shuts down on Christmas Eve, which I totally understand and respect. I think the only thing that will be open Christmas Day is Walmart (Every year I call them to check, expecting a different answer. Every year they tell me “We never close.”) and the movie theater, and probably a Chinese restaurant or two. I’m cooking, so I want fresh ingredients because I am on some insane mission to get through the rest of this year without going ballistic or tearing someone apart. I’m not certain the latter won’t happen. There is a LOT I can accomplish in eight days.

Today, it’s okay to have a mini-meltdown in the privacy of my own home. It’s okay to be upset and angry, and to feel abandoned.

I thought I’d reached the stage of acceptance. Maybe I have, but that doesn’t mean loss is not upsetting to me. When you lose your parents young, the way you view life is very different than it is if you lose your parents at a more appropriate age, like 90. We all live hoping to make it past retirement age, but the truth is, even though many of us say that a specific age is “too old”, we still want to live into the future. Our desire to survive is still present. A family friend once said “I’m never retiring. I’ll still work when I’m 100, so long as I can do so.” He’s a good person, a hard worker, and I pray he makes it to 100 and can see his grand-daughters grow up, maybe even become a great-Grandfather and be able to enjoy that too.

My father never got to see any of those things. I don’t know that he would have truly been interested to do so, but still, it hurts. I do not hurt solely for myself. I hurt for my brother, who really needs a parental figure in his life right now. My father was everything to him. He is not as strong as I am and I spend a lot of time worrying about him because he & I are so different. It’s hard to believe we’re brother and sister, unless it comes down to our sense of humor, passion for things that are important to us, and small things that brand you as “siblings” to others, even if you don’t look alike.

Losing a family member is never easy. Losing one during the holidays is very hard. Having to re-live it year after year is a choice. I tried working through it, but sometimes it creeps up out of nowhere and slaps me across the face. I remember it happening last year too. I did so well on the anniversary of his death, but today, I just have to let myself cry and grieve. Odd as it sounds, tomorrow will come with an entirely different set of emotions.

As the great Billy Crystal has often said “Grieving is a process.”

copyright © 2014 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.