The Past Few Days 😔

Yes, I’m writing. Yes, I am on top of product reviews like you wouldn’t believe. Yes, I need a break. I am giving myself permission to take that much-needed break.

I’ve done ALL the hard things. I’ve buried almost all of my relatives. I’ve taken care of others to the breaking point. I’ve been selfless AF. It’s time for more self-care and less doing for everyone else. I deserve a break. NO ONE gets to tell me who the hell I am, except for me. ✌🏻 Freeing up my life, but only for fun things with good people. Book your appointments now. 😉

Impolite Zionist

I’m fed up. I’m also sick and tired of this. Leading up to every major Jewish holiday, attacks begin in earnest and it triggers everyone’s PTSD. People I know have spent so much time on the phone of late, trying to track down relatives after each attack. This is not how anyone should have to function, and it makes me angry to a level no one wants to see.

Never have you seen Jews take to the streets in order to murder others. We don’t teach our children to stab people for being of a different faith. We don’t strap our people with bombs to kill as many people as possible and then call them, “martyrs”. 🙄😡 There’s nothing normal about any of this behavior. It’s beyond radicalized. They kill Israelis (Jews are not the only residents of Israel.), and pass out sweets to celebrate. They participate in “Pay For Slay“, which should be illegal. In any other country, these people would be in jail and up on child endangerment and child abuse charges. They would never see the light of day again. Just imagine that kind of abuse going on in America or Canada… (God Forbid!) It would be reported immediately. Especially in a school atmosphere. This is not a, “cultural difference”, this is a true level of sickness. It’s important for me to talk about it so that many people will get a clear picture and understand.

This isn’t a fight over a piece of land smaller than the state of New Jersey. No, it’s about them wanting to annihilate Jews, “like Hitler did”. Those are the words that have been directed towards me, and it usually starts with, “Go back to the ovens. Why did they allow you to survive?” Has that sunk in?

Let’s say you aren’t Jewish, but you are a Zionist (The term “Zionism” was coined in 1890 by Nathan Birnbaum. Its general definition means the national movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel. Since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Zionism has come to include the movement for the development of the State of Israel and the protection of the Jewish nation in Israel through support for the Israel Defense Forces. From inception, Zionism advocated tangible as well as spiritual aims. Jews of all persuasions – left, right, religious and secular – formed the Zionist movement and worked together toward its goals.); they want you dead, as well. Anyone who isn’t like them. Anyone who isn’t giving them what they want. That’s what they mean when they say, “Globalize the Intifada”. It’s not about land, it’s about wanting Jews to die. The level of hate they carry in their hearts is sick. By all means, support what you choose.

I’ve well and truly had ENOUGH. Terrorism has no religion.

copyright © 2022 by Lisa Marino & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Poison In Lethal Doses®™ is a registered trademark.

“Zionist” definition is fully credited to the Jewish Virtual Library. Photos are credited to @joanofjudea

Writing Challenges, Ideas, and Being Realistic

As a writer, have you ever gotten in your own damn way? Maybe even not as a writer, but as a creative person? Over the past few years I have written four novels. Three are fully-fleshed out, while one was a side project I wanted to keep in development since I wrote it in pieces. I decided from the get-go that I would piece it together as the bulk of the story came to me; I wasn’t going to go from A to Z, I was just going to write the best scenes as they came to me.

I approach each project with different ideas and methods, so there is no magical potion involved for writing perfection. Perfection is mythology; of this I assure you. I wait to write something because a story has to haunt me for a while and live inside my head first. If it’s the kind that whispers, “Write this.”, then I will. If it goes out like a candle flame, I file it away somewhere inside my creative mind. Sometimes it will resurface, and it’ll be ten times better. That’s always the goal, but not all ideas work like that.

Have you ever become obsessed with a character you’ve created? They become a part of you; you are now living, breathing, and sleeping this character. Your thoughts are their thoughts. Maybe you subconsciously ARE this character. Who knows? It comes to the point where, when you begin writing another female character, you find yourself annoyed by her voice. You’ll catch yourself becoming frustrated. This new female is not as intense, not as strong, maybe not as fierce, or as passionate, but you feel like she could be, if you just pushed her hard enough. If you unleashed her. Except, when you go back to your completed work, you find you’ve named the character the same damn thing you named your previous female lead. Three. Separate. Times. How is that even possible? You’re dumbfounded, because you’ve got a long list of names you could be using, and somehow, you are using the one with all the power.

I’ve found that I love two very specific names for women. I don’t feel like sharing what those names are (I’m many things, but I try not to be an idiot!), outside of saying they’re short, sweet, elegant, classical, and direct, and so are these characters. These names are truly beautiful. Every time I so much as variate from the top two, it’s as if I’m possessed by some kind of naming demon. Each time, I am truly clueless as to how or when the name changed. It’s rough.

These women I’ve created are interesting characters. The kind of women you’d want to be friends with, and the kind of women you’d go to bat for. You automatically like them. Until I was 56,000 words in to a new book and realized I was writing the lead female character differently. She started off fierce and ferocious, and some idiot softened her up. I can’t decide if it was ME or if the lead male character was trying to dominate the damn story, but it stressed me out so badly. I decided I needed to get some reading and research done before revisiting the story. Ultimately, I took time to gain some perspective.

After a few days, I came at this new book with fresh eyes, and wondered how I could change things up to maybe ONE story, as opposed to two. I had considered this particular story a one and done, but when pieced together with the story that felt stalled, it’s a superior body of work. It requires a ton of time and work to achieve this.

So here I am, faced with rewrites because I have to change locations, jobs, names, and re-work things until it’s a smooth transition of combining these two stories into one; albeit one that is better, and eliminates potential cliches and comparisons which have bothered me from day one, but that I’d also worked on heavily to eliminate, which I have managed to do. All of this is to keep the main female character’s strong, intense, fierce voice. I feel pulled towards her voice because it is reasonable, emotionally intelligent, strong, smart, snarky, knowledgeable, without coming off snobby, or sounding like a know-it-all, and because she’s fiercely honest and direct; she does not play games to fill a page with wasted words. She’s got a very serious set of rules and boundaries, and she commands respect. The other female character was coming off weaker, despite similar attributes. I had to come to the realization, on my own, that I cannot write a weak female character.

I have come across this issue before. I could write a weak female, but it nauseates me, and goes against the core of who I am, so nope, not gonna do it. I can’t even tolerate weakness in myself or in others, so it would come off fake on the page. Don’t force yourself to write someone you don’t believe in. I feel that’s a great rule for all writers; if you don’t believe it, neither will anyone else.

I can, and will, do the hard work of putting together a better story. It likely means cutting things out that no longer work, which could be thirty chapters worth of work, or more. It requires me to remain focused on how much better this will be when it is truly completed. It also means, thanks to other opportunities, that it might take another year or two before it is officially done. I have to be realistic about my time, health, and also remember to factor sleep into the equation. This is a real problem for me. Every time I’m on a better path, something interrupts my sleep again! It’s awful, but I am aware of this issue beginning every three months. I am trying to stay on top of it.

The upside of insomnia is that I write between two to seven thousand words almost every night I can’t sleep, and none of it is crap (I instinctively know when I am writing filler, and will immediately delete it.). The downside is being sick and in a lot of pain, and not being able to write for sixteen hours straight. There are days I do, but they are few and far between at the moment, as I recover from a bad allergic reaction to flowers, which ultimately turned into flu-like symptoms with NO Covid symptoms. My allergies stopped responding to allergy medicine, so it was scary to suddenly become so sick from a flower arrangement. It’s never been so bad, but once the larger flowers bloomed, my skin burned, my eyes itched and burned, and my breathing was affected. I misplaced my Epi-Pen, so I was paranoid as hell while it was happening.

This whole situation where medication was useless recently turned into me making homemade cough syrup. Laugh, if you will, but it is probably the best thing for me. Every ingredient is healthy and helpful. My very first dose stopped me from coughing longer than any over-the-counter crap I’ve ever taken, and it also worked better than the codeine syrup I was prescribed, probably since the prescription no longer contains alcohol. Mine does contain a dash of two different types of alcohol I had on hand, as well as two different types of honey, but when you taste it, you are mostly getting a blast of ginger, cayenne, honey, and lemon. I didn’t follow any particular recipe for this, I just grabbed the honey and started mixing it up like a potion before pouring it into a larger container and sticking it in the fridge to give it a longer shelf life. 😉 I didn’t make a lot, so it’ll likely be gone in a day or two, but yes, it’s helped greatly. I no longer have a sore throat, and it’s breaking down congestion I didn’t even know I had. I take it, I rest, and I feel better slowly, but surely. When synthetic shit doesn’t work, go back to basics. I’ve become more dependent on homeopathic medicine than ever before. Hyland’s is helping me considerably to manage my pain levels, though I know it is a temporary fix. If it works, I’ll stick with it, because so much has not. I’d love to get back every cent I wasted trying to get CBD oil to help me. I am embarrassed I kept upping the dose to try and find some relief. 😦 I consider how much work I will have to do to recoup those funds and put them to better use.

A lot of pain patients stop speaking to me whenever I suggest they seek out alternatives which might help them. Ultimately, I believe there is an answer for every single illness humans and animals experience. I believe it is found on Earth, not necessarily inside a lab working with synthetic ingredients. Your answer might not be what works for my body, and vice versa, but I don’t roll my eyes at you and give you attitude, so I have no idea why anyone thinks that’s a workable method with me.

At this point, I feel insurance should fully cover medical marijuana and CBD products as medicine. It helps a large number of people and it has medical oversight. If the cure for something is low or high dose Scorpion venom, as an example, then I feel it should be fully covered by everyone’s health insurance provider no matter what. I already know for a fact that it is being tested on various forms of cancer and for many other things, as well. It has been successful in it’s progress of treatment with zero side effects. It is the most expensive substance on this planet. That ink well you’re looking at on my logo? It’s Scorpion venom.

It may be Thursday, but I am ready to close out this first week of 2022. I have already referred to this month twice as October. Yeah, I know. I need a vacation. Yet, here we are, with Covid stopping everything for the umpteenth time. Indoor mask mandates have come down and in many areas, they begin today. I had not stopped wearing a mask in stores (I’ve also limited my time indoors to the pharmacy, grocery shopping, and only a few others places. I do NOT look forward to returning to a medical building in twelve days. I am, however, grateful that the hospital has reduced the amount of people that can be in the building at one time, and that nine people can NOT accompany one person!), and after hearing how many people got sick before, during, or after Christmas/NYE, and seeing the 6+ hour lines at testing sites, I am glad I didn’t drop my guard. Unfortunately, a lot of people are very sick and in the hospital, or they are sick and have to quarantine, so I keep a few extra masks with me and I remember that this is temporary. But damn does cold air feel good on your skin when a mask makes you feel like you can’t breathe, or like your skin is being smothered to death! I’m sure we’ve all had those moments.

Cough syrup, a simple breakfast, and I’ll see where the day takes me. I am actually considering hitting the kitchen and whipping up some tabouleh, especially since I have the time, believe I have all the necessary ingredients, and it’s so easy to throw together. 🙂 Last night I made homemade ramen, and while very good and a great way to get vegetables and protein into my system, I was slightly frustrated by the fact that a thirty minute meal felt like it had taken hours. Chronic fatigue is a constant reminder that I am not one hundred percent. That’s okay. I’ll settle for fifty percent, if that’s the way I can get multiple things done in a day.

Ever forward, peeps. Ever forward.

copyright © 2022 by Lisa Marino & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Poison In Lethal Doses®™ is a registered trademark.

Full Disclosure

I have taken the ads down.

When I was trying to post my views on the shooting in Philly, due to the ads, I was not allowed to use the words, “Police Shooting of a Black man”, “Murder”, etc. That’s NOT okay, because that’s exactly what happened. I am uncensored and unedited by others, so I am definitely not going to allow ads to censor me. FUCK THAT! Truth is truth and it needs to be told in the most honest way possible.

I take issue with the police shooting anyone without just cause, and I take deeper issue when it is someone who is on medication for any form of mental illness. I will keep discussing this, but for tonight, I hope everyone is safe and sound.

Dark times has been a theme this year as we all try to navigate life with Covid-19 putting a stop to so much of our lives. With the upcoming election, people are rightfully concerned. I pray for light and justice.

Current Mood > Assumptions

I keep asking myself when a day won’t feel, “rough”, “tough”, “heartbreaking”, “emotionally taxing”, “lonely”, or “deeply upsetting”. The fact of the matter is, as someone who rarely cries, I’ve been an emotional tornado. I’ve cried so much over the past few days, and that only angers me.

In the past week I’ve nearly hyperventilated from anxiety (and being overstimulated in a small crowd. Thank you, Anthony for getting me the hell out of there!), felt re-traumatized by photos and memories, and I’ve been going to bed early to try and regulate my sleep schedule (I haven’t even factored in the pain I’m in 24/7.). I’m having weird dreams and Complex PTSD medication can only do so much. Nothing is perfect. The medication is failing and my sleep medication is waking me hours before I should ever see the light of day. I hope a few adjustments with the new medication will make a difference, but nothing is etched in stone. I try, but I don’t have much hope in these things.

The words, “chemically resistant” and “treatment resistant”, are VERY sad words to hear, even if you’ve known them to be a fact from day one. Every day, I do my part to represent the Mental Health Community honestly and openly, with no hidden agenda. I remember EVERY moment and every person who has tried to make me feel ashamed for something outside of my control. If you’ve ever felt that way, you’re NOT alone. Consider how miserable other people must be to criticize you without just cause, talk behind your back, or medication shame you in public. These people lack kindness, compassion, empathy, and basic human decency.

Last week, a suicide prevention organization reached out to me. I was actually offended by what they had to say because prior to hearing from them (An organization which should know better!), two other organizations asked me to become a Mental Health Awareness Ambassador for them. Since this is a non-paid position, I told each of them to contact me directly if they wanted to pursue this (They didn’t.). I am already a card-carrying green ribbon ambassador. If someone wants me to be the face of something, then they need to know my time is worth being paid for. I paid my dues a LONG time ago and will not work for free. I’m not new to this experience, nor am I newly diagnosed. I’ve suffered my way through life and, somehow, probably out of sheer stupidity, I am still here.

To those who’ve been treating me like my friendship, love, loyalty, kindness, and time are expendable; FUCK YOU. You get what you give. I was fine before you ever came along and I will survive without you. Please know this.

I’m not okay. I’ve been clear about this. Maybe this level of brutal honesty will help others.

**If you’re struggling with mental health issues, and you aren’t sure where to go, please message me. I will provide information for your area.**

Yesterday

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Yesterday was one of the most jolting experiences I’ve ever personally witnessed. It might rank up in my top five. My body is still in fight or flight mode, and I don’t feel it ending any time soon. 😦 I have tried to take my anger out of the equation, but that has left me with intellectualized emotions and truthfully, a different level of anger. Make no mistake, I am traumatized by what I witnessed (I will be writing about it. I got about eleven hundred words written before I crashed from lack of sleep and the intensity of everything I was feeling.), appalled by the way the incident was handled, and I am angry. Beyond angry. Angry for the mental health community, which I am a part of. Angrier at the hateful, racist, power-hungry, assholes hiding behind a device, and those who thought, and believe, that aggressive actions were justified. They weren’t. I feel nothing for those who acted inappropriately yesterday. But I do feel they all need to be publicly punished and re-trained.

Yesterday, my cousin, brother, and a dear friend helped keep me calm-ish, sane, and unknowingly let me know they are concerned for my overall well-being, safety, mind, heart, and soul. I kept expressing my gratitude to them. 2020 has shown me a lot about who cares about me, and who will drop everything to help me in a crisis. I’m content with the lower numbers because it helps me prioritize and eliminate. Clearly being able to see people as they are is an important ability to have.

It’ll be a while before I feel I can finish writing about what happened. I did not expect to be so triggered, so angry, and so concerned for others. My response wasn’t for me; it was a response based solely on extreme concern. It was a response that will be a guiding force as I embark on a new path. It is a response I cannot hide because no one was telling the truth. It is a response, and a catalyst, to get louder about speaking the truth.

Witnessing someone experience something heinous, something you know was likely their worst nightmare, puts you in an uncomfortable position. I was attacked for my honesty. People who immediately attack honesty are well aware they are lying and covering up bad actions. Not on my watch, and this will potentially put my safety at risk. I have considered this for over twenty-four hours. I cannot sit back and remain silent when I encourage others, every single day, to stand up for their rights. How can I tell thousands of people each day to use their voice if I sit back in silence and refuse to do the same? I am many things: imperfect is high on the list, but I’m NOT a fucking silent coward, nor am I a hypocrite. No one raised me to be a punk ass bitch. If you don’t like my phraseology, take a walk.

This week my life roles were discussed. They were discussed less than a day before this incident occurred. We all have roles in life, different hats we wear, so to speak, but I’ve always been the strong protector. It’s not just a role, it is who I am. Injustice and abuse are two things that will set me off like a spaceship, and I highly recommend people step back because an honest person speaking about injustice and abuse is a dangerous person.

I honestly come here and talk about mental health and my own personal diagnoses. I don’t do it for myself; I do it so others know they are not alone and they, too, can seek help. Yesterday was the second time I’ve ever wished I was a lawyer and could properly defend someone. I don’t ever want to be put in that position again.

We all have things we believe in strongly. Each of us has a personal, “Don’t go there.” zone, whether we discuss it or not. For some, it is their family. For many, it’s their children, or their pets, or both. For me, it’s many things, but the line was definitely crossed and I can’t unsee a moment of it. I had to take medicine last night to ward off potential nightmares, but in the waking hours, I can’t hide what I think or feel, nor do I want to.

During many times in my writing career I’ve heard people say, “Wow, that took balls.” They have no idea. I’m currently in another “balls to the wall” moment, and I don’t intend to lie about it or pretend it was justified. I have to do what I encourage others to do. I have to use my voice and push for change. Wish me luck.

© 2020 by Lisa Marino and Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 

 

A Splash of Humor, A Heap of Honesty

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Started a post early this morning that isn’t done yet. When a migraine threatens to birth enormous puppies of agonizing torture through your skull, you need to sleep and hope it’ll help. Unfortunately, I woke up and it was worse, so I left a message for my doctor’s office to get back to me. My abortive drug is failing me, so maybe my doctor can recommend a newer one. I’m pretty fed up with her inability to return a phone call in a timely fashion. Over six weeks isn’t even remotely close to acceptable.

I will try to finish what I’m writing ASAP. I’ve probably made my decision already in terms of what to do and how to handle the issue, but occasionally I appreciate mild input.

Tonight, my major plan is to make dinner, hydrate as much as humanly possible, and go to bed before 10:30. I think that’s fair because I have so much to do and lost today because I’m sick.

It’s important for people who don’t suffer from chronic pain to understand that sick days are NOT an, “excuse”. I’ve NEVER used my illnesses as an excuse for anything. An explanation? YES.

If you’re an obsessive compulsive, Type A personality, you probably need to learn that you’ll catch more flies with honey than you will with vinegar. I don’t respond to outbursts, tantrums, and unacceptable rage behavior. I don’t respond to name-calling and accusations. Until I do, and then you’ll wish you hadn’t pushed this particular dragon. So when I say I’m sick and I’m trying to sleep, LET ME BE. My pain and suffering isn’t trying to inconvenience anyone. And if that’s how you think and you’re unable to comprehend true suffering, I strongly suggest you find yourself a good psychiatrist and therapist to help you work on your issues so you don’t dole out your tyranny over someone who is already doing the best they can. No one is implying you be a pushover, but pushing someone who is already sick enough means you’re adding to their pain. Is that REALLY who you want to be?

I hope you’re all well and doing the best you can given the circumstances. Today is day ten of my second round of quarantine. I pray this is resolved soon because this is a terribly unhealthy situation for so many of us. I’m glad to see companies stepping up to help with sanitizing and cleaning products, with producing ventilators, and all the people I know right now who are home sewing masks for their local or regional hospital staff. There are some damn good people out there doing their best.

Talk to you all soon.

Always,

lisa

 

A Changed Woman

I’ve been writing almost as long as I’ve been alive. I certainly recall times when being on the computer was not my first thought each day, but these past few months have taught me to back off. They’ve taught me patience, which is not an exact science (I’m still extremely impatient with myself, and with others.), and they’ve given me breathing room. A technological vacation, as it were.

My first thought each morning now is not to jump on the computer, or even to turn my phone on immediately. It’s to see what time it is, and not rush into the mind of a working writer. I knew there was a lesson to be learned. On days when I was frustrated and wanted to jump into writing, I allowed my mind to absorb the scenes I wanted to write. Sometimes I took pen to paper and wrote new things. Especially scenes I knew would be important for various projects. Inspiration is inspiration, and you never know when it’s going to hit you. I know it will make for richer story telling. Less filler; more depth.

I have read a LOT over these many months and I’ve had better focus and less force. I’m not stress-forcing my reading, “just to get it done” (I’m guilty of doing this with brand new novels.). I’m fully immersed in each story, now. If you haven’t read Blake Pierce’s work (They’re psychological thrillers/mysteries), I highly recommend it. They were books I could NOT stop reading. I still have 4-5 more to go. Good stuff. No one loves psychology more than I do and I’ve always respected a good psychological thriller. Each one reminds me why the movie, “The Cell”, is still a disturbingly fascinating tale to watch.

Reading a part of my beautiful manuscript last week was like coming home. I became deeply immersed in the story, to the point where I wasn’t looking for errors, issues, or plot holes. I was connecting to the story in a way I might not have if I’d kept writing over the summer. It’s important to see the gift within the chaos. Stepping away was actually healthy for me in a myriad of ways.

Watching myself NOT grab my laptop each morning within twenty minutes of waking up is the new normal. It’s smart and healthy, so now, I feel my time here will be more constructive overall.

I’ll be redesigning as I move forward and bringing a lot of new things on slowly. Each change will involve a formal announcement at least twenty-four hours ahead of time. Some things may come faster than I anticipate, but for now, I’m going to maintain the status quo.

I received a software delivery last week, so I’m able to fully focus on my works-in-progress. I love the new version, but am still trying to work my way through it since I’ve forgotten some of the more in-depth things I can do with it. It won’t take me long to adjust though, because I have used the same software consistently.

I’ve opened up my editing schedule for the last two weeks of January until the end of April, so if you’re looking for an editor, please message me for a contract and payment plan. If you’re looking for an editor with a graphic designer, I will cheerfully pass along your design business to a friend. She’s insanely talented.

After the holidays, I will have my files transferred. I’d rather get this back in two days, as opposed to “We’re really busy…”, which can turn into weeks. What I’m having done is simple, and will likely only take a few hours, but I am okay waiting because I have so much to focus on, for now. More than I can think about, really.

There’s likely more in my head than I can type for now, but simple gets the job done, too. Stay warm and keep cool, as we aren’t all in the same season or hemisphere.

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copyright © 2019 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

One (A-Deen)

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“Overwhelmed. Disappointed. Hurt. Sadness. Grieving. Struggling. Stabbed in the back. Empty. Trapped. Darkness. Silence. Isolation, but I’m not lost. Beauty in chaos. Trying to find a way back to myself. Living in truth. Attempting to heal. Gunpowder and lead. Through authenticity; anything is possible. And yet, very few people understand that you can want MORE, without being greedy; without ego. Your idea of “more” isn’t their idea, and that’s fine. No one asked for their interpretation. Hell, no one asked for their opinion!

Universe, LET’S DO THIS.”

© 2019 by Lisa Marino and Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Reaching Out… What A Fucking Joke

**POTENTIAL TRIGGER WARNING**

I’ve reached a point in my mental health journey where I’m DONE. I’m not saying this lightly. I’m also not saying anything to seek attention. I’m just speaking. Period. It’s extremely important to be honest when discussing matters, such as this. 

I’m sick of people, their snide, ignorant  comments, the stigma of the uneducated, and I’m tired of all the excuses and bad behavior. I’m a human-being and I don’t want or need, “shiny, happy people” talking down to me. Who the fuck do some people think they are? 😠 At any given moment, you can be stricken, same as me. No one is immune.

In the past year, I have reached my maximum number of failed medications at around forty. Yes, you read that correctly. Forty drugs from the start of my original diagnosis, which was incorrect, until a month ago, when the final drug failed and made me wish I would just stop trying altogether. It was pointless. Perhaps I am, too.

I felt completely dead inside before starting this medication. I went into it 1000% unsure because I was preparing myself for the 50/50 possibility. This medication was an enormous risk. The failure of it made me sink. I looked around for quick sand, hoping it would swallow me up. I was, and still am, SO angry that this was other people’s “miracle medication” that gave them back some semblance of normalcy, if not restoring their lives entirely, but for me, it was yet another epic fail. If you heard me say this, you’d know I’m saying it flatly, with no inflection whatsoever. Speaking about it does not make me a “victim”; it just makes me extremely honest.

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I’m SO unbelievably sick of people saying, “I’m here for you.”, or, “If I can help, just ask.” 🙄 I’m sorry, did I just roll my eyes out loud? Yeah, probably.

If you’re, “here for me”, then I would actually be seeing you or talking to you semi-regularly. If you want to help, find something within your means and do it. I am not in the correct headspace to give you an itemized list of “things that will help”.

When someone has the flu, you might bring them soup, juice, magazines, etc. Things to help them feel better or things to distract them from how awful they feel. Or maybe that’s just me. Why do people need a guide for everything they can research? For all the advanced technological access at our disposal, people never cease to amaze me with their utter laziness.

I feel ZERO comfort in reaching out, and I’m so sick of the word, “No.” when I do ask for help. I’m constantly being told I don’t know how to ask for help. I do, and asking is one dead-end at a time. I have stopped asking because I don’t have the trust to offer up anymore. I am not going around begging for people to care about me or what I’m going through. Because here’s the truth; “reaching out” is a fucking joke. If a person cares, they will reach out to you. And if they don’t, you have to understand that the majority of people have their heads shoved so far up their own ass, they can’t see a damn thing. Their world and yours do not mesh, and that’s okay. Rid yourself of those who do not come into your life on your frequency. You’re trying to grow and better yourself, and sometimes, that means growing apart.

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In a world completely obsessed with social media, I decided to scale back quite a bit. By doing so, people did reach out to me, but ONLY so they could complain about things they’re going through. 🤦 It was very much a, “Are you okay?” and quickly became, “Because I have a lot to tell you.”, which made my head spin. It also made me angrier than a hornets nest after it has been kicked.

Why? Because the messages came from acquaintances, not my hardcore group of friends. I was put off by it, which might be slightly irrational, but I’m not going to sugarcoat how it made me feel.

If someone is expecting to see, “ALL of my posts” via social media, I’m mostly on Instagram these days. Some of those posts make it to Facebook, and some do not. It’s not the end of the damn world!

Whatever happened to asking a person directly, like a normal human-being? A phone call? A text? WhatsApp? Facebook Messenger? There’s more than one way to get in touch and stay in touch. Of course, you’d first have to prove you care and earn my trust to have access to my phone number for some of those methods of communication, but others are rather simple. 

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In the past year, I had a now former friend medication shame me. I was beyond suicidal at the time. I’m not sure if anyone knew, aside from my doctor. I wasn’t exactly shy about it, though. I was SO hurt by her comments about how I, “should stop taking that poison.” Yes, those were her exact words. If she tries to deny it, I have proof of her stupidity. I have her blocked on social media now because a REAL friend stands by you; they don’t judge.

This comment threw me for a loop. I read the initial message rule out in public, and I was incredibly insulted and hurt by it. Here I was, trusting her, and divulging something extremely painful, and she’s criticizing me. The ugliness of the comment is similar to telling a cancer patient to, “You should stop chemo. It’s poison.” 😠 No one does that though, do they? No, because they want their loved one to LIVE, to “beat cancer”. Apparently, people judge harshly when it’s medication they themselves have NEVER experienced.

Does anyone understand or realize that medication is often the difference between life and death for millions of people? I would NEVER tell someone to “Stop taking that poison.”, unless they were talking about street drugs, in which case I think we can ALL safely agree that it’s wise to get clean.

Instead of compassion, she showed me she’s an extremely ugly person, inside and out, which should have been the final nail in her coffin. Alas, when I schooled her, she didn’t apologize. Instead, she dug herself even deeper with her complete ignorance regarding depression and how it affects people. She went so far as to brag. “I’m ALWAYS HAPPY.”, she declared. Having written a character reference to a judge on her behalf, as she fought for sole custody of her youngest child, I beg to fucking differ, but I guess she’s not going to ever speak the truth because she refuses to see herself clearly. Denial is not just a river in Egypt. 😒

I don’t care what a friend comes to me with, they will NEVER hear me say, “I don’t know anything about it.” Let’s say I didn’t. On occasion it happens, but it takes less than ten minutes to educate yourself. That’s WHY we utilize search engines. Part of growth means constantly educating yourself. At least it does where I come from.

How is ANYONE over the age of twenty-five going through daily life without ANY knowledge about mental health? Please, elaborate. It’s 2019, and there are ZERO excuses for that level of ignorance. It’s inexcusable.

“Stop taking that poison.” Um, you admitted repeatedly that you guzzle down bottles of wine because you’re stressed, sad, not to mention, in compete denial of your true self, but medication is poison? Okay, wise one. 🙄 And by all means, FUCK OFF with your low level thought process. You’re not, “enlightened”; you’re fake and a complete fraud. I’m so glad to be rid of your drama, self-absorbed attitude, and your negativity.

Having me as a friend is something you should respect and appreciate because I don’t play games. You screw with me and my loyalty will become loyalty to myself, NOT to you.

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Another now former friend was self-harming and as a result, extremely horrible things happened. I will not disclose the deeply private pain shared with me because I’m better than that. Yes, I’m angry as hell and would cheerfully share her name, address, and phone number, but again; I AM BETTER THAN THAT.

I proactively encouraged her to seek help. I was constantly consulted for advice regarding doctors, therapists, and medication. I could go back into my phone log app and count EVERY single phone call I took when I should have been sleeping, because apparently MY well-being was never more important than her incessant dialing.

I called various mental health clinics (from across the country) to see if they took her insurance. That, my dear readers, is a TRUE friend. I’ve gotta say, no one has EVER tried to help me like that, and truthfully, I’m smart enough not to allow myself to get to that point of no return.

Everything changed after all my guidance, though.  I probably saved her life, but she thinks her part-time boyfriend is, and I quote, “Superman”. 🙄 You can think like that when you’re in single digits, but if you’re over twenty-five and have divulged an extremely abusive, manipulative, narcissistic relationship, one I witnessed in person, but you stay, then maybe, just maybe, you’re getting what you deserve because you aren’t smart enough to see things clearly, and you wrongly assume that a smart friend saying something about it automatically means that woman is jealous. Unless you live next door to a flagship Ulta, believe me when I say I’d NEVER be jealous of anything, and lately, even Ulta has lost its shine for me.

If you’re suffering, but have time to complain about how, “I gained fifteen pounds in a month.” because of depression medication, then maybe you need to sort out your priorities. I offered a list of medications where weight gain wasn’t a side effect. How did it turn out? I don’t fucking know. When a friend begs for your time and then blows you off, it’s perfectly acceptable to be silent until they apologize. It was her responsibility to make sure she didn’t permanently damage or destroy a long-term friendship. She didn’t make an effort whatsoever, though. That was her choice. Instead, she took the time one random Monday morning to “unfriend me” over a year later. Precisely who is the immature one here? I actually laughed. No one has to follow me on social media, and a real friend doesn’t announce it after years of calling you at all hours and pretending to love you like a sister. I decided this person was SO far gone that I wasn’t going to engage in the attention-seeking behavior they crave because she desperately needs this attention in order to feel “whole”. Except, the feeling is fleeting, and she will keep doing whatever it takes to get more. I should feel bad for her, but once I’m done, I’m DONE. I don’t give people the opportunity to come back, either. Friendship is a gift and a choice. If you throw it away, that’s on you.

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When I started taking medication for depression, I gained over 250 pounds in two years. It wasn’t from food, it was a side effect of drugs forced upon me, because hospitalization was always a threat if you didn’t take the medication prescribed to you. I underwent a lot of blood tests to show where my medication levels were and they NEVER reached “therapeutic levels”, mostly because they weren’t the correct medications for what I truly suffer from. I’m under 5.4″ and I’m a former gymnast. Doctors didn’t care about the weight gain, they just kept pushing drugs at me. Some of these drugs will threaten everything you hold dear before you finally put a stop to it. But now, EVERYTHING is blamed on your weight. Sore throat? You should lose weight. Ear infection? Well, you need to lose weight. Migraines? Lose weight. Unexplainable chronic pain from head to toe? I was told I should get down to “sixty pounds” to be pain free. Yeah, I’d also be dead, but the doctor repeated it three times because I gave him the opportunity to self correct his words. He just kept repeating it, like he was the smartest person in the world. I should have punched him in the throat.

Over the past eleven years, I’ve gotten closer to my goal weight. I KNOW I can achieve the final goals and have lifelong results/benefits, but I’m sick of women being negative over five, ten, fifteen, or twenty-five pounds. I understand it being frustrating, but calling yourself, “fat” is ugly and unhealthy for the mind. When people constantly do it in front of me, I automatically wonder what they say about me behind my back. Unlike many people, I don’t judge my friends based on looks, age, skin color, country of origin, education level, or weight. I’m selective; not petty. I treat my friends the same way I’d want them to treat me, and rarely am I treated as I deserve.

When I hear your self-talk and criticism, I question what you say to and about me.  I have about sixty pounds to go. It seems like a lot more on a smaller frame, but whenever I hear, “You REALLY have SUCH a beautiful face.”, it’s actually a backhanded comment about how I’d be so much prettier if I was a size zero. Zero isn’t a fucking size, not unless you’re a supermodel and play into that bullshit. Even newborns aren’t born a size zero! My NYC hair stylist disagrees with this, and once explained that my face shape (Which is oval.) is the perfect shape for a woman to have because it means every haircut will look good with her facial features. I don’t know that I agree with him, but he’s never tried to bullshit me. He’s also the only person I can trust to take me from my natural hair color to blonde in less than six hours. 

However, my main point is that you aren’t going to physically be 13, 14, 15, or 16 years old for the rest of your life. Jeez, I thought I was “fat” then, and I wasn’t. At all. Our bodies change. Our hormones change. We all age differently. But I’m not okay with hideous negativity and societal pressures. And I’m REALLY not okay with “friends” who have, “first world problems”.

Your health is your wealth. Weight should NOT be what you’re focused on when you REALLY need the medication keeping you alive. It can be a goal when you’re feeling stable, not before.

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I called my doctor late last month, wondering if he’d noticed that I’d cancelled on him. I legitimately do NOT cancel or miss appointments, even when I would much prefer to remove my eyeballs first. When he called me back, he said he trusts me to know when I need to come in and when I don’t. So, he clearly didn’t hear what I was saying, either. I won’t lie; I didn’t call him back because I was annoyed. I could easily slip back into not seeing someone for a year, or three. I told him that at my most recent appointment. Not only did he give me extra time, which he didn’t have to do, but he was in agreement with me about severing ties with a therapist who wasted a year of my life by being useless, and that’s me being civil. I’ve grown and I’ve changed, but she was not a part of any of that growth. I’m disgusted beyond words by her treatment of me.

I cancelled my final appointment with her because I knew I’d walk in, “hot”, and that means I knew my temper would flare into flames. I knew she could not accept the truth, so I decided that I don’t require closure in this particular matter. I decided that my sanity was more important than telling her what a useless sack of skin she is. I decided that insulting her and telling her how much her, “help” did NOT help, wasn’t worth me losing my temper. However, her one star rating on Healthgrades makes me feel better.

Will I go back to therapy? I don’t know. My doctor is going to do a deep search of all hospital employees and see who knows who. He knows if he screws up a third time, I’ll paint his office hot pink while he’s on vacation.

Have I reached out to anyone about what I’m going through? No. After recounting my father’s fifteen year battle with cancer to my best friend, who was unaware of all I’d gone through, I found myself in tears. I’m not generally an emotional person, meaning I don’t cry, unless it’s something serious, and even then, I might not. My reactions to things that bother and upset most people are not the reaction anyone is looking for, so I keep my mouth shut. And yet, I’ve written over three thousand words here, explaining myself when I don’t owe anyone an explanation.

Those of you who reach out with messages and comments, and thank me for writing things like this mean a LOT to me. If my words help you confront your pain, then that’s a positive takeaway.

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Ultimately, mental health is a personal, painful journey. It’s a road often taken solo, for obvious reasons. Support may come easy for many of you, but for me? Well, I’m lucky to be a force to be reckoned with. It was my mother’s wish for me, and my strength is deeply engrained in who I am. Sometimes, I just need to remind myself who the fuck I am and where I come from. Hopefully, someone reading this will understand EVERY word.

Also, we don’t lose friends. We simply learn who our TRUE friends really are.

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Copyright © 2019 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Written work by author may not be shared or posted anywhere without express written consent from the author. Excerpts and quotes from the material also require consent. This authors’ work and personal photos are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws. Further protection is under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.