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

img_20200806_223053_298

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

facebook_1584129597873

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.

img_20191112_101747_585

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

One (A-Deen)

один (1).

“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.

facebook_1564872001338

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.

facebook_1564947530449

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. 

img_20190803_183918_840

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.

img_20190807_132449_535

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.

facebook_1565410201282

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.

facebook_1565714419217

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.

img_20190811_175351_227

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.

img_20190813_142358_029

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.

Instagram > Reality

I was stupid-ish for thinking I’d be okay post-procedure. Pain that is complex, high fevers, stomach related issues, and where did all these bruises come from? Is life even worth it? I often ask myself this question. I struggle every second of every day to survive in tact. This is NOT the life I signed up for. 😔

How many people will read that and think the polar opposite of what I mean? Don’t think at all; yes, I’m serious. Just listen.

In the past dozen or so years, I’ve been through hell and back. I have the scars (physical, mental, and emotional) and ashes to prove it. I don’t sugarcoat pain, regardless of the form. I’m extremely transparent about it. Mostly because, pretty words don’t make liars any less ugly. Ten people will be analyzing that statement to death; the texts and email accusations will start ten minutes after this is posted. 😒

I’ve questioned everything my entire life. Not important moments or decisions, but the difficult “in between” phases that many women pretend do not exist. Maybe for them, they don’t. 🤷Denial is a coping mechanism for many, but so is alcohol. Who knows, really. We are all different, and for good reason.

I don’t take drugs. I rarely drink. I’m not boring, but I’m also not typical. The things that matter to me don’t matter to 95% of the people I know, and G-d Bless them for being so uninitiated. 🙄 Every person who has preached how enlightened they are is living in such a state of bullshit, it’s not even funny. Why can’t you admit you DON’T have your shit together and that life is not a fairytale? Why is everyone SO committed to “Instagram > Reality”? I’ll never be able to fathom this particular thought process.

A friend of mine recently confessed to “taking a break from social media”. She truly believes that everyone else is “living their best life” and she’s stuck, suffering. I broke it down and explained it to her from an extremely honest perspective. If you’ve got to brag about it via social media; it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

I know people who’ve been married 3-4 times since I first became friends with them. I’ve been best friends with each of my best friends longer than all of those marriages combined, yet people are desperate to post photos on a  constant basis.

How many engagement rings do you need to show the world? How many wedding cakes and wedding dresses do you REALLY need to see from the same person in 5-10 years? No, I am not “asking for a friend”, I’m just being honest.

I encourage people to live their lives OFF of social media. I, myself, question whether or not to share a thought, photos, happy moments, positive things, etc. Nine times out of ten, I send the photos to my best friend, we talk about the happy moments (and the bad. We don’t bullshit each other. I talk to her almost daily. My other best friend is going through a LOT at the moment, and I feel like the best thing to do is let her know she’s ALWAYS got my support, no matter what, but I also know she needs to be able to focus. I’ve been there and have lived it, so I take nothing away from her. She didn’t stop being my best friend.), and I don’t publicly share any of those things.

The other day, a lady asked if I’d take a photo of her with her grandson. I was only too happy to oblige. She immediately confessed, “I’m not allowed to show his face.” I said, “There are apps that allow you to have a great photo, and still protect him while he’s so young.” She kept trying to cover his face with her hair, but, like most babies, he was obsessed with me (Have I written about this before?) and wasn’t interested in her hair until the end. She got about five or six great photos for herself and others for social media purposes, but honestly, I’m all for protecting a baby. 👍

Someone stated almost a year ago that I am both a “public figure” AND an extremely private individual. I don’t consider myself a “public figure” at all. The first time a family member used that turn of phrase, out of concern for my physical safety, I nearly laughed until I cried because the expression sounded utterly preposterous. The sentiment was of a genuine nature. She was concerned that I’d be targeted for writing the truth in such an “in your face” manner.. I remember my response was, “They can TRY. I’m trained to take someone out, if need be.” This required further explanation because this person’s fears are SO great, the concept of physically fighting back was not something she had ever considered. It wouldn’t occur to her to fight back with words, either. 😔 As a result, I encouraged her to take some self-defense classes and/or Krav Maga, especially if she was going to keep saying she “doesn’t like guns”. You don’t have to like or love any instrument, tool, or experience that is the difference between your life and death, but you shouldn’t be ignorant, either. Women should know how to protect themselves, and pray daily that you NEVER have to utilize the training. 

I do bite, but I think it’s all in how I’m approached. If you saw someone walking around blatantly publicizing my work (via merchandise, like a t-shirt or phone case), and you wondered if it was me, a normal person would probably just come up and ask. I *almost* ordered a customized case last year as a promotional tool before replacing my phone, but if you’ve got to think about it for six months, it’s okay to pass. I might do it when I upgrade.

I have hundreds of ideas involved with my writing and the expansion of my work, but I know when to make a move and I also know when a promotional move looks completely desperate or pathetic. I’m many things, good and not so good, but I’m NOT an attention seeker.

Weeks ago, I noticed an awful lot of bragging from someone in my acquaintance circle. After rolling my eyes (A LOT. I’m not going to lie. This person gives off SUCH a fake vibe to me, and honestly, I’ve tried figuring out why, but I can’t. Once I detect that a person isn’t authentic, I don’t invest additional time into them. Your first instinct is almost always the right one.), I decided to do a little homework. If it was legit, I would be supportive and cheer this person on (a little), but I ended up having a good laugh, sadly enough. I was utterly wowed by the stupidity. Instead of the “achievement” being 110% authentic, I quickly learned it’s smoke and mirrors. 🙄 I CANNOT support a lie. It’s a costly decision, and to each their own, but that’s not going to be something I will support. It definitely falls into the “Instagram > Reality” mindset. The grass might appear lush and oh, SO, green, but the reality is this, it’s been fertilized with epic amounts of manure. 

I know how easily people fall into the trap of following one over the other. It stems from monotony and unhappiness that, all too often, is not discussed. Reality is something people now think of as “television entertainment”, as opposed to me smacking them in the head and saying, “No. Your LIFE is reality, not an image or having an outlandish imagination.” If I smacked more people, this world would do a total 360 quickly. It’s not the worst idea I’ve ever had. 😉

There will be people who love what I’ve written here, and others will get upset and/ or have hurt feelings. I’m good with both because I know what reality is.

I don’t have time for bullshit. I have time for authenticity, for pausing before I do something publicly, and I have time to say, “This is who I am. I haven’t changed. I’ve grown 🌱, but my core values and message, no, that has not changed.” I’m going to remain my mother’s daughter, and I’m beyond good with that. 💜

Which do you prefer? Instagram or the truth?

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

From Scratch

img_20190315_195918_668Two days. That’s all it took to completely erase me. My entire past and much of the present; things I’ve held onto tightly because I believed I had something in life worth fighting for. I still had hope. I believed in the responsibility. I believed in keeping specific things, and people, alive, and sacred. Now, I have to start over, with nothing but memories that take over my mind and torture me. How much trauma can someone with Complex-PTSD can handle? Step into my pain; it’s not a pretty or fun place to be. 😦 I’ve got zero hope left. 

Some people might relish the opportunity of a clean slate, a new beginning, or whatever one would call this hell I am trying to live through. Me? I feel completely dead inside, and no one directly around me allows me to talk about what I think or feel. They change the subject and talk about nonsense, or they only want to talk about themselves. It’s unbelievable how selfish others are. They “don’t want to hear it” if I have something to say, no matter what the subject may be. They ignore the suffering, they ignore the pain I am dealing with, and they show me how much they care…about themselves. Writing is the only place where my thoughts, views, and feelings are respected and/or accepted. You don’t have to understand it or even be able to empathize. You simply read, or not. I cannot hold it against you. There’s a lot to be said for pouring your heart into something and clicking PUBLISH. More often than not, I forget what I’ve said after that. Not because my short-term memory is that bad, but because writing is pure, honest freedom for me. Until I start receiving messages about how much my voice has helped others, I forget about a lot of the subjects I’ve covered over the years. I don’t know that this will help anyone other than me, but purging a tiny amount of the pain I am dealing with is not a selfish thing to do. Last time I checked, my name was on this platform. No one else gets to speak for me. 

bluepurple-movingruler

When you lose everything you’ve ever owned; including your family’s entire history, every photo dating back to pretty much the beginning of photography within your family, all of your clothes, computers and other assorted electronics, carefully chosen furniture, jewelry from every major life event, the one piece I had of my father’s mother, and everything that belonged to my mother and Grandmother. A myriad of pieces given to me to commemorate important life events. 99% of it from people who are no longer alive. Books I treasured, absolutely everything I held dear, because the majority of it was a part of who I am, and I’m left wondering how to pick up the pieces. It’s more than jolting. It’s traumatic beyond words. Only one person told me they would feel precisely as I do; hurt, erased, traumatized, in deep emotional anguish. If one more person says, “It’s just stuff.”, I will personally rip their eyeballs out and force them down their throat. Or worse. I have no clue why people think I’m a nice person and incapable of physical harm. Don’t test this Scorpion. 

As a direct result of this loss, I have to change all of my legal documentation. Someone immediately tried opening accounts in my name. Thankfully, it was red-flagged and I was contacted via e-mail and phone, but I don’t know if any damage was done before it was flagged. Someone stupidly said to me, “Who would want to steal YOUR identity?” Are you serious?! I don’t know how these particular criminals think because I’m not a criminal, but I don’t believe they give a damn about who they steal from. It can happen to anyone, and it does. Identity theft is something we all need to be protected from, and made highly aware of. This was something I was concerned would happen. Always, ALWAYS listen to your intuition.

facebook_1551734595319

Every single day of this “new life” is a reminder of all the problems one faces as the direct result of others actions, and inaction. It’s a reminder of exactly where you stand in this world, as well as with the people in your life.

I catch myself thinking all the time, “What’s the point of all this? What the hell did I do to deserve such torture?” I’m the one in tears, living with doubts. I”m the only one deeply upset and troubled by this. And each time, I wish I simply wouldn’t wake up the following day, that a car would hit me, that something or someone will finally realize there’s only so much even a strong person can cope with before they are done. That’s where I am; Done. My life could not be more meaningless. 

Between this, and the injury sustained in January, who wouldn’t be done? I’ve got an idiot doctor who refuses to manage my pain (and clearly cannot be bothered to return a phone call. He is about to receive a strongly worded, unpleasant e-mail. By ordering a necessary test, he’s not doing me a favor, he’s looking for additional damage. He makes it sound like a negotiation. It isn’t; it’s my health, and my life!), so I am constantly throwing up because there’s only so much pain the body can handle, or so much stress. I can’t keep food down most days, and someone recently implied that I’m doing it on purpose; not eating. If you actually care about me, don’t EVER fucking insinuate that I have an eating disorder. 1) That’s not concern, that’s being cruel because you don’t understand what this level of physical, mental, and emotional pain is like. Ignorance is bliss. Be glad you don’t know, but don’t toss your ugly negativity in my direction. 2) Comments like that are hurtful, thoughtless, unnecessary, and do not meet the realm of “love” or “concern”. 3) Comments such as they are, are accusatory and full of hatred. Do those comments make you feel better about yourself? Are they necessary? Ask yourself these questions before you open your mouth. 4) A truly caring, loving person would be on my side. They would be so concerned that pain is doing this to me, and they’d be physically and emotionally present. They would show me their support. I’m pretty sure the FedEx delivery guy has more compassion for me right now. Yes, that’s sarcasm. 5) If you’ve said any or all of these things, you should be ashamed of yourself, because I am/was ashamed for you each time these barbs were thrown my way. You’re lucky I have the grace to walk away. That is a testament to the existence of a Higher Power. It’s a testament to a lot where my character is concerned. 

No one seems to understand how bad all of this is, nor has anyone been able to understand where my head is at. There’s no victim mentality in my mind, heart, or soul, this is simply me conveying enormous difficulty, as many writers do. I can’t even be “fake polite”, so what you get is exactly who I am. I don’t have the time or the patience to pretend. My life is not, nor will it ever be, “Instagram perfect”. There is beauty that comes from being authentic, from suffering and growing through the pain, and from being a person who would prefer to build people up, instead of constantly tearing them to shreds. Imperfect and honest is beautiful; don’t EVER let anyone tell you otherwise.    

My anxiety is through the fucking roof. Almost to the point where I considered asking my doctor to put me on a higher dose of anti-anxiety medication or switch the medication up entirely. I am depressed beyond measure (Please don’t worry about this; I am under the care of a physician. He hasn’t called me an idiot to my face, and actually said he never would, but when he rolls his eyes at me, I KNOW I’m being an idiot and that he’s being incredibly diplomatic. I trust that this doctor has my best interest at heart.). I have no emotions; just anger, hatred, and a truckload of sarcasm. No one has really noticed. Everyone is pretending, or living on their own planet. and that’s insulting as fuck. One of my best friends pointed out that I’ve never not been highly communicative, even when my father was dying, During the worst shit in my life, I still took the time to listen to other people, no matter what is was they were going through. During some of the worst times in my life, I have helped others and they had no idea what I was going through. Again, this lends to character. 

When you’re going through awful things with damn near zero support, it makes things even worse. When a person has very little to wear, buying a t-shirt or a sweatshirt does not fix the profound loss of their clothing, sneakers, shoes, boots, etc. It’s a nice gesture, but it does not fix the long-term issue. It’s appreciated, but it doesn’t solve the problem at hand. Knowing precisely what is missing and how much I relied on my wardrobe hurts like hell. Granted, most of my clothes might not have been valued by anyone other than me, but I deemed each item critical. I take really good care of my clothes and have had many sweaters and sweatshirts since junior high. Now? Now, I have little to nothing. I would have to do laundry every few days if I was constantly out of the house because I don’t have enough of any one item to go more than a week or so without washing mostly all I own. In the past, I could have gone months without doing laundry and still had something clean to wear each day. Sometimes, I think that is an American luxury.  

Initially, a few people (friends, mostly, and one family member) offered to help. They said, “Put a list together and we will try to help however much we can.” I was genuinely touched by that offer, but then I did the math on the “list of replacement items” and deemed it unfair to ask other people to fix MY problems. I’m not selfish. I’m desperately trying to figure my shit out. I know I will be able to replace certain things slowly, but the big stuff weighs heavily on my mind and breaks my heart. It’s like someone walked up, stabbed me in the stomach, and took my soul along with the knife. I mean hell, I cried over everything that was once in my kitchen. Priceless items that were passed down to me. I’ll never be able to get these items back. They were NOT “things”, they were history. No one deserves to have their history erased. 

For the evil people who have my belongings; I hope you understand karma. You took away the last shred of my hope and faith. I hope you rot to death, because people like you are walking cancer and your level of evil does not deserve to exist. Evil does not deserve to be saved, to be rescued, or to be loved. It’s wholly deserving of punishment. And yet, we rarely get to see truly evil people receive their punishments in life, do we? A friend recently mentioned seeing someone’s downfall and laughing about it. I’m not cruel enough to laugh, as she did, but I would, on occasion, like to see justice. Mostly, I just see repeated injustice and I don’t want to live in a world where this is everywhere. I’m waiting for the phone call I am sure to receive when my previous engagement ring is pawned. It is laser inscribed and would be very hard to cut down. The second anyone sees it, they’re not going to want to touch it. They can, and will, end up in jail. It is insured by my ex-fiance’s family and they are aware it is missing. They wanted me to keep it because they were never going to approve of another woman. The stone has been in their family since it was first cut over a century ago. I was once very proud to be wearing it. Life changed, but I am hopeful the ring will be returned to them. It was never truly mine, but I valued it and took exceptional care of it.    

img_20190303_212910_886

When I left Pennsylvania, I did so with just two framed photos: One of my mother, Aunt, and Grandmother, and another of my Grandfather and I as a baby. My baby book is gone, along with all of my baby photos. Pictures of me holding my brother and photos of us through the years. Thousands of photos which marked half of my life, my entire career, and it’s all gone. Same for my brother. Unlike me, he doesn’t seem to care. He’s got clothes and other things to keep him going. I do not. I’m barely making ends meet at the moment (I had to turn down a lot of work that came my way these past few months. I cannot sit for sixteen hours editing any more. My lower back is a disaster and my neck flares up from stress in five minutes.) and there’s a lot of financial pressure on me. If prostitution was legal, I’d be on a street corner tomorrow. I’m not joking.

I have nothing to go back to, and nothing to go back for. I have been erased. There’s nothing left of me or for me. 

I have to say that in all this personal horror and pain, the kindest thing someone did for me, a perfect stranger, was find an autographed first edition book from one of my favorite authors (I had an extensive collection of first edition books from authors I admire, respect, and whose work I absolutely love. I loved those books like some people love their children, and I took exceptionally good care of them. They were on shelves in my living room, in alphabetical order. All of my music and DVDs were also in alphabetical order. Yeah, I’m a bit of a freak. Live and let live.) and have it shipped to me. I was so stunned by this gesture of kindness. When I opened it, I immediately shed tears of shock, and felt such overwhelming gratitude because, again, this person doesn’t know me, and yet, they treated me with such sweetness and generosity of spirit. I will NEVER forget the gesture and I will absolutely pay it forward.

I was raised to always lend a hand, always help friends and family when you are able, and NEVER keep score. I’ve helped people even when I wasn’t able, because sometimes all a person needs is to be heard and understood. Sometimes, a person needs to know they’re valued. I have no such knowledge at the moment. 

I feel utterly abandoned by the vast majority of people who claim to love and care about me. Everyone claims to be “so busy”, but if you have time to post selfies non-stop and be obnoxious in general online, then you have five minutes to check in with someone and make sure they’re okay. A text message is a quick means of communication when you don’t have hours to spend on the phone. My days of spending hours talking to anyone via phone are dead and buried; I don’t even think I like enough people to want to spend that much time talking. I don’t have anything of value to discuss. At least not at the moment.  

If I don’t answer someone, it ISN’T because I am busy. Sometimes I am, and I’ll reply to let you know that I am indeed busy and not ignoring you. Time gets away from me very quickly these days, but it doesn’t mean people aren’t on my mind or in my heart. Other times, my silence is the only thing keeping the other person from having to breathe through tubes. Thoughts don’t hurt, but my hands around someone’s throat is a whole other ballgame. 

facebook_1551722067849

A little over a month and a half ago, an incident occurred and as a result, I asked several close friends if they perceived me in a negative light. I used very specific words when I asked the question. Most people openly said, “Absolutely not.” and one encouraged me to “Always be myself.” One friend, who I thought so highly of, gave me a reply that was hurtful, insulting, rude, and disrespectful. I would like to think she didn’t mean to come off like that, but I refuse to make excuses for people. Once you say it, you can’t take it back unless it’s within thirty seconds and comes with an epic apology. Think before you fucking speak. After reading what she said multiple times, I decided that it was best to keep my mouth shut. To discover that a close friend is secretly judging you behind your back is extremely hurtful. If she wanted to play games and/or pick on someone, she chose the wrong person because I can hit you and I will always hit harder. I’m exactly as advertised; not that nice. 

When a person has stressed positivity to you and comes at you with immense negativity, not only are they a hypocrite of the highest order, but they have clearly forgotten all the times you have blindly supported them. They have also shown you their true colors. They’ve been unmasked and there’s your ultimate sign. Her comment made me think of all the times where I had momentary judgments I pushed into the far corners of my mind because I don’t like being the girl who is judging her friends. In moments like that, I keep my mouth shut. I work really hard not to be that kind of person, because not only is it unattractive, but no one would want to be friends with someone like that; someone secretly and cruelly judging them. Especially me. Suddenly, I wanted to remind her of every single lapse in her judgement in her life on this earth, as opposed to my rare lapses. I’m not tooting my own horn, I’m just sharing my honest thoughts. You can be honest without being cruel or hurting someone intentionally. 

There is always a way to answer someone and NOT be hurtful. It’s called TACT. I know, because I specifically ask people if they want the truth or if they want my opinion. I give them a brief way out because I know at times, I can be quite harsh. Most times, people don’t want the truth at all, they just want to be told they’re right when they’re wrong. Still, there’s always a way to talk to someone without deeply hurting them or permanently damaging a relationship. Always.

What I found most interesting about this particular situation is that I’m not a big sharer regarding my personal or professional life. I could have twenty kids and no one would know, including my family. People have often said I’m the best person to share things with because I will take something they’ve told me to the grave, and that is true. If I don’t trust you completely, I will keep you at a distance where it pertains to my life. I am not an over-sharer. My best friend once thought I was mad at her because I replied with two words instead of a paragraph to a text. I wasn’t mad, but she’s right; I’m wordy. However, in that moment, two words seemed like the appropriate response and we easily cleared things up once I told her that I’ve never been mad at her. Not ever. She is a rarity because usually people screw up with me at least once. In the 20+ years of our friendship, I have never been mad at her, angry, etc. We don’t fight. When you have healthy friendships, there’s no need for nonsense. So for someone to say I am “surrounded by drama” was extremely hurtful. There’s a level of blame in that comment, and I don’t take kindly to it.

I am solely responsible for how I behave. I can not be held responsible for the actions, words, or behavior of others, be they friends, family, or a random idiot who wants to hurt/harm you because they have unresolved personal issues. They are not my problem or responsibility. I don’t have to take the abuse of anyone, regardless of who they think they are in my life. Chances are, if you’re being or have been abusive towards me, you mean less than nothing in my mind/heart/soul. If that was your goal, bravo. 

I’m not perfect, nor have I ever claimed to be, but I’m not a horrible person, either. I don’t wake up each morning with a list of people to hurt and/or insult. That’s not who I am and that is not the message I want to spread. If I’ve said something publicly about someone, like a doctor who treated me in a horrendous fashion, for example, then please know my comments are wholly warranted. There are a myriad of situations in which I will speak up and speak out, but I only speak when I know I’m right. If I feel I might be wrong, I keep my mouth shut. I’ve always felt like that was the safe, smart option; keeping your mouth shut when you’re uncertain cannot harm you, nor can it harm anyone else.

img_20190308_011256_541

So here I am, suffering, struggling to remain alive, asking for nothing because I know better, and there are only a handful of people who are not attacking me almost daily. When a person suffers from any form of illness and has said to you, “There is too much pressure on me. Please stop. It will be handled.”, but you keep pushing and pushing, to the point where the other person is about to explode, then you are part of the problem and you won’t get your way by continuing to push. It’s important to back off when a person has given you a boundary warning. It’s even more important when I’m the person warning you to give me space in which to breathe. Piling more on top of someone, especially when you have zero idea what they’re fully going through, is wrong. If you want an extraordinary amount of respect, then you have to be willing to give it, in kind. If you want to be hated, keep piling on the pressure. It will almost certainly involve a trip to the emergency room…for you. Once I lose the ability to care, and this has happened a few times in my life, I shut down and I feel absolutely nothing for the other person. They could suddenly be on fire and I would have no reaction whatsoever. 

I feel like much of this comes back to not being a big sharer. I don’t have the trust to give anyone. Some people earn it. Some people you automatically click with, and others you work hard to try with, but you shouldn’t have to work so hard where trust is concerned. If it isn’t there, don’t force it. If you’ve spoken to someone for over six months and you don’t even want to see them, leave alone talk to them, then there’s definitely no trust established. It’s okay to admit that and move on. And sometimes, it might be someone you’ve known your entire life, and all it took was the wrong sentence or behavior, perhaps both, for you to shutdown and realize that you cannot dwell in their toxicity any longer. The person you owe the most respect to is yourself. I don’t ever want to lose sight of the fact that I am a priority, and that my thoughts and feelings are valid. Especially when I am so often told that I’m wrong. Statistically speaking, I cannot always be wrong. Again, there’s a reason I only speak when I know I’m right, so if you’re someone who wants to discredit my feelings and views, just plain fuck off. That is the nicest possible thing I can say to people right now. Be supportive and kind or fuck off.   

facebook_1554279109792

I find it sad that so many people feel the need to show off every single aspect of their life, but will never share the darkness. They will never be honest about how hard things can be. Nothing in life is perfect. There’s no such thing as the perfect relationship, or the perfect marriage, or the perfect anything.

I have my battles and my struggles. I am open and honest about them. There are things I will probably never write or talk about because they’re so painful, I can’t even let my mind go there. I keep pieces of myself for myself, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It does not detract from my authenticity or how I explain things. It does not diminish me as a person, take away from my talent, or make me lesser. I work really hard not to dwell in the dark and the places of pain, but it is not easy to throw yourself into the light. Some days, as always, will be better than others.

Today I stand here as someone who reached out to her doctor when her medication seemingly failed overnight, and made me sink into suicidal thoughts and feelings. I know he will get back to me. It is important to have a doctor who is on your side and who is objective enough to hear what you’re saying. As someone who spends more time with me than most people, I would like to get to a place where I don’t have to constantly be in his office. Especially since my OCD slipped one day and told him I desperately wanted to paint it (his office). Interestingly enough, he agreed with me and has since asked me about which colors would look best. Yes, I find that funny, but I actually appreciated that he didn’t take offense. 

A few months ago, when I first used the word “erased”, someone asked if I felt that way “in this room”, and they meant in the room with them. I said no, but their behavior has dramatically changed and I feel like it’s time for them to either get with the program or it’s time for me to move on. I am good with either option. I guess I’ll know more about that next week, and in the many weeks to come.

I am sad, depressed, hurt, and trying to rebuild myself and my life. People look at me and have no idea how much of a mess I am. And many have made it clear that they do not care. It’s important to know who does. I’m not looking, but I AM paying close attention.

I’m doing my best. My mother always told me that my best is always good enough because it means I am trying. So for the person who doesn’t think anything I do is right, are you good enough? Not so much. Not from where I’m sitting.

I’m starting from scratch, like a newborn. This time, it’s all going to go quite differently. 

P.S. Before I forget, thank you to anyone who was involved in my being named an “Inspiring Writer of 2018” and an “Inspiring Writer to Read”. It means so much to me and my heart just bursts from the messages and feedback on Twitter and Instagram. Let’s go for a three-peat, shall we? 😉  

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.

Last Sunday

facebook_1547097730886

 

Last Sunday afternoon I was hit in my lower back at a small, local grocery store. The woman who hit me slammed her full shopping cart into me, and it was heavy. I could feel things in my lower back scream in agony at me. I immediately knew this was BAD.

Instead of reacting like a normal person, she said, “Why are you standing there?!” in a condescending “the world revolves around me” tone of voice, and proceeded to clip my right hip on her way out the door. I was in so much pain, but I did not scream or fall on the ground. I quickly assessed the busy store, the lack of attention to what had just occurred, the cashier bagging my items while my card payment jingled musical approval, and immediately realized that if I fell and called 911, I’d be a YouTube joke and the stores’ employees could be fired. Yes, those are selfless thoughts in the midst of mind-shattering pain, but screaming out in a store rife with elderly people didn’t seem like a smart idea, and I knew every other person would be whipping out their phone. We live in a very sick world where people think that’s appropriate.

I lost a week of my life to someone’s awful behavior. I had hoped I’d be able to go to my appointments, run errands, do laundry, clean, organize my clothes, and live my usual existence as a sufferer of Fibromyalgia and chronic pain. Instead, the pain was not something you could think through, or past. it was all encompassing.

Ultimately, I sent the store’s corporate headquarters a strongly worded e-mail. I do NOT want to this to happen to another customer. Talking to my best friend tonight, her seven hours ahead, she told me, “I bet this has happened before. You cannot be the first person this has happened to in one of their stores.”

Last week I consulted briefly with a personal injury attorney, and was told I definitely have a case, despite the fact that the store has no cameras. I was told, “You were injured on their premises. That makes them liable. Regardless of whether or not you already suffer from chronic pain, they should cover your medical expenses, any testing your insurance will not cover, pain management and medication, pain and suffering, and any potential lost income.” One lawyer wanted an obscene retainer. The first simply advised.

I’m not greedy. I simply want this accident, which increased my pain tenfold, to be over. I want the pain to stop. I don’t want to live in traumatized fear that some stupid bitch is going to hit me again and cause further harm. Today, someone missed me by an inch, except they immediately apologized and asked if I was all right. See the difference? I do want the tests covered, and the income I had to turn down last week when, suddenly, people returned to me with huge editing jobs. I can barely sit without wanting to die, so I had to say no to two big contracts. I said no to smaller things, too. I don’t usually say no, even on open-ended deadlines. If I don’t feel I am healthy enough to finish a job (both of which required my full attention and roughly sixteen hour days doing nothing, but focusing on their manuscripts.), it is wrong to say yes and accept 50% of the payment upfront. If I can’t deliver, that’s not fair to the client, but I knew I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t tolerate the pain enough to block it out.

You’ll notice I did not name the store, the location, or give any other identifying info. Not only am I a loyal customer, but they don’t deserve the negative publicity.

Despite what I’ve been through, I would like to keep a positive mindset. I want to move forward. I don’t know if I’ll be able to, but I have no choice but to go back to my spine specialist and ask him to run the tests based on the fact that I was clearly injured. The one good thing in all of this craziness is that my doctors here have ALL ignored my lower back completely. They’ve refused to run tests, but I can’t keep going like this without x-rays and an MRI. I need to know what is causing the pain because this doesn’t feel muscular, it feels like bone. It was warm for January that day, so under my coat, I only had a t-shirt on instead of my usual 2-3 layers. There was nothing to cushion some of the damage or any of the impact.

If I don’t survive this week, I will have someone post a notice. In the meantime, I am praying and I hope the Universe will be kind in return.

copyright 2019 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. All written work may not be re-posted anywhere without express written consent from the author. This authors’ work and personal photos are protected under United States and International copyright laws. Additional protection is covered under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.